September 4th, 2005

WSFS Captain 2

Inquiry Into the Armadillo Affair

The Board of Inquiry into the Armadillo Affair convened in Hilton Room 2113 at 22:30 last night. President of the Board was Col. Ed Green of the Space Cadets (personal representative of Commandant Christian McGuire). The Board consisted of Commodore Vincent Docherty of the White Star Federated Spacelines, Peggy Rae Sapienza (due to her extensive experience with space pirates), Capt. Tom Veal of the TASFiC II, and Capt. David W. Clark of the St. Francis. Presenting the case against me was Col. David Gallaher (described here as "WSFS’s shadowy, mustachioed Head of Security") and Capt. Tom Whitmore (who had shared command of the Quetzlcoatl with me in 2002). My defense was presented by Don Timm.

It was looking pretty dire for me throughout the entire inquiry, at witness after witness testified to my responsibility for the ship's loss. In my defense, it was pointed out that the ship's security budget had been gutted in order to fund the Real Ale Bar. Nevertheless, the Board looked ready to find against me, although they did poll the audience for their opinions, circulating two boxes (one for guilty, one for acquittal) and encouraging money donations in each. (The total proceeds are to be donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief.)

Rope was being prepared for a noose when Mr. Timm called Seth Breidbart as a surprise witness, who under examination confessed to having disguised himself as me (Ghod knows how) and let the Space Pirates aboard. Although Seth did point out that this still left me responsible, the Board (and the large crowd present) decided to acquit me and with loud cries of "Kill Seth! Kill Seth!" the inquiry was closed and my good name restored.

Many thanks to all those who participated, to SFSFC for funding the reception, and to CascadiaCon for the donation of their Green Room for the venue.

Update, 11:45 AM: According to issue 6B of the con newsletter, Fax Cascadia (they needed an extra because there was more news than would fit a single issue), the participants in the gathering donated $100, which Col. Gallaher will forward to the American Red Cross. There were no indications of how much was donated toward "acquit" and "convict," which is probably just as well.
Conrunner Kevin

Well, That Was Fun (Not)

At about 6:20 this morning, an ear-splitting electronic buzz and screech rent the air as the hotel's fire alarms went off. I bounced out of bed and shook Lisa more fully awake (she was sleeping more soundly than I, and initially mistook the sound to be that of the alarm clock). We quickly tossed clothes on over our sleepware and began to make our way out of the hotel. I'm proud to say that I behaved the way I'd always been told to do so in such situations, stopping at our hotel room door and at each of the fire doors between our room and the stairwell to feel the door for heat and to check for smoke before proceeding.

Helped by the fact that we'd long since discovered an unmarked side door to our wing of the building was a convenient shortcut to the conference center, we made no wrong turns and went straight out through the hotel's loading dock exit and into the parking lot. We passed one fellow standing there shivering in only a pair of boxer shorts -- he'd aparently evacuated even a bit more precipitously than we had. Following good practice (I've been in this situation before), we moved away from the building so that any arriving fire equipment wouldn't have to dodge us.

Fairly soon thereafter -- less than five minutes, I would say -- hotel security advised us that there was no fire and that "someone had pulled a fire alarm for kicks and run off," according to what spread through the crowd of groggy hotel guests and overnight staff. As we made our way back upstairs to our room, I heard one woman, presumably one of the non-convention-member hotel guests, complain to her companion, "I told you they were a bunch of freaks!" which didn't make me feel too happy, but I wasn't going to stop and argue the point with her.

One thing about the design of this hotel on which both Lisa and I commented when we got here is that it's can be (and in our personal case is) a long way to a fire exit. There were at least two fire doors separting our section from the nearest stairwell. Based on my other modern hotel experiences, I would have expected there to be at least one more stairwell in this building.

I didn't get a lot of sleep this last night, and this alarm didn't help matters. Unlike yesterday, I do have a morning panel -- today, my first panel ("Awards: Too Many, or Not Enough?") is at 10 AM, so now I have to get a move on.

Update, 5:35 PM: the afternoon newsletter reports "Hotel surveillance caught on video the miscreant who set off the fire alarm." On the other hand, a different rumor suggests that someone set off the fire alarm as a way to finally put a halt to the Biohazard party, who were apparently still going strong (and very loud) at 6 AM.
Conrunner Kevin

Sailor Jupiter Support Squad

I spent a while this afternoon setting aside Fan Guest of Honor responsibilities and instead acting as the unseen-on-screen Sailor Jupiter Support Squad. What those who watched the anime series Sailor Moon didn't realize was that each of the sailor scouts must have had at least one support person traveling nearby in order to hold support equipment for the various magical girls. I learned this when Lisa built her Sailor Jupiter costume. The costume looks great, and she won a Hall Costume Award here at NASFiC for it, but has no place for pockets or storage of any sort, and also includes killer boots -- in multiple senses of the words. After a relatively short time, the high-heeled and narrow boots start attacking the wearer's feet, rendering the wearer powerless.

After about 30-40 minutes walking around the convention to great appreciation, Lisa, dressed as Sailor Jupiter, felt the shoes starting to expire, and I helped her back to the room. I left her alone for a while and spent an hour or so in the Con Suite (which also gave me a chance to get lunch.)

Now I'm off to the Awards Banquet, back in WSFS uniform on account of my good name having been cleared last night.

Update, 2005-09-16: Added link to photo of Lisa's costume in Hazel's Picture Gallery.