Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fiction Inspired By "Star Trek":Staring Into Space, Or How To Make A Starship Crew Seem Human

I had a spark of inspiration thanks to Star Trek. Please support the official release and enjoy!

I could spend hours looking out this window. Who knows, maybe I already have. When zooming through space so far away from my home planet, I tend to get lost in thought, just staring at the infinite vacuum of space. Since I was a boy, I have been told of the universe’s infinite wonders, but all I see right now is an empty black void with little specks of white light scattered about. Seeing all of that is just what I need to make my mind wander.

As I start to let my mind wander, I think back to the history of human interstellar travel, starting with when we discovered warp technology. It was originally thought to be a kind of pipe dream, until one man discovered and tested the technology by blasting himself off into space. This caught the eye of some “advanced” species that basically just congratulated us and left, only to come back and try to regulate our technological progress. Little did they know that humans don’t really like being told what to do.
Once we were on our feet technologically speaking, the same species tried to “assert themselves” by establishing an embassy on Earth. This was thirty-five years ago, and they still haven’t left. There are those who oppose this action, but as far as I’m concerned, they can do whatever they want as long as they do not hinder my ability to explore the galaxy. My crew and I have been itching to get out and explore the universe for ourselves, and we don’t care what “they” think about it.

I don’t personally have any disdain for our visitors and they haven’t done anything to me to hinder any personal or intellectual growth. I was able to learn from and work with some of the most brilliant minds of my time. In all of that time, there is one thing that sticks out in my mind: interstellar travel is really, really hard. As if moving space around a vessel to make it travel faster than light can be easy. That said, I really have to hand it to the physicists and engineers involved in this great undertaking. They make everything work. I’m just the guy making decisions. Decisions can be changed more easily than technological marvels like this ship I’m captain of. Again, thanks guys! You do a great job.

I turn away from the window finally to exit my quarters. I walk down the hallway to see how everyone is doing. It’s natural to get cabin fever as we enter our fourth month away from home. Some take it better than others. My communications officer is ecstatic to study non-terrestrial languages; so naturally, she’s in a really good frame of mind. She keeps to her work, however. I would really like her to socialize a little bit more, but she does her job and does it well, so who am I to complain about her methods.

The chief of engineering is pleasant to be around, but he is a young, egotistical hot-shot and all but married his work. So much so, that I can’t really understand a word he says when he starts going off on his technical rants about how much more advanced the ship would be if they had let him build it. His team seems to respect him due to his expertise, but there is only so far professional courtesy can take a person. I bet it gets annoying for his team to hear how great he is. I hope he strikes a good balance with his team at some point.

The ship’s physician is a nice, elderly gentleman, but a little out there. He seems really optimistic, which is kind of the opposite of what he’s seen on his table throughout his career. This is a man who has seen the effects of wars, epidemics, famines, incurable diseases and everything in between. Yet, despite all of that, he is able to keep a smile on his face; even in the presence of formidable adversity. I kind of envy that about him, and as I watch him work, I try to imagine what his life was like up to this point, as if I could do it justice. I get the feeling he has a lot of stories to tell, and one day I would like to hear some of them. Once I summon the courage to ask him about it.

Approaching the bridge, I see a young ensign pacing back and forth in a nervous way. Upon asking him what was wrong, he told me about mistakes he had made the previous day while on duty. I reassure him; everybody makes mistakes. I became the captain of this vessel because I learned how to handle my mistakes. It’s still early in this young man’s career as an explorer on a starship, so I wasn't worried about how he would turn out. The fact that he was scared means that he knows when to draw the line, but the trick is to not let it get to him. After our chat, he seemed relieved. We exchanged pleasantries and he walked away with much less nervousness in his step. This is the kind of thing that helps make being a captain worth it: seeing growth and confidence in my crew.

At the bridge, my second-in-command was taking control. Being at this for as long as she has makes her very capable. However, she has a hatred for the “visitors” on Earth. She doesn't like to talk about it, so she buries herself in her work. I’ve tried to ease her mind about them, but it doesn't seem like the thought really takes form in her mind. Nonetheless, she is a great officer, and I know I can trust her, so her personal issues don’t concern me when it comes to the job.

Now it’s time to stare out the big window. This time, I have people to share it with.

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