The chaplain didn’t seem such a bad fellow. The psychiatry degree didn’t show too much at all. It was good to share with someone not quite so intimately involved in the relationships on the bridge. But those sombre, polished body cases all pass through his care too. So he knows the tally. He looks up the family details. Talking helped.
But he didn’t need to pull the underhanded chicanery. Adele Mundy just stopped by saying that she was looking forward to seeing me again. We haven’t run into each other since we both transferred out here from the same class in the Academy. We ran simulations together and then were split up for a first mission. She’s been away since. I asked her what she meant and she had me check my messages. We were both assigned to assist new cadet first simulation runs. She is technically still a cadet, she just sat for her Ensign’s exams taking Comms as her specialty. Apparently the Academy staff want varying levels of experience that new cadets can relate to. Adele represents senior cadets and I apparently am the relatable face of a newly commissioned officer.
This means I get yanked off station just as we are about to follow up the first successful counterstrike in these latest major incursions. I can see the ratfink chaplain’s handiwork all over this. Get me out of the front line, give me a chance to mentally reintegrate and see all the eagerness to defend the USFP in the brave new recruits. Yeah.
So the latest batch of cadets was very small. Something about a missed shuttle. We all tried to give the cadets some parity, so Adele sat Helm for possibly the second time in her life. I sat In the Captain’s chair but had to run Engineering too. I hope we did some good.
We waited until the cadets were out of sight before we took off at a dead run for the Division’s Mission Briefing Room as we heard the call. Mission Hammerfall 2 was on.
The plan was to push back enemy fleets and deliver marines to retake our occupied stations. Not enough transports meant that the grunts had to hot bunk with us regular spacers. Oh joy.
I had put in my request for a posting to the TSN Hunter after last shift. I knew there was an engineering berth open there and I hoped Commander Jemel would take me seriously after our chat.
Final step of the briefing was to disperse to the vessels. Because of a shortage of officers, TSN Hunter was stood down in order to properly man other vessels. The irony was that with Adele and I and another late arrival, they pulled a spare staff officer and stood her up with a skeleton crew anyway.
Meanwhile, I was already assigned to the new missile cruiser tasked with carrying on the name of the TSN Hydra. With Captain Alice still on some kind of hush hush division secondment Captain Brenner took over. He was just back from a long absence from bridge duties and you could tell he was trying to get familiar with a new war, a new crew not used to each other and a new type of vessel with unfamiliar capabilities. Hunter’s XO del Pino was standing in, who was much more current and a significant tactical help. That was steadying for me too because I have served with him on a couple of recent shifts.
We settled in and headed for our first sector transition in good order. Already I could tell the Hydra is a different beast. She needed a little extra energy assigned to keep station with the fleet and she’s no ballerina. The extra hypercapacitors for the homing missile storage come with a lot more mass than the primary beam emitters they replace. Not only that but the energy density is just enough to interfere with the efficiency of the warp drive for both translational and rotational energy transfer. But her capability to deliver a long range punch is exceptional and she has capacity to deliver more high-yield ordnance into theatre than any other vessel. She’s not built for toe-to-toe but she can surely set ’em up for the cruisers to knock down.
Then the plan contacted the enemy and exited stage left pursued by a bear. The fog of war came down hard in engineering. The strike was called off in order to repel a significant incursion. Hydra did her stuff with long range bombardment and mine drops. We nearly came to serious grief on the first Echo manoeuvre. My auxiliary tactical monitor went on the fritz and I was reliant on bridge chatter to prep for upcoming manoeuvres. I did not hear Helm initiate the run so we went through it without boosted shields or manoeuvre. There were also a couple of hard turns that either were not called or that I did not catch and without the tac monitor there is no way to support helm or weapons in time. We discussed that in the first lull and it went better after that.
How the whole fleet ended up herding space monsters into nebulae I have not yet found out, but it was a little exciting to micromanage the warp energy to keep us at just the right hop, skip and a jump in front of them.
Once that was complete we picked up the crippled TSN Hammer and towed her out of the sector since we had the biggest hull to do the hauling. What she was doing there I have not the faintest idea, but there were traces of N’tari systems intrusion all over. I’d bet they got a partial download of her database. ONI seem to think we can get intel on new ordnance from her. That would be good news.
Some wag posted a logistics update on the storage of nukes, reversing the normal orientation and issuing updated “this way up” stickers to put on the bottom of current casings. It sounded like a joke but you never can tell with the bean counters in supply.
After being under scrutiny to act as a model for cadets and then handling an unfamiliar ship on an unknown mission, I am wiped.
End personal log.