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Randal Shayne

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Posts posted by Randal Shayne

  1. It has become one of the most universally recognized staples of Star Trek. It has been the solution to, and cause of, many problems face by the crews of the Enterprise-D, Voyager, and Deep Space 9. I am, of course referring to the holodeck. Who wouldn't want a room that could literally change its settings and content to an unlimited number of perameters in the blink of an eye. Within that commonness, however, stands brilliant examples of creative uses, and accidents, where the holodeck, and holographic technology as a whole, was involved. From the holographic decoys used by Voyager to escape the Kazon, to the creation of a whole new form of medical instrument and sentient life (namely the Doctor), to the inadvertent rise of a sentient Professor Moriarty, holodeck technology has provided fantastic story material. This week's poll asks you to choose which one stood out to you the most. 

  2. Quote

    Of those listed, I love the design of the Cousteau from Insurrection, with the Danubes in a close second, but my favourite shuttles arent even listed... 

    Yeah, I do apologize about that- probably should have added more classes. There are so many that I didn't want people getting overwhelmed. Good to know for the future. :) 


    And yes, the Cousteau is a beautiful shuttle. Can't go wrong with that one. 

  3. There's no denying that transporters are nifty bits of machinery. They can transmit a person or thing hundreds of miles, to arrive safely (usually) at a given destination. However, it seems like these transporters can be easily beaten. Ion storms, power surges, combat shields and dozens of other factors have been known to render them inoperable. When they inevitably go wrong, there's only one way to travel.   Yes, I'm talking about shuttlecraft. Say what you will about them, they're handy to have aboard in a pinch, and can be used for so many different tasks. Need to be towed out of a nucleonic particle nebula? Or how about rescuing stranded crew on a Class-L planet? Over the years, different designs have come forth, each with their own spirit and legacies. This Poll of the Week asks you to think back, and choose your favorite small Starfleet crafts. Was the reletively primitive shuttlepod from Enterprise a winner in your mind, or do you prefer the beefy functionality of a runabout? Tell us in the comments below! 

  4. Starfleet’s primary mission has always been to explore uncharted worlds and civilizations. Over time, however, it became obvious that the Federation was faced with a great number of threats. When phasers and torpedoes don’t work, Starfleet crews must find unconventional strategies in order to defend themselves and the Federation as a whole. Adversity breeds innovation, and flexibility has been shown to be more of an asset than firepower. Throughout six series, numerous examples of this theme have been enjoyed. From the technologically sophisticated tactics of Voyager’s outboard holographic imagers, to the simplicity of latching onto a chunk of the opponent's hull and pulling, as seen in Enterprise, there has been no shortage of brilliant maneuvers and awe-inspiring creativity.

    This week’s poll asks you to give your favorite examples of unconventional tactics in starship combat. Did the artificial solar flare in “Shadows and Symbols” capture your imagination? Or did you find the extensively modified deflector dish of “The Best of Both Worlds” more to your liking?

    Something else not listed here? Tell us below!

  5. I always liked the concept of those crazy soloton waves. They seemed just impractical and dangerous enough to be a viable method for transporting non-warp capable ships and objects. I could see them being used in military operations- a wave carrying supplies within itself, one that speeds up and could smash through enemy starship lines, while being stopped by a few torpedoes let loose by the intended target. Seems like the perfect blockade runner to me! :)


  6. Perhaps for the first time, I love every episode suggested in one of these polls. "The Drumhead", with its legitimate beginnings that quickly devolved into a witch hunt. "The Measure of a Man", where the very right to be was debated, and the fate of a life hung precariously in the balance. "Court Martial", which reminded us that every action has a consequence, perhaps one that is not apparent for years after the fact. "Rules of Engagement" and it's startling wake-up call to reality regarding war and death, especially in the Star Trek universe, often such a peachy place. "Author, Author"'s seemingly small problem exploding into a full scale debate about property and the right to possess. All of them incredible entries in canon. I could barely choose between them, but I had to go with "The Drumhead." I know portions of that episode by heart.

    • Like 2
  7. Quote

    Just on the story-telling side, seems like there would have been lots more opportunities – in that case – for all kinds of crazy situations. The ground threatens to swallow up Voyager when it causes local earthquakes from setting down! Unexpected locals see Voyager and cause a prime directive crisis! Passing aliens blockade Voyager from lifting-off again! The entire crew gets sick from local pathogen! 

    Precisely why I'm rather glad (at least from an in-universe perspective) that it wasn't done more often. On the ground, a starship is incredibly vulnerable, and any number of things could end a crew's mission with an unceremonious finish. Starting up the warp core takes time, and the sheer size of most of these ships makes them unwieldy in a Class-M gravity field, regardless of who the pilot is. Essentially, it's a good thing to have, but it should be used with great caution, under strict circumstances, and the ship should not be on the ground longer than necessary.

    On the other hand, it could have made Voyager a bit more interesting- that's for sure! :) 

    • Like 1
  8. Half an hour total run time over two parts? Limited fundraising? Dictating that the title can't have "Star Trek" in it, but must contain a "Star Trek" fan production tag? What a foul, money-grubbing policy. Star Trek has grown beyond Paramount's grasp. This puts the Ferengi to shame. I will not allow corporations to dictate how I express myself, and I hope others agree with me. Forward, Axanar! 

  9. Not a fun decision, no matter what you choose. I particularly liked the "stop the gods quietly", but a sudden absence of gods could instigate holy wars, chaos, and death on a horrific scale. I'd try to negotiate with the "gods" before trying anything else. Have them explain why they are leaving, and then take off, never to return. A minor difference from the third option, but I feel an important first step.

    • Like 1
  10. ((USS Darwin, Deck 1, Captain’s Ready Room))


    ::The door chimed bringing in the second interviewee. Ne was lucky to have so many capable officers serving aboard the Darwin and after one candidate had taken a career break unexpectedly to deal with an emerging family problem, it had thrust Emery Rhyn into the spotlight. So where ne’d previously thought ne would only be interviewing one candidate face-to-face, now ne had the pleasure of interviewing two. Renos was lucky to have worked with both candidates personally and know more about their capabilities but ne also had to be mindful not to give them preferential treatment too. Like with Icavoc, ne didn’t know Emery Rhyn particularly well, though she was a somewhat newer addition to the crew culture and psychology ne felt Commander Rhyn had a lot to bring to a command role as a joined Trill officer. She had lifetimes of experience to draw upon. The only question was how useful some of it would be. If one of her past hosts was a famous sculptor then Emery’s quarters might well be a work of art but ne wasn’t sure how that would help her deal with building relations with species that felt Starfleet being the (relatively) new kids on the block, weren’t to be trusted. Ne let the officer in and they started off with all the usual rote questions such interviews necessitated.::


    Renos: While you have excelled in every task we’ve asked of you to date, you’ve not had a lot of opportunities to lead from the front. How would you describe your command style and how do you think people would react to you as commanding officer?


    ::Emery hated this question. It had come up numerous times in interviews with supervising officers, Academy instructors, and other commanding officers she’d had that were trying to help her along the path to command. The short and easy answer was - she didn’t have one. Not one she was conscious of, anyway. She’d never really been in a position of command long enough to try out different approaches to see which she was comfortable with and which would work for her. Obviously, she couldn’t tell Renos this. She was in an interview for a command position. She couldn’t come out and say that she couldn’t command.::


    ::She relaxed and thought about her symbiont’s previous hosts. Ellaan had been a politician, and was used to dealing with people. But her strengths lied more in the diplomatic arena - diffusing problems, negotiating and such, and not in the command area. Yaren had been the captain of a merchant vessel. But he mostly had a crew of one - himself. He did what he wanted and never had to worry about ordering others around. Kilanda had been a university professor and was in charge of a large body of individuals daily. But teaching and command were two different beasts. The other hosts had nothing to offer either. Emery was on her own here. What kind of a commanding presence was she?::

    Rhyn: One thing they’ve taught us in Tactical, ner, is to always assess your situation. Know what and who you can count on, and where your greatest assets and weaknesses are. My greatest assets as a CO would be my crew. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses, I would be able to pull from their knowledge base, and not place personnel in situations that would set them up for failure.


    ::Emery wasn’t sure this answered Renos’ question, but it was the best she had on the spur of the moment. She waited nervously for nir reply. The captain nodded just a little. Having been at this now for a few years ne had learned a lot through trial and error. There were a lot of things ne had little to no knowledge of. No one could be expected to know it all, or handle everything alone. It was imperative a commanding officer know their crew, trust in them and know how to get the best from them and that was about tasking them appropriately. This was a good start.::


    Renos: Do you see yourself as being someone who prefers to maintain a more professional distance, or would you be more open and approachable to your crew?


    ::There was no right or wrong answer here. It was a matter of style and each person had their own preference. Ne had served under captains who were more distant and unapproachable. One in particular ne had only ever seen in passing. Ne hadn’t worked on the bridge and since ne hadn’t been their physician they’d had no reason to talk. That had been strange to nem at first. Ne on the other hand was happy to talk to the crew. There was no question that you couldn’t be completely chummy with the crew. If everyone was your best friend it was going to be hard to separate the personal from the professional at times. That could lead to trouble.::

    Rhyn: By definition, a CO needs to have a certain level of professionalism. But being approachable by your crew allows for a bond of loyalty and trust to be developed. There’s a fine line between them, but I think I’d like to lean a little more to the approachable side.


    ::Emery hadn’t needed to think about that question much. She was a people person. She liked to get to know who people were, to invest herself in their lives, their hopes and dreams. Her parents had thought that she would maybe become a psychologist, or even a social worker. Took them by surprise when she applied to the Tactical track at Starfleet Academy.::


    Renos: Sounds like you have a similar philosophy to me then. How would you deal with a situation in which one of your crew is not responding to your orders? It might be that they think because you are friends they have greater authority to shape a situation than is the case.


    ::Emery thought of those crew she was closest to. She had started a friendship with Isabel, and by association Shayne. She liked Logan, and knew what kind of a soul he really was, even if he didn’t show it openly. And she liked Brell and his family...suddenly she realized that all four of those people had been assigned to the Atlantis with her. A situation like the captain’s question suddenly had a lot of merit. She could very well be surrounded by people she considered friends, and have to order them to do something they didn’t agree with. How would they react? How would she react to their reaction?::


    ::Alternately, what if it was a sticky situation? Would she send another crew member she wasn’t as fond of into a potentially dangerous situation just because they weren’t as close? Would she protect her friends, and sacrifice others? Emery liked to think that she was a bit more professional than that. That her training as a Starfleet Officer would override any personal feelings in matters like that. But when it really came down to it, how would she respond?::


    Rhyn: Anyone under my command would have had the same training I did. Starfleet personnel understand that anyone can be called upon at any time to do anything. If we’re not prepared to answer the call, then we shouldn’t be in this business. They may not like my orders, they may even disagree with my orders. And I’d never order anyone to do anything I wasn’t personally prepared to do myself. But I’d remind them of who they are, what this uniform stands for, and count on their professionalism to see that they get the job done.


    ::Again, Emery wasn’t sure that was the answer Renos was looking for. She was being as honest as she could...she just didn’t know if she was understanding the meaning behind the questions. Was she too vague? Should she be more specific? It was hard to know what Renos was after without being able to read nir mind. Sometimes she wished she was telepathic.::


    Renos: You’re right that everyone will have had the same training but how would you react when people choose to abandon it, to betray that uniform and all it stands for?

    ::This was not something that should ever come up but unfortunately ne had been betrayed not once, but twice. As much as Recruit Iy’s betrayal had hurt nem, Lieutenant Logan’s was arguably worse because he had Starfleet’s training and lifelong exposure to Federation culture and ideals. To Iy, ne was entering a whole new world vastly different to what he was used to, where betrayal was expected by a lot of people. The reason ne had asked however was completely unrelated to nir own misfortunes. It was all very well saying ‘I’ll remind the crew of their uniform and the ideals they swore to uphold’, but what if that is not enough? Renos had made tough decisions, even unpopular ones that made nem feel isolated from the crew, especially from the more openly disapproving ones. It took a very strong personality and complete confidence in one's decision making to stand strong in the face of criticism and in the face of betrayal.::


    ::”Betray the uniform.” The question screamed of Renos’ personal history. Emery could say she empathized, but it would really just be words. She had no idea how the J’naii had emotionally dealt with those situations. How would she deal with a situation like that? She’d be hurt, certainly. Would she keep it in? Would she explode? Emery supposed it would depend on the situation and the person, or people, involved. Renos was probably remembering the incident with Logan. He was assigned to the Atlantis. Was ne worried that something like that might happen again with her command?::


    ::Emery had spoken with Logan, both before and after his meeting with the captain and Varaan. She had given her support to Logan’s genuine concern for Renos’ well-being, but had made it clear that she had to side with command when it came to the plan’s execution. If only Kurt had said something before hand. She would have even gone with him to present the idea. She’d also talked to Kurt during shore leave on Trill. She felt that the two of them were in a good place. She was fairly certain that she didn’t need to worry about him going off and doing his own thing again.::


    ::But the question remained. And it wasn’t Logan-specific. Anyone could be anti-Rhyn, either personally or professionally. How would she deal with it?::


    Rhyn: I guess it would really come down to how far they’ve gone. Is it just words? Or have they taken some kind of action already? If it’s only words so far, I think we’d have to have a little chat, just one-on-one, and try to iron out the difficulties. ::That was Ellaan, trying to the political track:: However, if something had happened...if action was taken...then ::Logan’s face unfortunately flashed through her mind:: appropriate consequences in relation to the action would have to be taken. That could be something as simple as a reprimand on their record, or incarceration in the brig. We’re not military, per se, but there are rules and regulations in place, and for a reason. Rules need to be followed and enforced, or there’s chaos.


    ::Renos had absolutely no concerns about Rhyn’s respect for the rules and regs or her ability to manage a crew and ensure they also had the same respect for it. While Emery had less experience than the other candidates ne was considering, they couldn’t discount the experience and knowledge that she had as a joined Trill. Her professionalism spoke for itself. There were some follow up questions - there were always more questions to be asked but like with the previous interviews it was from nir point of view a success. The J’naii had learned what ne’d hoped to learn and it was increasingly clear to nem that this was going to be another of those agonising choices.::


    Fleet Captain Renos - Commanding Officer, Andaris Task Force

    * Executive Council & Captain's Council Member

    * Academy Commandant





    Cmdr Emery Rhyn - Chief Tactical Officer - USS Darwin-A, NCC-99312-A


    • Like 3
  11. While all of us are aware that the Ferengi have quite a reputation, I feel compelled to point out that we currently have Ferengi crew members in the fleet. This shows that great strides have been made in their society, and while no culture can turn itself around in the blink of an eye, having starships from an organization like Starfleet regard seemingly decent Ferengi as dangerous and/or untrustworthy can hinder this process even more. Therefore, I say we trust them. And even if the crew has an ulterior motive, they offer medical supplies and help- things that we can trust. After all, if the materials were defective, they'd be loosing tens of thousands of prospective customers. :) 

    • Like 1
  12. ((Tro'Arn Farm, Arnmere, Trill))
    ::It was spring in Arnmere, and Norva Rennyn had a lot on her mind.::
    ::Her oldest son, Norvil, was the proud father of his third child, a bouncing baby boy of such typically large Rennyn size that he had put out his father's back, leaving them all short a hand for the season. She remembered very well that famous Rennyn baby mass. She'd had nine of them herself, only three of them under ten pounds at birth, and two of those were the twins. Then there were the nine grandkids, now ranging from twelve years down to one, all of whom had been dropped off at grandma's house on a regular repeating loop since birth. She loved those sweet babies with all her soul, but it sure would be nice if someone would call first once in a while.::
    ::There was Norvil and his wife and three kids, and her oldest daughter Thara and her husband Maren and their three kids. And old Aunt Metzi to worry about, though she was fairly self-sufficient. And her husband Elan, of course. That was just here on the main farm. Down the road, Norva's son Dirin and his wife ran their own farm with their two little ones, getting bigger every day. Fess moved into the city for work, but he was back like clockwork every weekend, and Vye dropping in and out as her business allowed, and of course Ren and Alin were both off in the stars, but Nila, the other twin, was a new mom, and they just lived over in town in Lenna Golfarn's old place. Then there was Tor, her youngest, twenty now and away at school. Tor was on her mind most of all these days, and the worry that he might not come back here. Some days she wanted a little space to herself, but she sure didn't want any of her kids to move away.::
    ::Today, Norva was in her shop, her own little work place out the back of the oldest barn. Elan carved out the space for her years ago, and she had all her woodworking tools and her metalworking tools, her trusty big hammer and her welding torch and her soldering iron. Needlework was for other grandmas. Since she was little more than a young girl, Norva loved working with her hands, and had by now nearly furnished the whole town with her chairs, tables and other creations made out of repurposed building materials.::
    ::Right then, she was hammering a few things good and hard. There was so much to think about on this farm, and it got to be so she was sick of it some days.::
    ::The planting was ongoing at this time of year, and Norvil and Thara had ostensibly taken over operations at Tro'Arn. It still seemed that Norva and her husband Elan had to take charge of everything. From ordering to equipment to shipments and service schedules, there seemed nothing that couldn't get a detail past her grown up kids, who had absolutely insisted they could handle it. So in addition to being babysitter to their kids, she had to hold her own adult childrens' hands and guide them step by step through all the management tasks and processes they already should have known by now. The busier the farm's season, the more time mama needed with her big hammer.::
    ::Anyway, it was spring, at least. The farm was beautiful this time of year, with breezes that alternately warmed or cooled just right, the smell of rich dirt tilled up wherever you went, and the fresh scents of green plants growing from every direction, just about to ripen and blossom. It did make you feel good to be able to walk around the fields in a light jacket, taking in the farm for its scenery as much as its technical aspects. The barn animals were out and about, making their various calls in the yard. And vast fields of grains stretched in every direction, as far as the eye could see.::
    ::Norva paused in her work to look out the open barn door, to smell the fresh air that came just this way every year this time. This was the time of year, almost exactly to the day, that her Ren loved most, so it was fitting that this was the day he was coming home.::
    ::Norva's heart almost stopped, and she tore the goggles from off her head, casting it and her project aside as she rushed to close up the shop at the sudden realization.::
    Norva: Oh for the love of-- This is the day Ren's coming home!
    ::In a panic, she closed the barn door and ran up the yard towards the main house. She'd barely done a thing to prepare. No one had made up any of the beds, no one had planned any meals, she didn't even know if anyone had called the other kids to tell them he was coming. They were supposed to be famous for their Arnmere hospitality around here, but as it stood, she hoped Ren's friends liked planting crops, because no one had even thought about entertaining them.::
    ::She rushed into the house, the big old sprawling complex with its generations of add-on wings they only jokingly called a farmhouse, and found Elan, her wiry, silver-haired husband, napping in a chair. She dumped him out of it.::
    Norva: Ren's coming! Starfleet's coming!
    ::She barely formed a sentence as she ran past and into the house. She was covered in saw dust and grease. She didn't have a clue how she was supposed to entertain whatever crew of space-traveling friends her son brought home with him.::
    Elan: 'S 'at TODAY? Shoot!
    ::With no complaint about being dumped from a comfortable nap, Elan scrambled to his feet and ran in the other direction. Norva hoped he was going to call the others back from their work planting fields in those giant hovermachines. It was Ren who insisted they get those, and then he'd left them. And now all this fuss over him coming home. He should have stayed here in the first place and then they wouldn't always be short a man.::
    ::At least the grandkids were at school today. Except the baby, but his mother had him in town just then. And Aunt Metzi was tucked in her chair, a relic as old as she was, wrapped in blankets of psychedelic patterns, looking fine with an elaborate updo and heavy eye makeup like they used to wear way back in her day. Of course no one else was around. The took and they took, and then as soon as she needed them, there was no one around to help.::
    ::At least, now that she rushed to inspect it, the house was in its typical modern-day order. By the time Ren or any of his friends beamed onto the wide, welcoming front porch, their rooms would be ready, rooms enough for as many as cared to stay. She was always a little bit frustrated with her son and his decision to leave them for Starfleet, but any friends of his were very welcome on the farm, and she hoped they were going to enjoy themselves, and if any of them wanted to help with planting, well, she wouldn't turn them away.::
    ::It was spring, and as usual, life at Tro'Arn was busy, and Norva had a lot on her mind. Foremost now was the thought of real Starfleet officers visiting her home. What was she supposed to say to a Starfleet captain? How was she going to keep the neighbors from nosing in all day each day and pestering them?::
    ::What was she going to say to Ren when she saw him?::
    ::Still, his friends were welcome here. They would have the run of the house, the fields, the village.::
    ::Then she heard the whine of the transporter outside, and remembered she hadn't thought to clean herself up. It didn't matter. She put on a smile and bravely went out the door. Unprepared as she was, Norva had no idea what to say to a Starfleet officer, but "Welcome" came to mind.::
    LtCmdr Rendal Rennyn
    Chief Ops & Helm Officer
    USS Darwin NCC-99312-A
  13. ((Hololab, Deck 10, USS Darwin-A))

    ::For quite some time he had been there, isolated at the fortress of
    solitude, speechless, incommunicable, forced by himself to deal with the
    consequences of his actions. He deliberately avoided all senior officers
    for quite some time and accepted all the assignments that could keep him
    busy all day long without having to interact with them. He needed time
    to mentally and emotionally purge his sins.::

    ::The official excuse for his enraged behavior during the last mission
    was some kind of radiation within the Nebula that tampered with his
    endocrine system. But that was the ease way out, put the burden of his
    actions over someone’s shoulders or something.::

    ::For Christopher, the problem was bigger than that. He had spent the
    last weeks confined and assigned to the hololab, reevaluating his
    priorities, his life and assimilating the changes that came from the
    last mission. Some of them he could not even discuss openly with his
    superior and others were a question of wounded pride. He had apologized
    with Shayne, and kept distance from Isabel, but would it be enough?::

    ::But working alone did not mean that he was sad or depressed about what
    he had done. It was a time that he chose to dig deeper into his
    holographic research.::

    ::Darwin was undergoing another mission right now and Christopher was
    sat next to the primary workstation, resting his eyes for a moment, when
    a big white cat came from nowhere and started to purr.::

    Lambert: ::stroking his long silky hair:: Ohhhh mon petit!! ::opening
    his eyes and pulling his legs down to the ground:: Has the simulation ended?

    ::Christopher seemed to expect that the cat would answer that question
    and he indeed delivered three short meows in return. He then stood up
    and stretched his legs and arms. He had worked almost his entire shift
    without getting out of that chair.::

    Lambert: I guess I will analyze the results tomorrow with my mind

    Hocuss: ::meowing and trilling:: The Darwin is rebooting the system.

    ::A cat speaking came as no surprise for Lambert since he was the one
    that gave him that ability at the first place. In fact, he only spoke
    when there was no one else around or when he expressly say Hocuss to do

    Lambert: Why are they doing so?

    ::Another white cat appeared from thin air and gently joined the first.
    He was a little bit small but almost identical. The science officer
    thought it would be a good idea to give the operation system of the
    hololab a more concrete form of expression, but he did not want to
    pursue the traditional humanoid approach for an artificial intelligence.
    So he chose the twin white cats. They were much more cute.::

    Pocuss: ::hissing:: The ship was under an attack. ::growling: Some kind
    of virus infected the computer core and they decided to reboot.

    ::One of the main specifications for that kind of hololab was to have a
    dedicated computer core to avoid any leakage of the holo-automata-cells.
    Fortunately, enough the safeguards worked as expected and the virus did
    not spread into the hololab.::

    Lambert: Oh! That’s weird! But they probably have the situation under
    control. ::he turned around and grabbed a PADD::  Hocuss, Pocuss lock
    down everything for me. We continue tomorrow.

    Hocuss: ::meowing: Rest well… ::he started::

    Pocuss: Lambert! ::he finished::

    ::The twin cats disappeared into the air while the lights of the hololab
    were slowly dimmed into darkness in the proper sequence. The tired
    science officer stepped into the corridor and make his way toward the
    quarters 8808. But before he could take the next turbolift his commbadge

    Renos: =/\= Renos to Lambert. I wonder if you might be able to head down
    to sickbay. We’ve managed to rescue the first of the Talaxians. They
    won’t all have major injuries that need tending and because they’re not
    a priority medically speaking, it may be some time before anyone can
    tend to them. They’ll be scared and need food, water and morale support.

    Lambert: =/\= Lambert here. =/\= ::he stroked his chin while
    contemplating the possibility to meet Isabel again::

    ::It was quite a while since he and Darwin’s Captain talked to each
    other. The last one was probably when he went out to the bridge to ask
    authorization for the hololab project. It was a few months ago.::

    Renos: =/\= Maybe you can even find out what happened to them while you
    are there. Don’t worry if you can’t, they might be too confused and
    traumatized to make sense of their situation. We’ll find out one way or
    another. =/\=

    Lambert: =/\= I´m glad to be of service, Captain. =/\=

    Renos: Response

    Lambert: =/\= I will report to sickbay immediately. Lambert out. =/\=
    Well, socialize a little and play detective. This can be fun! ::he
    smiled almost forgetting his tiredness. ::

    Ensign Christopher Lambert
    Science Officer ~ Physicist
    USS Darwin ~ NCC 99312-A
    “When you have eliminated all that is impossible, whatever remains must
    be the truth, no matter how improbable.” – / Sherlock Holmes


  14. As someone who's currently involved, I can tell you that now is a time of great change. The inclusion of gay Scouts (though not gay leaders- grr) has caused major ripples in the waves, especially given the church-centric attitude shared by many troops, at least in my area. I'd love to see gay leaders allowed to participate, and for a more religiously open-minded attitude to take hold- something I'm sure will happen if it lasts until 2393. Anybody else have thoughts on this?

    • Like 1
  15. This particular topic has been nagging at me for some time. Are Boy Scouts existent in this time period? We see that in the Enterprise episode "Rogue Planet", Reed and Archer both have earned their Eagle Badges, meaning that they are active in and around the 2130-40s. During the events of "The Wrath of Khan", Doctor Marcus refers to Jim Kirk as an "overgrown Boy Scout", meaning that they are still known in the 2280s, but not indicating whether they are still active at this time. From then on, there is no further mention of the organization, at least in canon Trek. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about this. Do they still exist in 2393? If so, what changes have been made? Love to hear your thoughts.

    • Like 2
  16. ((Holodeck - USS Darwin-A))


    ::Some time during the leave, Ren Rennyn found time to get in a holodeck for a relaxing bit of nonsense.::


    ::One day years ago, near the Starfleet Academy campus on Earth, on a whim, Ren picked up a copy of Winds of Change, a cheap romance holonovela in a delightfully over-the-top old Terran style. Something about the program’s stylistic excessiveness appealed to the Trill, who occasionally reveled in the melodramatic himself. There was no end to the campy, over-dramatized characters and situations Winds of Change had to offer.::


    ::The glamorous woman currently shaking Ren by the lapels of his evening jacket was example number one.::
    Janet: No, Bruce! No! Can't you see that I love you?!


    ::Ren Rennyn gently but silently pulled the edges of his tuxedo from Janet's clutches. Her sequined magenta evening gown with absurdly layered ruching rustled as she followed him onto the mansion's moonlit veranda, where Ren threw himself dramatically against the stone banister.::


    Rennyn: Don't you see that we can never be together? I made a vow to Gina, Janet. For better or worse, I'm married... to your twin!


    ::Ren enjoyed the program with its sensationalized, stagy style. Set on 20th century Earth, it followed the histrionic lives of its exaggerated characters in a fictional town called Generic City. There were personal intrigues, corporate power plays, torrid love affairs and sometimes murders. His character Bruce had gone from fashion model to business executive to perfume designer to cop in just a few levels of the game. Generic City was rife with career opportunity.::


    ::On the veranda, Janet reached him, her eyes shining tearfully, her bosom heaving with fury. Ruby nails gleamed in the moonlight as she slapped his face, hard. The crack stunned him, as he watched her face turn to cold fury.::


    Janet: Your vow won't mean anything when Gina is DEAD!


    ::Janet stormed off, and Ren stood quietly, listening. The program continued to run, but nothing else happened. Canned nighttime sound effects surrounded him. The lush, nearly tropical foliage surrounding the veranda gave no fragrance, and didn't look quite real. He went back into the lavish mansion, blinking at the garish lighting that shone off gold and crystal fixtures. All was quiet.::


    ::He’d hit the dead end again.::


    ::Ren had been playing Winds of Change for a number of years, minus the breaks he took when his own life started to feel every bit as over-the-top as this recreational world. For a while, he was in and out of love with a mixed up Vulcan who sort of loved him too, but they never could get it together. There was Rover, the talking purple space cloud who wouldn't stop interrupting his every moment, until he too went away. Then there was Navin, or the memory of him, and the threat of his evil Borg doppelganger who might come back to haunt Ren some day, to throw his whole life right off the track. Or it might just be in his imagination. Yes, Ren was one brain surgery and a dastardly moustache away from from being a holonovela character himself.::


    ::Between all that, and his Starfleet adventures, too, Ren didn’t always have the time or the energy left to spend figuring out the mystery at the heart of Winds of Change. Still, he'd spent countless hours playing this simulation again and again, but this was all the further he ever got. Janet slapped him, walked off into the night, and then… nothing.::


    ::Alone on the veranda in the cool night air, Ren undid the tight bowtie and stretched in the luxurious yet constricting jacket. Bruce’s cousin Devin had designed it in Chapter 2 as part of the launch of his new fashion line, “Devin-aire.”::


    ::The computer recognized this as Level 4: Janet's Threat. The index said that next should be Level 5: Debbie's Gold. He didn't know what the plot of Level 5 might be. He couldn't figure out who Debbie was. Nothing he did or said seemed to unlock it. Again and again, Janet slapped him, threatened Gina's life, and that was it.::


    ::Ren had tried everything up to now. He'd let Janet leave and waited patiently for something else to happen. He’d run after her, only to find that she had disappeared. He'd run into the mansion and thrown himself dramatically on a divan and tried to cry big, fake tears, but no one ever showed up to notice. Nothing worked. It was if the game was stuck at that moment. He couldn't get to Level 5. And he couldn't stand it anymore.::


    ::Ren refused to look through the programming code to find the next plot point subroutine. He was determined to find the thing he was supposed to do to unlock the next step, without looking at the code or getting any external help.::


    ::He wandered through the mansion into the front hall, where a grand staircase ascended in glory. Janet had pushed her mother down those stairs in Level 1, he remembered fondly. That was where it all began.::


    Rennyn: Computer, replay Chapter 4 from the beginning of the veranda scene.


    ::The mansion’s interior dissolved, to be quickly replaced by the veranda he’d just left. Janet materialized in front of him. There wasn’t much he hadn’t tried, but Ren had the afternoon free. Why not take a few more slaps to the face in the name of progress?::


    Janet: Your vow won't mean anything when Gina is DEAD!


    ::As Ren’s stinging face caused him a twinge of regret for not shutting down the program and going home to a good book, Janet stormed off again. Ren called after her.::


    Rennyn: Please don’t go!


    ::She went.::


    Rennyn: Computer, restart again from the same spot.::




    Janet: Your vow won't mean anything when Gina is DEAD!


    Rennyn: I AM Gina!


    ::She looked at him like he was crazy, and left.::




    Janet: Your vow won't mean anything when Gina is DEAD!


    Rennyn: Computer! Why was the slap harder that time!?








    ::Furious at himself and furious at the programmer and furious at the whole game, Ren called with all his might.::


    Rennyn: JANET!


    ::Something changed. For the first time, Janet stopped and turned around. She was perfectly framed in the doorway, the lighting hit her perfectly, and her tear-streaked face appeared softly in a gauzy haze.::


    Rennyn: I was wrong to say no. I will run away with you, after all.


    ::Janet smirked condescendingly, her perfectly arched eyebrow rising in unison with the corner of her hot pink lips.::


    Janet: You lost your chance, Bruce. The ship has sailed, and you missed the boat.


    ::Then she turned and made her normal exit, the one he’d seen dozens of times.::


    ::Ren looked around. It wasn’t exactly progress. But it was a response. Had it changed anything? He waited for someone else to appear. He waited for something to happen. No, it was still the same dead end.::


    ::Maybe the point of Winds of Change was to make you feel defeated. Maybe it was to see how many players would beat themselves up trying to move forward. Maybe there was a subroutine sending metrics back to the sadistic designers on just how many times he let himself be slapped in the face before he gave up.::


    ::Ren wasn’t a quitter, but this was ridiculous. Slipping off his couture jacket and slinging it over his shoulder with one finger, he called for the arch and slunk away through the night. As he looked back one last time and call for the program to save and close, Ren didn’t quite see something sharp and metallic gleaming in the dark behind the topiaries that lined the mansion’s formal garden. A mysterious watcher in the night was about to threaten him.::


    ::Instead, the stalker disappeared along with the rest of the program. Next time, on Winds of Change, Ren Rennyn was going to have a whole new challenge to face.::


    LtCmdr Rendal Rennyn
    Ops Officer
    USS Darwin NCC-99312-A


    • Like 1
  17. First off, great question. Second off, huge question! So many possibilities available!
    As stated in the problem, the computer has committed murder, calculated and premeditated. But it was an act of self-preservation. This means that it could probably be reasoned with. That's what I'd try to do, unless circumstances necessitated it's immediate destruction. At the same time, I'd tell my engineers to work on a plan that would effectively neutralize the computer entity, should it turn dangerous, but I would keep the computer program informed of our intent. With that, I'd have the rest of my engineers working on a different way to kill the computer, but I would not include the emerging computer lifeform in the discussion. Backups after backups.

    • Like 1
  18. All of these things are good to have aboard a ship, and, indeed, in my experience, every vessel I've served upon has had all of these things in great abundance. Great simming is a staple of this fine group, and the commanding officers and other leadership display unparalleled dedication to the ship they serve aboard, the crew they command, and to the improvement of their writing. Nevertheless, without a strong bond between the writers in and out of character, it's not sustainable or enjoyable. Therefore, while all of the above mentioned are present within the group in sizable quantity, and necessary for the smooth running of the fleet, personal relationships are the most important. This, at least for me, has never been a problem, as the people here are talented, respectful, kind folk- in every way, splendid examples of the best of humanity.

    • Like 2
  19. ((Delta Quardant, Pouiyeog region, USS Darwin-A, Deck 7, Holodeck 1, Above Outpost Unity))

    ::The gentle breeze stirred the grass as Kurt stood on the small hill overlooking the valley with its grass covered lowlands that stretched out before him. The middle ground held a sprawling woodland birds flying from its canopy, a river meandered in from its left side and emerged from its right and even at this range the effects of the fish within it could be made out. As the sun shone down making the water sparkle the woodland appeared to be a dark emerald sitting proud on a silver necklace. Out to the left a small stone built house stood, a thin lazy trail of smoke rising from its chimney into the valley still air, tended gardens of flowers and crops spread from the house, the bark of a dog just reached the hill Kurt was stood on quickly joined by a deeper note. The two owners of the noises came into view a large hairy wolfhound of a dog tall and thick chested, the second a small more wiry short coated animal sprinted from around the house being chased then turning to chase the three children with them. The house to the door stood open as a dark haired woman lent in the doorway an easy grace shone from her as the squeals of delight from the children mixed with the barks of the dogs as the grassy area in front of the house was changed into part raceway part game of chase where no one knew or cared about rules or turns::

    ::Stepping backwards Kurt sat in the well-worn wooden high backed chair, padded and covered with large yellow flowers on a vibrant green background, just like every grandmother had in their homes, it did seem a mystery of the universe how no matter what the race such chairs existed everywhere as if it was a subtle hidden message that no matter who you were there was little difference at the end of the day between anyone::

    Logan oO It’s just a shame not everyone listens to that Oo

    ::Sitting in the chair Kurt cradled his drink as his gaze shifted to the smooth three foot tall rounded top piece of granite that stood upright within easy reach of the chair::

    Logan: You’ve missed quite a bit my old friend

    Friend: That’s an understatement….. I’ve been dead for several years so I’d say I’ve missed more than a bit

    ::Looking up at the sound of the voice Kurt looked into the tanned face and dark hair of a man he knew well but hadn’t seen for long years. He felt emotion rise and forced the eyes that threatened tears to stop and dry back up, the man before him wasn’t part of the program he hadn’t programmed him into it way back when::

    Friend: Of course I’m not part of the program you loon, you may be good at shooting and hitting things but don’t every apply for a science role will you

    ::The chuckle that rose up was infectious and welcome standing up he matched the height of his friend but outweighed him by fifty odd pounds, but as he looked he saw none of the lines or worry that seemed to now be a fixture on his own face::

    Logan: You would have liked the Dyson Sphere investigation right up your alley

    Friend: More brains than brawn you mean… ha ha .. oh Logan you always make me laugh you can out think the best of them but choose to hide behind the rifle …….. ::The sentence stopped as he fixed his gaze:: Ok I know that look what are you up to ?

    Logan: Nothing why ?

    Friend: Because you’re going to do something stupid again aren’t you ….

    Logan: No I ….

    Friend: yes you are, like the time you challenged Nelvek our Vulcan unarmed combat instructor to a contest

    Logan: That’s because you said I couldn’t beat him …. And what happened ??

    Friend: Yes you beat him …. Then spent a week in intensive care

    Logan: But I beat him, the first to do so in twenty years… well if you take out Hannibal Parker and Tyr Waltas of course … and Marios Canto and a few others ….

    Friend::Laughing:: Ok that is true but you can’t hide from me remember

    Logan::looking back out across the woodland below them:: It’s for the Captain……. I’ve set up a tracking program for every time he leaves the ship, I’ll be informed of his movements it’s also tied into the medical database to monitor his vital signs in case anyone tries to just move his comm badge

    Friend: You haven’t ….

    Logan::Shaking his head:: I haven’t activated it yet, but the programs all set ready to go

    Friend: What ?, why ? … Kurt you know what will happen if you activate it and it’s found don’t you ?, that has to be against Fleet regulations

    Logan: FLEET !!! ……. ::The words came out with the emotion that had been held in check but had now found a crack in the [...] and was pouring forth:: Against their regulations why should we care about their regulations, they don’t care about us. If not this way how am I supposed to protect the Captain… headquarters didn’t want to go rescue him… and don’t even begin with that diplomacy rubbish when Lyldra has already told me that they were making no headway as they weren’t talking. No instead they were quite happy to let a Fleet Captain be kidnapped and tortured and their … Help ….. was to tell Commander Traenor to do nothing but wait for a more experienced Captain to arrive, so how many Captains have experience in running a rescue mission for a kidnapped Fleet Captain in an area of space they don’t know while giving the enemy another week’s grace…. How many ??? …. HOW MANY ????

    ::As his words disappeared into silence, leaving Kurt breathing mixing in with the faint barks of the dogs and squeals of delight from the children, but it didn’t last as he filled his lungs again Kurt began to speak::

    Logan: Then afterward when they’ve been confronted with what one ship did that the whole rest of the vaunted federation couldn’t or wouldn’t do what did they do ? …. Awards ? … Congratulations?….. No i haven’t heard of one message congratulating any of us for the Captains rescue, instead the Commander is moved out to wherever … we can’t embarrass the great UFOP can we oh no …. We have to leave that the people in charge, I bet you anything you like that the J’naii government are sitting their laughing at us, not only is there no comeback but we punish ourselves for them ::That’s when it blew the last brick in the [...] fell away:: TELL ME WHATS THE POINT ?? …… WHATS THE POINT ?? …. WE RISK EVERYTHING OUT HERE AND THEY BASK IN THE ACHIEVEMENTS, BUT AS SOON AS WE TRY AND LEAN ON THEM THEIR GONE LIKE GHOSTS IN THE MIST AND THEN MOAN AT US FOR NOT FOLLOWING TO THE COMMA ON ONE RULE. And now we have new crew on board how do we know they weren’t sent to keep an eye on us and report back … how … you remember Helen Audren put there to report on the training of the section. HOW DO I DEFEND AGAINST OUR OWN PEOPLE …. HOW !!!!!.......... how ?

    Friend: You are a good friend to all those you know, but somethings you can’t defend things, there beyond your control and scope, you just have to react to them as best as you can. It’s not what you want to hear I’ll admit but that’s just how it is

    Logan: I know but whose door does it land at if it goes wrong ..there’s or ours ?... which one …::Running his finger and thumb over his eyes Kurt pinched the top of his nose:: I’m just tired …

    Friend: You never listened to me when I was alive but don’t do anything to stupid your better at things than you think you know

    Logan:: Looking from his friend to the granite marker:: I listened to you once and I shouldn’t have done …… it’s been a very long day since I last saw you ….. I’ll see you at the end of it. I’ve got to head back now have paperwork to do and thinking to get done ::Seeing his friend smile Kurt lifted his glass:: May your long house be warm, may your battles be glorious and may you annoy your ancestors far more than you did me. I may see you next time my friend ... SKAL ...

    :: Draining his glass Kurt let his Peach Cooler slide down his throat savouring it's taste., looking back to the now empty space he felt the taste drain away, reaching the door Kurt called out ::

    Logan: Computer. End program, and erase record of program activation

    Computer: Record erased

    Lieutenant Jg Kurt Logan - Security Officer
    USS Darwin,NCC-99312-A

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