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Backpost -- Medical Meets Counseling

Posted on Wed Jan 15th, 2020 @ 8:05pm by Lieutenant Nimeeh Vixil

Mission: What Stalks The Night
Location: Counselor's Offices
Timeline: Backpost - 1 Week-ish

Despite her determination to learn her way around the ship, the sheer size of it meant that walking anywhere was still a daunting prospect aboard the Dreadnought. Thankfully, Nim's intended destination this time was definitely within an easily memorable distance - the Counselling offices; on the same deck as Medical, just a casual five minute stroll along the corridor.

Walking through the doors, the trill let out a low whistle. "Wow," she exclaimed softly. "They certainly went all out didn't they?" she asked, of no one in particular.

Lt. Zanti had been engaged in hushed conversation with an aide who was seated behind the welcome counter, but looked up and smiled upon the good doctor. “This is your first visit to Dreadnought’s brainy healing center, Doctor Nimeeh? An egregious oversight on my part; I should have invited you to stop by long ago.” Zeri Zanti moved to stand near the Doctor. “What brings you to the Counseling Department this afternoon?”

Nim smiled and held out her hand politely. "Call me Nim," she said warmly. "I thought, given that I expect our departments will be working closely together, that I should at least take a few moments to introduce myself. Lieutenant Nimeeh Vixil. Vixil is the symbiont and the only person that calls me Nimeeh is my mother. Sorry, I didn't think to look your name up before I came calling."

“Ah, a joined Trill - how delightful.” The Counselor shook hands and her own were warm by comparison to the doctor’s. Zeri couldn’t help herself; her eyes lingered on Nim’s stomach for a time. She tried to imagine how that worked; having a second lifeform - and it’s associated size and mass - positioned in her abdomen. Zeri felt like she couldn’t even eat an extra bite without it instantly showing on her tummy, but that may have been her own insecurity and low margins for obscuring any additional girth. Zeri stepped back and clasped her hands at her waist. “Forgive me for staring. I just find the Trill joining process utterly fascinating.”

Nim laughed. "Honestly, it's okay. Most people are curious about it. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. I'm happy to answer, and it might help sate your curiosity."

Zeri raised an eyebrow. “You may regret extending such an offer. However, if you are serious? Please call me Zeri unless I’m in trouble.” She looked towards her office, the first and nearest to the main entry, and beckoned the doctor to follow. “May I interest you in a glass of molecularly rearranged aqueous material? My replicator replicated a culinary degree and conferred upon itself many honorary titles of achievement and recognition.”

"You know what, I'd love a caramel mocha if that's not too much trouble? The replicator makes a very passable example," Nim said with a smile as they headed toward the Chief Counselor's office.

“Then we shall evaluate the replicator’s potable artistry together. But I must admit, I am simply a stooge for anything sweet, so I may not have the most exacting standards. I will ask that you pass the final verdict.” In her office now, Zeri plunged down onto a low couch and with a pat, indicated that Nim should join her. “Please, have a seat, Doctor.”

When Nim joined her on the couch, Zeri continued. “In this way, Vixil is the symbiont and Nimeeh is your - host name? Did Nimeeh have a last name prior to the joining?”

"Vixil is the symbiont. Before being joined I was Nimeeh Marchia. After being joined I became Vixil."

“An interesting correlation. It is almost a marriage between the two of you, then? Before matrimony, I was just Zeri. No last name; none was ever needed on Ba'ku. After ‘being joined’ I became Zeri Zanti. My companion is deceased and departed, but I continue holding onto his name. It’s probably silly, but it brings me comfort.”

Nim laughed softly. "I guess that's one way of looking at it. But it's not really matrimony, it's more like a shared cohabitation of my body?" she posed, contemplating over the term. "I have all of Vixil's thoughts and memories and I recall everything from every lifetime it's had, which has all kind of become incorporated into mine. It's a strange experience. Imagine going to sleep when you absolutely LOVE coffee, but waking up and just the taste of it makes you violently ill? No warning, no nothing, just...no more coffee. And here's a hundred memories of why you can't drink it, none of which actually physically involve you."

"Hmmm it sounds much the same as growing old. I have the memories and - appetites - of my youth, but they’re all stuck in this body that ages everyday.” Zeri playfully thumped her own left knee. “Would you believe, my left knee actually popped this morning getting off of bed and part of me didn’t even find it untimely.”

Nim laughed softly and shook her head. "I can only imagine that it must be doubly frustrating for you, given the uniqueness of your physiology when you're on your own homeworld." She asked, "Does the aging side of it bother you?"

“If you’re asking do I look forward to grey hairs and frequent stops to the lavatory, the answer is a resounding no.” Zeri considered the question then shifted on the couch. “Aging is a part of life, even the Ba'ku know this. But we do not associate aging with growing old as you off-worlders do; as we off-worlders do. It is the uniqueness of the planetary ring structure, and not the Ba'ku physiology, that make such a long life possible. The extraordinary metaphasic radiation of the planet’s rings facilitate continual healing; there appear to be no limits to the cycle of cell division going on inside of the body or diminishment in the length of a cell's telomeres. It is a rudimentary form of dynamic stasis. We do not suffer from the illness, physical ailments or detrimental implications of humanoid physiology; such as aging, cancer or genetic defects - ensuring our bodies are at the most perfect state that their genetic code can possibly attain. It is not an endless life, but a repression of the body’s aging process past the point of early adulthood; a prolonged youth that will remain in that condition until forces outside of time act to circumvent the conditions that brought us to such a state. Move just a short distance from the planet and the effects of the metaphasic radiation drop off rapidly. Even the fountain of youth can do no more than stave off the aging process; it cannot reverse time, though it can restore some of the well-being associated with youth, and allow the body’s genetic code to reimplement itself in the case of injuries or missing limbs.” Zeri pointed at her ocular implants with their unusual orange hue by way of emphasis. They’d been put in during her first year aboard Outpost 40, when she’d been off-world for only a few months. She’d suffered a loss of vision as a result of childhood injury, or rather she would have were it not for the regenerative effects of the planet, so treatment was unnecessary until she left the Ba'ku planet at the age of 36. “My eyes grow back during each visit home, but the body has a way of remembering each of its states and when I leave Ba'ku the injuries reassert themselves. Time catches up to each of us.”

Zeri did a little drum beat on her knees and crawled up from the depths of the couch. “Which is why we must consume caffeinated caramel mocha; to restore that much needed vigor.” She moved over to the replicator and patted it affectionately. “My good friend Replicator; two caramel mochas, extra drizzle, if you would be so kind.” The console worked its technological magic and delivered two identical beverages on a simple metallic tray. Zeri collected the refreshments, ignoring the tray, and returned to the couch.

As the warm drink was handed to her, Nim laughed and nodded. "Indeed, and where would we be without them," she asked as she cradled the mug carefully, blowing across the top before taking a sip.

“I take your point, but if I had not discovered the delicacies of the Replicator, I suspect my uniform would fit less trim and I would still be able to squeeze into the same size dress I would have back on Ba'ku, not that they have such attire or need for it. Farmers and artisans…” Zeri waved her hand dismissively, perhaps indicative of her thoughts towards the worth of such an agrarian lifestyle. “Even so, I don’t know what I’d do if I woke up one day to find myself allergic to chocolate. A life without it would feel so...bleak.”

Nim laughed. "I say every night that I'm going to get up in the morning and go for a run or go to the gym. You know what? I stay in my PJ's for an extra hour and eat a bowl of coco pops instead," she said with a grin. "Life is short, nothing is guaranteed. It might be a case of a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips, but at least it will be a lifetime worth living!"

“Life is short,” Zeri conceded with a salute of her cup. “I have not vowed to wake up for a run since my Academy days - Starfleet Academy, not Medical - but I will make time for dancing and posture, breathing exercises practiced to achieve control of the body and mind, tranquillity, and so forth. I only mean to say, we must all do our part. But what I don’t understand is how our top scientific minds have managed to design and build warp cores producing outputs in excess of 12.75 billion gigawatts per second, yet we have not contrived a means to arrange a confectionary treat or sugar bomb draft without also packing in the calories. This is the 24th Century, Doctor; I had hoped for a dietary miracle from our Medical staff by now.” Zeri gave Nim a friendly wink to let her know it was all in good fun.

Nim laughed and shook her head. "Oh, I'm afraid there are some things that even us medical miracle makers can't resolve." She took one last sip of her drink and sighed contentedly. "Speaking of medical miracle makers, I probably should make an attempt to get back to the grind. You know how it is; the moment you turn your back, all hell breaks loose!" She held her finished coffee mug carefully. "Thank you, for the coffee, and the chat. It's been enjoyable."

Zeri rose and took the mug from her guest. “It was my pleasure, Nim. You and I do not know one another nearly well enough so I expect we should do this more often. I always enjoy looking for indicators of a shared humanity among we species who aren’t even human and I will always have time for you. Please, allow me to walk you out.”

And true to her offer, the Counselor did guide the Doctor from the counseling suite and out into the hallway where she turned a friendly smile, a tender wave, and pointed to the right. When the doors swished shut Zeri spun and approached her aide who was sitting behind the welcome counter. “Did I get that correct, Jolene? Is the main sickbay that way, to the right?”

“Very nearly, Zeri,” the young aide offered in that supportive way that only a truly green behind the ear Ensign could pull off. “The most direct path would have been to the left, but Doctor Vixil will get there eventually, I have no doubt.”

“Haha, very funny.” But Zeri was not upset in the least. She headed back to her office and stopped at the door. “Someone please sweep up the Zen Playground.”

From four of the office doors spaced out down the double-header hallways came the reply in unison, “Not it!”

“Thank you, Jolene. That’s very kind of you. When you’re done you can cut out early and feel free to take one of the tribbles with you for the evening. They are no trouble at all. Or...very nearly.” Zeri gave the aide a playful wink and disappeared behind the closed door of her office.

 

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