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Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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Two telepaths

Posted on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 @ 4:05pm by Lieutenant Richard Ballston M.D. PsyD
Edited on on Thu May 31st, 2018 @ 11:45am

Mission: Episode 1 - Pioneering Spirit
Location: Ship's Operations Center - Deck 6 USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD003 1300 hrs
Tags: SD 71367.1300



T'Rish was annoyed. This was a feeling she didn't want to be feeling. She had a crewmen who instead of being on duty in the quarter master's office was in bed with some illness that she suspected was synthol induced. She sighed as she picked up the PaDD on the desk. With a ship of newly boarded officers the quarter master was a hub of activity as everyone got settled. She had her back to the door and didn't hear the person approach her from behind.

"Excuse me Miss." Richard said in a pleasant tone as he stood a short distance behind the woman, "would you be so kind as to tell me where I might find the quarter master?"

"You have found it, Lieutenant." T'Rish replied as she turned to face the officer. She looked over the man for a moment. "I assume that you require lodgings?" She pulled up the requisition computer and awaited his response.

Richard chuckled, "well from what the computer has informed me my quarters is on deck 3 in Turbolift Maintenance." He gave the woman a smile, "I'm Doctor Richard Ballston and I'll bunk there if that's where you need to put me."

"There is no need, Doctor." T'Rish attempted to keep her face passive as her irritation regarding her quarter master rose. The waves of amusement coming from the officer standing across from her was a nice turn of events compared to the other officers who had had similar complaints.

T'Rish's fingers danced across the console input screen as she correct the oversight created. "I have updated your quarter assignments. You are still on Deck two cabin twenty-seven which is on the starboard side. Will that be adequate?" For the first time since he had walked into the small office she made eye contact. She had many other things on her mind and just hadn't gotten to that standard nicety. When she finally did something struck her and she looked at him questioningly as she tried to determine if it was him that reaching out to her telepathically. It wasn't structured like a Betazoid, it was something different.

"That's fine, Thank you Ensign," Richard said with a smile and then his expression changed with his brow furrowing, "is everything alright?" He tilted his head slightly and offered a faint smile, "hopefully I don't have a twin running about causing trouble on the ship."

"I apologize, Lieutenant." T'Rish responded smoothly. This was a moment that her friend Rosie would have blushed. Something the Vulcan didn't quite understand despite having experienced on rare occasions. "If you don't mind the inquiry, but are you telepathic?" She added frankly.

"I am," Richard said his brow returning to its normal position, "forgive me but I'm untrained and I don't have much control if any." He chuckled, "I may be eighty seven but really about sixteen in some ways."

"I can appreciate that." T'Rish said simply. "I have very little training with my telepathic abilities. Just enough to sense others." As usual, she had no desire to disclose her betazoid half or the fact that she struggled to suppress her emotions due to her emphatic abilities.

Richard pale eyes sparkled as he nodded and raised an eyebrow, "Well I'm afraid we have something in common though I have little excuse, one of the women I am bonded with is an excellent telepath and I haven't even asked her to train me."

If T'Rish could have been stunned she would have. The nine months she had spent on the Bolian freighter with Nedessa she had spent every moment with her should could to learn. She yearned to learn more despite the fact that the Vulcan part of her felt it was illogical to waste her time on such pursuits. "Why?" She asked a bit more emotional than she had intended.

"Embarrassed I guess," you see I didn't grow up on Azzia, my homeworld, I grew up on Betazed believing I wasn't telepathic, it's only been about three years I've actually known I was." He chuckled and added, "I'm not sure I can even be trained."

"I would love to see Betazed." T'Rish said with a longing in her voice in retrospect she wished she had hidden. She cleared her throat before continuing, she was at a loss on what to say and panicked. "I am sure if you set you mind to it."

The physician laughed and blushed slightly at the same time, "well I have a holographic program of Betazed before the occupation, such a beautiful place and you might really like to see Azzia, that's my species homeworld, it's rather beautiful too.

"I would like that." T'Rish replied. "Very much." She smiled. A rare occurrence for the Hybrid. She couldn't explain it, but there was something about the Doctor that intrigued her. Perhaps it was his telepathic aptitude; some what of a kindred spirit in the fact that he too was untrained. It was something she couldn't quite put her finger on.

"Great," he said with a grin, "I'm sorry I must have missed your name."

Actually Richard knew he hadn't heard it but he had learned to try and be tactful about asking.

"You cannot miss what was never offered, Lieutenant." T'Rish replied simply. "I am Ensign T'Rish, Chief of Operations. I am currently filling in for a crewman who had too much to drink apparently." He hadn't asked what she was doing down here, but it was the next logical question.

"Really," Richard said with a chuckle, "should I make a house call to sober him up?"

"Oh no." The Hybrid replied evenly. "She deserves to suffer." She added uncharacteristically. "Especially with the mess she left me."

Richard chuckled and shook his head as he heard the Ensign's response, "fair enough but I should tell you this isn't the first time I've been assigned to some place besides a living quarters."

"You and fifteen other so far today." The Ensign replied. "Not to mention the eight from yesterday and the unknown number tomorrow."

The doctor shook his head, "I think I'd have a malpractice case on my hands if I did that." Richard chuckled and his eyes sparkled with a hint of mischief, "so if she's unable to perform her duties due to illness shouldn't she be in sickbay? I could make sure she has plenty of noise to deal with when she wakes up."

"You have no idea." The Vulcan replied regarding his malpractice comment. "No, I think I might send her out an airlock on during out first mission." She replied. Suddenly her cheeks flushed slightly as she realized she had said it out loud.

"Your not the first department head who's considered that," Richard chuckled as he looked at the blonde, "it's not the thinking about it that's so bad, only the actual doing."

He could hear his stomach growl and chuckled, "better do something about that before the science department things one of its experiments has escaped." He turned as if to leave and the hesitated, "you want to grab a bite to eat T'Rish?"

T'Rish pondered the idea for a moment. It would be interesting to find out more about him. "That would be quite...agreeable I believe." She replied simply. "I have to shut down the quarter master's office but then I can available."

"Alright," Richard replied with a broad grin, "how long will that take?"

"Three and a half minutes." T'Rish replied. She had already begun the process of securing the terminal and restricting all access to the allocation matrix. She finished in just under three minutes. "Give of take a few seconds." She added and later realized it was inaccurate.

The physician nodded, his eyes dancing as he watched the woman complete her tasks. He was somewhat amused at the precise nature of the woman's first response and her subsequent correction. "I haven't noticed the officer's mess yet, would you mind leading the way?"

There were two reasons for his inquiry. The first was merely a sign of trust and respect. The second because he had got himself in trouble too many times asking the computer system to show him the way to some place.

T'Rish tipped her head in acknowledgement before leading the way out of the Quartermaster's office. She had only been to the Officer's mess once but was sure she would be able to find it again. "It is on Deck two" she replied.

Richard grinned, "first day and I can't say I know my way around yet." It was more of an excuse but true anyway.

"Day three for most of us." T'Rish replied flatly. "I have never been on an intrepid class before this, but the layout is more logical than most." She stepped onto the Turbolift and waited for her companion to join her. "Deck 2, officers mess" she called out and waited for the tell tell wurr of the lift.

Moving into the lift Richard turned around so he faced the front. He nodded as he heard the woman's words and was silent as the lift began to move. "From what I've seen I'd have to agree," he offered then added, "each ship you are posted on T'Rish you will be able to find something different to like."

"I will keep that in mind." She replied. The lift came to a stop and once the doors opened she stepped out. "Other than the ship for my cadet cruise I don't have a lot of hands on experience."

"It will come," Richard offered with a grin following behind. He hesitated to tell her how many he had been on but added, each has it's own character."

T'Rish could sense the hesitation and reservation in him. He didn't hide it well. She was curious about him, but he had seemed uncomfortable about his telepathy. She didn't want to push it and make it worse. She was enjoying having someone to talk to. She nodded as they entered the mess. "Anything specific in mind?"

"I was thinking maybe some kimden rolls with espra cheese, blue-leaf salad and some uttaberry crêpes," The thought of the familiar Betazoid food was enough to make Richard's mouth water though often in an officer's mess there were set menus that would limit his choices.

The Vulcan grinned slightly, which was saying a lot for her species. Uttaberries were Nedessa favorite, but T'Rish had never allowed herself to change was she was used to eating. "Uttaberries always smelled intriguing, but I have never tried any."

"Why not," Richard asked as he reached for a trey, "I've had them since I was a child and really enjoy them."

"They do no offer any required nutritional value that cannot be obtained from more nutritionally dense food." She started. "Indulging in sweets for the sake of sweets is not a logical action, so I have never chosen to do it." She had been tempted to.

"Following that logic you should probably stick to emergency rations," The Azzian teased with a grin as he stepped up to the replicator."

"That is true from a nutritional point of view." T'Rish replied before ordering her adronn feltara. "However, It would be illogical. What is there were an emergency and no rations?" Her tone changed slightly as the joke escaped he lips, but her embarrassment at the attempt of humor heated her cheeks slightly.

The physician grinned seeing the flushed cheeks and chuckled, "hungry crew members." Richard placed his bowl of fruit on the tray, but I'll let you try some of mine if you'd like."

T'Rish was curious about his lack of acknowledgement to her reaction. That didn't happen often. Most people who know of Vulcan emotional suppression found it...amusing to question her about it. She found him to be refreshing. "I would like that." She nodded.

"Good," he said as he motioned towards an empty table and and started to sit in it, "you seem pretty open minded."

"I guess compared to most Vulcan, I am." She said simply with a shrug of her shoulder. She embraced the Vulcan way, at least she tried. That didn't mean she succeeded all the time. She settled into her chair across the table from him. "Will your us...bonded spouse...be joining you on the Pioneer?" She wasn't sure where the question came from other then a desire to contribute to the conversation.

"Careful with that word spouse," Ricard with a chuckle, "bonded yes but the Azzian society outlawed marriage centuries ago. If I use that word around them..." He shook his head, "to answer your question, none of them or my daughter will be joining me."

T'Rish instantly felt embarrassed, well that would have been the word she used to describe what she felt. She knew she hadn't know what to call them, but that didn't change anything. "I didn't mean...." She started taking a sip of her tea. "How old is your daughter?" She asked quickly to change the subject.

Richard laughed, "I know you didn't mean any harm and you're quite alright." He started to size a piece of his meal and looked back up at her, "Abigail is seven years old."

"Oh..." Both children and relationship were areas she had little to no experience. She turned her deer in the headlights look to her plate and took a bit of her lunch. She could feel the unease rising within her but she did her best to keep it in check. Her awkwardness in social situation was why she kept people at arms length.

"She thinks she twenty one," Richard added with a laugh just before he took a bite.

T'Rish nodded. "I can't imagine having children." She said out loud before she could stop herself. Her childhood had been adequate until she left home, but the idea of being responsible for another life at her age was illogical. She took another bit of the vegetables and sauce in front of her. "I didn't mean that how that may have sounded, I am young for my species but not below the age of procreation however." She managed to stop herself before making too many more confessions.

Richard grinned, "well I'm pretty young for my species too but I am in my eighties." He chuckled, "I could live for quite a while yet."

"Vulcans average two hundred years." She replied easily. "I am 26. Most Vulcan's my age are still at home until their first Pon Farr when they are typically mated." He hadn't asked for a biology lesson but the explanation seemed logical.

Richard nodded, "Azzians can live to around four hounded but I haven't lived on their homeworld so my results may vary." There was a hint of humor in is tone as he gazed at the blonde across from him, "puberty begins at about thirteen."

"Fascinating..." She started as she took another bit of her food. She picked up her tea and took a sip before speaking again. "I find myself curious about you, but I don't want to misstep and ask something I shouldn't" She admitted as she eyed the berries on his plate for a moment.

"Well," Richard said with a grin, "I don't think you could ask a question that would surprise me too much." He chuckled, "I'm not exactly a shy person."

"That is good to know." She replied easily as she took another sip of her tea. "You said you grew up on Betazed but have chosen to follow the Azzian's way of life?" She wondered what it must be like to chose something other than what you grew up with.

"I can't say I have completely embraced the Azzian culture," Richard said with a smile, "but there are some considerations that make ignoring it impossible."

A truer statement couldn't have been said to the Vulcan hybrid who was constantly at war with her emotions. "I understand that." She replied, as she took the last bit of her meal and pushed her plate away from her slightly.

"Ready to thy the berries," Richard said as he picked up the untouched bowl of fruit and offered it to his new friend, "I take it you have a similar experience, I mean a product of two cultures."

"Quite." She replied as she eyed the berries. The war within flared up. "The Vulcan in me doesn't see the point in experimentation with new foods, but the betazoid in me is...uh...excited?" She responded almost questioningly. For being an empath she didn't really understand her own emotions.

"So which side is going to win today," Richard teased, "think of it this way your Betazoid half evolved eating them so it's only logical that you should."

T'Rish reached out a took a few of the berries that were offered to her. She looked up at Richard and smiled as she placed one tentatively in her mouth. The sweet flavor flooded her taste buds causing her eyes to close in pleasure. "Oh my..." She replied when she finally looked back at her friend.

The physician chucked as he heard the half Vulcan express her surprise at the pleasant flavor, "they are amazing aren't they?" He leaned in slightly as he sat the fruit back down, "so Ensign as a physician and a counselor I am going to recommend that you try embracing both halves of who you are. Explore both your Vulcan and your Betazoid heritage and relish them both."

She nodded. T'Rish knew from experience that embracing both was easier said than done. "I believe the lack of control caused by embracing my Betazoid heritage would be illogical." She popped the remainder of the berries into her mouth. "But, perhaps with you around, it will be enlightening." She grinned. She was already glad to have a new friend and with Richard's history perhaps they could both help each other.


A Joint Post By:

Lieutenant Richard Ballston M.D. PsyD
Chief Medical Officer, USS Pioneer


Ensign T'Rish
Chief of Operations, USS Pioneer




 

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