12/03/2016 at 15:26 #5914
Chapter 2: 27216-2237
Since the last shift ended, until this shift began, Cadet Blaze Strife spent many hours studying for the Ensign exam. Lying in the bottom bunk, reading the materials for the last time, he glanced over the exam requirements for the umpteenth time, even though he already knew them by heart.
Attended two duty shifts? Check. Gained practical experience of multiple roles during duty shifts? Check. Gained a good knowledge of how all the roles aboard a TSN vessel operate? Check. Specified an area of primary expertise? Weapons. Know and understand TSN protocols and procedures? Check. Learned about all of the Combat Orders? Blaze looked back at the materials, hoping he did; more than his exam depended on this one, as he has proven on his first simulation. Developed a clear and professional manner of communicating? This one was the one that left Blaze puzzled, and was the main reason he kept glancing at the list. He had read and understood the documents, but was confused that the guidelines written in them didn’t exactly correspond to the real situation. He thought he has seen the last of such discrepancies, now that he’s out of the Academy.
*BEEP BEEP BEEP*
The alarm startled Blaze so hard he jerked into sitting position, banging his head hard on the top bunk. The sound was so loud it awoke all three of his sleeping roommates. One laughed, one cursed, and one just grumbled and rolled over, badly in need of sleep after a long shift. Blaze swiftly got up, angrily shut the alarm off, and left for the galley, all the while rubbing his throbbing head.
Arriving at the mess hall, he was surprised to see hardly any officers present. The DO Lieutenant Eric Aramond was already here, making sure that everyone’s consoles are up to date with the newest security protocols. Quietly joining a group Aramond was currently talking to, Blaze heard the given instructions and updated his console, trying not to give the DO another officer to worry about.
Five minutes before the shift began, the number of officers remained significantly less than expected. Hoping it’s just a matter of tardiness, Blaze went to see if some of them were gathered in the Lobby or the Briefing Room, but found no one there. At the roll call, only nineteen officers were present and accounted for. Having so few officers available for a duty shift didn’t seem like a good idea.
After the mission briefing, Blaze was sent to TSN Phoenix, to serve on Weapons. Once again, while reading the handout, he noticed a weird nickname of the ship, “Firechicken”. This one he understood; he knew what a phoenix was supposed to be. Heading towards it, he hoped it wouldn’t have to rise from the ashes on this mission.
Surviving yet another duty shift, Blaze sprawled on his bed, ignoring the chatter of the two of his bunkmates. He knew he wouldn’t be in this room for long, now. Exhausted, but happy, he decided to write the log immediately. Since the table was taken, he began writing it in the comfort of his bed.
Cadet Blaze Strife
No permanent assignment
2nd Space Fleet, 4th Light Division
“Heh, soon two of the four lines will be different” Blaze smiled to himself. Then he remembered how the shift started and frowned, feeling slightly embarrassed.
I should pay more attention to the DO’s instructions about console updates, from now on. My Weapons console froze at the start of the simulation, resulting in the destruction of the TSN Phoenix.
The first impression Blaze left on Commander Expree could not have been splendid. Even though Blaze viewed Expree as a mostly carefree captain, he sensed some unseen danger in the man. Luckily, none of the hidden menace was directed towards Blaze for the trouble caused.
Our DamCon teams were excellent in the sim. Not realistic.
Even though Blaze was never in the engineering room or assigned to a DamCon team during a mission, he has heard a great deal of complaints about them from the senior officers. Having the Chief Engineer compliment their effectiveness several times during a simulation seemed out of place.
The first mission of the shift begun by escorting the crew of the Hydra from the station to the repaired TSN Hydra.
Blaze found it amusing to welcome the crew of the ship he started calling home, aboard a ship he was on for the first time. The Phoenix was only a light cruiser class, so providing space for a larger crew of a bigger missile cruiser proved inconvenient for almost everyone aboard. The Firechicken ended up cramped, almost bursting apart with the amount of people she carried. Most of the Hydra’s crew was packed in the cargo hold, with some lucky ones slipping into the mess hall. At least the bridge didn’t suffer from additional chaos-amplifying elements; the bridge crew was chaotic enough on its own.
The escort to the Hydra was a success.
After docking at the station just briefly enough for the Hydra’s crew to leave Phoenix’s premises, the 4th was sent to patrol the sector. That was when the first major issue occurred. Lieutenant Aramond, Phoenix’s temporary Helmsman, kept warp speed at sector transition, ignoring warnings of the Cadet at the Weapons. Since the scanners were slow to update, the fast transition proved costly; the crew saw the minefield too late, and plowed straight through it.
Transitioning sectors at speeds higher than impulse is not advisable. I will formally recommend that all sector transition speeds be reduced to less than 100% impulse. The damage suffered from the unexpected minefield was severe, but our DamCon teams were able to patch us up and allow for further exploration of the sector. Still, the repair speed was slower than in the simulation.
Unsure if the shields Blaze raised at the last second were of any help, he decided to leave that part out of the Personal Log. He liked to keep the Log professional, since he expected that his higher-ups could read it without his knowledge. However, Blaze was determined to keep raising shields and warning the Helm Officer of the ship’s speed at the sector transition, unless ordered otherwise. He was quite sure Lieutenant Junior Quinn of TSN Hydra would not make that mistake.
Thinking about Hydra’s Helm Officer, Blaze was reminded of noticing that Hydra’s permanently assigned Weapons Officer looked lost, from Blaze’s perception at the Phoenix. Lieutenant Junior Fulvus was absent from the 4th for quite a while, so it might be due to his lack of practice, but Blaze knew he would’ve done a better job of using ordnance and shooting down drones than Fulvus did. After a brief contemplation, he concluded that’s not something he wanted to write in the Log.
While patrolling the sector, TSN Phoenix encountered an old wreckage of TSN Dragon. The Science Officer reported no sign of life or anything out of the ordinary.
“As if finding the wreckage of a TSN ship was not out of the ordinary in and of itself” mumbled Blaze.
His bunkmate at the table turned and asked “What? Are you talking to me?”
“No, sorry.” Blaze was quick to reply, still looking at the console in his lap. Not wanting to sound discourteous, he added “Just thinking about the mission.”
“Oh, okay” replied the bunkmate and returned to his business at the console on the table.
Blaze stared at his console without really seeing it, realizing this was the most words he exchanged with his roommates for the whole day. He believed that was not normal, and was determined to try harder at making friends with anyone sharing his living space from now on. That would prove a difficult task, him being an introvert.
Following the defeat of all enemies in the sector, we returned to the base, but were soon called to another mission after a blaring klaxon signaled alert. The USF were invading.
Once again, Blaze decided not to mention something he deemed important in the log, not wanting to make enemies with a higher ranked officer so soon after leaving the Academy; especially since he didn’t know if his assumptions were correct. Commander Dante Zelreich boarded the Phoenix and took the captain’s chair, relieving Commander Expree. Blaze has never heard of this Commander Zelreich, but he left an impression of being out of loop with the Division’s current status. He had probably just returned to the 4th, so that’s understandable, but Blaze didn’t like the way Dante led them.
The second major issue was the destruction of an ore processing station. The Division was spread too thin to be able to save everyone.
Wondering how much of a fault each ship bore, Blaze believed Phoenix could’ve done much more; maybe even saved the station. Well, at least the Division was able to defeat all enemies and collect every life pod ejected from the destroyed station.
After we all returned to base, several of us cadets went to take the Ensign Exam. Took the Weapons Officer exam and passed with 97%, earning a gold pin. Immediately upon passing, requested permanent assignment on Hydra.
Passing the exam was Blaze’s highlight of the shift. Days of being in this smelly, cramped room with annoying station’s night shift cadets were at an end. Hoping he would join some pleasant ensigns, Blaze finished the log and signed off. Placing the console in the small night stand, he caught a glimpse of the training materials and remembered how frustrated he was during the exam, since it was outdated. He spent way too much time thinking about some of the answers, and was sure he would’ve gotten a 100% if the test was up to date. However, none of that mattered, not right now. Doubting anyone even ever looked at the test scores, Blaze closed his eyes and dreamt of being Hydra’s permanent Weapons Officer.12/03/2016 at 15:28 #5916
//Again, if anyone prefers to read the story in the Google Doc, here’s the link: TSN short stories – Blaze Strife. In the Doc you are able to comment on the specific parts of the text.
//Thanks for reading! 😀13/03/2016 at 01:59 #5963QuinnParticipant13/03/2016 at 07:05 #5969AramondParticipant
Then this needs to be the tastiest fight ever…
Three-way head-to-head-to-head bake off!
Using only ingredients found on station!
Best Chef = Best Officer!13/03/2016 at 07:40 #5972ZephyrParticipant
//I’m away for a little while and now your fighting on deck, what happened to discipline? Great story 🙂13/03/2016 at 11:05 #5975
//Thanks for reading and the feedback! 😀
I shall not participate in the bake off. I don’t want to poison anyone.
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