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Of Like Mind

Posted on Wed May 22nd, 2019 @ 12:38pm by Lieutenant JG Isabelle Veran PhD & Lieutenant Christine Descharmes

Mission: Between the Pages
Location: Seppala
Timeline: before "Back in the Saddle, Part 2"


Christine stood for a minute in the middle of the office on Seppala, hands on her hips. It was going to be good to be back in her office again. Alone. On the Shanghai. Not sharing a space. She supposed there were worse things than sharing an office with her Commanding Officer. As much as she did enjoy being around people, a few thousand colonists in one location had been trying and would even drive the most gregarious person insane. Now she was in the middle of clearing out the stack of padds that had accumulated in only a short period of time. There was a chime at the door. "Come in." It was probably Ensign Jiang. That girl needed a new hobby rather than following her around.

Isabelle hadn't yet had chance to catch up with the Chief Counsellor, dropping by her office she hoped to catch her in. She smiled as she heard a voice call her to enter and strolled inside. "Lieutenant I'm Isabelle Veran, I'm assigned to the Counselling staff. I haven't managed to catch you until now."

She spun around. It definitely was not Jiang. Definitely not. "What the hell?" she asked, the words out of her mouth before she had the chance to stop them. She shook her head, a few strands of blonde hair falling from her side braid. "This..this can't be good," she stuttered, trying to find words. Christine eyed the counselor before she shook her head again, offering a seat. "You can take the couch..or the chair here...Or..." She glanced around the office. "I'm sorry, I'm trying to get myself situated after being on Cyen for eight days, evacuating the colonists, and those weird light thingies. I haven't been feeling like myself lately." She said the last part with a nervous laugh.

"Yeah well considering I was assigned to the Shanghai in 2391 it's proving a little confusing to be two years in my past." Isabelle shrugged her shoulders. "It's wrapping your head round it that's the hard part but I've come to look at it as two years I can have again"

Christine raised her hands, waved them around and shook her head again. "Don't get me started on the whole time-shifting shit. But yeah, I get you. It's over my head most of the time. All of the time. I wonder why now, though? We've been stuck here a while...You know, what? Never mind," she said as she took a seat on the couch. She gestured to the seat beside her.

Isabelle couldn't help but wonder if Christine was always as wound up as she seemed. She took the seat she was being offered. "One of my previous hosts was a scientist, he had a good grasp on the scientific part of time travel but when you've been there and done it you realise that it's a highly complicated thing." She grinned. "I could spout scientific jargon but I'm not going to."

"Please don't," Christine said and for the first time since the conversation started, offered a smile albeit a somewhat strained one. "I'm not a scientist. Far from it." She crossed her legs and leaned back, taking a deep breath. "I should apologize, I definitely haven't been feeling like myself the last couple of days. This...just took me by surprise, is all. There's so much going on I feel like I can't even keep my head on straight."

"To be honest I completely understand what you mean!" Isabelle smiled. "I'm still getting used to being joined, there are times when I get mixed up between my own memories and the memories of my two previous hosts. I'm the first ever half Trill to be joined so I'm kind of in uncharted territory."

“Oh?” Christine said, surprised. “I’ve never actually spoken with a joined Trill. I always thought that the host wouldn’t be compatible with the symbiont unless it’s a full Trill? I understand that the screening process is very difficult as well. What’s the other half? I can’t imagine what it’s like, knowing that after death, a part of you lives on in another host. I admit, I’ve been wanting to talk to one.”

“It’s like...nothing I could ever explain!” Isabelle smiled. “I had no choice but to be joined, it was that or let the Veran symbiont die. I wasn’t willing to allow that when I could do something about it. They weren’t sure either of us would survive or if I’d stay sane! It was....touch and go for both of us for a while but we eventually blended. I still find myself getting mixed up with my previous two hosts, the first was a female and the second was male so it’s kind of strange!”

"It's interesting to have both perspectives," she said, and crossed her legs. Christine was deep in thought, her brow furrowed. Finally, she stood up and crossed over to her desk. Padds scattered across the top, and she searched through a few to find the one she wanted. "I'm sorry, I am grateful that I have another person here. I've been going a bit crazy here." She turned back around and handed Isabelle the padd.

"The names on here; Commander Alexander, Lieutenant Scholl, a few other junior members need to have their psych evals done, if you want to start there. Divide and conquer, I guess is how it goes," Christine said, "How do you prefer to work? Lieutenant Goda is temporarily on duty on the Togo, but I suppose you can use his office for the time being. How do you prefer to work?"

“I prefer for people to come to me if their own free will and not kicking and screaming!” Isabelle grinned. “I’ll gladly take whoever I need to take, give me a little time to go over the personnel files and I’ll organise myself a schedule of who to see and when. I would like my own office though as I like to have the room set up so it’s comfortable not just for me, but those coming to see me.”

"Of course," Christine nodded. "I have the same approach, though letting people come to me is what put me behind anyway. So, Goda's office will be yours. Ensign Jiang is my aide and a junior counselor. Feel free to utilize her as well. Having someone else to work for besides me will keep her busy. Is there anything else I should know about you? Do you have any requests?"

“Apart from that I don’t think so, I hope Goda won’t mind his office being handed over to someone else? I have no wish to make enemies before I’ve even started.” She grinned.

"Goda will be fine," Christine reassured her. She paused, looking back at the stack of padds on her desk. "You mind helping me sort these?"

"By all means!" Isabelle smiled as she walked over to the pile of PADDs. She paused for a moment seemingly lost in thought.

"Thanks," she said. "I'm trying to move these over to the Shanghai." Christine stood next to Isabelle at the desk, her hands in her pockets. "It's been a bit chaotic. I'm not even sure which of these is mine. The Captain shared this office on the station with me, although I think she's a bit more organized than I am." She glanced to the other woman. "Everything okay?"

"Hmm...sorry?" She smiled at Christine. "Sorry I was a little lost in thought then! There's times when the silliest things will trigger a memory from one of my previous hosts. They seem to come in spits and spurts sometimes and then I have to try and fit them into place!" She grinned. "You should have seen me when I was first joined, they thought I was losing my mind at one point as I was acting like three different people!"

Christine smiled. Any of her previous brusqueness at the beginning of the meeting dissipated somewhat. She shook her head. "I can't imagine so many...lifetimes... in one person. I mean, xenopsychology is a requirement for a degree and one of the modules touched on Trill symbiosis but I never thought I would actually be talking to one." She went back to looking at the padds.

"Well I'll no doubt be needing to talk your head off at some point, so if you have any questions feel free to ask." She grinned. "Actually I wish I could pick someone's brain about the whole process of symbiosis, I get the feeling that there's so much I don't know about my second host but they did warn me that it might take some time due to the injuries my symbiont had when we were first joined."

"Yeah, I heard it can take a while. I mean, I'll never know," Christine gave her a smile. "This was a nice distraction." She began gathering up the PADDs into a stack. "I have been so distracted lately. Starfleet Medical keeps calling me. I've hung up on them or ignored them altogether. And I've just been so...tired lately. Before you showed up, I was contemplating taking a nap on that couch over there." She paused and passed the first stack to Isabelle and began on another.

"In that case it sounds like I arrived just at the right time!" Isabelle smiled. "There's nothing wrong with recharging your batteries either. I'll take these and get on with them while you get some rest. I'd suggest somewhere other than your office though or you'll never get any peace! Why don't you go home and I'll hold down the fort while you enjoy some freedom?"

"Home?" She glanced from the padds to Isabelle. "Home would be down on Golovin. I wonder how much time I have to transport down and back again? Computer, what is the time?" The computer chimed in a response of 1130. "Well, I guess I might have some time," Christine said thoughtfully, her hands on her hips. "Maybe a couple of hours."

“Either that or Quarters here aboard ship, just somewhere where you can get some rest.”

Christine hesitated. "Are you sure?" she glanced around the office. She raised an eyebrow. "This isn't some kind of trick, is it? Lulling me into a false sense of security?"

Isabelle grinned. “Not at all. I’m no mirage and you’re not dreaming either! Now go and enjoy a rest and let me get a handle on these PADDs. Oh and may I have permission to enter your office when I need more?”

"Permission granted," Christine said, feeling both relieved and guilty at once. "Get Jiang to help you, if you want." She turned on her heel, and made for the door, calling over her shoulder. "I'll just be on Golovin and you should be able to reach me."

“Enjoy your time off!” Isabelle smiled. “I’ll try not to disturb you.”


Lieutenant Christine Descharmes
Chief Counselor, USS Shanghai

Lieutenant (jg) Isabelle Veran
Counsellor, USS Shanghai


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