Part of Eos Station: Mission 1: Rule 34 War is Good for Business

My Life Is An Open Book

Counselor's Office
Late January 2401
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Having met the Captain and settled into his office. Hadir realized he had two things left that he must do on his new posting checklist. Seeing the doctor for a physical and seeing the Counselor to check in for his mandatory sessions. Neither was appealing and so he chose the lesser of the two evils, Hadir made his way to the Counselor’s office.

He had to check the deck listing for the station about a hundred times as he made is way there. It seemed that with all the construction nothing was actually where it should be. It took him the better part of ninety minutes to find the office and when he got there he was sure the Counselor would have her work cut out for her as to say he was angry would be putting it lightly. As he stepped through the door he ducked his head, which seemed to make him even more out of sorts. None of the doorways were constructed for a person of his stature. When Hadir stepped in he saw the rather demure woman seated behind her desk. The Cardassian came to attention. “Commander Hadir Prenar reporting as ordered.”

The lights in the room were flickering making Arwa look at it “I better contact Krajj again” She mutters as she notice the Cardassian entering and introducing himself. She gave a warm smile at him “Commander Prenar, welcome to Eos Station. I am the station counselor and I have to admit that I have not been able to check your file yet. Been playing catch up since my arrival so to speak” She waved to a chair “Please take a seat”

Hadir sat rigidly with his back perfectly straight. He had not counted on her having not read his file. He is going to have to go over everything now. He smiled one of the many trademark Cardassian smiles, however, this one was to cover up the trepidation and anger he felt. “Thank you for the welcome Counselor. Once you have the chance to read my file you will find that I am under Starfleet orders to attend monthly counseling, that is unless you find that more often is needed. I would also ask your forgiveness as I have not had time to check over the manifest for this station. As such I am at a loss for your name.”

She hums a bit “Ah my apologies my head is in the clouds of work. Lieutenant Arwa el-Imam” She gave a soft nod in his direction “In my years that I have been counselor I had countless Starfleet personnel cross my desk and Cardassians are no exception to that” She winks “So I can see when you have a poker face Commander, what is troubling you?” She puts up her hands “It is after all a safe place to talk”

Hadir had no interest in telling her the real reasons for his anger at the moment. However, he knew he was going to have to give her something. “It is just the general sort of feelings that comes with a rather long journey. Once here there is no rest for the weary as the Executive Officer has to hit the ground running and get into the thick of it.” He paused for a moment in an effort to change subjects. “Most of the reasons why I have to attend counseling would be in my record. I guess today we should just get to know each other and set up the session schedule.”

“Hmm” She paused for a moment and just nods “I will look into your file, no worries there” Arwa gave him a soft smile “So could you tell me who Commander Prenar is, not the full history but your personality” Arwa stood up walking to the replicator “Any drinks….” She looks at the replicator “Tea lemon” 

Hadir desperately wanted a kanar but that would have to wait until he was off duty. He hoped the bar on this station, if there was one stocked the Cardassian drink of choice. “I would love a double strong coffee. Thank you.” He said with a smile. “I am a loyal friend and officer. I know that sounds cliché but it is the truth. Although most people don’t believe me. So, most of my days are spent proving them wrong. But loyalty of course must be earned.” As he took the coffee he smiled but there was a sadness behind his scarred eyes. 

“A double strong coffee” Arwa asked narrowing her eyes at the replicator and listening to Hadir at the same time. She was surprised by the coffee actually being processed “Oh my…” She mutters getting the cup to Hadir and sitting down with her own tea at her chair. She nods to him “Qualities that are well needed on a ….special station like this one” She pointed out “Eos has been neglected for years by Starfleet and now that the Romulans are at the borders stirring up whatever they are doing, it gave new purpose to this station” She took a sip and notice that it was not lemon tea, but vulcan tea “Close..” 

“I think neglected would be an understatement. I wonder why Starfleet just didn’t decommission this old girl and build something newer and more modern. I mean it has to be better than wasting the manpower and resources repairing something this outdated. Besides that… This far out it has to be nearly insane to do something like this with so far a distance for any resupply ship to travel…” The tone of Hadir’s voice got angrier as he spoke. The idea that he felt he was here as punishment roiled to the surface. He caught himself and stopped midsentence. With a quick hand through his hair the anger was replaced by a smile. “…Forgive me Counselor I worry too much. Perhaps that is my fatal flaw.” 

Taking another sip of her tea she nods “Starfleet still has her reasons to show some form of strength to outsiders. You know….we are still here kind of message” Arwa concluded. “But we will find out soon enough with the Romulan convoy coming over what their perspective is” She took a sip. “So your worries are…valid and well known to anyone on this base shares them with you”

Now Hadir wondered why the Captain had not shared the information about a Romulan convoy arriving, he was the XO and would have to make preparations for that. Hadir chalked it up to probably slipping the Captain’s mind, however, he took a mental not to talk to Abernathy about it. “With this area becoming a hotbed again that is all the more reason that something newer, and up to the task should be constructed.” Hadir sipped his coffee and savored the flavor, the caffeine and most of all the warmth. For a Cardassian with cold blood the rush of warmth from a hot drink was akin to a small dose of pleasure. “Counselor if I may be so bold. Why did you choose this assignment?”

“Oh the patient becoming the counselor” Arwa nodded and sat back. “Alright I entertain that idea, I served for years on starships and have seen the greatest minds work together but in the end, it was my task to get their minds back to focus on what is important. Themselves and their duties. This base is a ….” She tries to find a word for it that is recognizable for the Cardassian “…an animal that has lost its way from the majority flock and my mission is to bring her back”

“I can see that as a noble calling, a truly great reason to be here. However, what if I was to tell you that someone had achieved everything that they wanted in this fleet. Then had it torn from them because the fleet needed a scapegoat. Then perhaps to add insult to injury they demote you and send you out to the edge of space.” Since he met the Captain this was the thoughts that had roiled through Hadir and so who better than to toss them at then the Counselor.

Leaning back in her chair, she took a deep breath and gave herself a slight nod “Then I would say welcome to Eos Station. Yoou see this station has the reputation to be the …” Arwa thought for a second “The dumpster of Starfleet. If you mess up even here, there is truly no place in Starfleet. At least that is what most of the crew members say when I speak them”

Yet another of those trademark Cardassian smiles crawled across Hadir’s face. “Isn’t it your job to make people feel better?” He hung his head for the moment as she had just confirmed everything he had been thinking since he boarded the shuttle for this rundown hunk of space junk. “Such is the lot of the first Cardassian in Starfleet.”

She smirks a bit “Why do you think I am here?” Arwa sips her tea “To make sure that people get their mental state back and send them back to Starfleet so that they can resume their career. Meanwhile working with the Captain to get this station going and better operational” Arwa smiles “I am one of those people that wont sugar coat what is clearly in sight, I know the situation here is bad. I know that people are miserable here…but that is the duty of a counselor to make it better” She put her cup down “So what will you do for this station? For yourself?”

This whole time Hadir had been thinking of the best way that he could get out of this assignment. He hoped that this conversation would have provided him with some inspiration toward that end. However, he had no answer and neither did the Counselor it seemed. But now, the question that she just asked him hung in his head and Hadir was not sure if he had an answer. He took another sip of the coffee to cover his lack of conversation. “I am who I am, I am Cardassian. We are a vigilant and oft times a stubborn people. So, I will not give up… I will serve this station and her Captain to the best of my ability and prove that as I have done hundreds of times before a person can soldier on.”

“Good” She smiled “Because we need that kind of attitude in this station. Someone that wants to make a change and willing to go through the mud to get it done” Arwa sits straight “I believe that we do make progression now, a good start”

Hadir took her comment as a win. He did not want to tell her that he really did not have the want to make a change and all that. He would merely go through the motions until he could get a transfer or retire, whichever would come first. “Well… progress is always a good thing. I believe as you journey through the mind of a Cardassian you will find a lot of twists and turns. Let us just say the journey will not be uneventful.”

“I would cheer to that, but I am not off duty yet” Arwa gave a small laugh “But when you entered my office, you were not clear on what you really wanted, not sure what your purpose was on this base. Which is an understanding feeling, now that you are here and we concluded that you want to do what you need to do. I see it as progress and this base I feel will give lots of twist by itself”

“Perhaps Counselor Perhaps. Well, since this meeting is mandated, as is our future meetings. I for one hope that we can meet while not mandated. It has been a pleasure talking to you. Shall we say same time next week?” As much as Hadir wanted to make friends he would have to keep the Counselor at arms length. He may be a dissident from his people however, he still believed in revealing only what he had to as most Cardassians do. 

Giving a nod to him and looked into her agenda seeing it being quite full “Next week a bit later, got a meeting with another client” Arwa looked back at him “Again, welcome to Eos, if something is up just send a message to me and I will do my best to answer it as soon as I possible can”

Hadir took the last of his coffee down and stood with a smile. “It has been a pleasure to meet you and quite refreshing to have a conversation that was stimulating. Until next time Counselor.” Hadir turned on his heel and left the office. As much as he would hate to say it he meant what he had just said. This session was perhaps the most stimulating that he had in some time. Perhaps, just perhaps this assignment would not be as bad as previously assumed.