Verity Gavroche – Ode to the Elite

Verity Gavroche – Ode to the Elite

Posted also on the frontier forums

So, I was just finishing off a meal in the Thompson Dock canteen on level 4, and as I collected my tray of cold leftovers to take to the cleaning station, I came across this scrap of paper on which is scrawled a poem, author unknown.

Now, being a bit of an English scholar (some journalists do actually study English, believe it or not) I recognise it as a pastiche of a 1400 years-old poem by Arthur O’Shaughnessy, called ‘Ode’.

I’m not sure if the author intended it to be published or not, but it certainly seems to have been written for all the commanders out there, so seems a shame not to!



We are the commander makers,
  And experts with gimballed beams,
Firing our C-Class lasers,
  And driving our SRVs;
Fuel-scoopers and Canopy-breakers,    
  On whom the binary O-type gleams:
And we are the explorers and map-makers
  Of long distant worlds, it seems.

With glorious fights in Fer-des
  We build up our factions' influences,     
And out of a fabulous story
  We fashion our powers' glory:
One commander with a stick, at pleasure,
  Shall shoot another pilot down;
And a wing beating a new song's measure     
  Can grind a base into the ground.

We scientists, in the ages lying
  On the shoulders of giants of Earth,
Built the Institute with our mining,
  And Canonn itself in our mirth;     
And grew them with our theorising
  About the artefacts' new worth;
For each day is a theory that's dying,
  Or one that is coming to birth.

A touch of BGS inspiration     
  Is the life of each expansion;
A wondrous thing of our scheming
  Unearthly, impossible seeming—
The hunter, the trader, and explorer
  Are working together as one,     
Till our dream becomes their last order,
  And their work in the stars can move on.

We have a vision amazing
  Of the star-studded bubble we're inflating;
But we've no Earthly way of knowing     
  Of the lands to which we'll be going:
And on each commander's ship it has glinted,
  A light that does not depart;
And the route which her map it had hinted,
  Takes her forever to the galaxy's heart.     

And today our Galnet is thrilling
  But Palin, with knowledge, unwilling;
In freelance reports, we're invested,
  A richness of writing not bested,
Manifested: the news of tomorrow,     
  Galactic dreams, in which we will play,
Hours of joy, upon us, bestowed
  By community goals, day after day.

But we, with our mining and winging,
  Trading and cruising in SC;   
The HazRes 'round gas giants ringing,
  Or the explorers' first tagging we see,
The pirates with their hatch breakers clinging
  O please! Just let my cargo be!
But we dwell, in our mining and winging,    
  Somewhat apart from CQC.

Black holes with gravity wells yawning
  Neutrons and white dwarves pass by,
Planets with red suns' dawning;
  Scooping, lest our ships they might die —    
How, spite of our enemies' scorning,
  Once more the Elite's future draws nigh,
And with them goes forth the warning
  That the dark forces against them must die.

Great hail! we cry to newcomers    
  'Noobs' to the pitch and the yaw;
We'll show you great alien summers;
  Telling tales of our galaxy of yore;
You will see the bubble's best wonders,
  And discover, with help from us all:   
But remember the pilots who flounder,
  And the commander who commands no more.

– Anon

Verity Gavroche