Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Briefing (Fiction)

The SCASSSS today is neither short or special, it is another fictional piece I'm afraid. The Pod and Planet fiction contest ends in a few hours. I had tried to do a 'comedy' entry for the contest and in the end deleted it. As I didn't think Fridays was good enough, I just went with two which I submitted to Telegram Stan yesterday. Then last night Rhavas Tweeted this:-

So I thought, what the hell. Lets try again, I have a few hours and if they are struggling for numbers in that section at least I might help to flesh it out a bit. The reason I deleted the original of this was I wondered if anyone outside of of a relatively small section of Eve would get it. Well here goes at my first piece in this vane...

The Briefing

The officer strode into the briefing room with purpose. The young recruits all stood to attention as he entered the hall, stepped onto the stage approached the podium. Whilst the room was set up similar to the briefing room on a Chimera Class carrier, this room was actually located on an asteroid outpost.

"At ease!" he barked in a commanding tone. The recruits sat.

"I am Wing Commander Subit Hteh and I will be giving you today your inital introductory briefing. Over the next six weeks you new Capsuleers will be trained to fight for the State Protectorate within the Caldari Militia. Right now, you... know... nothing!" The Commander paused for effect. "Most of what you learnt in qualifying as Capsuleers won't save you against those bastard Gallente. We are here to make sure you survive and help us capture systems effectively. I will give you a high-level introduction to fitting and tactics now, where as others will take these subjects and give you greater and more in-depth lectures over the next month. In six weeks, you will be proud warriors of the glorious State Protectorate"

The Commander left the podium and walked along the raised platform at the front of the briefing hall. He carefully studied the faces looking back at him. They were young, expectant, ready to do their best for the State. He slowly returned to the podium. He pressed a button and the lights dimmed, a holoprojector in the centre of the stage activated and a six foot tall wireframe model of a frigate appeared.

"The trusty Merlin." the Commander announced "This should always be in your hanger. Who can tell me why?"

There was silence across the room. The Commander scanned the faces and saw nobody willing to answer. He pointed to a young man in the second row. "You!"

"Well sir... is it because as a frigate it can enter all military complexes in the contested war zone?" the young pilot asked nervously. "All of those acceleration gates are coded to accept frigates."

"No!" snapped the Commander. "You!" he pointed to a woman sat behind in the third row.

"The Merlin is an excellent close-range blaster boat. Fitted with warp scrambler and stasis webifier it can defend the landing zone in a complex effectively."

"No!" snapped the Commander more forcefully. "You call yourselves Caldari Militia? I see we have a LOT of work to do!"

The Commander pressed a few buttons and the fitting schematics appeared beside the holographic frigate.

"See! Three low slots! Count them, THREE! That is three warp core stabilisers you can get in there!"

There were gasps and murmurs around the room. Warp core stabilisers were generally not combat-equipment used in Capsuleer-to-Capsuleer engagements. Whilst the module stabilised and negated the effects of warp disrupting modules, the heavy electromagnetic shielding from the unit played havoc with the host ships scanners and sensors. Each stabiliser fitted generally halved the range at which a ship could lock a target and also doubled target acquisition time.

"But sir, three?" asked one shocked recruit!

"Yes three!" snapped the Commander "Yes, you'll not be able to target your nose cone. Yes, you'll take longer to lock a target than it takes to build a Titan but you will still be able to engage in our primary combat tactic as the interference does not affect that."

The entire room looked at the Commander in shock and confusion. The commander wandered over to the holographic Merlin and pointed at the high fitting slots.

"These house our primary combat tactic. What is it? You!" He pointed to another recruit.

"Sir? Well with the three warp core stabs gimping the targeting range, I'd say short-range Neutron Blasters."

"IDIOT!" snapped the Commander "A Neutron Blaster is a cannon, I said tactic!"

"Sir, sorry sir. Close range brawling sir."

The Commander shook his head. "No, no, no, NO! Our primary combat tactic is hiding!"

The recruits looked on in amazement. The commander went back to the podium and pressed another button. A cloaking device appeared in the fitting schematics.

"The Gallente cannot beat you if they cannot find you. Use the ships short-range scanner constantly and if any of those frog bastards turn up looking for a fight, hide!"

Murmurs of discontent drifted between the assembled recruits.

"Now, we have our ship half fitted and understand our primary combat tactic. But before we look at the rest of the modules lets talk about rigs. You!"

The recruit shifted uneasily in his seat.

"We haven't got all day!" the Commander growled "Come on. What rigs?"

"Sir... well with the cloaking device causing a sensor calibration delay and the warp core stabilisers reducing the scan signature strength I would go for targeting speed rigs and may be a sensor recalibration delay rig?"

"Then you'll die horribly in space!" snapped the Commander. "Seriously? You are going to decloak, wait half a minute for the sensors to come back online, spend another 20 seconds targeting the frog bastard and then open fire? You really expect to be still alive by the time you achieve a target lock? Fool! You fit speed and agility modules so you can engage the secondary combat tactic!"

By now discipline in the room was quickly fading. Whispered conversations had started to break out between the recruits.

"Sir? If you say hiding is our primary combat tactic, what is our secondary combat tactic?" one recruit dared to ask hardly hiding the contempt in his voice.

"Good question!" replied the Commander to every ones surprise, they were expecting the recruit to get blasted down after that question. The Commander pressed a button and the holographic Merlin span around and warped away, becoming a speck in the distance. "Running away! Very few combat situations that you cannot take the advantage with by a bit of running away. The enemy wants to destroy your ship, if you are not there when he arrives he has failed. When the Gallente fail, it is the same as us winning. Well, may be a draw. Take this as an example!".

The holographic Merlin vanished and was replaced by a Condor class frigate with fitting display.

"Tech one light missiles, cloak, micro-warpdrive, sensor booster, nano and over-drive injector. Rigs are axillary thrusters and some 'polycarb' housings. Another standard fit you'll need to get used to. It does the same damage as if you slapped your opponent in the face with a wet halibut, but who cares if they'll never catch you!"

The dam finally burst and the recruits started shouting and waving their arms. Several stood venting their anger. The Commander smiled and suddenly glanced to the door where he came in.

"Class dismissed!" he said hurriedly and suddenly sprinted to the opposite end of the room and barged out a fire escape.

The class quickly quietened down in shock as their instructor vanished. Suddenly the main doors on the other side of the room burst open. A man in the same Wing Commander uniform quickly swept into the room along with two military police officers who had guns drawn. The recruits stared, open-mouthed in shock.


The Admiral sipped the amber liquid whilst reclining in the armchair in his office. The alcohol warmed his throat as he read from the datapad. Wing Commander Hiko stood next to him at attention, his gaze straight forward. Since he arrived ten minutes ago the Admiral had not said 'at ease' and the Commander had been frozen in attention.

"So Wing Commander, please help me to get this straight. Your report states that you received official orders that the recruits initial briefing had been changed and would be held in room 5412, twenty minutes later than planned."

"Yes sir!"

"You didn't question these orders as they were sent via our official system."

"That is correct sir."

"However it would appear that these orders were falsified and sent by an intruder. A fact you didn't realise until you arrived at room 5412."

"Yes sir."

"And this intruder dressed as yourself and held the initial briefing to our new recruits in the pilots briefing hall."

"Yes sir."

"And none of our recruits suspected anything even though he was giving combat advice that anyone who has flown a garbage scow would have know was crap."

"That is correct sir."

"And nobody realised that the name he claimed, Subit Hteh, is simply Tibus Heth spelt backwards."

"No sir."

"Thank you Commander for those confirmations, I just wanted to be sure. I've been running this State Protectorate Capsuleer Academy for two decades. I must say this is the first time a Gallente agent has even infiltrated our facility for the simple reason of TAKING THE PISS!"

The Commander remained stiffly at attention.

"Last thing before I dismiss you Commander and consider what I'm going to do to you, did you enter room 5412?"

"Sir, no sir. I didn't know where that room was until I arrived at it this morning. As soon as I opened the door I knew it was a trick so headed straight for 2231."

"And 5412 is not a room where we could hold pilot briefings is it?"

"Sir, no sir. It is a storage room near the kitchen block sir."

"A storage room? What specifically was it storing Commander?" the Admiral looked over his glasses.

The Commander paused, still stood stiffly at attention. "Sir, it stores frozen chickens, sir!"


  1. Not only did I know what the subject would be as soon as I read "Caldari", I literally LOLd. Picture the commander as R. Lee Ermey. Beautiful.

  2. … hurries off to rename all my Merlins, and I'm not even in FW :)

    My responses while reading:
    … mildly amusing propaganda
    … oh, the "Gallente Agent" twist is clever
    … "frozen chickens"! snerk chortle giggle … (still chortling a couple of minutes later)

  3. I'm into srsbsns Caldari FW.. and I still laughed.

  4. Aren't you always complaining about the caldari tactics?!? Shouldn't you be complaining about your very own spais instead?!?

    Nice one anyway. :-)