(Wrote this about 5 months ago about my old crew, thought y'all might be interested xD)
It all started a few years ago. A few old friends of mine were raving about this new game. This game? Artemis, a Spaceship Simulator, akin to a Starfleet Bridge. It looked cool, but I was too preoccupied to pay it much attention. A few months ago, I mentioned it to a buddy of mine. We decided to check it out one weekend. That’s all it took, he and I flying around, manning only the helm and weapons, for us to be hooked forever. We decided to drag more of our friends into this. Fast forward, and we had a full Bridge Crew. All six of us, stuffed into my tiny barracks room, computers and Mountain Dew *everywhere.*
As time went by, we improved more and more. Mistakes were made along the way, to include me insisting on “buzzing the enemy fleet” only to realize that I had forgotten to activate the shields first. We gained experience, and improved drastically. We all worked together in the same unit, so we were able to mesh into a capable Starship Bridge Crew.
Our crew compliment was as follows:
Rico, our fearless Captain. His ability to teach and direct us was unmatched, along with his grasp of strategy that made everything work.
Joy, on Helm, our tame racing pilot. The number of times that his insanity saved us all, I’ve long lost count.
Aliada, yours truly, holding down the fort in Engineering. “It might be your ship Captain, but they are MY engines!”
Detweiler, on Science. The sheer coordination that he was able to maintain while keeping tabs on every last ship still staggers me.
Wookie, our Commo man. Somehow he was able to talk with everyone at once, while continually pissing off every last enemy cruiser in existence.
Leeroy, on Weapons. His insistence on firing nukes at everything in sight was endearing.
Chocobo, also on Weapons, our last minute pitch-hitter for whenever Leeroy couldn’t make it.
With this motley group of crewmembers, we surmounted epic challenges. We learned many tricks of the trade, including the fine art of luring space monsters into the middle of opposing fleets, to do our work for us. We kept to playing with a single ship, defending our sector’s four space stations against all enemies, usually on the “very interesting” setting. Black holes, space monsters, and minefields saved us many times over. Luring fleets through black holes that they never returned from, merging multiple space monsters into one “Ranger Zulu Zulu” who would obliterate ANYTHING in his path, and speeding through enemy fleets while deploying mines in our wake.
The game’s difficulty setting ranges from 1 through 11. Lower settings are very very easy, especially for an experienced crew. When we first attempted level 5, we were flabbergasted at how hard it was. We had tried level 11 a few times, but that never went well. One day, we built up the courage to try level 8. However, we forgot to double check what type of ship we were in. Naturally, we ended up with the weakest ship in the game, the Scout Ship. Fast, but with minimal firepower, we were on the wrong end of long odds. Through fantastic use of the environment, and a lot of sheer dumb luck, we prevailed. The following week, we attempted level 10. This time, however, we came prepared, rolling in style with a Battleship. Much hardship later, we also came out triumphant.
Our final game proved to be our defining moment. I was about to transfer duty stations, with other’s in my group leaving for places such as Korea, New Hampshire, and Florida. It was our last game night together before scattering to the winds. Leeroy was on leave, visiting family, so we shanghaied Chocobo into playing with us.
Starting out with a level 3, we introduced him to how the game worked, and the role of Weapons. Granted, we were unable to impart all of the tricks of the trade to him instantaneously, but he picked it all up very quickly. Because it was our final night, we decided to give level 11 a shot. It had been some time since we had even attempted it, and were expecting to die horribly. (Well, I was expecting to die horribly. Rico insists that “I knew it would be very hard, but not impossible”) We started roughly, with enemy ships all around us, and we quickly lost three of our four Space Stations. Luckily, we were able to dispatch the enemy ships capable of warp quickly in our mighty Battleship, before they could make quick work of our final station.
The location of our final station, DS4, was perfect. Two black holes, and a few minefields separated it from the oncoming enemy horde. Two space monsters were well on the wrong side of the map, so naturally, we made sure to move them into the few gaps in our defenses. We then spent the entire game luring the space monsters into the approaching fleets, making sure that none were left standing. We were sure that we were doomed after we made the mistake of running completely out of energy while defending our space station from a small group of ships that had escaped our attention, but two allied NPC ships came to our aide at the last possible second, drawing fire as we approached the station to replenish our energy supplies.
Finally, we stood triumphant, destroying the final ships of the enemy fleet by bathing them in nuclear fire. Many victory shouts were heard we were enthusiastically shifted from teamwork to bragging. In the end, I miss that crew. Each person brought a lot to the table, and we’ll likely never be able to play together again. But! Each person is going to spread the word, and the stories, of this great simulator, of the camaraderie and teamwork required to pull off the impossible.
It was a hell of a flight Gentlemen. It’s been fun.
“We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty” -an inspirational ship’s Captain once said.