On the events of AD 2101.
kitten   September 5, 2002

We have only fragments of data regarding the events of a particular fateful day, a day which will live in infamy and be heralded by future historians as one of the most critical turning points in history. However, despite the small quantity of information available, thousands of people from around the globe, both professional and laypersons alike, have speculated, analyzed, discussed, and evaluated the situation and its surrounding circumstances - this is evidenced by the countless number of charts, diagrams, computer-enhanced audio and visual records, and the like.

As we all know, or should know, in AD 2101, war was beginning. The most substantial information regarding the war comes from a recorded transmission from an unknown ship commanded by Captain. The communication suggests that Captain's ship and it's fate were the impetus for the war itself.

Captain is on patrol in an unspecified sector of space, when a catastrophic explosion rips through his craft. "What happen ?" he demands of his crew. Clearly, the explosion was not expected or anticipated. It is not until Mechanic answers that we get a clear picture of the situation: "Someone set up us the bomb."

I wish to draw attention to Mechanic's careful wording during his reply. He states that "someone" has set up them the bomb, failing to name a specific source. Surely, by AD 2101, spacegoing vessels have some sort of sensor technology that would enable Mechanic to identify the attacker in a more clear manner than this, but he chooses not to. It is my suspicion that Mechanic is a saboteur, a double-agent of sorts. He deliberately avoids using the sensor array to identify the attacker, a task which any competent officer should be able to accomplish. Some may argue that the sensor cluster may be inoperative for whatever reason, but this only casts further suspicion on Mechanic and his motives, for as the ship's engineer it is his duty to maintain the upkeep on such devices.

However, we must also question Captain's competency. Standard procedure for any ship patrolling in any sector during wartime is to maintain general alert. Why did Captain not have his sensors running to begin with, that he might have detected the unknown attacker before being set up the bomb? Such an effort would have allowed him to avoid being set up the bomb, or perhaps discover that the sensors were not functioning, which would have allowed Captain to investigate Mechanic. But instead, he chooses to wander blindly through space during wartime conditions, displaying a defensive posture approaching that of Teletubbies.

Captain does not even have the sense to turn his sensors and viewscreens on after being set up the bomb. He leaves it to his crew of questionable character to engage these devices; when Operator states that "We get signal," it is Operator himself who orders "Main screen turn on", and not Captain.

It is vital to note that although Operator announces he is engaging main screen, the signal he refers to actually appears via some sort of holoprojector and not a screen. Why the ruse from Operator? Is he, too, a traitor like Mechanic? I find this unlikely: the trickery would be exposed as soon as the signal comes in, and Operator would gain nothing by having lied about it. I suspect that Operator is merely a moron.

At this point, the signal is obtained, and it becomes clear that Captain recognizes his attacker: "It's you !!" he cries out, apparently overcome with the rapidly unfolding series of events.

The attacker, who appears to be a human with various cybernetic implants (including a Voice Modulation Device, as provided by extensive audio enhancement of these records), identifies himself only as Cats. Once the transmission linkage has been established, Cats queries, "How are you gentlemen !!"

Some would say that Cats is showing a great deal of respect for Captain and his crew by posing this question, not unlike the suave (if arrogant) demeanor of many a James Bond nemesis. I must take issue with this suggestion. Cats is obviously engaging in a bit of gloating here, and posing this question only helps to solidify the fact that he is in control of the situation. He has already set up Captain's ship the bomb, and therefore does not need to inquire as to their condition.

Before Captain can reply, however, Cats continues: "All your base are belong to us." This is crucial to understanding Cats' methodology in battle. Obviously he did not seize control of all the base in between the time of setting up the bomb and now - therefore, he had already captured all the base before setting up them the bomb. It is also worthy to note that Cats employs both stealth and cunning, but not without a bit of dishonor: He establishes communication with Captain only after crippling Captain's ship, rather than declaring formal hostilities beforehand.

Cats makes his intentions clear when he explains, "You are on the way to destruction." He has already deprived Captain's ship of power, and when he swings back around, he means to deprive Captain of his life. Captain is visibly upset by this; as he holds a hand to his forehead and curls the other into a fist to show his anguish, he cries "What you say !!"

Cats is less than impressed with Captain, who is rapidly disintegrating into an emotional heap rather than attending to the matter at hand. One wonders how such a man obtained a command position within his fleet in the first place. At any rate, Cats cuts short Captain's drama-queen routine and declares, "You have no chance to survive make your time," as if by way of clarifying his earlier remark.

The ship-to-ship communication ends abruptly when Cats decides he has had enough fun tormenting Captain, and with a parting shot - "HA HA HA HA..." - kills the two-way transmission.

By this time, Captain has regained a bit of his composure, or so it initially seems. Captain draws a sharp breath and orders his weapon systems engaged. "Take off every 'zig'," he orders. I wish to stress this: Captain orders that every 'zig' be taken off. Not one, not half, not most, but every 'zig' is to be taken off. Apparently Captain is not as mentally composed as he seemed. While it seems likely that Cats is indeed the attacker, Captain makes no effort to confirm this, nor does he attempt to contact his superiors to determine whether or not Cats' claim to all the base is legitimate. All Captain knows is that his ship has been set up the bomb, and he has no further information other than Cats claiming credit for it; now we find him sending every weapon he has hurtling off into space at an enemy he can't even see because main screen has been turned off.

Captain's next utterance seems to be one of reassurance: "You know what you doing." Given the emotional and mental state of Captain, as well as witnessing his prior decisions, one wonders if he is addressing his crew, or himself.

"Move 'zig'," orders Captain. He does not even wait to see what effect taking off every 'zig' will have before moving them. At this point I am seriously considering the possibility that Captain is on the verge of losing his mental faculties completely, but he surprises me with his follow-up: "For great justice."

Captain realizes that his situation is almost hopeless and he has little (or zero, if you ask Cats) chance for survival. He further realizes that most, if not all, of this could have been avoided had he paid attention to protocol and procedure and displayed even a tiny bit of sense. Captain knows that he is to blame for this atrocity, so he reaches deep into his bag of tricks and comes up with his Great Justice line.

You see, if his 'zig' stratagem works, he will be hailed as a hero. But if, as is more likely, he is on the way to destruction, these words will be remembered and he will become a martyr. Either way, he wins - he will keep his pride and dignity no matter what the outcome, and possibly his own life.

The events of AD 2101 are complex and their ramifications far-reaching, able to chill the blood of even the most steadfast of heart: An inept Captain, a subtle saboteur, implications of incompetence and possible mutiny, theft and destruction, and a cunning adversary behind it all.