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Unintended Consequences Part 1

Posted on Sat Nov 20th, 2021 @ 2:31pm by Lieutenant Aiko Kato

Mission: Breen in Paradise
Location: Transporter Room

"Lt. Kato, I believe we can use your expertise on the bridge," came the instruction of the Captain before he departed the transporter room.

Aiko nodded but she knew she would need to make a pit stop to her quarters. For one, she needed a quick sonic shower to wash away all the sweat, grime and dirt of combat. Second, her body felt out of sorts in a manner that was both terrifyingly familiar yet unfamiliar.

She was handing her weapon and gear back to one of the technicians when she began to feel the knots in her stomach, a racing heart and a dull headache bothering on a migraine. A short while later, she felt queasy and dizzy. She instantly recognized what was happening and quickly excused herself from those gathered.

Mentally, she calculated the distance from the transporter room to her quarters and judged that she likely had enough time to make it if she ran. And so run she did, darting through the corridors into a waiting turbolift car that had recently been vacated.

She did not even have time to apologize to those she bumped into along the way. She entered the turbolift, punched in her destination afraid that talking might have undesirable consequence. She felt darkness on the edges of her vision and her consciousness slipping. The queasiness of her stomach grew stronger. She paced about the turbolift as it raced to the deck where her quarters was located. She nursed her stomach, rubbing it in a desperate attempt to placate it, but she suspected it had no effect.

Luckily, the doors parted as she was about near her limit. She sprang to action, racing through the hallway, hanging a left and then another right until she was at her quarters, which parted upon her arrival, the computer thankfully recognizing her.

She did not even have time to check if her roommate was in, not that it would have matter. She instead proceeded to the restroom where upon seeing the toilet receptacle she lost all control and expelled the contents of her stomach rather violently.

Aiko sat on the floor next to the receptacle wondering what exactly had triggered this reaction. She felt a heaviness wrap around her form and felt a sudden chill up her spine that seemed to linger making her feel cold even though she knew the temperature of her environment was temperate.

She could feel her heart racing far more than it should have been for such a short sprint. Her hands began trembling slightly and she had to fold them across her chest to stop the shaking. Cold sweat ran across her neck and chest, drenching her tunic.

These symptoms...they were very familiar, a remnant of the post-traumatic stress disorder she had developed in the aftermath of the Dominion War. The psychotherapist who first given her that diagnosis had told her that these symptoms were psychomatic episodes that were triggered by events that resurfaced her trauma.

In the beginning, it had been hard to predict what would trigger her and she had spent months developing coping mechanisms and addressing the trauma to change the way her brain automatically processed the trauma. Over time, with the help of numerous therapy sessions and medication, her psychosomatic episodes had drastically reduced in frequency.
In fact, she couldn’t even remember the last time she experienced one…it had been years.
Yet, here she was at the onset of a psychosomatic episodes. It had come so unexpectedly despite the fact that she thought she was successfully keeping it at bay. It was true what she saw down on the planet the Away Team had visited was horrifying and triggering on so many levels but she had done her mental exercises throughout the ordeal as she had been taught.

She had managed to keep a cool head, her emotion in check and her ability to carry out her duty unimpeded. It was difficult, yes, but until now, she did not know just how impacting that entire away team event was.

What had changed? She wondered.

Was it some sort of grace period her body had given her to avoid the embarrassment of displaying her post-traumatic stress disorder for her comrades, and most notably the Captain to see? Or was it the excitement and surge of adrenaline that had somehow tempered the full manifestation of a psychosomatic episodes? After all, back on the planet, all her body and mind had been dedicated to keeping herself and the team safe. Now that there was no longer any immediate threat to her life and safety, was it some sort of signal to her body to choose now to resurface its trauma?

Aiko closed her eyes trying to get ahead of the storm that was coming. It was too late to stop it now, she knew. She would just have to endure it and prayed to the stars that she came out of it less broken...


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