MD #037: Aftershocks and Planning
MD #037: Aftershocks and Planning
Summary: After a rough night for Randy, Randy and Penta meet to continue planning Cold Forge
Date: Mon 15/May/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Stone Cold Pre-Planning
Penta Randy 
Battalion HQ
The headquarters room is the primary command location for all Marines associated with the battlestar or accompanying fleet ships. The walls and desks are covered with maps, photos, and satellite imagery - as well as clocks indicating the current time in each colonial capital city and Site Anvil. Along the back wall are large touchscreens with holographic capability, able to bring up fleet intelligence if the user has proper access. Secure phones are bolted to each bulkhead, and for added insurance, each desk possesses its own encrypted wireless unit with its own independent wiring. The small room is always manned by a wireless operator and a duty sergeant, at a minimum, though it tends to be a hive of activity during duty hours.
30/Nov/2028 (IC Date)

The first place Randy stopped as soon as she could was sickbay to get some painkillers for the monster hangover she acquired from last night's activities. Other than that oddity, she hasn't been late to anything today. It seems to be business as usual, except for the fact that when she's not looking it hasn't been uncommon for her to get a sparing look from a colleague or two. Some are marveling at her ability to do what they see as 'bounce back', some are waiting for a meltdown, but most are just doing their jobs and minding their own business, especially out on the floor of the HQ. This meeting with the CO was on the books, and Randy shows up with a folder and notepad, her work tablet stacked just underneath the other two in her arm as she knocks. "Lieutenant Flynn sir," she announces herself. Her colorful accent sounding a little flat.

"C'mon in!" Penta calls from his desk. "Close the hatch once you're through. You know where coffee is if you want it," he offers, gesturing at the coffee machine he keeps near his desk. Only when the hatch is closed does his tone change at all from 'everything is normal'. "So you've been popping up in rumors, Lieutenant. They're not why I asked to meet, but they're probably good to get out of the way."

Gods. Randy knew she was missing from her hangover ritual. She steps inside, closing the hatch behind her, and makes a beeline for the coffee after setting down her things in one of the chairs. Staring at the Major's wall while she pours herself a cup, Randy doesn't say anything at first. In fact that little spot on the wall where the metal seems to be discoloring just slightly starts to become really interesting. It probably /is/ interesting for someone with enhanced sight. Normally Randy takes sugar and cream in her coffee (and tea, as was custom on Aquaria), but today she returns to her seat with it black. "I'm getting a divorce. I'm sure you'll find out soon enough," via paperwork or some such. She has no idea how these things work. She needed her CO's permission to get married does that mean? "Sir do I need your permission first? I'm sorry if I did. I didn't exactly go researching, but I have an appointment with the JAG setup, which I wanted to ask permission to attend."

"No, thank the Gods, you do not need my permission to divorce. The permission for marriage is actually an old, old custom from back before divorce was allowed - it enabled commanders to do background checks on prospective spouses, since they were seen as 'marrying into the regiment'. We as a Colonial force take it from previous forces who take it from way back," Penta notes. Pause. "Definitely talk to the JAG, in-between your duties." A beat, and then, somewhat awkwardly. "Ignoring rank for the moment…You going to be OK, Randy? I know you won't let it effect your duties, but I think we'd both be lying if you say it's having no impact whatsoever on your life, work included." He actually sounds concerned.

"Oh. I think we still use it to screen for violations too…at least that's what-" Randy catches herself before mentioning Amos. Expounding on what Penta says might just be a delaying tactic after hearing what he next says. "No sir." It takes everything just to sit there and not rub the back of her neck (old tic Penta probably recognizes on the daily), to scrub at her face…or at least in Randy's mind, pull at her hair…or yell frak at the top of her lungs. She takes a deep breath. "But you're right. I won't let it effect things, and if it does, you'll be the first to know." She's as career military as him in her bones, even if she was the one who had to retire to have and raise her family.

Penta nods. "I know, and thanks for that. You know as well as I do we need a win on Calumet - meaning I need your head in the game, not fuming over things with your relationship or asking 'what if'. There'll be time for all that afterwards. For right now, until we get a successful mission on Calumet? Please, try to set it aside. I will cover for you if needed, OK?" Pause. "Now, as to our op on Calumet. So far, we are hearing nothing back from Engineering about how in Hades they plan on solving our comm issues. If need be, I'll reach out to my dad - it's his field of engineering and he runs comms acquisitions for the Fleet nowadays anyway - but I'm going to give Captain Lemsburg one more chance." He'd really, really prefer not to have to reach out to dad, his facial expression makes clear. Their relationship had always been distant, something Randy might well remember. "But for us…OK, recon team led by Piers goes in Friday. You follow as soon as recon has cleared a drop. My suggestion right now is 'Bring the LAVs and everything they can carry', but that's because you'll possibly be running a delaying action against a Skath infantry battalion *and* a Skath armored battalion. So yeah, this time you're bringing the ATGMs and the SAMs; we're not breaking out the tanks or the heavier vehicles because we don't have many of em, and if they're lost we're screwed if we need em later."

"Yes sir. We do," need a win on Calumet. "And thank you sir." Randy blows across the surface of her coffee as she listens to the Major get down to business. "If we can't cut through the interference sir, maybe there's something that could be seen from orbit. We could do a little old arranging the rocks to get our messages out." That is, not literal, but the idea of setting up a communication system that's more simple and not reliant on modern techniques. "Like smoke signals. Just have a ship sitting in atmo jumping out to transmit messages to the fleet or the wing? I mean I haven't looked at the comms thing more closely because yeah, that's their area, but seeing if something like that might work would be better than nothing. Ideally, if they could, the wing would want two to three birds on that so that the fleet could send messages and the ground could send messages without there ever being some gap created where the ground is transmitting to atmo and no one's around to receive it." She nods at Penta's suggestions for loadout. "I would suggest we bring in some shoulder launchers on the LAVs sir. And maybe some self propelled artillery. The SAMs will be good if they end up diverting some of their air forces our way, but the Wing should be keeping most of that under control…Also," Randy clears her throat softly and takes a tentative sip of her coffee. "By that logic we might not ever use our heavier stuff out of needing them later. What if we need them now?"

Penta nods. "Point taken. With that in mind…OK, change in plans. I'll stay up here with staff elements and a skeleton crew to handle MP tasks. You may want to plan on taking everybody else, including the tanks and artillery." Pause. "As to comms, in theory your idea is what the wing is supposed to be prepping for. I'll check with them, see how that's going."

"I'll have to look at if we can land them and where. I saw your LZs you picked out and they look good for hot extracts, but I think, depending on the elevation of the terrain, we can come in on the back side of the bunker hill and use the woods for cover. That might be problematic for the heavier stuff. I was thinking maybe we could land down south of Talia Square and proceed northeast to these fields. It'd definitely draw Skath forces to that area. The fields would be a good place for the tanks to maneuver and minimize civilian casualties. My main concern with this idea is that it kind of traps us in. We don't know how easily it will be to through the main roads, so we might have to make our own roadways." Which is unfortunate, but also sometimes a fact of war. "It also means if we put everyone down there then it might be difficult for us to help the Calumet resistance if the Skath catch on. I think if possible, we should make sure they man up as much of what they're taking as possible. Then if we need reinforcements, they can come in from the north and flank the Skath. The key will be not to be outpositioned. Then we should be able to delay on down the line as long as we have a path. Sending all our tanks down one road might make for a bad bottleneck if the Skath get over there more quickly, and while I don't know what their armored battalion can do, I know that the patrols we found could outrun us and track us even through heavy fields."

Penta nods. "Yeah, my concern with the tanks is that it's a very, very urban area…And those are deadly for tanks. And yeah, forests are generally impassible to our heavier gear, which is another concern." Pause. "Remember that we're there to win friends and influence people as much as blow things up; part of why I'm saying we want to not hit the chapel if we can possibly avoid it. It's not dedicated to the Machines, but to a local deity."

"The tanks aren't any good to us if we can't move. I'll think about that. I don't think we should commit to the tanks yet then." Randy reaches for her tablet and brings up the digital map and projecting a hologram of it just above. It's still flat, since they don't have any elevation imagery to fabricate any depth. She marks the chapel location. "That sucks. But it looks like there are some major roads /somewhat/ clear of it…Sir if you don't mind, I'd like to shoot some ideas around with Sergeant Ynyr. If we don't bring the tanks, there are more options for LZs…If we bring in the tanks then we're setting up shop to win." Randy sounds a little frustrated when she sighs. "For now though, we're planning on bringing them?"

"Talk to Ynyr. For now though…Plan on bringing em if recon supports their use." Penta decides, chewing on a lip before he speaks. "All I meant, by the way, is that the chapel itself shouldn't be harmed. Remember why we're there: Not just to blow stuff up. It's a *delaying* action. We cannot hold off two entire battalions of Skath troops, not with the forces we're at all likely to deploy," Penta reminds. "Would be great if we could, but at best we delay them so the locals can extract their gear in good order, not destroy the Skath in detail."

"Okay…that might affect Wing plans if they have to drop a lot. Could you ask them if that throws a wrench in their plans? I've never been a part of an operation that flew in tanks before. I mean on Aerilon they were already there, so," Randy shrugs. She makes a few annotations on her tablet and then closes the view of the map. "We'll try our best sir."

"I know. I will ask the wing re their plans. Anything else?" Penta looks like he has no more questions, not formally at least.

"Not that I can think of offhand. Oh! I saw your first contact protocol. I want to make sure to read it when I brief the troops. It seems pretty clear except for how we're going to handle skinjobs. My suggestion would be to just not let the skinjobs take off their helmets sir, and maybe employ some simple disguise for the time being. This seemed to work for me in hiding my Arpay features…as long as it's something that can survive most combat scenarios….depending on if the target location has experience with Clerics and for how long. A regular recon element before dropping would help us handle this case by case. Is there anything more you want me to do with that aside from follow it?" Randy steals another sip of her coffee.

"Not really. Good thought re our skinjob comrades, and probably for the best." Penta responds, sipping at his own coffee. "If there's nothing more, then…Formally, you're dismissed. Informally, door's open if you need to talk."

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