22/10/2016 at 03:37 #16992MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Lieutenant-Senior Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer, 4th L.D.
Well, that’s the last piece I can see that needed restoration. Bar the packaging it is refurbished good-as-new. The axle I kept straightening and measuring, straightening and measuring by hand. All the individual glass tiles I could rescue, I reshaped, repolished, silvered and attached. I remanufactured the couple that were missing. I know I could have just scanned the specs and replicated perfect ones, but that would have diluted the essence and every atom retained strengthens her spirit even if they have only seen combat once.
I have heard of some of the Ximni cadre who wear a skull earring. Below it they will dangle “bones”. Some of them will award a bone for every combat tour, some only for every campaign: kind of like our purple heart and campaign ribbons. Some units don’t follow the custom at all and some only ever award a single bone for the first time you come under enemy fire. After that they say, you are part of the unit, a veteran. Maybe it’s all the cadets we’ve been seeing lately reminding me. Even if a cadet hasn’t passed his exam, hasn’t been breveted ensign, once the shields go up or an enemy targeting lock is detected, then they are a veteran, real TSN, family. And you don’t leave them behind unless it’s to save more family.
There was a powerful reminder of that today. It was only a sim, but Lancer’s helm console went into a meltdown. Near as I can tell, the photonic couplings started garbling packets. Usually the multiple redundancies just log it as a maintenance event and work around, but some kind of sympathetic resonance affected all the backups equally. Voiddamnest thing. Without the console, we had no helm control, normally helm functions would be rerouted to another board for someone else to take over but this console would not release the lockout. That may have been a function of the simulation command net, that would not show up in combat but it left us with positive rudder and warp inputs i.e. spinning out of control. I was able to cut power to warp and lateral thrusters, which then refused to reinitialize. We were dead in the water, We had rescued lifepods externally grappled – no room aboard Lancer for multiples in the hold. I counted four incoming drones. I peaked the rear shields as each one made its final run at us and they held. The auxiliary shield generator they retrofitted this shift really helped regenerate after every impact.
We had been playing a marimba using quite a few Kralien exoskeletons just before we froze and they were slowly but steadily catching up to us after our Gamma Two warp sprint. The skipper was very cool about it. He waited patiently while the division finished up most of the interdictions they had been running while we had been enraging the Kraliens. Mundy’s linguistics courses are really beginning to pay off. And then he very calmly put out a Mayday – he was so cool he did not even formally declare an emergency – just let them know Lancer was unable to further defend the lifepods.
As might be expected, Phoenix was first on the spot, or at least she was the first I spotted. With van Leigh she will either be first in, to minimize the force required and maximize the engagement window, or arrive with picoseconds to spare as she inflicts maximum harm on the way. I can always tell Phoenix on visuals, even without instrumentation and before she shows her silhouette. Her older model warp drive doesn’t focus her exhaust quite as tightly and you get slightly more of the plasma rainbow in her halo.
Hard not to tense up as the Kraliens got closer and the rescue window closed mathematically ever tighter. And hard not to feel heart-melting release as the friendly contrail crossed between us and our pursuers and the remaining division transponders came tearing round their flanks like so many sheepdogs. I could not help flashing on the times I’ve sat helpless in an escape pod, or the narrow squeak we had once with a suicidal Pirate Axe alone way behind enemy lines.
It felt so amazing to see that wall of ships throw themselves, hullmetal, overdriven powerplants, highly experienced minds, fragile bodies and dedicated souls between us and extremely prejudiced strangers.
In days past that would have been Hunter too. And in days to come it will be again. Hopefully the same lovingly built hull that waits quietly now outside drydock, ready for the scramble alert and the thunder of new synthleather boots on her decksole. Maybe she will be uprated with some of the interceptor systems that have made Lancer so effective, the additional drive nacelles, the massive gatling beam arrays displacing shield generator and ordnance storage space, especially after the hull reinforcements to handle the acceleration stresses. At worst they will one day transfer the venerable, scrappy little name to a new hull and she will still have a crew proud to serve in her long tradition, as Lancer’s are in hers that reaches back to the eighteenth century, or earlier depending how you define the term.
But she will always be less than she was without the crazy mascot that has thumbed its nose at naval discipline and distracted crew from imminent death for decades. Her disco ball is now waiting for her recommissioning ceremony, as perfect as I can make it. I stole the odd five and ten minutes here and there at the end of shifts and in between other tasks that had downtime over the months. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve probably used more sleeptabs than medical would be happy about to make sure I got the rest needed to be fit for duty. Expree and Flashheart may be voidn’gone across the galaxy but the TSN Hunter discoball is ready for duty whenever the call goes out.
It was quiet in the galley before the shift. Too quiet. Some of the more exuberant members are now senior officers and so occupied with meetings when the rest of us are gathering our wits.
Briefing: Personal achievement ribbon to Greybeard for notable Engineering during combat, Aposine for his command efforts while Jemel has been away, also manning a seat at training new regular crew. Well deserved. Phoenix advertised for a weapons officer.
The mission is to work on setting up Penwrath 12 for secondary occupation to expand our footprint and provide a tactical fallback for the short term. Xiph and Draeco assigned to running sims on the CIC.
1) DO’s needed.
2) For morale bar needs to be staffed by an officer on station. Civilians in short supply out here.
3) Graffiti “Caltron scum” not expected behaviour of TSN officers. Need good behaviour for Civilian morale.
Initial Sim had Captain Jemel back aboard, XO Aposine at Helm, Ens. Xiph at Engineering, Mundy at SciCom which left me at Weapons.
Stars around but that was a huge border war!
Nicely flushed a strange incursion of Arvonian fighters into a gravitational anomaly.
Lots of good work as the bridge team meshed smoothly and just before we were totally overwhelmed, the sim crashed. That’ll teach the schedulers.
For the Mission Jemel was called away. Cdr Tuor came aboard and continued his refamiliarization by taking helm. Aposine switched me and Xiph between Weapons and Engineering.
Raven and Horizon successfully deployed comms and sensor infrastructure in Sector XIV for early warning. Mundy and I worked on modifying a probe using p-shock parts. Hall modified comms protocol for probe control. Has seen some hostile movements. Warned to watch our six.
Phoenix successfully launched the probe into Sector XII. Telemetry failed after a while. CIC sensor analysts are deciphering what came back.
Viper was assigned as custodian of the additional Lab module for the division. Lancer got an auxiliary shield recharge booster. It made a noticeable difference to Lancer’s ability to stay in a fight especially with multiple ships. That makes best use of her big guns. Still hard work to keep up with fleets, but gives us slightly less chance of having to run from big Skaraans.
Successfully returned to CP-27X
Next Sim was set in Cerberus III to support a Hjorden request for assistance with Viper leading the fleet. We lost Cdr. Tuor and so Aposine took Helm and commanded from there.
The briefing was to transit to Hjorden Gate. Hjorden intercepting enemies in Sector IV.. LD to join and assist. Expect interference in Sector V.
Excellent coordination across the division including taking down a Torgoth command vessel.
There was a heavy hostile presence in Sector V. We successfully tackled an Executor but Lagora Station systems went critical and caused a gravitational anomaly. That is when we collected lifepods and were rather jovial with about three fleets of Kraliens. Beautifully precise and efficient flying to pick them up and damage the Kraliens. That is when Helm station lost connection and the fleet came to our rescue.
We joined in an attack on a command ship and were destroyed by two hits once they noticed us.
For a final Sim we had a nice workup in Euphini expanse with highly limited visibility. Mundy took Weapons and with relief I switched to SciCom. I managed to make good use of blind sensor scanning, which spotted enemies early, notably a couple of Skaraans who would otherwise have pounced on stations, and and tracking target status, which allowed me to get a couple of opportune surrenders in.
Time for Hjocoa and a sleeptab.
- This topic was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Matsiyan. Reason: Speling
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