Xenonautical Adventures – Part 46: Mice On Base
26th of January, 1980, 03:19
I got up to welcome Shrike-1 home. I’ve said it before, but I’ll be damned if I miss any of their landings short of being grievously ill or injured.
Major Herr is going to be in the medical centre for at least a week, but the rest seem to have managed fine. I feel like it’s time I promoted Cpt Malo to Major, as this marks his tenth mission and earning him the Service Medal. There are also three Orders of Merit to hand out, to Major Herr, Captain Wanyal, and Captain Volatar.
The night crew also contacted me before I went back to bed, informing me they’ve hunted and shot down the Landing Ship that was harassing Australia. It went down close to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, and instead of re-launching Shrike-1 already, I order the site bombed. I’d rather they get to rest for the night.
26th of January, 1980, 07:22
I’m still waiting for the science team’s evaluation of the datacore we recovered from yesterday’s new UFO, and in the meantime I’ve been going over the encounter reports, both from Foxtrot-6, whose aircraft will need a few days to be put back together, and Corsair-3, who dealt with it.
I will wait for the research report to be absolutely sure, but I think it’s fair to say these new UFOs can overwhelm both our Condors and Foxtrots with ease. They do not seem to be a match for the Corsair, and thank God for that, but we only have three of them. There might have been only one this time, but what about when they start showing up in higher numbers? What about when they fly in wings? I think I will need to prioritise building the second batch of Corsairs ahead of anything else right now. Finally replace all the Condors.
And maybe even start looking for a replacement for the Corsairs already. Even if we start looking into that now, it might not be done for months. As soon as we have the Plasma Weaponry research all done, I’ll have them start researching the new stuff we pulled out of the Landing Ships, specifically the plating and the reactor. If we could make our own little “UFOs” as interceptors, maybe we’d be safer.
26th of January, 1980, 11:47
After I come back from an early lunch, the report for the new UFO is in. The Chief has merely dubbed it a Heavy Fighter. Naming stuff was never his forte, but maybe that helps him get along with us military folk. On second thought, maybe not.
It does seem like my deduction was on point, though. While a Foxtrot might be able to outrun this thing for a while, maybe even get back to base, a Condor would just be helpless if one of these suddenly appeared. As soon as we get into February, I’ll have to get those Corsairs started.
26th of January, 1980, 20:33
It’s been a sombre day, it feels like. The news of how we nearly lost Foxtrot-6 has put everyone on edge. I think we all felt we were getting the hang of things by now, and confidence was rising again. No big arguments though, and no fights, thankfully. Even Major Merrywhiskers seems a bit more subdued and more cuddly, as if she’s sensing the mood of the base and is looking for comfort.
27th of January, 1980, 07:36
Nothing can keep that kitten down for long, it seems, as I found her having fallen asleep on my boots this morning. It appears there was a vicious fight between them. Had to polish out some scratch marks.
Getting everything ready and processed for the end of the month is going fine. With four days to go, I am expecting another UFO incursion before we get there, but hopefully just the one.
27th of January, 1980, 13:13
Someone has been sneaking flowers in to Major Herr’s hospital room while he’s been asleep, and apparently sworn the doctors and nurses to secrecy. Maybe there’s a secret admirer going on, or perhaps someone feels guilty for something that happened last mission. I didn’t see anything in the report, but I know soldiers can get hung up on things they wish they had done better.
27th of January, 1980, 19:18
Had a short trip outside today when the new supplies came in. Certainly does not feel like winter is close to ending any time soon. Getting in some “fresh” fruits seems to have lifted morale in the base slightly. Since we saved their capital, Peru have been a little extra generous in that way. Even with a few days of travel time, they’re still in good condition when they arrive.
28th of January, 1980, 07:49
A bit of an altercation at breakfast this morning. Captain Squirrel felt the kitchen staff had made poor preserves of the fruit, with Major Malo joining in the complaint, and then Major Troidell asked them both somewhat sharply to shut up. They’ve all been under a large amount of stress since this started, so it’s small things like this that tend to set off a spark. I set all three on latrine duty for the next three days. I can’t let things like this just slide.
28th of January, 1980, 15:52
The science team are in the process of working out how to upgrade our defence batteries with plasma technology, and it nearly started a fire. Again. They were launching dummies to shoot down, and one of them got blasted further than they thought it could be, and the fiery wreck landed on a pile of trash that was going to be picked up tomorrow. At least one of the base upgrades they installed is a heavy-duty fire suppression system.
Since it was an accident, I can’t in fairness punish them for it, but I did ask if they wanted to help clean up the mess, and most of them agreed to that.
28th of January, 1980, 20:15
Major Merrywhiskers somehow showed up with a mouse, which caught me by surprise. No matter what any other reports from the base might say, I did not “scream like a little girl”.
If there is an actual rodent problem on the base though, we need to take measures to address that. Mice or rats in our pantry would be the worst situation. Unfortunately I can’t ask Major Merrywhiskers where she found it. Maybe the Chief has some ideas on how to turn all this alien tech into communication with animals?
29th of January, 1980, 07:37
Snuck away some fish for Major Merrywhiskers. Carp, I think. She didn’t seem entirely impressed, but after 10 minutes of light sulking, she ate it anyway.
Going to be doing an equipment inspection later today, assuming nothing comes up.
29th of January, 1980, 14:16
Inspection went well. Only minor flaws detected. Everyone on base seems to be heavily invested in the maintenance of all our gear, and I hope it stays that way.
The science team also wanted to demonstrate the test firing of a prototype for the new aircraft-mounted plasma cannon, but unfortunately it just fizzled. They claimed it was a problem with the plasma containment, which I think means it might have exploded instead of just fizzling. At least we were behind blast-shielding, just in case.
29th of January, 1980, 19:35
The mice ruined a bag of grain, but at least this led to them being found and disposed of. Let’s hope this means Major Merrywhiskers never shows up here with one again.
Since today’s inspection, the whole base has seemed a bit muted. Just tomorrow and the day after left, and we’ll transition to February. Not a lot of time for the aliens to squeeze in a visit, honestly, but I’m sure they’ll manage it anyway.