MD #255: Old Haunts
MD #255: Old Haunts
Summary: A long range recon mission returns to Calumet and Bominaire to see what they might see.
Date: 19/12/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Gloria Inez 
Far Across the Galaxy
Space is big.
Fri Jul 06 2049 (MD #255)

Reconnaissance doesn't get much more 'long ranged' than this mission. The two target worlds are at similar distances from the galactic core, but far from each other as well as from Ostia. So the Light Cruiser Clotho is tasked with ferrying a Ratpor-R into jump range of each planet and then back home again. The worm-hole jump goes off without a hitch and their Raptor is fueled, prepped, and launched at a range of two jumps to their first target, Calumet. Twenty-odd local years have passed since the Fleet last visited the world, and when they left the Skath forces were cut off from communications and on the back foot against a revitalized local resistance.

Inez has been looking around the Clotho as they approach their jump point, then she goes up the ramp to check pre-flight as they come out of wormhole. She settles behind the controls, looking over the lights, narrowed eyes making sure all the systems come up green as she fires up the bird.

Gloria doesn't mind the long distance stuff, especially when most of the jumps are done onboard ships like Clotho. She's taken the time on the journey to study the previous mission reports for both target worlds, to try and get an idea of the situation as they last knew it. Right now though she's strapped in and working her board as they prepare to complete the scond jump, the one that'll take them into Calumet local space. "FTL drive spooled and ready to go on your mark Bouncer," she report up to the cockpit, "just say the word and I'll hit the button."

Taking one last check across the board, Inez lifts them off and takes them outside the hangar. She looks around the empty space around them outside the ship, then she nods. "Hit it, Dodona," she tells the ECO, and curls her fingers around the steering, waiting to see what they come out into.

The Raptor jumps into the shadow of a small planet orbiting closer to Calumet's star. It's a lifeless ball of rock with a very slow rotation, uninteresting but convenient for their purposes. Nothing unusual is showing up on sensors yet — no sign of ships or transmissions from elsewhere in the system. So far, it all seems quiet. They are a few light-minutes away from Calumet, so they'll be seeing a few minutes into the past once they nose out of the shadow zone and get sensors onto the target planet.

"Jump good," Gloria notes once she's had a chance to check through everything in the shadow of the planet. "I'm not picking anything up on passives, and we've a couple of minute until anything in orbit of Calumet might spot us. Suggest sticking our nose out and taking a look."

"Copy. We'll stay passive. Sing out if you pick up anything." Inez checks her positioning, then gives the thrusters a small burst to nudge her way out and set a course towards the planet.

<FS3> Gloria rolls ECM: Great Success.

The Raptor swings around the planetoid and gains a clear line of sight to Calumet. Passive sensors of the Raptor R start focusing in and spewing out data on Gloria's console. No threat warnings go off, so at least there's no enemy DRADIS radiating in their direction. Still quiet.

Once the Raptor sticks it's nose out Gloria starts scanning. "Good news Bounce," she announces with a grin, "I found the planet. Right where it should be. Scanning." Reading teh results as they come in she makes a few notes into the records, but is mostly quiet, head down and focused, but then about a minute later she glances sideways towards the pilot, "we've got company. Looks like a solo Skath destroyer in orbit, her DRADIS is on but low power. I'm not picking up any smaller craft, or tranmissions from the surface, but given the atmosphere that's not surprising. Radio won't punch through, so we'd have to get closer to check for how things are on the surface. If you give me a moment or two to confirm the destroyers orbit we should be able to plot a course to get us on the opposite side of teh planet from it so it won't see us."

"That's why we brought you, Dodona," Inez says when Gloria says she found the planet with an answering grin. She holds steady while the ECO does her scanning, and nods. "Just one? We can hold this position." She's leaning back a little, keeping a light touch on the yoke.

"We can hold here as long as you want Bouncer," Gloria replies with a grin, "but with that Atmo I'm not going to be able to get you a clear look at what's going on on the surface, it's not letting most of the wave lengths through. We'll get something, but not as much as if we move."

"I meant I can hold it as long as it takes you to plot the destroyer's path, Dodona," Inez clarifies, and waits for word on the pattern.

"Ahh, apologies," Gloria replies as she sets to work, then sends a couple of projected flight paths to the pilot to take a look out. "Soon as he's round the dark side again we can make our move. I've sent you our best options for good scnaning orbits that'll keep us out if his way. I can plot it as a jump, which is risky if I frak it up, or we can do it the old fashioned way and fly."

"I have faith you can make a jump to the other side of a planet, Dodona," Inez replies, with a little smirk as she turns the yoke slightly. "Any time we can save now is more time to scan when we're there."

<FS3> Gloria rolls ECM: Success.

Flash! The Raptor jumps in a little off from Gloria's intended position, but within the margin of error. From here they have a lovely panoramic view of Calumet's surface through the faint aura of color that constantly shift across the upper atmosphere. The sensor package is busy running and recording data and imagery as the planet slowly turns beneath them, and they have hours before the Destroyer is due to come back around the planet. They could also stay ahead of the Skath ship (assuming it doesn't change orbit) indefinitely if they wanted.

Gloria grumbles quietly to herself as the jump doesn't live up to her high standards. At least they're out of the Destroyers line of sight, but she's still disapointed. "Jump good," she reports, "all systems running, and we're round the curvature from the Skath. Starting recordings."

"Acknowledged. Let's see if there's anything we should listen in on," Inez replies, keeping an eye outside of the canopy, and then looking at the planet before them as she sets the course heading to follow the destryoer's path and keep them opposite the planet from the Skath ship.

It takes a bit of time to point the scanners at relevant areas, and indeed, to wait for said areas to be within scanner sight, but Gloria reports back bits and pieces as they come up. "Air base still has raiders on the runway, but doesn't look like they're reinforced," followed a while later by, "looks like they didn't rebuild the Ressurection facility," but more often a general report of, "not much seems to have changed all told."

"Why didn't they rebuild the ressurection facility?" Inez asks, curiously. She shakes her head once. "Not much changing in a Skath controlled world?" She taps her fingers on the yoke. "That's odd."

"Thats what they pay the Intel guys to figure out," Gloria replies with a grin, "want to dip into the atmo for a moment with teh mics on and see if we pick anything up, or head on out? The drive is spooled and ready to go, but you'lll need to give me a minute to plot the co-ordinates."

"Once you have coordinates plotted for a jump, let's go down to atmo and eavesdrop," Inez decides. "See what's going on down there." She stirs and gets the bird ready to break through, waiting for Dodona's confirmation.

It doesn't take Gloria long to prep for the jump, then she announces, "okay, we're good to jump any time. If we dip our nose though I'd appreciate it if we can get back out here before I hit the button. Keeps everything simpler that way."

#-1 ARGUMENT OUT OF RANGEez chuckles. "Well, then, let's hope no one takes immediate exception to our presence," she replies, and then changes her heading, lowering her altitude.

Inez chuckles. "Well, then, let's hope no one takes immediate exception to our presence," she replies, and then changes her heading, lowering her altitude.

The absolute smoothness of space flight is replaced by the harder chop of atmospheric flight as Inez takes the Raptor down. There's total static on most of the sensors as they enter Calumet's ionosphere and this gradually clears to a dull hiss as they continue to descend. They're across the barrier and can detect planetary transmissions now. On the flip side, they're unable to detect any transmissions from outside atmo. So there is no way to tell where that Skath destroyer is now.

<FS3> Inez rolls Piloting: Great Success.

<FS3> Gloria rolls Ecm: Success.

"Not picking up anything readily apparent," Gloria replies as she listens to the sensors, "but I'm sure the boffins will have a field day anyway. Okay, if the destroyer kept to it's previous flight path we should be clear to head out. I'll keep my hand onthe button though, just in case."

The entry is smooth… as smooth as such things can go, and Inez is steady at the controls. She tilts her head a little, as if that will speed up the news from the ECO. "Nothing? At all?" Inez asks, then shakes her head. "Okay, then. Up and out," she turns the ship back up towards space.

<FS3> Gloria rolls Ecm: Success.

Back in orbit, there's no sign of the Skath destroyer. So one down, one to go. They make the rendezvous with the Clotho without incident and get several hours down time while the cruiser ferries them to the next target. Then it's back into the straps to take the Raptor-R out for another spin. Bominaire this time.

Sadly there isn't a handy planetoid on the charts to hide behind, so they're forced to jump in at a greater distance from the planet. Not a great drawback when you can always jump closer, but slightly riskier on the off chance there's a Skath ship patrolling. Fortunately there isn't. The Raptor jumps in and there's the bluish dot of Bominaire dead ahead.

Gloria uses the downtime to dump the Calumet data from the sensors onto Clotho's system and start to index what she can of it. That and get soemthing to drink. Food, not so much though, not with another flight ahead. All too soon it's time to get strapped back into the raptor and away. Once they're out of jump she scans the passive readings and announces, "nothing this far out, it'll take a moment for signals from close orbit to reach us though."

Inez stretches her legs and chats to a couple of the pilots on Clotho and grab a mid-rat while she waits for them to reach Bominaire. Once they're in jump range, she straps herself back in, and ferries them out of the hangar so Gloria can jump them to Bominaire. She nods and hits the thrusters to take them closer, keeping an eye on instruments and outside the canopy for anything Skath.

Gloria is quiet for a few minutes as they start to move, then notes a couple of blips on the DRADIS. "Two ships, close formation," which is good for getting on the blind side of the planet, "looks liiiike, a cruiser? Small one I think, and an auxillery support craft. Freighter most likely. No other vessels, but I am picking up comms on the usual Skath frequencies. Sending you the projected orbit paths of those two."

Taking a look at the readout of the orbit paths, Inez notes them, and nods. "Let's jump to the other side of the planet from them, Dodona, and I'll keep us opposite while you scan." She looks back out into the black again.

<FS3> Gloria rolls Ecm: Good Success.

Flash. They jump into orbit and there's a verdant planet below, sunlight gleaming off the emerald blue oceans. An oasis of life in the largely barren reaches of space. More Skath wireless and DRADIS transmissions are coming in while the orbital imagery system begins snapping high-res photos of the surface. The threat receivers warn of a single air-defense DRADIS system active, but it stays in search mode, not trying to lock on to them. Presumably they haven't been detected yet.

Gloria relays news of the DRADIS contact to Inez then starts spooling the FTL. "I've got the co-ordinates loaded, but it'll take a minute before the drive is ready. It's not seen us yet, but I want to be ready if it does. Other than that we're looking good for info collection, and have enough comms traffic to keep the decrypters busy for weeks."

"With what we're picking up already, I'm thinking we'll only be there long enough to dip our toe and check the water," Inez tells Gloria with a tight grin.

With time to overfly more of the planet Gloria gives Inez an update. "I'm only picking up three transmission sites for comms traffic, airbases by the looks of them. Not much air defence compared to what we were broefed to expect either. Other than that, well, the locals are fighting, I reckon I've got one burning city with an army moving around outside."

The threat warning tone swiches to a staccato 'ding, ding, ding' as the DRADIS down there switches to targeting mode. The Skath have noticed something is up there and are trying to lock up a target with quicker, narrow sweeps. It's not a Saber, but they could be vectoring Raiders, if not talking to that cruiser.

Inez nods as Gloria gives the update. "Good," she says fiercely under her breath. Then her attention jerks, and she straightens, and starts pulling them further away from the planet. "Time to go, Dodona," she tells her partner. "Let Intel do their magic."

Gloria hates that ding, it's never the sign of anything good. "Watching for raiders," she calls as the Raptor gains altitude, "my finger's on the button, but if can break atmo before I need to hit it I'll wait." And luckily, there's no sign of any intereception until they're high enough up for a safe jump. "Jumping in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, jump!"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License