PHD #181: Black Doesn't Wash Out
Black Doesn't Wash Out
Summary: A meet and greet between two Black Country peeps in which Leyla is welcomed into the Harriers by her new SL.
Date: 30 Aug 2041 AE (backscened to 26 Aug)
Related Logs: Eleven No Longer
Leyla Trask 
The Bowers - Aigosthena - Sagittaron
Crumbling stucco covers the thick adobe walls of the abandoned farmhouse. A dozen or more people lived here, judging by the size. The second floor has mostly collapsed, though the stairs leading up remain intact, ending upon a landing that peers out at the frame of massive palmwood beams whch support the thatched roof. Much of the furniture was left behind, and sun-faded curtains still hang from the windows, flapping restlessly in the breeze.
Post-Holocaust Day: #181

It has been relatively quiet, all things considered. No IEDs recently launched at the base camp. No further suicide bombers coming by to delivery explodeygrams. Even the buzz surrounding the arrival of one Lieutenant Tobias "Shortcut" Ulixes has died down. Truth be told, this lull has anything but a calming effect on aforementioned found pilot's former squadron member and current 'interim' SL of the VAQ-141 "Harriers".

Having been informed by a runner that the CAG arranged for him to meet the newest transfer into his squadron, Trask enters the dilapidated farmhouse well into the lifespan of the cigarette he's smoking. As is common in ground operations, the standard flightsuit has been foregone in favor of black combat dress. Although unstrapped, the helmet is worn.

The new transfer, such as she is, is standing by a window, hands having slid back the remnants of the curtains, looking back out into the land outside of the farmhouse, the remains of what was once a small family garden, likely for herbs and small, easily tended vegetables. She's still dressed in her flight suit, though she's set aside the helmet on a scrap of tabletop close at hand. Despite the heat, she hasn't made any concession to it, still dressed for wheels up.

The sound of footsteps on the creaking boards brings Leyla's attention around, her body moving smoothly, as she hones in on the identifiers of rank, of designation, of assignment. The face, though, she recognizes, but it's an old habit. The hand that had moved just as smoothly to her sidearm relaxes. What follows is a crisp salute, "Sir."

The SL is out and about enough that most in the Air Wing and the Deck would be passingly familiar with his face. Failing that, his reputation is not the sort that fades into the background, for good or for ill. As a cursory matter of respect, the salute is returned although rumpled in comparison. Formality has never been high on his list of priorities. "At ease," he nonchalantly dismisses, before getting right into the heart of it, "Aydin, is it?" For the next part, he actually bothers to remove the cigarette from his mouth, exhaling smoke through the nostrils. "Kal Trask." Or, more importantly, "Bootstrap. I hear you're comin' to us from the Elevens."

Seeing and knowing are always two different things. And the stories that have been told about the SL are as varied as the colonies. Probably as much fantasy as fact. She hopes. Her hand falls, her posture changing back to the parade rest she held at the window, but the garden is momentarily forgotten, "Yes, Aydin. Sweet Pea. Good to meet you in the flesh, as it were, Lieutenant." Leyla has certainly worked hard to modulate her speech, to perfect her Caprican, but her accent has never gone away. It's a little bit Tauron, and a lot Black Country. "Major Hahn approved my transfer when I debriefed with her yesterday." Leyla has been one of the pilots tasked with doing the personnel transfer flights between the ground and the ship.

Bootstrap's accent is pure Black Country blight, straight out of one of the roughest areas of Flint. Forget blue collar. His economic background, at best, is a dark charcoal grey. When he speaks Caprican standard, however, it's not as evident. Traces of it can be discerned by an ear that knows the sound, but 15 years in the service has resulted in its blending with other accents from other regions that are decidedly working class and not necessarily Taurian. Nevertheless, his manner of speaking remains rough around the edges in any language. "Well met, Sweet Pea. Welcome aboard." Puff-puff. Exhale. "Assault is more in your face than what you're used to, but I've read your file. I'm not worried." Briefly, he smiles a knowing smile but doesn't elaborate. "I'm gonna be pairing you with Flasher." Beat. "El-Tee-Jay-Gee Scaurus." Brown eyes linger, assessing without conveying any possible conclusions. Then, he asks, "Smoke?"

There's no doubt that Leyla recognizes the accent, recognizes a countryman, such as one can be, for what he is. But the recognition doesn't seem to make a dent in her expression, which is calm, thoughtful, without being distant. "Thank you, Sir. I'm glad to have a chance to stretch my wings." A nod, at the explanation of the difference between the two squadrons, "If there is anything to worry about, Sir, I doubt there'll be anything to worry about for long." The Cylons and the other insurgents they've been coming up against aren't on the forgiving side, "Yes, sir. I don't think I've had a chance to meet him yet, not in the flesh, as it were. I'm sure that will be taken care of as soon as possible." There's a pause, as she considers, "Please," to the cigarette, before she continues, "I've been working on an evac solution for the idea I presented to Major Hahn when I debriefed with her, for the survivor rendezvous."

"Like I said," he smiles, faintly amused, "I'm not worried. And, yeah. Flasher'll be rotated down here in a few days. Hella bright, he is. Good-natured an' hard-workin', too." Clearly, Kal likes the junior ECO. "Really can't think of a better backseater to get you integrated into the squadron." Fishing into one of many pockets, a slightly battered pack of cigarettes is retrieved and tossed to Leyla. Then, back into the pocket, this time to pull out a zippo-style lighter, which he retains, waiting to offer a light. "So, what's this solution of yours?" He's direct, as befits a Black Country boy, but conversational in tone.

"Well, I'll be glad to have him riding with me. I have a feeling I'll have a hard enough time of it, without needing to fight it out in the raptor too." Squadrons, even ones that work together, are still insular units. Gloved left hand reaches out, plucking the cigarettes from the air as they're tossed over, and she shakes one out, slipping it between her lips, before she steps forward, leaning in to puff it alight in the flame.

Once she straightens, "I proposed to the Major that rather than trying to hunt down the survivors, given the supplies and the attacks on our personnel, that we may not be able to afford to continue as we have been. I suggested dropping messages of some kind, noting the locations for retrieval raptors, allowing the survivors to come to us, which might be more to their liking, than feeling as though we were trying to force rescue down their throats. I was considering her concern that knowing where we would be landing would make us easy targets. So, I was thinking… if we went in, pre-scouted the area, and kept out FTL drives spun up, we could jump out if things got hairy. It certainly wouldn't be something they might be expecting." Lord knows, it's not a common thing for a ship to do an in-atmosphere jump.

With the cigarette lit, a flick of the wrist closes the lid, and then the item is deposit back in the pocket. There is no gesture whatsoever to reclaim the tossed pack of smokes. Instead, Trask vaguely nods. "We'd discussed various communiqué options a few days ago for something else." Yes, he really just said communiqué. It even was pronounced correctly. "Should be easily enough tailored to this task. Triple-As can be handled via advanced scouting. Should anything be found, Weps can zero-in and handle 'em." Precise Battlestar bombardment FTW! "You have any experience with in-atmo jumps?" Fair question. The only two stations listed in her service record are Battlestars.

Leyla retains the pack, though she doesn't pocket it. She does, however, approach the lit cigarette as she usually does, slow and easy, savouring it, taking long drags, holding, before she exhales, "Don't see the point in wasting the ordnance, if we can just jump out and leave them to their fate." Hopefully, she doesn't mean that to sound as harsh as it did. Or not, "Not since flight school. The Stussy never spent much time in orbit around anything with an atmosphere to enter. But if there's someone better for the job, or more willing to do it, I'll pull my card out of the pile."

"That's 'cuz there isn't one, other than sheer stupidity." So nonchalant with his snark. The sardonic way he smirks, Bootstrap may actually believe someone with the authority to make such a call would actually be idiotic enough to do so. What Leyla says doesn't appear to at all faze him. After all, he certainly isn't known to be soft and fluffy in his approach to anything. Removing his cigarette, he lightly taps it with a forefinger, letting ash fall to the floor. "Frak that," he continues. "I mean, yeah, there are a few people with a lotta experience with that kinda thing, but that just means everyone else needs to get up to speed." Only then will the SL decide who gets yanked.

"Yes, well, that has been known to be a driving force in decisions before. It's what keeps reporters in business." Leyla continues the smoke, leaving the ash to collect, hand moving precisely, keeping it from falling. A minor entertainment, "Thank you sir." Leyla looks away from the SL, tipping her head up, indicating the desk, where a well worn folder has been set out, "I worked out a few possible approaches and pickup scenarios. Trying to play on my strengths. Wrote a few based on what I know of the styles of the other Eleven pilots." Likely as not it won't be the Elevens who participate, but most pilots can be slotted into certain 'styles'.

Another wry smirk surfaces. "Odds are Averies won't retire even after she's dead. She sure as frak has no shortage of material." Trask has a knack for making bile somehow sound blithe. As the folder is indicated, big brown eyes flick that way. Soon enough, the rest of him goes to retrieve it. Flipping it open, cigarette back in his mouth, he skims the contents. "I'll take a closer look at this," he relays, cancer stick slightly bobbing as he speaks. "Since I don't have the luxury of having flown with you ever, draft me an assessment of what you think your weak spots are."

"War has a way of bringing out the best and the worst of us. My grandfather always told me that. This one is certainly proving him right." Leyla finally fails the challenge, and a long line of ask breaks off from the cigarette, ending up in a pile on the floor. "Well, you're welcome to take the backseat when I head back up to the ship." There's a turn just at the corner of the left side of her mouth, something very close to a smile, "I'll get it written up once we're done."

Still seemingly skimming the document, Kal drily comments, "Existence itself does. War is just a symptom that compounds other ailments. People were treating people like shit long before Cylons ever entered the equation. To a much lesser extent, people have also been decent." Closing the folder, he savors one final drag. The smoke seeps through his nostrils much like a dragon. "I'm not headin' up there until we're pullin' out for good," he notes, "but I'm down for seein' how much Black remains beneath all the spit an' polish." Cue the impudent curve of one side of his mouth. Then, almost abruptly (or like someone with ADHD), the man says, "Right. I have some boring ass Ess-El shit to do, so I'm gonna jet. We'll talk soon. I have some projects in mind for you." Then, as if to herald his egress, the cigarette butt is dropped and ground underboot.

"As you say, Sir." It's not like she has anything to counter the man's comment. After all, it's about the truest thing she's heard in a span of days. "I'll have to see about jostling the schedule to make that my duty day." Which she has quite a number of, choosing the pick up extra duty rather than, well, just about anything else, "You'd be surprised. Black doesn't wash out." Now, she could offer to hand back the pack, but, he's already prepping to make his way out, she returns, rather than the pack, a soft reply, no longer Caprican, but Taurian, "«Fair winds and swift sails, Sir.»"

"«Good thing, too.»" Black Country pride through and through. With the folder in hand, and evidently not interested in the pack of smokes, he departs with, "«Clear eyes an' steady hands, Sweet Pea.»" Yeah, he swiped it from the CAG, but the good things tend to be co-opted. With a jaunty, two-finger scout-style salute, the ECO plots a course for wherever it is one goes to do boring ass SL shit, and takes off.

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