((Counsellor's Office, Deck 7))
Thornton: When we were in the lowest levels of the Federation mine, I could
feel that old fear creeping back in. Even though we had a palm beacons, I
couldn't stop feeling like I was a girl again- scared of whatever l=
waiting for me in the darkness. It was... unsettling.
Without warning, Arlo felt shame grip her in it's black clutches. T=
self-doubt that she had felt in the mines came roaring back with a
vengeance. Her cheeks burned hot and she looked down at the floor, staring
at a spot on the floor between her boots. Her throat tightened and the
humiliation she felt robbed her of the ability to vocalise her inner most
To her credit- and to Arlo's everlasting relief- Fortune's response was
free of judgement and filled with support. She understood.
Fortune: I imagine so. You thought you had grown out of that 'childish'
fear, but it came back.
She drew in a long breath and closed her eyes, saying nothing for several
long seconds that stretched on for what felt like several eternities.
Thornton: I- I tried to remember my Starfleet training, but it was
difficult. There were a couple of times that I didn't handle myself=
Snapped at Namura, got her rank wrong.... it was so unprofessional.
Fortune: Of course it was difficult, it managed to trick you into
second-guessing yourself. Perhaps snapping at someone isn't what I would
encourage, ::she smiled playfully:: but I do believe Tali will forgive you,
should you talk to her.
Arlo nodded in agreement. She had already made the decision to approach the
medical officer to unreservedly apologise for taking the stress of the
mission out on her. It was unbecoming conduct, especially from somebody in
charge of a scientific investigation.
Thornton: I intend to. ::she said quietly.::
Fortune: Darkness itself comes in various...flavors. For instance, sitting
here, if the lights went out, we would be shocked and frightened as it
would be extremely dark. In my quarters, however, I might forget to shut
off a PADD or the light of the bathroom, but the darkness there isn't...as
much. ::she paused, tilting her head.:: The mine was...pitch black, I take
She shivered as she recalled the memory.
Thornton: It would have been, but there was some light- but even that was
dim. I don't know, I felt as if there were eyes in the dark watching us.
The Slime Devils didn't help either.
Fortune: It's different from your quarters or back at Academy. It's only
reasonable to expect you to be uneasy in that situation. However, we're
starfleet officers. ::She smiled, tapping a nail against the PADD.:: We
pride ourselves on keeping a cool head as best we can. There's a few ways
to approach it. We can dig down and see how to conquer this fear that you
have, or find a way to perhaps temper it so it's not exactly a fear and
more...nervousness. Being nervous in the dark is easier to live with than
being unable to focus at all.
At the latter suggestion, the red head looked up from the carpet. Something
about what the counsellor was suggesting appealed to her. She might not be
able to completely conquer her fear of the dark, but if she could learn to
live with it or make it more manageable, then it would not be able to hold
her back. If it meant several sessions with the Betazoid, then it was a
sacrifice she was willing to make.
Thornton: I like the second idea. ::she replied, a note of hope seeping
into her voice.:: I can learn to cope with a nervousness. I just don't want
to let my fear control me again.
Thornton: What kind of therapy are we talking about here? ::she felt
herself sitting straighter on the couch, the idea of a way to cope bringing
her out of her mood.:: I'd be willing to try anything, counsellor!
Thornton: ::she nodded.:: I can do that.
Lieutenant Arlo Thornton
Assistant Chief Science Officer
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