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DIGITAL DEBATE WEDNESDAYS: A Day in the Life of a Starship Captain

Welcome back to Digital Debate Wednesdays! Every Wednesday, the staff of The Ace of Geeks will get our keyboards ready for a good, old fashioned nerd argument, and you get to hang out with us! Feel free to email us any ideas you might have for future debates, or let us know in the comments! Until then, here’s this weeks topic:

Less of a debate and more of a chance to stretch your imagination today.

So Starship Captains. Whether it’s Malcolm Reynolds or Captain Picard, we only get to see them during times of intense crisis. Nonetheless, captaining a starship is, in fact, a job, which got me to thinking: What do captains actually DO when they’re not yelling “shields up!” or negotiating with a hostile alien race?

Go ahead and write a day in the very normal, boring regular life of a starship captain. Doesn’t have to be fan fiction, but what do you think they do on a daily basis?

John Garcia: Should we include all the honorary captains that are not starship captains who lead ships during Starship Smackdown? Like Captains Crunch, America, Cold, the most interesting man in the world, and Abe Lincoln?

Mary Anne Butler: And also that Italian guy who crashed the cruise ship?

Mike Fatum: Whatever Captains you want.

Raven Knighte: “Captain Obvious here…”

Seth Oakley: As a real life fake starship captain, it’s really boring a lot of the time and that’s a good thing. Excitement is bad.

R. Steel Earl: (Our new graphics guy! Say hi, everybody! – Ed) I’m pretty confident that the daily captainey routine of Bowerick the Infinitely Prolonged would fit the boring bill pretty exactly. But… are you looking for something less Totally AI Automated and more Crew Interactions and Oh God Oh God Pls Don’t Explode?

Mary Anne Butler: Chasing women, drinking tea, playing baseball, drinking coffee, playing with your dog….long and storied captain pastimes when not dealing with crisiseseses.

Joe Hadsall: HAN SOLO: Chewie! What the hell is going on here?
CHEWBACCA: <<gurglegrowl>>
SOLO: I know it’s a Doduo! But it’s the fifth one I’ve caught in a row! You told me there was a Vaporeon in this arm of the galaxy!

Mike Fatum: Speaking as a professional Starship Pilot who flies with Mass Relay Getaways, on our downtime we mostly play card games, read books, and argue about the correct way to fly the ship.

Jarys Maragopolous: Morning: wake up earlier then he wanted to, tries to settle in to go back to sleep, but a random noise drives him deep into the machinery of his beloved ship, fixing a loose condenser for over an hour. Eventually Chewie wakes and gets the PrepChef to release the morning meal. Han eats covered in grease, Chewie makes only cursory comments. Neither of them are morning people.

While sipping caf, Han checks the cargo, then the…other cargo. Things look ship-shape, which is to say, like a forked disc, but he practices his draw on a remote in case things go bad. They often do.

Midday: Chewie wants to play Dejarik on the Holoboard, but Han would rather play a few hands of Sabaac. They squabble without any real animus, this is an ancient ritual of theirs, before a job. They blow off steam until…

Afternoon: they come out of hyperspace, Bothawaii hanging before them. The next hour is a quick succession of submitting false credentials, chatting up the ship traffic controller, checking the manifest one last time, bluffing and lying, landing and waiting. Oh the waiting. Han fingers the grip of his blaster as searching Stormtroopers wander in and out of the Falcon, determined to find some difference between the manifest and the cargo. Their echoing footsteps fall upon hidden compartments at least once every ten seconds. They fond nothing, but the Imperial Customs agent never stops glaring at Han. Han gives her his most arrogant smirk as the Imperial leave the hanger in failure. Han doesn’t remember it ever being this easy, but he doesn’t remember ever seeing this many Imps on Bothawaii. The Bothans would die before conceding anything to the Empire. He shrugs as, like many things, this is not his problem.

Evening: Han and Chewie release their legal cargo to a delivery Droid, but they take their other cargo to the drop personally. It takes over an hour to get the merchindise to thr site of the deal, their old repulsor cart humming the whole way. The Black Sun people are suspicious at first, but when things go well, they thaw out like a Chiss on Tatoooine. One of them, a Twi-Lek, even has a portable Sabaac table and everyone gathers around it, all tension forgotten. Only Chewie refrains, shouldering his bowcaster, eyes nervously searching out the shadowy edges of the warehouse.

Han and the mobsters chose to make the trade. The Twi-lek tries to get Han to bet some of their pay, but Han is nit having it. Instead, lucky hand after lucky hand, pulls the credits to Hans side of the electronic tabletop. Eventually, the big silent human stands up, clearly enraged. Before she (Han always had a way with women) could raise the accusation of cheating, Stormtroopers burst in through the main loading door. It’s the Customs Officer’s turn to be smug, as she calls out orders to surround the illegal gathering.

Han scowls, only checking the scene after the Imperials (and a couple of the criminals) are dead. Finding the damn tracking device on the bottomtheir trusty repulsor cart, Han slags the thing in seconds. Making sure no Black Sun saw the culpability of his carelessness before returning his side arm to the holster. Han puts his lying face on and gets the two of them out of them out of there without burning their relationship with the Black Sun.

Night: as Han goes to sleep, hearing only the sound of Chewie singing softly to himself in sorrowful Shyriiwook, as his powerful hands broke down the bowcaster and cleaned it. Han was about to snap rankly at the wookiee for quiet, but he couldn’t. Sometimes, knowing his best friend was there made going to sleep much easier…

Damn, I knew I picked a popular one. I just can’t not write fiction, I guess.

Mary Anne Butler: My starship makes music and fights robITS.

John Garcia: Morning: Picard wakes up, hears a knock at the door. “Damn it’s Beverly, I told her I want simple breakfasts” ….. and spends the rest of the morning getting other officers to distract Crusher, so he can have his breakfast in peace.

Scott WoodburyA Boring Day – Admiral Ackbar
Admirals Routine. Home One, MC80 Star Cruiser, Alliance Headquarters Ship

Wake Up….
Waking up on a republic cruiser while being an amphibious being proves a little difficult. I find it more and more difficult getting out of my sleeping facility, which the crew has dubbed “The Admirals Aquarium”. Drying off and putting on clothes is a difficult task if it wasn’t for Ensign Warok . Poor Warok, during the battle of endor he was caught in a fire. The ewok lost his fur and it never grew back, his tribe offered his services to the Rebellion, not sure if its because they couldn’t stop making fun of him. He is quiet mostly but does a good job. An hour later I have finished getting ready. A quick cup of Caf and I leave my quarters.

Senior Officer briefing – Officers Mess Hall
We seem to be still recovering from the battle of Endor. All Officers report continuing repairs to secondary systems as well as a few primary ones. The Atmosphere recycler is on the fritz. It reminds me why the hallway outside my Quarters smells like fish. Another report indicates a TIE fighter is still lodged into one of the engine exhausts, a Wookie repair team seems adamant about leaving it there as a warning to other Empire forces. For large hairy beings, they are extremely adept at complicated repairs. The final report at the meeting is a simple resupply approval. I do see that the Officers included a few extra hundred cases of Corellian Brandy. Normally Id make a fuss, but we just kicked the Empire out of the game. I add two hundred more cases for safe measure.

Turbolift to the Bridge – Annoyed
I had to wipe off a drawing of me yelling “It’s a Trap” on a box of breakfast cereal off the turbolift wall. The crew seems to make humor of it, it’s starting to get on my nerves a bit.

Bridge – Crew Orders
I ordered the Helm to continue its Hyperspace course to the next rendezvous point. Weapons Officer reported only seventy percent functionality, this is acceptable. I reassign personnel to repair the atmosphere recycler, the other cabins in my hallway will thank me. Communications Reported the HoloNet is now working in all living areas. At least the crew will be entertained. Everything else seems to be functioning as needed. I appointed Captain Antilles to oversee the rest of the bridge duties.

Turbolift to Engineering – Not Again
The doodle returned. Not sure what is with humans and humor. Ill need a new handkerchief after this one.

Personal Thought
I missed lunch. Why do I always miss lunch?

Flight Operations – Starfighter Assessment and Progress
The X-Wings are fully up and running. The Y-Wings are down to 50% capacity with 10% coming back online in a few days. My personal favorites; the B-Wings are at 30%. These pilots don’t know how to treat my pet project very well. A-Wings are all accounted for. Senior Engineers did report a number of Astromech Droids displaying weird behavior. It seems the little buggers are doodling my face on cereal boxers all over the ship. I order complete memory wipes of all units aboard, that will teach them.

Facilities – Status Meeting
Seems all the bathroom facilities on the living quarters deck are working sporadically. I order the astromechs to help speed up repair. That order felt good. Trash compactors are working nominally, a staff member joked about Han Solo when going over that report. I ordered him to double check the safety turn off switches of all 50 of them. General Solo deserves a little more respect.

Dinner – Senior Officers Mess
Why no one want to try these Mon Calamari delicacies I’ll never understand. The snails are delicious. It also seems every time I have them, the Mess hall clears. The silence is welcoming. I get to have a whole bottle of Lum to myself. Their loss…

Admirals Quarters – Sleep
Warock helps me undress and get back into my tank. It feels SOOO good.

Good Night to the Republic!

Jarys Maragopolous: goodnight Republic, goodnight moon.

Wait…that’s no moon…

Malkontent Blizzard: I woke before the morning chimes…again. I know that I will never hear the end of that from my advisers. I take the same walk I always have in the morning but it is different this time. I don’t know exactly how but I feel like a loose thread is being tied off. An acolyte comes to me bearing a box from the deep archives that I impossibly have seen before. I open it to the note that I wrote myself a thousand years before my birth.
I have played at being Jeffrey Sinclair long enough.
Soon my truth will be realized.
In Valen’s name.

Rowan Hansen: This here’s the day journal of Boone Bailiang, “face” captain of the White Lotus.

Morning: I wake up before everyone but the swordsmith downstairs, though I know Bear won’t be much later. I stretch, I do my exercises, but even optimized for my use as it is I can’t exactly do everything I’d like. Go down to the mess for my coffee. Ambrosia surprised me this morning by leaving a note on the cabinet. “Out of coffee beans! Sorry!” it says, with those little cutesy hearts she leaves on things just to piss me off. I glare like I do, and open the drawer with the instant packets of caffeinated dirt we have for just such circumstances. Turns out we’re out of that too. Bear comes up behind me while I’m contemplating the cruelty of an uncaring universe. “We’re out of coffee,” he says helpfully. Real charming. I grunt and, scraping the bottom of the barrel, I get out one of the two remaining bags of yè huángdì shī chū* and pour boiling water over it. I start drinking before the water is cool enough, knowing it’s better to burn my tongue off than wait for the flavor to register. On days like this, life is pain.

For something to do, I run inspection on all ship-critical systems. Everything is ship shape, whatever that means. The surprise engine we replaced the old Capisson with has been behaving itself so far, though Bear insists we should really get better diagnostic equipment so we can figure out how it even works. Who knows when that’ll be- we’re not exactly swinging high on the money or favors horse right at this moment. Grav boot works fine, compressors are fine, new stabilizers are holding on, old stabilizers need replacing, and as Bear keeps telling me, EVERYTHING needs an upgrade unless we want to have an engine with no ship attached. Ambrosia comes down to the engine room to tell me she wants me to have a look at her “amenities” because her “washcloset” is acting up. She’s doing that thing where she tries on accents to see how they work. I tell her I’ll be there later, and I’m not her handyman anyway. She tells me her regular handyman (Bear) seems to be busy- despite him being across the room talking and laughing with the swordsmith in clear view of us- and she’ll have to settle for me in the meantime. I look at her and she winces, then backs out of the room. Caffeine withdrawal is almost worth it for those brief moments.

Afternoon: Apparently Ambrosia lied about the coffee beans, though I surprised the hell out of her by finding out. Girl may have grown up streetside, but she has a thing or two to learn about stashing her goods. MY goods. Which I have repossessed, “shadow” captain be damned. She wants coffee she can drink her share, but I’m puttin her on probation until she earns the right to touch my zhēnguì de huángjīn shēngmìngxiàn** again.

Revitalized by a responsible cup of beautiful golden brew, I check in on the swordsmith. Kusunoki’s been hard at work the last several days, but the forge is cool when I come up. He’s working on some of the wood we picked up on Greenleaf, making sheaths he’ll laquer later. By our custom, I invite him to spar, he politely declines twice, and then the third time accepts. I may be better at pure hand to hand, but the boy still has me for swordsmanship. We get bruised a bit, but nothing lasting, and it’s good exercise anyway. Bear comes in, sees us, grins, offers to wrestle me. I laugh, loud and clear. He stops grinning. It gets awkward.

Over at the mess, Ambrosia seems to be trying to make up for this morning by fixing up the best noodles and multicolored protein paste she can, though she knows we’re all just going to drown it in our own sauces of choice. We eat, Bear and Kusunoki all respectfully grateful, which is their way. I take my food and go back to the cockpit, knowing that staying and eating is tantamount to forgiveness. Predictably, there’s not much to do in the cockpit, so I start trolling the Cortex for possible job offers. Predictably again, there aren’t many for people in our line of work. I just keep hoping Huang will have something good for us when we get back to New Dublin. Lords and Ladies know we need it.

Evening: I am never wrestling Bear again. This is not negotiable. Sparring is one thing, but I don’t go in for straight on humiliation. He certainly enjoyed himself plenty, though. Hopefully we’re all square now for earlier. I’ve been reading for the last few hours about what’s been happening in the Rim, with all the Reaver controversy and that. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Alliance WERE somehow responsible for all that, but frankly, it seems like a little too big of a convenient reach. Gonna need to verify this information for myself, if I can. May have to make a few calls tomorrow.

Evenings on the Lotus are nothing special, if you discount Bear’s yodelling, Kusunoki’s buddhist sutra chanting while he pounds away at his anvil, and Ambrosia shouting at everyone to “keep it down for Chrissake”. I will never regret soundproofing my cabin. I haven’t yet, anyway. For now it’s enough that we’re fed, fueled, and flying. Tomorrow’s struggles are for tomorrow, after all. Still not sure why the brotherhood wants me to keep a journal anyhow, but this has been day one. Signing off.

*leaves the emperor shat out
**precious golden lifeblood

Mike Fatum: I imagine that Picard has to fill out a ton of paperwork – unless that’s why he keeps Riker around. “Number One, fill out Prime Directive Violation form 392 in triplicate, please, and have it on my desk by Monday. Yes, Number One, I understand that this week is shore leave on Riza, but you’ve been banned from that planet three times.”

Mike Fatum
at
Referred to as a God Among Men, the Greatest Man that Ever Lived, and That Dude Over There…No, The Dude with the Long Hair and the Goatee…Yes, That Guy, Mike has grown up being known and loved around his apartment. In addition to being a successful film director and editor, he loves video games, movies, comic books, board games, and his wife and cat. He’s been friends with Jarys for over a decade now, and they started hosting a radio show together on college that became the genesis for the Ace of Geeks Podcast. When he realized he had so many talented friends who could write, the Podcast became an entertainment website, and here we are.

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