[USS Vanguard] The State of Play

  • From: Steve Hedger <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 13:36:59 +0000 (GMT)

Sat in a quiet corner of the library, having lain his modified tricorder 
alongside he data-portal on the desk to scan its records, he masked his face 
with one of the periodicals from the nearby shelf, and muttered his log entry 

"Kieran Darkwater's personal log, October 15th, 1994, San Francisco.

Here we are then, back in the Academy city. I saw the bridge again this 
morning, for the first time in years - Gods how I hate that thing. I promised 
myself I'd never come back here without a fight... just one more lie to add to 
the list.

Temporal research... it sounds such grand endeavour, such a noble pursuit - 
such a folly. Engineers and scientists with the ingenuity and talent to cross 
time's boundary itself, and they fail to learn the mistakes of the very fools 
they send us to spy upon.

The end of the information age, the second millenium, is everything it was 
promised to be: dirty, suspicious, the plague of information replacing the 
wisdom of centuries as people believed they would be able to choose from 
thousands of futures when they'd never selected from the few before. Confusion 
is rife, the gulfs opening up as more information gives more people the idea 
that the person next to them is different.

Scientists, according to the periodicals of the time, are every day on the 
verge of yet another breakthrough in the genetic code, in gene therapy, in 
mutating the human being into something new, something better. 'He seeks 
immortality that can find nothing to occupy him of a rainy Sunday afternoon' - 
it's so true. Obsessed with financial gain and material accomplishments, nation 
spouting rhetoric about joining together in harmony with the intent of abusing 
and extorting those not big enough to stop them - humanity failing to realise 
it is just one community.

Science is the key to this time, really; with the birth of truly global 
information transfer, and the clash of cultures and traditions that it brings, 
locally specific religious and spiritual beliefs were shown to be nothing more 
than regional affectations. However, rather than a rational, gradual shift to a 
more general philosophy, the knee-jerk reaction was to abandon spirituality and 
a rational morality in a spasm of hedonism and techno-worship: science was 
amoral, life was all there was, and enjoyment became the goal, at any expense.

With no strong moral compass to guide either science or the youth that would be 
providing and applying it in the next generation, achievement outshone reason: 
can we do it became more important than should we do it, and thus came about 
the neogenics experiments. Cybernetics, similarly, played their part, but the 
underlying air of hedonism at the level of disaffected poor who could not 
afford to take part in the technological race that was flashed in their faces 
all day by the omni-present information age was the real undercurrent that 
pushed things forward.

Governments sought wealth and prestige for their own discontented, abusing the 
basis of democracy by limiting their responsibilities to only those people who 
were eligible to vote for them, creating closed societies. Immigration and 
nationalism flared into racism and sectarianism, terrorism flourished as poor 
nations took the only steps they could against the growing power of 
multi-national government blocks and commercial empowerment.

However, much of this was already reasonably solid theory before we were sent 
back to this time, and without waiting for the first missiles to fall, it seems 
unlikely that any concrete evidence for the start of the third world war is to 
be found here. Instead, we begin the cycle again, sending people back when 
remote sensor equipment would be far safer, if a little more difficult. We can 
send people, so we shall, and never mind that a single breath in the wrong 
place may engender a hurricane that destroys that very same detestable bridge. 
Chaos theory was known even in this time, and was not appreciated as anything 
more than a charming gimmick... how far we've come to realise that the one, 
unchanging constant in sentient life is the capacity for arrogance."

He picked up the tricorder, finally, as the screen flickered to show him the 
interface had finished, and folding the journal he collected his things and 
headed back towards the others, still talking quietly.

"I had reservations about this mission in the first place, quite apart from the 
technology failing so spectacularly as we saw with Mandrake when we arrived, 
but what to do about it? Just as here, with the politics of the moment 
supplanting the sense of tomorrow - or curious in this case, yesterday - it was 
personal pride creating barriers: perhaps I should have ventured to the Captain 

So far we have been relatively successful at avoiding any social contamination, 
though the physical effects of our presence could have any number of 

The sooner we finish up, and the fewer places we visit, the better for all of 
us, really... and yet still I can't shake the feeling I should go see her, 
beneath the bridge. I know she's not there, she won't be there for hundreds of 
years, but.... I should go see her."

A moment later he was back with the others, forced smile and artificially 
motivated jokes and laughter, he hoped, masking the disquiet he felt walking 
around this anachronistic city.

"We should be going, soon." he said, in a low whisper, "We've appeared as 
students so far, but if we stay much longer they will begin to wonder why are 
not appearing for the education they begrudge us..."


Once again, my apologies for the prolonged absence. Thank you, also, to 'Cynan' 
who sent me most of the mission posts from the time I was away... I think there 
were either some missing or I put them together in slightly the wrong order, 
there were a few confusing sections there. So, I've done a little log entry to 
try and get back into the swing of things, and I hope to be up and running with 
the pack soon.



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