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Topic: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor (Read 278 times) previous topic - next topic

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EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Outside the XO's office | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

It was something of a relief, to have a moment to extricate herself from her duties as makeshift leader of the Bellerophon's survivors -- a role she had never desired, nor, she suspected, one the crew in question would have bestowed upon her if they had been consulted in the matter. As such, convincing them of the need to comply with Captain Ives' requests had been... trying. Some among the survivors had been more difficult than others, and her own position on Ives' crew, though barely a few hours old, had soured what little goodwill she could muster among them. It was her logic, of course, that had quietened the dissenters finally; the crew were outnumbered and unarmed, in unknown space, without means to contact Starfleet or to escape. Their best chance of survival was to remain on board and behave peacefully, and any who wished to leave would be given the means to do so at the earliest convenience. None among them would cause the Theurgy trouble; for now, at least.

Still, even though Hathev was now satisfied the crew were convinced of the prudence of civility, she was glad of the opportunity to leave them for a time. Her afternoon, such as it was, had been taken up by overseeing the release of the survivors and organising quarters for them aboard; there had been no one area in which to quarter them all (which she was pleased by; the opportunity for integration was appreciated, circumstantial as it was), and so she had spent much of her time simply trying to source empty cabins and assign inhabitants accordingly. It was not an arduous task by any means, but it had held little interest for her and she quickly had grown impatient with the task.

There had been a meeting of the Theurgy's senior staff, or so she had heard. She had not seen the alert on her new PADD until it had already begun, and as she had surmised her presence may not have been welcome she had chosen to focus her efforts elsewhere. She had not missed the second alert, however: Acting Executive Officer Natalie Stark wished to see her at 1810hrs. The summons was not entirely unexpected but appreciated all the same, if only as another sign that the Theurgy followed standard Starfleet protocol.

Hathev set out for the meeting early, unfamiliar with the ship's layout as she was. She arrived with time to spare; not wanting to disturb the Lieutenant Commander unduly, she prepared to wait until the agreed-upon time. It would give her a moment to compose herself in preparation, and to suppress the headache she could feel threatening behind her eyes. It seemed today she had moved all-too-swiftly from one tense diplomatic battle of wits to the next; she could only hope the Commander was as tired as she.
  • Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 11:24:48 PM by fiendfall
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #1
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Conference Lounge/Corridors outside XO's office | Deck 01| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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The meeting wrapped up, on time, just before 1800 hrs. She had roughly 15 minutes or so to get to her office from the Conference lounge. Both were on the same deck, and it wasn't a terribly long walk by any means. She simply had to exit the Conference lounge, and take a left. The hall would dead end at her office. The walk would take less than thirty seconds. 

Given that short distance, Natalie did not immediately leave the lounge. She took her time, after the others had exited, to stretch, and recycle her mostly empty cup from before. This she replaced with a small glass of chilled water that was swiftly ingested. She debated a trip to the head - which would in turn be a trip to her office - and decided she was fine for the moment. She glanced out the view port, taking in the sight of stars moving along at warp, and not the muted blues of the Azure Nebula, and breathed out a long, low sigh.

Natalie was glad to be rid of the Nebula, at least. Away from the Borg, and the dead zone that had resulted from the sacrifice of Wenn Cinn and the detonation of an Omega Device. Whatever that was, she thought to herself. She'd chanced a search on the ships computers, after she was officially logged in as acting XO by the Captain. That had been a dead end. What little she knew was simple conjecture at this point. The 'device' clearly contained some kind of highly volatile particle that, if mishandled would result in a subspace dead zone of enormous proportions, rendering FLT travel impossible across its boundaries.

Shaking her head, Natalie pulled her thoughts away from what had happened, and toward what needed to happen next. She had a meeting with one Lieutenant Commander Hathev. The Vulcan was the former Chief Counselor , of the late USS Bellerophon, and according to her own meeting with Captain Ives, had assented to assume the same roles and responsibilities on the Theurgy. As First Officer, it was now Natalie's responsibility to see that Hathev whatever she  needed to make this transfer (within reason) work, and provide suggestions and feedback on staffing her department.

As well as getting a feel for how the integration of the survivors from the Bellerophon and the Dauntless was fairing.

If she were being honest, she knew she should have left for her office the moment this meeting ended. But she was avoiding the place, given that she felt like it was someone else's office. Namely, Carrigan Trent. And that's a Can of Worms you really don't have the time to go into right now Natalie. Finish your water and go do your job.

Yes, her inner voice was growing more and more caustic as the day went on. Duly chastised, she cleaned up what was left in the room, and then tucked her PADD Under her arm, and exited in the access corridor. She took two steps to the left, and looked up, blinking in surprise. She hazarded a quick glance at her PADD, confirming the time, and then back up at the short woman standing in front of the Office Door.

Female. Vulcan. Teal undershirt. Yeah. That'd be Hathev, she concluded. Vulcan's are usually so punctual. I figure'd she'd show up precisely on time. Damn. Nothing else for it.

Putting a smile on her face, Natalie walked a bit straighter, legs kicking up her skirt just a bit with her increased pace of stride. She closed what little distance remained, and called out, "Commander Hathev? I'm Natalie Stark. I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long. My other meeting just wrapped up down the hall in the Conference Lounge."

Nat did not offer the other woman her hand. The acting XO had known a few Vulcan's in her time, and unlike the Romulan she'd roomed with at the Academy, the Vulcan's were not, as a general rule, a casually tactile species. Most preferred their native salute, if any gesture was to be given in a greeting or departure, but Natalie would allow the officer in question to initiate such an action.

She was never quite sure when it was appropriate, and as with not offering her own hand, she was at least trying to respect general Vulcan cultural norms.


OOC: deck 01 floorplan in spoiler tag below:
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  • Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 04:35:06 AM by Brutus
Note: Limited availability for posting, 8/28- 9/4

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #2
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Outside the XO's office | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Brutus

Under normal circumstances, Hathev would have examined the Lieutenant Commander's personnel file before such a meeting. She disliked entering into any situation without full preparation, especially a situation as delicate as this had the potential to be. She had been at a disadvantage in her meeting with Captain Ives, and although that was to be expected, she would have preferred to attend this appointment with more information at her disposal. Accordingly, she had requested the necessary permissions to access the crew's personnel files -- a facility she would also need to perform her new duties aboard the ship.

Such concerns had clearly not been a priority, for obvious reasons, and by the time she had received access to the information she had time for only a cursory glance before setting out for the meeting. It had been little more than an overview, but what Hathev had read in Stark's file told of a dedicated officer in the Operations department with what seemed like a deceptively quiet career before the Theurgy fled Earth. A pity she had not the time for further studies; but then, after the revelations of today she trusted there was little left that could surprise her.

That being said, the Acting Executive Officer who came down the hallway, hailing Hathev as she approached, was considerably younger than expected. Natalie Stark was only a little taller than Hathev herself and had almost Vulcan colouring, a strong profile and a youthful aspect to her countenance. Despite this her demeanour belied her tender age, and though she carried herself with what might best be classed as determination rather than confidence or authority, the effect was much the same.

This was a young woman who had steeled herself in preparation for performing her duties, duties that had been thrust upon her and were not, perhaps, in line with her preferences and nature. A noble resolution, and one Hathev could not only respect but sympathise with.

'Not at all, Commander, it was I who was early.' She stepped forward smoothly, offering Stark a handshake. Not her preferred method of greeting, admittedly, but she had found it could put more touch-responsive species at ease. Still, she appreciated that the Commander had left it to her to initiate such contact.

'I apologise for my timing; please, I do not wish to distract you from any duties you wished to perform before our appointment. I understand that, circumstances being what they are, you must be in high demand. I would not wish to claim more of your time than is my share.'
  • Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 07:08:50 PM by fiendfall
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #3
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Conference Lounge/Corridors outside XO's office | Deck 01| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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Natalie would have been pleased to know that she had made what appeared to be an initially good first impression with the Vulcan counselor. And while she might not have been exactly surprised by just how well the pointed eared woman was able to discern what was going on beneath the surface of Natalie's demeanor, she would have been unnerved to know that she could be so easily read. Never mind that this woman was about 4 times as old as Natalie, and had a lifetime of experience in reading and discerning the mental and emotional state of sentient beings that she served with.

To her visible surprise, the Vulcan woman offered Natalie a very human hand shake. A  small smile played across the Martian's lips as she reached out and took the offered hand, giving it a few firm pumps before letting go. It appeared that both women desired to be cordial to one another, and as accommodating as possible. Off to a good start then, I suppose, she thought to herself as she let out a sigh, the smile staying in place.

"It's perfectly fine, Commander," she said. "Or do you prefer Counselor? I know it varies from officer to officer." This would be Natalie's first chance to learn something about this woman beyond her own brief reading of the Vulcan's personnel file. "Honestly, all I would be doing in there is taking a moment to go over your file again and try and switch mental tracks from the meeting I was just in, to the meeting with you. Funnily enough, simply talking to you is helping to make that transition, so by all means, I'm perfectly willing to begin now. No time like the present?"

One the diminutive Vulcan had given her assent, Natalie nodded and tucked one hand behind her back, and gestured along the hall with the other. "I am well aware that these are far from normal circumstances. Captain Ives informed me that you have indeed agreed to provide your services to the crew.  I wanted to help answer any questions you might have about our circumstances that the Captain was unable to do so, as well as hear for myself how yourself, and the other...survivors are doing."

At this, her voice fell slightly, remorse tingling her tone. While she had not been responsible for the destruction of the Bellerophon having arrived just after the fact, the whole crew bore a sense of guilt for the actions that had happened. Swallowing a bit, she continued,"To that end, I thought we might take a walk about the ship, esqueing the more traditional form of one on one meeting for something that might be a bit more visually informative?"
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #4
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Outside the XO's office | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Brutus

It was too early to make any kind of judgement on the Acting Executive Officer, but from preliminary data it seemed the woman was considerate and pragmatic; traits Hathev could appreciate in a commanding officer. She exhibited the same control of her faculties that her captain had shown, and Hathev thought wryly back to her original assumptions about this ship and her crew. She had not been aboard more than a few hours and already her initial conclusions were disproved and distant.

It seemed Stark's forethought in allowing Hathev to dictate the form of greeting extended to her form of address; Hathev nodded slightly in appreciation as she confirmed her preference: 'Counsellor is fine, thank you.' She had been a professor longer than a commander, and her rank, though important to her, had never been her chosen method of self-definition.

Stark's suggestion of their meeting being a more perambulatory than sedentary affair was unorthodox, and not one Hathev would have made herself. She preferred a controlled environment in which to study her subjects, but perhaps Stark did not feel she had the luxury of such an option, or perhaps she was simply more inclined towards the practical than the interrogatory. Whatever the case, she could not fault the logic in being offered a tour of sorts, and was content to agree.

She fell into step beside the Acting Executive Officer, examining her as they walked. She had not missed the Commander's tone when she mentioned the Bellerophon's crew; she exhibited the same markers of regret and even responsibility that Captain Ives had shown.

'Your accommodation is appreciated, Commander,' Hathev said. 'I am fully aware that my appointment to this position may be more than a little controversial, within both your own crew and what remains of mine. It is not a position I would ever have imagined myself accepting mere hours ago, and yet it seems my discussion with Captain Ives was revealing, in more ways than one.' She had been ready to die rather than betray the Federation. Now, it seemed she may have done so without even realising; certainly she had betrayed the ideals of the Federation, the heart it had built itself around. A small crime compared to the destruction of the Bellerophon, perhaps; but she did not wish to live in a world where small crimes were forgiven simply by virtue of their favourable comparison to worse atrocities.

She let out a quiet sigh. It truly had been a day of unconscionable length.

'My compatriots from the Bellerophon are well-situated, and for that I am grateful. I am confident they shall not pose any threat to your crew, although I anticipate the majority will not wish to join that crew. There is little good will to be had towards the Theurgy -- and, I am sure, that sentiment is returned in kind. I believe the risk of misbehaviour is minimised, for now at least, although if any issues do arise, I hope that I would be involved in any disciplinary action that resulted.'

She paused, considering her next words. 'As for myself, I cannot forget the circumstances of our meeting, nor the lives that were lost as a result. However, it would be against both my practice and my nature to hold any resulting grievance against either my patients or my new compatriots.' A slight smile, despite the seriousness of her words. 'I will not bring harm to any aboard this vessel.'
  • Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 07:08:15 PM by fiendfall
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #5
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Conference Lounge/Corridors outside XO's office | Deck 01| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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It was a given that both women would likely want to be on their best behavior. At least, this was the assumption that Natalie was operating under as she spoke with the Counselor, late of the Bellerophon. Though the brunette had to allow for the possibility that, as a Vulcan, Counselor Hathev - she was making an effort to think of her by her title instead of her rank now, as per the woman's stated preference - was always on her best behavior.

When was the last time you saw a Vulcan that wasn't? She asked herself the rhetorical question.

As they walked, Hathev addressed the concerns that Natalie had brought up, and the brunette forced herself to focus on the words of the Vulcan, and not on her own lingering sense of guilt. This was not as hard as she had expected, and she was a bit surprised. It seemed the shorter woman had the kind of voice that - if not commanded attention, enticed it.

They'd made it  around the Conference Lounge and to the turbolifts, which parted open shortly after Natalie pressed the call button, before the Acting XO spoke again. She almost didn't speak at all, because unless her eyes were mistaken, the Vulcan had allowed herself a small smile. Natalie failed to keep her surprise entirely hidden - her eyebrows shout up high on her forehead, and would have been hidden in any bangs if she hadn't left her hair back in a pony tail after the meeting in the lounge. Today had been an exercise in practicality, and as much as Nat loved having her hair down, she needed it out of her face if she were going to be all over the ship.

"I appreciate your frankness on the matter, Counselor. I think our best chance for the future is to take this one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. Not forgetting how we got here, as you said but...focusing on the underlying circumstances that compel us to work together. So that there will be less of these unfortunate encounters in the future. At least...I'd like there to be less." The smile that accompanied her words did not meet her eyes. It was a hollow one.

Natalie was not a fool. As much as she, and Captain Ives, wanted to be better, she knew that circumstances would likely ensure that the Bellerophon was not the last ship destroyed in the attempt to rid Starfleet - and the powers of the Quadrant - of their infestation. Still, she gestured to the lift, and followed the Vulcan inside.

"Lets start with....Deck 6," she called out to the lift, as it started to decend, and then she turned back to the Teal collared Vulcan. "Deck six is the first deck in which we have some recreational facilities, as well as the first deck where we can begin to cross between vectors," she explained, slowly making a map in her mind of where she might want to take the woman on this tour. She smiled and continued on through the short ride.

"I'm not sure how much animosity you'll find among our crew toward the survivors. You're more likely to find guilt, I think. Save perhaps from those that lost someone close to them. Unlike our fellow officers on other ships in the fleet, we understand that, for the most part, these people are just following their orders. They see us as heinous traitors to the Federation," and God do those words still hurt, she thought, pain flashing across her features, "While we - mostly, and this is just based on my observations - see them as misguided and forced to fight. That they hate us all the more doesn't make it easy but....well," she gave a little shrug.

"These aren't the first survivors of a battle, or officers from another vessel that we've folded into our own crews, and you are not the first ...new arrival," much better than Outsider, Natalie decided, "That has been given a position on the senior staff. At this point....most of our staff didn't start on the Theurgy." Most of them were all dead...

Coughing a bit, the doors parted, and Natalie lead the way down the corridor, past a few repair teams, toward the Upper Gymnasium. Walking and talking, she added, "If you find yourself struggling to adapt, or simply searching for a perspective on this, I would suggest scheduling some time with Lt. Commander Vivian Martin. She came off of the Resolve quite recently, stepping into the role of Chief of Sciences. She may have some insight there.". Those that had come of the Harbinger had for the most part not been senior staff material.  And had sparked a mutiny, even though they were misguided - or mind controlled.

"Through here we have the primary gymnasium for Vector 01. Its one of the chief recreational facilities for the ship. This deck also houses Engineering facilities for both the Helmet's and the Sword, Auxiliary warp cores, and the public baths, though the latter is on Vector 02."
  • Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 04:23:43 PM by Brutus
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #6
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Corridors | Deck 01 > Deck 06 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Brutus

Stark's surprise had not been lost on Hathev; interesting. Hathev did not emote extensively, of course, but she would use expression in moderation if it served a purpose: primarily to put those around her at ease, telegraphing her intentions towards them in a way their species could more naturally parse. It seemed in this case she had not achieved the intended effect; a pity, but useful data for future interaction.

The Commander's words were only partially reassuring, accepting of the possibility of future casualties as they were. While Hathev believed the other woman's expression of hope, her exhibition of guilt, to be genuine, such sentiments alone carried little weight. There also must be a resolution to avoid any further Starfleet casualties, including those on board the Theurgy, at any cost.

Hathev was no fool, she knew death was sometimes inevitable, knew that in circumstances such as these there were often no good outcomes, knew, even, that tragic events could be caused by simple error. Perhaps Stark's words were wise in their acknowledgement of this future possibility. Perhaps Hathev had spent too long inside a classroom, and forgotten the realities of the world.

Still. She would deal with such a situation on the occasion it arose, and not before. In the meantime, she would do all in her power to avoid it ever being a quandry to contend with.

They reached the end of the corridor, and entered the turbolift. Stark's assessment of the crew's feelings towards those from the Bellerophon was unexpected: considering the history of the two ships, Hathev had anticipated much greater resistance from the Theurgy's crew than Stark seemed to attribute to them. It seemed Hathev had once again done them a disservice.

'I am glad to hear that, Commander,' she said. 'I can attest to the fact that the information given to myself and my crew by our superiors was convincing, if lacking in detail. I sincerely doubt I would ever have questioned that information had I not met with Captain Ives for myself.'

There was more that could be said on that subject. Certainly it would be useful to discuss at some point, especially as it may lend insight into the future deprogramming of other misled Starfleet personnel. In the meantime, however, there was a more pertinent matter she wished to raise.

'I wonder if I may make a suggestion. There were many lives lost in the battle between our vessels, and additional losses since. Those from the Bellerophon would appreciate the opportunity to hold a ceremony to honour the dead, and I am sure the same is true for those from the Theurgy also. There may be merit in allowing both crews to grive alongside one another. I hope you would allow me to offer my services in arranging such a gathering.' She was beginning to understand the extremes of mental and emotional turmoil the denizens of the Theurgy must be experiencing; this, at least, may be a first step towards alleviating that stress and beginning the process of healing, for both their crews.

The turbolift arrived at its destination, and the two women disembarked. It seemed Hathev's orientation was to begin in earnest; she was glad of it, the chance to familiarise herself with her surroundings was one she appreciated. Even apart from the ship's current circumstances, the Theurgy was like no other vessel she had served on, with its multi-vector design and ability to function even when separated. She had little knowledge of starship architecture, preferring to study the architecture of the mind, but it seemed to her layman's understanding that the Theurgy's design was either a masterful feat of engineering or an enormous exercise in redundancy. Of course, it was entirely possible the two options were not mutually exclusive.

'Each vector is its own, fully-functioning vessel, is it not?' she asked as they continued down the corridor, Stark gesturing to points of interest as they passed them. 'I wonder, is this design borne out in the structure of command and organisation of personnel? If the ship were to split into its three vectors, would all departments be equally represented on each?'
  • Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 07:07:01 PM by fiendfall
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #7
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Conference Lounge/Corridors outside XO's office | Deck 01| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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Natalie mulled over the idea of a ceremony that involved the crews of the Bellerophon and by extension, the Dauntless, and the mixing of this with the crew of the Theurgy, as they acknowledged their own not insignificant losses. At that point it would seem wise to extend the offer to the crew of the Endeavour, as well as the Cayuga. She would seek out Vanya and get a feel from her as to if that would be acceptable. She imagined however, given their conversation earlier that day in Trent's - no, her - office, that the Romulan would find this a reasonable idea.

The ops chief felt her cheeks color as she remembered the direction that earlier conversation had gone, and quickly set such thoughts aside. Now was not the time, and one of the 'skills' that Natalie had been developing was the ability to  compartmentalize. It didn't always work the way the Martian wanted, and it might not be the most healthy of coping mechanisms for stress, or for focus, but it was something she was using more and more. The broader implications of that earlier chat would have to wait, for now.  Aloud, all she committed to was, "I will broach the subject with Captain Ives, passing along that the suggestion comes from you, and add my own recommendations as well. I know we have a few plans ahead for how to mark and honor the passing of those lost to us."

A part of her could not help but wonder, as the tour moved on, if the crew of the Bellerophon would even want to mourn alongside those that had killed their shipmates and loved ones.

Leading Hathev past the gym, and around toward the baths - because these were a truly unique feature that had been added to the vessel as a result of it's size, as well as its occasional diplomatic profile - Natalie pondered the woman's next question. They passed through a set of doors within the hallway that were double thick - these would be locked when the Vectors separated, sealed up tight as outer bulkheads. But in SOM (Standard Operating Mode) they functioned just like any other door. Natalie took a moment to point this out to the Counselor, and then addressed her specific question.

"It's an interesting case, in truth," Natalie said, as confidence seemed to well in her tone. Her expression brightened somewhat as she warmed to a topic in her area of expertise. "In general, the Theurgy is designed to operate as one united vehicle. We call this Standard Operating Mode, or SOM for short. In truth we hardly ever mention it, as this is the normal cruising configuration for our ship. In situations like that, the bridges on Vector 02 - The Sword, and Vector 03 - The Stallion, as they are referred to when they are in independent flight mode - those stations are unmanned.

"In a combat situation, for the most part, we might staff the bridges there with auxiliary personnel in case a need arises, and ideally the departments would have the manpower to cover that with little issue."
This, of course, assumed that the ship was operating with a fully staffed crew at any given time. The Theurgy couldn't exactly claim that. "And this would also apply to the auxiliary engineering rooms for each vector, though those are more frequently staffed as we often draw power from the three warp cores even when in SOM. Multi-Vector Assault Mode - MVAM, for short - is highly automated, with most commands coming from the main bridge on Vector 01 (The Helmet). It's only in the....ideally rare occasions that truly Independent Flight Modes have been called for that we fully staff each vector, replicating the structure of a separate ship."

Natalie let out a soft sigh as they entered the baths, pausing to let the Vulcan take in her surroundings.  In a slightly less enthusiastic tone, she finished with, "These past few days are the only times that the Vectors have operated in a truly independent fashion for any appreciable amount of time, in so far as I can remember. As for staffing....it should be reflected as you stated. However....losses have made that difficult. One of the major points in my previous meeting, before I found you, was to get the current heads to give me a full accounting of their departments, and what gaps are missing in the chain of command. There should be enough to fully staff each vector in time of need and....and we're not there yet."
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #8
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Corridors | Deck 06 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Brutus

There was no small amount of risk inherent in Hathev's suggestion to gather the Theurgy and Bellerophon crews together to mourn; it would have been far worse, however, to suggest the Bellerophon survivors grieve alone. Such a gathering would be only a few inflammatory words away from igniting violence against the crew of the Theurgy, violence that would serve no one. Segregation would cause more problems than it might solve. Despite the precariousness of her position as the survivors' leader, Hathev was confident she could present the suggestion to them in such a way that they would be inclined to co-operate. Any additional integration that could be achieved between now and then would serve to assist her in that endeavour.

Commander Stark paused as they passed through a set of doors, demonstrating their unusual sturdiness for an internal aperture. Hathev had to wonder what possible application the ship's design could have outside of the most specific of situations; she had to assume that under most circumstances the ship simply operated as a single entity, in which case would the additional machinery and manpower needed for independent operation not be a hindrance?

But then, some of the prototypes that had come out of the Starship Design Bureau had been truly preposterous in their unbridled optimism and ambition. And of course, a slightly circuitous starship design was hardly the most implausible thing she had come across today. No; there was little purpose in questioning this further. She need only accept, and consider how the unique design might affect the running of her department.

She had not realised personnel was so short; the ship had acquitted itself admirably against the Borg, a feat which could hardly have been achieved on the skeleton crew Stark seemed to be describing. Heavy losses during such an engagement were to be expected, of course; however either the Theurgy had been operating at sub-optimal capacity before the battle, or they had sustained even greater losses than Hathev had imagined. Of course, none to compare with the comprehensive destruction of the Bellerophon and the loss of the vast majority of her crew.

'You have my condolences,' she said, offering Stark a tight nod. She was not insincere; any loss of Federation life was a tragedy. And yet she would not pretend to mourn the likes of Mr Marquez. There were more deserving outlets for her attention, her new position chief among them.

'How does the Counselling department fare?' she asked. 'I can only assume its ranks are depleted if I am to be appointed its head. I mean to study the relevant files in the crew database, of course, but in any case there is little substitute for personal experience. I know nothing of my predecessor, for example. Anything which you are at liberty to share would be appreciated.'
  • Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 07:05:43 PM by fiendfall
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #9
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Conference Lounge/Corridors outside XO's office | Deck 01| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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They were now lingering outside the access hatch to the public baths, that would have led into changing rooms for those that wished to go in. A part of Natalie wanted to walk right in and show the place off to Hathev, given its unique nature. But the rest of her respected that the Vulcan was quite interested in getting down to the 'brass tax' as her father would have called it, a phrase whose origins she did not understand but whose meaning she did:

Focus on the matter at hand.

So Natalie redirected her thoughts to the Counseling department aboard the USS Theurgy. She marshalled her thoughts and decided that she would take her fellow Lieutenant Commander past one of the officers for that department, two decks down and back on the first Vector.

"I will point out that the recreational facilities on the Theurgy do include these public baths. I highly recommend visiting them at least once, but they aren't really germain to your question. Unless you favor a pool or a warm tub for counseling sessions. If you'll follow me?" She asked, though she knew that Hathev would follow. They turned down the hall, headed toward a different lift that would take them to Deck 08.

"I did not have much interaction with Dr. Hayden O'Connor, the previous Chief of Counseling. By all regards she was relatively competent at her job, after joining the crew following our encounter with the USS Harbinger. However, I know that Captain Ives had cause to relieve her of her duties. I...do not know the specifics. Those were sealed records that until ....today, I guess, I did not have access to. I haven't gone to check them, frankly, because the officer in question perished some time after, while serving in a lesser capacity." She gave an apologetic shrug.

"We...have had a lot of turn over. Dr. O'Connor replaced a man name Garen Niels, whom also perished in the line of duty. He became our chief counselor shortly after we began our current plight. The woman that we had in charge of the department turned out to be a spy for Starfleet Intelligence. Commander Rez had....a few positions on the ship. She was the first Chief Counselor during my tour. However it was Niels that I had personally had a few sessions with. The usual mandated sort of thing, before everything went to hell in a handbasket." It was clear that Natalie was glossing over her own sessions with Niels. The man had been helping her with her anxiety and a few other issues that....that the necessities of command had forced her to come to terms with.

I wonder what he would think of me now? she asked herself, shaking her head as they entered the turbolift. "Deck 8, forward section," she ordered, as the lift kicked into action. "He was a good man. I'll admit that I miss him. I wish I could say the same about Dr. O'Connor but I never got to really know her. That said, the current acting Chief Counselor, Lt. (jg) Zelosa Ejek, came to us from the Resolve. I have nothing but praise for her, though this comes from the woman stepping up into the role of First Officer during our most recent Independent Flight operations as part of what Captain Ives dubbed the Continuance Protocols we executed after our disastrous first contact with the Savi." She pulled a face at that and did her best to struggle to repress negative emotions.

She was well aware of the turmoil the Savi were putting up with now in the wake of certain revelations, and while she found almost all of their conduct reprehensible, she was also aware that they too were victims of the infestation crawling across the galaxy. This did not make it easy to forgive or forget what had happened, of course. Natalie was only human.

The lift opened, and Natalie stepped out. "Lt. Ejek is holding down the fort at the moment as the acting department head. If you want my advice, for whatever it is worth, I would suggest her as an Assistant Chief. In addition to being a good listener, I have found her to be adept at organization and coordination, skills required for such a position. She's not perfect, of course," Natalie was thinking of the woman's disdain for a certain junior security officer, "But she showed promise. Ah, here we are."

The slightly taller woman came to a stop and gestured to a set of double doors. They were currently locked and not in use. They listed "Counseling Department Offices - Vector 01".

"In their infinite wisdom, the ships designers provisioned offices for your department on each of the three vectors, with the primary offices being housed in Main Sickaby. This is the small suite available to Vector 01, which we crossed back over to during our turbolift transit."
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #10
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Corridors | Deck 06 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Brutus

It would seem that the position Hathev had inherited was something of a poisoned chalice; hardly unexpected, considering the circumstances, yet it was still disconcerting to hear quite how many individuals had occupied the role in the few months since the Theurgy's flight from Earth. That both of her predecessors had perished, in such a short time... The exact circumstances would necessitate further investigation at a more suitable time. She would not be sharing their fate.

Even aside from the personal implications for her own safety, it was concerning to hear the department had suffered such little continuity of command. Considering it must be in what she could only assume was extreme demand, she could hardly expect it to be in ideal condition; no doubt this had contributed to the emotional turmoil she had witnessed in Cir'Cie and which she could be certain extended to the other officers aboard, if the behaviour of one Mr Trent was any indication. With that said, however, she had never shied from a challenge. She had accepted this position in the full knowledge that it was, to put it lightly, less than ideal; all that remained was to acquit herself to the best of her abilities.

Stark's reticence to detail her own experiences within the Counselling department was noticed but not judged; Hathev would expect little else, such details being both confidential and irrelevant to the matter at hand. The only aspect of it worth remarking upon was the implication that the Commander had not visited a counsellor since Mr Niels. If that was correct, Stark was exhibiting remarkable self-composure considering the current circumstances and her own lack of support; but that did not mean she would continue at her current level of stability indefinitely.

As Stark had seemed uncomfortable discussing the matter, brushing past quickly with euphemism and light humour, Hathev deduced any comment of her own she might make on the subject would be unwelcome at this time, and so she refrained accordingly. However it was a detail she would keep in mind; perhaps it would be prudent to recommend mandatory sessions with any senior staff who had not recently seen a counsellor. More consideration was required, certainly.

They disembarked the turbolift at Deck 08, Hathev beginning to fill in the blueprints of the vessel in her head. She was grateful that the acting First Officer had seen fit to spare the time to induct her so thoroughly; simply studying the schematics would have afforded her the same knowledge, though in a far less efficient manner.

'I am glad to hear you speak so highly of Lieutenant Ejek,' she said as they walked. She would judge the individual in question for herself, of course, but at the very least it was helpful to know the acting Chief had been capable in Stark's experience. 'From what I know of her, she seems a natural choice for Assistant Chief; I thank you for the recommendation.'

Interesting that there were counselling offices on each vector; a prudent decision, considering the tripartite design of the vessel. It led her to a new line of questioning: 'I wonder, are the offices on each vector functionally the same, or does each specialise in a particular area?'
  • Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 07:05:03 PM by fiendfall
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #11
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Counseling Offices | Deck 08| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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Natalie took a long breath after her short history review of the posting of Chief Counselor of the USS Theurgy, as she nodded in response to Hathev's gratitude regarding her thoughts on Lt. Ejek. Like far too many of the senior posts on the ship, there had been an abnormal  amount of turn over, though this senior officer billet had fared better than some posts, like Chief Tactical Officer. That brought memories to the surface of a slew of men and women that had held the martial posting for the Theurgy, most recently the late Lt. Commander Marquez. Another case of limited interaction for Natalie, though he had at least seemed competent, up until the unintended destruction of the Bellerophon. She could say with certainty he cared about the surviving crew of his previous post, the USS Resolve where he had served as Cpt. Tristan Kendricks XO. A part of her wished she could pick his brain for a bit of advice. But he was dead, atomized before her eyes by Salem Martin of the Cayuga when the man had been infected with Borg Nanites.

There was no point in losing herself in those thoughts. It would be too easy. Instead, the skirted officer stood up a bit straighter and gave a small tug to the hem of her jacket, pulling it into a better position before turning and pressing the keypad touchscreen to open the offices for Lt. Cmdr. Hathev. She gestured to the Vulcan to precede her into the small, well appointed office space, with a functional desk and replicator, as well as a smattering of more comfortable chairs and lounge furniture to suit the needs of the counselor in office, and whatever best fit their patients therapy regime.

"As you can see, this office here is fairly straightforward. In a situation where the department were to be fully staffed," she began, looking around the room with a small pang of loss, "This would be assigned to one of your Assistant Chief Counselors. On a ship this size the department would, ideally, have two officers of such a distinction. I believe this is similar for the Odyssey-class of vessels as well as many starbases." She gave a little shrug. It had been a while since any of the departments had been properly staffed, due in part to the number of crew left behind on Earth when the ship had fled the system.

And the dead we've left behind along the way, like Garen. This had been his office, when Natalie had first started visiting with the counselor, what seemed like a lifetime ago, before he had ascended to the Chief position. She hadn't realized that this place would bring ghosts up to the forefront, but she could picture him sitting in the chair by the viewport. She ran her fingers over the back of the other comfortable seat, remembering how she would tuck her feet up under her rear as she lounged in the oversized armchair. A soft, melancholy sigh escaped her lips before she turned back to face the Vulcan who would now lead this department.

Forcing a smile onto her face, she continued, "The primary difference between this office and its counterpart on Vector 03, compared to the primary office in Main Sickbay is size. Functionally they are all the same, though the counselling suite in Main Sickbay has multiple secluded rooms for private sessions." She paused, reflecting, "I admit that I cannot remember if it has a larger room for a group session, or if those were held elsewhere in somewhat less official locations, such as the Conference lounge, or one of the various bars, be it Below Decks or the Spearhead Lounge Officers club." She gave a small, apologetic shrug.

"Most of my interactions with the department took place here, actually, I've not had much cause to visit the main suite."
  • Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 02:55:31 AM by Brutus
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #12
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Corridors | Deck 06 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]  attn: @Brutus

The counselling offices on Vector 01 were perfunctory; a small space boasting only the basic expectations of desk and soft furnishings as befitting its purpose. A working space, clearly, bereft of any extraneous clutter but more than functional. Practical and adequate, it was not a room that Hathev paid much attention to beyond her initial judgement.

Commander Stark, however, seemed markedly affected by the change in environs. The acting Executive Officer had taken a moment before entering to surreptitiously re-centre herself, brushing away the metaphorical cobwebs that had clouded her mind at the mention of her lost compatriots. Hathev had given the young woman a moment to herself, affecting interest elsewhere; there was little purpose in scrutiny. It would be disingenuous to say she was not here to judge, she had made her purpose clear already. However while she most certainly intended to judge the Theurgy's crew by their actions, their morals, and their behaviour, she would not extend that judgement to their emotions. That was the one realm over which she had no jurisdiction, only duty.

And yet even with this preparation, Stark seemed to find something within the room that moved her. Absent minded, one foot in a memory, she touched the back of an armchair like a talisman or a relic.

It was brief; within moments, she was turning back to Hathev with a smile valiantly returned to her face. A woman with backbone, Hathev noted. She approved of Stark's efforts. Were she in session she would not allow a patient to disguise such issues in this manner; but she was here on other business, and saw little purpose in drawing attention to the matter on this occasion.

'I shall acquaint myself more closely with the offices available in my own time, Commander,' she said in response to Stark's professed lack of knowledge.

She had never served aboard a ship with multiple officers appointed to the Assistant Chief position, although the suggested arrangement was logically sound. She would have to be careful not to allow the department to fragment into its constituent parts, but the risks would be outweighed by the potential for outreach and the preparation for situations in which the ship may need to split itself.

'Is your experience with the department commonplace, in your opinion?' she asked Stark. 'Considering this vessel's tribulations I would have expected most personnel to have had a closer relationship with counselling. I do not say this so as to cast aspersions upon you or any aboard the ship, I am merely aware that among some crews a certain stigma against mental help can arise. If such is the case here, I consider it a matter of priority to have it dealt with.'
  • Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 07:04:16 PM by fiendfall
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #13
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Counseling Offices | Deck 08| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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"Of course, counselor," Natalie readily agreed. She was glad that Hathev did not seem to have a pressing desire to go visit the other locations for the department. Not that this would be an inferior way to show off the vastness of the ship, nor would it be detrimental to helping the Vulcan get a sense of her department. But the main counseling facilities were inside the Theurgy's primary sickbay. And that location would be a madhouse right about now.

The battle they had been in was intense, and from what Natalie had been able to gather, each Vector had suffered on their individual flights from the first Savi encounter. Not to mention the fall out from dealing with the Borg at the Aperture site. While she had another meeting scheduled for later that very day, with a prospective new doctor, she knew at the moment if she and the commander from the Bellerophon went to scope out the main counselors office, they would only be in the way of those doing everything they could to save lives.

Spared from her thoughts along that particular path, the Ops Chief blinked rapidly, and brought her mind to the question the diminutive therapist posed. She tapped a finger on her chin for a moment as her face took on a look of deep reflection. "I would wager that my experience is not uncommon," Natalie allowed as she collected her thoughts and recollections. She sighed softly, and looked over to Hathev, meeting her gaze. "I cannot speak for everyone, but I know that many under my department could do with more sessions then they are getting, or taking advantage of. A lot of us...." she stopped and shook her head, not liking how she was phrasing her response. The answer didn't quite sit right.

"Frankly Counselor, the sad fact of the matter is most of this crew has been operating at a breakneck pace without much time to stop and think, let alone schedule a session with one of the counselors that we have aboard. We haven't had a moments peace since Jupiter Station, as we are, all of us, dealing with trauma that likely none of us are equipped to process. But our enemy hasn't really given us the chance to try and come to terms with that in a healthy fashion." She was, perhaps, revealing more about herself than she was about the crew of the ship, but in this case it was one and the same. The considerably younger officer bit her lower lip, her shoulders drooping slightly.

"There isn't a stigma, Counselor. Or if there is, I haven't been aware of it. We all have a lot of demons to deal with. We just...mostly, I think, we just haven't been given the time or the space. I can't help but imagine that almost everyone on this ship is suffering from some flavor of PTSD. No one was built to shoulder what we've all been going through without some kind of help." She gave another shrug, and stood up straighter. There was no hiding behind a smile this time, but she squared off her shoulders all the same, reminding herself that she had a job to do, a duty to uphold. "We just cope as best we can, and carry on, because really we have no other choice."

And how many of us cry ourselves to sleeP? or wake up screaming into the dark. Or struggle to be alone with someone who only cares for them, because you see their face as they tried to ravage you? How many hide all that away behind a sense of duty and a desire to do better by those around them? How many are just as fucked up as you, Nat?
  • Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 07:12:07 PM by Brutus
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #14
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Counselling Offices | Deck 08 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

Stark's response was gratifying, the woman taking the time to consider the question and its appropriate response. Hathev was pleased the assessment ran beyond Stark's initial 'wager'; she had little interest in such a nebulous judgement, as the guesses of the uninformed were almost universally more of a hindrance than a help. However Stark herself seemed aware of this fact, and moved to rectify the course of her analysis to focus more upon fact than feeling.

Hathev inclined her head. 'Your candour is appreciated, Commander.' Lack of appropriate opportunity she could understand, and was vastly preferable to lack of inclination. It was an old adage that a person could survive almost anything for a short amount of time, and while of course this was patently incorrect, the sentiment rang true for certain situations at least. The crew of the Theurgy, and indeed the disparate crews folded into the larger whole, had been focused on survival, all their faculties bent towards a single purpose; this, certainly, could be endured and sustained for months if not years, and it would not be until the pace slowed, until the crew felt some semblance of safety at last, that the cracks would begin to form.

She had seen it enough times to predict the outcome. People could appear remarkably stable during their ordeal, simply unable to allow themselves to fall apart until the trauma was over. It was then that they would go to pieces, then that the psychological effects would be known, and then that the work would truly begin.

'We just cope as best we can, and carry on, because really we have no other choice.' It seemed Stark's assessment was correct, the stalwart delivery only serving to compound the words. Where before she had sought to soften her speech with humour, now her expression was grave.

'The dedication and resilience this crew has exhibited is commendable,' Hathev said, speaking carefully. 'I expect the strain has been felt everywhere, at every level of command, and I do understand that the necessity to perform one's duty takes precedent in such circumstances. Therapy can be a trying process even at the best of times; if one is entirely focused on moment-to-moment survival, it may simply be impossible to allow oneself to come apart the way counselling may occasionally induce.

'This is to say, Commander, if there is truly to be a moment of respite, I very much hope that those among the crew who could not entertain the possibility of help while the situation was so dire can take this opportunity as it is offered.'

She regarded Stark, considering the woman's stony countenance: the sharp set of her jaw, the determined tilt to her shoulders, the flicker of ghosts behind her eyes.

'If it is not to much to ask, I would prevail upon you to pass on any recommendations you may have for officers whom you believe may be in particular need of assistance. I am prepared to mandate treatment where necessary, if only as a motivator for those more reticent.'

She would not overstep her bounds on this their first acquaintance. Nevertheless, she hoped to see Stark among those seeking aid.
  • Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 07:03:39 PM by fiendfall
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #15
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Counseling Offices | Deck 08| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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To the best that Natalie could tell, the Vulcan woman was not patronizing her when she gave measured praise to the crew for holding together. True, it was hard to tell with Vulcan's. That was a generalization to be sure, but one founded in experience, if not empirical fact. Many humans had difficulty discerning intent behind the emotionally aloof species, and more than a few read a sense of superiority from the green blooded people that was not always there.

Then again, sometimes it was.

But Natalie had been learning, ever since she joined the Theurgy, if not from her early academy days, to trust her gut. And her gut was telling her that there were no hidden intentions with the counselor. There might be reflection going on behind those dark eyes that Natalie could not discern, but that was to be expected. She barely knew the woman. Her intentions however, were honest. At least, that's what Nat's gut said.

So she smiled, ever so faintly allowing that serious, hard set expression to ease off some. Relaxing the set of her shoulders, and breathing a bit more evenly. She'd held her breath without even realizing, awaiting some kind of judgment to be handed down. The result was a kind appraisal, though one that did not let the crew off the hook. Hathev clearly expected that her department would be busy in the coming theoretical down time they might get at Aldea as the ship was hopefully repaired.

"hopefully we will not have to force the subject with anyone," Natalie said after a moments reflection and consideration. A name already lept to the forefront of her mind. Two, even. "It would be best if the crew came to take advantage of your department's services of their own volition." What came next was not something she was exactly looking forward to, but even though the XO position wasn't likely to last past tomorrow morning, the responsibility she shouldered would not leave her just because she passed the title on to someone else. She'd learned a lot in the past week, and even as 'just' Chief of Operations there were lessons in command she needed to put into practice.

"Which means we're going to need to set an example. I have a few names to suggest already. This isn't to dispariage either officer. I have the utmost confidence in both of them, but at the same time I feel they might benefit from a session or two, though I cannot promise that either of them will be pleased to know that I put their names in." There was a rueful smile at that. She was sure, in fact, that if it got back to one of the officers, they would be lividly pissed at Natalie, and that would not be terribly productive for their working relationship.

"I trust your discretion in the matter as I wish to avoid interpersonal conflict, but ....if I am going to put forth Lt. Nator, and MCPO O'Connell's names, then I really should put myself into the list as needing counseling. To do anything less would be disingenuous.

"And as I said, if I want the crew to volunteer and seek out counseling on their own, then it behooves us to have someone set an example."
She let out a soft sigh. She doubted that would be fun, but that didn't mean she thought it unnecessary. God only knows it'll be worth it if you manage not to cry yourself to sleep quite so often as a result.
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #16
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Counselling Offices | Deck 08 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Brutus

With Hathev's words, Stark's countenance seemed to ease. Hathev had considered the woman's demonstration of stoicism to be primarily in accordance with the sentiment she had been describing; that it could also have been defiant defensiveness at the prospect of Hathev's judgement she had not duly considered. She had taken Stark at her word when she dismissed Hathev's concerns of being unwelcome on the vessel due to her provenance; clearly, she was out of practice, for she should have known that humans were well-versed in saying one thing and feeling another, even if they themselves were not entirely aware of their own discrepancy.

She wondered if Stark's reticence to mandate treatment were a result of this, or simply her own pre-conceived preference.

'Of course, Commander,' Hathev said, with a slight inclination of the head. 'I am merely aware that, often, an officer's pride can become bound up in the question of whether to seek out counselling; in those cases, it can be a relief for the individual to have the decision, and the perceived shame of making it, taken from their hands.'

Emotionally unrestrained species were often incapable of judging their own efficacy, or would judge correctly but choose to obfuscate that judgement even within their own mind. They could often take pride in the perceived strength they believed themselves to possess as a result of their misjudged stability. In such cases, for a patient to expose the truth of their emotional fragility themselves required a remarkable degree of circumspection for one in their state; for those that could not be asked to perform such a feat, the first few counselling sessions would often need to be dedicated to revealing and accepting that very truth.

Aware of the acting Executive Officer's previous response, she continued: 'However on this matter we are agreed. I am not in the habit of forcing any to attend treatment, as in such cases it can very often harm the very treatment in question. It shall only be a very last resort for those considered to be at a high level of risk, for whom the danger of remaining untreated outweighs the potential detriment from their unwilling recruitment.'

Of course, there was also the fundamental misunderstanding of counselling as a profession and a treatment option that added another facet to this complicated equation. For many believed that counselling was only necessary for the very worst cases: thus any individuals who attended must be in intense emotional turmoil and incapable of performing their duties; conversely, any who were not in such a state not only need not attend, but should they attend they would be considered a waste of time. None of this was true in the slightest, of course; but misinformation, once believed, could be notoriously difficult to cut out.

This false belief was exemplified in Stark's next statement, for she was quick to jump to the defence of the as-yet-unnamed officers she believed required treatment. Of course, were the need for treatment to go unresolved and the officers' condition to worsen, Stark's confidence in them should rightly be lost. However in the vast majority of cases, it was entirely possible and even probable that an officer who would stand to benefit from psychological help should also be capable of continuing their duties without significant negative effect. Even once named, the officers in question here were unknown to Hathev, but considering Stark's words she deemed it likely they were of the latter kind.

She aimed to put Stark's mind at ease. 'I am not in the habit of judging my patients, Commander,' she said gently. 'Nor would I ever consider the need for treatment as a reflection on the abilities of an individual. The psyche of most humanoids was never designed for space travel; it is natural that any who engage in the activity stand to benefit from assistance occasionally, even without the difficulties this crew has faced.'

Stark's subsequent concerns of privacy might have been gently amusing, had Hathev been one to feel such things. 'Discretion is part of my hippocratic oath, Commander,' she said instead. 'You have nothing to fear on that front. Your name shall not be mentioned.'

That Stark would volunteer that name came as something of a surprise to Hathev, although it was far from an unwelcome one. She had erroneously assumed Stark would be one of those more recalcitrant when it came to volunteering for treatment. The commander had already demonstrated remarkable fortitude and determination, of course, but for her to be so aware of the delicate situation regarding the encouragement of the crew to seek psychological aid, and for her to be so willing to set an example on that front despite the difficulty it would promise for her personally, revealed her to be a considerate and gallant leader.

'I am most pleased to accept your own candidacy,' Hathev said. She paused slightly, uncertain of whether she should say more. She had already strengthened her statement with a superlative, surely that would be enough to convey her meaning to the human? Perhaps it would be better to compound it with a further comment, to ensure the Commander understood her fully. To that end: 'Please know it is received with my respect.'

That should suffice. Now she could turn to the more practical minutiae of the matter at hand.

'You are of course at liberty to request any counsellor in the department to take your case; I shall be glad to facilitate treatment with whomever you choose.'
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #17
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Counseling Offices | Deck 08| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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Objectively speaking, it was impossible to argue that pride was often a reason that officers did not seek out counseling. Hathev was right in most of her suspicions. And perhaps even as recently as a week ago, she would have been right about Natalie, who had - at least ever since Jupiter Station - avoided seeking guidance and therapy like the plague. Never mind that she knew very well she was in need of it.

After all, she got a shiver that ran down her spine whenever she was alone with Captain Ives, in their male form. Knowing full well that the female form of Ives was the exact same person, just presenting slightly different aspects did little to erase the memory of the Niga-fueled attack on the younger woman during the events a few months back.  And that was hardly the last travesty to be piled upon a psyche that had needed assistance to deal with issues of self confidence and socialization.

But the Vulcan commander was spot on about Natalie's view of counseling. she didn't think it was something that an officer should be shamed into attending, or looked down upon for availing oneself of. That stigma wasn't part of Natalie's make up. She did see it as something of a last resort, however. The kind of treatment you sought out when things were already 'quite-very-bad' as it were. There, Hathev's insight was laser sharp. The young Ops Chief just had no idea of how much of this showed in her expression and body language. Reading other people, let alone her own non-verbal responses was all part of that poor socialization skills that she'd needed counseling on in the past.

Tugging a bit on her jacket - a nervous tick, the jacket hadn't ridden up at all - Natalie said softly, "Thank you, Counselor." This was both for the offer the Vulcan put forth, and for the comment about the Hippocratic oath, and Hathev's professional discretion. She knew that despite her rank, ordering Nator to go see a shrink would not help their working relationship. And she had a very soft spot for Billy-Bob. She thought he could simply use a learned ear when it came to some of his more panic inducing concerns, as evidenced by the staff meeting he had attended early, and the outright fear of god he'd put into Natalie, if only for a brief moment.

Still need to take that test, to be sure, she reminded herself. Aloud however, she said, "I may very well take you up on the offer. While I would like to review a list of the available counselors in the department, once you have had time to meet with everyone in your new department and we've sorted out the initial requirements for repair and leave with the Aldeans, there is something to be said for an outside perspective on the events that have passed and their...after affects." No, she couldn't pretend she hadn't been changed by everything, for better or for worse.  To do so would be a waste of time and energy, hardly productive for someone that had a department to run and - albeit however fleeting - an entire ship's crew to care for.
Note: Limited availability for posting, 8/28- 9/4

Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #18
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Counselling Offices | Deck 08 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Brutus

Hathev would have been a poor professional indeed not to notice the commander's conduct and the emotional turbulence it implied; however she refrained from commenting upon either phenomenon. Although they stood in a counsellor's office, it was not her own; nor was she present in the capacity of counsellor but as department head and recent acquisition. There was nothing to be gained from obfuscating either fact. She would personally see to it that Stark received whatever treatment she desired -- and needed -- with whomever she chose; for now, it would be unprofessional to give way to presumption.

Instead, she merely inclined her head in acknowledgement of the commander's thanks, unnecessary though they were.

'In turn, I would be glad to make any personnel recommendations from my staff for the treatment you or your subordinates may require, Commander,' she said, 'up to and including accepting cases myself, entirely as is your preference.'

Of course, before she could do so she would need time to acquaint herself with her new subordinates. Not solely to determine an Assistant Chief -- or Chiefs, plural, as she was becoming increasingly convinced would be prudent -- but also to understand the skills and specialisations of each under her command, so as to catalogue and deploy them according to their strengths. It was a task she had only recently completed aboard the Bellerophon; a shame that such work had been rendered meaningless, and inefficient that she was to perform it once more within such a short space of time. However it was a necessary duty and she would acquit herself accordingly.

Hathev was the only counsellor aboard of equivalent rank to Stark, however she did not presume that this would assign to her the commander's case by default. In the Counselling department, there was no expectation that counsellor and patient be of comparable rank: as in the Medical department, an officer could often be treated by personnel far below them. Availability and specialisation were far more important concerns in such matters.

However, the confidential and personal information that a counsellor was often privy to could create difficulties if there was a significant rank imbalance between the parties, especially if the counsellor in question was particularly junior in rank or age. It was a factor to be aware of when assigning partnerships, just as speciality, species, and approach were also important to consider.

In any case, with her position aboard the Theurgy merely hours old, there was little purpose in dwelling on such matters. At this early stage, overburdening herself with anything beyond the essential would be counter-productive as it would lower potential efficiency to an unacceptable level. Instead, she would archive the matter for later deliberation.

'I am glad to find you do not consider my lack of knowledge regarding the Theurgy's trials to be a disadvantage,' she said. 'I must admit I am almost entirely in the dark regarding your crew's experiences, beyond the information I was provided by your captain.' She caught herself, corrected the mistake. 'My captain, of course. Nevertheless, I shall endeavour to avail myself of the details.'

Considering the commander's earlier discomfort, Hathev would not request such details of Stark at this juncture. She would not refuse any that might be offered freely, of course, but she understood that emotional species could often have difficulty when asked to recall troubling events, and she would not demand Stark do so on her account. Besides, she was perfectly capable of discovering information on her own time.

In the meantime, she would return to the original directive of this meeting: 'Are there any other pertinent locales aboard this vessel I should acquaint myself with?'
  • Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 08:29:50 PM by fiendfall
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
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Ensign Inej Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|1805] Caveat Emptor
Reply #19
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark |Counseling Offices | Deck 08| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @fiendfall 
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Choosing to err on the side of mananomy, Natalie shot Hathev what she intended to be a reassuring smile. Of course, given that the counselor was a Vulcan, there was no guarantee that what was meant to reassure would, in fact, achieve that goal. So she followed this with kind words of, "This kind of change takes some time to get used to, Counselor. I'm sure with time you will grow more accustomed to the reality that Captain Ives is your captain as well as my own."

Pleased with herself, the Ops Chief and temporary XO continued. "I cannot say that everyone would feel the same as I do when it comes to having an outside perspective, or a fresh ear as it was. People are, as a rule, very different from one another at the individual level, regardless of what general trends they may show as a whole. I just have no idea if my view on this is a majority or minority view." Natalie shrugged, and took a breathe, focusing herself.

"If Captain Ives has not already ordered it I will make sure that the logs and records of the events of the past few months are made available to you." These of course would be the official officers logs amd select medical logs. Personal logs would likely as not remain off limits unless there was a specific, overriding need related to any one given crew members health, or, perhaps as in the instance of the late Sonja Acerth, security of the ship.

"I caution you, however. Most of what you will read is....troubling at best. It will give you a common ground to work from, without having had to experience it yourself. For what that is worth." Natalie well knew that it was within Hathev's professional perview to handle this kind of trauma, but she felt compelled - having suffered through it herself - to offer that warning all the same.

Tugging her jacket down a bit, to settle it more comfortable across her chest, Natalie collected herself once more, and again brought a smile to her face. She gestured to the corridor, and began to walk down it, answering, "There are one or two other recreational areas that I think you might benefit from seeing. We are blessed with quite a few, and it can be quite beneficial for the health and wellbeing of the crew to avail themselves of such facilities as Below Decks, or the Spearhead Lounge. If you'll follow me....  She made the suggestion as the duo strolled off, continuing their tour for some time more.


-FIN
  • Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 08:12:20 PM by Brutus
Note: Limited availability for posting, 8/28- 9/4