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Irene Mincine


Valerie Carillon was out like a light. She was being carried back to her quarters by a few drafted orderlies. Sickbay had a look at her after she passed out - it turns out she'd taken way too many of the emergency energy pills to get through her double shift on the bridge. She just needed to sleep it off, and there was no room in sickbay for her.

The orderlies tucked her into bed in her quarters. There was no risk of waking her up, nothing short of a nuclear explosion next to her would do that. The high of the energy pills was matched only by the low when they wore off.

She had very strange dreams that night. Dreams of falling, dreams of battle, dreams of a strange world where up was down and black was white.

The strangest dream of all was one of being on the ground, on a dark planet, shooting Jem’Hadar. She'd had this dream many times before and attributed it to her experiences during the war - though she was a pilot and not a ground pounder, she had often read of ground offensives or heard of them from her friends in the Marines.

This dream was slightly different. The battle kept happening over and over. She aimed her rifle, shot a Jem’Hadar soldier, advanced, and ran back to the start. She shot a soldier, advanced, and ran back. Why was she always running back? What was the voice telling her to shoot, advance, and go back? Why did it feel so real?

She lost count of how many times she participated in this cycle before waking up, drenched in the sweat of fear. She was so sick of this dream. Twelve hours had passed, according to the computer. She was sitting at her work desk, not in bed. Must have sleepwalked, it happens with the drugs in the pep pills. 

On a note pad, she had scrawled the Greek letter sigma over and over. She recycled it in the replicator.

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