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Ayiana Sevo

Lt. JG zh'Aella - Mind Ritual

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((OOC: Character responses are from old sims which Sera was apart of.))
 

((IC:))
((Holodeck 3, USS Gorkon))

:: The scene inside the simulated cave was a representation of what the Aella clan had gone through for hundreds of years when faced with the Ushaan and while each clan was different in preparing their warrior for the single combat duel, it was not uncommon for a mind ritual to take place.:: 

::The ritual was designed to have warrior's face and overcome their own personal fears, doubts, and anxieties before the duel. So often a warrior could be defeated by these before they even attached the tether or picked up a ushaan-tor. But if those mental barriers were beaten before the duel, they would be able to enter battle with a singular purpose while being unafraid of their adversary or the consequences of failure. Doing so would greatly increase a warriors chance of victory.::   

:: Sera understood the reason Ensign Nohx, the ship's counsellor, had assigned her the program even if she had held apprehension at running it when there was no actual Ushaan was to be faced. She had to face down her own fears, doubts, and anxieties or she would never reach her full potential as an officer.:: 

:: It was why she sat in a cave who's inner walls and floor were coated in thick ice, and why she sat in front of a small roaring fire in the centre of the same cave. Her eye were fixated on the flames as if she was in a trace which, in truth, she was. She had been led into it by the elder shaman that stood behind the fire. The frail old Andorian stood in the traditional robes with his eyes closed while signing the stories of the Aella clan. The heat from the fire caused a patch of the ice on the ceiling to slowly melt over the hours that she had been in her guided meditation, but the slight drip on her shoulders and head had been forgotten once she had surrendered to the fire and to the voice of the Shaman. The warmth dissipated quickly in the dark cave but it was enough to keep Sera from being physically troubled by the extreme cold, the words and thyme of the shaman's song kept Sera's mind safe as it navigated its own troubling memories and feelings.::

:: It had not all been the work of the Shaman to get into the trance-like state, it was common on to take a small dose of the Saf, a psychoactive chemical refined from an Andorian plant. However it was highly illegal off Andoria, as other species had taken the chemical recreationally and the overdose threshold was alarmingly low. So in front of Sera sat an Akoonah
 
, a device used by the native people of the American continent on Earth to experience vision quests. She found it highly unlikely that it would work for her, but she was wrong. She was taken into a trace by a combination of the Akoonah, the fire and the singing voice of the shaman.:: 

::Her memories had forced her to relieve arriving on the Human colony as an adolescent during a time of war, the fear had washed over her like a tidal wave and she had suddenly felt alone and afraid surrounded by a species she had only ever seen briefly and in small number. Her posture in front of the fire had started to crumble as she was overwhelmed by those feelings but then the shamans voice had changed, he sang of Sera's ancestors who had been daring and brave and her memories had switched to when she had finally made friends with Humans, when she had opened up and allowed her personality to come through. Her posture had returned and she smiled involuntarily as she remembered those high school friends and a particular boy her own age, who however brief, had been more than a friend.::

::For the next hour she continued to smile as the Shaman sang and led her through long forgotten memories, until his voice changed again. He sang of a time when the of the Aella clan had hit by the Terrellian plague and been devastated. Sera's body seemed to spasm and tense in discomfort, her own memories flashing to a much milder time of discomfort. She relived being a cadet and standing on an empty holodeck with Chief Petty Officer McMann looking at her in disappointment.::

::The Chief poked Sera in the belly with an index finger and moved forward.::

McMann: Until you graduate this academy, you are a cadet and you will address me as an officer. Is… ::poke.:: that… ::poke:: clear? ::poke::

::She had flinched with every poke in the belly as if the memory of them were moving her backward now but the memory of Leigh McMann faded to be replaced Fleet Captain Reynolds looking at her in annoyance.::

Reynolds: Captain, or sir. Never ma'am….

::The Fleet Captain looked away from Sera and continued talking. The words faded away, but Sera's antennae dropped to her head her cheeks heated to a darker shade of blue as she relived annoying the fleet captain with her form of address during the first introduction. As the Shaman continued to sing of the disease ravaging the ranks of the Aella clan, her CO was replaced by the image of an Andorian Ensign fighting a horde of spiders. The Ensign kicked with her boot and stabbed with a multitool but was soon overwhelmed despite screaming and thrashing around. Soon the Andorian Ensign was haul up and carried away on a sea of spiders, Sera could hear the screams of the Ensign and then the threats as she fought back in what little way she could. But the Ensign was not eaten, instead she was dumped in front of a groups of fellow officers it took the startled Ensign a long moment to realise that the Spiders had rescued her and had not intended on eating her.:: 

::Even in the trance state part of her was embarrassed to watch herself be so foolish and scared in front of her shipmates due to an imaginary threat but the feeling faded as the Shamans song changed. He sang of the Vulcan medical team which intervened saving many lives from the plague at a time when Andorians and Vulcans distrusted each other. Sera became visably more relaxed and an image of McMann returned holding a glass of scotch while laughing with Sera.:: 

zh'Aella: Yooooouuuu like meeeee.

McMann: Tester, what have I done?

::Her CO reappeared pinning a Lt. JG pip on her collar with gloved hands and congratulating her.::

Reynolds: I hereby promote Colleen Bancroft and Sera zh'Aella to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade, with all the rights and privileges that follow.

::Jo Marshall appeared at a poker table genteelly teasing her about the spiders while the Andorain wore a top hat.::

Marshall: There’s no “might” about it. It was spectacular.

::Sera again relaxed and smiled widely at the new memories and her happy state continued for a what might have been another hour as the shaman sang of peaceful and flourishing times for the Aella clan until he began to sing of war.::

::It was not the recent war that he sang of, the Aella Clan had taken no part in the Dominion War as their number was too small, but when they were more numerous they had fought and died alongside their human allies in the Earth-Romulan War. As the Shaman sang of loose and death, Sera relieved the crashing of the Gorkon out of Quantum Slip Stream into the Roman Nebular. She felt the pressure of the helm console in her chest as the ship's internal compensators fought the sudden stress. She felt crashing humiliation as she looked around the bridge and viewed all the injured. Then the fear returned as she watched a giant petty officer be swarmed by faceless creatures and found a crewman bleeding to death on a corridor lit by flickering emergency lights, but this time the fear passed quickly replaced by something worse. She rocked as if hit over the as her shame attacked her, She saw herself standing beside Cory Stoyer and Jo Marshall as the trio faced a monster. She watched as two of them stood their ground and one of retreated, as she retreated, as she ran away and left them to their fate. Her Antenna spasmed as the shaman's song came to an end at the Battle of Cheron and Sera relived the memory again, but this time she did not run away, yes she took stepped back in fear but as soon she saw her fellow officers stand firm she re-joined them.she remembered beaming the still alive crewman to sickbay. She then remembered her friends and officers telling her that the crash was not her fault:: 

Stoyer: Sera, you did nothing wrong. As an old helmsman myself, I would let you drive anytime.

::The shaman hummed gently as he circled the now dim fire and he placed a weak hand on Sera's shoulder. She reached out and touched the Akoonah and she became fully aware of her surroundings, slowly she looked up at the shaman.::

Shaman: Are you ready to be tested Sera zh'Aella?

zh'Aella: Yes. 

=/\=
Lieutenant JG Sera zh'Aella
Helm/Comm/Ops
USS Gorkon
V239107TZ0
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