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Irene Mincine


Irene left the meeting room distraught. The Excalibur was being decommissioned, and in her mind, it was all her fault. She had the self-control to at least not grab a bottle of bubbly as everyone filed out of what ended up being a wake for the ship.

            She pondered what was going to be next for her career. Was she doomed to sit station-side forever? Exobiologists and xenogeneticists were in demand for science ship postings, so probably not. But it might be a while before she finds an open spot that isn’t right back where she started, especially when your record is as… spotty as hers in places.

            The consensus of her personnel reviews was that she was a bright and driven scientist. They also said that she had displayed poor judgment in interpersonal relations, a streak of impulsiveness that was definitely going to land her in trouble, and other things that didn’t bode well for one’s Starfleet career. 

            Irene looked at her PADD. Her schedule had filled up with therapist sessions and orders to exercise and stop drinking courtesy of Dr. Dubois and the starbase’s medical staff. She decided that following Maryse’s orders was a good idea.

            Before she went back to her quarters, Irene stopped by the starbase’s lounge area for a little afterparty. There were a few other Excalibur crew members there, too. She took a seat near another blueshirt she sorta recognized. “Ensign… Valdar! Geology, right?”

            The other blueshirt was a Trill about the same age as her. She had short brown hair and spots the same color, contrasting against her fair skin. She smiled warmly. “Stellar cartography. You’re a biologist, yeah? Uh… Mincine? I don’t think we ran into each other much on the ship, but after that meeting I could use some familiar company.”

            Irene ordered up a glass of water to clear her incoming headache. “Yeah. I wasn’t expecting my first tour to end with a decommissioning.”

            “Bad timing, that’s all,” Ensign Valdar said before sipping her drink. Irene wasn’t sure what it was, but from the ensign’s facial expression it was something strong. “I was aboard for three years. You?”

            Irene frowned lightly. “Just about a year for me. I’m hoping I don’t have to start my career over on my next ship.”

            Ensign Valdar shook her head. “You had the scores to land a biology slot as a fresh cadet, right? You’ll land one as a one-year ensign.” She sipped her drink. “I can’t believe it’s gone. It wasn’t even that long ago it was top-of-the-line.”

“Yeah, I can’t believe it either…” Irene stared at her drink, feelings of guilt bubbling to the surface. 

Ensign Valdar noticed this and changed the subject as fast as she could. “Say, did you really knock out N’Dak with one punch?”

Irene lit up again, laughing. “That guy’s a lech! Yeah, he tried to grab my ass at the bar on a starbase before the last mission. Taught him a lesson about that.” They spoke a while longer about this and that, then planned a discreet rendezvous later that evening.

Irene’s mood improved over the next month, thanks both to her new friend, a long rest, and the intensive therapy she had been going through. She was starting to learn that it really wasn’t her fault that the ship was wrecked in the time stream. She had done all she could. Nobody could have anticipated anything that came up, because nobody had ever done anything like it before.

As the weeks passed, she took a few shifts in the starbase’s xenobiology department to keep her skills sharp. As much as she needed the rest, performing simple experiments made her feel better and useful. The glowing recommendation she got from Commander Moharri, the section chief, couldn’t hurt her chances of finding a new posting when she was ready for full active duty again either.

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