Flight of Fancy
The SCA on board the USS Enterprize NCC-1701-D
by Dagonell Collingwood

After watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I got to wondering. What would the SCA be like in a tech-oriented society like that?

The Enterprize has a crew of about 450 plus their families, call it 1500 total. It's unlikely that as much as 10% of the entire population would be involved in the SCA so the group would have to be a barony, not a kingdom. However, it could have a canton on every deck of the ship. Events would be held in one of the holodecks, of course.

"Computer ... I want a sunny day during an English summer in the country ... Now a castle with a drawbridge ... Now add the flags and banners with our barony's device ... Fine. Over there, I want a jousting field with horses in barding grazing nearby ... and an arming pavilion close by ... English please, not French ... and scatter a few pavilions of various styles here and there in the distance. Thank you."

Rhino-hiding would be a thing of the past. A gambeson with a network of impact sensors would be worn under the armor. When a good blow lands with a certain minimum lbs/sq in of force, the gambeson would tingle to inform the fighter he'd lost the use of that limb. If the network was monitored by the central computer, an indicator could light up on the marshall's baton.

Garb would be a conflict of interest. The computer is capable of generating any costumes or props needed for one of the Star Trek scenarios. On the other hand, one of the main interests in the SCA is making things by hand, instead of using mass produced items, let alone computer generated ones. The solution is to use the computer as a tool to locate and reproduce period manuscripts from its memory banks. It could also generate bolts of fabric. Actual construction of the garb can be done by hand. For those who TRULY hate sewing, the holodeck computer can provide anyone in mundane garb with the illusion of a simple T-tunic as to help keep the medieval atmosphere. Except of course, for Worf. I can't picture him as anything but a Mongol warrior! If you want anything fancier than a T-tunic, make it!

Events would be more relaxed for everyone. No more driving long distances in bad weather. The ship's elevator can bring you from the farthest point on the ship to the holo-decks in less than two minutes. You could even attend events in other baronies whenever two ships dock at the same star base! No one would have to slave over a hot stove. Food dispensers would do all the cooking. From period recipes, too! The holodeck could even provide buxom flirtateous serving wenches to dish it out. And a few muscular serving knaves for the ladies to flirt with, of course. You'd never have to worry about washing dishes, or running out of mushrooms. Of course, for those who like to cook, you can make your special dish in one of the rec kitchens and bring it to the event.

Atmosphere at feasts would be nearly ideal. No more gymnasiums with basketball hoops and glow in the dark exit signs. Instead, a real Burgundian castle in the middle of winter, complete with cold drafts, flickering torches, and cobwebs in the ceiling corners. No more excuses for not having a banner. The computer can generate for anyone's passed device, a 2' x 3' banner in muted heraldic colors. Want one larger or glossier? Make it!

Event sites would be elegant, the ambiance medieval, the food delicious, and the work minimal. We'd all be free to relax and enjoy our favorite hobby ... discussing computers and D&D.

Coming Soon : Flight of Fancy II - A Duke in the White House

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