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Sleepless

Posted on Mon Aug 13th, 2018 @ 11:40pm by Captain Charlotte Reynolds

Captain’s Personal Log, Stardate 2263.248,

I had the dream again. Or memory, rather. Just as vivid as ever. Just as painful as ever.

It started like it always does, in my quarters back on the Zheng He. I wake up alone. The room is overly quiet. The ship isn’t at warp. Alina’s gotten up and she’s off somewhere already. She somehow always did that.

I’m too heavy a sleeper and she’s too damn quiet.

I get up get and start getting ready. It’s just like any other day. Then I get the call. ‘Commander Reynolds, please report to the Bridge.’

And of course, he’s there. Wouldn’t want to miss a chance to see me fail. Admiral’s pips displayed a bit too proudly as his image overlays across the view of the Tempest. He almost looks pleased with himself. Charlotte’s failed again, just like he knew she would. It had been a while, but his patience paid off. And he relishes the moment. Plays up the drama. Then, he goes for the big finale. He parades Alina in front of the screen. She’s already in handcuffs, stripped of rank. She won’t meet my eyes. He informs me of just how much I didn’t know. About my crew, about command, about my own limitations. And about her.

And then the screen goes blank and the Tempest warps away. No closure. No chance to explain myself. No chance to demand answers. Just like that, my life is uprooted.

It won’t be long now before even my ship isn’t mine anymore. Though he wouldn’t quite get what he wished. He can’t control everything after all. I might be his daughter, but I’m also a Starfleet officer. Admiral Denovitz spares me a second humiliation, puts me up for a promotion to Captain instead. Assigns me one of the finest ships in the fleet. It would turn out I’m not quite as alone as my father claimed. But that all comes later.

In this moment, I’m just Commander Charlotte Reynolds. Betrayed by her lover XO. Humiliated by her Admiral father. And all too keenly aware of the intricate web connecting her personal flaws to her professional ones.

My face is redder than the Ops Chiefs uniform. And the whole crew sees it. In this moment, I’m not the captain anymore. I’m just the girl who sits in the center chair. The girls whose father just scolded her on a live comm channel, as if she were in grade school again. The girl who didn’t keep her eyes open enough to know the woman next to her was a criminal.

And that hurts more than anything else. I didn’t see it. I was so wrapped up in “us” that I didn’t see “her.” And she played me for the fool that I was.

I was too heavy a sleeper, and she was too damn quiet.

And then I’m awake again, back aboard Defiant. I prefer it here, of course. It’s safer. But the shame lingers. And I know it’ll be back again tomorrow night.

It’s no wonder I’m struggling to connect with my new crew.

I know I should talk to a counsel, but who the hell has the time? Besides, Defiant doesn’t have one aboard and I don’t expect we will for a while. So it’s just you and me for now, Computer.

I’ll try and get some sleep. Until tomorrow night at least.

 

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