Saturday, September 2, 2017

On Patrol, Part I

049-1120

Alice Springs, Terra/Sol 0830 Local
Found Here
            A short week after the Boxing Kangaroo returned from the shakedown, she was commissioned. It was a typical ceremony, with the crew formed up, Admiral Taugolo delivering, and Lieutenant Brickley taking command, and the first watch stationed. That was yesterday, and half the crew was recovering from the party that followed. Baroness Beata Nehru Mesa of Brisbane, one of the honor nobles resident on Terra, served as the sponsor, serving to link the ship and crew more closely to the Imperium. Older, she had received her title as a result of having lead Oceania Exports, LIC into leading a leading seafood export firm, having had an Imperial Warrant of Appointment for the past decade, as well as running massive aquaculture operations in the warmth of the Pacific. Her picture would set next to Emperor Strephon’s in the crew’s mess, a reminder of the ship’s loyalties.
            Today though, was the first operational movement of the Kangaroo. Orders were in hand, after the week where the yard had fixed a few minor things in various systems, including an error in the targeting computer for number two laser. The ship was now formally assigned to Patrol Force, Sol Fleet, and the Rimward Flotilla. Six other Patrol Cruisers were assigned to this unit, and it mostly operated out of the Navy base at Fenris. The orders were a common mission, a patrol loop. The Boxing Kangaroo was instructed to patrol Peraspera, Loki, Dismal, and Hades for two weeks each, and then report to Flotilla HQ at Fenris. Simple stuff, for the most part, but these are backwater systems in the Outback lacking the population for effective system fleet.
            Brickley stepped out of his miniscule ready room into the empty bridge, and through the iris valve into the small common area. Hassan, Brand, Chishan, and Valdez were discussing plans as he strode up next to them.
            “Thank you for coming in here, Captain,” Hassan said as Brickley joined the group. “We’ve been going over the information here. All weapons and provsions are loaded, and once the G-carrier is secured in place, we’ll be ready to lift.”
            “Sounds good. What’s the load out? Starting with you, Guns.” Brickley replied
            “Sir, Weapons department has a full load out in the magazine, with 12 thunderballs,” Chishan replied with the slang term for nuclear tipped missiles. Continuing, “Both laser turrets checked out as satisfactory to the yard last week, and there are sufficient stores aboard for foreseeable future.”
            “Very well,” Brickley responded, “Eng?” shifting his focus to Brand.
            “Full fuel load, all engine room repair parts, and food stores onloaded, sir.”
            “Of course. Marines?” Brickley turned to Valdez.
            “We just need to secure the G-Carrier. All our Dress is in the Boat, and the boat checks out. Sir, in all respects save the G-Carrier, the Imperial Marine Detachment of the Patrol Cruiser Boxing Kangaroo is ready for deployment.” Valdez returned formally.
            “Of course, report accepted,” Brickley acknowledged. Shifting to the entire group, “We’ve got the 1000 boost. Get the G-carrier loaded, and start the reactor by 0930. Understand?”
            “Aye-aye, Captain!” came the response.
            By 0930, the G-Carrier was loaded, and the reactor started up. At 0945, external power removed, and the entire crew prepared for lift. 15 minutes later, the ship had taxied to a pad, and was ready to go.
            “Pilot, set course for orbit.” Brickley commanded.
            “Aye sir, course set for orbit. Lifting now!” Zabiyah responded, expertly piloting the ship into Terra orbit.
            “Sir, traffic is clear, and permission to set course to Peraspera?” Hassan informed him.
            “Very well. Set course for Peraspera.” Brickley responded.
            “Set course for Peraspera, aye.” Hassan replied, as he busied himself in the star charts and navigation computer during the flight to the jump point. “Jump course ready, sir.”
            “Jump course ready, aye. Engineering, divert power.”
            “Diverting power, aye,” came Brand’s steady voice. A few seconds later, she came back, “Power diverted, sir.”
            “Power diverted, aye,” Brickley took her report, switching to the main address system, “All hand, stand by for jump!” A brief pause, and “Jump!” as the Boxing Kangaroo flashed out of existence in the Terra system.
Found Here
            “Set jump space watch, section II,” Brickley said with normal resignation for the uneventful week in jump space. While merchant ships may have a “Captain’s Table” dinner for the final night in Jump space, the Navy instead ran it as a formal mess dinner, with a grog bowl and all sorts of hijinks. The messenger and engineer watches were secured for that evening, as it proved an entertaining diversion. The next day, ship’s time, they precipitated out of jumpspace into the Peraspera system.

056-1120


Entering the Peraspera/Sol System
            “Damn!” Chishan swore on the bridge. Turning, and picking up the hand mike, he said, “Captain to the bridge!”
            Stepping out of the office, Brickley said, “How far out are we?”
            “Looks like about 2-3,000,000 klicks out, sir. It happens.”
            “Understood. Contact the High Port, and take station at the 100-diameter limit.”
            “Contact the High Port and take station at the 100-diameter limit, aye.” Chishan replied to the order. A few hours later, they slid into the high orbit, but were in communication with the High Port. Brickley arraigned for two days of liberty at the end of the week, along with a refueling.


063-1120

Peraspera/Sol
            An uneventful week had passed, with no interesting ships coming close. The usual freighters and the like, along with some free traders tramping through the 10 J-1 accessible systems here. There were the usual courier boats as well, and liners carrying mail. Nobody had gotten anything interesting. After docking to the station, Duty Section I received liberty. Sgt. Valdez and BM3 Zabiyah ended up in the same semi generic starport bar after perusing the observation ports, looking for various new reads, and just watching people go by. Nursing a beer each and splitting a bar snack, they notice a tall, blonde woman in the Imperial Marines undress enter the bar.
The Blonde walking into the bar.
            “Of all the bars on, all the worlds of the Rim, she’s gotta walk into the one I’m in!” Zabiyah calls out, almost spilling his remaining beer.
            “What are you talking about Boats? Who’s the blonde? I thought you vacc-suckers didn’t get involved with the Force...”
            “Ok, Sergeant, back home on Imarir, before I enlisted, I was really involved with a girl. We were really serious, but I ended up knowing about some guys who broke onto the base and tried to take the really good stuff and sell it to SolSec. They got me in to protect me, but it was so quick I couldn’t tell her. A mutual friend told me she thought I got cold feet, and enlisted in the Marines to thump me if we ever met. That’s her, Shiimi. Shiimi Kushaami”
            “Say no more, Boats, say no more. I’ll try some of the old charm here,” Valdez says.
            Valdez chats with Kushaami, and draws her into a conversation, inviting her to join him, and, admittedly hiding it well, terrified Zabiyah.
Sitting down next to the two men at the bar, she looks over at Zabiyah and says, “Rog? Out here? I never expected it!”
Braced to take a punch, Zabiyah reacts, “Me neither. I’ve been doing pretty well for myself. Not too much that’s interesting, but I almost started a war a couple years ago.”
            “And I would’ve finished it!” Shiimi replies. “I was with the 102nd Marine Armored Cav until six months ago, but I got picked up for guard duty here. Boring back of beyond, with nothing but customs work.”
“Okay….” Zabiyah reacts with relief.
“Rog, babe,” she reacts, features going into laughter, “I was upset with you when you left, but I understood why you had to go. That’s why I joined the Force. To have something to throw myself into.”
“Wow. Just wow. This would have been the worst barfight imaginable. You two ready to kiss and make up?” Valdez interjects.
“Don’t think so here, but if you need to call on an extra Marine,” Shiimi replies.
“I’ll let our skipper know.” Zabiyah replies. The evening turns into a round of service member talking about things. The rest of the section ends up coming in, as well as some of her Marines.
Later, as they all start heading back, Valdez nudges, Zabiyah and asks, “So what did she look like?”
“Thought you were all opposed to getting it on inside the force?” Zabiyah responds.
“More curious at this point. The things that drive a man, you know.”
The younger Shiimi Kushami
“Fine,” Zabiyah responds as he pulls out his hand computer, and scrolls through his pictures. Finding an older one, it’s recognizably her, but lacking the severity of her current demeanor. “Here she was. Five years ago.”
“You were up for something then. Maybe next time, we don’t run into your ex.” Valdez jokes as they head aboard.

Recent News 

Vantage/Solomani Rim                  010-1120 

Jan Malikov, prominent Nationalist delegate to the Secretariat, has resurfaced in dramatic fashion. Appearing before the Council of the Bootean League, he announced his intention to stand for election to the office of Secretary-General of the Solomani Confederation at this year's General Congress of the Solomani Party.
"The Confederation is facing a crisis of confidence," stated Malikov. "With all due respect to the current administration, we badly need leadership of a kind that has not been in evidence for many years. The Solomani people deserve no less."
After the meeting of the League Council, Malikov took questions from members of the press. He continued his civil but vigorous attack against the Solomani government's current policies. He made no comment when asked about his location or activities since disappearing from Home/Aldebaran on 311-1119.

Gashidda/Solomani Rim                  346-1119 

Planetary security forces have made an extensive arrest sweep during a crackdown on anti-Imperial protests in the Capital District. The protests began peacefully several days ago, but have since degenerated into mob violence. Armed dissidents have engaged in several pitched battles with security forces, causing dozens of casualties and millions of credits in economic damage.
In related news, security has been tightened on the entourage of former Solomani Confederation naval officer Alexander Spyridion, who has been pursuing local speaking engagements for some time. Spyridion's representatives confirm that they have received death threats from radical Solomani groups on Gashidda.

Hayt/Solomani Rim                  295-1119

Planet-wide rioting continues against the government of General Shamash Kanten. Although military and Guardian forces have been successful in putting down riots in many areas, civil order remains elusive. The General and his civilian staff promised to take ruthless action to restore order, "putting down these criminals before they attack vital environmental and industrial facilities."

Covenant/Aldebaran                  267-1119 

Paul Knox, a prominent member of the planetary Parliament, has been found dead in his own home. Police officials reported that the death was "suspicious," but refused to release details.

Knox was a leading member of the local Humanist faction of the Solomani Party. News of his death has provoked speculation regarding his possible role in Solomani Security. Knox has long been suspected of acting as a covert monitor for SolSec, and possibly of using this position to discredit political rivals.