SIM:Meanwhile, on the Mercury (Part 3)

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"Ghost Ship" SIMs
Prelude: Meanwhile, on the Mercury

Other SIMs by Rich & Deliera

The events in this SIM occurred on stardate 239106.21.

Meanwhile, on the Mercury (Part 3)

JP by Deliera and Rich

((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Mercury))

Venroe: I’m only concerned with Ensign Hendricks’s conduct, and I do plan on seeing if he requires assistance in any way, as he hasn’t yet come to me despite obvious issues settling in. Other than that, the high majority of your crew is fine.

::The joined Trill shuffled uncomfortably in her captain’s presence. She had meant that the majority of the Mercury’s new crew were seemingly perfectly fine. But Kira still felt . . . lost, really. Tara Mirza, the Mercury’s current CO, simply nodded as she read through the report Kira had prepared earlier on her PADD. Even as a counsellor, the Trill was unable to read what Mirza’s reaction to anything might be.::

Mirza: Excellent, counselor. I have been made aware of the concerns with Mr. Hendricks as well from Commander Evanston.

::She put the PADD down for a moment, glancing at the counselor.::

Mirza: Do you have any insight into what might be the cause of the ensign’s problems? With each graduating class, there are always those who have difficulty transitioning to active starship duty, but I must admit to being puzzled as to how such a stellar cadet’s performance could be so different in the field.

::They *all* were.::

Venroe: To be honest, Captain? I’m not entirely sure. It’s possible there could be an outside source - he’s mentioned once or twice that he’s been pretty stressed but has never explained further, and he’s avoided seeing any of the counselling services aboard the ship.

::The captain frowned, possibly at the quality of her answer.::

Mirza: Well, then I suppose we have little choice. I’ll have Commander Evanston arrange a meeting with Mr. Hendricks and myself. I would appreciate your presence as well, counselor.

Venroe: Captain, I’m not sure that that’s the best way to handle this. You may just end up intimidating him, making the problem worse.

::Not only that, but the Trill didn't really want to be seen as useless in front of both command officers and an Ensign that couldn't seem to keep his problems under control. As much as she’d never really spoken to Hendricks properly, just watching him scramble around the science department was enough to make Kira's own problems worse.::

::Plus, if the two command officers planned on putting Hendricks under the gun, it wouldn't be long until Kira was following him out the door.::

Mirza: I’m not sure if the problem could get any worse, frankly. He’s been frequently late for his shifts, even missing a few entirely. His colleagues have noted that he has reported to his station disheveled. This is behavior I would not tolerate from a first year cadet, let alone a commissioned officer.

::Mirza paused to take a breath and sighed.::

Mirza: That said, I am open to suggestions.

::Aw damn. Now she was in trouble.::

Venroe:::hesitantly.:: I . . . have none.

::This was uncharacteristic of the Trill, and she felt her symbiont squirm a little as she said it. Now she was nervous.::

::The captain smiled finally.::

Mirza: Well, then… 0800 tomorrow morning if you can, counselor.

::Even though it had been said as a suggestion, it really sounded more like a full on order. The captain stood, and headed to the replicator before turning back to Kira.::

Mirza: Would you like some tea?

Venroe: No, thank you.

::Mirza nodded as she retrieved a lone cup, taking a sip as she walked back to her chair.::

Venroe: I need to speak to you about something.

Mirza: ::placing the cup on the desk:: Yes, of course.

Venroe: Ensign Hendricks isn't the only one that’s been having trouble settling in. I've been having trouble as well.

::Don’t get Kira wrong. A nice sturdy promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade with an offer to not just be left on a station somewhere meant that Kira had also transferred to the Mercury along with the rest of the crew. But the last time she’d been aboard, they had been dealing with the Borg.

::She’d never recovered properly, had never been allowed the time to recover properly, and now her *own* sleeping habits were paying the price. So was her relationship, apparently.::

Mirza: ::raises an eyebrow:: Really? I would have thought you of any on the senior staff would have been the most comfortable given your previous service aboard the Mercury.

::She’d been aboard the Mercury as an Operations officer, not a counsellor. She shook her head.::

Venroe: When I was last here, we weren't dealing with anything pleasant. While I’m aware that that’s part of what Starfleet has to do, it’s not what I signed up for. I never got proper recovery time - none of us ever did. Instead I got shipped off back to the Avandar.

::And she was thankful that it had been the Avandar that needed her. She at least came home to some form of comfort.::

Mirza: ::nods:: Unfortunately, as Starfleet officers, we sometimes are called upon to serve before we may think we are ready. That said, your placement aboard this vessel is no accident. Your academy record is excellent, and your previous commanding officers spoke very highly of you in your evaluations.

::Venroe oddly wondered if T’Lea had attempted to sabotage that small fact.::

::Speaking of commanding officers, she’d only ever had three. She didn't even meet two of them face to face. She frowned a little.::

Ethan: oO Take what you can get. Oo

::She would.::

Venroe: I’ll admit myself to be a bit shocked at that. But while I’m flattered, that doesn't change my current mindset. A counsellor of whom has a problem herself is more or less useless to the crew.

Ethan: oO Are you *trying* to get kicked off the ship? Oo

::No . . . maybe . . . No. Definitely not, no. But she needed the captain to know that there was a problem, at least.

::Speaking of the captain, she didn't answer Kira immediately. She instead took another sip of her tea, thinking to herself, her face as unreadable as ever, until she finally glanced away.::

Mirza: You have certainly presented me with an interesting riddle. Who counsels the ship’s counselor? I appreciate your candor. It isn't easy approaching your commanding officer about your own insecurities. I know this myself.

::The captain paused for moment, apparently having decided to try a new approach.::

Mirza: Let me ask you this, Ms. Venroe. Why did you decide to switch back to counseling after what had happened?

Venroe:::with a slight smile.:: You never met the Avandar's History and Archaeology Specialist, did you.

::Highly unlikely Mirza had met *any* of the crew, really. For Kira, T’Lea had definitely been the worst. Kira still had to get her into the counselling office one day, just to feel a little more superior.::

Venroe: I returned to counselling because that’s what the Avandar needed. And since I’m well versed in both departments, it seemed like the logical choice.

Mirza: ::nods:: A fine example of your willingness to serve where you are needed. Well, frankly, counselor, you are needed here on the Mercury likewise - and as a counselor. Mr. Hendricks is proof of that. As you said, he needs help, and my hope tomorrow morning isn’t to frighten him into further withdrawal but to show him directly that help *is* available for him aboard the Mercury. That is why your presence is vital.

::The captain gave a slight smile of understanding.::

Mirza: I suspect that by the end of this mission, you will have found yourself more comfortable within these familiar corridors. Still, I want to ensure that you do get any help that you feel *you* need. If you continue to feel that you’re having trouble, I’d be happy to grant you personal leave when we return to DSX. Does that sound agreeable?

::Something told her she was gonna need it.::

Venroe: Most definitely. I appreciate it.

Mirza: Excellent.

::The captain picked up her PADD again, tapping along possibly to call up a new file.::

Mirza: I’d like to leave you with a few words from one of the recommendations I received for your assignment to the Mercury.

::She read aloud.::

“Despite the stressful situation of Eden, and her own personal struggle against the illusionary dream, Ensign Venroe rose above and beyond usual measures during the short time she remained on the Avandar to assist the crew with all mental health needs. Having witnessed her compassion and selflessness time and time again, I feel fortunate to consider her both a respected colleague and a friend. In short, I believe she would make an excellent addition to the Mercury crew.”

::There was a slight pause as the host and symbiont processed what had just been said.::

Ethan: oO That bastard. Oo

::He was going to pay for this.::

Venroe: I . . . have no words.

Mirza: Well, it seems your colleagues and friends think very highly of you.

Venroe: Romey, I’m guessing, made that recommendation?

::It wasn’t a guess. If Mirza turned around and said it was Vetri, Kira would be extremely surprised. It had been Pouge Romey, now the Mercury’s chief medical officer, that stood beside her (professionally) and assisted with the Eden outcome.::

::And Pouge was quite possibly the only one of the Avandar's crew of whom knew Alleran Tan was Kira's first port of call. Or, really, her last port of call, before leaving the Avandar the first time. That was the “personal struggle” of which he referred . . . though Kira hardly considered it a struggle.

::It really depended on what way you looked at it - sure, it was a struggle if she remembered Dominic and Tracey and the fact that she died after an unsuccessful third attempt at childbirth with Alleran by her side. Those memories were painful, and still cause her emotional pain to this day. But she was making new memories with Alleran now.

::Or had at least *tried* to make new memories with Alleran. The Trill had no idea where she stood with him at the moment. They weren't fighting, but they certainly weren't talking. Last she’d spoken to him . . .

::Oh that was sad. She couldn't *remember* when she’d last spoken to him.::

::The captain offered a smile.::

Mirza: Hmmph, perhaps I have revealed too much already. Such recommendations *are* supposed to be confidential after all. The point is, they and I have confidence in your abilities, counselor. For now, do your best. That’s all I ask, and we can reevaluate at the end of this mission.

Venroe: Aye, Captain.

Mirza: ::nods:: Dismissed. (beat) Oh, and counselor?

::Having already begun to head to the door, Kira turned to again face the captain.::

Venroe: Captain?

Mirza: A troubling thought, I know, but one worth considering… ::she waved the PADD still in her hand:: ...perhaps your friends aren't wrong.


Lieutenant JG Akyra Venroe

Counselor, USS Mercury


Commander Tara Mirza

Commanding Officer, USS Mercury