Captain's Personal Log

Moderators: Drewski Northman, Siobhan Crystal

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:

191004.1930

Personal log, Stardate 191004.

I suppose I lost track of this thing in all that's happened. There's no way to fully describe all that the Dulani and I have been through, but I hope we're all in better places than we started. I know they are; I think I am.

At least I've gotten out of the Glewik System. And not just me, but my Dulani charges as well. I left them in Dulani space, so they should be safe now. And I bear a diplomatic message from the Dulani head of state for the Federation. They'd like an alliance.

Naturally they do.

I'm not comfortable putting all I know into this device. You never know into whose hands it could fall.

Anyway... Let's see... The added activity on Glewik II (it was II, not III) was indeed new Privari units coming in. And indeed, they were training up for invasions of the Dulani core worlds. The transformation of the Dulani from desperate band of refugees to assault squad was a revelation. It all started when we got surprised by a patrol while out hunting. We managed to get them -- my plasma rifle did a bunch of work -- and that got us some weapons. That allowed a bit of training (but only a very little bit).

What really did happen, though, was that we were able to hit a couple more patrols. Instead of going for the Privari base, though, I decided to hit the smuggler/buccaneer base and grab a ship. So that's precisely what we did. We were on the move, at night, for a week. But we made it, and the assault squad and I hit the base.

We piled the rest of the Dulani onto a rustbucket, but it at least had good drives (at least, relative to the garbage that the Privari have). Which is why we're alive. We managed to outrun the warships in-system, and then did a bit of jinking and janking to get to the frontier. We had a tense few moments with a Dulani patrol, but... Well, it certainly all got sorted out.

Let's just say that things just got a little more complicated for the Dulani. I'm not sure it's a bad thing. I learned a fair bit about Crown Prince Uphos. He sounds just as insane as the Archon of Privar. And just as dedicated to 'winning' this war of theirs through morally questionable methods if need be. But I definitely made contact with the 'Athraxos people,' so we can check that box as mission accomplished.

I'm leaving behind an awfully unsettled Sector. And there's this alliance to consider. So that'll go back to the Federation Council for their deliberation. The war goes on. The task will be to stop it without causing major bloodshed. I think all the ingredients are there. It'll just take time, and a lot of --

<<a male voice is heard>>

Sorry, what's that, Sir Harald? There's a pursuing blip? All right, I'll have a look.

<<the male voice is heard again>>

No, that's not Privari, by the look of it. Hang on... How did they get here? That's Romulan! That's a warbird! Sir Harald, increase speed to maximum warp! Do it! They're in pursuit!

<<the man's voice is now quite urgent and stressed>>

I know, I know, we can't stand against them at all. We need a spot with... We need to beat their sensors if we... Look. Here. The Ffeeneth System. There's a Class M world with a bunch of magnesite and other obscuring ores. It'll screw with their sensors. If we can get there!

<<the man asks a question>>

Class M? Oh. I suppose you call it 'habitable class.' Though you guys also said that about Poidronas, didn't you? Whatever. Cheap dig, sorry about that, Sir Harald. We call that 'Class M.'

<<the man says something indistinct, as all his words have been>>

Yeah, but the magnesite means if we can get down into some terrain, we might just be able to survive. We'll have to pretend to be dead... We'll dump a torpedo, maybe, and detonate it. Don't worry, I've done this before. Well. Sort of. Once. Against the Privari. It worked, more or less. They left us alone, anyway.

<<there's another question>>

Yeah, yeah, that was the whole Athraxos misadventure. Keep your eye on the engines! We've got to go to 130% power if we can manage it.

<<he seems pretty agitated about that>>

Look, pristine engines won't do us a bit of good if the Romulans have turned us into space dust, now will they? Do it!

Wow, is this thing really recording all thi--

<<the recording stops>>
___________________________________________________________________
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:

191018.1903

Captain's Personal Log, Stardate 191018.

It's odd being back on the Maxwell after so long away. I suppose it was only six or so months, but it feels like so much longer. Odder still that I was asked to resume command like nothing had happened. April -- now a Commodore herself! -- simply stepped aside to return to her position as First Officer. She is an extraordinary human.

Right now, the Maxwell is running from a massive Romulan ship, a Scimitar-class battleship, essentially. It is fast and extremely deadly. They wiped out all life on a planet called Gevedek III using weapons based on thalaron radiation. This is a Tal Shiar vessel, associated with the remnant Romulan Empire that's out here in the Delta Quadrant.

We're lucky to be alive. Once again. Someday my luck is going to run out. I just hope nobody I care about is close by when it does.

I need to write a letter home to my parents. Nobody on Relos IV has heard from me in most of a year, and that's a bad thing. No cenotaphs for me, please. They're not needed. Yet. The Romulans may fix that, though.

I suppose we'll see.

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:

191025.1452

Captain's Personal Log, Stardate 191025.

It feels like the entire galaxy has fallen on me, and can't get up. Kermie's gone. Kris is gone. More of my people are gone, including one Ensign Sarah Boynton, whom I barely had a chance to meet. Murdered by the wrath of the Romulan Star Empire. They are utterly mad.

I wonder if thalaron weapons was their plan B because we denied them the Doomsday Machines those years ago -- back when we plucked our singularity core from the hulk of a T'Varo-class ship we'd just defeated. This fleet wasn't just Romulan, though. They were Tal Shiar. They're the worst of the worst. I have to believe that not all Romulans are this awful. I already know it: I would trust Te'ellis with my life and with the lives of everyone on board the Maxwell. Heck. I've done it before. She's a Romulan.

And I also wonder what kind of reception they're going to get from other species in the Sylleran Sector Block. I mean... The Krenim aren't our friends, surely, but that doesn't make them friendly to the Romulans. It will all depend on what the Romulans do to the immediate vicinity. Maybe nothing, for the moment: they're not stupid, which means they shouldn't count us out just yet. And that means they'll want to come get us to stabilize and confirm their hold on Pinastri. We may be down, but we're still a threat. We're not out.

In any event, we have started repairs. We have a number of ships with malfunctioning impulse drives and warp drives. We have one tug, the USS Milo, but I've ordered USS Karakoram to act as our second Fleet tug for now. I don't think Commander Jackson is happy about that, but he'll deal.

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:

191026.2118

Commodore Nora Gerhadsen
Aboard USS Maxwell, NCC-21873
United Federation Starfleet

Jeppotuk Felbin
The new little cottage at the base of Blossom Hill, out the East Road
Definitely not the main house on the farm
Bryden-by-the-Big-Stump, Westglen Province
Relos IV

Dear Jep,

You doubtless will have heard or read the letter I wrote to my parents. I did ask them to share it with you and with everyone in Bryden. But I wanted to write to you separately, because there are things I want you to know that I don't want my parents, Bryden-by-the-Big-Stump, Westglen, and the rest of the world and galaxy knowing. So please don't go showing it about.

I live in constant fear. I have lived with the fear for a very long time. My fear is that I will let down my family, my friends, the people under my command, the entire Fleet, and even my entire species. We have been dealt a serious blow out here, and we will be a while recovering, if we do at all. More than just the past weeks, though: I was terrified the moment I left on the mission that took me away for so many months. For that matter, I've been terrified for years, it seems to me.

Every time I beam off this ship I wonder if I'm going to make it back. Every time I see a new planet I wonder if I will ever again step foot on the one that birthed me. If I will ever be able to go home. If I will ever again feel the soil of my homeland between my toes, or see the beauty of Blossom Hill in springtime. If I will ever know the joys of home and family.

The War was bad. But in some ways, this feels worse. I have lost count of all the people who want to kill me. There are entire cultures that want to: the Nausicaans, the Krenim, the Romulans. And a good fraction of the Privari, and even the Dulani, I'm guessing.

And then I remember the farm. I remember the gentle brown of your eyes. I remember the sound of your voice - a voice that calms, that reassures, that comforts, that strengthens. I remember the feel of your arms around me, arms made strong by hefting bales, plowing fields, and doing all those other things only people like you and I fully appreciate. I remember your earthy scent, and that I was grimier than you were. I remember the warmth of your lips on mine.

I remember you.

Perhaps it was just a moment in time. But for me, it has been frozen in my mind for more than a year now. It has sustained me, even as I watched innocents die in a desert, or saw a world devastated by mindless hate. It sustains me now as we fight our new foe. I want more of it.

I want more of you.

I would cross the stars for you, for just a moment of you. If there is one thing I have learned out here, it is that we don't have that many moments, and you never know which one will be your last.

Your letters are a treasure, even if I never touch the paper on which you wrote them. I long to hear your voice, to see your face. I know how hard it is to get out there, but if you could get to Teckford, you could send me video of yourself. And I hope I don't scare you by saying that I'm sending a video of myself. It will be almost like talking to each other.

Please write me, in any event. Tell me if you feel as I do. Or tell me if I'm wasting my time. Farming and soldiering both require a pragmatic mindset, so I hope you appreciate my forthrightness here. You have seemed to in the past.

With... Dare I call it love? It must be.

Nora
___________________________________________________________________
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:

191110.2117

Personal log, Stardate 191110.

I don't know if today is the worst day of my life, but it's definitely up there. Temeraire is just gone. I wonder how many got out. I'm lucky to have. In fact, I'm not even sure how I got out. I woke up in an escape pod. I have no memory of getting in, but I did get everyone else in theirs from the bridge. So it beats me what happened. I suppose I've lost some memory. But that tends to happen when your ship blows up.

Not even my ship, really. Temeraire was Amelie's. I hope she's all right. It was that Scimitar-class monster that blasted us first. I knew we were done for. It was just a matter of time. Romulans go for the weak. They're like eela bunnies that way. Well, if everyone else got picked up, I sure didn't. And I don't have working comms. I don't have working much of anything, really. Just this PADD and a tricorder. I don't even have my commbadge! I had to leave it with my tunic when it got stuck on wreckage getting out of the bridge.

At least we made a contribution. We helped mark that thing. We kept the line, while we could. Sorry, Wally. Sorry it had to be you next in line after me. But Thunderer was in the best shape. I hope he made it out, too. I hope they all did.

Speaking of dead comms, there's not much working on the pod, either. When I woke up, I was already pretty close to the Class M world. More luck? Probably more like the pod's autopilot systems. Anyway, I managed to get myself strapped in before atmo, and that's a good thing, because it was a pretty bumpy ride. Hard decision to leave it. But if I'm where I think I must be, then it's better to run and hide than to stick around and wait for hostile Romulans. And honestly, where else would I be but this 'New Romulus?' Nothing else in the system is Class M.

I need to find shelter, and a place to hide. And something to wear, because it's getting cold out. Shoes would help. I wonder what happened to mine. Lost in the shuffle of getting off the doomed Temeraire?

If the Fleet was victorious, then all I have to do is hide out until they catch my life signs and beam me out. If they weren't, well... It's either a long wait, or it's likely that my luck has finally run out. I don't really feel like going into a Romulan prison, and I definitely don't want to be 'interrogated' by them. I know what they use on prisoners. If I'm to be Unmade, I'd rather do it myself then let those jackals at me.

It's getting cold. Feels like it's going to be a long night. 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:

191123.2302

Personal log, Stardate 191123.

The marks on my face are fading, I think. I don't even remember which Doctor it was that I saw on Maxwell. Might have been a visitor from some other ship. Anyway, he told me it was better psychologically *not* to just use a dermal regenerator, because then I could get emotional distance from the horrible events around 'New Romulus.' I still think he's a skyheaded fool, but I've abided by his suggestion. I think they remind me of a burning bridge.

I dreamed about Amelie last night. She was in the wall of faces. I woke up in the middle of the night. I didn't have the heart to ask the computer if I was screaming. I'm sure I was. I need to get back on the sedatives. I need to sleep. Or I'll be a zombie. At least we don't have any major battles scheduled anytime soon. I wonder how the great Admirals of history did it. Battle after battle. Like Nelson. Or Yamamoto or Nimitz. Or Whatley. Or Kat Cornwell. Maybe I'll be able to get back to something approaching normal before we reach Pinastri. Maybe not.

It's taking a good long while to get back, though. Indomitable's under tow and just can't get faster than Warp 3. So that's what we're doing. Veracruz got themselves sorted out -- certainly better than Warp 3, so I had them move on to Pinastri with their escort vessels. Maxwell's hanging back with Indomitable and a couple of other escorts. USS Milo is returning from Pinastri to do a joint tug operation for Indomitable. Karen Cosworth practically spat nails at me over subspace a little while ago.

I suppose I don't blame her.

On the other hand, Jep... Wow. He... He replied to my letter. He went all the way to Teckford, and sent me a video. He...

<<there is a wistful sigh>>

I need to arrange for some leave.

<<there is another sigh>>

What's weird is how not-weird it is to think of the trip from Bryden to Teckford being a big deal. After all, we're covering countless miles every fraction of a second, even at a miserable rate of Warp 3. But when you do it by gili-drawn cart, well... It's just as big a deal as... Oh, I don't know. It takes practically half a day, and if the weather's bad, then it's really hard on the muddy road, not to mention miserable being exposed to the rain. You really need to want to get there.

That's the thing. I could see the sky in Teckford behind him. Maker's breath, what a storm that was.

<<there is another wistful sigh>>

I wonder where I should take him. Maybe Risa. Someplace exotic enough to give him a taste of what I deal with all the time -- too many tallfolk -- but not so exotic as completely to blow his mind. Someplace pretty, though. Definitely. It's an amazing galaxy. So many places so clearly show the Breath of the Maker. Ohh... I've got just the place, if I can get clearance for him. And I need to learn how to properly fly a shuttle. And it's been way too long since I checked up on the Cratchits. On the other hand, it might just be a bit too impractical. I'll have to think about it. If the Eichner radiation has been remediated enough, we might be able to get out there without suits. The plants would like that better, to be sure.

Or I could just take him to a beach on Risa and count his spots. All of them.

Choices, choices... 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:

191228.2317

Captain's personal log, Stardate 191223. Back home, that's 3 Bekli in the Seventh Year since Independence.

What a way to spend First Days! I'm terrified. Maker's Breath! What am I doing? Do I even know? Why do they let me run a ship in the first place? Easy, easy. Just like every other Commanding Officer, I'm making it up as I go. Or maybe the rest really are competent, and I'm the only utterly incompetent one. No... I'm guessing there are other incompetent ones out there.

Anyway...

I still can't believe we're going to a pre-warp planet in a starship, so they can see us help Santa Claus hand out the presents for... Christmas. Yes, we're actually 'saving Christmas' for a pre-warp species. And if we were to try to stay out of it... If we hadn't picked up this 'Santa' from his dead-in-space ship, and all his stuff... The two factions on Onongren II might actually wipe each other out in a nuclear war. I shudder to think of it.

To think that one could have a planetary-scale tantrum because one's Christmas gifts didn't get delivered one year. It beggars the imagination.

My new 'uniform' is ridiculous. It's actually pretty close to regular clothes on Relos IV. I feel like I'm going to market! Except that it's all red and green. And I'm wearing pointy shoes. And yes, that's as weird as it sounds. I'm supposed to be one of 'Santa's elves.' Sure, I've got the pointy ears for it, but it's humiliating. Still, I was the one who signed us up for it.

To think that we're in this mess because 'Santa' couldn't look at his sensors and identify a subspace warp contrail.

I'm still looking forward to that leave. After much thought and planning, we're going to go to Risa. Jep will meet me at Starbase 12. I almost wish I was picking him up at Relos directly. Anyway, we'll take transport from there to Risa, and we'll be at Suraya Bay. We might even be able to catch some of the Lohlunat Festival. It's such a beautiful place, and with two suns instead of one, it's just different enough to remind Jep of how vast the Galaxy really is, even as... I hope... He learns how wonderful it all is. Maybe that will help him understand why I do what I do.

I'm really excited. But before any of that can happen, there's this little mess with 'Santa Claus' and averting a nuclear war by saving Christmas.

All right, 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:

200721.2050

Captain's personal log, Stardate 200721.

We've finally left the Naablo System for good. We managed to save the place... What, three times? The Kzem sure are persistent. Only two ships, though. The third time was the asteroid. And I suppose USS Milo actually gets credit for that, since they're the ones that dragged it off of its intersecting orbit.

In many ways, I think the Kzem represent the complete antithesis of everything I believe in. My people are of the Maker. We Make: we build, we create, we maintain, we repair, we nurture. At our best we do, anyway. Even as I grapple with the notion of following a religion in this terribly advanced Galaxy, most of which seems to eschew such ideas, I find myself proud of the one I follow. Ours is a deeply optimistic religion. It's all about the beauty of new life, and of all life.

The Kzem pretty much want to kill absolutely everything, as far as I can tell. That Captain, before he self-destructed his miserable excuse of a ship, said that life was a disease on the Galaxy, and that they wanted to cure the disease. Or something like that. Can any philosophy express nihilism in any more absolute terms than that? What sort of person imagines themselves as a disease that must be eradicated? And how do the Kzem get their followers to believe such nonsense so completely?

It's a mystery, and it's a lot more than theoretical. These guys are out there, and they're trying to destroy entire planets. We have to understand their motivations if we are going to have half a prayer of figuring out how to beat them. Trillions of lives could hang in the balance. Every ship could be multiple lifeless worlds. These guys could end up eradicating much of the life in the Quadrant if we don't put a stop to it soon. Maxwell has been officially ordered to delay the mission to the Hapke Cluster. But I don't mind. For now, we have bigger fish to prepare.

<<A voice is heard.>>

What's that, James? Fry? Bigger fish to... Oh! Right. Bigger fish to fry. Still sounds odd. Why is it 'fry' and not 'bake,' or 'prepare?' Ah. Right. 'Unknown vernacular development.' Fair enough.

I find myself going back to that last conversation with King Josephus. He was an astronomer, and given his level of technology, a really good one. In fact, it's not much of a guess for me to venture that he was likely the best on Naablo IV. He had a 20-inch refractor! With a primary lens made of glass! I mean... That thing was absolutely huge. I don't regret what I told him at all. He took it to the grave, after all. No harm done. And after a life devoted to exploration and discovery... He deserved to hear it. To see it. He died happy. And given that we weren't allowed to save him, I think giving him a little happiness in death was the very least we could do.

Sometimes I really hate the Prime Directive.

Saving his life would have been as simple as a hypo, for goodness' sake. We even had them with us! Just take it out and a little hiss and he lives forty more years. But no. We're not allowed. So this brilliant, humane, just, wise man dies. Rarely do I question the Federation's wisdom in things like this. But sometimes I think that absolutes involving things like the Prime Directive are just the highest form of folly.

We need more King Josephuses in the Galaxy. And fewer Kzem cultists. But we're now down a King Josephus, and up a whole bunch of bloodthirsty killers of the very worst order.

And it is time for me to Unmake again. This is the part of the job I hate the most. Every enemy I kill, every ship I destroy, it feels like a small part of me dies with them. I used to wonder if I would ever go home. Now I wonder if there will be enough left of me to be recognizable if I do. I am beginning to think there won't be.

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:

200815.2220

Personal log, Stardate 200815... 6?

Whatever. Does the date matter that much? I'm breathing hard, trying not to be suffocated by the endless madness and evil this Galaxy throws at me. I want so much not to hate, not to destroy, not to tear down. But it's hard when you meet a creature that so fully exemplifies everything I oppose in this universe. This "Morrigan" creature is perhaps the single most destructive, most dangerous individual I have ever dealt with. I'd take ten Kovoloks over a Morrigan. A hundred. A thousand. Hey, the Nausicaans want to kill me, sure. But at least with them it's personal. They've got a legitimate gripe. They don't murder for just no reason. And they certainly don't go around destroying entire star systems!

This vile, pathetic excuse for a sentient... Calls herself a 'goddess.' Creates a whole cult. Convinces them that there are things more important than living. No, not that. She convinces them that death is a good thing. That life itself is evil. A disease. Not just the sentient life, mind you! The non-sentient stuff too! She wanted to leave absolutely nothing! She even tried out some of her insane philosophy on the entire Fleet as we fought her.

I wonder if she actually believes any of that crap she was selling about 'Paradise.' Somehow I doubt it. No matter how 'powerful' she might be, that con artist was no real deity. I think she was just selling pretty stories of paradise to her poor followers.

And speaking of them! There are upwards of fifty thousand down there on the planet. On a Class L world and with no way to make it as they are. If we leave them alone, they'll all perish. And it turns out that not even all of them are really followers? They were drugged! The scale of this "Morrigan's" crimes astonish me. How many billions must she have murdered, just in the Sylleran Sector Block alone? Let alone any other places her followers might have attacked.

And how many more might still be out there? Single ships, carrying on with this insane 'work?'

I feel like I have done battle with the Unmaker himself. No. No, that's silly. The Morrigan is not the Unmaker. But she could easily his Lieutenant. She's certainly after similar things.

I am more tired now than I have ever felt. And it's not just my body that's tired. My soul feels tired. I want so badly to feel real dirt under my feet, to have grass between my toes. Life was so simple where I grew up. The idea was simple: make things grow, live a good life, Make a family. Make. Can I ever do that now? It feels so far away now.

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:

200902.1352

Personal log, Stardate 200902.

We've arrived back at Pinastri. And so it was time for another round of 'convince them not to scrap the Maxwell.' I have to do this, it seems, every time we sustain significant damage. She might not look like much, but she's a fine ship, and she can do things nothing else in the Fleet can. This time, though, it turns out to have been a much easier argument. Probably because Starfleet went and promoted me to Rear Admiral. And nobody likes to say no to an Admiral.

So suddenly I'm cooling my heels on Pinastri, which isn't a bad thing, necessarily. I need some time to deal with things. With the experience with the Kzem, certainly. But also with my own mortality. I mean... Sure, I deal with that all the time. But now it's a little different. Ever since the Veracruz got back from their jaunt to a parallel universe.

USS Veracruz got pushed through some sort of rift into a parallel universe not long before the Pirandia event. In that universe, the Federation lost the Battle of New Romulus a number of months ago, and they lost most of the Fleet. The Romulans were in charge of Pinastri, and only a few ships were still able to keep going. One of those ships was Maxwell, and the CO was... Well, that universe's version of me. Going through their logs felt like an out-of-body experience. Because there I was, quite recognizable, though that version of me was a lot.... I don't know. Meaner? Worn? Vengeful? She was definitely mad, and I can see why.

They fought a battle. A second Battle of New Romulus. They won... But their Maxwell... Well, it was destroyed. With that universe's version of me. She's dead. I'm dead there. Her luck ran out. Finally. It's really brought me up short. Despite my record, I've never really considered myself a huge risk-taker. Though I've always known that I had a good degree of luck that kept me... Alive, I suppose. I know now, in a way I've never known... In my bones... That my famous luck can run out. That it will run out someday. That's a sobering thought.

I am reminded of Jep Felbin and home. I am reminded of all the things I've been putting off doing. When you've seen your own demise, you really get a sense of how precious life really is. And how fleeting. And there's another part of it: I want very very much to believe that at the end, she wanted to get out. That she died trying her hardest to get out of that disintegrating ship. Because that means she never gave up. Seeing her, watching her, knowing how I feel... How I have been feeling... I want that very much to be true. But I worry that she sat there, on the bridge, having managed to convince herself that she had to be there to ensure she could take out that other ship to save lives... And lied to herself. And just waited for death. Because if she could do that, then I might do that. And that fills me with immense disquiet.

I'm an Admiral now, and she's dead. And we were the same person until six months ago.

I'm just not sure how I feel about that. Lucky, I suppose. As always. And yet... Not.

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:

201013.2024

Personal log, Stardate 201013. On Relos IV, that's 27 Ghalek, in the Seventh Year since Independence.

I'm on Pinastri right now. We had our nice little soiree on the beach, and then came the debriefs. My own was long. I spent twelve hours poring over logs and data readouts, walking the Temporal Mechanics people through practically every second of the incident at Merroccian Prime. They were really surprised to hear that we came from a timeline where it was destroyed. There was a lot of explaining. On both sides. Apparently there's actually some trade between Pinastri and Merroccian Prime, and even Mousican personnel in Starfleet. I hear one of them is a chief on the Fleet Tug that helped us out in the Naablo System.

Anyway, I'm a little strung out from all of that, but I'm headed home. It's been a long, long time. I'm not sure I should even go. I mean... It's a huge galaxy, right? I could go anywhere! Why home? Why back to my parents' house in Westglen?

<A wistful sigh is heard.>

Well. I'd say Jep Felbin has nothing to do with it, but the honest truth is that he does. It's time to find out what that's all about. I've still got a few days to talk him into going somewhere *other* than the other side of Blossom Hill, or perhaps Fenmorton. Maybe Risa is still a possibility? Though I get the whole thing about not being eager to go to space, given what the experience has been doing to me lately. I'm even forbidden from going to Bryden on a shuttle! That was my Da's doing. He says the thuster exhaust damages the late tinnec. He might have a point. It's a delicate crop. So it'll be half a day on a wagon to get home.

To be completely honest? It sounds delightful. I need to slow the heck down. I need to feel the sun on my cheeks, and walk on grass and dirt a while. It's a good time to be headed home. The trees will be turning, and we'll get all sorts of wonderful colors. Late autumn harvests will keep my mind off of things, and I'll get to do some proper tuber hunting. And who knows? Maybe other sorts of fun are in store. All good things. I hope.

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:

210219.2204

<A tapping sound can be heard.>

This thing on again? Oh good. So I don't talk about ship's business on this one, right?

Good! Because I don't know what the heck is going on anyway. Not that I know a whole lot, really. Which is weird. I mean... Weird!

Huh? I need to put the star...date in here too? What for? I just... All right, I didn't say it before, but... Well all right. It's... What is it again? Two one zero two one... Five? All right, all right. Fine. Still think it sounds boring.

Whatever. So. Um...

I just... Talk into this thing? what about?

What do you mean, what's going on with me? I mean... *Nothing* is going on with me, right? Isn't that kind of the point? What? Start where... Well, all right, um... And just talk about what happened? Fine, though I don't see the point.

All right. Um... So... I woke up a little while ago after a bad sleep. And that's really weird. Because I don't know why it was bad! I know it was, of course, but... Still! No clue why. Mostly because... Well... No, I don't remember if I had any dreams. I don't remember... Well, much of anything, really. They say my name is Nora. I suppose that's nice. I can be a Nora.

I have no idea why everything and everyone are so big around here. Even the smallest guy here -- he's one of the Doctors -- I mean, this guy just towers over me. Most people, I don't even come up to their waists. Which is weird.

Yes, weird! Why are they all so much bigger than me? And that cook-lady, well... I mean, the Doctors were wearing those clothes that looked kind of the same, and didn't show much skin. The cook-lady had some visible skin, though, and she doesn't have anything like these green spots I've got on my arms and my... Well, anyway, so that's weird too. Do the spots keep me short or something?

No no, you're right, that's all just speculation. The little Doctor was nice enough to give me his metal thingy. It's pretty! I like it. What's that? It's a... calm badge? They get excited? No it's not a calm... It's a... Huh? You said 'calm badge' again. No really! That's what it sounds like!

They're all weird around me. I don't know why. Even that other doctor, the tall lady with the weirdo hair. Really weird! I don't know why. Anyway, I'm on some kind of ship... Well, sure, of course I am, or you wouldn't have been trying to get me to talk about ship's business all that time. But what ocean are we on?

Seriously? Space? Not an ocean? We're between planets and stars? Wow, that's big. Hey, I'm learning, aren't I?

Well, I can make some guesses about my situation, since this thing is supposed to be all about my situation. I don't have any memories. I suppose that's a bad thing. I mean, how would anyone get about without memories, right? Can't have a sensible culture develop without memories. So. Something is wrong. And something happened when I was sleeping that's probably related. Huh? Why do I think that? Because, silly, I have no idea why I didn't sleep well! I was asleep before my memories start, and the sleep was bad, right? So I think it's a reasonable thing to guess that whatever went wrong, went wrong there.

Hey, it's a working theory. To be honest, I'm really curious what' s beyond these four walls. Though some of the junk on the walls is interesting. Pictures of people and places I don't know, a flag I don't recognize, and a document from the "Relosian Republic", whatever that is, going on and on about war and nonsense like that.

If this really is my room, and these things are related to my own memories, then... Well, I don't know what it really means. Am I in charge of this ship? Kind of a leap there, sure, but then you were the one all over me about doing that other log! I suppose that means I'm in the military or something. Are we maybe a starship working for the Relosian Republic? Trying to fight off alien usurpers? Well, that's what that document talks about. Seems a reasonable assumption.

There's a bathtub in here. Maybe I'll have a bath. Mostly because I'm bored. There isn't a whole lot to do in here. Except this. And look at the stuff in here. I am a little confused, though: the blanket says 'United Federation Starfleet' on it. So... If we're a Relosian Republic ship, what's the United Federation Starfleet? Is that maybe the name of the fleet for the Relosians? Weird that the names don't match. Maybe the blanket was captured? I'll have to ask the Doctors about that.

If they'll answer. As I said, they're weird.

It sucks not having memories. And I don't want to do this anymore. Oh, to close it I just say 'end log'? All right. Um... End 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:

210221.2106

So they've got me talking to this thing again. I don't know why. Doctors' orders, I suppose. They keep me trapped in this room. I feel like a prisoner. I suppose I am one. I see stuff out of the door when they go in and out. Plants, actually. And another room that looks like this one. I suppose if it's a prison it's not a bad one. And it's supposed to be my room anyway.

But there is a bathtub here, and I've at least gotten clean. That was nice. There are these flowers in it. I think they've been preserved. They smell really nice. I suppose they're mine. No clue where they're from, though. But at least they're pretty.

I don't get a lot of information. I mean... Sure, I'm on a ship -- USS Maxwell. And they tell me that I'm from the Relosian Republic, but for some reason I'm in this other military organization -- Starfleet. Does that mean I betrayed the Relosians? I'd hate to think I was a traitor to my homeland. That's the flag, though. It's the flag of the Relosian Republic. Somehow, I don't think I'd keep the flag and document up in my room if I didn't believe in what it was all about. Certainly, I'd like to think I wouldn't do that. Because that would be a spiteful thing to do, and I don't like the idea of being spiteful. I don't strike me as a spiteful person. I sure hope I'm not spiteful.

Or mean. Or, well, whatever. Just being in the military strikes me as weird. Or maybe not weird, but... I mean, it's not like I'm much of a fighter, right? I'm half the size of anyone else here. They finally told me it's because of my species. We're called the Kindling or something like that. I might have misheard. But seriously! What would they ever use someone like me for? I'm tiny compared to everyone else. How could I hope to last in any kind of fight, huh? So. I have no idea why they let me into the military. But they did.

As I said -- weird. Nothing makes a whole lot of sense. I mean, sure... There's tech, but... My goodness, it's not like the Kindling (or whatever their name is) would be that much into fighting, right? No wait... It's Kin'Li, just like in that Relosian document. Huh. I wonder what a Gul-Ku-Ren is, then. Maybe something like a Kin'Li? They're in the document too. So maybe I've misread things. Maybe we're all fighters despite our size? And that's why someone like me is in a military with such huge people in it?

So many mysteries.

There are computers in here, but apart from these log entries, they don't really do anything. Like I said -- the doctors aren't telling me much. They aren't letting me see anyone else, either. Except the cook lady.

I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I might be close to some kind of memory. And then ನಾನು ಯೋಚಿಸುವುದು ಕತ್ತಲೆ, ನೀರು ಮತ್ತು ಮೌನ. ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕತೆ. ನಾನು ಇದೀಗ ಅನುಭವಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವಂತೆ ಅಲ್ಲ. ಯಾವುದೋ ಒಂದು ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಆಳವಾದ. ಇಡೀ ವಿಶ್ವದಿಂದ ನಾನು ಕತ್ತರಿಸಲ್ಪಟ್ಟಿದ್ದೇನೆ ಎಂದು ನನಗೆ ಅನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ತದನಂತರ ನನಗೆ ಹಸಿವಾಗಿದೆ. ಹತಾಶವಾಗಿ ಹಸಿದಿದೆ, ಆದರೆ ಆಹಾರಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಅಲ್ಲ.

But then it all fades. If it was there at all to begin with. It's all hard to describe. And I don't really know what it means.

All right, 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:

210223.2125

All right, all right. New personal log.

Weird, weird things are happening. Though to be honest, am I sure they're weird? What's my point of reference? I don't really know, do I?

Well, whatever. First, the good stuff. I was let out of the little bedroom! Into... The next room! Though wow, it's got these windows looking out into space, and it's about the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Seriously. What's that? Yeah, yeah, sure, I've only seen a few things. Still, it's amazing. I could seriously get lost in the infinities ಗಾಜಿನ ಆಚೆ. ವೀಕ್ಷಣೆ ಎಂದೆಂದಿಗೂ ಎಂದೆಂದಿಗೂ ಮುಂದುವರಿಯುತ್ತದೆ. ಪ್ರಪಂಚಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಜಾತಿಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಜನರ ಅನಂತ.

Huh? I was doing it again? Really? I couldn't tell. No really! I had no clue. I was just talking about the ತೆರೆದ ಸ್ಥಳದ ಅಂತ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲದ ಅನಂತ, ಅಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಅಂತ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲದ ನಕ್ಷತ್ರಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಅವು ಯಾವ ರಹಸ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿರಬಹುದು.

Fine, fine, I'll talk about something else, then. I can't talk about ಅನಂತ ಸ್ಥಳ, apparently. So I won't! What should I talk about? Food? No, I'm still stuffed. I don't need to talk about that. Not a whole lot else to talk about, now is there? The most interesting thing is beyond the window, and it's off-limits.

Enough of this stuff. No! No, I am not an adolescent, and I'm not acting like one! Look, what's so bad about speaking... Well, in that way, anyway? It hurts people? That's weird. And I don't even know I'm doing it, so... Well, all right, fine, that's not a great thing. And they said that. Yes, they sure did. They asked me to stop speaking. So I wrote that note for them. They got really excited about it. Do you think they'd like if I did another? I'll write about the wondrous ನನ್ನ ಪುಟ್ಟ ಜೈಲಿನ ಕಿಟಕಿಯಿಂದ ಆಚೆಗೆ ಜಾಗದ ವಿಸ್ತರಣೆ.

I did it again? Gah! Close that thing before I do any more of it.
___________________________________________________________________
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:

210305.1956

Personal log, Stardate 210305. Back home, that's 15 Ogrut, in the Eight Year Since Independence.

The strange looks are lessening. I must have really freaked people out. And indeed, when I look at the logs - at least, the ones the Doctors allow me to see - I suppose I can get the point. They won't let me hear what I was saying when I was speaking that ancient language, though. Something about restricting access to the memories until they find a way for me to process them without melting my brain. Which I would certainly appreciate.

What we have is a bizarre case of parallel development. Or perhaps it's just the limit of what can exist out there. See enough of the Galaxy and you'll find something terribly familiar. Human-like beings exist on all sorts of planets. Why not Relosian cows too?

Well, right, James, except that Mn'Eclon was no cow. But his particular telepathy was eerily similar to Relosian Razorbeasts. It's not something that the Federation has studied that well. Neither has anyone else, really -- the Nausicaans weren't that interested in it. They'd just kill the cows and take the Kin'Li they needed for whatever they wanted to do. Eventually we built whole cities and regions of Kin'Li that never saw a cow. And as for the Federation, well, sure -- they'll be really curious about it, but they can't realistically study the phenomenon, because the cows get really agitated when non-Kin'Li are close.

It's just how they developed. And we developed. The telepathic bond goes both ways. We have a saying: "the cows always know." You just can't lie when you're milking cows. Or going to root for taeloo tubers. Or doing anything else with a cow. Or even close to them. They'll know, and they'll react. There are reasons farmers on Relos IV have reputations as being uncommonly honest.

On the other hand, the cows... Well, there's no way for me know how much of my... Situation... With Jep Felbin came about because of the cows. And in the end, really, it doesn't matter. Of course they encouraged me. And they encouraged him. They like him. And me too, for that matter.

What was that, James? Does the bond help in finding taeloo tubers? Sure does. The more thoroughly you can link with the cow, the more easily you can get it done. I mean, there really are evolutionary reasons we bonded with these things. Kin'Li anthropologists say that cows never ate taeloo before they bonded with us. That restricted their diet. A lot.

Yeah, well, I was a champion at finding taeloo tubers. No, seriously. We had competitions. At local fairs in Bryden, Fenmorton and the big one outside of Teckford. I used to have a collection of ribbons before the Nausicaans burned my folks' place down in the War. They're all gone now.

So this millions-of-years-old creature just happened to have the exact same kind of telepathy as a Relosian cow. That's why I was so helpless against him, and why I was so much more affected by him than anyone else. I literally lost my mind to him, but thank the Maker for Maxwell's Medical Department, because they were able to sort it all out.

I worry that the memories left in my brain by that creature might come unbidden, as they did before. Worse, I worry that there could be more things like that out here in this section of the Hapke Cluster. The Namadolians were kind enough to tell us about some of their other 'legends.' It might be important to get a handle on these memories sooner rather than later, and to try find a way that I won't be similarly affected by any of Mn'Eclon's relations, or that's likely the end of me as I now exist.

And on that cheery note, close log.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
Post Reply

Return to “USS Atlas Archive”