What MY dreams have been like lately.

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There is a ship that putts around the star systems. It arrives at a planet expected to be bustling, but finds no sign of life. It turns out that somebody on the planet was churning out some kind of pollutant known as ‘mud.’ When this came to the empire’s (emperor’s?) attention, he swiftly kicked them back into the stone age – so although many people died, there are more still clinging to the planet’s surface, but with no means to communicate off-planet.

Our own ship (with a crew of 1/2 dozen or so) has a component that leaks a small amount of ‘mud’ if it is not jiggled fairly regularly by hand (it is accessed from outside the ship). The captain, a stern, fit, bald, middle aged fellow does this every time the ship reaches a destination. The pollution is too small to have any impact or draw any negative attention, but it makes the crew queasy to think about – ‘mud’ has a bad reputation.

Apparently it collects in a thin coating on some kind of dome shaped apparatus (for navigation?), that are based in larger planetary systems. I don’t know what else it does.

Crew members have only 2 sets of clothing – their work around the ship clothes and a dress suit. I believe that they are some kind of minor contractor with the imperial navy. Perhaps they do jobs too dinky to send a ship with a full complement out to.

Shipmate interactions:

One crewmate needles another about wearing the dress suit planetside:

“Well, I’d rather be over-dressed than under-dressed”

“Some of the places I go, I AM over-dressed!” (I get the impression work clothes are pretty shoddy/super-casual)

“Captain went out to jiggle the COM module.”

“Don’t call it the ‘COM module,’ that’s redundant.”

“What would you like me to call it, then? The Communications Module?”

“No, because that’s not what it is – you could call it ‘the COM,'”

“Or I cold call it the COM module.”

“Or I could call it your mother’s teat and send you outside for a drink!”

The COM is a Communications Observation Module, and what it does is monitor all communications that can be received from the ship’s location. It uses triangulation based on the ship’s motion to determine exactly where the ship is at a given point (kind of a galactic GPS). Obviously, this works best in densely populated areas, and poorly out in the boondocks. Knowing where you are is mostly a combination of the COM and knowing where you ought to be based on the flight plans.

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