”…and even though the sensors haven't been able to see forwards for centuries, and you can't really see much anywhere else, we use this database of stars to model their positions. You know, one day I'll take you all up to the core and see if we can get Computer to disable the safeties so you can see out past the engines. You can see real stars out there. It's pretty amazing, I have to tell you.”
—Yui, Navigation teacher


The Navigation department is small, has little in the way of resources or authority, and is often forgotten. “Reassigned to Navigation” is occasionally used as a euphemism for someone being ignored or sidelined. That said, the Department maintains a rigorous training program and many members of Navigation are renowned as academic experts, having devoted their lives to study rather than the practical tasks necessary in other Departments.

Of course not everyone who works in Navigation is happy with their lot. Some try to get transferred to other Departments, while others embrace Astrology as a way of building a personal powerbase, with a following of the credulous, and the promise that behind the silly robes and traditions there is some mystical art waiting to be discovered.


Broadly speaking, the duties of Navigation are to make sure that the ship is going in the right direction. Since Computer appears to be capable of doing this by itself, members of Navigation don't appear to have a lot to do most of the time. While there are other jobs in the department, most of the members can be divided into one of two groups:


The navigators are the more serious end of the department, and it is they who are supposed to learn the complex mathematics, physics, and various other skills necessary to operate the ship without Computer. It's acknowledged within the department that these skills have limited practical use, and training in them is regarded as an academic vocation first and foremost.

This academic focus leads many in Navigation to pick up a few extra areas of study on the job. Computer doesn't seem to mind this, and in fact actively encourages it in a lot of cases - Navigation personnel are occasionally called into other departments to help out when their specific expertise is relevant. Other Navigators turn their skills to other ends, and become part-time engineers, Null-Grav Football players and coaches, or get involved in ship politics. Given that they have the least amount of actual work to do (or so the other departments would have you believe), they can easily afford to stick their fingers in elsewhere.

The Inversion point is the first noteworthy thing that's happened to the ship in living memory that might require any practical application of Navigation training. Of course, the department are well aware that Computer is probably capable of handling it all on its own, just as it handles everything else. Despite a few hot-headed youngsters getting excited, the majority of the department are cynical about the whole affair and are continuing their studies as normal.


Depending on who you ask, the Monitors are either the most cynical or the most crazy people onboard the Asimov. They have as a group almost entirely embraced Astrology, the practice of making predictions of the future based on the stars. There are a few who try to take the job of a Monitor seriously, but by and large those who reject the practice move or are moved to jobs elsewhere in the department.

A Monitor's job is simple, in theory. They monitor things outside the ship and report on anything unusual. There are two problems with this job, however - firstly, most of the sensors facing forwards are long broken by time, lack of repair, and interstellar debris. Secondly, space is really empty. No, really empty. A grain of sand would be interesting, if it were possible to see it. The long and short of it is that there's almost nothing for a Monitor to do.

In practice what this has led to is a hierarchical, almost cult-like structure that has grown up around the job. Astrology is apparently serious business, with complex theories and hidden methods for relating the movement of the stars to personalities, future events, and the whim of Computer. The astrologers are secretive about most of their traditions, but their “secret” gatherings in hooded robes are the subject of much rumour, awe, or derision depending on who you speak to. Some Astrologers claim to be able to predict the future and are paid handsomely by folk who want to find out who's going to win the next NGF match, or who want to know how best to approach a future romantic prospect. Computer doesn't seem to mind any of this as long as the work (such as it is) gets done.

Important People

Head of Department

Hawk Blue is a man renowned for two things - the first is being very good at his job, with a natural flair for advanced mathematics, and the second is being very good at chess. One of the more esteemed Navigators, he has largely run the department on a “live and let live” basis, where the Astrologers are “allowed to have their robes and chanting, provided they don't get in the way of the serious business” (by which he either means learning, or chess — it's hard to tell which). As such he has a wide base of support and under his tenure the department has remained largely stable for a number of years.

Notable Navigators

Berwick AKA BOB-Botherer” has made his life's work a study of the BOBs and their behaviour. Not that he'd ever dirty his hands by taking the things apart - he watches them, observing their behaviour, and experiments on them. His current theories maintain that BOBs are highly sophisticated pieces of technology, and possibly self-aware. This is readily disputed by anyone who's ever had to take one apart, though it's widely acknowledged that he might be onto something when he claims that the reason that they are frequently uncooperative is that they secretly hate people.

Notable Monitors / Astrologers

Evelyn Salamaris - Evelyn has a reputation for being particularly crazy, even for one of the senior figures within the Astrologers. Her personal life is shrouded in mystery, so she is mostly famous for having successfully predicted the outcome of the last nine NGF finals. She is the black sheep of her family, and rarely mentioned in polite company, due to her habit of making gnomic proclamations that are subsequently debated at length in the more credulous gossip circles.

Player Characters

Player characters who are part of this faction will be added here.

navigation.txt · Last modified: 2012/09/23 19:51 by gm_dave
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