23/04/2016 at 03:51 #7832MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Lieutenant-Junior Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer, 4th L.D.
I was very unsettled arriving for duty. The whole division has been in an uproar since the events of last shift. Not only the ethics of our Fleet Captain have been under discussion but even of the TSN and the USFP itself for considering what I suppose an earlier age would have called ‘weapons of mass destruction’. As soldiers we are fortunate to live in an age where conflict is largely conducted by military forces in the field far from home. Winning means achieving a position where the enemy population could be harmed. Certainly we attack industrial capacity when necessary, but we do not expect to deal frequently in our career with the need to demoralize a foe through terror or genocide. I think that is one reason that the Unukalhai human supremacists arouse so much feeling among the TSN: they show distinct tendencies towards fanaticism and an ethos that could condone genocide.
Certainly the chatter in the bar after last shift was as sobering mentally as is it was intoxicating physically. The truth of what happened will not become clear until there is some sort of inquiry that not only is able to assess the testimony of the division’s officers but also whatever facts are lurking behind the blackout curtain of security.
On a personal level, it was not helped by arriving late for the shift. BUPERS still has my number for helping out with flying the flag and using cultural outreach to defuse tension and put a human face on the military. So I had been out pounding the drums again and rushed in after the initial sims. But of course no time for espresso.
I was just in time for the mission briefing: Patrol Volantis to secure from USF after the assault on the bases there last shift. Re-establish TSN control. Thankfully, default permanent postings were available. So I was Engineering officer aboard Lancer skippered by Cdr Jemel with Aposine and Roshin Das at their usual posts and with Deverin subbing for Morlock on weapons.
No sooner had we started warping away from Command in formation towards a weapons platform guarding the opening in the minefield than sensors detected rising radiation levels and the gravitational anomaly of a Caltron jump gate appeared right in Home sector. With the fleet captain on administrative suspension pending his potential arraignment and with Captain Evans absent on other most mysterious senior officer duties, probably related, it fell to the newly returned Commander Brenner to organize the division on his very first duty shift after a long stint flying a desk.
We dealt, in a rather chaotic fashion with three waves of incursions, fortunately slightly staggered, each of several primaries, a couple of tertiaries and one of the huge duodenaries with their massive strike power. Lancer tried to use its big beams on one of the duodenaries and ran away from a very heavy swatting. Tactics then dictated that Lancer go after the primaries alone while the scout distracted the enemy formation and the cruisers used heavy ordnance to soften up the bigger targets before ganging up on them with beams.
Clearing out Home sector we started our patrol. It was a strangely schizophrenic experience to see both Lancer and Hunter scouting a sector. Another wave or waves, I lost track, appeared in sector and went straight for stations. We saved Tera station and M-449. The composition of these attacks was different there were six-node senaries in the mix. After the initial swirling engagement, the skipper spotted one of them alone and damaged. So we made a run at it. We got in a good shot but its return volley was clearly still at full power so we warped through and away except that it gave us its Parthian shot and the warp drive went off line as we coasted out of its reach. “Full impulse!” called the skipper eyeing the asteroids and nebula not far ahead. I slammed all power to impulse and we started moving but not fast enough. Then it was klaxons, emergency red lighting and the nearest life-pod. We were picked up fairly soon by Raven, But we were not the only ship to go down, Eagle’s crew had to abandon too.
However we had done enough damage for the rest of the division to mop them up. And so we limped home. The skipper’s debrief was comforting though. He praised us all for doing our jobs well and coordinating smoothly. He insisted on taking responsibility for Lancer’s defeat. He’d thought the Caltron was more hurt and that we could make a difference alone. We were all right with him in the attack, but it was damned good of him to lessen the blow.
No rest for the wicked though. I think the division command wanted us to get back up on the horse straight away. Maybe they were trying to distract us but they threw the new carrier Dauntless into the mix. Unfortunately most of the bridge officers who have crewed Dauntless in her trials were on hand so those posts were filled. I could feel the claustrophobic little cockpit of a fighter closing in around me. I briefly considered kneecapping Ensign Toro, but it wasn’t really his fault, so I slipped Aramond a quick communique asking if Raven needed an officer. No sooner said than he appeared in person on Dauntless’ bridge asking if anyone could spare a ‘real’ engineering oficer. I thought that was a bit unfair on Tardov and hoped she didn’t hear it but I found that she was in fact not entirely well and while not up to running a board insisted on observing. Commander Brenner surprisingly volunteered to climb into a fighter to bring the wing up to full strength.
This time there was some good fleet coordination and commendations for good performance, particularly I noted for Aramond.
See, this is what happens when you go into battle without coffee.
[End log] [Full log file link]
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