25/04/2016 at 01:08 #7950
Personal Log, Lt. Adele Mundy, TSN Eagle, 2nd Flt. 4LD
I’m not sure why I’m inputting this log: no access to the main Computer, spotty access to the Hjorden computer system (I’m working on that, their tech is excellent, it’s a matter of compatibility), but I wouldn’t want this where there’s any chance of someone else accessing it. Which means I shouldn’t be writing it. Verba volant, scripta manent. Dammit. It helps to make sense of it all. I can scrub it afterwards.
Let’s start with the good news: Matsiyan got his promotion to Lieutenant at last. Assassino did too. Also good news: we drank that bottle of Barolo a couple of shifts ago. That means it’s no longer in my locker on station, so when Security goes through whatever possessions we all left behind, they won’t have the pleasure of checking its contents.
Bad news: everything else…
Xavier was right: there was a conspiracy. Like all the best conspiracies, it’s long, involved, and has its origins long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. There was a war between races so ancient and powerful we have no inkling of who or what they were: warlike Shadows intent on destruction and conquest, and their mysterious opponents. The Shadows built a weapon that opens gates by ripping through the fabric of space itself. They also built the Caltrons as their weapons, and would send them through the rifts to destroy any opposition. The Poseidon Rift is a result of that ancient weapon being used; and the Cosmic Icosahedron is related to the tech needed to construct that weapon.
In fact, it seems the Cosmic Icosahedron may be sentient in a way we don’t understand (possibly related to the ancient race that stopped the Shadows), and by taking over Cmdr. Expree’s mind it was trying to warn us.
Some power-hungry maniacs in the USFP decided it would be advantageous to study the Caltrons until they could be used as weapons against the Hegemony, or against anyone else the aforementioned would-be overlords took a dislike to. But since our scientists have been having trouble studying the Caltrons because we in the TSN have been too effectively dismantling them with heavy ordnance, the conspirators decided to build the Weapon that would bring the Caltrons through, presumably in the hopes of collecting fresh, slightly less damaged ones. So, last shift, when we were fleeing from the waves of destruction spreading out from the new rift, and from the Caltrons that had emerged from it, and in an attempt to lighten the mood I jokingly said that we now had a weapon that could summon Caltrons to come and kill us, I was actually stating the truth. Yay me.
The conspiracy explains why the Weapon was being guarded by private security (read: mercenaries) on the R&D ship – those Moonsec Defence Associates goons who wouldn’t let Cmdr. Jemel anywhere out of Engineering on that ship. And perhaps it explains why the life pods’ transponders weren’t functioning, and even what might have happened to the life pods that disappeared. I’m surmising they may have disappeared into some Moonsec hidden research facility. And the recent news about the trillion dollar defence contract just awarded to Moonsec does nothing to allay suspicions.
It’s on the news, too. When a rip through space brings in Caltron incursions and causes the sort of destruction that leads to shipping being suspended in the Kronos system, you can’t sweep that under the carpet. Diplomats are being summoned to Port Arthur, the USFP is being described as warmongering, the Arvonian Great Understander is condemning us for destroying Caltrons, which it sees as a form of mechanoid life… Now I miss being able to aim a snarky comment at the Computer. Dammit.
Which brings me to the Fleet Captain: Xavier was investigating all of the above, following trails of cover-ups and finding evidence to prove it. So they arrested him. Or rather, they arrested him when he ordered us to destroy the R&D ship, based on what he had found out.
We stood in the loading dock as he was being led aboard the vessel that was supposed to take him to his trial. We heard him repeat his TSN oath and place his trust in us. We saluted as he left. And then Capt. Evans gathered us together and told us what he intended to do. He aimed to misbehave. And I’m proud to say we all misbehaved right along with him.
With help from an officer I won’t name, not even in a private log I’m going to erase anyway, we took Raven, Eagle, Hunter and Dauntless, and set out. He covered our departure, and if he’s found out, and if we don’t succeed in clearing up this whole conspiracy mess, he’s going to suffer the consequences for us.
Though we had strong suspicions that Xavier’s life would be in danger, we didn’t give immediate pursuit, but headed for Volantis System. It happened before I joined, but there was a period where the USF was hijacking TSN ships as they were being decommissioned, and at some point, the officers of the 4th LD had hidden a decommissioned Dreadnought… And now we went to find it again, to take it into action. She’s TSN Montgomery, and though a little old-fashioned, she seems to be in perfect working order (thanks to surreptitious maintenance – I don’t know where the engineers found the time!). Lancer‘s crew, who had been passengers on Dauntless, took over Montgomery with evident glee, especially on the part of Lt.Jr. Morlock, who had been missing his beautiful guns.
Then we raced after the ship that was taking Xavier to his fate.
We were going as fast as Montgomery would allow – she’s built to hit hard, not to fly fast, even with Matsiyan pushing the engines to their limits. I could hear Cmdr. Jemel demanding more speed, and Matsiyan actually replying, “The engines’ll never take it, Cap’n!” Even so, we had to hold and wait for Montgomery while Skaraans attacked; but that was the easy part, because we could respond in kind. Once our friend in Command could no longer screen us, and the TSN escort and patrol ships started coming after us, we were faced with the possibility of having to fire on our own people.
We aimed to intercept the prison transport and get its escort ships to surrender, but had no guarantee that would happen. We deployed EMPs whenever possible to disable TSN ships, and I was working the Comms link to ensure the damaged ships stood down. I don’t know how long the chase went on, us chasing the prison transport, the TSN ships chasing us. I don’t remember how many ships came after us. We had to destroy one patrol ship and one scout ship, and I don’t even remember their call signs.
In the swirl of our final attack on the prison transport, we saw two life pods ejected, but they were empty… The prison transport was destroyed, we know that. We should conclude that Xavier is dead. But Jemel spotted a sensor ghost nearby, just for a moment. And I can’t help thinking of the life pods that disappeared without a trace from the R&D vessel last shift, and wondering about cloaking tech.
Besides – and I’m grasping at straws here – if I were a shadowy conspirator wanting to make sure I had all the information Xavier knew about the conspiracy, I might put a plan into action where Xavier is sent out on the prison transport, but, once the ship is safely away from TSN sensors, he is transferred to a different vessel and brought to my Evil Lair (TM) for interrogation, while the prison transport continues on course as a decoy for that bunch of idealistic fools who defected. Perhaps I’ve read too many novels. Occupational hazard. Still, if that is the case, and we have no evidence for it, how do we find out where Xavier might be?
The fact remains, we are now outlaws and fugitives. We fled from TSN space to the neutral Hjorden sector, and requested asylum, which was granted. Capt. Evans produced the data stick that Xavier had passed to him when they shook hands on Xavier’s departure, and played the contents, which revealed everything I mentioned about the conspiracy at the start of this log. We are now docked at Hjorden Station S12, guests of the Hjorden, waiting for what comes next. I look at our proud uniforms, and wonder, half in jest, if we should be switching to wearing Lincoln green, or brown coats. But Capt. Evans insists that we are still officers of the TSN, and there’s comfort in that as well as pride.
The message on the data stick started with: “This is the truth”. That’s what got me. Even more than the TSN oath, which I took, of course, and remember:
“I am an officer of the Terran Stellar Navy.
It is my honor, my privilege, my duty to stand and serve the TSN and the United Space Faring Planets of which I am both citizen and guardian.
My oath is never to turn from a right path, never to follow fear, never to enable an injustice.
I will stand in truth, serve in honor, and fight with courage.
I am the TSN.”
We swear to stand in truth. And years ago, when I first went to study in Paragon Library, I remember that informal little meeting with the Librarians over tea, where they asked those questions that were only superficially about knowledge. I remember the woman, grey hair, grey eyes, fluffy angora cardigan with pearl buttons, neat blouse, grey trousers with knife-sharp creases, sensible lace-up shoes; like a figure from a picture book, a Platonic Ideal of what a Librarian ought to be. She said, with a quirk of her lips,
“You know, when you work here, you come across lies, errors, misunderstandings, all jumbled up together with opinion, fact, wisdom, guesswork, truth, insight… What we ask of you is, do you have A Strict Regard For Truth?”
I could hear the capital letters in her question. I even recognised the reference, and it struck me as incongruous to use a humorous children’s poem in such a serious context, but that, as I was to find out, was the Library style. And I said yes, with no solemn words, no oath to reinforce it. But that’s it. That’s what this whole mutiny, rebellion, whatever you want to call it, is about. A Strict Regard For Truth.
[End log. Erase log.]
//OOC game continues: No-Prizes for identifying Terran cultural references in Mundy’s log29/04/2016 at 12:18 #8248
//Hah, “long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away”. 😀
//What the hell did I miss?!?!? Major RP and I wasn’t there? Appropriate reaction button.
//I never had this much fun reading the Personal Log, since it’s all news to me.
//”we took Raven, Eagle, Hunter and Dauntless, and set out.” Blaze is permanently stationed on the Dauntless, perhaps he was asleep aboard? Than bumped his head and remained fainted for the duration of the mission? Recovering sense only afterwards, when he was returned to the MedBay?29/04/2016 at 15:29 #8255
//One elegant No-Prize from a by-gone age for Blaze! There are, of course, several more.
//Major, epic RP 🙂
//Perhaps Blaze was on Dauntless still recovering from his injuries the previous shift, and rather than getting hurt again, he had taken medication for the pain, so he wasn’t fit for duty yet. But he is now 🙂29/04/2016 at 16:04 #8260
//I’ve just noticed I wrote “trillion dollar contract” when it should have been “trillion credit contract”, if some admin would like to correct that for me I’d be grateful.03/05/2016 at 04:32 #8477
//aha, I’ve come up with an in-character way to explain how an erased log might be restored.//
Mundy’s log, 23416-2237, supplemental:
There is, of course, a way to keep a log, with neither the datapad nor old-fashioned pen and paper, and I should have thought of this before. To make life easier for myself, since I’m so out of practice, I’ll actually keep the list of loci in my datapad, one per paragraph:
1. The Rotunda, facing South: the door to the drawing room
2. The door opens. Turning right, the stone fireplace
3. Carved on the mantlepiece, the Periodic Table of the Elements
4. On the left of the fireplace, a green leather armchair
5. Beside the armchair, a small table
6. On the table, my mother’s datapad, with the scuffed cover
7. On the right of the fireplace, a matching armchair; its left arm scratched by The Little Horror’s shoe-buckles when he was two
8. Between the armchairs, a rug with an intricate design of intertwining leaves and branches
9. On the rug, an oval tea table
10. On the tea table, a white china teapot and two matching cups
11. Facing the wall opposite the fireplace, a writing desk
12. Inside the writing desk, an inkwell, with black ink in it
13. Beside the inkwell, several fountain pens and one actual quill pen – never used
14. Beside the pens, a dozen sheets of white paper – also never used
15. Above the writing desk, a watercolour of the Sussex Downs
16. Beside the writing desk, a large, arched window, looking out over the rose garden
17. On the other side of the window, a dainty armchair upholstered in rose damask
18. Beside the armchair, a cabinet
19. On the cabinet, a silver tray with three crystal decanters
20. Under the cabinet, one of The Little Horror’s toy guns.
Well, that was easy… Didn’t even get half way through the room. Let’s see how long the contents stick to the loci. This should get better with practice, and while we’re exiled, I won’t be short of practice.
[end log]03/05/2016 at 09:11 #8493
//Can you explain what that was? What’s loci? Why did you describe a room? How is that a supplemental to the log? I’m lost.
//Test at 2016-05-03 09:41 UTC
03/05/2016 at 09:31 #8495
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Blaze Strife. Reason: testing edit via URL
//A memory palace? Why do you need that? To be able to add to the log in the following paragraphs?03/05/2016 at 14:19 #8512MatsiyanParticipant
//Mundy decided she did not want to keep the log recorded electronically anywhere, see the first paragraph and the fact she erased the log after recording it. So she is constructing a memory palace to keep these logs in exile.03/05/2016 at 14:34 #8514
//Ahhh! I overlooked the “Erase log.” part. Sorry! And thanks, Mats!03/05/2016 at 15:34 #8520
//That was me being what M calls “subtle” to be polite, when he really means “too obscure for people outside your head to understand”.
The memory palace technique is a way to remember things (lists, numbers, paragraphs in a speech) by placing them, mentally, in a space one knows well. Then one walks through that space in one’s mind, and finds the things one wanted to remember. Cicero is credited with inventing it, but it’s probably much older than that. The loci are the mental places, the anchor points. Locus means Place in Latin.
So what Adele is doing, having deleted her log, is putting in a new, supplemental log that simply appears to be a list of places, objects in a room she remembers from her childhood. But each object is the key to her remembering a section of the log. She shouldn’t really need to write anything down at all, but she admits to being out of practice. It’s a bit like writing down your shopping list and then leaving it on the kitchen table, most of the time you’re still going to remember what you wrote down.
And if it needs this much explanation, I made it too complicated. 🙁03/05/2016 at 15:40 #8522
//I’ve heard of the memory palaces on TV shows like “Sherlock” and “The Mentalist”, but have forgotten about it. But it makes sense, especially for Adele. It’s not too complicated, it’s a character quirk. 😀
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