SIM:Ens. Mar & LtJG Devar: Blood Phobia

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((Ensign Idril Mar's Quarters))

::Idril fumed. Lt. Horne had ordered her to go talk to the counselor about her blood aversion, since it seemed to now be interfering with her duties. When she had argued that she could handle it on her own, he had threatened to remove her from duty. The Trill woman sighed and shrugged. After what had happened, she could hardly blame him. Maybe if she just didn't go, no one would notice. Her computer terminal beeped. She looked up and saw that someone had sent her a reminder of her appointment with Lt. Devar. Oh, how priceless; what good timing too. Anger flaring, Idril shouted at the top of her lungs.::

Mar: I am not a little girl!

::Idril threw one of the cushions from her couch at the computer terminal. Still, though, as satisfying as that was, she thought with a sarcastic smirk, she still had to go. There was no sense in getting in major trouble over whether or not to talk with Lt. Devar. She and Alana had been friends since the first day she had been aboard. Idril thought back to their first real talk, when Lt. Horne had made Alana so upset that she had cried right in the hall. Idril had sat with her for a while and helped her get through it, at least a little. Well, it was probably just Rumina talking mostly, the Trill woman thought to herself. She still had problems calling the other memories in her mind her own, and tended to differentiate the sides of her personality by reference to the host who contributed them. When being a mother or a diplomat, it was Rumina. Being a fighter or artistic, it was Azulay. Looking at something in a new way or, she grimaced, collapsing at the sight of blood, it was SooSang.::

::Idril blew her rebellious forelock out of her eyes. She only had about half an hour to get ready for the meeting with the ship's counselor, and she had been working out already that morning. She got undressed, stepped into the sonic shower and flipped on the holo-emitters she had finished installing last night on her time off duty. She had been so tired that she hadn't even tried them out yet.

Mar: Computer, run program Mar hotel-2-oscar.

::The computer bleeped and loaded the program. Idril jumped and squeaked in surprise as the holographic water sprayed down on top of her. It was COLD!::

Mar: Computer, raise water temperature to 39 degrees Celsius.

::Her teeth were chattering, but she managed to get the words out. Instantly, the water changed temperature, and now she wished she hadn't gotten them out after all. Scalded, she leapt out of the shower, cursing and spitting. She should've remembered that the computer would be able to change the water temperature instantly.::

Mar: Computer, alter program Mar hotel-2-oscar. Alter temperature subroutine so that any temperature change cannot be faster than 1 degree Celsius per second.

::The computer bleeped. Idril, being a bit more cautious this time, stuck her hand under the water and it felt much better. She back got in and felt the water coursing over her, enjoying the shower like she hadn't since she had been home on Trill last. She was spoiling herself. Not even the captain had a real water shower in her quarters. It was a luxury, even on Starbases. This would have to remain her little secret, or she would be spending the next week of duty-shifts installing holo-emitters in all the senior officers' washrooms. She smirked and considered how much fun that would be - not. At least if she had to go to counseling, she would be relaxed first.::

::After her quick shower, she got dressed, braided her hair into pig-tails and headed for the counselor's office. One advantage of holographic water over the real thing, Idril thought with a smile, was that you didn't have to worry about drying off. Idril found herself in front of Lt. Devar's office before she realized it. She certainly was not looking forward to this. Sighing, she walked in.::

((Counselor Devar's Office))

::Devar looked up to the woman that entered, with a bright smile on her face. Seated at her desk, she nodded for Idril to take a seat over at a comfortable dark blue couch just under the view port. Taking a few last glances at the console before her, she sifted through the information briskly, reading it over again before shutting it off. Looking over to Idril Mar again, she smiled and stood to her feet before making her way over to the replicator.::

Devar: Do you care for anything? This replicator is tied into the central replicating network; it's working again, so don't hesitate to ask for anything you wish.

::Alana could sense Idril was uncomfortable. She tried to alleviate it by offering a cozy couch, and something to eat/drink to help calm her a bit. Idril walked over to the replicator.::

Mar: Tazoberry tea, cold with whipped cream.

::The replicator purred and her drink appeared. Raspberry tea was by far her favorite flavor, but tazoberry worked wonders for her nerves in ways that the little Earth fruit couldn't seem to match. Cold, the red drink tasted like a fruit sherbet. Hot, it was like a berry punch. Idril liked it both ways. Thank the gods that the replicators were finally working again.::

Mar: Thanks, Alana. I should remember that you could sense when I'm uncomfortable.

::Idril walked back to the couch and sat down.::

Devar: So, what's troubling you? What profound event had Makra send you to my office?

Mar: I passed out in Engineering.

::The counselor seemed to be waiting for more, but Idril wasn't budging. She probed gently.::

Devar: Do you want to talk about it?

::Idril shivered with the memories of her previous host running through her mind. SooSang had been a brilliant scientist, known for looking at old questions in radically new ways. Well, Idril thought sarcastically to herself, that had done him so much good on that away mission. Caught on a planet's surface by a freak ion storm, he had gashed his leg by falling on a rock. The other away team members had tried their best to help him, but his femoral artery had been ripped open and he bled to death.::

Mar: Not really. I guess I have to though, since I got sent here, huh?

::Idril smiled with a clearly uncomfortable turn to her lips. She fidgeted on the couch a little before going on.::

Mar: I was working in Engineering at my duty station, monitoring the power shunt from the shields to the ship systems that Lt. Horne set up. While you were talking to the star snakes, the shields sent a feedback through the plasma conduits and blew out a couple dozen relays all over the ship. One of those lucky ones was the one right behind my terminal. The explosion threw me halfway across Engineering and put a big cut right across my forehead.

::She put her hand up to the spot unconsciously. Even though the doctor had healed the laceration with a dermal regenerator and there wasn't a scar, she still felt a little self-conscious about it.::

Mar: Everything was so hectic down there that I didn't even notice it until we got things back under control. A crewman pointed it out to me. I remember wiping my forehead and seeing the blood on my hand. I felt some more run into my eyes; I had thought it was just sweat before. After that, the next thing I remember clearly is sickbay and the doctor telling me that I had passed out. I guess that when he put in his report to Lieutenant Commander Kare'en, it got back to Lt. Horne and I got orders to come see you.

::Alana listened attentively as Idril explained the occasion with hesitation. It was always hard to talk about things like this, but she often thought of herself as a mediator between the physical and the mental plane. She felt Mar easing a bit, calming as she told the story. Cocking her head slightly, Devar's dark eyes expressed warmth. She had hoped to make this discussion as painless as possible. Who ever said emotional scars were not as potent or forthcoming as physical wounds? In some ways, they were worse. As her brilliant mother, Arianna, often had said, "Physical scars can be mended, but the effects of emotional travesties often remain with you within the course of your life. It will shape the person you are, and whom you will become." In Idril's case, however, the problem transcended into the course of 'lives.'::

Devar: From the medical reports, the laceration was minimal. The doctor was a bit astonished to have known that you lost consciousness.

::She choose her words carefully and respectfully.::

Devar: How did you feel before you passed out, and when you came too?

::Idril thought for a moment.::

Mar: I'll be honest, Alana; I really don't remember passing out at all. When I collapsed during the training simulation on Starbase 118, though, I was light-headed and needed to sit down. I sat down on the deck. Lieutenant Commander Vartok, our trainer, told me it looked more like I collapsed, but I distinctly remember sitting. When I got onto the deck, I felt like I was melting into it.

::Idril closed her eyes, trying to bring up the memory so that Lt. Devar could feel it too.::

Mar: It's kind of weird and hard to describe. Have you ever been so tired that you can't keep your eyes open, but you need to anyway and you keep on going? There's a point at which your legs get a little heavy. If you sit down at that point, your sense of touch makes everything seem soft, even if you're flopping on duranium armor plating. That's the feeling that I get normally, though I'm not sure why I don't remember it this time.

Devar: What is it about seeing your own blood that strikes you so?

::Alana already knew the answer; she had read it in Mar's psychological file. However, she wanted to hear it in the Trill's own words, from her own perspective. Idril knew that question was coming and still it struck her like a splash of cold water on a hot day. Her mind raced, uncontrolled, through the memories of SooSang's last three agonized, pain-filled, excruciating hours of life. She gasped slightly and tried to focus her mind with the flame meditation technique that Rumina had learned as a young woman. The flame was blown out by the fierce winds of the ion storm that had stranded her previous host and doomed him to death.::

Mar: As you know, there have been four hosts of the Mar symbiont, including me. The third host, was named SooSang, and was a xeno-biologist. He was on an away mission studying edible plants in a system near Trill when an ion storm came up unexpectedly and the away team was stranded on the surface. He got knocked over by some flying debris and gashed the inside of his leg really deeply.

::Idril rubbed the inside of her right thigh, not even realizing that she was doing it.::

Mar: The party tried to patch him up once they made it to a nearby cave, but they couldn't stop the bleeding from his femoral artery. They managed to slow it down, but all that did was make his death more drawn out. It was a horrible, painful way to die.

::Idril tried hard not to break down completely at this point at the agony that the memories of death had left her with. The tears in her eyes were there, though. Alana moved over to Idril and rubbed her back gently with her hand. She tried to convey a soothing impression aura with her empathic abilities; Alana knew these memories were tough for the Mar symbiont. To have died in such a way, and to remember the instances in the upcoming host; it was painful for Idril and Mar both. Alana whispered comfortingly to the other woman, her deep Betazoid accent thick and warm.::

Devar: It's alright, Idril. I understand; if you need to cry, that's alright too. Often times, when people cry, they find themselves relieved of the bottled emotions inside. I'm here so you may talk about it, to not keep it inside; to help you not only as a counselor, but also as a friend.

::Idril wiped her eyes and choked back a sob. She was determined not to let this get the better of her. She couldn't keep it all in, she knew that, but she didnâ⿬⿢t want it destroying her on the way out either.::

Mar: I understand that, and I value your friendship quite a bit, Alana. The memories, though, are so vivid. They're different than the ones from Rumina and Azulay. Those are more muted. I have control on them. SooSang's, though, are so deeply imprinted on me that sometimes I can't remember what's me and what's him.

Devar: You must tell yourself that SooSang is the past. The chances of the same thing, or something similar to it happening are very slim. I know these memories are troubling to you, and affect your psyche when it comes to the sight of blood; but, always remember that you are Idril Mar.

::The Trill took a long drink of her tea, trying to desperately get her composure back again. What Alana was speaking about was one of the things that the candidates to be Joined had been selected for, the strength of personality and self-knowledge. It was essential in being able to cope with the new memories effectively. The Symbiosis Commission knew that some changes would happen with anyone joined to a symbiont that had previous hosts. What they were trying to avoid, though, was the complete submersion of someone's own personality in the sea of memories that they would gain. The smell of the tazoberry and cream tickled her nose just a little and the flavor helped bring her mind into focus, oddly enough. It was a drink she had known since her childhood, and was still her brother's favorite. It helped her remember who she was, who she needed to be.::

Mar: How am I going to deal with this, Alana? I know who I am; at least I think I do. I want to come to terms with the way my memories are. I certainly don't want to have them wiped out chemically by the doctor or anything. Do you have any ideas?

Devar: I want you to close your eyes; think back to the time you were SooSang; and tell me how he feels, what he's thinking.

::The young ensign closed her eyes and focused her mind, trying to hold onto the smell of the tazoberry as an anchor to her own self. She waded back through her memories until she lay on a cold, metal table. She turned her head and saw another table with another person on it; herself. But it was different. She was looking at herself looking at herself. She saw the room from both sides at once. She realized that this was the Joining procedure. She was Azulay, old and dying, lying on a table. She was SooSang, young and vibrant, lying on the other table as well. Her great-granddaughter was there by her side, since her wife had died nearly two decades before. Her father was there too, since she had no other family of her own.::

::Idril shivered physically at the disorientation that these double visions and doubled memories were causing. This was the only time in her memories that something like this had happened. SooSang had died away from Trill, and the symbiont had been rescued, then taken back to the Symbiosis Commission for Joining. Rumina; she didn't remember dying as Rumina, though. It struck her momentarily that this fact was odd. She remembered being Rumina, and then she remembered the pools. There wasn't anything in between. That was another subject though, she thought to herself, as she followed Alana's instructions to recall SooSang in particular.::

Devar: Now, Idril, tell me what you see... open your mind to me, allow me to feel what you are feeling, to see what you are seeing.

::Alana began to enter Idril Mar's mind, with much ease and simplistic breathing techniques. She saw images that the young ensign remembered, as it pertained to her previous lives. Devar's words cascaded in the mental plane, like falling water, as she stood beside the Trill woman with angelic grace.::

Devar: Try to allow the memories of your previous hosts to elude you at this time, Mar. Do not forget them, just simply put those aside. Bring up the first thought you had as SooSang Mar. We will go from there.

Mar: It was in this room.

::The room changed slightly, but the two women still stood in the Joining chamber, with two of Mar's previous hosts on the tables. Azulay lay on one of the tables, obviously dying, while the much younger SooSang lay on the other table, the symbiont halfway into his abdomen.::

Devar: Let me see what you see, let me hear what you are thinking. Allow me total access; allow nothing to escape your mind or visuals. Remember the true raw emotion as you came too as SooSang. Tell me, how do you feel, what is your first reaction?

::As the symbiont finished wriggling backwards into the young man's abdominal pouch, his back arched away from the table and he cried out in pain. Idril held her hands tightly up against her ears.::

Mar: Pain! The pain of two lifetimes crashing into my brain in a short few moments is the first feeling I remember.

::Azulay gasped a long, shivering last breath and went slack. Idril wiped away a tear, but SooSang was in so much pain that he didn't seem to notice. The pain-filled screams went on for another minute or so, then the young Trill passed out. The scene faded out, then rematerialized as a hospital ward. SooSang was sitting up in a bed, eating, while a nurse talked to him.::

Mar: When I - when SooSang came to, he was told that he had been unconscious for three days. They were so worried about me,about him, that they moved him over into a monitoring room in case the symbiont rejected him.

Devar: Let's move onward; let me see the details of your lifetime.

::Idril thought back again, recalling later memories. The two women walked through major parts of SooSang's life: a marriage, the birth of a daughter, the pain of a divorce because of his dedication to his scientific pursuits, the agony of finding that his ex-wife and daughter (both of whom he still loved) had died in a transport crash. After a little while, they found themselves in the transporter room of a Federation starship.::

Mar: This is the USS Qualeth, a Nebula-class science vessel that SooSang was attached to by the Trill Science Ministry to study a primitive culture near the Trill system.

::Alana nodded.::

Devar: I suppose SooSang's scientific pursuits took him far.

Mar: Physically and emotionally, I'd say. He sacrificed his personal happiness for those scientific pursuits.

Devar: Let us move a bit further; recall the imagery of being whisked away and arriving on the shore of the planet.

::SooSang and three Federation officers walked into the transporter room and transported away. The scene changed to the surface of the planet. The clouds were dark and ominous. The wind was blustery and the women had to speak a little louder to be heard clearly.::

Mar: See those clouds?

::She pointed over at the dark clouds near the horizon. They had a slightly different tinge to them, and a flicker of reddish-purple lightning could be seen peeking out of them occasionally. Alana nodded at the imposing sight; the imagery was brisk and unsettling. She had recognized the elements in the 'air', as she rubbed away the goose-bumps that threatened to rise on the nape of her neck.::

Mar: That's the leading front of the ion storm bearing down on us. We - they weren't even paying attention to it and didn't realize they needed to get back to the ship until the storm had disrupted the transporter scanners to the point that the ship couldn't lock onto them from orbit anymore.

Devar: Had you first noticed this? Did you try to warn them of the forthcoming threat?

::Alana looked over to the Trill, and then the horizon again, her hair whipping in the fierce winds, squinting her brown eyes back over to the woman. It took a minute for Idril to respond, and Alana could barely hear her quiet words over the growing howl of the wind.::

Mar: I don't remember. I think I saw the storm when we first transported down, but I didn't think about it being a danger. We were so intent on getting the plant samples that we wanted to study that it was all I could think about.

Devar: What did you do when you realized the threat was upon you? Allow me to feel the emotions SooSang was feeling as he realized the ion storm was about to break on the group.

::The storm was suddenly a lot closer, and a reddish bolt of lightning struck about a hundred yards away from the two women. The air tingled with the static discharge, and the smell of ozone stung their noses. The researchers suddenly looked up, realizing for the first time it seemed that this was not a normal storm. Idril raised her voice over the storm. Alana could only watch in disbelief.::

Mar: I remember that my first reaction was curiosity. I'd never seen an ion storm this close up before.

Devar: What happened next?

::The roar of the storm clashed fiercely, penetrating a deep sense of realism to the two. Alana knew these were Mar's memories, but the visuals were spectacular - the senses of smell, sight and touch were potent. She could even feel the static of the storm, combing through her hair.::

::The women could see SooSang standing, his eyes shaded against the wind, watching the progression of the storm towards them. One of his companions shook his shoulder and pointed towards a cliff face, where a number of large caves could be seen. SooSang nodded, collected his things quickly and they began to run, following the other researchers towards the cliff. As they began to climb the slight incline at a run, Idril spoke up in a quiet voice, leaning in towards Alana so she could be heard.::

Mar: That's when it happened.

::Another bolt of lightning hit just behind the two running men. The Starfleet officer was knocked to the ground by the concussion, but SooSang was thrown violently through the air almost 50 feet and landed awkwardly against a pile of debris from the cliff. Even from a good distance, the women could see that his right leg was impaled on a spike-like stone, which entered midway up his inner thigh and came out at the corresponding point on the other side. The women walked over towards the cliff. As they got closer, they could heard the Trill man crying in pain, much like he had during the Joining. He was picked up and carried into the cave, where they lost sight of the scene. Blackness enveloped around them. Alana shook her head as the images faded away. Idril looked over at the counselor.::

Mar: I can't do this, Alana. I can't handle watching him die.

::Alana approached Idril, her dark eyes wavering, trying to convey a sense of warmth and comfort. Gently, she placed a hand on the Trill's shoulder and smiled lightly.::

Devar: Idril, you must overcome your fears, the nightmare that plagues you so from your previous life as SooSang. I know these images are tough for you, but it is instrumental for you to witness them from your own view, from SooSang's, in his personal perspective, and yours as Idril Mar, a bystander's perspective. If you do not do this, you will never be at peace, and this will follow you even after Idril dies. It will continue to saturate your life, and upcoming lives. As a host, you have to live and learn, and make a positive influence for yourself.

Mar: I'm not sure I can do it though.

::Alana closed her eyes and the image rematerialized around them again. She could sense hesitation course through Idril as the troubling scene was once again recalled; the Betazoid squeezed her shoulder a bit, to give the Trill a recollection. She lowered her voice and spoke is a whisper.::

Devar: You are not alone, Idril. I am here with you, to help you. As you are seeing these incidents again, I am experiencing them as well. I can feel your pain, your sorrow; do not forget I am empathic. It is imperative that you guide us through this. You cannot quit now.

::Idril was still hesitant, trying to look at the scene but still not able to bring herself to do so. Alana frowned, as she looked over to the bleeding Trill as the other men frantically tended to him. The color of his face screamed of horror and impending death. Sadly, it alone was symbolic enough to presume the horrible outcome. Looking back over to Idril, she smiled lightly as she held back an urge to run away herself. Alana stood beside her contently and strong, adamant in being Mar's rock through this experience.::

::The Betazoid began to walk over to the men kneeling beside SooSang Mar. Looking back over to Idril, her eyes expressed warmth and sympathy. The fierce winds outside the cave could not match the life inside of it; the raw emotions as life and death was in the balance.::

Devar: Idril, listen to me. This has already happened. Whether or not you watch him, does not change anything that happened in the past. In order for you to move on, you have to face your fears, challenge them and win over them. Tell yourself you are not afraid anymore, and build a stronger foundation from it.

::Idril hesitantly walked over towards the counselor and her previous self, whispering under her breath the entire way.::

Mar: I am not afraid, I am not afraid!

::One of the Starfleet officers moved a hand off of SooSang's thigh and a spurt of bright red arterial blood splashed out, covering the man's face. Idril didn't remember anything more after that. Alana slightly gasped as the picture snapped to darkness. Opening her dark eyes, she found herself back on the Independence, in her office. Adjusting her vision to match the dim lighting, she slowly turned her gaze to a presence leaning against her shoulder. It was Idril Mar. She had broken the connection, and passed out from the sight of blood that recalled within her memories. The Betazoid woman sighed.::

Devar: oO It's alright, Idril. You made an excellent first step. Oo

::She whispered to the unconscious woman.::

Devar: Idril! Idril, wake up!

::Alana did not hear a response, only the woman's calmed and rested breathing brushing against the fabrics of her uniform. Giving her a gentle nudge mentally, she sensed the Trill having no thoughts or dreams flooding her mental plane. It was empty; she had truly passed out. Alana frowned. She then proceeded to gently move Idril off her shoulder and laid her out on the couch, amidst the wide array of soft and cushioned pillows. This wasn't the first time this had happened to her while with a patient.::

::The counselor then stood to her full, petite height and made her way sluggishly to the replicator. She returned mere seconds later with a glass of cool water in her hand and kneeled beside the couch. Alana dipped her fingers into the chilled clear water and splashed a few drops onto Idril's face. It was then that the Trill slowly came to. Idril blinked a couple times then sat bolt upright. Alana pushed her back down onto the cushions.::

Devar: Not too quickly, now, Idril. You just lost conscious during the walk in your memories.

Mar: I don't remember much; what happened? Why did I pass out?

Devar: You were telling yourself you were not afraid as you approached SooSang. However, you lost the plane when you saw the spurt of blood rush from his leg.

::Idril held her head in her hands, trying to get the fuzziness out by sheer force of will. It wasn't working too well, though.::

Mar: If I'm passing out even in my dreams, Alana, how am I going to deal with this in the waking world?

::The counselor smiled gently, reassuringly.::

Devar: It's alright, Idril, really. You made a major first step in fighting this thing. You were willing to confront this, and tell yourself that you were not afraid of it anymore. Don't worry; I'll help you with this. These things just take time.

Mar: Well, I'm glad one of us is confident.

::The young Trill woman sighed, feeling uncharacteristically disheartened. She wasn't sure she'd ever get past this, but was glad that Lt. Devar was going to be there to help. Having friends was good, and she felt more at home here on the Independence than she really had anywhere since her Joining almost two years ago.::

Devar: You'll become confident in time, Idril; don't worry. Just remain strong and determined, and do not let it get the best of you.

Mar: I think I understand. I'm glad I can count on you.

::The counselor smiled again. There was something reassuring about that smile, Idril thought to herself.::

Devar: You have everyone on this ship to be your rock.

::Alana paused a moment, her mind abound with fruitful thought. She smiled warmly to the Trill and recited a line that obtained her admiration as a young student on Betazed.::

Devar: "The water does not wear away the stone by its strength, but by continually falling."

Mar: From the way you say that, I'm guessing it's a quote, but I don't recognize it.

Devar: A wise remark made by Horace, a famous Earth philosopher. It suggests consistency outweighs pressure and strength. You may feel like you lack the strength to fight this, Idril, but if you fight in small intervals of time... then your goal will be within reach.

Mar: As widely varied a race as the humans are, they certainly come up with a lot of interesting sayings, don't they?

Devar: Indeed they do...

::Alana grew silent for a moment, her thoughts flickering with a recollection. Inwardly, she smiled mischievously.::

Devar: Humans have remained an integral part in Starfleet, as the Academy is set on their very own Earth. Some of our ship's finest hail from there...including Danny Wilde, our Chief Security Officer.

::Idril blushed a little bit. Alana was a counselor, and from Betazed in addition. She shouldn't be surprised that her friend had found out about the growing crush that she had on Danny Wilde.::

Mar: Lt. Wilde and I have a purely professional relationship. He wanted some self-defense techniques that I knew...

::Alana could sense the other woman stumbling and fumbling for an answer. She just [...]ed her head to the side and waited for the Trill woman to realize that she couldn't lie. Even if Idril believed the lie herself, Alana would still know the truth, whether it was from the emotional or thoughtful prospects. Idril saw that Alana wasn't buying it and gave up with the excuses. She mentally noted herself to never try to lie to a Betazoid.::

Devar: You've taken a fancy to each other, haven't you?

Mar: Well, I think Lt. Wilde is really nice, and definitely is cute. However, I'm not sure about how he feels towards me. I've caught him stealing glances, but nothing more than that.

::The Trill woman played nervously with the slim braid that carried a single gold bead on it. Devar watched her behavior with a distinct interest. Idril's fingers spinning and balling the bead around suggested that she was indeed uncomfortable in talking about this. The attraction was indeed strong, but Mar was trying to avoid it if possible. Perhaps there was something in her past... Alana [...]ed an eyebrow as the Trill continued.::

Mar: I'm really waiting for him to do something definitive to let me know how he feels. As boisterous and bustling as I am, Alana, I'm kind of shy when it comes to matters of the heart. That's something that certainly did not change after my Joining. I haven't had a steady boyfriend in almost two years and I'm not really sure I even want to get involved with another officer. What happens if we get together and one of us gets transferred? Even better, what happens if we have a spectacular break-up and have to serve on the same ship?

Devar: Have you asked yourself this it worth the risk?

::Idril thought for a moment, tugging idly on her braid. She was pretty sure she knew where the counselor was going with the question, but wanted to be certain.::

Mar: What do you mean?

::Alana smiled lightly, her hand finding it's way into her dark hair and playing with an individual wave. Wrapping it around her index finger, she looked over to Idril; her brown eyes cascading with love and sorrow. Her thick Betazoid accent then whispered her poetic musings.::

Devar: I mean, if you think it's worth it... love and Danny, or just to have a coy relationship, then you should pursue it. It's healthy to think those things ahead, but sometimes you just have to loose yourself in the moment and just be spontaneous. Is your attraction for Wilde sufficient enough that you're willing to make those certain sacrifices? The possibilities are quite real, but if you would be denying yourself if you choose not to accept them and him.

Mar: How do you and Lt. Horne handle a relationship like this?

::The Betazoid grew silent for a moment. Her gaze shifted to one of the paintings on her wall. She knew Idril would ask that particular question. No matter how hard Alana tried to be like the logical Vulcans, ultimately her Betazoid heritage would overwhelm her spirit. The Betazoid surmised that everyone on the ship knew of their relationship now - not that it really bothered her, but she was curious of Horne's reaction to it all. He wasn't really the 'touchy & feely' type and she respected that, so long that he didn't consider their relationship a weakness. In all actuality, she considered it one of her better strengths. She answered, her whisper thick with emotion.::

Devar: I love Makra, and it kills me to think such possibilities as well. Transfers, break all comes with the territory. I feel enough for him to take those chances, to make those sacrifices if need be. I know if I were to ever transfer, my heart would certainly break. I would never loose touch with him, though. Heck, I may even resign my commission just to be near him and become a ship's civilian. The point is, risks are everywhere in everyday life. Each is different in their unique just have to ask yourself what's worth doing and what's not.

::The young Trill woman was attracted to the security chief; she knew that much for sure. She guessed that he was attracted to her physically too, though she had gotten that during her Academy days and hadn't gotten more than a few dates with any single person. In fact, she had gotten a little bit of a reputation as something of a heart-breaker and a big tomboy; the second one was deserved, though the first wasn't.::

Mar: I think it's probably worth it over all. I certainly wouldn't mind dating him. However, I don't think I'm comfortable making the first move. I don't know for sure how he feels about me, so I'll wait for him to take the lead.

::Smiling, Alana nodded towards her friend.::

Devar: Time. Time is life's ultimate solver to questions and situations. Give Danny time, I am certain he will approach you.

::The two women chatted for a little longer, then Idril tried and failed horribly to suppress a yawn. The walk through her memories had taken a lot out her both mentally and physically. The Betazoid was becoming tired herself; after all, a walk through the mental plane would decrease the psilosine levels considerably, not to mention that she herself was still recovering from the 'conversation' with the Serpentai. Sufficient rest was what Alana needed.::

Mar: I think I need to get to bed. I do appreciate the help, though, Alana.

::Alana smiled again.::

Devar: Anytime, Idril.

::Idril smiled and walked out of the counselor's office with a wave. She made it back to her quarters and was asleep before her head hit the pillow.::

::Alana sat in her office for a few minutes. Silence lingered after Idril left, but her mind was still occupied by the horrific images she had seen. It was amazing that Idril (Mar) still remembered such things, and it didn't affect the new host's everyday life. Pondering, her hand running across the smooth fabrics of the couch's surface, she contemplated the images brought before her in total awe. It wasn't but for some time later, as she sorted out her thoughts, that Alana went to her own quarters to get the rest she needed as well.::

Ensign Idril Mar
USS Independence


Lieutenant (jg) Alana Devar
Chief Counselor
USS Independence