A Call for Volunteers
A Call for Volunteers
Arc: Farewell and Adieu
Summary: LCDR Nucefora of 8th Fleet calls the Majestic's pilots to volunteer for a highly secretive mission.
Date: 2658.150
Related Logs: None
Participants: James Alec Jenthson Kanani Draygo

McGrath peeps his head into the briefing room, looking around at those inside and nodding at those he recognises. "Guess this isn't the pool, then," he says, wandering inside and looking for a seat.

It's hardly the sort of thing that goes along with a normal briefing. A handful of pilots seated mostly in the front rows of the room, a map of the sector displayed on the vidscreen on the rear wall. There's no one at the podium, but sitting at the edge of the raised platform the podium rests on is a Confederation Navy Lieutenant Commander, whose nametag reads: Nucefora. "Alright, if you'll all take your seats, we'll get started."

Kanani slips into the briefing room, taking a look at the small group of pilots, as she grabs a seat. She then settles in to wait and hear just what this is all about, as she glances towards the Navy officer on the platform.

James enters the briefing room just as the Lieutenant commander asks people to take their seets. He finds an empty seat in the back row and settles into it looking towards the platform while waiting for the briefing to start.

Having arrived a little earlier, there is a look of skeptism on Kell's face as he is seated in ont of the seats in the front row. He isn't sure what to expect but when a 'volunteer' mission pops up, it's always interesting, and always dangerous so the young Lieutenant decided to drop by to see what it is about.

Alec finds a likely looking chair near the front and gets comfortable, rubbing his cheek and looking absurdly optimistic for some reason. He cocks his head at the unusual setup, raising an eyebrow at the sector map. The whole sector? That's a bit wide in scope… he thinks.

"Some of you have worked with me before, back on Helen" The Navy officer explains simply. "For those of you who have not, I am Lieutenant Commander James Nucefora, 8th Fleet. Currently assigned as commander of TCS Meriwether Lewis." Introduction offered, he continues. "I'm looking for officers for a special mission. It will be inside Kilrathi territory, and it will be dangerous. Additional hazard pay, shore leave, or anything of the sort will not be provided. The nature of this mission is highly classified, and it is possible you will not be allowed to speak of it even if successful. If any of this does not sound like it's for you, you're invited to leave now."

Kanani leans back in her chair, as she listens to the officer start his briefing, raising an eyebrow slightly as he starts things off. At the offer for people to leave, she glances around the room to see if anyone takes him up on that, though she stays put, and silent.

When the rules of this particular volunteer mission is stated, Kell's eyebrows raise up slightly, mostly in response to how serious the Commander is presenting this briefing. His own prediction of this mission being dangerous apparently do it enough justice, especially if it is behind enemy lines. The thought of no real glory or reward doesn't seem to faze the young Lieutenant though as he chooses to remain in his seat, his attention fully on Nucefora.

James watches the briefing remaining silent though his eyes flicker with something when it's revealed they'll be getting all the risks of the mission and none of the rewards that usually come with such duties.

Alec straightens in his seat, looking over at the reactions of the rather more veteran pilots. It's quite possible, looking at the man, that if someone had stood up and left, he'd have followed; but as it is, he stays in his seat. It almost seems as if he's expecting to be disqualified on grounds of inexperience, come to that - but still, he's sitting put until that happens.

Pip has been seated in the room, quieter than usual, though. The normally colourful English WingCO is sitting in one of the rear rows, away from the majority of his pilots. For the moment, he seems content to study the reactions of his wing, rather than focus on the briefing at hand. As usual, he is holding a burning cigarette, as with every other time he is in this particular part of the ship.

"Right. Since I haven't managed to scare anyone off yet, here's what we're looking at. What I am about to tell you is not to be spoken of outside this room, even among yourselves." Nucefora clicks a control in his hands, and the image on screen zooms in towards the top-center of the sector map. "Intelligence has discovered the movement of a high-value Kilrathi target is impending within the Palan system. We intend to make a play for it. The Meriwether Lewis has been specially modified to allow a handful of fighter craft to dock externally. It will be used to infiltrate the Palan system, utilize its docked fighter craft to destroy the designated target, and… hopefully… return to Confederation space."

Kanani turns her attention from the officer, to peer over the image on the screen, as the sector map zooms in towards the indicated area. Her eyebrows raise slightly, as the briefing goes on, and more of the details are made clear.

When the Sector Map is zoomed in, Kell's attention shifts from the Commander to the screen as he studies the system but his ears are still open, the words soaking in. The word 'hopefully' doesn't go by without notice but then again, in any mission, the pilots are hopeful that they would return to base as well, whether it is a simple patrol or a deep infiltrate ops like this.

Alec's counting the systems on the map, the number of jumps from Junction to Palan. One jump, two jumps, three… and back. He rubs his chin as his eyes move from one red map dot to another, looking a little dubious. He flicks a glance to the WinCo, looking to read the man's mood - and gauge the situation from that, if he can.

James looks at the map carefully and mutters something under his breath as he looks the map over. He then asks "What exactly is this target we might be going after?"

"That information will be disseminated on a need to know basis. Right now, you don't" Nucefora tells James simply. "For those of you who didn't fail grade school math, you'll notice the Palan system is two jumps beyond the front in Nexus." The commander continues with his explanation. "We're going to be going pretty deep into the woods here. We'll have support for our operation's insertion into Nexus, and support waiting to assist our extraction. But an awful lot of the time we're gone, we're going to be on our own." Nucefora explains. "I will also add that, since I suspect most of you have not served aboard a Venture-class, it is a small ship. It will be carrying more crew than its usual compliment with you aboard, and the modifications have cost us some space internally. If you are claustrophobic or bashful, you'd better sit this one out"

Kanani had already figured out how many jumps into enemy space the system was, since she passed grade school just fine. She nods along slightly as the officer goes into some details of getting into the first system and back out, and she manages to supress a smirk at the mention of the size of the ship.

Alec 'heh's to himself, a little amused at the thought of claustrophobic pilots - but the joke doesn't last long, as the tiny size of the Meriwether Lewis is explained. Small ship… few guns. It's not an optimistic thought, and he briefly imagines some sort of Kilrathi starbase, bristling with weapons and near-impervious. Surely, though, a mission like this wouldn't be attempted if it was hopeless? He metally shakes himself, and keeps listening.

James mutters something else under his breath after the Lieutenant commander fails to answer his question. The muttering stops for a couple of seconds then resumes as he realizes a new probelm with this insane plan.

"The expected duration of this operation will be approximately ten days" Nucefora explains. "Though the ultimate length of operations may vary somewhat depending on the schedule of our target, and the course necessary to avoid Kilrathi patrols. Where possible, we will be seeking to avoid contact with the enemy. Are there any further questions?"

"Uh, yeah," Alec pipes up, raising a hand. "Sir. What'll we be flying, exactly? I take it we aren't going to be able to pick and choose our ships."

Kanani apparently doesn't have any questions herself, though at Alec's question, she turns her head in his direction, and nods slightly. She probably wishes she'd have though to ask that one.

Kell had pretty much the same question as Alec did since if they are tagging along with a modified Venture instead of a Carrier, then chances are there will not be any 'Swords accompanying them. The type of fighters and strength will also give the young Lieutenant a general idea of the size of the prize they are trying to bag.

"That will, to some extent, depend on the qualifications of our volunteers" Nucefora explains. "But we will ideally be utilizing a variety of lighter fighter craft, Stilettos and Rapiers. A pair of broadswords are also included in the mission profile. During normal operations, a pair of fighter craft will serve as a standing CAP while the rest remain docked. For jump operations, the broadswords will serve as the CAP craft, since they are the only ones capable of jumping under their own power."

Alec nods. That didn't seem so bad to him, judging from the thoughtful look and vague approval. "Aright," he says. "And how many volunteers were you looking for, ideally?"

Kanani changes her mind, as she does come up with a question, or at least an observation, given the mission, and she raises her hand. "Given the nature of how you're planning on transporting the fighters, would it be safe to assume that any damage that someone takes, isn't going to be able to be fixed during the duration of this foray?"

"I don't want to pressure anyone by assigning a number" Nucefora says to Alec. "Suffice it to say that if we have too many, I'll defer to Colonel Jenthson on which individuals are most suited. If we do not have enough, I have been instructed to recruit from the survivors of the TCS Honour's wing as well. As for repair capacity, we'll have some limited ability to perform repairs. We've devoted a fair portion of our storage space for spare fighter components, since this is a short-duration mission, we could sacrifice consumable storage. But, any repairs are going to be done standing outside the hull in zero-g and zero atmosphere."

At the mention of his name. Pip waggles his fingers from the back of the room, as if in greeting…but that is extent of his input at this point. He seems far more content to watch, and see which of his pilots decide to take the bait, and volunteer for this suici….extremely secret, and brave piece of missionry.

James sstops muttering and asks the big question "How exactly are we supposed to board our fighters? Space suits and walking out would be madness in the event of a scramble."

"Remember, you fly pressure suited anyway. It would be no worse than launching from a decompressed flight deck, which certainly has been done" Nucefora explains to James. "Essentially, the wing sections of the Meriwether Lewis have been fitted with docking pylons which your craft will attach to. Airlock access is provided from inside these pylons, so your exposure to vacuum will be minimal. And remember, the vessel we are in is a dedicated fleet scout. Seeing first is going to be among our advantages. Between the advantages in sensor capability and sensor profile, and the fact we will have a twenty-four hour standing patrol, the need to undock under combat conditions should be minimal."

McGrath takes all that in, folding his arms and sitting back in his seat. It doesn't look like he has any more questions; he's mulling it over.

Listening to the various questions that helps paint a clearer picture, Kell continues to take in the information as he leans back in his seat. From time to time, he would look at the other pilots as they ask their questions and perhaps to gage to see who is interested and who may be balking. Finally, the young Lieutenant raises his hand and asks with a grin, "So where's the signup sheet?"

James settles back considering the mission carefully his brow furrowed with thought as he taps out a rythum idly on his leg with one hand.

Kanani remains quiet for now, her question having already been answered, and most others she could think of, having been asked as well. She just leans back a bit in her chair, and waits to see if there's anything else left to be told.

Nucefora chuckles at that last question. "Colonel Jenthson and Major Cole have both been briefed in on the specifics of the mission. You can speak with either of them to put yourself into consideration. Meriwether Lewis departs at 2200 hours on .152, so have your decisions in before then. Dismissed."

"Just stop by one of our offices, and put your name in the hat, pilots. It is as simple as that." Pip finally speaks up from the back of the room, and after he allows for those directions to filter through hears ,and into brains, the LTC adds…"And, Beagle? I need to speak with you, privately, once the room is free." His voice leaves little doubt. The Englishman is gravely serious about -something-.

Alec exhales, slapping his knees and pushes himself to his feet - stopping once the WinCo makes his pronouncement. He… isn't sure what to make of that. "Yes, sir," he says, standing in place.

James rises from his seat and gives the map one last glance before shaking his head and heading in the direction of the eit hatch at a brisk stride.