Taryn opened her eyes slowly. Her head throbbed and her throat felt dry. The timeless side-effect of hanging out with the “cool kids” – or being the cool kid – was instantly recognizable. She couldn’t remember exactly who had sneaked the bottle of real alcohol into the station and the memories of the events of the past night was still very hazy, but there was only one reason for her to feel what she was feeling now. Hangover. And a massive one.
She rolled onto her stomach painfully and looked at the bed across from her. She sighed in relief when she saw that Stella was on her bunk. It’s true, she had seen better days. The other cadet was lying on what was probably a very uncomfortable position, the clothes she wore the previous night still on her lean body. Her short blond hair was all over the place and she’d probably have a hard time fixing it when she finally woke up.
Taryn wasn’t much better herself, to be honest. Like her bunkmate, she still had her terribly wrinkled clothes on.
“Computer”, she called, waiting for the chime before continuing, “Time”.
“It is now seven hours and thirty two minutes, station time”, the familiar voice answered.
“Stella, wake up”, she shouted, still lying down.
“Ugh… I think I was ran over by a ship…”, she heard Stella groan from across the room, as she woke up.
“Yeah”, Taryn said, sitting up slowly, “The USS Moonshine… Quite the way to celebrate the end of our last week as irresponsible cadets, huh?”
“Someone is feeling confident today”, Stella answered, getting up from her bunk and making her way to the replicator, “Computer, two glasses of water, very large, cold… Here you go”
Taryn eagerly stood up and took the glass from Stella’s hand, drinking it all in one go and earning a weird look from her colleague.
“What?” Taryn asked, shrugging, “I’m thirsty”.
“Clearly…”, the other cadet said, sitting back on her bunk and placing her palm on her temple, “You know, we could have done this when we got here, a week ago, instead of the day before our fracking test…”
“Don’t be silly, this is how you wanna show up to your final simulation”, Taryn said, dismissively as she walked back to the replicator and ordered another glass of water.
“Yeah, sure, being hung over is a great way to problem solve and stand out and stuff”, Stella answered, the sarcasm seeping through her words.
“Of course it is”, Taryn began, between gulps, “Come on, how many cadets come through here a year? A thousand? And how many of those are starry eyed, stuck up model Starfleet brats? Well, I’ll tell you how many this year, nine hundred and ninety eight”.
“And your point is?”
“Well, think about it. Who do you think will fare better out there? The nine hundred ninety eight kids out of the factory or the two who showed up to their test hung over and still managed to pass with flying colors? Cheer up!”
Taryn finished up her glass of water and placed it back on the replicator.
“Now come on, let’s get ready and pass this thing so we can impress our shipmates with this story next week”, she said, with a smirk.