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

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Saying Hello

Posted on Sat Sep 5th, 2020 @ 11:07pm by Lieutenant Junior Grade Kara Li & Lieutenant Junior Grade Zhara Rynn
Edited on on Mon Sep 7th, 2020 @ 1:53am

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: Counseling
Timeline: MD001 1400 hrs
1295 words - 3 OF Standard Post Measure



It was quiet in counseling, so Zhara decided to spend an hour with her plants. Classical music played softly over the speakers. Sophia was curled up in her basket, napping. Days like this were rare and she was enjoying it, humming softly along with the music as she worked.

Kara hadn't been on the ship for very long and she knew where she needed to go first. She was going to be spending a lot of time in her office, and in order to do that, she had to get it set up just right. While many called her unorganized, she still had a certain way she liked things. It was a pattern and something that was specific to her needs. She entered the main space, as she looked around. Honestly, she wasn't sure what to expect. Her previous assignment on the Lighthouse was a bit different. Her office was the size of a closet, with no real personal space. She looked around, as she tucked a bag under her arm.

She could hear classical music coming from one of the adjacent offices, "hello," she called out hoping she wasn't interrupting a session or something.

Sophia was the first out of the office, her tail wagging as she went up to the newcomer. The dog cocked her head to one side and sniffed the woman.

Kara bent down and offered an open palm to the dog, to sniff. "Aren't you a sweet puppy," she smiled, "I hope you're friendly. Kara reached behind the dog's ear giving a good scratch. "Just a big ole softy aren't you. Now who do you belong too?"

Sophia licked the woman's hand and wagged her tail.

Zhara came out of the office and smiled. "Hello. You must be the new counselor."

"I am," Kara stood up, "Kara Li," she offered a hand. "And you are?"

"Zhara Rynn." She shook the woman's hand. "I'm one of the counselors here. Sophia is mine. She's a certified therapy dog."

"It's a pleasure to meet you," she laughed as the dog barked, "what a lovely puppy, I wasn't aware we had a therapy dog here. How long have you been here on the Pioneer?" she asked? "I am afraid I am a bit behind on my review of the crew, and well everything else," she looked at the small pile of boxes. It was only a few personal things to use in her office. She pulled out a couple of family photos setting them on the desk. "After a few transfers you learn to downsize, but I still don't like to move..."

"I've been here about six months. We came aboard shortly after the last Chief. Sophia likes to visit people in sickbay." Zhara smiled at the dog. "We have the opportunity to work with medical from time to time." She turned her attention to the doctor. "Where did you serve before coming here?"

"Immediately after the Academy I was assigned to the Encounter, but it wasn't for me. The ship was a front-line, combat style craft. So when able, I transferred to the Lighthouse, and then to here. Honestly, my career hasn't been anything stellar or amazing. It's just been one assignment to another," she smiled, "but I've heard things about this vessel so may be that will change."

"There's often something going on around here," Zhara replied. "Lieutenant Ovaa would often go see people where they worked and leave Sophia and me here. It wasn't bad. We've had time to work with the medical staff. You'll like them."

"Who actually owns Sophia?" she couldn't help but wonder, "is it your dog?" Kara added, before the Officer could reply, "I don't mind seeing some people here, I think it's important to meet people where ever they feel comfortable. Some might see this space was a bad thing. They don't see the need for a Counselor, so we find ways to adapt." She looked around the office, as she waited for a reply.

"I agree. There are benefits to having a place to walk in and talk, and to going to the lounge or a department to meet someone. Each person is different." Zhara looked down at the dog and smiled. "Sophia is mine. There is a ship cat around named Mr. Tumnus. From what I understand, he doesn't have a specific owner. You'll probably meet him before long. Sophia has."

Kara leaned down as the dog continue to beg for attention, "I love animals, but lord knows as a kid I couldn't keep my pet goldfish alive," she laughed as the scratched behind both of Sophia's ears. "My mother says I couldn't keep a fake flower alive," she smiled, "but I do love them," she laughed, "the animals, not the fake flower."

"I tried goldfish once. I couldn't keep them alive, either." Zhara smiled. "But dogs and cats are much easier. At least in my experience. Sophia usually seems to know what someone needs. She's a great help."

The dog wagged her tail at the praise.

"I have seen therapy animals used in many different practices," Kara replied, "it always amazes me how people can open up and talk to our furry friends with an openness that they don't like to have with their Counselor. But, if animals like Sophia can bring them here then I am all in favor of that." Kara looked at the Counselor, "you take her to the holodeck, for outings?"

Kara released how cold that sounded, "there is a program, that I like to use in the mornings for a run before a shift. It's a mountain range from back home. Lots of trees, rivers,... it's beautiful."

"Sophia and I like to go for walks on the holodeck. She can be a normal dog there and chase birds and squirrels--if they get close enough. It's a nice break from ship life." She gave the dog a hand signal and Sophia came to sit by her side. "Animals have a knack for knowing who needs comfort. I've found that some people will take comfort from her who won't even admit they have a problem with another humanoid." She looked at the other counselor. "You're welcome to use her if you want. Otherwise, she'll hang around with me and occasionally visit sickbay."

"I was more, inviting you both if you like to run," Kara said, always trying to make a friend whenever she could. "I enjoy the runs but having someone there once in a while to talk to make it more fun," she explained, "we'll call it a staff meeting," she laughed.

"Oh. My apologies." Zhara smiled. "We'd like that. Sophia and I don't generally have company." As much as she liked Talli, the other counselor had much to keep her busy outside of work, so Zhara saw little of her off duty.

"Well then, we will have to work on something for a future outing," Kara nodded, "until I suppose I should get settled in and figure out where I need to start. I have a couple of appointments, but honestly, I should unpack my quarters." She smiled, "it was a pleasure meeting you both, and I look forward to working with you here, once things get back to normal." She nodded.

"Normal is always in flux around here," Zhara said. "It was a joy to meet you. I look forward to working with you, as well." She bowed to Kara, signaled to Sophia, and headed back to her office.


A Post by;

Lieutenant Junior Grade Kara LI
Chief Counselor, USS Pioneer


Lieutenant JG Zhara Rynn
Counselor, USS Pioneer


Sophia
Therapy Dog, USS Pioneer

 

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