The Unglorious Day

Amananth Station
 
RazorsKiss trudged into his quarters, the door opening silently as he negligently waved at the door-mounted sensor. Kicking off his boots, he stripped off his gloves, and unsealed his flightsuit, chucking it in the general direction of the automated laundry chute. For a wonder, it landed neatly – but he didn’t even look. Clad now only in his customary AC⚡DC tunic and functional stationside trousers, he padded over to the cooler. Pressing a cold Oct Light to his forehead momentarily, he lowered it, then popped the top and chugged the first half with practiced ease. Upon reaching his formchair planted in front of the ‘screen, he plopped into it bonelessly, closing his eyes while staring at the determinedly antiseptic white ceiling all quarters on Amananth favored. What a day.
“Command: Begin log,” he said aloud, eyes still closed.

“Optimus RazorsKiss of Octavia, CO FluxGuts, reporting. Command: Datestamp log 118.2.9.
It started as a normal patrol. Kill 50 or so pinkos, bring screws to GP, pick up a few items easily obtainable along the route back to Hyp, for stocking purposes. Leaving GP toward OP, however, I spotted infests on the map. After bellyaching about it on F5, I decided to go take care of them anyway. Considered staying in the Dragon and taking them out the hard way, but chose to go ahead and swap to the Raptor for speed of destruction. Also chose to leave the EB-1 in, so it wouldn’t be a complete pig on the way down. Personal note: You’re an idiot. End personal note. Headed to Core, sublimated a variety of seafood en route, but swapped to the Raptor, loaded up with Mauls, and headed to Amananth. Considered leaving the Aman Leap infest alone, too. Every time somebody blows that thing, something bad happens, I thought. Then I remembered all the whining and complaining because I left it last time, and someone had to launch from Amananth and blow it up themselves. Fine, I’ll take that one out, too. Yeah, remind me not to care what anyone thinks next time. Anyway.
Headed to Amananth space. Shot off an update to LP while I passed, proceeded to the AH>Canis infest, ran into some spectacularly heavy spawns there, got armored pretty nicely before I made it to The Gyre gate, headed to Aman to r/r/r, then return from a better angle and distance. Got fixed up, headed back to AH. Still pretty hot, got my shots off, and went back to Aman to reload. Headed back, jumped into AH… nothing. No spawns whatsoever. Weird. Shrugged, made another run, reloaded at the Monkey Wrench. Made run after run. Infest took 40 nukes, all told – spawned nothing the entire time. Odd, but I didn’t think about it at the time other than to file it away as an oddity. Another mistake.

Posted the confirmation of the infest kill, and headed back to Amananth. Made a circuit around the backside to keep my PR up above 104, got a new loadout at Aman, and started on the Aman Leap infest. Was about 12 into it when I saw Captain log into the net. Was launching 13-16 when he launched from Amananth after all that Octavian superiority nonsense, so I started ragging him, since we were both Civ-tagged. He beelined it for The Gyre while I reloaded, and couldn’t have been out of Gyre when I launched on AL again. Almost simultaneous with the destruction of the infest, sentsong started, so I put the call out on F5. I knew Captain was right there, so I called for him to come back – you know, since I’m an Optimus and all. He refused, saying “why should I involve myself in Amananthian battles”? I replied, reasonably, that A) They made equipment Octavians needed B) He was present, after all, with nobody else even nearby and C) Because after all his talk about “so-called” fluxhunters, was he really going to run out on a real live sentient attack? Seriously?

Seriously. He was logged back off within 5 minutes. TTeleOct, man… but I digress.

Well, in any case, I soon had a C17 and multiple kraks inbound – in a freaking Raptor. That’s twice now – TWICE – in a row. Oh well. So, infest went down, and the sector blew up in my face. I never did get a good count – I know there was a C17 and multiple kraks. It was a rather neatly set up ambush, I have to admit. Needless to say, I took a pod ride. Didn’t last long enough for the full rack of secondary missiles to hit anything – but they were launched at the C17, which is rather faster than most Conflux. Since I hit Core last, I took a ‘Nix back. Nafcon logged in about then, and after being updated, scouted Amananth, which sporadically featured sentsong, but the enemy didn’t return en masse for some time. Meanwhile, I returned from Oct space. About the time I returned to Aman space, other sent markers started popping up. Canis, Purian Lake, Outer Third, Hyperian Hook, and Pulsar, in addition to Amananth. First one was Canis, so I took a short detour through there to check things out – heard sentsong, but it went away almost immediately, so I returned to Amananth, to back up Nafcon. When I jumped in, everything was quiet. We made a short circuit, then Naf suggested we post ourselves at the anomaly. A very short time after we took our positions, they appeared again.
Again, I concentrated on the C17 – this time, it was not sentient. Naf had reported that the C17 he encountered was not, but the 17 would have made it difficult to do anything else until it was downed, in any case. I’m not positive of this, but it seemed that the Conflux drones were focused on me, and the sentient was engaged with Nafcon – an s8. I did get the 17, and an additional manta in that engagement, but that was all, before I went down again. C’est la vie. So, the sentient escaped both times, and I took a pod ride both times. Very neatly done. I’d almost suspect they were mad at me for the SMF… if so, hah.
This time, I went ahead and got my Dragon. I haven’t flown a ‘Nix much lately, and I feel more comfortable in a Dragon these days. Naf didn’t have the right gear to relaunch from where he was, so he stayed put. I headed to PL to check the sent marker there, and look in on Wake. From Wake I headed directly to Amananth. Sinver, in turn, checked out Hyperian Hook, while Nessos investigated Outer Third. All reports came in clear, and by the time I got back to Amananth space, all the markers had decayed. I still checked out Canis, to be sure – nothing spawned. Same with Aman Hook, and then with The Gyre. Curious now, I checked out Inner Aman – still nothing. So, I decided on a little expedition to Flux space, and jumped into Aman Leap. No spawn. Jumped to Explorer’s Haven. Still nothing. C-1098 – nada. Courage – still nothing. The gate to Amananth, right about then, infested – annnnnnd, Chase spawned a c12. Was about to go on to the next sector, but had Rays respawn, and had to burn FFs to get back to the previous gate. The next jump also spawned Rays, and despite being a fairly short distance, I barely made it out. With no FFs, but still a full rack of missiles, I decided to fight my way to Pulsar, if I could. If I couldn’t, well… what’s another pod ride on a day like today? Yeah, lasted one more jump. More rays. That was the end of that!
Oh well. You win some, you lose some. I chuckled a bit over them being mad over the fluxhunt, though – and Captain is officially a smelly turd in my book. I went back out on patrol again, after briefing various Octavians who missed out on the action. Octavius, apropos of nothing, was the only faction spared any sentient incursions – while Amananth had two. I would, incidentally, make the point that there were two Octavians in Amananth to engage the sentient incursion, so no need for them to distract us with a momentary incursion to divert resources. I made it back from GP again, after getting another EB1 from storage. Finished my combat mission on the way there, then picked up two swarms that had passed by while I fed all my recorded data into the CWCC mainframe, to go with the scans I had performed on the Canis ‘fest. (That data is, of course, available to any of the various governmental or private Conflux-Research organizations on request.)
I tracked the first swarm to Aman Gate, then back to The Dark, where I destroyed it. I then tracked the second swarm to Canis, where I destroyed it as well. Aman Hook spawned 10 for me when I jumped back in – only one below a C5. During the course of that running battle, another c7 and c9 spawned, so I destroyed 12 in all there. Returned to Amananth, as I don’t feel up to flying all the way back to transient quarters there. My own here will do nicely.
Command: End log.”
Razor chugged the rest of his beer, chucked it into the ‘cycler, and shambled off to bed.
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