My good friend, how are you? I am composing this missive to you while waiting in the shuttle bay of Starbase 118 in anticipation of my first long-term post on the USS Gorkon. I don't yet know which sounds odder in my head: thinking of myself as Ensign Vossti, or thinking of myself as Doctor Vossti. How long did it take you before the novelty of being called “Ensign Navoth” wore off?
I suppose I'm having the same sort of feelings now as I was during that flight I told you about from Starbase 12 to Starbase 118. It wasn't a long flight, but I was terribly nervous the entire time, always looking behind myself and around corners, wondering if I was about to be grabbed by the ship's security and thrown into the brig for some reason.
But now I've graduated from Starfleet Academy and I will soon be part of the crew of the USS Gorkon! I wonder if I'll get to talk to the Captain. I guess that would be unlikely since I'm not important enough for the CO to welcome a simple Ensign onto the ship right away. I know I want to check in with the ship's head of security as soon as I can manage it, both to make sure that I'm not going to be arrested right away and to see if I can get them to help me make some new friends on the ship.
I have been practicing the breathing exercises and meditation techniques that you taught me, but I don't think I'm very good at it yet. Still, they got me through Starfleet Medical School, so maybe I'm not as bad as I think.
I miss our late night talks and I hope you are doing well.
Your friend always, Ensign Mallora Vossti
I'm not sure I ever mentioned this to you, but during my last year at Starfleet Medical School, I got a formal reprimand for falling asleep in the library. I don't think it was a big deal, but the staff was pretty upset. Anyway, the reason why I'm telling you this now is that I don't think the Command crew of the USS Gorkon are going to be able to hold that reprimand over my head now or in the future. Why? Because when I first came aboard, more than 99% of the personnel on the Gorkon were asleep!
Technically they were the victims of some sort of mass psychic attack, but I'm choosing to look at the bright side of this situation. I appear to have played a part – perhaps even a vital part – in reviving the crew. I'll have to wait and see what the actual feelings of the crew and the command staff are after these volatile events, but I have a feeling that they will be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt for a little while as I settle in to my role in the Gorkon's sickbay. (There is actually a secondary sickbay which doubles as an autopsy suite down on deck 18 near the environmental controls.)
I'm glad to hear that you are fitting in well among the Wyoming crew, and I look forward to hearing more details about both your thrilling adventures and petty gossips there. My only real gossip at this point is that Lieutenant Commander Nkai, a Rodulan and one of the only members of the crew not affected by the somnolence attack, seems to like taking on a fatherly role – at least with me.
Apparently the telepathic attack on the crew resulted in some severe nightmares, so the CO has ordered the Gorkon to a “mental health holiday” on Deluvia IV, which I understand is like a second-rate Risa.
I'll update you again soon, Your very good friend, Ensign Mallora Vossti
The first ship I remember living on was the Ruby Star II. Then when it was retired in 238312, my family along with almost everyone else I knew moved over to the Crystal Star III. They were both civilian passenger liners which ran a regular route from Betazed to Starbase 12 to Risa and then back to Betazed. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time at the two planets, but there was some difference of opinion about Starbase 12.
My parents were never all that fond of the starbase and I don't remember them looking forward to anything to do with the place except for a single human restaurant called The Poutine Experience. It took me a long time to figure out why my folks were so nonplussed about Starbase 12, but when I was about thirteen years old, I decided to find out.
The three of us were in The Poutine Experience one day; we had ordered and were waiting for our food to be delivered, and I could feel the low, subtle emotional tension in my parents, so I asked them what was wrong. My mother projected her answer directly into my mind: “Open your eyes, Mallora. Resio isn't here today.” At my confusion, she clarified, “Resio, the only Betazoid server in this restaurant? Haven't you noticed that there aren't any other Betazoids on this gods-forsaken starbase?”
I guess I hadn't noticed that before, but when I looked around, I could see that it was apparently true. There were lots of Humans and Vulcans and Tellarites and Andorians and Risians, but I couldn't spot any Betazoids. That revelation stuck with me and bothered me since almost 25% of the crew of the Crystal Star III were Betazoids.
The following month when the ship returned to Starbase 12, I went onto the station on my own to explore. I didn't see any Betazoids then either, but I was caught by a Risian security crewman when I was sneaking around in a crew only area. He was far kinder than I expected a Starfleet security guard to be, so I mustered up my courage and asked him why there were no Betazoids on the starbase.
“Who told you that?” he asked with a chuckle. “Of course there are Betazoids here; there just don't happen to be any in the operations division. I think most of them are in sciences or medical. I think there's also a Betazoid ensign down in engineering. Do you want to meet one?”
I could feel his honesty and good humor, so I went with him to one of the science labs that day. I met two Betazoids who were working on a botany project of some kind, and they were kind enough to answer my ignorant teenage questions. When I returned to the Crystal Star that evening, I realized that there was a rift beginning to form between my parents and myself.
I was reminded of all this because there is no shortage of Betazoids on the USS Gorkon. It is a very diverse ship, but I'd guess that close to 10% of the personnel aboard the ship are Betazoids, an a similarly healthy percent are Vulcans. My first reaction to this was abject joy, but then I started wondering where that emotion came from, and that led me to recall my experience on Starbase 12.
I hope that you are finding your work on the USS Wyoming fulfilling and your coworkers eager and companionable.
Your friend always, Ensign Mallora Vossti