BCH #003: Sitka Interview
Sitka Interview
Summary: Sawyer takes a particular interest in the Captain and corners him for an interview. Sometimes, you can dig too hard.
Date: 23 Feb 2041 AE
Related Logs: None.
Sawyer Sitka 

Ward Room

The ward room has been secured for the interview, because it's more private. The more comfortable a person is, the more apt they are to open up, and with less witnesses that seems more likely to achieve: comfortable. The lighting in the room has been set to level that's easy on the eyes, but stays just on the safe side of intimate. That's opposed to a glaringly bright room, which would speak more to an interrogation then an interview. Water has been brought in in a pitcher, two glasses sitting at the ready in case mouths grow dry. Too bad there's a drinking ban still in effect, otherwise she might try to ply him with alcohol.

Sawyer sits at the table already, in that pale pink sleeveless shirt she was ironing down in the laundry room. It's a little sheer, with a ruffled front an a single pearl button clasp in the back. Paired with charcoal grey pants, she's still professionally dressed down to her pretty little shoes, one of which is bobbing beneath the table as she waits. To keep herself busy, she's doing a sound check on her little recording device. "Sitka interview. Twenty second of February, year twenty thousand and forty one." Various other implements of her trade are set up for her use: pad of paper, pen, little tin of mints, and there's even a discrete box of Kleenex off to the side. Not that she expects Shiv to cry, mind. There's even a camera, just in case. It's an old thing, the type that just may be classified an antique and is probably a bitch to find film for.

The Captain arrives a little late. Two point five minutes. So much for punctuality in the military; maybe whatever they beat into him with regards to such things, have gone by the wayside in his 'old age'. He's futzing with a button on his blues uniform when he arrives, and looks very vaguely uncomfortable in the thing, like it's a few sizes too small. Which, of course, it isn't. Spotting the blonde woman in the pink ruffled shirt isn't difficult, to say the least. "Miss Averies," is his bland greeting, helped nominally by the slight smile that touches the corners of his lips for a second. One of the chairs opposite her is gestured to. "Mind if I sit?" His hesitance, and the furtive glance toward her box of tissues suggest he's less than certain about this 'interview'.

Sawyer finds her feet as Sitka enters the room, a polite gesture as is the one that mimics his as she points to the chair. "Please." Her smile is warm, hands skimming the material of her pants to smooth it out as she sits again so he feels comfortable doing so. The momentary use of her first name in the laundry seems to have lapsed, but she's not complaining or protesting as he calls her Miss again. "Sorry, I know this is a bit stuffy, but if I didn't make this official, then well. It'd just seem like I was flirting with you under the guise of a story." Her finger taps the small mechanical device sitting on the table between them. "Now it's a story under the guise of flirting. Bear in mind, this conversation is being recorded unless you request to go off the record."

It could just be the situation that's got him a little on edge. Not that he shouldn't be accustomed to this sort of thing by now, magnate of shopping malls, high school career fairs and hot dog stand air shows that he is. His smile inches a fraction wider. "Thanks." And he crosses to the chair, hooks it out with a booted foot, and settles in. Her attempt to break the ice seems successful, in that it draws a soft chuckle from the pilot. "Sure, of course. You mind if I smoke, or..?" A hand goes to his trousers' pocket, and he seeks her face with an impressive facility at shirking eye contact.

Maybe she just chalks that up to a Saggie thing, the lack of eye contact, but she doesn't press it. "Oh! No, sorry. I should have thought.." Sawyer leans over, snagging an ashtray from further down the table and dragging it closer. "I don't mind. I used to smoke myself and now that I don't it stops occurring to me to offer. Please." Please seems to be her tag word for polite permission. "So. Where did you grow up? How did you get into the military?" Easy enough questions to start off with.

"Don't worry about it," the Captain assures, a hint of the long-gone smile still lingering in his blue eyes. Once he's lit his cigarette, he reaches over to hook the ashtray closer, and clears his throat in preparation to answer her question. "Actually, can I ask you a question first?" Smoke tumbles from his nose and half-parted lips as he waits for her reply to that.

Well. That is rather unexpected. For a moment, Sawyer just blinks owlishly, but her composure is harder to crack then that. "Of course." She relents to the request, even as she picks up her pencil. Instead of taking notes just at the moment, the reporter leans back in her chair and starts to chew on the eraser end while she waits. None of this matters if it makes it onto the recording, she's the Newsie, it'll get cut together as she sees fit.

There's a brief glance to the recorder, regardless, and a muted rustle of movement as the older man reaches over to ash out his cigarette in the tray Sawyer so helpfully provided. "Are you here because you want to be here, or is this some kind of sick joke on the part of the media executives? Go do some bullshit story on funding cuts in the military, harass a few people just trying to do their jobs and serve their Colony, make a few veiled threats about their career security. Are you really that kind of slime ball, or is it your ass that's on the line, Miss Sawyer?" It's all voiced rather quietly, and yet so utterly out of left field from the mild mannered Captain.

If there were one thing that would get Sawyer to reach over and turn off the recorder, that was it. She gestures out quickly, pressing a little button that results in a click. Instead of just answering him outright, she merely asks him a question right back. "Would it have any bearing on how you conduct yourself in this interview? Would you feel more inclined to be open to me, if I told you this is my last shot? Or would you sleep better at night knowing I'm just your standard slime ball out here, looking to smear someone just to make my name?"

Sitka's hardly surprised at the decision to turn off the recording. He doesn't, of course, try to stop her— though his mouth does twist into a wry expression that could be interpreted as a sneer, courtesy of the scar that prevents the muscle from moving as it ought. "I don't know," he answers sincerely. "Frankly, it's none of my business." The cigarette's flipped absently between his fingers as he regards her carefully. "I was just curious." A beat. "To answer your question, I grew up on Sagittaron. Aera Yazd. Doubt you'll have heard of it. I got into the military because it was either that, or hook up with wannabe insurgents building homemade bombs and setting fire to temples. You might want to turn your recording back on, for that, Miss Averies."

Without the benefit of the recorder, Sawyer's forced to pen those quick tidbits he gives of himself on the pad of paper in her short hand chicken scratch she's perfected so that other reporters can't snitch off her notes. Rather like not being cheated off of in school. "In short answer, as I promised you from berthings before, I'm on what you'd like to call probation." Her words sound nonchalant as she's still trying to recall all of what he just said and commit it to paper. "How do you spell Aera Yazd?" But yet she continues, "I got too close to a story. Someone died. Now I'm here, where the most damage I can do, is cast the military in a bad light, which will no doubt be edited completely until it's so bastardized it no longer could even qualify as my own work." A smile tight on her lips as she lifts her gaze to him. "Yazd?" She asks, as she clicks the recorder back on.

Sitka leaves the cigarette burning away between two fingers while Sawyer speaks. He studies her handwriting, then turns his eyes away when she looks back up at him again. "Rough deal," is murmured softly. "I'm sorry." That, too, sounds sincere. "Yazd. Y A Z D. I can tell you a little about my history in the service, but I don't think I've got anything story-worthy for you. You want me to talk about the Petrels?" He keeps his eyes on her while ducking his head to scratch at his nose.

Sawyer can be a little more relaxed now that the recorder is back on, picking up nuances where pen and paper might fail her. It also lets her focus more on his expression, which she does now. The apology she turns right back around. "As am I, those aren't ideal living conditions for anyone, much less a young man such as yourself growing up on Sagittaron." Reaching for the pitcher, she fills both their glasses with some cool water, figuring they might need it after that rocky start. "I like a little back story to go with my feature, if it's not too much trouble. Did you feel you made the right choice? Going with the military instead of getting involved with the insurgence?" For a moment, he might notice the way she eyes that cigarette with a touch of longing.

He doesn't offer her one of his cigarettes, though he might well have noticed the way her eyes turned to it, like he was smoking a slice of cheesecake. Forbidden fruit. "I'm not sure what kind of a question that's meant to be," is murmured somewhat bemusedly, though it could be partly the 'young man such as yourself' comment. The smoke's switched to his left hand, and he reaches for the glass of water with his right. His eyes briefly skim those pink ruffles again as he sips, and swallows. "I don't regret joining up, no. Can we move on?"

"Of course." Sawyer says, as if she wouldn't dare continue to tread where it's clearly making him uncomfortable. "Did you start your jacket off in the Reserves, or did you take a full blown tour originally and re-up later?" At some point she's pried her eyes off his smoke and back to his face, remaining in a politely neutral area such as his nose as he doesn't particularly care for eye contact. That question seems a natural segway into speaking about the Petrels. Even if she's taking her sweet time in getting there.

The second glance at his watch says two things: one, he probably is feeling uncomfortable. And two, he's also probably got a duty shift to make, some time tonight. "I started off in regular active duty. Did a few tours on various ships and stations, nothing you'll have heard of. I didn't manage to land anything worth talking about until this one." He hitches his chin to indicate the room. Or probably the Cerberus at large. "She's a fancy girl, but I'm looking forward to being home in a couple of weeks, truth be told."

Sawyer's eyes tick from his face to his watch and back again. "I certainly hope I'm not boring you, Captain." She says a touch too light to be genuine. "So the reserves was a change of pace, to stay involved but not…too involved? Keeps you serving your Colonies, but home in time for supper. You're married." A statement, not a question. "Children? Where precisely is home?"

"It was a stepping stone to mustering out," Ibrahim confesses, after a protracted pause. There's a heartbeat where his eyes meet hers across the table, and a slight shake of his head. "If anyone's boring anyone, Miss Averies, I think it's got to be me. Like I said, I don't have a decorated service record to roll out for you." He sips from the glass of water again, gaze resting somewhere along her cheek, shadowed by a few strands of blonde hair. "Three." Children, presumably. He doesn't even bother answering the married question; the ring on his left hand pretty much covers that. "Picon. Rouen. Ever been there?"

Sawyer leans back in her chair, bouncing her pencil on the curve of her lower lip. "Can't say I have." If she has a list of questions to ask Sitka, she's not going by a written copy. She's either shooting from the hip or mentally outlined the discussion she'd like to have with him. "So how did you land with the Snow Petrels?" She's willing to go in that direction now, travel down that road with him.

Sitka shakes his head wordlessly, his eyes turning away from the young journalist and flitting over the various Colonial flags arranged along the opposite wall. "Shame. Really pretty countryside, I think they have a few vineyards out there." He thinks. "I was assigned to VSP one oh one when my transfer to the reserves was accepted. I guess the previous squad leader'd been discharged due to a health condition, so they slotted me in."

Sawyer gives a small, more genuine smile. "That sounds lovely. I've spent the majority of my time in Metropolitan areas, and now, I'm on a Battlestar. Green is far and few between." Yup, just a conversation again, they could be doing this over a meal in the mess hall or tea on the Obs Deck. "So what can you tell me about that Petrels?" Her weight shifts, her legs crossing at the knee. When hair falls into her eyes, she pushes it back with a sweep of the pencil.

Sitka watches the little pencil hair adjustment routine with a slight twitch of his lips. The glass of water's polished off, and he ashes out his cigarette before taking another pull from it. "We're a branch of the Picon Space Guard, like I said. We run aerial demonstrations once a.." His brows furrow slightly. "Well, once every six months, usually. Twice a year. We're based out of Acropolis Forge, like you probably know already. One of my Ensigns, Raedawn Arkili, handles a lot of our photo shoots and onboard camera work. Might be able to offer you a tour of the barracks, if you're ever out there."

Sawyer gives a little nod to indicate she's following along with the conversation. "I'll have to keep that in mind. I can't say I've made it to Picon frequently, but I suppose if this new career angle takes off, I might be spending more time in military outposts. The Petrels is a relatively new squadron, isn't it? So if you're mainly for demonstrations and crowd pleasings…why has your group been brought on board the Cerberus?"

There's a soft chuckle from the man. "I guess it depends on what you mean by 'relatively new'. If you manage to track down one of my older Lieutenants, they might say otherwise." The last question, unfortunately, is probably not going to get answered tonight. The pilot reaches over to put out what's left of his cigarette, and gives his blues uniform another uncomfortable tug as he shoves his chair back. "Sorry, time's up. I've got a patrol to make, Miss Averies. It was nice talking to you. I might be free next week sometime, if you want to finish this."

Sawyer has the audacity to form just the smallest of pouts. "Yes of course. Just as it was getting good, hmm?" She, too, flicks her legs and gets to her feet smoothly, offering a hand across the table. "Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I'd really like to finish this story, and make sure I have your particular spin on it. I hate to publish things that are one-sided and jaded." Subtle subtext: you need to finish this interview or I might send in something to my editor that you don't like, mister. Nothing like ending every conversation with him with an under-handed threat.

Sitka isn't quite on his feet yet, but does reach for Sawyer's hand when it's offered, seemingly in good conscience. His grip is firm, his palm warm to the touch and slightly callused. And he hesitates when she adds that last little tidbit. Five seconds, six, tick by. He still hasn't released her. "All right. You've got eight minutes." Blue eyes drift over the younger woman's face assessingly, his expression hardening a touch as he finally lets go of her hand. "Ask away."

Sawyer's gaze hardens on Sitka, just a slight edge now to her person that was otherwise concealed behind a layer of politeness. But he's only given her eight minutes, "That's barely enough time to tug one out in the showers." She says with no hint of a smile now. Instead of sinking back down into a chair, she merely slips a butt cheek up on the table. "Alright. Quick and dirty. I want to know why your squad is on board. Why /your/ squad, which by your own admission does the dog and pony shows. Are you just here to pull the wool over our eyes with your glitz and glamour and fancy flying? To make the Vipers look better in these little war games then they really are? When it would really count, are you just the pretty face or does your squad actually add something of true military quality?"

The Captain remains seated, even as Sawyer takes the high ground, literally (even if not figuratively) speaking, on the table. He tips his head back a fraction so he can look up at her, and his fingers weave across his abdomen for want of something else to occupy themselves with. "My squad is on board because fleet HQ wants us on board. They call the shots. I follow my orders, Miss Averies." She wanted on the record, so that's what she's getting. "If you're asking me whether we're an actual combat unit, then the answer's yes. That's what we're trained for. I assume you're familiar with the Colonial Space Guard?"

"That's a bullshit answer, and both you and I know it. Even if you're just following orders, there's a good chance you know why those orders are in place. If I'm going to save your job, Captain Sitka, I'm going to need a little more to go on then 'he told me so'. This might just be a gateway to mustering out for you, but to the next guy, it's the way he supplements his income and feeds the mouths of his three children and wife back home. Are you going to tell him, when your branch folds, you were just following orders?" Sawyer reaches out to click off the recorder again, or maybe she's just cleverly touching a secondary button so it makes a click so he thinks she is. "That what you want?"

There's a stony silence in the wake of Sawyer's words. Somewhere, there's a clock ticking. His breathing's slightly elevated, too, which she may be aware of depending on how perceptive she is. Yes, Sawyer Averies has finally hit a nerve. "We're done," Ibrahim announces flatly, palms coming down on the edge of the table and helping him rise to his feet. "Have a good evening." His chair's bumped unintentionally as he moves toward the hatch with brisk, agitated strides.

"And here I think that was only three." Minutes, presumably. Sawyer turns her back on Ibrahim as he scuttles out, perhaps in just an effort to obscure her face. Never let them see you sweat. Or have any other damning emotion. "I'll see you next week, Captain." She says just as flatly as he announced that they're through.

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