Glorious Cyanide Pills!

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OOC Date: April 25, 2011
IC Date: February 6, 2128

Commander Eisley's strategy team meets to discuss possible scenarios aboard the alien ship.


Conference Room - Deck Three


A large room dominated by a massive table set with 25 chairs - twelve on each side and one at one end. All of the chairs that surround it are the same, plushly padded swivel chairs with moderately high backs and comfortable armrest except for the one at the far end, which has a higher back and bears a Captain's insignia. Built into the surface of the table is a computer console at each seat, allowing everyone present access to the ship's computers via the tablet like terminals that seamlessly integrate the tabletop. At the opposite and from the Captain's chair is a giant plasma screen that runs the width of the wall and can be used for presentations of all kinds. The lighting here is slightly dimmed, subdued, but bright enough to function easily.


Contrary to what +time says, now is actually much closer to a few hours after the journey through the wormhole, not long after the skirmish with the Devourer fleet was resolved. Not long ago that awful "invitation" to the Parasite ship was received. Going by clock time matters little, since no one on this tug is liable to want to hit the racks anyway. Several members of the crew have been tapped for a strategy meeting with Commander Eisley, who has likewise "invited" them up to the conference room. The giant screen is, even now, playing a walk-through of the tour of the derelict ship back in the Milky Way, motion slowed and smoothed to not make the casual viewer nauseous. The tangle of vines and other organic growths is good enough at that already. She sits at the far end of the table, in the Captain's chair; Ramesh isn't here to occupy it, so it is almost hers by default.

Michael makes his way into the room in full uniform as per his usual. Upon arriving he will step to the side to not block the door and approach the table before saluting as is appropriate. There he stands, attention on the superior officer rather than the video he has watched already after it occurred.

Laurel Yin Qingyu arrives shortly thereafter, her shoulder-length hair done up in a careless bun. It looks like the intelligence analyst hasn't been doing much in the way of sleeping, if the bags beneath her eyes are any indication, and only the faint smell of her flowery perfume suggests that she's made any attempt at all to appear presentable. With her she carries a legal pad stuffed from top to bottom with photographs — of alien bodies, alien ships, and the occasional alien brain — all of which she shifts from her right to left hand so she can draw herself up and salute.

Since the XO is in the Captain's seat, it's only natural that Dominic is sitting in the XO's usual seat in full uniform. He leans back in the seat as he watches the video that plays on the screen, studying the interior of the ship despite having been aboard one already. As Michael enters, he offers the other Marine a smile as he returns the salute without standing and motions him over to have a seat so the poor guy isn't standing during the entire meeting. He looks towards Yin as she salutes which he returns, again, without standing before he looks back towards the giant screen and the video that plays.

Eisley also salutes to acknowledge the enlisted personnel, but she also gestures at the seats nearest her end of the table. "At ease," she indicates. "Have a seat." A moment or so is taken to study the intelligence analyst, this thoughtful and leading to one slightly errant thought: "I wish I could have one of the kitchen bots send up coffee. Maybe I should get Poe…" And there that idea trails into a sigh as gears are shifted, taking her straight into all business. "Some of us are paying a visit to our newest interstellar neighbors tomorrow. We need to make our best attempt to -plan- this."

Michael drops the salute and moves over towards a chair so he can take a seat. It might not be necessary but the huge man still is tentative when trusting chairs he hasn't sat in before and it shows when he sits down this time as well. When the chair doesn't give way underneath him he settles into it more fully before he looks over towards the XO and his CO. "Has the database been cracked yet ma'am?" He asks curiously. "It would be of great benefit for any attempts at planning."

Yin is moving to sit even before she receives permission, spreading out her notes in front of her like a she-wolf marking her territory — which in this case extends to a three-foot by three-foot box to her front and side. Legal-sized paper crammed full of elegant Chinese characters; annotated diagrams of enemy ships; readouts from Genesis' sensor suites: it's almost as if the woman's building a nest of information in which to roost. Small wonder that she doesn't speak, at least not at first. An excuse to gather her thoughts, perhaps, and take the temperature of the room while she's at it.

Dominic's eyes continue to watch the giant screen as the others find their seats and get settled. As Eisley speaks, his head nodding slowly in agreement and it's only after she's done that he looks away from the screen and speaks. "I think we need to figure out how we're going to communicate on board their ship. If we can't talk, then we won't be able to accomplish anything by even going over there." He adds as a suggestion to where to start.

"It has not, yet," answers Eisley of Michael's question, shaking her head. "At this rate the best I can hope for there is an 11th hour prayer. They've been working on it for days, relentlessly, and we've been invasively scanning the Parasite ships on a regular basis hoping to glean more clues. Unfortunately, we cannot decline to go simply because we don't know as much about them as they know about us." Her attention slides then to Dominic, though she detours briefly to study Yin's fortress of information, one brow twisting upward in what might almost be amusement someday. "Communication is certainly a primary issue. Evidently they learned enough about Standard English to transmit a message in it; we can start there."

"Assuming that one of the species they've got hold of, has adequate vocal chords then communication in that fashion shouldn't be a problem sir. At the very least…" Michael nods to what Eisley says, "They already know our writing, so there is some manner of communication possible. I'm more worried about escape plans and contingencies if they don't take well to us refusing to be… host's or mule's or whatever it is they see us."

The woman's dark eyes dart from the XO to the two men in the room, only one of whom she recognizes. But it's on the man she doesn't recognize that Yin's gaze remains the longest, especially when he starts to speak. Only when he's done does she clear her throat and lean back in her chair, spinning her pen round and round in her slender fingers by rote. It's soothing, see. But aloud? "That will be a waste of time. They will not escape."

Dominic nods as he looks at each person as they speak. He looks to Michael as he mentions the vocal chords of the Devourers before he looks to Eisley. "Did the Doc discover any vocal chords on the one we've got on board?" He doesn't wait for an answer before he looks to Yin as she speaks, an eyebrow raised slightly. "Why will that be a waste of time?" He asks the woman as he leans forward slightly, his forearms resting on the table with his fingers interlocked.

One of the benefits to sitting in the Captain's chair is that Eisley has access to all of the room's controls. She moves her fingertips over the built-in keyboard, things lighting up briefly beneath them. The image on the screen changes. The movie stops and is replaced with several photos from Yin's collection: one of the Parasites, spiderlike, dead. There is also a three-dimensional model of one, called up on the left side of the screen, which she spins around for a look at its, er, mouth. "I don't think these can communicate on their own. They very likely need a host to do so. According to Lieutenant Commander Bharti, the aliens that appeared to be its primary host - on that ship, at least - are very similar to us anatomically. They may have vocal cords capable of producing a human range of sounds, though whether they can learn to speak our language in 24 hours or not remains to be seen." Then there is this other matter, and she rewards Yin's observation with a very wan smile. "This inability to escape is part of the reason why we haven't simply slunk off into the darkness. Perhaps I should ask Dr. St-Sirois about cyanide pills." Deadpan, this.

"There's always a way out." Michael rumbles simply and to the point as he studies Yin. "Nothing is impregnable, and nothing is impossible, it just hasn't been done yet." He looks back over towards Eisley and Dominic, "If our scans are able to give us a lay out, we might want to consider explosives of some sort, thermite strips, or something to burn ourselves an opening. I'd also suggest full EVA suits for all with self contained air supplies, for those who aren't in power armor. We don't know what kind of crap they might pump into the air at any given moment, or might simply be roaming free to begin with. It also gives us an option of heading for the nearest external wall and making ourselves an exit."

"Cyanide would be one of my recommendations." Yin will see the XO's deadpan and raise her an actual serious proposal. "And your projections are based on idle hope. There are two scenarios." Yin taps her index and middle finger on the table. "One: they wish to be friends from beginning to end. In this scenario, it does not matter whether we have escape plans because they will allow us to leave when we choose. But consider two: they do not wish to be friends from beginning to end, or maybe they are friendly at the beginning but become unfriendly at the end. In this scenario, they will not permit us to leave, and it will not matter whether we have escape plans because they will be prepared to enforce their will by force." Her fingers tap twice. "Their technology is demonstrably superior to ours. They will be fighting on territory they know. They have shown a remarkable capacity to repurpose their environment to their biological needs. And they possess the entire body of knowledge humanity has stored aboard our databanks. The probability of escape is — it would be like trying to find one needle in a very large pile of needles, if that is the expression." Yin shrugs apologetically. "Explosives, power armor, EVA suits: all of this, in the best case, would inflict upon them a significant amount of damage. But even then, we would have disabled just one of their ships, not both. Better our team consider itself already dead and seek to transmit as much relevant information back to us as possible. We need video recordings. Photographs. Atmospheric composition analyses. They should be spending time collecting data, not going out in a blaze of glory." Yin — who's been talking increasingly quickly — suddenly seems to realize that she's been carrying on for the better part of a minute. "Sir," she adds, fairly awkwardly, before retreating within her fort once more.

Dominic shakes his head as he looks to Michael. "Screw the EVA suits," He says before he looks back to Eisley. "I recommend everyone going on board does so in full power armor. I don't want to take any chances. But the Corporal is right, self enclosed suits would be a wise precaution. We could also maybe have Eve translate for us in the suits should they not be able to communicate for themselves." He sits back in his seat again, looking towards Yin as she speaks. He thinks about her words before he speaks. "We should have the readings from the first vessel we encountered. We should be able to get an idea of what we'll be facing from that data."

Eisley listens to all of this in turn, looking at each member of the little group as they speak. "EVA suits will be mandatory; power armor will be issued where appropriate. Sadly, I for one am woefully under prepared to walk across a room in one." Her wrists come to rest along the edge of the table, hands folding together. "Data retrieved from the last ship does support the idea that they require a different atmosphere for viability than we do. Those vines that were all over the ship apparently scrubbed out carbon dioxide and emitted chlorine gas. With any luck, our inability to withstand that environment will rule us out automatically as probable hosts." Of this, however, she does not sound overly convinced. "All of the data collected from the suits will be transmitted back to the Genesis, unless they possess some technology which prevents this. I do not particularly relish the idea of going in blind -and- not having an exit strategy."

It's clear Michael doesn't agree with Yin's doom and gloom, but then, he's a fighter. He doesn't give up so that's probably part of it. Stupid marine. Looking back towards the others he nods to what Dominic says then addresses Eisley, "Do we know if it was the grey's who needed the chlorine or if it was the crabs? Also, the giver had one, so it might be possible that if it is the crabs, that they alter the physiology of their host to be able to breathe it. Of course, it could have been some sort of internal security measure they tried to use against the devourer as well. It's hard to say without a full accounting ma'am." He pauses, "So long as they can't jam our communications with Eve, then we should be able to transmit combat information whilst we are fighting should such come to pass. However… I'm not going to be a host to one of those things." That is said with a simple note of finality, "No matter the situation."

"You already know what I think about this plan, Commander. As for this 'exit': you have hit on it already." Yin flips through her legal pad to present the same drawing of parasite-and-brain she showed Avigail Cohen just a few hours before. "Your doctor suggests these tendrils — " Her pen clicks off so she can circle the relevant section of her diagram. "Here, here, and here. These tendrils are meant to — interface, I think — with the captured brain. We do not know how they work, but we must consider the possibility that they can access everything stored inside." Because to Laurel, a brain is just a really squishy computer. "We cannot allow the security of this ship to be further compromised," she finishes. "Therefore we cannot be taken alive. I suggest providing each member of the team with a fast-acting neurotoxin that halts all brain activity before death." Her expression — so severe — turns unmistakably droll. "Do not look so grim, Marines. This will be glorious."

Dominic listens to the others as they speak, looking to each of them in turn. After a few moments, he looks to Eisley and shrugs slightly. "Maybe we should think about an assault plan should things go sour. To wipe out the enemy ships so at least Genesis can get out of there." His eyes look to Yin at her suggestion before he looks to Michael and Eisley in turn before he looks back to the other woman. "You and I have vastly different ideas about the meaning of the word 'glorious'." He says to her before he looks to Eisley and nods once. "Despite that, she is right. We can not allow any compromise of the ship should we be taken." While his expression may be some what dire at the idea, his tone remains professional.

While they speak, Eisley consults her own notes on the subject, scrolling through information on a smaller, tabletop screen. "Bharti believes that the parasites can alter themselves to take humans as hosts, but the plants seem to serve as their breeding ground and native environment. Chlorine gas is merely a by-product of that." She glances up, mouth thinning to something wry at use of the word 'glorious.' "In a worst case scenario, Captain Ramesh will do everything in his power to save the Genesis. To -that- end, the less those of us going aboard the alien ship know, the better. There is no reason to suspect that they do -not- gain access to all of the knowledge possessed by a host upon…" There is a momentary pause for word selection as she eyes the images of the bugs on the screen. "…attachment. Rest assured, Corporal Delane, I have zero intention of permitting them to implant on anyone. That simply is not in the cards."

"This isn't World War 2, I have no intention of being a kamikaze." Michael rumbles at Yin with a slight shake of his head. He looks back towards Eisley and Dominic. "I spoke of this with the Commander before, but, I would like to reiterate my objection to the XO being sent to this mission. If she must go," He apparently just wants it to be known he -is- objecting to such command personnel being sent on the mission, that done: "We should look at the layout of the ship we discovered, compare it to our scans of the other ships, and find ourselves an escape route." He pauses, "Of course… one devourer took out several of the parasites and their hosts, it is entirely possible that working in concert the 'only' thing we might have to worry about is devourers having taken over parasite ships." He smiles wryly at that, marine humor.

"I am very certain I understand the meaning of the word 'glorious,'" Yin insists, her level gaze meeting Dominic's eyes as she speaks. "It is defined my way in the dictionary." A waterfall of hair slips out of the elastic band she's used to tie it back; with a tsk of annoyance, she uses her pen as one would a hairpin. "Speaking of kamikaze, this raises a second possibility. I have the impression you believe your scans and your past surveys will provide you with enough information about this alien ship to identify possible locations for exfiltration, and that — more generally — you believe what intelligence we have is sufficient. But even if this is true, the away team should still not attempt to escape. If we do indeed face scenario two, we will have no choice but to assume the parasites are hostile. Should intelligence gathering be deemed unnecessary, the team should try to deal as much damage to the alien ship as possible to facilitate Genesis' escape. If they can do this and survive, so much the better. But survival should be the secondary objective, not the primary one."

Dominic raises an eyebrow at Yin as she doesn't seem to understand what he said, just shaking his head slightly before he looks back to Eisley and Michael as they speak. "We have video of the ship's layout and interior that we can use to make plans if the layouts are, indeed, the same." He then looks back to Yin, frowning slightly. "Survival is always the primary objective. If you go in expecting to fail, then you'll fail. I don't know about you, but I'm not planning to die in space."

"Then you should not go," says Yin, crossing her legs so she can fold her hands in her lap.

"Your objection has already been noted, Corporal," answers the Commander with deceptive mildness. "There -is- a possibility that this is a purely diplomatic exchange. We did come to their aid. We are new to the neighborhood, after a fashion. We -cannot- assume the worst and go over with guns blazing. We cannot go back where we came from without the aid of these creatures, who seem to know at least one way back to our original corner of the universe. They did scan us, and they did steal our database… but honestly, would we not have done the same thing if the situation were reversed?" Eisley's index fingers steeple and tap together a couple of times in methodical punctuation. "Our scans of the ship should provide us a better perspective on the layout of these ships. These are larger than the last one we encountered, and while there may be similarities, we should not expect a virtual layout. And no, Lieutenant L'Anse, you will not die in space. You -might- perish on a foreign deck." This is dry as well, though she offers him the faintest hint of a smile.

Michael doesn't make further comment about Eisley going on the mission, twice is enough apparently. "I didn't think we even wanted to go back. However," He laces his fingers together, "I've been thinking." Uh-oh. "There was only one giver that we found on the ship with a braincrab right? We can hope that unless met with aggression that maybe these parasites will only take willing hosts. We can hope." He rolls his massive shoulders in a shrug, "Barring that, I think we should start studying the layout so that we can get a general feel of the interior layout of the ships. Even better if an invasive scan gives us a layout. Then we can get a general idea of which way to go. Otherwise…" Here he half-smiles, "If it does turn bad we're going to be picking a direction and heading that way as best we can. I like the idea of cutting materials, contained explosives, shaped charges and the like to knock our way through walls. It removes some of their home ground advantage."

"It may remove some of their home ground advantages," Yin clarifies. "If they are wise, they will already have prepared for us. But — " The slender woman closes her eyes as she tries to fight the waves of fatigue threatening to envelop her body. "But. There can be no way of anticipating their response at this time," she says after a moment, breathing out through her teeth. "In any case, Commander, do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating shooting first or the — " Her nose wrinkles as she tries to figure out the proper idiom. "The needless taking of names, as it were. We must show no hostile intent upon boarding. I am merely suggesting that the away team be prepared to sacrifice themselves in the service of obtaining necessary intelligence or, barring that, creating a distraction significant enough to cover Genesis' escape. Because that is the only escape that matters." There's just a flash of that droll smile, one more time. "The survivors will of course remember them as heroes, if this is any comfort."

Dominic eyes Yin for a moment before he looks back to Eisley as she speaks, nodding once. "That's good enough for me. Don't feel like floating around space for all eternity." He smirks slightly at that, looking to Michael as he mentions he's been thinking. A thinking Marine? Uh-oh is right. "That's a good idea, Corporal. After we're done, I want you to take charge of the other Marines that are going and make sure they all know the full ship's layout or at least enough to know their way to the vital areas." He says with a single nod before he looks to Yin again, frowning slightly at the words, but doesn't say anything.

"Ladies," says Eisley, "gentlemen." She looks back and forth between the lot, leaving much to the imagination about who she's calling what. "What I want are tools for the kit. Technically, any response to the aliens will have to be fabricated on the fly. We don't know what they want. The only thing I -can- guarantee is that we won't willingly offer ourselves up as hosts, and with that card off the table all other bets are off. Prepare me a tactical exit strategy, and a… glorious, heroic exit strategy, and we will go from there." She manages to keep that from dripping with either amusement or sarcasm. Barely.

"Initial thoughts on exist strategy are as follows: Two marines escorting the non-power armored personnel to the hull of the ship and either finding an airlock and boarding the shuttle, or making their own exit, traveling along the hull to the shuttle, and then leaving if possible. Other thoughts that occur are personal propulsion devices to try and make it to the Genesis post haste. It would be better if we knew what kind if minimum range the parasite ships had, but regardless, the other marines not on escort duty attempt to make their way to the engines or power core of the ship to disable it, or destroy it. If possible depending on what we have at that point, possibly barring the gate and turning the weapons on the other ship or setting a collision course if possible. This distraction team would possibly divide ship responses so that key personnel," Here he looks pointedly at Eisley, "Can escape to continue the mission and safeguard our race. The team sent to affect engineering, likely won't be making it back, but they would then make their way to a hull in order to cut their way out. In this situation, collateral damage is a very good thing. The aliens do not seem to use EVA gear and exposure to vacuum and explosive decompression should hopefully be fatal, or hinder them to some extent."

Yin actually — laughs? In her airy soprano, it sounds more like a giggle than anything else, but one look at her face shows it's not one of amusement but rather one of exasperation. "We must assume they will escort us to the least vulnerable part of their ship upon seeing us in full power armor equipped with as many weapons as your Marines can carry. They may even refuse to deal unless we surrender what weapons we have. What then?"

"Then they don't get to talk." Michael answers simply with a shrug, "Power Armor can't exactly surrender it's weaponry."

Dominic looks to Eisley as she speaks then to Michael, nodding in agreement with his ideas. It's then when Yin laughs, that he frowns again and looks to her. "What would you rather have us do? Walk in there unarmed and hand ourselves over to the aliens pending failure of the negotiations?" Apparently the woman's pessimism is starting to annoy the man. "I'm sure that they're going to take as many precautions as we are, if not more. We don't know each other and we don't know if we can trust each other. We really can't assume they'll be hostile by the precautions that we take."

Eisley taps her fingertips together again. "If they bother to take the time to review our database as thoroughly as we wish to study theirs, they ought to know - in advance - to expect us to show up armed to the teeth. There is an African proverb that suggests something to the effect of speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Even the most solid tactical plan can be rendered wholly unviable by the smallest of problems. It may not even -be- a problem." The idea behind repeating this is so that she herself remembers it, very likely; this factor has to remain on the table even if nobody wants to subscribe to it. "So if we can't take our sticks, and we can't transmit data back to the Genesis… then what?" Hypothetically speaking.

"Then we -try- to have a virtual meeting so to speak, and not face to face. They can communicate with us over ship, we can communicate with them over ship." Michael says with a shrug, "If they are -truly- interested in peaceful interaction then that shouldn't be a problem. If not… well, then we're back to running."

"You bring the sticks they expect you to bring, Commander. And behind them you hide the sticks they do not expect you to bring." Yin doesn't elaborate further, instead looking around the table as if the interpretation were obvious.

Dominic leans back in his seat as he listens to the other suggestion of the others, thinking each suggestion over before he finally speaks. "Perhaps we should do both. We should form a second team to work on a contingency plan in case negotiations fail and we are lost. Something that we don't know about so that it can't be discovered should they get one of us and is not stored anywhere in the ship's systems. Communicate everything in written form or face-to-face. Nothing that they can discover by scanning." He pauses for a moment before continues. "We can work on our interior escape plan and that way we can focus on just that and anything else we need to."

This will draw a shake of the head from Eisley. "No. We do not have the manpower for an extraction team, and I would not want to set off a domino effect of offering pretty new heads for the Parasites to wear. I appreciate the idea, but in practice it would be… inadvisable." She inputs a few more things into the keyboard, calling up an exterior shot of one of the ships for study, now. "In the worst case scenario, it may be possible that those who go over will be left behind. I know you don't like that idea, but we can't risk the rest of the crew -and- our cargo trying to stage a rescue mission." Which leads to a pause and then a wan look nearing a smirk of sardonic dishumor. "Which brings us back to the cyanide pills."

"I'll leave -that- up to the fatalist, and just put thought to possible means to fight our way out." Michael rumbles, "Technology does not guarantee victory. Look at the old countries of Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. Look at Somalia against the world. If anything their technology could indicate a very glaring weakness. The grey ones may be similar to us, physiologically but I'd put paid I'm stronger than they are. The only thing that really worries me, is how many Devourers they've managed to implant. Or similar life forms in this galaxy… I think it's a new galaxy." He shrugs, "Anyways, if it comes down to a fight, we might surprise them with sheer physical determination and ability. Their weapons are strong, laser based however, which indicates that they are unused to facing kinetic threats. Perhaps our firearms might even punch through their defenses on a personal scale."

"I am gratified that the Commander sees sense — " This, regarding the cyanide. " — And that the corporal understood." As he speaks, Yin's already rustling through her papers to find the relevant photographs necessary to illustrate his point. "They know we will bring our most advanced weapons — these miracle suits you wear, or whatever else we have derived from Giver technology. But what of less advanced weapons? Shaped plasticized charges: easy to conceal, difficult to detect. Physical projectiles instead of lasers. Even blades, if it comes to that, though concealing those would prove significantly more difficult. Things they will not expect from their review of standard operating procedure, which we should appear to follow as closely as we can."

Dominic looks back to Eisley. "I wasn't talking about an extraction team. I was more talking about destroying at least one of their ships." He says solemnly before he thinks, looking to Michael. "Believe it or not, Corporal, there are times when fighting, physical determination and ability are simply just not enough. We may very well be overwhelmed and the cyanide pills are all we have. Remember, they may be the ones with numbers on their side." He says before he looks back to Eisley. "As much as I don't like it, I would suggest we bring cyanide pills as a last resort measure along with the idea of cutting off brain activity before death. Everyone going onboard should have one." He looks to Yin and nods. "That will work for those in standard EVAs, but there's not really a lot of places for hiding on the Power Armor. The standard EVAs will need the extra help."

Eisley tilts her head at Dominic. "That part we leave to Captain Ramesh. As I said, the less we know about that the better, on the off chance that there is even a little bit of compromisation. So far as I know, he might be planning to ram another nuke up someone's tailpipe." She pauses for punctuation, gaze shifting to the image on the screen again. "Of course, this would be seen as an act of tremendous hostility. I would like to consider some alternatives that do not involve giving these Parasites an excuse to chase down the Genesis."

"If they try to take us, capture, or implant us against our will it's pretty guaranteed that they'll chase down the Genesis Commander." Michael rumbles simply. Looking towards Dominic he shrugs, "Doesn't matter to me one way or the other. I'm not giving up just because they have technology more advanced than ours. My ancestors fought, successfully, against a far superior enemy technologically and held their own. I think it's a given that we'll be outnumbered, we'll be a small boarding team against a whole ship. Even if the smaller ship only had a limited number of aliens on board, these are larger, will have a greater crew compliment. Enough so that they managed to take Devourer vessels and felt confident with boarding actions. Honestly, our best bet should it come to a fight is sheer ferociousness and unwavering determination. They also seem pre-occupied with capture instead of killing judging by their fight with the Devourers we witnessed, which is not a weakness we will have."

"Ferociousness and determination." Yin echoes the words with a thin, sardonic smile. "Let us hope not. But I agree: I do not think they need an excuse to 'chase us down,' Commander. If I were the one standing in their shoes, I would do it without thinking a second time." She tortures syntax like she'd probably torture an avatar of optimism and joy. "There are one hundred thousand potential hosts on a ship they have at their mercy. Unless they can derive a concrete benefit to leaving us free from their domination — one which cannot simply be derived by seizing our ship — they will come for us." The woman casts about for a pen before realizing hers is in her hair. Well, drat. "They can incinerate a Devourer ship in one second," she says, sitting back in her chair. "Presumably they also understand basic game theory."

Dominic nods his head once to Eisley. "Understood." He looks back to Michael and chuckles softly at the response from the young man. "Of course. I'm never one to give up without a fight, but there are times when we just can't win despite whatever we throw at it. And we don't know what they wanted the Devourers alive for, but that's something we can try to find out when we meet these things." He looks to Yin and nods slightly. "One hundred thousand, two hundred and twenty potentially viable hosts." He says to correct her number. "But you're right. They at least know how to set traps and I'm guessing that's not the only tricks they have up their sleeves either."

"If," Yin adds unnecessarily, "they had sleeves."

"Which is why," Eisley repeats herself, pronouncing each word carefully as if hammering in nails, "I want alternatives that do -not- involve the Parasites chasing the Genesis down." Which is basically some variation on Resolution A. "We cannot cloak to hide from them. We very likely cannot outrun them. We certainly lack the firepower to take out both ships. We are in their back yard. So." She touches one more button, which darkens the big ol' plasma screen yonder. "We still have some time on the clock while they consult their books on how to serve man. Hopefully the technical team will have additional information for me soon. Think on these things; if need be, we can reconvene before we depart."

"Eve is analyzing on my orders what sensor data we were able to collect during the battle," says Yin with a nod. "I am not an expert on space combat, but I have already started designing simulations. With your permission, I will consult our pilot and our engineers to get their input. And I would encourage you to give me that permission, because in my trials Genesis survives combat against the two Parasite ships once every seven hundred tries." The woman giggles despite herself as she begins gathering up all her papers, her hair finally falling out of that bun to dangle around her neck and face. "'Are you feelin' lucky, punk?'" she says, her voice a dreadful imitation of Dirty Harry's.

Dominic looks to Eisley and nods. "I'll have my guys get to work and send the report up to you as soon as it's finished." He says to her before he stands from his seat and looks to Yin as he listens to her idea before he turns his attention to Eisley, waiting for her response.

Eisley shakes her head at Yin. "That is the Captain's bailiwick. In a pinch, I trust his strategic judgment. Anyway, the engineers are all busy trying to crack the database. If they finish in a reasonable amount of time, then… maybe." Time. Time is the limiting factor here, sadly.

"Of course, sir," says Yin, standing at attention so she can do the whole saluting business. And as she leaves the others might hear her say something under her breath in Chinese. Another prophecy of doom? Hardly. "That really sounded better in the movie," she mutters, raising her arms above her head for one truly epic yawn before she's off to do … well, whatever it is she does when she's not playing Cassandra.

Dominic salutes to Yin as she leaves before he looks back to Eisley. "I'll see you later." He says to her casually before he gathers his things and heads out of the conference room to get to work.


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