((Starbase 118 - Ashley Yael’s Office))
Manage? That part she could manage. It was other aspects of what had happened that she had trouble with. Those were the substance of Alora’s nightmares, of the grief that assaulted her. She wasn’t ready to talk about that. Not with Ashley. Not with anyone on Ops. The one she needed wasn’t there - and she didn’t know when she’d get to see him in person again.
Outwardly, Alora shrugged, then finished off her milk.
DeVeau: It’s been months now. I’ve had to come to terms. I can’t change it, I’m still alive for now. I’m going to enjoy life while I can.
That was rather… odd, actually. Someone with a potentially fatal ailment doesn’t just come to peace with it that easily. And over the course of only a few months? Ashley was starting to see what the “good, but” meant in her file. She did *seem* good. But it seemed like a lot was going unsaid, and for her claims to be good with it as it was, there was probably a lot going on under the surface.
In that case, there were still some limited options.
Yael: Do you meditate, Lieutenant Commander?
DeVeau: Actually, yes, on occasion.
That had been because of Saveron. After the Kindred had violated her mind, nightmares had plagued her once more. His suggestion of meditation had been followed by instruction in the practise - and it had helped. When she said ‘on occasion’, there was truth in that. The problem was, the meditation didn’t seem to help as much this time.
Yael: I’d like to take this to another location, if you can spare the time.
Standing, Ashley smiled at her and motioned for her to follow him.
Walking into the holodeck, the room was an empty grid. Alora followed in behind Ashley, curious as to the purpose of him bringing her here. There had been little talk on the way, lapsing into silence, perhaps as he pondered what he /was/ going to do with her. That had brought a little humour into her smile. Once they arrived, she glanced around, but Ashley didn’t let the standard lines remain long.
Yael: Computer. Load program Yael, “Betazoid Meditation Orb” program.
The room fizzled into a rather simple scene with a floating orb at the center of a deep orange light. There were no walls around them, but the light ended and the room appeared to be surrounded by a deep darkness.
DeVeau: What’s this? Are we playing hide and seek? ::Alora teased, motioning to the sphere that hovered in the room.:: Is the ball ‘it’?
Yael: It’s a simulation of a psionic Betazoid orb. The purpose, once you link to it via the program, is to maintain the orb as a spherical shape. It requires mental discipline.
He didn’t want to give away all the secrets, but failure to maintain the orb resulted in psionic imagery being reflected back on the user.
DeVeau: Oh really?
Yael: It’s excellent for self-reflection, or if you’re having trouble identifying what might be bothering you. It’s not *telepathy*, mind you. It’s only a tool. It’s also excellent for clearing the mind if you’re having trouble sleeping.
Alora had no trouble identifying what bothered her, it was just something she was struggling to deal with - and to talk about. There were three people whom she would have opened up to, and they were light years away. As much as she had come to like some of the people she’d met at Ops, she just didn’t have that type of connection with any of them. Yet. If ever.
DeVeau: I see.
The scientist couldn’t help but wonder what it would do if she already knew the problem. She certainly wasn’t going to think about it if she could help it. Psionic orb or know, this thing wouldn’t be able to get past her - Kalin had made sure of that.
Yael: Go ahead and give it a try. Clear your mind, then command the computer to uplink as a user.
Alora faced the orb directly, lifting her chin as she studied the sphere. It was an interesting concept, but she was suspicious. Still, she might as well give it a try. Closing her eyes, she cleared her mind, a feat that might have been difficult had she not had practise under two teachers. Then she opened her eyes once more.
DeVeau: Computer, link the orb.
The computer chirped and the orb wavered. Alora’s chin dropped and she stared directly at the object, and after a moment of wavering, it hovered, twitched, then settled into a complete sphere of shining silver.
The Denobulan hybrid nodded to himself, impressed with how quickly she caught on to the flow of things. Most non-telepaths lost the orb almost immediately the first go around. She must have had a very focused mind, or perhaps some experience with such things?
Yael: Excellent. Now, through your interface, increase the intensity. ::pausing:: Think of it like levels in a game.
It was more fluid than that with this particular exercise, but he wanted to see what she could do.
Increase the intensity? Alora’s mouth quirked up into a smirk. He had no idea. He had absolutely no idea. And why would he? He didn’t know her, didn’t know her past, didn’t know how many telepaths she’d befriended, how many times she’d touched minds - how intimate she’d gotten. He didn’t know about her training. He knew nothing of it. She hadn’t told him.
Alora had no plans to tell him.
Intensity he wanted, intensity he got - or at least Alora’s version of it. The orb shimmered, then shifted, changing from silver to a metallic green. Then a metallic blue. Every few seconds it changed, going through the rainbow until it stopped at purple and hovered once more.
Ashley watched with great interest as she manipulated the psionic field of the orb with a level of expertise that was genuinely surprising. The colors came through extremely clear. She’d been holding out on him, apparently.
Yael: ::quite sure she could:: Can you push it further?
She could. But to be honest, Alora was getting a little bored with staring at an orb. It remained purple a moment longer, then returned to the silver before she set it to spin. At first, it did so slowly, almost like earth rotating on its axis. Then it sped up - faster. Faster. Finally, it flew to the left, then to the right, then spun straight toward Ashley. Before it collided with his face, it came to a halt, an inch from his nose. It halted its spin, and all that remained to be seen was Ashley’s own reflection in the sphere, his face enlarged by the curvature.
He would have thrown up an arm between him and the flying orb if he’d had the time, but it was on him that quickly.
Yael: You have *extensive* experience with this. Far more than any non-telepath I’ve seen.
It was stated matter of factly, but the display *did* tell him a lot. This was child’s play for her, somehow. But he was certain she wasn’t telepathic herself, which led to very interesting questions. However, she hadn’t seemed to have any of the self-reflective qualities the orb supplied.
Yael: Have you had professional training, Lieutenant Commander?
DeVeau: Computer, disengage program.
The computer chirped and Alora then turned toward the Counselor, a smile playing upon her lips. She was in a mood. She didn’t know why. She wasn’t even sure how she could describe that mood, but she was on the edge of...something. Some sort of emotion, though she couldn’t place what. Nor could she truly understand the reason behind it . She was...restless. Yes, she wanted to leave. Wanted to be free. Hopefully, he’d let her go.
DeVeau: Eh. I’ve been around.
Yael: Clearly, I’ll have to find a more challenging program for you.
Internally he was a bit annoyed, honestly, at the display. She had been *messing* with him, he thought. Which meant she hadn’t taken it seriously. But it did tell him a lot about other things, so this was still a success. Her behavior here was likely meant to throw him off the track, but instead he was more motivated than he had been before. She was also demonstrating a willfulness he hadn’t seen before, which could be either positive or negative… depending on if it was confidence, or cockiness, at its root.
DeVeau: Hm. Maybe.
Alora canted her head to the side as she regarded the counselor. He was trying, but she wasn’t there yet. She wasn’t sure she’d ever be. Not with him.
DeVeau: Anything else you want me to do?
He set his amethyst eyes on her, for perhaps a slightly longer moment than might have been comfortable, and he smiled… he was already thinking of his next five moves.
Yael: That’s quite enough *playing* for today. I’ll be sure to be available for you next week though.
No more of this counselor hopping. He was going to dedicate himself to this one and stop the cutting of the links.
Ensign Ashley Yael
Starbase 118 Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops