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Round 1 Malcolm, Gray, Zonhar: A Different Shade Of Gray

Alexander Matthews

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:: Zonhar headed to sick bay after being summoned there by the good Dr. Malcolm, and truth be told he was glad for a little exercise (that didn’t involve Li’ainea) and to worry about someone else’s problems others than his own.::

oO Funny- Avoidance: That one characteristic we counselors chastise our patients on, and yet cling to most enthusiastically ourselves. Oo

::Arriving at sickbay, Zonhar promptly went in and spotted Dr. Malcolm and approached her.::

Zonhar: Good day Dr. How are you? How may I be of assistance?

::She nodded toward the biobed where Gray waited patiently::

Malcolm: I need you to speak with Ensign Gray. He witnessed a highly traumatic accident.

Zonhar: Hmm I certainly will speak with him. Are there any particulars about the incident you can give me before hand? I like to at least have some working knowledge before really engaging a “witness;” usually makes for an easier time knowing what is appropriate to say and probe further on.

Malcolm: Ensign Davies was exposed to a hazardous chemical. It was pretty gruesome. Ensign Gray was with him in the lab when it happened. ::She craned her next around Zonhar to look at Gray perched on the biobed cool as a cucumber, looking to check on Davies periodically. He looked deep in thought as though he was considering a complicated calculus problem. :: He’s acting very calm about the whole thing. I don’t know if he’s in shock, or denial or something, but it does not seem normal.

Zonhar: ::Rubbing his chin protrusion and looking Malcolm in the eyes:: I am sure the event was rather traumatic for you as well Dr., I know Davies was one of your own. I will go speak with Gray and see what I can...learn from him on the matter and do an assessment. Afterwards if you are able to get away from your medical duties long enough, I’d like to speak with you as well and make sure how you are holding up. I know something as traumatic as that can really be a difficult thing to swallow, especially when it comes to friends and associates.

::She hesitated a moment before nodding. He was right, of course.::

Malcolm: I’m almost done. I’ll wait for you in my office.

Zonhar: ::Patting the Dr. on the shoulder:: Ok Dr. Malcolm...everything will be just fine. I think Davies and all of us are lucky to have someone so professional and collected and able to keep us afloat. Hang in there and I’ll be with you in a minute.

Malcolm: Ok. And it’s your call whether Gray goes back on duty. T’Lea took him off-duty until our departments cleared him.

Zohnar: Fair enough, I will make an honest evaluation, as well as see what else additional I can learn. I’m sure everyone was thorough, but there always seems to be more than meets the eye in some of these situations.

::Turning then, Zonhar set his full sights on Gray, centering himself and pushing aside his bristling attitude that he was naturally predisposed to have to the man after their last...”encounter.” He would get to the bottom of this, and find out what exactly had been going on before Malcolm had arrived.::

::Approaching Gray slowly and cooly, Zonhar attempted to maintain a very neutral facial expression. His full counseling brain was locked in now, his potential stresses and strains from his marriage pushed to the very back corners of his mind. Stepping in front of the man, Zonhar looked him up and down using only his eyes and let out a pleasant if not standardly professional smile. Holding out his hand he offered for the man to shake.::

Zonhar: Ensign Gray. What a rather tragic and peculiar set of circumstances to meet you under again. How are you holding up?

Gray: :: Steely blue-grey eyes settled on Zonhar:: Ah Counsellor it’s been a while. I’m holding up just fine thank you. Tell me, did you enjoy shore leave?

::Zonhar noted instantly the deflection away from the central issue, but nonetheless was willing to engage in the little “game” that the man was very likely hoping to play at, at least for a little bit until he could ascertain Gray’s particular reasons for being so deathly calm after what he could only imagine would have been a very traumatic event to witness for most people. After all even the good Dr. Malcolm had been noticeably shaken by what she witnessed and had to do in caring for Davies. Granted she could very well be closer to the man than even Gray was (they were from different departments.) but still they were fellow crew members.::

Zonhar: ::Smiling thinly as if to an old combatant:: Why Yes Ensign Gray, it has been a while. My little sabbatical has proven very beneficial and enlightening to me. Not to mention it has proven to be a very...blessed event. My wife was able to join me and has actually been selected to be the representative ambassador from Deltan on board the Avandar. Which is of course, exhilarating. ::Pause:: But surely you don’t wish to speak to me about my personal life..shouldn’t the events of today be much more...disconcerting and pressing for you than the love life of one denobulan?

Gray: I didn’t enquire after your love life specifically. I asked a general question relating to shore leave and your enjoyment of it. “Good” would have sufficed.

Zonhar: ::smirking wrilly:: Of course it would have sufficed, but then again, so would have a direct answer to my original inquires about the event and how you are managing to be so calm and nonchalant when a man was pretty much burned alive by chemicals a few feet from you, wouldn’t you say?

Gray: What can I tell you counselor, I have a calm disposition. Davies will survive, I am sure he will make a fine recovery. :: Gray wasn’t overly fond of this thought but the medical evidence was there. He was going to need to keep a close eye on Davies and see where this went. ::

::Zonhar nodded realizing that if they continued in their standard manner of address they would get nowhere, and merely make pure enemies out of each other, if that wasn’t already the case.::

Zonhar: ::sighing:: Very well then Gray. Please tell me in your own words what you were doing shortly before the accident, what happened as Davies came in the room and everything that followed? I’d like to get a better feel for what exactly went on and I’m sure you would be able to enlighten me better than most.

Gray: ::Talking smooth and calm, though he was growing weary of repeating himself:: I was in the lab working with an explosive chemical. It’s found in nebulae and gaseous anomalies and makes a great power source. I have been researching ways to make it more stable because if it wasn’t so hazardous it could be more readily used as an abundant, cheap, and efficient power source.

I had prepared well for it and it was running without a hitch. Davies came to the lab carrying a hazardous material which had been sent to the wrong lab. It needed to be stored safely immediately. Since my work area was secure with a level 8 force field I deemed it safe for him to bring it in. He placed it on the counter and was about to go back to his lab when the console overloaded causing the accident.

I commd sickbay for help, purged my work area, lowered the force field and helped Mister Davies as soon as I could, administering anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce the swelling and open his airways so he didn’t suffocate. Jen arrived quickly on the scene and as soon as the room was deemed free from contaminants the safety restrictions were lifted and we were able to beam to sickbay.

::Zonhar nodded to himself and noting the series of unfortunate events which had led to the accident, and yet, he couldn’t help but think of one very troubling fact in the whole scenario: The console shorting out on a bran new Luna Class. Certainly there were always some glitches and such in any new system, but to short out at precisely the same moment that Davies was carrying the biohazardous material was...needless to say very odd.::

Zonhar: Gray how about a little walk? Id like for you to come with me to my office. This place is not nearly as private as needs be to discuss things. The sooner we can talk and get things sorted, the sooner you can be back and off to your...various projects. agreed?

:: Gray quickly weight up his options and stood up off the bed ending up a bit too close to Zonhar.::

Gray: ::Maintaining eye contact and a neutral expression:: Agreed. ::He walked alongside Zonhar::

::Zonhar led the way back to his new counselor’s office but purposefully took a very round about way to get there. In fact he had quite a little plan at trying to make a stab at making a crack in Grays hardened shell. At this point he wasn’t sure if the man was suffering from shock, or if he was purposefully a rather tight “drum” about his inner emotional and mental states but Zonhar at least wasn’t near ready to give up on a patient...even if secretly the man made his skin crawl.::

::Pausing as they came up to one of the Mess Halls, he suddenly stopped and whirred around on Gray, smiling a purposefully rather obnoxiously bright smile at the man.::

Zonhar: It occurs to me that I know exactly what this situation needs....

Gray: ::Smirking back:: Whats that?

Zonhar: Pie! Lots and lots of pie! And Tea with creame and sugar! Just this way...the old mess hall needs a good breaking in anyways. ::Zonhar said enthusiastically heading into the messhall without giving Gray even a moment to object.::

Gray: ::Staring after him as though he was mad and speaking in a tone of disinterest:: Help yourself but I am not hungry. Thanks all the same.

::Spinning on his heels and walking backwards in a way that seemed very effortless for a man that under most circumstances sported a slight limp, Zonhar faced Gray as they approached the serving counter.::

Zonhar: What? Come on there’s always room for pie! You can’t tell me you don’t like pie Gray. There are so many types and flavors. Pumpkin, apple, coconut creame, chocolate creame, pecan just to name a few of your native varieties.::

Gray: ::Grinding his teeth slightly:: I like pie fine counselor, when I am in the mood to eat it. As it happens I am not hungry.

::Zonhar looking completely unabashed, as he approached what he affectionately had come to know as the “Pie wall” which was actually a wall full of slotted containers which held all manner of fresh desserts for the crew, the favorite of which seemingly to be all manner of delicious pies.::

Zonhar: Suit yourself then, but I hope you will not object if I partake of a few...delicacies while we chat. ::Zonhar promptly then selected at least a half dozen slices of pie, pileing them high on his tray and carrying them over to a small table in the corner near the window looking out at the vastness of space.::

Gray: I refer you to my original statement... help yourself. Although if you have nothing better to do than eat pies perhaps we can continue this at another time?

::Plucking up his fork and spinning it around in his hand as if trying to decide which pie he would select from first, didnt hesitate in his reply though his attention seemed to be fully on his pies. This of course was actually a ruse, as though he did quite fancy a few bits of pie, it was mainly more of a counseling tactic which he was adopting with Gray. A small game of chicken as it were...to see which one of the two would break first. Zonhar knew Gray had to be feeling some deeper emotions or thoughts not only about the accident but even about himself, and Zonhar could think of no better way to test the rather stoic and biting man’s resolve than to be...well...as he would put it...highly obnoxious.:: oOKill em with kindness. And Pie.Oo

Zonhar: I assure you...Dom...that after counseling all the years that I have I am fully capable of listening to you and and discussing your feelings and emotions of the previous incident...while enjoying a few delicious bites of pie too. Chewing takes rather surprisingly little effort after all. Especially when its so good it practically slides on down on its own!

:: Sitting at the table with him Gray’s jaw clenched ever so slightly and he steepled his fingers. The way the denobulan was waving his fork around and the description of his eating habits was starting to make his stomach churn slightly, it was disgusting. ::

Gray: ::Clearing his throat:: I would prefer if you could address me properly, my name is not “Dom”.

::Nodding slightly Zonhar and continuing unabashed as he plucked a small plate holding a rather large piece of pumpkin pie with an equally large slathering of whipped cream on top and holding it in front of his hungry eyes and addressing Gray::

Zonhar: Very well Dominic...if that is more to your liking. You know...the thing I love about pie is...If done correctly it is such a marvelous thing. But In all truth...it takes a lot of hard work to put together a perfect pie. A lot of planning and scheming and cooking up to make everything come together so effortlessly and perfectly. Though of course, not every time we endeavor to make a pie does it come out so...nicely. Sometimes it is disastrous. Like Robert Burns said, “the best laid schemes of mice and men do often go awry.” I think so too it is with pies.

:: Gray was starting to get incensed, his nostrils flared in annoyance. ::

Gray: ::Slamming a fist down on the table:: It is the plans of lesser men that go awry. :: He paused, looking at Zonhar with disgust. He couldn’t quite believe what he’d said, but quickly recovered the steely calm. ::

::Zonhar looked up from his pie and met Gray’s eyes as an unsettling calm took place over the two men. Certainly Zonhar had struck a little nerve with his last statement, and there were greater implications as to what this possibly meant, however he did not have near sufficient evidence or information to truly speculate on any point. He decided instead that continuing, all beit a little more cautiously was in order.::

Zonhar: Am I to understand that some greater and higher plans of yours have gone awry today? Other than of course Davies misfortunes?

Gray: It is frustrating that through the most bizarre misfortune my experiment has been ruined, my lab has been exploded and I am now subject to a bombardment of questions, the same questions from different people.

Zonhar: That is very understandable...of course...I did at least offer you pie.

::Gray looked at Zonhar in bewilderment and disgust as the denobulan let his long horrid tongue out of his mouth and took a long lick at his pie, scooping off the whip cream in one go before snaking it back in his mouth again.::

Gray: ::Delivering a glare through narrowed eyes that could pierce armor and leaning forward menacingly:: This day has been a series of unfortunate events, now if I may leave you to your pie? I am sure I will have to write up a report to supplement my numerous interviews.

::Setting his plate down, Zonhar turned his direct attention on Gray for the first time since they arrived at the Mess Hall. He had been taking careful notes mentally and judging by the mans little outburst, he knew future sessions would prove to be rather interesting to say the least. However He knew pressing the man any further could prove an all too unfruitful move. As he saw it, there was nothing that would prevent the man from carrying out his duties as it were. This did not however put Zonhar at ease about the situation, so he decided to put a small stipulation along with it.::

Zonhar: Very well Gray...I can tell you must be very stressed from today’s events and your failed project. As I see it I see nothing that would ultimately prevent you from returning to active duty, however, I am going to ask that you meet with me during more weekly sessions at least for the time being so I can monitor your progress. A general precaution as it were.

Gray: ::Folding his arms and looking unimpressed:: I suppose this is not an optional request?

Zonhar: No not quite I’m afraid. Though hopefully in the future you will take me up on offers of pie. I hear next week its “Tamale day.”

Gray: ::Shuddering at the thought:: I think I shall soon be put off pie for good. I will keep your appointments but I don’t know what you hope to achieve.

Zonhar: And that is a counselor’s prerogative Gray. For me to know at this point in time. Don’t you worry about what I have planned, just get yourself there and I will try to make our sessions as pleasant as possible.

:: Gray smiled but it was not a friendly gesture. He got up from the table and left the Mess Hall. He wanted to check on Davies progress, though not out of any real concern for the man and headed to sickbay. ::

::Zonhar sat there a moment, looking at the exit of the Mess hall a few moments after Gray had left, then let out a low sigh and proceeded to take various forkfulls of the different pies in front of him. Though the encounter had been more souring than pleasant, he wasn’t about to start crying over a little spilt milk.::

::Suddenly Zonhar shot bolt upright, a troubling thought occurring to him as he smacked his lips.::

Zonhar: I forgot some milk. ::And with that he ambled over to get some milk to wash down the aftertaste of pie and troubling conversation.::


Lieutenant Jen Malcolm

Chief Medical Officer

USS Avandar


(PNPC) Dominic Gray

Science Officer

USS Avandar

as simmed by

Lieutenant JG Evanna Blackwood


USS Avandar


Ensign Zonhar


USS Avandar

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