31/03/2016 at 05:49 #6514
Personal Log, Lt. Adele Mundy, TSN Eagle, 2nd Flt. 4LD
A new ship, and a new badge to go with it… Not, I hasten to say, the Admiral’s uniform that somehow people kept seeing me wear when we gathered in the mess hall before the last shift. I wanted to explain it away as Morlock’s personal holographic projector malfunctioning again, but Morlock wasn’t even there. The only other explanation I could come up with was a collective hallucination, at which point one has to wonder what the catering staff have been putting in the rations… again. Last shift it was singing, this one it was phantom uniforms. What strangeness awaits us next shift?
I was convinced that when Capt. Evans announced a promotion from Lt.Jr. to full Lt., the name that followed was going to be Matsiyan’s. I know that more than one commanding officer has been keen to have him on Engineering, and I know he was trying to diversify into SciComms lately. And he started on active duty a couple of months before me, so I was, well, surprised is an understatement, and speechless is a cliché, when the promotion was mine. And Matsiyan, who would be justified in feeling somewhat put out, was grinning all over his face as he congratulated me. He’s been making a point of addressing me as Ma’am at every possible opportunity since, and he’s only slightly joking…
The shift started with sims, as the Division continues to train the crews on the new ships, including the fighters on Dauntless. There is some discussion about what to name the fighters, whether they are Arrows or Spears, to go with the Dauntless Greek helmet crest (at which point Matsiyan mused that it was a shame Dauntless wasn’t named Outrageous Fortune). There is also a sizeable party in favour of naming them the Kraken, so that Dauntless‘ captain can order “Release the Kraken!” as the fighters launch. The thing is, the Kraken is one giant monster rather than lots of little ones, but perhaps I shouldn’t be that pedantic. Oh, who am I kidding, you can take the girl out of the Library, but you can’t take the Library catalogue out of the girl’s brain… Actually, I need to find out whether any of the newly named space monsters go by the name Kraken, because that might introduce some dangerous confusion.
In the exercises, Eagle was paired with Dauntless, which, while effective, seemed almost excessive at times; and yet there were numerous occasions where, if the enemy ships had anti-mine and/or anti-torp capability, all Eagle could do was get out of the way fast. So teaming with a ship with powerful beams like Lancer might work better. In fact, both the carrier and the missile cruiser might work better with a combat generalist: Eagle did very well taking a first strike to soften up targets, less so if fighters came against us; Dauntless with its fighters could do more damage against a weakened group.
Personally, what came out of the sim was an even clearer realisation of how much more practice I need on Helm… Especially when enemy fighters came buzzing around, and I was so slow turning and manoeuvring. At least there was no repeat of the running over mines incident.
The mission was a deep strike against nine (ten? I lost count) enemy bases, we went from one to the next to the next, taking the first hit on the base and leaving debris and enemy ships in our wake for the other ships to mop up. Actually, we were taking the first four or five hits at each base, starting with the classic EMP-nuke, then running through and dropping a mine or two and, if anything was left, firing off homing torpedoes as fast as they could be reloaded. Then we’d be out of the area as fast as our engineer (I think that was Cdt. Jesse, I need to double check with the official roster) could give Helm power (I was back on SciComms, reading out the bearing to our next target).
Naturally, the combination of ordnance we were using got a nickname by the third or fourth time we used it: because of the variety, Lt.Cmdr. Allard called it a fruit salad. So, by the end of the mission, my informal report in the debrief included a sentence I would never have imagined I would say while on active duty: “Sir, Eagle has destroyed all the enemy bases with fruit salad…”
Or one might employ the old “All your base are belong to us”.
Matsiyan and I had to miss the later exercises, as Mr. Bronkhorst and Ms. Bushner returned for another excursion to the hydroponics labs. We had occasion to witness the natural bioluminescence of some mycelium filaments that, as they spread on the surface of the growing medium, produced remarkably beautiful effects, subtly changing colour. Whether that is going to be relevant to Mr. Bronkhorst’s research is as yet uncertain; but Ms. Bushner was quite intrigued by the aesthetics of the phenomenon, and I expect her illustrations will be, as usual, scientifically accurate and artistically satisfying.
So I came to the bar rather late after the shift ended. Most of the conversation seemed to be about some software glitch that cut short the exercises – so Matsiyan and I probably didn’t miss anything crucial – and about recovering some personal effects from the debris of Hawk. I suppose it was incidental to recovering the black box, but it made me think about the stuff I’m still holding on to, and I regretted having left that bottle of wine in my locker, it would have been the perfect occasion to open it. I’ll bring it along to celebrate when Matsiyan gets promoted, I decided. Meanwhile, I got him a proper Irish coffee, since he was thinking about a recently arrived shipment of assorted beverages from Earth. I really should not have been surprised when he turned up at my table with a decanter of Algolian claret. The ninety-five, no less. I had no idea there was a bottle of the ninety-five on the station. I need to have a quiet word with Guy about what’s on the inventory. The proper inventory, not just the stuff that appears on the menu.
Adele Mundy, personal log, supplemental:
I just realised why the Unukalhai stir up memories related to 20th century fantasy literature: not J.R.R. Tolkien, but the other language-creator and world-builder, Prof. M.A.R. Barker. On Tékumel, the world he wrote about, Unukalhai (Alpha Serpentis, Unuq al-Ħayyah “the Serpent’s Neck”, Cor Serpentis) is the home sun of the Hegléth, or Swamp Folk. So now we can insult the Unukalhai by calling them Swampies. I bet they hate that. On the other hand, they might be Serpent Men – ka nama kaa lajerama! – or they might simply be Slitherin.
[OOC game, for anyone who is till following: a veritable fruit salad of references this time. Because, librarian…]31/03/2016 at 19:27 #6564AramondParticipant
You got promoted? Congratulations, and welcome to the club!01/04/2016 at 01:42 #6586
// I’ve just realised I forgot to update my rank in the log heading. Can’t edit it now.01/04/2016 at 05:54 #6592Jemel EahainModerator
//ninja edit, rank sorted01/04/2016 at 16:52 #6598
//Many thanks!01/04/2016 at 18:13 #6600MatsiyanParticipant
// I know the Serpent Men and the Algolian Claret references, but I guess using the psychic link is cheating.02/04/2016 at 15:25 #6648Blaze StrifeParticipant
//”All your base are belong to us” from Zero Wing. And the last paragraph with Tolkien and Rowling.
//Thanks for the update, since I wasn’t here for the shift.02/04/2016 at 16:01 #6653
//One Pan-Galactic and one Valusian No-Prize for Matsiyan (yes, it’s cheating); a fruit salad of fantasy No-Prizes for Blaze!02/04/2016 at 16:08 #6655
Mundy’s Log, supplemental:
Note to self: while the standard hydroponics are used for our food crops, I neglected to mention that the experimental fungi were growing in compost (which the botany personnel were very proud of, and went on at length about nutrient balance and composition), otherwise there would have been no support for the glowing mycelium filaments.
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