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

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.