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Where Words Fail

Posted on Tue Jan 16th, 2018 @ 6:45am by Lieutenant Mera Richmond MD

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: Counselor's Office
Timeline: During "Gifting"

It was dark in the Counselor's office after hours. The pale glow of the space-view window threw ghostly shadows over a room populated only by medical equipment, and the gentle hum of the environmental regulator cast a deafening silence. This was the case for nearly every evening, but tonight something else was there -- a muffled melody, the blue light of a terminal, a stark silhouette on the sofa, a mug of tea cooling on the table -- Mera. She was alone, laid out on the couch staring up at the ceiling and wearing a pair of analog headphones she had brought along from Earth. They were a bit archaic, but there was nothing better at bringing her back to the present. When combined with an old jazz tune she'd heard a thousand times, they allowed her to find a place just between her ears where the worries of the outside world didn't matter.

This time of year was difficult for Mera. Fourteen years ago her fathered was killed aboard USS Albatross. The whirlwind of Starfleet Academy and medical school had allowed her wounds to heal, but her mother was not so lucky. She had been having vivid dreams of her husband ever since the event, but they were exacerbated during the winter holidays. There was no worse torment for Mera than to watch her usually proud and unyielding mother brought low by these visions.

Mera had been in her office all evening, missing the Christmas party that Captain Temple had so kindly invited her to. A new message had popped up on her console and there was no way the she could put on any sort of joyous air knowing that her mother was suffering. No, she needed to stay behind and prepare for the ordeal.

The song finally went off, ending the playlist, and forcing Mera into the uncomfortable silence. She sat up in the seat and accessed the terminal. There as no ignoring the message symbol blinking relentlessly in the corner of the screen. Mera took a deep breath and pressed the play button.

=/\=

"Happy Christmas, Kiwi!" her mother's familiar voice broke the silence of the office and her childhood nickname sent her back to the past. "I hope your are making friends on your new ship. I can't seem to find detailed histories on many of your fellow officers. I guess you guys must be doing some serious work." her voice was even, but the the jovial mask didn't fool Mera.

A few moments of silence separated by clicks of spoke volumes the struggle that her mother was enduring.

"I saw your father again, Kiwi." her voice cracked under the pressure, unable to maintain its usual confidence. "I know what a burden my stories are for you and I have been trying to keep them to myself, but this time it was... different." Mera's head perked up. " I wasn't dreaming this time. He was here. I was having dinner with your uncle and he walked right down the stairs." Mera could hear the tears starting to leak through. " He sat down beside me.... in his usual seat,... but he wouldn't speak." Her voice was broken and froggy now. The space between words prolonging the torture.

"I don't know how much more I can do this. I don't know what to do."

Guilt began to set in. Mera had returned home frequently when aboard the USS Mercy, but Pandora's mission promised to keep her away much longer.

Her mother gathered herself with a heavy sigh. "I miss you, Kiwi."

A long silence and a few click marked the end of the message.

=/\=

Mera laid out on the couch in total silence for several minutes; her mind mired in worry and guilt. There was nothing that she could do from here. Any reply message she sent would just be a bandage over the bullet wound in her mother's psyche. She grabbed her headphones off the coffee table and started her playlist from the beginning. It took longer than usual, but she found her center and drifted off to sleep.

 

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