PHD #434: Hypocritical Scenarios
Hypocritical Scenarios
Summary: As per Trask's request, Khloe reviewed McQueen's flight footage from Audumbla and comes to report her findings. In the end, far more is revealed than either was anticipating when a hypothetical question garners a hypocritical answer.
Date: 06 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: Degradation (Trask commences his Audumbla investigation of McQueen) & Long Live the Queen (Cidra informs Khloe that McQueen is a Cylon)
Players:
Khloe Trask 
Ready Room - Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #434
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.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Still off the flightline but certainly not slacking off because of it, Trask has been spending his non-CAP and non-Alert status hours hitting the Raptor piloting sims extra hard, in addition to what is necessary to maintain his ECO A-game. It is at this moment that he's reviewing the recording of his most recent session, for it's better than nothing. A few notes are jotted down as the seconds tick closer to the anticipated arrival of his fellow reluctant Captain-slash-SL, with whom he's slated to go over footage of a different kind.

Right on schedule, Khloe enters the ready room, dressed in her usual uniform blues, and hair pulled back in her usual braid. "Captain," she calls out as she crosses the short distance from the hatch to where the ECO is. "How's the gut?" Not waiting for an answer, she sets a folder down with what appears to be stills of the footage sent to her "office," as well as some typed reports. "Everything you wanted is in there. I can summarize for you now, if you like." And depending on how perceptive Kal is, he might notice something different about Khloe: she's not frowning. She's not smiling, but her expression is fairly… neutral.

The sims footage and note taking continue up until Vakos actually gets situated, Bootstrap's big brown eyes still on the monitor even as his mouth multi-tasks via providing, "Still capable of belly bustin' laughs." Ho-ho. A few flicks of the remote and another folder is pulled up, the reels within queued just in case they are to be revisited. "I'd like," he says, shifting enough to offer Khloe a boyish smile. "Must be real interesting if it's knocked that nigh omnipresent scowl from your face. So, lay it on me, Pops." Idly, the pen in his left hand is tapped against the desktop.

The characteristic scowl returns, almost reminding her that she's not being a stoic cold bitch. "What, this?" She rests a hand on the folder. "You were right to send this to me. It's not very noticeable, and I doubt most Raptor folk would see the pattern, but Queenie's piloting was gradually on the decline during Audumbla. Very subtle. I doubt he looked pained at all climbing out of his cockpit when it was all said and done, but I bet he wasn't moving very fast. His reaction time decreased at a steady rate of one-point-three percent over the course of the op, bottoming out at around an eight percent total decrease by the time he got back to the barn. Sluggish. Like flying a Raptor, I suppose."

With an amused little smirk, the ECO notes, "What I know, I know. What I don't know, I know that I don't know it." So, yeah. He totally tapped the top Viper sticks. Since he is so supremely confident and incredibly skilled in his areas of expertise, however, it's somewhat easy for others to overlook that he never has a problem going to someone better suited for something than he is. As for Queenie, he remarks, "If he wasn't in need of a stretcher or a bodybag, it's not like anyone really would notice his post-flight status." That can be said of all members of the Wing, though. The Deck is all kinds of chaotic after a skirmish. A musing nod to the numbers, Kal's face takes a contemplative cast of understated intensity. Thoughts are a-brewin' in that head of his. "That's pretty much keepin' in line with the other assessments I've received."

Khloe steps back to put her weight on one leg, sticking out her hip and folding her arms across her chest. "I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't see it, but there's no point in crying about it, I suppose. Toast is still proper mad with herself. And I think she was peeved that I didn't blow up when she told me about him." She shrugs. "Him. It. Not sure which pronoun to use. No question, though - I see him again, I'm shooting him down." That assumes, of course, she meets him when she's in a Viper.

"No offense," which, really, lacks any semblance of vitriol, "but if you're gonna be disappointed about somethin', be disappointed that you didn't bother looking after the fact." True enough, even with scrutiny, the evidence wasn't easy to uncover. Missing it during the heat of battle is totally understandable and excusable. For an ECO to be digging for answers, though, that /is/ something Trask will at least mildly tsk about. As for the rest, "I don't think any of us suspected Queenie. I'm still not sure what to make of it." A pause, then, coupled with an assessing look leveled upon Khloe. "Notwithstanding that he was one of the best pilots we had and that odds are we won't be meeting him in Audumbla or some similar place," which is to say that shooting down Cairn might be easier said than done, "Why?" That, actually, is an earnest question. "I have a decent idea why Toast would see it done, but you're Miss Rules & Regulations."

"He's the enemy. I don't have the same passion for it that Toast does; she's got something… emotional… going." Poppy, understand emotions? That's impossible. "Probably goes back to Salt." Or, maybe not so impossible. "I think she's had her share of betrayal and she's pretty much done. Me? I don't care who you are. If you're a Cylon, I'm plugging you. And I don't buy any of this 'good-Cylon bad-Cylon' crap that's floating around. That mission they're planning to Gemenon is a waste of time, I think."

"So, if Sweet Pea," Khloe's BFF, "turned out to be a skinjob, you'd put several point-blank rounds through her skull just like that?" A bit flippant, but that's Bootstrap. Even so, he is working towards some kind of point, even if that may not be apparent. "Would it make a difference if she were a sleeper agent, or is a Cylon a Cylon, verdict rendered, case closed?"

Dodging the question, Khloe's voice gets an edge to it, signifying her annoyance. "I didn't come here to argue philosophy with you, Boots. I came here to talk about Queenie's flying patterns. We've talked about it. The details are in the folder. Are we done?" Clearly, Khloe is having none of Trask's sass tonight. And then the clue: "I've better things to do than to stand around and give answers to scenarios that don't exist. Hypo… whatever." Hypothetical.

"It's not philosophy." There's a severity there beyond the blithe body language. Facetious fa├žade aside, Kal Trask is a very hard man. "It's good to know that you're not as by the book as you claim, though." And not in a relieved sense, either. "Quite a bit of that going around," is the caustic conclusion. Disenchanted Bootstrap is disenchanted. "Thanks for the 411, though." That, at least, is genuinely and civilly relayed; Poppy can take his returning to his sims footage as a somewhat disgusted dismissal. "Oh, and by the way," he tosses off, "the word you're struggling to find is hypocritical."

"We'll continue this nonsense when I'm not busy," Khloe states flatly. She turns on her heel and walks out, on to the next task at hand.

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