(( Sim Center – Deck 6, CIC Desdemona ))
Savel had carefully positioned the models, before grabbing the model of the shuttle and moving it closer to the Shint cruiser, near one of the sensor nodules. The purpose of the display was to determine just which strategy the infiltration team would take as they prepared to board the Shint vessel.
Savel: Your concerns are valid. We will indeed have to power down the ship to minimal levels and likely drift toward the Shint cruiser. A longer period of exposure, however they should not detect us until the last minute. At which point, our shields and systems will be active and we will be in place to breach the hull.
Dakora shrugged and turned to them.
Dakora: It’s possible. If we time our breach with a barrage from the Desdemona they might just take the damage in stride. Then we’d just have to get in and steal the prisma-whatevers and wreck things inside bad enough on our way out that we can get back to the Des and get away before the Cruiser can kill us.
Stennes: Famous last words, “Let’s split up and double our chances.” Who among us hasn’t been cautioned against making that old chestnut of a tactical error? ::beat, traces a line along the exterior of the Shint ship:: Still, with multiple prismagons aboard, it’s tempting.
Sato: I think this is a good plan. They won't even notice we had our hand in their pocket till we're half a block away with their wallet.
Addison nodded slowly. The plan was about as good as they could hope for with the tools and time they had. After all, each member of the crew had managed to survive so far – that wasn’t without merit.
Dakora: Let’s run it back from the beginning. We go loud with the Des’ sensors and wait for a Shint Cruiser to pick up the trail. Once they’re in sensor range, we deploy the pod of ::He made quotation marks with his fingers:: deserters and make it look like the Des’ shoots them dead. Then what?
Stennes: The shuttlepod drifts into position on low power and Desdemona volleys some fire at the Shint. ::to Harry:: Make them blink so they don’t notice the speck of grit in their eye.
Harry nodded at Didrik.
MacKenzie: Then we get in and get out as quickly as possible.
There was no time to mince words. The job was that simple.
Stennes: If anyone can make a quick exit and keep our weapons hot, it’s Kader and Vik.
Sato: I'd like to be in the boarding party too, so it's been said. I promise it won't be like Eutril VI.
She raised an eyebrow. Sato brought his own set of baggage to the crew. Nearly getting officers killed and the obviously nagging feeling that he had to redeem himself was a liability she wasn’t sure they could afford.
Dakora: No arguments from me.
She nodded definitively.
MacKenzie: That’s the plan. It’s time to put it into motion – we don’t have much time.
Stennes: ::to Dakora:: Who do you want with you in the shuttlepod and who do you want watching your back ship side?
Dakora’s brow furrowed as he thought about it, obviously wrestling with the decision on several levels.
Dakora: I’m thinking… ::He Pointed:: Savel and Sato for the strike team. That Edo, if Luana has been able to train her up on how the new shields work and maybe the Mizarian doctor ::He snapped his fingers trying to remember the name.:: –Deela? Gila? Something like that– in case one of us gets banged up. Thoughts?
Didrik hooked a finger in his uniform collar.
Stennes: I don’t know about that Edo mediator. Part of me thinks she’s just gathering intelligence on us to use later. The Holier-Than-Thou Fleet on Rubicun III has been hedging its bets against the Commonwealth for years.
Sato: Maybe, but they're damned good at what they do. Right now, it's "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," right?
Dakora shrugged. Sato had a point – they’d lost so many people they couldn’t afford to be picky.
Dakora: Why do you think I want to take her instead of Luana? If this all goes to shint and we lose Jojo or whatever her name is ::He splayed his hands.:: Tears all around, but no great loss. Luana is the one who keeps the Des flying.
They were all expendable, to be honest. She couldn’t afford to lose any of them, but even if they did, they’d do what they always did – adapt. Addison cocked her head.
MacKenzie: Sounds like you have your team, then.
Stennes: As soon as we’ve got some working prismics and a target ship, we go. ::beat:: In the meantime, uh——::beat:: Harry, could I bend your ear for a few minutes? Maybe take a walk to the soup dispensers and back?
Sato: Sure thing. ::nodding to Dakora and MacKenzie:: Sirs.
Returning the departing Lieuteant’s salute as he and Stennes left, Ares turned to Savel.
Dakora: Savel, go coordinate with the team prepping the shuttlepod, Lux and… JoJo, I think? See if they can make that old hammerhead shuttle work for this.
When the door closed behind him, Ares pulled the data stick from the control panel and turned to face Addison. He let out a tired sigh.
Dakora: What do you think?
MacKenzie: ::flatly:: I think it’s a suicide mission.
He winced slightly but nodded his assent.
Dakora: Yeah, that sounds about right.
The pair walked together toward the doors.
Dakora: It’s a long shot, but it may be the only shot we get before it’s all over.
MacKenzie: I’m afraid we don’t have a better plan.
As they passed through the doors, Ares leaned in a slightly conspiratorial manner.
Dakora: I don’t suppose you’d be interested in another one of those… ::He cleared his throat.:: Ahem, stress-relieving sessions this evening?
His scowl transformed into a slight smirk.
Dakora: May be the last chance. Ever.
She rolled her eyes.
MacKenzie: Just do me a favor and try not to get the others killed.
With his smirk growing to a nearly respectable grin, he replied.
Dakora: Wouldn’t dream of it.
As they came to an intersection where a group of techs were working on one of the perpetually on-the-fritz systems of the DesDemona, Ares’ body language stiffened up subconsciously.
Dakora: Right. I’ll continue preparations and let you know if we hit any snags along the way. I’ll see you later Colonel.
MacKenzie: Good luck.
He snapped off a salute and moved down the corridor. Her shoulders slumped slightly. She hoped the mission wasn’t the death sentence she feared it might be.
[End Scene for MacKenzie]
Colonel Addison MacKenzie
CIC Desdemona RNS-601