The Art of Psycho-therapy...Sickbay after meeting with Rogan....When the past doesn't match the present... or the future

Posted June 1, 2022, 4:37 p.m. by Gamemaster Deus Ex Machina (GM) (Luke Hung)

Posted by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) in The Art of Psycho-therapy…Sickbay after meeting with Rogan....When the past doesn’t match the present… or the future

Posted by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) in The Art of Psycho-therapy…Sickbay after meeting with Rogan....When the past doesn’t match the present… or the future

Posted by Commander Heathcliff Rinker (Chief of Psychiatry) in The Art of Psycho-therapy…Sickbay after meeting with Rogan....When the past doesn’t match the present… or the future

“You probably don’t want to hear this, but it looks like what they inject you with are nanites that do heal you, but have a limited time of effect. That’s why they have to keep refreshing it every three months. You are probably close to the end of the three months that’s why its not working as effectively as previously.” He smiled. “I don’t imagine you think God requires a refresher every 3 months to keep being God, do you?”


His statement felt like a backhand and instantly sent Jessa into the red zone. She had learned what asking questions like this caused. Everyone on Mischwald and Halston had died for uttering such nonsense. Jessa swore she would never let that happen again. “Shut up, ” she responded instantly in response to his question.

Raising her hand, it took every ounce of control not to slam Rinker and the rest of the people up against the wall to knock some sense in them. One flick of your hand and you can make it so they can’t stop you from leaving a voice said in her head. Curling her hand into a fist she screamed out a series of profanity struggling with her choice of inaction.

Her breathing started to take on the hiccupping effect like it did in his office. “This is why mind seers are not allowed in the Union,” Jessa yelled at him grabbing the towel on the floor and hurling it at Rinker. It was clear she wanted to strike out at Rinker but she also consciously made the choice of throwing a towel instead of the laser scalpel next to it. Both were within reach and both had the same accessibility.

Rinker didn’t look insulted. “I don’t know if I want to be a member of a group that doesn’t want to have me. And what is the reason why Mind Seers aren’t welcome… too many logical questions?”

“Because you twist things up. You make things confusing,” Jessa felt a knot in her stomach and her eyes starting to burn. Even since the disaster on Halston, she had felt confused and lost. Rinker was just making it worse, feeding into her own questions with his. Nothing made sense anymore. “You make us doubt what we know in our hearts.”

“That is how lies continue. Believing it… wanting it to be true doesn’t make it a fact.”

“But you want me to believe everything you say as a fact? How does that make you different from Rogan or the Elders? Why should I ever believe you over them?” Jessa wiped her face not wanting to cry in front of Rinker. Crying made her look weak. No one would follow someone or have faith in them if all the did was cry.

“If we have questions we go to the Rectoress. She doesn’t just make things up or answer a question with a question like you do? She had answers. She tells me whats right and wrong and why. You just ask endless questions and never tell me what you think.”

“For the same reason, because I want it to be true doesn’t make it so either. You must discern fact from fiction. Truth from hopes. Reality from illusions. Telling you doesn’t give you wisdom, it steals from you the ability to think. That’s why I ask you questions, and why they tell you their lies.”

Jessa felt like her chest was going to explode. She knew if she asked for help Rinker would give it like in his office but maybe that was why she was struggling now. Maybe that was why she could not help the woman or fix something as simple as Rinker’s arm. She had to prove she did not need them.

Inhaling and exhaling deeply she tried to breath like Rinker showed her in his office. Right now she could not pray to the Divine to help her. She had to help Rinker understand and if she was passed out on the floor that would not solve any of her problems. “I just wanted to help you,” Jessa continued to try and catch her breath. “It is why I came out here. I didn’t have to.”
Jessa needed to get away from Rinker. She needed time to think.

“I am not answering anymore of your questions.” Even entertaining the idea of a response was causing her chest to tighten and making it hard to breathe. Before she had come here, Jessa lived in an Ivory Tower where things made sense and some questions were never even dreamt of let alone asked. Heathcliff, Mardusk, Ian, and Chris were challenging everything she believed and wanted to know why she believed it. Without the Elders or Pellan to re-affirm her beliefs, Jessa felt off balance. She had to get away from Rinker so she could think but there was nowhere to go. Suddenly, Jessa remembered Aimee Rian’s statement when the light beamed her out of sickbay about not having to talk to Rinker. “I am never going to talk to you again,” she blurted out in a highly child-like response feeling dizzy as she felt panic rising in her chest. This was not going to solve anything but it would give her time to think of why Rinker was wrong in his statement.

“You don’t know anything. She said I don’t have to talk to you. She said I don’t have to talk to anyone. Get out,” she pointed to the door as if she could command Rinker to be dismissed from her presence. “Get out and don’t ever come back.”

Jessa Novar

“Most religions would like to educate those who were ignorant… I guess yours doesn’t have enough strength to deal with even the most basic investigation.”


“That is all I have been trying to do,” Jessa blinked rapidly feeling her anger seep out in the form of tears, “but you won’t listen. You don’t want to understand. You want me to doubt everything that I am, that I believe, that I was taught. I answer all your questions but you never answer mine. All you want to do is make me pay for coming here but I had to.” Looking around, Jessa felt herself starting to lose control. There was no place to escape to in their sickbay. She had no doors to slam or corners to crawl into for a moment of peace or privacy. She felt like an animal at the zoo under the constant display. There was only one way out of this place.

“Why are you doing this to me,” Jessa yelled reaching out and shoving Rinker. It wasn’t hard but maybe if she pushed him, they would send her to the brig. She was so angry and felt so helpless, so alone and it was never going to change unless she forced that change. By shoving him, Jessa had broken her promise never to hurt Heathcliff but there was nothing to throw. Nothing to expel all the frustration building up inside her. “All I have ever wanted to do was show you how the Union could make your lives better. I hate the way everyone looks at me but I can’t change that. I hate that Elders have screwed everything up and left me to deal with the fallout.”

“You don’t have to make things better for us.. were doing fine,” He suspected most of the world the Union helped were doing just fine without them.

“No you are not. You need us. You have no idea what we can do for you. The technology we possess to make your lives better. You just think your don’t but you will see. We will come and you will be so desperate to join which is why you have to start being more receptive. If you resist like this it will…it,” her voice trailed off and she got a desperate almost pleading look on her face. She had no idea how to explain how critical this was for her to have the Federation successfully join. “You make it hard to think.”

“We don’t want it. You are forcing a perfectly happy Federation into something they won’t be happy in. How many worlds have you forced into your Union when they were just fine without out. I suspect you are from one of those worlds before you were stolen.”

“Halston and Mischwald were not my fault,” Jessa looked genuinely hurt and almost sickened. Her face took on a panicked expression as she looked rapidly back and forth between Rinker and Ian. “They didn’t tell me it was going to be different. Roh,” she began to stammer as the rush of emotion felt like it was going to drown her. Taking a breath she also took a moment to gather her thoughts. As mad as she was with Rogan and the rest of the Elders, Jessa could not let the Atlantis crew think anything bad about the people in their brig. If she did they would never let her see them again.

“What happened there that was so different that you want to say it wasn’t your fault.”

“I am not wanting to say it’s not my fault. I am saying that is was not my fault.” Guilt coursed through her body and no matter how many times she tried to remind herself of what Pellan said about one person not being responsible for the destruction of the planet, it was hard to accept. “I mean I was there on the planet and told the people if they didn’t want to come they didn’t have to but that was not enough to incite the rebellion.” Looking at Rinker she let out a huff. “Okay, you want me to say it. Fine I will say it. Maybe I am not ready to be a Patron. Maybe I need more training but what I know is I am pinning this conversation and going back to the only one that matters. I was not taken or kidnapped or stolen.”

” Rogan saved me. He showed up and rescued me,” Jessa hoped her break in the speech wasn’t noticed by either of them. By using Rogan’s name to start the sentence, she hoped it was perceived that she just needed a moment to think. “I told you about this already. Nuat was attacked one night. Everyone died. I was all alone when the planet was judged.” It was so long ago. Jessa didn’t remember much in details but more about the emotions and impressions swirling around a smattering of images. “There were shhhhhipsssss that…” Again her voice trailed off and she took on the familiar thousand-yard stare of someone lost in thought or memory. Jessa felt like vomiting. Suddenly the black streaks that reigned fire from the sky which destroyed everything on Nuat, looked more familiar. It looked like the skies on Halston only from an orbital view and not a ground based one.

“Well, I’m glad he saved you, but I never fully understood what happened that night. The Union judged your planet and everyone died?”

“No I mean yes,” she said closing her eyes and trying to ignore everything Rinker was trying to make her think about. Letting out a frustrated moan she locked her eyes on Rinker. “Not everyone died. There were evacuation ships where people were able to escape but before I could get on one the airfield was attacked but not by the Union. The Union sent an armada. I saw it in orbit but…but..” The more he talked, the more questions began to rise that she never thought about asking.

Rinker took a step back from the force of it… she was stronger than her little size suggested. “Its okay. Its hard to think when you’ve spent your whole life being told not to.”

“I wasn’t stolen,” she repeated and shoved Rinker again as she felt the room closing in. Pellan would help her understand when she got back home. “You weren’t there. You can’t ever give me a straight answer on anything because you say you don’t know or wasn’t around when I ask something but now you suddenly you have all the answers. This is why you are forbidden in the Union. You twist things so shut your mouth you varping Mind Seer.”

Rinker tilted his head, he’d never been illegal before.

“Whoa whoa whoa language little girl,” Ian snapped. “I told you to knock that off right…now or I will do something about it.” His expression was stern and ready to react if necessary. Emotional breakdowns, he would tolerate but not belligerence.

“You don’t understand . You don’t understand anything,” she yelled at Ian. “Mind seers are criminals because they get into your head. They turn people away from the path.”

“From the path of poison Kool-aide and dirt nap slumber parties?” Ian knew Jessa had no idea what the references were and on some level he was glad. Maybe he was biased but the more she talked about life in the Galactic Union, the more he pitied her.

Rinker glanced at Ian, it was emotional less, he didn’t seem to care one way or another about Ian’s intervention. In all honest it probably wasn’t helpful, but everything doesn’t have to be right. People can learn more from their mistakes than they do from their successess.

“Stop it. Stop talking,” Jessa yelled locking eyes with Heathcliff. Her body shook and it was clear Jessa had no idea what to do right now. “Everyone just shut the triff up!”

Ian stood up not sure whether to intervene or not. Rinker said this would take time. It was insane to think the only times Jessa would struggle was in the man’s office but this impromptu session was the first time, Ian had actually seen Rinker in session with Jessa. It was extremely unsettling watching her fall apart but Ian would be a fool to believe this didn’t happen behind closed doors. Crossing his arms, Ian watched waiting for a sign from Rinker to step in.

” I thought could make it better by helping that woman but I can’t fix that either,” Jessa felt herself starting to cry and unable to stop.

“Its okay. You can’t know everything, you can’t be perfect.” He stepped back to his position but went down on one knee so they were at the same level. She could really let him have it right now.

She wanted Rogan in front of her right now but they had even taken him away from her. Closing her eyes she could however imagine it was Rogan and not Rinker. “I want to go home,” she yelled thinking more about the Elders who had promised to be by her side yet she hadn’t seen them in days. Pulling back her arms she reached out to shove Rinker again. What she really wanted to do was hit something so hard to have any feeling but fear and worry as her constant companion.


Rinker didn’t flinch but he closed his eyes and she reeled back. “Go ahead. I forgive you, but it won’t make you feel better… not for long anyways.”


His change in elevation and the fact Rinker was not putting up a fight stopped Jessa cold. “Don’t say that,” she looked around as if uncomfortable with someone on their knees promising her forgiveness for her actions. It reminded her too much of the man on Mischwald.

She could not attack someone that wasn’t trying to hurt her. Everything she had learned was to defend people not inflict harm. “Get up,” she said loudly still holding her hand up. Instead of hitting him Jessa grabbed Rinker’s arm and tried to pull him erect. “Stand up,” she yelled at him.

Even though Rinker wasn’t built like he lived at the gym, he was still a grown man probably double her body weight. There was no way she could pull him to his feet if he didn’t want to move. “I…I need you to… stand up.” Jessa leaned into his arm as if trying to push him off balance from his one-kneed position. It was going to be impossible to fight him when he was not standing over her. Rogan never would be in this position so it made it harder for her to imagine anyone but Rinker right now. Jessa needed him to fight her so she could force them to throw her with her friends in the jail cells deep within the ship.

“I don’t need to stand up.” He wanted her to look him in the eyes… well his eyes were closed most of the time, because despite the fact he believed he wasn’t in danger he didn’t much like being knocked around.

“Please stand up,” she moved in front of him and dropped to her own knees pushing him again. While it was not perfect, by dropping her stance, Rinker was now taller than her again. Leaning forward Jessa pressed her shoulder into his chest and her back into his knee. She had to knock him off balance. The position however made her instantly think of someone else. Closing her eyes she could pretend if she concentrated hard enough that it was not Rinker but Pellan. The uniform was not the same, the cologne was not the same, the physical build was not the same, but only Pellan would drop to her level when Jessa needed someone comfort her. “If you don’t stand up how are you going to make them let me go back home. I want my mom,” Jessa said in a hiccuping sob. “Stand up so you can take me to my shuttle so I can go home.”

Jessa Novar

Rinker rocked back with her comparatively unimpressive blows. “Make who help you go home?”

“The captain,” Jessa looked up at Rinker dropping to her floor in front of him. “He keeps promising things but I don’t think it will happen.” Jessa let her gaze drift briefly to Ian before returning back to Rinker’s. “Everyone listens to you. You could just walk me out. I will even wear cuffs or binders or whatever you call them.” Jessa didn’t move but stayed pressed up against Rinker. It is had been so long since someone hugged her, told her everything was going to be okay in a tone and manner she believed.

“I’m not nearly as powerful as you think, we talked about authority works on this ship. I have a lot of control when it comes to your well-being on the ship, but what you do off it… I’m not the final say.”

“Then why does he,” she pointed a finger at Ian, “when you have more rank than he does,” she tapped her neck.

Does he? Rinker’s face squinched up. “I didn’t award him that power. So you might have to talk to the person who did.” He did nod, “I do have more circles than he so technically I can give him orders, if someone who doesn’t out rank me say something different.”

“I don’t know her rank but I know she is higher ranked that Captain Bordeaux over there,” Jessa snapped nodding her head towards Ian.

“Of course she is, If you would direct me to her… then we might be able to clear some things up.” Rinker glanced towards Ian as he interrupted the question… Kelly hadn’t seen her had she?

“Jessa,” Ian groaned slightly letting his frustration seep out. “I am not the captain. I have said that over and over honey. Kelly,” he pointed behind him generally in the direction of Kelly’s biobed hidden behind an isolation field as she recovered, “is not trying to force you to stay here.”

The look of shock on Jessa’s face wasn’t in reaction to Ian’s comment but more her own statement. “I know that,” she instantly went on the defensive unsure how to repair the verbal slip of refereeing to Primrose instead of Bordeaux. She was letting her emotions cloud her ability to keep all her secrets straight. It was just right now there were so many secrets she had to juggle. Aimee Rian, just hours earlier, had said Rinker was with them yet here he was acting like he knew nothing about it. Rian said in the clandestine meeting their compatriots would be discreet, only this discretion constantly had Jessa off balance. Dr. Decker was obviously on her side. She was the one creating the distractions so Jessa could slip out of the sickbay undetected using the light slide but there had to be more people trying to help her.

Rinker thought for a moment thought she accidentally returned to Ian as the Captain of the ship, but her expression said something different. It was just that he had no idea what.

“Tell me where your mother is. I’ll do my best to help you.” He knew he couldn’t promise anything too much. It was his hypothesis that she was a hostage somewhere too far away and too ‘safe’ for him or the Atlantis to get to. Nor would the Federation allow the Atlantis to take an excursion into a hostile empire’s territory for one unaligned woman.


“There once was a ship that put to sea,” Jessa murmured the words to the song in barely above a whisper. Her mother always sang to her when she was upset to calm her down. She had attempted to sing this to stop what Rinker called a panic attack but was too far gone for it to work. Letting out a breath she looked at Ian debating on if she should order him away or not.

Ian didn’t make a move to leave and sent Rinker a look saying he had no plan on leaving. He didn’t come closer but bent down in almost a sitting crouch with his elbows resting on his knees. Some of it was to not appear as imposing as he stood now several feet about both Rinker and Jessa on the ground. The other reason was to try and increase his ability to hear if Jessa continued to whisper.

Looking back at Rinker, Jessa decided not to ask Ian to leave. “I don’t know,” she looked back at Ian before taking a breath and returning he gaze to Heathcliff. “Can I tell you something and you not let it influence you. You know like we do in your office? I am scared if I tell you something it will make you act differently..towards me or to the Elders.”

“Sure same rules as the office.” Rinker wanted to hug her, but restrained himself.

Jessa closed her eyes and forced herself to put some space between her and Rinker. Rinker wasn’t Pellan. He wasn’t going to just hold her and tell her everything was okay. He wasn’t part of her world and never would be. Both she and Rinker were just using each other for a different purpose.

Jessa was tired of trying to juggle so much on her own. Maybe if she told them why it was so important Ian and Rinker would help her and stop fighting her. “Rogan knows where my mom is but he can’t tell me where unless I help him find the Prism. If I get the Prism he said he will help me make Da Mu understand that my mom is not a bad person. We need Da Mu because he is part of the quad and the quad has to stay together. We are a family.” Jessa needed Rinker to believe her and accept that the Elders were not the same people to her as they were to the Altantis. “Da Mu thinks because my mom left and they had to come save me from the alien attack back on Nuat that she is bad. She isn’t. I promise.”

Jessa Novar

“Okay what is the Prism, perhaps we can find it and trade it for your mother?”


This isn’t his office. The rules don’t have to apply, she mentally told herself knowing it was just a blatant lie. The rules always were simple. If she didn’t lie, Rinker wouldn’t lie. It was just that too much was at stake for honest truth. “You don’t need to do anything but give it to me. It is a religious artifact you have on this ship. Pellan said Ian had it. That is why we came. That is why we asked for him when we got here,” she said in a low tone pushing up from the ground so she could stand taller than both men in the room. The movement allowed her not to make eye contact with either of them. “It is only important to us. We just need it back. If you could maybe let me look around? Let me find it and they we can go back home?” Her tone was hopeful as she glanced at Ian before directing her gaze at her shoes as she pulled her hands into her sleeves and fiddled with the cuffs.

“I know of no religious item of your on this ship. Actually I don’t know any of your religious items at all.”

“If you let me back on my ship I can show you,” Jessa suggested a bit too overzealously. Rinker was right. She could show him any decoration and Rinker would believe any significance she assigned it. At least back on her ship, Jessa could get a few things that would help her on the mission.

Ian let his gaze drift to Rinker. He did not need to be a therapist to know when someone was lying. The question was which part. None of what she said made any sense. Having spent as much time with Jessa as Rinker, Ian was also learning that when she lied Jessa tended to avoid all contact, lower her voice, and became fidgety.

You have no idea Rogan told us its a weapon and for the first time I believe him over you, Ian thought rising to his normal height.

Jessa Novar

Rinker didn’t care why she wanted it, it was enough to know she wanted it and once they knew what it was, then they could figure out the why. “You’re going to have to describe it to us.”


“No,” she crossed her arms. “You can take me to my ship and I will show you. Other than that this conversation is over and I will never speak to you again.” Now that she had given Rinker a choice, he would have to decide what was more important to him. Learning about the mission or continuing to have their little chat sessions. She was vaguely interested in seeing what choice Rinker would pick.

Jessa Novar

“How can you show me something we have here by going to your ship. Ignoring the fact, that you and your friends have informed us that your ship is very dangerous to us.”

OOC: link to occurring to events happening at the same time as Jessa, Ian, and Rinker talk.

Seemingly out of nowhere Dr. Celia Decker moved from a corner of sickbay directly into the middle of the conversation between Ian, Rinker and Jessa. Ian would have seen her around sickbay recently but only because he had spent so much time here over the past few days between Jessa and Kelly. Rinker might have seen Celia around sickbay but she was newly transferred to the Atlantis about a month ago and tended to keep to herself. “Hey Jessa,” she breezed in as if she had always been a part of the conversation. “How’s that headache you were complaining about earlier? Need an analgesic,” she held out her hand completely ignoring Ian and Rinker. Her orders had been clear. Separate or at least disrupt the current conversation occurring between the girls and the two officers.

Celia Decker

Rinker looked at the doctor squinting at her for a moment. “We don’t need any additional support or treatment.” The behavior was so odd that Rinker actually got defensive standing up. “You can step away.” He actually used a hand gesture to almost wave her away. Rinker wasn’t a highly trained combatant, but the hand concerned him…


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