((Deck 9: Moonsong’s Office))
::She had been reminded before that the counselors were there to help. While many avoided them at any cost, Alora had never had any problem with them, even if she’d never utilised their services. Even after the situation with the Gateway and the kidnapping by the Orion, she’d sought out her friends, but not any counselors. What had just happened to her, however, was worse than anything she’d ever experienced before. It went beyond Hikaru, beyond the Orion. She’d been violated and what her body had been forced to do, what she had experienced through the manipulations of the Kindred had left their mark - one deep enough that, for the first time in her life, Alora was willing to seek out professional help.
Even if Raissa hadn’t been a personal friend, she would have sought counseling, but she did have to admit she was a little more comfortable with that particular officer. As she approached the door just before her scheduled time, she’d already thought about making sure to keep things separate. While on the clock, Raissa was her counselor. Off the clock, she was her friend and Alora would do her best not to burden her with sessions off duty. The door chimed at the science officer’s arrival.::
::Raissa cleared the information on her console and folded her hands on her desktop.::
Moonsong: Come in.
::Once given leave, Alora entered and offered a small smile to the lovely figure that reclined in a chair. Despite the fact she was going to keep things separate, it still was an odd feeling, coming to Raissa in the role of counsel.::
::Raissa smiled and leaned forward in her chair and then gestured to the seat across from her.::
Moonsong: ::faint pause:: I would like to talk to you before we begin.
DeVeau: Er...don’t we talk even when we begin?
::Alora crossed the room and settled into the offered chair. Wasn’t part of counseling talking about it, or did she mean something else?::
DeVeau: But yes, of course.
::Raissa’s smile faded slightly as she folded her hands on top of the desk.::
Moonsong: Consider this the administrative portion of the session. ::she paused again.:: If for any reason you do not feel comfortable with me, you have the option of speaking to another counselor.
::Alora’s brow furrowed and she nodded. What in the world did Raissa have to say that would make Alora consider another counselor? If anything, Alora felt better about coming to her for the mere fact they were more familiar with each other.::
::She looked down at her hands and debated how she was going to say this. After Alora’s recent experience it would not be unusual for her to want to be away from anything that reminded her of her experience.::
Moonsong: Alora, the Community Ambassador will be leaving us soon. However, they have asked that a small portion of them remain behind to continue observing us. I agreed to host them.
::She watched her friend carefully for her reaction.::
::In all honesty, Alora shouldn’t be surprised. While Raissa hadn’t really divulged many details about what had happened when she had combined with the Community the last time, but Alora also knew what it was like to be telepathically connected with someone - even before the Kindred. That didn’t bother her, though something else did.::
DeVeau: Is the community with you now?
Moonsong: ::she nodded.:: While they are willing to… turn their attention elsewhere during my sessions, my mind is not as disciplined and things will slip to them. ::pause:: That is why I’m giving you the option to see another counselor. I understand how close to you recent situation this is and the discomfort it can cause.
::Alora squirmed in her seat. While the community had been a great asset in freeing her mind from the grip of the mother, it was a far different thing having them there while she was in counseling with Raissa.::
DeVeau: Um...what about patient-counselor confidentiality? Won’t something like that compromise it?
::Raissa had considered that question after the fact. She had a hell of time convincing the captain she could still do her job. Although the terminology she had used with her commanding officer had been a bit more formal.::
Moonsong: In all honestly, no. Who would they tell? And more importantly this is one aspect my job they find deeply boring. It is way beyond their experience so much of it is meaningless to them beyond the broader aspects of species communications.
::Well, if nothing else, at least Raissa had been honest with her about it. For a moment, she pondered what she’d been told and whether or not she should go to someone else. Eventually though, she knew she would stay because even though she didn’t mind counselors in general, the truth was she was most comfortable with Raissa.::
DeVeau: Okay. I still would rather have you.
Moonsong: Are you sure. Counselor Payne is very good at her job.
::She referred to the quiet, almost shy half caitain ensign.::
::Alora nodded, her lips quirking a little into another half smile.::
DeVeau: I’m sure she is, and from what little interaction I’ve had with her, she’s quite lovely. However, I think I’d still rather stay with you.
::Raissa smiled, her relief obvious. While the knowledge of being host was not common knowledge, Alora was one who had a need to know if Raissa was to help her.::
Moonsong: In that case we can begin.
::She rose to her feet and gestured to the two leather chairs to the side of the room::
Moonsong: Let’s move over there. It is much more comfortable.
::Alora didn’t argue for she was all for less formal and more relaxed. She rose and followed to lower herself into one even as the counselor paused.::
::Raissa paused at the replicator and ordered one of her relaxing blends of tea and brought the two mugs over to the chairs with her. She held out one for her friend to take. Then she sat down across from her.::
::As her hands curled around the warmth of the mug, Alora inhaled the gentle scent of the tea. Even that was soothing just all by itself. She sipped at it gingerly as she settled further into the comfy chair.::
Moonsong: Let us start with your nightmares. How bad are they?
::Alora lowered her mug, the tips of her fingers tapping at the side. While she’d had plenty of nightmares before, the ones that followed the ordeal with the Orion and now with the plants were far worse than anything she’d ever experienced before.::
DeVeau: Bad. Detailed. Gruesome.
Moonsong: ::nods:: Which part of the experience are you still repeating?
DeVeau: All of them, but the one that happens the most is the...killings.
::The worst part. Worse than the Mother forcing herself inside her head, worse than the takover of the ship itself, the actual act of stealing someone’s life away haunted her.::
::There was a difference at Raissa watched her. The dark eyes were fully focused on her. Yet there was something she was still unsure about the situation. She knew there had been fatalities, but their methods of demise didn’t fit with what Alora had implied and Raissa needed to get that clarified.::
Moonsong: Did the ‘Mother’ kill someone directly or through the plants.
DeVeau: Through the plants.
::Alora paused to try and explain it and shook her head.::
DeVeau: I don’t know how to describe it...it was like she was extending herself through them and using them as appendages, like she was using me. I...came along for the ride in a way, felt it, even though it was the plants that did the deed.
::That was the problem, the sensation had been there even if her hands hadn’t been the ones wrapped around them. She could still feel it.::
Moonsong: ::She cocked her head slightly to the side.:: Did the mother kill anyone directly with her hands as opposed to the plants or the puppets she gained control of?
::That didn’t mean it helped. Since she’d confessed what had occurred to a couple of people, including Raissa, she had a feeling she knew what was coming next.::
Moonsong: Then by extension, the humanoids she controlled with poison were at fault for their actions that resulted in harm to others.
::Alora leveled her gaze at her friend. Of course she would take a tactic like this, but she’d respond to it, of course. Raissa was trying to lead her down a path, even if Alora already knew where she was being taken.::
DeVeau: No. They had no control over their actions and therefore can not be held accountable.
Moonsong: ::She raised an eyebrow in inquiry:: Therefore…?
::Raissa was going to make Alora say it outloud. She may be a long way from accepting, but verbalizing it was the first step.::
DeVeau: Therefore I can not be held accountable.
::Alora sighed and sipped again at her tea. Some things were easier said than done.::
DeVeau: I know that here. ::She lifted one hand to tap a finger against her head.:: But...I still _feel_ responsible.
Moonsong: Perhaps, but speaking the words aloud are the first step. Saying them in your head is not enough. You must speak it aloud.
::She set her cup down on the table::
Moonsong: There is no quick or easy solution. No quick cure. It is a process. It will be a long process. It will be painful. You’re also a bit stubborn about letting go of things. I will continue to push you until heart and mind are again one. They will be. I promise you.
::Alora’s gaze flicked up and then down to her tea again. That was what she wanted, but there was more that Alora hadn’t yet divulged.::
DeVeau: At the same time, I _am_ partially responsible.
Moonsong: Explain to me how?
DeVeau: The probe I sent out. I checked over and there was a leak. ::She inhaled and let it out slowly.:: I wasn’t careful enough when I had it sent out.
Lt. Raissa Moonsong
Lt. Alora DeVeau
Chief of ScienceUSS Garuda