PHD #431: Hard Days
Hard Days
Summary: In which Leyla receives her Battle of Ophion decorations and gets a new assignment. Cameo by Evandreus.
Date: 03 May 2032 AE
Related Logs: To Fly and Fight and Die; From Hell's Heart
Cidra Leyla Evandreus 
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: #431

Lieutenant Leyla Aydin has been summoned by the CAG to the Ready Room. As have many other members of the Air Wing over the past week and change as awards from the Battle of Ophion have been issued, so the subject of said summons is not precisely hard to guess. Cidra stands at the podium in her dress blues, waiting patiently and silently.

It's a short trip, from the sims on deck 11 to the ready Room, but Leyla makes the trip as quickly as possible. Duty greens, as she's been working most of the shift on preparing simulation runs on Gemenon, for the raptor pilots who might be tapped to make the recon visits to the planet, complete with evasive maneuvers and drop points that make the most use of the planet's magnetic fields and topography to shield them from the basestar parked within the planet's atmosphere. The hatch is pulled open, allows to hang loose behind her, as she makes her way into the ready room, still slightly favouring her left side. A salute, "Toast."

The salute is acknowledged fluidly by Cidra. "To attention, Sweet Pea." That said, she descends the podium, small black box and folder held in her right hand and tucked beneath her arm, respectively. "You are back on the line. That is good. We have had a respite of sorts here in the space of the Belt, but I do not anticipate it lasting a good deal longer. At any rate. Some old business remains to settle, and there are some affairs in the Wing which shall need to be resorted. If you are up to the task." On that mildly mysterious note. First things first.

"Lieutenant Leyla Aydin, for your actions during the engagement against Areion forces in the Battle of the Ophion, Command has seen fit to award you the Fleet Commendation Medal, with valor device. Your and your fellow Raptors delivery of the Marines into battle upon the Areion, past the Evocati, did ensure the battle against Kepner could be waged at all. And the rescue of myself and my fellow Department Heads initiated. And I do understand from reports from the battle you did the Evocati some damage in the process. My personal thanks, and honors to your service." She makes to pin said medal on Leyla, though she does not seen done.

Leyla makes her way down to stand in front of the podium, drawing herself up to attention, as Cidra rounds the dais to approach her. Attention it is, her expression reserved, thoughtful. She doesn't interrupt the CAG's words, eyes focused on the woman's face, until the time comes, and she does lower her eyes to the box in Cidra's hands. "They took what was ours. And left us no choice but to do what needed to be done to bring our people home." Not quite the words she spoke that day to Mark, in the aftermath of the battle, but well close enough. Her head straightens again, as the model is announced, then pinned to her uniform, "Thank you, Colonel."

"My thanks to you, as I did say. I would not be alive but for the services of me and mine - not to mention our Marine forces - that. A fact of which I am appreciably aware. Speaking to. I am given to understand you took part in the fire fight upon the Areion hangar deck itself, in addition to seeing to the safe delivery of the Marines, and evacuation of our groundtroops and those who were taken hostage upon the Areion." Cidra pauses to open her folder at this, though from her tone she's expecting an answer from Leyla as to the those events.

"The Areion's crew had sabotaged their own flight elevators to bar us from bringing the raptors up to the hangar deck. The marines made their way up along the walkways and airlocks, but they had no engineering or deck detail with them. I would not ask one of my flight," and at the time, Leyla was the lead pilot with the SAR raptors, "to do something I was not willing to do myself, so I went with the marines to clear a way for them to return to the raptors with the evacuees." That part is a known quantity. Leyla did hack the Areion's hack and get the flight elevators back working, which was the evac point. "I provided what covering fire I could, as I made my way through the hangar," getting shot in the process, but that clearly seems to be of no moment to the pilot, "and remained behind to guard the evac operation while Shakes remained with 307 to load her passengers." There's a brief pause, before she continues, "I remained behind long enough to participate in the enemy suppression action following the routing the the Areion's forces." Read — she shot quite a few people.

Cidra nods deeply to all that. "A harsh day of work, one could call it. You are to be commended for it. In the real sense, Commander Pewter has issued you a commendation for courage under fire for your actions that day." She clears her throat, and reads from the letter on octagonal paper within her folder. "'On April the Fifteenth of the year Twenty-Forty-Two After Exodus, Lieutenant Leyla Aydin did display quick-thinking and valor in ensuring our Raptors could evacuate the hostages aboard the Areion by returning the flight elevators to operation, and continued to assist in providing fire support while hostages and wounded were loaded upon the Raptors to evacuate. Honors to you service.'" The letter itself is signed by the Commander, as Cidra hands over the folder. "Very hard days work. I thank all gods you returned from it whole." Still, she does not seem done.

That does bring a bit of surprise to the pilot's expression, given that she's never so much as met the Commander, well, not in any real sense, and no more so on the Areion, where he was busy showing everyone what it means to be a Navy man. There's a slight compression of her lips, as she listens to the substance of the letter, before she accepts the folder, dipping her head out of respect to the Commander, offering it to Cidra, as she's currently, as it were, standing in for Pewter. "I thank you, Colonel, but I think I did no more or less than all of our personnel did that day. We all pushed ourselves beyond our boundaries, and gave of ourselves more, than, I think, any of us thought we could. or might have wanted to." It's a hard business, human killing human. For all that it was necessary. A necessary evil is still an evil.

"An evil I pray never to repeat. Though I prayed thus after the worlds fell, and it came to naught with the Areion. Kepner was a madman. The better part of me would like to believe the disaster which befell us would impart better sense in those of us that remain. But. It has not, in so many cases." Cidra sighs. "Anyhow. Not all were so lucky to heal so fast. Lieutenant Bell remains in Sickbay, and from my talks with Medical his rehabilitation will be a more lengthy affair than he had at first anticipated. The lieutenant has, up until this time, been doing much of the day-to-day oversight of the Hyperlights for me. Our training squadron. But he shall be unable to continue in that role for the forseeable future." A pause. "You have grown into an officer I trust, and you show natural leadership when it comes to those in your charge. I have given Lieutenant Duncan charge of our Viper recruits, but he has little knowledge of what makes a Raptor combat pilot. I would like you to oversee the development of our Raptor Nuggets, if you think yourself up to the task."

Evandreus shuffles unobtrusively into the hatch, looking like he might have been ready for bed, at one point, but some sleeplessness or other unpleasantness has him up and in the ready room, spotting the pair doing business in here and hunching his shoulders as he veers into the furthest row of seats, where he usually makes his little work nest, squatting down as he nears the end of the row to see if he can find the— ah. Pencil stub he dropped down there. Got it.

"I think our downfall, with the Areion, was in being too trusting of their motives and designs. In many ways, the Cylon holocaust made us overly cautious, but in other ways it made us too ready to trust in what remains of humanity. That they would all have as noble of goals as we do. We gave the Areion too much leeway, made too many excuses for them and their secrecy, to our detriment and to the deaths of many people who would not otherwise have had to give our lives. We want to cling to what is left of what is good and right in humanity, but there is still as much evil in us as good." And that's as much as Leyla's going to say about that. Cidra's probably no stranger to the fact that Leyla's been 'don't trust the spooks' since the beginning. "I am sorry to hear that Lieutenant Bell will not be able to resume his duties with the Hyperlights for an extended period. He is well-liked among his recruits. He has no small amount of skill in tempering authority with a gentle hand. I can only hope to do as well with them as he has done. And I have worked with Drips before. I will do my best for you, to see our raptor nuggets reach their potential." Yes, she'll do it.

"Bell is a good man. He will still able to assist the recruits with their more OCS-focused efforts. Tutoring on military history and the fundamentals of being an officer and such. And I shall, of course, be on-hand. I take a great deal of interest in our Nugget classes. They are a source of hope, something occasionally in these times. But I suspect you and Drips shall be able to manage their day-to-day development as pilots just fine." Cidra nods short. She'd not expected any less. "Your flight duties within the Harriers should not change much, so far as patrols and shifts on Alert status are concerned. The Hyperlights do not generally fly in combat, after all. Unless worse comes to *very* worst. But you shall be devoting more or your other time on-duty to said development. Clear eyes and steady, Lieutenant. Do well. Unless you have have further questions about this, you are dismissed to your liberty."

Evandreus can't possibly be taking that long figuring out how to retrieve that pesky pencil stub. Of course, the only other explanation is that he's hiding. And that doesn't make too much sense, either, does it? But that's where he's crouching, for now, elbows on his knees, peering at the yellowish twig as he flips it between his fingers.

"Not a question. Well, not about working with Doc and his recruits, or with Drips." Leyla pauses, framing the words carefully. "Do you think less of me for what I did, Toast? On the Areion?" The aftermath of the battle was no secret. More than a few of the Marines were none too shy about voicing their displeasure for how the enemy combatants were handled. Some of them. "I did what was necessary. But that does not always make it right, in the eyes of those you respect." The pilot hiding in the wings, as it were, is either not noticed, or not acknowledged.

Cidra does not answer that question right away, her cloudy blue eyes resting on Leyla. Just looking at her, in that mild way she has of looking at things. Her expression is, par for the course, difficult to read. "I have done things in my life, Sweet Pea, for which I am not proud. And for which the gods I very much believe in may damn me one day. I have no right to judge anyone, and I do not. I was not there, Command has not rebuked those that were, and I am alive because of the actions taken by those in that fire fight. I do not say it was right. I cannot. But it is yours to live with, and yours alone. Our job is often ugly. We live in the age of Ares, and sometimes there no good choices. I live with the things I have done out of necessity as best I can." That's all she has for that. Evandreus' hiding is apparently stealthy enough to elude her.

Leyla nods. That's it. She knows she's not going to get much more of an answer. But what answer she does get seems to satisfy her. "I would have gone to whatever ends. Toast." A nod, before she steps back, settling the folder into one arm, before she offers a salute, taking the dismissal that was handed out to her previously, "I'll go and find Doc, see if I can get his paperwork on the nuggets, so I can get up to speed on where they are in their training." A beat, "We still need to do Boots' qualifying flight." A final salute. before she turns and starts back up through the Ready Room.

"We do. And I would like Lieutenant Bran to prepare himself for proper flight qualification as well. He is the most ready among the ECOs to qualify promptly for more than emergency piloting. I have requested he contact you about that, so expect it. I suspect among the Raptors your training will consist of a good deal of work on flight with the ECOs, as well as the proper Nuggets. Good hunting, Sweet Pea." The salute is returned fluidly, and Cidra leaves Leyla to go on her way. The CAG will exit the Ready Room in short order now.

Evandreus finds himself trapped between standing up from his hiding spot and actively trying to climb under the chair before Leyla can walk past the back row. Finding the latter solution one step too far, he simply leans forward and begins to unbend his legs, tucking the pencil behind his ear and rising just enough to slide his butt into a seat, leaning back and even looking to Leyla, giving her a tight, drawn smile of acknowledgement as she passes.

Leyla doesn't even favour Bunny with a smile. She's not that disingenuous. Things are clearly tense between them, and she acknowledges that. But her tone is gentle, despite all of that, "Good evening, Bunny." But she doesn't stop her forward momentum, allowing it to carry her out of the room.

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