Earth, The Solar System, Orion Arm, The Milky Way, Virgo Cluster
It has been, in Earth time, 12 years, 4 months, 3 weeks and 5 days since I joined this post. I regret the long gap since my last report.
On behalf of the United Federation of Planets, my team and I are observing Earth in anticipation of their eligibility for membership. We await the humans’ development of faster-than-light space travel travel, and, of course, also, quite a bit of progress on the rights of human individuals and global peace.
Earth is in the throes of a global pandemic, with over 100.5 million recorded cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) worldwide, and at least 2.1 million deaths as of this writing. The virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is an airborne virus, the spread of which is easily preventable by social distancing, quarantining, and mask-wearing. Unfortunately, warring Earth factions, primitive thinking on the part of leaders, and unruly citizens have refused to make the changes necessary to contain the spread. Vaccines have been developed, and the humans are tentatively attempting to distribute them. As of this writing, none of my human companions have contracted the disease yet.
In order not to violate Starfleet General Order 1, or SGO1, also known as the prime directive, I have be required to maintain my silence about preventing and treating COVID-19. The mystifying adherence to the principles of capitalism have meant that vaccines have not been produced in sufficient quantity and unfairly distributed.
I continue to work with a small crew, including Grand Champion Suzu and Shannon’s Egészégedre, who serves as my first officer, and chief security officer. There is also my science officer, known here as Schwartz. My previous coworkers, Cherry, Wheatie, and Pluto, who established first contact, stardate 46112.5, no longer serve in this mission. Wheatie departed early in my tour, and Cherry on stardate 71338.5. Within the next Earth year after Cherry ended her tour of duty, I was joined by my very able first officer, known as Eggi, and about an earth year after that, by Ensign Fellow.
Fellow is currently on an away mission; our Earth hosts have detected that Eggi is entering a reproductive cycle and have separated them. Eggi has lobbied repeatedly to increase the size of our research team, and feels that 8 new members could be put to work after only a year of training. Though I agree with her, my reproductive equipment was altered a decade ago, so I am unable to help her in this project.
Typically, we busy ourselves with a variety of projects, including daily patrols of the surrounding area, which we carry out on foot, walking in a group, tethered to one of our human hosts. Rations are delivered twice a day, and while adequate nutritionally-speaking, some crew members feel that our hosts feed themselves better than they do us.
While we await humanitarian and scientific progress, we have been conducting long-term studies of plant and animal life on earth, paying particular attention to the dwindling numbers of wild songbirds, and noting with some concern the thriving populations of squirrels (the introduced species Sciurus carolinensis), several species of rats, deer (Odocoileus virginianus), skunks (Mephitis mephitis), and raccoons (Procyon lotor). Ensign Fellow has shown the initiative to embark on his own research regarding moles (Scalopus aquaticus).
My team has engaged in ongoing debate about the consequences of strictly adhering to SGO1; Eggi feels that now viral mutations are spreading in the area where we are stationed, and we risk losing our hosts. We also note that global warming continues unabated, so the projections our climatologists made a century ago about Earth’s future have proven to be correct.
In closing, I regret to inform Starfleet that I am beginning to experience degenerative symptoms consistent with my age, and will soon be nearing the end of my useful service here. If suitable transport back to headquarters or a Federation planet cannot be arranged, Eggi will take command of the team as my successor when the time comes.