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Topic: Day 05 [1300 hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives (Read 584 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 05 [1300 hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
 [Show/Hide]Lieutenant Commander Cross felt extremely agitated as he paced back and forth in his quarters, his arms folded behind his back and his jaw set in a look of grim determination. The small space did not allow for a lot of movement, and each leg of his pacing was only a handful of steps before he turned and stalked off in the direction he had come. He had been at it for some time, and finally forced himself to stop, breaking the path he had been following and striding slowly over to the viewport. Crossing his arms across his chest, he gazed out at the expanse beyond.

It had finally caught up with him. Five days since their escape from the Versant. Five days since they had gained their freedom, destroying the Borg invasion and fleeing the Azura Nebula. Five days since he had lost his hand.

And now, finally, he had to deal with something that he had tried to avoid. He'd been busy in sickbay. Busy dealing with departmental issues. Away on shore leave. He had been rather creative, he realized, congratulating himself on his previous successes. But no longer. Now he had to finally give in. No more running. No more avoiding. Captain's orders.

"<Fucking> counselling sessions..." Cross grumbled at the panoramic view beyond the window. "I'd rather be fighting the Borg..."

Cross sighed and turned away from the window, his eyes scanning the interior of his quarters. Most would call it spartan, with nothing hung on the walls and nothing displayed on the shelves save for three orchids; a phalaenopsis orchid from Earth, an Edosian orchid, and a Vulcan orchid. The phalaenopsis and Edosian orchids had been replicated, while the Vulcan orchid had been... liberated... from the arboretum. There were numerous specimens present in the arboretum, and Cross hoped that one solitary plant wouldn't be missed. The plants aside, the only other personal item in his quarters was a Vulcan meditation lamp which sat on the corner table. Some might attribute the sparse furnishings and adornments as the aftermath of Cross' possessions being lost with the Endeavour, though in truth Cross' quarters aboard the destroyed Endeavour had been adorned in much the same way as his current ones were. He had never been a man with many possessions, and cared little for "things", aside form his plants. His bedroom was similarly barren of decoration, sporting only a single succulent plant in a small pot on his desk.

As Cross moved over to the shelves set into the wall of the living area, half of which sat empty, he reflected that the only person who had been in his quarters so far was Kai. It wasn't that Cross avoided having people come to his quarters. It was just convenient to meet people elsewhere, and if that had the added benefit of avoiding comments on the lack of decoration and "personal touch" in his quarters, then all the better.

Cross reached up, slowly and ever so gently running a finger along the spike of the Vulcan orchid as he inspected the buds that were forming along it. It would likely be blooming within the next week. For a moment Cross felt a pang of regret at having taken the plant without authorization. Though the offence, if it were to be discovered, would be minor or negligible, he felt almost guilty that he had removed the plant and denied others a view of the flowers when it bloomed. There were plenty of other orchids in the arboretum, however, and Cross quickly dismissed the thought just as the doors chimed.

Cross sighed, letting his hand fall away from the orchid as he considered simply ignoring the door chimes, leaving the counsellor standing in the corridor. Cross wondered how long the Vulcan counsellor would stand there, pushing the button repeatedly. The idea of leaving the man standing out in the hall caused a smile to creep over Cross' features, though eh made sure to wipe the grin away before he turned to face the doors.

"Come."

The doors hissed open, revealing the person standing in the corridor beyond. The Vulcan counsellor was shorter than Cross by a good 10cm, with a darker complexion and close-cropped black hair.

"Counsellor Seren, thank you for agreeing to meet me here." Cross said, stepping forward with the intention of offering to shake hands before realizing that the Vulcan would probably not return the gesture. He stopped after the first step, instead gesturing to usher the counsellor inside. "I'll admit, I'm not a fan of medical facilities." Cross glanced sideways at the coulsellor. "Or counselling offices. Please, come in."

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #1
[Ensign Seren |   Lt.Cmdr. Cross' Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ]
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Attn:  @Fife


Seren walked in front of his patient's door 193 seconds before the scheduled time. He had no habit of arriving early or late for his appointments, but the last few days had been... chaotic, to say the least, and Seren was still adjusting. Flexibility. It wasn't a talent that Vulcans were commonly associated with. Neither was it an adjective Seren was usually described with. But it was one that Seren was striving to improve in that regard, something that would enhance his therapist skills and, at the same time, challenge his self-control. It would strengthen him. And if he needed anything at that time, it was to make his control more solid, more steely.

So, he simply waited. He spent the first 97 seconds checking the state of his garments. A traditional tunic, bronze coloured, with a wide dark neck that concealed part of the carbon lattice that ascended from his collar since his surgery. Square shoulders, almost at a right angle, which hid the slenderness of his silhouette, his youthful air. Long sleeves, up to the wrist, but this time he had opted not to wear gloves. The tunic ran over his knees, revealing darker inner tunic, trousers of the same shade and high, polished boots. The only piece that broke the symmetry of his attire was the Starfleet combadge, pinned in the left side of his chest. Everything was perfect. Impeccable.

During the few seconds left before the agreed time, Seren devoted himself to skim the patient's file, in a padd he pulled out of a hidden pocket in his jacket. Lt.Cm. Cross, former vulcan-bajoran hybrid. Reasigned or 'Corrected' to full vulcan by the aliens known as 'Savi'. Ablation of an upper limb at elbow level, replaced by non-standard synthetic prosthetic. Cosmetic surgery to restore his hybrid features. Survivor of a Borg attack that destroyed his original vessel and that killed or assimilated most of his former crew. In the corridor's solitude, Seren allowed himself to wrinkle his nose in a minuscule rejection grimace. The report proceeded dozens of pages further, recounting the officer's previous traumas and behavioral problems, although it seemed that the tactical officer had been labeled as ' functional'. But that wasn't what irked the counsellor. It was the lack of commitment to his vulcan background that distilled from his dossier. Such illogical behaviour. He inhaled deeply only once, and removed the annoyance from his mind, as a result of the parallels between the Lieutenant Commander and Kiriel. It would be something he should ponder later, in his retreat and meditation time. Now he had a job to do.

Without further ado, and precisely at the arranged hour, Seren pressed his hand against the panel adjacent to the door. In the room on the other side, the synthetic sound of the doorbell rattled. The counselor waited patiently for several minutes, but, not receiving an answer, he repeated the motion. Seren kept waiting, as time dilated even more without an answer. When he initiated the gesture to repeat the call again, for a third time, the voice of Lt. Cm. Cross finally arose and the door unlocked in front of Seren with a hiss. If he felt any displeasure from being forced to wait arbitrarily, it was not reflected in his face or attitude. It wouldn't be the proper behavior for a counselor.

"I come to serve, Lieutenant Commander" saluted Seren, raising his hand in the traditional greeting of their people. A traditional vulcan greeting that Seren favored when on duty as opposed to the more widespread 'live long and prosper'. In turn, Cross had stepped forward with one hand in front of him, in a very human display. The former hybrid fixed the gesture immediately, transforming it into a wave that invited the counselor in. Even so, Seren's eyes had not missed that detail, and remained fixed on the hand he had been offered a few seconds more than was appropriate. The tactical officer offered him some pleasentries and then admitted his discomfort with the medical facilities.Seren nodded briefly. That is why he practiced his profession where he was needed, rather than in a controlled environment, as would have been more appropriate. A sacrifice for patient comfort. A method of making them more comfortable during the session, when the issues they were dealing with and the counselor's imperturbability made most patients uneasy. Seren was aware that his demeanour, full restrained, made some emotional beings discomfortable so he had to pay a price for maintaining the balance between who he was and his work. "The place where the session takes place is irrelevant, as long as it takes place, Sir" he affirmed in a neutral tone as he entered the room.

The first inspection of the room revealed that the quarters barely deviated from the standard. Only a handful of plants and a vulcan meditation lamp. Frugal and practical. Seren approved this decoration choice internally and halted his steps in the middle of the main room. It was inappropriate that he take a seat without the host's invitation, so he intertwined his fingers in front of his chest and then turned to face Cross. "This is a mandatory session, but I will only make an initial diagnosis according to the traumatic events you have been subjected to in recent weeks, Sir" he explained succinctly. A mere formality for the benefit of his patient, in case that, like Carrigan Trent, he was an antagonistic and suspicious patient. The prospect of dealing with a second patient like Trent on a daily basis because of his refusal to cooperate was not appealing for Seren. As he recalled the last session with the intelligence officer, Seren's fingers twitched a bit over the back of his hands. He expected the man in front of him not to behave as pathologically as his other patient did. It was something he could condone from a human, but it was reprehensible in a Vulcan. As censurable as he had found Kiriel's behavior so many years ago.

Seren scrutinized his patient's face without blinking for some time. At least this former hybrid resembled little to his long-lost relative. " I require to hear your experience since your genetic reassignment, Sir," he asked after a long analysis of Cross's facial features.
Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #2
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
[Show/Hide]Counsellor Seren gave the impression of the good-boy Vulcan, logic and impassive monotone through and through. No doubt he would consider Cross to be impulsive, emotional and illogical. Cross also had no doubt he would consider the counsellor to be a pain-in-the-ass automaton. Cross reminded himself that, as long as he could keep his temper in check, he should be able to get through this mandatory counselling without issue. He had certainly had his fair share of counselling, between his rehabilitation and the Dominion War.

Seren went on to convey that the setting of their sessions was irrelevant, and that he would be making an initial diagnosis of Cross' "trauma" which he had suffered in recent weeks. He spoke in just the sort of matter-of-fact tone that Cross had expected, his words succinct and each delivery concluded with the word "Sir".

How very proper of him...

Seren then stated, in the exact same tone, that he "required" to hear of Cross' experience following his genetic reassignment. Sir. All the while he had been staring at Cross, studying him, probably judging him.

Oh, Vulcans love their little judgements, don't they? Cross thought to himself, suppressing the urge to scowl at the counsellor. Cross reminded himself that he had to go through the counselling, that it was mandated following the events of the Versant. Hell, it would have been mandated with the destruction of the Endeavour alone, without all the genetic tampering and fighting and running for their lives aboard the Savi dreadnought.

"Well, I require that you stop calling me 'Sir' for the duration of this session." Cross finally spoke, his voice low and sounding particularly grumbly. "I don't need my personal quarters to be inundated with pomp and formality." Cross regarded the counsellor with unblinking pale eyes for a long moment, wondering for a moment if he had made a mistake asking the counsellor to conduct the session in his quarters.

Too late to think about that now...

Sighing, Cross gestured with his metal hand, the prosthetic drawing Seren's attention to one of the chairs at the small dining table in the corner. "Grab a chair, if you'd like to sit."

Unless that stick up your Vulcan ass will make it uncomfortable...

"I hope you don't mind if I sit on the couch." Cross didn't wait for the counsellor's response, turning away and seating himself on the couch cushions and making himself comfortable. He waited as Seren got himself situated, arms crossed over his chest and pale eyes following the Vulcan's movements. Once Seren was settled, Cross finally spoke again.

"So, you require to hear of my experience following my correction?" Cross said, taking a deep breath. He knew he may as well get started rather than trying to argue or sidetrack the counsellor. Being a poster-boy Vulcan, Counsellor Seren would like not be deterred from his efforts no matter what Cross tried. Cross had been stuck in enough counselling sessions to know that counsellors were like the fucking Borg. Resistance was futile. "Well, counsellor, my experience following my correction have been... interesting." Cross uttered the final word through gritted teeth, having grown tense as he thought back to the events aboard the Versant. "Following my correction, I awoke in a cell with two other survivors of the Endeavour, a security officer called MacGregor and a Junior Lieutenant from Tactical, my own department." Cross' mouth turned up at the corner, giving him a bemused expression, "Drake had always been a pain in the ass. He had the habit of calling me 'Boss', which never ceased to get on my hajari nerves." The bemused expression faded form Cross' features and the moments that followed played through his head. "After I regained consciousness and found myself a pure blooded Vulcan, hoja lid nulansu yavah isanau." Cross paused for the briefest of moments, hoping the comment, delivered in Kardasi but easily translated by their combadges, would elicit some sort of reaction from the Vulcan who sat opposite him. "As it turns out, despite the fact that Vulcans appear to have the emotional equivalent of a wet towel, I wasn't prepared for the intensity of my newly altered self." Cross sighed and let his arms relax, then uncrossed them and interlaced his fingers, letting his hands rest in his lap. "I'm sure you've read my file. It's always been a struggle for me to control me anger. But this was like nothing I'd dealt with. The Klingon, MacGregor, well, she ended up being sedated by the Savi after becoming enraged. I was barely holding myself togethers, and I was afraid I'd hurt the others if I lost control..."

But he had lost control. Drake, has in a misguided attempt to sooth his Vulcan boss who was only holding on by a thread, had chosen his words poorly. Cross paused in his narrative as the memory played out in his mind.

Quote
"Boss?" Drake said. "Try to calm yourself. Breathe. Relax. Try to relax."

He never thought he'd see himself trying to attempt to calm a berserker Vulcan, but Gideon was always a smooth talker, even more so since he grew up. It added to his handsome looks. He hoped he can get away with it before Cross loses control.

"I know it seems like a new experience for you," he said. "We both may no longer be half-Bajorans, but I know the feeling. Calm yourself, relax."

Before Cross knew what he was doing, he had lunged at the now-Human Drake, his hands finding purchase on the man's shoulder and neck. "<How could you possibly know?>" Cross growled, unaware that he was speaking in Cardassian, his primary language. "<What is it you think you know?>" He snarled, his eyes bulging in anger as each word grew more menacing, "<STOP TELLING ME TO RELAX!!>" As Cross roared the final words, he turned and heaved Gideon Drake, the strength he displayed following his correction surprising even him. Drake was sent soaring across the cell, striking the wall with a dull fleshy thud before crashing to the floor. Cross surged forward again, seeing red and well beyond rational thought at this point, his hands seeking Drake's throat.

Sighing, Cross pressed on. "As it turns out, I did. I threw Drake across our cell, and then tried to kill him." Cross shook his head, ashamed at the memory. However annoying Drake had been, he hadn't deserved that. "The only thing that save him was the hajari Savi beaming him to a different cell. I was going to kill him with my bare hands." Cross raised his gaze, which had been focused on his clasped hands, and stared at Seren with a neutral expression. "If Drake just telling me to relax made me try to kill him, how to you sit there like a hajari statue when I talk about Vulcans having sticks up their asses? Doesn't it bother you? Doesn't that just make you want to twitch an eyebrow in annoyance?" Cross leaned forward, keeping his hands clasped as he braced his elbows on his knees. "Come on, counsellor Seren. You can't tell me you feel nothing. I know the kind of rage a Vulcan is capable of." Cross gave Seren a broad grin, the smile lacking any kind of warmth, instead conveying an impish tone of mischief. "Just between you and me. You know that hate, that rage, don't you?"

Cross was enjoying himself for a moment, attempting to needle to Vulcan Ensign into some display of annoyance, some twitch, some tiny tick to announce to the world that Cross was getting to him. These counselling sessions may be mandatory, and though he had little doubt that Seren would draw serenity from the stick which no doubt resided in his anus to remain cool and passive throughout Cross' taunting and direct Cross back to the topic at hand, but that didn't mean Cross couldn't have a bit of fun poking the bear.

Kardasi:
Hajari - Fucking
Hoja lid nulansu yavah isanau - Absent the stick up my ass

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #3

[Ensign Seren |   Lt.Cmdr. Cross' Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ]
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Attn:  @Fife

Cross spoke after a time where both studied their respective facial features, and assessed each other. To the counselor's astonishment, the first thing the patient requested was that courtesy should be put aside, as he would hate to see his rooms tainted with such behavior. The Vulcan cringed innerly, but tried to keep his features impassive, no matter how unreasonable that request was, Seren was in someone else's chambers, so it wasn't in his control to impose the way they should interact. No matter how absurd Cross' demand was, he had to comply with his requirements. He had to push his adaptability to the limit. But Seren wouldn't refer to the patient as 'Cross'. He had read in his file the origin of such epithet. Crossbreed. It was a mere descriptive word, not a real name. Something he could accept when the Liutenant Commander was still an hybrid, but that at the current moment (and even though Cross had decided to restore his features their original hybrid traits) was untrue. It was unworthy of a Vulcan. Seren's whole cultural heritage prevented him from referring to another Vulcan in that way. At least describing him as 'Rish-ha-vel' would have the advantage of being a word in their mother language. Or the language that would have belonged to both of them if not for the unusual place where Cross had been raised, as his file indicated. No. Seren couldn't be so improper. For several seconds, Seren reflected on the most adequate way to address his patient. Maybe he could just call him 'Tra-lan'. It was a fitting description, but it came too close to the word the patient had banned. In addition, his combadge's UT might give him a translation of the term, which could be problematic. Finally, after digging for a while in the most obscure corners of his memory, the ensign recalled an ancient name, one that appeared in Surak's writings, in a particularly cryptic parable. However, the meaning of the name was straightforward, adequate, and better described the current 'Cross' being than the name he had chosen to use to reference himself. A logical and appropriate solution to the dilemma in which Seren was involved.

"All right, Lyras" he eventually agreed, as he moved away from the former hybrid to take the chair that the patient had pointed out for him while the Commander settled on one of the couches. The counsellor studied the seat indicated for him for a moment, glanced to where Cross had lazily huddled and then looked back at the chair. After depositing his padd on the table (exactly 15 cm from the edge of the desk, just centred on one side) Seren took the seat and positioned it so that it faced the tactical officer forward, but kept the table right between them. Before he sat down, the Vulcan smoothed every almost imperceptible wrinkle in the cushion and shook the tiny dust specks off its surface. Only then did Seren occupy the chair, being especially careful that his posture would only adopt ninety or forty-five degree angles. Despite the Lieutenant Commander's insistence on maintaining an informal atmosphere, the counsellor refused to let himself be dragged along by that lack of discipline. It was an unnecessary breach of protocol. Yet it suited Cross's attitude, he could see him prickle every time his pale blue eyes leaned on him. It was clear that he former hybrid had little love for counselors. Or perhaps for Vulcans. Seren pushed the padd in front of him and took note of this fact.

In the meantime, the tactical officer had started to speak anew, electing to repeat Seren's words almost point by point. This led the Vulcan to look away from his device and to study his patient's face again. He couldn't understand the logic of repeating his words. Hadn't his request been explicit enough? Seren was used to chose his words with care in order to avoid any ambiguity, which meant that the communication problem wasn't his but the other man's problem. Perhaps Cross intended to be disrespectful, possibly using that unproductive form of expression known as 'sarcasm,' a way of disrespecting him in a disguised fashion. Or maybe it was an early symptom of a mental illness. Given the mental and physical tampering he had undergone, the counselor couldn't discard it, so he wrote down his doubts in the padd to reevaluate them once he had more information about the patient.


As if this new input in Seren's records had pulled an invisible string, Cross began to narrate the events he had endured in the Versant. It was a recapitulation quite similar to what Seren had read in his file, but the emotional load in his voice's inflections, the way in which his non-verbal language shouted the tension induced by the remembrance of the events, the silences when the patient was immersed in his memories were much more revealing than the words themselves. All this offered him an invaluable knowledge about the emotional state of the former hybrid, a way to start learning more about his patient. However, Seren couldn't help but blink each time Cross peppered his speech with swear words or kardasi phrases. They slowed down his comprehension of the speech until the UT transmitted the meaning. "Repress the use of adjectives with sexual connotations. Their usage is unnecessary and there are more suitable descriptors and verbal intensifiers to enrich your speech," he said in a neutral tone. Seren wasn't scolding his patient, it wouldn't be logical. He just reminded him that there were better alternatives available.


The Lieutenant Commander, in turn, kept rambling about the intensity of Vulcan emotions and how he had been surprised by their magnitude when he had felt them for the first time, even though his previous experience with other Vulcans had taught him ( wrongly ) that they were emotionless. " The self-restraint with which we as members of the Vulcan race behave is the result of a life devoted to discipline, meditation and the pursuit of logic," Seren remarked briefly. " Subduing those emotions without training and the right environment can be especially strenuous, Lyras," the counselor stated. Seren doubted that Cross had mastered that discipline in the short time it had been a full-blooded vulcan. For a hybrid raised on Vulcan it would have been difficult. For someone like him, raised like a savage, it would be virtually impossible. Seren had some reasonable doubts about whether Cross would ever be able to suppress his emotions, or was destined to be some sort of V'tosh ka'tur.

Nevertheless, he decided not to voice those concerns out loud, as his patient had proceeded with his narration, and at that time was in the process of describing how he had attempted against the life of a subaltern. "This attempt to murder crewman Drake was an extreme reaction, but understandable given the shock of having to face the intensity of Vulcan emotions for the first time, Lyras," Seren tried to appease him. "The stress ypu have endured, coupled with the shock of the Correction and your lack of adequate self-control techniques make your reaction easily understandable. Since your emotional outburst had no casualties you shouldn't feel guilty for it, but it is a cautionary example of the need to repress those newly acquired emotions". He explained calmly as he laid the Padd on the table and intertwined his fingers in front of him. "I suggest that you study the convenience of being helped to acquire the proper techniques to control yourself. I can instruct you myself or provide you with a list of other senior vulcans on board who can offer you more extensive experience about those skills," the counsellor advised. Despite his unworthy and continued display of emotions, the former hybrid seemed functional enough for everyday life, but that knowledge wouldn't be superfluous, the counselor reasoned.

At that moment, as if he had had a glimpse of Seren's mind, Cross chose to verbally challenge him while he smiled broadly. The sight of such a display of emotion on a Vulcan face disturbed Seren deeply, more than the words themselves. Not for the defiance as such, but for how that grin reminded him of Kiriel. The ghost of her brother's face overlapped on the patient's hybrid features and Seren required all his will to keep his face unmoved. The counsellor remained quiet for ninety-four seconds, as he regained control over his own feelings and worked out a suitable response for Cross. "I received an exceptionally traditional upbringing at a very early age, which allowed me to learn to repress my emotions and disconnect myself from them as soon as they began to develop thanks to the use of Surak's Teachings". he explained calmly. Cross' isolation from his Vulcan cultural heritage would make him difficult to understand what it meant to have grown up in T'Karath Sanctuary. In one of the places that taught the way to purge all emotion and prepare oneself for the Kolinahr. " The way in which my matriarch raised me grants me an advantage over other Vulcans educated in a different Surakian tradition, since for me it is more natural to disengage from my emotions than to let myself be carried away by them." He explained in a very simplified fashion. That little hint would be more than enough for Cross to realize that Seren couldn't fathom the emotional intensity he had experienced. His interior was an emotional wasteland that he didn't want to discuss and that was counterproductive if they had to maintain a strict therapist/patient relationship. Seren simply was as he was. "Despite this privilege, I can understand the struggle you live," he added so that his patient would feel an empathy that Seren could not experience. A trick learned under Hathev's tutelage.




Vulcanusu

rish-ha-vel → Crossbreed
tra-lan  →   Lieutenant Commander (Starfleet)
Lyras → given name from Golic Vulcan 'lesh zherka hasu' meaning "being who carries emotion"
V'tosh ka'tur  → Vulcans without logic. Anyone who disagreed with the ancestral vulcan teachings
Kolinahr → vulcan ritual that purge all the vestigial emotions in an individual
Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #4
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
[Show/Hide]Cross had initially ignored the name counsellor Seren had decided to apply to him in lieu of his rank. The counsellor had begun to refer to him as Lyras, and while Cross himself spoke not a lick of the Vulcan language, he was surprised to find that the universal translator failed to find a comparable word as well. Cross decided to ignore the name the counsellor had given him, though part of his mind wondered why the counsellor didn't call him by his name.

Bloody Vulcans...

When the counsellor requested that he "repress the use of adjectives with sexual connotations", Cross only grinned. While poor, prim counsellor Seren might consider the use of such expletives unnecessary, Cross himself though them a rather fun and efficient way to express himself. As such, he chose to disregard the counsellor's request, deciding that if Seren didn't enjoy the more colourful aspects of Cross' speech... well...

Well, then the counsellor could just go fuck himself, couldn't he?

In truth, Cross could very easily leave the more colourful aspects of his speech out, though he had no inclination to do so solely for the counsellor's benefit. Quite the opposite in fact, as Seren's request only served to encourage Cross to continue with the use of such expletives. Not that Cross needed much encouragement. He rather enjoyed cursing, opting to do so in Kardasi because he considered Kardasi a foul language, well suited for foul words. Outwardly, the only reaction Cross gave to Seren's request was a rather ingenuous grin.

"I shall keep that in mind, counsellor." Cross uttered quietly, ensuring that the answer was as non-committal as possible.

Seren moved on, deciding to inform Cross of the strenuous nature of Vulcan emotional suppression. According to Seren, the oh-so-superior Vulcans achieved the ultimate goal, having the emotional equivalency of a fucking rock, through self-discipline, meditation, and the pursuit of logic. Cross couldn't help but notice that Seren left out the part where they had their serenity stick inserted, though he supposed that that particular piece of knowledge might be some sort of secret, told only to those who were about to receive a serenity stick of their very own. Cross heard Seren refer to him as Lyras again, and wondered briefly what exactly the counsellor what calling him. A muscle in Cross' jaw twitched, the only outward sign of his growing annoyance, yet he remained silent on the matter as Seren continued.

Seren proceeded to explain that Cross' attempts to murder Drake had been an extreme reaction, but somehow understandable given the intensity of his new Vulcan emotions. Cross looked at Seren in wide eyed disbelief, unsure of how a counsellor could so calmly explain away Cross' attempt to murder the Human with his bare hands. He'd hated Drake, just in that moment, the man's nattering and rambling and his annoying habit of calling Cross "boss". Cross had hated him, and had wanted nothing more than to see him dead. Cross still remembered the sensation, the pure unhindered rage, the bloodlust, as he had lunged at the Human, his hands only centimeters away form the man's throat when the Savi recued him, beaming Drake away to a different cell. Seren went on to state the necessity for Cross to repress his emotions.

There it is... Cross though to himself, his eyes narrowing at the counsellor. He wants to make me into a good-boy Vulcan.

Seren went on to advise Cross that he ought to study the proper techniques to control himself, initially offering to instruct Cross himself or, alternatively, to provide Cross with a list of Vulcans aboard the Theurgy who would be able to do the same. Cross' mouth contorted into a strained smile, the almost comical expression just barely holding back the laughter which was fighting to escape him. The idea of Seren teaching him to be a calm, boring, good-boy Vulcan when he naturally grated on Cross' nerves so much was amusing, to say the least, the also utterly unrealistic.

The counsellor then went on the explain to Cross about his childhood and how he had been taught to suppress him emotions form the moment they began to manifest, thanks to the wonderful teachings of Surak. Despite this piece of information he had just given Cross, he then went on to claim he could understand the struggle Cross was going through.

The laugh did escape Cross that time. The laugh tore from Cross, loud and barking, as he shook his head with a mixture of shock and disbelief. The counsellor had just admitted that he had learned to control his own emotions from the very beginning, and so could not possibly know what Cross was experiencing. While a small part of Cross suspected the statement had been a plot to build a sense of relatability with his patient, the larger part of Cross simply could not let the statement pass unchallenged. Cross gave himself a moment, letting the laughter subside before he finally spoke.

"Oh, you understand, do you counsellor?" Cross' voice was quiet, his tone not quite menacing, though far from friendly. "And what is it exactly that you think you understand?"

Cross took a deep breath in through his nose, his jaw clenching for a moment as he fought to control himself. He let the breath out slowly, the air being expelled forcefully through his nostrils. Forcing himself to relax his tense jaw, he spoke again, his voice more heated than before. "Having grown up with someone teaching you from the very beginning to supress your emotions, ensuring all the while that you had the emotional range of a hajari kuna, you think you can understand what I feel?" Cross chuckled again, though the sound held not a hint of mirth. "Growing up among your precious fellow Vulcans, you think you can empathize with my experiences?" Cross remained perfectly still as he spoke, still leaning forward with his elbow resting on his knees. His hands remained clasped in front of him, organic hand clasping the prosthetic tightly, and he regarded the counsellor sitting across form him with a neutral expression tinged with a dark anger.

"I grew up as a hajari lab experiment. I wasn't raised as a child, but as a curiosity. I was a hajari plaything for the hajari Cardie scientists, nothing more than a hajari lab rat to them!" Cross sperated his hands, worried that, in his anger, he would grip his organic hand with his prosthetic. He'd had numerous problems with the prosthetic, and wouldn't have been surprised if he'd crushed his remaining hand with it by mistake. Once his biological hand was safely removed, he allowed the cybernetic one to ball into a tight fist, his organic hand instead gripping the metallic surface of the wrist. As he continued, his voice grew more heated, the words coming out in somewhat of a growl. "You were taught to control your emotions? I was taught fear. I was taught pain." Cross' lips tightened, the angered Vulcan having to fight to stop himself baring his teeth at the counsellor. "You learned discipline and logic. I was taught that I wasn't even worthy of a name, much less an education! That I was less than an animal in the eyes of my keepers." Cross' anger had been mounting throughout his growled speech, and had reached the point where he could no longer prevent his lips from curling back into a hateful snarl. "I was tested, tormented and tortured, all for the curiosity of the hajari scientists who made me!" Cross' voice had risen throughout his rant, to the point where it now bordered on yelling. "So tell me, counsellor, please! Tell me how you understand my struggle." Cross' eyes bored into the counsellor's as he took several ragged breaths. Cross knew he had lost his temped, he knew that he should not be behaving in such a manner, especially given his new station, but Seren had sent him spiralling downward into anger, the idea that someone with such a different upbringing, such a polar opposite in circumstances, could somehow understand what he was going through... well... it was had hardly conducive to calm discussion.

Cross closed his eyes, taking several slow, deep breaths. He tried going through a simple mental exercise, one taught to him by the only Vulcan he had ever truly trusted. During his rehabilitation, K'Shem had taught him basic techniques to control his turbulent emotions to the point that, while not in the least bit suppressed, Cross would be able to retain enough control to prevent himself lashing out at others. Since his correction, the basic technique had proven less effective, though it had still provided small aid on occasion. This was one such occasion, as Cross had been envisioning himself lunging for the other Vulcan in the midst of his ranting.

Finally Cross let out a long sigh, his shoulder sagging. He raised his gaze to regard the counsellor with a mixture of annoyance and dismay. "Forgive me, counsellor," he said in a low tone, though it held no hint of remorse, "but I don't believe there is any chance that you understand what I've been through."

Cross tried to imagine the stark differences between them for a moment, not only in their upbringing, but in their emotional state as well. Seren, ever the good-boy Vulcan, appeared to be calm, cool and collected, unperturbed by Cross' outburst. Cross imagined the man's emotional state was akin to a serene pond, calm and smooth, undisturbed.

Cross' emotional state, by comparison, would be more akin to a hurricane.

"I will certainly take your... suggestion... under consideration, counsellor," Cross finally conceded, his eyes still dark and angry as they bored into Seren. He was loath to admit it, but there might be some merit to Seren's suggestion. Even Cross couldn't deny that he needed to do something to get his emotions under control, lest he wind up actually killing someone the next time he lost control. "Though I don't think you would be the best choice of tutor..."

Cross suspected that having to spend additional time with Seren beyond their counselling sessions might end poorly for the both of them. The fear he harboured of completely losing control, of hurting or killing someone in the process, well... he couldn't deny the merit of Seren's suggestion despite his feelings towards the irksome Vulcan.


Kardasi Translation:
Hajari kuna - Fucking rock
Hajari - Fucking

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #5
[Ensign Seren |   Lt.Cmdr. Cross' Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ]
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Attn:  @Fife


Despite his initial suggestion, Liutenant Commander persisted in his habit of seasoning his speech with profanity. If that were not inopportune enough, the fact that he persisted in using those words in kardasi only slowed down their conversation unnecessarily. Seren was well aware that it was a kind of provocation, a tantrum more typical of an immature individual than a high-ranking Starfleet officer. However, the counsellor had experienced such situations in the past. There were certain officers who loathed that someone they deemed as young and inexpert should have 'power' over them during the sessions. There were others who detested the idea of opening their minds and private experiences to other people, and reacted in the inverse way that any therapist sought. Finally, there was the group that considered Vulcan behavior disruptive and reacted belligerently to their mere presence. And, all in all, Seren tried to be the perfect example of a Vulcan. If Seren didn't pursue it, he might have sighed and shook his head at Cross's futile provocation. But the Vulcan didn't let himself be carried away by an annoyance that would bear the opposite outcome from what he had expected, so he simply kept staring at the Chief and let himself blink only once.

As the counselor expressed his perspective about Cross issues, he monitored his patient's physical reactions. At first, they were subtle: a slight tension in the jaw, a contraction of the pupils. For a well-educated Vulcan that would be inadmissible, but it was a praiseworthy attempt given Cross' hybrid nature. While this was no longer genetical at least it remained that way in the cultural context. Nevertheless, as Seren kept talking, the signs of emotion became more obvious and visible. It was clear that the substandard self-control he possessed was crumbling away by seconds, so he prepared mentally for the upcoming outburst.  It didn't take long before it was there, and as soon as the counselor finished speaking, Cross burst into a laugh that sounded hysterical and out of tune in the Vulcan's ears. Immediately afterwards, the tactical officer began to throw up a series of toxic remarks, exposing his disbelief at the counselor's statements. Such bewilderment puzzled Seren, even though his features didn't record that fact. Hadn't his words been logical and correct? Had he not established clearly the needs he had perceived in Cross? Cross' reaction was utterly irrational.

Notwithstanding his inner consternation, Seren kept his face unperturbed and still stared into Cross' pale eyes. But Seren's hands weren't so passive, and they pulled the padd up in front of him and unlocked the device, so he could take some notes on the patient's behavior and statements. Extremely informative for further analysis. Even more effective at concealing how his fingers twitched every time Cross exhibited more irrational demeanour, a more histrionic attitude. Seren needed to focus on the work he had to do there. He couldn't let himself be dragged along by the shameful urge that the patient aroused. He couldn't indulge that addiction. Not in that time. Not that same day. Perhaps the next one, if meditation and repose failed to relieve him of that shameful compulsion. So he sat there motionless. Outwardly undisturbed. And he observed. He listened. And he took notes, while controlling the slight tremor of his fingers. When Cross had finished his speech, the counselor was the perfect Vulcan model, calm and composed.

Seren refused to let the silence thicken in the room for long time. "Apologies are illogical and unnecessary, Lyras," he said in a neutral tone. Evaluating the emotional state of an individual as... passionate as the Liutenant Commander always carried the risk of a sudden meltdown. Not letting that phrase lingered for too long he move on to the next topic, so his patient didn't think his phrase was some sort of scolding. "If you choose another crew member as a mentor, I suggest that you contact Liutenant Commander Hathev, whose experience and intelligence are remarkable and can be extremely beneficial for you" he suggested. Certainly his former instructor was the most obvious choice for the task, although Seren had deep doubts about whether she would be able to instill mesure and self-control in Cross. While she was a professional with an enviable career record, her utter failure to nurture and educate Kiriel was something that made him wary of her ability to help Cross. It was quite clear that the experience with Kiriel and the lack of blood bonds could make her approach the assignment with Cross more rational and unemotional, employing the intellect that Seren had always admired in her. Furthermore, Seren was familiar with the rest of the Vulcans on board and no one else seemed as suitable for the task as she was. There had been some other vulcan arrivals with other crews that had joined while he was in cryostasis, but the counselor had not been able to evaluate them yet. If Cross was an example of such a new vulcan crewmembers, it was unacceptable to have his patient associate with another Vulcan without logic. So, in spite of her inadequacies and the long years he hadn't met her (with all the potential changes that could entail), Hathev was the most obvious choice.

"As for your most recent emotional outburst," he continued shortly thereafter. "In spite of your excepticism I can assure you that I have a basis for understanding it. Despite our obvious differences in experience, my job is to comprehend my patients and reach an understanding of their emotional state from a theoretical perspective when it cannot be empirically. Just as you have sharpened your skills to perform your duties, I have honed my capabilities to mine, no matter how alien it could be. My interest is to ensure your well-being and emotional stability and I will be able to serve to this purpose with all my skill. As unorthodox as it may appear to you," he asserted. His words resembled much of what he had said a few days ago, during his first session with Carrigan Trent. One of Seren's narrow eyebrows quivered barely noticeably as he recalled his most frequent patient. There were some disturbing similarities between both patients. Mainly stubbornness, the desire of get the upper hand over the counselor and an explosive emotional condition. Maybe what he was learning with one could help treat the other. Whatever the case, both patients were a test of patience. A task that the Vulcan knew he could overcome.

"I wish you to bear in mind that I have disclosed a personal experience in order to establish a clear basis for our interaction. You may not judge me under that sole revelation and the seven comma forty-four seconds that we have interacted. I have had ample access to your profile and have the analyses and conclusions of your previous therapists, but you have not had that privilege, which puts you in a less informed position than mine. This is as it should be since a patient-counselor interaction must keep a some distance.  This will lead to more effective therapy, but I can try a more... casual approach if that is more appropriate for you," he proposed. It wasn't the approach Seren would select, let alone with a vulcan-blooded patient, but Seren was open to adjusting within the limits of his capabilities.

"Now, going back to your lack of control after de Versant, I can relate to your experience since by having impeccable control over my emotions, the loss of control over them is much more disturbing," he explained before he took a longer pause than usual. It was evident that Cross was out of tune with his Vulcan nature and probably didn't know the details of his own new biology. The hardships they had to overcome when the mandates of their nature overwhelmed all logical reasoning. The Vulcan readjusted his position a little, awkward, as he remembered the first (and only) time he had been swept away by such mindlessness. " There are instances in which every Vulcan, despite their self-control, lost the battle against their emotions. But we shouldn't talk about those times," he said before he fell back into an uneasy silence. That would give Cross time to reflect and calm down. And it would allow the counselor to analyze his reaction and guess the depth of his patient's knowledge about his own biology.

After exactly one hundred and sixty-five seconds, the counsellor spoke once again. "According to your previous remarks, it is clear that your experiences among the Cardassians have a greater impact on your actual mental state than the most recent events you have undergone. Do you prefer that we guide the session to them or would you prefer that we conduct our talk about your encounter with the Savi?"
Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #6
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
[Show/Hide]Cross listened, calmer now, as Seren began to reiterate that it was his job to understand the emotional state of his patients. It was an amusing notion, that a Vulcan who was so obviously suppressed that the stick up his ass was likely compressed into a petrified stone would claim to understand the emotions of another being. Seren claimed it was his job. Cross' job was in the tactical department, but that didn't mean he knew how a torpedo felt as it was launched from the tubes and into the voice of space, rocketing towards it's target and it's ultimate destruction.

Seren went on to inform Cross that it was his interest to ensure Cross' emotional stability and well being, though Cross couldn't help but think that Seren himself was disrupting Cross' emotional stability, the ridged Vulcan's mere presence feeling irksome to the former hybrid. Despite this, Cross knew he had to undergo the therapy sessions, just as every survivor of the Versant must, and so he would endure.

He didn't have to like the man sitting across from him, though.

Seren continued with his Vulcan manner of speech, droning on about the fact that he had shared a personal experience in order to establish a clear basis for their interaction. Cross forced back a smile that threatened to creep over his features, wondering how much Seren considered a Vulcan learning to suppress their emotions to be a personal experience. Cross was sure it was very personal, to Seren and every other fucking Vulcan who thought they were a special little logical butterfly. As Seren went on to point out that he had access to Cross' previous files, where Cross had no such advantage, that Seren was better informed than Cross was, as was appropriate in a patient-counsellor relationship. Cross couldn't help but hear the words and think of it as a Vulcan form of a pissing contest. "I have more access to information than you." or "My logic is better than yours." or "My eyebrows are more ridiculous than yours.".

Bloody Vulcans...

Seren surprised Cross by offering to try a more casual approach to their therapy session. In truth, Cross wasn't sure what a Vulcan such as Seren would consider casual, but he was intrigued to find out.

"A casual approach?" Cross repeated the statement, still trying to wrap his head around it. A slight smile crept over his lips this time, bemused as he was to find out how casual would look on Seren. "That may be worth a try."

Seren steered the conversation back to the subject at hand, namely Cross' lack of control following the events on the Versant. Again, Seren insisted that a stuffed up little emotionless paperweight like himself could somehow relate to Cross' experience of total rage, the extreme polar opposite of anything Seren himself had experienced. Seren apparently though that such a loss of control would be disturbing.

Seren seemed to pause then, and it seemed to Cross as though he, Seren, King of the Vulcan logic, sire of serenity sticks, monarch of monotone, was suddenly hesitant to make his next point. Cross waited with bated breath, unable to resist the curiosity about what would make the counsellor pause so. He did not have to wait long.

"There are instances in which every Vulcan, despite their self-control, lost the battle against their emotions. But we shouldn't talk about those times."

As Seren fell back into silence, Cross stared at him with an incredulous expression. Was Seren trying to have the Vulcan equivalent of the sex talk with him? If Cross wasn't feeling such a great sense of disbelief, he would have laughed.

"I'm aware of Pon Farr, counsellor." Cross announced, opting to completely disregard Seren's statement that they shouldn't talk about it. A slight twitch at the corner of his mouth was the only hint of a smile that he gave. "You said you have access to my file. It should contain the few details that are known of my... conception." Cross leaned forward where he sat, hands clasped in front of him as his eyes locked on the other man's. Cross' eyes held no hint of warmth or kindness, but were cold and hard. "I may not be an expert in Vulcans, or how sex crazy they get, but I know the gist of it. The Cardassians in the camp I was born in had a Vulcan prisoner that was undergoing Pon Farr. They decided to conduct a little experiment, and threw him in a cell with a Bajoran woman." The corners of Cross' mouth hard turned down, his upper lip twitching as though threatening to curl into a sneer. Throughout the statement, Cross' voice was cold and impassive, his tone low and almost growling. "I was a result of that little... experiment. The scientists used to enjoy taunting me with the information when I got older, though I'd never met either of my parents." Cross' brows burrowed, turning his cold gaze into an outright scowl. "So tell me, if Vulcans are so superior, how is it that they have such a momentous flaw? If your emotional control is so superior, why is it doomed to break, turning you into a mindless, crazed sex fiend? Hmmm, counsellor?"

Cross rose from the couch then, moving to the replicator and ordering a coffee, not really caring if Seren attempted to respond to the stabbing remarks. Cross wasn't looking for the other man to attempt to justify the Pon Farr. As the coffee materialized, Cross lifted it and turned his head to look at Seren. "Would you like anything, counsellor?"

Having replicated a drink should Seren wish it, Cross returned to the couch and placed the beverages on the table. The former hybrid took a deep breath, forcing himself to calm slightly, before lifting his cup and sipping the dark liquid within. He then leaned back against the backrest of the couch, leveling a less heated gaze at Seren. The counsellor had remarked that it was clear that Cross' experiences among the Cardassians had had a much greater impact on the former hybrid's mental state than the more recent traumas. Seren went on to ask if Cross wanted the session to focus on that period, or continue with the Versant.

"Honestly, counsellor," Cross began, pausing to take another sip of his coffee as he considered the question. Seren was right, though Cross was loathe to admit it. His childhood spent as a curiosity for Cardassian scientists had certainly had a mouch more significant impact on him than the Versant had. "I think that perhaps my time among the spoonheads might be better left for another session." Cross' mouth twitched in the makings of another smile as he studied the counsellor, curios to see if his little racist remark would elicit a reaction. "I may be best if we focus on the Versant for the time being. It is, of course, the reason for out mandated sessions." Cross sipped his coffee, letting out an appreciative sigh before putting the yet steaming cup on the table. "Now, where was I?"

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #7

[Ensign Seren |   Lt.Cmdr. Cross' Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ]
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Attn:  @Fife


When the patient accepted his recommendation to proceed with the session in a more casual manner, Seren nodded in solemn agreement as acknowledgement of that fact. Indeed, in the way he indulged in the session mood change, Cross was apparently intrigued. An acceptable emotion within the parameters of their specie. Unfortunately, Cross' face contorted into one of those uncanny smiles to which he seemed fond. It wasn't an appropriate expression for a Vulcan, but given the former hybrid's volatile nature, a positive emotional reaction was preferred. If he was in a more conducive disposition to cooperate, perhaps the counsellor would manage to relent those emotional displays. In due time. Seren had no rush, he was aware that Counselling consisted primarily on patience. And he had a good dose of it. That day he just wanted to learn a little more about Cross, how he really was in the flesh. If he could establish a routine for future sessions, he would consider the session a success. And, since the patient was a tactical officer, the counselor had a clear way to proceed to that 'casual approach'.

However, there were other matters to deal with and Seren postponed that point for later, to move on to a more uncomfortable one. When the counselor finished talking, he observed his patient's reaction. It didn't take long. The way Cross adressed one of the biggest taboos on which Seren had grown up made him raise an eyebrow. It was a minuscule displacement, but one that disturbed his studied inexpressive semblance. He had a pretty rough idea of how Cross had been bred, but when he heard it expressed in such a crude and rough manner it was deeply disturbing. The counsellor had to use all his will to suppress further external displays of repulsion. First and foremost because of the levity with which Cross delved into details of one of the most deep-rooted prejudices in his education, and due to the visceral terms he was using. If Seren had less self-control than he had, he would have missed Cross' previous flourish metaphors and foul words.  However, yearn about something was an emotional weakness that Seren lacked. It was a demonstration of a misethical, poorly conceived experiment resulting in a outcome that gave few answers to the scientists who had designed it. It was evident that those who had 'conceived' Cross had only in their minds a momentary and personal satisfaction and not the greater good. Not even the goal of deepening knowledge of the Cardassian Union. They didn't do any scientific research, they only toyed like ignorant and capricious infants. An irrational attitude typical of primitive and unsophisticated minds, whose product sat in front of him, imperfect, illogical and incapable of understanding himself.

As soon as Cross had finished his speech, he rose to his feet, with his back towards the counsellor, to approach the replicator. Seren took advantage of that moment to close his eyes in pursuit of his own core. Of that inner stillness that guided his actions. By the time Cross spun to face him again, with a cup steaming between his hands, wondering if Seren wanted something to drink, the young vulcan had opened his eyes. His attention was focused on the padd in front of him again, where he took short notes. "A grapefruit juice would be adequate, Lyras" he replied. He had no habit of consuming food or drink in the presence of his patients, but he had to break that rule to give a more relaxed atmosphere to the meeting. "Three hundred and thirty milliliters, at thirty-two comma five centigrade grades" he specified. A vitamin-rich drink at a temperature below his body heat was the most appropriate.


While Cross proceeded to introduce his request into the replicator, Seren straightened his back even more, almost a statue carved in sandstone. "Pon Farr is the toll we must bear as specie after purging our society of the emotions that nearly destroyed us in the past. In spite of Surak's teachings and the logic ways, notwithstanding our enhanced mental and telepathic development through our self-discipline, we have not yet been able to rid ourselves entirely of the serfdom to biology. We have managed to transcend our forefathers and prevent our self-inflicted annihilation, while at the same time we have created a well-ordered and enlightened society. But that has come at a great cost," Seren explained. His voice had never shifted, calm and serene. However, for someone who knew where to look, they could notice the slightest curvature of his lips. The way his fingers rested on the padd, pressing it lightly, so that his hands didn't twitch. Seren was genuinely uncomfortable, but this was a lesson Cross must learn. Now, by choice or simply because he had no other option, the man in front of him was 100% Vulcan. And he had to know what that implied, in addition to his newfound inner turmoil. "It is a cost that, as a now biologically Vulcan, you will have to endure from now on. Like all of us do."

Seren welcomed the glass Cross placed on the table and sipped a small drink from it. If his movements weren't so smooth and flawless, it could be said that he had hurried them to rinse his throat, to remove an unpleasant taste from his mouth. However, the truth was very different. Seren was only acting as expected from an informal meeting. Just as Cross had requested. The very biology of his species could not disturb him. Notwithstanding how unlogical it was at times.

Once he had drunk a long sip, he placed the glass aside, so that this and the padd were aligned and equidistant between each other and the table edges. However, rather than remain seated, Seren stood up and headed towards the replicator himself. " I consider appropriate to delay an examination of your experiences among Cardassians for a future session. We will deal with that issue when you deem it convenient" He agreed while he entered the parameters in the device manually. Cross' experience before he was rescued by Starfleet was relevant since, although it wasn't his most recent experience, it still conditioned his behaviour and inhibited him from achieving inner peace. Cross might be 'functional' but he still had a long journey ahead before recovering from all the emotional wounds he had suffered. As the objects started to take shape in the replicator's alcove, the counselor summarized the latest data Cross had expounded. "The latest information you have provided was how you almost killed your subaltern, Gideon Drake, using your own hands, but that the homicide was not committed since your captors transported the human to a different holding cell". Seren took the game board and bags and placed them on the low table in front of the chair where Cross sat. It was a synthetic wooden board, with nineteen vertical and nineteen horizontal lines traced on its surface. The vertical lines were marked with letters, while the horizontal lines had numbers. Then, he placed one of the cloth bags in front of Cross. The Vulcan looked around before placing the second bag near the spot in the couch he had designated for himself, much closer to his patient, but at a convenient distance so that neither of them would touch the other unintentionally.

Instead of sat down, Seren walked to the table he had previously occupied and removed the glass and padd from its surface. "What technique did you use to recover your self-control after this incident? Did you require external assistance or did you do it by yourself? How long did you take to reassume ownership of your own actions? " he asked as he retraced his own steps back to the couch and, this time, sat on it. As in the chair, his posture was immaculate, his body angles impeccable and his clothes had the minimum wrinkles, which lined up perfectly parallel or perpendicular to each other. Once seated, he placed the glass and the padd on the table, reached for the bag and began to extract a series of round and white stones. When he had accumulated a dozen on the palm of his right hand, he used the left to align them next to the board, parallel to its edge, but without touching it. "If you don't remember exactly those events, proceed to recount the next experience you remember on board the Versant," he requested.



Seren's board
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Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #8
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
[Show/Hide]As Seren reminded Cross of what he had been in his narrative, Cross felt a pang of irritation at the other Vulcan's tone, or lack thereof. The monotonous drone with which the counsellor referred to Cross' attempted murder of one of his own crew was infuriating, though Cross clenched his jaw and forced the reaction down, wanting to prevent himself from attempting the very same actions towards the counsellor. As Cross forced his jaw to relax, the reflexive anger slowly passing, he realized Seren had risen form his seat and made his way to the replicator.

Thanks for asking first... Cross thought to himself, wondering just what the hell the pointy-eared bastard was up to. Cross looked on with a mixture of annoyance and incredulity as Seren returned to the table, now carrying two cloth bags and what appeared to be a game board. As Seren seated himself once more, this time choosing to seat himself on the couch, he began to extract a number of round white stoned from his own bag, placing them in a neat line parallel to the edge of the game board. Cross stared at the game board for a moment, recognizing it but finding himself unsure as to why Seren would have chosen this game in particular. Ultimately, Cross gave a shrug and reached for his own cloth bag, which he knew would contain stones much like those Seren was annoyingly arraying in a perfect line, though Cross' stones would be black in colour. Cross wondered for a moment if Seren was trying to make a statement with his choice of stones, perhaps attempting to convey that the good boy Vulcan's pristine logic and exquisitely lodged serenity stick were pure, whereas Cross' possession of such horrific traits as a personality or a sense of humour were the stuff of darkness.

Stuck-up little bastard... Cross grumbled inwardly as he grabbed a rough handful of stones and dumped them out of his hand an onto the table on his side of the board. A sinister grin spread over his face for a moment, though eh quickly schooled his face to a neutral expression before twitching his hand and setting the board askew, the edge furthest from him shifting and sending a number of Seren's stones out of their pristine alignment, and one of them spinning off the table altogether. Cross watched Seren for any sign of reaction, suspecting he would get none yet hoping for some sign that Seren was bothered by the misalignment of his pieces, some hint that the incident irked him. Some reaction that would indicate that the stick up the counsellor's logical ass had shifted ever so slightly.

"Oops..." Cross said, with not a hint of sincerity behind the word, a shit-eating grin spreading across his features like some Vulcan-Bajoran Cheshire Cat. "How clumsy of me..."

"As to how I regained control, the Savi tranquilized me. I don't know how long I was out, but when I regained consciousness I was still alone in my cell." Cross continued, enjoying the sight of Seren having to lean over and pick up the errant stone, the counsellor's pristine clothing bunching as he stooped to retrieve it. Cross found himself hoping that the knowledge would irk Seren, even if the man gave no outward sign of it. Cross hoped it needled at the man, that it cause some splinter of his serenity stick to break off, lodging itself somewhere uncomfortable. Cross hoped it hurt.

"I don't know how long I remained in my cell once I woke up, but eventually I was transported into a common containment area with the other abductees, and the Savi activated a hologrid to simulate the USS Enterprise-D. We were expected to follow the normal routine of a Starship until such time as the Savi wiped our memories and released us. That... didn't happen." Cross picked up one of his stones, tossing it into the air and catching it several times as he continued to recount his story. "The abductees didn't exactly follow the Savi's commands, and began plotting a mutiny against the holographic ship. We sued the telepaths to convey the plans, since the Savi were monitoring us. A Klingon, one originally from this ship, decided we should try a mind meld ot make plans. I had never performed one before, and tried warning him of the dangers, but her insisted, Hajari moron that he was..."

Cross paused for a moment, directing his attention to the game board and placing the opening stone before continuing. "Suffice it to say, the meld didn't go well, Khorin lashed out at me mentally, the meld broke, and both of us went berserk. I tried killing him, he tried killing me, then we were arrested by the holographic simulation's security. Then we killed them." Cross found the idea that he so calmly related yet another attempted murder to be somewhat funny, though he didn't allow it to show outwardly. The last thing he needed was for Seren to chastise him, possibly prompting further attempts to commit homicide.

"After that, the abductees launched their assault against the holo program, fighting their way to engineering and overloading the warp core to end the program. Then we attempted to free ourselves, and were beamed to a hidden location aboard the Savi ship by a sympathetic party who was working in league with Commander Tiran, who had escaped being recycled by the Savi. The hajari bulbous-headed bastards liquified people, and consumed them for nutrients." Cross' eyes narrowed then, and he levelled a cold gaze at the counsellor. "I swear, if you say that that's hajari logical I'll rip you hajari throat out."

"Anyway, we spent the night in the maintenance bay, and there was another incident with Khorin. He was being a dick, I tried to gouge his eyes out, he grabbed my dick... hajari Klingons..." Cross shook his head in annoyance, taking up his mug and sipping the coffee. "Then Blue... Commander Tiran, that is... well, she fell asleep on me, and I didn't know what to do, I was afraid to wake her up, so... I just sort of... left her there. Then I fell asleep on her... well..." Cross looked hurriedly up at Seren then, colour rising in his cheeks. "Not like that!! Nothing happened!!"


Kardasi Translation:
Hajari - Fucking
  • Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 12:03:38 AM by Fife

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #9
[Ensign Seren |   Lt.Cmdr. Cross' Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ]
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Attn:  @Fife

The patient hit the edge of the dashboard, and this motion disarranged his clean line of white stones. Cross apologized for his clumsiness and the Vulcan couldn't help but identify that lack of body control as another symptom of his profound lack of discipline and self-control. Seren blinked slowly a single time, placed his right hand on his abdomen to prevent excessive wrinkling of his garment and leaned forward to pick up the fallen stone. The white pebble had almost rolled under the couch, so the counselor needed to bend even more on himself in order to reach it. He stretched his left arm as far as he could to reach it, and once he had managed to get it, he placed it next to the board, just in the corner. His face remained undisturbed, without deigning to make any external demonstration of his opinion on the lack of elegance of the former hybrid.

Cross, meanwhile, proceeded to recount how the Savi had sedated him, then deposited the newly reasigned vulcan in a common pent with the others abductees, a kind of holodeck that, once activated, emulated the USS Enterprise-D. Meanwhile, the counsellor began to rearrange the stones on his edge of the board, taking all the time he needed to ensure that they were perfectly lined up and equidistant one from the other.  At the same time, the intentions of the Cross captors aroused his curiosity. What did the Savi want with that setting? It was certain that a well-known environment and familiar activities could pacify some humanoids, but in circumstances as traumatic as those they had subjected their kidnappers to, keeping such a diverse group together in a well-known environment would merely alienate those individuals. If their final intention was to erase their memory it would be more efficient to keep them sedated and segregated, which would allow the Savi to retain their control over the abductees far more easily.


As he expected, the patient's narrative followed relating how the abductees rebelled against their captors and began plotting a secret mutiny, with telepaths employed to avoid Savi monitoring. Seren nodded in the face of the efficiency of that way of planning, under the circumstances to which they had been subjected. In the meantime, Cross had placed the first stone on the dashboard. Seren then took one of his own to execute his first move too. He chose the first one from the left, the same one that had fallen to the floor no so long ago. The Vulcan had provided Cross with the black stones so that he could have the benefit of the initial move, but the tactical officer seemed to have missed that advantage with an ill-considered move. After some quick calculations, Seren decided where he would place his piece, at an optimal distance to be a threat to Cross's one, depending on his next moves, but with enough room for his own strategy. When Seren's hand hovered over the board on the verge of placing the token, Cross reported the incident with the Klingon' meld.

The counselor failed to complete the movement and shifted his gaze from the dashboard to the patient's face as one of his eyebrows rose slightly up his forehead. "A mind melt is an intimate act that can be very beneficial or very harmful, it depends on who and how it is performed," he carefully explained. He made a pause in which he placed the stone over the board before he spoke further. "Since your melt with the Klingon was coerced and the results were disastrous in your own words, I would recommend that you allowed to undergo a mental survey. Such trauma may have physical consequences on a Vulcan brain and it may be influencing your growing difficulty in maintaining your self-control," he cautiously reasoned. It was a real danger and a really harmful likelihood. " Mr. Douglas' file showed that he had some disciplinary issues in the past, and if he now has a part of your katra this character flaw may worsen in both of you," he warned. It was not a trifle.

Seren kept listening to Cross's story. When he revealed that the ultimate purpose of abductees was to been liquefy to be consumed as edible pulp, he was unable to refrain his repulsion for the creatures. Cause harm to another creature for deeding on them was illogical. Consume rational beings was abominably. But kidnapping and subjecting intelligent beings to the experiments and tortures they had carried out on the abductees in order to reduce them to food material was pointless. "No, your captors' behavior is unreasonable. Performing such a complex procedure that causes as much suffering as a DNA reassignment and then turning the subjects into food has no logic and it is morally execrable." he concurred with his patient.

The former hybrid proceeded with his narration, describing his next loss of control with the Klingon. Seren was increasingly persuaded that he needed to probe Cross' mind in search of katra damage as a result of all these incidents. Then, Cross proceeded to narrate how he spent a night beside Blue Tiran. He described this event in a choppy and disorderly manner, as his cheeks suddenly dyed green. The deduction of what had happened was straightforward, somewhat characteristic of emotional creatures in extreme stress situations. "As a counsellor I do not have the responsibility of judge with whom you maintain or not an intercourse, as long as it does not affect your performance in your work place or your emotional stability." he explained. "What you have disclosed in this session is confidential, so you should not feel uneasiness. Please proceed to narrate the events of the subsequent day."
Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #10
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
[Show/Hide]Cross found a certain degree of satisfaction at the pains Seren took to keep his clothing form becoming wrinkled as he bent over to retrieve the renegade Go stone. While the Vulcan counsellor showed no outward signs of annoyance, or any other emotion for that matter, Cross hoped the simple disruption to the order with which he had arranged his stones had had an inward effect on the man.

Cross hoped it irked the hell out of him.

As Seren straightened up after retrieving the stone, he placed It back beside the board and set about rearranging his pieces, lining back up as they had been before Cross had accidentally thrown them into disarray. Cross wondered is another such "mishap" would cause the counsellor to give up and simply accept the fixing of the ordered line of stones as illogical, or if he would continually line them up and arrange them just so. Cross was tempted to test his theory, though opted not to for the moment. When Seren had been about to place his stone, he seemed to hesitate, and if Cross hadn't known the man was a Vulcan, he would have suspected he was shocked by something Cross had said. That something became apparent when Seren spoke, speaking of the dangers of mind meld, especially for those untrained in performing them. He recommended that Cross undergo a mental survey, stating that the mental trauma may be influencing his increasing inability to control his emotions. He added that Mr. Douglas' file showed some disciplinary issues, and appeared worries that he had part of Cross' katra in him, whatever the hell that meant.

Seren went on to comment that the Savi's use of the abductees was illogical, to harm them and alter them before ultimately recycling and eating them seemed a waste of resources. Cross couldn't help but agree with the man, though at the time the thought hadn't occurred to him. Instead, Cross thought bitterly, they had been too busy trying not to be recycled and eaten at the time that they had thought of little else. It was a pity they hadn't had the counsellor present to comment on the illogical actions of the Savi. It likely would have given all the abductees a good laugh as they plotted their assault on the Versant's inhabitants. Seren also comment on the lack of ill morals of the practise, and Cross wondered what part of the Savi Seren believed to be guided by morals. The bulbous-headed fuckers had abducted people, killed many of them, eaten many of them, genetically altered the rest of them against their will, and planned to kill and eat them afterwards. Attempting to bring a moral argument into the fray seemed ludicrous to Cross.

Cross had been reaching for his coffee and about to comment on the fact when Seren continued, moving on to the topic of Blue.

"As a counsellor I do not have the responsibility to judge with whom you maintain or not an intercourse..."

Cross froze in the middle of lifting his coffee from the table, his face flushed in spectacular fashion, his skin tone seeming to shift from it's usually tone to that of a vibrant, green glow instantaneously. The dense bastard counsellor went on to explain that their sessions were confidential, and that Cross needn't feel any sense of unease before asking Cross to proceed to the telling of the events of the next day.

"Woah, wait!" Cross objected, hold up his hands as if to ward off the counsellor, nearly spilling his drink in the process. He carefully placed his untouched mug back on the table before rounding on the counsellor. "It's not like that! We never... we didn't..." Cross' eyes were wide with borderline panic as he fought to fine the words, to set the record straight. "We didn't sleep together... I mean, we slept together, but..." Cross gritted his teeth for a moment, inwardly cursing himself for getting so flustered, and outwardly cursing the counsellor for misconstruing his words. "Hajari hell! I meant we slept. As in fell asleep. I didn't mean... I didn't haja Blue!" Cross' face had grown in it's flushing, his cheeks, neck and forehead now a furious green. Had he had the facial striping of a Bolian, he might have looked like a scowling watermelon. "Blue and I, we aren't like that. I mean, Blue's beautiful, but... it's not like that between us!" Cross glared at the other Vulcan, his jaw clenched as he took several deep breaths to try and calm himself down. "Blue and I did NOT have sex. Understand?"

Cross realized he had been clenching his fists, and forced his hands to relax. He took several more deep breaths, looking away from Seren as he fought to retain what little calm he had left. He reached out and picked up him mug, lifting it to his mouth. His hand was trembling slightly form his anger, and he saw the ripples in the liquid, though the tremors were not strong enough to cause the liquid to spill. He took a long sip of the bitter liquid, vying for time. He took another sip, then another, as though hoping the coffee had somehow become laced with a sedative at some point during his conversation with the insufferable counsellor. Finally, the mug drained, Cross rose from the couch and moved to the replicator for a refill. Fresh coffee in hand, he returned to the couch, placing the mug on the table before he sat.

"Look, counsellor," he said, giving Seren a hard expression. "I don't care what you say about me, but you leave Blue out of this." Cross' eyes flashed dangerously as he spoke. His tone was low and level, and carried with it a hint of menace. "You can call me illogical, or irrational, or a hajari mutt for all I hajari care, but you will not speak ill of Commander Tiran." Cross sighed then, some of the tension visibly draining from him. When he continued, his tone was quieter, softer. "Me and Blue, we're not like that. She's... well, I think she feels like... family..." Cross' mouth twitched into a hint of a smile. "I have no hajari idea what having a family would feel like, so I'm just guessing, but..." Cross raised his gaze, his eyes meeting Seren's, raising his left hand as well. "I lost my hand protecting Blue aboard the Versant, and I'd do the same again in a heartbeat. I care about her, but not in a romantic way. On top of which, Blue is engaged to Commander Ducote, the ship's XO, and I won't have you or anyone else thinking that she would betray him like that. Is that understood, Ensign?" Cross' gaze hardened again, his eyes boring into Seren's. "Blue may be a raging isanau at times, but she's also one of the best people I know." Cross turned his attention away from the counsellor, retrieving his mug from the table and taking a long sip.

"Now, if you want to get a look in my head, take a peek at those emotions you've been so deprived of, you go right the haja ahead." Cross said, giving the counsellor an indifferent look. "Take a peek while you're in there. You can see for yourself that Blue and I didn't... didn't..." Cross stopped mid sentence as the colour in his cheeks, which had begun to fade, came back for an encore.

"Anyway, the next day we began out operation to strike back against the Savi. Blue and I were part of the team that was to assault the Machine Intelligence Labs and retrieve Thea and Albert, Blue's hajari tin pigeon." Cross paused for more of his coffee, though he glanced at Seren with the mug suspended in front of his face.

"Are you going to place that stone, counsellor? Or is it your new special friend?"



Kardasi Translation:
Hajari - Fucking
Haja - Fuck
Isanau - Asshole

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #11
[Ensign Seren |   Lt.Cmdr. Cross' Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ]
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Attn:  @Fife


The patient's face, at the end of Seren's statement, soon adopted a bright green shade. So sudden was this colour shift and so fierce was the change that the counsellor considered the possibility of requesting an emergency site to site transport into sickbay. After all, if Cross were a  typical Vulcan, that would be a symptom of an acute illness. However, given the exceptional nature of the tactical officer, the young Vulcan simply blinked and remained silent, examining the subsequent development before he made a decision, despite the discomfort that this abnormally green face caused him.

His worry about Cross' health status did not improve when the other Vulcan nearly spilled his coffee as he waved his hands disorderly in front of his verdant face. The cup's liquid was not spilled all around by a miracle, but several droplets of the dark brew leapt from the cup to collide with the floor. Seren withdrew effortlessly from the threat of them falling into the bottom of his long robe, which increased his distance from the patient. When he was confident that the spilled drops would not stain the underneath of his garments, he repositioned himself in his initial position, as if nothing had ever happened. Under no circumstances did his eyes move away from Cross's face in all that motion.

Meanwhile, Cross kept on babbling incoherently, with clenched teeth and bulging eyes, as if they were going to come out of their sockets. Seren endeavoured to find some coherence in that strange mixture between a stroke and an emotional outburst unworthy of someone of his species out of their Time. "Lyras, if you desist from the use of sexual terms in your dissertation and try to communicate in an unequivocal and orderly manner, neither you nor I should need to make supplementary clarifications," he reminded Cross, as he had done not so long ago. "I have only had clarified a basic principle of the session that seemed to require lightening given the nervousness you have displayed. The interpretation that I insinuated that you had had a sexual encounter with Miss Blue Tiran has been entirely yours." He then clarified. His voice assumed a studied assertiveness. It was a subtle change, barely detectable, but it filled his words of admonishment. Hewouldn't let that abrupt outburst divert the purpose of the session. Notwithstanding the nervous breakdown and the obvious difficulty of maintaining a disciplined façade, Seren noticed that Cross was struggling to calm himself. It was a praiseworthy effort that the counselor cherished inwardly, even though the former hybrid endeavored to make evident his animosity toward the counselor. He was indifferent to that malcontent, as long as Cross was mature enough to keep it within socially acceptable limits. "I will not disclose anything from this session," he repeated. "But I require that you communicate in a more efficient manner from now on so that the session can progress in an adequate way and without any further disturbances," he insisted again.

Seren took a brief drink of his juice whilst Cross exposed his relationship with the engineer. He took mental note that the human woman had been the reason why Cross had lost his hand, in an act of sacrifice for the wellbeing of another being. "Your relationship with Miss Tiran cannot be left out of the conversation," he decreed. "If you regard her as a relative, as a k'war'ma'khon, I must know about your attachment with her, Lyras." Seren requested, using the term in his native language due to the lack of a similar concept in Standard. "She is part of your support network, something that is fundamental for emotional beings, so your involvement with Miss Tiran,and with the First Officer given his connection with her as well as with whomever that has the same degree of regard that they have in your heart, is essential in order to evaluate your emotional state and how it can be affected, positively or negatively, in the performance of your duties in the Bridge," he added while he placed the glass on the table, beside his clean line of aligned stones. "I also want you to clarify any relationship of hostility or enmity you have developed, like that previously mentioned with Mister Douglas."

When Cross confronted him to do the mental survey at that precise moment, Seren dismissed it and remained undaunted and quiet. It wasn't the proper timing. First, he had to do a complete analysis of the events which Cross had experienced at Versant. Yet when the other man spat out that he was willing to go into Cross' head due he he was deprived of emotions, Seren's fingers twitched for a split second, resulting in a tiny wrinkle in the fabric that covered his knee. Seren didn't acknowledge this fact and kept listening, making no motion to smooth it out.

Cross was unaware of the counselor's minor transgression or didn't give it any significance, as he kept succinctly recounting the events that occurred during his abduction. Seren took the glass again and held it in his hands, so that the juice warmed up once again and reached the optimum temperature, close to his own body warmth. He only interrupted his patient when he mentioned a certain 'Albert'. "You has described that you conducted a rescue operation to recover Thea and a being you have designated as 'Albert'. Your depiction of 'Albert' as a 'tin pigeon' of Miss Tiran's ownership is unclear and requires further clarification. What is the relevance of this 'Albert'? What is their nature? Is it another mechanical or holographic entity or is they a blood relative of Miss Tiran?" he asked, exploiting the pause Cross took while taking a drink of coffee.

However, the first thing the patient did after pulling the cup away from his lips was to demand that Seren place his stone. The counsellor blinked very slowly and moved his eyes to stare the white stone he had placed several minutes ago on the dashboard for three seconds. Then his dark eyes refocused on Cross's face. "Lyras, it is your turn," he said after a prolonged silence.




k'war'ma'khon →  as close as family but not genetically related
Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #12
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
[Show/Hide]Cross' jaw clenched as Seren began to talk again, informing Cross that the mistake in regards to the sexual encounter with Blue, or lack thereof, was Cross' own and no fault of Seren's. The insufferable man continued his ridiculous tendency to call Cross by the name Lyras, which only served to enhance the man's irksomeness in Cross' eyes. He also reminded Cross of his previous attempt to prevent Cross form using foul language, the detestable counsellor attempting to reprimand Cross at every turn, apparently in an attempt to make Cross act more in a manner Seren deemed appropriate.

Fuck Seren and his sense of propriety Cross growled inwardly, his eyes hard as he listened in silence to the bullshit which continued spewing forth from the counsellor's mouth. How had the stuck-up asshole served on a ship full of Humans and other species for so long without gaining an inkling of a clue as to how to deal with emotional, non-Vulcans? Cross may be biologically Vulcan, but not being raised among them, could hardly be expected to behave as one. Apparently the counsellor didn't see it that way.

As Seren went on to state that he would disclose nothing form the session, but that he required Cross to communicate more efficiently, thus ensuring the session progressed adequately, Cross nearly reached across the couch to strangle the man, the idea of his hands closing around the monotonous fuck's neck causing his mouth to twitch with the hint of a grin.

Seren continued droning on, as apparently was his way, stating that Blue could not be left out of the conversation, nor could any other members of his support network, explaining that this was something that was fundamental to emotional beings.

So he does understand that I feel emotions, and I'm not a suppressed asshole like him. Cross noted, the hint of a smile having long since disappeared. A different sort of grin began to creep into existence as Seren continued to speak, adding that he also needed Cross to disclose any relationships of a hostile natural which had developed, such as with Khorin. Rather than amusement, this new grin practically dripped with venom. "Khorin is a pain in the hajari ass, and a raging idiot, but he is at the very least tolerable." Cross informed the stuffy Vulcan sitting on the couch opposite him. "There are others aboard the ship which I would say I am far more hostile towards, counsellor." Cross' eyes bored into the other man's. "You, for example, would currently be at the top of the hajari list."

Once Cross had continued in his narrative of the events aboard the Versant, Seren had asked him to clarify a point, taking the brief pause during which Cross was taking a drink of coffee to pose the query. He had also responded to Cross' question about placing his stone by pointing out that it was Cross' turn. Cross blinked at this, looking at the board and seeing that it was, in fact, his turn. He must have been preoccupied with his anger, and had missed the counsellor's placement.

Insufferable prick.

Cross gritted his teeth, biting back a curse as he dropped a stone on the board, not paying attention to where it landed. He had little interest in playing games with the counsellor, or in dealing with him at all at this point. The man had done little in their session thus far besides asking Cross to recount his experience, intermingling Cross' telling of his experiences aboard the Versant with idiot remarks about Cross' language, calling him by that ridiculous name, and chiding him for not being a good little Vulcan. Weren't counsellor's supposed to attempt to build a rapport with their patients, rather than trying to chide them into behaving in a manner the counsellor deemed appropriate?

Fucking Vulcans...

"Albert?" Cross repeated, his jaw tight with frustration. "He doesn't hajari matter. He's Blue's mechanical owl." Cross took another quick drink of coffee, draining the last of the mug's contents. He continued his recounting of the events of the Versant as he rose and headed to the replicator for a refill.

"When we fought our way into the Labs, we met fairly heavy resistance. We lost five of our number. That's also where I lost my hand." Cross explained, choosing to concentrate on the telling of his experience rather than on the counsellor as the coffee materialized in front of him. "Protecting Blue." He added, his voice softening slightly. A moment later, he continued, his voice returning to normal. "Once we'd managed to free Thea and Albert, we were transported to the Versant's bridge to rendezvous with the rest of the abductee. We then seized control of the ship, our contact among the Savi having been killed and his successor not wishing to honour our agreement." Cross had lifted the steaming mug as he spoke, and now paused to take a sip before turning and making his way back to the couch, placing the mug on the table once he had seated himself. "After that, we set course to intercept the Theurgy. Eventually we found you lot, and saved your asses from the Borg." A dark grin spread over Cross' features then, his eyes hard. "Now that was satisfying. Firing the Versant's weapons and watching them rip through that Cube. After what they'd done to the Endeavour... well..." Cross looked at Seren, his hatred for the counsellor momentarily overshadowed by his hatred of the Borg. "Haja the hajari Borg."


Kardasi Translation:
Hajari - Fucking
Haja - Fuck

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #13

[Ensign Seren |   Lt.Cmdr. Cross' Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ]
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Attn:  @Fife

When Seren designated Mr. Douglas as one of his acquiaintances with which he antagonized, Cross hastened to categorize him at least as tolerable and far from considering him an enemy. It was a blatantly contradictory statement, but even more so afterwards, as the former hybrid claimed that he regarded the counsellor as the crew member against whom he felt the strongest animosity. Seren blinked calmly as his patient threw one of his black stones onto the board. The peeble landed disorderly, near one of the crosses of lines, but not exactly on top of any of them. Seren glanced at the stone closely as it spun over the wooden surface like a mad spinning top. Cross was far from being a hepitome of logic. He let himself be carried away by his emotions, and acted impulsively. Or at least as impetuously as a human would do, which didn't fail to remind him to Kiriel. And that's why Seren was acting towards him as he had done towards his half-brother in the past, despite the consequences that that had entailed. What had happened to Kiriel was not only due to his own mistakes, but to the prolonged negligence of his progenitor, but Seren couldn't disavow how he had contributed negatively to that process. And the counselor was unwilling to see that happen again.

With that determination in mind, Seren leaned forward and centered the black stone in one of the squares, then he examined the board while Cross clarified who (or rather what) was Albert Tiran and just afterwards he placed his own white stone, in accordance with the strategy he had previously designed. The only thing he did to show that he had heard Cross' explanations was a single nod, a barely perceptible movement of his head as he straightened his back and his eyes left the board to refocus on his patient's icy eyes.

At that point, Cross poured the last remains of his coffee and stood up to replicate a second cup. While the beverage was taking form in the replicator's alcove, Cross made a brief recapitulation of the events in the Laboratories, and then swiftly moved to how the abductees had seized the Versant bridge. Seren had the impression that his patioent attitude was evasive in some way, but the few facts he gave him, along with those he had previously collected, were sufficient to paint a better image of how Cross had felt. He had lost five comrades to recover the mechanical creature, besides his hand, only because it belonged to Blue Tiran. That device was important for the engineer and, no matter how much Cross had defined it as 'a fucking mechanical owl', it must have had something valuable to sacrifice so many people and resources to rescue it. Seren decreed that he would look for information about the device later, but at that moment it didn't matter. The only thing that really counted was that the object was significant, especially for Blue Tiran. Which had led Cross to sacrifice his bodily integrity in order to reclaim it, so as to protect the human woman. Blue was a cornerstone in Cross' life and it was imperative to take into account the influence she wielded upon the other Vulcan. Especially given the volatility of Cross' temper. He was far from being as pathologically disturbed as other of his patients, and if he pursued his recommendation to find a tutor to partially repress his Vulcan emotions, he could serve on the Bridge without much mishap. However, for the time being, there were still variables that concerned the counselor. Like the way he seemed to cherish the memory of opening fire against the Borg Cube. Given the circumstances he had lived through in his previous starship and his almost human emotional instability, Seren could understand a certain degree of satisfaction at an act that suited a retaliation. However, for his own sake and for the sake of the rest of the crew, Cross couldn't be drawn into such primal emotions. It was something they had to work on in later sessions, so Cross would stick to the moral standards of Starfleet again.

The counselor let the echoes of Cross's foul words fade before he spoke again. "Your compilation of the events has been adequate. We will do further analysis in subsequent meetings." He announced, endorsing the account of actions that the tactical officer had chronicled. "Now, I will proceed to probe your mind in search of damage in your katra due to your melt with Mr. Douglas." He informed next. Seren rose to his feet, moved a single step forward and sat back on the couch, so that he was only separated from Cross by one arm's length. "I reckon you understand the rudiments of a mind melt, so there is no need to explain the process in detail. I just have to remind you to refrain from guarding your thoughts from mine, so that I can easily access your memories and make amends for the damage if I find it," he explained in a monotone pitch with no variations. Without further ado, the Vulcan placed the fingertips of his left hand on Cross's temple, cheekbone and jaw, while his little finger stabilized his handle near the lobe of the other man' s ear. Dark eyes bored into pale ones. "My mind to your mind, my thoughts to your thoughts," he recited, his voice two octaves lower than usual, with the same unalterable tone and with no inflections in his voice. However, Seren's mind experienced an involuntary shiver when he felt that his psyche blended with his patient's one. An anticipation, an inappropriate enthusiasm for the solemnity of the act. The impairment that the Ensign tried to hide making itself noticeable in the face of what could appease the hunger that was consuming him. Seren's vision narrowed into a tunnel of dark and blurred edges.

He felt himself falling, rushing toward the other man mind.

And then...


Quote

The atmosphere was cold, with subtle, thin air. If Seren had had his own skin, he would have needed to control his own gosebumps. But Seren had no flesh at all, he was just a projection into another man's memory. He only felt what the other man had undergone. That foreign experience informed him that, at that moment, he could breathe almost with normality, after days in which oxygen had been scarce and the mere fact of moving meant a redoubled effort.

The invisible Seren peered around. There were many crew members there, all dressed in black catsuits, wrapped around their bodies as a second skin. The counselor recognized some of the faces, despite the modified features. The abductees. People he has knew before his time in ice. There were wounded among them. And causalities. There were blood on their faces and over the floorplates. A massive hole in the floor still radiated battle sounds into the chamber, despite the fact that the fighting took place at a distance, several decks below them.

The invisible Vulcan spun to face the chair that occupied the center of the memory. There, Cross rested his only hand on the alien controls and, after a slight hesitation, he pressed a switch. Seren knew that the slight delay was not caused by doubt or fear, but rather to enjoy the moment. His mind flooded with sordid satisfaction as the Savi weapon beams cut the Cube. The bluish-green light filled the main screen and lit up Cross's convoluted features, his fully Vulcan face that Seren had never seen before. Cross was smiling.

Seren then turned his back to the chair and walked away from Cross, into the shadows of the bridge. As he did so, the room blurred around him.....


Quote
Pain. A suffering he had felt only once in his life. Seren looked down at the green blood-covered stump where his hand had been just seconds earlier. His heart beat madly in his chest. He felt a dizziness, as shock and blood loss threatened to tear him from consciousness. But he could not. I had to protect Blue. I had to...

Before he got lost in the pain of that memory, Seren pulled himself out of it, and walked backwards in Cross Timeline. It was too much. Too intense.

And yet a part of him rejoiced in the violence of such emotions, while he fed on what he could seldom feel....
Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #14
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
[Show/Hide]Apparently Seren found Cross' account of the events aboard the Versant to be "adequate", though the counsellor also added that they would revisit the topic during later sessions.

Oh goodie, I can't wait... Cross thought to himself, the mental words leaving a veritable pool a sarcasm upon his mind in their wake.

Seren then announced that he would proceed with his plan to probe Cross' mind, to ensure there was no damage resulting from his meld with the Klingon.

"I might be a bit dumber for having touched his mind," Cross said as Seren rose to his feet, "But I still feel myself. The anger was there before I ever initiated the meld. If you insist on your inspection, then lets get it over with."

As Seren took a step closer, seating himself directly in front of Cross, he began by reminding Cross not to guard his thoughts to make Seren's access easier. The counsellor's monotonic drone grated on Cross' nerves, though thankfully he fell silent then, reaching out with his left hand to touch Cross' face. As Cross' pale eyes met Seren's dark ones, Cross forced all thoughts of punching the counsellor in his logic-dripping nose from his mind, suspecting it might be best if the counsellor didn't see those particular notions.

Cross felt a shiver run down his spine as Seren recited the words and initiated the meld, feeling the invasive presence of Seren's mind within his own. Before long, Cross was viewing past moments along with the counsellor.

Quote
The first was aboard the bridge of the Versant, the abductees having taken control of the vessel and arrived at what many were now calling the Battle of the Apertures. Cross saw Captain Ives and the others, and himself seated at the Tactical Console. On the viewscreen was the image of the Borg Cube, the sight of the geometrical vessel causing Cross to feel a flash of anger. Then the Cross of the memory fired the Versant's cannons, the bright blue glow washing over those present on the bridge as the Graviton Beam Lances streaked forth to rend the Cube. Cross felt another emotion then, a shiver of pleasure at the memory of sending those beams tearing through the cube, as well as later when he unleashed the full assortment of the Versants armaments against the Cube, the onslaught leaving the Borg vessel in pieces. He never got to relive that part of the memory, however, as Seren moved away from the experience, the memory fading to shadows...

Quote
The next memory of from the same day, though earlier on. They were in the machine labs, and Cross was on the floor. Blue was on the floor as well, pushing herself up from where she had landed when he had shoved her. The memory was brief, not lasting long. The pain, the blood. The need to protect Blue. They were all there. Seren seemed either uninterested in the memory, or else reluctant to view it. They moved away as Seren guided them towards another memory...

Quote
Cross ground his teeth in frustration and anger as he stared at the Klingon's face and tried to reach out and touch the Klingon's mind with his own. After a full two minutes, he dropped his hands.

"I have no <fucking> idea how to do this!" Cross growled, pacing back and forth in agitation.

"It doesn't make sense anymore, this is already as useless as you are" Khorin barked as he grabbed Cross' arm and pulled the Vulcan to stand in front of him once more. "You dishonour yourself and me with you, Pahtak!"

Cross took a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself before trying again. It failed to calm him, instead seeming to stoke the fires of his anger, but he decided to continue anyway. As Cross reached out and grasped the Klingon's head between his hands once more, he imagined wrenching it to the side, savouring the imagined sickening crunch of the Klingon's neck snapping.

He smiled darkly as he imagined how satisfying it would be.

"Now you smile? Concentrate, Vulcan!" Khorin growled, "Prove you aren't just a cowering targ with ugly pointed ears!"

"I can't concentrate with you braying like a <fucking> mule!" Cross snarled at the larger man, directing all his anger into his grip on the ridged head he currently held. "If you'd shut up for even a second, I might be able to..." Everything around him seemed to lurch as he succeeded in initiating the meld.

Quote
Cross jolted back to reality, the shock of the imaginary blow causing him to mentally recoil, severing the telepathic link between himself and the enraged Klingon.

Cross staggered away from Khorin, who was still seated at the bar in Ten Forward, Cross' mind was assailed by anger like never before. Somewhere in the back of Cross' mind, he realized that he had been foolish to allow his mind to come into contact with the Klingon's, especially with his self control balancing on a knife's edge. The voice that screamed the realization from the back of his mind was silenced however, drowned out by the roaring torrent of anger and aggression that coursed through him like fire in his veins, threatening to tear him apart from the inside.

Khorin was on his feet then, the Klingon's hands balled into tight fists and shaking visibly. The Klingon roared the words "I'm gonna kill you!" and lunged forward, grabbing Cross by the collar of his uniform and headbutting him. A spurt of blood sprayed across the Klingons' features, and Cross let out a feral snarl as he reached out and took hold of Khorin's head with one hand, his thumb seeking to gouge the bastard's eye from it's socket even as the other hand was balling into a fist and striking the Klingon in the temple. The rage which surged through him, blind and bloodthirsty, was almost overpowering, even distanced as the present-day Cross was as he viewed the memory. The burning hatred and violence that had filled him, burning his mind and searing his very veins, was almost palpable. The animalistic rage, the cruel homicidal desires of this echo from Cross' not-so-distant past seemed to cloud his mind, and Cross felt himself pushing back form the memory for fear of what might happen.

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #15
[Ensign Seren |   Lt.Cmdr. Cross' Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
Attn:  @Fife

Around him, the world became something recognizable again, the lounge of Galaxy Class starship. Thanks to his previous conversation with Cross, Seren knew it was the Ten Forward of the USS Enterprise-D. Or at least its holographic version, created by the Savi captors and, in some way, slightly flawed. As far as he could see, the recreation was perfect down to the smallest detail, although, through the lounge's wide panoramic windows didn't exhibit a space layout that Seren could identify. There was something odd about those stars. A blue dye in what should be a black ocean sprinkled with  white stars. The counselor averted his gaze from the windows and focused his mind in what happen on the lounge. The room was full of what he deduced were other abductees, yet Seren could not distinguish their faces. In his patient's memory, they were merely blurred shapes, faceless, barely silhouettes of humanoid figures. The whole attentiveness of the then fully-Vulcan-faced Cross was centered on one and only one person: the Klingon pilot sitting in front of him. Seren barely recognized the Lone Wolf, despite having carefully studied his file as part of his job tasks. Khorin Douglas had undergone a truly dramatic physical change.

However, the counsellor was not there to analyse the pilot. Without sacrificing any more time in unsuccessful lucubrations, Seren made a complex gesture with his left hand. Around him, the memory froze, out of Cross's control as the counselor analyzed it. The ensign's mental form advanced towards the angry Cross elbowed against the bar. When he reached him, with a ceremonious motion, he put his fingers into his skull. Of course, his fingers were not physical, just as that Cross' head was not 'real'. However, that analogy allowed him to get into the most intimate part of Cross. In what really made him himself, the center of his psyche, his innermost core. Vulcans called them katra. Humans, soul.  When Seren's invisible digits finally found what they were looking for, they extracted it from Cross's figure and spread it out in front of him, to thoroughly dissect it, fiddling, pinching and tasting every part of it. He learned its form and appearance. However, despite the analysis of that sort of Cross' katra biopsy, Seren maintained his study on a relatively superficial level. If he had wished to, the counselor could have violated the sancta sanctorum of Cross' mind. He could have exposed his innermost self, that part of him that he had not shared with anyone else. Seren could even have manipulated it at will, if that had been his desire. But there was no logic in such an action. So, when his curiosity was fulfilled, the young Vulcan folded the katra of the former Cross again and then he inserted it back into his frozen figure. A new dash of the fingers of his left hand made the memory resume, as if nothing strange had happened.

Mister Douglas was shouting something to Cross, his hirsute beard pearled with spit,the pupils his eyes contracted. Cross held the Klingon's thick head in his hands and, for some reason, he grinned. Echoes of Cross's desires reverberated in the memory, the longing for a violent deed, which would end with the nuisance that represented the pilot. Aggressiveness swelled around the two men, obscuring the lounge scene even more. Suddenly, without prior warning, without control and without true will, Cross's and Khorin's minds plunged one into the other. No guide, no order, no will. Seren's mental projection snapped his tongue gently against his incisive teeth with obvious displeasure.

Thereupon, the memory simply faded to black. It was to be expected when a melt was recalled in another person's memory. As much as Cross would remember perfectly what he had seen in the Klingon's mind, Seren would never have access to those recollections. Not unless he forced the melt into that. And although he was curious about how such an event had unfolded, he had no interest in harming his patient's psyche. So, he just waited. After a few minutes in the darkness of a no-memory, the scene around him shifted back togetherin a sudden spash of colour and sound. Cross staggered backwards as Douglas clutched his head between his rough hands. The memory tinged with an emotional turmoil that was difficult to apprehend. Only rage loomed clearly in that vortex of emotions. It was so intense, so violent, that Seren was forced to take a step back...and, before he realized what he was doing, he had moved a couple of steps toward the men ready to engage in a fistfight. When he realized that his flaw had almost disastrously interfered with his work, the counsellor halted and repeated the gesture that had froze the memory earlier. This time, nonetheless, there was no grace in the motion of his hand. It was a sudden, almost desperate gesture.  Seren stood still for a second, as he raised his mental barriers again to shield himself from the intensity of his patient's emotions. A mistake was not an option.

When he had refocused anew, Seren moved forward again and stuck his fingers back into Cross's image. This time, however, his study was more succinct. The counsellor already knew the shape and colour of his katra, he only needed to check if it had changed. Whether he had lost one part or won another different and alien. Yet despite the maelstrom of emotions, there was no significant change. Seren nodded to himself once he removed the fingers from the temple from Cross' remembrance.  His katra was intact.

The memory resumed around him, Vulcan and Klingon lunging against each other, reduced to a primitive and animal state, perhaps characteristic of a species as gross as the Klingon, but absolutely aberrant in a Vulcan. However, Seren was starting to understand a little more of the violent emotions that dominated his patient and, for the first time, he didn't chastize him for what he had done. After all, there were times when the most logical choice in the face of an irrational display was to react in the same manner with  the same force. Cross had to protect his physical integrity, all in all.

A giggle interrupted his train of thought. A pure, innocent and juvenile sound. A small figure passed through the memory, his smiling face and his tiny ridged nose utterly incongruent in the scene. Seren blinked, perplexed.

And he was drawn to an older memory, to a part of Cross' mind he had not planned to visit...
Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #16
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
[Show/Hide]Cross was aware of Seren's actions, of the Vulcan counsellor probing his... katra, the counsellor had called it. The counsellor seemed to apparently find nothing wrong as he pulled back, the memory's progress resuming. Cross saw himself and Khorin trying to kill one another, bloodying each other and behaving like animals. The sight did not leave Cross feeling pleased, seeing himself in such a state. However he had teased Seren earlier, prodding the bland counsellor with his own emotion, Cross knew that such outbursts were a problem. He had sincerely wanted to kill Khorin, would have if he's gotten the upper hand in the exchange before people had intervened...

Cross' mental awareness jolted with surprise as a giggle could be heard. A blur on the edge of Cross' awareness, smaller than that of an adult, looked remarkably familiar. The giggle was uncharacteristic, a sound Cross couldn't remember ever making, but he was certain that it had been him. Some sort of manifestation of his childhood self perhaps? Some sort of glitch in his mind, the result of Seren's poking and prodding?

Regardless, the counsellor obviously found something of interest in the small blurred form, the counsellor's attention focusing on it, following it.

Quote
The setting of the memory they found themselves in was all to familiar to Cross. The sterile looking scene of a medical lab, the consoles displaying their data, the medical bed with it's readouts, the instruments and tools neatly arrayed in their various places. The lighting was dimmed, the room vacant. Night, then. The scientists would have retired to their quarters for the day. Judging by the way Cross' childhood manifestation was running through the area, it was a memory of a time when they had not confined him for the night. They had often left him loose in the labs, not bothering to deal with him unless he made a nuisance of himself during the day or, had he been the subject of the day's experiments, if they hadn't gotten then results they had hoped for.

On days like this, however, Cross, who at the time was only known as Subject A17338961, had had the run of the place. His only company on such nights had been the guard, a Cardassian who's name Cross couldn't remember. Or perhaps he'd never learned it. Regardless, the child Cross made his way there now, to where the guard would be perched on his chair near the entrance of the lab. As the boy in the memory rounded the corner the guard came into view, a middle-aged Cardassian who looked overly worn for his years, with a slump in his shoulders and a disinterested expression ever-present in his features. As young Cross rounded the corner and run towards him, the guard looked at him and gave the mongrel child a sad grin, seeing the flecks of dried blood which still clung under the child hybrid's nose.

"Well, you're eager. Went easy on you today, did they?" The Cardassian asked with a humorless chuckle, the hint of a smile playing over his features as he glanced towards the door, then stooped to rummage through the bag which sat on the floor besides the chair. He extracted a bottle from the bag, removed the stopper, and took a swig of the thick liquid held within, closing his eyes and smacking his lips appreciatively afterwards. When he opened them again, he looked at Cross with a serious expression. "Ok, kid. Do you remember what I taught you yesterday?"

The child Cross nodded silently, his expression serious for the moment.

"Alright then. Let's have it. What was the first one I taught you last night?"

"Hesnúrak" Mini-Cross said, his features splitting into a smile as he looked ever-so-pleased with himself.

"Good!" The guard exclaimed, laughing hoarsely and taking another swig before passing the bottle to the child. The child Cross took the bottle carefully in both hands and took a sip of the contents, the number of ridges on his nose seeming to multiply for a moment as he grimaced and handed the bottle back. "Come on now, don't make that face. This is the good stuff!" The guard teased, taking another generous swig form the bottle. "What was the next one?"

"Kuevdasi!"

The guard nearly doubled over with laughter as he handed the bottle back to the young Cross, the laughter turning into a brief coughing fit as he struggled to regain himself. Cross took a longer swig this time, grimacing less as he handed the bottle back.

"Ok, I'm going to give you a longer one tonight.' The guard told him, chuckling as the child before him stared up with intent concentration. This little game had been going on for several months, and the child's vocabulary was quickly expanding, becoming ever-more colourful.

It was important to learn new things every day.

"Ok, kid. Here we go." The guard proceeded to say several words, speaking slowly and pausing between each of them. The pauses served to both allow his student to absorb the information, and allowed him the time to take a quick swig. They repeated the process several times over the next few minutes, until finally the guard had drained the bottle. Reaching into his bag, he withdraw another, popped the top, and looked at Cross with slightly murky eyes. "Ok, little cross-breed. For the first sip! Give it a go!"

"Adeŧa sumir'vadektiŧ izař" Child Cross said, his face screwed up with intense concentration as he carefully made each word out form memory. The child's face lit up at the appreciative guffaw of the guard, he held out the bottle for him to take as he let out a roar of laughter. Cross carefully took the bottle and took a long, greedy sip of the thick liquid.

"Oh, getting a taste for it, are you?" The guard asked with another laugh, nodding at the child. "Go on then, crossy! Have another sip! I'll be sure to leave some for you later. The usual deal, eh?" Child Cross nodded, taking another pull form the bottle before handing it back and turning to pad off down the corridor to leave the guard in peace.

Even as the memory faded, Cross couldn't help but feel a pang of fondness for the nameless Cardassian night guard. The man had been a drunk, a washed up and disgraced soldier relegated to night duties, but he had been kind to Cross. He had been the only kind face Cross had seen for many years in that place. Cross also couldn't help but wonder what Seren's reaction would be to such a memory, one of the few fond ones Cross had from his early days.

No doubt the stuffy counsellor would disapprove of the guard's disinterest in his duties, as well as the casual manner in which he'd been giving alcohol to a child. The counsellor might have a point, were he to think such things, but Cross would never openly admit it.


Kardasi Translation:
hesnúrak - Rotten Molt
Kuevdasi - Shitscale
adeŧa sumir'vadektiŧ izař - I liked it when you weren't here yet

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #17
[Ensign Seren |   Lt.Cmdr. Cross' Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
Attn:  @Fife


Seren followed the footsteps of the ghostlike figure of the child and the surrounding environment softly muted, just as dreams or memories did. The counselor couldn't identify how or when the new memory materialized around him, but he soon was able to recognize the different details. Where he had previously found himself in a Starfleet vessel lounge, he was now in a neat and sterile room. The ambient light was dim and if he looked around he barely could discern a few meters. In addition, the memory had a peculiar blurred quality at a certain height, a lack of detail at the top which spoke of a memory in development, which was more attentive to details at  a kid eye level than what was visible to an adult. When Seren's vision adapted to the scarce light, or when the memory became more solid, the Vulcan felt the young Cross brushing his side, unaware of his ethereal presence.

A part of the counsellor was fascinated by the disinterest that the scientists felt for the child. While it was true that the small, bony hybrid seemed incapable of doing anything that could cause significant damage in the laboratory, he was more than able to jeopardize any experiment that might be in progress. Seren considered that shortcoming an unforgivable defect. His disdain for the scientists who had concocted Cross' conception just became greater. After that study of his surroundings, the ensign looked for the owner of the memory and he was unable to find him. It was only through his finest telepathic ability that he managed to rediscover the invisible thread that linked him to Cross, and trace the steps that the child had taken. Because of his brief slip he had lost part of the conversation, and by the time he could observe the interaction between the boy and the guard it was already advanced.

The counselor paid little attention to the words that were exchanged, but was very vigilant to the attitude of both. For him it was very noticeable how different the Cross-child was to the actual one, lacking the constant teasing and that anger that always seemed to creep under the former hybrid's skin. The ridged nose boy standing before him was clearly a cub of an emotional specie, more bajoran than vulcan in his appearance, at least in Seren's eyes, and, in spite of the adverse circumstances (and installations) that surrounded him, he seemed happy. At least in that very moment in time. The smile on his face was sincere, not the grimace he had seen in the adult Cross. Far away, in his physical body, Seren's artificial heart redoubled abruptly inside his chest, as he vaguely recalled another sincere smile, another hearty laugh, on a very different face, on a planet millions of kilometres away from Cross' memory.

Seren's phisical body gasped sharply for a brief second. His mental shape flickered, the concentration required by the melt lost for an instant, which threatened to break the mental connection that linked him to his patient.  The counsellor shielded his heart from his own memories and drew his attention back to the interaction between Cross-child and a middle-aged Cardassian who, thanks to the knowledge that permeated the former hybrid's mind, he knew that was the night guard, one who had been occupying that post for several months, and who would accompany the child-experiment's lonely nights for many more months after that moment.

As foreign as the words were to him, Seren didn't miss the kindness that lay beneath the apparent indifference and apathy of the adult, nor the undisguised, pure, unmasked joy of the child. The counselor extrapolated that this was one of the few positive relationships of Cross' childhood. Nevertheless, when the bottle changed hands for the third time and the memory began to blur a bit as a result of the action of alcohol, Seren was unable to avoid being offended by such display of poor infant monitoring. Still, that Cardassian could be the closest thing to a father figure that Cross had known during his early years, however imperfect and unhealthy that figure might be. As he reflected on this fact, the middle-aged cardassian burst into drunken laughter. In response, the child's face lit up with genuine joy and pride, eager to please his captor.  The weight in Seren's heart became heavier, while memory acquired an intangible and ethereal quality, almost on the verge of vanishing.

Seren made a concerted effort to cling to that memory, to analyze why it was important. Why his patient's subconscious had deemed it imperative for him to see it. Why when he had probed his katra it had triggered that recollection. Before him, the aged Cardassian said goodbye to the boy with a strange epithet: 'Cross-y'. It was a cringe-worthy nickname to the Vulcan's ears and, focused as he was on keeping the memory stable, he failed to prevent that his face, in and out of the memory, contorted in a slight grimace. At least he could understand then why his patient was so attached to that... name... no matter how wrong and illogical it was. It also explained his fondness for profanity and, apparently, his inclination towards drink kanar. A trait that he hadn't shown so far but that he should keep on check.

The Cross-Child moved away from the guard and the scene began to blur around them. This time, Seren did nothing to cling to his patient's memory, rather on the contrary, he let the connection between them dissolve. He just needed to re-take control of his physical fingers and the melt would end. However, before he could do it, another laugh disrupted the gesture. Seren froze, fingers still over his patient's skin. This time it wasn't Cross' childish giggle, it was a more mature laugh, but equally heartfelt. A laughter he had rarely heard but that he remembered vividly. A laugh that came from his own memories and not from the former hybrid's one. An intrusive memento that pulled him out and lured him in spite of his reluctance. As the new recollection unfolded around him, Seren only expected that his own memory would only reveal itself in his own mind, without his patient witnessing his slip in control. That would be an unforgivable mistake....


Quote
The mid-August sun plummeted on the Academy's athletics tracks. At that time there was hardly any cadet in sight, only a small group in yellow uniform loitering in the shade. By native standards, the weather was too warm, the sun too intense, and the breeze was so torrid that it pulled oxygen from the lungs. Seren, however, felt at home.  With determined movements he placed himself in the starting line, checked the state of the fastenings of his soft boots and....

"Hey weirdo! Are you gonna run in that stupid dress?" shouted a familiar voice. Kiriel approached from the other end of the track, dressed in customary sportswear. An outfit that, in Seren's opinion, left too much skin in sight, something illogical if one had in mind the possible abrasions and wounds that could occur during physical exercise.

"This is the typical attire of..." Seren began to say, but the younger vulcan interrupted him with an exasperated gesture while he imitated a mouth chattering with one of his hands.

"Yeah, I'm sure it's very traditional, along with never blinking or whatever." Kiriel snorted. " Whatever, I'm sure you gonna stumble with the hem of your dress before you've stride three times," he added jokingly.

"I can assure you that not only can I run with fluidity in this attire, but I can also perform more efficiently than you at any distance you choose," Seren said without modifying his expression the slightest bit.

"Oh what, is that a bet, brother?" asked Kiriel in skepticism.

"No, it is a fact," Seren said, tilting his head slightly.

His younger brother pursed his lips and folded his arms over his chest in a highly human gesture. Despite having known him for some time, Seren couldn't help but be startled to see such a display in a figure that looked so much like his own, in features that were almost identical to his.

"Ok smartass. One lap, 400 meters, all or none," said Kiriel, disrupting his lucubrations.

" Bet is..."

"Yeah, illogical, I know you bastard, but humour me on this" he interrupted again, while he pointed to the group of cadets who were resting in the shade.

Seren glanced at them for a moment and finally accepted with a sharp nod. A smile lit up Kiriel's face before he turned and waved to the group. "Hey! Anara!" he shouted. A young Bajoran spun to face the two Vulcans. "count us down!"

The young woman started the countdown. Both young men readied themselves, Kiriel taking the position of human runners, kneeling on the ground. Seren remained standing at his side, and simply stepped back one foot to gain ground support.

When the countdown was over, both rushed forward. Kiriel took the lead first, exploiting his longer strides and his greater momentum. However, when they had barely covered a quarter of the track, Seren had already reached him. Shortly afterwards he surpassed his brother without apparent effort. The cadets had risen to their feet and cheered Kiriel, and the one called Anara seemed to be the most enthusiastic in encouraging him. When Seren had already covered three quarters of the race, Kiriel struggled to keep up at his rear. His breathing was ragged and his face was contorted by the effort. Seren, for his part, remained as impassive as if he were drinking tea in their father's apartment. The cadets had stopped supporting Kiriel, even some booed him. Only Anara kept encouraging him, even though Kiriel's defeat seemed inevitable. Every time the young woman's voice sounded, Kiriel seemed to redouble his efforts.

Seren made a decision.

He shortened his stride and, when he crossed the line, he did so slightly behind Kiriel.  The cadets erupted in ovations and jostled the youngest Vulcan as if he had accomplished a great feat. Seren simply wiped the dust from his clothes and, as the celebrations continued in the shade, he ran back down the track.



An hour later, when he had finished his training time, Seren met Kiriel in the locker room. From the way he leaned indolently on the door frame, it was obvious that he was waiting for him.

"You' ve let me win"

"Yes, I did."

"Why?"

"You are my brother." Seren plainly replied, as he tilted his head slightly. "And you asked me to humour you."

Kiriel chuckled, and shook his head a bit.

" Besides you and your companions will be dressed in gold when you graduate, so it is logical to boost your interest in perfecting your physical abilities".

"Some of my teammates will be engineers, you know? I don't think they have much of a need to run around a starship."


"On the contrary, I hope they will rush to their jobs if there is any problem."

"So why do you bother, Seren? Is it logical to run into trouble now?"

"No, I am training myself to run in the opposite direction as fast as I can, of course."

Kiriel could only answer with a burst of laughter, a genuine and sincere laugh that made Seren cocked his head again...



 Seren's fingers slipped away from his patient's face, and finally the melt ended. The Ensign took a deep breath, just once. After that small gap in his perfect facade, he adopted again the same imperturbable and stoic attitude that was proper for him. "Your katra is intact Ly... Cross" He corrected himself out of regard for the last memory he had seen in the former hibrid's mind. "We can end the session if that is your choice, and establish the next one once you have completed five sessions with your control mentor" he proposed.




OOC:

Kiriel's dialogue supervised by @fiendfall
  • Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 12:18:23 PM by Numen
Lt. JG Khorin Douglas [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG. Izar Bila [Show/Hide]
Ensign Seren [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 05 [1300hrs.] Egos, Emotions & Expletives
Reply #18
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Numen
[Show/Hide]Cross blinked several times as the mind meld came to an end, his eyes focusing once more on the face of Seren, who still stood opposite him.

Now there's an unpleasant sight to wake up to... Cross thought to himself as he shook his head briefly. In truth, this was a much easier transition than the conclusion of the last meld had been, when he had been forcibly ejected from the meld by Khorin, both their minds being in conflict with one another. The result had been less than beneficial for both parties, as the two had ended up trying to kill each other. This time, Cross simply felt the meld cease, and was returned to his senses.

Cross' sense of calm seemed to shudder as Seren spoke then, the former hybrid's teeth gritting as Seren began to call him by that ridiculous name once more, though the counsellor surprisingly stopped himself and finally called Cross by his actual name.

Well, there's progress... Cross mused, his jaw relaxing slightly. Apparently his katra was intact as well, which based on what Seren had said previously was certainly a good thing. The counsellor also suggested they might end the session there, which was also a good thing. Cross might now be on the verge of putting his fist into the counselor's face at that precise moment, but he would be glad to be rid of the man and alone again nonetheless. Seren went on to suggest that they should wait to arrange their next session until after Cross had finished five session with whichever Vulcan he met with to try and learn some emotional control.

"Agreed," Cross said, giving Seren a curt nod, "Once I've met with Commander Hathev, I'll contact you to arrange our next session." Cross inwardly prayed that Hathev wouldn't be as intolerable as Seren, though the fact that she, too, was a Vulcan left little hope of her being much better. It was simply something he would have to endure, at least if he wished to gain some semblance of control over himself.

"Thank you, counsellor," Cross said, ushering Seren to the doors and seeing the man out into the corridors beyond. "Until next time." As Seren stepped out into the corridors, the ridged fellow turned, raising his hand in that damned traditional Vulcan salute and uttering the words that went with it. "Uh, yeah." Cross muttered, raising a hand and giving an nondescript wave at the man. "Live long and... whatever..." With those eloquent words, Cross hit the button on the doorframe causing the doors to hiss shut, blocking the corridors and counsellor Seren from view.

Alone at last, Cross sighed, shaking his head slightly. That had not been as horrible as it might have been, but he had certainly not enjoyed the encounter with his new counsellor.

Bloody Vulcans...

Cross turned, moved to the table and collected the game board and pieces, disposing of them along with the mugs in the replicator before ordering a coffee for himself. All evidence of Seren's presence in his quarters gone, Cross turned and made his way to the viewport, raising the mug to take a sip of the hot, bitter liquid within as he stared at the view beyond, contemplating what was to come next.

A mentor...

Cross sighed, deciding he may as well get this over with. He made his way over to his desk, powering up the work station and beginning to draft a message to this Lieutenant Commander Hathev which Seren had spoken of.

"Haja, she better not be as bad as Seren..." He mused aloud, taking another sip of coffee before starting to write the message.

-FIN
  • Last Edit: October 19, 2019, 04:36:06 PM by Fife