Log Song, 19518-2237

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    Felicity Song

    Personal Log, Cdt. Felicity Song, TSN 2nd Fleet, 4th Lt. Div.
    Stardate: 19518-2237

    I know what Lt. Cmdr. Mundy would say. She’d be pacing up and down muttering “Dammit, dammit, dammit” and trying not to let anyone hear it, but failing. I don’t know what the Fleet Captain would say. I don’t know what he did say, when it happened. I don’t know what we’re going to do about it.

    Whisper of Oblivion. She was never really home, but I served on her bridge a few times, and she deserves her full name now she’s gone. I’m not sure how many people died on board. There must be a full report by now, but I haven’t looked. I can’t bear to, yet. There was that Mayday call, and life pods before we could reach her. I’m not even sure how many life pods we picked up. I was on Invictus at the time, she’s the one with the reputation for getting hit and limping away. But this time it was Oblivion, and there was no limping away, just the silent flare of destruction.

    We’ve made it through the Gate from Cerberus into Hjorden, all our remaining ships with damaged warp after the interaction with the Gate systems. Damcon crews are working on the repairs, of course. And now what?

    Personal Log, Supplemental:

    I ought to go back and describe the situation from the beginning of the shift. We had recovered that N’tani obelisk thing, a monument big enough it only just fit into a shuttle. Then, in order to complete the exchange with the N’tani, and pick up the ISN scientist they were (and still are) holding, who might have information to help us get home, we needed to take the obelisk to our rendez-vous point in the Hjorden sector. All this, while avoiding the ISN ships, and while escorting Grant, who is carrying most of our supplies and is therefore vital, while still being ponderously slow.

    To make things interesting, the Fleet Captain was out of commission, knocked out by some reaction to the drugs the ISN interrogators had been using. Fleet Command went to Cmdr. Aramond.

    It all started pretty normally. Cheerfully, even, with Ens. Starry being promoted to Lt.Jr., and with a couple of sims. Cmdr. Aramond took Relentless, Lt.Sr. Graybeard took Oblivion, Lt.Cmdr. Vaj took Invictus, with Lt. Beaumont on Helm, Lt. Donovan on Science, Lt. Xiph on Weapons, Lt. Doyle in Engineering, and me on Comms.

    It was like I imagine a psi-link would work: Mr. Beaumont and Mr. Xiph barely had to say a word to each other, and they would know exactly what the other one meant and needed to be done, and the same between Mr. Beaumont and me. As for Mr. Doyle, I think I barely heard him, but he was listening to everyone else, because the power was always going to the systems that needed it most. Maybe that’s the thing about sims, we just don’t feel the same pressure, and we all relax into doing our jobs, with no lives on the line.

    The second sim was a little different, an exercise in corralling xenos and repelling Piranhas, Sharks and Charybdis, even a Dragon. A little fussy, but something new, and therefore an interesting challenge.

    The news broadcast was interesting too, the contrast between the official ISN bulletins and Nixora Free Network. I’m glad that reporter who was dragged away from the ISN studio for basically telling the truth, has found his way to the NFN. That must be a story worth telling in itself.

    So, our next step was supposed to be to go and exchange the N’tani obelisk for the scientist, which would mean going through the Gate Control station in Sector 2 to punch through the locks, since all the codes we had are no longer valid. Then we’d have to race to the Hjorden Gate in Sector 7. And we were warned that the obelisk, which was now housed in a shielded hold on Grant, was emitting some kind of radiation that interfered with the formation of warp bubbles, so it had to remain in its shielded storage, and we had to keep at least a 3k distance from Grant to avoid that warp interference.

    So we took all our ships to escort Grant: I was assigned to take SciComm on Invictus, with Lt.Cmdr. Vaj in command, Lt. Beaumont on Helm, Lt. Xiph on Weapons, Lt. Tam in Engineering. Cmdr. Aramond remained in fleet command on Relentless, Lt.Cmdr. Morlock took Excision, and Lt.Sr. Quinn took Oblivion.

    We started out in Cerberus Sector 1, travelling slowly because of Grant, and we were detected and attacked by ISN ships that launched from DS-48. We actually defeated them, put Marines on board DS-48, they took the station, and we stocked up as much as we could, then evacuated all personnel from the station, and set it to blow.

    Things didn’t go nearly as smoothly when we reached Sector 2. Many more ships launched from the stations there than we could possibly cope with. We tried to distract them from Grant, since she was carrying our supplies and the obelisk; at the same time, we tried to punch through the Gate control. But we couldn’t. Having to hold position while our techs worked on the Gate control meant we lost much of our advantage of mobility and speed. We had Marines working on the Gate control, with Oblivion holding position close by. And that was when Oblivion sent out her Mayday, and we all broke off our engagements and raced to her. But we didn’t get there in time.

    We saw the crew pods, and shuttles launched to go and pick them up. Invictus’ own shuttle, however, had been destroyed in an earlier engagement, when we had used it to distract our attackers while Lt. Tam frantically worked on restoring power to our systems; so all we could do was defend the other ships.

    Once Oblivion’s crew was aboard (mostly on Relentless, from what I gathered from comms transmissions), we headed towards Sector 6. But that meant we left Marines behind, the ones who had been working on Gate Control. That was another blow. But they sent us a curt message to go, get to the Gate, and they’d fight their way to the control room to hold it open for us. So we fled, leaving them behind. It feels wrong just to say it, let alone do it…

    An ISN Nightmare class followed us, and continued to follow into Sector 7, where we were able to engage and destroy her. That left us in Sector 7, where the Hjorden Gate is. And where five ISN stations, with their attendant fleets, also are.

    It didn’t take long for the ships to launch, and things didn’t look at all good. Then, against all odds, we received a transmission from our Marines: they were holed up in the control room, they were working on the Gate controls. We had no time to lose. We made a run for the Gate, we punched our way with brute force through the systems that weren’t being activated from Gate Control, and we jumped through into the Hjorden System. I sent a “Jump active” message back. I have no way of knowing if they received it.

    Did they realise? Did they surrender, or did they hold until they were all dead? If they surrendered, if they were taken prisoner, we can get them back… Like we got the S.O.s, like we’re going to get Lt.Cmdr. Mundy. What if they did surrender, and they’re being taken to Fenring for interrogation, as traitors? That would be, well, the word convenient doesn’t seem quite right, in these circumstances. Hopeful, perhaps. I have nothing to base this hope on, but rebellions are built on hope.

    The Cerberus Gate is in Hjorden Sector 6, and we set course Coreward towards Sector 3, where the plan was to head for a dense nebula and hide out. At that point, warp systems failed. The engineers speculated it might have been because of some interaction between the Gate and the obelisk, with its strange warp-distorting emissions, but at that point speculation took second place to repairs.

    Debrief was… not cheerful. We’re working on repairing everything we can, while we wait for the N’tani to show up. If they show up. We have the obelisk, and we paid dearly to get it. They have the scientist. It’s about time we traded.

    [end log]

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