((Counselor’s Office, Deck 2, USS Resolution))
Meidra: I have two siblings, neither in Star Fleet. Are you close to your family?
Yogan pondered the question for a moment. The answer on the tip of his tongue was “yes,” of course “yes,” and while he felt that was mostly true, he had to acknowledge that things in his family weren’t how they always had been.
Yalu: I am. ::beat:: But things are changing, and I don’t quite know how to handle it. A few months ago, my brother left university and decided to become a Guardian. I don’t know how much you know about Trill customs, Counselor, but Guardians are unjoined Trill who dedicate their lives to service of the symbionts. It came as a shock to everyone. He’d never seemed that interested in that kind of life before.
Meidra: My knowledge of Trill is limited to what we learn at the Academy. I have some basic understanding of joining, but am unfamiliar with the concept of Guardians. From your tone, it appears to be a lonely path for your sibling.
Yalu: It is a difficult, solitary, lifelong commitment. We haven’t seen or heard much from him since then. Guardians usually live apart from the rest of society, tending to the symbionts in the Caves and spending the rest of their time inside the Symbiosis Institute complex.
Meidra: Do you believe your brother’s interest in this new path coincides with your joining? It seems to have had a strong impact on you.
Yogan considered the Counselor’s statement. He had tried to downplay the potential for his own responsibility in the whole thing. Nedal was a promising poet, and had just started to achieve recognition for his talent among the Leran Manev arts community at the time he announced his decision to become a Guardian. Did it really come out of the blue, completely unexpected? He preferred to think it did, but maybe there were some puzzle pieces he was overlooking, some clues from their past that might provide some enlightening context.
Yalu: It has affected my sister, too. Our mother isn’t in the best of health, and needs looking after. Now that Nedal is a Guardian, Kejana has had to care for our mother all by herself. I guess I feel a little guilty that I’m not there to support my sister.
Meidra: Has she informed you that she needs your assistance? Sometimes people thrive on such a challenge. oO Or I’m making excuses because I left my own sister to deal with Grandfather without my aid. OO
Yalu: I try to call home often, just to talk with Kejana and stay involved, but it’s been harder to catch her lately. I think she feels like both Nedal and I have abandoned her to the responsibility of caring for our mother. She’s only 27 years old.
Meidra: If I may suggest something, perhaps writing to each of your siblings, letting them know your concerns, leave nothing out. You don’t have to send the messages out, you can delete them once you are finished. But taking the time to truly work through your feelings concerning your relationship with them, ::she shrugged lightly:: it can give you a stronger base to build further conversations.
Yogan nodded. It was a reasonable recommendation, and even if he never communicated the letters’ exact contents to his siblings, at least the process of putting words to his thoughts would help crystallize his own feelings about the changes going on in his family. Certainty of self was something with which he’d had a great deal of practice, but even after eight lifetimes, every experience, every relationship, every family problem was unique.
Yalu: That is a good idea, Counselor. I think I will do that. Maybe once I’ve collected my thoughts a bit, we could revisit this in another session?
Meidra: Of course, is there anything else you would like to discuss while you are here?
((Timeskip – 45 minutes later))
The time allotted for his session having fully elapsed, Yogan stood and stretched his legs. During the latter part of their session, Yogan had discussed his background and his experiences at the Academy in greater detail. It was a positive session overall, and Yogan felt good about the next steps to handle the situation with his siblings. There were a few other issues he thought he might want to discuss, but they had to do with some of his previous hosts’ memories, and he didn’t feel comfortable talking about that. At least, not yet.
Yalu: Thank you very much for your time, Counselor. I appreciate your insight, and your advice.
Meidra: I am gratified by your words. Let me know when you would like to schedule your next visit with me.
Yalu: I will.
Yogan, feeling better about some things but still troubled by others, smiled and nodded gratefully to the Counselor, then exited the office to the corridor.
Ensign Meidra Sirin
Ensign Yogan Yalu
USS Resolution NCC-78145