Side Sim - Lera and ... Lera (Counselor)

Posted May 4, 2021, 8 a.m. by Lieutenant Auleraine Brison (Engineering Officer) (Melissa Aragon)

Posted by Lieutenant Revna Edman (Counselor) in Side Sim - Lera and … Lera (Counselor)

Posted by Lieutenant Auleraine Brison (Engineering Officer) in Side Sim - Lera and … Lera (Counselor)


Revna kept her arms down, open and relaxed. There would be a moment where she’d need to cross her arms, take a firm stance and not back down, but right now was not it. “Because you want the nightmares to stop, and that man of yours pays attention to detail. Every time you’ve had a nightmare, it’s becuase you’re over worked, taking on too many extra shifts. So until you and I find a way to manage your nightmares, no extra shifts. I didn’t say you were unfit for duty, I said no extra shifts. And you’ve put in above and beyond your share of extras, you’ve earned the break.” What REALLY made Revna furious was the utter lack of care the previous junior counselors and the engineering staff seemed to have about Lera. The number of times she almost died and didn’t from sheer dumb luck made her heart race. Lera didn’t even know that she was having episodes. Lera didn’t even remember showing Revna the holodeck program. It terrified Revna, and Lera was mad at her and it was going to get worse, but she didn’t care, it would be worth it, in the end.
Lt Edman, Counselor

“Fine… so I’ll take some time off. Stop taking extra shifts for a while. Then I’ll sleep better and you and Mar can be at ease. Will that suffice?” She knew it wouldn’t, but she had to try. Moving towards the seating area, she walked past it to the window. She wasn’t getting out of here in the next five minutes, she was sure. But it didn’t mean she needed to get all comfy and settled into the couch to be over analyzed.

“If they are worse when I’m exhausted, then stopping the extra shifts will suffice.” She turned and nodded to the woman with a slight smile as if she had made up her mind and Revna was going to agree and let it go at that.


Revna nodded, “Dropping the extra shifts for awhile will help. But that’s not an end all, Lera. What happens when you HAVE to work extra, when the work load, and emergencies, and everything else, add up? Because it will start again, and then what? You really want to leave it at ‘take a mini vacation?’ ” Revna contemplated her for a few minutes. She didn’t expect Lera to get comfortable, this wasn’t a comfortable process. “You told me the other day you didn’t know how to make it stop and you want it to stop. I want to help you. Mardusk wants to help you. I won’t lie and say that we can make this go away, but we, you and I, can put you in charge of it. There will be set backs, but it will get better if you want it.”
Lt. Edman, Counselor

She glanced at the woman and wanted to hate her for throwing her own words back at her. But she couldn’t. Revna looked tired and she half wondered if the woman was faking it so she would be kind to her and not explode. Was that a Counseling technique? To act worn down and ragged to those who will feel a need to protect you so they aren’t a liability? She didn’t think so, but wouldn’t put it past the woman to use something like that to keep her calm and on even keel.

Revna was tired, in fact, she was exhausted. She knew she was getting worse, the scar tissue creating stiff fibrous tissue in her lungs. Nash had pointed out to her she really needed to stop doing so much, so she had. She hadn’t said out right that she would, but they both had understood she had too. Now she had a couple of appointments as week, but other than that, it was Lera. She’d promised she’d help Lera, and she was going to, even if that was the only person she saw. She tried to hide how tired she was, but she’d been in the office for two days straight.

“Yes, I want it to stop. But you just said Mardusk said it’s bad when I’m worn out. So if I stop taking extra shifts, I’ll get rest and be able to handle the crises when they come. Crisis on this ship don’t last months or years, so the rest I get not doing extra shifts will be fine. Won’t it?” The last query came out almost a choked lilt of hope. If she could get out of here with just giving up extra shifts, she’d be ok with that. She just hoped the Chief would be.


“Yes when you’re worn out, but other things other extra shifts can exhaust you, so that’s not a good solution. It’s a temporary solution to a bigger problem. I wish it was Lera, I really do.” With a sigh she walked over to the display screen and pulled up a file she’d been working on for the last two days. And began to play it for Lera. It showed moments where Lera was easily startled, which wasn’t bad in of itself, but a small indicator of the bigger problem. More concerning were the moments where Lera totally detached and wasn’t in the moment. Stretching over the railing toward the engine to work on it, her eyes go glassy, she drops her tool, and almost falls over the railing, and similar situations. After words, her behavior is concerning as it is not typical of Lera. “What about these moments?”
Lt Edman, Counselor

Lera had started walking towards the screen before she even realized it. She watched as if seeing someone else. Those moments… she… no,,,

Slowly the engineer started moving her head back and forth as denial tried to win over living proof. The video played clip after clip of her zoning out. Sometimes just for a second, other times for nearly a minute. Occasionally it was just a pause, other times, like on the second recording, she was in peril for her life because of it. “No… I…” She couldn’t deny it and that hurt worse than realizing that those around her were in jeopardy when things like that happened to her. Most of the time she was stretched out, prone or reaching. Sometimes she was in a cramped space, or under a console. But all of them were clear… she was a liability if she didn’t get a grip on it.

She turned abruptly from the screen and tried to walk to the window to get away. But after a couple steps, her right hand came up and pressed to the thud in her chest where her heart felt like it was either racing, or slowing down. She couldn’t tell. But the pain was enough to make her pause. The panic attack came on swiftly and she felt the tears stinging her eyes as she tried to gulp a breath. She had it under control she’d been telling herself. Sure, I get tired… sure I get nightmares… but it’s all right. Wasn’t it?

Apparently not. She bent over, hands on her knees as she struggled for breath. Reality had slammed her in the chest like a Klingon warrior’s fist and she was making it worse trying to fight the reality. She was messed up and needed help.

… ummm… whoops

Revna slid a chair right behind Lera, and with gentle hands, tugged on Lera’s hands to make her sit, allowing her to continue to bend over. She placed Lera’s hands, in a cupped fashion, over Lera’s nose and mouth. “Deep breaths, into your hands.” She took two small weighted blankets, placing one over Lera’s lap and one across her shoulders. Weighted blankets should total 10% of total body weight, that meant, divided by 2 each blanket was 10 lbs. However, Revna did not want Lera to feel trapped so she’d cut the weight in half to 5 lbs each. It provided deep tissue pressure and prevented the body’s muscles and nerves to go into full fight or flight mode. Revna placed a glass of water on a table near her. Then Revna stepped back, where Lera could see her, but not blocking her in anyway. She watched her closely for signs of deep distress, both mental or physical. This was the riskiest part for Revna right now. Either Lera would calm or she would escalate. And in either state she would either accept or she would lash out.
Lt. Edman, Counselor

Lera sat down with a thud and covered her face obediently as the Counselor moved around her trying to engulf her in a protective, but not restrictive, cocoon of calm. She closed her eyes. How did this happen? She was doing so well, she thought to herself. Surely someone would have said something. Mar would have said something.

She shook her head, uncovering her face. “No…” the word came out weak as if she was testing how the meaning fell with the word in her mind and on her lips. “No.... that’s not right. I’m …” she shook her head as if trying to dispell the images. She sat up and rubbed hard at eyes threatening tears. She shrugged her shoulders to slide the blanket off her back to pool on the chair around her hips. “No.. I’m fine. Just tired. I was just tired. That’s all.” She stood up, the blanket on her lap sloughing to the floor, forgotten.

She glanced at Revna and shook her head as a smile lit her face. It wasn’t complete because fear and confusion still filled her eyes. “No… NO.. I’m fine. Just tired. Like you said. That’s why the nightmares. That’s why the lapses. Just tired.” She was almost furiously shaking her head now and her body twitched like she was about to bolt as she tried desperately to convince herself that what she saw was just her on tired days when she almost dozed off. That’s what caused the jerking. She had just nearly fallen asleep. “Sleep… that’s it. I just need to rest, like you said.”

She bore down her gaze on Rev now and the smile on her lips got wider, but it was anything but warm. “Sleep… that’s what you said. I’ll just go sleep. Then things will be fine. I’ll stop second shifts for a while and sleep. Then everything will be fine.” She moved towards the door as if everything was over and done. “Thank you, Counselor. It would have been a bad thing if I had dozed off at work. Thank you for showing me. I’ll get some sleep and hold off second shifts till I am feeling myself again. Thank you.” She nodded once more and tried to head out into the hallway.

(denial.. .me? naaaaahhhhhh)

The door did not open, and it wouldn’t. “The door won’t open Lera. The biometric readers can tell your body is in a state of panic and won’t open until your body’s rhythms have returned to normal.” She sat down and waited for Lera to do the same. “And it won’t work to simply lock the thoughts away. Your body will still be in panic mode internally even if you hide it well. Come sit down and let’s get you calm so you can leave.”
Lt Edman, Counselor

Lera almost bumped into the door and growled. Glancing back at Revna she shook her head. “I’m effectively locked into this room and you want me to ‘calm down’? How is that supposed to happen, exactly?” She was tired. Tired of defending herself. Tired of fighting everyone who thought there was something wrong with her. Tired of being handled with kid gloves like she was some glass figuring that would break if anyone mentioned the word Orions around her.

“By you thinking rather than reacting. You can stand or sit.” Revna’s voice continued to be soft. Some people required a firm, almost disdainful tone of voice, Lera wasn’t one of those. “I can not allow you to leave in such a state. You or someone else, mostly likely you, could get hurt if you run out in a panic. I won’t let you get hurt. So please come sit down.”

When she couldn’t take a couple breaths and make the door open, she paced the room. Moving towards the window, then back towards the door, she shook her head. “I already said I’d do what you want. And if my life is nothing but anxiety and nerves, how am I supposed to calm down in a single session just so your door will let me out?” Her voice bit with sarcasm as she tried to figure out how she could go from admitting she had an issue, which hadn’t been easy, to suddenly calming down enough to let the biometrics agree she was capable of walking out of the room.


Revna sighed, time for the ace in the hole. “Alright Lera. Two things can happen at this point. You can come sit down and we can work on some calming techniques. It will help you now and when you have nightmares or flashbacks.” She didn’t say if because it wasn’t a matter of if, it was when. They would happen again. “Or I can call Mardusk and have him escort you home and make sure you stay there until you’ve calmed down.”
Lt Edman, Counselor

Lera crossed her arms and stopped with a defiant look on her face. “Fine… call him. He’ll just send me to my quarters and it’ll be done.”

The words came out so quick, she hadn’t realized she’d said them till she finished. Now she couldn’t take it back. Would Mar really just send her to her room? She hoped so. There she could calm down. Since she wasn’t going to be able to work and additional shift to wear herself out, she’d probably just work out in her room till the exhaustion crept up on her and she went to sleep. Then everyone would be happy… right?


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