Captain's log. A diary of the original ship


#1

Captain’s Log, Zu
[SD 207, 0.3ly off Grand Rastaban Staging Zone]

As we embark on this high-risk mission, I feel it is important to preserve our tactical logs for future captains. I genuinely do not know if we will survive this incursion into heavily guarded enemy territory. But before I discuss this, I should probably explain how we got here.

I am the proud captain of Zu, the very first and only volunteered fleet in the mighty Fresh Empire. Our initial mission was to go ahead into the void, and quickly colonize the barren outworlds that lay close to the magnificent Zu capital. seven sister fleets were created in our image, and with great precision and coordination we quickly set out. Three new clusters came into view, and we ached to enter them and send home more treasure to the empire. However, High Command had other ideas, however.

A bargain was struck with two of our neighbors, freeing us up to combat the third enemy. We went home to pick up reinforcements, and proceeded to meet the enemy in the field. They were a pathetic race.

When we arrived on the scene, Fort Algenib was already established in their space, and our sister fleets were running amok in their space. We were dispatched to liberate the industrial world of Muliphein, and did so with ease. Confident, we pushed onwards to the planet of Grafias. We overcame their defenses, but suffered heavy losses. Reinforcements were called in, but they came too late. A counter attack from the green slithering people had moved on us, and we saw ourselves forced to leave everyone behind and watch the reinforcements get intercepted and slaughtered to a man as we left to save our Carrier. My cowardice will haunt me for the rest of my days.

We headed back to the staging planet of Alkurah, to collect more troops and avenge our fallen brethren. However, as we arrived, the critical stage in the conflict was already underway. We took small solace in hearing about a perfectly sprung trap close and seeing the green slimey folk wiped from the galaxy, with Grafias as the main battleground. I feel I failed my people by not being part of the revenge exercise. I never did get a chance to go back and pay my respects.

We did visit the new worlds afterwards, as part of the post-war logistical nightmare of moving everything to a new front.
We visited many new sprawling outposts such as Mulipein and Bellatrix, moving ultimately to Segin, a planet to rival Zu in it’s industrial might.

A secret cable came in from HC. We were to report to the far west front, where a new, much more dangerous enemy had emerged. With friendly carriers on parallel vectors, we moved a veritable armada to the west, engaging the full industrial might of our new and old assets combined. It was a sight to behold, and morale was soaring.

On our brief stop in Septen, we learned the initial war efforts by Zu II and Zu VII were highly succesful, capturing no less than 5 planets between them.

We decided to make haste and skip the port of Alkurah, going straight for Zu. Upon arrival we heard the dire news. II and VII had perished, and the new worlds were under counter attack. Heavy losses across the entire fleet. Zu was a frantic nexus of activity. I was told to report to HC in person to receive a special assignment that was to change the momentum of the war, still many lightyears to our west.

As it turned out, HC had been working on new technology that would throw us further and faster than any ship had ever gone before. I was to bring over 100 troops and test the new technology, dropping me directly in the forward staging planet Grand Rastaban. I accepted, and with great trepidation steered my Carrier into the anomaly hanging in open space.

We emerged, alive. twelve vast lightyears were spanned in a blur, and we find ourselves at the very spearhead of the war effort. twohundred brave veterans of war held the base, facing down the vast hordes of a red-bannered enemy. Their forward staging area lay directly opposite to ours. we performed some scans…

And that is where we find ourselves today. In the current circumstances, we should be able to just overcome their defenses. HC did not hesitate, and gave the go-ahead. A seriously dangerous and hard battle awaits us on arrival. Should everything go our way, we will find ourselves deep in enemy territory, heavily outnumbered and utterly exposed. The new quantum tunnel to Grand Rastaban is reportedly brimming with our sister fleets, rushing to our aid, but for the immediate future, we are alone. I do not fear death. I fear a repeat of the Grafias Denial. I do not know if I can live with leaving another crew to fend for themselves…

However, all that remains an uncertain future, overshadowed by our uncertain lunge into enemy territory. At times I admire HC’s incredible aggression, at times I curse their willingness to send us all to the deep chasms of history. If you do not hear from me again, one of five different things has gone wrong. Forgive me.

Captain Szu, 1st war group.


#2

Captain’s Log, Zu
[SD 214, Mirach wastelands]

We are still alive. Some of us, that is. Less than 10% of us are here to tell the tale. The planet is a wasteland. What once was a thriving outpost, now burns in ash and smoke.
There is no time for ceremony, no time for grief, no time for reflection. We have to sabotage all we can, and then abandon this forsaken place. The enemy has done as expected and launched a sizable counter attack. The empire can handle it, but my poor carrier, in it’s weakened state, we must fleet the scene of carnage once more.

In my last entry I said I feared another Grafias. This, though, this is worse. HC has taken our advanced scans, and decided to send us on a mission even deeper into enemy territory. Fleets much larger than our own are everywhere around us, but with luck, they will not catch us, and we can briefly liberate the valuable world of Eta Naos, before we need to leave that in another flight. I will spend my career fleeing from inferior enemies.

I feel sick, but we must carry on. Reinforcements have arrived at Grand Rastaban station, where I wish we could go to mend our wounds. Word has it though that they, too, are headed for this dreaded place. I do not envy them.


#3

Captain’s Log, Zu
[SD 231, Mirach Frontier World]
I cannot believe this is the same place. This desolate wasteland I left behind has been completely scrubbed from history. In it’s place stands a bustling marvel of modernity, engineering and logistics.

Our insurgency at Eta Naos was a success, and HC assures me it was instrumental in causing the current moral collapse of the Red empire. I left my brave men at Eta Naos (I’m told they are now headed even deeper into dangerous arenas. I was told to abandon yet another crew and report here, in Mirach.

I have collected a new crew and will be heading south. While all the sister fleets are routing what’s left of the Red danger, I am to head south and pave the way in search of even more dangerous foes. I honestly think HC is going to be too ambitious soon, and bite off more than even my tattered soul can chew. For now though, we have a new lick of paint, a new crew, and new horizons. Slow days ahead in relatively calm space. We shall see how big of a storm follows.


#4

Captain’s Log, Zu
[SD 254, Samakah outworld]
I was not prepared for that jump. One thing to understand about spacetravel is that it is tranquility itself. Oh sure, takeoff and landing are exciting, and the docking, resupplying and repairing of the Carrier all happen in an incredible flurry of activity and adrenaline, but then after we have dropped into hyperspace and are freefalling to our destination… everything is at peace.
Not so with these newfangled warpgates. They rip a violent tear in the fabric of the universe, and force the ship through a narrow tunnel of anomalies and rifts. I don’t like it, and neither does the universe, and she lets you know. In Hyperspace, you simply glide, but in Warpspace, you rocket. The result is a continuous rumble, a sensation of immeasurable speed. And when you re-emerge, my god, the distances.

We find ourselves at the promised location, and everything seems in order. When I say in order, I mean: as expected. We are 12 lightyears away from the nearest friendly world. We are surrounded by no less than FOUR new alien races. I honestly wonder what we are doing out here, and why HC deems it necessary for us to impose our Fresh banner on this cauldron of war. One of the races is supposedly friendly, though I think they are just spooky, and I don’t trust them. They spread their cutesy pink ribbons everywhere, and pretend they are all fluffy and yippie. Yet their war apparatus is reported to rival the mighty Fresh Realm! Growth like that does not come from being friendly. I do not trust them. The other prevalent race around here are the crumbling remains of a once proud nation, a very religious people. Their entire society seemed to have revolved around a single messianic figure, who has since left them. Despite their blind, almost robotic zealotry, I pity these poor souls. They were never introduced to the teachings of the Fresh One, and their indoctrinated state leaves them not receptive for redemption. Of the thirty-odd souls I met on Samakah, none were even considering to open their mind to our teachings, despite the obvious superiority of our ways.Our orders are to “pacify the region”, which in this case most likely means genocide. For once, I will be witness to the victorious side of battle, but it leaves a bitter taste. These people are already downtrodden, and they have no say in their fate.

The other two races are a little further off, and seem to be at odds with each other. The small, but battle-hardened tribe to our west seems unimpressive at first glance, but somehow they have maintained themselves in these hostile surroundings. I hope I never have to test their resolve. The fourth race and real reason for our expedition lies to our south. Once “pacified”, this region is to be built up as a bridgehead, granting access to their formidable fortress worlds. A worthy foe, and a chance for redemption, at long last.

For now though, we will use our numbers to gather a handful of planets, establish a small but self-sustaining colony in the sector, and hang tight for reinforcements. I hope they do not take too long to arrive.