Midshipman’s Log Part 97
October 6, 1252 CNS
Taticius started talking to me today. I admit, I haven’t worked up the nerve to go see him. Says he needs to get into the command section but that he’s lost his command override—wants me to do it for him. He just keeps calling me. Over and over and over again. The absence and apparent reappearance is one thing—so you’d think—but there’s something very wrong and I *KNOW* I’m not imagining it. People, real people, not clumsily made dolls meant to terrify children, they understand to use tone and emphasis and rate of expression. But he’s almost like, he’s almost like a robot, but a machine would at least maintain a constant means of expression. I think he’s gauging my responses, trying to learn from my speech—not only how to speak, but also taking cues from my response. He’s been talking to me for five hours now. Five hours. Repeating the same fucking lines. “Gregory. Come. On. Letmeintothecommandsection—BUDDY!” as if he were suddenly enthusiastic and congenial. But he’ll suddenly turn angry—vicious—“PLEASEI’VEONLYGOTFIVEMINUTESBEFORETHESHOW I’LL TELL THELIEUTENANT on you, youknow?”
I keep my thumb poised above the mute, but I just can’t. I keep worrying just “what if?” Would help if I wasn’t a wreck. I asked where he’d been, if he’d been playing a trick on me, if he continued to be. He didn’t answer, just the same prompt over and over and over again. Communicator says it’s coming from the third aft docking bay. I haven’t been able to work up the courage, see if he’s really there, but I don’t think I can handle it much longer to be alone.
I haven’t eaten in two days.
I worry about Sally.
The faucet water’s starting to come out rust-colored. Just my luck, right? I shouldn’t get too sick, as long as I don’t have too much, as long as I can make it to the mess in a few days. I’ve had my shots.
It tastes like I imagined. Better than tasting like shit, I guess.
Are you familiar with tetanus? Comes from Greek. The condition of being stretched basically to death. Bad way to die. Somehow, I imagine it’s the least of my concerns now.
I confess I feel a little better. I’m going to close the log out here. I’m going to open the bulkhead door. I’m going to the aft docking bays, see what I can find. I won’t tell Taticius that I’m coming. Got my guns with me. I’ll report what I find as soon as I can. This might be my last report. Maybe I should tell Sally. If god is with me, I’ll be back soon, no worse for wear.