The Spirit of Battle

April 2005.
Not sure where I was going with this piece. Perhaps I wanted to write out a poker game, but I think I wanted to use it to develop characters, mainly my Andorian Phantom character, Shol K`thar.

“You’re three cards short of a full deck, you know that Serfayn?”
Serfayn just looked at Brennan. “Yeah, so? You wanna make something of it?”
The two locked eyes firmly, waiting to see which one would flinch. Sergeant John Pyria just rolled his eyes and interrupted the pair with an open handed slap to the table.
“Guys, can we just play? Korvan’s getting anxious.” Pyria nodded over to their resident Klingon, their only and pretty much obvious, heavy weapons expert of the team. Korvan replied with a grunt.
Pyria gestured back to Korvan “See? He’s working on his poker face right now.” This got a few laughs around the table. Ordinarily if a Klingon saw you laugh at them, for any reason whatsoever, you’d be on the floor faster than a diarrhoeic targ turd. Here however, these individuals were a close knit team. The Phantoms were, more or less, a family.
“Just deal already.” Pyria said to Brennan. “We’ll call the missing cards wild or something.”
“Aye lass. J’st deal already.” The thick Scottish accent came from Keegan O’Connor, the team’s ‘Montgomery Scott’ of an engineer.
Poker was the game, a cherished pastime for the Phantoms when they were just killing time until the next mission objective. R&R was strictly non-existent during any mission that they did, but Colonel Schaeffer had allowed them a few hours to do what they wanted before getting back to the job. Some of the other members, whom didn’t take a fancy to poker, had other things to occupy their time. O`Nyce was cleaning his scope at his locker. His rifle, for like most snipers of his calibre, was customised to suit him and his style. It had saved his life on many occasion and it wasn’t about to fail him anytime soon.

Down the corridor, away from the poker game, Marine Captain Volar was preparing the med kits for the next objective. As the sole medic of this team, it was her duty to be informed of all the mission details and to be prepared for any medical dilemma that may arise. A typical Vulcan could be best to describe her, although in the heat of battle, she has been known to make her typical Vulcan sarcasm slightly more humorous than usual. And this is saying a lot about Volar’s sense of humour. In the room next door she could hear something like a whipping sound, followed by a hard thud to the floor. K`thar was training again.

When Master Sergeant Shol K`thar was training he was not only testing his own limits, but that of the holodeck’s optical systems. Like any Andorian soldier, their technique was unmatched and their training regime was only equalled to that of Vulcan discipline. In this training program of his own design, the enemy targets were given a complex intelligence algorithm to make events as random as possible, and to make the battles more interesting. For most, the basic melee weapon would be a sort of blade, but not for K`thar.
He is the weapon.
No sooner had the opponent rushed to engage him, a sharp turn followed by a bluish blur as the Andorian’s had speared the creature in the throat, leaving half a second for K`thar to land a kick to the side of its head. The brief snap of bone and sinew was an indication that as it fell, it was not going to get up anytime soon.
“Computer,” K`thar said, his voice quiet and measured “restart program. Activate full intuitive protocols.”
And once again, the holographic monsters appeared from the gloom and attacked the Phantom’s vehicle pilot. K`thar’s melee prowess was not his primary function, but his lightning quick reflexes were a must if you needed a pilot whom could drive just about anything, in any condition.

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