Log Mundy, 10318-2237

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    Adele Mundy

    Personal Log, SubKommandant Adelaide Mundy, ISN Oblivion, 2nd Space Flotilla, 4th Hunter Group
    Stardate: 10318-2237

    We reached the point that all that could be done to make the situation look credible, was done, so the Group Leader declared our ships free of the virus and brought them in. This is the situation at the moment: we had to destroy Third Hunter Group, as they were about to attack civilian stations. I was on the station, not on Oblivion at the time, and I’m still saying “we”. Because, dammit, I am the TSN. And I’ve contributed to the cover-up, with Hall and Turnez and our Comms staff, to make it look as if Third Hunter was destroyed by boarding parties from outside their ships. We faked the logs to make it appear that there was a crack insurgency team on the station Third docked at, so that their Marines were ambushed, trapped, and their ships were taken over. The insurgency teams then activated the ordnance on the ships, and all vessels were destroyed, with all crew. Just before the destruction of Third Hunter, the rebel agents uploaded a comms virus, which affected the Fourth Hunter ships through their comms link with Third. And therefore, Fourth Hunter had to cut off all communications with Command.

    Currently, this story is holding up; of course, investigations are continuing, and all comms are being monitored. So I’m running the recording disruption program, and the Peregrin Island encryption, and so on and so forth. Business as usual, when treason against the Empire is afoot. We’ll have to be on our best and most sycophantic behaviour for a while, in order to deflect suspicion. Does one ever live outside the shadow of suspicion in the Empire? Asking for a friend…

    We ran a couple of Border War sims, to ensure that all traces of the virus have been scrubbed from ships’ systems. And at one point, when we were trying to put a minor malfunction right, and blaming it on the non-existent virus, the Fleet Captain actually said “Shame the virus is fake”… After being all Group-Leaderish and stern and telling us that we would be under constant monitoring! So I’ve just spent some time with Turnez, going over the logs, and starting by changing that to “Shame. The virus is a pain.” And changing other things, from the missions.

    The first one involved disrupting Hegemony forces around Krisenda Command, since most of Cerberus System is now back under Imperial control. We assembled in CiC deck for the mission briefing. I forget what the excuse was, but the real reason was that it’s an easier area to isolate from comms recording. We were told that our original mission was supposed to be to maintain security in Cerberus System while Third Hunter patrolled Krisenda; but because Third Hunter have been destroyed, we were being redeployed to Krisenda System to gather information on the Hegemony presence there, which is suspected to be in preparation for the invasion of Krisenda.

    We set out with Oblivion (the Group Leader in command, Graybeard in Engineering, Quinn on Helm, Avirson on Tactical), Relentless (Aramond in command), Invictus (Morlock in command, since Matsiyan was on duty in CiC), and Excision (Jemel in command; also, did I mention that Aposine has surfaced from alterday shift? So of course he was on Helm.)

    We were to investigate the situation in Krisenda System, to find out the Hegemony’s reactions; to go to Krisenda Command, to do as much damage as possible to Hegemony ships, but not to our, I mean, the Empire’s, installations — they are expensive, after all. Also, contact had been made by an Empire loyalty group somewhere in Krisenda, indicating they had important information, so we were to visit the station they were on, make contact and take delivery of the information package, to be delivered to Command. In other words, we were being sent out on a recon op, with instructions to take out targets of opportunity such as weapons platforms and command ships, disrupting Hegemony operations without engaging the bulk of their forces.

    We had to engage some pirate forces in the vicinity of Waypoint 60; they actually showed some sense of self-preservation by turning and running when they saw what was happening to the ships that stayed to fight.

    Once we went through to Krisenda System, some factories identified as friendly, one as hostile. Given the uncertain situation, we avoided it, attacking only Hegemony ships. Proceeding through to Krisenda Sector 3, all ships launched probes to extend the sensor range, and detected more Hegemony and Kralien vessels, so while Relentless and Excision drew them away, Invictus moved to the research station to drop off her Marines, and Oblivion deployed our Marines to R56X (which is where we were to extract the data and personnel from) via our shuttle.

    At this point, Excision detected a singularity, and I got a sudden stabbing headache. If you’ve been reading my log, Adelaide, you will know by now that Caltrons give me the kind of headache of which your most severe experience is but a mere shadow… unless you get Caltron headaches too, of course. There was research being carried out in the USFP just before our little universe hop, on refining Vigoraneum nodules into something they were tentatively calling Panaceum. I don’t know how research is progressing at the moment, of course, but I hope it fulfils its promising name.

    Anyway, returning to the Caltrons: fortunately there were only a few, and only Primaries. They all appeared near the research station, and we dealt with most of them in short order; the remaining ones disappeared through the singularity, as they are wont to do. Naturally, we wanted to examine the singularity itself, scan it, determine its radiation source — there was even speculation that it might lead back to our own universe, but we were unable to test that, as it vanished.

    And that leaves us with headache-inducing Caltron questions: now we know they exist in this universe, how do they relate to the Kraliens, if at all? Does something similar to our universe’s Artefacts exist? If so, how do its/their characteristics compare?

    While we were asking ourselves these questions, our Marines sent the signal they were ready to be lifted off R56X, so we retrieved them, together with the operatives they had found and were escorting. R56X turned hostile at this point (I am assuming the operatives had had a hand in ensuring we registered as friendly, and as they left, the unattended systems reverted back to their programming), and launched ships, which we avoided by heading for the Sector border.

    We moved through Sector 2, heading for Krisenda Command in Sector 6, intending to destroy WP24 and cause as much disruption as possible on the way. We did in fact destroy a couple more Hegemony weapons platforms. Then a number of N’tani ships entered the sector, broadcasting a demand to search it for a funerary monument for a highly honoured dead scientist (they called this monument the Obelisk, with an audible capital O – except that of course it isn’t an O in N’tani, it’s a sound the computer translates as a weird squiggle), claiming that the Kraliens had stolen it, and they were here to take it back.

    But the result was lots of destroyed N’tani ships, as they attacked Kralien forces beyond their capabilities to defeat.

    Still, we have one more question to add to our collection: what is this Obelisk? Is it merely a carved monument, or could it have greater significance?

    I don’t know if that’s a question that has occurred to Command; but meanwhile, they’re happier with the results of our mission. And we’re scouring the sensor logs on the appearance of the Caltrons.

    For our next mission we were based in Cerberus System, ordered to go to Sector 8 to establish martial law. You can guess how we felt about that. Or maybe you think that was a perfectly fine thing to be ordered to do. We were to send Marines to Nareel, Enora and Kolaris stations, pick up dissident leaders, and transfer them to RS484 for… hmm, safekeeping.

    The Group Leader was in CiC for this mission, which was reassuring, as he’d have immediate access to our comms feeds in case anything untoward happened – as it inevitably did. Oh, sorry, spoilers. Anyway, this meant OverKommandant Jemel was in fleet command, and I was in command on Oblivion.

    Once we reached Cerberus 8, we started delivering our Marines to the stations (Int. Nhaima was piloting Proteus, so that went smoothly), collecting the people we were euphemistically calling “VIPs”, and delivering them to Relentless. She then took them to Olnara Station, where our Marines made sure the “VIPs” were safely in lifepods, and set a timer to eject the lifepods. And they rigged the station to explode – after the lifepods were safely away.

    By a strange coincidence, the lifepod IFF transponders were offline, so they wouldn’t register. By a stranger coincidence, a non-existent ship that my sensors briefly, and quite mistakenly, identified as TSN, appeared in the sector, and headed straight for the non-existent lifepods.

    I had to be quite insistent with my bridge crew that there were no lifepods, and no, we would not go and pick them up because THERE WERE NO LIFEPODS, and no, there was no TSN ship either. Perhaps I should have held an old-fashioned telescope to my fake-blind eye, and they would have got the message sooner. We settled on ghost readings as a temporary explanation. As things are, I’ve had to sneak into the logs and scrub them, inserting creative chatter and a background rendition of the D.O. song, and making sure there was just enough, but not too much background static in the sensor logs.

    This lying stuff is remarkably easy to do, once you give yourself a justification for it. Dammit. I wish I could have a drink of Hjocoa.

    The Group Leader’s report, as I understand it, said that Fourth Hunter succeeded in gathering together the relevant personnel, then transported them to Olnara station, where they were treated in the way they deserved. I admire his economical use of the truth in that statement.

    Whoever the “relevant personnel” were, the fact that they are now away from that sector should quieten everything down. If they were communicating with the N’tani, the N’tani will, we hope, have no more interest in the sector; and any further investigation by Imperial forces should pass without incident.

    As long as nobody notices our surgical interventions on our logs…

    Now, one more question for me to research: who, exactly, are the TSN on this side of the mirror?

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