MEHRAM: Oh good, this thing is on. Finally. I swear, they couldn’t give us a single piece of working equipment?

…Ahem. Right, sorry, Ta. Uh, can you… delete that? Delete? Um… computer, delete. Recorder, delete. Ta, delete.


Ah, nobody listens to these anyway. Second Navigator Shahdi Mehrahm, 6711513, Log number… many. 58. Log 58. As always, I am stationed aboard the survey vessel C.F.S. Felicity Condition, currently docked at Ares Station. Not that I’d know, of course; the ship’s records room looks pretty much the same no matter where we are. And Shahdi isn’t allowed off-station, noooo. Shahdi has to stay in the records room and organize and notate our flight logs until the day she keels over and dies, because XO is a complete…

The point is, we could be docked at Earth itself and I’d still be sitting in this chair. But, you know that already, Ta.

Anyway! Log checklist, log checklist… “mission status”. Right, well. The pass around Gemini 241 was… not a success. To put it mildly. The Cap’s been stalking around for the last few days in a serious mood because of it. Teveed- I mean, Officer Nakshavani, hasn’t been much better. They’ve been trying to actively take it out on me, as well, so I couldn’t even leave the records room if I wanted to. Or, could.

An outpost near Raja 17 started picking up some strange radiation from the twin stars a few months ago. Of course, the FC being Command’s whipping post, we were of course assigned to trek out here and take a look. We were supposed to do a figure-eight slingshot around stars, looping between them while trailing an array behind us, and see what the readings pulled up. Except the solar radiation was way stronger than initial scans suggested, the coupling blew, and…

Well, now we’re sitting at Ares, waiting to find out if we’re supposed to do a round two, or if Command knows what the Sunk Costs Fallacy is. And in the meantime, I have to log and record all the complicated starcharts for a completely pointless voyage.


Okay, crew status. As I already mentioned, the Cap’s in a mood. She’s done nothing but angrily mutter while she paces back and forth, usually directed at anyone who comes near. Pretty typical Cap behaviour, to be honest. She’ll get over it as soon as we get a new mission, she always does. Bu-ut, for CSO Nakshavani… well, they’re taking it personally. Very personally.

First Navigator McMillan is as apathetic as always, of course. I’m pretty sure I saw her asleep at the helm the other day. I didn’t say anything, of course, but her eyes were closed, soooo…

And, last but not least, Zar is as inscrutable as ever. I still don’t actually know if they count as crew or as… equipment?

Ah! Spics! Look, I’m sorry, Zara, okay? Just… please don’t do that again.

Uh, gods. Losing the gravity always makes me want to yartz.

Zarathustra is… performing to mission standards.

…no lurch? I guess I’ll keep that one on standby.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way…

MEHRAM [whispering]: I’ve got a secret, Ta.

I got a look at the station.

It wasn’t easy. But when we were docking, the rest of the crew was still on the bridge. Zara saw me, of course, but I think they let me go. So I snuck away from my post to the viewing port below third, and…

Ta, it’s amazing. Not Ares, that’s just a standard Mark 7 Orbital Emplacement. If I squint really hard, I can actually see the blueprint lines overlaid on it. No, what’s really impressive is what it orbits.

Shoree 35. It used to be a planet; fairly rocky and mountainous, maybe some seas with a little life. But then something happened, nobody really knows what, and now…

It’s like it exploded from the inside! It’s completely shattered, and it’s the coolest thing I’ve- Ah, Captain, sir!

ADJEYUBE: At ease, Navigator. Who were you talking to?

MEHRAM: Just, ah, making my logs, sir?

ADJEYUBE: Oh? Good work, then.

MEHRAM: …thank you, sir. Uhm, sir? Why… are you here?

ADJEYUBE: We’ve received new orders from Command. We’re shifting off in five.

MEHRAM: Understood, sir. I’ll be on the bridge in two.

Gotta go, Ta. I’ll talk later.