- Category: Game Blog
- Published on Sunday, 31 January 2016 08:29
- Written by Super User
- Hits: 1008
Over the course of a couple of weeks the crew, unknown to each till this point, began to gather at the naval base on Hlaseuikh. Once the last crew member reported in you are all bundled aboard a non-descript transport ship for the last four weeks to Syoyorlea, all 70 military personal, seemingly from all branches of the military.
The Syoyorlea base is not much to look at as the transport approaches. Just a large rock in amongst a lot of rocks in the asteroid belt. A few large metal hanger doors dot the surface of the rock but not much else gives away the fact that a scout base is there.
Once on Syoyorlea it doesn't take long for you to be assigned bunks, each in quarters that house eight crew, five quarters in total. You are
all assigned to the same quarters. From the hangar where the transport lands a corridor runs off into the complex. The first right off this corridor runs into the complex proper while the corridor continues on, five corridors to the left, until it stops at a wall. Each of these corridors run to your quarters. The quarters are standard military fare, a single bunk room for each crew member, kitchen/eating area and lounge/common area. At the far end of the common room, furtherest away from the main corridor, is a locked blast door.
The duty officer sticks his head in the door of your quarters after only an hour of your arrival.
"Briefing in 800 local time," he smiles, "that's in ten minutes. Level two, conference room two."
He leaves you all, moving on to the next quarters.
On arrival to the conference room the crew find a large lecture hall, with sitting for 300. Standing patiently next to a holo projector at the front is Captain Teanna Yhoul.
"Everyone take a seat so we can begin." she says.
"I'll be blunt," begins Teanna, "you have all be selected because of your skills and your psych evals. You now form the core company of the Alliance's first expeditionary force to leave the main in over twenty years."
Teanna pauses for effect.
"On the data pads in front of you are the crew assignments for each of the five new jump two exploration ships, the first built by the Alliance. These ships have been constructed in secret here in this system."
Teanna brings up the ship schematics on the holo projector.
"Each ship has a crew of eight, with enough provisions for a six month tour of duty. Each ship has a specific route that has been selected by command, each with specific targets. Each ship crew will learn their route once the ships jump from this system."
The ship's schematics are replaced by a star map of Alliance space.
"From the Kteleaelal main one ship will head coreward for the Islaiat cluster. Two ships will head to trailing towards the Asden cluster and the final two ships will head spinward towards the Fearah cluster."
A tall, thin man with a gray mustache and bald head comes from the side to stand next to the holo projector. Many of you recognize the insignia of Naval Intelligence on his shoulder.
"The data on the systems beyond the Alliance is roughly 70 years old. We have some data from tramp traders that have made it to Alliance worlds over the years but this data cannot be verified and is of dubious value. However it has been tagged and uploaded into the ship's data banks."
"You will have one week to familiarize yourselves with the ship's functions, as well as requisition any extra equipment you feel you need from the Quartermaster."
"The ship's are armed and armored for defense. Beyond updating system data you are also tasked with acquiring any tech you can."
"Questions?" Teanna asks.
Sterlkar raises his paw and asks, "What are we instructed to do if we come across Virus infections?"
"Standard Alliance protocols are still in place. If it's tech, isolate and neutralize, destroy if that is not possible. Each ship will have at least one engineer trained in computer warfare."
The bald man pauses briefly.
"For ships or enclosed spaces deploy the PKX-43 gas and recover what remains."
"Crew structure will be as follows." Teanna flicks her data pad.
"The flight crews will consist of the Captain and navigator. The flight crew will be in command and responsible for all ship-board actions. As the ships will be out of Alliance space the flight crew will have full judicial powers. The flight crew will also have ultimate responsibility for all actions taken by themselves and the
crew." She pauses.
"The Engineering team, when not on ship's duty, will be responsible for the recovery of tech and the acquiring of Intel and hard data on all mission targets. While the Chief Engineer has the authority to recover tech and Intel they deem high value the Captain has final say on what can be returned to Alliance space."
"The gunnery fireteam are tasked with protection, not only of the ship, but of the away teams as well."
"Finally," Teanna places her data pad down, "the Legionnaires are to be the first in team. No-one is to move on a mission unless the Legionnaires give the all clear to proceed. The Legionnaires will be tasked with threat assessment and, if necessary on advisement from the Engineering team, threat neutralization to recover high value targets. Those of you with incorrect ranks will be given temporary commissions during the term of the mission. The Captains will have the authority to change those commissions."
Teanna stops long enough to sweep her gaze across those seated before her.
"Make sure you get all the equipment you think you will need for any situation you can imagine. After jump there will be no second chances. The ships have Repros on-board but the resources for making parts will be managed tightly."
Nigel raising a hand:
"Yes, how intensively are we to survey the various systems we pass through? Simple updated to navigational chart or full on socio/economic survey? Anything in particular we need to pay attention for?"
"That depends on the value of the target. High value targets will get a more through sweep than low value targets. Tech is the primary target of this mission, with the Captain of each ship having a list of targets for each world."
Teanna's gaze sweeps the audience.
"Remember however that the data is 70 years old. These missions are fluid, with the Command crew having to make decisions on the fly."
"Not to sound like an ass but what happens if the flight crew are taken out? " Nigel asks.
The bald man steps up.
He taps a few keys on the holo-projector. A listing of the ship's roster comes into display.
"The Captain is of course the Commanding Officer on board, while the navigator will be designated Executive Officer. The Chief Engineer has command of all away missions as the flight crew are not to leave ship unless there is no other recourse."
A few taps on the hologram grays out the CO and XO positions.
"Should something happen to take out the CO and XO or they can no longer give commands, or the flight crew deem the mission has failed due to crew losses, then the remaining crew are to return to Alliance space with a much risk minimization as possible."
After the mission briefing the bald man pulls Nigel to the side.
"Mr Strawn, this is not going to be an issue is it? I know the Imperials liked their routines, but this is another time and another place. You have skills the Alliance needs now, but any issues need to be sorted before leaving this system."
He continues, "Look, I know this transition hasn't been the easiest for us Remanents, but as Chief Engineer you'll have one of the toughest and possibly most dangerous job on board. However you also have the most experience to locate the tech the Alliance wants."
He slaps Nigel on the shoulder.
"What do you say son?"
"Just wanted to make sure all our ducks are in a row beforehand." replies Nigel. "Talking from experience, better to clarify things now then out in the fields when the shit hits the fan and this becomes relevant! Don't you agree?"
"Ducks in a row. You still go for those old Solomani sayings, even after all these years." chuckles the bald man.
"As for the routine bit," continues Nigel, missing the statement, "was I ex navy or marines I'd agree with you, but the IISS wasn't a military service. The nature of our work and the conditions under which we performed it required flexibility, that's what set us a part!"
By this time the bald man had a wide grin on his face.
"I suggest you don't say this in front of the other former scouts, it won't win you any friends."
"Oh and don't call me son," Nigel says with a smirk, looking in the mans eyes, "it sound patronizing and I don't need to be 'Handled'."
At this the bald man bursts out laughing, catching the rooms attention. Then it dawns on Nigel, something familiar about the man. The laugh, the blue eyes.
"Scout Leader Vincent De Bough." Nigel said, almost not believing his own words.
"Seriously, I almost got a stitch stringing you along." De Bough returned to grinning. "Been a long time son since Intel School at the scout academy. Never expected to find you here."
"I didn't recognize you without that long black mane of yours." responded Nigel.
"Yeah, well when you're 140 you got to lose something."
The pair are then approached by Teanna, who says "Everything in order here Commander?"
"Sure, just catching up with an old, and I mean old, student."
Teanna looked slightly puzzled but didn't ask further.
Nigel broke the awkward silence that was starting to develop. "Captain might I suggest we carry some precious metals, in small strips and ingots, along with a bit high tech trade good to barter with along the way?"
"Not a bad idea Yhoul, I'm sure the base has some level nine tech they can spare." replies De Bough.
"Fair enough, see what you can arrange Commander." Teanna nods to the pair and leaves.
De Bough slaps Nigel hard of the shoulder. "Good to see you again kid. Come and see me later when you've settled in. I might have some extra gear for you."
The Quartermaster gave each crew member the same tired look as they each arrived.
"Requisition forms for required equipment? Sign here. Equipment will be delivered to your ship tomorrow."
Amalric pats the plastic cases sitting on top of a wheeled cart that arrived with him. One large, one medium and one small case, all neatly stenciled with his name, ID number and the words "WARNING! IT IS A CLASS ONE FELONY TO OPEN THIS CRATE WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION".
"I could use some toothpaste and another blanket, but other than that, I came with everything I'm going to need."
"Sure." Replies the Quartermaster. He taps his screen. "Six months of tooth paste and a blanket on its way."
Sterlkar is next up with the Quartermaster. He pats his trusty takhestah and yeheal while thinking of what other gear he needs, especially for a fight.
"I'll need a vacc suit with appropriate comms, if the vacc suit doesn't come with a thruster pack I'll need one of those too. Oh and magnetic boots if they aren't standard."
The Quartermaster looks at Sterlkar and then at his datapad.
"One set of Legionnaire Heavy Combat Zero-G suit with standard thruster pack and mag boots with optional long range comms kit do?"
Sterlkar nods. "Also a grapnel gun suitable for space, an iris valve opener would be good too, and an electronic lockpick set, assuming electrical skill isn't required to use it."
"Right." replies the Quartermaster. "How about a Forced Entry Kit. Includes a grapnel gun, iris valve opener, electronic and mechanical lockpick kits, various shaped charges and a mini hydraulic pry bar?"
Sterlkar bows his head to the Quartermaster. "Thank you, sir. Your knowledge of a warrior's needs knows no bounds."
The Quartermaster looks up from his datapad. "Just doing my job. Do you need anything else?"
The Quartermaster leans in close. "I think I might have a bottle or two of Ithklar Honey Liqueur in storage somewhere."
Sterlkar's eyebrows arch in surprise. In a conspiratorial tone, he says, "You honor me with that offering, sir." In his regular tone of voice, he adds, "Yes, perhaps a case of ammunition for my takhestah and yeheal. And a blade. It is generally unwise to extend one's dewclaw through a vacc suit or environmental suit."
"Sure." responds the Quartermaster. "Actually, I think I might have something for you."
The Quartermaster disappears into the store for several minutes before returning to the counter with a pair of gloves.
"Try these on for size." He hands the gloves to Sterlkar.
Once Sterlkar takes them he continues.
"Just come in, new stock." The Quartermaster points a nodule on the side of the glove, right where Sterlkar's dew claw is. "Try extending your dewclaw."
As soon Sterlkar does the nodule springs out into a wicked short blade.
The Quartermaster smiles. "The Legion designed them so their troops could still use their dewclaws in combat suits. We found the design and modified them for our suits. When your dewclaw retracts a sensor retracts the blade as well."
Sterlkar's eyes go wide with amazement. He holds the glove up to examine it. "These are fantastic! Thank you, sir! These are truly a gift! I am in your debt."
Next up is Nigel. "I'd like my carbine retrofitted with a RAM grenade adapter."
"Sure," the Quartermaster replies, "it'll take 2 days."
"The ship's troops are outfitted to tl-10?"
"Tech level 11." replies the Quartermaster.
" I'm assuming ACRs and Lasers for Zero-G work," Nigel says "make sure there's few extra's to go around if need be. Same for Combat environment suits."
"I can add up to half a dozen ACRs, laser rifles and snub pistols per ship. Even a few Accelerator rifles. Combat environment suits are available to all crew, I can throw in a few extra common sizes, but ship's troops are only allocated one set of combat armor. Those things are too expensive to hand out seconds."
Nigel pauses to think. His EDC (every day carry) consists of some type of blade (dagger, folder or poket knife, which ever is appropriate at the time), multi-tool, small flash light, lighter, rad detection badge, bandana and short range comm.
"What's in the survival kits?"
"A blade, small trenching tool, heat wrap, weather cover, multi-purpose army knife, cold light lantern, high protein rations, lighter, compass, and short range com." replies the Quartermaster.
"I'll have a few extra of each of theses to account for attrition in the filed." replies Nigel.
"Done." replies the Quartermaster.
"Could you throw in a few lower tech weapons, maybe some pistols, smg, and carbines for occasions we don't want to stand out. Also a crate or two of 5mm for my carbine."
"I'll check in storage and see what I can rustle up."
Legionnaire Master Sergeant TK Salazar-Wei patiently waited his turn with the Quartermaster. As the last of his new companions moved off with their carry-alls of equipment he stepped forward and presented his ID and orders to the bored official.
"My needs are simple," he said and flashed a quick smile. "I understand that we ground-pounders will be issued with Combat Armour? Yes?"
"That's right." responded the Quartermaster.
"If that is the case, then I really only require some minor accessories. A Gauss Rifle or Advanced Combat Rifle, and ammunition; a selection of RAM grenades; an Accelerator Rifle and ammunition; an Auto pistol for formal wear, and a Snub Pistol for hold-out, plus ammunition. I would also like some sort of radio-controlled ATV or mule for carrying bulky equipment, and for fitting down narrow hallways, with a pintal-mounted autocannon or VRF Gauss gun for that little bit of extra fire support. A couple of hundred meters of rope with grapnels and assailing rigs would be handy, as would demolition shaped charges for unlocking doors."
"I got everything except the Gauss rifles and Gauss gun. We got some anti-grav cargo haulers but I doubt you could mount an autocannon on them and still be stable."
TK rubbed the close-cropped hair on his head thoughtfully. "Navigation beacons would be helpful, for laying trails of breadcrumbs, and some Virus-repellent could be useful, too. As well as an electro-riot batten for putting the zap on any 'droids." He tapped his teeth with a finger nail, gazing off into the distance.
"OK. Got nav beacons, both camo and anti-grav with homing function. We got PKX-43 in an spray can and the Hazmat suits to suit. We got some stun battons as well."
"Water-proof paper and grease pens, " he added and glanced at the Quartermaster. "You need to take notes and you can never be sure if your handcomp isn't suddenly going to crawl up your arm and try and bite your throat out."
"That should do for starters," he added brightly, stepping into 'at ease'.
"Paper and pens eh," says the Quartermaster scratching his head, "not much call but I'll check storage."
Suddennly TK felt a presence behind him. Turning he sees the Captain.
"TK," begains the Captain, "Our doctor has not arrived in system and official reports has the transport ship she was on as suspected mis-jump. We don't have time to get another doctor here so you are being promoted to Combat Medic."
Teanna turns from TK to the Quartermaster.
"I want 100 doses of every drug you have in stock. Plus a couple of bone knitters, skin grafters for each race type, a dozen field med kits and the best portable med scanner you have in stock. And a patient grav stretcher, actually make that two."
The Quartermaster looks at Teanna for only a second.
"I'll see what I can rustle up."
Turning back to TK Teanna says "Familiarize yourself with whatever we get." then turns and leaves.
The next day Kirth, Nigel, Sterlkar and Heather are called into Captain Teanna's office.
When they get there they find the Captain and De Bough already sitting and chatting.
"Come," says Teanna waving her upper hand at them to enter, "sit."
"Hi Nigel." De Bough greets Nigel with a nod of his head. "We managed to scrap up some trade goods."
"Yes," Teanna continues the conversation "we managed to find a few kilos of gold and silver, as well as some gems."
"We also got some basic antibiotics, a few old computer tables, satellite comms and some old micro satellites. We also have some spare chemical fuel power plants and freeze-dried food stuffs the base staff won't eat."
"I also have a little surprise for the troops." adds De Bough. "I've managed to bring along half a dozen Gauss Rifles that were found in the Knights' Legion stockpile. There is a crate of ammo but it's experimental stuff we had to construct as none was found in the cache, so make sure you have a backup weapon on hand."
"This is a special allowance given the nature of our mission." Teanna says. "Make sure it is stowed safely and all your sections are in order."
De Bough continues "We also have some new intel that we want confirmed." De Bough hands Nigel a memory stick.
"Recently we've made contact with a group of traders calling themselves the 'Caledonain Free Trade League'. They are aggressive and are claiming all the worlds for two subsectors to trailing of the Alliance. That data chip contains all the current intel we have on them."
De Bough turns to Teanna. "As I was explaining to your captain yours is one of the two ships heading into Reavers' Deep. We want you to be on the look out for the CFTL, but don't engage them. Strictly passive intel gathering on this one. This group may turn out to be a bigger threat then we can imagine."
Nigels reply "Yes I've looked over the ship's locker manifest, I notice the lower tech weapons I requested, theres a carbine and case of ammo listed. I would still like an extra case of 5mm ammuniton added. While I'm at it a case each of tear gas and thermite grenades just to widen our options in dealing with Virals interventions. A few more easely concealed pistols would be nice too."
He accepts the memory stick "I'll look over the data as soon as I get the chance."
Heather nods and thumps his tail slightly. "The gauss rifles will be appreciated. When we come out of Jump I will personally exercise each of the weapons and the ammunition. As well all the troops and back-up security crew will be familiarized with them. Meanwhile, yes we will rely on our more reliable weapons."
He looked to Nigel. "I would be honored to understand your evaluation of these Free Traders after you have processed the data Nigel."