Captain's Personal Log

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Nora Gerhadsen
Command - Rear Admiral
Command - Rear Admiral
Posts: 1324
Joined: 120908.1707
Duty Post: Chief, UF Starfleet Operations
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Grid: Second Life
Location: ME
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 73 times
Contact:

210413.2057

<light susurrations can be heard, as though the rustling of sheets>

All right... Open personal log, Stardate 210413. And back home, that's... What... I suppose that's 26 Gamosh, in the eighth year since Independence.

The memories gather around me, threaten to crowd me out of my own head. And yet I don't quite get them. It's like that thing you thought you saw out of the corner of your eye, but when you turn that way to look... It's gone. I can never summon a single concrete image out of them all. I don't know if that's the Doctor's memory block doing its best to protect me from the implanted engrams of someone who thinks himself a God.

I know better. He's no deity. He's just a powerful entity. I've dealt with those. More than one now. Including him, incidentally. And yet, I know he's in there, lurking in my mind, and if I'm not careful, he'll swallow me up, or act as spontaneous thwingleu treatment, leaving me a gibbering idiot.

ಸಮಯ ಮತ್ತು ಸ್ಥಳದ ಅನಂತತೆಗಳು, that's a lot to consider.

What's that, James? Oh, I did it again, didn't I. Uh... It feels like interjections are the easiest thing to bubble up through my consciousness. And that's an R'leyan one. It means... Um... 'Infinities of time and space.' I suppose it's the equivalent of 'Maker's breath' or 'Maker's dirty left shoe.' No... Not that latter one. That's ನನ್ನ ಆರಾಧಕರ ರಕ್ತ-ನೆನೆಸಿದ ಶವಗಳು, which actually means... Oh dear. I'm not even sure I should say it.

<A voice with a Scottish accent is heard, and then a sigh.>

Fine. That means 'blood-soaked corpses of my worshippers.'

<That Scottish voice is heard again.>

Obviously I don't have any worshippers, James. I don't want any, either. I'm /definitely/ no deity. I know better. But neither are they. And they might /not/ know better. I'm pretty sure Mn'Eclon doesn't. He believes his own hype.

Maker preserve us from false gods.

One of the weirdest things about this whole 'R'leyan issue' is that I'm finally sleeping through the night again. No more walls of faces! I'd say no more nightmares, but I think it's just that I don't quite comprehend the images my mind is getting these days. The long and the short of it is that whatever Mn'Eclon might consider a nightmare might well be lost in translation when it comes to me. Or maybe he sleeps the sleep of the innocent? Seems doubtful, but he did seem unburdened by any sense of responsibility for anything untoward. So who knows? I'm sleeping better than I have in years.

Hopefully it'll last. And hopefully I'm not sending out telepathic beams causing nightmares elsewhere on the ship. Or insanity.

ನನ್ನ ಆರಾಧಕರ ರಕ್ತ-ನೆನೆಸಿದ ಶವಗಳು. Seriously.

Actually, I shouldn't even speak this stuff, apparently. It has an effect on nearby telepaths. Apparently when they hooked me up to the crystal 'amplifier' or whatever it is, I did a number on the ship's telepaths, just by speaking the language. I even gave non-telepaths headaches. The Doctors are worried about long-term effects. In the Namadolian mythologies, the worshippers of the "Elder Gods" all went insane. Maybe it's the language that did it. Most species just aren't set up for it.

It's a weird idea for me, though, to think that I might be broadcasting telepathically. I mean, sure... I've likely been doing it my whole life, but until recently, it would only get picked up by Relosian Razorbeasts. The cows. And now, it's getting picked up by these "Elder gods." Because for some reason they've got nearly identical telepathy to the cows. And it's a neat fit with my species. But since the encounter with Mn'Eclon, something's happened, and I'm using this stuff in a wholly new way that I don't particularly understand.

And it's not a good thing. It doesn't seem to be actually useful for anything other than rendering me into a catatonic telepathic transceiver for talking to these entities. I'm hoping to be able to talk to them myself someday should we encounter another, but we need to get around what they're doing to me. Otherwise, it's just something that causes mild headaches. Oh, and perhaps insanity if I do it long enough and often enough. No clue how long or how consistently I need to talk to do that, though. Could be decades of continuous telepathic filibuster.

For me, the worst part is that I don't know what this has done with my connection to the cows. If that's been affected, I could find myself in danger from the cows on my own parents' farm. The very same cows I grew up with.

That would be extraordinarily bad. To think I that I overcame all those obstacles to go home, only to have some bizarre incident out in the Hapke Cluster do to me what Nausicaans and vengeful priests could not. Ironic, huh?

In the meantime, we're headed to the Hapke 8315 System, so we're getting back to a sense of normalcy around here. That's a good thing. What's not necessarily all that good a thing is the Namadolian coffee we've been drinking for the last month. Don't get me wrong -- it's not bad, really. But it tastes just fishy enough to remind me of tentacles in the deep.

I haven't touched coffee in two weeks. If I was addicted, I'm well past the DTs by now.

But I think I'm more tired than I used to be. Mornings can be like ನನ್ನ ನೀರಿನ ಜೈಲು. Sorry. No. I never had a watery prison. That's the other guy. The one hiding in my head.

All right, James. Close log.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
User avatar
Nora Gerhadsen
Command - Rear Admiral
Command - Rear Admiral
Posts: 1324
Joined: 120908.1707
Duty Post: Chief, UF Starfleet Operations
Ship/Station Posted:
Grid: Second Life
Location: ME
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 73 times
Contact:

210527.2035

All right James, open up personal log, Stardate 210528. Back home, where they've never even heard of Elder Gods of Insanity, it's 11 Fenroek, in the Eighth Year since Independence.

What's to say? Our little ship is chugging along. We're studying a bunch of different systems -- survey work is good, and going well. I found a weird little issue with some of the deadlier plants in my inventory -- two planters are in the Brig -- uh, the auxiliary hydroponics lab -- and a third is in my Ready Room. In the spot nobody goes. These plants -- they're called Krytellian Rumispoors -- are covered with a poison so dangerous that a topical application of mere milligrams of the stuff can be lethal within 10-20 seconds. Pretty, but they're the most dangerous plants on the ship. I'm not sure how many on the crew truly understand just how dangerous they are.

And they're having a problem. I should be pleased that their toxins are weaker than usual, but I'm not. Because I don't understand why that's true. It's all of the plants, too, regardless of where they are on the ship, and what their age is.

It must be an environmental issue, but I have no idea what. I need to go over the scans of the soil and the toxic covering. Whatever is going on seems to be affecting some of the carnivorous mushrooms too.

We opened up the ship on Neamhan III, and also on the surface of Hapke 8296-IV. However, we had full bioprotocols for both instances. But in principle, we could have brought something back from the Nursery of Tig-Sh'Hannoth, or even from Naam'Adol.

Or any of half a dozen other places. If we're looking at something from off the ship, then it must have gotten around either transporter biofilters or all our bioprotocols.

At least I'm not going insane anymore. Well, for now. The Other Guy seems to have quieted down. ಸಮಯ ಮತ್ತು ಸ್ಥಳದ ಅನಂತತೆಗಳು, he's annoying. At some point, I'm going to have to confront all those memory engrams. I am not looking forward to all that. I suppose the doctors will tell me when they're ready to start all that stuff. In the meantime, they seem to have their hands full.

I got a report that USS Fossey went missing near Nabraithian space. That's really disturbing. I hope someone's on that. I mean, who knows? Fossey is almost as old as the Maxwell, and while she's nowhere near as quirky as our noble little ship, she could simply have broken down somewhere.

I think I'm just free-associating at this point. I'm tired. I wish we could have saved Tig-Sh'Hannoth. Even though she was trying to kill us at the time. Even though she was trying to produce a bunch of planet-eating living singularities. What a unique creature. And beautiful, too, in her own way.

<<A voice featuring a thick male Scottish brogue is heard.>>

Oh, but she *was* beautiful, James! I mean... Sure, scary, with all those eyes and tentacles, and that just gigantic mouth, but... Come on! She was what... How many kilometers in size? A bunch? Yeah, I mean, sure, she could have swallowed the Maxwell whole, sure, but she didn't! Yes, because we killed her, in the end, but... Oh I don't know. We /talked/ to her. Or at least, some of the crew did. I mean, sure. I'd rather study these creatures than end them. The fact that that's not really practical given their proclivity to conquer or destroy everything they see... Well, it's a sad reality, that's all. But it *is* sad!

I don't know. It's all a lot to think about. And I still have to track down this mystery with the planters and the Rumispoors.

I wonder how Jep is doing. He might be able to help me figure out what's going on with the Rumispoors. Not that he's much of exobotanist. But he is a very good farmer. Farmers know how to grow things. At least he wouldn't try to touch them.

All right, James, close log.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
User avatar
Nora Gerhadsen
Command - Rear Admiral
Command - Rear Admiral
Posts: 1324
Joined: 120908.1707
Duty Post: Chief, UF Starfleet Operations
Ship/Station Posted:
Grid: Second Life
Location: ME
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 73 times
Contact:

220421.1920

Yes, James. I know I'm greatly overdue for a personal log. So. Here we go. Stardate 220421. And in the calendar of my people, that's 4 Huyli in the Ninth Year since Independence.

I'm heading back out to the Hapke Cluster! Only this time Maxwell is joined by a couple of other ships: USS Leonov, an Intrepid-class exploration ship, under Ginny Davis (that's Captain Virginia Davis to her crew, I suppose), and the Akira-class USS Norkova under Captain Gregory C. Chatham. Ginny's an old friend, but I've never met Chatham. I was supposed to meet him before he shipped out -- actually, Maxwell was supposed to ship out with both -- but events kind of overtook us all, and the Norkova and the Leonov had to head out well before us. They're already out there. Once we meet out there, we'll form an exploration Squadron out in the Hapke Cluster, with Maxwell as flagship.

The idea is to avoid future issues like we had with the Karutak. Or the Privari. Or the Elder Gods. Or... Well, to at least make it so the Maxwell isn't on the verge of complete death all the time. We still went out without the regular comforts of a Starfleet vessel, though: unfortunately, we still don't have working replicators. It went from frustrating to absurd half a decade ago. Whatever the case, it's not like we'll be getting lots of replicated food from Leonov and Norkova. They have to conserve their stores too. It's a long trip.

I suppose the big news, though, is that I was named Chief of UF Starfleet Operations. Furthermore, Admiral Calhoun announced his retirement. Our new CinC is Admiral MilesPrower Dagger. He used to be my XO back on my first posting out of Academy -- on USS Cochrane. That feels like about three lifetimes ago. I was so young! We all were. There have been a few lightyears under the keel since then, so to speak.

The nightmares are still gone. I've been sleeping really well for so long that I can't even remember what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night. It turns out that Mn'Eclon actually had a use! On the other hand, treatment at Pinastri has meant that he's nicely contained. Certainly, for now. I still haven't dealt with the memories, and in fact the doctors back at Headquarters aren't entirely sure what they'll do to me if the containment barrier they've built is knocked down. So I suppose there's a chance I've got what is essentially an unexploded memory bomb in my brain. Not a comforting thought. But at least it's well-contained -- well enough that I was cleared for space duty! I was worried.

And I needn't have worried about the cows. At least... I don't think so? I did go back home. I saw my parents, my sister; I did the regular tour of the capital and all the rest of it. And I saw Jep. And it was... Ohh... Glorious. Just... Glorious. I wanted to grab him and bring him out to Pinastri and then the Hapke Cluster. But that doesn't work. How could it? Surely, the Hapke Cluster doesn't work. But I begin to wonder about other possibilities. We did talk about his going to Pinastri. It's a hard thing to ask of him -- it's just so different from everything he's ever known, apart from a world-shaking couple of weeks we spent on Risa. But maybe it's time to change my mission profile from long-range exploration at the end of this tour of the Hapke Cluster. Maybe it's time to have a home somewhere, planet-side. And get started on the rest of life that I've been putting off. Maybe it's time for a different, if highly traditional, kind of Making. The holiest sort. Maybe I'm ready for that.

We both have plenty of time to ponder it, though -- it's a long tour, after all. And at the end... We'll see where we are.

All right, James, let's close the log. Hmm, what's that? Yes, James. I do feel good. Maybe it's just because I'm getting plenty of sleep for the first time in most of a decade? Or maybe... Maybe it's because after so many years of suffering and conflict, my life is finally settling out a little bit? I'm doing the things I love doing the most, and pondering life's possibilities in ways I just haven't pondered them before.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
User avatar
Nora Gerhadsen
Command - Rear Admiral
Command - Rear Admiral
Posts: 1324
Joined: 120908.1707
Duty Post: Chief, UF Starfleet Operations
Ship/Station Posted:
Grid: Second Life
Location: ME
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 73 times
Contact:

220821.2201

Personal log, 220821.

It's odd not to be on Maxwell anymore. I got awfully used to those halls. Seven and a half years in one command is a long time, though not as long as Admiral Randt's tenure on Veracruz! Anyway, I was needed elsewhere, so elsewhere I went. Captain Northman is a very capable officer. I would have hoped that the ship would have gone on a long time under his command, but according to the reports they ran into our Hapke Cluster nemesis, Cor-Mith'xotep. This so-called 'Elder God' blasted them all the way back to Pinastri... And in the process did more damage in one blow than the poor ship had ever taken at any one time. They had to get towed into spacedock. I don't blame Captain Northman! I can't say I would have fared any better. Frankly, they're lucky to be alive.

But it does mean that after so many years of use, Maxwell has been towed back to the Cascadia boneyard. The irony is that a replicator system for a Nova-class ship finally arrived at Pinastri not so long ago! Of course, there's a real conundrum about what to do with the ship. She's so kluged and tweaked that she's a maintenance nightmare, but the singularity core presents its own unique problem. It's immensely dangerous if not maintained and used regularly. So there may be no choice but to either cut the thing out and let it explosively evaporate in some sort of safe spot... Or don't cut it out and let it take the rest of the ship with it. I think that would be a terrible shame. As old and patched and tired as she is, I can't help but think that Maxwell still has some life left in her and is worth fixing. But I'm sentimental. It is my purview, though, so... I have to figure out what to do with the old girl.

In the meantime, the crew will be well cared-for: they're heading to USS Atlas, a Hestia-class escort vessel. It's bigger than a Nova, of course, as well as much more modern and a great deal better-armed and better-defended. With all the hostile species we're encountering around here lately, this one will be a good addition to the Pinastri fleet. The Atlas might suffer a bit in terms of sensor capability, but I think it's a sensible trade-off. The data on the Maxwell's experimental sensor suite are proving rather useful, and after so many years of testing and development, perhaps some of that equipment can start deploying to the rest of the Fleet. I suppose we'll see.

As for me... Well, I have a whole raft of new duties as Chief of UF Starfleet Operations. I have heard that the most common regret of an Admiral is leaving the command chair behind. That sounds about right. I'll never forget the skies of Neamhan III and the giant Cnidarians there, or destroying enemy Praelor robotic ships with music in a nebula, meeting the Subere and any number of other species, including the Kilan of the V'Kaulin Republic of course. I will also never forget the heartbreak of the Athraxos incident and what we found on Dantebbe II (the Hapke 772 System), or the stress of a Privari prison, or the month we spent inside of an asteroid hiding from bloodthirsty Karutak hunters. There are many more incidents besides. I believe it is the highest calling of a Starfleet Officer to command a starship on the interstellar frontier. It is sad to give it up, but I am needed elsewhere. I have a different kind of Making to do now.

I have to keep my eyes firmly fixed on the future, and of course right here on the present. It doesn't do to dwell on the past, and forget to live in the now.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
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