SIM:Lt. Jg. Kevin Breeman: Breeman Emotional Maturity Story Arc: Taking on Assignment
Kevin Breeman finally manages to cry in front of someone else.
((Counsellor's Office – USS Independence-A))
::Kevin could feel in himself now more than ever the origin of the saying that one's greatest enemy is one's self. A good portion of himself was blocking the rest of himself from performing an act which was quite natural and ordinary. He, with the counsellor's help, had employed his reasoning faculty to move himself into acknowledging that in fact crying was a perfectly natural human activity. What was wrong now was the fact that those other perfectly natural parts of himself – the parts which could not be moved by reason but rather clawed themselves steadfast to the ground with passion or habit – were rebelling. His throat was beginning to grow tighter and and his voice was shaking.
Of these emotions he began,::
Breeman: I don't know why but I feel really uncomfortable expressing them. It feels like I'm stuck behind some kind of barrier. Like trying to break the sound—or light barrier. I mean I understand that it's perfectly normal. I dunno, is it a behavioural thing or something?
Ehlanii: It takes practice, I think for everyone. For some, it can be harder than others. And for some its too easy. But we all have to learn the right time and place. The key is to not be afraid of them.
::Again, his sense of reason was not in disagreement with this statement. That diversity should exist also in this area of sentience was of no surprise to Kevin. And still, his emotional self fought back. In one last ditch effort it enlisted the help of his rational self in composing some highfalutin sentence by which it might avoid being unmasked.::
Breeman: Well I don't exactly have a safe context in which to --
Ehlanii: Well, here is a safe place. I won't laugh or ridicule you. Think back for a minute to how you really felt. Perhaps just after the Ixvapyan died. Don't just tell me about it. Put yourself there and express it.
::He thought back to it again. The head exploded behind him, the floating smiling face of his artificial friend hung there, naively having only a vague sense of how much danger they were in. B didn't know how to emote the way a human could simply because he didn't have the capacity to. He could only simulate emotion. But he helped none the less, holding aloft a childlike knowledge that everything depended on him and Kevin.::
Breeman: B was there. We were disengaging the self destruct. When we finally got it disabled, the fear I'd had finally came out and I realized just how close to death I'd been – how powerless I was in the grip of that Ixvapyan.
Ehlanii: Go further with that.
::He dredged up the counter he'd seen there.::
Breeman: I remembered the self destruct counter and the knife. I could see it going down to zero while the Ixvapyan threatened to kill me. I couldn't move. I was so scared.
::His bottom lip quivered as his chin tightened.::
Breeman: I didn't want to die. I didn't want my friends to die. I'd prettymuch just joined Starfleet and there's so much ahead of me. ::His voice was raising now in pitch. He thought back to the cockpit of the imaginary jet fighter he'd occupied mentally only moments ago in place of his great grandfather. He could hear the whine of the engines, see the cone of cloud around him, feel the thundering of the airframe raging against the barrier of air that fought to keep it at subsonic speeds. Finally, silence. He heard nothing. The cone was gone. A tear rolled down his cheek.::
Ehlanii: See, its not so bad.
::Kevin sniffed as he realized what was happening and looked at the counsellor. He had met, faced, and embraced a part of himself which he had refused to acknowledge and now he was a more complete human. The images of his being attacked, and the sensations of his helplessness then would remain with him for a long time. But now it was within his power to express those experiences and anything more which might happen to him in the future. He could with impunity work with his emotions and with others to learn from his and their experiences and to grow everyone involved.::
Breeman: Thank you, counsellor. ::He chuckled slightly:: I've never done this before and you're right. It's not so bad.
Ehlanii: Unfortunately, I've got another commitment soon. But I do have an assignment for you. Do you have plans this evening?
::Kevin was puzzled now. This would certainly be interesting. With a weight removed now from his shoulders he said,::
Breeman: Well I've been invited to get a drink with Ralik on DS-17.
Ehlanii: Perfect. I'd like you to attempt to find some time this evening when you can truly express some sort of genuine emotion. Perhaps with your friends tonight.
::At first the suggestion sounded scary but then Kevin realized that he had already done what was once the unthinkable. Besides, he thought to himself, an even better reasoning defense would be to use argument to persuade any would-be taunters of the foolishness of their position and of the fact that they would end up needing some kind of therapy should they continue with their present lifestyle.::
Breeman: Okay. I will see what I can do. Thank you again, counsellor.
((Corridor – USS Independence-A))
::As Kevin left the counsellor's office he caught a glimpse from a young security ensign walking down the corridor. The ensign smiled, nodding his head slightly as it became apparent to Kevin that he still had a tear on his cheek. The first explorations of the Venusian landscape of his heretofore unexpressed emotions had been a success. Now it was time begin the long process of terraforming and thus ridding himself of the acidic anxiety and pressurized doubt which dogged him whenever he contemplated doing what he had already done twice with little consequence save sympathy.::
Lt. Jg. Kevin Breeman Engineering Officer USS Independence-A
I used the extended metaphor of an aircraft breaking the sound barrier in this one. I thought that was a fairly gritty and tough image so that people reading this and thinking it a weak thing to show emotion would be able to hold onto this metaphor and see that it is actually a strong action.
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