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JP- LCDR Core & LCDR Moonsong: A Friendly Chat

Alora DeVeau

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((Island Beach, The Next Day))

::Raissa went for a walk up the beach. She put a little distance between herself and the crew, but she did make sure she stayed within sight. There were several jetties of stone the stuck out into the surf. She took a seat on the stone, trailing her feet in the water. The advantage of this shore leave was that the uniforms were put away and they stayed away. The wind blew her dark hair around, but she didn’t try to tame it.::

Core: Good morning, Counsellor.

::She looked away from her contemplation of the waves to see the chief engineer. She frowned slightly.::

Moonsong: Good morning….Commander….

::Tristam looked down, giving a small chuckle.::

Core: I’m sorry, should I mention your promotion or stick to first names? Congratulations, by the way.

Moonsong: ::she raised an eyebrow at him.:: And you think my first name is Counselor?

Core: Well I’m not sure what you prefer! I’ve never used your first name before. Plus, apparently some cultures prefer you ask them first. ::He paused.:: Would you prefer I called you “Raissa” during shore leave?

::She considered giving him a little grief about it. Sometimes to some people what she did and who she was seemed interchangeable. They were on shore leave and she was clearly out of uniform. And as he had just pointed out, he could have just asked. With a small sigh, she decided not to.::

Moonsong: I would prefer it when I’m off duty. And the few friends I have sometimes call me Ris.

Core: Okay. Well, *Ris*, that wasn’t awfully difficult.

Moonsong: As much as it always is. ::pause.:: So what can I do for you?

Core: I . . . have an apology to make.

::Her eyes widened in surprise. This was a first... from anybody.::

Moonsong: What do you think you have to apologize for?

Core: Well, last time we spoke properly, I could hardly talk. You may have mentioned that it might be due to my telepathy and I shut you down. And since that conversation, my verbal skills have improved marginally, and my telepathy has returned. And I am sorry. You were right.

::Though in hindsight, what was he supposed to believe? At that point, his telepathy returning was a distant dream - something unachievable, unlikely to happen due to the damage done. But she was right. He was wrong. Oh, he’d been so wrong.::

::She had the urge to laugh. She suppressed that urge viciously. She also had the urge to beat the point on why she was right upside his head. She resisted that urge too. Mainly because she was still picking up the crew’s thoughts and emotions which sometimes colored her own. She was not really that impulsive. But dang it, she was a professional after all.::

Moonsong: Thank you… So having your abilities back… how does that make you feel?

Core: Uh . . . I feel as though we are on shore leave, and that you shouldn’t have to worry about my mental health right now.

::He took a seat next to her.::

Core: I’m honestly more curious about how you’re doing?

::Her eyes widened in clear amazement.::

Moonsong: I admit, you’ve surprised me.

Core:::frowning:: How so?

::She paused a moment, considering how to answer. Finally she shrugged.::

Moonsong: Most people don’t seek me out for my scintillating personally. They want someone to talk to.

Core:::raising an eyebrow:: I was under the impression that communication between two people was considered “talking”.

Moonsong: The difference is people wanting to talk to the counselor. Not talk with me.

Core: That’s implying you’re basically a brick wall to them. No, that’s not what I was trying to achieve here. ::He laughed.:: It’s shore leave - this shouldn’t be a time for work. And I know counselling sessions are important no matter what the crew’s situation, but right now is your time off. And I also remember saying I’d help you with your telepathy.

Moonsong: ::chuckles:: Let me respond in order. ::pause:: People come to me for help with their problems. And shore leave after a stressful mission is why I’m usually so busy. ::sighs:: I do love what I do… but sometimes…. And my telepathy is why I’m way out here for the moment.

::Tristam cringed. He’d disturbed her quiet time.::

Core: Do you want me to leave?

Moonsong: No, you’re one of the easier people to be around. I can read you, but I have to work at it. So you’re fairly quiet minded to be around.

Core: Don’t work at it. Because then I actually feel it and it gets a bit awkward. I know your status changed and your power’s impressive, but I don’t really want either of ending up in front of Saveron explaining what happened. Saveron’s great and all, but I think a “why did you ever think that was a good idea” coming from him wouldn’t be at all pleasant.

Moonsong: ::She put a hand to her mouth as she giggled.:: Tristam, we’ve had the conversation before. I have no desire to delve into your mind. At most I’ll get a flash of a directed surface thoughts and that’s all. I don’t need to go any further. It’s probably full of technobabble that’ll make my ears bleed.

Core: ~~ Not all the time. ~~

::That one sentence marked the first time he’d actually projected telepathy to someone else, despite being somewhat of an accident. The Rodulan cringed again, remembering just after it’d occurred that the Federation weren’t necessarily all in for telepathic communication whenever and wherever.::

Core: I’m so sorry. That was uncalled for - that was my fault.

::Raissa frowned slightly. She leaned close to him, face to face and then crossed her eyes at him.::

Moonsong: By my ancestors… there really is a hamster on a wheel in there…

::He tried desperately to form a response to that - he truly did. But he instead found himself inhibited.::

Core: . . . I don’t know what that is . . .

Moonsong: ::she chuckled and leaned back.:: A small furry terran rodent kept as a pet. The put a little wheel in the cage so it can run very fast in circles.

::She smiled.::

Moonsong: And I didn’t mind the thought from you. It was nice to have something directed toward me instead of the usual random blasts of thoughts and emotions. ::pause.:: Sometimes… for all I’m sensing… I’m invisible.

Core: It’s a learning process. I can’t offer much advice for it, either, but . . . I don’t know. Keep up your relationships, is what my brother would say I guess.

::She looked out toward the water, the smile fading from her lips::

Moonsong; You’ve told me that before. Saveron has said the same thing… ::pause.:: My… relationships can be counted on one hand with fingers left over.

Core: I . . . don’t know what to say to that without sounding insensitive. But I *will* say that I’m glad I joined the hand.

Moonsong: ::smiles:: I’m now up to three. One more and I’ll be back to four. ::the smile fades slightly.:: Or not, considering my situation.

Core: Situation? You mean your telepathy?

Moonsong: ::nods:: It’s why Carter and I broke up before he left.

::Tristam sighed.::

Core: Well then, Greyson was incredibly short minded now wasn’t he? And if telepathy was the reason you broke up, then a relationship with him wasn’t viable in the first place. What an incredibly childish decision.

::Raissa was surprised she had to suppress her amusement. It was a nice feeling to have someone jump to her defense so quickly.::

Moonsong: Tristam… I broke up with him… My telepathy put him sickbay.

::Tristam found himself frowning again. Perhaps he’d been unaware just how grand her telepathy was - with the Community, she’d been . . . far too great for him to comprehend. For Rodulans, though telepathy was dangerous whilst trying to read each other, is was . . . he couldn’t explain it. Basotile was created with telepathy - the foundation for most Rodulan relationships. Telepathy was a peaceful thing, despite the danger. His time with Starfleet had him seeing it from multiple perspectives - it was educational, to say the least, and though some ideals challenged his own a few times, he’d always returned to his original belief.::

Core: That’s . . . unexpected.

::He was comparing Moonsong’s relationship with Carter to his own with Roshanara - though Artist knows why. The situations between them had nothing in common. Though his telepathy came back at the most awkward of times for he and Roshanara, he’d never felt to be a danger to her. Reading her mind (while he refrains from doing it all the time) was just something they’d been doing since he first met her - she seemed comfortable with it, though admittedly, he’d never truly asked her. Their relationship hadn’t hindered because of his ability to read minds. ::

Moonsong: I’m a freak, Tristam. Saveron sequenced my DNA to figure out what I am. Human telepaths are rare. A T6 is… unheard of. I had to relearn everything. I have to be extremely careful when touching a non-telepath. I can never lose control. Ever. Carter… couldn’t… wouldn’t understand the danger. Nor would he understand that I would always have to hold a part of myself away from him.

::It was at that point he realized that he’d been comparing the wrong people.::

Core: You and Roshanara are strangely alike, you know that?

Moonsong: I don’t see how..,

::And the next challenge was explaining that without delving into Roshanara’s situation too much. He wasn’t sure if Raissa was aware of “empathic metamorph” status she held . . . hmm.::

Core: Not in terms of telepathy, but . . . in terms of situation. You should talk to her. I don’t know if it’d help, but . . . I think you should talk to her. You are *incredibly* similar.

::Tristam had had to chase after answers from Roshanara before he finally, literally, cornered her and demanded them. Empathic metamorph. Dependant on those around her, she’d “become unable to live with the stimulus of those around her. Unable to lead, unable to serve in Starfleet. Unable to function in daily life” - her words, not his. It was only until she’d realized that she couldn’t conform to Tristam’s emotional state did things actually turn for the positive - as a Rodulan, no telepath or empath could get a glimpse of his mind (not including Raissa - her circumstances were unique, to say the least). Tristam was quite literally one of the very small minority of people of whom couldn’t manipulate Roshanara Rahman.

::Nowadays, even those whom *weren’t* part of the small minority Tristam was included in could successfully manipulate her. She was building up her ability to avoid it - and was making astonishing progress. This is what happens when she no longer resigns herself to the possibility of a “doomed future”. Now look at her - back to her confident and stronger self and working as the Invicta’s First Officer.::

Core: And for the record, you’re not a freak. *I’m* a T6, remember? And before you go on stating the differences between us, know that I had to go through this when I had my Academy years. Rodul, as a place for telepaths, it’s silent. Well, maybe not silent, but there’s way less noise than what there is on the Invicta at the moment. Going from that to the Academy . . . add homesickness to the mix, I practically lived in the medical centre for months.

::Raissa had opened her mouth a couple times, but nothing had come out during his speech. She did have to concede he did make several valid points. She knew about Rahman’s situation due to the reports, especially when she was made FO. She held her hands up in a gesture of surrender::

Moonsong: All right.. you have a few points… I don’t agree with all of them. I do have to have a chat with your girlfriend, but not about this.

Core: Oh no . . . about what? What’d I say!? Just because she’s First Officer . . .

Moonsong: ::chuckles:: I have to talk to her about parenthood.

Core: Ah. The dear Tasmin. I take it back - talk to her as much as you’d like.

Moonsong: I’ve already talked to Ki.

Core: I don’t mean to pry, but how’d that go? Suddenly being father to a teenaged daughter of a different version of himself now displaced in what we consider to be the true universe must be a lot to take in.

Moonsong: It went as I expected. ::soft sigh:: He has no family left. Tasnim is the closest thing he has to that at the moment. While technically she was left with Roshanara, if she is shipped back to Earth to live with her ‘grandparents’, don’t be surprised if Ki requests a transfer.

Core: I wouldn’t be. While they aren’t technically her parents, they do worry about her - there’s no one better than Shandres to keep an eye on her should she end up on Earth. But I don’t think Roshanara’s quite ready to make that decision yet. I’d be awfully surprised if she does, considering all she’s done to try and settle Tasmin in.

Moonsong: There are other children on the ship, so that isn’t an excuse. Ki and Ms. Rahman need to sit down and actually talk. They barely speak to each other.

Core: She’s barely spoken to *me* about it, let alone Ki. But I’ll do my best to try and raise it with her. If she does have Tasmin go to Earth, it won’t be because of the danger on the Invicta, it’ll be something to do with Tasmin’s mother. I’m not sure of the circumstances of her being onboard, but . . . I don’t know. She hasn’t told me much. And that’s fine - I’m okay with that, it’s not really any of my business, but . . . ::He sighed.:: I don’t know. I guess I’ll find out when you do. ::He laughed once.::

Moonsong: Since it affects your relationship, I’d say it is your business. It’s not something you can separate and put into a little box on the shelf. ::pause.:: I’m counseling again, aren’t I?

Core: If it makes you feel any better, that’s partially my fault again.

Moonsong: Not really. I’m the one who brought it up. ::shrugs:: Mostly because I was curious.

Core: Considering we’d just finished talking about your own relationships, I think it was well within reason. But like I said, she hasn’t said much about Tasmin’s situation to me.

Moonsong: The plus side of being a counselor… I can legitimately be nosy.

Core: It’s always a good perk to have.

Moonsong: So…. what do you plan to do for shore leave?

Core: Hmm . . . ::He gave a small huff.:: I’m still settling down. Roshanara wants to take a shuttle and do a quick fly over the moon - I’ll tag along with her, take the opportunity to try and get a conversation going. Other than that? Swim. This sand and ridiculous air quality is making my knee and shoulder ache.

::After having his knee replaced after the accident on the Pioneer, he’d had the occasional spike of trouble with his left leg. Nothing other than what Medical had expected, of course, but enough to be rather annoying when walking on sand for extended periods of time. It’d be fine, if he’d kept up with physiotherapy. The same could be said for his shoulder - after the incident aboard the Mercury, that’d had to undergo some interesting surgery, as well as having had it strapped to him for he-didn’t-remember-how-long, and now forgetting to continue on with whatever Skyfire’s exercises were wasn’t necessarily helping with the strength in that arm.::

Moonsong: Well…. you could always try for that romantic moment that doesn’t require conversation…

Core: Aha, yeah, uh . . . thanks for the idea. It honestly depends on how good a mood she’s in. ::He laughed.::

Moonsong: Take a picnic on your jaunt. You’re both on shore leave.

Core: Aye aye, Commander.

Moonsong: I’m never going to get used to that.


LtCmdr Raissa Moonsong

Chief of Counseling

USS Invicta



LtCmdr Tristam Core

Chief Engineer

USS Invicta
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