The Captains Job

“So.  What is your job on this ship?”  Mike asked after the dishes had been cleared from the ‘wardroom’. 

She had a hard face and looked at him as though considering where to hit him first.  “I am the gunnery officer.  Since you be a podder you might not remember what that is.  I aim and fire, maintain, reload . . . In other words I and my team service the guns.”

Sighing, Mike looked her right in the eye and asked softly. “Why do you assume I don’t know about how the guns are kept and fired?”

“You podders always act as though you were he only lives that mattered on a ship.  It takes a desperate or foolish astrotech to sign onto a capsuleer commanded ship.  Life expectancies are short.  Doesn’t matter what the pay is if you are dead at the end of the job.”  She jerked a thumb to the woman listening quietly at the end of the table.  “Now our Captain, she works hard to keep us all alive since she hasn’t got some other body waiting is she screws up.”

Mike looked over to the Captain who just nodded at him. 

The Gunnery officer went on.  “Have you wondered why the trip back to base is taking so long?  Our nav officer is trying to track down some sort of virus in our systems.”

Mike sat up straighter. “What sort of virus?”

“Odd power fluctuations. Cannot keep the CPU cycles up long enough to be sure of good nav data so we are slowboating it the old fashioned way. Taking sightings and our time about it.”

“Captain,”  Mike looked down the table concern apparent in his voice.  “What is the value of this ship?”

“Almost 1 million isk.”  She said, expression not changing except for a slight tension around the eyes.

That stopped Mike for a moment but he shook it off.  “Who owns it?  You? The bank? Or some corp?”

“A bank holds the mortgage and we get shares, the officers and crew.  Why.”

Mike was tapping on his comm furiously while she answered.  He slid at down the table to her without saying a word.

Taking it up she read it, blinked, then read it again.  “Why?”

“I think what got my ship has infected yours.  We need to abandon ship and I don’t want you hesitating out of some misplaced fiscal motivation.”  He looked back to the Gunner.  “Maybe so, Cherie, maybe some podders have begun to lose touch with who and what they were, once.  But not all of us.  And not this one.  Captain?”

Calm eyes looked from the comm to him.  “You doubled the value I quoted.”

“Hesitation may cost lives.  Please, ma’am.  Accept the contract and start the evac before it is too late.” Mike leaned forward. “I have not forgotten that there are people on these ships.  Never have, never will.”

She held his eyes for a moment and then nodded, tapped his comm a few times and then touched her own,  “Good news and bad news, kids.  Good news is the ship is paid off and we all get a nice bonus. Bad news is you have 15 minutes to pack and evac. Not a drill.  Move it.”  She looked at Mike. “Now you own two dead ships.  Starting a collection?

Mike grinned. “Mark them as hazardous, register it with the local authorities and call in a new towing op for the pair. I REALLY want to know just what the hell is going on.”

************************************

Lessons

Fun exercise, look at your ship losses and figure out how many crew members have experienced the full depth of your skills or lack of there in.

Oh prizes are coming.  comment for a chance at a random gift. Any post in the last four days or the next three to qualify

Fly it like you won it

m

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11 Responses to The Captains Job

  1. I’m really enjoying this story arc you have going here, I hope there is more. I might just write something similar, help to explain my characters view on ship crews as mentioned on my characters wiki entry. This aspect of the Eve Universe has always fascinated me

    • mikeazariah says:

      This arc has been born of conversations with people in the gh channel. I really have to exrend compkiments and credit where credit is due but I do not have my notes here with me

      m

  2. Nonous says:

    I could swear the starting missions mention that the capsuleer is special because they can hardwire and control the ship without crew. Obviously untrue, but how much crew is on each ship?

  3. katsuko says:

    From what I understand, the primary advantage of a pod, at least as far as perpetuating a person after death goes, is that a pod can take a brain snapshot at the precise moment of a person’s death in the controlled conditions necessary to make a reliable snapshot, ensuring that no experience is lost and making the occupant functionally immortal so long as the system properly functions.

    That means a pod isn’t required to take a brain snapshot; it can in fact probably be done more cheaply and reliably in a lab. And while a brain snapshot causes massive brain damage, and thus is functionally fatal regardless of where it’s performed, there’s no limit to the number of times a snapshot may be used after it’s taken. That means it should be technically possible to preserve ship crew, for those willing to spend the ISK to do so.

    For example, a new officer of a capsuleer-piloted ship’s company creates a personnel file before he first boards. In the process, a snapshot of his mind is taken and put into storage. Though his prior body is destroyed, a new one is immediately created and imprinted with the file’s data. At certain intervals, the file is updated, so that the brain data on file is never too out of date. Should he go down with his ship, the capsuleer will be able to order a new clone for that officer and imprint it with that officer’s mind. In fact, a capsuleer might prefer that his crew always go down with the ship, and thus not include any escape pods or survival equipment — rather, a capsuleer can order that his previous crew be resurrected wholesale as part of his replacement ship. There are some moral issues involved, but the general concept seems to work for the setting.

    The idea isn’t my own, but originally came from Glen Cook’s The Dragon Never Sleeps.

  4. Lightstar says:

    I’m enjoying this storyline, new perspective.

  5. Keilidh says:

    I’ve always wondered on that one. I knew there were numbers on crew sizes, but I’d thought running crewless (nanos and automation) was an option. I imagine it’s a serious concern though. And I haven’t a clue who would actually sign onto a Capsuleer’s ship. Insanity!

  6. Deth Delkanara says:

    In years past, regardless of good or bad times, people have signed on to ships for adventure, money or just to escape whatever. No matter if it was blockade runners, merchant ships, fishing fleets, privateers or just plain pirates, people of all walks of life have sought out what’s on the other side of the horizon. In a galaxy of trillions, why would this drive to explore, do go farther, to do more or simply to get away from whatever fade?

    Consider that it may be possible that the normal, non-capsuleer crew, have clones or might if they are wealthy enough, just that they only get updates when they chose too instead of at the instant of death and so they do lose memories, skills and so on. Also consider that no matter the danger and hardship, there will always be crews of people who seek adventure, fame and fortune doing what others consider insane. It might also be the case that life is cheap in a galaxy of thousands of planets and when you really consider the total numbers on that scale, not all that many people really are dying at any one point in time.

    It does make you think about the whole concept of the video game reset button. How would people play games if there wasn’t a reset button? If every time you died, you died and had to make a new character, how would you play differently? How would you mission, rat, PvP differently if you knew that every time you got podded, you were gone and started over? In WWI pilots didn’t have much way out and those that survived were afforded great respect and respected each other. In WWII, pilots that were known to shoot parachutes were somewhat disdained and if identified by the enemy, singled out. In modern war, most people try not to shoot parachutes, how would that change if you were immortal?

    I imagine it would be a very very different game if you had to start over from scratch if you got podded.

    Thanks for the story line, thanks for the thought provoking questions and thank you for taking your time to entertain and broaden horizons. It certainly has made me think about the line between capsuleer and real life.

    Deth

    • mikeazariah says:

      My daughter and I are playing another video game and have our own rules of death is absolute. Being dragon-born means something more if you have to be a careful one. Oh and the game is set to highest level of difficulty.

      I agree, for ever risky endeavor there are people willing to step up and try, not for the money but for the adventure.

      m

  7. Zzzzleepyhead says:

    Hmmm… Since I’m kind of new to this business I’ve only gotten about 7-13 members of my own crew killed (I don’t count NPC-losses since I count them as suicide missions and don’t bring any crew aboard. Which might be why I lose ships doin’ them)

    Excellent blog!

    Merry holidays and happy Christmas!
    -Zzzzleepy

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