Reprieve # 19 & 20 - "A Bump in the Night"


[USS Pegasus, Deck 6, Counselor's Office]

Several hours after she'd gone off-duty 'to rest', Lt. Black left her quarters. She wandered through the corridors quietly, looking at various damaged bits that hadn't been cleaned up yet... she moved slowly, but determinedly towards the counselor's office. She paused again as she neared it, and then leaned out from the doorway and just peeked in quietly.

Andrew had left the door open. No need for privacy when you were about to leave an office to go on a quick shore leave. He grabbed a PADD and stood up to leave when he saw someone timidly peeking from the doorway. "May I help you? If you're looking for the counselor, here he is. If not, then you're lost."

She stepped into the doorway, looking forlorn. Her pretty Asian face was streaked with tears, and she made an intermittent quiet sad sound, sort of between a sob and a hiccup. "I was going to go to Medbay.. *sob* but everybody's busy in there.. *sob* I went to rest.. *sob* and I started.. crying... *sob* and now I can't stop..." She was out of uniform, wearing a plain, simple, comfortable dress instead. "Do you have something.. *sob* Some medication or something you're allowed to give me.. *sobsob* so that I can stop?"

<What does she take me for, an ordinary doctor?> "Well, as you can see there isn't a massive amount of medicines here. Just some painkillers and such. However, I have some antidepressants, though I think we can fix this without them. I was about to go on shore, but I can wait. If you could lie on the couch, please"

*sob* "Okay..." the young woman said miserably. She curled up on the couch, pulling her legs and feet up until they disappeared entirely under her long skirt. The next short sob came out sounding more like a hiccup. "Thank you."

I understand that engineering was quite the center of activity during this siege of our ship" Andrew began. "Of course that would have affects on you. One would not expect our first mission to turn out that way. Tell me, in your own words, what happened down there. I've heard bits and pieces of conversations eminating from sickbay, so I have a general idea of what went on."

Kitty nodded and took a deep breath, the occasional sob/hiccup breaking her voice. "Everyone was staying calm, keeping things running, when the first officer came in saying she needed bridge control, the aliens had taken control of the bridge and they had hostages. I transferred bridge control and put the bridge computers into simulation mode, so that hopefully the aliens wouldn't know too quickly that they weren't in control anymore. But it was too late... we'd fired torpedos, so she told me to pilot the ship. I tried my best..." Her voice rose, and she paused, taking a moment to calm herself down. "I'm not a pilot, I didn't know how to do it. I did a couple of maneuvers that I learned from a video game, but they hit us anyways.. and then engines were out and they were boarding us. Petrova and some security personnel were fighting in the hallway, and then she said she needed our help, she was injured... and we tried to shoot back at the Romulans..."

As she became more upset, her story started to break up. "One of my engineers was killed, shot dead, and there were people bleeding in the hallway... and I stood up to the Romulan leader, I told him to leave the engines alone, and he was going to kill me, but he didn't, I don't know why I did that, I think I yelled at him or something, I shouted.. and I just wanted them to all.. go... away... but.. they stopped, and they got taken away.. and.. I gave control back.. the Captain asked me to.. so I did.. and he said.. to go rest... but I kept remembering.. and..." She had started crying again by now and couldn't say any more.

Andrew thought for a moment <Traumatized by the events. Story broke up when she started talking about the death of her engineer...> "Okay, I thionk the death of your fellow engineer is the main cause of this, followed closely by the entirety of the events that just occurred. But I want you to think of it this way. Your engineer sacrificed their life to save the entire ship. How many lives would that be? Certainly, you're upset by that, but if he hadn't died, this ship, and both of us, would be nonexistant at this point. What that engineer did was commemorable. Certainly the loss of a loyal, diligent engineer would hurt, but losses were minimal, all people will shortly be recuperated, and the next mission will start. Then your thoughts will be away from the events."

"I.. I know..." Kitty took several deep breaths, quieting herself down. "But I didn't know what to DO. I tried my best... I don't want to break down... I want to be an engineer, I don't want everyone to think I've been incompetant... It was just so much, all at once. And when I close my eyes, I can still see people lying on the floor, hurt and dying." She shuddered. "I just want to rest, I want to be able to rest... but I can't. I thought I was going to die."

"Well, you aren't dead, and you weren't incompetent. The fact you got our engines back online after that mess proves it. As for the visions of what took place, close your eyes. Now, you can see them, I am assuming? Remember what they were like as we were preparing for takeoff. Bustling about the engineering bay, which looks completely clean at this point, following orders, checking consoles..."

Andrew paused, letting the vision sink in for a moment. "Whenever you think of the blood, the deaths, First Officer Petrova's injuries, think back to takeoff. Think back to when you first entered engineering. Do that, and you should be fine. You can open your eyes now, by the way."

Kitty closed her eyes, doing just as he'd told her to. "I can picture it... the way it was.. when I first came in." Her breathing started to slow and her voice began to steady. "I'm trying... to picture it.. instead.. I'm seeing them.. everything's okay..." She opened her eyes and shivered. "But the engineer we lost.. he's there in my memory, checking things, but he's gone now.. never coming back."

"Hmm... He might not be coming back, but a new engineer will take his place. Remember that good times you had with the deceased engineer, don't think he's gone. He isn't. Memories continue to keep people alive. When you let go of the memory, only then will he be gone. And he wouldn't want that, would he?"

"N-no... no, I guess he wouldn't." She closed her eyes again, letting out a deep breath. She hiccupped, then took another deep breath. "Hey... it worked... I've stopped crying." Her voice was markedly calmer now, and she had uncurled slightly on the couch.

Andrew smiled. Psychology does have it's perks. "If you still want them, I could prescribe some anti depressants in case something triggers the thoughts again. But if you keep thinking of good memories, it'll eventually phase out of your mind. The choice is yours, however." Andrew circled around to his desk, pulled out a PADD with all the prescription forms, and got ready to write it out, just in case.

Kitty sat up slowly, shaking her head. "Is there something small you can give me, just to use once, just to put me to sleep for the night? I don't want to take anything permanently. If I can just rest for a little while.. I think I'll feel much better afterwards." She named off a couple of common brands for sleeping medications. She seemed to already know which ones to ask for.

Andrew glanced at his PADD, looking at what he had in stock on board. Only three of the brands she wanted were on the list, he selected one, gave a prescription for one dosage, grabbed it from the shelf behind him, and handed it to her. "Since you seem to know the meds, I'll assume you know how to use it properly. Right before bed, and you'll be out like a drunkard. Enjoy the restful sleep."

She rose and took the single-dosage packet, looking a good deal calmer now. "Yes, I know how to use it. It's been a long time, but I remember. Thank you so much! And I'm sorry I made you late for shore leave."

"Not like I'd do anything but wander around, try and find a few things for myself, and then come back on board. If you have further problems, I'll be around eventually. Until then." He put his arm out to shake her hand, and in his other hand he had his PADD he was planning on taking with him.

"Until then," she said wryly, then offered him the first smile he'd seen from her. She shook hands, an 'engineering geekette's' grip, not crushing, but firm. "Thank you." Slipping her packet of medication into her dress pocket, she turned and walked out of his office, looking considerably better than when she'd arrived. She'd be alright... given some rest and a little time.


Joint Post by:

Ensign Andrew Kennedy Chief Counselor USS Pegasus


Lieutenant(JG) Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus