19/07/2016 at 21:29 #14014
Log Mundy 16716-2237
Personal Log, Lt.Sr. Mundy, TSN Horizon, 2nd Flt. 4th Lt.Div.
Week three as Duty Officer, and an unusual influx of brand new cadets, made for a fair bit of running around organising sim suites. The thing with the cadets at the moment is that we don’t know if they’re assigned to us permanently, or simply stopping at the station on their way to somewhere else. The war is still sending ships and troops in disparate directions, and Volantis Station is one of the staging posts for the sector, so we are seeing new faces, incorporating their owners into our exercises and even missions, without knowing whether they’ll still be here the following shift. It’s a way to learn flexibility for those who remain, and have to learn to adjust to new crew mates every time; and perhaps it’s enlightening for those who leave, too.
Meanwhile, one of our own former cadets, who has been a regular on Viper, was promoted to full Ensign. Congratulations to Timonix, but celebrations will have to be postponed until we are back on station.
As part of the continuing war effort, our ships were upgraded; this was, as always, a mixed blessing. Lancer now has one torpedo tube (and Matsiyan was recalculating the power distribution in his head the moment he heard about it) and Horizon has three: must be a good thing, right? But it took repeated simulation exercises to discover what glitches the new systems were causing, and the number of crashes we experienced (systems crashes, not Helm driving into things, I hasten to add) was not encouraging.
Possibly the worst idea ever was having a sim suite (set up as Hunter) crewed by station personnel, with one single comms link to Lt. Cmdr. van Leigh as their captain. There was no other possible arrangement because of practical constraints, and we all had our doubts about it: it would take an experienced crew, used to working together, to make that kind of arrangement viable, and this group was apparently neither. I suspect they might be heading out into the black, never to be seen again. I also suspect van Leigh is happy with this idea.
After the Hunter suite was taken out of the simulation network, van Leigh came to join us on Horizon, where I was still stumbling my way through command. He remained in an advisory capacity, and I found his advice necessary during the exercise, and his constructive criticism helpful in the debrief.
I have to mention Ens. Slate, whose mastery of Comms is a delight to behold. Surely, she’s going to be promoted any day now. (No, Computer, I am not calling you Shirley.) Graybeard was on Helm, and though his primary expertise is Engineering (we had Cadet Luthe, a newcomer, on Engineering, and he performed quite well) Graybeard did a particularly lovely job of reversing away from a small fleet at just the right speed to keep us in range of our beams and out of theirs, so that we could work our way through the ships that were following us, one at a time, with no damage to us. Cadet Caval on Weapons had a little trouble with targeting at the beginning (but then, how many of us can swear that they have never fired a torpedo while the sights weren’t set?); though it could also have been one of the many gremlins that were haunting us. The real problem, though, should have been picked up by Medical, or I should have become aware of it sooner, dammit: Caval had difficulty differentiating red and yellow on the screen, and while Slate was demanding and obtaining surrenders at her usual rate, he had trouble seeing which ships had surrendered so that he could switch target to the nearest hostile. Note to self: let future Duty Officers know that, should Cdt. Caval remain on station and take part in future action, he should not be assigned to a station where the red/yellow perception is crucial to the job. So no Tactical, and no Science post.
Later, the briefing detailed our mission: to proceed to Volantis sector 8, then sector 4, clearing them of hostile forces all the way to Sierra Gate; once that was done, our orders were to return to sector 7, meet an engineering fleet and escort it back to Sierra Gate. It would then go through the gate and start setting up forces to defend it, so we would have a new front line against the Hegemony. We were warned to expect heavy resistance.
Lt. Cmdr. Allard arrived to take command of Horizon for the mission, so van Leigh went to take command of Lancer; I took the Science console, leaving Slate to concentrate on Comms, and she continued to save us ordnance by obtaining surrenders, which was even more useful than normal, as we were away from the base and had to consider our supplies. The rest of the crew was unchanged.
And talking of ordnance, that reminds me: Horizon was supposed to have been upgraded to have three torpedo tubes. I had in fact been working on that assumption during the sims, much to my Tactical Officer’s dismay, as he was trying to work with two. Somehow, the existence of the third tube didn’t appear on his console. Damn gremlins.
We did encounter large Hegemony fleets, and they even managed to ambush us at one point, as we crossed a sector border and half of our ships ended up in the middle of enemies; but we worked our way through them, including some large transport and command ships that finally surrendered by Sierra Gate.
We collected and escorted TSN Destroyers and cargo ships from Waypoint 52 to Sierra Gate, they went through, reported the all clear. They should now be in position to start building new weapons platforms to defend the Gate, and once those are in place they’ll start building new bases to replace the ones the Hegemony destroyed.
We concluded with a live fire exercise that included a Caltron Superswarm, with shields at over 3000, which Allard decided we could tackle on our own, despite the warning that appeared on my Science console. And we lost half the ship, not surprisingly. But that’s Allard’s style. Later during that same exercise, we were hit by one of our fleet’s EMPs – I don’t recall why it was flying loose, and I don’t want to blame our cadet on Tactical without proof, but it might have been one of our own – and Allard dismissed it with “Who cares, we had no shields anyway.” Which is true, the Caltron had chewed through Horizon’s shields in no time.
I wonder if Lt.Cmdr. Aramond has the specs on this new kind of Caltron for his presentation to the bigwigs? I may be able to send the data to him, if he needs it.
And at some point, I think it was while we were escorting the engineering ships, and all was quiet, Allard ordered Comms to send Lancer the message “Die!” Van Leigh was not amused. Or maybe he was… There was some banter between the two of them, hinting at the possibility of a duel. With sabres, no less. And Matsiyan, who knows from our Academy days that sabre is my favourite (well, The Little Horror could beat me at epee, but I could beat him in a sabre match…) was suggesting they should choose seconds. I think they were all joking. Nothing’s been said since. Dammit, I’m so out of practice. I wonder if there’s any way to set up the gym on the station with a fencing program?
The situation at the end of this shift is: the 4th Lt. is holding outside Sierra Gate, to make sure no Hegemony forces try to jump through and attack our engineering ships and the new platforms they’re building. Horizon and Viper are on QRF, rotating crews so that we’re ready to respond to any threat, so we’re somewhat restricted in what is available to us in off duty hours, even if there were a bar to go to.
Lt.Cmdr. van Leigh invited officers to dinner on Lancer – a friendly and hospitable idea, which Matsiyan managed to make terribly Napoleonic by having Polano and crew temporarily dismantle some of the bulkheads so there’d be more room in the captain’s day cabin. I thought it best not to leave my post, being on QRF, so I just linked in over ship’s comms. The food looked so good, dammit…
One strange thing, though: Matsiyan spent a considerable amount of time concentrating his thoughts on elephants. I don’t understand why. He was focusing so hard, his thoughts were much louder than they usually are. Normally over this rather temperamental psi-link I simply get flashes of sensory spill-over, mostly visual (and coffee. I always know when Matsiyan is drinking coffee), and if I’m concentrating on something myself I lose that completely. This time, I was off duty, with nothing much to do but make small talk over comms, and this juggernaut of an elephant image was standing right there like a bulwark. It’s odd. I’ll ask him about it when he has a moment.
Computer, end log.20/07/2016 at 00:28 #14033AramondParticipant
//That’s actually a really good explanation for why we gain and lose cadets all the time: they’re constantly transferred between divisions as part of a on-hands education program that’s mandatory for promotion.20/07/2016 at 06:07 #14051
No-Prize for Aramond!20/07/2016 at 06:52 #14058Blaze StrifeParticipant
//You had a colorblind person on-board? That’s interesting. Never thought about the inconveniences they experience in the games.
But, yeah, the cadet explanation makes a lot of sense. Maybe these that stick around are the ones who requested to be posted with us? Maybe the cadets are offered a choice in these matters. You could choose to serve somewhere on the front lines and risk death, but have a greater chance at promotion, or choose to serve at a station, minimizing the risk and the reward.20/07/2016 at 17:23 #14107
//Not the full colour blindness we normally think of, but yes, on the red-to-yellow scale he had trouble. He said it seemed worse on the monitor, so I don’t know how the screen affected it. It does make you think, so many computer games depend on colour effects to distinguish buffs and debuffs, what kind of potion, etc. In fact, I can’t think of one that doesn’t.20/07/2016 at 17:29 #14109
//Oh, and I like your development of the cadet idea, too. If the people who stay on and continue playing have made an in-character decision to join the 4th Lt.Div., that’s more significant than being randomly posted here. And it gives all of us a motivation in common, because we all made the same decision. And it provides more RP material, because we can go back and establish what the motivation for that decision was: people come to the same conclusion for many different reasons.21/07/2016 at 03:42 #14125Matthew VajParticipant
// Vaj would definitely join you at fencing, although he didn’t have too much formal training. But they say teaching something is the best way to get better at it, so Mundy would benefit as well.21/07/2016 at 05:38 #14129
//That would be interesting. I’m imagining she was involved in the university fencing team in Paragon, and then in the Academy.
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