These conversations are chronologically ordered and non-simultaneous.Aboard GTD Imperieuse
"All of you bomber jocks are volunteers. You knew, coming in, that your odds of surviving ten sorties against Federation targets were low. You volunteered anyway, because you knew it was a job that had to be done."
"For this mission we need volunteers twice over."
"I want everyone to be aware, going in, that this mission will stress you to the limit and maybe beyond. Not because your targets are heavily defended, but because they aren't. This, too, is a job that has to be done."
"You will deploy Cyclops torpedoes dialed to maximum yield against the following targets, selected by GTVI for their importance to the Federation war effort. Frag orders, strike package assignments, and IPs will be distributed by your squadron commanders. BDA will be conducted by the 45th."
"Forgive yourselves in advance. You won't have any time to hesitate once you're on the line."Aboard UEFg Yangtze
"She's too old to fly. She's got to be a danger to the squadron."
"Shut the **** up, Ogre."
"Look, it's not like I'm saying she's a bad person, even a bad leader, but there are limits. She could do more good somewhere else."
"Do you know how many people there are with as many flight hours as her?"
"Hundreds. There've got to be hundreds."
"Maybe ten in the whole Fleet."
"What? That can't be right. At Indra II there were - "
"How the hell did they all get dead?"
"Look, you want to know why our fighter corps kicked their fighter corp's ass for the last eighteen months?"
"Because they can't fly for ****?"
"It's because they take their good pilots off the line after twenty, thirty sorties and pull them to the rear. Where they train new pilots, build new dicta, and pass on their knowledge. And do you know what we do?"
"We - "
"That's right. We keep people like Flight Lieutenant Ng'Mei on the front line, where they rack up spectacular kill counts and then die like everyone else."
"Makes sense to me. We have to win battles now, not battles in six months. What's the good of an ace if they aren't out getting kills?"
"They have the luxury of using their aces to make new aces. They're running a marathon, we're running a sprint. And that's why their flight corps is getting better and better, and ours is...well, look at the Indus."
"Lorna Simms is - "
" - the only one worth a damn still flying off that ship. The rest are dead. And you know who trained Simms, right?"
"Ng'Mei. So learn everything you can while she's still in the cockpit, Ogre, because when she's gone...there's nobody to take her place."
"**** me."Bergher-Tanikawa Suites, Duchenne, New Berge, Hulldown Continent, Beta Aquilae
"Tell me why you did it."
"I don't owe you anything."
"You earned our trust, Thea. You were extraordinarily, painstakingly convincing. I would have sworn before a tribunal that you were as loyal as the day you left."
"Apparently you should find a new line of work, then."
"Is that a confession, Thea?"
"That's Rear Admiral to you, Captain."
"You were stripped of your rank and citizenship in the GTVA six hours ago. I could execute you summarily and you wouldn't even get a goddamn epitaph. So answer my question."
"I don't know what you're talking about. I will protest this injustice to the limit of my ability. Get your spooks out of my home."
"Don't play games with me. I'm here to offer you a chance at absolution."
"I wasn't aware that the Alliance had any morality left in its table of assets. Absolution seems like a stretch."
"My God. I don't know what those monsters did to you over there, but it really is as terrifying as they say, isn't it? You were the best, Thea. You knew who you were."
"You were a patriot. You were...an honest-to-God champion of humanity."
"I wasn't aware I'd abrogated that responsibility."
"Abrogated? 'Abrogated'? You gave them the ****ing jump schedules, you traitorous piece of ****. There were ten thousand people in that - "
"Keep your voice down."
"Tell me why you did it."
"If I did something, I did it because I took an oath to secure the future of humanity."
"You are as irredeemably, unutterably lost as your commander was, aren't you?"
"I - "
"Shut up. Sergeant, secure Thea Carey and move her to the Blackbird Village site. She can still make up for the damage she's done...one way or another."Aboard GTCv Arcane
"Understand me well. This plan needs to be foolproof. I need contingencies for the contingencies."
"Convince me. What if the stealth fighters are detected and engaged?"
"We allowed a number of Pegasus hulls to fall into their hands intact last year in preparation for an eventuality like this one. The strike element fighters are identical to those craft, down to the serial numbers on individual components. If debris from lost strike elements is recovered on-scene, we can explain it away as components from those ships or fabricated duplicates. Same goes for any Maxim rounds their forensics may collect."
"Elegant. If risky."
"We believe the risk is ameliorated by one major factor in the plan, sir."
"They want to believe us, Admiral. They want us to be telling the truth about what's going to happen out there."
"Speak your truth first and it becomes the truth."
"Our tradecraft calls it psychological pre-emption, sir."
"I understand that's your specialty, sir."Aboard GTD Atreuslisten to this conversation
"You want me to what?"
"I don't want you to do anything. I'm giving you a direct order to 'do what'. But I want you to understand why I'm giving that order."
"Sir, I am accustomed to receiving orders from you that make a minimum of sense. I am not accustomed to those orders putting my crews - "
"Let me make something clear to you. You are one of the finest officers I have ever had the pleasure to command. You make your ships perform in ways that I probably could not manage at my finest."
"Sir, I appreciate that, but - "
"I am not finished. If I give you a direct order to fly your ships into a solar flare, you will obey that order. You will obey it whether I give you a seventy-page strategic directive explaining our urgent need for a fleet of ghost ships or a simple six-word coded imperative. You will obey the order with alacrity and without question, and you will do so with enthusiasm and skill. If you cannot meet these standards then you are not the woman I need in command of my point battle group."
"We are not like the enemy. Orders are not optional in this fleet. There's too much on the line for us."
"Do you want some coffee, Anita?"
"Have you read Contingency MORPHEUS?"
"I don't have the clearance, sir."
"A piece of advice? Pray to whatever force you believe in that it stays that way. It's a nightmare you don't get to wake up from."War in Heaven is coming soon.