The mess hall aboard the Hundred Fires also served as a meeting room, today a meeting was taking place. The Armada of Gehenna, simply known as 'The Armada', lacked the numbers and resorted to drafting private ships, and their captains in their program of expanding the Armada.
Ribaal an-Juk was the captain of the former ice hauler, she was given a few options when drafted, because it was not just the ship that was requisitioned but it's captain as well. To refuse the draft and hand over the ship would still make her a 'draft dodger', a crime punishable by law. By accepting the draft and not handing over the ship... Her ship would have been confiscated anyway and given to someone else.
Thus she now stood, leaning with her back against the bulkhead, arms crossed over her chest, standing, because the small mess hall only had seat for eight. The lack of gravity didn't seem to affect her in the least. The woman was in her forties, her once jet black hair had traces of gray in it, and while her demeanor suggested a lack of professionalism she was an experienced spacer.
Next to her against the bulkhead was another woman who held onto the seat in front of her and pressed her backside against to bulkhead. Unused to the lack of gravity, unlike the captain, the political advisor Sylian Amia was having a hard time. The woman could have been considered beautiful, if she smiled some more. Her shoulder length brown hair, as per regulations, was tied into a neat bun. She had eyes that matched the color of her hair and the reddish brown hue of her skin contrasted nicely with this. The bland and impractical uniform didn't do the woman any justice, the olive green and dull yellow look awful in itself and the uniform was better suited for someone that did not have to worry about maneuvering in space.
The ten seat, three on each side of the table and two at the ends where all occupied by the rest of the crew. The meeting started aboard the Hundred Fires at the same time as another meeting was taking place on another ship in the same system. This other ship though was a genuine vessel of war.
“Yeah...” The hesitant voice of the captain started. “So...” She bit her lower lip temporarily forgetting the information she had canned a few minutes ago. “The Rantemairo system is a red star... A red giant, there is one rocky planet and two gas giants which also have rocky moons.” She had forgotten the numbers of these. “The gas bag we're around now has a ring, looks like something blew a moon to bits. Makes a good hiding spot for the moment.” The captain added, shifting her weight although her weight wasn't a hindrance in the lack of gravity. “Anyways we know someone else is out there. Unlike our ship it a designated warship and not an ice hauler with plating slapped onto it. They have guns and their own meeting room.”
The comment sparked a round of laughter from everyone but the woman standing next to her across from the hatch.
“If the Hundred Fires ever gets in a fight with them we're screwed.” Ribaal added.
“Captain, it's unpleasant to imagine such scenarios, it lowers the moral of our soldiers.” The crisp soprano of the 'political advisor' cut her.
“You're right Resident Advisor, I was just saying this to point out our strategy.” She referred to the other woman by rank, and deferred to her, it was a though job, she hated every second of it. It was mutual. “We know that the enemy is trying to find our homeworld, but they can't exactly scope it through the nebula so we can assume that is their end goal, how they do this is something else. Figuring out how they plan to find us is our number one priority... Fucking their plans would be priority one and a half. The second objective is try and capture any data and technology we can from them.”
Fredathan Benle raised his hand and spoke. “It's safe to assume they expect someone to be here too, and to capture our ship or some of our pilots.” The middle aged looked at the men and women that made up the squadron, a hand brushed the thick mustache that obscured his lips. “So I should come up with countermeasures for a worst case scenario?”
The Resident Advisor nodded her approval though the question was not directed at her, Ribaal caught the movement from the corner of her eye and responded. “Hope of the best and plan for the worst.” She replied and moved on. “Our first task is to locate the enemy, hopefully without him noticing and observe. If they try anything funny we can blow them up but... Realistically speaking we can't, we do have two spare starfighters but no pilots, your lives are more valuable than anything, I don't plan on wasting that.”
She remained silent, inviting comment from the rest of the crew, the task they where given was not small nor easy and while the consequences of failure may or may not lead to any disasters, it could easily come back to bite them.
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