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Topic: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day (Read 144 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Too few hours in a day

STARDATE 57536.58
12 MARCH, 2381
1430 HRS

[ Lt Carrigan Trent | Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] @Numen

Find time to relax.

Find time for rest on the surface.

Counselling three times a week. 

Reports due daily at 1900 hours. 

Having no real way to separate what little free time he had and his work because he was denied a proper workspace to operate out of, working mostly right next to his bed. 

Even with strict prioritizing, more work than can be possibly done by a single person as he could not count on any support and had no staff. 

Told of a chance of redeeming himself for the terrible crime of refusing to abandon his crew, but the task before him being Sisyphean to the point of being practically set up to fail. 

He did not have time for this, but still, there he was, in the Vector 2's counseling offices.  Because otherwise, it would be insubordination, and that would hardly be of any help to Carrigan Trent, former Executive Officer and now a pariah whose movements were monitored lest he be attacked by vengeful crewmembers from Bellerophon and was all but encouraged to minimize his travels, if not practically confine himself to quarters... 

And what would he tell a counselor?  Hell, could he even count on having one who would be impartial enough, or deaf to the rumour mill he knew ran rampant across any starship?  What could he tell one?  How fast could he get out of there so he could finish the algorithms that would scan planetary communications for anything of interest?  Or finish integrating the system traffic control system with his automated reporting tools, which would save him hours every day? 

And that crushing headache.  Secrecy was the nature of his work, and since he shared quarters with Heather, he had his console and the holoemitters tweaked as to show his work in wavelengths outside the visible spectrum, so he had to wear specially designed lenses that would make his work visible, but there was something about them that simply did not work right...

And people might wonder why he was stressed?  That was a good one.

And so, there he sat in the waiting room, awaiting his turn...

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Reply #1
[Ensign Seren |   Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy]
[Show/Hide]

Seren tilted his head to the right and then to the opposite direction. The tessellation of synthetic skin that leaned out over his vulcan robes emitted a odd noise. Artificial. Unnatural. The Vulcan still didn't feel at home in his own body but, even so, he had decided to start working as soon as possible. His eyes moved again through the file of the patient he would soon meet. The case was far from an easy one. The man had been demoted. The Chief Counsellor, who should have dealt with such a delicate case as this was unsuitable for the patient due to the risk of bias against him. The young Vulcan's eyes lingered a second longer than necessary over the name of his superior officer, and one of his eyebrows descended slightly over his eyes, barely sketching an expression of disbelief at that prospect. Hathev was a professional, despite her disagreements with Seren. But he could understand the logic of that caution measure. It was a precaution that had been taken more with the patient in mind than with the other vulcan physician. The relationship between a counselor and those under their charge had to be fair and impartial, and an outsider, someone who had no direct or indirect involvement with the situation that had led Mr. Carrigan Trent to his office, would allow him to build a healthier patient-therapist relationship. Better than any with the other officers in the department. Counseling was based on trust and, in that case, it seemed to be something of even greater importance.

Seren closed the psychological profile and deposited the Padd on the low table to the left of his armchair. He had barely read an extract from the incident that had sent the man to his office. Only the requirement of three weekly sessions until the counsellor decided to discharge him or that no such frequent sessions were needed.Aside of the demotion others measures had been taken in regard of the patient. A change of position within the ship's structure, from the XO charge to intelligence. All this due the application of Regulation 619. It was a heavy toll for an emotional creature, whether or not there were logical reasons behind those decisions. Probably he would find with an hostile patient, unwilling to speak. Seren was to require patience. And if there was one thing that characterized the Ensign in particular, it was patience.

Just a couple of minutes prior to the appointment, the counsellor stood up and checked the state of the office. Clean, tidy, following the regulations. The position of the vector allowed that the wide window that filled entirely one of the room's walls showed an uninterrupted panoramic view of the planet they were orbiting. Aldea shone down there, orange and reddish, brightening the room with a warm and welcoming glow. The only deviation from the standard decoration was a long calligraphic sheet, hanging from the wall just behind the counsellor. The silvery volutes and circles over the dark paper were aesthetically appealing. But it was the meaning of the phrase which has motivated Seren to hung it there. It was a important thing to remember.  Kol-Ut-Shan. It was a reminder more for himself than for his patients.


When his Padd's clock signaled 1430 with a faint buzz, Seren stepped to the door, amid a rustling murmur of his long blackish-blue tunic. Within a minute, he found himself in front of the door, which opened with a hissing sound in front of him. In the waiting room, there was only a man, sitting on one of the couches as someone who didn't want to be there. Seren raised a gloved hand in the traditional ta'al, the hand-greeting of his people. " Live long and prosper " he said carefully, without any inflection in his voice, without any hint of emotions he didn't feel. "Enter the office, please," he requested. The courtesy formula was a show of respect, a gesture of goodwill to build bridges with the emotional creature sitting across the room, despite how illogical it was that formula.

 Seren crossed his fingers into his ample sleeves and waited until Trent had entered into the office, then he followed him. He sat down once the other man did it, even then with folded hands hidden form view. He did so in a fluid and well studied movement, which didn't produce the slightest wrinkle in his loose civilian clothes.

"I am Counsellor Seren, I am here to serve," he introduced himself briefly prior to the beginning of the session. "Elaborate why do you believe you are in this consultation today."
  • Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 02:39:21 AM by Numen

Re: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Reply #2
[ Lt Carrigan Trent | Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] @Numen

Thanks to the lenses he had been wearing until but a few minutes ago, Trent's head was killing him; even the relatively gentle, soft, eye-saving standard lights were hurting him at this point, as though there was a white-hot jagged iron spike behind his eyes.  In older times, before the days when flawed eyesight was corrected with gene therapy, often enough while still in the womb as an outpatient procedure, it would have been quickly identified as the kind of headache that would come from corrective lenses that were a little off in their curves and not sitting quite right on the wearer's nose.  And in this case it also involved some wavelengths hitting his eye that were on the very cusp of the visible spectrum thanks to interactions of the lenses' curvature, the polarization in them and how he would wear them, and playing merry hell with his visual cortex in such a way that manifested itself as a splitting headache. 

But he was not an expert in optics, so there was no way he could possibly have known it wouldn't have been that simple.  Not that it should have been a problem in the first place if he was treated as a proper member of the crew rather than some pariah to be kept hidden as much as possible. 

And, right on cue at the scheduled time of his appointment the door hissed open to reveal a slender, dark-skinned Vulcan in civilian clothes who was a little shorter than he was himself who greeted him in a very typical fashion and invited him in.  With a nod, Trent rose, gaunt and spare as ever, and made his way in.  The office was as non-descript as it could be, save for  bit of art Trent could identify as Vulcan but not much more; he was a Tactical officer first and foremost, and even his first commission on he Fermi had not much helped towards instilling a properly exploratory mindset in him; he had always been one of those officers Starfleet had quietly considered an unpleasant but necessary evil for a long time before the Borg and then the Dominion had reared their ugly heads: an officer who served... but had very little use for Starfleet's exploratory mission and understood all too well that space was a dangerous place and that there were entirely too many people out there who did not understand diplomacy lest it came fully backed with by expertly-manned weapons banks. 

With this counselor, the typically aloof Vulcan civility was well in evidence and did not sit himself down until the Human did so himself, and then introductions were made, and a question he had seen coming from parsecs away.  But even as a patient in this office, Carrigan Trent could not turn off his instincts as a Tactical Officer, and give the last few days, he was also possessed of a great many doubts and misgivings about just about everything and everyone, with very few exceptions...

And that meant the circle of people he trusted was extremely narrow, and had been greatly diminished with the death of Wenn Cinn.  A circle which did not include this counselor.

"I don't much care for repeating myself or boring people with things they already know.  So how about we start with what you know, or think you know?"

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Reply #3
[Ensign Seren |   Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy]
[Show/Hide]
@CanadianVet

As Seren had anticipated, he got an emotional answer to a simple question. If the situation had been the inverse and the Vulcan had sat on the patient's couch, he would have presented the facts in the most succinct way possible, as the mere formality it was. However, the person who sat in front of him shut himself up, demanding information before providing it, in a sort of struggle to show who was in charge in the room. Seren wasn't impressed by the bravado, he had no interest in establishing a hierarchy. He just wanted to do his job.

 "Boredom is an emotional reaction to the lack of stimuli that I have never experienced. To ''be bored'' does not exist in my native language and is a concept that is alien to me." He explained in a very calm way. Highly emotion-driven individuals had those feelings firmly rooted in their entire behavior, including their way of expressing themselves, and sometimes they assumed that their world experience was the same for every species in the galaxy. Far from reality. Vulcans were incapable of being bored. After his statement, Seren took a few seconds to observe his patient. His weight was less than healthy for a human male of his build. There were dark shadows around his eye sockets, revealing a continued lack of consistent rest. The gray eyes were riveted with red and they watered slightly, denoting an ocular problem or the symptom of a migraine. In humans, physical pain was associated with a mood deterioration and hostile reactions, a reflection of a primitive survival instinct and a lack of control over basic bodily functions. However, it was an easily solvable situation and the Vulcan stood up to take the appropriate measures to deal with it.

As he made his way to the office replicator, Seren spoke again, granting the requirement of the former XO. "Trent, Carrigan. Born in Kingston, Earth. Thirty-seven years according to human computations. Sixteen years of service in Starfleet, Departments of Tactical and Intelligent. Promoted to Captain in 2373. Requests demotion for personal motive in 2375, after the destruction of the vessel he commanded. Joins the Theurgy crew at some point the current year, being promoted to first officer position by Captain Ives. At the time of the events he was acting as temporary captain of Vector 1, the Helmet, with the Theurgy at MVA mode," he briefly outlined as he was tapping on the replicator panel. The device hissed in reply and, shortly thereafter materialized what the counselor had required, amid a whirlwind of golden sparks.

Seren took the tray between his hands and strode back to his initial position. Once he sat down, he placed the platter on the table and pushed it in Trent's direction with two of his gloved fingers. Over the tray there was a water glass, its surface lightly frosted, revealing its fresh temperature. Beside it was a small bowl, with a single pill lying in its center.  Finally, a single small spoon on the far left. Once he had placed the analgesic in front of him, Seren adopted the pristine stance he had previously assumed. However, this time, he held one hand up and while he was making an account of the data he had, he raised his fingers, counting the items on his mental list. "Regulation 619 has been applied to the patient, who has been removed from his position as the commanding officer of Vector One. As a result of the following allegations." He exposed,  as he raised his first finger.


"The patient had been emotionally compromised and disregarded the recommendations and warnings of the rest of the  bridge crewmembers." A second finger was raised in the Vulcan's hand. "He violated the Continuance Protocol that he has been entrusted by his executive officer, Captain Ives, endangering the mission and the Federation by extension, due to the threatening of a Borg invasion." A third finger was inexorably lifted. "His actions put the integrity of the vessel and crew at risk by putting the lives of a few above those of the majority of the crew under his command, which could be a sign of a biased judgment". A fourth finger was lifted, without Seren's expression or voice ever varying in the slightest. It was a recount of the facts that he counted, no more and no less. "His actions, by either the act or omission, caused the destruction of two Starfleet starships, with countless casualties that could have been avoided if evasive actions had been taken, as the bridge crew has encouraged." All the fingers of the Vulcan hand were raised. Seren lifted a second hand before resuming his tally of available details. "Captain Ives checked the battle logs and several witnesses after the events. Both confirmed hir opinion of the the adequacy of the execution of Regulation 619. The captain also decided on punitive measures, such as a loss of rank and loss of his position as first officer. Patient now hold the rank of Liutenant." The thumb of the right hand was raised, next to the extended fingers of the left hand. "It is determined that Liutenant Trent will be kept on staff, operating in a different Department, under the premise that his mental stability is kept in check by a counselor. This is a mandatory measure to sustain his new role."  Seren lifted a new finger, bowing slightly at the mention of how his person intersected in the incident.

The Vulcan lowered his hands, letting them rest on his lap. The black gloves that he wore made them practically blend into his dark robes. "The patient has been given the opportunity to expose his version of the event to an impartial therapist, neither present during the events nor associated in any way with those involved in the execution of the regulation, except for his service under Captain Ives` command."

Seren tilted his head over his shoulder, thus his neck tessellation produced another synthetic crackle. "Now, will you cooperate as requested?"

Re: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Reply #4
[ Lt Carrigan Trent | Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] @Numen

Vulcans.

Of course one would latch on to that choice of words and not take it simply for the desire to not rehash what was common knowledge.  This would be a long session, and an even longer course of therapy.  And something was telling a certain Carrigan Trent there would be no entertaining a request for a new counselor.  He certainly did not need someone who would take everything literally and forcing him to have to hunt for the right choice of words rather than focus on a minor thing like the therapy he well might need..

And he knew the way he was being looked at; he knew it all too well.  He did it himself when sizing people, or a tactical situation up.  And he had to admit, it was somewhat unsettling.  With how things had gone for him lately, it actually made him downright uncomfortable and he felt the hairs at the back of his neck stand on end; danger.  Perhaps it was highly illogical to react that way, but he couldn't help it.  Hell, at this point, Trent could not do anything without feeling there was some pre-engineered point of failure worked in; it had been made plenty clear to him he could count on nothing and no one but himself... 

When Seren rose, Trent's eyes followed him.  That one did not strike the Human as one who moved unless he had to, and made for the replicator.  Before long, a tray with a glass and a single pill was presented as he spoke. 

And just as he had expected, the information that had been forwarded had been the 'official narrative'.  The one that conveniently ignored Dewitt challenging him on the Bridge, a civilian giving orders and undermining him at every turn, or that simply no one one board would have had the expertise to dance the way he had with Task Force Archeron.  And that he had not been the one to open fire on those fighters when they were rendered helpless when he had ordered an adaptation of Natauna's EMP concept that would actually be effective. 

Of course Dewitt would have made sure to omit how she'd misrepresented his intent... And her words... even though we are clearly the last Vector remaining.  He could never forgive nor forget how she had given up on the others. 

"Of course," he said, his voice grown cold and hard.  "Of course what you know doesn't factor anything but what Dewitt reported."  No rank.  That could be reported any way Seren felt like, Trent hardly cared.

And in the back of his mind, he heard Ives' words, but in a mocking, derisive tone... the ones asking him if he owned the truth... obviously it hardly matter who owned it when the powers that be could suppress it at will.  But that hardly meant he would allow the lie to stand any longer in this room.

"I suppose you were never made aware that I told Dewitt in confidence that my intent was to make an attempt to recover our people from the Savi, yet that I was willing to break off or even not attempt it if it was hopeless.  Not the hell-for-leather run I am accused of having planned from the start."  He was so tired of that lie being bandied about, among all the others.  Everything he had to say, nothing had ever been entered in any log; it was as though he'd never spoken it.  But now, it would be on record, at least once more.

"And of course I wanted to save Heather."  Cold fury danced behind his eyes.  "I'm only Human, and abandoning the woman I love isn't something that comes naturally.  But mostly, I needed to show the crew of all Vectors, my crew, that leaving people behind was never going to be my first option.  There were no right decisions to be made, only varying degrees of wrong; I chose the wrong I could live with at the end of the day." 

"And I also see there are no mentions of Dewitt unilaterally opening fire on disabled fighters and committing small craft to action in my name when my plan had been to work towards an escape I had a plan for, and was ready to initiate once the hour was up, or the others arrived.  And speaking of the other Vectors, I would bet you my remaining good hand that you never heard that Dewitt wrote them off, did you?  I was going to give them their hour and not run blind into Sankolov; I never gave up on them.  But she did, like she did our people on Versant.  And I am the one who is accused of turning his back on Starfleet principles!" 

His voice had been a crescendo, anger and frustration becoming more and more evident until he rose out of his chair and started pacing like a caged animal, the pill and glass of water ignored for now. "Tell me, Counselor, where do Starfleet principles state we leave our people behind when there is anything resembling a chance to get them back?"  He took a few more steps, and he fairly whipped back towards the Vulcan.  "And tell me, are you even remotely aware that I never ordered Bellerophon destroyed?  I still don't know what happened to her, but I wanted her mission-ineffective, not debris.  I ordered a missin-kill, never the hard-kill.  But I guess that too gets forgotten."

"As for the Borg, I absolutely refuse to be held responsible for not planing to deal with a threat I hadn't known existed at the time, let alone for not considering the risk of our getting assimilated an acceptable one with regards to our overall mission.  Hell, we had no way to know Versant was going to join the fight, and without her, we were all fucking dead!" 

He did not know if the file before the Vulcan made any mention of Trent's lack of cursing, but he had the impression the use of that epithet would be noticed. 

"And those 'punitive measures'.  More work than I can ever possibly do, being expected to acquire decades of schooling and expertise in days, and not even having a chance to step away from my work to rest because I have to work out of my quarters.  Oh, and no staff, and only what support I can beg off... which of course can be denied, which is the same as making it clear I'm to count on exactly only what I can do myself."  He was so damn tired.  He had enough.  And at this point, he didn't care if it would take a medical recommendation to get him something resembling a proper office, even if it would run against that supposed security recommendation to keep him out of sight lest he be attacked in retribution... which was pretty damn rich considered he'd been told he was a disgrace and could not act like a Starfleet officer, unlike everyone else on board.  "And I'm somehow still supposed to find time to get some rest, go dirtside and smell the flowers, and give up three hours a week I could use to get more of my impossible workload done, or get some damn sleep?" 

For a few moments, Trent said nothing as he took deep breaths.  His control had slipped the leash a little, and his frustration had been given voice.  "So I have to be here to have my mental stability assessed.  I've been told I have a chance to redeem myself for having the nerve to be loyal to my crew and consider rescuing my people part of my operational priorities.  But so far, it seems to me I'm being set up to fail... because I'm certainly not given any tool to succeed."

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Reply #5
[Ensign Seren |   Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy]
[Show/Hide]
@CanadianVet

As his patient's diatribe unfolded, it grew in intensity and volume, garnished with fixed expressions and by those descriptive words related to sexual practices and scatologic elements that humans favored so much. Seren had never understood that need to emphasize their statements by alluding to intercourse, or the use as an intensifier, even less so when the custom in Vulcan was simply not to deal openly with such issues. In spite of his inner displeasure at the choice of words, the counsellor remained in his seat, his back straight, and his eyes focused on the liutenant. He analyzed and studied him in silence, without making any interruption, without stopping or restricting the way he expressed himself. He duly noted against whom he directed his anger and frustration, in which actions his speech lingered more. What concerned him and where his mind returned over and over again. They were clues that would help him to orient the session, to understand Trent's mindset, and how to refocus it so that it would become a valuable asset to the crew again... and would help his patient to save him from himself.

That brief speech told him a lot about Trent or, at least, about how he understood the event. About the construct that his mind had created around the situation and the mechanisms that he had adopted to face an event that had obviously had a profound effect on his mind. The possessives were more than evident in the way the patient expressed himself, as if he were talking about extensions of his own body. This made more than evident how much he was emotionally compromised. On the other hand, the former XO didn't hide some of the bias that had guided his decisions, which was a positive point for the Vulcan- A start to unravel the tangle of emotions that troubled him and assist him to relocate his center in the right direction. It was noticeable that he was more than dominated by his emotions, as he stood up, roaming around the office like an emotion-filled creature would do to attempt to control these feelings. An obviously ineffective and primitive method, typical of someone who had not been instructed in emotional repression.

Rage percolated from his gaze in an unhealthy fashion. But that stare was greeted with an unperturbed expression in the Vulcan's face, unblincking and serene. Nevertheless it didn't go unnoticed. The emotion was too intense, too vehement. Almost something physical that projected itself around him like a halo. Seren's fingers twitched slightly in his lap, barely a few microns. But otherwise he remained hieratic, without reply to the patient's queries which, as the speech kept going, were more a rhetorical resource than a request for information or opinion. Another reprehensible custom.

"Have you shared the issues of your new assignment with the First Officer or the Captain? Have you required a separate workspace independent of your quarters or have you asked for staff to assist you in your new role?" he inquired once his patient became silent. As Trent had worded his phrase the answer would surely be negative, but Seren preferred a forthright answer. "If you are overwhelmed by your new job and you feel sabotaged in your endeavours I can prescribe a medical discharge from service before the symptoms worsen." he suggested in a monotone tone. "As you have expressed your current mental condition, my advice as therapist would be to stay away from any stressful activity until you can put your emotions in order. Excessive strain can deteriorate your condition and complicate your treatment," he explained. In a typical situation, he wouldn't have given such a long answer, and would have preferred a more frugal statement. But everything about Trent's behavior pointed out that Seren should explain his actions carefully, to avoid the risk of being misinterpreted. After all, his ultimate motivation was none other than the well-being of his patient and his emotional balance.

"Heather" he said afterwards, without adding either the crewman's surname or rank as he had no knowledge of them. It was information that he would search for after the session, just in case it was necessary to have a meeting with her. "What is your relationship and level of commitment with her? She is your wife, are you bonded since childhood, is she  the mother of your current or developing offspring?"

Re: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Reply #6
[ Lt Carrigan Trent | Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] @Numen

To say the matter at hand was a touchy subject for Trent would be an understatement of monumental proportions.  He'd been told, more than once so far, he should take responsibility for things he did not intend, nor do, or for following his own understanding of the Starfleet ethos while not compromising his conscience (which he had also been told was an extraneous luxury by someone who held her own as sacrosanct, no less).  However, having spoken his peace, he took a few deep breaths and his features relaxed and settled back into a blank mask.  Of course a Vulcan, particularly this one, would pick up on every small thing that would bleed through, but his slip in mental discipline had been recovered from and once more his thoughts were under his full mastery again.

And an obvious question was posed.  Of course, Seren did not know him and would have no ways of knowing that operational priorities were always near the front of Trent's own mind. "Of course I have," he answered in his customary emotionless near-whisper.  "But I was told I am to be under Thea's monitoring, and there were some concerns about my safety and security, and that of others, if I had  proper workspace."  Never mind that I still have the run of most of the ship and am even expected to spend time on the surface where I will not be monitored or be able to have a security team responding in moments if I get jumped, was the unspoken thought.

"As for all my other concerns, the only one that was entertained was when I informed the Captain I would have to ignore great swaths of my mandate to focus on what concerns were of a higher priority, and within my field of expertise."  Like hell I'm going to rely on wildly unqualified guesses for analysis purposes, not when those are worse than no intelligence. "And in particular, the Captain felt it would teach me what they deem is proper humility if I have to beg for support, that can of course be denied.  I am already heavily stretched to make the best use of what hours of useful consciousness I have every day.  I simply don't have the time to waste doing a song and dance only to be sent packing."

"But as for relieving me of duty," he knew what was said about him: inept, loose cannon, cannot be trusted, can't hack it.  Lies.  But when the truth was taking a back seat to a flawed decision and an official statement, truth mattered very little.  But he was going to be damned if he was going to give any more credence to the narrative than he absolutely had to.  "That is off the table.  Benching me and leaving me to twiddle my thumbs while expected to stay effectively confined to quarters will not be conducive to any kind of treatment."   In fact, so far as Trent was concerned, it would be a way to ensure he would never get back on the horse.  He'd resign his commission and make his way off the ship one way or another; down on Aldea he'd probably be able to make a half-decent living. 

And then, the topic of Heather came.  Strictly put the way Seren did, there would be no real relationship.  But then again, Vulcans were not particularly known for this kind of understanding.  "I've give Starfleet twenty years of my life so far."  Oh, he certainly counted his years at the Academy as part of his service, even though he'd only had sixteen while holding commission. "For all those years, I've only had duty and more duty to look forward to and to keep going, and that I'd be willing to die for it.  I never saw a need for more.  Then, I met Heather.  I saw there was more to life than this." He gestured at his uniform. 

"She taught me all over again there were things worth living for."

Then, his voice became flat and hard, entirely emotionless even as a frigid flame danced in his eyes, speaking of a cold, tightly leashed fury.  This was the voice of Carrigan Trent, the Tactical Officer, the warrior-scholar... who was also a creature of deep if heavily repressed passions.  "When she was taken by the Savi, I would have torn that abomination of a ship and every last monstrosity apart with my bare hands to save her.  I'd have taken on every horror she endured on myself a hundred times over if it meant sparing her those."  Those were no empty boasts, no mere bravado.  For even if spoke quietly and without particularly emotional inflections, it would take someone singularly unperceptive to miss the certainty and conviction of his words.
  • Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 01:48:49 AM by CanadianVet

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Reply #7
[Ensign Seren |  Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy]
[Show/Hide]
Att: @CanadianVet

Seren remained silent, mind-noteting Trent's verbal and physical responses, as he increased the list of facts and circumstances they should address throughout the sessions. But it was more and more evident that the former XO needed to be there, in that room. Captain Ives's wisdom in entrusting him with this patient and not with another therapist became increasingly evident. Mister Trent was, unquestionably, a committed crewman. He believed that his behaviour was right and proper, but there was an important emotional bias that impeded him from actually seeing the full picture of his actions. Or of his current mental state. It was a defect suffered by most emotional beings, but in the lieutenant it seemed especially acute. His hyper-emotional state pushed him closer to the bounds of paranoia and over watchfulness.  He was straining himself to the point of turning it into something borderline to a pathological state. And the evident distrust he showed to everyone and everything was only exacerbating the problem.

When Trent had finished his speech, Seren allowed the silence to drag on for a few minutes, offering his patient the chance to keep talking if he felt the need of kept speaking his mind. When it became obvious that it was his turn in the exchange, the Vulcan recalled the points he wanted that the human reassess.

"All of us are under Thea's surveillance for our own benefit. At this very moment I can obtain the location of any crewman and the activity in which he is engaged if i need to do so" he explained firstly, his monochord and calm voice in stark contrast to the human quasi-animal mutter. It was highly illogical the need to explain how the ship's internal sensors operate and why they tracked the presence and movement of every living organism on board. "The fact it havebeen taken particular care to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing is proof that the captain has a special interest in your welfare. It is evidence that you are considered a valuable asset to the crew. You should feel highly regarded for it," he suggested, his voice not shifting at any time in its inflection. For Seren it was of paramount importance to seek out a solution for the excess stress and over-surveillance Trent was undergoing, as it was highly detrimental for emotional beings over the long term. Moreover, with the situation in the Theurgy, Trent's insistence on this excessive self-induced exertion was especially harmful for the human.

"I concur with the captain's decision that you should focus yourself on an aspect of your formation in which you are considered especially prominent. It will be of great benefit to your psychological wellnes," he added, clarifying the prism through which he regarded Trent's concerns. As illogical as it was, his patient needed that he persisted in stating his motivations. He had to realize that the counseling office was a safe space, with no judgment or opinions, in which the only interest was Trent's mental health. In a certain way, it was a heavy toll for someone who embraced a straightforward and frugal way of communicating, as Seren was. But the vulcan had decided to devote his life to the service of other people, and that was the price he had to pay for it. The challenge of accommodating part of mental discipline to the needs of his patients, without losing the ultimate essence of who he was.  "As you have communicated so far, it is obvious that, even with that single task in hand, you have pushed yourself to the point of overexertion, physically and mentally, due to overzealousness and an overestimation of your physical capabilities," he said.

For a second, Seren fell silent. He blinked only one time, a carefully studied and measured movement, to aim his gaze at the bowl and glass that still sat in the tray in front of them, and waited that Trent decided to use them in order to end the obvious physical distress that plagued him. " You have proven me that, in part, this situation is caused by an excessive pride. It is a common flaw among emotional species that I can help you to keep under control," he affirmed. Seren had found that humans and Andorians were especially prone to this deficiency and verified that it stretched treatment time exponentially. It was a fact that if both species got rid of such imperfection, their societies would reach a less prosaic state. More cultivated one.

The Vulcan moved on to the next point on his mental checklist, to address every subject he considered relevant. "I accept that you are not willing to be relieved from duty, but I must state that it is against my professional recommendation. However, I encourage that you bear in mind that it is a choice you can take at any time during counseling or if your professional tasks are emotionally overwhelming. If the circumstances occur I will subscribe the discharge by doctor's prescription, without address the reasons for it,  if you choose that solution". Seren paused his speech for a while, in order to convey the message to the patient. "However, Mister Trent, you must bear in mind that this is a compromise on the assumption that you are going to be cooperative with the therapy. It is a sign of trust as a therapist, but note that this is a two-way agreement. If you break your part of the deal, I will not hesitate to put you on leave." It wasn't a threat. It was a fact. Seren needed to state clearly that he preferred a dialogue rather than the use of his prerogative as a counselor, but that he would not be reluctant to use the tools at his disposal if Carrigan forced the situation. Therapy's mood was in his patient's hands. Like any other Vulcan, Seren would just react to the patient's attitude in a proportional way. As logic dictated.

Finally, he had to discuss Heather and how Trent acted irrationally in everything that concerned her. He was midly importuned by how the patient had circumvented the question, and then proceeded to elaborate a topic that only intersected sideways with his query. Seren had asked something simple and was looking for an answer of the same magnitude. Besides, the displays of intense emotions badly repressed in those allegedly threatening glances had not achieved anything except that the Vulcan was more adamant in that it was a subject on which he should focus. However, he had time and, more importantly, patience. So for the time being he decided to put the issue aside and further expose the line of therapy he had drafted.

"You are in need of therapy, Mister Trent, it is a fact you can attempt to deny, but the evidence speaks against you. I am aware that Vulcans are considered reliable, but patients find it difficult to trust in us. Emotional beings are more inclined to act positively to those who show compassion and emotional feedback. That is not one of our characteristics as specie, nor mine as individual."  It was an obviousness that generally didn't need to be clarified, but he didn't want any double reading or doubts about his words. He was closer to the absolute purge of all emotion than most of his compatriots and his emotional knowledge was mostly theoretical.  This allowed him a unique perspective as a therapist in cases like Trent's, but it has its cons. "However, I want you to know that you can trust me, and my goal is that you do it at some point. I will not approach you with false expectations, biased diagnoses or double intent, or with lies. This therapy is what it is, a method of restoring your well-being and mental stability. It is the sole goal," after that statement, the Vulcan took a longer pause and laid his hands on his lap, crossing his gloved fingers. "Now, while you ingest the mild analgesic I have provided to treat your physical discomfort, I want that you take into consideration the following treatment options, and choose the one that best suits your taste," he instructed. Letting the patient pick the therapy method in which he felt most comfortable was a sign of trust and respect. "Although it is an option that humans rarely accept, I can teach you to correctly repress your emotions or, given the nature of your species, to control them in an optimal way according to the Vulcan technique. Another alternative is to provide you with meditation and relaxation techniques, both for moments of crisis and for day-to-day life situations. We can maintain a more conventional therapy to the human standards, using the cognitive-behavioral method of conversational therapy. If none of those options is suitable, you can simply come here and stay in silence, relaxing, while I practice with the lute. It will be a more time-consuming process but it will help you get rid of some of the stress you suffer. In that case, however, I will have to prescribe daily sessions." Seren took a moment to tilt his head and look at Trent, without altering his expression in the slightest. After all, he was five months behind in his musical practice, and if his patient stubbornly persisted in not following a more adequate therapy, at least the Vulcan would invest the sessions time in something pragmatic. Whatever it was, Trent and he were going to spend a lot of time together. Even if it was simply giving the human the option of doing nothing. It was a way like any other to relax the mind.



OOC:

it's three o'clock in the morning. I will format the post tomorrow
  • Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 10:22:38 AM by Numen

Re: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Reply #8
[ Lt Carrigan Trent | Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy ] @Numen

Platitudes from a Vulcan.  Now that was something Trent was not particularly used to.  Apparently it was a matter of 'high regard' to be kept 'safe' working within his quarters and under full surveillance, when he could have the same security behind a locked door in any other space on board.  Oh, of course he could be the disgrace he was accused of being and pick a fight while walking back and forth, or get jumped by vengeful survivors from Bellerophon... but what stopped them from doing just that under the current conditions? 

It made absolutely no sense. 

Along with Seren seeming to believe he was driving himself to the ragged edge of exhaustion by choice.  Had he not been listening?  Had he not heard how Captain Ives suddenly expected an Intelligence Officer primarily trained as a tactical and strategic analyst and intelligence activities manager to magically develop the skills and knowledge of a field operative, counterintelligence agent, political and economic analyst, sociologist and anthropologist among others?  Trent considered it a major victory he'd been able to talk the Captain down to something more manageable that fit within his field of expertise... and even then he could use some full-time support. 

That is until he could get the right algorithms written and the right programs repurposed to let Thea take on some of the grunt work so he could focus on whatever would need closer attention... but until then, there was no telling what sort of hours he would have to keep.  And if he was to take a guess, the answer to that would be 'until his brains turned to pudding, and perhaps a little later'.  Otherwise, the work simply would not get done.  And he had the  very clear impression that if he was so much as perceived to not produce as much as he was expected, he would regret it.

However, he had seen the parts about pride, and the flaws of 'emotional species' coming from three sectors away; in fact, he was a little surprised to not have been given an earful already about the inherent superiority of Vulcans.  This one certainly did come across as the sort to do just that, and write dissertations to that effect in his free time. 

"Counselor, if there is any overestimation of my capabilities, it's not coming from me.   And what you call 'overzealousness' is the need to get the groundwork to streamline my workload, while doing at least the bare minimum to reduce the risk of being caught flat-footed.  And until I have that groundwork done and tested, I'm going to have to work myself to exhaustion, because it's that or the job doesn't get done."

"And having to work mostly four feet from my bed and never being able to get away from that work certainly doesn't help."  Now, he could not be certain that would register with a Vulcan; simply put, they were so very different from Humans that they may not require physical separation between their duty stations and their personal space in order to find the sufficient disconnect and be able to relax. 

However, now that he knew what the pill that had been presented was, Trent did take it.  A mild analgesic.  Hopefully strong enough to deal with the crushing headache he was dealing with.  Come to think of it, he might see a doctor as well; hopefully the counselor would have recognized his need for a proper workspace, but it couldn't hurt to have a physician amplify that recommendation. 

And now that all of Seren's cards were on the table, it as time for Trent to lay his own. "Counselor, trust is something I am very short on right now.  And frankly, your constant referrals to just how flawed you perceive mere humans are are not helping.  So I'm going to be extremely blunt with you.  I know and recognize I might need help, but why should I trust you personally?  Not because you are a Vulcan, not because of your no doubt impressive academic and clinical credentials; why should I trust you to be the right therapist, and not just gathering material for your next paper?"

  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 02 [1430 hrs.] Too few hours in a day
Reply #9
[Ensign Seren |   Vector 2 Counseling Offices | Deck 09 | USS Theurgy]
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@CanadianVet


" Not to worry, mister Trent, your case is not interesting enough to write a paper about it." Seren stated, without altering his expression in any way. Then the Vulcan leaned to his side to take his padd. For long minutes he remained speechless, simply tapping the small screen. "Regarding your overestimation of your own capacities and the level of energy and time you should spend on your job, they are clearly increasing the level of stress you are subjected to, so I have arranged 24 hours sick leave for you. I have reserved two hours of holodeck for your use for recreational purposes and I hope that you will invest the time that remains in resting. Also, given your stress degree, I have switched your session schedule to one session daily until you improve," the counselor explained, posing the padd on his lap. "As for your need for additional space aside to your quarters, the need for a separation between the habitational area and the workplace is a subjective matter. If you think it is necessary for the correct performance of your activity, I encourage you to request that extra space to the first officer or the captain, as the regulations require, since I do not have privileges in that aspect. If this new space is denied, I can provide you with techniques to partake of your mindset and separate your work and leisure time." Seren stared at Trent without blinking, his face composed and without an apex of emotion. "Now, would you tell me which exposed treatment option you prefer?" he asked another time.

The therapy session unfolded over the prescribed time and, when the former XO left the room, Seren leaned back in his seat and he started to take notes on his padd. As he had predicted, he was going to spend a lot of time with Carrigan Trent.

FIN
  • Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 08:52:49 AM by Numen