Wow. You blokes and ONI did a brilliant of job this last duty shift. I actually feel exhausted, like I just came off an old Army patrol.
Having typed that, I reckon all this FUBAR needs a another 4 day short story.
Hope and loss. In the span of the last duty shift, that was all Solari could manage to think of. He sat, dejected at Atlantis Command’s medical bay, waiting to tend to his minor wounds, still fresh after hours.
One of those two words outweighed the other. Exhausted, he attempted to recall the events.
The day had begun wonderfully. Bridge crews managed to fill up, including some new and older faces, the half-human hadn’t recognised.
Someone had finally noticed his XO had been taking command of the Hydra, and promoted Verok to Lieutenant Commander, a senior officer. The division needed a few more like him up there. But as Humans say, the sewage runs downward; somehow he had gotten promoted as well. No, that didn’t count so much as hope; it as more akin to shock. Good, but not wanted. It was his non-human half that had the proverb: ‘Don’t rise too high with the tide, or the undertow will take something away.’ Humans needed to swim more.
Back to hope though. The news of the day was that negotiations were to begin with the Arvonians. Rumour had turned to fact, and the fourth light division was to make it happen, despite the Raven being dry-docked for repairs.
A brief simulation later, and the Hydra was underway. The currents had favoured them, as they dropped of the negotiation team, and were holding off a surprise Kralien attack. It didn’t help that the Arvonian’s carrier group launched fighters that still read the TSN a hostile.
Then it happened. Loss. The newly minted Lieutenant junior had happily taken the science station once again, and was scanning what seemed to be and endless wave of drones and ships, when the Hydra began to buckle and groan. It was worse then the live-fire training incident.
The moments afterward were still a blur. Smoke, screaming to be heard, getting into a life-pod, being picked up by another ship and placed on yet another.
The Hydra had been wrecked apart. The captain was not going to be pleased when she returned, assuming she had one to command then.
Complicating things more, the negotiation team taken aboard one of the Arvonian carriers had also lost their ship. The survivors were now somewhere on the station. Yet despite the setbacks, it was considered a mild success by command.
The Arvonians would determine that for real.
Yet, to add insult to further injury, the pirates came back in full force to the Cerberus system. Fielding little more than two scouts and two light cruisers, the now-aptly-named ‘light’ division waded into the incursion with other elements of the TSN.
The first explosion heard over the ships speakers was the start of the downward spiral. One of the major jump-gates in the area had been blown apart. No warning at all. Only later, in the debrief did the past come back to haunt them. One of the stolen mining ships had done the job. One of the ships Solari knew might have been caught with better information, had he not destroyed the first one he encountered.
It didn’t end there though. Even firing everything they could, at the advancing waves the TSN evacuated the system. Pirate or not, they had shown their cleverness. Holo-disguised ships, stolen ships, capturing stations left behind. They were organised. And they were not done.
Loss it was then. At least for today.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Xavier.