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Who Counsels the Counselor?

Posted on Thu Aug 12th, 2021 @ 10:35pm by Lieutenant Adora (Addie) Hart

Mission: Buyer's Beware
Location: Somewhere on the Ship

It was late. Ridiculously late. Most of the crew were safely tucked up in their quarters... dances of sugar plums and all that. Addie found herself unable to sleep. Instead she found herself wandering around the ship, lost, confused and uncertain.

In addition to trying to process the impacts of their time in the nebula, the revelations that the Captain had shared with her in confidence were weighing heavily on her mind. The ship was essentially abandoned in the Delta Quadrant. One news of this travelled to the rest of the crew, there would be concerns, upset, potentially more.

The few moments of researching she did after indicated that not only did they have no way home, they also had no easy way to connect with either Starfleet Command or their families. Communications was limited to the small amount of time that the Pathfinder project operated each day, if it was able to operate at all.

As counselor, it would be up to her to hold the hands of the crew, the whole crew, including the Commanding Officer, and ensure their mental needs were met. But what if she wasn't up to the task?

She still struggled to sleep, struggled to find peace in the aftermath of the nebula. The voices she heard, the thoughts, the feelings she felt, they still disturbed her so deeply. She could hear them echoing in her soul. So much anger, so much hate, so much violence... and deep down she knew that there was much more lurking under the surface of this ship than that was seen on the surface. Her unprepared mind bore the nightmares.

What if she, as counselor, wasn't up to the task of managing the mental wellbeing of a ship of people when she herself wasn't entirely sure she was okay?

Sure, Doctor Trallos assured her she was fine. She in turn had assured the Captain that she was fine. But what if she wasn't?

It wasn't like Command was just a hop, skip and a jump away. It wasn't as if there could be another counselor here in a day or two if needed, she was it. There was no one else, and this entire crew was going to be depending on her.

She could feel her heart beating faster, the shortness of breath coming as the thought started to overwhelm her. Before it could properly take hold, she broke into a run, building almost immediately into a blistering pace as she pushed herself.

The sound of each footfall on the carpeted deck started to drown out the sound of the voices in her mind, the voices that wouldn't go away. She could hear her heart beating in her chest, her blood rushing through her body as she pushed herself further.

One more corridor.

Just a little faster.

The pain will pass.

But would it?

Despite her own heart pulsing in her ears, she could still hear voices, thoughts, feelings. She tried to push them away but they lingered, haunting the darkest edges of her mind.

"Are you okay Lieutenant?"

The voice barely registered as Addie pushed herself harder, increasing her pace, footfalls fastening, no answer given.

Was she okay?

Did it matter?

She had to be okay.

There was no one else. There was no one that could help her, that could understand. There was no one that could help the crew, especially when she knew what they didn't.

When they found out?

She had to be okay.

She had to be there for the crew.

They were going to be relying on her, depending on her, needing her to help them.

Their needs came first.

Wasn't that what she signed up for?

To keep her fellow crew mentally safe?

The sound of her footfalls increased again as she pushed herself even further.

It was simple.

Really, it was simple.

She was okay.

She had to be okay.

There was no alternative.

Hitting the bulkhead, Addie nearly fell into it, putting her hands up at the last minute to protect herself, her breathing laboured as she gasped for each breath, feeling her heart racing in her chest.

She leaned forward, forearms and forehead pressing against the cool bulkhead as she tried to regain control of her breathing.

After a few moments she pushed herself away, straightening her back and rubbing her arm across her forehead to mop away the sweat before she started moving again, walking this time, slower, trying to regain her breath.

Each step reissuing the same mantra over and over.

She was okay.

She had to be okay.

There was no alternative.


Lieutenant Addie Hart
USS Pennsylvania


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