14/04/2016 at 06:51 #7235MatsiyanParticipant
Personal Log, Lieutenant-Junior Conrad Matsiyan, TSN Lancer, 4th L.D.
Klono’s tungsten teeth what a shift!
I was late to arrive as I was again tapped for macro-psych defense support by BUPERS. By the time the drums were put away and I made it to command, our shift was well underway.
Frustration is how it started as the division had been scrambled to intercept an assault on Outpost-16. DO, ADO and my skipper were all far too busy to acknowledge my arrival and rightly so. I wheedled my way into CIC and quietly stood in the back watching the division stretched thin, with only three vessels in service, swamped with major fleet incursions. They had to play bait and switch to keep attention off the vulnerable outposts. Lancer has completely the wrong weapons load to take out a big numerical superiority so she had to keep stinging and running while the cruisers engaged separate fleets. What would normally have been a straightforward engagement for a couple of cruisers became a much closer run thing as they could not concentrate to defeat the enemy in detail without exposing the stations. The ending was bittersweet. The hostiles were repulsed. The division’s action will go down in records for its tenacity and skill, and while Outpost-16 was saved, one of the other stations was lost.
It turns out that I was not the only member of the division called away for a major public relations push to counter Unukalhai social warfare. That is why only eighteen other officers were available.
With my arrival there were just enough to crew four vessels and my seat on Lancer was in need of me. Given the amount of action seen lately, it was determined that sims needed to get underway at once. Commander Jemel is heavily involved with training and experienced a lot of frustration as it took a long time to get the first sim up and running.
The sims were standard scenarios and maybe it was the nervous energy from helplessly watching the division in action, but I thoroughly enjoyed them both, as the skipper gave me a chance at SciCom and another at Helm. I was happy with how much I am improving at both. At comms I managed a few good taunts and we pulled two major fleets into a black hole. Helm was hugely frustrating as all the custom controls I had carefully installed, learned and practiced earlier had all come unglued. That console and I are going to have some quality time together with an electron probe and some persuasive diagnostics I have to hand. Mental image here, computer, of me snapping rubber gloves.
We were granted a short break before being assigned what looked to be a straightforward mission to escort an R&D transport to a remote range for a test. But even from the first it felt odd.
In the previous outings, Lancer had an unusual degree of er… assistance, and umm… guidance from division command in the sequence and selection of targets, rather than being given autonomy to handle a certain class of threat or area of operations, which is the way she normally operates. Given that the Commander affords his crew a significant amount of leeway and responsibility for their own tactical duties, that left him very little to do. So he was about fit to blow a gasket.
Then, umm… we may have made matters worse. For the escort mission he asked us all to stay on our primary stations. Aposine was dog tired. He had arrived late for the shift after being stuck for hours in a disabled shuttle. He was hopped up on caffeine and stimtabs that were beginning to wear off. He expressed some concern that he might not be fit for helm duty. He hinted that a less directly lethal post might be appropriate. The commander ignored the hint fairly bluntly, but the rest of us fell over ourselves offering different choices of who could sit what station, despite the fact that the skipper had not requested our input. Truth is, none of us could fly as well as Aposine if he was asleep after a three-day bender, with one hand tied behind his back.
Eventually the skipper abruptly said something like “Sort yourselves out!”. Then he left the bridge. I don’t know if he had been called away, reported sick, went on a temporary errand from which he could not return or what. Our XO Lt. Hall was busy with his ONI duties. So command fell on Lt. Das with Jr.Lts. Aposine, Finley and myself under his command At the very moment that the order to undock was given. With help from Finley and with Aposine and I accustomed to working smoothly with them aboard Lancer, we were able to operate fairly well. Kudos to Roshin for being a calm and clear skipper. Chuck was probably a bit pushy with advice but we all needed help from each other.
The escort proceeded smoothly to the Cronus system and onward to Sector IX with the usual rotation of ships performing close escort, operating as a battle group or taking up scouting/interception duties. A few nosy kraliens and pirates were shown short shrift.
All the time, the top brass were very attentive, focussed and tightly controlled. Security and adherence to the mission was very focussed. This came to a head when a surrendered Kralien was ordered destroyed and it was Mundy who intervened and requested that the crew be offered the opportunity to abandon ship for scuttling. The word was out that whatever we were escorting was Top Secret and no enemy surveillance was to be permitted.
The division paused at the edge of the uninhabited sector thickly strewn with concealing nebulae. Then it redeployed to ensure nothing was in the path of the launch. What looked like a probe was launched far across the sector. Even now I don’t know if that was carrying the payload or only monitoring the locus of effect.
The detonation of the weapon coincided with the appearance of a black hole and numerous Caltrons and was followed by a billowing wave of spatio-temporal instability (represented on our sensors as dense circular clusters of mines that blanketed all space spreading out from the anomaly) that spread at sub-light speed throughout the sector and even followed us into the next sector as we and the Caltrons engaged in a running fight ahead of it.
At some point in the fight with the Caltrons, the overzealous Phoenix went down and Aposine at the helm of Lancer picked them up in an outstanding display of high precision, high velocity piloting. I do not recall in which sector that occurred. So I do not know if the wreck of the Phoenix is recoverable or was blanketed by the effects of The Weapon.
[Log addition: subsequent review of automated logs shows that the engagement did occur before exiting the sector where the Weapon was deployed. There is no hope of recovering anything from Phoenix.]
Having destroyed or discouraged the Caltrons, the division returned to forward command. Fleet Captain Xavier made an announcement over fleetwide broadcast to the effect that he could not sanction the existence of such a weapon, as at the very least it was too dangerous to be allowed to fall into enemy hands. If I recall there was an appeal for any strong objections but before any such were successfully relayed through bridge commanders, with the exception of the beginnings of a query from our bold and conscientious Lt. Roshin Das, Raven opened fire on The Weapon. The vessels in the weapon’s flotilla became hostile to Ravenand disappeared from scan shortly thereafter. Captain Xavier stood down as commander of both Raven and the DIvision pending due process, and handing over division command to Captain Evans who ordered an orderly return to Command and our respective shipyards.
Then I headed down to Benjamin’s bar.
[End log]14/04/2016 at 16:09 #7252AramondParticipant
The bar, the bar, the bar, the bar the baaaaaaaaaaaar
Getting toasted off our asses, we are!
**sung to the tune of “We’re off to see the Wizard”**
//I feel like we need to start making a list of the curses we’ve used that aren’t just the standard four-letter ones.15/04/2016 at 18:05 #7355Blaze StrifeParticipant
//”That is why only eighteen other officers were available.” I always think that we’re just the bridge officers, and that there are others…15/04/2016 at 19:17 #7357AramondParticipant
//We’re the only officers that matter. Have you seen the night crew? They’re incompetent!
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