A writing prompt on Reddit caught my eye, so I wrote a thing. Here’s the link to the post and below is the prompt and story. I figure this is at least a productive way to procrastinate on my revision. Mind you ,I am still making progress. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel… or maybe it’s just a near death experience.
The first human crew is on their way to Mars. Instead of being excited about Mars, the Commander is being driven to madness by minor annoyances from his crew.
VIDEO LOG ENABLED… VOICE2TXT v2.5.2…
RECOVERED ENTRY: CAPTAIN JAMES MILLROY – USCS ELON MUSK
2023.4.5 – Captain’s Personal Log
We’ve just become the first corporate vessel to leave Earth orbit, and the first manned mission to Mars. It’s an honor to be here to help prove that there’s nothing government can do that the private sector can’t do better.
I’m happy to report that our systems diagnostic came back with a clean bill of health. Jennings tells me that the seedlings are all doing well in BioTech, and Roberts in Engineering says that there are no noticeable changes in pressure or abnormal spikes. Looks like we’re on our way… What’s that? Yes, this is my personal journal, Edmonds… sure… sure that’s very clever…
Edmonds, our junior technician wanted me to point out that today’s date is 2345, which I suppose it is if you don’t count the 2 and 0 before it, but he’s a spunky kid and we’re happy to have him on board.
2023.4.6 – Captain’s Personal Log
As I look out to my left, I can almost see the moonrise over the Earth. The stars are more visible than I imagined and… just a second… What is it Jennings?… The seedlings? What’s wrong?… oh… okay, sure…. no, that’s cute.
Jennings just stated that the biometrics for the seedlings are showing an unusually high level of chemicals associated with relaxation, which is encouraging. We’re relying on these hybrid plants to boost oxygen levels once we arrive, not to mention as a viable food source… Oh, and Edmonds wanted to point out that the date is no longer sequential. Thanks Edmonds. Very observant.
2023.4.10 – Captain’s Personal Log
Edmonds has apparently named the seedlings in his spare time. I checked in at BioTech and there are neat little signs with names like “Penelope” and “Margaret”. I asked Jennings about it and she just rolled her eyes. Not sure where Edmonds is getting all this spare time, considering the amount of work we have to do. I asked him and he said he’s done it all. Roberts also told me that Edmonds has reorganized the tool cabinet about five times so far. So, good on him… I guess.
2023.4.15 – Captain’s Personal Log
We had an incident. I guess while the rest of the crew was sleeping, Jennings went and renamed all the plants to male names: Jim, Phil, Edward… Edmonds became hurt, and apparently felt that the carrots were female and should be named accordingly. Jennings explained that plants don’t identify that way, and now neither will talk to one another. Personally, I don’t mind the quiet.
2023.4.20 – Captain’s Personal Log
Roberts came to me today. It seems Edmonds has not only been reorganizing the tool cabinet, but has also been organizing other storage bins. I just spent fifteen minutes trying to find a damn pen. I might have to have a talk with the kid about personal property. I can’t believe I am having this conversation in space.
Just got back from talking to Edmonds. Did you know that there are ten different settings on a standard socket wrench? I sure do now. Apparently everyone on board does as well. I told him that I’d prefer if he left my things alone. He said “Speaking of alone, did you know that seedlings feel pain?” I spoke to Jennings about this and she agrees that the BioTech should be locked down from now on.
2023.4.21 – Captain’s Personal Log
Well that didn’t work. Edmonds has started sleeping in front of the BioTech door. Now when Jennings tries to enter he sits up in his sleeping bag and demands a password. We’ve all tried and no one can figure out the password. We’re good on regular food, and we can watch the plants from the cameras. I told Jennings it’s probably best that nobody goes in.
Jennings has just told me she needs to do her report. I explained that we’re far enough from earth I doubt anyone will write her up. She huffed, but I think she’ll be fine. She wanted me to know that the plants shouldn’t have names. I agreed.
2023.4.22 – Captain’s Personal Log
So now it’s Roberts. He’s a quiet guy, keeps to himself. I just found out that he’s actually been the one rearranging the cabinets. I apologized to Edmonds and… I’m almost too angry to really discuss it, but this is a personal log for a reason…
They were both in on it. Thought it would be funny to confuse me… I have no idea why they thought it would be funny since it seems they are the only ones in on the joke. They giggle now when they think I’m not around. I have no idea how they could have assigned me these two.
Oh, apparently Jennings threatened Edmonds and got the password, broke into BioTech and has locked herself inside. I asked her on the com and she said something about not coming out until her reports are done. So that’s great.
2023.4.24 – Captain’s Personal Log
I offered to deliver food to Jennings if she would open the door, but was presented with a few problems. 1. I can’t find the food, because apparently tweedle dee and tweedle dumb thought it would be funny to move the food for a day. I’d be surprised if they didn’t name them too. and 2. Apparently Jennings has been nibbling at the BioTech. I’m not sure how many carrots and potatoes she can eat, but she says the impact will be minimal and she’ll include results on her report.
I told her to fuck her report and to stop eating the ONE THING SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING OUT FOR. She started crying. I would have said something comforting but instead she killed the com. Not like I could have gone in to comfort her anyway. Idiot.
I’m surrounded by idiots. This is what happens when you privatize space exploration. Fucking cost cutters, hiring this crew like they were contract-hunting for dry-wall installers. Roberts isn’t talking to anyone but Edmonds now, and I can hear them whispering through the capsule. I’m pretty sure I heard my name a few times, but when I said something they looked all innocent. Well two can play at that game.
2023.4.27 – Captain’s Personal Log
We’ve officially passed our halfway point, and I’m feeling better about this mission now. I’m taking the day off, locked myself in my quarters. Let’s see how those assholes like that. Instead I am going to just kick it with my iPod7 and listen to some classics. Man, Dave Matthews was a genius before he started that cult…
I could hear them banging on my door even over ANTS MARCHING. I looked up and they are all glaring at me, like I’mthe one who’s been acting crazy. I gave them the bird and turned up the volume. That harmonica player is just amazing…
2023.4.28 – Captain’s Personal Log
I must have dozed off.
There’s no one outside my quarters that I can see, and when I look it seems that the ship is dark. Instruments show a loss of pressure, so I can only imagine that we had a collision. The klaxons weren’t audible through my earphones… so that’s my bad. Now it’s just a glowing red as the emergency lights flash. I can see the bridge from here and I’m not sure if it’s just the emergency lights or if there is blood on the panel. Every time I look it seems different.
I tried contacting Jennings, Roberts, even Edmonds… nothing so far, but I haven’t given up. Pretty soon the automated systems will kick in and we’ll cease accelerating. I’m pretty sure we’ll be too late though. One things for certain, this ship can pretty much land itself. I might just wait in here until…
I just heard something. Sounds like a heavy tool being dragged across the wall… Could be in freefall, but I can’t see for sure…
No, it’s definitely someone, but they’re staying out of view. If I had to guess, it’s Edmonds with that socket wrench. Did you know it has ten settings? Apparently more than one use… I still can’t reach the rest of the crew, but I’m going to have to go out there anyway and talk to him. All I have is an emergency crowbar, but it will have to do….