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[Round 9] A Look at History


James T. Kolk
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JP - Lieutenant JG Karynn Ehlanii and Lieutenant Ethan Brice - "A Look at History"

((Starfleet Academy, San Fransisco, Earth))

:: Ethan sat on the small wall surrounding the large water area in the centre of the Academy, seperating the two major departments. He'd done a lot of his reading there when he'd first started and to migrate back was something he'd wanted to do for a long while. The Cadets looked different though; their jumpsuits looked more like combat uniforms with the various pockets dotted around their person, padds sticking out from dubious places. Ethan looked up into the bright blue sky as a shuttle rocketed over head, flying too close to the Brooklyn Bridge for comfort.::

:: The sun blinded him momentarily and he looked back down, blinking away the sunspots from his vision to see Karynn. He smiled and stood up.::

::Karynn blinked as she stepped out into the bright sun and waited for her eyes to refocus. As they did, she saw the familiar form of Ethan sitting on a small wall up ahead, where he had promised to meet her. She smiled and quickened her step to a brisk walk. It didn't take her long to cross the distance that separated them.::

Ehlanii: Well, that's done.

Brice: You look a lot more relieved then before. ::he chuckled:: Everything go okay? You haven't traumatised some Vulcan examiner have you?

Ehlanii: I don't think so. I'm just happy that its over and I can go have fun.

:: The Engineer smiled.:: Brice: Alright, what kind of fun do you want to have?

::The Haliian tapped her chin with her finger, exaggerating the thought she was putting into answering his question.::

Ehlanii: Hmmm... just about anything really, as long as its outside. Other than that blasted planet, I haven't really been out in the sun in ages.

:: Ethan held his hands out to the sides, a playful smile on his face.:: Brice: Well, here in the glorious outside we have the gardens of the Academy. Carefully nurtured and preserved through many generations of cadets, the plants you see are maintained each with a specific diet of nutrients and most with an uncanny hatred for a mother's homemade soup. Not to mention, the water turns a distinct shade of purple when mixed with vomit of any kind, as many students find out in their first year.

::Karynn burst into a fit of giggles at his last statement.::

Ehlanii: Is that so? Purple you say?

Brice: Purple, I say! ::he grinned seeing her laugh:: Or was it lavender, one can never remember.

Ehlanii: ::giggling:: Well, I suppose lavender is a shade of purple so its easy to get them confused. What do you like to do when you're on Earth? Anything I must see while I'm here?

:: Ethan blew a sigh.::

:: They started walking down the long pathway of the gardens, moving as Cadets rushing to their classes passed by.:: Brice: A handful of things. For one, ice cream is a must. If you appreciate anything to do with Italians, of course. A pint of true Guinness in a real Irish pub, a haiku in Japan, the pyraminds of Ancient Egypt, the museum in Cairo, the Armoury Museum in England maybe the Hollywood strip, if you're really into sight seeing.

::Karynn looked over as they walked, an action that reminded her of the secret glances she had tossed his direction the day they met and went for a walk on the Nature Deck. The sun glinted off his dark hair and that, combined with the look in his eye and the smile on his face, reminded her of how attractive she found him.::

Ehlanii: It all sounds so wonderful. I'm not sure where to start. If I remember my Terran history, the pyramids are in a desert right?

::He smiled and shifted to the side, his hand touching the small of her back as they moved for a group of Security Cadets laughing with one another. The briefest touch reminded him of her "bumping" into him earlier in the morning and how happy he'd been to see her, how when she laughed her brown eyes showed it... he cleared his throat and moved back again.::

Brice: The Sahara, yeah. I went during my second year here with a couple of friends. You get into Cairo and then at the end of the street, there's the pyramids. Its like seeing the turbolift at the end of the corridor. They're closer then everyone thinks.

Ehlanii: I think I'd prefer a bit more water to begin with. Maybe we can see them sometime later in the trip. How about Japan? I don't know much about it.

::The Haliian female tried to think of some excuse to get him to touch her back again. Even the brief contact had felt just right somehow and as he had withdrawn his hand, she had experienced a slight sense of her own disappointment. Unfortunately she couldn't come up with anything that would make any sense at all.::

Brice: Interesting; Japan is one of those places I've never really visited. Always seemed a bit distant for me and they always have some of the uptodate technology on the market. We could have a venture, see what we can find. If I can get hold of a few extra tools, all the better. Flights usually go from the Aerospace Station if you fancy an old kind of trip. See the mountains underneath, it might be worth a few kicks.

Ehlanii: Sounds like fun. ::She adjusted the bag on her shoulder:: How far is the Aerospace Station?

:: He chuckled.:: Brice: Closer then you might think.

((Fastforward))

::It hadn't taken them long to find the station and get a flight to Japan. They had spent the majority of their flight over the Pacific Ocean chatting, but as they dipped down below the clouds and the island came into view, Karynn had stared out the window at the gorgeous sight beneath them. Not too long after that, the Haliian Counselor and Human Engineer stepped off the craft and onto Japanese soil. Karynn glanced up at the light grey clouds above them as warm breeze tossed her hair about a bit.::

::Japan was just turning the corner into the rainy season, and although the cherry blossoms were gone, the streets were still filled with plants in bloom. They walked side by side on a slightly busy street and then turned a corner. Looming up ahead was an ancient temple. Karynn gasped at the beauty of the delicate architecture.::

:: The anicent Japanese always fascinated the Engineer's imagination for architecture. This was the kind of thing he wanted Matthew to grow up looking to and taking ideas from. The angles and simple designs were so different from the Western ideals that made the Engineer wonder if they were from the same planet at all. He looked at Karynn and the dark hair that covered the back of her neck. She really was beautiful; inside and out. He smiled to himself and slipped his hands into his pockets.::

Brice: Outstanding, huh?

::Her voice came out in an awed whisper:: Ehlanii: It's amazing.

Brice: I'm beginning to think you like Earth architecture. There are parts of this that would have taken centuries to build.

Ehlanii: ::smiling:: I think that would be an accurate assessment of my tastes in architecture. Its both so familiar - so much like home - and so different and foreign all at the same time. Besides, you've mostly shown me religious sites and I seem to have a thing for places like that... and structures that took centuries to build.

Brice: ::smiles:: It shows what humans were capable of before warp was discovered. There's a million things we were able to do before big machines and computers. To think that someone sat and described this building, transcribed it onto papyrus and then built it is amazing to imagine.

Ehlanii: It's a testament to Terran patience and creativity. Its hard to believe that someone could dream up something like that and then die before they could see the finished product. And yet all over your world people did exactly that.

Brice: I suppose, it's a legacy in a sense. We have left something behind for our children and leaving behind something so grand is... well... something to be proud of. Unfortunately, names become lost over time and their legacy becomes merged with another. In the end, all we have is the knowledge that they completed a feat beyond themselves and it survived so long. ::he shrugged:: Or something like that. That sounded a bit too profound for me. It's a shame its after the cherry blossom season, it's beautiful.

Ehlanii: More beautiful than this? ::She spun slowly in a circle and motioned with her hands to the sights around them.:: It's hard to believe that this place could be even prettier than it already is.

:: Ethan crossed his arms and looked up.:: Brice: There would be a few in history who would disagree with you entirely about this place. About many of the historic buildings on Earth.

::The Haliian raised her eyebrow incredulously.:: Ehlanii: How so? They think it should be replaced by more modern architecture?

Brice: More like the way it was built. ::he chewed the inside of his cheek:: Consider this. Notre Dame was built on the backs of slaves and hard laborours for two hundred years. Would that be the sort of building you would want still standing?

::Karynn considered the question thoughtfully, and a slight frown wrinkled her forehead. It was an interesting quandary. Should the results of behavior now considered unethical and barbaric be allowed to persist? She twirled a strand of her hair around her finger.::

Ehlanii: Hmmm.... that's an interesting question. One could argue that if you destroy the building, then you are destroying the only redeeming quality of the heinous behaviour. While enslaving people is certainly wrong, at least some good has come out of it.

Brice: Would you believe the same with the pyramids? ::the Engineer raised an eyebrow:: Built on the back of slaves for centuries to house the dead bodies of Kings. To me it seems wrong, but I suppose shipbuilding is no different, only we get paid for it now and aren't as oppressed. The union wouldn't think so. ::he chuckled:: You really find this interesting, don't you?

Ehlanii: From what I understand, this question has puzzled your planet on more than one occasion. Even as recently as the twenty-first century there were debates about whether medical knowledge gained from incredibly unethical experiments performed by Nazi doctors in Germany or American physicians in Tuskegee Alabama could be used to benefit humanity. Some argued that to use it would be condoning, and indirectly cooperating with, the evil that was done. Others argued that to not use it, to essentially lock it away or throw it away, would negate any good that came from the evil. This second group argued that one could condemn the process but still use the knowledge gained to benefit humanity. Some said that those who died in the experiments died in vain if the knowledge wasn't used.

Brice: Very true, but that has happened, as we know now, all over the universe. The Dominion recreated experiments on different species and of course, we have the blending of species such as the Borg.

Ehlanii: Oh, its certainly not confined to Earth's history, nor has the question been entirely settled. I forget his name, but a Cardassian physician during the Occupation performed similarly vile experiments on the Bajoran people. But, in the course of those experiments he made startling surgical discoveries and even found a cure for the Fostossa virus and eradicated it.

Brice: So, you acknowledge that good can come out of it?

Ehlanii: I condemn his methods, but I'm not sure I think we should throw that knowledge out the window.

Brice: But some people would; I'm sure no matter what the research, the Bajorans will always remember where that research came from.

:: Something clanged in the background and a few birds scarpered from the trees, making the leaves rustle. There was a calm in the atmosphere around them and it was unmistakeable that Earth would always be home for him. There was no better place, in his mind. Well, Engineering came a close second. He looked at Karynn as she mulled it over and smiled as a tiny lightbulb flashed on.::

Ehlanii: I suppose you could say I'm torn. Is it possible to use the information and still denounce the techniques? Or is allowing our society to benefit from those acts an implicit cooperation and an encouragement for unethical scientists to act that way in the future?

:: Ethan sighed, smiled and slipped his hand into hers.:: Brice: I hate to say it, Karynn, but this is entirely too serious for me. Come on, let's have a look inside. We didn't come all this way to debate about it.

TBC

JP as simmed by

Lt.JG Karynn Elhanii

Ship's Counsellor

USS RONIN

&

Lt. Ethan Brice

Chief of Engineering

USS RONIN

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This sim is artlfully written - even if the Brit author of the two did confuse the Golden Gate Bridge with the Brooklyn Bridge at the beginning - and as usual the two characters interact both humorously and believably. But more than that, I nominated this sim because it dealt in the second half with an ethical question in a way that made this sim feel very much like something straight out of Star Trek in any of its incarnations: they raised the question, gave us both sides of the issue, and then left us to make up our own minds about it; and they did it all without it feeling forced or contrived. Great job, you two!

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