PHD #315: Dog Eat Dog
Dog Eat Dog
Summary: Vandenberg meets Mathers. The missing team and the upcoming mission are discussed.
Date: 07 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: Cry Havoc
Vandenberg Mathers 
Marine Offices
This offices consists of desks for those under the CO, along with his desk toward the back of the room. The S1 and S2 have desks here and the place is neat as a pin, with everything in its place. At the front of the room, a Marine sits at a desk to meet people as they come in through the hatch.
Post-Holocaust Day: #315

Natalie Vandenberg, after being shot up, has been a bit of a ghost. She's been working her own hours while on Light Duty and doing her best to stay busy while occasionally high as a kite. Though the rumor has it she's supposed to be back on 100% today. And indeed, she actually seems to be. The Dog Platoon's CO is in the Marine Offices and looking as squared away as a Marine gets. She's in her full MP browns and everything looks absolutely spit-shined and her clothes are all starched to a T. For someone who has never met her, it probably is not what was expected (or accurate in representation). Her black MP helmet is settled on the desk beside her while she goes over roll after roll of notes on a legal pad, flipping through them with careful glances. Something is to be found, no doubt.

Mathers shoulders her way in through the hatch, looking a little harried around the edges himself. Too many hours on his feet, too many cups of coffee, and that toothpick between his teeth is being mashed into teeny tiny kindling between the grind of his teeth. "What have we got." He doesn't even wait for salutes or silly things like the call for 'officer on deck', he's just breezing through and getting right to work.

The calls for officer on deck come anyway. Vandenberg is up and out of her chair snapping a salute but blinks at the gentleman who arrives. There aren't many others here either. Well, he is a Marine in uniform. "Sir. Dog Two just reported in. They finished search grid six one five and they've moved north through the town. Able Three is conducting a second sweep of the missing team's last reported position." She keeps her eyes on the man.

Mathers fluidly returns the salute, "As you were." He tells the small marine collective that rise to their feet, interrupting their work flow with the formality. As Vandenberg is the one that chooses to answer his quasi question, he hones in on her. "Lieutenant. Glad to have you back with us. I trust your medical release is on my desk." It's as much of a greeting and introduction as they are going to have for the moment, it seems. "Has any trace of the missing team been found?"

"Been out and working since Monday, sir. Just now finally coming off my painkillers. I consider myself one hundred percent. Medical allowed for return when my neck felt better." The Lieutenant drops her hands behind her back. She shakes her head with the final question. "Negative, sir. Thus far all we have been able to find is just more of nothing. We have thirty-six hours to find them and once the sweep of the town is completed I am going to expand the search perimeter." She's not going to go into her doubts in front of other people.

"You're telling me that an entire team just went up in a puff of smoke? Try harder." Mathers pulls the mashed wood out of his teeth, tossing it into a nearby trash can with an flick of his wrist. "Check the attics, check the pantries, check the godsdamned sewers. We're pushing off the FTL jump and that's going to start to make people twitchy. Operation SILENT MASTIFF is on hold, but I want those that aren't on the search teams to be training for the upcoming breach on the Foundry." A pause. "What else you got."

"They're already searching, sir. Short of ripping the walls out with crowbars, my Marines are looking everywhere. If they are down there, we will find them. But sir, this isn't the first time. Something similar happened to Captain Archer, though in his case we found evidence. Little else." Vandenberg rattles it off in a stoic voice, eyelids lowering at the mention of the upcoming operation. Its obviously not a look of enthusiasm. "There is nothing else, sir. Otherwise the fleet is quiet as best I can tell."

"Good." Mathers voice comes out at a rumble, one of his boots hooking a leg of a chair near her desk and pulling it close. His hands tug at the starched thighs of his pants, hitching them up slightly before he takes a seat. "I want you to put out word among your teams that we're looking for volunteers for the upcoming mission. Any slots that aren't filled by volunteers, I want you to fill in the blanks with your recommendation. Any volunteers that you don't think can cut the mustard, strike off the list."

Vandenberg nods, watching the man take up a chair. "Word is already out about the op, sir. I'm not sure we're going to get many volunteers for this one. I'm new to the boat but from what I have read, this is not like the other operations the Cerberus has run in the past." There's a lot she isn't saying. Its obvious in every way - body language, tone, expression on her face, and the lack of emotion in her voice. "But I will submit a list, sir. My name will be at the top." She glances towards a pair of Sergeants across the room who seem to be listening. They both rise and move for the hatch, muttering about getting some food. It effectively empties the room except for the two officers.

"As will mine." His name being at the top of the list, it seems. Mathers is an observant man, or Vandenberg is doing everything but waving a red flag in his face. Shifting his weight, his hand slips into his pocket from which he withdraws a small silver cylinder. "Speak freely Lieutenant, before you give yourself an ulcer." From out of the little cylinder, another toothpick gets shaken out along with the distinct smell of cinnamon.

Vandenberg waits until the hatch is shut and she looks squarely back on the Captain. "Sir, this mission is bunk. For a facility that size, we should have at minimum two infantry companies - one heavy weapons, not one understrength group mainly populated by Military Police. Cutting into there, if its even possible, is crazy. We can't even fire our rifles in vacuum. The temperatures alone would destroy their ability to handle overpressure. Assuming we make it inside, we have no map. We're blind leading blind into an unknown environment against unknown elements for questionable intel that may not even be there. Then, somehow, we're supposed to blow the place up. Assuming we didn't have the problem of surviving this operation, if it produces hard materiel for building ships then why are we blowing it up when we can salvage a ton of it?" Vandenberg keeps a professional air through the whole thing, at least in tone and form. "Consider this my official protest to this mission."

"That's why we're taking volunteers, Lieutenant. But your protest is noted. As for salvage, we'd have to be able to commandeer the foundry, and there's no way in Hera's left tit that would be possible. You're already stating that you think we're undermanned to sneak in there and try to find whatever mojo reactor is powering that place and blow it to high heaven. Don't bring me problems, Lieutenant. Bring me solutions." Mathers says plainly.

"Solutions, sir, I have." Natalie leans forward, planting her palms on the desk. "Shell this facility, sir. Don't send my Marines in there. Whoever said that this is a great and doable idea is off their rocker. There's a minefield and destroyed ships between us, fine. But our big guns don't have an effective range in space, Captain. They just keep going until they hit something. We can bombard this sunuvabitch from here and blast through any obstacle. Just stick a Raptor out there to adjust fire into the site and its gone. I find it hard to believe this fleet has nothing to destroy that thing with except our entire stockpile of G4." She let's that hang between them. "Beyond that, I have no solutions. I think cutting in there is a ridiculous proposition. Blasting would be easier. I have no way to solve to issue of our weapons being anything except worthless unless we keep them in a heated, sealed sack during incursion. Also? Sir? I will request that you take your name off the list. We need capable, intelligent commanders leading this company afterward." Stone cold, too. No wonder she refused to say anything in front of the enlisted.

"You're full of vim, Lieutenant, I'll give you that. I will pass your suggestions and protests up the ladder." Mathers assumes that's all from Vandenberg, and thus he is standing.

Vandenberg rises from her lean on the desk and nods. "Aye, sir." She doesn't seem quite done, though. But she calms, taking a breath. The woman swallows carefully and seems to settle. Her voice becomes softer, perhaps as part of an effort. "Captain, I will plan this as best I can but we will need a ton of air support while we try to get in there. Anyone hit is going to die during an EVA. I can talk to the Wing about that myself if you prefer, or you can have the honors. For now, though, I'll have a list for you by the end of the day." She lifts her hand to the man who seems to be departing.

"Major Hahn will make sure we have whatever support we need. Outline your proposed requirements in a memo. I want this done by the books so nothing falls between the cracks like our godsdamn away team." Once and S4, always an S4. Mathers likes his forms filled out in triplicate. "Lieutenant." The salute is returned and the man is off with a click of his toothpick against his teeth.

To: Cidra Corrath Madilyn Mathers Vandenberg
From: Vandenberg
Date: Fri Jan 07 10:44:05 2011
Subject: «IC Memo:» Marine Requirements


Captain Zane Mathers (Mathers)
Major Madilyn Willows-Cavanaugh (Madilyn)
Major Cidra Hahn (Cidra)
Lieutenant Corrath O'Hare (Corrath)
Lieutenant Natalie Vandenberg (Vandenberg)

As requested by Captain Mathers, here are the Marine requirements for SILENT MASTIFF assuming that the Marines are tasked with an assault of this facility.
One - We will require some way to keep our guns and munitions warm during the incursion phase. Marine small arms exposed to vacuum will destroy their capability to function due to extreme temperatures. If no way can be found to keep firearms warm, they must be delivered in sealed, heated bags similar to EVA suits. Exact temperature requirements are unknown.
Two - Marines in EVA exposed to enemy fire will have a high mortality rate. Wounds received in vacuum will cause personnel to die quickly should they be attacked during incursion. Marine assault teams will require immediate air support and heavy defense at the LZ to include defense against ground attack.
Three - Cutting into the facility, if it is even possible once on site, may take far too long. Shaped charges can be built to focus energy into creating an entrance in much shorter times. If multiple charges fail and cutting is still required, entry may prove impossible. Recommend use and allocation of up to thirty pounds of G4.
Four - I personally require all available photo and thermographic images of the facility. Any information that is available on the layout, purpose, size, and interior structure will be vital to the survival of any Marines.

LT Natalie Vandenberg
Colonial Marine Corps, 1st/9th MID
Company S3, Dog PLT CO

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