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[Mission 2.0] Changes and challenges


As the crew began to break apart and head to their assigned areas Trowa pulled out his data slate. He quickly send a message to his wife sharing with her his new promotion to XO and his excitement of the new command opportunities. He closed the messages with his love to both her and their daughter before hurrying to the bridge. He was not about to miss this.

The various hatches aboard the Aeon II started to close. Each of the hatches cycled to make the ship airtight. Katae made her way to the bridge to monitor the process. The Engineering Chief Chui Usaga brought the life support system that was coming online. "Bridge engineering the Aether Generator is coming online. We are disconnecting from the Star Base."

Katae replied to Usaga, "Prepare sub-light drive after we maneuver out of the bay."

Usaga replied, "sub-light will be ready at your command. The internal gravity system is coming to standard mode.

Katae looked at her new Executive officer, "XO notify the station that the Aeon II is ready for departure. Have them decompress the bay."

Trowa made his way to the bridge and stood behind one of the stations, monitoring the progress as the Aeon came to life. "Aye, aye Ma'am." Picking up a mike he messaged the station. "Libra Star Fortress, this is YSS Aeon II, Docking area 3. We are ready for departure, requesting bay decompression." Almost at once a voice came in over his comms. "Aeon II, this is Libra. Stand by..."

Out in the large docking area alarms and flashing lights began to warn all personal to leave the area immediately. It was a few minuets before the bay was declared safe for decompression and the Trowa received the green light. "Aeon II, this is Libra. Bay is decompressed. You are free to go. Please follow exit vector 354. Good luck and good hunting, Aeon II." Trowa smiled "Acknowledged, Aeon II out." He took a quick glance at the control board then turned back to his captain and said, "Ma'am we are good to go. Green lights across the board."

Katae looked at her bridge crew. She then told Keiko Gi to take the Aeon II out.

Keiko's fingers flew across the console. It resembled a musician playing their instrument. "Landing Gear system have retracted and locked. The gravity system is active. We are exiting the bay at three gravities lining up with vector 354." Keiko engaged the STL engines to move the ship away from the starbase. "Taisa, we are clear of traffic and clear of the starbase fields."

Katae opened the channel to engineering, "Bridge to Engineering, charge the hyperspace drive."

Usaga's voice came out of the bridge speakers. "Charging hyperspace drive for the destination AX-01."

Katae opened a shipwide channel. "Attention all hands, we are preparing to exit the system and take us to our first destination."

Trowa stood by the pilot station and watched as Keiko Gi brought the Aeon II to the proper coordinates. It was a strange feeling, being an XO. Part of him missed being the one in the pilots chair. Of course he would have plenty of chances to pilot the Aeon II. It wasn't like he'd never get to, but he was the one giving orders now. He had always wanted this of course. His dream was to one day command his own ship but it still felt a little strange.

The one eyed Nepleslian did a quick calculation of their route. Pushing the ship to the Max would get them there in a matter of hours. At Cruising speed... Closer to 3 days. Trowa stepped over to the Katae's command chair and asked, "Excuse me, Ma'am. How long are you planning on taking to get to AX-01? With your permission, I'd like to meet with Tanaka-Heisho and run the some exercises in boarding and repelling boarders."

Katae looked up from her Volumetric displays; she dismissed the displays. "I am going to my office. Some data has come to my attention; regarding AX-01. Chui Usaga Hisa has requested to do some drills in the Engineering section. So you will have 24 hours to run your exercises. At that point, we will be engaging the fold drive."

"Aye, aye Ma'am." Trowa saluted and headed to his office. His office. He thought with a smile. As he walked he send a message to Tanaka.
Tanaka-Heisho, Please report to my office as soon as you can. I'd like to discuss some exercises to run your infintry through before we reach AX-01.

@Yoshiro Tanaka
Mech Bay

Yoshiro was putting the finishing touches on a poem that he was writing when he got the message from Trowa.He sent a message back to Trowa and headedd to Trowa's office. He was typing his response on the way to the destination.

On my way now, sir. It will be good to get the infantry in to fighting shape. I would like some advice on how to train them myself before a major operation.

He arrived at the door to Trowa's office and knocked. "Tanaka-Heisho, reporting as ordered." He said and waited for the order to enter.
XO Office

Trowa opened the door to his new quarters. He had his own office now with attached quarters. Being XO certainly had it's advantages. He took just a moment to look through his belongings, which had already been transferred over, to find the pictures of his family. These he set on his desk. Smiling at the picture of his wife and daughter Trowa activate the desk's volumetrics and had the personal reports appear over his desk. He was still skimming these when Tanaka entered his office.

"Come in Heisho, come in." said Trowa as he got to his feet and extended his hand to Tanaka. Trowa was glad to see him. They had served awhile together on the original Aeon before Trowa's injury had him transferred. They had also both started out their carriers on the Aeon as young Santo Heis. Now they experiences leaders on Aeon II.

"Take a seat. You'll forgive me if I jump right into work. I would have loved to have taken some time to share a drink and catch up on how the family is doing but time is short. The Taisa has given us just 24 hours to run exercises and most of that time will probably be spent us discussing the strengths and weaknesses of our current crew." Trowa smiled as he sat down behind his desk again and tapped some keys. The display abruptly disappeared. They one eyed XO frowned and tapped some other keys. The desk remained dark. "What did I do?" He muttered to himself. "Come one you....There we go." The display lit up again with the personal reports, but this time they were displayed along the wall where both Trowa and Tanaka could see them.

"I would love to run some exercise in both boarding and repelling boarders, but I've only recently been reassigned to Aeon II. You have been the senior NCO for awhile now. What would you say are the biggest strengths and weakness our away team right now?"
Yoshiro entered the room after he was invited in. "Sure, I don't mind." He answered and sat down. Yoshiro saw him struggling a bit with the computer at his desk and had to stifle a smile. When Trowa had asked about strengths and weaknesses, he got serious.

"Strengths and weaknesses, eh? Well, as for strengths, I can tell you that there is loyalty to the ship and crew, the willingness to fight and risk our lives for the greater good, among other things." Yoshiro said 'As for weaknesses... I am one of them. I wasn't expecting to command a squad or anything so my results leave something to be desired. Also, we lack general tactics to use on missions involving combat operations. If we don't have at least these two, one of them will get us killed. "

Yoshiro fell silent, thinking about combat ops that he had been on and thought about marksmanship for the infantry. "Also, I think we could use some marksmanship training, because I want our troops to be good at what they do and this represents a step in the right direction. " Yoshiro said after a few moments of silence. "However I am new to this so I will defer to you as to the training regimen. This way I can look to your recommendations as a guide."
Trowa was a little taken aback by Tanaka's assessment that he was one of the weaknesses. That was not what he had expected to hear. He studied Tanaka a moment, stroking his beard as he did. Finally he said, "I don't think the Taisa made a mistake when she promoted you to Joto Heisho. I think she believed that you were the best man for the job, otherwise you'd still be Hei or transferred somewhere else." Trowa smiled reassuringly then leaned back in his chair.

Trowa glanced at the picture of his little girl who was smiling at him and smiled back before continuing. "Knowing there are things that you can improve upon and having that desire to improve is good. It's a sign of a good leader." He nodded to the wall where the pictures of the crew were laid out. "Over 60% of your team are green. They've been taught general tactics and marksmanship in basic however you're correct. What you learn in basic is foundational, but it can forgotten in an instant once the plasma starts flying."

Trowa typed out a few quick notes on his tablet then said, "So tactics and marksmanship? Our Volumetrics room will do nicely for target practice. Not just at stationary targets, but moving targets. Now as to tactics, I've got a few ideas but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts first. You led an away team on our last mission, where would you say you saw a lack of tactics or what tactics in hindsight would have been a better approach?
"Well, we just kind of flew in the vicinity of the wrecked ship without drones to recon the area first. " Yoshiro said. "The Kuvexians could have ambushed us and no one would have expected that. You do not and should not go in to a situation like that blind." Yoshiro sighed and continued.

"As it stands, there was a nuclear device that almost vaporized you. We should have been scanning for things like traps and such. " Yoshiro said earnestly and honestly. "Next time we may not be so lucky. Next time it may be Kuvexian fleets looking for revenge at worst, or a salvage operation run by pirates at best. "

"This is why we need tactical training. I went in blind as a bat and didn't see the big picture." Yoshiro spoke. "It was said by a wise fighter, ponder and deliberate before you make a move. I think that it is true in any given situation, but we need to be ready for battle when the time comes and to do that we need to gather as much intelligence as we can get."
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Trowa listened to Tanaka's points. He had some good ones. "I agree there was a good bit of luck on that last scrap. But what you have mentioned is less to do with tactics and more to do with intel. And unfortunately, there is not always time to do proper scans and scanners sometimes miss things. That's why it's important to know what to do in case of an ambush." Trowa drummed his fingers on the desk, thinking. "We will get you as much intel as possible for this next mission but in the mean time we've got training time. Which would you think would be the most beneficial for our crew? We could do some instruction on basic tactics? Or we could run some simulations? Or do you have some other ideas?"
"As far as training goes, training in basic tactics first would be beneficial. At least I would think so. Also PT would be good as well." Yoshiro said. "I do want us to be in top physical condition too when and if we fight but having good endurance when we are on mission, whatever it is, we need to be in good condition for it. Other than that, if there is anything that needs to be done training wise, I will defer to your experience."
Trowa made another note to make sure PT was added to their regular training schedule. "Since time is short I think a more hands on approach would be the most beneficial. They say you learn more by doing than just having something explained to." The XO again glanced up at the wall of people who would make up their Away Team. "We've got 7 infantry. Pick four of them and I'll take the other three and we'll run some attack and defend exercises. After we've run a couple we can sit down with them and run back footage of the drills and see what worked well and what didn't. That should give them a grasp of tactics." Trowa said with a smile.
"I can do that sir." Yoshiro said as he stood up "if there is nothing else, I should be going." He stood at attention waiting to be dismissed.
Trowa dismissed Tanaka then sat back in his chair a moment, taking it all in. His promotion to First Officer, his new responsibilities, a lot had happened in a very short amount of time. He removed his eye patch and rubbed the cyborg eye beneath it. He glanced at the eye patch. More of a super dark sun shade than an actual eye patch. He toyed with the thing for a moment before putting it back on. Even though he was older now then when he first started wearing the thing he still liked the roguish look.

Trowa looked up at the ceiling and said, "Eternity, have our infantry head to the armory and suit up for some drills. Then set up an area we can use to practice without interfering with the rest of the ship."
On the way to the Armory

He sent a message to Eternity but she had already sent the message that Trowa had sent.

Eternity-All infantry to the armory to suit up for drills and report to the mecha bay for drills. Report to Tanaka Heisho for briefing.
Yoshiro stopped by the cafeteria to grab an apple and headed toward the Mecha bay to prepare for the drills ahead. They had a mission, he had a feeling about it but he wasn't about to guess like a fortune teller. He suited up as well and headed to the Mecha Bay to brief his soldiers.

Mecha Bay
They had moved the mecha for repair so the bay was fairly empty for the most part and he munched on his apple while he waited for the troops to arrive. He was a bit nervous as he had never commanded troops before but this was his responsibility now and he would do the best for his troops and sacrifice himself for them if need be. He saw some infantry headed toward him so he got ready to do his job.
Mech Bay

Fossman and McBruntel entered the Mech Bay and waved to Yoshiro. "So Heisho," McBruntel asked, "What we got going on?" From the door another voice answered, "Maybe if you stopped to listen, he'd tell you." Rose came in laughing with the rest of the infantry following her. McBruntel faked looking hurt and laughed as well. "Just ask'en. I want to know what needs to be done. You know me? Always the first to volunteer." "Always the first in chow line maybe." Fossman said. "HEY!" Moral was high on the ship and most were excited to be going out exploring again.

"So what are we doing Heisho?" Rose asked. She was the most seasoned infantry on the ship after Yoshiro and a natural leader. She was dependable and made a good number #2 in the squad.
"We are going to do some tactical and physical training. We have been a bit lax in the training department, and it nearly cost us our xo. We are going to drill and do physical training until we are blue in the face, then we will do it again." Yoshiro said "We are to be the tip of the spear but right now we are blunt and we are going to be blunt forever unless we do something about it now."

He was a realist, now that he had been in battle and tasted blood. He was a warrior and he wanted to lead warriors in battle and otherwise but he had to train them to the utmost of their abilities. "You ladies and gentlemen were willing to risk your lives so I must be willing to put myself out there too to help you. I am going to train you to fight hand to hand, use marksmanship, use anything and everything to survive out in the wilderness among other things." He said with a smile but got serious. "I need to know however, if you are with me or not." Yoshiro looked to each one of his infantry and waited for their answer.

He knew what the answer would be but he had to know from them. From the rich man's son to the poor man's daughter, he needed to know what their commitment level was. "So, what'll it be?" Yoshiro said and stood firm with what he said.