30/04/2016 at 16:49 #8304MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Lieutenant Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer, 4th L.D.
Where in the stars around do I begin? Everything has changed except maybe this:
“I am an officer of the Terran Stellar Navy.
It is my honor, my privilege, my duty to stand and serve the TSN and the United Space Faring Planets of which I am both citizen and guardian.
My oath is never to turn from a right path, never to follow fear, never to enable an injustice.
I will stand in truth, serve in honor, and fight with courage.
I am the TSN.”
Even before the shift the news service broadcast was full of Arvonian denunciation of the destruction caused by the testing of the device, the suspension of shipping in the Cronus system and a rehash of Caltron intrusions.
In the briefing room though, the day to day news was good. A larger consignment of cadets than we have seen for a while joined us. Eagle and Excalibur were repaired. Lancer is taking longer because it has systems seriously out of alignment. After the kick up the rear she received from that Caltron six-pack, colour me completely unsurprised. However it did mean that she WILL be back.
There was even a moment of celebration as Assassino and I were both promoted to full Lieutenant. The division needed that. In the middle of galaxy-shattering events it is heartening to see evidence of more competent volunteers standing up to the chaos. I will do my damnedest to carry those pips with honour. I distinctly heard the chiming of glasses above the cheers and congratulations. I caught Mundy’s eye and she grinned at me. The image of a glass of deep garnet wine came to me and the flavour of that incomparable Barolo she shared a couple of shifts ago filled my palate.
That was when Fish called us down to the docking bay. Fleet Captain Xavier recited the oath of service before they took him aboard the prison transport. The whole division turned out to see him off, all of us in everyday work uniforms as if it was just another day in the office. Except for Captain Evans, who obviously saw this coming and was in full dress to give maximum honours to a departing commanding officer. None of us knew what to expect much less the schedule for it so we were all milling about, eager as we were not to miss the chance to look him in the eye and let him know he had our support. The Fish wasn’t about to let that slide though and a stern “‘Ten-hut!” brought everyone to absolute silence and parade attention.
He did not say much more than the oath before he was escorted aboard the transport. Her callsign Kilo-51 was clearly displayed over the lock entry but no vessel name or destination. The last thing before that, he and Evans shook hands crisply. But I’ve been in the close company of quartermasters long enough to recognize a smuggler’s handshake.
We were swiftly despatched to a standard sim to work up Eagle and continue breaking in Dauntless, which is a challenge to fit into our existing doctrine. The Lancers were ignominiously kept aboard station in a simulation suite since our sweet ride was not yet available. Poor Aposine was stuck with a cranky console and disappeared with the tech crew. One of the comments bantered about to take our minds off things by the DO, who of course has access to the senior officers wardroom, was that the replicator in there is better with a much wider selection of recipe patterns. Now that will give me something to think about between shifts.
The sim was routine except that I had a chance to run helm and my console customizations mostly worked which made it much easier. I didn’t screw up any minefield or asteroid manoeuvres and finally I had enough mental bandwidth to get in quickly above hostiles and keep us pointed slightly off centre to minimize return damage. What I missed initially is that Lancer’s secondary batteries have a shorter range so I need to squeeze in a bit closer to get full value for the energy routed to the beams. But this time I had full control of reverse and docking. I am getting there. I hope everyone else is getting a fair shot at experience. With Raven and Lancer having settled crews and Eagle largely there too, there was one cadet each aboard Eagle and the still settling Dauntless. The other three were all aboard Hunter with Ensign Slate and Lt.Cdr. Allard in command. Allard is a nice chap and a sharp officer, but he doesn’t… how can I put this… he doesn’t project the same flavour of esprit de corps that our most senior officers do. So I have a touch of concern that so many new recruits in the same ship are not going to receive the same impression of how well the division functions as a bridge team and as a fleet.
Everyone was much more at ease, mental muscles loosened by the exercise, as we gathered in the briefing room. That lasted nanoseconds as Captain Evans abruptly instructed us to disable recording and invoked General Order 31.
Information on a datastick palmed from Xavier to Fish contained credible evidence that Xavier was in mortal danger from the MoonSec defense associates who have been seen on station in the last week. They are part of a conspiracy uncovered and proven in the attached data. The division needed to steal our own ships to go after Xavier. None of the ships in drydock were fit for service. That left us overmanned and under-strength, but the Fish had a plan. The captain indicated that he was committed to this mutinous course of action and that he excused anyone who could not concur but there was not a moment to be lost. The was a rapid chorus of assent and then a purposeful scramble to get aboard. I swung by my stationside stateroom not really sure what I was thinking. My habit lately has been to grab an espresso before a mission so I don’t have to risk the machine aboard a vessel in the line of fire. But when I got there, there was of course no time for that. For a split second I wondered what in Klono’s Brazen Hells I had stopped for and then I just grabbed the machine, my best uniform and everything else that would fit into my duffle, crammed it in and legged it at a pace most unsuitable for the lofty dignity of a full lieutenant. It was about then that I wondered exactly what the plan was for Lancer’s crew. As I skidded into the Docking Bay, I would have mown down the slender dignity of Chief Kaplan if chunky little Polano hadn’t eased me aside with that disturbing mastery of aikido he flaunts so little. I hadn’t seen them in ages but they didn’t give me time for greetings or questions before hustling me in the direction of Dauntless. I was very glad to have them back on my DC team though.
The Plan, apparently, was to bring the division back up to strength by recovering a ship that the division had stashed against just such an emergency some years before. My incredulity is making me sound glib, but there was apparently a time when the USF had been diverting decommissioned warships before they were broken up and hacking systems to cover it up. They were on the way to building a nice little division of overhauled and uprated ships. One of those ships had never been recovered, The division had intercepted it and parked it in an asteroid field in a nebula and somehow overlooked reporting the fact.
Kaplan and Polano steered me fairly ungently into a cargo shuttle packed with heavy equipment and with every corner still being stuffed with any and every type of supply item you could imagine by terse, focused, rapidly moving DC crews. If CWO Edwards wasn’t an integral part of this, he was going to be royally pissed. Sir, was “invited” to occupy that jump seat there and to keep his huge duffle on his lap because there was nowhere else to park it. There were no additional jump seats and I watched as the two of them checked everyone else aboard was secured before wedging themselves in and strapping themselves down with spare webbing and come-alongs. Chief Kaplan barked into her comm, a klaxon blared, the hatch slid shut and with a jerk the shuttle shot out of the bay. Dauntless was just clearing the station superstructure. The shuttle accelerated hard, shot into the open fighter bay and slammed into the clamps. Another comm confirmation and Dauntless spooled up to transwarp. I did wonder how the division thought it could escape immediate interception, but it turned out that Lt. Turnez, who I had recently met in the bar, stayed in CIC and ran cover for us to delay detection of our departure.
We unstrapped and stretched our legs. Wanting to be as useful as possible, I suited up and studied the manuals for Dauntless’ complement of fighters. I had the basic training after that encounter with Admiral Substelny. If nothing else, I could buy someone else a little time. My reluctant heroism was unnecessary. The division brooked no delay in reaching their objective and we were soon crammed back in the shuttle and transferring ship. The division had encountered other TSN vessels which had registered us as unfriendly, but they stood down when warned off with deadly force.
The nebula was dense and we had to round an asteroid to come up on our new steed. It was parked close against the asteroid and our first glimpse over the shuttle-pilot’s shoulder was a massive expanse of grey hull plating that went on for a surprisingly long time until we curved tight around and remote triggered her docking bay doors revealing her name stencilled over the rim: TSN Montgomery. The old dreadnought! Some serious firepower.
She had been very carefully mothballed and came online beautifully. Chief Kaplan immediately started organizing the crew spilling from the big cargo shuttle. What they unloaded were power converter efficiency upgrade modules. Understanding suddenly, I grinned at her and in minutes we had the upgrades plugged in. It wasn’t pretty but it worked. At least Montgomery could manage fuel consumption in the same way as the rest of the fleet.
The chase was long, following Captain Evans’ intel on the location of Xavier’s transport. The division had to warn off other Terran ships. Unhappily a couple were as wedded to their duty as the division was to its belief in Xavier and had to be disabled. More seriously a significant number of Skaraan mercenaries tried to interfere with the division especially at the point where we caught up with the transport, near the Hjorden gate. Montgomery was busy the whole time. Either she was taking the lead against Skaraans, because her heavy weaponry puts them down quickly before their upgrades have a chance to do much damage or simply trrying to keep up. She runs cool and punches her weight, but that weight does slow her down.
Xavier’s transport refused to stand down. We shot it as gently as we could but eventually it ejected lifepods and was destroyed. Then came the news that the lifepods were empty. Commander Jemel did briefly see a sensor ghost near the pods and the sector edge, which Captain Evans confirmed later, but that was all. The acting fleet captain took us through the gate to the Hjorden system and arranged asylum. We have made transit to station S12.
We were greeted by a Hjorden commander who knows Xavier and obviously had strong goodwill towards him from a previous encounter. It was strange to see the short, four-armed, chitin-shelled alien obviously moved by whatever their relationship was. It may not hurt either that the Light Division has been patrolling Cronus and keeping Hjorden shipping safe in these troubled times.
They have given us access to parts of the station, though not to general external comms. We have secured the fleet for station keeping. They say there is a local bar. So I am off to unwind and find out how everyone else is doing before getting some sleep and tidying up those efficiency upgrades before Chief Kaplan makes me look bad!
[End log]30/04/2016 at 17:25 #8307AramondParticipant
All hail Conrad Matsiyan, the Espresso King!30/04/2016 at 17:32 #8309Blaze StrifeParticipant
//Congratulations on the promotion! You’ve earned it.
//Your log gave me the most details about what actually happened. Thanks for that.30/04/2016 at 18:22 #8313FeilParticipant
//Your note taking must be amazing to have kept all the details intact.30/04/2016 at 18:43 #8315MatsiyanParticipant
The espresso machine is going to have to live in an escape pod. This will encourage me to check it out before every mission.
I actually thought that Aramond’s log contained more useful dtail about the actual mission. I get very fuzzy about engagements and locations. But I am very glad that the fluff I generate gives a good imprssion of what was going on. 🙂30/04/2016 at 18:48 #8317Adele MundyParticipant
The thing I like best is reading the differnt points of view. Everyone has a different take on events. Rashomon rules!30/04/2016 at 19:04 #8320Blaze StrifeParticipant
Rashomon is a great movie!30/04/2016 at 19:11 #8324AramondParticipant
I think the part I like most is that everyone that writes logs are on different ships from each other. So not only are they different viewpoints, we often don’t even have the same information.30/04/2016 at 19:35 #8327Adele MundyParticipant
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