240-Valkyrie’s View: A Year Among the Stars

August 27th, 2552 – Military Crash Course
Pilot/Mechanic/Jump-Gate Navigator/Grunt in training Kat “S-Kat” James Reporting

Something has changed in the dynamic we’ve been dealing with – it seems that the science team managed to talk to the military and it’s been decided to tone down some aspects of our training. It took some time but someone finally pointed out to the brass that ‘Crash Courses’ are not usually well received by pilots.

I think it took someone saying ‘never say crash to a pilot” before they caught on. I mean we understand the need to get us all on the same page, but trying to force-feeding us everything we could possibly need to know, as quickly as possible means we’re going to end up missing some key ingredients and building blocks. Not that it hasn’t been fun— but it’s also been intense. And that isn’t always the best way to learn things-at least not things you want to stick.

Yes, pain can be a good motivator, but constant pain is not. Survival is a good motivator, but the constant reminder is not- human nature needs to be able to compartmentalize things so they can be dealt with on a regular basis. Living with nothing but a litany of ‘This can kill you” “If you don’t do something, this will kill you” “this is how people die…” it tends to numb your senses to the point that when something that can kill you pop’s up, you don’t respond correctly and end up dead.

This is what we, in pilot circles like to call ‘bad.’ Pilots are usually masters of understatement. It’s how they can calmly announce over the ship’s intercom that they are crashing into the ocean with no hope of survival and make it sound like you’re going to be stepping off the plane at a balmy 20 degrees C with winds out of the south at about 3KPH.

It’s a coping mechanism.

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