Log Matsiyan 7516-2237

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    Personal Log, Lieutenant Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer@XSS Rolling Thunder, 4th L.D.
    Stardate: 14516-2237

    Elation? Jubilation? Vindication? I’ll settle for satisfaction and plain old relief.

    It took much longer than anticipated to decrypt the gate. We were having fun in the virtual bar I had concocted on the basis of the old Paragon City client software. Obviously no alcohol, but it was still good to steer clear of the extra marines we were carrying and unwind. The banter and speculation flowed freely as people debated how best to approach the upcoming tactical situation we had glimpsed. I think it kicked off a much needed relaxation. Once it became clear it was taking longer, they confirmed alternate shift to stay longer and told us off to get a combat nap. We got almost four hours before ONI woke us up believing that they had the answer and just needed to do final verification. Personally I think they wanted main shift crew available in case anything went wrong. To wake us up and clear the cobwebs we ran a sim for a few minutes so that everyone was back at combat readiness.

    Then we ventured through the gate into the sector housing the Blackwater base.

    There it sat, a deep space station closely surrounded by half a dozen science facilities and four industrial factories or shipyards, inside a double ring of mines. There was a single entry point in the outer circle with a weapons platform checkpoint and, a quarter way around the inner ring, an entry guarded by four weapons platforms with overlapping fields of fire. Any vessel following that entry channel would be unable to manoeuvre and subject to a punishing barrage of drones.

    Outside all of that were three or four significant fleets of capital ships. I heard the fleet captain issuing orders for the overall approach. Thunder would circle the “compound” jumping from nebula to nebula and cross into it on a course of approximately one-eight-zero, aiming to reach the science stations and deploy marines to seize control as rapidly as possible. TSN Montgomery would lead a battlegroup comprising TSN Eagle and TSN Raven using its warp advantage to take out the entry checkpoint platform and penetrate the mines on a course of two-seven-zero. Meanwhile TSN Dauntless would play electronic and tactical tag with the exterior fleets and lead them into the mines to clear a wide gap for our exit back towards the gate.

    The plan went surprisingly well. Thunder had one terrifying systems glitch when we made the transition across the mine rings that made it seem for a moment as if we had jumped short and appeared smack in the middle of four weapons platforms. Once the sensors sorted themselves out we were inside the rings, if a little short of the science facilities, deliberately in case they were hiding a nasty surprise or two. In fact it was the industrial platforms that suddenly unfolded on the sensor plots into fleets of system defense boats heading right at us. With that going on and a couple of emergency tactical jumps to avoid trouble, I missed seeing the battlegroup make their way inside the mines. But at that point we were happy for their help in transferring marines and clearing the way for us and Monty to deploy them until all the science platforms were acknowledging as friendly. Then we moved in on Blackwater itself as the hostile fleets traversed the enclosing mines in gouts of nuclear fire, desperate to cease Dauntless’ irritations and prevent us from capturing the intel aboard the main base.

    This is also when significant USF fleets of Xenophobe class and demonic Gallu class appeared, bent on the same objective, and led by a majestic, and heretofore mythical, Griffzungenschwert, super-dreadnought. We had to clear away the escorts before we could close with that and keep up a concentrated fire to take out its truly monstrous shields. However Thunder was able to hang back at the station long enough for the tech team to put in place the data extraction equipment before we recovered them and the marines. The data-mining results streamed back to us as we cleared away this next obstacle.

    But nothing was going to stop us with the victory, and the vindication of our honour, so close we could practically taste it.

    Which is why our hearts sank when, after disposing of the Grifzungenschwert, we approached the gate only to find a fleet of TSN vessels arriving and identifying as hostile to our rogue transponders. Captain Xavier was well prepared for this and immediately hailed them. Naturally they were reluctant to fire on the 4th Light and fairly readily agreed to escort us home once they started receiving parts of the download we were making.

    It was some time before they formally agreed to suspend action until investigations into our allegations were completed, but it did mean that we could make our way back to Promethean Command and the trip was fairly uneventful, which is just as well after what we had been through.

    I am really looking forward to getting back to all the goodies I stored in the little warehouse I am renting on the command base after ECS Asia’s last visit. The Hjocoa that I converted a significant portion of my Galactic Bullion into should prove a nice little earner if it is anywhere near as popular as Hjorden Ale. And I suspect it will be. With any luck it will also earn us a few friends while suspicions are being finally allayed in the inevitable investigations. I can see that the fleet captain is going to be buried in red tape for some time.

    Now I’m heading for the bar. I suspect I am not the only one with a healthy desire for some of Benjamin’s standard menu and a decidedly off shift beverage.

    [End log]

    Adele Mundy

    So, when Benjamin’s starts selling Hjocoa, we’ll know who is the merchant mastermind behind the scenes.

    Blaze Strife

    //All’s good as long as you don’t leave TSN to be a wealthy merchant. 😛

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