13 Nov 2014

Beaver Flight Commentary - Chapter 3

More chapters, more commentary.  As always, please read the chapter before continuing.

People annoyed by Victoria may have had some reason to cheer.  Tori isn't being allowed to get away with annoying her squad mates.  The need for certain specialists was greater than having a proper psych profile done, apparently.  Sometimes, the best woman for the job is a little annoying.

The sonic shower is a standard in science fiction.  For a long-term base on a dry rock, water is limited.  Sonics shaking away the accumulated grime is more efficient, especially when the so-called darkside of the moon spends time facing the sun.  Solar panels and batteries to store power makes sonic showers a better idea than water.  The shower also gives Renée a small bit of revenge.

The big reveal in the chapter is the mecha.  Powered suits, bigger than standard EVA suits with feedback control.  Each suit has to be tailor-made for the user, so Dominique's is hers and hers alone.  Two women with similar heights and builds might be able to use each other's powered suit, but they'd find it uncomfortable after some time.  The controls of the suits are modelled after the control of a helicopter, requiring coordination between arms and legs to get the craft to move properly.

One last stab at the name of the flight.  This time, though, the reason why the beaver was chosen over other animals.  Victoria's explanation paraphrases the Arrogant Worms' song, so go buy their albums.  If it weren't for the innuendo, the name of the flight and the story wouldn't be so bad.

The researchers from Nissan are a nod to mecha anime; the powered suits are a Japanese design.  Honda is better known right now for research in personal robotics, with several prototypes already revealed.  It's not that far-fetched that Nissan would have similar research happening.  Industrial robotics are a given today, but all the work is remote, in factories where the only humans on the floor are there to fix the devices.  As for Doctor Aoi, he's the most popular person on the station with the majority of the residents.  Dr. Aoi is the only man on the base.

Callsigns are a stable of pilots, usually of fighter jets but not limited to them.  Callsigns aren't assigned nor can they be self-designated.  Instead, they're given by fellow pilots.  A callsign like "Maverick" is not likely unless mean ironically or derogitarily.  On The Big Bang Theory, Howard gained the callsign "Froot Loops", thanks to his mother yelling at him during a video call.  For the Beavers, though, it was all internal.  Darcy already had "McGee" after flight school, after the Canadian prime minister and the bar named after him.  Victoria's "Geek" was a natural fit.  Dominique kept her hated nickname from Carleton Ravens basketball, "Dominatrix", based on her name and her style of play.  Renée got "Princess" from being fussy.

Tomorrow, Chapter 4, "A Giant Step".
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, a second look at Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, the November news round-up on remakes and adaptations.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

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