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Dear Mad Elf,
As a youngling, a naval recruiter led me to believe that my special abilities would allow me to join up and see the galaxy. I promptly did, and was forced into a course of treatment and training that leaves me in my current position.
At the moment of writing, i am trapped within my habitat tube on board HMS Triumph and have no options left. As a sessile telepath i have no opportunities for leave, and regulations prevent me from devoting more than a few seconds from every shift to my hobbies. This however is not the true source of my anguish, as i am slowly coming to the realisation that the crew i am a part of is doomed.
My captain, a respected officer of the Black Fleet, has become increasingly bloodthirsty over the past few weeks, to the point where he discussed the retro-fitting of a gravitic personnel evacuation system to remove troublesome guests from his ready room.
My woes are compounded by the excesses of the other senior officers aboard. The behavioural traits of the Air Group Commander and his second cause me to worry for the safety of my mechanical brethren, as does the reputation of our new Marine Liaison.
What sickens me more, however, are the antics of the ship's Inquisitor and his Marine beau. The region of the ship that contains my habitat is in a permanent state of zero-g. My pipe is transparent for its entirety, and visual receptors dot my forty-three feet of length. Suffice to say that since the Marine's other is two feet shorter than she, and then one can surely imagine the antics i am forced to witness as a result of the Inquisitor's universal key.
This however pales in comparison to the perversions i am forced to witness as a result of working in close contact with the ship's Mind. Some integral component of their construction seems to leave them both competently aggressive and chock full of sexual deviancy. One can only take so many comments about one's feeding tendrils, especially when addressed by an over-eager lump of metal.
Any suggestions you could make, bearing in mind that i have another seventy years of service ahead of me, would be greatly appreciated.
PERSCNDMNT TACSTAFFCOLLEGE - HSD TRIUMPH
CINCPACFLT[BLK]SECT23[COVERT] "HMS TRIUMPH"
Mad Elf replies...
First let me point out that you are the first sessile person to contact me (though not the first telepath by a long shot), and I ask you to forgive me for any inadvertent insult I may give.
Taking the wide view, it would appear that you are indeed in an unfortunate position, although I would hesitate to use the word 'doomed'. Your crew, meat and otherwise, would certainly seem to be spiralling in towards some event horizon of decadence, and it may be up to you to rescue them (and yourself) from in-space collision, court-martial, obnoxious disease, or whatever fate awaits them. As you are (apparently) the only sane person on board, it is your duty to see the ship to safety, however that may be achieved.
Your captain, I would suggest, should be reasoned with. If you were to act as the voice of his conscience, I am sure you could lead him to a better life. If you failed, I am sure that your medical officer would consider the testimony of a telepathic entity when debating the removal of the captain due to mental instabilities. Luckily, if he were to report the voices in his head, it could only help the case...
The Inquisitor and the Marine... An obvious solution presents itself in the phrase "steam purge". I am sure that the safety, environment or pest control systems will include such a device. For once your transparent tube would be a joy to have. You may of course require the assistance of an ally in this endeavour... might I suggest picking an obnoxious member of the crew, suggesting it as a dare or a 'wizard wheeze'*, then have them take the blame for the 'accident' - thus killing two birds with one stone.
For the Mind I can't offer such an obvious course to follow, although it may be the ideal patsy for the steam plan. You may have to consider some unsavoury trading with the entity to get it to co-operate with any plan you have in mind, so it would probably be best to reserve that tactic until you can come up with a plan that gets rid of it forever.
On the other hand, a few seconds a day (and I'm sure an intelligent creature such as yourself could find ways to extend that time) would be more than enough to plant more interesting psychoses and neuroses in the crew. Mess with their minds creatively enough and I'm sure seventy years would just fly by.
*: Apologies to anyone who finds this phrase offensive after the antics of that Raistlin chap.