Posted March 2, 2021, 2:22 p.m. by James Sinclair
Posted by Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Mission Specialist) in Faye’s Quarters - You’ve Got Mail
Posted by James Sinclair in Faye’s Quarters - You’ve Got Mail
Posted by Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Mission Specialist) in Faye’s Quarters - You’ve Got Mail
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻
OOC: This will be cross-posted to the USS Manhattan.
When Faye next returned to her quarters, a small blue was flashing on her computer indicating she had a message waiting. The message was form the Alpha Quadrant… the USS Athena. The memo line simply read ‘For you, Faye’.
She was in a good mood! And she had every reason to be. It was the day after the ceremony and her medal sat on her bedside table as a constant reminder that she not only did she have a place on this ship, but she was an important part of the Manhattan’s family. Stepping back into her quarters, she saw the message indicator but opted to change first. Black trousers and a pale purple long sleeved top felt a bit less casual than the active and loungewear she had ben sporting the last week. She was still off-duty, but longer in hiding, and having made that leap back into her uniform yesterday, she wanted something in between the two. Brushing her hair out properly, she gathered her brown hair into a ponytail and inverted it so it hung lower near the nap of her neck.
Feeling refreshed (and still very contended after her rather… energetic night with Luke), Faye moved through her quarters and sat at her desk. As soon as she saw the sending location, she smiled deeply. It was Daggum. It had to be.
Opening it would reveal a sizable file labeled “Mushroom House”. In it were dozens of engineering plans and replicator patterns, along with drawings of what the finished project would look like. Lastly was a video file, set to play after the plans had been opened.
He had done as he had promised! Not that she was worried about it, but still, Faye was curious what the operations officer had thought appropriate for her garden, and opened the specifications.
Designed to be built three-quarters below the ground in order to maintain temperature and humidity without the need for built-in climate controls, the botanist on the Athena he had talked with had estimated they building could turn out roughly a few dozen pounds of mushrooms in a given month… based on species and such. More, if less ‘exotic’ species were used. The part of the building above ground was designed off of what appeared to be Tracken architecture; thus it resembled a low stone and plaster house with round ‘windows’ (actually vented air vents since fungus needed darkness) and a bright red door. The roof was the standard low, ceramic shingles that were on almost every home.
Oh dear gods, he hadn’t, had he? He must have. The style of efficient but rustic housing had been a staple on the colony and was instantly recognizable. Faye felt a strange twist in her stomach and in this moment she wasn’t sure if it was good or bad. So she kept reading.
Inside was where the resemblance ended. The entire enclosed space was set in an inward spiral that looked on the overhead plans like a cross section of a nautilus shell. The large opening at the front was where nutrients and supplies would be stored on a levered and tracked shelving system that would allow for fifty percent more storage in the same space. Each ‘segment’ as one went further in was a separate room, complete with its own ventilation and exhaust… all of which worked by air pressure and movement alone so that no power was needed. In order to exchange air, one simply closed the door to one room and opened the next, mechanical systems built into the door frames and walls opened and closed vents and forced air out and in, and the air was vented and fresh air brought in. This would keep spores from one of the rooms from crossing into another, and would allow Faye and her team to cultivate fungus that required different climates and such.
All of the parts for the beds were wood, and like the storage room shelves the beds were on a tracked shelf system so that one bed could be rotated down to be tended to and the others would stay out of the way. Each room had a total of twenty four beds, twelve per side. He looked at the replicator plans for the parts and saw that the detailed carvings were there. One bed in each room would have such a carving. On one was the Manhattan on one side of a tunnel made of stars and the Athena on the other. In another room, a bed would show two figures seated on either side of a table. In still another an unknown but well-detailed planet being eclipsed by another. The carvings were simple, but they conveyed the meaning. And unless you knew they were there, they were done in such a way as to be almost imperceptible.
The whole design was brilliant and Faye couldn’t help but smile. A smile that only grew after the message began to play and his face appeared.
The recorded message then started playing. On the screen was Daggum, sitting at a desk and wearing a white shirt that was actually loose fitting on his frame.
“Hey, Faye… I hope you are doing ok. I… well… I’ve been worried about you. You are on my mind a lot. And I just wanted you to know that I’m thinking about you and wish you the best in whatever you have going on…” and his voice trailed off for a moment and he looked away from the screen for a sec and cleared his throat.
It had been a week since they talked, since she had spiralled and things got worse and then progressively better. Yes, he needed an update. But there was so much to say!
Turning back and smiling he said “SO… I attached the plans for the mushroom house you and I spoke about. I tried to keep the power draw and infrastructure demands to a minimum, but that will mean that you have some basic mechanical labor to do. The beds all rotate on a track system, but that is done by a hand crank. The gear ratios make sit really easy to turn, though. I had two of the kids here try out a mock up and they had no problems. Same goes for the storage shelves. But I figure the extra storage and grow space will make up for having to turn a crank, right?” and he chuckled.
“Never afraid of a little work, but I think you already know that,” she said to the screen fondly.
“I… uh… I had to do some research on you for an idea I had. Nothing invasive or anything… I just looked up where you were originally from. I hope that’s ok. If it’s not, you can change the outside to another style. I included some examples so you just have to plug and play, measurements are already handled…” and his voice trailed off for a second and his cheeks darkened and a visible sense of embarrassment welling up slightly. Looking down at the desk, he said “Oh, and I… uh… I sorta added a few decorations inside for you. I doubt they would mean anything to anyone else, but you will have no problems knowing what they mean. And they should, if I got my angles right, not be visible unless you know where to look. So… just something to keep an eye out for while you put the place together.” He then looked up and took a deep breath.
“Okay mystery man, now you’ve got my curiosity piqued and that’s just not fair.” He researched her. It wouldn’t have been too hard given he was a senior officer and had at least access to basic personnel records. Her place of birth was not an unknown so she wasn’t bothered, but he had to have known it would have provoked a reaction in her.
“So yeah… I, uh… I hope you like it and that it suits your needs. OH!” he exclaimed as a sudden something popped in his head. “I sent you something! I mean, other than the plans. I got my hands on some starter cultures for your beds. That will come in with your next resupply. Its a cryo-crate with your name on it. Just some various spores and such to get the beds going. I tried to find a broad assortment to account for most of the home worlds on the Manhattan, and I think I got about sixty percent. Let me know if you want something specific though, and I’ll try to get my hands on it for you.” He paused and nodded to himself slightly. He then looked at the screen and his face grew soft and he leaned forward slightly.
Without realizing it, she leaned in towards him as if she might be able to gaze properly into those lovely emerald eyes of his.
“Look, Faye… I know I am all kinds of hell and gone from you right now, but I just want you to know that you are important to me… ok? And that no matter where you are… I’m always here for you. Just… you know…” and he chuckled as he was about to say something and then caught himself and shook his head. “Just don’t be a stranger, ok? Hope you are all right.” and paused and peered at the screen as if he was looking for something.
“I miss you, Faye.” and the screen went blank.
“I miss you too,” she replied, her voice unsteady. She wiped the beginnings of tears and took a moment to get some coffee and scrambled eggs with toast. She needed a few minutes to gather herself and she was pretty hungry, so she sat at her table, gazing at her growing seedlings. A mushroom house. He designed her a mushroom house to resemble her childhood home and tosses in personalized art! It was such a beautiful gesture and all she could do was smile.
Finishing up some food, she grabbed her medal from the bedroom and brought her mug of coffee back to her desk to compose a reply.
=/\=Hey Daggum, I got your message and looked through the design.=/\= For a moment she was just speechless. Shaking her head, she tried to contain her emotions, but there was no way he wouldn’t see how delighted she was… to the point of tears. =/\=It’s incredible! I can’t believe you put so much time and thought into it. Thank you. I’m just so very touched.=/\=
Taking a deep breath, Faye’s eyes brightened even more. =/\=So… long week. Long, difficult week. But before I get into any of that I want to show you something really special that happened last night.=/\= She reached forward and then held up a small Starfleet decoration. Faye shook her head. =/\=The Starfleet Decoration for Valour and Gallantry. They gave me an award!=/\= She laughed. =/\=My usual indication is to say that it’s nonsense or something but… after everything that’s happened, after clawing my way back to some level of health, I deserve this, Daggum. I don’t know if I could have said that even a year ago, but so much has changed, and as a friend rather emphatically pointed out last night I’ve changed. I don’t entirely know the full of it, but I have and I think I like the changes,-/\= she said with a warm smile.
Gazing away for a moment, Faye picked up her mug and sipped before returning her focus to the screen. =/\=He’s alive… my handler. It was messy and he’s got a long recovery ahead of him, but he’s alive. So all of this was worth it. Not just for him though, but also as a way of saying no more. Those people who are interfering will not do so anymore. Not to me, not to this ship.=/\=
Take a moment to breathe deeply, she smiled, but it was much softer and thoughtful. =/\=My mom is staying for awhile, and there are some hard things to deal with. After all this time I’ve wondered about her and her life, if I ever even factored in. And after all this time I learn that we were just ships passing in the night. And it’s sad and a part of it makes me angry, but she’s here and I can get to know her again. She’s so different than I remember, Daggum, and yet, she’ll laugh and tease me back and it feels like nothing has changed.=/\= Her eyes were starting to well with tears. =/\=I’ve wanted this so much! This crew is my family, yes, but all this time I didn’t realize how much I needed her.=/\= Faye exhaled slowly. =/\=After struggling so long and so hard it feels like things are finally working in my favour. And it doesn’t have to break me into a million pieces in order to have a tiny bit of happiness.=/\= She shrugged but then steadied herself. =/\=So, confession. Our chat was wonderful and I loved it. But I was in such a hard and weird place, that I kind of broke down after and there are residual things from it that I will need to deal with. And I think it really did need to happen. So, thank you, I guess, for shining a light on my own loneliness and for being so sweet. I definitely won’t be a stranger. How could I be? Take care, my dear friend, and we’ll talk again soon.=/\=
Sitting back after the finished the message, Faye encrypted the whole thing and sent it off before she could change her mind or edit it. No, let her see the mixed emotions and struggle and triumph. Let him see it all. Because if there as anything that was true now in the aftermath of the last week it was that Faye Calloway was no longer hiding. At least, not much.
A week later, the message light was lit up again.
Sitting at his desk, Daggum could be seen activating the recorder.
=/\= Hey, Faye! =/\= he said excitedly and even waved a giant green hand at her before apparently realizing how stupid he probably looked and abruptly dropping it. =/\= Hope you are doing well. Congratulations, by the way! I am so super proud of you!! I’m going to look up the citation as soon as it’s posted. Really, Faye… I know you deserved that and more. =/\= and he looked at her (well, the camera) with a look of respect and pride in her achievement. =/\= So I just got word that the crate has arrived on the Manhattan. Let me know if everything made it intact. And I forgot to tell you last time. There is a vial mixed in there somewhere that says ‘Last Interior Bed’. =/\= and he looked visibly embarrassed and ran a hand along the back of his bald, green head. =/\= So, uh… that’s kind of a gift. F-… for you. The directions are in an optical disk in the lid. That is only for you to plant, and you’ll want to plant it in its own bed, ok? And in the furthest bed in the house to keep all light away from it. I think… yeah… I think you’ll like it. I saw one like it come through Star Base 1, and it immediately reminded me of you, so… there you go.=/\= and he paused and looked away form the camera and cleared his throat.
Tilting her head, Faye gazed back at his visage curious as well as touched. He already had given her a gift of the mushroom house, what else had crept into that brain of his?
=/\= So I am settling in here on the Athena pretty well. Met a few folks, most are pretty open and welcoming. Which is saying something for what all they have been through. If you ever want some heavy reading, take a look at the Athena’s After-Action reports. =/\= and he shook his head. =/\= Hard core stuff. Hope I’m up to the caliber they need in their Ops section. I’d hate to let them down after all they’ve been through and done. =/\=
More piqued curiosity. Faye wondered if her interesting security clearance would get her access because now she definitely wanted to read those reports.
He looked at the camera for a long moment lost in thought, then he simply smiled and really looked into the viewer, his emerald eyes sparkling.
Her breath caught in her throat and she took a mental snapshot. Had anyone ever looked at her quite like that? She didn’t think so. And yet, his voice was so similar to another’s that she found it hard to keep them separate. She wasn’t sure she could ever admit it to him, but it was a part of why she had let him drift away after he left the Manhattan. If he had stayed, perhaps they could have confronted the issue head on, together. But like this and quadrants apart? Faye wasn’t sure it was possible.
=/\= You’re amazing, Faye. You need to hear that from time to time, I think. And no amount of distance can change my view on that. I’ll talk to you soon, beautiful. Let me know what you think of your present. =/\= and he winked at her and shut down the message.
For several minutes Faye sat in front of the computer and stared at the screen, her memory imposing that smiling face over the now blank screen. Tears slipped down her face and as she brushed them away in frustration, Faye rested her head in her arms on the desk. She stayed like that until the feelings had passed, sitting with them. They were mixed, to be sure, and certainly she held more tightly to the happy ones. But could she ever pull those threads out from the rest? It wasn’t his fault he was who he was. And somehow, even as the thought crept into her mind, Faye knew he’d understand and not hold it against her. And that almost made it worse.
It was days later when she finally checked on the shipments and the mushroom house (now in construction). Faye waited till she was alone, and once again wept. She had long ago thought she had cried all the tears and that there had been no more left. How wrong she was!
Back in her quarters, she sat down and typed out a message, not trusting herself to send a video or even audio message.
The mushroom house is being constructed as we speak now that I got to the top of the industrial replicator queue. The crate arrived safely and I’m taking good care of it until it’s time to plant it. Thank you. You have no idea how much any of this means to me. Or maybe you do. You did seem particular insightful during our chats, so I suspect you understand more than you let on.
Right now is… difficult. I’m going through something I’m not even sure I fully have words for. My instinct is not to tell you this part, because the last thing I want to do is hurt your feelings. But recently someone all but accused me of bulldozing through people’s lives without caring about the effect. But it’s not true! I never, ever mean to harm someone unless I’m throwing a punch and want to harm them. It’s so hard to explain but years ago after a particularly dark time in my life I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. For some people that diagnoses would have been devastating, but for me, after all I’ve been through it felt like someone turned on a light. That I had been suffering and miserable for so long that I assumed it was just me. I was a terrible person and deserved it all. Some days, on the hard days, I still think that. But the rest of me knows it’s not true, knows that I just don’t always react the way people think I should, and that in my desperation to keep people close, or keep them away (depending on the day sometimes it’s the same person!) I do and say things I regret. Maybe not immediately, but later for sure.
I have so many regrets that I feel some days that’s all that there is after all these years.
I don’t tell you this to gather pity or even sympathy, I tell you this because I think you see me as I am, even though you don’t know all the broken bits and sad stories. I’ve been recently learning to tell people these stories because I never felt it was okay to. People knew surface details, like my parents had been Maquis, but never what they meant, never what that reality meant. And never how it made me feel.
The thing I haven’t wanted to admit since the day I boarded the Manhattan is that you remind me of someone. Someone I want to forget. Not because they were terrible to me and caused so much pain as others have, but because they were good and kind amidst a terrible situation. A situation they created. And so I am torn. Do I hate him? I don’t know. I should. But I can’t. And I hate myself for that. And if you remind me of him, then what? Like I said, I don’t want this to cause you pain, but that seems to be what I’m doing a lot of these days. So I’m sorry if that admission causes you pain. You are so good. So good to me. And I want to be able to accept all of this from you openly and freely. I’m trying, Dag, I really am. I hope you can believe me that much. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying. I am trying so hard.
I don’t know what I will find exactly when I go into that mushroom house, but somehow I know to expect something amazing. So, in advance, thank you.
I don’t know what you are to me, but you are important. I know that much. So if it’s not too much, if all I’m laying down in front of you isn’t too much, then… keep going. Keep sending me messages. Keep trying to be whatever it is we might be. I don’t know what I can offer, or what I’m ready to accept but I think if we both keep trying we’ll figure it out. Maybe. Or maybe I’m in denial. Haha! Anything is possible these days.
She didn’t re-read the letter. She didn’t dare. Because then she’d edit it and filter it and it would not be open and honest. And if there was one thing Faye understood, it was that he deserved no less from her. It was a lot to ask, from her perspective, and a part of her felt terrible for even asking it. But until he told she was being unreasonable and asking too much, she couldn’t assume it. She needed clarity and somehow, in all of this mess, clarity was wrapped up in one Daggum Hammor. She only hoped that should she finally find that precious clarity that it didn’t destroy both of them.
Sending the letter, Faye grabbed the poetry book Alex has gifted her and curled up on her couch with a blanket.
It was almost, but not quite, a week later when a message arrived in her correspondence. It was from Daggum, and it was sent just a few days after her last was recieved.
=/\= Hey Faye… =/\= he began and smiled.
=/\= I got your message. And yeah… it was a lot to unpack, for sure. But none of it was bad. I don’t want you to think it was ‘too much’ or anything. But I think there are some things you may want to hear from me; maybe just so that it eases some of your worry.
First.. I wanted to say thank you for telling me where you are at. I appreciate it… more than you know, probably… how much your trust means to me. And the fact that you can share that with me speaks volumes… at least it does to me. And I am glad your diagnosis gave you some… well… explanation… or justification… or whatever it was that you needed from it. And we all say things we regret. So you do it more often than others… it just makes up part of who you are. And if you ever say something to me that you later regret, please… please please please remember this:
No matter what… you can always talk to me. Sure, I may get upset… but I will get over it. That is a promise. Okay? Remember that. =/\= and he took a deep breath and smiled.
=/\= Now then… about this person I remind you of. =/\= and the smile faded noticeably. =/\= Faye… I never want to cause you pain. Not ever. I’m sorry I remind you of him, and I can tell that that fact has given you a lot of conflict. All I can say is this: I’m not him. I never will be. I can only be me. But if me being me hurts you, makes you remember things you don’t want to… then I don’t know what to do about that. I know in the vids the guy would say something like =/\= and his tone switched to overly dramatic stereotypical vid-star, =/\= “Just tell me its too much and I shall leave you forever!!”, =/\= and he chuckled, =/\= but I’m not like that. I’m not going to let you off the hook that easily. =/\= and he grinned and winked before becoming serious again.
=/\= But I won’t force myself into your life, either. I know this sounds ridiculous being where we are in relation to each other, but… anytime you need some space? Just ask. I’ll stay off the comms until you call and yell at me for not messaging you. =/\= and he grinned. =/\= Just… regardless… I’m her for you, Faye. I always have been… always will be. However you need me or want me, ok? You tell me that I’m important to you? Well, you are really important to me. And if you want me… us… to try and make sense of whatever this could be, I am definitely game to try. And no… never think you are too much, Faye.
You are exactly enough… no matter what. Offer what you can, I don’t have any expectations except that you talk to me, ok? Just know that I think about you all the time. You matter to me, Faye… more than you know. =/\= and he smiled warmly.
=/\= Be safe, Faye. Be smart. And talk to me. I want to know everything. Good and bad. You don’t have to hide anything from me. I am here for you… unconditionally. =/\=
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