I have been asked to explain what the Command group is exactly. We call them Command, the Brain, or the Confused Ship Committee.
Command is where everything comes together. What the ship feels, thinks, fears and enjoys. It’s a mess to be honest but it works. It’s made up of Lizards from the big three. Emotion, Logic, and Self Preservation. These three rarely agree but each one handles their job well. Depending on what the ship is doing, various lizards are in the Big Chair at the time.
Logic: These are the eggheads. These lizards are all math and calculations and rationalizations. When it comes to the gender retrofit these guys are a mess. They support the change due to the evidence shown and they can’t ignore the information that Emotion keeps throwing at them but at the same time they are highly conflicted about the situation. They judge things as best they can and they don’t call on us down in Memory and Interpretation much.
Emotion: Now here is where things are getting shaken up. The Emotions group has nearly tripled its staff and installed all sorts of new equipment and refitted the old stuff. The head of the department is L-Danielle now and she is taking no prisoners. Seriously if she says Cry, you ask how many gallons and get to it. Emotion is suddenly getting a lot more attention and personally I think it’s because of the Estrogen they keep guzzling down there. That stuff is potent. But the ship sure runs better on it.
Self Preservation: Well, these guys are a wreck. Always have been really. The most famous member is of course Larry, but there are others with less insane reactions. These folks assess threats or possible damage. The funny thing is, since the shift-change they are both alot more busy, and a lot less. Due to the long running issues of the DAVID not performing at 100% they were in a constant state of scanning all other Jack class vessels and making sure that the weird urges or ideas that were sneaking through the firmware never showed up. The Self-Preservation crew only knew that not lining up _exactly_ as a Jack Class ship was inviting dangerous combat or attack. They had no idea why the ship kept moving or thinking outside of protocols, they just knew it had to be kept suppressed. This lead to the Self-Preservation crew becoming Hyper-Vigilant and stressed out, constantly recording the actions of other Jack ships and simulating those actions or ideas.
This created a lot of stress because no one could figure out what the problems were or how to fix it until after the sabotage was discovered. However, as Larry is quick to point out, the stress of faking the outward signs of a Jack class ship was NOTHING compared to the stressors that a gender retrofit would create. Fears of social stigma, threats of physical violence, employment problems, health issues and surgeries, the list goes on.
However the boost in motivation level, comfort and happiness are so off the chart no one (aside from maybe Larry) see the change as a bad thing.
Two of the groups can override a third and this series of checks and balances keeps things moving smoothly most of the time, although sometimes the distributed nature of the decision making process creates a mess.
The Twinkie effect.
Something that should be noted is how and why the ship reacts the way it does in some situations. Like it or not the action response to most things is pretty random despite the belief that it is far more controlled. Situations can shift in milliseconds and the ship is not always at its best when information is flying at us.
Often while cruising about the DAVID would spot a ship that was high on the Attractive Scale and the Sex Drive would instantly hit the “CONFIRM” buzzer. Command would roll their eyes but then focus on the other ship and then Command would suddenly stop paying attention to what is going on and just stand there on the bridge staring out the view port saying amazingly intelligent things like;
“Wow, she has great drive nacelles.”
“His eyes are so blue, oh my.”
or my fave…
“Scan the rear quadrant on that ship. Focus. Enhance… Enhance… Enhance…”
Inevitably because they detect our slightly goofy lock-on the other ship will turn and hail the SHELBY.
It’s usually some complex to decipher signal like. “Hi there.”
Now at this point there are literally HUNDREDS of protocols for responding. React favorably, not favorably, stalling, inquisitive, complimentary, insulting… you name it, it’s in the Command instructions.
Nobody is at their post, their attention is glued to the big screen. Suddenly the entire Command staff realizes they have all left their stations and are gawking at the attractive ship when the hailing alarm starts going off!
The SHELBY falters while a span of seconds pass. In Lizard terms this is a long time and we are well into the Embarrassment Zone. The other ship is waiting, the SHELBY is still at a 20% tilt staring vacantly as the eyeball drivers start trying to look anywhere other than the other vessel! Everyone starts running for their stations, panicking. Larry never misses this sort of chance and starts screaming ” EVASIVE MANUEVERES! THEY’RE GONNA MACE US! ”
If we are unlucky Harry will break into the bridge at that moment as well and offer helpful commands like “Punch ’em in the head and run for it! They didn’t get a good look at us!”
This all happens in milliseconds, we operate on a different time scale onboard. But in that time, when the ship is listing and just staring it never fails that the only one huge never left their Command post is the huge goon wedged behind his console over in Food / Fuel station. So even before the SHELBY’s face has cleared the vacant and terrified expression from it, Lizard-Food takes charge and sends a reply that he deems important and relevant.
“I like twinkies, do you like twinkies?”
Larry usually passes out around then.