"Second Chances"
(Previous Post: "Darn Doors")


Setting: USS ANUBIS, Deck 7, Counsellor's Office
Stardate: 30145.0815

The almost imperceptible smell of cleaning solvent hung in the air of the room, smelling both fresh and chemical at the same time. It was natural that the entire ship be given the once over before it left the haven of spacedock.

Lieutenant JG Eve Dalziel sat behind her desk, perusing a PADD that held the most recent ship's roster. Her elegant brow furrowed as she tossed her gleaming ebony hair over one shoulder. It appeared the crew had gone through a housecleaning of sorts as well. There were a few familiar names and faces, and several new ones too.

Eve stood, adjusting a terracotta pot on the corner of the credenza. The green, waxy ivy plant was a new addition to the office, as a way of making it less cold and impersonal. It was her job to ensure everyone aboard the ship was given the mental tools and support to perform their duties with excellence. That meant she had to be available at all times, with an innate honesty.

But, there was a certain dichotomy there, as the tall, occasionally imposing woman had been born Cardassian. She possessed the instincts and physicality of a hand-to-hand combat specialist. But fate had her fall, orphaned, into the loving home of the Dalziel family, who raised her as their own and exposed her to the Starfleet life. Her father was Human; her mother Bajoran. She had chosen many elements of her mother's mystical faith as her own, and when she turned sixteen she chose a  humanoid appearance, casting aside the shadow of assumption that others still made about the Cardassian race, so many years after their nefarious transgressions.

It was this unique combination of traits that had opened the door to a career with the Federation, and had led her to the ANUBIS. And now, new officers had been lured to its clandestine corridors.

"Counsellor," a solid voice acknowledged the gray-eyed woman.

"Captain," Eve said kindly to Erik Morningstar, the ship's Commanding Officer. To be truthful, she hadn't heard the door open. "I thought welcoming the crew was *my* job."

The Native American CO raised his hand slightly. "I don't consider my 'house calls' in the same category."

Dalziel's large, expressive eyes displayed a hint of mischief. "Certainly. the panic of meeting the Captain is a completely different kind of panic than meeting the ship's Counsellor."

Erik stoically placed his hands behind his back. "So, should *I* be worried?"

Eve shook her head. "No... unless you've been diagnosed with some psychosis since we last met."

"Not a chance," Morningstar replied.

"Then I guess my appointment schedule is clear... for now," she added pragmatically.

Morningstar cleared his throat, almost sounding like he were suppressing a laugh. "While I appreciate your overwhelming vote of confidence, I think it's time I leave you to your rounds."

Susan Ledbetter

Lieutenant JG Eve Dalziel