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Ben Somerset

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Everything posted by Ben Somerset

  1. Ben Somerset

    UC Dev Status - Ship it or give it another month?

    This is a very disappointing situation. Trying to get a game into replication, in the boxes, and on the shelves in 4 days is near impossible. Aside from putting a game that won't work in a few weeks on the shelves will seriously damage DC's rep. I find it somewhat ironic that the SC's sig is amusing, and yet true at the same time. At least the SC has gotten pretty good at navigating said mine-field.
  2. Ben Somerset

    UC Dev Status - Ship it or give it another month?

    This is a very disappointing situation. Trying to get a game into replication, in the boxes, and on the shelves in 4 days is near impossible. Aside from putting a game that won't work in a few weeks on the shelves will seriously damage DC's rep. I find it somewhat ironic that the SC's sig is amusing, and yet true at the same time. At least the SC has gotten pretty good at navigating said mine-field.
  3. Ben Somerset

    An update on my life.

    You still have my best wishes in what is obviously still a difficult period of your life. It's good to see that you're taking a stand against your ex. You have to remember that you haven't done anything to precipitate this except what you believe is right and just. I agree that you shouldn't hate your ex for her actions, I do feel that it is all right to feel frustrated and confused about why she would do some of the things she has done. The best thing to do now is just look back with the good memories with fondness, and the bad ones as the past which is done and gone. She's got her own life to live, and she's no longer your responsibility. She had her chance to take your advice and heed it, and instead she threw it back in your face. Thank her for letting you speak your piece, then turn around and walk down the new path life has chosen for you without her. Yes, the lonely road can be lonely sometimes but remember that you have companions on your journey. Your friends will be there to back you up, and your children will be there with you every step of the way. While your ex may be back there in the dust, leave her there. The past belongs in the past. Even if the past was happier than the present. Once we've left it behind we cannot ever get it back. The hardest life lesson any of us can learn is to recognize we've done all we can, and to let go. As people, we like to cling to that which is comfortable and familiar, even if that hurts us in the end. While it hurts more to start out with, letting go is what helps us the most in the end. It's hard to turn our back on something that we once held most dear, but at times it is the only option available that is in our best interests. No matter what she says, you've done right by yourself and your children. Not even she can take that away from you. Don't let her. Just remember to stick to your guns, and that there is one thing more important to you than her, and any possibility of resuming a relationship. Your kids should take first priority, and no one is going to blame you for that. Good luck on that job, and congrats on taking a stand when it was most important for you to do so. I probably haven't been the first to say this, and I probably won't be the last. Your ex doesn't deserve someone with the prescence of mind, selflessness and dedication that it is obvious you have. Take heart in the fact that you are a good man who is trying his hardest to do what's best for those he holds most dear. That is the mark of a truly good person.
  4. Ben Somerset

    An update on my life.

    My best wishes go out to you and your children during what sounds like a very difficult time. I hope that in the end everything works out well for you. Though she would probably have an anuerism if you suggested it, your ex-wife could probably use some professional help. She could have a manic-depressive or bi-polar disorder. If you didn't have kids together, my suggestion would be to run like hell from her and don't stop. Having some personal experience with someone who has a bi-polar disorder getting away from the situation and staying away was the best thing I could do. Of course, I never had serious feelings about her, and it didn't bother me one bit reaming her in front of a large crowd when she tried to interfere in my life after I made it clear I didn't want her in it. Give her some time and space and maybe she'll figure out that she has a problem and do something about it. Otherwise, it's a situation that I'd want to deal with as little as possible, with as much distance as I could manage. That's just me, though.
  5. Ben Somerset

    State of the Union

    quote:Originally posted by Steve Schacher: English resentment eventually led to the War of 1812 in America.The War of 1812 didn't actually come about because of English resentment of the US. It came about because of US resentment of England. Because America was still trading with both the English and the French, the English decided to begin capturing US merchant ships, confiscating them and their cargo so their supplies could not be used to support the French. In addition they also began impressing US merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, giving the "reason" that those merchant sailors were "former English citizens", no matter that the US had been an independent nation for almost thirty years by that point. This angered the American government, and along with other reasons caused the US to eventually declare war against England in 1812.
  6. Ben Somerset

    The shadows part

    I'm still around, just been busy with finals work and the holidays. Still awaiting MP time...when the gloves finally get to come off.
  7. Ben Somerset

    Design a ship!

    quote:Originally posted by Kartoffel: Humm... What I would want would be something like an overgrown cruiser, designed for interception/ambushing... 1.75 - 2 KP/S 6-8 single mount turrets 150/350 rating 2x main guns, 40km range, recharge time of 150ms or so 30-60s transit time 45s recharge time 1500 shields, 1000 armor 20/25/20 PRY 1/200 radar range 8/8 officers 4/4 pilots 5/5 sysengs 2/2 fenengs 5/5 medics 10/10 marines 2x Starmonk 1x Shuttle mk1 No ground craft 2x cargo bays, 3500 2x weapon bays, 1500 1000/25000 Radine tank 500/5000 Plutonium tank 0/5000 Iridium tank Anyone have thoughts on this?This looks almost like a perfect example of a light cruiser. Light cruisers are typically slightly less armed than a cruiser, have less armor, but are faster and more manuverable. In order for this to fit the CL description, however, the ship would need to have less fuel bunkerage (comparable to heavy cruisers) minus the fighters. Right now, it looks like it could be classified as a light carrier (think WWII "Jeep carriers"). Of course, you could do both with different class names. The CL would be perfect for screening large formations and the CVL would be excellent at convoy escort. I've had a couple of ideas of my own concerning this as well. Resolution class Heavy Carrier The previous battlecruiser classes were determined to be equipped with substandard offensive and defensive systems. The RESOLUTION-class remedies these problems with the addition of 5 PTA turrets and 2 IOD main guns, this ship has been transformed into a battle cruiser with weaponry comparable to that of a larger super carrier with greater speed, but lesser armor. This makes the class is well suited for long-duration independent operations or as the center of large group formations. With the improved offensive and defensive systems, the RESOLUTION-II can now stand up to the heaviest of battles and survive. Where previously an encounter with a STORMCARRIER was considered near suicide in a battlecruiser, the chances of the RESOLUTION coming out with the upper hand are far greater. Armament: 4 IOD/Range: 28.5km/Recharge time 375ms 4 Twin mounted turrets (8 in all) Performance: Hyper Drive/80 sec Transit/110 sec Recharge Time Max Speed: 1.30 kps Pitch: 13 Degrees/sec Roll: 15 Degrees/sec Yaw: 17 Degrees/sec Protection: Shield: 2000 Armor: 2750 Fuel/cargo storage: Cargo Bay (x2): 7000 each Weapons Bay (x2): 2500 each Radine Tank: 25000 Plutonium Tank: 10000 Iridium Tank: 10000 Support Craft: 4 Phantom 4 Shuttle MkI 2 ATV 2 HAV Crew: 8 Officers 8 Pilots 10 Sengineers 10 Fengineer 10 Medics 20 Marines Capacity for 10 guests and 10 prisoners I'd love to make it myself, but I have no shipyard. 3DS Max and a new computer to run it with just isn't in my budget for the forseeable future. Perhaps one of these days.
  8. Ben Somerset

    System Damage (for no reason)

    Besides, I think that random system damage should be par for the score. No ship I know of goes without some kind of mechianical difficulty all the time. So, a system failure here and there shouldn't be anything to really worry about. Unless of course, you're in the middle of a fight with a Stormcarrier and your IOD goes out. ;-)
  9. Ben Somerset

    Thanks for all the fish ;)

    All of my best hopes and wishes go with you, Tyrn. I for one am glad to see a person who is willing to go that extra mile for their spouse and children. It's far too rare these days. I hope to see you return soon, and in between now and then, may God go with you.
  10. Ben Somerset

    Discussion - Ship System Upgrades

    I've got a few suggestions and comments of my own. 1. I really like the idea of a cloaking device that produces less radiation, but chews up more iridium. 2. New missiles would definitely be a plus. The ideas I liked the most are for Weapons Bay upgrades that would allow for multiple launches, or faster launch times, and high speed low damage missile combined with FATAL that could deal with incoming fighters. 3. EMD missile. That way you could jam incoming missiles without losing the ability to shoot at hostiles yourself. A heavy missile with 750+ damage would also make for a much more threatening combat environment. 4. A reactor upgrade that could generate over 100 units of power, but would use more Radine, and have a higher chance of catastrophic failure (blow up the ship) if severely damaged. 5. An upgraded transporter that can hold more personnel. 6. Tactical Computer upgrade that would allow the CC to target and engage incoming missiles either with PTA or FATAL system. 7. An upgraded hyperdrive that would allow for long distance jumps (6+ regions) but would take a long time to recharge. Normal hyperspace travel would be unaffected by the upgrade. This would allow for surprise attacks behind enemy lines, but if it went bad retreat would be extremely difficult. 8. An artifact that would prohibit hyperspace travel within a certain radius of the CC (i.e., 500km's). 9. An upgraded cloning module that would allow for faster cloning times. Being without your CE in a bad situation can be a real pain. 10. An upgrade for the FC/SC/OC chargers for faster recharging time. 11. Airlock upgrade that would allow Resnig to be ejected from the CC more quickly. Just my 0.02 credits. [ 04-02-2002, 16:43: Message edited by: Ben Somerset ]
  11. Ben Somerset

    Requesting extended leave

    Personally, I wouldn't take Tac's advice on staying away from the nurses. They can be quite pretty, and you know they're financially established. Plus to be a nurse, you have to be at least semi-intelligent. The only downside is they stick needles in your ass. Get well soon.
  12. Ben Somerset

    Newtonian Physics vs. the SC's Physics

    While gravity may not be an energy per se, we can already manipulate gravity in the physical environment that we presently understand. By spinning a vessel or station in space, we can in effect create a type of "artificial gravity" in that we simulate the effect of what we think of as "standard gravity" on Earth. It may be possible by the 31st century that we have taken gravity manipulation to the point where we can use it to propel our ships in space. After all, look at the technological developments of the last 100 years. In 1902 the "horseless carriage" was a novel idea. Give us another 1000 years of development, and we could go anywhere. We have to remember that there are aspects of physics that we 1)Don't understand yet and 2)Have not discovered their existence. In my mind, a gravity based drive would be a reasonable answer to our questions. We don't need to know precisely how it works, and we can create technobabble to describe it if we so desire (which was the basis of the ST:TNG Technical Manual). There is also a slight basis that the ships do use a gravity based drive system. In the parts list is an item listed as the "Gravity Stabilizer" (part #146). Why would a ship need a grav stabilizer if the ship's gravity were always stable? A gravity drive would distort the local grav field around a ship, including internally. This part could be used to stabilize the ships internal grav field and negate any negative effects produced by the drive. quote:Originally posted by Thermidor: I don't really have a problem with the physics model in use, other than the fact that ships can stop on a dime (I imagine all of my crew are smashed to a pulp from deceleration and are instantly cloned by the ships computer).I think that the best explanation for this is an inertial compensator (or intertial damper for you Star Trek fans ;-) ). This is a device that takes the intertia created by acceleration and harmlessly disperses it. Without such a device, as you said, the crew would be smashed to a pulp. But with it, a crew can survive the acceleration involved in going from rest to thousands of kilometers per second without difficulty. An example of this I used in a RP a while back is located at this thread (toward the end of the page). It was the best explanation I had at the time, and still is. [ 02-01-2002, 01:21: Message edited by: Ben Somerset ]
  13. Ben Somerset

    Interested in joining Wraith Fleet

    Welcome aboard, Nathilus. Glad to see our ranks growing once again. :-)
  14. Ben Somerset

    BC timeline (non rp)

    Agreed there, Blades. Perhaps we should consider get a group to hammer out a timeline and propose it to the SC?
  15. That's a very nice looking VF-11 there, Vigilance. Can't wait to see it textured. BTW, how many polys is that model?
  16. quote:Originally posted by [PCA]Pheonix: The second part of your name is the county which I'm in in England Somerset County? I've always wondered where exactly in England that was... I also wonder what book I read that gave me the last name. Or what made me decide to make Somerset British. Perhaps it's because Benjamin Arthur Somerset sounds imminently British. ;-)
  17. quote:If the Gammulan empire ever wants to take over the human race I don't think anyone in GalCom wants that. Giving the Gamms ideas like that won't help us at all. Someone ought to give you a reprimand!
  18. Ben Somerset

    Ragnarok (Non RP)

    Blades, What exactly are the rules going to entail? Technology use and the like, or will it be more ship-specific things like officers duties, watch schedules, alert states, etc? I've had my own questions about this for quite some time myself. Especially about alert states. Personally "Red Alert" is just a little too cliche for me. I myself have tried to make it a little more realistic following seaborne navy styles of alert states, the four hour watches, duty log, etc. because it keeps in the naval tradition which itself has been established over hundreds of years. I like consistency, which is why this RP guide you've mentioned above will be a welcome addition to RP for me. Nothing bugs me more than inconsistency, especially in the same RP.
  19. [RP] It'd been a long time since he'd been on a long march. He noticed some of the group carrying their rifles slung across their shoulders, and wondered how often they'd seen ground combat. One learned very quickly to carry your weapon always at the ready in case you were ambushed. The first time he'd seen ground combat was in 2985. A rebellion had sprouted up on the Mars colony, and the 108th OMB was dispatched to suppress it. He'd been assigned to them as the Marine Liason Officer 4 months before, after attending the Basic school that all Marine officers attended and the Marine Parachutist school. That was something. In years not too long past the only way to get Marines into a hostile target was to have them jetpack from a shuttle flying high above the drop zone. For reasons of tradition the Marines still called them Parachutists, and his company of the 108th were among them. They dropped 720 Marines on the surface of Mars to quell the rebellion, and Somerset made his first combat jump on March 12, 2985. Before he hit the ground over 30 of the MI's were dead, and the rebels were trying to pick the Marines off as quickly as they could. After 17 days of fighting, he'd gone up again for another drop to outflank the last of the rebels who held part of a city just to the west of a mountain range. The fighting ended April 2, 4 days after he made his second jump. There were only 108 Marine casualites, Somerset among them. Two days before the fighting was over some shrapnel caught him in the back. Though he'd lived, his back wasn't ever quite the same again. He'd never been the same again. When he'd joined up he never expected to have to kill other humans in combat. The rebels had almost 700 when they started out. At the end, there were only 63 alive. Only one outcome was possible for traitors to the State, and Somerset was more than happy to attend their hangings. Something had left him that day, more so than things had left him when he was in combat. Seeing those rebels die was nothing like seeing buddies from his company be blown to bits by rebel fire or grenades. He was glad to see them pay the price for their traitorous activites. And perhaps it would show others that rebellion wasn't the way to address your problems with the government. The state had ways and means to make qualms known, and armed rebellion wasn't one of them. Which is very ironic when you think about it, isn't it Benjamin? Isn't that exactly what you're about to do now, engage in armed rebellion against the state? The more he thought about it, the more ironic the idea became. He moved the weapon slightly so he could see the energy charge in it. Old habits died hard, as he felt along his web belt for the extra clips and grenades. He lifted his left hand up to make sure that his pistol was secure on the front of his chest. Making sure it was slightly loose in the holster, he moved his hand to the strap of his pack and checked his knife there. As he marched down the path, automatically looking left and right, he hoped this was the right thing to do. He no longer had qualms with killing, he merely had qualms with dying. [/RP]
  20. Ben Somerset

    Initial Roll Call

    Commander Somerset reporting for duty as ordered, sir.
  21. Ben Somerset

    Trade Center Bldg

    We are the United States of America We, America were brutally attacked today We, the American people are in mourning And we the American people, are angry Today, the entirity of America is united in a way that has been unseen in past years. In America today, there were no colors, no races, no people from Iowa or Kentucky or Massachusets. Today, we are all Americans and nothing more. The evil people who perpetrated these acts wanted to split and divide our nation. Instead, we have come together. We have come together and we will get through this. America is no longer pervaded by I. Today we are American We are strong May the Lord God give his blessing to us all, and especially to those who have lost relatives and loved ones in todays tragedy. [ 09-11-2001: Message edited by: Ben Somerset ]
  22. Ben Somerset

    Into The Darkness-Part 1

    [RP] 4 April, 3000, 0000hrs GCV Swiftsure Neptune/Sol Eight bells softly sounded on the Swiftsure's bridge, echoing the coming of a new day. In the seat at the center of the bridge, Commander Benjamin Somerset picked up his datapad to make the log entry for the evening watch. Even though the 4 hour watch had been uneventful, the deck log didn't quite make it seem so. As he dictated to it, the words quickly appeared on the datapad's screen; 4 April 3000 Coordinated 314X217X012 20-24 Steaming as before on base course 330dg declination 25dg T, conforming to Patrol Pattern 7 at 0.85kps. Jumps at 2030 and 2230. Ship set at Condition 4, Material Conditon Alpha. Av. Reactor pressure at 42000 kilopascals. Benjamin Arthur Somerset Commander He ordered the datapad to store the entry in the log, and deactivated it. He reached to the chair's arm, and punched the button to shut down the holo displays in front of him. The HUD, NID, CVD and TacScan all disappeared as he stood. The sound of the bridge hatch swishing open caused him to turn his head. Through them stepped Soran, Swiftsure's First Officer. "Good morning, Commander," the Vesperon said in his still somewhat odd sounding accent. "Morning, Soran," he replied. "Rather quiet watch, I must say." Quiet wasn't exactly the best way to describe it. Particularly boring might have been better. The most exciting part of the watch were the two jumps the ship made as she cruised in Neptune. For the moment, the ship had been ordered to patrol the outer areas of Neptune in case there were traders attempting to smuggle off the regular shipping routes. It didn't seem likely to him, as this far off the routes was ludicrous even for smugglers. But he'd been given his orders, and a Commander of nine years and twenty years service didn't question orders. Well, almost twenty years. In another month and a half, he'd add another service stripe to his dress uniform. One thing he had appreciated was that his EarthCom service had carried over to GalCom. It had made all of those previous years of service worth something. At least, he hoped so. He shook his mind back to the present as he heard Soran say, "That is not surprising. We are in a rather...uninteresting part of space." "Indeed, Number One," Somerset said, wholeheartedly agreeing. Soran walked over to a console and punched up the deck log for the previous watch. His eyes quickly scanned the information and nodded. He turned back to face his Commander and asked, "Is there anything to discuss, sir?" "Nothing we didn't cover earlier," he said as he told his First Officer formally, "Number One, you have the watch." "Aye, aye, sir," the Vesperon said just as formally. Somerset nodded, as he turned toward the bridge hatch. It obidently slid open for him as he began the short walk to his cabin. He passed no one as he went down the corridor. With it being the midwatch, he expected most of the crew was at their posts or in their bunks. Sleep was a difficult commodity aboard a warship, even in peacetime. He fast came upon his cabin as the hatch slid open and then shut for him. With a sigh he sat down in his chair, feeling an unknown tension leave him as the sigh left his body. He knew that he should sleep as he had the forenoon watch, but his heart wasn't in it. Instead, he swung his chair toward the desk. As he did, he hit a button on the desk and waited momentarily until he heard the com beep. "Steward's mate," a slightly mechanical voice responded. "Tea to the Commander's cabin," he told the com. The voice responded "Aye, aye, sir." With a snap Somerset clicked off the com, and activated his desk terminal. If he couldn't catch up on sleep he would instead catch up on the megs of paperwork that made up as much of a Commander's duties as commanding itself did. After a time, he heard the admittance chime sound. To it he said, "Come." The hatch opened to reveal a SM droid holding a cup of tea. "Your tea, Commander," it said courteously. "Set it down here," he said indicating a coaster next to his arm. After the droid sat the Earl Grey down, he said "Thank you. Dismissed." The droid quickly came to attention, performed a very precise about face, and exited the cabin. As the hatch closed, Somerset turned back to his paperwork and hoped he could finish it before morning watch. Time passed rather quickly, and Somerset went into almost his own world as he processed the paperwork. Hours passed, bells chimed, more tea was sent to his cabin. After hours had gone by he punched up some music to listen to. Most people looked at him oddly when he told them of his musical preference. It had been introduced to him by his mentor, Angelique Trouseau. Jazz they called it, pioneered in the early and mid 20th century. She was an afficienado of the era, and had transferred that interest to her First Lieutenant. He'd programmed in a great number of songs into the computer and usually had it run those songs in a random series so there was always something different. Jazz had come and gone, reappearing from time to time over the centuries as a popular music form. The last time it had been a cultural icon was almost 150 years distant. Most people didn't listen to it any more, if they even knew what it was. The majority of humans these days were stuck on slap music. He didn't consider it music himself. Almost without his noticing it he heard two bells chime in his cabin. He glanced at the chrono on his desk, wondering how he'd managed to accomplish so much within the first hour of the watch. The chrono instead read 0500 meaning he'd worked completely through, and now had only 3 hours to sleep before returning to the bridge. In a way it was fortunate for he had only to put on the finishing touches to his report and he would be done. Those could wait until he went on watch where there was little to do other than read and do paperwork. Sighing, he drank off the last of his tea and leaned back in his chair. Slowly he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose rolling his fingers lightly along it. He stood and removed his tunic, hanging it on the chair back. Carefully he removed the undershirt and placed it on the seat of the chair. Next came his boots and socks. Afterward, he slid into his bunk and allowed the music to overtake his mind as he fell asleep. ------ 0800hrs, 4 April 3000 GCV Swiftsure Neptune/Sol Morning came far too quickly. As Somerset settled into his command chair he gave a silent prayer that he wouldn't fall asleep while on watch. Of the many things he learned at Academy one of the ones they stressed most was that falling asleep on watch was a cardinal sin. The instructors made sure the cadets knew that if they did someone would descend straight down from heaven with the express purpose of killing them. There was also the fact that he was Commander and he had an example to set for the crew. How would they react if their Commander fell alseep while he was on watch? It certainly wouldn't incline them to maintain vigilence while they were tending to their duties. So he had to stay awake. In order to do so the first thing he did after sitting down was buzzing a steward to bring some tea to the bridge. He tapped on his control console, and brought up the holo-displays around him. He picked up a datapad and checked the log for the last two watches. There wasn't much as the ship was still steaming through the nothingness of Neptune. He pulled up his reports and worked on them as the watch began to pass quietly once again. Stewards brought cup after cup of tea to him as he conned the ship through the inactive outer reaches of Neptune. In a way he almost wished that something would happen, even if it did turn out to be bad. The inactivity of these last weeks had been very trying on the crew. Under normal circumstances they'd be patrolling the major shipping routes but recently ship losses in Neptune had gone up. Fleet Command assumed that it was an increase in raider activity in the area, and ordered Swiftsure there to investigate. So far, they'd found nothing. There was no sign that any ships had been through the area recently. A few days ago they'd detected a rather large unidentifiable mass and they'd gone to investigate. What their sensors had picked up was one of the ancient probes humanity had sent out to the stars sometime during the 20th-22nd centuries. Somerset had the probe collected and studied, and requested information from Fleet Command so it could be identified. Soran had spent a great deal of time sifting through the old records but had found nothing on the probe as yet. At the moment it sat in CB1 and would probably be transferred to a Starstation for study when they made it back to port. In Somerset's mind, a warship wasn't the place to conduct research. The Swiftsure was a warship and that is what she would be through and through. The "Speedy" her crew called her. She was built by Vickers and commissioned in 2971. Over the years the heavy cruiser had lost her place as the premier ship class in EarthCom and later GalCom. That role had now moved to the Battlecruisers which were more multiroled than a CA was. Bigger ship, larger crew, and more space almost automatically made for a ship better suited for multiple duties than the aging CA's. Some of the Commanders of the heavy cruiser fleet wanted more than anything to get their hands on one of the new Galactan class BC's with their sleek deadliness. Somerset much preferred his more manuverable, faster, and nearly as capable Swiftsure. She may have been an old Starcruiser who had seen better days, but she was still his ship. He'd in almost a literal sense "interhited" the ship from his mentor and former Commander Angelique Trouseau. When their ship had been attacked by the Insurgents nine years ago, Trouseau had been severely wounded. As her First Officer, Somerset took command of the ship and managed to save the ship after the deadly onslaught. After she died, Somerset did what the regulations required of him. He took the Swiftsure as her Commander and brought her battered hull back to port. EarthCom Fleet Command had applauded his "magnificent" performance and let him retain command of the ship. In the old days, every ship had two officers that EarthCom had adjudged as "completely qualified" to be the ships Commander. The Commander himself, and their First Officer. They'd both recieved the same training, and had both taken the six month long Commanding Officer Program. COP was intensive, focusing on all areas of shipboard and surface operation. EarthCom never knew what would take place on their ships that went out into deep space until long after the fact. That lead them to produce Commanders who were capable of facing up to any sort of situation that came up as they plied between the stars. Sailing, engineering, tactical and strategic combat, marine surface action, fighters, all aspects concievable the COP trained for intensively. That was why the failure rate of those who entered the COP was over fifty percent. For those unfortunate few who didn't make it through, there were two options. The first was to simply resign, and the second was to accept a shore position. They would rise in rank, gain importance, but would never hold command again. Somerset would never have to face that fate. As a Commander, he would retain at least that rank for the rest of his career. And truth be told, only to himself, it was the job he loved best. Sailing a lone starship among the deep, far away from Fleet and everything else, independent, able to rely only on his ship and crew. It was that independence that had characterized the Earth Command and all of those who had joined her. They had rules and regulations, but they were there for guidance. Commanders had always enjoyed a broad amount of freedom and quite possibly always would. Being completely attached to someone else, under someone elses orders made for a poor chain of command. The man on the scene would have the better idea and the better judgement. As these thoughts flew through his mind, he had more tea, went to the head, and saw the watch pass through again to eight bells. It was 1200, his reports were complete, and he could turn the watch over to Ishikawa, his Second Officer. He activated his datapad to write out the duty log for his watch; 0800-1200 Steaming as before. Benjamin Arthur Somerset Commander The hatch slid open to reveal the new watch stepping onto the bridge. Ishikawa walked over to Somerset and said in his deep voice, "Good afternoon, sir." "Good afternoon, Hikaru. Uneventful watch. Any more word on Soran finding anything out on that probe?" he asked with a questioning glance. Ishikawa slowly shook his head, as his eyes glinted off the overhead lights. "No, sir. As far as I know, nothing down there has changed." His eyes lit up and a smile crept onto his face as he said, "Though I do understand that a good number of the crew have gone down there to take a look at the probe. Like a piece of human history, one of the PO's said." "He's right about that. Perhaps I'll check on it after awhile," Somerset said smiling lightly back. More formally he said, "Nothing has changed. Still steaming as before. Maintain our patrol course, and inform me if you see anything. You have to con, Mr. Ishikawa." "Aye aye, sir. I have the watch," Ishikawa responded just as formally. After the words were said, Ishikawa settled into his watch, and Somerset left the bridge for his adjacent ready room. The room itself was small, and very cramped. How the architects had managed to snug in a desk, two chairs, and a small bunk still moved Somerset to near incomprehension. He glanced to the beautiful painting of a Starcruiser coming out of hyperspace that had adorned the cabin since before his earliest days onboard ship. It had been Angelique's, and he would not allow it to leave the ready room after her tragic death. Swiftsure was her first ship, just as it was his. One more thing that would forever bond the two, in a way that few could ever understand. More than friends, less than spouse, but always there for one another. Just as he knew she would always be with him, somehow. He groaned slowly as he took off his jacket tunic and laid it on his chair behind the desk. The watch had worn him thin, even with the inactivity. His sluggish mind considered going to the Officer's Mess for the afternoon meal, and quickly dismissed it as his eyes slowly drooped and quickly flitted up. What he needed was not food, but some rest. He lowered himself onto the bunk slowly, and closed his eyes. In moments, the Swiftsure's Commander drifted off to sleep once more. ----- 1652hrs, 4 April 3000 GCV Swiftsure Neptune/Sol A racous buzzer awoke him from his dreamless sleep. With the quick reflexive action ingrained in him by twenty years of service, Somerset woke instantly and reached up to depress the com button, accepting the call. "Yes," his voice said somewhat groggily. "Mr. Ishikawa reporting, sir. We have something odd on the sensors that you might want to come check out," the metallic voice from the bridge said. "On my way," he quickly replied as he picked up his tunic off the chair. As he put it on and began sealing it the hatch from the ready room to the bridge slid open. He strode over to the command chair and demanded "Report, Mr. Ishikawa." "We just got it on sensors a few minutes ago, Commander. It's not emitting anything so we didn't pick it up until it was close aboard. See here, sir," Ishikawa said as he threw up a TacScan display on the main screen. Less than 25km away was a small dot that wasn't accentuated by any of the standard light codes. "As you can see," Ishikawa continued, "the object has no power readings, no signs of drive activity, and no distress signal. Whatever it is, it's dead in space. I don't think that it's a rogue body, however. It's raidiating in the metallic bands, and our active sensor sweep has given us a general idea of its configuration. The TacComp is running it through the database but hasn't come up with a match yet." "Very well," the Commander said as his mind raced ahead of the problem. He reached to the chair arm and depressed the button to activate the 1MC. As the whistle sounded his voice came over the ships com "All hands, this is the Commander. Set Condition 2. All officers to the bridge. I say again set Condition 2, all officers to the bridge." As the bridge went into a bustle to carry out his orders lights on his HUD changed as the shields began to run up, the weapons were charged, and the missile bays were loaded with war shots. Within minutes all of the ships officers had reported to the bridge and sat down at their stations. The first thing on his mind was to confirm what kind of object this was. A probe, a ship, or an unknown object. Second was to determine if the object posed a threat. In order to do that, however, he had to get in closer. This was always a problem, because getting in close was exactly what an enemy would want him to do. And yet, indecision was the one thing that EarthCom had trained out of their officer corps. They viewed it as worse than an accident, and an invitation to death, which Somerset wholeheartedly agreed with. But the only way to find out was to investigate. And investigate they would. "Pilot," Somerset said, "let's be about it. Manuever us to within 15 kilometers, ahead dead slow." "Coming to 172 true declination 36 degrees, ahead dead slow aye, sir," Henry Allen at the FO's station said as he began to put the Swiftsure into position. ----- As three bells softly chimed on the bridge, tense officers kept close watch on their instruments. Slowly the distance between the Swiftsure and the unidentified ship wound down. Allen made a slight adjustment and announced, "Now at 15 kilometers, Commander. All stop." Somerset looked intently over his displays and nodded. "Very well. Guns, Number One, get me a detailed scan of that ship. Pilot, manuever us around it so we can get a hull map off of her." At the helm, Pilot Allen took a steadfast hold on the stick that controlled the ships manuevering with his right hand. Near his left hand was a circular touchpad, which read the various speeds to which the engines could be set to. He depressed the one reading "Manuevering thrusters" and waited for the engine room to acknowledge the annunciator. A small chime sounded in his ear, and he said "Engine room answers manuevering thrusters, Commander. Commencing sweep." Swiftsure slowly moved around the unknown, as small bursts from the thrusters squirted out from the ship. Allen deftly went completely around the ship, as the other officers took care of scanning the ship. After twenty minutes had passed, Soran announced "Hull map compiled, Commander." "Let's see it on the main screen then, Number One." The image that appeared was an oddity none of them had ever seen. An unshapely object, the ship had piping and wires spread all along the exterior of the ship. From the aft end, a large reaction thruster jutted out. Near the thruster were a number of gashes that appeared to be hull ruptures. "Opinion, Number One?" Somerset asked. "It appears that there was some kind of accident on board. Our scans indicate that the ship utilized a rudimentary fusion reactor with simple reaction drive. Fascinating for historical study, but little else. I believe that the piping that put reaction mass into the thruster failed, and in addition to stopping the vessel, breached the hull," Soran said after a careful study of the screens at his station. "Any ideas on age?" Kamarov asked from the Navigation station. "With the ship in vacuum, there is no accurate way to determine age. I would estimate at least three centuries at least, and as many as five. The configuration is not in our database, so the only way to positively identify the ship would be to contact Central Command," Soran said succinctly. "Agreed. Lt. Dorcett, send a message to CentCom, requesting any information they have on this particular ship configuration." "Aye, aye, sir," Lt. Jessica Dorcett said from the Com station. Somerset contemplated the situation for a moment. They had a Starcruiser class ship, far larger than the ship that sat before them. It was inert, apparently had no life, and had been adrift for years. CentCom would eventually send them the data, but under the circumstances it would have a low priority. Until they sent a response though, Swiftsure could go nowhere. She needed to get back to her patrol. And there was only one way to do that in a reasonable amount of time. Depressing a button, he waited for the 1MC whistle to sound. After it had he spoke quickly, "SM Squad, gear up and report to the Launch Bay. Engineering and Medical Officers to the Launch Bay in vac suits. That is all." Soran looked at Somerset quizically, and raised an eyebrow slowly. He'd known Soran long enough to interpret what he was saying by that simple gesture. "The quickest way to figure out what that ship is is to go over and find out for ourselves. So we do. I'll be going over as well." "I advise against that, Commander," the First Officer responded. Somerset gave him a huge smile as he said, "I knew you would." Though some might have not thought it possible, the grin grew larger as he added, "You have the con, Number One." Knowing that the Commander was exercising his perogatives, Soran could only respond "Aye, aye, sir. I have the con." Somerset suited up and went to the Launch Bay. When he arrived, all of the appointed people were ready to depart. He looked over at their pilot and said, "Ready, Ensign?" "Yes, sir. We can saddle up whenever you're ready," the Ensign quickly replied. Somerset nodded, and the SM Sergeant said "You heard the Commander, Marines! Saddle up!" Once they had all climbed aboard and strapped in, the shuttle launched out of its bay. In these days, it might have been much simpler to simply beam over to the unknown ship. Somerset hadn't really ever been to comfortable with the idea of something scattering his constituent atoms all over space and then putting them back together again. Perhaps it was the fear that the gadget would put him together inside out, or that something would be missing made him reluctant. But on Swiftsure there was a more compelling reason. The Starcruiser design went back to the 2960's, and there was no room in her design for a large, complicated, and power draining object like a transporter. Which allowed Somerset to avoid the thing, and use the shuttles, which he felt much safer in. ----- "Go to the airlock, Commander?" the Ensign asked expectantly. "No, we're doing this by the book. The ship is unidentified, and we don't know what we're getting into. Close to five meters and we'll go over by thrusters." "Aye, aye, sir." The shuttle closed to five meters, and the party put on their helmets as the cabin was depressureized. They left one at a time and thrusted over to the inert ship in front of them. Since the airlock was sealed shut, one of the SM's had to cut it open with their laser rifle so they could enter the ship. Small objects and debris filled the interior as Somerset boarded the dead ship. Pitch blackness permeated every area that wasn't illuminated by suit lights. The first thing noticed by all was the very human writing imprinted around the inside of the ship. Which at least meant they could understand what had happened before. No translation would be required, fortunately. "Can we get any kind of power restored, Shawn?" Somerset asked his Chief Engineer. "Doubtful, sir," an Irish lilt responded. "This ship's been out here too long, and it looks like she's been too heavily damaged. With all of the exterior breaches and cracks, there's probably no way. I wouldn't be surprised if she vented every bit of her reaction mass when the accident happened." "Sergeant, have your men search the ship for any bodies. Doctor, stay with me. Shawn, find the data storage and pull it. Let's be about it." The party responded, and set about their work. In less time than it took O'Malley to pull the ship's data storage, one of the SM's had found a body. As the Doctor and Somerset approached it, they both knew that it wasn't human. It was an android. In the days before hyperdrive, there were two kinds of ships. Human STL ships that travelled through the Sol System under the EarthCom flag, and ships with androids aboard that went back and forth doing whatever jobs were necessary. EarthCom ships were around to protect from Insurgency "difficulties" through their sabotage of ships or uprisings in the colonies. Most out system repairs were executed by android ships, much like the one they were inside right now. O'Malley walked up to them, and said, "I've got the data storage, sir. This ship was dispatched to inspect and repair a communications probe that EarthCom had lost contact with on May 21, 2765. On its way here, a malfunction caused the reactor mass to ignite on its way to the reaction thruster where it should normally be burned. The android went outside to effect repairs but the ship was too heavily damaged. It sent a distress signal but apparently the communications array was damaged in the attach as well, because no help was ever sent. The android remained online in case someone ever came near enough to help it. It went offline February 17, 2766." "Mystery solved, I suppose. Keep the data storage with you, Shawn. Sergeant, have your men report back to the shuttle. We're returning to the ship," Somerset ordered. Within 10 minutes, they were back aboard Swiftsure and Somerset was back in his command chair where Soran felt he belonged. Much more so than a vacuum filled death ship. "Well, we've got a patrol to be on, so let's be about it. Com, send a message to CentCom and get a tow ship out here to pick up this navigation hazard. Guns, drop a nav buoy so the tow can find the bloody thing. Astro, plot a course to return us to our patrol route. Pilot, prepare to get underway," Somerset said, in a slightly clipped voice. All of the officers quickly acknowledged and completed their tasks. Finally, Somerset was able to say, "Pilot, get us back on course, ahead standard." "Ahead standard, aye," Allen responded. Depressing the 1MC button, and waiting until the whistle finished, Somerset announced, "All hands, this is the Commander. Stand down to Condition 4 and set the cruising watch. Stand down to Condition 4 and set the cruising watch. That is all." Somerset then worked on summing up the duty log, and then going to evening mess with all but the watch officers present. At 2000 he retured to the bridge for another watch. At 0000 hours, Somerset recorded in the duty log; 5 April 3000 Coordinates 315X012X126 20-24 Steaming as before on base course 020dg inclination 45dg T, conforming to Patrol Pattern 4 at 0.85kps. Jumps at 2030 and 2230. Ship set at Condition 4, Material Conditon Alpha. Av. Reactor pressure at 42000 kilopascals. Benjamin Arthur Somerset Commander [/RP] [ 09-29-2001: Message edited by: Ben Somerset ]
  23. [RP] GCV McKendrick Briefing Room Somerset had seated himself amongst most of the GalCom officers for Savage's briefing. He listened intently and winced numerous times at the apparent hastiness with which the operation was planned. Somerset was very much a man of the old school. He much preferred good intelligence with a well thought out plan and every concievable contingency worked out. This kind of of haphazard planning made him groan internally. Too many times he'd seen good officers come up with plans like this only to have them blow up in their faces. Take Rinaal for example. For years they'd known that Rinaal would be one of the first places overrun when the Gamms came out for war again. So they'd planned for what would happen when they did come. Every possiblity thought of, every contingency worked out. As a result Wraith turned out a hell of a performance with highly disproportinate loss rate between themselves and the Gamms. Of course, it resulted in a court of inquiry and a reprimand for him, and the court-martial for Gallion. However it had also a great number of lives that otherwise would have been lost. On the other hand this was one of the other kinds of plans. Hastily put together, not well thought out, and far too many holes open for the opponent to go right through. They'd be lucky to get halfway through the operation without everyone getting killed. Two hours was too much time for something to go wrong. More than once he'd seen, and sometimes been directly involved in, Marine operations that looked quite promising initially and then been shot to pieces within two hours of landing. Those ops had been some of the hastily thought out ones, without proper intel, and no possibility of reinforcement. Which sounded greatly like Operation Golgotha. "And who in the hell came up with the name Golgotha?" Somerset thought. "For the love of God, they don't even know where one of the primary mission objectives is located!" He brought his mind back to reality, as Savage started taking questions. Of course, the Insurgent advocated dropping weapons on the target even though Savage wanted to keep the casualties down to a minimum. He heard Gallion speak up, and put his foot in his mouth yet again. The Corsair was wily, certainly crazy, and was sitting next to an Insurgent. That particular idea he did not like at all. He'd always felt that Gallion had sympathist tendencies toward the Insurgents. Some people just didn't understand that the Insurgents were the enemy. Obviously Savage didn't, and neither did most of his own command staff. The need to keep the Insurgency from starting a conflict with GalCom at the present moment he understood. But once all of the higher up Insurgents were located in the same place, why not arrest them? The arms of the Insurgency would still be in place but with the head gone, it would die. Perhaps the idea had occured to Savage. He hoped so. But meantime, he needed to keep an eye on Gallion. His unstable personality, current problems with GalCom, and his sympathist tendencies made him quite untrustworthy. Which meant he had some planning of his own to do. GCV McKendrick Cargo Bay 1 After the briefing and getting his shots from the pharmasicst's mate he stopped off at Cargo Bay 1 to talk to the Quartermaster. The droid automatically stood and saluted at the sight of a Commanders uniform. "How may I help you, sir?" the droid said respectfully. He returned the salute, and as the droid moved to an at-ease position, he recited his equipment list. "I need a Medium Combat Suit with backpack, ZS10 with 5 clips, 5 frag grenades, a TDU and a commlink delivered to my cabin in 5 minutes." "Aye aye, sir," the QM droid responded automatically. Somerset nodded, and headed for his cabin. GCV McKendrick Guest Quarters Cabin 12 He pulled the standard issue datapad from its holder as the door chimed. "Come", he said as the door slid open. Two droids entered, the first one saying "The equipment you requested, sir." "Very well. Put it all on the bunk." "Aye aye, sir," they both intoned. After they completed their task, the droids stood to attention and told Somerset "Task completed. Awaiting instructions." "That's all. You're dismissed," he told them. The droids saluted and waited his return salute before leaving the cabin, the door hissing shut behind them. "Now for the fun part," he said aloud as he started his work. He reached into his kit bag and pulled out a small box, setting it down on the desk. He picked up the commlink, the datapad, and activated the light. In the low lit darkness, he began his work. Interfacing the datapad with the commlink, he started looking over the commlink's software. The first thing he did was delete the message headers that identified this commlink as belonging to the GCV McKendrick. This way any outgoing communications from this commlink wouldn't identify what ship it belonged to. He then opened the box, and took out a case of datachips. Removing the one marked "Encryption Theta" he slid it into the datachip, and copied the contents into the commlink. Sliding it back into the case, he pulled out another marked, "Commlink ops reprogram". Once the program was copied the commlink requested him to speak for 15 seconds. After he finished speaking, the commlink quaintly replied to him, "Voiceprint match complete. Commlink will now only respond to this voiceprint. Encryption and systems reprogram complete, Commander Somerset." "Sometimes it pays to have a computer expert aboard your ship,"Somerset thought, chuckling to himself. "Still one more thing to do, though" He put the datachips back in the box and pulled out another small case containing tools. Opening the commlinks case, he exposed the interior components. After making some deft adjustments to the circutry he forced the commlink to interface itself with the Combat Suits internal commlink, and for his personal comm to override the suitcom. He disconnected the commlink from the datapad, and affixed it to his hand. Then he used the datapad to access the ships secure data files. Inputting his own authorization codes, he looked at the most recently downloaded Fleet deployements. The SIN Wing deployment in particular, and was pleased with the results. Two of his ships were stationed at Earth, awaiting orders to the forward area. The Redoubtable and the Valiant. There was a reason to his rhyme. His own ship, the Swiftsure was to move back to Earth orbit after completing repairs. Knowing his own chief and first lieutenant, Somerset figured they had been there for 36 hours. He also knew that the Graf Spee was out there somewhere too. The crew had been trained by the crazy Corsair, and were probably shaped in his own image. Being an old military history buff, Somerset had looked up the records of ships to bear the name Graf Spee. The record of the Kriegsmarine ship to bear her name was near astonishing. So was the record of her Captain, Hans Langsdorff. After being forced to scuttle his ship he killed himself in his hotel room with the Kaiserlichemarine naval ensign of World War I underneath him. So to his mind, Somerset believed that ships named Graf Spee had great battle records but also had crazy Commanders. After this mission was over, it was his job to stop the Graf Spee's crazy Commander from whatever travesty he had up his sleeve. [/RP] For those wondering, Somerset won't compromise the current mission or its objectives. What happens after depends on the Graf Spee, and the crazy Corsair. [ 07-30-2001: Message edited by: Ben Somerset ]
  24. Ben Somerset

    To the last stand...

    I doubt that a shuttle should be able to pull a BC out of the water anyway. Imagine a tug boat trying to tow a few hundred thousand tons worth of aircraft carrier that is under water. The easy part would be rigging a tow line (i.e. tractor beam), but could the tug pull the carrier back up to the surface? Not a chance. In my opinion, neither the tug nor a shuttle acting as a tug would have enough power available to accomplish that mission. Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.