Obsidian Command
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Peeling Back Paul's Layers (Backlog)

Posted on 03 Oct 2018 @ 1:22pm by Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Russell

Mission: Character Development
Location: Paul's Office
Timeline: Immediately after 'Seeing the Shrink', just after the events of 'The Admiral's Daughter'

Some days Jon believed in coincidence, random chance & possibility conspiring in some unlikely combination for good or ill. Today wasn't one of those days. He was much less inclined to believe in semi-supersticious stuff like that when things seemed to be working against him. The Thames almost blowing up or crashing or whatever was about to happen as the Runabout approached the station had put him on edge, which might be affecting his judgement, but still, better safe than sorry.

He stepped into the station police offices, approaching the front desk and offered the officer behind it a friendly smile. "Hi, I'm Jon Russell, the new station Counselor, I was hoping to speak to someone about a... security concern."

The female officer, still fairly new since she had only, as of only a few days ago, temporarily taken over Waters' clerk duties due to his involvement in the Onyx investigation, gave Russell a small smile then furrowed her eyebrows at the computer panel in front of her. Which button to Commander Reed's office was it again? She had already pressed the comm to Captain Reed's office a few times in error. At least they were both very patient and understanding...

Finally pressing what appeared to be the correct button, the slight crackle from the comm popped up. "Commander, I have a Jon Russell, one of the Counselors, here to see you," the woman was attempting to suppress her rather thick French accent as she spoke to him.

There was a brief pause where Paul let out a small sigh in his office. Too much clean-up to do, and now that he was on a roll and knocking things out of course yet another person wanted to see him. And, of course, it was one of the Counselors Amaya had ordered for him and his people. Paul had far more important things to work on than expressing what little feelings he had about his recent work. "You can send him in, Laurent, thank you."

Laurent, with a very satisfied look on her face, gave Russell a wide smile as her green eyes crinkled in pride. She was brand new to the force, just fresh out of the academy, and was finally not making a fool of herself. "You can go right in, Sir."

"Thanks officer." He flashed her a grin before he went in.

"Mister Reed, thanks for seeing me on short notice." Jon held out a hand in greeting as he stepped into the police commander's office.

Paul stood up and extended his hand out to him. "No worries, Mr. Russell. Please, take a seat." He began awkwardly moving around the PADDs that were scattered in front of him so he could get a clearer view of the counselor. "What can I help you with?"

"I'm not the kinda guy who reports anything to security, especially not on a new assignment, but I can't shake the idea that there's something shady going down. I imagine you're aware of the engine trouble my Runabout had on the way here. Once we got the thing docked, we had all the attention you'd expect, security, engineers, just about everyone was poking around." Jon began. "Now everyone was busy except this one fella, a Bajoran in a blue uniform. He was standing back with a tricorder, but wasn't using it.

"I was a little banged up, and thinking he was a medic, I asked him to take a look at my elbow. He said he wasn't medical and cleared off pretty quickly." The Counselor gave a half smile. "I know it sounds a little paranoid and usually I'd just ignore it. I probably would've done if I hadn't seen the guy two more times in the last couple of days."

Paul raised his eyebrow a bit. "That is strange. I'll talk to my officers and see if they've seen anyone similar lurking around the docking ports." He gave Russell a small smile. "I appreciate you bringing this to my attention." He was feeling a bit relieved that this may have been the only conversation the counselor wanted to have with him, at least for now. It was a goal of his to push back the psychological debrief as far as possible to the point were Amaya may not even notice that he avoided going.

"Hopefully it's nothing." Jon replied. "But thanks for looking into it. I'll need to talk to you at some point about how our departments are supposed to interact. You guys are technically civvies, right? But you fall within the Starfleet command structure?"

Chuckling, Paul never got tired of having to explain the Chain of Command to Starfleet personnel. It was mostly because he was at the top of it for Security. "Yes, we are civilians but we patrol the public areas and investigate crimes that have occurred there. Starfleet Security and the Marines handle the critical Starfleet areas. And I get to sit here and overlook everyone and plow through piles of PADDs until I get a chance to get my hands dirty."

"Kinda makes sense, military law never looks good, even on a starbase." Jon admitted, although he wasn't sure that having Starfleet anywhere in their chain of command was a good idea. "Has there been much cooperation between you guys and counseling in the past or do you prefer to keep things separate?"

Paul's smirk grew slightly. "To be perfectly honest my officers tend to turn to each other for counseling. Haven't had much luck with outside counseling, especially with the crap we've had to deal with." He tightened his lips again to prevent mentioning Amaya's order.

There was clearly a story there, but Jon decided not to push it yet. If the cop wanted to share, then he'd likely do it on his own time. "Well, I'm not gonna insist on anything with you guys." He replied. "If you need any help with cases though, I've done my share of profiling for Starfleet and a couple of other organisations and I'm happy to lend a hand, even if you just wanna bounce theories around."

Paul gave him a nod and a smile. "I'm sure the detectives would appreciate any assistance." He paused, randomly reminded about Caroline and new career goal. "Oh, I do have a favor to ask. My niece, who's about to turn 18, was actually looking into going into Psychology work, more specifically Youth Counseling. She's incredibly smart and quick, though a little on the shy side. Would you be willing to maybe meet with her? Get a feel for her and maybe guide her on possible programs that would help her?"

"Sure, I'd be happy to help." Jon replied. It was always helpful for young people to have someone to have someone to discuss potential career choices with. "Does she live on the station?"

Nodding, Paul leaned forward on his desk and rested his elbows on the edge. “I would really appreciate it. She lives on the station, has been here for almost a year. A little background on her: she’s actually my adoptive niece. She’s from the Mirror Universe and after a little mishap over there she was brought back here and adopted by one of the Marines, Major Sharpe. Her name is Caroline Hatfield. She’s kind of been adopted by the entire police force. So no pressure there, right?” He gave Jon a smirk.

Jon raised an eyebrow. From what he understood, the mirror universe was one of the infinite parallel realities, and the theory was that this one happened to exist on the closest vibrational frequency to their own, meaning that there had been an unusually high number of encounters with them. It also happened to be a particularly dark reflection of their world. "Send her my way and I'll talk to her. How's she responded to her... chance of location?"

Paul gave Jon a shrug. "Actually she's been handling herself rather well, especially with what she had to go through over there. She's naturally very shy and sort of clings onto her family but she's done really well in school. Her brother has been concerned with her being so shy and introverted around people but she has really gotten better with the help of her sister. She has made some friends too, although those friends are cops," his mouth widened into a smile. "She was forced to leave her own family at the hands of the Mirror Base Commander. I think her taking this step in wanting to help others is really an important step. She normally has a hard time asking for help because she was so used to living with nothing back at her old home. Caroline very rarely talks about her time there and usually we try not to bring it up since she's been doing so well here."

"That's a heck of a history." Jon said, running a head through his beard. "I'd like to think talking about this job might make her more open to discussing her own experiences. Sounds like she's got a lot to unpack and you definitely need to own your baggage if you wanna be successful doing this, believe me."

"Naturally," Paul nodded in agreement. "Same goes for most public service jobs. Can't help others if you can't help yourself." He paused, giving the statement a bit more time to churn in his mind. He decided to not avoid the topic anymore. Amaya very rarely asked him of anything anyway. "I know you have just gotten here but have you been briefed about the most recent critical incident involving us and the Marines down on Loki? I figured it didn't hurt to ask."

"Not really." Jon admitted. "I've read the basics, but I haven't had a chance to get into the details yet. How do you feel it went?"

Paul gave him another casual shrug. "It went like any other Investigation went, except for a few hiccups. We were overall successful and my people and the Marines did one hell of a job. They managed to reveal an entire prostitution ring at this secluded hotel along with finding Admiral Broll's missing daughter. Unfortunately her husband hasn't been found yet but, apparently, he had fallen victim to one of the leaders' mind control games." Once he started talking, he realized he had just completely skimmed the surface as to what had really happened when trying to emphasize the positives that came out of it. He had gotten shot at and nearly killed leaving his wife widowed and unborn child fatherless along with his people almost losing their own lives while being held captive. He had to constantly remind himself this was all a part of the job and what they all had signed up for. That seemed to get everyone through the darkness. It was all a part of the job. Was Jon the type of counselor who would understand that?

Jon nodded slowly. "No mission ever goes perfectly, sounds like you came out of it with a good result." The fact that the security officer hadn't offered any more than an overview of the mission was telling, especially when he had volunteered it to a counselor. "Now what is it you're not telling me?"

As the smirk widened across his lips, Paul knew he would never get off that easy. It also felt strange that he was talking to a counselor and not to Richard who was still recovering in the Infirmary. "I made my wife cry. She is one of the toughest people I have ever met and worked with. She's only cried twice in her life and I have been the reason for both. She is three months pregnant and was listening to the comm while I was being shot at multiple times. But the ironic thing is that if she wasn't pregnant she probably would have been one of the detectives that had gotten kidnapped and held in the basement of that goddamn hotel." He paused as he felt his voice begin to firm up at the thought of What if? "Now, I've been shot before and I lost an old patrol partner. This is all a part of the job and she understands that just as much as I do. Even with our kid on the way she kissed me goodbye and wished me luck before I went down to Loki."

"Y'know we talk a lot about things like duty, honour and moral obligation, justify the things we have to do with the noblest of intentions." Jon began. "But when you're on the ground, all that goes to hell. If you're fighting someone, you're doing it so you can go home to the people you love. That's the best motivation anyone can have to get themselves out of that situation. It'll only get stronger once the kid arrives. Thing is, hard as that is, it's even worse for those people left at home. Your life's changing in about the biggest way it ever will and it's hard to keep on an even keel, for.you and your wife. Now I'm not a parent, but I've been around enough to know this, once that child arrives, you'll know exactly how you feel about doing your job. And so will your wife."

Paul nodded. "We're just here to make Obsidian a safer place, especially for our son." He let out a small sigh. "Makes us want to work just as hard, if not harder than we have before. She and I were old patrol partners a long time ago and we rekindled our affair when she transferred here. This whole marriage and baby thing has certainly made us look at the base differently. I mean, how will it look to him when he's an adult? Will it be better? Will it be worse? Will it be like Caroline's old life back in the alternate universe?" He paused, realizing at this point he was rambling. And revealing a bit too much. Damn, Jon was good.

Jon leaned back in his chair. "I'd hope it won't look much like that other universe. Other than that though, who knows what things will be like next year, let alone twenty years from now. You might have an idea what you'd like it to be though, and you're in a position to help make that happen, which not everyone can do."

“Damn right we are.” Paul let out a chuckle and rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. “And so are you. You make sure we’re healthy enough to take on the burden of the darkness that lurks around here. That’s gotta take a toll on you.” He leaned forward and placed his elbows on his desk. “I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard someone ramble on about the greater good and all that bullshit.”

"The concept isn't bullshit, it's a great idea." Jon replied. "But in practice, that's rarely what motivates us. We're selfish, we look after our own, we just need to make sure those wants and needs align with something bigger from time to time."

Paul shook his head. "Yeah, tell that to the criminals who prey off of the weak and vulnerable." He let out a sigh, then stood up and extended his hand out to Jon. "Well, I should probably let you go get settled her. Welcome aboard, Jon. And than you for the talk."

"Thanks Commander." Jon shook his hand, standing to leave. "Send your niece my way whenever she's ready."

Paul nodded. "I will, and thank you."


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