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Posted on Thu May 21st, 2020 @ 1:28am by Lieutenant Seleya Qellar PhD & Jerant van Rijn

Mission: In the Family
Location: Counselor's Office

Seleya entered the chief counselor's office without any warning, carrying the engineering kit she'd brought with her. She seemed genuinely surprised to find that the room wasn't vacant.

"What are you doing here?"

Jerant whirled around to face the newcomer. "I could ask you the same," he bit back, more annoyed at being surprised than the intrusion itself.

"You could," she confirmed. And then just stared at him. "Well?"

"What is your business in the chief counselor's office," Jerant countered boldly, fully aware that as a civilian he probably shouldn't be challenging a full lieutenant.

"My business is the chief engineer's business," Seleya said, then leaned forward, "What's your business in the chief counselor's office?"

Jerant drew himself up, though he tilted his head a fraction as he listened to the woman speak. "I'm the chief counselor's aide, so technically this is my office too," he then answered, in fairly accented Rihannsu. "Plus if he's not in session, or even on the ship, I get to use it as work space." He chuckled ever so slightly. "I'm Jerant van Rijn, chief counselor's aide, as I just said."

"Oh, the Vulcan's lackey. I'd forgotten about you," Seleya replied in Rihannsu, as if she was remembering something she'd seen earlier. "You weren't dispatched with him? I thought he was helpless without you."

"Vulcan huh? Oh he's not helpless and they didn't want any more men on that party." Jerant continued to grin. "If you think he's Vulcan, you didn't do your homework ma'am. I thought Romulans were more thorough than that. Though... if you forgot about me, than I'm doing my job right. I'm not supposed to be noticed when I'm working."

"I'm quite thorough with my homework. He's Vulcan," she said, curling a lip slightly. It was commentary on his upbringing, which she evidently found distasteful. Seleya knelt down to an access port near the door and popped the panel off it. She began unpacking her engineering kit with her back to him - a sign from a Romulan that she didn't consider him a threat. "And it could be that you're simply forgettable, Mister... What was it now? von Rhine?"

"Van Rijn yes," the Betazoid corrected automatically, watching the woman's back. "It could be, certainly, but that's the way it is. An interpreter isn't supposed to be noticed, attention should be on Savin and not me." He shrugged. "He may be raised Vulcan, but he certainly isn't. He finding his way now between how he was raised, and his true origin which would've had him murdered if his parents hadn't fled."

That piqued her interest enough to cause her to look over her shoulder. "They were enemies of the state?"

"Well..." Jerant hesitated, watching her closely. "They're telepaths, they bore a telepathic and hearing impaired child. What would you have done? I don't know those details of course, Savin hasn't really spoken with his parents about it. All he knows, and that's what he told me, is that his parents fled to save his life." The Betazoid shrugged. "From what I've been told here and there, telepathic Romulans usually end up working for the Tal Shiar, and deficiencies are frowned upon. So a telepathic and deaf child, from what I've been told, would've been a liability."

"An impaired child is a liability," Seleya said, adding after a pause, "in Romulan society. It's a wonder the pregnancy wasn't terminated by the state. Perhaps his telepathic abilities are sufficient enough to have him classified as an asset."

"Oh his telepathic ability is excellent, well as touch telepath anyway. Though him and I can communicate without touch but we grew up together. Don't let him fool you, he's capable of hiding his handicap, through years of practice. All he needs is a telepath to help him out, and no-one is any the wiser. I'm his assistant, when he's got bridge duty, or away team missions, I'm usually there. Just not this time as they didnt want any more men on the team." He snorted. "Like I'd want anything from a woman."

"I'll keep that in mind the next time you file a work order," Selaya said with a smirk.

"Oh you misunderstand," Jerant chuckled as he watched her work. "I get along fine with women... it's just that they don't do anything for me. Now give me a good looking man...." He smirked. "What's the work order for anyway?"

"There isn't one," she replied as she closed up the open panel and got to her feet. "Routine preventive maintenance. While your boss is on the surface bungling the diplomatic mission, I'm taking the opportunity of downtime to make sure all departmental systems are operating efficiently."

"I see. Well while you're here, maybe you can install a strobe indicator or something akin to that? Since he won't hear the chime if someone's calling, he needs something, right?" Jerant smirked at her. "I'm not always here to let him know."

"How has he functioned up to this point? Do other facilities and starships make accommodations for him?"

"Strobe lights and a vibration in the desk and bed to alert him in case of visitors or emergency. While him and I have a special bond, I'm not always available to alert him to things. I do have my own life to lead and my own off duty time. I'm his aide and friend, not his keeper."

"I'll create a work order and have one of the engineering staff check Federation accessibility standards so that we can make the appropriate concessions for him. I'll assign a crewman for the installation," Seleya said, underscoring how such a simple matter might be beneath her station. On her PADD, she began inputting information into the work order, speaking as she did so, "The Imperial Navy would not have allowed Savin to serve. He would be considered an impediment to the effective operation of their vessels." She glanced up briefly to gauge the reaction to her antagonism. "It's good that he's found a path of service in Starfleet's more accommodating culture."

"Well fortunately for him then that the Federation and Starfleet accept him as he is.," Jerant shot back, "because I think he would've been miserable serving the Tal Shiar, if not having been killed already for being himself." He paused. "He's my best friend, and I'd do anything for him. You don't know him, but he does his best to help all who need it. Even you."

She openly scoffed at that, glancing up from the PADD briefly. "He can save his energy for the rest of the crew. I need the bare minimum of the lieutenant's mental health services."

"Hah," Jerant scoffed, "what makes you so different? Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on once in a while, even a Romulan."

"Consider it an impairment," Seleya said as she closed out the work order and gathered her things to depart. "A technician should be here by the end of the day to see to Lieutenant Savin's accommodations. It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. van Rijn."

"And you ma'am," Jerant answered, "thank you."

Jerant van Rijn
Interpreter/Counselor's Aide
pnpc Savin

Lieutenant Seleya Qellar, PhD
Chief Engineer
USS Athena


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