(( Sim Center, Deck 6, CIC Desdemona ))
They had something vaguely resembling a plan now. Ares took a step back from the model of the Shint cruiser and turned to the group, rubbing a tired right eye as he did.
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?
They’d gone over a few different variations of the plan and he wanted to firm things up a bit.
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.
Sato / Savel: response
MacKenzie: Then we get in and get out as quickly as possible.
Stennes: If anyone can make a quick exit and keep our weapons hot, it’s Kader and Vik.
Ares grunted his approval. Vik had always been Johnny-on-the-spot with Des’ weapons whenever the Furies scrambled to intercept Shint patrol ships. More than once he’d saved Ares’ ass with a well-placed railgun shot when he couldn’t quite shake a Shint-head in his fighter.
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.
Dakora: No arguments from me.
All eyes shifted to MacKenzie. After a moment she gave a nod of approval.
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?
Taking a moment to think about it, Ares’ brow furrowed a notch further than usual. The odds of any of the crew who went on the shuttlepod returning weren’t great. While he’d become accustomed to confronting the possibility of his own death on several occasions over the years, he’d never quite gotten comfortable with the idea of leading others to theirs.
It made his stomach ache.
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: 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.
It was a cold way to think about it, but it was the truth. Surviving to fight one more day was all that mattered when Ares laid all the cards out on the table. After all that he’d sacrificed, all that he’d lost, he had to believe that was true.
Sato / MacKenzie: response
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.
As Savel made his way out of the Sim Center and the doors shut behind him, Ares retrieved the data stick from the control interface and turned to face MacKenzie. Over the last few years, she had become the closest thing he had to a friend, largely because she had managed not to die in that time, unlike many of his other would-be friends and comrades.
He let out a tired sigh.
Dakora: What do you think?
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.
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 usual scowl gave way to the slightest of smirks.
Dakora: May be the last chance. Ever.
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: response (If any?)
He snapped off a salute and moved down the corridor toward whatever was next.
[End Scene for Ares]
Major. Ares Dakora
Air Group Commander
as simmed by