Log:Array Consortium: Mystery Bulk
Out in open space between Jaynat and Sarkhai, enemy starfighters have been tracked operating, though hyperspace travel has not been clearly detected - therefore, allied command is concerned that a carrier ship of some sort may be out there in the dark, biding its time to strike at the fleet around Jaynat when least expected. Thus does the Atrax Guard dispatch a sensor-laden recon shuttle to track ionization spoor in the area and try to track down evidence as to where they're heading. At the short end of a coordinated microjump, the ships of the escort force leap into realspace near an old Imperial Lambda-class shuttle, the red-and-black badge of the Atrax Guard upon its enormous dorsal fin. This, from its IFF signal, is definitely friendly, and in moments allied frequencies are filled with chatter. << Consortium ships, this is /Eladris/. Good to see you all. >>
<< Aha, there you are. >> This from another voice, somewhat cool and prim, but not really unfriendly. It's the voice of a banker, or a bureaucrat, possibly. << Very good. This is Lieutenant Shaav of the Intelligence Division. We've been collecting telemetry while we've been waiting, and we think we have a proper direction based on the ionization decay. Have your squadron form up with us and prepare to receive new navigation data. >> Said data is piped over via tightbeam to Sion the moment she says 'boo', and is ready to be shared to the other ships when ready.
Kae tilts her head and yawns, flying casually as she stays on Sion's wing for now.. "Doop Dee doop." She mutters, the woman occasionally looking around << OH yeah, Hurricane II here!>> She says, checking in, even if she's a bit late....
<You heard the gent, Hurricanes. Form up on the shuttle and listen sharp,> Sion coms, pulling in with the larger craft. <Get ready to follow the new coordinates, and stay sharp.>
<Copy, Hurricane Leader.> Rikreet maneuvers his Vendetta toward the shuttle, forming up on the shuttle's rear. He checks over the information he receives briefly. "<Keep our tail clear, Freekin, and we'll be fine. These fighters can take a beating, or so was claimed in the briefing."> he then replies back to his copilot.
"Copy that Rik." he pivots the turret in place surveying the blackness behind us and monitoring any sensor suites. "Ok, just feed me targets. I'm eager to relax and dakka."
<< Excellent. Follow us, please, and keep a weather eye. >> /Eladris/ boosts forward, sweeping space as it travels - and with its escort secure, the vessel travels through the cold void for some time toward the first of several waypoints laid out in the updated navigation data.
<< Approaching the end of the first leg, >> Lieutenant Shaav reports from the shuttle. << Please hold, we're going to slow and recalibrate for ion decay. >>
Kae pulls her fighter up along side the others, taking up formation with the Eladris... Now Kae's whistling as she looks around, squinting a bit as she shifts her head around some... "Sooo not used to this cockpit." She mutters, then more cheerful whistling whilst continuing to fly her ship steadily...
<I've got something... looks like ejected garbage,> Sion coms, frowning at her screen. <Something definitely came this way, probably something pretty big.>
<Copy that Leader. I'm seeing it too.> Rikreet calls back over comms. He squints as he notices something unusual on one of his displays. <Leader, got some weird readings here. Some kind of radiation from that trash trail.>
"I've got signs of vehicles being through here, space dump on the sensors. We're on the right track." Freekin says, I don't have any other sensor contacts yet though. He continues to pivot the turret, looking out with his mk2 eyeballs.
<< Radiation... >> Certainly not what was expected, but the Lieutenant doesn't seem unhappy - far from it, in fact. << Yes, >> he replies, << Yes, we see it - excellent! I've added this information into the sensor trail. I think we can track it to the source quite easily now. >>
Drives flaring, /Eladris/ surges forward...and it isn't another hour before it begins to slow again. << We've picked up additional concentration of particles here, >> the Lieutenant calls from the shuttle now. << It's going to be ahead, no more than a few hundred thousand kilometers - go ahead and search, and we'll send scan data to you from here. >>
And so...well! The hunt is on!
Sion follows the leading /Eladris/, staying in formation with the shuttle. <Hope you can clarify what we're tracking, /Eladris/. Lots of ships dump garbage... hold it! I've got something... it's big, but I'm not getting much in the way of power signatures.>
Hurricane Three follows behind the Eladris until it completes that scan and slows to send over the scan data to them. Moving ahead with the Leader from there and following the trail, it isn't long before Rikreet spots it as well. <I've got the same. Some kind of metallic mass ahead it seems.>
"Is it a mass I can shoot at? Cause, otherwise thats not overly useful!" Freekin replies, "I don't see anything else out here, and I'm starting to feel like they see us and we don't see them." he pauses, checking his targetting systems again, "Have I mentioned I'm paranoid when not flying?"
Well, this is Kae's first being kinda serious? Kae calls out << Flight, full hault, pull back! That mass isn't something we want to get close to. I'm detecting a cruiser size/shaped mass out there folks and we're about to get into her scan range! We don't have the firepower to try and take that on!>> Kae calls out <<Again, I repeate, break off and fall back... Full Retros, whatever you gotta do to hang back!>> Kae calls out and she's allready spinning the Hurricane away from the mass, at the same time she's taking a good guess on location and trajectory...
<Whoa! She's right! Hurricanes, /Eladris/, reverse course! We do /not/ want to get into a dance with a cruiser that size!> Sion coms, already veering away. <I'm marking its position now. We'll have to come back with something bigger to take this thing on!>
The large metallic structure, as the group has devised from a number of excellent scanning and weather eyes, is not a hauler but something larger - easily the size of some mid-level capital, a cruiser or freighter or some species of beast.
Kaelyn's exclaimation and Sion's further commands to halt brings surprised word from the /Eladris/, Lieutenant Shaav's voice sounding over the link. << Hurricane Leader, >> he calls, << This is Eladris. What's going on up there? >>
Kae tilts her head, looking at the sensor stuff... << Eladris, we've picked up a large mass, either some kind of mid size cap ship, or a super freighter... Probably a mid size cap ship though, considering our situation.>> She says and rubs at the back of her neck.... She kicks the control on her fighter a bit to have it very slowly roll, the rolling motion is nice... THat and spinning, however for now she's stopped in space.... << Sooo what do y'all recommend? We could mebbe try and get better intel on it, but well it'd know we were here...>>
<Considering that most cruisers are made for eating small craft alive, I'd suggest a quick pull-out, /Eladris/,> Sion coms. <We've got no chance of beating this thing, and we'd be risking any ship that got within gunnery range... and something like that has a /lot/ of range. We know where it is. We can always come back later with a cruiser-busting force.>
Rikreet taps his fingers against the control panel of his fighter. <This is a recon mission, yes?> Rikreet's voice replies over comms. <We came here to determine what we're up against. We only vaguely know the answer to that now. Perhaps we should figure out what -kind- of capital ship we're dealing with before falling back?>
Freekin considers this <<As much as I would like to go blasting, I would also like to remind everyone of my date. If we get blown up biting off more than I can chew, some poor lady will have to mourn my lack of attendance, and would make the galaxy a much sadder place.>> he pauses a moment, <<Also, I'd much rather win and take it out, so, can we?>>
<< Point taken, Leader, >> replies the Lieutenant from far behind. << Withdraw your ships to our side; we have better sensors here. We can get information from here. >>
<< OOoh okie, pulling back theeen!>> Kae says and stops her spin/roll, then turns her fighter about, now heading back to the ship they were escorting.
<Copy, /Eladris/,> Sion replies. <Hurricanes, resume escort formation. Let the folks with the strong sensors do the finding out, while we stick with /our/ mission directive and keep them safe from pursuit craft.>
<Copy Eladris, Leader.> Rikreet replies, then maneuvers his craft to fall back to Eladris' location, this time moving into position in front of the shuttle incase the cruiser were to notice and scramble fighters itself.
"Ok, That makes sense, and I admit I am torn. I was itching for some dakka, but my itch can wait if it means we're more suited for the kill and not the scrapheap." he checks his scanner one more time, Freekin sighs. "The job is the job, and you've got the stick Rik."
<< Very good, >> the Lieutenant replies over comms as the ships turn back to head its way. There's a long pause, or at least the excruciating pause that such moments of /horrible potential danger/ can bring. After thirty such horrible seconds, Shaav's voice returns, deathly calm. << All right, Hurricane flight, >> he says, in the way of a man who's just spotted a scorpion who's climbing up the back of your neck that you've been oblivious to all this time, << I want you to make the jump back to your flagship. I'll be returning data to your Captain as soon as we're finished, but I have to say, we're all lucky that thing hasn't detected us. I believe she's a modified cruiser, or modified enough to turn us all into powder. Be careful, and be safe. Eladris out. >>
Kae peers,a nd nods, forming up on Sion's wing "OOkiie, lets all get back safe now!" She mutters and tilts her head to the left curiously.
<Looks like you'll be a little early for your date, Three,> Sion comments, slowly bringing her Hurricane about. First in, last out, that's the leaders's lot. <I'd hurry, /Eladris/. That thing'll pick up the power emissions from your sensors if you scan it very long. Good luck. We'll catch you on the flipside. Hurricane Leader out.>
<Not even a scout ship. Well good news Feenkin, seems you won't have to worry about making that date of your's.> Rikreet replies in a slightly bitter tone. Well, mission was a success regardless. He punches in the co-ordinates for the flag and waits with arms folded while his hyperdrive warms up. About a minute later, Hurricane Three is making the jump.
The leap to hyperspace is safe for all; the beast out there did not stir, though at any moment it certainly could. And beast it must be, for the Lieutenant did not sound happy - but what? And where? And most of all, /why/?
Mysteries are not good during a war, for certain.