Living History (RP Log)
- You find yourself on a small and cramped ship's bridge. Around you, crewmen clad in grey and black battle dress sit with their backs to you, black steel helmets covering their heads. Each crewman carries a bulky-looking disruptor-type weapon. A stylized crest of the Romulan Star Empire adorns the forward viewscreen. A block of text, which you can read or ignore, unobtrusively locates itself in the periphery of your vision and informs you that this vessel is a Romulan patrol ship dating to roughly two centuries ago. As you glance at each station the text changes, providing you additional information. The vaguely bird-shaped craft is capable of only sublight velocities and boasts armaments consisting of wing mounted plasma cannons and deployable plasma torpedoes. Romulan battle doctrine called for a string of these smallish craft, known as a swarm, to patrol a sector of space within a day's sublight travel of one another. They communicate on a coded swarm frequency and can summon their warp-capable mother ship in the event of a catastrophe. Standing on a command platform at the rear of the bridge is a tall man wearing a stylized military coat with fur trim on the sleeves. He holds the rank of field primus, today extinct, and commands the swarm. Beside him, wearing the then version of a Riov's insignia, stands the ship's actual commander.
Senka stands near the cramped weapons station, surveying the bridge.
"Wow.."Emily looks about as she enters the Holodeck, "Just...wow..."
Senka raises an eyebrow. 'T'Lila," he murmurs. "I was not expecting you." You sense it's a pleasant surprise. "To what are you reacting?"
"These ships used to fascinate me when I was little." Her eyes travel the bridge, "Whoever made this did an impeccable job. That's what I'm reacting to."
"You know of the Rihannsu swarm patrol ship?" You sense what may be astonishment.
Emily quirks her head and looks at him, "Is that really a surprise?"
Senka considers you. "Indeed, it is. This ship design has been outdated for 185 years and, while it is not classified, I have met no one except Romulans who were familiar with it."
"I had weird teachers when I was a kid, they used to find really out there things to use for team metaphors. These worked lovely." A laugh follows and you can sense the memory is a fond one, "Come to think of it I've never met anyone else who knew what I was talking about."
Senka raises an eyebrow. "Lieutenant Tr'Sahehn, who as you may know studied engineering methods in the Romulan Empire, finds no flaw in this design replica that I know of ... The creation is my own," he adds. He is pleased that you are familiar with this type of ship and thinks you may appreciate the work all the more.
"You made it?" Her tone reflects surprise, perhaps more than she'd meant, "For whatever reason?"
Senka nods. "I did. My interest in Romulan military and cultural history is longstanding."
"Fascinating," She says as her eyes move over the various sections of the bridge, "I'm impressed."
Senka tilts his head, considering you speculatively. "This simulation has an active component. I programmed an observer scenario with a fixed ending, and a participatory version in which the outcome is dependent upon the role and actions of the participant or the participants." "For what purpose?" She asks
Senka says, "Historical immursion and the learning that attends it. It was also an exercise in holographic programming, historical authenticity, and tactical engagement."
"So this is what you've been up to as of late,"She asks
"One of many things. Yes." A beat. "Would you care to view the active simulation?" Either way you go is fine with him, you sense.
"I would love to see it,"Emily replies, a large grin following her words. You can sense she's more than excited to see what you've done. You call out for the arch.
The arch appears in the middle of the environment.
Senka speaks up. "Computer. Access simulation parameters. Set simulation language to Standard." "Language set." "Access simulation Senka Alpha 2." "Program ready." "Run program."
The arch disappears.
The bridge of the small Romulan craft comes to life. You hear officers exchanging bits of information in terce, clipped tones. The commander surveys the bridge imperiously, an arrogant tilt to his head and a haughty smile on his lips. The Romulan flag officer looks more serene, more detached. About 10 seconds after the simulation starts, the sensor officer calls out. "Commander," she says, "Detecting an incoming enemy contact." "Battle alert," the commander snaps. Red-orange indicators flicker along the bridge, and you see the engineer and the weapons officer making adjustments as a burring alarm underscores the rest of the noise on the bridge. "On screen," the prymus orders.
Emily moves over to Senka's side and watches, completely fascinated, "We're not going to get blown up..are we?"She whispers
Senka shakes his head and murmurs, "Safety protocols are engaged." He watches you take in the simulation, one he's observed many times both as he wrote it and after. In the simulation, the viewscrreen displays the image of a bulky, blocky-looking and frankly inelegant warship. When you look at the screen, a discrete block of text tells you that this is a class d3 Klingon battle cruiser. Maximum speed of warp 3.8 and armed with phased disruptor packets and plasma warheads. "All systems to power edge, stand by for rappid maneuvers. Closing speed," the Romulan first officer orders. "Field Prymus," the commander's tone is much more respectful when he speaks to the Romulan flag officer. "Should we summon the swarm?" "Affirmed," the older man says. The commander issues the order. "Commander," the senturian at the communications board turns to the ship's Commander. "Long-range signaling is curtailed. The enemy commander signals us to surrender." " The commander snears and says nothing. The bridge is rocked by the opening salvo from the Klingon ship.
The rocking of the bridge catches Emily off guard. Instinctively, her hand shot out to grasp Senka's arm, steadying her feet, "Whoa.." She looks at Senka, "Curtailed? Does that mean they can't get word out?"
Senka nods. "Their communications are jammed." The battle continues. As the two ships maneuver and trade fire, you see that the one advantage this outmatched patrol ship has is maneuverability. It can fly circles around the bigger and bulkier Klingon cruiser at sublight speed. But that's its only advantage. Smoke fills the bridge from the latest salvo, and the weapons officer's console explodes, killing the officer. "Weapon systems inactive, Commander," the engineer reports, pulling himself back to his station. "They're sitting ducks..."Emily mumbles.
Another minute of the simulation passes. Senka stands beside you, watching. "Withdraw," the field prymus orders. "Withdraw!" The young ship's commander is outraged. "We can't withdraw! We have to--" "warn the rest of the home fleet of a possible pending invasion, Commander," the field prymus breaks in quietly. "If we are dead, your honor may be satisfied, but our children will be vulnerable to being slaughtered. Withdraw." There's a steely tone in the primus's voice. "I will not see us slinking away like a thry with its--" that's as far as the infuriated riov gets. In one smooth motion, the prymus draws his jewel encrusted disrupter, aims and fires. The commander dies in a crackling nimbus of disruptive energy. "Subcommander," he says calmly. "Withdraw."
"Bravo!"Emily belts out, then covers her mouth, "Oops
You sense Senka's amusement at your exclamation. The helmsman lays in the course, and the small patrol ship breaks away from the engagement. At first, it looks like the Romulan craft's superior sublight drive will get them outside the range of the Klingon's subspace jamming. Then, the ship lirches, halting in space, surrounded by a yellow nimbus of energy. "Report," The subcommander barks. "Some sort of magnetoconstriction beam," the engineer reports, puzzled. "It is stopping us where we are. We cannot move." Text appears. The Klingons developed what we now call the tractor beam some 10 years before the Romulan Empire did, and they also discovered some of its basic uses in battle.
Tensely, she watches the events unfold, her stomach knotting itself tightly, "Crap.."
Senka watches impassively as the scenario moves towards its conclusion. The officers are confused, all except the prymus. "Subcommander, prepare final honor sequence. Sequence at my command." The subcommander doesn't hesitate to obey, though at first, you don't know what he's doing. He taps a code into his station, and the prymus does likewise. A series of red covers retracts, revealing a series of levers at the prymus's left hand. "We are detecting transporter activity," the sensor officer reports, her tone dismayed and angry. "Attention, crew," the subcommander speaks into the intercom. "Prepare to repell invaders. Injured will receive final honor. Your blade acts with my hand." The last words appear to be ceremonial. As the subcommander finishes, a loud whine fills the bridge, and the whine is accompanied by a red shimmer. When it clears, a squad of Klingon soldiers appears on the bridg. A firefight insues, disruptor fire racketing around the bridge. The engineer dies, the helmsman dies, and finally, the sensor officer dies, unable to restrain the look of agony mingled with fury on her face. But the Klingons have taken similar losses. Weapons fire sounds over the still open intercom.
Her eyes return to the scene on the bridge as the Klingons arive, as the fight builds and the bodies begin to drop she tucks closer to him. It was intense and although not real, it was terrifying to watch.
Another Klingon officer beams onto the Romulan bridge. He's dressed more ornately than the common soldiers, wearing a tunic and ornate officer's sword. He approaches the Prymus. "You will yield your ship to me. Do so, and you will receive an honorable death." "Don't tell me," the prymus smiles thinly. "It's a good day to die, that so?" The klingon salutes, a gesture of respect to a worthy opponent. "And I will promise you an honorable death." The prymus's smile widens. "And I will promise you ... a good day." He slams his hand down on the levers beside him, and the ship explodes around you. A blinding white flash of plasma fire that engulfs both your ship and the Klingon cruiser off the bow. When the flash subsides, you find yourself in the empty holosuite. "Program complete," the computer intones anticlimactically.
The program shimmers and fades away, bringing back the yellow grid.
Emily looks at Senka, "That was...intense."
Senka turns to you. "That reflects an actual incident that took place in the year 2236."