Walk Through the Fire
S03 Ep 01: Family Of Slaves (incidentals)
Location: Holo-deck two
Timeline: day after Dreaded Psych Eval
Iria walked (paced) around the yellow and black grid room as she waited for Lamia to arrive, for their first attempt at having Lamia face her fear of fire, and hopefully seeing how she would do in an eventual need to deal with it for real. For the moment though Iria had not started the program not wanting to have Lamia walk in unprepared.
Lamia arrived at the holodeck, she paused outside the door almost wishing she hadn’t volunteered for this so soon after arriving aboard the ship. She still had to face her fears though and with that in mind she walked into the holo-deck offering a nervous smile to Iria as she did so.
Iria smiled gently up at Lamia, "Good morning, how are you feeling?" she said in greeting. "I thought it would be best to start small. Just a few standing candles on a table. If you are okay we can increase the range from there." Iria finished softly.
“That’s okay” Lamia offered a smile. “I’m not afraid to admit I’m feeling pretty nervous but I’d like to try and face my fears. I don’t mind candles, but I don’t use them very often.” She stood admiring the small flame, like someone who’d never seen flame before. “So what’s next?”
Iria nodded softly, "If you feel up to it go ahead and blow out the candles." she wanted to wait and be sure of each step before continuing because she didn't want to have Lamia become too uncomfortable in this first attempt at facing her fear of fire.
Lamia cautiously moved forward but stopped just short of the candles to blow them out rather than lean in close enough to blow them out in one go. It was more the heat that made her fear them. She blew them out before looking at Iria. “Okay I’m ready for whatever comes next.”
Iria nodded as she asked the for the next fiery item to appear, it was a torch, on a wall mount, if Lamia was okay with putting it out in the provided bucket of cold water Iria would ask for the next item.
Lamia paused for a moment to consider how was best to deal with this obstacle. At least the fire was at arms reach away from her which made her task easier as she picked it up and cautiously in the bucket of water. Her hands were shaking by the time she’d finished but she was happy she’d achieved it.
The next fiery construct was a campfire with sticks propped around it with marshmellows and others with hot dog sausages on the tips, being cooked by the flickering flames.
The items to put it out were a bucket of cold water, shovel and a dirt pile.
Just the smell of the simulated marshmallows and sausages brought a smile to Lamia’s face. She got as far as retrieving the items around the fire but the feel of the heat made her retreat. She didn’t like getting too close to the heat even though it was simulated and she knew the holodeck safeties were on. She avoided grabbing the bucket of water instead she chose the shovel as she could stay well back from the heat of the fire using it and the dirt to extinguish the fire.
Lamia looked at Iria as she wrung her hands together, both palms were sweaty due to her nerves. “So far....so good...I guess.”
Iria regarded Lamia, "How are you feeling?" Though she could tell by Lamia's body language she was getting nervous, as shown by sweating and the tiny tell of wringing hands. "If you want to take a break or we can talk, I don't want to overwhelm you with this exercise."
"Can we take a break for a moment?" Lamia offered a brief smile. "I've learned one thing do far, it's not just the size or sight of the fire it's the heat it gives off that scares me the most!"
Iria nodded, and thought a moment and asked for a pair of comfortable wicker lounge chairs that rocked to appear. "Sit and relax for a bit, Lamia," Iria frowned softly as she continued, "if it is the heat that bothers you most I am not sure how to really progress the exercise without making you uncomfortable." Iria would need a few minutes to ponder that and she figured that the respite would let Lamia gather herself as well.
Lamia tooka seat and relaxed glad to have a breather for a moment. “I want to do this! I really do. I just never realised before what it was about fire that scares me, at least this is giving me the insight into that part.” She offered a smile. “I don’t often show my scars but maybe if I showed you...”
Iria nodded, "I can see you do want to face your fear and I'm glad you are learning more about the main thing you fear about Fire." She raised her eyebrows slightly, she didn't normally ask to see a person's scars unless things proved more difficult in helping out with facing of their fears. With Lamia's offer to show he without prompting meant a greater detail of trust was being offered.
Lamia took off her jacket and top, they were both women so there was no embarrassment in being seen in her bra. All of her back was covered with scarring plus various places on her chest and neck as well. “Now you see why I’m afraid. All I remember is the heat and the pain, that and being told I had a very long road of recovery ahead of me.” She put her top and jacket back on offering Iria a smile. “While I was recovering I promised myself I’d live my life to the fullest, that’s what I intend to do!”
Iria nodded, "Indeed life is very unpredictable." She paused a moment and asked the computer to bring up some glasses of lemonade and a bucket of snowballs. Iria could only imagine the pain and exhaustion Lamia had gone through during the ongoing rehabilitation from her injuries. Her demeanor had so far shown Iria, Lamia was a very determined person.
“Do you mind if we try again? Just take up where we left off?” She looked at Iria. “I want to try pushing myself, I want to know what I can handle.”
Iria nodded, "If you're certain that you're ready to keep going we can continue," she paused and then asked the computer for a three campfires, one had marshmallows around it, one had hot dogs, the last had fish on strings that were smoking a bit around the campfire. "You can use the snowballs or shovel from the previous test, if you need help just let me know, alright?"
Lamia nodded and got back to facing her fears, she purposely pushed herself past this test even though she was more afraid than she had been before. Deep down she dreaded whatever was to come next.
Iria watched and stood ready to help if Lamia asked but so far she hadn't, when the next fire obstacle appeared it was a partial room two walls on fire at the bottom of the wall flames licking up the sides billowing smoke slightly.
This one stopped Lamia in her tracks, she wanted to be able to face it but this was too much. She looked back at Iria, then back at the fire before shaking her head and backing away. “I...I can’t...I’m sorry!” Her emotions were plain to see, the tears in her eyes said it all.
Iria first asked the computer to remove the flaming obstacle and motioned to Lamia to sit down, "It's fine, you've been doing very well, take a moment to just relax and when you're ready we will talk." She wanted to to give Lamia a reassuring hug but she wasn't certain if the closeness would be appreciated and not everyone was as tactile as she was.
"Thank you" Lamia took a seat, taking a few relaxing breaths. "I'm sorry...I really wanted to be able to face more of my fears!" She shook her head. "I guess I faced up to some of it, just not as much as I wanted."
"It's nothing to be sorry for Lamia, you've done a lot in a short span of time." Iria replied gently, "You can't rush yourself too much because it will only make it harder to try again. Take today for what it is. Learning what it is about the fire that bothers you. We'll work through it until you feel up to dealing with it on a bigger scale again. In the meantime." Iria paused and handed Lamia one of the lemonades, "Take time and relax, you did very well with facing your fears so far today."
Lamia offered a smile as she took the lemonade she was offered. “Thank you. I guess I do tend to push myself pretty hard sometimes, especially when I’m afraid of something.” She sipped her lemonade. “I guess none of us like to feel vulnerable.”
Iria shook her head, "No we don't," she gave a wry grin, "I am terrified of Spiders myself." She admitted quietly.
“Really?” Lamia looked at Iria surprised. “I’m not overly keen on them but I’m not as bad as I used to be around spiders.” She massaged her temples. “I think I’m going to have to sit and relax for a little while. The only problem with getting myself stressed out is it has a knock on effect on my senses, it makes it hard to block out what I normally can block out.”
Iria nodded gently, "Yes I'm not great around spiders, " she suppressed a shudder and shook her head softly, "Take your time, there's no rush." She didn't envy stronger telepathic folks, the random stuff she got at times was both surprising and at times confusing. Though unless a random thought she picked up on was intended violence, she did her best to ignore what she heard the only other time she paid attention was when permission was given to her. The training she had done with Remy had improved her control as well.
Lamia smiled. “It might take a while for me to calm down enough. How’s about we call it a day? I can calm down easier in my Quarters.”
Iria nodded, "Do you want me to walk with you or do you think you'll be alright on your own?" she was sure it had been emotionally draining as well as the strain on Lamia's senses in combating her fears. She didn't want to just abandon her if she was needed but if Lamia felt she could walk alright without encountering mishaps she would let it be.
"Thank you but I'd....like to be alone." Lamia offered a smile. "I just need to take some time to unwind and relax. I tend to do that better alone. Thank you for your help today, I appreciate it."
Iria nodded gently, "Anytime, we will talk more when you're ready, get some rest and if you need anything let me know." She waited a beat then headed for the archway, Lamia could call for the holo-deck to end the program when she left.
Lt.j.g. Iria Walon
Lt.j.g. Lamia Arderne
Chief Operations officer