Friends or Frenemies-SB 157 Medical

Posted Sept. 17, 2020, 11:27 a.m. by Lieutenant Alexis Bonner (Assistant Chief Medical Officer) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Ever Zeanar (Chief of Psychiatry) in Friends or Frenemies-SB 157 Medical

Posted by Lieutenant Alexis Bonner (Assistant Chief Medical Officer) in Friends or Frenemies-SB 157 Medical

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Ever Zeanar (Chief of Psychiatry) in Friends or Frenemies-SB 157 Medical
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Alexis raised her brow and nodded, “Yes we will be, so it would appear. Though as chief of psychiatry you will be working with Dr. Walker and not myself. Unless, of course, he is unavailable.” Alexis leaned back against the wall taking in Ever once again. The woman was still as prideful and seemingly direct as she was those years ago. “Look, Ever, I don’t hate you. I was..” she looks off to the side thinking, trying to find the right words to convey her thoughts and feelings, even though the Betazoid could easily do that on her own, “I was angry, for a long time. I wanted to hate you, but that was wrong. You were not to blame. And in my youthfulness it took me awhile to realize that. Soulis,” the name churning up feelings of anger, inadequacy, regret, and sadness, “was to blame. He was very good at playing on the feelings of women. I would wager you knew without him telling you exactly what type of relationship he was after. Maybe you didn’t know he had other women. Then again, perhaps you did, but were unaware that he was playing them in the dark, or perhaps you were aware. And you felt safe in proceeding because you did know. However it was, it doesn’t matter. Without meaning to, you freed me from a trap that would have surely destroyed me, at such a tender age, if it had continued. And although your voice and face, much to my own disappointment, recall the pain all to clearly for me, I do not hate you or blame you.”

Alexis lets her words sit for several long moments. “Coming upon the two of you was the best thing for me. I was too young to understand what he really wanted. He knew that, and he took advantage of me. Afterwards I threw myself into my work. A child prodigy has no business socializing with anyone. My age peers are intimidated by my intelligence and obsessive dedication to my work, and my intellectual peers are disgusted with my inability to understand them socially, and are threatened by the fact I can do things that they can not. I returned to my work, and made a name for myself.” It would occur to Ever that despite being at the top of her field with a brilliant mind, Alexis was still very young socially and personally.
Lt. Bonner, AMO

“You are right. None of it matters now. One day, Soulis will reap what he sows as far as breaking young hearts goes. As for me, well I think you understand me well enough to know that I do not care if you blame me or hate me. If it is any consolation, he did love you. As much as is capable of loving anyone outside of himself. I think he had every intention of marrying you,” Ever said as she crossed her ankles and leaned back against her hands relaxing behind her. She let her words sink in for a few minutes while the scans finished. Medical records would report severe injuries, those most horrific any woman could endure, from an assault that had occurred during a riot on the penal colony a year previous. At this time, Ever seemed to be on perfect physical health at least. Turning her eye contact from Bonner, she lowered her gaze while she waited for the young doctor to read the results and report. 

Alexis doubted that Soulis ever intended to truly marry her. Maybe he had the complete conviction to do so in the heat of the moment, and had intended to follow through with it. But he couldn’t have truly loved her. She felt that conviction to the depths of her soul. If he had truly loved her, he wouldn’t have been so ready to have another woman, other women, in his bed and in his personal conversations and personal time, to have them as more than friends. She had seen people who could make loose relationships work like that, and she actually thought it was beautiful, but that wasn’t what Soulis had been up to. He’d been secretive and manipulative. The idea that he had thought seriously, and had really wanted to marry her, didn’t do much for her self-esteem or her self worth as a woman. He’d have kept her as a trophy and neglected her. And she would have let him because she was too oblivious to see past her own studies to see what was going on beyond her direct sight socially because she had never integrated well socially. There was no peer group for her. He would have made token effort and then left her alone, in their quarters with lies, just as he had while they had been together all those years ago.

She looked over the scans and then read the report on her injuries. Otherwise her health was good. “Are you having any lingering problems from your injuries? Difficulty in movement, chronic pain, loss of feeling? Anything we need to address, medically?”

“No. Nothing medically. Some injuries can not be measured with a scan. Or healed,” Ever said looking pasted Alexis before her eyes slowly made their way back to the face of the younger and prettier woman. There were not flaws in Alexis reflected by a mirror to her face or soul that Ever could see. She envied and coveted both. Perhaps that was the real reason she had taken what wasn’t hers. Pure envious jealousy. Was Ever that petty? Since the assault, Ever had done a lot of reflecting and still more to come during the witching hours when others were fast asleep and the dead stillness of loneliness enveloped and hugged her like an old friend, her only friend. 

Alexis understood that. She also knew that most doctors, medical or psychiatric, made the worst patients. Ever needed to see someone if she was destrubed enough to admit she had trouble, to Alexis. From a purely medical stand point she spoke, “Then I suggest you make an appointment with someone on your team. If you don’t trust them get in touch with someone from another location and do it over comms.” Walker had told her it was her job to determine the status of the crew. He was busy so it was her job. She made note in Ever’s file that she had expressed having trouble with non-medical injuries and had referred her to psychiatry. Walker would see the note and could handle any follow up after that.

“I am pleased though that you have moved on and are doing well. Truly I am happy for you. And now for a confession. I knew you were on the Ogawa and it is no accident I am here. While others might be intimidated by your genius, I admire your beautiful mind and require your assistance on my research. This will require discretion and a security clearance. Works perfect for me to that you are a complete nerd with zero social life,” Ever said smiling slightly. As usual, her speech was mixed with compliments and insults. “So Dr. Bonner. Can you truly put aside our sorted past for the good of the crew and Starfleet?”

Zeanar, CoP

Alexis put the tricorder back in the pocket of her lab coat and crossed her arms leaning back against the bulkhead. “Ever, I’m not a child anymore. You can shower me in compliments to attempt to bribe me into helping you and then throw in your practiced insults in an attempt to goad me into help you just to prove I can. But that won’t work now. I’m happy to look at your research and see if it’s something I’m interested in working with you on. Or if it is even within one of my many areas of expertise. I will also have to determine if I even have the time to commit to it. Being AMO is a big deal for me, and I won’t compromise my own career goals, for yours.” She wasn’t being insulting, but just typical Alexis. She would help anyone, but she wasn’t willing to give up her own aspirations for anyone else, not anymore. She’d grown a lot since Soulis. “Now, I’m more than happy to look at it and give you my honest medical and scientific opinion on it. Then we can decide from there.”

At Ever’s last question, Alexis spread her arms out palms up. “Yes, Ever I can, but if you like, feel free to delve into my mind as much as you want. It might make my psych check in go much much faster.” Alexis meant it. She fully expected Ever to go spelunking into her mind and she waited while she did so. She didn’t expect it to be pleasant or painful, but certainly strange. Alexis stayed there, leaned against the wall and waited for Ever’s assessment.
Lt. Bonner, AMO

“I don’t need to....” Ever stopped. There wasn’t much point to any more personal attacks. She was just more in the habit of disliking Alexis out of habit than evidence. “Reading your thoughts and emotions is not something I do with intent. Sorry. I will try to do better in not speaking out loud to the fact that I know some of what is on your head. For the last few years, working with prisoners, being forthcoming with that was therapeutic. Just out of practice being around non criminals.”

“I have nothing to hide, Ever. And it doesn’t bother me. You’ve obviously made a name for yourself as well.” The details of some older injuries were classified and Alexis could only see the treatment. Ever had obviously done good work, or she wouldn’t be head of psychiatry on the Ogawa. Nothing to scoff at. Alexis had no use for covert and secret work. She, intellectually, understood the need for it, but had no interest in being involved in it.

“This research is of extreme importance to Starfleet and the intelligence community in particular. Parts of it will be published. I am offering you a chance to be in that and all the potential awards that come with it. Other parts are to remain classified I am afraid. But, that type of favour to the Intelligence Department will not be a bad career move too,” Ever said sighing heavily. Inviting Alexis in had not been her idea and she had adamantly objected and was overruled. Soulis had insisted and that was the end of the argument. Biting her lower lip until blood pulled into a dark red just beneath the surface of her skin, Ever stopped herself from screaming out the truth. 

Zeanar, CoP

Alexis watched Ever and shook her head. She’d seen that look before. Ever always wore it whenever she saw Alexis before she found out about Soulis. The almost bloody bitten lip set off warnings in Alexis’s head. Alexis may be a creature of habit, but so was Ever. “I have no desire to make friends with Intelligence. Everyone goes around bending the knee to them. I have critical work to do too, and their attitude that their work comes first is unpalatable.” It was an inaccurate response, and Alexis knew it. Intelligence was not S31. Now there was a side of Star Fleet she never wanted to cross. “It might get me favors. I’m not worried about being published. I’ve been published more times than years I have in Star Fleet.” It was a humble brag, but totally true. “But you are hiding something Ever, and it’s not something that is classified. If you try any harder to hide it, your lip will bleed.”

“Obviously, there are details I can not go into unless you agree to the clearance checks and agree to come onboard the team. I have read your research and every paper you have published. Which is why certain members of this team wanted you to join. They believe....I believe you have a lot to contribute. This goes beyond the intelligence community. We could use it to help people live a normal life again instead of living the rest of their lives locked up on a penal colony. You could help people get a second chance, a real chance,” Ever said standing up and moving directly in front of Alexis. 

“If you really want to work together than we need to be on a clean slate. I don’t expect to be your best friend or even talk to you socially, but I’m not having the wool over my eyes. And I’ll still need to evaluate the research to determine if I can even commit the kind of time it would need. I know my priorities, and helping SF Intelligence with a little side project isn’t high on the list at such a vague description.” Walker had set his expectations of her, and by God she was going to keep making a name for herself and she didn’t need Ever to help her out of a sense of guilt or last resort. She waited for Ever to decide what she would do.
Lt. Bonner, AMO

“Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of being completely honest with you or anyone for that matter. Maybe that’s why I do not have a single friend,” Ever said dropping her hands hard against her sides keeping as open as a posture as she could muster. Sure she wanted to tell Alexis about Soulis if nothing more than to see the look on her perfect face. Not one damn wrinkle or blemish. Part of Ever felt a need to watch her crumble and part of her wanted to warn Alexis from the dangerous game Ever was dangling before her. Finally Ever broke eye contact and threw her hands into the air in resignation. “I can only offer you the obvious about the research. It is not a secret that I work with a highly specialised team of doctor’s from Vulcan and Denobula. And that we have already published papers on memory erasure and DNA alterations. We have hit a wall with something involving the DNA, which is were your genius brain comes in.”

Zeanar, CoP

“Well, if that’s the best you can do, then I will re-read your research papers. I glanced at them once.” Alexis remembered almost everything she read, unless she wasn’t paying attention. So either she’s biding time to make a decisions, or she just insulted the whole team for doing work beneath her notice. And since she had a specialty in genetics it probably wasn’t an insult. Alexis had never been that way. But years had passed and there was no way for Ever to know for certain. The idea that the team had hit a wall and needed Alexis to figure it out was more tempting than she was willing to admit.

Alexis sighed, always the ever present sneer from Ever. Alexis didn’t, of course know, it was because Ever envied her youthful appearance. Alexis had honestly meant to start with a fresh slate. If not for their past, Alexis probably would have enjoyed having Ever as friend, and probably still would. “Who is they? Who on your team wanted me?” Alexis would look up their work specifically. She would examine it for research methods and ethics first and foremost. Success didn’t matter to her. Just as much was learned from failure as success. Alexis didn’t like going into research when she didn’t know who she would be working with. Work habits and ethics could destroy a team, and a little bit of pride peaked through her professional manner, they needed to be at least as brilliant as she was.

She looked over Ever’s scans and added them to her record and signed off on it. “You’re cleared for Duty, Lt. Cmdr.”
Lt. Bonner, AMO

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