We have entered an unremarkable star system, on a routine mission to map new territory. After diagnosing and treating a new urinary infection in the lower decks, we have been drifting through space without further orders, and without incident for a total of nine days now.
Communications with earth are few and sporadic. I have issued orders that the telecommunications be regularly checked. I cannot allow the ship to fall into disrepair during these periods of inactivity.
Yesterday an ambassador of Starfleet’s Hospice administration made the journey out to see us. Under their advice, Hospice has provided us with an additional crew member. Flight Officer Phillips is tasked with taking the helm of the Enterprise for up to two hours per week while I carry out supplemental duties. Although my initial reaction was to refuse the offer, already I feel the benefit of the extra crew member. Yesterday I journeyed out onto the planet surface for supplies. Indeed, it is a strange world. The winter sun in this part of the galaxy is bright, the air cold. I departed in my shuttlecraft, the Honda Nostromo, at precisely 11:00 hours and under constraints of time and outside air temperatures, I completed two stops—one to collect local flora that we may replenish our food stocks , the other to collect corrective glasses for reading. Who knew there would be a SpecSavers this far out in space?
Back on board the Enterprise, however, I have grave fears for the mental wellbeing of the crew. Past experience has proven that long periods of inactivity and zero stimulation have resulted in outbreaks of insubordination among the flight officers, resulting in skirmishes among the ranks. I have therefore placed all hands on maintenance duties. Following a schedule drawn up by Scotty and myself, the ship will be systematically cleaned and overhauled during the coming weeks. Cupboards will be cleared, bathrooms scrubbed. After an initial inspection of the flight dock and cargo hold, I expect reorganization of the general stores there within to take several days to complete, if not weeks. How we have accumulated so much space junk is anyone’s guess. Reinforcements to clear the docks may be necessary. In the meantime, I have issued orders for crew quarters to undergo weekly maintenance, commencing today.
After a low level encounter with the Klingon ship, The Department of Inland Revenue, several days past, I have ordered that while the Enterprise remains in stasis, the shields are to remain up. My past experience with this species has taught me that while we must treat them with respect, they are not to be trusted. I have seen swift and bloody retribution handed out by these fiends when provoked. Since our initial encounter, we have seen no further sign of them. It has been several days, now. This gives me no peace. I know that that they will come. When they do, it will be with demands for reparation for any profiteering we may have carried out during mining activities in this sector. My instinct as a Starfleet Captain tells me to fight. For the safety and wellbeing of my crew, I have no choice but to pay their demands, and trust they leave us in peace.
Of all our challenges on this mission, however, my greatest comes from these long periods between missions. I fear they have rendered the crew open to psychological degradation. Already there are signs of delusional behaviour. Crew members are losing sight of reality—playing out the roles of their favourite television and movie characters, and falling into unusual speech patterns. Only yesterday I found my trusted ensign, The Girl, asleep at her post, a Playstation controller inert on her lap. Two nights ago, I awoke to an eerie blue light emanating from The Girl’s quarters. It transpired that during her night-time vigil, Scotty had mistaken The Girl’s request for “Smoothies” and activated the ship’s secondary television console for a night-time screening of “The Smurfs.” Are my efforts to curb mental stagnation among those in under my command too little, too late?
Only time will tell.
Signing off. Ship’s Captain—Catherine Lea.