PHD #474: Annual Performance Review - Sweet Pea
Annual Performance Review - Sweet Pea
Summary: Leyla gets her performance review… and an apology(?!)
Date: 15 Jun 2042 AE
Related Logs: Of Treachery and Trinkets (vim and venom and things outgrown)
Leyla Trask 
Ready Room - Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus
With the hatches at the rear of the room, the walkways on both sides slope down towards the dais at the front of the room. The stadium seating forms a partial semi-circle around the speaking podium and provides enough seats for all three hundred members of the Air Wing. The walls are adorned with the patches of each squadron aboard and their mottos stenciled in white lettering above each one. Behind the podium is a set of large LCD screens that can display any matter of material from reconnaissance to maps to gun camera footage.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #474

15 Apr 2042 AE: Trask is taken off the flight line due to critical injuries.
15 Jun 2042 AE: Trask is cleared to return to flight duty.

His first CAP in two (2) months already is over and done with, gone off without hitch. For whatever reasons, he's still clad in his flight suit, sitting up front, and reviewing some footage while waiting for the recipient of his next performance review to arrive.

And arrive she does, similarly attired, and punctual as ever, the hatch opening on quiet hinges, to allow Leyla to slip through and start on the way down towards the front of the ready room. Whatever footage is playing over on the screen gets most of her attention, the walk through the chairs and around the impediments needing little more than muscle memory to clear her obstacles. "Captain, sir." Salute and all.

Never one to much stand for ceremony, Bootstrap nonetheless musters a cursory salute and doesn't keep Leyla standing there long at all. "At ease, Lieutenant." The adjacent desk is indicated with a lackadaisical tilt of his head. "Get situated and we'll get started."

Having discarded her helmet on the co-pilot's seat of the 307, there's not much that needs to be done to get situated, "Yes, sir." Settled at the desk, Leyla still manages to sit straight-backed, hands folded on the desktop, but her attention isn't on the footage any longer, "I'm set."

For his part, Trask's quasi-sprawl is foregone for a position to better address the pilot. Uncharacteristically impassive, he flips open the folder in front of him that is labeled AYDIN, LEYLA. Without preamble, he gets to the primary point. "Overall, your numbers look good. There's been marked improvement in your piloting since you transferred from the Early Elevens, although you were proficient to begin with. In addition, you've become certified as a flight instructor, as was asked of you, so kudos there, too." There's no semblance of sarcasm. Just a dispassionate matter-of-factness.

"Thank you, sir. I've been fortunate to have had some good instructors in the Harriers, and in the Colonel as well." Whatever Leyla was expecting when she came in for her review, she's not seemingly in the mood to make it obvious. It's a performance review. Just standard procedure.

Not that standard procedure has ever meant much to the likes of Kal Trask. Irreverence might well be his middle name. "Lieutenant Colonel Hahn and I are in agreement that all Harriers are to become cross-certified in Raptor operations. We intend to have everyone fully capable of switch-hitting within the next 6 to 9 months. In light of your extra duties with the Hyperlights, you'll be given a 3-month extension. I'll schedule you for an ECM assessment." It all sounds pretty rote.

Leyla nods, considering, before she sits back in her seat, "Everyone has extra duties, Captain. Mine just happen to be with another squadron. While I appreciate the consideration of yourself and the Colonel for my assignment to the training squadron, I took the position with the understanding that it would mean extra duty, and having to put in more time to see that one part of my job wasn't neglected for the other. Also, I would be concerned with possible talk of favouritism from the other members of the squadron if I were given an extension for those circumstances and they were not. If I might propose doing my assessment first, and then deciding whether or not I would be able to get up to speed in the time frame you are looking for for all of your squadron."

For a moment, he merely regards the pilot in a bland manner. One would even be excused for assuming he's not really listening. The pen that's been in his left hand since Leyla arrived, however, starts to move, followed by a dip of his head and eyes on the paper. "Your comments have been noted," is the flat reply as he transcribes her concern. That's it. Lords know there are so many snarky, incisive things he could've leveled against Sweet Pea, but none of it is forthcoming. More to the point, he doesn't even appear to be biting his tongue. "Is there anything else that you believe I should know, Lietnenant, before we conclude this review and I file this report?" It's a standard question.

"No sir. You're up to speed on my work in the Harriers, and in the Hyperlights as well. I'm taking my assignments as they're offered to me, and keeping myself open as the need arrives. I don't believe there's anything else that needs to be reviewed in that regard." Leyla's remained mostly still, since the review began, hands neatly folded on the desk, the footage, playing or not, still going unremarked and unwatched on the screen at the front of the room.

Since she has nothing more to add, the triplicate form is slid over to the woman. "Sign and date." Trask's signature is already there. The contents of the report are limited to what he relayed about Sweet Pea's skills as a pilot and her meeting the objective to become a certified instructor, plus that hand-written note regarding her concerns about favoritism and so forth. That's it. The vim and venom he spouted at Cidra some seven (7) weeks ago are nowhere in those pages.

Hands unfolding, Leyla reaches across with her left to pull the papers towards her. Perhaps the bureaucracy of the military is getting to her at last, because she actually reads through the paperwork before she takes up a pen to place her signature on the line, adding the date a moment after, "Thank you, Captain. Was there anything else we needed to cover?"

The pilot's copy of the paperwork is neatly torn off and handed to her, and the rest of the sheets are returned to the folder. For a weighted moment, he considers the question in a rather inscrutable manner. Perhaps all SLs are given such instruction by the CAG. Finally, all he says is, "I believe an apology is in order." There is nothing indignant about his tone or manner, nor is he glib, wry, sardonic, or any other adjective those who even passingly know him would expect.

Nor does he wait for any manner of reply. He merely continues in a matter-of-fact manner, "Toast has this mantra about making the best with the pieces we have. Sometimes, though, those pieces shouldn't be moved from where they perform so well." Pensively, he pauses. "I misjudged you, but that's neither here nor there. What /is/ key here," and this is where he leans across his desk because this is the key part, after all, and such things always get stressed, "is that I never should've saddled you with so much responsibility without even consulting you. /That/ was wrong. It was irresponsible. And for that I /am/ sorry."

And with a, "That's all," that's it. "You're dismissed, Lieutenant."

Leyla listens, without need for interruption or a lifting of her hand for an interjection. She just listens. And then she rises to her feet, accepting the paperwork that she'll add to her own records before she moves away from the desk. "There was never any reason to apologize, Boots. Because it was never about the responsibility to you, which was clear, or my ability to live up to that responsibility, which was more than adequate. Circumstances were what they were made to be by the events that happened outside of our control, and what happened happened because it needed to happen. We can spend all of our lives trying to control everything that happens, setting up all of the dams and fords and gates we think we need to get the work done to get the job of living done. But sometimes life shows you that life is slipping away from you. And if you don't hold onto it when it comes around, it won't ever come around again." And with that, she makes her way back out of the ready room.

At this point, the man honestly well and truly doesn't care whether or not his rejoinder is heard. "You might be right about the whole life and dams and whatever," which he also has been first-hand learning, much to his disconcertment, "but you're hella wrong about the rest of it." There's no rancor to his words, though, or even condescension. A trust was broken that cannot be mended. And now that all that is ever expected of the pilot is to handle her stick and teach the nuggets how to handle theirs, there simply is no room for anger, hurt, and disappointment.

"And that's you're opinion, everyone has one, and you're welcome to it, Boots. I've long since outgrown the need or desire to defend myself and my choices to anyone, even to you, especially one that was approved by our commanding officer. The past is gone and I'm moving forward. I hope that you'll find a way to do the same." But Leyla isn't stopping, not for longer than it takes for her to offer that answer by the hatch, before she steps outside.

One that should've gone through him before it ever reached the CAG, yet he doesn't even point out the chain-of-command and how it is supposed to function. No, he just smiles the strange smile of someone who's finally starting to outgrow the need to have the last word, even when he's certain he's right.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License