(( Sim Center – Deck 6, CIC Desdemona ))
Sato: So, if we were to use the sensors as our entry, how would we lower their defenses enough to let us reach them? A diversion?
Addison’s face relaxed ever so slightly. It was almost a smile.
MacKenzie: A distraction.
Savel: Our distraction will not have to last long. Only until we are successful in taking our their sensors.
Savel jabbed his finger at the sensor pod, making a dull tap-tap sound.
Dakora: We also need to understand how they’ll react.
Sato: If you have something flying at your face, you have reflexes to protect your eyes. Blinking, raising your hands, moving your head - the list goes on. The point is, if a vital sensory input is being threatened, we need to account for built-in defensive measures.
Addison crossed her arms over her chest and rocked her head side to side. It was possible Harry was on to something, but the idea would need to be much more fleshed out before she could greenlight anything.
MacKenzie: You have my attention… What are you thinking based on the limited resources we have at our disposal?
Harry scratched his head, surprised when the device still attached to his arm made contact with his skull.
Sato: I imagine the Shint would see right through pretty much any overt bait-and-switch tactic we could take. Knowing that, what if we tried something about as ... unorthodox as it gets? How could we make it look like the away team had broken with the Des?
Savel: We will need to remain hidden from their view for as long as possible. It will need to be something that keeps them from expecting an obvious deception.
Dakora: If we can lure them into the debris field of one of the big battles; the last stand at K-7 or maybe the Turkana IV dead zone? Might be able to power down and hide a shuttlepod in there somewhere.
Her eyes narrowed. They were certainly on to possibilities. It would be foolish to attempt, but dying at the hands of the Shint without at least trying to stop them would be the personification of cowardice.
MacKenzie: ::nodding slowly:: So, let’s say we decide to move forward with that plan – what do you need?
Savel: Considering the importance of this particular endeavor, no resource should be spared.
Ares stepped forward.
Dakora: A hammerhead shuttlepod with the hullbreacher nosecharge still intact. We’ve got one in our hangar bay that we’ve been using as a cargo tug, but her nose charge was repurposed elsewhere. ::He shrugged.:: Could probably improvise one easily enough.
Sato: And we'll need to know how to minimize the impact of automated fire.
She nodded slowly, impressed by the way each member of the team seemed to feed off the energy of the next.
Stennes: I nicked Overdone’s sensor and intel logs before I bailed into the escape pod. It looks like the Shint haven’t modified their conventional shield or weapons frequencies in a while. ::beat:: Complacency.
Of course they hadn’t – why should they? They seemed to be doing enough damage without needing to give much bother. But complacency was often the enemy of authoritarianism.
…or, at least, it would hopefully be today.
Sato: Assuming they haven't done some recent spring cleaning,
that could be useful. We'd still take damage, but it wouldn't be a one-shot
Savel: It could be useful should we need to find a way through their shields quickly, as well.
The points were valid – she didn’t need to give her verbal affirmation of their assessment for it to be so. After all, she’d stopped bothering with any kind of positive affirmations a long time ago – they all had jobs to do, and they knew the consequences if they got it didn’t do them.
…or they got it wrong.
Ares turned to Stennes, with a raised eyebrow.
Dakora: If you gleaned any other useful Intel from the logs or your time on Casperia, now is the time, Major Stennes. ::He sighed.:: One way or another, we won’t be getting a second shot at this.
Stennes folded his arms across his chest.
wasn’t able to get everything I wanted out of there. I didn’t notice their
approach until they’d already locked a tractor beam on us. Major Yannick
became—— :beat:: unresponsive. Again.
Savel: Let us hope we do not suffer a similar fate.
MacKenzie: It is certainly not my preference…
Dakora: At least you didn’t come away empty-handed. That’s something. Any encounter with the Shint that you survive is a victory of its own.
Stennes: I got the most recent schematics. We escaped just before Casperia Prime was attacked, so these might be the only ones left in Commonwealth hands. The Shint aren't the only ones with sensors. We could use ours to create some distracting echoes of our own. At least enough to confuse them while a shuttlepod approaches.
Sato: How many echoes could we create? The more we have, the less
likely they are to shoot the right one first.
Savel: You said yourself, Lieutenant, that they may not fall for regular bait-and-switch tactics used against them.
Dakora: What if we combined the two ideas? Hide out in a debris field AND try to employ the echoes.
MacKenzie: More cover than not – better safe than sorry.
Sato: Not the best odds, but they're better than 50:50.
The sentiment didn’t appear to sit well with Savel.
Savel: I may have an idea that could improve our odds of getting close to the Shint cruiser. Even if it may be slight. I do not imagine you all will like it.
Ares gestured toward the model, his scowl flashing just this side of curious.
Dakora: By all means, Mister Savel, share it with the class.
She crossed her arms waiting to hear what the Vulcan thought. He moved over to the console, punched in a few commands, then turned back to the scale models. Next to the Shint cruiser, a model of the Desmedona and the heist team's shuttle appeared. Savel returned to the group and stood near all three models.
Savel: I propose that we use the Desdemona to make the Shint think the shuttle has been destroyed. The Shint will likely have no regard for a defeated CIC vessel the size of our shuttle. Not with the Desdemona close by.
Dakora: Are you thinking we make it look like the Shuttle is full of separatists or deserters and we make it look like the Des shoots it down? ::He frowned.:: It could work. Maybe.
MacKenzie: ::shaking her head:: I don’t know. I can guarantee they’ll pick up the power from the engines.
Savel then grabbed the model of the shuttle and moved it closer to the Shint cruiser, near one of the sensor nodules.
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.
Addison nodded slowly.
It wasn’t foolproof by any means – and they were certainly fools for considering it, but it was the best option on the table.
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?
MacKenzie: Then we get in and get out as quickly as possible.
It was as simple – ha – as that.
She nodded definitively.
MacKenzie: That’s the plan. It’s time to put it into motion – we don’t have much time.
Tag, and TBC!
Colonel Addison MacKenzie
CIC Desdemona RNS-601