|Summary:||Packed into a cramped barracks, a few pilots discuss issues way above their pay grade|
Well, it's safe to say that Cole isn't used to dealing with bunks set up this way. Someone's gotten a little too accustomed to the relative spaciousness of a private stateroom. Which probably explains why, when he wakes up from the nap he'd taken, it's followed with a *THUNK* as he promptly sits up underneath the bunk above him. Ow.
Kanani smirks at the Major as he smacks his head on his bunk. She of course is injury free at the moment, as she reclines in her own bunk, reading something. "Gotta watch that roof, you, know, sir!." She states with a grin.
Wandering in from the quick-fit lounge and chewing a ration bar, McGrath winces at the sound, heading for his own bunk. "Heh. Fact that we're here says a few knocks on the head won't do much except bruise."
"Well, you know what they say. Where there's no sense, there's no feeling" Cole comments, not averse to the idea of having a laugh at his own expense, it seems. "I take it by the lack of alarm sirens in my ear, everything's still quiet?"
Kanani snickers and shrugs a bit. "That seems to be the case, anyways." She comments with a chuckle, and nods towards the other two pilots. "And considering just where we are, and how many cats might be out and about, quiet suits me pretty well, at the moment."
Alec nods agreement, settling dwn on his bunk, back to the wall. "Yeah… thought it was all up when the Corunna got hit, but… so far, so good." He finishes off the last bite of the chewybar, thinking. "Yuh nuh," he mumbles, swallowing. "I was thinking. We might be looking at the future, here. Sort of."
"Why Kanani, are you starting to become mellow in your old age?" Cole offers along her way in a teasing tone, before he turns his attention along towards Alec. "And how do you mean, Lieutenant?"
"Well, getting older does tend to do that to people, sir." Kanani points out with a snicker, and grins slightly. "I'd have thought you knew all about that." She then glances over to Alec, perhaps interested in finding out just what he meant as well.
"'s all about ships," Alec replies, arms crossing. "Was thinking about Junction. And… and the Majestic. We're building these bigger and bigger ships, like the Bengal? But even a Snakeir goes up with just a few torpedo hits. Things keep outpacing the big ships. Fighters could take 'em out, then they made better shields, then the torpedo came along, and the torpedo boat… yeah?" He looks between the two, seeing if they're following - or guessing where he's going with this.
"And yet I'm the one you keep calling crazy…" Cole asides to Kanani, before turning his attention back towards Alec and giving a little nod. "Right. Sorta the whole history of warfare there. Someone designs a better gun, so someone designs a better shield to stop it, so someone designs a better better gun. Right now, things are pretty tilted towards the offensive, but… things will cycle around again."
Kanani grins at Cole, and shrugs. After Alec states his thoughts she hmms, and ponders that line of thinking. "You might have a point, in theory at least. But carriers for instance are always going to have to be big, to hold enough fighters to be useful. And by their nature, with all the big open spaces for their hangers, they're a lot more vulnerable to most torpedo attacks, than a crusier or destroyer, I think." She taps her chin with a finger and then chuckles. "Not counting Kilrathi ships though, they seem to go for the less armor, more weapons approach. Along with putting vulnerable hanger decks on all their big ships."
"Right, yeah," Alec agrees. "So I'm thinking, here we are behind enemy lines. We've already accounted for two destroyers and some fighters. We could do all sorts of stuff here. So maybe, some time, they'll take this idea -" and here, the pilot waves a hand around at the room. "- small ship, wing of 6 or so fighters, fast engines, long range sensor package, and they'll turn it into an actual design, stop trying to build bigger and bigger and start making smaller. Add a… guerilla element to fleet actions. Five ships like that in a sector campaign could do… well, who knows," he finishes.
"Problem is just how tenuous our position is" Cole replies. "Yeah, we took out three destroyers between us. But only because the destroyers were too caught up slugging it out with the cruisers to turn their guns on us. If even one of them had, I wouldn't care much for our chances in that fight" Cole admits. "Past that, what you're talking about is already pretty much the approach the Kilrathi take. Stick a few fighters on everything. But then you're sacrificing other capabilities to do it. Look at how packed the Lewis is, just to run us out here on a two week mission. Can you imagine trying to operate it this way for any real length of time?"
Kanani nods a bit at both Alec's and Cole's statements. Replying first to Alec she comments. "Oh, I could see something like that being useful on occasion, but like the Major says for really long missions it'd be a bit impractical, and if it ever got into a knockdown drag out, if it couldn't get away fast enough, it'd not stand up well to a beating. But more than that… I think the biggest problem would be with the Admirals and all. They always like things bigger and with more guns, or more fighters. That whole macho thing, I figure." She snickers and shrugs some.
"Oh, yeah, it'd be… it'd be a different thing, yeah. I was thinking more like a… really fast little carrier than a modified destroyer, you know? Designing for… well, for speed and fighter strikes. Different type of ship, pilots… like, you've got the Marines, and then, you have commando units. Sort of like that, I was thinking."
"But once you start talking dedicated repair facilities, extended operational capacity… that sort of thing. You're already talking a pretty expensive prospect to begin with" Cole tells Alec. "And then you run into the problem of what happened with the Honour. If a lighter carrier like that gets caught in action with the big boys, it gets ugly. Fast. And since covering jump points at the front is certainly an option… well, somehow, I just think the tactic wouldn't be as productive as it looks on paper."
Kanani chuckles as the conversation starts to move into regions that she doesn't know all that much about. Like technical details on putting together starships. "Course the Honour, is like a class of carrier that they started making either before the war started, or soon afterwards, isn't it?"
"Mnyeah…" Alec says dubiously, unwilling to let go of his thinking just yet. "Just… maybe if they redesigned it and did it right, you know? This big… shoving match of a war, it's gonna go on until we run out of stuff to build ships with or something. Maybe something lateral… eh," he finishes. "Was just thoughts. On edge and bored at the same time, here."
"Honour's old, yeah. Pre-war" Cole tells Kanani. "So she certainly wasn't up to current fleet carrier standards. But remember, we're not talking fleet carriers here anyway. Limiting factor's always gonna be your reactor. Smaller reactor means less shielding, lower-mass design because you've got less power to push the engines… and so on." he explains, before cutting himself off before he goes any further down the line. "And honestly, Lieutenant, it's going to go on until one side loses the ability or the will to shove" Cole explains simply. "Everyone who's tried to out-clever this war so far has ended up right in the same position we're in now"
"Fun thought, that." Kanani states with a wry chuckle. "Then again, I don't think this mission's expected to end the war. More likely just to disrupt their military enough, so that we can push back a lot harder than normal." She states with a bit of a nod. "If we were trying to end the war, we'd be aiming for their emperor or something."
Alec nods, with a disappointed sigh. "Eh," he says, non-commitally, seemingly unable to think of something to say to that but still dissatisfied. Eventually, he shrugs, and nods in acquiescence. "Yeah, yeah. Well. Here's hoping for shiny new super-capships just around the corner." He shrugs. "It beat thinking about how our home capship was doing."
"Hey, there are shiny new ships. We're on one" Cole replies with a little laugh. "Though from what I hear, they're phasing out construction of the Bengals soon in favor or something bigger and better. At any rate, sorry Lieutenant, wasn't trying to shoot holes in your idea"
Kanani shakes her head slightly and chuckles. "Why would they want to phase out the Bengals though? They've helped give us some of our best victories as it is." She adds, and shrugs some.
"Phasing out, hm." Alec doesn't look like he's sure what to make of that. "Does kinda seem like the Bengal's barely had much of a chance to wear in. What'd they replace it with, I wonder?"
For the just arrived, Alec, Kanani, and Cole are all loitering in the crew quarters… carrying on what seems to be a tactical discussion of some sort. After all, when you're stuck in the middle of nowhere… why not figure out how to try and win the war in one fell swoop. "Bengal's an older design than you might think. Figure the Tiger's Claw was the first one off the line in '44. Add in design time before that, and you're talking twenty plus years. Alot changes between now and then. Hell, Majestic's upgraded a good bit from the older Bengals like the Kyoto. Only makes sense they'd have a new design in mind for production. Doubt they'll exactly be pulling the Bengals back from the front to retire 'em, though."
Kanani smirks and nods at Cole. "Well that much would seem to be obvious. After all they haven't pulled all the other older ships off the line that can still put up any sort of fight." She grins slightly and shakes her head. "They can always use older ships for places that aren't likely to get attacked or are low priorety, like Gemini was considered not so long ago."
Alec nods, thoughtful. "Yeah… maybe they've got some capship equivalent of the Rapier in mind? New improved and so on. Or… maybe it's some dumb reason like the Bengals take too long or too much to build, or something. Meh." He slumps his shoulders, looking generally dissatisfied. In a few years, who knows; he could have a shot at some real cynicism.
"That would be my guess. But, I'm really better qualified to talk fighter designs than capships, I'm afraid" Cole tells Alec with a little shake of his head. "You'd have to chase down one of the navy R&D types to find out much on that front"
"Well, whatever they do come up with. We can only hope they don't screw things up, and make some sort of giant flying death trap." Kanani remarks with a nod. "Sometimes they can come up with some pretty impractical designs."
"The same dark corner of ship design that thought up the Scimitar, hm." Alec grimaces. "Who knows." He looks around, mood still reading low. "You know, I don't think the crowded mess in here bothered me until this conversation. Tch, funny that."
"The Scimitar wasn't a bad design for its time, really" Cole replies. "Just… it's lingered on well past its time" he explains, before looking towards Kanani and adding quickly, though far less than seriously. "And no comments about the broadsword from you!"
Kanani giggles softly, and grins at Cole. "Hey, I wasn't going to say a thing, sir! At least the 'swords aren't over… What, a hundred years old?" She points out with a nod of her head.
"Broadsword even handles nearly as good as a Scim, I think, too," Alec claims, eager to defend his new craft of choice. "I actually look forward to flying it. Miss the Hornet, a bit, but… well, yeah, you get me."
"Right" Cole replies to Kanani with a little grin. "Try that line on someone who doesn't know you like I do and it might work" he teases. "Really, I wouldn't complain if they came out with something to replace the 'sword widely" Cole replies. "A bit more on the lines of a Grikath. Bit less armor, and cut back on the turrets… but give us afterburners, and make us more maneuverable than the ship we're launching on"
Kanani nods a bit towards Cole and snickers. "I'm not so sure it'd be smart to make it -to- much like the Grikath, though. Don't they carry a few less torps than the 'swords do? Not sure that lowering that would be such a good idea, but all the rest of it, does make sense."
"No, no, come to think of it, that kinda makes sense," Alec pipes up, warming to the idea. "You'd bring along Broadswords for fleet actions, and that, but it's a bit over-armed for, say, fighting something smaller than a fleet. Something like… uh… like a Raptor, maybe, that carried a pair of torps, and could dogfight a bit… yeah, that'd kick ass," the ginger-haired pilot agrees.
"Even be better for fleet actions in some ways. Might not have as much firepower, but you'd make up for it in survivability. Have more craft lasting long enough to get their full set of torps launched." Cole comments, looking thoughtful. "Have to pass the thought along to the folks I still know back at Douglas, though I'm sure someone's already thought of it first"
Kanani hmms thoughtfully and gives a bit of a nod, along with a chuckle. "True enough I guess. And you guys are the ones that'd have to fly in them anyways,
"Hell yeah," Alec says, with a thumbs up from his bunk. "Just being able to, you know, zig and zag and mix it up would be great. I love the 'sword, but hey, there are times when I do get envious watching you and other folk swoop around like three times faster'n me. Variety's the spice of life, right?"
"Then again, you'd probably also get half the squadron forgetting what they're here for and trying to play fighter pilot. So it isn't without its dangers" Cole comments. "Enough of a problem with that sometimes in the 'swords. Part of why I don't even bother personally tracking fighter kills. Not my job, just something I have to do from time to time to get them out of the way"
Kanani snickers and nods at that observation. "Yeah, that would be a problem wouldn't it? But every idea on those lines is going to have some downsides. Pretty much a given. Stay stuck with slow broadswords, that are easy to hit. Or use bombers that are more manuverable, but the pilots start thinking they're fighter jockeys." She comments with a grin.
Alec tries not to look guilty at the mention of 'playing fighter pilot'. "Uh… yeah, what she said," he says, redundantly, nodding at Kanani. "And, well - ok, trying to dogfight when you've still got torps is bad, but once we've used them all up, being in something with some speed and manouverability'd give us a way to contribute after the bombing runs, you know?"
"Really, the worst part would be once we started embarassing the Stiletto pilots with our dogfighting skills" Cole decides, giving Kanani a little grin for a moment. He has to needle a little, it's practically in his job description.
Kanani snorts, and grins a bit more. "Like that'll ever happen. No matter what you guys are flying, you'd never be able to embarass me. I'm way to good." She states with a nod, and a snicker.
Alec grins, cringing theatrically. "Heh, I don't think I want to get involved in this one," he says, holding his hands up peacefully and pushing himself off his bunk. "Gonna go see if there's any freeze-dry soup in the larder. Anyone wants anything, gimme a call." He heads towards the galley.