Midshipman’s Log Part 92
September 9, 1252 CNS
I can’t reiterate enough how lucky I was to get this job. I can’t say it enough, and I’m not trying to kiss anyone’s ass. But these opportunities don’t just swing around once in a lifetime; they don’t swing around at all. I really need the money, and this job is a fair sight more meaningful than stacking shelves. My head is clear, head is empty, which is no better or worse than any man could have asked for, circumstances being what they are. Trying not to think about family. Of course, they were the whole reason.
So, the monthly record of the mental wherewithal of my crewmates.
Lieutenant Whatley, I think, has always thought very highly of himself despite being relegated to the command of military civilians. He still carries around his sidearm, trying to spin it about like some hinterland sheriff. I wonder if it even works anymore, how often he drops it. Maybe he thinks we’ll be intimidated, but it’s not like the four of us have never seen a gun before; hell, we’ve all gone through at least superficial firearms training—on the off chance of hostile boarders. Goes without saying I wouldn’t weep if he managed to plug himself with his own gun. Not exactly much of a leader either, squinty eyed little shit with a chip on his shoulder.
Midshipman First Class Donnelly lost a huge quantity of cash to Midshipman Third Class Taticius in a recent illegal but nevertheless public night of gambling, and Donnelly’s been pulling rank on whomever he can ever since. Under regular circumstances, he’d never see that money again, but it’s not like we’ve got a consumer economy here. And Taticius isn’t the saving or the investing type, unless booze and whores can be considered a valid investment. I figure he thinks by bullying the rest of us, we’ll somehow compel Taticius to return the allegedly misbegotten goods. I don’t think he realizes how little the rest of us care, how used we are to this sort of treatment anyways. I wouldn’t have joined the army, even as a civilian, if I expected sanity or sensibility. All it takes is one barracks shit-head with a few bars on his shoulders. Can’t resist saying I’m glad I’m just a civilian. The enlisted are doomed.
I don’t see much of Machinist O’Leary, but I can’t say that I’m surprised, virtually sequestered in the ship’s allegedly radiation-proof buttocks. And I know it’s a lot of work maintaining the propulsion of a ship of this size, and her hours by necessity revolve around the needs of the engine, but I confess that I’ve only seen her in her bunk about once or twice this whole journey. I mean, she’s the right to liberate one of us from our duties to give her a hand, but she doesn’t. It’s not like we haven’t been trained in at least routine maintenance and under the direction of a proper engineer. Anyways, I haven’t even seen her in a whole week, not that I’m entirely disappointed. She has something of a slanted countenance; it’s hard to explain. Spent too long staring into pieces parts, I guess.
At last there’s the Boatswain, an old-world effete by the name of Matheson that you’d swear could spin shit into gold, the way he’s always getting on. I don’t even know why he joined the army, what his plan was. He seems to treat his duties as some sort of pleasure cruise. Ship does most of the navigating anyways. His only responsibility is to ensure the navigational data is correct, not to even tabulate the data himself. Can you tell that I don’t like him? He’s always fidgeting about, absentmindedly performing magic tricks with scattered coins. And his demeanor—gods above—so insincere! When he tells you to “Have a nice day,” he’s really telling you to get fucked. I can only hope he effects an early retirement before he gets his head caved in by a more ferocious man than I.
Anyways, as regards current events, there isn’t much to be said. The cargo is in fine condition, due to arrive on time at Wolf Tertius, after which I can take a few weeks vacation away from all this mess. I deserve that much, at least. Anyways, there’s no rot. No spoilage. No unexplained bludgeoning, and there’s been no report of theft. Ship’s huge. Never know if someone’s made ingress on board. Even then, it’s not strangers you’ve got to worry about.
Ship’s running fine. The Blind Hercules has met all her way-points on time; we might even manage the terminus ahead of schedule, not that anyone would care. The food is awful, but what do you expect without anything resembling a full-time cook? Most of the loggerheads around here wouldn’t know a good meal from having their shit pushed in, so they don’t make a fuss, and I’m simply too smart to let on.