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NaVer's First Assignment 
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Post NaVer's First Assignment
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<<Starbase 514, Temporary Quarters 12C-122, July 12, 2387, 1500>>

Darija (PNPC) had arrived at Starbase 514 a couple hours prior and, after finding some lunch on the Promenade and doing a little exploring, had found her temporary quarters. They weren't as nice as her quarters on Starbase 343 had been, but that was understandable considering she was only a temporary guest on this starbase whereas she had been a Medical and Counseling intern on 343. Still, the quarters were more than adequate; the Trill didn't expect to be aboard Starbase 514 for long anyway.

Her sky blue eyes surveyed the boxes containing her belongings, neatly stacked in the corner. If she were actually staying here for a length of time, Darija would've started unpacking, but she wasn't. Instead, she moved over to the small desk along the right wall and activated the terminal. No new messages...apparently her new ship had not yet arrived.

Mostly Darija was excited and anxious, but also she was somewhat nervous. She had technically graduated from StarFleet Medical two months ago and had been awaiting assignment ever since. In the meantime she had continued her work on Starbase 343, rather than let her skills go to waste. Finally, a week ago, the Trill had received word from Horizon Fleet's Personnel department that she was to be assigned to the USS Sentinel in their medical and counseling departments.

Truthfully, she had been a little surprised - she had expected to be assigned to either Counseling or Medical, but not both. Darija was qualified to serve in either department, of course, but she knew that on most ships either department would be busy enough that she wouldn't be able to do both, at least not regularly. However, during her journey to Starbase 514, she did some research and asked others about the Sentinel class vessel. The ship was much smaller than many of the other vessels, with less than one hundred crew members. Thus, it made sense to have officers take on additional duties.

On one hand, she was a little disappointed that she wouldn't be on a larger ship...after all, she was used to serving on a Starbase during her internship - being on a small ship would be quite an adjustment. On the other hand, it would likely give her a better opportunity to hone her skills and make a good impression - to allow herself to stand out a bit more and show everyone that she was capable of handling the responsibilities she would have.

Darija frowned slightly, wishing she had more people to share the good news with. A couple days ago she had contacted her friend from the Academy, Aniela (PNPC) and her mother; both were glad to hear that she had received her first assignment. However, her relationships with her twin, Karija, and father were not as good as before...before the field docent assigned to her had rejected her, thus forcing her out of the symbiont program. Both her father and twin sister were Joined - Karija was joined with the Mer symbiont shortly before Darija decided to join StarFleet. Since then, she had had little contact with them, mainly getting updates from her mother instead.

Sighing, the young woman perked up slightly as the terminal in front of her chirped. Sliding her fingertip across the screen, she read through the message and smiled - the Sentinel would be arriving that day. Soon she would be off on the next chapter of her career.

OFF:

Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer (PNPC)
Assistant Chief Medical Officer & Chief Counselor
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

played by:

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Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer/Chief Science Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:56 pm
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Post Re: NaVer's First Assignment
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<<USS Sentinel, Sen’s Quarters, July 14, 2387, 0950>>

Alone in her quarters, Archana was enjoying the rare treat of a morning off. A warm cup of chai at her fingertips and a book laid out before her, she was only a little distracted when the beep from her personal terminal informed her that she had a personal message waiting for her. She took her time getting around to it, intent on being as lazy as possible today, if only for a few hours. It wasn’t until her second cup of chai was finished and she’d reached a good stopping point in her novel that she meandered over to the terminal, accessing the waiting message with a relaxed sigh.

It only took a moment for that relaxed feeling to vanish completely. Shutting off the message with quick, jerky motions, Archana pushed away from the terminal and rose so quickly from her chair that it fell over behind her. It was not the first time that her ex-husband had tried to contact her, and despite her resolute silence on the matter, she was sure that it wouldn’t be the last. She didn’t want to see him again, didn’t even want to speak to him, if she could help it. What didn’t he understand about that?

The silence of her quarters, usually so comforting to her, was too much for her to stand now. Completely heedless of where she was going, Archana rapidly fled her quarters, intent on getting the man and his attempt at contacting her out of her head by any means necessary.

<Corridor>

Darija moved through the corridor slowly, frowning as she studied a PADD. Despite the fact that the Sentinel was tiny compared to a Starbase, it was still going to take some time for her to get used to the layout. After a brief visit to Sickbay, she decided to go back to her quarters to gather up the PADDs she had compiled the previous evening before heading to the Counseling Suite.

Suddenly she was jarred forward and placed a hand on the bulkhead to steady herself. Surprised, the Trill turned to find a woman in services yellow behind her. Darija bent down and retrieved her PADD, a nervous smile appearing across her lips, "I'm so sorry, ma'am. I'm afraid I wasn't paying attention while I was studying the deck layout..."

Distracted as she was, Archana had hardly been paying any attention herself. If it was anyone’s fault, it was certainly hers. “No need to apologize,” she assured the woman, a little surprised to realize she’d never seen her before. That was something of a surprise aboard a ship as small as the Sentinel. “If anyone should apologize, it’s me,” she sighed, giving the blonde woman an apologetic, if slightly distracted, smile. “You’re new here?”

Darija nodded before replying, "Yes, ma'am. Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer - Chief Counselor and Assistant Chief Medical Officer. I just came aboard recently, after the Sentinel docked at Starbase 514." Unfortunately, she didn't think she had made the best impression with one of the higher-ranked officers. The Trill wasn't entirely sure who the woman was, especially since the services departments had the most crew in them.

“Well then, welcome aboard, Dr. NaVer,” Archana said, giving the Trill what she hoped was a friendly smile. In truth, she was somewhat caught off guard by this run in, particularly since the raw emotion she had recently experienced was still so fresh. “I’m Lieutenant Archana Sen, Chief Security and Tactical Officer.” Offering her hand, she continued, “I really am sorry for nearly running you down. I’m usually not that pushy, but I’m afraid I…” She sighed quietly, unsure how to explain herself. “I guess you might say that I received some bad news.”

Shaking Archana's hand, Darija frowned slightly at the woman's revelation. "No need to apologize... I'm sorry to hear that you got bad news, Lieutenant." She hesitated slightly, not entirely sure how to proceed considering she had just met the woman, but finally decided on a course of action, "I'm not sure where you were headed, but if you'd like to talk about it, I'm willing to listen. I think my quarters are around here somewhere..."

Archana was taken aback by the offer, and her first instinct was to turn Darija down. They’d only just met, and the last thing she wanted was to weigh the poor girl down with the baggage of her personal life when she’d only just arrived. But the empath could sense that her desire to help was sincere, and for some reason, actually talking to someone about what had happened rather than simply taking her frustration out on one of her specially designed hologram programs seemed much more appealing to her right now. “To be honest, I wasn’t headed anywhere in particular,” Archana finally admitted. “But I think that, seeing as you are our new counselor... Well, it might be nice to actually talk to someone about it. And," she added with a crooked smile, "I could even help you find your quarters, if you like. It's the least I could do."

"That would be wonderful, Lieutenant, thank you," Darija replied with a smile. "I've been to them before, but I seem to keep getting turned around. They should be on Deck four, room 8." It seemed so silly to her, getting so lost on a ship this size - it was smaller than the Academy even...but every corridor looked the same.

“You’ll learn your way around soon,” Archana assured her as she began to lead the way. They didn’t have very far to go at all, but by the time they reached their destination, she was beginning to wonder if she’d made the right decision. She was not opposed to speaking about her feelings in general, but when it came to the issues of her past marriage, she was usually reluctant to talk to anyone about them. Only a very few close to her knew the full details, and she was perfectly happy to keep it that way. Still, it was too late to back out now. Stopping outside the doors to Darija’s quarters, she stepped aside to let the Trill take the lead.

Darija moved forward and paused ever so slightly to allow the door to slide open before walking in and stopping just inside. Although she couldn't read minds, she was fairly good at reading body language and noticed that the Chief Security/Tactical Officer seemed a bit hesitant. "Thank you, Lieutenant...it probably would have taken me another half hour to find them, at least," Darija commented with a friendly smile. "If you don't really want to talk to me about the news you received right now, that's alright. I know we just met and it's not always easy to open up right away. But, I am willing to listen and if you'd just like to come in briefly to chit chat, we can talk about something else entirely." Part of her training had been making her patients...her crewmates...more comfortable and willing to speak with her. Darija did hope that Archana would stay; it would be nice to have someone to talk to who wasn't in her own departments.

Taking a deep breath, Archana nodded and stepped further inside. It was a little silly, she thought, for a seasoned security officer to feel trepidation upon entering a counselor’s quarters. Besides, even though she’d only known Darija for a few minutes at most, she had already decided that she liked her. “You look like you’re just about settled in,” she commented, feeling perfectly at ease with chit chat, as Darija had called it. “How do you like the Sentinel so far?”

"I wouldn't have lasted more than a day or two without packing, really," Darija admitted. "I finished unpacking yesterday." As she stepped away from the door, her eyes surveyed the quarters. The two were standing in the main living area - complete with a table and chairs, two couches, a low wooden table, and a couple shelving units. Off to the left were the bathroom and her bedroom. A few paintings adorned the walls; her Trill piano and some various knickknacks - both from her homeworld and various places she'd been, decorated the shelves and table.

Moving further inside, the Trill gestured towards one of the couches in the main living area, this one was a deep blue color, and took a seat. "I may do a little redecorating, but for now, it'll work just fine. The Sentinel seems to be a good ship; everything appears fairly new and fresh. It's a fair amount smaller than I'm used to though... Have you been aboard long? What do you think of the ship?"

Making herself comfortable on the couch, Archana smiled at Darija’s first impressions of the ship. “I’ve been aboard the Sentinel for two years now, almost to the day. The last ship I served on was an Ambassador class, so I had to get used to the size myself. But there’s something special about the Sentinel. I didn’t know it at first, but it was just what I’d been looking for. It’s become my home, really.” Looking over at Darija with a little half smile, she added, "It's the sense of community that I love. It's hard to find its equal on larger ships."

"I'll have to take your word for it, at this point," Darija responded with a slight chuckle. "The only other assignment I had, as an intern for StarFleet Medical, was aboard Starbase 343...and a Starbase is certainly a bit different than a ship, let alone a smaller size ship." Tucking a strand of blonde hair behind her ear, she leaned back slightly and asked, "How long had you been aboard the Ambassador class ship? Were you there for quite a while or just a short time?"

“Quite a while, I’d say,” Archana said with a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. She turned her gaze to look at one of the paintings on the wall, but she didn’t really see it. With Jerric’s latest message still so fresh in her mind, she couldn’t help but think of him when speaking about her last assignment. He had been a significant part of her life then, not to mention the reason she’d had to leave it all behind so abruptly. Clearing her throat, she turned back to Darija. “The USS Exeter was my first assignment, and I stayed there for four years before I joined the crew of the Sentinel. You can imagine what a change that was, I’m sure,” she chuckled quietly.

Though Archana hadn't said anything, Darija knew that there was more to her time aboard the Exeter than she wanted to talk about, at least for now. Building rapport wasn't always quick or easy, but to help the woman before her, she knew that at least part of the puzzle would remain a mystery for now. Darija could look up the other woman's file, of course, but there was something to be said for gaining another's trust. "Yes, I would imagine that an Ambassador class is a bit different from this... Did you request a transfer? To try something different perhaps or ?"

She could make up an excuse or give an intentionally vague answer, but neither of those was very much like Archana. “I did request a transfer, yes,” she nodded. “I was married at the time, but things happened, and… Well, it didn’t end well. My marriage, that is. I knew it would be unwise to remain on the ship with my ex-husband, so I requested a transfer and fate brought me here.” Debating for a moment whether or not she wanted to tell her more, the empath sighed before deciding to forge ahead, at least a little further. “That was part of the reason why I was upset earlier, when I nearly knocked you off your feet,” she said with a rueful smile. “My ex-husband tried to contact me this morning. Again. Most people don’t like hearing from their exes, but in my case…” Archana sighed. “Well, let’s just say that I’d be perfectly happy to never hear from him again.”

Darija couldn't help but raise an eyebrow. At this point she was torn between responding more as a friend or more as a counselor. Considering they were in her quarters, this was the first time the two had met, and the Trill wanted the woman to feel more at ease, she chose the former. "Well, I don't know exactly what happened, but generally people separate for a reason, so I can't really blame you. And since this happened a couple years ago, I don't understand why he would continue to contact you when you obviously don't want to hear from him."

“You don’t know Jerric,” Archana said ruefully, smiling a little despite herself. “He’s one of the most persistent, determined men that I’ve ever known, at least in his own way. It’s part of what made him such a phenomenal surgeon.” Even talking just this much about her ex-husband felt like a relief somehow, which was rather surprising, all things considered. On those rare occasions when she did speak about Jerric—usually just to her mother and a few select others—the pain and anger the memories invoked were still too raw for comfort. Maybe speaking to a friendly and qualified counselor about it really would be helpful.

Still, Archana wasn’t totally sure that she wanted to dive too deep into the past right now. “Look,” she said, sitting up suddenly. “It’s a very long story, but it’s one that I’d like to talk to you about sometime, if that would be all right. Perhaps I can visit you in your office one day when you’re not busy fixing up any crewmembers,” she smiled. “For now, though, I don’t want to make you work so hard on one of your first days on the job, and especially when you’re not on duty. Why don’t I show you around the Sentinel a bit instead? I can help you get a little more familiar with the layout, show you some of the more thrilling sights”—her smile turned sarcastic at this—“and you can help me keep my mind off of my ex-husband for the morning. How does that sound?”

Considering how hesitant Archana had seemed at first, Darija was glad to hear that the Chief Security/Tactical Officer did want to discuss the issues with her ex-husband. One thing she had learned was that getting someone to trust you enough to tell you their deepest secrets, pains, and joys completely depended on the person and how you handled them. A strategy that might work for one wouldn't necessarily work for another.

Before she let her mind drift too far off the subject, the Trill nodded before responding, "That would most certainly be alright; my door...well...my doors...are always open. I would love to have a tour and having someone help me familiarize me with the ship is much appreciated. I'm sure you know the ship like the back of your hand; you could probably show it to me with your eyes closed." Darija stood as well, and moved over towards Archana. "I did have a question though, Lieutenant..."

With one hand placed loosely on her hip, Archana nodded. She could sense some hesitation in the Trill and couldn’t help but wonder what was on her mind. “Yes, Counselor?”

"Well, I was wondering if you prefer to be referred to as 'Lieutenant', 'Lieutenant Sen', 'ma'am', or something else... Obviously on duty it would be one of those, but I know some like to keep the formality at all times while others like to simply go by first names when off duty or in certain circumstances," the Trill explained. She had to run into both cases during her internship and she didn't want to make a bad impression by either being too formal or too informal. It seemed to be a delicate balance.

Chuckling, Archana let her hand fall back to her side. “Is that all? For a moment, I was afraid you were going to ask me something truly frightening. You can call me Archana, of course,” she smiled. She had never been one for too much formality, at least not in private. She was, after all, half Betazoid. “It's very thoughtful of you to ask, though. In fact, what do you prefer to be called? Even when you’re on duty, I’m not sure if the norm is to call you Counselor or Doctor,” Archana confessed with a smirk.

Darija smiled, "I'm sure I could come up with something truly frightening if you'd rather... But, fair is fair. 'Doctor' would be appropriate in either case, truthfully, but I don't mind if people refer to me as 'Counselor' or by my rank. Off duty, Darija is perfectly fine. During counseling sessions I tend to call my patients by their first names, so long as they don't mind; it seems to put them more at ease to be called by something less formal." Though she hadn't particularly noticed previously, she must have been feeling rather anxious...the more she talked to Archana, the calmer and more relaxed she felt. It was nice to begin feeling more settled. "So about that tour..."


OFF:

A JP brought to you by:

Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer (PNPC)
Assistant Chief Medical Officer & Chief Counselor
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

played by:

Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer/Chief Science Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

and

_________________
Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:57 pm
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Post Re: NaVer's First Assignment
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<<USS Sentinel, Counseling Suite, July 14, 2387, 1400>>

After Archana had given her the grand tour, Darija (PNPC) had returned to her quarters to retrieve the PADDs she'd intended to collect earlier and went to review them in the Counseling Suite. The Trill read through quite a few in the following hours, but decided she needed a break. Thus far she hadn't had a chance to introduce herself to the Executive Officer; it seemed that part of the time she couldn't find him or where he currently was or else she was busy trying to acquaint herself with the ship and crew. Deciding that it was as good a time as any, Darija went in search of the man.

<Office of the Executive Officer, 1418>

She finally arrived outside Commander Tsereteli's office and had already confirmed he was there. Unless, of course, he'd somehow snuck out in the last five minutes. Taking a breath, Darija rang the doorchime and waited for permission to enter his office.

Erik had no sooner stood from his desk and started for the door than the door chime rang and with the momentum he already carried he stepped once more causing the doors to slide open. On the other side stood quite an attractive woman in Medical teal, her expression revealing that she hadn't expected the doors to open so quickly. Erik stopped himself with a slight bounce in his step, tucked the PADD in his hand at his side and he grinned, "Good afternoon, is there something I can do for you Lieutenant..?"

Caught off guard, again, Darija took a few moments to regain her composure. Straightening her stance a bit more she replied, "NaVer, sir. Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer. I'm sorry to just appear, sir, but I've been aboard since yesterday and hadn't had the chance to properly introduce myself."

"NaVer," Erik replied thoughtfully. "Ah yes, our new Medical Officer and Counselor. Welcome aboard doctor, please come in." Erik let Darija enter before stepping back in himself allowing the doors to slide shut, then guided her to the guest seat and then seated himself on his side of the desk. "What are your impressions of the Sentinel so far Lieutenant?"

Taking a seat, the Trill folded her hands in her lap and replied, "Well, sir, it's rather different than a Starbase... I'm still acquainting myself with the layout; actually Lieutenant Sen gave me a bit of a tour earlier. I've not met many people just yet, but I'm sure that will come with time. I've been reading up on medical and counseling records on the crew to prepare myself."

"Well it sounds like you are on the right track," Eric mused. "I'm glad that you and Archana had a chance to meet already, she's another resident officer here. I'm sure she would be happy to show you anything you need on the Sentinel. With regard to your work, how do you feel about running both the Medical and Counseling divisions?"

"I don't think it will be a problem, sir. I worked in both departments during my internship on Starbase 343, though at different times. We did, however, have more patients and here I'm technically not the head of the medical department, so that will help," Darija explained. It would be something of a challenge, certainly, but nothing she couldn't handle. Besides, it wasn't as if it were solely her having to care for the entire crew.

"True enough," Eric said. "The worst case scenario would be a situation where a large number of combat casualties were inbound but even in that instance the EMH could provide assistance. I am supremely confident in your skills Doctor, I know you are up to the task. How do you feel about away missions?"

Darija was a bit surprised that he seemed so confident in her already, without truly knowing her or seeing her work. It seemed she would have a lot to live up to, more-so than she originally thought. "I'm afraid I've not been on an away mission before. I know how to perform my duties, of course, but I would probably feel more comfortable with additional training from Security."

"I noticed that in your profile," Erik admitted. "The security department offers scheduled and private training sessions. In addition we hold ship-wide readiness drills bi-monthly to help train and ensure that the crew is prepared for action. If you wanted private training I am sure that Lieutenant Sen could accommodate, seeing as how you two are already acquainted I'll let you work that out with her."

Smiling, Darija nodded, "I think that would be beneficial; I'll speak with her about it today or tomorrow. What is involved with the readiness drills, sir? We had one or two while I was on Starbase 343, but that was just by department, not base-wide." Hearing that the Sentinel held drills and that she could get private training made her feel more at ease. Though she wondered if anyone grew tired of having drills that often.

"The readiness drills are something Captain Rentok takes very seriously," Erik explained. "As with most Vulcans the Captain is very concerned with efficiency and aptitude. While he recognizes that the crew aboard Sentinel all have extensive training he believes that regular 'simulations' keep people's skills at optimum readiness. While each drill is different they usually involve simulated combat situations, hypothetical exposure to unidentified free radicals, spatial anomalies or other unpredictables. It might seem a bit excessive at times but I assure you, there's no other ship in the fleet with a crew as prepared for the unthinkable as this one. Many of us have taken a lot of pride in that."

"Interesting," the Trill replied. "I can't say I've heard of any other ship that has done something like that, but I may be wrong. It's hard to argue with being prepared, though. Are there some that are announced and some that aren't? Any specific procedures the departments I'm in should be observing that differ from standard StarFleet ones?"

"I think you'd be surprised at how many Captains run frequent drills aboard their ships," Erik offered. "I myself might tone it down a bit but I can't really fault the Captain for his style. Most of the drills are unannounced but occasionally we'll have competitive drills and those you have time to prepare for. As for procedure, you have a lot of say in that arena, in general all the standard provisions apply. I think you will find that the drills aren't so invasive as you think once you get used to them and they can be very effective."

Darija nodded silently, taking in the information. "There's certainly a lot to think about, sir. I'll look into procedures as soon as I have the Counseling Suite and Sickbay prepared... I'd like to make sure those are in order and get a feel for them before delving too much into the drill aspect."

"Of course," Erik smiled and stood. "I am here to assist you if there's anything you need, my door is always open Lieutenant."

"I appreciate that, sir," the Trill replied with a smile. "If you'll excuse me, I would like to see about settling in a bit more and coordinating with the others in my department." Seeing Erik nod, she stood and said, "Pleasure to meet you sir," before turning and heading out of his office.

OFF:

JP brought to you by:

Commander Erik Tsereteli
Commanding Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

and

Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer (PNPC)
Assistant Chief Medical Officer & Chief Counselor
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

played by:

_________________
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Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer/Chief Science Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Tue May 22, 2012 9:58 am
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Executive Officer
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:09 am
Posts: 24
Location: Ohio
Post Re: NaVer's First Assignment
<<USS Sentinel, Holodeck 1, July 16, 2387, 1325>>

Having arrived at the holodeck with a few minutes to spare, Archana took a moment to stretch while she waited for her student, so to speak, to arrive. Darija (PNPC) had asked her the day before about a private training session, and together they had decided to meet this afternoon to work on any of the necessary skills, survival and otherwise, that would come in handy on away missions. It had been some time since Archana had had the chance to give these sorts of training sessions outside of her department, and she found that she was looking forward to a little fun and excitement on the holodeck.

Sensing the doctor’s arrival, Archana lowered her arms mid-stretch and turned around to greet her. "Good afternoon, Dr. NaVer. You look ready to conquer the perils of the holodeck today," she said with an easy smile.

"Good afternoon, Lieutenant," Darija replied as she walked in and approached Archana. A slightly nervous smile spread across her lips as she said, "I certainly hope so... What's on the agenda?" Her eyes glanced around the holodeck.

“Well, that all depends on what you had in mind,” Archana replied. “I have a number of programs to choose from, but first, tell me what sort of training you do have. Were there things they taught you at the Academy or on your last assignment that you're more or less comfortable with, or are we essentially starting from scratch?"

Feeling a bit self conscious, the Trill explained, "This is actually my first real assignment. I was assigned to a Starbase for an internship during my time at StarFleet Medical, but didn't participate in any away team assignments there. So, I've just had the basic training provided at the Academy...I took the most basic courses in the Security/Tactical program as required, but that's it."

Archana nodded. “Actually, that’s a good start. I’ve done some training with civilians before where I really did have to start from scratch. We at least have a foundation to build on here,” she assured Darija. “There are two options from where I’m standing: We can try some basic training exercises and see where those take us, or we can start by running a simulation of an away mission to assess your strengths and weaknesses. It may sound a little daunting, but it’s actually a bit of a thrill, really,” she grinned.

Darija pondered the options Archana had offered. Part of her preferred the idea of starting with training exercises, but she could see the benefits in running a simulated away mission - it would give Archana a better idea of her abilities. It made her nervous, of course, but surely if she could handle a Sickbay she could handle this...or so she hoped. "Let's go ahead and try the simulation, then."

“Good for you,” Archana grinned. “Let me briefly explain the program before we get started. To begin with, it’s completely random. The environment, the scenario, the dangers present—if there even is any danger present, of course. Sometimes away missions do go nice and smoothly, after all,” she winked. “With the sheer number of variables the computer can choose from, there are literally thousands of possibilities. For instance, even though I’ve run this program dozens of times before, I’ve never been to the same place twice.”

"Wow, that's quite impressive," Darija commented, a bit in awe of the sheer possibilities. Suddenly she was feeling more nervous about this option, but did her best to not show it. Giving Archana the most reassuring smile she could muster, she nodded, "Let's do it."

Hands on hips, Archana turned to face the arch out of habit. “Computer, load program Kali Trial Beta,” she stated clearly, watching curiously as the room transformed around them. They were in some sort of a dense forest, late afternoon sunlight filtering through the leaves around them. Beside them materialized two holographic Star Fleet officers, one dressed in services yellow and another in command red. Although she knew they were only holograms, Archana nodded to them in silent greeting.

“In just a moment,” she continued, “we’ll proceed forward just as if we had just beamed to the surface of…well, wherever we are. Thanks to the safety protocols, neither you nor I can be seriously hurt, no matter how things play out, so just try to act and react as you think best, all right?” Turning back to Darija with what she hoped was a comforting smile, Archana added, “And don’t worry—chances are I’ll attract the most trouble anyway. Even in simulations, it seems like the security officers are always the first ones to go down.”

Nodding silently, the Trill tried to take in all the information that the Security Chief had told her. Chuckling a bit nervously she said, "Well, at least I know what to do if we were hurt..." Her hand moved down to her belt and took off her Medical Tricorder; she punched in some commands and announced just loudly enough for the group to hear, "Scanning for any biological hazards..."

Archana nodded, clamping down on a short burst of excitement that shot through her as the simulation officially began. Training program or not, she needed to keep herself calm and collected. “Ensign,” she stated to the program in yellow, “to the right, please. I’ll take left.” She spoke in a clear but quiet tone of voice, acting with extra caution due to the tree cover and thick underbrush that was all around them. She’d had experience enough with ambushes in her life—both on and off the holodeck—to know that this was a prime location for a surprise attack. Together, she and the other security officer now flanked the small party, and she kept her eyes peeled for any sign of movement around them.

The officer in red, a nondescript-looking human male, turned his attention to Darija. “Is it safe to proceed, Doctor?”

Seconds after the holographic officer questioned her, Darija's tricorder let out a beep. Tapping on the screen, she brought up the results and let her eyes scan down the screen at the information provided. "I'm not picking up on any biohazards at this point. The air is fine. Also, I'm not detecting any signs of life in close proximity..." Her answer given, she glanced between the members of the party, unsure what else she should be doing - she guessed she wasn't meant to lead the party forward, at least.

“All right,” the holographic officer continued, already beginning to stride forward. “We lost the shuttlecraft’s signal before it had a chance to give us its precise coordinates. Our best estimate is that it crashed somewhere within this vicinity. Stay close together, all of you, and keep an eye on that tricorder of yours, Doc. Until we know what brought the shuttlecraft down, we don’t want to take any chances.”

Archana unholstered her phaser in preparation to face the unknown. Now that the scenario was more or less spelled out for them, she had a better sense of the danger they feasibly faced and didn’t want to take any chances. She couldn’t sense the emotionless programs—an unfortunate handicap for empaths when it came to using the holodeck—and accordingly had to rely on sight and instinct when it came to dealing with them. One glance at her fellow security officer revealed that he was young and awfully nervous, his knuckles a bright white where he grasped onto his phaser. She only hoped that his apparent youth or inexperience wouldn’t hamper them if and when they found any trouble.

Next to the Betazoid, Darija was growing a bit concerned about the scenario... Doing her best to keep in stride with Archana, she couldn't help but wonder if they would encounter hostile aliens. Every few seconds her blue eyes would glance down, checking to see if the tricorder had identified any life signs. As the group was moving forward, she suddenly stopped, drawing in her breath. Just loud enough for the team to hear - or so she hoped - the Trill announced, "I'm picking up on three faint lifesigns...a fourth...well...it comes and goes."

“The shuttlecraft had four crewmembers onboard,” the man in red replied, looking hopeful at the Trill’s report. “That could be them. We need to hurry—it sounds like there are lives to save.” Turning quickly about to face Darija, he asked anxiously, “Which way should we go, Doctor?”

Clearing her throat slightly, Darija glanced at Archana before addressing the red uniformed officer, "Looks to be about four kilometers to the North East of our current location... 41 degrees, 23 minutes, 16.4 seconds latitude and 2 degrees, 10 minutes, 11.7 seconds longitude, sir."

It was very convenient, Archana thought to herself as she watched the exchange. Four lifesigns detected, four missing crewmembers to find; she just couldn’t decide if that meant they were actually heading into a trap or not. “I recommend that we approach with caution, Commander,” she stated, respectfully but insistently, as she hurried to keep pace with him. He agreed with her, but slowed his pace only marginally.

Giving a nod to the others, the medical officer did her best to keep up with the others. She couldn't particularly remember the last time she trudged through a forest with underbrush such as this. Her mind was torn between being concerned about potential dangerous natives and the lifesigns slowly blinking on her tricorder. The one that was...phasing, for lack of better term, definitely had her perplexed.

True to the tricorder’s readings, the group reached what appeared to be the crash site of the shuttlecraft within the next ten minutes. It was initially difficult to see the craft, which was almost totally obscured by the tall trees that had only grown thicker and closer together the further they progressed. However, once one was able to make out the metal exterior, heavily damaged but still intact, it became hard to miss.

Archana felt her senses heighten as they approached, adrenaline making her heart beat faster. She was somewhat relieved when their de facto leader halted their advance, finally exercising a little more caution. They still had no idea what had brought the shuttlecraft down, and the half-Betazoid suspected some sort of trap at any moment. It was her job to be overly cautious at times, as far as she was concerned. “What sort of readings are you getting now, Dr. NaVer?” Archana asked in the ensuing silence, her eyes still fixed on their surroundings.

Feeling more nervous as she glanced over at Archana, Darija quickly ran another scan. She had silenced the tricorder, but watched as the results rolled in. "Well, ma'am, I'm getting one faint life sign at this point, very close...and now there are six life signs that appear to be phasing. Four of those are nearby, to the North, and two are slightly more to the West." She was quite frustrated, still unsure how or why some of the life signs were phasing. Also troubling was the addition of life signs in the area.

“Phasing?” That sounded strange, not to mention a little ominous. Archana frowned, puzzled and alert. “Whatever that means, it doesn’t sound like many of those life signs are even coming from the shuttlecraft. Maybe just the one. Still, we have to find out for sure.” Their commanding officer agreed, and soon they were traipsing through the undergrowth as they closed the distance between them and the shuttlecraft.

Darija frowned, "Yes...earlier more were coming from what seemed to be the shuttlecraft. Either they left the shuttlecraft or they perished and there are now just more phasing lifesigns somehow. I've not seen anything like it though..." The whole thing was very perplexing. As she considered what could have caused the phasing, her medical tricorder let out quick beeps. "Someone's approaching us!"

With her phaser still held firmly in her hands, Archana watched with an eagle’s eye for any sign of movement on her side of the party. This was one of the more frustrating aspects of the simulation for her—unable to sense anything empathically had the effect of making her feel half blind. That was actually why it was good that it was all part of the exercise. Even in real world scenarios, she couldn’t always rely on her empathy. After waiting a few moments, hearing and seeing nothing, Archana was about to ask Darija more about the tricorder’s reading when all hell broke loose.

OFF: JP brought to you by:

Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer & 2XO
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

and

Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer (PNPC)
Assistant Chief Medical Officer & Chief Counselor
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

played by:

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Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer/Chief Science Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:41 am
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Post Re: NaVer's First Assignment
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<<USS Sentinel, Holodeck 1, July 16, 2387, 1350>>

In the end, it was the holographic Ensign who ultimately set off the disastrous chain of events that followed. With her focus completely centered on the side of the forest she had assigned herself to watch, Archana had no way of knowing that the Ensign was about to make a terribly rookie mistake. Although there was no sign of movement from her vantage point, it was apparently not the same for the young hologram. Before she had a chance to stop him, and indeed, before she even knew what he was about, her fellow Security member gave a near primitive, wordless shout, and began firing with abandon into the dense trees around him.

“For god’s sake, Ensign!” the Commander quietly shouted at the exact same time that Archana hissed, “Are you completely mad?” Both whipped around and rushed to his side, but by then the damage was done. A deafening silence followed, broken only by the ragged breaths of the Ensign.

“Every living thing in this forest knows our exact location now,” Archana said lowly, still hardly able to believe the Ensign’s actions.

“I saw something, i-in the forest,” the young man stuttered, his face dripping with sweat. “It was sort of black, and it was h-huge! I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t h-h-human.”

Horrified at the turn of events, Darija froze. Her pool-blue eyes looked around frantically, trying to spot what the Ensign had seen. After a few moments, she looked down again and suddenly her training kicked in....a crewmember was down - she needed to attend to him. The Trill moved closer and started to scan the young holographic man.

“What do you mean, it wasn’t—” The Commander didn’t have the chance to finish his sentence before the blast of a phaser filled the air. Grabbing at his shoulder, the man dropped to his knees, wounded. “We’re under fire!” he yelled, despite the fact that he was obviously in pain.

“Everyone get down!” Archana demanded, her phaser hoisted up and locked into position as she fell to her knees in a practiced crouch beside the Commander. The Ensign obviously took her advice to heart, dropping all the way to the floor on his stomach and losing hold of his phaser in the process. The simulation really had given her a winner when it randomly selected this particular hologram as part of the program.

At Archana's words, Darija hesitated just a moment before dropping down into a crouch next to the Commander. Finishing the scan of the ensign, she quickly prepared a hypospray with pulomazine and injected it into the young man's neck. She noticed his breathing improve and then started to scan the officer in red. Luckily he wasn't in really bad shape - his injuries could easily be fixed in a sickbay, but for now they were in the field. Looking in her medical kit, she found a hypospray prepped with asinolyathin and injected it into his neck.

As the doctor tended to the holographic officers, the forest around them grew quiet again. Archana was naturally distrustful and held her position, watching carefully for any new sign of movement. And so it was that she was more than a little surprised when phaser shots were suddenly fired again, only this time from the completely opposite direction. “Everyone stay down,” she ordered softly, angling her body around so that she was now positioned to face this additional threat. “They couldn’t have come around us that quickly,” she muttered into the brief quiet that followed. “There has to be more than one of them out there.”

The Trill glanced over at Archana, but wasn't entirely sure what to do. She checked the vital signs of her two patients - both seemed to be faring better now; they were stabilized. Looking closely into each holographic officer's eyes, she told them, "I have both of you stabilized at the moment and you should be able to continue with your duties here, but no heroics - you'll have to report directly to sickbay once we're back on the ship."

The Commander nodded, taking the doctor's instructions in stride, but the Ensign looked a little less convinced. From her point of view, Archana frankly didn’t believe that the Ensign intended to do anything heroic at all. Judging by the look on his face, he wanted nothing more than to find a nice place to hide and wait the danger out.

"I'll scan again for lifesigns," Darija told Archana quietly. The scan ran fairly quickly, thankfully, and the display flashed to indicate it had completed. "I'm reading four phasing lifesigns from the initial direction we were fired upon and two from the new direction... Perhaps the phasing allows them to move quickly to a new position?"

“That’s not a bad theory, actually,” Archana replied thoughtfully. “What I’d really like to know is what they are exactly, and how they’re phasing, as you call it, in the first place.” Keeping her eyes trained on the terrain around them, she added in a quiet aside, “I’d also like to know what they’re doing with those phasers. I won’t know for sure until I actually see one up close, but my guess is that the phasers they’re using are the same ones that we have, or something very similar.”

Darija nodded, "Understandable, Lieutenant. I'm afraid I'd need a more complete scan and a chance to study them to give you more answers on that though..." Of course, she would rather be able to provide the answers now, but it just wasn't possible. "Could it be that they were either given or took the phasers from the shuttle team?"

“Anything’s possible,” Archana replied, a little more darkly than she had intended. “My guess is that – “ Before she even had the chance to finish her sentence, she was suddenly and without warning thrown clear off her feet. For an instant, she was effectively stunned, the air forced from her lungs after the impact of hitting the ground so hard. She could hear a commotion around her, and although the Betazoid was still seeing stars, she forced herself to roll over as best as she could to reach for her fallen weapon.

The Trill's eyes widened as Archana was thrown back and she froze for several seconds. Finally shaking off the surprise, basic instinct kicked in and she dropped to the ground. "Lieutenant, are you alright?" Darija called out as she crawled over to her. Her eyes were drawn to the line of trees in front of her as she thought she saw...a distortion of sorts. Quietly she asked herself out loud, "What was that?"

“Fine,” Archana coughed, taking up her phaser once more. The holodeck’s safety protocols would keep them both from getting seriously injured, but having the wind knocked out of her had still left her temporarily impaired. She rallied quickly, pushing herself up onto her elbows. “Get ready, Darija,” she said, her voice still a little hoarse. “They’re just playing with us now, but it won’t last for long. The game’s about to get very serious.”

Feeling more nervous than before, the Trill looked worriedly over at Archana. "What...wh-what should I do, Lieutenant?" Any training she might have had previously had simply lost her. She still gripped the medical tricorder tightly with her left hand, but was unsure of what to do.

Archana cringed inwardly. She’d inadvertently frightened her companion with her frank analysis of the situation, and that was certainly not what she had intended to do. “Darija, look at me,” she said quietly. “We’re going to be all right. Whatever happens, just remain calm. The Ensign and I will do everything we can to ensure the safety of the group. Obey any orders the Commander gives you, tend to any injuries there may be, and above all, make sure that you take care of yourself as well. There’s no need to be a hero, all right?” The Betazoid smiled encouragingly.

After allowing a moment for the pep talk to sink in, Darija nodded slowly. Tend to the wounded, obey orders, don't get hurt. That was easy enough, right? Or well...maybe not, but at least it made sense. At the moment, all she could do to their attackers was scan them to death, but.... Scan them... "Got it. And now, I have an idea." The Trill hurriedly tapped at her tricorder and ran an analysis on the data she'd compiled thus far.

“They’re everywhere!” the Ensign yelled, breaking the temporary silence. One glance proved that he was indeed correct; Archana’s immediate view was suddenly filled with two of the creatures, who were oddly colorless but definitely corporal in some way. Preparing to fire her phaser, the Security Chief was thrown off guard when one of the shapeless things surged forward to pin her firing arm down. Reacting instinctively, Archana landed a solid side kick against the creature, watching in some satisfaction as he was thrown a ways sideways. It seemed that the fight was on.

Darija tried to stay out of the way of the fighting while still keeping an eye on her team. Her eyes moved back down to the tricorder, but it was still processing the information. For the moment all she could do was watch...

With her arm free again, Archana leveled the weapon at her second attacker and fired. For a split second she waited for the beast to drop—except that it didn’t. “Our phasers are no good!” the Commander yelled, as if echoing her own thoughts. “Ensign, Lieutenant, ready yourselves. It’s gonna be good old fisticuffs for us.”

“Oh, for pity’s sake,” Archana huffed to herself, pushing herself back to her feet as Thing Two prepared to charge her. She was ready for it, her legs braced and her arms in position. Her first instinct was to jab it in the throat or go for the eyes, except that the creature didn’t have any features that she could recognize. She settled for a roundhouse kick, which proved effective enough, but only temporarily. Thing One was already getting back on its, for lack of a better term, feet, and Thing Two wouldn’t be far behind it.

After what seemed like an eternity, the medical tricorder let out a beep, alerting Darija to the completion of the analysis. Relieved, she looked through the information, hoping to find something useful. The results made it clear - the phasing was indeed important. Quickly she called out the information, "Sen - It looks like they're phasing at specific phase variances... our regular phase variance is one but also .21, .37, .44, and .48!" Darija hoped the information would be useful...especially since it seemed that the StarFleet weapons weren't particularly effective.

“Good work, Darija!” Archana shouted, delivering a powerful thrust against the first creature with the palm of her hand. “Recalibrate your phasers as soon as you can!” she yelled, mostly for the Ensign's benefit, and reached for hers as quickly as she could. Thing Two was coming at her once more, and as much as she liked occasionally putting her martial arts skills to use, she’d rather preserve everyone’s lives with a short and sweet phaser blast. Leveling her newly calibrated phaser at the thing once more, she fired again, smiling in grim satisfaction when it dropped to the ground.

Glad that her information was able to help, Darija allowed herself a brief moment of satisfaction. The away team members were in as good a shape as they could be under the circumstances. Since one of the phased creatures were down, she started scanning it.

“Oh, holy Krishna,” Archana murmured a moment later, watching as the creature she had stunned suddenly and swiftly turned into a distinctly humanoid shape. To her shock, it was wearing a Starfleet uniform. “Shoot to stun!” she yelled above the commotion, simultaneously fixing her phaser on Thing One. “I think they’re our missing officers!”

At Archana's words, Darija looked up from the tricorder, gasping as she saw it was true. Though she wasn't sure what exactly was going on, she moved a bit closer to see what she could do for the officer. Breathing a sigh of relief, the Trill saw that the man would be alright. The phaser blast had injured and stunned him, but patching him up wouldn't be difficult in an actual sickbay. "He'll be alright, I think," she informed the others, looking around and wondering if all the phase creatures were StarFleet officers or if some were truly something else.

As Darija examined the human formerly known as Thing Two, Archana and the rest of the team made quick work of the other creatures. Three more went through the same process as the first, eerily changing from amorphous creatures into humanoids wearing Starfleet uniforms. Even more disturbing, however, was what happened to the other two creatures. “Darija, look at this,” Archana called over her shoulder, watching in morbid fascination as Thing One began to quiver, shaking in some places like gelatin before turning distinctly liquid. “I think that it's melting...”

"Melting?" Darija stood from where she had knelt next to a female officer. She moved over towards Archana and stopped short of the growing pool of phase creature. Not quite sure what to say, Darija pressed a few buttons on the medical tricorder and started a scan. "Are all of the non-StarFleet personnel creatures doing that?"

“It looks like it, though it’s only these two,” Archana replied, pointing to the other quivering mass of…whatever it was. “It’s seeping into the undergrowth,” she added, a little disgusted by the strange color of green it had changed into. Growing suspicious, she watched its progress for a moment more before saying, “You don’t think this is its way of escaping, do you?”

"I'd have to take a closer look at the readings to confirm," Darija answered. "At this point, I'd just be guessing. It could be that stunning them broke down whatever compounds were binding them together and that's the end of it, or it could be a means of escape. There's no way to tell simply based on what we've seen just now."

“Whatever’s going on, we have our missing crewmembers,” the Commander interrupted, gesturing broadly at the unconscious officers. “We need to beam them aboard right away in case any more of these things come back. Our work here is finished for now.”

“And that, I’m afraid, is our cue,” Archana said a tad regretfully, standing up straighter. “Computer, end program.” Their surroundings faded from view, returning to the small, empty room it had been before. “What a rush! That was by far and away the strangest, most convoluted and interesting simulation the program has ever given me,” she grinned. “How are you feeling, Darija?”

"I'm...glad you enjoyed the scenario," Darija said as an initial response while stopping the analysis running on her tricorder. "I suppose I'm a bit unsettled, but glad for the experience. I was able to perform my medical duties, mostly, but partly I felt useless just trying to not get injured. Is that what medical officers usually do? Stay out of the way and treat people as needed?"

“Well, by and large, yes. But I wouldn’t say that’s all that you did,” Archana said thoughtfully. “That was some impressive detective work on your part, even with all of the madness going on around you. You very likely saved our lives, Darija. There’s nothing useless about that.” She paused a moment to stretch her arms over her head, already wishing that she’d stretched a little more before they’d begun the simulation. “If you’re concerned about ‘trying to not get injured,’ as you say, I could show you some basic self-defense techniques. They come in very handy on occasion. Overall, though, I think that you did very well.”

Blushing slightly, Darija grinned, "I appreciate it, Archana. And I do think I'd like to go over some self-defense techniques when you have a chance. It never hurts to learn some new skills, especially if it helps protect myself and my crewmates, I think."

“You’ve got it,” Archana enthusiastically agreed. “And perhaps you can help me with something in return. I’ve been thinking about my triage training and, well, frankly, my paltry medical skills could use a little work. Perhaps we could have a skills exchange,” she grinned.

Darija perked up at the suggestion. Nobody had asked her to teach them medical skills before. "I think we have a deal! I'll have to think about how to approach the training for you...I think it'll be helpful for both of us though."

Archana smiled at the Trill’s newfound enthusiasm. “Wonderful! Then may I suggest that we adjourn until, say, 0800 tomorrow morning?” She was usually up much earlier than that, either practicing Kalari Payat or going for an early morning run, but she didn’t want to get Darija up too early. For all she knew, the doctor was a late riser who needed her sleep. “In the meantime, I’m going to get some lunch. Grappling with shapeless creatures that turn into jelly has made me a little hungry,” she laughed. “You’re welcome to join me if you’d like.”

"0800 will be just fine," Darija answered with a smile. "And lunch sounds fantastic...I wasn't really thinking about it during our away team scenario, but now that we've finished it, I'm starving! Lead the way."

OFF:

This JP brought to you by:

Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer (PNPC)
Assistant Chief Medical Officer & Chief Counselor
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

played by: Lieutenant Commander Fala

and:

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Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:30 am
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Post Re: NaVer's First Assignment
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<<USS Sentinel, Counseling Suite, July 18, 2387, 1400>>

After spending the morning in Sickbay, Darija (PNPC) had switched over to Counseling in the afternoon. Her first patient of the day seemed mostly to be a nervous wreck...suffering from severe claustrophobia. Based on their conversation, the Trill got the impression it would be a challenge. She hated to think what kind of shape the crewmember would be in if assigned to a Defiant class vessel...

Shaking her head, she made a few notations in the PADD, pausing when she heard the doorchime. Hopefully it would be Archana, but there was always the chance that it was someone else. Finishing her sentence, Darija tapped on the PADD to save and close her notes before saying, "Come in, please."

Striding in through the doors, Archana greeted Darija with a friendly smile. If it didn’t quite reach her eyes, that was only because she was feeling the slightest bit apprehensive at meeting with her new friend in her role as a counselor. “Good afternoon, Dr. NaVer,” she said, stepping further into the room. “I’m not too early for our appointment, am I?”

"Good afternoon," Darija replied with a smile, glad to see Archana. "No, no, you're right on time Archana. Come in and have a seat. Could I get you something to drink or eat before we get started?"

“No, no, I’m perfectly fine,” Archana was quick to assure her as she seated herself in a chair that was nearly overly comfortable. “I’ve been meaning to ask you, how are you feeling after our little training session on the holodeck?”

Darija smiled, "A little better, thank you. I'm sure I could still use more practice and it was a little nerve-wracking at times, but it did give me a better idea about what I'd be up against." She hoped that the initial chit chat would help put the other woman at ease so that the session would go as smoothly as possible.

“Good,” Archana nodded, smiling. “With my help, we’ll have you battle ready in no time.” For some reason, she wasn’t entirely sure what to do with her hands. Her fingers felt fidgety, and she hated the sensation. Obviously this trip to the counseling suite was more nerve-wracking for her than she had thought. “Look, Doctor—Darija. I hate to admit this, but I’m…well, to be perfectly frank, I’m nervous. I don’t meet with counselors regularly, or ever, now that I think about it. I rather skillfully managed to avoid your predecessor altogether, actually,” she smirked, unable to help herself.

Chuckling at Archana's explanation regarding her past....non-history with counselors, Darija answered, "I'm sure you've heard this before, but it really is perfectly natural to be nervous. And I did notice that you somehow escaped any sessions with the last counselor. Now, I promise to make this as painless as possible. To that end, maybe it would help you to think of this less like a counseling session and more like a heart-to-heart conversation with a good friend." The Trill looked over at her patient - her new friend - and sat her PADD aside, adopting a more casual position.

Archana nodded, her smile small but sincere as she considered Darija’s suggestion. Her hands clasped tightly in her lap, she took a moment to decide where to even begin. Although the Betazoid was rather chatty and forthcoming by nature, rarely if ever did she divulge her personal issues, particularly where it concerned her all too recent past. Here and now, though, she was willing to try. “When you and I first met a few days ago”—ran straight into one another was a little more accurate—“I told you about my ex-husband’s latest attempt to contact me. I didn’t tell you anything about him, though, and I suppose now is as good a time as any.”

Not wanting to interrupt, Darija nodded silently. She appreciated that the other woman was willing to at least try opening up to her. Hopefully her suggestion would continue to work.

Clearing her throat, Archana looked to the floor as she forced herself to keep talking. “When I came to the Sentinel just about a year ago, I was…well, a bit broken, really. I was running from my last assignment, and more to the point, running from my husband and our failed marriage. The last time I actually saw my ex-husband—Jerric,” she suddenly clarified, realizing that she couldn’t simply refer to him as her ex-husband for the entirety of their session. “Sen Jerric is his name. He’s a Bajoran. Anyway, the last time I saw him, he…” Her voice was a trifle unsteady as she continued, and she hated it. “He attacked me. Hence, my reason for running.”

"That's....awful," Darija said, concern in her voice and showing on her face. She certainly couldn't blame Archana for leaving; being attacked was terrible. "Was that something that Jerric did often, Archana? Attack you? Even once isn't right, though...and it's certainly not what a marriage is about." She tried to balance getting more information as well as sympathizing with her friend.

“No,” Archana said lowly, a hint of steel evident in her voice. “He only attacked me the once, but that was enough for me. He was changing so much. The man I married and the man who came after me that night were two very different people.” Now that the memories were rushing to the surface of her mind, some of them as vivid and fresh as the day they had occurred, Archana found that the words came more freely somehow. “He was—is, perhaps, I don’t know—a good man. I wasn’t looking to get married, but Jerric was like a force of nature. He saved my life after I was injured in an away team incident, and we bonded throughout my recovery.” She chuckled mirthlessly, her black eyes meeting Darija's for a moment. "It's not the most auspicious start to any relationship, I know, but that didn't seem to matter so much then."

The Trill nodded, "Love can be complicated. The way you met isn't all that uncommon, really, and he did save your life. He was there for you when you needed him at the time; that can be very comforting and attractive. It sounds like the marriage started off fairly well...when did it seem to go wrong?"

Folding her arms tightly across her chest, Archana frowned. “Too soon. Far too soon,” she sighed. “We honeymooned for two weeks on Bajor, and I think, in hindsight, that was a mistake. Jerric was fairly young when the Cardassians occupied the planet, but the memories were never really far away. He started having nightmares when we returned to the Exeter. He never wanted to talk about them, no matter how hard I tried. I could sense well enough what he was experiencing through them, though. The horror of what he’d seen… I just don’t think he could escape it.” Her frown noticeably deepened.

"I imagine that would be difficult, for each of you. The Occupation is quite challenging for people to work through. If he wasn't willing to talk to you though, there's not much you could do to help him. I suppose things went downhill from there?" Darija frowned as well; obviously Archana had had a rough time, but she could also see the strength in her friend.

“Oh yes,” Archana confirmed, and unable to contain some of the nervous energy building up inside of her, she rose from her chair and paced to the other side of the room. “A month or two passed, maybe three. He was drinking more and more. Not just synthehol, but drinks powerful enough to make him forget everything for a time. The thing is, Darija, he’s a surgeon—do you know how dangerous it is for a surgeon to court alcoholism, but still show up to duty as if nothing were wrong?” She was growing angry by this point, her hands clenched at her side as she struggled to contain the deluge of emotion that had suddenly sprung up inside of her. “He wouldn’t let me help him. I wanted to, but he wouldn’t let me. And so I did the only thing I could—for him, for us, for every patient who entrusted their life to him: I told our commanding officers and the ship’s chief counselor. I told them everything.”

Remaining quiet as she listened to Archana's story, Darija's eyes widened as the information that Jerric was a surgeon and was reporting for duty after drinking to the extent that Archana described. "He didn't hurt anyone, did he? And what happened after you informed the command staff and counselor?"

From her position across the room, Archana turned to face Darija. “No, he didn’t hurt anyone, thank the gods. That’s why I had to tell someone, though. It was only a matter of time before something terrible happened.” Her gaze moved away from the counselor once more until her eyes were fixed, unseeing, on a point across the room. “When Jerric found out about what I’d done…” She wasn't even sure that she could really talk about it. Darija already knew that he had attacked her, but for some reason, it was harder to talk about it now than it had been before. “The command staff all agreed that he should be removed from duty until he could get the help that he needed. That night, after they told him, he confronted me in our quarters. That's when he attacked me.” Momentarily unable to continue, she stopped there, caught between the equally powerful emotions of anger and pain.

Having a more detailed picture as to what had happened, the Trill could see how it could be hard to talk about. Giving Archana several moments to collect herself, she eventually prompted, "And that's when you left...and came here." Though Darija could have added more, she didn't; it seemed like the Sentinel provided a....safe...place of sorts, though Jerric had obviously been attempting to contact her. Regardless, perhaps prompting her some with a safe place would encourage the other woman to continue.

Archana nodded, and somewhat stiffly went back to sit in the chair across from the counselor. “The Sentinel has become a haven to me, a true home. After that night, I swore that I would never be a victim, no matter how much I still loved Jerric. I requested an immediate transfer, it was granted, and within twenty-four hours I had left the Exeter for good. A divorce was easy enough to obtain under the circumstances, and that was that.” Glancing around herself, Archana sighed. “It still took some time to get used to it here, though. My life had been completely turned upside down in a number of hours, and all I wanted to do was hide. But that’s easier said than done on a ship this size,” she smirked.

Darija nodded, "A ship of this size isn't very conducive to hiding, I have to agree. It seems that you've gotten used to it. From what you said, Jerric has contacted you more than once since you came here, though? That must be difficult." Frowning slightly, she looked back over at Archana.

When Archana sighed again, it was more out of sheer aggravation than anything else. “That was the sixth time he’s reached out to me since I left. I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t see how there’s anything else for us to say. But there’s a part of me that wonders if I’m being unreasonable, if I should at least give him the chance to apologize…if that’s what he’s trying to do.” The Betazoid threw her hands into the air in frustration. “But does he even deserve that much? I mean, really? After all that he did? If he’d just go away, Darija, then everything would be so much simpler. I could finally move on with my life for good, rather than reliving the whole awful affair every single time he tries to contact me.”

"Well...he certainly sounds...persistent. I would have thought that after the first few times he would have gotten the hint that you didn't want to speak with him. If he really wanted to apologize, he could just send you a message even," Darija responded as she leaned back in her chair. "I will say that in some situations one might need closure and speaking to the other person involved could help bring that about. In other cases it's perhaps not necessary or potentially impossible. I have two questions for you...one - if you had to do it over again, would you still have married him? And two, do you, on some level - perhaps deep down - still love him or care for him?"

Drawing in a deep breath, Archana took some time to consider Darija’s two questions. She had strong feelings about them both, but it was finding the right words to explain her feelings that made answering so difficult. “I don’t know how to give a definitive answer to your first question. The old Jerric—that is, the man I first met and fell hopelessly in love with… I miss him. In fact, there are still some nights when I positively ache for him,” the Betazoid confessed quietly. “But he’s gone. I know that. The Jerric that he became, the changed man I divorced? No, I couldn’t marry him. I wouldn’t. And I don’t know that there was anything more I could have done to save him, so what’s the use in trying again, even if I could?”

Archana shifted restlessly. “My answer to question two is a little easier, though no less complicated. I can’t deny that I do still love Jerric, in some way. You have to understand that I’m half Betazoid, and Jerric is my Imzadi. That sort of connection is more than physical or emotional or telepathic. It’s spiritual. It’s the meeting of souls on a level that is difficult to explain, and it can never be totally forgotten. But…” Here was the complicated bit, and it wasn’t something that Archana was totally comfortable talking about. “There’s someone else that I’m becoming very…fond of. I don’t want to care for him, and I have no business caring for him, but I can’t help it. I’m in no position to start a new relationship now, and it would be impossible even if I were, but…” She huffed out a breath. “He almost makes me forget Jerric at times. No small feat, that.”

Darija listened quietly, taking in the information Archana shared with her. Partly she regretted asking both questions at once, but would do her best to address what the other woman had shared. "It's certainly understandable that you miss and still love Jerric - particularly the man you first knew, considering your connection with him as your Imzadi. Regardless of what's happened, he is and will be important to you in many ways. You may very well have feelings for this other person, but I think that at least in part they are due to the situation with your ex-husband. As much as you might like to simply forget or just move on, you need to have some form of resolution before you can move forward." Not wanting to overwhelm her new friend and patient, the Trill stopped there, allowing her words to sink in and be processed.

“You’re right,” Archana nodded, raking a hand through her hair. “I know that you’re right.” Privately, she felt that Darija’s assessment about her feelings for the other person weren’t totally correct, but she couldn’t deny that there was still truth to what the Trill was saying. Part of the reason she’d noticed the other man in the first place was because he was so different from Jerric in many ways.

Despite Archana's response, Darija doubted that the woman entirely agreed with what she said - most people had a difficult time believing what a counselor told them...either in part or entirely. However, she also knew that she didn't need to push the issue. "I have some ideas on how to help you get some closure - some are less conventional than others. If you're willing to keep an open mind and give them a try, we can do so next time. When would be good for you, Archana?"

Releasing a pent up breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding, Archana felt stiff limbs begin to relax. Their session was over. She’d not only survived, but she could already tell that the cathartic experience of sharing some of her story with Darija was going to do her some good. It felt…nice, almost, freeing some of those thoughts and emotions that she usually kept tamped down inside of her with an iron will. “Afternoons are good for me,” she replied with a small smile. “How soon did you want to meet again?”

"Afternoon is perfectly fine. How about the day after tomorrow?" Truthfully Darija wouldn't have minded getting together again the following day, but generally it was good to allow people a day or two to absorb and process what they were feeling before delving back in. Of course, if it was something serious she would be sure to follow up sooner, but that wasn't the case here.

“The day after tomorrow,” Archana agreed, rising fluidly chair. “Well. Thank you, Darija. I’ll look forward to our next appointment.” Strictly speaking, it wasn’t a lie. Archana still wasn’t sure how she felt about counseling sessions in general, but speaking with Darija had gone better than expected, and she was certainly interested in hearing the doctor’s ideas to help her find the ever-elusive closure she’d been seeking for over a year now. Perhaps she was finally on her way to truly moving on.

OFF:

A JP brought to you by:

Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer (PNPC)
Assistant Chief Medical Officer & Chief Counselor
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

played by: Lieutenant Commander Fala

and

_________________
Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:45 am
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Post Re: NaVer's First Assignment
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<<USS Sentinel, Holodeck 1, July 20, 2387, 1400>>

At the time of their appointment, Darija (PNPC) was standing outside of Holodeck 1, awaiting the arrival of Archana. Most likely her patient would be wondering what they were doing in the Holodeck. Truthfully, she hadn't tried something like this for a therapy session before, but the Trill had a few ideas and thought it might be helpful.

As she approached the Holodeck, Archana was full of equal parts curiosity and unease regarding her imminent counseling session. Darija hadn’t said what they would be doing on the Holodeck, and fear of the unknown had even a seasoned Security officer like herself feeling a little nervous. But she trusted the doctor, and she had a sincere desire to see this through, no matter where it went, and so she was ready and willing to face whatever brand of therapy the Trill had designed for her.

Approaching the Holodeck, Archana saw that Darija had already beaten her there. “Lieutenant Sen, reporting for duty,” she smiled, offering a small and teasing salute. “I hope I’m not late, Doctor.”

"Good afternoon," Darija smiled. "Not to worry, you're right on time. How has your day been?" She glanced over at Archana before starting to type in a command for the holodeck. She'd finished the programming for this session earlier in the day.

“My day’s been a little slow so far, but that’s generally a good thing when you’re the Security Chief,” Archana smirked. Observing Darija as she entered in the program, she unconsciously folded her arms across her chest. “I don’t suppose you can give me a little hint beforehand what our plans are for our session? I have to admit that I’m rather curious.”

Seeing that the program was ready, the Trill answered, "Why don't we go inside? It's ready. Suffice to say that today we're going to work on addressing what is preventing you from getting the closure you need."

Archana didn’t feel much better following Darija’s vague response, but she was ready to follow her inside. It didn’t escape her that their positions had effectively reversed since their little training exercise a few days earlier. Now she was the one who was facing something she had no way to prepare for, and she was determined to be calm and brave about it all the same.

Walking into the holodeck, Darija stopped just a few steps in and paused. The room seemed empty, yet held a dim blue glow. She waited, allowing Archana to enter and look around.

Giving their surroundings a careful once over, Archana’s brow furrowed slightly. She had hoped that stepping inside the holodeck would give her a better idea about what they were doing here, but beside an oddly blue luminosity, there wasn’t much to see. She looked to Darija for further instructions, trying to keep any clues to her discomfort out of her expression.

"Alright Archana, I want you to close your eyes and envision Jerric (NPC)... I realize this may sound strange, but just give it a try. Now, I want you to think about his attempts to contact you...him attacking you," Darija said quietly.

Nodding once, Archana did as she was told, slowly closing her eyes and focusing her thoughts on her ex-husband. It wasn’t very hard—he had been on her mind a good deal since her first session with Dr. NaVer. She could see Jerric in her mind’s eye, tall and dark and brooding, as he had so frequently been in the final months of their marriage. Frustration filled her as she thought about his most recent attempt to talk to her. Anger soon followed, took hold in her stomach and blossomed as she thought about that awful night, when her husband of less than a year had lashed out at her in a fit of rage. The pain there was raw and fresh, as if she could feel his hands on her all over again, the blows he’d managed to make against her before she’d regained enough presence of mind to defend herself.

Watching quietly as Archana closed her eyes and considered her thoughts, Darija quietly said, "Computer, continue to part 2." The lighting shifted to red and the formerly empty holodeck now showed the quarters Archana had shared with Jerric. On a nearby table, a stack of white dishes sat, stacked high. "Archana, open your eyes."

As she opened her eyes again, Archana visibly flinched, more than a little unnerved to discover she was in the very room where her painful thoughts had so recently taken her. It was a nearly perfect replication of her former home—only a replication, she reminded herself—save for the odd stack of dishes that now occupied the table where she’d kept her favorite novels. “I hate this place,” she said lowly, not moving from the spot where she stood. “I hate everything about it.”

Darija nodded silently, she had expected the reaction...or at least something along these lines. She moved over to the dishes and also picked up a marker before turning back to Archana and saying gently, "I can't blame you...go ahead and hold onto those feelings for now, but come over here."

After a few more moments taking in the holographically projected surroundings, the initial shock finally passed for Archana. A little embarrassed by her visceral reaction, she cleared her throat and nodded to Darija before joining her beside the table. “These are a little out of place,” she said, gesturing to the piles of plates. “Part of my therapy, I take it?”

"Yes, part of the unconventional part, you might say. Here's what I'd like you to do," Darija began, "Describe to me what makes you angry or frustrated about Jerric, the attack, the current situation with him...any of it. I will take the word or words you say - or a summary of them - and write them on these plates. I'm looking for your raw thoughts - there's no need to hold back or be concerned about decorum, just say what's on your mind. Make sense?"

“I believe so,” Archana said, her gaze drifting around the room once more. It was not so easy, she realized almost immediately, to put her feelings into words. She’d become so adept at ruthlessly tamping them down that willfully pulling them back up was something of a challenge. Taking a deep breath, she started with the thought that came first to her mind. “I hate that he won’t give up trying to speak with me. I want him to just move on and disappear so that I can move on with my own life with no more interruptions.”

As she listened to Archana, Darija contemplated how to sum up what the other woman had said. Uncapping the marker, she wrote 'Relentlessly pursuing conversation - not moving on'. Glancing over at Archana, she handed her the plate to allow her to read it. "Think about it, absorb it....and then I want you to throw the plate - down on the ground, across the room, whatever feels right. When it shatters, picture your feelings being released."

Holding the plate carefully in her hand, Archana took a moment to read over Darija’s notations. She wasn’t sure if she’d be able to picture her feelings being released, as the Trill instructed, but she knew that she’d get some satisfaction out of breaking the plate nonetheless. Making sure to aim clear of them both, she hurled the plate across the room with no little amount of violence. As it struck the far wall and shattered, Archana made the effort to imagine her feelings shattering too, breaking free from the cages she'd tried to confine them to.

Darija watched as the plate sailed through the air and shattered satisfactorily, then glanced over at Archana. She wasn't entirely sure what kind of expression she was looking for, but for the time being she was glad that the other woman was following her recommended therapy.

“I’ve got the next one,” Archana announced, turning back to face Darija. “I hate that he allowed his behavior to endanger not only our marriage, but his own patients. He could have hurt someone, and he, no matter how troubled he was, he had to have known that.” She also hated that she’d waited so long to tell anyone else about Jerric’s drinking problem, but that was something she wasn't quite ready to say aloud.

Nodding as she picked up the next plate, Darija wrote, 'Endangered others & his marriage with behavior'. The Trill handed the plate over to her friend. This time, she decided not to speak and instead let Archana's feelings bubble up as needed.

Hefting the plate in her hands, Archana took a moment to read what was written and then repeated the motion, letting the plate loose in a straight shot across the room. It was even more satisfying than she had anticipated, and she didn’t feel the least bit guilty to see the shards of white porcelain strewn across the otherwise pristine floor of her former quarters.

“I hate the Cardassians,” Archana suddenly blurted out, and it was clear from the look on her face that she was both surprised and appalled to hear those words coming from her own lips. “I mean, I don’t…hate them, not all of them, but…” She swallowed hard. “I hate what certain Cardassians did to Bajor, and I hate what they did to Bajorans like Jerric. If Jerric had had a happy childhood, if he hadn’t seen so many atrocities and so much suffering, we might have had a chance together."

Darija managed to keep a straight face during Archana's outburst, somehow. Not that it was particularly amusing, but... "You're in a safe place, you don't need to apologize or explain away your comments, Archana." Picking up a third plate, she wrote 'Cardassians & their affect on the Bajorans; suffering endured' and then handed it off. Partly this was rather telling to her - part of Archana did still love and care for Jerric...even wished things could have worked out.

“Right. No apologies,” Archana nodded. Barely pausing to read whatever Darija had written on the plate, this time she vaulted the plate across the room in a wild arch, not even flinching when it struck the wall near the ceiling and showered the floor with jagged shards of porcelain. Although she thought the purpose of the exercise was to release her anger, all that the Betazoid felt at this point was mounting fury. Every thought that came to mind focused on hate—her hate of these quarters, hate of Jerric’s behavior, hate of the all the circumstances that had been so wildly out of her control. But there was one thing that she hated most of all, something that she had to get out of her no matter how much it hurt.

“Do you know what I really hate, Darija? I’ll tell you,” Archana said quietly, her breaths slightly shallow as she stared at the site of the latest plate’s impact. “I hate Jerric. I hate what he did, I hate what he didn’t do… But most of all, I hate how he hurt me. The thing is…” She exhaled raggedly, rocking back on her ankles for a moment. ”The thing is, for the last year, I’ve been telling myself that Jerric was nearly out of his mind that night, so full of rage when he attacked me that he lashed out blindly, really. I used to say that he would have attacked anyone in that moment. I just happened to be the one there. But I don’t really believe that, not any longer.”

Archana was a little surprised to realize that she was crying, but she didn’t stop her narrative there. For the first time in ages, she wanted to talk about it, wanted to form the words she’d been hiding from for so long. “When he came after me, he aimed for my left shoulder. And that may not seem so strange, except that my left shoulder was still healing then. Jerric was the only one who really understood how much it still bothered me, since he was the one who had operated on it in the first place. He was the only one I ever confided in about how the pain lingered there. He was the only one—the only one, Darija!—who understood just how much it still hurt me.”

Wheeling around, Archana paced towards the opposite side of the room. “So I really can’t help but wonder, how is it that Jerric could have been so blinded by his rage, so overcome with his anger like everyone told me, and yet still so clear minded as to actually take such careful aim? If he had the presence of mind to try to incapacitate me by hitting me where he knew I was weakest, was he really so out of his mind in that moment? And how the hell could he do that to me? If he loved me, if he ever really loved me, how could he do it? He wanted to hurt me. Not just anyone, Darija—in that moment, in the safety and sanctity of our home, he wanted to hurt me.”

And then again, perhaps she was wrong... Well, perhaps not entirely. It could be that a part of Archana loved the Jerric she first met, but the person who Jerric now was she hated. Darija frowned and furrowed her eyebrows as her friend explained what happened. No wonder why it was so difficult for her to talk about; Archana had likely been suppressing what she knew deep down, that he had intentionally targeted her and wanted to hurt her. "I don't think his rage blinded him...at least not in the way that some might think. Most likely his anger and rage blinded him to anything but releasing that anger and that's how he was able to so clearly focus on what would be the best way to hurt you. He used what he knew to his advantage in the attack. What the anger did cloud out, though, was his love for you and your relationship in general. Anger has a way of firing up one's hatred and drowning out any good thoughts."

Setting down the marker, the Trill continued, "Now, I'm not saying that this excuses what he did - it doesn't. What he did was wrong and terrible. He should never have done it, not to you nor to anyone else. Jerric will have to live with what he did for the rest of his life. He made a, to put it lightly, bad decision and there are consequences for it, in various ways."

Archana was quiet for a long moment, the wind taken from her sails now that she’d said her piece. That hollow ache and persistent anger was still there inside of her, but it was…different now. Lighter, somehow. Saying it aloud, giving words to her feelings and not being judged or condemned for her outburst, had been a more freeing experience than she’d anticipated. “He did make a bad decision, and he paid for it,” she agreed. “And I paid for his bad decision too. But now I just want to move on. I’m still angry, but I want more than anything to just…let it go. And this,” she gestured broadly, “seems to be helping, actually. I might need to throw a few more plates, though,” she finished with a small smile.

Darija nodded as she listened to Archana. "I'm glad to hear it...it's a process, working through these types of things, but it can be done," she noted as she picked up a small stack of plates. Stepping closer to Archana, she said, "Go ahead, throw as many as you like." Although she already had in mind what the next phase of the 'treatment' would be, the Trill was in no rush. It seemed to her that Archana had had a break through and that was quite the accomplishment.

Needing no other encouragement, Archana took up the first plate ready to be thrown from Darija. It was the work of a few short minutes for her to get through the rest of the stack, and by the time she was finished, she was oddly gratified by the fractured pieces of white porcelain that liberally covered the edges of the room. When she turned to face Darija again, she was feeling rather spent. “I may need to have a bit of a lie down after that,” she commented, a little unsure of what else to say at this point.

"Understandable," Darija replied, offering a small smile of encouragement. "I think we've done enough for today. I'd like to meet with you again to start the next phase...but take a couple days to try to absorb everything and accustom yourself to these feelings first."

“Absorb and acclimate. Got it,” Archana nodded, wiping her brow with the sleeve of her uniform. Turning in the direction where she knew the doors were, she paused and turned back to the counselor once more. “Thank you, Darija. This was... Well, I think it’s exactly what I needed.” Offering the Trill a small smile, she nodded again, as if to herself, and left the holodeck. She had a lot of thinking to do, but first, she was going straight to her quarters to take a nap followed by a long bath. After her unique therapy session with the good doctor, she felt that she had earned it.

OFF: JP brought to you by:

Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer & 2XO
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

and

Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer (PNPC)
Assistant Chief Medical Officer & Chief Counselor
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

played by:

_________________
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Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer/Chief Science Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:49 pm
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