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Departmental Visit: Counseling

Posted on 02 Mar 2020 @ 12:37am by Lieutenant Commander Tivan & Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: Sentience
Location: Counseling
Timeline: MD 1 || 1245 hours

With the Sickbay visit under his belt, Terry decided to hit the Counseling department since he was in the area. He had yet to meet the new counselor or actually have a counseling session since the Dolmoquor incident. But today was the day for a work visit. A day to see how the new Counselor was finding the department, the ship, and the crew. Terry walked up and rang the chime.

Having just returned from her impromptu meeting with the captain's wife, Tivan was preparing to center herself and reacquire her even keel. The chime very nearly made her jump. With naught but a moment to orient herself, she turned around and opened the door.

"Commander Walsh," she said, face and voice neutral. "So good to see you, and so shortly after the briefing. How may I be of assistance?"

Terry smiled and nodded. "You know, I don't believe I've ever met a counselor that didn't say something like 'so good to see you.' But as far as assistance, I'm here for you. As the new Executive Officer, I'm trying to familiarize myself with all of the departments more. Counseling is one that was at the top of my list because, like Sickbay, I was only here for medical purposes. And because I wanted a chance to meet the new Counselor. That said, welcome to the Black Hawk, Commander." He extended his hand for her to shake it, if she so desired.

"It's a trope, I admit, utilized by mental health professionals everywhere to make their patients comfortable in the patently uncomfortable pursuit of wellness and peace of mind," Tivan acknowledged. She accepted his hand and gave it a single firm and vigorous shake. "Thank you for your welcome, though. I believe it to be no less sincere than my own." She turned around and headed toward the replicator. "May I offer a refreshment?" she said without turning around.

He liked the Counselor's handshake; firm and straightforward. "Sure," he replied. "I'll have a coffee, black. I imagine you haven't had much time at all to get to know your area, let alone the ship. So, have you had a chance to look over your staffing and does it suit you?"

"On the contrary, I've become quite acquainted with my department and its staff." Tivan selected a hot black coffee from the replicator--generic, as seemed to suit the commander's tastes--and returned to the man with the steaming mug in hand. "I am of the opinion that the extant counseling staff is deserving of full commendations for the services rendered during the ship's time in drydock." She handed him the cup and a test question all at once. Her keen eyes watched for his responsive body language. "What do you make of your new position?"

Terry nodded. "I'll take that into consideration and bring it up with the Captain." He accepted the steaming mug of coffee from Tivan. "Thank you...for the coffee and your thoughts on the staff." He took a small sip as he considered the counselor's next question. "Well," he said, removing the cup from his lips and looking at the counselor, "it was a surprise. I woke up this morning ready to plan a training schedule for new fighter pilots and now I'm making sure other departments have what they need for shakedown. So, surprise is the best way for me to describe it. But challenging at the same time. And I'm usually up for a challenge."

Tivan considered the answer. "So, uncertainty and cautious optimism. We should be so fortunate to have an executive officer with such prudent and courageous qualities."

He took a drink of his coffee and nodded, smiling afterwards. "I try." He looked around the room, "Do you have a couple of places we could sit down? Relax a little?"

"Of course," Tivan said. She gestured toward the many lounge sofas, pads, bags, and even swing bench in the corner of her office. Only a single armchair offered a seat with a conventional back. "Please make yourself at home."

He decided to take a seat on a lounge sofa. "You know Counselor, if I were to make myself at home, I'd probably kick off my boots, pick one of the bags, and lean back to some light classical music. Now that's relaxing. At least for me."

"Computer, play Music: Earth: Classical and dim lights by 15%." Tivan made her way over to the sofa, knelt down, and began unstrapping Terry's boots. "I did say to make yourself at home," she said, eyes downward and focusing on her nimble fingers. "And I sense a need to... what is the Earth idiom? 'Unwind yourself'?"

Terry nearly choked on his coffee before spilling it on his uniform top while sitting forward. "Whoa, whoa, whoa there Counselor." He looked for a place to quickly set the coffee cup and decided to just put on the lounge sofa. "You did say that, but this is awful early to be unwinding oneself. Especially with a whole day's worth of work ahead and visits to still make." He reached down and took her hands from his boots. "The Classical music is fine. But I'll keep my boots on and the lights where they were." He began to refasten his boots. "You asked earlier how you could be of assistance. That's part of why I'm here. Is there anything I can do for you?" He then sat back up.

Stepping clear to give the man plenty of room to... reacquire himself, Tivan noted the coffee stain on his uniform, the hastily fastened boots, and the quickness of breath. The observation made the sparkle in her eyes dance. Her lips ticked up in an amused smile. "Do I make you uncomfortable, Commander? Forgive me. My intention was the reverse."

Terry chuckled a little bit as he finished reorienting himself. "Nothing to forgive, Commander. I just wasn't quite ready for that. Not easy to catch an old fighter pilot off guard. Congrats," he added with a smile. That's when he noticed she was smiling. "Well now I've seen everything, a smiling Vulcan."

"I believe that emotional honesty is the key to a full and happy life," Tivan said. "Vulcans do smile. Some of us are just too stodgy to do so around humans. It is my pleasure to live freely and fully and to teach others to do the same." As her lips straightened from a half smile to flat lines, her eyes sparkled all the more. "Unfortunately that means at times I catch others off guard."

"I'll admit, that's an interesting philosophy coming from someone that's not human. Some of us tend to live free and full while younger and then settle in to life later, leaving that free-spirited part in our youth. But I've known a few 'older' pilots that never seem to leave their free spirit behind." He paused for a second and picked his cup of coffee back up. "I don't know if I'd call catching others off guard as unfortunate or not. I think more people need to be kept on their toes. So long as I've been on this ship, and it's previous class, the only expected things have been appointments and schedules. Life itself seems to have keep people on their toes around here."

Tivan nodded in acknowledgement. "It sounds as if I am in good company, then. Granted that the Gamma Command would not have summoned me from Starfleet Medical if this ship's mission and crew were mere rank and file."

"Summoned by Command from Starfleet Medical..." Terry whistled. "You must be a damn fine counselor for top brass to bring you from Medical. Heh, guess I need to move your personnel file to the top of my new people pile that I need read."

That made Tivan arch her eyebrows. Captain Geisler had not informed his first officer about her ultimate role on the ship? Very good. "You are too kind," she said with a half smile. "Nobody should have to tell you, though, how distinguished the Black Hawk has become in recent years. Rumor has it that its a top contender for flagship status in this quadrant. You must be very proud to serve on board."

"I'm proud to serve on board. But not because of any rumors. I first came aboard when it was Akira class and I was a Chief Support Craft pilot with a fighter pilot background in the Starfleet Marines," said Terry. "I'm proud to serve here because I work with people who stick with it and see it through. No matter what the it is. If the Black Hawk has any kind of reputation, it's because of the people. And boy, have the people been through it lately."

Nodding solemnly, Tivan said, "Yes, I agree. That is largely why I am here. If I may be so bold, Commander, are there any individuals whom you would think to give special attention? Anyone who might require added support beyond the standard wellness checks?"

Terry took a deep breath for a minute and thought. "I can't think of anyone in particular," he said. "But in general, I'd say the senior staff. If we weren't possessed by the Dolmmies we were getting shot at by the Dolmmies. There might need to be some added support there. Also, I haven't had a chance to read the report since my promotion, but the rumor is that a Dolmmie used it's security Petty Officer host to bomb sensor control; taking the man's life with it's own. That would cause a lot of grief in a couple different areas...Security and enlisted crew, off hand."

Tivan gave another solemn nod. The new XO was only generally and not intimately informed on the inner workings of the crew. That could prove useful information for a later time. "I appreciate your insight," she said.

He chuckled and nodded. "No problem. Though, over the course of the next few weeks, I hope to have more than insightful information. That's part of the reason for these departmental visits. That said, back to the question from earlier, is there anything I can do for you?"

"As a matter of fact, yes there is," Tivan said. "If you hear rumors of unusual happenings on board, I would appreciate being informed directly and promptly. My ability to effectively gauge crew morale is directly proportional to how well I am kept abreast by the command staff."

Terry nodded, a little intrigued that the Counselor was interested in the rumors of unusual happenings as opposed to the the actual happenings. "I'll keep you in mind if I hear of anything," he said. He put the empty coffee cup down and sat forward. "If there's nothing else, I have a couple more visits to make before I end my day."

"Of course." Tivan spread her mouth in a tight smile that was no less warm for its small expression. "It was so nice getting to know you better."

"And you as well," Terry answered. He stood and headed for the door, pausing briefly within range of it's sensors. They opened and he turned to face Tivan. "Keep 'em on their toes and expect the unexpected, Miss Tivan." He turned and headed out, doors closing behind him.

As he left the room, Tivan just stared at the closed doors for some time.

 

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