Late Night in the Crew Lounge (tag anyone interested)

Posted Jan. 24, 2022, 8:51 a.m. by Ensign Umbri Zayne (Security Officer) (Yvonne Sephiran)

Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor) in Late Night in the Crew Lounge (tag anyone interested)

Posted by Ensign Umbri Zayne (Security Officer) in Late Night in the Crew Lounge (tag anyone interested)

Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor) in Late Night in the Crew Lounge (tag anyone interested)
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Umbri was feeling very restless that night, and she had no idea why. But she did know one thing: There was no way she was getting any sleep until she figured it out. Umbri quietly got out of bed, changed into her uniform, and carefully left her quarters without waking Kastarak.

If there was one place on the ship Umbri could go to clear her head, it was the Crew Lounge. She walked in and sat down close to the window. Suddenly, her mind turned to the reason her parents cut her off. Umbri got out the necklace always kept hidden under her clothes and toyed with it.

She sighed. “I doubt anyone on this ship will understand what I’ve gone through. But still, I’m not gonna be able to keep this secret forever. I just wish there was someone I could talk to without being judged,” said Umbri.

Ensign Umbri Zayne, Security

Kastarak woke up when Umbri left her bunk. He sensed that something was wrong – Umbri had moved in a slightly different way, there was a sharpness to her motor behaviours that otherwise wouldn’t be observed, particularly as she went out of her bed and changed into her uniform. Something definitely was up. Umbri left, and Kastarak pulled over a Vulcan robe over his pyjamas. He almost looked like a Vulcan high priest now. But it was a comfortable one, and perfectly dignified to wear on one’s time off.

“Computer, locate Ensign Umbri Zayne.”

“Ensign Umbri Zayne is in the crew lounge.” replied the computer promptly.

Kastarak quickly walked to the crew lounge, and saw Umbri stand there, toying with her necklace.

“Umbri…” he said softly, signalling to her that he was open for conversation.

– Dr Kastarak (Ensign)

Umbri snapped out of her thoughts, quickly hiding the necklace even though she knew Kastarak had already seen it. She sighed. “I was hoping that I didn’t wake you. Sorry about that. I’ve just got a lot on my mind right now.” she said. Umbri pondered for a moment, wondering what to say next. ‘Perhaps Kastarak will understand what I’m going through,’ she thought. Umbri turned and scooted over, inviting Kastarak to sit with her. “You mind joining me? It might help if I just bite the bullet and start opening up,” she said.

Ensign Umbri Zayne, Security

Umbri Zayne had become such an integral part of Kastarak’s life on board Chernov, that she had formed part of his Chernov identity. The smell of her – despite being human it was not entirely unpleasant (though he would have preferred to avoid it – and he had actually caught himself a few times forgetting the odour desensitization sprays). Her music, her books, her things, her clothes. The sound of her breathing, coughing, laughing. It was all part of his every-day life.

As such, when Umbri experienced distress, as it was quite evident now, Kastarak experienced it too, in some sense. It reminded him of his Academy days, and helped him understand empathy – from a non-Vulcan point of view. It was something very difficult now, and he wanted to tread very carefully. He was no therapist, but he was a friend. And that was the role he wished to undertake.

He took on Umbri’s invitation in silence, seated himself next to her. He had found that humans – and, indeed, many other species – preferred not to sit in direct confrontation to someone else when relating something difficult. They would find it easier to speak, knowing the presence of the other person, but not feeling observed or scrutinized by them.

He was a bit confused by the metaphor “biting the bullet” but decided that now was not the time to explore it. But it certainly conveyed a grave difficulty to come over to speak – similar to his experiences of trauma (losing his planet, his family, everyone he ever knew…), discussing his experiences of pon farr, and so on. Perhaps Umbri, by showing courage in sharing, would help him, when the time is needed, to find courage to open up too. Now was certainly not the time that he wanted to open up, nor needed.

Now was Umbri’s time.

“I am here,” he said quietly. “I listen.”

– Dr Kastarak (Ensign)

Umbri took a deep breath before beginning her story. “I’ve never told anyone what happened between me and my parents. But somehow, I trust you enough to be honest. The truth is that Umbri Zayne isn’t my real name. I was born as Carolyn Hawkins. But around the time I started high school, I figured out that I wasn’t like most kids my age in that I didn’t fit into the traditional gender stereotypes. I did some research online, and I realized that I was gender neutral, which means I go by they/them. I also realized that I was pansexual, meaning I’m attracted to all people. It’s all about their personality, basically. It took me a long time to become comfortable with myself, and I finally worked up the courage to come out to my parents when I turned 18,”

Umbri paused, tears beginning to form in her eyes. “But that backfired horribly. My parents were devout Christians, and even though I was their own child, they chose their faith over me. We got into a huge fight, and they ended up cutting me off. That was a few weeks before I entered Starfleet Academy. I certainly wasn’t Carolyn Hawkins anymore. I changed my name to Umbri Zayne when I started at the Academy, but I still stuck to female pronouns. I was just so afraid that people would react the same way my parents did if I decided to come out completely. And it’s taken a huge toll on my mental health that I haven’t been able to be true to myself. But it’s gotten to a point where I just can’t hide it anymore. If I’m not being true to myself, it’s likely going to destroy me. I had to tell someone,” they said.

Umbri sighed, grateful that the weight was finally lifted from their shoulders. “I’m sorry for putting all of this on you at once. I’ll accept whatever decision you make,” they said.

Ensign Umbri Zayne, Security

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