A writing exercise that follows an FTL playthrough I had.
Captain’s Log Day 1: My name is Rico. I am the captain of the Federation Vessel The Inexorable, an apt name for the purposes of our mission. I have been tasked with delivering sensitive data to the Federtion fleet command at the rally point in sector 8. It’s a long way there, so we break the light barrier in an hour. I’ve been assigned 3 crewman, a skeleton crew. I can’t believe the Federation is only giving us 3 men for a task so important. I assume they are hedging their bets: sending out a few skeleton crews out on different ships in case one of us gets lost. They assigned Foley to me thankfully. She is the best damn helmsman I have ever seen. She redeems all the other shit human pilots I’ve had. Wrench, the mechanic, is a simple man but I have never seen anyone work an engine the way he does, he makes rocket science look like basic arithmetic. Just don’t ask him to do arithmetic, or anything for that matter, he’s liable to stare at you stupid or kill you. Tomkins is a brilliant and insufferable shield operator. He is competent with the system, but he believes he is the best. We are stowing the last of our supplies, and going through pre-flight checks.
Captain’s Log Day 3: We picked up a distress signal right out of the berth. Upon arriving we found stranded Engi Scout ship. We guided them out to a safe system, they handed over what little excess supplies they had.
Captain’s Log Day 5: After passing by a supply station we ran up against a colony beset by a Pirate. I elected to save the colony from the filthy marauders. We sustained minimal damage, nothing Wrench can’t patch up.
Captain’s Log Day 8: We dropped out of FTL to find a Federation ship that had turned mercenary. My urge to fire on them was quickly interrupted when they hailed us and asked if we wanted them to stall the rebels advance for a small bounty. I paid them hoping they would die in combat with the rebels and earn back some of their dignity.
Captain’s Log Day 10: Coming in blind to a nebula is something I don’t want to repeat. We were boarded before we could jump. Wrench overwhelmed and smashed the pirates heads in; but not before they broke Tomkins arm. We all felt a sense of justice in it, until the drugs wore off and he incessantly griped about the pain.
Captain’s Log Day 17: A busy week, mopped up a few rebel scouts, but they got wise to us so we ducked into a nebula. We had to fight our way through 2 drone control stations. Ship in good shape. Crew still fresh. Will update more.
Captain’s Log Day 18: Stopped at a station to patch up the damage from the nebula fights. Found a spacer who was eager to get off the station. He charged too high a price for his service considering his total lack of experience, but we needed someone on the guns. Firedihm, if that is even his real name, is now working the guns with oversight from Wrench. I do this because Wrench knows the weapons best out of the crew, and he won’t hesitate to kill Firedihm if he acts out.
Captain’s Log Day 20: Found a civilian ship being attacked by a drone scout. Strange. They normally don’t act aggressively. Destroyed and stripped the drone for parts. Civies were happy for the help.
Captain’s Log Day 24: Jumped to Sector 2, when given the choice between Rebel controlled territory and a nebula, I took the rebels. At least I know what I’m up against.
Captain’s Log Day 26: Ran into a heavily armed auto-assault ship. They scored a heavy hit on the bridge. Foley and Wrench were in there for a solid day tearing up the wiring to get our flight control back up. Fucking robots.
Captain’s Log Day 30: Been too busy to log. We jumped next to a fucking DYING star! It started cooking us almost immediately. Foley and I scrambled to get the ship to FTL, but we were boarded by Pirates who were looking to get out of the system just as badly. The rest of the crew put down the pirates onboard while Foley and I jumped us away, but not before a solar flare could start fires all over the ship. The moment we dropped back out of FTL we were attacked by a Rebel ship! With no time or men to spare, I vented the compartments on fire and attacked the rebels. We took out their engines, shields, and guns before they surrendered. I took their surrender because we needed the fuel they were offering and the crew was pretty battered up. Federation should have given us more men.
Captain’s Log Day 34: Cleaned up a few Rebels. I stopped taking surrenders, I’ve heard enough double talk.
Captain’s Log Day 36: Ran into another stranded Engi ship. You’d think the half robots freaks would be able to use a nav computer…
Captain’s Log Day 41: We found a Federation outpost! They resupplied us and pointed us to another station that was besieged. I’m gonna save some lives here, we’ve lost too many already. Rebels aren’t far off.
Captain’s Log Day 44: Jumped to Engi space. Figured we saved enough of them that their compatriots would be amenable. Got ambushed by Rebels, they made the poor choice of sending one of their raiders aboard on one of Wrench’s bad days. The whole ordeal was bloody and quick. No ship damage sustained thankfully.
Captain’s Log Day 47: Strange day today. A mantis boarded our ship, but then asked for help, an Engi ship in system demanded we to turn him over. I’m not exactly in the business of selling out frightened kids, regardless of species. We refused and had to destroy the Engi when they attacked us. The little bug joined the crew. He calls himself AJ, probably because his real name is impossible to pronounce. He’s strong and fast, he’ll be in charge of repelling boarders. He seems to get along well with Wrench, they are both quiet and like smashing things. A good match.
Captain’s Log Day 50: Passed two stations, not one of them carrying a decent laser weapon. And they call themselves station operators…
Captain’s Log Day 51: We found the Federation outpost, it took 10 days, they were mostly gone by that point, we took on survivors and supplies. All the survivors got off at the next station, but one stayed behind. Elizabeth, she has an intensity to her I find unsettling. But she was an NCO in the Federation Marines; so I am placing her in command of Security and AJ. I still don’t trust the little bugger.
Captain’s Log Day 55: Our 3rd day in the Engi Homeworlds, Sector 4. Halfway to the Rally point and I feel like we are only going backwards. Another damn Class M star. Scorched the hull something awful. Nearly lost AJ in the fire.
Captain’s Log Day 58: Another Federation distress signal that turned out to be a rebel trap. Damage sustained to the hull, going need to stop at a station for repairs. AJ and Elizabeth got their first opportunity to fight together. They took to it very well. Still, I am considering passing every distress beacon I see. I’m tired of seeing the orange hulls of Rebel ships.
Captain’s Log Day 61: Against my better judgment I responded to another beacon. This time it was a damaged Engi ship. They asked for supplies, but I didn’t have the reserves to help them. We had to leave them behind. A bad day.
Captain’s Log Day 63: Slug Pirates tried to exact a toll on us, I took joy in smashing their ship to pieces. I think they hailed a surrender at one point, but who can be sure about anything anymore.
Captain’s Log Day 69: Ran into a Mantis fighter. AJ recognized it as a Raider who was conducting deep raids in Engi and Federation space. The whole crew slept easier after we wiped them out.
Captain’s Log Day 70: In my haste to hunt the Mantis raiders I ignored my charts. When we arrived at the jump point to the next sector, a Rebel Fleet vanguard was waiting for us. We sustained heavy damage to the hull. Elizabeth was killed while trying to put out fires in life support when the Rebels scored a second hit, igniting the oxygen tanks. The crew needs a break. I can’t give them one.
Captain’s Log Day 77: We’ve been pushing through the Slug nebula. It was that our enter the Mantis homeworlds. Its been a long week. We’ve run into numerous slug patrols, but pushed them all back. The crew is tired, but more effective than ever. Wrench and Tomkins have put their systems back together from nothing so many times that they can push them farther than they were built for. I am glad to see the crew adapting to such a terrible situation. Foley is strained since I don’t trust anyone to switch shifts with her at the helm. She grabs sleep when she can. I’ll look for a pilot at the next station.
Captain’s Log Day 81: We had an hour and half skirmish with a Rebel picket today. Neither one of us could break the other’s shield. With Wrench and Foley working so well, they couldn’t land a shot. While we sustained no damage it pushed the crew to the breaking point. If this is what we have to look forward to in the sectors ahead, I don’t really want to continue on.
Captain’s Log Day 83: Cleared more Slug patrols. We haven’t seen a Federation soul for a month. I am beginning to wonder if there still is a Federation, and if we are even going to find anyone at the rally point. I wonder why I keep this log anymore, it’s not as though my superior officers are even alive anymore to read them. It doesn’t matter anyway; if we stop the rebels will be on us in a matter of hours.
Captain’s Log Day 85: I’ve had enough of this damn nebula. Why the slugs choose to live here, I will never understand.
Captain’s Log Day 89: We’re out valuable supplies. My own damn fault. We encountered a Slug cruiser who offered some black market guns. We needed the firepower so I paid them, they tried to stiff us. I took out their FTL first so they couldn’t run. After we took out the life support they suffocated as we took the ship apart system by system. I hoped we would get our scrap back, we didn’t. A disappointment. This nebula is filled with disappointment.
Captain’s Log Day 95: 5 days into the Rock sector and I already regret my decision to be here. We took on a Rock cruiser near a failing star. The barrage of missiles and solar flares breached the hull and fried the shields. We jumped away before destroying the enemy ship. Firedihm was in weapon control which had been breached. He tried to repair the leak on his own, but he wasn’t fast enough. He suffocated. The rest of the crew had to patch the hull and deal with his remains. No one knew the guns like him, I fear the next time we encounter a Rock patrol.
Captain’s Log Day 102: We’ve reached the 7th sector. Just 10 jumps separate us from the rally point. I have honestly given up hope of being reunited with Federation vessels. We haven’t even heard a Federation distress in the past 3 sectors; probably because even the pirates around here know Federation ships wouldn’t be dumb enough to be caught this far out. What does that say about us?
Captain’s Log Day 103: We haven’t been here a whole day and already disaster. We found a station that was flush with supplies. As we approached we saw the station had taken damage and was on fire. The scientists aboard the station signaled for help. I denied them, but AJ demanded we go aboard and help. We managed to get some the scientists on board, but not before AJ got caught in the inferno. Maybe it’s fitting that AJ should sacrifice for what he thought was right. Maybe it’s worse that it was he who had to die remind us all of our humanity. The scientists are useless and leech on our supplies. I would trade 100 of these egg heads to get AJ back.
Captain’s Log Day 108: We have destroyed a handful of Mantis and Rebel ships. We freed a Federation prisoner, named Fenn, who was captured months ago. He has joined our fight, out of necessity it seems. He is weak and a bit delirious. He’s not much help right now. But it’s good to have a fresh pair of legs to replace our losses.
Captain’s Log Day 115: More fights, more damage. No losses though. Fenn is adjusting well. He takes to the torch pretty well so he is working on repairs. I am still sorely missing Firedihm, our guns aren’t as good as they were. I don’t know if we’ll hold together when we reach whatever is on the other side of this next jump beacon.
Captain’s Log Day 120: We made it! We’ve reached the Rally point! There are federation ships everywhere! We’ve found the fleet! I don’t know what to think. We made contact with Admiral Tully and we explained our mission. We know that Rebel flagship is the linchpin of the Rebel plans. Without it they are lost. We must destroy the flagship to survive. The fleet sends us off alone to defeat the flagship. It seems that the second time in a year the Federation brass has sent me against impossible odds, completely outgunned and understaffed. I am unsurprised.
Captain’s Log Day 122: Heading out towards the last reported location of the flagship. We picked up a Engi along the way from a wreck. We’ll need all the help we can get.
Captain’s Log Day 124: I did not know such ships existed! The Flagship caught us off guard. Never have I seen a ship so large. We managed to damage it heavily. The port section of the ship housing its Ion Cannon Battery and its Cloaking Device broke off. The Flagship still managed a FTL jump. I’ve never seen a ship take that kind of beating. We sustained heavy damage. The new engi died while making repairs in the Med Bay when it was hit by a barrage of missiles. It took Wrench, Tomkins, and Fenn 2 days to repair the damage and seal the hull. The fact that I still have Wrench, Tomkins, and Foley gives me hope. They’ve survived this entire journey with me. We are going to finish this together.
Captain’s Log Day 126: Tomkins is dead. We pressed the attack against the Rebel Flagship. Again we fragmented the Flagship before it escaped.
Captain’s Log Day 127: The Inexorable was on its last leg. I had patched her together so many times I lost count. The Flagship was hurting and I had lost enough fucking men to this monster. I was going to burn it down. The Flagship’s last stand was ferocious it hit us with barrage after barrage of laser. Fenn was blown away in one of the first salvos. With Tomkins gone the shields were breaking quickly. They sent two boarding parties. Wrench had to abandon the engineering deck to save the ship. The engines took a hit and caught fire. We were dead in the water before too long. We managed to fend off the attackers and finally put down the Rebel Flagship. I have no idea how we did it. But The Inexorable was lost. Hemorrhaging air and fuel, aflame in half of the compartments. We had won, but were now adrift. Wrench, Foley, myself and the remaining crew waited for rescue in lifeboats. We had survived 103 different jumps. Seen 100 different systems. Eliminated 46 different ships. And still, I lost Tomkins, Firedihm, AJ, Elizabeth, Fenn, and an unknown Engi mechanic. Maybe I lost more than that… I hope the Federation was worth saving.