14/12/2015 at 04:51 #2829MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Ensign Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer, 4th LD
Seven minutes. That is all the warning I had.
After last shift I had a word with Cmdr Jemel. I wanted to offer to help out with the Duty Officer role, knowing that Aposine had finished his turn in the barrel and was going to be away. Also I noticed a couple of library updates that were a bit overdue, like the Crew Assignments roster and that the awards handed out by Admiral Fellraven had not yet appeared in official postings.
On top of all that, I finally felt that I was managing Engineering at a professional level. I would probably have felt up to snuff earlier but with some crew rotation, the destruction of the Hunter and the experimental nature of the Lancer, followed by the denabite crystal upgrades to the fusion reactors, it always felt as if there was more to learn and adapt. And much as I love Engineering, I cannot progress without improving my qualifications at other stations. So I inquired after some guidance on next steps for career development. The commander let me know that he had already been giving it some thought and that I would hear something soon.
So there I was chatting away in the galley before the shift. I looked at the board registering arrivals checking in from quarters, local vessels and inbound shuttles. I checked the time and noticed that the shift started in seven minutes and that several shuttles were running behind schedule. I could not find my own name on the board until I looked further up, at the top of the junior officers where the Duty Officer was listed. My blood ran cold. I had not reviewed the responsibilities of the position for ages, since the documentation was last updated in fact.
As luck would have it, Captain Evans passed by at that very moment, obviously heading to the Senior Officers briefing room, his ONI insignia a daunting reminder of his behind the scenes role in the preparations for division briefings. Nervously I accosted him and informed him of the error on the board. “I don’t even hold the necessary rank for that assignment, sir” I pointed out. He fixed me with an ominous glare and said something like “That can soon be remedied”. I gulped.
That was about when other people started to notice the DO assignment and question the rank. A lot of it was good natured ribbing and amusement at what must be an error. I asked for advice and got some feedback not to worry and to just round people up for the briefing. Thinking to spread the burden, I asked who was Assistant DO. There wasn’t one and I was encouraged to invite volunteers. Lt.Jr. Gabriel Wade stepped up right away and I entered the assignment into my datapad on the spot. That looked even odder with the ADO outranking the DO. Fortunately time to shift was diminishing rapidly so I had the excuse to ask the ladies and gentlemen officers of the 4th Light Division, 2nd Space Fleet, Terran Stellar Navy if they would be kind enough to get their posteriors into the mission briefing room pronto. And not a moment too soon. We barely had the doors closed when the senior officers filed in while I was still scrutinizing everyone’s uniforms for correctness.
“Captain on deck!” rang out quickly followed by “Fleet Captain on deck!”
Role call went smoothly while I frantically tallied the attendees just in time to report 21 officers present and correct.
Somewhat to my embarassment, they got the promotion out of the way pretty swiftly. They didn’t even dim the lights in the big theatre. Fleet Captain Xavier handed straight over to Commander Jemel who announced my promotion to Lieutenant-Junior. After which they indicated that the principal work of the shift would be to continue simulations using the new energy technology and sent existing crews aboard their assigned vessels and disappeared back to direct the simulations.
Quickly I reviewed the vessels and crews available. Those late shuttles left several ships short-handed. Worst off was Hydra with only two officers available. I tried to see which ships might have openings for the primary specialties of the unassigned officers and cadets, but mostly I could see crews experienced enough to flex and cover where necessary. So after making a couple of obvious assignments and finding that we had plenty of engineers available for once, I had a word with Greybeard. It seemed a terrible waste of such an Engineering talent, but he grinned at me and said he thought he could probably remember how to handle Helm. One of the new cadets I sent aboard the Phoenix because they served with them last shift and it is probably helpful to have a bit of continuity while learning. With a brief prayer to Holy Klono, I assigned the remainder in such a way as to evenly distribute inexperience across Raven, Phoenix, Hawk and Lancer. Then I reported aboard and found I had lost some engineering profile settings. Sigh.
The captain was away, probably helping with setting up the sim and Lt.Cmdr. Del Pino’s wicked sense of humour was acting up, so he named me XO for the sim. Gee. Thanks.
Before I was too deeply immersed in the sim another shuttle arrived and it took me a little while to get the newcomer assigned. The sim had to be restarted anyway because SOMEbody started it up without the latest tech upgrades. Commander Jemel came back and his engineering heart was peeking out as he spotted almost immediately that energy consumption was way off. It is easy to spot on Lancer as she used to be such a thirsty brute.
The rest of the sim was a blur of recreating and tweaking my latest energy profiles to get the most out of Lancer with her new consumption rates. I lost my secondary screen too. So I was blindly reliant on bridge chatter for High-Energy Turns, shields and beam priorities. Well, the occasional telepathic insight from Mundy’s view of Hawk’s Science board helped a little, but I had very little sense of the overall conflict. One thing that was enormously helpful was Morlock calling “weapons free” as he started engagements. I think we only got caught once with the energy profile in cruise conservation mode as we opened fire.
Our borrowed helmsman found out that light cruiser tactics don’t play so well with the interceptor because of the different primary beam and shield configuration. I was a bit surprised to miss Aposine’s flamboyant piloting style.
The second sim went much the same way except that with more officers trickling in from the delayed shuttles we had enough to redistribute and bring the Hydra into service, which pleased her regular crew enormously. You could hear their relief. You could tell that crews and sim directors were both under some stress as we had two vessels destroyed within minutes of each other, Raven and Hydra, both victims of a pirate axe class with shield drain. At least that’s the impression I picked up from Mundy. Something was definitely off.
We were taking a very brief break when the station red alert sounded and sent us all scrambling for our ops seats. A terse briefing indicated that a distress call had been received from a vessel under attack and the division was off across the system in no time. I then lost all sense of the mission as my console started to experience localized space time distortion effects. This worried me as it occurred to me that it could be due to poor warp field shaping and containment following the recent upgrades. My proximity to the warp drives down in Engineering would explain why it did not seem to be affecting other bridge officers. Eventually this so severely affected my console that I had to do some pretty deep diagnostics on it. I even had to drop out of the fleet comms net briefly at one point. This meant that I missed a huge amount of the action involving the appearance of significant Caltron intrusions into the sector. Some of their “vessels” were significantly high powered and required coordinated strikes to take down, even with Lancer’s phenomenal primary armament, though we were instrumental in chewing through some singletons that were caught on their own.
I do know that it required full fleet coordination to balance energy inputs on appropriate, shifting frequencies to close out the gravitational anomaly created by the Caltron’s jump technology. There was also some strange activity with some of the high-v,perturbed asteroids posing a severe navigational hazard to traffic, especially as when they were broken up, they strewed mines or highly unstable and dangerous debris along their trajectory.
I know we had to pick up another ships’s crew from life pods at one point. I think Phoenix crew were aboard with us, but I don’t know if Phoenix was recoverable. We also lost at least one station in the Caltrons’s highly focused and rapidly executed strikes. It was touch and go but we managed to direct other USfp vessels out of harm’s way despite some very near brushes with the mines liberally spread around by the disintegrating asteroids.
The debrief largely passed me by, except that it was nice to see Aposine and Roshin Das drop in before the end of the shift eager to see what was going on. Jayce Gideon was promoted to full Ensign and Tygera Tardov was promoted after earning a silver pin in her ensign’s exam.
I was very glad to dismiss the assembled officers after all the announcements were over. Now I really must go and check that the Jeffries tube aboard Lancer is tidy before I get some rest for next shift.
[End log]14/12/2015 at 18:01 #2841XavierKeymaster
// these logs are awesome. I am really enjoying reading them and remembering the shift!14/12/2015 at 18:22 #2845MatsiyanParticipant
// glad they are useful and/or entertaining. I think you will find more useful info when Mundy posts hers. Just as I was starting to get better at following missions, the DO work and my console issues really blinded me to this one. The fog of war 🙂
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