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From: Thomas Barclay of the Clan Barclay <kaladorn@h...>
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 16:40:08 -0500
Subject: Ro'kah

Mr. Anderson say:

5) Subliminal voice triggered Ro'kah

> What does each offer?

5) doesn't require introduction of paranormal effects into an otherwise
hard-sf background (personally, i find it distasteful to bring in psi
effects unless we absolutely have to);

** But we have it. In the sense that humans and predators in RL have a
"sixth sense". I'm not talking GW Psykers here. I'm just talking a
factor which probably encompasses chemical, vocal, audial, magnetic,
electrical, etc. senses to produce a rather specialized 6th sense. If
you've ever been close to a large cat, you get a feeling from him, a
vibe. Large predators all have a sense. It's just like how, if you stare
at the back of a sentry intensely enough, he's likely to turn around. He
just gets a crawly feeling. I've experienced this effect - it isn't more
than somewhat reliable, but it exists. This was the kind of
extra-sensory phenomena I was talking about. Not extra-sensory now that
i think about it - more supersensory - that is to say your subconscious
processing all the little bits of data not noticeable to the conscious
mind and doing something with that. Combine this with an adrenal system
that goes ballistic under threat conditions (mellows with age, mellows
with training, some might be immune like the humans who never shake
during a fight from adrenalin - they're cool as cucumbers) and you have
Ro'kah. No *psi* involved.

isn't affected by being in a sealed
suit / fighter / afv; isn't affected by closing one's eyes (as body
language would be); works over audio-only comms links

** The way you've suggested it though, I can't see why it would fit with
the phenomena loosely described by Jon (which is where this whole
thought starts and ends). We know it affects them in small and large
groups, moreso in more intense/closer situations. Less so in AFVs and in
ships, though the larger the ship, and presumably the more isolation,
the less excited they get. Plus.... as Beth pointed out one time to
me....why do we always assume other races have spoken language? I like
the idea, but there are other choices.	Your mechanic sounds (to me)
almost like an on-off switch that the commander uses (or the Purple or
the Sia'na). And having said that, would be VERY easy for the humans to
harness. And having said that, would have probably been overcome or
defended against by the technically advanced KV long since.

** But I'd be interested to hear more. I'm open to other thoughts.
Ultimately, I want to describe this phenomena within the following
    1) To fit with Jon's cannon
    2) To make the KV an ornery bunch when cornered, wounded, or
    3) To give the KV a predatory flare
    4) To make the KV not brainless berserkers since they'd never have
made it to space if they were - give them methods to control this
    5) Keep in mind SG2 and DS2 and FT - all have differing issues. A
single Sia'na can't be the only way to calm Ro'kah or in SG2 terms, your
formation is done... the various officers and NCOs have to have SOME
chance to do this. Otherwise you have created a mindless berserker where
tactics aren't relevant because the dice will often take it out of your
hands - the opposite of what SG2 and DS2 are about. And FT has different
challenges and rules.
    6) To give the KV a special ability/characteristic that makes them
interesting, powerful in places, but is a disadvantage in others - no
Uber Aliens, but no mindless uncontrolable hordes either
    7) To give the KV a trait which is not immediately and obviously
exploitable by humans. THIS alone makes a Ro'Kah triggered from a single
source or easily turned on or off to be a great evolutionary liability.
You really need something that is (and makes sense being) not yet fully
understood by the KV themselves despite a long history and advanced
technology and thought and which is something which adds depth to their
character rather than detracting from it by making them 2 dimensional.

** Any modus operandi that fits these criterion would be more than
acceptable. I too have a distaste for "space opera" and "unobtainium".
But even hard sci-fi can include things that are complex and multi
layered to the point of originating from no one defineable clear cause.

"Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the gun." - Ash, Army of Darkness

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