Main Computer Core, Deck 10, USS Portland
Jason sat at a terminal. Now that the Borg had been dealt with, he finally had time to update the Linguistic database. He'd requested the services of a Computer Systems Specialist and was now awaiting their arrival.
Malbi found it odd that she was requested for something so non-computer related. Though she supposed she was the resident Klingon expert, she was a little out of her comfort zone. She straightened her uniform and posture before entering the room. She crossed to the lieutenant she was here to meet. "Ensign Malbi, sir," she said with a salute, waiting for his reply before she sat.
"nuqneH, Ensign. bIpIv'a,'" He said using the normal Klingon greeting.
Malbi looked extremely surprised, "I... uh, nuqneH," she replied, still wondering how his enunciation was as good as it was. If he knew Klingon, why did he need her?
Jason noticed Malbi's look of surprise. "I studied Klingonese and as a child, I joined my Literary Professor father on a Shakespeare conference on H'atoria." He said by way of an explanation.
"That's quite interesting," Malbi remarked, now wondering even more why he would need her help if he spoke Klingon. "So shall we get started?" she asked, not entirely sure what the project would entail, but wanting to get it done with.
"As you wish, Ensign." Jason said. "Unlike newer vessels, the Portland requires the linguistics database to be updated manually."
Malbi's eyes widened, but she quickly suppressed her surprise. "Well, I guess we'll be here for a little while."
"Indeed." Jason said making space for Malbi to also access the terminal. "Okay, let us start by testing the system with Old High Vulcan."
Malbi herself would have no way of seeing if the computer was translating correctly, as she didn't speak Vulcan, but nonetheless, she made herself comfortable and then typed the commands as the lieutenant had told her. As the code slowly manifested on the computer screen, she waited for her next cue from Beauvoir.
Jason recited the first few lines of Act 3, Scene 1 of Shakespeare's Hamlet in Old High Vulcan, and waited for the universal translator to translate it. Satisfied that it worked, he moved on. "Next Rihannsu, do you know any Rihannsu, Ensign?"
"Only enough to insult a Romulan, not exactly the kind of vocabulary that the ship should be repeating," Malbi replied, trying to recall a few non-insults. She had learned many years ago from an old man who had been the barkeep on a Romulan freighter, and remembered the basic sentence structure and conjugations, but really only recalled the words the old man used the most: swears and curses.
Malbi was actually a bit embarrassed. She had put Rihannsu on her application, but hadn't realized how much she'd forgotten. Besides, what good Klingon was willing to dirty their mouth with the language of their sworn enemy?
"It is not uncommon for insults to be what one remembers most about a foreign language." Jason said. "Especially in the case of the language of an enemy."
"Unfortunately," Malbi replied, "But I can correct the ship's grammar if necessary; I just don't recall any vocabulary. Otherwise, I'll only be able to assist with Klingon, but you already seem to have that under control."
"True, but it is more efficient for the two of us to perform this task." Jason said. "Ensign, would it be impolite of me to ask you about your family?"
Malbi almost snorted, "It wouldn't be if I had any, sir," she replied shortly. She didn't want to delve too deeply into the subject because there wasn't much to talk about. She was abandoned at age five, then adopted by an older Klingon lady. She wasn't even allowed to use her adopted family's name, and had no other family name to use. In every sense, she was truly without a family
'So much for small talk.' Jason thought to himself. He knew that Klingons normally took family very seriously, he wondered what had happened to hers. He also knew what it was like to lose those whom he loved. "I am sorry to hear that." He said.
"There's no need to be sorry, you didn't do anything," Malbi replied, "But if you'd like to talk about family, we can talk about yours." she suggested, trying not to ruin the small talk that the lieutenant was attempting to make.
"As you wish." He said. "My family has always had close ties to Starfleet. My mother, Captain T'Lisa Anderson, commanding officer of the USS Canterbury, and my sister, Lieutenant Yvette Beauvoir, Chief Intelligence Officer of the USS Endeavour are currently in Starfleet. My brother, Jean-Pierre Beauvoir is a police detective, his wife, Bianca, is a lawyer and they have a son, Dylan. As I said earlier, my father, Professor Simon Beauvoir, is an English Literature Professor and last, but by no means least, I have a daughter, Coln Jena, who lives with me." Jason said.
Malbi nodded, listening intently. It was always good to familiarize oneself with the other crew members, it made parties less awkward if you had something to talk about. "A daughter," she replied, "How interesting. Does she enjoy life in Starfleet?"
"I believe so, her mother was a Starfleet officer, while she was growing up. I do not know for sure, as I only met my daughter for the first time, last year." Jason said.
Malbi looked surprised, then quickly switched her facial expression back to one plainly of interest. Meanwhile her head was spinning. If a father could meet his daughter for the first time many years into her life, then certainly she could meet her mother or father again. She had long tried to repress these desires to meet her mother, with only some effect, but this renewed hope ignited those desires all over again. She asked curiously, "How old is she? Does she want to work in Starfleet when she's older, too?" She was almost childlike in her curiosity, but then she realized that she might be acting creepy or obtrusive, so she changed her face to a blank expression and held her tongue, hoping not to embarrass herself or her crewmate any further with her lack of professionalism.
"She is 15 years old, and has shown an interest and an aptitude in the Sciences." Jason said. "I am very proud of her." He added, a smile crossing his lips.
"It is a very interesting and promising field of study," Malbi agreed, then realized they'd deviated from their task. "Oh," she exclaimed, "I suppose we should return to the task at hand."
"Indeed, Ensign." Jason said choosing the next language.
"What's next?" Malbi inquired, looking at the display.
"Gorn. It is an interesting language, it consists of a series of hisses and low growls. I actually learnt this language from a female Gorn, who we rescued when I served on the USS Hecla," Jason said.
Malbi nodded, a look of confusion crossing her face. "I didn't realize they spoke," she replied, "They're always so... Taciturn."
"I think they do so on purpose, a quiet enemy is a deadly enemy and such." Jason replied.
"Intriguing," Malbi replied, then paused to let him do his work.
"If you are interested, I can introduce you to her? I recently discovered that she is serving here, aboard the Portland, in Security." Jason said.
Malbi nodded, "Yes, I would enjoy that. Thank you."
"You are welcome, but just to warn you, she might be a little frosty towards you at first." Jason said. "Understandable, I think, as she has suffered greatly at the hands of some of those working for the Klingon military."
"Understandably, I suppose, since many races have," Malbi conceded, not feeling too terribly guilty. After all, fair was fair in battle, and Klingons had never been unfair. Either way, she had made peace with humans and she assumed she might do the same with Gorns.
Jason smiled at the woman's desire to get to know more about Gorns. He only hoped that Zirra would be as receptive. "Okay, now Cardassian."
Malbi made a disgusted noise in the back of her throat. "I'll leave that one to you."