I'd never been camping before. Up until two weeks ago I'd never even heard of it. Captain Donovan was a little surprised by this but from what I hear it's a pretty common thing among humans. From the best estimate Dr.E'Saul can figure I'm about six years old so the Captain said it was "passed due". Every one knew that wasn't exactly true though. A day earlier there had been a fight in the mess hall involving Me, Commander Keating, and Lieutenant Morden. They'd been eating lunch and talking "guy talk" as Keating put it when they'd said a few things that didn't sit well with me.
Lieutenant Morden was a new addition to the crew so the Commander was filling him in on certain things around the ship until they came to me. It's no secret that the Commander didn't really seem to like me. I've heard him calling me an "augie" every now and then, he forgets Vulcans have great hearing. I've learned to ignore it because he still treats me as crew, but it wasn't until they began talking about crew when Morden said something rude about Chief Fine being a former Borg. It was about that time the Commander turned and saw the face I was making.
I didn't think so at the time but thinking back on it the look on his face was priceless. Needless to say that they both learned that pulling rank on an "augie" doesn't work since I'm not "officially" Starfleet. Captain Donovan thought it would be fitting punishment to leave us planet side for a week or so while they escorted a science vessel charting the Felczer Nebula and with that we were off in a Delta Class Shuttle. We'd be completely cut off from the ship for the entire time they were in the nebula.
About ten hours into a long and quiet trip when suddenly we were hit. Several consoles exploded hitting the Commander and I. When I came to, the Commander was bleeding pretty bad. I put out the fires and dragged him back to the living area to treat the wounds as best I could, field dressings at best. The only thing i could really do was put him into full stasis and hope Morden could help. Regrettably that would be hard to do as he'd been in the rear of the ship and was hit hardest by the blast. I felt almost sickly over our first meeting and sorry that I would never be able to apologize.
I was dumbstruck for a few moments when I realized that he'd been in back adjusting a few environmental systems when they exploded as well. It took me the better part of a day to get the system as functional as I could, but I'm only an assistant in engineering, so I couldn't do much. Most of the power I had to route to the stasis pod to keep the Commander alive, atmospheric controls were barely registering so it's possible that I would either freeze to death, or suffocate, but being what I am I suppose it was luckier for Commander Keating to be in stasis. I would be able to last much longer than he would although according to the computer it would still be cutting it close.
For the most part it was quite since most power was needed for the pod so that meant no entertainment, no audio or video, most of the screens had blown along with a few conduits which meant i couldn't read either. I left the computer on silent which meant no other voice but my own. It took a while for people aboard the ship to get used to me, so it's not like I couldn't handle the quiet. It was the boredom that was bugging me the most. Since I had minimal air I couldn't do too much physical activity so I did what I could to keep things running as well as see what else could be repaired.
Comms were shot as well as sensor and propulsion so it meant that I was going no where. The only replicator on board was gone as well although I doubt there would be enough power to run it. The shuttle's emergency rations were awful so I didn't eat much and sleep wasn't happening so creativity was called for. What I didn't eat I used to draw on the pod. Each meal I would do something different and take pictures using the holoimager T'Pal let me borrow for the trip to take photos of plant life. With mashed potatoes I gave Commander Keating white hair and a beard like some of the older crew members, an weird brownish paste of something called "meatloaf" made him a Klingon, it made him smell a little like one as well....
At about day five as far as I could tell, a weakened bulk head blew taking most of what little air I had before the area sealed itself. At this point the cold was starting to get to me and it would only be getting worse. I'd keep watch on the stasis pod as best I could but even wrapped in the thermal blankets I'd find that I was having a hard time staying awake. I'd drift here and there, once waking myself with a bad shock while taking power from any other systems I could spare. This meant taking the computers fully offline as well as lights and even shields.
At some point I'd given up on trying to count how much time had passed. I could go for a few weeks with out sleep but the cold was making it happen which meant I wouldn't last much longer. I decided to route the rest of the life support and available power to keeping that pod running. As far as I could figure, the Commander was a good man and far more valuable to the Geist than I was. Dr. E'Saul would be say I made a very "logical" decision, which made sense but I figure I would get one last laugh of him. Once we're found I might be long gone, but they'll hopefully find Commander Keating in tube with a food paste bikini on the glass. I took a photo then went and shut down the rest of the shuttle before finally passing out.
When I woke up in sick bay I was surrounded by the senior staff, kind of like when they first found me. According to Dr. E'Saul I'd been dead for over an hour when they found me. Apparently I'd scared poor nurse Pruz when my body suddenly gasped for air. Sometimes being different from every one else on board has it's advantages. The Commander was fresh out of surgery and sleeping but would be just fine. After telling the story Dr. E'Saul and Captain Donovan had me sit down and do a few personal logs as well as a session or two of counseling just to make sure I was okay. Scans of the shuttle showed that it had been hit by an old cloaked mine from some long forgotten war, a complete freak accident. I regret that I couldn't save Lieutenant Morden, but after the whole ordeal I was still alive and had saved the Commander, something he would hate.... At least until I showed the photos from our "camping trip".