08/04/2017 at 19:42 #22397
Personal Log, Lt. Sr. Adele Mundy, TSN Raven, 2nd Flt., 4th Lt. Div.
Being able to find out details of the larger picture is enlightening, and adds a sense of purpose, even if only retrospectively. We didn’t know at the time, of course.
Things started in the usual routine way, with sims while Cadets Trueman and Horsepool took their exams. Nhaima transferred to Phoenix, where she can take up a post as pilot, which is her speciality after all. It leaves us with another vacancy on Raven, but the new Acting Ensigns will be looking for permanent berths now, so we may see the posts filled.
We ran a couple of initial sims, first defending some bases against enemy fleets and some Skaraans, then a border war simulation – which was interrupted by a red alert, and we scrambled to our posts, setting out from CP27X with all speed. And Matsiyan was in CIC, first time during live action rather than a sim. That was an interesting echo-perspective.
And this is where we have our point of view, and theirs. I don’t mean the personnel on CP27X, I mean the attackers.
“Personal Log, High-Leader-of-Many-Great-Packs Gothmog Yogozuthna, Skullflattener, Blooddrinker”
“The chance-rock is in motion. Which side settles upmost is beyond my control.”
Dice? The Torgoths use dice, or dice-equivalents? Do they throw them with their proboscis? What symbols are on them? What are the rules of the games? Do the losers get eaten? Dammit, there’s a whole Encyclopedia entry right there…
“The blood-drinking is done.”
That’s a disturbing statement, for a start. Is it literal blood-drinking? Whose blood? Or is it figurative?
“All are agreed that skulking in the nebula-of-chaos can serve us no longer.”
Ok, score one for Torgoth naming. Nebula-of-chaos seems appropriate. That damn gate…
“The larder-of-corpses is almost empty.”
And another disturbing statement. Stores? Fuel? Supplies? All of the above?
“This will not be easy. The Terran tree-climbers…”
Sigh. Another alien race that decides simian ancestry is despicable. We all evolved from something, people, get used to it.
“…have spread the metal-and-lightning eyes-ears-and-noses in many sectors. But perhaps their guard is falling. They have found no more eaters-of-monkeys…”
So, that’s another disturbing turn of phrase. This Torgoth is either trying hard to be hostile, or he’s using terms that are a normal part of the language – and it’s the Torgoth language that is inherently aggressive. As a star-faring race, one does not appreciate the thought of being someone else’s prey, let alone food. And the point of view of a race that still thinks in terms of predator and prey is not what one would expect: surely that perspective ought to change, once confronted with the vastness of the galaxy, let alone all the ones that lie beyond it.
“…in the system. They are bored by the longslow-wanderers…”
ah, the N’tani… we should really be in awe of the N’tani lifespan; we should be looking at them like fantasy humans look at Elves, mysterious and wise, in their swan-ships coming across the great sea from Elvenhome – but no, we get annoyed because their (living, sentient!) ships are slow. Maybe we really are a bunch of kids bickering in the back of a sub-light shuttle. We have some growing up to do.
“…smelling the giant-rock-of-life. We may stamp-on-their-necks.”
“We will cross into the sector of their fuel-making-place as fast as we can. They will be alerted but with the interference we can smear on their senses and the advanced systems of our Skaraan dogs-for-scraps, we hope it will be too late.”
And, in fact, as we crossed into Sector 18 our sensors range was limited. I still found them, though it was difficult to pinpoint their position our my screen. Oh, I like the term “dogs-for-scraps” to mean mercenaries. Wait, do the Torgoths have dogs, or canine like creatures of some kind? Or is the translation algorithm finding the closestequivalent?
“The fastest Skaraans will race to the gate sector and attempt to hold the jump-portal until reinforcements arrive.”
They did. We detected them, and they could not hold the jump gate against us. It’s nice to know that it’s not only human plans that don’t survive contact with the enemy.
“They have copies of the warning and if they arrive but cannot hold, then one will risk the jump alone and trust to their cloaking to get it delivered. If they fail they will retreat to the fuel sector, lead the Terrans to their brethren and look for chances to sneak past.”
This, of course, we did not know. And we chased them across the sector border – I can’t recall now whether one of the Skaraans made it through the jump gate, dammit, I was busy giving beam frequencies… I need to double check the official mission logs. Ah, no, we intercepted them all before any could escape through the gate. Good.
“The remaining Skaraans will snarl at the throat of the fuel-making-place and its simian-food-beasts. When the TSN metal-hunters-of-prey enter the sector, they will surely race to save it.”
Yes, we did. I’m not sure if being so predictable is a good thing. On the other hand, we dealt with the Skaraans pretty efficiently, so…
“As soon as they are well away from the sector border, we shall break from concealment in the densest part of the nebula and race to the sector-of-the-gate.”
But we spotted them, and we caught them. Despite their high shields, we stopped enough of them that several more surrendered.
“The monkey-shells are hard, their lightning-claws-of-war are sharp and they run faster than a near-death Fledge,”
it’s so nice to be appreciated!
“but we must try to warn the Kralien priest-lords of the heretic splinter siding with the squatters.”
Aha! So the Torgoths are trying to stir up trouble among the Kraliens, and using that as an excuse to spread the fighting to us.
“That is sure to provoke more glorious warfare where otherwise they will step back from collecting their rent for several cycles and the fruit-of-killing-preparations will be less.”
I’m sure the Torgoths care not a jot for the Kralien religious tenet that the galaxy was given to the Kraliens by their gods, and that we owe however many aeons of back rent. After all, wouldn’t the Torgoths owe the Kraliens rent also? Or have they settled the account? Or do they intend to distract the Kraliens from collecting by keeping them busy fighting everyone else?
“Despite our strength and power, many of us will die and they will be especially eager to smash Neutronium-Hoof.”
Well, you got that one right, Yogozuthna. And we did a fair job with the smashing, I must say, or we wouldn’t have got your black box. Oh, dear, Computer, I’m gloating. I can only take so much posturing before posturing right back.
“Hang my bone-trophies in the hall of my fathers-and-brothers…”
Oh stars around, could you please evolve past this pathetic patriarchal attitude, you flesh-eating pachiderm? See what you’ve done now? I’m descending into racist insults, dammit.
“…and tell them I faced the final challenge with ready hooves.
Glory to the Fathers!”
So, now we know. At least some of the Kraliens seem to be being manipulated by the Torgoths – no, Computer, not Ostrogoths, this is the 23rd century, not the 6th – which shows a degree of deviousness one might not have expected. But then, predators need to be cunning. I wonder if we can turn their scheming against them, though… if the Kraliens were to find out they are being used as pawns in the Torgoth’s schemes, they might not be too pleased. Would they believe us if we told them, though? It’s in our interest to split up their alliance. Who could be a neutral emissary they would trust?
We finished off by escorting a cargo convoy from the jump gate to CP27X, despite quiet groans from some officers who had barely recovered from the escort mission last shift. And then we found out that our next mission would be to escort the N’tani to their new planet. There was muttering in the ranks. Definitely muttering.
It took a while for the N’tani to make their appearance, and when they did, they were being escorted by the Kralien Zolmar faction – the black box from Neutronium Hoof hadn’t been decoded yet, so we didn’t know the connection between the Torgoth action and this, but I can see it now.
There was some initial confusion, as incompatible systems were tweaked, and comms went back and forth to coordinate the movement. Eventually, Cdt. Horsepool, taking Comms on Raven, managed to have the N’tani fleet group around a leader and form up on us, while Viper led the Zolmar Kralien faction as a separate formation.
It was slow progress, slowed further by USF forces. Dammit. I thought our scouts had established that there was no USF presence in the sector… clearly, they didn’t contact the USF about it. What in the Void do they want here? Two USF ships were destroyed, and I’m really trying not to dwell on it, Computer. Dammit.
The formation continued on to WP1. More USF ships tried to intercept us in sector 9, and in the engagement, some were destroyed, though some surrendered. Raven mostly watched, as we stayed close to the N’tani ships, so I was scanning them, and wishing my scans could get to the personnel files. If wishes were horses, Computer, there’d be no room on board for the crew.
Once the area was cleared of hostile ships, the N’tani were able to land on the planet, and there were loud and only slightly sarcastic cheers when we were told that this time they had actually brought landing craft. They’ll start terraforming as soon as they set up their equipment – I suppose it ought to be some other planet name, but not even the Encyclopedia can provide me with the name of the N’tani’s original home. I would guess N’tan, but who knows how the word may have changed through the millennia. Does a lifespan of several Terran centuries mean that the speakers of a language are less prone to change (linguistic or otherwise), or more?
So many questions, in this log…
We expect to go back to check on the N’tani’s safety and progress the shift after next; that is, if the imminent systems update doesn’t unleash all kinds of chaos: we are due back in Promethean for a refit and upgrade, and a variety of glitches might happen as we test the new applications. Who, me, Computer? Sceptical? Not at all. I’m sure it will all go perfectly smoothly and there will be no systems crashes. None at all.
By a strange coincidence, none at all is exactly how much idea we had that as we took our places in less familiar stations for a final sim, we would be doing an escort mission. There were actual groans by the crews… But the Fleet Captain was in CIC running the sim, and he threw more than enough enemies at us to keep us on our toes.
However, Phoenix decided that the sim wasn’t exciting enough for them, and activated the self-destruct as a “mutiny against yet another escort mission”, in the (later, in the Galley) words of one of their bridge officers, who shall remain nameless. So Phoenix discovered the range of the self-destruct… and unfortunately, so did Lancer. Her crew were not pleased.
And with that thought, it’s time to go and look up some answers to my questions.
08/04/2017 at 19:57 #22399
- This topic was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Adele Mundy.
//The “Torgoth” to “Ostrogoth” was an actual autocorrect by the Google Docs spellchecker. It has been suitably chastised.
09/04/2017 at 23:38 #22432
- This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Adele Mundy.
Encyclopedia entry on Torgoth now updated. Waiting for the editorial board’s approval.
10/04/2017 at 04:02 #22448
- This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Adele Mundy.
Log Mundy, 1417-2237, supplemental.
According to the latest research, Torgoths do not use figures of speech, so the blood-drinking was literal. There are actually notes on them congealing blood into cubes they eat.
I need to adjourn to the bar for something to take the image away. Preferably not a Bloody Mary.14/04/2017 at 17:12 #22654Blaze StrifeParticipant
//I liked the analysis of the Torgoth’s log. Really cool.
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