Personal Log, 211017, supplemental:
All right, Computer, the whining is beginning to sound as if you have actual moving parts, which does not become you in the least; here is the log.
Xiph’s much deserved and long awaited promotion of Promotion to Lieutenant was announced; then we went straight into simulation training. We lost a shipyard and a ship, but it was, apart from that, smooth going. And a rare pleasure to watch Nhaima fly.
For our mission, we were sent to the Euphini System. We had received requests for assistance from the N’tani, who needed to deploy a number of sensor buoys to give advance warning of enemy ships presence; but that had been delayed by the adjustments required to have the buoys register USFP ships as allies. In order to ensure compatibility between N’tani and USFP systems, we were to provide technical assistance, and military backup in case of attempted enemy interference.
Of course, because nothing is ever straightforward, we were warned to watch out for Zolmari suddenly declaring neutrality while in the middle of hostile Kralien fleets.
We took Sabre, Lancer and Viper through the Danae Gate to Euphini 13, travelled to Euphini 1 to rendez-vous with the N’tani fleet, and escorted them to Euphini 6, where we fended off a number of USF ships.
Then weird things started to happen: a wormhole appeared, and just as we were all readying the EMPs for Caltrons (and I was reaching for the painkillers), a small Kralien fleet emerged from the wormhole, travelled a relatively short distance, just a couple of sectors, and vanished into another, equally suddenly-appeared, wormhole, before we could reach them to do anything about it.
Of course, we’re trying to work out the what, why, where, and so on. For one thing, my sensors, in fact, all ship sensors, picked up readings correlated to the intense EM band emissions the N’tani have been using while setting up the sensor buoy network: for example, we read EM band fluctuations in the lower frequencies from N’tani cargo pod F33. But the readings also seemed similar to the ones we get from the damned Artefacts… So was it the N’tani tech, or an Artefact, or both? What if there’s an Artefact out there in the hands (chelae?) of the Kraliens, that can read, or alter, the EM frequencies the N’tani were using? That would make the sensor buoy network rather vulnerable…
While pondering all that, we moved on to Sect. 7, where Torgoths and Kraliens did turn up to attack the N’tani pod ships deploying the buoys. We destroyed them, but lost several N’tani ships in the process.
We continued into Sect. 2, where the USF attacked again. We destroyed some of their ships (dammit…), got some surrenders, even picked up USF survivors from their life pods with shuttles (but no, Computer, don’t even ask).
After a brief stint on the Zolmari space station — yes, that was weird, Computer, it reminded me of some of the training simulations we’ve done in the past, escaping from Kralien cells: those red lights behind the vertical plastic-like strips are somewhat disturbing now. To say nothing of the not-droids in the walls. Some kind of insectoid life-forms. I could just about make out the chittering sounds, which does not lead to a relaxed attitude. So, anyway, after that, we were requested to take up a patrol in local space to watch out for the USF, and I think we were all glad to be back aboard our ships, with solar-spectrum lights and no insects in the walls.
Cmdr. Aramond took command on Sabre, Matsiyan stayed on in Viper. We had one of the most laconic officers I’ve met, Lt. Doyle, on Helm. Most of his conversation consisted of saying, “I fly” — which was accurate, if at times insufficient.
We patrolled through Euphini 1, into 6, where we met some USF ships, engaged, and defeated them. I did get some surrenders. We were under orders to make surrendered ships unusable by hostile forces, so we ordered the surrendered crews into life pods, collected them, placed the crews in secure quarters, and scuttled the ships. Yes, Computer, I know you’ve gone over all the prisoner IDs and visual records. My instructions stand.
And dammit, at least two ships were destroyed by ordnance that was already in flight as they sent us their surrender.
A USF Scout retreated into Euphini 9, and we followed. We found a stronger USF force, and we split up to take them on as three different sections. Normally I would have expected to engage the groups in sequence, with our ships supporting each other while we engaged the large USF vessels. Instead, Viper actually took on and destroyed a USF Griffzungenschwert on her own, in no small part thanks to Nhaima’s competence as a Weapons officer, but really, the whole crew worked magnificently together.
Sabre and Lancer worked together to destroy a Xenophobe class ship; more importantly, we took more prisoners, not any of them the one I’m looking for… but one day, one of them might have news. I keep telling myself that.
After debriefing and resting up, it was back to training sims. The last one involved defending Space Whales from Torgoths, with Argonian ships declaring a truce so they could help us, and that was a cheerful way to end a duty shift.