Log Entry 130126.46

My victory in Temporal Science was short lived. Within twenty-four hours, I was summoned to Student Services where two Security Officers were waiting for me. I was taken to a room and thoroughly—well, they called it a debriefing, but I'd call it an interrogation ... about my Romulan encounters, and even though I had nothing to hide, it was still disconcerting.
I know that everything I told them can be verified by my care records, but it still left me feeling a little uncomfortable, and it didn't finish there. After five hours with them, I had to go and see Mr Dreganan. Oh, why didn't I keep my mouth shut?
Anyway, he was actually rather nice. He apologised to me for the intervention of Starfleet Intelligence (I hadn't realised that it was Intelligence up until that point), but my knowledge of an incident that was not public knowledge had brought me to their attention. Having realised what was happening, he had decided that it was probably best to talk to me personally, as it was no doubt a somewhat daunting experience for me. I thought that was quite considerate, and then we chatted for the best part of an hour about my upbringing.
Why do people find me so fascinating? It's a sad but true fact, children are abandoned all the time. What makes me so special?
Anyway, by that time, I was tired and irritable, which meant I wasn't at my best so yes, you guessed it, I asked him.
"You're not special as such, but ... have you ever heard of Moab IV?"
"Er, yes. Isn't that a gated Human colony?"
He laughed.
"Gated? Yes, that's quite a good description for it, but it's more than that. It's not just a self-contained biosphere located on a harsh, otherwise uninhabitable world. The Humans there have genetically engineered themselves over seven generations in pursuit of perfection. What it means is that when a child is born, they know what its strengths will be. Children are designed and born to be what they become, be it engineers, physicists, musicians or diplomats. They grow up knowing exactly what their society needs from them, what is expected from them and fully equipped to be able to fulfil that expectation.
"In our society, we have to find this out for ourselves, but think on this. How do we know that somewhere out there," he stood by the window and gazed out across the plush green lawns, "there isn't another Beethoven or Mozart that remains undiscovered, that will always be undiscovered because he, or she, has never picked up a musical instrument? Wouldn't that be a tragedy?"
"I suppose."
He came and sat opposite me.
"Just, I suppose?"
"I don't know what else you want me to say? I don't know what you're getting at?"
"Okay," he said. "How do you know that you're not the next Mozart?"
"Because I can't read music and trust me, I have tried. I also couldn't carry a tune if it came in its own hand-stitched and especially designed carry case—I even whistle out of tune. In singing lessons, my music tutor used to ask me to mime rather than make a noise. I may have many hidden talents but music isn't one of them. Oh!" The penny had dropped. Dreganan smiled at me.
"You know what I should be good at."
He nodded.
"Why do you think we picked your courses for you?"
I burst out laughing.
"Are you seriously telling me that I'm going to get my head around things like AXE Biology?"
"Yes. We've studied your psych evaluation and test results from your initial interviews to join Starfleet, your education and care records. T'Roc is right to want you as a Cultural Officer. You have an aptitude for—" and he laughed. "—believe it or not, diplomacy. You have a knack for being able to assess people and their cultural expectations as well as being able to identify their heritage almost at a glance, like T'Roc. You knew her racial heritage."
"Well, there aren't that many Klingons with pointy ears."
"Romulans have pointy ears."
I shook my head.
"Not like Vulcans. There are subtle differences between Vulcan and Romulan facial structures."
"Which most people don't spot."
"That's just being observant. That's nothing special."
"And then you surmised which parent was Vulcan and which was Klingon."
"That was pure logic."
He laughed.
"If it's so easy, how come most people don't pick up on those subtleties? The only reason you find it easy, is because that is what comes naturally to you. Remember, Mozart found music easy."
I frowned.
"Why do I feel like everybody's pet project?"
"Because, little Miss Jenny Terran, in a way you are. You were found abandoned on an alien spacecraft and then we abandoned you too, to your own devices. If you hadn't applied to Starfleet, you'd never have caught anybody's attention. You'd still be a waitress in a bar somewhere. Fortunately, you did. Your talents, un-honed as they are, still shine through and we know that if you had been given the right guidance early on, you'd be doing more than just laying carpets in turbolifts."
"People keep saying that to me."
"Because it's true. If you had been born on Moab IV, you would be an accomplished Cultural Advisor by now. You would never have been a general maintenance worker. As it is, there is some speculation as to whether someone like yourself can still achieve their full potential so late in the day. You are set in your ways and have much to learn. More importantly, can you embrace the disciplines necessary to be a Starfleet officer?
"There is a very old expression we have here on Earth. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. With this new program, we are all asking ourselves if perhaps we can."
Dreganan suddenly looked at his watch.
"I have a lecture now, and you, young lady, have missed most of the days' already. I suggest you catch up with the relevant tutors and find out what you have missed. In the meantime, if you need anything else, just let me know."
"Thank you, sir," and I left his office.
So many people seem to be depending upon me now. The burden of responsibility to do well is getting heavier with each day.

Log Entry 130119.45

In my entire life, I have never written anything more significant than an essay entitled 'What I did in the School Holidays', so my Academy timetable, filled with such subjects as Astro Studies and Temporal Science, was pretty frightening. The thought of having to write an academic paper to follow up on such lectures was, therefore, downright terrifying!
So it was with trepidation that I went to my morning lecture, Temporal Science. To be honest, I wasn't even sure what Temporal Science was, but I wasn't going to make myself look stupid and ask someone. I did have the nonce to look it up in the Academy database though.
Anyway, the topic to introduce us to the subject was the 'Theory of Infinite Realities'; the subject of mirror, alternate or parallel realities (call them what you will), and I've discovered I like Temporal Science. It's not so much a science as a supposition, which means there is plenty of room for debate.
I'm not going to bleat on and fill my logs with everything new that I learn each day (that would be dull), but it was so exhilarating to stretch my mind and this was a significant event for me, so I am going to record it, just this once.
To summarise, the existence of alternate realities is proven. The Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T Kirk, first encountered the phenomenon in 2267, and then Commander Nerys Kira, First Officer, Deep Space 9 encountered a similar universe in 2370.
The 'Infinite Reality Theory' states that for every decision we make in life, an alternative reality is born, one for each decision path that could have been taken, and that there are, thus, billions upon billions of alternate realities.
Having had the theory explained to us, Mr Dreganan, our lecturer, asked a student for his thoughts. He said that it seemed to make sense to him.
"And you, Ms Terran," Dreganan suddenly asked me. "What do you think?"
I baulked at the question and sat rigid for a moment, thinking. I had two options. I could either agree, even though I didn't, or I could tell him what I really thought.
"Sorry sir, but it sounds like complete balderdash to me."
The room gasp but Mr Dreganan merely laughed, and then he asked me to explain the basis upon which I had drawn that conclusion, so I did, and it goes something like this.

No two people are exactly alike. That is because each person gets their genetic data as a combination of information from an egg and a sperm. For the same person to be born in two different realities, the same two people that parented that child would not only have to parent that child together, but would have had to come together and procreate at the same point in time in both of those realities. This would also be true for their parents, the parents of those parents and, in fact, everybody from whom they were ever descended.
That the realities we know of must have existed for some time for their civilizations to have evolved to a point so dramatically different from ours but with identical people, suggests that the theory must be false.
One could argue that there is no way to guarantee that the same egg would be released at the same point in time, just as you can't guarantee that the same sperm would have won the race to the egg in an alternate reality, but that also further disproves the theory, as the chances then of creating a physically identical person in two realities become even more remote.
Yet, James Kirk not only met another physically identical version of himself, but one that was similarly assigned to a ship called Enterprise, with a First Officer called Spock who was a mirror image of his own Spock. The chances of that occurring in another reality in the Infinite Realities Theory would be incredibly small. The chances of our Kirk then finding that reality among the billions of possibilities claimed by the Theory would be even smaller.
Further, that when Nerys visited an alternate reality, it appears to have been the same one that Kirk experienced, (supported by the history retold to her by her counterpart). What are the chances of her stumbling into the same alternate reality as Kirk if there are billions to choose from?
In the Infinite Reality Theory, the population would not be anything like ourselves. They would be entirely different people and, thus, I dispute it.
What I suggest is that an alternate reality is only created when a significant temporal incursion takes place. For example: if you go back in time and kill someone's father to stop them from being born, are you changing your own reality, or creating a new one?
In support of this, we only have to look at the Tasha Yar incident.
Lieutenant Natasha Yar, was a serving officer of the USS Enterprise-E. She was born in 2337 and died in 2364 yet, during the period from 2344 to 2349, she appears to have existed as both a seven-year-old girl living on Turkana IV with her sister, and as a 27-year-old Starfleet officer imprisoned by the Romulans.
This latter existence is, granted, only proven by some very vague Romulan records and rumours from household servants who were there at the time, but Romulan children speak of it.
Yar senior claimed to have come from a reality where she did not die on Vagra II. In fact, she had never been to Vagra II. She existed in a reality where Starfleet was still fighting a war against the Klingons. In that existence, a temporal event took place that drew the Enterprise-C from 2344 into her timeline in 2366. She then returned through the temporal event with the crew of the Enterprise-C to aid in the defence of the Klingon outpost at Narendra III against the Romulans. This event, as we know, helped to secure peace with the Klingon Empire.
So, let's assume that the Enterprise-C did disappear through a temporal rift of some kind. If the Enterprise-C had not returned to Narendra III to aid in its defence, the Klingons would not have made peace with the Federation. Her timeline would probably have evolved in the way that it did. That is certainly what she theorised.
But, the Enterprise-C did return through the rift and paved the way for peace between the Klingons and the Federation. So, did Yar create our timeline from that single significant temporal event, and if so, did Yar's original reality suddenly cease to exist? Did she change events, create a second reality or just put right something that went wrong?

The Lecture Hall remained silent after I had finished. Mr Dreganan eventually broke it.
"I've read reports about a Romulan Commander named Sela who made fleeting claims of such things, but I've never seen any records supporting them, Romulan or otherwise, and they have been investigated. You say your information comes from children? It sounds far too thorough for that."
"When I first heard the rumours, it intrigued me so I investigated it further. I was about eight years old at the time. Children are less guarded in what they say, and we were just children. Our cultural differences were not important to us. We didn't understand the conflict between our races."
"And who were these Romulan children?"
"A Romulan transporter was destroyed from which Starfleet rescued one adult and five children. The Romulan adult was in a critical condition so was hospitalised. The children came into the care of my matriarch. I spent about three weeks with them and they told me their stories. I accessed Earth and Federation records in the public domain and questioned my Romulan friends."
"And what did you learn from them?"
"Sela was born to a Romulan officer and Natasha Yar who had become his consort in exchange for the lives of the crew of the Enterprise-C. When she was four, Yar bundled her daughter up and stole her away in the middle of the night to escape the Romulans, but Sela didn't want to go. She was a Romulan and she loved her father. She cried out. They were discovered and, as a result of it, Yar was executed. Sela was quite proud of her heroism and that she had betrayed her own mother. Adults speak of it in whispers, but children have ears and children love secrets."
Dreganan looked sceptically at me.
"Your dates are very precise."
"I merely pieced them together and they fit."
"How do you know these tales aren't the work of the Tal Shiar?"
"They could be, but for what reason? And I suspect even the Tal Shiar have an age requirement for their agents."
"I see," he mused, and then he smiled. "Well Ms Terran, you may go to the top of the class. Not for your theories, but rather because you have very succinctly illustrated the complexity of Temporal Science and because you had the nerve to voice your theory. Not many First Year students have that courage, let alone one in their first week."
So you see, little Jenny Terran who never did amount to much at school, never got the opportunity to do so, has made a mark. Sorry, it may seem like a very small victory but it means something to me, something very special.

Log Entry 130112.44

My first evening at the Academy was spent with Bairn who very kindly showed me around. I think we both know that we're not going to be inseparable bosom buddies or anything, but that doesn't mean we won't be friends. As she pointed out, we will be sharing a room for the next three months, so the least she could do was help me to settle in.
As we walked through the Academy, males of all species turned and looked at her, but she ignored them all. Bairn obviously enjoys the power she commands, but not to the exclusion of everything else. While she was showing me around, I was the centre of her attention, so we did get to know each other quite well.
Bairn is a forth year student and she doesn't have a boyfriend. She finds men 'quite tiring and a little shallow'. She says that men are good for many things, but rarely make good friends. Naturally, I argued the point on the basis that, if what I had seen so far was anything to go by, she rarely saw them at their best. Orion women produce really strong pheromones that attract the males of most species while giving females a headache. (I suppose, to eliminate the competition). The result is that men in their company are usually completely distracted by them while the women are lying down with a cold compress.
Bairn's medication seems to work well but she still attracts attention. I can't help but wonder though, how will she fare in Starfleet? She will never be able to command a vessel while her crew are more focused upon her than on the approaching Borg cube or whatever. For similar reasons, she would be a liability for any Captain. At some point, I don't doubt, I'll have the opportunity to pose that theory to her. It will be interesting to know her thoughts.
It was too late to eat in the Mess Hall by the time we got back, so Bairn decided we would head into town. There's a lovely little café that she knows where they have a pianist who plays jazz. It was a super place, but I was so tired. As the evening progressed, I began to yawn. She could see I was shattered, so we returned to our quarters and I had an early night.
It took me a while to get to sleep. I had no idea how well I had adjusted to life aboard a starship, or how much I'd miss it. The gentle, almost undetectable hum of the engines and its subtle vibrations. When I did finally get to sleep though, I slept like a log, which was just as well, because the next morning, I had my first lecture and didn't that just bring me down a peg or two!
It was the formal welcome and introduction to the Cadet Development Program: why it had been initiated, how it differed to traditional Academy training and what was expected of us.
As far as the courses are concerned, it is accepted that we all have some prior knowledge acquired through experience that your usual cadet doesn't have, but that we are lacking in the disciplines expected of an Officer. And by disciplines, he didn't mean the ability to do as we are told. We are ambassadors for Starfleet and thus we are expected to behave with dignity and decorum at all times (no more scuffles in the cargo bay then). There are ways to conduct ourselves and our business, and ways to deal with enlisted staff who may not be officers but are often more qualified in their field than we will be in ours. We will need to recognise these crewmen and then utilise them to best advantage.
That we had come from enlisted ranks ourselves meant nothing other than that we had failed to achieve our maximum potential in life so far. If we had been successful Crewmen, we would already have attained the rank of Petty Officer with a specialism and already earned the respect of our fellow officers. He went on to explain that Petty Officers were also being offered a chance to further their careers via the Officer Development Programme that was running alongside this one.
I think that told us quite succinctly, where our place was. I was thus doubly shocked when I saw Rutter sitting at the back of the room. That just wasn't right. He IS an officer! Despite everything, he has earned that rank and still holds it. It should have been recognised. If he needed lecturing, then it should have been done on a one-to-one basis, not in front of everybody else! It made me quite angry and, much to my own surprise, I suddenly felt quite bad that I hadn't correctly addressed him as 'sir' back on the Drakonia.
As to our timetables, we need to gain knowledge in a wide range of subjects and, with only three months at the Academy each time we come, our agendas are much heavier than the traditional cadet's. We have much to learn while we are here and will be furnished with enough material and knowledge to continue our studies while at our postings. A lot of our practical training will also be done aboard our respective ships.
With regard to what exactly I will be studying over the next four years, I have an extensive range of both core and ancillary subjects. This first stint at the Academy is focusing on the Skills of Leadership & Command and Starfleet History, but will also introduce me to my other subjects:


• Xeno Studies, Anthropology and Archaeology

• Communication Skills & Techniques

• Understanding Phonology & Xenolinguistics

• Astro-, Xeno- and Exobiology

• Psychology

• Astro Studies, Stellar Cartography and Temporal Sciences

• Weapons Training

• Tactical Analysis and Training

These subjects will be studied both at the Academy and while serving on the Earhart. However, there are a number of subjects that I will learn solely aboard the Earhart before being tested at the Academy. These are:

·         Hand-to-hand combat
·         Survival Strategies
·         Emergency Medical Course
·         Shuttle Pilot Course
·         Engineering Extension Course (which includes basic theory in Subspace Geometry, Warp Design, Plasma Physics, Quantum Chemistry, Robotics and Transporter Theory).

We are also to 'be fully informed with regard to' (that means learn by heart) The Prime Directive and Starfleet General Orders and Regulations.
My feelings regarding the project are now mixed. I am both filled with excitement and daunted. I was, thus, very pleased to hear that these subjects are not set in stone. If we find ourselves drawn into, or particularly adept at, a specific field, that we should discuss the matter with our Academy Mentor, or Ship's Training Officer. It is not unusual for a Cadet, upon learning new skills, to find their niche, and Starfleet are eager to take advantage of these talents. Changing subjects is always an option.

Log Entry 130105.43

Starfleet Academy's headquarters in San Francisco are nothing less than breathtaking. I'd seen photographs of them many times before, but they don't do it justice. The blend of modern buildings and informal gardens are wonderfully pleasing to the eye. Everything is so clean, spick and span, designed to create an ideal learning environment that is therapeutic, calming and inspirational. I can see why it's credited as being the best Academy in the whole of the United Federation of Planets.
From the moment our shuttle landed, our feet haven't touched the ground. Even Rutter and Tez haven't had time for another squabble.
Firstly, we were directed to New Student Registrations. Here, our arrival was documented along with all the other new cadets. You can easily tell which of us are on the new Development Program. We are all so much older than your traditional new recruit. Anyway, there we were assigned our quarters. I wish you could have seen Rutter's face when he found out he would be sharing a room with Tez!
I think it's a good decision though. It would be a mistake to give Rutter a Human roommate. It would allow him to isolate himself away from alien races, and he's done far too much of that already. He needs to learn how to mix with other species, understand their culture and ways. But to assign a non-Human to share a room with Rutter wouldn't be fair either. Why should they have to endure his xenophobic tendencies? Unless, of course, they were a race that would be unaffected by Rutter's bullying ways—like a Klingon or a Tellarite. Tez is immune to Rutter. He'll just look upon every remark as an opportunity for a fresh exchange.
I feel a bit sorry for Rutter actually. He's been very quiet since we landed. It's not going to be an easy ride for him. The last time he was here, he was the cool guy that everyone wanted to hang around with. He is the son of two admirals and therefore was worth getting to know. Now he is, no doubt, the first Ensign ever to be returned to the Academy for a crash course in manners. It's a slap down. The pilot was right. He is one of the Misfits now. Poor Rutter.
After that, we were whisked off to Student Services where we picked up our timetables, study guides, site plans and so on. Then we had an interview to establish that we had selected all the right courses etc, and to make any necessary adjustments. You won't believe my timetable! It's horrendous!
Then, it was off to the Quartermaster to pick up our cadet uniforms and all the things we needed for our courses. Honestly, I have never seen so much kit.
By the time I got to my hall of residence, I was shattered and laden down with enough stuff to fill a shuttle. I stumbled down the corridor looking for my room. I found it and struggled with the door, dropping some of my kit in the process. Finally, it recognised my code and slid open.
Inside was a brightly lit, well-designed room with two of everything: bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers and study areas with desks, chairs and terminals. On the wall was a shelving unit half filled with books, datapads and knickknacks. I kicked my junk through the door, my arms still fully laden, and stepped inside. As the door shushed behind me, I shouted, hello.
"Ah-ha!" shouted a voice back. "So you're the infamous Jenny Terran!"
I sighed.
"I suppose so," I drawled despondently. Did everybody know me? Did everybody call us the Misfits?
The voice laughed excitedly and from the bathroom, a girl emerged dressed in a bathrobe, and a towel wrapped around her head. Younger than I, she was completely and totally green! Yep! She's an Orion!
"Hi," she beamed. "Bairn," and she held out her hand.
I took it and shook it somewhat intimidated by her vivacious personality and stunning beauty. She giggled afresh at my obvious discomfort.
"I promise not to steal your boyfriend," and she held her hand up as though making an oath.
I laughed uncomfortably.
"I don't have a boyfriend," I explained.
"Well, when you do—or if you have your eye on someone—tip me the wink and I'll steer clear," and she winked at me.
"Are you always this sure in your ability to attract men?" I asked, a bit miffed at her confidence. It was a stupid question.
As if reading my mind, she said, "Of course, silly. I'm an Orion!"
She opened her eyes even more widely as she spoke, and her pupils dilated making them even more beautiful. I scowled disapprovingly and she giggled afresh as she settled herself onto her bed and began to towel dry her hair.
I dropped the rest of my stuff onto the floor and sat on the bed opposite and watched as Bairn studied me. She smiled at me. She knew the effect she had on people and seemed to revel in it.
Suddenly, she reached over and from a cabinet, she picked up a medicine bottle and tipped out a couple of pills that she promptly swilled down with a glass of water.
"What's that?" I asked.
She gulped as she swallowed them.
"Sorry," I apologised, realising myself. "It's none of my business."
"No, no!" she exclaimed, shaking her head. "I don't mind! They're pheromone suppressants. Otherwise I'd have every hot-blooded male breaking down the door!"
"Oh right! That makes sense," I admitted.
"And I'll apologise in advance because I hog the shower too. Twice a day. Between that and the pills, men are pretty much safe around me."
I scowled again. I couldn't imagine any man being safe around her.
"What?" she exclaimed gleefully. "I can see you disapprove. What are you thinking?" and she rolled onto her tummy, resting her chin in her palms and waggling her feet in the air. She looked fantastic even while sopping wet. When I step out of the shower, I just look like a bedraggled Afghan hound.
"It's nothing," I lied.
"No," she said. "We're going to share a room for the next three months at least. If we're going to hate each other, we might as well start now."
It quite took me aback, but sounded sensible enough and I was too tired to argue.
"Well, if you really want to know, if you want to make yourself less attractive to men, you don't need to look quite so ..."
"Pretty?" she finished for me.
"Yes," I said, admiring her long, ebony black locks that snaked seductively around her shoulders.
"Ooh! Like get a really bad haircut; eat and eat and eat until I'm as fat as a targ?"
I laughed at that. I couldn't help it.
"Okay, you win! Bad idea!" I chuckled wearily. "I'm sorry. It's just ..." but I didn't know what to say.
"I know. Orion women are intimidating. I try not to be, but it's hard to be anything other than what you are."
The remark struck home. It's what I'm always telling others, and here I was hoping that this woman would do just what I preached against. I think I must have looked a little shamefaced. Bairn sat up on the bed and leaned over towards me.
"Come on," she said. "Girls always like to look their best. Why should I be any different? ... And why should this poor little Orion slave girl give up all her charms?" she said, pulling a pouty face.
I smiled feebly at her. Of all the races I've met, I've never known an Orion, but I've read a little. As Bairn disappeared into the bathroom to dry her hair, I recalled it to mind. By the time she re-emerged, she was dressed in casual trousers and a stripy top that was a little small on her.
"As I understand it, it’s a fallacy ... that Orion women are slaves I mean."
"Is it?" she responded coyly.
She was toying with me, answering my question with a question. I was having none of it.
"So are, or were you, a slave?" I asked bluntly.
She considered the point, pouting her lips as she thought.
"I am as free as the next Orion slave girl," she teased.
"No, seriously. I'd like to know."
Bairn sat down again and turned quite serious.
"Let's put it this way. Technically, the men run the show, but Orion women are manipulative. It's rare that an Orion woman doesn't get her own way."
"But are you free?"
"Define free?"
She laughed.
"Are you free? Or are you enslaved by your responsibilities? An Orion woman is typically free of such burdens. Men serve our every whim. They provide us with food, warmth and comfort, and they will fight for us. In that respect, men are enslaved to us. They are responsible for us; they are responsible to us. And, if they disappoint, we can always find another male who will want us."
"But what about when you grow old and less attractive?"
She laughed and rose, her old demeanour returning.
"Oh, you Humans are so funny sometimes!"
But not as evasive as Orion women, I thought.