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<Stardate: 201801.31, prior to the incident with the Breen>
A white canvas.
Her first mission.
T'Vait picked up her brush and dabbed some blue pigment into a dollop of smooth white paint. She stirred it carefully, evenly, until the paint was a consistent Earth-sky blue. Then she striped an even band of blue across the top of the canvas. She added some white paint to the blue and continued to mix it.
A sense of peace pervaded her being. Everything as it should be: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, and so the need of the one becomes the need to serve the many. To live logically means to live for others. She added the lighter blue in a stripe below the first, and blended them together.
What could be more valuable in serving others than giving them the gift of peace? And peace, the peace which she experienced, was understanding that she was living well, that her life was rational, and that she need not regret a single action or word. Logic was the ultimate consolation: living logically meant always having done the right thing at the right time.
A line of white followed the light blue - white with just a hint of yellow, like the horizon above an ocean reflecting a sun.
The right thing, now, was to share her peace with others: the others on the Athena, and the others they were to encounter. Tortured beings, conflicted in their actions and intentions. Uncertain about their futures and desperately trying to satisfy their emotional desires. If only they could realize that none of these things mattered!
More blue, tinged with green. She was now halfway down the canvas.
T'Vait felt the vibrations of the ship running through her, deepening her sense of the silence of her room. The almost imperceptible motions didn't disturb her; she was part of the universe; she swayed and bent with its movement. She had lost her last traces of stiffness, her defiant opposition to existence itself, when she purged her unnecessary emotions several years ago. Now, she was flexible, resilient, ready to be a harmonious part of reality.
A deeper blue, with some brown and green, was next, and the canvas was becoming what it was meant to be: it was a landscape - or, more accurately, a seascape. The oceans of Earth had a particular beauty that she had appreciated while at Starfleet Academy, and she meant to capture their regularity, how the water's low viscosity and the planet's low gravity allowed the play of waves to pattern the surface with reflected light and glimpses of depth and darkness. Reproducing it with layers of opaque colors, blended together, was an interesting technical problem. She rinsed her brush and gently dabbed it onto a light green blob on her palette.
Her life, like the universe, was ordered, patterned, and perfect. She had known how much time this painting would take, and how much time she had until her shift began, so she was in no rush to finish. She sat straight on her wooden backless chair (one of the few things she had brought onto the ship), leaning forward at intervals to add strokes to the canvas. Slowly, the waves took shape, gained depth, and glinted in the sunlight. She rinsed her brush and gathered some white paint again, flicking it so that it spattered across the peaks of the closest waves - bits of flying foam. Carefully controlled chaos. It was good.
She cleaned her brushes and stood back to look at the painting. It was right.
Or was it? Was there something a little off about it? Something unnatural?
T'Vait hesitated for a moment.
No. It was right. She pushed her doubt away, put her paints on a shelf, zipped up the jacket of her uniform and stepped out.