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Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

[Lt. Cmdr Hathev | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn:  @Juzzie @stardust @Tae @Eden @Sqweloookle

April 21, 2381
Stardate: 57661.7

Hathev moved gingerly as she stepped off the turbolift and made her way down the corridor to the Wardroom.  Normally reserved for officer use only, the counselor had reserved it for the morning to use for the group session.  She was only expecting six participants aside from herself, but logic dictated they needed a space that was not necessarily in high demand, and one where they could be assured privacy.

So much had gone on aboard ship since she had stepped aboard a little over a month ago and in that time she had not even stepped off the ship.  The away missions had also taken their toll on the crew and she had to concede that one on one sessions for her team of four might be insufficient. 

The room had been set to her order, a grouping of seats had been arranged in a circle conducive to group conversation.  A side table had been set out with refreshments in the form of sandwiches and beverages and while the replicator in the room was more than sufficient to provide for any need, the presence of waiting refreshments served to encourage a welcoming atmosphere.

For her part, however, Hathev crossed over to the replicator and ordered herself a Vulcan tea before she found her own seat and carefully sat down, wincing in pain as she moved.  Kate had done an exceptional job on her  and the young woman’s work had left the Vulcan with no pain while standing up or sitting down.  Transitioning from one to the other, however remained a delicate matter and she was grateful for the painkillers.

Taking a sip of her beverage, Hathev activated the PADD she had brought with her and began reviewing her notes for the session.

[Lt. Reggie Suder | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]

Reggie paced nervously as the turbolift brought her down to the ward room.  The whole concept of group therapy seemed…wrong.  She knew the power of counseling, but she didn’t really think she needed it.  And yet when the notification came in from the Chief Counselor, she decided it might be a good idea to go.  It just made sense but for the life of her she could not say why..  She… needed to talk to somebody about it… she knew that.  But it was still too recent… too raw.  She wasn’t ready.  Was she?  Maybe she was.  After all something had compelled her to respond, and reserve a seat for herself. 

But as the meeting drew closer, her apprehension only grew.  She was new to the ship new to the squadron.  She had made it through the war without significant PTSD, unlike most of her colleagues.  It would not do her well to establish a reputation as a basket case after two engagements and barely three days aboard ship.

Stop it, she chided herself.    Don’t be a baby.  You signed up for this so you’ve committed.  You don’t have to commit to the next session but you owe it to yourself to see this one through.

Thus resolved, she stepped off the lift trying to carry as much confidence as she could as she entered the ward room. 

A Vulcan was the sole occupant of the room and while they did not immediately begin talking, Reggie assumed her to be Lieutenant Commander Hathev.  The Vulcan did not get up out of her seat but still turned her head to greet her.

“Welcome,” she said.  “Forgive me for not standing up.  I am still healing from injuries sustained.  Please help yourself to whatever refreshments you may desire and make yourself comfortable.  We will start when everyone has arrived.”

OOC - Okay, the group counseling thread has begun.  The plan is for everyone to post their arrival before Hathev starts the session.  For posting order this round, lets do @Tae folllowed by @stardust  then @Sqweloookle , @Juzzie  and then finally @Eden .  If you see fit, you may write a welcome line from Hathev.  She will welcome you, offer you refreshment and apologize for not standing to greet you.  You may assume that freely.    Once everyone’s arrived, I’ll post and get the meeting started and establish a new posting order for the second ‘round’.

Re: Day 02 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #1
[Lt. Arven Leux | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn:  @Juzzie @stardust @P.C. Haring @Eden @Sqweloookle

April 21, 2381
Stardate: 57661.7

Arven smiled pleasantly to Hathev when he made his way into the room, plantly accepting her greeting and understanding too well why she wasn't standing up. He'd been the one to put her on light duty and instill the medical restrictions acter all. So Arven was pleasantly surprised to and at least one patient following doctor's orders. RAven moved over to the replicator and ordered himself a glass of something very purple and chilled. He looked over to Reggie, nodding politely to her, not knowing too much about the Betazed, just that she was one of the fighter pilots, Valravn, he thought.

Arven had an edgy look to him, and he'd be baring his soul to so many people here soon, so many people that might not want him touching them after the things he did. While his files were sealed, and he'd been absolved of any wrongdoing, his time in the prison camp still haunted him, and he knew it always would. And yet, here he was on a renegade ship filled with outcasts, and now he'd learn whether or not they'd accept him or even allow him to stay. His record had been sealed on the Oneida, but this situation was different. The whole crew needed to trust each other. The look on his face was a worried one as he sat down, not saying anything. He was a lot in his thoughts for the time being, but then he realized that he was being rude perhaps, and spoke up finally.

"Commander, I wanted to thank you for hosting this for everyone personally. I know that we have things about our lives that are difficult to carry with us, so thank you again. I know this won't be easy for everyone, myself included, so I know that everyone will be patient and understanding regarding the issues and skeletons that we'll all have in our closets." He smiles thinly, hoping that his words came off reasonably casually, but he certainly wasn't sure and didn't think that they had. He knew that he was mostly talking to reassure himself. Now all of a sudden, he wished that he had gone to the gym to wail on a punching bag.

The muscular Trill was starting to get fidgety and twitchy, a sense of panic welling up inside of him, and he couldn't talk about any of what had happened, any of the things he'd done. But he needed to get a grip on this and keep his physical reactions in check, so Arven did something that helped him out. He pulled a large marble out of a pocket and began squeezing it to calm down. The sense of physical tension from gripping the marble helped him more than anything rubber or compressible could. He squeezes for two seconds and then relaxes for two, slowly taking more time in the pattern as his way to calm down. The ward room and counseling session wasn't the place to panic or to feel bad. No, this was the place to panic or lose control. This was a place to get help and be helped.

Looking over to both Hathev and Reggie, he gave a sheepish smile, reasonably sure that he'd just plain scared Reggie off.  "I'm sorry, I have a lot of shit in my past. I know that everyone's pain is different and unique, but I can't help but think that what I have in my past will change how some people here look at me. I'm sure it will change how people look at me." Arven sighs and buries himself in what was essential, a meal replacement beverage, sipping the thick purple liquid slowly. He was coming off a double shift and was here before he needed to sleep. Having missed another meal again, it was the 'purple goo' as he thought of it or nothing. It was too late for a proper meal, but he needed some calories in him, and this was it.

So he sat and drank the purple beverage, sitting in his chair thinking about his time in the Prison camp, slowly squeezing the marble with his right hand, grounding and centering him as good as anything else could. Every once in a while, he looked at Hathev, casting a curious look to the pair that was currently in the room. And then to the door, wondering just how many people he'd be baring his soul to today. It was a strange thing to be sitting here in a group therapy situation. He'd spoken privately with the counselor on the Oneida, but here this was different for him. This was somehow all the more real than things had been previously. He asked people to trust that he was still a moral and worthy person when he didn't quite feel like one. But still, he had to put trust in others so that they'd have trust in him. That alone was hard for him to get used to, and it had never been part of his life before now.

Re: Day 02 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #2
[ Lt. Foster | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring @Juzzie @Tae @Eden @Sqweloookle

The past days had been a crazy oceanside rollercoaster ride, that the half Betazoid man had found himself almost coasting alongside like a seagull, wondering why the people got so excited about the ups and downs of their sentiments. Watching them scream as things went down, leaping into an invigorating sense of excitement as soon as things were on the up and up once more. All while having a front row seat to their emotions, good and bad, as he surfed across the sentimental wave Theurgy’s crew left in their wake, like a ship on an ocean, during their trek across the stars. Sometimes he even felt more like an avian, following their journey at the mere prospect of scraps, far, far away from any sanctuary, aside the one those who didn’t even like to have him around, afforded him. It had been a lonely journey, for the most part, broken up merely by a kind stroke here and a breadcrumb there. Whatever those downtrodden too among the crew would offer to a decrepit gull like him.

Strolling into the lounge confidently, however, disguised with the awareness of anything that could come his way, its motivations and insecurities, Stellan easily settled into the warm embrace of what he knew. Into the thoughts and emotions that filled the room with a thick haze of energy, even without him trying to focus on anyone. Also, of course, at the absence of him actively repressing his sensory abilities. Which none of the seeing or hearing crewmembers had ever been asked to do either. Black eyes immediately fell on Commander Hathev, as the doors slid open, having already been able to sense her presence in the exact location she had positioned herself, at the head of the circle. A small smile tucked at his thin lips, causing the faint stubble to shift ever so slightly. Millenia of advances in the field of mental health and still no one had come up with a better way to convey unity and communality than sitting around in a circle. Which was sort of ironic, because he had been restrained in his more progressive therapeutical methods by the woman in question. But he wasn’t going to mentally weigh these restrictions in his head right then.

Giving the woman a courteous nod of the head, a single brow raised to add a sense of precaution to the gesture, the dark-haired man skillfully shifted his broad-shouldered frame into a chair across from her. Keeping his depthless orbs fixed on her controlled Vulcan features, the smirk remained, focusing just the faintest bit of skill to home in on whatever sentiments she openly transmitted, without having to break the personal barrier of her mind … or trust. Their interactions of introduction had otherwise remained silent, which wouldn’t have appeared too much out of the ordinary, given that they ran into each other almost on the daily and worked together. And as his specific treatment of the beautiful Vulcan was done with, the man curiously caught the tail-end of ACMOs flowery sentimentality. Being well read he was all about the pondering prose of the greats, but that wasn’t how people really talked, was it? Well, not outside of that blonde diplomat who always sounded like a Dickens novel.

And a sit so went, when Stellan felt like this, overconfidence muted out his sense of inner contemplation. When his abilities and instilled pride made him feel cocky, rather than sensitive to the plight before him. Which wasn’t the most conducive notion for a counselor. But instead, it was his own cross to bear. Demons from decades past. Which he would’ve been able to acknowledge, if not due to afflictions mentioned prior, resulting in a dangerous circle of viciousness. Giving the other two crewmembers currently present a gentle nod successively, the tall man crossed his legs casually and folded his hands in a cradle over his knee. “Lieutenants.” he chimed calmly, his baritone voice like honey being spread over sandpaper. He wasn’t quite sure what Hathev had figured the procedures to be for this, but he was almost certain it was something boring along the lines of following Starfleet protocol. Which was safe, he supposed, but then they could’ve just as well put a robot in her spot.

The feeling of anxiety and discomfort from Leux hit him like a bulldozer, really, as the man seemed worn to the ground and almost incapable to contain himself in the realm of telepathic transmission. Tired people were like giant holes in the fabric of perception, to a Betazoid, with all their emotions pouring out of them like the coronal mass ejection of a star. Sending burst of radiation and particles into the void that he could pick up on. If he’d only focus on that tear a little more, putting his hand in there to feel for the source of the currents, he’d be able to more aptly put the previous statements into context. But now. Pointy-eared buzzkill over there thought that was not helpful. Dark eyes flickering abck at her, the Lieutenant shuffled a bit in his chair, settling into an even more comfortable stance, while smacking his lips with an audible plop that cut through the silence like a torpedo hit.

At least he could appreciate the bad taste of the analogy, given what they were here to talk about. “This will be great.” he voiced quietly, giving both Suder and Lieux a reassuring wiggle of his brows, alongside that handsome smile, before dark eyes ultimately settled back on Hathev with a soothing glimmer. “You’ll see.”

Re: Day 02 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #3
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol and Lieutenant Enyd Isolde Madsen | Outside Derik Veradin's Quarters | Don't Know Where It Is | USS Theurgy ] OOC: Joint Post. Attn: @P.C. Haring @Tae @stardust @Juzzie

All but forced out of Sickbay for non-stop working, Elro had been hovering around the resting patients and other medical staff, not that he didn't believe they could do their jobs. He was lacking anything to do, physically.

Paperwork had been done prior to the start of Shoreleave and made available to the relevant people left Elro apprehensive. Mainly because he didn't want to confront a certain fact.

He kind of blacked out as he walked the corridors not knowing where he wanted to go. Soon his journey ended at a door, it took him a few moments to realise what the text on the door. It read Derik Veradin, that's when his control cracked and his eyes welled up with tears.

They began to fall and his heart ached with every pulse, like shockwaves from an explosion the pain grew at the loss of Derik and his chance at romance back during the Dominion War. Elro managed to get a grip on his emotional storm but he found himself leaning against the wall, standing, opposite Derik's door.

He stared at the door, expecting it all to be a dream and that the Trill would emerge. An extremely illogical thought Elro knew but they seemed to occur regardless.

Further down the corridor, Enyd frowned as she continued to read and walk at the same time. It was a bad habit her grandmother had once cured her of by making sure random objects could be found lurking in her path subtly hidden from plain view, but that inevitably caused her to stumble and for her grandmother to tsk in her "I told you so" fashion. She was studying over the reports from their eventful trip to the Embassy the day before in addition to mulling over various details from her own mental logs that could prove pertinent to current conundrums. There were so many strings flying about simultaneously, each other intricately tied together, but the trick was figuring out how and where. Enyd naturally thrilled at such puzzles, though she hated the lives at stake portion of this puzzle.

Her eyes were still on her PADD when she rounded the corner and walked into a warm wall. Only, Enyd stepped back and looked up. It was not a warm wall but was, in fact, her friend Elro who was, once more, looking for all the world as if the pressure of the universe was about to implode inside his heart, leaving him a leaking mass of flesh on the corridor floor.

“Hey,” Enyd reached out and laid a light hand on Elro’s shoulder, “I need to stop running into you. Literally.” Her humor did not lighten the man’s mood in the slightest, and so she immediately sobered, her gaze noting the name on the door Elro faced. “This was his room, wasn't it?”

Elro slowly nodded and had clocked Enyd's approach but he realised he'd wanted her to collide with him. A kind of attempt to get her help, though he was going to ask next time he saw her. ”Yes, and I unconsciously came here, like sleep walking. I miss him so much.” He said though seemed far away, reliving the memories of their time together in a new light.

Listening to his pain, seeing it etched into the lines of his face, feeling it as if it were a tangible blanket wrapped around them both in the corridor, Enyd knew he needed something to latch on to, and soon. While they could create a holoprogram of the Forge and something similar to the pilgrimage she’d taken on Vulcan to process through her lingering grief after Javec, Elro had no cultural connection to Vulcan, and she doubted such an action would bring much healing to the Betazoid. She remembered then, one of her newer friends on board had mentioned a group therapy session taking place this very day.

“I have an idea,” she took his hand and tugged for all her 5’4 self could offer, “how about we go to meet some of my friends? They told me about a group therapy session run by Counselor Hathev,” Enyd rushed her words out now before he could protest, “You know, although grief is as individual as one’s life, there is solace to be found in sharing grief with a community of those who also experiencing loss.”

The fast words from Enyd made Elro glance over at her. Group therapy? Elro thought about it, he wasn't sure if he wanted to burden others with his problems. Though he had already learnt that knowing he isn't alone and bonding with someone else that shared the same pain has boosted him back to working condition. However somewhat unstable if he got triggered and he nearly did before Enyd arrived. Before he could speak though Enyd began again.

“I lived in so much hell inside my head after Jikain died, and there was no one around me I felt I could talk to. I was in the diplomatic corps back on Vulcan, and everyone there was so naïve and full of life and still clinging to the audacious concept that there could be universal peace. So, along with the guilt of surviving Jikain, I felt irrational rage at my colleagues, at myself, and at Starfleet. I wanted to destroy myself, my career, anything, just to feel something other than the emptiness that swarmed in whenever my thoughts coalesced long enough to remember he was gone and I’d never again hold him in my arms.” Enyd moved her hand from gripping his to his elbow, wrapping her hand around the crook while pulling her other hand up to grip his forearm. It was a move to offer comfort as much as it was to let him know she wasn’t about to let him run away without a fight.

“I had to walk through hell, almost literally considering it was the Forge of Vulcan, to process through the worst of my grief. I don’t know if I would’ve had to do that if I’d had people I could’ve talked to that understood where I was coming from, who had also experienced the wrenching in the gut that came without warning at all hours of the day when just as suddenly as you lost them, you were reminded again they were gone.” Enyd leaned her head against his shoulder and squeezed his arm. “There may be portions of your hell you’ll have to face alone, Elro, but there are some that I can be here for you, and so can they.”

Enyd stopped and nodded towards the ward room where the group therapy session would take place.

”You'll be with me right? I barely survived my last loss though I think that was because I didn't know him well enough, it still hurt like hell as you put it.” Elro said as they made their way to the group session and although the dread was everywhere, spots of hope shone through it inviting him in and promising a bright future. Soon they arrived, Elro stood in front of the door.

With every intention of setting aside the time to do just that very thing, Enyd opened her mouth to reassure him of her presence when her combadge chimed. It was Rutherford, wanting an in-person report on the Embassy outing, and right away. Enyd took hold of Elro’s hand in both of hers, bringing it up to place a soft kiss on the back of it, then held it briefly against her chest.

Standing in the doorway of the ward room, Elro looked back over his shoulder at Enyd. He felt her hands on his back, they were warm or at least what he took them to be. It didn't stop his gulp in a panic as he realised he was going to face his emotions and inner turmoil through group therapy. It was at that point her combadge chirped and she was summoned away. He glared at her, with pleading eyes to not leave him.

Ever since she'd found him outside Sickbay, blooded, tired, and just discovered Derik's dead body, Elro had felt much the same in Enyd. She had revealed that she was still mourning. It formed a connection between them that he didn't realise he'd been pulling strength from. He'd been getting strength from those around him who he made friendships with and having been alone most of his life, he'd almost abandoned it all.

“I’m with you, Elro. Even if I’m not here in this precise session this time. I’m with you. And I’ll come with you next time, and the time after, and the time after, for as many times as you need me.” Reluctantly, Enyd let go of his hand and stepped back. She hated leaving him on the doorstep of such a difficult decision, but with so much going on behind the scenes in both the Intelligence and Diplomacy departments, she really couldn’t dawdle in meeting with Rutherford. “You got this, handsome.” She gave him a wink, pushed him inside and blew a kiss before turning, the door closed, and heading back down the corridor towards Rutherford’s office.

[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]

At that moment she pushed him further inside the room again and smiled as the door closed between them. For several moments Elro simply glared at the door, then could hear an apology in thought and a promise to join him next time as Enyd left. Elro fumed and faced back into the room with his eyes closed. He breathed in, held it for a beat then released it slowly. His eyes slowly opened a beat later and found Lieutenant Commander Hathev, the Vulcan was seated, another woman he'd not properly met and a very attractive man that despite the situation as well as his current state cause Elro to immediately feel attraction to.

Just as soon as he felt it he could sense that the other man was empathic and quickly strengthened his mental and emotional defenses. It was only really to hide the attraction more than anything else until it subsided, Elro found the chairs in a circle with Hathev directly opposite the door. He took another deep breath and slowly walked to the chairs. ”Commander,” he gave the Chief Counselor a respectful nod then turned to the others. ”Lieutenants”, he added as he saw their ranks in succession.

As he joined them after the other two looked like they had been here for a time, Hathev repeated her greeting. Ah yes, he recalled the report about her injuries and nodded after he turned to her once again. ”You have nothing to apologise for, you are recovering.” Elro smiled. ”I trust your recovery is going well?” He asked, feeling better as he could fall back onto Medical.
Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston, Master-at-Arms, (Vector 03 Security)

Lieutenant/Dr Elro Kobol , Chief Medical Officer, (Vector 02 Medical)

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #4
[ Lt. Rhys Williams | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @P.C. Haring @stardust @Sqweloookle @Tae @Eden

So, the group therapy session was going to be in the wardroom? An interesting choice, and certainly not the one Rhys would have made. Rhys knew from experience how tough it was to open up about your feelings to a group never mind an individual. As such if ever called upon to organise a group session Rhys had normally gone for somewhere as informal as possible. Somewhere comfortable and soothing, the Wardroom did not strike him as that.

It also did not help that on some level Rhys was dreading this. He realised the problems that had led to him being relieved of duty had partly been caused by his struggle to open up, but that did not make it any easier. Still, he knew the benefits I some cases of this kind of therapy. There to help themselves and one another.

Soon Rhys was entering the door of the Wardroom. He was pushing close to being late, but he had wanted to finish a little bit of paperwork before this got started. There was also a mug of tea in his hand. Rhys didn’t go in for dainty cups of the stuff, he liked it in huge quantities. “I apologise if I am late.” He said awkwardly as his sing song voice bounced out of his lips.

“No need to apologise Commander. I hope you recover soon.” He said reassuringly to the Hathev. It was weak but he did  not know really what else to say. She had a way unintentionall of making him feel like wasn't sure what to say. He took in the other people in the room. They were a very attractive bunch. He idly wondered for a moment how it was most of the crew of the Theurgy were good looking. The only person other than Hathev that he really recognised in the room was Stellan.  So he took a seat next to him and nodded and smiled in his direction. Trying not to feel awkward that Stellan could well have detected his idle thoughts. That would be embarrassing. He shifted awkwardly at the feel of eyes on him as he took his place. 

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #5
[ Lt. JG Callax Valin | Wardroom | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring @stardust @Sqweloookle @Tae @Juzzie

Sleep that night had been an elusive spectre that taunted the young Ardanan as it danced just out of reach. Rather than dreams of wind currents carrying him weightless across the skies of Ardana, Callax was left with the sight of a dull bulkhead as he stared restlessly up at the ceiling from the bed in his quarters as he faded in and out of consciousness--never quite finding the peaceful release of sleep that his body needed. He felt off as he often did when he found himself in unfamiliar places but this time it was different. The past few weeks of his life had been a rollercoaster of emotions, physical stress, and uncertainty. Yet again he found himself on an unfamiliar ship surrounded by unfamiliar people. Faces had welcomed him with the polite manner of a guest--themselves just as unsure whether he was just to be a temporary passenger or a more permanent fixture on what had become a closely knit crew. The question lingered in his mind. How long this time?

The 0900 hour alarm brought Callax back into conscious thought. He shrugged aside his blanket and lifted himself up, simultaneously swinging his legs around to allow him to sit on the edge of his bed. He stretched, rolling his head and raising his arms with a long yawn. Behind him, Qo’noS glowed in the distance. It still required some adjustment to think of the Klingons as allies having been raised with tales of past conflicts but having such concerns was in the purview of his superiors. For now, he was just a pilot who did what he was told.

Bare-chested, he rose from his bed and made his way to the refresher. Eyes heavily laden with dark bags greeted him in the mirror as he splashed cold water in his face. He looked like shit, he knew, but still took the time as he always did to make himself look presentable.

Just because you feel off doesn’t mean you need to look it.

A gray duffel bag dropped in the corner of the room still contained all of his clothes and belongings. He slipped into his duty uniform and checked the time with another long yawn. It was too late for his usual morning gym routine and his stomach was already beginning to protest the change in the morning routine. Callax had signed up, much to his own surprise, for a group counseling session with one of the counselors on board. He was usually good at working through things on his own but his recent lack of sleep concerned him. Fatigue could be the death of a pilot for whom quick decision-making was essential for survival.

Despite his quarters being on the same deck as the wardroom, it took an embarrassing amount of time for Callax to find the officer lounge where the session was to take place. When he finally found the correct door, he entered with an apologetic expression. Only one seat remaining meant he was last to arrive and he quickly took a seat, eyes catching the briefest of glances at the food and drinks on the table. Even from where he sat the sandwiches smelled appetizing but his tardiness was nobody’s fault but his own and thus his stomach would have to wait.

“Apologies, counselor. I am still finding my way on the ship.”

A truthful statement in more ways than one.

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #6
[Lt. Cmdr Hathev | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Juzzie   @Sqweloookle   @stardust   @Tae   @Eden   

Once everyone had found their seats in the circle of chairs that had been set out, Hathev shifted in her place.

“Now that we’re all here, let us begin.”

She waited until she had the attention of the room.

“Thank you all for coming,” she began.  “I am Hathev, and I will be moderating today’s session.  Before we get started, I find it prudent to offer some background for those of you who may not be fully aware of how a group therapy session differs from a one on one session and how it is similar.  First, unlike a one on one session, we are in a group environment.  While this is an obvious statement, it is critical to remember that everyone here is here not only to be supported, but to offer their own support.  This session will be what you make of it and you are free to engage and discuss with anyone here as you see fit.  As moderator, it is my role to keep the conversation moving, ensure that all are heard, and to provide therapeutic insight that serves to your benefit.”

She paused for a moment.

“In this room, we are all equals as sentient individuals.  Your rank, your position are irrelevant to this discussion so I would ask that you please consider such formalities dropped for the duration of this session.  Additionally, like a one on one therapy session, this session is confidential in nature pursuant to the Starfleet code of Medical Ethics.  This room is a safe space and what you say will not be used against you in either a formal or informal setting.  All monitoring of this room has been de-activated.  What is said in this room stays in this room.  You are not to share any discussions had about another individual with anyone outside of this room.  You are free to tell whomever you whish about your experience, but should you feel the name to reference another person in this room, it would be most appropriate to not invoke their name or any description that could be used to identify others present.”

She looked each of them in the eye, making sure they knew how serious she took this charge.

“In these settings it is customary to being with introductions.  I would ask that we go around the circle clockwise.  Introduce yourself, and share with us why you have come today.  You need not worry about what you say.  It is sufficient to say whatever comes to mind and go from there.”

Hathev looked to her left to Dr. Leux and  a silent prompt for him to begin when he was ready.

OOC -  Welcome to the “1K words of Pain” round.  Introduce your characters, tell us their story.  For this round, I’m changing up the order a little to account for where the three counselors might sit relative to one another so this time, lets go  @Tae   @Eden    @Juzzie .  After that I'll post again a Reggie, followed by @stardust  then finally @Sqweloookle  

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #7
[Lt. Arven Leux | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn:  @Juzzie @stardust @P.C. Haring @Eden @Sqweloookle

Arven stood up after receiving the prompting from Commander Hathev. The muscular trill stood up with an awkward posture. Arven's violet eyes flitting between everyone, and he wondered how many of the others in the room would look at him with abhorrence or contempt. His hands twitch a little, and he grips his hands left over right to keep from fidgeting. The powerfully built man is shy about discussing this in front of even this large group. But he was here for this meeting anyway. Arven just stood there for a few minutes, shifting on his heels awkwardly, looking from face to face, memorizing the details of how their faces looked before he told them what he had to say. With a shaking breath and a gaze that could barely meet anyone else's eyes, he finally began speaking.

"I'm Arven Leux, and I was the Assistant Chief medical officer on the USS Oneida. Before I was on the Oneida, I was on the USS Honshu. It was my first posting after Medical school and the Academy. And I don't know how many of you remember that ship, but it was just one of many lost during the War. The Dominion took me captive, and I sat out the rest of the War in a prison camp on Cardassia Prime." Arven's hands clench against one another then, and he closes his eyes, taking a few deep breaths before recounting anything else.

"I was a Doctor, and I was in good health when I was captured. So the Cardassians put me to work in what they designated as the 'camp infirmary.' Which calling it an infirmary was a bit of a joke at the very least. There were no sterile conditions, no modern medical tools. All I had were bandages, splints, and scalpels. If I needed to operate, I had to do it blindly, with no tricorders and no diagnostic tools. Not even an X-ray." Arven shakes his head sadly then and takes a deep breath.

"To this day, I don't know if it was neglect, supply problems, or apathy. I understand that the only times I was given any modern medical supplies was when they wanted me to keep someone alive that they were interrogating. And the problem here is that I had to do my job. I needed to keep them alive to fulfill my oath. But it was way, and these were people that the Cardassians and Dominion were torturing for information. They wanted information on fleet deployments from the recent command level officers. They tortured Engineers and operations crew for information on shield and weapon systems. Usually, the Cardassians wouldn't let me speak to anyone, even while I was treating them. I only learned this much from the rare occasions that the Cardassians had to step out of the room, and my patients could manage to speak. For the first two months of my internment, I did what I was ordered to do and what my oath told me I needed to do. I was there to save the lives of my patients. I had the tools and equipment needed to save their lives." Arven began to look uncomfortable then and took a deep, shuddering breath. Memories of his time there hanging heavy on Arven's mind, the faces of his patients, their blood was staining his hands and his soul.

"I began stealing what I could from the supplies they gave me to treat the 'information assets.' There were a few pills here, a sterile bandage there, antibiotics when they gave them to me, whatever I could sneak out. At first, I did it without harming the patients. I used exclusively what I absolutely needed to and kept everything else that I could. But the War kept dragging on. and I began to think, 'what if I'm helping to prolong it' and of course, the Cardassians told me that I was 'so useful to them' in that snide way they used. I actually preferred the Jem'Hadar, and they never said anything. they just grabbed me when I was needed. The Cardassians made sure to boast and tell me that these patients of mine were giving them shield frequencies, weapons modulations, everything you need to take out a ship with a minimum of fuss." Arven clenches his fist then and collapses back into his chair, looking at the far wall, not at anyone, his expression and emotional state haunted at telling this out loud to a roomful of people.

"After a few weeks, a couple of months of them gloating about how much I was helping the war effort and the Intelligence gathering, they broke me. They broke me, and I broke my oath. I began to actively withhold treatment from most of the patients that they took me to. It usually wasn't much, just something that I could use to help save people's lives. I stole a few anti-biotics, some painkillers. It was never very much, but something that might allow me to save someone who would otherwise die from the beatings or the wounds inflicted on capture. I was saving lives with the resources meant to save people for more torture. And all it cost were the lives of the ones that the Cardassians wanted me to treat. Make no mistake, the Cardassians gave them the beatings, but my lack of care allowed them to die. Each rib I didn't seal, each artery I didn't repair, led to the deaths at the hands of enemy combatants. But by me intentionally withholding my best efforts for the lives of others that might not even make it a week with modern care. And more than that, I actively euthanized patients as humanely as I could. If I was asked to 'make it stop,' then I did. As swiftly and humanely as was possible, usually, it was the Klingons that demanded they be allowed to end their own lives. But just as many members of Starfleet asked for my help to end their pain. I did that without consulting with any other medical professionals or any psychiatrists. I performed procedures designed to end lives with only my judgment to go on and no concurring opinions." Arven stops then and leans back in his chair, rubbing his fore and index fingers alongside his spots. The strong hands of the Doctor kneading the sides of his head. He didn't want to continue, but he had to, not to justify his actions, but to let everyone know what happened after. To allow them to form their judgments.

"After the War was over, my actions brought me up against an ethics review board, and my medical license was suspended during the investigation. I spent all of 2376 under investigation, getting grilled constantly by Starfleet intelligence and the ethics board. And it was determined that, and I quote: 'My actions were in line with the difficulties of wartime and in doing I attempted to prolong the lives of as many as possible." With that last bit said, Arven closes his eyes and stares at the inside of his eyelids for a minute or two. There wasn't much for him to say now, and once he opened his eyes again, there was a redness to them. His emotional state was an absolute wreck at recounting all of this, even if this was just the summary of his actions. The pain and guilt were washing off of the man in powerful waves of emotion.

"I don't believe that I should resign or not practice medicine anymore. If only because I have the lives of fifty-four people on my hands. I have that many lives to repay at the absolute minimum before I can stop practicing. My records were sealed, and there's no sign of my actions on any official record aside from in my mind. I'm here because I need to talk about this and vent to someone. If any of you do not wish for me to treat you, I'll understand. I made my choices in the camp, and I made my choice to continue my career. So each day I practice is another day towards absolution." Arven goes silent then and stares at the ground, clenching his hands into fists, his muscles straining against the sleeves of his uniform, the fabric creaking slightly against the force. The man had more than his fair share of demons, most of them spawned from his own hands. He was prepared for anything right now. Anything except forgiveness or acceptance, waves of fear and anxiety rolling off of the man.

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #8
[ Lt. JG Callax Valin | Wardroom | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring @stardust @Sqweloookle @Tae @Juzzie

Callax listened closely to Hathev outline the rules of the session as it began. Taking a mental note of the crewmembers that were present, he realized that he recognized none of the faces save for the Trill who rose to speak first though he could not recall their name.

There were quite a few crewmembers in the room which Callax imagined made the task all the more difficult for some to do. It was one thing to open up to a counselor in the privacy of an office but to a group of one’s peers? People he had never met before? If there was one thing that made Callax uncomfortable it was vulnerability; but, he needed to be able to sleep again. He needed to be at peace with his thoughts and of sound mind for the tasks ahead even if it meant being vulnerable.

When Arven finished he was not sure what to do. Rather than let an awkward silence fill the room he softly clapped though stopped soon after when that did not feel quite right either. After some time to allow for comment and discussion Hathev gestured to Callax to go next.

The Ardanan did not rise out of his seat. Rather, he leaned forward and allowed his elbows to rest on his knees, palms pressed together to keep them from shaking. Blue eyes scanned the faces in the room and he beamed a pearly white smile before beginning. It was his usual defense mechanism when he was feeling uncomfortable in a social situation. Take on the appearance of confidence even when there was little.

“I am Callax Valin though you can call me Cal if you would like. I was never much a fan of the name Callax but do not tell my family that,” he began with a slight grin. “I was a small craft pilot on the USS Jadestone before getting accepted into a training programme for Starfleet Astronautical Command. I was transferred to a training facility in the Iota Eridani system where… well, a lot of things went wrong there. Eventually I found my way onto the Oneida before eventually getting transferred here to the Theurgy. I reckon the Oneida did not have much need for fighter pilots.”

He paused for a moment to take a deep breath before continuing. “I am here today with all of you because of what happened at that training facility. Most of the time I feel quite fine, especially when I can occupy my mind with work or some other kind of distraction but when I am alone with my thoughts I can hear them and I can see them. The calls over the comms as the life support systems failed. As bulkheads tore away and force fields failed to activate before all the air and people in the room were violently pulled into the vacuum of space…” Callax realized he had closed his eyes, images of the lifeless bodies frozen in fear floating helplessly through the blackness of space now as clear as the day he saw them. He forced his eyes open and found himself again in the ward room, only noticing now that his hands had gone white from his clenched grip. Letting out a long breath, he allowed himself a moment to gather himself.

“One of our own went rogue at that training facility. A fellow pilot I trusted. That I trained with. That I shared meals with. That I laughed with…” Callax brought a clenched fist up to his mouth. “That day he just… changed. We were on a routine training flight and it was like someone had flipped a switch. Then there was death.”

“The shields were down of course. What need was there for the shields to be up on a facility well within the safety of Federation space? What need was there for extensive defenses when Starbase 23 was a short warp distance away? What need was there to be on alert when we were amongst friends?” Callax shook his head. “It happened so quickly. One second we were in formation and the next he had broken off and opened fire on the facility. He took out the communications array first and disabled many of the power systems before we even could come to terms with what was happening.”

“We pursued, of course. Attempted to neutralize the threat and reason with him but all the while he continued to just attack. I pleaded over comms for him to stop and there was a moment of hope where I thought I had gotten through to him. He told me he was going to stand down; but, that was a lie. My guard was lowered for a second and that was all it took for him to open fire. He disabled my fighter. The canopy was torn off and I sat there, injured and barely holding onto life. Helpless to the destruction that was happening around me. My fighter as lifeless as the frozen bodies that floated past it.”

Callax closed his eyes tightly. “I have seen death before. Seen people I knew killed in the line of duty. I could come to terms with that. It was for a greater cause. It was for the mission of Starfleet and the Federation. But this was none of them had signed up for. This they did not deserve. Had I been smarter and more aware I might have been able to see what was to come. I missed something. Either I did not pay close enough attention or I willfully ignored the signs because I was just glad to have someone be my friend. I could have stopped it. Prevented it. Something. But I failed.”

The Ardanan took a deep breath before continuing. “I know on paper that feeling this way is irrational. That it is not my fault but no matter how many times I tell myself that I still see them at night. I still hear their screams as they desperately plead for help. Help I could not provide for something I could possibly have stopped. I’ve tried meditation, music, all the things our manuals say can help us cope and yet nothing has changed. What happened at that training facility broke me and I do not know if I can be fixed.” He glanced up at the counselors, eyes red but dry. The confidence and bravado that was present at the beginning of the session was now gone. In its place was genuine helplessness and a wave of relief as the stress of maintaining the facade fell away.

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #9
[ Lt. Rhys Williams | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @P.C. Haring @stardust @Sqweloookle @Eden @Tae

As Cmdr Hathev outlined the session, Rhys found himself not really listening as attentively as he could. Much of what she said sounded like a fairly standard preamble about confidentiality, and the dropping of formality. He had given similar speeches himself he had run these sessions before. So instead, he spent much of that time trying to think exactly how he would phrase what he had to say.

He had a feeling that his concerns and problems would be seen as small in comparison. That thought did not go away when he heard the first two speakers share what were clearly painful experiences with the group. The young Trill seemed to especially struggle to keep calm as he detailed such harrowing experiences. There was no smile on his face as he listened to Lt. Leux and Lt. Valin. He kept was attentive and hoped his expression showed through his empathetic feelings. Lt. Leux was clearly working through strong feelings of guilt he could recognise those signs very strongly as they felt deeply familiar.

Lt. Valin however, began with what felt like a clear avoidance technique to Rhys. He began with a joke, an attempt to pierce the tension in the room and within himself, if Rhys was any judge. Avoidance techniques were not always negative things in themselves unless they prevented you from addressing your feelings in a constructive way. Again something Rhys could very much sympathise with. What the pilot said at the end of his story stood out to Rhys most. His comment about realising that his feeling was irrational but still feeling it. This was a concept that was confusing but was often very true.

Rhys was happy to see the relief come over the young pilot that his story was at an end. There was still so much pain and anxiety there as he realised, he could finally stop speaking. Rhys this time allowed a smile at both of those who had come before him.

Rhys’ heart began to thud in his ribcage like it was desperate to cannon out of his chest and bounce free around the room. His mouth went dry and his hands began to sweat. Slowly Rhys rose on legs that felt a little unsteady. He hoped that the fact a counsellor had his own tale of woe to tell, and that he was obviously just as nervous would help the two who had spoken, and those yet to speak feel more relaxed.

He licked his lips and tried to ignore a slight headache that was starting to build. “I would like to say thank you both for opening up this session. It is never easy to go first.” He smiled warmly and genuinely at them.

“To those who do not know I am Lt. Rhys Williams. I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and to a lesser extent Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.” There were probably other things in there, but they were the main two. He paused for a moment and worried that opening this way was too technical. He clarified “Which means I feel the need to engage in ritualistic behaviour in order to keep bad things at bay. For a long time, I have suffered from the irrational fear that I make bad things happen around me.” He hoped this was a clear enough definition. He closed his eyes hoping that he was not getting blank looks from people and took a deep shuddering breath.

“I suppose it began with my mother.” He smiled and half laughed “Which is a cliché in Psychiatric medicine.” Maybe a joke was a bad idea at this stage. “Anna Williams died in the battle of Wolf-359. We had gotten into an argument before she left and I …” He bit his lips and looked up at the ceiling his voice shaking “… told her I wished she was dead. I came to believe that that childish feeling of anger had in some way killed her. My Father agreed and so that relationship was poisoned to.”}

He took a few seconds and felt more able to look at those around him. “I joined Starfleet and became an Operations officer. I was an Ensign aboard the USS Mercia. I was not there long, the ship was destroyed by some kind of Warp Core malfunction. My Captain saved me from death.” He decided not at this time to include his own pet theory that parasites may have been involved. It was probably not relevant to the story.

“I suffered what can only be described as a nervous breakdown. I was utterly incapable of coping. I’d never been good at making friends so I had no one I felt I could rely on. I recovered at least partially.” He said and smiled a rare genuine smile. “Thanks to the help of a wonderful counsellor I felt able to return to Starfleet. Even more she made me want to swap from Operations to counselling.” His hands moved in front of his uniform indicating the blue he now wore.

“I went to serve on the USS Cayuga, I served on the ship for four years eventually becoming Chief Counsellor.” He took a deep breath. “Then of course we were attacked by a Borg cube. Frankly my worst nightmare for obvious reasons. We were left adrift, during which time I had to do my best to keep the crew together very much on my own. Many of those who had worked under me were dead or worse.”

“Eventually the Theurgy rescued us and I stayed on here as assistant Chief Counsellor. Which was fine by me, I’ve never been comfortable with too much authority.” He laughed again, this time there was no humour in it at all it was dark, and almost ended with a strangled sob. “Then one of patients murdered someone. So I think I can be forgiven for maybe believing there is something in my delusion that I cause bad things to happen. I had another emotional breakdown, as a result of which I was unable to perform my duties.” There was a quick apprehensive glance in Cmdr. Hathev’s direction. “I have only recently returned to duty.” His hand clasped together the knuckles white. He took a few deep breaths and looked at all the faces around him. “I hope as nervewracking as I found it to say all of this that it helps people feel less alone. If there is one important thing I have learned, it is that every world spins in pain.”

He wondered if that last line had been too dramatic. He bit his lip and awkwardly sat down. The adrenaline not quite gone. It seemed to coalesce around his right leg which juddered nervously in place.

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #10
[ CPO Sithick | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @P.C. Haring @stardust @Sqweloookle @Eden @Tae @Juzzie

Sithick felt strange again and once more he couldn't feel anything across his body. Slowly he lifted his heavy heavy eyelids and could begin to hear the familiar voice of two of Theurgy's security officers, Crewmen Aidan Stoyer and Jareth Malik. He was confined much as he was the previous day.

"Look Aidan, all I'm saying is that if we keep dosing him like that we're going to kill him. Then what are we going to tell the doctor?"

"As long as I'm escorting Chief Cannibal Murder Lizard, he is going to be asleep. I don't care how much of this special cocktail it takes."  Stoyer holds up a hypospray cartridge containing a slurry of chemical agents. "Anesthezine, Neurazine, Melorazine, Kayolane, Axonol, and a little something something I picked up from a Ferengi merchant on Aldea. Somnozine!"

"Woah. All those stun agents and he is still burning through them all. But you can't keep injecting him with them. You don't know what the long term effects on Gorn physiology will be."

"Not my problem Jareth. Or do you want to be the next thing swimming in his digestive juices.?"

"Err, I still don't like it."

"Well if the Counselor can't fix him then it won't matter much now will it. Shhh. We're here, Ward Room, Deck 16."

The doors swooshed open and the two security officers guided the antigrav bound Gorn into the room.

"Sir, sorry for the tardiness. It took longer to secure the Chief than expected." Crewman Stoyer explained. "Where would you like for us to leave him?"

Fully awake, immobilized by the restraints, silenced by a muzzle, Sithick's eyes took in his surroundings and locked eyes with Lieutenant Commander Hathev.
CPO Sithick [Show/Hide]
CWO1 Larrant [Show/Hide]
BG Natauna

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #11
[Lt. Cmdr Hathev | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy] Attn:  @Juzzie @Sqweloookle  @stardust @Tae @Eden @jreeves1701

Hathev listened intently as Dr. Leux, Lt. Valin, and Lt. Williams shared their stories.  She was, of course more aware than not of Mr. Williams’s concerns but as the practiced professional Vulcan, she allowed herself to betray no reaction to anything anyone was saying.  There would be plenty of time for discussion and feedback later.  Now it was the time for those in attendance to put it out on the table.

As Lt. Williams completed his remarks, the doors to the ward room opened, revealing CPO Sithik in heavy restraints being escorted into the room by two security officers.  His condition did not surprise her.  She had read both the mission reports from Praxis and the medical report from the examination after his return.  He had been remanded to her care for counseling and was off duty pending her clearance of his mental health.  But even so, the sight of him saddened her.  She’d first met him in the Arboretum and found him to be quite the gentle, nurturing sentient.  The Vulcan was not naive and knew the physical power of a Gorn, but she had not thought him capable of what he had done on that mission.

She started to push her self up out of her seat.  Dr. Leux noticed her struggle and stood to help her only to retreat back to his seat once the Vulcan was upright and stable.

Hathev crossed the room, exuding a Vulcan calm that belied the sadness she felt over seeing Sithick like this and the anger she felt over the interruption of their session.

“Your tardiness is unacceptable, Crewman,” she hissed at Stoyer.  “This is a closed session.”

The two crewmen looked at each other, as though unsure of what to say.

She placed a hand on Sithick’s snout, her skin touching his scales through the muzzle.  It was far from a proper mind meld, but it was enough for her to sense his confusion, fear, and concern.  Whatever he had done before, Hathev knew he was no threat now.

“Remove the muzzle, and set up a seat for him between myself and Dr. Kobol,” she ordered.

In truth, she wanted to have all of his restraints removed, but she had to accept that the other attendees might not be as comfortable around Sithick as she was.  No.  Logically the restraints had to stay on until they got to their inevitable one on one sessions.

The Security guards carried out their orders before returning to where she was standing.

“Now, leave.”

“Excuse me Ma’am.  But we’re under orders to ensure the prisoner…”

“I did not inquire as to what your orders are.  The moment you brought him in this room your ‘prisoner’ became my patient and my responsibility.  You will leave this room immediately and you may consider yourself also ordered not to discuss anything you have seen or heard with any other members of the crew.  You may only discuss the nature of the conversation we are having at this moment, and then only with your commanding officer.  Am I clear?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” both replied in near unison.


They turned at the order, but Stoyer turned back briefly.  “We’ll be outside in the corridor if you need us Ma’am.  Oh, and you might need this if he gets out of control again.”

He handed her a hypospray, leaving Hathev to assume it was loaded with some kind of sedative cocktail.  Given how drugged Sithick had looked, she had to wonder just what it would have taken to properly sedate him.

She straighted her tunic and turned back to the room as a whole.

“My Apologies for the interruption as well as for the cirucmstances of  Mr. Sithick’s arrival.  While I am sure you have heard or will hear rumors surrounding his situation, I again remind you of the confidential nature of this meeting  You may also rest assured that I have ordered the silence of the two security officers who brought him to us.  They are also now bound to maintain the confidentialty of this session as well.”

Carefully, Hathev retook her seat, treating Sithick with no additional deference or concern as she would treat anyone else in the room.  If she wished to instill confidence in those in the room, then she needed to exude the same.  It was not a difficult task.

When all had calmed down, she motioned for Lieutenant Suder to take her turn.

OOC - Continuing with the existing post order.  I'll post next as Reggie followed by @stardust  then @Sqweloookle  and then @jreeves1701  to wrap up the "1k words of pain" round.  After that, I'll come back as Hathev and we can go from there.

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #12
[Lt. Reggie Suder | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy]  ATTN: @Tae @stardust @Sqweloookle @Juzzie @Eden @jreeves1701

Reggie listened as the people before her spoke.  She felt as much heard their words, and sensed their emotional state as they told their stories.  Reggie felt for them all, wanted to be there for them all.  Wanted to make them better.  But she herself had her own issues.  Valin had touched on it, and that she’d have to relive it, scared her.  She’d found herself there last night in her impromptu dinner with Victor and Lillee and it had been that conversation more than anything else that made her decide to come this morning.

She was ready to begin, when the doors opened and two security officers came in escorting probably the biggest gorn she had ever seen.  The big guy was trussled up as though he had tried to eat someone and while Reggie might have been concerned, she sensed no hostilitity, and finally relaxed after Hathev had explained the circumstances.

“Thank you, Commander,” she said when Hathev turned the floor over to her.  She stood and considered how to begin  “My name is Regiene Suder, though I’d prefer it if you called me ‘Reggie’.  I had an older brother and while he and I were not all that close, mostly because he was more than a few years older than I, but I looked up to him.  Lon,” she paused.  “Was an odd duck.  He didn’t fit in anywhere, didn’t make a lot of friends.  But even so, he was my brother, my elder brother and I looked up to him and respected him for managing to persevere despite his introverted and socially awkward nature.  Despite that, we lost touch.  But it wasn’t until the U.S.S. Voyager made it’s first contact with Starfleet after being lost in the Badlands, that I came to understand who my brother truly was.”

She took a breath, steeling herself for what was to come.

“I had no idea he had joined the Maquis.  I had no idea that the ship he was on had been lost in the Badlands and swept into the Delta Quadrant, a mere few days before Voyager went missing.  At the same time I learned this, I also learned that he had been incarcerated on Voyager for killing a fellow crewman.  He offered no motive, saying that he felt like killing him…so he did.  By the time we knew any of this, Lon had died on board Voyager trying to defend the ship from a hostile force.  This… of course, touched off an investigation and authorities along the Cardassian border started looking at my brother and…ultimately connected him to close to a dozen other random murders that had gone unsolved up until then.  These were not Cardassian enemies, these were not self defense killings... these were the random acts of a sociopath who ended the lives of a dozen people on a whim.”

She allowed herself another breath as she prepared to change track and offered an acknowledging nod to Valin.

“Like Mr. Valin, I was assigned to the Iota Eridani traning facility.  I had a squad of four cadets under my command…”

Her voice trailed off as the pain begain anew.

“I don’t know if any of you have ever had the opportunity to meet a Reano.  They’re somewhat reclusive as a society.  One of my students was Reano.  He was good…damn good…and had the potential to be at the top of the class and one of the best pilots I had ever seen.”

She turned to Valin.  “No offense intended.”

“This cadet was highly competitive and very aggressive.  I don’t know if it was an aspect of their cultural identity or if it was just this cadet, but he had this sense… this need to prove himself as the best and I can’t tell you how many times even innocent ribbing between cadets turned into an incident because this cadet saw it as a challenge to his dominance.  He should have been expelled, but I saw so much potential in him that I felt… I hoped… I could smooth over his rough edges.”

She swallowed down the frog growing in her ever drying throat.

“We were on maneuvers.  I had my squad out and things were going…well.  Until they weren’t.”

She took in a ragged breath.

“I’d be lying if I said I knew for sure how it happened, but my Reano cadet,” she said, unable to use his name, “lost his composure behind the stick.  I don’t know if it was more ribbing gone wrong or what, but I do know that my cadet turned his craft an another of my cadets.  He was caught off guard and killed when his fighter was destroyed.  He didn’t even time to eject.  I ordered the rest of the unit to scatter.  He fired on the station itself, delivering heavy damage to it’s unshielded hull.  He attacked another of my students,” she said nodding to Valin, “disabling him.”

“We tried to talk him down, tried to run him off, tried everything we could to get him back under control.  But nothing worked.  If ever there was a moment of blood lust…”

She wiped a tear from her eye as she sat down, uncertain her legs would continue to support her.

“He came around, lining up for another attack on the station.  I pulled in behind him.  I tried to get him to stand down.  I swear I did everything I could to get him to stop.  Hell I even tried to force myself into his mind telepathically - a major ethical violation within the Betazoid culture to even try.  But I had to do everything...anything I could.   He was my responsibility!    But nothing worked and I had no choice but to shoot him down.  Even then….I tried…I tried to disable him so I could bring him in under tractor tow so we could sort through the mess.  I missed, but hit his starboard stabilizers accidentally.  The damage sent him out of control and he collided with the station.”

Reggie’s head dropped as she took in a ragged breath, summoning the will to finish.

“There were one hundred souls assigned to that station.  Only a dozen people survived the catastrophe, including myself, my RIO and my two remaining pilots.”

Again, she paused as she tried to hang on to what little composure she had left.  It was all out there now, and while she might have thought the telling of the story would have given her a cathartic release, right now all she wanted was to crawl into a hole, die, and be forgotten.

“I do not believe it is immodest for me to say I am good at my job.  I am a decorated combat pilot, a veteran of the Dominion war where I flew Peregrine fighters in over five hundred separate engagements.  I have been credited with dozens of kills and credited with contributions to dozens others.  When you consider the average crew compliment of a Jem’Hadar attack ship, or a Cardassian Cruiser and multiply that across the dozens of enemy ships I had a hand in taking down, and then add to it the ninety one people who died after I fired the shot that sent my cadent careening into the station… it is not an exaggeration to say the number of lives I have ended tallies in the hundreds if not thousands.”

She dropped her head again, unable to look anyone in the room in the eye for the sheer shame she felt.

“I respected and, to a certain extent idolized, my brother despite his social awkwardness when I was growing up.  He quietly killed at least a dozen people.  I’ve killed far more, while enjoying, celebrating, and receiving accolades for my accomplishments.  If he was labeled a sociopath for his actions, then what the hell does that make me?’

Reggie wept silently to herself, her head still lowered while she waited for the next person to go and take the spotlight off her.

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #13
[ Lt. Foster | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring @Juzzie @Tae @Eden @Sqweloookle

At Hathev’s behest for everyone to share their grief, Stellan crossed his legs gingerly, letting a breath of fresh air seep through his teeth almost inaudibly, as it inflated his lungs with the calming vigor his metabolism demanded. Such a curious intricacy, the demands of the physical, over the spiritual. No matter how strong your mental discipline, no matter the distraction, your body had to take that breath, eventually. It was a notion that surpassed all else, like your heartbeat, and yet, it was all so entirely undeliberate, that it bordered the kingdom of magic. Sure, there was the scientific account of subconscious reflexes, measures for the organism to survive. Which was a notion that even transcended the realm of the subconscious, swaying the tides of sentient thought even, if it favored the continuation of sanity, or a semblance thereof. In such a way, repression, delusion and denial were just as much reflexes of the mind, as breathing and pain were. All intent on facilitating one thing: survival. In that sense, trauma was not the fault of any individual, as it was of circumstance.

Letting the words of half the group sink in, like sunrays seeping into one’s skin on a beautiful day in the meadows of life, what really hit the man to the core were the emotions and sentiments conveyed on a higher plane of perception. And it was these rays that truly managed to penetrate his shell far into the core, the essence, of his being, as he let them. Like a worshipper, basking in the deluge of a holy waterfall, he let the drops of sorrow and misery seep into the barren soil of his soul, where it vanished. It wasn’t that he didn’t know the concept of sympathy, to the contrary, he was feeling it for each and every single individual in this room … and the ship, potentially. But there simply wasn’t any seed within him that could sprout and thrive simply due to the inspiration from the outside. No mortal being had this power. His flag didn’t shift in the gentle breeze of feelings, passing through the room like desert winds, as it flapped on unwavering, to the only bearing he had ever known.

But there was consolation to be had, in the absence of true compassion, as he had learned to mimic an almost undistinguishable mirage of it.

“Thank you, officers, for being so open about your individual struggles. I am certain there is strength to be had, if only in community alone.” he nodded gently, as the bottle had passed on to point at him, out of their whole sitting-circle. But he also realized that, even if he would’ve accepted any part of his history to have any bearing on who he was as a person, other than his modified DNA, it wouldn’t have been very beneficial for the one person that was supposed to have the tools to help everyone here, to display a similar sentiment of broken psyche. Which wasn’t to say his own wasn’t as fractured as the next. As Rhys, or Reggie. But it was not his place to bring this up here, to show fragility in a circle of people, who were looking to find strength in the wisdom to guide them out of that valley of shadows. Ultimately, however, he decided to twist a measure of torment he felt, into something inspirational, even at the expense of his own salvation, potentially.

“When I first served on Theurgy, when we set out on our mission to Romulus, I remember the sentiments of excitement, hopefulness and empowerment, I felt in every hallway and every room of this ship.” he started out suavely, like telling a story that wasn’t his own. “Everyone was looking forward to the important mission away. The opportunities, the discoveries, the surprises, even. The true spirit of why everyone signs up to be in the fleet, I reckon. They were the quintessential example of what makes Starfleet great. Then, with the days and weeks following, came the slow decent into the cold embrace of a reality, no one had hoped or wished for. A gradual process, that at first not even I had consciously fathomed. It wasn’t until the events at Jupiter, that everything plunged into a dark abyss. But I don’t remember the specific sentiments of the moment, when the ship went up in flames. Souls extinguished. For I too was carried to the precipice of death. But what I found there wasn’t darkness.”

For a moment, the man’s dark eyes settled on the soft carpet on the floor, like wheat fields from afar, as if he tried to conjure up the dark abyss, that he never got to see. Insteads bringing on the mementos of each and every time he had wished to, in the days and weeks that he was in stasis. No quite there, but not all the way here either. Soon, however, conscious action prevailed over the reflex to give into it, as obsidian eyes rose steadily to the people in the group once more. “One would think, that once I woke, I would’ve been hit with the onslaught of shifted emotions, of how the crew and their view on their lives had changed. A notion we all know and have grown sadly accustomed to now.” he paused for a short moment, before adding with an almost ironic chuckle: “But it wasn’t.”

“I have a strange recollection of the descent. Not of what happened while I was in stasis, but of how it gradually shifted the tide of emotions and hopes among the crew. Adrift on a sea of dreads and fears, like a barge on the river Styx who lost its ferryman, frozen not only in space, but time.” And as the meaning of his narrations gained more gravity, so did the pull on his heart. But just as imperceptibly. An avalanche that he had not foreseen, and was now unable to stop. “I’ve never told anyone this … but I feel like I’ve experienced everything the crew has gone through in the time since I was put under, one way or another. Their individual torment and misery have become a part of me, through memory and sentiment. And it always will be with me, just like the shadows and the light of the past before.”

Another small pause, as the man delicately bit at the inside of his lower lip.

“I guess what I am trying to say is, I have seen all of your pain, I have felt it. I know that if there is one thing we can all unite in, it’s that. So let’s share it, for those of us who are not blessed with the sad gift of telepathy, speak about it, let’s put it out there.”

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #14
[ Lieutenant Elro Kobol | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring @Tae @Juzzie @Eden @jreeves1701 @stardust

As Hathev spoke her duty for this group therapy, although still annoyed by being abandoned by Enyd, Elro glanced around the assembled individuals. Arven; he met yesterday in Sickbay. Rhys; he has somewhat known since joining the Theurgy crew. Though a counselor, it was ironic that he was in this but Elro couldn't judge as counselors needed help from time to time. Stellan; Elro knew from Kate as her brother and was rescued from Stasis by her. Another counselor and the fact that there were two here was not promising as Elro thought about it. The tactical conn officer, a male, Elro hadn't really met, that could be said for most of the fighter pilots and their department unless they had been in sickbay. Even then he'd not get to know them, the other in the circle was from tactical conn as well, a female.

Arven began his story, and after standing which Elro had no intention of doing himself, though at the mention of the Dominion War it seemed to attract all the forcibly buried emotions and memories of his days back at the Academy back to the surface. Elro closed his eyes tightly and took a few deep breaths in order to strengthen his control. It was like what he imagined the Dominion/Alliance ground battlefield to have been like. Weapons fire exchanges across the land, some making direct hits while others just grazed those that were targeted. Though Elro listened to Arven's voice, not so much the words, and it calmed the storm enough so he opened his eyes and turned to give his full attention to the Trill as Arven told his story. He had been a captive, tortured by severe lack of morality and medical supplies.

Elro witnessed the Trill's memories of his time at the camp. Only the specific ones that related to what he spoke of, Elro had his mental barriers in receive mode softly letting in the strong imagery and they were flashes from one scene to another as he let them fly past after a moment's witness. He felt that if he could see the pain his fellow group therapy attendees talked about he could better understand their plight. Of course this was a personal choice he made and he would never share what he saw, sometimes he wished he did a psychology course so he could be there for his patients mental health as well.

Elro couldn't imagine being in that situation, observing and living the situation were completely different, would he have done the same as Arven? Would he have refused? Both were unanswerable of course unless actually confronted with the situation. Once Arven was done it was clear to Elro that the Trill had been placed into a difficult position of damned if one does, damned if one doesn't as the humans put it. The Cardassians are masters of manipulation and terror, it was wartime where survival is the only goal of every individual and most of the rules are blurred or broken in order to achieve that goal.

Though Elro was gratified to hear that Arven was attempting what he considered redemption by saving as many as he could in the name of those lost at that camp. He wondered what Hathev will say about all the Trill had said. Another thought came to him and that was were the other counselors present allowed to offer guidance officially? Elro watched the medical officer from the Oneida with compassion and support in his soft eyes, he wanted to hold Arven's hand but kept to his seat.

A soft clapping drew Elro's attention to the male tactical conn officer, at first Elro thought that one's problems aren't something that should be applauded. After a moment of consideration, the Betazoid figured that the male was showing support for the difficulty in actually speaking one's problems. Especially in a group situation and just before Elro could join in the male stopped. Hathev then indicated that that same male was next and Elro suddenly felt mortified for him, though the male looked okay and smiled at everyone in turn. Elro smiled back when they made eye contact.

The male tactical conn officer introduced himself as Callax Valin but offered the nickname of Cal if those gathered chose to use it. He went on with his story and Elro listened. He established he is a fighter pilot, Elro had only met a few and of course probably treated more. After a deep breath from Callax and explanation of his experience, Elro saw memory flashes. He let them pass by again after a moment's witness and wondered about how he'd react to such a sight, though when Callax mentioned one of their own was responsible drew a pulse of anger. Though Elro found it was immediately directed at the Parasites, betrayal and sabotage by Starfleet officers, however could there be other reasons? He found himself thinking. Though Callax added 'changed' and that screamed Parasites, considering what they now knew about them.

When Callax finished, Elro hoped that this therapy could help him. He began to feel a little stupid for what his problems were compared to Callax's and Arven's. They had truly suffered, his problems seemed so small and unworthy; a new feeling for Elro as he looked down at his hands in his lap wondering should he carry on or not waste the Chief Counselor's time.

Soon Rhys attracted Elro's attention as he picked up on the same feelings he was having of his issues being seen as unworthy to those who had already spoken. He watched as the counselor turned patient stood and was the picture of uncomfortable. Elro gave a nod of support when they shared eye contact, he listened, though he recalled a note in Rhys' medical file about the disorders. They had slipped his mind after that and felt bad for not having at least pursued a friendship with Rhys, something he was going to do.

The poor man having lost his parents, people he worked with twice, though finding a purpose in life is a positive for sure then being rescued by the Theurgy much like Elro was. He wondered about the disorders and what kind of help he could give. '...every world spins in pain.' Well that was an interesting thing to say at the end, maybe that was similar to misery loves company.

Suddenly the door opened and Elro glanced over, his eyes widened at what he saw. A Gorn held by restraints on an antigrav sled. The only Gorn he knew of was CPO Sithick, why was he restrained like this. Elro got to his feet in concern and was about to go over when he saw Hathev struggle to get up onto her feet. Leux was helping her in a flash then retreated as the Chief Counselor approached the security officers.

He watched the security officers set up a seat between his and Hathev's, Elro wished he had his medical tricorder with him to check Sithick out. The Gorn didn't look nor felt right, maybe Elro could ask Hathev if he could do a quick medical check. Hathev addressed them all with privacy assurances and Elro watched her as she went back to her seat and sat back down. She simply gestured for the other Tactical Conn officer to go next before Elro could ask to check on Sithick. He'd do it later.

Elro returned to his seat, sat down and watched Sithick with concern for a few moments before turning to Suder for her story. It seemed that she shared Callax's pain, or maybe a different version of it. Elro wondered if they had talked about the event with each other or not, or any of the others that were there. Was it just those 2 that had joined Theurgy? Elro listened on and soon it was Kate's brother's turn.

The Assistant Chief Counselor went on about having picked up on all the crew's emotional states since being put in medical stasis. Elro was surprised, though not completely as it is possible for strange things to go on like that. The one thing that didn't make any sense, at the moment to Elro, was how did Stellan process all the emotional input without his conscious mind since all functions would be slowed to suspend the body in a sleep state? He continued to listen however but kinda got annoyed at the end when Stellan said 'sad gift of telepathy'. Elro just stared at the Assistant Chief Counselor with a 'what-did-you-say?' expression for several moments.

Soon it was Elro's turn and so he ran a hand through his hair, which had seemed to be longer than he realised. He decided not to stand as some of the others had, he'd probably fall to his knees and cry. So after a deep breath. ”I'm Doctor Elro Kobol, I've been on my own, alone, most of my life. Being homeschooled on Earth, raised with the failing attempts of my parents trying to merge Human and Betazoid cultural values together. It was very confusing at the best of times and sometimes contradicting. Now that I look back on it, they should have just picked one. Idiots.”

He took another breath. ”I didn't have any friends, well I had acquaintances and were part of a few groups but no real friends, so I studied, studied and studied. When my extrasensory abilities surfaced I found myself happy that I was alone, though that was until I mastered control over my telempathic senses which were above average.” He frowned. ”Why did it have to be me?” Elro asked himself out loud.

”Thankfully I was able to rejoin my peers in school, however I still struggled with keeping others thoughts and feelings blocked but that became easier as I focused on my studies once again, though not enough.” He smiled. ”I asked my Xenobiology teacher Miss T'Poi for guidance in meditation, she did suggest that physical activities are just as effective, I soon learned I had interests in dance, athletics and fencing which also helped me focus my mind. I was swept up in the competitions of those sports as I enjoyed them. I won a few, though I think it prevented me from making friends in those sports.” Elro decided to quickly move on.

”My parents and I shared a passion for medical science, so I got into many courses then applied to Starfleet Academy's Medical program. Accepted though I knew my parents wanted me with them instead so I went my own way, regardless and surprisingly they were reluctantly supportive. I soon learned I had an arranged marriage back home. What was worse is that it was purely about social status and who they chose was the wrong gender for me. I told them as much.” Elro said and sighed. ”My parents attempted as many ways as they could to convince me to accept it, even going as far as comparing it to a simple business contract. I felt like I was alone, and no longer able to direct my own life, well save joining Starfleet.” He smiled at that.

He didn't regret that one bit. ”While I was at the Academy, my parents visited and again attempted to push me into an arranged marriage though this time the one I was to marry was the right gender at least. He is in a powerful family as well which placated my parents and I accepted. Though my choice was taken away, I found myself excited about my future and that it had my parents' full support.”

His demeanor immediately shifted to defeat and he let his head hang over the chair's back. ”Soon the Dominion War began and fearing bioweapons, most of us Medical cadets were encouraged to join the toxicology course which I did after graduating. Though everything about the Academy switched into a war focus. Soon my homeworld got invaded and many lost their lives,” he said as he shifted again in his chair and he brought his legs up and wrapped them with his arms. Elro paused to take several breaths though in his new position it was a little difficult so he lowered his legs to the floor. He breathed in and out for a few moments. ”My future husband and his family were amongst those lost, I don't think I ever got over that. I just submerged myself in my career and studies though I met someone else during my last 2 years of the Academy and he seemed to charge my interest.”

Elro found his breathing erratic and felt tears having fallen. ”I wish I hadn't acted the way I did back then. I wish I had embraced him fully.” He said in a broken up speech. ”I wish,” he began, faltered and took several more breaths as he attempted to compose himself. ”He was with us on this ship. Now he is gone, when I saw his body it all came crashing down, I lost my second chance with him and I feel like I'm destined to remain alone, I can't take it anymore, I wanted to die and be with him.”

That triggered his tears as they flowed again as he cried for a few minutes. It couldn't have been any more pathetic in his mind, here he was crying about love lost when there were actual real important problems that others in the room were suffering. It gave him the strength to calm down and not make a continued foolish display. He wiped his eyes and he was drained, even after a short cry, he lowered his gaze to his legs as he relaxed in his chair. He wasn't quite prepared to meet anyone's eyes just yet.
Lieutenant JG Adam Kingston, Master-at-Arms, (Vector 03 Security)

Lieutenant/Dr Elro Kobol , Chief Medical Officer, (Vector 02 Medical)

Re: Day 03 {1000 hrs] Communal Therapy

Reply #15
[ CPO Sithick | Ward Room | Deck 16 | Vector 3 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @P.C. Haring @stardust @Sqweloookle @Eden @Tae @Juzzie

Sithick was too heavy for anyone to lift by themselves, let alone two heavily built security officers. Instead of setting up a seat for him, they pressed a button on the antigrav gurney and it folded down into a chair, all the better considering that most Starfleet issued seating would have supported his Gorn weight. The chief huffed as he breathed. The grogginess of the sedatives still had not evaporated. He vaguely heard the words of his fellow officers. His wrists ached from the restraints. His neck popped as he rolled his head finally free from the muzzle. His golden eyes focused on the faces around him. His tongue darted out tasting the air and so much more. He tasted the presence of the others around him. Their fear, their weakness, their sweat, their deliciousness.

Sithick chuffed before he tried to speak. His mouth was dry. He slowly licked his lips displaying his massive jaw of razor-sharp teeth. If the rumors were false, Sithick's appearance did not help that claim. With determination, he spoke.

"Eyesss amsss Sssithicksss. Mysss pastsss isss troublesssomesss. Eysss wasss raisssedsss toosss killlsss bysss thessse Orionsss. Mysss clutchsss andsss eyesss worksss asss asssasssinsss. Wezzz weresss goodsss atsss killingsss."

The memories of the brutal slaughter that his brood clutch brought down upon those who crossed their Orion Syndicate boss flooded Sithick's mind. He had repressed so much but recent events had caused the dam to burst and consume his mind with memories with a rising sea of past trauma.

"Eventualliesss wezzz becamesss involvesss withsss thessse Klingonsss." The catalyst for his current situation. A trigger was pulled on Praxis. A trigger that now sent a shiver through the big guy's body. The antigravs beneath him sparked as they tried to compensate for the shift in weight, but continued to function.

"Wezzz weresss hiredsss byzzz thessse Durasss Sssissstersss toosss eliminatesss Gowronsss. Itsss wasss oursss firssstsss failedsss misssionsss. Mysss clutchsss wasss brokensss. Eyesss triesss toosss hidesss fromsss Sssyndicatesss andsss Klingonsss. Theysss findsss meeze. Enssslavesss meeze allsss oversss againsss."

Sithick's talon hands begin to tremble as he begins the next part of his introduction.

"Durasss Sssissteersss torturesss meeze. Physssicallysss. Mentallysss... Sssexuallysss." The last word morphed into a rumbling growl. Sithick's claws began digging into the metal of his gurney/chair with a metallic screech. The feral beast within the Gorn began to rattle its cage. It wanted out. It wanted to rend flesh from bone. It wanted to eat.

"Nossse!!!" Sithick hissed. "Nossse." His head slumped down for a moment. Everything was silent and then his head snaps to attention. There was someone else behind the wheel.

"Sithicks wass treateds likes a sexx toys." The Gorn's lisp had softened. "Sithicks was pumpss fors information, ins everys ways. Thens Sithicks was abandons ons Halees. Theres Sithicks works, theres Sithicks waits. Sithicks gets offs Halees boards ships. Ships fights wars. Ships gets destroys. Sithicks survives. Federations, Starfleets welcomes Sithicks. Sithicks skepticals. Sithicks opens to friends buts nevers fullys. Sithicks trusts no ones fullys. Fools Sithick no mores."

The massive Gorn chuffles again as shared memories surface.

"Sithicks falls into romantics relations withs fleshys females. Sithicks knows true kindness. Alls is rights. Thens theys dies. Dies by Klingons hands." Sithick grabs the side of the gurney/chair and begins to bend and warp it. "Alls Sithick holds dears destroyed by Klingons." The memory of the recent Gorn attack on Theurgy surfaces. The power of the feral Gorn, their strength, their toughness, their ferocity. It all made Sithick's heart begin to race. The rhythmic beating echoed in his head. A tribal drum booming beating his higher consciousness down. Empowering a primitive primal awareness to surface. Sithick stands to his fullest height "Klingons musts bees exterminateds!" The drums in Sithick's head go silent on that statement. The intense fire in his eyes extinguished. And with one final huff, he collapses into his seat, the antigravs almost unable to compensate for the sudden inertia of Sithick's full weight coming down.

Sithick does not move. The only sound that of snoring.

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