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Part of USS Odyssey: Beyond Redemption, Beyond Reason and Bravo Fleet: We Are the Borg

Beyond Redemption, Beyond Reason – 3

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000), Kotaba Expanse, Swallow Nebula region, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 78422.96
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Counsellor Hilgan couldn’t help but feel excitement and nervousness as he prepared for his first morning as Acting Chief Counsellor on the USS Odyssey. He had always felt that being a counsellor was his calling, and now he would be responsible for the mental health of almost two thousand souls. While Counsellor Horin enjoyed being a mother to her daughter, Jaxerlynne, Hilgan would undertake her job. It was a massive expectation for the young lieutenant, but he was prepared for it. He had been the Chief Counsellor on the Bellerophon, and he had managed the psychological welfare of one hundred and seventy crewmembers by himself with one aide. Now, he would lead an entire department with six others.

As he made his way through the ship’s corridors, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe at the Odyssey’s advanced technology and sleek design. The ship was a marvel of Federation engineering, and it was an honour to be serving on her. He had to remember how lucky he was to be assigned to the Odyssey. Though he had gone from being a department head to a deputy, he didn’t see this move as a demotion. In his eyes, if he could do this, he would be in line for his own department on another assignment in a few years. It would open up the possibility of him being able to apply for a starbase role if he wanted it. Being assigned to a ship as large as the Odyssey was a dream for many Starfleet officers. To serve on one of Starfleet’s most prestigious ships, which had a massive reputation across the Federation, was worth him working in the shadows of someone like Louwanna Horin.

Horin was an impressive officer and one of the most talented counsellors he had met. Her knowledge and experience were backed up with wisdom and remarkable insight. Another trait that Hilgan liked about his new superior was how she was such a good listener. Though it came with the job, she would always take time to speak to everyone who worked for her and her patients. 

He knew he had to do the same; Hilgan couldn’t let her down.

When he reached his office, Hilgan took a deep breath and centred himself. He knew that his first day as Acting Chief Counsellor would be a busy one, with a full schedule of appointments with crew members from all departments. Later on, he would be meeting with Captain Duncan and Commander Court to review crew performance. Though his presence was requested, he wasn’t sure how valuable his input would be. He knew Duncan was the ship’s former chief counsellor before Horin, but Hilgan didn’t want his involvement to be tokenism. He had to contribute to discussions and decisions, but he had already decided he wouldn’t suggest anything unless he were confident it would be helpful.  

Walking over to his desk, he began by reviewing the files of those he would be meeting with, taking note of any concerns or issues raised. Wanting to ensure he was fully prepared to provide the best possible guidance and support to the crew, Hilgan liked to be thorough.

The door chime went off, and he looked at the time on the holographic clock that hovered just above the surface of his desk. His first appointment was twenty minutes early. 

“Come in,” Hilgan replied to his visitor.

The doors opened, and Hilgan was surprised to see Lieutenant Commander Keli entering.

“Sorry to disturb you on your first day, Kriz,” Keli said with a warm smile, but he could feel something sitting behind it that affected her.

“No, go on,” Hilgan encouraged her to take a seat on the curved sofa that was in the centre of the room. Opposite to it was a similar comfortable armchair which he took. “I’m listening,” He said, ensuring he did what Horin would do.

Appreciating the gesture, Keli made herself comfortable. “I promise you that I won’t keep you, but I feel I need to speak to you about Reuben.”

“Commander Gray?” Hilgan checked as he picked up his PADD and placed it in his lap to take notes.

She nodded. “I know I may be destroying Reuben’s confidence with me; however, I know he isn’t sleeping well at the moment, and most mornings when we’ve shared breakfast, he has told me about a recurring dream.”

Intrigued by that last part, Hilgan urged her to go on. “Do share, ma’am.”

“It’s about his assimilation,” Keli replied. Her worry for the former drone was etched clearly across her frown. “I’m worried it’s affecting his sleep.”

Hilgan nodded in agreement. “Such dreams and nightmares about one’s own trauma can plague the subconscious for a long time. They can manifest in our dreams as a strong reminder. Some would say it’s the body’s way of coping, while others may say it’s the mind’s approach to processing what happened now the person is in a safe environment. I’d imagine the commander has a level of anxiety since we’ve returned to the Delta Quadrant.”

“Oh, I believe so, though he said to me today it’s probably stress-related to the subspace amplifier project,” Keli added.

“It could be a combination of the two,” Hilgan said. “Do you think if I checked in on him today, he would be receptive to a session?” 

Keli shrugged. “I’m not sure, I’m just worried. I know I said to him earlier I wouldn’t say anything, but you never know with these things.”

“Without going into detail about the commander’s psychological records with you, which you know I can’t, I would say that we are seeing a classic sign of some sort of post-traumatic reaction,” Hilgan said.

“Is there anything I can do to help him?” Keli offered.

“Being a good friend, listening and being supportive will go a long way,” Hilgan answered. “In the meantime, let me check in on him, and I am sure Doctor Slyvexs will check in on his health soon; if not, I will request she does.”

Appreciating his time, Keli nodded a thanks and got up before leaving. Once she was gone, Hilgan completed his notes before returning to his desk. 

“Computer, open all Starfleet Medical records related to the suggestive psychological treatments for individuals liberated from the Borg Collective,” He ordered.

“Acknowledged, the first suggestive article is from Commander Deanna Troi, Starfleet counsellor, stardate four-four-zero-one-two point three.”

Hilgan sat down to read what Starfleet had observed and treated over the years with exBs. 

Comments

  • For some reason the first thing that came to me while reading it "Oh Keli, you snitch" haha. It is of course a well deserve concern that she has for Gray. But I do not know if Gray will appreciate the same gesture that Keli is making in outing her concern to the counselor. It is a good moment for Hilgan to catch up on Borg traumatic treatments. Thought Hilgan character development is also very interesting, seeing he is now the Senior Counselor on the ship, he wants to prove himself quite a bit. Awesome post! Looking forward to more!

    October 29, 2023
  • Yay! Horin had her baby! Now Hilgan has some shoes to fill while she enjoys maternity leave. I get that Keli is concerned about her friend and I'd probably be the same way if I were in her shoes. However, I hope that Gray doesn't get mad at her for going behind his back and talking to the counselor about it. She is only doing what she thinks is best and wants to help her friend overcome whatever he might be going through. Now I am wanting to know what happens next!

    November 1, 2023
  • Counselors are an archetype that is often dry, or boring, or just poorly written in general, but that's definitely not the case here. I really liked the glimpses into the past and his motivation to live up to his mentor's expectations. I also liked how he handled the situation with Keli, delicately, but while still acknowledging that his help was needed. Great post and a lovable character. Couldn't help but wonder if that was a Frasier reference either haha. Good to know the doc is listening!

    November 2, 2023
  • Keli

    Chief Security & Tactical Officer

  • Krizon Hilgan

    USS Bellerophon
    Chief Counsellor
    Former Senior Assistant Chief Counsellor