((Counselor’s Office, USS Veritas))
Dugoras: Please sit anywhere you'd like... Tell me where would you choose to place yourself if you could place yourself on a scale of one to ten. One representing hardship and struggle with extraordinary accomplishments, and ten representing comfort and peace of mind with no accomplishments.
::Lael slid onto the couch, arching an eyebrow. That was a mouthful and she wasn’t entirely sure she understood the question. If she was hearing right, he was asking her if she’d rather have extraordinary accomplishments or no accomplishments at all. The contrast between struggle and comfort was self-explanatory, really. She knew that from the greatest trials came the greatest victories. Her uncle had once said, “Pain is inevitable...suffering is optional.” She’d forgotten that somewhere along the way.::
Dugoras: And where on that scale do you feel you are now in comparison to where you would place yourself?
Rosek: ::pauses:: I’m not sure I can apply it given my current situation.
::Dugoras sat in the chair across from her, his expression thoughtful. Despite the fact that the medication seemed to be suppressing most of the symptoms, her empathic abilities seemed more sensitive than usual. It was a bit more intimidating with the way his gaze focused on her. A slight flush filled her cheeks. Vulcans were touch telepaths, but he was only part Vulcan. Did he have any telepathic or empathic abilities at all?::
Dugoras: And how in control of the course of your life do you feel now?
Rosek: ::grimaces:: Honestly? Not at all.
::She ran her hands through her hair and released a heavy sigh. Her head was spinning from everything that was going on in her life right now. It was all so overwhelming and with the mission starting so soon after she’d returned from the Atlantis, she really hadn’t had a chance to sort through anything. Once she’d flipped the switch to duty mode, she’d stayed there, welcoming the escape from the complications that were currently plaguing her life.::
Rosek: ::grimaces:: Counselor-patient confidentiality, right? Only the Captain, First Officer, and CMO have access to the records?
Dugoras: Of course, I have taken the oath and I would never think of breaking it. You are always free to express yourself in my office.
::Her heart thudded against the walls of her chest as she again ran her hands through her hair. She had to take a couple of deep, calming breaths to keep from projecting the tempest of emotion swirling inside of her. Tears gathered at the corners of her eyes, her throat tightening as she struggled to find the words to explain her predicament.::
Rosek ::rasps:: Well, I suppose the worst of it is that I’m going through my season...the time of mating for Al-Leyans. Chythar has managed to suppress the more dangerous symptoms with a specialized medication...but even then, I can only stay on it for so long before it starts killing me.
Dugoras: Is there no one with whom you feel comfortable relieving this problem with aboard the Veritas? Or perhaps the holodeck, I have heard of Vulcans using that as an option during Pon-Farr...
Rosek: ::murmurs:: If only it was that simple. If I don’t mate with another Al-Leyan, I’ll die.
Dugoras: Would a leave of absence for you to find a mate be required? Doctor Skyfire and I can both recommend it for you if need be.
Rosek: ::shakes her head:: I’m an outcast. No one would be intimate with me. It would lead to exile. The Al-Leyan government is very strict about extra-racial relations.
Dugoras: Yes... I am somewhat familiar with those policies, I did a little research when I first read your personnel file. So you have no viable options currently then?
Rosek: ::grimaces:: My boyfriend is Human, which makes it even more complicated. ::pauses:: I did meet an Al-Leyan.
Dugoras: Was this man, someone, with whom you feel you could be close?
Rosek: ::blushes:: The chemistry was really intense. We almost--If it wouldn’t have meant exile for him, I think we would have--
::The situation between her and Toryn was beyond complicated. Yes, she was attracted to him. Yes, it had admittedly stung a bit when he’d all but run in the other direction. Given the circumstances, though, she couldn’t really blame him. He had far more to lose from an intimate encounter than she did. Even as the hormones had been (and admittedly, still were a bit) scrambling her brain and shooting all ability to make logical decisions to hell, she’d been lucid enough to know she’d regret it as much as he did if only for the consequences he’d have to face for his choice.::
Dugoras: I see so he was not an exile already.
Dugoras: If you don't mind could you tell me more about the Al-Leyan mating process? What makes your season so dangerous? Is this a female only issue? that kind of thing.
Rosek: ::takes a deep breath:: Chemical levels in our bodies build up and reach levels so high that our bodies can’t sustain themselves. If the chemicals aren’t released, it can kill us. ::grimaces:: But for the reaction that purges the chemicals to occur, we need to be close enough that our bodies can absorb our partner’s into our system...a catalyst of sorts. ::pauses:: And no. It impacts Al-Leyan men, too. ::blushes:: That’s why I’m surprised he and I were able to resist like we were. We happened to both be beginning our seasons at the same time. Our unusual telepathic and empathic connection didn’t help.
Rosek: ::pauses:: I’m unique as both a Human and an Al-Leyan in that I can hear the thoughts of other Al-Leyans without touch and can feel the emotions of most species through touch. I learned that he can also hear the thoughts of other Al-Leyans without touch.
Rosek: ::nods:: And the situation is further complicated by the fact that I possess a unique ability in relation to my gifts. I’m able to both unintentionally and purposely project what I’m feeling.
Rosek: ::grimaces:: So between being able to read his thoughts and emotions, him being able to read my thoughts, and me being able to project my emotions...we were pretty much completely open to one another. When I touched him, I was dealing with the symptoms of my season and the symptoms of his. It was--intense.
Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek, Eng.D.
USS Veritas NCC-95035