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The following information is not current. It is kept for historical purposes.
Access Level: Medbay, Robotics, Genetics, Research Sector, Chemistry, Plasma Research, Bridge, Computer Core, Bar, Kitchen, Hydroponics, Cargo Bay, Security, EVA, Maintenance
Additional Roleplay Access Level: None
Responsibilities: Protect the communications dish, put on a radio show for the crew of the NSS Manta.
Guides: AI Laws, Calling the Escape Shuttle, this page.
What if we told you there was a position on the NSS Manta where you get paid to just stand around and talk? That's essentially what you do as the Communications Officer. You do is just sit in your office, watching the communications tower, and basically talk to people, usually about what's happening on the ship, ideally with some flair. Because of this, it's easily the most laid-back Head role on the ship and is an easy choice for those looking for simple responsibilities and ample roleplaying opportunity.
The Communications System
The comms system of the NSS Manta centers around the communications tower in the Communications Office, the pigsty of antennas and blinkenlights that looks like a rejected tree design from A Charlie Brown Christmas, depicted above. Pretty much all communication systems, aside from machinetalk, announcement computers, and anything related to TermOS or ThinkDOS (and, obviously, writing and talking), are relayed through this central hub, including:
Should the communications tower be taken offline, such as via a bomb, the system will attempt to fix itself by establishing an uplink to Oshan Laboratory. This takes about eight minutes, and in the meantime, all the aforementioned systems will be completely nonfunctional--period. It's more intense than a solar flare because the job-specific frequencies and station-bounced radios go down too. There is no way to repair the array or replace it if it gets damaged or taken out.
Despite what you might think, the extra distance doesn't slow down or otherwise affect radio communications, and they continue along as normal once the uplink is established.
As Communications Officer, Nanotrasen has entrusted you with protecting that absolute disarray of a comms array.
Naturally, you don't get much in the way of weapons to defend it if someone tries to break into the comms office to destroy it. You do at least have a flash. It is mostly for when you get attacked, but it can work against common greytiders who break in just for kicks. However, it can be easily defeated by eye protection, and good luck using it against team of Nuclear Operatives (who all spawn with sunglasses) or a Blob (cannot be stunned at all). At least you can access the Security areas and use the SecTech, though actually trying to play Security is a bad idea. Moreover, the most popular method of disabling the comms tower by far is to bomb the maintenance area above the comms office, which you really can't do much against.
In short, you're protecting something you have no power to protect and managing a system that usually doesn't have a problem and fixes itself when it does. This is better than it sounds, for it lets you concencrate your far more interesting duty of...
Ruling the Airwaves
What's more fun than watching a metal tree with dishes glued onto it? Using the equipment in comms office to put on a radio show, naturally! Providing entertainment is one of the job's few duties, and it's where this job really gets to shine.
The equipment still works the same; in fact, the comms office isn't all that different from the radio ship on other maps. For instructions on how to use them, check out the relevant section of the Radio Host page.
Generally, whatever gimmick you can do as a Radio Host, you can do as a Communications Officer, except you do it with Head of Staff authority. This means you can order people around a bit to facilitate your gimmick, though you don't have nearly as much sway as the Captain or Head of Personnel. In fact, the person who coded this job described it as a "slightly fancier radio host".
More importantly, that means you can order the AI and Cyborgs around and have access to the AI Upload, so you can upload some laws that suit your gimmick. You can get them to order things from Cargo, move funds around for prizes if you want to do a game show, provide you with news and updates, things like that. Depending on the shift, and maybe your skill using the law modules to make new laws, you might even be able to rope them in as a co-host!
As always, as with anything involving gimmicks, don't worry too much about doing things "correctly", and don't sweat if things fall flat or blow up in your face. The important thing is that you put in the effort and listen to people's feedback so you can improve. Remember the Rules, and just have fun.
So, you're a Traitor. If you ever dreamt of a radio gimmick, and thought to yourself, "If only I had Antagonist privileges" or "I'd need traitor gear for that", then, well, here's your chance to make those dreams come true. You may not have any special job-exclusive items, and you may not be particularly deadly, but with Syndicate show biz, it's less about the body count and more about the ratings--and it's anything for the ratings...
So put on a good show! Don't be afraid to do anything--and we mean anything (within the Rules obviously)--to climb your way to the top and keep the fans entertained. Abduct some crew, force them into Russian roulette games or Saw-esque traps for freedom! Plant bombs around the station, and threaten to detonate them unless they answer pop culture trivia questions. Take hostages and threaten further violence unless the crew listens to your manifesto and completes your insane demands. For extra fun, mindhack some folks and/or subvert the AI and Cyborgs and order them to be accomplices/cohosts in your twisted shows. Break a leg!