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DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

[ Miles Renard | Chief Counselor's Office | Primary Sickbay | Deck 07 ]  Attn: Hayden O'Connor
OOC: Color coded the post to differentiate between the parts that I wrote and the parts The counselor wrote.

The Vulpinian Pilot sighed as he made his way into the Med bay.  Slowly he walked down the long waiting room past the desk and into the much smaller counseling waiting area.  He approached the Reception desk smiling to the Blue shirted Crewman behind it operating the Terminal.  "Commander Renard?  It appears you are a bit early," he said keying in a few commands on the terminal.

Miles sat down in the chair unzipping the flight jacket he wore as he nodded, "Yeah, figured if the doctor was available I could slip in a little early.  Can't say I am really looking forward to what I have to tell Doctor O'Connor."

The crewman nodded, "Speaking of which, would you mind answering a few questions about your reason for the visit."

"To be honest I would rather only talk to the doctor herself about that." he answered.  "I'm not even that eager to tell her even to be truthful."

The young man understandingly entered the information into the computer then looked down at it again before looking up at the Vulpinian.  "Looks like the doctor can see you now sir."

Miles nodded before standing, "Thank you."

The crewman went back to work entering in data on the console, "You're welcome."

Miles made his way to the counselor's office, the door opening for him as he approached it.  The pilot made his way to the seat in front of the counselor's desk and took a seat, looking to the doctor.

Hayden took a moment to greet the new arrival before getting down to the business at hand.  Such a gesture was not only polite, but also helped to break the ice a bit and help Hayden get in a professional frame of mind.  She'd been phenomenally busy of late, and even though it felt at times like she was treating the crew on a non-stop assembly line, the last thing she wanted to do was make them feel that way.

"How may I help you?" Hayden opened gently, facing Miles Renard. Such an opening question was meant to demonstrate a willingness to help as well as recognition she could only help someone work through things they gave her permission to see. She'd begun countless sessions this way, especially lately as she tried to help people sort out the emotional aftermath of the mutiny. Hayden worried about the long-term impact of the mutiny on the crew as a whole constantly, but in this room, she reminded herself to focus on one person's needs at a time. There was no question some of the crew would hold onto resentment for the actions taken by others, even if they were done unwillingly under mind control, and how that resentment would affect morale and events to come was still to be determined.

"I guess I need someone to talk to Doctor."  he began leaning back into the rather comfortable chair.  "I dont really have any issues with people on the crew, I mean i understand that most of them did what they done because of a mind meld and it isnt their fault.  More, I have been questioning my own judgements.  I've been having dreams, nightmares really.  About other outcomes of decisions I faced.  Things that make me not sure if I could face myself if the outcome of those decisions had been what could have been instead of what was.  I know lots of people worry about the consequences of snap judgements but... those are humans."

"My kind, we don't question our judgements made on those kinds of snap instincts.  Vulcans have logic, Romulans have passion, Klingons base most decisions on the adherence to a very complex martial code that places honor on its highest pedestal, Humans tend to blend a multitude of things but seem to place most decisions seemingly on a sense of personal morality.  Hell even Ferengi seem to have a sixth sense for the profits they seek."

"My people, we have our instincts, our gut decision making.  It's more than that though, our brains seem to be able to make snap calculations based on life experiences and our minds near instantly are able to run a cost benefit analysis of a situation.  The result is best described as an instinct, a primal internal force telling us what is the right decision.  Decisions on everything from morality to battlefield tactics are often made by this instinctual decision making process.  And I have begun to question its ability."  He explained a look of fear and sadness, no a look of utter dread on his face as he looked down at his hands which now were beginning to visibly shake.

Hayden might not have noticed his shaking hands right away, but as Miles looked down, she could see he was not just reflecting on what might have been, but he was truly anxious about it.  Based on what he had said, however, he was anxious about something that hadn't happened, which was not what she was used to dealing with in the aftermath of the mutiny.

"Will you tell me more about the nightmares?  I think that'll help me understand why you're struggling so much with the decision you didn't actually make."

Miles nodded,  I guess I should talk about the nightmares separately.  I'll start with what actually occurred and withthe nightmare I had the night after the battle with the Calamity.  I'm not sure the nightmares will make much sense without context.  The first nightmare I had begins with the events of the coux, when I find myself in the interrogation room.   I don't know how much you know of the exact events that occurred but within the interrogation room but I was interrogated by Lieutenant JG Daniel Ritwer, callsign Riptor, one of the Harbinger's pilots and our Kingon Security Lieutenant, Zaraq.  for hours they interrogated me about the location of the lone wolves that had left.  During the interrogation Riptor bragged about the rape and murder of Narik Cinsaj and raped me as well promising to make sure the same occurred to my cell mate Dyan Cardamone.  I was then brought back to my cell where I was attacked by Dyan who was perceiving that she was experiencing a period of her life long before she was sent by her people as reconnaissance on the Federation.  SHortly after she had begun to come back to herself I was taken back into interrogation by Riptor and Zaraq "interrogated" Dyan.  Riptor forced me to felate him while he had a phaser at my head, when the team came to extract us from the security department i used the sounds of explosions as a diversion and grabbed the phaser while simultaneously shifting into my more animal like form and bit down on his genitalia.  Upon pulling away and severing them I attempted to disarm Riptor while avoiding getting shot myself and in the process one of the phaser beams instead went through his head killing him instantly."  He paused for a moment then sighed preparing himself with what he had to say next.

"what I have told others is that I didn't mean to kill Riptor but I have been lieing.  Not because I intended not to kill him abut because my reasons for doing so are far less than honorable.  I wanted him to live.  My intention when i bit down and grabbed at the phaser was to Bite off his manhood and castrate him.  Then i planned to disarm him and while still aware and awake I was going to use the phaser to manually cauterize the wound and then manually break his arms and legs through hyper extension and then for good measure dislocate all 4 ball and socket joints.  Then and only then I might have stunned him for medical to tend to him later.  my goal though was to not kill him.  I wanted him to suffer a lifetime no longer even definable as a male.

IN my nightmare I awake the next morning.  it is the first day after the battle and I am asked to report to sickbay.  Riptor is there.  Alive.  His body is still broken and he is as i scarred him.  But he isn't the Riptor I met.  He is a version I never saw.  A version unaffected by T'rena's brainwashing.  He is remorseful for what he did but he is in hell from the pain and injury i caused him but more so over what he did.  He begs me to kill him there begs me to end his life and his suffering.  I refuse because i know medical can help him.  I recieve a hail from the medical bay saying that he escaped medial bay.  I find him in my office standing where we found the body of Narik.  The nightmare ends as he depresses the fire button on the phaser which melts through his head causing him to crumple to the floor over a still present outline of Narik's body." 

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #1

[Dr. Hayden O'Connor| Chief Counselor's Office | Primary Sickbay | Deck 07 ]

Hayden listened to Miles recount the nightmare in intense detail, and it was only after he'd finished that she realized what he'd meant about being bothered by choices not made.  She should have guessed it was a reference to something subconscious, as only in a dream-state could people become so convinced of what might have or should have been. Certainly, it made sense those who had been brainwashed would struggle with regret over what they'd done, no matter how irrational it was to blame oneself for actions one couldn't predict,  let alone control.   Until then, however, she hadn't truly considered the depth of the guilt experienced by those who hadn't been brainwashed because of the actions they'd been forced to take against those under mind control.  Even though the crew was fighting for survival against the mutineers at the time, there was still the reality the enemy shared familiar faces to contend with.

The depth of Miles' anguish was clear, and daresay O'Connor would struggle as much herself with regret even knowing as much as she did about trauma and the psyche.  That said, she also knew as much as she might resist hearing such truths  out of despair, at some level she would need to be reminded about the psychological impact of trauma.  To dismiss those realities was the equivalent of refusing to believe the laws of physics.  Such laws didn't need anyone's support or approval to be true, and no amount of railing against them would make them irrelevant in any attempt at self-reflection. 

"It is a testament to your character you would struggle with the taking of a man's life under the circumstances you did.  I know you may not be ready to hear this or completely believe it right now, but I'd have greater concern for your psychological prognosis if you weren't trying to come to terms with regret for your actions."  She paused to let him absorb that for a moment, then offered, "Experiencing repeated sexual assault and the constant threat of death would be an incredibly traumatic experience for anyone.  I don't know your personal history and whether you've experienced sexual assault before,  but the intense rage you felt toward your assailants is perfectly understandable.  When men are raped by other men, many of them feel emasculated afterward and anger and rage is often the socially acceptable way for men to express those feelings.  I don't blame you or judge you for wanting to emasculate your rapists and I don't blame your subconscious for also trying to make sense of the ways your rapists have also been victimized."

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #2
He shook his head, "It isn't that, I don't care what he did to me really to be honest well in perspective of my other motivations I don't.  It was an interesting physical experience and I may have allowed myself to enjoy certain aspects of it had the circumstances not been such that the ship was being taken over by a mutiny and we were in danger of attack from the Calamity.  Frankly I am an oddity among my species in being solely heterosexual some may have preferences with regards to finding an emotional partner but for the most part the society I come from is primarily bisexual when it comes to platonic sexual relationships.  That said I will admit what he did to me was a bit shaming."

He paused a moment realizing he had gotten off track, "Still, my reasons for vengeance far from stemmed from his treatment of me.  I had decided what I would do to him long before he cut open my pants.  No I emasculated him because I had decided that in the wake o the mutiny that given the chance I would do so to who ever it was that I found out raped and murdered Narik.  What intended to do was not a reaction to feeling emasculated.  What I intended to do was for lack of a better term, an act of vigilante-justice."  he paused, "As for being worried about my prognosis then I am afraid you might should be, I don't feel anything with regards to killing him given the circumstances of escaping the interrogation room.  I killed him and for lack of a better term I feel no remorse for the actions I took with regards to his death itself.  I feel a bit of regret for seeking to do worse than kill him.  I feel I would feel bad for seeking to kill him even.  DO I feel regret or even remorse for his phaser boring through his skull, no.  He made the decision to set the phaser to that level.  He chose to place me in a circumstance to be in hand to hand combat with him with my life at stake.  As far as I see the circumstances, his choices in attempting to use lethal force against me was what killed him.  I see his death as a form of accidental suicide."

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #3
[Dr. Hayden O'Connor| Chief Counselor's Office | Primary Sickbay | Deck 07 ]

Hayden continued to listen quietly to Miles' point of view, allowing him to explain fully what he was thinking and feeling without interruption. She appreciated the insight into how his people viewed sexuality and relationships in general. It was a good reminder to keep an open mind and not assume what she believed  about trauma was accurate across species. Although, to be fair, she had yet to meet a male of any species who didn't express deep embarrassment or simply refuse to speak when the topic was his experience with sexual assault. It was actually more encouraging to hear him speak honestly about the experience without being plagued with the intensity of shame and pain she had encountered in past interactions with male crewmembers. Hayden didn't consider those other crewmembers weaker by any means, it was simply a relief to meet someone who found a way to cope psychologically with what he'd been through without being injured by self- blame and shame.

All of that aside, however, O'Connor considered his spoken words to be contradictory. On the one hand, he believed Riptor had created the circumstances which ultimately led to his own death, but on the other, he was plagued by a recurring nightmare that suggested he felt anything but that Riptor had gotten what he deserved. His words conveyed a certainty she wasn't entirely convinced Renard felt. His admission that he had planned to kill Riptor even before he was captured and sexually assaulted could explain the recurring nightmare, but whatever he might've been planning before, other circumstances intervened. Feelings certainly weren't based in logic, and therein lie the struggle.

"A desire for revenge is also a normal reaction after trauma as well," Hayden offered gently. "If I'm understanding what you're saying, even though you believe the circumstances Riptor created led to his death, you still felt guilty for planning to act as a vigilante... That the circumstances of his actual death don't let you off the hook for what actually motivated you. Is that a fair assessment?"

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #4
[ Miles Renard | Chief Counselor's Office | Primary Sickbay | Deck 07 ]
He nodded hearing the Doctor's words, "Yes that pretty much sums up the guilt of that circumstance, It's less a guilt at what I was willing to do but more guilt that I was willing to stray so far away from what is expected of me as a Officer onboard this ship.  I usually pride myself on not letting my personal emotional feelings sway my decisions.  Rather as said earlier I tend to fall back on my gut feelings and instincts.  Still Even those I fear may be becoming less reliable."

He paused a moment before sighing, "There are, of course, Two other incidents.  One that occurred shortly after this, and more recently my decisions regarding what occurred during our most recent mission.  Regarding both of them, I don't feel guilt for or even feel I made any wrong decisions, but I just need an opinion on my actions from someone without any stake in the matter and more importantly completely outside my division. Most importantly though someone who I can trust to keep what I say from leaving this room.  Not because I feel the actions may be criminal, but because it is of vital importance that no one in the squadron know that my absolute certainty on these matters are at all compromised."

"Regarding the first instance," he started resting back and looking up while closing his eyes, finding it easier to remember that way.  The Squadron was in combat against the Calamity's fighter contingent.  The other half of the squadron dropped out of warp being tailed by the other half of our opposition's squadron.  They were at a distance to to join up with the rest of us and we were too busy dealing with our own enemy fighters.  Rawley's ship was being attacked by multiple hostiles and her com systems went dead.  Given the location of multiple hostiles and their bearings as well as Rawley's track record for escaping death in impossible scenarious my instincts told me to order one of her fellow pilots to use her craft as a target and lock on with one of the cluster bomb torps and fire.  I had transmitted a firing solution to their ship that programmed the torpedo to detonate just behind Rawley's ship.  I admit that the tactic was unorthodox and quite dangerous to the pilot under my command.  In fact I understand her argument that she made that I had no right to put her in such danger.  Still The plan worked and produced the desired result of the missile taking out the AI fighters while Rawley was able to escape without much damage to her craft.  The truth is upon looking back on the tactic I see no actual argument against it.  Given the Locations of the enemy fighters had I not made that decision there is roughly Zero chance she would have survived their next attack on her and a high chance that thy would have attacked and destroyed other members of the squadron.  As such I utilized the tactic knowing full well the high possibility that her hip would be caught up in and destroyed by the blast, including causing her to be a casualty of war.  I guess I just want a second opinion if I have lost that edge that I have or if I am just questioning myself over nothing.  I mean sure I have had arguments with Rawley before, but since then it's like she sees me as someone trying to either actively either kill her or someone who fucked up royally and is now trying to make up for it by bribing her with special privileges or something.  I really just don't know how to get through to her and now I just cant seem to deal with even approaching her."

((OOC: Sorry for not replying to this thread in such a while I guess I forgot that It was an ongoing one and just forgot it existed.))

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #5
[ Dr. Hayden O'Connor | Chief Counselor's Office | Primary Sickbay | Deck 07 ]

As she listened to Miles express his fears and concerns, Hayden noted his weren't much different than anyone else's, and she hoped he would find comfort in that once she shared it. Indeed, everyone she'd talk to, whether in formal sessions or just in casual chat in the mess, had expressed concern that events had changed them forever for the worse. No one had joined Starfleet in general, or the Theurgy in particular, planning to betray Starfleet and every oath he or she had sworn to uphold. Even the most anti-regulation, anti-red tape, irreverent member of the fleet could still identify the larger ideals that kept him or her serving and believing in what the Federation stood for.

There was no rulebook for the situation in which they found themselves and there was no how to guide either. Even before her universe went upside down, Hayden wouldn't have said people could serve in Starfleet and remain forever the same. Hell, simply living was the enemy of everything known as the status quo. Any counselor worth her salt knew how to tout the value of change, even if that change stemmed from tragedy, even if that change stemmed from the completely unpredictable.

However, there was another reality Hayden knew all too well, and that was the reality of repeated exposure to trauma. There was no question the crew was resilient and there was no question she was committed to doing everything in her power to keep them resilient, but she also couldn't deny repeated exposure to trauma often changed people for the worse in some ways, no matter how hard anyone worked to minimize its impact. O'Connor couldn't help but see Myles' story seemed to illustrate one such distressing consequence: an increase in aggressive risk-taking caused by the constant pressure of threat. It didn't take a degree in psychology to understand that people subjected to constant danger eventually came to expect it on a regular basis and take risks they wouldn't ordinarily take. Was that what was happening here? Hayden honestly didn't know.

"I wish I could give you the certainty you seek," Hayden began sincerely, "but the truth is, only you can ultimately know what was in your heart and what your true motivations were. I will say there's a difference between asking yourself the hard questions and obsessing over them. I wouldn't want you to let something go completely because I think a willingness to question ourselves and our motives is what's going to keep us focused and sane out here. When people stop engaging in self reflection, they lose themselves, and I think we can both agree, that's something we can least afford out here."

Hayden smiled. "At the risk of sounding like the complete counselor cliché and annoying the hell out of you, let me ask you. What do you think is true in your case? How would you answer your own question?"

OOC:  No worries!  I owe you an apology too. 

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #6
He looked around thinking for a moment before sighing, "In my heart I want to see her follow regulations a bit better.  I don't really have a problem with how she flies I have a problem with the fact that her actions make it hard for me to recommend her for promotion to Lieutenant, Hell I can barely legitimize not recommending her to be bumped down to Ensign with how poorly she takes doctors orders to be on the off duty roster.  On the other hand she is possibly the pilot with the most raw talent in the whole squadron and by skill alone she could be leading a Flight group.  I want to just call her into the office and explain everything to her but last time i tried something like that was when she accused me of trying to murder her.  That said I do not regret bringing her into the Secondary squad leader rotation.  Her performance in the black opal raid and the subsequent engagement with the unexpected Romulan threat proves to me she does have what it takes to lead.  If only i could get her to see the harsh truth of what a Commander's role and expectations of officers is."

"I guess the only way to look at it all is to understand what i believe the duty of a fighter pilot is.  When on a mission our lives and our ships are not our own to risk.  it is not our right to decide for ourselves when we should take a risk that could destroy our ship or kill us.  Its the captain's job first then mission ops and then finally my decision as SCO.  I learned these things all too well when I was brought back via the transporters after sacrificing my ship the first time.  I was grounded for a week before being promoted to SCO because I had to be taught that it was not my right to make such a decision.  Rawley has still not learned that important lesson.  before she can be promoted to lieutenant she needs to understand that crucial facet of an officers role in Starfleet.  Her life and hr ship are not hers to risk.  If it is deemed that risking her is a necessary risk then her life will be risked and she has no right to question it.  Tac conn is not a normal division of Starfleet.  we are the aerial equivalent of ground combat troops.  We signed up to potentially be thrown into the line of fire and agreed that it isn't our decision to throw ourselves into it either." 

"Our Valkyries cost a lot and are on a ship ostracized from the rest of the Federation like ours is they are irreplaceable.  We are piloting the most mission critical weapons that Captain Ives has at his disposal and as such no individual pilot can afford to choose if we feel they are worth risking.  As the squadron commanding officer I alone aside from Ives or mission ops have the authority to make such a Command decision.  That's the burden of the squadron commander.  She has to understand that if she is to be recommended for the rank of lieutenant this would place her as the likely choice for immediate successor for the post of SCO."

"An SCO has to understand this burden from all sides and as it stands I know she doesn't. Frankly its that recklessness that's so much like how I used to be. Hell I even reverted back to it and lost Ives one Valkyrie on my own early in our flight from the fleet.  The difference is I knew at the time recklessness was against the protocols and knowingly deviated from procedure and when i was recovered accepted the consequences and agreed that i deserved to be reprimanded for my mistakes.  I fear Rawley in the same situation would not understand how Ives would view it as a mistake and would likely argue that she had done nothing wrong.  I can't afford to loose one of my best pilots due to her possibly having a disagreement with the captain over unwarranted risks; much less loose her in combat in a situation where the risk is not absolutely necessary."

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #7

As Hayden listened to Miles express his frustration, she couldn't help but think the greatest conflicts were often those between individuals who were the most similar. It was apparently an observation not lost on Miles himself, even as he continued to be at a loss as to how to address it. His concern for Rawley was obvious and Hayden understood it. The counselor might not have been a combat fighter, but she understood the weight of leadership and the unique angst that came with watching a subordinate take chances that jeopardized his or her own life or welfare.

It was because O'Connor understood that feeling that she also understood there was a certain amount of selfishness in it.  Leaders were held responsible for the actions of their subordinates, and even beyond the professional consequences leaders could suffer because of the actions of their subordinates, there was also the emotional costs to be paid - anxiety spent, energy expended, even envy - so that every action a subordinate took represented a potential personal betrayal of the leader. The latter emotion, envy, was often the hardest to admit, no matter how understandable and truthful. Simply put, subordinates possessed a freedom leaders had to mourn. Sure, ostensibly subordinates had to answer to their superiors and their colleagues to some degree, but as Miles had already shared, when it came time to make a decision, the subordinate had the luxury of doing what he or she wanted in the name of 'being true to his or herself.'

Even though Hayden could identify most easily with Miles, she also understood Rawley's point of view as well. No matter what one's position, independence was highly valued. No one wanted to feel like a mindless automaton, especially in a fighter, a position that epitomized strength and independence. "I understand your concerns completely, and it occurs to me even by your own admission, there were things you didn't truly realize and understand fully until you were placed in a position of authority. From what you're saying, no matter how many times you were told about the burdens of leadership and of the importance of not putting your colleagues at risk, until you had experienced it. In fact, you've just described a time when you knowingly went against protocol and accepted the consequences. Have you considered the possibility the only way Rawley will learn the lessons you did is if you put her in a position of authority, even temporarily, so that she may appreciate your point of view?"

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #8
He smiled softly, "Not only considered but if you were to review the combat logs from our most recent engagement you would see that she indeed was placed within that very leadership role.  The fact that we are still here and our ship restocked despite that run in with a Mogai class I think is evidence enough that she is capable.   Sure Skye died out there but that was on my watch not hers."

"When Rawley was in charge she successfully flew a very well coordinated patrol and helped coordinate the recovery of Skye's ship.  Once the warbird was detected she remained call even making sure to get her fellow pilot back into formation so as not to let the Romulans know we were aware of their presence.  Frankly she should get the credit as the leader of the first sucessful Tac-conn operation against hostile Romulan forces.  Not only that, she coordinated a full squadron surprise assault on an enemy vessel who until moments before was cloaked all while working with a group of fighters with mostly empty hardpoints and down multiple fighters at the time when the assault began.

Still as I said, the part I worry about isn't her capabilities.  Its the fact that when I disobeyed I was ready to face the consequences while it seems that when she goes against very adamant protocalls she just seems to take a position of disdain towards them, almost as if the rules shouldnt apply to her.  If she were willing to take responsibility and admit that her actions are against regulation and are rightfully punishable I would probably feel much better about the situation, but she dosen't, in fact it seems like at times that she seems to think that she is so good that she should be above the rules."

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #9

At least Miles had given Rawley an opportunity to lead, Hayden noted. It pleased her to see Miles had not only given the problem some thought, but had taken action, and it was comforting Rawley's abilities weren't in question, at least not yet. It was one thing to have a pilot who behaved in an unorthodox manner but got the job done. It was another to have a pilot who behaved in an unorthodox manner and whose results showed it. Hayden understood Miles' desire not to reinforce rule breaking, but as he spoke, the conflict seem to be shaping up to be more about Miles than Rawley.

"Is there much difference between your behavior and hers, though? In both cases, you disobeyed orders, so in that moment, you treated the rules and regulations as if they didn't apply to you. That you accepted punishment after the fact and understood why you were punished is really a moot point because in both cases, you were expected to, and needed to, follow the rules when it counted and you didn't. That effect, at least, is the same. One could argue you had no choice but to accept your punishment if you wanted to stay in the service. As I see it, the real question isn't whether someone understands where they went wrong and is capable of accepting the punishment after the fact, but whether if, given the same circumstances, he or she would make the same
 decision? "

Hayden's gaze met his. "Tell me honestly. Did knowing what you were doing was wrong serve as a deterrent for you when you disobeyed orders?"

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #10
He thought for a moment, "No, it in itself did not, at the moment I was acting on Instinct while in the heat of battle.  In hindsight it was not the best decision however I believe if confronted with the same information i had and I were in the same circumstance the fact that my actions were not authorized would not have changed my actions.  To be honest though I imagine the deterrent does exist as I have utilized many unorthodox tactics and downright taken dangerous liberties with the safety of myself and my craft after becoming SCO.  Nost recently I entered space far too close to the Calamity and pushed my ships hull integrity field to the limits while making a dangerous extraction of the reaver Thea was piloting without permission.  Would have any member of my squad requested to preform such a maneuver I doubt I would have allowed any of them to attempt it out of fear of loosing one of our mark 3s and its pilot.  That said I did not inform captain Ives of said maneuver before attempting it due to time constraints and made the decision to endanger myself and my craft in order to recover a craft and a potentially rogue AI that other wise would have been destroyed in either the ensuing explosion or due to Calamity's superior firepower."

"That said I have faced no consequences for the action and was never told how it was dangerous as being SCO i have the authority to take greater risks than other members of the squadron.  Strangely I don't think i have once criticized Rawley's actions in the cockpit even when dangerous.  Most of my complaints really deal with her not following doctors orders with regard to resting sufficiently to be cleared for duty due to being deemed fully healed."

"Really what it seems to come down to is I have had a general understanding of what being a fighter pilot is.  There's a certain level of sacrifice required in tac-conn a certain view of irreverence towards your own life that I was told was inherent with the department.  Essentially what it boiled down to is the idea that if you are a fighter pilot then your leader has every right to order you into certain death in order to complete the mission and it is not your decision to deny this order. You will die knowing you gave your life in order to do what was necessary to save others.  At the same time if you want to risk yourself and your leader orders you to get back in formation and do as ordered, then you have to understand that Your life and your ship are not yours to take.  Choosing to defy an order that means certain death, or choosing to face death despite commanders orders.  These are not your decisions to make as an Individual pilot.  essentially Its a self imposed slavery where you by wearing the white collar chose to give up your, "right to live or right to die."  It isn't your decision anymore  you are a piece on the Captain's chessboard and it is his and to a lesser extent the SCO's call to make the necessary sacrifice."

"I made a call that could have resulted in the sacrifice of Rawley.  I made this call due to the fact that had I not then on the next pass there was over 99 percent chance that Rawley would have been gunned down by enemy ships who would then turn their guns on her squad-mates possibly destroying them as well."  The decision I made had a high probability of destroying multiple o those same dangerous enemy ships and a less than 25 percent survivability probability on Rawley's part."

"I chose to make a decision to order a pilot to fire a cluster bomb with Rawley's ship as its target.  I programed the firing solution to detonate behind her craft giving her a chance at survival and a high chance of destroying enemy ships.  The result was Rawley surviving and all enemy ships engaging her at the time being destroyed.  I justified this tactic due to three factors 1: Not doing so would result in Rawley's even higher likelihood of being KIA, 2: Not destroying these craft while an opportunity to have them in such close proximity would result in a high likelihood of them engaging and destroying other members of the squad, and 3 I felt Rawley was a good enough pilot to make it through without dying and as such was willing to place her as potential Friendly fire collateral damage rather than surrender her life and ship to an even higher probability of  certain death at enemy hands."

"Frankly I felt that if she is willing to place herself in risky situations where she has low probability of survival she should have no problem with me Utilizing placing her in a similarly dangerous situation as a means to a tactical end.  sure its a bit reckless and it may be bordering on playing god.  But, what i cant understand is how she can see me as attempting to murder her, and viewing her as "expendable"  when the odds of her survival had I not used this tactic were even lower, and she tends to take recklessly dangerous actions that can't help but lead me to believe she would volunteer to be placed in an assignment where she is viewed as such."

He sighed for a moment, "Of course the words she said she had heard me say a while before probably have something to do with her feeling i was attempting to murder her."  She said she heard me say to someone that "I wondered what I was going to do with her."  I guess she cant help but think this means I wanted to get rid of her.  I cant help but wonder how I can tell her what i meant without seeming like I am being insincere despite my sincerity.  What I was meaning after all was, What am I going to do with a pilot that I want to promote based on skill but I want to demote based on not being able to listen to a damn doctor, and sometimes acts so recklessly that I question whether she should be on suicide watch at times."

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #11
As Miles launched into his understanding of his role and what he obviously believed were detailed and complicated matters of strategy, Hayden couldn't help but question whether he had the skills necessary to have psychological insight into his behavior - the ability to see his actions from another person's point of view. Psychological insight wasn't about empathy or feeling at all, really. It was more concrete than that. Insight was about being able to see one's own actions as an outsider might.

Miles seemed determined to justify and intellectualize his point of view, which in Hayden's mind, involved a lot of hairsplitting. Just as she was about to tell him exactly that, he seemed to let go of his burden and O'Connor was beginning to see he was capable of insight after all. Offering a hint of a small smile, Hayden offered, "Has anyone ever told you you are exceptionally skilled at what's known as burying the lead?" More seriously, she added, "If she heard what you said about not knowing what to do with her, it wouldn't be entirely irrational for her to think you were purposely reckless with her life. I want you to take a moment and just sit with that. Put yourself in her place and imagine what it would feel like to hear what she heard and then endure what she did. Forget about your strategy and your intellectual reasons for doing what you did. Forget about whether her interpretation was right or wrong. Just imagine what you said is true."

Hayden paused, letting the silence hang between them. She had no idea if Miles was actually feeling what Rawley might've felt. For all she knew, he was silently coming up with his rebuttal, but she had hoped that because he offered this potential insight, as buried as it was, that he had some idea of where he could go from here. "Are you there? Do you feel it?"

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #12
He paused as he thought about what she said, 'if i had heard my squadron comander make that statement, then another pilot shot at me under commands from that leader.  If I had been literally in Rawley's position what would be my reaction.'  He closed his eyes.  and tried to imagine himself in her situation 

"I would have been angry, no livid I think would be the right word for it.  After what was said and then being shot at I would feel that there was a plot against my life and that my flight leader was attempting to get rid of me through something akin to a well staged accident.  IN the same position I likely would have reacted in a differently but would not trust my flight leader at all.  so in her position I would be feeling mostly Anger, Fear, Betrayal, and Mistrust."  he stated.  "I don't know how I would react."  How she reacted is a bit more bold, one could even say fearless than I imagine I would be though."

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #13

This was progress. Hayden was not ashamed to admit she was surprised and relieved by his answer. The beauty and often most terrifying thing about being a therapist was that outcomes weren't guaranteed and people were so varied, reactions were as unique as there were stars in the universe. Granted, there could be diversity in reactions in being a physician too, but in medicine, there was some predictability for various interventions. Certain medications, for example, performed certain functions and a physician could be confident in their reliability to perform those functions. There was diversity among various members of certain species, but there was predictability in anatomy and physiology, so to a certain extent, the risk of surprises was lessened.

Therapy was different and wonderful and altogether terrifying. Certain treatments were recommended for certain conditions and some outcomes could be predicted, yes, but unlike in medicine, where the hypo can only be utilized correctly one way, there were seemingly a million variables that mattered, and could be altered, in trying to heal the sentient psyche - body language, word choice, tone, prior interactions - all could determine whether the outcome was a sentient being having a greater understanding of him or herself or whether the entire attempt crashed and burned. When it was good, it was really good, and when it was bad, it was really bad. Even after all these years of experience, Hayden wasn't any better at predicting the outcome.

Whatever the cause, Miles' response indicated he'd gained true insight into the problem by developing true empathy. O'Connor had no doubt Miles was an empathetic person, but like any situation in which people feel challenged, it had become difficult for him to take the perspective of another person while also feeling compelled to justify his decision and his point of view. That Miles could let that go and at least for a moment, focus on empathy, gave her hope.

Hayden smiled and nodded. "Understanding, truly understanding, how she feels is a critical first step. I don't doubt you had some idea of how she felt before, but I think it was clouded by your desire and need to justify your decisions. Perhaps if you approach her again, this time offering that empathy, and only that empathy, without giving into the urge to justify your actions, the lines of communication can be opened and you can truly begin to heal your relationship."

OOC Lori: I was thinking Miles could reply and then we could close this thread? I'm not trying to stifle your creativity, I just know I've kept you waiting for too long already. I enjoyed the thread very much.

Re: DAY 04: Subconscious Repression [1955 hrs.]

Reply #14
OOC:  Iron Ferrox sent me the dialogue for Miles as shown below:

Miles nodded as he thought about what she had said.  "I think I'll go try that...Not that i imagine she wants to hear a damn word from me right now."  he shrugged. "whether she wants to hear it or not its still worth a shot.  Maybe i can also explain to her what I had meant the first time she overheard me talking about what could be done about her.  Not like I can make things much worse anyways."  he added looking over at the door knowing there wasn't much else on his mind right now other than hoping he could do something to try and repair the damage to a pilots confidence in him that only he had caused.

"I think that's a good idea," Hayden agreed.  "Remember, don't try and justify your words or decisions.  Just listen and then express you've heard her feelings and you understand them."



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