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Holodeck -I can just throw myself off the side of the cliff - MacGregor counseling thread

Posted Nov. 24, 2023, 5:31 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Thomas McGregor (COS) (Brandon Irvine)

<snip>

“True which is why I have mixed feeling about them,” Vanessa stated. “They can be a lot of fun but,” unbuckling her harness, Vanessa fell about twelve inches before, just like MacGregor stated, she stopped in mid-air. “They are boring and dull. If one has nothing to lose there is no thrill. Sure it can get your heart pumping if you pretend it is all real. It can create stress, anxiety, happiness, and pleasure but it is fake. Kinda like life. Without something to lose one gets a false security about themselves or events and then can make up any reason, valid or invalid, about why their problems are not always their fault. I prefer to do things for read but on a ship that is not possible.”

Vanessa Slade CNS

“Well, if you can sweet talk engineering, there’s always the option of taking a turboshaft offline for maintenance and climbing that,” Thomas pointed out. “A 600-odd meter climb would take you the better part of a day and be plenty taxing.”

COS

“Yes, but to what end,” Vanessa looked at him and sat down. Being in the program still, made her look like she was floating in the air like a genie. “If I wanted to climb a turboshaft I would have been an engineer and that would have benefitted no one. I do not know how Dane does it.” Vanessa thought about her family and felt a rush of homesickness.

“So do you have any happy memories about your siblings? When I say happy it is comparative. Dallas once made Dylan drink a glass of pink lemonade that actually was really watered-down dish soap. It was not a good memory for Dallas but one of my favorites.”

Vanessa Slade CNS

“Happy for me, but not necessarily them? Sure,” Thomas said. “I’m the oldest, so I’ve seen almost every stupid thing they’ve done in the process of growing up. At least, if it happened prior to three years ago. Though my reunion with Josie gave me an absolutely hilarious mental image, because it was something I’d experienced myself.”

COS

“Tell me about it,” Vanessa asked. She genuinely invested in hearing about the happy and content side of Thomas. In their roles as officers, there often was not time to get to know them past when they were on the job. Hearing his background, made Vanessa want to know it even more.

Vanessa Slade CNS

“So, for background, our reunion came on the heels of what was apparently a disastrous date for her, since she beamed herself onto the front porch of the house in tears,” Thomas began.

“Turns out, the date was a disaster because her beau had taken her out for sushi in Tokyo, not having any way of knowing how violently she would respond to wasabi. Well,” Thomas said with a rather mean grin, “he found out rather quickly once she ate it, since she upchucked all over him.”

COS

“Ughhhh,” Vanessa cringed as she laughed. “Did he show up back at your house? Are they still a couple,” she asked sliding off one of her shoes to shake out a rock. It did not escape her the second she did it that there could be no real rock since it was a hologram; however, the program said there was a rock in her shoe so going through the action would convince her mind it was taken care of. “I figure there is a 50/50 shot it was one of those amazing start of a relationship stories or one of the stories you tell when you are drunk about the worst dates of your life. Go on,” she asked genuinely intrigued about the story Thomas was sharing.

Slade CNS

“He didn’t that night, but two days later as I was getting ready to head back to the ship I weaseled out of her that he had sent a message that night after she’d run off mortified saying it was his fault for taking her somewhere where she’d have such a reaction, and set up another date at somewhere of her choosing. I believe she was planning on introducing him to scotch eggs in Edinburgh,” Thomas said.

COS

“And what became of this beau,” she asked. Vanessa was a sucker for happy endings but also understood life was more reality than fantasy. The story probably ended like most dates where it went nowhere after a few months. Barely anyone made it out of their teens and twenties with the love of their life. That was why most people called their twenties just flings.

Vanessa Slade CNS

“Dunno,” Thomas said. “I’m not typically one to snoop in my siblings’ love lives. I probably wouldn’t have known about him at all if I hadn’t been home that day.”

COS

Vanessa made sure the sadness didn’t cross her face but maintained a neutral expression. Her family life was a complete and polar opposite of Thomas’. Her family was loud, noisy, in your business, and extremely close. While that was not for the faint of heart, it was her normal. Not everyone wanted that or sought out that kind of relationship. Talking about his family only made Vanessa miss her family more.

“So enough heavy talk,” she changed the subject. This wasn’t a therapy session so she did not have to stick to the same topics. “Let’s come up with something fun and light. You pick,” she suggested. “I am an open to anything.”

Vanessa Slade CNS

Thomas just shrugged. “How about entertainment?” he asked. “I’m going to go out on a limb from our prior conversation and submit that you enjoy the occasional romcom or dating show.”

COS

“Yes but I adore it when it combines action and adventure. I am also a devout hockey fan. I live by their motto of don’t just stand there. Do something. As you can see,” she gestured around with her hands, “half of my therapy sessions are spent doing something although this is not therapy. What about you…let me guess,” she looked him up and down for a second. “War movies or police dramas?”

Vanessa Slade

Thomas tried and failed to repress a shiver at the mention of hockey. Much too dangerous, and much too cold for him, and he said as much. “I am very much opposed to a sport where each player carries not one but three potentially-deadly weapons on their person at all times,” he said. “I’ll prefer a sport with an actual ball any day, and twice on Sundays. I’d even prefer a cricket match, the worst you’re going to see there is a guy take a spinner to the goolies, as opposed to being beaten to death with a stick or having your throat slit by a foot-knife.”

“Wow, you have a lot to say about hockey. It’s a religion up North and not for the faint of heart and not for anyone.” Thomas’s reaction to hockey shocked her more than her expression showed. For a security officer, he seemed to be very scared of a contact sport. Hockey at least had padding. Vanessa made a mental note not to ever mention her last three boyfriends who played hockey and or rugby. She also made a note to never mention sports too. Thomas seemed to have almost a visceral reaction to playing anything stronger than checkers if he viewed even cricket as a potentially dangerous sport.

“Drama-wise, I will certainly never turn down an episode or three of Law & Order, or the spin-off with the creepy psychologist detective.”

COS

“One of my brothers is a police officer back in Boston. He always wanted to be a cop. A beat cop to be exact, never a troopah.” Her accent slipped out some as she talked about home. “He wanted to be part of the community he served and not someone who sat back avoiding action at a desk job. When we were little, we would play getaway instead of chase. We would time each other making it from one block to another. Climbing fences, cutting down alleys, dodging pedestrians,” she laughed. “He has been part of the BDP for about ten years now. What made you want to become a security officer?”

Vanessa Slade CNS

“I like solving puzzles,” Thomas said. “But not in a mechanical sense of ‘hey let’s break something and put it back together ourselves’, more of a ‘hey this is broken, let’s find out how and why’ way, only translated to people instead of things. That’s not to say I haven’t also investigated broken things while I was still planet-side, but I prefer cases with inter-personal conflict.”

COS


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