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Faxing and you


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Recently there has been a discord discussion about faxing Central Command.
A few misconceptions about faxes and CCIA have been floating around in that discussion.

To clear them up and explain a few things, I have created this topic.

Formatting

Your fax should look somewhat decent. In times long gone by, faxes would regularly get rejected with a "Invalid Fax Format" announcement for minor mistakes in the form. This no longer happens, but you should still try to make a fax look "decent".

You can start doing that by using one of the forms in the forms database in the message consoles.
I recommend to start with the "General Fax" (ID 1002) or the "Situation Report" (ID 0108). These two are good enough for most messages that are sent between the station and CentCom.

When writing your fax, make sure to be clear and concise.

You will not loose your command whitelist / get your character demoted if you use a improper fax format.
 

Fax Content

One of the regular questions that gets asked is if a gimmick by Antags is "real".
The problem with that question is, that revealing the antagonists (too early) will stop whatever story they are trying to drive.
As revealing the antagonist is counterproductive it will not happen until the late-/end-game (when it has become obvious that the are not who they claim to be).

Another common topic is "faxing for direct intervention".
As command member you are expected to deal with issues that arise on the station without needing external support. You are generally expected to handle situations with the resources available to you. For example, faxing for a emergency response team is pointless when you are capable of launching the distress beacon.
However sometimes there might be situations where you are unable to deal with these situations with the available resources.
At that point you should send a fax or EBS mentioning the danger, why you are unable to deal with it and what response you would like.

When the round is coming to an end, you can send a fax to central command requesting them to take certain actions (i.e. have a medic-team on stand-by, ...)
CCIA has the capability to enable various spawners on the Odin (i.e. checkpoint-security, medical-team). Keep in mind that some more complex things might require a admin intervention to set that up (and some time). In addition, all the requests that need odin-characters are dependent on ghosts willing to play them.

 

Fax Timing

You do not have to write a fax, informing Central Command about a active shooter the moment they show up.
It is perfectly fine to handle the incident first and then write a report about it, if there is time to do so afterwards.
It is also fine not to report it at all if you do not have time to do so.

One of the messages that you might get when you are on red alert past the 2h mark with little "movement" is the "Alert Status With no Reports".

Spoiler

NSS Aurora indicates it has been at a heightened alert status for an extended period of time. However, no situation report regarding this alert status has been received.

The crew is to report via fax or EBS to clarify the station's status ASAP.

This message is usually used as a subtle way of letting you know that you should consider wraping up the round as it has been dragging on for a while.
Consider if you need additional resources to deal with the situation (Possibly call a ERT).
If you can spare the time, inform Central Command about the biggest issue you face and if you need something to resolve it.
Afterwards proceed to resolve it.

One of the complaints that has been voiced is that it often takes people 10+ minutes to write a fax.
You do not have to take soo much time, if you do not want to. A clear and concise fax is perfectly fine.
For example if there are mercs shooting up your departments, you could just write: "We have 4 shooters on board the station. Security is currently handling the situation. A ERT might be required later on and will be requested by activating the distress beacon if needed."

 

When to send a message to Central Command

There are a few cases when you really should send a message:

  • You want something from Central Command
  • You have been asked to to provide some information to Central Command.
  • There is something that is likely impact the Odin
    • Primarily if you intent to transfer a artifact/dangerous prisoner/... to the Odin/ on the crew shuttle.

However that does not mean that you can only send a message in these cases.
You can always send a fax to Central Command for roleplay purposes if you want to.

 

How to send the message

You have two primary options of sending a message:

  • Fax
  • EBS (Emergency Broadcast System)

If the situation you want to contact Central Command about is not critical or unlikely to impact operations on the Odin, you should use a fax.
If there is an emergency or it is likely that the situation has a impact on the Odin (i.e. there has been a fight in departures and you need a medical response team upon arrival) you should use a EBS.

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