Artemis is a virtual starship bridge. About six people can play at being different positions on a Star Trek type ship. When the local Star Trek club set up an actual bridge space, I donned Vulcan ears and joined five other people for a little video that should be called Jerks In Space.

When you get the chance to put on Vulcan ears, you take it. That is why I found myself on the USS Artemis, with a crew of six people and a dog, of which the dog was the least objectionable. (I fully include myself as part of the sub-dog group.) What followed was a mission in which we attempted to destroy a fleet of enemy star ships which had set out to destroy our ships and our star bases. (Perhaps there will be another Star Trek game in which you have to peacefully make contact with new worlds and enter into protracted negotiations in order to bring them into the Federation. That would seem more in keeping with Star Fleet's official purpose, but it wouldn't be widely played.) The mission, to put it kindly, does not go well.

Anthony Carboni was on the helm, part-time captaining while mostly stuffing himself with pretzels and whiskey, and under his command we quickly sustained a hit that took out most weapons and navigation systems. From there, things went pretty much down hill. There was bickering, drifting towards an anomaly, and more pretzels, as we either failed to defend, left to die, or outright blew up all of our own star bases. Once we had, officially, nothing left to lose, it was time for the starways to be jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive. Don't worry though. The dog lived. It's on a farm now, with plenty of fresh air and people who pet it all the time.

To sum up our brief foray into the unknown, if you ever wonder why Star Fleet has such a rigorous and maddening training process - it's to make sure that no mission ever looks like the virtual mission of the Artemis. Enjoy.