Respectable manners came by instinct with Pax as he placed his pen down softly replying, "Apologies Major." His voice was deep, yet had an edge to it, like he's been smoking quite a bit yet his words came out clearly. Pax breathed through his nostrils, cuffing his hands to support his lower part of the chin.
"I am Sargent Pax. My profession lies in vehicles, to construct and understand them. I can drive anything from a SAS-305 Leviathan to a UAFF-487." Nothing more was said, as Pax kept looking at McLelland with no facial expression. Even though Saryll has asked him a question, he did not pay attention to her.
"Aww that's wasn't much of a introduction Sergeant Pax, you should have made it more exciting!" McLelland said joking with Pax. Pax just looked at McLelland and continued to write in his book. "Man he acts just like Jason, That just makes me want to tease him!" McLelland thought to himself.
Saryll returned to her seat when it became apparent that she wasn't going to get a response. From now on, she had decided, unless Pax asked her a direct question, she would take no notice of him unless absolutely necessary. It may have been a mite petty, but if he couldn't bring himself to stoop to the level of conversing with the common folk, then he didn't deserve Saryll's respect. She had briefly toyed with the idea of badgering him incessantly with questions, but while the man was lower than dirt to her, she respected whoever had made the decision to classify his personal records and wouldn't intrude on them without due cause. Once more, Saryll let her eyes sweep the room for details, internally mollified in that Pax's rudeness would be sufficiently immured.
James stretched "Major, how about putting the combat specs of the ship up on the screen to let everybody else in on it?" James tilted his head "It would make sense we all know so we can all gauge. Also, I love this ship
"Okay then, Let me bring up the specs." McLelland said as he started to fiddle with the screen. Three Images then popped up on the screen each of which were weapons the ship had. The first one was the STAAD-1.5 the second one was the Thornbrush II and the last one was the SpearHead V. "And here you are, these are the weapons that the ship has." McLelland said after getting the Images to appear on the screen.
Listened to the questions and then saw the ship weapons onscreen. He payed little attention to the weapons for that was not his area of expertise. "I have one question about the ship we will be using for travel; Is it protected from electronic warfare? I don't want to be in a 'dead' ship in the middle of black space floating in the ship hoping for the best." Chris inquired.
"It is equipped with the best system we could find. It would take a lot to tamper with the electronics of the ship. Besides the biggest threat you guys are going to face are animals so you shouldn't worry your pretty little head about it." McLelland said in a joking manner.
Listened to McLelland answer him and replied, "You know if there is one thing I have learned in my life is that anything is possible, and considering the firepower on the ship we are taking, I am inclined to believe top brass is exspecting something other than wild animals and poisonous plants."
"Hahahaha, What would give you that idea? This is completely off the record but the top brass couldn't tell a legitement threat if it came up and stabbed them in the gut. Ever since we discovered aliens a few years back people have been going on how they are super dangerous and what not even though they are just animals. The brass is sending you guys in with all these weapons because the colonists are scared shit-less that a little alien starfish would crush their skulls if they go too close." McLelland said starting to get into a little rant.
McLelland then took a couple of breathes and calmed down. "That was completely off the record by the way. I don't expect any of you to ever repeat that! Now if you'll excuse me I'm too old for this much excitement and I already told you the mission so Captain Kahlil can take over from here." McLelland said then he walked out the door leaving Jason by himself.
Listened to the Major rant, but believed none of it. He was going to keep his guard up and stay cautious. "Well, there are no questions I have for any of yall that won't be answered if we see combat. If yall have questions for me just ask." He said looking at everyone making sure they heard him.
Rick leaned back in his chair again. "Sooooooo... How's your love life, Capt'n?"
Rick immediately regretted asking that. Mostly.
James shrugged "The probability of some colony ship going rogue or even intelligent life is everpresent. I've worked with these systems before, if we run into problems, those would be my choices. STAADs are powerful enough to deal with any rogue colony fleet, and the rest should be adequate to turn anything else we know of to dust. Especially those Spearheads, the V is powerful enough to be the declaration and finishing blow of a war at the same time." James nodded "Ask me any questions, I know those systems inside, out, left, right and sideways."
Heard James speaking and then said "Ya, but you are just going off the fact the Spearhead can defeat any HUMAN ship or any HUMAN colony. What if there is something else in the deep dark recesses of space that has the technology to make the Spearheads look like BB guns? What will happen then? And don't take these questions as me being pessimistic, I am just looking at all angles."
Jason got up without saying a word and took up position at the front of the room. He saw the front of the room as a symbol of power and seeing as McLelland just left he was the one in power here. He then gave Rick a look "Your going to be a problem for me aren't you?" Jason said with a tone of dissapointment in his voice.
Jason then looked around the room and studied each person that was there noting how they acted. "well now that the Major is gone I am the expert here about the mission. Any and all questions about the mission or our role in the mission will go through me." Jason said in a stern voice. "Now take a little time to get to know each other, you are going to be fighting along side these soldiers and I will not tolerate someone acting like a lone wolf. I expect each person in here to willingly give up their lives for the other and vice versa. Now that we got that sorted out you may continue to mingle amongst yourselves." Jason said voicing what he expected from his squad.
Rick listened to what Jason had to say, then shrugged and addressed Chris.
"It means that we have to get in and blow it up from the inside out, Gannon. Or we could just roll over and die." Rick smirked a bit. "Have you ever seen an action movie, Gannon? They're not completely implausible, you know. Especially not in this day and age."
Rick suddenly stood up and sauntered over to the window. "Besides, the chances are incredibly small that we'll meet anything. It seems a bit doubtful that we'll even meet any animals. God's failed chupacabra prototype notwithstanding."
Smiled a little under his mask at the small joke Rick said. "That means there will be a lot of fireworks. Hey Rick, if your chupa-thingy turns out to be real AND hostile who do you think will kill it first out of the whole squad here? My money is Saryll. If she can shoot as good as she says she can then there is no way I can bet against her." He replied.
"It depends on how massive the creature is. We may have to cleanse with fire. My money's on the heavy weapons guy of the group."
Rick paused before realizing what he had implied. "Actually, not me. I'm here to take bullets for people, the heaviest I've got is a rocket launcher."
Rick scanned the room, his eyes settling on Camila. "Um... please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm assuming that you're the heavy weapons expert?"
If we meet massive sand worms of doom, I reserve rights to orbital bombard them." Jason noted, taking off his helmet so they weren't hearing the synthesized voice anymore
The Spearhead could take out an entire fleet by exploding NEAR them. It's a quantum nuclear warhead, we could make craters the size of china with have of the damn thing, and even if the enemy buildings survive, all the resources and environment of any planet we hit is glassed or obliterated at the molecular level in the space of pi seconds. We tested it on the hardest planetoid asteroid we could find, and there wasn't even anything left to analyze, the entire rock was subatomic afterwards. When you launch one of those, you aren't taking chances. What you hit with that thing is dead. Standard Lancer launcher protocols require so many authorizations or such an emergency, that I hope that we never even have to take the missiles out of storage. As for the rest of the guns, the Thornbrush grid can take out any missiles, or fighters we encounter. Hell. If we want a several acre area instantly obliterated, we can just point the grid down. We tested in on Pluto, and shattered a full 16th of the planet's ice with one sustained volley. Not precise, but effective. STAADs have been the bread and butter attack cannons for years, and we have the upgraded 1.5s that punched holes in the most armored testing targets we had after only ten short bursts. And they can cycle so that we are 100% of the time hitting target. If I had to arm a exploratory ship, like I said, this would be my shortlist." James finished his little briefing, and took some breaths, going to the screen console, and looking over the armor specs and various abilities of the ship
"I could just hit it with the ship guns. I doubt any planetary creature will survive that."
"It seems to me that you rely too much on these ship weapons to protect than your own brain to protect you. These guns can destroy worlds, but your mind can destroy anything from the smallest amoeba to the largest fleet you ever set your eyes on. It is just in how you use it. Don't under estimate the power of the human brain; these guns can be replaced if destroyed, a human brain cannot. You might want to keep that in mind the next time you start shooting things with those guns of yours James." Chris replied after hearing James explain the ship's armament power.
James looked over "You were asking what the most powerful hits we had, those are the ship guns. They're like airstrikes, only useful with a good team that knows how to use them." James shrugged
"But know how to use them, and we can save ourselves looots of putting ourselves on the line."
"Yeah, but your brain can't physically do anything. It can develop the weapons to destroy anything, but it needs to use the weapons." Rick kept staring out the window. He liked heights, and this room was very high up indeed.
"True," Chris replied to Rick, "but the mind can mentally break the person or thing wielding the weapon thus making the weapon useless. The human brain is the, and forever will be, the most powerful and dangerous weapon in the entire universe."
"Unless, of course, the aliens are smarter." James chuckled, and went back to looking over the ship specs and layout
Rick finally turned around and went over to where Pax was sitting. Despite towering way over him, Pax didn't even seem to notice or care that there was anyone there. "Hey, Pax. What are you writing here?" He wasn't really expecting an answer.
Damien held his head in mock pain. "Grahh, listen to you two going at it like an old fishmonger couple! So help me, if this keeps up, I might just have to break the Oath!" Damien shook his head and began to speak quietly, so that all listeners would has to strain themselves and thus shut up in order to hear. "Listen. Why does it have to be about killing and gung-ho, balls out, guns a'blazin' kill streaks? Sure, if it's you or the creature, kill it, by all means. But try and use the minimum amount of force, or be diplomatic about it! See if the creature you're about to turn into subatomic dust is even hostile. 'Above all, do no harm.' That's what I pledged...and I suggest you try and do the same." Damien said this last line slightly ominously. He wouldn't purposefully botch a surgery, but if two guys needed organ or limb replacements... Damien was only able to grow so many. A threat from a medic is quite a scary thing indeed.
Rick listened amusedly.
"Oh, sure. I can do diplomatic. I don't particularly ENJOY taking bullets for people. Diplomatic is good. But I don't ever recall seeing a giant sand worm have a diplomatic envoy, feel free to correct me if I've simply managed to miss it my whole life. If it is some sort of giant sand worm, I have no issues nuking it from orbit."
Rick turned to Captain Kahlil, grinning. "You're the Captain, sir, the be-all-end-all. What do you say we should do upon meeting a chupacabra - sand worm - whatever it is?"
After the 5th line down from writing more about his crew including Saryll's reaction in the room- he placed his pen down and spoke toward Rick which probably didn't expect anything from Pax.
"Are you afraid Sargent Rick.. of things that differ from yourself?"
"Things you may not understand clearly..?"
"We wouldn't be tossing the nukes we're carrying at it unless we wanted the entire planet lifeless for a few million years." James looked back "Best bet I say is putting a Beacon round in it, or on it near the head, then a precision STAAD strike. Not as risky as fighting it personally, and saves us more ammo. Our ship cannot carry infinite, after all."
To Pax, Rick simply replied "No, I just was wondering what you're writing. If it's top secret, then by all means, keep it to yourself..."
Pax simply slid the paper to Rick, letting him see it. "If you insist. All yours to see."
"Oh dear, I feel like I'm back in high school..."
Pax slid the notes back to himself and placed it with his other file of paperwork. Each line contained some information about the members, yet most of it was based on key subjects of the mission. Not to mention reminders about installing unique weaponry like the Thor's Hammer onto particular vehicles.
He got up from his seat, and without even saying goodbye he left the room with the papers under his arm.
"Huh. I wonder what's biting him."
Rick plonked himself back down in his chair. It creaked in protest. "So, do we have anything more to say to each other, or can I go get a good night's sleep? I think we're familiar enough to not murder each other horrifically the first day on ship."
James nodded "I'm off too. I know how to operate all of these systems in combat, I'm gonna go say goodbye to my old SpecOps buddies and then get to sleep for tomorrow." James grabbed his helmet and put it back on his face, the thin visor going tinted, as he saluted to the Captian "Goodnight, Sir, if that is all."