Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Saurian Brandy Incident

Captain's Log Supplemental, Stardate 92543.15

I suppose I am waxing a bit nostalgic this night, as I sit in my ready room aboard the AtomA and reflect upon my career and the accomplishments and exploits of my crew. While there is no question that this is certainly the finest ship I've ever had the honor of taking the helm of, I will always remember my first assignment with the type of fondness that results from success born from chaos and hardship...some of which was self-inflicted.

These were the voyages of the U.S.S. Cephalopod, with a crew of greenhorns just as wild as any mountain cehlat. We were all Ensigns back then, fresh out of the Academy and hungry for our first shipboard assignments. Even though the Cephalopod was just a frigate, we were proud of her and anxious to put our Academy days behind us, gazing skyward toward our future amongst the stars. I had attained the coveted position of First Officer aboard her bridge, and when we ran into some trouble with Klingons, I became acting Captain. Our Captain was killed in the fray (Tolliver, may you rest in peace) and my position became official. It was a post I was admittedly not prepared for, and the entire crew was reeling from the loss.
 After a debriefing, few week's shore leave and a promotion, we were deemed ready to assume our new posts. There are times I believe the powers that be questioned that decision after they made it, but I suppose there have been other crews in Starfleet's history who have acted worse than we did and retained their posts. It started innocently enough, with a gift from my Chief Tactical Officer Kolez in congratulations of my new command.

It was a bottle of fine Saurian brandy. A rather large one.

Kolez's parents had kept the brandy when they left Sauria and presented it to their son upon his graduation from the Academy. He hadn't opened it, and for some reason thought to present it to me as we left Earth space dock. Neither of us had ever drank a drop, nor had Science Officer T'Lyra or Chief Engineer Drazel. I'm not certain how, but sharing it round the bridge seemed like a good idea at the time.

The one among us who had experience in this sort of thing was First Officer Eliza Florez. She had a reputation in the Academy as something of a party girl, but seeing as how the people I socialized with the most were other 'nerds' like myself, I never witnessed any of this behavior. We had worked on assignments together and her grades were generally good, so I thought nothing of the rumors. But once the brandy began making its rounds on the bridge, I came to the realization that they were true.

First Officer Florez turned what had begun as a quiet and reflective toast amongst friends into a rollicking party. She encouraged us to drink more. At first we begrudgingly complied, but the more alcohol we drank, the easier it seemed to drink it. After my third glass, the night became a blur, but I've been able to piece the events of the evening together with an embarrassing amount of detail.

The bridge transformed from a place of scientific study and serious sensor monitoring into a madhouse. Drazel somehow rigged the replicator to make bubblegum pink paint and decided it was the perfect shade for turbolift 1. She painted it floor to ceiling. The lights and control panel were not spared. Kolez picked up old Earth satellite transmissions of some strange music television channel and started a dance party. Somehow, Florez roped me into a game of strip poker. She won the game, but ended up taking off most of her clothing, anyway. She lost about half of it and, once Drazel had finished her turbolift masterpiece, thought it was a grand idea to paint the clothes back on us both.She ruined her uniform in the process, and Florez's long hair had to be shaved the next day because we couldn't remove the dried paint from it.

Ugh. The next day.

The only one who stuck to the one-glass limit was T'Lyra. She dragged us all to sickbay by our ears (or in Kolez's case, the nape of his neck) and began treating us for hangovers. We were all sick as dogs and appreciated her help, no matter how begrudgingly she gave it. Once we were all feeling somewhat better, we attempted to clean up the bridge--which looked like 20th century rock stars had invaded it--and to locate missing articles of mine and Florez's clothing...and scrub paint out of places paint has no business being on living organisims.

T'Lyra reported the incident to Starfleet Command, and told them that Eliza was responsible. She was immediately reassigned to a quiet, primitive planet where she was to observe the culture of the peoples...and stay out of trouble. The rest of us received a reprimand and a short suspension, but found ourselves back on our beloved Cephalopod within a couple of weeks, with the warning that we reserve such behavior for shore leave. 

To this day, there is still a tinge of pink in turbolift 1, and the whereabouts of Florez's bra and right sock remain a mystery.

Captain T'olek, signing out.

These Are The Voyages Of An Unusual Vulcan...And Her Crew

Captain's Log Supplemental, Stardate 92542.84

All great adventures must begin somewhere. I would say that mine begin today, but the truth is, my entire life has been an adventure.

My name is T'oluk-Maat S'el-tanaya M'ddvhh'tvh. I am Vulcan. Currently, I am a Commander within the United Federation of Planets, and the captain of a long-range science vessel, the U.S.S. AtomA. Most of my crew have served under me for the entirety of my career, aboard several other ships. They are loyal and creative, if a bit unruly. 

My kind of people. They are also my friends.

I am admittedly a bit unusual for one of my species, hence this exercise in vanity that many would consider something of a journal. I attribute it to my upbringing within a cult founded by Sybok on the planet of Nimbus III. When the cult was *ahem* 'disbanded', I was taken to Vulcan for 'rehabilitation' and was adopted by a quite normal, logical Vulcan family. They remained in constant frustration because, at the age of twelve, I had never learned to bring my emotions under control and embrace logic. My adoptive siblings would call me 'the covert Romulan' whenever I would show emotion. Though I excelled in school and embraced logic, I always believed that there should be more of a balance. While one cannot allow their emotions to rule, emotions are not logical and do require some form of acknowledgement and expression.

This way of thinking made me a pariah amongst my peers. 

However, a girl who lived down the street from me whom was in my class became my friend. While she didn't agree with my viewpoints, she believed that I needed guidance and patience. Perhaps she was correct. She is still my friend and the Science Officer aboard my ship. When I failed my Kalenarr due to what the high Counsel considered a 'nervous breakdown', she followed me to Starfleet Academy when the Counsel sent me away, much to the bewilderment of her parents. She was in line to become a priestess, and why she left Vulcan to join Starfleet remains a mystery to them. But I know why. T'Lyra is a closet rebel, though she would never admit it, even under threat of torturous death.

Once in Starfleet, I quickly earned a reputation as the Vulcan who acted more like a Romulan or Human. I could not--nor had any intention to--completely quash my emotions. And it was a bit of a shock to my classmates when they made their appearance. For some reason this made me intriguing to a few of my classmates, the most notable an Earth-raised Saurian named Kolez and his long-time friend, a Bolian-Earthling named Drazel. T'Lyra felt they were a bad influence on me at first and would attempt to keep me from seeing them, but upon our mutual assignments to the U.S.S. Cephalopod, there was no choice. Seeing what skilled workers they were and what ingenious solutions they came up with to the problems that arise aboard a starship, her attitude toward them softened in time.

However, we had a true party girl in our midst. The one human in our first assignment, First Officer Eliza Florez, was a rather bad influence on us all. The Cephalopod has yet to be fully restored from antics that she instigated (more on that in a later entry), and she earned herself a reprimand and subsequent ground assignment. Kolez became our First Officer and we haven't looked back. 

Pondering on it now, that seems like a lifetime ago. There have been five ships, many planets and two new bridge officers since then. One of which is Drazel's younger half-sister Siall...and with her arrival, the drama began. 

Drazel, Siall and Kolez grew up in the same San Francisco neighborhood and attended school together. They had been friends since they were children, and Drazel and Kolez were in the same graduating class at the Academy, the same T'Lyra and myself were in. Siall is a couple of years younger than the two, and it quickly became apparent that she and her elder sister had been vying for our Tactical Officer's affections for a long time. Unfortunately for them both, their feelings were unrequited which, unfortunately for us all, led to more in-fighting and sibling rivalry.

The situation became so bad at one point that I called Kolez and T'Lyra together to discuss whether we should discipline them both, let them go, and look for another Chief Engineer and Junior Science Officer. Whilst still deliberating, a second Engineer joined our crew. The rather mysterious and intimidating O'wez D'artangnan has had nothing but a positive influence on my unruly crew, bringing professionalism and peace back to my bridge. Due to his calm demeanor and logical approach to volatile situations, he and T'Lyra became fast friends as did he and Kolez...though I think the Saurian had been feeling outnumbered all these years by such a female-dominant bridge crew.

Whilst our journeys aboard the AtomA have not been problem-free, they certainly have been free of the problems of our younger selves. Maybe we're all mellowing as we age. Or perhaps we've all finally grown up. Whatever the case, there has been far less Saurian brandy involved. Perhaps that has something to do with it.

Captain T'olek, signing off.