I got bit by an idea today

I'm frustrated about this.

This idea crops up about once every 18 months, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it because it's impossible to implement under the current capitalist system.

I'm going to call this idea and describe it in detail.

Hopefully I remember to actually unlist the rest of these.

It's like this:

- outside: Normal looking cafe with a kind of spacey name.

- Inside: everything is exposed steel and aluminum and shiny and curved and space-shippy.

-Instead of windows, there are monitors showing video renderings of deep space.

-It's a Cafe! They sell food and drinks. There are tables and a register.

- Normal people are sitting at some of the tables.

- Space Aliens and people in spacefleet uniforms are sitting at some of the tables. (So much more)

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Behind the counter, everyone is all spacey.

You're confused.

You walk up to the counter. You order "a small coffee" the clerk, who you can't help but notice has the Weirdest speckled patter all over his skin, asks if you'll be paying in credits or dollars.

"what's a credit?" you ask.

He gives you your total in dollars, and points you towards a small display.

"Ask the computer. She'll explain."

You approach the display, but you see no obvious way of interacting with it.

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The monitor says "Ask me!"

Eventually, you get up the courage and you do.

"Computer, what's a credit?"

suddenly the monitor springs to life, with an ambient, vaguely organic pattern that shifts in response to the words:

"Do you want the official standard galactic encyclopedia entry on Credits or are you looking for something more coloquial?"

"Uhh..."

"Are you new to the galactic federation?"

"Yes!"

"Ah! Let me explain" the computer begins. (Cont. ofc)

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"This space is a kind of game. Think of it like an MMO, but IRL.

I'm a computer. I know things. Ask me about things. If you want an out of universe explanations of a concept or idea, just say "what the eff is [thing]" If you want an in universe explanation "Tell me about [thing]"

Let me tell you a little bit about what you can do here."

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and she continues on to explain that there are computer terminals at each table, that connect to a massive in-universe community, that this is one of several locations.

She tells you about some of the RP opportunities. About the membership options. About the costumes and the aliens and the culture.

You listen, enraptured and a little confused.

Finally she says "We have a shuttle launching in a few minutes. Would you like to fly along as an observer?"

confused, you say "Yes."

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A woman walks over. Her apperance is vaguely alien. Her clothes unlike anything you've seen before.

"If you're going to fly along, we need to get you suited up. Go talk to requisitions."

You walk towards a door labeled requisitions.

Inside, a small, friendly robot helps you find a suitable flight suit, side arm, and a portable computer terminal.

You glance at the terminal. "Ask Me" is printed across the screen.

"Computer, what the eff did I just get myself in to?" you say.

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The computer springs to life, and responds almost coyly "If the cafe is a kind of MMO, consider this a demo. You're going to take part in a short orbital maneuver."

The woman from before returns. You're led through another door. "I'm captain Ken'fa" she says "will this be your first time spaceside?"

"y..yes?" you respond nervously.

"Neat! This is going to be fun! I haven't taken a newb up before. We'll be in flight for about twenty minutes, is that okay?"

"Sure, I think"

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She leads you on to what can only be described as the bridge of a starship.

Other crewpeople trickle in.

She introduces you to everyone, and gives you a moment to familiarize yourself with the systems.

"You're going to be controlling the scanner array" she says, motioning to a panel of buttons. "If anything starts blinking, just tell me. I'm not expecting any trouble today."

a short pause, and then

"All hands, prepare for lift off."

You look around, unsure what to expect.

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And then the whole room begins to lurch slightly. If you didn't know better, you would swear you were accelerating.

You check your sensors. They indicate incredible speed, and fully functional inertial dampeners.

You look to the windows, and you see space rapidly approaching, the earth falling quickly behind you.

Suddenly the acceleration lessens. The crew are up and around, following the captains orders, which you still don't fully understand. It's mesmerizing.

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It's so mesmerizing that you don't realize the captain is talking to you until the third time she says "can I get a sensor reading Cadet?"

She says it with a smile, though, and walks over to remind you how the buttons work.

You're still dumbfounded, but you begin to participate, assisting the crew in gathering the required data, getting to know them.

You've been in space for about fifteen minutes when you notice a red flashing light on the console. It's getting brighter and more urgent.

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You panic.

"uhh... Captain...?" you say "captain, there's a light."

You hear one of the other crewmen singing under their breath "over at the Frankenstein mansion"

The captain, though, grows grim and serious. She walks to your station and begins to flail at the controls.

"Computer, red alert. Battle stations. Three raiders incoming."

The lighting changes. The crew all strap in.

"Sorry cadet, this might get bumpy. Strap in, and hold on." she says, and you do.

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On one of the viewscreens, you see three ships approach. It's fast, and they look so real you struggle to remember that this is all in the back of some coffee shop.

"Hail them" the captain says through gritted teeth.

A face appears on the view screen. The captains shout at one another for a few moments, before you notice another light blinking on your console.

"Captain..." you begin.

"Not NOW cadet" the captain says sternly before returning to her banter.

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Your terminal blinks. A text from another crew member. "the sensor is indicating that our reinforcements have arrived. The captain doesn't want to blow the surprise."

Suddenly, the captain closes the connection. She quickly consults her termainal and then begins firing as two other ships appear in view.

The ship, or rather the bridge, or rather the room you're in? lurches and sways as the captain and crew engage in the dance.

A torpedo strikes your hull. The shock shakes the ship.

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Through one of the view screens, you finally see a large, distant explosion.

"We've disabled the vessel captain" says one of the crewmembers "shall we destroy it?"

The captain weighs this option for a moment, but ultimately decides against it.

"Nah, I gotta get to class, let's take her in."

Your ship docks with a nearby starbase. The captain consults with a repair crew over the viewscreen.

"I'm distributing the loot now, everybody check your terminals" she says.

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"So, cadet, what do you think?"

you consider this for a moment.

"That was the most amazing thing I've ever experienced." you finally muster.

"Ah, that was nothing, they didn't even board us!" the captain says, as you exit the ship. "Oh, you should have enough credits from that raid for a few more free hours. I also passed along my info. Go set up an account, and if you decide to join up, maybe you can join up with us. We need a new science officer. "

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Thinking about again today as I plan a party for some friends.

We're renting a room, I'm covering everything in silver foil and passing out (nerf) side arms and uniforms.

I imagine it's going to be a lot of fun.

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