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Day 02 [0800 hrs.] All Nightmares End

[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Counselling Offices| Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Juzzie


There was only so much time that Alistair could spend "convalescing". His physical injuries had been healed, while the last of the mystery ​drug given to him by the Relativity doctors had finally left his system. More important, the Theurgy's medical staff had confirmed that there were no traces of nanoprobes or indications of a parasite implantation. The next step after that (and after some fitful sleep) was inevitable, and it was a step that Alistair had taken before, but it wasn't something he looked forward to regardless. He begrudgingly sat down at his desk in his quarters to send in the request, and was surprised within minutes when confirmation came through, along with a name, date and location.

Lieutenant Rhys Williams
Deck 09 - Counsellors' Offices
0800 hrs.

"The heck?" Alistair said, frowning at his monitor. "That was quick."

Nevertheless, he could hardly complain. Thus (with a degree of reluctance), when the next morning came, Alistair got up, showered, put on his uniform and set out to find the offices. He deliberately left early and took his time, taking the opportunity to look around the ship as he went. The corridors were bustling with crew passing to and fro, while on occasion, Alistair passed by a repair crew working on some systems. He even passed by a few doors which were sealed, the rooms they led to still decompressed. The Theurgy had clearly taken one hell of a beating lately, but it was a tough ship. Here and there people gave him odd looks, but Alistair ignored them through long habit. Either they were suspicious of the new face, or more likely, rumours had spread about him. Alistair was past caring, anyway. It had been exactly the same on the Eclipse, especially after...


Finally Alistair reached the offices. He sighed, briefly closing his eyes, before finding his resolve and tapping the chime.

Re: Day 02 [0800 hrs.] All Nightmares End

Reply #1
[Lt. Rhys Williams | Counselling Offices| Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff

Rhys’ nightmare was finally ending. That morning he had gotten up early, perhaps earlier than he really needed to, he just was struggling to sleep. Anticipation and Coffee making him more than a little twitchy. He was back in a familiar routine. He had taken a sonic shower and stood in the pulsing rays trying to keep the jumbled thoughts from overwhelming him. Once out of his shower, he had laid his uniform out on his bed, and he stood undressed staring at it for a moment.

This had almost been taken from him forever. It had been taken away briefly and he felt lucky it had been returned to him. His purpose and depressingly perhaps his sole reason for continuing to live. Well, this was never going to happen again, his own foolishness would never lead to him loosing something so integral now to his life. Rhys pulled on the uniform like it was a skin he was desperate to inhabit. He looked at himself in the mirror and straightened his already crease free and straight uniform. His eyes flicked to the models of his spaceships, one was slightly off centre, but through sheer force of will he resisted adjusting it. Nothing would happen if it was crooked.

Arriving in his office, his heart beating hard as he stepped over the threshold into a place that to him practically smelled of his failures. Someone had clearly tidied his desk for him.  The day he had been relieved of duty it had been an uncharacteristic mess. He took his seat, until recently the site of a traumatic nervous breakdown.

He sighed and took a deep breath and looked at the terminal in front of him. Appointments had been coming in, he could see plenty against other Counsellor’s names. Stellan seemed to have taken on a few, there was one however sitting unclaimed at the top of the list.  Rhys’ finger flashed out almost stabbing at the screen, eager as he was to begin work again. Lt. Alistair Leavitt? Not a familiar name, but Rhys was determined he would be beginning. No more panic and fear about making other’s lives worse. This one he would help him and improve his life in some way he was determined.

It did not feel all that long until he heard the chime at his door. He coughed straightened up at the desk and just about resisted making his voice crack when he said. “Come in.” In what he hoped was a friendly authoritative tone.

Once Alistair entered, he saw an impossibly neat Starfleet officer. His hair was cropped close, his desk was likely the most orderly on the ship. Rhys was tall and rangy, with a face that made him look a lot younger than he was and he was only 26 anyway. There was something distinctly puppyish about him.

Re: Day 02 [0800 hrs.] All Nightmares End

Reply #2
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Counselling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Juzzie


"Hi," Alistair said limply as he stepped inside. "Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt, reporting in as...uh...well, I wasn't ordered. Reporting in. You're Counselor Williams, right?" Alistair appraised the counselor briefly. "I really hope that you're Counselor Rhys Williams, or else I've walked into the wrong office and this is very awkward. I mean, awkward is to be expected after a transfer, I guess, especially on a ship this big. The biggest ship I've been on before this was an Intrepid-class, and the Theurgy has ten times the tonnage of the Pioneer, and...I'm rambling. I'll just shut up now. Sorry."

With that, Alistair just shifted on his feet uneasily. He half wished that the Relativity doctors had given him more of that magic drug before they shoved him into the temporal transporter, just so that he could get through the inevitable awkward first few days aboard the Theurgy. The stuff had enabled Alistair to do insane stuff at Praxis, things he never could've imagined doing normally, and from what the Theurgy's medical staff had said, there had been no side effects whatsoever. It was a shame that they had to delete the chemical signature from the Theurgy's computer, the Temporal Prime Directive being what it was.

Besides, Alistair mused darkly, he remembered his Earth history. Many militaries had used similar drugs on their troops during and after the Third World War, even for some years after First Contact with the Vulcans, often with horrific effect. Just remembering all of that made Alistair queasy; odd, given everything that had happened the past few weeks. It was only then that Alistair realised that his brain was rambling just as his mouth had been, and he forced himself to pay renewed attention to the counselor.

Re: Day 02 [0800 hrs.] All Nightmares End

Reply #3
[Lt. Rhys Williams | Counselling Offices| Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Griff

Rhys smiled as Alistair made his way into the room. A well-built fellow older than Rhys and if first impressions were to go anything to go by, profoundly unconfident at least in this situation. “Yes, I am Counsellor Williams, but please call me Rhys.” He said his voice ringing with its natural sing-song quality.

Rhys laughed a little when Alistair mentioned this would be an awkward situation if he had come to the wrong place. Rhys recognised humour being used as a method to self-distract from clear feelings of anxiety. The same was true of the rambling about the ship.  “Not at all. You don’t need to apologise to me. Rambling is fine, if you are going to do it anywhere this is the perfect place to do it.”

Rhys paused for a moment noting how Alistair remained standing. Rhys pointed to a set of soft squashy chairs against one wall of his office. They were the kind that were really comfy but incredibly difficult to get out of once in them. “Please take a seat. Lieutenant. May I call you Alistair?” Said Rhys inclining his head a little to the side as he spoke. His voice remained light, soft, and even. He needed to calm this guy down before they could do anything meaningful.

Rhys stood himself and went towards the replicator. “Is there anything you would like? I am going to have some tea.” He turned to the machine, spoke a few words a mug of tea materialised. Asking Alistair if he wanted anything fulfilled two purposes. People who had something to do with their hands often behaved less anxiously, and of course it gave Rhys a chance to think about his approach. “Have you had any counselling sessions before?” Said Rhys in a friendly conversational tone. He guessed from the way Alistair was acting, probably not but it was best to make sure.


Re: Day 02 [0800 hrs.] All Nightmares End

Reply #4
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Counselling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Juzzie


Alistair sat down, relieved by how relaxed the counselor seemed to be, matching the sinfully luxurious chair. "Alistair is fine, thanks," he said amicably. "And...uh...some lephberry cider should do me fine. Warm. The pattern should be in the Theurgy's computer. Starfleet included that pattern in the general software update a couple of months before the Theurgy left Earth. Well, I guess 'left' is an understatement. I saw the videos on the FNN. I'm amazed the Theurgy escaped, given how many ships were after you."

As Rhys replicated the cider, Alistair had a moment to answer his next question. "Uh...yeah," he said with a bit more assuredness now that the initial awkwardness had passed. "I fought in the war. I lost friends, saw action, all that stuff. I spent time in therapy afterwards, alongside my regular duties, just like the other vets on the crew. Starfleet ended up assigning an extra counselor to the Pioneer temporarily just to keep up with the workload. I'm not really new to the process. Besides, the DTI...uh, sorry, the Department of Temporal Investigations, they encourage personnel to take care of themselves, especially after a temporal incident. I had to go through psych evals before they even let Starfleet transfer me there, then regular annual evals afterwards. The DTI take mental health very seriously, even for people who don't time travel."

Re: Day 02 [0800 hrs.] All Nightmares End

Reply #5
[Lt. Rhys Williams | Counselling Offices| Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Griff

Warm cider was an interesting choice. Rhys was used to it being cold and fairly alcoholic. Still, he replicated what Alistair had wanted. The man was an operations officer through and through that was obvious, and that made Rhys smile in affectionate memory for his time in the gold uniform. “I’m always amazed at what is no programmed in automatically. I’ve added a few things myself on the sly of course.” He said a mischievous grin directed towards Alistair.

You understatement could say that yes. It seems as if this ship has wondered from one major disaster to another. I am impressed by the crew’s resilience.” He carried the drink over Alistair and took a seat in an equally squashy chair just opposite. He placed his tea on a small table on the side and held the PADD lazily on his lap.

Rhys listened as Alistair answered his question about previous counselling. Some of the awkwardness seemed to have dropped out of him which was exactly what Rhys had hoped for. He did however wonder why Alistair had been so nervous if he had done counselling before, though of course sharing your feelings with a stranger was never easy. “I can only imagine the kinds of stresses Temporal work can put on a person’s mental health.” He had read some papers on it, but still it seemed an area that was understudied in his experience.

“Alistair what are you hoping to get out of these sessions?” Rhys said attempting to gage the other man’s expectations of what was going to happen. Sometimes people came in expecting to feel better immediately after all.

Re: Day 02 [0800 hrs.] All Nightmares End

Reply #6
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Counselling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Juzzie


It was a simple question, but it threw Alistair all the same. He ran a hand over his shaved scalp, looking to the side as he considered. "Honestly, Counsell...uh...Rhys? I hadn't gotten that far. I know that I've been through some traumatic stuff, and I know that this is something I need to do, but...uh...I don't know what's next."

He sighed. "Hell, I don't know. I just want to be functional, you know? I want to do everything I can to stop the Infested. Right now, I feel like I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I've had nightmares the last couple of nights, and I get...uh, cold, I guess, sometimes, whenever I think about that stuff. I'm okay otherwise, though, but I figure that I'm going to crash eventually. It's all going to hit me one day, everything that happened, and then I'll probably spend a good day or so crying in a corner."

Alistair smiled, although there was no humour in his eyes. "I shouldn't complain. I survived. Most of the others didn't. Captain Jiji, Commander Cak, Lieutenant al-Hamza, Nadene..." Realisation struck Alistair then, and he winced as he looked at Rhys. "Oh. I'm an idiot. I haven't filed a report. You have no idea what I'm talking about. Sorry." He paused. "Er...I should tell you now. I had experiences with the Niga virus, with the Borg and with the Infested. I know that the Theurgy crew have suffered with all three. I don't know if, uh, if you've got any trauma yourself, but I'd understand if it means you have to send me to another counsellor, to play it safe. I don't want to compromise anyone else's mental health when talking about this stuff."

Re: Day 02 [0800 hrs.] All Nightmares End

Reply #7
[Lt. Rhys Williams | Counselling Offices| Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Griff

Rhys really felt for the man he looked so uncomfortable and unsettled. What he described seemed to contain a lot of anxiety. He seemed to be waiting for a trigger. The biggest fear Rhys could see so far was losing emotional control. Rhys had experienced that himself before, so it was a very familiar feeling. Things seemed to come out of Alistair rapidly in a stream.

Rhys simply sat in silence, occasionally nodding, and noting things down. Alistair’s anxieties felt a lot like a huge wave overcoming a dam. Rhys thought it would be best to let him get it all out and express his experiences in as much detail as possible before commenting himself.

Eventually Alistair’s stream of consciousness seemed to subside with his expression of concern for Rhys’ own mental health. ‘Very empathetic’ wrote Rhys on his PADD. Rhys gave a soft friendly smile. “Don’t worry about me, I hear stories like this very often.” Of course, if only Alistair knew that he in some ways had just cause to be worried about Rhys given he had only just been reinstated after a breakdown. Rhys conspicuously did not give a direct response about his own trauma. However, Rhys did wonder if Alistair’s empathy here was being used as an avoidance technique. He would need to gather more information before coming to a conclusion about that.

Rhys took a brief moment. “I am sorry you have been feeling like this. I want to assure you I will do all I can to help you.” He said sympathetically. “Going back to what you said at the beginning, about being functional. Do you think you think you have been functional, and if not how has what has happened affected your work and personal life?”

It was a broad place to start and would hopefully get Alistair to start thinking about his trauma in a more analytical way. “Have these feelings led you to stop doing things you normally enjoy for example.” It was very common for someone in emotional distress to stop doing fun things, maybe to lose appetite or have it increase.

Re: Day 02 [0800 hrs.] All Nightmares End

Reply #8
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Counselling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Juzzie


"Enjoy?" Alistair repeated dully, looking aimlessly to the side. "Enjoy. Uh...there wasn't much to enjoy. We didn't get any racing broadcasts in 2387, Earth, Pacifica and everywhere else having been assimilated. Before the wormhole sucked us to 2387, I guess I was...uh...having fun. A whole ship full of scientists, just playing with a wormhole for weeks on end. Even when Captain Jiji pulled me off the wormhole project, I didn't mind. I'm...uh...what people call a code monkey. Working out cyber defences in case the Theurgy entered our sector was a fun challenge." Alistair smirked mirthlessly at that, still looking into nothing. "Got to love the irony."

He took a breath, settling deeper into the comfy armchair. "That's my story, anyway. My ship got sucked into a post-apocalyptic alternate timeline. The Borg were everywhere, the Federation had been wiped out. We were just trying to survive. I started seeing someone...just finding comfort in the nightmare, you know. Then we landed on Betazed and she got infected with Niga. The entire away team did, except for me and Commander Cak."

Alistair stopped then, and was silent for a long while, simply taking deep breaths. "A few days later, the Infested found us. Chased us down, beat down our shields, boarded us. I...uh..." He paused again, closing his eyes briefly. "The...uh...the Infested. She tortured us, one after another. Forced Captain Jiji to watch. I was next in line when the Relativity beamed the survivors away. When the monster saw that we were being beamed away, she...she..."

His entire body shuddered, his breath ragged. "That was...I don't know. Two days ago, my reference, give or take? I got sent to Praxis before I had a chance to think. Now I don't know what I know that I should be a mess right now. I'm not sure why I'm not. I don't know what comes next."

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