USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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The Mind of Arturo M'Rohass, Adventurer

Posted on Thu Jul 13th, 2017 @ 12:51am by Lieutenant Commander Arturo M'Rohass
Edited on on Thu Jul 13th, 2017 @ 1:25am

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Counselor's Offices
Timeline: MD99: 1200hrs




The refurbishing process was taking awhile, but Jaya still had some time between her newly restarted sessions. Before long, she would have an all-new office to reflect the change in her life. Deltans did not take others in marriage, and in fact she had anticipated it to be a death sentence of sorts. Major Storr Garlake had completely changed her outlook and her life. A few decorative renovations seemed petty by comparison, but that was simply Jaya's mood.

"There."

She smiled at the oddly-shaped Matoian sculpture on a relief wall mounting. One had to view it from multiple angles in order to fully appreciate it. To Jaya, it looked like a dyed piece of the bulkhead, but she looked forward to the psychological value of soliciting the interpretations of others.

An unexpected chime came to the door, and Jaya rushed to meet it.

"Coming," she said with melodious cheer. As she opened the door, she was taken aback at the diminutive Caitian before her. "Um. Welcome. Won't you come in?"

Arturo entered and immediately flopped on his back on the couch, his hands behind his head. He looked completely relaxed.

"Thank you!" Arturo said. "I am Lieutenant Arturo M'Rohass! I am the ship's new Chief Flight Control Officer. It has been the standard practice on my other assignments that one report to the ship's counselor shortly after arrival to have their heads examined. So! Here I am! You may now examine my head!"

Jaya was taken aback by the impulsive mannerisms, but she soon adapted. "I can't say as I have had the pleasure of evaluating a Caitian before," she began, "but normally I only assess crewmembers at the recommendation of the Captain or CMO."

She sunk down into the lounge chair opposite the sofa -- the only remaining conventional piece of furniture in the room, as the rest had been swapped out for assorted beanbag chairs and assorted alternative furnishings.

"May I ask what other counselors have turned up?"

Arturo frowned as if deep in thought.

"Well," he said, very seriously. "I have spoken with many counselors and the consensus is that I am a harmless eccentric...to my friends. To my enemies, of course, I am very dangerous! Though...I fail to see how I am so eccentric. I simply see adventure in nearly all aspects of life, and adventure is my specialty!"

Jaya nodded and chuckled appropriately at all the exuberant parts while taking mental notes.

~Sensation-seeking personality with potential for delusions of grandeur~

"How brave you must be, to find adventure in every aspect of life." Jaya steepled her fingers together. "Do you find yourself more often in the company of friends or of enemies?"

"I am very friendly and I am proud to call many of my comrades in arms friend," Arturo said. "And yet, what wandering hero and adventurer doesn't have enemies. Bandits, road agents, pirates, dragons, petty tyrants. They are all out there, waiting to be encountered and, if I have any say in the matter, to be vanquished."

Arturo laughed.

"You think I mean these things literally, no?" he said. He laughed again. "But then, well, I would be delusional, would I not? I see adventure in traveling the corridors on the way to the bridge. When I get there I am relieved that I did not encounter any enemies along the way, yet disappointed that I did not have the opportunity to vanquish anyone. Because of this, I am, what? Insane?"

Arturo chuckled.

"Ah," he said. "These are but metaphors. I do have enemies, very real ones. Sometimes, they are people who wish to cause me or comrades harm. Sometimes, they are...I believe the Humans call them 'Acts of God'. Either way, to survive, I must vanquish those enemies. If I call these people and events bandits, pirates, or anything like that, where is the harm? To me, these things are all part of the adventure that is my life. Why shouldn't I take pleasure in overcoming them? I see none."

Jaya smiled to keep her tone light and pleasant. "The galaxy is indeed filled with unsavory types--pirates, tyrants, conquering armies, and lifeforms of all kinds to fit the old Vulcan idiom of IDIC. The Vindex is very fortunate to have a vigilant soul such as yourself on board to defend her and keep her course true."

As she continued, Jaya reached out with her empathy to assuage Arturo's excitable disposition. She hoped to access deeper layers of his being.

"But you are a Caitian. Have you always been fixated with ancient Terran myths?" Jaya was quick to qualify her question. "I was very taken myself with the juxtaposed advanced technology and primitive culture I found on Earth... some of it is quite romantic." She glanced down at her wedding ring. "What led you to adopt Terran... culture... with such fervor?"

Arturo smiled.

"I was raised on Alpha Centauri," he said. "Even though I lived in the Caitian neighborhood in the capitol, there were many other species and cultures within walking distance. I learned about Puss N Boots, Scaramouche, the hero from the novel not the Commedia Dell'Arte character, the Three Musketeers, even Zorro. A friend of our family had not only the books, but some of the films as well, many with the Old Earth actor Errol Flynn. I became fascinated with the stories. Heroes righting wrongs, standing up for the downtrodden, rescuing damsels in distress, fighting the good fight! I ran around with a stick or sometimes a toy sword and tried to skewer whatever wasn't able to run away, and a few things that were, and I dueled with trees. Finally my father decided that if I was going to do these things, I should really know how to do them and have a place to practice, before I hurt myself or someone else. There was a group formed in Italy on Earth in the late 20th Century call Nova Scrimia. They revived the old Italian martial arts styles. Rapiers, hand and a half swords, rapier and dagger, dagger by itself, stick fighting, and even a hand-to-hand style known as abracar. The group grew and survived into the present. There was a chapter on Alpha Centauri so my father signed me up for classes. Needless to say, I took to it quickly. I still practice it to this day and intend to continue as long as my body will allow me to. So, that was the long answer. The short answer is that there were plenty of Humans living near me, they shared this part of their culture with me, and I loved it."

"Fascinating," Jaya said, "both that you had access to so many cultures other than your own, and that you've stuck to your disciple for these many years."

She stood up. "May I get you some sort of refreshment? I am dying for some tea."

"I would a large green iced tea," Arturo replied. "Sweet, please."

As she walked to the replicator, Jaya almost casually asked, "You mentioned your father, who sounded rather supportive. Was your mother the same?"

"Mother was very supportive," Arturo said. "Very strong and capable, too. She is as much a part of who I am as my father is. They managed to balance careers, marriage, and a litter of four rambunctious kittens. They raised us well, kept us fed, clothed, and housed. They helped us with our school work and encouraged our hobbies. When they couldn't be there to do it themselves, there were friends and family to help."

~Denial~ Jaya thought.

"What was your best memory from those days?"

"Leading the local Nova Scrimia team to victory over the team from New Genoa," Arturo said. "They had a highly skilled and well-trained team, with a talented team of coaches. I competed in the bout that won us the match. It was a rapier and dagger match. You would think that having two weapons would make it easier for you to hit your opponent, but your opponent has two weapons as well and trying to hit them without getting hit in return, especially in a competitive duel where you are forbidden to kill your or at least maim your opponent, this is very difficult."

"I certainly imagine so," Jaya said from the replicator. "I have no taste for violence, but I do enjoy a good sporting bout." Her smile waned just a bit to signal the difficult of the next question.

"And what would you say is your worst memory from those days?"

She handed him his green iced tea and sat down with her own hot Seyalian tea. Her usual ritual of smelling and savoring her cup would allow him an extra moment without her staring at him.

Arturo sat up and accepted the sweating glass of iced tea from Jaya and thanked her for it. He took a healthy drink from it and then tried to find the words to answer her question.

"Ah," he said. "That really hits the spot! Now, my worst memory from my childhood...well, that may prove to be a difficult question for me to answer. It is not in my nature to dwell on negativity, especially past negativity that is over and done with. That kind of thing serves no useful purpose as far as I'm concerned. Also, I consider myself to have been blessed with supportive and caring family and a circle of friends I can depend on. My worst memory isn't really from my childhood."

Arturo's expression changed. A mixture of anger, sadness, and disappointment was evident on his face.

"Several years ago, when I was Chief Flight Control Officer of the USS Halsey, there was an incident," he said. "An in-flight mishap. Everyone called it 'The Halsey Incident'. You may have heard of this? I was at the helm at the time and, despite my protestations of innocence, I was deemed responsible for the mishap. There were several gruesome deaths involved. The inertial dampeners failed on several decks. Supposedly, I received notification that they had failed. The computer recorded my console receiving said notification, but I swore that I never received it, because I didn't. My JAG attorney had technical experts try to explain it would be possible for the computer to believe that my console had notified me of the ID failure if a mistake was made during routine maintenance, which had been performed right before I came on duty. But someone was protecting the officer who had performed the maintenance. She was the child of an influential councilwoman and former Starfleet Commodore. So the young ensign was acquitted and I was dishonorably discharged from Starfleet. Because of the dishonorable discharge, I couldn't get work anywhere. A friend finally put in a good word for me with the Nyberite Alliance and I served there for four years. I thought I would be living the life of a mercenary and privateer until my golden years. It turned out, however, that I did have friends and supporters in Starfleet after all. My JAG attorney, on his own time, continued to look into my case. Eventually, he was able to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the councilwoman's daughter had been responsible for the mishap. Starfleet offered me my commission back, and credited me the service time towards my retirement. I thought they should have offered me a promotion to Lieutenant Commander, but I decided that would come with time. But the Halsey Incident is my worst memory. Not only because of what happened to me as a result, but also because of the loss of life in such a horrible way. Have you ever seen what happens to flesh, blood, and bone when the inertial dampeners fail at warp? I don't recommend viewing such a sight. It...stays with you."

Jaya gasped several times. When Arturo had finished, she pulled her hand away from her mouth.

"How terrible! Not only that you experienced such a tragedy, but that you were unjustly blamed for it."

The Caitian appeared visibly distraught over the recollection, so Jaya flooded the room with enough sympathetic encouragement to drown a bitter drunk. As before, she made mental notes.

~Conversational avoidance signals high probability of childhood memory repression~

"As a mercenary the Nyberrite Alliance, I imagine you had encounters with brigand types, yes?" Jaya softened her voice in an attempt to steer the conversation away from agitated discussions. "Perhaps even more than as a Starfleet officer. In that light, I imagine it must have been difficult to leave and renter the fleet."

"I admit," Arturo replied. "That once I got over my bitterness regarding the situation, I did find some enjoyment in the work I did for the Nyberite Alliance. And some of the craft I flew for them! Gunships and cutters and corvettes! Rather like working a Defiant Class. Still, this was a matter of honor to me. I had been a Starfleet officer and I had worn my uniform with great pride. While I enjoy a good adventure and that sometimes means fighting tooth and claw for a good cause, I am just as interested in exploration. My academy major was Astronomy, with concentrations in Astrometry/Stellar Cartography and Astrogation. Mapping new areas of space, plotting new courses, opening new routes of travel. I consider these to be adventures as well. Was I tempted to stay with the Nyberite Alliance? Yes. But I felt that Starfleet suited my interests more adequately."

"Honor is an admirable ideal," Jaya replied, "and one easily corrupted, such with the Klingon culture. It's even more admirable that you valued it more than your love for adventure. That speaks to your character more than anything else."

~Prognosis: explore possibility of manic katagelophiba derived from repressed childhood trauma in potential connection to developmental relationship dynamics~

After a moment's thought, Jaya smiled wider. "You've impressed me, Arturo. I'll write you a clean bill of mental health so long as you promise to voice any concerns or changes in your vigorous lust for life." Her brow raised with her teasing demand. "Any sudden mood changes or deviations from the norm, and you will contact me immediately. Agreed?"

"Certainly," Arturo replied. "It was a pleasure meeting you, but now I must continue on my way. Lots of work to be done getting settled in with my responsibilities here, both professional and personal. If there's nothing else, may I take my leave?"

Jaya raised her hands and shrugged. "You came here freely, so you're free to go." She let her hands drop with her shoulders and turned her head to one side. "It was a treasure meeting you, Arturo," she said with a warm smile. "Please come back any time."

"How could I resist such a charming offer?" Arturo replied. "Good day, Lieutenant."

 

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