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What Could Have Been

Posted on May 19, 2019 @ 3:22am by Lieutenant Eve Dalziel
Edited on on May 19, 2019 @ 3:22am

Mission: The Uncertainty Principle

“What Could Have Been”

(Continued from “Timelocked”)

Scene: Deck 12, Saucer Section, near Counseling
SD: [2.19]0512.2141

It was with a sense of relief that Eve Dalziel turned smartly down the corridor which led to the Counseling enclave. After an uncertain journey into a vacuous space created by a wormhole experiment gone awry, the PHOENIX was freed and headed back to Earth for a short respite before their next mission, wherever that would take them. It was still unknown as to why Doctor Eden’s attempt had failed; it was obvious that many scientific pundits would continue to work hard to answer that question. However, that was not Eve’s concern. Her focus was on healing any damaged psyches among the 878 souls aboard.

After Kass had her debriefing with the Captain, Eve took the opportunity to pick the Marine’s brain about the other Kassandra Thytos and her combustible Trojan horse… her dogged insistence that the other crew on the doomed vessel were the “real” ones, the ones who deserved to survive. Kass had told Eve that she knew her doppleganger could not be reasoned with, as she behaved exactly as she would have if met with the same dire straits. Eve wanted to believe that if faced with something so traumatic, she would have the fortitude to do the humane thing, but survival and the fight for it was far more primal than the advancements of the twenty-fifth century. Kass seemed to already instinctively know this, so perhaps it was the best thing that she was challenged with her alter.

The improbable situation reminded the Cardassian born woman of an old quote: ‘No matter how good a person you are, you will always be a villain in someone else’s story.’ But for that enemy to simply be another iteration of the crew, that had been truly unexpected. It was going to take some time for all of them to wrap their heads around it.


Scene: Dalziel’s Office

Doctor Karrington Crow was seated across from Eve’s empty desk as the Counselor entered, PADD in hand. “Good morning, Kari,” Eve greeted the woman with surprise.

The brunette CSciO was apparently waiting for her. “You’re late. I made an appointment.”

Dalziel glanced at the chronometer which confirmed it was two minutes past the hour, presumably the time of the hastily scheduled appointment. “I didn’t expect to see you here until we docked, and maybe not even then,” Eve answered truthfully. Lieutenant Crow’s expertise had been on demand from the moment her mentor had appeared aboard the ship, and it had been nothing since then but one long string of orders and research. Combine that with the lack of willingness so many of the crew displayed when the idea of ‘sharing feelings’ was brought up and it was a small miracle that anyone asked for her services at all.

Kari sighed. “I will admit, my time has not been my own the past few days, but in light of our safe delivery back into normal space-time, we were given the okay to resume our standard duty schedules.”

“You have to be exhausted.” Eve replicated some coffee and pastries on a tray. After some hesitance, Kari grabbed a cherry danish and dug in.

Wanting to avoid the ‘what brings you here’ question that was completely overused, Eve tried a different tactic. “So, how did your showdown go?”

The older woman stared at her blankly, as if she had been rehearsing an answer to a query that hadn’t been asked. “Showdown?” Kari echoed.

“You had planned to confront Doctor Eden regarding her treatment of you. At least that’s what I remember regarding our discussion in the turbolift.”

“Oh, that.” While it was obvious that Kari also remembered her declaration at the beginning of their mission, she was hedging the question very inefficiently.

Eve allowed herself a faint smile. “I’m guessing you haven’t given your speech yet?”

“No.” The Doctor of Science fidgeted in her seat.

“Why not?”

“It never seemed to be the right time. Between the experiment and its aftermath, the focus was on extricating us from the phase that Eden’s hypothesis had created. What I had to say wasn’t as important as saving the ship and the crew.”

Eve tore the top off of a banana streusel muffin. “Her experiment failed, and put us all in danger. Why didn’t you use that opportunity to call her out on her past indiscretions?”

Kari looked a little shocked. “That’s somewhat cold, isn’t it?”

Eve continued to play Devil’s advocate. “Wasn’t she cold in her dealings with you?”

“Well, yes, but… I would prefer she acknowledge that on her own, not because I prompted her or badgered her.”

“Humility is not something you can impose on another person,” Eve pointed out. “Nor is an apology.”

“I know. But it would have been nice for her to realize her opinion matters to me.”

Eve sighed gently. Approval from others was a common desire, perhaps one of the core traits people needed to feel secure. When validation was present and available, it lent invincibility to the recipient. When it was lacking, insecurity followed, regardless of the skill of the individual. “What made you choose her?”

“Choose her?”

“We all have people we idolize. What was it about Doctor Lorraine Eden that made you decide she was your idol?”

Doctor Crow looked almost like a little lost child, peering down into her coffee, then back at Eve. “She had done the things I aspired to do. And she had made the decision to teach the next generations at the Academy *how* she did them. She’s not exactly winning in the personality department, as you’ve seen, but every time she gave a lecture, I could feel the proverbial torch being pressed into my hands, being urged to carry on. I haven’t forgotten that. I wanted her to know how much that inspired me. So I sent her news of every milestone, thinking she would understand why.”

“That’s the thing about Heroes. They’re just people, like the rest of us. They didn’t ask to be Heroes.”

Kari grew annoyed. “And I didn’t consciously choose a stubborn old biddy incapable of encouragement to be my Hero. It just happened.”

Eve shrugged. “The heart knows what it wants?”

“I feel a connection of kindred spirits,” Lieutenant Crow offered.

“Okay, let’s say your admiration of her was something you didn’t have control over.”

“Fine. Good.” Kari was pleased someone was finally starting to see it her way.

“However, you *have* chosen to allow her to take up room in your mind, waiting for recognition that will never come. Why?”

Kari Crow’s brown eyes stared at the Counselor, mouth open a bit, and her shoulders slumped. Either it was a new realization, or it was the first time it had been defined out loud. She didn’t answer.

“You’re causing yourself needless pain, and wasting mental energy that could be used to discover a better technique for wormhole creation, something that likely never even occurred to Doctor Eden,” Eve continued.

“I don’t know why,” Kari blurted out. “That’s why I’m here.”


NRPG: This is totally Shawn’s fault for having that brilliant scene in the turbolift at the beginning of the mission. ;-) Not sure if we’ll see any more ‘Chronicles of Crow’ or not.

Some of the posts have her nickname as Kari and some as Karri, I chose the shorter spelling for convenience. (If that's wrong please feel free to correct it when posting to the website.)

Susan Ledbetter
Lieutenant Eve Dalziel


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