Personal log, Stardate 75462.3
Lieutenant Commander Yanrel Vex reporting
I had seen a Spacedock-class starbase twice before. Viba had the pleasure of seeing one of the first ones completed in its orbit around Earth many decades ago, and I myself had seen just how grand and enormous it had become, with it’s many retrofits and expansions, when I first boarded the Sirona several years back.
Still, I feel as though nothing will ever truly prepare one for seeing it out of a viewing window once again, and the behemoth scale of the installation will never be something one would or really should get used to. To me, I would say the view is as the first time every time.
One quarter of docking bay alone was large enough to house the Sirona in its entirety and with copious amounts of room to spare. Stepping out through the gangway, which was windowed on either side undoubtedly for the view in which I am about to describe, I felt as though I were looking out over vast caverns of light and machinery. I felt so comically minute in comparison to the indescribably vast interior of the station’s upper section. Behind the Sirona, which itself appeared deceptively monstrous now that I was stood outside of it and looking back at it in full scale, various runabouts, shuttles, and even other Starships moved around the holding area with relative ease and wide berths. The blue light cast from the interior created an almost oceanic scene before me, as though schools of fish were swimming alongside great sharks that drifted elegantly through the waters.
Leaving the gangway and entering the arrival lounge, the chaos hardly subdued in any fashion. Starfleet officers of varying ranks and departments were exiting the numerous other gangways surrounding the central core of the upper station, and many more officers were suddenly materializing and stepping off of transporter pads as they went on their merry way to whatever obligations might’ve brought them to the station.
Overall, the experience was quite intense. I felt as though I were to be swept away in a torrent of red, blue, and yellow, particularly at one point as the crew of an Odyssey-class disembarked and filled the atrium on all levels.
None-the-less, I was finally able to navigate my way to the central promenade, a circular ring-like structure that surrounds a massive arboretum in the center of the station.
Though only a fraction of the structure itself, the sheer scope of the promenade ring could be that of a city in and of itself. With kilometers of shops, restaurants, venues, and public spaces, one could dwell on this station for years and still not see all this one ring has to offer. Indeed, lives could be dedicated to this central promenade ring and they would not end in any way unfulfilled.
I decided to set down my affects, packed tightly in a duffle bag, at a nearby pub and stop for a drink or two. Port has always been the poison of my choice and there are few places in the quadrant where legitimate alcohol is widely available. It felt rather good to enjoy the sincere taste of a good Portuguese fortified wine in my new home city, for a city it truly was.
Already my thoughts turned to the Sirona and its crew, and my time aboard that vessel. I considered those we had saved, remembered those we had lost, and utterly immersed my ever-compartmentalized mind in the experience off that vessel. Neither Burza, Viba, or even Kirvad could consider what we did there to be anything short of noble and miraculous, even in their combined centuries of time in and around Starfleet.
What now could I do here on Starbase 72 to further the advancements of the Federation and help protect its people?
My hope is that my endeavors are not entirely trivial in their results, and that my work with the xenoanthropology and archaeological departments will help us better understand those we call enemies, and may even allow us to find some common ground and forge truces or even alliances.
Perhaps though I am being utterly self-indulgent in these thoughts and pursuits. In truth, I would consider myself non-essential personnel at this point in time. Perhaps I ought to make peace with that, and consider instead that I am acting upon Starfleet’s chartered intention, to explore and learn of other civilizations, even here.
I decided after polishing off my glass that a single drink is enough. Though I’m assured alcohol consumption is perfectly safe for a symbiont, it is probably unnecessary to push that assumption all too often. Besides which, I have never been one for drinking too heavily.
Collecting my things, I made my way to the outlying internal tram system that connects the promenade to the residential area, the habitation section, below.
Much like the promenade, the habitation area of the station is a veritable city in scale. Different sections of the station are almost made to feel like separate neighborhoods, with quarters ranging in size from single-person, two-room abodes scarcely larger than those found on a starship to full living arrangements comparable to smaller homes found on planets for larger families to live in.
My own selected quarters were sadly closer to the former, and the accommodations provided are proving to be somewhat ‘pokey’. Truth be told, I don’t much mind though. I’m a simple man with simple needs. I’m sure in time I’ll have this place decorated and feeling far more homely.