Midshipman’s Log Part 96
September 27, 1252 CNS
Can’t get over how itchy I feel. I mean, I’m not delusional—not seeing insects crawling over every surface and up the inviolate walls of my skin hungry for my eyes. No bumps under the skin blistering forward with a legion of hungry baby spiders. I’ve had to restrain myself, for otherwise I’d end up covered in lacerations boiling into infections. I’ve considered cutting my nails painfully short, even at the risk of the draw of blood.
I’m sorry to begin like this. I should pretend that I’m in better condition. I just don’t care anymore. I should pretend, but I just can’t maintain the façade. I’ve never been so lonely, and I’ve long thought myself a lonely man. Primary and secondary education, you see, were an absolute terror as regards my own comrades and most catastrophically the opposite sex. For years I thought the only woman I’d ever kiss would be my own mother. So you’d think I’d be up for this. There are other men in history that have withstood long periods of isolation with their sanity largely intact. I just don’t feel right, and I think it’s beginning to manifest physically. I think I spent three hours solid scratching my throat. On the one hand you’d expect a man, all alone in a big ship like this, would lose himself a bit, see things in the corner of his vision. Happens to people all the time. It doesn’t actually mean anything, long as it doesn’t bother you. But. It. Does. Bother. Me.
I don’t think I’ve ever had genuine comrades—maybe Taticius, maybe another boy in school. But he saw it, didn’t he? Taticius, before we he went silent. Strange then that such a helpless misfit like me’s the lone survivor. I can’t help wondering. It’s been a constant thought on my mind. Can it kill me? It was fast, wasn’t it? It took them before they could react? But would it have to be fast to do that? You’d think but—wouldn’t I have been taken as well? I’m no magnificent soldier, and I think in general that I’m a fair bit less agile than my fellows.
Yesterday, I went to the mess to collect a day’s rations. While I was reheating a freeze-dried package of roasted chicken when what sounded like the discharge of a firearm went off on some deck overhead, but before I could investigate, this pain right behind the eyes, and I was blind. Completely blind. Stumbling about, trying not to fall face-first onto my steaming-hot victuals, I was completely blind—fifteen seconds I think. That’s never happened to me before.
I ran back to the safety of the crew quarters as fast as my legs would carry me. I didn’t even eat. It was two hours before I could work up the nerve to investigate, finger quivering over the trigger of my rifle against the regs. Nothing out of the ordinary. I thought it was a little more humid than it should have been, but that’s not unreasonable considering how long we’ve gone without maintenance. Just hope atmospheric filters hold up long enough till the end of the journey.
I’ve got the door shut, locked, and I’m considering a barricade. I’ll report as soon as I’m able. Somehow writing about it makes it seem not so bad. Should be added to the regs. I wouldn’t mind a manual citation.