Captain's Log

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The tale of a Starship Captain in his last moments.

Submitted: February 17, 2014

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Submitted: February 17, 2014



They called me captain. To our society, it is a rank, a rank with the title of leader. What is a leader? I was raised thinking that a leader was a man who did what none others could do. I believed a leader was someone who did everything for the best. Someone who could rarely mess up, a perfect person, one that was the salvation for many. It was always my childhood dream to be a leader, to be the man that saved many and rarely messed up, but I wasn’t a leader, I was captain of the Ausfall.

My lady was a powerful one, salvaged out to make way for our Exodus. We fought all we could during the war, but it was not enough. They won against us, and spared no treaty when enough had been done. There was nothing we could do but run. We were tired of fighting, tired of losing to a force that would never encumber. Our people had spent too long fighting amongst ourselves to advance enough to survive. I’d like to believe that is the cause of our downfall, but even if it wasn’t we never expected them to engage us.

After the scourge of the Ausfall’s weapons, leaving us with only half our defenses, I was ordered to fill the ship to its brim with ponies. Our exodus had been procrastinated for far too long. Our destination was of no certainty, only hope. There were few ships with us. The rest were left behind to give us time, to make them think the last of us died there, to give us a fair chance to rebuild from scratch. The few that accompanied us still were small, passenger ships. They were defenseless without us, and our ship itself had no chance against the enemy.

It was the 72nd day into our journey to a rumored planet when we finally found it. An unnamed place with unknown creatures and thousands of possibilities. It was home now. That’s what I wanted to think, at least. Everything was going alright, considering what had just happened before. All I had on my ship was refugees. These broken men and women, who weren’t excited to start over at all, who had lost everything but their surviving families, still separated. I couldn’t imagine what they were going through. I still had everything. The only family I had was my father, he died when I was a child. There were no lovers for me. My job, my ship, the Ausfall, it was all I had. I lived on it, I worked on it, I created its legacies day by day. It was all I could give to these people, but it didn’t seem like enough.

We would be launching pods soon. As captain, as the leader, it was my job to select a team to go to the surface first. It was something that had to be done. We needed to know if it was possible to live here. If we couldn’t and I had decided to send everyone there and we all suffocated, that would be too much for me to handle. Even sending a small group to their death weighed heavy on my conscience. Due to the most qualified men staying behind, I was stuck with mostly engineers for crew and way too many untrained civilians. A few volunteered when I asked for a scouting expedition. I picked a group of twenty. There was a scientist, a few civilians, two engineers, and some strong-looking militia for protection. I had sent them off, but unfortunately the pods didn’t have any way to communicate back. We would have to wait until they reached the planet and set up a fire or a solar flare for us to see. The scientist kept listing off his ideas to communicate. I was so tired of his annoyance that sending him off was pleasant to me, even if it possibly was to his death.

It had been about an hour since we launched the expedition pod. There had been no response. I feared the worst. Here we were, with no other choice but to sit and wait. I knew there would be a wait, but I didn’t know if it would be for starvation, or exploitation. We had nowhere else to go. My job now was to keep the others clam while we waited. We had enough food to last us for weeks, our fuel didn’t matter anymore, and our life support systems were fully operational. They would know in a day or two. I didn’t want to let them know. I wasn’t going to let us slowly die, I would set the self-destruct before they knew. There was already too much pain aboard this ship, I could end it all with no tears. Maybe that would be my final success, ending the job they forgot to finish.

Hours passed as my madness grew. Still no sign from the expedition below. I didn’t want to set the Ausfall to destruct but there was no better option. I began to drink heavily from the stash I had always kept hidden for myself. Empty bottles soon filled the floor of the deck. I began to cry, unsatisfied with my life. Suicidal thoughts crept into my mind. The legacy of this captain was over. He was no leader, only a coward.

Then, Salvation came. It was a sister ship that the Ausfall had fought alongside during the last battles of the war. It was, at times, a flagship for the future. She appeared in the distance, coming towards the Ausfall with such grace that I had never seen before. I hoped for good news, but I knew the chances of victory. These were the survivors of the battle, they had to be. This was the end. They would have been followed. Still, I was ready to greet them, so that we may die together. The self-destruct was powerful enough to take them down with us if they got close enough. I waited for them to dock, but they didn’t fly the way they used to. As the Salvation got close enough, I could see why. It may have been the same ship that I fought alongside with, but it was not piloted by the same soldiers. The ship’s insignia had been crossed out on the side, painted over by the symbol of our enemies. It was all a ruse to get in close without a chase. We didn’t have any cannons to fire back, nor fuel to get away. It was all over. As the Salvation’s cannons charged up, the bright lights beaming into our eyes, burning our sight right down to the core, I looked towards the planet. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was drunk, because I had nothing left but hope, or maybe it was really happening, but now I saw it. The solar flare the scientist had promised. It shined as if it were a plasma ball being shot into space. We had made it. I could’ve launched the pods, saving more than before, but the enemy would see it and hunt them down. They had already seen the flare and would be heading for them next. I had nothing left but that button. I ran towards it, trying to keep on my hooves the entire way, and was ready to succeed. In my final moments, I shedded a tear of joy.

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