Booze and Strategy
Booze and Strategy
Arc: None
Summary: Majestic's pilots discuss Kilrathi motivations over drinks
Date: 2658.217
Related Logs: None
Participants: Paz Cole Maximilian Saint-Cloud Victoria

Paz is currently enjoying a rare moment of time off and celebrating it with a plate of fries and a glass of the dreaded Confed Cola. There's a soccer game going on the video players that she's half watching.

And what should come wandering along in, but a Cole… wearing that wonderfully freshly showered and yet still tired look that comes with just returning from patrol duty. He makes his way along towards the bar, offering Paz a little smile as he spots her. "Hey Tizona"

"Hey, Voodoo. How was the hop?" Paz asks, blowing on one of her still steaming hot fries before nibbling at it. "Fry?" she offers, gesturing to her plate.

Coming in on his own is Captain Maximilian Barta, a great collection of paperwork held under his left arm, his right swinging along freely. He looks at the relative crowd, the slight hustle, the marginal bustle, of First and Last. And he smiles, which is an odd thing for him to do, his face contorting like somebody's death mask.

"Not too shabby" Cole replies. "Didn't find a damn thing out there, which almost makes me nervous" he adds taking the offered fry with a quiet "Thanks" before getting back to the conversation at hand. "They can't let us hold this position unopposed. Longer it takes them to come in, probably means the more time they're building up a force to do it with" Cole adds. As Max makes his way in, Cole offers a raised-fry salute to his fellow squadron commander.

Paz chuckles and nods, sipping at her soda. "Yeah, just keep thinking those happy thoughts, Major." Paz smirks. "Probably taking a while to reorganize another strike force. They seem to have bad luck with carriers in this neck of the woods." she grins ferally. "Bet these some Fuzzy Wuzzy captain rooted to his litter box after getting orders to come here." she chuckles. "Heya, Cap." she adds for Max's benefit. "Paperwork! One of the true joys of command."

"Major." Maximilian nods at Cole. "Lieutenant." He nods in turn at Paz. He seems not even remotely irritated at being distracted from his paperwork and, indeed, tries very hard to not sit down and presumably have to start looking at it. "I am not interrupting you two, I hope?" he asks in the most polite voice he can muster, and giving them a good long time to answer him in any event. A good long time he can spend standing and not working.

"Not in the least" Cole replies with a little shake of his head. "If I'm up here, it's because I fully intend to be interruptable" Cole explains, giving the Captain a little grin. That comment made, he looks back to Paz. "I'm not so sure on that one, really. The Kats seem eager enough to throw away those Fralthi. Not like we got to dump a snakier or anything… I don't think even with fur on the brain they'd be dumb enough to throw one of those anywhere near in range of the Princeton."

"Not much to interrupt, Cap." Paz replies amiably, guesturing towards her fries. "Snag a few if you like, sir. Had the pre-flight munchies, thought I'd watch the game." she says, nodding towards the vid screens. "Probably got a point, Voodoo." she nods in reply to Cole's observation. "Makes me wonder what it is they're _really_ up to."

Maximilian gives a polite nod at Cole's response, the smallest of smiles, and a slightly larger one in Paz's direction at the precise moment she offers him some French fries. "Thank you kindly, Lieutenant," he says, walking over to her fry collection and swiping a couple of them. Tossing the paperwork onto a nearby table, Maximilian himself remains standing, looking at the game and utterly neglecting his alleged responsibilities.

"I haven't been out of the barn much lately," begins Maximilian slowly (-quite- slowly), "but I've noticed the kitties seem reluctant to engage with overwhelming force even on defensive operations. I wonder if they're clinging onto their material out of fear and a result losing more of it."

"Could well be. But where we're sitting now cuts 'em in half, they /can't/ just sit this one out and not engage" Cole replies. "Well, I suppose they could if they're trying to consolidate their position. But, the Kilrathi really don't seem so big on the whole consolidation thing." He finally goes to eat the fry that he'd snitched from Paz's plate.

Fun conversations with strangers over, Tori finishes up her work for now and heads off for a drink. She rubs the back of her neck absently, then straightens her back and heads over to the bar, pausing to look at her watch to see what time it is. Five o'clock somewhere, no doubt. She finds a barstool and settles down, getting the barkeep to slide her over a scotch on the rocks.

Paz nibbles down a couple more fries and takes a long sip from her soda before saying much of anything. "Well, maybe you're both right." she muses, nodding to the newly arrived Tori. "I mean, they're gonna have to stabilize this front at some point." she continues. "What's the nearest system from here that'd make a good anchor?"

"The kitties really like grooming but I wouldn't let one date my sister," says Maximilian without explaining what this expression could possibly mean. He sets the world record for slowest eating of a French fry, glances at his paperwork ever-so-abandoned, and then goes even slower as if eating his French fry would take his transparent excuses away with it.

Pausing, Maximilian glances up at nothing in particular. "The quality of the system doesn't matter if they lack the fortitude to invest it with everything they have rather than sending out a flight here, a flight there and going with half-measures."

"They thought it was important enough to put four Fralthi here to hold it" Cole retorts after Max speaks. "Don't think they were counting on the amount of firepower we brought in, certainly…" he gives a little shrug. "But, I don't think they're going to roll over and give up half of what they've taken. They might be stretched thin, but it's pretty unlike the Kilrathi not to want to fight." Cole's attention flickers to Tori for a moment, offering her a smile and a little wave, before he turns back to Paz. "There's a direct jump from here to Tingerhoff. Would make a decent enough staging area. And then one more jump from Tingerhoff you've got Perry… which /we/ obviously though enough of to put a base in"

Tori catches Paz' wave and flashes a grin. Cole's greeting too is noted, and she waves back in their general direction. Once she gets her drink, she heads over to see what's going on. "Hey, Tizona," she says with a nod. "Voodoo, Jericho. What's up in this neck of the woods?" She catches Cole's explanation on systems as she arrives and her head tilts a bit, before she just quietly takes a big sip of her drink.

"Hrm…" Paz replies. "Okay…so you could anchor one half of it at Perry, use Tingerhoff for your staging area." Paz muses, starting to rearrange her fries into a improvised map. "That's one half….Now…what about the other?" she muses, trying to rack her brain for a likely candidate, Max's grooming comment doesn't seem to be helping. "Eh, excuse me, sir, all due respect, but _HUNH?"

"Hmm? What?" Maxmilian asks Paz in reply, vaguely distracted. Then more distracted, as he is greeted by another pilot and gives her a polite nod and just a bit of a wave.

Then back to Cole, back to strategy, and back to not-paperwork. "But if they're spreading themselves that thin, they're making the same mistake they've been making recently. Concentrating such marginal force that it can't actually accomplish anything. By all means, I hope that's what they do."

"But my question is, if they're not going to concentrate here… then where?" Cole replies. "If they don't have enough force to put together to push us back out of here, then they're probably pretty well done in this sector. The other part of the operation cleans out what's in Fariss, and suddenly Mister Fur E. Kitty has a shorter front to defend… and fewer units to do it with, leaving him in pretty much the same situation he was before, but down a bunch of his territory" Cole says with a little shake of his head. "What I'd really like to know is how it's going for the task force pushing through Fariss. Part of me's wondering if the Kilrathi really did reinforce up there, or if they just made it look like they were"

"No way of telling, until someone, well, _tells_ us." Paz shrugs a little. "Sorry, Cap, that whole sister and grooming comment's kind of eating a hole in my brain." she smirks to Max. "But you know how the Confed is, they're not gonna give us any info we don't absolutely _have_ to know. And then only if we're lucky." she snerks.

"Wait, what? Sister and grooming?" Tori asks, confused, just a little. She looks from Paz over to Max and then to Cole, trying to figure out what the heck they're talking about. Cole's comment about the Kilrathi and perhaps reinforcing over somewhere else gets a nod, as she settles into a seat. "You all seem to have quite a combination of topics happening here," she says, slightly amused. "I am not sure if I should jump in or just find some popcorn and listen."

Maximilian looks between Paz and Victoria, and the other way, and he shakes his head with a dismissive wave of the hand. "Oh, never mind," he says, almost sounding disappointed.

Then a quick glance to Cole. "If they're done in this sector, then it would be far better for them to say 'well, I guess we're done' than to throw up an ineffective line of defense just for the sake of having a line of defense. I don't think using up our valuable ammunition is a sufficient strategic imperative for them to wage a useless battle."

"Well, maybe they are starting to re-think Gemini Sector." Paz says, shrugging a little. "Hell, I dunno….I'm just a pilot, not a strategist. Combat tactics, that's one thing. Strategy and logistics, eh…not so much." she chuckles. "Hey, Boss ma'am. How's things?" she smiles to Tori.

"Wouldn't be very Kilrathi of them, though" Cole points out. "And I'm pretty sure that's very much not what's going on here" Cole adds. "Which makes the question one of what's coming in, and when…" he adds, giving a little shrug. "Which gets us right back to where this whole mess started out"

Tori just gives Max a blink, especially since she missed the original statement. "Alrighy then," she says a little dubiously, taking another sip. She wrinkles her nose and then grins at Paz. "I'm doing well, actually. Better than in a long time - so that's a good thing. How about you?" A glance to include the other two. "Apart from trying to guess the kilrathi strategy, that is?"

"And I'm just a pilot trying not to do his paperwork," answers Maximilian, a bit leadenly. "It wouldn't be very Kilrathi of them to withdraw, no, but that doesn't mean it's not a good idea which I hope they ignore." Leaning over to Paz's fries, he swipes the Tingerhoff system fry and eats it, which would be very symbolic in a different context.

"Emphasis on 'trying'." Paz sighs to Tori as she nibbles down another few fries, abandoning the rest to the tender mercies of her superiors. Never get between a higher rank and fries. Just good policy across the board. "Trying to figure out if they're about to quit this sector, or suddenly send some massive wave of reinforcements, seeing how they're now split in half."

"Way I figure it, if they've got any sense, they'll come in and hit us from both sides. But, coordinating that'd be a cast-iron bitch cut off as they are" Cole explains. "Which might well be why the delay. Or, maybe I should stop thinking over issues outside my paygrade, and just have a beer." Cole finally decides with a little chuckle. He looks over towards Tori for a moment and gives her a smile. "Don't think we'll be boring you with this for much longer, we're pretty much going in circles"

Maximilian gives Paz a look over what's left of her French fry. "Privilege of command," he says just a bit haughtily. "You may steal some of my paperwork if it would even accounts."

Glancing at Cole, Captain Max pauses, looks at him, thinks, and then simply nods, perhaps unable or unwilling to formulate any argument this time.

"Oh, it's not boring," Tori says with a smile in Cole's direction, though it falters just a touch. She looks down at her drink and then takes a bigger sip of it. "Though it is really intriguing to see what we all will do to get out of paperwork. I swear, I don't think there's anyone sane at all who likes it." It might be noted that Tori is not touching those fries at all. "I'd bet on the reinforcements, personally. Not sure how they'll communicate it, but I'm sure they'll figure out a way eventually. I think it's really just a case of when, not if." Though she then tilts her head at Max. "Hey now, no giving my pilots your paperwork. That's my job!"

Paz chuckles and holds up her hands at Max's comment. "No, no…have all of 'em you want." Paz says quickly, pushing her plate towards the man. "They're all yours, sir. No squaring up required." she grins. "She." the young pilot adds, jerking her thumb towards Tori, "Gives me more than enough as it is." she chuckles. "That'd be one way to close off the salient we've carved out, Voodoo. Just have to see what happens next. I'm sure Intel's got their crack team of monkeys working on it day and night." she winks.

"Yeah, I'm sure. But since they don't have an answer yet, clearly they need either more monkeys or more typewriters. Quite possibly both" Cole agrees with a little grin. "Anyways, apologies all around if I interrupted anyone's drinking with serious things. Not what I was aiming for"

Looking at Victoria with a sidelong glance, Maximilian smiles a bit and shrugs. "An attempt worth making," he says, simply. He then gives that aforementioned pile of paperwork a bit of a firey, hateful look, but that's because that's what he does.

"Always worth a try," Tori agrees with Max, with a nod. She then eyes Paz for a moment, before she says, "You know, Tizona, I'm sure I could find more paperwork for you, if you don't have enough." She finishes off her first drink and gives the empty glass a baleful look. Then she shrugs a bit. "Can't see any apology needed, Voodoo." Leastwise, not this time. "I'm going to get another drink - anyone want something?"

"No, no, Cap, I've got plenty enough paperwork to keep my happy." Paz replies, holding up her hands again. "Doing just fine on the paperwork score. Speaking of which, I got those EDE-33's filled out for you. They're on your desk." she adds. "Eh, since I'm not really _drinking_, there's nothing to apologize for, Voodoo."

"Fair enough. I just tend to assume everyone's capable of being as big a lush as I am" Cole admits with a little grin. At least he's going to be honest about it? "And I wouldn't mind a beer if you're offering, Queen" Cole replies to her. After all, he could use something to wash down his one french fry.

"Pilots don't drink!" Maximilian retorts to Cole, and there is so much sarcasm dripping off his voice one could fill a glass with it. Speaking of which, he immediately heads to the bar, returning in a second with what appears to be a glass of iced tea. Which is at least literally drinking, if not quite in the spirit of the thing.

"Huh…_this_ pilot would be on her second pint by now, if she didn't have a patrol to fly in about 30 minutes." Paz sighs, eyeing the booze displayed behind the bar enviously. "But, especially since my Captain's here now, I shall endeavor to behave myself for the greater good." she pronounces with a long-suffering sigh.

Victoria says, "Sure thing, Voodoo," Tori says easily. She heads to the bar herself, getting a round for the table, even if some of the drinks are non-alcoholic. When she gets back, she settles into her seat, and then pauses, giving Paz a grin. "Excellent. But - you are still responsible for making sure I get safely to my quarters, Tizona. Maybe after your patrol, you can come pick me up here? I ought to be quite nicely melted to the floor by then." She manages to say that with a straight face, even as she gives Cole his beer. There's iced tea and whatever Paz is drinking still on the tray she's got too."

"Thanks, Queen" Cole replies to her with a little bit of a smile. "And patrol duty followed by escort duty. You really did get the shit end of the stick tonight, Tizona" Cole adds with a grin, taking a long sip from his drink. "And you're right, Captain. Never drink at all" Cole tells Max. Followed by taking a long pull from his bottle of beer.

"On the TCS Ardent," Maximilian says, only too happy to take a pull of something non-alcoholic in contrast to his comrades, "squadron commanders did very few patrols. They were kept in their cabins with their head buried in paperwork, or possibly a bottle. A few of them were too fat to get into a flight suit without help, which did not help."

Glancing at Victoria as she describes her ugly assignment, Maximilian smiles. "I think I prefer this more active approach. But there is a price to pay once in a while."

"Heh, tell me about it, Voodoo." she says, collecting her soda with a nod of thanks for its bearer. "Guess I gotta earn my keep somehow." she smirks. "I mean, all the beer I drink, gotta be able to pay my bar tab."

Tori just flashes a grin. "Never know, maybe next time someone else will draw the short stick, Tizona. Or maybe I can convince Razor that it's part of the package due to royalty. Think he'd buy it?" She laughs though, expecting that he really wouldn't go for that at all. "Could be fun to try, at any rate."

"And every second in the cockpit is a second not spent trying to ignore paperwork," adds Maximilian, gazing balefully at his own pile.

"Heh, no telling with Razor, Cap." Paz chuckles between sips of soda. "That man is definitely not right." she chuckles. "Pretty good stick n' rudder man, not that I'd ever tell him that." she adds. "But yeah…..he is cracked a bit."

"I think you've gotta be cracked a bit in this line of work" Cole comments with a little chuckle. "And the Ardent sounds about like my version of hell" Cole tells Max. "Sure as hell didn't become a pilot to waste away behind and armor-plated desk"

"Well, I wasn't a squadron commander on the Ardent," replies Maximilian, tilting his head towards Cole and taking a draught of iced tea. "I was just some old man who shot straight and wrecked more birds than he brought back." His iced tea is set on the table where he very, very determinedly looks at it.

"Heh, doesn't sound like a very promising boat to work from, if the Squad leaders can't even be bothered to suit up." Paz comments, twisting her lips sharply at the thought of that kind of laziness. "Pickett never would've put up with that, nor would Pip. Hell, even Jolly's slightly fat ass would've been kicking trash cans around." she chuckles, obviously fond of the latter.

Cole gives a little bit of a chuckle at Paz's comments. "Yeah, but unfortunately there're more than a few jokers out there who haven't quite caught on it's a hell of alot easier to pull a string from the front than push it from the back" Cole explains, polishing off his beer.

Maximilian tilts his head, raises an eyebrow, and raises his glass of iced tea just so he can look over the rim towards Paz. "The Ardent was a rather quieter ship than this," he replies, simply. "One could get away with a fair bit more because one was called upon to do a fair bit less. You did your time in the iron lung, you made Major, and you begin eating sausage and bacon all day while making excuses about not coming out of your office, and your XO tries to accidentally put a heat seeker through your window so he can take your job." He says all this entirely deadpan and seriously, but of course Maximilian says everything like that whether he's joking or no.

Paz shakes her head a little. "Sounds like a real dog's ass." Paz sighs, sniffing contemptuously. "No offense meant, sir." she adds after a moment. "I was trained to _fight_. That's what I wanna do."

"Yeah, no shit" Cole replies. "Might not be the safest thing that way, but…" he gives a little bit of a shrug. "Kinda defeats the purpose of it all otherwise"

Immediately, Maximilian shakes his head and waves his hand dismissively. "No offense taken. It was not a fantastic environment for a young pilot to learn the ropes on, I will tell you that for certain. Perhaps if the fighter wing had been in tighter shape… well, well, maybe the fate of that ship would have been a little happier."

A silent moment of iced-tea-drinking reflection.

"Ah…" Paz nods, crossing herself and lowering her head in silence for a few moments before saying anything. "I'm sorry to hear that, Captain." she says, nodding her sympathies. "We lost a lot of our guys our first month here." she adds. "And we were pretty well prepared, or thought we were."

"Universe has a funny of way of not giving a shit what people expect to happen, doesn't it?" Cole comments with a little chuckle and a slight shake of his head. "Suppose if nothing else, gives a pretty damn good lesson about /why/ that way of doing things is the wrong way to go about it"

Through the doors walks the Lil'est XO.. well.. shortest at anyrate. He is way too broad of shoulder to be lil. Making his way towards the bar, Saint-CLoud waves down whomever is tending and orders a pint of beer.

"The universe is a dick like that," agrees Maximilian with Cole, drinking some more of his iced tea a bit more morosely now. He looks up at Paz, and tries to speak brightly which has the affect of making him sound even more morose than usual. "Hey, I got out of it. So did much of my flight, actually. Once was I could pride myself on never losing a pilot that rode my tail, and I've still got a pretty good record."

"That's a good record to keep." Paz replies, smiling a little. Cole's comment earns him something of a sharp look until she works out that he's not directly criticizing Jolly. "Yeah.." she sighs. "Anyhow, it's bad luck, talking like this before a patrol." she says, crossing herself and throwing a little salt over her shoulder. "Anything new and exciting going on I should be placing money on?"

Saint-Cloud thanks the tender for the pint, grasping it in one of his overly large hands. He takes a sip and meanders around, wishing a few of the lower officers and no-name pilots good evenings and how ya doings. Finally he makes his way over to Paz and Cole and Maximillian and ofers is glass in a hello salute. "Ladies and Gentleman." he states with a nod.

Cole gives Maximilian a little bit of a nod. "And that's the best that you can hope for sometimes when things go balls-up" Cole agrees. That comment made, he looks over towards Paz. "Not trying to give ya a wonderful sense of doom, I promise. As far as good bets, I'm the wrong guy to ask there. I could make a small fortune gambling, but only if I'd started with a large one."

"I find you make your own luck, Lieutenant," replies Maximilian softly to Paz, before chugging his iced tea almost to the bottom. Leaving only a little brown streak of tea and backwash to swirl thoughtfully about the glass.

Hearing the naval officer address him, Maximilian glances up with clear eyes to the XO. "Commander," he says, with a polite nod.

"I couldn't agree more, sir." Paz replies, nodding. "But, as they say, God is my co-pilot and I give him enough reasons to be annoyed with me to not wanna tempt fate." she smirks. "Evening, XO." she says, nodding politely to the aforementioned officer. "Heh, you need to work on your math skills, Voodoo." she teases. "It's all about the odds."

Saint-Cloud sips his drink again then sets it don on the table next to him. "And how are you birds doing tonight?" he asks as he removes a pewter cigarette holder from his jacket and slips out a smoke.. a red papered smoke. "please don't tell me you are trying to quantify luck."

"Yeah, but if a place has any sense, the odds are set against you from the start" Cole comments with a chuckle. "Moral of the story? Just stay the hell away, better for what passes for a paycheck around here" That comment made, he looks along to Saint-Cloud. "Trust me when I say this is the least futile of the exercises we've engaged in this evening"

"This is the officer's club," Maximilian says, as levelly and as deadpan as ever, to the ship's executive officer. "It is a place for futile debates that can never be resolved and melancholy stories about nothing in particular which make everyone feel vaguely uncomfortable. Excuse me." And he gets up, but there's no drama in that: he's just going for another iced tea.

"Well, chance is _always_ going to be a factor." Paz replies, nodding to the others. "Which is why you'd never see me playing cards or the like for money." she explains. "But sports, now that's different. "The math doesn't lie, if you look at it correctly." she says. "Again, luck's a factor, but not so big a one if you're doing your sums right."

Saint-Cloud Raies a brow at Maximillian. "Well yes.. I guess it is. Though I would hope that I myself are not too melancholy." he says, before looking to the other two. "Chance and Luck.. Two inherantly unquantifiable abstracts that somehow rule almost everything.. Unless you know how to look at the patterns." he tels them, then chuckles to paz. "Sometimes it isn't sums but subtractions as well."

"I'll take your word for it there" Cole replies. "But from what I've seen, only people getting rich off gambling are the ones taking the bets, not the ones placing 'em" Cole comments with a chuckle. "So unless I'm going to get into that game…"

Returning with iced tea, Maximilian drops himself immediately back into his former seat. "I'd be willing to bet that this iced tea will taste terrible and make me think the bar isn't used to serving soft drinks," he suggests, before glancing at the glass. As always, his jokes are utterly deadpan.

"Heh, how do you think I could afford to live off-base during the Academy, Voodoo?" Paz grins. "I was not only the best handicapper in my class, but the biggest book maker." she winks. "Kept me from getting kicked out after the fire." she chuckles, then clears her throat, straightening slightly as she remembers the XO is in evidence. "Not that it was intentional, the fire I mean." she says. "Practical joke gone wrong."

Saint-Cloud picks uo his beer and swirls it around in his glass as he puts one of the red wrapped smokes between his lips. "Well I know the bar makes a great lemonade. It's what I usually have when I come down here. Maybe they could make a decent Arnold Palmer." he tells Max, then frowns. "I went to Las Vegas once, during break at the Academy… They made me leave because they said I was counting cards. Which is preposterous." he states, way to innocently.

"So the bookie is trying to convince us to gamble. Right. Let me remember not to take that advice" Cole comments, giving Paz a little grin. "Anyways, I'd better call it a night here I think. You lot try not to get in too much trouble"

Paz says, "Hey, my vig was the most reasonable on campus, not to mention my payment plans. I was in for the long haul." Paz protests with a laugh. "I never had to break any legs or arms or anything else…. They paid me when they could, as they could. Keep things friendly, that's the secret. Make them understand they have to pay _something_. But don't make an issue of it. Wins you respect.""

"I am learning more about gambling here than I ever expected to," Maxmilian quips drily, before looking at the commander with his usual blank slate horse-like expression. "Combining a good ingredient and a shoddy ingredient is a dangerous game to play with drinks. Especially when you're not even getting liquored up."

Saint-Cloud smirks. "Well if you won't try mixing good and shoddy, then you haven't learned enough about gambling then. Thats part of what gambling is, after all.. sometimes you have to bluff your way to something better.