Chapter 1 - Inquiry of the Counselor

Njessa reviewed the personnel file, the new counselor was a reactivated reservist, she understood the feeling.  But his bill of health was good and his record solid and a counselor was a vital part of the ship’s crew.  Time to get to meet him, she glanced at the time display, he should arrive anytime now.


Kyle felt his footsteps treading through the hall, one after another, on his way to finally meet the Captain. It had been a while since he had worn the full uniform and could feel the pull of it against his shoulders, as his mind was preoccupied with just what kind of Captain he was about to serve under. Sure he’d read her file, he’s read most of the crew’s files at least once over at this point with too long of a shuttle ride finally in his past. But he had found that just reading one’s files didn’t actually amount much when meeting said person, a file can’t tell what’s true or false, just what’s been recorded. Kyle stopped in front of Captain Azjure’s office, just right on the dot of his expected arrival, he rang her door.


“Enter,” said Njessa, shutting off all of the holographic displays.  “Welcome aboard the Tanjura, Counselor.  May I get you something to drink?”

Kyle nodded his head at her welcome, “thank you Captain, one water will do for me.” Taking the few seconds of Njessa’s back being turned at the replicator to size up her office. Large and seemingly bare, he wonders if she would be the kind to collect souvenirs or if it’s all possibly kept in her room. His inner monologue is cut short when she hands him his drink, another nod of acknowledgement. 


“I hope the Tanjura is not too much of a shock, it is a new style of ship from what you are probably used to,” she said with a smile.  “Honestly, it is new to everyone so be at ease.  We will learn it together.”


“I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest ship nut out there,” a soft chuckle interrupting his own thought, “but I can tell that we’ve got a fine one here.” Kyle takes a sip of water, “besides it’s not the ship we’re just gonna have to learn but each other as well.” 


The Andorian nodded.  “Yes, that is very true.  To my way of thinking it is the crew that makes the ship.  Though the Tanjura built in the shipyards above Andoria, I have every confidence in.  One must have planetary pride after all.”  She smiled and gestures for him to have a seat.


“The Tanjura’s crew are likely to be a test for any Counselor, we will have other reservists like you, civilian transfers, even a few freshly minted officers,” she said.  “They will all have conflicts and doubts and I hope you will be able to help them overcome their conflicts and settle in as a crew.”


Kyle followed suit, sat across from his now Captain. He was almost assured of the surge of pride she must’ve felt when given this news. It’s not often a Captain gets a ship so closely tied to them, a part of him wondered if she was a loud celebrator; he sat up straighter. “Well, I must admit that even while on reserve I did keep busy, over the years I’ve had a mix of clients that have certainly paved the way for this.” 


Moved his drink to his left hand and gestured with the right, “and there is a terrific thing that happens when mixed company meets I find- I find that’s when a lot of things suddenly become… possible.” 


There’s a small spark in his eyes, like good memories and memories that are good because they became memories. “I agree with you wholeheartedly that the crew is what makes the ship, and it’s not going to be easy at first, but I am prepared to do what I can to help.” Finally finished out his thought, averted his eyes away after that little burst, and took a drink.


“I am glad to hear that, I just did not want to minimize the work ahead,” said Njessa.  “As you are aware, many of the roles that would usually be filled by enlisted crew are performed by holograms.  Most people do not have a problem with that but some will, Grimwade’s Syndrome as I believe it is known, is caused by the lack of body language and other non-verbal cues from the holograms.  If it becomes a problem, one of my colleagues in Operations has a solution, which gives the standard holograms a basic personality overlay.  I do not wish to immediately step out of the basic framework that Starfleet has given for the Inquiry-class but if you think it would be wise, we can slowly begin implementation.”


He furrowed his brow, and contemplated for a second. “Hmm, well I don’t quite remember seeing any confirmed reports of it but that doesn’t dismiss it either.”


Faced with the Andorian sat before him, tried to think back on his own experiences with the Holograms. He was no stranger to them, afterall he could think of a few critical moments where an Emergency Medical Hologram came in clutch. No, Kyle himself would say he’s fine with Holograms but something seemingly small like this can balloon into something bigger with other crew members… 


He turned his head to place his stubbled chin in his grasp, “A slow implementation makes sense, it would give a chance to see the crews reactions to both- I see no need to suddenly change it if there’s a chance it won’t truly be an issue.” He swirled his water around the bottom of the glass, a part of his mind still contemplating the question.

“Besides, there may be a chance we come across someone who doesn’t use our kind of body language, I do think the crew should be at least acquainted with the concept of working with those who don’t talk the same way we do.”


“An interesting observation,” said Njessa.  “Though it seems that there is more we could do with that idea.”  She shook her head.  “Something for the future.”


“I was cleared on Andoria for my command, but if you wish me to attend a counseling session, I am at your disposal,” she said.  “Feel free to reach out to the crew already aboard to see if any are in need of your services.  We should by on our way for our shakedown cruise in the next two weeks as soon as the rest of the crew arrives.“


“ I should have asked earlier, but how do you prefer to be addressed?  Counselor?  Doctor?  Lieutenant?”


He nodded along, “I do think an introductory session wouldn’t hurt, at least have a foundation for us to start on should you ever need my services. And Counselor is just fine, if I hear Lieutenant I’ll assume it’s trouble.” A quiet chuckle at his own joke, and a half wink. 


‘So far so good’, he thought. The small nerves from earlier started to dissipate, he stood up and placed his glass inside of the replicator. “In the meantime I’ll get myself more acquainted with the ship and her crew.” 


Njessa gave a small smile and nodded.  “Unless you have any other questions, consider yourself dismissed, Counselor.”


Kyle grinned back at her, “Thank you, Captain. I look forward to this journey.” Before he turned and left.


Njessa leaned back in her chair.  He should do, she thought.