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Lt Rivka Brzezinski & Ensign Lina Dahlquist - Any Counselor in a Crisis?

Alora DeVeau

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I think for awards we should have one for the worst counsellor EVER. 😄


((Counseling Offices, Deck Eight, USS ‘Oumuamua))


As an official “utility officer” Rivka Brzezinski technically could serve anywhere she was needed. With a doctorate in the neuroscience of biogel packs, she was comfortable with the biological sciences and the basics of engineering. She had even been brought into sickbay during the recent medical emergencies. That had been a harrowing experience. Ensigns with holes in them and evacuees with strange maladies. Fortunately they had been sedated and stabilized and placed in the hands of more competent medical professionals.


As bad as that had been, it was nothing compared to Rivka’s main duty post. With recent staff transfers, it seemed that the utility that the ‘Oumuamua needed most was counseling. Rivka was technically qualified. She had basic psychology and pathology training–but it was never anything she particularly took a shine to. She expected to be diagnosing and repairing neurogelpacks, not injured feelings and twisted psyches.


At least Nerse had assigned her pretty straight-forward cases so far. Nothing that required more than some sedatives and a little R&R. After the emotional trauma from that nebular phenomenon, they had a sharp uptick in requests. Today would be a new client for Rivka.


She reviewed the file. Lina Dahlquist. Another of these Earth Humans. oO Hmmm, some mild family trauma. Oo Rivka continued to read. oO Oh, fainting spells–that’s suboptimal. Oo It seemed that this Ensign was among one of those who had had a rather severe reaction to the nebula, before they found interventions. oO Well, let’s see what we’re dealing with. Oo


She opened the door to find the young ensign sitting on the edge of a chair.


Brzezinski: Ready?


Lina had already arrived a few minutes before the actual appointment and had been nervously sliding around on the chair ever since.

She tried to put on a reasonably nice smile as a greeting, but she didn't quite succeed.


Dahlquist: oO No! Not really. Oo Yes.


Brzezinski: Please sit. ::gesturing to a chair in the office::  What brings you in today.


Dahlquist: oO An order by Starfleet Medical. Oo I had some ::beat:: issues during the last mission. I fainted during those emotion waves. And I heard voices in my head.


Lina listened to herself. That really sounded somehow mental. Perhaps she should have expressed herself differently? But at least she did not have to lie on a couch.


Brzezinski: I see. (beat) And what do you want me to do about it?


Dahlquist: ::slightly flabbergasted:: I thought you’d tell me what to do about it.


Brzezinski: It’s up to you really. You let me know.


The session seemed to develop just as Lina had expected. Despite her inward dislike of this session, she tried not to let it show on the outside. After all, she had nothing personal against the counselor.


Dahlquist: oO What a waste of time Oo. Well. ::beat:: I’m not sure. ::beat:: Tell me that I am not going mental perhaps?

oO Great! Now that was not really very diplomatic. Pull yourself together. Try to at least seem cooperative. Oo


Brzezinski: OK. “You’re not going mental.” Anything else?


oO What? Seriously now? Oo

Lina noticed that her palms began to sweat slightly.

She was still nervous. But perhaps she should just open up a bit and give it a try. 


Dahlquist: What worries me most is that this voice was so real. Not as if it was imaginary.


Brzezinski: Hmmm.


This was actually a new one for Rivka. It was… intriguing. She pulled out her pocket wand neurolyser (she had been advised to not wear her goggles while seeing counseling patients) and waved it across the ensign’s skull. 


Brzezinski: You do seem to have higher than normal activity in your posterior superior temporal lobe.


Lina was still a little confused by the counselor's waving around that she hadn't really been listening.


Dahlquist: Hmm?


Brzezinski: Oh, you might know it as Wernicke’s area–it’s associated with language processing. (beat) Is the voice unwelcome?


Lina nodded. She had had biology as a science major so this was not really new to her, but she didn't exactly want to rub it in.


There were a lot of possibilities. They had, for example, several telepaths on board. If the voices weren’t a problem, then Rivka might not have much to do after all!


Dahlquist: I would say that is an understatement. ::her voice now changing to nothing more like a whisper:: It was scary to be honest.


Brzezinski: Huh. I guess that’s a problem. Have you eliminated the possibility of it being another entity?


Lina shook her head, but not because she had ruled it out, but because there was no way she wanted to believe that this was even a remote possibility.


Dahlquist: It erm, it was the voice of my father and ::beat:: I don’t think that this was ::beat:: is a possibility.


To be honest, Lina didn't sound very convincing. She was aware of that herself. But just the thought of her father was enough to upset her.


Dahlquist: Since we left the nebula with the shuttle, nothing comparable has happened.


Brzezinski: I can give you a neuromonitor. If you wear it for a period of time we could confirm if the voices have an external or internal source.


Dahlquist: ::sighing:: Do you think that is really necessary?


Brzezinski: If you had neuro monitoring after your last spell, we can use that as well.


Dahlquist: Well, I was under medical supervision so there should be enough data on that.


Brzezinski: I’ll take a look. For now is there anything else? Do you want a prescription sedative to help you sleep or anything?


Lina looked up. It did sound as if the counselor was about to finish the session. A small glimmer of hope flared up in her that she could be out of here very soon.  


Dahlquist: I do not have any sleeping problems.


The young Swede hesitated for a moment whether she should actually ask the question that had just crossed her mind. After all, the conversation would then probably take longer and she didn't really have the impression that the counselor was overly interested in her.


Dahlquist: But - erm - I wonder what I should do if ::beat:: I mean hypothetically ::beat again:: if that voice turned up head again?


Brzezinski: I can prescribe a general neuroinhibitor, that should minimize unwanted neural functioning. ::under her breath:: …and maybe some wanted ones as well. ::louder:: Just don’t use it while operating any heavy machinery!


She looked at the counselor perplexedly and could no longer completely hide her previous reticence.


Dahlquist: Seriously? 


The moment she said it, she already regretted it. oO Pull yourself together! Oo, she snapped at herself angrily.


Rivka wasn’t sure what this patient wanted. She mentally shrugged–some people just didn’t want to be helped, she supposed.


Brzezinski: Then just tell the voice to stop it. Tell it to get out and stay out. (beat) If you don’t want it there.


As if waiting for her to say it was all a joke, the scientist just stared at Brzezinski for a moment.


Dahlquist: ::incredulously:: And you think it will just do that? Go away like that?


Brzezinski: ::shrugging:: Might as well try. (beat) I mean, if it’s all in your head, then the solution should be in there as well.


Dahlquist:  oO Definitely better than wasting my time here in that session with that counsellor Oo Hm.


Brzezinski: Nurse… er, Lieutenant Salo says patients need to want help. (beat) So, do you?


Dahlquist: Well, I thought you could help me with that.


Brzezinski: Well they’re YOUR voices, not mine!


See, this is why Rivka didn’t like therapy. People always wanted someone else to solve their problems. She could repair broken neural connections, but the feelings and other fuzzy mind stuff had to be something done from the inside as it were. People’s brains were perfectly fine, but their feelings were hurt or broken.


Lina had finally had enough. But she thought it might not be such a good idea to storm out of the office in a huff. So she pulled herself together. Years of training at home had helped her to appear professional and calm.


Dahlquist: Okay, I'll try. 


She squeezed out another 'thank you' and left the office.


When the door had closed behind her and Lina was standing in the hallway, she needed a pillow or at least a towel or a piece of cloth to yell into. But then she thought of something better and made her way to the 7 Forward Lounge.




[End Scene]


Lt Rivka Brzezinski

Utility Officer

USS Oumuamua






Ensign Lina Dahlquist

Science Officer

USS ‘Oumuamua





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