PHD #351: Doubts
PHD #351: Doubts
Summary: Khloe and Wade talk about the fallout from two days of brutal Cylon attacks, and matters of change and survival.
Date: 12 Feb 2042
Related Logs: Enter the Swarm et al
Khloe Wade 
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.
Post-Holocaust Day: #351

The room is dark and the big screen shows turret footage from one of the many Vipers engaged in last night's sortiee. Numbers scroll by on the right side, including time indices and other information regarding the Viper's health. Sitting in the front row is Khloe, dressed in her off-duty greens, as the uniform chafes her burns as badly as the flight suit. She bears new dressings along her shoulder and arm, and no doubt on her side and hip as well. A metal cane rests against the seat next to her.

Condition two again, means double CAP, means little sleep. Wade spent a long time sitting next to Hosedown's bed but at some point, because of duty and all, he stepped away, took a shower, got a little sleep and when he woke up, he put on his Flight Suit, a clean one. Right now, it seems that he is on alert Viper mode. He steps inside the Ready Room after being summoned by Khloe and looks around the place, narrowing his eyes at the footage being displayed on screen. He approaches the Knights SL and offers a salute to her "Captain, you wanted to see me, sir?" Now, he does take a moment to look at her status "You shouldn't have gone out yesterday" adds Wade, taking a deep breath after that.

Click, and the footage freezes. Another click, and the lights come up. Turning slowly in her seat is a haggard-looking Poppy; groomed as best as she can, but she looks as if she's gotten as much sleep as Wade in the past twelve hours: little or none. "All hands, Drips. I'm not one to ignore Catfish." A nickname for Pewter, it seems, started some weeks ago at a meeting of some of the SLs and the CAG. Likely not shared beyond that group, either. "Come, have a seat. Turning like this hurts." And then she eases back into a forward-facing position and relaxes against the chair again. Giving him time to circle around, she says, "Doctors advised me that if I pull another stunt like that, I'll have scarring, and might need corrective skin grafting."

Wade offers a faint smile and adds "I would say that the 'all hands' is debatable when Pilots are hurt but let's not jump into that discussion right now" That smile he shows, is a tired smile. The man takes a deep breath and nods, taking the offered seat "Catfish huh? That's an interesting one" He assumes that means Pewter. Now that he is in a position that won't cause her to twist her body to look at him, he speaks again "That does sound really painful, Captain. I would not call upon the wrath of the Doctors, they can be pretty evil after all"

"I'm not worried about the doctors," comes her pained reply as she re-settles. "Although they get this stupid look on their faces when I say 'no narcotics'. It's as if I'm offending their gods or something." She exhales slowly, eyes briefly closing; presumably she's found a comfortable position. "I want you to consider Blue as your wingman until Hosedown is back in fighting form. He could use strong guidance. Also, I'd like you to get a general read on the squadron for me… I'm not well-equipped to deal with the emotions that are running high right now."

"Well, to be completely honest sir, it's strange to see a person that refuses Narcotics. I mean, I understand your reasons to do so, completely. However, for people that doesn't know the why, a person that asks for no painkillers is like…." he shrugs at that and finishes with "weird." Wade offers yet another faint and tired smile. "Blue, sure, that won't be a problem" Now, he takes a deep breath "It'll be a while before she can fly again I think. The Doctor that operated her left me a little…scared. Then again, I'm a little chicken when it comes to medical stuff" As for the last "A general read like…? Like let you know how everyone in the Squadron is doing you mean?" He runs his fingers over his chin and presses his lips together before saying "We are getting our asses kicked, granted we kill more of them but we can't just…bring back pilots from the dead. You know?" And another nod "So yes, emotions are a bit all over the place now."

Khloe rubs at her eyes lightly while Wade speaks. At the mention of Hosedown, she nods slightly. "If she recovers, she'll likely need several months of therapy at the best. At the worst, she may need to be grounded." A pause. "I'm trying not to think about the worst case scenarios, as it's Hosedown, but I've written up personnel plans for each and every pilot that's been grounded with injuries since I took the position of SL. She's no different. She can't be any different, even if she's… closer to us." Frown.

Wade clears his throat while Khloe speaks and then nods "Time will tell. The Doctor told me that it's good when people sit with Hosedown and speak to her, you know positive things that could bring her back from the coma she is in." He shows a faint smile and says "I told her she needs to return so she can keep pulling pranks on you, I thought that would cheer her up a little bit" Now, he nods at this and says "Well, she's my wingmate and a Squadronmate…of course I care about her. Wingmen generate a bond, and she's a friend." Now, he tilts his head and repeats "Written up personnel plans for all grounded pilots? Can you elaborate on that, if you don't mind me asking. I think Spiral will need to stay away from the cockpit for a couple days until his hand gets better"

"Continued career options in the service without being pilots, either on a temporary or permanent basis," Khloe explains. "Before, you would get an injury like Hosedown's and never fly again. You'd get a medical discharge and away you'd go. Now, I'm not sure it's as simple as that. It's not like new recruits come flooding in every year, we need to repair the assets we have." A short pause and a sniff, and Poppy rubs at her nose. "That sounds cold of me, calling them 'assets', but it's the truth. I hope you see it my way."

Khloe's first words make Wade frown "Continued career options. Heck, I don't know what I could do if not flying a Viper" Now, he listens how the procedure goes should something like that happen. He nods in acceptance but in complete silence, thinking about the word 'assets'. "Truth is..I think there are two sides of the same coin. On one side, we are indeed, humans, with families, friends, loved ones…a lot of memories that forms our stories and makes us who we are. On the other side of the coin, it's like you said…we are assets. And being Viper Pilots, a harsh way of saying it is that…we are expendable assets. Not in all the cases of course, but don't they teach us to fight and die back in school?"

Khloe nods slowly. "Now, we need to teach ourselves to fight and survive so that we can keep fighting. 'Fight and die' only works if you have replacement assets." She glances up at the frozen-frame footage, eyes darkening. "You know, just a couple of hours before the sortiee, I sat down with Hosedown. Regarding how she handled Decoy's blow-up regarding Bubbles, and all." A pause, then a frown. "Damnit, Wade, she was sympathizing with me, about how it's tough to be the 'bad guy' and all that happy horse crap. I wanted to smack her. She was trying to do the right thing, but I feel like she was trying to do it in a way that didn't suit her. I don't think she realized that I'm not… the way I am… because it's somehow easier to be a senior officer. It's the other way around. The only way I'm surviving as a Captain is because I'm a bitter, unhappy wretch." Her gaze doesn't leave the screen, and tensing of the muscles in her jawline hint that she's got a lot of emotions inside right now. She's human, after all.

Wade looks at Khloe while she says those first words and he nods "We have to. Sir, I want to live through this, I refuse to get killed by some crappy ass imitations." Now, he looks at the screen that she is looking and listens to her words "Granted, there were errors on both sides I believe, Hosedown and Decoy. Truth is, there were other pilots fit to fly, truth is, Decoy shouldn't have snapped like that…altho I can understand the why." He shakes his head and looks at Poppy again "I think, that what happened is that command fell on Hosedown's lap in a very critical, very out of the ordinary moment. Stress can get to us all, you know? We try to do what's best, and sometimes we don't stop to look to our sides to see if what we think is best doesn't have an overly negative impact" He clears his throat "I agree with you, it wasn't Hosedown…I mean, it wasn't something that she would normally do." Now, he clears his throat again and adds "I don't think it's the 'bad guy' that she was trying to replicate, but the idea of a pilar of strength, a person who can lead a group…you know? You know that we Knights are a rare breed, Poppy, I'm sure Toast told you this" he smiles a little at that and adds "And you know. No, let me rephrase. You /know/ that you are not alone in this rodeo. If being a bitter, unhappy wretch as you say, works for you. That's fine, we all have our very own…coping mechanisms, but also have in mind that, even if you are the SL, you are not alone."

"It's all I know how to be," comes Khloe's quiet reply. Then, she clears her throat and straightens up in her seat. The pain is visible on her face. "Yes, well, I think that's all I had for you, Lieutenant." Gone is the brief emotional weakness; returning is the cold, stoic exterior.

Wade nods in silence and asks "Have you ever asked yourself if that is how you want to be? Like I said Captain, each does the best they can to cope, and that's fine, I have nothing bad to say against it. But sometimes we ask ourselves, 'Is this what works best for me?'" He shrugs casually at this and offers a warm smile to the woman "Ah, yes…well…but you haven't clarified on 'getting a read on the Squadron' thing, yet." He nods to this and adds "And…you know, standing up looks like it's going to be a really painful experience for you Captain, I'm on Alert mode so I have nothing else to do than to be…on Alert. If you want I can stay here until you leave and help you stand" He shrugs at this and then clears his throat.

"I'm a burn victim, Drips, not a cripple. I'll be fine," she says in that even, slightly-edgy voice. Khloe glances up at Wade, and manages a small grin. "I…" She stops herself, shaking her head. The smile fades a bit. "I think that'll be all, Lieutenant. Give me an update at 1600 hours. Dismissed." And then those dark eyes look back to the screen, and with a click-click the lights begin to dim and the footage resumes.

Wade offers a small smile to the Captain and he nods "Very well" He stands up and offers a firm salute to Khloe "Update at 1600 hours" He nods to that and then takes his helmet from the chair next to the one he was sitting on, after this he nods as he looks at the SL and says "Take care, Poppy" And now, he is out, probably heading towards the Deck.

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