Sure you can sit there. It's a free galaxy ain't it.
Scotch... the good stuff. Yeah I know it's early but if you'd had the day I'd had you'd... sure, just keep the hooch coming and I'll tell you the story of Crazy Eddie's First Command.
So we had the USFPS Vesuvius out again for another shakedown, this time with just a skeleton crew. The fresh meat was this kid called Eddie. Nice guy, good scores at the academy, but I heard back there they called him Crazy Eddie. Figured he'd earned it by TP'ing the Deans office or some of the usual crazy cadet shit we all did.
Because we were short handed we kinda threw out the regs a bit, with the nominal captain running the helm and the third man running Sci, Eng and Comm combined. Anyway we figured to ease the new meat in slow we'd probably not be going any higher than a Level 5 alert status. We started off in the usual way, rotating around the stations to give the kid a taste of the whole job of running a space cruiser, before giving him a spell in the Big Chair.
Yeah a milk run. An' if it was I'd be drinking milk right now. Where's that Scotch?
Right, the story, so we clear a few Level 5 sectors and the kid's starting to feel a bit full of himself, and before we know it he's pulled a "What does thiiis button do?" on us with the Hypernav and we're in a real intresting Level 8 sector.
Well Lieutenant Jones kicks him back down to the Weapons console and takes command to try to get us out, and we have ourselves a real interesting and nearly fatal half-hour. Honestly I don't know how the guy got his pips, not after that friendly fire incident at DS3. Anyhoo I take over, and get us through the next sector, though only by the skin of our teeth. By that time the kid was itching for another chance in the Big Chair and gods help me, I gave it to him.
The sector starts nice and peaceful, and it looks like it's going to be tough, but possible. But before we know it we're in a big hairy furball with what must have been nearly every Skaaran ship in the sector. To be fair, the kid did a bang up job, and we managed to get out of the worst of it before they pounded us to scrap.
That was when we looked up and realised all the docking stations were gone.
I dunno man, I guess the main fleets hit them while we were too busy turning and burning to read the flash traffic. One got sucked into a passing singularity, I think. Well this kid Eddie doesn't blink, but sets a course straight for the singularity, with the two remaining Skaarans on our tail. And frak me but doesn't he manage to lure them into the event horizon?
But by this time we're perilously low on energy, with not one, not two but about six major sized battlefleets plus a couple of loose elites, all heading for the only remaining point of interest in the sector, namely the good old USFPS Vesuvius. And us with no nukes, a couple ECMS a mine and my swinging cod to fight 'em off with.
Jones? He does that fatalistic welshman thing and starts sitting back on his command couch and waiting for death. I'm on the weapons console wondering how the Kid's going to handle the old Cobby Ashy Mary deal, when I look up and see this glint in Eddie's eye. Like he was saying "Now the game gets interesting!"
And he proceeds to lead us around the sector kiting every last one of those alien bastarts to their doom. We pick up one of those crystalline pests and drag it into not one but two whole fleets. He leads another one through a minefield with hie-lairious results. Heck, half the time we're stuck lurking somewhere out of the way with all systems powered down trying to get enough energy together for another two minute burst at warp one. Another fleet comes out of a nebula and Bammo! Straight into the singularity event horizon, one after another. One, two, three, four, five ships gone!
Then with just one fleet left, a Skaaran bastart pops out of nowhere five hundred to our aft and the kid panics. Calls for a mine launch, doubledamnquickrightnow. Well I oblige him, but we're too close when the firecracker goes up, and he's got all the power diverted away from warp and impulse so we've no choice but to bend over and take it, midshipman style and all of a sudden we've got no rear shields and our ass is a beautiful shade of Damcon purple.
We limp away, just, leading that other battlefleet right into the jaws.. er crystalline lattice, of that space monster (we called him Fido) who proceeded to chow down on them, but the Skaaran had somehow survived the mine and was still following us.
Crazy Eddie somehow pilots us to the far side of an intact minefield, and do you know what that poor dumb Skaaran bastart does? He jumps, but he comes up short and lands right plumb in the middle of the minefield. There's a pretty light show, and suddenly we're free and in the clear.
So the kid took out six full Hegemony battlegroups, plus spare change, without firing a shot. And the one shot he did take hurt us more than the bad guy. Go figure.
So if you'll excuse me, but after a day like that I'm going to spend the evening sitting here and helping that bartender turn full bottles into empty ones, thank you and goodnight.
What.... that crazy kid Eddie? I dunno. Either fast track him and give him his own ship as soon as possible. Or possibly shoot him. Right now I'm not sure which is gonna be safer for the galaxy.
- Anonymous USFP Training Command officer overheard in a spacer bar
(Actually a pretty accurate account of our day's Artemis gaming - DrV)