To ensure that all writing meets a similar standard, the Wolff has certain style guidelines that should be followed.
The USS Wolff uses what is commonly referred to as "Novel Style" writing taken from a 3rd person, omniscient perspective. Much like you would read in a book, the point of view of the writer is that of an invisible outside party looking into the scene, but with access into the characters' thoughts, giving you their perspective but not necessarily limited to them.
Spelling / Grammar
All players should spell check their work before submitting it to the public. Most common internet browsers have a built-in spell checker, but in case a spell checker is not available, there are many free online versions as well as word processors (MS Word) which can do the job for you. Misspelled words are unsightly, hard to decipher, and generally reflect negatively on a player's writing ability, but are very easy to correct by taking the time to simply spell check the work.
Perhaps the most detrimental and lazy writing utility ever invented, auto-correct is found primarily in smartphones and should never be used in simming. Auto-correct's sole purpose is to save time for the user by automatically correcting spelling/grammar errors, and while this might be applicable for a text message conversation, proper writing which takes place on our sim (especially technical writing) suffers immensely from this feature. Turn off auto-correct when simming, as it is always obvious who is using it and it can upset other writers.
Proofreading is the single most important writing activity an author can do to improve the quality of their writing. In the professional, academic, and casual writing world, it is always obvious which people have and have not proofread their work, and it speaks volumes about their personality and attention to detail. Here on Galileo, we embrace a casual simming environment open to writers of all levels of talent, however it is important to always proofread one's own writing before posting and making it public.
There are many different techniques for proofreading, and many of them involve a certain learning/writing skill specific to the individual. That said, one of the most uniform and widely used forms of proofreading is to re-read -- out loud and word by word -- the writing which a person has just created. By reciting the sentences on the screen (or on paper) one word at a time, common mistakes are easily picked up on and eliminated. When using this technique, it is important to follow instructions and to read one word at a time. Going too fast and predicting (which subsequently leads to subconsciously inserting) words which will come next will lead to inaccurate proofreading, and it is important to remain mentally disciplined and to proofread your own work as if it were someone else's.
Borrowed from: USS Galileo Style Manual
In order to save some narrative and focus on the characters, the Wolff has developed some symbols that are intended to be inserted into the flow of writing to indicate to readers how certain aspects are to be treated and perceived. The following symbols are used:
- =/\= or =^= - Used to denote communication between characters using a commbadge. =/\=Away team to Captain Emerson.=/\=
- +COM+ - Used to denote communication between players using a comm panel, or between ships where face to face communications has not been established. +COM+Mayday! This is the starship Venture to any available vessel. Life Support is failing. Please assist.+COM+
- * - Used in the middle of dialog to indicate the speaker doing an action. The action is done in the present verb tense, ie "Yes Captain. *stabs the firing button* Torpedoes away."
- " - Used to indicate a player speaking. "Captain, the Klingon Vessel is hailing us."
Alexander Kendrick was sitting in the command chair on the bridge, he had almost ordered Captain Denevre to get some rest while he took a few bridge watches. He was getting readings from that spatial rift every five minutes, from what he could tell, the rift was still open and still emitting a low resonance signature with no change in color or width. Deciding to get the Wolff a little further away from the maw lest they be sucked in again, Alex looked down to the Chief Of The Boat who was at the helm station.
"Senior Chief, set course bearing Two-Niner-Zero, Mark One. One thousand kilometers at one half impulse." Alex said, he saw the Senior Chief quickly prod at his console. After he didn't get a response, he tapped again but to no avail. He turned around to face Kendrick with a look on his face.
"Sir, impulse engines are not responding." Senior Chief Jameson said
Alex responded "Maneuvering thrusters?" Jameson shook his head and ran his hands through his hair as he turned back to his console and started to tap away again. Accessing the command console, he began to read the updated damage reports. There were several ruptures in EPS conduits around the ship, some that were leading to the engines. The errant radiation from the rip didn't help since it was interfering with engine field geometry across the board. Alex needed power and he needed it yesterday. That thought was wiped from his mind when a fast paced beeping began to come from his console and the Tactical Duty Officer, Ensign Joram looked up from his console.
"We have two contacts, bearing One-Eight-Zero at 200 kilometers and another bearing Three-Six-Zero at 100 kilometers." Joram said, unfazed.
"Red Alert! Shields up, power weapons!" Alex ordered. He stood up and looked around, the duty officers were keeping their cool admirably and he was impressed. "Get those contacts on screen."
Anise, parked in her ready room reading initial casualty reports, was finally glad for something, some indication of where and/or when they were. Since transiting the Abyss a few hours ago her crew had been working non-stop to bring the ship back up to a semblance of normal, as normal as being shoved sideways through an unknown phenomenon ever was.
Sensor scans of the area had been somewhat confusing. According to the stellar cartography department they'd been tossed across Federation space to a point near the badlands but according to stellar drift they were still in the same time-frame, give or take a few decades.
Stepping out onto the bridge she took her customary seat. "Hail the vessels." She turned to Kendrick, "Hopefully some answers."
Kendrick nodded "Aye, ma'am. Opening a channel now." he turned to the Captain and nodded silently for the Captain to proceed. Rising from his chair, he stood at a position of parade rest and waited for further instructions.
Anise took her seat. +COM+ USS Wolff to unidentified vessels. Respond please.+COM+
A faint hiss and crackle came over the comms. "Clean that signal up chief."
The hiss and crackle became more pronounced then began to settle out as a voice came over the comms. +COM+This is the Imperial Warship Respite to Wolff. Identify yourself.+COM+
She looked over at Kendrick, a question on her lips. ~Imperial Vessel?~
+COM+Respite. This is the Starfleet vessel USS Wolff, Captain Denevre commanding.+COM+
While they waited for the captain of the other vessel to respond, Anise motioned for Kendrick to take a seat. "Imperial Vessel?"
Alex shook his head "No idea but they don't sound good. Recommend cross check of their hull markings with our database."
John walked onto the bridge after hearing about something happening when he was in the lounge. He walked up to Ensign Joram, "You are relieved Ensign." Joram nodded and stood up and stepped aside.
"Tactical. Take a scan of those vessels. I want to know what we're facing if this comes to blows."
John tapped a few commands, "Scans taken. Weapons and shields almost equal to ours. They carry a compliment of photon torpedoes and another type of a device that I'm not familiar with. Their shields are also self-modulating."
=/\=Denevre to Major Knight. I'm hoping this is just a bad feeling but could you please deploy your men to repel boarders?=/\=
Victor paused and then tapped his comm badge.
=/\=You heard me right Major. Coordinate with Security if you need more men. Anise out.=/\=
=/\=Roger=/\= Knight acknowledged as he spun on his heels. "Gunney, assemble strike teams one and two and have them standing by forward and aft of the ship."
Moving towards the situation table in the Marine Tactical Operations Center on the ship he brought up a holographic image of the ship showing each deck. Pointing towards two spots he directed the placement of the two strike teams.
"Strike team one will cover engineering, strike team two I want positioned outside the bridge."
Gunnery Sergeant Stevens nodded as his two squad leaders moved out to their respective assignments.
=/\= Security...this is Major Knight. Double up security details in all critical areas of the ship. Life support, engineering, cargo bays, medical. I want side arms issued to all crew. =/\=
=/\=Captain...strike teams are being deployed and security details doubled. I am also locking down the armory. =/\=
She turned back to Kendrick. "Any ideas?"
"We need to know who they represent-" Alex tapped at his console, preforming a check of the ship's hull markings against those in the database. No sooner had he turned up a result, his console locked and displayed an odd symbol. It looked like a globe with a sword impaled through the polar region. Alex knew that seal well from his many briefings during his command training- it represented the Terran Empire, an alternate, more warlike version of Starfleet. They had no morals and were nothing to be trifled with.
"Ma'am, I have a bad feeling about this..." Alex said, turning to face Anise again.
Victor walked out of the turbolift and onto the the bridge, catching the last sentence that Alex and said to Anise. "Terran Empire...if they haven't changed their tactics we can expect the usual call to surrender followed by boarding parties regardless of what we tell them. If their Defiant's are anything like ours they are going to maul us pretty good. I would recommend attempting to put some distance between us, it will cut down their ability to transport boarding parties anytime too soon." Victor suggested as he adjusted the straps on his body armor.
Alex shook his head, he was surprised and impressed at how the Major had picked up the information so quickly. He turned to the Captain "So what's our plan of escape? If we try to run, that ship is going to blow us away." As soon as Alex finished his sentence, he spun on his heel to face the Major. "How many men can you spare for a boarding party?" Kendrick asked, formulating a plan in his head. If they couldn't run away, it was time to stop the fight before it started.
"Ma'am, recommend sending a boarding party consisting of myself, Ensign Joram, and any men the Major can spare. We'll get in and make them a little more willing to cooperate." Alex said with a slight smile.
Anise shook her head. "Out of the question for now. When we know what we're facing I'll consider it."
As the two men shared their knowledge of the Terran empire. Anise had recalled the information from a classified briefing she'd received upon taking command of the Wolff. It'd also had some updates from the crew of Deep Space 9 which left her confused.
"Okay. We're dealing with an evil mirror image of ourselves. Didn't however the crew of DS9 report that the Terran Empire had been crushed by a Klingon-Cardassian alliance? Later to have the mirror version of the late Captain Sisko start a rebellion which stole plans for the defiant from us?"
She paused and looked at the two of them. "That I thought was where they stood? There's no way they could've rebuilt the Empire that quickly is there?"
"It all depends upon which reality we've ended up in and we do not know how successful the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance was at totally suppressing the Terran Empire." Knight added. "Strike Team One can be ready in fifteen minutes to serve as a boarding party. That will leave ten Marines behind to act as a recovery extraction team if necessary."
"Bridge this is LT Tigran, we've managed to get engineering back under control but LT Hamilton is missing and there is some serious structural damage down here, I'm assuming control of engineering. Teams working on the engines say Warp drive is out of the question for now, the emergency safeties have kicked in on the impulse engines shutting them down, it looks like there's a radiation leak in one of the reactors,it'll take at least an hour maybe more to find and patch up the leaking one. The maneuvering thrusters are relatively OK, we can have them functioning in about 20 minutes but it wont be a smooth ride"
Alex decided to respond =/\=Understood, Lieutenant. Do what you can and keep us updated. Bridge, out.=/\=
Escape was out of the question and so was a fight, their only viable option was a surrender and if there was one thing Alex didn't do, it was surrender.
Anise rubbed her temple. This was getting out of hand. She was never a strong tactician let alone a strategist so this talk was giving her a migraine.
"Major, you just got promoted to Second Officer for the duration of this assignment. I want the two of you to figure out how we're going to bluff, beg, borrow, steal, or shoot our way out of this universe."
She glanced up at Lt Anderson. "I want security patrols around the clock. All areas, All decks. And I have a bad feeling I may need a bodyguard." She glanced at the three men. "Any takers?"
John nodded, "Aye sir." He typed in the command into his console, "Captain, as Chief of Security I would like to take the responsibly to protect you as your bodyguard." John said with a serious look.
Anise nodded her agreement. She turned back to the main view-screen. "Now let's get this show on the road. Open hailing frequencies again."
+COM+Imperial Vessel Respite. This is Captain Denevre, USS Wolff.+COM+
The display flickered to life and through some of the static, Anise could see her counterpart on the bridge. The bridge looked much like that of any Defiant class vessels she'd seen except there was a meaner edge about the lines. And sitting in the big chair was the last person she'd expected to see...
Kendrick looked at the ever patient Major Knight and motioned towards the door to the conference room.
"Let's put our heads together, shall we?" Alex asked him before he stood.
"Lets..." Victor said with a nod of agreement. "Lieutenant Anderson, will you transfer all the information from your sensor scans to the conference room please."
John nodded. He punched in a command and then looked up, "Transfer complete."
Anise glanced out of the corner of her eye as her two left the range of the view screen. Facing the women sitting before her. "Captain."
This universe's Anise smiled back at her. "Commodore actually, Captain. And you and your crew can stand down."
"And if we don't?"
"You will Captain. Trust me. You will."
Anise looked back at herself in the view screen. The women was cold and calculating, the scars on her body a testament to the hard life she'd apparently lived, as had all Terrans. Her posture & demeanor was that of a predator, someone who enjoyed inflicting pain. She was dressed in what looked like army fatigues done up in a gothic style with a hairdo to match. The "Queen of Death" she was probably known as.
Anise thought about the Commodore's orders. They were outnumbered three to one by warships that were an easy match to her own vessel. Anise briefly contemplated how many they could take out before they were taken down themselves. For now though they needed to survive long enough to hopefully find a way back to their universe.
She glanced up and Anderson and slowly nodded. "Stand Down the weapons systems."
"A wise choice Captain. Commodore Denevre out."
Anise sank into her chair as the view screen went blank. She felt utterly defeated and fought to retain her composure as the crew started milling about the bridge again.