Gemenon OPORD

NOTE: This is not meant to be a typical log. This is simply a briefing issued by Vandenberg to the Marines and Air Wing personnel prior mission to Gemenon's Lampridis Falls. It is posted early so that those who cannot make it can have a chance to develop questions before the briefing. It also prevents us from having to sit through someone else posing for an hour while everyone else sits and watches. The actual log will be posted when the briefing happens ICly. Nothing here is IC knowledge until Sunday 15 May 2011, and even then it is only to specific characters. You know who you are.

Captain Vandenberg turns to face the screen at the front of the Ready Room. The female Marine clicks a button on the controller and the screen lights up. While the projector warms, the Marine Captain begins speaking from the podium. "Ladies and gentleman, this is a classified briefing for Operation Saratoga. You've been hand-selected by myself, Captain Trask, the CAG, and Command for this operation. You were chosen for either your skill, or in the case of my Marines, for your temperaments and skillsets. This mission is the reconnaissance the humanoid Cylon stronghold at Lampridis Falls on Gemenon. They have a population of human beings living there with them and our intel tells us that these people are there voluntarily and that these people - and Cylons - need our help. The numbers of humans are estimated to be a few hundred or so. We've all heard about the messages begging for assistance. We know what they are putting out there with that message. Right here, right now, what you think of the truths to these rumors are completely irrelevant. This is all that matters." The Marine Captain clicks the remote.

The screen changes to a recon photo of the people on the ground partying at the temple with the skinjobs. People are smiling and laughing. Kids are playing with Centurions. Natalie, behind the podium, doesn't look affected. "Our priorities are, in order, as-follows:" She begins listing them off. "Evaluate condition of civilians, evaluate intentions of Cylons, locate and survey any military activity, mark potential landing zones, mark targets. We are to remain covert throughout the mission so contact with the Cylons are to be avoided if at all possible. If avoidance becomes impossible and contact is made, Command has granted me discretion to act as I see fit. However, our rules of engagement are Yellow-Hold. Nobody, at any time, is to open fire for any reason except to affect escape and evasion from hostile enemy forces already engaged and shooting." A pause. "Every person in this room is a warrior. We all know very well what those rules mean. But over the next week our profession, once again, is peace. We will conduct ourselves accordingly. Marines? We work for the civilians. We are there for their protection, whether they know it or not. Let that guide your actions." She clicks the remote again and the image changes to a large overall shot of the area.

"The Raptor crew will jump intra-atmosphere in here, here, or here at eighteen forty-five local." The dots line up on the screen behind her. "A dive will be made for low altitude - no lower than two hundred feet, though. As fast as possible. Marines need to be out the door doubletime and before any Raider escorts show up. Once the Marines have infiltrated, the Raptor will continue on its own designated flight profile towards Lampridis. On the ground, we are to police our chutes ASAP and hoof it. We will be in standard combat gear, not flight suits. We will move at best speed across this terrain here." The screen behind her lights with a circled area leading up to the cliffs. "Expect a minimum of a few hours humping to get to our recon location. Possibly up to fourteen hours. From there, we provide overwatch on the town and look for anything related to our previously outlined objectives. Assignments: Team Leader: Vandenberg, Automatic Rifleman: Constin, Corpsman: Lagana, Designated Marksman: Sondray, Grenadier: Decumius, Rifleman: Lysander."

"Support," Vandenberg prefaces the next topic bluntly with the blurted word. "Forget it. The recon is on its own once it is out the door. Our next contact with friendly forces, barring emergency from the fleet, will be seventy-two hours after we jump - and that will be for extract at one of a few designated locations." They light up on the screen behind her, their individual codenames appear with them. "We will have no way to signal the fleet until the Raptor returns. That means no resupply, no medevac, no updated orders or instructions. If we have to make contact, you are official representatives of humanity. You all know the scenario I've given you individually. Don't test my resolve." Whatever that means. "As for prisoners? We are there covertly. If we are discovered, it may be required to take prisoners to prevent the alert from going out. But at no time is more force to be applied than necessary. We might be under Martial Law, but you still work for the Colonies and its citizens. And if you can't refrain from unnecessarily harming a Cylon, see my previous warning about my resolve." She takes a breath. "Should the insertion Raptor be shot down, Air Wing will act as it see's fit to investigate but we will still expect a Raptor at H-plus-seventy-two."

Vandenberg clicks the controller again and the recent set of four markers flash, all with their own codenames reprinting. "Extraction will be conducted at one of four locations around Lampridis. One, as you will note, is lakeside. This location is extremely tough and will require the Raptor to nearly hover into the scrub next to the lake in order for us to climb aboard. These three other locations will be more on the adventurous side. As we all know, Raptors will not be able to safely land in this terrain. However, they can hover. At these three locations, at the suggestion of our Raptor crews, we will be using an old special warfare extraction system known as SPIE." She pronounces it like 'spy'. "It stands for Special Patrol Insertion-Extraction. To boil it down, the Raptor lowers a cable, we clip onto our gear, and the Raptor will winch us up in flight. We will have minimal time to practice this beforehand but the execution is quite simple on our end. Trust our pilots to know what they are doing."

"Almost done." Vandenberg flips a paper on the podium. The small light on it illuminates her face from the bottom. "Chain of Command. As Team Leader and on-site Commander, I will retain positive control at all times. Should I become incapable, we run the chain: Constin, Sondray, Lysander, Decumius, Lagana. Enlisted on the ground will follow the orders of officers over them from this fleet - to include those of the Wing. Any Marines found in this town are considered non-actors until we can verify their bona fides. However, I expect the Wing to take into account what our enlisted have to say on the ground should orders be required. No pissing contests. You Marines do as you are told." Van makes sure to meet the eyes of all her Marines. Now, Communication. Everyone write these down and memorize these because they do NOT come with us when we jump." Van presses another button and a new slide comes up. It lists out the radio callsigns and different frequencies to be used - as well as codewords.

Recon Team Callsign: COMPASS



Designated Extraction Locations: ARENA, CHARGER, JUNGLE, MYSTIC

Emergency Extraction Request/Order: PHALANX

Cylon Trap Confirmed: GRAPESHOT

Mission Failure/Rescue Impossible: WARCHEST

"Recon, known as 'Compass', will have three radios with it: Two handheld survival radios and one normal set for long-range encrypted communication. Now, we have to expect that the Cylons can beat our radios. Their signals intel will be fantastic. So, we are under strict radio silence. We will have them on, but transmitting will be strictly forbidden. If a Raptor returns early we will assume it is an emergency and break radio silence if called for - at which point the mission is over and we should expect immediate extraction." She taps the remote on the podium twice. "These Daywords? They are your lifeblood. Raptors and Marines will begin each radio conversation with a proper Dayword or provide them upon request. Without a proper word, your orders and communications are worthless and will be ignored. If the recon is taken prisoner and placed under coercion to provide communications with the Fleet or a Raptor, the second set of 'Compromised Daywords' will be used to warn the fleet that anything you send is done with a gun to your head. Do NOT frak those up and send the wrong one. Sending a Compromised Dayword on accident could result in a nuclear weapon being sent to Lampridis." She takes another breath and steps away from the podium and closer to the seats.

Captain Vandenberg's voice quiets. "Look, all. You can see the last transmission codeword. 'Warchest' means that we are likely all on the verge of death, we're surrounded into a trap to bait the rescue Raptor… anything. We're all going knowing what this mission could mean. Pilots? Aircrew? I'm begging you. If you hear this radio call, get the hell out and inform command so they can make a decision. Please. We'll be alright. This is a bad zipcode and it's not worth the risk. We can find our own way." She stops there, nodding a few times while the silence hangs. "Okay, that's it. Questions?"

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