20 Nov 2014

Beaver Flight Commentary - Chapter 4

As always, please read the chapter before continuing.  Spoilers!

The Beavers received their new toys, power suits.  Victoria geeks out over hers while Renée has mechanical problems, just what the reasonably frightened needed.  Before I started writing, I had an idea of what the mecha would be like.  Each one was tailor-made for the pilot, using feedback from the pilot's own muscles and nervous system to move.  The controls aren't quiet intuitive; they're first generation.  Darcy's helicopter pilot training gives her an edge.  Helicopters require not only hand-eye coordination, but foot-eye as well.  Victoria plays video games, so she has improved her hand-eye coordination.  Dom and Renée had to spend extra time in the simulators to make sure they could keep up.

The problem with lunar orbit being a combat zone is that it's hard to train for it without being in the zone.  NASA's Vomit Comet provides minutes of zero gravity experience, but the airplane isn't big enough for powered armour to stand up in.  Thus, Darkside One becomes both forward base and training camp.  The Beavers get a first-hand look at the invaders.  The Aussie flight, Roo, after the kangaroo*, was on patrol.  However, Darkside One doesn't have much on the bench.  Eagle, Bear, and Tiger flights, four suits each, aren't enough to hold off a full-on assault.  Yet, the invaders aren't assaulting.

Victoria is headstrong, lacking discipline.  Almost deliberately so, really.  She also has a strong sense of right and wrong.  Leaving an injured pilot in the field goes against her core.  If she was alone, that wouldn't be a problem.  As part of a military unit, big problem.  Unit cohesion is often needed for tactics to succeed.  There's a reason why an army is comprised of soldiers, not warriors.  With the Beavers in training, Darcy's main concern was getting her people to safety.  Victoria running out into the battlefield ran against Darcy's goal.

Tomorrow, Chapter 5, "Working Out".
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, the November news round-up on remakes and adaptations.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, adaptations and expectations.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

* "Because they're kinda weird down there." - Arrogant Worms, "We Are the Beaver"

1 comment:

  1. I almost made it this far back in November - but mecha's not my thing, while chapters 3 and 4 were heavy on technology. Also, annoying characters are annoying - and I'm not just talking about Tori. Renee pointing her gun at a fellow member? That feels like an even WORSE offence than what Tori did! You're not even supposed to do something like that with the safety on! But I did avow to come back to this once I was less busy, so here we are.

    Following off my Part 2 thoughts, Darcy is indeed getting a bit more of a character. She seems to be a bit of a dreamer, except for how reality keeps interfering. I could see her excelling - if she didn't have to be in command too. And your remark about the mechanical issues hitting the person who least needed them is valid, though Darcy may have been selling Renee short. (Then again, given her attitude of a 10 year old, maybe not.)

    The combat thing was... kinda confusing. There was mention of "bogeys", which I thought might be missiles, but apparently were manned (there WAS some mention of enemy mecha by Tori earlier). Yet if Roo Two was close enough to see damage, yet engage bogeys, surely Tori was close enough to see the enemy too? But not become a target? Was there no way to remotely shut down her suit? The decision to run the battle through dialogue helps preserve the mystery of the opponent, but my mind was having trouble filling in some of the gaps. At any rate, your remark of "big problem" in the end is very true, and I think Darcy's superiors may have something to say about Victoria as well.