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An absolutely devious and devastating finish to a long running side story about addiction and personal choice. Bravo! ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution)) T’Mar and Saveron sat across from each other, each with a cup of their preferred beverage, the picture of cool Vulcan composure. T’Mar: I see. ::pause to sip her tea:: You have spoken to Commander Foster. Saveron: Affirmative. ::There was no logic in denying it.:: He informed me of your extended use of Lexorin following a medical procedure which, I understand, resulted in unwanted effects related to your natural empathy and telepathy. He watched her expression, not really expecting it to change but wanting to be certain that he had the story straight. There was no benefit in proceeding on incorrect assumptions. T’Mar: Succinct. So he had understood correctly. Saveron: Would you wish to talk about the procedure? The details were probably of more use to medical in the context of resolving the situation, but sometimes simply talking through a traumatic situation could be beneficial. Being heard was a powerful medicine. The clatter of the teacup indicated that he had, as some cultures put it, ‘hit a nerve’, which she tried to cover by carefully setting the cup down. There was definite trauma there, that tiny slip confirmed it, and he wondered how such a thing could have been allowed to happen. Perhaps one day she would have the confidence in him to let him work to reduce it’s impact, but first he had to build that confidence, that trust. She closed her eyes for a moment and he remained silent, giving her that space in time. T’Mar: Not particularly. It was done against my will. I was given medication to prevent me from blocking out the feelings and then subjected to a bombardment of emotions. It was.. Unpleasant to say the least. Vulcans were the masters of understatements. He couldn’t even imagine what it would be like, being subjected to the emotions of others, multiple others, against one’s will. But he would not ask her to relive that day now. Saveron: Will you describe for me the changes that you experienced following the procedure? T’Mar: I.. ::pause:: I had a strong feeling of violation, but I also experienced an inability to properly suppress my emotions as well as my empathy. Hardly surprising that T’Mar felt violated, and Saveron suspected it could well have led to a distrust of other health professionals, whether consciously or unconsciously, which would have reduced even further her desire to seek the follow up she should have had. The anger that welled on her behalf was heavily suppressed. Now was a time of logic, and through logic, hopefully, the gentle unwinding of the knot T’Mar had gotten herself into. Saveron: Disagreeable. ::He empathised.:: And for these symptoms you were prescribed Lexorin? T’Mar: Indeed. I was hesitant at first, however, it was necessary. The Counsellor set his empty cup aside and laced long fingers together. Saveron: Entirely understandable. ::There are times when such support was beneficial; but it was never meant to be permanent.:: And I anticipate that the medication has been supportive. The question is; how to do you wish to proceed from this point? Saveron wasn’t aware of that particular part of her conversation with Cade, but T’Mar was exactly right when she insisted to Foster that no treatment would be efficacious, no effort to resolve her addiction succeed, if she was not willing. Given that she had been an unwilling participant in the original procedure, consent and active participation was particularly important. T’Mar: I am quite content continuing on the way I have been. Saveron: By which, you mean continuing treatment with Lexorin? He paraphrased to be certain that he understood her. T’Mar: There seems to be this notion that I am doing something wrong, but this medication helps me, Commander. The defensive tone of her words was obvious. Deep down, she knew that it wasn’t the right answer, and she’d heard accusation from him where he’d deliberately offered none. Oh, he could have, but he anticipated that Cade might have already taken that path, and was possibly not the first. He was deliberately walking a different one, since clearly the other had not been efficacious. Saveron: One presumes that others have championed this notion, based on the recommended treatment protocols. T’Mar: That’s a matter of opinion. The protocols were, technically, a matter of opinion, but a several very educated, expert opinions. Saveron: The general medical opinion is that long-term Lexorin use is to be avoided. He said it to see what she’d say to that, whether she’d acknowledge the current medical wisdom. T’Mar: I had hoped that you of all people could understand the complexity of my situation. And that was a no. Saveron: I am endeavouring to do so. ::He assured her evenly.:: I have never had another’s emotions forced on me, nor known what it is to be perceptive to the minds of others at range. ::Every telepathic contact he’d experienced had been individual, and consensual.:: I… cannot truly begin to comprehend such a violation, or the after effects. ::He admitted.:: Only that they would be intolerable. I understand that you would not wish to endure them. T’Mar: ? He inclined his head in acknowledgement. Saveron: I collated these documents for you, in anticipation of your preference, to provide you with relevant information. He offered over a PADD for her to take. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I have included several studies of the long-term effects of Lexorin, including a metanalysis of the available data. In addition there is an account from a patient who was under palliative care for a terminal illness, and also on Lexorin, which provides a more personal rendering, so that you know what to expect. He spoke in the same, even tones, entirely professional, even dispassionate, in the way of their kind. A sharp contrast to Commander Foster. The analyses detailed the relative effectiveness of the medication over time, the cumulative neurotoxicity and eventual progression of synaptic breakdown. Sopek had documented his mental condition in great detail, until he was no longer able to do so. Because that was the reality of what T’Mar was facing if she continued the way she had been, as she wished to. And since they were being logical, stoic Vulcans, he was simply providing her with information with which she could make informed decisions and plan for her future. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be a long one. T’Mar: ? Saveron: I can provide a prescription of Lexorin for you; it will be dependent on quarterly neurological scans. ::And be set to cancel immediately, should a scan be missed.:: Once the scans show neurological degradation, you will be discharged from Starfleet on medical grounds. Not only for her own sake, but for that of her colleagues. T’Mar: ? Saveron: Depending on your current synaptic state and frequency of use, and based on those studies, I estimate that you will have between two and five Standard years of service, before that occurs. The synaptic degradation curve is exponential, so once it becomes detectable you will need to enter care. I have included a list of care facilities that specialise in telepaths’ medical needs. The one on Betazed is particularly highly regarded, but has a long waiting list, so I would recommend submitting your application now. Five years, maximum, and she wouldn’t be able to look after herself. T’Mar was absolutely right, it was her choice. But the important thing about the freedom to choose was that it came with the responsibility to accept the consequences. That was a lot of life to miss out on. T’Mar: ? TAG Commander Saveron Counsellor USS Constitution-B R238802S10 ((T’Mar’s Quarters, USS Constitution))