Even with the arrests of the alleged conspirators by local authorities, we still halfway expected to see a last-ditch effort to destroy the Monarch. I ordered the full security team to maintain a constant patrol of the ship’s immediate vicinity on the tarmac, in full battle dress, for the remaining duration of the loading operation and liftoff preparations. I instructed the team to report possible threats and await clearance before engaging except in immediate danger. Our expectations were that whatever attempt might be made would be lightly armed, with local inferior weaponry—most likely limited to small-arms and satchel-charges.

At <22:38> local time, after dark, there was a large explosion somewhere in town, and local authorities were busy responding. We believed this to be an attempt to divert the authorities from the port area to take attention from an attack, and so, we were expecting trouble. Shortly afterward, the team identified three potential hostiles moving along the roof of the airport concourse some 30m to the ship’s south, one of which appeared to be armed with a light, man-portable, anti-tank rocket of some kind; the hostiles were observed spreading out along the concourse roof and lying prone, in preparation for what was believed to be an ambush attempt. All crewmen and dockworkers were ordered into the ship, and I ordered the security team to take up cover-positions behind the remaining cargo containers just outside the ship’s ramp; XO Matthews joined the security team behind the containers. Shortly afterward, three more potential hostiles were spotted to the north, rappelling down from a warehouse roof to the tarmac around 40-50m north-west of the ship, in a flanking position. We suspected that they believed themselves to be hidden in the darkness, unaware that each of the crewmen present had night-vision capability as a standard feature of most environment suit helmets. I ordered Crewman Reid to the roof of the ship, to get a better view of the hostiles to the south, as they were no longer visible to those of us on the ground, due to their prone position. ChEng Adler followed Crewman Reid, also taking up position on the roof. The hostiles remained in place, waiting, and I contacted Cpt Brierfield for orders; Cpt Brierfield advised the team to hold fire unless fired upon. After some moments waiting for the hostiles to make a move, XO Mathews grew concerned, and again, asked Cpt Brierfield for clearance to engage the hostiles, at which point the Captain agreed, and I relayed the order to engage at will. Some moments later, the hostiles emerged from cover, and were immediately engaged by the security team. Crewman Reid and ChEng Adler engaged the hostiles on the southern concourse, while those on the ground primarily engaged the hostiles to the north, who had taken cover behind some nearby machinery. The firefight was over in seconds, resulting in 100% casualties to the ambushing force, with no injuries incurred by the security team, nor damage to the ship.

Although the attack occurred pretty much as expected, I must confess that I had let down my guard a little, and as such, could have been somewhat better prepared for action. Had the enemy been better equipped, the situation might have gone differently. In any case, in spite of the improvised nature of the situation, the crew performed their duties as expected. The only incident of note was that Crewman Prudhomme charged off in solo pursuit of the only hostile to attempt to flee, returning with telltale scratching and pitting on his face-plate and torso armor that seemed to indicate a general lack of “respect” for the hostiles’ capabilities that could have ended disastrously, had they been better equipped or more lucky. Other than the customary verbal reprimand of Crewman Prudhomme, I can think of no way to improve upon the crew’s general performance during the action, or the end results.