Star Trek - Lost Souls [Cortex +]

Expedition Log - 20120306.1423

CMDR Ferris is recovering from wounds received during the stand off between the expedition and local forces led by a man named Zerkin. The armed group broke up after Zerkin was killed by CMDR Ferris. They continue to be present in the city of Ocean Grove but do not appear to be hostile.

Star Fleet Command approved our involvement with the Mina to help them establish Ocean Grove as a refugee center. We will be providing medical assistance and helping refugees entering the area to find adequate food and shelter.

SCPO Stubbins took a fire team of Marines on a recon of the area to gain more detailed intelligence on Mina present in the area and possible security problems.

Members of the expedition have begun to explore the area looking for a new location for the expedition to move to. A resort near the coast has been the best location now for affording members of the expedition privacy, sufficient space and security.

Dr. Rioux has finished formulating a synthetic serum for the virus. It will need to be manufactured in micro-gravity, and so preparations are being made to send the needed materials and information to Unity Station so that they may begin manufacturing the serum in sufficient quantities to vaccinate the surviving population.

CMDR Ferris has ordered the engineering group to modify a bus for the Jump Team to use in future remote missions. Newly promoted PO1 Hutchinson is in charge of the tasking.

Regular communications with Star Fleet continues. Expedition members have been sending personal correspondence and reports back to Federation Space.

A member of the Mina armed forces, Field Leader Palmer, arrived at the hospital. He was ordered to report to CMDR Ferris and will be acting as the expeditions liaison to the Mina. He spent some time with members of the expedition and then went to speak with the members of the armed force that recently laid siege to the hospital. He expects to be able to recruit some of them to help with refugee operations.

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CMDR James Ferris - Personal Log - 201203061546

Dr. Sim let me have a cane so I can get around. I may have said I’d take it easy. I just know that two days on my back in a bed was more than I wanted to spend. We’ve got work to do, and if I’m not up and moving around I get cranky.

Speaking of cranky, I spoke with Dr. Order. I wanted her to take a crack at the encryption that’s in place on the GTM on P3-4797. Star Fleet has a couple of code crackers on their way to the USS Riemann. the ship is using her computers to try and crack the code. I figured Order would be just as effective. We have a GTM, computers, and her brain. Besides, if she doesn’t have something to do I have the feeling she goes crazy pretty quickly.

So, anyway, she told me that she wasn’t happy with my decision to have a little gun fight with Zerkin. Apparently, according to her, I’m critical to holding the expedition together. I’m needed, and I can’t take such risks. This is one of the reasons I hate having to interact with people who don’t understand me. I considered trying to explain it to her, but it’s as much beyond her grasp of understanding as whatever it is that she does is beyond me.

It did make me think though. I’ve got to tough it out. Star Fleet could be at this GTM problem for months, or longer. The Mina are going to start arriving, and looking to us for help. An officer from their military, the Combined Arms Group, already got here. soon enough we’re going to be in the middle of a whole lot of scared, angry, lost aliens. They’ve listened to and read about and watched their entire civilization disintegrate. And now, months after that began, they’re just going to start to really grieve. And we’re going to be right in the middle of it.

I promoted Hutch to PO1. Man I could tell that just made his day. He probably wanted to thank me with a shovel upside the head. I don’t blame him. He’s got work though, so he’ll keep busy. I have to say that most of the fleet folks are doing okay. There are a few lazy shits, but mostly they’re doing double duty and not making too many noises about it. I am really surprised by Winslow. Ever since we got here he’s been busting his ass. I’d say something to him, but I don’t want him to realize I noticed.

I saw Tezeno coming out of the mess hall the other day. The light hit her hair just right and for a minute I thought she was Emily. Red heads. It was a fleeting moment, but it reminded me I miss her. Bitch.

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LT. Jessie Tezeno - Personal Log - 20120306.1521

CMDR Ferris is up and around. He’s taking it easy, but it still makes me nervous. He seems to think that if he stops moving he’ll die or something like some sort of shark.

Star Fleet approved our request to assist the Mina in setting up Ocean Grove as a refugee camp. CMDR Ferris seems unhappy about the idea, I guess it’s because he’s not used to doing these sorts of missions. Lt. JG Ring is excited though, this is the sort of stuff he’s really good at. He’s already trying to plan out relocation for us, resource distribution for the Mina, housing. I have never seen him this animated.

I had a chance to sit down with Lt. JG McAllister and talk about his disobeying my orders to return via Eurka. I hadn’t made it clear that those were orders. He thought they were instructions that were open to his final decision. We agreed that I’d try to be more clear when I gave an order and he’d ask if he wasn’t sure. This is what Captain Littlepage was saying about me though when I was on the McNolte. I’m vague at times when I issue orders. I get too friendly with the people under my command and they’re not sure when I’m giving an order and when I’m asking them to do something. How come no one ever seems confused when Ferris says something? It’s got to be that tone in his voice. That “do it or I’ll stomp you into the dirt” tone he gets when the world is falling apart. Or maybe everyone is afraid of him.

I asked if he wanted to send a message home. He said to send one to his wife. “Shut the hell up and wait. I’ll get there when I get there.” I assumed it was a joke, then he said “Word for word Lieutenant.” Is it a code maybe? Maybe it’s how tough guys conceal their mushy insides when they send messages home. I wonder what kinds of messages dad sent mom when he was away.

I have managed to dodge the bullet in Dr. Orden’s quest for sexually attractive females. I’m not sure if I should be relieved or offended. She managed to corner Snafu on the subject, and rumor has it that was because Dr. Sim picked her as his choice for most sexually attractive. Snafu and he did spend some time talking and dancing at the party. Maybe romance is in the air. I’ll laugh though if someone else gets pregnant before Orden does. since having babies was her idea.

Not gonna matter anyway. Star Fleet is working on getting us home. This has gone from a hopeless situation to being an extended disaster relief mission.

One final note. They reclassified the missions communications designator as Lost Souls 2012A. A Lost Souls unit is any group cut off from the Federation or out of contact for an extended period of time. We are the 2012th group to be assigned the Lost Souls designator, and the A is because we were in the Alpha Quadrant when we disappeared. I don’t want it to spread if I can help it. It’s just a stupid radio designation, but the colonists might not see it that way. It’s just a stupid radio designation.

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Darwin, Personal Log, 20120304.1350

My attempts to remain disengaged from the native populace seem doomed to failure. The latest word from on high says it could be months before we might be able to be extracted. In the meantime, we can expect to start receiving plague refugees within the next week or so, and we are expected to provide them with shelter and sustenance, as well as assist them with rebuilding their society.

To prepare for their arrival, Ferris directed me to clear out any of the more dangerous specimens freed from the zoo; my choices were to relocate them or to put them down. It is killing me to kill the cats, but where to put them? Winter is coming. They will roam great distances to find food, and if they are hungry enough, they will kill whatever they can, including the natives who managed to survive the virus. The natives will kill the cats if the cats attack any remaining livestock which may be the remaining food source for the natives. Its a real dilemma. I would like to cage the cats up, put them on a boat or figure out how to use the transmat system to take them back where they belong, so that they and the natives would both have a chance at survival. I don’t think allocating the resources for that kind of effort is very high on anybody’s priority list but mine.

Leckie got swiped by one of the cats. He insisted on following me to the zoo, although I think it may have been safer for both of us had I gone alone. The cat attacked, and I pulled the marine into an enclosure and slammed the gate behind us. The cat reached through and caught Leckie on his right leg. We stunned the cat, but the two of us couldn’t move it, not with Leckie injured. It was hard enough just getting both of us out of the cage since the cat had collapsed against the gate. Leckie will be fine, although by the way he carried on, you’d think it was a bigger deal than it turned out to be.

After seeing Leckie back to the love and care of his comrades (and medic), I made another foray to the zoo with the intention of retrieving some of the creatures that were not as dangerous but definitely needed to be moved to a place with suitable shelter or cared for by us if they are going to survive the winter. I collected a largish snake like animal – what is it with Parker and reptiles? – and something that reminded me of omnivorous guinea pig rabbits (I was later informed that they are commonly referred to by the natives as “stew pigs”), and some native avians. I thought perhaps that Biron’s young ward, Em, might like a pet; she is afraid of the dog like Vargs, but I hoped the “stew pigs” or avians might suit. The little monster’s expression lit up when she saw the avians and reached out to take one of them, which warmed my heart right up until the very moment she bit its head off, its brightly colored feathers spread randomly around her grinning mouth. The avians are delicacies, flying candy… I handed the lot off to Buckman and the animal husbandry specialists, candy colored snackbirds and stew pigs and all. The snake was driven out to the countryside and deposited near some rocks and trees, far from where it could disturb anyone’s peace of mind. Biron can find his own pet for Miss Em. Maybe she’d like a kitten.

In the meantime, decisions are being made at home, and I don’t know which way they are going. I don’t know if I need to say goodbye, and if I do, if I’ll get the opportunity. I don’t appreciate the possibility of my current circumstances driving these decisions either.

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Dr. Ripley Orden, Personal Log
Scanning for iambic pentameter, captain.

Ryan,

I know this is a question fraught with the fallacy inherent in subjectivity, but what draws you to Sarah? Do you feel love for Sarah? Do you feel some visceral sense of attraction toward her?

Michaela presented me with an axiom—that an individual cannot perceive the mating signals of another unless he feels some attraction toward the other. And he cannot project those mating signals unless he feels some attraction toward the other. (There’s a noteworthy exception to this axiom: some professionals learn to simulate attractive qualities as a means of social lubrication.)

My questions are: do you agree with the axiom? Does the axiom apply to artificial intelligences?

We had a party, you see, and Michaela helped me to don the appropriate ritual dress. Someone taught me to dance, and I think, though I hadn’t noticed it until the party, he exudes a degree of physical attractiveness. This means, of course, that I am attracted which, following the axiom, would mean that he in turn feels attraction toward me. Unless, of course, he’s simulating those signals. He would be an expert simulator.

I think he might have left me a sonnet. I returned to my bed after the party, a bit impaired due to thorough testing of Buckman’s commissioned gelatin-alcohol mixtures, and found the sonnet under my pillow.

As I inspect it now, I can observe that it is, more precisely, a sonnet in Shakespearean form: fourteen lines, iambic pentameter, A-B-A-B-et-cetera rhyming scheme. I’ve searched the database so I might understand it in context, but it would seem to be either an original composition or an extremely obscure piece.

Thematically, it describes yearning: a fragile hothouse flower yearns past the confines of its enclosure toward the stars, while the poet yearns toward the flower. It concludes: “To grasp the rose would mar its silken flesh. // Forsake the sun and bloom to my caress.” I grant that the slant rhyme disturbs its mechanical symmetry, but on the whole I find it lovely.

How do I discover its author? If only we had brought some investigative professionals on the expedition. I think the most qualified individual might be Michaela who knows, at least, how to make people talk.

Em, Martin Biron’s little ward, has learned how to calculate small matters of probability: black and white stones in a bag, socks in a drawer, whether to choose door number one or to exchange her initial selection for door number two. (I haven’t yet convinced her, though, that the vehicle is the optimal outcome; she would rather have the goat.)

I think, since she responds well to learning in the context of games, that I should teach her a more complex scenario of analysis involving playing cards. Bridge is an option, although that requires at least two other players already conversant in the rules.

Perhaps poker. Yes, I think she would do quite well with that, and I’ve seen the Marines playing. She would have no shortage of experimental subjects.

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CMDR James Ferris - Personal Log - 20120227.0922

I’ve been shot. The plan was simple, challenge Zerkin to a duel. I ordered the Marines to go to a lethal force posture for the retreat if my plan didn’t work out. They were only being held together by Zerkin. He had a couple of men that were anxious for a fight, but the vast majority of them were just there because they had no idea what else to do.

Charismatic leaders. I could see it in his eyes, that desire to be done. To be able to lay down and die and stop being in pain. I could see it, because it’s the same thing I see in my eyes. Well, I used to. He got off four shots and managed to put three of them home. I had to let him draw first. Had to let him shoot first. His men had to see it. My men had to see it. Then I killed him. He needed an enemy, and we were it. Thankfully none of us was seriously hurt. Well, except for me. But that’s the price you pay for being in charge.

They dug the bullets out, closed up the bleeders, sewed up the holes. Now I’m waiting to get the okay to get out of bed. Couple of days is all I can spare to be down.

The still is producing. Buckman is giving away secret samples. They’re trying to stockpile enough to be ahead of the consumption curve. I got a taste.

Sim apparently prescribed a party. Tezeno being the good XO she is put people to task. It was held downstairs in the cafeteria. I could hear the music and I got to watch some video. They offered to wheel me down but I passed. They need to relax, and seeing me isn’t going to help with that.

Tezeno tells me she recommended to Star Fleet Command that we help the Mina Central Authority with their request for assistance in setting Ocean Grove up to receive refugees. It’s a task that the majority of the fleet personnel can handle. It’ll be hard work though, ass busting work. It’ll foster good will and a closeness to the Mina, which is why I would have recommended against it. But I’m an asshole.

They dug out the GTM on P3-4797 and are trying to figure it out enough to get us home. We could go tomorrow. And SFC wouldn’t let anyone stay if we could be recalled. So helping these people, getting to know them and get close to them is just going to make it hurt if we get recalled. But if we don’t, then it’s going to be hard for them to watch us die out as they rebuild their civilization.

I could really go for a drink.

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Personal Message from Darwin, B.N. to Hobbes, C.

Mom and everybody

Here I go getting lost again! Sorry about that, it wasn’t in my plans, that I can promise you! I am well, and as safe as can reasonably be expected under the current circumstances. The ability to communicate with the Federation gives me hope that I may someday be able to return to Federation space. I am keeping myself productively occupied while I wait for the engineers to come up with a way around the problem. They are saying it could be a while, and that usually means they are already far down the path to a solution. The good news is that they’re not making many “impossible” noises. You may know more about the rescue effort than I do. I don’t know if any information is being withheld from us for morale purposes.

I am only having another adventure, same as always. Your concern should be reserved for the “new” Bob. I will do my best to keep this one – and myself – alive. I’ve started by not ever calling him “Bob”. “Lucky Charm” was assigned to be my keeper since he made the mistake of accidentally saving me one time from some potential grievous injury. I didn’t get a scratch on me, and neither did he.

Before you ask again, I don’t know if the ceremony is on or off or what. Things were up in the air when I got caught up in this mess here. Given the circumstances, I think the question might be moot for the near future anyway, and who knows beyond that. Things might be forced to change. If he contacts you, let him know I am safe and well and am keeping myself busy until I can come home. I plan to send a separate message to him.

All my love,

Bindi

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Dr. Sim Kalev - Personal Log 20120222

I may have made a grievous error.
Immediately after completing surgery on the young male native we encountered at the University I was approached by Ripley who, in her indomitable fashion, asked me which of the female members of our party I found the most attractive.
And I told her. It’s Muriel, the marine’s medic.
In the moment I was too worn out to give much thought to any repercussions my answer might bring about but once I had a little time to decompress my mind wandered back to the question -and the fact that it was Ripley Orden asking.
I am not ashamed of my answer. It’s the truth. Muriel, as I’ve gleaned from our admittedly short acquaintance, seems to have many of the qualities I would look for in a mate, were I looking for one. Which led me to another question -why aren’t I looking for one?
The loss of Kanala looms large in my reasoning but it’s been years since her death and I believe that even the strictest among us would agree that honor is long past satisfied as far as mourning goes. Kanala herself would want me to find someone, of this I’m sure. So why do I continue to hold back?
Consider our hosts on this world. They’ve all lost loved ones, some of them everyone they held dear. They’re in shock right now, as one might expect, but they will go on, rebuild their lives. There’s strength in them to live. Can I say the same of myself?

If I know Ripley at all she’s already gone and told Muriel what I said. Once, not long ago, I’d be very angry. Unreasonably so. But now? After what I see before me on this world? I feel… liberated. If Muriel does approach me I’ll be open and honest with her.
I’m a fool for wasting my thoughts on this sort of thing while we are still in such dire circumstances but I cannot help myself.

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Darwin, Personal Log, 201202211705004

Ferris is brilliantly insane.

I should let him view the shark images. He’ll probably want one fried up for lunch.

The biologists have the dinosaur eggs now. They are very excited. If we can’t leave here soon, we really should all go back to Dinosaur Island. I don’t think any natives would be storming that fortress, not with all the predatory reptiles roaming around. If we push the fence line out a little, and cleared some more trees, we’d be very safe.

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Michaela - Personal Log

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail.”

It’s probably a very good thing I left Starfleet Academy. I’m not doing so well at following rules and knowing my place. It’s just not in me to sit back and wait for someone else to tell me what has been decided when it impacts my future. It’s not that I need to be the one to decide, but I want to be a part of it all, not just a bystander, even if it means I get shot in the ass sometimes. I can’t just wait for someone else to do what needs to be done.

I’ve gotten adept at keeping my eyes and mind away from the death and destruction all around us. Maybe I’m too good at it, but the best way for me to cope is by focusing on the living, figuring out what they need, doing what I can to help them, listening and truly hearing their stories, trying to find ways to give them hope.

I’m not just talking about the natives of this planet when I say that either. The Starfleet Officers, the marines, the colonists, all of the people with us need to hear that things Will get better. We’ve got good people with brilliant minds working on getting us home, and we have the skills and knowledge to survive here for as long as we have to until we get home. Even if we don’t make it, even if Ripley is right and we have to somehow make lives for ourselves and our descendants in this place, we’ll find a way to do that, too. I’m not ready to look for someone “genetically compatible” and make babies, but there are far worse places to be (as long as I don’t get stuck on Dinosaur Island).

I do miss my family. Here in the quiet of the night I can open my grief box just long enough to hold each of them in my heart. I picture mom up to her elbows in bread dough, singing at the kitchen window. I see Luke and Jude heading in from the fields, dirty, sweaty and tired, but holding flowers for the evening table. Maggie is at the piano, of course, long dark hair hiding her face, lost to everything but the magic her fingers produce. Trixie is in the garage and working on that old clunker she’s got. She’s covered in grease, scowling and swearing up a blue streak, but I know she’s happier there than anywhere else right now. Robin would be out by the gate, the chores he should be doing long forgotten, his eyes staring into the distance at visions only he can see. And Patrick……… Patrick will have to stay in the box for now. I’ll close it up and open it again when I am stronger. Goodnight and love to you all. There is much to do tomorrow.

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