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Avery Visits The Flight Deck (Back Post)

Posted on 30 Dec 2016 @ 6:50am by Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D.
Edited on on 30 Dec 2016 @ 7:07am

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Flight Deck, USS Black Hawk

Continuing her department morale check, Avery's next stop was the flight deck. Members of every department were still reeling from recent events and the losses they incurred, but Stuart expected this would be true most deeply amongst the fighter wing, where, if reports served her, at least three pilots had died and a total of half the pilots were injured.

The counselor understood no amount of comfort food or kind words would erase the sense of loss and trauma amongst this particular group, but in her experience, even in the darkest times, just knowing someone was there to bear witness could ease some of the burden. Fighter pilots truly were out on their own in the midst of conflict, and Avery could only imagine given recent circumstances, how vulnerable they had to be feeling right now, even if professional mandates wouldn't allow them to express as much.

At the very least, Avery wanted to convey a sense that no one was being forgotten or overlooked. Not surprisingly, when she contacted the flight deck to arrange her visit, she didn't get the opportunity to speak to Commander Walsh, but instead was put in touch with Lieutenant Kilmartin, his deputy. No doubt the two were making every effort to restore morale and get the department back in order, with Kilmartin left to manage the day-to-day demands currently. Stuart was certainly planning to reach out to Walsh when he was able to meet with her, but she found herself pleased she could also reach out to the deputy. In some ways, she wondered if Kilmartin was expected to be more hands-on currently in the aftermath of the crisis, while Walsh managed his command and administrative responsibilities. If that were true, it was possible Jonathan was struggling with trying to keep some distance as a commander while still maintaining a close emotional connection to the happenings within the unit.

All of this, of course, was speculation on Avery's part, but still, it gave her some sense of what she might look for. As usual, she entered the flight deck and after explaining her purpose and upcoming meeting to the supervisors on the floor, Avery made the rounds with refreshments and gentle inquiries before asking to speak to Kilmartin himself.

"He's over there," a deck hand pointed in the direction of a man standing beside a Valkyrie, deeply engrossed in a data PADD.

"Thank you. Something to eat or drink?" Avery offered, lifting the basket containing the variety of food and beverages.

The man looked inside and smiled as he took a small cake. "Thanks," he smiled appreciatively.

Avery made her way over to the Valkyrie and waited until she was close to the man inside before she offered quietly, "Lieutenant Kilmartin, may I have a few moments of your time? I'm Avery Stuart. I called earlier?"

"Welcome to the flight deck," Kilmartin responded without taking his eyes from the data PADD. "What can I do for you Counsellor?"

"Actually, I was going to ask you the same thing," Avery replied. She lifted the basket she had in her hand slightly, hoping the small movement would garner his attention, at least for a moment. "I brought refreshments for the crew, and I was also hoping to check in with you and your staff. I know you've suffered several losses within a very short period of time, and while I realize none of you have time to completely process that right now, I wanted to reach out to you and yours and let you know your struggles haven't gone unnoticed."

"I can tell you now," Kilmartin paused as he looked around at the faces of the people in his unit and sighed, "the treats will be more welcome than any form of psychoanalysing you intend to try," he told bluntly. "These people need to do their jobs. They want to do their jobs. They will grieve in their own time."

"I'm not here to psychoanalyze anyone," Avery offered patiently. "I'm just here to offer emotional support, to let you and your people know you don't have to shoulder this burden alone. I know you have work to do and I know for a certain amount of time, that work will keep the emotions at bay. That amount of time varies for everyone, and whenever that time is up, I just want you and your people to know I and the rest of the counseling department are here, not to judge, not to label, just to listen."

"I'll be sure to pass the message on," Sunbeam smiled as he relented a little and took one of the offered sweet treats. "Tell me," he began curiously, "who counsels the counsellors?"

Avery smiled. "We lean on each other, and then of course, we all have friends. How about you? Who do you lean on in the wake of all of this loss?"

"A good bottle of scotch," the Lieutenant smirked as he was passed another data PADD and began tapping away. "Well, please feel free to linger around, but I really must get back to work," the Squadron Deputy informed.

Not one to be dismissed so easily, Avery said, "You might consider coming to see me rather than lean on a bottle of scotch, Lieutenant. You may not think so now, but I can promise, it will be a lot less painful than a hangover."

Sunbeam looked at the woman again and let out a smirk as he finally surrendered. "Who am I to disagree with a beautiful woman? I'll be sure to stop by when this all dies down," the Pilot confirmed.

Flirting aside, Avery decided to take that as a victory. "I'm going to hold you to that, Lieutenant," she replied as she stood and took her leave from him."


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