Log Mundy, 51116-2237

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    Adele Mundy

    Personal Log, Lt. Sr. Adele Mundy, TSN Lancer, 2nd Flt., 4th Lt. Div.
    Stardate: 51116-2237

    Exercises at the Edgefield Camp. Planet gravity, planet atmosphere (insects! Stars around, there were little fruit flies!), the smell of autumn leaves in the rain, planet food… and intense concentration, among a mix of veteran officers and new recruits.

    The most interesting exercises, in my opinion, were the ones that went completely away from a military setting, only to reveal, at the end, that they were prompting questions of relevance to any officer, about power, privilege and responsibility.

    I took part in a scenario where the participants took on the roles of the sons and daughters of Oedipus and Jocasta, and were presented with Creon on the throne, the possibility of deposing him, and the choice of which sibling to raise to the throne in his stead. I had a character who was set up to be a Priestess (once a Science Officer, always a Science Officer… the skill of prophecy was basically a set of somewhat unreliable and difficult to interpret sensors) and had no interest in the throne other than to throw Creon off it. It turns out she also had access, unexpectedly, to seven armies, whose presence was instrumental in exiling the murderous sibling who stabbed Creon in his sleep and then attempted to kill another sibling in order to secure his access to power. And, with the backing of those armies, she/I was also able to place her/my choice for monarch on the throne. So, chalk one up for king-making; and for reflections about what power entails, and what I would and would not do for it.

    In another scenario, where again all the characters were royal, and the situation, set firmly in a fantasy realm, apparently required the sacrifice of a royal scion in order to bring the realm back into physical being (don’t ask, Computer. The laws of physics most definitely did not apply.) I discovered that I was prepared to take on that role. I mean, I know it wasn’t a real death. It meant giving up the chance to rule, which, as the eldest daughter, I was in line for, so, in a way, it meant losing the power game before the end of the allotted time, so that everybody else could win. It also meant breaking a deadlock where everyone would have faded into ghosts if nothing was done. And it’s given me some more things to think about.

    The exercise I ran saw a small trader ship whose crew had just lost its captain (and its ship’s doctor, just to make life interesting). The crew were on the trail of some nefarious goings on, so they had to decide whether to proceed without a captain, or choose one. I was quite pleased with the way they went about the process, putting forward candidates, discussing their suitability, and finally coming to a consensus decision. What they don’t know is that one of their members harbours a deep grudge against four of them, and an even stronger grudge against another, and is plotting their destruction… What will they do when she puts all her pieces in play?

    There were also light-hearted moments during that exercise, in which the new captain was prevented from taking part in her favourite pastime, bar fighting, because it wasn’t deemed sufficiently “captainy”; she sulked, and she then orchestrated another bar fight as cover for a crew member exchanging information with someone from a rival ship, with the excuse that if the fight is planned, then it counts as strategic, and thinking strategically is very “captainy”. I’m not sure the term is going to transfer back to the duty shifts.

    And we had an exercise that involved actual sailing of an actual boat on real, actual water! Be still, my heart! Whitecaps and red “kelp”, creatures that looked much like sea lions (a little larger, I think, and striped. A mutated import or a local life form? I need to look that up) on shore, a stiff cold wind, the smell of the sea, the thrumming of the stays, the slap of the sails at each tack… it was over too soon. As for the blisters on my hands, that’s what nu-skin is for, and even if they take a while to heal, who cares? I haven’t been so soaked through, and so cold, since the time I went sailing to Peregrine Island during the Christmas break, with the Winter King and his minions out in force… Bliss. It made the hot buttered rum in the Edgefield bar afterwards even more delicious.

    More team-building exercises next shift (121116), then back to the Black on 191116. I wonder what the Division found around that gas giant, and if anything interesting was lurking in the nebula after all. Perhaps I can access some of the official mission reports. Computer, get me the ships’logs for 121116-2237. Time for some homework.


    //There are some OOC stories to be told here! As far as I can tell, you were engaged in something that’s a cross between improv and larping.

    Adele Mundy

    //There are, but I try not to froth about games to people who weren’t in them, so I co-opted the games as training exercises. It was AmberCon NorthWest, a mostly diceless RPG convention held every year in early November in McMenamin’s Edgefield Hotel, outside Portland OR. I played six games and ran one – a Firefly scenario that’s now in its tenth year. I have pages of notes to remind me what happened in previous episodes, and barely need to prepare anything new because the players have stirred up so much trouble for themselves in the past, they are still dealing with its consequences.

    Blaze Strife

    //Love to see inclusion of OOC content as IC content. 😀

    Adele Mundy

    Personal Log, supplemental:

    Apparently, it is The Immemorial Custom of the Service that every time personnel goes planetside, they catch some kind of lurgy. Medical science is amazing, and all that, but can it prevent the Common Cold? No, it cannot. That’s why it’s still voiddammned common. I suppose living in such a clean environment on base and on ships makes us all much more susceptible to the viruses that still plague human populations, but dammit, I hate being quarantined, and I suspect I may have to wear suit and helmet for this shift, just to keep the rest of the crew safe.

    //Thanks, Blaze. It struck me after the Con that several of the game scenarios were really examinations of what it means to take power, to have power, and to exercise power; with all the moral implications that go with that. And there we were, just thinking we were having fun!



    Adele Mundy

    //Don’t worry, if the Thebes game continues next year I intend to:
    1) make my advice indispensable to our brother/sister the king
    2) prophesy his/her downfall (there are in-game reasons why that would happen, involving magic, shapeshifting, and a werewolf… it’s complicated)
    3) put our brother the general and warrior in charge of my armies to defend the city from our brother the exiled regicide, and possibly from our brother the dark sorcerer with the talking Strormbringer-like black sword… it’s complicated)
    4) keep a sharp look-out for our sister/brother the Dionysian priest with the winged sandals, who might be up to anything… (it’s complicated)
    5) prophesy who is going to win
    6) make sure the prophecy comes true
    7) see how many of us die
    8) make a long speech about it
    9) therefore, by living to tell the tale, continue being the power behind the throne. Which is a much safer place to be than the throne itself.

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