Chapter 3: In which White Trash Janeway sunbathes on her roof and the cavalry are called in.
White Trash Janeway, My One True Love
“Full disclosure: I did not want to call you.”
I looked at the squinting face of Tal Celes. We were standing in Janeway’s frontyard, and both of us were squinting against the full and blinding sun. The yard seemed to be squinting, too. It was half green and half yellow, and just a tad overgrown.
“You don’t say,” I said.
“Well, I wanted to call Harry, but he’s on Deep Space 6, and I guess I could’ve called Tuvok, but she can’t even look him in the eye when she’s sober, and I absolutely wasn’t going to–”
I squinted harder, and she stopped talking before she could say that she hadn’t wanted to contact her former Astrometrics lab boss, which I was 100% certain was the next name she was going to drop.
“Well, you called me, and I’m here. What’s the situation?”
She turned toward the front porch briefly and heaved a large sigh. She turned back to me and put a hand to her forehead to shield her eyes.
“Um. Well.” She bit her lip, and it was like we were back on Voyager and she was telling me about how she screwed up aligning a sensor. I squared my shoulders and acted like her boss’s boss again.
“Well?” I said, as gruff and Klingon-chief-engineer as I could muster.
“I–I don’t know how well you know the Admiral anymore… But social functions really take it out of her,” she said, shifting her weight.
“Ok…?” My voice was still sarcastic and annoyed, but something was pinging in my stomachs—something familiar and unpleasant and guilty and scared.
“Well, I thought it was that. You know. A usual bender after a social occasion. Where she would hole up with some jazz and whiskey for a day and then be– Well, not herself, but– like usual. Like asking me to get her Chinese at 3am and then telling me I’m stupid for doing it and that she didn’t deserve my charity. You know.” She shrugged.
I blinked. Was this really Tal’s life? She shifted her weight again and continued her monologue:
“But. I– it’s bad. It’s the same Edith Piaf album on repeat. And so much whiskey. And–well, the replicator.”