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Topic: Day 02 [1058 hrs.] Finding Yourself (Read 262 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 02 [1058 hrs.] Finding Yourself
Finding Yourself

STARDATE: SD 57561.24
March 12th, 2381
1058 hrs.

[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Transporter room | USS Theurgy ][/b] @Auctor Lucan

It had been work, work, work, nonstop. Shore leave for a ship was one of the busiest times for a counselor, as all the crew finally has a chance to process their recent and not-so-recent traumas. She expected to have very little in the way of personal time. So she savored the few minutes she did have while waiting.Now was one such a time. She was in the transporter room of her vector, waiting patiently for her next appointment to show up.

As always, she looked perfectly composed, not a thread out of place. As always, she concealed quite a bit of turmoil in her mind. She missed her position as chief counselor. For as much complaining as she had put up about it, she missed it, and she wanted it back at the earliest convenience. Now, she wouldn't be able to take it. Hathev was competent, solid. Perhaps she underestimated the potential for trouble the Theurgy provided, but if she were truly competent, that flaw would not last long, and there'd be no way to exploit it for her own gain. Furthermore, Hathev had eighty years experience. Eighty! Ejek simply couldn't match up to that, no two ways about it.

Perhaps this was for the best though. A department full of chaos, mistakes will inevitably be made and they won't be ascribed to her...but she couldn't help it. She felt anger, bitterness. Sadness, maybe, but why? Why did this position mean so much to her? She didn't even feel particularly strongly about the Federation or it's politics, so why did this mean anything?

Her thoughts were interrupted when the technician at the control panel let her know that Rawley was beaming in. Evelyn Rawley, Lieutenant Junior Grade, a fighter pilot. 27 years old, human female. A brief glimpse over her profile gave her some bare boned basics about who she was and what her career looked like, but not much about her mental state. She sent a message late last night requesting a session, and the only counselor with a free slot today was Ejek herself. She would have to find out herself. When the woman came into view, Ejek greeted her with a gentle smile and a warm,
"Good morning. You're right on time. I'm Zelosa Ejek, you may call me Counselor Ejek if you like."
  • Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 11:43:34 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #1
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Transporter Room | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]
When she materialised on the transporter pad, Rawley wore a frown along with her off duty attire. She ran a hand over her shaved head, making the white wolf on the sleeve of her unzipped hoodie catch the overhead light, along with the white tanktop she wore underneath it. She stepped off the slick surface of the pad with her rough boots, and her baggy cargo pants rode low on her hips. Her brown eyes, creased at the corners, might have been keen when they settled on the speaker, but Rawley was tired - lack of proper sleep wearing at her. She felt like a manky codger.

A 'dassian counselor? she thought, but the woman wore the uniform, and didn't have her hair in the traditional way of her species, so perhaps there was some story to it? Rawley had no cause to doubt the woman. Especially since she apparently was one of the big-wigs in her department, and truly... Evelyn knew she had to spill her bloody guts. She'd told herself too long she'd manage anyway, but fuck it. Enough was enough.

"Counselor," she said and inclined her head to the woman, reaching her where she had been standing in wait for her arrival. Given how easy on the eye the woman was, Rawley had to suppress the instinct to cock-up and be some cack-handed pillock, the instinct there already about making some kind of flirty remark. That sure as hell wouldn't be ideal. She used sex for distraction, and distraction was really counter-productive right then. As much as she hated it, she couldn't afford keeping her head in the sand. She couldn't help looking though, if only for a second or two.

"Thanks," she said, clearing her throat while she cocked a hip and put her hand on it, not quite knowing the procedure. "For having the time for me, otherwise I'd just continue to arse about." She cleaned her teeth with her tongue for a moment in thought, glancing towards the transporter officer and then the door. She sure as hell wouldn't start talking there, but she suspected the Lieutenant has some kind of office in mind. Never having seen a counselor aboard the bloody ship before, she did't know where the fuck to go either.

Shite but this is going to be awkward, she thought, gritting her teeth together. She began to snap the finger joints of her free hand, lookng towards the woman face again. Easy enough to look there, for sure, the scales bloody nice too. "Lead the way, I guess?"
  • Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 10:09:48 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #2
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Transporter room | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

As Rawley appeared and stepped off the transporter PADD, she looked like a walking stereotype. She was dressed casually, but in a way that made sure to send off the signal that she was rough and tumble. Her body language added to the effect. To Ejek, it seemed she cared about her appearance though not in the ways typically expected of women. It was interesting to note that despite the apparent care she took to appear a certain way, she also seemed tired, or grouchy. Maybe both, or maybe her eyes were just like that. Speaking of her eyes, they were giving her that particular look. The one most of her clients gave her when meeting her the first time. She wanted to shrug it off, but she never really could. Something about being seen as an object irked her.

But, for as long as she was Ejek on a ship full of Federation officers, they'd oogle her like she was there specifically for them to enjoy. The curse of being one of Cardassia's orphans meant she wouldn't be going home, so until she found a nice out-of-the-way colony to settle on...this was it. At least the client didn't say anything inappropriate. With her sour mood, Ejek was likely to say something about it.

"You're certainly welcome." She offered her the warm smile. Evelyn was fidgeting. Cracking her knuckles, glancing around...she was nervous. First meetings tended to be that way. So the first step was offer Evelyn some control over the situation.

"Although protocol insists that counseling meetings be performed in a counseling room, I personally make allowances to have counseling elsewhere on the ship. Many clients prefer to have their sessions someplace slightly less....stale. If you have someplace you'd rather go that isn't my office, I'll be willing to have counseling there, so long as the setting is private. If not, I'll lead you to my temporary office."

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #3
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Transporter Room | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]
Rawley listened to the offer that Counselor Ejek made, nodding but having no other good suggestion to offer in terms of location. She'd love to drink in one of the lounges, but that was hardly a private setting. Going down to Aldea was problematic, in how she'd have to change into one of those Aldean dresses. She had no idea what false identity Lieutenant Ejek had been given by the Aldean brass, but it was all just too much of a bother for a mere talk, as far as Rawley was concerned. The shipyards? Klingon bars or one of those lofty Aldean museums? No, fuck that.

"Your office will be good enough for me," she said, falling in step with the Cardassian - letting her lead the way. "I'm due for flight sims in an hour. 'Promised I'd show something to another pilot. I'd love to go planetside. Just not enough bloody time."

Accompanying Ejek down the corridor, she started up talking anyway, it just being small talk for the time being.

"Don't remember seeing you on the Sword when we fought the Klingons," she commented, fairly sure the other woman had been on another Vector. "Did you end up on the Helmet?"

Hearsay had it that Commander Trent was removed from command mid-battle with the bloody Archeron and its fleet. That's supposedly why Wenn Cinn led the ship to the Borg cube. Ives seemed to have ruled in favour of the action too, Trent nowhere close to the brass any more. Perhaps the counselor had some inside knowledge on it, she hoped. The Lone Wolves hadn't even been deployed when the Theurgy reintegrated at the Third Rendezvous, so Rawley had no insight on the tactical situation either.

Oh, but it was easy to delve into other matters than herself. She was supposed to focus on her own needs and regrets, but instead she was just thinking about the past again. Don't bloody cock this up, will you? she told herself, knowing that she used to be less than forthcoming. She'd give the counselor and her craft a shot, to see if the 'dassian had any tools to work with. She decided to change the subject.

"The Resolve had the Grey Wolves, right? I am guessing you've heard the laments of us bloody pilots before then? Your usual bread and butter talks?"

There was hope in that, at least. Not all counselors knew what wolves such as her dealt with on a regular basis.

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #4
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Transporter room | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

The office it was. As Rawley spoke, Ejek began leading her towards the office without word. She was listening, watching the other's body language. Even the small talk gave Ejek little glimpses into who she was, how she was feeling.

Rawley was uncomfortable with silence. She spoke to fill in the quiet as they traveled. Ejek smiled to herself--this session would be interesting.
"I was on vector 02 of the Theurgy." She stated, simply. She would not go into what she did or what position she served--it might upset the delicate balance of the therapeutic relationship to do so. Thankfully, Rawley wasn't particularly interested either. She was bouncing from topic to topic. She was carefully broaching the topic of counseling other fighter pilots. Ejek was an unknown to Rawley, and perhaps counseling as a whole was unknown. She was trying to test the waters, so to speak. Ejek led the way to the turbolift, and she listened. She allowed a silence to hang between the end of Rawley's words and her own, waiting until they were both in the lift and the doors had closed to speak.

"Yes, we did have the Grey Wolves. It would be inaccurate to say that any of the men and women I've counseled are 'bread and butter', or even usual. Perhaps their pains were similar, but every pilot's pains are unique. I would be a fool to assume anything about you based off my experience with the Grey Wolves. That said..." She smiled, a wry sort of smile like she knew a secret or two. "Thanks to them, very little surprises me anymore."

The lift had come to a stop, so she stepped off and continued to lead the way to her office.

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #5
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Transporter Room | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]
Rawley had been surprised when the 'dassian said she was on Vector 02, since she'd never seen the counselor on the Sword for the duration of the Continuance Protocol. Then again, even just a third of the Theurgy was a big place, so she thought naught more of it. Her answer to the question about the Grey Wolves could mean anything, but at least there was experience with Tac CONN, which was a boon in Rawley's book. While they walked the corridor towards what Rawley assumed would be the counselor's office, she put her hands in her pockets and spoke again.

"I would imagine your time on this bloody ship would continue in the same damn manner," she said with a lopsided smile, glancing towards officers they passed in an easy manner. "I'd say facing the TFA at Starbase 84, followed by the Devoted, the Asurians and the Savi would offer little more room for surprises. Still you were on the same Vector as me, where the Lone Wolves fought Martok at the heart of the bloody Nebula. Same area where we fucked over the Borg less than twelve hours later - when the ship was back together again. Not shitting over the Grey Wolves and the three years of hardships you all had on the Resolve, just saying this shitshow with the Infested must have piled on a bit."

When they reached the office, Rawley let the woman lead the way inside, and she looked for somewhere to sit. Picking what seemed the most natural spot for the occasion, sat perched on the edge, her elbows on her knees and her hands rubbing at the stiffness around a scar across the heel of her hand. Frowning, she supposed she should bring up what was bothering her. She had asked for the session after all.

"I'm having issues in my squad, which I don't want to spread around there, knowing that it may fuck up any chances that the pilots will merge into a functioning, cohesive unit," she said, not entirely sure where to begin. "I'm one of the last original Lone Wolves. We've lost all but a few. Been fighting since November last year. We were sixteen back then. Now, it's Ravon, Douglas, Lance, Isley, Renard and I. Six left out of sixteen, with ten new pilots from the Grey Wolves and the White Wolves. My bloody issue is not with them. I like the new blood well enough. They've made it easier to deal with the old stuff."

That, and drinking, but that's hardly new. Been drinking to take the edge off for years. "The old stuff is... It's fucked up, really, and the blame is hard to pin down for me, if I should be blaming anyone at all." She frowned darkly. "Well, in one case, I sure as hell know where I should take issue. Guess I should start there. It's what pisses me off the most. Bluntly said, without the tactical jargon about the flying muddling the waters, one of the old Lone Wolves used me as bait, risking my life, to fight the Reavers of the USS Calamity. Before your time aboard, but let's just say it wasn't a pretty battle. What happened has made me distrust this squad member. Can't trust him. Hate him still for what he did. He knows I do. It's this damn schism in the squad we can't afford. No idea what to do about it. So here I am."
  • Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 10:13:14 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #6
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Transporter room | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

Rawley may not have been entirely satisfied with Ejek's answer, but that was quite alright. Ejek wasn't there to be perfect, just to do her job. She watched Rawley smile over at passing officers. She was concerned with social upkeep, or appearances at least. Great care taken to look as if she did not care at all, most interesting.

She opened the door to the office she was using. Inside was a standard setup. A desk, for paperwork, with a chair on the other side for more official meetings. Ejek had not yet taken the time to make this officer he home, nor would she, so the desk remained mostly unused. The most important part of this room were the two armchairs sitting next to one another, at an angle, and the end table between them. That right there was where the magic happened. Rawley took a seat there, sitting as if she were on pins and needles. Ejek sat next to her, sitting back. Slightly more relaxed, but never unprofessional. Speaking of appearances...

Ejek did not have to ask Rawley to begin, she did that on her own. It must've been a great pain in her heart to have kept it all inside for so long. Squad conflict, it seemed. Most of her squad was gone, replaced with new blood. She was mindful enough to see a counselor to work out the issue rather than create group conflict. A socially aware individual? In Starfleet? What a rare treat.

Her presenting problem was unique as well. It wasn't a personal issue at all, it was an issue with another member. Again--interesting.
"So you've come to me because you are looking for solutions to this issue between you and your squad mate. Unfortunately, counselors are not solution dispensary. I don't tell you what to do. I'm sure your superiors are much better at that. In this office, we work together to help you create your own solutions. So let's start-- tell me more about the situation between you and this individual who used you as bait. You don't have to disclose names if you're not comfortable doing so."

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #7
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Counselling Office | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]
Yeah, Rawley hadn't been expecting the 'dassian to be some all-knowing fucking oracle. She knew how counselors worked even if she had little experience with them. She needed a ballplank, and a person who could see other viewpoints than her own fucked up view of Miles Renard and her situation. Perhaps even some methods to not give a shit about the Vulpinian's damn actions. Some help to move the fuck on, that would be bloody smashing, so that she could focus and do what she should even in his vicinity.

Then again, Ejek might as well have just tried to lower her expectations, so she didn't comment, rubbing her hands where she sat and thought about how to answer.

"Kind of hard not to mention names, given rank and responsibilities and all. Events would not make much sense to you otherwise, I think," she said thinking back and lowering her head. She ran a hand over the stubble on her scalp and decided to begin with some bloody context. "The Lone Wolves had a Squadron Commanding Officer before we fled from Earth. Taylor Lucas, callsign Iceman. Human. Brilliant pilot. Good enough leader. He was shot in what has become known as the Niga Incident and he's currently still in stasis last I checked. After he was put on ice, Captain Ives promoted a fellow Lone Wolf named Miles Renard, who became the new SCO. To begin with, things were working fine enough. Though I wasn't flying much since I was in sickbay with head damage. Took the chances I got, though."

Without medical leave, perhaps, but there were things to shoot. What was she supposed to do? Wank off on some biobed? Bloody hell no. "When we did repairs on Theta Eridani IV, the planet-side triage centre collapsed, and I escaped by hijacking a Reaver that tried to kill the rest of the fleeing patients. Had to use an isomagnetic disintegreator to blow a hole in the cockpit of that nightmare flighter from the future. Anyway, I digress. I resumed to fly with the squadron for real that day, when Renard was leading the pack."

She had a lot to unpack, Rawley realised, wanting to talk about Soo Young Seung, how she went MIA and returned, and how that fucked her up. She supposed she should talk about how Ravon had been mind-controlled by Doctor Maya and tried to force himself on her, but didn't get the bloody chance. She should talk about being cut up so bad by the Devoted she'd nearly fucking died. She raised a shaking hand to her face and rubbed her eyes, taking a deep breath. She just wasn't sure she could deal with all of that too. No, focus on Renard.

"It was the last battle with the Calamity, I was charging against five Reavers with my Mk III Valkyrie. Had them in my sights. Didn't give a fuck that they were trying to hit me too. I didn't slow down. Comm chatter was fucking up my focus so I killed it for the assault. Danced sideways, strafing as I closed the distance. In the end, I charged without altering course, getting them all to try and break away to avoid collision, and then stick torps in their bloody arses. Only Renard, he fired a fucking Hell Hound cluster bomb on me, thinking her knew what I was about to do. He used my emissions to guide the bomb to the Reavers, and then, when I cleared them, he'd set the thing on a fuse. The Hell Hound blew up in my wake, adding fireworks to mine in order to target the Reavers."

Rawley frowned and cleaned the front of her teeth with her tongue, cracking her knuckles. "The big fucking problem with that is that if I'd had any cause to break away, or decelerated, he'd have fucking destroyed me. The Hell Hound is one of the biggest fucking torps that can be mounted on a fighter. I'd be fucking dust. After the battle, I asked what the fuck he'd been doing, and he just said he took a chance at me not breaking away from the Reavers, just so that he could deploy his Hell Hound. I fucking punched him to the deck for that shite answer, and I can't trust the damn Vulpinian any longer. I mean, he was my SCO, and he just fucking didn't... How could he just...Arrgh!"

She wanted to spit on the deck, but it wouldn't be right to the counselor. Rawley sighed and leaned back instead. "He was thought KIA at Starbase 84, and I had some bloody mixed feelings about that, but he just found his way back to the Theurgy when we fought the Borg. Not sure how to move on, and not be so damn bothered by his mere presence..."

She trailed off, finding herself thinking of Soo again.
  • Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 05:14:30 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Day 02 [1058 hrs.] Finding Yourself
Reply #8
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Transporter room | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

Rawley began her story. Ejek listened close. It wasn't the details of the story that were most important, though she did make a mental note of every character and event mentioned, but it was how Rawley spoke about it that mattered most to Ejek. Factual, but went off on tangents that described her role in things. Gave extra context, possibly for Ejek's benefit. She shook partway though. There was a lot of stress going on, perhaps related to the rest of the narrative she had yet to tell...

She used her pack's jargon to describe what happened. Again, typical. Ejek found herself following along better than she thought she might. She didn't ask for definitions or explanations. She watched Rawley's movement, her body language, sitting still in her chair. When Rawley trailed off, she allowed for a moment of quiet, to let the other sit in her feelings.
"Your life was put at significant risk by your new commanding officer and you're not feeling safe in your pack anymore, whereas before it sounded like you trusted your pack with your life." She spoke, but she caught that tone of voice Rawley had towards the end. She wanted to seize on that, so she went on. "It sounded like you were about to continue speaking there. Was there something else...?"

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #9
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Counselling Office | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]
Finding herself nodding at Counselor Ejek's assessment in regard to the former SCO and the pack, she then changed her mind and shook her head instead. "I mean, Thomas Ravon is the SCO now, after Miles went missing. It's been decided he'll remain SCO too. Problem with that is that he tried to bloody rape me," she said, but realised that was unfair. It was not the whole truth of it, and certainly not something she could justly spread around. "No, actually, it wasn't really him. It was Doctor Maya - a Vulcan who had mind-melded him and fucked up his head. Oh, don't put the blame on the Vulcan either, because after the ship merged again, I heard that, apparently, it was Nicander... that bloody Infested that has been aboard since the ship left drydock. Somehow, it was he who made Maya do it. As far as Doctors go, I hate them in general, but... Anyway, Ravon and I are good. Now."

She had another issue, which she believed Ejek would have experience with given the Resolve's voyage and the fate of the once 32 warp fighter strong Grey Wolves being reduced to just... four? Three? She want's sure. For her, it was more personal in nature, what still gnawed at her. "When we fled Earth," she said, cracking the joints of her fingers were she sat on the edge of the chair. "I was seeing another Lone Wolf. Her name was Soo Young Seung, and she went bloody MIA one day in the midst of fighting. Thought I lost her for sure. Tore me up real bad. I mean, I couldn't fly, couldn't fucking come to terms with it. When I was cleared to fly again, we were hit real hard by Admiral Sankolov and his fleet. I wound up in sickbay with close proximity shockwave damage to my head. Usually kills people instantaneously, but my helmet saved me. I fucked up, and it was because of Soo, having lost my edge."

The next part was a bit more difficult. "Then, at Theta Eridani IV, where the Theurgy landed for repairs after the first battle with the Calamity, Soo showed up again, having navigated and followed our trail, finding us with a great deal of luck. Only..." Rawley bared her teeth and looked away. "I sort of hated how weak she made me. How the fuck should I be able to fly if the loss of one Wolf shuts me down so completely? We had words, I kind of broke up with her, because she was messing up my focus. I nearly got myself killed because of her. Perhaps I just needed time, who knows? If there was a future between me and Soo... I'll never learn. She was shot down in front of me during the Vasser mutiny. Killed before we could speak again."

Frowning hard, she glared at the deck between her boots - eyes blurry. "I even lost my half-brother during that mutiny, Cale Winterbourne shot to death by Captain Vasser's brainwashed goons... but what stays with me still is Soo dying in front of me, and I couldn't move. Couldn't speak. I just stared... like a fucking moron. Luckily the shooter was taken care of, Thomas Ravon handling it... but bloody hell... I still have the image at the back of my eyelids."

Some losses were heavier than others. Rawley finally leaned back in her chair and pinched the bridge of her nose. Fuck if she was going to cry.

Re: Day 02 [1058 hrs.] Finding Yourself
Reply #10
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Transporter room | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

As Ejek listened, she found a new thought rising in her head. The thought was this: None of her counseling textbooks or classes in the Academy ever mentioned complex trauma on this level. Similarly, none of her continued education ever touched on subjects like this. Rape was certainly a topic discussed with her supervisors, but never in her wildest dreams did she ever ask about rape committed by a perpetrator three people removed. Now, Ejek had the confidence to deal with these sorts of unique situations now, but back in her Academy days? She would never have known what to do. Perhaps she should begin writing her own research papers. She'd never get them published while aboard the Theurgy, but years and years of accumulated research on complex, "bizarre" trauma...she might be sitting on something of a specialty here.

Rawley was starting to touch on some powerful emotions. Before the tears started, Ejek looked over at the table between them. There were tissues positioned on that table, and it seemed like there were plenty. Good. She had a feeling it was beginning.

She allowed Rawley a moment after she stopped speaking. The silence was intentional. Rawley needed to feel the emotions as they came. Ejek would not deny her that chance by speaking quickly, nor would she make an attempt to stop her tears as they came. When she did speak, her voice was quieter still. Privately, she referred to this as her motherly voice, though she did not outwardly sound like one.

"You've experienced many kinds of loss, of many different people. It's normal that some losses hit us differently--sometimes harder than we would expect. It sounds to me like you feel regret. I'm seeing that there was unfinished business with Soo, maybe more so than you had with your half-brother."  She pulled the tissue box slightly forward. The gesture was meant to draw attention to it, should Rawley need it, but without demanding that she use it. "I'm wondering if you can tell me how it is for you to speak about her again?"

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #11
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Counselling Office | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
[Show/Hide]
Rawley noticed the gesture with the tissue box in her peripheral vision, but while she registered it, she made no motion towards it. It felt like her head had become this broken tape recorder of the 20th century, which just rewinded and played the sequence again and again. Soo's face, lit by the phaser bolt that tore a hole through her chest. The incomprehension of what had happened. The wide eyes. Minute pain. Loss of breath. Then, the eyes saw nothing. She was dead before she hit the flight deck.

Counselor Ejek asked how it felt to speak of Soo again.

"Like it's me being shot down... Again and again," she managed eventually in a thick voice, and sat forward again, leaning on her knees with her elbows and rubbing both her hands over her shaved head. She glared at the deck, hating this fucking pain. The invisible damn wound that wouldn't bloody heal. "I should not have pushed h-her away. I should have been with her, not estranging her out of s-some damn fear for my own weakness. She s-shouldn't have had to be alone when the Theurgy w-was hijacked by the Vasser mutineers. I hate hindsight."

Despite her best efforts, and the way she ground her teeth together, she couldn't stop herself from shedding the bitter tears that fell to the deck between her boots. She noticed that her heel was jumping with pent up rage, and she wanted to lash out and fuck something up, tearing up her bloody knuckles against the bulkhead or something. She wanted to scream... but there was no wind left in her. She dug her fingers into her scalp instead, as if trying to keep her mind in one piece.

"After Ravon and I reconciled," she said, in attempt to change topic, finding that her own personal injury was easier to talk about than Soo,"the Devoted attacked us. This was just after we entered the Azure Nebula, and Ravon learned his head had been compromised by the Vulcan. That bloody cult wanted access to phasers, and since we store weapons in our cockpits, they tried to convince Ravon to give access, at the threat of his life. Ravon and I would have none of that, and fought them. They had knives, and we didn't. Got cut up really bad, almost bled out before the EMH managed to put me into stasis. It wasn't until after the Savi ship attacked that they could give me a blood transfusion and patch me up. Would have won the fight if it hadn't been for the knives. Fucking fanatics..."

The sense of helplessness lingered with her, however, in how she couldn't muster the strength to continue fighting. Her body, shutting down on her. It was like falling asleep. Darkness waiting to embrace her vision completely.

She hadn't seen Soo waiting for her, she realised.

Wide-eyed, she wondered... what did that have to do with anything?

Re: Day 02 [1058 hrs.] Finding Yourself
Reply #12
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Transporter room | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

Then it began. The pain, the waterworks. The meat and potatoes of counseling. Ejek was worried Rawley would be a difficult client, but in actuality, she came in, sat down, and began in on emotional work relatively quickly into the session. There was no beating around the bush. It made Ejek's job that much easier.

Having a crying client always felt a little strange, but she'd long developed the skills to handle it. Compartmentalize the emotional response, rely on your training. When she spoke, her voice was softer still...

"I can see that it hurts right now. You carry many old wounds with you. So much has happened to you to tear you apart on the inside. Coming here and feeling those old feelings is important. They are unpleasant, but an important part of healing from grief is allowing yourself to feel the pain...That said." She gave Rawley a knowing look, "I know we are trying to avoid the topic of Soo. I'm wondering if you feel comfortable enough to return there, as it seems like this is the source of a significant amount of pain for you."

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #13
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Counselling Office | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
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There was no fooling the 'Dassian. She had done this too often, and knew an evasion well. Rawley clenched her teeth, knowing that it was useless to bottle up the last fucking regret unspoken.

"I should not have pushed her away at Theta Eridani IV," she grated, her own words making it the truth she'd denied herself. Despite how weak Soo had made her feel, she shouldn't have been so selfish. "She'd been alone in her cockpit for weeks, and she came to me, and I just bloody dismissed her. I was afraid of what she'd reduced me to, how it had almost killed me when out there in my fighter. I... did not see how my f-feelings for her weren't a flaw. It... wasn't a weakness. It was just hurt, and it hurt as hell. I did... I didn't allow myself to be dependant on another, after almost getting killed. I thought she had died, lost in that battle before Niga, but then she just waltzed right back from the blackness of space as if nothing had happened - expecting me to just..."

Rawley clenched her fists so hard her knuckles popped, and she wanted to head to the gym and unleash everything into one of he sand bags there. She felt her shoulders shake from the way she'd balled up her hands. "Had I been with her, I would not have lost her again. I was a selfish fool, and I regret it. I know I did not pull the bloody trigger on her. I'm not that daft, but had been able to go back, I would not have bloody hurt her and sent her away."

The admission, it felt so raw, after never having told a soul. Of course Soo hadn't advertised how they'd fallen apart either.

"She was angry with me... but I could see... I could hear how much I hurt her too," Rawley rasped, eyes reddened as she glanced towards Counselor Ejek. "Can I leave, or do you recommend I talk more? I... need to strike something, and I want to spare your furniture."

Re: Day 02 [1058 hrs.] Finding Yourself
Reply #14
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Transporter room | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

There it was. Ejek barely had to do anything. She offered a safe place to speak, she asked a few opening questions, she redirected her, and it all came out. It was easy--too easy. Though she kept face well, she wondered in the back of her mind what else was going on. Sure, she was traumatized and the issue was very close to the surface, but the boundaries fell away so quickly. Too quickly. All she could do right now was watch, listen, keep using Rogerian techniques, and see what other signs she picked up.

Rawley wanted something to strike. It was a simple request, and truthfully a common one, especially among tactical officers. She thought for a moment about the consequences of denying and accepting the request before speaking. Normally she'd guide the therapy towards the holodeck, but that was an interruption in the session that she did not like to have. It wasn't her furniture, and it was an easy task to replicate new furniture on the fly. Not to mention, she was getting ready to redecorate anyway.

"There's so much regret. I can tell it's been eating you up inside for a long time now. I would prefer that we continue this line of discussion. You have my permission to destroy the chair you're sitting in if you feel the need to strike something. I would like you to continue speaking though--as painful as it is right now, you are beginning the process of healing by giving your pain words. I was wondering if you could tell me what it's like to talk about this now, after holding it in for so long?"

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #15
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Counselling Office | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
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How it felt? Rawley frowned, taking a deep breath and looked towards the deck. How it felt to speak of Soo? How it felt to speak of Ravon and what had been done to him? About Miles Renard? About getting shanked by the Devoted? About waking up to find two thirds of the Theurgy gone, not knowing how many had made it away from these Savi that had fucked them over? About loosing Game, Hurl, Quake, Kestrel and all the other Lone Wolves?

"I feel like this is a bloody damn ride..." she said flexing her hands, considering the quite generous offer to smash the chair she was sitting on. "This voyage... It's like flying through an asteroid field without deflectors. You get scraped. You get scratched. You bleed more and more from the mileage, and until now... there has been no stop. It's not until now that I could run a diagnostic. Well, damage report is in, counsellor. How did I fare?"

A lopsided smile, shaking her head. It wasn't just a joke to her, of course, but after unloading all the crap she'd had on her mind over  the past months made her feel... lighter. "Seriously though. Better. All this shit has been damn heavy. Spitting it out... it put words on the unsaid. Makes it... framed and able to rationalise, I bloody guess." She looked down, and the feelings about Soo were still raw when they'd resurfaced. "Then... on the other hand... It's like poking in shit too. Old shit doesn't smell unless you poke it, right? Still there though."

Curiosity got the better of her. "Any suggestions on how I repair my hull after this wild ride?"

Re: Day 02 [1058 hrs.] Finding Yourself
Reply #16
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Counseling Office | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

She described her psychological state with a metaphor. An inelegant one, but also Ejek did not expect the Lieutenant before her to have done so. Interesting. She also displayed remarkable insight, more so than Ejek would have thought five minutes ago. More than that, she went from avoiding her trauma to actively seeking ways to heal it in less than five minutes. Ejek barely did anything. This was the easiest client she'd had in a long time.

Something was up.

She carried on as if she held no suspicion, however. It was just a hunch, based off their first meeting at that. The thought lingered in the back of her mind, she kept a close eye on the other's body language as she spoke.

"You'll have to peel off the damaged plating, expose the bad wiring. It will hurt before it gets better. After all, you'll never clean up that 'old shit' if you're unwilling to look at it. It seems to me like you already know this, deep down." She smiled, wryly, and allowed herself to go silent. It was Rawley's turn now.

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #17
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Counselling Office | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
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Bloody hell, it was never easy was it? Wasn't she making progress already by talking about the shit she'd been through? What was she supposed to do? Dwell and dwell and dwell on the shit until everything stank of it? Be one with the shit, Evelyn. Feel the shit, Evelyn. That's how you get better? Fuck that. It's the shit I try to avoid so that I can get on with things. I have taken my dump, it hurt as fuck, so now I want to dance!

"Right," she said, clearing her throat. "I was thinking I'd head over to Below Decks and just put the shit behind me. Perhaps there is a pretty boy or lass there to help me forget too."

To fuck my brains out. That would be bloody swell.

So Rawley shifted in her seat, wondering what kind of attack pattern she'd use in order to appease the counsellor better. "Well, I could either pile up more shit or I can clean the floor and be on my way... While I prefer the latter, I understand that you might think it's better to talk more. Okay, so... I'm an orphan too, kind of of. Well, I was. Parents died in a climbing accident. Stayed with my uncle until college. Was a bouncer in London before Starfleet. Thing is, I was - is - pretty confident about what I like and don't like. Free spirit, but I did have to adapt after my uncle helped me get into the Academy. I may not stand on parade, but when it comes to getting shit done and when it really counts, I don't half-ass things. After Soo went missing, and I got back on my feet, I promised myself that I would never yield a bloody inch. I am... I... try to be unwavering. Letting my guard down here, today, is not something I do, generally."

Likely obvious, but still. Rawley cleared her throat. "I'm much better at distracting myself than lingering on fuck-ups of mine. Drinks, women, men, flying. I do feel I am pretty accommodating with talking about crap I've been through, but I'm not sure what the next step is?"

Hurt before it gets better... It has hurt. Should it really have to hurt more?

Re: Day 02 [1058 hrs.] Finding Yourself
Reply #18
[ Lt. Zelosa Ejek | Counseling Office | USS Theurgy ] @Auctor Lucan

It seemed maybe Rawley had the wrong idea about 'shit', and what to do with it. Still, that Rawley began speaking about this meant that it had meaning to her on some level. Ejek listened, as she had been doing. Rawley was handing out clues to her personality right and left and the counselor ate them up, but...these were the wrong clues. She was talking about things that didn't actually have a very strong effect on her today. They gave context, yes, but this was not the part of her that needed healing. That she went here was interesting, regardless. Another note tucked away in Ejek's mind...

Not sure what the next step is, perhaps that's the problem. She's not as self-directed as Ejek had been assuming, and she needed an action made clear to her. Now the pieces are making sense.
"It seems to me like you spend a lot of time trying to avoid thinking about Soo and the things you've been through, and I can't blame you. In your words, it's shit. You say you promised not to yield an inch--but that seems to be the cause of the problem in the first place. To be inflexible is to snap when the pressure becomes too great. My suggestion is to yield. Acknowledge the mistake, admit it and carry it with you. You don't have to linger, but if you cannot admit that it happened, then you let it win."

"There are a multitude of ways to do this. I have seen others mourn those they've lost. Through religion or prayer, they allow themselves time to speak with the spirits of their loved ones, so that they can have the closure they seek. I have seen other, less spiritual individuals reach out to their social groups and find individuals they trust to speak with instead. To tell them their regrets about this person. I suggest that with caution, knowing the fractures that exist between you and your squadron, but it may have the power to bring you and your squadron closer. Perhaps to heal both your wounds with Soo, and the divisions between you and your squadron."

"Those are my suggestions, and they are suggestions, not directives. If you have ideas as well, I would be happier to hear them. I'm not here to be your superior officer, after all, just a guide."

Re: SD 57561.24: Finding Yourself
Reply #19
[ Lieutenant JG Evelyn Rawley, callsign "Ghost" | Counselling Office | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow
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Religion? No, that wasn't anything for Evelyn. Antiquated notions about a higher power under which they were all subject to and had to appease? Did the 'dassian think her so feeble-minded that she'd have to be led by the hand by some imaginary friend? Fuck that. Humans invented religion out of fear of death hundreds of years ago, like many other species in the galaxy, which the church leaders profited upon - using the insecurities of the masses to gain authority and wealth. The mere idea to rely on misguided faith as some kind of blankie almost made Rawley ask the counselor if she was being serious. Just look at the Devoted? Radical as they might be, they served as a precautionary tale. No thank you.

It was a far better idea, perhaps, to speak to the other wolves. Perhaps she ought to speak with Renard after all, as well as Ravon. Just to try and come to terms with all the stuff that were between them, and also, perhaps speaking about Soo.

Suggestions of her own? Rawley lingered in silence for a bit, before she spoke - realising she'd read something on her console that morning.

"Captain Ives is holding a memorial ceremony in less than an hour right? On that terrace that they redecorated over the arboretum?" Rhetorical questions. She already knew this was a fact, and she'd also read some of the features of that new area. "I might as well attend. I have heard the terrace has these holographic features, some kind of platforms, that let you project a holo-image of the lost. Perhaps... I can see Soo again. Not sure if it's a good idea, but... I kind of want to. Would let me see her again. Might be able to... I don't know. Say something. Just for the sake of it."

She never got to say farewell. Well, she had, after the Vasser mutiny, when the empty torpedo pod that held Soo's body was spaced, and Ives held that old speech to them all. Perhaps the ceremony today would be more about the victory over the Borg, since that first speech had been a bit bleak.

"I will speak to a couple of wolves as well. Thanks for the suggestion." Rawley fell silent then, feeling like she had a plan. "Will you attend the ceremony as well?"