[USS Vanguard] The Armoury of History

  • From: "Kieran Darkwater" <kdarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 00:53:06 +0000

Kieran tapped his comm badge in response to Cynan's query, standing up as he
did so.

=^= "Sure, I'll be a few minutes." When he arrived at his quarters, Cynan 
was approaching from the other direction, and he stepped up to the door, 
hissing it open for himself and his guest.

"Come on in..." he said, laying his PADD on the table just inside the door. 
"Lights, ambient daylight intensity." The room lit up on a multitude of odds 
and ends around the room. Cynan's eyes immediately fell upon the weapons 
dotted around, but there were statues, ornaments, two huge tapestries and a 
large, clear-fronted case with hundreds of tiny figures within.

"Would you like a drink?" Kieran asked?

Cynan: "Sure.. a water will do for me thanks.."

"Just a water?" Kieran said, somewhat surprised.

Cynan smiled back over to Kieran, "Yep. Just a water!"

"Very well.." he said shaking his head as though mystified, "I think I'll 
have something with a bit more flavour myself!"

The first thing Cynan focussed on, whilst Kieran got a drink for them both, 
was the nearest of the tapestries. Six feet by eight, it hung from a 
stylised two-headed spear, depicting humans on horseback in red jackets 
charging through a hail of fire from primitive large-bore military guns.

"Charge of the Light Brigade." Kieran said, bringing the water over, showing 
his own glass of milk with a slight smile and a raised eyebrow. "Near 
Sebastapol in the Crimean War on Earth, end of the nineteenth century, one 
of the last combats on Earth to have employed cavalry in any significant 
role. Six hundred men, so the popular poetry reads, decimated by gunfire but 
bravely carrying on. Signalled the first in a series of long, painful 
lessons for the British military leadership about updating their tactical 
acumen. Valuable lessons, it turned out, or they may never have survived the 
First or Second World Wars..."

Cynan learned in closer and studied the tapestry at length. He was admiring 
the bravery that those men must have had, and his heart thumped when he 
imagined the charge in his mind.

"Well, you know, Kieran, sometimes its more about courage and showing your 
enemy that your willing to make a stand, rather then using any kind of 
tactics and winning the battle with as little loss as possible", he said 
shifting a glance over at Kieran, eagaly waiting a repsonse.

"True, sometimes. In this case however, the one thing the British needed was 
a quick victory, and that meant as many men as possible to take to the next 
encounter. The Russian winter won more battles in that area than any 
tactical ability ever could, and the British were more disciplined, better 
armed, better trained and virtually guaranteed a win."

He turned to the other wall, pointing out a far more familiar scene; that of 
the Klingon hero Kahless drawing the first Bal'eth from the fires of a 

"That's nearly eight hundred years old," Kieran noted, "but there was a glut 
of Kahless inspired pieces at that time, for some reason."

"Ha, yeah!, I'm not surprised.. they're all Kahless mad aren't they
these Klingons."

After saying that Cynan thought back to She'Ra, and her Klingon heretage. It 
wasn't that he had anything against them, in fact many of there ways ran 
through his own veins and there was nothing more that he loved then to fight 
amongst a fellow warrior. Still, he'd have to watch what he said. "Still, 
its a nice piece."

"Glad you like it." Kieran said with a grin.

Cynan looked at Kieran, back at the piece, and then began to say, "I don't 
suppose...". He was going to ask if he could have it, but Kieran wasn't 
about to let anyone take anything out of his collection...

"NO!", replied Kieran with a semi-serious cheesy grin on his face.

Cynan laughed, to which Kieran joined in, "Hey I'm just kidding there mate!"

Pride of place, sat centrally on the wall opposite the door, was an ornate 
stand with a complete suit of interlocking bronze coloured armour. Stepping 
closer, Cynan saw that it was bronze faced steel, with tiny decorative 
etchings on each of the plates.

"Andorian plate armour, from the Tsokrag dynasty." Kieran said, stepping up 
behind him. "Unfortunately, it belonged to a disgraced warrior so the 
weapons were broken before he was hung. That's why the scabbards are empty." 
he pointed out, moving to the next rack.

"Why was he disgraced?" Cynan said looking at Kieran, and then back at
the craftmanship. "..And what do these symbols mean?"

"Most likely he was defeated by an 'inferior bloodline'." Kieran explained, 
turning back. "The Andorian's have a complex circular idea of bloodline 
superiority: the Fado'ral clan were superior to the Suzank bloodline. The 
Suzank were superior to the Gu-Shain, and the Gu-Shain were superior to the 
Fado'ral. Everyone had people to whom they couldn't lose with honour, and 
people they had to strive to beat at all costs. The symbols are his 
ancestry, as far back as it can be traced. By inscribing the names of his 
ancestors onto his armour they hoped one of them would still guide him to 
the Hall of Warriors in the afterlife, for the Path of Fallen Soldiers would 
be denied to him..." He pointed to the next rack, by which he was already 
standing, a more familiar display to Cynan.

"Terran, the accoutrements of a Samurai." Kieran said, unnecessarily. The 
rack held two single-edged swords, blade up, an inch and a half of finely 
tempered steel showing between the grip and the sheathes of both. A long 
knife with a similar sheath and handle hung below them, and the rack was 
flanked by two bladed spears, one two or three feet longer than the other. 
Lain beneath them all, on the stand, was a seven foot long bow. "Katana, 
wakizashi, tanto, nagamaki, naginata and daikyu" he said, in order. 
"Belonged to a retainer of the Japanese Emperor of the late seventeenth 
century. The only other terran piece I have is a rapier from the a similar 
period, from France. Far more decorative, it would have been difficult to 
actually fight with it's so
unbalanced." He pulled a sword from a nearby stand, a thin needle like blade 
projecting from nearly five kilogrammes of basket hilt, padded with velvet.

"I had to restore it, unfortunately. The lining had rotted where it had been 
put into storage. I haven't been able to trace the history of this, there 
were so many of this sort of blade being made at the time."

"Have you ever fought with these, Kieran?". He looked closely at the
samurai, wanting to hold it. It was rare to see an original and in such
good condition. He didn't dare ask yet alone pick it up and starting
wielding it around.

"I've done some Kendo, though I prefer the nagamaki myself, but those blades 
hold someone else's honour: I have my own." It was unclear if he meant 
blades, honour, or both.

"I'd give you a run for your money" Cynan said grinning, and Kieran chuckled 
without responding directly, and moved on to the next rack.

"This one, well... this is Klingon, as you can see." he pointed to a
broad-bladed spear, three projecting, hooked tines sticking out from beneath 
the blade. "One of the earlier stylised weapons, this was a ritual 
Targ-spear. The tines there actually close when the point sinks in, so that 
the points grip the flesh, and when you pull clear it takes a chunk of flesh 
out. So much more efficient and brutal than the simpler barbed blades they 
had used before. This one was used to kill the head of the House of Chomra 
during the First Internestine Conflicts. Allegedly, anyway. The age and 
style are correct, and the spear comes from the home of the fallen house of 
Kas'ra, but there has always been a belief that the House of Chomra fell to 
internal struggle, and that Kas'ra simply came in to claim the spoils."

"That I wouldn't know. I'm not too up on their history myself,
perhaps I should start doing some late night reading!". His thoughts were 
back to She'Ra, wondering what if she had got his message and what she was 

"Hey you alright?" Kieran asked, seeing his eyes glaze over for a moment.

"Huh? What? Oh! Yeah, sorry. Miles away there! It must be all this."
he gestured at the artifacts scattered around the room. "Its an impressive 
collection Kieran. I really thank you for sharing it with me.."

"Not at all. What's the point, if no-one ever gets to appreciate it?"

The display cabinet, when they stepped closer, was filled with shelf after 
shelf of tiny figurines, each carefully outfitted and detailed, uniformed, 
armed and armoured. Groups of Klingons from different periods, terrans, 
andorians, from spear wielders in simple chain armours right through to the 
mechanically enhanced armoured forms of the Cardassian Verassik wars.

"There must be hundreds..." Cynan breathed, leaning close.

"Six hundred and forty-seven." Kieran confirmed, moving to a nearby table 
where a much larger figure stood. This one was a Vulcan, by the looks, with 
a sword in one hand a strange hoop shaped device in the other. "I make them 
at this size, about three feet tall for a human, and then use the replicator 
to make a reduced size copy. It helps to get the details right... I have a 
collection of vehicles in the same scale in storage back home. This is a 
Psychic Warrior from the times of Surak, but I'm having a little trouble 
with the description of the symbols that go on the Psionic Amplifier. The 
texts that describe them were culled in the early days after the war, and I 
haven't been able to see an unabridged version."

"Perhaps you could ask Vokar.." Cynan suggested, leaning closer to peer at 
some of the detail work.

"Perhaps." Kieran said, slightly doubtfully. "For an emotionally repressed 
people they can get quite agitated if people start prying into artifacts of 
the Surak period." He shrugged, as though to indicate that was simply one 
more of the obstacles in his way, and moved to follow his guest who had 
moved on.

"Ah, this is one of my favourites," he picked up a goblet from a shelf, a 
carved stone piece, slightly chipped. "Early Romulan, depicting the battle 
against the forces of Surak to escape. Early Romulan art almost always 
depicts the escape as an act of stealth and cunning, an achievement of 
faster thinking and mental acumen. Very few early martial pieces exist.."

Cynan just nodded, taking everything in. He indicated another shelf, this 
time with two strange looking double-bladed weapons and a pair of trophies.

"Ah, yes..." Kieran took the trophies down carefully. "This one," he held up 
the larger of the two, "is for the biennial Andorian Chao'soth tournament. 
It's a martial art display tournament - rather than competing directly you 
have to demonstrate a series of practice exercises and katas. I won the 
off-worlders adolescent competition in my first year at the academy."

He lifted the second trophy, holding it up before him. "This one, this is 
the one that I missed... Katchor'dastan, an open weapons competition on 
Kalfor Prime, one of the most hotly contended competitions open to M-class 
planet species. I entered with a pair of modified tonfa two years ago, and 
came third on style marks. The Klingon judge marked me down as I would not 
have drawn enough blood..." he shook his head.

"Hence these." he pulled down the vicious looking weapons on the shelf, a 
pair of strangely shaped blades. He grasped the handles, laying the blade 
along his forearm to where a sharp point protruded an inch beyond his elbow. 
The blade ran the length of his forearm, and then curved around his clenched 
fist on the handle to end over his thumb. "I was thinking of entering again 
this year, but I have to work on my style with this some more. Being sharp 
it will catch up inside a target in a way a tonfa wouldn't."

"Heh yeah... you could sure do some damage with that." Cynan observed, 
eyeing the blades.

=^=Khan to Mandrake=^=
=^= Go ahead =^=
=^= Are you free for dinner?=^=

Cynan looked at Kieran, somewhat surprised, Kieran looked back, nodding. 
"Say yes, say yes!" he mouthed.

"Yes ?"

She'Ra: "=^= Great! See you in ten? =^="

"Er, yeah sure.. just give me a fe.. actually, make it tweeeeenty....
five ?", he squinted hoping that would be alright. He was thinking more like 
thirty, but if he rushed, he could just about go wash and change with 
twenty-five minutes.

She'Ra "=^= O'kay ! See ya there ! =^="

As soon as the communication channels were closed Kieran burst out laughing, 
"And how old are you? Standing there shaking like a Bajoran teenager at a 
Kh'roposik festival dance!".

"Hey watch it!" Cynan almost had the grace to blush. "She's a real nice 
woman you know.... anyways I better dash, catch you up later yeah?"

"Sure, sure. Anytime." Kieran said, taking the glass from him as he moved 
towards the door.

"Right. Cya!... and thanks again" he shouted back as he flew out the
door and to his quarters..

"I wonder if they have that holo-imager yet?" Kieran wondered out loud, as 
he placed the empty glasses back in the receptacle, and followed his guest 


Sorry this took so long!!!! I do have some more stuff on the way. :)

This has been a joint effort by

Lt (jg) Kieran Darkwater
Science Officer (Archaeology and Anthropology)


Lt (jg) Cynan Mandrake
Flight Control Officer

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