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Archive for the 'flying' Category

Full Circle

November 3rd, 2012 by Bahama

While wandering the galaxy contemplating my future I sat in the starport one day waiting on my shuttle.  I was approached by a man dressed in a snappy uniform.  He struck up a conversation and we chatted for a bit.  He invited me to go with him to see his city and consider joining his guild of pilots.

I declined.

But it didn’t end there.  He contacted me several days later and figuring that he wasn’t going to let the matter go till I’d fully investigated what he was offering, I agreed to let him have his say.  I didn’t know that trip to Journey’s End would forever change my life.

Journey’s End

He was persuasive and I did agree to join his guild and live in Journey’s End. That one decision set me off on a journey I never could have dreamed.  I still stand in awe looking back at everything that happened as a result.

It’s all recorded here.

The amazing people I met, the home I crafted for myself there, how I confronted my fears, the friends I made, the adventures I had, the loss that led to rebirth, the comings and goings of Bermuda, the friend I lost, the pilots who made me proud, the trouble one citizen caused, the intrigue of a stranger, the Life Day celebrations, the war that went on around us, the safe return of beloved friends and even the end of an amazing era and the beginning of a new one.

I’ve written it all.  From beginning to end.

I don’t know what will happen next.  I’ve lived long enough to know that life can change in a blink of an eye. But as I discovered in that dream, what matters most of all is the friends I’ve made along the way.  No matter what happens, I’ll cherish them…. and brace myself for whatever the next chapter in life brings.

(( It’s been nearly a year since SWG shut down.  I am so very fortunate that I’ve been able to keep in touch with so many of the friends I made while playing SWG.  Several emulator projects are moving ahead full steam ensuring that Bahama’s story isn’t finished yet.  I look forward to meeting and making new friends in those galaxies far, far away.   See you there!))

Sunrise

yacht mishap

January 7th, 2009 by Bahama

Rather than go back to the shop for a change of clothing and risk getting caught up in more work, I decided I’d just board my yacht and craft some casual clothes to bring along.  I so rarely sit aboard my ship when I’m not in the process of travelling from here to there.  I usually board with my pilot droid who follows strict orders to take the quickest, safest, most direct route possible.It’s funny how this yacht that I’ve owned for so many years can still feel a bit spooky when I’m all alone.  I wandered around checking that everything was as it should be and tried to ignore the nagging thought in the back of my mind that something could be lurking around the next corner.  In the end, I choose to work downstairs in the smallest room where the lack of windows made me feel more at ease.

With my new clothes packed in my bag I returned to the pilot chair with the intention of flying myself to Endor to go fishing.  I should have known better.  I hit some lever or button and my ship took off flying.  I hit everything I saw but it would not stop.  Controlling my panic, I remembered the procedure my friend taught me for an emergency landing.  Thankfully it worked and I was soon back at Theed Starport. 

With my trusty pilot droid at the helm, I made it to Endor without incident. When will I ever learn?!

Captain Royan

August 30th, 2008 by Bahama

I’m always incredibly excited and emotional about the achievements of my guildmates.  The recent promotion of Av’ar Royan to captain was no exception. 

For months now I’ve watched as he diligently worked at honing his skills as a pilot.   It was an honor to make him his official captain’s uniform.  I’m so proud of him.

Captain Royan

With his commission, Captain Royan obtained a YKL-37R Nova Courier which he christened the Destination Infinity.

Destination Infinity

I felt quite lucky to be there as he took his rightful place on the bridge of his beautiful new ship, in his sharp new uniform with his well deserved promotion.

Captain on the Bridge

Congratulations, Captain Royan!

Beowulf Fleet Competition

August 3rd, 2008 by Bahama

The Beowulf Fleet recently held it’s first round of ship contests.   Using only the most basic of ships, members were invited to paint and stuff a single ship full of goodies and enter into 3 separate contests.

Since I don’t fly myself, I was recruited to help judge the beauty contest.  From aboard my yacht, the other judges and I watched as each contestant showed off their best design.  As you can see, it was  a difficult choice to make…

Contestant 1

contestant 2

Contestant 3

contestant 4

Then it was on to the race and finally a contest to determine skill in battle.  Despite the fact that I know that it’s just among friends and no one is really out to hurt anyone, it was still a little nerve wracking for me to watch them fight.

ship fight

In the end, Admiral -Haruko- won this round of competitions.  But with the determination and dedication of our group’s pilots and shipwrights, I think she’s in for some serious competition next time around.

The Agamemnon

July 4th, 2008 by Bahama

The Agamemnon

You’re looking at the newest ship in the Beowulf Squadron fleet, the Agamemnon.

 And here is the proud owner and our newest Admiral…

Admiral Fenris

Yes, through long hours of perfecting his skill and with the support of the whole squadron, Jaegen Fenris has earned his promotion to Admiral and acquired a brand new gunship.  He’s been busy getting her ready for service.  From the impressive bridge…

The Bridge

To the well appointed crew’s quarters…..

Crew’s Quarters the functional droid bay,

Droid Bay

and the opulent Admiral’s Quarters…

Admiral’s Quarters

….the ship is simply gorgeous.   But I know Admiral Fenris. He won’t be satisfied until he can point her at the stars, start the engines and take her out into battle.

To The Stars!

Special Promotion

June 29th, 2008 by Bahama

-Haruko-’s New Gunship 

We joined Captain Fenris and -Haruko- aboard a very special ship for a very special ceremony recently.

-Haruko-, a extraordinary pilot and devoted member of our guild, acquired a rare gunship through her many hard fought battles in space.  This feat of courage and skill earned her a promotion from Captain to Admiral.

Capt. Fenris’ Speech

Captain Fenris conducted a promotion ceremony and gave a touching speech.  Though I know -Haruko- might have been a bit uncomfortable with the spotlight given her quiet and humble nature, I was glad that we, her guildmates, had an opportunity to show how proud we are of her.

A Tricky One

May 24th, 2008 by Bahama

I wrote before about my fear of flying and how I was feeling a bit better about space travel.

Forget what I said.

Last night Captain Jaegen Fenris requested my help aboard the Beowulf for a little space hunting.  He assured me my job would be easy and so I agreed to go along.  After all, he’s fully aware of my fear and would never put me in a position where I’d be sitting on a bridge surrounded by windows and ask me to be the only one in charge of making sure the shields held up to protect the ship and everyone aboard.  Right??!!!

Wrong!  As soon as I arrived on board I made my way to the back… away from the windows and that long skinny walkway into the cockpit.  Imagine my surprise when he told me I’d have to walk across it and sit in that chair next to him.  I knew right then I was in trouble… big trouble. 

Some of my guildmates know about my fear.  But most don’t understand the severity of it.  I don’t really talk about it in front of them.  After all, I don’t want to be known as the psycho tailor who can’t handle being in space.  With so many of them on board I figured it wasn’t a good time for a total breakdown. 

I stood there frozen for a minute or so then carefully made my way to the seat.  Being securely strapped in did nothing to stop me from shaking.  I blocked out everything except for the controls and listened intently as my duties were described to me.  Three buttons.  Few enough that I could spend most of my time concentrating on breathing.

My body was tense, my stomach was queasy and my head was spinning.  I didn’t feel well at all.  I sat wringing my hands and avoided looking at the vast space I knew existed just a inches from where I sat.  I reminded myself that Captain Fenris had brought me home safely before.  He was a good, experienced pilot.  He would keep me from harm….  Or I’d kill him.

As we engaged enemies I kept my eyes fixed on the display panel.  Those shields had to stay up.  I held on to the seat cushion tightly and waited for the rocking to stop.  It felt as though a long time had passed.  This was taking forever.  I kept catching myself holding my breath and digging my fingernails into the upholstery.  Then I would suddenly realize I was spacing out thinking about how overwhelmed I was and tried desperately to refocus myself on that display.  Shields.  Shields.  Watch the shields!

explode-sm.jpg

Though I can’t understand how, everyone else on board seemed calm and relaxed.  They traded insults with our enemies.  Joked with one another… and with me.  I was glad at that point to be sitting so far forward.  While I normally handle teasing with ease, I was so emotionally overwhelmed at that point I struggled to hold back the tears.

Once again all was quiet and Captain Fenris announced, “Home we go!”  I sat back in my seat a bit and closed my eyes.  My body was still shaking and I felt tears of relief swelling up.  Then all the sudden I heard Captain Fenris say, “This is going to be a tricky.”   I sat upright, my heart pounding.  WHAT?!  One of my guildmates asked, We aren’t doing anything stupid like trying to take out the corvette are we?”  Clutching the seat, I looked over at Captain Fenris hoping to see some evidence of a misunderstanding.  “That corvette will be tricky”, he replied.

enemy-ahead.jpg

At this point I think I officially lost it.  No longer fearful of appearing to be the psycho tailor, I started to mutter insanities.  Not happy… not happy… not happy….I had such a pretty house, why didn’t I just stay in my pretty house?  We’re gonna die….

I froze at one point and the ship took damage.  The fighting was endless.  My efforts were barely keeping the shields up.  My heart sank and my brain tried to grasp the reality that I was going to die. 

But suddenly our enemy disappeared.  Vanished.  Gone.  We finally headed for home.  But having been deceived once already I refused to let down my guard until we were safely back on the ground. 

When we landed I sat down and let go.  I cried and cried.  I couldn’t stop shaking.  It was quite a while before I could even walk again.  Later that night I tried to shake off the lingering tension and contemplated my experience. 

I’ve decided I am definitely NOT feeling better about flying.

Confession

May 9th, 2008 by Bahama

Ok, I’m ready to go public with my big secret.

I am afraid to fly. 

No, I mean really, really scared.

Space travel completely freaks me out. 

There.  I said it.  So how do I survive in a society that relies so heavily on traveling through space?  Not easily. For starters I only ever fly on my yacht…. piloted by a droid.  I strap myself in tight, say a prayer, close my eyes and anxiously wait till it’s over.  I am never more relived than when I finally find myself safely landed at my destination.

It’s interesting to note that for some reason I find public transportation easier to handle.  Perhaps it’s because I can convince myself that professional pilots are less likely to have a mishap.  Or maybe I just take comfort in the thought that at least I won’t die alone…

Despite the fact that I’ve always had this fear, I’ve been able to avoid acknowledging it…. until recently.   It started one day when my pilot droid malfunctioned leaving me stranded up in space.  It was my worst nightmare come true.  There I was, stuck floating some 3000m from a space station and a safe landing.  One minute I was in despair and certain I would die.  The next I’d be looking at the controls and trying to convince myself that I could do it, I just had to do it.  It was the longest half hour of my life. 

That incident is probably what made me agree to a flying lesson when Mayor Fenris offered.   I was shaking before we even got off the ground.  I don’t know how many times I almost backed out.  I wanted desperately to conquer my fear, to at least know I could live if my pilot ever malfunctioned again…. but the thought of going up there alone, even with him flying nearby, was almost more than I could handle.

He walked me through some basics and then flew with me to the site of what was to be my first and last training mission.  They started shooting at me and I just completely froze.  All I could see were visions of my lifeless body floating among the debris.   He finally yelled at me to move it and I did, somehow.  Safely back on the ground, I decided that it might be better just to get a spare pilot droid. 

I’ve gone up to tour some of Mayor Fenris’ ships and once even got in a gun turret.   I’ve learned that with an accomplished pilot at the helm, spaceships don’t have to be my worst enemy.  I’m still freaked out… but I’m feeling more in control of my fear.

I still can’t fathom ever piloting a ship alone.  I just don’t think that’s ever gonna happen.  But with a spare droid and folks to call if I get into trouble (perks to being in a pilot guild), I think I’m better equipped to handle the fear of flying day to day.

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