Thursday 3 January 2013

Economy does not lie in sparing money, but in spending it wisely

Captain’s log: a nice hunk of larch. It’s funny, you see, because “log” means both “a thick piece of tree trunk or branch, especially one cut for burning on a fire” and also “a full written record of a journey, a period of time, or an event”, so scientifically that was *hilarious*. Oh please yourselves. Following a series of exciting adventures, Starfleet have appointed me to the rank of Admiral and given me command of a new ship, one that doesn’t have big, tempting red buttons labelled “Abandon Ship” and “Self Destruct” on the arms of the captain’s chair. Due to budget cutbacks it is equipped with the most basic weapons, shields and engines from the Spacetesco Value range, but high command seem pretty relaxed about captains performing their own upgrades, so while my application to “Pimp My Spaceship” is being considered I have tasked my senior officers to review the spacedock market and make some recommendations to improve the performance of USS Hope Springs Eternal

“Good morning, men. And women. And aliens from tri-gendered species. And robots, and holograms and… whatever you are, in the corner”
“That’s a potted plant, sir”
“Very good, carry on… potting. Now, as you’re all well aware, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century. Except where it does, a bit, sort of, or there’s some sort of bartering involving credits, or energy or… oh, look, it’s all vague enough that Cryptic can get away with a bunch of different currencies and an auction house and stuff. So, as a new crew, let’s go around the table, introduce ourselves, outline what upgrades you’d like to purchase from the market, and we’ll run the budget past Stevens of accounts. You in the red shirt first.”
“Thank you captain. I’m Alexei Vladimir Ilyich Dynamo Kiev Five Year Plan John Paul George Ringo Antonov, Chief Tactical Officer, nuclear wessel etc. I propose replacing the aft photon torpedo launcher with a quantum mine dispenser, upgrading the for’d launcher, and replacing the phaser arrays with plasma cannons fore, and plasma turrets aft. Total cost would be approximately 100,000 energy credits for a moderate upgrade. We can also equip the away team with new weapons and armour for 75,000 credits.”
“Excellent, next”
“Jings crivens, sir, I’m Angus McScotsman, Chief Engineering Officer, och aye the noo. I recommend fitting improved combat impulse engines for greater speed and manoeuvrability, and reconfiguring engineering consoles for maximum weapon power. There’s a moose loose aboot this hoose. Estimated cost, 70,000 energy credits.”
“Very good; you in the blue with the pointy ears”
“Well, sir, there is a theme I have on that scheme you have; a flight on the wings of a young girls dreams that flew too far away. Basically we get some shields for 50,000 credits. And some china for me to hold.”
“Thank you, Science Officer Decker. Now, you in the rather… extravagant uniform, what department are you again?”
“Petty Officer Llewelyn-Bowen, sir, Chief of Interior Décor. Now, as it’s the holiday season, I’m thinking ornaments, I’m thinking Vulcan incense, sleigh bells, Bolian candles, Targ fur earmuffs will look simply *fabulous*, we can kit out the whole bridge for a mere 750,000 energy credits.”
“Three quarters of a million credits?”
“Oh yes. If you think about it, the whole game situation of players putting a premium on cosmetic appearance and digital pseudo-rarity from limited time events and such fits in quite well with a post-economic society, if you sort of squint a bit. Tell you what, there’s a lovely jacket for sale. Brown, thigh length, very in this season, a snip at 300,000 credits.”
“So, I can either dramatically increase the effectiveness of both this starship and her away team, or get a jacket?”

Captain’s log, stardate: about a week later. Forced to retreat from confrontation with Klingon patrol, shields unable to withstand concentrated fire and weaponry insufficient to cause significant damage. Beamed down to planet to try and negotiate ceasefire, away team overpowered and captured. On the plus side, Counsellor Ilium said I looked very dashing in the new jacket.

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