09/01/2016 at 16:30 #3391Adele MundyParticipant
Personal Log, Lt.Jr. Adele Mundy, TSN Hawk, 4LD
A new duty shift, and a different feel in the atmosphere – not the literal atmosphere, that’s just the normal recycled stuff – as the senior officers recommended that crews be shuffled to make sure that everyone becomes familiar with different ships and different crewmates. A perfectly reasonable suggestion, but there were audible mumbles and grumbles – or was I just picking them up? I don’t think I’ve been hearing anyone other than Matsyian, but in a crowded briefing room sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether I’m hearing something or “hearing” it. I know that being back on Hawk after my last shift on Phoenix felt comfortable and cheerful, which is probably proof that we would benefit from being moved around a bit – dammit.
Funnily enough, after all that talk of moving crews around, we ended up with the Hawk regulars: Lt. Cmdr. Allard in command, Lt. Hall, as XO, on Helm, Lt. Jr. Finley on Weapons, Lt. Jr. Greybeard down in Engineering. The sims went pretty well, there was one remark about better ordnance management, and I know I started to give one wrong bearing because I was watching Lancer’s position at the time, but I corrected it fast enough that Helm had barely started turning. Still, I shouldn’t let the mind-chatter distract me like that.
The same crew went on to the mission, on patrol in Cronus System Sectors 1-8, with the instructions to eliminate all resistance. The early encounters with pirates were minor, and they were soon despatched. Lancer and Hydra formed a battle group to explore the main nebula, Phoenix and Hawk were to act as support. Further into the sector we faced much larger fleets, and the action became intense, with orders coming fast, and counter-orders, at times, almost as fast.
We encountered two Unukalhai Nightmare class vessels – first time I’d seen them outside the Academy training and history classes. I can see why they get the name, it took concerted action from all four of our ships to take them down. I didn’t have time to reflect on what it means to fight other humans (and I barely had time to flinch at the possibility, however remote, of one human in particular being on board) as opposed to Kraliens or Torgoths (let alone Caltrons, we don’t even know if those things are organic yet), as we were still reeling from the Nightmares when we came across an Arvonian fleet with a Command Ship, and orders were to engage it.
Comms was chaos, orders and counter-orders, multiple captains’ voices as I gave Helm changes in bearing and Weapons changes in shield frequencies to keep up with the new targets. At the same time, there was damage on Lancer as drones got past their shields, and I could hear Matsyian swearing as his damage crews took casualties.
I heard an order for Charlie 1, and I know we were primed for Omega 1, so Weapons started to unload. We were following close on Hydra – then Hydra went through the enemy fleet and dropped four mines. We couldn’t steer away in time, they were directly in our path. The first two mines took down our shields, the third one damaged us so severely we sounded the Abandon Ship signal and scrambled to the life pods. The fourth mine took Hawk out, as we floated in our little steel eggshells and watched the battle around us. I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s claustrophobia or agoraphobia when you’re out there in the black in what might end up being your coffin, and there’s no end to the not-falling you might do.
They picked us up after the Arvonian Command ship went down – I wouldn’t be writing this log otherwise, would I? We had our obligatory check-ups in med bay – yes, doctor, no, doctor, three bags full, doctor, PTSD? whatever do you mean by that, doctor? – and we were back on Hawk, which by some miracle had not been completely destroyed.
Mind you, there was a powerful and all-pervading smell of burning on board, Engineering was jury-rigging everything so it would hold together, the warp drive was limping along… and when, after mopping up the remaining Arvonians was done, and we got back to base, Capt. Evans came aboard for the debrief and to take charge, and almost the first thing he said was: “My chair! What happened to my chair!?” Admittedly, the captain’s chair is rather charred… I had no idea he was that attached to it, but it seems that since Hawk was his first command, that had been the chair he’d sat in as captain from the first day. And there was poor Greybeard still trying to make sure we had power in all the systems that actually kept the ship going…
The sims that followed, with Capt. Evans in command, were a good morale booster, hectic and intense, pushing us to deal with large enemy fleets whose speed had been increased. Lancer and Phoenix came to help us out a couple of times, so there were promises of beers for them once we got back to the Mess Room. I also heard pointed remarks that there’d be no beers for Hydra‘s crew. And remarks, when the exercise was over and we were debriefing, that not getting blown up by Hydra was good, and it would be better if it happened in real life too. And muttered little calls of “Hail Hydra” as elbows were bumped at the bar. I don’t know if it’s too much to say that the bridge crew are harbouring some resentment, but they’re definitely not going to forget this one in a hurry.
There were general fleet announcements, reiterating that commanding officers are wanting to rotate crews and anyone wishing for reassignment is to fill out the crew assignment forms. Somehow I can’t see anyone from Hawk wanting to go to Hydra… But I’m wondering if Matsiyan might apply for a new berth. I know he thinks Lancer is so energy efficient that as an engineer it’s not much of a challenge, and it sounded like he had fun trying out his hand at the helm on Phoenix in the last exercise. He’s getting a little restless, and perhaps a little jealous… Not that he has anything to be jealous about, I’m barely catching up with him (oh, yes, admin note: I got promoted to Lt. Jr. after the duty shift).
More serious remarks at the debrief mentioned the Unukalhai faction – ominous, it seems to me, that after encountering two ships, however impressive, we have to be on high alert. I had no need of my Academy notes to refresh my memory of events at the time of the Unukalhai Uprising, the bombardments, the faction’s escape on the colony ship Concord, with several ships and designs. It was all over 23 years ago, supposedly, but there have been rumours in the past ten years or so that they’re out there somewhere, and recruiting spies on human colony worlds. The Little Horror would never be suitable spy material, and I console myself with the thought that whatever strategic knowledge a Liutenant had in 2235 must be useless by now. I suppose the recent hostilities with alien races must have helped the recruiting, it’s easier to hate non-humans when they’re actively trying to conquer sectors we consider ours. I had missed the fact that the theft of those mines from the Promethean Border Region last year was attributed to the Unukalhai (note to self: even my knowledge of 20th Century Terran Literature does not justify me thinking of them as Uruk-hai. Stop trying to write that, it’s unprofessional. It’s a typical trick of the subconscious to dehumanise the enemy, doubly inappropriate.) It’s still an unconfirmed rumour, but there are quite a few rumours circulating now, if you start paying attention.
Some of the rumours say the Unukalhai have been supporting the pirates, providing them with ships and safe harbours – and that would explain why there have been so many pirate attacks lately, and how the pirates are getting hold of tech like those damn shield draining and tractor beams. And there are rumours that the Unukalhai have been stirring up trouble between the alien races, to keep them at each other’s throat and weaken them, which is quite cunning, and entirely unethical. I don’t suppose being ethical towards non-humans is a high priority when you’re a human supremacist.
The upshot of all this was, we are to be on the look-out for any suspicious activity, as there may be traitors even in the TSN, and they could be planning underhand attacks. So that’s a cheerful note. I’m sure we’ll all sleep much better if we check for Unukalhai spies under our bunks. Capt. Evans mentioned that a Security Manager will be elected (or appointed?) to coordinate the search for spies, that will do wonders for morale, too. Is my cynicism showing? Of course TSN Naval Security will be trying to find out where the
Uruk-haiUnukalhai come from, so we can go and stop them as they try to move in. There are rumours (I’m beginning to be tired of this phrase, and we’ve only just started) they may have a base near the Poseidon Rifts. I’ve heard about them, hazardous navigation area, the kind of place you don’t want to have trainee pilots at the helm.
And all of that leads me to thinking that there are going to be dangerous missions ahead, and that there are job openings, and one of them is for an Ancillary Craft Officer:
“Ancillary Craft Officer (Life Pods, Shuttle Craft, Captain’s Gig)
Responsible for the Landing Bay and equipment as well as the ship’s Tractor Beam, ensures that Life Pods are correctly stocked and that Shuttle craft are fuelled and maintained properly)”
And that if I’m going to find myself scrambling for a life pod again, it might be a good thing if it was a life pod I was sure had been stocked, installed and maintained correctly… So, time to fill out that damn application form.
31/01/2016 at 19:09 #4313Adele MundyParticipant
- This topic was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by Adele Mundy. Reason: Ret-con
//OOC game: spot the Earth cultural references in Mundy’s log.
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