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Ice Drilling

Posted on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 @ 1:16am by Lieutenant JG Diego Echevarria

Mission: Ties To Blood: Season 1, Episode 3.

It had to be done.

Diego Echevarria was the sort of shrink who was given appointments in advance, who let the patients work their own courage to appearing before him. It was best in a thereaupetic sense; after all, you can't make process with an overly hostile person until they stop resisting and let their guard down.

Of course, there were times when the opposite had to be done. Such as now, for instance.

Making his way towards the somewhat isolated person, his mind wandered to the many ways this venture on his part could go downhill, just from the sheer case of nerves exhibited by everyone, and by the fact he didn't even know more than part of the big picture.

Wordlessly, he sat across from Kristina Mason and stared directly at her.

Between shooting glares around the room at the various members of the crew Mason didn't pay much attention to the counselor until he was sitting in front her barley blinking. Her angry let pained filled gaze fell upon him, measuring him like sizing a potential enemy or threat.

Logically it made sense, and she had known it would only be a matter of time before the counselor would take interest in her prickly attitude. He wasn't the first and judging by the way the two of the stared at one another she wasn't going to give him the honor of being the one to sooth or tame her.

She raised her face a degree to euthanize her feelings. "Come to add further salt to a wound, counselor?"

"I think that would depend on you," came his passive reply, "and your interpretations on what constitutes a wound rubbed with salt."

"Talk about kicking a man when he's down," she said lowly with a dismal shake of her head. "It doesn't matter. What do you want?" He tone was cold and bitter, and no doubt if she could Krissy would have crossed her arms in front of her but until the medical staff had realigned her left arm it was only good to hang limply at her side.

Diego's response was to reach up with one hand to his collar, his fingers working to undo the lone pip attached. Reaching forward, he placed the rank pip next to her before leaning forward, as if in confidentiality.

"You wouldn't be the first of your kind I took on when it comes to patients," he began ambiguously. "By 'your kind', I mean those who would be stand-offish in the face of consolation, even to the point of irrationality. Once or twice such therapy sessions came to blows before they would let their guards down long enough to confide and in turn, be helped."

He noted her expression. "The trick is to remember something important; all the rage and hostility said patient directs at you is but a mere shade of their true selves. Like you, for instance. Any other green recruit would've seen what you just pulled on Mr. Jenkins and come to the irrational conclusion that you are an unstable, horridly-tempered individual who has the charm of a cave troll."

"Oh but I am," she narrowed her eyes positively growling. She didn't ask for his interface.

"But that's not you. In truth, you are spoiling for a fight... but your desired 'opponent' isn't available at the moment," he concluded, directing his eyesight now towards the unconscious form of their Captain.

Her opponent? Her gaze followed his across the infirmary to slowly rest on Beverly. Is that how he saw her, a over emotionally charged monster eager to blood whoever stood in her path? And that Beverly was one of her targets? Krissy's eyes softened at the sight of Beverly's helpless condition. Could it have been prevented if she had protected her on the planet after then accuse O'Brien of setting them up as bait? Perhaps if she'd stayed with Beverly throughout that mission she never would have been captured and in turn infected.

Slowly Krissy realized the counselor was talking again.

"Please forgive this naive question, but... what does she mean to you?"

With her eyes still on Beverly's immoible form Krissy didn't answer at first. The answer was complex. "A lot. She's more then just my CO she's the one person I can turly call my friend. Yes we've argued our fair share, thrown a few punches from time to time...."
The previous tension in her injured body was faded. "I'd do anything for her. Lay down my life for her without question."

"And the Entity invading her body leaves you with an impossible question regarding what must be done to save her."

With a heave of her chest Mason nodded silently.

Diego's gaze returned to Mason. "Before we went to Linta, the Captain tried confiding in me but soon distanced herself from the attempt. She told me of the DNA corrupting her system. I tried a small bit of consolation that I could offer before she walked away from me entirely."

Slowly Mason turned back to Diego looking at him in a different light. "At least someone was able to speak sense into her. But I wish she told me, I may not have been able to help her but I would have found something else, something different then cornering her like an animal."

"I told her a tale of shapeshifters who traveled from planet to planet, scamming and profiting most illicitly due to their ability to personate so many people. They finally meet the end of their life of crime when they came across a race of telepaths- telepaths who could see beyond the many disguises and sense the same exact minds- the insides, if you will. Surely you can deduce the moral of such a story."

Again Mason nodded without a word. Something about locking away the ture nature of yourself sounded a little too close from comfort.

His look became pointed. "Your Captain is still in that body. The trick would be to find a way to reach her. That's the fight you need to wage, sir."

Surprised Mason looked between Diego and Beverly for a moment before turning back to the counselor. "The fight I have to wage?" she echoed his words with a slight sneer. The sensation of how he was drilling into her like a fine tuned piece of machinery suddenly came to light and firmly she was applying the breaks. "The fight I want is against him," she jerked her thumb toward Jenkins the previous anger returning to full force. "He's the filthy rat who took advantage of a woman too ill to understand what she was doing. Instead of sending her packing like a good boy he indulged himself with something forbidden." Mason's eyes were glaring and entire body tense with rage and the knuckles of her right hand were white as the fist was tightly clenched.
"Men like him should be hunted down like dogs and shot. They terrorize women long after their deed is complete, a fear that is far stronger then the nature ability to fight or flight because that type of fear never fades"
Suddenly Mason stood and limped a short distance away to regain control over herself to avoid the room seeing the cracks widening or tears filling her eyes.

She loved Beverly like a sister, she had sworn to protect her from the horrors that had destroyed Mason's life. But she had failed twice now. First Beverly had been captured and injured because Mason wasn't there to help her, now worse still she had been violated because Mason wasn't quick enough. Jenkins was right... this was her fault.

Diego stayed where he was, electing not to press the issue. He was already breaching his own standards by making the initial contact with Kristina, but to continue persuing her in the face of overwhelming emotions... that would lose a great many patients.

And she was already exposing deep, raw wounds of her own.

All he could do is remain seated, and hope maybe she'd come back of her own accord. In the meantime, he glanced back to the Captain, and mulled the problem; how do you reach someone who has no control over their body?

Wiping her weeping eyes with a shaking hand Mason limped back around the bed restlessly. Why was it her troubled soul seemed to attract affection or pity? Beverly, Henk, Zeek and now Diego had all chipped in their part to help her. And how did she repay them? By pushing them away. She was alone and alienated because she never really grasped the concept of friendship or love. Those were traits she had never experienced as a child therefore something she struggled to master as an adult.

Aside from her lack of connection to others Krissy was a victim of her own past. They fueled her aggression, gave her motivation but was unable to give her comfort that you could only feel from another.
She lifted her eyes over the scene around her, the trail of destruction she had caused pausing on each of the faces as she reflected how she had affected them.

With her tears cleared and her self control replaced Mason turned her gaze back to Diego with a weight of respect for him. Slowly she retook her seat.
"How can I help Beverly?" she asked softly.

Diego spoke as if she never departed or spat poison at him. "The medics are convinced they can remove the Entity by fighting it at the genetic level- DNA fixing. It sounds so simplistic and scientific." His gaze turned back to her, no-nonsense. "That of course implies there is nothing intangible within that DNA- a sign of a soul, if you will."

"You believe we each have a soul?" Mason frowned. It seemed such an old fashion theory one that science had not yet proved. Kristina was a woman of facts not of speculation.

"Of course I believe in the soul; no tale of redemption or of rising beyond barriers becomes possible without it. Much like the Entity itself must have some sort of intangible soul that can withstand what the medics are trying to accomplish, I believe the Captain's soul remains hidden deep inside the invasion. We just have to reach it."

"I don't know about her soul but I've looked into her eyes and seen Beverly trapped inside fighting for release. She's in there somewhere. How can I help her? I'm not telepathic just.." Mason paused looking over Diego's shoulder toward Beverly. "I'm just me. Cold and empty."

Diego's gaze sharpened in sudden thought. "If we could find anybody with enough mental capability to send someone into her mind, it would be more than enough. Vulcan, perhaps, or a similarly telepathic species?"

Looking around the sickbay Mason's eyes fixed on a person who was talking softly to the Klingon Ambassador. "I don't know about Vulcan but the lieutenant over there is Betazed. She might be able to help."


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