LT JG Karen Stendhal - The warm hug of a glass of red wine...

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Sep 23, 2023, 5:26:28 AM9/23/23
(OCC: A Flash ack about Karen's LOA and her recovery)

(Chateau Stendhal, France, Earth)

Karen Stendhal was exhausted. She had just emerged from a two-year period in a state of induced coma inside a stasis chamber on Betazed. Prior to this, she had been exposed to a deadly disease caused by an alien healing device found on P32X75. 

She had survived, thanks to the medical intervention of a team guided by Doctor  Reventlov, but she had suffered severe physical and mental damage. She had lost most of her hair, her skin was pale and scarred, and her eyes were dull and lifeless. She had also lost her empathic abilities, which had been her greatest asset as a counselor. She felt numb and empty, unable to connect with anyone or anything.

She had decided to take a leave of absence from Starfleet and return to Earth, to her ancestral home in France. She had hoped that the familiar surroundings and the loving care of her grandad Julien Stendhal would help her heal and recover. Julien was a retired Starfleet officer who had served as a diplomat and a historian. He was also a wine maker who owned a chateau and a vineyard in the countryside. He was a kind and gentle man who adored his granddaughter and welcomed her with open arms.

Karen arrived at the chateau and was greeted by Julien, who hugged her and kissed her on both cheeks.

Julien Stendhal: Bonjour, ma chérie. I’m so happy to see you Trisha. You look beautiful.

He lied, of course, but Karen appreciated his effort. 

Karen Stendhal: Bonjour, grand-père. I’m happy to see you too. You look well.

She lied too, of course, as she noticed his wrinkles and his gray hair and he was worried about her.

They entered the chateau and settled in Karen’s old room, which was decorated with pictures and souvenirs from her childhood.

Julien Stendhal: I’ve prepared everything for you. You can rest here as long as you want. I’ll bring you some food and wine later. :: He smiled and said.:: And don’t worry about anything. You’re safe here. You’re home.

Karen thanked him and lay down on the bed. She felt tired and sleepy, but she also felt restless and anxious. She closed her eyes and tried to relax, but she couldn’t. She kept having nightmares and flashbacks of the disease, the pain, the fear, the isolation. She woke up several times, sweating and shaking, crying out for help.

Julien heard her cries and rushed to her room. He sat down on the bed and held her in his arms.

Julien: Shh, shh, it’s okay. It’s over. You’re alive. You’re here with me. ::He stroked her hair and kissed her forehead.:: I’m here for you. I love you. 

He sang to her 'Le Mon chat', an old French lullaby that he used to sing to her when she was a baby.

Karen felt his warmth and his love. She clung to him and sobbed into his chest. 

Karen: I’m sorry, grand-père. I’m sorry for being weak. I’m sorry for being broken.” 

Julien: No, no, you’re not weak. You’re not broken. You’re strong. You’re brave. You’re amazing. :: He said.:: You’ve been through so much, ma chérie. You’ve saved so many lives with your courage and your compassion. You’ve made me so proud of you. ::He said:: And you’ll get better, I promise you. You’ll heal and recover. You’ll find yourself again.

He said these words over and over again until Karen fell asleep in his arms.

The next day, Julien took Karen outside for a walk in the vineyard.

So Karen recovered from her illness gradually, with the help of her grandad Julien and the natural beauty of the vineyard. She walked with him every day, breathing the fresh air and admiring the green leaves and the purple grapes. She listened to his stories and his wisdom, learning about his life and his heritage. She helped him with the wine making process, picking the grapes, crushing them, fermenting them, bottling them. She tasted the wine and enjoys its flavor and aroma. She felt alive and connected to the earth and to her family. 

Like Julien Stendhal often sais: Nothing better than the warm hug of a glass of red wine to heal your soul.



Liutenant JG Karen Trisha Stendhal
Starbase 118 Ops  
ID: C239604KS0
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