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Lieutenant Sheila Bailey - Photos of Me

Alora DeVeau

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(Sheila’s Quarters, Starbase 118 Operations)


The mission was finally over. Over. The word over rang throughout her head. It was a large weight off her chest. It had at first been a mission full of productive planning before turning into a chaotic away mission full of a cacophony of voices. Voices of other team members, of crew, of friends. Voices inside her head. Her uncle's voice mixed with her voice. She wasn’t even sure what to make of it so at her first chance she ran off. 


Sheila wasn’t the fastest runner in the bunch. She would have been faster in a race if she was given a racing wheelchair. No matter she ran. Her first thought was that she wanted to hide, but then she didn’t want to be alone. Sheila ended up at her quarters. It wasn’t the most ideal place to be given how much it brought back reminders of home. Right now she didn’t need more reminders. Sheila knew though that if she didn’t step through those doors she would never be able to work on moving past the uncomfortableness. 


Stepping through the doorway Sheila blinked at the white brightness. The room beyond was almost unrecognizable after spending so much time on a shuttle, all grey and metal. It definitely didn’t feel real. She had entered a different world that sat somewhere between her life living on Elaysia and her currently living on a starbase. A world that made her feel uncomfortable. Like her nerves were being poked with a red hot iron. A new and somewhat frightening sensation. Thankfully she was able to, albeit with no grace, make it to the kitchen table where she sunk into a chair. 


Sitting didn’t make it better, nothing seemed to. It was like she had reached a turning point. A place in her life where one heavy weight seemed to get endlessly replaced. Yes she was glad the mission was over but at the same time it left a new almost harder to handle heavy tight band around her chest. It took energy, took mental processing yet…


Yet. That was always the most important word. Sheila used it now to tell herself that despite things being abnormally uncomfortable things would get better. Despite time getting away from her she would find reality again. 


Slowly, a fog pulled tight over her eyes, Sheila managed to rise from her chair. Her muscles were stiff needing a stretch. As she moved around she touched objects, taking a moment or two to feel the emotions each one brought her. The stone bowl on her kitchen table reminded her of her mother, Genevieve, how she would stand in the kitchen at home making breakfast despite her sadness. 


G Bailey: Come Jacqueline, I made your favorite. 


For a second she swore she heard her mother’s voice. It was a perfect likeness, the figure she saw and heard before shaking it all away. 


Entering the bedroom gave her a reflection of the mess her life was. She must not have had time to tidy up before the last mission started. Thankfully her bed had been untouched, her pink and green pastel knitted blanket laying perfectly on top. What wasn’t expected was the multiple pieces of paper that lay on top of that. On closer look the papers were drawings of her and her sisters. More of her than anyone else. 


Oh yes Sheila remembered these drawings. Her uncle had drawn them; obsessed. What stood out, jumping off the many pages was the way he had drawn them as human. They had eyebrow hair and smooth foreheads. It was like he wanted everyone to share in his vision; his sick obsessed vision. Coupled with that the drawings showed her as truly innocent. Willing to have been drawn despite the truth behind it. She hadn’t been willing at the time nor was she still innocent to her uncle’s reasons for having sat her down to be her model. She hadn’t been innocent since she was 13. The only good about the illustrations was the fact they showed how far she had come. They reminded her of a time she wasn’t willing to come back to. Made her want to get better. Not just for herself now or to show her uncle she was better than he made her but to prove to her younger self that there was hope. 


Carefully she found tape, hanging the art on the wall near her bed. Maybe one day she would add to the small collection. Add physical photos as well as artistic depictions of herself, more recent of course. Maybe she would even add photos and drawings of the crew, of her friends as a way to prove to herself that she was better. 


Maybe just maybe despite the band of tight restriction around her chest she would be able to loosen it. That things would get better. That she could take the bad, knowing it was bad, knowing that that part would never change, and find the good.


Lieutenant Sheila Bailey

Assistant Chief Medical Officer

Starbase 118 Ops


No woman should ever suffer at the hands of men - Sara Lance; Legends Of Tomorrow
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