PHD #131: Odds
Summary: Cora and Kulko discuss the various odds stacked against the remaining colonials.
Date: 07 July 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cora Kulko 
Map Room
It is a room! A room full of maps!
Post-Holocaust Day: #131

A glass of ice water rests precipitously close to the edge of the map table, beads of sweat running down its sides to pool on the gunmetal. At its left, two inverted hands shoulder width apart prop up LTJG Kulko, duty blues belying the distinct lack of authority he's had to wield since the rescue from dirtside. He looks intently to the Cyrannus system, displayed on the table's surface, but it's almost as if his gaze were going straight through.

Cora enters with a notebook in one hand, flipping through the pages and only looking up when she's already in the room, seeming faintly surprised to find it occupied. "Mr. Kulko," she greets the younger officer, "Afternoon."

Kulko looks up slowly at the still-unfamiliar voice, then snaps to quick attention and salutes as two and two become four. "Sir. I can clear out if you need the room… just say the word." A moment later, he breaks the salute and falls into an easy parade rest. There's comfort in routine, to be sure.

"As you were, Mr. Kulko," Cora says with a vague flick of her wrist in dismissal of the formality. She follows it up with a shake of her head, "No, no need to clear out." She and her notebook and cup of coffee approach the map table, glancing over to see what he was looking at. "Working on anything in particular?" she inquires, mildly curious.

It's exceptionally broad. The entirety of the Cyrannus system, with its outlying anchorages. Stephen makes a sweeping gesture from spinward to core. "Tryna figure things out. Take a step back, look at the big picture, yeah?" He folds his arms across his chest, eyeing the planets again. "When things all went south… near on four months ago. Gods. Anyhow, the Admiral was big on takin' the fight to the Toasters. Threw us headlong against em more'n once, against odds we had no business fighting." Eyes raise to the Lieutenant, then. "Now it turns out he's workin' for em. So the natch'rul corollary is that we ought to lay low, maybe try to find somewhere comfy to settle down. But that… just don't seem right."

"Seems like a lot of people are working over that question these days," Cora remarks, taking a sip of her coffee, notebook shifted between her fingers as she continues to eye the map, "Whether we ought to be trying to hit back, or just head off and find somewhere to hide out, regroup, survive." She traces a fingertip over a line on the map absently, and shakes her head, quiet for a moment before she looks up again, "So you're for continued attack then, I take it? What do you make of the outcome of the Leonis mission, all in all?"

"I don't know what I'm for. S'why I'm starin' so damnably hard." Kulko meets Cora's eyes as the looks up, unfolding his arms and motioning to the anchorages. "Part of me thinks we ought to keep nippin' at their heels, without risking too much in the way of casualties. Meantime we send some Raptors sneakin' round the nearby systems to find a good spot for retreat. I mean, Hades, you lived on Leonis. Ain't even worth fightin' over, at this point. And who's to say any of the others will be any better?"

"No, Leonis wasn't worth fighting over," Cora agrees, "Nor, it seems, are several of the other colonies which we know are worse off. Current intelligence is lacking on the others, but it seems to me… well, we would have to weigh very carefully whether the loss of life incurred on the Leonis mission — or rather, the loss of life that really ought to have occurred without the comparatively good luck experienced — is worth the damage done to the enemy. I don't think we ought to expect that we would have better luck in the future. But I suppose it comes down really to what our fundamental goal is. Are we looking for retribution at any cost? Or survival at any cost?" She shrugs, "It's really not clear to me what command's position is, at this point."

Kulko glances darkly at the door a moment before he responds. "Cause Command ain't got a frakkin' position, sir. XO's tryna save the ship from the Admiral, new CO's tryin' not to ruffle feathers, and in the meantime we're just parked." He shakes his head mournfully. "We traded a tramp freighter and a Command level officer for twenty Vipers and a miserable two months. Won't see me beatin' down the door to try again."

"Mmm," Cora makes the noise of acknowledgement in the back of her throat and nods, "Yes, it's… a difficult situation. In so many ways." She eyes the map and takes another sip of coffee and then gestures at it and says, "Perhaps someone else ought to come up with possible plans to present to command, if they can't focus in on preparing them themselves."

Kulko spreads his arms in a mix of defeatism and affirmation. "Yeah, well. Best I've come up with is like I said - keep on doin' what we're doin', while we try to find somewhere else to call home. The math ain't in our favor, seein' as how we can't build people on a factory line."

Cora nods, eyeing the map for another silent moment. "Has there been nay discussion of attempting to locate whatever else may be left of the fleet?" she asks, "There's a percentage still unaccounted for. If we're to have any real hope of achieving either of our possible goals, we ought to perhaps focus at least some time on figuring out where they might have gone if they did survive."

"If a habitable planet is a needle in a haystack, a ship runnin' for her life is like a marble in the ocean," Kulko answers dubiously. "But I suppose lookin' for one might well help you find the other." He glances up at the wall chrono. "Frak. I'm due in CIC by 1500 and still ain't caught lunch. If you'll excuse me, sir?"

"True. But one would hope, at least, that naval high command provides some sort of instructions on where to rendezvous in case of… well, something at least vaguely similar to this if not likely on the same scale." Her lips twist briefly, another sip of coffee swallowed, and then she nods, "Of course, Mr. Kulko. Enjoy your lunch."

"Don't think anyone figured the scale of this was possible, sir," Kulko offers as he makes for the hatch. "But here's hopin."

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