It had been a long, seemingly never ending first week on her new ship. Her first day had been long but not because it was busy, but because it took time to adjust the the sea of noise. She’d had her medical check in and of course her department check. She was thrilled to be back in medical now. Her last mission on Ark Angel had been career making, just not for her. It could have been, but it wasn’t what she’d wanted. She’d needed to take a long hard look at her life, professionally and personally. And she’d been thrown right into the thick of her work the first week. She was thankful for that. She’d taken time to get familiar with the ship, and spend as much time as possible outside of her quarters. She didn’t want to look at the crates stacked in her quarters. Sharah was ready to collapse in her bed tonight. It seemed like it had been a month since she set foot off the transport. Her head was starting to pound more insistently. It was odd how quickly she had become used to the pain again. For so long she’d lived with the pain as a constant unwanted companion, and there had been some relief with the familiarity of the crew on Ark Angel. How much had changed in almost 2 years. She smiled despite the pounding and worked her way down to deck 6 room 103. She walked up to the door and entered the pass code. She entered and took a good look around. It was smaller than the room she’d shared with Ashlyn, and that finally registered with her. It was slightly bigger than the single room she’d had as a jo on Ark Angel, but maybe because it was a studio and only appeared larger, but it was significantly smaller than her senior officer quarters on Ark Angel. It looked a lot different too. On Ark Angel they’d had staff for ‘interior design’ and Tabris (there was a deep sigh at the thought of her friend) had recreated that ocean side cabin for her.
The room was only big enough for one. She sighed with relief. There would be no room mate this time. She pushed the button on the computer console and started recording a message, “Hello Cmdr Ballaris. I’m sure you didn’t expect to hear from me. I guess I’m feeling nostalgic and a little lonely. I’m sure by now you have heard that Ark Angel returned from the far reaches of space and if you haven’t been contacted about my clone, I’m sure you will. I’m sending you my notes about it. I’m not doing okay with my part in it, but I don’t know what I could have done differently. I took a transfer to a new ship so I could go back into medical. I’m sure there are months worth of sessions we could have about that. The counselor here on Viking is Lt Cmdr Koczak from Challenger. I’m feeling a little apprehensive about it. Maybe because I’m tired, probably judging myself too harshly like always. I do hope you are well.” And she ended the transmission.
She took her alpha inducer and set it on the small table by the bed. She moved over to the still unopened chest and lifted the lid. Right on top were her clothes minus her uniforms. She picked them up and moved over to the dresser and small closet and put them away. She moved back to the trunk and pulled out two stasis boxes. The smaller one she opened. Sharah had the desire to talk to her ‘uncle Olly.’ “Computer begin recording message.” Sharah waited for the beep to indicate the computer was recording, “To Lt. j.g. Olive Loughton.” She didn’t know where he was stationed now. Off on one of his research sabbaticals no doubt. It could be months before she heard back, “Hi Olly. We haven’t talked in awhile. I made it through my transfer to Ark Angel and some stuff happened. I was promoted to Lt junior grade and made Chief Science Officer. I thought I was doing alright at it. At least at the paper work, but I really am not meant to be in charge of people, at least not over such a large department as science. I just don’t have enough experience in enough areas, so now I’m on the Viking and back in medical. Hope has grown since I re-potted her. She’s going to be stunning when she blooms this year. I’ll send you pictures. Stay safe out there, okay. And no more exploding carnivorous hybrids. Love you, Olly.” “Computer end message and send.” Out of the smaller box she takes a bonsai tree. She moves over to the sink and replaces the water in the water bowl. She places this one in a window where it’s safe from being bumped. She goes back to rummage in the trunk looking for the bottle of plant food. “AH!” she picks it up and then adds a few drops to the waterpot.
Next out is a set of pictures. She goes through them one at a time. She sits down at the desk and stares down at the one on top. She turns on the console and ques up to record a visual message this time. She sets the first picture down on a self behind her desk. Sharah is very young and is standing with a woman that has her same hair and short height and a very tall and well built man. You can’t say she has his eyes since all Betazoids have black eyes, but the shape of her eyes and nose are her fathers. She turns to the screen. “Hi Mom and Dad. How is everything at home? I got the jam that dad sent. The flavor reminds me of that summer we went to the Opal Sea. The replicators out here just don’t make it the way you do. I’m on my new ship and I really like it so far. I’m sorry it’s taken me a week to write, but I’m enjoying being back in medical. We’ve been busy. I’ll write again soon. I love you both.” Sharah ended the transmission. The next picture was of Sharah and her brother. She was in a hospital bed and Andrew had taken leave from Star Fleet to come home to be with her. “Computer contact Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fayth Outpost 53.” Sharah moved about the room putting her things away while she waited for the transmission to go through. Her books went up on the shelf along with her pictures. One picture, a photo of a very young, maybe 4 years old, Sharah holding a kitten went into a drawer. She kept it only as a reminder.
“Sharah?” She laughed and moved into the screen’s view as she sat down. “There you are.” Andrew looked good and happy. Sharah adored her big brother. “The man in the security uniform on the other end of the com shook his head, “D@&^ Sharah, can’t you stay in one place? Your record is going to make you look…flighty. And, well…” He looked worried, he always worried.
Sharah sat on her bunk in the small studio style quarters and gazed at him through the screen. “I am flighty. That’s how people see me, and you know what Andrew? So what. I’ve spent my whole life trying to act ‘normal.’ I’m not normal for a Betazoid, and Betazoid’s aren’t ‘normal’ compared to other species.”
Andrew sat back staring at his little sister. Not being ‘normal’ was the best thing about her. She was tough, loving, quirky, and stubborn. She was easily distracted, apparently flighty, brilliant, and empathic in a way other Betazoids couldn’t dream of. She just needed to see it. She might not be normal but he always thought that she was everything good about their species. But that brought out the worst in others. “So what are you doing now? You transferring to engineering or something?”
Sharah laughed and shook her head, her dark raven curls bouncing around her face. “No. I’m going back to medicine. Where I’ve always belonged. I am an amazing botanist. I think Olly would be proud, and I’m an impressive scientist, but I wasn’t cut out to be a department head, at least not over the science department. Ark Angel needed someone who could really do the job. It’s more than just paperwork, and I did my best, but I wasn’t the right person for the job.” Andrew started to say something but Sharah stopped him, “No Andrew, I wasn’t. And I’m okay with that. Because what I am, is a top ranked doctor, and that’s what I should be doing. I don’t really care about the rank and position. It will come, when I’ve earned it.
Then he gave her ‘the look.’ When Sharah was younger she would call him ‘Security Andrew’ when he got like that. “Alright, I’ll admit to that. I honestly didn’t think you would be happy not being a doctor, so I’m glad that you are going back to what you love. BUT how are you doing with the rest of it? I really wish you had come here to see me, spend some time with me before you took a new assignment.”
“I’m okay, Andrew, really.” That look always got Sharah, and she couldn’t lie to him. “It’s been hard, and I wasn’t okay, but I am now. I think I needed to do this on my own. But I promise I will visit as soon as I can. They needed extra doctors at Starbase 12. It was really good to be useful, in a positive way. And I know you and mom and dad worried, but, you know what, it feels really good to know I did it on my own. Besides, you could always come and visit me, ya know. Maybe…” Andrew made a little ‘out with it’ motion with his hands. “Well maybe you could go with me to Delotha? I would really like you to meet my godkids.” Andrew laughed, that was Sharah, “You are really taking that seriously aren’t you? Not just paying it lip service.” Sharah rolled her eyes, “Of course I am.” Andrew didn’t say it, he didn’t open his mouth and tell his baby sister she could have kids of her own. That was a fear Sharah had had for many years and he wasn’t going to go down that road with her, now, while she was alone among a new crew. “Alright little sister, I have to go on patrol. I’m glad you arrived safe, and we’ll talk soon, okay. You call me if you need me?” he waited for her to nod agreement. “Love you, Sharah.” Sharah smiled, she adored him, “Love you too, Andrew.” and she cut the transmission.
She went back to the trunk and pulled out the last few items and sat on the floor, waves of regret and old sadness washed over her. Her chess set. It was a stunningly hand made board and pieces. She flipped the board over and ran her hand over the inscription: “I may always get your king, but you will always be my queen.” It had always made her smile. It was so, Joseph. He was always going to win. A picture of her and a young man sitting on the floor playing chess, two hand drawn pieces, gently framed. It was all that was left. She didn’t know what had happened, where he had gone. She’d cried uncontrollably as she’d packed his things and sent them back to his family, including the heirloom ring he’d given her. It belonged to his family, and…she couldn’t keep it. She’d been so heartbroken she had thought it would consume her. Tabris, and his children, had kept her going, until they’d parted ways at Starbase 12.
She looked at the items and carefully packed them away again. At one time those items had made her smile, now they just made her sad in a very bitter sweet way. She packed up those feelings just like the box and put them away. It was okay, she could move forward, there would always be a part of her that loved him, but he wouldn’t want her to wallow in that despair and die from it. It had taken her months to realize that, and now she was better. Now she could accept the grief, but not live in it. She could remember him and smile and not cry uncontrollably. She could grieve for him, but not stay there. She made arrangements with Ops to have the crate shipped home to Betazed. She didn’t want to get rid of these things, but she didn’t know where else to keep them, so her parents would, for now.
Her messages sent, her things unpacked, Sharah went to bed. She turned on the delta wave machine and closed her eyes. Her thoughts drifting towards the unique encounter she’d had with the science officer in the shuttle bay that day.
Lt jg Fayth, med
© 1991-2021 STF. Terms of Service