09/12/2015 at 05:52 #2709
Personal Log, Ensign Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer, 4th LD
Maiden voyage and psionic powers. This was a shift to remember.
It started with a couple of simulations to continue our familiarity with the new experimental interceptor, TSN Lancer. Our captain, Commander Jemel, was aboard with Lt. Aposine and Ens. Morlock swapping their usual seats at Helm and Weapons. Our XO Cdr del Pino and Lt Roshin Das were both away. In their place we had Ens. Assassino sitting at Science and Ens. Adele Mundy taking the Comms board. Adele was in the same class as me at the Academy and I had the strangest sense of deja vu to hear her voice calmly and precisely handling traffic with other vessels. After the end of the hostilities in Cerberus system, a lot of officers are on rotation to catch up with leave and the TSN Hawk in particular was short handed, so they used her available crew plus some cadets to fill out crews for our battlecruiser, TSN Raven, missile cruiser TSN Hydra, light cruiser TSN Phoenix and ourselves.
The sims really were necessary. We have had only a couple of sim runs handling this type of vessel. She is very different. Also R&D techs were crawling all over her while the sims ran, calibrating systems to the readouts from the manoeuvres we pulled. Those first sims were brutal. Lancer is an energy glutton. She is very quick and packs a vicious punch, but there is a cost for those overpowered systems, especially with no energy torpedoes to act as a reserve. In fact, that was one of the first moments of hilarity. In the sims so far they have paired us with TSN Hydra, the heavyweight missile platform with barely a point defense beam to her name. It is fairly common for us to distract and delay a hostile fleet while Hydra prepares a bombardment. I cannot remember whether we were asked to soften up a target fleet with an EMP or a mine-laying run, but there was no disguising the politely veiled smile in the skipper’s voice when he responded in the negative to their request on the grounds that they won’t let us carry ordnance since we have no launcher. I suppose we could open an airlock and manually shove one out with an EVA suit, but it really wouldn’t be worth anyone’s time. There was the faintest of embarrassed pauses as that reply went home and you could imagine a shared schadenfreude across our bridge about the other officer not having read the briefing. On the other hand, Lancer’s specs have been secret until very recently and it would not surprise me in the least if no one had informed the Hydra.
The next hilarity was fulfilling a mission for a passing auxiliary which sent aboard a couple of torpedoes as a thank you for helping them with their transfer of samples. We were joking about tripping over them in the gangways and finding creative places to stow them. Good job it was just a sim. They would have been as annoying as having marines aboard, though less malodorous and better disposed.
The other thing about the standard sims is that the fuel collection routine is glitched so when we were bingo on energy, we had to limp back to a station to refuel. One time we actually did run out and I had reason to rig Commander Jemel’s patented “warp coasting” config where everything gets shut down and the power plant trickle keeps the warp drive ticking over. If you don’t mind running with life support off for a little while, it is a quicker way home than waiting to build up a reserve. Getting a little chilly builds character, eh?
And those weren’t the only chills. Chatting with Mundy brought up comparisons with some of her previous missions with TSN Hawk and we were finishing each others’ sentences. I was remembering what had happened on the Hawk even though I know I wasn’t there. It was the strangest feeling to have actual audio-visual memory flashes. But I soon forgot for a while.
The third sim was an upload of new routines to repeat the experimental session from last shift using radical new power conversion technology that enormously reduces energy usage for propulsion at the cost of a little inefficiency in combat systems. The trade off in energy reserves and combat loiter time makes it very worthwhile. In this configuration the Lancer really shines. Getting to her target is not so expensive that she is limited on strike capability. However her big guns are so hungry that is is still necessary to only use as much as needed and to only route power there when needed. Tactical worked out a nice handoff with me so that we can use the shields coming up and down as a signal for primary beam power flow. At least this sim enables the fuel collectors and that makes a huge difference to getting back in the game when your consorts need you.
I lost my secondary screen during this sim and yet somehow I knew what was happening almost as if I could see the Science plot, which I later found out Mundy was monitoring. I was busy and didn’t really notice at the time, but I realized later that it was rather eerie.
A pause was called, but Mundy was reassigned aboard Hydra who just can’t seem to catch a break with a regular crew. Still, they had veterans aboard with The Rok commanding, Kennon Far at Engineering and Greybeard on Weapons. Cpt Fish came back aboard and opted to run Helm! It was a shame to hear her go. I think we all enjoyed hearing her call range, bearing and hostile vessel sensor readings. She had been quick to negotiate some surrenders too.
Instead of another sim we were called into a mission briefing. Promethean system was in some disarray after the high-V kinetic asteroid strikes initiated by General Monteurgh’s desperation at the end of the recent action. A number of orbits had been perturbed. TSN Command was reviewing Promethean system for additional resources to assist the industrial bases to rebuild and develop in Sector V in the vicinity of station M-445.
We were to determine asteroid mineral content to assist the ore processing stations to identify mining targets. Catalog every asteroid identified to science officers. Weapons were to use optimal frequencies from Science sensor readings to take samples without destroying the deposits. Comms officers were required to enter Sensor findings into the Mineralogy report.
That’s when Aposine went crazy. Well crazier, to judge from some of his earlier flying. He pointed out, fairly frothing over, this would be Lancer’s maiden voyage, our first physical departure from command, despite the fact we had been living aboard and getting to know her. I had been planning for this, but I had completely forgotten. I pulled out the bottle of bubbles I had been saving. I had half planned to break in on her prow, but I guess they did that at the shipyard and now we were out of time. I quickly charged half a dozen drinking bulbs (not wanting to incur the CO’s wrath if it got spilled on the bridge) and rushed up to the nerve centre. “Your attention for a moment, please!” I handed out the toasts. “To the TSN Lancer, bless her and all who sail in her!”
“The Lancer!” came back the enthusiastic replies. And then we all turned back to business and eased her gently out of dock. Suddenly I felt a little pang of jealousy and regret. I realized Mundy was watching us undock and wishing she was aboard.
We formed up with Hydra but had to throttle back our drive energy to 50% Warp. And that’s when it really hit. As I was negotiating with Aposine over the right settings to sync with our consort without him have to continually drop in and out of warp, I realized Mundy was listening in on a similar conversation between Hydra’s Helm and Chief Engineer. I could hear them discussing not wanting to increase energy beyond 130% because otherwise coolant distribution would have to be recalibrated. I don’t usually get these kind of lucid daydreams, but I checked it later with Adele and she confirmed that it happened.
And that is when finally dawned on me that the techs had not only been calibrating the ship’s responses to the sims, but they had been completing the efficiency upgrades. TSN Lancer was energy neutral while pootling along in consort with Hydra. She was positively sipping at her power plant’s output.
Sector transition from Promethean sector went without issue. We docked at M-445 before heading out on the survey.
We intercepted pirates in system. They had a Shield drain upgrade. We sustained minor damage to Impulse and Manoeuvre. No casualties. We assisted Raven then returned to M-445 for refueling.
Our next assignment was a request to intercept N-68 to disable its shields. That ship had already surrendered. I wrestled with that trying to work out if I could reduce beam energy to guarantee the survival of the target or wether I was going to disobey an order. I had resolved that I would not power the beams. But at that point command net became unavailable and after the reboot, the subject of N-68 never came up again. Instead we were tasked with protecting a supply convoy.
The captain was feeling light hearted and as we waited patiently to form up with Hydra, he had elevator muzak piped into the bridge. This must have inflamed Aposine’s passions as following the next sector transition, while playing with a non-standard but exuberant higher warp velocity, he impacted an asteroid. Morlock, a cautious and sensible fellow, for some reason had the presence of mind to have the shields up. The asteroid impact reduced them to 30% but my paint stayed intact and with our abundant energy reserves we had the shields recharged in close to record time.
Just as well because shortly after there were major incursions by Kralien and pirate forces attempting to interdict our convoy. We proved effective both at leading a battle-group with the Hydra and operating in support of her. This led to the muzak in the next lull being a very cheerful ancient piano piece by the Vince Geraldi Trio, which apparently was a sound track to some animated documentary about ground nuts.
After giving the interlopers a severely bloody nose, we returned to asteroid surveys still grouped with Hydra. Lancer’s powerful assault even took down a heavily armed Pirate transport. However we took some damage from another Axe class. Lost a whole DC team and a half.
Back at base I let slip some of the strange sense impressions I had noticed. I was in the specialist brain unit so fast I had vertigo. After a detailed night of study (at least they provided espresso with breakfast) they determined there is some kind of telepathic psionic attunement between Mundy and I.
Now how am I going to hide the whisky?
[End log.]10/12/2015 at 19:23 #2721AramondParticipant
There are ways we test for a psionic link. *snaps rubber glove* You can trust me, I’m a scientist.10/12/2015 at 19:34 #2723
// Thank you for that actual LOL. People in the office looked at me oddly.10/12/2015 at 22:08 #2728AramondParticipant
//And thank you for the visual of Aposine going nuts with the helm controls.12/12/2015 at 12:18 #2758XavierKeymaster
//I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve used part of this log on the Artemis forums on our ‘Join the TSN’ thread. They are great logs and I want to showcase them to draw in more members.12/12/2015 at 16:15 #2764
// of course I don’t mind. I am very flattered they can be of use. 🙂
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