PHD #070: Stragglers
Summary: In which Sitka doesn't back of the Leonis mission (poor bastard) and more farewells are said.
Date: 07 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: Air Wing - Send Offs; the Cobra Talon logs
Cidra Sitka 
Flight Simulation
A training room specifically dedicated to honing aerial skills, this area is equipped with several flight simulator pods that allow the pilots to practice maneuvers and tactics without being in a real live plane. The Viper-pods are installed on one side of the room with a little space between them, an attempt to provide a realistic feel for close-range wing training, while a smaller number of Raptor sim-pods are installed on the opposite side of the room from the Vipers. A central computer terminal and overhead display screen sits at the head of the room, where one can input exercises and data to be run in the sims, scroll through score records, and control the training modules.
Post-Holocaust Day: #70

Cidra did not leg it directly here after the briefing, but she found her way in short order. She's changed into her off-duties now and is obviously not doing anything in any kind of official capacity. No exercises are being run, though she is sitting in one of the Raptor sim pods. It's little door is open, and she's smoking. Otherwise, the place is deserted.

The hatch creaks open a short way, just enough for a head topped with dark curls half askew to pop inside, and skitter blue eyes left and right in rapid succession. Aha, target acquired. The door's shoved open the rest of the way, and the freshly showered and re-flight-suited pilot hefts up his duffle and heads in on a trajectory toward the source of the cigarette smoke.

Cidra has taken the time to shower as well, though she's only suited up for things unofficial. The opening of the hatch makes her head peek out of her faux-Raptor. "Shiv?" She has to squint to be sure. "I thought you would flown off by now. So reluctant to go? I was talking with Lasher earlier about many Viper pilots dislike for Raptor travel. I have always found it most amusing." She's in one of those abstracted moods, but his presence doesn't seem unwelcome.

Sitka draws to a halt once he's in conversational range, and hefts up the duffel slung across his shoulder. "I guess you could say I'm a straggler. I was hoping Maggie might be able to give me a ride over. All else fails, I'll get them to eject me out a launch tube, and hope for the best." A small smile; it creases the corners of his eyes with fine lines, before promptly vanishing a second later. "I, uh.." He rubs at the bridge of his nose. "Look, I'll be frank with you, Cidra— I was kind of on the fence about this mission. I figure I'm too old to be blazing around like some kind of hero. So I thought.. I thought I'd ask you, before I head over.. do you need me here? To help you hold down the fort?"

And he does, in point of fact, make eye contact with that question.

Cidra meets Sitka's eyes. She takes this as some obscure victory in whatever little game she's turn this into in her head. "Jugs will be taking some stragglers, last I heard," she says simply, as to transport. The question makes her brows arch. Consideringly. "You are under no obligation to go," she says firmly. "This is strictly volunteer. I hope all shall go according to plan, but I shall order no one to take this on. Captain Valance has volunteered for many, fort-holding duties, as it were. But if you feel your presence would be better served here, I certainly need extra hands." If he wants an out, she offers him one with no hint of recrimination for it.

The Captain settles back against one of the facing viper cockpits, duffle released from his shoulder to hit the floor with a muffled thump. His arms fold across his midsection while he listens to Cidra speak, though his eyes soon stray elsewhere as if discomfited by prolonged contact. "I'm aware of that," he mumbles, scratching at his nose again absently. "I wanted your opinion, though, not a reiteration of the mission parameters." He, unlike some, doesn't bother qualifying his words with a 'with due respect' or softening them with a 'sir'. "I'm just…" He trails off, unable perhaps to quantify that.

"There were some names on the volunteer list that surprised me," Cidra comments, taking another drag and blowing it out in a thin stream before she adds, "Yours was not among them. You did some time in the Marines, yes?" She does have a stack of personnel files to read over when she's bored. A little smirk, but she doesn't seem to mind the lack of sir'ing. If anything, it relaxes her a notch. Tilting her head to regard him at an angle. "You ask if I think you are up for it? I would say, yes. You have more experience than most, like Apostolos and Kolettis." A small wince. Of /course/ Team Ensign volunteered. Those two are probably adding to any gray hairs she's accumulating. "And you have a steady head on your shoulders. That is a thing sometimes too rare."

If the man's surprised at having that little detail about his service ferreted out and proffered, it doesn't much show. There's perhaps a subtle sharpening of his blue eyes — far darker that Cidra's, bordering truly on green — but little else. "Yeah. A long time ago." He's quiet then for a time, digesting what she's said while he examines her cheek and hairline for the answers to his introspection. Or perhaps those grey hairs. Finally, "All right." Another feeble smile. "I guess someone's got to keep an eye on the dynamic duo, yeah?"

The grays are there if you look for them. Not many yet, but Cidra's not a pup anymore. Another little brow arch at the momentary sharpening of his eyes. It's noted but not questioned. The smirk is returned with a slight grin. "Take care of yourself, Ibrahim," she says simply. "Maggie's been on ops not too different from this before. She'll guide you if things get too hot. Keep an eye on the rooks. Do not let them do anything overly stupid. And don't get to cocky." A snort. "Actually, just pass that last one along to Lasher."

There's a slight nod from Sitka when Quinn's familiarity is mentioned, and his smile turns a touch wry with something else the Major says. Blowing a breath out his nose, he reaches down to snag the strap of his bag, and hoist it back up over his shoulder. "Will do," he agrees, as to the last. And then, perhaps surprisingly, he steps forward rather than back, and offers an as yet ungloved hand. Eye contact, for the third time tonight, is given in tandem.

Cidra transfers her cigarette to her offhand. Her blues are a little less All of Inscrutability tonight, in terms of expression. There is concern there. As much for the pilots at large as for him personally, most likely. And that pensive introspection that sometimes takes her. But she grins a notch wider when his hand is offered, standing and clasping it in hers. Cidra doesn't shake hands really. Not in the usual way, that is. She clasps and holds, for a beat longer than one should a typical shake-down.

Inscrutable, the Captain is not. Withdrawn and difficult to read, quite possibly. For the record, he too doesn't 'shake' in the traditional sense. Perhaps a shared custom between their two worlds. His hand is warm, and callused in a manner one would not anticipate on a viper jock. A firm squeeze is given, along with several quiet words intoned in his native tongue; the brashness of the language is somewhat at odds with his manner, such as it is. "Serata alathena anamata, Alayhim ghayri almaghdobi, Alayhim ala aldalena. A'afiat, Cidra." He too clasps, holds for a few seconds, then smiles faintly and releases her. "Take care of yourself." One gets the sense he doesn't mean so in the fashion of a nominal farewell.

Cidra follows those words, likely not understanding a bit of the translation of them, but she can parse the meaning a little. "Ceila sais vierre, Ibrahim," she replies, her phrasing wrapping less awkwardly around those words - whatever they are - than it sometimes does in Colonial Standard. It's old Gemenese, whatever it is, so he may be a happier soul not knowing. There's a flowing quality to it, vowels elongated, consonants softened. His hand is dropped at last, though she does try to hold his gaze.

A mutual lack of understanding, then. But the Gemenese does get an oddly.. pleased look from him. Or as pleased as Shiv ever appears. He watches her a few seconds more, then hefts the bag further up on his shoulder and turns wordlessly to angle for the hatch. Head down, shoulders bowed in his usual fashion, like there's something still weighing heavily upon them. He doesn't look back.

Cidra does watch him go, smoking on her cigarette again. Back between her right fingers. "From Leonis and back to Leonis. Eternal return…" she murmurs, under her breath. Not meant for any ears but her own now that she's the place to herself again.

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