Episode 44: Dear Diary

“Is this thing on?”

Lt. Commander Georgie “Rainbow” LaGrange hit the side of the recorder with the palm of his hand a few times. The lights finally came on.

“You better not have erased all my entries like you did last month.”

The lights flickered a bit as LaGrange double-checked the list of files. He was relieved to see that everything was still there.

“I am never buying a second-hand voice recorder from a Ferengi ever again.”

Taking a deep breath, he pressed RECORD and began.

“Well, as usual, I have no idea what stardate it is because of how the Gorn tell time, which you think I’d have learned by now. All I can say is, I’m glad they gave me an alarm clock that was already set.

“I can’t believe it’s been almost two seasons since I started here. I’ve really gotten to know everybody fairly well, and it seems like they’ve gotten used to me being here. And yet… still… it never fails that at least five times a day I have to answer the question ‘What’s that thing over your eyes?’ and I have to tell them, ‘I’ve been blind since birth, so I wear the latest in Fleet medical technology: an ocular hair barrette that allows me to see just fine, but with vertical lines in front of everything.’ I could pretty much answer the question in my sleep. Well, a lot of times, I do, since they typically get it in a couple of times before I’ve had my morning coffee.

“Sigh. At this point, I’m starting to think that they’re asking it just to annoy me. That, along with ‘your haircut is soooo 80’s.’ I don’t even know what that means.

“Sorry I haven’t done an entry in so long. I’ve been really busy. I finally managed to fix the problem with their matter-antimatter regulator software, which I’d been working on for like six months. Had to re-program the entire system in Visual Basic on a 386 computer running Windows 3.11. Glad my minor in Ancient Programming Languages is finally paying off. If only my advisor from the Academy could see me now…

“How this ship even functions at all is beyond me. One thing is for sure: I will never say another bad thing about Zefram Cochrane ever again. (Or was that Eddie Cochran? I slept through most of Engineering History) Anyways, whoever it is, I’m sure he’d be sick to his stomach if he saw what passes for warp engines on this hunk of metal.

“I think we’ve managed to find something resembling a ‘typical day’, if such a thing is possible on a Gorn ship. I get up, go to the Engineering Department, get written up both for being late and for being early (one of the quirks of having two managers), I try to figure out how to keep a ship running with equipment my grandfather would have found outdated, I dodge the typical ‘what do humans do?’ questions, I work overtime, I get written up for working overtime, then I go to bed. At least they’re not going around calling me ‘Rainbow’. I knew I should have gone with a different title for my books podcast. I really miss doing that, though. Maybe I’ll find a better recorder and do some, if I ever have free time again. I should email the captain about that…

“…that is, if they’d ever check their email. That’s at least one thing that’s better about being Chief Engineer here. 99 out of 100 times I check my inbox, there are no new messages. That’s a real breath of fresh air, for sure. But when I do get any messages, they’re filled with all these cryptic words like IKR, SMH, ROFL, IRL, and so on. I’m assuming that’s part of their native language slipping in. Like I don’t already have a hard time understanding a thing they say. At least they don’t type all the SSSSS sounds that they pronounce.

“Last week, one guy said ‘our captain can beat up your captain’, to which I sarcastically replied, ‘Well maybe we should set that up sometime. I hear there’s a desert planet around here that’s great for that sort of thing.’ That did not go over well. He picked me up by my uniform and nearly ripped it to shreds.

“Which reminds me… I’m really wish I’d brought more uniforms with me. The ones I have now are about to fall apart, altercations notwithstanding. They’ve offered me some of their metallic aprons, but up until now, I’ve declined. I might as well take them. It’s not like I have any dignity at this point anyways.

“At any rate, that’s pretty much it for another day in the life of the… SSSSSURRRGGGGHHHHKKFFFFPP– ahh, I still can’t pronounce it. I’m starting to think it’s just not meant for the human tongue. I guess I’ll just keep on calling it the Gornucopia. Whenever they’re not around, of course.

“This is the worst job on the worst ship with the worst working environment I’ve ever encountered. And yet with all that, the food here is excellent. That’s at least one thing these Gorns have gotten right.

“I think I’m starting to like it here.”