SIM:Skyfire Taybrim:Finding Balance

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Crew of the USS Chin'toka


Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire

(( Counselor’s Office, USS Excalibur ))

:: Sal leaned back, reviewing what few notes Counselor Rose had left on the record, and what notes were left on Lieutenant Skyfire’s psych profile. Not that he was one to fritter a person down to a sum of psych notes, only that he wanted to enter this conversation with some degree of preparation. Perhaps that was for his own reassurance rather than Chythar’s. Either way, Scott was right – this whole night had been an emotional rollercoaster, and it was far from over. That said, the counselor was honestly concerned about the doctor and more than willing to hear him out. He replicated himself a cup of peppered orange cider, letting the aroma wash over him before the door opened.::

Taybrim: ::Waving the doctor in with a relaxed gesture. He settled himself in a chair that was to the side of the room, rather than behind a table or desk:: Come in Chythar – can I get you anything to drink?

:: Chythar tried to smile as he entered, wearing his classic blue jeans, black tank top and combat boots. His mind raced, his mental shielding still weak. His mind was filled with uncertainty, anger, grief, and something else...but difficult to tell what that was. Overload, perhaps. As he took a seat, he nodded faintly ::

Skyfire: Black coffee, if you would.

Taybrim: ::Settling:: What’s on your mind?

:: As the coffee was being replicated, Chythar took a breath and tried to calm himself a little before beginning to speak. He had a lot more now that the ceremony was over than when he’d sent Sal the message earlier on in the day. ::

Skyfire: Lots of things. So much it’s difficult for me to figure where to begin.

Taybrim: ::he retrieved the coffee from the replicator and offered it out to Skyfire:: Begin at the beginning is rather trite, but it does work. Or just start with whatever comes first to your mind. ::he paused and added the standard:: take your time if you need...

:: Take his time. At that rate, Chythar would just sit and stare at him for however long it took. Finally, after a few tense seconds and a sip of his coffee, he swallowed and spoke with the first thing that came into his mind. ::

Skyfire: Firstly, the original reason I wanted to see you. Johanna MacLaren was my mentor. The first doc I interacted with. And now she’s lying in sickbay, barely clinging onto life due to that suicide bomber that tried to annihilate us.

Taybrim: What happened? ::he prompted gently::

:: Chythar sighed, uncertain how to answer that for sure. He knew what had happened, he had a little explaining to do, and tried to keep his emotions in check. Taking another sip of his coffee and swishing it around in his mouth for a moment before swallowing, he took another breath before speaking again. ::

Skyfire: I met her on Starbase 118, a few days ago. It’s only been three, I think. We were about to leave on a mission, I got angry, and caused an incident that I was never disciplined for. That initial incident was caused by me working in the dark and getting angry, which lashed out at her like a ton of bricks as I didn’t know at the time she was a Betazoid. :: Beat. He took another sip of his coffee, closing his eyes as he tried to finish the thought. :: We’ve moved past that. And now, tonight when I was being promoted...I regret she wasn’t there to see it.

Taybrim: ::There was a steady reassurance in his tone:: With a little luck, you’ll be able to show her, perhaps next time we dock here. From everything I saw you and Doctor Folds did a superb job of stabilizing her and Starbase 118 has a solid medical facility. ::He paused, prompting quietly:: You seem a bit unsettled by your promotion.

:: That caused him to sip his coffee again and fall silent for several moments. Confusion continued to circle him, his thoughts almost looking like a cat tangled in a ball of yarn. He was definitely confused about the promotion, but there was almost a hint of jealousy present as well. ::

Skyfire: I’m not sure. The half pip definitely came as a surprise. What’s even more surprising is that I was passed over for the CMO position. Out of the three doctors, I’ve been here the longest. Granted, not by much...but I’ve been here longer than the other two. Folds got it. Is it because I wasn’t displaying the leadership qualities Kali was looking for, or am I somehow incompetent?

Taybrim: ::Shaking his head:: Being a superior doctor and being a chief medical officer can be one and the same - but all too often they are quite different. Consider this - you created the Skyfire Cure, a brilliant but unorthodox vaccine that will save the lives of millions. But in order to do it, you spent every last ounce of energy you had. ::He paused and added clearly:: That is not an admonishment. Millions of people are recovering and they owe that to you. But, in turn, you need someone to lean on. Someone who may not be as medically brilliant as you, but who can support you in organization, assigning support staff, organizing rosters and all the things that make a sickbay work. And that is a large part of the role of Chief Medical Officer. Honestly, I think you will thrive more and create more brilliant outcomes without the burden of paperwork on your shoulders - and I think Kali believes strongly in your medical abilities. Your ability to inspire creative solutions is your leadership trait, and one that you can wholly own.

:: Chythar tried to smile, then took another swill of his coffee. Moments passed. Finally, when he spoke again::

Skyfire: So what you’re telling me is that I’m perfectly competent and not to worry about it.

Taybrim: I can’t say I have seen anything to suggest incompetence. ::He paused and asked gently:: What would make you worry about it?

Skyfire: Again, I’m not sure. Those five medals I wound up with...Those came as even more of a surprise than the sudden half-pip. I’m only three days out of the academy, and I guess I got a little overwhelmed during the party before the shenanigans with the stew. It’s something that I…

:: Chythar trailed off, muscles tensing a little around his mug. He took another swill of coffee before setting it on the arm of the chair and bouncing his knee slightly. ::

Skyfire: Something I tried talking to Dany about before she left...was learning to control my emotions so I could avoid incidents like what happened with MacLaren and not let my temper or other emotions get the better of me.

Taybrim: Are you worried that with the commendations and added responsibilities you might lose control?

Skyfire: No, I’m not worried about it per se. You know that deer in the headlights effect when you did something truly unexpected? When she handed those medals to Anscom and Cuthbert, I honestly didn’t think there was anything in that box with my name on it, let alone five somethings in that box. I mean...did I truly deserve each one? I can understand the Medical Science one...but the other four….and on top of that...the promotion?

Taybrim: ::He had leaned forward very slight, listening more than anything else:: Captain NIcholotti is a seasoned and well trained officer. Furthermore she is known to her crew for being forthright and honest. That alone tells me yes, you are deserving. But moreover, you did accomplish every one of those deeds. As a Vulcan would say ‘the facts fit the outcome.’

:: Chythar ran a hand lightly over his face, thinking about Sal’s words as he sipped his drink again. ::

Taybrim: ::As silence settled he added:: I know sometimes we feel that we have not done enough. We think this is a bad thing, but in moderation it is what pushes us to strive for greater and greater things - it is the drive that pushed your species and mine out into space and beyond. It is when it overwhelms us that we are frozen.

Skyfire: :: swallowed another mouthful of coffee :: You’re probably right.

Taybrim: Do you feel you have better control over your emotions now than when you started?

Skyfire: Better control over my emotions now than since my last counseling session? No. Not really. The blast destroyed whatever mental shields I had, and I didn’t really have time to work on it since.

Taybrim: How do you control them? ::His tone was one of curiosity::

:: His frustration began to return, but it was tempered by the tone of the question. The curiosity in Sal’s tone made him relax a bit, and he slipped into Gaelic. ::

Skyfire: Bhí mé ag iarraidh a chur suas sciatha mheabhrach. Bhí siad laige sa soinneáin, agus rinne mé iad a atógáil le linn an searmanas a chur chun cinn. Agam nach ar bhealach a cheapann chabhraigh sé nó d'oibrigh.

(I have been trying to put up mental shields. They were weakened in the blast, and I tried rebuilding them during the promotion ceremony. I somehow don't think it helped or worked.)

Taybrim: ::He canted his head, noting the slight shift from the universal translator:: Do you have any set rituals for centering yourself or raising mental shields?

:: His words settled back into English after a minute, the air of tension around him seemed to lighten a little as he relaxed. Though when Sal admitted he too had that telepathic connection, Chythar’s grip on his cup tightened a little. ::

Skyfire: If you have any tips or suggestions, I’m all ears. Maybe a guided meditation thing or something to work on mental shields would help.

Taybrim: ::He nodded:: Different things work for different people - but the key for all of them is to find what works for you and to make it your own personal routine. We can explore options, though it may take some time for you to figure out what works best for you.

:: Chythar nodded faintly, draining his mug and setting it down. ::

Skyfire: Whenever’s convenient. I’ve probably taken up a bit too much of your time already. I’m fine with rescheduling.

Taybrim: Honestly, I don’t mind. I knew coming in this job requires odd hours and plenty of open time. Whenever you are comfortable.

:: Chythar smiled softly, happy that he might finally be making some progress into getting his emotions under control. ::

Skyfire: Now is good.

Taybrim: I would suggest, for starters, learning how to breathe in a way that will promote calm. For Terrans, oxygen supply to the brain affects many neurochemicals. The fight or flight response often prompts hyperventilation which doesn’t get enough oxygen to the brain. And as a doctor, you know what oxygen deprivation does to a patient’s neurochemistry.

:: There was a pause. A long one, in which Chythar thought on Sal’s words and applied his training to what the counselor was saying. ::

Skyfire: Chemical imbalance.

Taybrim: Exactly, and with such a chemical imbalance, you get into a feedback loop. So, tried and true is the simple act of getting more oxygen to the brain to help regulate the neurochemistry.

Skyfire: Truth. Please continue.

Taybrim: Deep breathing - filling the lungs and holding it before exhaling. also a single-passage airway can help - breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

:: The Lieutenant nodded slightly and closed his eyes, attempting a few deep breaths in an effort to relax. A few breaths later, he gave a nod. ::

Skyfire: Question, would burning incense help?

Taybrim: ::He thought about this, giving a slow nod:: It could. Aromatherapy does aid in relaxation, but you need to know what scents affect your neurochemistry in a positive way.

Skyfire: I’m not sure. I read in a study somewhere that it often is combined with the deep breathing techniques.

Taybrim: You could possibly reference the study. Some incenses promote clear airways as well, though some irritate the breathing - you would want one that doesn’t just smell nice, but that helps you breathe calmly.

:: Chythar nodded again, starting to understand it a little better. He seemed more relaxed than when he came in, and he took another deep breath before exhaling slowly. ::

Skyfire: Thanks for your time, Sal. I’ll give it a try with the incense and let you know how it goes.

Taybrim: I’ll stop by sickbay tomorrow and see how you are feeling. ::he offered a light smile:: Take care of yourself - and congratulations. You earned both your promotion and some rest.

:: With that, Chythar stood up and headed back towards his quarters. He felt the calm starting to take effect, the breathing in Sal’s office easing his mind a little. The tidal wave of emotional confusion felt like it had disappeared, his thoughts seeming a bit more calm. ::::It made the counselor settle back with a smile, hoping that at least one rollercoaster could coast to a calm rest this evening.::


A JP by:
Lieutenant JG Chythar Skyfire
Medical Officer
USS Excalibur A


Ensign Sal Taybrim
USS Excalibur-A

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Lieutenant JG Chythar Skyfire
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