Calming the Mind
Posted on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 - 3:08pm by Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali
Edited on on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 - 5:56pm
Operation: Trail of Tears
Location: Crew Quarters: Lieutenant Vali
Timeline: MD 10
Concern had crept in, and the man was feeling it at a growing rate the more his starship blasted through the asteroid field in hopes of getting closer to where their shuttlecraft had ventured. He was feeling the weight of his decisions weighing on his shoulders. Captain Barret Stillwater had denied his Ship's Psychologist relief from the mental and emotional pain traversing the area had caused her. Now, he felt compelled to console her.
The man stood outside the woman's quarters, just outside the range of the thresholds proximity detectors. He had to gather his thoughts first. Then, when he finally felt prepared enough to check on her, he stepped forward and rang the chime. He gave his uniform a tug to smooth out any light wrinkling and straightened his back for a more commanding posture.
T’Lanna was sitting on the sofa doing her best not to listen to the voices, and screams that still lingered in her mind, they were currently lessened by the adjusted inhibitor that she wore but not enough to block it out as Stillwater needed her to be the ship’s guide. She jumped at the sound of the chime, her mind too preoccupied to notice anyone at the door. She took a deep breath and called out “Come in”
"Thank you," Stillwater replied. He gave the woman a quick inspection. Her pupils and everything were definitely an indication that she had not been having much in the way of rest.
“Captain” T’Lanna offered the best smile she could give under the circumstances. She had chosen isolation for now to save her the embarrassment of being in front of others in her current state. “Please ...” She motioned to a seat. “Can I err ...” She paused clearly distracted. “Can I get you anything?”
He waved dismissively. "Don't worry about me. No need to tend to me right now, Lieutenant." He took a seat and settled in. "I came by to see how you were holding up and also to see if you've felt anything further now that we've started to edge in a bit into the asteroid field?"
T’Lanna walked across to the small window her quarters had and looked out on the stars. “I sense ... a lot, it’s continual and it never stops.” She paused and closed her eyes letting herself re-centre and keep her emotions in check. “I hear voices, cries for help, screams of ... terror.” She turned to look at Stillwater. “Some of it feels residual, that much I can tell yet there’s something out there, something that feels very real.” She stifled a yawn.
"And it very well may be," replied Stillwater. "If it is, Soral or us will find whatever it is. It is the least we can do if someone is in danger out there." Stillwater took a deep breath.
“I’ve barely slept since we got here, the voices won’t let me sleep. They just follow me into my dreams.” She sat down on the sofa. “This inhibitor ..” she ran her fingers over the object on her neck. “It quietens the voices a little, just takes the edge off.”
Stillwater nodded. "I don't hear the voices as you do, T'Lanna, but I feel something unsettling out there. I haven't said anything as openly nor directly to the others, but the more we blast our way in deeper, the more unsettling the sensation down my spine becomes. If I were a Kelpian, I would expect my threat ganglia would be flaring," The Captain confided in her.
He joined her near the observation window of her quarters. "Conventional means are only getting us so far, only so close to answers." He shook his head. "I may know a way to learn more, but I will require your assistance."
T’Lanna looked at Stillwater curiously. “I’ve come this far, I’m not going to refuse to help you now Captain. What do you need me to do?”
"Keep me grounded," replied Stillwater. "At least in theory...a vision quest. It has been a long time perhaps too long since I've tried to connect with my spirit guide. I want you to partake in the ritual with me. It may be possible that answers may surface."
“Me?” T’Lanna looked at Stillwater in surprise. “Vision quests are considered extremely private, it’s an honour to be considered to help you.” For the moment her surprise had overridden her concentration on the voices and sensations that were plaguing her. “I would be honoured.”
"As someone I deeply trust, I could not think of anyone more suited other than perhaps Talarn, but putting him through that is too much" explained Stillwater. "You are very tuned for picking up on emotions and your Vulcan side may provided the added grounding I need. Your specializations in forensic psychology and with trauma gives you an advantage."
“Then I ...” She massaged her temples. “I am happy to help. When do you need me?”
"Later tonight if that's possible?" inquired Stillwater. "I'll prepare my medicine bundle." The man looked at T'Lanna. "It is going to be an experience. Forewarning."
“What about the voices?” She looked at Barrett concernedly. “How can I guide you when I can’t even focus myself right now?”
Stillwater nodded. "That's where the experience is going to come into play." He took a deep breath. "Have you ever attempted a mind meld with anyone, Lieutenant?"
T’Lanna nodded. “Yes Sir I have. Both initiated by myself and by someone else.”
"Good," replied Stillwater. "I want to bring you with me metaphysically on this quest. I know the risks to myself, but to you as well. I'm hoping melding with me will numb the voices as you hone in on my own."
T’Lanna gave Stillwater the typical raised eyebrow Vulcan look. “That sounds ... intriguing.” She offered a smile. “I am more than a little curious.”
"Then, with your approval to do so...I'll return to your quarters later tonight. 24:00 hours with my medicine bag. We will give it an attempt at going through the looking glass." Stillwater looked around her quarters. "If you have any of those ceremonial Vulcan candles or a meditation lamp, prepare it for later."
T’Lanna nodded. “I’ll do that.” She offered the best smile that she could muster given the voices shouting and screaming inside her mind.
"Feel free to get anything you feel, is necessary, but please keep silent as to what we are doing," Stillwater said a bit in jest. "If Talarn found out or Dr. Alexander, I'm not sure either would permit this little adventure knowing the risks involved."
“Don’t worry Sir ...” She paused to massage her temples again. “Your ... secret is safe with me"
"I'll see you then," he said easing his way to the doorway.
“I’ll see you tonight Sir” with that she went back to sitting alone in the dim light of her quarters.