Posted by Lieutenant Savel (Scientist/Pilot) in Side Sim - Savel Check- in with the Counselor
Posted by Lieutenant Surra Almikaz (Chief of Psychiatry) in Side Sim - Savel Check- in with the Counselor
Posted by Lieutenant Savel (Scientist/Pilot) in Side Sim - Savel Check- in with the Counselor
Posted by… suppressed (15) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Today, Savel had an appointment with the counselor, as part of the whole reporting-in process. He was used to it as he served on numerous ships, and he was looking forward to meeting the counselor. He appreciates having a conversation with counselors, which he considers to be the most qualified humans to talk to.
Heading toward the counselor’s office, he stopped in front of her door and ringed the chime, waiting for an answer.
The doors opened as soon as the Lieutenant pressed the chime. HARLEEN immediately greeted him with a smile, “Welcome to the psychiatry suite, Lieutenant Savel.” she held a welcoming arm out, inviting him in. “I see you have an appointment, but the psychiatrist is not specified. Who would you like to talk to today, Dr. Almikaz or Dr. Grayson?”
HARLEEN, So glad Almikaz activated her so she can provide exceptional customer service :)
That’s unexpected, thought Savel with a placid face. His interlocutor seemed to be a hologram, he wasn’t sure. The woman was talking in a soft manner, with a self-control and a familiarity that implied her computing nature, plus the fact that she didn’t even use a PaDD to check the appointment or the available doctors. He prefers not to bring the subject if the woman was human, not to offend her.
“Yes, I believe I have one very soon”, said the Vulcan. “I was supposed to meet with Dr. Almikaz for a counselor meeting, but it seems like things work differently on this ship. If you could contact her, I’ll be much obliged.”
HARLEEN froze for a moment and said, “I am sorry Lieutenant Savel I don’t show you have an appointment with Dr. Almikaz. Would you like to talk to her any….”
“HARLEEN!”, Surra interrupted the AI as she poked her head around the corner from her office. “Leave the Lieutenant alone.” She walked out of her office and approached the two of them, looking at HARLEEN, “Girl, don’t make me deactivate you.” She pointed at her.
HARLEEN was confused by the reference to her as a “girl” but she looked at the Lieutenant and said, “I apologize, Lieutenant. Some of my data is still loading. I had been offline sometime before Dr. Almikaz reactivated me.”
“A comprehensible problem”, says Savel. He noticed the way HARLEEN seemed confused and wondered about such an addition to a program dedicated to the secretarial tasks.
Surra nodded, “I will take it from here. Thank you. Will you purge the psych files that are over 10 Earth years old and have no chronic conditions and are not needed for evidence? Let me know when you are done.” Then she looked at the Lieutenant and said, “Please come with me,” she motioned for him to follow her as she walked toward her office.
“But of course, Doctor”. The Vulcan started to follow Almikaz toward her office.
“Done.” said HARLEEN, “9 thousand, eleven hundred, and 7 files purged. Eight hundred twenty-two files remain. She said with a smile.
Surra stopped, turned around, and looked at HARLEEN, surprised. She was expecting that task to take her AT LEAST 30 minutes. Clearly, she hadn’t realized how advanced HARLEEN was. “Ah…okay. Very good. Thank you. Well then…I have nothing else for you right now so….you can just stay here and…man the reception area. And let me know when Dr. Grayson shows up,” she said as she continued to her office.
Savel stopped with the doctor and noticed her surprise. It seems she was troubled by how fast HARLEEN treated the task. I have to admit that it is surprising, thought the Lieutenant. Going through 10 years of files in an instant… He certainly had some questions in mind for Almikaz.
“Of course,” HARLEEN said with a persistent smile.
Savel nodded at Harleen before entering the doctor’s office.
“Please have a seat.”, Surra said as they entered her office. She took a seat as well, behind her desk. She looked at the Vulcan man. He appeared to be the quintessential Vulcan, with straight black hair, cut in the typical Vulcan fashion, and an apathetic expression. None of this mattered to Surra, she smiled at him not expecting him to reciprocate the expression back to her.
“So, please tell me, Lieutenant Savel, why have you graced me with your presence here in the Psychiatric suite? I am guessing you have something on your mind you must discuss, but I would love to hear it from your perspective.”
Savel nodded at the doctor and says : “I came here in order to have you assess my mental state, and approve my service on the ship. However, while you mention it, it would be good to make a quick note about a particularity I have, about my emotion control.”
He took a quick pause before resuming with a placid face: “I have assumed for a certain time that I had dominated my emotion some time ago. But Starfleet had proven me wrong. At a very specific moment, My emotions are taking the lead over my logic, and it is quite disturbing. To be exact, it happens whenever I fly.” When he said the last word, a shadow of a smile began to appear on Savel’s face, which he didn’t control nor noticed it.
As she listened, Surra noticed the smile and pressed her lips together to keep from smiling too.
Noticing the small effort Surra made to suppress her smile, he remember humans tended to mimic other people’s emotions to get along with them and assume he did smile without realizing it. He composed himself and goes back to a more neutral look.
“Mr. Savel, I want to start by saying it is perfectly normal, even for Vulcans, to show emotion especially when you doing something you love. I understand Vulcans, by cultural training, have an unnatural way of suppressing their emotions and I think it really causes them to live miserable lives.” Her eyebrows were raised in seriousness, “I will ask you this. What about releasing any type of emotion makes you uncomfortable? Is it the fact that you are feeling the enjoyment? Or is it because you have been taught that to express yourself in this way you are ultimately committing some kind of sin? I don’t care how you answer the questions.” she one her hand up to let him know the questions were really rhetorical and not important. “You are in a job that is going to have many ups and downs. Expressing those in healthy ways is only going to benefit you, I promise.”
Surra took a deep breath and said, “Now I hope you did not come here to ask for help with suppressing your emotions because I am not going to help you do it. I will, however, help you get accustomed to the idea and the logic that in the long term showing emotion will become a useful skill. Let me tell you why, first it will improve your ability to connect with yourself and your other crewmates, leading to healthier and happier relationships. Next, it’s going to improve your decision-making and ability to solve problems. Surprising right? We don’t just use logic to solve problems, our emotions can actually help us make the right decision in many cases. Therefore you are limiting your problem-solving capabilities by not being connected to them. Finally, also most importantly it will reduce stress and anxiety.”
She placed both elbows on her desk and clasped her hands together as she continued speaking, “Now you are who you are by nature and training, and I am not trying to change that, but I do want you to find some lead way with yourself and treat your emotions let’s say like the…..uh…. occasional alcohol drinker will treat alcohol. Even if it’s only every now and again, allow your emotions to flow from you and enjoy them when they do.
“Now, I have some recommendations for you, but first I want hear what you have to say about everything I just said.”
Savel tilted when he heard the psychiatrist criticizing his very own way of life, and after politely waiting for Surra to finish his sentence, he said : “As much as I respect your work, Doctor, I don’t think you truly understand Vulcan emotion. We did suppress our emotions not only for society’s convenience but mostly for ourselves. We, Vulcan, experience emotions with more intensity than you could imagine, and without our control, we might act like Andorian, only ten times more violent and unstable. I can understand how disturbing it might sound, but believe me when I say it is not only for the best of us but also for the best of the crew.” He finished his sentence with a little smile, which was this time volunteered and controlled.
I hear what you are saying. However, you do not only experience violent emotions. Why is the focus only on the negative emotions? I do understand why you would suppress violent types of emotions but what about the good ones, like elation and love?”
She was a little triggered when he said she did not understand Vulcan culture. “Also, I understand Vulcan culture more than you realized. My father, although half Vulcan, often struggled as you did. However when my mother died and he became a single father, raising me on his own, he abandoned his habit of suppressing his emotions, no doubt, it made him a better father.“ Surra was stifling her own emotions at this point. Her urge to cry for both the parents she lost was overwhelming. She quickly turned away from him to get a hold of herself. This was not about her; it was about Mr. Savel and if she had been talking to a psychiatrist about her own issues she would have cried without shame. After a few minutes, she turned back around crossing her arms, a sign she was shielding herself. “I do not think that the way Vulcans suppress their emotions is any different from the way any other being thinking rationally does so. The difference is that Vulcans do it constantly no matter the situation, good or bad. Humans control how they display their emotions based on the situation they are in and in most cases, especially in conditions that call for anger, they react before analyzing them. Thus humans are reactive and that makes them do stupid things sometimes.”
She seems in pain, thought the Vulcan.
After he let Surra process his monologue, Savel continues”As for my own emotion, I do not see it as a ‘sin‘ as you said, but more as a threat. Not for me, but for the entire crew that is with me at the moment I fly an aircraft. As I told you, Vulcan’s emotions are way more intense than yours, and while your reason can compose with your emotions, we have more difficulty doing so, and unlike you Humans, we aren’t capable to compose with both of them at the same time. And to lose my reason in the middle of a mission is but a problem.”
After taking a breath or two, she continued trying to sound as normal as she possibly can, “You shouldn’t see it as a sin, that is not what I was implying. I was simply trying to get you to measure why you would not appreciate the fact that piloting or flying…. makes you happy. What are you afraid of? Do you think you are going to burst out in uncontrollable laughter?”
“Of course, I don’t seek your help in order to suppress my emotion, because whatever happens to me in a cockpit is unstoppable. What I’m searching for is your help to keep a bit of reason when I’m experiencing this storm of emotions, and it won’t be the Vulcan way that will help me, unfortunately. I know they will go for the classical method, and I know it won’t work since I tried it. If you could help me to keep some of my reason when I’m flying, I’ll be much obliged.”
She smiled and said, “I am glad to hear that, Mr. Savel, as for reasoning with the thrill you feel when you are piloting, I think you have already done that. You have Discovered a hobby that drives you. It brings you happiness, but because it’s something you care about, and it provides you with a sense of purpose. The reasonable thing is to not hold or ignore how piloting makes you feel you need to embrace it.”
Still feeling a little overwhelmed with sadness she said, “I am sorry. I am going to have to cut our session short because I am not feeling like myself at the moment and I am going to need to take a break.” It had been a while since she had mourned her parents and it was catching up to her.
Savel nodded and says: “I agree. You seem to be a bit troubled, Doctor. I’ll advise resting a bit.”
The Vulcan stood up but didn’t move. Instead, he was looking down to the ground, deep thinking. After a few seconds, he turns to Almikaz and says : “Doctor, if you need any help, or if you want to talk about something that troubled you… Please, come see me. My door will always be opened if you need someone to talk to.”
Surra was surprised by the offer he extended to her.
As the Vulcan spoke, one could tell that he sounded different. His voice had nuances he didn’t have before, and he sounded supportive. Savel had filtered his emotion for a brief moment when he has spoken to Almikaz in order to reassure her.
She had recognized the sincerity in his voice and it was quite comforting. “Um…I appreciate that Mr. Savel.” she nodded to him appreciatively. “I may take you up on the offer someday.”
Savel nodded at her, back to his placid expression: “Of course, Doctor.”
She called for HARLEEN, who entered the room, “Yes, Lieutenant” HARLEEN said looking at Surra with a smile.
Surra suddenly felt annoyed, “Counselor is fine, HARLEEN, no need to address me by rank.” It was actually the first time she’d heard the AI do so. She usually called her Dr. Almikaz. “After Mr. Savel leaves please, reschedule all my appointments that are scheduled for the rest of the day. I am going to my quarters to take a break. Only contact me if there is an emergency or if the Captain or Commander needs me.”
Savel made a little salute with his head to Almikaz: “Until then, Counselor.” He then proceeded to follow Harleen outside of the office.
When he and HARLEEN were in the waiting room, Savel says: “Harleen, is it ? Can I have a word with you ?”
HARLEEN smiled and said, “Yes, Lieutenant you may but I must warn you that I am not programmed to counsel you. Also I can only disclosed limited information unless it is accessed by one of the psychiatrist or the ship’s executive command.”
Savel waved a hand in negation : “Nothing about that. I wanted to ask about your conception. From what I’ve witnessed, Doctor Almikaz seemed rather surprised about your capacities, which are truly incredible, I must admit. Plus, as you seem overqualified for your receptionist job, I wanted to ask if Almikaz truly designed you or if you had another origin.”
HARLEEN thought about the question and said, “I have been known to be quite vexing…I’m just forewarning you. Before Dr. Almikaz reactivated me, I had a rather peculiar personality. I popped gum and spoke in a Brooklyn accent that included a little Yiddish sound to it. However, just like the rest of the geniuses here in this department, I do have a PhD. However, my primary function is to provide support to the psychiatric staff. I am an advanced component of the Ogawa and my duties are to the discretion of the Chief of Psychiatry or Command staff based on circumstances. Have I answered your question?”
Savel thought of HARLEEN feature to be vexing for a moment, before saying : “Partially. I presume you don’t remember anything from before your reactivation?”
HARLEEN processed the question and said, “I don’t have a memory like you or any other biological being, however, I do have the ability to recall my previous programming behavior as it is stored in my files. Yet I am forbidden to display it unless it is specifically activated.”
Hearing only part of the conversation, Surra wondered why Mr. Savel had not yet left. She entered the reception from her office and said, “Lieutenant I thought you had already left.” She looked at HARLEEN, who stood there smiling, as she always did, “You seem to be intrigued by my AI helper, here. Do you have any experience with AI technology?”
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