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Saoir's Counseling Session [Tag Nyman]

Posted Oct. 13, 2023, 11:18 a.m. by Lieutenant Todd Nyman (Chief Counselor) (Ava Henson)

Posted by Ensign Saoir (Transporter/Security) in Saoir’s Counseling Session [Tag Nyman]

Posted by Lieutenant Todd Nyman (Chief Counselor) in Saoir’s Counseling Session [Tag Nyman]

Posted by Ensign Saoir (Transporter/Security) in Saoir’s Counseling Session [Tag Nyman]
Posted by… suppressed (12) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Saoir, the solitary Kelpian aboard the USS Leviathan, found himself adrift in the sea of isolation on the vast starship. He had always been reserved, even among his own kind, but the feeling of not belonging intensified among the diverse crew of the Federation vessel. To make matters worse, his primary duty as a Starfleet officer and the unofficial rule enforcer on the ship tasked him with pointing out inefficiencies the crew displayed in the rules and regulations and reporting them to the XO or CO. This added to the distance between him and his shipmates. Many perceived him as overbearing, given his constant vigilance in observing their actions and interactions. But Saoir’s intentions were rooted in his commitment to duty, rather than any personal desire to be distant. He understood that trust needed to be earned, but this realization did little to ease his growing sense of isolation.

One day, Saoir mustered the courage to seek help from the ship’s counselor, Lieutenant Nyman. As he stood outside the counselor’s office, a flood of conflicting emotions washed over him. He didn’t trust the counselor, but he couldn’t pinpoint the reasons behind this mistrust. However, he was the ship’s counselor and was the only one he could talk to in confidence.

The Lieutenant, meanwhile, was in the middle of checking the water quality of Maslow’s vivarium and expressing his concerns to the turtle. As it was presumably just them in the locked office, he was undisguised, but still wearing the uniform out of convenience.

“I don’t quite know what the Captain thinks of me yet,” he thought aloud.

With a deep breath, Saoir pressed the chime and waited to enter the room.

Saoir, Transporter Op/Security

“Maybe I should try-” Nyman’s thought was interrupted by the chime. He took a moment to set the test kit down in a way that wouldn’t interrupt readings.
After a quick transformation and adjusting his uniform, Nyman took a few steps toward the door. Calling out, “Come.”, triggered the door to unlock for Ensign Saoir.

~~~ Lieutenant Nyman, Counselor

Saoir entered the counselor’s office, his demeanor a mix of nervousness and determination. He cleared his throat before speaking. “Lieutenant Nyman, I hope I’m not disturbing you. I’ve been feeling a bit… disconnected lately. I thought maybe talking to someone might help.”

Saoir, Transporter Op/Security

“No, no, you didn’t disturb me at all.” Nyman said, beckoning with his hand for the Ensign to come in further.

“Come in and have a seat.” he continued, gesturing to the wall opposite the turtle terrarium.

Taking up the upper section of that wall were shelves of pottery and ceramics. Against the lower half of the wall were both a large backless ottoman and some sort of pillow-like armchair facing one another. In between them was a short wedge-shaped side table. Finally, the area was sectioned off with a colorful shag rug with shades of blue and green. Nyman was quite pleased with the set up of his new client area. This arrangement made it feel much less like and interrogation room.

“Is there anything I can get for you, Ensign?” he asked, walking over to the replicator.

~~~ Lieutenant Nyman, Counselor

Saoir declined the replicator’s offer with a slight shake of his head, finding a comfortable seat. His gaze was momentarily captivated by the turtle terrarium, offering him a moment’s respite.

After retrieving a glass of water from the replicator, Nyman sat across from Saoir and gave them his full attention.

Taking a deep breath, a whirlwind of thoughts raced through his mind as he deliberated how much to share with the new counselor. A sudden impulse led him to blurt out, “I’ve always grappled with feeling like an outsider, even among my fellow Kelpians. But now, aboard this starship, surrounded by a tapestry of different species and cultures, that sense of isolation has grown more pronounced.” He paused, collecting his thoughts before continuing, “You see, my species has only just begun to join Starfleet as officers. We’re a rare presence. I often find myself yearning for another Kelpian around—a connection that might bridge the gap I feel. It’s quite different for you, I imagine, being a human and part of a species you encounter daily.”

Saoir, Transporter Op/Security

“Okay,” Nyman said softly, affirming Saoir’s thoughts with a nod.

He tried to ignore the heaviness building in his own chest. This reaction to sadness was something he had inherited from his human form. Nyman understood what it meant to feel alone, even with others around. It was something he had been dealing with since he was forced to leave his homeworld. Right now, however, he had to focus on his crewmate’s feelings.

“So even though you’ve felt like an outsider before, this sense of isolation is growing.” he continued, “And you want to develop a connection with someone, another of your own species, to fill this gap.”

These statements seemed more like questions in tone, and he paused afterward to see Saoir’s reaction.

“That’s understandable,” he added reassuringly, “Forming connections is important, especially when we feel alone.”

~~~ Lieutenant Nyman, Counselor

Saoir’s shoulders relaxed as he felt a glimmer of understanding in Nyman’s response. He nodded slowly, appreciating the counselor’s empathy. “Yes, exactly,” he replied, his voice carrying a mixture of relief and vulnerability. “I’ve always believed in the power of unity, of bridging the differences between species. But sometimes, I can’t help but long for that familiarity only another Kelpian could provide.”
Saoir’s gaze shifted to the starscape visible through the window, his mind wandering as he continued speaking, “I suppose I’ve always carried that responsibility, to be a beacon of possibility for my people. But there’s a fragility in being a pioneer too. What if I fail to forge these connections?”

Saoir, Transporter Op/Security

“That can be a difficult thought to consider.” Nyman said.

He paused to take a drink of water. He needed that time to really process what the Ensign was saying, without getting caught up in his own feelings. While being empathetic is crucial, so is not going so far as to project his own fears involved in being a ‘pioneer’ for his species.

“On the one hand, you seem very willing and wanting to make those connections, to contribute to bridging those differences. But there are also these feelings of fragility and lacking familiarity. When you think about your attempts to connect with others, what other emotions come to mind?”

~~~ Lieutenant Nyman, Counselor

Saoir leaned back in his chair, his fingers lightly tapping on the armrest. He let out a contemplative sigh before responding, “It’s a mix of excitement and apprehension. When I engage with other species, there’s this undeniable thrill of discovery and learning. Every interaction feels like an opportunity to broaden perspectives, to build understanding. But then there’s this lingering fear of misunderstanding or inadvertently causing offense. The weight of representing not just myself but my entire people sometimes feels overwhelming.”

He turned his gaze back to Nyman, his expression a blend of determination and vulnerability. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I embrace the role I’ve taken on, there are moments when I question if I’m up to the task. What if I inadvertently reinforce stereotypes or fail to live up to the ideals I’ve set? Those thoughts can be paralyzing.”

Saoir’s fingers tightened slightly on the armrest, his voice softer as he added, “I want to be that bridge, that beacon of unity, but I’m afraid of stumbling and falling short.”

Saoir, Transporter Op/Security

Lieutenant Nyman continued to pay attention, nodding along with what Saoir was saying. He took note of the slight tension in the Ensign’s body language, which echoed his spoken sentiments about fear and being overwhelmed. The fact that he both recognized this in himself, and was willing admit it, was a good step toward finding the solution to his problem.

“You’ve seemed to put a lot of responsibility on yourself,” Nyman responded,

“This fear of falling short of expectations, or making mistakes, it looks like is getting in the way of what you want to accomplish. Perhaps getting in the way of making meaningful connections with others?”

~~~ Lieutenant Nyman, Counselor

Saoir let out a rueful chuckle, his shoulders relaxing slightly. “You’ve hit the nail on the head, Lieutenant. It’s as if I’ve crafted this pedestal for myself, and now I fear tumbling from it. I understand it’s irrational to expect constant perfection, yet it remains a struggle to hold onto that perspective.”

Avoiding Nyman’s gaze until now, he finally met his eyes. “You’re correct, and I value your insights. The reason I joined was to form connections. Perhaps it’s time I shift my focus to the journey, the learning, and the growth, instead of fixating solely on the end result.” He folded his hands together. “Nonetheless, it won’t be easy. I’m labeled as the ‘snitch,’ and people hesitate to interact with me unless it’s official business. There’s a fear that I’ll reveal their secrets or point out their inappropriate behavior when the Captain isn’t present. Most of it is trivial, but I’ve always believed Starfleet officers should maintain professionalism even off-duty. I’m discovering that’s not always the reality.”

Saoir, Transporter Op/Security

Nyman took note of the way Saoir’s was perking up more, which was a good sign. The counselor couldn’t help but return a genuine smile, probably the first one since being onboard. Though too, in the back of his mind, storing that little bit of information on the Ensign’s reputation.

“I think you made a good point about shifting your focus toward growing and learning, rather than just the results. I think that kind of attitude might really help.” Nyman commended,

“I know it’s not always an easy point to start from when you have a this kind of reputation. I sense you’re not necessarily happy with it either. Maybe we can discuss that next, or in another session, if that’s okay with you?”

~~~ Lieutenant Nyman, Counselor

Saoir nodded, appreciating Nyman’s understanding and encouragement. “That sounds like a good plan, Lieutenant. I believe discussing my reputation and ways to improve it would be beneficial. It’s clear that I need to work on rebuilding trust among my fellow crew members. And if there’s any advice you can offer on how to navigate this situation, I’d greatly appreciate it.”

As they continued their conversation, Saoir couldn’t help but steer it toward the topic that had been occupying his thoughts lately. “Speaking of learning and growth, I have to admit something, Lieutenant. I’ve been watching Captain Henao closely, not just because she’s our commanding officer, but because I admire her leadership and professionalism. It’s not just her rank that draws my attention; it’s her charisma, her dedication, and her ability to handle even the most challenging situations with grace.”

Saoir paused for a moment, his cheeks slightly flushed. “I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I find her truly inspiring. It’s not something I’ve ever experienced before, and it’s… well, it’s a bit distracting, to be honest.” He chuckled softly, a hint of self-deprecation in his tone.

Saoir, Transporter Op/Security

Hints of unease broke through Nyman’s professional demeanor. A stifled gasp, a slightly raised brow. He took another drink of water to gather his thoughts. If Saoir was really implying what the counselor thought he was, it was going to be difficult.

“I agree that Captain Henao has many admirable qualities,”he started.

The counselor had to remind himself not to let any assumptions about what the Ensign meant color his thinking. It wasn’t his method to tell others what they were feeling anyway, but to help them realize it for themselves. Part of that was helping them put it in explicitly into words.

“You mention how she is inspiring to you, yet you also talked about being ‘distracted’. I can’t help but wonder if there are some other feelings at play here.”

~~~ Lieutenant Nyman, Counselor

Saoir, feeling somewhat flustered, paused to gather his thoughts before speaking. “Yes, Lieutenant, there are other feelings, and they’re rather perplexing to me. You see, I’ve never found myself attracted to humans, particularly human females....uh…females of any species. I did experience a brief distraction when Lieutenant Osedi arrived on the ship. Probably because he was nice to me and seemed to respect my job and all I do on the ship, but my thoughts inevitably returned to Captain Henao. It’s not just admiration; it feels like… well, I’m not entirely sure, but I have to admit it’s more than just a professional respect.”

He began to fidget with his uniform excessively, his normally blue skin showing a faint tinge of green. “I’ve attempted to understand these emotions, to push them out of my mind, but it’s proven to be quite a challenge. I take great pride in performing my duties meticulously and maintaining a constant focus on professional thoughts, but this situation has truly confounded me. It’s as if my mind has malfunctioned. I’m hoping you can assist me in resolving it,” he admitted, his gaze fixed on Nyman. “I must request utmost confidentiality in this matter. Nobody can know this.”

Saoir, Transporter Op/Security

Nyman’s head tilted slightly. When he had first taken Theo’s form, creating the empathetic bond, it was before he was married. Afterwards, the counselor just never got around to learning about romantic attraction, outside of academics. Even though he didn’t understand Saoir’s attraction, however, the need for confidentiality was more than relatable. With a warm smile he reassured him,

“Of course, there is no reason anything you have told me should leave this office.”

He contemplated, as a passing thought: All it would take was one light tap on the shoulder. He could understand exactly what Saoir meant. The Ensign wouldn’t even have to know.

Glancing down, he noticed one of his hands resting on the table between them. He pulled it back, bringing both centered in his lap.

“It seems that it’s been difficult to keep these personal emotions and professional thoughts separate. This conflict is effecting you.”

{bump}


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