Reply To: Jump drive ship training

Terran Stellar Navy Forums (OOC) Division Development Jump drive ship training Reply To: Jump drive ship training


Adele Mundy was there when the brainstorm for using “facing” instead of “mark” came up, although I forget who exactly suggested that. Feil and I (with others) gave it a trial run, and it works very well, without any ambiguity. I’ve since updated my jump drive training documents to prefer that. I left in “mark” as some crews are using that.

Terminology in a jump ship crew is crucial. While most jumps can tolerate some delay and shuffling on the crew’s part, there is no time whatsoever to spare when the ship starts to take damage. If the ship loses its jump drive, there’ll be mere seconds to get to the lifepods. If it doesn’t have enough energy to jump, its equally dead.

The “words” used have to be absolutely consistent, unique to the task, explicitly ordered, and fanatically drilled. The “jump” process has to move from conscious thought to automatic, unerring, lightning speed response. Even if the only time that degree of crew skill is needed is when the ship starts to take damage and is being overwhelmed.

The words have to bypass any need for translation/comprehension, because while that translation is fast, it’s still a fraction of a second of additional time. For example, “mark 2-4-5” (context has to be translated – “mark” has been used in other ways – “jump on my mark”). “heading” or “direction” or “bearing” (did science mean heading or bearing? these terms in a warp ship are the same thing and people have been using them interchangeably for so long that helm will have to decipher it, and the potential for science-error is high).

The words have to be clearly distinguishable and cut through other cross-chatter. A jump ship should be noisy, and not just when its crew is partying with several cases of rum. Everyone should be calling out what they are doing and when they are done, so the engineer can appropriately issue and cut power. Every tick of energy should be hoarded for that sudden emergency jump. If the syllables for the jump can be confused with other less critical functions, there’s a chance the automatic-response will be delayed with “did I just hear jump hot or beams hot; can everyone shut up a moment so I can hear?”

As I said in the “mark” vs. “facing” debate, I don’t particularly care what terms are used (well, outside of the above litany of “absolutely consistent, unique to the task, explicitly ordered, and fanatically drilled”). Each captain and crew will find out what works best for their ship and crew; no amount of my desire for interchangeable, trained jump-drive crewmen will ever change that.