After doing a double shift (due to several security officers being on an away team), Shock returned to his quarters tired and fatigued. Being the chief security officer took a lot more mental energy than he had previously anticipated, so much that a double shift was quite draining. He had no energy for meditation, and decided he would procrastinate it till the morning.
He scrutinized his inner sensations and realized his body needed a meal with more carbohydrates and fat than usual. He decided to follow his body’s advice, but in order to keep his bloodsugar levels appropriate, he would need more fibre than usual. He gave the replicator his nutritional input, and replicated a porridge of some sort. It was bland in taste but perfect for his needs. He had not had time to eat his meals during the double shifts, so he was quite hungry.
While eating spoonfuls of the bland porridge, Shock took up his pad and noticed he had a letter from Tkar. Tkar, an Andorian of small stature, had been his colleague on the last ship Shock was on (and remained a security crewman there). In moments of emotional dysregulation due to his pon farr, Shock had made a move on Tkar which Tkar reciprocated, and they had been intimate with one another. After that, Shock had dismissed the crewman from his quarters and ignored Tkar for the last few weeks before Shock’s transfer to the Athena. This was the first communication from Tkar.
Shock, the letter began.
I am writing to you to say good-bye. You did not take leave of me before you left, and the last time we saw each other, I noticed disappointment and anger in you. I am writing to tell you that I understand to a degree. Perhaps, we might schedule a call at some time to find a way to talk, and to say good-bye to one another. Yours sincerely, Tkar.
The letter had no emotion in it, and Tkar was a highly emotional colleague. Had Tkar, perhaps, attempted adapting his letter to a Vulcan audience? If so, it would be a mark of respect. Yet, there was something written between the lines, Shock thought. He tried analysing it.
Tkar had begun his letter with a statement of saying good-bye, and it seemed as if Tkar regretted not having been able to say good-bye of Shock, as would be socially required in many cultures. Moreover, Shock knew that good-byes could provide closure and help in the process of transitioning from one epoch in one’s life to another. Tkar’s message left open a hint of not saying good-bye. There was an invitation for a call so that they might see each other and speak in real time. Only then might a good-bye come ready. There was no anger immediate in the letter, rather a sense of empathy for Shock’s situation. Perhaps Tkar had given time to think about the situation, and how “wrong” it might have been from many points of view. Perhaps Tkar was upset, or perhaps he was upset with himself for taking advantage of Shock’s diminished sense of self in that moment.
Shock had during his first days on the Athena discussed the relationship with Tkar in a session with counsellor Dr Janna Kingston, and expressed there a desire to speak with Tkar. This letter gave Shock an opportunity to act on that desire.
Yet… Shock felt uneasy replying to it. Perhaps it was better that he would think about it, meditate about it, tomorrow, when his energy had been restored.
Shock put the pad away, finished up the last spoonfuls of porridge, and went to bed, without cleaning his teeth (that too could way till the morrow), and felt asleep immediately.
In his dreams, he saw Tkar.
– Lt Shock (COS)
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