PHD #346: Nataly Interviews Khloe Vakos
Nataly Interviews Khloe Vakos
Summary: Just what it sounds like
Date: 07 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: none
Khloe Nataly 
Cerberus Galley
Post-Holocaust Day: #346

Attempting her first real substantial food since she got sick a couple of days ago, Khloe is sitting alone attempting what passes as a vegetarian's option for soup. Probably personally requested to be uncanned and heated up, she's eating it with what passes as bread aboard a battlestar. That, and a mug of tea, completes her extravagant dinner this evening.

Into the room walks Nataly Rassvett, decked out as always in her patched overalls and Cerberus ID badge. She looks around, interested, making note of who is present and wondering who she could talk to. Spotting Khloe, she chews on her lip for a second, then grabs a tray, hastily gets some food put on it, and heads over, sitting opposite the Captain at her table. "Excuse me for interrupting, sir, but you're Khloe Vakos, right? Captain Poppy of the AirWing?"

Glancing up from her meal, as she doesn't recognize the voice, she affects a deepening frown. It may not be entirely out of annoyance or disapproval; those who know anything about Khloe know she's a generally stoic and antisocial sort. "If you're going to be specific, it's Captain Khloe Vakos. 'Captain Poppy' sounds like it belongs to a mascot." She places her spoon down, and picks up her napkin from her lap. Eyeing the ID badge, she asks, "Newsie? We have enough civilians to have more than one?" Of course referring to Sawyer Averies.

Nataly smiles. "Yes sir! Whole room full of us, in fact, though I've only just come on board. And my apologies, Captain Vakos. I have to admit that I've never really known the proper way to include a callsign when addressing someone." She takes a bite from her plate, grimaces a bit. "You know, I swore to myself that after a year of wondering where the next meal came from, I'd never complain about another. Sometimes its hard to keep that promise." Regaining her smile, Nataly looks up. "I was wondering if I could interview you, sir. I am collecting stories on various members of the fleet. The idea is that the better the civilians know members of the military, the harder it is to demonize the military. At least, thats my hope. Could I have some of your time?"

Khloe raises a thin eyebrow, wiping her mouth with her napkin. There's a hesitation, with a narrowing of her eyes, as she's trying to judge the younger woman. "Sure, why not," she says dryly. "I'm all about de-demonization. How official of an inquiry is this going to be? Should I expect to see my words in print?"

"It's possible, sir. I wasn't officially sent to you, so its possible Miss Averies won't choose to run it. I wrote a few pieces over on Elpis on my own but I've got a boss now." She shrugs. "So, it is all technically on record, but the News Room hasn't published any of my stuff, yet. Could be, it'll just go in the files." Pulling her notebook out from the bib pocket of her overalls, Nataly's eyes flick over some notes she'd already jotted down. "If I get into areas you're uncomfortable talking about, just let me know. I'll try not to press in sensitve areas, but I'm not military, so sometimes I'm not sure what is sensitive. I won't press you on anything."

Khloe dips her chin slightly. "All right. Go ahead." And at that point she takes a sip of her tea, eyeing the other woman across her mug.

Smiling comfortably, Nataly settles with her pad and pen. "Ok, first question. Could you describe your childhood, and how it led to you joining the fleet?"

Khloe snorts lightly. "You don't waste any time. All right," she says. "I grew up in Nakah Valley on Canceron, a government-subsidized community designed to give the criminal miner population a chance to become productive citizens and have families of their own. My grandfathers were a part of the indentured work program that was abolished by the Quorum. Essentially, I grew up in a trailer park ghetto." She sips at her mug. "As far as how I came to join the military, at around age sixteen, after my second morpha overdose, I found the resolve to get clean. Joining the military two years later seemed to be the next logical step of getting my life back on track and giving back to the community."

Nataly nods as her pen scribbles on the page. "Oh, wow. I remember seeing a documentary on those projects when I was in school." Some more scribbling. "How did you end up a pilot? Was that the plan from the beginning, or just where you landed?"

"A friend in clinic encouraged me to take a battery of entry tests, to see what my aptitudes were," Khloe explains. "Officer school seemed to be the plan, but I needed to settle some personal matters and finish my general education certificate, etcetera."

More, nodding, more scribbling. "Were there any complications in that process? Anything slow you down?"

Khloe lifts a shoulder slightly in a noncommittal shrug. "I have a checkered past. Drugs, gangs, and the like. Naturally there were complications, but I worked through them." And that's all she's offering on the matter. "Suffice it to say, the local government took my efforts to get clean and reform very seriously."

Nataly continues to write down her responses. "Ok, so once you got your wings, how did you advance to Captain, and how was that process affected by Warday?"

"I served two years aboard the CEC-198 Marsyas as Viper escort for a primarily Raptor-deplying carrier. After that I was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and shipped to Tauron's Tau Garrison for four years as an instructor and logistics administrator." She wrinkles her nose a little at the mention of her time at Tau but doesn't elaborate. "After my time there, I was promoted and assigned to BS-107 Hephaestus where I did a lot of anti-pirate and anti-illegal mining work. Following that assignment, I was posted on the new Cerberus, and here we are." Sip. "Captain came when Major Hahn needed to place someone as the Black Knights squadron leader."

Scribble, scribble, page turn. Nataly leans back, watching Khloe carefully. "If you don't mind me saying so, sir, you are a lot different from the other Viper Pilots we have seen over on the Elpis. You're never at Pete's, I can't think of a single spotting of you at a party, or anything of the like. You lead the Rock Stars of the fleet, and yet you live a life that most would describe as almost monastic. It makes you something of an anomaly. Can you talk a bit about that, why you live that way, when so many of your command are the fleets biggest partiers?"

Khloe studies Nataly's face, licking her upper teeth with her mouth closed. It's an expression of contemplation, and perhaps mild irritation. "I don't mean to offend you at all, Miss Rassvet, but you're young, and you likely have never come across a junkie. An addict. Suffice it to say, this is the life I lead now - the life I've led for over a decade. A pure life, free of intoxicants and all stimulants for the most part." Her gaze drops down to her tea. "I don't think the fleet could run without caffeine. But for me, today, this is just to help settle my stomach."

Nataly nods, once, then after consideration, two more times. "I… I think I understand." Scribble, scribble, scribble in the book. "Is it hard? Watching them party, do their thing, and not being able to join in? Ever wish you could just let your hair down and join the festivities?"

"No," comes Khloe's dry and immediate response. She crosses her legs, leaning back in her seat a bit. "Next question."

That obviously was something of a moment, and Nataly looks up in surprise before nodding slowly and looking down to her notebook. "What are your goals, moving forward? Would you like to get out of the wing and take a higher position of command? Aspire to be CAG someday?"

"Something that most folks are surprised about when they meet me, Miss, is that I'm content to be a cog in the machine," Khloe explains, the edge lessening in her words. "I've no plans for promotion, no designs of ambition. I'm glad to serve in my capacity as Viper pilot, squadron leader, and in whatever other capacity command has for me."

"But have you given any thought to the future, what you would like to be? I mean, you can't fly forever, right? Do you at least have a preference on what life will hold when you have to hang up your wings?" Nataly leans forward, interested. "I mean, we have to keep planning for the future, right?

Khloe's eyes narrow. "I'll fly as long as I can. And if I can't fly, I'll teach. And if I can't teach, they can grind up my bones up for spackle. Suffice it to say, I will die serving this fleet, one way or another." A pause. "Does that bother you?"

Nataly considers the question. "I guess it does. Not sure why, though. Maybe because everyone is always telling me to think about my future. I'd like to think they'd give the same advice to their own." She mulls the question a bit. "I mean, after all you've been through, don't you think the day will come when you will have earned a peaceful retirement? And if the Fleet is in the position to give you one…" she sighs. "Sorry if I offended you. I just feel like you deserve more than to be used until you're used up."

Khloe presses her lips together in a thin grimace. It's her attempt at a reassuring grin, perhaps. "I'm in my late thirties. I don't suspect I will ever have a family. The Colonies are decimated, so there's no real point to think about my future when I'm busy fighting for everyone else's. No, I'm really not concerned with my future. This is my future, right here." A pause. "You, on the other hand, have that luxury, to plan for the future of the human race."

"Luxury? To plan the future of the human race?" Nataly chuckles at that. "Right now, the future of the human race is just a line guys use to get me into their racks. I wonder how long it is until its fleet mandate?" She shakes her head, and scratches down some more notes. "You've lived a pretty full life, Captain. Any regrets, looking back? Anything you did that you'd change?"

Khloe frowns, looking down at her tray. She idly scratches at the inside of her left arm. "Regrets? Volumes of regrets. Most of them involve my childhood. But it's not worth crying over it, I think - I wouldn't be the person I am now without it." A pause. "Must be nice to be a normal girl. Do you come from privilege?"

Nataly seems taken aback at the question. Her notebook rises as if it were a shield, but then she lowers it. The Captain answered her questions, after all. "Well, yes and no. Mom and Dad were pretty wealthy, yeah. Kept me busy with so many private lessons, dance, art, tutors, etc that when they died in an accident on Caprica, I left the funeral early so I wouldn't miss a piano lesson." She shakes her head. "My aunt and uncle didn't like that much, so they brought me to live with them on Tauron. We were pretty middle class, there. I mean, the money was present, and the idea was that I'd go to school wherever I wanted, but…" she sighs. "So yeah, I guess. Pretty darn priveleged, by most peoples standards."

Khloe nods slowly. "That's why folks tell you that you should plan for your future. You have - had, rather - options." And with that, the Captain rises to stand. "It's been a pleasure. Hopefully I didn't come across as too much of a hard-ass."

Nataly nods, sadly, and writes down some more notes. "Yes, sir. Thank you for your time."

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