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Looking for answers when there's none to find

Posted on Saturday 10 October 2020 @ 13:02 by Lieutenant Hayley Godding & Commander Caroline Miller

Mission: A Whale of a problem (We're going to need a bigger boat)
Location: Security chiefs office
Timeline: MD4 11:00
966 words - 1.9 OF Standard Post Measure

ON:

"Chief, the counselor is here wanting to see you?" a voice rang out.

"Huh?" Hayley let out to herself. Why would the counselor come to her office directly, rather than summon her? It hadn't been that long since their last session, so it couldn't be that. Well, she'd find out soon enough. "Very well, send her in."

"I hope you don't mind me dropping in but I could do with a professional take on something," Caroline said walking in. She stood, awaiting permission to sit.

"Not at all." Hayley said, gesturing to one of the soft chairs opposite her desk. "More than happy to help if I can. So, what's on your mind?"

"Not that you could probably tell me even if you know but why would starfleet command just pull a doctor back to HQ and he not be allowed to speak to you?" she asked taking a seat. She was trying to contain the hurt. She needed to try understand. Anything. Even if it wasn't good was better than silence. "I assume in your role you have more of an understanding of secret mission and the like,"

For her part, Hayley hadn't been involved in clandestine operations all that much throughout her career to this point. The most recent hadn't been overly exciting as it had simply involved infiltrating a Cardassian facility, which due to faulty intelligence had turned out to be a waste processing centre. All the same, her limited exposure had given her an inside look at how compartmentalised such operations tended to be.

"There could be a number of reasons, Counsellor." Hayley said, kindly. "Clandestine or 'secret' missions as you refer often have incredible operational security requirements to them. Sometimes its vitally important that an asset or an operators movement to be so clean and seamless, that they barely have time to pack a bag. That way, anyone watching for strange personnel redeployments won't necessarily catch on to something untoward. There's also an aspect of protecting the people they know too. If you knew your friend was going somewhere, even if you didn't mean to, you may be a compromise or a risk. Plus, if you were yourself captured..." She realised she might be going too far here. "Needless to say, it's happened before and will no doubt happen again, but I'm afraid I have limited experience in this area."

It certainly wasn't the answer she was hoping for. "How long do people ... usually stay under these circumstances?" she asked.

Leaning back in her chair, Hayley looked over at the counsellor and could see the pained expression on her face. "Do you want the truth or do you want something comforting?"

"I would much rather deal in the truth please," Caroline said simply. "Its unlikely he's going to turn up again anytime soon right?"

"The truth is, counsellor, that it may well be years before you see him again, if you see him again at all." Hayley replied, with an open and honest face. "Depending on what it is he's been tapped to do as well as whether he is actually already a trained operative who was put on Merlin for a 'cool-down' period between major operations so as to protect his identity. It's entirely possible that the man you knew only existed aboard Merlin."

Getting up from her chair, she went over to the replicator and produced a cold glass of water which she handed to the blonde woman opposite. "This is the problem with the clandestine side of the fleet, we're not supposed to know what they're doing. That's the whole point. No one thinks to care for the casualties they leave in their wake, both physical and emotional." She said, perching on the edge of her desk beside the counsellor. "I assume he meant a great deal to you?"

“I had a great deal of respect for the man. Behind his stoney exterior his contributions to medical science were quite frankly off the chart. I also believe I could have developed more feelings for him. He was pursuing me. He wanted to date. I allowed myself to open up to that possibility. I think I’m more mad at myself for allowing myself to be vulnerable if I’m honest,” she stated.

Hayley chuckled. "I think our roles are reversed here, counsellor." She said. "See, this is the part where you tell your patient that opening ourselves up and showing our vulnerabilities is how we bond and grow closer to another being. Yes, that makes us susceptable to pain and heartache, but it also brings us warmth, joy and happiness. I also believe you'd tell yourself that adversity makes you stronger and that if you'd never opened yourself up at all, you'd never experience life..." Hayley grinned. "But what would I know, I'm just a phaser jockey."

"Well I'm more of a go with the flow and love can be blind kind of girl but I get what your saying. For the record I can weld a phaser pretty well too though," she joked. "I think I just needed to hear it properly with my own ears. Now I can hopefully start to let go. I'm sorry for wasting your time. It wasn't official business at all."

"Couselling the Counsellor? Wouldn't miss that for the world." Hayley grinned cheekily. "Anytime I can help, doors always open, as I'm sure you'd say to me if our roles were reversed. Plus, if you ever want to put those phaser skills of yours to the test, hit me up for a duel anytime." She winked mischeviously.

Caroline rose and nodded. "I might just take that challenge. Thank you. I better get going."

"Take care Counsellor." Hayley said, watching the blonde older woman leave before returning to her paperwork.

 

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