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The Counsellor calls

Posted on Sun Nov 12th, 2023 @ 12:53am by Lieutenant Ayana Hillis & Lieutenant Commander Callie Raven-Grayson

Mission: Damn Dirty Apes
Location: Quarters

With events behind them Callie made her way to Ayana’s quarters to pay a visit, she wanted to see how Ayana was coping with having been a prisoner. Reaching the door, she pressed the chime and waited for an answer.

The door opened and Ayana stood at the door wearing loungewear. "Hello counselor" she said meekly. "Please come in."

“Thank you, Ayana,” Callie smiled warmly as she stepped inside. “I hope you don’t mind my dropping by? I thought I’d see how you were.”

Ayana stepped aside to let Callie in. "I figured you'd be stopping by. I am processing everything."

Callie nodded. “Would you like to talk about it? I’m here to listen and be a sounding board if you need it.”

Ayana offered Callie a seat. "I'll be honest with you, I'm not a big talker when it comes to these sorts of things. You know, some of the things that happened down there, they are rooted in things we dealt with long ago on Earth, but for me they had a particular significance. I am sure you have read the report."

Callie nodded. “I have, but I don’t go by everything I read. I prefer to talk to people with a fresh perspective. The way you were treated down there was humiliating, and I can only imagine how you must be feeling.”

"Yes, well, it wasn't pleasant, but my StarFleet training prepared me for all sorts of things in various combat scenarios. This was nothing I haven't been prepared to deal with" Ayana replied in an unconvincing defensive manner.

“I’m sure it did” Callie nodded. “But it doesn’t prepare you for being sexually abused. They don’t train you that in any department, that’s something that we women are always in danger of when ending up in a captive situation. Nothing can prepare you for that.”

Ayana nodded in agreement. "The sexual assault was what I figured you'd want to discuss. It was not an ideal situation, but honestly, it wasn't the worst thing happening to me down there. I was more concerned with the slavery and other racial components that were going on there."

Callie nodded. “I can only imagine, you’re a woman with a very strong personality, that is a good thing.” She smiled warmly. “One of the hardest parts was the humiliation you suffered, to be stripped of your clothing and humiliated in-front of another is difficult enough. I’m not sure I’d be taking it as well as you seem to be if it had been me.”

Ayana looked blankly at Callie. "Yes, that was unpleasant" she replied meekly.

“I’m sorry, I know it’s not something that’s easy to talk about.” Callie offered an understanding smile. “You know you can talk to me anytime you feel you need to.”

"You know, for centuries, humans enslaved other humans, did horrible things to people, all because that is our nature. Throughout history, since the days of the first civilizations in Egypt, my people have been slaves. When Europeans were colonizing the Americas, they brought slaves to those lands. It took a war in the United States to end slavery, though that wasn't the end of slavery for my people. Slavery remained in Africa and the Middle East until the events of World War 3, when the nuclear fires eradicated master and slave alike. The world that rose from the ashes was a better world, a world where nobody would wear chains. On the planet though, some of these apes were the same as the ancient humans that enslaved others. It seems that is a shared part of Earth heritage." Ayana wiped a tear from her cheek. "I know you can't fully understand that Callie, but you can sense the intense emotions it evokes in me."

Callie nodded. “I do sense how powerfully it affects your emotions. I’m sorry it causes you such anguish Ayana.”

"I'm afraid that this experience will keep me from interacting with others the way I once did" Ayana admitted.

“I can understand that” Callie offered an understanding smile. “But don’t shut yourself off from the crew, we’re all one big family onboard ship. We’re here for each other.”

"True" she said in a considered tone, "but not many can understand fully what happened down there. I'm sure there was substantial trauma I'll have to work through."

Callie nodded. “Now you’re sounding more like a counsellor” she smiled warmly. “We’ll work through it together, we can do as little or as much as you can take each session. You’re not going to go through this alone.”

Ayana did her best to remain composed, but a few tears streaked down her face. "I appreciate that Callie" she said as she tried to wipe the tears away.

Callie stepped forward and offered a brief, gentle hug not wanting Ayana to feel uncomfortable. “You go ahead and cry, you’d be surprised how many times I’ve gone home at the end of a long, stressful day and done the same thing!” She smiled warmly. “It’ll help you to feel better.”

Ayana hadn't anticipated the hug. She was so focused on keeping her composure that Callie quite literally sneaked up on her. The embrace was the breaking point for her, and despite her best efforts the tears began to flow like a raging river.

Callie gently held onto Ayana offering some comfort. “It’s okay Ayana, let it all out.”

Ayana was crying uncontrollably. She began to wail and attempt to speak, though it was little more than blubbering. "Centuries...and still...but I showed him."

Callie offered all the comfort she could, offering a nearby box of tissues for Ayana to wipe her eyes. “Here... wipe your eyes, I’m not going anywhere. I’m right here for you.”


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