PHD #312: Kick the Dog
Kick the Dog
Summary: The CAG calls a meeting of her SLs to discuss Operation Silent Mastiff. News of Captain Abbascia's death is also relayed.
Date: 04 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: Cry Havoc (Silent Mastiff details) & Breaking Point (Kefir is KIA)
Cidra Khloe Stavrian Trask Pony Valance 
Map Room - Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #312
The one object that dominates this room is the one it is named for: the giant plotting table in the center of the room. Bottom-lit like the plot in CIC, this one is twenty feet across and about the same distance wide. The maps, which are rolled and kept in a locker at the side of the room, provide much more detail than most of the charts in CIC and are especially useful in planning tactical operations. Unscaled models of ships are available to be situated on the surface of the table and risers on each side of the room allow for a small audience to watch or be briefed. A single large LCD screen is built into the wall at the far end to display reconnaissance or other supplemental material.
Condition Level: 2 - Danger Close

Cidra has summoned her squadron leaders (those who are available, Broadside is pulling CAP at the moment) to the Map Room. On the agenda, Operation Silent Mastiff, as Colonel Pewter has imaginatively named it. While it is still in the preliminary stages, it's not the sort of thing one could have missed hearing about.

Khloe arrives on time, dressed in her flight suit, with helmet held by the chinguard. She's been getting very little sleep since Condition Two began, pulling double CAPs herself as well as attending to the duties of an SL during heightened alert. Dark circles are under her eyes, and her face is a pale shade of sick that is characteristic of one who pushes themselves to the brink. Still, she puts on her best hard exterior, squaring up her shoulders when she enters the room.

With the fleet at Condition Two, Trask has taken to sleeping on a cot in the makeshift sickbay on the starboard hangar. With the Naval offices being cordoned off due to the deck being structurally unsound, he's been conducting his office hours in whatever Raptor is available in the Port hangar. So, when he has a long-standing habit of filling his thermos full of his beloved Deck coffee, there really is no way his largely caffeine-fueled self would arrive with anything less. "Toast. Poppy," he greets, before blithely and bluntly observing of the latter, "You look like crap."

Cidra is in her flight gear as well, albeit sans helmet, and sporting some dark circles under her eyes. Condition 2 is a long haul for everyone. "That will do, Boots," is her comment at Trask's observation. A hair less tolerant of his commentary today, perhaps, than she normally is. Their fellow leaders of the Fighting Fourteenth enter punctually enough, Adia "Blowback" Valance of the Checkmates coming in with Mikel "Pony" Dhaval almost on her heels. Maybe those rumors about those two sharing a supply closet between CAPs are true.

Cidra clears her throat, returns salutes as they are given, and strolls around to the head of the table. "All right, then. You are all aware of Command's plan to undertake a mission Colonel Pewter has dubbed…" A pause. Dryly, "…Operation Silent Mastiff. To the Cylon 'foundry' Bootstrap, Bubbles and Blue discovered. First. Questions? Comments? We shall go from there."

Khloe doesn't so much as spare a glance for Trask, even when Cidra calls an end to his commentary. Seems the Knights SL is too frakking tired to activate phasers to go along with her shields. It's one or the other, and she'd rather appear composed than snarly. Her eyes, however, do flit over to spot Blowback and Pony entering - Blowback being her previous SL and all. And for a brief moment, Khloe seems re-energized; perhaps it's the memory of simpler times when she was just a stick and not a stick-herder. Still, she focuses on Toast's words, and shakes her head slightly at the request for questions.

Even before Trask assumed leadership of the VAQ-141, he'd been pulling 12-14 hour shifts. Since his 'interim' appointment, it's easily been 14-16 hours. During Condition Two, that's been bumped to 16-18. Resilient as he is, even he is showing signs of running himself ragged. The only reason he's not operating on even less sleep is that he's painfully pragmatic, as befits a Taurian. "Well, you look like crap, too," he points out to Cidra, "Just less so in comparison. Me? Gift of my genes that I can make disheveled and tired as all frak look so damn sexy." A long sip of coffee follows, eyes that show exhaustion around the edges alighting on the CAG when she invites comments. ORLY? is the looks he levels. Well, since she /did/ ask, "Is it really necessary to state the obvious that it's an asinine idea? It's only saving grace is that it has a slightly less stupid name than Operation Cobra Talon."

Blowback cracks a crooked smile at Khloe. "How's it hangin', Cap'n?" she asks impishly, but it's good-natured enough. When Trask comments on his good genes, she looks him up and down, considering. She doesn't say anything. She just looks. Her actual comments are business. "I wouldn't use the word 'asinine.' Lady that I am. I do wonder how we're going to go about operating out at that distance, so close to that mine field, and how we plan on dealing with them mines."

Cidra nods, to the pair of them, though it's Trask she directs her attention to first. Expression stoic, though it's not disapproving. Say what you will about her, Toast wants officers who're direct with her. Whether she agrees with them or not. "I have never quite figured out where the talon was located on a cobra. But this at least appears to be of a smaller scale than our adventure on Leonis. Bootstrap, since you have had the best look at this thing, start with your concerns about its particularly… asinine aspects, if you please."

"You know me, Captain. To the left. Always to the left," Khloe mutters in response to Blowback, not wanting to disturb Cidra's meeting any more than it already has.

"I'm no lady," he smiles that oh so incorrigible smile at the Checkmates' SL. The one that says 'I know you know that 'cuz you're totally checking me out'. Back to the actual purpose of the meeting, but not before he quips in response to the location of the 'talon', "Just shy of puncturing the jugular." Because that was a clusterfrak if ever there was one. He would know, having been one of those stranded on the surface for 42 days. "As you wish, Major," Bootstrap complies with all the graces of a model officer. That is a dead give-away that something's up. "If you'd all kindly gather 'round this side of the table…" Setting down his thermos, he retrieves a folder tucked underneath his right arm. This he opens and from it withdraws the first of several overhead projection sheets that are oh so prettily illumined by the built-in lights of the table. Someone came prepared with his snark.

Cidra came prepared for it, too, apparently, and she bellies up to the table with Trask. Blowback is right with her, leaning casually against it, a little slouched. Pony next to her with better posture. "It should be clear," Cidra says. "That this operation shall not be undertaken until the ship is fully repaired and we are well able to jump to a location of safety. Apart from your obvious concerns, Bootstrap, I would ask for some speculation from all of you now. It appears this thing was dormant until it was suddenly… not. On January the first at midnight, if the information we have gathered is correct, it came back online. I am not inclined to believe the Cylons celebrate the New Year, so we must ask ourselves 'Why now?' Our battlegroup undertook no action any can see that would have prompted it. That we know of." The proviso added out of habit by now.

"Observation," Khloe states. Blinking, she clarifies: "Well, two, really. First off: I know the Old Man wants to blow this thing to bits. That's fine; that's his prerogative. I'm just wondering if any rationale was filtered downward. It's a manufacturing resource that could be clutch to future success of the fleet." She clears her throat, straightening up as she continues. "Second point: That Heavy Raider by the volcano that was acting funny before we popped it, and its two Raider buddies. Didn't CIC say something about a transmission? It was supposedly aimed at the Cerberus, but could it have been received by the foundry? Just a wild guess."

Cidra looks somewhat puzzled at the term 'resource' when applied to the foundry. "Poppy, this 'factory,' if indeed it can accurately be termed that, appears to be entirely Cylon. Our technicians have made only a little headway understanding how their Raider and Heavy Raider technology work. Half of which appear to be biological, not just metal and chrome. There is no indication ours would be able to make any use of this facility whatsoever, and the dangers of trying to force enemy technology to our uses on an installation of that magnitude are likely not worth the risk. Particularly when we have a fabrication facility aboard that wants, more than anything else, for base materials. Not facilities."

To the second point she gives more thought, nodding slow. That part she agrees with, more than she'd like. "It broadcast… something to CIC, yes. What, I know not. Your encounter with the Heavy at the volcano took place… December the twenty-third. Still before the facility came back online, but I do suppose it is possible those… creatures that appear to have returned to the surface broadcast something more. And perhaps not to us. I do not believe them gone, though they appear to be making some effort to hide from us."

Going back to address something Valance had said, "Those mines are the least of our concerns. They're dumb and are triggered by mere proximity. True enough, we have no way of knowing which ones are live and which ones aren't. There also is so much crap in the vicinity that we really can't determine what's lurking. Just like with those sparkers, an explosive chain-reaction is always a possibility. /That/," he notes, "is more of an issue. A single blast is no problem for even the Mark IIs to outrun."

As for the overhead, it looks a lot like the cartoony cover of a third-grader's book report. In big, colorful letters, it reads:





For the record, there is a very primitive drawing of the hourglass-shaped facility. Coming from it is a speech bubble that says: 'HAI! BE MY FREND KTHX!' (Yes, f-r-no-letter-i-e-n-d.) There also is an equally primitive drawing of what is probably an angry Pewter, who is yelling: 'CATFISH!'


When everyone has gotten a good look, the sheet is removed and replaced with an extremely professional looking one that befits a licensed engineer. Going back to being useful (which is probably why he gets away with things like that other sheet), the ECO-cum-SL adds, "What Cid said about the foundry. Still, I wouldn't mind looting the place. The metal they use for their ships could possibly be utilized, and we know it's hella strong in the case of those Heavies." As for the transmission, he notes, "Which still happened /after/ we encountered the stealth basestar, for lack of a better term, on the 18th. And, frankly, /that/ incident was even more bizarre. They engaged but didn't go for the kill when they could've. If they did, the Screwtops would have a new Ess-El. Once Tango was offline, they left 'er alone. Your peeps," this said to Blowback, "were still operational and a threat, thus taken out." Or so is his take on the situation.

It could be the fact that she's running on a doctor's schedule, with seemingly endless shifts and very little sleep. It could be that her usual routine is disrupted, where the Captain gets her daily calisthenics and other adrenaline-and-metabolism-surging athletic activities in. Regardless of what it is, there's a faint giggle that comes from Khloe's mouth, clearly directed at Kal's crayon-like drawing. Likely drawing a few eyes her way - Poppy never giggles about anything - the Knights SL lifts a hand to her mouth as if she was covering a belch, clears her throat, mutters something sounding like, "Pardon me," and continues paying attention to the briefing. Cheeks quite red, now, in fact. Poppy does not blush, either.

Blowback is the only other one laughing, the rest of the SL contingent just staring bug-eyed at Trask. Blowback does laugh, though. A sharp cackle. "It's ducks the old man likes, y'know," she comments slyly.

Cidra glares at the both of them, reaching across the table and snapping up the cartoon. "Not. Appropriate. And you have reminded me, Lieutenant Trask, of a matter concerning our relations with the Areion you and I need to discuss *in* *private* at the earliest opportunity." She is not amused. And it doesn't sound like *that* will be a pleasant conversation. She does not actually crumple the cartoon, but folds it into the pocket of her flight suit. Why is she keeping it? Gods only know. Blowback, for her part, shares a grin with Khloe.

Cidra clears her throat. "The mines, you are correct, we should be able to deal with easily enough. Even our Mark Twos are far faster and more maneuverable than anything those things were built to bother in the Great Civil War. Neutralizing them shall likely be as simple as navigating the field at speed, touching them off, and flying away before they detonate. Which *should* be simple enough if we can get an accurate reading of the location of the mines in the field. This is trickier. But our own part in this shall be mostly delivery, once a path is assured. Take in a team of Marines and technicians, deliver them to gain entry into the facility and neutralize it." A small nod to Trask. "And take a look around while they are there. Or such is the idea. And yes. The matter of that basestar puzzles me very much. It would be simple to say they were frightened off by the Areion's Gun. It certainly did a job against those Raiders. But it never even tried to engage, and we were ripe for the picking while that Gun warmed."

Unfazed as he ever is, Kal rolls his eyes a little bit in a 'whatever, mom' manner. "Shit, Toast. We've been grinding ourselves to the bone an' gristle. We're all worn, all beyond tired, and all expected to fly and fight and die at a moment's notice, twenty-four seven — an' we do so as well as we ever have. Not a single one of us has complained beyond the bare minimum of what is humanly expected in such a situation, and not a single one of us has failed to step-up to what is asked of us, nor has a single one of us refrained from giving more than anyone should be asked to give. And it's not a boo frakkin' hoo, life is so hard thing. It simply is what it is, and we do what needs to be done because that's what we're supposed to do. This is the life we chose. Want a different one? I'm sure Money Shot left some directions." The snark, it is here. "You wanna bust my chops? Fine. I'll take one for the team 'cuz Gods know we could all blow off a little steam." Poppy has just illustrated just how very true that is.

That all said, "Never mind that the mines will certainly herald our arrival. Not sure if we can logistically rig it so, over time, they trigger in a manner that appears caused by drifting debris. That would give us some wiggle room, but that still doesn't address the real issue: how the frak do we destroy the thing? We don't have some skinjob gumming up the works to take shit offline so we can nuke it to the Nine Hells. If it really is a foundry, it's likely full of Raiders ready to launch at a moment's notice. And I'm talkin' more Raiders than we've likely since since Warday. And that's not even taking into account how many Heavies there might be, or if there're more ship models that we've yet to see, 'cuz I sure as frak wasn't expecting to see some basestar with 'roid rage ECW capabilities."

"I agree," Khloe states, although her following words seem to indicate she's more about the serious part of the meeting and not Bootstrap's commentary on fatigue and maximum breaking point. "Alert Vipers and Raptors on standby, and nuke the frak out of it. As the Lieutenant has colorfully illustrated -" Poor choice of words. "- everyone is worn thin. Stretched to the limit. Asking our folks to commit to a tactical engagement without so much as a decent night's sleep and a few hours R+R in over two weeks is not a sound strategy. And you need to consider who's saying this: me. Miss Always-On-Duty, to coin Hosedown's phrase."

"You never do quite know when to shut up, do you, Kal?" But the question is posed by Cidra philosophically rather than with any real ire this time. Annoyance, perhaps, but that's a habitual inclination when dealing with Trask. "We shall speak on it later." The next of what he says has actual bearing to the business at hand, so she focuses on that. "The Marines believe if they can cut their way into it, they can detonate it and destroy it by hitting it at a sensitive demolition point. I shall presume they know their business, as I see no better way for us to make a dent in it. It is too well-armored for our Vipers and even Raptor missiles to do much good. Pewter wants a look inside before we leave the thing, and Major Willows-Cavanaugh is willing to take the risk. It shall be her risk primarily, not ours, and I shall do all I can to support her." As to the last, "Again, we shall not be undertaking this until the ship is repaired. And, if I am to understand the Colonel correctly, it is his intention to jump us to a safer location than Tauron when that happens, so we may undertake some proper preparation for this when we are not stretched. A place we know the Cylons do not care to venture." A pause. "You call Parnassus Anchorage?" Gaze mostly on Trask. She at least knows he does.

"I've been told it's part of my charm," the unsuccessfully chastised man wanly smiles, his own irritation simmering beneath the surface of his damnably expressive eyes. Whatever else he might have to say about the matter, it can wait. "Seeing how it'd be a real douchebag move to drop 'em off at daycare, never to return, our people are just as much at risk. And, while on the subject of stating the obvious, if missiles are unlikely to dent it, how the frak do they expect to cut it open? Even industrial grade torches can only do so much, and I'm sure there is more than one level of plating. We're not talkin' a few hours of EVA work here." At mention of Parnassus, Bootstrap smirks. "Might have something to do with how they nuked the frak outta it the last time we were there. The spooks know some hidey holes out that way?" That was Admiral Hauck's stomping grounds, after all.

"That EVA team is going to need Viper and Raptor escort. If this thing has as many Raiders in it as the Old Man thinks, it's back to the same scenario of a full-on firefight," Khloe observes, perhaps stating the obvious, but she's tired and she's speaking her mind this evening. "If the Colonel thinks this is the right course of action, he'll have my squadron. I'm simply advising the CAG -" She eyes Cidra, giving her tired, but still edgy, look, as if to say 'BAD IDEA!' "- that the risk may outweigh the reward in the case of satisfying the need to 'look around' first, sir." The last bit appended to make it an official protest; there's no edgy weight on it, but rather simply used as a finalization - Poppy won't belabor the point any further, even if Bootstrap will.

"We have been given a mission and it is ultimately our job to carry it out," Cidra says. "The Colonel believes we cannot use the capital ships to blast it due to all the wreckage around it, and Colonel Riederer of the Areion believes she and our assault engineers can identify points near the exits to the foundry that may be thin enough to breach. We have some time to plan, coordinate and mitigate the risk to our personnel. Over the next weeks you are to engage in that. I will listen to any ideas put forward and bring them to Command." A pause. "So long as they are not in cartoon form." Tone just a little dry there. "We also need to talk on matters of coordination, as Lieutenant Colonel Baer and I believe it is time our wings started working much more closely together."

Blowback smirks. "I hear you get along with Papa Baer just fine, Toast."

Cidra glares at the Checkmates SL. Also, probably, not appropriate.

Khloe glances between Blowback and Toast. Blink, blink. And then, the epiphany, which causes Poppy to crack another hint of a grin. Well, more than a hint. She outright shows teeth with this one. True facts continued: Poppy does not smile. She clears her throat and covers her mouth with a loose fist, however. "Understood, sir," she says in response to Cidra's orders.

"Ah, hells. What's some more unpaid overtime?" Been there, done that, after all. So blasé about it all, at this point, Trask simply sips more coffee. "At this rate, though, we're gonna need to start breakin' out the stims, and that's somethin' I'd like to avoid." No fan of them is he. And since there should be no doubt that he will be raising all manner of concerns — but also doing his damnedest to provide viable alternatives — it should come as no surprise when he deadpan quips, "We're a bit crunched for time to write a song and produce a music video, but I'll see what we can do." It's not cartoon format, at least.

Insofar as the intimations, there is no comment. Not other than a disingenuous, "Really?" to Blowback. "You sure about that? I could've sworn that all the 'inter-squadron operations coordination meetings' involved the Checkmates and the Providers." Beat. "Oh!" And here he does his 'silly me' eye roll and shrug. "This is what they call deflecting, innit? Or is it projecting?" Like a good ECO, Bootstrap has the Raptor pilot's back.

"No stims at present," Cidra says, firm. "This is all talk until the ship is fixed and we are properly rested for it." And she does sound confident that shall happen, long as they have sat crippled here. Cidra is quite good at maintaining an aura of confidence, real or not. She does not even address the good CPT Adia "Blowback" Valance. "And when we do have some time to breathe, there are many preparations to make. Lieutenant Colonel Baer has proposed, and I agree, that it is time to make some of our Raptors capable of linking into the Areion's Gun amplification system. My plan is, once we have time to start modifications, to begin by making all of our Early Elevens squadron with such. And some of our Harriers as well, Boots, if we can find the time. Though I would not like to push them all toward it at once. My thinking is, some as well as our Providers un-modded, some with, to compare how they operate. Early indications of the Gun's capabilities are very impressive, but I would like to maintain a basis to contrast our own birds at least at first."

Pony nods, for his part. And to Trask merely remarks, "A gentleman never tells."

Blowback winks at him. Pony's a gentleman. She is *not*, actually, a lady.

Khloe glances sidelong to Trask. This is Raptor talk, now.

Which is probably why Trask likes the Checkmates' SL better. Case in point, he flashes her a darling smile and cheekily bats his lashes. Then, to Pony, "I'm quite certain if your were all that much a gentleman, there wouldn't be much to disclose." 'Cuz she's a superfreak. Superfreak. She's superfreaky. Yow. Or sumfin'. Cidra merely gets a simple, "Agreed." That said, he's back to his folder, pulling out several packets — one for each SL here, one for those not present, and one for the CAG. "Since I know none of you slackers have enough to read, here are my notes regarding the transmissions, their frequencies, timing, uncrackable encryption, et cetera, et cetera. I've made an effort to put it in layman's terms," because not everyone has a background in electrical engineering, "but if something doesn't make sense, don't hesitate to ask and I'll see if I can explain it better. Anyway, go over it on your own time and then we can go over it during our next pow-wow." For there surely will be another. "It'll be easier to address logistical obstacles with everyone on the same page."

Pony blushes some. More than Cidra blushed at mention of Baer. He lacks his boss's inscrutability.

"Excellent," Cidra says to Trask. "I shall have you and T-Bone -" Squadron leader to the Early Elevens, that is. Also likely engaged in something too pressing to be here. "…coordinate with Tango and her people on the Areion when our deckhands are ready to begin work. I shall be stepping up coordination among our Vipers as well. Adia and I have already discussed this, but it pertains to you as well particularly, Captain Vakos." A look to Poppy. "How do you feel about getting some temporary roommates? Once the ship off Condition Two, of course." She gives no immediate clue to where she's going with this.

"I'm… sure we can fit a few more bodies into the berths," Khloe states, without inflection. Although she already seems to know where this is going. "Are you suggesting, Major, that some of the Evocati are going to be cross-training with us?" There's a slight change in Poppy's posture, suggesting that she might not like the idea, and is getting ready for an argument. Either that, or she's suddenly excited about berthing with people as perfectionist as she is.

For all intents and purposes, the token ECO watches the unfolding scene much like a tv-watching house cat would keenly regard a lion taking down a gazelle on a nature program. Swish, swish goes the proverbial tail, ears and eyes perking.

"This was Lieutenant Colonel Baer's proposal," Cidra says. It's not that she seems to take care to formally use the man's full rank now, but she's done it all night. "And I rather like the idea. Our pilots need to start working more as a unit rather than as two separate Wings. To that end, we will actually be sending some from our squadrons to 'bunk' on the others' ship. Captain Valance will be taking herself and some of her Checkmates over…" Blowback raises one hand, fingers waggling a little in assertion, playful grin on her face. She's looking forward to this. Cidra goes on. "…And Major Finch shall be taking up some of our spare bunks with some of his Spectres. The precise time this will occur shall not be slotted until after Condition Two lifts, but there is not a great deal to it, so it should not take long to get them over when we are ready."

"I see. Well, I can tell you right now, Toast, there's going to be pushback. Not from me, of course. I'd recommend we not do this until there's been a brief bit of rest between Tauron and… whatever is to come next." Folding her arms across her chest, causing her flight suit to protest in that rubberized plastic way, she glances Kal's way. "By the way, Lieutenant, I had a pilot come to me questioning your tactics from that Raider that gleefully flew into its cubing," she says. "If you're interested, we can talk about it later."

Someone upset with Trask? Quelle surprise! "Sure," is the casual reply. "Only fair since one of your pilots chose to be insubordinate until called out on it."

Cidra has taken over the Map Room and filled it with Air Wing brass. A good portion of her squadron leaders, though CPT Aron "Broadside" Matise of the Mighty Lions and a handful of others were too engaged in intensive CAP duty to attend. The CAG stands at the table, talking with Trask and Khloe and a handful of others about things aerial. A nod to Khloe. "I would not push this on anyone until they have had time to breathe. It is my hope this shall be a way to build camaraderie, not add undue strain. And as I have not been made aware of this incident, I shall trust you two to handle it among yourselves?" This apparently aimed at Khloe and Trask's side conversation. It's clearly reached that point in the meeting where things are turning to idle talk rather than meat.

The hatch opens just enough for some security posting to poke her head in, checking on the progress of the meeting. It closes again, but reopens just a few moments after to admit Jesse Stavrian, still in his olive-and-reds from duty. He did manage to at least jump in a shower before braving a room full of brass, if that uniform is a tad rumpled from the chaos that was going on not long ago on the deck. Back straight, he clasps his hands behind his back as he steps gingerly into the map room, pausing on the outer fringe to wait to be acknowledged.

Khloe inclines her head to Cidra. "Yes, completely. I think the pilot in question - and I bet it's the same pilot - just needs to be shaken down and rearranged until he sorts his issues and stows them properly. Boy couldn't even find his bunk until someone tied shoelaces together and attached one end to his belt and the other to…" She pauses, glancing towards the hatch door. Eyes fall expectantly on Stavros, although she's not the ranking officer in the room. She just waits.

Cidra raises her head when the hatch is opened. "Lieutenant Stavrian?" Faint puzzlement. Though no more than that for the moment. "Enter. Is there something you require?"

"If you're betting chocolate, I'll take that wager, 'cuz I'm pretty sure the chin is the only mannish thing, but I haven't bothered to check." Which is Kal's his way of saying it's the other pilot. Names aren't named, though. Then again, it's not necessary, really. "Although I'd say you're right about the rest." Perhaps that's even a tinge of sympathy he feels for Poppy. Attention then shifts to the newly arrived El-tee. "Stavs." Beat. "Makeshift medical's on the Starboard deck." Ho. Ho.

Stavrian's shoulders straighten further as he's addressed, bruised right hand making its way from the small of his back to his temple in sharp salute. "Major Hahn, sir. Captain." A slight nod to Trask. "Lieutenant." The soft-spoken Sagittarian doesn't even pretend to smile. "Major, we had an incident in the port hangar this evening. I…" Who doesn't hate doing this? "…have a casualty report for your department, sir." Rather than go on, he keeps eyes on Cidra in silence, letting the CAG decide how public she wants it.

There was a certain casual mood about the meeting before, even serious as the talk got at times. But it falls away completely when Stavrian says the word 'casualty.' Every officer in the room is silent, sober, bracing themselves for news they've heard far too many times. Cidra's the first to speak, after straightening her posture. Like she's preparing to receive a blow. Cloudy blue eyes fix on Stavrian. "Go on, Lieutenant. Who? And how?"

Any smartass remark Trask might have about the matter, as is the way of people who use facetiousness as a defense mechanism, won't be uttered until the details are relayed. Even then, he's somber enough looking that he might not say anything even then. Unless, of course, it's another suicide.

"Captain Kefir Abbascia, sir." Stavrian doesn't look away from his superior. His blue eyes are bloodshot from exhaustion, but he doesn't slouch a bit. "He was preparing to launch a Viper. The bird went out of control in its catapult and struck the hangar wall, exploding on impact. Captain Abbascia was pronounced dead at the scene." He clears his throat softly. "The surrounding details of the incident will be available shortly, sir."

"Black Lead? Oh, frak," Khloe finally utters, eyes going wide at Stavrian's pronouncement. Shoulders slump a bit, and it's like someone took all the remaining wind out of Poppy's sails. "The last thing we need is the accidental death of a pilot or Marine. Morale is going to completely deflate." Sigh. Poppy runs both hands over her face.

"Captain Abbascia?" The name is spoken with definite recognition by Cidra. Features pale. But then, it is a blow to lose any pilot. "Captain Kefir Abbascia. One of Broadside's. I must reach him promptly. I would not have him be rung by the Deck about this." She takes a deep breath. "Honors to his service. And yours, Lieutenant. I thank you for carrying this to us."

"Anyone else?" It's said in a way that suggests that Kefir didn't matter much. Well, apart from one less meat shield. Rejoice, all. Trask's morale is just fine, thanks. "Any preliminary determination about the cause? Not another Nostos incident, I hope." /That/ actually concerns him. "I'm surmising the Viper is gone." An even greater loss, in his estimation. Much as it was with Nostos. "And the tube is trashed." Lovely.

"It's in the report," Stavrian tells Trask, blandly. Code for the fact that he's not about to be flapping deck's business around a room of pilots. "I don't know enough about Vipers to say when they're FUBAR. Just people." His blue eyes flicker to Khloe, then back to Cidra. "Major. Sorry for your loss. Know where to find me if you need me." Slight pause, then: "Permission to head back to the bay, sir?"

Khloe glances across to Trask, gaze hardening. "What the frak is wrong with you, Bootstrap? One of our own just frakking died!" Khloe pushes herself off of the support beam she was leaning against, standing at her full height. She's not advancing on Trask, but she sure as hell thought about it from her body posture.

"Enough, both of you." Cidra does not bark. The CAG is not a barker. But it is ennuciated shortly. "I am not in the mood. Dismissed. I will be covering Broadside's own CAP slots this week myself while he sorts out the Lions. Any loss is a blow to morale. Now, I should go see what I can make of the incident report. Lieutenant Stavrian, thank you for bringing us this news promptly. I know it a heavy duty."

Bootstrap was a knuckledragger before he was an ECO. As such, he can (and does) respect Stavrian's silence. With utter aplomb, he shifts his gaze to Khloe. Very matter-of-factly, he points out, "We lose people all the frakkin' time, Poppy. We've even lost a few that I actually liked and it didn't change a damn thing. All honors to his service, but I have better uses for my time and energy than being bummed out about it." Taurians are noted to be pragmatic, stoic people, and Black Country folk are particularly rough-and-tumble. To Cidra, then, "I trust you'll alert us if sabotage is involved." Because, to him, that is of far more importance. "If you require anything further of me, Major, you know where to find me." That said, he shoots a tired look at Jesse that contains a measure of sympathy. Delivering this kind of news always sucks. All that remains is collecting his things, which he starts to do.

Stavrian's eyes cut back to Khloe as she moves. Silent assessment, the results of which make no appearance in his expression. He just looks back at Cidra. "Gods with you." A glance at Trask, a little 'see you later' nod, then he's off towards the hatch.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License