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Meeting the Counselor

Posted on 13 Nov 2022 @ 12:16am by Commander John Reynolds & Lieutenant T’Mari Rael

1,832 words; about a 9 minute read

Mission: Regrouping
Location: Counselling
Timeline: MD 1 || Late Afternoon

His day was almost over now as he approached the door for the counseling department. He had looked over this particular personnel file several times before his trek to this office. A Vulcan Counselor...John never thought he'd live to the see the day. Well, part Vulcan, part Betazoid according to the file. But that just made things more interesting. Just like the whole of his day.

He touched the chime and waited.

T’Mari was busy unpacking her things, she tended to travel quite light just a few boxes for her quarters and office. She liked to make her working environment warm and welcoming, with pictures on the wall, cosy throws and cushions on the furniture, a small cosy fluffy rug and even a corner set up with children in mind. She’d only just started opening her boxes when the chime sounded.

“Come in”

John walked in and stepped forward enough for the doors to close. "Commander John...." His voice trailed as he took in the immediate area. "Well, definitely not what I was expecting. Reynolds, Commander John Reynolds, new First Officer. Just meeting the Department Heads before we get under way. And I have to say that this meeting has been the most intriguing so far."

T’Mari gestured John to a seat. “Let me guess Commander, you were expecting a non-emotional, staunch Vulcan Counsellor?” She couldn’t help but grin. “Sorry but that’s not me.”

John returned the smile as he headed to the seat. "The room decor seems more befitting your Betazoid heritage than your Vulcan. I'm guessing that your personality fits that side of the family more, too." He sat down and continued. "So what is 'you'? Who takes care of the crew's emotional well-being?" John asked, not so much as a counsel the counsellor thing, but rather to get to know the person.

“Me?” T’Mari moved across to a large comfy chair and made herself comfortable. “There’s not much to tell. I’m the daughter of a Vulcan father, and a Betazoid mother. I was raised aboard a Federation ship, so I’m used to life in the Federation. I used to be the apple of my father’s eye, as the saying goes, until I decided not to purge my emotions. Let’s just say he disapproves of my choice.”

"Raised aboard a ship, raised in space. So you have a good understanding of what it's like out there," replied John. "And that's a good thing for a counselor. But your father doesn't surprise me too much. I don't know many Vulcans who have embraced their emotions and met with approval."

“It’s not the norm, but then neither am I” T’Mari smiled warmly. “I made Chief Counsellor in record time, I’m only four years out of the Academy! It came as something of a surprise to be offered the position of Chief, but I’m not one for turning down an opportunity.”

"I don't blame you there. When opportunities present themselves, go for it," said John. "So you're new to the Black Hawk, too?"

T’Mari nodded. “I was planning on doing all the usual arrival meet and greet sessions tomorrow morning. I like to get settled in first, unless the ship is already mid mission. You beat me to it, but at least it saves me searching you out.”

John laughed. "Yeah, I thought I'd get my side of them done before we left dock. I told someone earlier today that when a Starfleet ship leaves dock, it's like rolling dice. You never know what the outcome is going to be. But I apologize for interrupting your settling in. Looks like you've got a pretty good start on it, though. A lot further along than me at this point."

“No apologies necessary” T’Mari smiled warmly. “I’m a person who loves creature comforts, and I like my patients to be comfortable as well. It helps them to feel at ease. As a Betazoid I have my abilities to help me, but I also like to be there to share my insights with the Command team as well, hence why I’ll be on the bridge when I have free time.”

"Well here's to you having some free time, then," said John. He adjusted himself in the chair. It was most certainly comfortable, but he didn't want to fall asleep. "Since you brought it up, how does being half Vulcan affect your Betazoid telepathy? Or empathy?"

“Well I’d say it adds to my strength and range of ability.” T’Mari smiled. “As a half Betazoid I obviously don’t have the full strength of ability that a full Betazoid has, my Vulcan mental abilities add to it in that I’m a touch telepath, I can also mind meld. Not that I’ve melded that often. As for my empathic senses, my Vulcan half helps to stabilise my moods where necessary.”

"It sounds like it's a good balance between the two. I'm sure it'll all come in handy around here. But hopefully not too probably don't want a line outside the office."

“That I certainly don’t want” T’Mari grinned. “So you know something about me, I think turnabout is fair play.”

He nodded, "You're right. Let's see...where to begin...I was born at a very young age." He stopped and laughed. That rather dry and archaic sense of humor he was known for reared it's clown-faced head. "But fast-forwarding, I grew up in Bejing on Earth in a scientist's family. Joined Starfleet two years later than most. Graduated in Security and Tactical and served on a starbase, the Federation Embassy on Trill, two starships, and then here."

“So did you always want to be part of the Command chain?” T’Mari looked at John curiously. “I know there are those who want to get to the top as fast as they can, then there’s those who take it as it comes.”

"I was content to stay in Security for a while," he answered. "But things change and here I am, a link in the Command chain. I suppose I would've fallen into the latter category of 'take it as it comes'."

T’Mari nodded. “Well I’m sure Starfleet wouldn’t have chosen you if they didn’t think you were ready. This is my first assignment as Chief Counsellor, so it’s a learning curve for me too.”

"Oh, I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to give the impression this was my first XO position. I was First Officer on the USS Infinity before transferring here. But this is the first Akira-class I've been stationed on. So that's my learning curve. Where were you before you became Chief Counsellor on the Black Hawk?"

“Sorry my misunderstanding” T’Mari smiled warmly. “ I was stationed aboard the USS Shanghai as Assistant Chief. I’ve climbed the ladder in pretty quick succession, nosing just have to prove I’m capable to doing the job of Chief. Most people spend years getting to a Senior Staff position, four years out of the Academy is pretty rapid.”

"That it is," said John. "Do you think it'll have any kind of impact on your mission here?"

“I hope not Sir” T’Mari shrugged her shoulders. “I know my job, and I do it damn well. Though I guess compared to a lot of those on the senior staff I’m more of a junior than a senior. What I lack in experience years, I’ll make up for.”

"Keep that attitude," said John. "But don't think of yourself as a 'junior' senior staff member just because you lack experience years. You're still a member of the senior staff and like you said, you know your job and do it damn well. So show that to everyone."

T’Mari nodded. “I’ll do my best. I’m good at my job, it’s one thing I pride myself on.”

"Excellent," said John. And then switching gears, he continued. "So have you had any time to explore this ship? She's the first Akira-class I've been's taking a while to get familiar with the layout."

“To be honest I haven’t had chance to explore yet, though I really should.” T’Mari grinned. “I normally learn the deck plan to get an idea where I’m going.”

"That's not a bad idea, to be honest," said John. He leaned back in the chair and relaxed some more. "These catamaran things are what mess me up. Port side deck, starboard side deck, pods...I'll be lucky to find the Rec Room in my time off." He chuckled at the time off comment.

“To be honest I normally just concentrate on finding my office and my quarters to start, the rest comes later.” T’Mari grinned. “I will make a point of taking a tour though, no good getting lost when I’m needed somewhere.”

"Exactly," John said nodding. "So how do you find people typically react to the warm and welcoming counseling environment you provide? I don't imagine the most hardened souls easing up too much."

T’Mari shook her head. “That’s true, I try to make it comfortable, but it doesn’t always work. I’m happy to attend in people’s quarters if they need me to, or meet wherever they find it most comfortable.”

"Flexibility. I like that. So have you been on any away missions as a counsellor?" he asked. Doing the job in the safety of a ship was one thing. Doing it in the field was another.

“I have” T’Mari nodded. “I see my position as Counsellor, not just as being there for those who need help, but as an advisor and confidant for the Captain and yourself. To be there to advise when needed, on or off ship.”

"Alright, then can I add your name to the top of the away team member list?" he asked point blank. "If it's not already up there, I mean. That's one of the things I need to check out along with mission reports."

“By all means!” T’Mari nodded and smiled. “I’m happy to go along whenever you need me.”

John smiled. "Sounds like a plan." He paused and looked around the room. "It doesn't look you need much else. But is there anything I can do to help you out with your department's mission?"

“Good question” T’Mari paused. “Nothing I can think of right now, but I may think of something. I’ll let you know if I do.”

"Excellent," said John. "My door is open if you need to drop off a list." He stood up and adjusted his uniform. "Or just a commbadge away."

T’Mari nodded. “Thank you Commander. I appreciate that.”

John gave a smile and a nod and turned, to head out the door. "Oh, and welcome to the Black Hawk."



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