Captain's Quarters - Dancing On Toes, Losing The Rhythm

Posted Sept. 23, 2021, 12:18 p.m. by Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) (James Sinclair)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Faye Calloway (Counter-Intelligence Officer) in Captain’s Quarters - Dancing On Toes, Losing The Rhythm

Posted by Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) in Captain’s Quarters - Dancing On Toes, Losing The Rhythm

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Faye Calloway (Counter-Intelligence Officer) in Captain’s Quarters - Dancing On Toes, Losing The Rhythm
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻


Watching the water spill out of the can’s rose, Faye let her mind drift to that place where the worries sat, mostly assuaged through her everyday interaction. “So… I know I’ve grown a lot, and I’m handling a lot of things better than I used and it’s all because of the work I’ve done with the support of others. And I know there’s no simple answer to this and it’s possible not a rational fear at all but… epigenetics is a thing. Generational Trauma, is a thing.” Faye looked up at Alex, eyes brimming with tears, her lower lip quivering. “What if, in the process of just being me and dealing with the things I deal with. The challenges, the trauma- all of it- I hurt. I hurt my kids. I can’t guarantee I won’t ever dissociate again. Marrying Dag isn’t a guarantee I’ll be magically all good, nor do I want to put that burden on him. But just like I sometimes have this weird feeling about one day having to explain to my new XO that I have brain damage that will likely make the BPD permanent in some form, I have this fear that having kids would be a bad idea because who would willingly put all that on them? Because I think the effort of trying to protect them from it, form me, would be terrible and end up going badly for all of us. So.. I just…” She shook her head and rested her hands on the edge of the workbench, leaning her weight on it as if it could her up for awhile. It was so tiring some days, just navigating. Navigating all of it plus having to raise kids? Was it all just a terrible stupid idea?


Alex looked at her and said “Well… epigenetics is a thing, sure… but reversible. And Generational Trauma is a thing too… but then the question becomes is the past so bad that it has to control your future? I’m not saying discount it… but I am saying that anything worth doing is worth doing well. And if kids is something you really want, I don’t see any reason inside you or your past that should keep you from having them. And one day you may have to have that conversation with your XO, sure… but between then and now? You will have had that conversation with your CO at least a few times. And with Medical. So you’ll have the information you need… the framework to discuss it openly and honestly. Right?”


Faye exhaled and shook her head, unsure how to make it all be coherent. It was the thing with complicated thought patterns and her tendency to overthink things as well. “You know me, Alex. And I was only just settled in here when you arrived. People didn’t know me yet, but I also wasn’t trying to be more. I could skirt under people’s awareness if I wanted to. I’ve had little in the way of ambition till now. Here on the Manhattan I feel protected, safe. And maybe that means I’m in a safe little bubble where people have witnessed for themselves what I can do. But what happens when I leave? I have to convince a long string of people that I’m worth taking a chance on. This isn’t me being hard on myself. I know the reality. There are a whole helluva a lot of CO candidates who won’t have my baggage, who are going-” She cut herself off and shook her head again. “I know I’m getting myself worked up about random details that haven’t happened yet, but”-she looked up at Alex and for the first time since all the drama with the Shadow Syndicate had settled, she felt truly terrified. Or rather, a fear had been there and was being amplified by all the swirling chaos around her. New step-fathers, long lost sisters, her mother, getting engaged, realizing she needed to leave the Manhattan*. She was overwhelmed, and yet… even with those she loved the most it was hard to admit this one thing.

“Alex… what if during some freak out, my actions, or inactions like when I dissociate, cause people harm? Cause my kids harm. My kids, Alex! Or Dag? I know that this is just something I have to deal with, but understand that it’s not a tiny fear we can brush away. It’s a deep fear. Jasmine was right, a little bit. When I’m looking out for myself, I can be selfish, not think about how it impacts others. There are some moments I wake up and it take me ages to get out of bed because there’s this panic there. I’ve learned to tame the BPD voice that tells me all kinds of horrible things, but it’s still there and some days it’s really hard to get it to shut up. And it’s likely I’d have to go off my meds in order to have a baby because they’re not compatible. And yes I’ve been off them before but that was before the Tal Shiar.” Faye was pretty sure she still hadn’t conveyed the depth of that fear, but she didn’t know how else to do so. And some days it really did feel like her medication was the only thing between her and a terrible oblivion.


Alex watched her and listened while she spoke of her fears. And all of them, without exception, were founded in her care for those around her. When she finished, Alex said “Faye, take a seat. And listen.” He flipped over a bucket and sat down himself.

Blowing out a breath and inhaling as evenly as she could to relax some of the tension roiling through her, Faye found a crate and sat down. Bracing her arms on her legs, she lifted her head just enough to make tenuous eye contact with Alex.

“Faye… no matter what happens… no matter what training you get… what medical procedures or medicine you get or are on… no matter how many kids you have or don’t have… we can never control what happens. Oh, there are Captain’s out there who project they can… but they can’t. And it’s not our job to that anyway. Our goal is to mitigate risk and direct responses to needs… thats all. No matter what they tell you in Command, no matter what you read about Kirk and Picard and Archer and Janeway and all the rest… we are here to respond. But the what we are responding to is so far outside our control that it’s laughable. We can’t predict what is going to happen… with us or our ship or our crew or anything. And yes… you have a history. And yes, it scares you. But Faye… all of us have a history. Every one of us. And it’s not those histories that define us, but what we do with them. Instead of thinking of everything that could go wrong - and you’ll go mad doing that- think of what you in the Center Chair could mean to someone else with BPD. Someone who is struggling to find themselves after a tragedy. Someone who has almost given up… but then they see a vid documentary about Captain Faye Calloway. Think of what that could mean… what good could come of that. And think of how proud Daggum would be… how proud your mom and Micah would be… and your sister… and your uncle… and me. And your kids. Think of the legacy you could be creating. It’s… well… it’s f^%king staggering is what it is, actually.” and he chuckled.


For a moment the air in her lungs stilled as the weight of his words settled into her mind. Expansion allowed her to resume the give and take of air in her body and Faye just sat with her breath for a moment. Ordinarily, such a weighty pronouncement would become overwhelming for her, but much like that pivotal dinner where Alex gave her his impression of her future, Faye was stilled and awed. Of course, she had never thought about it in terms of how it could help others, because that would be too overwhelming. But it was true- if she could make it to the centre seat, so could others. Success for her was different than many other officers she had known in her career and perhaps her seeming lack of ambition did not mean she didn’t have goals, but they were driven by something much quieter.

Reaching out, she rested a hand on Alex’s arm, breathing. “I’m going to miss your speeches,” she said, quirking a smile. “Permission to call you when I need one now and again?”


“Permission? Hell, Calloway… thats an order.” and he smiled and put his hand on hers and patted it. He looked at her for a moment and then said “You know… I’m gonna miss you. But I wouldn’t trade you moving on for all the latinum in Ferengar.” and he chuckled. “Besides… I imagine your wedding reception is going to be amazing.”


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