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Avery in Security

Posted on 14 Oct 2016 @ 2:40am by Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D.

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Main security
Timeline: MD 7 || 1200 Hours

Carrying a huge basket filled with a variety of foods and drink into main security, Doctor Avery Stuart hoped not just to offer nourishment to people's bodies, but also use the opportunity to do a friendly check in to see how people were holding up emotionally. There was no doubt the crew of the Black Hawk had endured a great deal of emotional upheaval since the ship's launch, but the most recent events seemed to overshadow even what came before.

The crew had managed to prevail against its latest tangle with the Consortium, but once again, it had come at a tremendous cost. Perhaps not surprisingly, Avery had elected to begin her department by department morale tour with security, the group of people on board who perhaps felt the greatest pressure to protect the ship and crew from the insidious Consortium threat, a group of people who showed no signs of backing down.

Avery had cleared this visit with Lieutenant Di Pasquale, so the security chief knew she was coming and why. Along the way to the other woman's office, she took the opportunity to talk to any officers and crewmen she saw, offering refreshments and drink. The items came from Selah, the ship's bar keep who explained they needed to do something with the food items in the ship's stasis pods before the items went bad. The counselor was grateful for the opportunity and for the barkeep's willingness to donate various comfort foods to Avery's cause.

Finding her way to Di Pasquale's office door, Avery rang the chime, hoping Camilla would remember she was coming by, understanding if she didn't.

In her office, Camila looked up from a huge stack of PADD's and wondered how someone managed to get past her Assistant Chief. She glanced at her terminal and saw it flash a reminder that the Counselor was due to see her and made a small effort to arrange the stacks of PADD's, coffee cups and a takeout box from Talon's that she had never finished.

"Enter," she called out before she pulled her hair back in a semblance of looking professional.

The doors to the office opened and Avery entered, right away taking note of the stack of PADDS and refuse on Camila's desk. Everything was well-organized, of course, but it's mere presence served as a reminder of just how chaotic things had been. "Hello," Avery greeted gently with a smile. Hoisting up her basket of refreshments, which included a variety of foods and beverages, she added, "it looks like I've come just in time with fresh supplies."

Camila smiled. "I should have been more prepared for you, Doctor Stuart," she said. "Or do you prefer to go by Lieutenant?" she asked as she indicated one of the two seats in front of her desk. "Or if you prefer, we can sit on the other couch. It's more comfortable." She tapped a button on her terminal and sent a quick message to her Assistant Chief to request her presence.

Avery smiled and gestured for the more comfortable couch and she answered, "I consider myself more of a doctor than a Lieutenant, but please, if you'd be more comfortable, feel free to call me Avery, especially when we are off duty."

Stuart was glad to be given the opportunity to choose her seating. She really didn't intend for this meeting to be formal, and having a table between them created more distance than she would've liked.

Since she was summoned to the Chief's office, Joey walked through the door. "You wanted to see me, Lieutenant?" the taller woman asked, taking notice there was a second person present in the room. Her gaze moved to Avery. She was aware the counselor was going to be making rounds through various departments, but for some reason, the Assistant Chief felt like she was about to be ambushed. Had Camila said something to the Counselor? Did someone else say something to her? She had zero intentions of making any of what happened public knowledge. "What's... going on?"

Camila smiled as she chose a chair near the couch and looked up when Joey came in. "Lieutenant Corwin, meet Doctor Stuart. Doctor Stuart, this is my Assistant Chief of Security." She looked between them and then up to Joey. "Doctor Stuart has decided to make her rounds of the ship to see how morale has been in light of the recent events. I'd like you to sit in and offer input and have a chance to air your own views on how Security is holding up."

"Uh... sure, I can do that. It's nice to meet you," Joey said, moving over to settle down as well. It appeared Camila didn't toss her under the shuttle, which she was happy about, but couldn't hide her discomfort. For now, she had no plans of talking about what happened to her, except maybe with Harvey. "So, where exactly do you want to start, Doctor Stuart?"

"Actually," Avery began, "I was hoping to touch base with you both generally to find out how the two of you are holding up? I brought some refreshments with me courtesy of Selah from the lounge," she added, picking up the basket she had brought with her and placed next to her on the floor. "I know a number of the crew have told me they really haven't had time to eat or drink anything in the middle of trying to get the ship back in order."

Stuart was already aware of the attack Joey had endured and her intention was to meet with Joey separately, but in the meantime, she would keep the conversation focused on the needs of the department and their leaders without getting too personal.

"As well as can be expected," Camila said neutrally. "Overworked, not enough sleep, and still recovering my accident on the bridge when the Romulan warbird was taken out. Other than that, I'm still trying to figure out which way is up and if I like it there."

"As is the rest of Security. We're all overworked, running on little to no sleep, dealing with the losses of colleagues. Given the circumstances, though, we're all handling it the best to our abilities and trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other."

Stuart nodded. She knew the two women were being truthful and their answers weren't unlike any she'd already heard. She also knew any security officer worth her salt wasn't about to say she was anything but okay. "I'm sure I speak for the entire crew when I say I'm grateful for your efforts. You and your people run toward danger and are more than willing to sacrifice your lives if that's what's required. Is there anything I or the rest of the crew can do to ensure you and your department can get the rest and general downtime you need to function? I won't lie. I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't express my concern for your well-being. I know the temptation to push yourself beyond your limits must be great given the things that need to be accomplished."

"We do what has to be done, Doctor Stuart," Camila said. "It's why we chose Security as our Starfleet path. We don't ask for others to step to the front so others have a chance. If you want to do anything to help, I would suggest going among the other personnel in Security and make sure that they know someone is willing to listen without judgement. We do what we can, but....we're in the same boat they are. Sometimes it's good to have a neutral, friendly ear."

"Security lost nine individuals, so it might not be a bad idea to make your rounds and talk to some of our personnel about that. I can't guarantee many of them will open up, but it would be worth a shot," Corwin suggested. "As far as rest and general downtime, we're trained to do what we do, Doctor. Especially Camila and I. We're both SAR trained, and we know out limits."

"That's what I'm here in part to address," Avery offered, looking in Joey's direction. "I understand and appreciate you both have jobs to do as leaders, but I also understand what a burden leadership can be. I think it's admirable both of you have suggested I meet with your staff and that you have put their needs to the forefront, but I'm also here to remind you I'm here for you both as well." Stuart smiled. "I'm glad you know your limits. Am I correct in assuming that means you have some scheduled rest time scheduled within the next few hours?"

"We do," Camila said and glanced at the chrono. "Everyone is on a two hour rotation until we can sort things out. In fact, Lieutenant Corwin is scheduled for her downtime in about ten minutes."

"We've been making sure everyone gets the required downtime, ourselves included," Joey said. "Things have been a bit hectic lately as I'm sure you're aware, but we're doing what we can for the people in out department."

"I'm really glad to hear that," Avery replied. "I really appreciate it as well. It really reinforces what I say if the crew can see they have superiors who are going to practice what I preach. You can imagine what it's like to try and encourage junior officers to take care of themselves when they're seeing their bosses do anything but." Stuart paused then, reminded of something Camila said earlier. "Lieutenant Di Pasquale, you mentioned you were injured. How are you feeling?"

Camila looked at the counselor and thought about her answer. "More aware of my own mortality," she answered finally. "Nothing that bad has ever happened to me before."

The counselor appreciated Camila's candor. "It sounds pretty terrifying," Avery acknowledged. "Sometimes after an injury, especially a first time injury involving the nervous system and the brain in particular, a person can experience flashbacks and nightmares as the body sort things out. Sometimes such a reaction can even be delayed. If you were to experience something like that, it would be completely normal. That said, I want you to know my door is always open. Sometimes just talking it out can help ease the anxiety."

"It was a punctured lung that collapsed on the way to Medical," Camila told her. "So I doubt that I'll be having flashbacks or nightmares about it. Still, I appreciate the officer, Doctor Stuart."

"That's right," Avery replied apologetically. "I'm sorry for getting them mixed up. I've been looking at a lot of medical reports lately and I guess I got mixed up. I hope you don't experience any additional difficulties, but you did experience a life-threatening situation regardless, of a severity you never have before, so it's a possibility. I hope you know I say that not to scare you, but just as a way to encourage you to be kind to yourself, whatever your reaction may turn out to be. I know it isn't easy to deal with, particularly when so many of our loved ones are still stranded."

Camila looked away for a moment as Temerant's words of I love you echoed in her mind when she had been in Sickbay. That had been the last time she had seen him before he had gone to the Cochrane and she hadn't said the same to him. "I know, Doctor Stuart," she said, fighting to keep her voice level. "I'll make an appointment with you if I feel the need."

It didn't take an expert in mental health or someone with psionic abilities to see Camila had mentally gone somewhere else for a moment. She was reminded then of rumors that she and Bast had become close. "It doesn't even have to be a formal appointment," she offered gently. "I'm available for a meal in the mess hall or tea in the lounge if you'd be more comfortable."

"Maybe later," Camila said before she glanced at Joey. "Is there anything you want to say, Lieutenant Corwin?"

"Not presently," Joey replied. "But, I do need to get back to work. If you ladies will excuse me."

"Of course," Avery replied politely. She actually wanted to talk to Joey privately, but she would catch up with Corwin later. Turning to Camilla, Stuart offered, "Thank you for meeting with me. I'll make the rounds amongst your staff, but for now, I'll get out of your hair."

"Have a good day, Doctor Stuart," Camila said. "Lieutenant Corwin, I'll see you later."

"Until then, Lieutenant Di Pasquale," Joey said, offering Camila a smile as she got to her feet. "Lieutenant Stuart, thank you." With that, she made her way out of the office and stopped halfway to her own to gather her bearings.

Avery turned and smiled at Camila silently before taking her leave.

Camila returned the smile and after the Counselor left, she turned back to her work while trying not to worry about Temerant.

 

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