[Kiwi] Reflection or Counsellor

Posted on Friday, 21 October 2022 - 5:17pm by Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt

In amongst the repeating and endless nightmares that dwelt upon the memory of imprisonment on Ekos, Adrianna often found herself waking up in a cold sweat with an overwhelming wave of unease, panic and despair. Her heart always felt like if it was given opportunity, it would claw its way out of her chest, breaking whatever ribs it needed to in order to speak daylight and its sanctuary. In times of high anxiety came the frustrations of not being able to push the memories aside in case of a need for a reality check, casting them like an odd fuse in a junk drawer, never to be seen or used again, but kept just in case of need.

The tightening of her throat from the adrenaline made her feel sick as oxygen deprivation caused her brain to cloud and her head to spin. Diving out of bed, she scrambled for a toilet as she finally felt her dinner erupt from her stomach, forcing its way up in disgust of the woman's crazed emotions. Retching for what seemed like an eternity, where a flood of vomit would suddenly appear whilst trying to gasp for air, Adrianna finally managed to rid her body of the psychosomatic poison. The Italian rested, slouch and half cuddled up to the toilet bowl taking a moment to do the very basic thing it required: breathe.

In, one… two… three.

Out, one… two… three.

Adrianna flushed away the remnants of a masticated meal, and found her feet. Still shaky, she shuffled over to the sink. The woman rinsed her mouth with lukewarm water, spewing it from her mouth with a little bit of self loathing. The water kept running, finally becoming cold. Damn not being on a starship with efficient technology. Adrianna splashed her already wet eyes with water, trying to wake up enough to focus on something else and so fall back to sleep soon in peace.

She steadied herself with a hand either side of the sink. Lifting her head, she looked at her reflection. The face staring back at her was far from her own and in a bit of a daze, made her jump out of her skin and reach for a phantom phaser or dagger.

"You idiot," she muttered to herself, mocking her moment of forgetfulness.

Looking back at her reflection she offered a small, lopsided smile, "gawd, if only you knew," she told her disguised face, "It would be one hell of a story for you. The path to love and reconciliation, paved with idiocy, a naive hopefulness and a lot of blood and suffering. What would you name it? Perhaps something like 'from Don to Done'. Oh, how the mighty have fallen because they wanted to choose the side of good over evil. A true antihero."

"I am merely a woman who could not begin to seek forgiveness, but instead sought penance thinking that was all I deserved," she mused on that thought for a moment, "whilst enduring penance, the tables of karma turned. It turned in my favour a little too well, so life sent me a reminder of hell– Ekos." Adrianna sighed.

"Not all that seek a balance in karma are rewarded at the end. They are merely victims of a sensitive, and somewhat biased, judgment scale."

Oddly, talking to the unfamiliar face was helping in a similar way to talking to T'Lanna. There was comfort in airing psychological damage.

"I used to believe in a deity; I used to believe that my life would be amazing on the conditions a deity put down. I was governed by a consistent and constant cycle of doing wrong and demanding forgiveness, knowing that I would merely do my wrongs all over again. It was a toxic, but comforting cycle. I needed an omniscient being to shrug it off for me because I knew that I would struggle to forgive myself. I was basically asking someone to forgive me on my behalf."

"As time went on, I realised that the mentality was not sustainable for my mental health. If I wanted forgiveness, I'd have to earn it properly. That's when I vowed to turn a corner– do penance. I would no longer try confessionals, but rather just make up for sins, any means possible."

"After having a few… a lot of hurdles, I realised something," Adrianna shook her head, "when I joined the Standing Bear, I became surround by good people, I made friends and a new family. There wasn't much thought to my past, only my present and future."

"My realisation?"

"How can I expect to earn forgiveness and for karma to, one day, just balance out, if I cannot even forgive myself and realise that my past self is far from my present."