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Ugh, called back to duty, just when things on the station were getting good! I swear the captain has a knack for knowing just when something interesting is starting to go down and then decides to go on a drill, or a resupply mission, or provide security for some convoy or dignitary.
What was "going down" was some of the guys in the Laz League from a visiting science station got the brilliant idea to throw a party in the low G section of the space station. Those guys know how to attract more chicks than even pilots, and they get the best of the female species to show up at their parties. I’m almost afraid to go into too much detail because I know we were breaking way too many rules. I think the only reason we didn’t get busted is the sectors most prominent socialite, Samantha Ogawa, and her entourage were thoroughly enjoying themselves and making quite the scene.
We had literally just managed to talk our way in past the bouncer when my communicator went off. I rolled my eyes and told my buddy to have fun and sort of swam my way back to the exit through the low g dance floor.
Prior to the party, about the most entertaining thing that happened was on a training mission where our normal pilot got a wild hair to work down in engineering. He made all these grand statements about “How hard could it be?” and “Anyone can squirt Space Whale Oil on this stuff and get the systems back online!”. Eventually I think the captain got tired of it. We had new guy fresh from the academy as an intern on helm. So the Captain told him to put on the red shirt and head below deck, the “new guy” would be flying the ship. When we got back to base and he came back up on deck I think I heard him say something about, “I’m better at flying than fixing this ship”. It was funnier at the moment, so you probably had to be there to understand.
As we reported to the USN Liberator, we were surprised to find out we would be playing taxi service to none other than Governor Ogawa. Now I’m not good at my history or politics, which is why I’m slinging beams and torpedoes instead of working science or engineering, but everyone, and I mean EVERYONE knows who Governor Ogawa is. The way he defended Elysium is practically the only thing they teach about strategy at the academy.
There are also some pretty significant rumors about how he “miraculously” survived crashing his ship into the Torgoth flagship and that he made some serious promises to the enemy to keep them from blowing what remained of his body into the vacuum of space. Some say that he’s practically immortal with all the artificial parts they put in him too.
Of course, there are the people who think he’s "enslaved" them and raped the region of its resources for his own personal gain. He is probably the wealthiest person in the sector, and of course his daughter likes to flaunt his success, which only stokes the animosity (and it doesn't hurt she’s one of the hottest dames in this arm of the galaxy either). There have been assassination attempts by Elysian separatists reported in the media before. Not only that, the TAK Alliance has about the same feelings for him and I’m sure any ship in their fleet would like a chance to say they were the one who killed the “Lion of Elysium”.
So, now we get to play chauffeur to one of the most loved and hated men in the universe. The USN Liberator is NOT one of those minivan transport units the Tarantian trophy wives of the mining magnates use to shuttle their kids around in, this is a battleship, meant for, well, battling stuff.
I guess I better kick my feet up and try to catch some z’s because how hard can it be to take this guy back to his house in Tarantis?
Well, I don’t know specifically what happened, but after we made it through the jump gate, I hear the comms guy saying something about “malfunction” and that we’ve “lost communication with FleetCom” and stuff. Then the science guy chimes in about some kind of gravity anomaly and goes off in his geek talk about the unstable nature of gravity in the Tarantis system.
The captain was pretty cool about the whole thing, got everyone calmed down and kept the Governor busy by showing off our new ship. The Governor was not at all like I expected. He sure didn’t walk like a normal person, but that’s to be expected from the rumors of how he’s put together. He seemed pretty impressed with the ship and he was pretty nice to everyone, even the low ranking guys like me. He didn’t say much, but didn’t act all “stuck up” like most of the diplomats we get to escort.
Science was picking up a USN supply ship on the long range sensors. Which seemed odd, considering we didn’t even know where we were. Eventually he managed to figure out it was a TAK freighter which had somehow managed to spoof the scan signature of one of our supply ships. It was apparently building a TAK jump gate right in the Tarantis sector.
Well, at that moment, we should have gone Code Red, raised shields and given him the Omega 3 greeting, but we were too late. The TAK armada showed up to defend the gate.
I am glad our regular pilot was back at helm, because we had our hands full with TAK forces and this sector was peppered with asteroids we had to avoid as well.
I’m sure the eggheads back at FleetCom that read these reports would really like some details on how the fight went down. I’ll be honest, when things get hot and heavy it really becomes a blur. I’m so focused on the captains orders and trying to remember raise the shields when we get into a hostile situation.
Compared to the USN Nike the Liberator has a lot more capabilities in the weapons pod. I hacked the forward view screen onto another display in my control pod so I could have a window into what was happening outside the ship, but it seems to be more of a distraction than helpful. It is nice to have when we’re just cruising around but I should probably turn if off when the fighting starts.
I am glad to report there were very few surrenders. I really don’t like it when they surrender. I’ve been reprimanded because when a ship surrenders we’re supposed to cease fire. Well, they don’t exactly stick a white flag out a portal for me to see when I’ve got them in my crosshairs. The manual firing system doesn’t exactly give a lot of feedback on when they decide to give up.
Also, it is my opinion, if we are going to win this war then we should fight it like we are going to win it. If we claim a sector of the galaxy then we should keep them out of it. You stick your slimy alien toe across the border, I should be allowed to shoot it off.
I get that the politicians want to resolve this peacefully and establish some kind of normal relationship with the TAK, but out here on the front lines, I don’t really see that the TAK are interested in any sort of friendly arrangement. I think they have figured out and take advantage of our Rules of Engagement (ROE). You never hear of any USN ship being able to leave a sector after surrendering. Why is that?
Whatever… I’ll leave the politics to the politicians. As long as my beam emitters are online, I’ll just keep pulling the trigger.
I almost forgot to mention. There was a dude, looked like he was on a DamCon team from the USN Nike at that party. I tried to get over to him to see if he could tell me anything about the ship. It isn’t on the roster of destroyed ships yet but it hasn’t been back to base for a really long time. It was also a really good ship, so it was routinely in the news for saving a station from a TAK incursion or other heroic deeds. It really feels like the USN Nike has disappeared and FleetCom isn’t helping us out any by letting the rumors run wild.
Wait a sec, what was I supposed to be reporting about…
Oh, the Governor… Sheesh, I completely forgot he was on the ship. Just as we were dismantling the last of the TAK ships and their jump gate, a FleetCom dispatch ship warped in. How freakin’ convenient is that. I swear FleetCom knows just when to show up so they can swoop in and take the glory. About the only useful thing these guys could tell us was which sector of the Tarantis system we were in so we could warp out in the right direction to avoid getting crushed in a gravity well.
We set a course and headed out of this sector. I think we might have put a few dents on the USN Liberator and she’s got a few new scorch marks from TAK energy weapons, but overall, she held up real good. Whatever our engineer and his DamCon team did to my torpedo loaders is working real good. I’ll have to remember to buy them a drink when we get back to base.
Oh, one of my buddies let me in on a little secret of his (and his success with the ladies). He’s got a source for the rumored “Torgoth” cologne. It’s apparently made from the glands of those giant space whales the Torgoth like to harvest. No one is sure what the Torgoth do to it, but whatever the liquid is they extract, it is rumored to make even the most weather beaten space marine popular with the ladies. If he can get me some I’ll let you know if it works.
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