|USF Personal Log|
by Lieutenant, Junior Grade Kristjana Grimsdottir & Captain Sol Berman
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Sol stood a moment without movement. Caught off guard, his mind raced with wild and quick thoughts. Did an Ensign and a Counselor actually asked me to fetch a cup of tea? Is she truly as sick as she claims if she can sit there and lecture me? Who the hell is this person to actually sit here and lecture me to begin with?! The moment passed; the silence grew noticeable again. Without a reaction on his face or exposure through his veneer, he turned, walked deliberately to the replicator, ordered the tea, and brought it to her, leaning forward slightly, handing the cup and saucer to her. Once the cup left his hand, he stood erect and with a continued deliberance, walked back to the place he was at before, away from the seats and couches. He let out a small smile.
"I hope the tea is satisfactory, Counselor, and helps soothes your ailments." The words were more a reprimand for him than words of comfort for the infirmed. His thoughts pulled strongly on a chord of embarrassment. A young Ensign and his Counselor, within her first few weeks, found herself exposed to a virus that decimated her and brought her to a pitiful state. And now, in his eyes, she is trying to brandish the same outside armor that many officers on the Starbase had. ...and I questioned her desire for a cup of tea, a gesture of charity and humanity? Focus! He looked at her and forced a second smile to the surface. "I'm fine, Ensign. My strength leads to their strength. I attribute our success rate to that. Do you not concur?"
She waved a dismissive hand as the other brought the tea to her lips. She took a very small, careful sip of the hot beverage, then placed it on the table in front of her.
"Captain, Ensign, Lieutenant, Commander..." She said, her voice quivering. "It's all so very boring within these four walls of my office. Please, Sol, sit down. And I insist you call me Kristjana, or Jana. Whichever you prefer. Outside the door, perhaps, we are Captain and Ensign. But in here we are two equals." She looked at him again. She blinked slowly, more akin to a drooping of the eyelids rather than an actual blink. Her demeanor was more relaxed, as she was picking up on the Captain's discomfort. She lowered her head for a moment before looking up at him again. "Why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself, Sol?"
"Captain, Counselor. We are not equals, to be perfectly blunt. The doctors on this ship address me as Captain or sir and I expect everyone, regardless of position or rank, to comport to that standard of professionalism." Sol's face flushed a bit as he spoke, offended at the very notion that an Ensign would have the gumption to assert such a thought. He walked over to the counselor's desk and, using a PADD that laid there, picked it and tapped it quickly. He accessed the computer core and downloaded his service record onto the PADD. Nodding satisfactorily, he turned on his heel and walked over to where Grimsdottir was sitting on her couch and extended the PADD with his hand towards her. "This should give you all the information you wish to know," he said with a smile, trying to soften the admonishment he gave, "I hope you find it adequate. And I really must return to my duties unless there is anything else that you need, Counselor. You really ought to convalesce..."
She laughed softly and shook her head, pushing his PADD away gently. "I'm not interested in your service record, Captain. I am here to learn, understand, and manage the personal well being of the crew." She smirked a bit, lowering her gaze. Her confidence wavered as her chest tightened. She held her hand to it as she let out several coughs. It took a few awkward moments for her to recover, clearing her throat, and placing her hands on her lap. "Excuse me," she said, her voice hoarse. "I understand that you take your command seriously, but sometimes it helps to... speak to someone. I'm not here to pry, I'm here to have a conversation. To maintain the emotional and psychological well being of the crew. So, I'll pose my question again. How are you?"
The Captain began to sway slightly in his place, looking down at the floor, releasing a soft chuckle, a moment of frustration penetrating through his outer wall that he had so perfectly created and molded. "I'm fine, thank you for asking." He picked up his head and looked at Jana directly into her eyes, expressing his emotions through the glimmer and intensity simultaneously cast from his eyes. "And don't worry about me, Counselor, I have all the psychological outlets that I need." His voice crescendoed through the statement, a small release of emotion coming through to thunder one last time that he was to be left alone. "I'm more concerned about you and making sure you make an appropriate and speedy recovery." His voice quickly softened and settled into the room as with warmth, as a father speaks to his upset child in order to calm and appease. "I need my Counselor available, not just for the crew that you have expressed a rather large interest in making sure are both well and efficient, but for yourself and the missions that lie ahead."
He sat down on the edge of a chair that was positioned to the right of the couch where Grimsdottir has sunk into. As a statesman and negotiator, the gesture was not lost upon him, nor the further effect of displaying the care and compassion that he had for all of his crew. "This isn't any other assignment, Counselor," he began softly, with the bass of his voice gently scooping the words and flowing them along to her. Sol clasped his hands together in his lap and leaned forward, making the same eye contact as before, but this time, he eyes had a much different intensity. "I don't know the difference between war and peace any longer. In just two weeks since your arrival here from years of training, you are afflicted with a disease no one in the Federation understood and it nearly took your life from you." His hand made a grand gesture as he moved to drive further the intensity in his gaze. "We almost lost our Counselor after two weeks of stepping foot on this base! It's dangerous. It's frightening. And it's why the rest of the Federation is able to put their heads down on their pillows and sleep soundly each night."
Standing, he tugged on his tunic quickly, straightening out the wrinkles. "I need you to rest, Counselor, and recover. We'll talk more then. Consider it an order, if it helps you to do so."
She so desperately wanted to fight for him to sit down, however physical weakness extinguished her desire to do so. Instead, she simply waved him off and cast her gaze downward in defeat. "I cannot argue with the Captain of a space station," she stated in resignation. "But I still request you come see me at a later date." She looked back up at him with tired eyes. "You need to talk to me. If only to let off some steam. I agree that in these times the line between war and peace is muddled, but the line is still there," she let out a cough again, "And I want to help you distinguish that line. I want you to know that you're not alone out here, despite the decorum that you closely associate with your rank. Everything you say here is confidential. Everything." She stood again, clutching the arm of her couch as she tried to steady herself. "As for me?" She hobbled with fragility over to her desk to sit down. "The doctors tell me I'll be fine within the next few weeks. My physiotherapy continues admirably. You needn't worry about my health, Captain. I will be fine."
Sol nodded and let off a soft smile, "I appreciate the offer, Counselor, and I wish you the best in your recovery." With that, he quickly spun on his heel and headed for the door, allowing it close quietly, the air releasing its compulsory swooshing sound in his wake.
Basking in the quiet air of defeat, Kristjana shook her head and rolled her eyes. Looking down at her PADD, she murmured under her breath, "Anzvítið"