AWD #172: Air Briefing 06.27.05
Air Briefing 06.27.05
Summary: Grim accounts from the graveyard of ships Teatime and Storm discovered on the Helios Alpha run, recon assignments, planning for Pallas, and other matters.
Date: 27/06/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Some are linked in summary. There might be more.
Agrippa Atalanta Bennett Evans Holtz James Kelsey Maia Phin Ygraine 
Ready Room — Deck 2 — Battlestar Orion
Capable of seating every member of the wing with space to spare in its stadium organization, the Ready Room has more than two hundred seats and is the largest room on the ship dedicated to single briefings. Sections of desks were manufactured specifically for this and wrap the width of each level of seating, rolling leather seats positioned at even points through each row. The walls have the tenant squadrons' patches painted on individual panels as well as a Kill Board up to the left side of the dais and podium, the Training Board on the other side to log progress. At the rear hatch, on a barren section of wall, is the framed and cased photo of 'Bad Dog' Ruegger.
AWD #172

Franklin is, as always, perfectly prompt — a fact which she confirms by checking the time on the face of her watch while she strides down the stairs towards the front of the room. The tablet and files which she's carrying are placed down on the podium, replaced instead by the remote control to the projector, which flickers blue as she brings it to life. "Allow me to get directly to the points, ladies and gentlemen. Last week, Major Holtz and I decided to take on the recon of Helios Alpha, due to the general lack of response from those who had previously volunteered. In the process of doing so, we made the Fleet's first stop since War Day at Zeus and its numerous moons." She pauses for a moment, pressing her lips together into a thin line until they slowly drain of color. Her eyes sweep over the assembled pilots and ECOs before she says, without a trace of emotion in her voice, "We discovered a total of twenty-one intact ships, sitting in lunar synchronis orbit over one of the larger moons, Hebe." Franklin pauses again, waiting for the news to sink in. As it does, she flicks the projector to life, displaying still footage of the moon and the massive gas giant which it orbits, the latter filling up the background of the screen almost entirely.

Holtz is seated in the front row, quietly conversing with the pilot next to him, a conversation that dies away as Atia enters and moves to the podium. He turns his head to the front of the room, slouching in silence as the other major begins speaking. However, he straightens slightly as his name is mentioned — and his expression turns cold and hard as the image of the Hebe convoy springs into existence on the screen in front of them.

Kelsey is sitting in her blues with a pad of paper and a cup of coffee - as has become habit. She's tapping the pen, looking lazy until The Boss walks in. Attentive quickly, she sits up and leans forward, taking a painfully large sip of hot coffee. "Hebe?" she mouths to Ygraine. She blinks owlishly at the number of ships.

Lieutenant Cato scratches his nose from where he sits, quietly nodding along at the briefing as it begins. He pauses to clear his throat once, the gesture having no meaning at all and kept politely quiet so as to attract a minimum of attention.

Phin is seated next to Holtz, though he quiets whatever he was saying at the DCAG starts things rolling. Adjusting his notepad so he can more easily scribble. He's doing less writing than listening at the moment, though, expression somber.

Ygraine gives the faintest of shrugs to Kelsey, but something about that whole speech from Franklin makes her seem to wince. She looks around as if to see if anyone else has had a similar reaction, and then leans back in her seat.

Bennett arrives from the Air Wing Corridors.

Sitting somewhere in the back, Agrippa was just doodling idly onto his pad until the DCAG enters the ready room. It is then that he sits up just a tad more and begins to focus on what Atalanta is saying until the projector comes to live to reveal the convoy of ships.

Maia is seated in the back, by the door as is her normal when it comes to meetings. On the little desk portion of the chair, she's got a notepad and a writing utensil, but at the moment is using neither. Her legs are extended, her fatigues worn and she's all kicked back. Listening.

Bennett is a little late to the briefing; she tries to shut the hatch quietly behind her, but it gives a grating little squawk that causes her cheeks to flush hotly. Nimble fingers work to tidy her messy ponytail and unzip the front of the flight suit she hasn't had time to change out of yet, while her gaze fixes on Atalanta at the front.

"Do not mistake this for good news," she intones coldly. And it's soon obvious why. A click, and the next image comes up. It's the first ship in the convoy. A military ship. A light cruiser — the Durbitz. The name is visibly painted along its side. The lights are off. Ice is clinging to its hull and to its window. There isn't a single sign of life. The ship is utterly dead. She begins to click through them, one by one by one, reading off the names. It is not a list she has to reference. It is a list which she has memorized. "Each and every ship in this convoy is dead, and it is dead because of the complete and utter incompetence of one of my predecessors — Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Shepherd, who failed to order a complete reconaissance of anything but the primary Colonies. Were he here with us today, I assure you that I would be demanding he be court martialed for violating the sacred oath which he swore upon joining this Fleet." Though Franklin's face is impassive, her anger is obvious. It's there in the stiffness in her spine, the ice in her voice, the look in her eyes.

Squire stares at the photos while it sinks in. Oh Gods. She glances to the others, then looks down at her pad, pretending to write something. Those aren't eventualities she wants to contemplate for herself. Or her daughter.

Cato frowns at this and begins to tap his thumb against the tiny desktop attached to his seat. There's a pretty obvious question in his look but he sits on it for the moment, perhaps in faith that it'll be answered before long if he just keeps listening and paying attention.

And that explains Holtz's frosty reaction to the news… he'd seen for himself exactly what Atia had described. He'd flown past each and every one of the dead ships, floating deceptively peacefully in their slow orbit around Hebe as he and Atia fruitlessly fished for a signal, a power signature, anything. His flare of anger at the mention of Sheperd is palpable.

As rare as it is when it happens, under her breath Ygraine swears in the old backwoods Leonese dialect she spoke as part of her childhood. She's staring at the pictures, brows furrowing as her lips scrunch together tightly in a sour expression.

Phin swallows, making himself keep his eyes on the images of the ships. He winces at mention of the former CAG, but he still looks more sad than anything else. He sets down his pen, folding his hands in his lap.

THe mention of Zachary has Agrippa's eyes narrowing, the interaction between their previous head honcho on the subject of skinjobs is still a sore spot for the young Viper jock. When the results of recons that weren't planned or ordered is revealed, Punchdrunk stiffens visibly as his eyes focus on the ships that are being displayed. So many lives lost. So many that could have been saved.

Bennett's expression is.. pained. Hard to say whether it's for the necessity of two viper jocks having to run a recon, or the names of those ghost ships Atalanta reads off, or the mention of the previous in a seemingly endless string of CAGs. Her eyes lower for a moment as she digs some dirt out from under her fingernails, and a breath is taken before she looks back up again.

"I know what it feels like to be hungry. I know what it feels like to live on an overcrowded ship, full of entirely too many people and not enough supplies, wondering how long you're going to make it. Wondering if it's the Cylons or the thirst that's going to kill you first." No wonder her cheekbones are so prominant. It isn't simply good breeding. Her face as hollowed from a severe reduction in food. "I know what it is like, ladies and gentleman. And it will not happen again. Not on my watch. Every man, woman and child aboard these ships? Dead. And not because of our enemies. They did not die in a hail of bullets or the fire of a nuclear warhead. These people, who we have sworn to give our lives to protect? Hundreds. Maybe thousands. They died, cold and starving and alone, because they were left there."

Here's the point where Cato raises a hand slightly, hoping for attention. He's silent about it of course, but there probably wouldn't be many people with much to say, given the gravity of events.

Kelsey just stares at her paper, ashen.

Maia shudders at the mention of the state of those on board the ship. Needless suffering. Picking up her pen, she begins writing on the notepad, her pen moving with rapid succession, almost digging into the page as she presses the tip down. Zachary. Oh how she despised the man for allowing this to happen. But then again, she could have done.. something surely.

"If you do not know what that looks like, consider this," Franklin says, as the slide clicks forward again. The picture is of a man sitting on over a communications control desk, slumped forward. Viewed through a dome, which explains why he's failed to rot. His corpse has mummified, leaving little that may be recognized, save for the pool of dried blood on the floor behind him. And the gun in his hand. "This man was left on Minos — a man so desperate, so starved for hope, that the radio beacon which he'd recorded called for help from any passing ship, human or Cylon. Human or Cylon." Her nostrils flare. How desperate did he have to be, for the Cylons to be a welcome sight? "I have issued orders for recons. They now take predecence over every single order which you have received. Ensign…" A beat. She was about to continue on, when Cato raised his hand. "Yes, Lieutenant Cato?"

Bennett keeps her silent vigil by the door, shoulders straight, bright blue eyes upon Franklin in spite of the pall that's been cast upon the briefing. Her attention shifts to Cato when his hand goes up, though her mind seems to have wandered elsewhere.

Softly Cato says, "Clearly not a priority at this time but when it is, I'd like to be on the salvage crew." Because there's going to be a salvage crew. As grisly as the news that so many humans died happesn to be, they died in possession of valuable hardware.

Ygraine has lost her sour expression. Indeed her expression has gone flat, and her eyes flick over her fellow Air Wingers to take in their faces and reactions before straying to the front again.

Now it is Agrippa's turn to raise his hand with a question, waiting silently until the DCAG chooses to direct her attention to him.

Holtz shifts in his seat as the image from Minos pops on the screen, the only change to his stone-faced expression a slight curl of the lip. He stays silent, not even seeming to notice how his hands have wrapped around the armrests on his chair in a vise-like grip.

Phin swallows again, his jaw setting. Still forcing himself not to look away from the images on the screen. His own expression a mix of grim horror and sadness.

Kelsey holds her look to the paper until the slide changes. Its worse. The Ensign settles back in her chair and just stares at the screen. Its not unlike watching a horror movie right? These aren't real people. Right? She can do this. She steels up, swigs at her coffee and does her best to set a steel to her face.

Bennett looks calmly back to the slide with the image of the mummified corpse and his desperate plight— and there her gaze remains. It is clearly not the first time she's seen such things. But then again, as an ex search and rescue pilot, it couldn't be.

"So noted. I have spoken to Lieutenant Colonel Petra regarding arranging both salvage missions and a funderal detail, via Deck and Engineering. Raptor crews will be ferrying them over. Vipers will be flying a security detail to ensure the safety of these ships, and their precious contents. I expect each of you to conduct yourselves with the dignity and the gravitas which the situation merits, as you will be serving as the ferryman that bears them to the resting places which they so deserve." A tap of the remote on the podium. "These flights will not be optional." In short, she is ensuring that none of them will be spared the sight of such a total waste, such a complete failure. Franklin is not going to let them turn a blind eye to this — not a single one. "Yes, Lieutenant Agrippa?"

"Sir, it the past, general recons were done by a Raptor crew since their ship has a FTL drive and it was perhaps too resource intensive to send a Viper carrying cruiser to a different system and unload except for the asteroid recons. Is that changing now with the shift in priorities?" The question is asked after Agrippa is called on.

Ygraine's brows hit her hairline as she shifts in her seat to stare at Punchdrunk a moment. Only a moment though, before she sets her jaw and leans back in her seat, eyes on her paper and looking, well, pretty pissed off.

At 21, Kelsey doesn't get spared. Its been a fast growing up, even before Warday. Now? She sighs and tries to nod, looking back down in something that appears like reverence.

Not nearly as cold as she pretends to be sometime, as Maia looks up at the screen to the man who had called for help from even the Cylons because none from Orion had come, tears spring to her eyes and she looks back down at her pad of paper as twin droplets dot the ink there, smearing it. Gods… swiping the back of her hand over her eyes, she attempts to compose herself.

Bennett looks like she wishes to speak, as well, but keeps quiet for the nonce amidst the flurry of questions and stern lecture from the DCAG.

Phin breathes in through his nose, finally letting himself avert his eyes from the images of those dead ships, and the people in them. Agrippa and Atalanta are convenient distractions, so he flits his gaze between them.

"No, Lieutenant. It's a pertinent question, and one which I am about to address." Franklin's jaw sets, the corners of it working slightly. Angry really is not an expression which she wears particularly well. It does not suit her bearing, and stands out starkly because of it. "This was Lieutenant Colonel Shepherd's mistake. Mine was allowing these missions to be run on a volunteer basis, under the erroneous belief that a proper reconaissance had been conducted sometime since War Day. My assumption has since been sharply corrected, and the situation with it. The recon missions are now being clumped together by star system, not by the previously provided priority. And they will no longer be conducted on a volunteer basis. Lieutenant Vashti and Captain St. Claire will continue to take point on the Pallas evacuation. We know there are survivors there. As for the others? Lieutenant Cato, you'll be conducting the survey of Helios Beta. Evans will be accompanying you as your ECO. Lieutenant Kane, you'll be flying Helios Delta. Pick your ECO. Ensign Wescott, you're assigned Helios Gamma. Pick your ECO. As for the asteroid belts…."

Cato's eyebrows raise and his thumb stops mid-tap. He gets an ECO? That means something. If his ears could perk they would do so.

Phin's eyes flick back to Kelsey when she's assigned to the Gamma run. That one perks his interest. It's nothing he speaks on now, but he does jot down a few quick notations.

Holtz gives a quick look around the room as Atia starts naming names. His attention goes back towards the podium, however, when she mentions asteroid recons. He takes a pen and a small, weathered notepad out of his pocket and scribbles something on an empty page that appears slightly yellowed with age.

As assignments are being listed off with names attached, Agrippa waits quietly with his question answered. When asteroid belts are next on the list, the young Viper jock perks up and waits to see what is on the plate.

Helios Gamma. "Oh. Uh, yessir." Kelsey looks around at the group, seeing if anyone meets her gaze for an ECO. She eventually looks back to her paper and makes a few scratch marks. Well, you volunteer to fly suicide missions, it gets harder to find good crew. She chuckles wryly at the realization.

"The asteroid belts cannot be properly surveyed by Raptor crews. The metals contained therein interfere with their readouts and the space is more easily navigated by the smaller and more agile Vipers." Franklin's eyes peel away from Agrippa, brush over a few of the more familiar faces from the Gentleman Ghosts, and settle squarely on a small contingent of Viper pilots near the front row. "Missions will be conducted in corvettes which will jump into the area carrying anywhere from two to four Vipers. Given their sheer size, I expect that it will take several passes to complete the run of each belt. I assure you, you'll have plenty of time to devote to it, as I've spoken to Lieutenant Colonel Petra about suspending CAPs. They will be cut to the absolute minimum required to maintain the integrity of Piraean space. Given the number of ships we have in orbit…," she could've cut them entirely. She hasn't hit that point, at least. "Major Holtz. Lieutenant McBride. Congratulations. You're in charge."

When the mention of CAPs being suspended is made, Agrippa relaxes slightly, feeling that it is the first good news of this rather gloomy meeting. As both Holtz and Phin are tagged to take the lead for the recon missions, Punchdrunk nods his head and looks to both officers.

When his name is called, Holtz's cool grey eyes focus on Atia, and he nods, scribbling something else into his notepad with an underline for emphasis. He leans in to Phin beside him and mutters something quietly.

Phin sits up straighter when his name is mentioned. He's at least gained the ability not to look bewildered when the brass says his name during one of these things. He probably has questions, but for now he just says, "Yes, sir."

Hearing her name, Maia looks up and nods, but at the mention of an ECO, she shrugs. "I'm not particular. I spoke with Evans and he mentioned being able to pull double duty and ECO for me should I need one." Her voice is almost indifferent as she looks back down at her paper and tear of the top page, wad it up and toss it in the trash, only to begin writing on the next one day. "I'm free to go as soon as this meeting is over, Sir. Or any time after that."

Kelsey listens, watching the Viper crews. Her hand goes up, but asks before she can be recognized: "Sir, can the Raptors fly shotgun?"

Cato shifts in his seat and leans forward a bit, speaking out of turn for once. "Sir, am I off the Pallas evac?"

Phin puts his hand up after Kelsey asks her question. He does have a query about that, apparently. He does lean in a little toward Holtz while he's waiting to be called, though. He's far from first in line.

"Ensign Wescott, I am prepared to cram the Admiral into a Predator again and fly out there with him, ferrying survivors back to the Orion one by one by one, if that's what it takes to bring them safely home." Both of Franklin's brows arch as she begins to pace the room, her hands folded neatly and pressed into the small of her back. "You are welcome to fly shotgun at Major Holtz's discretion. If you slow them down, he is welcome to send you back to the barn to wait for the call for SAR birds to come in an evacuate anyone they find."

Kelsey looks a bit 'deer in the headlights' at that response, but she glances to Holtz and back. There's a nod to accompany it, "Copy, sir!"

"Cato," the DCAG continues, stopping to look up the rows of stadium seats, searching for his face. "You'll continue on the Pallas evacuation, supporting Captain St. Claire and Lieutenant Vashti. I assure you, there's no lack of work to be done there." Her pacing resumes, though it's directed now — she's heading back towards the podium. "McBride, your question?"

"Frosty." is Cato's only response, and he gives a little nod to that. Then for some reason begins studying the back of Kelsey's head.

"I was just going to say we'd probably need a Raptor on-hand for SAR situations out there on the belts, at least, sir," Phin says. Though after a quick glance at Holtz he adds quickly, "If you guys think that'd be best, sir. Sirs. We should probably just hash it out later, anyway."

Whatever question, comment, concern or complaint Bennett might have had, it looks like it's been relegated to catching the DCAG after the meeting. She's jotting something down on her notepad while questions continue to pop up around the room.

"Very good, then." Franklin turns to search the room, looking for a specific faces. Looking, looking, looking. Eventually, she spots Bennett near the door, and Ygraine in their seats. "Captain St. Clair. Lieutenant Vashti. Would either of you care to discuss the findings from your flight over Pallas, or would you prefer to wait until I've reviewed your AAR?"

Holtz's brow is furrowed slightly as he shoots a look first at Kelsey, then at Phin. For the first time since the briefing started, he breaks his silence. "I don't mind havin' a Raptor or two on standby to jump in if we find somethin' or someone needs a lift, but you heard the Major. Buses ain't suited for the asteroid runs. Rather not have 'em along slowin' our progress unless we know ahead of time we need 'em."

Ygraine straightens up and looks over her shoulder at Bennett, cocking her head toward the speaker's podium.

"If I may.." Bennett does deign to interject, "..we have plenty of work to be doing without getting underfoot in the Major's efforts. I am sure he will inform us when and if our assistance is required." She may lack the oomph of the DCAG's manner of speech, but her words do leave little room for argument.

Holtz looks over his shoulder, nodding briefly up at Bennett before turning his eyes and attention back to the podium.

Kelsey nods to Holtz's decision but layslow with her response. Its pretty plain she'd like to go, but whatchagonnado?

Bennett turns bright blue eyes back to Franklin, though remains where she is, parked right beside the hatch. Y'know, in case anyone tries to leave. "As to the reconnaissance of Pallas last night, I am afraid we are looking at a similar case of death by neglect. Twelve hundred survivors, down from three thousand." She blinks once; her voice is flat, like she's set aside her feelings on the matter and is focusing on the cold, hard facts. "I'll let Lieutenant Vashti fill y'all in on the details, since she performed the initial reconnaissance." A nod toward her backseater.

Ygraine's nose twitches as Bennett throws the ball to her. "As she said. The population has reduced from three thousand to an estimated twelve hundred. There is a single landing pad that's been cleared and only enough for a raptor to make a secure landing. We're going to need bigger ships to move the rest. But first, we have to clear the other landing pads for them, and there are also numerous smaller hatch accesses that Raptors can seal securely to for smaller group pick ups. Raiders make flybys every two to three days. We've received schematics of the domes with population numbers so we know which ships to send where accordingly." There's a pause. "Last but not least? They project they have one, maybe two weeks left on aux power before they go into shut down and th'domes no longer function sufficiently t'support life."

Franklin's expression darkens further. An impressive feat, considering the aura which she's already giving off. "You'll have a transport ship ready by Saturday," she says plainly, looking between Bennett and Ygraine. "Pull whoever you need off of whatever is necessary. I'll see that it's cleared with command."

Phin winces at the timeline Ygraine lays out. Doing a lot more writing on his pad. Some of it involves numbers, and an apparently quickie attempt to do math.

Holtz waves for attention. "If you can't find anyone else, I can fly one of those transport liners we've got. I'm fully rated on the class." From his civilian pilot days, no doubt. He's already done it once before, anyway.

Bennett gives Atalanta a small nod, and jots something else down on her notepad. "We will require a full engineering crew, and as many raptors as can be spared for the evacuation, sir," she explains tersely. "The raider flybys are every three or four days, so we would do well to remain in close communication with Genevieve station leading up to this effort."

Kelsey goes back to looking at her pad of paper. Given the info, this is a lot more than she was expecting. "Gods, why wasn't this flown?" she mutters to herself.

"Any possibility the debris on the landing pads can be cleared expediently, or is it gonna have to be the hard way?" This question from Cato, who directs it across toward Butch and Milkshake.

Ygraine says, "We can clear th'pads and get the people off in the timeframe…my confoundment comes in how t'make sure th'Cylons don't see it all go down." admits Ygraine. "We'll need t'take marine engineerin' teams, like the Captain says. I reckon we can get the pads cleared between Raider sweeps, and then commence immediately with ex-fil once the second sweep occurs." She looks to Bennett for confirmation adding, "They don't got the equipment, we'll need t'bring it. And we'll have t'manage th'labor ourselves. They ain't in th'shape for it."

Bennett favours Holtz with a smile, and scribbles his name down in the margin of her notepad. "I will let you know if we need a spare pilot, sir, thank you." To Atalanta, "Lieutenant Vashti is right. Though I think we should count on the cylons figuring out that something's going on, and returning in force on their next flyby. Sir, as I'm sure you know, non-combatant evacuations are amongst the most.. challenging to pull off. We may not be bringing twelve hundred people home."

"Maybe we could find some way to provide a distraction, if all those people can't be lifted out between sweeps?" Phin says tentatively, after he's waved his hand up for recognition. "Something we could trigger for the Cylons to chase, instead of going for the evac ships."

"If there's concerns about the Cylons returning en masse and this becoming a battle for Pallas, then I'll speak to Lieutenant Colonel Petra about requesting the Rubaul and one or two of the cruisers to provide additional air support." Not pilots from the Rubaul — the entire Rubaul, with the entire Blackjack wing aboard. Apparently, Franklin means business. She reaches up to brush a hand over her hair, putting a few stray wisps back into their proper places. "Consider it an integration exercise," the DCAG continues, the edge of her mouth turning up. Integration exercises are, after all, the reason she was transferred here.

"I'd like to get th'pads ready, wait on the second pass, start collectin' people as soon as it's over, and then if we can't meet deadline by the time th'flyby after that shows up, we could have th'vipers engage." Ygraine suggests. "That way we avoid the first flyby, hide during th'second, and would only have t'delay th'third long enough for last mop up."

Evans opens the hatch and ducks his head in, catching sight of the entire Wing here already and talking. He stops for a moment and looks at all the faces and comments to himself, "Well, this is awkward. Ah…fashionably late. That's an acceptable excuse, isn't it?" Oh look, Atalanta's busy…he scoots for the nearest empty seat and plants his rump into it, tuning into the discussion about Pallas. He was here alll along, honest.

Bennett turns slightly as the hatch behind her creaks open, and gives Evans a little wink when she spots him. As if to say, I seeeee yooooou. To Ygraine, the Captain nods hesitantly. "It sounds like a good plan on paper, Vashti. But the proof will be in the pudding. And this is all assuming there is no cylon intelligence on Pallas. Lieutenant McBride, I think your suggestion has merit; I am sure we could send a few of the Lucky Strikes along on the Rubaul?" The question is for Atalanta.

"…that'd be a hell of an op." quips Cato quietly, seeming pleased at the idea of the Rubaul in pitched battle.

Ygraine points out mildly, "I'm not disagreein' with Dolly's idea, neither. It all works together. Th'question is when it's utilized, ain't it?"

Phin nods along with Ygraine. "Yeah. I mean, ideal, all the people can move without the toasters even noticing. So you wouldn't want to plant anything in a place where it might attract their attention on the first or second pass through the system."

Evans offers Bennett a sheepish grin, then clears his throat and leans in to offer, "If we're talking a thousand folks, as long as they can move under their own power…we give em enough warning to get them all suited up like, why dont we just blow a huge hole in the dome and shovel them onto whatever we can land as fast as we can land them? Its not like we need to waste time for them going through airlocks at that point, right?"

"The crew of the Rubaul has a particular talent for finding space where there seems to be none, Captain. I'm quite sure they'll find room for as many of the Lucky Strikes as is necessary," she says, before nodding in agreement with Vashti's assessment. "McBride, as I understand it, you've flown missions with a similar purpose — providing well-timed distractions to allow the Raptors to do their best work. See what you can devise; we'll see where we can fit it in. I'd look at hitting targets that have already been explored extensively, so we know what we're getting ourself into first." As for Evans choice of seats, Franklin shakes her head at the man and points him to a spot near Cato. Given her earlier announcement of their recon of Helios Beta, it seems she's decided they ought to be introduced.

Cato offers a hand for shaking purposes toward Evans once he looks ready to sit. "Looks like I'm driving and you're ECO. We got an assignment."

Bennett continues scrawling notes down as suggestions and modifications to the 'plan' are put forth. Finally, she addresses the DCAG once more, "I will have a draft of our mission objectives on your desk by the end of tomorrow, sir. Shall I coordinate with Lieutenant Colonel Petra regarding the Rubaul?"

Crap. Bosslady DID notice. With a wince, Evans slips out of his chair and tiptoes over to the indicated spot by Cato, where he flops down and grins at the man, grasping the offered hand and lowering his voice a bit to avoid getting glared at, "Absolutely, Lieutenant. Chatterbox, in flight entertainment DJ. Ready to scram when you are." He even offers a smart little nod and a large smile, pulling out a little notebook and a pen. Yeah, might wanna write this down, perhaps.

There's a sharp nod from Franklin in reply to Bennett's question. "Yes; though I plan on accompanying you to any meetings with Major Dawes, the CAG over on Blackjack's escort carrier." It shouldn't come as a surprise, really. She was serving as his DCAG up until about three weeks ago, and likely knows the man better than anyone else on the Orion, save maybe Cato. "Is there anything else you need addressed regarding Pallas?," she asks, ready to move onto her last point otherwise.

Ygraine makes a little gesture toward Dolly, vague and difficult to discern to anyone who isn't, well, Milkshake or Dolly.

Holtz is silent once more, letting the conversation flow around him as he occasionally looks around at those speaking and scrawls something into his notepad.

"Understood, sir," replies St. Clair smoothly, "And no, nothing further at the moment. I think we can hammer out any remaining details outside of this briefing." And judging by the list of names she's jotted down, she's got a fair number of people to run things by.

Phin makes a fist and subtly taps the air in Ygraine's general direction. He copied that.

Kelsey watches all of this go back and forth in silence. One of the benefits of being the lower being is that you don't have to make the calls and there's some relaxation to her with that. She see's the ranking officers pitch back and forth in silence, seemingly neutral to the most of it.

Evans scribbles down a few notes rather quickly on his little notepad before Cato retires, murmuring a good evening to the superior officer, then settles back in his chair to watch the other conversation as it seems to be wrapping up…though the pen remains poised in case something else note-worthy comes up.

"In that case," Franklin says as she leans into the podium. Her elbows come to rest on its edge which allows, for once, her posture to sink into something at least slightly more relaxed than her usual perfectly straight posture. "My last point of business is this. Up until now, you've been ordered to maintain radio silence during missions. That order is hereby rescinded. Recon requires stealth, but rescue requires contact. You know what you're doing. You're all intelligent enough to calculate when a risk is and isn't worth taking. Radio communication is going to be left to your disrection, unless otherwise ordered."

Bennett arches a brow slightly at Franklin's last order of business, but keeps her own counsel on the matter. Her notepad's flipped closed and slid back into its pocket on the sleeve of her flight suit. Now she's merely awaiting dismissal.

The changes in orders and standard operations are all being noted by Agrippa who is jotting down the major points that is being told to them during this meeting. He hasn't spoken since his question, busy listening and writing notes when necessary, sometimes underlining certain words for emphasis. No more CAPs is certainly underlined about five times.

Scritch, scritch, scritch. Holtz's spidery scribbling pauses when Atia mentions her last. He purses his lips contemplatively, but he nods at the explanation and writes down one last note about the new communications protocol before flipping the notepad closed.

She waits in silence for a few seconds longer. Barring any raised hands, she says, "Unless there are any other questions, you're dismissed." A beat. And then, "Save for you, Major Holtz. Unless you have anything pressing, I'd like a word." Franklin steps out from behind the podium, aiming the remote at the projector. She cuts the slideshow, bringing her gruesome presentation to an end. "Thank you all for your attention. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the next several days."

Ygraine half-rises from her seat, but pauses halfway when she hears that Holtz is scheduled to remain. Then, continuing to rise to her feet, she walks over to him, saying only, "Meet you in the gym after?" After seeing those slides, she needs to punch something.

Bennett doesn't need to be told twice. After shooting a mildly curious glance Holtz's way, she pivots on her heel and slips through the hatch well ahead of the masses. Time for a shower.

Bennett leaves, heading toward the Air Wing Corridors [Out].

Phin gets his notes in order and stands, though he lingers to offer Holtz a look. And one-shoulder shrug, when he's asked to stay by the DCAG. "We should go over the asteroid recon stuff later." A good bit later, probably.

As the dismiss is given which means the meeting is over, Agrippa finishes jotting down whatever he is righting before rising to his feet from his desk. The upcoming days will be busy, that's for sure, but busy in a good way.

Holtz rises from his seat and turns to leave with the rest, but freezes when he hears his name. He turns back to the podium and nods impassively. "My time's your time, Major." He squeezes Ygraine's shoulder as she passes. "Yeah, see you there."

As the room begins to clear, she gestures back towards the empty auditorium seats. She, after all, has been on her feet the entire time — pacing, mostly. "Won't you have a seat?," she asks cordially, even offering him a very slight smile to accompany the question. As though this were the family parlor, instead of the briefing room of a battlestar.

Holtz doesn't know much about family parlors and the like, but he acquiesces nonetheless, his broad frame slumping back down into the seat he'd just vacated moments before. His expression is vaguely curious as he fixes his flinty grey eyes on the DCAG. "What's up?" he asks after a moment's pause, his demeanor a little more relaxed now that the ready room crowd is down to just the two of them.

She considers the empty chairs on either side of him for a moment, before settling on the one to his left. When she sinks into it, she still maintains that ever-perfect posture. No doubt she could make it all the way down to the CIC with a book balanced on her head, even with a squad of Marines coming down the hall in the opposite direction. In short, she's not yet ready to relax in front of the Orion's crew — not yet, at least. "I didn't mention the man on Minos to you when we were flying because, quite frankly, I needed your head in the game. We'd just encountered Raiders, I was expecting more, and I was flying a busted up bird. There was nothing that we could do to help him, either. At least not at the time."

Holtz nods slowly, his expression grave as he waves a hand with a jerky motion. "You don't need to justify anythin'. It was your call to make. You made it." He shrugs. Yes, to him it really is that simple. "Nothin' I could've done about it anyway if you had. Besides, not like the poor bastard wasn't exactly on the top of my list o' concerns at the moment, yeah?" He shrugs. "I'd've made the same call. Flyin' low like that, no room to maneuver… you'd've been dead meat if Raiders had jumped in with no one watchin' for 'em."

"I'm glad you understand," she replies, her voice quiet, her tone sincere. But there's a slight tic which appears at the corner of her mouth. The anger she's displayed all night is quite genuine. What she's hidden is the heartbreak. It's veiled by the weight that's bearing down on her shoulders, barely peeking out from behind the gravitas lurking in her eyes. She buries her hand in her pocket, reaching for something before she says, "We know almost nothing about the man on Minos. We don't know his name, or his rank, or where he came from. But what we do know? We know that, barring any underground hideouts, he was the last man alive on Minos, the last man alive on Tauran soil. The last hold-out of your people. There's honor and dignity in that. Until we can arrange a funeral detail and a proper burial for him, someone should carry his coins. You can refuse, of course. This isn't an order. But given the circumstances, I thought it would be more appropriate for you to be the one to do it, instead of me." Her hand, slender and long-fingered, unfurls. Resting in her palm is a pair of coins — simple, standard cubits. Nothing more. Holes have been drilled into their centers. Obviously, they're meant to be worn on a chain.

Holtz's own facade has been going strong all night, but in that moment it shows the first signs of cracking. He blinks, and there's a quiet but audible inhale as she offers the coins in his direction. There's a long pause, his nostrils flaring as he stares numbly at her hand, but finally he extends his own palm to take the coins. "I…" he rasps, voice catching in his throat as he nods jerkily. "Of course I'll hold them." He turns the coins over in his hand, looking down on them soberly before reaching for the dogtags under his shirt. His movements slow and deliberate, almost reverent even, he pulls the chain apart; the coins are threaded onto it and slide down to rest next to his tags before he reattaches the chain and replacing it around his neck.

"I will see to it that he's not forgotten, Major," she says quietly, carefully. As though she's speaking to him about the loss of his father or brother or friend, rather than a complete stranger, a man he's likely never met. She exhales slowly before withdrawing her hand to rest it flat against the surface of the student-style desks which have been installed for the pilots to take note on. "We need to see to the concerns of those still living, first, but I have no intention of leaving behind the honored dead if anything can be done for them. They deserve whatever peace we can give them now."

And it's entirely possible from the tortured expression on Holtz's face that he isn't thinking of the dead stranger on Minos, but instead of the memories of his own family, killed in the initial attacks. Of all the people he'd known on Tauron or elsewhere, the people whose last moments had been filled with terror, regardless of whether their deaths had come quickly or slowly. Despite her earlier invitation to sit, he rises to his feet, pacing in front of the front row of seats like a caged animal. "They shouldn't be dead," he snarls suddenly, his features contorting in a mix of pain and fury as the words spill from his lips. "That stupid pompous frak of a Sheperd… Could've pushed him to send out more ships, could've done something, we should've found — " And he chops himself off as abruptly as he'd began, fists clenched as he tries to steady himself with a deep breath. "I understand. Help those who can still be helped." His eyes are blazing as he turns back towards her, but he nods slowly.

"That was exactly the point of this briefing," she says, reacting to his anger not by flinching, but by burying herself under further waves of calm. She rests back against her seat, finally leaning into it. "There's nothing that we do about Shepherd's mistakes now, save for clean up the mess that he left behind. Try to give some dignity to the people that should've been saved. But in my opinion, the best way to honor their memory is to use it to drive us, to move us to action. To save those that can still be saved. That was what tonight was about." She gestures with an easy sweep of her hand, through the empty space between them, to the projector. To her all too gruesome slideshow. "The pilots in the 11th are talented, and capable, and well-trained. They're also parked over a planet that provides them with fresh fruit, and beach views, and a bar. I wanted them to know what Shepherd dragging his feet has cost us, in very real terms. In human lives, which are a limited commodity now. I wanted to make sure this never happens again; that the only way they can sleep at night is by knowing that they've done everything they could."

"The point was well made," Holtz admits, his voice still rasping with bitterness. "Whatever happens now, whatever we do from here… We had our sanctuary, and we got comfortable." He eyes her, jaw clenched and tone reluctant. "You tried to tell me that when you first came aboard. But I didn't listen. You were right but I was too godsdamn proud to admit it. People died because we were complacent." The words come forth in spurts, almost as if he has to force them out, but they do keep coming until he finishes. "No more."

She watches him, green eyes trailing behind him along the path which he traces across the floor. She doesn't look smug. She doesn't look triumphant. She doesn't look happy. On the contrary, there's a hint of hesitation that passes over her face before she says, very slowly, "And you were right about me — to a certain degree. But there's something that I need you to understand, Major. I'm Caprican." This is evidenced by the rather distinct accent. "With all of the stereotypes which that usually implies. The Franklins are wealthy, and powerful, and a part of the elite. When I was barely into my freshman year of college, I drove a car that was worth more than you made in a year as an enlisted man. I had everything that I possibly could've wanted out of life, except a purpose. So I put on this uniform. My father couldn't stand the idea of a Franklin woman — whose job was to bear and raise boys — taking up the mantle that, for two hundred years, belonged to the Franklin men. He disowned me. I walked away from the sort of luxury that most people can barely begin to comprehend, in exchange for a job where the biggest payout possible for me is the hope that one day, I will die in the seat of my Viper, in a way that merits them burying me with a bit of brass tucked inside my coffin." Atalanta's lips purse for a moment at that. It's a possibility which she has clearly considered. And accepted, by the looks of it. "I am not Lieutenant Colonel Shepherd. I don't need you to like me. I don't even need you to understand my decisions. But I do need you to respect them, and to trust that when I make them, it is with far more than my own ego in mind."

Despite his best efforts, Holtz can't help but resume his pacing as she speaks. Her description of her circumstances is a painful reminder of his own hardscrabble upbringing on the wastes of Tauron — but nevertheless, something she says seems to strike a chord. Silence hangs between them for a long moment after she finishes, as he considers what he's heard. "When I joined, all I had was purpose," he says finally. There's a slow incline of the head in her direction. "It's what's gotten me this far. I might be little more than a damn stubborn dirt eater, but I understand that much." He smiles, but it lacks much in the way of actual humor. "As for your decisions… you're my superior officer. That's not goin' to change, and I can respect that." A shrug. "I won't hesitate to speak up if I think you're wrong, but I've followed orders my entire career. I don't aim to change now."

"I don't use that word," she says pointedly. "I generally don't find references to people so desperately hungry that they're eating dirt in an attempt to survive either entertaining or appropriate. That's not even sad. It's tragic." Her hands fold in her lap and, for a moment, she peeks down at her nails. One begins picking at the cuticles of her opposite hand, as though they weren't carefully maintained, despite her nailbeds being bare. After a moment, she looks up, then pushes herself back up to her feet. "So long as what you've said is true, I think we'll find a way to work well together. Or well enough, if I can keep from getting myself blasted out of the sky." A smile spreads across her face, a surprisingly pretty expression that rests easily in its place, as though it belongs there. It seems she actually does have a sense of humor, at the least expected moments. "But that's what your purpose is, isn't it? Keeping the person who pushes the paperwork from one pile to another alive long enough to get the pink copy upstairs to command?"

Holtz shrugs. "Heard it too many times to give much of a damn any more. Of course, I hear it out of the mouth of anyone who ain't Tauran, I'll thrash him on general principle." Was that a joke? Probably. But just as likely, he's kidding on the square. He drolly jabs a finger at her when she mentions getting blown up. "You'd better not. Unless they bring in another replacement, that means I'd like as not be in line for your job, and I don't want any part of it. Got enough paperwork runnin' my own squadron, thanks. I ain't much of a bleedin' administrator." He manages a slight smirk, and this time there does seem to be some genuine good humor there. "And if that's my fate, I'll do my damndest to see that you live to a ripe old age, yeah?"

"Humanity will need a cantankerous old dragon woman sitting atop her hoard of gold and breathing fire at anyone who comes too close. Without armies of nasty old biddies assuring that we keep our reputations and our proper places in the social hierarchy in mind, however will decorum be maintained for future generations?," she asks blithely. Apparently, she has an exceedingly high opinion of society matriarchs after a lifetime of being kept under their thumbs and abiding by their absurd rules. "Try to enjoy what little I've left of your evening, Major. I plan to put you — and the rest of the Wing — to work promptly in the morning. Goodnight."

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