BRIEFING: Battle of Junction
Briefing:Battle of Junction
Summary: Mission briefing prior to the (soon to be historic) Battle of Junction.
Date: 2658.142
Related Logs: None

Briefing Room of the TCS Majestic…

Set above the ready line, this sizeable room serves as a briefing area for the Majestic's air wing. Stadium-style seating in five rows provides space for sixty pilots or other flight crew. At the front of the room, a lectern with the Confederation logo stands on a raised platform for presentations, with a trio of chairs located behind it. A large vidscreen is set into the wall, for projecting mission flight paths or other critical information. The side walls are decorated with the insignia of the squadrons operating off of the Majestic.

If Cole's a little behind the others wandering in, it's likely because he's still not back up to speed. Still, the Captain hobbles his way in as fast as his wounded legs will allow him, making his way to his customary seat and dropping into it with all the grace of a falling piano.

The bonsai cometh. Raine has come to keep an eye on any injured attendees and to figure out just how many beds she might well need to clear up. Also maybe to quietly cheer on her favorite officers. Either way, she enters somewhat behind Cole carrying a cane and quietly 'pssts' to him, before leaning the cane on the chair. Might make hobbling a little easier. She just smiles and takes a seat near the back though.

It is not exactly a secret that the Majestic has been abuzz with activity since the Kilrathi entered Junction, but the last few hours have been a bee's nest, or something similiarly buzzy and busy. The briefing room is filling to capacity as every pilot on the carrier fit to fly is ordered to attend. Pip is -not- at the podium, though….as he steps into the room, already clad in his ratty-old flightsuit, and carrying a sheaf of papers under his arm. The Englishman steps up to the podium, and eyes the room, taking a moment to adjust his notes before him, and work on gathering his thoughts. He looks even more haggard than his most recent combat briefing. A TCSF Spacehand hurries in with his customary cup of pre-flight tea, and a burning cigarette, before excusing himself from the room.

Dante walks into the briefing room wearing his very non-regulation cowboy hat. The cigar he's smoking is also not part of the Confed outlined ISO regulation and standards. But who's going to tell him that? He stalks in like a cowboy, as usual and doesn't take a seat. Instead, the Commodore walks in Jenthson and shows him a piece of paper. He mutters something into the man's ear. Because he's in here, armed marines take position on either side of the door. Talk about a bee's nest of activity. When a flag officer is in your briefing room, something BIG is going down.

Saint-Cloud enters only a few moments after dante and the marines, the short and stocky Astrogator making his way as quietly and carefully as possible. Like the commodre, the small but broadshouldered man doesn't sit but leans against the wall off to the side, trying to remain as inconspicuous as he can.

Kanani quietly makes her way through the crowds of arriving pilots. Making her way towards where the 221st squadron's seating is, she finally takes a seat in the spot that she normally uses.

Stepping briskly through the opening from operations, cumstomary unlit cigarette hanging limply from his lip, is Doyle. Such a sight is not an uncommon thing in mission briefings - Stix has the tradition of one final drag before hitting space. He makes his way towards 221st country seating and slips into the isle, lowering himself into a seat while finishing doing up the front of his flight suit. He straightens a little when the Wing Commander enters the room, before sitting fully upwards as the Commodore stalks in. He knows enough that such an appearance is not to make pleasantires. Lips twitch around his smoke, his gaze fixating on the podium at the forefront of the room. It was going to be one of those days.

Alec straightens his back a little, perhaps picking up on the tense vibe.

Having taken a brief nap and gotten some sustenance into his body, Kell had arrived to the briefing room a little bit earlier than was required but that is probably so he could find a comfortable seat with a good view of tonight's briefing. There is no sign of his previous head injury, especially after last night's patrol mission and he is definitely looking forward to seeing last night's efforts bear fruit. For the time being, he is seated in a casual manner, legs slightly spread with an arm draped around the backrest of the seat as he watches others file into the briefing room. That will most likely change though as the room gets more crowded and the seats next to him are taken.

Cole's attention diverts towards the Commodore for a moment, before turning back to his squadron. "Now I know we're in for some shit" Cole comments quietly to Alec over in the 13th's little section of the party. "First rule of the real fleet. If someone with stars is giving the briefing, it's gonna be ugly" he adds quietly, before glancing back towards the front of the room.

Alec nods, lips thin. "Understood," he replies with a touch of dry humour, but his heart's not quite in it.

"Well. I'll be glad it wasn't 'lead, you're on fire'" Cole tells Alec with a little amused chuckle. Spirited or not, the humor in the comment apparently wasn't quite lost on the bomber squadron commander.

Alec's reply is a nervous little smile - but his attention, it seems, remains mostly on the podium, and whatever dire portents are soon to come.

Raine smiles a bit at folks she knows, but for her part? She's just listening. She blinks at Doyle, and tilts her head. She takes a deep breath and settles in to listen. Her bonsai sits on an armrest.

Saint-Cloud listens to the rabble, smiling faintly. He runs his massive hand ober his head, fingers through his close crooped red hair and looks to Dante, raising a brow. He pulls his tablet computer from under his arm and flips it on.

A nod in response to Dante's whisper, and Pip takes a drag on his own strictly forbidden cigarette, and turns his head to blow smoke toward the audience. Ominous foreshadowing, that. A few more words are murmered to the Commodore, before the Englishman turns fully toward the assembled pilots, and assorted naval officers. Reaching beneath his podium, a wooden pointer is removed, and used to rap the surface in front of him, as if asking the room for silence. His smoke is settled into the unemptied ashtray on the corner of the lectern.

"The day has arrived for us to kick the fleabags out of this system, ladies and gentleman. The Kilrathi battlegroup has been discovered, as has a large convoy of what appear to be troop transports. It is, as the cliche goes…now or never." A button is clicked, and the vidscreen behind him activates, displaying fuzzy images of a what appears to be a significant fleet of warships. Within this fleet, the fat-bodied shape of every fighter pilot's nightmare, and every bomber pilot's dream hangs. A Snakeir-class carrier…home to almost twice the Majestic's complement of starfighters. In escorting positions, multiple Fralthis, and Ralaris are more than visible. Even to those not up-to-date on the exact details of current vehicle classifications should be able to compare this fleet to that which hangs outside off their own carrier's viewports. The 13th Carrier Battlegroup is outnumbered, and outgunned. For the moment, Major Jenthson allows the image to sink in, while he takes a sip of his tea.

Dante pulls the cigar from his lips and blows thick, sweet smelling smoke. He gives Saint-Cloud a nod, and then turns to the assembled crew as the Wing Commander speaks. What he does, in particular, is study each man and woman's face to the point that it's individual, personalized scrutiny of each person. Anyone paying attention to him, rather than the man they're -supposed- to be paying attention to, will inevitablly find the Commodore make eye contact with him or her. It's the searching kind. As if he's weighing each soul in the room. He is, however, silent.

Kanani gives a slightly curious glance towards all the brass that's present for todays briefing, but her attention is quickly diverted as the briefing starts in earnest. A slight widening of her eyes is her only reaction to the vidscreen and the pictures of the Kilrathi battlegroup.

"Well, at least we won't want for targets" Cole comments with an amused little chuckle at the sight that appears on the vidscreen, even as he takes down a few quick notes from the image displayed on the screen. Apparently, Voodoo doesn't much believe in dramatic silences.

With a glance slowly sent around the room, Doyle takes in the vibe of the surrounding pilots. Every carrier has a different feeling to it, and he was still trying to come to grips with Majestic's. He gives a firm nod to Kanani as she sits nearby, though his expression remains somewhat grave. Eyes briefly meet Raine's as she looks to him and he manages a tight-lipped smile around the unlit cigarette, before he looks back to the front of the room. A deep breath is slowly exhaled as Jenthson begins the briefing, and crystal blue eyes flick to the daunting image of the enemy carrier group on the vidscreen. The cigarette slowly sags between his lips. "Bloody hell," he murmurs.

Alec could almost be a portrait entitled 'deer caught in the headlights'. He stares at the screen for several seconds, before breathing out slowly in a deliberate fashion.

Raine blinks, and frowns faintly. Well. That's going to mean most of the malingerers in medbay are going to get the boot. Lots of targets, sure, but the kitties aren't too likely to just roll over on this one. She looks to her bonsai then back to the briefing.

As the enemy task force's composition appears, Kell lets out an impressed whistle at what they are going to be facing tonight. Overall, everything put together will probably be overwhelming but the young Lieutenant knows that they will probably be broken up to smaller elements that various groups will focus on. He does remain silent and focused, awaiting to see what the plan is and how it will go down, atleast how it is suppose to go down.

Saint-Cloud just listens, his own eyes studying the pilots.. This being his first mission since arriveing he doesn't know what to expect.. so is keeping track of who is who and doing what.

Phillip just remains transfixed on the screen, listening to the briefing. He shows no sign of emotion.

Alec murmurs out of the corner of his mouth to his CO, lilting accent sharpened with gallows humour. "So, ah… it'd be too late to request another transfer, then?"

"I've been discussing the nature of the mission with the Commodore, and we've come up with a plan that should give us the goods to kill the sons-of-bitches. The Navy has already been given their own orders, and at this moment, we're moving into attack position." Pip continues his briefing, as the image behind turns into computer-generated map of the system, specifically the local portion covering the Kilrathi battlegroup. "As you've seen, the Kilrathi possess a full-sized fleet carrier, and a fairly heavy escort. Their ratio of starfighters to ours is even more overwhelming. Our primary advantage is in having the initiative, and being willing to make use of it." On the map behind him, three squadrons of unlabeled Confed starfighters appear, and make an end-run toward what appears to be a large concentration of transports in the enemy's rear sector. "I know this looks like suicide…and hell, it will be bloody…but these are two squadrons of Scimitars, and one of Broadswords forwarded to our command by Junction's militia. The idea, is to make it appear as if the locals are making a rather deseperate gamble to stave off invasion until a stronger force can arrive." He taps vidscreen -hard- with his pointer, and just about that time, a much larger force of human capitals appears from behind the sun's poles…."We -hope- that the Kilrathi will divert their attention to this threat in the rear…allowing us to swing around from behind the sun, and use the magnetic fields, and radiation as interference to allow us to hit them in the arse."

Dante literally chomps on his cigar, watching the reactions of the assembled people and blowing smoke. To look at the man, one might get the impression that he has been up for a -very- long time. He has all the signs. Red eyes, a fresh coat of stubble… the somewhat sour disposition is, of course, a standard feature which comes in both Fresh Dante and the Sleep Deprived variety.

Phillip nods as the briefing comes to a key point. Iceblade now appears in a more contemplative state, analizing the possibility of success of this mission and the likilhood of making it back alive or even have a carrier to return home to, for that matter.

Kanani leans back in her chair a bit, as she continues to listen to the Wing Commander as he goes over the plans for dealing with the Cats, and her eyes stay on the viewscreen for the most part, as it gives a visual reference for how things are -supposed- to go.

Alec's bleak smile seems to dry up at the mention of the three militia squadrons. He goes back to staring at the screen, wearing an expression that could only be called grim.

Raine looks pained at the mention that it would be bloody. That's not going to be pleasant to deal with. She slips a small pad from her pocket. Something about stationing Corpsmen around the ships, particularly near the hangars.

Doyle plucks the cigarette from between his lips, leaning forward in his seat with elbows planted upon his knees. Eyes bore into the Nav Layout as the plan plays out before his eyes, and his lips purse into an unhappy line. It doesn't really need to be said - it was gonna be a gamble. Should the Kilrathi take the bait, those Militia are gonna get chomped. And if the Kilrathi don't take the bait.. well. He straightens in his chair again and nods once, apparently accepting those odds.

It really ain't the place nor time / To reel off rhyming diction / But yet we'll write a final rhyme / Whilst waiting cru-ci-fixion! Perhaps Cole's getting a whole new sympathy for the words of Harry Morant right about now. Either way, there are no further comments from the bomber pilot for the moment, jotting down a couple last notes of his own before turning his full attention back towards the lectern and the presentation being delivered.

"Keep in mind, ladies and gentlemen. The Kilrathi quite likely do not know our true strength in-system. As far as they know, there is a much smaller carrier, with fewer escorts. What they -do- know, is that nearly every time we've faced them, they've run us off. That cannot happen this time. If we fail, Junction falls. And, quite possible, Gemini with. This is a critical system. Do not forget that." He begins to name off flight assignments, tapping targets on the screen with resounding clacks…"The Warmachines will join the pilots of the Honour, and fly space superiority. If it flies, and is fuzzy. Kill it. Strictly speaking, murder the wankers." His eyes settle on the pilots of that squadron, as he speaks…and then he is moving on, tapping a trio of Ralaris, and a Fralthi on map. "Conquistadors. You are to escort the Rhinos in a strike on this wing of their fleet. I want those capitals -dead-. Don't waste your torpedos, but please try to kill a Kamekh or two, en route." And, then he shifts his attention to the pilots of the 1087th, "You are on protection detail. Interdiction of -any- Grikaths, or Kamekhs that threaten the Majestic. She is our home base, and if she goes, so goes Junction." Finally, he regards the 13th, and the 221st. "Illuminati. You are on escort detail. The 13th is tasked with destruction of the Snakeir's flight decks, first and foremost. Kill her if you can, but aim for those decks, because if we can shut her down mid-launch, a whole hell of a lot of us will return home." As he is giving this last order, he strikes the icon representing the enemy carrier with such force that his pointer splinters, and the vid-screen cracks at the location, visibly. Silence for a moment. "Say your goodbyes. Some of us will not be sitting here, come tomorrow." He steps away from the podium, nodding to Dante as he does so.

Saint-Cloud doesn't wince at the shattering pointer. He just taps some things into his tablet and then slips it under his arm and clasps his massove hands behins his broad back.

Alec jumps a little in his seat at the crack of the screen, and swallows nervously in the silence. He wipes a sweaty palm along one pant-leg, and flicks a glance around the room, face tight.

Doyle is is silent as wing assignments are given out, fingers idling twirling that cigarette between them. When it comes to the Illuminati, he sends a glance over towards where the 13th are seated, gaze fixed on Cole where he applies a nod. Seems he'll be playing Guardian Angel tonight. As the briefing concludes with the splintering snap of wood, the 221st XO remains seated, sticking that cigarette back between his lips and lighting it. No goodbyes necessary.

As flight assignments for the 221st is given, Kell gives the Wing Commander a firm nod, one basically out of formality since there is a sea of military personnel in here for him to notice. The young Lieutenant than turns his gaze in the general area of where the 13th Bomber pilots are situated, giving them a nod as well since his job will be to escort them again. The grim nature of Jenthson's ending of the briefing isn't lost on Kell though, and that same thought had occurred to him once all the hostiles appeared on the briefing map at the beginning of the session.

Dante nods slowly, and then saunters towards the podium. He moves like he's wearing stirrups, honest to goodness, and he opens and closes his lips like he's really chomping the hell out of that cigar. When he pulls it out of his mouth and places it on the podium, it becomes clear that he was.

"Thank you, Major. Just wanted to say a few words to all y'all before everything gets up close and personal." Dante Claybourne is the tenor twang of southern inhospitality. Higher pitched than one might expect a man who screams cowboy, but his voice is all cowboy, regardless, and he sounds bitter… the kind of guy who'd spit bullets at a person and inflict an injury or two in the process. "Like the man said, we're on a course to slingshot around the sun and come at them under E-leck-tronic cover." Yes. He stresses the 'E' like that. "I wanted to say something because I expected the reactions I see here…" He points to nobody in particular, though point he does. "Scared. Nervous. Reckon a few of you done asked yourself why we're doing it like this. So I wanted to make sure you knew what we're dealing with. Since the fleabags blited into Gemini, we've been fighting a losing war of attrition. One of the first things they did was pop Perry Naval Base, and that hurt like a sum'bitch, I don't gotta tell none of you that. Truth is, every line of reinforcements we got in the sector has got to stay where it is. Cats are big on display of power. You show 'em one weakness, they expect you got a hundred and they'll show you what for."

"Pilots in here have seen things get worse in this system. This… this big pile of red icons behind me is the reason. It's their 'us', and if you'll pardon the pun, we just won the game of cat and mouse, because we found 'em before they found us. No time for reinforcements. The waiting game's one they're gonna win. We strike now, or we leave Junction… and I don't know about you…" He laughs harshly, "But I don't want to fight the number of fronts a fleabag-controlled Junction opens up." And then he turns to the group in general, "Fight like it's your last. Forget retreat, 'cause most brass won't tell you what the major did, or what I did, but we lose this, we're getting Sol Sector campaign ribbons. Now go out there and show them that we fight like -dogs- here."

Phillip listens to the remainder of the briefing and when the pilots are finally dismissed, he gets up quietly with concern on his face and follows the other pilots to the ready line.

Raine just takes a deep breath. She's hoping there will be a minimum of empty seats after this. But the acting CMO knows better than that. Shy, gentle critter that she is - even reality slaps her with a wet towel sometimes. It's going to be ugly. Better round up the medics, corpsmen and get a few nurses ready. Lots of painkillers too. Shrapnel wounds and EVA wounds and god knows what else tend to be remarkably ugly. Dante's speech gets a faint smile.

Kanani remains silent through the conclusion of the briefing, and as the flight assignments are given out. She nods slightly as the 221st receives it's instructions, and like others of her squad, she glances over towards the area where the 13th is sitting, and gives another nod.

Cole can't help but give a little bit of a grin at Dante's comment, before he turns his attention to his squadron, raising his voice a little. "Alright, you bastards. Here's the deal. I'll be toasting the death of a Snakier tonight in First and Last, and I hate to drink alone." Cole says to his squadron, giving a little bit of a grin. "So try to make sure I don't have to?"

Dante continues, "We fight like dogs. We kill like animals… and you do this right, and we're making history, because -this- is gonna be the turning point of the war. That's all I gotta say about that." He grabs his cigar, puts it in his mouth, and heads for the exit. He turns towards Saint-Cloud as he goes, "Meet me in the bridge in ten. Make sure all ships are reporting in and make sure that situation on Tyson's taken care of. It ain't, then they make it out of this alive, tell 'em I'll shoot the bastards myself."

Alec takes a deep breath, and makes the effort to pull himself together in the wake of the skipper's speech, Cole's words, and the glances and nods from the 221st, which he does his best to notice and mirror. He gives his CO another nod, trying to get that smile back. "Yes sir," he replies, inevitably.

Saint-Cloud nods to Dante. "Aye, sir." he says in his voice that is way too deep voice for someone his stature. He pushes off the wall and looks to the group, pip in particular and clears his throat. "If I may?" he asks Pip.

Pip nods to Dante, as he finishes up, and steps up to the podium for long enough to collect his cigarette, and speak to the room. "Dismissed, pilots. You've got some time before we launch. Record messages. Find a corner, fuck a nurse. I don't care. No drinking, and don't try to send a communications. They're locked down. May your gods be with you, folks. The Kilrathi's sure as fuck won't be with them." He turns from the podium, though he doesn't leave the room, just in case someone has something further to add….and Saint-Cloud appears to. He nods. "Go ahead, Astro."

Raine lifts an eyebrow at the fuck a nurse comment. "If you do THAT, use protection," Raine huffs quietly. She scoops up her bonsai and looks around, "Good luck." Nod. "I'll make tea for medbay I guess. I wonder if I should use Earl Grey or Blueberry…"

Alec looks at Cole. "Bit of a baptism of fire, then?"

Saint-Cloud thanks Pip and steps up to the podium and looks around at everyone. The podium comes up to his chest. He looks at each of the pilots, either seperate or in groups. "For those of you who don't know me, I'm Lieutenant COmmander Dorian Saint-CLoud. Chief Astro For this ship and battlegroup. Since I need to be up in CiC in a minute to Coordinate at The Wall.." he says, refering to that big transpanet window like wall which is used to keep track of the battle resources, "..I don't want to take too much time with you since I know you are busy so I will be brief. I don't know any of you, really. But I have heard a lot of things about this battlegroup and this ship in particular.. Not all good. Not all bad. BUt what has always stood out from the chaff is your dedication and resolve. So I will try to make sure I am worthy of serving with people of such commitment. I will have your backs as much as this beast here will let me.. Beyond that all I can offer you now is what one of my mothers, a pilot herself like you, once told me. "Time to Fuck the Kilrathi like the pussies they are."

Rising to his feet, Kell was about to head towards the exit of the briefing room once the dismiss was given from the WingCo but when Saint-Cloud took the podium, the young Lieutenant slows to a stop and turns his attention to the Lt. Commander. There isn't any real acknowledgement to the other man's words until the end, which brings an amused grin to the pilot's facial expression which shows that he appreciates the speech and comments. Then Kell is on his way out, perhaps to drop by the Temple to perhaps record something down before heading to his final destination, his fighter.

"Welcome to the real war" Cole tells Alec, that little grin still lingering on his face after Saint-Cloud's speech. "I'll meet you down on the flight deck. I've just got something to take care of first" Cole explains, before picking his way through the seats towards the escort pilots. "Tsunami!" he calls over, looking to get the woman's attention.

With a blast of cigarette smoke, Doyle's lips twitch into a small smile as the Commodore gives his 'pep' talk. Oh, it's peppy, alright. He licks his lips, mind reeling with the knowledge of events to come. This was a chance to cripple the enemy in a way that mankind hasn't been able to do in a long time, and the elation that brings him stirs, overcoming the dread in the pit of his stomach. He watches Pip conclude the meeting, saluting sharply as the pilots are dismissed. Curious eyes follow Saint-Cloud as he addresses the pilots, and he smirks at his concluding line. "Well," he says, directing his attention to the 221st sitting around him, speaking in that heavy Irish drawl, "Tonight is gonna be an interestin' night. Don't be late for the party, and lets make sure our heavy-set guests survive to see the end of it, yeah?" He tilts his head in the direction of the bomber pilots, a smile wrapping around the embering cigarette as tendrils of dark smoke ebb upwards.

Kanani chuckles at the ending of Saint-Cloud's speech, and grins slightly. As she hears her callsign being called out, she turns in Cole's direction, and starts walking towards him. "What's up Voodoo?" She asks still grinning slightly, towards the man.

Alec nods in reply, giving Saint-Cloud a thin little smile and a lazy salute from his seat in the wake of his little speech. He watches the bomber captain move away for a few moments, before nodding to himself, getting to his seat, and wandering out of the briefing room.

Saint-Cloud grins at everyone, a smile of teeth whiter then the KKK. He fires off a salute and heads for the doors.

Cole closes the rest of the distance to Kanani, reaching out and pressing something small and silver into her hand, leaning in to make a quick and quiet comment before he steps back. He just smiles silently for a moment, before offering simply "I'll see you when we get back."

Kanani takes a quick look at the thing being pressed into her hand, and places it safely in one of the pockets on her flightsuit. She smiles at Cole and nods, before she grins and says. "I'll see you when we get back, too, Voodoo."

Doyle gets up from his chair and makes for the operations deck, making haste on smoking down the traditional pre-launch cigarette as he departs towards the flight deck.

Cole seems content to leave it at that, turning for the exit after Kanani's reply, and hobbling his way for the door. Certainly not the fight he'd pick to be less than his best for… but, when do bomber pilots ever get the luxury of picking their fights?

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