Expanding the Offerings

Posted Jan. 21, 2023, 1:16 p.m. by Captain Eela Dasca (Lt. Governor) (Lindsay B)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Expanding the Offerings

Posted by Captain Eela Dasca (Lt. Governor) in Expanding the Offerings

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Expanding the Offerings
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻


“What’s this?” Belanger asked, gaze darting between the two women.

Eela swallowed and drew in a deep breath. “Nurse Shrine is organizing… a bachelorette auction.”
Cort blinked. “As in…?”
She nodded. “Yes, exactly how it sounds. Doctor Fayth has been coerced into it and it looks like it’s my turn.”
He was honestly stunned and a brief snort escaped before he started laughing. But he quickly brought it under control as he became concerned, his blue eyes searching his boss intently. “Is that something you think…” He shook his head.
“I what?” Dasca said, trying to wrap her mind around the whole idea.
“Are you ready for that? No offence intended to anyone else participating but there are other… variables you may need to consider that others might not be aware of.”

Sharah liked the man all the more for being so concerned for Eela, but she couldn’t help but tease the other woman just a bit more. “I’m not sure what you’re concerned about?” She gave Cort an understanding look, but also tossed a wink his way. “The Lt Gov just assured me there was nothing to worry about. That whatever activity is planned for after doesn’t have to be romantic. It could be pleasant or not, no commitments or expectations. I might even meet my new best friend or find someone who can recommend a dog breeder, or the most boring lunch ever imagined. Isn’t that right Lt Gov? You did say that, or did I mishear you?”

Eela shot her a glare. “I hate you right now,” she said, though she didn’t mean it in the least. And the worst part was that Eela was exactly the kind of person who had ben happy to connect to people randomly without any worry about what it was or where it was going. Connection for connections sake. And she knew all too well that her own words had come back to bite her in the ass and there was crap all she could do about it.

Sharah was right in everything she said, but so was Cort. She reached out and touched his forearm briefly, smiling softly. “I appreciate the concern and it is something I should factor, but go ahead and tell Shrine I will meet with her. But warn her that she will have to deal with the added security conditions.”

He studied her intently before he nodded. “Of course,” Cort said, before stepping back and moving for the door, but not before smirking slightly and shaking his head as he passed Fayth.

Eela pulled out her chair and slumped into it. “You all are going to do me in, you know that right?” she said, tipping her face towards the ceiling and starting to laugh. “I mean, sure, I am single, and I’ve been technically on my own for over eighteen months, but this is not how I imagined tossing myself into the dating scene after divorce.”

~Eela Dasca, Lt. Gov.

Sharah was still chuckling. She hadn’t felt like this since…since her cadet cruise, and she and Ashlyn had that really long night staying up late and just talking and having fun and being cadets. Right after she’d been released from sickbay. “At least you’ll be done in while laughing.” She grinned, took a breath and stuffed the giggles back down. “She might be looking for a straight donation of time or supplies. But so far Shrine has cornered every single person who was at the speakeasy that night and gotten them on the list. Except the ones who aren’t single.”

“So you’re saying I might as well give in now, right?” Dasca said with a long-suffering sigh.

Sharah reached into her bag and pulled out a sketch pad and ripped out a blank sheet and handed Eela the sheet and a pencil. “Okay so since I’ve only got a partial hour now. So you told me, sometimes you don’t know if those mental thoughts are coming from you or someone else or the influence of others over the years. And they aren’t like you. So what I want you to do is write them down. You don’t have to show me, but write them down, no matter where they come from.”

Fayth, SFCMO

The fun and games had passed and now it was time for the serious part. Funny enough, Eela might have given this same task to a patient had they come to her with such a dilemma. But there were places she hadn’t been able to tread. Her physical recovery had claimed for much of her time and energy for so long that even when she had been doing therapy it had been about assessing the changes in cognitive processing and working through the trauma of the accident, her subsequent coma and her retirement. It was one of those weird twinges in the back of her mind since her separation and it seemed to be surfacing more lately.
While she wrote, Sharah could feel the emotions coming off of her, and she understood them because the feeling, if not the reason, was still the same. She slipped from the room a moment to ask Elema for glasses and a very large pitcher of water. She returned with the tray and set it on the coffee table and sat, letting Eela do the work that needed to be done.

Taking the piece of paper and pencil, Eela began to write slowly in a slanted elegant script. Each word, each sentence was painful and as she wrote the pencil moved slower. It was one thing to have these thought flit through her mind, but to see them written down brought tears to her eyes.

-I have nothing else worthwhile to give
-I can’t get anything right anymore
-the Steadfast was the pinnacle of my life. Nothing else will surpass it
-I’m as broken as my body
-I ran away from my life and it was cowardly
-there was more I should have done and if I had my life wouldn’t have fallen apart
-I’ve lost my heart

At 63, almost 64, Eela was in the prime of her life as a Haliian who lived on average to 150 years old. She had so much life to live still and yet as she stared at this list it felt like it belonged to someone very different. Her hand rested fingers splayed over the list as if she could hide it from herself, but it was too late. In writing them down, she had made them tangible.

~Eela Dasca, Lt. Gov.

When she was done Sharah took the paper and turned it up-side-down. “These are not your thoughts. I know this because I can feel the underlying confusion in you, you don’t recognize them. Somewhere along the way, Eela, people have put these thoughts in your head. They said them to you, or something similar. Maybe innocently. Maybe a friend asked if you felt that way, even though they didn’t see it, but they started you thinking it. These are not your thoughts.” Sharah was no counselor but she’d seen plenty in her life time. “So I want you to rewrite them as yes or no questions. Then think about your life right now here on Oed and answer each of them.”

Fayth, SFCMO

For a long moment Eela just stared at Sharah before she did exactly as instructed. She had done a similar reframing exercise with her therapist back at Starfleet Medical while she had been doing physical rehab. She had had to take each physical and cognitive change and write each as a positive thing, as a possible strength, to see how her life hadn’t ended. It had taken her weeks and weeks, tackling one statement at a time. It had been as painful a process as her rehab.

Eela wrote. She even took it one step further and elaborated on the simple yes or no:

Do I have something worthwhile to give still? Yes. I have decades of experience and my own wisdom and insight that no one else has.

Can I get anything right? Yes. I have already demonstrated an uncanny way of cutting through the crap and finding solutions to the problems set before me. One could argue that the things I’ve gotten most right so far are the ones that required the most risk and courage.

Was the Steadfast was the pinnacle of my life? No. It was an important milestone and I grew in extraordinary ways, but that didn’t end when the ship was destroyed.

Am I broken? No. But I am different. The shell of me looks and feels different and has different needs, but the core of Eela is still there waiting to be acknowledged.

Did I run away from my life? Yes. I ran away to protect myself, to give myself time and space because I couldn’t get it any other way.
Was I a coward? No, it is bravery. I chose my own needs above those of others because someone had to put them first in those moments so that I could have the chance to do more than just survive.

Was there more I should have done? If there was, would it have changed anything about how I got to where I am now? Maybe. But even if I had there was no guarantee how any of it would have gone down. I still might have left Cory. He might still have grown to despise me even when he said he loved me. We had already been struggling before all of the shit went down. We might still have divorced. These what ifs don’t serve me in the here and now.

Have I lost my heart? No. It is hard and terrifying, but I’ve let people in. People who make me feel seen and heard and that I matter in my own right, not just for any role I play in their lives. I want so much more and to be free with my heart, but I need to give it time, be patient with myself. The rest will come.

While no more tears flowed, the inner turmoil was palpable and she wished she could shield Sharah from it but also knew the younger woman had chosen to be in this with her and it was her choice whether to stay or go. Eela slide the page across the desk to Sharah. “You can read it.” Yes, this was deeply personal work, but it would do her no go if she kept it in her head. That had been her mistake in recent years and one she had slowly started to rectify since the day she arrived on Oed. She would no longer apologize for being a woman of deep emotions who needed to share her internal insights with people she trusted. “And this is why I have this weird thought in my head about this auction about who the hell would want to bid on me of all people. The obvious answer is that in each their own way, the best people in my life do so on a regular basis.” She blew out a deep breath, letting her lungs deflate fully before inhaling again.

~Eela Dasca, Humbled Lt. Gov.

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