05/05/2017 at 22:33 #23382Adele MundyParticipant
Personal Log, Lt. Sr. Adele Mundy, TSN Raven, 2nd Flt., 4th Lt. Div.
Whatever gave the top brass the idea that a background in Library and Data is equivalent to an aptitude for instructor duty? Not even proper cadets, but aspiring cadets thronged in the Simulation Hangar, and milled about looking lost and sounding like they’ve only just left home, and missed breakfast to boot. For whatever unknown sins I may have committed, an inexistent deity, via Station Command, had seen it fit to assign me as First Officer on Training Simulator Badb (a missile cruiser), with a bridge crew who had never set foot on a simulator before; and a supposedly experienced NCO who took the Science station, and might have been worse than the cadet candidates.
They say there are no atheists in foxholes; this has been updated to “no atheists in life-pods”, which is patently incorrect. However, I may actually have been driven by desperation to appeal to creations of the human imagination. An Engineer who never touched the coolant controls; a Comms officer who could just about read, but did not communicate any of the information he read either to his fellow bridge officers or to the other ships; a Weapons officer who couldn’t find the Homing torpedoes; and a Science Officer (the grizzled NCO, who should damn well have known better), who, when asked about a target, said “Unknown, Captain.” Well, scan the damn ship already, dammit! Twice! You were sitting there for the past three minutes with your hands off the console!
The saving grace was the youngster on Helm, who figured out the controls reasonably fast, and understood simple terms like, “Keep us at missile range, we have no beams,” and “Disengage!” Even though he had no clue just how much energy going at Warp 4 chews up (especially when you have an Engineer who doesn’t know what he’s doing), and blithely set off at Warp 4 without explicit orders from the commanding officer.
To say nothing of having six ships who do not talk to each other, and therefore end up either clustering and getting in each other’s way while dealing with a moderate threat, or scattering all over the sector and getting overwhelmed by enemy fleets instead of working together… The simulated death toll on the TSN side must have numbered in the tens of thousands by the end of the session.
Dammit, I so needed a drink after that.
But no, Matsiyan and I rushed to the Briefing Room, and were just about in time to join the Division’s mission, so the drinks had to be postponed to the end of the shift. Because we were late reporting in, our normal posts had been filled, and we ended up on Phoenix, who was missing some of her regular bridge crew. Van Leigh was back in command after his absence last shift, Slate was his XO and Comms officer (and a greater contrast between the would-be cadet and an actual Comms officer is hard to imagine), the newly promoted Ens. Trueman was on Tactical, a new cadet called Kichi was in Engineering (and did a fine job. Thank the stars around for proper Academy instructors who send us people like Cdt. Kichi.) I took Science, Matsiyan took Helm.
The first sim was a bit rough, the second was much better as we all settled in. When there’s a new cadet on board, van Leigh makes a point of explaining his decisions during debrief, and I enjoy the explanations.
As we prepared to board our ships for our mission, the Fleet Captain announced a promotion, and we cheered the newly-made Lt.Cmdr. Matsiyan. (This is where the drinks become relevant; but not before the mission, obviously.)
The mission briefing announced that as actions by the Skaraans and Ximni agains our industrial bases are beginning to affect supplies, stocks of nukes and EMPs are being diverted to the main line Divisions. And, just to make life interesting, the Kraliens seem to have heard about our current shortages, because they are becoming more aggressive; so we were being sent to Promethean to defend Forward Command from encroaching Kraliens, and escorting a detachment of security ships who were going to defend friendly traffic and check for smugglers.
Reports about the Kraliens moving in were correct, they were jumping in through the Cronus gate; and because we were short of heavy ordnance, we had to make the most of existing terrain features: Phoenix danced around mine fields as Slate taunted enemies onto them, for example. Viper wasn’t so lucky. I don’t know the details, but she was destroyed in an engagement. I saw the life pods appear on my screen, and Lancer swoop by to pick them up. As of now, we are still waiting for the reports from the salvage crews; and Captain Verok may still be writing the letters to the families of the dead crew members.
The concluding sims saw an even more curtailed division, as bridge officers had to leave for other duties, so we ran only Raven, Lancer and Viper. Apart from some technical problems (perhaps the sim software was still in shock from the havoc wreaked by the aspiring cadets) the sims went well, with good coordination between the ships – oh, stars around, yes! We actually talked to each other and worked together, what a concept in a navy!
One more Pearl of Wisdom to be added to my growing collection of quotes, for when I retire and write my memoirs: “Not getting blown up is always a good thing.” Flt. Cpt. Xavier Wise.
And after the debrief and the admin stuff it was off to the Bar, because elephants. Not, I hasten to add, pink elephants on parade. That might come afterwards. But when Matsiyan focuses so intensely on an image of an elephant, it’s a sure sign he’s up to something. Real Champagne, in this case. Those Earth Company connections do come in useful… The Champagne was excellent, the company was enjoyable, the singing was by turns fine and just plain cheerful. I needed that. I might complain tomorrow morning, but it was worth it.
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