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Irene Mincine


Irene opened her eyes. She was laying down, looking up at a stormy sky, thunder and lightning. Water sprayed her. She realized it was more than just rainwater, when it sprayed red in the heavy wind. She was on some kind of seafaring vessel. Her mind was foggy, more like she hadn’t slept in a week than that she just woke up.

She climbed to her feet, the rocking of the deck making her queasy - it came to her that she never was comfortable on watercraft. Irene also realized she was wearing a Klingon warrior’s uniform, not a Starfleet uniform. It was heavy and uncomfortable, metal and leather everywhere.    The ship was enormous, made of more wood than metal. The deck was totally flat and lined with empty wooden benches. It looked more like the churches she had seen in computer archives than any kind of ship she had ever seen.

Her confusion began to clear up, but she was still unsure of what exactly was going on. Her situation hit her like a bullet to the head. She scrambled to the rail, looking out over the side. 

An endless river of blood stretched out in all directions.

Irene collapsed to her knees in front of the rail. She never thought she’d end up here, the place from her mother’s stories about how she had to be a good girl and grow up to be an honorable person. What had she done to deserve this? Why was she being ferried on the barge of the dead? There had to be a mistake!

“Why? Why am I here!?” She cried out, choking back tears. 

“You know better than anyone else why you’re here, Irene, daughter of P’Lor.” said a voice behind her.

Irene scrambled around, her back to the rail. Standing above her, larger than life, was an older male Klingon. She remembered him from her mother’s stories, as well. “You’re Kortar, the ferryman.”

“She taught you well, I see,” he replied with a faint smile. “Though not well enough, if you’re here. It’s not often that I receive half-breeds!” He ran a finger over her forehead ridges, fainter than a full Klingon’s but still prominent. She growled and slapped his hand away. Kortar let out a hmph.

Irene tried to pull herself together with a deep breath. Her mind cleared further, unlocking the more rational side of her personality that knew this was all ridiculous. “None of this is real. They’re just legends. There is no afterlife. There is no Kortar, there is no barge, there is no Gre’thor…” Deep down, she knew these things were true, but in her current state she was far more vulnerable to the kinds of thoughts that were pushing her over the edge.

“Do you remember what your mother told you on your Day of Ascension?” Kortar asked, with a hint of a proud smile.

Irene stood up, leaning on the rail to stabilize herself. “Of course I do. She told me that nothing matters more than a warrior’s deeds. I think there was a quote from Kahless, too.”

“I will summarize your deeds for you, Starfleet.” The final word came out of Kortar’s mouth with a hint of disgust. “You came up with a plan to get your friends home. Every part of the plan contained a piece of you. Your blood powered the mechanism. You ran the machinery that broke down. You crippled your vessel. You killed your shipmates. You destroyed all of that precious planet’s life. You failed! Miserably!”

With each statement, Irene felt worse. “But I… but I saved the ship! I saved them! I…” Her legs went weak. “And I... I died doing it, didn’t I?”

Kortar replied coldly. “If you hadn’t insisted on doing it your way from the very beginning, none of this would have happened! This is not honor! These are the deeds of a selfish brat, not a Klingon warrior!”

Lightning filled the sky.

“I… I can’t be dead. There’s no way. I’m not really here. I… no, none of this is happening. You’re not real! I want to go home!”

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