Popular Post Genkos Adea Posted February 9 Popular Post Share Posted February 9 Quote ((Deck 7, Sickbay, USS Excalibur-A)) Jinean didn‘t quite know why and how, but somehow she seemed to have made an enemy. The red-headed pah-wraith had haunted her office twice now, and every of her visits made the Bajoran Counsellor feel like she perhaps had returned to active duty too early. She really didn‘t need the additional stress right now - not when the news she had received was already putting a strain on her carefully laid out plans. Upon being assigned to Excalibur, Jinean had briefly discussed the option of “family on board” with Commander MacKenzie, but had never truly planned on making use of that option. Now, it seemed like the right thing to do. With a sigh she entered sickbay, hoping to spot one of the doctors and get something for the headache that was plaguing her for the past few hours. While Doctor Adea seemed unavailable, one of their new medical Ensigns presently seemed to have nothing better to do. Seta: Hey, Ensign…. Jones? Sorry, I am bad with names, but I am fairly sure we were teamed up a week ago. She offered an apologetic smile, well aware that it wasn’t exactly flattering to have your name forgotten. Hiro had been cataloging the emergency medical kits for the last half-hour. It seemed a relatively menial task, but as there were no patients at the moment needing attention and as the kits had recently gone through such a flurry of usefulness, he’d taken on the task. Now, at the sound of his name, he’d turned to see the Bajoran counselor standing just a few feet away. She claimed to not have clear memory of him (anonymity suited him comfortably), but she had gotten his name right. With a warm smile, he set down the polyvinyl/canvas bag in which he’d been rummaging, reaching for a tricorder from a nearby examination tray. Jones: Ah, Lieutenant Seta, right? You got me in one. ::another (hopefully ingratiating) smile:: Seta: ::nodding:: Evidently you’re better with names than I am. Jones: What can I do for you? Are you feeling alright? Seta: Just a headache. I was hoping you could give me something against it. After a quick scan to determine the cause of the headache, Hiro set down the tricorder, swapping it for a hypospray of a mild analgesic. As he pressed the tool against her neck, delivering the relief, he looked more intently at the woman before him. He’d known her in his brief interaction to be somewhat … brusk. She was to-the-point, but Hiro believed this abrupt manner didn’t come from any unkindness. It was always best to begin any relationship with an open mind. Until she gave him reason to think otherwise, Hiro would assume she had her own reasons for her mannerisms. Jones: Are you ok, Lieutenant? Forgive me for saying so, but I get the feeling there’s more troubling you than a headache. I'd be happy to chat if that would help. For a moment, Jinean peered at Ensign Jones. She was generally not too fussed about ranks and duty posts, but being offered a chat by a medical Ensign was a little strange - especially as a counselor. But she couldn’t exactly complain about someone being nice. Seta: :: with a sigh:: Sure. Jones: Would you like to take a seat? Can I get you something to drink? ::looking around the room at the low-grade bustle:: Or we could find a less-busy place to talk? Seta: Like one of the counseling suites? ::she raised an eyebrow:: I will say it usually works the other way around ::meaning that *she* was the one inviting people to talk:: … but I am not opposed. Plus, my office has tea. Hiro self-consciously rubbed the back of his neck. No matter how hard he tried, it seemed he was incapable of completely de-role from his former life of a counselor. Jones: Sorry about that. Old habits. No pressure, I was merely offering a friendly ear if you wanted one. ::beat to think:: And tea sounds lovely. She nodded and led the way, still hyper aware of how surreal the situation was. But she *did* want to talk to someone, and she didn’t want to discourage the poor ensign. Once more in her office, Jinean prepared tea for the both of them and took a seat in front of the desk, briefly entertaining the idea of Jones taking the one behind her desk. Seta: I prefer tea over coffee. I get it sent from Bajor. Jones: I’m right there with you. I get jittery with coffee. I (and my patients) prefer a steady hand. He took a sip of the Bajoran tea. The warmth was delightful, and the rich aromatics were just floral enough without being overpowering. Jones: This is really nice. Thank you for sharing it with me. It tastes almost like cardamom, but I don’t believe that grows on Bajor. Seta: I have not heard of it ::she shook her head:: These are Cela leafs, native to Bajor. I grew up with it - and I will admit I might have a minor addiction by now. She grinned, reminiscing about how her family used to send her Bajoran teas and spices. They had been so proud of their daughter's Starfleet career. Jones: Ah. Well that makes sense. Hiro took another sip to give her time to collect her thoughts. It really was a complex flavor profile. He made a mental note to get some for his private loose leaf collection (replicated is fine, but proper tea is made with real, honest-to-goodness tea leaves). When no soul-spilling seemed forthcoming, Hiro prodded ever so gently. Jones: Well, I offered a friendly ear. As such, would you mind calling me Hiro? Seta: ::hesitantly:: I don’t mind, Hiro. You can call me Seta ::she paused, then clarified:: It’s not customary on Bajor to use someone’s first name. I know it’s different amongst humans. Jones: I’m happy to adopt whatever makes you most comfortable, Seta. She nodded. Seta: I find myself.. on edge, lately. I’ve not been here long, only a few weeks longer than you have. Thus far, things haven’t quite worked out the way I wanted them to. Jones: How so? Seta: Well. ::she took a deep breath:: I guess I somehow expected to just get back to where I was before ::she paused:: I realise that sounds cryptic. ::another pause:: The first ship I served on was the USS Helsinki. Small vessel, perhaps two hundred people - and I absolutely loved it there. They were my family, I knew pretty much everyone, had good friends and a fiercely supportive commanding officer. Jones: And you don’t feel that here? The Excalibur was certainly a much larger than her last ship. Hiro considered how it must feel: going from an intimate, tight-knit group to a crew so large it was entirely possible to serve for months and still not meet everyone. Seta: No. It’s a huge ship and my first few weeks here were spent in direct competition with a Ferengi who was convinced I was trying to steal his clients. Doctor Gott hadn’t exactly made any friends, but he probably *had* made a fortune. Jinean didn’t understand how someone could put a price tag on mental health, but knew that Ferengi culture was very different to what she was used to. A picture was forming in Hiro’s mind. Based on what she’d already shared, Hiro started to understand the curt demeanor. She’d been feeling isolated in a sea of people. He’d learned enough to know however, it was best to keep listening before speaking to an initial impression. Jones: That must have been a challenge to say the least. May I ask what brought you to the Excalibur from the Helsinki? Seta: The last months on the USS Helsinki weren’t great. I .. trusted the wrong person. Or maybe I just didn’t see how much help he really needed. ::pause:: Either way, I hate that I am still dealing with the consequences. Jones: ::eyes narrowing slightly in concentration:: What consequences do you mean? Seta: I didn’t transfer directly ::she clarified:: I spent a year or so on the USS Saint Raphael for… reintegration, of sorts. And before that I was on maternity leave. ::she offered a somewhat sad smile:: Consequences. And yes, she was calling her daughter a consequence. Hiro studied the Bajoran’s face for longer than would have been considered polite, but Seta was a counselor, and likely knew exactly the kinds of wheels currently turning in his mind. Her hands twisting slightly in her lap and darting gaze was enough to confirm one thing for Hiro: this daughter was not common knowledge - at least not on the Excalibur. She had said she “hated that she was still dealing with the consequences,” yet she didn’t seem the sort to resent a child for simply existing. That meant there was likely another factor here. Jones: ::tentatively, delicately:: The father? Seta: The Helsinki’s First Officer. Jones: I see. And are the two of you still in touch? Where does the girl live currently? May I ask her name? oO Easy does it, Hiro. Not too many questions at once Oo She drew in a sharp breath and considered her best words carefully. It wasn’t a surprise that she hated talking about these things, but talking *did* help - that’s what she told her own patients anyway. Seta: Leo. Leothera - that’s her name. She lives with my sister on Bajor. At least for the time being. Jones: Do you get many opportunities to see Leo? Seta: She is still very young. If she recognizes me at all, she probably thinks I’m an aunt. Hiro sighed gently. The mental image he’d been painting had turned inside-out with this new information. It still resembled the original, but now possessed perspectives, new angles relative to the rest. Where before Seta had been dealing with profound loneliness, this new perspective showed the loneliness to be tinged with guilt for past decisions, guilt at current situations, and fear for future consequences. oO Ask more questions, Hiro. It’s not time to talk yet. Oo Jones: When you think about Leo’s father, what is the first word that comes to mind? Another very difficult question. Jinean and Aldris had been close friends, and then lovers, but never partners. Seta: Frankly, sometimes I hope a transporter accident fuses him together with a dung-lizard. Hiro suppressed a small snort of laughter at the venom in this response. Jones: ::eyebrows raised and tight-lipped:: A dung-lizard. Got it. Can you tell me more? Seta: He is Trill. Joined. I was a new Ensign fresh out of Academy, and he was older, experienced, and had the shiny pips. Everything about him was appealing, and he needed someone to make the mandatory counseling sessions less dreadful. Which was what made the whole thing worse. Having a child with your FO was already a somewhat questionable decision, but when that FO was also a patient… well. Jones: You were impressionable. I imagine it would be doubly-hard to fight those feelings on such a small ship. ::beat:: So, you joined the crew as counselor (which required you to tend to everyone’s mental health checkups - including his), then after a time grew close. One thing lead to another, then Leo. May I ask, did you leave the Helsinki of your own will or were you “encouraged” to take another posting? Seta: When I had to report the pregnancy I was found guilty of misconduct and was demoted. I remained for a few more months but then took maternity leave. Returning was never really an option. Jones: Seta, I’m so sorry. That was terribly unjust. oO A dung-lizard might be too kind Oo Hiro let the truth and sympathy hang heavy in the room for a moment while considering his next words. The picture was starting to smooth out again, but that didn’t mean there weren’t new folds waiting. A few more questions. Jones: You took maternity leave. How long after Leo’s birth before you joined the Saint Raphael? Seta: Only a few months. ::she admitted:: I was.. desperate to get back to where I was. The way my siblings and parents talked about my career made me so incredibly proud, and I had made so many friends in Starfleet. Jones: You wanted in a sense to go back in time? Even though you knew that’s not how life works. She nodded. It had been naive thinking, she knew that. Seta: I thought everything would be fixed if I could get back to that. Hiro shifted in his seat, moving to the leading edge of the cushion and resting his forearms on his knees. It was a pretty typical counselor position and one he’d affected countless times to elicit feelings of connection in his patients, but now the posture came unbidden. He actually empathized with this hurting soul across from him. He wished for the ability to magically fix the situations that had wrought such pain in her life, but as he had just reminded her: that’s not how life works. Jones: Seta, I’m incredibly sorry for what you’ve gone through. I genuinely am. ::His gaze found his own hands, now worrying together, and clasped them to still their movement.:: I won’t give you some trite saying or psychological babble about moving forward. We - neither of us - don’t need to hear that right now. Let’s start by acknowledging the pain. The way you were taken advantage of and then mistreated by officers meant to uphold a line of fairness and decency genuinely disgusts me. I want you to know, deep in the darkest corners of your heart, that what happened was a theft. Hiro looked back into her face. It was difficult to see her clearly because the combined pain of empathy for Seta’s situation and the weight of his own past mistakes brought a glaze of tears to his eyes. He took a steadying breath before pressing on. Jones: Second, you aren’t being punished. Leo exists. That’s a static fact. You’re her mother. Fact. You are a Starfleet officer. Fact. There are countless facts you can hold tight to before you start going down the rabbit hole of higher purpose. I don’t know how religious you are, and I don’t claim to be an expert by any means on the Bajoran faith, but I refuse to believe in any scenario where a child would be a punishment, even if one were merited. Hiro let those words hang in the air. He’d done a fair amount of talking just now. It was Seta’s turn to take what he’d said or not. Every person’s situation was unique. The thing he’d never realized while he was an official counselor however, was that because of this uniqueness, each response to those situations must also be unique. Counselors, well-intentioned friends, nosy family - whoever was providing the input - were not there to solve the problem, they were there to help the individual create their own bespoke tools for turning the problem into something that would help them grow. Now, as he sat across from Seta Jinean, a woman who’d had so much stripped from her, he wondered what kinds of tools she needed to work through this. Seta: That… makes a lot of sense. ::she nodded, having to admit that this medical Ensign apparently had the mental health segment more serious than any other academy graduate she had met:: Usually I deal with it quite well. ::beat:: Admittedly, not as well as I could. There is still a certain… distrust towards others. And I still find myself comparing Excalibur to the Helsinki, which isn’t healthy or useful. Jones: You’ve heard that “comparison is the thief of joy?” It’s trite, but true. Just … give yourself the time and space you need to deal with these things in a healthy way. Believe me: ::with a self-deprecating smile:: counselors feel like they need to have everything sorted immediately because they’ve been trained to deal with issues, but the reality is: no issue is the same as any other. We build our lives on what comes our way, then build on that, then build some more. If we’ve put walls up, they become … load-bearing. You can’t just knock them down without careful planning and consideration. Jinean nodded, reclining in her chair. Now that she had spilled the tea and told Hiro about what had happened, she felt more comfortable to continue the conversation. She had years to reflect on it, and she knew that her side was biased. Seta: I know there is more to the story than I know. I know that I perceive things in a way that isn’t necessarily true, and I am working on dealing with that too. The thing is.. Hiro didn’t move a muscle. Whatever “the thing was” was entirely up to Seta to share or not, and he wasn’t going to impede her progress now. Seta: ::deep breath:: My sisters … circumstances changed. She is no longer able to take care of Leo, and my parents are getting old. And as you stated, I am her mother. The logical conclusion is for her to come live with me. On Excalibur, where the tacos were poison and a cloud of nanobots had tried to take the ship apart only a few days ago. Jinean certainly wasn’t going to make mother of the year, but even she understood that this wasn’t an ideal environment for a kid. Jones: Logic isn’t everything. Please don’t tell any Vulcans I said that, but I believe it. If we only did what is logical, we would be robbing ourselves of the value of having emotions. ::beat:: What do you feel would be a healthy next step? Seta: … Find a temporal anomaly and have her age into an adult? This time there was no helping it. Hiro let out an involuntary guffaw. Jones: Well I hear things on the Excalibur can get weird. That may not be entirely out of the realm of possibility, but in the meantime? She sighed, though evidently she was not entirely serious with it. Seta: I suppose the healthy thing would be to… discuss with the people who have families on board. Perhaps speak to Nicholotti. Jones: Then I think you should consider that. Don’t act on it right away, but take time to consider what the ramifications would be. While you’re considering though, try to remember there are people on this ship - which is just as unique from any other ship as one person is from any other - that will have your back. Me, for one. You’ve always got a friendly ear and a helping hand from me. He smiled, taking a sip of his now ice-cold tea. It was still delicious, but at this lower temperature, the earthy floral tones were replaced by heady, almost (but not quite) citrus ones. It really was fantastic tea. Seta: Thank you. ::she smiled:: You really are good at this. Ever thought of going into counselling? Jones: Can I make a confession? Seta: ::carefully:: Yeah. Jones: ::not meeting her eyes:: I was a Starfleet counselor for six years. Ouch. That explained a lot, and at the same time brought so many new questions. Seta: I see. ::pause:: Thank you for telling me. I take it it isnt something you share with the vast majority of the crew? Jones: That’s a long story, and one I’m willing to share with you, but maybe another time? She nodded. Seta: Absolutely. ::she paused, then, with a sheepish smile, added:: I’ll schedule something. Jones: Eager to flip the table? Seta: Oh of course. Being pushy is the first thing they teach you at Academy. Perhaps Jinean had been far too careful with that in the past few weeks. Maybe *that woman* was onto something when she had simply scheduled MacKenzie and Dakora for appointments, rather than asking them if they *wanted* one. And even if they didn’t feel like talking about those big and difficult topics - they could always just sit here and have tea. ~ END ~ ***************** Lt. Seta Jinean Counselor Excalibur-A J239809TA4 ~ AND ~ Ens Hiro Jones Medical Officer Excalibur-A E2395KD0 Well well well, if it isn't a glorious JP from our resident lovelys @Hiro Jones and @Trovek and Sydin - a great example of counselling on leave 6 1 Quote Link to comment
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