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Lt Skyfire + Ensign Ruwon -- Meeting the Counselor

Trellis Vondaryan

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((Ruwon’s Office - Deck 4 - USS Za))


::Ruwon absently twirled the [...]tail glass in his hand as he read the reports in front of him. Their newest transfers had a history - a long one, both together and apart. The list of misadventures was longer than usual, though the whole ‘ended up in an alternate reality that nearly killed us all’ bit stuck out, to put it lightly.


And one, Skyfire, had a requirement for mandatory counselling.


Privately, Ruwon wondered if a few others in the crew couldn’t do with some of that, but he wasn’t going to force anyone onto the couch that wasn’t interested.


He set the glass aside as the man in question opened the door, right on time.::


Ruwon: Mister Skyfire. ::He smiled, broadly, and offered a hand.:: Counsellor Ruwon. It’s a bit late, but welcome to the Za.


:: Chythar smiled and took the offered hand when it was offered. He was never one for formality, though being called “mister” seemed so long ago. He hadn’t been called that since he first started in the academy, so it was a bit of a throwback for him. ::


Skyfire: Ah prefer the label “Doctor”, actually. :: He glanced between the couch and chair. :: Which do yeh prefer tae conduct business in?


Ruwon: The couch or chair is fine; whichever you prefer. Can I get you anything to drink?


Skyfire: Jasmine tea, please.


:: As he took a seat at the desk, he took a breath while the Romulan got the tea. Once it seemed Rin..no, Ruwon...was ready to begin, he began with the long boring part of his demographic information. He’d spent the better part of his morning memorizing the educational history, because counselors for whatever reason loved starting with all the boring stuff. ::


Skyfire: Lieutenant Chythar Daniel Skyfire, MD. Serial DC-981-851, medical officer, USS Za NCC-65305. Age discrepancy of one year in my records, which state ah’m 32. Actually 33. Current telepathic status, T4/E6. Educational history. Diploma, Roosevelt High, 238007.06. Doctor of medicine, University of Washington, 238402.05. Starfleet Academy, science - xenobiology major 239002.17. Sexual orientation, prefer not to answer.


:: It wasn’t because he didn’t like the question, as he knew it was a necessary part of these evaluations, but he didn’t want to jinx it. His relationship with Alex was still solid, just a bit strained since he mentioned the level of connection with Lael. ::


Ruwon: That all matches your records. ::He sipped from his own cup - black coffee, in his case - and flipped the PADD over, shoving it away across the desk.:: I’ve read them over. I suppose the best place to start is with what it is you’re here to see me about.


:: CD nodded faintly and allowed the counselor to begin with the interrogation questions in earnest as he considered some of the questions he was asked in his last mandatory meet the counselor discussion. As he began, his accent dropped. ::


Skyfire: Yes. Social anxiety, mild autism, and a list of loathing about as long as my forearm. Probably a bit of PTSD mixed in. My record doesn’t say it, but it’s probably there. Likely because of the time spent in the alternate universe. Hope to gain an outsider’s perspective on mental discipline which doesn’t involve mind melds.


Ruwon: Mind melds? ::He raised a curved eyebrow.:: You’ve tried those before, I take it?


:: Now, he actually had a good reason to explain. He took a sip of his tea and began slowly, his accent fading as he told his story. ::


Skyfire: My abilities began as limited to humans after treating a Dokkaran patient with a vision impairment. I somehow linked nervous systems with him, and he rewrote my genetics when I assisted him getting his sight back. Over the course of two years, my abilities morphed into what they currently are. I have strong connections with four people in total, 2 of which were formed out of freak accidents similarly to how I gained my gifts, and 2 which formed because I got close to them. In this universe, I used a specifically targeted set of melds to show my story to Saveron, in hopes that he’d be able to see what I went through and how I got them. Since then, I’ve used melds infrequently to gain temporary shielding help until we got stuck Over There. While we were trapped in the alternate universe, I met another Vulcan who wanted to help me gain control, so melded with him a couple times to learn additional techniques, which resulted in a fractured hand from anger when I smashed a table. When I returned here to this universe and on the Gorkon, I participated in a process known as the Exchange, which is some sort of El-Aurian telepathy with another counselor.The first time, it was fine. The second time, she lost control of it and exposed me to some of her memories of her family being assimilated by the Borg. I never want to go through anything like that again. I want help, but you’ll forgive me if I display reluctance for telepathic contact with your teaching.


:: He didn’t add that he needed this in order to sort out the mess he accidentally caused with Lael by refusing to let go. He hoped that Ruwon was understanding enough to provide the help he asked without engaging in the need to see his mind. ::


Ruwon: ::He laughed, softly.:: You don’t need to worry about that with me, trust me. I’m afraid I find such techniques, mmm - ::He paused a moment; the correct answer there was distasteful, fuelled by his own long-held fear of having other people in his head. In the end he went with a more diplomatic answer.:: Situational. If they haven’t worked for you in the past, there’s no reason to pursue them further.


::He set his cup down, running a thumb over the curved handle as he thought.::


Ruwon: It sounds as though your goal is mental discipline, then. Why are you pursuing that?


:: He raised a quizzical brow, but the reasons now were probably different than when he began receiving counseling. He had another sip of his tea as he contemplated an answer. ::


Skyfire: My mind is mostly a disorganized mess of chaos. All my mental training has either come from mind melds and the occasional Betazoid interaction. If my gifts are to be of any use to anyone besides myself, I need that structure and sense of control. If any of that will help me keep foreign influences out of my head, then it’s a welcome fringe benefit. I’m taking jiu-jitsu lessons, but it’s not helping with the mental part.


Ruwon: Well...I’m not sure I can help you improve your telepathic talents, as I’ve not been so blessed. But if control and calm is what you’re after…


::Ruwon sipped his coffee as he considered.::


Ruwon: There are many methods that are almost purely cerebral. Meditation, of course; programming, writing, and music can be helpful. Personally, I tend to lean towards music, but that’s personal taste. I suppose it would depend on your own interest and what form your mental chaos tends to take.


:: That made a lot of sense, though how writing and programming helped, he had no idea. He knew music had a purpose in this, but he hadn't considered it seriously enough to help with his meditation. ::


Skyfire: How do you figure?


Ruwon: ::He crossed his legs, steepling his fingers.:: Intrusive thoughts, night terrors, physiological distress…humans in particular have a lot of things that can lead to a feeling of lack of control.


:: That was true. There were many things in this whole business he didn’t have control over. One of them was apparently forming these sorts of empathic links with patients, as he didn’t want that to happen again. Although, now he thought about it...why didn’t one form with Quinn when he pulled her back from the brink of death four times? It didn’t make sense at the moment, but it probably would later. ::


Skyfire: Makes sense. What would you suggest?


Ruwon: For your purposes, a regimen of meditation, cerebral skills and self-control is where I would start.


Skyfire: Regimen of meditation already integrated into my days, along with incense and light meditative music. I do occasionally have nightmares, and my current meds are not helping with that.


Ruwon:  Meditation isn’t necessarily so complex. ::He tilted his head slightly; medications being ineffective wasn’t surprising, exactly, but coming from a medical man it was a bit surprising.:: What medications are you currently taking?


:: CD nodded slightly as he considered, a lock of hair falling across an eye. He brushed it back behind his ear and ran his hand along his chin for a moment. When the question came up, he reached across the desk for the PADD and pulled his records with the prescription information in it before sliding it back to the counselor. ::


Skyfire: Anxiety meds, mostly. Any reading material you can recommend for either the skills or self control would be helpful.


Ruwon: Hmm. You mentioned music, incense, the meditation ceremony - do you find that effective? Can you do it easily?


:: Ceremony? A bit more formal than most regimens, perhaps, but it was working for him. Just not so much on the self control bits. ::


Skyfire: Yes. Sometimes more easily than others, but it’s all dependent on the circumstances. After code blues, meditation takes a lot longer. Otherwise on a low impact day, it’s a cakewalk.


Ruwon: Makes sense. What do you do in moments of immediate anxiety?


:: He reached under his collar to pull the chain of tags out and started rubbing them, offering a brief explanation from his previous posting. ::


Skyfire: In my work with my previous counselor, she had me on a behavioral therapy program. It started with a rock in my pocket. Once Alex gave me these, I’ve started rubbing them instead. :: He paused and realized he hadn’t explained what they were. :: His dog tags from his days as a marine.


Ruwon: So you use physical stimulation as a way to center your thoughts?


:: The doc’s brow furrowed thoughtfully and offered a silent nod, his fingers idly running over the pressed metal within his hand. It was probably not the best place to start, but it helped. ::


Ruwon: ::He nodded, as if in answer to the man’s silent affirmation.:: What sort of thought exercises do you do?


Skyfire: Haven’t tried any.


Ruwon: Really? ::Alright, that did surprise him.:: Are you familiar with the concept of centering?


:: He thought back to his days on the Garuda, and the work he did with his family after he returned from the alternate universe. After a minute or so of silent recollection, he nodded. ::


Skyfire: Yes.


Ruwon: In what form? ::He watched Skyfire curiously.::


Skyfire: Rhythmic breathing. It’s been a while since I last did it regularly. oO May need to start adding that to the meditation regimen again. Oo


::Ruwon nodded, considering. After a long moment he got to his feet, walking to the shelf behind his desk and pulling out a small stack of PADDs. He flipped through them as he sat back down.::


Ruwon: I think, given your goals, you might find the concept of physical centering useful. It’s a skill that can be difficult to acquire, but has quite a few benefits - especially with anxiety attacks.


::He found the PADD he was looking for and handed it over.::


Ruwon: It’s a focus on the purely physical - draining one’s mind of all conscious thought until you can focus single-mindedly on sensation.


:: CD’s brow furrowed as he accepted the device, then fired an inquisitive glance at the man before him. Purely physical techniques to gain mental control was probably the point, but Chythar was a bit of a skeptic. ::


Skyfire: And you think that, given what I’ve explained, this will help? Learning how to focus on sensation rather than a physical stimulus?


Ruwon: It may, yes. Learning to use your own body as your stimulus and having the mental control to shut down rushing, intrusive thoughts seems a good place to start. It’s similar to meditation, so I imagine you’ll be able to determine if you find it helpful fairly quickly.


:: Again, Chythar gave a nod. He was intrigued by the notion of being able to shut the thoughts down before losing his calm in high-stress situations. If he had to start somewhere, that’d probably be as good a place as any. ::


Skyfire: I’ll give it a go and get back to you. :: Then he paused and considered again. :: Do we need to adjust my meds, given this conversation?


Ruwon: Mm. I wouldn’t rule it out, but I’ll need other’s opinions. I’m not intimately familiar with medications, unfortunately. ::He smiled apologetically.:: But we have others on board who are. I’m sure we can safely make adjustments if you’d like to go that route.


:: As much as he didn’t like the idea of mentioning it, he knew Shira was aboard and could be of some assistance in this regard. ::


Skyfire: I’d recommend you touch base with Dr. Yishira Somlen, one of my previous counselors. She’s another recent transfer who is familiar with my case and meds.


:: He paused again, and decided not to bring up his other issue during this meeting. He’d seek advice on that one later.  CD left out the part where she was the above-mentioned El-Aurian, but Ruwon would probably figure that out when they met. ::


Ruwon: ::He inclined his head.:: I will. I have to ask, though; would you prefer to continue seeing her?


Skyfire: I’d rather not. She’s a good person and all, but I’m not comfortable with her methods.


Ruwon: Understood. I’ll do what needs to be done to make sure you’re content. ::He smiled.:: I trust you’ll let me know if you feel uncomfortable?


Skyfire: :: nodding :: You can count on it.


Ruwon: I appreciate it. ::For a moment, the Romulan’s face shifted - a flicker of doubt, before returning to his typical placid look.:: Do you have any concerns about your current post? Being a medical officer offers a unique challenge, no?


Skyfire: It can, at times. No concerns about it at the moment. I am intrigued though that the present CMO is a jay-gee.


Ruwon: It’s an odd situation, to be sure - are you concerned about serving under her?


:: He nodded slightly in understanding of it being a unique situation. He knew he was only a medical officer here, but he had worn the title of CMO with distinction across a couple vessels now even before his demotion took effect. If he could be of any help to his boss, he would do so in a heartbeat. ::


Skyfire: No. Not looking to replace her, just looking to help her become more comfortable in the role. :: He paused thoughtfully, running a hand along his beard. :: Are you worried I will intimidate her somehow?


Ruwon: To be honest? ::He shrugged.:: Nurse Cattan is competent, but also new to her position. I’d be surprised if she wasn’t intimidated. That said - I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.  


Skyfire: oO She’s a nurse, but leading a department. Impressive. Oo


Ruwon: Sometimes people need an extra push to prove themselves. Perhaps you can supply that.


Skyfire: Totally understandable. I look forward to the challenge. Is there anything else you feel we should go over before I leave you to other appointments?


::Ruwon considered for a moment, glancing at the PADD in front of him. Then he smiled.::


Ruwon: I think that’s it for now. Try the techniques I mentioned; we can reconvene in a week, when I’ve had a chance to speak with Dr. Somlen. Does that work for you?


Skyfire: Aye, it does. Thank you for your time, counselor.


Ruwon: Any time. Let me know if you have any questions before then, Lieutenant.


:: He stood up and left Ruwon to his thoughts, deciding now was a good time for a stiff drink. He had a long overdue appointment with the barkeep. ::



Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire

Medical Officer






Ensign Ruwon




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