04/12/2015 at 07:07 #2583MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Ensign Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer, 4th LD
Ambivalent is a good word, or at least an unusual one. I like it better than lugubrious, which I am tempted by. I miss the TSN Hunter, but all of Hunter’s crew are aboard a new ship with a similar mission but a very different capability.
TSN Lancer is an experimental interceptor. she’s fast but she doesn’t handle quite as well as a scoutship and she is nowhere near as efficient. on the other hand she packs a much bigger punch but is less flexible. Her systems are also more distributed so they take damage more gracefully if more often. A scout’s systems have a smaller number of more vital nodes. often she can take hits that basically only do minor structural damage, but if a system gets hit, it has far less redundancy than the larger ships. So she loses more capability from a lucky hit in the right place. Warp drive and manoeuvring are particularly vulnerable.
Of course they did not let us take her out straight away. Recipe for disaster as the sims proved. Even with no torpedo tube to take energy, she consumed a lot. Her warp drive drained energy reserves fast, which is awkward when your job is to flit about ahead of your consorts and nose about for trouble. I am not the hottest engineer in the division but I am fascinated by the quest to keep as much energy on hand as possible for engagements and extended cruise or loiter endurance. Even keeping her rigged for maximum cruise efficiency she did not last long. and thereby hangs a worse tale. No tube means no torpedoes, which means no energy reserve. When you run out, you are down to fuel collectors. And how you can run out! She has overlapping primary beam emitters and a narrow arc forward facing gatling beam beam with a longer than normal range. They work by rotating energy routing to multiple emitter cores in sequence so you can get off shots with a lower cycle time than waiting for a single emitter to cool down. That gives us some cool tactical options. With a judicious hand at the helm we can stay just out of enemy engagement range and give him grief with half our armament or we can close and pump a lot of energy through his shields in record time. In fact, according to the sim, we could hand out damage so fast we could waste shots after he was ready to surrender or even after he was disabled. With a bit of careful targeting we were able to disable even tough enemy vessel weapons arrays in record time. It also meant that it was a waste to keep so much energy routed through the beams. It made more sense to boost the rather underpowered shields and manoeuvring thrusters. It also meant watching the beam systems like a hawk to cut the boost in as late as possible so as not to waste it and to re-route as soon as beam combat finished, otherwise reserves drained unnecessarily. I was not too adept at that in the first sim, but with some preset adjustments and re-using the torpedo-boost for a variant beam priority, I improved on the first sim quite a lot.
Then we had quite a bit of fun. The Fleet Captain came aboard. It was unnerving to have that brass hovering over your shoulder, but I like to think we gave a good account of ourselves as a high-spirited but cohesive crew.
Under his supervision the sims were loaded up with projected performance profiles for new R&D energy sources. Security was tight so my suspicion is that this was not just a thought exercise but specs of classified developments getting ready for field trials. I would suspect that they have been able to increase the output of the antimatter generators because of a new configuration of the power distribution crystals. This vastly increases the efficiency of drive mechanisms. It clearly influenced impulse, warp and manoeuvring thrusters. There was some trade-off however because the weapon systems could not handle that modulation as well and you could tell it was taking more energy flow to achieve the same output. Fortunately that did not seem to increase the rate of thermal dissipation proportionally so overheating was no worse. It was just consumption that was higher. On balance though it gave the ship much longer range and the ability to utilize higher warp velocities without energy depletion. The efficiency also recharged energy reserves faster when systems were idle.
So we were able to travel further, engage more strongly, recover and resume cruising faster. If they can get past any deployment glitches and manufacturing bottlenecks, this will make a major difference to fleet operations. I hope they can make it happen, going back to current standards is depressing after that. Let’s hope it is more than some defense contractor’s vaporware. It will mean a whole new tactical doctrine for the fleet, let alone for Hunter’s crew. Lancer already demands a different approach. Instead of EMPs and Echo mine drops on fleets, it now makes sense to pick out singleton targets that might be an issue for Hydra or the light cruisers.
Hmm. Computer, elevate encryption and access security on this log entry until I have it reviewed by a senior officer. Too much tactical info in here.
Time to conclude this log. It smells too good. Not the log, the espresso I’m brewing from Mundy’s bribe. Where she got half a kilo of prime single-estate, dark-roasted (but not burned, so obviously no Frenchmen involved) Sumatra beans, I don’t know. I guess being a Mundy of Chatsworth has its own privileges. Oh wow. Smooth, rich, earthy, full bodied but perky. That was totally worth the hour of adapting my pre-Hunter profiles for her custom datapad to interface with Hawk’s systems.
I wonder when the next Earth Company supply run is coming out here. I need my next fix. Problem is military logistics runs are routinely classified and it isn’t always ECS vessels that make the deliveries.
Ambivalent again. News of Lt. Thantos transfer to 3rd Fleet came through. It will be strange not to have him as a regular steady presence in the active roster. Sounds like a great opportunity to develop his technical career though. It sounds very cool to be teaching warp core dynamics and researching nuclear engineering. Still, I guess that means more Engineering opportunities in 2nd Fleet! Fly free, friend. Fly free.
Actually ranks seem a bit thin all round as this campaign wore on and now afterward. It is good to see new faces. Jayce Gideon passed for Ensign and was on duty with his acting rank. Two new cadets were also on assignment, Lewis Remmick, who I heard was very exuberant in the Mess after shift, and Tygera Tardov, another Engineering major. They had great opportunities serving under the senior captains aboard Raven and Hydra.
I remember that heart in mouth feeling.
- This topic was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by Xavier. Reason: Moved to new Personal Logs forum
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