Entry 9

October 22nd, 2163 - Border Space - MSR2 Nora Greene

Good news on many fronts, today. Firstly, I am no longer sick with Space Flu, which is nice. I don't have to wear a face mask, and I am no longer contagious! I'm still a bit congested, but Julia says it should pass in a day or two. Good thing, too! This brings me to Part Two of my Good News Bulletin:

 The morale aboard the Zephyr IV has improved at least tenfold since the party, so much so that Dr. Hynes has been able to get ANOTHER party approved! Considering the time of year (Earth time, anyway) It is a Halloween Party! There was a brief announcement from Captain Peterson about it this morning. She also went on to say that we have extra free hours this week so that we can use the recreation rooms to do crafts or make things for our costumes. (Don't ask me, I have no idea. I didn't bring trick- or- treating gear with me into space. I'll have to wing it just like everyone else.)

CRAVE has assured us that she will be able to handle all the minor subroutines, and that if she comes across any issues she will immediately alert us. Not much danger out here in Border Space, except of getting lost. Luckily, our Prime OS and CoreComm connections are still a-ok, so no risk of that happening any time soon.

But, even though I'm not horribly creative, I can fill you in on some ideas that he others have had. Mickey is going to go as a Mexican. He brought one of those great colorful ponchos with him, and apparently he plays the guitar. He's going to borrow the Sombrero that one of the Marines has hanging in his room if he can. (The fact that he's Samoan seems to make it funnier for him. Funny guy.) Junpin said she's going to go as a nurse. (Ok, that's not creative, but we all joked around that she would be a HAPPY nurse. Even she laughed.)

Lets see, Royce and Maria said they're going to try to make chef hats in the rec room out of paper and an old pillow case, and they'll wear the aprons. (They were going to be covered in red food coloring goop, but they had yet to clear violent costumes with the Captain. I mean, we're all adults here, should be fine, right?) Archie is going to paint his face like an owl and be the grumpy owl from the Disney Sword in the Stone. Julia and me are going to try and come up with something to do together. Three days to go and no effing clue.

On another note, I had a great discussion with Zee the other day. We were walking towards the Mess hall to eat dinner, and he asked me what Halloween was. It surprised me, because he's really up-to-date on a lot of our culture and history. At least, historical figures, and politics and (most) social nuances.

Anyway, I told him that it was a holiday that started off about the spirits of the dead, and turned into pretending to be something you aren't and getting candy.

He was quiet for a second then said, "I do not understand where the costumes come from."

This was hard for me to answer because well, I'd been raised in the 'wear-costume-get-candy' age, and a lot of the earlier stuff was lost on me. So I told him that, "I think that people used to dress up to scare off evil spirits, because back when it was All Hallows Eve, it was supposed to be the day that the dead could come back to life or something. Now, since we aren't as superstitious as we used to be, it just turns into dressing up and running around. Although, a lot of it is trying to be scary, too."

He looked at me sidways - which was his eye stalks rotating 90 degrees to look at me - and said, "We believe that he spirits of those passed are always nearby. You just need to be skilled enough to speak with them."

That got me thinking about it for a bit, slightly creeped out by his intensity. I was going to joke that he's already gotten into the Halloween Spirit, but I could tell he was being serious. When we got to the mess hall, everyone else contributed in describing the nuances of Halloween. And then HE came by.

Masaru Hamatsu.

He said that kids dressed up in Scotland in the 1800s and called it 'Guising' for the disguises they wore. They carried carved out turnips to scare away spirits, and trick-or-treating came from these same kinds memorizing jokes or riddles or songs to perform door to door, which is how they would get their sweets. Something also about getting all the goodies to bring home for their soul party where they would set sxtra seats for the dead.

That helped Zee a lot, he liked that. Then Masaru smiled at me. I'm pretty sure I smiled back, but I was a bit dazed at the time and now I can't remember. Oh God I hope I smiled back. I'll ask Julia later.

Julia asked Masaru what he was going to be for Halloween and he just kept smiling and shook his head. I guess that means it will be a surprise. He seemed excited about the idea. He asked what I was going to be, and I think I made the face of a fish gasping for water, so Julia rescued me with some obscure comment about it being a secret.

I've decided that I'm going to ask CRAVE to fabricate some pumpkins for us in the food processor. We'll see if they don't come out like pumpkin pie filling.

And now for Rec Room Time - C'mon Julia, lets come up with something good!!!!!

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Entry 8

October 22nd, 2163 - Border Space - MSR2 Nora Greene

 Border Space is such a drag. Its so bland out here. You would think, with how impossibly fast we're actually traveling, that we would pass something, like an interesting space-landmark I could tell you about, or an alien spacecraft, or even a meteor. Hell, I would have been thrilled to jot ANYTHING down. My normal journal is even worse, filled with eating habits and meal schedules, and a list of 'socially acclimatizing activities' for our doctors to review once a week.

But something interesting HAS happened recently. This past weekend (If you can call it that.) A whole bunch of fun stuff happened.

Well... I suppose I should record the not-so-fun stuff. Our friend Royce had... well an incident. He hasn't really spoken about it, but they had to restrain and treat him several weeks ago. From what Julia is allowed to say, he was depressed and felt anxiety and well... he tried to hurt himself. Zee has been spending a lot of time with him, the Zed are super spiritual. Julia says its doing Royce a lot of good.

He's doing much better, by the way. But the incident spurned the whole medical team into a sort of frenzy. They met a whole lot with the Captain, and planned things. They started utilizing the food processors in fun ways, trying to incorporate some of our limited additive supply to spice up the food. They have music available in all the major lounge areas 24-7 now, and they gave us extra social time. And on top of that - they planned a party.

At first everyone was kind of grumpy about it (for whatever reason) but naturally, we girls got all excited to gussy ourselves up, and wear our dress uniforms. The main launch bay was decked out in streamers and the lights were all flashy and spiny, and there was a bowl of punch and well... it was surprisingly festive. Like space-prom. CRAVE was our DJ and I'm pleased to say she did an excellent job.

I got to meet all the crew again, refresh on some names, and I even danced. Junpin and Mickey danced a lot (adorable) and even Julia got to dance with Royce. (Cute kid, looks so sad, but I swear he is doing so much better. Julia spends a lot of time with him, and I've never seen him smile so much as when he danced with her at this thing!)

Regardless of Archie's marital status, we did dance a few times, but it was very friendly. Besides - I got asked to dance by someone else. Masaru Hamatsu, the Pilot of the Zephyr IV. THE pilot.

I was by the punch bowl, chatting with Julia about Royce. I tried to put my hair up, and Julia had helped me, doing some sort of bobby-pin encrusted french braid to contain my short-ish hair. She had just asked me if I thought Junpin and Mickey would make it official when I got a tap on my shoulder.

He's probably as tall as me, a pretty average 5'6", kind of willowy with a kind and shy sort of smile. He bowed his head, and asked me to dance in a sweet Japanese accent. He is very soft spoken, and has this pony tail of downy soft black hair that makes me shiver in envy. His skin is this flawless, sunkissed tan, and even his teeth are perfect. He has a narrow, pointed chin with a razor's edge of a jawline, and almost  Elven cheekbones. (Dorky, I know. I read Tolkien, all right?) I mean when I looked at him, up close and not just a wave from across the room at assembly, my knees got all jello-y...

...How many people read this, anyway? Guess it doesn't matter.

Anyway, Masaru Hamatsu is gorgeous. And he asked me to dance. And he was very very good at it. As is my custom when talking to attractive people, I promptly clam up and nervously titter, and answer whatever questions. He asked if I liked the music - I said, "Sure, yeah it's all right."

He asked if I preferred other music. (His English is impeccable.)

I shrugged and said something like, "Oh I like all kinds of music, mostly the wordless stuff, things that help me focus on work and that I won't get distracted by with singing along OH MY GOD I'm sorry, was that your foot?"

He smiled and made polite conversation while we danced and then he excused himself, and Julia rushed over to give me the Interrogation. I downed a glass of fabricated red wine (not bad for processed beverage) and mumbled something about his face while she giggled about how delightfully red I was.

Then Captain Peterson got up and made the announcement that a member of the crew would like to perform for the rest of us. Julia and I exchanged furtive glances, knowing that it HAD to be our elusive violin player. And sure enough it was.

Masaru Hamatsu, the gorgeous virtuoso, got up in front of everyone and played us a breathtaking Sonata by heart. And when he finished, he gave a shy little bow, smiled over at us, and then vanished.

Julia and I retired shortly after, breathless from wowing and sighing. She determined that I HAD to ask him to sit with us at lunch, at LEAST so we could return the page of music we found. She also chastised me for not following him after he fled the impromptu dance hall. (I told her I was tired and surprised, and it happened so fast, blah blah. Honestly, I don't know what I could have said. What do you say, 'Oh hi, I've been stalking you without knowing that it was you for the past two months or so. You're so very hard to catch!'? Nah.)

And then the next morning I got sick.

Julia said it was Space Flu, common for long space voyages, and now I have to wear a crappy doctor's mask until I stop coughing. And of course, NOW is when I see Masaru EVERYWHERE, so I have to avoid him so he doesn't see me all gross and sickly.

GOD I hate Border Space.

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