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In Retrospect

Posted on Sunday 24 July 2022 @ 20:35 by Lieutenant Nir’anyar & Commander Caroline Miller & Major David Scarlet

Mission: Revelations
Location: Counsellors Office - Flash Back Moments
1583 words - 3.2 OF Standard Post Measure

ON

This day had been years in arriving, something she had hoped she could put off for a lot longer but the situation on the bridge and her reaction had been noticed. If she intended to stay in Starfleet it needed to be addressed, her future quite literally depended on it now. She would make no further headway into her chosen career path if it was ignored much longer and perhaps it would cease waking her up at night in a cold sweat.

The Counsellors Office was bright and comfortable, what one would expect from a therapy room, not much unlike her own office in many ways. That room was used as a refuge for many in sickbay away from the clinical and sterile environment they had to work in, and often times ghoulish goings-on that was an innate part of life in sickbay.

"So... Where do you want to start?" her tone uncharacteristically sheepish and timid.

"At the risk of sounding like Julie Andrews in the sound of music, at the very beginning," the blond said.

"The sound of what music? I saw no crewmen transfer in with the name of Andrews!" Anya asked, her confusion starting to take over.

"Ok, I have an old earth movie you need to watch," Caroline groaned inwardly at herself. Of course, Anya wouldn't have heard of that one. "There's a song in it. Let's start at the very beginning. Because it's a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A-be-see, when you sing," she grinned at her trying to draw attention away from her awful singing, "You begin with do-re-mi.

The point is," she said giving up on delighting her with her musical stylings, "The best place to start is at the beginning. So where and what was that?"

"Yes!" Anya confusion was only heightened by the cultural barrier, or perhaps the Counselor had finally given in to her own form of dementia.

"As for my story... Well, I am assuming you are aware of the incident where the USS T'Planahath was destroyed... It was my first deep-space assignment. We were completing a planetary survey in preparation for colonization in the fringes of Federation space a few light-years away from the northernmost tip of Romulan space. The T'Planahath was attacked and with the exception of my away team, the entire crew was killed. The ship's first officer, myself, and three others were the only survivors... We were taken captive by Romulans after they had killed Commander T'Lar, the rest of us were taken as prisoners..."


15 Years Ago


Shrak glared at the prisoners and then smirked. They wouldn't survive long. Star fleeters never did. But that just meant he had to get his enjoyment out of them while they still breathed.

"For your crimes against the Romulan Empire, you have been sentenced to hard labor for the rest of your lives. Follow the rules and those lives will last longer than a lunar cycle."

"What crimes... I'm a Doctor, not a mass murderer!"

She was beaten, dark blue blood-encrusted over cuts and wounds across her face, each one evidence of her captor's vicious nature. The memory of her ship exploding and the remains tumbling down into the atmosphere while she and her small away team watched helplessly... Her arms pulled, one left and one right by two rather large and intimidating Romulans, the third, this Shrak circled her menacingly, threateningly.
"What do you want from me... Please let us go!"

Shrak's backhand was swift and brutal, one fluid motion that would have sent Anya to her knees if she hadn't been held up. "Silence. Your voice irritates me."

She wanted to fall to the floor if for nothing more than to feel something firm and cold beneath her, draw the cold from the stone floor directly into her body to soothe the aches and pains caused by her captors.

"A doctor could be of use here." Shrak continued. "Let's see if you live long enough to keep the others alive a bit longer."


Present Day


"...and this torture went on for... I'm not sure. Hours, days, or weeks. I lost all sense of time in there!"
Anya had made herself comfortable on the sofa, having brought her feet up so she could hug her knee's as she regaled the Counselor with the tale all the while haunted by the ghosts of her past, the people she had failed.

"Your safe now Anya," Caroline said watching her friend subconsciously hug herself. "They tried to break you. Don't let them try a second time now."

"I'm not letting them try... I'm constantly at war with myself Caroline, can you not see that!"

The Benzite snapped, throwing herself to her feet and storming across the room to stare out of the window while rubbing the bridge of her nose... Or what passed for a Benzite's nose. The flash of anger now subsiding.

"I'm sorry... My previous counselors said I suffer from a form of PTSD which has a healthy dose of survivor's guilt to boot. I survived while four hundred and ninety of my crew did not and they seem to think I'm not handling it very well even after all this time!"

"Your counselor's are right and who would handle that well?" Caroline said simply. "Your never going to make sense of it Anya. Your never going to manage to change what happened. You can't. But you can choose to focus on moving forward. Channel that pain into something else. Like I keep saying, you may have lost four hundred people but you have saved and have the skills and abilities to keep saving people too."

"They broke me Caroline... I don't want to make sense of it, I want to hurt them, just like they hurt me........"


14 Years Ago


The rock felt cook against her skin, as did the tears that had commenced cutting a swath across her grease and sweat encrusted cheeks, or was it blood? Either which was it was cooler to the touch that her surroundings. The furnaces spewing out heat above her comfort level... above the comfort level of most in the mine, or so she believed. She had stumbled and bumped into a Romulan Guard who had turned and used the but of his rifle to daze her and send her and the Dilithium Ore she was carrying to the ground. All the while being watched by her would be torturer... Shrak.

The romulan overseer grinned and walked over to the guard. "Enough, don't you know this is our most esteemed doctor." Shrak smiled at Anya, a wicked smile that could make the devil himself shudder. "Don't harm her."

Before Anya could breath a sigh of relief, Shrak pointed to Ensign Roscoe. "Shoot him in the leg."

The guard didn't hesitate and Roscoe only had a moment to comprehend what was happening before the bolt of energy burned into his flesh and sent him crumpled to the hard cold floor.

Shrak looked back to Anya. "Well Doctor... do your thing. And make sure your people don't harm my guards anymore." He turned away for a moment before looking back at her. "And hurry, I expect no drop in production."


Present Day


She was finally sat once more, her cheeks wet with tears at the memory of Ensign Roscoe. This hurt the most because it was intentional, it was spiteful beyond measure all because of Shrak, her torturer... the man who broke her in every way possible.

"Ensign Roscoe... Matt... He was my friend. I'd known him since the Academy and we were close... very close!" she said pointedly. "Not many Humans could see past the aquatic nature of the Benzite genetics but he did". More tears started to fall silently as she calmly continued her story. "The shot to his leg was a charged plasma bolt... Something similar to a Jem'Hadar pulse rifle. The bolt continued to prevent his blood from clotting no matter what I did. It affected his central nervous system... It took him five days to die. His screams of agony still wake me in a cold sweat!"

Caroline nodded. "I know. I understand Anya. My friend," she grabbed her hand her voice softening, "I really do. When Eidos ... the Flox. I had to watch him die painfully and slowly. But you have to snap out of this now. Its territory that comes with the job. We cannot save them all. It would be great if it was different but its not. That's the reality. You become a doctor to try save lives. But you will never manage to save them all. Your not in control of all factors or cannot change the laws of science or the events that cause the ailments and trauma's. You CAN save some. A good amount of some. And you have done. And you will continue to do that because that's what you do. If you let this break you, swallow you. squash you down with this type of surface pressure you have to just decide to quit. Look in the mirror. Right now. Is that what you really want?"

END

●●● Commander Caroline Miller
Chief Counselor
USS Merlin



●● Lieutenant Nir’anyar
Chief Medical Officer
USS Merlin



Shrak - Torturer
PNPC Scarlett

 

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