A little help wouldn't hurt
General Sim Postings
Location: Counselor's office
Timeline: While docked at SB 51
It had been a couple of nights since he and his new XO Mazal met. Another couple of sleepless nights, but when he was not having nightmares, his mind was full of other things that have his life-changing. His life was changing and he knew it for the best, he just did not know what to do about it. He had a lot of fun that night with her, something he didn't realize he had been missing. He also made a friend with Lieutenant Taggart, someone not a Marine. His own position was requiring him to change his thoughts and how he leads, not as a grunt, but as a CO and needed to lead from the front.
He needed to get sleep though and no matter what he tried, or what books he was given to read, he couldn't get out of it. His XO didn't judge him for what he would have done and even pointed that it could be a strong point for him. He needed help though and for the first time in his life, he actually had something to lose. He couldn't talk with Staff Sergeant Vail yet, he didn't want his Marines to know what may have been required of him just yet. He did not want to talk to the Chief counsellor due to her being with Intelligence. It was probably a superstition, one that he could address in future sessions. That left him with one logical option of a counsellor on the Tomcat.
He had sent a message to Lieutenant Arderne asking if she was accepting any patients during her Shoreleave. Normally he did not like to bother anyone during their liberty but felt he should talk sooner rather than later when he could possibly back out. He was glad that she was willing to work him in but still hesitated to press the door chime. It was not something he ever wished he had to talk about and really didn't, but lack of sleep was slowing him down and slowing his reaction time. Why he got injured in the holodeck simulation with the CMO and his XO. He took a breath and pressed the door chime.
Lamia hadn’t been back in the office for 5 minutes, she was setting up the Chief Counsellor’s office to her liking when she heard someone enter the counselling suite. Popping her head out of the door she smiled, “If it’s me you’re looking for I’m over here now” She smiled warmly.
Patrick looked over and saw her peak out from the opposite door he was at. "I'm sorry Lieutenant, I didn't realize they moved you." He noticed the location. "Did you get a promotion?" He asked with a smile and walked over toward her door.
“Kind of” Lamia nodded. “I’m now the Chief Counsellor, it seems Lieutenant Walon resigned as Chief.” She made a mental note to speak with Iria and Remington later on. “Please come in and make yourself at home, I was just getting the office how I like it.”
He followed her in. "Extra duty without extra pay." He shook his head. "I understand fully." He looked around as he entered and nodded. "Looks nice and welcoming."
“Thank you, I love to create comforts” Lamia grinned. “If you’d like anything from the replicator feel free. Out of curiosity is there any particular reason why you’ve come to me instead of Sergeant Vail?”
He looked around and stopped, a little uncomfortable. "No thank you. Well, first, how much of this gets to stay between us? With standard doctor-patient kind of thing?"
Lamia smiled. “Don’t worry, what you say here stays between us unless it’s something that needs to go on record, but that’s generally for investigations and evaluations.”
He nodded and walked around a moment. "Nothing against the Staff Sergeant. She does her job well. Couple of reasons I have not mentioned it to her. One, and probably the higher of the two, she is under my Command. The command is still new to me and I am sure that mental block will change in time, but this was not something I wanted to share with any Marine really or anyone for that matter. The other, she has yet to kill anyone. I don't expect that you have." He quickly added "I just did not feel comfortable talking about it with her. If that makes any sense."
Lamia nodded. “It makes sense, and I understand.” She took a seat and sat looking at Patrick. “Tell me about it.”
He sat down across from her and let out a sigh. "I know you are aware of the mission we were on down there. Things got..." he trailed off a moment. "Complicated. Beyond just seeing those walking dead creatures that apparently did not need to breathe underwater at all, but the spores that were everywhere. Contaminating everything. We were locked on that shuttle with them, fortunately, Silver and the rest were smart and managed to figure out a way of venting all that stuff out."
Lamia nodded as she listened, “It sounds horrific, I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been facing the possibility of being infected.”
He nodded. "It was a real possibility. The problem is what would have happened for me." He leaned back into the chair. "That virus could not leave the planet under any condition. Had the solution failed, and our suits get to a critical level..." he trailed off. "It's what I was prepared to do that didn't happen is why I'm here."
Lamia nodded. “You considered having to end your life, and whatever else you had to do to stop others from bringing it back to the ship?”
He nodded. "Something like that. Had it gone south, my plan was to mercy kill the rest of the away team on the shuttle, fly to the other shuttle and destroy it. Assuming I survived that I would self destruct the shuttle in mid-air." He shook his head. "I'm very glad none of that happened, but to do something like that, you have to get to a frame of mind. I was in that mindset, a silent war in my mind, and I don't like knowing how close we got. They were just scientists and people trying to save the people and I was a few hours from killing them in cold blood." He shook his head. "I'm not sure I like that I'm capable of that."
Mia nodded as she listened. “It shows what strength of character you have to have come here and tell me that. I know it sounds and must feel awful to have given that consideration but it’s no less than what Starfleet would have expected of you. To stop a runaway quarantine situation that could have infected other worlds.”
He nodded. "I know it is what was called for up here." He said, tapping his head, "but it does not seem to help me sleep at night. I only had a single dream about the monsters we saw, which didn't bother me nearly as much as the monster I could have become. Sleep has not been my friend lately and has spent more time in the gym working out that stress, most of my off duty clothes didn't fit." He said with a small shake of his head.
Lamia smiled. “Trust me, I totally understand, I love to comfort eat but it doesn’t do a thing for my figure or waistline! To be honest I’d be a lot more concerned if you weren’t bothered about what might have been.”
"You look, great counsellor. You must control your comfort eating well." He replied. "I did hesitate before I killed the Bluegill thing, it was a fraction of a second in real-time, but felt like a small eternity. That was the first time I hesitated on pulling the trigger. I'm not happy I hesitated, but let that go because of just what that all was." He sighed. "Shouldn't I be overjoyed or something that I didn't have to put the trigger on my crewmates and not losing sleep over it?"
Lamia offered an understanding gaze. “Yes, and no. You considered taking the lives of others, it’s going to take a while to come to terms with that fact. I’ll be right here with you to help in any way I can.”
"Thank you." He said honestly. "How do I get some sleep? That seems to be where I get into the most trouble when I start to relax and things quiet down. The mind keeps going back."
“Have you ever heard of directed dreaming?” Lamia reached for a PADD off of her desk. “You take control of your dream, set yourself an image that reminds you that you’re in a dream. Once you realise that you can control the dream. It may help, and it may not, have a read of this...” she handed him the PADD. “It explains how to do it. See how you get along, I’ll authorise the use of some sleep aids just in case you need them, just mild sedatives nothing overly powerful.”
The Marine nodded. "Just started reading on that. Didn't get very far before something came up. I'll put that at a higher priority. I appreciate the aids being mild. Just need something to head a handle on sleep. I'm still authorized for work right?"
Lamia nodded. “It’s not like you’re going to be needed again shortly, we have some downtime coming so make the most of it.”
He nodded. "I'll do that. Try and get some extra r&r on the stopover." He looked at her for a moment quiet and looked into her eyes. "I need to know one thing though. Hear it from someone who knows the answer. Being ready to kill my crewmates in that situation, in cold blood for the mission, does that make me a bad person?"
Lamia returned the gaze as she answered. “You are NOT a bad person Patrick, you considered what you considered to save lives. That doesn’t make you a bad person, not in my eyes.”
He held her gaze another moment and broke contact with a slow blink. "Thanks. I needed to hear it from someone who knows what she's talking about and not just my mind." He was quiet for a moment and nodded. "Thank you for your help Lieutenant. I've been wrestling with this probably a lot longer than I should."
“Next time you’re wrestling with something, just make sure you come and see me sooner” Lamia smiled warmly. “The door is always open.”
He returned her smile. "Thank you. I have a feeling you'll be seeing a lot more of me. Hopefully, more for guidance than this." He said motioning to himself. "I'll keep you updated on my progress."
Lamia nodded. “Please do, and I’ll check in with you again shortly.”
He nodded and stood up. "Please do. My goal is to be an easy patient." He said with another smile and made his way for the door. He had some reading to do.
Captain Patrick Jackson
Lieutenant Lamia Arderne