Candi Quick's Personal Log

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Candi Quick
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian

160417.1526

Candi Quick continues absent-mindedly brushing her long and luxurious hair, not noticing the computer is ready for her entry. She's dressed in sweat shorts and a tie-dye t-shirt that says "Surfer Girl." She has a friendship bracelet on her left wrist, a candy-heart neckace, and dolphin earrings, which she takes out and puts them on the desktop in front of the screen.

"Ummm... okay. I hate personal logs. I actually hate making any logs. But... my friend Sierrah said I should, my captain said I should... my therapist said I should... so here we go. What's the point anyways? I already experienced everything that I would talk about. I don't want to relive old experiences--I want to have new ones!" Sure, there are foods I'd to have again and activities I'd like to repeat, but no experience is ever the same. It's like the waves on the ocean. They're all waves, but each one is different. An ocean is always the same but it's also always constantly changing. Constant motion and activity not only on the surface but in the currents. Fish are always swimming, but each movement in the dance of a school is always something new. That's how things are supposed to be. But... everyone said I need to make a personal log."

Candi plants her face on the desk. And lifts her head up again, clearly exasperated.

"This is so boring. OK. From the beginning--I was born at Temtibi Lagoon on the Suri Continent on Risa. My mother is Kara Quick, from a city called Tiron, up in the highlands of the northernmost island on my planet, Tumar. Her culture is the Prarut, which is similar to Earth's Celtic culture. Red hair, freckles, snarky, short-tempered, honor-bound. My father is Piramar Tara, from a fishing and farming town along the coast of the same island. Different culture for the most part, one similar to earth's Vikings. Blonde, blue-eyed, even-tempered until roused. So, mother from a city in the highlands, and father from a fishing village on the coast. They met while working on a carnival ship cruising the Northern Ocean, fell in love, and made what we call Gold Jamaharon--intimacy by agreement with the intent of mating for life. Soon after, my older brother came along, Natay. Much, much smarter than I am. Eight years after that, I was born.

Seven years after that is when my story with Starfleet really begins. Natay was due for his Red Night. When a Risian is 15, they go through the rites of passage, and become an adult. The day before, there is a party in their honor, in which they take ALL of their possessions gained to that point and distribute them to the children of their friends, family and neighbors. Not a single owned thing is left of their old life. That night, they experience Red Jamaharon. The day after every adult in their community gives them a useful gift that they will need as a full-fledged member of that community. Mostly clothes, since they don't have any left from their childhood.

This was a big night in many other ways. Natay wasn't just my oldest brother, but the closest thing I had to a parent for three-fourths of the year. While Arandis was the Chief Facilitator of Temtibi Lagoon, akin to a mayor, my parents ran the day to day operations--my mother on the business side, and my father leading the maintenance and security crew. Risa gets well over a billion tourists a year, so you can imagine how busy the resort was. So my parents were busy ALL THE TIME. There weren't many other children at Temtibi to begin with, and when school was out, everyone else was with their families. I spent most of my time wandering around and meeting tourists, and eventually helping out mixing and serving drinks at the beach bar. Natay was my closest and dearest friend, and surrogate parent. He was the best, most handsome, most caring, smartest big brother a girl ever had."

Candi starts trembling a little. Her chin and lower lip shiver, and she wipes away a tear, quickly, hoping the camera won't notice.

"Anyways, as I said, Natay was a lot smarter than me and this was going to be his Red Night at age 15. His gift to his seven year old sister was his book on Quantum Physics. Complete with his notes and equations in the side margins. It was the best present I could ever have hoped for. And that started an already far too curious and precocious little girl on her way to the stars."
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Candi Quick
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210114.1048

Personal Log, Comm. Candi Quick

Stardate 210114

U.S.S. Maxwell

******************************************************************************************

How do I begin?

For me, it's been only a few months since I transferred to the USS Argo, and we began our quest for... well, that's classified. We found it. And more than we bargained for. Everyone else is dead. Including the other me, my "quantum twin." Died saving my shuttle, and died sealing the subspace corridor to the worst place I've ever been. After that, I nearly starved to death stuck in a spacetime anomaly.

Only to be rescued by Capt. Nora and the Max. Nearly cost them their lives, but they saved me. I can never repay them. They were so happy to see "jolly old Candi" again. I'd like to see her too. I've had to redouble the meditations I learned on Vulcan just to maintain. And I've changed.

I was able to help out with the planet of the Drewskasaurii, and we're tracking down where the Rajans came from originally. Chief Drewski's parents were archaeologists, so it's fulfilling for him.

I'm just trying to find out where I belong now. So many new scientists. I'm no longer branch commander, no longer chief science officer, or vice chief science officer. I was promoted to commander right after joining the Argo, but now I find the powers-that-be have ordered I go back through the Academy. So at least temporarily--I don't even have my rank anymore.

I don't even like being around people right now. It's become too much. So I'm camping out in Astrometrics, and taking sonic showers in sick bay. I hate feeling sorry for myself, and I hate feeling like crying all the time, and I hate feeling so self-centered when so many others have died and gone through so much worse. And I hate not having fun. Not throwing myself into the next new experiment or experience.

And as soon as we're done with this current mission, I'm going to take some time and check with my contacts here in the DQ. Try and find out what's going with the Longlobes, and Cap'n Kublek. Help get us some supplies, via the black market or however we can. Find news from home. I need distractions. Maybe 12 dimensional math. Or getting back to my Patronus experiment.
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Candi Quick
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210226.0642

OK. Well, never mind about the Longlobes and Cap'n Kublek. We are certifiably out in the middle of nowhere, far away from any familiar places. We did manage to recently encounter a giant squid, though. A giant, psychotic squid with psychic powers. So basically... a typical Maxwell first encounter. The fish people were pretty nice though, if a little abstract. I managed to send their coordinates to my friends, so they should be getting some new shipments and visitors pretty soon.

Now. Bad news. Captain Nora... I mean... Admiral Nora.... no. I'm going to call her Captain. She's the Captain of the ship, and that's the rank I like calling her. Everyone else will just have to deal with that. Anyways... she's under the weather lately. I'm worried about her.

And this is where I start the self-pity party. I feel bad about my Captain being in a bad condition, and sorry for myself for having another Captain on the brink of death, and guilty about feeling sorry for myself. And I'm having nightmares. Horrible nightmares. All the Vulcan meditation in the world isn't helping me. The emotions are just... getting worse. I wish Sierrah was here. Everybody thinks I'm just being eccentric sleeping in Astrometrics. Truth is, I don't want to wake anyone up with my own nightly... pain.

What's at the heart of that? Everyone on the Argo is dead. Including the other me. The me who rescued this me. Oh that's confusing. I mean, I get it--of course. I was there. If you're someone not me, watching this... sorry. It's a quantum physics thingie. I was twinned. It's like flipping a coin, and zapping the coin so that BOTH potential outcomes land in the same universe--trident AND fish. Another me... same memories and everything. Exactly me. Saved me, and the Argo, for a little while. But they died, and she died... and... here I am. Happy to be alive. Guilty for being happy. Sad they're gone. Angry about their deaths.

I need some more distractions. Maybe I should ask Medical for some kind of nightmare suppressant. Hmmm... I wonder if such a suppressant would help suppress alien memories?
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Candi Quick
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210412.0701

Ok. To update my... issues. It's strange, but the gigantic psychotic squid didn't bother me at all, really. The telepathic screaming in my head did. Brought back memories of when a Kitsune interrogator tortured me, and I wound up with a degenerative neurological condition. So that was... too much. I got the beta-wave shields up, but I suffered something of a breakdown in engineering. Since then, I've had some time for thought.

I've been through so much since... well, another time line, journeys across space and time, and in another universe, and back again. I've seen murder and genocide and torture. I've died... once, really, but if I include the other me, I guess twice now. I've survived the Borg attack on Risa, which... never happened now. I'm the sole survivor of the USS Argo's mission. And my main coping mechanisms have been failing me lately. All the things I learned from the Vulcans about repressing negative feelings, or all the human strategies for that... not working.

So, what's been helping me now, what's been the turn around for what humans call post-traumatic stress disorder... what doesn't feel very "post" sometimes... I've stopped trying the Vulcan way and the Human way, and I've been trying the Risian way. I've been following what my Grandpa taught me.

From the time I was eight, every year at peak tourist season, my parents would send me to the Tumut isles, way up north, where my grandpa's village is. The first year it was so hard to be away from Temtibi Lagoon, and it was easier the second. The third year, when I was ten, I wanted to stay with my grandpa and my friends forever. And when it was time to go back home, I cried and cried.

My grandpa took me out on a boat, just he and I, and we sailed up the coast, so I could see all the mountains. The wind was strong that day, and the sea was high. I was a little afraid, but I was also thrilled at the adventure. As twilight came, my grandfather stopped the boat, and told me to sit up front, with my face the great wide world.

He told me to watch the waves, and feel the wind. I saw the ocean dancing, always changing and never the same. I felt the wind dancing, like the ocean, to the same song, but in its own way. Grandpa asked me to look at the mountains, and he said they were dancing in waves too, rising and falling, to their own part in the Song, but so slowly we couldn't see it.

As the stars came out, he told me that our world and its moons were dancing with each other, around our suns. And those suns were dancing with the distant stars, all of which were dancing in our galaxy, among a thousand others dancing in the endless sea of night. And then he told me to close my eyes, and imagine my own body, with all its rhythms, and the cells, dancing together, to their part in the Song. Right down the molecules and atoms, and the parts of the atoms dancing with each other. So from the biggest things in the universe, to the smallest, everything was dancing, taking their part in the Song.

And then he told me, "Listen to the Song that everything dances to, and find your place in it. And when the waves come, and they will come... turn your bow into them, and face them head on. Life goes around. When sorrow has its turn with you, take it by the hand, child, and dance. When joy returns, let sorrow go, and dance with it."

So now, I've been meditating on his words, and the Risian scriptures and proverbs, and facing the sorrow and agony in my heart--not as a Vulcan, or a Human would, but as a Risian, with the suns on her back, the moons in her heart, and the waves at her feet. And now, for the first time in a very very long time, I'm not sailing away from my own heart... and strangely, I find myself in calmer waters.
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