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Supply And Demand

Posted on Sun Feb 20th, 2022 @ 9:51pm by Chief Petty Officer Lisa Terrix & Warrant Officer Koh Ottasu

Mission: Double Bind
Location: Supply Shuttle To Caetov
Timeline: Before The Storm Hits

Lisa sat in the copilot's seat of the shuttle as it began the descent down to the surface of Caetov. If something happened to Koh, she certainly couldn't handle the craft if it was more than just a slightly bumpy ride, but she could certainly adjust any settings needed if this shuttle, the first one to start the journey, ran into any problems within the atmosphere. Shields or deflectors need adjusting? No problem. A solution to an overheated hull from re-entry? Simple thing to crunch numbers for the follow-on shuttles. But flying the shuttle? Not for her.

So she was a bit nervous as she sat in the second chair, a leg bouncing up and down even as she readjusted herself in the seat. She was also the loadmaster of the shuttle, knowing what was where in the shuttle and she looked over at Koh, "Not that I don't trust you or anything, but you're going to be able to land this thing even if the weather is funky, right?"

Koh, on the other hand, looked right at home at the controls of the shuttle. A slightly bumpy ride? He might not even feel it. Turbulence and a little "shake and bake" were par for the course. Though where he excelled at guidance, there were things he simply couldn't fathom. Most of that heavy math was what Lisa was here for. That, and flying solo was always a longer trip.

"Bumpiest thing here is your nerves." he offered with a smirk. "I assure you, no matter how bad this storm gets, you will arrive alive, and we will depart intact." a reassurance, or a mantra. Hard to really tell. "You could probably use a distraction. Why don't you take a look ahead at the LZ... err, Landing Zone and make sure it's still viable." he offered.

Evelyn had worked with the flight control officers to identify the landing zones closest to where the optimum locations for the shield generators would be. The one Lisa and Koh were heading for was to the northeast of the city according to the local magnetic field and was the center of a moderate sized field in a local park. With a concerned additional glance at Koh, Lisa punched up the visual sensors alongside the rest of the suite and focused it on the view of the field.

“I’m getting a steady wind of about 35 K-P-H, gusts up to fifty, from everything I can get, air particulates on the ground are low, minimal radioactives. Ground seems to be dry, so we might not sink into the grass.” She made a ‘meh’ hand gesture, “Nothing that I see will hamper the shuttle in any way, and a nice offload area about ten meters away from this landing point.” She tapped a location on her screen to highlight it for the pilot.

"We used to do ultra-low altitude hydrogen burns to dry up the LZ if it was too wet for a shuttle. Come in low, I'm talking ten feet up, low. Tilt the nose up, load a h-pack for the afterburner, and just hit it. Oh it would show up on every thermal sensor in the district so we didn't exactly do it on covert missions, but if you ever want to ground seal a landing, can't go wrong with a quick burn." he reminisced about his days in the Navy. "Most of the ground we were assaulting back then was swamp anyway, so if it's too mushy I kinda know a few tricks." he reassured.

Koh made a few minute adjustments to the flight path with the up-to-date scans in mind. A slight change to the approach vector, steering across the gusts as opposed to through them. "Been a while since I was deployed into a storm like this. Brings back memories." he paused, "Don't worry, we all made it out that day too."

“This is just the precursor anyways.” Lisa mentioned as she rechecked her restraints, not for any reason, just for… Emergencies, yes, that was it, emergency safety only. “We still have quite a few hours before the real storm hits, plenty of time to offload everything, get the supplies where they need to go and then get the shield generators online. This isn’t going to be fun riding out the actual storm, but we gotta do what we gotta do.”

"We'll be out of there before then. Ts'usugi don't believe in jinxes, but I know almost everyone in the Alpha does, so I'm just going to leave it at that." he offered, silent for a moment. "Okay that's a little bit of a lie. We don't believe in jinxes, but we DO have superstitions. Silly little holdovers from times past."

“At least, you and the shuttle will be.” Lisa broke a slight smile, “Myself, most of the engineers and some volunteers are going to be down here to stick it out and adjust the silly generators if needed. It’s a good plan, but there’s always a chance of overload or failure.”

"And if, IF.... something happens and you need an evac, who are you gonna call?" Koh said, unaware of the can of worms he had just potentially opened.

“I get to find out how electrifying a personality I actually have?” Lisa gave a bitter chuckle at her joke, “We have signal boosters for the transporters, but Evelyn gives it maybe a 30 percent to actually work well enough for a successful transport. That’s why it’s engineers and volunteers, it’s not going to be safe down here. Our duty and their courage.”

"I'll do my best to make sure you arrive safe." Koh said with a nod, "And I be the first one on the ground to pick you up when you call. Duty and courage." There was a mantra there.

"Thank you, Koh." Lisa gave him a small smile, "Perhaps a drink after we get back to the ship? Don't worry, you can bring Lieutenant Levine as well, if you'd like. It's just a friendly drink."

"Back in the Navy, shots after a sortie were a tradition too." he smirked, "And if it's just friendly drinks, I'm not worried." a pause, "Though if you want, I could invite her along to make sure nobody has anything to worry about." he offered with a snicker.

"And no one would talk that way." Lisa agreed, "The last thing I'd want to do is become the subject of some sort of conspiracy theory. Besides, I'm sure she's nearly as good of company as you are."

He snickered a bit, "Oh, she's good company. Ears a little on the small side, but nobody's perfect." he joked, his own lengthy ears perked. "Though, speaking of turbulent and powerful forces beyond my control, hold tight, we're about to break atmo, and despite it saying it was 'designed for it' on the brochure, these Federation shuttles are essentially flying wind blocks."

Lisa rechecked her restraints, then patted them to reassure herself that they were fully functional. She quieted down so as to let Koh concentrate on things, but that just got her to thinking. "How hard do you think it would be to semi-bury the shuttle in the ground? I know it should be able to handle the lightning strikes, especially if it's got nice solid dirt to ground it. It'd mean you'd be stuck on the ground here with me, but I'm one of the couplea solo 'teams' right now and I'd far rather ride out the storm in one of these than some other shelter."

Koh offered her an amused smirk, "Semi-Bury? That sounds an awful like like Gently Crashing." he snickered, "Though, truth be told I guess that all depends on where we land. I mean, hardened concrete and strata? Nope. Dirt and such, much easier." he shook his head, "Don't forget that it's all probably gonna freeze up so loose dirt and anything is gonna harden real fast. Taking shelter in the shuttle might turn into waiting in a box." he pointed out. "Still though, as far as boxes to get stuck in is, these are kinda nice."

He paused for a moment, "A solo op, you say." he was silent for a moment, "Would you prefer I stay?"

It was Lisa quiet for a few seconds this time, but then she looked over and nodded, "I mean, you don't have to, don't think you have to. I can certainly handle this sector on my own, technically speaking, it's not all that tough for me, but I've got no one to play cards with when the storm actually hits and I really don't like Solitaire that much."

Koh considered as he started his descent, "I'll stay for as long as I can. If nothing else, to show you a new card game." he snickered.

"Anything to relieve the tedium!" Lisa laughed with him, "We're going to be basically the last ones hit down on this edge, so we'll have the longest to adjust our shielding, best chances of everyone."

"Being last to the scene isn't something I'm used to." he offered with a snicker. "Blink Fighter wing, third division. Red Lancer." a pause, "Ummm, sorry, Lancer was the name of the wing, Red means I was the element lead. Transferred to the Astraea, became element lead here."

"Never flew an Op with Callisi before, her sorties were actually above my pay grade." he smirked, "Well, above and to the left. I have to imagine we flew against the same target once or twice, but while I was knocking on the front door, she was dropping troops for the back." a pause, "Sorry, got a little nostalgic. Can't say it was a better time, but we knew the odds a lot better."

"And these odds? I think they're actually pretty good, we've got a plan that should by all means work. Now we're just refining everything as we go." Lisa gave a bright smile, tinged with nerves, "As safe as we can be."

"At least the storm isn't shooting at us." Koh said with a snicker.

"Shhhhhh...." Lisa hissed with a smile on her face, "Don't give it any ideas!"


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