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Return Visit

Posted on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 @ 12:26pm by Commander Edra Crow

Mission: Side Stories
Location: Counselor's Office
Timeline: Between "Long Cool Woman..." and "Enter the Badlands"

Edra nodded to a couple Medical Officers as she passed by them going the other way. Some days she missed being down in Sickbay. Although, she still carried a medkit with her when she went on an away mission--you couldn’t have too much first aid on an unknown ship or planetside. Perhaps she’d make a visit to Deck 4 soon to see what she was missing. Until then, she had an appointment herself with the newly-returned ship’s counselor. As she rounded the corner, she approached Millie’s door and heard the chime sound at her close proximity.

“Enter,” Millie called out, looking up from the monitor on her desk.

When the doors opened, the Bajoran walked through, smiling toward the counselor. “Hello. How are you doing?”

“I am well!” Millie crossed to the comfortable seating, indicating for Edra to join her. “Catching up with the crew and getting settled back in. How are you?”

“Not bad,” Edra replied, making herself comfortable next to Millie. “If I can say, without the universe hearing,” she whispered, “Things have been relatively drama free.” As she sat back, she grinned.

Millie gave a nod. “And how did things go with the away mission?”

Edra looked away for a moment recalling the trip to the LaRee, her smile gone. “Well, as a mission, it went well, but the results were less than optimal.”

“He worries about you when you are gone, you know.” Millie said quietly.

Edra looked up, not expecting that comment. After a moment she nodded, though. “I can't say I'm surprised. Away missions can be dangerous as it is. A lot of times I wish he wouldn't worry, but I can't expect that for an away mission, really.”

“It must be hard, with you being his First Officer. It’s expected that you will be the one to go into danger in place of him.” The counselor folded her hands in her lap.

She chuckled lightly. “I'm not sure he thought that part out completely when he pushed for this. But kidding aside, I think it took him some time to get used to the fact that anyone was going into danger in place of him. We've talked a few times about him not being on the front lines anymore. He hasn't brought it up in a while.”

Millie nodded. “Has he brought up his worry about your safety at all?”

“Of course,” Edra responded. “And I try to keep in contact with the ship to keep him from guessing what's going on. We all know how active an imagination can be. And I consider the necessity of pushing back if he orders us to come back to the ship, and back my decision up with reason. I'm fairly certain just the pushback brings back memories.”

“Memories of…?”

She paused a moment before answering soberly, “The day he thought I died.”

“That mission...did he order you back to the ship?” Millie asked quietly.

Edra nodded silently. She thought she had worked...they had worked past this whole chapter from the past. Add to that the visions that had been brought back when they made their find on the LaRee, she found she had to try to keep her composure. A deep breath kept her ahead of her emotions.

“It’s okay,” Millie said, reaching over and placing a hand on Edra’s knee. “Take your time.”

The other woman shook her head. “No, I'm okay. I just...didn't think we'd be revisiting that again.”

“What were you thinking about just now?”

“A little bit of everything, I guess. I hadn't thought about that day for a long time. I've had to work through my own guilt for my part in that, but that was years ago now. And hearing about it just brings back a lot of memories.” She looked up at the counselor.

Millie nodded in understanding. “May I ask what happened on that mission?”

Edra sighed and shifted in her seat. “It was an away mission, an adrift ship with instabilities happening around it. We were looking for clues as to what happened, and for survivors--there were faint lifesigns when we arrived. For the first few decks, we found nothing, but I eventually came upon someone who was still alive, barely. So I started working.

“At about that time, the team got the message that the anomalies, whatever they were, were becoming more unstable, and unsafe. Henry called us all back, but I was trying to save a life. I kept insisting that I needed more time to get the victim stable before transporting us both back, but her injuries were too much, and she eventually succumbed. At that point I sent the message to energize, but something happened in transport. I woke up and while I knew everyone, they weren't the people I knew.” she paused for a few moments. “He told me later that the person who made it back to sickbay had all of my markers, but it took the tricorder to identify her.”

“Do you ever fear it will happen again?”

“Getting pulled away like that?” She shook her head. “That wasn't the most traumatic part for me. My fears laid with the man who assaulted me over there, but I don't have to worry about him anymore.”

“Away missions are often unpredictable.”

Edra nodded. “You're correct, and if there's anything he can't stand, it's not being able to protect those closest to him. So it makes sense that he doesn't relish sending us into unpredictable situations. I'll talk to him, offer a line of communication.”

Millie nodded. “I want to help the two of you keep that communication open.” She managed a bit of a smile. “Both of you have a tendency to want to...protect the other, da?”

“Well, yeah,” she replied. “We can't be the only couple who does that.”

Millie gently smiled. “No, there are many crew members who also have partners who serve aboard this ship and others. And you are certainly not the first nor the last couple who is faced with the decision to send a loved one into the path of danger.” The Counselor settled back into her chair, picking up her mug from its place on the table, and letting it warm her hands. “Life in Starfleet is not an easy one for families.”

“I keep saying it shocks me that they let us get away with the arrangement we have, the two of us in command.” She shook her head, “It hasn't always been easy.”

Another nod from the Counselor. “What have you found to be the most difficult?”

“The whole ordeal with DeWitt was the worst. Nothing's come close to matching that.”

Millie gave a shudder. “I think we were *all* glad when that ordeal was over.” The counselor took a long sip of her tea, as if to clear the bad taste from her mouth. She paused. “How are *you* doing?”

“I'm doing well,” Edra answered. “Just trying to keep a good balance between work and home life, which is another difficulty with both of us in our positions. They take a lot of our time, and so we try to make sure we spend solid blocks of time with the kids.”

“And solid blocks of time with each other, da?”

Edra paused before nodding. “Perhaps not as often as we should, but yes, we do.”

“I could...arrange to have your schedules cleared for an evening.” A grin tugged at the corner of Millie's lips.

Edra considered, then smiled. She didn't usually like outside interference in this area of her life, but she could definitely see the advantage. In fact, she ventured a step further, “Would you mind taking the girls? I'll see if Marcus can stay with Ossan, that way he has someone his own age.”

Millie returned the smile. “Of course. I would be more than happy to have the girls for a few hours. You and Henry deserve a little time off together.”

Edra nodded. “It will be a nice change of pace. Thank you.”

“It’s not a problem! If they’d like to come over tomorrow night, I was planning on baking holiday cookies. Do you think they might enjoy that?” Millie picked up a PADD, as if ready to clear some duty schedules.

The look on the XO's face shown a rare form of embarrassment. “To be honest, I don't know. We've never done it. But if I were to guess, Karissa will love it. Karina may need to be coaxed out of her books.”

Millie smiled. “It’s a wonderful, royal mess. I’ll make sure that the girls have a good time...and that I send them home with the finished product.”

The smile on Edra’s face spread. “That sounds great. Thank you.”


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