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Oh Where, Oh Where…

Posted on 10 Aug 2022 @ 4:36pm by Lieutenant Quinle Rahl & Commander Kristiana Petrova

897 words; about a 4 minute read

Mission: A New Frontier
Location: Counselor’s Quarters

Quinle was in her quarters an easel propped before her as she worked on a painting. All around the room were other paintings in differing stages, drying, stretched canvases, mostly finished, some just with sketches upon them. The normally neat woman was mussed, her braided hair was coming loose in places and her uniform had paint in a few spots.

Kristiana had a look of concern. The Counselor would be the one to help everyone through trauma - and the crew needed that, after all they'd gone through on the other side, but the Counselor hadn't been very active, instead secluding herself in her own quarters. Thus it fell to Petrova, perhaps the last person you'd want counseling you, to do exactly that. Or at least figure out what was wrong. And so the Russian woman headed to Lieutenant Rahl's quarters, there to ring the doorchime.

“Enter,” Quinle’s voice called out without turning from her painting. It was a starscape of the view out her window, in fact many of the pictures to be seen were similar types. After a brush stroke was finalized she wiped her brush on a towel and turned. “Commander, I am surprised to see you here.” There was paint on the woman’s face almost matching the ones that marked her as a trill except a deep, almost indigo, blue.

"Hey," Kris began, pausing a moment to take in the scene around her. Paintings, paintings everywhere. "Came to see how you were doing. You've been spending a lot of time in your quarters, more so than usual," she continued, slowly moving from painting to painting, trying to read the mood captured in the imagery. The fact that so many weren't finished also spoke volumes. "So, how you holding up?"

Rahl took her time cleaning a brush as she considered the question, as a counselor she was well aware of the backend to that inquiry. “It is odd being in a place my symbiotic does not recognize, it… we are unsettled.” The well put together counselor tipped her chin up and tipped her head, “I suppose a bond works best when one has knowledge to share, not …. Unnerved.”

"Entirely understandable," Kris agreed readily. "What this crew has been through, it's bound to unsettle even the strongest, most stubborn of people," and she'd know. An involuntary shudder tore through her as her mind flashed back to the cold, uncaring alien entity inhabiting her mind, casually ordering the torture of her crew, while all her conscious self could do was watch, and scream in silence. "Coming back to prime universe helped put distance between what happened and where we are now."

"I'm not here to tell you what to do, I'm here as a voice of concern," Kris leaned against a wall, folding her arms over each other, looking at Quinle. "And to ask what you need, if there's anything I can do for you, get for you."

“My symbiont keeps trying to place ourselves but we are confused.” The counselor was open as she would be talking to another of her peerage. “We are lost and spiraling.”

"Sounds like you're dissociating. Pretty badly," Kris furrowed her brows, pausing a moment. "Or, the Trill variant thereof. Is your own bond with yourself alright? If you need or want me to contact Trill medical for you I'd be more than happy to do so," she was honestly very concerned. Dissociating was never good when you were just one mind, let alone with two joined together, with the memories and personalities of all the ones that came before.

“My bond is strong, my trill is just very confused by the other spaces….other times…other realities? It knows it’s own, but everything it knows has been turned and it is not as sure as before.” While she spoke she painted and it was chaotic and messy unlike her perfect normal artwork.

Petrova paused a moment, hesitating. This was so far from her wheelhouse - drunk troublemakers she could deal with. Friends having existential issues? Much less so. "I'm sorry, I don't know what I can do for you. What you need," she spoke after a moment's silence, her voice soft. She reached a hand out to rest on Quinle's shoulder. "I would like you to go by medical. Explain it to them. Maybe they can help you more than I can."

Quinle leaned into the gentle touch like she forgot how it felt. “As you see best.” She spoke with that contralto tone that put so many others at ease when they were in distress, then cleaned her brushes and dried them slightly leaving another half done canvas as she stood. “Maybe this is for the best. Thank you for checking on me.”

Kris watched Quinle carefully. She wasn't sure what to expect, really. "If you need anything arranged, like duty roster scheduling or something, feel free to ask. As exec I've got some pull. Your welfare is my concern."

“I only have the one Ensign serving under me after all we have been through, they can cover, or schedule people to see me when I return.” She figured that when a ranking officer said ‘go to sick bay’ they didn’t mean ‘take your time’. “I will let them know and once I clean up my paints, I will head over to sick bay.”


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