23/02/2016 at 23:21 #5399
Personal Log, Lt.Jr. Adele Mundy, TSN Hawk, 2nd Flt. 4LD
I don’t know what criteria The Powers That Be use to select people for their jaunts, but when people with lots of stars on their chest say “Jump!”, the officially approved response is, “How high, sir?” So, without a great deal of notice, Matsiyan and I found ourselves in a little blue shuttle, TSN Serenity, heading towards the site of an officers’ conference.
You could tell what kind of place it was by the amount of non-metallic substances in plain view: stone tiled floors, concrete pillars, and wooden conference tables do an excellent job of broadcasting to all those present just how expensive it was to transport them; and it was easy to deduce the importance of the officers we were meeting, by the ease with which they commandeered a conference room and subsequently, time on the simulator.
Admiral Patti Substelny is retired from active duty and was initially reticent about taking command, claiming she has been flying an Admin station for too long; but, knowing about the legendary Armada she commanded in past action, there was simply no way anyone else in the room would give her orders, so she took Command. Her husband Mike Substelny, one of the foremost historians of the TSN, took Comms. We had two Cadets on the exercise, and they went to their primary expertise stations, Engineering and Weapons, so I took Science and Matsiyan took Helm.
The exercise was intended to demonstrate the latest tech upgrades (yes, Computer, those upgrades you’ve been so uncooperative with. Need I remind you that an axe is standard fire-fighting equipment? I have one right here, as I’m currently on call as DamCon…), and after a few equipment snags it went smoothly enough. From the point of view of Science console, I was stunned to see the information about space creatures whose existence until now had been merely rumours and gossip, as the common names themselves attest: Dragons, Sharks, Piranhas… The xeno-biologists are going to be happy as space clams (whose existence is still merely rumour and gossip).
When the simulation concluded, the Admiral and her husband were kind enough to invite the four of us to dinner, so we heard stories about the Armada, and the last diplomatic encounters with Arvonians and Ximni. According to Mr. Substelny, Arvonians are terribly fashion-conscious, by which he means that they use the mimetic pigmentation in their skin to produce patterns that vary in colour and intricacy according to whatever is in vogue on the home planet; while he said the easiest way to describe the Ximni is as post-apocalyptic biker gangs… I wonder if they have a thing about chrome; and if we could get the xeno-linguists to add a Ximni-specific taunt that nobody will witness them, and they will never get to Valhalla.
A wholly different setting for the second series of exercises: basic barracks environment, basic equipment, much prone to cutting out at crucial moments, wires everywhere in an arrangement that gave Matsiyan uneasy dreams for days (I should know, I was waking up with a sense that I absolutely had to call Maintenance to check some non-existent connection), and an informal, cheerful atmosphere, full of cadets, some of whom had never set their hands on simulator controls before.
I was enthusiastically welcomed, ushered onto one simulator bridge, and in command of five cadets the minute I arrived, and as they glanced up from their consoles with that part-trusting, part-defiant, part-panicked look in their eyes, I knew it was up to me to convey what a real action is like. I did my best to sound calm while station consoles went black, came back online, went offline again in the middle of engagements; to explain to the cadet at Science that he should be doing secondary scans rather than looking bored, while also being aware of what bearings Helm needed, and giving Comms the codes for enemy ships to be taunted, or invited to surrender; to point out to Weapons that mines are almost as deadly as nukes; and to help Helm and Weapons coordinate a mine drop through an enemy fleet to show them what I meant. I had the most difficulty explaining to Engineering how to keep systems from overheating, because that would have taken more leisure than we had, and more expertise on my part.
By the end of the simulation, the cadets were quite elated with the result, while I was looking at the long range scan of all the enemy ships we hadn’t dealt with yet…
A new set of cadets stepped up, boasting and swaggering, for the next exercise with another officer in command. Leaving the bridge to her, I went to watch the concluding moments of another sim in a second rig.
Then Matsiyan arrived, and after a quick crew reshuffle to give different cadets a chance to take part, he took Command of the second rig. I settled at the Science console next to a cadet on Comms who had never stepped onto a sim bridge before. I spent half my time coaching her through the basics of communicating to bases, friendly ships and enemies, and by the later part of the sim she was beginning to understand her way round the console. The cadets on Helm and Weapons grasped the concept of Echo runs quickly after Matsiyan explained it, and appeared to enjoy carrying it out. We concluded the exercise quite successfully – I think the cadets were impressed by the count of enemy ships destroyed. They need to learn that losing a base is a rather serious event, but it seemed churlish to point out that, had it not been an exercise, that little circle would have meant hundreds of lives, and tons of vital equipment and supplies that we rely on for survival. Let’s leave them elated and encouraged for now. If they make it through the full Academy training, they’ll have time to learn the hard lessons too.
//OOC game continues: spot the Earth culture references in Mundy’s log to win a shiny No-Prize.
24/02/2016 at 00:28 #5402Lewis RemmickParticipant
- This topic was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Adele Mundy. Reason: Tidying
I counted “Angel,” “Firefly,” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” in the references this time.24/02/2016 at 02:27 #5404AramondParticipant
The Ximni will ride there shiny and chrome!24/02/2016 at 05:51 #5407
Remmick keeps collecting No-Prizes…24/02/2016 at 07:20 #5409Blaze StrifeParticipant
//I guess those were non-TSN sessions? That’s an interesting thought to write about. I keep thinking that writing about the mission itself is more like a repport, than a personal log, and I’d rather focus on character development.24/02/2016 at 20:59 #5427
//@Blaze, yes, those sessions took place last Monday and Wednesday respectively.
On Monday we met up with Mike and Patty Substelny, who were in Phoenix for a business convention. They are friends with the designer of Artemis, and they take part in the Armada Artemis convention every year in Cleveland. Patty was the Admiral in charge of the TSN crews last year, Mike set up the Con-wide LARP. They will be doing something similar at this year’s Armada. The results of the LARP become part of official TSN canon.
On Wednesday we went to a pub that does different game nights; a guy we had met playing Artemis at Phoenix ComiCon last year had set up two bridges for an Artemis game night, quite a few people turned up to play and we tried to encourage them to find out more about this community. Perhaps after Matsuri some might come to our house on a Saturday to try out a TSN shift.
And in case anyone was wondering, we own a blue Toyota Yaris with a Serenity decal on the back, hence the shuttle’s name 🙂24/02/2016 at 21:11 #5429Blaze StrifeParticipant
//Thanks for the answer.
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