Mining Ships

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Bry_Sinclair, May 10, 2018.

  1. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not altogether sure where to put this thread, so thought I'd add it here as the creative minds that frequent Fanfic might be able to pull together some good ideas, now enough with the buttering you up it's time to move on to the purpose of the thread.

    On DeviantArt I stumbled on an image that included a couple of the mining ships from Star Trek: Armada, which sparked the memory of "Nor The Battle To The Strong" and the ensign who shot himself in the foot to get out of the fighting, who said after his court martial he'd be signing up to a mining expedition. Then there was seeing the Canterbury on The Expanse, where we got to see the less than glamorous work of such a ship in a sci-fi setting.

    All this got me thinking about the types of ships and crews in the Trekverse. [Shameless self-plug alert] I did touch on a prospecting ship in "Out In The Cold" for a writing challenge a few years ago, but I was wondering about the actual mining operations. Would any ship we've previously seen fit the bill as a mining vessel, such as the Xhosa-type, or would they need to be a more behemoth type of ship with cavernous bays for processing and storage of materials.

    Part of the setting is also the overall crew complement for such a vessel. The Xhosa-type wouldn't have a large crew complement (the similar Norkova was established as having a crew of 12) whilst a bigger ship would have more volume and a larger crew though probably only a few dozen (using the Canterbury as an example there were only between 50-60 onboard). The ships mission would also mean that many crew would be cross trained, for example when not engaged in mining activity a 'cutter' might be trained in damage control, transporters operations, and/or navigation systems. There would be some with very specific duties onboard (i.e. helmsman, chief engineer, ship's doctor, etc.) but I think the bulk of the crew would be miners who do 'odd jobs' when in transit.

    I'm not sure I'd personally do something with a mining ship and crew, but it would be an interesting angle of the Trekverse to look at, examining the hard life of civvies in space. If anyone has any thoughts then please feel free to share.
     
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  2. JonVP

    JonVP Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Jumping from system to system, searching for planets or asteroids to mine doesn't exactly sound like an interesting story concept. What could work: the movie Armageddon done Star Trek-style. A mining ship hired by Starfleet or Section 31 to help on some (covert) mission, mixing up the rough and hard life on board a mining ship with the more sophisticated by the book Starfleet officers. Or maybe some deep space mission to find some mythical ore which will make it possible to jump between galaxies. You could spice things up by adding the Romulans or Breen, trying to get get their hands on the ore too (good old fashioned space race).
     
  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    An asteroid mining ship in a quiet corner of the Alpha Quadrant with a rigid and inflexible Captain, a First Mate who's living under an assumed identity to escape trouble in their past, a Mineralogist disgraced in their field after accepting bribes for prospecting reports on potential systems, a Klingon helmsman who went AWOL during the war, a ship's Doctor seeking to distance themselves from the death of a patient they were responsible for, a miner born Cardassian but raised on Bajor who loathes what they are, the offspring of a prominent Federation official looking to make it on their own without relying on family connections, an engineering apprentice who woke up in a hotel room five years ago on Risa with no recollection of who they are, a former Starfleet officer who was severely injured and discharged from service not wanting to give up on the life they once had, a communications operator who couldn't make the cut to get into Starfleet but wants to pursue their dream.

    All these are just examples, but with the right characters, the stories would be about them and not some glorious mission, or high-action scheme, it would be about people trying to live their lives the best they can, with only one another for support as they go about doing an arduous but essential job.
     
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  4. JonVP

    JonVP Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Great character descriptions. And you're right, it doesn't always have to be about big action plots or high scifi concepts.
     
  5. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or a civilian ship whose captain has died, that's commandeered by the landing party from a small Starfleet ship that blew up, leaving them stranded.
     
  6. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I think it would be more interesting if the Starfleeters were forced to abide by the rules of life onboard a civilian ship, where all their pomp and ceremony didn't mean anything to the workers who were just out doing a job.
     
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  7. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Okay, tries to commandeer it. "Listen, pal, out here we don't measure rank with pips; we count the scars on a man's face. The calluses on a woman's hands. The number of friends we've lost, and gained, and lost again. Got it?"
     
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  8. SolarisOne

    SolarisOne Commander Red Shirt

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    I figured when I read the initial description, you were going for more of a "slice-of-life" feel. ;) I'd be interested to see this concept developed. It's not the kind of thing I like to write, but I'm certainly interested in reading it.
     
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  9. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I was thinking it more of a slice of life concept, sort of like the animated Star Trek: Aurora fanfilm, which looks at peoples lives outside of the conventions of Starfleet. I'm not sure if I could give any time to actually writing anything but I do enjoy a good dose of prepping and devising the ins-and-outs of ideas, as such over my lunch break today I did think up a potential duty roster (using the format favoured by @Sgt_G, hope you don't mind :)) for a crew of 60:

    Code:
    ## ... Duty Title ... Post Holder
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    01 ... Ship's Master (Captain) ... Narys Jenott (Atrean, Female)
    02 ... First Mate ... Fabian DaSilva (Human, Male) [aka Vince Ramirez]
    03 ... Second Mate / H&S Inspector ... Vana Yraxis (Bolian, Female)
    04 ... Purser* / PR Liaison ... TBD (Human, Male)
    05 ... Senior Comm Operator ...
    06 ... Comm Operator ... Omeyd (Rhaandarite, Androgynous)
    07 ... Comm Operator ...
    08 ... Senior Helmsman ...
    09 ... Helmsman ... Masaru Takashi (Human, Male)
    10 ... Helmsman ... Saun Aldaar (Talarian, Male)
    11 ... Senior Navigator ... Ojen Marak (Cardassian, Female)
    12 ... Navigator ... Nathan Keller (Human, Male)
    13 ... Navigator ...
    14 ... Senior Assayer** ...
    15 ... Assayer ... Rycien Kr'Agor (Nausicaan, Female)
    16 ... Assayer ...
    17 ... Lab Technician ... Kyr Hadaro (Kobliad, Male)
    18 ... Lab Technician ...
    19 ... Lab Technician ...
    20 ... Doctor ...
    21 ... Medtech ... Imahr Palii (Irriol, Male)
    22 ... Medtech ...
    23 ... Medtech ...
    24 ... Chief Engineer ... TBD (Trill [Joined], Male)
    25 ... Assistant Engineer ...
    26 ... Assistant Engineer ...
    27 ... Engineer ... Dogh (Ferengi/Klingon, Male)
    28 ... Engineer ... T'Pai (Vulcan, Female)
    29 ... Engineer ...
    30 ... Engineer ...
    31 ... Engineer ...
    32 ... Engineer ...
    33 ... Engineer ...
    34 ... Engineer ...
    35 ... Engineer ...
    36 ... Data Management Technician ...
    37 ... Electrical Technician ...
    38 ... Quartermaster*** ... TBD (Boslic, Male)
    39 ... Sensor Technician ...
    40 ... Shuttle/Workbee Mechanic ...
    41 ... Transporter Operator ...
    42 ... Mining Foreperson ... Domo Essa (Chandir, Female)
    43 ... Miner**** ... Danielle Palmer (Human, Female)
    44 ... Miner ... Mardus (Zaldan, Male)
    45 ... Miner ...
    46 ... Miner ...
    47 ... Miner ...
    48 ... Miner ...
    49 ... Miner ...
    50 ... Miner ...
    51 ... Miner ...
    52 ... Miner ...
    53 ... Miner ...
    54 ... Miner ...
    55 ... Miner ...
    56 ... Miner ...
    57 ... Miner ...
    58 ... Miner ...
    59 ... Miner ...
    60 ... Miner ...
    
    [* The Purser would be the person that handles the paperwork, records, logs, etc. (essentially the ship's secretary)
    ** Prospectors are scientists that typically specialise in planetary sciences (geologists, mineralogists, geochemists, geophysicists, etc.) and are present to carry out analysis of potential mining locations, collect samples, catalogue information, etc.
    *** The Quartermaster looks after all the cargo and supplies onboard
    **** Miners roles are self-explanatory, but when the ship is in transit they are cross-trained to handle other duties onboard as required]


    Though I was thinking of a 24th century timeframe, I just liked the idea of the ship still having the old bridge positions of comm-helm-nav, to give her the feel of being not quite up to Starfleet standard of the time.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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  10. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Who's the mediator/liaison between the ship's crew and the governments/agencies they must deal with?
     
  11. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd think that would be the type of work the Captain would handle initially, then probably hand off to either the First or Second Mates or Purser for updates and reports. Of course if anyone wants to devise their own roster feel free, this was just my random thoughts all dumped into one place.
     
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  12. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Where's the union rep?
     
  13. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Health and safety inspector? Or would they only visit occasionally?
     
  14. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Feel free to amend.
     
  15. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    While referred to as Captain, I imagine that they'd be roughly equivalent to a Starfleet Lieutenant Commander if they have any rank at all with "Lieutenants" as First and Second Mate (cf Captain Ramart and First Officer-Navigator Tom Nellis of the Antares from "Charlie X")?
     
  16. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I was wondering about what the rank structure might be like. Maybe something along the lines of the merchant navy? Or possibly a more scaled down version of Starfleet ranks (Captain, Commander, Lieutenant, Ensign, etc)?

    Or since this is more a job than a career would people apply for jobs, be shortlisted, interviewed and hired as many firms do now, so the position titles would be their 'rank'. After a tour if, for example, an Assistant Engineer left then the other Engineer's onboard could apply for the senior post and whoever met the essential criteria would then get the job.
     
  17. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    Mind? I'm honored.
    Additional duty for the Second Mate.
    The Ship's Captain is the duty title. Perhaps they might use Ship's Master instead. Captain is an officer's rank. (Always fun and confusing when a Navy Captain O-6 visits an Army post of Air Force base where Captains O-3 are a dime a dozen.) On a civilian ship, "rank" is different from the military. And as Bry stated, promotions and job placement would look more at skill sets and experience (and a bit of who-you-know) more than time-in-service.
     
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  18. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I did consider calling the person at the top the Ship's Master, but there's something about that title that always seems a little off to me. The official post title might be 'Master' though in practice those onboard would refer to them as 'Captain' or 'Skipper'.
     
  19. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If anyone has any suggestions for ships (whether canon or not) that might make for a suitable mining vessel feel free to share. I have a few ideas, but just wondering if there could be something I may have missed out there that would be a better fit.

    [NOTE: I've edited the crew list to include public relations to the First Mate's title (i.e. dealing with foreign officials, installations, etc.), whilst the Second Mate is also the named health and safety inspector.]
     
  20. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    01 ... Captain.
    02 ... First mate
    03 ... Administrative clerk
    04 ... Quartermaster

    05 ... Resource assayer
    06 ... Prospector
    07 ... Prospector
    08 ... Prospector

    09 ... Pilot -astrogation officer
    10 ... Co-pilot
    11 ... Co-pilot

    12 ... Doctor
    13 ... Nurse
    14 ... Medic

    15 ... Chief engineer

    16 ... Second engineer
    17 ... Third engineer
    18 ... Specialist reactor
    19 ... Specialist sensor
    20 ... Specialist vehicles
    21 ... Specialist vehicles
    22 ... Specialist information
    23 ... Specialist electrician
    24 ... Specialist transporter
    25 ... Specialist transporter
    26 ... General technician
    27 ... Genera; technician
    28 ... General technician

    29 ... Child care
    30 ... Child care
    31 ... Dietitian
    32 ... Roustabout

    33 ... Mining Foreperson
    49 ... Miner x16

    Child care because they will be living on this ship for extended periods of time, it will be their home, not just a 9 to 5 job.

    I thought about just having one pilot, something like Firefly, where you set the ship on course and then basically everyone walks off the bridge.

    Engineering specialists would have a defined shift, but would always be on call.

    Given that this is a civilian ship, and would be operating for extended periods, does anyone thing we should build in days off? Enough crew numbers for such
     
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