PHD #114: Assorted Stupid & Other Matters
Log Title
Summary: A very frank discussion about the state of the Fleet and the future of the Air Wing.
Date: 20 Jun 2041 AE
Related Logs: Followed by BSOD
Cidra Trask 

Recovery Room - Sickbay - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
A much more quiet area of Medical, this elongated room is also lined with beds. Each is similarly outfitted with privacy curtains as necessary and even the paint on the walls has been lightened in an attempt to help lift spirits. Chairs are readily available all over the place so that visitors can pull one up to talk to the patients during their recovery. Near the entrance, visiting hours are posted with a very conspicuous 'No Smoking' sign.
Post-Holocaust Day: #114

Like everyone else rescued from Leonis, Trask was to be ushered through Medical, poked and prodded by various members of the staff, and all-around questioned about where the Cylons 'bad touched' him. Being ranked among the seemingly non-injured, that meant he had a long wait before being seen, and /that/ meant he left to go off and do Productive Things while the waiting line whittled down. By the time he returns, /many/ hours later, he's still dressed in his combat blacks sans armor — and if eyes and noses don't lie, has yet to shower or shave. Seemingly, he doesn't give a frak about that. What he does give is a scrutinizing glance of the ward and its patients, and lets those expressive brown eyes of his zoom in on what's for breakfast: Toast.

Cidra, for her part, was near the top of the list as far as being seen to is concerned. Cratering a Viper and ejecting yourself rather forcefully to terra firma will do that. She's bedded down in the recovery room, left arm in a sling, nasty purple bruise settled on her left temple where Head met Helmet a bit too forcefully. She's smiling. A far wider one than she usually sports. She's just sitting like that when Trask comes in. Taking deep breaths. An expression of relief lingering on her face.

"You must be on some /really/ good drugs," the ECO comments, drawing the CAG's bed curtain closed behind him. Can there be another explanation for the ever inscrutable woman to be smiling? Despite the wisecrack, there's a certain gravitas about him. "I'd ask you how you're feeling, but that'd just be the dope talking."

"I am not very well doped, Bootstrap," Cidra replies, head rolling toward him. And still smiling. "I do not much like morpha. Gives me funny dreams. I have just spoken to Doctor Bia. My shoulder was a bit torn in my fall on ejection but she says it will heal with a bit of physical therapy in two weeks or so. I shall be back on the flight line soon enough." She says those words as if savoring them. Any injury to her arm, it must have crossed her mind that her flying days were done. One can't help but think such things. Blue eyes regard him, though the penetrating gaze she typically adopts is gone. "Things are not very clear to me after my Viper fell to earth, but as I do vaguely recall I owe you my life, yes?"

Not missing a beat, Kal idly quips, "There's more than morpha. Unfortunately, not on Leonis. I'm waitin' for the adrenaline to wear off so the nerve receptors in my back can resume their shanking." Laid-up for two days after being forced to eject, he did what PT he could manage on his own, and tenaciously worked his way through the pain of the sprain over the past month and a half. Odds are that he's going to be assigned some 'official' physical therapy. The question is met with a reply that is his typical amalgam of self-deprecation and 'I am awesome' pretense. "I can't take all the credit. The chute did most of the work, and both the tree and Shiv played important supporting roles."

"More than morpha I would not mind right now…" Cidra mutters. More to herself than Trask. She may not have even meant to say that aloud. But her filters are a little lower tonight than usual. "Yes, I do vaguely recall this. I owe both you and Ibrahim a great deal. Though he strikes me as the sort who is not as graceless about collecting on such debts are you." It is said with fondness. Though her expression grows more serious as she regards him. "I am quite sure this is not strictly a social call. I have not been awake long. I have not been given any proper reports. What is the tally, Lieutenant? What did Leonis cost us?"

"Graceless?" is scoffed with mock incredulousness that overlays an equally faux indignation. "Please." Those big brown eyes of his roll with dramatic derision. "I'm likely the most stylish debt collector on this ship." Beat, and then a facile transition into nonchalant opportunism, "But since you're sayin' I'm owed a great deal, I'll give you a break on the interest rate if you do me a favor." What that favor is, Trask does not specify.

Instead, he addresses the other issues. "Pretty sure there aren't any proper reports to be given. I've spent the past hour organizing my thoughts onto paper, but it's far from formalized. If you're short on reading materials, though, and enjoy dark comedies, I'll bring you a draft." As for the tally, "Casualties?" Mildly, his left shoulder shrugs. "Dunno the numbers or names, yet. We lost some of ours. Lasher among them. Harriers are all accounted for, at least, apart from the poor bastards we lost some six weeks ago." Despite not using the most respectful of language, a small frown starts to blossom upon his brow and in one corner of his mouth.

"Lasher?" All traces of a smile, all traces of relief, fade from Cidra's countenance. And she hasn't her shield of inscrutability to duck behind tonight, either. Her right hand, fortunately for her her dominant one, goes to cover her lips as she exhales a sharp breath. Eyes close for a beat. She, quite visibly, takes a moment to collect herself. She does not open her eyes before asking, tone as composed as she can manage, "Was his body recovered?" Perhaps not the first question that might spring to everyone's mind, but it seems of paramount importance to her.

Bootstrap notices the CAG is off her game. Not the sort who can stand feeling exposed and emotionally vulnerable himself, he lets Cidra compose herself as though nothing is amiss. It's one of the odd ways he is deeply courteous. When she is finally ready, it is simply relayed, "He died en route. Bled out in the Raptor. Not before a final cigarette, though." That last is somewhat smirked, although probably true. "Centurions did more damage to his lungs than smoking ever did. It was a good death, though." Insofar that anything can be considered a good death. "Meat-shielded those civilians in a way that'd make any Marine proud. But, yeah. He's in the morgue."

Cidra murmurs something in a low, lilting drawl under her breath as Trask relates that. It's definitely not Colonial Standard, with its odd emphasis on certain syllables and drawn-out vowels. It has the sound of a prayer. The word 'Hermes', at least, is intelligible. It's another beat before her eyes open again. More composed now, though they still don't meet Trask's. "Anton was a man of much courage. More than was good for him, usually. Good. That is…that is good. I will speak to the chaplain. I do not know what he left in terms of instructions but…I know he prayed to Hermes sometimes…I will try and see him off in a manner that honors him. I owe him that much…"

The praying? It does not rest all that well with the Taurian. Perhaps this is why he just vaguely nods and adopts a you'd know better than I would about this kind of thing look. Even so, Trask would not be Trask if he didn't add, "Maybe Rojas has a plushie sheep we can send off with 'im." This comment is likely to be overlooked because he follows-up with, "You'll wanna keep an eye on Lucky."

"Sophronia. My gods. Yes." Another heavy sigh from Cidra. "I know they were…close. I did not really press much beyond that. Anton told me matters remained quite professional after he became Squadron Leader but…does not change what is in one's heart. I will speak to her about that and…other matters. The Knights must be dealt with shortly." She leaves it at that, though it brings another matter to her mind. "Have you spoken yet with Captain Quinn?"

"Oh, yeah," the ECO echoes the sentiment about things remaining professional. "You could smell her sexual frustration all the way in the Raptor berth." The Knights really aren't his concern, so it prompts no reply. When Quinn is mentioned, though, an overcast manifests across his face. "Not since she was evac'ed." And not due to lack of trying. Trask simply hasn't been able to track her down during all the post-Leonis chaos.

"Her leg was badly broken. You know this. And there are…other matters," Cidra says, tone oh-so-careful. "She is fine. It is personal. And not for me to gossip about. She can tell you the details. The point of it is, she will be off flight status for quite some time and will not be able to perform her duties as squadron leader of the Harriers. She can still serve on-ship. I have transferred her to the Landing Signals post. She is still getting up to speed and is already far more useful at it than Captain Hellicon ever was." Tone oh-so-dry. Ahem. "In any case. The Harriers will need a leader. Quinn recommended you. I concur."

Ever since the Centurions shot down their Raptor, the subject of Quinn has been a touchy one. The kind that makes for a brooding Bootstrap. As Cidra continues to speak, his expression grows sharper yet oddly inscrutable, save that there is an intensity of emotion being held in-check. When she gets to the part about his SL now being the LSO, displeasure becomes far more evident. Even if that were not the case, he still would have snarked, "That's because Hellicon is a jagoff douchebag." That said, there is a brief but weighted pause. "On a non-interim basis," is sardonically observed. Oh, yes. A certain red-headed magpie is going to rue the day her ECO's wings got clipped.

"A very long interim, but officially we should call it that for now," Cidra replies. Eyes make contact with Trask's again now. Or at least try to. "Officially there will be some matters that we shall need to sort out. I shall likely not have the opportunity to put it through proper channels until the next day or so. Do not sweat the niceties. See to your people."

A very long interim, eh? "So, these personal other matters won't keep her permanently outta the cockpit?" Oh, yes. Bootstrap is going to push the issue. Hells, he's going to curbstomp it. Regardless of what Cidra's saying, this does not sound like the temporary substitution that he most reluctantly agreed to when Quinn asked. "And I've been seeing to them." He has. That's part of the whole going off to do Productive Things while having to wait to be seen by Medical. He may not be at all happy to be put in-charge, but he's still going to go above and beyond duty, as is his wont to do.

"She will be off the flight line for several months, at the very least. How she wants to handle matters after her…personal business is completed, I will leave to her," Cidra says. "But her injuries, as I understand it, should not ground her permanently. As I said, she will have to tell you the details. It is not my place. And I have no doubt you have." As for seeing to his people. "You are always very much about the work, and your crew. You were on the Aegean long before they gave you officer pins. You have not changed much." She sounds grateful for that.

Oh. Hells. Yes. Quinn is going to give him every last frakking detail that his widdle heart of gold buried beneath all the jerkassiness desires. Trask is a cranky lad, indeed. A moment passes, mouth quirked in some manner of irritation and his eyes betraying that there is some semblance of turmoil beyond the controlled surface. "Pins don't mean shit except to people who have to rely on rank," the Mustang officer snarks. That he's managed to go so far professionally with such an attitude is an testament of his skill and of his willingness and ability to pull the weight of others in addition to his own. "Even so, I'd understand if some of your more senior offers get pissed-off that they'll be taking orders from a JiG who hasn't even clocked two years in the Air Wing. Have you even informed any of them?"

"Not as of a yet. As I said, this has not been put through official channels at this juncture. But I will see to it promptly. You are correct on one point. I will not have lieutenants taking orders from a J-G. The ritual gives form to function. Chain of command is not much different. But that is something we shall settle formally in the coming days." Cidra offers Trask the barest hint of a smile.

Kal isn't smiling. Not even wryly or sardonically. He's not even smirking. One might conceive that time in Kythera has darkened his demeanor. Not so much, though, that he doesn't deadpan, "Lovely. I look forward to it." Like he looks forward to impromptu slumber parties with Centurions. "So, since I'm running things, you'd best fill me in on all this crazy shit I've been hearing about Abbot, and about Tillman pulling a gun on him in the chapel, and Marines throwing themselves on grenades, and whatever other assorted stupid I should know."

"The gun was not pulled on him in the chapel," Cidra replies, first and foremost. "Admittedly, just outside it. But we were spared that, at least. When Lucky and Jugs were returned to us from Leonis, they brought evidence to the XO, as I do understand it, that Rear Admiral Abbot might be a Cylon collaborator." She states it starkly. Brows arch ever-so-faintly. "I did presume you coming from the surface might know more of that than I."

"Yeah, there's a tape," Trask confirms. "Some local reporter claims to have filmed it. Looks like Abbot commanding a squadron of Centurions in Kythera. But, yanno, Prince has this one porno where Zinnia Todd-Winston is getting frakked doggy-style by a Gemenese Shepherd, and I'm tellin' ya — especially after having seen her in person on this here ship — frakkin' dead ringer. No idea how the production company doctored such a thing to look so life-like, only that they somehow did it. Or maybe it really /is/ her." Faintly, he shrugs after crossing his arms, concluding with, "What's done is done, though. The XO made a call he felt was necessary. I can respect that. The way he went about it was beyond moronic. I mean, shit. He was Strye's frakkin' TACCO for five frakking years. That alone should be a nuclear alarm of a red flag that the guy's cracking." Evidently, Tillman was held in very high esteem before this clusterfrak.

It is at this point that the ECO assumes a 'whatever' demeanor. "Not much to do about it, other than damage control. It's for the MPs to sort out evidence-wise. Too bad that Ashwood got himself killed. Or maybe that was orchestrated. Frakked if I know. It's not like he couldn't be a skinjob. I'll tell you this, though, Cid, unsolicited as my opinion is: Lasher's dead, the CO is in the brig, I reckon you have three El-tees in the running for the SL spot, and you'd best believe it that one of 'em being appointed will cause some morale issues."

"What is done is done. Tillman did it through legal channels, though it became uglier than it ever should have. The idea that tape is a fraud weighs heavy on my mind, Bootstrap. Do not think I have not considered it. We must see what comes of it now." And Cidra's tone for that is grim. "Colonel Pewter of the Corsair is in charge of the ship now. For what it may be worth, he seems a worthy man. He has been a steady hand in the troubled days since the Admiral's detainment, and has tried to calm things and see the rescue mission through. For that, he has my respect."

As for the Knights. A wry, "Just one of them would cause issues?" But there's no real humor there. "I know. Sophronia will have a difficult time of it. For many reasons. Do not think it is something I do lightly. But there is no other choice, really. And I believe her, for all her faults, a true protector of this ship. We have no higher mission than that." She speaks as one who has already made up her mind, if not entirely comfortably.

"Morale issues hinging on the recent onslaught of idiocy, yeah. Whatever Sophronia's intentions may be, they are ultimately moot when it comes to this. On several occasions, she's shown near-fatal errors in judgment. She almost got her wingman killed. You wanna send someone off for a suicide run against a warhead, she's your gal. To lead a squadron and be responsible for every single pilot under her command, as well as keep in mind the larger role of the Knights in relation to the other squadrons, she is the worst possible choice. Drunken dickhead that he is, even Spiral is more responsible about this kind of thing." And that, in light of his personal animosity towards alcoholics, actually pains the teetotaler to say.

"And you're wrong, by the way. There's always the option of folding the Petrels into the Knights. Both are stretched thin. Not to mention that both Picon and the very concept of the Petrels being reservists are gone for good. I'm no Viper jock, so I have no idea if having the different Marks will cause logistical problems in the field. If it won't, do it. Whatever asinine ideas Shiv has about ground tactics, he knows what he's doing behind a stick. He's also respected by the Wing." Trask is very matter-of-fact.

"The problems Lucky's installation would cause would be magnified tenfold with Spiral in regards to morale," Cidra says. "As for Shiv…Ibrahim is the best Viper pilot on this ship, wherever he came to us from. He also has a good head on his shoulders, and he shows proper care for the people under his command. He is also about the only flight instructor I have left of any estimable quality, and we need to start training Nuggets if we are to hope to survive for the foreseeable future. That will fall heavily on him. I do not claim Sophronia is the ideal choice for this. But she has shown me, since her return from Leonis, a willingness to lead, and a care for her squadmates and those under her. It will be difficult for her. I have no illusions about this. But I would not do this if I did not believe it best for my pilots. My hope is she can find an example from officers like Shiv and Jugs…and yourself."

Cidra has a good point about training. So good, in fact, that he uses it himself. "So, does that mean you're stepping down as CAG 'cuz I sure as frak intend to get some Raptor nuggets, and you are by far the most qualified person to train 'em." Boots doesn't stop there, though. No, he keeps on stomping. "What we need is to get more people capable of training nuggets. People need to be taught how to teach 'cuz otherwise, if Shiv dies, those nuggets are frakked. Kinda like the Knights are frakked if you put Sophronia in-command. You can quote me on that. I'll even sign a written statement that can be put in my jacket and hers." Snark aside, he's serious. "And Spiral would cause morale problems for entirely different reasons, and you know it. I heard Queenie quit, but his shit's still in the berth, so I guess the rumors of his return are true."

"You do not quit in a time of war," Cidra says dryly. "Queenie and I have settled that matter." She says no more on it. But it's fairly clear he's not an option for SL in her mind. "It is my understanding Ibrahim has worked a little with Jugs in terms of teaching. That needs to continue. It is likely, even with her off flight status, she will be able to do a bit in terms of that. And I shall do what I can, but I acknowledge I have not the time to give it the attention it shall likely require." As for Sophronia, she simply nods. "Do what you think best for the Wing. I expect no less. Just know that I do the same. This is not done lightly on my part, but Lucky has my trust." And she means it, too. For better or worse.

Kal's usual facetiousness has been eroded by causticity. There is an audible sharpness that slices out the impishness that has always softened the sting of his impertinence. "I swear, I'm gone for 6 frakking weeks and ordinarily sensible people lose all common sense. At this point, it's probably prudent to avoid Gabrieli 'cuz, if this trend continues, he's devolved into a dumbass, too." Evidently, he thinks that trust of the CAG's is had for worse. "Anyway," he says, having reached his limit, "it's ultimately your call. My objections have been expressed and noted. And I won't hesitate to express them again, should need arise, which I suspect it will. Crazier shit has happened, though, so maybe she won't be a total frak-up." With that, most of the bile appears to have been expelled.

"You should rest," is added more softly and with genuine concern. "I'll see about getting you an AAR before you finish navigating those official channels you need to navigate. Anything else I can get'cha while you're stuck in here?" For all his faults, the rough-and-tumble Taurian can also be a sweetheart.

Cidra's brows arch a notch at the use of the term 'dumbass.' "Your opinion has been noted, Lieutenant." A pause, and she does add, "I would not ask your opinion if I did not want it. And know it would be honest, for better or worse. Do not spread this beyond us. There are still…many things to sort out." She does not sound unsure of herself. She never /seems/ to lack confidence, really. But there is an air of hedging there. "And I do very much need to have words with her before anything transpires."

The slightest of smiles at that last. "My thanks, but I am fine. In fact, I am told by Doctor Bia that if I am still in possession of all my mental faculties in the morning, I can return to the berthings to recuperate. The shoulder will need a bit more therapy, but the knock to my head is the reason they want to keep me tonight." A level look. Comments about personnel decisions made after head trauma would probably not be welcome.

There it is, that cheeky boyishness that somehow manages to seep through the countenance of a weary man. "Since when do I tell anyone anything they don't need to know?" Even when it includes things they don't want to hear. "A'right," the ECO vaguely nods about Cidra being fine. At mention of head trauma, a wry smirk forms. "Yeah. MRIs are never fun." Spoken from experience and with the awareness that he'll likely be subjected to one in light of some of the injuries he sustained on Leonis. "See ya in the mornin'." He starts to draw back the bed curtain so he can depart. "We can discuss that favor then." Because he wasn't joking about that either. "You want 'em open or closed?" is his finally query.

"Closed, please," Cidra replies, settling back on her bed as comfortably as she can without jostling her shoulder. "I shall see you on the morrow. It is very good to have you back, Bootstrap. It is good to have all of you back."

In light of all that's happened, it really isn't as good to be back as Trask had been expecting. He doesn't spoil the moment for Cidra, though. "Sure thing, Toast," he says with a ghost of a smile and the faint flutter of closing curtains.

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