I have been asked to log my travels across the know galaxy and the void. My recent trips all have started from the Noble Fleet Headquarters in Chi Orionis. After taking an old friend for a spin, just to jaunt my memory of how it felt to fly a fighter again. Order's came down to dispatch the FSS Corbulo Fire to the LP 205-44 system in response to the civil war.
Guiding my Viper mk IV back into its docking moor, I couldn't help but wonder at how much one vessel could influence a conflict. I would find out soon. Stepping out from beneath the cockpit of the small but capable viper, I was met by LT Jansen. we talked in hushed tones, although the station was our official Home port, there were many unfriendly eyes and ears. The resentments and prejudices harbored towards mercenaries, hunters, and enforcers, makes life difficult to say the least. Over half the dives on the station are red listed for anyone who has raised weapons for pay.
Jansen stood very casually leaning up against one of the mooring rigs. "How's she handling sir?" The young man eager implored. Lost in thought I mumbled something about checking the ventral thrusters and modifying power output to get more out of the engine. Then remembering who I was conversing with I replied, "Handles well, just like I remembered."
I then set off towards docking bay D-29 where the Corbulo was docked. Jansen double timed it to catch up with me.
"Sir I've assembled the crew. They are all waiting for you in the briefing room."
"Thank you LT."
The truth of the matter was I had no idea what our mission even was. Fleet command was scrambling just our cruiser, no one else. Jansen handed me a holopad and dashed on ahead to the briefing room. I quickly reviewed the 5 paragraphs of the operation order. God, how long had the military services been using this format since the early 1900s?
My second in command Jansen was standing to the right of the podium. He and I had worked together in the past during the our military service back in 3298. After the service, I went on to become a private enforcer taking any jobs i could find on the edges of colonized space. Slowly I was able to land some pretty lucrative work opportunities and eventually bought the Corbulo. After reconnecting with Jansen we started the long process of recruiting. Jansen landed our next big job escorting frieghters from the interior to fringe systems.
This was different, the crew, either sitting or standing slowly gave me their attention. Clearing my throat I turned to the Holoscreen behind me, and sliding my hand from the surface of the holopad, I cast the image onto the holoscreen.
"Crew as of 0454 today the LP 204-55 system is in a state of conflict. We are scrambling the Corbulo in response. Our mission is strictly observation, observation of the combat zones to determine if escalation of force is necessary."
Heads nodded in understanding.
"The hotspots are centered around the asteroid field. As of right now the rebels are in control of the Armory and Fuel Depots. We are not to engage unless fired upon. Any questions?"
One of the newest crew members, Ensign Klayin raised her hand. I motioned towards her. Timidly she stood up. "Commander, I was wondering what are our civilian considerations are?"
"Civilians should be clear of all combat zones, however in the unlikely event of civilians wandering into combat zones, we are to escort them out of the zone."
"Any other questions?"
After a few moments of silence I dismissed the crew.
Jansen lingered as the crew returned to the Corbulo.
"Jansen, a credit for your thoughts?"
"Its just, why would fleet command scramble a cruiser, and not send a recon ship like an Asp. I mean the FSS Drake would be more than suitable for this mission."
"I was wondering the same thing."
"Well shall we?"
"I'll see you on the bridge."
Leaving the briefing room, I wandered to docking bay D-29. The ground crew finished the final preparations for launch. I boarded the ship and went went to my stateroom. I finished changing out of my flight suit from earlier and headed straight to the bridge. Entering the bridge I walked to the commander's station. A newly added feature to the Python, situated between the pilots chair and the copilots chair, it offered an excellent view of the ship and the surrounding area.
"Commander has the con."
"Jansen request permission to launch."
"Aye sir. Chi Orionis Tower, FSS Corbulo Fire requesting permission to launch."
"Chi Orionis Tower to FSS Corbulo Fire, permission granted. Follow the green on your way out."
"Sir we are ready to launch, by your command."
"Helmsman Glascow take us away."
"Aye Commander. Docking moors cleared."
"Clear the station and set your course for LP 204-55, you may frameshift when ready."
"Station cleared, FSD online."
The clear tone of the ship computer echoed back the count down. As the rift opened between the two systems, I let my concerns and cares be replaced by the wonder of a million stars racing past.