Log Mundy, 91217-2237

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    Adele Mundy

    Personal Log, Lt.Sr. Adele Mundy, TSN Sabre, 2nd Flt., 4th Lt. Div.
    Stardate: 91217-2237

    The Senior Officers were discussing the lateness of our campaign medal awards, and which officers to assign to bridge posts that are currently vacant. I didn’t even try not to listen, this time, since everyone would be told during the next briefing anyway. And maybe it was karma, or universal irony, or just the meds wearing out, but dammit, midway through their conversation I was hit by a headache I wish I could describe as merely blinding… instead, I had little Caltron dots of pain massing in a disturbingly ordered formation inside my brain.

    Fortunately, the headache cleared quickly, and by itself; still, it was a relief to adjourn to the Briefing Room. The Fleet Captain announced the formal appointment of Cmdr. Aramond as captain of Horizon, and Cmdr. Matsiyan as captain of Viper. Plans were instantly made to celebrate them both in an appropriately extravagant manner on our return to base at the end of our shift, but (spoilers) fate intervened. So, no celebration in their honour, and I haven’t even been able to have a mug of celebratory Hjocoa in honour of my promotion to Lieutenant Commander.

    Yes, Computer, this is me sulking. I know, I shouldn’t expect ice cream and fireworks, but dammit…

    Ooh, it’s just occurred to me, has anybody ever thought of making Hjocoa ice cream? When we get back to Promethean Command I have to have a word with Guy.

    We had a first sim, fast and efficient, with the Fleet Captain in command of Sabre, me as his exec, and Comms, Ens. Maxwell on Science, Lt. Quinn on Helm, Lt. Sr. Wade on Weapons, Ens. Ironclad in Engineering. For the second sim, the Fleet Captain was in CiC, fleet command went to Matsiyan, and I took command of Sabre. Quinn, Wade and Ironclad performed admirably; Maxwell needs to learn how to scan strategically, so that he has the information ready for Weapons and Comms when it’s needed – ideally, before it’s needed.

    Before our mission started, some updates were made to officers’ assignments, including posting Xiph, Vaj and Maxwell to Viper. This means that she has a full bridge complement, at least on the formal roster; and four of her bridge officers have Engineering as their primary station… I call that hoarding.

    Yes, Computer, I know Matsiyan’s record shows Science as his primary. He’s still better as an Engineer. And he can run Engineering with a lot less swearing than Science. Trust me, I hear him.

    Our mission sent us to the Poseidon Rift, oh joy. High likelihood of Caltrons out there, not to mention unstable singularities, gravitational waves and who knows what else. We were told that there was evidence the Poseidon Gate had seen unauthorised use. There were also reports of two ships who had failed to stop at the Gate checkpoint and had gone through to the Poseidon Rift, with speculation as to whether they might be civilian vessels that had suffered malfunctions, or that had been hijacked; therefore our orders included searching for them.

    Because Maxwell was on his new assignment on Viper, I was back on SciComms on Sabre, with the Fleet Captain and the rest of the bridge officers unchanged from the sims.

    Strangely enough, as we transited through the Gate, we found the gravitational waves uncharacteristically quiet – still not sure why, but it made our lives a little easier, so I’m not complaining. We found a number of pirates hiding in the Rift, which makes sense, given that it’s the sort of place most people would rather avoid; and we also found some USF ships in Sector 3. We destroyed them, dammit. They wouldn’t surrender. I don’t understand what they were doing there, though. I wish we could avoid blowing up ships until after I’ve had the time to sift through their orders… and their personnel logs.

    We did find a TSN ship escort and sent out a shuttle with marines aboard to offer assistance. That was when she turned hostile, but we did manage to get a surrender out of her. And then she changed sides again, and self-destructed. We recovered her life pods and Black Box, and ONI will deal with both.

    In Sect. 4 we found hostile stations, with a large USF force, and TSN vessels who also registered as hostile. There was much shuttling of Marines onto the stations to take them over. One of the bases self-destructed, so again, we had to send shuttles to recover life pods. And again, all the information about activity in the Rift will be – has been, by now – conveyed to Intelligence.

    Our second mission… well, I’m not supposed to keep a log of the second mission.

    Memory palace time: the waters around the island in the middle of Independence Port, the waves subdued by the constant sheen of oil, the rocks of Terra Volta marked with it at the tidal high, the faint smell of it, perceptible even when the breeze came in from the open, clean sea.

    Section Blue was involved in this one. Viper’s crew transferred to the Blue frigate, and took the call sign too. I still don’t know her real name. I keep thinking of a strange mixture of things: a blue cat in a mid-twentieth century animation, a lonely prince in a blue room. I suppose I have time to search the archives, now that we’re not officially there.

    Don’t land on the shores of Terra Volta. The rocks, for one thing, make it an awkward landing at best, you need a second person on the bow while you steer. And the creatures on the rocks, yes, well, they sort of look like trees. Some of them look like rocks. Don’t get close. They’re not trees, or rocks. And they throw things. Spores are about the least lethal of them, but if you breathe them in and seize up in a fit of coughing, you’ll lose control of the boat.

    It seems one intelligence team failed to return from its mission following up information in the Poseidon Rift. I’m hazarding a guess that they were following up on what we found in the Rift; and I’m hazarding a second guess that they were connecting the information to those damn Artefacts, because when I start thinking along those lines I get a headache… So, since the lost team’s flight plan included going into Sectors 2 and 3, we went looking for them.

    If you do land, there is a way up, if you’re careful. It isn’t the shortest way (that’s actually flying, for those who can – or those with hoverboards), but it’s safe enough, if you know what you’re doing. And it takes you up to that rather dismal esplanade outside the Terra Volta gates. Only authorised personnel is allowed in… unless one of your friends goes by the alias Scyntilla.

    Our sensors were severely disrupted when we first entered Poseidon Sect. 2, and that made spotting the Void-damned Caltrons a challenge, even without the headache. I knew they were there, but that’s a bit too vague for Helm and Tactical. It was just Primaries at first, and then I found two Tertiaries, a Senary, a Duodenary. We worked hard to clear them out of our way so we could continue to sweep the Rift in our search.

    Scyntilla was one of the people my Aunt Undine talked about – my Aunt on Mother’s side. I haven’t really talked much about that side of the family, they were the long-established Paragonians; Aunt Undine was a doctor, but the thing I remember most is that she told the best stories. And Scyntilla was in a lot of them: blue costume with yellow lightning designs, yellow boots a blue hood, goggles. Not a subtle look… But shooting lightning from your fingertips isn’t subtle.

    We did find the Terran vessels eventually, they were in Sector 3; and we had to fend off more Caltrons as they closed in, while asteroids started shooting past, too fast for us to break them up with ordnance. One ship, unfortunately, was destroyed before we could send shuttles to recover her; we did recover the second ship, but the Caltrons were clustering around, and we suspect they were able to subvert her Helm systems. She launched life pods, and we launched shuttles to recover them, while we defended them from the Caltrons, including another Duodenary.

    When I knew her, Scyntilla looked more sedate than in Aunt Undine’s stories: she wore blue-grey plasteel armour rather than spandex, and she had given up on the high heels and the hood. There might even have been a touch of grey in her hair. But you should have seen her lure the portside hoodlums into range, and then turn on her lightning field…

    There was a Blue Section frigate, located by “Viper”’s sensors, undetectable by ours – dammit – and Odysseus launched to pick up a complement of special Operatives. Then we headed back, chased by a ridiculous number of Caltrons. All right, it felt far from ridiculous at the time. It felt like a desperate siege, in fact, as we held for a while in a circle of asteroids.

    One of Scyntilla’s stories was the one about the siege inside the Terra Volta reactor: the red alarm lights, the waves of attackers, the fight to hold until it can be shut down. Epic.

    And after a fine coordinated effort (Lambda order, Sigma manoeuvre) we retrieted to the Arietis Gate, and once through, wer able to disable the transponders so that the Caltrons couldn’t follow. We were told, in the debrief, that we recovered valuable information, but we could not be told what it was; that our primary objective has been secured, and will be put to good use in the future, but again, we were not told what it was.

    And we were to maintain radio silence, and were supposed to be missing in action.

    So, there’s that. I have questions. I have lots of questions

    What exactly was the blue frigate that didn’t exist carrying? Does it connect to the Kralien incursions, and the damned Artefacts?

    Answers on a postcard please. Computer, I am not going to explain to you what a postcard is. You have data banks, look it up.

    [end log]

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