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Evaluation (backpost)

Posted on Sun Apr 30th, 2017 @ 1:30am by Ensign Ahira Kasamoto

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Counselor's Office
Timeline: MD 71; 0900

Ahira pinched the bridge of his nose, closed his eyes and slowly exhaled. The Tai Chi he had been practicing for the past twenty minutes had done little to relax him as it usually did and he found that meditating had been nearly impossible.

He dreaded going to see the Counselor, to have her ask him the same questions he'd been asked so many times he'd lost count. He had enough demons of his own without one more person trying to get inside his head to try to fix him.

But he had no choice in the matter, so, he might as well make the best of it, get it over with. Slipping his PADD into an inside pocket, he made his way to the Counselor's office and chimed the door.

Rather than call for the door, Jaya opened it herself.

"Welcome," she said with a touch of warmth. The emotion flooded from her soul through her smile and hands into Ahira. She took him gently inside despite his taciturn disposition.

"Thank you very much for coming. Please make yourself comfortable." She left his side, leaving an empathic void at the separation, and ventured for the replicator.

"Would you like some tea?" she asked. "I would love some myself."

He'd considered sitting in sullen silence, or to give her monosyllabic, thinking she was just like every other counselor. But he was drawn in by her demeanor.

Letting out a long slow breath, he said, "Tea would be nice," he heard himself saying, "Jasmine if you have, but anything other than Earl Gray."

She had set out several seating options; a couch, a couple of comfortable looking easy chairs, even a couple of bean bag chairs off in a corner. Those seemed a little too casual.

He chose a love seat that was white with black, Chinese symbols for peace and prosperity on them, that was next to the sofa of similar design. The love seat formed the base of the L-shaped arrangement.

He leaned back against the cushions and closed his eyes.

"Ah, a connoisseur," Jaya purred. She ordered two Seyalian teas from the replicator and brought a cup to Ahira. "Try this. Tell me what you think."

Jaya folded her bare feet beneath her as she sat down. The look on her face beamed with pleasure, her nose twitching at the steamy aroma of her tea with eyes closed.

"It's my favorite." Her husky whisper carried pure longing for the tea before her.

At last, she took it to her lips and sipped feverishly. A moan of satisfaction escaped her. When she opened her eyes, they fell upon Ahira with a brighter light.

"How's yours?"

Ahira had opened his eyes to accept the offered tea and at her invitation, he took a small sip. It was good, with a delicate flavor that he liked, but had a hard time describing.

Despite himself, he was enticed by this woman, even at some level attracted to her. He wrapped his hands around the cup smiling slightly. "I like it," he said, "there's not many Deltan counselors are there?" he asked.

"No. We tend to be reserved among other races," Jaya said. "But everybody finds their purpose in this life." She set her teacup down on the table. "Do you think you've found your purpose, Ahira?"

He sat the cup down on the small table. "I enjoy doing what I'm doing, and I'm good at it. It serves a purpose, but, honestly, I don't know if I have found my purpose. Sometimes it seems that my purpose was served before I joined Starfleet, where I could make my own rules."

"Oh?" Jaya crossed one leg over the other and interlocked her fingers together over her knee. She tilted her head in consideration. "And if you could, what rules would you make for yourself?"

"To always do the right thing, even if convention, society, or some higher up, says differently," came the quick reply. "To do whatever it takes to accomplish the task."

"Hm." Jaya's eyes fluttered away in thought. "And you feel you are unable to do so now?"

The hybrid officer shrugged, "I don't know. For the most part, yes, I do. Otherwise, I wouldn't have tried to be reinstated, I would have gone back to doing what I used to do But, actually, that didn't work out too well either."

Jaya reviewed her notes. "Much of your personal file is redacted. Would you be comfortable sharing a bit more of what you used to do?"

"How far back do you want to go, my recent sins or prior to my joining Starfleet?"

"How about..." Jaya strummed a finger against her lips. "...whatever first popped into your mind."

"Fine, I guess I'll start at the beginning. I wasn't raised in a traditional home, by either Romulan or Terran standards. I had a mother and father if you could call them that, but they were criminals we were part of a tribe or as they called it a family. So, I grew up with a rather skewed moral compass. I thought stealing and running stings was what every kid did. Things started getting bad when they sent me to school, and they only got worse as I got older."

"I see." Jaya took a few notes. "You clearly transferred skills from your old life into your new one. Do you think it's possible you've done the same with pain from your old life?"

Grateful she wasn't asking him to go into detail he said, "I think that's accurate. I seem to keep ending up making the mistakes and falling into the same patterns and the same broken relationships."

"I am very glad to hear you say that." Jaya smiled with admiration. "Most people require a significant length of time to come to terms with that truth. What remains now is deciding what to do with it."

"Trust me, I may not be that old, but, I uh, have seen a lot. I don't know how significant it is to realize that I keep making the same mistakes over and over again if I just keep making them."

"Acknowledgement may not be the only step, but it is the first one," Jaya said. "What are you going to do differently with that knowledge?"

"Look for the warning signs. I've lied to enough people I should know when someone is doing the same, trying to seduce me, however you want to define that."

"Yes, but that is passive." Jaya pressed deeper. "Are there any active steps you can take for self-improvement, to make better choices?"

"I guess what I'm doing now, is part of that process, an active part of the process. Undoing, or at least uncovering and dealing with my inner demons. I just don't know that I'm comfortable in sharing all the details."

"You keep using that word again -- demons." Jaya turned her face askance. "If you feel haunted, Ahira, perhaps you should look inward. It's the simplest thing in the world to externalize our pain and suffering into objects, only to fool ourselves into thinking we can escape them the way we would objects -- run, hide, avoid. But can't. No one can escape what's inside."

Jaya scooted closer in order to take Ahira's hands. She held his fingertips at first, then slid her palms into his and gave a reassuring squeeze.

"You can face whatever burden you're carrying, and you must face it. Blaming outward forces like the choices of others or the pattern of life will only drive you in circles. If you want to break the cycle, then look at what you've run and hidden from all these years." Jaya released his hands and shifted her weight back to give him some breathing room.

The patient paused a few minutes before replying. "The one man, boy really that I ever really loved was killed, by my mother. I've been looking for him, well someone like him, for, ten years now and he doesn't exist. I don't know if that's what you mean or not."

"Not exactly." Jaya broadened her encouraging smile. "That just trades your 'demon' for a 'ghost.'" She reached out to take his one once more. This time, rather than comfort, she exuded feelings of confidence and courage into him.
"The wound you feel inside is not going to be healed out here. No man, or woman, will ever be enough. It sounds as though you've realized that already, so I'm pleased to help you understand why you've realized it. Turn from the external to the internal."

At that, she stood up to return their teacups to the replicator. "I think we've made great strides for our first session. I want you to think about everything we've discussed for next time."
Once the cups were dematerialized, she came back to stand before Ahira.

"Speaking of next time, I'm going to refer you to the CMO for the next few sessions, as I'll be... away."

A joyful smile played at her mouth.

"I guess that will be okay, being assigned to the CMO, I should go see her about getting a physical anyway. Perhaps, I can kill two birds with one stone and make an appointment for counseling."

He stood to his feet, "Can you share why you're going to be away?"

"Of course." The smile gave way to a radiant grin. "I'm getting married... to the last man in the universe I expected."

"Really? Well he is a lucky man I am sure. Who is he?"

"I believe the term he prefers is 'jarhead commander,' but in less than two weeks' time, I will be wed to the MCO of the 2/5 Marine detachment."

Jaya stepped toward the door to see the man out. "They say love is where you find it, Ahira," Jaya said in parting. "Find it first in yourself before you go looking to share it with another."

"I understand," Ahira answered,"though that is easier said than done. Again, congratulations, have a nice honeymoon."

"Thank you very much," Jaya said. "I'll see you when I return, and we can resume our regular sessions."

"Very good," Ahira replied and left the office.


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