Author Topic: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)  (Read 286 times)

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Offline Judith Eastman

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It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« on: December 31, 2019, 11:45:12 pm »
[Counseling Room, J.E.W. Consulting offices, Deck 226, SBC - Early Jan. 2398]
after S4M2

This was a session Judy always thought was necessary, but had somehow not come along until now. The older woman had always been worried about Captain Naira's mental state, as Lead Counselor in December '96 and certainly as SOO in the spring of '97. Now, after a Breen attack that had shaken everyone's confidence in the safety of their home on the station, Naira seemed to see the need for help, if only for the trauma of the attack.

Judy was, of course, ready and happy to help. Even though she expected a tough process of opening the captain's mental shell, in which her usual aid of home cooking would not be of much use, she didn't shirk from the job.

The room itself had two comfortable sofas, large enough for even Judy's sons (each 6'3" in height) to lie down on, some artwork (including a landscape painting by Max of the couple's vacation property in winter), bookshelves heavy with assorted literature, a coffee table with a full pitcher of water and two empty glasses, and a wooden desk in the corner.

Judy was seated behind that desk, decked out in a muted lavender-colored pantsuit and an elegant scarf, as well as black, horn-rimmed glasses. In these situations, she had to be very particular about her appearance - not to look too sad, but also not disrespectfully happy (the sweater Mabel had gifted her for her birthday, with a corgi butt embroidered on the back, stayed on the ranch after the attack).

The counselor waited for the captain, all the while looking over the food section of her beloved New York Times to pass the time.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 01:31:51 pm by Judith Eastman »
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Offline Naira

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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2020, 01:58:51 pm »
[Counseling Room, J.E.W. Consulting offices, Deck 226, SBC - November 2397]
after S4M2

This was a session Judy always thought was necessary, but had somehow not come along until now. The older woman had always been worried about Captain Naira's mental state, as Lead Counselor in December '96 and certainly as SOO in the spring of '97. Now, after a Breen attack that had shaken everyone's confidence in the safety of their home on the station, Naira seemed to see the need for help, if only for the trauma of the attack.

Judy was, of course, ready and happy to help. Even though she expected a tough process of opening the captain's mental shell, in which her usual aid of home cooking would not be of much use, she didn't shirk from the job.

The room itself had two comfortable sofas, large enough for even Judy's sons (each 6'3" in height) to lie down on, some artwork (including a landscape painting by Max of the couple's vacation property in winter), bookshelves heavy with assorted literature, a coffee table with a full pitcher of water and two empty glasses, and a wooden desk in the corner.

Judy was seated behind that desk, decked out in a muted lavender-colored pantsuit and an elegant scarf, as well as black, horn-rimmed glasses. In these situations, she had to be very particular about her appearance - not to look too sad, but also not disrespectfully happy (the sweater Mabel had gifted her for her birthday, with a corgi butt embroidered on the back, stayed on the ranch after the attack).

The counselor waited for the captain, all the while looking over the food section of her beloved New York Times to pass the time.

[CO's Quarters to Counseling Room, Deck 226, SBC]

After much back and forth consideration with herself, Naira had taken the plunge so to speak and had requested a personal counseling session with her former SOO and retired CMO. Now that the scheduled meeting time had finally come, she found herself awash with a range of emotions. Why did I sign myself up for this? She asked herself as she nervously touched up her makeup in an attempt to hide the puffiness around her eyes and the dark bags beneath them.

For the last few weeks she had been forcing herself to put on a brave face and attempt to go about work as usual. However, between signing off on repair requests and notifying families to the lose of their loved ones following the attack, it was starting to weigh heavy on her. Smiling felt like a chore. She was tired all of the time and yet each time she put her head down on her pillow all she could do was stare blankly at the dark ceiling above. It was impacting her work and more importantly, her family time. The children had been spared from the worst of it, but they were starting to ask some questions.

Questions she was going to need help answering.

Slowly she made her way to the office just in time for the appointment. She hadn't bothered to change out of her uniform after having worked the night shift, and she came carrying two PADDs, one was of the standard issue that just about everyone on the station currently used and the other looked to be of the previous model, but showed signs of being far older and heavily worn out.


Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 02:36:48 pm »
[Counseling Room, J.E.W. Consulting offices, Deck 226]

Judy stood up to open the door to the room, letting Naira into the warmly-decorated space.

"Good morning, Captain," she greeted. "You look tired."

It didn't take a genius to recognize the signs of more makeup than Naira's usual, a general tired look, and a uniform that had been on for a long time. Judy had seen it all in the mirror in the past.

"Go ahead, have a seat, tell me how it's going."
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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 03:00:56 pm »
[Counseling Room, J.E.W. Consulting offices, Deck 226]

Judy stood up to open the door to the room, letting Naira into the warmly-decorated space.

"Good morning, Captain," she greeted. "You look tired."

It didn't take a genius to recognize the signs of more makeup than Naira's usual, a general tired look, and a uniform that had been on for a long time. Judy had seen it all in the mirror in the past.

"Go ahead, have a seat, tell me how it's going."

[Counseling Room, Deck 226, SBC]

Naira forced herself to smile as the older woman greeted her at the door and welcomed her into the room. She didn't argue the fact that she looked tired, she knew no amount of makeup could fully disguise that fact. So she simply nodded.

"This is a lovely office," she said as she took a spot on one of the couches and admired the personal touches Judy added to the room. It felt warm and inviting, without being too busy or looking too clinical. "Thank you for agreeing to meet with me today."

She folded her hands in her lap over the PADDs.

A momentary awkward silence followed as she thought about how to answer the woman's question. It felt as if a wave of feelings and emotions wanted to wash over her and spill out and she was doing everything in her power to hold them back. "I was hoping I could talk to you and get some advice. I have dealing with some things since the attack and I thought maybe talking to someone might help."   
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 03:10:15 pm by Naira »

Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 06:14:35 pm »
[Counseling Room]

Judy sat down opposite Naira and poured water into both glasses. Then, holding one in her left hand (the one with the medical bracelet announcing her artificial heart to first responders and the world), she sat back, but kept her head and neck inclined forward.

"I'm glad you came to me," she said after a brief pause, leaning into her maternal side. "These events are overwhelming in any position, doubly so when it's on your watch and when you can't actually rest properly after it."

Naira probably knew all this, but Judy said it nonetheless to signify her understanding of the position.
"I suppose most everything's weighing down on you right now, so let's get it all out there."

Of course, Judy suspected it'd take more prodding than that to get the captain to open up. Some people let loose and just talked to her freely, while others kept their guards up.
"What's on the PADDs, if it's not above my clearance?"

As a consultant, Judy retained the same level clearance she had held as LCDR, to support her strategic consulting work.
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Offline Naira

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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 09:44:56 pm »
[Counseling Room]

Naira leaned forward in seat and took the remaining glass of water. She brought it to her mouth for a quick sip before returning it to the table.

"It has indeed been hard. On the one hand I would like to say that it has gotten easier to deliver devastating news to the families of those who have been lost, but I am worried that that might make me a horrible person. I don't want to be desensitized to their pain and loss, but after so many similar calls the names and faces start to blur together. I've found myself falling into repeating the same phrases over and over again and it feels as if they have lost all meaning."

She paused to take a deep breath and her eyes wandered to the glass of water sitting on the table. She didn't reach for it again, but instead watched the refracted bits of light, in a hue matching Judy's pantsuit, dance across the surface.

Then, the question came up about the PADDs. She knew that by bringing them with her that they wouldn't inevitably make their way into the conversation, but it was difficult to talk about. She couldn't begin to put it in words. Even thinking about it threatened to bring tears to her eyes once more.

"This one," she began as she picked up the newer looking PADD tenderly, before holding it out to the other woman to take and read for herself should she desire. Her hand shook as she did so. "Contains a list of all the ships and lives lost in the attack." The list was a culmination of Starfleet and civilian vessels, some Cardassian and Klingon ships, members of a Lurian outpost and number of Lissepians. Naira had scrolled partially down the list so that it read:

Quote
USS Troy
USS Phoenix
USS Da Vinci
USS Valiant
IKS K'tomoc


And onward.   

Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 10:44:58 pm »
[Counseling Room]

Judy nodded in acknowledgement and understanding of the comment about the people blending together. She hadn't studied the matter formally, but she had read something many years ago in a book.

"I have to admit, I'm out of my depth when it comes to condolence visits, but I did read about it in an old earth war memoir, many years ago," she commented, speaking slowly and calmly as she set the glass down.
"The memoir's writer, a Brigade commander, if I recall correctly, observed that the families liked to hear the story of how their loved ones died, and that it helped him, too. If he didn't know personally, he could find a comrade of the fallen soldier who could answer questions and tell the story. It's a hard thing, these meetings, no way around that, but at least in some cultures, talking openly about it all is beneficial."

Judy read over the PADD, and she did recognize the Klingon name, but they'd juggle that for later.


OOC: the book Judy's referencing is one I myself read. It is These Are My Brothers by Ori Orr. I read it in Hebrew, as it were.
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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 02:12:08 am »
[Counseling Room]

Naira listened intently as Judy began to recount the story for her. She nodded along with the her conclusion. "I think for many people it does help. I guess continuing on while not knowing would leave someone to ponder all the various possibilities, preventing them from being able to move on and find peace with the situation."

During some of the calls she had made some of the families had even thanked her for informing them, which in an of itself presented its own awkward challenge. She didn't know quite what to say to them in return other than to repeat that she was sorry for their loss.

Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 12:14:29 pm »
[Counseling Room]

Judy nodded as she leaned forward once again.

"They do need closure, as do you. It's valuable for matters of mental well-being," she explained.

She set both elbows down on the coffee table, as she continued to speak.

"You'll have to excuse me for jumping around a bit, but on the PADD, it listed the K'tomoc," she observed. "That was General Yoduk's ship, wasn't it?"

The older woman wasn't sure what the connection between the Captain and the General was, but it was there.
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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 10:31:55 pm »
[Counseling Room]

Naira reached for the glass of water once more as she felt a tightness growing in her throat. She had hoped that a sip of water might ease it, but instead she found herself struggling to swallow. She tried to answer the counselor's questions, but she choked on her words.

"Yes," she finally managed to say as she hung her head. Her shouldered slumped and she began to pick at the cuff of her sleeve. "The governor sent me the report. Apparently they were returning to the colony from their last visit here when the Breen fleet came upon them." Her eyes began to well up and she sucked in her lips that suddenly felt too dry. "It said," she could barely speak at this point. "all that was left behind was a charred debris field...th...they couldn't even identify the dead."

Naira didn't open up to people like this. She made it a point to hold herself together, to be the person that others could look to and depend on to keep a level head in the midst of an emergency, but in this moment all those held back feelings and emotions were just too much to keep bottled up.       

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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2020, 12:38:25 am »
[Counseling Room]

Judy could tell there was something going on, and it was evident why. There was big emotional weight in play, and Naira seemed to want to keep it inside.

"It's - it's okay, Captain," she reassured. "You can open up. It's healthy to let those feelings out."

There were words she was avoiding, words she didn't think Naira wanted to hear, words like "it's okay to cry."

But she knew if she went that far, she could lose Naira. So instead, she reached across the coffee table, offering a supportive hand to grasp. It was a subtler gesture than the hugs she might offer some people, but this seemed better at the moment. Hugs could come later, if Naira was receptive.
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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2020, 10:19:19 pm »
[Counseling Room]

Judy could tell there was something going on, and it was evident why. There was big emotional weight in play, and Naira seemed to want to keep it inside.

"It's - it's okay, Captain," she reassured. "You can open up. It's healthy to let those feelings out."

There were words she was avoiding, words she didn't think Naira wanted to hear, words like "it's okay to cry."

But she knew if she went that far, she could lose Naira. So instead, she reached across the coffee table, offering a supportive hand to grasp. It was a subtler gesture than the hugs she might offer some people, but this seemed better at the moment. Hugs could come later, if Naira was receptive.

[Counseling Room]

Naira reached out and grasped the other woman's hand, all while keeping her gaze down in her lap.

She was quick to wipe away a single tear, with her free hand, that began to form in the corner of her eye. She needed in response to the other woman.

"I haven't reached out to his family yet, or informed the children. They were really looking forward to his visit. He visits every year, at the end of the year, it's somewhat of a tradition he'd taken up." She fought hard to suppress a bit of a smile and what felt like an inappropriate chuckle when she thought back to some of his previous visits to the station.

"Did you ever get the chance to meet Admiral Adeyemi when he was on the station?" She asked. "He tried to introduce Yoduk and his men to his strong religious faith and the idea of Christmas, Yoduk enjoyed the idea of drinking, feasting and celebrating babies, not so much bring dragged to religious services in the middle of the night."

As quickly as her mood had elevated recounting a found memory, it dropped again as she returned to the present.

"I still don't know what I'm going to say to them." 

Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: It's Not Easy Being Green (Naira & Judy)
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2020, 02:14:06 pm »
[Counseling Suite]

Judy nodded at the mention of Adm. Adeyemi (she had golfed with him), and offered sympathetic looks.

"It's going to be hard on them, just as it is on you, and any way you put it to them, there will be grieving, and there will be crying. It's okay for them to cry, and it's okay for you to cry as well. It's okay, yes, if you can't be strong for your children the way they're used to, because you need someone to lean on yourself. There is an old human saying, I'm not sure if you're familiar with it: 'it takes a village.' So, in this case, it takes a village, or perhaps a station."
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