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It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt

Posted on Monday August 20th, 2018 @ 11:27am by Ensign Thad Walker

Mission: Audience with the King
Location: Holodeck
Timeline: Current

Warm torchlight danced off the ancient stone walls of the monastery, filling the large room with flickering shadows. There was a breath of utter and total silence as the entire universe seemed to come to a complete standstill.

The silence was broken by an explosive “Hajime!”

Thad exhaled as he rose from seiza, his black hakama swishing as he danced back to a corner of the room. The four attackers came for him in silence, the only sound their bare feet pounding on the tatami. He had strategically placed himself so that they were forced to come at him in a line, but instead of backpedaling, he moved toward them.

There was a connection with the first attacker, as he deflected his grab to the left, and moved toward the second. As the holographic sempai reached for him, he dropped one arm and lifted the other as he entered, sending the man rolling into an elegant somersault. The third man lunged, just as the first was turning around and heading toward him.

Dropping to one knee, Thad tripped him, coming up in time to spin around the fourth attacker and giving him a powerful nudge to the back, sending him sprawling. The space in front of him was suddenly filled with the first attacker, attempting to slam a fist into his face. Thad stepped aside, flowing with the man’s momentum, then turned the opposite direction and applied a wrist lock. He slammed him into the mat, directly in the path of the other three men and danced back a few steps to give himself room to maneuver.

The second attacker lunged, a knife appearing out of thin air. Thad danced back again, then entered abruptly into the space where the knife had been a split second before. Too close to him for him to swing again, Thad dropped him with an arm around the neck.

The third man had his opening, and Thad felt the tingling that told him the knife had plunged deep into his back…or would have if the safety protocols weren't on. The old man at the front of the room frowned and shouted “Yame!”.

Everything stopped, and the four opponents retreated to a line in front of him. Thad reseated himself opposite them. Thad bowed, and the four men bowed in return. He was breathing heavily, a sign that he'd worked too hard.

“Computer, end program.” Thad said, mentally reviewing where he had gotten into trouble. In a real randori, the attackers wouldn’t have had knives, but he had intentionally designed the program to throw in increasingly difficult scenarios. He must have lost track of the third man while he was throwing the second. Performing a wrist lock like that took too long, as opposed to moving past and continuing the flow. He’d allowed himself to become hung up on neutralizing the threat of the knife, and that was where he had made a mistake.

It was a good lesson to learn for next time, and a reminder that hubris was a man's folly.

Thad removed and carefully folded his hakama ritualistically, then left the holodeck. It was time for his next duty shift...and probably another dose of humility.

Ensign Thad Walker
Assistant Chief of Security/Tactical
USS Harbinger


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