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A strong-willed, stubborn woman, Carlson was an acquaintance of James T. Kirk. Some time during the mid-2260s, Carlson was in command of the USS Collins when it experienced a series of explosions in Engineering, three days out from Starbase 45. The explosions could not be brought under control, though Carlson sent two engineering teams to their deaths in attempts to control them. When the USS Enterprise arrived to assist, a warp core breach due to antimatter containment failure was imminent, and the Collins was launching its escape pods. Consumed with guilt over the deaths, Carlson did not wish to leave the Collins and kept shields raised around the bridge, preventing herself from being beamed out. Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy beamed over to a point near the Collins's bridge and successfully convinced Carlson to allow herself to be rescued. (ST comic: "Spock: Reflections, Issue 3")