Journal of a Starfinder: Entries 7 and 8
William Fike Log Entry 7....
The ships combat alarms went off early this morning. I sat up in my bed concerned that we had finally been discovered for a few brief moments until I heard the Captains voice come over the comm and announce a drill. I fell back in my bed relieved, though for the next hour I did not get sleep.
At this mornings briefing we received troublesome news. As we are nearing the edge of Colonial space, the heavy cruiser Sun Razor which has been following us only a few hundred Kilometers behind, has been scanning very old frigates not far from our position. Pirates often use much older and easily obtainable ships in their fleets, and the movements of these vessels suggest that they are looking for something. I am told that Colonial Command has sent several other ships to the area to investigate, but from this point on we have been ordered to keep all communications silent. It is doubtful that they have the technology to pick up our communications but if they do, it would be one of the only ways they could find us, especially once we activate the stealth module.
I am glad to have the Sun Razor with us and her Captain, Jacob Travis with us. There are not many ships even belonging to any stellar navy that can stand up to a Colonial heavy cruiser.
This evening shortly before dinner our ship engaged its stealth capabilities. I watched from the bridge with most of the civilian staff and Thomas Francis as the Captain ordered this new technology to be turned on. I was amazed as the part of the hull visible from the bridge disappeared and left only the star field behind it visible. I joined the bridge crew in applause for Thomas, who could not help but smile at the success of his work and then joined in with the officers at dinner in toasting Thomas. The Captain thanked him personally for the assistance in keeping the ship and crew safe and gave a short speech about the future of the Colonial Collective. I was hardly able to listen however. I could not help but peer out the small oval shaped window is Captain Halls quarters from my place at the table and think about the threat that was seeking us out.
William Fike Log Entry 8....
It should be in the record that all of the crew of both the Stellar Hope and Sun Razor have performed their duties valiantly and because of their knowledge and skill I am able to prepare this log from the comfort of my quarters aboard our ship rather than from the cell of a pirate hold or worse.
I was awoken this morning at about four in the am by a hard jolt. It nearly sent me out of my bed. Soon after I heard the captains voice come over the comm and order all crew to battle stations and that this was not a drill. I quickly through on my civilian uniform and headed for the bridge, which wasn't exactly where I was supposed to be, but I wanted to know what was happening. I made it to the bridge quickly to find the crew very calm and Captain Hall and First officer Micheal Chambers discussing something at the center of the bridge over their holomap.
I asked the captain what was going on, trying to keep my voice from shaking. He was surprised to see me there but did not reprimand me for being out of place, which in a combat situation is his right. Apparently we had hit some kind of a MQM, micro quake mine. A device used to detect and locate enemy ships. The pirate frigates must have planted it and it were to small to detect while in warp. The ship received no damage but it was enough to jolt us out of warp. The real problem however was the fact that when the mine detonated it had sent a signal that likely resonated for thousands of kilometers.
The captain looked concerned but stayed calm. "Mr Katsumi, recharge the star drive and engage as soon as ready." Katsumi responded with an "Aye Captain." And went to work. It was not long before I heard the strange sounded drive start up again. I let out a sigh of relief. Fortunately, the mine had not disturbed or stealth module, and we would still be very hard to see unless the enemy was within a few kilometers of us. Just as the drive was about to engage we saw to ships come out of stellar warp just not far from our port side. Michael Chambers ordered Katsumi to stop our own drive. Even though it was more silent than most, at that distance it would have alerted the ships to our presence.
"They are Pirates." Said Lt Eric Hayman who was busy at the weapons hub on katsumi's right side. The Captain and I turned and could see clearly along the hulls of the ships, a red fist painted on each. "The Blood Fists." Captain Hall said. "Low lights Mr Hayman. Fire on my order only, we may yet be able to escape without a fight, and these are likely just scouts for a main fleet. Mr Fike, if you wish to stay on the bridge I will allow it but I suggest you take a seat." He said to me as he pointed to one of the chairs in the middle of the bridge. I took a seat and nervously stared back at the enemy ships that seemed to be traveling slowly and spliting apart from their formation, likely hoping to find us by spreading out.
Lt Katsumi was skillfully able to maneuver around them for a short time, and our stealth seemed to be keeping us covered well enough until four more, all frigates warped in almost on top of us. For a moment everyone on board stayed still not breathing. The ships seemed to be moving right above us. "Steady." Captain Hall said as he watched through the X Steel infused glass that made up most of the bridge. Suddenly we felt a jolt. It was not very powerful but we knew what it was. The frigates had started dropping their mines again, and one of them had hit our hull. The frigates immediately began maneuvering into an attack stance and the captain ordered Katsumi to put distance between us and them. I could not believe what was happening. I hoped that they still had not seen us and perhaps were just preparing themselves, but I was shaken back to reality at the sight of a bright red burst of plasma slamming into our hull.
"Open Fire! Evasive action!" Shouted Captain Hall firmly as he stood stead behind Katsumi and Eric. I watched as blue pulse bursts flashed out from our own ship and bright orange streams screamed across my view as our dread stinger Missiles headed for their targets. The flashes were so bright that it was hard to keep my eyes open, and yet I could not look away. Seconds seemed like forever to me as the battle played out in front of me. Just as one of the enemy frigates was breaking up three more warped in firing. The ship shook violently at the exchange of fire.
"Shield and hull are holding sir!" Shouted Eric as his fingers worked the key pads in front of him. Fortunately our enemy had nothing capable of tracking us and so Lt Katsumi was able to fly the ship out of the way of much of their fire, so long as we stayed at a distance. They were however starting to get smart and begin flanking us. Soon our ship was in full reverse as we fired. She was faster but they were creating a wider field of fire and making it harder to fly out of the way. I watched as another frigate's middle section suffered an explosion and begin to break up. Our own ship began to shake more often however. The pirates had finally positioned themselves in a wide fire formation which made it extremely difficult to get out of the way.
I felt a pit in my gut and I began to accept that we may not be getting out of this situation. Suddenly a bright flash came from our port side and as it subsided I saw a brilliant display of blue and red plasma burst from the flash and smash into the frigates. It was the Sun Razor. I had almost forgotten that she had been following us. She positioned herself in front of us taking on the enemy fire and returning more fire than the enemy could dish out. I could see my old friend Captain Jacob Travis standing aboard his bridge, hands behind his back watching the battle.
"Sir I am receiving a message from the Sun Razor, they say to pull back and warp out!" Said Katsumi as he worked the controls to stay behind the heavy cruiser.
I could see the frustration in Captain Hall's face. He had a reputation for staying in the fight, even if it was one he couldn't win, but he nodded his head. "Inform them we are pulling out, and remind me to send Jacob a bottle of our best wine.
A few hours later we crossed into Far Trader space without any further problem and were met by two of Far Trader destroyers. They were older ships, but it was more than enough of an escort. They informed us that they had not had any pirate activity in their sector and that they had ships patrolling all along their border. We have been told that we are a day away from the drop off point.
I spent the rest of the day in my quarters trying to calm my nerves and the nerves of my two students, who had never been in any sort of combat situation. Thankfully they did not witness the fight, having stayed in their quarters which is standard regulation for civilians during the battle, and were not to badly shaken up. I am told that the ship hardly received so much as a scratch against their old and weaker weapons and that no crew had been harmed, other than a bump on the head from one of the engineering crew, who was released by Doctor Palmer an hour after the fight. We learned just before our dinner meeting in the captains quarters that the Sun Razor had been able to hold off the fleet of the Blood Fist's Frigates and even destroy a decent chunk of their fleet before they went on the retreat.
At dinner this evening we were joined by our reclusive guest for the first time since we picked him up at Arim Station. He wished to thank the Captain and his officers for putting themselves in danger to see that his mission could be accomplished. Captain Hall was in a very happy mood and stood to toast his officers and crew for their fine skill.
I finally got to spend a bit of time discussing a shared hobby with the negotiator. He to is a linguist and we exchanged stories and languages with each other. I speak eight different languages found within the inner sectors of known space. He speaks eleven and has learned even Chilcean which is from the outermost sector of colonization. We will be journeying through it in several months and he gave me a data pad filled with instruction on speaking the strange language. The idea of learning another language was a good distraction from the stress of the day's previous events.