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For those keeping score, the Captains are: Hanson, Marsh and Zaragoza.

Update 34: Collaboration

May 12, 2014 11:30 pm

If you have a look at public education in the US today versus ten or fifteen years ago, you’d find a gaining reliance on multiple teachers in a classroom, and that concept somehow becoming synonymous with a better, more functional learning environment. Regardless of data or opinion, I decided to incorporate that into the Binturong universe.

In this world, each aspect of a ship has a Captain dedicated to that sole function. So in the case of The Adams, there are three essential functions, each with its own Captain.

This is also the beginning of introducing SON (or “Sentient On-board Navigation”), the AI that NAV Corp is so dependent on / protective of.

Plus there’s some kind of horror going on. I’ll leave you to it.


  1. Glenn-o-matic says:

    That’s Reis on the bridge and he escapes to meet up with the Binturong in the future. It’s not going to look good for him if he’s the only survivor.

  2. Daelyte says:

    Using the term “captain” for individual functions seem rather confusing, what with that term usually referring to whoever is in command of the whole ship.

    Did you know that pirate ships used to elect the captain and quartermaster, could replace either of them by majority vote at any time, and the quartermaster could veto any of the captain’s orders? I think that would explain the different social dynamic compared to the rather authoritarian british navy.

    What are the three essential functions you’re referring to?

    From wikipedia: “A ship’s crew can generally be divided into four main categories: the deck department, the engineering department, the steward’s department, and other.”

    Each of these departments have their own command hierarchy which reports to the Captain. I expect that piloting, maintenance, and supplies would still be important in space.

    Check out http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/crew.php and scroll down to the section “The Mission Control Model” for something fairly extensive based on how NASA does things. Just below it you’ll find the section “control on a budget” which boils down to 5 roles – more suitable for a small ship.

    • Sal says:

      You’ve clearly put a lot of thought into this reply, and I really appreciate the amount of consideration you expressed. I can only say you’ll see more of this idea in the future, and this page is only meant as a glimpse into the very different world we’re creating.

  3. Ben says:

    ⊙.⊙ « *my eyes reading that last panel*

  4. Hornet says:

    Seems like a very convoluted/impractical way to run things. “To many chiefs not enough Indians”.
    Also are your sure that’s not one teacher and either one proctor, or one “waste of space” in the classroom?

    • Danielle says:

      Well if you think of it from a military view it makes sense. For example you have a platoon made up of several squads each run by a squad leader. Or let’s say a business hierarchy where you have a manager >> assistant managers >> workers. It’s just a way to organize folk. NAV Corp from what I’m gathering so far in the story is at heart, a business.
      It’s like having one person in charge of R&D and another in charge of Sales.

      • therealzubes says:

        Totally! I assume that this boat is really large so I think your hierarchy explanation really works! Higher ranking officials gathering information on their specific system or department in order to present the most important to the captain. I have a hard time imagine such a large vessel opertaing differently, business based or not.

        No matter what this page is awesome!

      • Ethan says:

        I think Hornet’s confusion is over who’s in charge. Most military organizations do have multiple people at each rank who might be in charge of specific functions, but they always report up to someone in overall command. In the case of a ship, that is generally the captain. Likewise, in a company, there are leaders of individual departments, but again there is someone at the top, a CEO or President, to make the final call. It’s hard to imagine a military or company working too well without that one person at the top to settle disputes.

        That said the title of “captain” is just a word, and this is a spaceship not a naval vessel so who knows how they would run things. Perhaps there is a “super captain” here who is not shown. Or maybe one of the captains is understood to be “chief among equals” in a combat situation where quick decisions are needed. Or perhaps in the future there is instantaneous communication back to a home base at all times and there’s someone calling the shots from there, so they don’t see a need for the ship to have a defined leader physically present. Or maybe there’s a history of captains going rogue and stealing ships, so they decided to split up authority to prevent that from happening. The Soviet Union sort of did that when they assigned “political officers” to their submarines to serve along with the captain.

        So I think there’s lots of potential explanations here. But given that we are very accustomed to seeing ships run by a single captain, seeing a ship with more than one does immediately beg the question, “how exactly does that work?” Hopefully we’ll find out more as the story unfolds!

    • therealzubes says:

      In such a competitive teaching market it’s not surprising to find many of this assistants and proctors have full teaching credentials. Regardless in the instance of IEPs and integrated classrooms there is a need for mutiple teachers (with or without degree) in order to fulfill the educational needs.

    • Ben says:

      While reading, I assumed that the 3 seated officers were reporting to a Captain that was not shown in the panels yet, similar to how a First Mate will keep the ship’s crew running in sync while the Captain works on the bigger picture. It would either mean that the guy seated in the middle is the First Mate (or the equivalent term for NAV Corp), or that all 3 are First Mates in charge of different operations like navigation, communications, etc.

  5. nikolai60 says:

    Well, I think everyone on that bridge just had a heart attack.

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