21/11/2017 at 21:17 #31147Adele MundyParticipant
Personal Log, Lt. Sr. Adele Mundy, TSN Sabre, 2nd Flt., 4th Lt. Div,
Temporal Disorientation Syndrome, I think I’ll start using that as an excuse. It worked for a good third of the officers last shift, after all. Listen, Computer, I have a headache and I’m in no mood for banter with a bundle of crystals and electronics. Yes, an Artefact was involved, dammit.
Do Artefacts dream of coffee pots? I’m dreaming of Praetorian Clockwork again, dammit, and Horatio saying “This way, down into the tunnels! Stay close, and be ready to shoot if we run into any Failed Experiments…” I’ve no idea what Failed Experiments are, Computer, but they are clearly pronounced with capital letters, and are not good things to run into. And why is he so helpful in my dreams? Almost as if he were someone else entirely. Wish-fulfillment on my part, I suppose.
We were so short-handed on the shift that we could only crew Sabre, Viper and Horizon; we practiced fleet manoeuvres and fleet coordination. Viper ended the first sim by diving into a black hole, and in the course of the second sim managed to take tango on a fleet we were trying to lure away, and actually drew them towards a station; which makes me suspect they had one of the new cadets on Helm.
Before we set out on our mission, the Fleet Captain announced the promotion to Ensign of Yooey and Xansta, and of course, the big news, of Matsiyan to Commander. It’s very strange to be aware of somebody else blushing. Oh, you thought the big news was the thing about the Ixorans and that rogue planetoid… probably, in the planetary scheme of things. But that’s not 2nd Fleet territory for the moment. If the Higher Ups deploy us there, of course we’ll go. Until then, we have Kraliens and their Void-damned Artefacts to deal with, to say nothing of the Caltrons.
Meanwhile, the N’tani invited us back for a second round of wargames near their homeworld in Euphini, made more exciting by the knowledge that there are still gaps in the sensor grid from the Kralien actions last shift, and the high likelihood that a large Kralien force might still be hiding somewhere in the Euphini System. And we were told to watch out for Skaraans – as if we normally went around skipping without a care in the system…
The Fleet Captain was in command of Sabre as usual, I was his XO on SciComms, Parra took Helm, Morlock Weapons, Ironclad Engineering; and due to a continued lack of captains (Temporal Disorientation Syndrome? Administrative Red Tape Overload?), Cmdr. Aramond was in command of Horizon, and Cmdr. Matsiyan of Viper – which is where they’ve been for the past few shifts anyway. I would not be at all surprised if they were permanently assigned to the ships some time soon – and that leads to the question of permanent XOs, and so on.
We started the wargames with a mock assault on the planet in Euphini Sector 1, beginning with attacking the defending fleets, the orbital stations, and intending to proceed on to a mock bombardment to simulate a planetary invasion. I found it a disturbing premise… I haven’t watched the recordings of the Rikti attacks on Paragon in a long time, but dammit, they came back as if I’d only just had them on the screen.
We had gone past the fleets and were approaching the orbital stations, but then we had a fleet-wide systems crash, which even affected the defending N’tani and their Zolmari volunteer allies; suspecting interference by hostiles, we halted the wargames and switched to live mode. CIC informed us that the interference was coming from positions in the barrion nebula in Sector 12, where the radiation would probably hide any number of things that shouldn’t be there…
So we went haring off through Sector 7, where, surprise surprise, we found a number of Skaraans cloaked and hiding, just as CIC had warned us. We destroyed most, obtained a few surrenders (at this stage, Act.Ens. Maxwell came onto the bridge and took Comms), and Proteus succeeded in recovering a black box from one of the wrecks.
On to Sector 12, and indeed, there the Kraliens were, hiding in the barrion nebula. Again, we were able to get some surrenders, and used Proteus to drop our Marines onto a surrendered ship, pick up her crew as prisoners, and scuttle her. Once we had dealt with all the Kraliens, we transitioned to Sector 13 to dock at CP27X, where we delivered our prisoners into custody.
We had a short time to set the ship to rights before our next mission in the Arietis System, where the Kraliens were conducting an intrusion heading for DS52 – which is where one of the Artefacts is being held. The second Artefact, Computer. I know, we need to number them, otherwise it’s difficult to keep them straight. It’s difficult to keep anything much straight where Artefacts are in range, dammit. But ONI suspects that the Artefact itself might have triggered the Kralien raid, and that it might be some kind of psychic interface, which would explain why the Kraliens call it the Oracle.
To make things more worrying, the Kraliens were working in concert with Caltrons, rather than attacking each other. Not the kind of development we want to see. I know the Kraliens want that Artefact, but why would the Caltrons go along with that? But then, we don’t know why the Caltrons do anything. Given that the Caltrons are about as mind-bogglingly ancient as the Artefacts, and the Kraliens think of one of the Artefacts as the Oracle from their gods, perhaps the Caltrons are like biotech angels from the Precursors…
Well, I don’t really understand how religion works either, Computer, it makes no sense. But it does provide sentient beings with useful swearwords. Oh, yes, for some reason, in my dreams I swear by saying “Hell’s bells”… Ironic, really.
Anyway, the Artefact was on a transport ship, but her helm systems were disrupted, so while we kept the Kraliens and Caltrons busy we also had to fix her Helm systems. We sent out Proteus again with some technicians to run diagnostics, and they managed to reboot the systems, and also to boost the containment systems on the Artefact – for which my head was very grateful.
We returned through Atlantis Gate, speculated about Kraliens and Caltrons, and are waiting for illumination by ONI. And better painkillers.
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