Part of USS Odyssey: To Hold Fire

The Romulan Reflection

Starfleet Academy - Mellstoxx Campus, Mellstoxx III, Mellstoxx system, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 77004.3
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An office complex within the grounds of the Fourth Fleet’s Academy building known as The Ellipse had been assigned to Commander Horin’s team to conduct the multiple assessments of the Odyssey’s crew. Thankfully the complex was not currently in use, so moving quickly her team had rearranged a number of the rooms to be used as offices where they could meet with their patients. Having thirty counsellors under her, Horin had already briefed them on the parameters of their work while she used a number of yeomans on loan from Starbase Bravo to assist in the coordination of schedules. She wanted everything to work like clockwork. Deciding she would assess the senior staff and other key members of the crew who had been heavily affected by decisions made from their last mission, Horin knew she would find the coming days interesting, to say the least.   

Already the crew were in the process of undertaking their medical examinations at various locations across Starbase Bravo as well as Mellstoxx III. Standing in her office, she was currently reviewing the reports that she had received on the cases she was interested in at the moment. Though Captain McCallister would be seen, she felt that her focus should be on Counsellor Samris and Doctor Slyvexs at first. 

The office she had grabbed for herself was on the top level of the three floor building. It had the best view of the east quadrangle from the huge floor to ceiling glass window that stretched across one side of the rectangular shaped room. Similar to Admiral Bennet’s office, she had her desk in the centre of the room in front of the large window, while she had set up comfortable seating just before it. Plants, low lighting and other comfortable features were present around the room. Though this was not her permanent office, she had decorated it with various replications of different pictures to make the office seem homely. 

Reading through her first patient’s file for the fourth time already, she eventually placed the PADD in her hands down on the desk. She knew Samris’ file well, especially his early career as she had taught him as an instructor here on Melstoxx III. Seeing her former pupil was something she looked forward to, though she’d prefer it being under better circumstances. 

Picking up her mug of hot chocolate, she sipped on it and slowly finished it before the door chime went off. Sticking the mug back on her desk, she turned to look over at the door, “Please come in.” She called as she moved across the room to greet her guest.

Lieutenant Samris arrived at her office and stepped through the glass door after it opened. As per her orders, no-one was to wear their uniform as she wanted this experience to be as natural as possible and to keep everyone as comfortable as she could. Samris wore a plain long-sleeved white top with black trousers and plain black shoes. His hair was styled in an un-Romulan way, all slicked back. Looking more Human than Romulan had been a feature of many Romulans who had become refugees within Federation space. 

“Samris, it’s so good to see you.” She greeted as she approached him to shake his hand. 

Shaking her hand, Samris agreed with the notion. “As it is good to see you too ma’am.” 

Appreciating it, Horin offered for him to pick a seat from the arm chairs and sofas that were available. Like any good host she offered him a drink, which he declined, before taking a seat herself. Sitting down in one of the arm chairs, she looked at Samris. In some ways she knew that counsellors were the worst patients, as much as any other doctor, so she wanted to do this first as she knew she may have to come back to him at a later stage. 

“So, I’m going to insult your intelligence here Samris. I trained you myself, so I know that you know the routine here.” Horin said softly. “Are you okay with that?”

Nodding a few times, the Romulan man took hold of one of the nearby cushions and placed it on his lap. “Absolutely and I guess I’m your first patient.”

“Indeed.” She confirmed, still in a calm tone. “So let’s begin.” Reaching over and picking the padd from earlier off from her desk, Horin focussed on Samris. “Talk to me about your time on the Quirennal. Start off from the first time you boarded the craft as one of the away teams and how events evolved from there.”

Relaxing somewhat, Samris gazed at the view coming from the window and then back to Horin. “Initially I was a part of the team assigned to support the rapport development with Captain Jyster’s isomorph. It was down to Craigen and I to keep her calm and focus so the captain could negotiate further.”

“On whose orders?” Horin checked as she took notes. 

“Initially Commander Duncan’s, we found her program to be initially erratic but others weren’t sure if this was due to complications in her program. The captain was interested in keeping her stable so we could properly assess the state of the ship and investigate what had happened.” Samris answered. “It was my job to apply psychology to the conversation with her after we found out she had the memory patterns and brain waves of the original, organic version of Captain Jyster.”

“How did you find the work?” She probed.

“Challenging, but nothing that was intimidating at the time.” Samris responded as he crossed his right leg over his left one. “I’ve never counselled a hologram or any artificial being before, so I found myself being creative in the strategies I was using. Most of them diversionary tactics, it was my hope to keep her off-task from demanding the captain give her what she wanted until he could find out more from her.”

“Did they work?”

Nodding, Samris inclined to agree to that. “Somewhat, I thought we were getting through but I think I got too relaxed in forgetting that with the super-computer brain of hers, Jyster was able to plan other things while doing other actions.”

“Multi-tasking to the extreme?” Horin checked.

“Indeed.” Samris stated. “Then after she had gained full control and everyone was kidnapped, I was moved like everyone else to the valley. The senior staff had come up with some initial plans on how we would ensure those who were taken would survive, but when the decision was made that a majority of us would stay to look after the children…well everything changed.”

Taking a moment to consider her next question, Horin sat up straight. “Let’s talk more about that. Were you with the captain when he made that decision?”

“No, but the entire senior staff had discussed our options about escaping before this.” Samris answered. “However, I did advise the captain to appeal to the parental side of Captain Jyster’s programming.”

Noting that point down, Horin continued with her questioning.“How well was your suggestion received?”

“I remember Commander Reyas supporting it, as did T’Rani and then Captain McCallister considered it as one idea for us to explore further. After that we discussed other avenues before the captain wanted me to support with the morale of the crew. I used the rest of the counselling department to work in supporting those parents who felt powerless from the situation.” Samris then uncrossed his legs. “That was the hardest part, trying to encourage others to not lose hope with the situation we were in. Those who were parents reacted in a way that they believed I didn’t understand where they were coming from as I’m not a parent myself.”

Suppressing a smirk somewhat, Horin understood that response all too well. “Unfortunately Samris, even with the amount of experience and qualifications we have, every species I have worked with always says to me I won’t understand until I’m a parent myself.” She paused as she took another note. “Please continue.”

“Well after Captain McCallister made the new deal, everything else seemed to have just happened and we had to fit into this new lifestyle, this new routine quite suddenly.” Samris stated. “Again, it was quite overwhelming.”

Looking down at one of the reports she had read earlier, as well as her own notes, Horin gazed back up at him and continued with her line of questioning. “You were placed with Lieutenant Commander T’Rani during this time. You were expected to care for a sibling group I believe.” Checking the details again, Horin repeated what she had before him. “Three children, two girls and a boy?”

“Yeah,” Samris said with a smile on remembering them. “Mexie, the boy and the girls were Terina and Avaanah.”

“Did you enjoy your time as a family?” Horin probed, noticing the gesture as he said the children’s name.

Nodding once, Samris seemed distant as he answered her. “I did, it was nice.” He looked at her. “T’Rani and I got on really well. Somehow our dynamic worked. Each day the energy from the children just kept us going, it was enjoyable.”

Horin wrote a few things down before asking the one question that she knew he may find difficult to answer. “Tell me more about your relationship with Lieutenant Commander T’Rani.”  

It looked like he had almost disappeared into the sofa as he tried to squirm away from her but eventually he found the courage to reply to that inquiry. “We became extremely close.”

“Indeed.” Horin said as she loaded up other reports. “You began seeing one another shortly after you started neuro-pressure sessions with her. I believe she was your patient before you your relationship had become sexual?”

Startled she had found that out, Samris sank further into the sofa at how uncomfortable this had become. “That’s true ma’am, but we had ended our sessions before our relationship changed.”

“I believe you.” Horin said assuring him. “However your objectivity with T’Rani may be called into question here.”

Sitting up straight he defended what had happened. “I did inform my superior about this.

“Yes, you noted that you spoke to Commander Duncan about this in your private log.” Horin admitted looking down at the PADD, “I’m afraid your personal logs have been shared with me.”

“Is it a crime to fall in love with someone?” Samris challenged her. 

“It’s interesting you say that,” Horin said. “Do you love T’Rani?”

Taking a moment to think about his response, he eventually answered. “Yes, I think I do.”

“Then I don’t see it as a crime.” Horin shared. “You both were already developing your relationship when you were captured, being forced into this situation together does change things. Talk to me about how you felt for those children you cared for.”

Again a pause, Samris took a breath, then another. “I think I did love them as well.” He stated. “I think the fact is that I understood where they were coming from based on my experiences from my own childhood. Being forced into a strange situation with strangers, it was just like when my parents and I fled from Romulus and ended up being refugees on a Federation world. We had nothing and all we could do was depend on the kindness of others. I didn’t want that for those three. They had too much life in them, too much to not want to protect and nurture. I could not just leave them and I think T’Rani felt the same. The possibility of us escaping seemed slim, so following the captain’s plan of us abiding our time seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“And when you look back at it all now, what do you feel?” Horin tested. 

“Sad.” Samris said. “Sad because the revelation that none of it was real, sad that I won’t see the girls playing together nicely or have Mexi jump on my back wanting to pretend we were flying. Plus sharing a home with T’Rani, I think I liked it a lot.”

“Sounds like those two months changed your perspective on things.” Horin said with a reassuring smile.

A tear formed under his eye and Samris just nodded as he pushed it away. “I think it did. I mean I never thought about becoming a father myself, but I think when I saw Tomaz just step up to it so easily with Jeddie, the child he was caring for, I think it made me do the same thing.”

Smiling further, Horin encouraged Samris to tell her more as she went to go get him a warm drink so they could carry on with more comfort supporting their discussion.