Posted by Ensign M’rahja Ko (Security) in Side Sim: Holodeck (Open)
Posted by Captain Sidney Parker (Commanding Officer) in Side Sim: Holodeck (Open)
Posted by Lieutenant Ael Khev (Pilot, Red Squad Leader) in Side Sim: Holodeck (Open)
Posted by… suppressed (33) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Ael entered the holodeck, and immediately turned around to leave. This cycle of indecision he repeated several times before saying. =Load program, Khev 2.= the computer chirped confirmation and a romulan street scene appeared. Close to home. He breathed in deeply, taking in the familiar… everything. People passed him by on the street. It seemed almost alive. Almost.
He approached a restaurant and ordered a drink, hoping to quell these occasional feelings of homesickness.
M’rahja, off duty and in simple, casual clothes, had approached the holodeck to test a program she made before her transfer to the Olinski. It wasn’t anything special but working on it helped pass the time. That’s how she caught sight of Ael’s indecisive turning about. She watched from afar, uncertain of the meaning behind the action, but waited to see if he would come back out. When he did not, she finally approached and entered the deck. Yes, she was being a curious cat but humans always forget the second half of the saying.
She entered into a strange scene. An unknown street of an unknown planet and now she really had to go in and take a look around. It was all so strange and foreign to her. The only planet she ever spent a long period of time upon was Earth to attend Starfleet Academy, but this was totally different. M’rahja entered a near-by building that seemed to be a restaurant of sorts.
A caitian. Not part of the program. Ael rose from his seat and greeted her. “Welcome to Romulus.” He smiled slightly, waiting for the inevitable reaction. “Or what remains of it.”
M’rahja startled upon being addressed, too caught up in the scenery around her to notice Ael. Her ears flicked forward, “Romulus? This is Romulus?” She looked around with renewed interest. This was a sight she’d never expected to see. What remains of it. “I. . . I’m sorry for your loss.” She said, unable to imagine the loss. A home that you could never return to, except in recreations.
“At least I was able to preserve this. So, welcome to the capital city.” Ael looked around a little bit. “Care for some food?” He gestured back towards the table he had been sitting at.
M’rahja supposed a simulation was better than nothing, something tangible that can be preserved. “Food sounds great, actually.” She said with a small smile, and moved to sit at the table. “Any good meat options?” She asked, as meat was the safest option for her, and honestly the tastiest.
Ael thought for a moment. “Well, mollusk is a particular delicacy around here. Otherwise, there are stews with meat in them, occasionally you can get someone to make a flank steak out of some farming animal. This being a holodeck, it’s your pick. For beverage, you can’t go wrong with romulan ale. Or viinerine.”
“Hmm, mollusk sounds good.” Though a nice meat stew always hit the spot. “I could go wrong with ale, actually. Can’t metabolize alcohol, it’s a feline thing.” Same with caffeine and many other substances that could wreck havoc on her digestive system. Not that the holodeck replicators would give her something toxic to her system, but always best to play things safe. “Viinerine sounds interesting.” She ordered that along with the mollusk and waited to see what he would order.
ooc: Sorry for the late reply! RL got a hold of me for a while.
Ael got the same for himself, just enjoying the aroma of it for a while. “I don’t know much about caitian food, but this should be a bit different to normal federation fare.” Ael raised his glass. “To home, wherever it may be.”
M’rahja sniffed her food, and though it smelled right she could always tell the difference between genuine and replicated food by taste. Nothing ever came close to fresh seafood. Oh well. She raised her glass and repeated, “To home,” And took a drink. Her drink had an interesting taste, not unpleasant but strange in that way where you could almost describe what it tasted like but not give a concrete comparison. The mollusks were easier to describe, “Oh, I like these.” She confessed. It wasn’t fresh seafood, but the flavor was rich and foreign.
“It’s always been one of my favorites.” Ael tried his own. Not quite like fresh from home but very close. “Oh. That’s very nice. So you been on the ship long?”
“Recently transferred from the Challenger.” M’rahja said, “Which makes me a bright-eyed and green ensign.” The Olinski was the dream posting of her academy security cohorts. While she had no specific ship posting in mind post-graduation there was a certain pride with receiving a posting her cohorts coveted.
Ael arched an eyebrow. “This is an impressive place to go on your first assignment. You must’ve made quite the impression at the Academy. There aren’t many ships with a fighter wing, so when I came over from the empire, and they had appropriately vetted me, this fighter wing had a vacancy. So it worked out.”
“I don’t know. . . I mean maybe?” M’rahja didn’t think she stood out in any particular way at the Academy. She worked hard but didn’t everyone? Somehow or someway she must have stood out to someone. Her ears flicked forward, “You left the empire?” She flinched, realizing that was likely a deeply personal question.
Ael’s smile faded. “After Romulus and Remus were destroyed, the empire changed for the worse. It took some time, but I left.”
Lt. jg Grimhorn walked in. He had been secretly dropping in on others holodeck use. Even sometimes without authorization. He developed, as an engineer, a program that would allow him to enter and not be recorded as entering. It was not fool proof but unless someone was looking they would not detect it, Many times he waited to see what the program was and then just mimicked the holocharacters. You see it had never been detected but Grimhorn liked holoprograms with killing in them. He had a very quite fascination with serial killers. He had began to infiltrate others programs to kill holo characters in them. He had ran out of his own fantasies in his own holoprograms and now infiltrated others. However he was now finding this was losing its effect. After all they were just holoprograms.
OOC: Hows that for spicing it up a little.
Ael heard a scream in the distance. Someone called out “he’s dead! Someone killed him!” Ael arched an eyebrow, almost looking Vulcan. “That’s not a normal part of the program.
Grimhorn knew he had written the program well. If someone tried to cancel the holograms they would be forced to do it several times before it would actually work. By this time he found his way out. He was working on a way to stick the program and force them to stay in the holoprogram and then he could have more fun. In fact he had just introduced that into the code and made some small mechanical mods but he was not sure it would work. To be safe he was milling around other holo characters.
Grimhorn the Knife
M’rahja’s ears flicked forward at the cry. She jumped from the table and was moving before her mind could remind her that this was a simulation. She ran out into the street, searching for the source of the cry, the body, or the fleeing attacker. Whichever she saw first.
Grimhorn was so tempted to knife another of the simulations but saw the Catian move into the area. He was methodical and smart. The game was afoot and he wanted to see how far he could take it before it was a danger to himself.
Grimhorn the Knife
Ael searched with M’rahja. He didn’t like this at all, and more and more he wondered if this was just a glitch or someone’s doing. If it was someone’s doing they would answer to him before too long. He looked down an alley and saw a crowd around a collapsed figure. “I supposed that’s the victim.”
Lt. Grimhorn was no ones fool. In fact he had an above average IQ. He moved every so slowly away from the crowd but remained in its periphery. He had watched sims a lot and knew their movements within the parameters of simulated characters. Moreover he knew the programming for this one program. He carefully remained within this ones parameters. He only looked at Khev no more or less than a sim would. However he took in the reckless swagger and intelligent eyes of the man. He knew him as a pilot and they were always the best. Reckless, brave, intelligent and predators. A real challenge.
“Is. . .this apart of the program?” M’rahja questioned as she pushed aside a loitering onlookers, and shoved another to reach the victim. People lingered near the body, wearing a range of expression from shock to horror. Actors following their lines, but it was all off. Like they were forced to read lines from a new script. None of them seemed to know what to do next so they held position.
“It is not.” Ael replied, thinking.
M’rahja crouched beside the body. It was a man, face down, the back of his tunic soaked with green blood. She pushed the tunic up to reveal knife wounds. Her ears flicked back. She looked to Ael, “This is no programing glitch.” A glitch could manifest in many ways, but this was no program malfunction. Glitches do not randomly kill sims with stab wounds.
OOC: BTW I am not trying to hijack the side sim. If you like this let me know. If not that is ok as well. I just thought I would join and create something different and unexpected.
OOC: I think it’s a fun twist.
IC: Ael’s eyes drifted around the space and through the crowd. No one immediately stood out, except one didn’t immediately appear to be a Romulan. Ael knelt down next to M’raha and pointed this person out to her.
Grimhorn had practiced his calm and adherence to the movements and behaviors of the holodeck sims perfectly. However even now he used his inner control. He imagined crossing the barrier and attacking either of the two officers. He knew he had not disabled all the protections in the holoprogram perfectly. Any weapon he might use may not function except his bare hands and he was not that type of killer.
Grimhorn moved away from the crowd slightly following a sim family that had withdrawn from the sight of the dead person with their children. Grimhorn knew the psychiatric definition of his “condition” but did not prescribe to it. He honestly felt he was the normal one and everyone else were just denying their true natures. In the end he saw them all as non beings. Playthings. He was excellent at portraying behaviors like everyone else and could even trick a nueroscanner but he truly did not feel any of those things others claimed to feel.
M’rahja followed the line of Ael’s finger and caught a fleeting glimpse of the side of the man’s face before it vanished beyond the crowd of onlookers. Who was that? It seemed he lacked the pointed ears of the simulated people around them. There was no way a non-Romulan would appear in a simulation of their homeworld. M’rahja’s lip curled into a snarl, putting heir sharp teeth on display, “Computer, end program.”
Nothing. The program did not freeze. Nor did the simulated people or buildings gently vanish like smoke. The black room of the holodeck with its yellow lines did not appear. The program continued on as though she never spoke. Her snarl shifted to shock, and she looked to Ael, eyes wide. “Computer, end program!” Once again nothing happened. At once every report and lesson about malfunctioning holodecks popped into her head. There were dozens of recorded events where holodeck participants became trapped or otherwise unable to leave their programs. Even records of simulations gaining sentience!
M’rahja stood, her gaze locked at the last point she saw that man, “We need to find whoever that was,” She said, “They’re likely the key to this.”
Ael rose. “Agreed.” His brow furrowed. He moved off into the crowd and followed after Grimhorn, trying to track and catch him.
Grimhorn was pleased with himself as he was alerted that the program was trying to be closed but would not. However now he had moved from the hunter to the hunted. As noted Grimhorn was smart, way above normal intelligence, so this did immediately worry him. he moved into a small alleyway and then into a shop side entrance where several people were. He brought up his hood on his cloak as he angled for a non descript view of the window and street. He had the distinct advantage of studying this holo environment many times. He knew he had the front door, a side door and a back one to escape to if they saw him.
Something else formed in his mind as well. How easily he could shift this back to being the hunter. This time though it would be real flesh and blood.
At the place where they saw their target, M’rahja motioned for Ael to stop. She stood where their man stood, then closed her eyes and opened her mouth. M’rahja made a series of quick inhales, forcing the air towards the roof of her mouth and the vomeronasal organ located there. Within seconds dozens of scents were caught. One after another, she dismissed the exotic smells of a foreign planet and steadily honed in towards one scent in particular. Ships, being sterile atmospheres, carried a distinct scent separate from any planet atmosphere she’s ever known. People, who spent most of their times aboard ships, carried that scent with them. All of this took place within the span of a minute and a half.
“I have a scent.” M’rahja told Ael. “They went this way.” She lead the way, slowly but steadily following the path of their mysterious target.
OOC: We can play this two ways. A one off adventure with the outcome decided in this thread. The second is that its ongoing and this is just one time in a series where they hunt Grimhorn in this environment and possibly in the real world as well. You tell me which you prefer.
ooc: I’m kinda digging option two, for all those sweet and juicy plots
OOC: Option two works for me as well.
Damn thought Grimhorn. A Catian. He had not thought about it. A very big mistake on his part. She could track him by scent. Even with all the holodeck tech at work a Catian would figure out the difference from a real person in a holoprogram and the sims. He had to leave but he could not resist one last move. He pulled out the minipadd and made sure the algorithm that disguised his real face was fully functional still. He then turned, produced a knife from under his cloak and slit a woman’s throat near him. He then quickly executed the last program that made the door to the rear of the building appear for what it was, the holoexit. He discarded his cloak and tunic and pants on the way out as it opened and he exited. He was now wearing casual federation wear underneath. The discarded clothes slowly disintegrated. He had made sure that they had been made of a chemical composition that would react with the small vile of reactive material he had in his pocket.
He would remember later to wipe from the surveillance a few seconds of his exit so that they would see nothing except him as one of many people in the hallway near that zone at that time. He delighted the idea of the two of them rushing in to find another victim and the program released if they wanted to exit. what would they report? A sim serial killer. Hummm SSK. It had a ring.
The scent trail led them towards a shop tucked down a side-alley. The stranger’s smell was stronger here, and M’rahja increased their pace, confidently leading the way into the shop. The scent firmly ingrained into her senses and distinct against the replicated smells of the program. Then the acidic smell of blood cut through the trail and stopped her short. Another victim, a female Romulan bleeding profusely from the neck. M’rahja did not drop beside the woman, but kept going towards the chemical smells of disintegrating pile of sludge. Ugh. She held her nose and closed her mouth, that chemical smell burned her sensitive olfactory senses. Damn.
M’rahja returned to the second victim. She wasn’t real. M’rahja told herself. But she could have been. All of this could have been real. “There’s no way to track them beyond this room.” Though the truth, it hurt to admit. “Ship air is constantly recycled and too well ventilated to allow scent trails.” There had to be something else. Some other clue.
Ael considered for a moment. “This isn’t a part of the program. Either the program has become flawed and veered off course, or a non-holographic entity has interceded.” He paused. “As far as I know, I’m the only Romulan on this ship. Possibly in Starfleet. If it’s a living person, they likely don’t look quite like the rest of the crowd.” He began scanning the crowd area for people who didn’t appear to be Romulan
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