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Mandatory Counseling

Posted on Sat Sep 8th, 2018 @ 6:23pm by Lieutenant Rushorial Ch'doyale & Senior Chief Petty Officer Ryland Dedeker
Edited on on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 @ 10:50pm

Mission: Light is Dark
Location: Counselor's Office
Timeline: MD 03

It had been awhile since Ryland darkened a shrink's doorstep. Years. His spotty record landed him a psych eval on reinstatement, but since then he'd managed to dodge subsequent visits. He hated being probed that way. Well, in any way really. Hopefully he could convince the counselor that he was good enough to walk around on his own recognizance.

He pressed the chime on the office door, hoping against hope the session was canceled for the day.

"Come in." Rush responded, sitting in his cozy chair with a PADD in hand going over the case with his newest patient. Looking up towards the door for the entering officer and greeting him. "Chief Dedeker, I am glad you made your appointment, I hope your ready to get to work hm?" His eyes were as blank as usual more looking in the space where Ryland was occupying and his antenna sat restful on his forehead. "A recommendation from the captain is not a usual request, so I assume this is a serious concern. But please have a seat."

Ryland stepped forward and sat down as requested. If there was ever a time for good behavior, it was now. "I'm just here to get better," he said as convincingly as possible.

"I'm very glad to hear that, that's all I want for these sessions as well." Setting the PADD to the side Rush threaded his fingers together "I personally don't like forcing someone to seek help as they are hardest to help then, coming to a counselor most of the time should be voluntary so that they are willing to work with me. However with your case we obviously don't have that luxury." His eyelids closed for a moment and he brought a finger to his lips tapping it there "How about you tell me the situation that has led us here Chief Dedeker, at least all the events that have brought you here while on the Altai."

"Let's see... I made some tawdry remarks during a staff meeting because I was under the influence while off duty when the meeting was called." Ryland slapped his knees in quick percussion. "The captain felt my behavior was unbecoming of an officer. Now I'm here."

Rush nodded his head "Tell me, how far under the influence were you? I would think a staff meeting a very sobering moment." His eyes opened again as he stared at Ryland "The use of alcohol for relaxation is very common, but one must have some self control when consuming it. There is relaxed and then there is losing your senses, but that still is not an excuse to behave poorly. No that is merely the explanation, you are still very responsible. Now what were these comments?"

"It, uh..." Ryland coughed into his hand. "... wasn't alcohol. I may have laced some choice words of profanity into the discussion, as well as some, heh, sex jokes."

"Sexual humor? I see, and why did you think jokes like that were appropriate for the situation?" He cleared his throat and sat forward a bit "I'll be frank I can understand the humor of those sort of... 'jokes'. But those jokes don't belong on a bridge or in a meeting Chief Dedeker. Really they can be seen as rather infantile, so why would you make those jokes at that time?"

Ryland shifted in his seat. "I.. I don't know. Maybe I just like sex." He grinned, knowing that answer wouldn't satisfy the shrink. "Honestly, Doc, I don't know... it's just..." Running a nervous hand through his hair, Ryland looked away from Rush toward the wall. "I guess it's just... you know, ever since I been on this boat, I ain't felt right. I got a second chance at Starfleet a year or so ago, and at first it felt good to be back in the uniform." He scratched at his collar. "Even if the rank runs smaller than before." A sly chuckle bubbled up from his belly. "Of course it also means looser fraternization policies. Commissioned officers can't get frisky with whomever they want, especially command--"

Immediately he slammed his mouth shut. Ryland's eyes locked onto Rush. Did the counselor already deduce what Ryland had accidentally stumbled upon within his own heart? "Yeah, as I was saying. I'm used to being a spectacle, but on a ship this small? I'm a goddamned effigy for all the prancing dandies to turn their nostrils up at me. And she's the worst of the lot! At least Mags teases back and keeps it fun, unlike her. Always showing me contempt and staring down her nose is if it's gonna' do a damn bit of good. It won't! I won't be what she expects me to be! I can't..."

There was a time when he had been a man that was admired by others. Even honored. Not anymore.

"All that was thrown out after the bullshit reinstatement and the promise that I'd never fly in the Corps again." His eyes scanned the room in search of anything to plug the word vomit that he couldn't stop.

There may even have been a touch of salinity behind those eyes.

"Dammit, but she makes me want to be better. No matter what I do, though, people are gonna' talk. Might as well get mine, aye?"

Unloading all of that was painfully awkward. He peeked at Rush, trying to gauge the man's reaction. Hopefully playing the Pronoun Game had kept the counselor from deducing who Ryland was talking about.

Rush only stared at Ryland while he spoke and did the best wooden expression he could before his eyes closed and he rested his face on his pair of folded hands. The room went quiet as he thought, his brain buzzed and then he nodded and sat back up again. "I see where your problems now are Chief." Staring with those empty eyes at Ryland "You're putting on a show. Why try to be an outstanding officer where you are, so you might as well be the opposite."

"I say this because you right now, here in this moment, you show remorse for your actions. You know your behavior is abhorrent, that's the only way you could feel remorse." His eyelids closed shut "Tell me Ryland, do you like yourself? You believe you are not worthy of someone else but do you even like yourself?"

Ryland leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees. The floor was much more visible that way. "How can I like myself when I don't even know who I am? There's no way she..." He stopped himself from going down that road. "I'm a ghost inside my own head, Doc. Nobody can care for a man like that." He scoffed in wry humor of that plain and simple truth. "Obviously."

"I believe you fail to appreciate the power of a person's feelings and ability to love Chief. You are far from the worst person in the galaxy you know, considering I don't think you're even close." He smiled at Ryland "Let's talk about for a moment your identity, who do you think you are, and who do you think you used to be?" Nodding his head "And tell me about yourself before you joined Starfleet."

"I'd rather not talk about my childhood," Ryland said out of reflex. "My... parents weren't the best. And then they died. As for who I am now? I run Tactical because I spent few years as a gunnery officer in the Nyberrite merc outfit. Starfleet took me back a few years after they chased me out once they caught their own mistake. Before then, I was a crackerjack fighter-pilot." A wry chuckle punctuated his narration. "I really was hot shit. And I knew it. And Starfleet knew it. In hindsight, I was probably promoted too quickly. Made full Commander in just over 8 years, but that's the Corps for you." His head lulled to one side in recollection. "When I was accused of colluding with my older brother Max who was charged with piracy, I ran. It made me look guilty, but with Max's sworn confession in hand that implicated me, JAG wouldn't hear any different. Especially since Max escaped custody after a hot minute. All that was left for me was the sentencing."

Ryland sneered at the ground over the whole thing. "Three years, Doc. I spent three years on the lam. Once JAG realized its mistake -- Max had his coordinates mixed up, making it impossible for me to have helped him -- it took them almost a year to make it right. I'd already been court-martialed in absentia, they said, and so I was low on their list of priorities. And then it took Intel over a year to track me down and present JAG's proffer of reinstatement."

Shaking his head, Ryland bit back a snort of contempt. "Sometimes I wonder why I accepted it. My first assignment was a shithole. This one isn't shaping up to be any better." He looked back up at Rush. "Nobody sees me, Doc. They see my record. I know I got rough edges, but doesn't everybody? Lemme tell you why they hate me. I'm a reminder of Command's fuck-up, and I'm a cautionary tale to the rest of the starry-eyed greenhorns. Ain't never gonna' change, neither."

It wasn't tears welling up in Ryland's eyes. He just didn't feel well. His sinuses were dry. Itchy eyes and all.

"I don't feel so good, Doc. Maybe we should pick this up next time." Mags was always good for a flirt. Anything to get his mind clear. Anyone else. Ryland found himself on his feet before he realized it. "I promise I'll head straight to Sickbay. Peace out."

 

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