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Going Home

Posted on Sun Mar 19th, 2017 @ 6:42am by Ensign T'ami Lo'Wen & Lieutenant Contessa Cavenaugh Ph.D.

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Gaspar

T'ami didn't so much as walk into the transport, as she in reality slowly dragged herself onto it. The past few weeks on Gaspar had been physically and emotionally draining, as the Federation and civilian volunteers managed to bring some peace, stability and relief to the frightened planet. Through all the rescues, medical miracles that saved lives, quick rebuilding efforts to bring necessary infrastructure back to the crumbled world - no story had pierced the memories of the Gaspar colonists more so than little Gemra and her mother. It was a turning point for the planet, restoring hope to their society.

The Ensign had spent the morning with Gemra as he mother continued her recover back to full health - able to lift up her daughter for the first time today. It brought more than a tear to everyone's eyes, seeing the mother and child reunited and safe once more. But T'ami's cheeks had been dryer than the desert outside, she hadn't allowed herself to cry since that first day. All she did over the past couple of weeks was sleep, work, eat some, work more, sleep a little, and work even more. All of the volunteers had pushed themselves to their limits to help the colony of Gaspar and although it would take years of rebuilding, their work had achieved great progress for the planet already.

T'ami had been assigned a rest period back on Deep Space 12, as a new shipment of volunteers arrived to take over the relief efforts. The Caitian had to say goodbye to little Gemra, though promised to visit her when she was allowed to return. Now back on the Federation transport, she collapsed onto a bunk, buried her face into her hands and finally let out all the tears she'd been holding onto. She sobbed unrestrained into her palms, tears flowing freely from her eyes as she released the emotions within.

Contessa was also feeling emotionally and physically drained as she boarded the transport, but she was also feeling a bit relieved. Things weren't perfect, but they were leaving the planet a little better off than they found it, and sometimes, that was all anyone could ask for. Turning at the sound of someone sobbing, Cavanagh quickly found the source of the sorrow and sat next to the Caitian, not wanting to touch her suddenly and without invitation, at least not initially, so instead she offered softly. "It's alright, just let it out." Given the stress and chaos they'd all witnessed the last few days, the other woman's reaction was completely understandable.

T'ami nodded, grateful for the comfort from the fellow officer. She did indeed let it out for a little longer until she felt like she couldn't possibly cry any more. Finally, she was able to raise her head, wiping her furry cheeks with a sheepish smile.

"Sorry about that," She whispered. "I guess I was holding that in for a while."

"There's no need to apologize for expressing your feelings. It's been a really chaotic and at times awful mission. We've all had to suppress our thoughts and feelings to get through, but at some point, we all need a release. Make sure to drink that water see you don't get dehydrated. In the meantime, if you feel up to it, maybe it would help to talk about it?" Cavanagh knew it was a bit of a cliché for her to offer to listen right now, but it was only natural for the counselor to offer after seeing someone who was in genuine pain. "If you don't feel up to it right now, that's okay, but I am available any time."

The Caitian nodded, pulling herself up and smiling to the Counsellor. As she walked over to the replicator, she sighed, "I've never seen anything like that before. The devastation, all those poor people. Who would do that to a colony? There were children there." She shook her head, trying hard not to break down again. "I tried to focus on my work but every day just felt like a sucker punch to the soul, you know?"

"I know," Contessa agreed. "It's frustrating and can be overwhelming when so much is out of our control. At times like that, I try to remind myself to focus on the help I provided in spite of the chaos."

T'ami ordered herself a large glass of water and gulped it down enthusiastically, so fast that it was gone before the Counsellor had finished speaking again. She swallowed the last mouthful and reordered again from the dutiful machine, the glass refilling before her tired eyes. This time she ordered two and took the other one over to Doctor Cavenaugh.

"Doctor's orders," She smiled as she held out the glass.

Comtessa smiled. "Thanks." She took a healthy sip and said, "You did an amazing thing, rescuing that girl and her mother."

T'ami nodded, "It was stupid luck to be honest with you. I shouldn't have left the Aid area, and I just happened to stumble upon Gemra. But I'm sure glad I did. To think of that poor little girl on her own, or what could have happened..." She really didn't want to cry again and took a deep breath, "You're right, though, about focusing on the help I can provide. I want to do more of that on DS12. That's our mission, right, as Starfleet personnel, to help others?"

"Then that's what I'll do," T'ami replied emphatically, her cheeks were dry now and her eyes resolute, "I don't want to sit in meetings and discuss things, I want to be out here helping people. Making a difference."

T'ami nodded again and rested back on her bunk once more, now determined to start a new chapter in her career. Gaspar had moved her, brought a fire to her life that she hadn't expected. It took her until now to realise how deeply she was effected by this mission, and how the power of saving little Gemra and her mother had instilled a new sense of purpose to her as well.

She went to Gaspar to save lives, but now Gaspar had changed hers.



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