Manticoran News Bureau
“All the News That’s Fit to Transmit!”
Captain Bill Lochen (center) teaching Star Trek’s Marina Sirtis (left) how to fire missile pods.
2014.07.30 CE / 346.04.27 AL (MNB) –
When the sun finally reaches the northern climes of Earth’s western continent, the local spacers revel at the welcome thaw, and invite all to come join them in the brief appearance of the sun by holding a convention. CONvergence, for those of you who may be unfamiliar, is a four day long science fiction and fantasy convention in Minnesota. If you happened to have rolled too many missile pods, that’s completely understandable, because CONvergence takes place in the territory of RMN Second Fleet, the origin of the secret weapons project that constructed the sweet intoxicant. As with any place that would develop such a dangerous mixture, Second Fleet attacked the con with all the gusto the RMN is known for.
Of course, missile pods weren’t the only secret project that Second Fleet has had under wraps. Project Gazebo continues to improve, allowing HMS Artemis made an appearance, the simulator which allows members to command a ship and take up all the positions as if on a real bridge, running a real ship. The bridge is kept dark (thanks to the use of fancy constructed panels and lighting automatically adjusted to what happens in the game) to allow officers to focus in the midst of combat. Each station is marked with a helpful sign, so that everyone knows their job, and appropriate symbols have been added. This ensures you know who fires the missiles and who is making your command do donuts in deep space… despite orders to the contrary. The program is well-developed, adjusting to the physics of zero gravity, which is a problem when you try to stop when you run over mines. Unfortunately, space is not friendly, and Artemis cannot turn on a dime despite how well the helm may try. As many spacers learned the hard way, a spaceship is not indestructible.
Space donuts may sound cool, but they can get you trouble… especially when the captain is not amused.
Artemis was by no means the only RMN presence. On Friday July 4th, the Admiral’s Reception took place, and a welcome spread was laid out for the guests. The food was masterfully prepared, and included such delicacies as Venison, Satay Chicken, Spring Rolls, and the Carpaccio Salad on a stick. However, many Babylon 5 fans were reprimanded after the tenth time of shouting, “She is Satay!” All in all, the flag officers certainly got to eat well that night, but then came the drinks. The RMN was proud to present their signature Missile Pods to the convention’s guest of honor, Marina Sirtis (of Star Trek fame.) From all reports, she rather enjoyed the drink, and was pleased by the warmness of the assembled fans.
The next day was Saturday, and everyone gathered for the big event—the RMN Awards Ceremony. It was held in the courtyard, a public event for the entire convention to watch, very official, and certainly a sight to behold. The Award Ceremony was watched by many people, both RMN personnel and regular con-goers alike, which led to some confusing costume mixes on the floor. The spectacle gathered quite a crowd as they watched on the balcony and surrounding areas, gazing as awards were given out to the joy of those who worked so hard to earn them. Captain (SG) Jill McTavish was surprised when she was called up to receive the Saganami Cross, the Navy’s second-highest decoration for bravery, given to exclusively officers. She accepted the award humbly and to the great delight of her crew that were in attendance.
Captain Brian Horton discovers a dramatic pose at the award ceremony.
After the ceremony, the BatRon 21 personnel all disappeared suddenly from the con. All hands were needed to prepare for the Party Suite extravaganza. The convention has had a long history of arranging Party Suites, and organized the various fan groups, the hotel, and the con-goers who wanted to hold and attended them. Each different group would decorate their suite as per their fandom, and served some specialty libation, food item, or both. The attendees rotated around the atrium (arrows on the floor kept everybody moving in the same decoration) visiting one room after another, leaving tips to help offset the costs of the refreshments, and enjoying Punches, Cupcakes, Ices, Toast, Rice, and a multitude of drink concoctions. The RMN Missile Pods were a big hit, with people waiting up to 45 minutes for them to be prepared and some even hopping in place in anticipation. Between waves of pods, the RMN also served Captain Lochen’s homemade red wine, and Lady Elisa’s Old Tillman’s Ale, which were both raved about. For the spacers, it felt like going up against the Solarians, since the con-goers had very little point defense against their strong drink… but their targets did create more friendly banter than Sollies ever would have, nor so thankful.
As the con winded down on Sunday, the RMN personnel said goodbye to the new friends they had made while here, and giving friendly warnings to any old friends that they would indeed see them again. CONvergence pulled in spacers from HMS Chaos out of North Carolina and HMS Truculent out of Washington State. The con truly lived up to its name and brought fans together in a pleasant place. This made the entire convention a success for showcasing the best of the RMN, and for Second Fleet in particular, and will keep our spacers coming back year after year.
The First Lord of the Admiralty awarding Captain Jill McTavish the Saganami Cross.
Copyright © 2014, Bureau of Communications, The Royal Manticoran Navy: The
Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc.
CPO Caitlyn Miller, Manager, Manticoran News Bureau, BuComm. All pictures used with permission or used in a way that qualifies as fair use under US copyright law.