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Day 02 [1130 hrs.] Herbal Therapy

[ PO1 B'Nila Skai & Lahkesis Saugn | Counselor's office | Deck 9 | USS Theurgy ]

Though her morning routine had seldom if ever hanged Lahkesis Saugn found this morning very different than those before it. To start with she was not i her custom built bed in the pool of water that allowed her the best amount to rest, instead she had wound up staying curled up on the floor the whole night. The usual quiet alarm that awakened her from her rest pulled her from her darkness into an almost automatic state, moving more on instinct than on any real thought. She put on her uniform from the day before, drank a glass of mineral water, and went to duty, not even bothering to spar a glance in to the mirror, if she had she would have noticed the usual gleam of petal like filaments that made up her hair was somewhat lessened.

---

After her conversation in the steam room B’Nila Skai made her way back to the locker room and put on an off duty jumpsuit, a rather bland attire if she was being really honest, but it did the trick. She did not want to walk around the ship in naught but a towel, doing it in the gym was taboo enough. She stopped by her quarters and pulled a fresh uniform from a drawer, having replicated a whole stack the day before, and got dressed for the day.

On her way to her small office she stopped by the mess hall and replicated one of the few foods she had already had time to program in that suited her diet. She was quite certain no other crew member would drink the thick gel paste like substance that formed inside a standard issue cup, but as that her own dietary concerns made it difficult to eat anything other than food at least resembling that native to her planet, it did the trick for her.

---

Once in sickbay Lahkesis set about doing her job on autopilot, or put another way the lights were on, but no one was home. She spoke very little, but that was not overly uncommon for her. Instead what was odd was that she seemed to stand and stare into nothingness a lot more than usual, lost in thought, or maybe lost in no thoughts at all. It was impossible to tell from the outside. From the inside her mind could not quite process much of anything. She could do her job, but part of her wanted to scream and curl up in a ball again.

---

Once in her office B’Nila set out doing the work of the day. She loaded a PADD with her schedule and the psyche files on the patients she would be seeing that day. She was pleased to note that a name she was hoping to see quite soon was on her list of patients, she had heard from Sithick that Lahkesis needed to be seen and there was a Lahkesis Saugn on her list of Patients for the day, transferred over from Dr. O’Connor’s patients list. If they were the same individual, then it would make things a fair bit more simple, and the name did seem to be highly unique. But that session would not be until later, in the mean time she had a job to do and she would set about doing it.

She went over the days psyche profiles as she finished off her morning cup of fungi rich paste that smelled strongly of something akin to fermented fermented mushrooms, a traditional breakfast drink of the Elsarian people.

---

Even in her current state Lahkesis was nothing but professional with her duties. She was able to administer medicine and treatments with ease and efficiency, though her bedside manner was noticeably lacking as she seemed both loath to touch and to speak to men today. Being so noticeable she was mostly assigned female patients with the odd male here or there with a nurse support to do most of the touching for her. Something had clearly happened and it was clear that the already fragile plant based doctor was more broken than usual today.

Yet with the current problems around the ship, they could in no way afford to lose an even mostly competent Doctor, so she could not be removed from the roster unless there was a damn good reason, and there did not seem to be one at that moment.

---

A little before 1100 hrs B’Nila left her office. She had been seeing patients all morning and had decided to go and meet her next patient in her usual place of duty. After a simply inquiry to the main computer as the the location of the patient she made her way there, stopping by the mess hall to get a glass of water, one of the many things kept on tap so there was no need to stand in line for the replicator or use the small one in her office.

She was still new to the ship, but being of standard Starfleet design she found it easy enough to navigate and there were floor plans located frequently enough that she could get her bearings. In addition getting to the Main Sickbay was designed to be easy and straight forward on all Starfleet ships, so her journey there was not a complex one.

When she entered sickbay proper she told a nurse that she would simply like to watch Lahkesis Saugn work for a little bit, though it would not be a good idea for Lahkesis to know that she was for that purpose. The nurse nodded and said they would keep it under wraps. B’Nila than sat down in a place where she could watch the fair skinned woman with bright hair work, making notes of her body language and behavior. Their appointment not for another half an hour.

---

Sickbay was a constantly changing environment on the best of days and with the recent sickness outbreak it was even more so today, so though Lahkesis did notice the alien woman she did not allow her thoughts to linger on her for long at all. If she were told to treat the woman, she would, but there was no need to focus on her if that was not her task.

Her morning had been an odd one. Though she had done her job well enough, she had been consistently needed to be brought back to reality when she would pause in between patients and stare into nothingness. In those moments it was like her mind would simply unplug and she would just not be there. She was not so much lost in thought as it was that she was lost in void. Before 1130 hrs this would happen a number more times and every time when she needed to move on the nurse would gently touch her arms and draw her back to remind her to move forward to her next patient. She was asked if she needed to take a break numerous times, and every time she said no.

---

At 1125 hrs a small quiet alarm went off on the PADD B’Nila had to let her know it was time. She got to her feet and bee-lined to the pink haired woman.

Excuse me, Lahkesis Saugn,” she said with a polite smile.

Yes?” Lahkesis said, though her voice sounded distant.

My name is B’Nila Skai, I’m one of the ship’s counselors, I believe we have an appointment today, would you mind coming with me?” she said with the same polite smile.

Re: Day 02 [1130 hrs.] Herbal Therapy

Reply #1
[ PO1 B'Nila Skai & Lahkesis Saugn | Counselor's office | Deck 9 | USS Theurgy ]

Though it was not a long journey from Sickbay to the Counselor’s Office, Lahkesis could recall very little of it. Her mind remained in a mostly detached state as she followed behind the pale woman with golden eyes. In fact to her recollection it was almost as if had been in sickbay one moment, blinked and appeared in the counselor’s office already seated in a plush leather chair. She blinked again half wondering if she would open her eyes and find herself somewhere else altogether, she did not.

“I’m sorry, did you say something? My mind seem to be...” Lahkesis began, but found the words disappeared before she could finish her sentence.

“It was nothing so important you should need to worry yourself about it,” B’Nila said as she took her seat. Her glowing golden eyes never left the young plant based doctor. It was clear that there was a high level of disassociation going on, quite likely due to the trauma hinted to her during her talk with the Gorn, Sithick, only a few hours before. She could only see the surface of the trauma at this point, but from the look of it a good deal of damage had been done and though some therapy had been done with no follow-up treatments, the doctor had simply slipped back into the trauma. She would need to be delicate with this, take her time. “As I said before I am one of the new counselors on the ship, my name is B’Nila Skai, I transferred over from the Resolve after it, well after it was removed from service.”

Lahkesis only nodded in mute understanding. She was aware of what had happened to the Resolve and the fact that a number of it’s crew had joined the crew of the Theurgy, though she could not seem to think of many at the moment.

“I understand you’ve been having some difficulty with some recent trauma,” B’Nila said, pressing forward a little deeper. She knew that she would need to touch on the subject herself, it was clear that with the level of disassociation Lahkesis was experiencing, she would be almost unaware that it was the trauma causing it, or at least that was B’Nila’s educated guess.

Lahkesis blinked and thought about it. She knew of the trauma to which the counselor made reference too, how could the counselor not know? Doctor Maya had made no secret about the memory transfer and in fact it was likely in her psyche file now. Though her mind seemed to stray from the idea, repulsed by the idea of getting to close to that topic. “Perhaps,” she breathed quietly.

“I understand you had an appointment with Doctor O’Connor a short while ago in regards to this,” B’Nila continued on, simply stating the facts at this point. “How did that go for you, do you think?”

“It went well enough,” Lahkesis replied, though her voice had a hollow note to it, a lack of emotion that B’Nila could not miss.

“She recommended you for more individual therapy sessions, however unfortunately being chief counselor her schedule fills quickly, I certainly hope you don’t mind me taking over for her,” B’Nila went on, her tone was polite, calm and cool even. She had the quality of a woman who was in total control of her emotions, Lahkesis envied that about her instantly.

“It shouldn’t be a problem,” Lahkesis replied, though there was an emotion in her voice, some pain hidden under the surface clawing to get out.

“I think we should start with just the pure facts, to make sure I know what actually happened,” B’Nila said gently. It was clear that she would need to take her time in this case, but she also knew she needed to remove the layer of built up defenses that Lahkesis had put over her trauma. “Is that alright?”

Lahkesis gave her an odd look. Did this counselor really want her to relive that moment? To go back to that painful memory? She didn’t want to. She didn’t want to feel it again. She was afraid of it. “I... I don’t...” The words got lost in her throat.

B’Nila could see the fear play across the young plant based woman’s fear play across her face and she knew it in an instant. “I know it is scary to look at one’s trauma, but I am here for you. Please think of this room as a place you can be safe to feel whatever you may need to feel. Know that however you feel is alright to feel, you need not rationalize it to me or even yourself, they are your feelings and they are legitimate,” B’Nila said gently, her tone moving toward a more tender. “I will help you every step of the way and if we need to stop, we can, alright? Do you think we can give it a shot?”

As her eyes drifted around the room Lahkesis could not help but feel her anxiety rise. She was still scared to even approach the topic, yet something about B’Nila’s words gave her a bit of comfort. “Alright,” she said at last nodding a single time as she made up her mind. She knew how wounds worked. She knew that sometimes in order to heal a wound you needed to reopen it to get the damaged tissue out. This was just an emotional wound, though the pain scared her none the less.

“Alright then, let’s begin,” B’Nila said and bit by bit they went over the events surrounding the memory transfer and the memory of Maya’s assault by Phantos itself. It was mostly the same as the report that B’Nila had read on the event, though it was clear from Lahkesis’s description, or at least what she could describe of the event, that she had Maya’s memory. Thus it was direct trauma and not witnessed trauma, meaning it would need to be treated as if the even had happened directly to Lahkesis and not as if she had simply witnessed it as some of the reports had implied.

When they had at last covered the details of the trauma Lahkesis wiped her eyes of the fructose based tears that were sliding down her cheeks. She had done a very good job, giving details when she could, and simply confirming other details. And for her part something about confronting it made Lahkesis feel somewhat better, like she had overcome something.

“Now then,” B’Nila said with a sigh, she was glad the heaviest part of this session seemed to be over. “We seem to have a little time left and I understand there has been an incident recently.”

Lahkesis blinked,  her eyes had a faint brownish tinge from the increase in sap. “What incident?”

“I spoke with a certain Gorn this morning,” B’Nila said coolly, though not coldly.

“Oh,” replied Lahkesis.



Postscript: Ok, so I may have cheated a little and skipped over the part where they went over the events of the memory transfer and the rape itself, but to be fair I didn't think they would add much to the scene. This scene is about Lahkesis's healing process and setting up some other things.

Postscript 2: I won't be adding color to any more of the session because it's just a lot of work for only a minor aesthetic boost. I'm not entirely convinced it needs it and in fact I think I may be dropping the concept altogether for my posts.

Re: Day 02 [1130 hrs.] Herbal Therapy

Reply #2
“I must admit I was forced to assume a great many of the details about the events surrounding your encounter with Mister Sithick, but from what I was able to gather there was a occurrence that caused some degree of trouble for you,” B’Nila said calmly, her tone never straying from an almost casual note. Yet there was a quality that made it clear she was not taking the matter lightly, only aiming to get to it with little strain.

“I saw his... He became aroused and I reacted... I don’t know... why...” Lahkesis said doing her best to hold herself together as the memory came to her.

“I the psychological community we often refer to events like that as triggering,” B’Nila replied softly. “You were faced with something you were not able to deal with and the result was a shut down of your mental faculties. At least from the way he explained the event that is my estimation. Does that sound accurate to you?”

“I have seen male genitals before, I am a doctor,” Lahkesis said, a defensive note in her voice.

“I am certain you have, but I believe this situation was different,” B’Nila responded coolly. “You were not in control this time, in your work you are able to take a degree of control, correct.”

Lahkesis only nodded.

“Without a level of control you were unable to respond, so more base instincts took over. The urge to get away from the danger, the urge to get away from that which caused you to be unsafe.” There was something odd about how calmly B’Nila spoke, some knowledge or some insight into the subject that would never be spoken. B’Nila knew trauma, both her own and that of others as well. “And he reacted as he viewed his action as having caused harm to you.”

Lahkesis said nothing, she couldn’t respond. She felt as if her throat was hardening, yet she could tell it was not a physical change, it was something else.

“It’s alright that you didn’t know how to react. All you need to do is realize that you have done nothing wrong in this situation. You tried to take care of yourself and that is all most could ever ask of you,” B’Nila said softly. “I think that in your current condition any relationship you might have will be difficult, but not impossible. If you want to be in a relationship you need to know that some things will trigger these sorts of feelings and that it is alright to feel them.”

As she listened to what the other woman said Lahkesis felt uncertain. “I haven’t ever... I mean... I’ve never done... that... with a man before,” she breathed, her voice trembling. “I’ve done it by myself... and Dr. Maya helped me a little... but... I’ve never...”

“And yet you have a memory of being sexually assaulted,” B’Nila replied simply. “And it will corrupt your view of any sexual encounter. It is the nature of trauma, it changes the lens through which we see both the present and the past. But you can recover, and with some work it may not be so difficult. You need not do anything you are uncomfortable with. I am certain any partner worthy of you will be able to take it slowly and allow you the time to get comfortable.”

“But... I don’t know... I don’t know what I want,” Lahkesis said her voice still soft and trembling, like a leaf caught in a breeze. “It just kind of happened and I liked some of it... Then I saw his... And I couldn’t...”

For a moment B’Nila said nothing as she considered things. she could now see that there was going to be some difficulty and she would need to work with both of them, likely together, if she was going to get anywhere in the time frame she had to work in. But for now she needed to make some things understood.

“Just because you can handle some things, doesn’t mean you can handle others,” B’Nila said softly. She decided to probe a little deeper into the emotion first, she needed to be clear on some things. “It only means that you are able to process certain feelings and some details trigger you. Can you tell me what you thought of when you were triggered? What about seeing Mister Sithick’s genitalia caused you to react?”

“I saw it and... And I was afraid it was going to hurt me. That he was going to use it... to hurt me too,” Lahkesis said, her body now trembling too. She didn’t know why, but just thinking about it made her want to curl up into a ball again, yet she held on. “I know he wouldn’t... but I thought...” She stopped unable to finish her sentence.

“You thought that he would do to you what you remember the other man doing to you?” B’Nila asked softly.

“I thought he would use me just like... that man used me... or like he used Doctor Maya,” Lahkesis said, bending her knees up to hold them to her chest, curling up in the chair.

“It is ok to fear that,” B’Nila said leaning forward. “You have had almost no encounters with the male genitalia in a sexual way aside from that moment. Of course that moment will make it seem dangerous, as it was dangerous in that moment.”

Lahkesis nodded.

“In time I think the lens that moment clouds your insight with will fade, but...” B’Nila began, but she stopped herself. What was she going to say? Could she really recommend that? Could she really recommend something that could harm her patient? She was uncertain and that uncertainty usually meant she was about to take a risk. “But it is possible to lessen it by providing another lens.”

For a moment Lahkesis tried to process what B’Nila had just said. “Another lens?”

“From the reports removal of the memory is impossible, but it may be possible provide another memory to allow for a better lens to be made,” B’Nila said thoughtfully. She had been trained in such techniques of Betazed, but as with all techniques involving telepathy there was a risk. In fact they were in this situation due to something similar having happened.

“You mean put another memory in my mind to counteract the memory there? Like an anti-venom?” Lahkesis said, trying to make sense of the idea.

“More like a memory to provide a greater degree of context to your trauma. To allow your mind to create a lens with which to view the point of trauma. It could help you, or it could do more damage. It will be up to you if you think we should try it.” B’Nila said as she held out her hand.

”I think...” Lahkesis said as she looked at her own hand, considering it for a moment.

Re: Day 02 [1130 hrs.] Herbal Therapy

Reply #3
“I think...”

“If you want to decide later, we can wait,” B’Nila said comfortingly.

“No... I want to try... I want to be able to feel ok again... And if it doesn’t work, I don’t think I could feel much worse,” she said and slowly leaned forward to touch B’Nila’s hand. “Will it hurt?”

Only she did not here the answer, not as such. In a moment it was as if the world around her stretched out and was consumed by a darkness unlike anything she had known. It was a warm safe darkness, as if being held in the arms of the universe itself. Lahkesis knew nothing like it.

Reality around her rippled and changes as colors danced before her eyes, like some inner space of pure beauty. Trickles of sensation danced over her, feelings of comfort and delight tickled her mind.

She could not describe the sensation, only that she felt safe and secure in it, though she also felt some nervousness as sensation washed over her. Without words and in a tongue she could not know the world danced and throbbed, pulsed with color and life.

She was aware of a feeling inside herself, a pleasure that rattled against her ribs like a beast in a cage. She yearned, she breathed. She touched with hands that were not her own and she felt with a heart that was not hers. She was not so much alone as with someone else whom there was no boundary between, and it shook her with delight and some pleasure she had only felt some faint shadow of in the past.

Her world blurred in colors and sensations. The deep red of blood, the white of a distant star, the glorious gold of a setting sun, the deep blue of an endless summer sky; her mind processed them all as it felt like some great tidal wave swept toward her and in an instant consumed her whole.

And then it was as if she washed up on the edge of a steam pool. She knew this place. She had been there... Only she hadn’t. The steam was thick, but before her she could see a man. He had a smaller woman with him.

And her heart screamed silently as she realized where she was. She could not turn away or escape it as she watched her friend be violated by a monster, a man with only half a face. She wanted to stop it, yet she could not move or speak. She could only feel some anger well up inside her.

She knew this was not right, this was not what it was supposed to be. This was a violation of how it was supposed to be and she had to stop him. She had to make him pay. She had to...

And the world blurred again. She was in sickbay and there he lay. The monster defeated, laying in a pool of his own blood. Gone was the monster and in his place there was only a man, a damaged and no dead man. He was gone. The creature that had hurt her and her friend was gone. She felt as if she was about to cry, only still her body did not react as it should. She could only watch as the man bled on the ground.

Then that to vanished and she was in the warm darkness, feeling as if she had been raked over pain and then felt some release, and now the tears fell, sliding hotly down her face.

And she blinked as B’Nila took her fingers away from her face. She could feel her pulse in her ears and could feel the hot fructose based tears sliding down her cheeks. “What... what was... that?” She breathed as she trembled.

“That was one of my memories and a process called memory detachment, a skill some telepaths can do that allows people to witness memories in the third person,” B’Nila said as she wiped the tears from her own eyes. Of course the risk of such a procedure was not just the strain of connection on the patient, but also the caregiver. It meant they would feel the same things, and that her ability to process the emotions would form the framework of how the patient would in that moment. It was usually reserved for more extreme cases, but B’Nila felt it would help Lahkesis to see the situation only to see it through a different viewpoint.

“I... He... He did it wrong...” Lahkesis said her mind beginning to process what it had just felt. “It’s not supposed to be like that... It’s supposed to be... I don’t know.”

B’Nila could only nod. She felt exhausted. “I think we have made a good deal of progress here, but I think you will need to process this on your own. Would you like to meet me in the steam room in the ships gym tomorrow morning around 0530 hrs?”

Lahkesis nodded as her mind raced to process it all.

“I would recommend you rest for the rest of today. I will let Sickbay know I am putting you on a temporary psyche leave for the rest of the day, alright?” B’Nila said with a smile as she composed herself carefully.

Lahkesis nodded again.

And with that B’Nila got up and escorted Lahkesis to the turbolift, where they parted ways. B’Nila returned to her office and after sending a message to Sickbay decided she would need some time to meditate to recenter her mind.

Once the lift stopped on her floor, Lahkesis made her way to her quarters. It felt as if her whole body was tingling. She wasn’t sure how to describe what had happened only that it was like everything had changed and nothing had changed. She sat down in her chair under her sun lamp and within only seconds drifted into a peaceful sleep.

~Fin

 
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