By Michael Dismuke, STA Contributing Writer
Take a moment to think about your mundane life.
Is your partner nagging you about leaving your socks around? Are your kids talking back for no good reason? Did your best friend totally diss you in front of your family? Hate your job? Fed up with your boss? Well, that’s just a shame. We don’t have a solution for any of that.
Okay. Let’s try this again.
Do you have dreams of establishing first contact with a new species, saving a planet of endangered animals, or curing the next plague? Not gonna happen either. You’re a lower decker. The lowest of the low. Bottom of the warp core.
But you should be used to that already because art imitates life.
Like in real life, you aspire to become something greater. You know that there is a bright future waiting for you; you just need to find that next rung in the ladder to success. But you can’t. Life keeps knocking you back. Not to mention that you have a bunch of idiosyncrasies that are so flagrant that even your real friends have trouble approaching you about your issues.
See? You already empathize with the life of a lower decker. With that said, you should have no problem sliding into your role as a cadet or ensign as you are pitched headlong into action. By the time you complete these mission briefs, you may have had the chance to:
- Be assimilated by a wicked combination of Tribbles and the Borg
- Sweep feces from Targ pens
- Express your discontent with life only to be ignored by those your love
- Be hunted by Hirogen while senior staff has a picnic
- Have your deepest, darkest secrets exposed by a cosmic entity
- Sustain massive injuries in a bar fight
- Get hijacked
- Get covered by strange liquids in a ship that resembles a digestive tract
- Be tried as a triple agent
- Do it all again to enhance the trauma you’ve already sustained
All this, plus getting passed up for promotion as you writhe in angst in those fabled lower decks.
But who knows? Maybe – just maybe – you will do something that sets you apart from the other downtrodden dregs. Perhaps you will save the day and a department leader will pluck you out from the shoulder-slumped drones with whom you are forced to fraternize. (Not on your best day.) Maybe you’ll become the poster child for Starfleet Academy and all that one can accomplish. (I think it’s time for you to report back to deck 15.)
In any case, enjoy these missions. Or don’t. That’s not the point. They need to be done. And they need to be done by you and your fellow lower deckers. Don’t expect any recognition. No accolades. No praise. No promotion. Just get it done.
Heck, this is the 24th century. You don’t even get paid for all this $#@%.
Going boldly is fun!
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