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JP: Lt JG Peters + Lt. Zinna: Told You

Sal Taybrim

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(( Counseling Office, Starbase 118 ))
(( Time Index: SD 239301.20 ))
:: Cadfael was dressed in his typical Starfleet-issue gold, hair combed back and not covered in grease or fur. With a deep breath, he pressed the button and waited for Zinna to answer. ::
:: The curly haired El-Aurian was sitting at her desk enjoying a nice cup of coffee. She had recently dropped off her son, Taxo, at the schoolhouse on Starbase 118, and decided to check in at the counseling office that she had yet to see since her transition to counseling from medical. Hearing the chime she raised an eyebrow. ::
Zinna: Come in.
:: Cadfael did so and had a seat in the chair opposite the desk. As the door closed behind him, he smiled and released the breath he’d been holding. ::
Peters: Told you I’d find you.
Zinna: ::smiling back:: Yes, you did. For a second there I thought you were just pulling my leg. It’s nice to see you Cadfael. How are you doing?
Peters: :: sighed heavily before continuing :: Richard Fracking Matthews hadn’t spoken to me since he got back, and then left again just as suddenly. And before that, my efforts to find love just didn’t work.
:: Zinna nodded. She understood. ::
Zinna: You know, love is a tricky thing. It’s one of those things that you can’t just solve with an equation. It doesn’t have an instruction manual. ::She crossed her legs:: What do you mean “and before that?” Was there someone before Richard?
:: Cadfael nodded faintly and leaned back in the chair, doing his best not to sound exasperated. ::
Peters: You could say that. I went bar crawling with my first counselor here, Vance Sheridan. The two of us hit it off nicely, I made a pass at him while intoxicated, and we moved past it. We even went to the Risian Rave and I picked up one of the horga’hns. Met a hot looking Bajoran who I saw maybe twice, then nothing. Then Vance left. After that, there was Anders, who chickened out on me after asking me out...and a putz named Meyers who invited me for breakfast, then a date. Sadly, it wasn’t anything to write home about.
:: He sat up and met her gaze. ::
Peters: Your predecessor, the annoying Denobulan named Ashley Yael, was just downright annoying. Said I needed more social interaction.
Zinna: ::chuckling:: Do you agree with him?
Peters: Nope. Every attempt at social interaction thus far has sucked worse than a vacuum cleaner.
:: Zinna pulled out her PADD. ::
Zinna: Okay, let me ask you something, Cadfael. Why do you think you’re social interactions aren’t successful? You can’t measure your sociability on a few failed romance encounters, now can you?
Peters: I’m an engineer. Used to working with parts. Not people. Maybe I’m just not designed for interacting with people in general. Only one who doesn’t seem to mind my ineptitude at people is the skipper, and for a while I thought Theo too...though Theo is now the FO and my department is once again lacking a chief.
Zinna: ::she raised an eyebrow:: You’re a Human first, and an engineer second. Humans were designed to interact with people. It’s in their nature. It’s in many species’ nature to interact. You shouldn’t use your career as an excuse because you don’t think you’re successful in social interactions. Now to this department situation. I’m assuming you’d like to be Chief Engineer?
Peters: Not necessarily, but having a department chief who doesn’t either leave without a word or move laterally within the hierarchy would be nice. First Kellan just up and disappeared while I was up to my elbows in boom-sludge, then Theo, who moved from being my boss to Taybrim’s right hand. Just because I served briefly as the Victory’s CE doesn’t mean I was prepared for it. Transferred to the Darwin and was once again your run of the mill engineer.
:: In regard to his species reference, he just let it drop. He didn’t know what to add there, if anything. It seemed a moot point anyway. The word darwin just left a bitter taste in his mouth, because that was not his best posting. ::
Zinna: And do you know the duties of a Chief Engineer, lieutenant?
Peters: From my experience, paperwork, morale officer, and keeping the ship running. Granted, it was brief.
Zinna: You do realize that there is a social portion of being a department head?
:: That struck a nerve. He winced and nodded faintly. ::
Peters: Yeah. I think that falls under the “morale officer” portion of it.
:: There was certainly more to it than just “morale officer”, but she decided to let it go. ::
Zinna: Yes...so then tell me, Cadfael, why are you here? What are you hoping to gain from seeing me today?
Peters: A new friend, at the very least. Counselor or not. You know...just someone to talk to about things. :: He paused briefly, as though composing an additional sentence. :: ...Get a sense of whether you have that annoying personality that I run from or the kind I seek out voluntarily.
Zinna: As a friend, I will certainly listen. I’m a good listener. But as a counselor, it’s not enough for me to just listen you know. I think you might be confusing the previous counselor’s “annoying personality” with a counseling style that likes to get things done. Someone who you’ll hate in the beginning, but once you start to make progress and accomplish a goal, you’ll appreciate their harshness in the end.

:: As unfortunate as it was for him to admit she had a point, he merely nodded and kept quiet as he put words together. He didn’t know how to refute or counter it, so brought up another point. ::

Peters: Then I probably should tell you, Yael thought I had a bit of a temper.

:: That was fine. Zinna had dealt with several different people in her career of counseling. She had yet to meet a patient as difficult to deal with as her former and most renowned patient known as Lathu. She was sure she could handle Peter’s temper. ::

Zinna: Just like an engineer or first officer or scientist, we all have different ways of going about our jobs, and so do I. Yael and I are both counselors, but we certainly are in no way the same and our styles will certainly be different as you’ll come to notice. As for your temper...I’m sure I can handle it. ::She chuckled:: I went to prison for murder...I’ve grown some thick skin, lieutenant.

Peters: One major difference between you and that smug little gundark, I didn’t want to punch you within ten minutes of meeting you. Him...I wanted to wipe that [...]ed grin off his face within five minutes.

Zinna: Would you mind explaining why he was so annoying to you, Cadfael?

Peters: What is there to explain? He walked into main engineering on the Albion as I was piecing it back together, demanded I walk away and “humor” him with a counseling session, asked lots of questions about Vance, and something about his tone just cheesed me off. I wanted to use a hydrospanner to ratchet his mouth shut, to give you a sense of how much he bugged me. And also threatened me with bi-weekly sessions.

Zinna: Sounds to me like he was doing his job...just a little more assertive than most counselors, but sometimes some people need assertiveness. How are bi-weekly sessions threatening exactly?

Peters: Seeing his smug little grin and annoying tone twice a week, and my wanting to break his face in the same moment? You tell me.

:: She smiled. ::

Zinna: Wow, you certainly do have a temper Mr. Peters, but we’ll work on that. I do think you do need regular sessions for anger management, but not bi-weekly. I won’t order you to see me frequently, but I will invite you if you want. I’ll try my hardest to tone that anger down and to also help you feel more comfortable in social situations.

:: Another distinguishing mark that differentiated her from the Denobulan, she didn’t phrase her offer to help as an order. He wasn’t defeated, but the way she phrased it made him more willing to agree. ::

Peters: Okay. When is my first anger management thingie?

Zinna: The first one? ::She pondered for a second:: How about whenever you feel angry and not in control of your emotions? And we’ll go from there. Also, since we are on a short shore leave, I highly recommend you go out and do something “social” with a crewmember.

:: The logic of her plan started to dawn on him. Since counselors were very much on call, he would call her up whenever he felt a surge of anger and she would make herself available to deal with it. Then, the second part; something social. That sounded like a trap. ::

Peters: I’ll see what I can do.

Zinna: Good. ::she smiled:: If you don’t, I’ll order you to go on a date or declare you unfit for duty.

:: She paused for a moment and then laughed to show that she was joking. ::

Peters: Given my options, I’ll take the blind date. :: The threat of being marked unfit for duty made him a little angry, one hand clenching into a fist as a coping method. ::

:: The El-Aurian counselor noticed Cadfael’s first clenching. She marked that in her PADD in her psychological notes. ::

Zinna: If I weren’t going to violate the counselor patient protocol and if you weren’t gay I’d take you on a date. :: She stood up from her desk and patted him on the shoulder. :: Let’s take baby steps first...let’s make some friends and then we’ll work on dating, okay?

:: He blushed a bit at the mention of the counselor taking him on a date, though the fact he was gay didn’t help. ::

Peters: Right.

Zinna: Well, is there anything you’d like to discuss before I send you on your way?

Peters: Nothing that comes to mind.

Zinna: Then, I’ll see you around, lieutenant. ::she smiled:: And remember, if you ever need me I’m just a commbadge tap away.

:: He nodded and stood up, making his way toward the door. ::

Peters: I’ll keep it in mind.

:: Zinna nodded with a smile. As Lt. Peters left, she sat back at her desk and looked at her PADD and began updating her first psychological evaluation on Starbase 118 Ops. She would start formulating a plan to help him with his anger and social situations. It would be a difficult task, but she was sure that if she stayed as far away to being similar to Yael, she would make a breakthrough. ::


Lieutenant Zinna


Starbase 118 Ops



Lieutenant JG Cadfael Peters


Starbase 118 Ops



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