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Side sim - Time to hang out in the Lounge

Posted Oct. 14, 2021, 7:38 p.m. by Lieutenant Junior Grade Solal Segal (Oncology and Immunology) (Nicole Cline)

Posted by Lieutenant Séan Iven (Chief of Psychiatry) in Side sim - Time to hang out in the Lounge

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Solal Segal (Oncology and Immunology) in Side sim - Time to hang out in the Lounge

Posted by Lieutenant Séan Iven (Chief of Psychiatry) in Side sim - Time to hang out in the Lounge
Posted by… suppressed (23) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Solal rarely visited the lounge, but lately he’d found himself with little to do in his free time. He still practiced his music, but not every day, and not as frequently as before Achilleas had transferred. The only person who’d heard Solal play his violin since his school days. They were friends, he supposed, and that was why he supposed he was experiencing another one of those pesky human emotions: He missed him. He had learned the art of Vulcan meditation, but he hadn’t been trained as strictly as children raised on Vulcan, and so, though he preferred ignore them, he experienced his emotions more like a human than the typical Vulcan did.

And so he found himself, sat at the lounge counter, with some sort of tea humans would probably find bland, watching whoever else happened to be there at the time. The crew of the Ogawa was quite diverse, it was an interesting group to people watch. But honestly, he was only here because he couldn’t think of anywhere else to be. He wasn’t working, he wasn’t presently reading anything, and he didn’t feel like sneaking off somewhere to play the violin (the holodecks were booked up). Still, it wasn’t an awful place to be. It was moderately busy that night, not empty, but not bustling.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

Séan found himself coming to the lounge partly out of boredom, because he couldn’t convince himself to go to sleep early, and he wanted a chance to get a feel for the crew’s mood. While not being an empath he was still able to deduce moods and feelings from body language and such. On the whole it looked like crew morale was high, though perhaps a little forced when it came to letting off stress. Something about the Ogawa’s mission was stressful for the crew, though he wasn’t sure what exactly was the cause. His recent arrival only provided him with a shallow understanding thus far.

While observing the people relaxing and making merry in the lounge, Séan noticed a difference at the bar. A curiously emotional Vulcan. Not clearly distraught or even obviously emotional, but more so than Vulcans usually were for those who looked. He walked over to the bar and stopped a good arms length from the Lieutenant, so as not to invade their space during the first meeting.

“Hello I’m Séan.” He offered in way of greeting with a deep voice and slight Irish accent. His height and build tended to intimidate people on first encounters, so on this outing to the lounge he wasn’t in uniform. Instead he was wearing some loose fitting clothes to soften his outline and hopefully make himself appear warm and approachable. His taste in sweaters probably wasn’t all that great, but sometimes leaving a bit of a hapless impressing was endearing.

“Do you mind if I sit next to you?” He asked while motioning to the adjacent stool.

CoP Iven

Solal turned at the sound of a voice, he was vaguely familiar with the accent. Something from the UK, or nearby anyway. He was not particularly intimidated by Séan, an inch taller but physically considerably smaller than the other man. Solal himself, though he was only half so, had strong Vulcan heritage, and unless he mentioned it, or one tested his blood perhaps, it was difficult to tell by looking at him he wasn’t all Vulcan. But he was raised in France, on Earth, by a pair of human men, and his voice carried his own lightly French accent. “Go ahead,” he replied indifferently, glancing at the stool and then back to Séan.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

Séan was surprised by the accent this Vulcan man had. He decided not to mention it though as he took a seat with a nod in thanks. He waved down the bartender and ordered a spiced rum, non-alcoholic, before he turned a little towards Solal to continue the conversation. “I’ve just joined the Ogawa, got here by shuttle a few hours ago, and decided to come here for a chance to unwind before bed. What brings you to the lounge?”

CoP Iven

“Welcome to the ship,” said Solal, sipping his tea. As of yet, he didn’t seem to take much interest in the conversation. Being polite, but uninvested. “Sometimes one’s quarters become.. tiresome.” He decided to answer. It was an accurate response. He could have stayed there, instead he had chosen to come here. Until Séan had sat down, Solal had been seated alone, with no one anywhere near him. He wondered offhandedly what made Séan choose next to him to sit. He wasn’t annoyed by Séan’s presence, though, and he made no move to leave, nor did he give any indication that he wanted Séan to do so.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

Séan’s initial response was delayed as his hot chocolate arrived. He smiled in thanks to the bartender before he took a tentative sip. It was hot of course so that initial sip was all he did for the moment. He addressed Solal’s reply to him with a smile before he said, “Thank you for the welcome. Other than that strange woman from HR, you’re the first I’ve talked to. I couldn’t convince my mind that I should get some sleep though my body is telling me I should quite insistently. Something about a new quarters that just won’t let one relax perhaps. But isn’t one’s quarters supposed to be where one can retreat, reflect, relax?”

CoP Iven

Another sip of tea, and then Solal shrugged. “I suppose so. It’s a place to sleep.” He thought for a moment that Séan must’ve arrived quite recently if he was the only crew member he’d spoken to. But then he realized Séan had just said he arrived hours ago. “You arrived on the ship, and the first thing you did is come to the lounge?” He asked curiously. It was the last thing he’d do, then again, he wasn’t the most personable… person.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

Séan grinned wryly as he couldn’t help but chuckle. “I suppose that is a bit strange. I wanted to get a feel for the atmosphere on the ship. What emotions are the crew feeling in a large group? Is the pursuit for recreation and camaraderie natural or a little desperate? Sometimes when a group of people are under some stress, the desire to cut loose becomes a bit frantic.” He took another sip of his hot chocolate. “It’s a habit of mine to get a feel for things as quickly as I can so that I know what I’ll be dealing with. Plus when I meet with the Captain tomorrow I can relate my observations.”

CoP Iven

Solal raised a brow in a typical Vulcan fashion. “You’re a psychologist.” The visit to the lounge made sense then, though Solal, like most Vulcans, didn’t see the point in such a study, what amounted to him to the study of emotions. He turned back to his cup and sipped the tea. “Any interesting observations, then?” He asked. He didn’t mean to be condescending in any way, despite his reservations regarding psychology in general. He just didn’t particularly know what else to ask.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

“Yes.” Séan answered softly, though whether he was answering the question or the deduction was left unsaid. “You were an… anomaly, after I observed the lounge for a bit. I know that Vulcans do have emotions despite the stereotype otherwise, though the various disciplines that suppress them can make it seem like one is unfeeling. You though stood out as your body language conveys a bit of loneliness and… sadness, I think. So despite coming to the lounge to get out of your quarters, you’re lonely but not seeking out any companionship. Despite my job being concerned with the health of the crew, I’m not exactly on the clock yet, so instead of officially inquiring I thought a conversation might be nice. I like meeting new people too, so it’s a bonus really.”

CoP Iven

“Those are human ideas, loneliness and sadness,” said Solal, giving Séan another glance up and down. He worked to keep any sort of emotion out of his voice. If he admitted the observations were good, or accurate, he’d be admitting he was lonely. He wouldn’t do that. “You’ve studied Vulcan disciplines?” He asked. He shouldn’t be surprised, having Vulcans on a ship wasn’t particularly rare. He would also never admit the conversation wasn’t unwelcome. “I realize I did not introduce myself. I am Lieutenant Junior Grade Solal, I am one of the ship’s doctors.” He added. He always introduced himself by first name, rather than using his human surname.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

Séan nodded his head in acceptance of Solal’s statement of loneliness and sadness being human ideas, though he did not voice his agreement. “It’s pleasant to meet you Solal.” He purposefully left the rank out of rejoinder to keep things informal and casual. “And yes I’ve studied many disciplines, Vulcan, Klingon, Ferengi, and Trill, just to name a few. I won’t claim to be an expert of any of them, but I find that knowing more regarding the cultures of the various races aboard a Starfleet vessel is vital in my work. A specific culture’s perceptions can grant insight into how an individual steeped in that culture thinks and reacts. Though… I’m guessing by your accent that you are influenced more by Humanity’s culture.”

CoP Iven

“Knowing more of the cultures of others is important to any Starfleet officer,” said Solal, stating his opinion. There was a look of… slight surprise, perhaps? His upbringing was not something he brought up in first meetings with people. It wasn’t that he didn’t like his parents, they were fine, he just preferred the teachings of Vulcan, a planet he had actually never been to. His accent was light these days, but noticeable, and he shouldn’t have been surprised, but he was. “Perhaps so,” he said simply. He was certainly no longer disinterested in the exchange, his attention locked on Séan. He did not offer additional information.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

Séan shrugged slightly before he took another sip of his drink, the temperature of which was almost ideal now. “I didn’t grow up on Earth and neither was I born there, but I’d travelled around it on my days off while in the Academy. Versailles was one of the towns I’d visited and enjoyed immensely, though Paris is a bit more popular it was just a bit too busy for me. You clearly lived on Earth long enough to get a French inflection to your speech. A Vulcan with a hint of a French accent surprised me.”

CoP Iven

“Paris is popular with tourists, but a poor reflection of the true country,” said Solal, pronouncing Paris the French way. “My accent was stronger, it’s faded in my time away.” He wasn’t born there, in Lyon, France, but he might as well have been, it was the only place he lived in his younger years, until academy. There hadn’t even been a birth certificate, and he didn’t actually know where he was from, aside the obvious. “Your own accent originates on earth, yet you weren’t born there?”

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

“My father was born in Ireland on Earth. He left as soon as he was 18, partly to get away from his father, but mostly because he wanted to go into space. You’d think Starfleet would be the best option for that, but he had no patience for ‘the stuffy rules and protocols’, so he ended up serving on a variety of trade ships until he saved enough to buy his own. He fell in love with my mother who was a colonist on Alpha Eridani II serving as a nurse. He changed his whole routine flying exclusively between Earth and Alpha Eridani II because of my mother.” Séan’s smile was a bit more genuine as he relayed the happy times between his parents, but the smile turned anguished as he continued. “Things were great after I was born until my mother was killed by one of her patients. My father was away on a supply run when it happened but the other colonists helped take care of me until he returned. Then it was just me and him on his ship, transporting goods all over the galaxy but not once did we return to Earth or Alpha Eridani II. Those years spent with him affected my accent.”

CoP Iven

The dump of personal information once again surprised Solal, but he listened intently. When the story ended, he wasn’t sure what to say or what he was supposed to say. Was I’m sorry about your mother appropriate? “That explains the accent,” said Solal. That sounded rather cold, and so, a little awkwardly he added the second part, “I’m sorry about your mother.”

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

Séan took a moment to stare at his mug. He collected himself and policed his emotions before looking toward Solal. “Thank you. I’m sorry if that was oversharing. It’s a bit complicated about why I have the accent without having been there, as I’m sure you could deduce from the story. It helps forestall any follow-up questions if I’m upfront about it instead of trying to simplify it though.”

CoP Iven

Solal nodded in understanding. He was no stranger to invasive questions about his accent or upbringing, considering how he looked. “I don’t mind,” he said, sipping his tea. The cup was nearly empty by then. “Sorry I asked, then.” Generally, he did avoid asking overly personal questions, that way people didn’t expect him to share in return.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

Séan smiled again as he shook his head. “No, it’s alright. While I’m still saddened at my mother’s death and how it affected my family, it is something that I’ve learned to not avoid. It doesn’t necessarily get easier with each telling but it does remind me of why I want to help people with grief, anger, rage… because I know very intimately what that does to you.”

CoP Iven

Solal tilted his head, and then shrugged. “The Vulcan thing to do would be to let the feelings go, without reacting to them.” Vulcans did have feelings, infamously strongly, but through meditation, they learned to suppress or release those feelings. “You do what you do so that emotions don’t affect people?” The sentiment made little sense to Solal, and yet, it reminded him a bit of the meditation he had already mentioned.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

“Not so much that the emotions don’t affect them. More for them to learn how to cope with it in the short-term, learn how to change their focus from the negative emotions to the positive ones, and then to eventually let the negative ones go. As an example if thoughts of my mother only brought up the grief that it once gave me, then I’d never be inclined to think of her and that is unacceptable to me. I’d rather accept all of my feelings as being genuine but focus on the good ones.” Séan spoke more of his personal approach than his professional one, but a lot of his experiences has helped him reach breakthroughs with his patients.

CoP Iven

Solal supposed that made sense, from a human point of view. From a Vulcan one, he’d say only the facts of the situation mattered, and the feelings irrelevant and illogical. It really didn’t matter what one felt if the goal was to not focus on any of the emotions. “That sounds… logical, in an emotional sort of way,” Solal said at last.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

“Well so very rarely does emotions follow logic.” Séan grinned. “The associated triggers for emotions good and bad can differ from person to person as well. It’s less a science, certainly not an art, but more of an exploratory endeavor. A trained professional is as often grasping around in the dark as the patient, but we do have the benefit of a structured process to glean subtle clues.”

CoP Iven

The explanation earned another brow raise from Solal. “That’s an interesting view on it,” he said, finishing off the tea, and then he set the empty cup aside. “Emotion distorts logic, they’re mutually exclusive.” He meant this as a reply to Séan’s first statement, that emotion rarely follows logic.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor

Séan shook his head firmly at this. “While I respect your point of view, I have to disagree. Logic doesn’t allow for the happiness of others when taken to the extreme and the exclusion of emotion. Similarly emotions when taken to the extreme often ignore what would be the logical conclusion. I believe that emotions can be tempered by logic to not cascade into a melt-down, while logic can be guided by considering the emotional response of others as well as yourself. An example to help convey what I mean, a person could be convinced through various tonal and body language clues that their partner is cheating on them. There is nothing conclusive to prove this but they’re dreading any sort of confrontation and confirmation of their conjecture. This in turn would feed a vicious feedback loop of negativity which would tear apart the relationship in time, with or without the confrontation. Logic could help at this point in calming the emotions enough to inquire regarding the various ‘signs and clues’. They may find that their partner was working late on a project that couldn’t be talked about. On the flip side, exclusively approaching a relationship whether personal or professional with just logic is bound to make the other people dissatisfied to some extent. If this was a Vulcan science ship without any other races aboard, then maybe that approach could work. I don’t think it’s the best approach on a Federation ship though. There is often the need to accommodate others emotionally, even if it’s words of praise or affirmation.”

CoP Iven

“Happiness is an emotion, logic by definition cannot allow for it,” Solal replied, “And if your couple did not rely on conjecture in the first place, there would be no negativity to tear them apart. Rely on hard evidence. I also fail to see how a purely logical professional relationship could be dissatisfying. It is efficient and effective, removing the factor of emotion and hurt feelings from the process. Logical personal relationships happen between Vulcans and humans, I am living proof of this. Overall, I think we must agree to disagree on this topic.” Some of what Séan said sounded a bit like Solal’s parents, and that gave him a moment’s pause, but he was certain of his convictions, that the logical way of Vulcans was the best philosophy.

~ Lt JG Solal, Doctor


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