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JP Meidra Sirin and Aine Sherlock - Guilt and Circumstance


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There have been some really solid JPs coming out of Resolution lately, but this one I thought was particularly well-crafted by both @Meidra Sirin and @Ensign Aine Olive Sherlock.  Dialogue and narrative are nicely balanced and each seemed to effortlessly build upon the other.  A great read, crewmates!


((Counseling Office, Deck Two, USS Resolution))

Meidra led the commander out of her office and saw that her next appointment was already there, ready to see her. That was refreshing, and appreciated. So many times, she’d had to track down officers who didn’t see the need to come to required appointments. The ensign seemed to light up at the sight of Ilsam and Meidra wondered if there was a mutual attraction between the two, because he seemed quite happy to see Sherlock.

Sherlock: Commander! Good to see you again.

Meidra gave them a few moments to converse, while she did a quick check on the captain, whose vitals were still stable. She couldn’t hear anything from her now, and hoped that meant that Nicholotti’s mind was currently at ease. 

The commander left, and Meidra turned to greet her latest patient. The woman seemed a bit nervous, which was normal in any circumstances, but having just left the scene of such destruction, the emotions were all the more intense,  She led her back into the office, gesturing to the well used antique chairs off to one side of the office. 

Sirin: Ensign Sherlock, please come in.

Sherlock: Sorry, Counselor. I'm ready.

Sirin: No need to apologize, Ensign. And you can call me Meidra - I don’t really go for formality during sessions. 

Meidra’s reply brought some ease to Aine. Being fresh out of the Academy, formality being drilled into them as cadets, it was nice to have a semblance of friendliness from a fellow officer.

The counselor sat back into her recently vacated seat and picked up her ever present PADD to begin noting the ensign’s concerns. She’d read the reports, but was curious on how the events had played out in Sherlock’s opinion.

Sirin: Shall I replicate some tea for you? Barry's, hot, no sugar, splash of milk, correct?

Sherlock: :: raising her right eyebrow :: oO Meidra sure did some digging Oo Yes, please. That’d be very nice.

Meidra enjoyed the faint look of surprise on Aine’s face. It was always fun shaking up a new visitor a bit, if only to get them out of their own head for a moment and relax.

Sirin: Apologies if that seemed too omnipresent of me, I saw you order it recently at the cafe.::smiles as she sips her own tea:: So - I usually use the first session as a way for us to get to know each other a bit. I find that it helps establish a sense of trust. :takes a sip of her tea: Tell me a little about how you became part of Star Fleet. What drew you to this path?

Aine accepted the tea from the counselor and pondered the question for a moment, taking a sip.Meidra found that giving people something to hold, like a cup of tea, often helped them center their emotions and focus on their responses more. At times, simple psychology often worked better than complex analysis.

Sherlock: Well, to be perfectly honest, it was never an option growing up. I was fairly sheltered. I’d met a couple Star Fleet officers briefly in school. I mean, my parents and I rarely even left Ireland. So...when I was finishing up school...I guess I just wanted to see more. Earth already seemed like a big place to me, but something inside me just wanted even more than that. So I found the nearest Academy recruiter :: gesturing with one hand upwards :: here I am.

Meidra nodded. The ensign was a very open and honest individual, and it made sense that they saw things in such a clear way. Later, after a few more missions, that clarity might fade, but for right now - she still had a strong sense of good versus evil. She wondered about their childhood, if their family had also had a love of adventure. 

Sirin: How did your parents take the news that you wished to enter the Academy? I’d imagine that it was a bit of a surprise to them.

Aine felt a bit of a sinking feeling with this one and began to bite her lower lip nervously.

Sherlock: At first, not so great. I hadn’t committed to the Academy yet, only talked to the recruiter. I told them and it seemed like all they could ask was “why?” My father, especially, was not happy about it. He definitely wanted me to stay. I don’t know what changed, but for the next month the house seemed really quiet. I barely spoke to them. I’m guessing they talked it over. And one night just sat me down and told me that they were worried. They didn’t feel it was safe. But they understood that it was what I wanted. They never really held me back ever. This was the first time that had ever happened y’know? But, ultimately, they did support my choice.

Sirin: Do you have family other than your parents? 

Sherlock: A couple of uncles, but I rarely ever saw them. No siblings. My fathers parents passed away before I was born and my mother doesn’t speak with her parents.

Sirin: Families can be a mosaic of many personalities, sometimes in direct opposition to your own. It can either be a helpful push to change our circumstances, or a hindrance to keep us from our best choices. ::sips drink to keep from mentioning her family:: The journey of self is never a finished endeavor, and my role is partly to assist you as you discover new paths.

Aine nodded her head in agreeance. Her own family preferred tradition and the sheltering now seemed like an attempt at forcing it. In turn, she began to understand a little more as to why her parents may have opposed her choice to join Starfleet.

Meidra felt a sort of protectiveness over the ensign. Being so far from everything familiar and safe was stressful even for seasoned officers at times. She resolved to do what she could going forward to pay special attention to the onboarding ensigns. Not all of them had a strong sense of independence yet. She glanced down at her PADD, nodding to herself.

Sirin: I see this was your first mission - tell me how you see it unfolding. ::pauses:: Do you feel that it was handled correctly?

Sherlock: If I were to be completely objective, I would say that we did everything we could. :: bites lower lip, pausing briefly :: Personally, I don’t feel we did. I think we were completely unprepared for what happened. I understand that the Borderlands is where we’re assigned and that we were the ship available :: beat :: well, I guess Star Fleet had no way of knowing either. I don’t know, I guess I feel conflicted. Also, I feel like I let the team down. Ensign Treetus was severely injured. On an away team in which I was the Security Officer. I don’t feel like I lived up to my duties, I guess.

As often happens when one thinks of their failure at hand, flashes on previous ones began to creep up. This one was different. This one got someone else hurt. In a way, she felt guilty it was someone else and not her.

Sirin: It seems that you know that there was little more you could do to improve the outcome of the mission. ::pause:: Guilt over Ensign Treetus is misplaced. His choices do not reflect on your abilities. Imagine if you had jumped to save him as he did for Commander MacKenzie. What do you think would have happened?

Sherlock: I mean :: beat :: well :: staring down, thinking about the situation :: you’re not wrong. It could have been worse, there could have been more team members injured or even killed. I guess it is just guilt, and guilt isn’t always...logical.

Sirin: Exactly - you would have run the risk of getting injured yourself and we may have had another lost limb to contend with - your actions in this mission seem justified. Guilt is often portrayed as a negative emotion - something to be avoided. ::pause:: There are no bad emotions, Ensign, they all have a purpose. It is what you choose to do with those emotions that matter. Use your guilt to guide your other feelings. Accept that feeling of helplessness, and you will find that you discover a way to build up the more positive emotions. 

Aine realized in talking to someone who is half Vulcan, when it came to emotions and how she perceived them compared to the reality of a situation, the Vulcan would be right. A lesson she also realized may be helpful in the future. Guilt had always been a self-punishing system in her life that didn’t always seem logical or practical.

Meidra watched the ensign’s reaction to her words, hopeful that they would take root and build into a stronger sense of self. There would be many challenges ahead for the young woman, and having a grasp of her self worth and yes, limitations, would serve her well in her career - and in her life. 

Sherlock: :: nodding her head generously :: You’re right. You’re absolutely right. :: taking a deep breath :: That’s something I’ve always needed to work on. And I will. Thank you.

Sirin : I am always here when you need someone to listen. I may be the counselor, but I hope that you remember that talking things out doesn’t have to be in a formal setting. Feel free to call on me if you need an unofficial ear sometime in the future.

With their session over, Aine rose from the chair and gave Meidra a smile and a nod. When she walked out into Sickbay, she realized she was still a little nervous when she noticed the cup of tea still in her hands. She looked around at the nursing staff present, gave a nod, took a sip, and strode of back to her quarters.


Ensign Aine Sherlock
Security Officer
USS Resolution


Lt JG Meidra Sirin 
Counseling officer 
USS Resolution 

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