Posted by Lieutenant Surra Almikaz (Chief of Psychiatry) in Plant Psychiatry
Posted by Audrey II (Arboretum Hostess) in Plant Psychiatry
Posted by HARLEEN (Psychiatry Reception Hologram) in Plant Psychiatry
Posted by… suppressed (4) by the Post Ghost! 👻
One of Audrey II’s tendrils snaked out and hit the com panel near her planter and contacted the Psychiatry offices on the Ogawa.
“Heeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooo, this is Audrey II of Canticus Theatrum IV, the hostess with the mostess, the showtune singing Venus flytrap, recently returned from a state of dormancy to active service here on the Ogawa. I have problems, my friend, problems right here on the Ogawa, it starts with P and it rhymes with photysynthesis. That’s right, Photosynthesis. But according to a documentary I saw called ‘Green Acres’, there should be ‘land spreading out far and wide’ here. I need help. Do the psychologists make housecalls, or does my lack of limbs which prevents me from physically moving from one place to another mean I will be shunned from getting the psychological assistance I so desperately need?”
- Audrey II
HARLEEN who was in processing mode, organizing the psych unit’s files and appointments suddenly actuated and then answered the call.
“Audrey II welcome back! This is HARLEEN the psychiatric receptionist. The psych unit does indeed make house calls for all crew members aboard the Ogawa and since you are crew we will come to you. I regret I cannot personally assist you with your issue because my programming is restricted to the reception area as well as my duties but I will contact one of our doctors and have them visit you to discuss your....issue. However, before I do, I need to understand the nature of your issue. Will you please elaborate on the exact problems you are experiencing?”
“Oh hello HARLEEN. I am so very happy to hear that, when it comes to my issue, it is gratifying to hear that the locomotivey challenged like myself are afforded the same opportunities as our bipedal colleagues. During my time of dormancy, I took the opportunity to study a lot of documentaries from Earth of the 20th and 21st Century. But I am confused by them all. There are talking horses, there are talking frogs, pigs, bears, chickens and rats amongst other individuals, but there are very few talking plants. Oh there was one part of that documentary in which a chef goes shopping and the fruit and vegetables are singing with him, but I don’t see much by way of talking plants outside of that. Indeed, in my place of residence and work on the Ogawa, there are no other talking plants in earshot. I am always talking and singing when I’m not dormant and I get lonely. I also get lost in the showtunes and it seems that I can go into a showtune at the drop of a leaf and I am concerned that might be an indication that I may be loosing my mind and I put it down to the artificial and not real sunIight get here. Back home, I knew when it was sunrise and sunset and as days and years went by, Here, I don’t know when or if we will let the sun shine in. That was from Fiddler on the Roof and then Hair, both musicals from 20th century Earth, though greatly different in message and theme. Please, I need help, and while I’m sure the sun will come out tomorrow, I need help today! And yes, that was from Annie.”
- Audrey II
OOC: References to musical/tv themes used
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooo was a line delivered by Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire as the title character.
I have problems, my friend, problems right here on the Ogawa, it starts with P and it rhymes with photysynthesis. That’s right, Photosynthesis. is based on Trouble from The Music Man We have problems, my friends, problems right here in River City, it starts with P and it rhymes with POOL. That’s right, Pool.
‘Green Acres’ and ‘land spreading out far and wide’ was taken from the theme song of Green Acres
talking horses is of course referencing Mr Ed.
talking frogs, pigs, bears, chickens and rats amongst other individuals … a chef goes shopping and the fruit and vegetables are singing with him obviously a reference to The Muppet Show and its various movies and spinoffs. In a Muppet Show short the Swedish Chef goes to a supermarket to buy fruit and vegetables and they sing ‘Yes, we have no bananas’ in the ‘language’ of the Swedish Chef.
Sunrise, Sunset is a song from Fiddler on the Roof
Let the Sunshine in is from Hair.
The sun will come out tomorrow is a line from Tomorrow from Annie
After HARLEEN explained Audrey II’s psych needs to Surra, Surra rested her forehead in the palm of her left hand as leaned forward over her desk and she placed both elbows on it. Eyes closed she took a deep breath then said, “Are you telling me that I have to go and talk to a …plant! A talking and singing plant with teeth?”
She shook her head and threw her hands up in disbelief, “No, nope. I can’t do it. What if it… eats me?”
HARLEEN did not quite understand the human emotions Surra was feeling but she smiled and tried to reassure her. “The likelihood of Audrey II eating you is less than .01%. It’s very much unlikely. It seems she just wants someone to talk to. She has an obsession with show tunes and documentaries from the 20th century. The fact that there is very little content out there that encompasses species of her kind seems to bother her a bit.”
Surra brought her fingers up to the bridge of her nose and rested them there, eyes closed again. I obviously had no idea what I was signing up for when I took this position on this ship. she thought to herself.
“Why must it be me? Or anyone else in the psychiatric department?” Surra asked, “Don’t…don’t we have a vet or better yet a gardener who can speak with her? I am sure they would be more effective or qualified than I am.”
HARLEEN thoughts processed for a moment then she responded, “Technically she is part of the crew, and is it not your job to provide psychological evaluations to the crew?”
“Yeah, yeah.” Said Surra as she waved at HARLEEN. “If I must go, then I am talking security with me. The last thing I want my obituary to say is She was dedicated to her job and in the end made a delicious entree for a show-tune Venus Flytrap. All I have to say is if one tendril touches me, I am passing out.”
From doing a quick vital scan, HARLEEN was able to tell that Surra’s heart rate and blood pressure were elevated. “I assure you that she is not a danger to you or anyone else on this ship. I hear she puts on quite a show.” HARLEEN said still smiling at Surra.
“You keep saying that, but you don’t have to go and have a face-to-face with it…her…whatever!” Said Surra as she walked to the supply closet and grabbed a waist bag that contained typical medical equipment such as a tricorder, and hyposprays. Then she walked back to her desk and picked up her PaDD.
“If I were not confined to the psychology section I would accompany you, however since I cannot I will have security meet you in the arboretum,” said HARLEEN.
“Thank you, HARLEEN,” said Surra as she left the psychiatric suite.
When Surra arrived at the arboretum a security officer was already there. The area was full of foliage, flora, and other types of plants from all over the galaxy. She cautiously stepped through the door, clutching her PaDD to her chest with one hand, and signaling the security officer to say close as she tried to discern exactly where the plant was.
“Umm…hello? Audrey? I heard you needed to talk to someone. My name is Dr. Surra Almikaz, you can call me Surra…. If you want.” She cleared her throat and said, “I … heard some of you singing the other day and you sound very nice.” She said, while still not immediately being able to determine the location of Audrey in the arboretum. “Audrey?”
HARLEEN, Psych Reception AI
Audrey II stopped her humming and her consideration of her latest documentary, when she was adressed by her visitor.
I am Audrey II, Surra,
It’s so nice to have you here in the arboretum,
You’re smelling swell, Surra,
I can tell, Surra,
I’m glad you were able to see me here and,
Why doncha pull up a chair, Surra,
With you I wanna shoot the breeze, Surra,
Audrey’ll never go away
Audrey’ll never go away,
Audrey’ll never go away again.”
Then not in her singing voice, Audrey II said, “with apologies to Louis Armstrong, the singing waiters of Hello Dolly the Musical and composer and lyracist Jerry Herman.” And it may have been Surra’s imagination, but while Audrey II was inviting her to ‘pull up a chair’, some of her tendrills was motioning to a nearby chair.
Surra’s mouth dropped open as the plant sang. She looked in the direction where Audrey pointed her tendrils and while not taking her eyes off her just yet she pulled up a chair. Although beads of sweat began to form on her forehead she tried to present calmness and composure in her demeanor. She cleared her throat and said, ” I am sorry I am not much of a documentary or show tune watcher, but that was quite a song you just sang?” she laughed nervously as tried to hum some of the words from the song while she tapped her feet on the arboretum grass, and snapped her fingers.
Then she wiped the sweat from her forehead and said, “Sorry, I’m not musically gifted. It is why I am a psychiatrist, so what can I do for you?”
“I appreciate you taking your time out of your busy schedule to come and tend to the needs of the locomotively challenged, Doctor Surra. You see way back when I was a young Venus Fly Trap back home on Canticus Theatrum IV, life was just an endless cacophony of sounds in fact the sounds could clear the savanah of insects after every squeal, and while that was ok for plants that just relied on nutrients from the soil and the sunlight to survive, for those like the venus fly traps that relied on bugs as well it was a problem. We tried choirs, we tried rosters, we tried different locations, but nothing worked. The acid rock cacti, the throat warbling gums, the snapdragons who could ‘sing at the one time in more than one key’, the jive talking shrubs and the rapping grasses were all doing their own thing, at the same time and in the same location. It made it impossible for my venus fly trap elders to focus on their harmonious show tunes.”
Surra nodded and took notes in her PaDD as she listened to Audrey recount her life back on Canticus Theatrum IV.
“But then, the planet had visitors, and we all tried to welcome them there in our own special way, but without success. One of the visitors were humming while he looked at one of those tricorder things and I hummed back at him. He stopped and I continued to hum. His face went white and he seemed scared. I just kept on humming at him, and he pointed his tricorder thing at me. I reached out and tried to touch his hand, cause I wanted to ‘make the world a better place, if I can’ but he dropped the tricorder thing and ran off. My tendrills picked up the tricorder and then began to sing and the tricorder repeated what I said and I could understand what it was saying. I pushed a few more buttons and it started to play a documentary about the whole universe starting with a big bang which I absorbed and well I continued listening to what was being said. I kept on listening and talking back to it. The one that dropped it came back with some others and one of them shot me with something that made me go numb and not know where I was.”
As Audrey told her story, Surra became less concerned about the plant eating her. She was starting to see, as HARLEEN had assured her, that Audrey was not a threat. She in fact exhibited many human and empathic qualities.
When Audrey mentioned that they had shot her and poached from her planet. Surra felt angry. Why must humanoids always invade the spaces of other species, especially those like Audrey, remove them from their homeworld, put them in a cage, and place them on display?
“I was then taken some where and was in a container and I was away from all my fellow plants and I was afraid. I tried to ‘whistle a happy tune’ and ‘remember a few of my favourite things’, but I was lonely and afraid but I heard some people singing in a group and I joined in and people seemed interested in me doing that. I was given the name Audrey II which I discovered was from one of the documentaries from earth about one of my kind that ate people. I assure you Doctor Surra, that is a false portrayal of us and no self respecting venus fly trap from Canticus Theatrum IV, would ever eat a human, vulcan, klingon, andorian, bajoran, betazoid, romulan, cardassian, ferengi, tellarite, orion, El Aurian or any other sentient species. We only eat insects, but definitely not the Flea’tan.”
Surra let out a sigh of relief and laughter at the confirmation from Audrey that she did not eat humanoid creatures. “Of course not,” said Surra as she stood up, walked over to the plant, and placed one hand softly on her. “I am sorry about everything that happened to you, Audrey. It’s not right what they did to you.”
“My biggest issue is I am lonely here. None of these other plants are able to respond to me and join in the chorus of songs or join me in a romantic duet or trio or a patter song. I have been singing the show tunes for the ship in the hope that the songs might cause them to evolve with the ability to sing with me, or at least to enjoy the sounds. If they are unable to do so I hope that the crew would join in with the songs. Some of my documentaries show that music and singing have a positive impact on physical and mental health. Does your work support that?”
- Audrey II
Surra could tell that Audrey was lonely and her heart began to break for her. “Oh, Audrey, I don’t think these plants are like you. They are…regular. You are special and I don’t think they will be able to evolve to your level. If they do it will take a millennium to do so.” She thought about Audrey’s question, “Yes, my work actually supports anything that has a positive impact on mental health which can affect physical health. I can’t speak for the other crew, but I can have someone from the psych department come visit you regularly. We are here to listen to you, whether you want to talk or just sing a song. Heck, when I am not busy I can even join you in singing a tune or two. I may not be as good as you but I wll try.”
“Oh thank you, Dr Surra,” Audrey II said, and sap began dripping down her main stalk from a couple of her flowers, “you are very very kind to a plant such as me. Do you have any advice for me regarding my showtune problem? Should I be able to get through a thought without wanting to sing about flaunting it if you’ve got it, or that I’m a big girl now?”
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