Building Bridges

“Listen up, girder monkeys! Your job for today is to put the bridge in the Starwing-class courier floatin’ behind us. My job for today is to make sure you do it right.”

“Now, you are asking yourselves why the admins here at Islien have decided in their wisdom to put a bunch of rookies in charge of such an important part of the starship we’re building. That’s because it’s also the dumbest part of the starship. There’s no technical reason you need one at all: All the system primary controls are attached to their systems, and everything’s fly-by-wire. If the system bus and computers are up and running, you can run everything from your ‘lace or your pocketwatch from anywhere inside her, or within a few hundred meters of her hull if it’s a good signal day – and if they’re not working, you’re going to have to get out of your chair and beat brass with the techs’n’mechs anyway. It’s just there so the command conference has a table big enough to sit ’round and won’t all go space-crazy stuck in their cabins.”

“That is also why the plans you are holding are, for those of you who have read ahead, a one-page variant of ‘Conference Room, Microgravity, Type K-Eleven’. Everything in there – the walls, the virtuality couches, the displays, the data pillar, the armatures – is off-the-shelf stock. That’s your job – set ’em up, hook ’em in three-by-three, run the self-tests. The only exceptions are the sailing master’s hand controls. Those, and double-checking your work, are my job.”

“You, check the main lock and axial passage are clear. You go with him, post our warning v-tags. You, get back to the low power room, lock down bridge-compartment power in the off position and bring me the keys. The rest of you – parts inventory. Find what we’re missing before we miss it.”

“Now, snap it up! Rookies you may be, but I still expect you to get this done in one shift.”

– Airin Serannis, girder-monkey-herder, Islien Yards

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  1. Pingback: Author’s Note: “Beat Brass” | The Eldraeverse

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