Captain's Personal Log

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Nora Gerhadsen
Command - Rear Admiral
Command - Rear Admiral
Posts: 1324
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Duty Post: Chief, UF Starfleet Operations
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Grid: Second Life
Location: ME
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180706.2001

Personal log, supplemental

Dwalo Guffin, the Tiarnsag, died this evening. I was there when he died. I was reading passage V.21 of the Book of Dorel to him. It's all about the need for what some call 'creative destruction.' That's clearing out the old to make way for the new. Kind of ironic. Maybe not, actually. The Tiarnsag asked me to read that particular passage. He almost didn't make it: I spent rather too much time thumbing through the pages of the Book to find the right spot.

I suppose it was kind of lucky that we got through it before he passed. He was smiling, at least. He never lost the power of speech after all.

Now what?
___________________________________________________________________
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:

180707.1158

Personal log, Stardate 180707. And now that's 20 Eyla in the Fifth Year Since Independence.

The Temple is getting ready for the Ceannasagmuth. Now, that's a bit of a mouthful, so let me break that down. A Ceannasag is the step of priest below the Tiarnsag. A literal translation into English might be "command-priest." I suppose they might be called Archbishops in some of the bigger Federation churches. Collectively, they are the Ceannasagai, and this particular meeting of the Ceannasagai is called the Ceannasagmuth. It happens every time a Tiarnsag dies.

All right, language lesson is over. There is one place, and one place only, where a Ceannasagmuth can take place: the ruins of the original temple at Banath. I suppose it helps that the place is meticulously tended; heck, it's the most popular tourist location in Kelluet. But they don't go the places the Ceannasagai and their attendants go. The Ceannasagai go in, and one of them emerges as Tiarnsag. How they do it is anyone's guess, because they are completely sworn to secrecy.

This time, I have been told that the Ceannasagai will go in... And I will join them. With the Book. Of course, this is the first Ceannasagmuth in centuries to have the actual Book, and the Book historically played a major role. By the way, this is the only official role that Banath still plays in Relosian religion. And it's why we gave the Book to Dwalo Guffin at Banath in the first place.

They're setting up tents at Banath right now, in the middle of the ruins. Nobody leaves before the Tiarnsag. The Tiarnsag leads the Ceannasagai out of Banath, just as Dorel did after... Well, at some point, anyway. Only the Tiarnsag is empowered to do it. So the Ceannasagai -- and I -- will be staying in the tents. Seriously, we're going to be living there for a couple of days at least. However long it takes to determine who the new Tiarnsag is. They will bring us food, but only the special, ritual food that is made for the Ceannasagmuth. I remember my Ma making some of that stuff when I was kid. It's horrible.

Everyone bathes before they go into Banath for this event. It's kind of odd. Because it's kind of done in public. You walk down between rows of attendants and priests, shedding all your worldly things as you go, until you stand before the stone pool. You walk through it -- this is a ritual bath we're talking about -- they scrub you, they rinse you, and you put new clothes on for the Ceannasagmuth. And you don't take them off until it's done. You sleep in them.

The whole idea is to make sure nobody gets too comfortable. Misery means a new Tiarnsag will indeed emerge sooner rather than later. That's the theory, anyway.

I am so not looking forward to this. I would flee if I could. But I was called for this duty, and for my own sake, as well as for all I represent -- Bryden, Westglen, and even Starfleet itself -- I must do my duty. Even if it is to just be some sort of glorified holy book model. Nobody has told me exactly what that duty will be, but I suspect that's because nobody really knows. We're just following the wishes of the last Tiarnsag, and that carries a lot of weight.

End log entry.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
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Nora Gerhadsen
Command - Rear Admiral
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Posts: 1324
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180718.1953

Personal log, Stardate 180718. And here, where the flowers are blooming, it's 2 Vadosh, in the Fifth Year Since Independence.

It feels weird to be back. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the way my Ma shoos me out of the kitchen like I'm still fifteen years old. Maybe it's that I actually walked into Bryden yesterday. Folks kept quiet, which was a blessing. Some said hello, but it was almost as though nothing had changed since I went off to Kelluet Academy. It feels like three lifetimes ago.

What I know is that I'm filthy -- covered in dirt and other effluvia one normally finds at a farm -- I'm tired, I'm sweaty, and I feel better than I have in a very long time. I'm still processing what happened at Banath. My part in it. Mostly the fact that I even had a part in it.

And I suppose I'm finally coming to grips with what happened in the Hapke Cluster. And my particular part in that. The Karutak were like a proximity mine, waiting to go off when an exploring culture decided to go near their part of space. It's one of the great dangers of exploration, and has always been. If USS Meridian had been in our place, it would have likely been USS Meridian hiding in that asteroid.

But it was us. Because we were the ones who were there. Doing our duty.

Nobody else.

I wouldn't say that this realization is a comfort, necessarily. And I'm sure April would tell me it's all terribly obvious and that it's nice I've finally come around.

The time here has been wonderful, and I'm glad to have seen family and old friends. Kaya is now a brand-new Lieutenant in the Relosian Defense Forces, flying a small planetary defense craft. I'm proud as anything of her. And the farm is great. Jep's been a great asset. I hope he stays for a long, long time. My Ma and Da like him, certainly. And he has a certain... I don't know... Calm to him. He's definitely not the flashiest person out there. He's not the world's greatest conversationalist, though he's no dummy, and he definitely does have opinions about things. They're even thoughtful ones. But he's... I don't know how to say it, except that I would want him by my side in a firefight. He'd be incredibly steady. And then you'd want him to help build and run a farm. He has no fear in him, and he makes you feel... I don't know. Secure? Safe? Like things are taken care of? So I'm really glad he's helping out at the farm.

I've got to get back to the ship. Apparently that awful Betsy Pendleton was poking around recently. If I find her... Well, no, I can't actually do to her what I want to do to her. The gall of her going to the Maxwell when I had been called away -- without even prior notification! Yes, I know it's her right to do it, but that's the height of discourtesy. I need to get back to the ship before someone decides she's better off as scrap or being used for target practice. So I'm getting out of here as soon as I can, and jumping on a diplomatic transport.

I'm still processing Banath. The new Tiarnsag, I am happy to say, is wonderful. From that point of view, the trip was decidedly worth it. And maybe at some point I'll actually put in here what happened.

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
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Grid: Second Life
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Has thanked: 12 times
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Contact:

180727.2107

Captain's personal log, Stardate 180727. Back home, that's 11 Vadosh in the Fifth Year Since Independence.

I'd love to know what April told Betsy Pendleton. Suddenly the ship is swarming with people. We're getting the serious spit and polish number... Except that apparently we really don't have access to the replicator systems for a Nova-class ship. Alas! I suppose we'll have to keep using our Romulan cook. She'll be all broken up about that, I'm sure. That old battle-ax Betsy even apologized for the failure to procure a complete system! I had to remember to speak -- I was that shocked.

I've been going over reports from Heznat III. Since our time there, a second beach has "awoken." What a neat find those beaches are, but it was kind of a scary way to make the discovery. A collective silicon-based life form is such a bizarre idea that I'm not sure there is another example like it in Federation archives. Silicon-based forms are pretty rare, like the Horta rock-creature, and there's a reason for that -- silicon doesn't make as many different kinds of molecules as carbon does, so the chemistry is by necessity less complex, with fewer options available for biotic systems.

It remains to be seen whether this aggregate intelligence is comparable to a Horta. It is capable of collective motion, certainly, and even spoke words! I envy the team that gets to go to Heznat III to follow up on the discovery. Imagine finding such a strange form so close to Pinastri!

I got a letter from my parents. They sent a couple of flowers, which was lovely. I've had them preserved. They can float in my tub. And they also included a short letter from Jep. Which I was happy to get! But they're all doing all right, and things have quieted down since I left, though as far as I could tell, things were already pretty quiet. Maybe there was a reason for that? I never know these things. I think they get a lot of visitors these days.

The truth to the matter is that Jep's a really good fellow. He knows a lot about being married because he was married once. And had kids. What a weird conversation that was. We were in the barn. With the cows. Never try to have a sensitive discussion around the cows. Or, rather, sure, have it -- and get ready for a real doozy, because the cows always know. So the truth is definitely going to come out. So don't be around Kin'Li cows -- if you're Kin'Li -- with other people unless you're willing to let deep truths about yourself come out. I was in there, milking cows, because, well, I needed the practice, and in he came. And... Well, the conversation went something like this...

I was on a stool squeezing like my life depended on it when he came in. I was pretty filthy at the time. I mean, that's how things work on a farm. He came in to put up a harness, and it really struck me how familiar he seemed. And so I finally asked him the question I've been dying to ask him since I first laid eyes on him: "hey Jep... Did we ever meet during the war? I've had this odd feeling we've met before, and that I was armed at the time."

He froze there, then slowly looked at me and nodded. "Yeah, Nora," he said, "we did. Long time ago now. I'm surprised you remember, because you were some sort of commander at the time, and I was just one of the new guys."

"But you weren't with Khoon District. I'd have remembered you, certainly." This was getting more mysterious for me by the minute.

"No," he replied. "I was one of the new recruits with the Ventuen Resistance District."

That brought me up short. I helped stand up that Resistance District. They had a thousand guys. And it occurred to me I must have seen him in that time. "Yeah... I remember that. We were moving through Ventuen at that time. So how'd you come to be in that unit? You're from Ventuen, right?"

Jep got really quiet for a while. He put his hands in his pockets, and finally said, "look, uh... No disrespect, but if it's all the same to you, we don't need to talk about my part in the War."

Now I was confused. It must have shown on my face, because he smiled at me and said, "look, it's just... I like the way you look at me. I don't want you to change that, all right?"

"What, you think your story is going to change how I think of you?"

He nodded. "Oh, I reckon it will, but dangit, it's gonna change anyway, isn't it? Already is. I see it in your eyes." He took a long breath. "All right. Well. I used to live in Yortboro. I raised gilis. Well, among other things. I had a wife, two kids, a third on the way. Life was... Everything it's supposed to be, now wasn't it?"

By this time, he'd already strung more words together at once than I had ever heard him speak, and I think my jaw was agape. I might have managed to say "uh huh."

Jep got a faraway look in his eye. He wasn't looking at me anymore as he went on, "well, you remember what happened there, I reckon. What the tuskers did. It was market day for me. I was away selling a couple of gilis. I had some money in my pocket. I was feeling good, you know? I come back and found... I found..." Jep was at this point breaking up. His voice was catching. I got up from the stool and crossed over to him. I took his hand, but he looked up at me then and said, "see, that's the look I didn't want. I'd rather you went back to the way you was five minutes ago."

We stood there a moment like that, my hand gently squeezing his. I didn't know if he'd bolt for the door, or what... But at length he just started talking again: "found the farm all burnt down, 'course. My wife and kids was all dead in the center of town, like everyone else. Folks was a-comin' in from outlyin' areas, and we all buried bodies for three days. Reckon you was there for some 'a' that, right near the end, you come in with them other Resistance folks, an' I signed right up."

Jep's accent had gotten a lot thicker, and by now, he was silently crying. Still, he went on with his story. Because once the cow's sniffed the tuber, you better let her get it out. "I seen you in Yortboro, or what was left of it. Didn't know who you was, 'cept that the Tuskers couldn't kill you for some reason. They done tried, an' it didn't take. Well, I reckoned I better sign up and kill some 'a' them rotten chee-ingur."

He sighed. I never said a word. I just kept looking at him, and put my other hand on his, now holding on with both hands. I've heard a lot of stories like this by now, but this one really hit me. It was probably the cows. They make it all much more impactful. Or maybe it was just that I had never heard one of these stories in our own farm. I mean... The Nausicaans burned my parents' farm down too, but they got out in time, and even got the animals out. I helped rebuild after the War. You'd think I'd be ready for stories like this in the place where I grew up, but I think I just wasn't.

Jep was staring at the ground, down at my dirty feet, perhaps, when he started back up. He shook his head, laughed a little laugh and said, "funny thing is, a farmer's real good at making things live and grow. I mean, sure, we slaughter when we need to, but it ain't like I'm a fighter or nothin' like that. Nothin' like you. You got a real fire in you. I..." He shook his head again. "I wasn't much good with them disruption rifles or whatever they call 'em, so they put me to work in the danged kitchen. Driving trucks. Anything. I was happy to do it. I never actually killed a Nausicaan. Unmaker's toe, I never even shot at one of 'em. Not exactly a big hero, y'know?"

And that's when I looked at him, and he at me. I smiled, then put his hand to my cheek -- the one with the Nausicaan prisoner tattoo. The famous cheek. And I told him, "the Nausicaans destroyed a lot of what we all hold dear. They destroyed families, they destroyed lives. They left so many scars. Some of them are less visible than others." His hand felt warm on my cheek, and I smiled, my hand still on his. "I... I admire you for what you did. You bore an unspeakable loss, and did as a soldier should. You helped where you could, did the jobs that needed doing. That's no more than anyone can do. You're as much a hero, in my eyes, as anyone who ever pulled a trigger."

I suppose he must have liked my response, because he actually smiled at me. It was the warmest smile I'd ever seen him give anyone. I'm not sure what was going through my head, but... I kissed the palm of his hand. The warm one on my cheek. And suddenly...

Oh...

Suddenly, we were kissing. Right there in the barn, both of us covered in dirt. In truth, I think I was dirtier than he was. It wasn't just innocent pecks on the cheek, either. We were really going for it. The cows didn't make a fuss or anything. Well, in the sense that they didn't get upset. They tend to actually like that sort of thing. Might even help it along with the kinds of gentle nudges they can give us. Danged cows.

I'm not really sure where that leaves us. He's no Daro Prenfoot, that's sure. I'd never kiss Daro Prenfoot. Certainly not like that. It turns out that my parents reached out to the survivors of Yortboro and basically took him in. It wasn't a charity thing as much as... It was an opportunity to get a good hand on the farm, while at the same time help out a veteran whose life had been utterly smashed by the War.

Jep's letter said he was glad he told me his story. I'm glad too. His wife's name was Syusa. His two sons were Jeffotuk and Pobbo. They were seven and four years old. Their unborn third child was a daughter that they were going to call Pemba. He has no pictures of them left -- all the family's things were destroyed with the house. I wish I'd known Syusa. I think we would have gotten along well. She had really good taste in men.

And maybe, just maybe, I should visit the farm a little more often.

On that note, close log.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
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Nora Gerhadsen
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Posts: 1324
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Grid: Second Life
Location: ME
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 73 times
Contact:

190615.1311

Personal Log, Stardate 190615

I don't have a lot of time, and these entries are dangerous enough as it is. Anyway, note to self: the code is Aleph-Kau-Sigma four three one eight Glintl. And the activation word is Keelep.

Wow, that uses six different languages. Whatever. I'm glad April bought the 'peace negotiations near Pinastri' cover story. But I hated lying to her. I always do... Maker's hangnail, I better move.
___________________________________________________________________
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
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Has thanked: 12 times
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190621.1949

Personal log, Stardate 190621.

Another dead end. The multilingual code ended up a dud, but it took a long time to figure it out. And now I haven't slept in 72 hours. I need to get off this horrible rock. Filth, muck, dark, dank city streets, and so much rain it feels like an ocean is falling in you. I'd rather be on Poidronas. And that's saying something. There's a transport to the Glewik System, but I'm going to have to sneak aboard. Or play the kid routine. Or both. Who knows. Arrgh, tallfolk. And the ship looks rickety enough that it might just be a worse idea than staying here. Wait, have I forgotten what Starfleet's designation for Glewik is? Hapke 752?
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
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Nora Gerhadsen
Command - Rear Admiral
Command - Rear Admiral
Posts: 1324
Joined: 120908.1707
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Has thanked: 12 times
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190624.1806

Personal log, supplemental

Did I mention the native inhabitants? I forgot? They're a particularly aggressive tallfolk species. I'm going to have to overhaul my Subere plasma rifle. Again.

I lost Lt. Commander Ktenga. He was a good man. He did his best, and I will miss him in many ways. Another unmaking, and another letter. When I get back. I don't even have a body for his family to bury. He was vaporized. All I have is an ID tag. I need to get off this rock.
___________________________________________________________________
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:

190628.1319

Maker's breath, why am I talking to this thing? Because I've already made it as dangerous as it can be? Maybe. All right, then...

Personal log, stardate 190628. I can't even remember what date that is back on Relos IV, but it's looking more and more likely that all that's academic. I think my famous luck is finally running out.

And I'm not sure that the Glewik System is any better than the last place. At least the rain's gone. But that's also a problem: it's exceedingly dry out here. My suit's recirc system is working overtime. In fact, I can't remember the last time I took this thing off. I need a bath. And a bed. And a place where nobody's trying to kill me.

Thankfully, smugglers don't ask too many questions. If they did, I'd be a dead Kin'Li right now. We passed within 200 meters of a Privari patrol squadron. My heart was in my throat.

The war's heated back up out here, and it's proving impossible to get through the lines. At this rate, I'll never make contact with these Dulani 'Athraxos' people, and I'll be lucky to get back to Federation space. If I'm even lucky enough to get off this parched world. Looks like I'll need some more smugglers.

The pronouncements coming out of Privar are pretty heady stuff: it looks like that old chee-ingur Vekreeti VII is promising no less than the complete genocide of the Dulani people. That's every man, woman and child. They surprised the Dulani at a place they called the Kulephic Rift. I don't know anything about it except that a Dulani fleet got smashed. They're fighting back, but I have no idea what the effect has been on Dulani morale and politics. Heck, I don't know if these 'Athraxos' people are even still an organized group. There's a really good chance they just tell me 'I know thee not,' or even turn me over to the Dulani authorities. And who knows what they would do.

I need to stock up on water. My loss rate isn't horrible, but it's not like I've got much of it. I think there might be some in some mountains about twenty miles north of me. With a daytime temperature nearing 58 Celcius, both of Glewik System's suns are beating down, making movement during the middle of the day just impossible.

And I've got to be careful of mines in the mountains, too. This is a Privari planet, but it's not like they have a lot of control out here. Mostly smugglers and buccaneer mining operations. So, dangerous. Who knows. Maybe I can sign on with one of these outfits. I don't have a ton of latinum at this point. Or maybe my trusty Subere plasma rifle will get another workout. Sure hope I don't have to overhaul it again in this dust and sand.

At this point, even if I were to give in and call for evac, it would be weeks before rescue. At least the Viridium integrated into the suit makes me easy to track. So at least they'll find my body. Or the remains of the suit.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
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Nora Gerhadsen
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190704.0828

Personal log, Stardate 190704

I sent the distress call four days ago, but I don't know if it even got received. Maybe there was a problem with the Subere holo-relay. Maybe my transmitter isn't working properly. I never got any acknowledgment or even any signal.

Turns out that there are non-bipedal threats on Glewik... Is it II or III I'm on? I don't actually know. Anyway, the plasma rifle has been getting a workout, and I'm going to need to get to a good plasma source to do some maintenance. And that's a threat of its own kind.

They've gotten really close a couple of times, but they don't seem to be looking specifically for me. At least not yet. Camouflage is my friend. So is this thing, apparently. I'm talking too much.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
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Nora Gerhadsen
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Posts: 1324
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190719.2128

Personal log, Stardate 190719.

It's been more than two weeks since I called for evac. My transmitter got blasted to bits not too long after that, so I'm out of luck. I'm lucky I wasn't vaporized with it. At least the heat's off for now. They think I'm dead. I'm doing my best to let them keep thinking that.

Thank the Maker that the magnesite in these canyons scrambles sensors, especially their low-tech garbage. Still and all, the Privari and the pirates aren't the only threats here in the Glewik system. I'm going to have to get to one of those bases to steal some food and water. It's a big risk, but so are starvation and dehydration. I need a bath. I must stink pretty bad. I don't care about it except that it could give away my position.

I wonder what happened to my distress signal. I don't know if I can sneak onto a ship. If I get caught, it gets awfully sporty awfully quickly.
___________________________________________________________________
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
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Grid: Second Life
Location: ME
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 73 times
Contact:

190726.1356

Personal log, Stardate 190726.

I managed to snatch some food and water from a patrol. I shadowed them for a couple of days, all told. Apparently the Privari Archon has laid out his terms for the Dulani. The patrol was dumb enough to play it on a speaker on a loop for a while, so I actually got a recording. You just can't make this stuff up.

((What seems to be a tinny recording of a gravelly man's voice can heard.))

"People of Dulan, the sooner you come to the overdue realization that your days in this Universe are behind you, the better it will be both for you and for the other sentient species in this Sector. I have no desire to continue the wanton destruction I have been forced to visit on your planets and other worlds that lie around your space. My only desire is for a permanent end to this senseless war.

"And the only way to ensure a true, permanent end of the war is the complete extermination of the entire Dulani species. As your fleets continue to fall to Privari might, I want you to carefully consider your options, and my terms: either you can choose to die peacefully, gently, and in an orderly fashion, or Privari ships and Privari weapons will continue to visit unspeakable horrors upon your people and reduce your fleets, your cities, and your planets' ecosystems to ash. And not only your planets, but those planets around Dulani space. Think of what you are doing to the other poor sentient species in this area of space with your impertinent and stubborn resistance. Your hard-heartedness is causing them great pain and destruction.

"Either way, you are all going to die. Wouldn't it be better to simply pass gracefully into history rather than be dragged kicking and screaming? To any Dulani who does decide to surrender, I promise you it won't hurt. You will be treated well and gently before your surprisingly painless and worry-free execution. I thank you in advance for your enthusiasm, your voluntary self-extermination, and your cooperation in ending a species, your species, that should have died out centuries ago."

((The tinny recording stops.))

Maker's breath, he's taken complete leave of his senses. I don't even know what he's trying to accomplish with this little speech. All it'll do is enrage the Dulani. He can't seriously think he's got even the remotest prayer of following through with all that nonsense. Then again, I don't have a lot of information here. News reports in the buccaneer base were scanty, but suggested a massive, active front with many fleets engaged.

One thing I know... I'm still alive. I'm awfully tired of desert. I have no idea if anyone even knows where I am, or knows to come get me. I think I have to try to get out of here. Maybe I can grab a ship. Anything. I'm going a little crazy. Not as crazy as Vekreeti, though. What a loon.
___________________________________________________________________
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:

190810.2038

Personal log, Stardate 190811.

And my life has gotten a whole lot more complex since my last entry. The pressure was off -- patrols had stopped looking for me, because they think I'm dead -- but the whole place got awfully hot. I think a couple of Privari brigades showed up for training or something like that. Anyway, I headed north, deeper into the mountains. I got a minor signal for water, and chased it into a cave... And found a bunch of Dulani refugees. Maker's big toe, there are children here. And there's even someone I recognize! At least, from log entries. Her name is Nowreen. When the Maxwell encountered her, she was in the Hapke 713H, or Hural, system. She's tall for a Dulani, and really quiet. Seems really shy. The putative leader here, a fellow by the name of Celemir, is really protective of her.

I can't say the refugees were all that happy to see me at first, and I can sympathize. The water source is pretty anemic, and I'm just another mouth to feed and water. But my rifle got their attention. As well, Celemir recognized me as the Captain of the Maxwell. In a really weird way, it would seem that I've kind of fulfilled my mission. Sort of, anyway: these people know all about the voyage and marooning of the Athraxos, and they are supporters of the ideals of that doomed crew. So I've kind of found the "Athraxos people," though I'm pretty sure this ragged band of refugees wasn't the exact gang I was supposed to contact. We're all hiding and miserable.

Celemir tells me that they were all gathered in the Upanin System, which is actually in Dulani space. Most of these people came from there, but some, like Nowreen, came from elsewhere -- even Privari space. From Upanin, they were sent here, actually -- to Glewik -- to be either worked to death in the mining camps or summarily executed. Their transport crashed, though, and they managed to flee into the mountains. They'd probably have all died if they hadn't found the spring.

I managed to make myself really popular by downing a beast for food. There isn't a lot of fuel, though, so I had to cook it by setting the plasma dispersal to maximum and then setting the power a whole lot lower than it's supposed to go. I'm getting really worried about the rifle, actually. It's doing a whole lot more than it was designed to do, and now a lot of lives are depending on it.

Apparently the Archon has been as good as his word. He ordered every Dulani in Privari control to be sent to these camps for execution, whether that's quick or slow. Dulani like Nowreen (whom, actually, Celemir has renamed "Timocleia" because "Nowreen" is a Privari name) were grabbed at all points in Privari space and herded into this awful system of camps that spans worlds. Whatever happens out here, I want to see this Archon's rule ended. That's not a very Starfleet way to be, but the misery he and his ilk have caused represents an abdication of all responsibilities as a sentient being. Unmaking the Archon would not be a sin. Even if done slowly, wantonly, and with much suffering.

All right, close log.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
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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:

190814.2101

Personal log, supplemental.

It's been a few days since I found the Dulani refugees. In that time, three have died. One fell down a cliff; another was killed by one of the great beasts that roam around here. Poor fellow wasn't even attacked: the beast was merely swinging its tail and managed to crush him in a narrow canyon. The third was due to heat exhaustion. This is a real thing here. The Dulani don't have anything like my suit. Not that I'm comfortable, of course, but they're surviving with no climate control at all. We're pretty high up in the mountains, but it still gets up to nearly 130 outside. The cave is relatively cooler at about 100 during the hottest part of the day. Down in the valley, it can easily get to 160 or more. Apparently we're in deep summer here, so we're close to as hot as it gets.

We have a clean supply of water in the cave, but that's lucky. There's another pool outside, but for all of us, it's poison: full of heavy metals and other toxins. Oddly enough, the local fauna drink from the water outside, and seem to avoid the water in the cave. The creatures around here are mostly sauroids. There are huge sauropods, but also other forms. They seem to thrive in the heat, but mostly avoid the lower valleys. It is possible that they can't handle the heat down there. Just downing one of these things has provided enough food to feed our ragged band for perhaps a week or more. They're that big. But I'll need to get back out there pretty soon for another hunt. You've got to time the hunt properly. There is so much meat to move that we basically have to take everyone. We don't want to be seen by passing patrol craft, but the narrow canyons we're in really help against that sort of thing.

So the plan will be to go out in the pre-first-dawn light, when the canyons are at their coolest. We want to be back in the cave, sleeping or otherwise not doing a lot of exertion, before the light from the suns hits the canyon floor. That's toward mid-morning. From the planet's point of view, the two suns, Glewik A and Glewik B, are what is called an 'eclipsing binary.' That means that every so often, one of the suns passes behind the other. I've now been here long enough to experience a couple of these -- it happens every three weeks or so -- and turns the place downright cold for half a day. All the sauroids typically lie down, though there are some that specialize in hunting during these brief cold snaps. Now, when I say 'cold,' it isn't really all that much. It gets down to about 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

But it's the perfect time to go hunting, if we can manage it. The next eclipse won't be for a couple of weeks or so. Down in the hotter valley, the temperature gets down to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It's practically a mini ice age, around here.

I need to find a way to get some sort of signal out. My transmitter is long gone, and there's enough magnesite in these canyons that the interference might well be completely obscuring my Viridium system. There just aren't a lot of people to call for help at this point. More and more, the refugees are looking to me to help them out of this mess. And I don't know if I can do that. I'd hate to leave them here. They wouldn't survive long.

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:

190828.2142

Personal log, Stardate 190828.

We are definitely on Glewik II, not III. I've been with the Dulani for almost three standard weeks now. We're doing pretty well, all things considered. We've only lost one other person -- but that was actually due to an untreated pre-existing medical condition. We need medicines as well as food. I foresee another hunter/gatherer expedition in our future. If only I can get the Dulani to let me go by myself. Celemir is desperate to have someone with me, even though I keep telling him that the risk actually goes up, the more of us go. We can't afford to be found. They'll just kill us all. We aren't terribly mobile, and we have no viable means of escape. But we need one. Badly.

What the heck am I even doing out here? I want to help these people. I've suffered with them, I've watched them die. I've seen what the other side is capable of. But my Starfleet training tells me -- we don't interfere. I think April Coswell would say that helping these people is the human thing to do. And my upbringing tells me that helping these people, healing the hurts they have gotten at the hands of madmen and tyrants, is a holy act, and thoroughly necessary.

This war of theirs has got to stop.
___________________________________________________________________
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:

190829.2242

Personal log, supplemental.

I'm about to go do that foraging mission. I'm taking Timocleia with me, the former 'Nowreen' from the Hural System. She grew up among the Privari, and she's best able to help sort out the most important stuff to take. That was an interesting conversation. I thought Celemir was going to pop an artery. He completely freaked out when I asked for her. He's incredibly protective of her. Even now, he looks like he's going to have a heart attack.

But she's the right person, and no doubt about it. She's one of the most fit here -- she's tough, and is dealing with the heat better than just about anyone else among the Dulani.

Maker's breath, there he goes again, threatening to send 'guards' with us. He really doesn't get the idea of stealth. A big crowd is sure to catch attention, and that's the thing we most need to avoid.

I'll pick this up later. I need to put out some fires. Close log.
___________________________________________________________________
Rear Admiral Nora Gerhadsen
Commanding Officer, USS Maxwell NCC-21873
Chief of UF Starfleet Operations
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