Log Song, 12518-2237

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    Felicity Song

    Personal Log, Cdt. Felicity Song, TSN, 2nd Fleet 4th Light Division
    Stardate: 12518-2237

    The Division has been much more cheerful; the Fleet Captain is back, and so are most of the Senior Officers. We started the shift hiding out in a recently abandoned base inside the Whale Preserve, with our four ships and Grant, fully stocked with supplies. And questions about what to do next. WP 60 was the nearest way out, and there was no question that we should leave before Imperial ships could track us down. But the final way out is to find the way home, and that’s a bit more problematic.

    And there’s Lt. Cmdr. Mundy still being held in Fenring, while we don’t have the firepower to take the base. Yet. I think the Fleet Captain has plans. And while Comms officers were gathering information about Imperial ship movements, and checking whether our transponder signals were still valid to get us through any Gates, we ran a couple of sims.

    The Fleet Captain was on Oblivion, with Lt.Sr. Quinn on Helm, Lt. Donovan on Weapons, Lt. Ironclad on Comms and standing by as Shuttle pilot, Lt. Jr. Xansta in Engineering; I took Science, with a secondary Comms console in case Mr. Ironclad was needed on the shuttle. Cmdr. Aramond took command of Relentless. Cmdr. Matsiyan took Invictus.

    We were heavily outnumbered in the sim, and our three ship split up to deal with separate threats. In retrospect, it might have been more effective to stay together and concentrate our attacks, to destroy targets faster. Of course, in a real battle we won’t have bases to defend, or allied ships to lose. But even more importantly, we won’t have the support that bases and allies provide. We can’t afford to take the kind of heavy losses we experienced in that sim.

    Mr. Ironclad moved to CIC for the second sim, so our bridge crew was slightly rearranged. Mr. Donovan took the Comms and Fighter station, and a cadet I had only ever seen from a distance, Cdt. Daniel, joined us as Weapons officer. Mr. Ironclad had planned a sim where we were to eliminate ISN listening outposts, without giving away our positions, or that of Grant. We restricted all transmissions, including voice comms, which meant that Comms officers were relaying the Captains’ orders and responses. I couldn’t help thinking this was timely training for the kind of situations we’re likely to find ourselves in.

    During a break, we caught the Imperial News Service, talking about sending us to “re-education”. Yeah, right. Well, they have to justify our disappearance somehow. But I think the Fleet Captain has some ideas about who is going to be doing the re-educating.

    Cmdr. Matsiyan and Cmdr. Hall ran CIC from Grant as we set out on our mission to search for the auxiliary science station, to secure it and get all the intel still available from its databanks. We sent out all four ships, and once we found the station, our tech teams made short work of its comms and sensor equipment. Which is just as well, because at that point, a significant number or enemy ships came into the sector, and we made a run for WP60 and the Gate. This would give us the maximum number of possible jump points out of Atlantis System, and, we hoped, would slow down, or at least divide, Imperial pursuit.

    But the ships followed us, and kept pouring through the Gate. We held them back long enough to give Grant time to head for the Spinward sectors, then followed at best speed and transitioned through. While Relentless continued to escort Grant, we made our way Coreward towards the Krisenda Gate in sector A4.

    Near the Krisenda Gate, we came across some N’tani ships, who were not particularly happy to see us. We transmitted that we were breaking away from the ISN, and were seeking assistance to make our way out of Imperial controlled space. The N’tani then offered us a trade: they were looking for that obelisk we’ve heard of before, the one the Kraliens stole. It’s a memorial of great cultural value. The N’tani thought the Kraliens had hidden this obelisk somewhere in the Krisenda System, and had already searched the Coreward sectors for it. But now they were encountering more opposition, because their search had attracted attention. They offeered us assistance, if we would retrieve the obelisk and return it to them.

    They also mentioned the fact that there seems to be a survivor from R-56X (the station where research was being done on the Precursor Artefacts), who is apparently keen on getting back to the ISN… so, needless to say, we really want to talk to him (her?) about the Artefact, to find out if and how we can use it to get home.

    The N’tani jumped into the Krisenda System first, and started jamming transmissions, so that as we followed, we hoped not to be detected by the Gate systems, and delay pursuit. The N’tani told us they would lead any pursuers to Spinward, distracting them from us, and giving us the time to head towards the Trailing sectors, and find a hiding place in a nebula. To further avoid detection, we powered down sensors and systems for a while – which is where that training sim proved prophetic, really.

    So, now we had an obelisk to find, and coordinates to meet up with the N’tani again once we had. And all this had to fit in with our plan to head for Hjorden space, where we would, in theory, be out of reach of the Empire. Yes, I’ll believe that when I see it.

    We set out Rimward to begin our search. Meanwhile, Excision was detached from the other three ships to escort Grant into Krisenda 3, to accommodate Grant’s slower pace, and to make sure she would be in position for our dash through Cerberus Gate once our obelisk mission was complete.

    Our search took us through sectors 8 and 12, and we watched the normal traffic of ISN ships around the stations. It was something of a tip-toe dance, around ships and stations, not quite trusting that our IFF codes were still valid. They held long enough for one squad of our Marines to set down on DS-40, and bluster in demanding a search… I don’t ever want to be in a poker game with the Marine Sergeant who was leading them. Despite that, they had no luck finding that obelisk thing. We weren’t even quite sure what size object we were looking for, and were just hoping it would fit in a shuttle…

    Then information came in about an engagement with the N’tani that had taken place in this sector, and the suggestion that a wreck in C5 might hold some clue. So Oblivion extracted the Marines while Invictus and Relentless held back the ISN ships that had started entering the sector. They cleared the field, and we launched a beacon to help us locate the wreck.

    It turned out to be three wrecks, one of which, a battle cruiser, seemed the most promising, so once again Oblivion sent her Marines to search the wreck, and they did find the obelisk, but they also found that the radiation readings were spiking, so we had to provide immediate extraction. The obelisk was placed in secure storage, for obvious reasons.

    Meanwhile, some TSN ships were entering the sector, and Invictus and Relentless went to investigate.

    We made our way to Sector 3, where a N’tani wreck (another one) was transmitting interference, and a message for us that Excision and Grant had continued en route to Cerberus Gate. We followed, received a transmission from Grant that they had successfully hacked the Gate controls and were about to jump through to Cerberus, so we followed. Once through, we continued to an area of dense nebula in order to avoid detection.

    And here we are. That sim we ran, where we kept our emissions to a minimum, proved its relevance again, as we are keeping power down to avoid being tracked.

    We are hoping the object we retrieved from the N’tani wrecks is the obelisk they want, and that they’ll trade us the person they rescued in exchange for it. And if that person turns out to be the scientist from R-56X, then we’ll be able to find out more about the Empire’s research into the Artefacts, and whether we can use that, at last, to get home.

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