Chain of Command
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The chain of command represents how orders are distributed throughout the station. It is part of a power structure: usually seen as the most vulnerable and also the most powerful part of it. Starting from the most authorized, the Captain, through the Head of some Department, down to the lowliest subordinate to finally accomplish the task needed, in order to make the station function as efficiently as possible.
The Heads should not start doing the simplest tasks themselves unless the station's already beyond saving.
Heads can demote their staff by using the Identification Console and removing the subordinate's access to their department from their ID.
So if one of your guys isn't acting like an appropriate team player, don't hesitate to show them who's boss.
Succession / Head of Staff Demotions / Executive Powers
It is important to understand how command is handed down when the Captain is incapacitated, dead, or unfit for their duty, as well as for how high-level demotions work.
First of all, the Captain can demote any Head of Staff provided he/she gives a valid reason. Valid reasons include subordination, breaking space law, negligence of duty, or any other reason that the captain may view endangers the ship and/or it's crew. Should questions of validity be brought up by command, only Central Command or a unanimous department head vote can reverse the Captain's decision.
Command may demote the Captain or Acting Captain as well with a unanimous vote, provided there is a valid reason given in accordance to the reasons specified above. The Captain / Acting Captain may choose to appeal his demotion to Central Command if he / she believes it is unjust.
The chain of succession is as follows:
Captain -> Executive Officer -> Any Head of Staff (as voted in by command if there is competition) -> Bridge Officers -> Munitions Officers -> Security Personnel
In addition, there is a command hierarchy for bridge operations as well, for when the Captain is not on the bridge and the ship is attacked / under threat.
Captain -> Executive Officer -> Bridge Officers -> Chief Engineer -> Head of Security -> Research Director -> Chief Medical Officer -> Munitions Officer -> Security Personnel
Preferably, either the Captain or Executive Officer will be on the bridge at all times to prevent conflicts and confusion of orders.
Heads of Staff
A.K.A. the command staff. These are the men and women charged with the administration of the station. Each of them have access to the Bridge and Brig, the keycard authentication devices, the command radio channel (accessed with :c), the ability to make station-wide announcements, access to identification consoles and may call/recall the Escape Shuttle using a communications console. They are also the targets during a Revolution.
The Commanding Officer with authority over the entire station. Eventually dies and has the Executive Officer take over. Limited only by style - Just don't forget the disk. The only position that can issue death warrants without a trial.
Required knowledge: How the AI works. What other Heads should be doing.
Round-start to-do list: Check in with your Heads of Staff. Secure the nuclear authorization disk and give the pinpointer to the HoS for maximum safety.
Main tasks: Making sure your heads are doing their jobs, figure out what needs to be done and delegate. Keep the disk close to you.
Main problems: Many high-risk items start in your office or directly in your possession. And your shiny gold id card is coveted by almost every troublemaker. Expect many attempts to be made on your life for these things.
Equal rank with all other non-captain Heads of Staff Second in command and above the other heads. Becomes acting Captain if the original Captain is dead or MIA. Responsible for staffing and HR-related duties.
Authority over all civil and supply departments, including the Janitor, Chef, Barman, Clown, Mime, Assistants, Quartermaster, Shaft Miners, Lawyers, Chaplain, Librarian, Botanists and Cargo Techs.
The Executive Officer can either be a Godsend or worse than a banana-flinging clown for the ship. He can also savor the prestige or feel shackled to the ID computer. If you find yourself wearing teal, make the most of it by doing your job correctly.
1. Support the Captain.
Always be on the captain's side, at least publicly. Remember that since you'll take up his banner if, or more often when, he's slain, you're the de facto second in command. Be sure to work as a team to lead the crew. If he's demanding, be persuasive. If he's soft-spoken, be a task-master. This means anyone annoyed at his leadership style will likely follow yours, but it also means he has to trust you. Earn this trust by making frequent use of command chat (:c) and deferring to him on matters of great importance, like assigning new Heads or calling the shuttle. You are sitting at the Captain's right hand, entrusted to the keys to the ship, while all other Heads must beg at your feet for access to so much as the bar. Don't let it go to your head, and the Head of Security won't brain you.
2. Uphold the Rights of Crewmen.
Only the Captain can authorize a death warrant, and you are sometimes tasked with judging trials under Space Law. You are normally considered the most impartial officer for this task, which prevents the appearance of a mere kangaroo court. Furthermore, Security often commits excesses and the Captain is either dead or personally involved in a case. For these reasons, you need to be sure to call for trials for high crimes before the accused gets left to rot in a permacell forever. While this may put you at odds with Security, you should find them fanatically loyal to the Captain, who hopefully makes clear his full confidence in you. This delicate balance of power prevents excesses against the crew. Almost always, a weak Captain and Executive Officer will result in shitcurity.
3. Follow the Principle of Least Privilege.
When assigning new access levels or creating new jobs, ask yourself just how much access is really needed to perform the task. If a hardworking engineer wants EVA access, consider if he really needs access or just for you to open the door for him while he gets a suit. If the chaplain is being proactive about finding bodies but often needs people to open doors, maybe the risk of giving him more access is less than gain from increasing his effectiveness. Decisions like these keep the station more secure from thieves weaseling their way to their targets and cuts down on the number of accidental arrests made by Security for assumed trespassing. Remember to write their increased access or privileged items on a sheet of paper and give it a good stamping so the janitor will be able to show why he's mopping Medbay's floors.
4. Talk to the Crew.
The Captain gets nervous when someone stands next to him for too long. The Head of Security is too busy beating the clown. The Research Director is on fire, the Chief Medical Officer is up to his elbows in gore, and the Chief Engineer is trying to keep everyone warm and breathing in a vacuum. You're really the only head able to take time and listen to the crew. Invite crewmen to talk to you when there are conflicts. Defuse the interpersonal and interdepartmental problems you discover during these conversations, and prevent grievances from becoming grief. Advocate on behalf of the robusted to security, and generally reduce the frequency and intensity of mutinies.
5. Manage your Department First.
While technically you can demote everyone who's ID you seize to assistant, managing civilian workers not under another head is your immediate responsibility. Keeping janitors on task, directing the chef to throw a pizza party, ensuring the Quartermaster is on top of things, and getting the records up to date are the first thing to do after assigning job and access changes. Demoting bad security officers or stepping in for an absent department head also falls on your desk, but going into other departments to micromanage in front of their head is both bad form and likely to make you reviled. Always clear a demotion with their department head, or ideally, make all the Heads aware they can send troublesome employees your way to be sent to the mining base. This lets you focus on your immediate underlings and avoid stepping on toes.
Required knowledge: How to use the Identification Console. A rough idea of how access is distributed throughout the station. What Cargo, Kitchen, Hydroponics and the Janitor should be doing.
Round-start to-do list: Stay at your desk for at least the first 10 minutes to manage the shift-start rush.
Main tasks: Manage IDs.
Main problems: Your department (the civil department) doesn't ever acknowledge you as their boss. It's your duty to make that a thing of the past!
Equal rank with all other non-captain Heads of Staff. Although he technically has access, other Heads may deny him from entering their domains. Usually withheld from a promotion to acting Captain if other Heads are available. Oversees security matters with authority over Security Officers, the Warden and the Detective. Expected to detain and handle those who endanger the station, including other heads of staff, and in some cases, the Captain.
Required knowledge: How to use security equipment, a firm grasp on Space Law, and rough idea of what kind of threats the station will have to face and how to deal with them.
Round-start to-do list: Get your officers to report in, if they don't, remind them that the security force doesn't work without teamwork and communication, and have them demoted if they're still acting like a lone mute wolf.
Main tasks: Try to keep the crew as safe as possible. Keep your officers from degenerating to shitcurity when things get rough.
Main problems: Assistants pushing each other is not a big problem, you shouldn't have to spend much time on those. Focus on the big fish instead.
Equal rank with all other non-captain Heads of Staff. Due to AI access, often promoted to acting Captain if there is neither a Captain nor a XO. Oversees research efforts with authority over Scientists, Roboticists, and Genetics Research. Maintains the integrity of the AI and its Cyborgs.
Required knowledge: Know how R&D works, how to upgrade machines, how xenobiology works, how telescience works and how robotics work.
Round-start to-do list: Make sure one of your scientist is doing R&D and help him out if needed. Ask if there are miners around and request the minerals your R&D and Robotics both need.
Main tasks: Upgrading machines across the station.
Main problems: Bombs made in toxins usually get sneaked out and exploded. Check on them from time to time.
Required knowledge: How the telecommunications, atmospherics, solars and singularity work. How to deconstruct an APC.
Round-start to-do list: Have your team assemble the singularity engine correctly and have power flowing to the station. Make sure the atmospheric system is set up correctly.
Main tasks: Listening the radio for people yelling about station damage and delegating your engineers there with appropriate tools and materials.
Main problems: The station is bound to have explosions or at least minor holes in it during the shift. Learn how to tackle the exploded telecommunications -situation and you'll be irreplaceable in more than one shift, guaranteed.
Equal rank with all other non-captain Heads of Staff. If a Head of Staff is acting medically unstable, it is the CMO's duty to disable and treat them till they are once again fit for duty (which could be never). Oversees station-wide medical issues with authority over the Virologist, Chemists, Medical Doctors and Genetics Cloning.
Required knowledge: How to cure viruses and create vaccines. Formulas for the most common medicines. How to prepare and administer clean SEs.
Round-start to-do list: Make an announcement to the crew about maxing out their suit sensors so you'll be able to help them when they get in trouble. Check that the cryogenic tubes get set up, possibly with a more efficient mixture of chemicals from the chemist.
Main tasks: Check the Crew Monitoring Console from time to time for dead/dying people.
Main problems: Medical jobs are a common choice for new players seeking a relevant role. So when not absent, dead, or traitorous, expect your staff to need constant babysitting and guidance on how to perform even basic treatments.
Other Management Roles
While the following jobs have management roles, they are not Heads of Staff and get none of the perks associated with being a Head of Staff.
Subordinate to the Executive Officer.
Required knowledge: Managing Cargo Tech's, how to operate the Cargo Bay.
Round-start to-do list: Check how many Cargo Tech's are on shift, get them doing something useful such as collecting crates.
Main tasks: Processing crew order requests.
Main problems: Hostile crew members, syndicate sympathisers and Security. Depending on your loyalty to the station you will either face problems from Security or revolutionary's.
Authority over the brig and all personnel that rank below him as long as they are within the brig, including prisoners and security officers. If the Head of Security is KIA, MIA, or never showed up, then you command the officers.
Required knowledge: Processing prisoners, managing Security operations and personnel, keeping the brig secure, and distributing armory contents to officers during crisis.
Round-start to-do list: Ensure the brig is secure, check if there is a HoS/Sec Officers present.
Main tasks: Keeping the brig as secure as possible, ensuring no one attempts to loot the armory, keeping prisoners in check and ensuring they are released on schedule.
Main problems: Non-compliant Security Officers and people attempting to break into the brig.
Subordinate to the Captain while he is on the station.
Depending on his rank, he may have the authority to dismiss the Captain from his position, or even outrank the Captain. Otherwise, he possesses no actual authority over anyone on station and is reliant on ingratiating himself with the command staff.
Required knowledge: The Chain of Command, knowing what your assigned task is from Central Command. Having good social skills.
Round-start to-do list: Inform the command staff of your presence.
Main tasks: Whatever Central Command assigned you.
Main problems: Suspicious Security Officers, non-compliant heads of staff and enemies of the corporation.
The Captain the station deserves.
Authority over snacks. Obey.
Required knowledge: Yip!
Round-start to-do list: Get dressed.
Main tasks: Dance.
Main problems: Executive Officer often incompetent and needs watching over.