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Lieutenant Sidney Pierce - To Choices


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((Pierce's Quarters, USS Apollo))

::The updates to her medical log were sporadic, incomplete. Pierce worked diligently trying to detail her headaches by duration and intensity. She wrote out the descriptions of her empathic 'visions' longhand on paper before dictating each one. The most intense one had been during the mission briefing, but the more the counselor thought about it, the more she remembered. Little flickers of colour or sound, easily dismissed as fatigue. Something was certainly happening here. She hadn't dosed in around half a day. Minimal headaches.::

oOStill possible those visions are hallucinations. Can't rule that out.Oo

::She still hadn't been in for her cranial scan, but that could wait. Detailing this process was more important, especially if something was going right. Or wrong. She leaned back and shouted towards the replicator for a cup of pumpkin curry soup. Eyes narrowed at the screen for any typos or inconsistencies, she slid her chair back and unzipped her jacket, finally desiring to change the shirt underneath. Stopping at her wardrobe she changed the slightly damp grey shirt for a sleeveless teal one, hanging her jacket in the closet. She wasn't quite off duty, there was still another hour or so, but if she received a call it wouldn't take a moment to slip her uniform back on.::

::Sidney let out a long, pleased sigh as she put the first spoonful of soup into her mouth. The portion size was small, but it was sometimes hard to convince her stomach to eat food after a tiring day. That required working out the knots first. Within minutes, though, she had devoured her soup and made a second cup, this time with bread and butter. She almost felt like a real person again. Almost, not quite.::

((Flashback – 2381 – Betazed))

Isla Reed: No. That's not happening.

::Sidney looked down at the table. Her parents were together for dinner for the first time in several years; unsurprisingly arguing over something. Something Sidney herself had said, of all things. She felt a ball of guilt begin to form in her stomach.::

Lionel Pierce: If it's what she wants, I'd like to see it happen.

Isla: Starfleet, Lionel? Really? That bunch of stuffed shirts?

Lionel: … the same people that, nine times out of ten, are funding your salary in some way? Or do you think that the work you do is funded entirely by the faceless corporations you work for?

:: Isla's eyes narrowed. Sidney balled her hands up, hoping the argument was almost at an end.::

Isla: Does it make you feel good to belittle my job?

Lionel: ::stammering:: T-that... that's not even what I... ::He brought up one hand, covering his eyes:: We're getting off-topic. If Josie wants to go into Starfleet, see the world, I say we let her.

::He lowered his voice, maybe thinking that because he was far away, Sidney couldn't hear him. He was wrong.::

Lionel: This is one of the only times she's ever asked for anything.

Isla: ::hushed:: Except for a change of school after staying here with you.

Lionel: It's just as hard to raise a child on exploratory missions and deep-earth surveys as it is on a planet whose primary race is empaths. She stuck it out. ::He looked at Sidney:: She was very brave about it.

:: Her mother looked at her. The terraformer's blue-gray gaze cut through the wall of silence Sidney had put around herself and forced her to stare back.::

Isla: What do you want to do?

::That had been such an easy thing before. Sidney knew she wanted to help people and would go to Starfleet to do it. Different races, all working together to bring the Federation closer to harmony. Now that her mother was looking at her, that seemed stupid.::

Sidney: Help people.

::She paused, and Lionel nodded for her to continue. He could always tell when she had an unfinished thought.::

Sidney: I don't know how, yet. Maybe as an engineer, or an architect. Or a science officer. ::looking between her parents:: You're both scientists. That means I'm genetically predisposed to have a good logic center, right?

::Her mother laughed softly.::

Isla: You've been spending too much time with your Dad at work.

Lionel: She's like this all the time. Soaks up medical transcripts like a sponge. Tests better than a lot of Terrans can on active and passive observation, too. ::chuckle:: I'm making her sound like a patient.

::Both of the adults laughed. Sidney thought back to a time where all of their dinners had been together, to a time where there had been endless video calls from her mother when she was away for work. She thought about sitting on her mother's lap as her parents explained why they weren't going to be in the same house anymore. Being asked to choose.::

Isla: The test score requirements are high.

::The young girl's heart jumped. There was a chance, she needed to act quickly.::

Sidney: I'm already almost a year and a half accelerated. I'm the youngest in all of my classes.

::Isla looked at Lionel, who shrugged.::

Lionel: I could have told you, but I didn't think the point five of a year mattered. She's not two years ahead of the curve.

::Her mother finally nodded her ascent, and Sidney's face brightened like a sunrise. Her father passed over the menu and asked what she'd like as a celebratory desert. Pie and ice cream. It was always pie and ice cream.::

((End Flashback))

::Two cups of soup and bread away, Sidney found herself going back to the replicator one last time. She ordered a slice of apple pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. As it formed, her mouth was already turning up at the sight of it. She had done her job today. She had earned this.::

Lieutenant Sidney Pierce

Counselor

USS Apollo

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