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Topic: Day 01 [1000 hrs.] It’s Logical to Ask for Help (Read 94 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 01 [1000 hrs.] It’s Logical to Ask for Help

[ Maya | Intensive Care Unit | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]

At 958 hours on the first morning after the Theurgy reached Adela, the battered starship was still reeling from the battle against the Borg in the Azure Nebula.  Sickbay was swamped, and scores of casualties had been placed in cryostorage until they could be thawed out and treated.  When they were thawed out, the patients could expect disorientation, weakness, and mind numbing pain from whatever injuries forced them into cryosleep in the first place.  Even with the miracle of 24th century medicine, time spent in a wartime sickbay was not fun.  If patients were fortunate, their suffering could be mitigated by reassurance from a personable and empathic medical professional who could put them at ease and raise their spirits during the healing process.

Or they could be smeg out of luck and get Doctor Maya as their primary care provider.

"Ah... it hurts," the patient laying on the biobed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) whimpered.

"You are very fortunate Crewman Eklund," the frigid Vulcan assured him remorselessly.  "Despite the burns you suffered on over sixty four percent of your body, most of your dermis is still alive.  This will greatly simplify the regeneration process and hasten your recovery.  You should be cleared for duty within a week."

"It hurts so much I'm going out of my mind," the red and blistered crewman moaned.  "Is there anything you can give me for the pain?"

Without a word, Doctor Maya leaned over and reached down with both hands to press the tips of her long spidery fingers against the base of his skull and the back of his neck.  Her squirming patient relaxed instantly, collapsing into the biobed and gasping in relief.  "You should be quite numb for at least an hour," the pallid Vulcan informed him. "You should be strong enough to receive your first skin grafts by then."

"You... you won't leave me will ya Doc?" Eklund asked pathetically.  "You'll be here won't you?  You won't leave me alone?"

"Of course not Crewman," she assured him stiffly.  "I can promise that I am not going anywhere.  I shall be with you the entire way."  An electronic chime was heard and Maya pushed the cuff of her right sleeve down to reveal that she had a compact little device strapped to her wrist.  "It is time for my mandatory Counselling session Crewman; if you'll excuse me," she murmured as she turned away and left the room.

[ Maya | Outside the Chief Counselor's Office | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Atten:   @Fiendfall

Psychological services seemed to always be in short supply aboard the Theurgy.  Being fugitives in nearly nonstop wartime conditions were not conducive to mental stability and the fact that ship's counselors were not immune to becoming permanent casualties and leaving the starship without their services didn't help matters.  Fortunately the Theurgy was currently experiencing a boom in the Counseling Department at the moment.  Three new counselors from different starships had joined the crew and were now available and in addition Counselor Seren was scheduled to be out of cryosleep and treated for his injuries this very day.  Despite this, there was a backlog of counseling appointments guaranteed to keep the new counselors busy.

Doctor Maya of Vulcan, M.D. was bumped to the front of the line. This was not because of any special privileges the medical department did or did not possess but because her mental stability and reliability were still in question.  Falling under the mental domination of one of the Infested, tampering with a patient's medication, and freeing an Infested prisoner leaves one loyalties in doubt, even if all of that happened under the influence of a will that was not one's own.  Doctor Maya had many appointments like this scheduled not only to treat her for the duress caused by the violation, but to assess her fitness to remain on duty.  

Doctor Tyre hadn't allowed her to perform any serious medical procedures when the Theurgy wasn't in a combat situation.  It was Maya, the ship's neurologist who had been scheduled to operate on Seren but Tyre had taken her off the schedule and was currently looking for another surgeon.  She was currently treating the patients whose injuries were not considered 'life threatening' for 24th century medicine and Tyre wanted a counselor's assessment before giving her more duties.

The counselor he found for Maya couldn't be better.  Currently, the chief counselor of the Theurgy was Counselor Hathev, who was not only a Vulcan herself but had been practicing psychiatry for almost eight decades.  She had spent the last two and a half decades as a professor of psychology at Starfleet Academy and Maya herself had attended some of her classes.  If anybody could determine Maya's fitness for duty and treat her psychological disorders, it would be Lieutenant Commander Hathev.

For Maya's part, she decided that it was pointless to resent these mandatory sessions and assessments.   As the Bajorans say, 'when life gives you kava, make kava juice.'  It was time to see if Maya could use these sessions to divest herself of the psychological burdens she had been carrying since childhood, let alone the ones she had endured since serving aboard the Theurgy.  After all, when in distress whether mental or physical, it's logical to ask for help.

At exactly 1000 hours, Maya activated the door chime to the chief counselor's office.

OOC:  To find out who Tyre gets to replace Maya as a neurologist, read Day 01 [0955 hrs.] Acting on a Thawt.

  • Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 05:13:19 AM by Doc M.

Re: Day 01 [1000 hrs.] It’s Logical to Ask for Help
Reply #1
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Chief Counselor's Office | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Doc M.

The arrival of Hathev's latest patient was heralded by the familiar chime at the door, precisely and gratifyingly punctual. An encouraging beginning, certainly, and a mark in her new patient's favour.

It would be inaccurate to state Hathev experienced no trepidation upon entering into this meeting. Thirty years ago it would not have been so; indeed, to her Dr Maya would have seemed a quite ideal patient. A Vulcan woman, intelligent, with the wisdom of age and the professionalism of Starfleet; what more could Hathev had wished for?

However recent years had schooled her in the sheer variety of Vulcan experience; no more could she rely on their shared species alone, for it was no guarantee of shared behaviour or logic.

Furthermore, the reasoning behind the woman's referral had been alarming, as had been the information Hathev had found in the woman's file. She was still not certain which part to give greater weight: the recent manipulation and exploitation of the woman, or the information that she was not of this time. One was the cause of their meeting here today, and the other would inform the woman's entire psychological and cultural profile -- and make her something of an unknown for Hathev. For how could she accurately predict the success of a course of treatment, knowing so little about the time from which the patient hailed? Of course she had studied a certain amount of Vulcan history, but as it had never been her area of expertise she was hardly confident in her understanding of the details and intricacies that would have made up Dr Maya's entire life and personhood.

There was nothing to be gained from speculation or pre-emptive concern, however, and so Hathev had put such thoughts aside. No, the only matter of relevance were the more recent events directly leading to this meeting. Of course no blame was to be laid at the feet of Dr Maya, there was as little purpose in assigning blame after the fact as there was feeling guilt or remorse. Study of the past should only be performed in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom for the future. It was an unavoidable fact, however, that Dr Maya was posessed of a certain psychological suggestability and weakness, and thus various examinations and preparations would need to be made to ensure nothing of the sort was allowed to occur again.

Thus it was with more caution than one might have expected that Hathev approached her 10AM appointment.

She rose as the door slid open, raising her hand in the familiar salute: 'Dif-tor heh smusma.' She took the barest second to analyse the woman's appearance: an inch shorter than herself, pale even by Vulcan standards, large eyes, and black hair that had been allowed more liberties than Hathev could ever have tolerated of her own. In all it painted a slightly odd picture, one that was somewhat distinct from Hathev's only wordless composure and natural grace. Hardling a damning condemnation, however; she would reserve judgement.

'You may be seated,' she said, her study complete. Once her patient was comfortably situated, Hathev arranged herself across from her as usual, sat straight and neat. Her PADD was balanced perfectly in front of her; a departure from her usual procedure, but there was no need to disguise such necessities of her profession from a fellow Vulcan. Certainly, she would be more than disapproving should that not be the case.

'Lieutenant Tyre is concerned for your mental stability,' she said, regarding the doctor neutrally. 'If you will, recount the recent issues experienced, concluding with any lingering symptoms.'

OOC: huge apologies for the delay, I missed the notification & didn't realise you'd posted the starter!
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer

Re: Day 01 [1000 hrs.] It’s Logical to Ask for Help
Reply #2
[ Maya | Chief Counselor's Office | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Atten: @Fiendfall

"Dif-tor heh smusma."

Maya returned the salute and the ritual greeting.

"You may be seated."
"Thank you," Maya replied quietly as she sat on the 'L' shaped couch with an eerily stiff yet smooth motion, as if she was an animatronic construction rather than a flesh and blood woman.  She didn't choose the chair that faced Hathev's desk; that chair was for physicians speaking to the counselor on business and not for patients. 

"Lieutenant Tyre is concerned for your mental stability," Counselor Hathev announced  without preamble.  "If you will, recount the recent issues experienced, concluding with any lingering symptoms."

"Yes, that is quite understandable," Maya replied in a soft professional tone as she sat lifelessly with her hands clasped in her lap.  "Recounting my time under Doctor Nicander's control is difficult; I have no recollection of my actions while under his control.  I can only recall my impressions upon coming out of it."        

This was a sticking point.  A traumatic memory could cause serious health problems down the line for their species.  Traumatic memories were not only psychologically disturbing to Vulcans, but had physical consequences as well. The Vulcan brain, in reordering neural pathways, could literally lobotomize itself.   After Surak, the father of modern Vulcan civilization taught his people how to control and suppress their emotions the number of strokes dropped dramatically and the average life expectancy on his planet doubled. 

A suppressed memory was a silent time bomb that could go off from weeks to decades away simply because it couldn't be addressed and dealt with.  Although a mind meld with her counselor might expose the traumatic memories to light and allow them to be expunged, if Maya had been exposed to a psionic or metaphasic contagion it was likely that psychic contact would infect Hathev as well.  Since it was still unclear how the intelligent parasites managed to infect the Infested, it was likely that Hathev would choose a different method of treatment.  Fortunately, the unique history of her patient gave her other options.  Maya was both a neurologist and a "medical facilitator" who had been trained to compartmentalize, regulate, and maintenance her own mind in order to survive the ordeal of treating unmarried patients suffering from the effects of the time of mating.

Hopefully Maya wouldn't fulfill the old adage of doctors being the worst patients.
  • Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 07:59:30 AM by Doc M.

Re: Day 01 [1000 hrs.] It’s Logical to Ask for Help
Reply #3
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Chief Counselor's Office | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Doc M.

The information that Dr Maya was suffering from a loss of memory was not entirely surprising -- it was not only human brains that attempted self-protection by locking away memories of difficult times. It was, however, significantly more concerning for a Vulcan. While suppressed memories for a human affected their behaviour, emotional regulation, and psycological stability, for a Vulcan they could do all of the above while also risking more physical consequences. Hathev had seen first-hand how such disruption left untreated could cause untold damage upon the Vulcan psyche.

Therefore her priority in treating the doctor must be the regaining and control of these memories, then. How to properly affect these changes was the only point of difficulty. There was too much risk inherent in embarking on any drastic course of action at this point: with so little data Hathev could hardly recommend treatment with any kind of certainty. She would first need to establish the exact symptoms and circumstances of Maya's situation.

'Relate what you do remember,' she said smoothly, 'paying particular attention to the edges of your memories.' Understanding where exactly the woman's memory began to fray would be crucial in properly extrapolating the necessary data.

She listened to the woman's account, making brief notes of anything she deemed relevant. It was concerning to say the least, hearing of the doctor's experiences. Hathev recalled the memories of another Vulcan, Cir'Cie, which she had seen reflected back through the woman's mind. She too had been controlled by another, on more than one occasion; was there some correlation between the two cases? Vulcans were supposed to be bastions of mental fortitude; that two aboard this vessel had been psychologically overcome in such a manner was disturbing. Without more information on the exact circumstances of Cir'Cie's mind control, however, Hathev could hardly form any sort of hypothesis, let alone judgement; she would dismiss it as coincidence for the time being, at the very least until she had access to the information she would need to prove otherwise.

'Describe your current mental state,'
she said once Dr Maya came to an end. 'Assess your own stability, if you are able.' Hathev often found it beneficial to encourage her patients to engage in a certain amount of self-reflection, however it was always a risk to ask them such a question so early in the session and she generally refrained from doing so in the majority of cases. With a fellow Vulcan, however, she had no such reservations; her interest lay not only in encouraging that self-reflection but in the answer Dr Maya might give, as her judgement of her own psychological state should be accurate and reliable.

The exercise was doubly beneficial, then, and demonstrated the relative ease of treating Vulcans as opposed to emotional species. So much of Hathev's job consisted of moving around the subject like water circling a drain, until finally the patient was comfortable enough to actually accept treatment; with a Vulcan, the extraneous, unnecessary pleasantries were stripped away, leaving only the true heart of Hathev's profession: healing and amelioration. It made a refreshing change.

Of course, Dr Maya was likely to present her own challenges quite separate from her species, but Hathev had not chosen her career because she wished for a life of ease.
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer

Re: Day 01 [1000 hrs.] It’s Logical to Ask for Help
Reply #4
[ Maya | Chief Counselor's Office | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Atten: @Fiendfall

"Relate what you do remember." Counselor Hathev suggested, "paying particular attention to the edges of your memories."

Maya pursed her lips, narrowed her hazel eyes, and cocked her head to the right.  She squinted as something just over the other woman's shoulder before finally replying.  "Before my last episode of suppressed memory I was in Surgical Suite Two during the battle at Starbase 84," the shorter woman explained in a clipped professional tone that made it sound like she was giving a report on someone else. "Doctor Saugn and I had entered in order to prepare it for the patients we were expecting to receive when Nurse Herbert informed us that a doctor was you're needed in the primary surgical bay.  I instructed her to respond and I would prepare the surgical suite.  That is all I remember.  My next impression was that of a sensation of ravenous malice, a malicious rapacious hunger that I cannot an must not recall.  When I awoke I was in a cell in the brig.  The battle was over.  When I was questioned about my actions I had no answers.  I had been suffering from gaps in my memory and had been receiving counseling from Counselor O'Connor but to the best of my knowledge I never became violent.  When I took my last impressions into account I was forced to entertain the possibility that I was in the early stages of possession.  Needless to say, voicing my concerns out loud did not help my case."

"Describe your current mental state," Counselor Hathev instructed.  "Assess your own stability, if you are able."

"Like many others aboard the Theurgy I am naturally grief-stricken," the greenblooded physician replied calmly, almost casually.  "We have all lost shipmates who are important to us.  Doctor Saugn any I were particularly close.  I considered Counselor O'Connor a friend, but of course a patient-psychiatrist relation can often become somewhat muddled," she conceded.  "Nurse Maal was a very dear friend and Doctor Nicander--" 

Maya abruptly stopped speaking as if her voice had been a transmission that had suddenly been lost.  She narrowed her eyes again and after a moment her mouth became a thin hard line.
  • Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 08:01:24 AM by Doc M.

Re: Day 01 [1000 hrs.] It’s Logical to Ask for Help
Reply #5
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Chief Counselor's Office | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Doc M.

Hathev listened to the doctor's account impassively, watching the woman's behaviour. She exhibited proper control, recounting events as she recalled them without any extraneous detail or opinion, and speaking without any of the unnecessary tonal shifts so favoured by emotional species. However her description of the experience of possession was concerning, both in content and in its starkly emotive presentation, and Hathev made a note on her PADD as her fellow Vulcan continued.

Although Dr Maya's control during her factual description of events had been gratifying, this seemed to slip when she was required to judge her own mental state. She did not display any of the outward signs of the grief she attributed to herself, yet the very fact that she would openly acknowledge the experience of such an emotion was disconcerting. Grief and mourning were entirely illogical constructs devised by the living to ritualise loss; they were unnecessary and should have been left behind in the evolutionary dark ages where they belonged.

Of course, some degree of psychological effect after loss was natural; however it was the duty of a Vulcan to compartmentalise such loss, fully processing it through meditation and thus avoiding any lingering effects. That Maya had apparently not utilised such strategies was unacceptable.

She voiced as much to the woman: 'Grief does not become us. You must meditate until such urges are dispelled. Do you require guidance in this?'

Worse was the abrupt end of speech, leaving an incomplete sentence hanging in the air awaiting end and betraying a deeply unsettling suggestion of emotion in the speaker.

'Continue,' Hathev prompted. Any relationship with the deposed Dr Nicander was worthy of examination; it was Hathev's purpose to assess and mitigate the risk of future instability in Maya, and a previous closeness with an individual now proven to be among the ranks of their enemy was certainly worth investigating as a possible factor in that past instability.

It did not escape Hathev's notice that Maya had not provided any kind of adequate answer to the question posited to her, although of course her diagnosis as 'grief-stricken' and following behaviour did in themselves act as an answer. Nevertheless, it was an answer by proxy, and not the clear self-analysis Hathev had requested. She made another note to revisit at a later time.
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer

Re: Day 01 [1000 hrs.] It’s Logical to Ask for Help
Reply #6
[ Maya | Chief Counselor's Office | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Atten:   @Fiendfall

"Grief does not become us."  Counselor Hathev interjected.   "You must meditate until such urges are dispelled. Do you require guidance in this?"

Maya's hazel eyes had narrowed into a squint and her mouth was still a thin hard line.  If she was attempting to convey hostility with this expression her choice was a curious one.  Narrowing one's eyes into a squint was not particularly threatening, but rather gave one the impression that one suffered from poor eyesight, and would subsequently have a disadvantage in any physical encounter.  In addition, the Denebian slime devil, widely considered one of the most hostile creatures found in nature would be considered much less threatening if its mouth was a thin hard line, rather than its normal appearance, a slavering mass of fangs.  

She closed her eyes and took a breath before opening them to look at the counselor.  To say that Hathev's remark was unwelcome would be an understatement.  The fact that her statement was perfectly valid did not change things, nor did it help matters.  As a doctor, Maya was well aware of the health risks of the V'tosh ka'tur lifestyle.  The incredible control that their people had over their own nervous systems came at a price.  Uncontrolled passions and traumatic memories led to serious health risks since an unbalanced mind could make the Vulcan brain do anything from stop the heart to lobotomize itself.  As a matter of fact, most of the disorders that ended a Vulcan's life 'due to natural causes' could be traced back to the time of their youth before the emotions were truly mastered. 

Hathev was looking at Maya the same way Earth's doctors of centuries past looked at their patients who smoked.  Emotions were a senseless addiction that greatly shortened one's lifespan that the addict insisted made him 'feel alive'.  Even worse, for Vulcans the display of emotions was akin to profanity, if not mental illness.  If Hathev was anything like the Vulcans she had left behind over two centuries ago, the chances of her reinstating one of her people who freely admitted willfully indulging in emotionalism would be zero.

And even worse, for the first time since she found herself in this new century Maya was being reminded of being in the room with her mother.

"So it would seem," Maya acquiesced coldly without truly admitting anything.  "Although my training in meditation in order to repair and maintenance my own mind has been extensive, the particular type of violation I have experienced would suggest that diagnosis and treatment from an outside source would be recommended.  My past is rather unique but I believe that it has prepared me somewhat for what I recently undergone."

"Continue," the counselor prompted without goading. 

"I was born almost three centuries ago and a temporal rift carried me forward in time to this century," Maya explained.  "This was before the Syrannite Reformation.  We did not have all of the freedoms that we enjoy today.  Due to my birth and my high psi rating I was trained as a medical facilitator... no," she decided as she cocked her head to the left, "There is no point concealing what it really was by using an outdated terminology from the time of my youth.  I was a sexual facilitator."

As she continued Maya sat back in her chair and spoke in a calm professional manner while stroking her somewhat oversized hands and massaging her long spidery fingers.  "This was before we had the medications that made this practice obsolete.  Although a married couple could treat each other when they experienced the blood madness the fate of the unmarried depended on medically certified professionals chosen and trained by the government.  I was selected to provide this service.  I was trained not only to make contact and harmonize with different people's minds but to survive the emotional and psychological trauma of joining with patients suffering from the blood madness.   I was taught the techniques that allow me to compartmentalize and purge unwanted experiences and traumatic memories that could lead to instability and significant health risks.  I would say that out of everyone aboard the Theurgy you and I are probably the most qualified to undergo what I have suffered and emerge with our sanities intact.  But of course, thanks to shadow cast over this Starfleet by the Infested, it would be inadvisable to take my word for it."

By now Maya's eyes had lowered so that it seemed that she was looking at the other woman's knees rather than her face.  She glanced up to look Hathev in the eye.  "My past can be easily verified by perusing my service record," she added.  Only at the last minute did it occur to her that her past would sound like a delusion to those who hadn't had access to her records.

Re: Day 01 [1000 hrs.] It’s Logical to Ask for Help
Reply #7
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Chief Counselor's Office | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Doc M.

The doctor's display of emotionality was continued in her reaction to Hathev's admonishment, expressions forming themselves on the woman's face with alarming strength. Yet when she spoke once more, it was again with the proper calmness of their people; curious that the woman would have such control over her vocal range and yet not exercise the same power over her facial muscles. It was strangely contradictory, and Hathev had to wonder that the doctor did not attempt to rectify the fault. Was this a cultural difference born of her antiquated training, or a personal defect? Hathev could not judge, and could not hope to do so with any degree of accuracy as further information would likely not be forthcoming. A historical investigation was warranted, although how much could be gleaned would remain to be seen.

In the meantime, she made several notes upon her PADD and turned her attention to the content of the doctor's words rather than strictly their delivery.

She had clearly been offended at Hathev's suggestion, and now sought to defend her position in a manner both calm and passably reasonable. Her logic was sound, however it was based on a misdirection that Hathev neither missed nor appreciated.

'Of course,'
she said. 'I recommend meditation to dispel your feelings of grief; for the other traumas you have experienced it is correct that you come to me for proper treatment.' If Dr Maya wished to distract her from the grief she had admitted to, she would be disappointed. However with this Hathev would consider the matter closed, at least for the present; there were more pressing matters to attend to, and Maya should certainly be capable of dealing with her grief by her own merit.

She had wished to hear more of her patient's relationship with Mr Nicander, yet again the topic was diverted to another. Hathev could not be certain whether this was a result of deliberate obfuscation by Maya -- an entirely emotional tactic to remove focus from areas of the psyche and experience that were deemed too personal or raw for discussion -- or simply a decision born of reason to focus the session upon the most pertinent details. Further observation was required.

Nevertheless, she would not direct Maya away from her current conversational course. Certainly, Hathev had read much of this information in the doctor's file; she would never enter into a session without the full information at her disposal. Yet it was still advisable to glean as much of that information as possible from the patient themselves, as the manner of description could lend insight into their mindset and perspective.

The description of this archaic and barbaric practice from one who had experienced it was disconcerting in the extreme. She could hardly judge what unknown consequences such a position and experience could have upon the psyche; perhaps there had been studies performed at the time? Further investigation was certainly warranted. For the present, however, she was aware of the potential delicacy of Maya's mind. Surely she had been trained extensively for the position she previously held, but even the best-trained soldier could suffer from PTSD. It was a consideration to remain aware of, certainly.

'I am familiar with your record,' Hathev said when the doctor concluded her statement. The day she did not complete proper preparation before a session she would remove herself from duty. 'Are you confident in the techniques which such a profession taught you for self-control and emotional discharge? What relevance do you judge your past to have to the matter at hand?' She did not dispute its relevance, of course, but hearing the connection Maya perceived could be informative. Additionally, she was not familiar enough herself with the woman's experienced to know if her past had any bearing upon her recent possession.
  • Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 01:31:26 PM by fiendfall
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer