Log Song, 5518-2237

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    Felicity Song

    Personal Log, Cdt. Felicity Song, 2nd Space Fleet, 4th Light Division
    Stardate: 5518-2237

    I’ve been called up to First Shift. This could be the real beginning of my career, as long as we don’t all die first.

    We heard that Atlantis Command had been swamped with red tape, as Admiral Mundy and Earth Company responded to the arrest of SubKmdt. Mundy and Kmdt. Matsiyan, respectively. And there was legal arguing going on about the fact that some of the military personnel involved in the case were from Third Hunter Group. As in, the Hunter Group we “accidentally” destroyed a few shifts ago, when they were about to commit atrocities against civilians. So one might imagine how impartial they would be.

    And then we heard that Kmdt. Matsiyan had been involved in a fight with SubKmdt. Morlock, and as a result he was being sent off to a desk job somewhere. I’m not entirely clear on the details. Something like an “illegal duel”. Whatever it was, it probably meant Mr. Morlock was in worse trouble. But it made Mr. Matsiyan look like a properly xenophobic ISN officer, got him out of detention, and put him in CIC at a crucial moment, so it was worth it.

    I was assigned to Excision for the sims, with Lt. Donovan in command; Lt. Nhaima took command of Relentless, Lt. Sr. Graybeard took Invictus. Lt. Sr. Quinn took Oblivion, and Fleet Command. And technically everyone was still ISN, and I should be using their ranks, but the hell with that. I’ve had enough, and we’re out, so I’ll use our proper ranks.

    The first sim was a standard “shoot anything that moves”. The second was more subtle, involving covert movement to avoid detection, keeping to nebulas and curtailing our speed, with the objective of detecting and isolating a smuggler base, capturing it and preventing any smuggler ships from fleeing. We made use of tags to extend our sensor range; found and tracked some pirate ships to their base, deployed marines to take it over, and secured both the station and the information we were looking for. One complaint I did hear came from a Weapons officer, who found he had little to do; but it was an interestingly different exercise. And proved eerily prophetic.

    The news were full of spin, as usual: first about the attack on Eris by “pirates” and foreign agents, and about the N’tani raiders who were looking for their obelisk on Station DS-56-X. They mentioned the arrest of “suspects”, which actually means 4LD Senior Officers. They even mentioned the Trafalgar Enterprises lawyers, and the duel between Mr. Matsiyan and Mr. Morlock.

    Then the broadcast was interrupted by a transmission from Nixora, saying it’s opening its borders to imperial defectors, and how there is room for the persecuted in the Nixora Planetary Alliance. It didn’t seem that important at the time, just an encouraging snippet about other people acting against this oppressive regime. But it might prove useful now. Less so for the poor broadcaster, James Young I think his name is, whose transmission was interrupted by Imperial security who carted him off to detention somewhere.

    At the beginning of the shift proper, Adm. Pompous McPompousface, known to his friends, if he has any, as McCullough, had seemed a bit flustered, and basically waved us off to “go and patrol somewhere”. So it wasn’t unexpected when we were ordered to patrol through Titan System. I was reassigned to Oblivion, and there was some more shuffling of officers as Mr. Ironclad took Engineering, Mr. Xansta Weapons, and Mr. Stephens Helm. He’s another Cadet. And Lt. Sr. Quinn praised his piloting skills at the end of the mission, which is quite something.

    CIC reported the arrival of our new supply ship (we had been making preparations to leave, and anyone with any authority to request supplies had been doing so), so it was good to know she’d be following the Hunter Group. While it was still a Hunter Group. I’m pretty sure we were all thinking, “not for long…”

    We started off quietly, heading for the Cerberus Gate as if everything was normal. What wasn’t normal was Mr. Matsiyan’s notice that second class citizens shouldn’t be allowed to act without supervision. Then we got a distress call from Sect. 3, where we found pirate ships attacking friendly traders, so we attacked them. One of the pirate ships surrendered and fled, and we were ordered to pursue and destroy.

    Then we moved on to Sector 2, heading for the Atlantis Gate. And once in Atlantis, we went into silent running: curtailed speed, unnecessary systems shut down, all of that. Because we were pretty sure, after Hamilton’s message (I need to have a chat with her when we get her back, how dare she go off on a daring mission to find the Resistance, and not even let me know!) that the Senior Officers were being held in Atlantis Command. And this was it. This was the rescue. I thought the sitting on the edge of your seat thing was a figure of speech, but it turns out it’s an actual literal thing that people do when they’re tense. At least, everyone on Oblivion’s bridge did it.

    The nervousness was made worse because somehow, we mis-jumped, and ended up in Sector 16, by the WP 60 gate. We changed the IFF transponder signals to emulate the 1st HG that were supposed to be coming in to replace 3HG. We even faked up a small leak of theta radiation. We kept to the nebulas, avoiding stations and local traffic while we scanned everything. We seemed to take for ever… Those scans turned up some transport ships being attacked by pirates. That was a tough call for Lt.Sr. Quinn to make: leave the ships to the pirates, or break cover and risk our rescue effort. We kept to our course and silent running. I was slightly relieved when local destroyers moved in and destroyed the pirate ships. Even so, I think Mr. Quinn did the right thing.

    We continued on our painfully slow way. Then came a warning that all gates were going to be offline for the next several hours, and that a safety distance from all gates should be observed to avoid warp and drive systems being affected by the gate malfunction. That meant we couldn’t use jump gates to get away, but also that the ISN wouldn’t be able to send ships through after us. So we had the local ships to deal with, but that would be all.

    Even so, there was a lot of local traffic in Sectors 2 and 3. We continued our approach to Atlantis Command in the nebula, requested docking, as as soon as that was granted, we sent in the Marines. I don’t know how to describe how tense everyone was as we listened to the station-wide alarms, and our Marines reporting that they were spreading through the base, that they were closing in on the conference quarters… meanwhile, we were preparing for evasive action.

    Then came the blow: our Marine Sergeant reported that the SOs weren’t on the base, they’d been taken off about one hour before our arrival, and were travelling through Sector 8. So we scrambled to pick up our Marine teams as fast as the shuttles could go, and even though Perseus somehow managed to fly the wrong way for a short while that actually seemed endless, Relentless eventually picked her up. So many ships pursuing, there was no way to fight them all. And we escaped into Sector 7.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Matsiyan and Mr. Hall, in CIC on Promethean Command, were edging closer to being discovered, and were preparing their own last-minute escape.

    We found the convoy’s signal, chased it from Sector 7 into 8, and we thought we had identified the ship with the SOs on board, but that turned out to be a decoy. We found which ship really had the prisoners aboard — a Griff, of course, just to make life difficult — and gave chase, while her escort chased us. The Griff was the one we wanted. We disabled her and launched shuttles to board her and bring the SOs back, and meanwhile, we were holding off her escorts. In the ensuing fight, Oblivion ended up with no warp, no maneuvre, 30% hull integrity, and all dam com teams so badly injured they couldn’t make repairs. Relentless came to the rescue, dealing with a couple of our damaged but obstinate pursuers, and sending us a repair team via their shuttle. Mr. Ironclad worked miracles with them, and we limped away.

    We kept running, through Sectors 13 and 12, avoiding mine fields and local traffic, and into Sector 17, where we went to hide in a nebula, and found Grant waiting for us there. Well, not the Grant we knew, but she’ll do, and we were happy to see her. It means we have supplies for whatever comes next.

    This is where we heard that Mr. Hall and Mr. Matsiyan were about to leave CIC in Promethean, and step into the stealthed long range shuttle they had standing by.

    After we had all recovered from the immediate aftermath, and first repairs had been made, we gathered for an officers’conference. We heard, with general relief, that the SOs were on board, safe, though under heavy sedation that would keep them from active duty for a little while. All except Lt.Cmdr. Mundy, who had not been aboard the Griff. There was speculation the Trafalgar Enterprises lawyers might have got her out; or that she had been transferred on a different ship. The question was, transferred where. Data from the Griff showed she had been on route to Fortress Fenring, in Atlantis Sector 10, so that’s probably where we’ll go looking. Cmdr. Matsiyan would be able to tell for sure, but he said she wasn’t conscious. Still, they can’t really keep her unconscious for ever, and once the psi-link is active again…

    We aren’t supposed to know about that, but of course everyone does. You can’t stop gossip on a ship. You might as well try to stop the engineering crews from distilling their lethal potions.

    Just to make sure we weren’t going to run into any surprises while hiding out, we made ready to patrol the sector, and the whale sanctuary. Now, the area is a whale sanctuary in our universe, but it’s actually a whale ranching preserve in this one. I think that means the whales are captive bred, and some hunting does take place. I’m not actually sure. There’s a ranching station, a fully automated one, RS-00, and the commanding officers thought that if we fired an EMP to disable it, nobody was likely to notice. So Invictus did that. And just then a bunch of Arvonians turned up, detected the EMP, and demanded we surrendered ourselves for the crime of causing the death of a machine intelligence.

    I dread to think what they’d do if they witnessed us fighting Caltrons.

    We decided we’d cause less of a ruckus if we just avoided the Arvonians, so we scooted off into Sect. 16, where, conveniently, we found a pirate asteroid base in A4.2. We scanned it for comms activity, but all was quiet, and no life signs were detected as we moved into closer range. So we launched shuttles to let some Marine teams have a look at it. They found evicence that it had abandoned recently, and in a great hurry. They also found some equipment that was consistent with other we have observed the TSN using.

    Naturally, everyone was asking questions about why the base had been abandoned. And everyone was remembering Stormhold, I’m sure. So the Marines were deployed to examine the base more closely, while we remained on board our ships, on rotating high alert. It could be an advanced TSN station, set up for covert comms with smugglers and agents, and it might even be that our own mis-jump, which brought us close to this base at the beginning of the mission, caused any TSN personnel to evacuate. After all, our transponders were sending out ISN signals at the time. Anyway, we are being careful, and investigating the place.

    And we are all waiting for reports from MedBay, telling us that our Senior Officers are awake, healthy, and ready to take their posts.

    [end log]


    Adm. Pompous McPompousface – love it.

    I’d attempt to write a log, but your compared to your continuous high standards it would be embarrassingly poor. Please don’t stop doing these.

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