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[ROUND 2] PNPC PO T'tala - Memories of Wounds Past


Whale
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(( Captain's Ready Room, USS Victory ))

:: The morning crisis managed for the most part, T'tala found a seat,

breathing out a long sigh. Did Captain Riley live a life like this? She had

a personal assistant, too, a Gideon like the Chief of Science... they were

rare, from what T'tala understood- uncommon on Starfleet vessels. Perhaps

that assistant felt as tired as T'tala did these days... ::

:: With a few moments to think, she let her mind return to Pitik. His

behaviour was out of character for him... yes, he was frightened, yes, it

was something new... and while she had suspected he would leave, she never

really thought he would. Or was that just being revisionist? To be honest,

she wasn't sure anymore. ::

:: She thought back to her conversation with Breeman... and her departure

from the USS Independence. ::

(( FLASHBACK: Starbase 118, two months ago ))

:: They were in a coffee place, discussing their old wounds. Wounds that

existed in the mind, rather than in the flesh... and how difficult they were

to treat. ::

Breeman: I was... held at knife point. It wasn't really an injury. It took a

bit to get over though.

:: T'tala's response was quite strong. She leaned forward, her dark eyes

glinting in the light of the station. ::

T'tala: If it took a while to get over, as you say, then it was an injury.

Do not be dismissive of the harm it would have done to you.

:: Her voice softened. ::

T'tala: The mind is just like any other organ... it can be damaged,

malfunction and- it can be treated. I do not see how some people can pin

medals on the chest of physically wounded individuals...

(( FLASHBACK within FLASHBACK: Sickbay, USS Independence-A, two months

further ago ))

::Sidney patted the woman's shoulder, reached over to the surgical tray and

grabbed a clean cloth. Taking it she wiped the woman's forehead gently.::

Riley: You rest, T'tala. You did all you can, now it is your turn to heal. I

am proud to have you on my ship Crewman. I couldn't ask for a better

crewman. ::She set a strong, comforting hand on the Vulcan's shoulder.

Leaning down she whispered in the woman's ear so the others wouldn't hear.::

Don't worry, you'll see Danilo again. ::She squeezed T'tala's shoulder

before she stood up, her voice now back to it's normal tone.:: You are both

in capable hands Petty Officer, Third Class T'tala.

(( Flashback within Flashback Ends ))

:: She had been promoted from Crewman First Class to Petty Officer Third

Class... yet had contributed absolutely nothing to the battle aside from

being shot. She had not even fired once- Marari had cut her down like a

stalk of wheat in a field, mowing through the Starfleet defenders,

unflinchingly reaping a bloody harvest... ::

:: T'tala had done nothing to earn the promotion, she felt. She had engaged

in a sexual relationship with her direct superior, she had done nothing but

nearly die... she hadn't even fired a single shot of her rifle. How was this

praiseworthy? ::

(( FLASHBACK within FLASHBACK: Shuttle Bay, USS Independence-A ))

:: T'tala strode into the shuttle bay, surprised to see someone was already

there. ::

:: Lieutenant Alleran Tan stood, alone, a simple rucksack over his shoulder.

The shuttle which would take them away was nearly here- obviously the Trill

man was coming with T'tala, where-ever she was going. ::

T'tala: Excuse me?

:: Tan turned to her, seeming to smile widely- in relief?- before his face

fell again. ::

Tan: Oh. Hey.. Crewman T'tala, right?

:: T'tala indicated her collar. ::

T'tala: Petty Officer now, sir. You are Tan, yes? I saw you in the medical

bay when Captain Riley was injured...

:: Tan seemed to wince at the memory. ::

Tan: Yes, that's me. I ...

:: The Trill was misty-eyed. To T'tala, crying in public was terribly

shameful, but Tan didn't appear to have such reservations. He let his tears

show. ::

Tan: I... I was surprised nobody came to see me off. Not one. I saw off

Commander Reed, I saw off Commander Thelev, I saw off Commander Whale... I

always made a point of saying goodbye to those who leave- but nobody came

and saw me. Nobody.

:: T'tala was very surprised. ::

T'tala: I am... sorry. I heard you were involved with the Captain. Does

this-

:: Tan seemed angered. He shook his head, firmly. ::

Tan: This has nothing to do with Sidney.

T'tala: I apologize.

:: Tan nodded, relaxing. ::

Tan: It... is because I... I killed a man.

:: T'tala inclined her head. ::

T'tala: I see. Have you notified security, or did you want me to do that for

you?

:: Tan stared. ::

Tan: No, I- during the Vaadwaur invasion of Deep Space 17. Six of them,

actually, but only one up close.

:: The Trill drew his arms around himself, seeking comfort from the action.

::

Tan: I... I haven't coped well with the deed. I've been possessive, angry,

snappish- I've been rude to my friends and careless with hearts more fragile

than mine.

T'tala: You are mentally wounded, then.

:: The Trill considered this a moment. ::

Tan: I never thought of it like that, but I suppose I am. The mind, I

believe, is just like any other organ- it can be damaged... malfunction. It

can be harmed. Yet it can also be treated too...

:: T'tala liked that line. She would use it someday. ::

T'tala: Why do you not seek treatment then?

:: It was a simple question but one the Trill obviously had trouble

answering. ::

Tan: Because... because there is shame in it.

:: T'tala didn't agree and it showed on her face. ::

Tan: There is a... stigma that the mind is something that can be pushed and

pushed, that any limits- any limits- are imposed only by the weakness of the

soul...

:: Warm tears ran down the Trill's face. T'tala remained shocked at how open

he was about his feelings- for a Vulcan to do this, it would be...

unthinkable. ::

Tan: I suppose that's why none of the crew have come to see me off.

Because... because- because I am mentally wounded... not physically

wounded...

:: There was a silence. ::

Tan: N-nobody has come...

(( Flashback within Flashback ends ))

:: In T'tala's mind, Tan had performed admirably during Operation Bright

Star. During the Second Battle of Eratis. He had endured a nine month

deployment without a single word of complaint- he had been quartered in a

shuttle due to overcrowding, he had been shot down and captured, tortured by

the Vaadwaur... ::

:: The Trill was a gentle soul- a person who hated death and killing- yet he

had killed on command, as he was ordered. He had lead the air group against

the Vaadwaur, a battle he personally did not want to fight. He had done

everything requested of him. He had never disobeyed an order. Had formed

close ties to the crew. Was a commonly spoken name on the ship. ::

:: Yet because his wounds appeared in his mind instead of on his flesh, the

crew had- apparently- treated him like a leper. ::

T'tala: ... while dismissing those with mental wounds as "cowards".

:: Her features hardened. ::

T'tala: There is no shame in experiencing fear and distress when presented

with ones own mortality... do not feel as though you need to hide your scars

from me or anyone else.

:: It was a bold statement, but the subject stirred T'tala to passion. ::

:: She would now cry in public... if the situation warranted it. ::

(( Flashback ends ))

:: Sitting alone in the quiet ready room, T'tala opened her eyes. What was

she going to do about Pitik...? ::

:: The PADD beeped. Another message. T'tala spent several minutes dealing

with a petty squabble between two of the enlisted crew (her responses

basically amounting to 'Deal With It'), then returned to her personal

thoughts. ::

:: Pitik... ::

:: She touched her combadge. ::

T'tala: =/\= Petty Officer T'tala to Petty Officer Pitik. =/\=

:: A long pause. Evidently Pitik was either having second thoughts or, for

some reason, did not want to answer his combadge. ::

Pitik: =/\= Pitik here. =/\=

T'tala: =/\= The officers will be at the party tonight. I am free if you

wished to discuss our situation for some time. =/\=

:: Another long pause. ::

Pitik: =/\= Sounds good. How about your quarters? 1900 hours? =/\=

T'tala: =/\= As you wish. T'tala out. =/\=

:: She had kept her tone frosty the whole time. Pitik's actions had harmed

her... they had wounded her mind. She would not be so quick to let him back

into her life, and if she did, it would be in a very different manner to the

way she did before. ::

:: Some things could be forgiven, moved past, ignored... some scars didn't

fade. ::

-----

PO T'tala

Commander Jaxx's Assistant

USS Victory.

As simmed by,

CPO Radi Rais

Chief of Operations

USS Victory

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