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Irene Mincine

A Bad Week

Several days had passed since the USS Mont Blanc had picked up the crew of the stricken Excalibur. It would be some time before they arrived at the starbase. This left many people with not much to do in the meantime. They were at least being taken on the Starfleet equivalent of a cruise ship, so there was at least the badly needed leisure that so many people needed after their temporal adventure.

Irene was one of those people who needed a break. The adventure began with her getting skewered on the bridge, continued with the disastrous attempt to get everyone home that nearly killed her and everyone else, and ended with her watching her quantum double disappear into the ether. Logically she knew that the clone went back to wherever it came from, but emotionally this was another blow.

She had been observed and interviewed by the Excalibur’s counselor, as had many of her crewmates. It seemed to the counselor that of them all, she was one of the worst off. During the slow trek home and starting even before, when the Enterprise-C had been around, her usual confidence and brashness seemed to be gone. It was replaced with not a timidity which didn’t become a Klingon woman, but a curt attitude to others and a destructive impulse. She became quick to anger and impatient. And worse, with no duty to focus on for the moment, she had far too much time on her hands.

She did a lot of thinking during this time. She went over the circumstances over and over in her mind. If only she had done this, or investigated that, the Excalibur might be in one piece, the planet wouldn't have been destroyed and maybe restored, and they wouldn’t have needed to mess with the timeline as much, and the Enterprise-C wouldn’t have been needed. Maryse and others had tried to convince her that everything was fine and there was nothing she could have done. She had been trying to convince herself of that, too. Everything that happened was unforeseeable and it was all experimental. Experiments succeed and they sometimes fail.

Irene was, foremost, a scientist, and she had made an educated guess about what would happen at every stage. Unlike genetic analysis of a tomato, the guesses she made had a tremendous impact on the people around her. She was just an ensign barely a year out of the academy! This kind of responsibility wasn’t supposed to fall to her, but where else would it fall? Irene Mincine, daughter of P’Lor, of the Great House of Morvath, didn’t shirk from her duties or her responsibilities. But was it too much for her?

While her friends had taken the opportunity to hit up all the amenities of a Galaxy-class starship– the generous holodeck space, the recreation areas, the arboretums, Ten Forward— she had stayed mostly in her guest quarters on deck 16. Sure, she’d gone to Ten Forward, and she’d surreptitiously swiped a few bottles from the collection of the bartender. She had gotten good at that over the years, going back to her days at Vek’s in San Francisco.

Her week of travel had become, essentially, one long bender. The room was a mess of empty bottles, both authentic and synthetic. She’d curled up in her bed and locked the doors. Anything to make her forget about what she’d done to the Excalibur and what she’d put its crew through. In her mind, it was all because of her.

Edited by Irene Mincine

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