Log Title: Improving the Odds

Characters: Baroness, Major Bludd

Location: Command Room - Crown City Palace

Date: 22 September 2011

TP: Flood TP

Summary: Baroness and Major Bludd discuss the upcoming assault on the Decepticons' polar melting machine.

Command Room - Crown City Palace

This large, open area has been set up with computer terminals, large display screens, and a large, ornate table that was appropriated from one of the lesser dining halls.

Major Bludd stands before the central display screen, which shows a satellite view of the location where the Decepticons' heating device was discovered. Various other screens display lists of personnel, vehicles, armament, and other details. Bludd pokes keys now and again, peering from one display to the other.

Baroness steps into the Command Room, she seems exhausted. She walks slowly, and her face is not bothering with her normal regal appearance. She immediately slumps into the nearest chair to the Major, and looks at him, "New information, 'bastian?"

Major Bludd's hand stops midway to his next keypress as the weary Baroness addresses him. He turns to face her, one eyebrow raised. "What train ran you over?" he asks.

Baroness shakes her head slightly, "A combination of dealing with the flooding, United Nations, and letting myself go too long without sleep. The scientists think they may have a viable forcefield option, in one month.... two weeks, of course, after most of this nation is covered in at least a meter of water. Only those damnable Kurds will be high and dry."

The corner of Bludd's lip curls. "An' I thought I had it bad workin' out this assault," he mutters. He turns back to the screens. "I've tallied all our forces and sketched out a battle plan that's designed to distract the Decepticons long enough for us to lay some firepower on their machinery." He glances to her. "But it's iffy. We simply don't have the armaments to actually hold them off. If we can't lure them away, we'll be speeding to our deaths, all of us."

"Unless the Commander approves talking to the Joes... or.... we contact the Autobots. I have a contact that works for them. I can contact Spike Witwicky...." Ana says softly. She leans her head on her hands, and stares at the screen Bludd is using to plan his assault, "Their assistance could hold the Decepti-creeps off our asses long enough..."

Major Bludd nods, smiling at her use of the word 'Decepticreep'. "Probably our best option," he replies, "if they go for it. I can predict what kind of response we'd be likely to get from the Joes. The Autobots might actually be more reasonable. Hell, if we misbehave they can end us as easily as the Decepticons could."

Baroness smirks and snorts in a laugh, "I'd like to think we'd put up a decent fight and take a lot of them with us."

Major Bludd flicks a glance to the main screen, bringing up a visual tally of every available vehicle and soldier with a few keypresses. He studies it for a moment, pursing his lips in thought. "Maybe some," he decides finally. "Definitely some."

Baroness forces a grin, "Especially if we wait until after the Decepticons shot the crap out of them." She winks. "Remember, the enemy is weakest, after a fight with their enemy..."

Major Bludd's jaw drops open for a moment. He casts the display screen a scowl and slaps a button, clearing the screen. "Dammit, I've been looking over this too long," he snarls, turning back to her. "Been spending too much time as tactician and not 'nough time bein' smart." He grins back at her. "Yer right, o'course."

Baroness shakes her head, and shrugs slightly, "Tell you what. You deal with the diplomats, beaurocrats, and scientists, and I'll plan the Op." she winks. "Deal?" Of course, if she lets Bludd handle the civilians, she might have to explain to the Commander why they are all dead.... but it would be easier than dealing with them...

"Not on yer life," Bludd replies, still grinning. He sighs. "I reckon this situation's enough to try even the strongest of us," he says. "And I think we're both of us working too hard." He walks over and rests a hand on her shoulder. "This operation has got to go off soon, else we'll be planning it underwater. One thing's crystal clear: we can't do it on our own."

Baroness nods, "If it doesn't happen next week, we will be evacuating this city, and moving all our people to DeCobray Baronary... Hopefully it won't be underwater. From what I can tell, and the scientists agree, most of the Ukraine will stay above the water line, even with the melting of all the ice caps..."

"That's a bright spot," Bludd replies. "At least we'll have somewhere to go if this mission fails." He snorts, scowling. "It might not be so many of us'll need t'be relocated, if the Decepticons beat us back."

Anastasia frowns and says softly, "We can't think like that, 'bastian. We have to hope for victory, otherwise, there won't be much left on this planet worth fighting for."

"I'll do better'n hope, Ana," Bludd replies. "It's my job to put together the op, an' I'll do me best, as always." He calls up a world map on the large display and frowns at it for a few moments. "For all our sakes." He pauses, then says over his shoulder, "Ain't it funny? Us as one o' th' world's best chances for survival?"

Baroness mutters, "Don't tell the world.... They don't like it. Even if the U.N. did recognize this country, they did it because I threatened to pull out dirty secrets...." She sighs, "And without either the Joes, or the Autobots, we will need a lot of luck..."

"Well," Bludd says, forcing a cheerful tone into his voice, "they'll have a big plate o' crow t'eat when we help save the planet, then, won't they? What're the Autobots gonna do when we tell them what we know an' ask fer their help? Say no? 'No, we don't give a rat's bum about yer stupid planet; we've been faking it for thirty years!'?" He smiles weakly, giving a faint shrug.

Baroness chuckles, "Remind me to record that conversation... Just in case, of course."

Major Bludd raises an eyebrow at her, smiling. "I thought you recorded everything."

Baroness shrugs, "I'm not recording *this*."

Major Bludd folds his arms across his chest and leans against the control panel. "Well, nobody's said anything treasonous yet," he quips.

Baroness smiles slightly, "And I highly doubt anyone will...." Although, she has had treasonous thoughts, about hiding away in a castle, in the Ukraine, and letting someone else handle things....

    • Beep Beep** A next generation have-it-before-you-can-buy-it iPad beeps from it's case on Ana's hip. She reaches for it, and reads a message sent to her.

"'Course not," Bludd replies matter-of-factly. He pushes away from the display controls. "If you get approval," he says, "an' if you make contact with th' Joes, you'll need somebody t'coordinate men an' equipment. Sadly, I reckon that'll be me."

Baroness chuckles, "Of course it will be you..." She pauses, and motions to the iPad, and than plays the message aloud for Bludd, it is in the Commander's voice, "Do It. Contact the Joes." She smiles, wryly, "Well, that settles that...."

"Suppose it does." Bludd takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "Looks like we've got our work cut out for us, eh?"

Baroness nods, "And I have to figure out who in the Joes to contact... Who is most likely to be pragmatic enough, without being too knee-jerk reactionary to listen to reason, to... welll... listen to reason."

Major Bludd snorts. "Not Scarlett," he opines. "She's too firmly entrenched in the 'black hats/white hats' camp to see past the end of her nose."

Baroness frowns, "But, of their leadership cast, she is the most visible. Hawk is well hidden, I haven't seen him in... ages. Duke is not an option, Flint is not either... Snake-Eyes is worse than Scarlett... She might be the best option... at least, if we want to start out higher in their ranks, and not work through multiple layers of go betweens."

Bludd makes an indistinct sound: something between a sigh and a growl. "Alright," he mutters. "Time /is/ of the essence here, after all. Maybe she'll even be aware of that and be ... dare I say ... /reasonable/." He closes his eyes for a moment, then mumbles, "An' I'm th' Queen o' flamin' England..."

Baroness laughs, and bows, while stll seated, "Your majesty."

"Smartass," Bludd mutters, unable to keep the grin off his face. "Least I got y't'laugh. Yer welcome, by the way."

Baroness nods, "Thank you, I needed that." She turns and looks at a map of the current flooding, and looks thoughtful. "We have to figure out a neutral site to meet her at... someplace she can't have an ambush set up, ready to arrest whomever is sent to meet her." No way is Ana going to risk meeting Scarlett in person.... not and come back with stab wounds!

Major Bludd frowns. "That'd be just like her: maybe jeopardise the whole thing just to have another Cobra bigwig in the tank."

Baroness frowns, "Perhaps initial contact should be via radio, or the telephone...."

"/That/ sounds logical," Bludd replies. "Might even drum her up on the internet, 'pendin' on how much y'care about privacy."

Baroness shakes her head, "I hate the internet. People knowing my business, too easily.... Although, it is a great source of intelligence about the enemy."

"So chat to her on radio," Bludd suggests. "See what she has to say."

Baroness nods, "I will... But not tonight. Right now, she'd too easily get information out of me. I am not sure I would recognize a loaded question if it jumped up and bit me in the face."

"We could both use some rest," Bludd replies, "We're neither of us any good t'the organisation if we're asleep in our cornflakes."

Baroness just blinks at Sebastian, trying to figure out the reference 'asleep in our cornflakes'. She finally shrugs and figures it is an 'Aussie' thing. She stands up, nodding, "Yes, a solid 8 hours of sleep is sounding like a good idea." She moves a few steps towards Sebastian, kisses his cheek, and than drifts off towards her suite.

Major Bludd smiles after her. "'Night, Ana."

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