For We've Received Orders
Farewell and Adieu - For We've Received Orders
Summary: Pilots selected for the Meriwether Lewis' secret mission are briefed on its true nature
Date: 2658.152
Related Logs: Farewell and Adieu - Briefing

Informal as always, Lieutenant Commander Nucefora sits perched on the edge of a card table here in what passes for the Venture's lounge. "Alright everyone, pull up a chair somewhere. Sorry we don't quite have the space you're used to on the Majestic… but you'd better get used to it now" The Navy Officer begins. "This is going to be home for a few weeks."

Cole, for his part, already seems to have picked one out… having dropped onto one of the two small couches here. Leave it to the Major to try and monopolize the actually comfortable seating. Rank has its priviledge.

The first thing that came into Kell's mind was that this was no Majestic, when they said it was cramped, it was an understatement. When the invitation is given though, the young Lieutenant nods to the mission leader and grabs one of the seats, turning around and sits on it backwards.

Strolling down to the lower concourse with a duffel bag slung over his shoulder, McGrath's looking around at the clutter and smiling grimly. "Talk about your 'cozy assignments'," he says, mostly to himself. "'s like flyin' off to fight the Kilrathi in a warehouse." He looks around, pulling out one of the folding chairs and setting it against the wall.

Kanani finds herself someplace to sit down, and then turns her attention to Nucefora, waiting to hear what he's got to say. Her eyes glance around at the cramped confines of the corvette, and she gives a bit of a chuckle. At least she's not all that big of a person, so it's easier to get used to, for her.

"Now" Nucefora comments, leaning over to punch the power button for one of the holovid display. When it doesn't immediately come on, he slaps the unit. There's a brief buzz, and then it finally springs to life, displaying a simple heading reading 'OPERATION: YAMAMOTO'. "From this point on, this vessel is under a communications blackout. The only messages going off this ship will be those personally authorized by myself and routed through the bridge. Don't expect that to happen."

"Scuppers my takeout food and crank messages to Kilrathi starbases ideas, that," Alec quietly murmurs, trying to get comfortable while jigging his seat around to get a decent view of the holoscreen.

Understanding the seriousness of this mission, especially with full communications blackout, Kell nods but tries to keep the atmosphere light as his hands fold together on top of the backrest of the chair he is leaning forward against. "The girls back home will be saddened, but I guess they'll have to live with it." A partial grin appears on the pilot's facial expression though his eyes are unchanged, one-hundred percent business.

Kanani nods some at that news, though unlike others she doesn't make any comments, though a faint smirk crosses her lips at them. Her eyes go to the holoscreen as she waits for Nucefora to continue speaking.

A quick tap at the datapad on the table resting next to him, and the image on the screen changes to a Kilrathi face. "This is Kalralahr K'nsa nar Caxki. Better known to most of you as 'the bastard leading the other side'" Nucefora explains with a chuckle. "Coincidentally, he's also the high value target that we're going after. Intelligence indicates that he's going to be making an inspection tour out at Palan, and it's just close enough to the front to make this sort of operation practical"

McGrath is stunned at that; his dry humour retreats in the face of the sheer… audacity of the operation. This isn't just some convoy of supplies or a weapons depot, and it's clear he hadn't expected something this surgical. His mouth drops open a little, and he leans in, arms folded on his knees.

As actual intel on the mission is given, Kell is obviously surprised by what he hears. Now he is glad he didn't make a joke back in the Majestic's briefing room, about what the high valued target could be, perhaps a Prince. Different thoughts are now flashing through his mind as he wonders what kind of escorts the Kilrathi Commander will have, if he will be making an inspection in a fighter which would make him a tough kill, etc.

Kanani gives a faint shake of her head, as the picture of the Kilrathi comes on the screen, and her eyebrows rise slightly, in surprise.

"Good. If ever there was one that needed killing, it's that one. Too clever by half." Cole comments simply, looking around the room at the collection of other pilots who are along for this crazy ride.

Nucefora remains quiet for a few moments to let the news settle in. "This isn't going to be easy. The basic plan is for the Meriwether Lewis and the Broadswords to occupy whatever vessel he has waiting for him while the fighters move in for the kill. Rapiers will be assigned the task of peeling off his escorts, while the Stilettos will go in for the kill. God willing, we all meet back at the jump and run like hell for home"

"Any idea what is the enemy flight composition? I doubt their head honcho will be unescorted. Also, are we doing a lightning strike? Dive in, drop our heatseeker till the main objective is in tiny pieces, then bug out?" Now the real mission objective is revealed, Kell is back in full serious mode as he asks the questions with a slight frown on his face.

Kanani ponders all of this information, and rubs her finger along her chin, as she listens to the other pilots asking questions. She then adds a minor one of her own. "What sort of craft are we expecting him to be in when we make the attack? Some sort of shuttle?"

"We don't know what the exact composition of the flight will be at this time. Based on typical Kilrathi patterns of operation, expect a heavy shuttle… something like one of our hercules landing craft… plus four to eight heavy fighters for escort" Nucefora explains. "And yes, Lieutenant" he tells Kell. "The faster we can get this done, the better off we're going to be"

"And, uh, assuming we haven't screwed up somewhere along the way getting there, they won't be expecting a strike force to pop out from behind a curtain?" Alec asks, again in that hoping-for-a-good-answer tone.

"If we do things right on the way in, then the first warning the Kilrathi will have that we're there is when we pass through the jump point to Palan. At that point, it will be too late. We're bringing the faster fighters in the inventory along to fly the intercept for a reason" Nucefora explains.

And right about then, Cole seems to feel compelled to throw a comment in from the peanut gallery again. "And if we don't do things right, then 'The Terran Confederation Space Force deeply regrets to inform you…'" he just trails off, presuming his point to be made.

Tapping his chin, Kell seems to be considering, "Sounds like it'll be nasty, but it's definitely worth the risk. Any chance we can modify our Stiletto's hardpoints to mount Dumbfires instead of Heat Seekers?" Sounds like the Lieutenant is afraid that the current missile layout won't be hard punching enough for the heavy shuttle.

Kanani nods along as the naval officer continues talking, not all that surprised by the answers given. She gives a nod of agreement to both Cole and Kell's statement, but apparently she has now more questions at the moment, as she remains quiet for now.

Cole, apparently, decides he's better prepared to field that question. "Kilrathi shuttle should be easy enough to take down with heat seekers. Less armor on one than a Dorkir or a Lumbari. Really less than a broadsword even. They're tough to bring down, but not absurdly so. Not worth the loss in accuracy to change to a non-seeking type. Remember, you'll have six missiles between you."

"Seven." Kell says in response though his voice is a bit quieter, not exactly explaining his response just yet.

Alec nods in agreement with the Major - perhaps thinking back to personal shuttle-flying experience, the significance of Kell's reply flying over his head. Sitting back and massaging his temples, he pipes up again. "Uh, ok, then. Next practical question is, I suppose - what's the game plan for getting there? Do we know what we're going to be running through?"

"I'd hope that six would be enough to take care of a shuttle." Kanani states with a nod directed towards Cole's answer, and then she peers over at Kell, though she doesn't reply to his statement.

Cole looks over towards Kell and gives a little chuckle. "Let's try and stick to the heat seekers, instead of the kinetec impactor" Cole comments. "I'd much prefer we were able to bring everyone back." Apparently making his own assumption about what that 'seventh missile' might be.

Nucefora, meanwhile, addresses Alec's question. "We're going to have to deal with that on the fly. As much as I'd like to request the Kilrathi hold the same forces in system for the entire trip, I don't think they'd go along with the plan" the Commander explains with a chuckle. "Fortunately, Meriwether Lewis, when not performing as a second-rate carrier, serves as a fleet scout. Seeing first is going to be one of our advantages. For the initial insertion into Nexus, we are going to have heavy support, however. TCS Rorkes Drift and TCS Corunna will be jumping in briefly and engaging Kilrathi forces in Nexus to draw attention away from us."

Nodding at the answer, Alec chews it over - double-taking when Cole's interpretation of Kell's intention sinks in.

Grinning at Cole, Kell only shrugs his shoulders as he sits up from his forward leaning position. He may be smiling now but who knows what will happen in the heat of battle. "Intel is always a good thing. Accurate intel that is."

"If there aren't any further questions, that's all I had for you at the moment" Nucefora tells the little gathering. "You'll have a couple days to get used to the Lewis, to the procedures for docking and undocking your craft, and so on. We deploy into Nexus at 2200 hours on .154."

Kanani gives the navy officer a nod as he finishes the little briefing, though since she has no more questions, she stays quiet, looking around to see if anyone else wants to ask anything.

"Right. Uh, thanks, sir." Alec salutes from his seat, still mulling the whole thing over. He, too, gives Kell a sidelong look, eventually swallowing and nodding at the man's laugh.

"None here" Cole replies to Nucefora with a little shake of his head. "Thank you, Commander" he adds a moment later, before turning his attention to the little gathering of pilots. "Well, look on the bright side folks. At least we'll have a hell of a story to tell after the war" With that, he moves to stand from his chair.

Nodding to Nucefora, Kell looks at Cole, "I hope so. I think I'm gonna take a nap before the show gets underway. I know I'm gonna be on edge once we enter enemy territory."

Kanani gives a soft snort at Kell's comment, and states quietly. "I think everyone'll be on edge when we're in enemy territory. At least if they're sane." She chuckles wryly as she gets out of her seat, and glances around at the other pilots.

McGrath looks around at the small room. "On that subject, where exactly do we take naps? Not in here, right?" he asks, giving the lounge-sofas suspicious looks.

"Bunks are forward through here" Nucefora replies, hopping down off his table and pointing through the fore hatch. That last bit of direction made, he heads along towards the stairs up to the upper deck. "Don't worry, you can't get lost on something this small" And with that, he disappears up.

McGrath watches as various folk mill around, busying himself with unpacking and checking the contents of his duffelbag. A pack of cards; a regulation notebook and pencil; the bottle of rare drink Weiss tossed his way while in Medical, kept out of casual sight; the pink Kilrathi statue made by Saint-Cloud's daughter; a small pillow; a dog-eared paperback copy of Moby Dick; a small bag of what look like crunchy mints; a rubber ball…

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