A clean ship is, well a clean ship.

L’Sgt Hester came up to me day before yesterday and asked if it was OK if her squad “squared away the ship”, as there wasn’t much for them to do, because we weren’t a big enough ship to have a proper small arms simulator range.

I thought about it, and given the normally sloppiness a scout ship “No interference with ops, stay the hell out of the Jump drive and power supply sections and have fun.” The whole squad looked like I just gave then 1000 credits each. Cpl Myrmidon bellowed “Squad Honors!”. And lo and behold they all snapped to a attention and gave me a hand salute. I returned it as best I could and said “Well, carry on then.” As they left, L’Sgt Hester turned to me with a smile “I’ll have some one give you some lessons in returning a salute. Might be important out there dealing with military run worlds.”

Lt. Urdar looked up from his console. “You have an odd crew Sr. Scout. Your have a Vargr gunnery pack that has divided the ship’s company in to 3 packs, and every one has taken it in stride. If some one says “Superior leader” or “combat leader” every one knows who you are talking about. It would not surprise me at all if wolf motif decorations start showing up in marine country soon. On the other hand, the Vargr seem to have some clue about assigned chain of command. You have a 6 term Bosom, who started in the scouts then went navy. Your IM squad is not only willing, but volunteering to do ship work. You have a full blooded Vilani pilot who isn’t hidebound and likes playing with the engineering crew. The closest thing to a “normal” crew section is Engineering, and even there they don’t seem to mind having the pilot act as an acting Engineering officer. In other words, you have a crew full scouts. I strongly suggest you look at all their ratings and assign as needed, regardless of service of origin. You know, like it was a scout crew.”

Hmm. Something to think about.

Day 1 Jump

All things indicate a nominal jump. Inspection continues of non drive and power plant related ships components. No major issues found.

I really need to look over more than just the header information on my ships roster. I had planned on doing that during the shake down cruise, due to the lack of time given before ships company arrived. Might as well do it now, since there really isn’t much else to do in Jump.

First Jump with this crew

No jump sickness reported on entering so we should not have done a miss jump on entry to jump space, which is good. I’m going to do a total ship check over, less the drives and power plant while in jump. Not quite as good as doing a normal space systems test but the best I can do. For all I know we are going to come out in “Republic” space on exit. Won’t that be fun.

Lt. Urdar managed to do a jump dim on entry. This is not a Vilani designed ship, so there isn’t a simple command to do that. Got to figure out how he did that. I’m not going to ask, that would be cheating.

Shake down cruise? Well, sort of.

A patrol cruiser from the naval base arrived to act as a relief in place. We were given orders to return to the naval base for new loaded out.

A way larger than normal group of yard apes were waiting for us when we docked. At least I assumed it was larger than normal, having never docked at a navy base before. Both Bosum Higgs and Lt. Urdar looked a bit stunned by the size of the shore party, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was larger than normal.

They removed all our missiles. Replaced them with 200 smart missiles and 100 nukes.

Nukes.

Scout ships don’t carry nukes. We do now it seems.

While I was dealing with this little detail, I was given an order packet from the Scout base.

Once the load out was complete, move to jump point Zulu, then jump for Ake (Foreven 3238) verify status of previous IISS survey [D5356AA-8]. If post jump system analysis of ship’s systems showed major issues I was to return to base, otherwise to proceed at my own choice of next planet fall on the primary mission.

Given Ake status as a Imperial client state, little change in the survey is expected. Low gravity world, fairly dry, breathable, if thin, air. Near terminal nutcase in charge. Port, such as it goes, is Imperial, going with their client status. Don’t think I’ going to allow shore leave, for starters with a law level of 10, the odds of NOT having at least one crewman arrested is as near as damn all is nil. While not the wild unknown, it’s not Imperial space, exactly, which makes it technically an operational jump, not a “crew and ship effectiveness evaluation cruise” to use the formal term for shake down cruise.

I decided to treat Ake as world where first contact would not be needed but a full survey was needed, to test out all ship systems.

As a closing note, we were to consider Imperial designed military craft not transmitting Imperial code 4 or Darrian code 3 as “hostile” and to take action as need to protect ship. As of this time there were no Imperial naval ships in the Urnian sub-sector, but there was at least 2 Darrian tasks forces operating there. Darrian vessels were to be considered as Imperial for all reasons having to do with intelligence or classified material.

Very strange news coming from HQ

Seems that the fighters recovered, while “down to the last rivet details” were MK XXXLV fighters, they had no marking. None. Not even serial numbers on parts that should have serial numbers. While not all the bodies were recovered, it seems that of the ones found each team was a set of clones, and the basic clone stock from each group was a related as brothers and sisters, (the group that attacked the Decatur was female) Jump tracking of their exit vectors has them going Spinward, with what appears to be a jump 4 power level. So, there is some one cloning both imperial fighters and, it seems their pilots, out in Foreven. I’m starting to understand why they are sending a FS-II not just a normal FS on this cruise.