[USS Vanguard] RPG: I've come to talk with you again

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 20:55:13 +0100 (BST)

In the darkened solitude of the eclectically decorated office - Kieran refused 
point-blank to even consider calling it a 'laboratory', as it was officially 
designated; laboratories were for experiments and engineering, archaeology was 
half-art and half-psychology, neither of which were 'real' sciences, to his way 
of thinking.
Despite the comfort of the surroundings, the assorted collections of intriguing 
curios and baffling relics, the slight musty smell of the books - real, 
honest-to-goodness, leather-bound, paper-paged books - and all the other objet 
that made this place feel like an extension of his quarters, sleep still eluded 
The frustration was, that he knew exactly why.
It was... 'the sentience'... 'the entity'... whatever you chose to call it, it 
had taken over the vessel and disappeared in the space of a few hours, an 
entire emergent behaviour created and lost inside of a day - and everyone 
carried on as though nothing were happening.
For the anthropologist in him, however, it was too much. He needed to know, 
needed to communicate and learn. Emergent behaviours, logged and listed as the 
genesis of intelligence for centuries, were still only the realm of theory, 
with no definitive proof. To be able to study one, and prove that the component 
parts were purely digital - bio-neural gel-packs, admittedly, but the 
information within them was still digital - would prove it beyond doubt.
... but it was gone.
The Andorian clock on the wall clicked gently over the hour, the small spinning 
whistle within playing a brief Andorian lullaby - it was no more settling than 
any of the other alleged cures for insomnia that he'd tried that night.
"Computer, time?" he sighed, the noise surprisingly loud in the silence.
"The time is 04:42." came the curt reply, even louder, and he groaned audibly, 
knowing he was on duty in a little under three and a half hours. Even if he 
managed to go to sleep now, he'd simply regret it when the alarm woke him.
Rising to his feet, he didn't bother calling for the lights,navigating on 
memory as he made his way to the door, stepping out into the deserted corridor 
and heading towards the living quarters. He stopped briefly to change, nothing 
more, and set out towards the gymnasium, intent on putting the time to some 
sort of use - the ship was holding a martial-arts tournament in a few weeks 
time, and several of the newer security personnel were underestimating his 
chances, unable to look past the blue-collar of his uniform.
The gymnasium, when he arrived, was not as deserted as he'd expected, with a 
small group of short, blue-skinned Bolians stepping through a ritual sequence 
of some dance - possibly the Tali'Sha Harvest Festival ceremony, he guessed, 
though Bolians were by no means his area of expertise.
They were reasonably good, he judged after a few moments, by which time they 
were winding down towards the final sequence, and he stood ready to take to the 
ring if they finished.
"Commander." The dance-leader - Fal, Kieran thought his name was - said, 
slightly surprised, as he arrived. "You're up early - we'll be out of your way 
in a moment."
"Up late." he corrected, with a vague smile. "Don't let me rush you, though - 
you were here first."
"Tali'Sha requires us to have eaten before sunrise - which we take as 07:00 
without the benefit of a sun..."
"Very well, thank you." he nodded, appreciatively, as they all filed out.
"I'm somewhat surprised though," Fal offered. "I figured you'd relax more in 
the Meditation Suite than in here..." Kieran's eyes widened as realisation 
"Thank you, Mr Fal..." he smiled, turning away, "I think that might be a very 
good idea indeed..."
"It's Naj, actually..." he managed, at Kieran's rapidly departing back, as he 
burst through the doors that barely opened in time.
The turbo-lift ride was borne impatiently and frustratedly for the five or six 
seconds it took to reach his destination, and again he burst through the 
opening doors tilting his broad shoulders to make it as fast as he could.
Two early rising Ensigns peeled out of his way on the slightly curved corridor 
before he slid to a halt outside the meditation suite, catching his breath and 
forcing himself to be calm as the doors eased open.
The scene, this time, was a black-sanded beach beneath a dim, red, old sunset, 
the sort of worn sunset that characterised worlds still ravaged by industrial 
pollutants. Bluff, dark cliffs rose imposingly at the back of the beach, 
cutting off sight of whatever might be in-land, and providing a stark, 
chalk-white backdrop against which no-one could easily hide.
"I know you're there..." The wind picked up, briefly, ruffling his hair as it 
whipped around the edge of the door behind him that still remained unconcealed 
until he stepped beyond its' boundaries. "I'm not leaving..."
The figure that did appear did so slowly, fading into view with a wary 
expression - Captain Santos' 'creation', the churchman, eyed him cautiously.
"I did not expect it to be you that worked it out."
Lieutenant-Commander Kieran Darkwater
Archaeology and Anthropology Officer
USS Vanguard
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