March the twenty-seventh, 3110
I don’t normally dictate personal logs. And I probably should, in order to try to make sense of it all. Maybe they’d make me feel better. I sure hope this one does.
I have been a Temporal Agent for fourteen years. The only people who have been here in the Human Unit longer are Chief Engineer Kevin O’Connor and Admiral Carmen Calavicci. They know some, but not all, of this. My sister, Eleanor Daniels, is a docent at the Temporal Museum on Lafa II. I’ve confided some of this to her, but not everything. She has both sisterly concern and professional curiosity on her end, I suppose. Anyway, here goes. These are the big ones.
It’s been a rough several years. I have had to watch far too much pain and destruction. I hate that, but that’s our timeline. My job is to restore original histories, no matter how cruel, unfair, violent or ugly they may be.
I, Richard Daniels, have had to sit idly by and watch, as readily curable diseases felled hundreds, or natural disasters claimed thousands of lives, or wars cut millions of existences short.
I have had to cope, and find a way to process it all. And so I deviate from my missions, or at least I have been doing so, for a few years. And on all of those missions with their little divergences, I take a souvenir. They are all, now, in my big desk drawer in my office at the Temporal Integrity Commission.
It all started in 3101, when I went to 1699 Penn’s Woods. The mission was a simple and pleasant enough one, for a change – I was to escort a historian looking to observe William Penn. Our cover story was that we were surveyors.
There was a widow there, with red hair and a gentle smile. She was young and childless and lonely. I am sure she had admirers. Yet she smiled at me, and I found myself drawn to her. Lucretia Crossman and I did not fall in love, but I received a rather primal form of comfort from her, and I offered the same in return. And for that, I keep a plain white handkerchief.
Next was Dana MacKenzie, on the old Enterprise-E. She was the Tactical Officer – Worf was gone by then. The captain was Jean-Luc Picard and the First Officer – who she eventually ended up with – was Martin Madden, a remote ancestor of mine. But she and I stole away to one of the empty shuttles. I ended up stealing her Comm badge. I hope she didn’t wrack her brains too much, looking for it.
Irene of Castile was next, in 1417. I went to the Isle of Man on a mission to watch the British Parliament being formed. She was an actress. There weren’t supposed to be female actors at the time, so she wore all sorts of binding to camouflage her figure. I keep one of her masks now.
Then there was Betty Tyler, in 1929, in New Jersey. A flapper! She was about as clichéd a flapper as there ever could be – bobbed hair, cloche hat, you name it. I liberated a feather from one of her boas. That one didn’t end so well – she tried to off herself. Had to go back and fix that one.
My next special friend was Phillipa Green – we were to observe a man known to history as Future Guy and determine his identity. That was March of 2763. I’ve got a thin metal bracelet of hers; it’s got a blue bead on it.
My next stop was in late January of 2156, in the Mirror Universe. Hoshi Sato was, I figure, the most beautiful of them all. I made a few quick repairs to the Defiant and boy, did she ever repay me. But she ended up pregnant. I can never meet our son, Jun.
I regret that one – and I keep her gold fabric sash to remind me. She called me Ritchie – everybody else calls me Rick or Richard – and I think of that, too, at times. But I am forbidden by the Mirror government from returning at any time during her lifetime. The cover story is that I died in a shuttle crash on Daranaea. And Jun will never, ever know me.
I then hooked up with Annette Bradley while at Kent State University in Ohio for the shooting on May the fourth of 1970. By our current perspective, that was about six months ago. She called herself Windy, after some song. I took one of the quarters she had on her desk. I think she was saving it for her laundry. It’s dated 1969.
My last hookup ended, from our perspective, today, although it was, to her, 1968. I went to Prague, in order to assure the crushing of what’s referred to as Prague Spring. Her name was Milena Chelenska – a Czech Holocaust survivor, number 4142753. I have korunas – coins – and a small photograph. The picture was taken by her sister, Noemy, and it shows an auburn-haired middle-aged woman, gaunt and perhaps a little depressed. Her eyes are far away, as if she’s looking for something better, just past the photographer’s shoulder. I miss her more than all of the others combined. I feel for her even more than what and how I feel about Jun.
I did not expect this. For whoever reads this, you may wonder why I hold onto all of these odd little possessions, these, these souvenirs. I do so, I think, because it proves to me that it all really happened. I haul them out when I am lonely, or depressed, and in a way they comfort me. They are tangible reminders that I was wanted, and that I am a father. And that, maybe, I am a little bit loved.
For with Milena, I can’t explain it, but it is different. There will be no more souvenirs, for I feel there will be no more hookups. It can never be, for she is gone and is dust and I am not even born until 3069. But I don’t care. I don’t want anyone else.
And so I cling and I hang onto my souvenirs. And, like I am doing now, I haul them out and, at least a little bit, I am comforted.