Run Silent, Run Drunk

Deep recon and forward scouting is the job of the recon destroyers. And contrary to “Running Cold”, it’s not a particularly stealthy job. For all the boffins dream about stealth starships and talk airily about basement universes and domain walls and dimensional transcendence, I’ve never seen one. And no, that’s not a joke.

The aim is not to avoid being seen. They can see you, bright, hot, and clear. (It’s not all bad – this also means that you can see them.) The aim is to be seen sailing through the target area fast and high and out of the way – beyond intercept range and outside their engagement envelope – so they can’t touch you. Except for exchanging the usual bluster.

Not that that stops people from taking a pot-shot or two at you anyway on general principles. So you jink, jink, jink and trust to light-lag! But all that drunkwalking cuts deep into your delta-v reserve for evading and running, which is why they give you a whole library of variable-power drunkwalk algorithms, from a pro-forma wobble on the reaction wheels up through the affectionately named Torpedo Tango, Missile Minuet, Warhead Waltz, Firing Solution Foxtrot, and so forth, right on up to the good old Hellfire Hop. Choose carefully, ‘cause you might need whatever you burn now later. And if you’re really worried, you can fire up the kinetic barriers to military power – if you wouldn’t rather keep that energy to go into thrust, and if you don’t mind being provocative by shining the EM signature of a battle-ready warship all over the system. Any misjudgment at this point may result in a salvo or two of unanticipated k-slugs ripping big holes in your ‘can.

This is why every recon captain I ever served under had an ulcer and the temperament of a grouchy bear.

– Senior Chief Viviré Galicios, Imperial Navy (unpublished memoir)

 

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