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CHAPTER 03: The Captain of My Soul [Supplementary: Unfit for Duty]

Chapter 03: The Captain of My Soul [Supplementary: Unfit for Duty]   A Joint Post by Doctor Maya and The Counselor

[ USS Theurgy | Deck 07 | Counselor's Office | 1055 hrs. ]

After taking part in Sarresh Morali's species change and subsequent unveiling, Maya had spent the rest of the morning caring for her patients before informing Nurse Maal that she'd be stepping out for a while.  Maal noted the little Vulcan's fatigue but didn't think anything of it.  Like Hylota, Maya had worked the night shift since the Theurgy launched and was it could be assumed that the green blooded physician hadn't gotten used to working the day shift yet.

The truth was more serious.  After being raped by Phantom in the holodeck last night Maya noticed her performance was slipping.  That morning when she had undergone her maek vak trance in order to monitor and control Lieutenant Morali's nervous system she had awoken to discover herself riding her patient while experiencing the exquisite agony of coitus.  It was painfully clear that the unspeakable ordeal that she had undergone last night had shattered her Vulcan discipline and rendered any application of her telepathic prowess risky to unreliable.  Could she be trusted to care for her patients she wondered, or should she have herself removed from her position and reassigned as an orderly?  It was said that doctors make the worst patients but Maya couldn't trust her own opinion regarding her competency. 

The new counselor didn't have a schedule yet, so Maya tapped her combadge to see if Hayden was free.  "Maya to Counselor O'Connor," she announced in a clear and professional tone.  "Do you have a moment?  I need to speak to you regarding an officer that may need to be removed from duty."

Hayden had hoped to hear from Maya sometime that morning and had planned to seek her out if she didn't, so at first, she was relieved to hear her voice.  However, when Maya's words hit Hayden's ears, the counselor was confused.  Had Maya completely blocked out the events of the night before?  O'Connor paused, then pressed forward.  "I'm free now.  Want to meet in my office?"

"Yes, I would prefer it," Maya replied as she held her pointer and middle fingers on her combadge.  "I am on my way."  And with that, Doctor Maya let go of her combadge and strode off to the counselor's office like a woman with a mission.
 


***

Hayden waited for the doors to close behind Maya before she offered, "I'm glad you're here. How are you?" Truth be told, Hayden had wrestled with herself all night about whether Maya was fit to return to work. Seeing her now, and knowing why she wanted to see her, O'Connor had to wonder if the meditation had done little more than allowed her to bury the emotions associated with the events of the night before.

Maya gave a formal nod before replying.  "I regret Counselor that I cannot make an accurate assessment of my condition but there are indications that it is not up to Starfleet standards.  During Lieutenant Morali's treatment this morning I had what I can only classify as 'an incident.'"  Her pale face acquired a slightly greenish tint as she walked over to a chair but didn't sit.  "Fortunately Mister Morali doesn't seem harmed by my lapse of control.  But if this should occur during surgery, the repercussions would be severe.  Before I can enter the operating theatre, we must determine whether what happened was an isolated incident or represents a chronic condition."

"What happened?" Hayden couldn't imagine what Maya was referring to, but if it was enough to cause this sort of emotional reaction after all of her efforts to regain control, it must've been serious. "Did you run into your attacker?"

Maya seemed to find her hands very interesting.  She rubbed them together almost ceremoniously as she sat down in a comfy chair and took her time answering.  "No, I am certain he was nowhere near the operating theatre," she finally said.  "I was in charge of Mister Morali during the last phase of his treatment.  I had placed myself in a maek vak trance in order to clear my mind of all distractions aside of the task at hand and monitoring his vital signs empathically.  When I awoke from my trance I found myself in the role of a sexual surrogate."

"With Sarresh?"  It might have seemed obvious, but Hayden's reply belied her surprise.  "Do you know what might have triggered you?"  O'Connor was concerned for Morali's well-being as well but right now she had to put aside Maya's admission and focus on her needs.

"I cannot say," Maya admitted without looking up from her hands.  "My best guess would be that I was too fatigued from my ordeal to go into my trance properly.  Instead of being able to focus completely on my task free from distraction it is possible that I rendered myself susceptible to suggestion.  As a touch telepath I may have been influenced by Lieutenant Morali's erotic dream."  She looked up from her hands to look gravely at Hayden.  "But it is possible that this is merely wishful thinking on my part."

Hayden digested what Maya was telling her slowly. The truth was, she didn't know a lot about Vulcan psychic states and she was relying on Maya to help her understand how they worked and how they affected Maya specifically. O'Connor didn't know the answer either, but she knew Maya was right to be concerned about her fitness. "You've been through a lot in an incredibly short period of time. Even if you had no psionic abilities, I would still have my doubts about your ability to focus on your work. I hope you understand it's not a sign of personal weakness that your best efforts haven't been able to help put this behind you. None of this is your fault, and while I agree it's not safe for you to go back to work, at least right now, I do believe in in time you can heal."

"Unfortunately the Theurgy doesn't have that many doctors," Maya replied.  "If Doctor Nicander can spare me I will recommend that Ensign Saugn takes my place until I am considered fit for duty.  Although she hasn't completed her residency, I have no doubt that Lahkesis will do an adequate job replacing me.  I cannot deny that I need a rest, but we are short on manpower."

Hayden nodded. It was true they were short staffed and likely going to need every medically trained person they could find, especially if previous events were any indication of things to come. However, the benefit of having Maya to assist would be obviously erased if she was unfit to perform her duties. O'Connor was relieved to see Maya understood that even though it seemed a small part of her was trying to look for more reasons to keep her on duty because they were shorthanded. Hayden couldn't help but notice it was similar to the logic she had tried to apply to keeping quiet about her rapist for the sake of the mission. "Our manpower is already compromised if we can't ensure you won't be triggered again," Hayden offered gently.

"Agreed," Maya tilted her head instead of nodding.

O'Connor paused for several moments, then offered, "Rest will help you clear your head and perhaps make some decisions easier. I will support whatever you decide, but I'm wondering if you had given any more thought to reporting your assault? We talked a lot before about your concerns regarding the mission if you were to report what happened, but we haven't talked much about the risks to the crew if you don't report the assault. I'm wondering if you're still certain in your decision not to report it, now they've had more time to consider it?"

"I suppose I must, now that my assailant's behavior has been proven to decrease the productivity of those he attacks," Maya murmured in a tired voice, "even in one who has been trained to withstand such violence.  It was Lieutenant Commander Phanatos Kilinvoss, the Wing Commander of the Harbinger.  You can understand why I am hesitant to say anything considering how badly we need an officer with his combat experience, but I cannot allow him to attack anyone else." 

Only professional experience kept Hayden's expression impassive as Maya revealed the identity of her attacker. Of course, the counselor had known it was someone relatively senior in the Harbinger crew, but she was still shocked by the news, and partly not, all at the same time. O'Connor knew the man had been badly disfigured and was struggling to come to terms with all he had experienced. Rape was about power and control, and the Wing Commander was a man who definitely struggled regularly with feelings of powerlessness and a lack of control, even if he was loath to admit it. Right now, however, Maya was her priority. "It took a lot of courage to name your attacker, but I agree, under the circumstances, we couldn't risk anyone else's safety. Are you comfortable reaching out to security and Capt. Ives? I will be right by your side if that's where you want me."

Maya turned her head away and closed her eyes.  She took a deep breath and sat perfectly still as her eyes moved under her eyelids.  Finally she opened them and looked at Hayden.  "I cannot truthfully say that I am comfortable sharing this with anyone, but I do not see any other option," she admitted in a somewhat stilted voice.  "When I relate what happened to Captain Ives, I would appreciate your presence."  She stopped speaking and her lips moved haltingly, as if she was searching for the right words.  "I can't understand my behavior," she murmured quietly as her large hazel eyes focused on something that wasn't in the room.  "I've been trained for this.  The incident shouldn't have affected me this deeply."

"In my experience, psychic injuries often behave like physical ones," Hayden offered softly.  "Even in the healthiest of bodies, when someone experiences repeated injury in the same part of the mind or body, at some point, the body and mind can endure no more. It's not a question of personal failing, but of biology and psychology."  O'Connor wasn't sure she was getting through to Maya, but she had to do what she could to minimize the toxicity of self-blame.  The Vulcan's prognosis was already uncertain in Hayden's eyes, and they couldn't afford any more self-blame to undermine her resilience.  "There is no place I would rather be than by your side when you report this.  I would not have it any other way."

"I suppose that doctors make the worst patients, but I cannot argue with the facts," Maya murmured as she tilted her head to the left instead of nodding.   "Thank you Hayden.   Your presence is appreciated.  I cannot say for certain whether I can be trusted to give a candid account.  In any case, we will inform Captain Ives and let him decide when and if charges will be filed against Commander Kilinvoss."

Suddenly a voice from the ship's intercom could be heard all over sickbay, including Maya's combadge in the counselor's office.  "Man down!" Master Chief William Robert O'Connell's voice shouted.  "Engineering to sickbay, Lieutenant Marlowe is down!"

"Acknowledged Engineering," Maya replied as she touched her combadge and rose from her chair with an eerily fluid movement.  "Help is on the way."  She released her combadge before addressing Hayden.  "On the other hand, perhaps we should wait until my shift ends before we advise Doctor Nicander that I should be relieved of duty," she commented dryly.  "If you'll excuse me Counselor, duty calls," she nodded before flitting out of Hayden's office.

~Fin

 
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