PHD #082: Hyperlight
Summary: Doc brings a proposal to the CAG.
Date: 20 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Bell 
Naval Offices
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.
Post-Holocaust Day: #82

Cidra is back in her office. It's not much more than a glorified cubicle, really, but if nothing else it's on the other side of a hatch that locks. That's more than most get in here. Though it is not locked up at the moment. The hatch is slightly ajar at the CAG is seated her desk, sipping from a tin cup as she goes over some papers on her desk. Not coffee, whatever she's drinking. It smells of some faintly herbal or flora tea.

Bell is in his duty blues when he appears at the door - a rarity of late, given first his stint with the Deck crew and then simple shortness of time and energy. Under one arm is a file folder, with smaller manila folders inside. The Professor looks tired, but not quite weary. He knocks at the hatch, three sharp raps, before he announces his presence. "Major, sir. It's Lieutenant Bell. Do you have a moment?"

"Doc." Up come Cidra's gray blue eyes from her papers. "Come in, please." The blues are noted, but not really seen as anything out of the ordinary. She's wearing the things herself at the moment, after all. And she also looks a bit tired. "Close the door behind you. Would you like some tea?" A gesture to the carafe that sits on the shelf behind her.

Bell shuts the hatch, but neglects to spin it closed. "That would be delightful, thank you," he replies, moving to stand before the desk. "I trust you're well?" An odd reliance on the pleasantries. A crutch, perhaps.

"You are welcome," Cidra says, rising and pouring Bella a cuppa in a tea cup also available on said shelf. The brew has a faintly reddish tinge to it. "It is made from rose hips and lemongrass in the main. And some citrus fruits whose names do not translate well into standard. It is quite good. Excellent vitamin content." Her own manners are impeccable, if of a slightly different sort of formality than Bell's. Politeness is, indeed, a convenient crutch. The cup is set on the side of the desk opposite her, and she sits. "Do take a chair, please. And I am as well as any can truly say they are in these times. And yourself, Lieutenant?"

"Much the same, sir. Finding myself more acclimated to the tasks at hand than when last we spoke." Bell accepts the teacup carefully, gauging the temperature through the material and, finding it not too scalding, takes an experimental sip. His eyes register approval. "Major, I know you are quite busy - as are we all - so I will be brief. I wish to reactivate the Hyperlights, to train a new class of recruits. Simply saying 'training pilots takes too long' will not replace the pilots we lose - and the sooner we begin, the better."

"My father used to send me packets of this often. He grew most of the ingredients in his garden back on Gemenon," Cidra says, talking absently more of the tea. The CAG's in an abstracted sort of mood. "I used to drink it when I felt I had something to celebrate. Now I just…drink it." Another sip. Ahem. "I do not disagree. On the need to train new pilots, that is. I do wonder if we are equipped to properly prepare 'nuggets' for combat flight." She sighs. "Though I suppose we have not much choice. We shall have no more new classes from Picon Headquarters, after all. Is there any particular area you have identified for us to possibly recruit from?"

"Quite intriguing, sir. Delicate," Bell says of the tea. "And you are quite right. We have no choice. Simulators and training craft will have to do, once we can fabricate them. As to the pilots…" Jeremiah shuffles through the folders, separating them out into two piles, each about a dozen high, on the desk. "With the generous assistance of the Support department, I've compiled a list of the enlisted personnel aboard with flight backgrounds - civilian or otherwise." Subtext: Washouts. Then, a gesture to the second pile. "These are all the civilian refugees or QUODEL members aboard who indicated to their CMC screener that they had previous flight experience. I refrained from evaluating officers, as those are at a high enough premium among our sister departments."

"Washouts." Cidra will say it if he won't. Not that it's particularly scalding. Just a fact. She sighs. "I will want to make certain these people are capable of combat flight after they have been through training. An under-qualified pilot is worse than none at all in many cases. It saps the energy of a Wing to know you are flying with someone whose instincts you cannot quite trust. But this is most certainly a place to start." She sounds more than a little impressed. "You have compiled all this only since we last spoke?"

"We can begin with the civilians, if you prefer," Bell backpedals somewhat from the washout idea. "However, upon perusing the dossiers you will find that a number of them washed out for academic or disciplinary reasons. Their flight qualifications are, on the whole, acceptable." At the shift in the CAG's tone, Bell looks down towards the teacup, taking another, longer sip. He replaces it on the desk's edge, between the piles, before slate blue eyes meet Cidra's. "No, sir, I have not. I began this project some weeks ago, without authorization, while I was unable to fly. This is the culmination of the effort."

Cidra considers that, then shakes her head a little. "Might be faster to start with those with at least some military Flight training. Even if they could not make it quite. There are many reasons one washes out of Flight School. Many of them having to do with the idiocies of youth. I shall judge no one for it until I see what they make of this." She makes a soft "Ah" sound, sipping at her tea, blue eyes resting on Bell. Seeking to meet his. After a moment, the barest hint of a smile comes to her lips. "I admire your initiative. Though you should not have admitted so. This was far more impressive when I thought you had compiled it in forty-eight hours flat." Trace of dry humor in her tone.

Bell quirks up one side of his mouth to match her expression. "I shall bear that in mind, Major. Moving right along… I further request to include in the squadron's curriculum not only strategy, tactics, and practical space superiority training, but also military procedures, history, and protocol, to ensure a seamless integration with the existing officer corps." A slimmer manila envelope is withdrawn from the folder and placed across the two piles. "I have drafted a rudimentary course syllabus, beginning with the inter-Colonial wars, through the First Cylon War and the Articles of Confederation, to the present day, then moving into an orientation to command dynamics, interpersonal relations, and management techniques. For the civilians, a supplementary module will include basic military terminology, structures, chain of command, and so forth."

"You have permission, Lieutenant, certainly," Cidra says right off. "I do consider it most vital, in fact, if one is to be part of flying with a Squadron." Lips crook again, ever so faintly. "You certainly were a professor, back when the worlds were whole. You know more of these matters than myself, I shall trust you to outline the curriculum as is best. I offer my assistance in any way I can. Particularly if you find any candidates suitable for Raptor training. My last assignment was Picon Fleet Headquarters, instructor in advanced SAR training. And…other matters, though that is the one that is of relevance for this."

Bell inclines his head deeply. "Indeed, sir, and I am grateful for the chance to practice my primary trade once again. As to logistics… I will of course require the assistance of yourself, Captain Sitka, and all other instructor-qualified pilots within the Wing, so as to maximize flight time for the recruits. I would ask, once our fighter complements are restored, that the fabrication plant be tasked to produce at least two two-seat Viper Mark II-T trainer planes. And finally…" before this last, Bell can't help but let a nervous smile creep over his face, "I request permission to continue flying with the Petrels."

"Most certainly," Cidra says, to that last. "I do think it best if we consider the Hyperlights supplementary, in terms of the organization of the Wing. Slotted their for training purposes only. Once these pilots are fully ready they should be assigned amongst the various squadrons. We have not a full complement in any of them right now, I would not thin the Petrels of one of their more senior pilots." A small nod to Bell.

"Agreed, entirely. These trainees will not be allowed to fly during Condition 1 under any circumstances. I had intended to assign them to the Deck Chief for action stations, so that they could gain familiarity with the work that goes into keeping the birds in the air." Bell lifts the teacup again, draining nearly a third of it. That stuff /is/ good. "I should make it clear, I think, that I have no intentions of rushing their certification simply to fill the ranks and ease the burden on the existing pilots. If they are not ready to fly, they will not be cleared."

Cidra smiles a little at his enjoyment of the tea. It seems to please her. "Of course," she says, drinking a little more herself. A very little more. She's savoring the stuff. She probably does not have an inexhaustible supply up on her shelves. "We shall see what we can make of them. Some of this talk must remain theoretical until Fabrication is back up and running, anyhow. And until Captain Sitka is back on the ship, which I do pray shall be soon."

Bell spares a glance to the carafe, the thought of potential rationing deemed too impolite to mention. "Of course. All our efforts must be focused on the upcoming rescue operation. In the interim, however, I will compile a list of the six most promising candidates and forward it to you for approval. They will have to be sworn in and proceed through administrative and support channels, which takes time."

"You have the go-ahead, then, Lieutenant," Cidra says. "I admit, it would do me well to see some of our empty bunks filled again. I wish you all luck in this, and as I said if there is anything more you need do not hesitate to ask it of me."

Bell takes a moment to get all the paperwork together into a neat little stack. He rises from the desk, tucking the folder back under his arm, and snaps off a salute. "Thank you, sir. I'll have the roster on your desk by week's end."

Cidra rises, salutes, and sends Bell on his merry way. "Clear eyes, steady hands, Lieutenant. I thank for your efforts." As he goes she sits again, returning to nursing what remains in her teacup.

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