The Encounter 3X03
Location: Counselor's Office, Deck 12
Timeline: Post mission
The events of the last month had changed Zavia. She had quiet literally become a new person when she was forcibly joined by a group of Cardassians looking to stop the Blue Gill threat. After awhile isolated in Sickbay, Zavia was just now beginning to remember who she really was.
She still had trouble distinguishing memories from her symbiant, Riis. Which led her to where she was today, sitting in the Counseling Department waiting on her appointment time.
Victoria rushed through the poor, her hair a little frazzled like her own emotions at that moment in time. She was very aware how late she was running and wished that she’d a better answer other than she had forgotten.
“Sorry, sorry, sorry!” The counselor came into the suite at an almost skid before trying her best to smile at the seated patient. “I’m really so sorry...time got away from me. I hope you haven’t been waiting long.”
Zavia gave a reassuring smile, "It's alright. To be honest, I'm just happy to be out of Sickbay." That was the truth, she had been isolated and under medical supervision for a what seemed like a long time.
Vikki moved to her chair, almost unceramony dropping into the seat as she pushed her fingers back through her hair to try and achieve some new order. “A lot of people say that to me. A stay in sickbay is second only to a visit to the counsellor’s office. You must be a gluten for punishment?”
Zavia sniffed a bit, suppressing a good laugh. "I've been told that before," she responded. The Trill shifted in her seat a bit, more as a way to spend some nervous energy. There was alot going through her head, and very little that she had figured out for herself.
Sensing the woman’s unease, Vikki sat back into her chair as she folded her hands across her lap. “I believe life hasn’t been too easy on you recently?”
"You could say that," Zavia nodded solemnly. "Some Cardassian intel agents force joined me with a Symbiont who had been in the body of a Trill who was also a host to a parasitic invader. So I have that traumatic experience mixed with sorting out who I am," she sort of blurted that explanation out. It was a confusing time.
“Surely the start would be simple...you are Lieutenant Zavia Kerion. You are a Starfleet officer and Chief Engineer of the USS Endeavour?” Vikki response was both a statement and a question as she allowed her patient to try and take the lead.
"I think it may be better to be called Zavia Riis," Zavia nodded. "The symbiont's name replaces the old family name of the host," she explained.
Vikki momentarily grasped that piece of information. "So it's similar to when one gets married and takes the name of their loved one in place, or sometimes in addition, to their own? Just because you change your name doesn't mean you change who you are. Just because you become married to another, doesn't mean that you loose who you are."
“It is difficult to explain, but to put it simply that is correct,” Zavia nodded. “The biggest difference is that we do become an amalgamation of the Symbiont, the previous hosts, and the current host. Zavia, or at least me before this, is the dominant persona.”
“If I’m correct though...right now your struggle is with separating and understanding all that is happening to you and all of these new personalities? Surely part of the solution and part of the means for you to move forward and adjust is to ensure you and who you are is preserved first and foremost?” Vikki asked the Quesgion genuinely, she was used to dealing with individuals and their needs...she wasn’t sure how to deal with personality clashes within oneself.
"Yes," Zavia nodded carefully. Part of her struggle, and all Trills who become joined, was to reassert her own personality. "That is the goal," she added. While being in the Symbiosis program when she was younger taught her what to do, she had not followed through and had not been trained like this sort of process usually demanded.
“So tell me about Zavia. Tell me something about you that you haven’t told anyone before.” Vikki sat back into her chair, crossing one leg over the other at the knee.
Zavia looked at the ceiling for a moment, thinking. Settling on a proper answer, she then replied, "I have always held ill feelings toward my parents for pushing me into the Symbiosis Commission. I didn't leave Trill well, I quit the program before I was to be joined and fled to Starfleet. I really haven't spoken to them much since then."
“And now you’ve found yourself in a situation in which the wishes of both you and your parents have been imalginated into each other...no matter how it was gone about. How do you feel about that?” Vikki softly replied.
"I would be lying if I said I wasn't conflicted," Zavia admitted. "I never really wanted to be joined because I felt pushed into it. But, I think I would have made the call to become joined if given the choice between leaving a Symbiont to die or not."
"So inside you do feel that joining was something that was probably going to happen in your life if you had been allowed to decide your destiny as such? Is that not a piece of knowledge you can take and mold to your current situation...it wasn't your choice but given the symbiont you carry may have been ultimately killed by the Cardissans, deep inside you feel your decision would have match the outcome had it been yours?" Vikki replied.
“I feel that bad this been a situation where the Symbiont would have died without a host, yes I would’ve chosen to be joined,” she elaborated, “but it was nothing I planned to happen.” Shrugging a bit with regret, Zavia added, “It was a choice that drove a wedge between my parents and myself. I became a disappointment while exerting my free will.”
“And is it possible that what has happened now may actually loosen that wedge and create a foundation into rebuilding those ties? They always wanted you to be joined. No matter how it’s happened, it’s what has happened.” Vikki watched the other woman while trying to fit the pieces together.
"That could be possible," Zavia nodded. "I would like to have a relationship with them again." Her voice was sincere, it had been a one of the biggest regrets of her life. Not dropping from the program, but losing what she had with her parents.
"How about this...step away from here today and make that step. Do up a communication to your parents, it can be as brief or as complex as you'd like but just send something...make that peace offering and see where it goes." Vikki clasped here hands together gently before moving to pick up her PADD. "It's a good start to figuring out where you now stand in life. Line up the pieces of your life first and then try and fit them all together."
"I... can do that," Zavia responded with a light sigh. The last time that she had spoken with her parents had not ended well. Perhaps, this would be the first baby step in a line of steps that would mend the relationship. "Thank you for talking to me today, it helped."
Vikki shook her head a little as she moved forward in her seat. “It’s what I’m here for. When your mind threatens to tear you apart, I’m only a comm message away. Doesn’t matter the hour reach out...this won’t be an easy transition but you won’t be on your own.”
"I will definitely do that," Zavia agreed as she stood up. "My shift is about to start, but I want to keep this going. I'll schedule an appointment from my PADD," she nodded as though asking permission.
Vikki hesitated for a second, the thought briefly crossing her mind on if the woman really would follow through. At the same time, she needed to show trust if she was to expect the woman to in turn trust her. “Sure. You should be able to access my available slots but if nothing suits just let me know.”
"Thank you again," the engineer offered as she smiled a farewell. Zavia then turned and made her way through the Counselor's office, confident that she was on the path to make her life make sense again.
Lieutenant JG Zavia Riis
Lieutenant JG Victoria Rigby