RP: Psychiatrist Un-help

((OOC: RP reserved for Carol and Moira. Will open up if necessary.))

The first day Carol got back to work, she would find this letter on her desk, formally addressed to her. 

Dear Miss Carol Torres, 

Due to trauma or upheaval that may have arisen due to the assault you have endured at St Canard's Hospital for All Sorts of Injuries Ranging From Supervillain Attacks to Papercuts, I have recommended a psychiatrist's evaluation to ensure that you are still mentally fit to continue work, or at the very least, only suffering from minor damage which would eventually wane. 

You will be seeing Moira Rousseau the next morning, 07:30 sharp, in her office at the ground floor of S.H.U.S.H., once your shift has ended, and you are to follow through whatever she has recommended for you. You will be issued paid leave should you be informed to stay at home and rest for a few days. 

Sincerely,

JAMES WOLFE. 

    • Agent Carol Torres
      Agent Carol Torres

      Carol came in to work with a cheery smile, happy to finally get back in action. She'd endured enough hospital food, interrogating, and coddling to haunt her nightmares for a month and she was looking forward to getting back to business as usual.  Until she saw something on her desk that looked different from her usual paperwork. Uh oh. Please be a Welcome Back card... 

      Reading through the ponderous letter three times, the collie huffed in irritation. 

      "Are you kidding me? I was already evaluated in the hospital! I've already told the Director my perspective. How many times am I going to have to endure all of this questioning and brain picking?!"

      Grumbling, Carol put the letter in her purse and settled in with her work.  She stayed busy, staying a little longer after her shift ended to finish up some file transferring. She noticed there was no news about Hamronizer on her desk. Was that a good thing or a bad thing...?  

      Pushing aside her foreboding, Agent Torres prepared for her meeting like a professional agent.  She just hoped this Rousseau was not like the shrink she'd had to talk to at the precinct when she still worked with the police. That pychiatrist had interrogated her like Carol was a criminal and made her feel guilty for sneezing on her sleeve instead of taking out a tissue! Gracious! Hopefully Moira was a much less...callous character who wouldn't jump to conclusions without weighing options and perspectives like Some Agents.

      Carol arrived six minutes early, with her hair neatly combed and tied back, her suit neatly pressed, tie knotted correctly and straight, and an appropriately polite smile in place. Breathe in...breathe out. Knock knock, anyone here yet?

      • Elliot Hudson
        Elliot Hudson

        Moira had been getting everything situated for the meeting with Agent Torres.  Everything was laid neatly on her desk... a file folder, notepad and pen, and the request from Agent James Wolfe to have Agent Torres evaluated.  She'd been given a short briefing regarding the incident that led to the "recommendation" for psychiatric evaluation, but she wanted to hear it from Carol herself.

        She startled a bit at the knock on her door.  Six minutes early.  Most agents arrive at the last minute.  After all, no one looks forward to seeing a psychiatrist, do they?

        She took a short moment to compose herself, running her fingers through her jet black hair and taking a few deep breaths.  She was still new at this, and rather young for someone in her field... so her confidence wasn't up to par with that of more experienced psychiatrists.  However, she knew once they began talking, she'd feel more at ease.  Hopefully, her patient would as well.

        Standing, Moira made her way to the door and opened it, greeting the collie with a friendly smile.

        "Agent Torres?  I'm Dr. Moira Rousseau."  She still got goosebumps when using her doctor title.  She held her hand out for a handshake.  "Please, come in and make yourself comfortable."

        Moira gestured for Carol to enter and have a seat before making her way back to her desk.  Everything in the room was neat and orderly, from the well-stocked bookcases to Moira's own desk.  There were a couple of potted plants to brighted up the room, as well as a large area rug.  Two very plush-looking leather chairs sat opposite Moira's desk, each with a small end table next to it.  There was even a water cooler in the corner, stocked with paper cups.

        Her patients' comfort -- both physical and emotional -- was Moira's highest priority.  If someone was uncomfortable, then it made it all the harder to work with them.

        Once Carol had entered and taken a seat, Moira gave her a small smile.  She didn't yet pick up the file folder or the notepad.  She wanted to get to know Carol a little better first.

        "So, what is it you do here at SHUSH, Ms. Torres?"  She preferred to keep the use of the 'agent' title to a minimum during visits, to help keep things more relaxed and casual.

        • Agent Carol Torres
          Agent Carol Torres

          "Good morning, Doctor," Carol greeted the psychiatrist calmly, keeping her own pleasant smile in place.

          She wasn't feeling particularly pleasant right now, since she'd already put in a full day's work. Another manipulation from her superior, she supposed, to weaken her and make her more vulnerable to the prodding. Sorry, Wolfe. This Agent is made of tougher stuff than that.

          Carol did, however, notice how...young her shrink seemed to be. And nervous? Was that a hint of worry in her scent? Poor dear. Carol already felt sorry for her if she'd had to deal with James or Grizzlikoff or Kevion yet. Mental and emotional work was nerve-wracking.

          Settling gracefully into the chair, Carol cast a glance around the room, noting the water and books, before leveling her sharp gaze on the psychiatrist.
          Alright, Doc. I see what you're playing. You and I both know my job description is impertinent right now. I'll humor you for now... Let's see where this goes.

          "Bookkeeper. I am currently transferring microfilm records to the computer database, while scanning and entering data on current cases, cross checking names in the database, and generally keeping the records room orderly. I suppose you could say I'm also the paper fetcher." Carol smirked wryly. "Since I also deliver copies of forms to agents' offices when they run out, retrieve files from mailboxes, and deliver them to my superior after I make sure every line is filled in. If I observe missing or illegible information, I also track down the agent who turned it in to request clarification."

          Thorough enough of a description for you, Doc?

          Aside from the joking smirk at her use of "fetch", in reference to her being a canine, Carol's description had been void of any telling emotion or facial expressions. It was all straight and simple fact.

          • Elliot Hudson
            Elliot Hudson

            Despite the lack of emotion in Carol's response, Moira easily caught on to the fact that she would rather not be bothered with any of this.  The young psychiatrist was learning to not take offense to such reactions, as it was very common and to be expected.  But she was not yet as hardened to it as more seasoned doctors were, so she did feel a little bit of disappointment.  Still, she pressed on with a sympathetic smile.

            "Before going on, I just want to apologize for Agent Wolfe asking you to come in after work like this, and I will try to keep it short.  I know you've been through quite a lot already, and you're probably tired of being questioned.  Had it been my decision, I would have scheduled this appointment after you'd had some time to settle back in."

            Alas, despite her recommendation to wait, Wolfe insisted on having her evaluated sooner.  And, as he was technically a superior to her as well, she'd had to defer to his judgment... wrong as she felt it was.

            "That said... according to the job description you gave me, I understand you have a lot of responsibilities.  I know that SHUSH wouldn't hire anyone for such a demanding position who wasn't dependable and trustworthy.  And, from the way you speak of your duties, you seem very organized and detail-oriented."

            Finally picking up the notepad, she looked at Carol not with judgmental eyes, but with the eyes of someone who just wanted to listen.

            "That's why I'm interested in hearing what happened from you.  Agent Wolfe has already been... kind enough to brief me on the incident," - she gestured to a few papers stacked neatly on her desk - "but I'm more interested in hearing your take.  He wasn't there, after all, and things can often be misinterpreted."

            She gave the collie a knowing smile.  "Especially by those who tend to see things in more black-and-white terms."

            • Agent Carol Torres
              Agent Carol Torres

              Apologizing? That's a first.

              Carol appreciated Moira's politeness and sensitivity. It was nice to be treated like an intelligent and capable person and not just a robot with a badge, or a silly fragile woman who couldn't think or act for herself.
              But was this kindness and supposed compassion another form of manipulation to lull Carol into lowering her guard and trusting her, just so that she could be struck down by an unexpected curveball? She remained polite with an air of openness, yet she was cautious. Would Moira think she was crazy, too, for saying Harmonizer needed to be treated gently and carefully?

              She listened quietly and gathered her thoughts. All of the case facts were easy to reiterate down to the last detail and she went over them methodically and chronologically without missing a beat. Moira would get a good glimpse at how the collie's mind collected and organized every sensory detail and thought process. But when she described Harmonizer's reaction to finding out she was from SHUSH, Carol couldn't help pausing, briefly looking confused and hurt by Harmonizer's reaction to her all over again. It hurt to think that someone who might have become a friend now saw her as, maybe not an enemy per se but definitely an antagonizer.  

              Carol stiffened and fluffed her fur as a small wave of physical pain hit her.  She'd avoiddd taking her prescription pain medication to keep a clear head today and she was paying for it now.  She breathed in slowly and methodically pushed her feelings and discomfort away, regaining her composure.  

               

              • Elliot Hudson
                Elliot Hudson

                Moira jotted down a note or two here and there... but, for the most part, she was looking at Carol as she talked.  She would nod once in a while to indicate she was listening and understanding everything, but she kept quiet until Carol was finished with her account.

                The collie's change in demeanor when Harmonizer's reaction had come up did not escape her notice.  She'd gone from methodical and deliberate to... a bit more emotional in both her speaking and body language.

                Noticing she seemed to also be experiencing some physical pain, Moira reached into her desk and pulled out some over-the-counter pain medicine.

                "Feel free to take these, if you're not feeling well," she said, setting them on her desk in front of Carol before moving on.

                "It appears Agent Wolfe feels you have this Stockholm Syndrome because of the emotional connection you seem to have made with Harmonizer."  She shook her head a little.

                "Stockholm Syndrome is characterized by the feelings of empathy a victim feels towards their captor or abuser.  It's only present in hostage situations, or in situations where the victim has been repeatedly intimidated, threatened or abused by another person... it's a sort of traumatic bonding that usually takes some time to develop.  Clearly, none of these criteria apply here."

                She smiled a little.  "Still... I can see that her reaction has hurt you.  But I hope you can try to understand that it's through no fault of your own.  It seems, to me, that you had done nothing wrong... and whatever problems Harmonizer has with you being a SHUSH agent most likely has to do either with others who work here, or the organization itself."

                Why anyone who was fighting for good would have a grudge against SHUSH was baffling to her, though.  And, unless Harmonizer herself was brought in for an evaluation -- a highly unlikely scenario -- she'd probably never know.

                • Agent Carol Torres
                  Agent Carol Torres

                  Carol shook her head politely, refusing to take the pain medication for now. She could wait until she got home.

                  "Yes Ma'am. I understand that I am not responsible for Harmonizer's first impression of SHUSH. But I do feel responsible for whatever may happen to her, and the agents that are undoubtedly searching for her, while she is in this highly vulnerable and reactive emotional state. I do not wish to find out that My report and My Word sent Harmonizer to a holding cell, a padded room, or the mortuary. I don't want anyone's blood on my hands."

                  Carol looked like she would get up and hunt for Harmonizer herself right now if she knew where to look, but that fire in her eyes quickly faded as her body gave her another reminder that it was not ready for action yet.  She fell silent and stared at the desk and Moira's notes, even though she could not read them from this distance, weighing her thoughts and the possible consequences if she mentioned them. Should she share her concerns? Would Dr. Rousseau speak to Director Hooter on Harmonizer's behalf, or would she just prescribe more rest and therapy sessions for Carol until the collie agent could wrestle her own feelings into submission?

                  That was a task in itself, and the only way Carol knew how to calm her own thoughts was to keep herself busy.   Something she could not easily do at home, or sitting in a chair with someone scrutinizing her.  Carol was struggling emotionally with that little seed of doubt Negaduck and Harmonizer herself had planted in her heart.  It was causing the agent to question her instincts, her faith in SHUSH's moral immovability, and Harmonizer's own mental stability.  

                  Making a decision to speak up again, determination filled the collie's eyes.


                  "Doctor, I know how it may sound, but I am Not looking at this case from just an emotional perspective. I'm not even going to defend Harmonizer's actions, as I don't understand them and I don't want her to hinder our cases in the future. I want her brought in for questioning and I also would suggest a psych evaluation on her, if I was in the position to make that request.
                  "However, I do not want SHUSH to capture her now. She needs time to sort through her feelings herself. A shock like what she seemed to be going through would take time to recover from."

                  Shock that Carol was familiar with, due to family health concerns going on in her life now. She knew exactly what Post Traumatic Stress felt like.