26/12/2015 at 16:13 #3179
Personal Log, Lieutenant-Junior Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer, 4th LD
A New Hope
I was better prepared for the Duty Officer role this time. I was on station before anyone except a couple of senior officers already deep in mission preparation. I posted some helpful communiques listing where to go when, who to contact and a couple of useful library references. Then I waited for the troops to come rolling in. But they didn’t. Well that’s not true and I did go out to the division board and post for any officers without committed shore leave plans to make an appearance if they could reschedule their leave. We were short only a couple in the end, but it did make a difference to what we could crew as we mustered only 17 officers and cadets in total.
My first new hope was that having a condensed reference of regular ship crew assignments would help the Duty Officer in his role. As officers arrived, I checked off those with known assignments and made a list of those available for assignment. It rapidly became clear that most of the crews of Hawk and Lancer were present and that only a single member of the crew of Phoenix was available. Hawk was missing her Engineer and Greybeard was available so that resolved itself nicely. Lancer was missing Morlock on Weapons, but none of the available officers listed Weapons as their primary. So I picked one and assigned the remainder to Raven to give us three fully crewed ships.
We ran a simulation to warm up and to shake down Raven’s newly mixed crew. On Lancer, Commander Jemel decided to expand everyone’s horizons and shuffle seats to get some training in different roles. so I was posted well away from the Jefferies tube with my nose in a Science sensor hood for the first time since the Academy. Our visitor, Ensign Parra was at the helm, while Aposine took a turn at Weapons and Roshin Das ran the Engineering board.
It was a fascinating experience for me. The fleet’s vessels did not receive separate zones for sensor sweeps, so I was a bit unsure what to prioritize. I did a fair job of calling range to target while travelling and tried to focus on combat target status to avoid surprises and assist in minimizing use of force to meet objectives. That was not hard as Lt. Cdr. del Pino is always very on the ball at the Comms board with surrender demands. We avoided major damage and acquitted ourselves fairly creditably.
In the aftermath Morlock turned up and one more. So the senior officers decided to commission the Phoenix and shuffle crews. del Pino was given an opportunity aboard another vessel, Morlock returned to replace Parra and with a real mission in the offing we all returned to our primary stations.
The first mission of the duty shift was to patrol the Cronus system through several sectors, primarily engaging pirates. The fleet operated as a single battlegroup to the Cronus gate and patrolled for pirates and Kralians with routine success. The skipper was careful to have us check that fuel collectors were working before our jump outsystem. With the Lancer having no energy reserves and able to channel a lot of energy in combat, being left without fuel collectors far from a base could be embarrassing to say the least.
The second mission was much less routine and required us to be on our best behaviour. Following the events of the recently concluded Cerberus campaign, the nomadic N’Tani broke off their cooperation with the Grand Alliance in return for a new hope from the USFP in finding them a Homeworld to call their own and the TSN assisting their fleets in the meantime.
The N’Tani “High Forces”, their navy, were given permission to anchor initially in Cerberus system. We were now to provide them with a ceremonial escort from Cerberus sector V across the system and back through the Gate to Promethean sector IX.
We were to expect pirate intervention from the Penwrath corporation unhappy with the N’Tani change of circumstances.
N’Tani civilian ships are now allowed passage throughout the USFP, but are subject to customs inspection for compliance with USFP norms. The navigation was interesting as the N’Tani T’nq drive operates most safely with a navigational anchor reference to target their jumps across normalspace. Lancer coordinated the division with Raven, Phoenix and Hawk taking turns to act as navigation anchor reference.
All N’Tani ships were sensor scanned. One was found to be carrying illegal narcotics, but it escaped outsystem beyond USFP mapped navigation territory before TSN Hawk could get acknowledgement to her hails to heave to and report to an inspection station.
There was significant pirate and Kralien activity that attempted to intercept the movements of the N’Tani fleet, but the TSN vessels screened such interference from making contact, even though the N’Tani, to their credit, showed no reluctance to engage in their own defense. Lancer put her speed and battery of rapid-fire beams to good use in a couple of meaningful interceptions against capable hostile raiders, but left the majority of engagements to the fleet cruisers whose ordnance was better adapted to dissuading multi-vessel fleets.
Ultimately the N’Tani refugees were safely delivered to their new holding area in Promethean sector IX without a diplomatic incident.
The debrief was lengthy and light-hearted, without a great deal of formality. But the atmosphere was quite spoiled when Command Net passed me an urgent communique for an incoming priority audio transmission. A voice trying hard to remain calm asked for emergency assistance at Eve station in the next door Sector IV of the Promethean system, as they had severe engineering systems issues with a risk of power plant loss of containment. As one, the division’s officers and cadets made their way quietly and quickly to their shipboard posts.
On arrival after crossing the requisite sectors at high warp, the fleet divided responsibility for rescuing the oversized station life pods that had already been ejected. TSN Lancer was tasked with also intercepting the nearby LL Windward, a merchant vessel heading away from the station and venting plasma. The Windward had enough capacity to be a significant help with evacuating the station, but was refusing to answer hails. We had to pull alongside her and target her with minimal strength beams to get her attention.
In chasing her down, Lancer had one of her most memorable engagements. The fleet encountered pirate activity in the vicinity of the station and one of their uprated and heavily armed transports was closing on the Windward. We engaged fiercely and were making good headway before she took out our shields and started dealing serious damage to the forward port saucer. As nodes flared crimson across the system schematic the damage control teams leapt into action. I promptly called attention to the reducing capacity. Aposine on helm quickly pulled us away from the spreading devastation. The Old Man took one look at the damage and compared it to the enemy’s shields and ordered us back in, urging us on because the enemy was nearly open to us. As we opened fire I had all available power routed to the primary beams because they were only operating at 37%. We took down his shields and started reducing his systems. I saw our beams come back up to 50% as the DC crews worked feverishly, but almost immediately that fell back and node after node rapidly blew out under the pirate’s onslaught. We just made it out of range with over eighty percent of the saucer damaged. I could pretty much hear the skipper’s fist beating the arm of his command chair as he asked how soon I could get him some beams back. One more good shot with our powerful batteries would just about take the pirate out of action despite his huge structure. I scanned the crew telemetry and comms for open channels and strong vitals. As I swept my gaze across them the last three flickered and went out. Not a single crewmember was still on their feet. Fortunately we still had all drive functionality so we lit out rapidly for repairs at the nearest station, galled that it fell to Phoenix to count coup.
Ultimately all of the life pods were recovered and the LL Windward pressed into service. 98% of Eve station’s occupants were evacuated safely.
At a nearby shipyard we found yet another new hope. We noticed a small ship under construction, instantly recognized the outline of a scout and on a close pass, made out the name TSN Hunter on the side. The skipper confessed that it had just been declassified that the hulk of the Hunter had been recovered and by some miracle had not been condemned. There was just barely enough of her core structure to make it worth rebuilding her. The key questions are whether a salvageable disco ball and espresso machine were recovered?
[End log]27/12/2015 at 09:18 #3190Jemel EahainModerator
Old man …….. How old do you think I am ?27/12/2015 at 14:16 #3193
Older than Matsiyan! “The Old Man” is a traditional term of affection for a ship’s captain by its crew, regardless of age. Generally I go for “skipper”. Besides you are old in the ways of the world and the wisdom thereof, regardless of your years. One doesn’t get to be a Commander otherwise!27/12/2015 at 22:53 #3208Jemel EahainModerator
Oh you silver tongued devil28/12/2015 at 02:18 #3213
Not all of Matsiyan’s cadet courses were in science and technology 😀28/12/2015 at 10:34 #3223Leonard HallParticipant
// power to tsn hunter disco ball \\
\\ engagepower2tsn hunterdiscoball //
Seems the Lancer’s crew is getting along more than adequately.
–LT Hall, ONI
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