PHD #212: Student, Teacher
Student, Teacher
Summary: Cidra sits down with Leyla for the first of her sim quals to become a pilot instructor. No good deed goes unpunished.
Date: 27 Sep 2041 AE
Related Logs: All Areion related logs, particularly We're All Friends Here.
Cidra Leyla 
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: #212

The CAG hasn't been precisely 'hard' to catch in the last days but her time's been very structured. She flies her CAP rotations. She makes her tours of the hangar deck and fabrication. She conducts her personnel briefings and training. And she spends time in her office. Lately, she's spent /a lot/ of time in her office. Rumor has it she's sleeping there, actually, since she's docking far less time in the berthings. And she must be sleeping /somewhere/. All of this was noticeable before Captain Sitka's murder, but it's become moreso since then.

In any case, it's training time now, and she's awaiting one LTJG Leyla Aydin. At the moment she's at the center terminal, fiddling with some of the sim settings. Dressed in her flight suit. She's one for 'as close an approximation of reality as possible' in the faux-ships.

Leyla, for her part, has been no more available or not available than she's ever been. Like the bull Taurons are often compared to, she just barges on, the recent deaths, both on the deck and in the air wing not seeming to have been more than a speed bump in the road. Which might or might not(likely not) have endeared her to the rest of the air wing.

A final check to her watch, just before Leyla steps into the sims, flight suit on, helmet under her arm. Unlike most of the other pilots she's seen, she tries to always wear her suit, just as she would if this were an actual flight. The reasoning being, well, how can you really work in adverse conditions unless you work in all conditions? "Sir," comes her soft voice, as she makes her way towards the control terminals.

If anything's endeared, or not endeared, Leyla to Cidra, it's hard to tell. The CAG is often called inscrutable, and apart from a slight deepening of the lines around her eyes and mouth of late, that's not changed. Her blue eyes come up from where she's hunched over the console as Leyla enters. She offers her a brisk nod and steps around to, seemingly finished with whatever tweaks she was engaged in "Sweet Pea." A check of the clock. "Prompt. Excellent. I am given to understand from Bootstrap that you are interested in assisting with Raptor flight training, yes?"

Leyla comes to a stop, a polite, if comfortable distance from the CAG. It never does anyone any good to try to get a glimpse of the program before its run. That's just asking for a monkey wrench. The helmet is shifted though, from under her dominant left hand, to her right. "Yes, sir. I know that I don't have the sort of combat experience that Lt. Trask and some of the other pilots have under their belts, but I do think that some of what I learned during my previous tour might be useful now, and I'm willing to help however I can."

"We all lend whatever hands we can, Sweet Pea. And we all have more combat experience than any of us would like by now, I shall wager," Cidra says. Tone dry, though it certainly isn't a joke. "You know, I have never actually served myself in an attack squadron. I did spend the majority of my career in logistics and support. Heavy S-A-R work. And a bit in electronic warfare, but my heart was always in logistics. Little glory, but good service. My first posting as a squadron leader was aboard an escort carrier called the Marsyas. Hospital ship, for all intents and purposes. Ran mostly disaster response. Very few Vipers, large Raptor complement."

"More than we might like, but not as much as we need." At least to Leyla's mind, truer words could not be spoken, hough considering the rumours she's heard about the CEX floating around them, well. "I went into electronic warfare when I first got out of flight school, and then into logistics. Those were the only two pipelines on my first ship. I feel that starting out in one of the other two gives you a much better grounding for combat than going straight to an attack squadron. Whole picture thinking, as opposed to flying with blinders on." A moment, as she considers, "Bunny served on a hospital ship as well, I think. Same one?"

"Yes, come to it, Doe was posted to the Marsyas as well," Cidra says with the slightest of smiles. "Not under me, albeit. He came on not a year after I had completed my tour there and transferred. But I took it as a good omen when I saw his service record, and he has thus far proven as well-made there as I would expect." Her tone actually contains a touch of fondness when speaking of the carrier. And Doe as well. Though, as with most things with her, it's subtle. "In any case. I have loaded some of our more novice training exercises into the simulators. I would like you to familiarize yourself with them. Running them as well as 'flying' them. I would appreciate all assistance with the Nuggets I can get. I am a certified instructor myself, but I have not the time to devote to it that I would like. Beyond the Nuggets, though, I do know Bootstrap is interested in improving the emergency flight abilities of the E-C-Os. A good notion, as things stand. Much unexpected can happen out there in these times."

It seems that the Leonian pilot seems to have that sort of effect on the people around him, as Leyla's voice bears some of the same softness as Cidra's, when speaking of the man, "He's been a wonderful help, in getting acquainted with the Harriers, that's for certain." But, perhaps thinking that it might be a conversation for another time, as Cidra's focus shifts to the work ahead, Leyla nods, looking towards the sims and then back again, "I'm not certified, myself, but it was catch as catch can back then. And I'd be glad to give whatever assistance I can. But I don't intend to go easy on anyone who studies with me. That's not how I learned it, that's now how they'll learn it." She doesn't bother to state the obvious, that they can't afford mistakes anymore, "I know I had spoken to Marko would helping him with his piloting, so I already have some programs worked up for that. But I'd like to see about working on gunnery for the pilots as well. I know there are…a few…pilots who could use the instruction." A thumb flick out, pointing back towards one of the sims, "Shall I get started now?"

"Certification has gotten rather less official these days," Cidra says wryly. "We all just must needs help each other as well as we can." And a short nod of agreement, about the gunnery. "Most certainly. An ECO can handle the controls, of course, but all pilots should have a working ability with them. We shall not always be able to depend on the Vipers for our fire power, particularly against basestars and ground targets." A short nod, as to getting started, and she strides toward one of the faux-Raptors. "I would like to begin sterner drills in missile application. For our preparation to leave Aerilon, certainly. We cannot linger here forever." A pause and she adds wryly. "Also, the CAG aboard the Areion voiced an interest in running some…training drills while we were still over relatively quiet space. Our ships versus his ships." There's a faint spark in her blue eyes. She subverts it more than most pilots, but the CAG has an ego buried under her good Gemenese manners.

"Having a partner on your ship is one of the greatest advantages a raptor pilot has over a viper pilot. But it doesn't do to coast, thinking that your partner's always going to be there to back you up. We run the risk of losing wingmen as surely as Viper pilots do. Without the autonomy they have the benefit of." After all, if either a pilot or ECO is lost, the ship is usually in the crapper, which is a Very Bad Thing(tm). Leyla, in the midst of this, is donning her helmet, keying her headset into the comm system that supports the simulators, made to replicate the one they use in actual flight, "A ship is only as good as its pilot. The better the ship, the more likely you are to run the risk of getting lazy, expecting the ship to do for you, rather than doing for yourself." Perhaps, though Leyla was never sure herself, that was why Shiv always flew a Mark II. "A pilot makes the ship, not the other way around." Climb, scramble, climb, into the sim pod she goes.

"So say we all," Cidra murmurs in soft but fervent agreement about the pilot making the ship. "An over-reliance, particularly on automated systems, degrades skills rather than sharpens them. I still do remember when the Cylons attacked. That new CNP the Fleet was so very proud of was compromised, our Raptors and Mark Sevens were dead in the water for minutes, had to cold restart. Had we not had the Mark Twos aboard we would all have been gone." No specific comments about the pilots who were flying them, but the implication is there. "I am…most curious to learn more about the upgrades our fellows from the Areion have on their ships. Many things about that ship I am curious upon, actually. Lieutenant Colonel Baer is most…cordial. But he does not give easily of information beyond the surface. Anyhow. Start with basic jamming drill, providing cover for Vipers. It is pre-loaded, and is what I have been pressing most of the Nuggets to begin with, in terms of combat exercises. As you go through it, have an eye toward what the specific portions of it stress. It is easier to spot a pilot's weaknesses, to see where they stumble, if you know full well where the pitfalls are."

Leyla settles into the pod, the program already running, her comm system keeping the line of communication open between herself and Cidra. "As wonderful as that ship might be, or so they claim, I have to wonder what good has it served? Where are their civilians? Where are the people they have rescued from the Colonies?" Leyla moves smoothly into the drill, not making any attempt to slow her response times. In many ways, this is as much a test for her, as a potential instructor, as it will be for the potential student, "Why did we never see even some trace of them left behind? And why, at this point, when ever advantage we can get over the Cylons is one that gives us another day to save what's left of humanity, are they still holding to that secrecy? If you ask me, sir," a beat, "the dradis is slow to respond right here, you'll miss the incoming, if you don't look up," first rule of piloting, keep your eyes on what's going on in the window, and back to the previous conversation, "they're keeping secrets for another reason entirely."

"They do not seem to have been much involved in rescue missions. Of that I feel fairly certain," Cidra says. And it troubles her. That much she allows into her tone. But she speculates not on what they *have* been involved in. She sits in the back of the pod. In the ECO spot, though she lets the program run the 'auto' ECO. She's not a backseater by trade, and is more interested in watching how the younger pilot handles than in trying to play one. A short nod at that observation about the DRADIS. And at that last. "They call themselves 'evocati' apparently. Elites. Special operations. I wonder as much what they were engaged in *before* the attacks as what they have seen since."

"What we did, who we were, who we might have been, before, doesn't much matter now. Not for us, not for them. The world has moved on, as they say, and all that matters is the present." Which is pretty much Leyla's life philosophy in a nutshell. But the program continues to run, and Leyla runs with it, making minor adjustments to the trajectory calculations of the swallows, before they're launched, moving 'up' to catch the bounce back of their signals, big picture, again, as she moves out of the normal scanning range, which weakens the signal, but allows the ECO in the back to get a better picture of a larger area of the field, "Every day that we," and by 'we' she clearly means 'they', "spend doing anything other than trying to rescue as many as can be rescued from the remains of the Colonies is another day spent finishing the work that the Cylons started." About midway through the program, and there's been a bit of back and forth, between Leyla and her 'backseater', as the younger pilot, rather than verbally call changes back to the computer, since that would be well, ineffective, instead programs in the changes she wants. In this particular program at least, its easy to see where she got her training. Wide sweeps, recalculations for possible obstacles, less drag, more leading edge as she tracks where objects will be, rather than where they are. Debris field baby elephant driver, yo.

"Perhaps. But I believe we are all two things. What we make of ourselves. And what our past has made us. There is no way to separate the two," Cidra says. Though she quiets as she watches Leyla work, making soft "Ah" and "Hmm" sounds. Make of it what you will. She offers neither praise nor correction. "I know what we are. Faults and all. They…I know not. And it is that which I do not know that I always find most troubling. Still. We are perhaps the last Colonial pilots left in the worlds. I look upon finding more as as blessing. But I would know more of the blessings that are delivered unto me."

Leyla's piloting isn't, well, it's not bad, certainly, she's actually quite capable, but her piloting seems to be focused on getting wider sweeps and covering bases before you know they need to be covered. Doing the job, but also thinking a few steps ahead. Something that would have come in quite handy before. And who knows, perhaps now. But that's for the CAG to say. Some things, like overseeing the offload of her troop complement, she still does now, which, apparently, is improper protocol. "No, no way to separate the two, but there has to be an acceptance of the past as the past. Even the best forged blade is worthless unless you continue to sharpen its edge. The past informs us, it shouldn't dominate us." A final sweep, and a drop of one, two, three, four jiggers, and the program comes to a conclusion, "Mythology tells us that we once considered fire a great gift. And then Pandora came with it." And we all know how that turned out.

"The gods did not forge us in a kindly fire. One hopes we are stronger for it," Cidra murmurs. Blue eyes narrowing some as she observes Leyla's work. "You spread yourself thin on those sweeps of yours. Good reconnaissance technique, actually, when you are on a solo flight. And you shall have need of it soon enough. But in formation flying habits like that can come back to haunt one." A pause and she adds. "You have a good touch on the stick, though. Lighter than a good many Raptor pilots." That last actually was a compliment.

"We must be, to have survived as long as we have." A nod, at Cidra's criticism. And Leyla takes it for what it is, a criticism, and a constructive one. If there's one thing you can say about Leyla, it's that she never thinks she knows it all. "I still forget myself, forget that there's not always debris in my field." But it's no excuse. An explanation only, "I can run the simulation again, fly closer to the formation." As for the compliment, that too is accepted, but without the preening that a pilot of her relative, compared to others, inexperience might indulge in, "Thank you, sir." And then, well, there's nothing left to do but wait for the verdict, the first of many, no doubt.

"Run it until you feel you could write the programming. Then you shall be ready to teach with it," Cidra says, standing and slipping out of the faux-Raptor. "In any case, you do know your business well enough, and the new recruits need all the help they can get." A pause and she adds. "Actually, I do have a little project for you. It is not in specific in reference to the Nuggets, but it has to do with flight training. Lieutenant Trask has requested I get him properly flight-qualified." She sounds approving. And, perhaps, there's a hint of anticipatory wry humor buried there. Just perhaps. "Pick our some suitably challenging exercises, please. It is good your squadron leader to sweat. I would like you to sit in with me on his quals as well." Barest hint of a smile. "It should prove an interesting exercise in…spotting weak points in a student."

"Yes, sir." And while Cidra stands to depart the raptor, Leyla seems quite happy to stay in. CAG said stay and practice, she'll stay and practice, at least until her next duty rotation takes her out of the sims. Upside to being a pilot, rather than say…a Marine with ship board duties. Lots and lots of free time to work on being a pilot. She does turn, the helmet doing nothing to mask the momentary look of surprise as Cidra picks her for this particular instruction detail. "Of course, sir. I'd be happy to help the Lieutenant. And I'll work with Flasher. He knows all of the sims programs much better than I do." Her expression smoothes back to her usual easy neutral, "I'll bring the heat shield, Toast, if you bring the extinguisher."

"I always do try and carry one," Cidra says dryly. "Good hunting, Sweet Pea." And off she goes.

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