SIM:War and Peace
During a briefing for a mission to AX-47, Kevin excitedly thinks about 20th century mythologies
((Conference Room - USS Independence-A))
::As previously mentioned, Kevin made an attempt at recovering the long-forgotten thread of conversation which Capt Riley had attempted to start with him. He'd done this by means of the rather unimaginative move of informing her that he was the chief of science. Perhaps this was the masculine thing to do?::
::Captain Riley sat up in her chair and nodded in response.
Riley: Nice to meet you Lieutenant ::she began, leaving a pause as though she were trying to think of something to say herself:: Breeman. ::Another pause.:: That is correct?
Breeman: Yes, sir.
::Soon an Antican officer approached and took the captain's attention away from Kevin. This, he decided, was for the better, as maintaining a conversation with the woman seemed to him quite difficult. He found himself again feeling a sense of relief that she was only here visiting. And yet, all these new officers who had accompanied her gave Kevin pause.::
::Conversations continued while Kevin remained relatively still, drifting slowly into his own thoughts again. He remembered his father. He and the man had not been getting along terribly well as the day of his departure for the academy had approached. They'd had endless arguments about the merits of computers, his father insisting that one should know how to work with one's hands as opposed to typing all day.
When he'd contemplated a life like that, Kevin had felt a sense of dread. Where would the progress be? Humanity had not achieved its present utopian society by means of repetitive, back-breaking labour. Rather it had achieved it through advances in technology, evolutionary jumps in thought, and innovations that capitalized on existing inventions. A man alone working with his hands was no better, Kevin thought, than a rat alone foraging for cheese. Both the man and the rat were doing what had been in their nature for millions of years. What creativity or novelty were to be found there?
"If you want to spend your life in prosaic proletarian ignorance," Kevin had shouted one day, "Then you have my blessing. But please do not expect me to follow suit."
::He couldn't remember what his father had said in response to that. But it didn't matter. As he thought back on the incident, and on the man who happily toiled thousands of light years away, Kevin could feel only a profound sense of guilt. He had hurt his own father. Granted, this was not something unique to Kevin's life, but it pained him sorely nevertheless, the memory baring down on him as a dark ray through parting clouds of youth.::
Riley: Welcome crew of the USS Independence.
::It was like a voice from another world, and Kevin left his father behind again.::
Riley: As some of you may already know, I have been assigned as the new Commanding Officer of the USS Independence-A as of 0700 hours this morning.
::A morbid curiosity dissipated Kevin's guilt as he sat up. Commander Cody, it seemed, had vanished without a trace. Furthermore, there was no evidence of transporter activity, nor of any other method of departure.::
Riley: I know there will be a period of adjustment and it takes time to get to know one another, but be rest assured each and every one of you have my full support. I am honored to be a part of the best crew in the fleet.
::In truth, Kevin had not really gotten to know Commander Cody. He seemed like a man who kept well enough to himself.::
::Ehlanii announced that they were glad to have Capt Riley aboard as the CO. Kevin on the other hand was crestfallen, concerned at the bad footing with which he'd begun with her. As a department head he would need to cultivate a better working relationship, particularly when the strange events in the science labs a few nights before came to light and Kevin and his team excavated their true significance.::
::Soon, the captain was announcing departmental shifts. Many of the officers she discussed were people Kevin had never seen before. Kevin smiled when Riley announced the promotion of Shalls to assistant CMO. Having him work with the chief of counselling sounded like a good idea as well. Glancing briefly at Shalls, he grinned.::
Riley: Sciences, Lieutenant JG Kevin Breeman ::Kevin raised an eyebrow. Had he done something wrong? Perhaps it was his having fixed that console in the science labs without contacting engineering? Or perhaps it was his having elected to step forward and try almost to touch the legs of the space-borne formic creature on his last shore leave? Or perhaps it had been his use of shared quantum buffering in one of his storage engine designs the night before? :: will retain his position as Chief of the Science Department.
::That was an odd turn. Demotion and retention of his status as a department head seemed a bit odd. He glanced around questioningly, catching a look from the FO, who seemed to have a knowing expression on her face. The fact that it was a reassuring one brought to fruition Kevin's own growing suspicion that his "demotion" had been more a slip of the tongue than anything intentional. He pulled a quick smile across the corners of his mouth in order to acknowledge his lack of concern surreptitiously.::
Shalls: Alright Breeman..!
::Turning, Kevin smiled at the ensign.::
::Apparently they were to have a new chief of engineering. He hoped that this was not somehow reflective of Commander Brice's performance.::
::After a few more shifts and additions, Riley said,::
Riley: At this time StarFleet has received a distress call and is recalling us from our currrent mission with the Locet. The USS Wallace is being dispatched from Deep Space 17 and will be taking over for us here. We have received orders to proceed to the edge of the Aurona Sector to assist, the Laryn Colony on AX-47.
::Kevin's heart sank. He had done no shortage of research into the topic of the Locet and the findings of his team had been remarkable. Looking to Tyriden he felt a twinge of guilt. He had dragged the man through enough, but now to have the apparent senselessness of it all -- No. This was Starfleet. The unexpected was a part of each day. If Kevin was strong enough to bare it marginally then this Andorian stoic could. And yet... Kevin knew now that he was not as stoic as he'd thought. Was anyone?::
((OOC: Sorry, Capt. Could not resist, but you mentioned buildings being shown now :) Need to get down to that level somehow right?))
::The room darkened as a brownish orb with swirling greens and blues hovered over the table. Slowly and peacefully the planet rotated, beginning to loom larger, the virtual point of view twisting so that the planet's lim stretched out over the table. Slowly the orb became more a hemisphere that covered the entire tabletop, the cloud layers and finally the landscape whizzing by at breakneck speeds. The dome of the planet's whirling hemisphere flattened as the point of view grew closer to the ground, while the landscape moved more slowly. Finally, a colony settlement came into view. As the view panned closer, ranches could be seen, along with a town hall and squares in which villagers could gather. Finally, the point of view came to a gentle standstill, gracefully drifting about so that the gathered could examine and consider the colony from various angles.
Clack: Interesting design. ::He paused:: Aurona Sector not very nice there. What was the purpose of the colony?
::Kevin wondered that himself.::
Breeman: It looks almost... antique.
Riley: The Colony was founded five years ago by a group of Terrans and Bajorans seeking a simpler way of life. The founder's name is Laryn Elvin, a Bajoran. They have very little technology and settled on the edge of the Aurona Sector near the Igloo Cluster and Grendellai space, because they don't want to be bothered by other species. They are a farming and ranching community, raising various plants and cattle from Earth and Bajor that were imported to the planet.
::A simpler way of life? A brief image of his father flickered through Kevin's mind again.::
::After a brief and curious exchange between Riley and Clack the former continued,::
Riley: A distress call was received from the colony 72 hours ago. It was originally received by a Vulcan Science Vessel exploring the Aurona Sector. They sent a team but were unable to ascertain the source of strange occurrences plaguing the colony.
::That sounded like they were visiting another Locet-like society. Strange powers...strange occurrences...::
Riley: Apparently, this all began several months ago when circles and other geometric shapes were found in the colony's crops, large shapes...
::Kevin smiled now, fighting hard to suppress a laugh. He remembered the elaborate hoaxes that had been perpetrated by Terrans in the 20th century. Many of these had been perpetuated by dreamers and so-called ufologists, or individuals who purported to study apparently alien spacecraft from a distance using primitive imaging equipment. The 20th century had been an odd era in Terran history. It had at once been one of the most barbarically scientific and yet also one of the most ecstatically spiritual. Names like Lucas, Lovecraft, Hitler, Murakami, Mandela, Azimov, Lewis, Wells, Clarke, and Spielberg drifted across his mind. In truth Kevin's amusement was beginning to morph into a romantic and indeed almost rapacious curiosity.::
::An electrifying chill arced down Kevin's spine as Riley showed one of the formations. It looked so beautifully geometric. He remembered similar images from 20th century Terran texts. He'd been particularly taken when he'd stumbled one day upon an image of the Mandelbrot Set carved into a wheat field in Alberta.::
Riley: That's not all, after a few months, colonists have discovered mutilated cattle in their fields and even in the town square, all the internal organs are missing when the cattle are found.
::Kevin raised an eyebrow, waves of curiosity flying through him. This was rather akin to the curious 20th century industrial mythologies which his grandfather had penned so many centuries ago. The fantastical creatures in that era were not monsters or giants. Rather they were vague abstract corporate apparatuses such as "The Central Intelligence Agency" or "The Military Industrial Complex" or "The Pentagon." The latter, Kevin had visited one day during his youth to see the war museum there.::
Riley: As you can see, the method in which these animals were dispatched is quite distressing...About the same time strange orb like lights have been seen in and around the fields of the colony mostly at night. The orbs of light have started to invade the towns buildings and now the colonists homes, causing distress. Many colonists have claimed to feel like they are being watched.
Breeman: ::Raising a hand:: Have.... meteorological phenomena been ruled out?
::Kevin slowly shook his head in amazement as Capt Riley related the disappearances. It was as though the epics of 20th century industrial mythology were coming alive, leaping from the pages of the accounts of such would-be Homers as Travis Walton or Kenneth Arnold. Unable to restrain himself any longer, Kevin began to ask more questions.::
Breeman: ::Again, raising a hand:: Any signs of people... returning?
Breeman: What about strange cases of amnesia?
Lt. Kevin Breeman
Chief of Science
This sim brings out a possible future perspective on the 20th century. In a sense it acts as a kind of critical lens through which we can view our own world through one of its own creations.
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