10/02/2016 at 07:24 #4781MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Lieutenant-Junior Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Hydra, 4th LD
Time for tradition. Since the Unakalhai human supremacist insurgents have declared civil war on the rest of the USFP, it was a fair bet that the shift would not be restricted to training simulations. So I opened the first of the new shipment of Terran coffee and made espresso. I have not yet been able to wangle my way aboard TSN Hunter, still refitting, to see if I can recover my heirloom coffee maker, or any other crew personal effects. So I am using the threedyprinted replica I made. It works fine. As a thank you, I invited Mundy to share. Her gift of decent espresso got me through the disruption of supply lines we experienced following the Cerberus campaign. It only seemed fair to share the first of the new supply. I also broke open a batch of medium-dark chocolate, flavoured with lemon, ginger, and pepper. I think that is going to be very popular.
This shift we made sure to arrive on time. The only problem was Mundy’s latest comms profile was messed up. She could hear but had no way of transmitting into comms central. Not a problem face-to-face, but a severe issue on a bridge or even if called on to speak from the back of a large lecture hall like the Briefing Room.
The briefing this shift was given directly by the Fleet Captain. Combat sims certainly featured highly in the shift. Partly there is a need to finish familiarizing the newly reorganized crews with each other and partly there is a specific need to practice combat tactics for encounters with Unakalhai opposition. The division was tasked with security inspections in the Atlantis system and with carrying out a combat patrol in the Arietis system. This is a quiet backwater system which normally has a thriving tourist industry. This makes it a prime target for insurgent disruption with a high probability of propaganda impact. The fleet captain explained that the Light Division is not a front line combat unit and so will be patrolling vulnerable internal areas and that the shift would conclude with further combat exercises to prepare for engagements with the USF.
The briefing concluded with the release of Lt. Cdr. De Pino since it had been revealed that his comms had been compromised before the fatal release of plasma eliminated the possibility of interrogating a high value Unakalhai prisoner. So although exonerated from involvement in the murder, for the security breach of his comms, he was fined two months pay and had his rank seniority revoked with his date of rank reset to today. He will continue under observation by the NSD.
It was a satisfying experience to start serving with the regular crew of Hydra. Commander Verok was back aboard, del Pino serving again as XO, old hand Quinn at the helm, newly assigned Ensign Cessna on Science, myself at my primary post of Engineering and in place of Fulvus, Cadet Blaze taking his first ever shift at Tactical.
We opened on a simulated USF fleet with an Omega-3 manoeuvre and lined up for an Echo-2 run with Quinn reversing us away from their field of fire. The skipper gave the order to commence the Echo-2 and after the briefest of red alerts, the sim shut Hydra down and reported us destroyed. “What happened?” Was a fairly universal question. Our cadet said that he deployed the two mines as requested. There was a breath of silence as the rest of the crew envisaged Hydra backing neatly over her own mines. Then we explained to the cadet that in an Echo manoeuvre Tactical has to wait for Helm to call the drop.
Early in the first sim, Hydra had the good fortune to pick up an anomaly. Unfortunately she shortly ran through another but no one noticed until I had to report thermal increases across the board. That was controllable by careful distribution of coolant, but it meant systems could not be boosted which limited our combat effectiveness. We had a fairly full load of missiles which limited our ability to convert the excess to torpedoes. We tried burning it off with a command-approved jaunt at warp 4, which was successful but counteracted by accidentally running over another anomaly at the end of the run.
Apart from that, the sims went very smoothly with good communications among the bridge personnel, clear objectives from command and competent execution at each station.
We were then given a short liberty before reporting for mission briefing. Roshin Das was grousing good-naturedly that every time someone was promoted to the same rank as him they leapt above him in the alphabetical listings of officers. I pointed out he could always list himself as “Das, Roshin”. After a moment of stunned silence he exclaimed “That’s genius!”. Shortly thereafter he appeared higher on the list. So I renamed myself from Matsiyan to “Conrad Matsiyan”. His next exclamation was rather less repeatable and besides, it is none of his business whether my parents had a contractual domestic partnership or not.
The briefing paired us up with Raven for a patrol of the Arietis system. It was at this point we found out that there had been so little TSN presence in that area for so long that no one had noticed the central stellar cartography files were offline. So our patrol was a little like an old wooden sail vessel sounding its way along an unfamiliar shore.
Fulvus was able to join the shift and with him taking Tactical, that put the whole of Hydra’s formally assigned crew together at last. In fact we toasted Ensign Cessna’s first permanent posting. Cadet Blaze was probably less than happy to be moved aside for this crew reunion, but it did give him the opportunity to serve aboard the flagship.
We encountered several USF detachments and partnered with Raven to elIminate them. Some of them were significant with powerful USF warships.
There was an incident early on where we took damage from a mine that detonated before we cleared its proximity zone when it armed. This was confusing as we were moving away at the time. Either the mine armed quicker than usual or maybe a power fluctuation had us moving slower than usual. Either way, the preference going forward will be to warp clear of a mine drop. In the interim I was boosting impulse after every low speed deployment, just to make sure.
We came to the aid of the TSAF Bath that reported control problems. When it launched Life Pods, Hydra dashed in to pick them up as soon as the current engagement was over. Alas as we picked up the last one they reported rogue nanites interfering with circuitry. The life pods were empty and this made me suspicious that perhaps the nanites had used them merely as a means of transferring to another ship. We ran every sweep we could think of and decontamination procedures in the cargo bay where we took in the pods. We found nothing and saw no systems malfunctions during the rest of the patrol. So with any luck the life pod ejections were just caused by circuit malfunctions and were not actually malicious.
On returning to Atlantis command it was reported during mission debrief that the nanite packages were originally destined for delivery to Hydra. The nanites were part of routine medical supply kits, but these had been tampered with to affect electronic circuitry rather than perform biological repair. Properly abused nanites can be a potent weapon, even a planet killer. So this security breach is very serious and Command plan to run a thorough investigation of the supply chain around those packages.
I could not take this lightly. I have not yet had a reply to my request to be appointed official Supply Officer. But my family background is from a merchant spacing company and I like the small comforts those connections can bring me. I am often in touch with logistics and try to stay on their good side. So in addition to having some skills and contacts I also want to make sure I am not framed for this malfeasance. Therefore I dumped all the inventory, shipment and warehousing records I could access related to recent supply for Hydra, as far back up the chain as I could reach. Then I did a thorough walkthrough of the cargo holds and the dockside warehouses I could wangle my way into and used a handheld image recorder to capture all the physical evidence of actual containers and labels. I had a word with Chief Kaplan and asked if she could have any spare crew time devoted to actually checking the contents of containers in storage and maybe have Polano put a little of his tech aptitude to good use in scanning as many of them as possible for anomalies. Let’s see if a little bit of elbow grease can catch any rogue shipments or substitutions. On my way off shift I stopped by the command deck and informed Captain Evans and Commander Jemel of this extra inventory reconciliation I had initiated.
Knowing how to game the system to ensure liberty and happiness through the pursuit of coffee and chocolate? Golden. Planet dissolving nanoweapons? Not so much.
16/02/2016 at 18:14 #5084Blaze StrifeParticipant
- This topic was modified 7 years, 7 months ago by Matsiyan.
I apologize for the problems I’ve caused. The maneuvers and combat orders they taught us at the Academy have been quite a bit different; outdated, probably.
//What’s NSD? Navy Security Department?16/02/2016 at 19:17 #5089MatsiyanParticipant
No apology necessary. There is always a period of adjustment when training comes into contact with real-world situations. It is always a good reminder to active duty officers to check their assumptions and ensure their communication is clear.
Cadets are good for keeping us on our toes 🙂
// Yes. Exactly that for NSD
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