Personal Log, Matthew Vaj 16324-(-4743)

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    Matthew Vaj

    Personal Log
    Captain Matthew Vaj

    It seems like we’ve been in the past for years. Of course, for normal people, effectively the entirety of their lives are in the past. It’s surreal to think that most of my past is now in the future. And that there are some who died before they were born.

    Even the beginning of this shift was a bit of an anomaly – it’s been quite some time since I had an opportunity to brush up on my skills as an engineering officer. Even though it was only for a simulation, I found it quite gratifying to be on the bridge, using the skills that will be honed in a few thousand years. I must also express the pleasure of serving with Commander Xansta, who has long been a trusted comrade since we served on the Viper together – though I’ve not yet forgiven him for the loss of that beautiful ship.

    I often find myself longing to return to regular bridge duty, but my work in ONI is of critical importance. But of course I cannot speak much more on that subject here – a security clearance has its drawbacks.

    Unfortunately (but predictably), I was summoned from the bridge to the briefing room on Sabre that’s been doubling as our temporary ONI HQ. I’d been hoping to be on a bridge during a mssion for once. Instead, I was analyzing enemy movement reports, comms chatter, and other classified materiel while the division’s bridge crews performed their duties.

    Election day was… devastating. As a good citizen, I had voted (on my own time, of course! Directive 49.b.ii is no laughing matter). I must admit that over the past few cycles I have formed a solid professional relationship with Commander Shiwak and some of his aides. As far as my experience with N’Tani go, he is an agreeable fellow, and I have found him to be something of a kindred spirit. He strikes me as a far better leader for a post-civil war civilization than his opponent. But it’s moot now, and I digress.

    An Unukalhai fleet entered the sector, bent on destruction. I don’t have the words to describe the demolition of an entire planet. Once, I thought this was only possible with a Death Star, or for a hyperspace bypass. But my levity does nothing to dispell the horror I still feel from seeing the obliteration of that lush planet, and the death of every being who called it home.

    Despite my years with the Terran Stellar Navy, I am yet unable to avoid a shudder and a twinge of… something I can’t really exress… whenever I see an Unukalhai ship. It’s been a long time since I left the friends I had among the Unuks. And I did have friends – people I could trust, who were dependable, likeable, and often even good. I, and they, were raised believing that no alien could be trusted, that any of them would be willing to destroy us without a thought. We had to defend ourselves, or be eliminated. Kill or be killed. Part of my distress, I know, stems from the knowledge that I believed these lies! I thought that serving in the USF was a necessary and honorabale commitment. But some who I considered my dearest friends shunned me when they learned that I had changed, that I had discovered that some aliens, at least, had earned my respect. Some of my estranged friends may be on the Poetry of the Night. Any Unukalhai ship that we’ve destroyed could have friends, or possibly even relatives, aboard. It’s no wonder I shudder. But I’ve made my choice. I continue to make that choice. Sentient life is sentient life. Will there be aliens who try to destroy us? Of course there will! Just as there will always be men who try to kill men. I don’t regret my choices. I regret that I couldn’t bring those I loved with me.

    So perhaps there’s some slight relief that I sit at my desk and review reports instead of being on the bridge, where I could be directly responsible for the death of someone I once knew.

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