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Damned Cold

Posted on 20 Jul 2021 @ 11:11am by Lieutenant Commander Zekru Krelossi
Edited on 20 Jul 2021 @ 11:13am

"Personal log, Stardate 41548.6."

The rust-colored form of Lieutenant Commander Zekru Krelossi is sprawled out on the floor of his standard-issue Starfleet quarters, with uniform pieces artlessly flung about him to land where they may. Here, a cold environment coat, there a utility belt of gear with lights flickering away cheerfully as they have not yet been deactivated. The only difference from is that there is an inset of a rock (possibly sandstone, but who can tell?) in a circle in the floor where a rug would normally lay. A bright light shines down upon the nude form of the acting first officer, and he appears to be soaking up as much as he possibly can.

The computer chimes with one of its alarms of worry. "Warning, compartment environmental settings have been set beyond standard safety limits. Temperature 46 degrees Celsius and rising. Humidity at 40 percent and rising. Command override in effect."

"Discontinue safety warnings," the Saurian grumbles as he rolls onto his stomach and presses his face into the rock, which must be blistering hot at this point. Still, he sighs in obvious relief even as the computer declines his request.

"We have discovered a proto-Piraktan - Virhet, they were called - planet of the dead, frozen into an ice ball by botched terraforming ten thousand years ago. It is the source of the genetic virus impacting the Piraktans, because if there is one thing that most sentient species excel at, it is trying to kill themselves off before their movement to the stars provides the perspective that life is truly a fragile thing, clinging to the ball of dirt it formed upon under a few kilometers of atmosphere."

He snorts, a wet, snuffly sort of sound. Perhaps the source of his irritation is the cold, or perhaps he is developing a cold from being exposed to the frigid conditions on the planet below. "No matter. After two days of being in that frozen hell, I am only just now starting to get warm again. I have never experienced such cold, seeping into my bones. My heart. My soul. I came here to learn from two of the best about being the best, and instead I have found myself on a ship with a crew of misfits and misanthropes, where the lightest touch upon the most fragile psyches would bring on madness. I have been forced to defend our laws to those who take refuge in our strength while railing against our high-handedness in not providing aid to those who have not yet developed the ability to responsibly handle our tools. Personnel reports cross my desk about self-destructive and frankly, illogical behavior. Systems reports that talk about the misuse of our holodecks for self-harm. Crew on the edge of mental breakdown, or slightly over the edge, in some cases. Anger. Angst. Mood-altering substances in hot drinks. Extreme self-confidence, well past pride into being smug... or the lack of confidence, somewhere between wishing to be invisible or phased out of our reality."

The computer chimes again. "Warning. Compartment environmental settings have been set beyond standard safety limits. Temperature 48 degrees Celsius and rising. Humidity at 50 percent and rising. Command override in effect."

Zekru lifts his head from the rock, looking up toward the nearest computer panel. "And all it took to make me one of them was being cold." He pushes himself up to a seated position, then calls out, "Computer, restore Saurian normal environmental conditions - and end this log."


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