10/12/2016 at 06:25 #19322Adele MundyParticipant
Personal Log, Lt.Sr. Adele Mundy, TSN Raven, 2nd Fl. 4th Lt. Div.
The plasma storm finally abated, so after initial sims, we went out on a mission – and the gremlins kept their presence discreet until the end.
The briefing included a not-so-subtle reminder by the senior officers about respecting the Duty Officer’s authority and obeying his or her assignments, so it seems my not-so-subtle remarks about my assignment last shift were heard; but the officer who would have most benefited from the reminder was not present at the briefing. So it goes.
We had Raven, Horizon, Lancer and Excalibur active this shift. And after the sims, it was Excalibur’s first real outing under Matsiyan’s command. I could feel the tension, though he sounded calm and relaxed. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I transferred to my new post aboard Raven as Comms officer, with the assignment of directing allied TSN ships. In a way, it’s back to the beginning of my training as a cadet, but with the kind of complexity I wouldn’t have been able to manage at the time; and with a dufflebag lighter by one well-deservedly shared bottle of Barolo. Matsiyan offered to help me move my gear, which was kind though unnecessary. It’s not as if I have any heirloom coffee makers to wrap up in cotton wool so they won’t get scratched in transit.
In the first sim, the allied ships behaved moderately well, and I managed to send some of them to defend TSN bases. They do take some babying, because I have to dictate course changes in detail, or they’ll fly straight through mine fields if that’s the shortest route to a base. Still, being able to concentrate on Comms was helpful. Even diverting my attention to taunt enemies and demand their surrender resulted in the allied ships reverting to stupid behaviour, though.
Fleet Capt. Xavier was in command, with Lt.Cmdr. Zelreich as his XO, also taking Weapons, Lt. Jr. Quinn on Helm, Slate on Engineering, and a new cadet, Thomas Avirson, supposedly taking the Science console. Unfortunately, his console was locked out – Lt. Jr. Slate, Lt. Jr. Quinn and Ens. Nhaima, who joined us part way through the first sim, spent any spare moment trying to bypass the security protocols, with no success. I have to commend his patience, remaining at his post with nothing to do but observe, while Zelreich took over his station.
There were a couple of exchanges that, while amusing at the time, made me think twice, afterwards. They took place part way through the sim, after the system crashed and was restored (and perhaps Cdt. Avirson’s console didn’t restore properly, or wasn’t recognised after we had to input new command codes), but before Nhaima was able to join the bridge crew. We were facing large enemy fleets, and because Zelreich was running both Science and Tactical, we were approaching the fleets while some ships were still showing up as unidentified (yes, Computer, I had a Science secondary screen open. I had to be able to see where I was directing our ally ships). Engagements proved, well, interesting. Zelreich complained that the tubes were slow to load; Engineering replied,
“Everything is breaking down here, and I’m mopping up repair tech blood off the floor…”
“If I had some power for the shields, things wouldn’t break,” came the reply, “and if I had a tube boost when I ask for one, we’d hit them faster than they can hit us.”
“I can’t give you a tube boost, I have one repair tech left.”
“Sensor boost? I need to get the shield frequencies.”
“If Science had been scanning ahead of time, boosts would not be necessary at the last minute.”
“I’m running two stations here, would you like to run two stations, Slate?” (Note: I have lost track of the number of times Slate has run SciComms…) Still, the exchange comes under the heading of BUT. Maybe I should have gone for a walk down the Memory Palace hallways instead of putting this in my log, but too late now.
Things smoothed out as Nhaima joined us and took Tactical, though the Artificial Stupidity’s allied ships continued to be stupid, accepting orders for a while, then suddenly turning away and deciding to commit suicide by flying through mine fields – usually while I was demanding surrenders from enemies. And Cdt. Avirson continued to be unable to take his station. But communications improved, among our crew and with the other ships, especially Excalibur.
For the first time in what feels like ages, we finally ventured out of the base on a real mission. Raven’s bridge was as full as I’ve ever seen, as the Fleet Captain concentrated on fleet command, Cmdr. Verok took command of the ship, Zelreich continued as XO, Quinn on Helm, Slate in Engineering and Nhaima on Tactical, while I stayed on the Comms console. And poor Cdt. Avirson observed, his console still locked out.
I feel remiss, in hindsight, at not having made a single Macbeth reference all shift, dammit. Since Slate, Nhaima and I were on a ship together, it would have been the perfect time for a “When shall we three meet again?” reworking. But I was busy. Now, if only Candice had been there too, we could have tried re-naming Raven as TSN Pinafore… Although I am sure the Fleet Captain is relieved that we are neither his sisters, his cousins or his aunts.
The mission took us from the Command Post to Euphini Sector XII, to investigate the barrion nebula further. There were a number of malfunctions: damage to ships’ drives, damage to the warp drive on Raven, to helm control on Excalibur; and we detected radiation in Sector XII. So the ships deployed in different quadrants, looking for any anomalous readings, and shortly found some anomalies in E3mk3, some kind of rift similar to a jump point, that suddenly moved Lancer to D4mk7.
As the ships continued to scan the sector for other anomalies, enemy fleets and pirates started emerging from the rift, or jump point, and fleeing back through it when defeat seemed too imminent. We then experimented with approaching the jump point and tracking where each of our ships emerged: C5mk7, A4mk3, A3mk8 were coordinates I was able to record.
We also determined that there was a 20 second interval in the rift’s energy signature; and found that most ships jumped to sectors A3, A4, A5, B3, B4, B5, with one outlier in E2 – whether this is merely a statistical anomaly is yet to be determined, as the sample size is rather small.
Naturally, the debrief focused on this phenomenon, and the need to analyse the data we obtained from the jumps in order to figure out what might be causing this jump point. There was originally a base in that location, and it’s difficult to think that the two things are completely unrelated; but until we analyse the data we can’t determine even whether the jump anomaly is naturally occurring, or manufactured.
We know the Kraliens use other jump points, and we did see Kralien ships jump in and out through the anomaly – there are several jump points they could be jumping from, or to, so that could mean several shifts worth of searching. And just to keep us on our toes, we did find some Caltrons in the sector; only Primaries, and we defeated them with little difficulty, but they do seem to appear close to anomalies.
Back on base, we were planning one more sim, switching all the crews around: I went to Excalibur, my first time aboard her, but Matsiyan had been sent elsewhere, Raven, I think, and Aposine was in command. Ens. Tayd was on Tactical, Hall on Helm, Vaj in Engineering, and I was on SciComms. We barely had time to settle in our seats, and the station gremlins made their appearance as all the systems shut down in a spectacular display of non-cooperation. Well, back to the repair crews we go.
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