Alt Timeline - Checking In (Cara Esme O'Farrell)

Posted June 3, 2023, 2:49 p.m. by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Chief Petty Officer Jacen “Flex” Flexwood (Security Officer/Special Forces Division) in Alt Timeline - Checking In (Cara Esme O’Farrell)

Posted by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) in Alt Timeline - Checking In (Cara Esme O’Farrell)

Posted by Chief Petty Officer Jacen “Flex” Flexwood (Security Officer/Special Forces Division) in Alt Timeline - Checking In (Cara Esme O’Farrell)
Posted by… suppressed (6) by the Post Ghost! 👻

A woman with curly bright red hair, green eyes, and classic pale skin marked her as having strong Irish Terran heritage stood in the open doorway. A very strong Irish accent flowed from her, “Chief Petty Officer Flexwood? I’m Lt Cara O’Farrell.” She stepped back from the door. “Please come in.” She offered her hand for a firm shake that seemed to put him at ease and make him feel welcome.

As the door opened, Flex observed the redhead in the doorway. She was a traditionally beautiful woman who appeared to be in her late twenties. The thickness of her accent caught him by surprise and his ears immediately perked up so that he could listen more intently and pick out her words. “Pleased to meet you Lt. O’Farrell.” He responded to her greeting and returned the handshake before entering the office.

Immediately to the left of the door was a desk sitting catty-corner. A variety of places to sit, including a large reinforced couch, and low tables dotted the rest of the open area. The right wall was taken up with a wall to wall, floor to ceiling storage until. Books, various pieces of art, and nick knacks covered the shelves. The office was filled with shades of green and blue, brown and orange. “Help yerself te the replicator and have a seat.” O’Farrell grabbed a glass of tea off her desk and had a seat in one of the chairs.


Unconsciously his eyes swept the room in accordance with his training. Left to right, low to high, his attention lingered on the assorted items along the right wall. The counselor had quite the collection going it seemed. Flex made his way to the replicator and got himself a cup of black tea. He took a small sip of the piping hot liquid before making his way over to the large couch. Taking a seat and placing his tea on one of the tables he sat back and waited for her. “I like what you’ve done with the place Lt.” He quipped.


Cara watched him sit on the extremely over large couch. The average person looked like a child sitting on it. It was exceptionally comfortable though. Cara glanced around the office and a smile played on her lips, “Well I’d like ta take credit for the decor, but my predecessor left most o’ this behind. I do like it.” She sipped from her mug. “So what brings ya ta this starbase with warp drive?”


He pondered what’d she’d said about her predecessor, and found it curious that she had not made the space her own. He wondered if she’d had a connection to the previous counselor or if she were perhaps a bit of a drifter who tried not to get too connected to one place. Perhaps he’d look into that mystery one day.

He smiled at the way she phrased her question, and his response was self-deprecating. “Honestly I got old, and it beat getting put down or put out to pasture.” His tone was light, though there was a certain resignation in his tone that kept it from providing the levity he intended.


Cara’s brows went up, “Yer mid 30s? That is hardly old for Fleet service. And Atlantis is far from bein’ docile.” If he was looking for an idle and easy assignment, this wasn’t it. Of course Atlantis wasn’t a battle ship either.

Cara had scanned his basic profile before he had arrived, and knew he had made a career change. “Is tha’ old fer the Marines? Is that why the service change?” There were times to beat around the bush, but an onboarding eval wasn’t one of them.


He smiled at her immediate reaction before responding sincerely. “I’m a thirty five year old Non-Commissioned Officer with a special forces background, who suffered a significant injury. Honestly I’d gone as far as I could go in the Marines without a commission… after my injury and rehab, it seemed unlikely that I could meet the physical requirements to qualify for a special forces commission… but I was still more than capable of qualifying for Fleet based services.


“Ya would have received a medical discharge and received all yer benefits. Not ready ta retire?”


“And do what?” He asked bluntly. “It’s the only place I’ve ever known with structure and community… No… I don’t think retirement suits me.”


Interesting. He’d never encountered a sense of community elsewhere or he never found a community where he felt he fit? “Service does provide a very clear structure. What do you think of the Fleet community, Chief. It’s different from the marines, a different mind set.” Cara had learned that very quickly serving on Atlantis. She’d always known that, but she’d never worked closely with marines until she came here. She couldn’t exactly say the working relationship was close either. They had their ‘country’ and very rarely did the two countries meet.


“Honestly…” he began before pausing to think of how he wanted to phrase his response. “It’s a little overwhelming. The job piece is fine and while the approach is different, it isn’t so radically different that it required a significant adjustment. There seems to be much more of the mundane to deal with in day to day operations, but that’s a given considering previously I was being sent into various hot spots. It’s the masses of humanity contained in a confined space. The constant buzz of energy and activity, whether it’s the machinery, artificial lighting, or people… and there’s little to no escaping it.” He stopped again and took a sip of his drink.

“I don’t mean to sound anti-social, but when serving planetside there were places for one to slip off and enjoy some solitude. Sure, I can go to the holodeck or a holosuite and simulate it… but actual fresh air… well I’ll just say it has been an adjustment.”


Cara could understand that. Her previous posti gs had been pla et side or a starbase. Much more room to get away than a ship. “It donna sound anti-social. We all need space ta ourselves. I would recommend the arboretum if yer lookin’ for fresh air. That’s the nice thing about these Mythology class ships. We have three of ‘em. Arboretum 1 is on deck 14, takes up half the deck. It’s huge. Ya can’t miss it, shares the deck with the upper half of the security suite and science labs.”

“That’s a very good idea. I’ll keep that in mind” He said sincerely.

“How is yer recovery goin’? Any lingerin’ concerns ya need ta discuss?”


“It’s going.” He said flatly. “It’s not as pretty or athletic as it used to be. But healthy enough to get the job done well.”

He intentionally left his response at the physical.


“Well, that’s good. Make sure ta take that up with Dr. Talissa. She’s the medical dr after all.” Cara smiled gently and leaned forward slightly. “Chief, this only works if ya are open. Ya tell me ya had an op go bad, and ya were injured ta the point ya needed a career change. One ya were no planin’ on. And since yer psych files haven’t caught up with ya, we’re goin’ ta have an ‘onest conversation. So tell me how yer doin’ mentally and emotionally.”


Flex let out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding and visibly sank into the couch he was sitting on. “I know… I know..” he said more to himself as a way of giving himself some time. He took a long drink of his tea before setting the beverage aside and sitting forward on the couch so that his elbows rested on his knees. Pressing his feet firmly into the floor below them allowed him to physically ground himself.

“I’m not intentionally being elusive… it’s like the old holos about athletes who are afraid to visit their buddies in medbay because they don’t want to deal with their own mortality.” He trailed off knowing that his justifications wouldn’t get the conversation where she wanted… no it needed to go.

Cara gave a slight nod, acknowledging the sentiment he was conveying. She remained silent otherwise, giving him space and time to begin.

He wasn’t sure what all details he could go into given the sensitive nature of his previous line of work, but he could tell the story without them. “While serving in the Marines, I was a special forces operator. My teams last mission was to some no name moon of Marva IV in the Cardassian DMZ. The daughter of a Federation senator had been kidnapped during a humanitarian mission. Parameters were pretty straight forward, we had the girl’s location… small rebel base… knew the resistance we could potentially encounter… 10-15 moderately trained guerilla fighters… ops like that are never clean, but we knew what to expect and were damn good at our jobs.” Flex paused a moment as he shifted in his seat.

“The problem is, the intel was wrong. We got to where the girl is supposed to be and she’s not there. Turns out, she didn’t get kidnapped… she got into a fight with her senator daddy and ran off with a lover. Of course the senator had to save face… hence the kidnapping story.” Jace flexed his neck side to side with and audible crack.

“That would’ve been fine, but as we go to exfiltrate the base got raided by Cardassians. Of a six man fire-team we lost three, one is still in coma, one left the service, and then there’s me.”

“So I’m not great mentally and emotionally at the moment. I’m trying to adjust to life in the Fleet, which I’m finding more difficult than expected because some of my security colleagues look down on me because of my background as a Marine instead of a freshly minted Academy graduate. I have started to make a few friends though and am able to divert myself with regular sessions in the holosuite.” He paused a moment when he felt he was rambling.

Jacen picked up the tea again and took a long drink, his eyes resting on the floor just at the counselor’s feet. He wondered how her assessment of him would look at this moment.


“Even knowin’ it wasna goin’ ta be clean, that is a devastating outcome. I would be worried if ya said yer fine.” Cara settled back in her seat. “I’m sure it’s no easy making the transition. Star Fleet Security and Federation Marines have always had friction between them. Atlantis hosts a contingent of marines. Some times that makes things easier and sometimes not. All good officers on both sides though. Give yerself and them some time. Especially yerself, Chief. Even though you spent the time in transition at the Academy, movin’ back into full service is a significant change.”

“What do ya do when the holosuite doesna work?”


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