Life on Aquarius
Life on board Aquarius is relatively peaceful (barring the occasional psychic ‘accident’ that sometimes pierces the hull). While most schools prefer to orbit a particular chosen planet, Aquarius prefers to coast through space on the whim of the Council. They ‘make port’ at any planet they come across to take on exotic foods that are not grown in the ship’s hydroponics.
The ship has lodgings and facilities for approximately 3000 people: 500 crew members that keep Aquarius running, 1200 psychic students, and equal number of non-psychic students, and roughly 100 ‘guest’ quarters. The student lodgings (both psychic and non-psychic) are treated as a dorm setting. Rooms are relatively small, and often shared. Co-ed rooms are generally discouraged, but not unheard of. There is a separate section for non-psychic students which is protected by a constant APF.
The hydroponics system consists mostly of fruits and veggies. Proteins are usually artificially manufactured, making them an unpopular (although necessary) food option. Meats picked up planet side are a very popular indulgence when available. The food production capabilities of Aquarius are rated to provide 1.5 times the necessary food consumed by the ship’s crew, so there are always extra. Any extra are usually stored when possible, used as fertilizer for the hydroponics system, or occasionally used as a cheap (although inefficient) fuel for the ship’s engines.
Up through High School, students live as relatively normal High School students: living in dorms, taking classes, hitting on chicks. But after graduating (usually around age 17 or 18), their lives begin to change. Each student is evaluated based on abilities, power, and personality before being placed into teams usually consisting of 3-4 people. The teams are a mix of psychic students and non-psychics who from that moment forth train together, take classes together, and go on missions together. Occasionally they ‘sleep’ together, but that’s not forced upon them.
Classes at this point tend to cover college-level academics. Training is often done by ship-wide tournaments and competitions of multiple teams competing to outdo the others. These competitions can be anything from quiz shows to capture-the-flag games. Despite attempts to quash gamble during these periods, it is still the biggest economy on board Aquarius. Missions are accepted by the Council and dispersed to the various teams based upon each one’s abilities and previous successes (and failures). These range from exploring recently discovered dangerous ruins, to destroying a base of anti-psychic terrorists. From settling disputes between feuding settlements to saving settlements from a swarm of bugs (big bugs, each twice the size of a human being).
Each team is assigned to an adviser, and each adviser might have over a dozen teams to oversee. These advisers are generally older, more experienced psychic users, although there are many non-psychic advisers. They provide support to their teams by creating training schedules, brief teams on missions, offer advice of varying usefulness (on anything from mission objectives to relationships), and usually accompany teams off-ship on missions of importance.