Director's Commentary

This story was written two years after "A Trap" and "There & Back Again" after I happened to stumble upon "There & Back Again" on my ftp server. Just after I finished reading "There & Back Again" I fired up EV: Nova and started a new game in, strict mode of course. I had completed one or two cargo runs when I jumped into the Kerella system only to have a Wild Geese reinforcement fleet jump in right on top of me. I really did have to dodge around a bit before I could get out of the middle of the battle, and I did really watch as most of the Wild Geese ships were destroyed, though not in the order or way described in the story.

One interesting thing to note is that the captain in the story was never actually impartial, even at the start. His training in the Federation flight academy saw to that. But what the academy and by extension the captain are good at is masking their true feelings, so much so that its actually pretty hard to pick up on the biases they have.

My ideas of the Sigma Light Shuttle are shown just a bit in this story. I figure the shuttle is not a tiny ship, it can after all hold several tons of cargo, or several passengers for an extended period of time. It just happens that all the ships around a shuttle are even bigger. Inside I imagine the cockpit being up front with some sort of window to see out the front. There would be two, or maybe three padded chairs equipped with harnesses just in case the artificial gravity failed.

In the story the captain struggles a bit with both the Shuttle's navigation system, and with its camera system. I did this for two (actually three) reasons. First the captain has only owned this ship for a month at most and most of his time has been spent doing other things like making sure cargo is loaded and unloaded correctly, performing various maintenance, sleeping, etc. He simply hasn't had time to play with things he doesn't need to use that often. The trouble with the navigation system and camera show that while he is in a spaceship, and any spaceship must be suitably complex to be realistic, it is also in a very cheap spaceship. It has the lowest end of everything in it, no fancy well designed interfaces here, heck I can imagine some controls actually being labeled in poor english, or maybe even a different language altogether. (The secret third reason things were hard to operate was to give enough time for the Shuttle to get to the next event, without these pauses the story will seem to move the shuttle along from place to place far too quickly.)

The captain's decision to attack Auroran vessels will come into play later in the series, but it will die down nearly as quickly. Despite the biased teachings he received from the Federation the captain is actually a fairly honest person, and events will happen that will make him again reconsider his opinions of this incident.