Rather than referring to a specific rank or individual, the title of Shielding references the person currently leading the Shielding efforts on a spacecraft. On larger military craft this is often an officer in charge of a team of Shielding Magic Mages, while smaller ships and civilian flights more typically employ a single Mage if using those role at all. Space Defense Legion ships rely heavily on programmed Runework, removing concentration requirements from their Shielding officers. This also adds a layer of protection to those managing the spacecraft Shielding, as individuals live casting the spellwork will directly feel any impacts against their Shielding spell. The Legion claims this gives them an advantage in combat, although other factions claim the design choice as another example of the SDL's inherent weaknesses, both in magic casting and incentivizing their service members' performance. The Shielding officer typically works closely with Maneuverability and Telemetry in coordinating evasive maneuvers and preparing for large impacts. Any people, items, or spells seeking to pass through the barrier will also need to be coordinated with Shielding, leading to close communications with most other departments, especially Weapons on armed vessels. While often overshadowed by the more active-appearing roles, success as Shielding often requires a sizeable Imperium reserve, an advanced knowledge of Shielding Magic, and a heavily adaptable dependability.
"You said you're on Shielding for the Inevitable? So when the Reckoning tried to ram you, and your shield collapsed their whole forward section instead..." "That hurt." Jake rubbed the back of his neck, wincing at the reminder.
Jake grinned as a particularly heavy barrage hit the port side of the ship, his Shielding weakening and then rebounding to absorb the impact as the fibers of the spell pulled apart and reformed, drawing the power required for repairs from their joint Imperium. "Study them. Get a feel for the weave of the magic, how it reacts to each challenge from our attackers, and adapts to the different magics used against it." Lira nodded without opening her eyes. The Shielding felt to her like a very fine net, bowing just enough to each attack to absorb most of the blows, then somehow gathering strength and reinforcing itself in the places it needed to. "It's amazing," she said softly.