ENT WIP: Finding Home 5/? R/S [R]

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Philippe de la Matraque

Jul 15, 2020, 11:36:13 PM7/15/20
Title: Finding Home
Author: Philippe de la Matraque
Part: 5/?
Series: ENT
Rating: R (for discussion of violence and torture)
Pairing: R/S light
Archive: Yes to Trekiverse.org, otherwise, please ask.
Contact: pdelam...@gmail.com
Web: http://gabrielle.sytes.net/Trek/stories/findinghome1.html
Summary: Sequel to Alien Us. Malcolm Reed barely survived to see to be
reunited with Hoshi Sato. But things have taken a downturn and now he
needs a new heart and a way to heal.
Author's note: I deliberately use italics like this *in text** just
because it makes conversion to HTML so much easier.

Star Trek: Enterprise

Finding Home
by Philippe de la Matraque
Sequel to *Alien Us**

Chapter Five

Dr. Koy Trevon read the notes from the overnight doctor on his new
patient. Lt. Malcolm Reed had spent most of the night sedated.
Nightmares, dreaming memories. Only something that increased his pulse
significantly would cause that.

It wasn't surprising at all that someone who had survived such a
harrowing series of ordeals would have dreams about those ordeals at
night. There was no real treatment for that beyond treating the
post-traumatic stress in its entirety. The only people he'd ever met
who didn't suffer nightmares were lucid dreamer. But, as yet, he'd
found no way to teach a non-sleeping person to do anything while they
slept. They'd have to already have the ability to think cognitively
while still dreaming just to remember to attempt to do just that.
Trevon's sister had lucked into it one night when she was thirteen and
him eleven. She had tried to teach him, but, unsurprisingly, it had
never worked.

So, there was nothing to be done yet about Reed's nightmares. Well,
nothing beyond contacting him telepathically while he was sleeping. That
was problematic on several fronts, first of which was the ethical one.
That would be considered a violation without prior consent. Second was
the logistical front. Trevon needed to sleep as well. He could not
patrol Reed's dreams all night and be rested. And third was the
lucidity front. If he hoped to get sleep and rest himself, that patrol
would need to happen while he himself was dreaming, and he'd have to be
lucid to do so. And he'd never been able to do that.

Trevon thought of asking Dr. MacCormack to tone down the sedative or
the sensitivity of the device which triggered it, but the lieutenant was
just two days out from a very major surgery in which his new heart had
been transplanted. So Trevon decided to just ask for a timetable as to
when Reed might be weaned off the sedative to face his past. That would
be required in therapy if he was ever to free of the control it had over

Still, he planned to introduce himself to the lieutenant today, after
his friend left. While they could not yet discuss anything particularly
triggering, without Reed losing consciousness, trust needed to be
established first anyway. And Trevon was not exactly sure how to go
about it. He had had a few non-Betazoid patients since entering the
Exchange. Setting ground rules for when and how he might use his
telepathic abilities with his patients' agreement as well as assuring
them what he would under no considerations do with his telepathy had
worked at the outset to set the other patients at ease.

But here, his patient was telepathic in a species not known to be so.
Would Reed be put at ease by a fellow telepath and be tempted to use a
less physically taxing form of communication? Or would he raise his
guard in fear of being probed or studied for the oddity that he was?
Trevon had read Reed's psychological evaluation upon joining Starfleet.
It noted his deep sense of privacy and reticence to share details of a
personal nature. Add trauma and Trevon felt that favored the fear response.

Still, Trevon knew he'd have to tell Reed the truth. Trust could not
be built on a foundation of deception. Trevon could not pretend to be a
non-telepath any more than he could pretend to be human. Aliens (or
natives when Reed was the alien) had hurt him deeply and repeatedly.
Admitting Trevon was an alien might widen an already sizeable gulf
between them. He could only hope that honesty would bridge that gap and
that the telepathy would eventually become something they had in common,
and not a hindrance on either side.

Malcolm felt extra groggy while Trip told him about his evening with
his parents. He hadn't slept well and had had very disturbing dreams
that led from one to another until morning came suddenly. He found out
after breakfast (more gelatin but at least in pineapple flavor) that the
sedative had put him out several times. Unconsciousness and sleep were
two very different things.

Still, he listened and followed loosely what Trip was saying about his
mother and father. What Malcolm heard was a family foreign to him. One
with love and acceptance, communication and respect. Well, not totally
foreign. Malcolm remembered a time when things had been different, when
he was his father's favored son. The time before he was drowned and
became aqua phobic.

He nodded off now and then. Trip didn't seem to mind. He just kept
talking. And his voice kept the worse of the memories away as Malcolm dozed.

"Oh, did I tell you I met your sister?"

Malcolm perked up at that. "How? When?"

"She called a couple times on the way here," Trip answered. "And she
stopped in to see you the night we arrived. She was very concerned
about you. But she said she was sick so maybe she doesn't want you to
catch it."

"Sick with what?" Malcolm hadn't spoken to Maddie in years, it seemed.

"She never said. She didn't look all that sick." Trip looked a little
puzzled but shook it off. "Anyway, I was struck by how you two seemed
like total opposites of each other. You have dark hair, she's very
blonde. You're quiet, reserved, shall we say. She's friendly and
somewhat chatty. She smiled a lot more than you do."

*She was my one support,** Malcolm thought to himself. Maybe she'd
visit once she got over whatever was ailing her. "Anyone else visit?" he
asked. "My parents?"

Trip sighed and steepled his fingers. "Not yet. But, you know, it's
only been a couple days."

It sounded like an excuse and an attempt at optimism. Malcolm didn't
know why he still let his hopes get up. His father had thus far dashed
them at every other turn.

When Trip left at lunchtime--mashed potatoes with gravy this time--he
felt very lonely. Without Hoshi, Maddie, or his parents, Trip was his
only link to a world beyond the hospital. And he so wanted to be beyond
the hospital.

He turned on the screen and picked up where he'd left off with The
Fellowship of the Ring. It was almost over. The fellowship were in
boats traveling down the Anduin. The sundering was coming.

Just as soon as the credits started to roll a new visitor appeared. He
wore a suit of a style Malcolm didn't recognize. He looked normal
otherwise. He was tall and thin with a kind expression. He had
sandy-colored hair but very dark eyes.

The man closed the door, which set the machine to beeping a little
faster. Malcolm tried to tell himself there was nothing to fear here in
Starfleet Medical. Instead of coming toward him, however, the man sat
on the short sofa where Trip had been.

"Good afternoon, Lieutenant," he began. "I'm Dr. Koy Trevon and I was
hoping we could meet today. I am not a medical doctor. I fear you've
met a few too many of them lately. I'm a therapist. I work with people
who, like you, have been through harrowing, and traumatic, experiences.
I was hoping you and I might work together on your trauma."

The beeps settled down a bit. The fear abated. But Malcolm wasn't
sure what kind of work they'd be doing. He'd never made use of a
therapist before, but Hoshi had told him he should have had one after
the drowning and that he needed to talk to someone about what had happened.

"I think it important to begin with honesty," Trevon went on. "While I
may resemble your people, humans, in appearance, I am not human."

Malcolm wasn't sure if that was honest. It was only his eyes that
looked strange.

"You may have noticed my eyes," Trevon said. "They seem to be my most
telling feature. On my world, eyes like mine are incredibly common. But
they do set some here at unease. I come from a world called Betazed.
My people are Betazoids. And we differ in one other major
characteristic. We are all telepaths. Were you aware that you, too,
are a telepath?"

The machine's beeps increased. Malcolm tried willing his heart to calm
down. This man was still in the room. He couldn't afford to be groggy now.

Trevon nodded. "It seems you are. Please allow me to try and set your
mind at ease. In a world of telepaths, it's important to have laws and
rules about how one can and should use that ability. We primarily use
it to communicate with those close to us, the same as talking to one
another, just without using our voices. It's quite illegal and highly
unethical to use that ability to probe another's mind without
permission. So you see, I have no intention of reading your mind."

How did he know? Had Phlox put it in his medical records? Then why
hadn't MacCormack said anything? Trip? No, Trip had promised.

"That said, I cannot not hear what you project," Trevon continued.
"Yesterday morning, I was passing by." He pointed toward the door. "I
heard a word, said in panic. I didn't recognize the word and it didn't
appear to have come from anyone in the corridor. Then I realized it
hadn't been audible. I heard it one more time that day. No longer
panicked, it sounded more in wonder. I had asked a passing orderly what
the word might have meant. She informed me it was a name, a Japanese
name: Hoshi."

Malcolm realized he had told this Trevon just by trying to reach Hoshi.
But, in his defense, he hadn't known there was another telepath in the

"In reading the copious notes on your last year, I came across the name
Hoshi Sato. You and she had been marooned on the planet Sharu together.
And when I looked her up and found she was a renowned linguist, it all
came together. You would not have known twelve languages, nor have the
mental power, at the time, to use them while you were so drugged. She
passed them to you. You used your telepathy to communicate with her
even after she disappeared. Where did she go?"

Malcolm glared with his one good eye. "Who are you going to tell?"

"No one," Trevon was quick to say. "I'm your therapist. What is said
between us while that door is closed, remains between us. Everything
you say is purely confidential. Besides I have no desire to further
traumatize you by opening you up to being studied as an oddity. I
daresay you've had more than your share of that."

Malcolm took a few deep breaths. The beeps calmed slightly. He wasn't
sure he trusted this man yet but he believed in Hoshi. She said he
needed to talk. So he decided to answer Trevon's questions for now.
"The other side of the planet."

Trevon's dark eyes widened and he leaned back in surprise. "That's
astonishing! My range is only a few kilometers, and I've been doing
this my entire adult life. We don't come into our telepathy, you see,
until we're well on our way to puberty. Can you imagine a mess of
five-year-olds with this ability? They'd drive their parents insane.
They struggle enough with teenagers." Trevon chuckled. "When did you
realize you could communicate with your mind?"

Malcolm kept his answers short. "Sharu."

"Oh!" Trevon leaned forward. "That recently? Did you try to
communicate with the scientists at all? You could have told them, for
instance, that you were conscious...."

Malcolm shook his head. "If we let them know we could understand them,
they would have forced us to answer questions we couldn't answer."

"Even when they did that anyway?" Trevon asked.

"I didn't understand them," Malcolm told him. "I listened to her." He
kept his guard up but so far Trevon had not pushed too hard into things
he didn't want to remember or think about.

Trevon nodded. "That was brilliant, by the way. A lie couched in a
dozen languages. They'll never work out the truth. A marriage of your
tactical mind and her linguistic genius, no doubt. I'm impressed. How
did she know when they were asking questions? Did you repeat them to her?"

That was easy. "She could hear them."

"She could hear through your ears?"

"You can't do that on Betazed?" Malcolm asked.

"No," Trevon answered. "Though to be honest, I can't think that I've
ever tried. It was not covered in our training."

Malcolm was a little confused. "To be a therapist?"

"To be a telepath." Trevon relaxed a bit. "It's so common that we
learn how to use it in school. There are classes where we learn to
target our inner voice rather than to broadcast it widely. Except, of
course, when we need to, for example in an emergency, or when giving a
speech, or teaching a class. We learn to shield ourselves as well. As
there are on any planet, there are those who do not wish to conform to
societal norms, who wish to use their abilities to harm others. Have
you learned to allow some communication and to block others?"

"Not exactly." Malcolm realized he was intrigued. This man had been a
telepath for years and talked about it as if it was entirely normal.
"She was the only one to hear me. But sometimes, I didn't want her to
hear or see. I would close off those channels."

Trevon smiled. "And see? May I ask how you close off those channels?"

"A console," Malcolm told him. "A mental construct to focus on what we
wanted to do or not do."

"Obviously a useful construct," Trevon commented. "And now, you have
someone else who can hear you. I've never tried to reach someone I
couldn't. Why do you think she could hear you when others couldn't?"

"She has exceptional hearing," Malcolm replied. "She was receptive to
another telepath we met before. No one else in our crew was."

"Even you. May I try a simple greeting?"

Malcolm nodded. Malcolm watched him carefully. His mouth never moved.
But the voice he heard in his head said, "Hello, Lieutenant. May I
call you Malcolm?"

*Do I call you Koy?** Malcolm asked in return.

Trevon smiled again. His mouth moved again as well and Malcolm heard
him with his ears. "If you wish, though my friends usually call me Trevon."

"Are you supposed to get me to talk about all the horrible things that
happened to me," Malcolm asked him aloud in return.

"We'll need to talk about those in time," Trevon answered. "But I
prefer to get to know one another a bit first. Besides, revisiting
those things will be stressful, and, at present, we need to avoid
stressing you overmuch. May I ask if you've experienced any flashbacks
since we've been talking?"

Malcolm hadn't realized it before, but Trevon had never morphed into
one of the orcs the way some of the male nurses and doctors had. "No,"
he replied. He thought maybe it was the novelty of meeting another
telepath that kept his mind in the present.

"It would seem to me that your telepathy was not, then, part of those
'horrible things' and that your communications with Hoshi Sato were,
instead, a pleasant counterpoint to those very 'trying' events."

That pain in his chest reasserted itself. He missed her so much. She
would have helped him navigate this new experience. Not just another
telepath, but a therapist. Still, he didn't trust this Trevon that much
yet. So he just nodded.

"I'm glad you had that, Malcolm," Trevon said with no amusement. "In
some ways, it likely protected you. Prolonged isolation can lead to
madness, but you weren't alone. Prolonged imprisonment and even abuse
can lead to a certain affinity with one's captors. I believe on Earth
it is called Stockholm syndrome. I take it you had no such affinity for
the people of Zheiren."

"Only one," Malcolm admitted. "He was killed for it."

"He was the one that aided you, gave you the communicator." It wasn't
said as a question.

"His name was Bayzhoo," Malcolm told him.

"I am sorry for his death," Trevon offered. "Tell me, have you ever
had therapy before?"

"Never." He remembered Hoshi saying he should have had it after the
drowning. Would have life have been different if he had? "How does it
work? I could show you what I experienced."

"Images? Scenes? Memories?" Trevon asked. "Amazing! Can you show me
what they look like, without tripping that sedative?"

Malcolm imagined the console and mentally turned Video on. Then he
concentrated on a memory of Bayzhoo when he secretly gave him a bit of
water during the heat experiments.

"So that's a Winged," Trevon commented. "I understand now why they were
called that. Would a Raptor be too taxing?"

Malcolm pulled up the memory of the guard's face looking through the
window of his door. When the face was gone, he closed off Video. He
didn't want to remember any more. "Can you help me forget?"

"Thank you for showing me who we're dealing with." Trevon put his
elbows on his knees. "Therapy isn't about forgetting, Malcolm. It's
about freeing yourself from the power those memories have over you. One
of your planet's philosophers, John Paul Sartre, had a quote I'm
particularly fond of: 'Freedom is what you do with what's been done to

Malcolm didn't feel so fond. What was that supposed to mean? "Just
what is it I'm supposed to do with that they did to me?"

"That," Trevon answered, "is what you need to discover through therapy.
And, no, I don't want you to share anymore images, though I'm
fascinated that you can. Your telepathy and mine are very different.
But even with my Betazoid patients, trauma tends to heal best when
worked through via verbal communication. There's power in saying it.
Telepathy tends to offer a barrier. It allows us to hide from our
feelings more easily. It's much harder to keep those feelings from our
voices. I've had a look at your psychological evaluation upon joining
Starfleet. You don't talk much about yourself, it seems."

Malcolm wasn't surprised that he'd read the psych eval, and, of course
it was right. Trip would say it was an understatement. Hoshi had said
he needed to talk, but it was so alien to him that he wasn't sure he could."

"What are you thinking?" Trevon asked.

"You can't tell me?" Malcolm tested.

"That would be unethical," Trevon told him. "Telepathy can be a tool
in therapy but its uses would have to be agreed to by you. The only
times I've used it without permission is when my patients were so
traumatized as to be locked inside their own minds. That doesn't
describe you. Would you read my mind without permission?"

Malcolm shook his head. "Maybe if you a threat to my ship. But I
don't even know if I could."

"Let's not try it just yet, though I don't think I could be more
surprised than I am by what you can already do." Trevon leaned back.
"Do you want to know what I think?"

Malcolm nodded, relieved to let him go first.

Trevon stood and moved to the chair, bringing it to halfway between the
bed and the sofa. "I think," he said, "you're no stranger to trauma.
Something 'painful' happened, and, without therapy, you closed yourself
off, hid away your true self in response. Because if no one can know
you, they can't hurt you."

The machine began to beep a little faster. Trevon backed away. "I
won't ask you to share that hurt." He held his hands up. "Not today."
He patted his chest where his heart was--if it was in the same place as
a human's. "But it's your turn. What were you thinking?"

"She told me to talk to someone," Malcolm whispered.

"I like her already." Trevon smiled again, lightly this time. "You
told her that particular hurt, didn't you?"

Malcolm kept his one eye locked on Trevon's two dark ones. "We told
each other lots of things."

"So you've had a little practice opening up." Trevon nodded. "That's

"What about you?" Malcolm asked, wanting to even things up. "Why do
you do this?"

"Therapy?" Trevon did seem to smile a lot. "It is what I've done with
what's been done to me."

Malcolm considered that. It appeared trauma wasn't a stranger to
Trevon either.

"And as trust is a 'two-way street', as you human's say, I'll tell you
what was done to me." Malcolm hadn't expected that at all. "When I was
thirteen, just beginning to come into my telepathy, my physical
education instructor asked me to stay after school. He told me he'd
seen what I had done, which confused and frightened me as I didn't
remember having done anything untoward. Once we were alone, he
assaulted my mind with horrible stories and threats to harm my parents,
my younger brother if I didn't do what he said. If I didn't let him do
what he did. He molested me. Raped me. You recall we have to learn
how to shield ourselves. I hadn't learned that yet. He took advantage
and told me all sorts of terrible things he would do if I told anyone."

Malcolm felt uncomfortable but also horrified for Trevon. He hated to
even think about those particular incidents but even then, no one had
invaded his mind.

"My parents realized something was off about me," Trevon went on. "I
had become sullen, quiet. My schoolwork had suffered. They took me to
a therapist. When I wouldn't talk, she did something I didn't expect.
She started a very loud noise, mostly static. And I couldn't hear him
anymore. But I could hear her voice. The timbre of was different,
higher pitched and feminine. I heard her in my mind, telling me I was
safe now, that he wouldn't know."

"How did she know," Malcolm asked, "without reading your mind?"

"She didn't." There he was smiling again. Malcolm didn't understand
how he could smile telling a story like that. "An educated guess. When
I couldn't hear his voice anymore, I thought, maybe, just maybe, I could
trust her. So I told her." He tapped his forehead. "But she couldn't
hear me though that white noise. My telepathic voice sounded more like
my spoken voice now than that of a prepubescent boy whose voice was
changing all the time. I had to say it aloud. And when I did, and she
didn't shame me, I felt a weight fall off my shoulders. I was still
embarrassed, confused, and hurt, but I was no longer under his power."

"Did they catch him?" Malcolm asked.

Trevon nodded. "Oh yes. He was dealt with. He's still incarcerated
today, and has to wear a device on his head that stops his telepathy. I
wasn't the only one. It took a lot more time and meetings with her
before I could tell this story without my hands shaking." He held them
out to show they were steady. "I decided I wanted to help people the
way she helped me."

Malcolm was confused. "Just by talking? How does that work?"

"Did it help you cope when you talked to Hoshi?"

"We helped each other," he admitted. "Told each stories when...." He
couldn't say it.

"When bad things happened?" Trevon finished for him. "But did it help
you when you told her that story? That hurt?"

Malcolm thought back. He had been scared of her reaction when he told
her, but she hadn't thought any less of him at all. Not even when he
told what he'd done two years later. And her acceptance of him still
had made it easier to open up to her more. He nodded.

"I could tell you about trauma and neuropathways, but, in layman's
terms, it's a bit like magic," Trevon concluded. "When we bring our
hurts out into the open, we can look at them in a different light. We
can learn to move past them, to find out way back to living without the
fear and the shame. Those hurts move from constantly being in our
present, where they continue to cause us pain, into the past where they
belong. We might even find out that we're stronger for having survived
and taken our power back. I know that my story, my acquaintance with
that pain, makes me better able to empathize with others who are still
suffering from it." He stood and walked to the door. It opened. But
he turned back before leaving. "I can help you, Malcolm, if you let me.
May I come again?"

Malcolm was still confused. Magic? But he nodded. Trevon left and a
nurse entered. A woman, at least. She checked his bandages and the
machines, took his blood pressure and the like. He ignored her and let
her do what she needed to do. He had a lot to think about.

Trip left the folks at R&D, thinking it wouldn't be a bad department to
semi-retire to if he ever got tired of being in the stars. The men and
women he was working with were bright, imaginative, and forward
thinking. The whole department was broken down into different teams.
Some worked on defense, others weapons, and still others were in any of
number of teams working on improvements to protein resequencing,
sanitation, anti-gravity, warp engines, and even sonic showers. Trip
wasn't so sure he wanted to wash off a day's sweat and grime with sound
alone. But then again, it would help conserve water.

Trip entered Starfleet Medical hoping Malcolm had managed to have a
decent nap. He hadn't had a very restful night. He was groggy and half
out of it in the morning.

He was surprised to find Malcolm sitting awake in his bed with a
pensive expression. The screen was off so it wasn't because of what he
was watching. "Something happen while I was away?"

"Close the door, please." Malcolm waved toward the door.

That was different. Trip started to get concerned but he closed the
door then went to the chair. He moved it closer to the bed but around
Malcolm's knees so he didn't have to contort sideways. "What's up?"

"I met my assigned therapist today." Even with the door closed,
Malcolm had kept his voice down.

"Oh." That wasn't so bad, well, except that this was Malcolm. You
pretty much had to have a near-death experience with him to get past his
defenses. "You've never talked to one before, have you?"

"Besides my psych eval?" Malcolm shook his head. "Have you?"

Trip nodded. "Ya get a good one, and they're worth their weight in gold."

Malcolm looked confused, his one visible eye-brow drawn low over his
eye. "Why'd you need one?"

"Well, my teen years were a bit rough," Trip admitted. "Peer pressure,
bullies.... I fell into some depression. Mom and Dad got me in to see
someone." Trip leaned back to get comfortable. "I'd talk about school
and how I felt."

"*You** were bullied?"

Malcolm was full of questions today. "Yeah, well, I was one of the
smart kids. Sometimes the no-so-smart ones don't like the smart ones
because their presence makes 'em feel dumb or something. So they throw
their weight around to feel big and powerful. 'Hurt people hurt
people,' my therapist liked to say. Maybe they had something going on
at home that made them feel powerless. Didn't condone what they did but
I could start to guess some reasons behind it, ya know, see they weren't
just monsters whose only purpose in life was to torment me. It didn't
change the way they treated me, but I stopped feeling depressed about
it." He remembered Bobby Letour and started to chuckle. "Actually
asked one of 'em if I could help him somehow."

"What on Earth did he say?"

"Well," Trip replied, "he broke my nose."

Malcolm slowly shook his head. "And you can just laugh that off now?"

Trip shrugged. "Yeah, I mean my nose healed okay. It's not crooked or
anything. Besides, when the blood started gushing, he felt kind of bad.
Helped me to the school nurse. While she was calling the medics, he
and I got to talkin'. His dad was having an affair, and it was just
tearing him up inside, wondering if he should tell his mom. After that,
if he saw me in the halls, he'd just kind of duck his head like he
hadn't. Never harassed me again."

He got serious to match Malcolm's expression. "How'd your talk with
the therapist go?"

Malcolm locked his one on Trip's face. He didn't even blink. "He's a

Trip jerked upright, causing the chair to roll back a few inches.
"What? What are the odds?"

"Everyone on his planet is a telepath."

"He's an alien." Okay, maybe he was in the same Exchange as Phlox.
"Did you guys just...." He moved a finger back and forth from his
forehead to Malcolm's.

"No," Malcolm replied. "Well, just a little. He said I'd actually have
to talk."

"Just a little?" Trip didn't want to let that bit go.

"He said, 'Hello' and asked if he could call me Malcolm. I showed him
Bayzhoo so he could see what they looked like."

"Huh. You can do that?" Trip knew Malcolm could talk with Hoshi, and
they could hear through each other's ears, see through each other's
eyes. That sort of thing. But sharing a memory was a new one. To Trip
anyway. "Can he do that?"

Malcolm shook his head. "I don't think so. His is different. More
like just talking."

"Do you even know all you can do with it?" It was still trippy to
think Malcolm could do any of it.

Malcolm shrugged. "They learn how to use it in school," Malcolm told
him. "It's just normal. For me, it was just trying something out. We
shared sounds, sights, something we could feel."

"Feel?" Trip tried to wrap his mind around that one. Surely not the
surgeries and things like that. "Like what?"

"She shared the cold with me." He got a faraway look in his eye.

"That is just incredibly cool, Malcolm!" Trip didn't want Malcolm to
get lost in the desert. "When you see each other again, you'll have to
try all the senses. Like smell, or taste."

"How does talking help me heal?" Malcolm asked, changing the subject
back to therapy.

"I don't know," Trip admitted. "I'm an engineer. I just know it helps.
Look, I could have used a therapist after Elizabeth died. I might not
have bit your head off like I did or carried all that anger when it was
really covering for grief. Things like that eat us up. Makes us hurt
ourselves whether it's by no sleeping, or the stress or just the anguish
of it, ya know. Talking about it with someone, even if it's not a
therapist, well, it takes some of the burden off. A therapist can help
you understand things ya didn't know ya didn't understand. Like 'hurt
people hurt people.'"

"Hurt people hurt people," Malcolm repeated, testing it out.

"Oh, another one my therapist liked: 'Bitterness is like takin' a
poison and expected the other guy to die.'" He sat back again as the
realization slammed into him. "Oh. That's what I was doin' after
Lizzie died."

"He shared one," Malcolm commented. "'Freedom is what you do with
what's been done to you.'"

"He came up with that?" Trip asked. "That's deep."

Malcolm shook his head. "No, that was John Paul Sartre."

They sat quietly digesting those bits of wisdom for a while. "I don't
think the scientists were hurt people," Malcolm said. "I don't think
they meant to hurt us. Not at first, anyway."

"It was 'for science', then?" Trip commented. "So that one doesn't
apply in your case. Not at first anyway. The end came from fear, I
think. Fear of what we'd do. Thought they'd scare us off with what
they did to you."

"That's what it was?" Malcolm had that faraway look again. "I couldn't
see that from my perspective."

"We got the Council's notes," Trip told him. "They were all hopped up
on testosterone 'cause it was their every-three-years mating time. They
feared an alien invasion. And there was a change in leadership from the
Wingeds to the toothy ones."

"That does explain some things," Malcolm said, looking away. "T-Rex
starting taking charge, got aggressive. And then Sauron." The beeps
started to pick up.

"Back it up, Malcolm," Trip warned, leaning forward. "Stay here with
me." When Malcolm met his gaze again, he tried changing the subject
back to therapy. "'Freedom is what youe do with what's been done to
you.' I like that. And your guy isn't even from around here. Give him
a try, Malcolm, you just might be surprised at how much better you'll feel."

Trevon wrote his notes from his first meeting Lt. Malcolm Reed. He was
honestly surprised at how together Reed had seemed. Despite his ordeal,
and the fact that he did still suffer from it, he wasn't a broken man.
That, however, was not going to help Trevon help him open up. And he
was certain something very traumatic had happened to Reed as a young
man. Something with lasting ramifications. But the general thinking
was that he only had one or two months to get Malcolm Reed back to
duty-ready (with ongoing physical and psychological support from Dr.
Phlox). He probably wouldn't have time to delve all the way back into
Reed's childhood. As it was, he had been consciously vivisected half a
dozen times, nearly passed out from heat stroke, exposed to extreme
cold, molested on two occasions, tortured and drugged, almost drowned,
and finally staked out in a desert sun. That was a lot to ask for one
or two months.

And really no one had yet had a chance to ask Malcolm Reed if he really
wanted to return to duty on a starship. Maybe his stay on Sharu would
instill a deep fear of what's out there.

When he finished his report, Trevon began a second, encrypted one. He
would have loved to send it to Mr. Pinma, his telepathy instructor. Here
was not only a human telepath, but one with abilities seen only in
science fiction on Betazed. Pass-through hearing, maybe sight, sharing
of mental images, and memories at that. There were neuroscientists that
would love to see why Reed's human brain was so different, why he could
do all those things, and without any formal training. He'd come into
those abilities on Sharu. At some point in his torment, an outstanding
development had allowed him to communicate with the only other human
who, it would seem, could hear him, somewhere on the other side of the

But, of course, he would never send this file to Mr. Pinma or anyone
else. Reed had been subjected to far too much study already. It would
not be ethical to set him up for more scrutiny of that manner, it would
be cruel. But his telepathy intrigued Trevon not just for its novelty.
But because it seemed to have protected Reed's mind from the worst
possible outcomes of his year-long ordeal. Trevon started getting a
mental image of a musical piece. Hard, harsh tones and crashing
percussion were the base of the piece, but high above that, a descant, a
lilting melody, beautiful and calming. A counterpoint, and more so
because it was not the telepathy, but the relationship it allowed. He
and Sato had helped each other through harrowing trials. Trevon didn't
know what she suffered after being removed, but it was even half what
Reed had experienced, she would need ongoing help as well.

It obviously pained Malcolm to be without her. Perhaps they had been
more than just helpers. Perhaps they had become very close instead. And
perhaps that relationship had protected Reed to a great degree. Trevon
only hoped Phlox was serving Hoshi Sato well. He'd noted she was not on
Earth recovering.

There was a knock at his door. He looked up to find Dr. MacCormack in
his doorway. "How'd things go with Lt. Reed?"

Trevon closed the encrypted file. "Relatively well," he replied. "We
got to know each other a little. Can't do much without worrying he'll
lose consciousness."

MacCormack nodded and moved further into the room. "We'll let that go
in a day or two if that heart keeps doing its job well. I did a little
checking. Reed is notorious for being tight-lipped. You're new here.
Maybe I shouldn't have foisted him on you. If you'd like to pass him to
someone else, I'll understand."

Trevon smiled. "I don't think it wise to 'change horses mid-stream."

MacCormack chuckled. "Sorry. Not quite, but I get the point. You up
to the challenge?"

*I'm the only one who can be,** Trevon thought. That descant was
important. "I believe I might have an edge with him--and not because of
my species. I'm male, and yet he had no flashbacks while I met with him."

"So you noticed that, too." She sat down on the other side of his
desk. "Seems he only had contact with males of the species."

"Two species, actually, but yes, all males," Trevon said. He never saw
a feminine pronoun in all the reports, unless it referred to Ens. Sato.
"It was the reports of Dr. Varnis. His pulse always goes up with a male
enters the room, except for his friend, Commander Tucker. The setting,
here in a hospital, probably don't help, but the decor in the room
mitigates it somewhat. Still he'd be better served mentally if he could
be moved to a home health situation as soon as possible."

"Maybe in a week or so," MacCormack replied. "Glad the decor helps
some. That was my idea. At some point, we have to inform him of his
donor's identity. I'm hoping you can let us know when would be the best

"Is that customary here?" On Betazed, donors were always kept
anonymous unless the donor or their family wanted the identity known.

"Not usually," MacCormack answered. "Only this time he might realize
his sister isn't around anymore."

"Sister?" Had that man not suffered enough?

"It was her idea," MacCormack said, holding up a hand. "She was dying
of an incurable cancer. Parting gift from the Xindi weapon attack that
killed seven million of our people. Left the land contaminated in ways
we're still discovering."

"I assume her heart was not affected," Trevon offered. "I can
understand not telling him now, but the timing only gets worse from
here. The news now would be devastating. The longer you wait, the more
we can add infuriating."

MacCormack nodded. "Never a good time. She was determined. Her last
words were to give him anything she had that he needed, then give the
rest to others."

"It's an incredible gift," Trevon acknowledged. "And I think,
eventually, he could come to see it that way. But first, there will be
grief. His sister has died."

"If we told him now," MacCormack asked, "would we risk his physical

"I believe one of your trauma specialists wrote a book once called *The
Body Keeps the Score.** Trauma does manifest in physiological ways. It
wasn't direct physical damage that caused him to need a new heart. It
was the constant stress of living in that environment added to the
direct physical damage. So, yes, absolutely, it could absolutely harm
him. In his grief, he may not eat. He may not participate in his own
healing. He could, potentially, become suicidal. You are aware he
tried multiple times on Sharu."

"Yes, and I don't blame him," MacCormack asserted. "Faced with the
rest of his life being vivisected without Ens. Sato for comfort and
companionship. They had no way of knowing they were a year behind. It
was a very bleak future. I would have tried to end it."

Trevon though the probably would have as well. "My main concern," he
admitted, "is time. That year was full of assaults to his body and
mind. I've only got a month or two to set him right again."

"Dr. Phlox added to his qualifications last year," MacCormack informed
him. "He is Ens. Sato's physician and therapist now. He'll be able to
follow up your work with Reed. Just remember, he has to be physically
ready for duty before he goes back to *Enterprise**. He spent the
better part of that year trying not to be physically fit. He's almost
ready to walk himself to the toilet. You have longer than you probably
think." She stood. "Right now, he's your only patient. If he's up for
it, plan to see him every day while he's here."

"Yes, ma'am." Trevon stood as she left his office. No, Malcolm Reed
wasn't a broken man. But how many more hurts would it take before he

Alan Heah

Jul 18, 2020, 12:34:30 AM7/18/20
Wow, I learnt much from therapy at work here, and the thoughts that the quotes teased forth, than I have read elsewhere for some time.

Philippe de la Matraque

Jul 18, 2020, 1:12:31 AM7/18/20
On 7/17/2020 11:34 PM, Alan Heah wrote:
> Wow, I learnt much from therapy at work here, and the thoughts that the quotes teased forth, than I have read elsewhere for some time.
Oh really? I may need your help if you know therapy. I'm winging it.

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