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Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Arboretum Terrace | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan

Reggie had no idea how long she had been sitting on the terrace bench across from the wall.  She must have read them three maybe four times now, but the sheer number of names threatened to overwhelm her.  The Betazoid knew none of them personally of course, having just come aboard ship.  But she dared not look at them as just faceless names on a Memorial Wall.  Each one of these crew, each of the one hundred and twenty six names, (yes she had indeed counted), belonged to someone with a story that made them unique.

One hundred twenty six people had died aboard this ship since it had been branded a ‘renegade’ vessel.  That was what, ten…fifteen percent of the standard crew.  In the grand scheme of things, not a huge ratio, she realized.  But for a Federation starship, that kind of peacetime casualty rate was unheard of.  The names etched in the stone stared back at her, a dark cloud of a casualty list the likes of which she hadn’t seen since the War.  She’d seen more than her share of casualty lists back then.  Everyone had.  And like everyone, there had been names on those lists representing people she had known, people she cared about, people she would never see again.

The pilot’s hand found it’s way to her forehead and she massaged her temples.  No matter how hard she tried, she just could not shake this dark cloud hanging over her head.  She had seen the counselors and the psychiatrists during, and after the war.  She had come to terms with the losses, the toll it had taken on her, and yes…even her brother.  But ever since coming aboard, that ‘happy go lucky’ Reggie Suder had barely come out to make an appearance and she hated herself for that.

Some of that had, she suspected, been due to the unexpected reunion with T’Less.  The concert event had been amazing and a complete success in her eye.  Yet that and all of the other good things that were indeed happening to her, all seemed like a superficial cover that failed to hide something deeper. 

If she were being honest with herself, which she realized she would have to be, Reggie already knew what was eating at her.  It had started gnawing away from the moment she’d fired the phasers.  Even now almost a month later, she still could not get it out of her mind.  Hell.  She could barely bring herself to acknowledge the event for what it was… or acknowledge the place.

That, she knew, was a dangerous thing.  This had to be excised now.  If she allowed it to fester any longer it would breed fear, insecurity, and indecision any one of which would eventually get her killed in the cockpit.

Closing her eyes for a moment, Reggie Suder let out a breath, trying to calm herself while she waited.

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #1
[Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby | Arboretum Terrace | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy]
Attn: @P.C. Haring

As she entered the Arboretum Terrace, carrying two large Styrofoam cups of hot cocoa and a paper bag containing two big chocolate brownies, Amanda’s blue eyes came to rest upon the woman who was sitting on the terrace bench across from the memorial wall. The blonde-haired Psychiatrist had been a little excited about this preliminary session, given how it was one of the first she was able to do outside of the dull confines of her office, and due to this enthusiasm she quite uncharacteristically arrived five minutes early. While her initial plan had been to wait on a bench for Lieutenant Regiene Suder to arrive, it only took one glance at the white uniform of the black-haired Fighter Pilot for Amanda to realize that her appointment also showed up a little ahead of schedule; thus voiding her plan of relaxing before the session. After all, it would’ve been plain stupid to sit down on a different bench for five minutes.

”Lieutenant Suder?” As she approached the bench, Amanda’s friendly voice only further accentuated the warm smile that was already adoring her face. ”Do you mind if I join you?” While it could have been misinterpreted as a stupid question, it hadn’t failed to escape Amanda’s attention that the Fighter Pilot had been staring at the memorial wall; maybe the black-haired woman shared a connection to one of their deceased crewmembers and was reminiscing about times long gone. ”I brought drinks and a snack!” With an apologetic grin, Amanda raised the Styrofoam cups and the paper bag.

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #2
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Arboretum Terrace | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan‍ 

Reggie looked up at the sound of the woman’s voice.  Ashby was taller than Reggie would have expected but that seemed to suit her well.

Oh, please call me Reggie.  I insist,” she replied as she stood to receive her counselor.  Reggie was glad for her arrival as the time to finally start figuring this shit out was at hand.  The pilot had been through counseling before, so she was no stranger to the concept.  Yet something about this session and this moment felt different and Reggie felt a different sense of pressure and unease.  That would abate, she figured, once the ice got broken and they started in.  It almost always did.

“Good to meet you in person Lieutenant Ashby.  I appreciate you taking the time.”

Ashby presented the bag and cup she’d brought for drinks and a snack and already the Betazoid felt some of the ice around her melting.  She didn’t know if this was one of her therapeutic techniques or if the counselor was just trying to be nice and friendly.  Either way, she supposed it didn’t matter.  It also didn’t hurt that she was somewhat hungry.  Between the training flight, followed by the minor medical emergency that ended with a longer than expected session in Decon, she had missed lunch.

“Oh my,” she swooned.  “You are a life saver.  I haven’t eaten since breakfast.” 

She took the offered cup.

“Would you mind if we sat somewhere else to talk,” she asked.  “Maybe down there on the grass under the trees?  To much reminder of death and loss up here.  I’d like to be surrounded by life.”

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #3
[Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby | Arboretum Terrace | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy]
Attn: @P.C. Haring

It was nice to see that Lieutenant Suder appreciated the drinks and, as the other woman took the offered Styrofoam cup, Amanda gestured towards the turbolift. ”Of course Reggie, lead the way.” She personally very much preferred to sit down in the grass underneath a tree as opposed to being seated in front of the memorial wall and, as she spoke, her slightly Martian-accented voice clearly showed Amanda’s appreciation over the offer.

As they made their way towards the turbolift, Amanda took a sip from her own Styrofoam cup. ”Feel free to call me Amanda, by the way.” It went without saying that she preferred to leave ranks and fancy titles at the door, given how it would only work counterproductive to building rapport, and she presented the black-haired woman with a friendly smile that matched the tone of her voice while they made their way down towards the Arboretum grounds.

Within several minutes they had found a nice, comfortable place to sit down underneath one of the large trees in the Arboretum. As she sat down in the grass and leaned her back against the tree, Amanda opened the paper bag and took out one of the big chocolate brownies before offering the Fighter Pilot the other one. ”You know,” When Amanda began to speak up, her voice held the happy tone of someone who was enjoying a trip down memory lane. ”Before I joined this ship, I served aboard the USS Aurora. It was a Nova-class ship, so pretty small and compact, and there was this Bolian lab assistant attached to the Science Department who would sometimes appropriate the galley to bake stuff like this.” She took a big bite from her brownie and ate in silent appreciation for several moments before swallowing and speaking up once more. ”He would leave platters of sweets in the Officers Mess and the Enlisted Mess. Cookies, the occasional pie… you name it, and he could surprise you with it.” Amanda took another bite and turned her blue-eyed gaze towards the black-haired Fighter Pilot seated right next to her. ”So, what were your previous assignments like?” While a part of the question was small-talk to pass the time while they ate, sharing happy memories was also one of Amanda’s favourite means of building rapport and, in between two more bites, she presented Reggie with a happy smile.

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #4
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Arboretum | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan‍ 

It felt good to walk, Reggie realized.  They weren’t moving like they were exercising, nor were they just walking stupid slow, but rather they moved at a casual pace like two friends or colleagues casually making their way through a park while they chatted.  The Betazoid appreciated Amanda’s happy memory as a great way to break the ice and take a little bit of pressure off of her. 

“I’ve had a few assignments during my career,” Reggie said.  Already she could feel the emotions rolling through her.  She took a sip of her drink, using it mostly as an excuse to steel herself and close of her telepathic and empathic centers lest she push too much into the mind of Amanda or anyone around them.  She was no Vulcan, of course, but she still took precautions.

“My first assignment was as Junior helmsman aboard the Archer.  It wasn’t exactly a glamorous assignment, but on the warhorse that is an Excelsior class starship, it was a great place to cut my teeth, and learn the proverbial ropes.  After a year or so, I transferred over to the Terracotta when Starfleet began launching the new line of ships.  The Terracotta was destroyed in the battle of Sector 001.  I was injured in that attack so I went on medical leave.”

She paused, intentionally omitting the details.  If Amanda wanted to probe deeper, she would.  Reggie probably would even let her.  That was the point, after all, wasn’t it?

“I joined the Corps after medical leave and flew peregrine fighters against the Dominion as a part of Starhawk Squadron.  That, as you might imagine, was a very intense assignment.  After the war, I did a tour in the Bajoran sector and then transferred over to a flight training role.”

She took another sip of her drink.

“That was a much quieter assignment and had it not been for some personal drama I was going through, I would have been bored.  From there I moved to a flight instructor at Tactical Conn.  That was,” her voice faltered a bit, “a short lived assignment.  The Oneida picked us up and the rest is…history I guess.”

She walked in silence for a moment before continuing.  “I don’t know if that answers your question or not…”

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #5
[Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby | Arboretum Terrace | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy]
Attn: @P.C. Haring

As Amanda listened to the woman, happily nibbling at her chocolate brownie while she did so, the blonde-haired Psychiatrist noticed how the Lieutenant’s voice wavered just ever so slightly when she mentioned her short-lived career as a flight instructor. It was likely a touchy subject so, after making a mental note to remember that topic for a future session after they’d build some rapport, Amanda presented the woman with a happy smile and nodded in between two bites of brownie.

”It definitely does, Reggie. Thank you for sharing!” When she spoke, Amanda’s Martian-accented voice only further accentuated the genuinely friendly smile on her face. ”If I may though… would you mind to tell me about your experiences during the Dominion War? When hostilities commenced I was in my final year of Medical School, and when I graduated I signed on as a wartime volunteer.” Sharing wartime experiences was often a good way to bond, and Amanda knew that quite a few Starfleet Officers were left emotionally scarred by their experiences; if this was the case with Lieutenant Suder, her earlier mention of the Dominion War was the excellent opening to find out if there were any old wounds which might still bother the other woman. ”I ended up as part of the medical staff at the Ganymede Refugee Camp. It was a… difficult experience, especially during the first months of 2374, but I’d like to think that I did everything I could to help other people and make their experiences a little more bearable.” It was true; even though Amanda had been a Physician at that point instead of a Psychiatrist, she always considered herself and her colleagues to be amongst the people that made the lives of their guests a little easier. That was one way of coping with some of the more terrible things that she’d seen during her stay at the Refugee Camp, and at the same time it often prompted others to focus on the more positive memories of their wartime experiences as well.

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #6
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Arboretum | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan‍ 

For the first time since they’d met up, Reggie felt herself tense up.  That struck her as odd.  She’d never felt tense when it came to talking about the War before.  Maybe it was because most of her War talk had been with other pilots where sharing war stories was a way of life.  But sharing her war stories with someone who hadn’t been on the front lines of combat…it seemed different.

The commentary from yesterday’s group session came back to her.

“I…um,” she hesitated.  “I heard about Ganymede.  I never saw it, but I heard stories about it.  For what it’s worth, you have my respect and my thanks for all of the work you did over there.”

Not that Reggie didn’t otherwise respect Amanda, but it was important to the pilot to acknowledge the work of others during the War, especially the medical personnel.  For all the death and destruction she and hers brought down and was brought down against her, the casualties would have been far worse but for the amazing work of the medical teams.

“My experiences during the War,” she finally said.  She heaved a sigh as she plopped on one of the park bench and stared off toward the foliage staring through it as she considered.  The words were hard to find and she considered asking if Ashby would consent to a telepathic connection that would allow her to push the thoughts and memories into the psychiatrists mind.  She rejected the notion immediately.  Even if she consented to it,  Reggie wasn’t willing to risk scarring her with some of the things she’d seen.

“What can I say,” she finally offered.  “The War was hell.  The Corps saw a 70% casualty rate.  Every deployment was a throw of the dice with the odds stacked against you.  Surviving an engagement with the enemy was…almost like an affirmation of being alive, an achievement to be rewarded.  Every enemy kill was another tally on your hull, every near miss story to brag about over alcohol because synthehol was just too damn weak to wash away the pain of the losses around you, and too weak to mask the real truth of the matter…”

Her voice faltered and she was grateful to be sitting.  She knew she needed to finish that sentence, knew that if she didn’t Amanda would prompt her, would pull it out of her.  This was not her first rodeo with therapists and psychiatrists.

It all washed back into her consciousness.  Her injury at the Battle of Sector 001, her flight skills, her brother and what he had done so many times…what she had done so many more.

“…the truth being…”

She fought for the words, to finish the sentence and complete the thought.  She’d had the thought in her mind for a while now, had danced around the words whenever she spoke aloud about it, but never before had she directly called it out for what it was.  If she named it, what would Amanda say? What would she think?  What would T’Less think?

“…we were little more than mass murderers.”

She fell back in her seat, her head drifting upward as she squeezed her eyes tight, pushing the tears out to roll down her cheeks.

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #7
[Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby | Arboretum Terrace | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy]
Attn: @P.C. Haring

As Amanda listened to the Lieutenant, the smile on her face slowly began to subside. The blonde-haired Psychiatrist didn’t even need to look at the Betazoid Fighter Pilot to know that the woman was struggling with serious emotional scars from the Dominion War; it was already obvious in how every spoken word appeared to be even more painful than the last. At that moment she began to regret the informal setting of their preliminary meeting, given how the Arboretum was hardly the kind of place for such deeply personal conversations, and for the briefest of moments Amanda glanced around to make sure that they were alone.

Aside from two holographically projected ducks that were quietly floating over the surface of the water, just going about their business like their biological counterparts would, there was no one within immediate earshot.

If there was one thing which Lieutenant Suder shared with many other veterans of the Dominion War, it was her perspective of her own actions. As a Psychiatrist, and especially in the Ganymede Refugee Camp before that, she had seen it a lot more often; Starfleet personnel and civilians who had lived through downright horrible events and chose a particular way to remember their experiences. Just one of those examples, which was even used during the Counseling training at Starfleet Academy, was the case of a Starfleet officer who had lived through the experience of having someone pass away in their arms. In truth, they had actually seen how someone died in front of them, but their overwhelmed mind chose to remember it a little different and it would then begin to adversely affect them as a result. Establishing enough rapport to break through that memory and help them to process it was the challenge there.

With a soft sigh, Amanda placed the remains of her brownie right next to her. ”The Ganymede Refugee Camp was built to house seven hundred fifty refugees. At the height of the War, we were housing over two thousand refugees.” As she spoke, Amanda’s Martian-accented voice began to match the dour look on her face. ”There were several of these Refugee Camps scattered all throughout the Sol System alone and, as Refugee Camps, we weren’t armed. It was hoped that Intergalactic Treaties would protect us from becoming a target.” A sour chuckle escaped Amanda’s lips at that. ”As if. What I’m trying to say, however…” While she spoke, the blonde-haired Psychiatrist finally turned her attention away from the two ducks in the pond and onto Reggie. ”Is that you and yours were saviours. You protected those of us who couldn’t defend themselves and, without those of you who were out there fighting the fight, things would have been a lot worse.” Now, as if on cue, a smile finally broke through Amanda’s sullen expression.

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #8
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Arboretum | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan‍ 

Reggie heaved a sigh as she calmed her self and wiped her eyes. Amanda’s words brought some comfort for sure, a verbal reminder of the truth of the matter. How many Dominion attacks had they pushed back? How many places had they liberated from Dominion control? How many lives had she helped to save during the war.

“You make a fair point and I appreciate it. I just…it’s just that with my brother…”

Her voice trailed off as her thoughts returned again to those of he brother and what he had done.  Had that trait run in the family and had she only ‘gotten away with it’ because she’d chosen a more acceptable form of killing.

She slumped forward and let out a ragged sigh.  She wasn’t sure what more she could or would say.  If Amanda was any good at her job, she’d ask about that comment and then Reggie would find herself in a position to have to talk about it.  Might as well just get it started now and save the needless back and forth.

“I had a brother.  He was a member of the Maquis and died on board the U.S.S. Voyager while it was in the delta quadrant.  He was a murder and a psychopath…”

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #9
[Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby | Arboretum | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy]
Attn: @P.C. Haring

Amanda just nodded in reply as she listened to Reggie and, as she did so, the smile on her face slowly began to disappear. She knew that talking about deceased family members deserved more respect than any smile could bring, and the blonde-haired Psychiatrist very much preferred caution over anything that could be construed as insensitive or rude.”I’m sorry for your loss, Reggie.” As she spoke, her voice matched the sincere expression that now began to replace her sullen grimace. ”If it’s any consolation at all, the Voyager crew were heroes, every last one of them.” Even though Amanda had heard about the famous Intrepid-class and her crew, she’d never read up on any individual crewmembers. When the ship returned to the Alpha Quadrant in 2378, Amanda was attending the Starfleet Medical Academy in San Francisco and she still vividly remembered cheering amidst the crowd of Cadets as the USS Voyager flew past the Golden Gate Bridge amidst all the fireworks. Afterwards, it was extremely hard not to get carried away by the hype and listen to every single interview.

”The Intrepid-class is hardly a warship, and it needs an incredible crew to push a ship so far beyond its design limits and still make it home in one piece.” A smile now finally began to adorn Amanda’s lips as she reached out and carefully placed a hand upon Reggie’s shoulder. ”The crew gave a lot of interviews upon their return, yet they talked bad about any one of their fellow crewmembers. No one was ever negatively singled out, because they became more than a crew during their ordeals. They became a family, and regardless of your brother’s shortcomings I’m sure they looked past his shortcomings and loved him for who he was.” A murderer and a psychopath, at least according to Reggie. But still, there was truth in her words; the Voyager crew all had to pull their weight several times over, and despite his shortcomings she was sure that Reggie’s brother had done the same and functioned like any other member of the crew before he passed away. ”When he passed away, he passed away surrounded by a loving family who cared for him. He wasn’t alone, and I’m sure some of his last thoughts were of you and others he held dear.”

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #10
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Arboretum | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan‍ 

Reggie nodded as she wiped her eyes.  She’d seen many of the interviews as well and while she hadn’t had the opportunity to meet any of the crew in person she had poured over Lieutenant Commander Tuvok’s reports as they pertained to her late brother.  Ever since they found out back in 74 that Voyager had survived, the news of her brother’s crimes and subsequent death had rocked her.  It had strangely also opened up murder investigations in the DMZ that had long since gone cold and when certain concusions had been made, Reggie had felt a certain responsibility make restitution to the family of Lon’s victims.

No.  She had made peace with his death long ago.  That wasn’t what this was about.  Reggie didn’t blame Amanda for not seeing where she was going.  The Betazoid was not actually being all that clear.

“It’s not that.    I mean would I have preferred to have been with him when it was his time…Yeah… probably.”

She took the last sip of her now empty drink.  There was all too little in the cup now, which seemed appropriate now that she needed something more than ever.

“I’ve made peace with his death.  I’m proud  that he died saving his ship from the enemy.  But what scares me is that he killed people in cold blood.  He killed at least one Voyager crew member.  At least six homicides along the DMZ were eventually linked to him.”

She took a shuddering breath.

“He killed a half dozen people and he was a sociopath.  That is in his medical and legal records.  During the War, I killed many more than he ever did.  Yes,” she conceded.  “I did what I did for different reasons then him.  But am I any less sociopath than he was?”

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #11
[Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby | Arboretum | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy]
Attn: @P.C. Haring

As she listened to Lieutenant Suder, Amanda picked up the remains of her brownie and took a careful bite. It was understandable that the Fighter Pilot was worried about those things but, on the other hand, stress was known to do strange things and bring out the absolute worst in people. When the black-haired Lieutenant finished talking and looked at her, Amanda presented her with a smile and shook her head in reply. ”I don’t think that’s the right question to ask yourself, to be honest.” While she spoke, Amanda’s blue eyes remained focused on the other woman and the tone of her Martian-accented voice only further added to the kindness of her smile. ”Don’t forget that those people were under considerable stress, and as a veteran of the Dominion War you’re no stranger to stress yourself. None of us are. I think I speak from personal experience when I say that it’s those kind of circumstances that can change people, and some of them can break under the pressure.”

Amanda still clearly remembered that, after the Dominion War, there had been numerous cases within the medical community where Physicists and other medical professionals ended up in front of a disciplinary board. Many of these cases revolved around medical professionals whom had either refused to treat Dominion prisoners of war or, in some of the more extreme cases, took justice into their own hands through what could only be described as severe malpractice. While it was understandable in a certain way, it nevertheless caused severe outcry within the medical community as a whole and triggered many research studies; including one she wrote herself as part of her thesis at the Starfleet Medical Academy.

”Your brother might have temporarily lost his way, but he was a good person at heart. It’s what allowed him to find his way back and ultimately save his ship.” Amanda gently placed her hand onto Reggie’s shoulder as she spoke. ”The question you should ask yourself is what’s keeping you on the right path. How did you find your way back after everything you’ve been through during the Dominion War? You know the answer to that better than I do, but if I were to ask the Wolves or anyone else you’ve come into frequent contact with about this ship, they’ll most likely tell me that you’re a good person at heart.”

Leaning back, and casually crossing her left knee over her right as she did so, Amanda smiled a somewhat more casual smile. ”Remember, it’s not our shortcomings that define who we are. It’s our individual strengths and how they can complement the strengths of others to make a solid whole.”

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #12
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Arboretum | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan

The Betazoid wiped the tears from her cheeks as she listened to Amanda’s words.  In their own way, they were soothing and  made sense, at least the comments about her.  Amanda was off the mark when it came to Lon, but she didn’t have the energy to try and correct.  Lon was not a good person.  He was messed up until his treatment from Commander Tuvok.  Amanda was right though that he had redeemed himself in the end…or at the very least had tried.

“I’d like to think so,” she said in reply.  “I’ve tried to be a good person.  Maybe a little bit of a wild one, but even that I’ve tried to keep under control.  Go out, have some fun, don’t get in over your head, you know?”  She paused for a moment as a new set of thoughts came to her.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.  But I get caught up in the celebratory nature of what we do as TacConn pilots.  You don’t hear the comm traffic from your posting, but one of us takes a ship down and there’s a celebratory cheer.  Is that an adrenaline fueled cry of relief over being the one who flew away from that dogfight or is that excitement over the act of killing?  A squadron puts up a ‘friendly wager’ on who can take down the most targets in the next engagement; a friendly competition among pilots to defend their own, or a showcase of who can be the most destructive?”

Reggie sighed.

“I know much of this is the stress talking, but I’ve been thinking about this since coming over from TacConn Omega.  I don’t know what you heard about what happened, but the short version is that one of my students lost perspective in the cockpit on a training flight.  I couldn't talk him down and ended up having to shoot him down.  I’d intended to disable his craft, but I missed my mark and ended up sending him out of control.  His ship collided with the starbase nearly destroying it.  Training accident, yes.  Doing what I’m trained to do?  Yes.  Intentional killing of friendlies?  Hell no.  But I am the cause of the deaths of all those people.”

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #13
[Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby | Arboretum | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy]
Attn: @P.C. Haring

Amanda simply nodded in reply. ”Having fun is important, Lieutenant.” The soft tone of her voice only further accentuated the friendly smile on her face as she spoke, but it was difficult for the blonde-haired Psychiatrist to truly comment on whether the Lieutenant was a good person or not; she barely even knew the Betazoid woman after all. Assumptions like that could be counterproductive. Instead, Amanda chose to comment on what she actually could comment on. ”And there’s nothing wrong with fun. Remember that, in the end, we only have our memories. In the past, I’ve helped people who were more remorseful over things they hadn’t done than of the things they had.

That still left them with the rather big issue of TacConn Omega. While Amanda wasn’t really an expert on that particular case and hadn’t thoroughly read the incident report given how this was only supposed to be a preliminary assessment, the blonde-haired Martian knew that there was a lot of pain buried right there in those memories. At that point Amanda really wished that she had the ability for a mind meld, but as it was only Lieutenant Commander Hathev possessed that particularly useful trait. With a soft sigh Amanda looked out over the small artificial lake for a moment before speaking up once more. ”You know, Lieutenant? This was only a preliminary session so I could assess whether you’d need follow-up treatment, but I would really like to help you with these painful memories.” Amanda’s Martian-accented voice was as soft as the look in her blue eyes as she spoke. ”I’ll report my findings to the Chief Counselor, Lieutenant Commander Hathev, and with your permission I’d also like to recommend further sessions with a Counselor, preferably myself, so we can follow up with further sessions.”

Re: Day 04 [1530] One Piece At a Time

Reply #14
[ Lieutenant “Reggie” Suder | Arboretum | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn:  @Nesota Kynnovan‍ 

The suggestion of further counseling surprised the Betazoid.  An instant later, she realized she wasn’t sure why it had surprised her.  To a certain extent, she figured this would be the prognosis.  She’d seen it among her colleagues so many times in the past.  Some pursued it, others didn’t and while no one in her experience ever gave anyone shit for seeking the help, the thought that she might…finally… need her own therapy for some reason made her feel weak.

“I…uh…”

She stopped herself and took in another breath as they approached the lake, allowing another voice in her head spoke up.  It felt different when the need was her own.  But if there wasn’t any shame for her fellow pilots, there sure as hell wasn’t any shame in it for her.  She’d reached out to Amanda, asking for help.  Help was being offered and now she was thinking about pushing it back?

No

Everyone’s time came sooner or later.  And now it was hers.

“I think,” she said with a sigh, “that would be a good idea, Amanda.  It’s felt good talking to you and I agree it’s probably a good idea that I continue to work with you.  I like your style.”

The two of them sorted through the scheduling and the way in which they would operate.  When all was said and done and the two had parted ways, Reggie returned to the edge of the lake and sat down in the grass.  The water lapped up against the shore in its simulated rhythm, a soothing cadence that calmed her as she reflected on what she and Amanda had discussed and the way in which she would need to move forward.

She had a long road ahead of her.

-FIN-

 
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