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  Lieutenant Commander Lucia Rinaldi & Cadet Barak Rel, SD
The Intrigue of a New Classmate...DL: Counselor Rinaldi and Cadet Barak Teven Rel

The Intrigue of a New Classmate...

JDL: Counselor Rinaldi and Cadet Barak Teven Rel

Lucia sipped her coffee as she re-read the personnel record of Barak Rel. What an interesting and complex situation! She thought as she shut off her terminal and along with her coffee, moved from the desk to one of the chairs she'd had replicated for her temporary office aboard the Sutherland .She hadn't had a chance to personalize the space further with any plants or art -- like she had in her office back at the Academy. Just the addition of those two chairs made the room feel even smaller than it was -- but she preferred not having to look across a desk when she talked with her visitors. A quick check of her chrono showed that Cadet Barak Rel was due to arrive at any moment.

Barak Teven Rel paced the hall just outside. The Vulcanoid was particularly nervous about dealing with psychologists and his Trill half just wanted to make a “good impression” given she was the executive officer. Barak had been through a very “bad” interview with the VSA upon his decision to leave the homeworld after recovering from the accident. That interviewer had torn the unit into 16 individuals…… all fourteen previous hosts were exposed. Teven, the 15th, was a particularly weak example of his species in that reviewers eyes.

Teven braced himself mentally for the visit. He checked his uniform with the so called Picard technique then activated the chime.

Enter”came a pleasant sounding voice from inside. Lucia stood to greet Barak Rel.

The door slid open and Barak observed the very spartan feel of the rooms lack of decor. That was unnerving.

He stepped inside. “Commander, Barak Teven Rel reporting as ordered.” He wanted to say something about his last pit stop at the station to give them a common ground of something to talk about before getting down to business but the thought sent chills down his spine.

He raised his hand in the traditional Vulcan greeting. “Peace and long life.” he intoned.

Lesek shaya tonat.”She told him in halting Vulcan, then raised her hand and returned his salute with the traditional response. “Sochya eh dif.”She smiled at him.“I'm afraid that's about my extent of ability to speak Vulcan, though it is a fascinating language. Can I get you something from the replicator?I could use a new cup of coffee before we chat.” She waited for his reply.

Vulcan Spice Tea.” The Vulcanoid responded. Then with a slightly lower tone of voice his Trill half spoke up. “You honor the Vulcan in me with the gift of hearing that response in the native tongue rather than the common Federation basic.”

The dialect comes from the ancient southern continent. From whom did you learn this?” he inquired.

Lucia blushed a bit before she went over to the replicator. With her back turned she continued speaking.“Uh……..well...my teacher was an old ...boyfriend...He was more than a bit unconventional for a Vulcan and I worried that he had taught me something naughty. But I checked on the computer and it seemed okay...I don't remember it being flagged as ancient.” She laughed. “I guess I should have done a more thorough check.”She returned with two mugs and offered him one, then sat in one of the two chairs she had been standing near.“That smells nice by the way, I'll have to try it.”

Federation replicators have been refining the taste and essence of this drink since our human friends first developed the technology. This is a reasonable recreation though not quite as tart as the traditional brew. The closest earth taste to the original is what you call bitter almond.”

He lifted the cup to his nose and inhaled the fresh aroma.

The voice changed slightly again. Rel''s somewhat richer accent could be heard by the discerning ear. “One of my hosts studied Vulcan before first contact with them and found the delightful scent of the homemade brew inviting…… he stole a mug of it and the rest as the humans say is history. It proved to be an aphrodisiac for the Trill scientists.”

Lucia had picked up the shift in voice the first time and this time she let him know. “Teven Rel I presume? It's a pleasure to meet you as well. I'm sure with over a dozen hosts, you could regale us with tales for hours, maybe even days! I do hope I didn't offend you with my reply in Vulcan. But since one of your hosts...Palus, I believe....was a diplomat, you would know Vulcan far better than me.”

Well, I see you have done your homework,” the Vulcan mused. “I can not say I had the clearance to look up your bio.“ the Vulcanoid acknowledged ,

Her laugh had a slightly musical tone. “If you're in need of a sleeping aid, I can give you that access. But I assure you, my history is far less colorful than yours. Speaking of which, why now? I mean, why did you choose to enroll at Starfleet Academy at this point?”

I am honoring the wishes of my Trill half.” the Vulcan explained. “I already had a very full life, a wife, four children, a respected career at the VSA……the Trill was stuck in a low-end job as a crewman…… he had potential for so much more.”

The Vulcan sipped the tea.

I see. You seem to on quite the journey. My next question is a bit selfish but I can't help but wonder what made you choose counseling as your major?”She gave him a guilty look.“I'm delighted to have a cadet sharing my calling, but it would be impossible not to notice how uncomfortable sitting there across from me makes you feel.”

I was trying to honor the wishes of our host.” the Vulcanoid replied.

Oh. I hadn't realized the two decisions had a common source. “She took a sip of her coffee and grimaced.“Cold already.” She said with a sigh. “How would you like to get some real world experience with the day-to-day tasks of a Starfleet counselor? Not with any of your classmates, but I see a variety of other people for many reasons. If they agree, you might be able to sit in on some of my appointments. There would be some forms and non-disclosure agreements to sign but you'll have the opportunity to see firsthand some of what you'll be handling.”

I wouldn't mind that at all. I live to learn and I do so best by first hand experiences.” offered the Trill voice. The Vulcan raised an eyebrow, “The proposal is most interesting especially given how each day I must seek harmony within myself. Helping others may improve my odds on a day to day basis dealing with my own issues.” he stroked his chin in thought.

Again he took a long swig of his beverage. The drink had a somewhat settling effect on the nerves.

He considered the offer presented to him and asked “Have you had your eval lately...It might help to do someone I have met before I try to analyze someone I have never met before.”

He consumed more of the drink and was tempted to wipe his lips on his sleeve. He resisted doing so.

Lucia chuckled at his suggestion.“Actually, I happen to have had my eval a few weeks ago. But that's actually perfect for your practice session. We can compare your observations to the existing recent report. Doing so will give you an excellent understanding of the evaluation process.”

She got up and went to the replicator and got herself a new mug of coffee.“Need some more tea?” She asked.

No I am good, thank you.” he replied as he polished off the glass.

Returning to her seat, she made eye contact with him. “I'm guessing that you've figured out that I'm not going to try to pick apart your psyche bit by bit. It's far more important to know if there something that I can do to assist with your issues?”

I wasn't trying to step on your toes by suggesting the role reversal……It was only a suggestion. The idea was to simply use the little I know to to show you just what you have to work with as a starting point.”

Please, continue with your analysis of me so I can learn more about myself then my well documented phobias.” the Vulcanoid respectfully conveyed.

He sat the glass down on the replicator and activated the molecular reconstitution program.

Yes, it is a bit annoying, to have someone crawling around in your head even if they are not physically within you. I might be able to give you a better insight into what is my psyche. I am willing to mind meld with you.” he offered.

The thing is my control of the meld may be tenuous at best with my Trill counterpart likely to try to express the many lives it has endured and its own feelings of being trapped with my Vulcan mind.” he warned.

It could take all the guesswork out of your job and maybe all the fun.” he concluded. “I can be an open book or a puzzle. Which do you prefer.”

First, you didn't step on any toes, I'm actually quite pleased by your enthusiasm for the idea of an internship of sorts. You were absolutely correct to say that we can learn a lot about ourselves by examining and working with others.” She grinned him. “And next I'm totally blown away by your offer to mind-meld with me. I do enjoy the process of learning about someone using my skills but given the option to experience a mind-meld AND to be able to gain that level of insight into your mind is too amazing to pass up!”

What do I need to do in order to facilitate the process?” She asked eagerly.

First I need to center myself…… for your part try to remain calm. Your mind may perceive images, words or other sensory input you may not completely understand like a vivid dream.” he explained “Let me be your guide.”

He approached the Commander and offered her a smile to help ease her mind. He looked deep into her brown eyes, the window to the soul. He perceived tempered excitement and curiosity.

With the lightest touch he swept back a few soft strands of Lucia's hair from her temple. “Are you ready?” he asked in a quiet Vulcan tone.

Yes.” She replied softly as she reined in her emotions as much as possible and used meditative techniques to open her mind to the experience she was about to have.

Reaching out, he placed his fingers over the contact points on her left cheek and forehead. He gauged her reaction to the initial touch.

She had no reservations about what they were beginning and felt calm and eager.

With slight pressure on those points he began the mantra “My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts.”


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