This is 'Sleep Training Module F-18-43b: Willful Planning' which describes what can happen out there and explains why good wills are important. It is mandatory for all sponsors in the Bedford Military District.
There are good ways and bad ways to write your will. The module also explains why some of the clauses in these wills exist.
I am Rear Admiral Frank Jefferies and I am currently commander of the 181st fleet out of the Bedford District. My task today is to explain to you why wills are important and to explain what happens when poor will planning occurs.
I was eighteen when I was extracted and my CAP score was 7.6. I started with four intelligent and beautiful concubines, Mary, Joanne, Mia and Sophie, when we were picked up in the Boston area of the United States about year 4 of the Sa'arm era. I joined the Navy and after considerable training earned my wings as an F104 fighter pilot. I was assigned to the 704th fighter wing and joined the Abraham Lincoln a month after training was complete.
During training, the crew of the ship received recommendations that pilots especially write wills to be registered with the ship and base's AI in the event of our demise. My wing man was the first person on my list, followed by all my squadron mates. I then listed my squadron commander and then the air wing commander. I also listed some ground based people I knew, some on different planets, in the event my ship did not make it. I also listed my father and mother, who were extracted as sponsors several months before me. I was 18 at the time so they could not get me picked up.
As the years went by, I regularly updated my will as I was transferred, promoted and unfortunately some of my fellow sponsors died. I picked up two extra concubines when my wing man crashed while landing on a destroyer three months into my initial deployment. Don't ask why he was landing on a destroyer, it is too long a story. I ended up with both of his concubines, Sally and Susan.
As far as fighter pilots go, I was good and very lucky. I advanced up the ranks quickly. Because I was good at it, training my fellow pilots the ropes killing Sa'arm torpedo bombers and the like was my number one priority. I also spent a significant amount of time reviewing footage and looking for weakness in Sa'arm attack craft ... but that's another module :-).
Once we were on our colony, the number of concubines you had could grow to an enormous number. There was no real limit. Extra concubines were awarded by the governor of the colony and others for just about anything good. Wills also allowed you extra concubines. Your or your concubines' dependents were also eligible to be your concubine and were added for free.
One day the AI reported to me that I was listed on the wills of 623 sponsors in the fleet. At the time I was a strike group commander, commanding the six squadrons on the carrier, and it turned out that my entire command had me listed as a heir. This not only consisted of the 72 pilots but also the support crews for 72 fighters. Each fighter had a six person support crew. The list grew to 623 because I was told that a lot of pilots that were promoted and transferred to other ships had left me on their lists. I didn't worry about it because if the ship or the squadron bought it I'd most likely be as dead I they were. The list continued to grow over the years.
A couple of years later my incident, as I like to refer to it, occurred. It started one day while I was walking through a park on Limpet while on leave. I was by then a Major commanding the strike wings of the six carriers in the 180th Fleet. I don't remember any of the incident and I am told that that is not unusual. I am told that a marine committed suicide with a grenade in the park that day. He was distraught after losing his concubines for mistreating them. It was thought that he had no intentions of hurting anyone else. I apparently saw what he was doing and tried to stop him by talking him out of it. Apparently he did not see it my way and let the handle fly. They tell me witnesses said that I tried to take cover but I ended up in a med tube for seven days. I was pretty much still out of it the next two or three days after that. Around then I found out that my fleet had deployed without me and that I would either be reassigned or rejoin them after the deployment or they returned to base to rearm or refuel.
I was not that upset about the situation, because as is common knowledge now that Admiral Jeeves was not an easy person to deal with. My second in command would have to deal with that until I recovered. I was on leave for a reason, I needed down time. Little did I know, Admiral Jeeves had filled the empty slot with one of his personal cronies. This would turn out to be a huge blunder.
Admiral Jeeves' plans always had flaws in them. He relied on his subordinates to find and plug them. He could be quite belligerent while doing so, and tore me a new hole every once in a while. In the end though, if he could see an advantage in plugging the hole in his plan, he would do it. I became very effective at getting him to plug the holes I recognized.
This time though his crony did not see the obvious hole in the Admiral's plan and no one else spoke up if they saw it. The old Russian proverb, "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" had a Swarm extension: "You might get away with it a third time but just go ahead and try it a fourth time and see what happens."
The result is reported as "Jeeves' Folly." The Swarm ambushed his fleet. Every single major unit in his fleet was destroyed along with most of his escorts. The only reason we know exactly what happened is that several destroyers managed to escape and the AIs on those ships had the records of the planning meetings. During operations, Jeeves used the same jump entry point to a system four times in a row. The Sa'arm saw a pattern and were sitting on the jump point the fourth time.
What happened after that is why this training module exists.
One day the Bedford Military District commander summoned me to his office. My immediate reaction was to ask Susan what kind of trouble she was in. Sue was still sporting a bright red ass from the last prank she pulled on a sponsor. She was currently grounded for life as it almost resulted in her being recycled.
She insisted that she had done nothing, though she still looked scared. I figured she was considering past transgressions that she had not yet been caught for.
I told her that she'd better be right and left for the base commander's office. She had a look of terror on her face. She knew she was on the edge.
Once I arrived, I was greeted by a very somber office staff and utter silence. Something bad was in the air.
I introduced myself to the ensign manning the Base Commander's approaches and she quietly said, "He is waiting for you. Knock before you go in."
I did. I knocked on the door, and the Admiral said, "Come."
The scene that greeted me scared the shit right out of me. Admiral Jeeves was standing at attention in front of Vice Admiral Williams' desk. There was only one reason Admiral Jeeves would be in this office so shortly after deployment. Admiral Jeeves had tears in his eyes. Admiral Williams turned to a lieutenant in the room and said, "Please take Admiral Jeeves into custody. He is confined to quarters until a board of inquiry can determine his status."
Admiral Williams turned to me. I saluted and said, "Major Frank Jefferies reporting as ordered, Sir."
He returned the salute and then shook my hand, telling me, "It's good to meet you face to face. I've heard a lot about you. Please be seated."
"You've probably guessed by now that something bad has happened. It will become public knowledge within a couple of hours. Task Force 18.25, which of course you know is just about 90% of the 180th Fleet, has been destroyed. Only a few badly damaged destroyers escaped. They were ambushed at Jump Point Zebra. All remaining personnel are presumed lost. The only reason Admiral Jeeves is still alive is that he was transferring his command to a cruiser when the Jefferson -- his command ship -- was destroyed. The shuttle eventually made it to an escaping destroyer.
"You are the highest ranking surviving officer and are now in command of what is left of the 180th fleet. The few destroyer captains will be seeing to their ships and crew for the next several months. I am changing the name of the remainder of the fleet. It will be called the 181st fleet as we rebuild it.
"My first task for you is a rescue mission back to the Kerryat System to try to locate survivors. If you find even one, we are ahead.
"One other thing. You have a big problem. You are now heir to 3,902 concubines.
I stood there a few moments, stunned.
I asked, "Sir, may I ask a few questions?"
The Admiral sarcastically replied, "I don't see why not. I don't have anything to do ... my entire offensive command has been destroyed because some ninny put that man in charge and my requests to replace him were ignored."
"Sir, may I speak freely?"
"Sir, I don't care about Admiral Jeeves. He is history. I am worried about the people we have left. What can you supply me with to get to the sector that the ambush was in to look for survivors?"
"Yes, you're right, that should be my focus too. Thank-you, Colonel."
I had just been promoted, though at the time I though the Admiral made a mistake.
"I have a battleship, six cruisers, and twenty destroyers. Most have skeleton crews.
"I presume you have a plan?"
"Yes sir, do you have any frigates?"
"Yes, about twenty-eight, do you want them too? Very good, Commodore."
This time it was clear either the Admiral was making a lot of mistakes or I had just been promoted again.
"Yes Sir. That will do nicely. I'll go get that working in a few minutes."
"What about the unattached concubines?"
"Oh my God, Vincent (the Base AI) restore services immediately to all unattached concubines."
The AI responded, "That is a breach of contract and against policy."
The Admiral started arguing with the AI. He was clearly losing.
Fortunately, while I was on leave, I had just read about how things like this were handled on other colonies so I interrupted.
"Vincent, these concubines all have children correct?"
"Yes they all do."
"They need their mothers and fathers now that their sponsors are gone."
"They will be handled by Civil Service and fostered to other families. Without a purpose, namely to produce children, those concubines are a drain on society."
"I see. Admiral, try assigning the concubines to civil service for the time being. We can work out the details later."
The Admiral said, "Vincent, assign all the unattached concubines to the CS pool. I will work with CS to handle this."
The AI, I think knowing that I knew there was precedents for this, gave up and said, "Very well, all services restored to all unattached concubines. All unattached concubines are attached to CS. I will inform Signifer Venice."
three ... two ... one...
The AI announced with almost a smirk, "Signifer Venice wishes to speak to you, urgent priority."
Guess what that was about.
The Admiral said, "Son, you'd better get going, I'll get the paperwork promoting you to Admiral done immediately. I'll handle CS from here. Go see if you can find any survivors. I'll take care of your new concubines too.
"Thank-you, son. Dismissed."
I replied, "Thank-you, Sir."
I saluted and left the Admiral's office. As I headed to my quarters, and through Vincent, I made sure all my original concubines met me there. I wanted to make sure Susan knew that she was off the hook. On the way, I asked Vincent for the details of the battle at Kerryat and layout of the system where it was fought. I informed my ladies of the issues and that, at least for a while, they were going to have several thousand sister concubines. They were not happy about it, but to their credit, they were more concerned about their fellow concubines and the tremendous losses. They wanted to know how they could help.
I contacted CS and asked for Signifer Venice. I offered my concubines to assist her, and that I meant ALL my concubines. She did not know that I had inherited 3902 concubines.
As I broke the connection, I realized I had not even been assigned to a ship yet. Then I realized that I was a Commodore now. One of the perks was I could choose whatever ship I wanted as my command ship.
Admiral Williams had recovered nicely and sent a message to all the ship captains to get their ships ready to sortie and report to HQ to meet the new 181st Fleet commander at 09:00, which was six minutes from then. Thank God for teleporters.
All my original concubines wanted to come with me on the deployment. I said no. I had done a wonderful job getting them all pregnant during my time off. We were going to have at least six babies during the next three to nine months. I sent them off to help Signifer Venice. The deployment was only for a few days and I hoped to be back soon. The Kerryat system was only a day's travel at military top speed from Limpet. Somehow that seemed way too close to Limpetat system at that point.
Via Vincent, I went to the conference room that the Admiral's secretary sent me to. Fleet and Fleet Auxiliary lifeboats are made out of light plastics specifically because we have learned that the Sa'arm don't notice or don't care about them. If there were survivors out there, we would find them. Getting to them might be a problem, especially if they were deep in the Kerryat System and the Sa'arm intervened.
I met the ship captains, there was no time to get to know one another. We had to go now. The plan I outlined was really nothing new. The battleship would enter the system far enough away to make ambush unlikely. It would scan for the beacons on the lifeboats as well as any Sa'arm ships. It would wait until the enemy either approached it or attempted to jump near it. It would jump to another location in the system and stay there until the Sa'arm approached. Rinse and repeat. NO PATTERN, please. Every time the battleship jumped in system, it would launch about 1,000 probes into the system to look for survivors and other things like traps the Sa'arm might set.
Meanwhile the frigates and destroyers would jump in and recover the lifeboats located by the battleship. The frigates and destroyers were pretty small and would jump out and transfer the survivors to the cruisers. The initial plan was that, once the cruisers were full, the cruisers would jump home. Eventually the battleship would complete the scan of the system and house survivors too. The battleship was specifically ordered not to recover any pods unless they were close enough to transport.
I discussed the plan with my colleagues, now subordinates. They liked it. We all hoped that there were survivors to rescue.