Seafort's Psych Eval [closed]

I glanced at my chronometer once again, it was time. I strode to the Counselor's office door, but stopped short. Like a cadet reporting for inspection, I smoothed my hair and tugged down my uniform tunic. Old habits die hard, I mused. Then, winced at my thought of the word old. Well, I was now. I'd have to get used to it. Fifteen years the aliens had taken, by inducing rapid aging on my body. My hair had gone to grayer tones early and my face was hard, beset with a wrinkle here and there. Cosmetic details in the mirror were a bit difficult to make out with a VISOR.

After a reassuring inhale of breath, I located the door's chime and sounded it. Nearly coming to attention as I did so...

((Kat, before the interview get's heavy I'll shoot you some background info, try and make this smooth for you.))
Katriel stepped back from the fish tank, installed into her office just about a month ago. She generally kept the space free of personal effects, so as not to distract patients with details of her own life, so the new aquarium was now easily the most engaging thing to look at in the room. A few elaborately-finned fish swam about lazily and she eyed one of the angelfish with a tilted head, musing over an old memory, until the door chime sounded.

She didn't move immediately and waited only a second or two before calling, "Come in." Though then she waited even another few moments before turning to greet Captain Seafort with her usual, professionally stoic expression.

"Captain," she said. The Betazoid moved a couple steps away from the aquarium and picked up the already-prepped PADD that was laying on the desk. "Please, have a seat."

The eternal dilemma: desk chair or couches? The counselor indicated neither, leaving it up to Seafort to choose.
I stopped just short being at attention, and froze in a semi-rigid pose. How very natural I must look, I mused to myself. I took a few seconds to scan the room. According to the E.M. spectrum, this place was rather plain. Probably for the best I shrugged internally, though I think a bit of it may have leaked out.
The VISOR did read a fish tank. That sort of decorum seemed standard for these other universe types.

After those few seconds, my VISOR fell to Counselor. Ah, that was the one. We'd spoken before, even if in the briefest of encounters. Before I'd joined the Federation and Argo, my...conviction about the whole idea of defection had begun to waver. I'd used an exhausted metaphor about trying to get away from a family that I'd abhorred, in order to explain my dilemma. She'd been kind enough to listen, ask a question here or there. She couldn't really say much, as I'd been purposefully vague. The conversations had still helped solidify my course though.

I proffered a quick salute out of respect, clasped my hands behind by back, and nodded to her.

"Lieutenant Commander, my compliments and It's good to see you again. I trust you've been well?" I moved to the chair in front of her desk, and sat. I felt as though the sofas had been open to me, but somehow it would have just been unnatural to be so comfortable. I crossed one leg over the other, and awaited her response.
Katriel followed Seafort's lead, taking a couple steps and settling into her chair behind the desk. It was fairly uncluttered just normally, but she took a moment to straighten some of the stacks of PADDS and moved them to one side or another, to make the line of sight between herself and the Captain a little more clear.

"Well enough, thank you for asking. And yourself? I don't think we've spoken since your hearing. How have you been settling in?"
I huffed. I couldn't help it, really. Settling in so far, had consisted of being abducted by aliens and having them rapidly age me for their jollies. I was ready to open my mouth and the let words 'just fine' fall out, then I reconsidered. An evaluator she may be, but she deserved honesty.

"I'm not sure of your familiarity with them, but recent events have been rather trying. The...death of Commander Summers was a blow to myself and the crew."

I could feel the neutrality slip from my voice as I spoke about Arlene. I knew it had settled into a morose register. I changed the subject, and waved a hand over my face.

"Also my new...more seasoned appearance is thanks to the time I spent as a "guest" of those aliens. It's all been a lot to shoulder, but I manage. Besides, I actually feel a bit more comfortable like this." I added, my lips twitching to a towards an incomplete smile.

Odd, that slipping out. Most of the time, the fact that I'd lost some years of life rankled me to no end. Yet when I looked in a mirror, I was more comfortable with what was gazing back at me than I had been in my natural youth.

I pursed my lips and let the Counselor chew on what I'd said.
By the time Seafort finished, Katriel had settled herself in her seat, having taken a relaxed posture. She laced her fingers together and settled her clasped hands in her lap. For whatever reason, apparently the counselor had decided she would not need to take notes today.

Her frankly assessing stare on Seafort's face, she merely asked, "Do you have a theory on why that might be?"
I regarded her for a moment, and realized that I was being studied. Well, that was the point of this entire affair. A gloved hand crept to my face, and rubbed my chin. Why indeed? The answer came with relative ease. at least partially, it'd been a subject of discussion between Lieutenant Loures and my self. I sat a bit more upright in my chair and answered her question, keeping my VISOR level with her eyes.

"My father was somewhat of a dour man, I don't think there was much..."child" in my childhood. I know that he loved me in his own way, and I don't begrudge him. Though, I think because of that, I've always been a little uncomfortable around my own age group. In a way, It's sort of a relief to not look or pretend a youth that I don't really feel."

By the end of my explanation, my hand had returned to it's arm rest. I inhaled and my brow twitched slightly. I thought what I'd said sounded strange, but it was as I felt.
"Hm," Katriel's expression didn't change.

"So this discomfort only among others of your age group? Do you think you could cite specific examples of scenarios that would cause that discomfort?" she waved a hand vaguely. Her head tilted a bit as she studied his features for a moment.

"How many years have you been displaced, approximately? I would have personally guessed that any disconnect you might feel is due to more serious differences in ... core philosophy, and such."
Her questions had raised a point, and forced me re-consider. My gaze slowly shifted over to the fish tank, as if the fish within held all the answers to questions that I'd never been asked before. My mouth opened briefly, then closed again. It took a moment for me to realize that I'd had a death grip on the chair's armrests, I relaxed. This counselor's ability to strike at the core of matters was near unnerving. Yet, I soldiered on, telling her the truth as I'd been forced to examine it.

"No, it is not. You and I, talking like this is fine. Throw a number of strangers into the mix, and I feel out of sorts. I've never had a problem with groups while on duty, the command structure is near haven for me in that regard. In places like the station bar, for example? I worry that what I say will be misconstrued or sound all together foolish." My face reddened a bit. I turned my gaze back to her. "My age has gone from 35 to approximately 45 or 50."

Two fingers of my left hand, came up and supported my left temple. "You are correct in that those differences certainly add to said disconnect. Though, on an individual basis, I think I've managed to branch out some. For instance, the other day I learned that despite his claims to the contrary, Ensign Kermit is a rather accomplished cello player." A genuine smile flittered across my features at the memory.

"Captain Quen'fhoz and I have grown close," I left that, at that.

"My...core philosophy has always been one of distance and militarism, yet the longer I am here the more I find myself wanting what I think I've been missing out on. It's just difficult and unnatural for me, no matter how much I want it."

I was, truly embarrassed at admitting my desires and short falls. I managed a slight nod after my statements, studied a point a bit beyond where Ms. Sedai sat.
"So you are acclimating well enough, then, or at least have made an adequate start of it. Good to know," she nodded, briefly.

"I am sorry about Commander Summers. What was she like? And your other bridge officers, how are they handling it?"
I tensed, like someone had plucked the string of a memory. After a moment though, I relaxed and almost smiled at the memory of my friend. "Well her name was Summers, but most of the crew covertly called her Winters." I chuckled very lightly. "She was very self assured- when she was right, she was *right*. She had no problem expressing it in very clear terms. Some thought her cold, and maybe she was." I relented.

"But, she was also rock solid dependable. There was almost nothing she wouldn't do for a shipmate. We all learned that after a time, and it's why we came to cherish her." Absently, I flicked off something wet at the corner of my VISOR with a thumb.

"Most of them are handling it well, in their own ways. Tolliver uses his rather dark sense of humor. Holser spends a lot of time in the gym. Treadwell and Tyre though... Treadwell has just never really seen death before, I think she'll manage." I inhaled, "I do worry some for Mr. Tyre though. The Commander had taken on a near matriarchal role for him, they both seemed to know it. He's been...quiet of late."

I waited for her reply.
Katriel continued to observe Seafort with her typical irrepressible calm. "It must be especially difficult for you and the others, to lose someone among your original crew to claim asylum. What are you planning to do in regards to her... successor?"

"And what are these that you mention, these things that you feel you are 'missing out on'?"
Damned right it was difficult. I winced slightly at my own internal admission and nodded to Ms. Sedai.

I needed to think, that required pacing. I stood and began a slow circuit that lead me to the large porthole in her office. Arms folded across my chest, I gazed out to the E.M. spectrum of the distant stars beyond. After a moment, I spoke.

"I could of course, move a few officers up the chain. I'd promote one to First Officer, and fill the gap they'd leave. outsider from the task force at large would have merits as well." I shrugged lightly. "That could even help with integration."

The corner of my face twitched to a frown as I considered my next answer.

"I had a lot of comrades in the Empire, but not many friends. Certainly, I'd no groups of them. I'd yet to operate in a 'task force', until now. There was the infrequent relationship here or there, but nothing that ever lasted or had any real meaning for me. Being a Captain, or any senior staffer is difficult. Someone is nearly always plotting your death so that they can advance up to your spot."

I inhaled and began a slow stroll back to her desk. "What I'm missing it out is being comfortable working with others, and making real connections with them. I'm...working on it."
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Katriel's quietly calm inquiries continued.

"With those that you previously mentioned, I suppose? Are those socializations turning out as you would like? How did they come about, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Is there something particular to these individuals that made these associations possible, or do you imagine that it's merely the different environment, your different outlook in a new universe, that is enabling them?"
I hesitated a moment before sitting down. My hand flexed open and closed in my glove.

"Well', I said as I slowly lowered myself back into the chair, "I would imagine with Captain Quen'fhoz, it was the rather lengthy amount of time we spent together while I was awaiting my hearing. I cleared my throat, "She ah, trusted me, that helped a lot." I shifted in my seat.

"I think that someone would actually have to try, in order to not like Mr. Kermit. The man carries himself so well, and is always so affable. I suppose he sort represents the atypical of what I'm accustomed to." A grin tugged at the corner of my mouth. "I was able to second him for helm duty for on of the Hibernia's patrol missions, he flew an Imperial Soverign like he was an expert threading a needle." The last part of her question required me to consider my status for a moment.

I brought my VISOR level with her gaze. "I think things are alright. I've had a rough conversation here or there. Some people imagine that I'm an ass, because of where I'm from. That can get...very frustrating." My head shook a little at the memory of a few nights ago. Then, I colored a bit at my use of language, but continued.

"I don't always use niceties, especially when matters of protocol arise. I'm intelligent enough to know there are times when the rules could be bent, or some leeway given. I'm just not very good at doing it. I'm not sure that I should be..." I suddenly felt as though I was rambling off topic.

"I'm not sure what really fuels the success of any of my interactions." I half heartedly shrugged, "My hope is that the Task Force and I are just acclimating to one another".
Katriel's attention had sharpened at some point during Seafort's responses. She was silent for a moment as she worked on the phrasing of what she wanted to say.

"So you felt out of place within your native dimension due to philosophical differences, yet you are not at ease in our dimension either due to your origins. Is that accurate? Do you think you could illuminate for me what aspects of yourself made it impossible for you to stay in your native dimension? And similarly, what aspects of yourself make it challenging for you to assimilate with others now? Or do you believe you could make the transition, if only others would give you the opportunity?"
I nodded slowly, trying not to show how foolish I felt.

"Yes, I suppose that's accurate. What made it impossible for me to stay in my own dimension is that I don't approve of wanton murder as a tool of diplomacy. I don't agree that anyone can take some fundamental rights away from someone else." I realized that I was starting to rise out of my chair as I spoke, my voice had begun the barest hint of a rise as well. I lowered myself down and continued evenly.

"I think what might make it difficult here is that the Federation factors a lot of variables that I'm not used to. A person's feelings, for example, is not something that I am accustomed to considering. Our system was different. A decision was made, and was then carried out. Opinions weren't welcome. If a regulation was broken, the violator was punished." I shrugged.

"I honestly think that your...well, our now, our way is better. I just need to exercise patience, to be mindful that it is an adjustment."

I waved a hand in the air, past my chest.

"A lot of people have given me the chance. I just occasionally catch looks, or get wind of ramblings of distrust." I exhaled. "it's just...that can be difficult when so much has been sacrificed."
Because Katriel is having trouble posting to this thread >_>

The Counselor inhaled and expelled a breath.

"And what is it that you have sacrificed, exactly?"
"Well, any sense of familiarity I've ever had. I...don't know. Maybe it;s less about me personally and more about the crew. All I mean to say is that we've been through a lot and have tried to prove our intentions."
Katriel's next question was measured in tone.

"And what if I were to suggest that it might be the case that you and your crew may never find full acceptance from others in this dimension? That no matter how many good deeds you do now, or however much you've sacrificed to be here, or how distasteful you found your old life to be, it may still be impossible to win everyone's irrevocable friendship here?"
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