::relaxes hands on cool polymer of computer terminal, pulling eyes away from blank screen to look around dimly lit quarters for the tenth time in as many minutes::
::shakes head when gaze lands on picture...no, Kathryn probably wouldn't approve of one of Voyager's command staff wracking an already strained mind trying to put together such a triviality as this project...a simple newsletter::
::leave that to Neelix, she'd say::
::purposefully looks away, rubbing a pinky in thought::
::exhales slowly and deeply, pulling scattered thoughts back into focus with profound effort::
::gets to work::
This is the captain. Mr. Neelix has generously given me free rein with news and updates this time. And yes, all soft fruit may be thrown my way, not his. In that spirit, I'll keep it short.
::takes another moment::
I know I need not remind you of how exciting the past few months have been-personally, if not professionally. We've seen not one, not two, but three births, with three weddings to match-and those just here aboard ship. Every new comm cycle home reveals new joys, new sorrows.
Change was bound to happen, but make no mistake, even as I've tried to foster a community atmosphere aboard this ship and encouraged the planting of proverbial roots, our long-term mission remains just as it was the day Voyager landed in this quadrant seventeen years ago. We owe it to ourselves, our families, and above all the memory of Kathryn Janeway to see this journey made full circle.
Though most of you haven't been aware of it, in the past few months we've come closer than ever to making that goal a reality. Commander Paris, Lieutenant Kim, Seven of Nine, and our guest Miral have tirelessly poured their efforts into retooling our earlier slipstream project. Lieutenant Vorik now believes that we can successfully and safely implement such a drive, cutting the distance and time left in Voyager's journey by great measure, if not entirely.
With his carefully weighed approval in mind, I've authorized the effort. It has, by now, become eventual necessity, not frivolity. This ship will not hold forever, and I will not be responsible for endangering innocent lives any longer than necessary in the name of sentiment.
::chuckles a little at irony...similar sentiments were behind the explosive end of first captaincy::
Over the next month, Voyager's crew will be pressed into heavier duty than usual, performing what should be final maintenance-if all goes as planned, we can leave any further work in the Corps capable hands-back home.
This time, let's make it happen.
::releases another breathe, squinting at screen one last time::
::finally slams hovering index finger down, sending memo out on a ship-wide circuit::
::rolls neck, sliding seat back and heading for bed...time for rest::
::it's bound to be crunch time come morning::