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Testing Limits

Posted on Mon May 22nd, 2023 @ 9:03am by Captain Shran dh'Klar & Lieutenant Commander Callie Raven-Grayson

Mission: Writing the Q Cards
Location: USS Washington

Joe had remained on the bridge for an hour after they had all left his ready room. It had been difficult for him being the only person on the bridge aware of the change. That had been what he told himself anyway. The fact that he was somehow on a Sovereign class Federation starship in deep space was certainly at the forefront of his mind, as was the fact that he was surrounded by people that he had created, in a manner of speaking.

When he couldn't take it anymore he excused himself and left the bridge, leaving Deanna in command. He decided he needed to discuss the situation with somebody, a person who would be able to understand at least to some degree what he was going through. He considered Jeff but expected him to have his hands full, and though discussing his emotions with anyone was something he had difficulty with, a counselor seemed to be the next most logical choice. Eislyn seemed to be a safe bet, but he'd have to reveal certain things to her that he thought at this point it was better not to reveal. That left him Callie, or rather Janet. He took some slow deep breaths to keep himself from having a panic attack as the turbolift spirited him away to her location, which the computer had informed him was the counseling center, which likely meant she was in her office.

He quickly made his way down the corridor and did his best to not look overly insane as he virtually barged into the counseling center. As he entered he spotted Janet sitting and talking with a beautiful Trill female that was a cross between Jadzia and Ezri, at least in his mind. He felt himself suddenly unable to speak, his chronic shyness around females kicking in at yet another inopportune moment. He smiled and waved, hoping that might cover it up a bit.

"Hello captain" Eislyn said in her melodic voice, a smile on her face that only made Joe feel worse.

He could feel himself internally panicking. It was like he was in high school again, only made worse because this was all of his own doing in a way.

Janet had noticed the look in Joe’s eyes as he’d smiled and waved at Eislyn, she wasn’t an empathic Counsellor anymore but she knew discomfort when she saw it. She smiled as she looked at Eislyn. “Thank you for coming Eislyn, we’ll catch up again soon.” She stood to see Eislyn out.

Once Eislyn was gone and they were alone she looked to Joe. “I may not be an empath anymore Captain, but I know unease and discomfort when I see it. Is everything alright?”

"It may come as a small surprise to you, but I am rather shy and nervous around females. It is almost a crippling fear to be honest. Commanding people in battle is a walk in the park compared to being around women. I feel like that same awkward guy I was in high school, and that is saying something because I was the contradiction, the intelligent jock." Joe wiped the panicked sweat from his brow. "This is like a dream come true and a nightmare all in wrapped in one crazy package. How about you? How you handling everything?”

“To be honest it’s freaky!” Janet smiled. “In real life I’m a stay at home mum who enjoys online simming, now I’m really here!” She sighed. “The crew act as though I’ve been here all along, which I guess in some ways is easier. As for you, you’re talking to me just fine, but I guess I am one of the older females onboard.”

"It isn't meant to be an offense" he replied sheepishly. "I can handle women individually, and older women, but I've always had problems with younger women, specifically those I have an attraction, and not to put too fine a point on it, I've created several that happen to always be around, and one has abilities that make things a bit, difficult. Keep in mind, I'm still a somewhat young man, only 41. And it feels weird as well, being here without my kids around."

“I know the feeling!” Janet nodded. “I’ve got 2 kids at home myself, my son is 17 and my daughter is 9. It’s really weird not having them, or my husband here.” She shrugged her shoulders. “This son of Q obviously has a plan in mind for us.”

Joe offered up a reassuring smile. "It would certainly seem that way, though when dealing with the Q, anything is possible. He might have something devious planned, or perhaps something of a lesson for us to learn, or it might simply be that he is bored and wants to use us for his own entertainment. Best I can tell at this point is that he is enjoying making us neurotic messes. That is why I figured coming down here might be a help. I mean after all, you are the counselor" he said with a little laugh.

“I wish! I’ve always been the one that’s there for a friend who needs an ear, or for loved ones who’ve needed someone to talk to. I guess it’s just common sense in some ways, I could really use Callie’s senses though they’d be useful.”

"I understand. I fit that role as well when not here. I think it comes from being an introvert. I am great at listening and when necessary, providing advice. I'm just not great at talking about my problems to others, being the one talking if you get my meaning" Joe replied.

“You bet I do, in real life I just bottle everything!” Janet grinned. “Anyway we’re here and now we have to be Captain and Chief Counsellor, So Captain are you going to be the strong Captain that you portray so well, or are you going to let yourself get flustered amongst the women?”

Joe nodded. "You're right. I need to treat this like a military situation. That is something I can handle. That is what the captain is really. Thanks for reminding me of that."

“Not a problem” Janet smiled warmly. “Oddly enough I’m looking forward to stepping out onto the bridge. At least our bios now show us as being us, that way the crew won’t be expecting me to use Betazoid empathic senses. If it did we’d have to think up a plausible excuse as to why I wasn’t sensing anything all of a sudden.”

"We'll get this figured out. We just got to play our roles until we get back to our real lives. Let's hope things remain more or less quiet. I'm happy getting to experience being on a StarFleet vessel, but not sure I'm ready to deal with Romulans or other hostiles." Joe took a moment to take in his renewed confidence. "Let's head up to the bridge, give you a chance to experience that."


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