Operation Heavy Lantern: Debrief


auggie_icon.gif fedor_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title Operation Heavy Lantern: Debrief
Synopsis Ibra has orders. Most of his men take it like soldiers, but Megan Young begins to feel an uneasy pang of skepticism, and her boy begins to feel tendrils of the incipient heat.
Date June 15, 2009

Staten Island — Camp Miller: Debriefing Room

The flight briefing room is usually used to organize pilots for a big S&R or construction project, but today its been taken over by crow combatives. The foreward wall is covered with large high definition stils taken from the Panavia, and now Pilatus FLIR cameras. All the buildings photographed simply carry names like "Possible weapons cache" and "Barracks" even though most of the buildings are houses, backyard sheds, storefronts and the like.

Positioned at the front of the room, is of course Petter Kobrin, waiting for the twenty or so pilots and ground support crew to get situated. "I'm going to make a seating chart, if you fine gentlemen cant seat yourselves."He says gentlemen, because aside from megan thats the only people in this room.

Aviators from the RAF, the USAF, Marine corps, Polish, Czech, Russian, French and the german air force are represented here. All with some measure of combat experience, all of which had been flying Panavias or executive jets a few weeks ago. "If we're all here, I'd like to begin the briefing."

Megan isn't even sure why she's in this room, and kind of figures she's been summoned by mistake. This…. looks major, and she's wearing a frown as she studies the front of the room and the pilots in it. For now, she keeps her peace, though — Kobrin asked her to be here, and she hovers near Auggie's elbow just because… well, they're both at the back of the room at the moment.

Auggie is here. Making a count of the backs of the assembly's heads, he gets the sense that— 'we all' probably are, actually.

This is major, and he treats it accordingly: without ceremony. The Englishman lifts a long-fingered hand initially to ruffle nonchalantly through his silvered hair, but it winds up propped briefly on Megan's shoulder instead, guided by some puppeteer's strings of subconscious instinct despite that he hadn't even been looking at her out of his periphery or listening to the shift of her feet. Doesn't squeeze; just touches, once, before relaxing his hands back down at his sides.

He regards Ibra and his display with expectation and Megan with the odd patience of a man who expects to hear from his significant other very, very soon.

Theres a pause, from Petter as he waits for everyone to get comfortable."Thankyou for having a seat. What follows is of an intensely politically sensetive nature, so I expect you all to keep your mouths shut unless you want every news agency in the country going through your garbage. This is operation Heavy lantern, a strike against the most dangerous criminals in the country. The go code for this operation, will be Ember and the stand down code is Shadow."

Petter turns, producing a big rubber tipped pointing stick. "These are preliminary targets, we have about fifty in the pool right now but we expect to widdle that down to about twenty by thursday when I'll make final target assignments. The majority of the targets, as you can see are domestic and commercial structures with a high density of civilians essentially right next door to just about every single target. So for this we'll be utilizing wind corrected kinetic kill ordinance, machineguns and minigun pods from both the Tucanos and the little birds. Our focus at this time, is on the destruction of these structures not to kill the men inside. I dont want to hear about anyone mopping people up, do you all understand?"

Although her blue eyes go wide, the redheaded nurse in the back of the room says nothing. She does, however, put a hand on the elbow of the silver-haired man next to her, the only other outward indicator of her alarm. Precision bombing on this level is possible but shit….. has Kobrin lost his ever-lovin' MIND??

Yyyep. Auggie is going to get an earful. His shoulders tighten slightly, squaring, and he unravels his spine into a line too straight to make sense or comfort with human anatomy. Fortunately, he's English. Also, a soldier. It's only the slightest riffle of disconcertment as he listens, gathering that this isn't all that Ibra has to say. By itself, it sounds like a lot of hair's breadth and the sorts of good intentions who pave the way to Hell, buuut.

Never can tell, with these Yanks. 'There, there.' He closes a gentle hand around the tip of Megan's, brief, thumbing past the row of her fingers.

"Come friday, we're going to be flying in attack flights of one 29A and one 29B. Now we dont have any anticipated hard threats, no defence structure thats currently detected but there are persistant rumors of Humanis First's activity on the island. Now if you'll all remember, they were able to procure a Soviet built Manpad and shoot me down en-route to Canada. I'm thinking it was a Strela, but thats not a hard fact. The Tucanos inboard countermeasures should be able to detect the weapon the moment its turned on, but this isnt so with the Spectre and the little birds. So the Spectre is not, for any reason allowed under twenty thousand foot and the littlebirds are to remain under one thousand foot. Now, manpads are priority targets. If you see one on the field, stop what your doing contact control and we're likely going to tell you to wax the fucker."Petter slips his stick aside, before turning back to the room.

"Now we have Megan with us today, Megan here is running the Soup effort on Staten. She's responsible for the security of volunteers on Staten island, and after we start hammering these guys its fully expected they're not going to be thrilled with us. We expect them to try and hit our soup trucks, and our relief camp."He nods softly. "So as of today, she'll be making requests for airstrikes as she sees fit."

'There there' is absolutely not going to cut it when Megan and August step outside, that's for damn sure. And she can't ask in the middle of this meeting if we're about to make ourselves complete outlaws or if someone somewhere has actually okayed this insanity in a US military chain of command somewhere! So Megan — Lt. Col. Megan Young USAF(Ret) — bites her tongue, bites back any words she has to say, and clenches her jaw to keep her words there. AIR STRIKES?? Yeah… she's called them in before, working convoys evacuating soldiers to planes in Afghanistan, but Christ!! When the faces of the pilots in front of her turn in her direction, though, all they see is a calm, controlled nod of acknowledgement. Meg can wear a poker face with the best of them, unconsciously standing with her chin up and her eyes caged on Kobrin the same way she would in a military briefing now, her hand sliding away from August's touch. He did entirely too much skirting around the issue when he got home. Megan signed on with Chicago Air this morning officially, and now she's calling in air strikes? …. Her brain's on overload.

Yeah, well. It's not like August joined 'Adventure Air' and his progression of FLIR photographers thinking he was going to relive his glory days, either. He doesn't grimace or flinch at Megan's obvious if discreet rebuke, however. He installs his hands in his pockets and makes a quizzical, almost imperceptible gesture with his eyebrows that signifies 'in-joke' to the other men now facing him.

Somebody's sleeping on the couch tonight, unless Ibra's boys come up with somethingggg faaast.

It's either because of that or, more pure-heartedly, for Megan that Auggie finally chooses to speak up, in the tone of inquiry rather than questioning. There's a difference, the way he was raised. "Where's our clearance come from?" the clip of his English accent sounds blase without an overinvestment in innocence. If Ibra doesn't want to talk about it, they will hear 'Fedor.' If he deigns to share the details…

"The very top, they're the ones who supplied our Tucans on such short notice. We have a lenghty list of what we cant do, but I'll get to that bit lastly Auggie."Fedor just smiles all the same, peering around the room. "Anymore questions, before we begin that subject?"

The answer is actually something of a comfort to Megan. 'The very top' implies that Kobrin is not out on a huge limb here, even if Meg's not sure she agrees with this move. She merely stands silently with a single glance toward the man next to her. She's not angry at him, per se, but she's definitely wound a bit tight.

God love them; no one else will. Auggie doesn't wink at Fedor because that would be unprofessional, but he does wink at Megan, in a reassuring, passably chivalrous sort of way. 'The very top' is heartening on a number of levels, it's true. Not that that's ever stopped him from sticking a finger and doing the right thing instead, but he knows that grants Megan a little peace of mind. Probably the other soldiers around him, too, even though they don't let it on.

Aug nods his head. "Sir."

"Indeed."Fedor smiles broadly, before thumbing back towards the photographs on the wall. "Now, I want you guys to make good kills but I am absolutely terrified of a civilian kill. If you guys get on target, and line up and just dont feel it then dont drop. We cannot afford civilian casualties, so let me say that again. I will not take punitive action for passing on a target your not completely comfortable with, alright?"He lets that hang in the air for a couple moments. "Dont go anywhere near bridges, the bridges are off limits. Staten Island and the open ocean are the only areas you are allowed to operate with no safeties and no running lights. Dont talk about this to anyone, dont take pictures, dont take video. Guns are for your personal safety, dont utilize them unless fired upon. Is everyone clear, if there are no further questions then we're done. If your on call, go to your airframes otherwise I'll see you tomarrow."

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