Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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Counseling the Convict

Posted on Thu Feb 11th, 2021 @ 3:12am by Makeba Brown & Lieutenant Junior Grade Lunara Hol
Edited on on Thu Feb 11th, 2021 @ 3:15am

Mission: Episode 11 - Family Matters
Location: Counseling Offices - Deck 5 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD003 0800 hrs

Lunara arrived in the counseling offices, stifling a yawn. She was still getting used to the length of Earth days. 24 hours... why did it have to be so short? She waved to the receptionist before entering her office. It was still the grey, harsh, standard Starfleet look. There were several boxes full of decorations around, but she hadn't had time to put them up yet. Maybe some time...

She looked down at her PADD, briefly wondering what schedule her chief had set up before remembering that she was the chief. First up was a former Maquis that had to show up for mandatory sessions or go back to prison, one Makeba Brown. This was going to be a doozy. She sent her a reminder to show up to her office, then replicated herself a double strength Tarkellian tea.

Makeba was in the SCIF toiling away and monitoring the goings on in the Trivas System. She wanted to make sure that her friends in the Maquis were not mistreated. Secondly she had to try to find the trail of Leyton. At least her new assignment would help her get that ball rolling. She sipped her rachtijino as a small window opened on her screen. It was from the ship's new Counselor. Makeba was due a session. Shit O'Flannagain must have made sure of this. Well it is either this or the brig. At least I can some good out here. She thought with a sigh as she grabbed her drink and logged her console out.

The walk to the Counselor's office felt like a march of the damned to Makeba. Not only did she not want to go, but the looks that she got from the rest of the crew. A few were sympathetic and said hello trying to make her feel welcome, but most ignored her. When she arrived at the offices on Deck 5, she really did not want to be there but Makeba resolved herself to get through it. She rang the door chime as she hoped it would not be too long until she was back in the SCIF.

"Come in!" Lunara looked up, her voice cheerful. She took one final gulp from her mug and stood, walking towards the door. She gave the session a 50/50 chance of turning sour, but she was determined that if it did happen, it wouldn't be because of her.

Makeba stepped in and placed her mug on a near by table. She snapped to attention, it was afterall an official report, and the Counselor did have rank. "Specialist Makeba Brown reporting as ordered!" The wheels in her head were already spinning, for Makeba knew that she would have to give the Counselor something to work with the question was what would it be.

"Easy, easy." Lunara waved a hand dismissively, her tone of voice a practiced softness. "I'm your counselor, not your commander. I see privates and captains in the same office. You want to take a seat at my desk, and we can get started?" She gestured to the empty chair across from her side.

Makeba made sure to visibly relax, attempting to fool a Counselor was going to take all of her skills in human intelligence. She picked up her cup and sat in the indicated chair. "Thank you Counselor. I am not really sure where we should begin." She spoke in a clipped but concise tone.

Well, she wasn't out and out hostile. That was a good sign, at least. Lunara had gotten along with one woman from intelligence, a couple lifetimes ago. All those years on the Legacy, and Jalen hadn't learned anything about her. She had learned, however, that almost anything those types said or did was wrapped up in several layers of lies. "Well, why not with the basics?" She smiled, taking a seat at her end of the desk. "I'm afraid I'm still getting to know my way around the ship, so how about what you usually do day-to-day?" Lunara wasn't sure if this would make her let down her guard or try to take advantage of her, but there was only one way to find out.

Makeba's inner monologue harrumphed. What she did day to day was unknown, often it felt like she was Malbrooke's and O'Flannagain's lapdog. However, that was not the answer that she could give. "Right now I am assigned to the SCIF, I guess all those years of undercover work pay off. Most of my duty is analysis, as is the case with most Intelligence Officers. Pretty hum drum if you ask me. So my day is work and then back to the quarters that I was assigned." There short sweet and to the point, if this Counselor wanted more she was going to have to work for it.

Surprisingly straightforward for a former Maquis. Lunara believed in second chances, but she'd also been around long enough to know people tended to change very slowly. "Well, I won't bother asking you more about your work, it's probably classified anyway. Though I do believe you humans have a saying - 'all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'. You enjoy doing anything in your time off?"

Makeba suddenly realized that this would probably go a lot better if she filled the Counselor in on some important facts. "Counselor, before we proceed it may be best if I fill you in on something that you may not be aware of, being new to the ship and all. I am not particularly wanted around these parts. It seems that your Captain has taken an interest in me and that is the only reason that I sit here, and not in a Federation stockade. So questions like what I do in my time off would mostly go unanswered as friends on this vessel are few and far between."

A straight answer, and volunteered information to boot. That was a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one. "Mm." Lunara leaned back in her chair a bit. "I do appreciate you being open with me like this. It makes it easier for me, and I like to think it makes it easier for you, too." She leaned forward slightly. "I do know a bit about your past - as a counselor, I like to know a bit about my patients before they walk through my door. I can appreciate how difficult it can be to get along with people in your situation, but it's not healthy to spend all your free time cooped up in your quarters either."

Open with her, this is all stuff that she should have known already. Makeba thought with an internal chuckle. "I see your point, and I don't stay in my quarters exclusively. Sometimes I am in the Brig and sometimes I am on a mission." She said with a smirk. "In the interest of continuing the openness. I do not want to be here, this is an ends to a means. I would much rather be back out there doing something good, effecting change. But this ship does beat prision..." Makeba allowed her voice to trail off.

Lunara chuckled. "Well, I'm glad we're feeling open today. I'll open up with you too, then. I don't know what your previous counselor was like, but I intend to be more than just a rubber stamp you can talk your way out of. I can appreciate wanting to go out and make a difference. It's why I came here. But for as long as we're both on this ship, you're stuck with me." Her tone was affable, but firm.

"You are the first Counselor that I have ever been with. The order for counseling is a new one that came from Malbrooke. In truth like most Starfleet officers of the old order, I do not like to go to counseling. I find it presumptuous of anyone to tell anyone else that they can help discover something about them that they did not already know." Makeba could feel the heat in her cheeks, the anger was building within her. She made sure to step down off her soapbox before she really got going.

Looked like it was starting to turn sour after all. Lunara would have to turn down the heat. "Well, I know a thing or two about the old order myself. I hate going to counseling appointments as much as anyone else on this ship, but I go because it's needed." She shook her head. "You're in intelligence, how many times have others pointed out things you missed in your analyses? It's the same way here."

"With an intel report it was possible to miss something, there is a lot there and it is something that one does not know much about. However, there is no one in this universe who knows more about me than well me." Makeba paused for a moment as she pondered the Trill. Makeba wondered exactly how old the Trill was. It was theoretically possible that somewhere in Hol's storied history was a Starfleet officer. Makeba took a mental note to look into that. "It is simply my belief that I was sent here because your Captain had no idea what to do with me. So rather than keep me in the Brig he came up with this plan. He seems to have some sort of idea that he can rehabilitate me."

"Would you like me to tell him that he's wrong, and to throw you in the brig instead?" Hol questioned.

"Do I look like I need rehabilitation to you?" Makeba said with a little more attitude than she intended. There was a pregnant silence in the room for a moment. Makeba sighed heavily before she continued. "Look I know it is not your fault you are merely doing your job. But, not everyone needs help."

"No need to apologize, if that's what you're doing." Lunara shook her head. "But it doesn't seem like you've got much of a choice. The captain's giving you a second chance here, and you seem determined to blow it. I'm not here to debate the ethics of the Maquis, but I do know what you did carries some serious jail time. You don't need to like our sessions, but it's either this or rotting away in a prison cell on some cold, forgotten asteroid."

Makeba clenched her teeth, she knew that Lunara had the right of it, and she hated that. She nodded in agreement with what was just said. "You know that this is not going to be easy for you."

Lunara smirked. "If I wanted easy, I would have stayed on Trill."

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Junior Grade Lunara Hol
Chief Counselor, USS Pioneer

Makeba Brown
HUMINT Agent, USS Pioneer


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