PHD #224: Tactical Mashies
PHD #224: Tactical Mashies
Summary: Ensign Hathor comes to Major Hahn and Captain Vakos with ideas for a lateral transfer.
Date: 08 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: Mashed Spuds; Breaking the Girl
Cidra Davis Khloe 
CAG's Office - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Though it's not much bigger than the average ship supply closet, the office of the commander of Cerberus' air group has as much luxury as one can hope for aboard a battlestar: a hatch that locks. It is dominated by a blocky gray metal desk straight out of standard Navy supply. Behind it is the room's single indulgence, a high-backed rolling chair of almost comfortable-looking brown leather. That one, the CAG probably had to import herself. A few other chairs are shoved against the wall, able to be rolled over should visitors to the lair require one, though those are of the standard not-terribly-comfortable Navy offices variety. The aforementioned desk contains a computer that looks rarely touched and an ashtray of greenish glass that is obviously frequently used, as well as the standard office supplies. The surface is usually cluttered with files, squadron reports, flight schedules and other aerial bureaucratic sundry of the day. A metal carafe, filled with water or coffee or tea depending on the CAG's whim, is usually at hand on the desk's corner. The rest of the office is packed with filing cabinets and wall shelves, the latter of which hold various flight manuals and military and historical books. Any decorations on the walls are limited to professional awards and mementos from Major Hahn's past tours of service. It is largely devoid of the personal, save for one item: upon the shelf just behind and above her desk, serving as one side of a bookend to a collection of Raptor manuals, is a wooden statue of a small brown owl with very large eyes. A person might get the feeling of those eyes following him around this confined space.
Post-Holocaust Day: #224

Cidra is in her office, hatch slightly ajar. Which is something of a rarity these days. She's been holing up in it more and more lately, but she tends to shut herself in quite firmly. Today, however, she's apparently expecting to meet someone here. Though she's getting some work done in the meantime. Though what she's working on is not entirely clear. She's acquired a whiteboard from somewhere, shoved it in a corner, and has pinned several octagonal sheets of paper up on it. At first glance (and second glance) they appear to be mind-numbingly boring aerial bureaucracy. Old maintenance reports and work logs from the deck. Raptor-related ones at the moment. She's intently highlighting them as she waits for whoever she's expecting to arrive. The names 'Coll', 'Morgenfield,' 'Bell,' '305', and 'Weber' accentuated in numerous places.

The running joke is that there is a protocol and a manual for everything in the Fleet. Another joke claims nothing is important if there aren't two or more mutually exclusive instructionals on it. Seeing the door cracked, Davis opts for the second theory and stiffarms through it like a Pyramid striker. She strides into the office in a fresh uniform, parade pivots and posts before Cidra's desk. "Major Hahn, Ensign Davis reports as ordered!" the redhead calls out, finishing her formal reporting statement with a crisp salute as though she had just left the Academy.

Two sharp metallic bangs on the CAG's thrown-open office door signifies the arrival of the Black Knights SL on the heels of the eager Ensign. Captain Vakos steps inside, not waiting for an acknowledgement, since the door is ajar - meaning Cidra is expecting company. Tucked under her left arm are several folders stuffed with a variety of files, apparently bringing her work with her. She quirks an eyebrow at Davis' back, then glances over at the CAG, a corner of her mouth upturned. Oh yes, she likes this one. Without saying a word, she returns the door to it's near-closed state.

"It is here somewhere. It *has* to be. This cannot all be coincidence…" Cidra murmurs, squinting at the board. Adding some more highlighting on a seemingly random duty roster. Though the sound of her hatch being so enthusiastically opened does pull her head out of that. She frowns, drawing away from the board. As if she'd been caught at…something. But a beat later her manner is all composure. She straightens and returns those salutes fluidly. "Spuds. Poppy. As you were. Pull a chair of some sort." She, for her part, takes her own behind her desk. "Yes. Ibrahim and I had been meaning to speak on the matter of your flight status for some time…" A gesture to Davis. "But things…one always says a matter can wait until it…cannot, no?" A shrug as she sits, legs crossing. "Anyhow. To the matter. You been grounded for some time, Ensign." It is just stated as a fact, no judgment in it.

Davis drops her arm at the Major's dismissal, immediately reaching over to swing one chair around at ninety degrees to the Major's desk, and one chair before the desk for herself. "I trust I left his files in good order, Captain Vakos," she asks once she has seated, the inflection barely there at the final syllable. "Thank you both for making time for this. I will be brief. Sir," Ensign Hathor begins, "Indeed and I have been grounded. Due to the physical nature of my trauma, it is unlikely I will be able to fly in combat as anything other than an aerial mine. That said, my cognitive ability and leadership skills have been retained, according to Doctor Byrne's latest assessments. If it pleases, I have come up with a solution. The forms," the young woman states, tapping the folder in her lap, "merely await the proper endorsements."

Khloe takes the indicated seat, keeping her folders tucked under her arm. She sits ramrod straight with knees together and hands folded in her lap, and her back an inch or two off the backrest of the chair, a sort of at-attention seating style. Poppy glances sidelong at Davis when she's addressed by the CAG, and then raises another eyebrow at her well-composed response. She remains quiet, however.

"Billet transfer?" Cidra presumes. Not sounding surprised, precisely. A little somber, perhaps, but not surprised. Her own posture is a little slouched in her chair. She's a tall creature and has a tendency to try and understate that, unless she's paying attention to keeping her spine straight. Blue gaze focused on Davis. "Well. I suppose that was inevitable, given how long it had been. I know there was hope you would fly again but…well. Let us put this to rest. What have you mind, Spuds?"

The Ensign instinctively glances over at Khloe's chair, her face pensive, eyes hopeful… for a split second. The woman's shoulders dip at the sight of the unfamiliar face—unfamiliar, at least, as compared to the avuncular one she is used to occupying that space. "A-aye Sir," she affirms, returning her gaze to the CAG. "I was reviewing some old training manuals in light of the current situation. I realized that, as the entirity of the Colonial Fleet, we are missing a core Headquarters function we have all come to rely upon. You may recall the Air Intelligence Panel? Major, Captain." Davis leans forward, her eyes lighting up. "Up until now we have been reactive. The Intelligence Section means well, but they don't have trained pilots like the AIPes had. You copy?"

"Interesting," Poppy finally chimes in, folding her arms across her chest, one hand reaching up to put a thumb thoughtfully above her chin and below her lower lip. "Being a pilot, you have a unique perspective on military tactics, preparation, and procedure. What sort of advantages do you think you'd be able to bring the Intelligence Section?" Her tone is in her usual stern alto, neither approving nor disproving Spuds' ideas thusfar. Definitely analyzing, definitely judging - even if she's not vocalizing it, yet.

Cidra tilts her head a little at Davis when she catches that look she gives Khloe. Or Khloe's chair, rather. The barest hint of a smile crosses the CAG's lips, exchanged with the ensign, but there's no happiness in it. Just a sad sort of understanding. The slightest of nods. Then she gives her head a slight shake, as if in an attempt to clear it, and makes herself straighten out of her slight slouch as she listens to the meat of this. "Spuds, Toast. I believe I copy." A soft, dry little bit of com-chatter speak. It's half a joke, though her underlying seriousness does not depart. "I am of the opinion no pair of hands should go to waste. And if you cannot fly anymore, something like this in Tactical is the logical sideways movement."

It is Vakos' question that finally and properly disrupts the erstwhile pilot's flow. "Bwlah," Davis states with the supreme eloquence of a drunkard. "Sir," she stalls, nodding to Khloe and Cidra in turn. "Inn addition tooo my combat experience such as it is…" Her voice begins slow, but dissembling helps Ensign Hathor return to her proper cadence (and then some). "I have qualifications as both Viper pilot and Fleet officer. Of course beyond this, you may note I have almost a decade of experience in the instruction and mentorship of at-risk youth. With no disrespect implied, we can be frank: What makes a good Intelligence rating is good followership and discipline, but what makes a great Intelligence rating, what sets them apart from the other Departments' enlisted ratings, is that selfsame quality that makes them both the butt of jokes and more akin to inquisitive Freshmen than Marines." Hands lace in her laps, the little impromptu speech coming to a close. "In fewer words, I speak geek."

Captain Vakos is quiet for a moment longer than is not awkward, but she finally says something: "You know the material. You can communicate the material. You can liaise and increase communication on levels that Intelligence, CAG, and CIC can understand." Khloe glances sidelong at Cidra, trying to judge her opinion on the matter. She hasn't passed negative judgment on Spuds just yet, which in and of itself is looking good for her idea. Still, gray-blue eyes train on the Major.

"What did you want to be, Davis?" The question comes out of nowhere, randomly, and Cidra is back to slouching at her desk as she asks it. Propped up a little on her elbows, just regarding the ensign mildly. No particular judgment in her eyes. She just…looks. "Back on Picon, I do mean. When this was all just…a part-time job. What did you want to do?" It is asked with genuine curiosity, and a certain gentleness.

Davis dips her chin in affirmation of Poppy's assessment. For a brief moment between Cidra's question and explanation, her brow knits. Understanding sets in, as does a faint carmine flush. Her nostrils flare, her fingers close around each other; for the space of three breaths Davis is in rare form: Silent. "Nihil," she finally states, immediately repeating it in the vernacular. "Nothing. I suppose I wanted to be someone else—not just situationally, but somehow…" Her blue eyes roll upward, the young woman betraying her formal act under the stress of introspection. "Quintessentially be some other person." There is silence. Then she nods, once, with finality. "But that was a long time, billions of lives, and three grams of brain matter ago."

Khloe snorts softly at Davis' answer. "Ensign, you are smarter than me. Dare I say smarter than the Major as well. Your options were limitless, unlike my own." The Captain leans back in her chair finally. "Yes, that was a long time ago," she affirms, tone lighter. "Now, we make best with what we have." Looking up to Cidra, she nods sharply. "My say is, we give her a shot."

"A lifetime ago…" Cidra agrees soft. She clears her throat. "Well. We are what we make ourselves. This, I have always believed. You do, I think, meet the qualifications to assist in Tactical planning and I would certainly feel more comfortable knowing Intelligence had a dedicated person with flight officer experience to assist in planning. I shall sign off on this."

Instead of verbally sparring with the Captain and insisting the other's supremacy, Davis' response is facial. With eyelids lowered in demure fashion and a flat-pressed smile she tries to convey a humble, if disbelieving, acceptance of her superior's assessment. Whether tactic of merely tactful, she cannot hide the flash of eagerness at Khloe's endorsement. From claiming maturity over eccentrics, the look she gives Cidra is like the hopeful look of a child who has suggested ice cream to her parent. Within one point five seconds after she stops speaking, Davis has moved the dossier from her lap to hovering over the CAG's desk. "I won't let you down, Major," she states, returning to that crisp Academy tone.

"You don't have to worry about letting the Major down, Ensign," comes Khloe's predictable hard-ass reply. But she can't maintain a straight face for too long; the corner of her mouth turns upward, completely shattering the usual thin-lipped scowl the woman has on. "You'll do fine. From what I've read about you in your file, you'll do just fine."

"Indeed. I would not worry about letting me down overmuch, Ensign," Cidra somewhat echoes Khloe, though her meaning is clearly something different. The dents in the CAG's own hard armor have been, perhaps, a bit more apparent of late. She picks up a pen. "I presume my initials are needed on some of those forms? Well. Let us get on with the business of getting on, then."

"Ah, yes," the Ensign finally responds with something other than a smile, "Any blank I've marked with a check in yellow highlighter requires your endorsement. Captain," she smirks, looking over to Khloe. "I'm afraid I've run out of orange, and had to mark yours in pink."

Khloe's smirk is fleeting. "Pink? Really, Spuds? I'm allergic to pink," she mutters, waiting for Cidra to initial so it's her turn to initial. "I'd take neon blue or green over pink." Scribble. "Pink is for girls and gaudy ruffled sheets." Scribble.

"I have no particular objection to yellow, for my part," Cidra says a touch dryly. The signs the first indicated space in full. The rest of her marks are put down in just the letters C.A.H. in her neat, flowing script.

"Now there's nothing wrong with pink," the younger woman explains to her superiors. The words come without effort, as though she has said the same thing to less receptive audiences time and again. "It is the colours of a victorious and a pure heart all in one. But," she adds with a wink, "I'll see if I can scrounge up some noble blue in the future."

Khloe lifts her chin, and then dips it in a sharp, quick nod to Spuds. "That's more like it," she comments. Scribble. Her letters are tall and narrow and efficient, a direct contrast to Cidra's flowing and elegant script.

Cidra passes the forms back to Davis once all i's are dotted and t's crossed in the superior-required places. "Clear eyes and steady hands, Spuds," she says. "This all shall still need the approval of Tactical, of course. But, like all of us, they need all the hands they can get. And it shall have my firm recommendation. Good hunting, and support eternal." The old Petrels motto appended to the end of that easily from her memory.

Like a good yeoman, Hathor flips through the pages to verify completion. "Thank you Sir, Sir," she says with a nod to each (thus the repeated title). "I will deliver this to Captain Nikephoros, I believe she holds oversight over Intelligence for the time being. By your leave?" Davis asks, delivering the request for dismissal to Cidra.

Cidra stands, nodding shortly to Davis. "My leave you have. Dismissed, Ensign."

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