With the debriefing at 15:00, Andrea had time to see her mech stowed properly in the hangar, and hit the showers. The instructors didn't believe in leaving much time between an exercise and the analysis; better to run over everything while it was still fresh in peoples' minds.
They weren't really supposed to discuss things beforehand, but there was one question Andrea just had to know the answer to.
"What happened to you, anyway?" She asked Kasan.
Julia Kasan paused in the midst of towelling her hair dry and adopted a theatrical pose, "There I was, it was my moment of triumph. There was nothing that could stop me. And then this silvery thing with huge teeth leaps at me." Kasan was acting out each point in the tale with exaggerated motions, especially the 'huge teeth' bit, and Andrea couldn't help but smile. The term 'irrepressible' might as well have been coined to describe Kasan. She might have been taken down in unceremonious fashion, but she still regarded the whole episode as a great lark.
"Turns out they had an attack robot hidden away in a secret compartment. It latched onto my face, and that was it. Of course, now I have to plan my epic vengeance against those two. Want to help?" This last was directed at Sonelle, who'd been listening in.
"What betray my loyal teammates to the hated enemy?" She grinned, white teeth flashing against blue skin, "Depends. What's in it for me?"
Andrea shook her head, concealing a smile of her own. Sonelle might not be your typical drow, but she had the mercenary attitude down pat.
The joking came to an end as they approached the classroom. Both teams would be attending the same debriefing, in the interests of learning. Andrea couldn't help but feel a bit nervous. As leader of Red Team, Andrea was in large part responsible for their performance, and while they might have won, it had been a close-run thing, and she herself hadn't survived the engagement.
Those nerves didn't go away when she saw who was in charge of the debriefing. Old Man Stragov. Ex-Valthi-Military and all-round grouch. What he was doing here she couldn't say. Normally he ran strategy sessions for the seniors. Along with the aptly named Wringer engagements.
Students trickled in. Leischmann, of course, arrived last. It seemed to be some sort of principle thing with him. That or he just took longer fussing over his appearance than anyone else.
"So then," he said, as soon as everyone was seated, "Miss Corpath, perhaps you'd care to tell me where it all went wrong?"
Andrea drew in a deep breath. She'd been giving that some thought herself, "I would say it was during Sonelle's attack run. Aside from the damage we took, our positions were compromised."
"Ah yes, the attack run. Whose idea was that, incidentally?" Stragov's tone was bland, but Andrea got the impression he was setting somebody up for a fall.
Sonelle raised a hand, "Mine, sir."
"So quick to claim credit for a strategy which got you killed, Miss Sonelle?"
Sonelle flushed, but stuck to her guns, "Yes, sir. I felt the benefits outweighed the risks."
"On the contrary," Stragov's voice hardened somewhat, "Low altitude airstrikes on defended positions are an eventual death sentence. Sooner or later, the odds will
catch up with you. Nor did the fleeting advantage gained justify your loss."
He paused, sweeping his gaze around the room, "Can anyone tell me what Blue Team should have done instead?"
Xastor raised a hand, "Stealth reconnaissance, sir."
"Very good, Mr Xastor. A textbook answer for what should have been a textbook question. 'How can we determine the enemy positions?'"
Out of the corner of her eye, Andrea could see Ancell fidgeting. With Blue Team's only stealth suit, that would have been his province. That he hadn't been sent on reconnaissance might point towards a lack of confidence in his abilities.
If Stragov was aware of that, he didn't choose to air it in public. Instead, having made his point, he moved on to another topic, "Mr Garbak, since Miss Corpath has so kindly pointed out your team's primary mistake, perhaps you'd care to identify Red Team's?"
The orc cleared his throat self-consciously before speaking, "Too many one-on-one fights. They had the numbers, they should've used them."
Andrea frowned, thinking back. In hindsight, the teams had paired off towards the end, and with the exception of Leischmann's, the duels had ended badly for them.
"True enough," Stragov said, "There was one particular incident I was thinking of. Mr Higiyama, I believe the original plan called for you and Miss Kasan to work together. What happened?"
Higiyama looked distinctly shamefaced, "I thought Julia had things under control, and Andrea needed my help more. By the time I realised Julia was in trouble, it was too late."
"Your reasoning was flawed, Mr Higiyama. Irregardless of who was in greater peril, your role was to aid Miss Kasan. Had the two of you worked together to defeat your foe, you would have been able to join forces against Miss Corpath's assailant. As it was, both perished. Attempting to alter a plan on the fly seldom works out well," he concluded, sweeping a stern eye across the class.
"Now then," Stragov said, punching up a tactical map on the display screen, "Since we've identified the major errors, let's run through the engagement as a whole, starting with deployment..." <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. â€“ Keir</p>Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kelne>Kelne</A] at: 8/20/06 18:23