Never say you are bored on a stake out.

Skip, it’s been 5 hours, I’ve got an idea to both keep us sharp and give some training.

What you got boats?

Both of the special training troops are boat rated, and did well enough in my little sim I ran on them that I’d let them fly. Let’s load up the whole scout squad in the surveyors, launch it and go into what passes for scarred rabbit mode for them. Have the Lewis go into rolling stealth, the drones go in to hide and evade mode, have the pack try and get firing solutions on the drones and the boat under manual control. To make life interesting, the surveyors will need to stay with in .5% of it’s starting position with regards to it’s initial location post launch with us. That’s going to cause turret masking every now and then.

So, the scouts are rabbits and the Vargr are the hunters? How are we going to avoid possible friendly fire?” “Disable launch/fire from you station it’s the yellow flashing button. Push it until it turns green.” I clicked the button.

I’ll run the points. Right now scoring will be based off seconds not in sights for the scouts, good firing solutions for the guns.

Well make it so boats“.

A series of commands were issues, and once the surveyors had cleared the Merry, emissions went stealth, and random darting around in place started. Grav plates made it where you didn’t really notice, but we were no longer just holding in place.

Dr. Darst had visited all the people that were not in uniforms that included a medical read out and issued an arm band version, early in the waiting period.

After about a half hour into the “game” I got a private buzz from med bay”Sr. Scout, is there a reason why all the gun crews as well as they away scouts would be having higher than normal heart rate and respiration rates?

Well, they are taking pot shots at each other. No live ammo, but using the ranging lasers and local control on the missiles, as if they were launched.

Well that would explain it. Thank you, please warn me next time so I don’t start looking up what to give a hyper Vargr that doesn’t knock them out or make them high. I don’t think we have any thing that does that, by the way, and I’d just a soon not have high Vargr on the ship

Well, crap.  “Find one, and when we RTB get oh, 12 doses
So, we were playing “shoot the pirates when all 3 sensor officers, who were not playing the game (Mr. Urdar running the ships eyes, and the scouts not running drones on the surveyor running theirs (muttering about non stable platform) and the on board scouts using their sensors.

 

Jump foot print, 4 light seconds 800 dt class, military grade drive.”  About ten seconds later “Beta and Zulu reporting same in their scan zones.”

A minute later “Multiple 10 dt craft launched.  8 on vector our postion.  Zero/Zero at current 6G acceleration 149 minutes.

‘Surveyor, back off 20,000 km, go dark, set drones for active and have them start a circle based on our position off set by 1/4 light second. Guns you have local control, release current tracks, go to weapons free.  Laser turret one, configure for point defense. Get some Gun Pack

Battle stations, I say again, battle stations

Oh, joy

This is not what I had in mind when I said I wanted an early shake down cruise.  This is not my idea.  For starters it’s 3 hours earlier than the launch window I requested.  For seconds, it’s the wrong side of the planet to jump to Jinx and for third I got a message, from the Imperial Navy of all things, to “scan and report, engage targets of appropriate size, evade others.  Weapons free.”  That means any thing not transmitting imperial or Darrian id codes that I think is small enough to shoot at eats lasers and/or missiles.

Boats, would you be as so kind as to prep the surveyor for personal transports?

Lance Sergeant Hester, please have the away team report to the boat bay, assist, if needed Mr. Higgs, and stand ready for launch. You may stand by in the surveyor or in the bay at your option.

Medical stand down, but stay put.

Guns, stand down one turret of each type, slave to active turret.  Rotate gunners on the half hour.  We are at weapons free, however wait for my command.

Engineering, prep for non linear maneuver.  After than make sure the J-drive can take a crash jump.

Helm, plot alternate jump to 876-574.

Scouts, launch a triplet of drones,  give me a triangle deployment about a half light second out.

I got my reports back then I changed over to all hands, “Crew, despite what you might think, this is for real, not the start of the shake down, so let’s stay collected.  For all I know this might be a Navy drill that we got tagged for being a mixed crew.

After about an hour,  scouts reported in.

All hands, now we wait and see why we are here.

What the hell?

06:30 Ship and high port time.  Slightly after dusk down station time.

This is not a drill Emergency all hands on deck, this is not a drill.

Stations start reporting in, not it’s like we have a lot of stations to report.

Mr. Urdar reports “Flight Ready“.  Well, duh, we are all three on the bridge when Skip Pushed The Button, but still at least Mr. Urdar had punched up the flight computer and had the manual system on standby.  I had the scanners up and running, seeing a lot of planet and a lot of navy, who’s IFF was showing “systems down”, other than the 2 ready destroyers  which showed “about to launch”, with  target points Beta or Zulu depending on which tin can.  That with us going to Alpha that’s pretty much a full system scanning deployment.

I assume that the howls in the back ground from guns was  two of the gunners deciding on who got what turret, probably Ghaekelig’d brothers Elevg and Avlig.  Pack Leader Ghaekelig barked and reported “All ready all guns Superior Pack Leader“.  Superior Pack Leader being what they call the skip.  L’Sgt Leigh is “Combat Pack Leader”.  Skip and the L’Sgt seem amused by this.  I’ve heard at least one Marine call her “Pack Leader” and I don’t think he was being ironic.  Hard to tell with Marines, they always sound either dead serious or drunk.  He wasn’t drunk.  Skip has made if very clear he is either “Sr. Scout or Skip”,  the IISS don’t have ranks.

Med Bay ready”.  Given that she sleeps in the “private” part of the med bay that shouldn’t be too hard.  I did notice that the intercom light for that one came from the bay half of the stateroom, not her personal half.  She was at least in the right spot.  You can’t reach that button unless you are behind the treatment table.  Good design that, give the IISS credit there.  In the original Navy type ‘T’ design they were about 30cm apart.

This was quickly followed by the Marines reporting, “A team ready for boarding action, B team ready for anti boarding and all ready for under way“. As per naval, but not scout tradition, the Engineering crew did not give a verbal report, but all the tell-tells, lit up green other than the jump, given that we were with in 100 diamaters of a large object.  This the planet we’re orbiting.  “Need to speak to them about that” mutters the skip Udar just grunts, I turn my head and tell him to save his breath “Eng’s never say squat unless their shit has gone to shit.  Trust them lights, Skip”

Mr.  Urdar, set course for point Alpha, launch when cleared.”  The skip must be taking voice lessons from the Vargr, that almost sounded like a bark.

Something must be up, because Scout Flight Control came back with in 30 seconds “Meriwether Lewis, you a cleared for launch.  Get some”  Naval command followed in about 15 seconds, “Decatur and Henderson, clear to launch. find and report”

Get some?  Find and report?  Ah, those are a combat comments.  What the bloody hell is going on? Is this really not a drill?

“Once clear station, Full thrust Mr. Urdar”

And the shake down cruise, if that is what this is, starts.

We leave tommorow on shake down curise

Lost 2 days while the post “commander” found the papers I sent about a longer shake down cruise. One of the first mix service/mixed race crews in Scout history and they want me to just have a 1 jump, 3 days real time, then jump back? I Don’t Think So.

Current plan. 3 days here in Raweh doing ship system tests Jump to Jinx, run post jump system test and gunnery practice for a full t-week, then jump back, refuel and rearm, the off to Foreven.

I would have liked 4 and 8 days real space, but I’ll take what I can get. Crew, other than Lt.Urdar, and Warrant Office Higgs thinks the cruise starts in 8 day. Nothing like an “emergency launch” for a crew test.

On ship now

Well, the pack is on this scout ship. Seems like we are being exiled to the Foreven sector. They claim it’s a exploration but I know better. Seems like that paper from “President” Orsguz means we’re “Navy” not “Pirates”. Navy gets to work with the Imperials. Pirates get shot. Better exile that shot if you ask me, but I’m still on the fence there. Should have just blown the coils on the when we got caught. Meh. At least they gave us the guns, not the mops, like the others on Evdadvur ended up.

They seem to have 2 packs, the one must be not in as much favor as the other because they all live in one big room, unlike the other pack which all have 1 or 2 person rooms. They gave us 2 person rooms, but with a large door between them, so we can make it a proper pack room.

Of the favored pack I’m not sure why Higgs isn’t the pack leader, he clearly has more charisma than Jamison. The ways of humans are strange some times. Boat master Higgs says that we leave for a practice cruise in 8 days.

Rest of crew arrives

The rest of the crew has been assigned and the Imperial Marines have settled in.

All 7 Engineers are Navy, Warrent Officer 2nd Saundra Gahagan ,Petty Officer 2nd Javier Shao. Petty Officer Nita Heimbach and Able Spacers Serena Knebel,Tyrone Haverland and Lou Kraatz. The Imperial Navy doesn’t seem to think a “Class FS II” rates a commissioned engineer, but who am I to complain, the Imperial Scouts don’t even have ranks. It’s what you know, not what you are wearing on your shoulder boards that matters.  Well, if we had shoulder boards.  It’s still what you know that matters.

The ship’s doctor is a civilian, Dr. Tia Darst, this is her 3rd cruise with a scout ship.

The assigned Exploration branch Scouts are Jean Peete, Odessa Demko, Don Panther, John Morrison, Rhett Hansrote, Elease Cotey,Jeni Glacken, Voegrouan, Kelly Ference,Ashlee Alumbaugh,Dollie Capozzi, Lonnie Lona, Zel Boatner and Loraine Cossey, none of which have “Sr. Scout” status.  All of them other than Loraine are on their 3rd tour of duty.  Loraine has a tour with the Army, as a heavy weapons gunner of all things plus 3 tours in the IISS. Voegrouan is Imperial Vargr and is a bit leery of the gun crew.

I’ve requested a extended shakedown cruise, i.e leaving earlier than the 9 days it’s scheduled for. I suspect I should be getting a reply with in the day.

What We got so far

The Skipper seems like a decent bloke, for a Sr. Scout at least. Knows what what, and who is who, so should be, Haven’t named my Surveyor yet, NOT naming it it after the wife or any of the Ex-wives, leaning toward “The Short Bitch” it not being a proper cutter and all. The less said about the navigator the better, only line officer on the ship. They tend to be prigs. Also his first scout crews. Not sure I like this mixed service crew, course I’ve been scout and navy, so I might be, I may be a bit biased there. Gunner are Vargr, which is always good, assuming I can win over Pack Lord Ghaek. All scored high on the blast a rock tests, so I’m not worried about them missing. Missing in combat is bad. Very Bad. I get the feeling they got their training as a crew on a “Vargr navy” ship and are working it off. Hate to have to slave the turrets to my station. Sergeant Leigh is about what you would think a Imperial Marine NCO on her first solo command would be. That’s a good thing as well. Not sure about the marines proper, only meet 2nd fire team leader Myrmidon. Need to tell skip that’s a name, not a title. He’s a Corporal, which means we “only” have have 2 NCO’s. Myrmidon is on his 3rd ship assignment so should be smooth with at least 2nd team.

Getting the crew together.

Or, at least that’s what the fine folk at the personnel say it is. So far, My roster is as follows.

1) Master and Commander IISS Meriwether Lewis – Alexander Jamison, at your service m’lord.

2) Ship’s Bosun, Warrant Officer Higgs, rated as a surveyor, gunner and master of arms as well. He’s a scout that has a lot of navy time or a naval Warrant that has a lot of scout time. Damn glad to have him either way. The surveyor bird and crew are his.

This leaves a Pilot, a Navigator, a set of Engineers, Ship’s Doctor (and I will, by all that is Holy, get a Doctor and Surgeon, not just a medic), my gun crews and the actual scouts.

I have been informed that Lance Sergeant Leigh Hester and her merry band of armored cutthroats will be boarding soon. She and her head myrmidon arrived a few days ago and were Less Than Pleased at the conditions of their barracks area. Nothing that we did, of course, but it seems that Lance Sergeants can see grains of dirt and grime at the quantum level. Cleaning is To Be Done. Her marines seem happy at polishing the floors walls, and ceilings in their area for the time. That and getting their massive, to my less violent eye, amount of arms and armaments together.

Shakedown cruise starts in 10 days, I hope we will be ready.

After shakedown, 10 days refit, then we be come the first major Imperial Interstellar Scout Service long range patrol of the Foreven Sector in 200 years.

The Meriwether Lewis (Class FS-II “Far Reach” Survey Scout)

1000 dTon hull, Streamlined

Armor 6pt Bounded Superdense 50
Stealth, Heat shielding, Radiation shielding, Self sealing hull.
Holographic Compact Bridge (+1) 15
Very Advanced Survey Electronics TL15 (+2) 3
Enhanced Signal Processing TL15 (+4) 1.5
Jump Drive P TL15 (Jump 4) 67.5
Maneuver Drive P (4 G) 32.25
Fission Power Plant P TL15 64.5
Jump Fuel 400
Fuel Processor (2 days) 10
Power plant fuel 28
10 Hardpoints

3 Triple Missiles
4 Triple Beam Lasers
3 Triple Particle Beam

10
Hanger

1 IISS Surveyor [4 on board] 50
2 Mini Surveyors [2 on board each] 40
2 TL 14 G-Carriers 20
1 Survey and Exploration Vehicle [6 on ship] 15
2 TL 12 Stealth Grav Planes [4 on ship] 10
Ships Boat 20
195
Barracks and arms rooms 21
15 Statesroom

  1. Sr. Scout & XO
  2. Boatswain & Navigator
  3. 2 Engineers
  4. 2 Small Craft Engineers
  5. 2 Small Craft Engineers
  6. 2 SEV Crew
  7. 2 SEV Crew
  8. 2 SEV Crew
  9. 2 Stealth Crew
  10. 2 Stealth Crew
  11. 2 Lab Scouts
  12. 2 Lab Scouts
  13. 14. 15. Opened as Barrack space for 10 Vargr Gunners
60
Med bay 4
3 Labs 12
Library 4
200 Smart Missiles 10
100 Nuclear Missiles 5
Luxuries 7.25