25/08/2017 at 22:04 #26274Adele MundyParticipant
Personal Log, Lt.Sr. Adele Mundy, TSN Sabre, 2nd Flt., 4th Lt. Div.
“What’s your favourite blend of coffee?”
What kind of a question is that, Computer? In the context of a security interview by ONI, I mean, not in the context of a group of friends reaching the end of dinner. It is, of course, Sumatra, dark roast, (Italian, not French), if such a thing is available on station; which it isn’t, normally, unless one of Earth Company’s ships has stopped by recently and made a special delivery to Matsiyan. But one would not consider it a matter of security concern.
I am concerned that they might not think me fit for duty, despite Medical staff certifying that I am. They did ask about the Void-damned headaches, and of course I had to tell them the truth. The truth is that scans and exams and blood tests and resonances and such show that I am quite fine and should have no headaches. The truth is also that I did have them, and they were quite debilitating for several shifts. The truth is they’re asking about the psi-link, which is what I had been dreading from the very start of it. It had to come to the attention of The Powers That Be, eventually. Dammit. If only it were actually useful, rather than a distraction.
Meanwhile, in the universe outside my head…
The Hjorden registered official complaints about our unauthorised “search and seizure” operation last shift. Sigh. The Zolmari agent we rescued in the aforementioned operation told our intel people that the Kraliens are on the move because they’ve been receiving messages from their gods about lost treasures; this has been interpreted to mean the Artefacts, you know, Computer, the ones that were being shipped away from our station last shift. And it seems, according to the same agent, that the Kraliens are close to finding another treasure/Artefact. Oh joy. To make life even more entertaining, it seems that Unukalhai activity is also higher than normal, and that there’s been unrest and discontent among our civilian population, to the point that some people have been expressing support for the Unuk positions.
I ask myself how that can happen, and then I look at the news reports, and then I shut them off and wish for Hjocoa. Dammit. How can people support divisive hate-mongering… but then, we’ve been asking ourselves that question for hundreds of years.
Division announcements, let’s get back to nice, safe routine: the crews of Raven and Phoenix were awarded Purple Hearts – some of them posthumous; Horizon’s crew was awarded a Meritorious Commendation for providing assistance to Viper during action against the pirates. And, ominously, we were told not to be alarmed by the presence of some extra ONI personnel on the station. This, of course, is the best way to alarm everyone present. And they were the ones who wanted to interview me; but they interviewed Matsiyan first, just so it would be obvious what the interview was about.
We started the shift with sims, especially necessary due to the presence of new cadets. One of them was on Sabre, on my, umm, I mean, on the Science console. So quiet, dammit, I had to resort to my secondary screen to peek at the info. It’s not as if I could read the cadet’s mind, after all. Still, having to deal just with Comms meant I had more time to hail the friendly ships, babysit them through navigation, and make threatening noises at the enemies until they surrendered, which is always satisfying.
The second sim gave us plenty to think about, though, because it was a Deep Strike, and we had to watch our energy consumption. Not only that, but DamCon team casualties became a pressing issue: when there’s no way to replace casualties, it becomes imperative to mollycoddle the repair techs you have aboard… to the point of putting them in some padded hidey-hole on board, and only letting them out to repair damage once we were out of combat.
For our first mission, the Division split into two groups: Lancer and Horizon went to escort the Ambassador to the Hjorden, providing security during the diplomatic talks aimed at soothing ruffled feathers. Yes, Computer, I do know the Hjorden don’t have feathers. We went over this last shift, remember?
Meanwhile, Viper and Sabre were to remain at Promethean Command and take part in live exercises in the immediate vicinity. That sounded pretty boring, but the exercises were interrupted by a Kralien raid, as they tried to boarded the station to rescue their oracle/priest/seer. That was the “person of interest” that the Zolmari agent brought along last shift, when we extracted them both out of the Hjorden System. Somehow, the Kraliens found out we were holding their oracle/priest/seer on Promethean Command — that in itself is a serious security breach. Add to that the fact that they managed to get onto the station undetected. We didn’t find out until afterwards that they came aboard the station from an innocent-seeming freighter. I still would like to know how they got past the station security systems, there are cameras and scanners everywhere. Somebody postulated that if the Artefact we just shipped out is a long distance comms device, it could have been sending information itself, first to the Kralien seer, and then perhaps amplifying the seer’s communications.
I’d like to add a multitude of question marks to that sentence. I find the whole train of thought unsettling. A sentient machine? That wants to be rescued? Psychic Kralien seers who can communicate with and through the sentient machine? Dammit, I don’t like that one bit, and the mere thought is giving me a headache again. Computer, pause while I take some painkillers.
We gave chase, fought the escaping Kralien ships, and recovered the Oracle/seer. Viper found a black box and managed to download its information on current Kralien action. Oh, and before it escapes my mind, we were boarded. Our marines handled it, but dammit, the boarding parties managed to get aboard despite our shields being up.
In the diplomatic mission, Lancer and Horizon had their own boarders to repel, then they had pirates to fight off, then Unukalhai forces. And it all raises questions: were there turncoats? How did they get the intel they needed? From the logs our ships managed to recover, it appears that the Unukalhai were there to engage the diplomatic convoy: it was no chance encounter, it was a premeditated saboteur presence. So, again, how did they get the intel?
“Have you ever experienced a psychic link with anyone other than Lt. Cmdr. Matsiyan?” It’s a reasonable question to ask. It keeps coming back to me, though. I answered,
“Not that I know of.” And that’s a strange answer. Why didn’t I just say “No”? It’s true. I haven’t. I would know if I had. Wouldn’t I?
We caught up on the news between missions, and dammit, the Artefacts came up again. Some astrophysicist enthusiastically postulating that the Artefacts may give us a greater understanding of the ancient tech the Kraliens’ “gods” used. And news about the Zolmari. And Radio Free Humanity interrupting again, to make it look as if the Division’s actions in Hjorden space last shift were a move against aliens. They even dragged in a reference to the time we went rogue so we could rescue the Fleet Captain when he got kidnapped on the way to his trial, after the Schrodinger Incident. Well, dammit. That involved our first interaction with an Artefact…
That was when the unfamiliar ONI operatives came and asked to interview Matsiyan. And interestingly enough, I didn’t hear their questions, or his answers. There was a wall. Just an endless stone wall.
Then off we went, through Cerberus to Hjorden towards the Arrin Gate, following info that pirates are somehow involved with a USF installation in the border system, perhaps a shipyard. The possibility of an alliance, even an alliance driven by self-interest, between pirates and USF is unsettling. It would make sense for the pirates to indulge in their customary looting, and then sell their loot to the USF, providing them with resources they need and can’t obtain elsewhere. So, we went to find out if this was indeed happening.
We found Unuk forces in Arrin 2. And, because of a crew reshuffle on the bridge, I was on the Weapons console, dammit. I was slow. I was clumsy. Was I being deliberately slow and clumsy? I don’t think so. But I’ve had nightmares about it since, unloading one type of ordnance to load another, and watching the torpedo tube progress bar creep so very slowly. And a five-year old Little Horror shouting at me, “Stop it! Stop it! That’s mine!”
It was a large Unuk force, and a heavy fight. A few of their ships surrendered, we took the crews prisoner, and scuttled the ships.
No, he wasn’t among the prisoners. Dammit.
Eventually, we found a large pirate base in Arrin Sector 4, large enough that it took concerted nuke strikes from the Division to demolish it. Again, there were large numbers of Unuk ships, their big ships, too, with those damn shields that can take a hammering and then some. We used everything we had, all our heavy ordnance, all our mines. All the torpedoes we hadn’t fired went to energy. I kept wanting to tell Comms to make them surrender… but it wasn’t my job at that time, and besides, why would they surrender? They outnumbered and outgunned us. In the end, we had to withdraw back to the safety of the Hjorden System.
But we did destroy that base. So there.
And in the Hjorden System, we were called to defend some bases from a raiding party of Kraliens. Nothing too big, and we dealt with them easily, but given the way the Kraliens have been stirring lately one is led to wonder whether they were just testing Hjorden defences, and what they might be after. Where exactly are the Artefacts hidden now?
Then the ONI operatives came to interview me. Headaches. Psy-link. Coffee.
Do I know something I don’t know?26/08/2017 at 18:32 #26294DraecoParticipant
//read and enjoyed.
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