[USS Vanguard] RPG: Kieran's Mood

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 01:11:52 +0100 (BST)

Strolling along the corridor Kieran absently sidestepped an Ensign leading a 
green-haired newcomer and continued on his way. The PADD hung limply at his 
side, but he A&A office had proven no more conducive to constructing his report 
than the mess-hall, and he found himself in search of a different environment. 
Casting his mind back over the previous few days he followed a path to the 
meditation suite, and stepped inside.
Resuming his programme from the time of his last departure, he listened to the 
slow, gentle trickle of water across the stones as he shed his shoes and 
stepped out onto the narrow grass surround layed out about the sand and stones
"Where did the pulpit go?" asked a familiarly irritating voice, and Kieran 
knelt by the sand, trying to ignore it. "Ah, it's you again." the voice 
continued. Kieran followed the sound of footprints past his shoulder and out 
across the sand with a sigh, opening his eyes to stare at the priest with 
"You are not a part of this programme - don't you understand that?"
"No use talking to me about it, I'm not a real person."
"Neither were the original Christians." he muttered, lifting the rake to smooth 
out the sand now that the priest had settled himself on a seat.
"So, what brings you here again?"
"The quest for solitude." Kieran explained, bluntly.
"No-one but you has been in your office for nearly a week."
"How do you know that?"
"Divine intervention." the priest smiled, and pointed delicately towards the 
simulated sky.
"Hydroponics?" Kieran asked, his knowledge of the ship's topography a little 
less mystic. "Or simply computer access?"
"God works in mysterious ways."
"And hexadecimal."
"Are you just going to sit there?" Kieran asked, pointedly, staring at the 
incongruous figure perched atop the rock.
"I think so. The Captain authorised my continuing presence here, and despite 
your promotion I don't think you have the rank to countermand that, 
"I could simply leave."
"You could have done that when you came in. You could have attempted to 
deactivate the programme. You could even have deleted my character, but you did 
none of these. You don't require solitude, Kieran... you came looking for 
someone to talk to."
Kieran stared for a moment, looking not at the figure but rather through it. 
None of the real people aboard the ship had figured that out - though he'd 
avoided the Counsellor so far, and forced a happy tolerance through the medical 
- which spoke volumes for the programming of this little suite.
"Perhaps. Though I'm not sure that you're the right persona to be discussing 
this with."
"Oh? What seems to be the problem?"
"I have a report to write on the recent encounter with the Astoria, and its 
giving me problems."
"May I?" the Priest asked, pointing to the PADD. Kieran nodded and held it out, 
but the Priest simply smiled, tilted his head, and then continued. 
"It seems complete to me? You've recounted the events, as you saw them, 
detailed your actions - and there were few of those - and their consequences. I 
fail to see what else might be required of you."
"Consequences... that's the point, see. Consequences."
"Now you are correct - I do not seem to be the persona you need to speak with. 
Perhaps a linguist?" Kieran arched an eyebrow in his direction, though his eyes 
were still closed.
"If you aren't going to help me sort this out, would you at least be quiet so 
that I can meditate."
"Vulcan Sha'ir technique - mental suppression of physical stimuli... surely it 
shouldn't matter if I speak? You aren't supposed to be listening. In theory, 
that is." Kieran's eyes flashed open.
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, 
however, there is."
"Touche." Kieran closed his eyes again, and was half-way through the first 
breathing cycle when the voice started again.
"So what was it about consequences that bothered you?" Shaking his head, 
realising that he wasn't going to get any peace here, Kieran looked back 
towards the door.
"Deleting me now that it's asking questions you don't want to answer?"
Kieran stopped, turning back, wondering if perhaps that had been what was 
"It won't hurt to talk about it, will it?"
"Probably not." Kieran conceded, after a while, standing gracefully. 
"What's the nature of good and bad? Results? Do the ends justify the means? Or 
is there something intrinsic to good and bad, and only in knowing can we act 
"That seems a little deep for a bridge report." Kieran turned back towards the 
arch, but the Priest's hand rested on his shoulder. "Well, generally, the 
Christian church evolved to the stage where it considered good and evil to lie 
within the heart of the individual. Intention was the watch-word, as everything 
else could be interfered with, and results were always unknowable.
Acting with good intent was pure good, and if the imperfect perverted that pure 
intent then at least that moment had been."
"Nicely put. That was the way I was taught, the way I've tried to live. Legal 
nicety, reinforcing the moral imperative of the age, enshrines motive in the 
burden of proof required to convict 'bad' people."
"So we are in agreement. Where is the problem in this?"
For a long moment Kieran stood still, staring at his reflection in the thin 
layer of water at the fountain, contemplating the eyes staring back at him. 
There were hundreds, thousands... perhaps an infinite number of those eyes, 
somewhere, somewhen, each making choices, each picking a fate.
"It doesn't matter." he whispered, finally, looking up. "None of it matters. We 
try to choose wisely, try to choose well, select the path that we hope or 
reason will lead to a better life, and it doesn't mean a damn."
"Of course it does. The choices you make shape your future, and the futures of 
those around you."
"No, they don't, that's the problem. Those futures exist already, all futures 
exist. If I flip a coin, now, I can call Heads or Tails, and one of them will 
happen. I have a fifty-fifty chance of being right. There is a fifty-fifty 
chance of it being Heads. Four options... and they all exist, somewhere.
Every possibility exists, somewhere, that's what this mission has shown us. The 
boundary between realities exists, and for every left turn there is a right, 
for every throw there is a catch and a dropped ball. I don't need to make a 
choice, because it makes no difference - all the possible outcomes will occur 
anyway, somewhere, to someone..."
"If that is truly the case," the Priest said, after a while, "then you can 
justify neither guilt nor sorrow. The events are beyond your control."
"Tell it to a Vulcan. That sort of logic appeals to them."
"Perhaps, perhaps not, but a Vulcan would not feel as you do about the 
"Maybe they have a point."
"I don't think you believe that. Let me put it to you this way - if you really 
believed that nothing you did made a difference, you'd simply kill yourself 
now, as there'd be no point to continuing. You don't believe it, you don't 
/feel/ it in your heart, whatever your head is telling you."
"For generations men believed the sun orbited the Earth, even when the Maths 
proved them wrong... my heart will catch up."
"I cannot help you with this, Kieran. You are in conflict with you - you are 
the only person that can resolve this."
"I said when I got here I was seeking solitude."
"You did... I shall leave you in peace."
"Thank you." The figure began to fade, dissolving into image fragments as the 
programme edited around it.
"Now that you've worked out the question, that is...."

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