09/12/2017 at 16:06 #31299Adele MundyParticipant
Personal Log, Lt.Sr. Adele Mundy, TSN Sabre, 2nd Flt., 4th Lt. Div.
Burning the midnight oil again – that’s a figure of speech, Computer, there is nothing actually burning, do NOT set off the fire suppression system if you please! I forget sometimes how much of a machine you still are…
As I was saying, late shifts, and an increased amount of administrative housekeeping, and, well, not enough sleep, what with the Caltron headaches and the weird dreams. I can’t shake the feeling that something is about to happen, and that it involves Praetoria. Which is absurd, because Praetoria was a self-important little high-tech dictatorship on the far side of the Rogue Isles, and it was destroyed as thoroughly as the rest of Paragon. Dammit. Dreams, Computer, have nothing to do with any reality outside the dreamer’s own subconscious. And I’m not going to MedBay to talk about why my dream-brother is running through the service tunnels under Praetoria, fighting rogue bots and monstrously mutated humans. The psychiatrists would have a field day, and how would that look on my files? Don’t answer that, Computer.
So, admin news: Cdt. Ben Thomas passed his exam with a silver pin, and was promoted to Acting Ensign. And there were discussions among the Senior Officers which I was not privy to, except that I heard Matsiyan’s side of them, and it was both fascinating and somewhat daunting. Well, best to wait for the official decisions.
We ran four ships in the first sim: Sabre, Viper, Horizon, and Excalibur; and because we were running four ships, we were short of bridge officers, so on Excalibur we had Graybeard keeping us in one piece in Engineering, Nhaima on Weapons, the new Act.Ens. Ben on Helm, while I took Command, Science, and Comms. Which means I have precious little detail of what happened, because I was kept damn busy. But my crew worked well together, we followed our orders, disposed of simulated enemies, and didn’t take too much damage, so I call that a good warm-up.
We took just Sabre, Horizon, and Viper out on our mission, so I was back on Sabre’s bridge as Cmdr. Aramond’s XO, with Quinn on Helm, Agoom on Weapons, Ironclad in Engineering, and Xansta on Science, and ready to jump into the shuttle if needed. I took Comms, with a secondary Science console in case Xansta had to pilot the shuttle. Cmdr. Matsiyan was in command of Viper, Cmdr. Hall in command of Horizon.
We set out for Volantis System, where last shift, while I was on shore leave, the Division had found a fourth Artefact and recovered it from a Kralien religious institution (though I suspect the Kraliens would say we stole it.) If Kralien religious history is accurate (and religious histories have a tendency to slide over into myth, and blur fact with faith, and time with dream), that monastery/temple has had the Artefact in its keeping for millennia… no wonder the Kraliens were stirred up.
The fact that the Division also destroyed several Kralien bases can’t have made them happy either, so now there were large Kralien forces in Volantis Systems, come to see us about it. And we had to be careful of how we dealt with them, in case some of them decided to declare for the Zolmari – which a few did, much to Aramond’s annoyance. Blowing Kralien ships out of the black is much easier than messing around with surrender declarations, shuttle flights, personnel transfers, and all that, but we sent out Xansta on Proteus. Viper did the same with her shuttle, as another ship declared for the Zolmari.
We also had a TSN scout ship to defend, as it wended its way across the sector, just to keep us busier.
Then, in Volantis 3, we were rather shocked to find a cloaked Torgoth ship… at least, that was our initial assumption as it appeared out of nowhere, but I think it was actually the fact that our sensors were severely limited at first. Large enemy fleets were attacking the minefields around our stations, but once we had taken some of the pressure off the stations, they were able to restore power to the sensor net, and our own range improved significantly. This was fortunate, as several pirates attacked, closely followed by a splitting headache, I mean, by Caltrons emerging from one of their damned portable singularities. The one saving grace was that this time, the Caltrons and Kraliens attacked each other, so on the principle that the enemy of our enemy isn’t exactly our friend but they’ll do while they’re useful, we concentrated on the Caltrons to stop them grouping up; we mopped up the Kraliens afterwards.
We were moving on to Volantis Sector 4, when we received a comms message that the Kraliens were on their way through the Promethean Gate. We raced back to the gate, avoiding hostiles on the way, fighting our way through, and dashing on to Promethean Command, where the Kralien fleets were massing around the minefields and attempting to fly past the weapons platforms.
I don’t think it was a coincidence that the last artefact the Division recovered (or stole) had been handed over to Section Blue, and was on Promethean Command Station at the time of the attack. I don’t know how the Kraliens knew it, but they knew it, I’m sure. Perhaps our security isn’t as secure as it would like to be. Defending Command was hectic and desperate; made worse by a few asteroids that came hurtling through the sector, too fast for torpedoes to catch them, and entirely impartial in their potential for destruction. Some pirates joined in the fun too, and by the time we had cleared the sector of danger, we were all ready for some R&R.
But no. There was news of increased raids on commerce in Arietis System, with rumours that the pirates might be planning something major, and even unconfirmed reports of TSN and ISS ships going renegade. Our orders were to patrol the system, deal with the pirate threat, identify any renegade ships, board them and arrest their COs.
Once more, we took Sabre, Viper, and Horizon; with the only crew change on board Sabre being Lt. Turnez on Weapons instead of Agoom. We patrolled the system sector by sector, finding pirates in several. In Sector 3, one Terran Leviathan read as hostile, but surrendered after light damage. We speculated it might have been taken over by pirates, and deployed a detachment of marines on our shuttle to secure it. Something similar happened in Sector 5; and again in Sector 4, when a Terran ship turned hostile, then surrendered, but exploded before we could launch our shuttle. It seemed that the pirate crew who had taken her over decided to destroy her rather than give themselves up. Fortunately, most of the crew were able to escape in the ship’s life pods, and our shuttles picked them up and delivered them safely aboard. The crew members were taken to Med Bay, and from the medical reports I’ve seen, there were few serious injuries, and the patients are recovering well.
We kept finding pirates here and there all the way back into Sector 1, but they were much sorrier to be found than we were to find them. Compared to defending Promethean Command, it was a calm mission, with time to coordinate action between ships, and even exchange the occasional word that wasn’t strictly relating to our post.
We switched bridge stations for our concluding sim exercise, giving Xansta Command while Quinn took Engineering, Jafar took Science and Comms, Turnez took Helm, and I took Weapons, while Aramond observed. It was a brief exercise, as Health and Safety regulations impose a cap on the amount of time that may be served on one shift outside a war zone.
After the final debrief, the Fleet Captain announced Maxwell’s promotion to Ensign, and we were dismissed.
Except that Aramond and the Fleet Captain requested my presence in Briefing Room Two. Cmdr. Hall and the Section Blue operative, Frederick Autumn, put in a brief appearance, but the Fleet Captain decided their presence was unnecessary. I’ve been thinking about that discussion whenever I’ve had a moment’s leisure. Matsiyan’s remarks keep coming back to me; and one of those sayings from old Earth: with great power comes great responsibility.
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