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Emotional Matters

Posted on 27 Oct 2017 @ 8:56am by Lieutenant Sterek & Lieutenant T'Pai

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: MD1 || 0700 hours

The cold, clinical Vulcan doctor with all the bedside manner of a serrated knife was a common stereotype in Starfleet Medical circles; Sterek worked hard to avoid it.

While he would not stoop to such indignities as displaying emotion, or using contractions, he still tried to maintain a compassionate and gentle manner in the consulting room. This wasn't a particularly unpleasant task, being close enough to his actual personality anyway, but it was still a slight relief to see a Vulcan patient in his office. One could often dispense with unnecessary social niceties in this case, leading to a far more efficient - and comfortable - interaction on both sides.

He stayed seated as T'Pai entered, his trained physician's eyes immediately giving her the once-over for visible signs of injury before returning to her face.

"What can I assist you with, Lieutenant?"

"Lieutenant Sterek," T'Pai began, embracing the more stoic mannerisms she used with other Vulcans. "I find myself needing your abilities as a traditional Healer, rather than a Star Fleet physician."

"I see." Sterek paused, withdrawing his hand from the tricorder on his desk again. "This is not my area of expertise, but I will assist where I can. What is it that you require?" Since Aidoni, he'd fallen behind in the traditional arts somewhat, although he'd had ample opportunity to see the other side of things. The Healers back on Vulcan had been instrumental in his own recovery.

"If you prefer, Lieutenant, I can seek out a member of the counseling staff," T'Pai offered. "However, I do not believe that a non-Vulcan will fully understand the inherent perturbation caused by an illogical response to a situation."

"My preference is what is best for you as a patient. I will endeavour to help you if I am able to." He clasped his hands together on the table in front of him. "Can I infer from your statement that you are experiencing an illogical response to something?"

"Indeed," T'Pai responded before continuing. "Recently, Chief Petty Officer Farrar, the head of the Black Hawk's fighter maintenance, was dispatched to disarm a microtorpedo, whose detonation would have resulted in the destruction of Deep Space Fifteen. Ms. Farrar was successful in her endeavors, but at the cost of her life."

"I see. And this officer was an associate of yours?"

"I had only physically met Ms. Farrar once, and that the morning of her demise," T'Pai began. "However, Ms. Farrar and I had been a professional colleague of Ms. Farrar for approximately three years. I was part of the final validation team of the Gryphon Class Fighter. Ms. Farrar was one of the Subject Matter Experts on active duty who was virtually consulted. Her insights were invaluable."

"I grieve with thee." Sterek offered the traditional Vulcan response. "What is it about your response to her passing that you deem illogical?"

T'Pai bowed her head solemnly at Sterek's formal condolences. "As I have said, although I had only physically met Ms. Farrar once, we have been professionally associated for some time. We also discovered we shared many of the same intellectual interests. Are you aware of the human pastime called 'escape rooms, Lieutenant?"

"I am not. Please elaborate."

"An escape room is an exercise in both deductive and inductive reasoning," T'Pai began. "One is placed into a locked room, and utilizing a number of clues, one finds a way to exit said room. The exercise is conducted either alone or in cooperation with teammates. A common requirement of such exercises is that they be completed within a limited time frame. An hour is the traditional time limit."

"Interesting." Sterek tilted his head, obviously giving the idea some thought. Perhaps he'd look up some of these 'escape room' holoprograms when he next had some free time, in 2397 or so. "And am I to assume that you have come here because you find yourself psychologically affected by Ms Farrar's passing?"

T'Pai arched her right eyebrow as she answered, "It would be illogical for her death not to have an impact. Even if I had never communicated with Ms. Farrar, her past accomplishments and the loss of her potential future accomplishments would be cause for reflection. The logical process in dealing with Kal-ap-ton, with...grief, is to recognize the achievements of the deceased, as well as their impact on one's life. Thus, with meditation and reflection, one can honor the dead while maintaining mastery of one's emotions."

"However, I find myself having to rely on a disproportionate amount of meditation to effectively compensate for Ms. Farrar's death," T'Pai concluded.

Sterek nodded in agreement to her first statement - she was right, after all - but as she finished speaking, he tilted his head a fraction.

"What do you consider disproportionate, Lieutenant?"

T'Pai paused, steepling her forefingers underneath her lower lip as she paused to consider her answer. "As I said, Ms. Farrar and I were professional colleagues. In addition, we shared an interest in problem solving scenarios. Since these 'escape room' and other puzzle solving holonovels involve varying cultural contexts, our discussions might be categorized as 'far ranging.' But as I have said, my first actual meeting with Chief Petty Officer Farrar was less than a month ago, consisting of casual discourse."

Now it was Sterek's turn to raise an eyebrow. "Has it occurred to you that you may be underestimating your own grief?"

"I hold to the maxim as stated by Saleiahstrvoc," T'Pai answered. "Wuh ri linisau ha'kiv tor ri don tor ha-tor. Having reflected on my relationship with Ms. Farrar, it would be illogical to assign it more relevance than I have."

Sterek clasped his hands together patiently on the desk in front of him.

"If our logic were automatic and inherent, Lieutenant T'Pai, we would never have needed Surak."

T'Pai nodded, responding, "Your point is valid."

He stood up and moved around to the other side of the desk, drawing the chair with him.

"I can perform a superficial telepathic assessment if you wish, but I strongly suspect that I will find nothing outside of expected parameters. The fact that you spent very little time with Ms Farrar in person does not negate your connection to her. You knew her, you corresponded with her, and her absence affects you accordingly."

"I concur that a telepathic bond will not be necessary. I will reflect upon your analysis, and adjust my behavior accordingly." T'Pai stood up and added. "I appreciate your words, Healer." There was a definite and respectful emphasis on the last word.

Sterek paused minutely on that last word, then bowed his head in acknowledgement.

"If you find yourself experiencing further difficulties, you are welcome to consult me again. There is no logic in enduring this alone."

"You have my thanks, Healer," T'Pai said, with a formal nod of her head, before taking her leave.


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