04/02/2016 at 08:32 #4502MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Lieutenant-Junior Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Hydra, 4th LD
I am still high and I haven’t touched a drop in hours. Frustration and elation in equal measure have left me a quivering wreck. This is genuinely an occasion for raiding the Engineer’s medical supplies in the Jefferies tube.
It began with such high hopes. It being a shift when I could be present and not dragged off to perform routine engineering analysis reports for The Good Of Civilization. Mundy and I arrived early at the same shuttle terminus. We even called in to the galley using the holobooth in the corner and hung out for a few minutes while we waited. Then we dropped off to go catch the shuttle. The first clue was that it was busy rebooting systems. Then it developed a dangerous malfunction in flight. When ship’s crew are seen purposefully moving in the direction of fire-extinguishers it is never good. I am familiar with this model of shuttle so I jumped in to re-initialize the impulse thrusters after they had a minor plasma flare. It looked like the safety release valve was wrongly calibrated. It did rather scorch the area behind the access panels.
All of which left the shuttle drifting off course for several minutes. So by the time we docked we were late for the briefing. We snuck in the back door to the briefing room. Before I could even wonder if we had managed to be inconspicuous, the very first sound I heard in the big lecture theatre was my name.
“Lieutenant-Junior Matsiyan. I hereby appoint you acting Executive Officer of TSN Hydra.” said Lt-Commander del Pino very clearly and distinctly. I swear he could not possibly have checked to see if I was present because I wasn’t when he drew the breath for that utterance. The next words were also a bit of a shock, from Lt. Jr. Chuck Finley I believe.
” Lieutenant Commander del Pino, I hereby arrest you.” The Lt. Cdr. went very quietly and without further ado we were despatched aboard our vessels. Mundy and I looked frantically at each other as we separated to head for Hydra and Valiant.
I quickly asked Quinn what the briefing had contained. The word was just sims and that del Pino had been arrested on suspicion of killing Unakalhai prisoners by venting plasma into their lifepods while he was commanding Hydra.
Lt. Greybeard came aboard and with relief I tried to give him the conn, but he refused on the grounds he was still Duty Officer and not appointed XO.
As XO I would be needing intership communications so I started setting that up through comm central while we waited for orders or a commanding officer. Neither were forthcoming and then we started to receive communications from Acting Fleet Captain Expree aboard Phoenix. Frustratingly I could not persuade comms to allow me reply privileges. Also I had a lot of trouble getting my console to accept command codes. I was about ready to simply smash the console with a wrench, when Helm, Weapons and Science were telling me snippets of what was happening in the sim and the only thing I had working was the Engineering console. Basically, poor Hydra and her crew sat that sim out. I was working overtime to sound calm and collected as command officer while being completely unable to give coherent orders. I had just got comms working to the point where I could reply to Expree when the sim ended, though memorizing the appropriate keys for speaking with the various vessels of the division was going to be a challenge. I was bitterly disappointed that I had kept the crew out of action and pretty much convinced no one would ever give me another shot at command. Ever.
Never mind I thought to myself, next sim we start off with a clean slate. Orders came down that a real mission was starting up since a TSN vessel reported it was under attack. Immediately following that was an order dispersing the Hydra crew to various other vessels. I was relieved not to have to start command in a real life or death situation but fighting off the thought that they had deliberately disbanded Hydra for the reason I was not competent.
So the unusually lovely opportunity to serve aboard the same vessel as Mundy was pretty much wasted on me as I mechanically went through the motions of Engineering for Valiant, patiently adapting the hard won configurations for Hydra back to those for a scout. I know the conflict with Unakalhai was intense and I was shocked to hear that Commander Jemel had destroyed the TSN Roanoke we were trying to rescue. I hoped it was because she had been taken over, but infiltration, treachery and psionic dominance all crossed my mind. It was all a blur, further marred by frequent console lockouts for my secondary screen and several other consoles aboard. I felt wretched despite what must have been a record breaking scouting circuit at warp 4 and 300% power.
So after the mission was over and a side trip to Atlantis allowed us to pick up a completely refitted Hawk, much to her crew’s delight, it was a huge surprise to be ordered back aboard Hydra for a final sim, still without a commander and still acting XO. I drew a deep breath and tried to start afresh and present a strong impression for the crew. First of all I tested out the inter-ship comms and confirmed it was working. Other commanders wanted me to communicate via the private Channel Commanders frequency which comms central stubbornly refused because I lacked the necessary clearance. Within minutes I was granted a temporary field promotion to full Lieutenant and we were in business.
I do not recall the details, except the wonderful support from Lt. Jr. Quinn, Lt. Greybeard, Ens. Cessna, and Cadet Power, who did not clamour for attention but allowed me precious seconds to assess the overall situation in our allotted patrol subsectors and to choose targets and combat orders. It was a great relief to be operating largely alone. So there was a much reduced risk of friendly fire incidents. We were able to practice scanning targets, Omega-Three approaches, Echo runs and get coordination of dataflow between Science, Helm and Weapons. The rest of the fleet did not press too closely, which meant I was able to slowly get used to intership hailing. There was a nice moment when two other vessels came to assist with a largish fleet and I was able to successfully coordinate Omega-Three and Echo runs with them without anyone taking simulated collateral damage. I was very proud of Hydra’s crew at the conclusion of the sims. Kills scored, no damage and no friendly incidents.
It is now hours later. I have not touched a drop of coffee since the start of the shift and I am still unable to sleep, totally hyper. I commanded a starship!
I want to do that again.
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