Commanding Officer's Log, Stardate 238905.27
Architect, that sounds weird. Since when did I have a CO's log? Anyway...
Repairs have been ongoing for the past few days. Despite the number of Borg drones we had aboard the ship -- three dozen, according to some estimates, not to mention that pestilential Queen -- damage appears to have been mostly superficial.
At the moment, we're moving deeper into the Menthar Corridor, looking for a sheltered solar system where we can take a few days' leave time while repairs are completed -- though I am going to insist that everyone, even the engineers and Mr. Matthews, spend at least twenty-four hours off-duty. If we can find a habitable planet, so much the better.
And then I have to get to the letters. You know, log, the "I'm very sorry your daughter's been killed in the line of duty." I am, of course, it's not that I'm not sympathetic -- but I've been putting them off. Well, I can't imagine anyone rushes to do them. But, I mean, we're a science ship. I feel like I should be sending home awards, not condolences.
But for now, I have a slightly more happy duty.
Acting Captain's Log, Supplemental (Stardate 239002.25)
Approximately two hours ago, the USS Mercury received a distress call from a freighter in the JB-437 system, close to the entrance to the Menthar corridor. They have reported being stuck in the gravity well of a gas giant and are in a deteriorating orbit. As with Starfleet standard procedure, I have ordered the ship to the stricken freighter to render any assistance we can. I currently have the USS mercury on yellow alert to ensure that maximum standards of readiness are maintained at all times.
The signal we received was an audio signal only and set to repeat at the end of the message. This coupled with the excuse given has given me some doubts about the nature and validity of the distress call. I have yet to share these doubts with the crew but plan to bring them up at a staff meeting prior to our arrival. It is not unknown for Ferengi, Orion or Gorn pirates to fake distress signals to capture unsuspecting vessels. However, with no proof to back my doubts, the ship will continue to prepare for a rescue mission.
My current physical condition remains unchanged. I am able to slightly move my legs and, can use my arms to move myself from my wheel chair to a chair and back again but that is about it. I have my full mental faculty's but i am beginning to doubt if I am up to this task. If I have any further doubts, i may have to speak with doctor Hawkeye about my fitness to perform my duties, and with the counseling staff. The last thing this ship needs at the moment is a 'Captain' who either jumps in without looking or dithers too long and jeopardizes the crew.
Now my thoughts turn to my wife. I know she isn't happy with me being back on duty, let alone being in command of the vessel. She will ofcourse have some difficult questions for me. Unfortunately, at least for the foreseeable future, I am duty and honor bound not to answer them. Just how much strain this will put on her, I do not know. Looking after John with his broken leg was bad enough but now having to care for the two of us. I wouldn't blame her if she walked away like she did the last time. I know she loves me deeply but just how many secrets and lies can you keep from your wife before she does whats best for he and our child.
Crewman T'Lex is currently reviewing all information Starfleet has on the JB-437 system with help from Cadet Stone. No doubt it will be useful when I call the staff briefing. For now we can only plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Personal Log, Stardate 239004.03
I have recently boarded the newly discovered Deep Space 10. I've heard stories of its finding and the USS Mercury while I was on Bajor. I shall soon hope to see if it lives up to its reputation.
I was surprised to find out I was going to be assigned to the USS Mercury. Although, I hope my decision to return to Starfleet was not in vein. I worry about my people. Our planet, our existence and even our own being is rebuilding yet, I feel I am on the other side of the universe doing nothing to help. But it just feels right to come back to Starfleet. But then again my `right feelings' never did come out for the best, did they?
I've been reading about my new Commanding Officer. Captain Aron Kells. 35 years old and human. He interests me. Even though I am used to Humans by now after spending the past few years with them. I did however hear the commanding officer for this station, Deep Space 10, is a Laudean. I sure hope there isn't many on the Mercury. My knowledge of them is far less than that of Humans and the Bajora. Although as a man of Medicine, I should really keep on my toes about that.
It's strange. Here I am, in Starfleet. Never before did I think I would even leave Bajor, let alone work for the Federation. I just hope my small journey back to Bajor hasn't tarnished my understanding of Starfleet regulation.
Don't think my new Commander would be too impressed if that was the case. I'd probably be on a ship back to Bajor faster than it would to introduce myself. Although, at this point that is taking awhile.
I hear they're away on a mission. I am anxious to get started but then again, I just have to wait. First thing on my list is to find out what I'm going to be dealing with for the times to come. I sure hope they aren't arrogant people. Rumors spread all over the quadrant that I never know what to believe. That is until I see it myself.
Acting Captain's Log, Supplemental (Stardate 239004.11)
This will be my final log entry as the acting commanding officer of the USS Mercury. I'd like to say my time in command was smooth and care free however, that would be a lie. I opted to take the risky option upon receiving the distress signal. That option very nearly resulted in the loss of the ship and her crew. Thankfully, the crew handled themselves admirably and we were able to rescue the sole survivor of the USS Saratoga.
Although the Saratoga had to be sacrificed to enable our escape, I am sure Starfleet will be glad to finally bring closure over her disappearance more than 100 years ago. Although only one crew member survived, it gives me hope that perhaps my Grandfathers starship is still out here somewhere in this region of space. Those Oberth class vessels were built to last and although the official records say she was lost during the Cardassian war, no wreckage was ever found.
My thoughts must now turn to my future. I have a very long recovery process ahead of me and the prospect of it makes me feel uneasy. In all honesty I have never felt so scared in my life. What if I never fully recover? What if I sustain another serious injury? What will happen to my career prospects? No matter the answer to those questions, I know I will not be facing them alone. My beautiful wife and my son will be right beside me, and I now realize I can rely on the crew to aid me should I ever need it.
I've yet to spend much time with the fresh from the Academy Ensign Quinn. However, she showed great promise on the away mission and kept her nerve under pressure. She did however seem a little nervous on the bridge. For now, I'll chalk that up to the extremely unusual situation she found herself thrust into. Cadet Stone has hinted to me that she is considering finishing her cadet cruise on Deep Space 10. If that is her final decision then I wholeheartedly support the move. It never hurts to gain experience in various situations and I'm sure she will excel there should she chose to transfer.
Crewman T'Lex is currently going over the information she managed to gather about the phenomenon we encountered in JB ? 437 before submitting a report to Starfleet Command via my office. I look forward to reading it and hopefully gaining some more understanding of the events that nearly led to disaster. As a final point of note, the 'specimen' that was brought back from Deep Space 10 remains in stasis in Science Lab 3. When Captain's Kells and Reynolds return, I shall leave it in their hands as to what is to be done with it.
As it stands, I have no intention of entering the lab to examine the creature until I get prior permission. I also do not wish to do anything without the Mercury's CMO present. Of course, I may not even get the chance to examine the creature. That all rests upon the decision of the command staff.
Chief Science Officer's Log, Supplemental (Stardate 239005.17)
For fourteen days now, the crew of my department have been working feverishly on various tasks trying to prepare the ship and the crew for whatever we may encounter in the Beta Sucti system. It has been a trying time with tempers flaring over the smallest of problems and issues. Thankfully, the crew of the USS Mercury is a strong one and has a near unbreakable bond. Cohesion between all departments has been maintained for the most part and I feel our work here, and the rate of it would but a starbase's operations department to shame.
The Captain has been keeping himself busy in the arboretum preparing to study any life forms we might find on the planet with this so called 'repository of knowledge. Although I have not spoken with him since his return to the ship, I have seen him. His current, maybe even permanent appearance has caused several crew members under my command to whisper between themselves. Although I have chastised them for their actions, I could not help but feel I was being hypocritical considering my own thoughts on the matter. The one advantage I have over those currently under my command is access to the doctors report on his current condition. I have my doubts over whether the Captain is currently fit to command this vessel but as of yet, I have seen no evidence to substantiate this.
I am about to meet with Professor Cowens and Crewman T'Lex in the observatory. They have said they have some findings that they wish to go over with me in detail. I have been promised that it is nothing that they consider of much concern but, might pique my interest. I look forward to the discussion regarding their findings. It will be a welcome break from the numerous PADD's I have been reading requesting additional resources or stumbling blocks on various upgrade operations.
Acting Chief Engineer's Log, Supplemental (Stardate 239005.18)
Thankfully for the Mercury, Commander Rahman runs a rather tight engineering department. I am more than aware of the fact that most of the engineering staff would prefer her to be present during this mission. However, they all know as well as I do the importance of her current job ensuring Deep Space 10 gets up to a decent working condition as soon as possible. They also trust and respect her judgment in leaving me in command of the department.
DeCoste tells me that the ship will be ready for anything it might encounter in the Beta Sucti system, and I have no reason to doubt him. Work on ships systems is progressing slower than I would like however, the crews are being meticulous with the enhancements to ensure nothing goes wrong. The last thing I want to be doing is explaining to Commander Rahman why her engineering department is in tatters.
As I close this log, the engineering department is about to begin one of the most dangerous tasks of this retrofit. I will personally be over seeing the altering of the magnetic containment fields on the matter anti-matter storage pods and the warp core itself. Although we are expecting to only be facing fields five thousand times stronger than that of the Earth's, I am altering the fields to withstand fields twenty five thousand times stronger. My theory is that although this process will take longer, it never hurts to build in redundancies and fail safes to a plan.
Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 239012.28.
It's been a few days now since Captain Kells resigned and subsequently disappeared, and I get the feeling it's finally beginning to sink in for the crew that he's really not coming back. Personally, I'm not even sure if I've accepted it yet either... but whether the captain's truly gone for now, there's still much work to be done before we get back to DSX.