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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 13 – The Edge of Hope and Despair and USS Mackenzie: Mackenzie Squadron : The Edge of Hope and Despair

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USS Mackenzie
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You know what’s wrong with the thing. The voice of Miados filtered through her mind as she worked through the various diagnostic processes.  Shealynn scoffed, “I know.  You know.  I like to check.  You never know what you might find.”  Another scan, another panel opened, and then another long stare into the blinking lights and beeps of the internals of the Mackenzie.  You are insufferable sometimes.  The chief engineer rolled her eyes, “I’d rather be insufferable than miss something.”  She continued until she had sourced the error message and began the work needed to repair the junction.  She heard the main door to engineering open, and the footsteps approach.

“Commander Miados.”  

She glanced up and back at the Vulcan operations chief.  “Commander T’saath.  Welcome to engineering.”  She finished the fix, pushed out of the tube, and stood, “What brings you here?”

“I was hoping we could…discuss something with you in your office.”  The usual stern-looking Vulcan was uneasy.  Miados gestured her to the office. The door closed behind them, and they sat across from each other.  

Miados leaned over her desk, “You seem to have something on your mind, Commander.”

T’saath sought out Miados for one reason—she had previously been the chief engineer onboard the Mackenzie and had helped with its refit.  Among the crew, she had the most experience on the ship.  She had drifted apart from those who had served with her previous commanding officer, Captain Harris.  Her disconnection had been intentional.  It had also left her feeling alone on a ship where she had once served as an executive officer.  She ventured, “It is unusual for a Vulcan to express emotions.  Emotion is not foreign to us.  It is tightly controlled and managed.”

The engineering chief smiled, “I am familiar with Vulcans, Commander.”

She tried to explain again, “I…feel alone on this ship.  You are aware I was once XO.”  A nod from Miados.  “I…Captain Harris died on an away mission in which I took part.  I spent time away to attempt to establish control of my emotional state.”

“Did it work?”

“It did, to a point.”

Miados wondered out loud, “Why aren’t you talking to the ship’s counseling staff?”

“I am…not comfortable with revisiting our shared experience.  You…you have experience with Vulcans.”

“You did your research.”

“Vulcans excel at it, Chief Miados.”

Miados sat back in her chair, “I have worked with an unusually large amount of Vulcans.  I’ve found solutions to working with them where others have failed.”  She sat up, “You’ve lost someone you cared for in a professional sense.  The emotional element of that isn’t something you…shake off or meditate away in a day.”

“I am aware.”

She pushed, “Are you?”  She tapped at a PADD, “I’ve known Vulcans who could handle the worst the universe could throw at them and walk it off without much trouble.  I’ve also known Vulcans who experienced similar trauma and found it challenging to find a way out of the pit that threatened to swallow them.”  She handed the PADD across the table, and T’saath took it, a curious eyebrow arched.  “It’s an exercise in emotional management – an old Trill exercise.  It’s designed to open up the connection between the conscious and unconscious.”

T’saath blinked a few times.  “You believe I am…fighting between the two?”

A shrug.  “Part of you has…or wants to move on from the loss of Captain Harris.  The other part of you – has you sitting across the desk from a Chief Engineer asking for counseling help.  Good, bad, ugly, or…whatever it is…it’s a thing.  You’re not yourself, Commander.  Something in that complicated and deep Vulcan psychology is shorting out, and you need to find it, work on it, and move on down the line until you make sure it’s all working the way it should.”

“I do not wish to impose…but I feel compelled to ask – I may require…assistance in this method.”

Miados stared at the Vulcan operations chief for a moment.  “I’m not opposed…but whatever I bring, Miados comes along.”

T’saath gave a slight nod, “I accept.  I will contact you when I’m ready to proceed.”  She stood and walked out of the office.  Miados sat back, wondering in wonder at what she was learning about the crew.