Popular Post Karrod Niac Posted May 19 Popular Post Share Posted May 19 The Arrow's CO has done a lot of self-reflection this leave and I think this sim deserves special recognition for the delicate balance it manages to strike with a complex, emotional topic and not at all because it implies the benefits of listening to his XO. That had absolutely nothing to do with this post. At all. Bravo, Skip. ================================= ((Deck 1, Captain’s Ready Room, USS Arrow)) Dewitt: Permission to speak freely, Sir? Shayne: We’re alone. That was as good as permission, as far as Shayne was concerned. From day one, his policy had been that the formality of command largely ceased in the confines of a singular, private conversation. He knew that his love of the chain of command could be a noose as easily as it was a guide, and he was determined to not be hanged by his dedication to protocol like some sort of stuffy, intransigent bureaucrat. Thus, anyone- from the lowliest crewmen to the most senior of his officers- held his attention and his confidence while alone in the environs of the ready room. It was a sacred trust, one Shayne was pleased to know he’d never had reason or need to break. Dewitt: I have talked a lot to one of the Cadets from the Libris, Ginny Lacy. I guess she is the brain behind the automation of the ship. She's holding the belief that an AI has a more complete and deterministic picture of heated situations and how to solve them. ::pause and taking another sip:: I can think of a million reasons why I believe an automated AI-based ship is a bad idea... But I cannot put off the thought that there is some truth to what she said. Shayne heard the Lieutenant’s words, and secretly, inwardly began to build defenses around himself. It was natural, second nature, to be exact, and it was a method of maintaining his emotional equilibrium without sacrificing awareness of the moment. But Niac’s words gruffly scampered up his brain stem like a vertical Jefferies Tube, wagged a vaguely hircine finger in disapproval, and then vanished back through the hatch. No, this time he would be better. This time he’d trust his crew. Shayne: There is. Before it had become a topic of personal contention for the captain, he’d often wrestled with the idea of AI ships himself. It seemed that ninety percent of the personnel aboard a given starship were there specifically to attend to the personnel aboard the starship. Doctors, counselors, environmental engineers, communications officers, that one schmuck saddled with corralling the various pets that escaped quarters during crises and took the opportunity to mate, leading to callico-targ hybrids that no one was qualified to look after… wow, his mind flew off the track. The point was that it was an old argument, and even without the normal recrimination that would accompany the notion, Shayne had to admit that the cold logic of steel and circuits would be a comforting distance for the fleet to maintain. But it was too cold for him. Sometimes when he looked at ships in space, he’d think about their beauty or their power. And yet, when they occasionally emerged from the eclipse of a moon, or left the native sun far behind, he couldn’t help but think how impossibly cold they must be. Shivering duranium and frost-encrusted nacelles and… just cold. Dewitt: As I'm collecting those pips on my collar... I'm just wondering how you deal with that... Heated decisions will always be made with an incomplete set of information... Part of it seems like a mixture of a gut feeling and hope. Shayne kept his bearing stern and thoughtful, but inside, it was like a long-forgotten sun had risen from behind a cloud bank. So much of what he’d felt was being spelled out better than he’d ever been able to consolidate it, and it seemed that he was being rewarded for listening to Niac’s words, if only in the form of validation. It hadn’t been just him. It was reasonable. It was feared, and difficult, and challenging, and there was no easy solution, and now his place in all this- in all this- was becoming, if not clearer, then more trustworthy. Shayne: You couldn’t be more correct. In my experience, every officer contends in a different way. That’s where you’ll find your sense of style, of leadership. But for me? I think like an Ops officer, and a pilot. Aviate, navigate, communicate… and do the best you can. It wasn’t much of a response, but it was the truth, and he held close to the validity of these approaches, even if they weren’t for everyone. Dewitt: How do you make those decisions without doubt and without charging yourself if things go south? Shayne stared at Dewitt for a moment, nonplussed. Before, the relevance these questions had to Shayne was something of a novelty, an enjoyable detail in an otherwise rapidly changing life. But now, it was almost like the young lieutenant was reading Shayne’s mind. How very much like the captain Dewitt was starting to become, and for the life of him, Shayne could not determine whether that was bad or good. Shayne: “When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things…” Randal Shayne held much of religion in great contempt, and made it more dangerously clear than most in his position. Tolerance and respect were still possible, but he would not be satisfied with the bludgeon that faith had become so often on his homeworld in the past. One must live it, embody it, and serve it as much as it served them, and in the pursuit of this agenda, Shayne had taken to skimming the holy texts of many faiths around the Alpha Quadrant. It was such a pity he couldn’t believe; the churches were beautiful, the stained glass telling stories that words might have mangled, and the words… twisted to evil so often, and yet… Shayne: You are asking the right questions, but the wrong person. Only you can answer them, in time, and with much deliberation, and much error. And the permission to make those errors, those choices… starts with your leader, and slowly, you find conviction sufficient to supply your own. And then you decide, and learn, and if you are right more often than you are wrong, they make you a captain. It was not the fountain of wisdom Shayne wished to provide, nor the simple answer he himself so desperately craved as a nascent lieutenant, looking with awe and anxiety at the ever-increasing obligations and possibilities open to him. Shayne knew the willingness to dive in, even without knowing, despite the desire to know as much as possible, was part of what made a good leader, or at least a good star service captain. It sounded so reckless, so self-serving, and yet, no ship was safe in port. No soul would blossom in confinement. And no words could convey a truth they weren’t designed to bear. Dewitt: Response Shayne: Our success is built on failure. And so long as you are ready to learn, and answer for the consequences, and accept the burden that is the metal at your collar, I give you permission to fail, Mr. Dewitt. And perhaps together we will find the answers you so keenly seek. For a moment, the uniforms didn’t matter. The ranks didn’t matter. They were but two men; one freshly proven and looking towards the future, and the other watching from farther down the road, at the storms and the rockslides and the many dead canaries, and trying to shout in a hoarse whisper… “awake!” Dewitt: Response Tag/TBC (END?) 5 1 Quote Link to comment
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