New recruits for the Empire

So this is an idea that’s been rattling around in me 'ead for a while now. Written in about 20 minutes in a dull lunch break purely for my own amusement and well its my way of “de-stressing”. As per my previous I set it in my own vision of a Peoples Realm space empire. No attempt is made to assume any official rules or story, this is just my take on something in the game for funzies. It it amuses any of you as well that’s a bonus!
Might add to it on the other resources or whatever if the mood strikes.
No need to post comments/feedback. - Z

Now who was next on today’s rota? James wondered as he worked the kinks out of his neck. Ah yes the trainee Colonists section. Good youths were somewhat easier to instruct he found. The older study candidates often tended to have set in their ways and disliked taking a refresher course from a “mere” Gamma class specialist such as himself.

Still it was useful service to the empire, and his noted expertise in instruction had kept from being ‘recycled’ after his accident. So he was not complaining; well not very much, and never in public!

As the class settled in to their seats Technical Tutor McKinnon swivelled on his powered chair and addressed them.

“Now, citizens in this next stage of colonisation aptitudes training we shall discuss the primary resources. Any future colony of the empire will be expected to contribute back in due time. So this is where you will learn what to look out for and why if you are selected for a new colony crew.”

He eyed the motley assembly of mainly Epsilon class workers and frowned, most of these wastrels would be dead in a week if they didn’t buck their ideas up before joining a Colony crew!

Fortunately he had a handful of Gamma Technicians in this group as well as well as two favoured Beta commander candidates. They at least he must not fail to educate!

With a sigh he tapped his note’puter and the auditoriums main screen flickered to life.

“Now, who among you can tell me something about ‘Olzine’ “ He declared as the complex chain molecules schematic materialised. Scanning the class he stabbed out a finger. “Yes, you!”

The Epsilon students face suddenly went blank instead of the half asleep look he had been wearing a second before. “Its the primary fuel for Warp Drives sir…”

“No! A Common misconception, but not one I will accept here. You did basic warp mechanics last semester! Two demerits Cadet Winningham for your obvious lack of attention! Anyone else?” His crisp tone left nobody in doubt if he didn’t get the right answer this time more demerits might follow!

Gamma Crowley’s hand shot up. “Yes Crowley”

“Olzine is a superconductive coolant as used in our Technology sir”

“go on…”

“In Cadets Winningham’s partial answer sir, it is used to super cool the Warp emitters so they can operate at their maximum efficiency. However such cooling causes the Oz to degrade effectively depleting it at a predicable rate.” Crowley paused, a smug look stealing over his face. “Thus it is mistaken by the nontechnical as being consumed a a ‘Fuel’…”

“Very good Crowley near text book, one demerit!” Crowley looked shocked by the response and raised a hand. “Your question is…?” he left it hanging though they both knew full well what the Cadet would say.

“Didn’t you mean one merit point sir? I did answer correctly.”

“You did, but you attitude was obvious and un-befitting your classification Gamma Crowley! Your specialist function is engineering yes? Can you tell me Winningham’s speciality?” Crowleys face lost its emotions as he mentally attempted to recall the class make up.

“No Gamma Tutor McKinnon.” he admitted defeated but with a proper neutral tone and expression this time.

“Winnington is a Xeno Botanist with specialities in grain production and structural timber cultivation. I do not expect them to provide flawless answers on Engineering issues – at this time!” He eyed the nervous Winnington. “By the end of this semester I will expect it however!”

“Class please recall we all serve the empire, with our several strengths. None is above others in their own classification and even across classifications the wise operative respects the expertise of the others, especially others who may be trying to keep your own colony alive alongside of you!”

Chastened Crowley hung his head and shot a stealthy nod to Winnington. The Botanist student nodded back, and McKinnon almost smiled. Good let them bond by hating me by all means, if it keeps them alive one hour longer on some unforgiving border world so be it! He thought to himself.

“Now engage your terminals to the lesson plan. As Crowley said Olzine is a super coolant and as such is also used in other specialist electronics to allow them to operate… Who here can name another example?”

Hands shot up and McKinnon nearly smiled. Maybe he could make something of this intake of students…


Part Two: By request a bit of nonsense about “Zyril”

McKinnon pretended to study his notes as the Colony Preparation class filed into his lecture theatre. They had made reasonable progress over all, but as with many adolescent students they did not appreciate the utter seriousness of their schooling. How the training they received here and elsewhere on the Colonisation course might actually save their lives one day.

He sighed and shook his head as the last of them sat into their study booths.

“Today Students we will be discussing the uses and prospecting for the High Energy material known as “Zyril”.” He eyed the somewhat surprised looks on several face. “Yes I am aware of the syllabus called for a discussion on Beron and its uses this section however, given recent events I thought this was a better time for this lecture.”

The class calmed and their was a few nods of understanding from the Gamma ranked Techs. Not a week previously a Zyril Converter mine had go offline as the last of the surface deposits had spectacularly gone dry. Now the planetary governor was hastily ordering it to be reconfigured for core mining.

“Very well will somebody please give a definition of Zyril and one of its obvious uses please…” he paused and eyed the class for the least attentive face. He was both pleased and disappointed when he found all fifty of them eyeing him with apparent keen interest. Were they learning or had he just become too predictable he wondered idly? “Matterson, your definitions please.” He said at length.

Cadet Matterson stood up and tossed her black hair away from her face. “Zyril is a compound of three common elements in rare allotropic forms. This strange variation makes it highly unstable and prone to decay except when a high degree of electrical current is passed through it. When so stimulated it forms an inversion of subatomic particles causing it to absorb a broad spectrum of radioactive waves including gravitons. As such it is able to recapture spent Gravitons from a warp drive and allow them to be tied back into the main induction generators. Allowing for a higher trans-light cruise speed.” She declared with careful and precise diction.

“Nicely done Matterson, and in less than one hundred words. Two merits!” he declared visibly pleased. Privately he made a note that the woman should be re evaluated for Gamma classification early. She showed promise if this was anything to go by!

“Because of its rarity Zyril tends to be found in smaller deposits on planetary surfaces, and as we have seen they tend to run dry sooner than most. How would you go about detecting for its signature on planet? Yes Crowley…”

“Zyril in its resting state is highly radioactive in the Alpha band sir. While not overly harmful it is quite detectable by standard sensor suits. When on planet the hazard of setting a Zyril extractor plant usually comes from the secondary parent elements, notably Thorium and Uranium which are often found nearby.” He finished.

“Very good. Yes its the secondarys that will cause the difficulty in extraction and purification. The empire sets great store on any Zyril discovery preferably of above 65% purity. Tell me if you had to chose between a 70% deposit on planet and bringing in a Asteroid mining craft to harvest free floating Zyril in system which would you prioritise. Cadet Beta Shamron if you please?”

The Beta Command Cadet stood. “I’d get the Asteroidal deposits prioritised, Gamma Instructor sir,” he began, “The Zyril they hold is as close to 100% pure as you are likely to find and as such can be utilised directly. Besides the profits of those deposits would help fund the construction of the longer term mines on the planet.” He concluded still with his hands behind his back in “Parade rest” position.

“Well reasoned and logical. Are there any other considerations of Asteroidal deposits of this or any other mineral over planet-side deposits?” McKinnon questioned the class. “Yes you, Cadet Maynard.”

“It may be that Asteroidal deposits are more vulnerable to piracy and should be secured early sir. Colonies are usually on the fringes of explored space: ergo they may come in to contact with other sophonts of unknown intention.”

“Possibly possibly Cadet. We should assume that the fleet will have an eye on that sort of thing, but a reasonable amount of caution is not undesirable.”

“Very well you seem to have the basics down, good. Now we shall turn out attention to the practical geology of the planet. Orbital scans will have pinpointed where the deposits lie certainly. But now I want to hear your ideas for the setting up of a mining camp, you may collaborate.”