An eventful ”snotty” cruise! Having swotted hard for the exam, I wasn’t really thinking much about my first deployment in the chain of command. Swallowed hard when I realized that, for what would once have been called my first cruise as Midshipman, I was assigned Engineering aboard the flagship, TNS Raven. At least I was working my specialty, even if I thought something was wrong as we cruised hurriedly to our assigned sector. I had combat systems offline but still power was being consumed at an exaggerated rate. It was embarrassing to report to the Fleet Captain the ship’s systems were at 50% before we were even on station. But I had all non-essential systems minimised! Space Vampires?
It was cool that there was enough of a time shortage that I had the chance to max out power to the warp drive of a battleship, even if I had to throttle it back fast. Hearing that thrum of energy singing through the warp nacelles was not something I expected first time out.
Looking beyond my own little headspace though, the situation was grim. We had free license to engage pirates, of course, and Kraliens with whom there is an open declaration of war. The Arvonians in particular we had to avoid if possible, and engage at lower power to encourage a surrender without destroying any. I did see other fleet vessels having some success with that, but most of my attention was occupied by those few sliders and buttons and listening to the bridge chatter. It was difficult deciphering the comms flow of a different crew and I wasn’t fast enough to understand engagements were beginning on a couple of engagements, which meant Primary Beams were slow to come online – not something you want once you enter his engagement range! During the debrief I did get some recommendations for alternate secondary display options that might clue me in to combat proximity. For some reason close in enemy vessels were not showing up on my data display.
We covered the retreat of several passenger ships evacuating stations, but there were too many for the fleet to hold off and we had to retreat with the refugees. Before we could regroup and re-engage, pirate netrunners had hacked the manual console command net and defense had to be turned over to automated systems. It felt very strange training instead of engaging, but the very best we can do is hone our skills while we wait for fleet cybersecurity to catch up.
My appreciation for other stations improved. I’ve only sat helm once before and suddenly I was navigating the flagship. I managed not to scrape the Raven’s virtual paintjob, but I missed several opportunities. Admitting where I had problems during the debrief required a depth of honesty not called for every day. I was however somewhat relieved when the (acting) Engineering chief confessed his Echo manoeuvre config neglected to assign power to warp, which explains why I wasn’t able to manoeuvre as planned!
For the second simulation you could have heard a pin drop when Fleet Captain Xavier asked if anyone wanted to take command of the Raven while he concentrated on Fleet Ops and evaluations. Very quietly I slid back as far out of view as I could. Someone else bent down to examine the maintenance hatch behind their console. The Leftenant-junior who took it on had all my sympathy. And at least I got one Echo manoeuver vaguely right!
Time to wipe down my sweat-drenched console and hit the sack.
End personal log.