Being something of an outsider among outsiders, my regular friends aboard ship can be a little tricky to cultivate. I want to keep tabs of everything that’s going on, but I don’t want to seem as I’m just somewhere for the sake of being there. No one wants to be a busybody, and certainly not on a voyage like this. Things are stressful enough as they are. A lot of the crew tends to keep to itself. It doesn’t seem like that should be the case, because it’s a small crew, and we’ve demonstrated in the past that we’ve become quite dedicated to each other, despite certain opportunities that’ve come along that might have allowed those less satisfied than others to seek other opportunities. It might sound to some as I’m talking specifically about Mortimer Harren, here, but I’m actually thinking about Lyndsay Ballard.
Despite being a close personal friend of Harry Kim, Lyndsay is about as visible as the Delaney sisters among the general population. The Delaneys are at least notorious, not just because of Harry and Tom Paris, but because they have the most obvious and personal relationship onboard, and truth be told, more than a few of us have been jealous at various times. Lyndsay, however, is crazy, and I mean that as nicely as possible. She’s the only crew member I know who actually seems to like the Talaxian’s cooking. If you tasted it you’d share my alarm! She’s one of Torres’s many engineers, and is in constant competition with Joe Carey, Vorik, and I don’t know how many others, even Hogan and Jonas, I guess, to somehow impress her, as if they don’t care about Captain Janeway’s opinion. In any other ship, it’s always the captain everyone cares about. Not this one. I can’t figure it out myself.
Lyndsay spends so much time in the Talaxian’s mess hall, we all think she’s in competition with Chell to take it over. I’ve tasted Chell’s cooking. I’d rather take my chances with Lyndsay. We’ve shared replicator rations a few times, and we both prefer an athlete’s diet. What could we possibly lose? Then again, she’s one of the most disorganized people I know, and maybe that’s why her profile is so low, because hardly anyone can stand to be around her long enough to appreciate her potential. She’s so brimming with energy, and has such a positive attitude, I wish she could better understand what she’s capable of accomplishing. I think she would easily fit in with some random alien crew, if any of us ever found ourselves in such a scenario. She could adapt. Here she’s just stifled. Here you either find a specific role, or you risk getting left behind, which again is a little irony that’s lost on few of us.
I might as well spend some time talking about the Talaxian. What an annoying creature! Almost from the moment we were stranded in the Delta Quadrant, we found ourselves saddled with this appalling little alien, who took it upon himself to join our crew and insinuate himself into every conceivable role not previously assigned by regular Starfleet regulations. Thanks a lot, buddy! His name is Neelix, but it should really be Mr. D. I have many things “D” stands for, and none of them are pleasant, and I like to amuse myself by cycling through as many of them as he manages to make apparent during any particular encounter. He’s not really too bad, though. He’s a lot more useful than most of the crew gives him credit for, especially in a predicament like this. He’s a guide where we obviously needed one, even if he’s not the guide anyone would have selected given any real options. I actually kind of like him, to be honest. He’s fearless, not in the ways you ordinarily think about, but in the sense that he doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks about him. On occasion, we’ve gotten to see a more vulnerable side to him. Let me rephrase that: On very rare occasions…But seriously, I’d like to spend more time with him. I’d also like to see what an airlock looks like on the other side.
Just kidding! Love you, Mr. D.! The plus side is the Ocampan he brought with him, but I will probably talk about her next time. She brings up a lot of complicated matters, not the least of which I’m pretty sure I saw her during my encounter with the Caretaker. Didn’t know anything about that one, did you?