Primum non nocere... "First, do no harm."

stardate 84878.55

Personal log.
Captain, USS Exploration.

It’s been a strange week. Or more accurately, it’s been a strange four months. I think a little explanation is in order.

We had been assigned to do a survey mission in the Hromi Cluster. While mapping a type-three nebula, we ran across a Klingon battle group that had been using the Nebula as an ambush point for passing civilian vessels. The battle group, two Hegh’ta-class Birds of Prey, and a Negh’Var Battle Cruiser, surprised us just after we had dispatched our newly outfitted survey shuttle.

(As an interesting side-note, the shuttle, which the crew has affectionately dubbed “The Seeker,” functioned remarkably well and the modifications to the sensor array that Commanders Laroche and Banks put in place allowed us to nearly double our scanning speed and resolution. By linking the sensor array on the Exploration with the Seeker we were able to essentially create a sensor “net”, which mapped the nebula remarkably quickly and also was a large part of the reason we were able to detect the cloaked Klingon ships and raise shields just before they launched their attack.)

Because Commanders Laroche and Banks were aboard the Seeker we had to drop shields briefly for the Seeker to dock. The Klingons were faster on the trigger than we’d anticipated, and during the three seconds when the shields were down, the Battle Cruiser managed to launch a volley of torpedoes. The attack was devastating and we lost most of our core systems – main computer, propulsion, command functions, subspace communications. Main engineering was ripped to shreds. We also lost one hundred twenty-seven good people. People with families. People with children. I couldn’t even order an evacuation – we were in the middle of a nebula and I know the Klingons would have just picked off our escape pods one by one.
We were desperate and we made a desperate move.

The warp core was still intact and although torpedoes were off-line we could still fire our rear phaser banks. Turning our aft side to the Klingons, we started to limp away. Knowing it was a huge risk and our only chance, I ordered the rear shields dropped. The Klingons took the bait and all three ships came around to our aft facing. As they closed within weapons range I ordered the core ejected. Before they could react we were able to detonate it using a burst from our phasers. All three Klingon ships were badly damaged, and we were able to limp away without pursuit.

That’s when the problems really started.

With no warp core and most of the major systems off-line we were in trouble. The nearest starbase was nowhere near enough for sub-light communication to be effective we were forced to rely on our impulse engines to travel at sub (but near) light speeds. As any first year cadet knows, the danger of such travel is the time dilation that occurs when travelling close to the speed of light. So we spent the next week at 90% of c. And while we travelled, time passed – four months in the blink of an eye. Suffice it to say, we were glad to reach the Honod system and see some friendly faces.

We’ve completed repairs and we’re back on our way, but I think the psychological effects of essentially losing four months of time has worn on the crew. We’ve been ordered back to the Sol system to receive some new crew and take a month of downtime. I think we can all use it. I know that I can. Carol’s been wanting to see Bajor and DS9. Perhaps while the ship is at spacedock, we’ll book passage. I wouldn’t mind taking a turn at the Dabo wheel.

stardate 84556.64

Personal log.
Captain, USS Exploration.

It’s been an eventful few months. We’ve just recently put in at Starbase 24 for repairs and a refit to the Exploration. We had a few run-ins with the Borg during our recent excursions to the Gamma Orionis sector and the Exploration was more than a little roughed up. We lost our secondary deflector and the saucer section suffered some serious damage. Thankfully, despite some injuries to the crew, there were no deaths.

It turned out to be a good time to have to put in for repairs. An engineering team from Utopia Planitia had just arrived at the station to make some upgrades to her defences, and I was able to “borrow” the crew for a short period to supplement the available maintenance staff, cutting our repair time in half. Joe (Commander Laroche, our Chief Engineer) was able to make some modifications of his own during the repairs, and recommended a refit to our current deflector dish that would more than double its output. This allowed us to forego reinstallation of a second deflector (a fact that further cut down repair time), improved the manoeuvrability of the ship slightly, and allowed for the installation of a new transpectral sensor array, as well as some supplementary defensive systems. The ship definitely has a new feel to it – sleeker, easier to handle and more capable in a fight.

Even with the reduced repair times, everything took time. Three months on a Starbase is a long time when you’re used to open space. I have to say though, we were made to feel at home. I think that Arthur liked being able to get off the ship and run around. Even though the Exploration has a fairly extensive hydroponics bay, it’s nothing compared to the hydroponics garden they have on the base and he really enjoyed being able to get his hands dirty and do some real digging around. Some of the experiments they’re running in artificial agriculture and horticulture are astonishing. Thanks to their extensive gardens, little of the food on the base has to be replicated. I have to admit that it was nice to be able to eat real, non-replicated food for a few months (though my waistline certainly didn’t need it). I think that when we put back out into open space, I’ll look at converting one of our cargo bays on the Exploration to a larger hydroponics bay and see if we can supplement our food supplies that way. It would also give us the opportunity to run some experiments of our own.

Carol received a promotion while we here - Commander Banks. I could tell how proud she was. She certainly deserved it – her work during our time in Gamma Orionis was exemplary and she pulled our bacon out of the fire more than once. She’s recently taken an interest in astrometrics and stellar cartography and she used her time on Starbase 24 to take a number of extension courses on the subject. With our previous head of the Astrometrics Department (Lt. Commander Geynla) having just recently transferred to the USS Grissom, I’m thinking of giving her the position. I’ll have to run it past Commander T’Fren (my first officer) in order to avoid any possible conflict of interest. I think she’s a good candidate for the job – I know Carol’s not interested in command, but she can definitely run the department and she certainly has the expertise in the field to be effective in the position.

During our stay on the Starbase we received a new crew member, Commander Kosher, from the USS Ukraine. He’s got a good record and I think he’ll fit in with the crew. He’ll be heading up our Life Sciences department (he’s an expert in biology, exo-biology and exo-botany) and I think he’ll do a good job at it. The only concern I have is his leadership ability. He definitely knows his stuff, but he comes across as a bit distant. I know Kosher has his heart set on command, but I’ll have to see how he runs his department before I make any recommendations.

The last of the maintenance crews is just giving the Exploration one last shakedown before we head back out. I’m excited to be back out there. Because of our new sensor array, we’ve been assigned to do a number of survey missions in the B’Tran Cluster and I’m curious to see what we can find out there. It’ll be nice to feel the deckplates under my feet again. I think I’ve almost gotten too used to being on a ship, it doesn’t feel right to stay still.

stardate 84486.25

Personal log.
Captain, USS Exploration.

Another new ship. This is number five in six years – I thought we were supposed to serve on these things for a while. Though I did see the Hippocrates the other day. Her CO is very competent. Young and eager, but competent. It’s good to know that even with all the light years we put on her, she’s still fit for service.

The Mercy isn’t so lucky.

Sadly, while on patrol in the Archanis Sector we were caught in a confrontation with a Klingon battle group and she was lost. There wasn’t much we could do but hold on for our lives – five Birds of Prey and a Vor’cha battle cruiser had more firepower than we could handle, even with our newly upgraded shields and weapons systems. The battle lasted about ten minutes before our hull suffered catastrophic damage and I was forced to order the crew to abandon the ship. We managed to take four of the birds with us, but there was no way we could have survived the onslaught.

Thankfully, the USS Exeter was in the area and managed to swoop in and scare the Klingons off before they could capture any of us or destroy our escape pods. All hands escaped with only a few serious injuries among the bunch.

At least that went right.

Arthur was shaken up but alright. I suppose one of the advantages of being seven years old is that nothing really bothers you too much. To be honest, I think he kind of enjoyed seeing the battle up close. Carol and I had a serious talk afterwards about the possibility of putting him back on Earth. We both agreed that there was danger everywhere and neither of us really wanted to think about sending him away. It’s hard to believe he’s spent more than half of his life on starships now. He doesn’t seem any worse for the wear though.

It seems Starfleet isn’t overly disappointed in me. Although we had to go through all the official paperwork associated with the destruction of a starship, Command recognized the impossible situation we had faced and actually commended me on getting my crew out alive.

I’ve been assigned as commanding officer of the USS Exploration, a deep space science vessel. While we’ll still be involved in some strategic actions, we’re one of the few vessels that are charged with a scientific mandate right now. We’ll actually have the opportunity to go out and do some system surveys and the like. The crew is excited about the new ship and the possibility that we may not have to fire our phasers every day.

I’m excited to be exploring again. I’m tired of the endless fighting, and I’ve gotten a little too good at killing for my tastes. A break from the action will do me, and the crew, some good.

stardate 84483.74

Report to Starfleet (File 241-1231-131A-44X-313)
Security Clearance 10 only

heuristic search tags: subspace entity, subspace mind, subspace alien, telepathy, USS Mercy, Daniel Carver, alternate universe, subspace dimensional rift, amoeboid alien, fluidic space

encryption sequence:

Filed by: Draymen of Vulcan (Chief Medical Officer, USS Mercy)

Personal logs (Captain Daniel Carver) dated stardate 2613.23, 2612.22, 2495.01 cross-referenced
Lab Report (MADHAV-912A-1231C1) cross-referenced

**Begin report**

At the request of Captain Carver (due to his personal involvement in the events described), this report to Starfleet is being filed by Draymen of Vulcan, Chief Medical Officer.

As referenced in personal logs, Captain Carver had recently had a number of unexplained experiences involving his perceptions of an alien life form attempting to interact with him. After the last incident (stardate 2613.23), in which the Captain was rendered unconscious and badly burned by contact with a highly alkaline substance (pH 12.4 according to medical scans collected immediately after the incident), the crew of the Mercy began conducting extensive sensor sweeps of the ship, both internal and external. Initial scans indicated no anomalous readings. At the suggestion of Commander Sorbek (Senior Science Officer) we extended scans beyond normal parameters to include searches for tachyon radiation and sub-space distortions. Scans involving these broadened search parameters yielded surprising results, indicating a sub-space field radiating from Captain Carver. The field was emitting trace amounts of tachyon radiation. This field was entirely localized to the Captain (see USS Mercy Internal Sensor Log, file 41233.12331.123121.131A).

Upon closer examination, it was found that Captain Carver was existing in a state of dimensional flux. The sub-space field emanating from him was somehow allowing him to exist simultaneously in “normal” space-time and a sub-space pocket dimension. Commander Sorbek postulated that the ship and the aliens that Captain Carver had been encountering may be native to this pocket dimension and that Captain Carver was somehow interacting with them. After postulating a number of possible solutions, Commander Laroche (Chief Engineer) suggested that encapsulating the Captain within a tachyon field may break him free of his entanglement with the pocket universe and jar him completely back into normal space. The Captain agreed and preparations were immediately undertaken.

Due to the danger to Captain Carver, he was held in sickbay during the preparations (which were estimated to take 2 – 3 hours to complete). During this time, Captain Carver was under my observation. At approximately 12:43 hours (ship’s time), Captain Carver fell unconscious. Medical scans indicated that he high levels of tachyon radiation were emanating from him and a visible “warping” of space around the Captain’s form was observed (see USS Mercy Medical Scans, file 1231.131222.31485.133A). This continued for several minutes, after which the Captain awoke. He sustained several chemical burns on his hands, face and chest. These burns were from an alkaline source (pH 12.4 according to medical scans).
The Captain reported that he had again been drawn into the pocket universe where he was able to communicate with the sub-space aliens (which he described as amoeboid aliens). According to the Captain, the aliens were able to communicate with him using a limited form of telepathy. His report (Captain’s Log, file 4413.313.1312) is transcribed here:

The aliens were able to communicate with me telepathically. Due to the differences in our physiology and brain structure, the information we were able to share was limited, but I did glean a few key items. First, they exist in a part of fluidic space and are familiar with the Undine (who they call the Keepers). They indicated that fluidic space, unlike our space, is not physically uniform and has a number of “pockets” in which the laws of physics vary. They also told me that I had become entangled in their universe during my experiments with sub-space fields and their effect on neurological decay. I sensed no malevolent intention during my contact with the alien and they indicated that they wished me no harm.

Based on Captain Carver’s report, the burns he sustained were likely due to contact with the atmosphere of the alien dimension (which is likely alkaline-based).

Shortly after the incident, Mr. Laroche completed his preparations and Captain Carver underwent the tachyon bombardment procedure. All scans since then indicate that Captain Carver’s entanglement with the pocket universe has been corrected. As per instructions from Starfleet Command, we will continue to monitor Captain Carver for further encounters with the pocket universe of sub-space aliens and report any such incidents immediately.

**End report**

stardate 84423.4

Personal log.
Captain, USS Mercy.

Something is definitely not right. As I said in my log yesterday, I’ve been experiencing some strange dreams as of late, even when I’m not sleeping. Today things have gone in a whole new direction though.

I was having my morning tea in my quarters this morning. Carol had already left for the day (she’s currently assigned to the delta shift) and Arthur was sleeping in his room. Suddenly, I heard a sound coming from the bedroom area. I couldn’t identify it – it was more of a dull thump than anything. Putting down my tea, I quickly retrieved my hand phaser from the secure storage area and crept into the bedroom. I heard the sound again, a dull thump. Once I was in the bedroom, I realized the sound was coming from the closet.

Bracing myself, I stepped forward and pushed the door release. As the door slid open, I stepped backward pointing my phaser into the recesses of the closet.

Except there was no closet.

The door didn’t open to reveal the rows of uniforms and off-duty clothes I expected to see. Instead, it opened into a strange corridor lit with a greenish hue. I had an irresistible compulsion to go down the hallway. Although everything rational faculty in my mind was screaming not to enter, it was as though I’d lost control of my limbs, as though my physical body and mind had become separated somehow. As I stepped into the corridor, the door closed behind me, disappearing into the darkness.

The air was acrid and heavy. Humid. The walls, ceiling and floor were moist, apparently covered with some sort of thick, liquid coating. I knew I wasn’t dreaming, and despite my mental protests, I did not feel fear. Intellectually I knew I wasn’t being safe, but my body continued onward down the corridor against my mental protestations.

I travelled forward, perhaps ten meters, before coming to a large barrier. What can best be described as a door. Like the other surfaces, it was covered with a thick mucous-like substance. I could see my hand raising up and reaching out to the door. As my fingers touched the surface, I could feel the sensation of the liquid between my fingers but I had no control over my movements. I felt like an observer in my own body.
As I pulled my hand away, the door disappeared, revealing a large, circular chamber. In the centre of the chamber was what appeared to be a chair of some sort, and on that chair was a creature.

It wasn’t large, perhaps a meter and a half tall, but it was completely alien. I’ve been exposed to many strange life forms in my time with Starfleet, but this creature nearly defied description. It appeared to be comprised largely of a thick liquid-like substance with no visible sensory organs. Where one would expect to see a mouth was a large transparent tendril that waved hypnotically. Below this were several smaller tentacles that were still.

As I stood there, the creature moved forward, a sliding movement more akin to water flowing downhill than any sort of locomotion I’d seen before. As it drew closer, it emitted a low gurgling sound. I knew somehow that the creature was not angry or aggressive. It was trying to communicate something to me, but I couldn’t understand.

As it drew closer to me, it’s small tentacles extended, brushing against my hands. The sensation was almost akin to that of a jellyfish sting. Despite the pain, I couldn’t draw away.

The next thing I knew I woke up in sickbay. Draymen, my medical officer, informed me that they had located me in my quarters, unconscious and I’d been comatose for nearly 5 days. My hands had been badly burnt. According to the medical scanners, they’d been exposed to a highly alkaline substance which had left severe chemical burns.

I immediately called for a full sensor sweep of the area and placed the ship under red alert. After relaying my story to the senior bridge crew, I set them the task of finding out what was going on. This is more than just a dream. This is more than just in my mind.

Something strange is happening here.

stardate 84408.32

Personal log.
Captain, USS Mercy.

The last 12 hours have been extremely disconcerting.

It began last night. After Carol and I had put Arthur to bed for the night, she and I played a game of chess. We went to bed a little earlier than usual, at 21:00.

That’s when things began to get very strange.

I had the most vivid dream I’d ever had. So vivid that I still wonder if it wasn’t real.

I was standing on the bridge, completely alone. We were at red alert. The bridge was bathed in a strange green light and the sound of the klaxons was all round me. I remember feeling strangely at ease, as though I knew everything was going to be okay despite the situation. I looked up at the viewscreen and there was a ship I had never seen before. It was massive, but I didn’t feel afraid. For some reason I knew that it wouldn’t harm me or my crew.

I was awakened suddenly by the comm. Starfleet Command had sent a priority one signal from Earth diverting the Mercy to the Rolor Nebula. We were being called upon to search for True Way ships hiding in the Nebula. The USS Relentless, an escort, was being sent with us to provide support. After I dressed, I began to make my way to the bridge. When I got there everything seemed normal. Then I glanced at the viewscreen and the ship, the same ship from my dream, was displayed there. I turned to my tactical officer and ordered a red alert, but when I turned my attention back to the screen, there was nothing there.

The bridge crew must have thought I was losing my mind. We scoured the sensor logs, but they showed no indication of any ship or any unusual readings. I even had my CMO run a full neurological scan on me, but it didn’t show anything.

Maybe the stress is starting to get to me. 

stardate 84335.41

Personal log.
Captain, USS Mercy.

Another promotion. Dad would’ve been proud.

I’ve been on Earth for a few weeks now, sorting out the details after dad’s death. It’s amazing how much work there is to do when someone dies. I always knew how many reports I had to write as a doctor when someone passed away, but that’s nothing compared to what surviving family members have to fill out. Someone in the Federation Council loves forms – there’s form 441.21A (Statement and Proof of Death), 441.22A (Survivor Benefits and Inheritances), 442.12C (Statement and Proof of Familial Relation) and about 30 other forms I’ve had to fill out since attending dad’s memorial service.

I’ve been placed in command of the USS Mercy, a new medical ship, fresh from Utopia Planitia. She’s a beauty of a ship – more than 200 crew, one of the most advanced sensor arrays in the fleet and large enough medical facilities to triage a colony. Arthur’s enjoying himself – our quarters onboard are pretty luxurious compared to the Madhav, and Carol is making herself right at home. Admiral Quinn told me he wanted someone experienced in the field to be in command of the Mercy, and it seems that description applies to me now. Strange, five years ago I was a cadet. Now, I’m thirty-seven, a captain and considered to be a veteran officer. Hard to believe how much the war has changed things in the Fleet. Thirty years ago I’d be lucky to have made Lieutenant Commander by now.

It seems as though everything’s speeding up lately – life, duty, the war. I wish things would slow down, if only for a moment. Sometimes it feels like I can hardly catch my breath.

stardate 84300.21

Personal log.
Captain, USS Madhav.

I received a communiqué from Earth this morning. Seems that dad’s fallen ill and had to be taken to the hospital for medical care. It shouldn’t feel like such a shock – he’s been sick for a long time. It seems as though Iverson’s is finally going to win out. He’s still mentally capable, but his body can’t carry on. In the message, mom said that his lungs and heart are starting to fail. They could maintain him artificially, but he’s already made the decision that it’s time to go.

For someone in this age to die at 65 is unbelievable, but it shows me that even with our advanced medical understanding, there’s still more to know. Mom and dad talked and decided to end support tomorrow at noon. I won’t be able to get back – the border patrols are extremely busy as of late. The Romulans seem, more and more, to be taking shots at our border colonies. Mom understands, and said that dad did too. I contacted command and they indicated that we could return to Sol in a week, once the Antigone gets here to replace us on patrol. Mom said she could hold the memorial once I get back. I always knew this was inevitable given dad’s condition, but it doesn’t make the reality any easier. I just hope that I can help Arthur to understand.

stardate 84297.7

Personal log.
Captain, USS Madhav.

A special day today – Arthur’s third birthday. The senior staff organized a wonderful party in the observation lounge. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many balloons or so much cake (or eaten so much cake, for that matter, as my stomach continues to remind me). Arthur seemed to really enjoy the festivities and he got some extremely thoughtful gifts. I was particularly surprised at Draymen (my Chief Medical Officer) who had a sol’neth built on Vulcan and transported to the ship, during our last stop at Starbase 23. The sol’neth is a Vulcan toy, not unlike a wooden puzzle, but the shapes are made to fit together in several configurations to form different polyhedrons. According to Draymen, “it is an educational tool for building spatial and sensory awareness.” All I know is, Arthur loved it.

I can’t overstate how lucky I am to have command of such a wonderful ship and crew. My senior bridge staff are among the best and brightest officers I’ve ever met. Even our less experienced staff members and NCOs give an amazing effort. Even more than that, though, many of my bridge crew have become my friends. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to know all of them, and to have command over such a group of tremendous individuals is a remarkable gift.

stardate 84284.29

Personal log.
Captain, USS Madhav.

Well, so much for a few months in the Afehirr Nebula to test out my theories. Seems there’s a dearth of ships patrolling our borders with the Romulans and so the Madhav has been recalled to border patrol. As part of our patrol duties, we’ve also been instructed to “extend a hand of friendship” to any Romulan world or colonies who might be interested in Federation protection. It seems that with the general collapse of the Romulan Empire, the Federation is hoping to make friends out of our one-time enemies. The Madhav is well suited to spreading good will among the Romulans. We just recently put in to Starbase 39 and restocked our medical and humanitarian supplies (the latter is Starfleet code for food rations for colony worlds that are starving).

As an interesting aside, the Madhav, and by extension her crew (including myself) have been assigned to the Sierra Defense Fleet. This shouldn’t have a major impact on our assignments or missions, but with this new assignment we may be called upon to participate in general fleet movements or actions as coordinated by our Fleet Admiral, Admiral Allahweh Lucia Brahman. It seems Starfleet is looking to create more cohesive battle groups in order to facilitate the movement of ships and troops throughout the various sectors. For the most part, the fleet seems to be a good bunch, though I’ve met only a handful of the officers so far. But, as they say, the more the merrier.

stardate 84284.07

Lab Report (MADHAV-912A-1231C2)

Working with Mr. Laroche, I’ve been able to make some modification to the cortical stimulator we’ve been using to test my theories on neural decay. However, until further simulations are completed, I am holding off on further tests. Based on my calculations using the results of the first test, I failed to take into account the potential interference of Higgs boson particles and tauons. Fascinatingly, it seems that a major part of our synaptic activity is controlled not only by the movement of electrons through the neurons and axons, but that the spin of the elementary particles, the interaction between the electrons and other elementary particles and the wave pattern of both the electrons and other elementary particles within the brain tissue. Essentially, it seems that the interaction between the various elementary particles within the brain tissue (as very clearly delineated in the works of Dr. T’Sol of Vulcan) creates what is, in essence, a personal sub-space “pocket”, for lack of a better word, in which the interactions between the physical brain tissue and the elementary particles operate in ways that are not described by the typical laws of physics, but operate according to an entirely different set of laws, which I have not yet fully begun to explore.

This sub-space pocket is extremely intriguing insofar as it corresponds to many cultures idea of a “mind” as separate from the merely physical and chemical reactions of the body. Further exploration of this idea may even allow me to understand how brain injuries, mental illness and other neurological diseases are the result of improper connection between the physical object of the brain and the sub-space laws which influence its operation. Fortunately, the Afehirr Nebula is an ideal testing ground for these theories. With the proper instrumentation, the naturally occurring sub-space pulses in the nebula allow for brief observations into the mental sub-space pockets of a given patient and an examination of the laws governing interaction of the particles therein. If we can have a few months to test the theories we may be able to refine my calculations and make my modified cortical stimulator effective and practical for real-world medical applications.

stardate 84281.55

Lab Report (MADHAV-912A-1231C1)

After running the requisite simulated tests (200 tests, referenced in file MADHAV-912A-1231A1), and achieving a 99% success and safety rating (as per Starfleet Scientific Procedures Regulation 3.22.1A), I have received authorization from Starfleet Medical to attempt testing of the modified cortical stimulator on human subjects. Given the sensitivity of brain tissue, and the potential danger to the test subject, I have elected to test the device on myself (Commander Daniel Carver).

After positioning the Madhav within range of one of the naturally occurring sub-space pulses in the Afehirr Nebula (1.25km from the centre of the pulse, optimal distance based on simulations), the device was applied by my Chief Medical Officer, Lt. Commander Draymen. Upon activation of the device, initial scans indicated a 97% decrease in neural degradation.

After approximately 1 minute, the test subject (Commander Daniel Carver) lost all sense of time and memory. The device was applied for a total of 5 minutes, 12 seconds. Neurological scans performed after the testing period, indicate that Commander Carver accrued only one minute of new memories and suffered only 1 millisecond of neural decay. This seems to indicate that the device, coupled with the sub-space pulses, does slow, and nearly halt, neurological decay. However, it would seem that in doing so, the device also inhibits neurological function and the accumulation of memory. Further research into the role of muons in memory acquisition and neurological function is required in order to further refine the device.

End report.

stardate 84280.19

Personal log.
Captain, USS Madhav.

Good news today – I’ve received a communiqué from Starfleet authorizing me to take the Madhav to the Afehirr Nebula where the crew and I will have the opportunity to run a number of experiments. The Nebula has a number of variable pulse sub-space pockets that interact with normal space in a very unique way. I know that the Astrometrics and Stellar Cartography staff are extremely excited as they’ll get to chart some previously unexplored systems. My real interest, though, is in testing some of my theories around the interaction between sub-space fields, brain tissue, and naturally occurring muons. If my theories prove correct, I may be able to create a process by which neural decay due to age can be slowed, or even eliminated. This kind of process could help to cure a number of diseases – Clarke’s Disease, Bendii Syndrome, and even Pa’nar Syndrome, to name a few. In essence, if we can understand how neural tissue degrades at the sub-atomic level, and use sub-space pulse technology to slow, or even stop, that degradation, we can eliminate almost all degenerative neural conditions.

With the help of my Chief Engineer, Lt. Commander Laroche, I’ve managed to create a prototype device using a modified cortical stimulator. If my theories are correct, we should be able to force the sub-space pulses in the Nebula to interact with the modified stimulator in order to completely halt all neural degradation (even the normal degradation caused by the simple passage of time). If I’m successful in doing so, my next step will be to incorporate some sort of sub-space pulse generator into the device, so we won’t have to rely on the naturally occurring pulses in the Nebula. However, Laroche assures me that once we have a proper survey of the pulses, this shouldn’t be a difficult task.

stardate 84272.65

Personal log.
Captain, USS Madhav.

That couldn’t have gone better.

I just finished my meeting with Admiral Quinn. It seems the fleet is in dire need of medical ships – the various border conflicts the Federation has been experiencing have left a number of outer colonies without adequate medical care. Due to my training as a doctor, and my experience in the field, Admiral Quinn has given me a promotion to Commander and ordered me to take command of the USS Madhav, one of our newly commissioned medical ships. Admiral Quinn explained to me that we may still be called for active combat duty, when we’re needed, but that our main mandate is to provide medical care to any who might need it. I feel very fortunate to have been given the new command, and Admiral Quinn was generous enough to let me take my senior staff from the Brahe with me. Things are really coming together – I have Arthur onboard, Carol and command of one of the most advanced medical ships in the fleet. I only hope my good fortune doesn’t stop.

stardate 84267.62

Personal log.
Acting Captain, USS Tycho Brahe.

Our trip to Earth was a smashing success. The crew loved the break from the field and my paper was extremely well received – I even had some interest from the Daystrom Institute in expanding on my research. Most importantly, Carol and I had an opportunity to see Arthur. I can’t believe how big he’s gotten. He’s walking and starting to speak in simple sentences. It’s amazing to see the changes in him over the past few months. I talked to Carol, and after a lot of debate, we decided to bring Arthur onboard with us. It wasn’t an easy decision – we know the risks, but both of us feel like we’re missing out on his whole childhood. Neither of us wants to give up those experiences.

On another note, I’ve been called to a meeting with Admiral Quinn tomorrow. I’m curious to see what it’s about. I suppose I’ll know soon enough.

stardate 84209.8

Personal log.
Acting Captain, USS Tycho Brahe.

With all that’s happened to me lately, I haven’t taken the time to reflect on some of the more positive events of the past few weeks. First off, I’ve been granted a promotion to Lieutenant Commander. It seems that Admiral Quinn has been impressed with the work I, and my crew, have done and decided that a promotion was in order. Secondly, I’ve been granted command of a new ship, the Tycho Brahe. I’m still considered only an acting captain (the current captain was severely injured in an engagement with Romulan forces and is currently recovering at Starbase 1), but for all intents and purposes, she’s mine. Along with the new ship, I was able to select a few new bridge officers. With a little politicking here and there, I was able to get Carol transferred from the Ontario to the Brahe. Thank goodness for small miracles. Finally, I’ve been asked to present a paper I wrote last year (Effects of Transwarp Travel on the Quantum State of Brain Tissue and the Associated Neurological Effects) at a medical conference sponsored by Starfleet on Earth. That means my whole crew will receive two weeks of shore leave, and I’ll get to spend the majority of the time (aside from the two days for the conference) visiting with my parents and Arthur. I can’t say in words how happy I am. I’m still debating bringing him onboard – maybe when things settle a little. Even still, two whole weeks on Earth. I know my crew is ecstatic, and with good reason. They’ve earned a rest. We all have.

stardate 84197.23

Personal log.
Acting Captain, USS Tycho Brahe.

I tried to talk to Carol today about Joss’ death. She knew how much it was bothering me. I just don’t have the words. This war, the constant fighting. It’s dragging me down.

We responded to a distress call in the Ceron system today. A wing of Klingon Birds of Prey had attacked a civilian transport and destroyed it, killing all those onboard. 200 people. Almost half of them women and children based on the passenger manifest. I can’t lie, when Admiral Quinn ordered me to clean up the system and eliminate the remaining Klingon forces, I felt a rush. I can’t say it was happiness. No, it was something more base than that. Whatever it was, I revelled in the chase, in knowing that those ships I was destroying deserved to be destroyed. I revelled in the fact that the people onboard those ships (and they were people, I can’t fool myself into thinking otherwise, yet) were dying and that I was the agent of justice that was killing them.

200 civilians dead at the hands of the Klingons. But how much blood have I spilt?

I hardly know myself anymore.

At least now, in retrospect, I realize that destroying those ships was an act of necessity. But at the time, while the torpedoes were flying, I didn’t give a damn about the war or orders, I just wanted them to pay. I think that feeling, that sense of justification, is what scares me most of all.

stardate 84194.72

Personal log.
Acting Captain, USS Tycho Brahe.

He wasn’t supposed to die.

It was supposed to be a simple mission. Beam down. Check for contraband. Beam up.
I’ve watched people die before. I’m a doctor. I’ve seen incurable diseases, crippling injuries, accidental deaths. But to see someone I’m responsible for walk into their death on my orders is something I never bargained for. Of course, I’ve done the training. Every command cadet goes through the obligatory courses, the Kobayashi Maru scenario, the psychological screening.  None of it even begins to prepare you for the stark reality of a man’s blood running from his throat and lying dead at your feet. None of it prepares you for the knowledge that it was your order that sent him to the front of the team, your order that put him on the away mission in the first place. None of it prepares you to deliver the news to his parents that their son, their 22 year old son, is dead.

To do no harm, that was the oath I swore as a doctor. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to repair all the damage I’ve done.

Mercy – whatever powers might be listening out there, just a moment of mercy.

stardate 84184.76

Coroner’s Report
Patient Name: Emmett Rudolph Joss
Age: 22
Date of death: stardate 2438.77
Attending Physician: Dr. Daniel Carver

Patient suffered a major laceration of the carotid artery, both inner and outer, caused by a dull serrated blade during an away mission. Blood loss was immediate and substantial. Despite quick application of liquid polyderm and infusion of artificial platelets, the patient’s blood loss was too substantial to be overcome using field techniques and materials.

Patient’s death occurred at 2438.77

End report.

Commanding Officer’s Report
Ensign Joss was ordered to beam down to a trading station in the Argelius system, that was suspected of harbouring smugglers. Other team members included the commanding officer (Lt. Daniel Carver), tactical officer (Ensign T’Fren), and engineering officer (Ensign Laroche). During the mission Klingon resistance was encountered. Following standard procedure (Starfleet Field Manual, article 2.33), Ensign Joss was designated the point-man for the away team. During an enter and sweep procedure, Ensign Joss entered a large cargo holding area at the fore of the group, followed by Ensign T`Fren and Ensign Laroche with Lt. Carver taking the rear. A small group of Klingons were hidden behind a number of large transport pods. As Ensign Joss turned to give the team the clear signal, one of the Klingons leapt forward from hiding, drawing a large serrated blade (known as a mevak). The Klingon grasped Ensign Joss by the head, using the blade to slice across his neck (see Coroner`s report for details of damage). After the away team cleared the Klingon threat, emergency medical procedures were followed, but Ensign Joss` blood loss was too great and died on the station. His body was transported back to the USS Hippocrates.

A commendation for remarkable service is recommended for Ensign Joss as he executed his orders and served his ship with distinction and care.

Ensign Joss`remain should be transported to Risa, where he is survived by his parents (Thomas and Frances Joss).

End report.

stardate 84189.79

Personal log.
Acting Captain, USS Hippocrates.

I received new orders today from Commander Sulu. We were assigned to patrol several systems in the Orion Sector. First on the agenda was the Reytan System. Seems the Orions were disrupting trade routes again. I’m still having a hard time reconciling our mandate as a medical ship with our assignments as a military vessel. Even still, it’s definitely in the best interest of the sector and the quadrant that the Orion threat is neutralized.

I was able to spare a few minutes today to talk to Arthur back on Earth. Seems command has its privileges, with use of the sub-space array being one of them. It’s hard to believe how much he’s grown in the few months I’ve been assigned to the Hippocrates. He’s already taking his first steps. My parents have been wonderful with him and they’ve been more than willing to watch him while Carol and I are unable to be on Earth.

I’ve been debating requesting a transfer for Carol to get her onto the Hippocrates and maybe even having Arthur onboard with us. I just don’t know if it’s worth the risk. I’m not going to lie – it’s been lonely the last three months out here. Command is a burden and while I think my crew is more than capable of the assignments we’ve received, I couldn’t say I consider any of them to be my friends. I’ve asked Carol for advice, and she thinks that Arthur would be happy onboard with us – a lot of children have grown up on starships and been none the worse for the wear. Still, she’s yet to see active duty. The Ontario is still in drydock being retrofitted with modern weapon and shield systems. I wonder if she might change her mine when she sees what it`s like out here. I still find it hard to believe they’re pulling the old Miranda and Constitution class ships out of mothballs – almost makes me wonder about our chances.

Anyhow, we’re off to the Regulus Sector on more patrol missions. We’ll see how things go. If I can do well out here I may be up for a promotion – maybe I can have Carol transferred. Then, we can think more seriously about Arthur.

stardate 84179.74

Personal Log.
Acting Captain, USS Hippocrates.

It wasn’t supposed to end up this way.

I’m a doctor – a scientist, not a soldier. I didn’t come out here to fight battles and shoot phaser rifles. I came out here to heal people, to do my research, to make people’s lives better, not end them. I know we’re in war. I know these are desperate times. I suppose I just didn’t realize how desperate. I never wanted to command a ship. I never wanted to see the people around me get hurt and die. I never wanted to feel the weight of other people’s lives on my shoulders, not like this.

Maybe I was naive to think I could join the fleet and not have to see battle. Maybe I was naive to think that I could be a scientist in a time of war. “Do no harm.” That’s the oath I swore as a doctor and those are the words I live by - “do no harm.” Yet, here I find myself ordering attacks on other ships, ordering others to their deaths. But when I weigh the alternative, I have to wonder if I’m not doing the right thing. Would I be willing to sit back and allow others to risk their lives to keep me safe, to keep my family safe, and not be willing to take the same risk? Would I be willing to stay on Earth, knowing that there’s a war going on and that others were putting their lives at stake so that I could be happy at home with my son?

There are no easy answers. When others would seek to destroy all that we’ve built and all that the Federation stands for, I can’t stand idly by. I will see that the least harm is done. It’s a heavy burden to bear, a difficult burden. But these are not easy times.