Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bitesize fiction. With a pinch of salt. Part 2

First Officer's personal log

Our meeting with ambassador T'nera was all routine. She seemed as uptight and cold as any other Vulcan and the amenities were taken care of very quickly.

I could sense that the Captain was happy to have seen her to her quarters. None of us can help being a bit anxious about having a Vulcan on board. Let alone a Vulcan high official.

On another note, my game of tennis with the Captain has been disappointing at best. 5-1 is a terrible score... for me. I will challenge him to a game of darts when we reach Salinia. I'm bound to fare better. He can't be the best at everything!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Bitesize fiction. With a pinch of salt. Part 1

First Officer's log, stardate 20150704

It has been a few days since we left Earth to visit the remote planet of Salinia. It boasts vast reserves of salt and a very intricate network of caves.

Our mission is to explore the potential for trade and technological exchange. We will be rendez-vous-ing with a prominent mineralogist and Starfleet ambassador, Admiral T'nera. Our orders are to pick her up and take her to Salinia to conduct the negotiations.

The crew are looking forward to the cultural experience - the Salinians are said to be welcoming and friendly to other races. We will be arranging shore leave for everyone, including the Captain, who has been very busy at Starfleet Command lately.

The trip so far has been uneventful, with a brief stop at Starbase 319 for provisions. We have been travelling through friendly territory and the traffic has consisted mostly of freighters and passenger transports.

We hope that there will be no encounters with the Klingons, since reports have mentioned a few tense meetings. Only time will tell.

End log.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chapter 4. You break it, you buy it

I guess my desk job was probably not the best environment to prepare for a long journey on foot. Of course, how could I have known I would have to take one?
I berated myself being such a fool all the way to the top of the hill. Then down the slope towards a valley and then back up to the top of another hill.
"How many more hills do I have to pass?" I grumbled aloud, hoping for a change of scenery.
I was already tired and out of breath by the time I reached the top. I stopped to rest for a while and took a look around.
The dirt road I was following wound lazily down the other side of the hill and stopped in front of a very strange building. It was very narrow and long, as long as I could see, stopping short right at the foot of another hill. It didn't seem like a house and I wondered about its purpose. Who would build something like this in the middle of nowhere?

The wind picked up and sneaked under my cloak, giving me a chill. I looked up at the sky - the sun was hanging low like a large red balloon, ready to hide behind the mountains in the distance. I figured I needed to hurry and find shelter for the night and the peculiar building was just as good a place as any. I took a deep breath and started down the road.
I ended up in front of the door. It was very sturdy, made out of a dark metal with no decorations. There was an inscription at eye level that said "Encyclopaedia of gluttony" and a smaller one painted crudely on a piece of wood directly underneath. It read "You break it, you buy it". Hm, at least that is universal.
I wondered for a few moments about the first inscription. By this time, I was almost used to seeing strange things and cryptic messages.
I decided whatever the words might mean, I should just try to get inside and figure it out from there.
I knocked on the heavy door and then waited. My parents had always told me to be polite and just barging in simply would not do. Nothing happened. I then knocked again, a bit louder this time. There was no sound coming from the inside, nobody came to open the door for me.
I was just about to bang my hand against the metal, thinking 'to hell, with politeness, I should just go in', when the door swung open slowly, without a sound.
I was pinned to the spot, not able to move past the threshold. The things I saw inside were indeed worthy of the name the building boasted!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Ah, you like reading"

"Ah, you like reading. Have you read "Fifty shades of grey"?" someone asked me while I was perusing a Romanian book in a lounge.

What does one answer to that? I have truthfully stayed away from this book and anything related to it, like I do with all fads that smell fishy. I have gathered from some of my friends though that being asked if you read it is like being asked if you saw some very popular porn movie.


What did I answer? I said "nah, I only read sci-fi". I guess that is satisfactory enough for most people whose opinion of you is never going to be based on anything other than shallow observations.

I do read sci-fi. I gobble it up like chocolate truffles. It is, after all, my favourite genre. There are plenty of brilliant books that inevitably make you think. The authors not only speculate about science and technology, but also about society.

But I don't only read sci-fi. I also read fantasy (I know I heard a few laughs here and there; yes, science-fiction without the science part) and a few good books by good authors, very few and they have to be very good.

Some people only read what is "in fashion" at the time. Really, kids, reading is not the same as wearing fancy jewelry (neither is carrying a dog with you, perhaps in your purse). Try to think for yourselves a bit too.
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