Obsidian Command

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Calling Home

Posted on 29 Mar 2021 @ 7:47pm by Commander Calliope Zahn

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: OC Recovery Ward, Rm 08
Timeline: MD02 1845
965 words - 1.9 OF Standard Post Measure

Calliope was sitting on the floor where she had shoved all of her personal possessions. After a while of staring at the wall, she had let herself down from the side of the bed, sifted through her things for a pad and put an audio comm through to her mother. She figured she should probably connect with her before the grapevine got around.

After her mother had answered, they’d been talking a few minutes about light things— how the dogs were, which neighbor had been cited for burning without a permit, the fact that Bernie's garage was still running, now under his grandson. Then she broached a question she’d had on her mind.

“Mom, when I moved to Beldin High, did they tell you that there was meant to be counseling with the Vamiraxil?”

“They did.”

“But we stopped seeing the counselor. How did you keep getting it refilled?”

“I didn’t mention we had stopped going and they never asked, just assumed. You said you didn't want to go. So we just didn’t make another appointment. The office made one followup call and… I told them we were seeing someone else. That was the last they talked to us. You said you'd told it all enough times to me, the principal, the officers, the lawyers, the psychiatrist. You said you didn’t want to re-live it any more.”

“— I remember.”

“You said if you could just stop talking about it, you could put it all away, like it happened to someone else, to ‘Not-Calliope’. And we made a promise. Do you remember our promise? We promised to stop talking about it, so you could get back to being Calliope again. And I got you that prescription and we got our lives back—”

They had. They had done it. It had felt like it was her and her mother against the world, but it really did happen. She’d moved on. Almost. As long as she had her medication, that had bolstered the door to the locked closet where she put away those nightmare months.

“—You chased down your dreams and made it to space. You're an unstoppable force, Baby. Look at where you are now!”

Calliope picked at the hem of her blouse. Her mother really hadn’t heard the news yet. She supposed if they had, their phone call wouldn’t have opened with ten minutes about her mother’s boyfriend’s new hover bike. She supposed she had to broach the topic somehow. “Mom.... I... the Vamiraxil. I kept taking the prescription against advisement.”

“What do you mean, against advisement?”

“The doctors, years ago, after the Academy, on my first assignments, they started saying there were studies that Vamiraxil could be detrimental long term. I just signed their informed waivers.”

“Baby,” Her mother’s voice went up a worried octave. “Are you okay?”

“Mom... I'm.... I'm in a recovery ward. I'm okay, now. I’m going to be okay eventually. I'm going to be on a series of intensive therapies for a year, and maintenance after that probably for the rest of my life.”

“...”

“Mom?”

There was a sharp intake of breath— a gasp after a shock. “I'm here baby. I'm here for you. This is my fault.”

“It's not. It's not your fault.”

“It is, it is my fault. I should have gotten you the counseling.”

“No,” Calliope insisted, wanting to put a stop to that. “ No, you protected me. You were everything I needed, Mom. I needed to put it away and heal. I needed to stop trying to explain it and justify myself to everyone. I healed. I don't live with those things. I'm not a trauma victim, because you heard me when I said it had to stop.” She slumped and looked at her empty hand. “Still, it just couldn’t end there. Every morning I took my medication and was so thankful. And then... I got to OC. When the doctor told me it had done irreparable damage, I just... I wanted to deal with it later. She ended my prescription, but didn't mention surrendering what I had left. So I kept taking it. But I was running out so... I did something unethical trying to get more synthesized. I just... I kept reasoning it was just for now, that the damage was already done, I wasn't ready. I was afraid...”

“Oh no, no,” her mother said, sensing there was more bad news.

“I've been put on report by Admiral Sepandiyar. I lost it, I lost my posting on Obsidian Command. I've broken Starfleet ethical code and I'm on record for substance abuse. I've tanked my whole career.”

“You built that career!”

“Well, sure! While I was destroying it all along.”

“Calliope. It's not the end of your career.”

“How is it not the end of my career?”

“Every great name on the books has been on report or under investigation, or furloughed at some point. I'd bet you the Admiral who put you on report has been put on report. It's practically a requirement for officers of legend.”

“Yeah,” Calliope smirked. “But usually for breaking the prime directive to save a planet or something.”

“So?” Her mother said teasingly, “Make a checklist of the rules you'll have to break on the way to greatness.”

Calliope snorted a laugh. “Okay, yeah, I'll do that. 'Break all the rules.'”

“Are you writing it down?”

“I'm writing it down.”

“Go make it happen, baby.”

Calliope smiled.

“Hon?” Her mom asked, “Are you seeing a counselor now?”

“A Counselor and a Doctor and a Priest.”

“Seriously? Or are you starting a bad joke?”

“No, I really am. I’m talking to someone. I love you, Mom.”

“I love you too, Calli. I’m glad you called.”

 

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