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Topic: [2380] Which of us needs help? (Read 220 times) previous topic - next topic

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[2380] Which of us needs help?
[Lt. Rhys Williams|Counsellor's office | USS Cayuga| 2380]

Rhys, sat behind his desk staring in bafflement and confusion at the screen in front of him. His brow furrowing, and his head shaking as he marvelled at the strangeness of his superiors. All members of the crew were subject to mandatory assessment every year. That to him had always seemed right and proper, space travel was a stressful and unnerving experience even for Starfleet officers who seemed born to travel the stars. On top of that was the added stresses of being on a long voyage, the tensions that generated between crew members. He had seen arguments blow up over the most trivial of matters, from two crewmen arguing bitterly over an incident in the holodeck, to a juniour officer getting his nose broken for slurping his coffee loudly one too many times. However, what was on the screen now made no sense.

Lt. Vanya, was an android. He had carefully reviewed her files when she had been scheduled for a mandatory session.  He was not sure how many people knew, but it was really the first he had known about it. Once had had gotten over his surprise he felt only confusion. Why would she need his services? He had sent messages back to Starfleet Command, who had insisted that she go through the same process as everyone else. Rhys, could just about understand why however, the bureaucraticness of the situation was more than a little irritating.

So against his better judgement he had requested her attendance. Exactly what he could do about it if there were a problem he was not sure. He had been an ops officer briefly before.. well before certain events he wished desperately to forget.  However, that hardly qualified him to 'fix' any issue she might have. Besides as far as he could tell she was an exemplary officer who did her job extraordinarily well. Rhys looked at her file again, perhaps he would just greet her have a friendly chat and leave it at that. He was not really sure what to say to her.

He heard his door beep, indicating someone was asking to come in. He stood and looked around his office making sure everything was neat. It always was, but he felt the need to check. There were comfortable chairs, and a sofa that aside from his desk dominated the room. Rhys had tried to make his office as pleasant a place to be as possible. There were pictures here and there on the walls, one in particular showed an image of the hills and valleys that covered his home of Wales back on earth. There were real books in a case behind his desk, he had always been old fashioned in that regard preferring to have a physical object in his hands.

However there was only so much you could do to make a room on a Federation starship not look grey. On his desk, was another picture. In was a woman in her mid to late 30s. She stood beaming in an older style gold uniform her hands placed on the shoulders of a boy who looked to be about eleven, the smiling boy was unmistakably Rhys. Though there were some stark differences beyond the changes brought on by age. A lively excitable boy, had given way to quiet, solemn and shy man. "Enter." Said Rhys awaiting his visitor.

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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #1
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Counselor's office | USS Cayuga | 2380 ] Attn: @Juzzie

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Vanya proceeded down the hallway towards the Chief Counselor's office. Long legs and tall boots carried her along at a brisk pace. Her hands were clasped behind her back. Dark green eyes swept the corridor before her as she made her way to the designated location. Long straight black hair, held in a high pony tail, trailed down her back in an obsidian fall. So dark black and glossy it seemed to have an almost metallic green sheen, it was straight as an arrow. With her hair in that pony tail it left her face and ears free. The former pretty with delicate brow ridges and pointed eyebrows, that along with the latter, pointed ears, denoted her heritage.

Rounding a soft bend she nodded to a few crewmen, offering them a gentle smile. Officers had to appear confident. Even when they weren't. Juniors looked to you for orders, but also for bearing. On how to be, so you had to project an aura of confidence. Or so she'd been taught in classes at the Academy when she had denoted interest in commanding a section one day and had taken a few Command track courses as extracurricular courses.

Approaching the door she paused and smoothed her tailored uniform and reached out to hit the door chime. "Enter" Came the call and the door whisked open. Vanya, unsurprisingly, entered.

Stepping in she paused to look around the office. Dark green Romulan eyes taking in not only it's appointment but it's occupant as well. The comfortable chairs and obligatory couch were present, other than the young man's desk. The pictures on the wall were noted, the one of Wales especially. Vanya's dark green eyes hovering on that for a long moment before moving on. The antique books were of interest and a quick flicker of her eyes, would tell her via the spines, what the good counselor liked to read or keep on tap for reference.

The photo on the desk also got a second of contemplation. The older uniform denoted a time ago, as did the younger version of Rhys himself. Glancing to the young man in the office she'd estimate by human standards he was in his mid 20s? Then looking to the picture the age difference was evident. The woman could be a mother or an older sister. Such was hard to tell in other species. A Romulan might have been easier to guess-timate.

The woman then focused fully on the counselor in front of her and raised a pointed brow. He was tall. That was nice. Only an inch or two shorter than She. Which was a bit refreshing. Young but he held the rank of Lieutenant. That either bespoke his skill or something else. Vanya offered him a nod.

"Lieutenant Vanya, reporting as ordered for Counseling session." The Romulan accent curling her words, but not too badly. Just enough to season them with the flavor of the speaker. Not bombard the ear. Her hand was offered in the traditional human custom. Of course she knew him by sight. They were department heads and attended the same meetings.
Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology
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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #2
[Lt. Rhys Williams|Counsellor's office | USS Cayuga| 2380] attn: @Cosmos

Rhys found himself looking up at a tall, beautiful Romulan woman. Her height was intimidating she was taller than Rhys and he was above average height. He was boggled he had never really noticed this detail before, but then he had only ever really seen her sat at a meeting table when height was difficult to judge. Their interactions had been extremely limited, but then this was true of Rhys in regards most of the crew. He only ever really saw his ship mates in meetings or in sessions like this one. He almost never drank or ate in the mess with the other members of the crew. Other officers especially had tried to get to know him, and he had been polite but quiet, drifting to the background of other people's conversations. For the most part he was happy with that state of affairs. It meant he could watch, listen and asses. It made him a better counsellor in some ways.

He was an attractive, well built young man. Redish blonde hair sat above the dark blue eyes through which he viewed the word. It had won him admirers both male and female, however this made him feel awkward. After all, if you have such little belief in your own self worth then discomfort follows hot on the heels of other's positive remarks.

Rhys watched Vanya's gaze for a moment, it seemed to take in himself and then the room he felt like it was being analysed in exquisite detail. So she was inquisitive, a wonderful trait in a scientist to be sure. He noted her eyes taking in the books on the shelves behind his desk. It was not unusual for people who came into this room to look at those, it was rare to see 'real' books much any more. There were classic works on psychology, psychiatry and so on that was pretty much part of the uniform for his job people expected those in one form or another even though many of them were horrendously out of step with modern techniques. There were others though, classic works of fiction, big thick tomes on history and mythology. Many of the covers seemed worn, and beaten but showed signs of having been lovingly patched up here and there. Rhys waved his arm in their direction. "I am a bit old fashioned I like to have a physical book in my hand when I read. I makes me feel more connected to the work." He smiled politely and indicated one of the comfy chairs. They looked like the kinds of chairs that once you were in them were more than a little tricky to get back out of with your dignity in tact.

He took a seat opposite her, and produced a PADD in front of himself. Rhys was uncomfortable, not only because she was attractive and his immediate reaction to people he found attractive was a deep feeling in his bones that he did not deserve to be near them but for another reason to. She was an android. He had always thought of himself as open minded, but an android made to look humanoid always worried him a little. Humanoids seemed to want to build machines in humanoid shapes no matter the impracticalities of such a design. On top of that most people in his experience found exact replicas to be a little disturbing. Rhys however, was good at keeping his feelings buried. It was one of the few things he gave himself credit for.

"Lieutenant.... This is just a formality." He nodded to the PADD in his hand. "I have read your files, and in my opinion it seems quite needless for you to have to go through this." He smiled "If there were something wrong with you, I am not really sure what I could do to help."

He sighed. "However its not up to me, my superiors insisted." He spoke in slightly sing song tones betraying his origin in Northern Wales. He waved his hand uncertainly and decided to begin with a simple question. "How do you think things are going?" He nodded in the direction of her pips he assumed  that like himself she had been promoted quite recently relatively speaking. He was to, having replaced the old Bajoran Chief Counsellor who had retired. He did not like being in charge very much, fortunately his team was very small. He wondered how she felt about it.

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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #3
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Counselor's office | USS Cayuga | 2380 ] Attn: @Juzzie

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Vanya offered the Counselor a nod when he explained his affection for physical books. It was a curiosity but not an aberration or anything. Different people liked different things and this was not strange. Just a touch uncommon. Starfleet was an extremely learned organization after all. So she observed the books and nodded when Williams explained his having them and their use.

When he motioned to the chairs, Vanya took a look at them. Calculated the indignity of trying to rise out of them with her mass and height... and took a seat on the couch, crossing one long leg over the other at the knee. Her left arm resting on the arm of the couch as she faced Rhys to speak.

She was picking up a little bit of stress from Rhys and was trying to categorize it. People sometimes were stressed on ships. That's why... they had counselors. Now the Counselor seemed a little stressed. The android wondered if it was due to her species, or an out side factor or something else. So she listened and tried to figure that one out as the meeting got going.

Williams indicated it was just a formality. Vanya offered him a smile and gentle nod at that."Starfleet has it's formalities. We're all subject to them"

Then Rhys said "If there were something wrong with you, I am not really sure what I could do to help."

Vanya tilted her head to the side a bit, causing a ripple though her long dark hair and she beheld the Counselor.   "Well Lieutenant, I am not a counselor, so it's not my specialty and I often get confused by my shipmates and their activities, but... why would the help you offer me, be any different than the aid that you would offer any Starfleet officer?"

She offered him a gentle look. "I may be the only Romulan on board, but I suspect that we're not so different. So... perhaps try to help me, in the ways you'd help a Tellerite, or a Caitian, or an Andorian."

When he asked how things are going, she seemed to ponder it for a moment and nodded."They're going well. The Science department has much to do on a mission like ours. Overseeing it brings me great satisfaction. It's nice to have a job that matters now. I suspect we all want that. To matter."

She motioned to Rhys with a soft flick of her long fingers."How are things for you, Lieutenant? I don't often see you socializing with the crew. Usually you tend to hang back. Sort of blend in and observe. An action I have done in the past, trying to learn and categorize social interaction between different peoples. 

I would ask if you were performing sociological studies... but I don't think that's it."
Her dark green eyes beheld him. "How can I help you Lieutenant?"
  • Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 07:40:01 AM by Cosmos
Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology
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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #4
[Lt. Rhys Williams | Counselor's office| USS Cayuga| 2380] attn: @Cosmos

Rhys listened. It was one of the first things you had to learn to do as a Counselor. He had learned that he had not really listened to people before. In fact he now knew it was very rare to find anyone who listened to other people, really truly listened. Oh the gist of what someone else was saying but that was about it. The message normally had to travel through barriers, not just the ear but several ones that existed inside people's heads. Filters, created by their culture, personal beliefs, emotions and anxieties stripped away at the meaning in those messages.

He did his best to listen to her. He however, began to rapidly find himself off balance as his questions were met with questions of her own. Rhys was not used to being the centre of someone else's curiosity. Rhys considered himself average if not less than, the idea of someone wanting to know more about him was baffling. He was boring, his interests were mostly obscure and odd, his social life was non-existent there was nothing really to be curious about. Rhys was good at listening to and understanding others, he was terrible at listening to and understanding himself.

The first question showed, she had not fully understood him. He had not been thinking about her Romulaness but more her androidness. He did not correct her, her reply had given him a good idea of how she wanted this to go. She wanted to be treated like any other member of the crew. That was fine by him. "I see. Well sometimes there are... cultural things to be taken into account in how some one wants to be aided. However, I shall do as you suggest." He made a note on his PADD.

Vanya then indicated her enjoyment of her role. He nodded and listened. The were both the same rank, had been in Starfleet about the same length of time. In fact the first time he head graduate they had been in the same year, but had not really interacted. He had gone to the Mercia.... and then bad times had happened, and he had returned to the Academy.  He shivered internally at the thought. "I am gald to hear you are happy with how things are going." In fact she seemed to be coping with the rigors of space better than most of the rest of the crew.

However, her following statements created an intense feeling of being the centre of curiosity again. It did not show on his face, perhaps just a flicker in his eyes. Rhys had explored his feelings before with other members of the crew in sessions. None of the specifics, but his own battles with mental health he found helped the other person feel like Rhys understood in some way what they were going through. This was different though, Vanya was clearly fine as far as he could tell he found himself reluctant to share. He shook his head. "Not sociological studies. I like to keep an eye on the crew and listen for any issues." He shrugged, "The Captain expects me to keep her informed of the morale and mental well being of the crew." It wasn't wholly true but not wholly false  either.

Her closing question made him squirm a little in his chair. "I don't know what you mean." He cursed himself internally as the words slipped out of his lips. It was a stupid thing to say. If he had said 'I'm fine' that would have more easily brought the conversation to an end. Now he was pretty much inviting her to state her observations more directly.

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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #5
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Counselor's office | USS Cayuga | 2380 ] Att: @Juzzie

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Vanya watched the counselor. Oh she'd understood him. She'd purposefully responded in the way she did, because frankly she was a bit insulted by the insinuation that he'd made. The response had been calculated to give the human an 'out' to avoid confrontation about the insult. To treat her different or as if her feelings and emotions didn't matter due to her being an Android wasn't nice. So she'd purposefully answered in a way that allowed him to address it as a 'Romulan' thing instead. Thankfully Rhys had taken the 'out' that had been offered so the insult didn't have to be directly addressed. Win win.

"Wonderful to hear, Counselor."

He spoke again noting her happyness and she nodded letting an unguarded smile cross her face. "I am. Things are going well. I'm Chief Science Officer here. My team is pretty good, give or take the odd one out, but I can work with them. Hopefully our work here will be noted and I can advance in rank. It hath privileges as they say. Larger projects. More independence." A soft motion of one long fingered hand. The dark metallic green nail polish reflecting the light.

Then Rhys was trying to explain his actions. "Not sociological studies. I like to keep an eye on the crew and listen for any issues. The Captain expects me to keep her informed of the morale and mental well being of the crew."

His conformation of it not being sociological studies received a nod from the Romulan. The rest eared a raised eyebrow and tilt of her head. The motion very easy to read for Rhys. Nope. She wasn't buying it. Not even a little bit.

Then his feigned ignorance at her last query, she met his eyes with her own dark green ones. "You don't?" A long pause, her eyes direct. Not demanding but not accepting bullshit either. "Come now Counselor. You're intelligent. I witnessed you at the academy. I think you do know exactly what I mean."

Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology
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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #6
[Lt. Rhys Williams|Counsellor's office | USS Cayuga| 2380]

Rhys had watched her carefully as he had answered her questions. Or more specifically as he had NOT answered her questions. She clearly did not believe him. Clearly the Lieutenant was a keen observer of human behaviour, not every one would have picked up on the lie. Those who did would normally have been people who knew him well, of which there was no one on the ship. He had been very careful about that, keeping the thoughts inside away from them. Its why he gave Betazoids in particular a wide berth, their abilities gave them a window into his head a place he was desperate for no one to see into.

'I'm fine.' Was one of the most common lies that not just Rhys told but most humans told at some time or another. It was an effective one most people were satisfied with that as an answer and in most cases were very happy not to hear the real answer. Asking 'How are you' and other such questions was normally the prelude to what people really wanted to talk about... themselves.

Vanya was not satisfied however, his feigned confusion bounced off her. He entertained briefly telling her. Bearing his soul in minute detail, diseased as it was to her forensic examination. Unloading on someone else felt good as if someone was suddenly helping you carry a heavy box. However, Rhys found himself internally resisting that idea. A cold hand gripped his heart at the mere thought of it, there was a tenseness to his muscles as he gripped the arms of his chair like a man afraid the hurricane would toss him off his feet.

Inside his head was a small voice he could never quite dislodge. It was vicious, cruel and it hated him. It pressed needles into all the weak points in his armour, because of course it knew where they were. 'What will you tell her?' The voice said with a dark glee. 'It took you only a few months after leaving the academy to finally crack. You've always been a little damaged every since mummy died. In the end though that is how little time it took.' His own voice in his head simpered. Rhys found his eyes moving unbidden towards the picture of himself and his mother on the desk. 'You won't tell her though because you are afraid. Afraid of the pity, the questions about your fitness to serve. Worst of all afraid that if they kick you out, you have nothing to go home to. No life, no love, no friends. Just an old house and me.'

Rhys realised he had been sat motionless looking at the picture and not saying anything. He coughed and awkwardly ran his fingers through his hair. He smiled a brittle little smile. "No no I am fine." He waved his hand as if waving away her concerns. "Besides we are not here to talk about me. We are here to talk about you. Having any problems at all?" She seemed the perfect picture of mental health to him but it was best to ask these things to make sure... and to distract. He wondered how much she knew about him, how much of his personnel file were other people allowed to see. Did she know about his breakdown. He hoped she didn't.

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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #7
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Counselor's office | USS Cayuga | 2380 ] Attn: @Juzzie

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Perhaps it was Vanya's lack of in depth knowledge that allowed her to see past the obfuscation. If she knew him 'better' he might be better able to fool her. She did tend to observe those around her, because she was curious by nature. Not having a 'childhood', or formal one anyway some social interactions were still new to her. Add in a mixed species crew and it added to the delightful combinations. So in social situations Vanya did like to observe, as she interacted. She'd noticed Rhys and his own lack of interactions. As a stand out, of course he'd been flagged for further observation.

Observation like now. She noticed the biometric changes in the man. His increased respiration rate. The way his eyes dilated just a bit. His tensed musculature and how he gripped the seat as if he were apprehensive of the ships internal dampening system suddenly going out and flinging him about the office. With those pointed Romulan ears and her keen android auditory senses one might even think she could hear his heart rate increase.

Vanya had not been frightening. She was aware that to some she was by aspect of being there. A Romulan in the uniform even offended some. That wasn't the ... what had Natalie called them.... "Vibes". That wasn't the vibe she was getting from the Counselor. She watched him as he tensed up. It seemed to be in response to her queries. He was wound so tight he almost strummed like a guitar string.

Then Rhy's eyes shifted over to the desk. Vanya didn't need to look to know what he was looking at. She'd noted the picture when she came in and it hadn't moved around of it's own accord. The seconds ticked by as he looked at the picture.

Vanya let them tick by. Tick tick tick.

Till Rhys himself noticed he'd sort of spaced out and looked over there. Till his attempt to shore up those defenses. Patch the holes in the wall that he'd built. Vanya watched him as he strove to repair them and forge on with the counseling session.

Hurm.

How to proceed?

A moment was taken and she smiled. "That would depend on your definition of problem, Counselor. There's a Bolian in the Ops department that keeps trying to burn my tongue by offering me "Bolian Delights" From the replicator. I don't much appreciate that. I'm not at all sure if he sincerely enjoys such things, or if it's the ill thought out attempt at a mean spirited prank. Right now it sits firmly at a 50/50 mark. You might aid me in that determination. If it's an honest attempt at cultural exchange it's one thing. If it's an attempt to harm me with those gastronomic horrors, it's quite another.

I find my work very fulfilling, and shipboard life to be compelling. I know it can be hard on some. I am not one such individual."


A pause and her dark green eyes beheld Rhys for a long moment. Her voice was softer in the next sentence. The Romulan tonals curling the words gently. "You miss her very much, don't you, Rhys?"  
Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology
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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #8
[Lt. Rhys Williams|Counsellor's office | USS Cayuga| 2380] attn: @Cosmos

Rhys nodded as Vanya referenced the Bolian crew member. He was fairly sure he knew who she meant. "Bolian food can be a little unappetising to non-Bolians, he probably thinks he is showing off some of his culture." Rhys shrugged, he had discovered this first hand when he had made a suggestion to the Captain about improving the morale of crew by hosting little events in which the crew could indulge in each other's culture. There were a fair number of Bolians on board so it had made sense to him to start with them. However, he had then tried the food and well, Rhys was now locked in to the event.

The one positive about the memory of his tongue burning pain, was it allowed him to think about something else for a moment. However, Vanya continued to probe and prod weaknesses. It was irritating, he was more than a little angry about it even though he knew it was unfair to be so. She was trying to figure him out that was not unreasonable, he just did not want her to. "Yes I do. My mother was Chief Engineer of the USS Lichfield. I always wanted to emulate her." He found himself about ready to explain to her, how his mother had died and how it had effected him, but he bit his tongue instead. Perhaps his answer that was not really an answer would satisfy her. 'It hasn't so far.' said the little voice, with mocking glee.

He knew he would have to give her more to satisfy her, but was not sure exactly what to say. Sticking to his mother would probably be the safest, his reluctance to talk about her would be understandable. Then maybe she might not probe him about anything else. "She died, in the battle of Wolf -359." Everyone knew about that battle. Not so much a  battle really a slaughter. It was a traumatic incident for the Federation one it had never fully recovered from. "I signed up for Starfleet, because I wanted to be just like her." He smiled in a friendly way that did not quite meet his eyes. "I started out as an Ops officer, but then found my true calling as a counsellor later and transferred."

'After you lost your mind you mean.' Came the voice again overriding his own internal monologue with its poisonous phrases. 'Imagine what she would think if she knew. The USS Mercia, destroyed and all your fault.' He winced, the words were untrue, he knew that, he knew he was not responsible but they still felt true. That was always the problem. No how much the evidence said otherwise, the monster within his head whispered its asinine accusations and on some level he ended up believing them.

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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #9
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Counselor's office | USS Cayuga | 2380 ]
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Vanya listened as the Counselor described Boilian food to be 'a little unappetizing'. Vanya's nose scrunched a bit and she nodded. "That is a very... what is the human term.. 'Politically Correct' way to describe, Bolian cuisine."  A bit of a beat passed and Vanya followed up with a slightly bemused tone. "It's pretty foul if you ask me. You could use it to clean the plasma injection ports in Engineering." A bit of a shudder played through her form. But she met Rhys' eyes. "I'll attempt to keep such thoughts to myself though. If he's honestly just trying to share his culture, it's not mean spirited."

Then she'd changed the topic and she saw the flicker of irritation through William's eyes. The slow simmer to anger. Rhys affirmed her suspicions. Mother it was then. Vanya looked over to the photo as he described her and wanting to be like her. "She's very beautiful. As an Engineering Chief, she must have been very intelligent as well. I can see why you would want to emulate her."

The dark green Romulan eyes flickered back to Rhys. He seemed to be struggling to determine an avenue to continue the conversation and decided to stay with the mother. Which was, of course a shield, a painful one to be sure, but a shield to deflect curiosity from himself. His mother had died at Wolf 359.

Wolf 359. Mandatory tactical engagement taught now at the Academy. Admiral Hanson's failure to stop the cube had resulted in the destruction of 39 of the 40 ships present and the loss of 11,000 Starfleet personnel. The Yamaguchi, the Gage, the Buran, the Liberator, the Roosevelt, the Melbourne, the Firebrand, the Saratoga, the Kyushu, the Princeton, the Bonestell, the Tolstoy, the Checkov...  Vanya could name them all... Just as she could name every one of the 11,000 crew. One by one if need be. Rhys' mother had been among that number.

This... explained quite a lot actually. He went on to describe signing up for Starfleet to be like her and his origins. "I remember, Rhys.... Your original trip through the Academy. I was there. I remember distinctly seeing you with the gold shoulders on your cadet uniform."

She paused watching his eyes to see if he remembered her. He may not. There were a LOT of people at the academy, and sometimes cadets just had to focus on themselves to hope to graduate. The course load was not what you'd call forgiving or easy.

Vanya remembered something else. "You never made fun of me Rhys... you never mocked me... or attacked me... or rode me down for being Romulan. You never sought me out to ridicule me.

I remember that too."


A moment as she let him 'hear' those words. To internalize them. She watched his face. "You were assigned to the Mercia, weren't you?"
Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology
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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #10
[Lt. Rhys Williams|Counsellor's office | USS Cayuga| 2380] attn: @Cosmos

Rhys would certainly not disagree that Bolian food was foul, then again he was sure to some species Human or Romulan cuisine might be equally as terrible. "I have often wondered if as a species their sense of taste has been damaged in some way." He was dreading where the conversation was really going. He had a horrible feeling he was going to end up spilling his guts in some way and embarrassing himself. 

As Vanya described Rhys in a gold uniform he found his eyes drifting to the now blue shoulders on his uniform. She then pointedly told him that she remembered him not holding her Romulanness against her. Rhys' mind drifted back to what he had been like then. He had been much more vocal back then but even more isolated than now, if that were possible. He had driven himself and others around the twist by expecting a ridiculous level of performance from all involved. Other cadets had dreaded being put into groups with him, he had been able to suck any joy or fun out of anything. Nothing he or did was ever good enough. He wondered if it was him being a good guy for not being hostile to her, or if he was just far to focused on his own negativity to think about her or anyone else much.

What he remembered was that he was always polite and nice to her in an absent minded kind of way. He had never really understood the difficulty, Klingons were in Starfleet, Ferengi, Androids... was a Romulan so different​?  He went red faced as she praised him, which his reaction to any praise he felt was undeserved. He merely shrugged not sure what to say, she had diffused his earlier mounting anger. That was for sure.

"Yes I was assigned to the ..." there was a pause an awkward silence before the word "... Mercia." slid past his lips. "I was an operations officer, for all of a few months." He felt his heart go cold in his chest and slow, he was more aware of its beating than if he had been running. An unpleasant sensation seemed to rise from his lower back up his body. A heat stung the backs of his eyes, as he though about his old ship. Nothing had attacked them the  warp drive just started to overload. No explanation, no warning just a mess of panic, confusion and death. In the middle of all of that was a man's mind folding in and in on itself, racked by a ludicrous guilt that had no place in reality.

The shuttle ride back, he had been silent almost catatonic led by the hand by kind people. Once he had been handed over to the counselling service, that was when the flood gates burst open. Tears of sadness, tears of anger at the universe, but mainly at himself always at himself had spilled frustratedly onto his cheeks.  The voice was louder then, what had always been a depressing niggle at the back of his head had been given a dreadful power over him. The voice he always imagined as a monster, stalking the halls of his mind a twisted reflection of himself, his self loathing.

He fixed his gaze back on his guest and sighed. She must know something more about him, or else why would she bring up his old ship. Or maybe he was just becoming paranoid, just another problem to add to the list. "There was an... accident." There was a hesitation before the word 'accident'. "A warp core breach killed many of the crew and destroyed the vessel." He shrugged and tried to play it off, hoping she knew nothing.
  • Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 09:53:37 PM by Juzzie

  • Cosmos
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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #11
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Counselor's Office | USS Cayuga NCC-78498 ] | 2380 | Attn: @Juzzie
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Vanya smiled a bit at the Bolians sense of taste being damaged. "Different tastes, I suppose, but I've no wish to further indulge, in theirs." A slight shudder and look of distaste crossed the Romulan's face. Seeing as she didn't 'need' to eat and did so only for the sensations that it brought, the tastes. It made no sense to eat things you didn't enjoy. Much less hate. She'd rather indulge in decadent things she did enjoy.

When he confirmed his posting Vanya nodded and then tilted her head slightly. The pointed brow raising in curiosity. The pregnant pause in the sentence previous to naming the ship seemed laden with meaning. Vanya just didn't know what meaning it might have. He didn't exactly look to be remembering the Mercia with fondness. Then he explained that he'd only held the posting for a few months. Vanya had been about to ask why the duration of his posting there had been so short, when he answered the question.

"An... 'accident'?" She matched his hesitation before the word, as if wondering about it, or perhaps just wondering why he had paused the way he did. The young man's cadence was a bit hard to follow, with out context. Then the revelation that the vessel had been destroyed and crew had died.

Vanya's eyes softened and she beheld Williams for a long moment. The man's reactions here were not hard to track. There seemed to be some sort of guilt at play. If he had done something to cause this accident and the death of crew mates it would explain the career change. Going from Operations and into Counseling. Or it could be that losing friends required Rhys to attend counseling himself and he was moved by the people helping him, and wished to emulate them, and help others.

There was no real easy way to ask that with out it coming out as accusatory in some fashion.  "My sympathies for your loss, Rhys. I was unaware you had experienced such Trauma. Losing a ship is a rather significant thing, or so I've read. I've not experienced such myself."  When he shrugged it off Vanya gave him another sympathetic look. She might not be a shrink, but she'd had years with her emotions at this point and she was clearly not buying the shrug off. That just wouldn't go to warp, as they said.

Dark green Romulan eyes beheld him for long moments, waiting to see if he would say more.
Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology
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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #12
[Lt. Rhys Williams|Counsellor's office | USS Cayuga| 2380] attn: @Cosmos

He watched her reactions carefully even though his emotional turmoil. He detected no judgement, just a curiosity and a sympathy. He also what remembered what she had said earlier, about how Rhys had never mocked her, never held her Romulaness against her.  He wondered if perhaps it would be safe to tell her? It was all likely on his file anyway, his superiors certainly knew.

He realised he had been going against his own advice that he often gave to people who came to see him. Be open and honest. "Yes it was traumatic." He paused as he tough how to advance the conversation, the voice seemed to have quieted a little in the face of her sympathetic attitude.

"Have you ever heard of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? A very misunderstood illness in a lot of ways." Indeed most people assumed it was an illness that made people obsessed with cleaning, but that was not the case. "People with it have obsessions, terrible, persistent or disturbing thoughts that won't leave them alone. In response they develop little ritualistic behaviours to minimise the anxiety of those thoughts." He spoke slowly and clearly as if recalling to mind a passage from a text book.

He stood and paced for a moment trying to put his thoughts into some kind of order. "Now imagine for a moment if a young boy gets into an argument with his mother, and in a fit childish anger wishes her dead?" He chuckled but there was no humour in the laugh. "The kind of thought billions of children have every day." He smile and laugh faded. "Then what if she actually dies?" The room seem to close in, the shadows growing deeper and darker. "He becomes convinced that his thoughts have an affect on the world. That he can call bad events into being just by thinking about them. Its ridiculous, he knows its ridiculous but he can't shake the feeling."

He bit his lip and shrugged as he went with the flow of his own dark river. "So he comes up with little ways of trying to distract himself when the thoughts come, counting the number of seconds between flashes of a light on a console, obsessively ordering things in a certain way."

His voice gave a shudder as he moved on to the next part. "Then when he finally lives his dream, serving on starship. He has a bad day, and pictures the ship being destroyed....." He could feel the tears demanding of his eyes that they break free, he squared his jaw however and looked at her with watery eyes. "It broke... me. All that guilt laid upon me. It was nonsense and I knew it was but it did not change the feeling of it. I was to blame."

He coughed and his voice firmed up again. "I don't like telling people in case they think I am not fit to do my job. Its why I tend to keep to myself I can't shake the feeling that my thoughts can harm others."

He ambled over to the replicator and got himself a cup of tea and took it back over to his seat, he looked back at her trying to judge her reaction to his story.

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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #13
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Counselor's office | USS Cayuga | 2380 ]   Attn: @Juzzie
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Vanya nodded when Rhys confirmed the trauma of losing a ship. Her long fingered hand came up to tuck a strand of obsidian hair behind a pointed ear as he continued to speak, listening intently as he did so. Rhys queried if she'd ever heard of obsessive compulsive disorder and she nodded. "Yes. 'OCD'." The Romulans had a different term for it but she'd been speaking Federation basic for years now and had picked up the term along the way.

She listened as he stated that it was misunderstood and her pointed brows knitted a little as he went on to explain. Terrible and persistent thoughts sounded more like a serious malfunction than "OCD" would outwardly indicate at first glance. Vanya did note the lecture tone though and continued to listen, not wanting to interrupt and destroy the Counselor's flow.

When he stood her dark green eyes followed and tracked him as he started to pace. In her experience that too was an outward manifestation of stress and a coping mechanism to bleed off the stressful energy.  The Counselor, then starts speaking of Children expressing homicidal thoughts and the Romulan blinked and looked to the door then back to him. He then ventures into an avenue of Cognitive Dissonance. Then Cognitive Dissonance leading back around t Obsessive compulsive disorder.

Except this time it's not pertaining to a child and the faulty logic of wish fulfillment. It pertained to an adult. Counting seconds between flashes on a console. Like, one would do... if they were a member of Starfleet.

Then the confession about the thinking about the ship being destroyed. That seems to have subsequently happened. Oh.. That was not good right there. Could have his destructive thoughts lead to inadvertent action? She noted the tears rimming his eyes, demanding to be let free, but held back by the young man's efforts. There surely was guilt there. Still there if her reading of the emotions was correct.

He admitted this drove his actions still, to this day. Why he kept to himself. His belief that even in the face of logic, that his thoughts may be responsible for the disastrous event that had happened.  Vanya thought about this all for a few moments. He seemed quite serious so it was no joking manner. Even if the thought process was faulty and frankly absurd, it would not do to express humor. It just wasn't funny. It clearly still hurt this young man and tempered his life.

Her tone softened, the Romulan accent rounding her words. "Lieutenant....Rhys.... I'm very sorry to hear of what you've been through. That must have been a long and hard warp trail to follow after the loss of your ship. Especially if you felt some responsibility for the happening. Even if that responsibility was not yours.

I've come to find that.... Feelings.. emotions.. still persist, even in the face of logic. Sometimes you just can't, 'think' your way past strongly held emotions and or beliefs. Even if you know in your mind that they're silly. You can't always control how you feel."


It was an extremely frustrating thing for an Android. Programming was supposed to work in one way, every time, period. Emotions. Did not.

"You remained in the Fleet. You assessed your position and I'm assuming retrained to become a Counselor. You're here helping people. That says a lot Rhys."  A soft look was offered the young man as he got himself a drink and sat.

"You need not hide away from me. It's a well known fact that Romulans are enormously and quite vexingly immune to how others think of them. Your fears of wishing me to death will prove futile."

A firm nod. "I expect you to join me at the next meal time, Lieutenant." She stood and looked to him.

"No excuses."
Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology
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Re: [2380] Which of us needs help?
Reply #14
[Lt. Rhys Williams|Counsellor's office | USS Cayuga| 2380]

Rhys had spoken his piece, done his part and in many ways it felt like a relief to have done so. No matter the consequences he had been up front, open and honest about everything.  He felt he could confront those consequences now in a more calm manner. He watched her over his tea.

In hindsight he had probably overwhelmed her. She was being for whom emotions were often at the background of her life rather than at the forefront. He detected a degree of frustration with the illogicality of human minds and emotions, a frustration he shared.


However, when she spoke it was with softness and reassurance. He chuckled at her suggestion she would be immune to his 'wishing' her to death. In the end his isolation had made no sense, the more he kept himself away the further he drifted from the crew. In the end it would make it harder for him to throw off those thoughts and interact.

He considered the irony of their situation and was amused by it. She had been sent to be assessed by him, but really she had been the one doing the assessing. The Counselor had become the counseled.

He watched her get up and head for his door, with a stern command for him to join her next meal time. He smiled shyly and as she passed through the door said. "Yes m'am." In a quiet but happy voice.

- FIN
  • Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 02:10:08 AM by Auctor Lucan