Posted Jan. 21, 2023, 8:35 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) (Jennifer Ward)
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 Captain Eela Dasca (Lt. Governor) in Expanding the Offerings
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻
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.
Sharah took the paper and glanced over it. The truth was that, yes Sharah was exposed to the emotions, but the thoughts as well. So she didn’t need more than a glance to take in what she hadn’t caught. Eela’s desire to shield her from it was an instinct Sharah understood. To hide herself from those that mattered most to her. As if she was some kind of monster, or deformed sick thing that could hurt those around her. Sharah chose to be here, she could have ignored Eela at the restaurant or changed the subject. But Eela was her friend.
Fayth chuckled softly. “I have the same feeling about the auction, but it is more of a ‘what is their motive’ type of thing. But even if it is not pleasant and is horrible it is for a good cause. And maybe, just maybe seeing me up there, doing something so embarrassing to help the colony, will help improve the opinion of Star Fleet.”
“I like the idea of reminding people that Starfleet, just like the Federations, is made up of individuals. People who have their own beliefs, feelings and experiences,” Dasca mused.
Sharah then picked up the paper and folded it in half. She reached into her bag and pulled out the pot for the hanging trellis that was arriving. “So I do something similar to this,” she waved the paper, “every day.” Sharah took a deep breath, resolved to share, “Except I sketch. I hear a lot and feel even more, every day. There are 4 million minds on this planet, and more as the ship’s move in and out of orbit. That is…a lot,” Sharah swallowed and took another breath, “a lot of noise. You said sometimes you don’t know what is your voice, and I get that. I sketch what I hear, so that I can figure out what is me and what is them.” Sharah pointed out the window and then began tearing the paper into tiny pieces. “Some are their secrets and some are mine. But secrets can fester and turn dark. Your secrets are trying to do that, so we are going to put them to work.”
Intrigued, Eela sat up more tall, leaning forward with her arms folded on her desk. Sharah was wrong. Those words were dark things threatening to destroy her little by little. She had been giving them power over her for reasons that were only starting t make themselves known.
Sharah scattered a layer into the bottom of the pot and took the pitcher and drizzled water in it. “Someone,” she grinned and blushed, “very special did this for me. The paper will hold moisture keeping the soil from drying out. Which is good because your vine is from an extreme tropical forest. It needs lots of moisture, and dead stuff to grow. This particular paper is actually infused to provide nutrients as it decays. So it will provide what your vine needs.” Sharah added soil and then another layer of paper and water, and repeated. “So we are going to take all thise things that are eating at you, holding you back, making you doubt, and make new growth.” She picked up the temporary pot and slowly worked the vine out, loosening the dirt so the roots could spread out in the new pot. “You are going to let those things decay and die and in turn bring life.”
It was a breathtaking and beautiful sentiment and one that spoke her her heart in a way Eela wasn’t even sure she could fully express. Maybe she didn’t need to and maybe that was why Sharah Fayth had planted herself so fully in her life. She needed someone here she didn’t have to explain herself to, who understood even without the words.
So when Eela smiled, it was from the depths of her being. It was full of awe and hope and gratitude. “I think you’re going to have to provide me with more paper,” she said, understanding that the repetition of the reframing is what would allow the positive versions to overthrow the negative. By repeating the truths, she would one by one cast out the lies she had been led to believe.
~Eela Dasca, Lt. Gov.
Sharah grinned, “Good.” She reached in her bag and took out the pad and flipped through to make sure it was empty. She gave the pad and pencil to Eela with a hug. “There is plenty more. Leaf In Peace carries both. Now your Purple-Flowered Weeping Ivy can take 2 sheets at a time in the soil due to size of the pot. But this stuff is good for all your plants. Just keep in mind pot size and moisture level.”
Dasca nodded and set the paper pad on her desk, twirling the pencil in her fingers. “I am your humble student,” she said with not one bit of irony. Whomever thought Eela couldn’t sit back and learn from others hadn’t spent more than thirty seconds with her or relied entirely on whatever gossip du jour was floating about the colony.
Sharah laughed, “I am happy to teach you whatever I know.” Sharah was by no means the end all be all expert, but she was trained for it, and she loved it.
Sharah held a hand out to the vine but didn’t touch. “Now this lovely is going to want a lot of heart and moisture. It lives in the understory so it doesn’t need a lot of light. 5 to 10%. So you can set the windows to shade it. The trellis I ordered you is heated and is self misting. The bottom is a huge water reservoir. Your Ivy will live at the top and the vines will trail down. She’s juvenile right now so she has a lot of room to grow. If she gets out of hand, I can come look at her. They have been known to grow on purpose to get what they want, especially ones that bond with their owners. So if you sit at your desk most you may find tendrils making their way toward you.”
Eela reached out and touched one of the vines that was draped on her desk. “You say that like it’s a problem,” she said with a smirk. She leaned her body towards the plant. “We’ll make a deal. I’ll set up a nice little spot not too far away and give you everything you need, and you in turn keep to this side of the desk so we don’t scare the visitors.” She was about to lean back but stopped and leaned in further. “Unless you feel it’s a wise move, in which by all means scare them away. I’ve got enough trouble on my plate that it’s nice if it walks away all on its own accord. Okay? Good.” She leaned back as it were entirely normal to talk to your plant, which at least for Eela seemed perfectly rational given it was already sensitive to her.
Sharah grinned as Eela talked to the vine and the leaves opened in closed in response to the stimulus. It felt quite content now that it was still and not being jostled about every which way.
“Now, this auction. If we’re doing this, we’re doing it properly. Tell me what I need to know before Shrine comes to make me regret saying yes,” she said with Sharah, leaning back in her chair.
~Eela Dasca, Lt. Gov.
Sharah laughed. “Bidders have to bid using a credit amount, but they can pay in volunteer hours, materials and supplies, or straight up credits. As for us,” Sharah made a little back and forth option, “We get to go on a meal date. We get to choose the time. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. And venue. So we could opt for a restaurant, cooking ourselves,” Sharah shuddered at that idea, “a picnic. Whatever and wherever you want. You do have the option of letting your date choose. We pay for the meal, though for those that it would be a burden, there have been some donations made by local businesses.”
© 1991-2023 STF. Terms of Service