Get along box
Casperia Prime - A lesson in relaxation
Location: Turbolift Beta three
Timeline: Sometime after “hand to hand combat”
Having just finished his last shift before shoreleave, S'hib was on his way to deck ten. His attempts at cultivating plants from all over the quadrant had created some unexpected side effects, but perhaps the shops and civilian businesses would be able to solve his inquiries.
So deep in thought was the young Sequellian that he barely noticed the turbolift shuddering awkwardly until it jolted to a stop and the doors opened. ~That was a bit aggressive...~ S'hib thought to himself as his gaze slowly lowered to the woman in front of him. "Afternoon Lieutenant." He snorted, a deadpan expression on his long face as his eyes repositioned back above her head.
Doctor McKay didn't even look up from her PADD, her own thoughts elsewhere as she scrolled through A message. "Afternoon..." she muttered softly her eyes darting over the screen as one thumb scrolled the message across the Definitely Nonstandard PADD. She shifted herself to the corner of the Lift to give who ever had boarded with her more room, her dark blue eyes never leaving the screen.
"Deck ten." S'hib said after noticing the lift hadn't resumed its journey. "Which deck are you...after." He added, trailing off as he watched the door close ridiculously slowly.
Nevada slowly blinked and looked up from her PADD. "Uh...Deck...twenty four," she said softly, her eyes catching S'hib for a moment, a mischievous twinkle flashing across them before she turned her attention back to her message.
S'hib gave no reply as he looked at the door, it had closed but not fully. The small gap seemingly mocking him, or perhaps it was the fact he was now back inside a turbolift with Mckay. Either way his Disgruntled snort said it all as he took one loud hoof step forward, placed his hand on the door and forced it shut with a loud thud. "Computer, resume." He said, the reply from the turbolift leaving much to be desired.
"I must Remind you of your homeworlds apex," she said softly as she read. "You always get so nervous around me," she said in an attempt to make conversation.
"I'm nervous around everyone." S'hib admitted, looking back over at Mckay. "Until I get to know them..." He finished, the turbolift beginning to shudder once more as it traveled throughout the Elysium.
"I'd say you know me quite well, given the amount of digging you've likely done into me after our initial interaction," she smiled slyly.
"I stopped digging." He said softly, turning more towards her. "You have your reasons for hiding what you do, but those reasons aren't malicious... so I never contacted Starfleet." S'hib continued, feeling guilty about his inital paranoia about her. "And I do apologise for my beha-" He said, being cut off mid sentence as the lift came to an abrupt stop, the sound of creaking metal echoing around the small capsule.
"Pride of the New fleet My ass," Lieutenant McKay muttered as she Leaned against the bulkhead of the lifts capsule.
S’hib let out a small whine as the realisation hit him that he was trapped. “This is happening far too much to me.” He snorted as he forced his hoofed digits into the door frame and pulled the door open, the site of the turboshaft greeting him as he did so. “Wonderful...” He added.
McKay Supressed a small giggle behind her hand and chuckled. "Don't worry...we'll be out in no time, the ships not under attack so its not like we're in danger of being ejected from the hull," she pointed out.
S’hib froze briefly when she spoke, he knew she meant well, but he was skittish at the best of times. “Thats... not helping.” He said as he tried to shut the door, struggling to contain his sudden panic of their turbolift capsule being ejected into the void.
"Ensign Calm down," The woman said as she gently pushed him away from the door. "Computer please reseal Turbolift Beta three's door," she said trying to apply pressure to the larger officer.
“I am calm.” S’hib lied as he backed into the wall furthest from the door as it failed to close despite Mckay’s efforts. “Just nervous...” He added with a inkling of truth, his hooves moving about in response to his mounting tension, the tips scratching at the carpet as he fumbled around his belt for something.
McKay shrugged softly and sat down. "Doctor McKay to engineering," said as she tapped her Combadge. "Turbolift beta 3 has malfunctioned, Mind getting us out of here?" She said trying to keep her calm as well.
"We'll get right on that Doctor," A voice came back echoing in her ears.
Realisation quickly struck S’hib as his hands found themselves grasping at empty pouches and pockets, He’d forgotten his hypospray, and his only anchor to staying calm. “No... no no, I left it.” S’hib whined wrapped his arms around his chest and standing up straight, his ears almost touching the roof of the turbolift as he felt his whole body starting to seize up. “No...” S’hib cried, closing his eyes as he fought to seize back control of his own body... How did he manage against the Jem’Hadar without issue he wondered, why now was he buckling to something so ridiculous.
"Left what?" Nevada asked her attention focusing on her Junior officer. "Are you in distress?" she said as her admittedly rusty bedside manner kicked into gear. She kept her distance from him as much as she could though, trying to ease his concern with her.
As much as he wanted to look down he couldn’t, he couldn’t move at all. He hated this feeling, an all consuming terror as his body spiralled into hysteria. “My... medication.” He stuttered, his eyes still firmly closed as he tried to forget his surroundings. “I left it at home.” S’hib whined, his words dragged out by a slight whimper.
"Medi...cation..." she hummed. "What kinda meds?" she asked. "something Regulatory? Pain?" she said quickly trying to cut to the chase. "Do I need to Medivac Transport you out of here?" she said quickly.
“Please, Lieutenant.” S’hib said finally managing to turn his head down to Mckay, his eyes wet with frustrated tears. “Don’t tell anyone.” He said before sliding down the wall of the turbolift and onto the floor beside her, his breathing now shallow and out of rhythm.
"Doctor/Patient Confidentiality," Nevada said softly. "As long as your condition doesn't threaten other members of the crew I couldn't tell anyone if I wanted too," She chuckled in an effort to calm him down. "now tell me...whats wrong, I am a doctor after all."
“I’m having an anxiety attack.” S’hib said softly, deeply embarrassed about the whole ordeal. “You’re the second person to find out.” He added, his words continuously interrupted by his uncontrolled breathing. “Im sorry.” He said shrinking into whatever corner of the circular tube he could.
"Anxiety in a Prey species..." Mckay whispered with a hint of annoyance and slowly approached him. "Look at me Ensign" she said softly "Take slow deep breaths, and Focus on My voice," she shifted in front of him.
Flinching slightly from her approach at first S’hib tried to keep his eyes on Mckay, his ears flicked and his tail lashed the floor beside him like a wicker broom
“You don’t have to do this, I haven't deserved any help from you.” S’hib said feeling the cold rush of adrenaline wearing off, his eyes still on her face as he tried to calm down.
"Oh please...I haven't made My transition to this ship easy for you or any security guard," she laughed softly. "Now, whats the cause of your Anxiety," she asked keeping as still as she could trying to minimize her threat generating presence.
“I don’t know...” S’hib replied sheepishly before letting out a long exhale, his body now shivering from the chill taking hold of his muscles. “I’m just so worried about everything.” he added, his head leaning back against the bulk head as he looked up at the ceiling.
"Where does this stem from?" she asked. "Is it party of your species physiology? or Is it personal?" she asked placing a hand on his broad shoulder.
“I think a little of both to be honest...” S’hib said, his heart calming as soon as he felt her hand. “My people don’t cope well away from our herds.” He added, struggling to think of a way to explain how he felt.
"So, your species has a Herd life...lots of touch?" She asked softly tilting her head to the side, taking not of his reaction.
“Tactile greetings are very important for us, it has been hard for me to adjust to a life so withdrawn from everyone around me.” S’hib said as he head slowly leaned towards the shoulder her hand was on.
"So, The other person who know's you have anxiety attacks obviously perscribed touch therapy either with them or on the holodeck correct?" she said with a quiet huff. "or they decided to pump you full of Anxiety meds?"
“Well my hypospray is to help suppress my anxiety, I used it in that ridiculous maze we found ourselves in so I suppose that answers your question.” S’hib said breaking a small smile, finally calming down from his attack.
"Well when we're out of here I'm gonna have to have a word with your doctor ..." she muttered. "And get you at least an hour a day on a Holodeck."
“You don’t have to do that, my medication works... when I remember to bring it with me,” He added, closing his eyes as the side of his head leant gently and rubbed against her hand, for one brief moment he forget himself. The years of adjusting with the wider societal norms of the galaxy vanished and he enjoyed the simple touch of another like he would on Sequella. “Oh,” he said with a startled whine, lifting his head away and to the side. “I’m sorry, I.. I didn’t mean to do that.” he stammered, his thoughts clashing as he withdrew once more into his shell.
"Don't be," Nevada said bluntly. "Its a social Norm you're used to...Hence Why I did it," She sighed. "Look, I'll be honest, you need more Contact, And using Chemicals is Not by any means a Long term solution, I'll Order you to go spend an hour with an orion whore if thats what it takes but we have Multiple holodecks on the ship that Myself or your regular doctor can order you to spend time in as part of a medical procedure.
“I’ve tried, it doesn’t work...” S’hib said with a slight shake of his head, smiling softly at her idea nonetheless. “Just something about holograms, they always seem... off,” he added, shifting his weight and letting his long equine legs stretch to the far side of the turbolift. “It’s like...hugging a painting.” he continued, suddenly realising he'd never had to describe how he felt towards holograms before.
Nevada huffed at this and folded her arms. "Well then spend a few hours in the Nursury or something, go get some Maternity training and fill your touch quota for the day," she said. "Or find someone who's lonely and just needs a hug every so often."
"I don't think the mothers onboard the Elysium would appreciate me scaring all their children..." S'hib said with a defeated sigh, all his problems seemed to revolve around one key issue, one he didn't know how to fix, how lonely he'd become since joining Starfleet.
"You know... this is the most I've spoken to someone in a while, talking about... nothing, not the ship, or... assignments," S'hib said feeling genuinely saddened by his revelation. "...Just talking." he finished, looking away from Nevada.
"And you're talking to the one person on this ship who scares you most," Nevada started laughing softly.
“Close second...” S’hib replied, lifting his head up in mocking defiance. “It’s... the doctor who scares me the most, he is a carnivore after all.” S’hib sighed, letting his head rest against the bulkhead, feeling somewhat guilty about how he reacts in front of the Gorn doctor.
"So Omnivore's are less scary then Carnivores?" She scoffed at this. "And I am A doctor. A Damn good one too."
“Well, you do eat some rather peculiar things...” S’hib mused with a shy grin before falling silent for a moment. “I never did thank you... for helping me when I was shot.” He finished, rubbing his side at the phantom pains gnawing into his muscles.
Nevada Shrugged and rolled her shoulders, the joints popping painfully as she did. "Its my Job, But You're welcome."
Nevada finished speaking just as the door closed, the almost imperceptible vibrations of the turbolift in motion pricking his senses. “Oh, looks like you’ve been rescued from my company.” S’hib laughed, somehow putting himself down rather than enjoying his own joke.
"You're rescued from mine more like it," she said offering him a hand to help him stand. "Don't worry about me I don't think any ill of you."
S’hib took her hand as he pulled himself up off the floor, a gentle rush of blood causing his vision blur momentarily. “Lets just hope the next time we meet, we at least het stuck somewhere with a replicator.” S’hib replied, trying to lighten the mood as the doors opened to a deck, which deck it was however he was unsure of.
"I'll take the jefferies tubes from here," Nevada smiled and slowly stepped out onto the deck. "Hey Ensign...take care of yourself," she added as she moved off.
“I’ll try...” S’hib said quietly to himself, watching Nevada walking away, his attention however soon returned to the turbolift and his new found distrust for them. “Computer deck ten...” He said slowly, his eyes squinting as he watched the door close distrustfully.
Lieutenant Nevada McKay