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Cmdr JFarrington

Chalice and the Crucible

"Chalice and the Crucible"


<A Vilanne Chalice and Jami Farrington log, compiled partially from the chat log last week, which marked a major pivotal point in the development of Vilanne's character.>

~I have read my personal files. I presume you and I need to talk - in depth.~

Vilanne. Personal files. It took a while, but Jami finally sifted her memory enough to realize what Vilanne's message was about. Oh gods. With all that had been piled upon her lately - the shift to counseling, the loss of the Wyvern, and everything that went before - she had totally forgotten, and apparently Vilanne, as the newly appointed Chief of Medicine, had finally read her own file. How could I have been so stupid?

She excused herself from the bridge. Swallowing her self-deprecation and resolved to not make any assumptions, she vowed to let Vilanne lead the discussion.

~from Scattered Lives - A Vilanne-Jami Log~

The entrance to sick bay seemed imposing, maybe even threatening, as she stepped through the doors on her way to Vilanne's office. The shades were drawn and the "conference" light was on, indicating the Chief Medical Officer was not to be disturbed, so Jami took her time, wandering among those on duty. It seemed that the rumors of finding the Wyvern were way out of control, but she refused to answer questions, no matter how hard they pressed. She finally managed to excuse herself and pressed the chime.


"Who calls?" It seemed a strange response, since Vilanne had called her down, but Jami brushed it off.



"Doctor Farrington."


"Come in." She sounded short and clipped, but to be expected. Jami had already shifted into professional mode hoping it would help her cope with the impending turmoil.


Vilanne sat at her desk with what appeared to be her own medical file spread out before her. Since each hard-copy backup was color coded, it was obvious she had been reading about her surgery. She snapped the file closed.


"Commander," she said stiffly.


"You wanted to talk?" As difficult as it was to maintain the professional distance needed in this situation, Jami managed.


"I... figured we'd make an appointment or something. Is this a good time?" It had to be a good time, or why else would the counselor come running down from the bridge during operations. Vilanne withheld any emotion, so far.


"This is fine, Doctor. Unless you're busy," Jami said, glancing at the files.


"Not, really.... Please, make yourself comfortable." She hoped Jami was ready to answer some serious questions. These were just a few that were taunting her since coming across this information.


Jami relaxed in the easy chair on the opposite side of the desk, hoping it would make her counterpart a little more comfortable; Vilanne was obviously struggling.


"Commander. Jami," she began without holding back, and trudged right into the middle of the mess that was tearing her up, "I was rather floored when I came across a pile of files that Chief Mele was still processing. My medical file was in there. I thought all my issues were resolved when my fever broke and I was released to active duty some time ago. I assume you know why they .. well, you... held this information back from me?"


Remain calm. Ask for specifics. Make no assumptions. "Which information, Vilanne?"


Inside, she was white knuckling it, already feeling her claws come out just to get answers. "The Borg junk! C'mon Jami! It's all right here! I have security codes now to access everything you held back. Please tell me there's a reason. Please tell me why, tell me anything."


"Yes, there was a reason," said Jami quietly. "Can I tell you the complete story? No. Can I tell you why I withheld the information? Yes. But I cannot tell you why Starfleet withheld the information; I can only give you my best guess."


Here Jami paused to gather her thoughts, and Vilanne seemed to be all right with that. Vil was apparently going to give Jami every minute she needed to answer - but answer thoroughly.


"You were assimilated into the collective, but not completely."


Vilanne thought, 'well, that answers the first question, go on Jami, please don't hold back on me.'


"When you were rescued, it was decided that, because of the situation with the Borg, for your personal protection, no one would know of your affiliation with them. Even you would not be told that you had been semi-assimilated. We -- and when I say 'we' I mean the senior medical officers at the time -- were instructed to tell you only when it became necessary. And," she took a deep breath to steady her voice, "I should have told you as soon as you had access. But I lost my focus with the Wyvern situation. I have no explanation, and I can only give you my sincere apology."


"Oh my goodness. This honestly, angers me. I mean, c'mon! It's not like this is a top secret thing above my rank, this is me we are talking about. I do not understand that at all. You do know this makes me older than just about everyone aboard this ship? Do you know my parents are dead?"


Her friend and colleague was justifiably angry. Jami deserved every word, every intense, powerful thought flung her way. She had no excuse so she would not attempt to give one, nor would she try to mitigate the anger; it would only make it worse.


"I am having trouble putting all of this together," Vilanne continued, tears welling up and beginning to flow freely. "I don't know who to trust. I don't know if I should go bang on Mele's door and ask him why the information was withheld, or stomp off into science and beg Jaiysa for an answer... or even examine our past friendship. Are you actually a friend, or were you placed as a babysitter by Starfleet?" She finally took a breath, and the tears that were welling up started pouring down continually from her flushed cheeks. With everything, she felt like she was either the enemy, or sitting across from it.


"There is no direct answer, Vilanne. Believe me, if there was one, I would give it to you. And, yes... we are all a part of the deception, for lack of a better word. And we have no excuse except that we believed it was for your own good."


Vilanne wasn't ready to delve into 'lets be friends' mode, so she ended up just rifling off the most important questions to her. "Give me one straight answer, ok? These engrams... can you get them out of me? Can I get my real memories back?"


"I don't know, Vilanne. I want to tell you we can. I want to say that you'll be what you were before - whatever that was - but I can't."


Vilanne took a long breath, thinking directly about how Jami was dodging the specific question and clearly swinging into professional ships counselor-mode. It was either badger Jami with the question over and over until it's answered, or try and filter through the psychological butter that was being smoothed over the conversation. It was like choosing a tactic. "So you are saying it is for my own good," which continued to frustrate Vilanne.


Jami sighed. "Have you ever had a patient who had such damage that you withheld some information from him? Ever had a patient who was on the verge of death, frightened beyond belief, and you comforted him by telling him that he was going to be all right?"


"Yes, I admit. You know that's part of standard procedure; but why would you do such a thing? Why do we not tell that patient the truth?"


"I get it, I get it. But I'm a doctor, I'm highly studied in things of this nature. Maybe that was their plan too." Dr Chalice reviewed her medical studies, wondering how that was manipulated as well, since her studies were in limb replacement and regeneration, internal organ regeneration, nerve and brain studies to the extreme, and somehow, they all fit into what had happened to her.


"And you don't believe that others, those who are not doctors, do the same thing?" Jami continued. "A mother tells a child who is hurt that a kiss will heal him. Why do we, as sentient, compassionate beings, hide the truth from an injured being at certain times?"


"Ok, I get it...." Vilanne held up her hand. It was too much of that counseling nature for her to think about, and go back through all the psychology of the situation from and outsider's point of view all at once.


The silence between them wasn't very long, but in Vilanne's mind, it was ages. "Where do I go from here?," she said quietly. "I mean, I have Borg implants for Pete sake! Can I live a normal life?"


"Have you lived a normal life since you came aboard?" ventured Jami. "Have you lived a normal life not knowing you had the implants?"


"You even sound like a shrink already."


"I am a shrink," Jami interjected in a lighter tone. "And you are a doctor. A fine doctor. You were before you knew you had the implants, and there is no reason you cannot continue. But it's your choice."


After another long silence, Vilanne continued, "Do you know what their plan for me was? I mean, they let so many die that were assimilated."


"Their plan for you was to have you live a normal life. And they did not let those die. They saved whomever they could. With our limited knowledge of Borg implants, you were one of the very few they were able to save.


"And... there are others."


"I know they did," said Vilanne with a wave of her hand. "I even did work on some. I am just flustered at the moment, and cannot get my thoughts together. Who else?"


"You will never know who they are."


"Wait, why would they not share that with me? I mean, I know now..." Vilanne briefly thought she should start a Borg Recovery program for those going through this psychological trauma.


"It's private information, Vilanne. Doctor-patient confidentiality."


She seemed content with that, sliding the files and PADD to one side of her desk, as if closing down the conversation but only for the moment. "And these engrams... can we get rid of them?"


"We can certainly try."

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