PHD #283: Exhausted Utility
Exhausted Utility
Summary: Cidra and Trask discuss the recent disturbing behavior of two pilots. Disagreements are had, harsh barbs are exchanged, plans are made, and a rueful consensus is reached.
Date: 06 Dec 2041 AE
Related Logs: Bbposts regarding the death of LTJG Tisiphone Apostolos and LT Tobias Ulixes' drunken disorderliness in the galley.
Cidra Trask 
CAG's Office - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #283
Though it's not much bigger than the average ship supply closet, the office of the commander of Cerberus' air group has as much luxury as one can hope for aboard a battlestar: a hatch that locks. It is dominated by a blocky gray metal desk straight out of standard Navy supply. Behind it is the room's single indulgence, a high-backed rolling chair of almost comfortable-looking brown leather. That one, the CAG probably had to import herself. A few other chairs are shoved against the wall, able to be rolled over should visitors to the lair require one, though those are of the standard not-terribly-comfortable Navy offices variety.

The aforementioned desk contains a computer that looks rarely touched and an ashtray of greenish glass that is obviously frequently used, as well as the standard office supplies. The surface is usually cluttered with files, squadron reports, flight schedules and other aerial bureaucratic sundry of the day. A metal carafe, filled with water or coffee or tea depending on the CAG's whim, is usually at hand on the desk's corner. The rest of the office is packed with filing cabinets and wall shelves, the latter of which hold various flight manuals and military and historical books.

Any decorations on the walls are limited to professional awards and mementos from Major Hahn's past tours of service. It is largely devoid of the personal, save for one item: upon the shelf just behind and above her desk, serving as one side of a bookend to a collection of Raptor manuals, is a wooden statue of a small brown owl with very large eyes. A person might get the feeling of those eyes following him around this confined space.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Despite her more-or-less return to sleeping in the berthings, Cidra still spends a good deal of her 'off time' in her office. Though she's on duty presently. Hatch slightly ajar, as it tends to be when she's available for whatever her flight officers or the rest of the crew might require. She's waiting at present, as she summoned LT Trask here to find out wtf was going on with one of his pilots, LT Ulixes.

A lot of 'wtf?' is going around Air Wing these past few days. Money Shot now dead. Hosedown brigged and recently released. Shortcut drunk, disorderly, and still stuck in the slammer. At least there were no casualties during the mission to Knossos. Whoop-dee-doo. "Toast." It's a simple, noncommittal greeting. Tone neutral, shading into brooding. Pre-emptively, Trask closes the hatch.

"Boots." Cidra is smoking, also likely a preemptive measure. "Have a seat." Pause. Drag. "What is Shortcut's status? Last I did hear he was getting a drunk and disorderly on his record, at the least?"

Figuring this might take a while, the SL decides that he might as well take a seat, so he does so. Somewhere along the course of the process, a fresh cigarette ends up betwixt his lips. The zippo is out even before his ass hits the chair. Fwwwt goes the flint wheel, flame sparking to life with the intent of aiding the man in killing the cancer stick. Taking a long drag of his own, smoke is then exhaled. "That's what I heard," is quipped. As for the rest, "Should be sober by now." Which suggests the pilot is still in the brig. Seeing how no paperwork for Ulixes' release has yet to come across the CAG's desk, odds are that's where he remains. "What's the deal with Money Shot?"

"You were the officer that brigged him and his squadron leader. I was hoping for a rather fuller account than that," Cidra says, a touch of sharpness in her tone. Woman looks ragged. "I will tell you right now I do not consider this nonsense worth wasting the JAG's time, so let us figure out what we are going to do with him." At mention of Tisiphone, she pauses to close her eyes for a moment. Massaging the bridge of her nose. It takes her a beat to answer, but she opens her eyes again to fix her blues on Trask's browns as she does. "Toxicology ruled her death overdose by raw morpha. Suicide." It said starkly and quickly, as if getting it done fast might make it less painful. It does not, obviously.

The Taurian's expression doesn't much change from the borderline brooding. Those damnably emotive eyes of his, though, narrow a fraction at the cause of death, filtering anger, disappointment, disgust, sadness, and a sense of loss. Surprised, however, he is not. "What a frakkin' waste," he finally says in a tone that surely would be dressing down Tisiphone for being such an imbecile. So much potential that will never be realized. Never mind that she had been his favorite among the rooks when Cerberus left drydock. Perhaps she is less so now for being a quitter. Throwing in the towel is something that Trask simply cannot abide.

Going back to the topic of one Lieutenant Tobias Ulixes, the SL really doesn't much elaborate. "What? You want a transcript of what he ranted in the galley? Maybe lyrics to the songs he was drunkenly singing in the brig?" As far as what to do about it, "Well, I'm gonna leave 'im there until that gets figured out." There is no comment about the JAG, but the lack of argument is essentially a form of agreement.

"So say we all," Cidra says to Trask's 'waste' comment. Tone a touch sardonic, and raw. While she did try to avoid playing obvious favorites with her pilots - and had her moments of definite conflict with Money Shot - Toast obviously put a lot of stock in the younger woman. In both her abilities as a pilot and potential. You don't promote - and repromote someone after demotion - because you lack faith in them. As to Ulixes. "Is Lieutenant Ulixes physically or mentally unable to fly? If so, he should be remanded to Medical. If not, we figure out how harshly to slap him for this and move on with it. I do not wish to let him skate for this stupidity but I am not leaving him in the brig and us down a pilot indefinitely for a moment of off-duty drunken stupidity."

The way Bootstrap savors that cigarette likely isn't simply due to his deep affection for Allegheny tobacco. Whereas Cidra is inscrutable as a result of carefully schooled expressions, he's difficult to read because of so many conflicting emotions beneath the facetious surface. The end result is akin to white nose. "Aboard the Victory, anyone with survival instincts learned to recognize the signs of someone losing it." There's a pause, filled by the tapping of ash into the tray. "He's off." It's said with all the matter-of-factness of someone not comfortable with the topic. Back in his mouth goes the cigarette.

"Thank you for your informed psychiatric opinion, Bootstrap, but a tour aboard an Assaultstar does not actually give you the expertise to make that determination," Cidra says. "I will do you the *courtesy* of mandating a follow-up psych evaluation for him before putting him back on flight status, but I shall not deprive of us of a sorely-needed pair of flight capable hands to satisfy your personal issues. I have given you a lot of rein. I have, for now, allowed your little effort of prohibition in the Harriers to continue without my objection, despite the fact that I consider it nothing more than an attempt to push your own personal morality and issues on those under you. But this, we are going to handle like professionals. You want him out of your squadron after all this? Fine. The Providers or Early Elevens would certainly welcome another capable pair of hands. He shall be reprimanded and I shall take his full punishment *under your advisement.*" Her tone suggests it will no longer be Trask's to dole out as he pleases.

Those brown eyes narrow sharply. "Tell you what, Cid. When /you/ have served an entire tour with the guy in such a shitzone, when /you've/ flown /with/ him, /socialized/ with him," spoken with all the bite of someone pointing out that the CAG most certainly does *not* mingle with her minions, so how well can she *really* know any of them, "then I'll give you a pass to be patronizing." A bull's ire is never a pleasant thing. "Unlike you," he continues, tone increasingly scathing, "/I/ know him well enough to know that he is frakked up. Something about Shortcut has definitely short-circuited, but thank you oh so much for doing me the *courtesy* of humoring my informed psychiatric opinion that he's a flight risk."

Trask might've been willing to give it a rest with that, but then Cidra starts in about prohibition, morality, and issues. That pretty much sets him off. What follows is sharp, vitriolic, and delivered with a frak you kind of smirk. "Sounds like you're projecting, Cid. Afraid that someone's gonna call you out on all that magic weed you've been smoking? It wouldn't do to have the CAG stoned outta her mind should the Cylons attack. And if someone's cracking down on drunkenness, how the frak can we let slide getting toasted on an ethenogen that I'm pretty frakkin' sure you've been partaking outside the scope of religious rites." Which is to say: TOTALLY illegal.

"I value nothing higher than those who fly under me, Boots. Do not claim I do not. I would like to think you know me better than that." Cidra's tone is low and cold. Say what you will about the woman, oft-introverted and recently at times avoident of the berthings as she is, she does deeply care about her officers. In her way.

Blue eyes narrow at his comment about her perhaps-illicit-weed smoking. Well, that hit something. "I have never impaired my capacity to fly on duty and do nothing on my downtime not permitted within the regs." Shattering the spirit of them though she might be. "If you have a complaint that suggests otherwise and believe me incapable of leading you and yours, it is your responsibility as one of my officers to make it. If not, I think we have exhausted the utility of this conversation." Beauty of having your own office is, when someone pokes at your issues you can just make them go away.

"I will ground Lieutenant Ulixes for a week. That should give Medical more than enough time to evaluate him, and I shall take his future as a pilot from there. Barring their professional recommendation, we can discuss his future in the Harriers at that juncture. You are dismissed. If you have further words for the CO or XO, they are not difficult to find." Inscrutable she remains, but she's folded her hands white-knuckle tight on her desk.

Oh, did Bootstrap hit one of Major Hahn's boo-boos? Why, yes. Yes, he did, and he surely must know it based on that all-too-pleased, caustic smile. Normally, he's strangely courteous when it comes to vulnerabilities. When he feels attacked, though, he is downright vicious. "Then I suggest you pray to your beloved Gods that we never hit Condition One when you're off-duty."

As for her being capable enough to remain CAG, "See, that's the rub, innit? None of us are really fit to lead." Himself included. "Not that it much matters," he continues, starting to rise. "Pewter conducts himself like he's a house guest," thus likely not wanting to deal with personnel issues of a ship he doesn't consider his, "and Tillman…" To say that the SL views the XO in a negative light is a gross understatement. "At this point, all we can do is hope for the best and plan for the worst." There is a hint of bitterness in the blitheness. The confidence he once has in Cidra certainly has taken a beating over the past few months. "Glad to see you've redecorated, though." A jab at the lack of obsessive paperwork on the walls, no doubt, delivered with a smug smile. He takes a long drag from his cigarette as though it were a victory lap. Exhaling in an exalted manner, he finally turns to depart.

Reaching the hatch, he begins to spin the wheel. "And I never claimed that you don't value your people, Cid. Only that you really don't know 'em. Evidently, that extends to me, as well." Because she should know better than to think he'd be guilty of what she accused. What's one more crappy thing to happen in the Air Wing, though?

"Best we can with the pieces we have." It's a common refrain from Cidra, albeit rarely muttered with the bitterness it contains now. Well, she's lost some pieces she cared for more than she'd probably readily admit. Eyes tick up to follow him out. "No worse than you know me, Boots." For a moment it seems she's going to add more. An apology, perhaps. But it's not forthcoming. He can go without further from her for now.

"Too true," the Taurian concedes, although whether it is to one part or the whole of what she has said cannot be determined. "I'll file for the psych eval," he adds, looking over his shoulder. After all, it's his responsibility, and he's not about to shirk his duties. Especially when it comes to someone he considers a buddy. Having the CAG do it would be some manner of insult to Ulixes, as far as he's concerned. "An' I'll see about Doc Adair checkin' him out, too." In case there is some kind of neurological problem. Damaged brain meats come in a variety of flavors. That said, he takes his leave with nothing more than, "See ya, Cid."

"Thank you," Cidra says simply, as to him taking care of the Medical foo. A pause and she does add, "See you, Kal." She lets him go on that note. Sinking into her chair and smoking her cig.

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