My main issue with Starfleet being "military" is the implication that the Federation has a standing army ready to let rip and kick ass.
Totally OT here, but I promise to bring it back On Topic.
for a Brit you have a very strong sense of what America's Founding Fathers thought when they were hashing out the Constitution!
They felt that the Executive Branch (later the President) would be too tempted (being a mere human) to use a standing army to use against its own citizens or go on imperial conquests (hence the separation of powers so that only the Legislature could declare war and has the power of the purse to end, for all intents and purposes, the President's ability to wage war). It is also one of the reasons for the 2nd Amendment (not to get political here), but the Founding Fathers wanted to make sure that the citizens were able to defend their liberties against an opperessive government.
One of the reasons Washington was promoted so highly to be the first President was that he was not that type of person and would, therefore, set a precedent of proper Presidential authority.
Of course, all of this happed in 1787 when no one had even thought about the idea that someday it might not take months for 2 nations to go to war and actually engage each other in combat (as was usually the practice back then), or even end the customary practice (although it was already dying out at the time) of a temporary cessation of fighting so that the fighters could go home and plant and harvest crops.
Heck, the US didn't even have a standing navy until well after the States ratified Constitution. If memory serves, a true standing navy didn't come about until the War of 1812 and the ships that were used (among them the USS Constellation
and her sister ship the USS Constitution
- ther former is a museum in Baltimore Harbor and the latter is the only sailing vessel still listed on the Navy's active roster, I believe, and available for tours in Boston Harbor) were mothballed after the War for use in later conflicts.
Okay - American Civics 101 class is over (I hear the applause from around the world). So back On Topic.
- just to throw another term into the mix, are you familiar with "sutlers?" For a more thorough description check out these links:
I do not have any affiliation with the second site (or the first for that matter, obviously
). Sutlers, were not soldiers, and basically provided things not normally available to soldiers in their standard rations and the soldiers would buy them from the company sutler that followed the army. They sold coffee, sugar, etc. to supplement the standard rations of hardtack and salt pork.
Aside from the more apt description of a petrol/gas station convenience store (which is what we are basically talking about in this case) this might be a good way to tie in an historically accurate term to the area you are describing (of course the Ship's Purser and Quarter Master would serve the same purpose, but I have to use/justify my hard earned - okay, maybe not heard earned, but at least expensive, education somehow!).
One other question I had for you, totally unrelated to the above. Does the placement of the "rust ring" on the dorsal side of the primary hull lend itself to being the doors that blow off to allow escape boats or life pods to quickly evacuate the ship?
Regardless, you are doing a great job on this. It is clear that you are doing this for an absolute love of the subject (it sure isn't for the money!!
). Keep it up!