|Crew of the USS Astraeus|
|Civilian Chythar Skyfire|
(( Counseling Suites - Moonsong’s Office ))
:: Raissa sat with her head in her hands. Her wrist still ached when she tried to do too much, but the crushed bones had been repaired. It was hard to believe everything that had happened had taken place over the course of a couple days. No wonder everyone was exhausted. No one had slept during the crisis. She wasn’t sure she would ever sleep again. She had changed, becoming something else. She still had to deal with all the tests that Dr. Ven wanted to do. She had joined the consensus of opinion. The man was a jerk and made her feel like a lab rat. To top it off her department head Commander Valan had gone missing so the rest she was supposed to be getting had to be used to deal with the patients the Commander normally saw. ::
:: Chythar was punctual, as per his usual. Though this time looked probably a bit more sleep deprived than he was used to being, mostly because of the state of his mental shields. He rang the chime and ran his hand over his face, for the first time in a long time having remembered to shave before coming to visit. He needed the counseling, especially after what happened during his little ‘experiment.’ The bruise to his jaw from the conversation with Gabi was healing, but still noticeable. ::
:: Raissa looked up as she allowed him entrance. She found that she was more aware of his presence than she had been in the past. Her own control over her upgraded empathic ability was still a little ragged. ::
Moonsong: Doctor Skyfire… come in…I see that you are doing :: she noticed the bruise that hadn’t been there the last time she saw him :: ….better.
:: He came in and has a seat in the comfy chairs, giving a soft smile to her. ::
Skyfire: Likewise, Counselor Moonsong.
:: His harrowing experience with the Grim Reaper had made him a bit more sympathetic toward her, especially noting her left wrist. He didn’t exactly break his, but the cheshire and the plague had taken their toll on it. She didn’t know about that yet…and he didn’t know how to tell her. ::
:: Her eyebrows tried to disappear into her hairline. He was being rather pleasant which was definitely not like him in the history of their sessions. The smile at least. She rose from her seat at her desk and went to the replicator. She ordered two mugs of tea. She needed it as much as he did, no doubt ::
Moonsong: :: She sat down across from him after handing him one of the mugs. :: How are your shields? :: She decided to get directly to the point considering what happened between them. ::
:: The doc had changed, and he wanted to think it was for the better. After his conversation with Gabi yesterday which led to the bruise, followed by the fact he did the entire conversation with neither inhibitor or shields, he didn’t know if he had. And hadn’t taken the inhibitor before walking into her office. ::
:: He took a breath as he was handed the tea, and sipped it before making a reply. He also had a sip of his tea as he contemplated the words to say it. Once he swallowed, he spoke softly. ::
Skyfire: Shattered beyond what we built. I swear...when I called out to you the first time, I didn’t realize I had because I wasn’t in control of it. I was fighting for my life. The subsequent times, it was a hallucination I thought. I think I did it once, consciously.
Moonsong: :: She nodded and sipped her own tea. :: It… it makes sense. You needed help and instinctively reached out to the person you knew that had the knowledge to help you. :: Her hands clenched around her mug tightly. :: The first time…. You… you shared quite a bit of what you were going through.
:: He nodded again in understanding and set his drink on the table. He had to at least apologize, which is something he needed to practice anyway. Especially if he was to get into another conversation with the captain. ::
Skyfire: I apologize, Ris. I didn’t realize the strength of our connection.
Moonsong: :: Her eyebrows shot up again at the use of her nickname. Up until this moment she did not think he was even aware she had one. :: Why did you call me that?
Skyfire: I...don’t know. :: He picked up his tea again with his good hand, and took a sip. :: I will keep it professional. :: Pause. :: Counselor.
Moonsong: :: She kept her voice level :: It’s a name my friends use. It also implies a possibility related to your talents.
:: His face seemed to convey a mix of confusion and curiosity. Like he was warring once more with two halves of himself, but this time whether to use his gift or not to. ::
Skyfire: I sensed it before? I’m not sure.
Moonsong: I think you when you telepathically connected to me… Shared what you were going through with me.. There was an exchange on some level. For example…. :: She paused, her dark eyes intent. :: What are my brothers’ names?
:: He felt trapped for a moment. Yet, somehow, his voice was still level. Despite how much he resented Azin for messing with his mind, he seemed ready to integrate it once he got over this trust issue with the counselor. ::
Skyfire: Andre and Alexi. Your parents: Nikolai Moonsong and Sasha Moonsong nee Aldron. I swear, I didn’t mean to pick up on any of this. :: His voice sounded sincere, and apologetic at the same time. ::
Moonsong: :: She nodded :: I know. I believe you. The only other way you could have known would have been to read my personnel file and I know you didn’t bother to do that. Therefore your talent got the information for you. On some level you wanted to know more about me. :: She paused again. :: Do you know why?
Skyfire: Why I wanted to know more about you?
Moonsong: Think about it. You have trust issues with counselors.
:: He furrowed his brow in contemplation, sipped at his tea as he tried to work through it. ::
Skyfire: True. :: and fell silent, having another sip of his tea. He wasn’t sure how to react. :: I can’t answer that. I don’t know why.
Moonsong: :: She was silent a moment :: It does make sense in a way. But it is also a trap. Wanting to know someone has to be done the right way. Pulling information from their mind without sharing anything of yourself is wrong. :: she shrugged slightly :: There are some that don’t agree, but in Starfleet there is a code of ethics for anyone with psychic abilities.
:: Raissa’s own levels had changed. She had simply been a touch empath. Now she was showing all the signs of being a touch telepath and she didn’t need to touch to sense another’s emotion. All this meant the code of conduct applied to her more now than it had in the past. Sensing and reading the emotions of others was one thing. Now a touch could lead her to ‘hearing’ and ‘seeing’ a great deal more. She could only be grateful her grandmother’s training of her talents had been so thorough. ::
:: She had a point, and it was a perfectly valid one. Though, this being their third session, his first since the most recent accident, he had to say something about it. Or share of himself somehow that not many people knew. Or let her read him. Or something. Again, practicing his apologies. ::
Skyfire: I am sorry. :: He took a sip of his tea. :: My mother, Kyrethia Angelica Skyfire, was on Romulus when it exploded. My uncle told me shortly after I was assigned to 118 that my father died of a drug overdose of some sort. And the only nickname I ever had was CD, which some people have joked meant compact disk.
:: Raissa found herself staring at him. The revelation was surprising, particularly since the brief recitation of facts had to cover a lot of emotional pain. She felt a tiny bit of her tension leave as she pondered how best to respond. ::
Moonsong: I am very sorry for your loss. :: The emotion was sincere at least. She couldn’t imagine losing her parents even though she knew it was inevitable. :: But… why did you tell me this?
:: He didn’t know. He was still unsure of his control level after his recent brush with death, and the neural blocker had worn off after he was pulled out of his 'experiment'. And he sipped his tea again. ::
Skyfire: Apart from the brush with the inferno, I don’t know what I shared. Since I learned about you through my talents, and you gave me the reminder about the ethical code, I figured I’d share some information about myself the old fashioned way. Talk.
:: Raissa sat her mug down on the small table beside her. She had barely touched the contents and what was still in the mug had grown cold. She found herself a little torn over what to say next. On the one hand, her words could help him grow his social skills. On the other hand, he could easily take her words as a rejection of a potential friendship. He would not always be her patient. Once he was in control of his talents he could walk away without a backwards glance as so many others had done. ::
Moonsong: :: Nods :: Doctor… in a social setting… sometimes it is more effective for it to be a true exchange of information. The person you are with shares something. You share something similar in order to express empathy, if it is something… bad. You ask questions about the other person. They ask you. :: she paused :: But be cautious. If they don’t ask questions… if they only talk about themselves, their life, their problems and you do no more than listen without the opportunity to share something of yourself… Well… then you are an unpaid counselor.
:: He sipped his tea again before he too set it down on the table, then loosened his collar before easily sliding into his half-lotus position. ::
:: He sipped again from his mug, thinking on her words. This was a valid point, and one that Gabi had tried beating into his head the last time they had dinner before the station crisis. For a moment, he did not have a response. Then, with a nod, he set down the empty mug. ::
Skyfire: Understood. :: Pause. :: What would you suggest?
Moonsong: :: She frowned slightly :: Doctor… you gleaned information from me. But it was clearly unintentional. You are still learning to use your ability. As your counselor I understand completely and bear you no ill will. So we need to focus helping you to learn to control and protect yourself.
:: Raissa abruptly realized that connection between the two of them was stronger than she thought. She was still trying to rebuild her own shields into a new configuration. Because they had linked minds, things were still slipping through. She could tell his inhibitors had worn off. His ability was strong at a level that reminded her of her Betazoid grandmother. His power was like faint static in the back of her mind. It was not a telepathic exchange. It was an awareness of his presence despite her own shielding. She would be able to feel him and know it was him regardless of the situation or location.. ::
Skyfire: We worked on that a little last time, as I recall. :: Pause. :: Right?
Moonsong: :: She nodded slowly :: Yes. And it is obvious I failed you epically based on the image you gave me.
:: He was worried now. oO That can’t be good… Oo His voice filled with concern as he spoke. ::
Skyfire: Dare I ask?
Moonsong: I have been trying to sort out the images I received from you. I had asked you to describe your mental safe place to me. I recognized some of those images from your description. :: She paused and swallowed painfully. :: I saw it all go to hell. This was my fault.
:: She didn’t know about his ‘experiment.’ Or the reason it went all to hell. And blamed herself. To an extent, he understood. And he was sympathetic because he blamed himself for what happened. And he didn’t have the words on the tip of his tongue to tell her otherwise. ::
Skyfire: No... :: After a moment. :: I am to blame. I injected myself with a strain of the virus in a dangerous and nearly fatal attempt to find an antigen based on a pattern I’d seen before on Argurtha. The symptoms caused all sorts of problems, namely with my mind and my wrist. Whatever it was that went to hell, that I sent to you, I’m sorry.
:: Three apologies in one session. He was on a roll, but it wasn’t the good kind. He thought this was the precursor to another meeting with Captain Egan Manno, where he would apologize again for being reckless and wind up with the title becoming permanent. Yet, he didn’t think practicing all the different variations of “I apologize” was any way to make CMO or Lt. Commander. ::
Moonsong: :: Her eyes had widened as she stared at him. Only one thing he said got stuck in her mind :: You did what?!
Skyfire: I nearly killed myself so I could help the Cardassians by deliberately injecting myself with their affliction and used a metabolic catalyst. :: He didn’t seem proud of this achievement, but he had survived. He survived that, and one hell of a storm in the experience with the cheshire. The aftermath had torn his shields apart, and he could feel whatever she dished out with full force. ::
:: Raissa was actually unaware that she projected a trickle of emotion through her shaky shields. There was anger and underneath it a layer of hurt and fear. ::
Moonsong: :: Her voice was uncharacteristically harsh. :: Do you place so little value on your own life?!
:: He matched her gaze, his voice perfectly level. Due to not having any shields at all, he felt her anger and didn’t blink as he spoke, despite how much it hurt him to do it. The hint of Gaelic was on the tip of his tongue, but only the thick Russian accent filled his words. ::
Skyfire: I place more value on the lives of others. I knew vhat I was doing, and in an attempt to save them I was villing to take the risk. If there had been another way, I’d have taken it; and we vouldn’t be having this anger-filled conversation.
:: His words did not mollify her in any way. Most of it she didn’t fully understand with her limited medical knowledge. She was furious with him and she struggled to control it with limited results. She wanted to lash out at him. She wanted to punch him. But that would not look good on her record if she hit a patient. ::
Moonsong: Did you even look for an alternative? Did you even talk to someone else before you did it? :: She was nearly growling. :: Did you stop to consider what would have happened if you had died? Did you even think about how the rest of us would feel if you killed yourself?!
:: Her anger was damaging his calm. But he didn’t care. He was angry, and yet, he was calm. He was staring back at her, unblinking. His mind felt each sentence like a punch to the face, but he didn’t react. He took a breath and spoke again, the thick Russian still heavy in his voice. ::
Skyfire: Da, I did. And in your current mindset you von’t listen if I told you there vas no other vay. I thought about it. And every day, I’m kicking myself for making the decision that could’ve led to my death. You have no idea.
Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire
Lieutenant JG Raissa Moonsong
Eye of the Storm
|Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire
Acting Chief Medical Officer
USS Garuda NCC-73089
The Path Out of Darkness Part 2