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

Before we Begin
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD004 1400 hrs

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An Aged Meeting, For One

Posted on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 @ 1:50pm by Chief Petty Officer Leslie Calhoun & Lieutenant Amelia Zano Psy.D.
Edited on on Thu May 31st, 2018 @ 9:25pm

Mission: Episode 2 - The Enemy Within
Location: After 11
Timeline: MD006 2100 hrs
Tags: SD 71384.2100
2373 words - 5 OF Standard Post Measure

She had learnt there was another El-Aurian on board, and her curiosity was piqued. The only real full blooded El-Aurian she knew was her father so her experience was limited. She had taken the opportunity to call on this gentleman to meet her for some lunch so she could pick his brain. Centuries of grey matter, the very thought...

Amelia sat nervously as if it was a date, that she may be stood up or that simply he would sit down and she would have no idea where to begin, or to say. She had always been 'shy and retiring' around older gentlemen as they tended to be the sort she would be interested in as a whole.

Leslie Calhoun had received the message that the Ship's Counselor had wanted to see him. He was off duty finally as Thal had been working the Intel team hard the past couple days. On one hand he wanted to sleep, but on the other he was curious as to what the Counselor wanted. He read enough of her file to know that she was El Aurian. He sighed and headed to the meeting. So much for sleep he thought.

Calhoun arrived and found the Counselor sitting alone. He smiled at her and took a seat. His voice gruff as he spoke "You wanted to see me Counselor."

"Hi chief!" she half shouted unable to control her excitement at meeting another of her species, the rarest thing these days although they were multiplying slowly. She could see the tiredness within his eyes and looked a little taken aback, "You look tired. I'm sorry... We can do this another time? I just wanted to talk to another El-Aurian..." she trailed off almost acting like a child subconsciously. In their species being 30 put her still in 'secondary' education, that is if they still had a home world to call that.

"No, no my dear Counselor. In truth I was wondering when you come seek me out. I am always happy to talk with a fellow listener. The first thing is call me Billy." He said with a smile as he took his hat off and relaxed. "What can I do to listen?" His smile broadened.

"You knew I was here?" she half asked probably realising it was quite silly to think that he wouldn't know who she was. For a second she was going to correct him that she wasn't much of a listener but she was a Counsellor so... that would be wrong.

"Well..." she began, shifting in her seat, "Oh my Gods, I am so sorry. Please sit, do you want a drink? Are you hungry? You look tired, and hungry... I'll call someone over?" she asked.

Billy laughed "My dear Counselor it is quite alright. If I did not want to be here then I wouldn't be. As to how I knew you were here. It is kind of hard to not know when you are serving with another of our kind. After all there are so few of us left. However, I was not expecting one quite as young. With all due respect of course." When a server came over Billy ordered some tapas and a margarita. "What can I do for you? I imagine it is hard finding someone to counsel the counselor."

Amelia began to settle a little and eased off a bit in her seat. She ordered a caesar salad and some water, boring I know. She did blush a bit at the young comment, "Yes, my father met another El-Aurian once he had resettled here and they had two children, myself and Jason." she began, "I am only 30 which I am told is still far too young to be out here. My father told me that most didn't leave our world until well into their 50's and that was was with a good education of all those years before. The very thought..."

"Sorry, I rarely get a chance to talk. My sessions are all about listening and when I get started I get a little, well, constant." she offered with a little shrug of her shoulders.

"No worries none at all. Leaving in their 50s was standard but that was back when we had a homeworld. Now you are as mature as you act. And you... Do not sell yourself short you are an accomplished counselor and Starfleet Officer. To the point that the Captain trusts you to act as his diplomat. That is nothing to shake a stick at. As for me I left El Auria when I was 60 which was about 440 years ago, according to the Terran calendar. So much has changed, yet nothing has changed." Calhouns mused, he was quite taken by the young woman despite the fact that she was old enough to be his great granddaughter.

Amelia blushed at the mans kind words, her father had always been a bit too truthful about her wanting to become a psychologist but it's what her heart told her to do. "Are you serious?" she exclaimed almost spitting her drink out. "Man you're old..." she continued before a look of horror filled her face.

"I didn't mean old, I meant experienced.... oohhh no wait... seasoned?" she offered before sticking the glass back up to her mouth. She didn't know why this man flustered her so, it was her job to be able to speak to people but this man was different. It was as if he'd stuck a mixer in her head and gave it a whirl on her brain.

"Yes as Masters is fond of sayin I am the Ole Man. With age comes experience and learning, and ennui." Billy's voice trailed off for the moment. Then as if it caught a second wind it came back to him. "That is why it is important that you find something to do in this life that you like, something that you are good at, and do it until your heart explodes." He laughed and sipped the coffee that had been brought for him.

"I like to think I'm good at calming people... sometimes when I whisper to people, in El-Aurian, those who are scared seem to calm, become more relaxed. Don't quite know how I do it, just have a knack for it I guess." she explained before remembering the last comment with some alarm. "That's now how we die is it?!" she asked. "We don't live so long that eventually our heart just goes boom?"

"No... We die just like everyone else does, from getting old. I believe the oldest member of our species lived well over a millennia but we don't have an exact known lifespan. It seems that the ravages of life get to us before old age. But if you take care of yourself and don't go too crazy with your life you can live to a ripe old age. Look at me I have served in one military or another since time immemorial and I am still here. In terms of the language that is because you are, well what you are. We have a knack of putting people at ease and talking with them. Not to them but with them. It is one of the reasons that I am as good at what I do as I am." Calhoun smiled warmly as he looked at the woman she was striking and there was an unwavering intelligence behind those eyes. "Let me ask you something. Are you happy with what you are doing? That is to say if you have all of the time in existence would you want to do something else."

'Thank the Gods. she thought. The idea of an exploding heart at the moment of death was most definitely not appealing at all. "I'll be happy to just see 40 so far." she mused as he continued.

"No. I wouldn't do anything else, even if you paid me. I love talking to people, guiding them through their worries, their troubles. To truly understand someone is to know their mind, the body is just the conduit for them to get around in. I've always found the mind so fascinating, the subtle differences in how someone can react or feel to the same situation. Peoples beliefs, their thought processes. I guess I'm built to do what I've already been doing... maybe in a hundred years or so I will think about a bit of variety for myself but I'm happy making others happy so." She smiled quite matter of factly. This was how she felt and to her that was as simple as someone who liked to shoot at people, or lead people.

For a moment she looked at him, she was going to ask. "Are you happy with what you do? Many centuries of the same thing with the subtle differences of evolution of mankind... I know you've been with Humans for a long time Mr Calhoun." She couldn't quite call him Billy just yet.

Billy squinted his eyes, nodded then chuckled. It was amusing because no one had ever asked him that before. He sipped a cup of coffee that had been brought to him as he thought intently about his answer. "I am happy in doing what I do because I know that it is what I was meant to do. I am of the opinion that beings like us are always meant to listen heck we're called listeners for a reason. There are those of us such as yourself who listen and advise and help others become better for it. Then there are those like me I listen to what people don't necessarily want to say, what people keep covered up hidden from all eyes. I don't advise I observe I take this knowledge and apply it to the betterment of all. For if all was secret then there would be nothing to listen to. As to humans I find them fascinating. They're constantly worried about everything around them and in comparison to my life span, thier's is so short. It really just need to stop worrying and all would be well. But for all the worrying they have so much to give and I love them for it."

He sipped this coffee again and looked at her. "You know in all my years you are the fourth El Aurian I have ever met since the diaspora. So I wanted to say thank you."

"Thank you?" she asked with a somewhat confused look. Why was he thanking her? "Why are you thanking me?" she continued.

"You will find as you get older that it is a rare pleasure to sit and chat with a member of your own kind. That is why I thank you. Well that and you remind me of one of my daughters. But that's enough about me tell me about you about your travels your accomplishments." He smiled warmly.

Amelia nodded in understanding, it must be quite hard to live centuries in their circumstances but the species count was on the rise albeit slowly.

"I can't say I've travelled very much, apart from being on starships. I've served on the San Diego which was pretty standard. The USS Indianna was more of a challenge, a lot of the crew suffered from PTSD from the Dominion War... thankfully I missed that. Then I came here, sitting in front of a gentleman I've been eager to meet." she finished. She didn't go into achievements as her only real ones were graduating as a Psychiatrist and the Academy.

"Me eager to meet me? I am just a Chief and a Chief I shall remain. But you you are an officer something to be proud of." A small amount of paternal pride crawled across the old craggy face of Calhoun. "You served on the Indianapolis. That ship has a long storied history much like that of the Enterprise. Have you ever heard of the USS Indianapolis United States Navy?"

She looked at her gold pip, her black pip and in truth they didn't mean a whole lot. Rank was just a title and she just wanted to help those that needed it. "I've heard it was a water ship?" she asked. "I'm not one for history Chief, sorry."

"The Indianapolis or the Indy as most called it was a battleship that sailed the oceans of Earth. She was lost in a great battle and her crew survived the open ocean for months until rescue could be attempted. But that was only the first of the ships to bear that name." Billy got intense when he started talked about the Indianapolis, his voice filled with vivid memory and emotion. "I remember when that SOS came over the air as if it were yesterday. Ahhhh but you don't want to hear ole war stories. You came to talk to me and here I am rambling. Darlin it seems that you want to know what it is like to be El Aurian. My answer is you already know..."

"Being what I feel I am meant to be, following the course and keeping Chief Calhoun's eyes filled with the pride and joy I see in them now?" she asked.

Calhoun smiled broadened and his eyes twinkled. The grumpy soldier was put away and replaced by a beaming prideful man. "I will tell you what for every story you tell, I will tell you two. We will sit here and listen until our ears fall off." He ordered another coffee. "Whaddya say?"

Amelia smiled warmly at the old gent that was before her. In a way she kind of assumed this was what her grandfather would have been like had he still been around. Maybe she'd adopt Calhoun?

"I say that sounds like the perfect night I need right now Billy, thank you." she replied putting her hand on the top of his. Not flirtatiously but more of a familial action.

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Junior Grade Amelia Zano PsyD
Chief Counselor, USS Pioneer

Senior Chief Petty Officer Leslie Calhoun
Data Systems Analyst, USS Pioneer


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