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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 103 Peace and quiet
06-12-2011, 09:09 AM
After you make Commander, you don't get any free time. There's always someone who you need to talk to, something to sign, somewhere to be. Promotion to Captain makes it worse, because even though you can delegate things to the XO, and the department heads, eventually they all want to tell you about it.

Nowhere is safe.

You can generally catch half an hour in your cabin before someone hasa crisis. You can sometimes scrap together fifteen minutes to stand in the shower before someone sounds a red alert. In an Escort class vessel, even in an Akira, you can't really get away from anyone.

Except for one place.

If you come up through Tactical, you find out all sorts of interesting things about starships that people don't imagine Tactical would need to know about. For example, the nacelle placement on the early Excalibur class was off, and would very occasionally lead to a partial field collapse. Which in turn would lead to a radical attitude change. Warp three, sideways. Heck of a sight.

One of the other things you learn is that there's a very small, but very important, sensor blindspot on the Defiant refit. It's the size of a seated human, and it came about because there's an EPS junction, a shield node and a really important piece of the astrogation system crammed into a space that's big enough for two of the three components. There are a few design compromises on a Defiant. This one makes a patch of hull really hard for the ship's sensors to read properly and, at the same time, very hard to see clearly. It's just behind the Bridge.

I know about it because we were told about it when the refit launched. The likelihood of anyone ever capturing a Defiant class is pretty slim, but on the off chance they do and someone needs to recapture it, you're told about all the potential entrypoints. Tactical training gets very thorough about that sort of thing.

During a quiet weekend at Utopia Planetia, when the Swiftsure was having the forward torpedo tubes replaced, I went looking for that deadspot. I found it, too, and made a very careful note of how long it takes to get there, and get back. The nearest airlock has an equipment locker devoted to my use and secured with a personal code which I'm very nearly certain my own Tactical Officer hasn't broken. I keep a deck chair in it.

When we're in friendly space, usually in orbit, I suit up, grab my deck chair and go sit out on the porch. Then I sit back and watch the world go by.