“You must think I’m really sick,” Annie said. She was the one sitting at the counseling office’s high-top table, while Counselor Elegy Weld was partially reclined on the chaise lounge. Through tears, Annie said to Elegy, “My mother died. Killed by the storm. And yet all I can talk about is the dog I left behind.”
Shaking his head at her assumptions, Elegy replied, “I don’t know you yet Annie. I’m here to listen, not to judge. When you tell me stories about your dog, where do you think that energy is coming from?” He watched Annie closely as her eyes upturned to the overhead, likely pondering his questions.
Before she could answer, the sound of the door chime filled the office. Bemused by the interruption, Elegy sat upright quickly and he rose to his feet. As he moved towards the door, Elegy requested, “I’ll only be away for a moment. Keep painting your portrait of the dog. I want to see what she looks like.” He was mindful to use the present tense; no one could know for certain if Annie’s dog would survive the storm, back on the colony. Not yet.
The double doors slid apart for Elegy as he approached and he stepped out into the passageway, far enough to let the doors close behind him. “Good morning, I’m Counselor Weld,” he said to the woman who was waiting for him.
An older woman who came up only to Elegy’s shoulders, regarded him with a raised eyebrow. “Oh! So you have a weeping client in your office now? Where can I wait to talk to you once she’s done? I simply MUST talk to you right away!” She tilted her head up to wait for his answer, dainty foot tapping swiftly under a blue & green paisley colored flowing gown. After a 10 second pause, she added. “Now, Counselor, having a grown woman draw childish pictures is HARDLY a good technique to get that sobbing girl to heal! Tell her to finish up quickly! Time is wasting!” She folded her arms across her chest, foot tapping faster.
Despite the foot tapping, Elegy didn’t immediately respond. He shifted his weight onto his heels, all the while regarded the older woman with the same curiosity she had shown to him. “I can leave her for a few minutes to reflect, but I’ll have to ask you to maintain strict confidentiality about anything you’ve observed of my patient, please,” he said. He spoke firmly, but showed the due respect that one would expect from a Starfleet officer. At the same time, Elegy chose his words carefully, as was evident by a couple of halts mid-sentence. He spoke to his own responsibilities, rather than reveal anything further about his patient. Elegy gestured to a doorway further down the passageway, and he offered, “We can speak in one of the conference rooms presently. Can you tell me a little bit about what brings you to my door?”
The woman gave him an incredulous look, rolled her eyes, & shook her head. “Confidentiality….my word! What big words you people use!” She snorted. “*i* am Ciera Cordon, Daughter of the 9th House of Betazed! DON’T you just shove me away, COUNSELOR!” She sneered out the title as she ripped her arm away from him & swooped past. Ms. Cordon gazed up at him, all serious. “Let’s not beat around the bush, Counselor. You KNOW why I’m here. I’ll wait in this drab place while you play art class for now.” She made a shooing motion with both hands. “Go on, she’s about to run as it is!” Ms. Cordon sidled over to the replicator to order tea, effectively dismissing the man.
After silently leaving the conference lounge when he was instructed to do so, Elegy left Ciera alone for not very much longer. He checked in with his patient, assigned her some cognitive behavioural homework, and allowed her the space to consider her feelings. When Elegy rejoined Ciera in the conference lounge, he offered greetings, by saying, “How do you do? It’s a pleasure to meet you, daughter of the ninth house. I heard you say that I already know why you’ve come to speak to me, but I promise you: I don’t.”
Ciera was sitting straight in the chair she’d chosen, sipping her herbal tea. She took another look at the man as he entered. “So, how many lives has your symbiont seen? YOU look very young for a Trill.” Not waiting for an answer, she continued. “Just call me Ciera. The title is only used as an introduction.” She took another sip of tea before setting the cup and plate on the table again. “As for knowing why I’m here-oh, I forget you’re another species that doesn’t have telepathic abilities.” Ciera sighed hard. “OK, I’ll spell it out for you. If you search your databanks, you’ll find a Cadet with my same name.” She waved a hand to let him do what she’d said. “We’ll talk once you figure it out.” She took up her cup once more, daintily.
Padding closer to the conference table, Elegy stood behind the chair that was directly opposite Ciera. He gripped the chairback between both of his hands, somewhat protectively. Seeking to ease the tension between them, Elegy mentally searched for points of agreement. “I suspect my job would be much easier if I were telepathic. As a Trill, and an unjoined one at that, I can’t profess to know what you’re thinking,” Elegy remarked, in admission. He shook his head slightly, and he said, “It’s not often a patient’s family asks to speak to me.”
Ciera lifted both eyebrows & a satisfied smile slid across her face. Setting down her cup, she silently chuckled. “So the Counselor DOES have sass! I *LOVE* it!” She pushed her cup aside, put an arm over the back of her chair, & the other she folded the other on the table.”OK, you’re worth your salt, Counselor…Eggy?” Smile wavering suddenly, she nodded decisively. “You’re right. Family DOESN’T come to you like I have.” She folded her body back to sit normal, suddenly serious.
Ciera sighed as if to steel herself for what she was about to say. “I come to ask you to help my daughter, Nevanthi.” A sad, loving look whisked over her face. “You would call her Neva Cordon, a Cadet in your Engineering area. I…I…need your help to….”Ciera dabbed a tear away before continuing. “My precious Rosebud denies her Betazoid Heritage fully. She’s…” Ciera sniffles, dabbing at her eyes. “She needs help to regain it.” She looks the Counselor dead in the eyes. “Neva NEEDS to regain her birthright, Counselor. She will inherit my position upon my death. Unlock her barriers & restore my little Rosebud please!” Ciera turns her head to the side, fist over her lips, kerchief dabbing her eyes with the other.
Slowly lowering himself into the chair opposite Ciera, Elegy remarked, “As you’ve noticed, I can’t profess to be an expert on Betazoid culture.” He scratched his chin, and he asked, “Can I ask, Ciera, what would it look like to you if your daughter did regain her birthright and her heritage?”
Ciera collected herself, shoulders straightening. With a hard sigh, Ciera rolled her eyes at him. “You can stop that psycho-babble on me, Counselor. I’m not here for that.” She pushed back her chair slowly & carefully stood. She put a hand on the back of the chair, regarding Elegy in studied calm. “For give my outburst, Counselor. My daughter’s welfare makes me say more than is wise.” She dropped her hand from the chair & looked down at the floor. “I’ve tried for years to help her regain her Betazoid abilities with no success. She won’t allow anyone else to touch her either.” Raising her ebony orbs to look at him, her next words were almost a Whisper. “I know she talked to you, Counselor. I saw it plain as day in her mind.” She swallowed hard, but continued a little louder. “Get through to her. Nevanthi can’t hold this back much longer…”
Ciera shook her head & stood back to her full, if diminutive, height. Gone was the quiet demeanor. It was replaced with composure & strength.
“Well, Counselor. I’ve taken enough of your time. You know what to do.” That said, she took her leave, skirts flowing around her. She didn’t look at him again as she bustled out of the conference room doors.
Elegy was left sitting at the conference table even after Ciera had left the room. Reflecting back on his conversation with Neva, Elegy considered the archetypes, muttering to himself, “Fairy tales and mothers.”