975: A Certain Point of View

by Zander Blakeslee and Vol Tryst
After ...And Your Little Dog, Too

-=Outside Vol Tryst’s Office=-

Zander paused just outside the door to the ship Counselor’s office. He ran his hand through his short hair and tugged at his uniform jacket to smooth out any wrinkles.

“Come on Zander,” he whispered to himself. “You’ve faced angry Klingons, Cardassians in combat, and you’re a father of two boys. How bad could this possibly be?”

He checked his watch and saw that it was ten minutes early for the appointment that he himself had scheduled, under the advice of his wife. He wondered if he should wait and be right on time. He shook his head on the realization that he was simply stalling.

He inhaled deeply then stepped forward and rang the chime.

“Come in!”

Zander walked into the room and quickly assessed his environment. Although Zander would not have noticed, the office had recently been moved and redecorated. The door opened to reveal two solo tight black leather chairs, which faced a matching, larger, two-person couch with accent pillows placed upon them. Between the two seats was a table, and to the side of them coffee tables where one could easily rest a beverage, or put aside a 3-leveled chess game which there was at the moment. Vol had obviously just put a PADD aside, and had stood up from the couch to properly greet his colleague.

Zander spoke first, holding out his hand. “Counselor, I am Lt. Commander Blakeslee. Thanks for making time to meet with me.”

"The pleasure is mine. I'm only sorry it's taken so long. Welcome back, Sir." Vol smiled. He straightened his own uniform, which was of the standard variety, which was rare for Vol.

"Can I offer you anything, a drink perhaps?"

Zander smiled. “No thank you.”

"So, this is your show. You made the appointment." Vol teased playfully, sitting on one of the single chairs so that his legs were draped over the arm.

“Yeah.” Zander looked at the furniture. “Ummm, you’ll have to excuse me but I have never been to something like this.” He motioned toward the couch. “Do I lay down, sit, or what?”

"Whatever you're most comfortable with. You can do a handstand if you'd like, it wouldn't be a first for me."

Zander picked the couch and sat down. “So, um, I am not sure where to start.” He fidgeted in the chair crossing and uncrossing his legs and tapping his foot. “My wife actually recommended that I contact you.” He scratched his head. “I personally am not sure about this but, okay, look…”

He leaned forward. “Ever since my, accident, on the bridge, I have been suffering from these wicked dreams.” He stopped there and looked at Vol.

Vol was aiming for casual in this meeting, for before Zander even entered his office he could sense the Lt. Commander's unease. However, this introductory statement perked Vol's ears right up though he still tried to refrain from becoming straight-up professional just yet.

"Continue." Vol invited.

Zander thought for a moment. “Okay, well I’ve been finding myself questioning things lately. I’m...afraid that I will die. Not that I am afraid of death, or dying.” He paused as he realized what he was saying made no sense. “I mean, not of dying myself but how it would effect others. My boys mostly.”

He sighed. “Look I’ve never been afraid of much and I’ve never had a problem accepting the fact that I could die serving Starfleet. Dying is not the issue I think. It is more like, not quite dying if you know what I mean.”

"I do.," Vol nodded, not wanting to say anymore for fear of interrupting Zander further.

“My father was left a shell of a man during his service, confined to a wheelchair and destroyed mentally.” He leaned back and stared at the floor. “I know what it did to me seeing him like that. Going from the strong imposing man that I knew to an empty husk of a man. Just, just staring at nothing and… empty.”

He shook his head and leaned forward bringing his eyes back to Vol. “I remember clearly the path it set me on. Anger, revenge. An inability to deal with things without that vow to find the Cardassians who did it to him.” He smiled slightly. “Samthia saved me in every sense of the word from continuing down that reckless path.”

“I guess I am afraid of doing that to my children.” He rubbed his hand over his short hair. “But I do not want to leave Starfleet. I love what I do.”

"Did your father?"

Zander wasn't quite sure he understood the question.


"Did your father? Did he love Starfleet, and what he did?"

Zander paused for a moment as he thought about how to answer.

“Sure, I guess. It is hard to speak for him. Based on the conversations we had in the past I would say yes. He spent as much time, if not more, in space as he did with my mother and me. He did not believe in having us with him, too many things to go wrong. Plus, during the war he wanted us as far away as possible.” Zander paused. “But to answer you question directly, yes, I believe that he did.”

"And that Sir, was one of the greatest gifts your father has ever given you." Vol replied.

Zander frowned and wondered if he had missed a part of the conversation. “Um, I am afraid I’m not getting what you mean.”

Vol now sat up straight, resting his elbows on his knees as he addressed Zander professionally.

"Zander, your father loved what he did and as a child you recognized that. Whether you remember it or not, I'm sure that when you were younger you looked at your father and surmised that Starfleet made him happy, and so it must have seemed that it had the potential to make you happy as well. This reasoning need not even apply to Starfleet. If nothing else, your father's joy showed you that life can be wonderful. If your father had, instead, quit Starfleet for much the same fears as you just described to me, would you agree with me that he would have been miserable?"

Zander shrugged. “I guess.”

"And what then?" Vol hadn't yet raised his voice, being that there was no need. Vol was just helping Zander to under what his parents likely had known themselves. "What would you, as a child, have learned from seeing your father so unhappy?"

Zander considered what Vol was saying. “I see your point. I can’t say what I would have felt but I think your right that the message would have been incorrect, and possibly given me the wrong outlook on things.”

Zander sighed. “I’m just worried that, my worries, could effect my performance. I can’t be second guessing my actions for fear of getting hurt and impacting my family because if I do, I will get hurt. I’ve been in Starfleet long enough to have seen this first hand.” He held out his hands in frustration. "I think I am more mad at myself for not being able to get past this more then anything else.”

Vol smiled, perhaps for reasons passing understand. However, at this point, Vol was convinced that Zander would be just fine.

"Such are the fears we all had when we first joined Starfleet. The same concerns surface after we make an error in judgment, misreport something, press the wrong key or worse: crash the ship into something. Such are things that will only dissipate with experience. So long as you don't let those fears paralyze you, you'll find they are much easier to overcome then you realize. You just have to get back up on that horse Commander."

Vol stood up, clapping his hands as he summed up the session.

"I believe that's enough for today, Sir."

Zander stood up from the couch. "Thanks Doc. Wasn't as bad as I thought and you gave me some other angles to think about."

Vol shook hands with the once again Chief of Security.

"If you want to make another appointment, I'm at your disposal."

Zander nodded. "I might just do that."

Lt. Commander Zander Blakeslee
Chief of Security
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


Lt. Vol Tryst
Ship’s Counselor
USS Serendipity NCC-2012