18/01/2016 at 23:47 #3827Lewis RemmickParticipant
Personal Log, Acting Ensign Lewis Remmick, 2nd Fleet, 4th LD
So… things happened today. I attempted to take notes, but in retrospect, they may not be as helpful as I’d have liked. Here goes, all the same.
Greybeard was assigned as DO at the last minute, and tried valiantly to come up assignments for crew. I did my best to help, offering to perform SciCom for the Phoenix. It turned out that Greybeard was to join me, taking over as primary Comms Officer. With Aposine at the helm, Assassino at weapons, and Splints in engineering, Commander Expree led us through the first simulation. It was my first time on a ship with Aposine. There was a lot more sound than usual. Both from his boisterous use of additional sounds, but also because on the command vessel, there is a lot more cross/communication between vessels. I suppose it was good that the mission wasn’t too involved. I might have had trouble concentrating. Something ELSE to work on.
On to our first mission. We were asked to do an asteroid mining run for resources, which appears to be perhaps the least favorite style of mission with much of the crew. I’m not certain why. On both of the mining runs I’ve been involved in, we’ve seen nearly as much combat as most of our other missions. This time, Assassino took the helm, Greybeard was on weapons, and I was primary Comms as Aposine took over for science.
[I’d like to point out that sharing SciComs stresses me more than it should. I always feel like I’m stepping on the other officers toes as I notice things they should be doing and try to help out, only for them to be inputting the same data into their console. When I don’t, I watch and wait, stressing that they won’t respond in time. I hope Greybeard and Aposine don’t think too poorly of me.]
Regardless, off we went. As usual, we ran into N’Tani carrying something they shouldn’t, who had to be escorted to the proper authorities. Also as usual, we ran into some pirates near a TSN military outpost. After a request from Commander Expree, and a significantly delayed launch time, a detachment of destroyers came to our… aid? Between using language my mother would never have approved of (perhaps learned from the pirates who were speaking similarly? Maybe it’s just the way of the people in this sector), complaining about our tactical decisions, refusing orders from superior officers, they generally embarrassed themselves. Maybe this is a post for those who nearly wash out of the academy?
Back to the mission. We made it to the sector for the mining operations. While there, we had to fend off a number of pirate incursions. Of most interest, one of the asteroids apparently had Caltrons within it. They were released as the asteroid’s outer layers were penetrated. I should note, this was the first time I’d encountered Caltrons, although nobody seemed much to answer my questions about them. I haven’t been able to find much in the databases I have access to, either. Are they a military secret?
Of note in this mission was another area of confusion I’ve noticed: What to do with surrendered enemies? I was very confused about the protocols, and there were a number of instances where this was debated. First, with the destroyer detachment’s response to the Phoenix destroying the surrendered pirates. Then, there was debate about whether or not to destroy fleeing Caltrons. Later on, there was some question about what to do about Hegemony surrendered vessels on our current mission. I assume there is standing protocol on this, I just don’t know what it is. [On a related note, I wonder if I might be permitted to examine slain enemies. I know some find it morbid, but I am trained as a xeno-specialist, and I’ve never even seen half of our foes face to face. I’d like to learn more about their physiology.]
We returned to command, just in time for Lt Commander Zelreich to appear, at which point the captain left him in charge of the debrief. Apparently we all performed admirably.
For our next mission, there was some changeup. Apparently we had enough crew to take 5 vessels out, so they were looking for crew for the Valiant. Lt Commander Zelreich requested command of the Valiant (threatening violence to any other commanding officer who took the post). Past experience has taught me that time spent on a ship captained by Commander Zelreich is never dull, so I volunteered to join him. This time, I was SciComs on my own [sound of blood pressure lowering]. I’m trying to work my way back to engineering, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening lately. Lt. Kennon Far was our Engineer, despite his hopes for captaining the Valiant. The remainder of our crew were two cadets, Draeco on weapons, and Tuttle on helm. We managed not to explode despite all of this.
Our mission was to escort the PSE Schroedinger as it traced the energy trail of an artifact. It seems we’d had the artifact, but it was taken from us. By whom was either unclear, or unknown, at least to me. The Schroedinger was both moving, and not, judging by the pace at which it eventually reached the edge of each sector.
We were tasked with finding the traces left behind. We tried a number of search patterns, but it never seemed to be our vessel that found them. It had me wondering if I should/could have been doing something differently with the science console. Apparently our mission was to be a secret, since we were destroying all enemy targets we encountered, surrendered or not. After bumbling around several sectors, The Schroedinger located the artifact and began scanning it in earnest. The information we received was unnerving. In addition to being old–VERY old, it was intensely powerful. Even without fully understanding how it worked, the Schroedinger reported that it could cause a sun to go nova.
I have to say that at this point, as science officer, I felt I had to communicate the threat. It was inadvisable to bring something that powerful and that poorly understood to Promethean Command. There was talk of hiding it somewhere safe. However, it had already been stolen once, and we were able to track it. It seemed likely that our enemies would also be able to do so. If we couldn’t bring the artifact safely to Promethean Command, and we couldn’t secure it from enemy attack, the best recourse seemed to me to bring the object far from inhabited space and destroy it. I recommended this to the commander. No decision has yet been made.
And now we sit. Less than 1000 units from a highly volatile, unknown alien artifact. I’m certain this will end very well.
While those in higher command debate the fate of the artifact, we were to engage in a final simulation. This was to be an invasion. However, Commander Zelreich was given pause when reading the parameters. Enemies would be at 200% damage. I began the sim bracing for impact. Remarkably, thanks to some very fortuitously placed singularities, we were able to dispatch our opponents with more ease than I feared. There was even a bit of rivalry between us and the crew of the Hawk aboard the Lancer, as we raced through the center of singularities.
After the simulation ended, the crew of the Valiant invaded the bridge of the Lancer. After some well-meaning banter, both crews invaded the bridge of the Phoenix. Much laughter was had by all, and we were all in a jovial mood (despite the possible doom in tow, just on the other side of our hulls). We were informed of some further issues with the USF. Apparently, it’s possible that someone tampered with some of the life pods before they made it back to base for interrogation. Several of them were opened to reveal all occupants dead. If that’s the case, they’re not very good human supremacists. They’re spending more time attacking and/or killing humans than they are the aliens they claim to hate so much.
In any event. I’m going to go do some math. I’m going to determine the best place to be in the Valiant should something go wrong, for maximum survivability. In addition, I might also check out what possible positioning for the ship itself might give us our best shot, and try to convince helm or command to put us there. While I’m at it, I’m going to set up some scan subroutines to pick up the earliest warning signs we might find for something going wrong. Should talk to engineering, too. Get a permanent sensor boost while we’re here. Oh! And I’ll keep a line open to the Schroedinger so that I can keep a feed on their info as well. So… if anyone needs me, I’ll likely be near an escape pod with an anti-radiation suit, at a console trying to sort this out. I figure if the brown stuff hits the swirly thing, I might have increased my/our chance of survival up to 2%. Lucky me.
Acting Ensign Remmick,, Xeno-specialist, out.
End log.19/01/2016 at 05:06 #3855MatsiyanParticipant
Mr. Remmick, here is a link to a previous wardroom thread on the topic of what came to be known as the Caltrons. I link specifically to a concept art piece on a theoretical joining o several units. Earlier in the thread there is discussion of their capabilities.
Conrad Matsiyan | Eng | CTR
Lt. Jr. | TSN Lancer | 4DIV | 2FLT19/01/2016 at 09:55 #3859Lewis RemmickParticipant
Thank you, sir. That gives me a much better understanding.20/01/2016 at 07:11 #3962MatsiyanParticipant
The question of what to do with surrendered ships varies according to circumstance. Generally speaking, in a declared condition of war, or inter-political-entity conflict, the survivors are prisoners of war and their safety is guaranteed by the modern equivalent of the ancient Geneva Convention. Sorry I don’t recall the name. I was always more interested in romantic, military history than in current military law.
However, a pirate is not at war. He is a criminal and since piracy almost invariably involves bloodshed, it still carries a death sentence. Therefore, a known pirate will be sentenced to death or readjustment if captured and has a) no right to live b) every incentive to break his parole of surrender. He therefore poses an unpredictable but high risk to TSN personnel and USFP citizens. Execution is considered acceptable.
Covert operations are executed without sanction of the normal rules of war and frequently involve a requirement that intelligence not fall into enemy hands because of the extreme danger that would pose either to USFP citizens’s or the TSN’s ability to achieve its strategic goals. It was a shock the first time I faced this situation. I and other crew members very nearly mutinied over the issue but the situation was clear that thousands of USFP lives were in the balance against dozens of enemy combatants.
If this level of cold calculation is beyond you then I suggest you avoid covert work. Outside those two situation, to the best of my knowledge, I would refuse to participate in such a war crime, but I have yet to be presented with that situation.
Conrad Matsiyan | Eng | CTR
Lt. Jr. | TSN Lancer | 4DIV | 2FLT
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