09/04/2016 at 06:35 #6836MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Lieutenant-Junior Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer, 4th L.D.
It was good to start this shift with a light heart. I had grandmother’s coffee-maker back from Hunter’s grave and I was back aboard Lancer with no intention of volunteering for anything which might turn into a nightmare.
In addition to which, though I was obviously too befuddled after last shift to remember, my buddy from the Academy had been promoted. Last shift, Captain Evans, citing numerous recommendations from commanding officers had the pleasure of promoting an excellent junior Lieutenant. You could almost hear the pounding hearts above the stilled breath of all those elljays until Adele Mundy was promoted to full Lieutenant. There was the usual enthusiastic cheering and I could sense her genuine surprise as her eyes widened and she stared at the Captain. Not that you needed a psychic link to be aware of it, as her blush practically caused a radiation hazard in the room. I was sort of surprised that I wasn’t jealous. She was delayed in starting active duty after graduation because of family leave. So she didn’t get to take her exams and pass for Ensign until several shifts after me. But mostly I felt incredible pride that this quiet woman, who always had her nose in a book at the Academy, should be appreciated for her perspicacity, clarity and competence. Classmate of mine, full Lieutenant, yeah! Not often you have occasion to splurge on a bottle of Algolian Claret, and the ninety-five, no matter what they will tell you about the virtues of the ninety-one.
This shift cadet Jesse passed the exam and was elevated to Acting Ensign before the assembled division.
The briefing called for fighter pilot trials in a couple of simulations to work up and integrate the new carrier, Dauntless. After that a mission was expected: 2 patrol routes in Atlantis system and Cronus and after that a mission to check out the Poseidon rift.
Morlock our usual Weapons Officer took advantage of the opportunity to investigate the role of a carrier and Aposine was nowhere to be seen. Which left only myself at Engineering, Roshin Das at Sci and our skipper, Cdr. Jemel of the regular crew. Lt.Cdr. Allard came aboard to keep his hand in at Helm and Acting Ensign Slate filled in at Weapons.
They ran the sim at level 10 and Lancer operated fairly well though Allard complained that the ship was too responsive and too fast. At least that was his excuse for brushing an asteroid, outrunning the interest of a gaggle of fighters, and transiting a minefield at warp four so fast they did not even detonate. The captain requested no repeats of that manoeuvre to avoid afflicting the crew with “twitchy orifice syndrome”. Weapons console put in some good manual targeting of enemy weapon systems. I managed to provide energy where it was needed most of the time. I do notice that either we have become very cavalier about energy efficiency or that Lancer is staying in close engagements longer than she used to and energy consumption has to be watched since she has no torpedoes to convert.
For the second sim the instructors pulled out all the stops. Nobody actually said “Kobayashi Maru” before the sim ended, but you could see the thought as hordes of amped up hostiles sprinted across the sector towards our simulated Deep Space stations.
Allard asked to play music. Not sure if he was aiming for nonchalance or something more like “Ride of the Valkyries” but thankfully the skipper denied the request. No cool jazz, no death metal, no careless whisper, not on his bridge.
Low on energy we hunted energy anomalies. Allard got stuck in the middle of a fleet and poor Hunter went down in a welter of overlapping hostile beam arcs after warp and manoeuvreing were the first systems to fail.
Raven was also “caught at a disadvantage” (or something like that) when she got mobbed by fighters. Also while Fleet Captain Xavier was observing aboard Dauntless, Raven was under the unfamiliar hand of Cdr. Brenner who has been away from the division for a long time and was running with a skeleton crew. All the division ships went down at one point or another.
At one point we thought we had been tractored but then realized we were moving and found out we had been grabbed by a space “dragon” and dragged towards a nebula. Cdr. Allard was still in the process of adapting to Lancer’s peculiarities, but as the end of the sim approached, the skipper asked him to close his eyes and engage warp 2. Not realizing he had lost the will to live and was happy to end the sim early, as we headed straight for a big minefield, I reacted without thinking by diverting all power to the warp drive. And thus I discovered the perfect mine-clearing technique. We were travelling slow enough for the mine sensors to see us and trigger, but fast enough that we were out of range of the resulting detonation. Lancer cleared a beautiful two-mine-wide lane through the field.
Debrief was amusing: “Engineering went well, Weapons went well, Science went well. What else could it have been? The problem is, I am unable to think fast enough to get us out of the issues Allard creates.”
Patrol Route 1 – Dauntless & Phoenix
Launch: Atlantis Command
Forward Command – Cerberus System
CP94 – Promethean System
Volantis Command – Volantis System
TSAF Greyson – Atlantis System
Patrol Route 2 – Eagle, Raven & Lancer
Launch: Atlantis Command
Outbound route via Cerberus System
Patrol Cronus Sector 1-5-9
Return route via Waypoint 52
Morlock returned to Lancer for the patrol. Allard returned to his post as Cpt. Evans XO aboard Eagle and Lt. Hall took over as Lancer’s XO filling in at Helm. The patrol was active but straightforward with Lancer having plenty of opportunity to fulfil her primary role of swiftly intercepting elite enemy vessels such as Skaraans.
We actually had time for a break before the second mission. Aposine was able to make it aboard. This was a reconnaisance into the Poseidon Rift looking for quiet spots and potential infiltration by Unukalhai or Pirates. I kept a sharp eye on my secondary screen and actually had a glimpse at the rift itself this time. We had some excitement with Caltrons near the rift and with a heavy Unuk ship, but the big event was discovering significant fleets deployed near a series of pirate bases hidden in nebulae and well guarded by mines. All this was encircled by what to me were mysterious Daka Generators. The division tried to reduce one of the outlying bases but resistance was stiff and for once division cohesion was significantly lacking. In addition there were groups of Caltrons making appearances. Lancer took a heavy hit from one of those concentrations and had to sit out awhile while DamCon did some serious repair work.
Lancer played her usual role of luring away defensive fleets but there was little luck with deploying ordnance against the bases. I expected that even on a deep strike like this we would have been able to take out three or more but we made heavy work of taking out a single one. However, the payoff was spectacular. As far as I could tell the network of generators all overloaded and caused rapidly moving gravity anomalies. Not sure if their nature was to move because of some imbalance in the spin of the black holes or because of the influence of the Rift in the next sector. Whatever the cause they caused untold desctruction on enemy fleets, bases and minesfields cutting a huge swathe through dense concentration of crowded outposts. The destruction was horrific even if the intentions behind those Penwrath-funded facilities were distinctly anti-social.
Once we were clear of the devastation, Promethean Command engaged autopilot for the return.
Debrief was illuminating. There was significant frustration, dspite Lancer operating reasonably well tactically, Command seemed to have no cohesive direction and pulled us away from achievable short term objectives. The captain indicated that command had been struggling with bad sensor ghosting for much of the mission, but even so was had room to improve in recognizing the situation of various task force elements. Intelligence did recover a Hegemony black box from a crippled transport and it links a Kralien faction with supplying the USF. Interestingly the Caltrons disappeared after Daka generators created gravitational anomalies.
We are redeployed now to Promethean system. We can expect more Patrols deeper into the disputed Cronus and neighbouring systems.
[End log]09/04/2016 at 16:07 #6845Adele MundyParticipant
// Good thing this is your personal log, or Mundy would be blushing again. Oh, wait, psychic link…
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