((Counselor’s Office, Deck 6 - USS Veritas))
Wil drummed his fingers on the arm of the chair as he pondered. He put his head back and looked up, as he spoke.
Ukinix: Humans are naturally empathic to an extent, by reading facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, that sort of thing. About a month after my sixteenth birthday, ::looking back at Jansen: : I dunno, I just ::shrug:: that became easier. And then a few weeks later I realised I could actually *feel* what people were feeling, even without those cues. Eventually I got to the point where I’d be walking past someone, and without even looking at them, I could feel they were happy, or sad, or angry, or infatuated, or anxious. And I didn’t like it. I just - ::shaking head:: didn’t like it. Slowly over a few months I kept getting frustrated. But I kept it to myself.
Orrey: ::smirking:: And the boiling over point?
Ukinix: I beamed home one day after school, and Mum and Dad were both home. It wasn’t unusual for Mum to be at home at different hours with the time difference between San Francisco and Fremantle. But Dad was usually working at a winery somewhere on the continent. I walked in, and ::blushing:: let’s just say they were both feeling “amorous” towards each other. It wasn’t like they were doing anything, Mum was on the balcony and Dad was inside on the couch. But I felt it in both of them, to me that was just as bad. That was the final straw, I got really angry, I started throwing things around. I was angry for days and days at them after that, and eventually they took me to a counsellor. That’s when I found out.
Orrey: ::nodding his head:: I see. What did you find out with the counsellor?
Ukinix: Dad’s half Betazoid. He’s hardly empathic at all, so I guess they assumed I’d be the same, or less. ::Ironic chuckle:: I turned out to be the opposite. ::Shaking head, quietly:: And I wasn’t prepared for it. Neither were they.
Orrey: I assume that means things changed rather drastically after that?
Many memories came flashing back, mainly of Wil arguing with his parents, seeing numerous counsellors that didn’t really get him anywhere, and then finally meeting his Mother’s Vulcan Starfleet colleague, T’rav, who patiently helped him cope with other’s emotions using techniques Vulcans used to cope with their own.
Ukinix: You could say that. I was a difficult teenager. ::Slow nodding, looking away:: But I learned to cope with it. Then when I first started on the ‘Tas… it all came back again. I’ve been re-learning how to cope. ::Shrugging, looking back at Jansen:: It’s getting better. And I’ve become more comfortable talking about it.
Orrey: A large group of enclosed people in a relatively closed space. ::nodding::Can be hard to deal with.
Ukinix: Tuning out from them as much as I can. ::Smiling:: Raissa has been a good teacher. Also, the occasional meditation session…. Listening to music....
Orrey: All good ways to cope with stress in its varied forms.
Ukinix: Is there anything you’d like me to do between now and my next counselling session?
Orrey: Hmm. Well that is a good question I suppose. You seem to be doing well in most regards. I would offer you the option of trying to find more personal time to relax and ground yourself better. Meditation gives you pause so something a little more active, you could attend a concert on the holodeck. You have the music, the interaction of people, but there is no weight of emotion there.
Wil pondered for a moment as he nodded.
Ukinix: A music concert. That’s a great idea Jansen. I’ve hardly ever seen music being played live. Except for that one time-
Wil thought back to the time with his crewmates (along with two fellow contintental ring-ins “Gaz” and “Daymo”) at the Explosive Decompression bar on Ketar V, where an Andorian thrash band was playing - right before a large bar brawl broke out. Given the Veritas was back in orbit around Ketar V, there was a fleeting thought of going back to the bar - but he quickly decided against it.
Ukinix: Live music in a holodeck is a good idea. I’ll start wrestling with the computer to come up with an appropriate holo-program.
Wil slapped his palms against his thighs before standing up.
Orrey: ::sitting up on the lounge:: I expect to hear about the concert soon, eh?
Wil offered his hand to Jansen.
Ukinix: You bet. Thanks once again, Jansen. I’ll see you round?
Orrey: ::shaking hands with the young man:: Of course we will.
Wil turned to walk out of the office, before he stopped himself and looked back at the counsellor.
Ukinix: Oh, by the way, I never thanked you for disarming that Star of Corinth first officer. That was hairy.
Orrey: ::waving it off:: People will not threaten my family.
Ukinix: ::Smiling:: No, they will not, especially if they hear about what happened. Seeya Commander.
Jansen watched him go with a bit of a smile before he laid back on the lounge again and settled in. The way news and gossip spread on the ships of the fleet he wouldn’t be surprised if everyone didn’t know already.
Lieutenant Commander Jansen Orrey
Lieutenant Wil Ukinix
Assistant Chief Engineer