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Day 03 [0600 hrs.] Escaping Reality

Day 03 [0600 hrs.] Escaping Reality

Jaya Thorne | Escape Pods | Attn @Auctor Lucan 
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To say that Jaya awoke would imply that she'd slept.  She hadn't.  Maybe an hour or so before she left Jack's quarters, maybe another 30 minutes in her own bed, but that was it.  She was too wound up to rest peacefully.  She'd hoped that sex with Jack would have calmed her psyche.  It had while she was there, in the moment.  Now?  The moment was gone.  When she got back to her quarters, she'd tried a soothing shower.  That didn't work either, but sonic showers weren't as relaxing as hot water ones.  It crossed her mind that she could recreate a hot springs or a sauna on the holodeck, but that would require an amount of effort that she currently lacked.  So instead, she'd just collapsed on her bed, curled into a ball and ruminated on what a piece of shit she was.

When her alarm blasted through the accusatory silence at 6am, she didn't even bother turning it off. 

>Negligent!<
>Liar!<
>Insubordinate!<
>Stupid!<
>Murderer!<

Each buzz shouted a new word at her.  Even though Rihen wasn't dead, it was still Jaya's fault that the woman didn't make it back safely.  She shouldn't have been flying that shuttle.  She shouldn't have been at work at all.  She should have recognized how serious her symptoms were and asked to stay home.  But she hadn't and now a girl was in critical condition.  Jaya had no idea if the medical staff would be able to save Rihen and it was all.. Her.. Fault.

She punched  her pillow.  It was soft and compressable.  It allowed momentum and force to impact it's surface and didn't damage Jaya at all.  She threw it across the room as she screamed.  She didn't do it on purpose!  It was an accident!

An accident caused by your negligence.

No!  A catastrophe caused by those damned Devoted!  They were the ones who blasted Rihen off the surface of the ship in the first place!  They were the ones who ignited the fireball that nearly claimed her life!  Jaya and Jack had flown to her rescue but they had been too late!

You could have saved her if you'd been at your best, or if someone else had been flying that craft.  Instead, you doomed her to live as a vegetable.

NO!!

Jaya gripped the sides of her head as she sat up.  Her legs dangled over the edge of the mattress and she shook her head violently side to side.  "I didn't kill her!"

You might as well have...

It was too much.  Jaya reared back with her right hand and slammed her fist into her night stand.  The pain stole her breath and for a few seconds her mind quieted itself.  She pulled the damaged hand into her lap and tried to open it.  It hurt like a bitch, but all her fingers moved.  Nothing seemed broken except the skin around her knuckles, but her fingers were already turning brownish purple from the bruising.  She had done what she wanted to do though, she'd shut up that damning voice in her head.  If she focused on the pain in her hand, there was a good chance the thoughts wouldn't come back, but self-harm wasn't really her thing even if it had been an almost euphoric release with Jack the night before.  But being ordered around and slapped and roughly fucked was very different from injuring herself on purpose.  No, she needed a better solution.  A more permanent solution.

Jaya dressed and bandaged her hand.  She didn't know what she was going to do, only that brooding in her room wasn't going to solve anything.  "Thea, do you have an update on Rihen Neyah?"

[Warrant Officer Rihen Neyah is in stasis in Main Sickbay.  Status unknown.]

Jaya walked into her common room with a heavy heart.  So much had gone wrong and for what?  Some stupid sense of pride?  Cocky flight skills?  If only she had-

There was something on the table.  A note?  And a chocolate bar?  Jaya was intrigued.  Who would do such a thing?  Her eyes filled with unworthy tears as she read the simple line and the implication struck her.  Sithick.  She had become his friend and now, when she was at her lowest, he had reached out and left her a note and a present.  It was just a single sentence and a candy bar, but it was both uplifting and life-shattering for Jaya.  She had considered briefly seeing one of the many counselors on board, but now, with this small token of affection, Jaya knew what she had to do.

She shoved the chocolate bar in her pocket and ran out of the room.  She didn't acknowledge anyone on her way to the escape pods, nor did she offer an explanation for her red, tear stained eyes or hurried gait.  One security officer tried to help by offering an ear and blocking her path.  She didn't want his condolences or his curious questions and she certainly didn't want to see a counselor.  Not anymore.  So when he approached, she feigned interest and allowed him to place a comforting arm across her shoulder before snaking out of the gesture of camaraderie and running down the hall.  He shouted for her to stop, but she kept on going.  She was determined to fix this problem once and for all.

It was surprisingly easy to access an escape pod and climb inside.  Maybe because anyone onboard was supposed to be able to get inside them, even civilians.  But once she had secured herself in the pod, a new wave of guilt washed over her.  She'd made it all the way here and now she couldn't press the buttons to jettison the pod!  What was she even doing?!  She ripped open the candy bar and began to eat it.  The taste of sweet chocolate and salty tears mingled together as Jaya wallowed, alone in the escape pod.
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0600 hrs.] Escaping Reality

Reply #1
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Escape Pods | Deck 29 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Even Angels Cry
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Given the situation, Thea had the unique perspective of being able to follow the development for Petty Officer Thorne through her internal sensors. While her vid-surveillance system was still in need of repair, her sensors saw her quick run through her corridors after the organic had made an inquiry about Rihen Neyah's health. What had stood out the most was, however, the security protocol that had been keyed up when she entered that escape pod on Deck 29, and it was the cue that made Thea decide to act. She had several reasons catalogued for why she chose to do so, and why she did not alert security.

Instead, her interpersonal interface hologram having stopped during its walk through her corridors on Vector 01, Thea had used her own transporter systems to make a site-to-site transport of her new mobile emitter - ending up on Vector 03 instead. She made the short walk to the escape pod that the human female had sequestered herself in. She looked at her through the small viewport of the airlock, before she accessed the terminal next to the sliding doors. She didn't have to reach out with her hand to open the airlock, and in doing so, she sealed the pod from any kind of launch protocol. Thea's safety runtimes would keep the deck from depressurising. Once the airlock to the pod was opened, Thea stepped into it - hands folded behind her back.

There were no holoemitters inside the escape pods, but since she relied on her mobile emitter, it didn't matter. Quietly, she sat down across from Jaya Thorne, wearing the black colour of her chameleon bodysuit. Her emotional chip had compelled this action, and she let the feelings guide her in the situation.

"Hey," she said, smiling in what she believed to be a friendly way to the woman - 97,342 % confident that she followed the parameters of social convention. "Based on the data in my memory banks, and my logs of your behaviour, I think you need to talk freely. I am willing to listen, and provide analysis as befits the new data you give me. Perhaps I might help you rationalise your feelings, because if you don't pass the Ensign test today, it would not do if you failed because of the status of your current emotions."

Re: Day 03 [0600 hrs.] Escaping Reality

Reply #2
Jaya Thorne |  Escape Pods | Deck 29 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | Attn @Auctor Lucan 
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Jaya didn't notice the woman who materialized in the pod with her until she spoke.  It jolted the pilot out of her sorrow-filled delirium.  Where had she come from?  Surely Jaya would have noticed if the door had been opened?  She sniffled and used the back of her hand to wipe her cheeks. "What?"  Jaya's vision was blurry from the tears.  Her voice cracked and whined like an old, rusted piece of machinery.  There was a lump of tears and self-scathing pity in her throat.  She forced it down. "I dunno who you are but..  But I kinda wanna be alone.. right now."

But the woman kept talking.  Jaya eyed her cheerful smile with caution.  She appeared welcoming and friendly, but the words she used were strange.  The data in her memory banks?  The logs of Jaya's behavior?  Who was this woman?  How did she know about the Ensign test?  She clearly wanted something or else she wouldn't be here, but she had only mentioned that Jaya should talk.  Well, Jaya didn't feel like talking.

Or did she?

Jaya's eyes fell to her feet.  She should talk.  But she didn't want to.  Another lump welled up in her chest.  She'd spent the last 16 hours avoiding this exact moment.  There was so much to say.  And yet when she opened her mouth, all that came out was another sob.  Her grip on the chocolate bar faltered.  It fell clumsily from Jaya's hands and hit the floor of the pod.  She dropped her head onto the tops of her knees.  Her arms wrapped around her legs, hugging them closer to her chest.  She couldn't do this.

"I.. I.. I didn't mean to!  I- I didn't- know I- would- would be so- so sick!  I couldn't save her!  I couldn't!  I couldn't- couldn't save her!"   Jaya wept into her knees.  Her voice came out high and broken, with her sobs interrupting her sentences.  But she couldn't hold it in anymore.  It was too hard.  It needed to come out.  Jaya had no idea if this woman was up to the task, but she'd asked for Jaya to talk. 
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0600 hrs.] Escaping Reality

Reply #3
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Escape Pods | Deck 29 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Even Angels Cry
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So regretful, so horrified with her inaction was she, this CONN Officer and hero of the Battle of Starbase 84, that she didn't even react to her entry, much less see who she was. Or perhaps she did, even if Thea saw no spark or recognition in her tear-swollen eyes.

Be that as it may, her analysis was clear. The human needed to speak, to sort out her feelings. Were they of shortcomings, because of illness? Because of Virus 117? Her logs alluded towards a potential answer to the human's plight, and while she had access to Starfleet's database and all available counselling protocols, she was inexperienced in acting the role nonetheless. She had no own entries in her memory banks about trying to use the techniques she had access to, but she hoped that - if she would just hear her voice clearly - that she was of all Departments and none, and that it might be easier to talk to her instead of another human being. Her chameleon bodysuit changed to its teal-coloured version.

"Shhh," she said quietly, a widely known comforting sound, and reached across the strip of flooring between their two seats to put her solid, holographic hand on her shoulder. "Please correct me if I am wrong in my analysis, but you are referring to Virus 117, are you not? My duty logs also place you on the Thames during the crisis where the Devoted tried give command of me to Junior Lieutenant Morali. Knowing this, I have multiple sources suggesting that Warrant Officer Rihen Neyah was subjected to injury because of the actions of the Devoted."

She paused there, knowing that her analytical approach might not be the way an organic counselor would express herself, but she hoped the meaning would be clearer when she did not obstruct her phrasing with too much social convention. "There is significance in this: It was the Devoted that inflicted harm upon her person. Virus 117 caused numbness in hands, feet and limbs, which would make it difficult to operate the Thames, yet despite of this, RIhen Neyah is still alive, in stasis, instead of dying at the hands of the Devoted."

Thea moved her hand to Petty Officer Jaya Thorne's hair, and began to brush it gently with her fingers. It was, perhaps, not common praxis, but since the human was so regretful, Thea decided that social convention overruled counselor protocol. "You are in need of changing perspective, and see the results and the limitations of your responsibility," she said, but even as she said it, she knew that Thorne would already know this. The issue was not to make her see what she needed to do. There was no need to lecture her. What she needed, was for her to speak of her regret.

"Regardless your perspective of the events, do you feel that Rihen Neyah being in stasis is the root cause of your distress... or is there something else that increases your sense of guilt about her fate?"

Re: Day 03 [0600 hrs.] Escaping Reality

Reply #4
Jaya Thorne |  Escape Pods | Deck 29 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | Attn @Auctor Lucan 
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With her head tucked down to hide the tears, Jaya nodded.  Yes, she referred to the virus.  How was she supposed to know THAT was the illness she'd gotten?  No one on board even knew what it was until sometime late yesterday.  She had assumed it had something to do with her concussion at first.  It was only when the symptoms worsened to include immobilization that she realized it was something completely different.

The sobs were coming slower now, with more space for labored breathing inbetween.  It was through these gaps that Jaya picked up some odd words.  My duty logs?  Give command of me?  The sentences didn't make sense.  It should be the ship's duty logs.  And the Devoted trash that started all of this were trying to take over the Theurgy-

Jaya lifted her head and stared at the woman comforting her.  She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and sniffled.  "..Thea?"  Of course.. it all made sense.  Thea could project herself anywhere within the ship, so it was logical that she could do so in an escape pod as well.  That's why she hadn't heard the pod open.  Thea had simply materialized inside the pod.  And was now wearing medical teal..  and trying to console Jaya..  She choked on bitter laughter.  Of course the starship was concerned for her.  How could this play out any other way?

Jaya wiped her nose on her sleeve as Thea continued.  The A.I.'s words made a lot of sense.  Her eyes closed for a moment as Thea brushed her hair back.  She hadn't realized the extent of Rihen's injuries until now.  Thea was probably right: if Jaya hadn't acted so quickly, despite her sick condition, Rihen would most likely be dead.  But was stasis really better than death?  She wasn't so sure.

Once again, Thea hit the nail on the head.  Jaya turned her head away, keeping her eyes downcast.  What was the real problem here?  She had no idea.  Maybe she needed to talk it out with Thea?  She sighed.  She really didn't want to do that.  But since the ship itself was attempting to talk her down, the ship that was just attacked and still wasn't fully repaired, she should at least try.

"I.. Is stasis really better than.. than death?"  Her voice was shaky, barely above a whisper.  She sniffled as she spoke, but the gut-wrenching sobs had passed.  "You're not human like we are. You don't die like we do.  Sometimes, to make it easier, we invent stories for what happens after.  I don't expect you to understand.. but I think.. I don't think it is.  I saved her.  I know that.  But what greater harm have I done?" 

Jaya took a deep breath.  Time to get philosophical with Thea.  "She's being kept alive by machines now.  Her soul is trapped in a dormant shell.  She cant be free to explore the cosmos and she can't be reborn if she doesn't die.  I've broken the cycle.  When she's brought back, if she's brought back, her soul will know the injustice it's suffered.  I thought I let her die by not getting to her fast enough.  Instead, I'm now responsible for her.  It's my fault she wasn't set free.  I don't know how to fix that."
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0600 hrs.] Escaping Reality

Reply #5
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Escape Pods | Deck 29 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Even Angels Cry
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Hearing Jaya, Thea smiled to her kindly, folding her hands in her lap and looking at her. The mortality of organics was a topic known to her, but she could - of course - not picture it in the same way they did. At least not exactly. She could be destroyed and her program could be erased. The result the same, even if the nature of the cessation was different.

"What is kinder upon her is not the question, is it?" she said, her approach to philosophy more binary than humans might be comfortable with. "The import lay in her fate being permanent or not, and with her being still alive, and neither age nor condition deteriorating in the stasis field, her chance at life is not diminished, the hope remaining that she will make a full recovery. My advise, is that you take heart in this, and focus on that hope that Rihen Neyah is still with us, and may wake from stasis in gratitude."

Gesturing with her hand in her lap, she argued the other side of the issue. "Death can't be kinder than stasis, since in death, there is no hope for life in any degree. Then, the guilt you feel would hold no hope, and you might feel that there was no chance for redemption. Now, you can still be redeemed... even if you remain erroneous in your standpoint that you are the one to blame for her injury. The Devoted bear the responsibility for her medical status, while you and officer Hi'Jak have given her hope, to the best of your abilities at the time. She might still live because of your efforts, and you are merely having too high expectations on your own performance."

Thea ended her analysis of what had happened as plainly as she could, hoping to simplify the point she was making. "Given the circumstances of the incident... no one could have granted her any higher chances than stasis. It was already too late the moment the sirilium cloud detonated."

Re: Day 03 [0600 hrs.] Escaping Reality

Reply #6
Jaya Thorne |  Escape Pods | Deck 29 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | Attn @Auctor Lucan 
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Thea's words resounded through Jaya's head.  "It was already too late the moment the sirilium cloud detonated."  She knew that.  She saw the fireball.  It was there when she closed her eyes.  Her shuttle had been too far away to save Rihen, but she had tried anyway.  She'd cleared out all the other ships around to keep them safe.  She and Jack alone had shouldered the burden for the rescue.  And she was only the pilot.  It wasn't even her plan.  Jack had reiterated that the night before.

Jaya sighed.  Was she making this out to be bigger than it was?  She didn't know anymore.  She thought all of this was guilt over Rihen, but what if it wasn't?  Jaya's emotions bubbled underneath her skin.  They were close to spilling over, but she wasn't ready to let them out.  Not yet.  One day she would open that pandora's box and face the real issues swarming under her surface.  But not today.

Today was for Rihen. 

Jaya had been quiet a long time.  Thea's words impacted her more than she wanted to admit.  Rihen wasn't dead.  She was alive.  In stasis.  She had hope.  One day, when her injuries were able to be treated, she could be revived with a new lease on life.  Thanks to Jaya and Jack.

Thanks to Jaya and Jack.

She looked up at Thea, brown eyes still glistening from the earlier tears.  "..I did everything I could. Someone else might have been able to do better, but I called her rescue.  I jumped the gun and got there first.  I know she should be dead.  I know we saved her life."  Jaya reached for Thea's hands.

"..I can see her when I close my eyes.  Tumbling.  Burning.  Dying."  Jaya squeezed those hands.  They were surprisingly solid and warm.  She hand't expected that from a hologram.  To be honest, she hadn't expected any of this from Thea.  She didn't know the starship cared so much. It was actually.. touching.  And the more Jaya thought about it, the more she realized what a whiny little baby she was being. She had a written test to study for and a practical to take so she could be promoted.  Even if that wasn't on the table, she still had her normal duties to attend to.  The universe didn't stop because one person was placed in stasis.  The universe kept on moving.  Jaya needed to keep on moving too.

'Stupid ship is right about everything.  Geez.'  Jaya made a noise between a cough and a laugh.  For the first time this morning, she looked around at her surroundings.  Why had she thought this was a good idea?  She exhaled.  Thea would probably recommend counseling now.  This episode of weakness might even end up on her record.  She winced.  "Thanks, Thea.  I didn't know you cared so much.  I.. I'll be alright. We should probably get out of this pod, though.  You're right.  I do have a test to take and a practical to get to.  And.. maybe when Rihen wakes up I can talk to her about all this.  Because one day, I know she will. We saved her.  We gave her hope.  But uh.. any chance we can just forget about this escape pod breakdown? I promise I'll see a counselor if you don't make a mention of this in my file." 
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 03 [0600 hrs.] Escaping Reality

Reply #7
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Escape Pods | Deck 29 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Even Angels Cry
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It was difficult to tell at first, but in the end, Thea did believe her analytical approach to counselling had reached through to the young officer in front of her, and the social conventions she had observed were enough to provide the required comfort. She smiled to Jaya Thorne, cataloguing all success factors of the conversation for repeated use, should a similar situation arise again. On a more emotional level, her emotion chip was giving her elation, a feeling of completion and joy in how she had observed elements in the difficult situation that could be of merit to the other woman.

"Good luck with your tests," she said kindly, and rose to her feet. "If you complete the Ensign test, and your studies of helm control and starship navigation, have no fear... I would be excited to have you at my helm."

Saying this, she offered a hand to Jaya, to help her stand, and in the cascading data of her runtime, she considered how Lin Kae had given her the right to choose. This right, this ability, was something she made use of right then, when she did not file any report to Derik Veradin, instead opting to think she had managed to do the task of comforting officer Thorne sufficiently already without reprimands, and that she was already on the right path to recovery. From what she had observed about the young woman from the Black Opal, Jaya was weak in neither confidence nor skill. Veradin was lucky to have her.

"I will not add this to your record," she said, promising her what she wanted because she believed in her. She had seen the tactical logs from the battle at Starbase 84. "Just look after yourself, and 'keep your head high', as the organics tend to say. I am not entirely sure what you mean by that, to be honest. The act makes no difference in terms of confidence or bodily height, as far as I have observed."

She said this with a shrug, and stepped out of the escape pod, making the sliding airlock door open for her in the way out.

 
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