Friday, 23 March 2018

Lots of Good Times with FCD

CDR Erika Stroem

It is very quickly nearing the OOTA reunion party, which I, as many others are looking forward to immensely. Not only do we meet up with our FCD framily*, we will also be reflecting on the wonderful memories we have had at past events.
My first FCD event was at the Space Centre in Leicester in 2015. I opted to go for the two days and my partner, Joe (who was not really into sci-fi), came with me. I had only been to one other convention before, which was the FedCon Germany in May of 2014, but FCD was my first UK event, so I did not know what to expect. Nevertheless, I could not have found a better convention to go to. The people were so friendly and welcoming. It also seemed like whatever issues you had in life, it was accepted and you were neither frowned nor judged upon. Everyone was so fantastic and before I knew it, I was immediately considered a friend.
I was dressed up as a Nox character from Stargate and won 2nd place in the cosplay competition. Joe, on the other hand, was not amused when someone mistook him in his Steam Punk outfit as a Morris Dancer, but what made it worse was my fits of hysterical laughter when he told me.
There was a party on the Saturday night, complete with buffet, and everyone had a photo taken with Garret Wang, who played Ens. Harry Kim in Star Trek Voyager. This was followed by a disco and fun was had by all.
On the Sunday, I went by myself as Joe was still sore about being compared to a Morris Dancer, plus it was not really his thing and it gave him the perfect excuse not to go. I could not wait to get there for a second session and even though I have a mental problem which prevents me going to strange places (especially on my own), I felt so safe to do so. I had yet again another fantastic day and had a very unusual photo taken with Garrett and also bid in an auction to win lots of sci-fi goodies.
I was so sad when the day ended, I really did not want to go home. I wanted to stay with all the wonderful friends I had made and what was even worse, I knew I had to wait a whole year to see most of them again, until the next FCD.
But one of the biggest examples of how close I got with FCD was when my partner Joe passed away. David Limburg, one of organisers, actually came to my house to give me support and encouraged me to get myself to the next FCD event which was less than a week after the funeral. I am so pleased I went as I could not have wished for more support. I even found myself crying in the arms of one of the guest stars, Rainbow Sun Francks who, (with a small group of others) I had dinner with and he is now a very good friend.
I have been to four FCD events in the past and as long as FCD will be doing their events, I will always be there.
*And, Framily is not an accidental spelling mistake. It's what FCD call their friends who have become like family.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Mission Report: Planet MCM

by CRMN Emma Filtness

Though a somewhat stressful journey due to the planet's overburdened transport system, a fun expedition nonetheless. The planet's core, as displayed by the pictures, is a mixture of cultures and is incredibly busy. Unfortunately personal space is not always a factor. I managed to meet and observe a whole bunch of new species, including a new type of animal called Pokemon. They come in all shapes and sizes and are almost worshipped as gods. I think I have fallen in love with them. Though I was only there a day, I had a great overview of the planet and would highly recommend a visit, though it is only open to visitors a few days a year.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

The Honour is Mine

by Erika Stroem

Watching the-magnificent Klingon, in awe
Raising his Bat’leth and drinking blood wine
The antagonist is poised to slay his prey
But if he dies, he’ll shout "THE HONOUR IS MINE!"

The logical Vulcan glides past the Klingon
Who has no desire to die today
So he does not acknowledge this warrior
Just raises his eyebrow and moves away.

Three star ship captains and Data …
Pass by him, with weapons galore
They will NOT be intimidated
To start another Klingon war.

A Kai and her Vedek assembly
Feel safe as they walk on and pray.
There’d be no honour to slay them …
So he lets them go on their way.

Now the Klingon is coming towards me
Says "Qapla" as he hits his chest,
"Would you drink a blood wine with me?
As I could really do with a rest."

Thank goodness I’m at a convention,
A place where we all can reshape;
A wonderful voyage into fantasy;
A place where I go … to escape.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Operations Log: Mission London Anime & Gaming Con.

By Emma Dilemma Filtness

My Co-pilot and I successful made it to the London system when we were hijacked by freedom fighters, who pulled us into a search for a deadly weapon by disguising ourselves as the 'enemy' faction. Despite facing stiff resistance, we managed to find the weapon in a relatively short amount of time and parted ways with the freedom fighters led by a character named Cassian.
We then met up our contact at the convention location. Despite its relatively small size the convention was very busy, with varied attractions ranging from artists to anime showings. I managed to locate several rare and unique items, photographic evidence of which can be found below. We also played some games and came into contact with an energetic group of people known as cosplayers, I know a lot of you are familiar with them. I hope one day to be as good as those I encountered.
Report End.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Captain's Log

Another three months have gone by already, and although I haven't been able to be with the crew as much as I would have liked during that time, I have seen many great things going on.
The last quarter has been very difficult for me one filled with personal loss and a work situation (not of my own making) requiring me to arrange, attend and minute no less than nine AGMs, all that on top of what is usually very busy quarter anyway. Fortunately, I have an absolutely fantastic First Officer, Second Officer and crew. Having mentioned my dilemma, the Command Team put me on leave, which gave me the breathing space I needed to get my head around everything and sort things out, while dipping in and out of the crew pages from time to time.
One of the nicest things that I noticed, though, was that Centaur continued quite happily without me. The functioning of Centaur can be likened to a bicycle wheel (an analogy I understand well). At the centre of the wheel is the hub, which consists of the fabric of the group: that would be the website, blog and Facebook pages—the means by which we communicate. Without those things, there would be no communications.
Then there are the spokes. Now, if you know about bicycle wheels, you’ll know that each spoke can be adjusted. If all of the spokes are properly set, the wheel runs free and true. It doesn’t catch on the brakes or wobble, and gives for a smooth easy ride. If one or two of those spokes are badly adjusted, because the others on either side of it are correctly set, they support the ‘poorly’ spoke ensuring the wheel still runs free and true. If, however, lots of spokes are badly set, the wheel becomes warped. When you spin it, it judders between the forks, catches on the brakes, mud guards and chain, and generally becomes a dangerous mess. The bike fails.
On Centaur, each crew member is one of those spokes. There are no big spokes or little spokes. Each and everyone of us has an equally important part to play in the smooth running of the wheel. Like the wheel, when one of us has to step aside for a bit, the rest of the spokes can take that little bit of extra strain and the group continues to run. At least that’s how it should be. Sadly, in other groups, that’s the point where everything falls asunder and the group stops functioning BUT not so on Centaur.
I have been absolutely thrilled to see things continuing to happen without me. Sure, the Command Team have attracted my attention to things where necessary, but everything has continued to function like a well oiled machine. Amongst other things, we’ve seen Khash start his podcast project, Erika set up the cadet page and Holly expand her department with three Junior Editors to ensure that we will always have a Centaurian each quarter. So what more can I say but thank you, guys. You are truly a wonderful bunch of people, and I feel privileged to command Centaur for you.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

A Very Dangerous Adventure

by CDT2 Sandy Reid

Today I took all the Cadets with me on a mission to a nearby planet in the space shuttle which Ziggly made especially for us. It is the first away mission that the cadets have been on, but as I have been on lots, I am in charge. Anthony was telling us where to go 'cause he is the navigator, Rosie is on communications 'cause she always makes a lot of noise and Lara was driving the ship.
We were driving along and Rosie got a message from the planet saying that someone needed our help. We landed on the planet as fast as we could.
We started to look around and saw a haunted house and it had fang teeth and started biting us. We made our way back to the shuttle and then there was a big, big snake, which was bigger than the shuttle and it bit the shuttle so hard it broke all its guns.
We ran back to the shuttle and shot the snake in the tummy, and it hit his heart and he died. Then we got into the shuttle and Lara drove it off the planet. Anthony told us which way to go, but because the snake had bit the shuttle, things were not working properly and we crashed into another planet that was full of fire.
Rosie managed to send a message back to the Centaur that we needed help. We could not get out of the shuttle 'cause of too much fire on the planet, so we had to sit there 'til we was rescued.
Lara went to make us a cup of tea, but the tea machine was broken, so she used some of the fire to make it.
When we finished our cup of tea, we got beamed off the planet onto the Centaur and we were all sad that we had to leave our shuttle there.
I told Ziggly that I was sorry we had broken the shuttle and she said, "Don’t worry. We will build you a new one, so you can go on more adventures."

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Hogwarts to Hit the Banquet

Regardless of your age, from nursery to pensioner and everything in between, why not let the Harry Potter theme on Friday night bring out your inner child at next year's Banquet in Peterborough. I for one will be donning a school uniform and flexing my wand. Thus I was doubly delighted at just how much yummy Harry Potter merchandise there is to choose from. From Primark to Asda, eBay to Amazon, there are cauldrons to take your fancy, and none of it should break the bank. It all makes for lots of easy costumes to suit every taste and budget.
My all time favourite find came this weekend when an outing into town found me in my local branch of Primark looking for a grey school jumper. No joy on that score, but I made this fantastic discovery instead. Available in black or brown, this Hogwarts satchel is perfect and a mere £12. Be warned, though, there are a lot of people selling them for a lot more on eBay and suchlike, so don't be fooled.

Returning to school uniform—the robe in particular, there is a large selection to choose from. Asda have a number of offerings for adults and children alike (below), all for under £20. Many are internet order only but with their refund policy, that shouldn't present a problem.

To add extra dressing to your costume, there are scarves, wands and ties. Interestingly, there are two versions of the school tie for Hogwarts dependant upon which film you watch, so don't be put out if your tie is a bit different from your friends'. The easiest option is the original gold/maroon stripe which can be obtained from most school stores. I picked one up for £3.99 on eBay, delivered free of charge to my door.

Wands are also widely available. I had one in with the cape I bought from Asda, but it was a pretty tacky, plastic affair (more reminiscent of something from Ann Summers than Ollivander's Wand Shop). Once again, though, eBay came to the rescue. I settled on a wonderful one for just £6.99.

So, with all that so easily to hand, how can you resist having a bit of Hogwarts fund?