PHD #111: Pre-Jump Jitters
Pre-Jump Jitters
Summary: Allie comes to the XO, bringing him news about Ensign Villon. Discussion about the up-and-coming jump is had as well.
Date: 17 June 2041 AE
Related Logs: TBA
Tillman Alessandra 
Map Room
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.
Post-Holocaust Day: #111

Early morning and Tillman is once again in the Map Room putting the finishing touches on the plan. He's seated at one of the chairs with a laptop, the screen thrown up on the main viewer at the front of the room. It looks like a spreadsheet of radio frequencies and jamming protocols. There's a large binder sitting beside him marked 'Colonial Fleet Communications Protocols'. The XO hasn't bothered to remove his sidearm and is looking intently at the laptop.

The Major's not the only one to be armed, still, Alessandra's own service pistol still strapped to her thigh. She enters the map room like a woman with a purpose, her pace near-hurried when she steps in, the hatch closed behind her once it's passed. "Major," she greets the man simply with a quick bow of her head instead of a salute. "I hate to be the harbinger of bad news, but we have something very important to talk about." Clearing her throat, she falls quiet quickly and stands there, assuming full parade rest complete with her hands held at the small of her back, waiting to be addressed by the XO before continuing on.

Tillman only glances up to see who it is for a second. He finishes crushing out a set of frequencies labeled for the Viper teams flying off the Cerb. He finally clears his throat and looks up. "I saw the note, Lieutenant. Let's have it." Nothing personal, today. The XO doesn't look grim, just very focused.

"We didn't think to check the flight suits and the air tanks when we were doing our searches for possible sabotage," Allie murmurs once she's spoken to, her expression grave. "Ensign Villon's air tank…it was apparently tampered with, Clive. She died of CO2 exposure, from what the medic said." Not bothering to wait for an invitation to sit, Lucky snags a seat for herself and sits down, not bothering to do so in a manner that isn't a flop. "We will need to inspect all flight suits and air supplies before the jump."

Tillman glances at her with the mention of his name. This isn't the time. His eyes fall back to the laptop and he nods. "Well, orders were to check everything that could be thought of and searched in an expeditious time frame. I saw the report from the CAG, though. That whole engagement has a lot of potential issues to be thought about, but we're past the point of no return. Our advance team jumps in.." He checks his watch. "Eleven hours." The Major gives her quite a serious expression. "Every suit is to be checked before that jump since you all will be jumping in your flight suits. HALO suits first, then the rest of the group. I don't even know if we have time to get them all. Might also be worth checking to see who filled Villon's air tanks and our own recirculation and compression systems."

"I'll take care of that personally." Seems like Allie has been saying that in one form or another a lot lately, each time bringing a bit more weight to her shoulders, this being no exception. "Gods, I can't wait for the jump. It's almost all I can think about." Leaning a bit forward, Allie puts elbows to knees which take to bouncing, all her nervous energy being put into the up-down vibration of her legs. "I'm trying not to worry and fall into fatalism but I think a small part of me is still expecting to come out of all of this as a smear on the ground."

"Good. Just remember something, Lieutenant." Tillman looks away as she begins bouncing her legs. "Remember that the more you shoulder, the more you really are responsible for. Technically the Deck is in charge of getting those suits set-up, if I recall. But when you say that you will get things done, I expect them done. Personal relationship aside, you are one of the more senior officers in the wing. I expect and demand the best from them. Which means that when they don't get something done that they say they will, that counts as more negatively than would positively with a completion in the grand scheme." The Major continues typing out the frequencies. Its too close to an operation like this for the man to be anything except business. "You get fatalism, Lieutenant, it'll get fatal. Quick. If you stand confident, it inspires. People will follow. When you falter, it creates confusion. Leadership like that works the same inside the cockpit as well as out. If you have doubts, talk to people who are in charge of the jump operation. And chew gum. Drink less coffee. It'll settle your nerves. Hell, when you head down to check out the suits breathe some pure oxygen." His mouth turns a tick towards a smile but it doesn't quite reach that.

Alessandra looks at the Major, nodding to convey her understanding. "Yes. I know. Gods, I know that I'm making myself accountable for a lot every single time I say it, Major Tillman. But I feel like I have to. With Captain Laskaris being on Leonis and Major Hahn being needed to lead the Harriers…" That's left to hang, what she wants to say unspoken as she's sure Clive will understand what she's getting at. When he speaks about her nerves and all that she falls silent, her head bowing a bit as she thinks. "I will do all that, sir," she says once she sees he is done, her head turned so she can look at him from the corner of her eye without too much difficulty. "Thanks for the suggestions." The bouncing of her legs slows, and then stops, perhaps a sign that she's working on conquering that particular issue.

"That's all part of it, Lieutenant. You handle a squadron, you swallow a lot of your free time. That dedication to your crews isn't a hobby anymore. Its your job. They look to you. I know what you mean, but that's part of it. I never wanted to be the Executive Officer. Sadly, none of us have choices anymore. You're saddled with the squadron for now. Don't know if you stood up for that yourself or if that was an assignment, but that's just how it is. These things we do for each other." Major Tillman glances to her with the last phrase and then back to his laptop. "Pass the suggestions along if anyone is having trouble or getting anxious. This shit with Villon isn't good, but we don't have a choice. We do what we have to. Lords know I'd be jumping out of that Raptor with you if I could convince my superiors to let me. I'd probably have led the mission down there if I hadn't been promoted." Almost sounds like the edge of regret.

"I wasn't asked by the CAG, sir. I kind of just found myself helping. Guess you can say I volunteered. And I would do it a hundred times over despite the responsibility and the weight of it. I can't see myself not offering to help." Alessandra smiles as she says that, the pilot absolutely sincere and calm. Leaning over, she tries to steal a look at the screen of Tillman's computer, her curiosity getting the better of her. "Who will be the lead for the jump?" This is something she hopes will be passed on to someone else, her knowledge and experience in anything remotely related to this making her cringe when the thought of it being her tickles at the back of her mind.

The screen still displays what's being thrown up on the big screen: Communications. The man really seems to be unable to walk away from the TACCO slot. Double duty apparently doesn't bother him. "Stepping up means more. I can tell you that I'm sure Major Hahn appreciates it. She's one to be sparing with the gratitude, but you didn't have to. One could make the argument that its your job as a ranking squadron officer and your duty to the Navy to step up, but I think there's probably been enough talk of duty lately. Especially from me. Now its brass tacks and fire support." The nitty-gritty of their work. Tillman flips a page in the binder. "As far as I know, Major Hahn will be leading the jump. If she isn't, then it will likely fall to you. You can opt out of jump lead, though it will probably just fall to another Lieutenant. Likely you're the next in line with Captain Quinn lain-up."

Alessandra hasn't even been paying attention to the larger screen, her gaze either lowered or left to linger on the Major, the fact that it is the same that is the same dawning on her only after she looks ahead and up some. "I know she does, sir. Major Hahn had made it known in her own way." When Clive gives his assessment on the subject of 'duty' she can't help but to chuckle, it slightly amusing despite the severity of it. "It's becoming a four-letter word in my book," she comments wryly. "But it's something I won't turn my back on." As the conversation flows on and touches on just who is, or might, be in the lead she feels her face pale a tiny bit, the blood rushing from it as it sinks in. "I'll…wow. That was not what I was expecting, to be honest. Gods."

"Four letter words might be less than appropriate sometimes but what they represent is something that I don't think anyone can turn their backs on when it really comes down to it." The Major finally allows the edge of a smirk on his face as he looks side-long to her, letting those remarks slide from him. "Well, you stand up like you have, these things happen. You succeed, you move on. You get saddled with more. Its about proving to yourself and your command who you are and what you are capable of. If Major Hahn can't do it, you think you might be willing to handle it?"

Alessandra grins as she looks up, her head bobbing minutely as she fights the urge to laugh. "Yeah. Well, don't expect me to shirk my responsibility to the crew, sir. Not my style." Tapping her foot a moment, she mulls over Tillman's query, the smile slowly turn to a thoughtful smirk, her hand brought up to cup her cheek, the elbow left to rest on her opposite arm which is now crossed about her chest. "I am more than ready to step up if the Major can't, sir. My nerves and doubt will be put aside to lead if that is what is required of me." She shrugs and smiles at Clive, it warm and fond.

"That's what makes you who we are. Action defines and delineates us. Separates those who can and just can't. There's nothing wrong with the people that can't stand taller. But those that can represent the finest. The human race needs leaders and wingmen. Everyone is part of the effort in equally important ways." Tillman gives her a short nod and muted smile as he looks back to the laptop screen. "It may be. I have faith that Major Hahn will be able to but I'm well aware that you can put aside fear. Standing against the Admiral like that took a lot of guts. I've seen personal courage from you. I have no doubts. Makes me proud to call you an officer and a friend, Lieutenant."

"It was easy to stand up to Abbot, sir. I knew we were doing what was needed of us. And this won't be any different." Stretching a bit, Allie slides her legs out and crosses them at the ankles, making herself at home while they talk. "Okay. You're right. I can do this. You and the Major can count on me, sir." She sounds very confident suddenly, the fact that they need her to be so causing the uncertainty and doubt to melt away. "I should go and check on the suits and such while I have time, sir."

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