Personal Log: Vorik

//Computer, begin recording personal log, Captain Vorik, Commanding Officer USS Durendal, stardate 97873.1… //

Having assumed my responsibilities as commanding officer for the USS Durendal and now arriving at our assignment with the 38th Fleet based on Deep Space Station 13 it seems reasonable to commence a personal series of logs for the duration of my time in this position and on this assignment. It is my intention for these logs to serve as an aid to my meditations, in describing my experiences it will not be dissimilar to the practice I was encouraged to undertake while a child in imagining the sources of my emotional reactions becoming more distant and remote; as well as of course these logs will helpfully elucidate and make clear my own thoughts and experiences throughout my command.

To begin, the crew and officers of the Durendal are performing admirably and share a similar sense of the importance of the standards and regulations of Starfleet as I do personally. There remains some difficulties to be overcome, not unlike my time on the Heroic and Circinus it seems people find it difficult to relate to and understand a Vulcan life of Logic. Nevertheless, I have been making progress in building those relationships which will facilitate understanding between us and ensure an effective and successful outcome of our collective responsibilities. In particular, I have noted that my dining in the mess hall and making it known my table is not merely for myself or officers has seemingly had the most positive effect. Crewmen remain somewhat hesitant to join and converse, but as the days pass I have noticed more and more are joining me and the conversations seem to become somewhat more comfortable. I am aware some might suggest distance is a useful aspect of command, I do not deny this, however, there is a point where distance becomes so remote as to become indifference. I believe sharing a meal, especially during this period of developing understanding, to be effective and hardly approaches the notion of over familiarity.

If there is a matter of concern I have regarding some officers and crew aboard the Durendal it is their overt sense of Starfleet as a military, doubtless a result of their experiences in the recent conflicts which seem to have beset the Federation one after another. While understandable I do find that the combative and overly hierarchical tendencies produced by the experiences are impacting their effectiveness as members of Starfleet. We are not a military, our military role is better seen in the light of peace-keeping than any other term if one wishes to focus on the combat aspects of Starfleet’s mission. I admit I was particularly surprised at the tendency to salute my own self and other officers amongst the crew and officers of the Durendal. Hierarchical organisation when strictly enforced is authoritarian, unresponsive, and at odds with the inherent moral quandaries and scientific problems our existence generally - and our responsibilities in Starfleet more specifically - create. The clarity it provides is somewhat useful, I acknowledge, and would not remove it entirely but nonetheless I did issue an order aboard the Durendal to refrain from the military practice of saluting with regards to rank.

Turning to social encounters, a Lieutenant Serris Zital - the Chief Engineer of the USS Mariner - after an agreeable conversation in the Event Horizon requested that I join them for a meal. I was able to accommodate the request a few days later as I had no previous commitments or duties for my last meal of the day, and their conversation had proven most intriguing. Formerly of the Daystrom Institute they are an engineer of no small capacity and are the first member of their people to join Starfleet. It was an agreeable meal where I was able to taste a fruit unique to the lieutenant’s homeworld which some called ‘cake fruit’, and certainly the textures and taste was evocative of Human cakes that I had during my time on Earth. The conversation was diverse and touched upon experiences of our time at the Academy, motivations for joining Starfleet, and other such topics which I have found to be frequently requested subjects in social encounters. Though Lieutenant Zital did also enquire about Vulcan rituals and culture, expressing surprise at my own breaking of betrothal - understandably - and seemed somewhat happier at this fact for a reason I do not follow. In general while the conversation and meal was most agreeable and I have no objections to further, I admit I am puzzled by some of the emotive reactions that they seemed to be having throughout. Again it was not disagreeable merely confusing, further interactions will hopefully elucidate the matter more clearly. This has been my only extended social encounter with any member of the 38th outside the crew and officers of the Durendal.

Beyond Lieutenant Serris Zital I have met only a few other members of the 38th Fleet or attached personnel. As the Durendal continues to have its fitness for service reviewed, although our engineering report has been received from the station’s shipyard and was acceptable, I admit my interactions have been limited and mostly of the brief social kind. Of particular note, is Commander Na’Toth Salene of the USS Ajilon - formerly served in the personal security detachment of a Vulcan ambassador and now undergoing a trial command of a Soyuz class vessel. We were called upon to respond to cloaked vessels detected approaching DS13. A competent and focused officer, who seemingly is not prone to overconfidence or ignorance about herself, her vessel, or her crew. These are admirable qualities and in my limited experience would logically suggest someone well-suited to the position of commanding officer of a vessel. According to her own words she prefers exploration to ‘word-ing’, by which I took to mean diplomacy, a preference I can comprehend even if my own is not so inimical to ‘word-ing’. I would find it agreeable to work with the commander again in the future. I have otherwise encountered members of the Romulan Republic’s detachment, as well as officers of the station, and at present I would not venture a comment on any of them. I find, in general, most people are too quick to form an opinion and too easily make assumptions about others and their own private worlds and motivations. It is highly illogical and leads to suboptimal outcomes for all involved.

I believe these are all the comments and recollections I have of relevance at present.

//Computer, end recording.//