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Irene Mincine

The Surface

It was Irene Mincine’s first command, so to speak, and it seemed to be going well. Four scientists from the new Excalibur were on the surface of Elasia in one of the unexplored southern jungles. 

Irene was the exogeneticist happily bagging up insects; Ensign Valdar, geologist (and her latest fling), was taking rock samples for elemental analysis; Ensign Horochuk, a botanist from Earth fresh out of the academy, was cataloging plant life; Ensign Tiran, another biologist from a cold-weather planet, was complaining about the heat, the bugs, and pretty much everything about the jungle biome.

“I hate these flying insects,” Ensign Tiran whined as he slapped another one off his forearm, leaving a tiny drop of blood behind.

“You’ve used twice as much repellant spray as everyone else, Tiran,” said Irene. “Maybe they like your earthy scent.” Valdar and Horochuk laughed at Tiran’s expense. “It’s getting dark, though. Maybe we can call it a night.”

The sun was rapidly setting, the sky turning bright orange and purple. It was a breathtaking sight. Horochuk, in charge of the holographic camera, took plenty of pictures of it all.

Lt. Hakran had given her the thumbs-up to remain on the surface for a few days so they had set up camp in a small clearing with easy access to water for their filter canteens. Old-fashioned tents made sure that they disturbed the ecosystem as little as possible with no permanent structures or garbage left behind.

All in all, it was a productive trip to the surface.

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