As I stare at my PADD (computer), I have a number of things on my mind. Part of me wants to talk about my week in chronological order. Another part of me wishes to talk about things in order of importance. A third part of me wants to write an unstructured entry. I suppose I’ll start out talking about my presentation to the Daystrom Institute (the podcast I livestreamed in collaboration with Women at Warp.)
I was quite nervous as I began my presentation. I’m a bit camera shy just doing recorded videos, being live definitely had me anxious. Still, I was honored to be able to just share a bit of my story and analysis. I was so encouraged to see all the positive feedback. Personally, I was slightly upset at myself because I could’ve made the presentation a lot cleaner with slides had I not rewritten it too close to the deadline. I started to become redundant in the points I was saying during the latter half of the presentation though they resonated with some nonetheless.
I have felt so alone and invisible for so long that just having others hear me and enjoy my content felt like a win. I liken it to how it was for Janeway and the crew when the doctor returns from the alpha quadrant in the episode, “Message in a bottle” and tells Janeway, “I told them everything that happened to this crew…and they asked me to relay a message….that you are no longer alone” and Janeway says, “60,000 light years seems a lot closer today.”
I still feel trapped in the delta quadrant but I feel heartened by the outpouring of support. Ive grown weary venturing out here alone. Taking on an entire quadrant with one ship could tax the most resilient captain. I hope we are able to once again reinitiate contact with the Federation in the future. I’ve learned a lot from my contact out here with the various civilizations that inhabit this quadrant and hope to share that intel with Starfleet. Until then, I have other missions to plan.
My bridge crew (Tino, Noah, Bella) have taken a shuttlecraft to chart the Beaval star cluster (summer camp). Their mission is scheduled to last 6 days. During the interim, my ship will be manned by a skeleton crew (I’ll be at home by myself). As I was flew through interstellar space (on the freeway), I came upon the area where former officer (my late wife Michelle) went missing. I’m not sure why but I felt compelled to explore the area. Perhaps because she’s been on my mind a lot lately.
It’s always hard flying by the Bowman expanse. I always wonder what was going through her mind that fateful night she went missing. Given that I had the time, I beamed down to the surface.
Though the picture above looks unremarkable, this is where Michelle parked her car on the last night of her life. Her body was later found over a mile away. Why she came out here is not known. What I was told is that she was last seen at midnight in Safeway and was out here at 3am. What happened between midnight and 2:30am? Its a 30 minute flight from Earth (my place) to the Bowman expanse.
I was working the overnight shift at the homeless shelter that night. We even had the cops come out a bit past 2am because we had to remove a volatile client. That night was grueling. After the cops left, the rest of the residents were on edge because of the disturbance and needed some reassurance. Plus I had to write a long report on what happened and had to brief the next shift on everything once they came in. I had looked forward to coming home only later to find the kids at home alone and Michelle no where to be found. I immediately called the guy she temporarily moved in with for a time, pakled Daniel. He hadn’t heard from her. I called a few hospitals and nothing. I received a call later about the car being found and immediately set a course.
After showing up on site, I ended up having to meet with the police. They were able to verify my whereabouts. They didn’t tell me too much more at that time. The next day, frustrated by the lack of updates I had returned to try and figure out where in that area she could be. I was intercepted and told to leave it up to them to find her. It took days but she was found. That was in 2017. The hardest part of the ordeal was trying to help the kids cope…they lost their grandma (my mom) earlier in the year and our house a bit after that. They hated (and still hate) the apartment. And losing their birth mom in such a gruesome way…it took everything I had to try to get them through it. It was so public too…cameras at the school…everyone knew and some of the kids were jerks and would bring it up like oh, “you dont have a mom now, shes dead”. So for me, job number one was helping them cope, which I believe I helped them do successfully though at a cost to my own mental health. Just, I never showed them the toll it took on me. I hid it well. I lost the only important adults in my life that year…
Here in the present, I almost forget just how poorly off I was after that. I do believe its an accurate statement to say that I died that day too. 2018 is so much of a blur I genuinely dont know what happened other than losing my job. It was so bad that after I won a battle for being wrongly terminated that I eventually didn’t continue to fill the appropriate paperwork to keep the benefits coming in. I literally lost $1000’s because of depression. And yet from then to now I’ve made a lot of progress, I think?
So with a clear mind I set out to try and retrace her steps. Its so super rugged that I always have had a hard time believing she got where she did on foot. And if she didn’t get there on foot, then someone must’ve put her there. And thus I set out to see the actual logistics…
To be continued….