PHD #422: Space Dust And Gods
Space Dust And Gods
Summary: Cidra and Burke shoot the breeze and get to know each other.
Date: 24 April 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Burke Cidra 
Port Hangar Deck - Battlestar Cerberus
The single largest rooms on the Cerberus are the hangar decks. Each flight pod consists of two stacked landing bays with adjoined decks and hangars, which along with computer-assisted landings results in a faster Viper recovery rate. Mirror images of each other, these two huge areas are located on the flight pods. The inboard sides of the deck, closest to the ship's main hull, are lined with parking and maintenance bays for Vipers and Raptors based aboard the battlestar. The outboard side of the deck contains the launch tubes used by the Vipers for standard deployment. Huge blast doors seal the deck into four sections, each one containing an elevator that leads up to the flight deck directly overhead. The fore-most section contains an elevator system that leads towards Aerospace Fabrication.
Post-Holocaust Day: #422

The CAG is prowling the hangar deck following the standard morning briefing. Cidra's in duty greens rather than her flight gear, still nominally on light duty, though the only thing she's not been doing is flying. There's a slim frown seemingly etched on her features as she approaches a deckhand to shake him down for today's maintenance logs. He scurries to get them for her promptly.

As the most recent combat air patrol returns to base, Ensign Beau Burke pops the top on his Viper and climbs down the hastily-placed steel ladder as soon as the deck crew knuckle-drag it into place. He pauses a moment to exchange a few brief words with the mechanic and pat the craft affectionately on the nose, like a rider thanking his horse for a safe journey. That done, he turns about and peels out of his flight suit down to the waist. He ties the arms about his hips and puts his helmet to one side on a crate, taking the moment to lift his undershirt and check some bandages that have been wrapped about his side and his chest. Satisfied with whatever he sees, he makes his way over towards the captured Viper 7.5 that happens to be not far from where the CAG and her quarry exchange words.

The CAG's quarry gets her errand done as quickly as he can and then goes off to do something else. Not that there's any shortage of work on the Deck at present, but he seems eager to get away from the frowning officer. Cidra offers him a polite if clipped, "My thanks, Petty Officer" and skims her maintenance reports. Eyes tick up at the sound of footfalls, and she notices Burke. "Breakout." Slightly less clipped there, she uses his callsign with a touch of satisfaction. "Quiet patrol, I trust? We heard no reports of irregularities from here."

“Ain’t a thing out there ‘cept space dust an’ th’ Gods, Boz,” Burke answers with a satisfied smile, taking a few sidelong steps towards the Viper 7.5 without breaking eye contact nor conversation with the CAG, “Was nice to be on a CAP where Ah weren’t blown up.” He grins a little at that, forever good-natured, and reaches up to pat the 7.5 on the nosecone, “Hey there, Ellie Sue.”

"The Gods are everywhere, and in all things. Even in the oblivion, they fly with us." Whatever that means. As to not being blown up a wry, "So say we all" of agreement. Despite herself, his greeting to 'Ellie Sue' earns the barest hint of a smile. "We lost a fair few birds in our encounter with the Areion. You did us a better service to bring this one home than I think you realized, Ensign."

“Ah mightn’t be much military for y’all,” Burke answers, hand still resting on the nosecone of the Viper, “But Ah give my all an’ no one ever gonna say Ah don’t. Ah fly birds for y’all, y’all get everythin’ Ah can give. An’ that includes new-fangled Vipuh-birds.” He taps himself lightly on the chest with a fist, wincing just slightly due to injury there, “Ah’m jus’ glad Ah could help. Ah felt like a dang ol’ fool gettin’ blowed up like Ah was.”

"You were not the only one who fell on the wrong side of the 'Evocati', Breakout." Cidra says the word 'Evocati' with a light twist of her lips. "You did your duty all throughout. That is all I or any can ask. From what I do hear, you fought most bravely beside the other Department Heads as we escaped the Areion. I remember little of it, for my part." Even her formerly-blackened eye has faded by now, the last physical remnant of her captivity. "I only thank all gods those in better form aided my escape from it."

"Ah saw 'em helpin' you escape," Burke nods his head, as though calling the memories to mind, "They was braver'n anythin' Ah ever seen. Fought like crazy, 'specially since it weren't their usual place t' fight at all. Thems all deservin' of every acc-oh-lade Boz Pewter gives 'em, an' so're you. You's a wear them Loo-tenant Colonel pins proudly, y'hear?" Not exactly military, is Beau Burke. Forgetting himself amongst his superior officers being one of his failings in that area.

Cidra's brows loft at Burke, and she levels a mild look at him. For a beat she just looks at him in that mild way. But she does not seem to want to scare him any more than that. A soft "Heh" is let out when he mentions her new rank. "Commander Pewter has called me to wear them, so I shall wear them. Not so differently than you are called to wear your new pins, Ensign Burke. That is the Navy for you. We do our duties as called to them, however we like it." A pause, and eyes back to the Viper. "'Ellie Sue' is in good fit and form, so the mechanics tell me. Though we shall have to have her customizations removed before we can get her into the regular flight rotation. I know not which pilot she was made for, for they are no longer in need of whatever 'specialization' she was given on their behalf."

"Yeah, Ah want t' see her out and flyin'," Burke turns about to look at Ellie Sue, walking slowly down one side until he stops at the wing and pats the fuselage, “Ah know she ain’t for me. Prol’y wrong a’me to name her like Ah did. But Ah get the same feelin’ from her what Ah got from Ellie May. Like me an’ this bird’re kin somehow. Ah’d appreciate the chance t’ help take care a’her, even if she ain’t ever mine t’ fly.”

"I do not think it is wrong, Ensign." Cidra leaves it at that. "We shall just have to see how she flies. Ellie May? Ah, yes. You had mentioned that. A…car you possessed, was it? Back on Aerilon?"

“Picon Motors Challenger,” Burke replies, in reference to Ellie May, “One a’ the finest cars you’ll ever lay eyes upon. Here, Ah got a picture of her.” He reaches into the leg pocket of his flightsuit, retrieving a black and white photograph that has seen better days – not the least bit because of the hole a bullet has torn through it. He holds it out for Cidra to take, beaming like a proud father.

"A picture?" Cidra is bemused, but intrigued. She takes it, running her finger around the bullet hole. "My word…this damage is from your wounds from the Areion?"

“Yeah,” Burke answers, nodding his head, “Ah managed to save it when Ah got spaced, but when one a’ them marines shot me they got me right in the pocket Ah was holdin’ the picture in.” He shrugs his shoulders a little bit, “Ah’d hardly call ‘em wounds. More like Ah scratch. Ah’m fine.”

Cidra takes a moment to study the photograph, no longer frowning at least. That's something. "Was this the first machine you ever did drive? This Challenger? I suppose it is back on Aerilon now, still?"

“Not quite,” Burke answers with a shake of his head, “First thing Ah ever drove, was a thing Ah actually flew. My Pa found this ol’ beat up plane a’ some kind came down durin’ the last War. Him an’ my brother Wayne fixed ‘er up, made ‘er fly right ‘gain. Ah was flyin’ her when Ah was thirteen. S’where Ah learned ‘bout flyin’.”

"For truly?" Cidra takes a moment to try and picture that in her mind. "Remarkable. Absolutely remarkable. You know, I never did fly until I was into my twenties. I took a few flying lessons during my third year in university. It was a lark at the time. I was a Theology student at the Colleges on Kobol. I intended to be a priestess one day. Of Athena. Anyhow, I had loved birds. Owls, particularly. Watching them in flight. So I did it for the fun of it over a summer, and then went back to my books. I did not even earn a civilian pilot's license. I did not forget the feel of it, though. And after I graduated…well, seminary did not seem right for many reasons. But flying…that seemed a very fine thing indeed."

“It’s ‘bout the most right thing in all the worlds,” Beau offers Cidra a knowing smile, as though they’re sharing a secret nobody else will ever be privy to, “Ah’m glad you chose t’ be a pilot ‘stead of a priestess, Boz. Ah like havin’ you in charge.” He glances sidelong, spotting a smudge on the fuselage of the Viper and darting in to wipe it away with his thumb, “Which birds did you fly a’fore you was CAG?”

"None to speak of in civilian life, beyond that lark. Then it was small planes. Little two-seater couriers. I had very little experience in the cockpit when I joined the Navy. From the start I was a Raptor stick." Cidra says it with a definite note of underlying pride. "Always shall be. I obtained dual qualification during my stint on Picon before I took this assignment. I can fly a Viper if I must. But it never feels quite…right in the little planes. Often as I can, I leave it to the professionals." A little nod to Burke, as she hands his photograph back. "I am glad to fly with you as well. All of you."

Beau smiles in response to that comment, taking the photograph back and slipping it lovingly back into this pocket like one would a family photograph, “You can fly both? Shoot, Ah ain’t even got the first clue ‘bout a Raptor-bird. Ah s’pose one day Ah might try t’ learn, if’n that’s alright with you. Reckon Ah’d like to be as useful as possible. Though Ah still want to get better behind a Vipuh-bird’s stick.” He glances sidelong at Ellie Sue.

"I fly Raptors," Cidra replies wryly. "It is a desperate day when I am flying a Viper, Mister Burke. Get better on your Viper, and you shall someday quite soon be far better than me at that. Now, if you and Ellie Sue shall excuse me. I must be about my duties. Clear eyes and steady hands."

Beau nods his head, looking a little sheepish, “You’re right. And Ah’m sorry, Ah get talkin’ an’ Ah lose a whole day ‘fore Ah even realize. Y’all be good, Boz.” The Ensign nods throws off a haphazard and under-practiced salute, turning back around to take a closer look at Ellie Sue, “Ah need t’ talk with the Chief ‘bout lettin’ me help take care a’ you, don’t I?”

Cidra acknowledges the salute in a far more fluid and practiced fashion than Burke. And nods to him. "In most cases pilots should not be mussing around with mechanical work. We have full-time duties, and the deckhands are far better trained for it than we shall ever be. Chief Damon has given those air personnel with more advanced mechanical training permission to do some deck work. Speak to him about it. I cannot guarantee he shall say yes. But even if he does not, perhaps he would not mind you doing some more minor care of 'Ellie Sue.'" The name makes her smile, ever so slight. "Keep her cleaned and fueled, and safely positioned in the hangar. Mostly, continue to work on your flight, and you shall pilot her one day yet."

“Ah’ll take your word for that, Boz,” Burke smiles at the CAG, as though she were an oracle who just foretold his future behind the stick of an advanced fighter craft, “An Ah’m gonna talk to the Chief soon as Ah can. Hope he’s feelin’ better after the Areion. He looked like he took that all powerful hard.”

"We all took many things powerful hard that day." That frown returns to Cidra's face on that note. But, whatever dark thoughts it's brought to her mind, she doesn't voice them just now. "But, we have our duties and we carry on. We always carry on. Gods mercies upon you this day, Breakout." And off she goes.

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