PHD #173: The Primary Threat
The Primary Threat
Summary: Wherein Constin and Trask discuss the Sagittaron insurgency and the upcoming excursion.
Date: 18 Aug 2041 AE
Related Logs:
Constin Trask 
Map Room - Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #173
The one object that dominates this room is the one it is named for: the giant plotting table in the center of the room. Bottom-lit like the plot in CIC, this one is twenty feet across and about the same distance wide. The maps, which are rolled and kept in a locker at the side of the room, provide much more detail than most of the charts in CIC and are especially useful in planning tactical operations. Unscaled models of ships are available to be situated on the surface of the table and risers on each side of the room allow for a small audience to watch or be briefed. A single large LCD screen is built into the wall at the far end to display reconnaissance or other supplemental material.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

The memo was simple and to the point. Lieutenant Kal Trask, interim Squadron Leader of the VAQ-141, wanted to discuss the logistics of the upcoming excursion to Sagittaron. Seeing how his people are the ones who'll be handling the transport, it is a sensible request. That he's been in the Map Room for quite some time might be evident by the way he has several maps laid out just so, including non-scale models of Raptors and AAA arranged in specific places.

Constin walks into the Map Room without much delay and less ado. "Sir," is the big marine's even word of greeting- voice slightly higher in pitch than one might expect from his size. "Ah understand you wanted to discuss the ground operation." The opening volley of the discussion is left to Trask.

Brown eyes briefly flick upward to regard the MP. "That I did, Sergeant. It's my understanding that you're the CMC point man on this." Curling two fingers in an 'over here' gesture, Trask's attention falls back to one of the maps. "You have some experience with demolitions, correct?"

"Ah do," Constin drawls back, narrow blue eyes squinting at the maps after Trask's do. "Not a specialist, mind, but ah've got some field experience. If ah can't answer whatever question you've got, sir, ah can holler for somebody who can."

"Good enough." The predominant map is that of Sagittaron's Jharkhand Province, with smaller, more detailed ones around the perimeter. "You're not from the Victory," Kal continues, "and I have no idea if you ever served at Argus, so I'm just gonna run through the whole thing. Short version: we're entering insurgent territory. They have formidable anti-air capabilities. They also love to plant mines at potential LZs 'cuz it makes them oh so happy when Colonials go boom." Faintly, he smirks.

"We've worked out our flight paths and have identified several potential landing zones." With the laser pointer in his left hand, those spots are indicated on the map. "DRADIS can't be fine-tuned to detect mines. If it could, mines wouldn't be terribly effective, which would be nice for us, but that's not happenin'. Now, traditionally, the Marines usually would clear them out with line charges. Sometimes, we'd just carpetbomb the LZ to breach the field. I'd like to know how you wanna play this." The SL's brown eyes are back on the MP.

Constin nods at a couple points throughout Trask's oration, before drawing a breath and voicing back evenly, "First priority is establishing a base camp on the ground from which daily operations can be sent out. Given both Command's desire to talk, and the low percentage of carpet bombing securing the zone, the Corp is gonna establish a base camp right about… here," he indicates not one of the cities along the delta, but a spot within the Delta itself. "Whole Delta is filled up with little farmsteads, present aim is to set down-" he sorts through for a better close-up, "There. Puts us close enough that the ground teams- of which there will be two squads, each of three fireteams, can secure the surrounding area, and ensure the safety of any raptors flying in and out of the base camp. High ground, good visibility, very low likelihood of opposition. You agree with that description, sir?"

Flipping through the Raptor recon photos, Bootstrap lines-up the images to the prospective campsite. "The issue is that the insurgents might already have claimed the high ground. There's some brush here and here," tap and tap, "which may or may not be concealing RPGs and 'other hidden treasures'." Dry as irradiated bone. Considering options, the man muses, "We could do an air drop here and then hover until the LZ is swept." Idly, he half-cups his chin and lightly taps his lips with one finger, ruminating something. "That work for you?" With a faintly furrowed brow, the map and images are further scrutinized.

Constin nods once. "Dropping in an advance team is solid. But while it's true the high ground may be occupied by hostile troops? Same is true of everyplace, sir. And a helluva lot *more* true of most others. But an advance team to secure the landing zone is definitely doable. Any anti-aircraft won't be able to pick us up like they could a Raptor." Another moment's thought and concise nod. "Yeah, that's solid."

"There are few places where it is more true than this little slice of Tartarus served up in the realm of man," Trask opines in a tone that is a touch too rueful for it to qualify as sardonic. First-hand experience is both a boon and a bane. Pensively, he notes, "About 8 months ago, an RPG managed to take out the engine of a low-flying Raptor. The pilot and a Marine lucked out and were killed in the crash. It was something like ten days that the ECO and the other two Marines were tortured by their captors before they were shipped back to base, literally in pieces. They had to be identified by their DNA." That's just how it is in southern Sagittaron. Vaguely, he then shrugs, as if that might somehow slough off the memory. When it doesn't, he snubs the thought and just plows on through. "Anyway," is the facetious segue, "here's all the data we have on known insurgent facilities. It dates back to early February of this year. Your CO should already have the report about the Cylon installations." A manilla folder with cropped corners is proffered.

"Eight months ago ah might have spared a bit of worry for a death like that, sir," Constin drawls back deadpan. "Now? Not so much." A hand closes calloused fingers around the offered folder. "You happen to know what model of mines these kinda folks favored, sir? The more information ah can give my demolitions boys the better this whole thing will turn out for us. While cylons are always a concern, the primary threat facing this operation? Don't look like toasters."

"A death like that is why we're in this frakkin' mess," is blithely snarked. Maybe if humans were less craptastic, there wouldn't have been a call for genocide. As for the primary threat, "That's 'cuz it ain't." Bootstrap leaves it at that. "S'all in the file, Sergeant. Odds are they didn't change much since February. Wouldn't put it past 'em to strip those Cylon installations of whatever firepower they could find, though."

Constin eyes Trask evenly at the snark, but says nothing before nodding once to it all being in the file, and a second nod at the potential hostiles scavenging cylon leftovers. "Uh-huh," he mutters. "And sir? S'been mah observation that the only folks who waste breath bitching are the ones who think they deserve better than everybody else on this boat. Ah'd surely like to think you ain't one of those. Sir."

For whatever reason, the Lieutenant looks rather amused about the observation. "Yet, you're nonetheless inclined to think that I am." Sardonically, he smiles. "That's okay. My opinion of those who speak as though horrible shit people do to other people somehow is less significant than horrible shit being done by skinjobs and tincans isn't favorable in the least. So, I guess it evens out." That said, Kal concludes with, "If there's nothing else, Sergeant, you're dismissed. Lemme know if you need clarification about that report."

"We're all in the shit. Sir," Constin answers back evenly. "None more than any body else. That is all, Lieutenant," the marine concludes with a nod, tapping the folder once into his palm before taking his leave. Rebels, RPGs and death by torture: some light reading before next shift starts.

"It's the same shit, Sergeant," the ECO insouciantly calls out in parting. "Just a different asshole."

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