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JP Lieutenant JG Falt and Ensign R'Kala: Group Therapy (Parts 1 & 2)


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@Tomas Falt and R'Kala wrote an absolutely lovely JP. It had a lovely touch into coping mechanisms, passion, and a little bit into the experience of friendship and knowing people when you're currently living a life that is frequently moving, and always at risk of people stepping away or transferring before you really get better chances for those things. Their interactions together are very thoughtful and I enjoyed reading this.




((Incomplete Science Lab, Starfleet Research Station, Ring 42))


Falt: There’s a human phrase my mother taught me, “a problem shared is a problem halved.” I need to arrange a visit to the counsellor after my brief imprisonment on Anadasa. Maybe we could share our concerns together instead, like group therapy?


R’Kala: Are you sure


Falt: Why not? We could go outside, find a rock to sit on? The weather is lovely out there today and I doubt anyone will bother us?


R’Kala: Alright, I can do that. I haven't gotten too swamped yet this shore leave with evaluations.


Tomas nodded. For a moment he hadn’t been sure if the Klingon would agree to his suggestion.


Falt: ::smiling:: Excellent, I’m getting in before the rush then.


R'Kala: Shall we continue?


Falt: ::nodding:: Absolutely.


R'Kala: Great. I was wondering if this lab would be big enough to include an arboretum or if we'd need to include it someplace else. It seems antithetical to have a science station studying the flora of a place like the Ring and not have one.


Tomas checked the schematic.


Falt: I agree. In the plans both science labs have configurable space set aside. I doubt the research station really needs two configurable areas so we could suggest that the section in this lab becomes an arboretum? It wouldn’t be huge, but it would be bigger than those on most science ships. What do you think?


R’Kala: Yes, I agree.


Falt: We’d need another internal wall but I think the big change would be external windows, can’t have an arboretum without natural light.


R’Kala: It’s a shame we don’t already know those calculations. ::she raised her PADD to see if she could find out::


Falt: Why don’t we go outside and see which area would be most suitable. I’m sure we could swap the science labs around if nothing else, especially if one lab will get more natural light than the other.


R’Kala: Sounds like a good idea. I could use the air as well. Lead the way.


((Short time skip, Lake outside Starfleet Research Station, Ring 42))


A few minutes later Tomas stepped out of the half-finished research station and into the bright sunlight of a Ring 42 day. He took a deep breath. Nothing beat a real atmosphere, even one that was subject to artificial weather control like the Ring.


The station was located in a city, but as fortune would have it the planners had found an area of what was presumed to have been a large city park. He quickly orientated the station's internal layout with their surroundings. As fortune had it the external wall of science lab two sat in a clearing, about 5 metres from a small ornamental lake.


Falt: I think there will be plenty of natural light for an arboretum here, what do you think.


R’Kala was looking at her tricorder as Tomas was talking. She looked up from her readings and smiled at him.


R’Kala: I think it’s a perfect option.


Falt: And as an added bonus the station’s personnel will get a wonderful view of this lake.


He realised someone very sensible had understood that station personnel would likely feel much more at ease on the alien structure if they were living in a pleasant spot. He wandered over to the edge of the lake and peered at his reflection in the glassy water.


Falt: This looks like it will be a great spot for the station's staff to enjoy some downtime.


She nodded in agreement. This space certainly had a sort of serenity to it.


R’Kala: Would you care to have some downtime before we continue with our assignment?


Falt: ::pointing:: there’s a couple of rocks over, big enough to be seats. Can you think of a nicer spot to have a counseling session?


As he said that he became aware that R’Kala, being Klingon, might not share his appreciation for the aesthetic of the place. Then again, maybe she did.


She looked at the rocks. She suspected that the counseling suite would be a better place for a counseling session, away from distractions, but that was her own opinion. She could understand though how some might find appreciation of this space.


R’Kala: Sure, this will work.


The pair wandered to the lake and took a seat.


Falt: So, since you’re the actual counselor I’ll go first. How would you like to begin?


R’Kala placed her hands on her knees. She was still new to this counseling role.


R’Kala: Well, normally during a session I’d invite the client to tell me how they’ve been doing. ::She looked at him:: So, how have you been?


Tomas pondered how to answer this for a moment, should he blurt everything out at her at once, or take it slower and let the new counselor lead? He decided on the latter.


Falt: Overall, I think I’m good.


R’Kala: That’s good to know. Have things been okay for you on the Juneau?


Falt: Again, good. I’ve been aboard for six months now and I really feel like I’ve settled in.


It was the typical answer that most people gave when she asked that question. For the most part, the Juneau was a great ship with a fantastic crew.


R’Kala: I read in the post-mission briefing that you were imprisoned for a while?


Granted he had not been imprisoned for years, which could cause immense psychological issues, the very act itself could still lead to some kind of stress or anxiety. It was only appropriate that she, as ship’s counselor, make sure that that experience hadn’t affected him too much.


Falt: I was, and that is one of things I wanted to talk to you about. ::short pause:: Not the imprisonment itself, that was brief and fairly undramatic, but the events leading up to it.


R’Kala: Go on, I’m listening.


Tomas was glad he’d already cleared the air with the Captain before this meeting. It meant he could be open and honest without feeling like he was going behind the Captain’s back.


Falt: I made a decision to provide a distraction for Kendrick and the Captain to safely get away from some soldiers. The Captain and I have disagreed since as to whether it was necessary. I believe it was, but would also acknowledge that I was angry at the time and it might have affected my judgment.


R’Kala looked out into the lake as Tomas spoke. Having a disagreement with the captain was an interesting image in her head. Even though Oddas was the commanding officer, it didn’t mean that there wouldn’t be people who had different thoughts on procedures. They were all sentient beings after all.


R’Kala: And how did you feel after this? What did you do with these emotions?


Falt: I was still agitated when I got back to the ship. I went to the holodeck to unwind with Dekas and a couple of the new Ensigns. During the programme I may have vented some of my frustrations on some holographic vampires, in a somewhat gory fashion.  I did enjoy it immensely though; I’m kind of hoping that isn’t a bad thing.


She raised an eyebrow. She had not expected to hear him say that he had gone vampire slaying to deal with the anger and agitation. She supposed it was a fairly healthy way to release tension.


R’Kala: What’s important is your acknowledgment of these feelings. ::she turned to him:: Away missions can get messy, and in the heat of circumstances, we can easily become divisive from our heightened emotions. 


Falt: I… think I’m following…


R’Kala: What I’m saying is that having the feelings you did—the anger, the agitation—is completely normal. It’s to be expected in fact. You’re human. You were able to transfer these feelings into a hands-on activity, which is not a bad thing.


Falt: It wasn’t intentional. Dekas was the one running the programme, I didn’t even know what it was about. My main motivation was to spend time with him and see how he was recovering after his… incident. The holographic vampire killing was part of the programme, although I doubt the designer intended participants to be quiet as enthusiastic about the slaying as I was…


R’Kala truly didn’t see anything wrong in the activity, but the situation didn’t end after his holographic program. 


R’Kala: What we need to understand though, is how you feel after...::an awkward pause:: spending time with holographic vampires?


Tomas raised an eyebrow, surprised by R’Kala’s awkward pause. He hadn’t expected a Klingon to react that way when discussing a violent holodeck programme. He was rapidly forming the opinion that R’Kala was no ordinary Klingon - in a good way.


Falt: I did feel better. Although how much of that can be attributed to the holodeck programme, I’m not sure. I left the holodeck as I was called in by the Captain, she debriefed me on the mission and we cleared the air. 


R’Kala: And how do you feel about your relationship with Captain Oddas now?


Falt: I like to think I’ve got a good working relationship with her. I’ve been lucky to have spent as much time with her as I have since I joined the ship. ::short pause:: The event has made me realize I’m not that close to many officers on the ship though. When I came back from the away mission I’d hoped to talk to a friend, Doctor Sival, about how I felt. Unfortunately they had just left the ship and I discovered there wasn’t anyone else I could turn to. That is something I hope to rectify.


The life of a Starfleet officer could sometimes be very isolating when people came and went. His comment about Dr. Sival made R’Kala think about her former roommate/first friend on the ship, Vitor Silveira, who had left the Juneau before they could really become good friends. It had also been a while since she had seen T’Lea, someone she considered to be a mentor. She let out a sign, wondering what was the point of making friends on a starship when there was always the opportunity of them leaving in the blink of an eye.


R’Kala: Well, I wish you luck in that, and it seems to me you have everything worked out or in the process of being worked out.


Falt: Well, if you’re happy I’m not showing any Red flags then I’m happy. ::short pause:: How about you, do you still want to talk about what’s bothering you?


This would be particularly difficult for her. She wasn’t close with Tomas, but she had to start somewhere.


R’Kala: Before I joined Starfleet I was an instructor at the Daystrom Institute—sociology. I was placed on an extended sabbatical and told to enlist in Starfleet to gain ::using air quotes:: “field experience.”


Tomas raised an eyebrow. He hadn’t known R’Kala had taught at the Daystrom institute. She must have been one of a few Klingons ever to have done so. There was clearly a lot more to his fellow officer than met the eye. 


Falt: As you were already an instructor that seems like an odd requirement to have placed on you? 


She chuckled.


R’Kala: My supervisor was very diplomatic in handling the situation as it was actually a sabbatical for me to leave as I had several student and faculty complaints stating that I was too aggressive, too rude, too Klingon. He thought me joining Starfleet and working on a starship might teach me how to work with a team. ::pause:: I received a call from my colleague at the beginning of shore leave, essentially informing me that I had been terminated permanently from my teaching position. 


Tomas winced, getting that information over subspace must have been painful.


Falt: That must have been… difficult.  


She had gone through several emotions after getting the news, something she might even call the stages of grief.


R’Kala: Initially, I was very angry. I broke a lot of equipment and yelled a lot, and then I felt embarrassed. After some reflection, I think my move towards counselor stems from my frustration as a science officer. Now I just feel...indifferent.


Tomas nodded, he’d have been angry too.


Falt: Your anger seems entirely appropriate, it sounds like you were treated unfairly. You’re… different… from most Klingons I’ve met, but I’d wager you get ::short pause:: as passionate about things as the rest of your species. They must have known that when they took you on as an instructor,


Tomas made a good point. 


R’Kala: Well, I’m no longer interested in what they would have known.


Falt: I’m glad you’re moving on. It sounds like they didn’t appreciate your passion, and chances are they never will. 


R’Kala: Yes, you’re definitely correct about that lieutenant. ::letting out a sigh:: I know you’re not a counselor, but any thoughts?


Falt: I’m no good at giving advice but I will ask you to do something, one ship mate to another. Be yourself. Hold onto that passion, that Klingon fire. It has helped make you the clearly formidable woman you are today, and I’m sure the rest of us will only benefit from that. 


R’Kala: Thank you. I’ll try and remember that.


It was good advice, and she would have to work on keeping that passion alive, even if she was no longer in the traditional science role or in the educator role anymore. She would have to apply that passion to her new position now. 


Falt: ::nodding:: If it helped you in any way then I am glad. Thank you for listening to me as well.


R’Kala: ::smiling:: Well, it’s technically my job to listen, but I’m also glad we were able to help each other.


He looked around. The nature of the Ring meant there was never a true night, only an artificial one. Regardless of the cause he could see the light levels had reduced since they had first sat by the lake.


Falt: We should probably get back to work. I need to send these updated schematics to Commander Vamiz aboard the Grace Hopper for review. Assuming he agrees we can make a start on adding your arboretum tomorrow?

R’Kala: Sounds like a plan to me, lieutenant.


Falt: Excellent, I love it when a plan comes together.




Ensign R'Kala

Ship's Counselor

USS Juneau





Lieutenant JG Tomas Falt

Science Officer

USS Juneau, NX-99801


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