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Ensign Rachel Flores & Lt JG T'Ama - For Want of a Helmet

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(( This is the last sim in the exchange between the two, an emotional relatable end to this scene that needed to be shared :) ))


((Lieutenant JG T’Ama and Ensign Flores’s Quarters - Deck 19, USS Constitution-B))

Rachel spoke up and lifted the light aluminum cane off of the floor below her, demonstrating that she had just gotten back from sickbay. She sighed and realized that she was going to have to come clean with what exactly had happened. It was not something that she could keep a secret forever. Her injuries were affecting her too much to hide.


T’Ama: Oh… okay.


Flores: There was an accident on Arentis. An anti-grav hoverboard suffered a serious malfunction and propelled me into a wall head-first at full speed.


T’Ama: ::alarmed:: Were you wearing a helmet?


The whole thing was embarrassing, cosmic justice for her arrogance. She shook her head, fully revealing the patch of missing hair and the small osteogenic stimulator over the burr hole in her skull. Obviously, given the severity of her injury, she had not taken the right precautions.


Flores: No, I wasn’t.


T’Ama: Fyrshi…


It took a second to recall the medical terms for what had happened, how to describe the traumatic brain injury in terms worse than a simple concussion.


Flores: I suffered contusions and subdural haema-something.


T’Ama: Toma. How are you doing?


Flores: Honestly, not great. I’m off duty and basically useless as an engineer. I can’t recall basic technical facts and have difficulty with decision making. ::She sighed:: And I sort of killed Dunsel.


Bits of shattered monitor were still on the ground below the replicator with data lines exposed, and one of Dunsel’s googly eyes was just barely hanging on after being knocked loose by her swing with the cane.


T’Ama: ::gasping:: Dunsel!! ::walking closer to survey the damage:: Ohhhh, he had a face!


Rachel felt a single tear fall down her cheek. Even though it felt perfectly justified at the time, she now felt very bad about it. Especially since it also inconvenienced her friend and roommate.


Flores: I’m sorry. ::She wiped her eyes. Her mouth twisted into a sad, forced smile.:: But don’t worry, you don’t have to deal with that anymore. Privileges of rank!


It was bitter, jealous, angry, and self-serving. She was going to find a way to rain all over T’Ama’s parade and make her promotion an issue for herself, somehow. And it of course assumed the worst. Something she’d been doing since she woke up in the state she did. Of course her roommate would leave at the very first opportunity and she’d be left to cope with everything alone.


T’Ama: What do you mean by that?


Rachel frowned at the change of tone. As if she hadn’t just said what she said.


Flores: Merely a statement of fact regarding quarters assignment policies.


T’Ama: ::firmly:: That was a guilt trip, and I don’t do those.


Which it absolutely was. As much as she wanted to be mad some more and deny it, it was absolutely true. She was still angry about everything that had happened. She was disappointed with her inability to manage her condition. And she was honestly a bit scared of having to deal with it all without somebody regularly around to talk to. So maybe it was okay that she…


Flores: oO Nope, don’t you dare say that Rachel. That’s not an excuse to treat a friend like crap. Oo


She still wasn’t herself. Hell, she should probably still be in sickbay if she was going to break replicators and say terrible things to people. Less than one word into trying to mount some defense or excuse she gave up and admitted defeat. It had been a rude, ignorant thing to say. And it had been exactly as T’Ama called it. A guilt trip.


Flores: Well- ::Beat:: Yeah, it was. You’re right. I would give a heartfelt apology but I’d already started thinking about other stuff…


Apology undercut by a defensive bit of sarcasm, it seemed that her roommate had lost her patience for the Rachel Flores Mental Acrobatics Exhibition.


T’Ama: Okay, I’m getting overwhelmed and I have a shift starting in 37 minutes. I’m sorry this happened to you and that you have to deal with this. I hope you fully recover. I’m going to go now.


There were no more words to say. It was a bit too late to say something to actually apologize. She watched T’Ama do a quick inspection of her uniform in the mirror before heading for the door. As much as she wanted to ask her to wait, to say something to try and salvage the conversation, she had to respect T’Ama’s wishes not to talk about it further right now.


T’Ama: Bye, get better!


Rachel replied quietly.


Flores: ::Meekly:: Bye.


T’Ama left and Rachel thought about what had just happened. She’d certainly made better choices than that. Looking down at the cane she thought about hobbling back to sickbay where she couldn’t hurt the feelings of anyone besides the medical staff. Ellie had mentioned that emotional and behavioral control was something that her brain injury could impact. Although that didn’t make her feel any less awful about it. She cursed under her breath and wished she could immediately fall back asleep and not have to think about what she had done.


Flores: You’re an idiot, Rachel.


Edited by Jalana
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