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[Round 18]Ens. Velana and Ens. Zinna: Tell Me About Your Childhood

Alleran Tan

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((Sickbay, USS Independence-A))

::Velana had always loved the smell of a medical bay. It didn't matter if it was the Fleet Hospital or a one-room unit on a cargo ship, sickbays always had the same, basic, medicinally clean scent. It was the first smell she could remember from her childhood and it never failed to remind her of her father.::

::Sometimes, when she was alone on duty, she could close her eyes and see Kvoss amongst the bio-beds, showing her the proper way to scan a patient or telling her what questions to ask when trying to diagnose an illness.::

::Before she went any further inside Sickbay, Velana inhaled and exhaled slowly, bringing herself back down, lest the memory overwhelm her.::

::In the middle of the day, she expected the Independence's medical bay to be bustling with activity, but the only person she saw was a petite woman whose long, dark hair was highlighted with a bright blue streak.::

:: Zinna was in Sickbay organizing some files she had with mental reports of what she had observed from the crew. ::

Velana: Excuse me, I'm looking for Lieutenant Commander Sampi.

Zinna: ::sounding very tired:: Hello.

Velana: I'm Ensign Velana, the new medical officer. I just arrived about an hour ago.

Zinna: I'm Ensign Zinna, the chief counselor.

::Counselor. Immediately, Velana could feel herself tensing up.::

Velana: Is Dr. Sampi on duty right now?

Zinna: No, I think Dr. Sampi is...off for a while, and Dr. St. James seems to have her hands full with...the captain. Would you like to go ahead and get your psyche evaluation out of the way.

oO So much for putting it off... Oo

::Still, every instinct she posessed screamed at her to stall.::

Velana: Shouldn't I stay here and... ::Once again, Velana had to take a breath and let it go.:: All right, Ensign. We can talk.

Zinna: If you don't want to then we don't have to, Velana. oO She'll probably never want to talk to me again. Oo But I think it would be smart to get the evaluation out of the way.

Velana: Logical, too.

Zinna: Yes, well, I'll tell you about myself and then you can tell me about yourself.

Velana: I'd imagine my Starfleet personnel file speaks for itself.

Zinna: I am aware of the personal file, but I'd like for you to tell me.

::Velana glanced around, realizing how out in the open they were.::

Velana: Is there somewhere else we could go?

((Counselor's office))

::Five minutes later, they were safely behind closed doors, yet Velana found herself counting down the seconds until it was all over.::

Zinna: My name is Zinna, I'm an El-Aurian from El-Auria. I don't have any parents anymore, because they were killed in the destruction of my home world. I don't have anymore siblings. I watch them get assimilated. I'm 199. I'm a professional singer, and I've written four songs and I have twenty children. Let's see...:: placing her hands on her hips. :: I use a different style of counseling than most counselors. You'll see what I mean if you ever need me.

Velana: ::wary:: All right.

Zinna: Now tell me about yourself.

::A minute passed in silence before Velana started speaking,::

Velana: You would think I'd know how to start these sessions by now, I've been evaluated so many times. I was almost denied entrance to the Academy because one of my counselors was...how did he put it?..."concerned about my misguided belief in my own emotions." ::She paused.:: He wasn't even Vulcan.

Zinna: ::She nodded.:: Interesting...

Velana: I was raised to believe that logic wasn't ever meant to replace emotions; it was intended to compliment them. That's what my parents, my grandparents, even my great-grandparents believed. ::She paused.:: But except for my mother and my brother's wife and her child...they're all gone now.

Zinna: What happened to them?

Velana: Our ship...there was a...a warp core breach. I don't exactly know how it happened; there wasn't a lot of time. We just had to run...make it to the escape pod. ::She stared at a place beyond the counselor's shoulder.:: There was this one, tiny hatch in the pod. I looked back...and I watched the ship...our home...

oO I can't do this again. Not right now... Oo

Zinna: oO She's getting fidgety...she doesn't want to do this... Oo

::Velana stood up and walked to the opposite end of the room. After a moment, she straightened her shoulders and turned back.::

Velana: My brother's wife was carrying a child, my nephew. Savel. I've never met him. T'Sar went to Vulcan. She...well...she loved my brother. I understand now why she wanted to purge her emotions. But my mother and I couldn't. Wouldn't. So, we settled on Earth. She started teaching Vulcan in San Francisco and I applied to the Academy. ::She sat back down.:: Anything else?

Zinna: Velana, I know these emotions can be stressful...

Velana: I can deal with them. ::Her eyebrow arched.:: I choose to deal with them.

Zinna: I know we've only met, but you can trust me to tell me anything. Is there anything disturbing you?

Velana: I'm... ::She searched for the right words.:: I'm worried that you might agree with that Academy counselor. He didn't think an emotional Vulcan had any place in Starfleet.

Zinna: Velana, I do think you belong here, regardless of emotions. Do you think you do?

Velana: I do. I've worked hard to be here. Could I lose control of my emotions? Yes. But that's true of everyone on board.

Zinna: Yes, the same happens to me. When my emotions are lost, I usually sing. What do you do to keep yourself in check?

Velana: I meditate twice a day, sometimes three times. I take tai chi class at least twice a week. When I have Holodeck privileges, I go for a long swim or a walk on the beach. I do the best that I can, Ensign.

Zinna: That's all I ask for.

::Velana inclined her chin in acknowledgement.::

Zinna: I assure you Velana, and you can call me Zinna, that I don't believe what that counselor said was right. Would you mind telling me about him?

Velana: Most Humans that I've met are almost fascinated by a Vulcan who smiles and laughs and drinks. I think he was just the exception to the rule. Lucky for me, his opinion wasn't the deciding factor in my acceptance.

::Zinna nodded showing she agreed.::

Velana: Vulcans ignore me, once they figure out that they can't talk me into kohlinar.

Zinna: And how does this make you feel? oO Such a cliche question. Oo

::Velana lifted her chin in defiance.::

Velana: As far as I'm concerned, they're the ones who have misinterpreted Surak. And that's entirely their perogative, but it doesn't change my beliefs.

Zinna: Yes. oO She's very strong...stronger than I thought she would be. Oo

Velana: My father and my brother and everyone else on the Vahklas died because Vulcan society can't accept that pure logic isn't the only path. They made us outcasts, not the other way around. I don't believe I'm betraying my heritage because it's not my heritage. I've never even been to Vulcan. It's not my home. ::She paused.:: My path might not be easy, but I wouldn't give up my emotions just for a false sense of peace. And that's exactly what logic by itself would be for me.

Zinna: Velana... ::The El-Aurian counselor stood from behind her desk. :: I'm glad we've had this discussion, because I agree with you. I love the fact that you wouldn't give up your emotions and that you know where you come from. You're a very strong woman, and I like that.

Velana: ::puzzled:: Thank you. ::A few seconds passed.:: Is that all?

Zinna: You're welcome, and yes, this is the end of OUR evaluation.

oO That was surprisingly short, but I'm not about to complain. Oo

Velana: All right.

::She stood up.::

Zinna: If you need anything; a person to chat with; let some anger or sadness out, I'm here for you. I'm very glad to meet you and glad you're here. I hope to see you around soon.

Velana: Thank you. I appreciate that.

:: Zinna watch the Vulcan walk out of her office. She sat back in her chair and took out a PADD and began filling out some observations. She then took her out her personal PADD and made reservations for the Holodeck. Zinna looked at her office before departing. ::

Zinna: Computer, replicate a tray of gourmet chocolates.

Computer: Replicators are offline.

Zinna: DAMMIT!

:: Zinna looked at her PADD and saw Lt. Tan would be the cook. Replicators were offline for some reason and they'd gotten the Helmsman to COOK? Zinna laughed thinking this could only turn out to be a hilarious site. She'd never thought Alleran could cook. He had never seemed like the type to cook food to her. Maybe she would stop by with Scarlet for lunch. ::

::Velana's hands were shaking as she walked back to Sickbay. It looked as if she might need an extra meditation session. Or a drink.::

::Possibly both.::


Ensign Velana

Medical Officer

USS Independence-A


Ensign Zinna

Chief Counselor

USS Independence-A

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