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SD 241910// Joint Log// Cindreth/Rahl// From Many, One

Posted on 28 Oct 2019 @ 11:28pm by Lieutenant Quinle Rahl & Lieutenant Talrian Bran

Mission: Tyr's Hand
Location: Counselor's Office
Timeline: TBD

Cindreth moved along slowly, more anxious than anything else. He knew the appointment he was moving toward was very necessary. Very, very necessary. But, he didn't know how it would go. He'd made the mistake of mentioning he was going to see a counselor after what happened on Earth...well, with the whole thing, until they returned communications to the ship. Many told him that it was 'great working with you, hope you enjoy your downtime'.

Meaning he was going to get relieved of duty, possibly permanently.

But, as he neared the door, he stopped, his breath locked in his chest. Just...he remembered almost all of it. Not the fine details but the broad strokes. The pain...the suffering...they dying...all of it.

He hadn't really slept in days. His work was suffering and Lieutenant Bran left him little choice in this matter.

Though, it was common knowledge that he ignored his own appointment with the counselor.

He was a lieutenant though and Cindreth wasn't. Bran never came out and sayid it was an order. In fact he kept saying it was a suggestion, his strong opinion that this is what Cindreth needed to do. He never said it was an order. But he thought it over and over and over again. Along with other things that Cindreth didn't want to 'hear' or know. But he did.

He closed his eyes tight and leaned against the wall, telling himself over and over again that he was safe. He was on the ship. Everything was fine again. He wasn't part of a group mind. His telepathy was still muted from a depletion of his...he forgot what the doctors told him it was but it was the neurotransmitter primarily responsible for telepathy in Betazoids. His was almost completely depleted. Up close and personal he still 'heard' thoughts from others. But, even now, as close as he was to the counselor's office, he was 'deaf' to her.

It was a blessing right now. The looks were enough - to actually 'hear' the pity of their thoughts would be too much.

It took a few minutes, which put him late, but finally his breathing unlocked and he wasn't weezing, afraid anymore. His hand went to a pocket and thumbed the silhouette of the hypospray...the one with the anti-anxiety medication. Which he was supposed to take in instances like this. But he hated it. He hated the way it dulled the world around him and wrapped his thoughts in cotton.

Still weak and worried he made his way to the door and activated the chime.

Quinle was in her office, having sent the few others she worked with out for their rounds or rest, she had pushed everyone with any knowledge of counseling on the small staff into work, at the very least arranging meetings or groups to try and boost morale, it was not all of their jobs, but with the way things were now everyone needed to do their best for one another. Facing the windows and looking out to the stars, the Earth they were around was not in view at the moment from there, and somehow that made it almost most peaceful of a view without the constant reminder.

Her PADD was in her lap and she had her head leaned back, her long braid was draped forward over her shoulder and her thumb traced the outer edge of the band that held it in place. Legs were crossed right over left and she appeared relaxed over all when the chime sounded. “Enter.” She called out, turning to face the doorway with an easy smile.

Cindreth took a deep breath before he stepped through the door and out of the corridor. He took a moment while the door closed behind him. As he waited those few seconds he suddenly realized he had no idea how this was supposed to work. "I'm..." he looked away, his hands behind his back because he didn't know where to put them. "I'm Petty Officer Cindreth and I..." he stopped as his wandering eyes found the window and the cold, empty of space beyond it. The entirety of it all hit him in that moment and he found it hard to breath once more. Why was this still happening to him? He was safe! He knew he was...

It became too much and his knees gave out, dumping him to the floor.

Quinle was up and out of her seat in an instant, the smile fading as she moved to Cindreth’s side, taking his head gently in her hands and guiding his eyes towards hers. “Deep breath, in for a count of eight, out for a count of six, steady with me now.” She drew in a breath through her nose as she worked to get his focus upon her and the breathing pattern.

Cindreth jerked back from her touch, his eyes widening from fear and astonishment. Jerking as he did knocked him over onto his rear and he scooted back a bit further, up against the wall. Medications were helping to cloud his thinking, making everything fuzzy and dropping the range of his 'hearing' but touch was still the most powerful tool in all of telepathy. It focused the brainwaves or psychic ether or whatever it was onto just the person. That's why people like Vulcans, who were barely telepathic at all, were able to join the psychic community. And her, inadvertently, in trying to help, opened herself wide open to him.

The problem wasn't her, though, it was him. If she were so open then he could pour himself out and into her, filling her with everything that he kept bottled inside. All the pain, the misery, the death and destruction. Worse though, the gleeful savagery of it all.

"I. can't." he gasped, pulling his knees to his chest while trying to just bring anything into his lungs. His chest felt tight, locked into place. He wasn't able to breathe at all and that made everything worse. Before he was drowning in his own thoughts and memories, now he was drowning on dry land as well.

Rahl remained on her knees physically unresponsive to him drawing back from her, her voice dropped just slightly as she looked to him just out of her reach now. “You can, think of the pattern, focus on the pattern.” Again she drew a breath in through her nose and counted, “One, two, three...” continuing until the count of eight was reached, then exhaling slowly, “Six, five, four...” if he didn’t join in with her the first time she would start over again, her steady presence and instance on the breathing pattern seeking his attention be on her fully.

She did not pick up his emotions, she had no telepathic or empathic ability, unless he forced his turmoil into her she would only read the exterior he was projecting, which was easily more than enough for her to know of his state of mind. Folding her hands into her lap, her regal posture remaining in place, even with her clear faux pas in attempting to touch him, she did not falter.

"There's just too much!" he said, gripping his head, but he was trying. He came to her because he knew he needed help but he wasn't sure if she understood the depth to which he'd had to sink in order to help the crew. But he tried. He couldn't make it past four, but he was trying. It hurt, like his chest was on fire. Like inhaling razors with each inhale and daggers with each exhale.

Continuing the breathing pattern Quinle watched him, the count became interrupted with words of encouragement. “That is it... seven... six...” Not altering the pattern, her expectations guiding him to find control over one aspect at a time. The gentle voice kept firm in the insistence that he worked at this, “You can do this... four... three...” There was steel below the softness, the counselor guiding him without pause as to what she sought from him.

Eventually, after what seemed like forever but was only a minute or two, it felt like his chest released and the lock preventing him from breathing opened. He still felt everything, all of the pain and suffering he remembered from the planet, but at least now he felt it for what it was, the memory of all of it. He wasn't immersed in it like he was before. Then, as quickly as it started, he felt himself able to breath once again. Not relax, but at least breath.

The trill woman was patient, she had remaining with him in that same kneeling pose, counting out each breath, the encouraging words slowing, then silencing as only the soft count remained guiding him slowly back to his ability to breathe. Eyes watched him as he found his breath slowly, a small unfolding of her hands to place them turned up on her knees, showing that she was open to him, but not reaching out again. “You did well,” three simple words coming at the end of an exhale, opening the way to more conversation, “just hold to the breathing let it guide you.” The sentence had take the span of one breathing pattern, joining back in with the count again, keeping him focused on the moment, on the task of controlling his breath, showing that he could find some control.

"I'm so out of control," he muttered, looking at the counselor. "Broken. And it's affecting everything. Everything!" he said, trying to keep the tears from spilling down his cheeks. "I find myself thinking that...I don't want to..." He stopped, shaking his head. "If Lieutenant finds out what I'm thinking, he's going to have me shipped off and removed from Security. But it's what I want to do! It's just so much that I can't..."

He turned away, not even trying to stop from crying at this point. "I've looked up..." he said, burying his face in his knees. "I need help. Please, I need help because I'm afraid!"

Shifting now, Quinle moved to sitting cross legged in front of him. “How long have you been feeling this way?” She asked softly, not judgement in her tone, just that easy, calm voice, her eyes meeting his as he looked to her. The woman seemingly as comfortable on the floor as she has been in her chair when the door opened.

"Forever," he said, rubbing his forehead with the heel of his left hand. "Seems like it anyway. But..." he rubbed harder. "Earth. Since we...joined...no...melded. Since we all...became one and then became more than one with...Earth. So much...too much...I can't...filter..."

“What reminds you most of a fond memory? A memory of a time with just you where you know who you are?” Not a simple question but on the made her patient focus on himself for a moment. “Just you, only you.”

Cindreth shrugged. He wasn't much of a 'just you' type of person. He enjoyed being around others, the creativity and vitality of groups. It was like that ever since he was a kid and would spend time with his siblings and father. His family was traditionalist and his father barely worked outside of the home. For Cindreth to leave and join Starfleet was something of a disappointment to his traditional father, but he had accepted the decision well enough. Since enlisting, however, Cindreth barely ever had to worry about being "just you". There were always others around. But not like on the planet. Not like there. "I don't know. I don't spend a lot of time alone," he answered.

She nodded her head slightly, her braid bobbing along her midsection. “A picture? A collected rock? A piece of jewelry? Even something that reminds you of a good memory?” The woman was almost oddly still except the movement of her head, like a statue that was conversing.

"You mean like," he said, seemingly almost embarrassed by what he was going to say, "like baking with my Dad? Every year for the Festival of Rixx, we'd spend days making cookies. All kinds of cookies and Dad always let us help. I miss that. I haven't baked since I left home for Starfleet." He put his head on his knees. It was pain, but sweet pain. Pain he missed. Not like what had taken him over.

“A very good thing. Now we have a place to start. When the panic hits, you found control with your breath, and when you lose yourself, focus on that memory, let it remind you of who you were before.” Quinle kept watching him, “I do not know what happened yet, before you tell me I would like to make sure we have triggers to bring you back from it in place. Then we can work through the other, if that makes sense?”

Cindreth merely nodded. He wasn't sure, though, that it would be enough. There was so much pain!

“Let’s work on the breathing again, then I would like you to tell me more about yourself.” She began the deep breaths in the pattern, counting out the numbers as they took the breaths together.

Cindreth nodded and tried. He found it hard to begin again but, unlike before, it came easier this time because he didn't have to break through the panic first. He hoped, prayed, that she could help him because he loved what he was doing and didn't want to give it up. Or have it taken from him. With his new security chief, the latter could be the more likely option. But...part of him knew that was an unfair statement. There were things...hidden...among all the pain...that he couldn't quite grasp.

Once they worked on the breathing pattern for while Quinle stopped them, “Very good. Now tell me more about you, is there something on the ship you enjoy for recreation?” Her mind already had processed through his file as they had been breathing, but she wanted him to talk more about himself, not his feelings, not the trauma, but finding that sense of himself again.

"I don't know," he said, "the holodeck I guess. But I don't get to use it often. Sometimes we'll get together to screw around in one of the cargo bays. Pretty big space for a game or two."

Quinle smiled gently, never asking a Cindreth to move, just conducting their chat on the floor as if it was as comfortable as any furniture. “What kind of games do you all enjoy down there?” Normal, every day conversation, nothing feeling clinical or worrisome in the moment.

"Sports," he said, drawing out the word. He looked away from her, staring at his hands. "Flag football, soccer, maybe some..." he stopped for a moment. "Dodgeball. Y'know, games that require space."

“That sounds enjoyable, I am really pathetic when it comes to physical activities. I had to work at them three times the amount of other studies at the academy.” Exchanging information about herself with him, continuing on, “A lifetime spent in books, both my parents are scholars and they encouraged my burying myself in books in my youth.”

Cindreth shrugged again. "Boys..." he muttered, smiling. "We tend to get physical a lot in security. Gotta keep up on our skills. Sometimes our games get..." he trailed off again, not wanting to say something to an officer that would get others in trouble. He was here because of what he was going through, what he was experiencing, not to drag anybody else into trouble.

“Physical,” she smiled in return to his own. “I am sure it can be enjoyable.” She shifted her legs to the side, placing a hand on the floor, the counselor relaxing more as they speak. “I haven’t had much time to explore the ship much yet. Is there someone you enjoy doing things with here?” Quinle seemed to be keeping her questions off duty.

Cindreth winced for a moment as the memories came at him again. "I don't know," he shrugged, "my crewmates I guess. I haven't really met anyone else aboard ship but my fellow security officers. Most of them seem okay."

A sharp eye caught the wince and backed away from the crew questions, “Soon we will be back when we belong. If we get leave do you have a place you like to visit?”

"Kalorah Beach!" he said, his face lighting up. "It's got everything. Well, I guess not serving, but white sandy beaches, it's by a large mountain lake so there's also hiking and cycling, large trees and rocks to dive into the lake. And it's in the crater of an extinct volcano so stays about the same temperature year round. Dad used to take us there for hikes and picnics all the time." He looked down at his hands. "I have it as a holodeck program and go there about every second or third time. I loved the camping the most. Midnight swims in the purple water under the stars. It's where Mom proposed to Dad so we always thought it was a special place.”

Quinle smiled warmly, “That sounds wonderful. I can picture it well from your descriptions, it must have been a wonderful time. Places like that, and visiting them, are why I joined Star Fleet.”

"It's almost why I didn't," Cindreth said. "If I stayed home, then I could go when I wanted. Now," he shrugged again. "And with what's happened. I may have made the wrong choice."

“Only time can tell that, you may have a different perspective on the other side. First we have to work through what happened.” Rahl looked at him with a small tip of her head. “I would like us to work on the panic portion of this first, then work our way out to the triggers for it. I would like to see you daily for a bit until the panic is at least manageable for you.”

Cindreth looked up at her, his dark eyes wide. "Am I going to be able to work?"

“I think you should take some time, at least until the panic is better. As I do not know what caused this I can only say that your desire to return is good for that prognosis, a good goal to work to.” She stood up from the floor and looked to Cindreth. “Just remember, there is no quick fix, which to me is a positive, with work comes control through thought, not just a grasp at control to try and pretend all is well.”

Cindreth gave a slow nod, then let out a deep sigh. "Lieutenant's gonna bounce me, I just know it."

“If you like I could talk with him?” Rahl offered. “Though it is up to you, your privacy is primary to me. I do not see why he would though if you are trying to work through it.”

"It won't matter," Cindreth muttered, shaking his head. "He won't care. He's the one that did this to me!" He spat out the last words as an invictive, anger showing through.

Quinle looked to him and tapped her fingers on her leg. “Breathe, slowly like we talked about.” She guided him through the pattern once again then addressed the anger. “Time will tell how things go, no reason to worry about it today, or tomorrow. We work through this together, I a, here for her, no matter what time, day or night.”

Cindreth shook his head. "Obviously you've never met him. He won't care. Only that I'm 'not operational'. I'll be booted the moment he finds out I'm relieved of duty for any time frame." Cindreth looked up at the counselor. "He let her die. The other counselor. Let her die because it was inconvenient for "the mission". That kind of man, he'll not care about me."

A small bit of tension tightened the eyes of the counselor, just a moment of negative emotion she let show through, then it was gone like an earth cloud blown past the calming feeling of the moon. “We will see. For now your focus, and mine, is on making you fit for duty so he has no reason to take such action.”

"Yes, ma'am," he said glumly. She would learn, he believed. In the meantime, he focused on breathing as he felt another wave of anxiety and panic coming on him again.

A pleased look settled in her eyes as he worked on the breathing, she joined him, encouraging him with her count and her own breath, even and measured. Once he was deep in the breath she spoke again, more than the soft counts, “If you like, come by first thing in the morning, but know you can reach out to me anytime you wish.”

"Yes, ma'am," he said, then looked around as if just realizing they were still sitting on the floor by the door. He stood, correcting his uniform. "Tomorrow morning," he said, wondering what he was going to do with the rest of the day.

She rose, and it was less graceful than how she had made her way to the floor, once she was upright she looked to him. “Be gentle with yourself, this is a work in process.” There was a firmness in her voice to allow him to know it was less of a suggestion and something that she seemed to just expect of him.

"Yes, ma'am," he said, somewhat glum. He knew he was facing days of nothing ahead of him. No duty, no work and...if he were right, no future with Starfleet when Lieutenant Bran found out. But, he felt marginally better than when he came in, so that was at least something. He turned and waited for the door to open, wondering where to go and what to do now.

 

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