Posted by Civilian Revna Freya McKenzie (Diplomatic Attache) in “You want trauma? I’ve got trauma” (Tag Rollo)
Posted by Commander Zef Rollo (Counselor) in “You want trauma? I’ve got trauma” (Tag Rollo)
Posted by Civilian Revna Freya McKenzie (Diplomatic Attache) in “You want trauma? I’ve got trauma” (Tag Rollo)
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻
The next day, Revna arrived roughly 5 minutes early and pressed the chime for entry into the suite.
The door swished open to reveal Brooks once more seated behind his desk. “Ahhh, Ms McKenzie, perfect timing.” He rose from the chair and gestured for her to follow him. The inner office door opened when it sensed his presence. “Cmdr Rollo, your 11 o’clock is here—Ms McKenzie.”
Revna just shook her head rather than correct him. There was time for that later. “I do try to be punctual whenever possible.”
“Thank you, Dave.” Came the voice of a woman from the interior.
When Revna moved past him and entered Zef’s office she would be greeted with many shades of blue and white, comfortable furniture and a smiling woman who surprisingly, matched the office’s decor.
Revna walked in and took in the change from standard fleet offices and smiled approvingly. Not the color scheme she used in her own office, but she liked it. It was soothing and cool. Best of all it was different from how she set up her office, and that reminded her firmly she was there as a patient and not as the counselor.
“Hello, I’m Zef Rollo, please have a seat and tell me a little about yourself.” She had already loaded the data chip information into a file she’d labeled with Revna’s name and position.
Revna took a seat on a very comfortable deep chair and made herself quite at home in it. “Thank you counselor. Do you prefer Zef or Rollo? Or perhaps your rank?” Revna regarded the woman across from her quietly. “Hmmm Let’s see perhaps we start on a personal level and move through to a professional one. I recently got married, less than a week ago actually. And we just found out he’ll be staying on Even Horizon and I’m over the moon happy about it. In the last three months I resigned my commission from Star Fleet and have joined the Federation Diplomatic Corp. I’m excited and apprehensive about the change. Three months before that I underwent lung transplant surgery. And that brings us, in a very truncated way to why I’m here. A year and half ago I was injured in the line of duty, which is directly related to my surgery and I am still working through the psychological effects of all of the above.”
“First of all, congratulations on the marriage. It’s unfortunate that your husband won’t be here on the Manhattan with you, but Event Horizon is the second best location. As far as how to address me, any of those will be fine since you are a civilian and wow—you’ve had quite a lot of changes to deal with in the last 18 months.”
Revna smiled, “Yes it has been.” She chuckled warmly, “And being able to do that, laugh, is amazing. Something I won’t take for granted, ever again.”
Zef looked briefly at McKenzie’s file and then back at the woman. “Have there been any problems with your transplant?”
Her face grew serious, “Into the second week I started showing signs of rejection. It never happened, thank the gods, but the doctors were concerned. I still have biweekly check-ups as I wean off the immunosuppressants, and probably for awhile after just to be sure. I saw Dr. Winter yesterday and she assured me I’m in good hands.”
“So, your physical body has gotten the okay from our medical team, which is excellent. How is your mental self doing? Are you alright with the idea of the transplant?” Not everyone would be and this was her opportunity to find out. McKenzie was the first major organ transplant she was aware of meeting. Zef had known others who had mechanical parts and tissue grafts—but she had questions about this.
“Hmmm now that’s the question. I function fairly well day to day. I still suffer from night terrors, but not as frequently, and it’s....strange. But one thing at a time…Yes I am okay with that idea of the transplant. I put it off for a long time. I never should have, but I couldn’t be forced to undergo the procedure. I was doing better, at first, after the initial injury and surgery. Jameson, my doctor, he told me it wouldn’t last, but I saw improvement, and the idea of being…” a deep breath, “being cut open again was something I wasn’t willing to face at the time.” There was a long pause, “One of the problems with being one of the top people in your field, people believe you can treat yourself, and sometimes you believe it too. And even when that’s not the case, we all face such things differently. But yes I am happy with the transplant.” Revna leaned back further, folding her hands in her lap. “I spent the year following my injury living less than a half life. Imagine being forced to a walking pace that a new toddler can out run by miles, never sure if your feet will misstep from numbness due to lack of oxygen, dropping a warm cup of coffee because the heat doesn’t warm your finger tips. Unable to laugh because your lungs simply can’t give you enough air to do so, and to attempt leaves you locked in sickbay behind a force field of highly oxygen saturated atmosphere. Falling in love with someone and that first kiss that should take your breath away, and it does, but it’s deadly and not earth moving. Or coming moments from literally dying of a broken heart because your heart and lungs simply can’t cope with the body’s physical reaction to such intense grief. Yeah, Zef, I’m really happy with the transplant.”
“If you don’t mind my asking, was there a donor or were the lungs cloned for you?”
“Not at all, ask all you like. I’m happy to answer. And neither. They are both artificial.”
Her descriptions sounded intense but also poetic to a degree. So these were things the woman had thought about a lot. But was she trying to impress the counselor with the drama of it all or was that the way the new member of the diplomatic corps normally thought?
Zef had thought the lungs were real and had to adjust her thinking when McKenzie said the word ‘artificial’. “So, what is it you are having trouble dealing with, since the doctors have given you a clean bill of health?”
“Traumatic response to outside stimuli. I can be in crowded rooms, but noises, chaotic rooms send me into a panic. Arguments between others are the same. I still have night terrors of the attack. I wake up and can’t breathe. I feel like I am being stabbed again. I feel as if my lungs don’t work. The terrors aren’t as frequent as they used to be, about once a week or less, but still there.”
OOC: Just a reminder, your character should not react to an internal thought by my character. Zef has been doing this a long time and keeps her face schooled in neutral unless I write otherwise. :)
OOC: Revna is a trauma counselor with 20+ years experience. She’s reading the room, much as I would expect Zef is doing. However, that was a misread on my part and I apologize, I’ve removed it. If you want to discuss anything or clarify you are always welcome to contact me on discord or email.
OOC: No problem, and now it looks like Zef actually has someone to counsel her. I was wondering who she might go to with problems of her own—because she’s going to have some. With all of Revna’s experience, I’m sure Zef will seek her out eventually. :)
“I have had a few experiences with panic, myself and I have to say it is a detestable feeling.” She crossed her legs and folded her hands in her lap. “If you can, without too much discomfort, can you tell me about the attack?”
Revna was prepared for that question. It wasn’t something she wanted to discuss, but it wasn’t something she shied away from either. Hiding from it only compounded the issues, and she never asked her patients to do something she wouldn’t do. She may no longer be actively working as a counselor, but she felt the need to ‘keep faith’ with her patients and be honest, open, and go through the processes, just like they had.
“I was stationed on the USS Centurion. I was on duty in the mess hall. By that, I mean, we always ate with our patients, someone was always there. We were a hospital ship, and it was always a good idea, for lots of reasons, to have medical staff wherever the patients were. We tried to allow the patients to go about their normal routine as much as possible. We had to eat too, so we always had staff and patients eat together. It was very casual.”
“I was talking with another officer, she had been given clearance to go home. Her husband was coming to the ship, to travel with her. She was so excited to see him again. I’d walked her out to the corridor while we finished talking.” She smiled remembering Lissa. Revna had spoken to Lissa, after she, Revna, had been released as a patient. Lissa’d been doing well at home with her husband and family. “I…I don’t know where the rest of the staff was, but when I turned to go back in, there was a lot of shouting, and Walker was standing over another patient, who was confined to a chair. I don’t know why Walker was there, I don’t know what his diagnosis or treatment was. I’d never worked with him. I’d never spoken to him before that. But he’d gotten ahold of a chief knife from the kitchen.”
Zef felt her insides tense, knowing the really hard part of the telling was coming up, and although she knew it was therapeutic for the patient to vocalize the trauma, she also knew from experience that it was difficult to hear. With the expertise of many years, she watched Revna for any signs of panic.
Revna paused seeing the events unfold in her mind. “The other patient was terrified. It was quite obvious Walker intended to harm him. Everyone was yelling, trying to get Walker’s attention, distract him. It just added to the noise and confusion. I called for security, but…I don’t know where they were.” Revna glanced out the window, “It’s hard to know how to help someone when everything they see is all inside their head. It’s real, but you can’t see it with them.” She returned her gaze to Rollo, “Walker was having some kind of flashback, and no matter what I said to him, he couldn’t hear me. I don’t know who he thought we were, nothing he said made sense at the time.” Her eyes were sad and she shook her head.
She rubbed at her chest, easing the ache, reminding herself that she could in fact breath again, “And that is when I did the spectacularly stupid thing. I got between Walker and the other patient. And that’s when this happened,” she waves a hand towards her chest and the healed stab wounds and now artificial lungs. She didn’t have the words, yet to describe the ripping, tearing, and the world going black. She would, she was so much better than she had been just a few months ago, but just not in that moment. “I was told, it wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t twisted the blade as he pulled it out each time.” There was a slight increase to her respiration, and if Rollo had a tricorder her pulse rate as well, and a slight dilation to her eyes. Revna didn’t try to hide it or make light of it. She simply breathed, in - hold it - let it out.
Rollo watched the woman breathe, silently trying to help by adjusting her own inhales and exhales. “I can’t imagine the terror you must have felt. And I think it was very brave of you to put yourself between them—not stupid.”
Revna smiled slightly, “Oh it was stupid. The right choice, but stupid. There were a number of other things I could have done, but none came to mind in the moment. I wouldn’t change it though. Walker and Vemeg are both alive. But strangely I don’t remember feeling terror at that moment, only a desperate need to keep his focus on me. It wasn’t till they pulled him off of me and I…realized what had happened....” She paused, honesty, “…no that’s not the right words, when they pulled him off of me, I tried to breathe, you know how you do when something really intense is finally over, and I couldn’t, and then I knew I was bleeding, a lot, and I couldn’t breathe and everything was grey and hazy. That’s when the terror started.”
The counselor scooted forward in her chair, sitting on its edge and leaning toward McKenzie. “A lot of us wonder about our abilities in a life and death situation—whether we’ll have what it takes to do what’s necessary at that moment in time. You already have your answer. You know you have the courage to step up and put your life on the line. I almost envy you that.”
Revna didn’t quite smile. There was no real response to Rollo’s words. “We are all tested when our time comes, and then at the end of our days we will be judged on our actions.” This wasn’t the first time Revna had put herself in a position to protect another, and she honestly doubted it would be her last. She was raised in a culture that taught one to protect the weaker, stand up for what was right, and to do so by any means necessary. Whether that was words or deeds, gentleness or strength. But the incident had created doubt, not the attack itself, but the fact she’d not noticed that something was wrong before she’d walked out with Lissa, but that was a discussion for another day. “I’m sure counselor you’ve been faced with your own challenges, we all have, they just manifest themselves in different ways. And you must have performed admirably or you wouldn’t be on this vessel.”
Zef looked thoughtful. “Well, thank you for that. It’s not usually the way I think about my own life experience. As a counselor, I’m more focused on everyone else’s lives. But I know what you mean. So, do you want to meet regularly or would you rather come here on an ‘as needed’ basis?” This would be a telling point for how McKenzie felt about her progress.
© 1991-2021 STF. Terms of Service