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Ithaca, Part 2

Posted on 23 Nov 2017 @ 10:46am by Lieutenant Sterek

Mission: History
Location: San Francisco, Earth
Timeline: June 2373

(OOC content warning for discussion of suicide)

Sivar had arrived at the Starfleet Medical Facility within hours of receiving the call. She was silent by his bedside for a while before she spoke.

"The Golden Gate bridge?"

Sterek, for his part, wasn't sure why the location of his suicide attempt mattered so much, especially since he hadn't even been able to get close to jumping. Perhaps he was missing something. His thoughts had that fleeting, fuzzy-edged quality that was typical to most sedatives, and he made a mental note to ask the doctors here to calculate their doses more carefully before he tried for the second (and hopefully more successful) time. Sterek was nothing if not determined.

"I do not currently possess the mental discipline required to stop my own heart and I was unable to replicate the quantities of neurotoxin required to achieve a painless death," he replied frankly. "Unconsciousness and drowning was the most logical method available to me."

"I fail to see how ending your own life can be described as logical."

"Hypervigilance. Sleep disturbances. Rumination, persistent re-experience, large-scale shifts in the patient's ability to project long-term events..." He trailed off. "I cannot function under the effects of severe psychological trauma, either as a doctor or a Vulcan."

Sivar's voice was quiet. "You are a physician. You already know that the symptoms will fade over time-"

Sterek was about to tell her that she was entirely unqualified to advise on his condition so could she kindly shut her irrational face, but the unexpected swish of the doors interrupted both of them, and suddenly there he was. Sterek's father. His hair was greyer than the man remembered, his serene face fractionally more lined, but it had, after all, been a very long time since they had spoken.

"What is she doing here?" he asked sternly.

"I could ask you the same," Sterek replied abruptly. "I did not give authorization for you to be notified. Clearly this is a gross violation of medical confidentiality-"

"You are my son."

"Irrelevant," said Sterek, narrowing his eyes.

Tevek did not leave. Instead, he pulled up a chair and sat down, and Sterek experienced a quiet urge to punch him.

"Return to Vulcan with me," he said. "We can help you. With my contacts I can have the entire incident erased from Starfleet's files. What happened on Aidoni is no longer medically relevant, and our family has suffered enough shame-"

Sterek's quiet anger flared into life, pushing aside the artificial calm of sedation. Not only had his father contravened patient confidentiality laws in coming here, but he had somehow gained access to Sterek's medical records, had learnt the whole horrible story about the tortures he had undergone back then; a story that he had not wanted anyone to know, let alone his own family. He opened his mouth to object, but found himself paralysed by white-hot rage and shame.

Fortunately, Sivar, it seemed, could be forceful enough for the both of them. She stood up.

"Your son was tortured and you are concerned about your family's reputation?"

His father tensed his jaw. "You misunderstand me-"

"No, I do not believe so. Leave, now. Sterek clearly does not want you here, and your presence is unquestionably unhelpful."

"Sterek can speak for himself."

Sterek stared at him, registering abruptly that what he felt for his father now was only hatred. It was an ugly feeling, but oddly comforting. It made him feel justified in what he said next.

"Get out. And do not attempt to contact me again."

The man paused for a moment. Then, expressionless as always, he got to his feet and strode out. Sterek realized he was shaking.

He thought of telling Sivar to leave as well, wanted to be alone to gather his composure and quell these shameful emotions which seemed to reach up from somewhere deep within him and grasp him by the throat, but once more he could not bring himself to speak. Sivar reached out hesitantly.

"Are you alright?" she asked quietly; a curiously human turn of phrase.

Sterek did not answer, only put his head in his hands, and felt the tears on his cheeks press wet against his palms, warm as blood.

 

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