PHD #060: Drastic Need for Delicacy
Drastic Need for Delicacy
Summary: Trask brings his concerns about Daphne to Cidra and Laskaris.
Date: 27 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: A Laughing Matter
Cidra Laskaris Trask 
Naval Offices - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #60
This area is set-up much like any standard office building. Cubicles have been constructed using cheap waist-high walls, their contents left neutral for whoever needs to use them. Inside each cubicle is a desk with a laptop and chair. Simple overhead lights bring dull illumination to the room except over the back wall where each one of the colonies twelve flags hangs from its own pole. Fake, potted plants dot the room and seem to be standard issue along with the water cooler and coffee machines. Off the main room are a few private offices such as that of the JAG or CAG.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

It's late enough in the evening that most of the offices are empty by now, but a few officers and admin noncoms linger. Laskaris is one of the unfortunate few still with work to handle; paperwork waits for no man. He sits in the cramped cubicle he shares with Captain Valance of the Checkmates, a lit cigarette dangling from his lips as he scribbles his signature onto a report.

When Trask arrives, he looks like someone who's just finished a 14-hour shift and is running on the fuel that is nicotine, coffee, and will. The former comes from the cigarette betwixt his lips, the second in a thermos filled with the black gold from the Deck that isn't oil, and the latter is pretty much always there. Down the rows of cubicles he goes, setting a course for the CAG's office. Along the way, his internal DRADIS catches a contact of interest. "Lasher," he greets, the words forming around the cancer stick. Odds are it's not removed because the hand not carrying the java is holding a folder.

Cidra is not in the offices. Or was not, at least. The current state of their ships (or lack thereof) has her spending a good deal of time down on the hangar deck when not flying CAP. Fretting. But she eventually does make her way back up to Bureaucracyville, in her duty greens, and strides over to the aerial area. Spotting Trask there. Nodding short. Well, saves any trouble of tracking him down. "Gentlemen."

Lasher looks up with a jolt at the sound of his name, his eyes bleary and bloodshot. The cigarette is plucked from his lips and tapped over a nearby ashtray. "Boots." He's about to say something else, but then Cidra appears, and Laskaris nods. "Major." A look between the both of them. "Step on in, if'n you like. Just finishin' up a few things down here."

Anything that Trask might've said to Laskaris isn't forthcoming, being that the Captain never got around to saying what he was intending to say. Although he's not looking as ragged as the Aerilonian, even someone as resilient as the ECO gets worn out following his Air Wing shift with another one dedicated to the Heavy Raider research project. Like the other man, he respectfully nods to Cidra. "Major." The cigarette still isn't removed. "Actually," he continues, tucking the folder under the arm holding his thermos, so that he now has a free hand, which he then uses to withdraw the smoke, "what I have to discuss is sensitive in nature." The look given is an unspoken 'so, your office?' to the boss lady.

"Certainly. Follow me, please," Cidra says, motioning to the pair of them. The hatch into her office is just around the corner. It's rather a mess. Which may be somewhat unexpected for the ever-outwardly-composed woman. There are still actually /boxes/ in one corner. Filled with photographs and honors and other personal items not yet unpacked. But other such things have begun to be arranged onto the shelves. She seems reluctantly making a home here for herself. For better or worse. Once they're in, the hatch is closed behind them and she sweeps behind her desk to sit. "Pull up a chair."

Lasher shrugs at Trask's reply, and wordlessly rises from his chair. His pen is tossed unceremoniously back onto the desk with the rest of the stuff he was working on, but the captain's cigarette remains in his hand. Naturally. He steps out of the cubicle, following Cidra and Trask as they relocate to the latter's office. Slumping down into one of the chairs opposite Cid's desk, he directs a gaze at Trask. "So. What's all this about, then, Lieutenant?"

Kal's been in here before. He even bummed a smoke, then. This time, he simply utilizes the ashtray, lightly tapping his forefinger on the cigarette, which then returns to his mouth. The folder is retrieved and set down on the desktop, with the thermos following. That done, he sits. "Two things, Captain," he answers after a drag and the exhalation of smoke through his nostrils, tobacco treat back to being held. "Most pressing, I believe, is the matter concerning Ensign Kolettis. Short version: she's cracking and I strong recommend a psychiatric evaluation." There is nothing glib or facetious about his manner.

Up go Cidra's eyebrows. That was not what she was expecting. A side glance at Laskaris. He works closer with the ensign than she, and would have a more direct bead on her day-to-day behavior. Then back to the ECO. "And what makes you think this, Lieutenant?"

A startled Laskaris exchanges glances with Cidra, his brows knotting in surprise. "Matter concerning Ensign Kolettis?" he echoes, his tone taking on a hint of a defensive edge. The biggest surprise, though, comes with Trask's mention of a psychiatric hearing. "That's a pretty drastic measure to take." Another sidelong glance to Cid, and then steely eyes focus once more on Trask. "I think we'd better hear the long version, Lieutenant."

Trask's reply is matter-of-fact and lacking any sense of defensiveness. "I'm going on 15 years of service, and I've seen a lot of shit during that time. My last posting was aboard the Assaultstar Victory. Stationed outta there, one quickly learned to spot the signs of someone struggling to keep it together." There's a pause, although that's because he's taking another drag, followed by more smoke expelled via his nostrils. "It was dangerous enough doing runs in the worst combat zones on Sagittaron. Flying with someone who was coming apart wasn't an option for anyone who didn't want to risk being killed." That all said, it's then dryly noted to Laskaris, "In light of all that, I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree." About it being drastic. More somberly, he adds, "It is, however, a delicate matter."

"What happened, Lieutenant?" Cidra repeats. More firmly this time. "Did you observe something off in the Ensign's flying? Whatever any of us have been through, it compares not to what we have seen over these past months. I am surprised more of us are not cracking." That last is admitted nearly under her breath.

"Between us three and the bulkhead, I'll agree Kolettis is a bit of an… odd bird." Lasher chimes in after Cidra in that gravelly voice. "I watch her like I watch all my pilots. She's a little more neurotic than most. That doesn't necessarily make her a full on head case." A pause as he takes a pull from his cigarette. Forgotten no longer. "I'm not belittlin' your experience, Lieutenant. But when you come in here and tell me you think one of my pilots needs a shrink… well, that seems pretty frakkin' drastic to me. So. How's about you stop beatin' around the bush and get to the bottom of things, hm?"

"No, not her flying," Trask says with a mild shake of his head, capped off with his thumb idly scratching at the onset of stubble along one side of his jaw. Faintly, his mouth contorts with consternation that is more evident in his brown eyes. The man is trying to not be flippant in his explanation but is somewhat at a loss as to how he should proceed. For all his faults, though, he calls himself out on his own crap. "Not beatin' around the bush, Cap'n. It's just that my coping mechanisms tend to offend, and one of the witnesses, whom I very much respect, stressed something about the need to preserve the dignity of Kolettis. Ergo, I'm trying to not be a facetious ass. If you can take that for what it's worth, I can be as blunt as a 2x4."

"Nothing you say to us shall leave this office, Trask," Cidra says. "But if you truly have concerns about a pilot's mental state, we shall need more than vague assurances that she may be losing her grip. I presume from this that this incident took place off-duty?"

Lasher nods in agreement with Cidra. "Granted, Lieutenant," he says after a moment. "I realize you're in a spot here, Boots. But the major's right — we need specifics." His voice is calm, and he does seem to empathize with the man. Or at least, as empathic as Lasher is capable of being. Nevertheless, a hint of impatience is beginning to creep into his tone. He says nothing more after Cidra's question, though, eyes still fixed on Trask as he waits for the ECO to continue.

With what Laskaris says, Trask reverts more to his usual mode of operation. "It's not a reluctance to give details. It's more about the delivery." Even so, he carries on as though being given permission to speak at-ease, regardless of whether or not his choice of words will be deemed as inappropriate. Thus, to the CAG, he nods. "Yeah. In the head. It started when she started taking the piss when I was takin' a piss. Stupid shit about a lack of modesty 'cuz — oh no!'" Here, those expressive brown eyes mockingly widen and he shakes his hands in an 'onoes!' manner, "I was naked when doing so. Fancy that. Not wearin' a towel when I'm takin' a pre-shower leak." This part of the incident doesn't bother him, even if the eyeroll confirms his opinion of its stupidity. "Anyway, the red flags started comin' up when she accused me of saying that she hadn't earned her wings, simply 'cuz I said that nepotism an' cronyism had nothing to do with where I am."

Cidra's brows arc. The woman, as usual, is hard to read. But her eyebrow movements are some indicators of mood with her. "An interesting remark to make to one of your fellow officers, Lieutenant," she observes blandly. "Being honest, I can see how she might have taken offense. Continue, please."

"So far, all that says to me is she's high-strung, not crazy," Lasher replies mildly, his face for once almost as masklike as Cidra's. No easy feat, that. As for Trask's comment to Kolettis, he doesn't comment. "I trust there's more to the story than this, wot?" Trask retains Lasher's full attention as the captain takes another pull from his cigarette.

The arcing of the CAG's brows doesn't garner more than a mild shrug from the JiG. "I'm a mustang," he says, as if that explains everything. Fair enough, they have to seriously bust their asses to get a commission. "Besides, all I had initially said was that nepotism has always been en vogue. Also, for the record, I never said that she hadn't earned 'em." Never mind that someone could understandably infer otherwise. "After that comment, though, I pointed out that it was rather moot whether or not she had 'cuz it'd be evident enough in due time. If she hadn't, she was bound to get killed — or worse — get someone else killed." Now, there are those who'd say that was not an appropriate thing to say. Trask, however, was being Trask, and such a remark should not be all that surprising.

"Anyway, that's when she thanked me for some play-by-play 'cuz I /explained/ what I had meant, and she said she was already so lost in the stupid I was farting outta my scrawny ass." All of which is relayed without any rancor, even if he scoffs, "Please. There is nothing scrawny about my ass." Jokingly, even if there really is nothing scrawny about his ass. "By then, Lieutenant Penelope Paris had already arrived and heard the aforementioned. She made her presence known and even addressed Ensign Kolettis before said ensign went on to call me a pathetic loser who was compensating for something, who she'd report for morale issues except that I'm fratricidally close to Captain Quinn." The look on his face when he stresses that word is 'wtf? I don't think that word means what she thinks it means.' This is also when Trask starts to get a bit prickly, if only because he's protective of his SL.

Perhaps Sphinx-Face is a skill Cidra drills once one reaches squad leadership. Give her time, she'll teach Laskaris to communicate all his emotions entirely in blinking patterns and subtle variations of 'Ah' and 'Hmm?'. And she does deploy a cool, short "Ah" at the first part of Trask's account. "Fratricidally?" The word is repeated. "Well… that certainly would be a regulation violation. Let us try to keep familial murder to a minimum in the Wing, please." She does not seem inclined to dwell on Quinn in this moment. "While this incident sounds… regrettable on many levels, Lieutenant, I am still unsure I perceive the cause for such grave concern. But, then, I was not there. I did not observe the Ensign's behavior personally."

Lasher doesn't know Quinn, so he doesn't comment on the Raptor captain or Trask's connection to her. His arms fold across his chest, and he leans back in his seat as much as the chair will allow. He suppresses a snort of laughter at the 'familial murder' bit. "Lieutenant, you show me the grounds, and I'll make her appointment with the frakkin' shrink myself." He takes a drag. Smoke spills from his nostrils. "And I never thought in my career I'd be uttering this phrase so many times in one bloody conversation, but… I agree with the major." He shakes his head. "No, I wasn't there. But nothing you've described to me sounds like much more than an irrational, childish playground spat." Lasher's head tilts to one side. "You're not convincing me, Boots, and I'd better be bloody well convinced before I send off one of my pilots to the tender mercies of a headshrinker."

After all he relayed, Trask takes a moment to inhale more nicotine, retaining his typical sense of aplomb. "Oh, I agree with you there, Major. Even up to this point, we're still in the realm of incredible idiocy and not insanity. /However/, this /is/ Kolettis we're talkin' about. Li'l Miss Anal-Retentive. I mean, I know we've just moved in with the Knights, but have you actually /seen/ her bunk? The way she makes her bed?" It's not natural. "That girl is wound tighter than an industrial grade spring. People like that either learn to stop being so uptight or they frakkin' snap. The kind of behavior that was displayed I'd expect from an impertinent shit. Kolettis? Nuh-uh. Hells, even /I've/ never been anywhere near that level at my worst, and we all know how flippant /I/ can be."

Despite neither the CAG nor SL being convinced, Bootstrap seems unperturbed. He does, however, open his thermos and downs some coffee. "Even that, though… I guess even high-strung ensigns can have bad days that make them completely act outta character. Fine. I'll entertain the idea. When such a person, though, can barely contain their laughter when telling me I'm bound to encounter someone who's 'riding the edge'," said as though that phrase is a direct quote, "and that I'm gonna push 'em over and induce a suicide," again, stressed like it were a direct quote, although this time infused with some 'what the frak kinda shit is /that/?', "that starts to ping me as Not Mentally Sound." And this, really, is where the ECO is starting to show some disquiet and some flintiness. "Probably the kicker would be when I told her to stop acting in such a manner, an' she broke out into a fit of manic laughter that resulted in her falling on her ass, gasping for air."

Cidra's brows do more arching at that. With slightly more concern this time. Slightly. "Noted, Lieutenant. I shall take your feelings on this incident with due consideration, as you did witness it. And I appreciate that you must see it as serious since you came to us to give said account, even though your own behavior was quite reprehensible. Captain." Eyes to Laskaris now. "Unless you have noted any similar behavior pattern in Kolettis, I do not see that this alone justifies ordering her to the ship's psychiatrist. However, I do encourage you to talk with her. Not about this specifically. I think it best we do not make an issue of this by itself with her. But feel her out about her mindset in general on things aboard ship. These are very hard days. Gods know we have all had our moments near the brink."

Lasher's brow begins to creep up during Trask's latest spiel. The suicide bit in particular seems to get a reaction from the man. His fingers drum restlessly on Cidra's desk. "You probably should have started with that, Lieutenant," he opines, straightening in his chair and looking over to Cidra as the CAG addresses him. "Oh, I agree with Trask here on one thing, sir: the girl's wound tighter'n a Gemenese virgin on her wedding night. Begging the major's pardon," he adds blandly. "She might have just been having a bad day. Then again — " His eyes turn back to Trask, as Lasher again considers the other man's words. " — it might be more than that. Doesn't sound good, that's for damned sure." He nods. "I'll have a talk with her. If I don't like what I hear, like I said. I'll book her for the first bloody open appointment the psychs have."

Somewhere during the course of what Cidra says, it's as though a switch goes off and the disquiet subsides and is replaced with something inscrutable beyond it not being positive in nature. The Taurian's eyes can never entirely conceal what he really feels, and in such an emotional state, what lies beneath an otherwise impassive demeanor seeps into his harsh regard. Thankfully, Laskaris utilizes a level of diplomacy Kal most certainly would have not, which results in him saying nothing more than, "Likewise, Major." That her opinion is noted.

To the Captain, then, he adds, "I have some signed witness statements, sir, if you wish to review them. One from Lieutenant Paris in Engineering, and one from Specialist Mercer from CIC. Mercer arrived and addressed the three of us before Kolettis was ass on the ground, howling so much that she didn't give a frak that she was inadvertently giving the Head a peep show. The Specialist also made a statement about a prior encounter she had with the ensign, stating that Kolettis seemed to be in need of counseling. This was shortly after the massacre aboard the ship."

Cidra smirks the barest hint of a smirk at the Gemenese virgin crack. Laskaris is regarded, but it is not commented upon. A short nod to his conclusion, at any rate. "It should be your call firstly, Lasher. She flies in your squad. You see how she operates on a daily basis better than I. If you think she is a danger to herself or her fellow pilots out there, you have the power to ground her and order her to whatever help she may need." The latter part of Trask's account does appear more troubling to her. She nods short. "That was prudent, Lieutenant. The statements, that is. If need be, we shall forward them to Medical to perhaps give them some context. I hope it shall not be necessary but…" A shrug.

Lasher sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "I would actually, Boots, thanks," he says tiredly. The remains of his cigarette get extinguished in the major's ashtray as he stifles a yawn. He inclines his head slowly to the CAG. "Right." He rises from his seat. "If you two'll excuse me…" He doesn't wait for dismissal before shambling towards the office hatch. As he swings it open, he mutters something that sounds almost like, "Always frakkin' somethin', innit…"

"Ask and ye shall receive." The folder that Trask brought is offered to the departing Lasher, witness statements within and all up to spec. Of course, that just leaves the ECO and the CAG. The former finally gets around to finishing his cigarette and grinds it into the ashtray, gifting Laskaris' butt a buddy. Tired in body and wearied in spirit, he clenches his eyes closed and runs his left hand through the top of his hair, digging his fingers in there. "I'm not lookin' to rake her over the coals. You know me well enough, Toast. Most shit rolls off me." Brown eyes open and the man simply looks spent and a little bit lost. "I'm tellin' you… she's not right in the head."

Cidra sighs heavy, blue eyes meeting Trask's darker ones. "I pray this was just an unfortunate moment for Kolettis. But she is… very young. Gods, they all seem so young…" She clears her throat. "I know you would not have brought this to us if you did not have reason to think she might do herself harm. And those she flies with. Perhaps Lasher can reach her. If not… we shall do what must be done for her."

Trask shifts in the chair in such a manner that he can let his head roll back. Lacing his hands, he rests them on his abdomen. "You're a devout woman. Maybe the Gods will oblige you." A soft, self-deprecating puff of breath follows, and then a languorous sigh. "I hope so, anyway. I'm not countin' on it, though." That said, he resumes a more upright position. "Contrary to popular belief, I bust chops because I want to be proven wrong." With wan wryness, he smirks and lets his eyes drift off to the right, musingly. "Anyway," attention back on the CAG, "unless you have something further, I'll take my leave. I have CAP in less than 8 hours, followed by many more spent dissecting technology I'm increasingly wishing never existed. The other matter I have to discuss can wait and is something Lasher can later take to you, if warranted."

Cidra's faint smile turns rueful about the comment about the gods obliging her. No comment, though. "I'll leave you and Lasher both to it, then. Clear eyes and steady hands to you on CAP, Lieutenant." With that, he's dismissed to go along his way.

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