PHD #367: Fix What's Festering
Fix What's Festering
Summary: The CAG summons the Harriers SL to address the fallout from his falling-out with Leyla.
Date: 28 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: Blow Ups (things with Sweet Pea go sour); The Need For Time (Cidra and Trask agree that Leyla needs some time and space); & Whittled Down By Small Cuts (Trask's idea about using The Gun to potentially find skinjobs in the Fleet)
Cidra Trask 
CAG's Office - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #367
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: privacy. It is dominated by a blocky gray metal desk straight out of standard Navy supply with an equally standard-issue rolling chair behind it. A few other chairs are shoved against one wall, for those who drop by for whatever business they have with the CAG. The surface of the desk is covered by a computer and stacks of files and octagonal papers covering whatever bit of aerial bureaucracy she's mussing with that day. A few heavy books on air mechanics - mostly devoted to Raptors - occupy the shelves.

The room is largely devoid of decoration, save one item hanging on a hook on the shelf direct above her desk: a set of prayer beads, well-worn olive wood and strung with a single, crudely-carved owl charm.
Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close

While Audumbla has not proved the complete respite Cidra may have hoped, it has at least given the Wing some room to breathe. And settle some other matters. On that note, the CAG has summoned the Harriers SL to her office to discuss one Lieutenant Leyla Aydin. Cidra is seated at her desk awaiting him, hatch slightly ajar, and smoking one of the cheap Picon cigarettes she must have had a store of when they left spacedock. Or that she's gotten very good at trading for.

Even with less to repair, these days, Trask is as busy as ever. Time spent on the Deck remains ample, but it has gone from fixing Vipers and Raptors to dissecting and trying to analyze the most recently acquired Raider to see how, if at all, the radiation of Audumbla has been frakking with the Cylon ships. Memos have also gone out to get the planning for the foundry strike underway, and to get the ball rolling on researching the feasibility of his idea regarding The Gun smoking out skinjobs in the Fleet. All of which Cidra is aware seeing how she was copied on all those missives.

At the appointed time, however, he arrives at the CAG's office, closing the hatch behind him. "Major," is offered with a cursory salute and some puffs of cigarette smoke.

Cidra rises fluidly, returns the salute, and acknowledges it just as fluidly. Dispensing with the protocol quickly enough so she can sit down, and reclaim her cigarette, again. "Captain." That is it for preliminaries. "I shall make this brief, as I know we both have more pressing matters to deal with at the present time. But this has probably stewed too long. Have you spoken with Lieutenant Aydin since her little blow-up on the Deck?"

"I know that, lately, the days all kinda melt one into the other, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't been a week yet." He meant what he said about giving Leyla time and space. "I haven't even /seen/ her apart from the memorial service. I asked Flasher to keep an eye on her but haven't heard anything. You have a chance to speak with her?"

"I did, yes," Cidra says, sounding more than a little troubled. "She is showing up to perform her duties, and extra on the Deck besides, that is a minimum I can accept for the moment. But it shall not do in the long-term. Whether she sleeps in the berths or a storage closet or wherever for I care not." It's not as if she's really one to talk where that's concerned. "But she is bucking for a transfer out of the Harriers, to another of our Raptor squadrons. Which I am not at the moment inclined to grant, but I am very much concerned about her morale."

"So, the paperwork finally crossed your desk, I take it?" It's far less irreverently spoken than someone who knows the man would ever expect, although there is something a touch wry at the corner's of Kal's mouth. When Cidra expresses her concern about Leyla's morale, there is a certain rueful softness to the man's gaze that does not jibe with his otherwise nonchalant demeanor. "She's really takin' the deaths of Mouse and Launiere that hard, huh?"

"No," Cidra replies. "Not yet, as to paperwork. I told her to give it a week to cool her head, as this seems a quite emotional issue on her part, from my view of things. Still, she was sporting a Providers patch on her suit at the Memorial. Her thoughts do not seem to have moved from it." A slight bow of her head when Smythe and Launiere are mentioned. "You should come up with a callsign for him." It's a side issue entirely, but it just seems to strike her as wrong. "And yes, she seems to be. That part I understand. It is one thing to lose comrades, but those you have brought back and seen go… well, it is a thing that stays hard with you. Though I think it might run deeper than that. Or at least, that their deaths might have served as the boiling point for other issues she might have."

The swapping of patches does not appear to bother the SL. "Well, technically, she /is/ flying with the Providers, so I'm not seeing what the big deal about her sporting their colors is." Having lit up some time before arriving for this meeting, Bootstrap is at a point where tapping ash into the CAG's ashtray is a necessity. "I've been givin' it some thought," is conveyed with a touch of grey about giving the deceased ECO rook a posthumous callsign. Clearly, the lack of dubbing does not rest well with him, but he admitted as much in a very public manner at the memorial service.

Going back to Aydin, though, "I can't say, really. I'm not the most reverent person," understatement, "but I'm not ignorant of traditions. Sweet Pea has been wearing gloves for as long as I've known her. From what I gather, she has been since Warday. And to go by her moko, there's no mistaking that she was very close to her kin, even if she never speaks about it. That's gotta be really rough on 'er, I imagine, a load like that." Although, really, something in his expression and tone is suggestive that he wouldn't know the first thing about how that must make a person feel. He can only extrapolate.

"Perhaps," Cidra says, though her tone is skeptical. "We have all suffered most terrible losses. Grief is no longer special, save to the one who feels it. But I am more concerned with the immediate. You have given her space, which may have been for the good immediately, but it seems to me that she is stewing now. She told me she believes you hold her to be 'reckless,' 'self-absorbed' and 'incompetent', were the adjectives she chose, and that somehow this related to the deaths of Mouse and Launiere." Blue eyes narrow at this.

"I've /never/ called her incompetent," Trask is quick to point out, more offended than defensive. "If for even the /tiniest/ fraction of time I had considered her even the most minuscule iota of incompetent, I /never/ would have appointed her my second." Indeed, he looks quite peeved at the allegation. "Reckless and self-absorbed, though," he continues easily enough, "yeah. I did — because she was. But not because of the K-I-As. We've already been over this." Which would explain why he's getting a bit cranky.

"What you did or did not call her, I suspect, is almost immaterial. She does seem to *feel* you hold her in this manner. Does she even know you consider her your second in the Harriers?" Though Cidra moves on from that question without waiting for an answer. "From all I have heard of what happened on the hangar deck, she was behaving irrationally and with disregard for her own safety in that moment. It is not the incident itself I find any fault in you. In terms of actions. I do not think you handled her particularly well, but such is done. It is now, however, time for you to fix it."

"I thought telling her that, if I die, she's inheriting my pins rather spelled it out," is the dry retort. "And when have I ever handled /anyone/ particularly well?" is the leveled reply. Caveat emptor. It's not as though Bootstrap's less than stellar people skills are some sudden occurrence or great surprise. Surely, Cidra was well aware of his shortcomings in that department when she chose to promote him. Feeling more defensive than perhaps is truly warranted, his right arm crosses his chest, the open palm cupping the elbow of his left arm, which is curled upward so the cigarette held in that hand is within proximity of his mouth. "Thanks for your vote of confidence, Major," he snarks, "and, /please/, enlighten me as to /how/ I'm to go about that?"

"Never," is Cidra's mild reply, as to when Trask has handled people well. "Which I generally do not care about, Boots. You get the job done, as do the Harriers, and I have had far worse than ruffled feelings and verbal spars from my COs in my time. We are not a fraternity. We are a combat unit, and we do not have to like each other on the ground to fly together. Nonetheless. She seems to feel verbally *abused* by your conduct, and has taken this very much to heart, it seems to me over a long period of time. I do not think she has any idea you hold her in any regard at all." A pause. "For my part, I think she is still reacting out of grief over Mouse and Launiere's deaths. This is certainly not in line with the level of officer I held her to be. But the fact remains, you have given her her space, but I think all the good that can come of that has been done. Go to her. Talk with her. And make an effort to behave with some level of consideration. I know you are capable of it, though you would like many to think not at times. Perhaps that is all she needs. If not… well, the three of us have more important matters to deal with than bruised feelings and it shall be resolved, one way or another. But as I say, I am concerned about her morale, and I do not want this to fester."

It's not precisely petulance that ensues, but certainly a relative of such. It's unmistakable in a tightening around his eyes, a furrowing brow, and the semi-sour curve of his mouth. It lingers even after he takes a long drag from his cancer stick. Being accused of being abusive isn't something he can easily shrug off. "I don't know /where/ she gets that impression. I really, really don't." Truly, he doesn't. "She's a frakkin' /Blackie/, for frak's sake," Kal exclaims, increasingly irate. "If /anyone/ should know to not expect sugar-coating from me, it would be another Blackie. It's not my fault that she takes offense to getting a dressing down because she didn't vacate a compromised vehicle when DC gave the order."

Frowning, he takes another drag. Exhaling, he says in a huff, "FINE. I'll talk with her. I'll even make a concerted effort to be less blunt, but don't be expecting a miracle simply because you're a woman of Faith." Case in point: he has no clue as to why Leyla /really/ is upset with him. Par for the course, alas, when communication breaks down, especially when priorities differ.

Cidra's brows arch, just a notch. "Petulance does not become you, Captain." There's a note of chiding there, though it's not overly sharp. "I think it is less about the incident in question. That just brought it to the surface. She is under the impression you do not value her contribution to the squadron. This is a thing I know to be false, but it matters little what I know. It matters what she believes. As I say, Boots, I do not particularly care if you are Mister Congeniality with your personnel. I am not. But being in a command position requires at least an effort to manage people, personally as well as professionally. Deal with your Lieutenant. I pray that shall settle the matter. If it does not… I will deal with it as I must."

"Really? And here I thought it was part of my boyish charm," he quips with sardonic cheek. "Like I said, I honestly don't know /why/ she feels that way. Apart from that night, I've never said a disparaging word to her. There'd never been a reason. To say I was surprised and disappointed would be an understatement." A pause, somewhat brooding in its pensiveness, more ash tapped into the tray. The moment is drawn out, brown eyes regarding plumes of cigarette smoke as though they can be read like some augury. "I don't believe that I was unduly harsh, but I could've been more sensitive to her grief when she finally emerged," he concedes. "I just was so pissed off that she had been so irresponsible, putting more than just herself and Flasher at risk."

"The encounter between you two on the hangar deck, I did not witness," Cidra says. "She should have heeded the orders of the medics and damage control team. How you dealt with it after she was out may be more open to question. But, it is done now. Do what you can to make it right. We shall get it sorted." That seems to be all she has to say on that for now. "You are dismissed, unless you have anything further."

Gaze still lingering upon the plumes, nothing is said. Eventually, he takes another drag, the pensiveness dispersed with the exhalation of smoke. "You have a chance to speak with Baer about either of the Gun tests?" Eyes are on the CAG as though the previous conversation never occurred.

"In passing," Cidra replies. "We see little of each other, beyond our official coordination. Anyhow. The Gun is of little use against anything we face in these Swarms. It takes too long to charge to be used against them, even if their FTL does not spool, and their ECM network is primarily geared toward electronic warfare coordination. The DRADIS on their Raptors is as mussed as our own. He *was* most interested in using The Gun's radiation as a possible way to seek skinjobs, however. I gather they had one on board a bit ago themselves. A Model that wore the face of the one that called itself Morgenfield." Her lips twist in a snarl. Whatever mixed feelings Cidra might have about Salt, that one she considers a flat-out abomination. "He said he would run it up to his commanders, and their Marine unit. I gather they handle interrogations generally. He found the idea most… intriguing."

A faint bobbing of his head suffices for a nod. "Fields, I think was the name. And she… it… whatever, was blonde." Go figure. "Knowing them," that being the spooks, "her face might've looked a whole lot like Morgenfield's after that bitch blew her brains out." Darkly, the man smirks. "I know it goes without saying, but keep me in the loop on that. I'm hoping to corner Adair within the next few days. He's definitely someone we'll want on-board."

"The civilian doctor?" Cidra's a little surprised, but she doesn't really question it. "Well, it is not as if there is an over-abundance of skilled medical minds left in the Fleet, in uniform or otherwise. And the man does seem to have skilled hands." It is noted randomly. Ahem. "Certainly."

The look leveled at Cidra is somewhat incredulous. How can she not /know/ about Cameron Adair? "I like to think of him as the published neurologist with an extensive background in biomechatronics," is dryly noted.

"I have dealt with him mainly as a surgeon for those in the Wing," Cidra says. "And for some other… minor medical issues. In any case, I am glad there is one of such skill attached to the project."

Smirking a wee bit, wryly amused, "You didn't honestly think I would've petitioned the CMO to give him clearance to work on Cylon samples if he hadn't been qualified…" Tsk. Tsk. "Anyway, I'll let you know how that goes. Have yet to hear from anyone else about anything else, but I see that Poppy took my suggestion to run the Knights through the Aeolus sims. Still dunno what ideas she wanted to go over from the last skirmish. Can't be /that/ important if he hasn't bothered to seek me out." With one final drag, Trask is grinding the cigarette butt into the tray. "That's pretty much it on my end. So, unless you have further to discuss, I have a Raider waiting to be further fondled."

"We all have many matters pressing us these days. Poppy shall get to it as she can, I trust. All shall settle as they must, one way or another." To Trask, Cidra nods. Soft snort at this choice of words. "Enjoy yourself. Good luck with Lieutenant Aydin."

With a jaunty, two-finger temple tap, scout-style of a salute, the dismissed SL takes his leave.

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