PHD #325: Chuckles Rides Again
Chuckles Rides Again
Summary: LTJG Stephen "Chuckles" McShane returns to active duty.
Date: 17 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Stephen 
Hangar Deck - Port - Midship - Battlestar Cerberus
The single largest rooms on the Cerberus are the hangar decks. Each flight pod consists of two stacked landing bays with adjoined decks and hangars, which along with computer-assisted landings results in a faster Viper recovery rate. Mirror images of each other, these two huge areas are located on the flight pods. The inboard sides of the deck, closest to the ship's main hull, are lined with parking and maintenance bays for Vipers and Raptors based aboard the battlestar. The outboard side of the deck contains the launch tubes used by the Vipers for standard deployment. Huge blast doors seal the deck into four sections, each one containing an elevator that leads up to the flight deck directly overhead. The fore-most section contains an elevator system that leads towards Aerospace Fabrication.
Post-Holocaust Day: #325

Cidra is standing by one of the Raptors prepped for take-off on the hangar deck. Dressed in her flight suit, albeit sans helmet for the moment. That's tucked under her arm. She'll wait until she's boarded the craft to clamp it on. She's a bit early for her appointed meeting with one LTJG Stephen McShane. She has the man's re-enlisthment papers in order back in her office and the re-certs he's been called to do in the flight simulators scored just fine. Before he's properly loosed into the Air Wing, however, the CAG wants to see how the Tauron flies.

Stephen arrives right on time, his stride brisk and precise. Like the CAG, his helmet is tucked under his arm and he's wearing a flight suit. Upon reaching the Raptor, he snaps to a proper salute and awaits acknowledgement.

Cidra returns Stephen's salute with a fluid one of her own, offering him a prompt, "At ease. Stephen McShane, yes? Lieutenant, Junior Grade. Lately of the Tauron Fleet Reserves." She takes a moment to look him up and down. A weighing sort of quality about her blue-eyed gaze. It's hard to tell what, if anything, she makes of him. Her expression is schooled to inscrutability. She just looks. "When was the last time you were on active duty?"

Stephen completes the salute and settles into the 'At Ease' stance. "Aye, Sir. Lieutenant, Junior Grade McShane reporting for duty as ordered." His responses as well as his actions are both crisp and fluid, his manner devoid of expression. "This Lieutenant, Junior Grade, was honorably discharged five years ago, Sir. He has served regularly in the Tauron Fleet Reserves since that time, until circumstances precipitated his joining the Cerberus, Sir."

"Circumstances." Cidra repeats the word dryly. "That is a rather understated way to put the end of the worlds. Do you have a callsign, Lieutenant Junior Grade McShane?"

Stephen remains eyes-front, even at ease and there is no hesitation in his reply. "Aye aye, Sir. The Lieutenant, Junior Grade's callsign is 'Chuckles'."

"Chuckles, then." Cidra says it with a short nod. "I am Toast. I am a Raptor pilot by trade, but I will be your backseater today. Now come. Let us see how you fly." And with that, she boards the Raptor.

Cidra takes her place back at the ECO board, affixing her helmet over her head. Rather than launching directly into pre-flight to eyes Stephen, as if curious to observe him feel out the Raptor.

Stephen boards the raptor and climbs up front to the pilot's seat. He straps in and puts on the helmet before starting through his pre-flight. "You've no doubt seen my service record, Major. I did my Nugget training aboard the Volans."

"Volans? Ah." Cidra nods. "We have a few officers who did serve there. My Spiral…that is, Lieutenant Pallas Ellinon, Viper stick in the Black Knights, did a stint there. As did Hosedown, if I recall properly. Lieutenant Andrea Demarcos, that is." She watches him settle into the pilot's seat, then goes more thoroughly through the pre-flight. "Chuckles, systems green. We are ready to go. Request launch clearance from the LSO and take us out."

Stephen goes through the pre-flight while she talks, nodding and bringing the systems online. "Aye, Sir." he replies. Keying his mic, he talks over the com channel. "Cerberus control, this is Raptor three-zero-three, requesting launch clearance. Over?"

Clearance is granted by the LSO. There's a patrol already in the air - standard CAP of two Vipers and a Raptor - but the CAG has warned flight control she'd be taking the newbie out for a tour. «Copy, Raptor Three-Zero-Three. Launch when ready,» crackles the response from flight control. Cidra, for her part, just sits back and waits for Stephen to take them out.

Stephen takes off.

Stephen flies the ship to Space.

Stephen lifts the Raptor off the deck and eases the throttle forward, accelerating out of the hangar and out into space. His is a relaxed, competent hand on the controls and his gaze roams the displays following a routine pattern. "What course, Sir?"

"Take us one pass around the Fleet. Follow the standard CAP pattern. Wide orbit out from the Cerberus to the Preatorian - missile frigate - than wider still around the Corsair and the Areion. Last pass around the civilian freighter Elpis, then dock." Cidra keeps an eye on the DRADIS but, since they aren't jumping or doing anything *terribly* dramatic electronically that requires heavy ECO work, this is mostly his show. "The ships of our Fleet. They are not many, but we fly together as we can."

Stephen shifts his attention between DRADIS and visual, accelerating the Raptor to patrol speed as he guides the ship through the described course. "Cerberus, Preatorian, Corsair, Areion, and Elpis. Not many left indeed, Sir. And the other Colonies?"

"We performed rescue operations previously on Sagittaron and Aerilon," Cidra replies. "They were in much the same state as Tauron. Irradiated, ravaged by Cylon forces who abandoned them for some strange purpose. Slowly becoming uninhabitable, with a few lucky survivors still hanging on. The other colonies are still tight in the grip of the toasters."

Stephen's lips purse briefly but he keeps his eyes on task as he nods slowly. The hand on the stick eases the Raptor smoothly out in a wider arc around the Corsair. "And that is our overall Mission, Sir? Search and rescue?"

"Our overall mission is survival, Chuckles," Cidra says. "And to protect the last of humanity, which it does appear we in these ships represent. I do not fool myself into believing we can drive the Cylons from the colonies. They hold them in overwhelming force. We strike back in small ways to try and hinder the enemy while saving what can be saved. From there…we must find a path to something more."

Stephen nods only once when she finishes, guiding the Raptor through an orbit around the Corsair before shifting to orbit the Areion. "Aye, Sir. I knew it was bad. I just didn't know how bad." he replies. "We didn't get much news in Flight School."

"It was near the complete destruction of the human race. Or such was the attempt, at least. But not quite, as you can see. We remain, and that is no small thing." Cidra does not bother to guide him much. Monitoring his flight back on the instrument read-outs, but when he proves he can manage it she largely lets him alone to do it. She just observes.

Swinging the Raptor around the frigate, he guides it into an arc to circuit the escort carrier. And already he has an eye out for the civilian ship. "So how is the Fleet set for logistics and supplies? Are we still afloat?" he asks casually.

"Supplies we are fixed fairly well for," Cidra says. "We left Spacedock Leonis fully-stocked. Cerberus was the last Mercury-class battlestar off the line, and she had been launched less than a month when the Cylons struck. We have food, fuel, and other essentials enough to last us years into the future, and we have managed to salvage a fair bit more from the colonies. Our water reclamation system wastes nothing. Supplies we are managed for. Our chief concerns are the Cylons, and figuring out how to live with one another."

Stephen's mouth twitches just once at the assessment and he nods again. "It would seem that the Cylons are going to remain a chief concern for some time." he replies. "Are there many issues with coexistance in the Fleet, then?"

"There has been some unrest upon the civilian ship of late," Cidra says. "Pettiness and only scuffles, from what I understand, but it does rub me wrong, as there are so few of us left. It is, quite honestly, not much my area. We are but protectors, Lieutenant McShane. We fight and fly and die. The intricacies of making this Fleet liveable are left, I thank all gods, to wiser heads than mine." Lips purse as she watches her read-out. "Well, you seem to know your business. Finish your pass and take us back down."

Stephen nods. "Aye, Sir. And thank you." he replies, leaving off the political discussion as well. Once the order is given, he accelerates the Raptor to complete the pass a bit more quickly. Banking as he circles the civilian ship, he keys the mic. "Cerberus control, this is Raptor three-zero-three requesting landing clearance. Over."

Cidra is quiet as he sets it down. Expression still carefully schooled, though even that's obscured by her helmet.

Stephen brings the Raptor in smoothly, pulling up to hover before nudging it over to the landing pad. Rotating the ship through a casual one-eighty, he turns it to face the hangar exit before setting it down. Tapping controls, the ship begins to power down.

Cidra goes through the post-flight with all due attention. Routine as it is. "Well, I do suppose we can find some use for you," is her verdict. With just the faintest hint of a smile. "You shall be assigned to our Harriers squadron. I shall get your papers entirely processed this afternoon. Go settle in, find a bunk, and get some rack time. You are very much back on active duty, Chuckles, and you shall soon not have much rack time to enjoy."

Stephen finishes with post-flight as well, and only then does he remove his helmet. "Aye, Sir. It's a pleasure to be aboard and flying again." he replies with that ever-neutral expression. Unstrapping, he stands and waits to be the last to disembark the Raptor.

"Dismissed to your liberty, then. Good flying with you, Chuckles." And with that, off Cidra goes.

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