Note: Be sure to read Monday's Troubadour post first or you won't understand this one and be confused as to the meaning of life...
Discovery Space Center's five day Ultimate Camp continued on Tuesday with an abundance of plot twists woven into an elaborate simulation encompassing the mission simulations and the campers time off ships.
The day started with urgent news waiting for the campers to finish breakfast. Three colonies of the United Colonies of Earth along with the "Fringe" Colonies (those Earth colonies existing on the outer frontier of explored space) decided to take advantage of the chaos in government, due to the terrorist attack and large loss of government officials and bureaucrats, and formally secede from the Union.
"We know when to abandon a sinking ship," one of them explained. "Besides, we're Fringe. Nobody on Earth understands us or even cares. We're too far 'out there'!"
The other major news which ruined many of the camper's breakfast was the bombing of Arcon Industries - builders of the Galaxy's starships. "It's the Syndicate. They're up to their old tricks," one camper exclaimed. Another camper sank in his chair under the weight depression can bring when one feels all is lost. Quick action was needed from the newly elected government. The campers making up the House of Representatives were called into emergency session, while members of the Senate and Supreme Court took off in the simulators to hunt down the criminal masterminds composing the Syndicate and bring them to Earth to face justice.
The Speaker of the House (yellow shirt with music stand) used his newly learned knowledge of parliamentary procedures to keep his members together on critical government bills. Members who wanted to speak were recognized and asked to stand next to the Speaker to deliver their motions and comments. Arbitrator Casey Voeks explained the basics of how a bill becomes law. The bills they pass are sent to the Senate for debate and amendments. The Senate must also pass the bill before it is sent to the president of signing. Some House members were disappointed. They wanted all the power for themselves. That time honored concept of sharing was a drag on getting things done.
The CEO of Arcon Industries (Kit) and members of his Board of Directors joined the House of Representatives partway through the session. They occupied seats in the visitor's gallery (top level of chairs directly under the wall posters). Logan (wearing the yellow headband) represented the newly formed Fringe Federation.
Arbitrator Voeks (in white) called for a general assembly.
All government branches, the Fringe Federation, and Arcon Industries gathered in chambers to hear briefings from the returned simulator crews. Afterwards, the CEO of Arcon was called to the podium for questions.
Kit began by making a statement. "Arcon Industries has decided to support the Fringe Federation by selling them starships." To be exact, Arcon was selling the Fringe not just any starships, but state of the art starships - the newest off the line. Read the story from the camp's newspaper The Union Beacon.
The Union Beacon published several editions during the day Tuesday.
The Union Beacon covers serious breaking news and lighter fare, like social commentary and gossip.
"Can I have everyone's attention. We've just received word that the CEO of Arcon's family was just kidnapped by Syndicate mercenaries." The room erupted in indignation. "Death to the Syndicate!" Carter shouted. "Let's go after 'em!" another voice added. It took a minute for the President Farrell to bring the government to order. Motions were heard and discussed and a plan of action decided upon. But before anything could be put into place - lunch was served.
Immediately after lunch the Senate met in session to review the bills sent to it by the House. The House boarded the Everest simulator to handle urgent galactic business too long set aside by recent events. President Farrell and other members of the Executive Branch boarded the Pathfinder on a mission to hunt down the Syndicate scum and rescue the Arcon's CEO's family.
|President Farrell (in blue) and his crew on the Pathfinder just before setting off to go Syndicate hunting.|
|The exhausted staff and interns catch a quick nap whenever they have a minute or two outside the simulators|
This five day mission continues to evolve and develop. It is a spider's web of plot twists, cunning, intrigue, double crossing, deal making, compromise and all those things that make government work.
And that doesn't include the simulator mission scenarios! It is a camp to be repeated again next year for all those who didn't get in this year.
Be sure to read tomorrow's installment.