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Day 02 [0930 hrs.] Poisonous Effects

Day 02 [0930 hrs.] Poisonous Effects

[ Ens Cameron Henshaw | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Carrigan

On the outside Cameron Henshaw looked impeccable as ever as she made her way over to the XO's ready room. Her eyes were still  bit bloodshot and if she were back on Earth, she'd probably be wearing sunglasses against the light from the outside world. Thank God that the ship's interior lights weren't that flashy or too bright for her to actually function normally. Under her arm, Cameron was holding a PADD for the XO. On it was a nicely detailed bulletin report which brief information about the various points that would be discussed during the senior staff meeting in half an hour.

Needless to say, her morning was a rough one as she had to deal with the after effects of the Risian wine. A very painful headache seemingly being the start of it and nausea which followed in moments later as she woke up in her quarters. How she even got back in her quarters was a fact that Cameron didn't recall entirely. The fact that she was still dressed only serving as a probability that she didn't do anything stupid with anyone. A long shower and a lot of deodorant and perfume were used to mask the smell of the alcohol that was being secreted by her body. Make up applied a bit heavier to mask the bags under her eyes.  She definitely had felt and looked better. However, it was her duty to continue working without any regrets about decisions she made the day before.

She chimed the door at the ready room and awaited for the all clear or the door to open up for her as she tapped her fingers against her arms. Her eyes drifting into an unknown distance while she stared at the door. Her throat still felt dry and she had a thirst that she couldn't seem to be able to quench. She looked at the crew passing by her in the corridor and nodded to them as they greeted her, some staring a bit longer at her than others. She wondered if this was the result of her stepfather being infected or if something else was playing up.

Re: Chapter 19: Poisonous Effects | Day 02 [0930 hrs.]

Reply #1
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Morning always came in entirely too fast after a major operation.  Especially when the effects were still being felt throughout the ship.  And when morning had come, the Executive Officer had made his way to his office adjoining the Bridge.  While he could, and would, stand a Bridge watch as needed, his preference was to work in his Ready Room and leave it to his subordinates to deal with routine operations.  And given that they were not going anywhere at the time and were really simply trying to pretend being a hole in space while repairs were being conducted.

But for now, he had to prepare himself for the meeting that had been called, and he started reviewing some of the night's reports to bring himself up to speed on the situation.  After all, as Executive Officer, the day-to-day running of the ship was his responsibility as to free the Captain to deal with matters of policy and strategy. 

As he was reading, the door chimed, and he answered with the standard reply: "Come in."

When the door slid open to reveal the Captain's Yeoman, Trent's eyes narrowed.  She looked pale, if not to say a little bit green around the gills so to speak; her eyes were bloodshot, and the heavier than usual makeup did not completely hide the dark circles under her eyes.  Her movement was not quite as assured as usual, and her eyes were narrowed against the light.  And in the confined area of his Ready Room, he could smell the perfume on her, stronger than was accustomed, but there was the unmistakable scent of alcohol behind it, faint but impossible for someone who had fought several bouts against alcoholism himself, and lost a good number of them. 

And he was hardly one to blame her for having crawled into a bottle, given what she'd just been through just the previous day.  But that didn't mean he wouldn't talk to her about it.

Rising from his seat, he waved to one of the seats across from his desk.  "Good morning, Miss Henshaw, please have a seat."  And, just as he was done speaking, he headed for his replicator, and after a moment's consideration, he placed his order.  "Two cups of coffee, black; and a single shot of whiskey, non-synthehol, North of Seven Distillery."  And once both cups and the shot glass appeared before him, he promptly dumped its contents into one of the cups before walking back to his desk.  And when he set down both cups, the one that was spiked was in front of the Yeoman. 

"Hair of the dog.  Won't make the hangover go away; in fact it'll drag it out longer.  But it'll be more tolerable."  And he knew exactly how he was coming across there: as someone who had personally resorted to that particular solution, probably a lot more often than was considered healthy. 

And while he had offered her hospitality and a seat, he would not force her to speak.  But when he sat back down himself, it was clear that he would be open to such a discussion.


Re: Chapter 19: Poisonous Effects | Day 02 [0930 hrs.]

Reply #2
[ Ens Cameron Henshaw | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

As she saw the door open and the words of Carrigan to come in, Henshaw stepped forward as she was met by the more profound lighting in the ready room. Her eyes narrowed even more as she already saw Trent's gaze moving over her as she stepped further until she was at the front of his desk. "Commander, I have a PADD for you with the details of today's senior staff meeting." she said on an almost strict business like tone before she noticed Trent was analyzing her like a potential opponent. It made her feel a bit more weary while he wished her a good morning and offered her a seat. She had the time to spare for now so she nodded and took place in front of him.

Her eyes followed him as he went to the replicator and stated his order. It was far too early for anything alcohol related to her and she wanted to say something to Carrigan yet refrained from it as she waited to see how this would play out. She saw him dump the contents into one of the cups and she was somewhat surprised when Trent offered the cup to her. She had imagined that most of the alcohol had been out of her system and she had done her best to mask the morning after effects. However, nothing seemed to escape the eye of the former intelligence officer as she looked at the cup in front of her.

"Hair of the dog.  Won't make the hangover go away; in fact it'll drag it out longer.  But it'll be more tolerable."

Cameron pursed her lips as she thought about her response to it. Her eyes moving from the cup to Carrigan before returning to the cup. She leaned in and slowly pushed the cup back to Carrigan. "I appreciate the gesture Commander." she started before her eyes met his "Though I've been raised with the standard that one has to live with the consequences of his or her actions." she spoke softly before she smiled faintly, it was something her adoptive mother had told her after a night of partying with Lisa.

"That said, I wouldn't say no to just a cup of coffee though." she continued as she didn't want to turn a hot beverage down. She remained silent after that for a few seconds before she looked back at Carrigan. "If you don't mind me asking... What gave me away?" she asked softly, even curious at some point as she folded her hands in her lap.

Re: Chapter 20: Poisonous Effects | Day 02 [0930 hrs.]

Reply #3
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

When the cup he had spiked with the whiskey was pushed back his way, Trent nodded.  So she wanted to gut through the worst of the hangover?  That was her right, and he wouldn't make her consume alcohol if she didn't want to.  She was willing to live with the consequences?  Well that was commendable.  But he had learned a long ago that being willing to work through it might make one feel morally superior, but it was hardly a conducive way to get through their day effectively.  "As you wish.  Though, it wasn't so much for your comfort as your ability to work through the rest of the day.  A longer but easier hangover means you won't spend your morning wondering why everyone is so loud and the lights so bright." 

And, without a further word, he pulled the coffee that had been Irished up back towards him and offered her the cup of the simple black stuff.  It was a little early for him to start, but to his experienced liver?  It was not as though a single shot of whiskey in a cup of coffee was going to do much other than add flavour. 

And then, the question he had expected.  What had given the Yeoman away?  There was no single answer to that, and for a moment he said nothing, taking a sip from his own coffee instead.  "It wasn't just one thing.  The way you moved, the way kept your eyes away from the lights, for starters.  You're also wearing more makeup than usual, but it's not completely hiding the fact you look paler than usual, let alone around your eyes.  Which are still a little bloodshot, by the way.  And you're also wearing more perfume than usual, but I can still smell the booze." 

There was no accusation in his voice.  In fact, the XO was calmly listing what he had observed.  If anything, he sounded somewhat... supportive.  "Yesterday was tough for everyone, but I can't even imagine what it was like for you so I won't even pretend to know how you felt.  One thing, you're not the only one who would have thought getting drunk was a good idea.  I've been there, I know how appealing the bottom of a bottle can be.  Now the question is, was this a one-time thing or will you let this be a regular occurrence?"

Re: Chapter 20: Poisonous Effects | Day 02 [0930 hrs.]

Reply #4
[ Ens Cameron Henshaw | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

The ensign paused for a while before replying to Carrigan as his words held merit. She might actually function somewhat better if the pounding headache would be gone for just a bit. Yet her beliefs and standards proved to be something she held highly. "I can understand you reasoning Commander. It even sounds logical at some point..." she smiled as she looked down at her lap before frowning just a bit with her brows "Yet it wouldn't serve as a good lesson to myself. I got myself in this mess, so I should deal with the consequences. Painkillers might be the way out instead of alcohol though." she added. The last bit really just a thought that crossed her mind and unintentionally slipped past her lips. By no means did she mean to step on the toes of the CO.

As he pushed the non spiked coffee her way he started to explain to slight, yet noticeable changes in her movements, fragrance and actions. It made Cameron smile just a little as she took in the dark warmth and held on to the cup to warm her hands. She was still trembling a little, yet she managed to get a firm grip around the cup before placing it down on her lap.

"Judging by the ramifications I've caused to myself so far... I'd believe it'll be a one time thing." Cameron answered truthfully yet she sighed softly afterwards "Which is what I'll do now in this moment, but God knows what the day will bring." she murmured softly "It's not that I want to drink my sorrows away until my mind blanks out and I can forget what has happened.. The actions Ian did... What he said... I imagine that will linger if not haunt my mind for quite a while." She shrugged slowly before nipping from the coffee again "I don't think I'll end up like a drunk wreck every night, but the idea of just numbing down the pain and the thoughts..." she paused as she looked up at Carrigan. Surely, if he'd been in a similar situation as hers, where the bottle felt like the right way out. He'd know what she was meaning. There was no medication that could numb the pain she was feeling besides the hang over. Truthfully, there probably wasn't even a cure for it.

Re: Chapter 20: Poisonous Effects | Day 02 [0930 hrs.]

Reply #5
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Nolan

"You're a grown woman, Cameron, it's your decision."

Truth be told, the XO thoroughly impressed by her willingness to pay for the evening's actions.  That was the reason he had dropped ranks and titles and referred to her by name.  It was part of his speech patterns, where referring to someone by their given name instead of a more official mode of address was high praise.  But he still listened to what she had to say.

When it came to drinking one's sorrows away, he had to give a faint, mirthless smile at her words.  He had been there himself, and he knew what it was like at first.  One would drink to numb the pain, the doubt, the fear and imbibe themselves into oblivion.  Then, when came morning, the hangover would be enough to make them reconsider that course of action. But entirely too often that resolve would be forgotten when what had led them to drinking would come back with a vengeance.  And then there would be the hangover again.  And again.  And again.

Until hangovers were no longer a deterrent through habit and the drink was the only thing one thought could keep the pain away.

"And I know exactly what you are saying.  I've heard it before, even said by me."

This was a time when the Executive Officer would have to act the teacher.  Cameron Henshaw was one of the ship's officers, without a supervisor to see to her development and immediate well-being, so that left him as a logical choice.  "I think you should see one of our Counselors about this.  Before you crawl into a bottle like I did."

Re: Chapter 22: Poisonous Effects | Day 02 [0930 hrs.]

Reply #6
[ Ens Cameron Henshaw | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @CanadianVet

Cameron remained silent during the rest of the conversation as she considered her words and the ones of Carrigan. Her eyes moving from her hands to the cup of coffee before looking back at Trent. She knew that the night was a mistake, fragments of what she'd done flashing before her eyes every now and again. She'd have to face Christopher Slayton at some point. A moment Cameron wasn't looking forward to as she had doe things that weren't...

Her thoughts interrupted by Carrigan's suggestion to go and see a counselor. The suggestion sounding pretty ironic and hard to swallow by the ensign who had been trained as a counselor herself. She could take this up with Hayden she imagined, or try and treat herself, however she knew that was a bad plan as one could never counsel him or herself. She felt the rage build up inside her, the ineptitude to actually do something about it frustrating her. So she blurted out the first response that came to mind to her.

"Is that an order? Sir." The pleasantries seemingly over judging by her tone as she shot the CO a rather vicious look before she closed her eyes and shook her head "Sorry Carrigan... Commander." she apologized after a hard silence from her side. "I'll try and see when I have time to contact Hayden or any other counselor." she admittedly caved in, even though her voice did still seem to be on the fence about it. Should she really go to a counselor for a one night of drunk behavior?

Re: Day 02 [0930 hrs.] Poisonous Effects

Reply #7
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Nolan

Confronting the possibility of alcoholism in the face of difficult events was never an easy task for a number of reasons.  The first of them was that one had to admit they had not one but two problems: the first was they were faced with something they could not cope with properly, and the second that the artificial oblivion they sought out in the bottle was going to be an issue in its own right.  But when the person being so counselled just so happened to have been especially trained to look after others' mental health?

Trent had just discovered that Cameron Henshaw did not particularly care for where he had been headed.  But the moment he had chosen to speak to her about her consumption, he had been expecting some sort of displeased response.  But hardly something this explosive, although she was quick to apologize about it.

"We both know it's an order I can give, and I will give it if I have. to.  Just as I'll have you beamed into the Counseling offices if I have to, or escorted by Security, or grab you by the ear and drag you there myself if I have to."  There was a slight smile on the XO's face as he mentioned the last part, and while he was making his authority clear, his tone was calm and devoid of any hard edges.  He was simply looking after the well-being of the Captain's Yeoman. 

"Everyone feels like they have things under control at first.  I know I did."  The choice of words was actually a tactic by Trent.  Ever since he had arrived, he had made a point to appear as deliberate as possible whenever he was in the public eye; never hurrying, always appearing in control.  But now, he was admitting there had been things he had failed to control in his own life.  "But it falls apart quickly, and when it does, it is never pleasant.  "But go to see someone about this.  Talk it out.  Maybe it was just your way to deal with a bad day of historical proportions, but there's this chance that the bottle might become your go-to when dealing with other unpleasant things.  And the more often you do it, the easier it is to go that route.  No one wants this for you, no me, not you.  Nor the Captain."

Re: Day 02 [0930 hrs.] Poisonous Effects

Reply #8
[ Ens Cameron Henshaw | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @CanadianVet

A few nods came from the woman across his desk, not a word leaving her lips anymore as Carrigan joked a little about dragging her over by her ear himself if need be. The eyes of the ensign avoiding the eyes of the XO for now as she fiddled with her fingers before she closed her eyes.

She heard Carrigan out and his words did make sense. However, she still believed that there was no reason to go to Hayden just yet if it was an isolated one time thing. "Understood." she answered softly, not going further into it just yet as she looked up again to look the XO in the eye. Her eyes resting on him while she worked his words over in her mind. Her tongue running against her lips without opening her mouth. She took the beverage once more and finished it up this time.

"I'll keep myself in check Carrigan. If it seems to not be the case, I'll go see a counselor about this. However, this was just an isolated event. One night where I lost it due to personal reasons. It won't get in the way of my job and if it does... Well, we both know what I'll do in that case." she answered the XO, not as cold or vicious as before, yet with a certain conviction in her voice.

"Is there anything else I can do to be of service to you sir?" she asked him more warmer now as even a faint smile decorated her lips. For her, this conversation had run it's course and the XO had made perfectly clear that he was worried for her. She got it, understood it, yet didn't want to waste more time about it. Or was she trying to obscure the problem?

Re: Day 02 [0930 hrs.] Poisonous Effects

Reply #9
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Nolan

"Cameron." 

Trent spoke softly as he always did, but there was a certain hint of reproach to his voice.  He had told her she could be informal in private so he was not overly concerned about her use of his name, but her constant deflection of the matter at hand was starting to get old.  But then again, what else could he expect?  He had been there himself, and he knew exactly what it was like to be the one being so confronted. 

"Even if you don't talk about your drinking, go see Counselor O'Connor."  He took a deep breath.  "I know what's going through your mind.  You're trained as a counselor yourself so you're telling yourself you would know if it was a big deal.  After all, you are trained to deal with people going through this sort of thing."

And then, he chose to hit her with his own personal experience.  "I know this, because I've been there.  You know I've been there.  I've dealt with subordinates who abused whatever they could get their hands on, I should be able to recognize the signs and prevent myself from slipping into excess.  At least I thought I could, and I was dead wrong."

He would not relent, and until he got the answer he needed to hear, he would keep on pushing.  "As it stands, you have no immediate superior, so that puts me as the only person between you and the Captain.  That's the basic, by-the-book position I'm in right now.  Also, I don't want you to make the same mistakes I made.  And if that's not enough, as this ship's XO I'm responsible for this ship's readiness, and we can't afford to have you crawl into a bottle or be trapped in your own head about what happened yesterday.  The Captain depends on you, and we can't risk losing you in any way for that reason."

Re: Day 02 [0930 hrs.] Poisonous Effects

Reply #10
[ Ens Cameron Henshaw | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @CanadianVet

The man was having a point and Cameron had to face that truth at some point. She had to recognize it and a portion of her head did, yet she was oh so stubborn. She said nothing for now as he spoke of his personal experience and the need to analyze the XO was growing in her. Should she draft up a report about his own imperfections and possible weaknesses to present it to the Captain?

It was in that moment that Cameron realized that something was wrong. What the hell was she thinking? Trying to find dirt on the XO to compromise the stability of this ship and the insight of the person in charge of it. the epiphany would've been clearly visible to Trent as Cameron's lips parted and a soft 'oh' formed around her lips before she looked down and closed her eyes. "You've made your point Carrigan." she answered, dropping the ranks once more to bring herself back on the conversational level that Carrigan had started them off with.

She wouldn't word out what he had pointed out to her again. Her eyes met his as she kept them trained on the XO and she nodded "You have my word that I'll go see Hayden after the meeting." she whispered. In fact, the whisper was almost nothing more but a soft shift in the air as she felt herself nearing to another possible breakdown. Yet she took in a deep breath and straightened her back. She didn't need to have Trent see him solidify his point "Sorry for being a pain... It's just been..." she paused as she didn't even know how to voice out how she felt. There weren't any words that came close to describing how she felt.

"If there's nothing else, I'd like and go prepare the conference lounge for the rest so we can start the meeting without delay." she concluded as she regained her composure after a few seconds.

Re: Day 02 [0930 hrs.] Poisonous Effects

Reply #11
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | XO Ready room | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Nolan

For a moment, Trent wondered what the yeoman was thinking.  A dark look crossed her face, as if she was considering something untowards, and then her face opened up and her lips parted in realization.  What she had been thinking, he had no idea, but what followed gave him an insight as to what pearl of wisdom she had reached.  That, perhaps, the XO knew what he was talking about, perhaps?

But then, the already petite young woman seemed to shrink to become even smaller, more fragile.  To many, that would be a cause for apologies, but Carrigan Trent knew that such was a natural response to the conversation they had just had.  She had been made to confront her demons, and that was never pleasant and it always took a lot out of someone.  But then, she gave him her word she would speak to the Counselor. Of course, if he had doubts he would check on whether or not she did, but something told him she would do so all right.  "Thank you," he simply answered, a ghost of a smile playing on his lips. 

But then, she apologized, and when her voice broke, unable to say exactly what had been, he raised a hand to stop her.  "I know," he simply said, "you don't have to explain."

But then, she sought to excuse herself, again.  But this time, satisfied that Cameron Henshaw would look after herself, he nodded.  "Of course.  Please, take the coffee with you, you'll need it.  And if you need to talk, I will find a way to make time."


~FIN!

 
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