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Tentative contact

Posted on Fri Aug 2nd, 2019 @ 1:40am by Lieutenant JG Tavana Daughter of Kretorg & Lieutenant Amélie D'Aramitz

Mission: What Stalks The Night
Location: Mess hall

[Earlier]

It was just before Tavana's shift so she rushed to her office, totally absorbed in a report she was reading on her padd at the same time. When she turned the corner near the turbo lift, she didn't notice someone else coming in the opposite direction.

Anyone who may have seen Amélie walking along the corridor would have immediately noticed that she was very clearly distracted, however the problem it seemed was going to be that the other person coming her way was equally distracted.

The two woman bumped into each other head on, Tavana's padd flying off onto the floor. She gripped her ribs reflexively to protect them and twisted her body intentionally hard to the side to shoulder the counselor, causing an additional stumble. It was so fast and subtle that to the untrained eye, it could have been just part of the collision. "Hu'tegh!" she exploded.

"Sorry," Amélie murmured, reaching her hand up to her collar bone where she felt like she'd been hit by a small shuttle. "Sorry, I didn't see you, it was an accident."

"What!? Are you blind!? Stupid Qovpatlh," Tavana exploded again.

Amélie stepped backward, her eyes wide. "I'm sorry," she apologised again, watching as the other woman stormed away angrily, still muttering aggressively. "Is everyone on this ship going to attack me today?" she muttered as she shook her head and started back on her way to her office.

[Now]

After her visit to sickbay, Tavana realised she did need to take better care of her body, even if to keep it resilient enough for her to continue punishing herself. So she decided to go to the mess and have a proper meal for a change. Only when she smelled what the kitchen was cooking up she became aware of how hungry she was. Impatiently she stood waiting for the person in front of her. When her turn came she just indicated "put" and held her plate. By the time she left the counter, she had a substantial meal to be consumed.

As she turned to find a seat, she saw the counselor she collided with and regret flooded her mind. Tavana moved over to her feeling really ridiculously foolish. It was not like her to be that rude and bad mannered. And she was usually quick to admit a mistake and rectify it. "Excuse me, Lieutenant " she said when she reached her, "may I speak to you for a moment?"

Amélie sat at the table in the back corner of the mess hall, a mug of hot chocolate cradled gently between her hands as she stared intently at the PaDD on the table in front of her. It was only as she heard the voice that she looked up, immediately recognizing the woman standing in front of her. "Of course," she said quietly, locking the PaDD and pushing it to the side, motioning for the other woman to take a seat. "Call me Amélie."

At the invitation, Tavana nearly retreated, conflicted. On the one hand she was not ready to speak to anyone, let alone apologize. On the other hand, her conscience wouldn't let her get away with her behavior. She sat down carefully, taking the time to gather her thoughts. She took a deep breath and looked up to meet the counselor eye to eye. "I am Tavana, and I am really sorry about how I behaved earlier. It was uncalled for and rude," she said. The 'it's not like me' and 'I don't know why I reacted like that, I need serious help' type excuses were firmly sealed behind closed lips. Maybe she was a rude closed off person now, maybe it was better for the counselor to think so, so there would be no questions asked. "I will make sure it doesn't happen again," she said ready to get up again.

"It's okay," Amélie said gently. "I do appreciate you taking the time to apologize though. It's nice to know not everyone on this ship is entirely wretched. I haven't met many people here yet, which department are you in?"

"Intelligence..", Tavana began in all seriousness, halting her intention of fleeing away from the interaction with the counselor of all people, and remained seated. But as the irony of the word 'intelligence' in context of her foolish behavior dawned on her, she was not able to suppress the smile that edged the corners of her mouth upwards. The smile developed into a chuckle, which then gained momentum into a full giggle. "I am ....sorry," she said waving her hand in apology as another wave of fresh laughter took hold of her mouth before she could say more in explanation. And of course, the more she thought about it, the funnier it got.

Amélie raised an eyebrow slightly as she watched the other woman dissolve into fits of laughter, such a startling contrast to the anger and vitriol she had seen earlier, a fact that prompted the thought that perhaps this woman was in fact suffering from some kind of split personality disorder. It would certainly explain what she had seen so far. There was clear confusion on the counselors face as she shook her head slightly, picking up her drink and taking a sip. "That's quite okay," she said softly. "Laughter is good for the soul."

Something prickled Tavana's senses and she sobered. "True," Tavana agreed, "I have not laughed since ... " she pursed her lips, and forced the words out, "my crew was lost.." she said quietly. "Once again, sorry," she shrugged. "I needed that," she said as she took a bite of her food, while she thought about how she was going to express what she sensed. She was originally trained as a diplomat before she was trained as an intelligence officer, so for the most part, she was in the habit of thinking how she said something. "Counsellor, I had a psychology major, because we learned to read people. And my Betazoid half helps with that. For a moment there it seemed like you had an evaluative expression. Are you trying to make a diagnoses?" she asked, not confrontational. She kept her voice neutral.

Finding herself laughing suddenly, Amélie shook her head quickly. "I briefly contemplated whether or not you may have some kind of multiple or split personality disorder, that might account for your rather... uh... diverse? behaviors?" she said with a vague smile. "You're not the first person to yell or swear at me today, but you are the first to apologize. The difference in your behavior patterns is startling to say the least," she said softly.

Tavana relaxed and smiled. "Klingon and Betazoid, what do you expect.." she answered with a shrug and a chuckle. She was quite aware that in the absence of the ridges she had had removed and black eyes, if someone did not know her, they could easily see her as human. There was a moment of conflict between staying and leaving, but she had not really spent any time with anyone else for a few weeks. So she stayed. "So you had a tough day...?" she said as she started to eat. A question she knew, would keep the attention away from herself and thus safe.

Taking a sip of her hot chocolate, Amélie grimaced slightly as she realised it was starting to cool. "It's never easy being the most disliked person on the ship," she said with a slight shrug. "I mean, that whole no one likes counselors thing..." She sighed and shook her head. 'Yeah, it's been a rough day."

"My cousin is a counselor, and she complained often that people thought she was 'working', making observations about them, even when she was not. It took a while for them to realize she was just a person also," Tavana commented, thinking about Aryen.

"It's kind of true," Amélie shrugged and pushed the mug away, leaning back in her seat. "Your cousin would know being a counselor is a tough job, we certainly don't do it for the pay or the appreciation, we do it because we care about the people around us. Maybe one day more people will start to realise that." She paused and offered a small smile. "Intel, that must be interesting. I've met a few intel officers previously, you all seem to have rather 'colorful' personalities? Is that a job requirement?"

Between bites of her food Tavana smiled. "Actually I was trained as a Diplomatic Officer at the academy, and I was pretty good at it, on a Klingon ship that is. There everyone had 'colorful' personalities," she chuckled, "even the Starfleet people...you had to be otherwise you wouldn't have made it..." The initial mirth in her voice trailed off to a more sober tone as it just brought back painful memories. She forced a quick smile. "But then we engaged the Kzinti and there was a war so no need for diplomacy. I received field training as an intel officer. I guess I had the 'personality' for it so I stuck with it. Now I enjoy it," she explained, keeping her tone as light as possible. "So.. long story short, I can easily dethrone you as most disliked person on the ship..." she said with mock pride.

Amélie laughed and shook her head. "I'll tell you what, let's not put that one to the test?" she said lightly. "I can tell you from personal experience, people around here bite, and hard." She shook her head and then glanced down at the small, delicate watch on her wrist. "Oh nuts," she exclaimed, gathering up her PaDD. "I need to go, I'm sorry, I have an appointment with the new First Officer." She slid to the edge of the booth and cast another glance at Tavana. "Maybe we could talk again later? Strictly socially, I promise," Amélie said with a slight hint of hopefulness in her voice.

Tavana smiled. "Sounds good, we can do that," she said, feeling a bit better than she had been feeling over the last few weeks.

OFF

 

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