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Head Shrinking

Posted on Tue Jul 18th, 2017 @ 1:10am by Lieutenant Arkady Sjet Dr
Edited on on Tue Jul 18th, 2017 @ 1:39am

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD 100

After a solid day of catch-up, Jaya decided to present herself to her new CMO. The Vindex had seen quite a turnover between a seasoned expert, a new prodigy fresh out of the Academy, and now... who knew? Hearsay described him as a unique individual.

When Jaya wandered into Sickbay, she did not bother to announce herself. Instead she strode, hips swaying in quiet confidence, into the CMO's office.

"Good day to you," she said kindly.

"Word meaning for an overuse of flattery," Arkady said blandly, the eyes behind his glasses staring intently at his padd as his large left hand absently drummed against the desk. It took him two seconds of Jaya standing there before he reacted. "Ah, I. Huuum. Yes. Not to be the meaning of you in a statement made prior. Is puzzle of words that makes one cross."

The desk was neat, but not overly so. A selection of hardy ruggedised padds, the sorts attending physicians used to make notes on patients files, were stacked at one end. Whilst the other held a half finished sandwich on a plate and a now cold glass of tea.

He stood, smiling broadly and reached out a hand to her.

"You must be Doctor Maera. It is pleasure to meet the head of our counselling department." He said, bowing his head with full sincerity.

Jaya smiled at the remark. The man felt guarded, so she instinctively probed his outer emotional being while she spoke.

"I've never thought of myself as a doctor, but as my new husband is wont to say, 'if the shoe fits.'" She dipped her head in kind. "Sickbay has been bleeding personnel on the Vindex. I'm glad to see we have somebody who can staunch the flow."

Her gaze turned analytical, though her smile remained. "I regret that I was away when you came aboard. The previous CMO didn't make arrangements for my regular appointments left in her hands."

The unspoken implication that nobody had seen to those appointments in the interim hung heavily in the air.

Arkady's ham sized hands smashed together in a clap that had the same effect of thunder: somewhere a small dog was sure the end of the world was coming.

"Is oversight we both shall correct. I am very interested in working with you, to better combine our two departments skillsets. Too often a physical illness is cured with a click of the fingers, whereas a psychic scar can last a lifetime and bleed without end. I saw a lot of that in the Dominion War, 'War Shock Syndrome' is what they called it. PTSD was an older name, same thing." Arkady smiled. "But is not time of war. I am sure on a ship of exploration it is more common to find a diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder? After all, in tin can travelling at speed, is bound to make anyone a little jumpy."

The Deltan inclined her head as she listened. Beneath Arkady's friendly vulnerability was the numb dispassion that comes from a life of suffering, whether on the receiving or delivering end of it. And, while his greeting was genuine, the sincerity in describing the horrors of the Dominion War was not.

"It might be extra jumpy for someone haunted by ghosts of the past," Jaya suggested. "From before the Dominion War, even."

A void temporarily crossed over Arkady's eyes. Jaya herself might not have seen it had she not first sensed its presence within the very large and burly man.

"It is a boon to work with someone who understands our patients' suffering personally," she added, "rather than second-hand."

"Is privilege to serve, and to serve others who do more," Arkady said solemnly. "Besides, makes for better doctors I find. Knowing the fear and pain of their charges in some small way. Do not mistake, I do not miss the shelling or the starship's coming apart around me."

He patted his abdomen.

"Do not think dash to escape pod will be easier for me after so long," he chuckled.

Jaya tried to smile, but the total absence of reaction surprised even her. This man almost had no soul. Like... She shook her head. She would not think of that Vulcan.

"Do... do you have any 'psychic scars' you wish to report?" Jaya held herself firm despite the turmoil she had felt. Perhaps she had not resolved her inner conflict regarding Saalkan. She made a mental note for future meditation on the matter, and to check in with Nealey as well. That poor girl...

"I have aversion to heights. Blame life working in the Hebe mines as a child: lots of tunnels not so much open spaces," Arkadys smile widened. "I am made of stronger stuff than it would appear. Yes, what we all went through in the war was terrible, we can agree. But now, today, this is not so bad? Yesterday is unchangeable, without access to bannedd technologies Starfleet keeps under wraps. And tomorrow...well is reason they call it present no? Is gift.

"Ah, yes." Jaya continued to carefully study the man. "I was actually meant any members of the crew you would recommend to I follow up with." Her eyebrow raised again in anticipation of his reaction to her next statement. "People like Lieutenant Dedeker, for example."

"Dedeker? Dedeker..." Arkady searched his memory for the name, before with a rolling bur of distant thunder the face associated with that name came to mind. "Ryland."

There was emotion, fire and heat rising form some place buried so far within Arkady it was a geological process to get it to the surface. But once there it simmered and spat, a volcano's wrath buried beneath melting glacial ice.

"I have met this man, and whilst I believe your skills as a woman of the psychological sciences is formidable, I do not think you can cure Ryland of his terminal ineptitude. Man like that learns only one way I think, same way that a mongrel learns not to steal scraps from table," Arkady mused.

"Oh?" Jaya gave him a sidelong glance. The captain had mentioned Ryland's negative experience in Sickbay, so she had take a guess dropping his name to Arkady. By the violent cogitations barely contained by his devil-may-care smile, it seemed her guess was a bullseye.

"So you have met him. I have not had the pleasure, though from the stories I don't know what a pleasure it would be. The man won't respond to my requests for a session, and I've yet to track him down for a face-to-face request."

Arkady regarded her thoughtfully for a moment, drumming his fingers against the desk.

"Word of advice. Take it if you wish, but listen. Be careful around Ryland. I have met people like him, worked for them in my youth. These are men who do not see other people, but things they wish to possess. He is man with sticky fingers, is why I asked him to...huum? How to say?" Arkady eyed the ceiling. "To only come to sickbay were he ill? Is close enough to meaning I think."

"I'm sure I've seen worse cases," Jaya replied. As before, she observed Arkady's subliminal responses. "In fact, my experience has been that sometimes the greatest concerns are the least obvious ones."

~Incredible~ Arkady's facial muscles had telegraphed the onset of a tic near his eye, and he stopped it mid-twitch. Jaya knew this man did not like being dismissed, but now she knew he had a pathological need for control and the acumen to take it.

"Of course, I will keep your words under advisement..."

"Is good. I want us to be able to work together and collaborate where needs be. In that respect rapport is important, as well as mutual understanding of what we both desire from our posting here. The health and well being of this crew is my only priority," Arkady said, smiling all the while. "If you, or any one who works for you, suffer any mistreatment or impediment to your job you come find Arkady. I am...problem solver. Am very good at making problems disappear."

The bone-chilling cold beneath Arkady's warm and friendly veneer gave Jaya pause. It wasn't malice or rage or misdirected aggression so much as it was... nothing. Just a vague sense of glee trying to fill the void, which was disturbing when considering it trailed on the thought of violently harming... problems.

"Thank you, Doctor." Jaya gave an affirmative nod to hide her unease. "I think I have an appointment on the hour, so I'd better get ready for it. Thank you for your time."

"Is slow day, you have brightened it by appearing," Arkady nodded and stood, gesturing to the door. "The door to my office is always open. Anything you need to do your job, you come find me and I will see it done."

Jaya's nod and departure were both nothing short of abrupt. Her thoughts were frenzied on her way out of Sickbay and down the corridor. The last time she had felt such a numbness from someone, he had tried to kill her.

Surely Arkady was no Saalkan. That Mad Vulcan was driven by a lust for power. Knowledge and training screamed at Jaya in rational assurances that Arkady is harmless. That he would not kill the crew. In fact, his emotional signature confirmed the personal touch he added to his work.

As she rounded the corner back to her office, Jaya had fallen into a brisk run. She passed through the doors before they had fully opened and flung herself into the corner lounge pad.

"Computer. Open a new log. Subject: Doctor Arkady Sjet. Subheading: Antisocial Personality Disorder, Repressed Violent Impulses, Emotional Sadism. Begin."

Having expressed her feelings, words then failed her. How could she professionally state that Arkady reminded her of the worst being she had ever known? The man seemed kindly and dedicated, and there was certainly no evidence to include in her report. Just an overwhelming void of empathic concerns without material grounds.

Arkady's condition was not the worst she had seen in combat veterans. Perhaps, after everything, it was she who harbored scars of emotional trauma and distress that she projected onto the man. If she resolved her own post-traumatic stress, would her concerns about Arkady remain?

Jaya simply couldn't say.

"Computer... delete log."

The computer trilled its compliance.


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