PHD #441: The Other Shoe
The Other Shoe
Summary: Cidra taps Marko as the ECO for the forthcoming Gemenon mission, deep thoughts and awards ensue.
Date: 14 May 2042 AE
Related Logs: Gemenon Mission Logs
Cidra Marko 
Flight Simulation
Post-Holocaust Day: #441
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.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Cidra summoned one young LTJG Marko Scaurus to the flight simulators. Likely for instruction on drills the Raptors have been running of late. Gemenon is on the horizon, among other things. Though the CAG was cryptic about her precise need of the ECO. As she's wont to be. She's here early, entering some commands into the computer at the central console. In her duty blues rather than her flight suit, which is somewhat unusual for her in here. Toast is one of those who believes in maintaining 'realism' in the sims and is usually here in her suit, even though it's not strictly required for practice here.

Marko arrives a few moments later, his off-duty greens partially plastered to him from a shower that was cut short by Cidra's summons. "Morning, Boss ma'am." he calls, straightening up and giving Cidra a formal nod before relaxing. "Got word you wanted to see me." he says. "What's up, sir?" he asks simply.

"Many matters, Flasher." Cidra straightens from the console, saving whatever data she was working on before striding around it and coming out to meet Marko properly. "I did not catch you at a poor time, I do hope. Two things. Old business and new. To the new first. There has been much speculation on when we shall be proceeding back to Gemenon. While the Fleet is not prepared to jump entirely to the planet without knowing more of what the Cylons true intentions there are, preparations are complete to put a stealth team down on the ground for observation. As I am sure you are aware by now from Captain Vandenberg. Operation Saratoga is the code name she is using, I do believe."

Cid's question of timing only elicits and slight grin and a dismissive shrug from Marko. As long as they've been at this, even that CAG herself's probably found herself dragged out of the rain locker rubbing soap bubbles off her fanny. To the next, he says, "Ah, yes, sir." Marko replies, nodding a little. "She ran me through the basics the other night. Seems like a pretty solid plan." he says carefully, obviously slightly discomfited to learn the CAG was aware he'd been made privy of it. "Haven't told anyone about it." he adds. giving the woman a serious nod as if to say 'Yes, Colonial Fleet, you were not amiss in granting me a security clearance.' "It'll be one hell of a mission, sir. Certainly is important enough." he says.

Cidra gives Marko a long and rather inscrutable look. As she does. "Of vital importance, yes. I know not what to make of the 'message' from Gemenon. Or from the creature that called itself Trevor Cairn McQueen." Her tone is hard at mention of Queenie. And perhaps has an edge of hurt to it, though she does her best to mask that. "But, I do believe one part of it. There may be something on Gemenon that could lead us upon a new path. Perhaps to a new home. The symbols in the temple in that video mimicked those drawings in the Ark of Kobol you and Sweet Pea found. That cannot be a coincidence." She clears her throat. "In any case. Keep it under your hat, but the mission is to go off in five days hence. The insertion, that is. I would like you to fly ECO on the drop.

The remark about Queenie just elicits a sad sigh from Marko, partially hurt, partially sympathetic. He'd known the man ever since this fracas started, fought with him, worked with him. It's obvious that Marko's spent no small amount of time wondering what it was like for Queen when the switch got flipped and the truth jumped up. "That's right…" he says at length, snapping his finger. "The Mandela. Possibly the symbol for Earth…" he breathes, taking a deep breath. 'As for the Cylons, all I know's what little I was able to get out of Bannik. They could've slotted him and Averies any time they wanted to, certainly had enough firepower for it. For whatever reason, they chose not to. If there's even a _chance_ that the Toasters are having internal problems, I'm with you, sir, we had better check it out." he says, nodding as he listens to the rest of Cidra's words. Ah-hah….Marko, that whooshing noise you're hearing is the sound of the other shoe being dropped. The poor guy can't help but crack into the very faintest smiles of the 'I kind of saw this one coming' variety. "Absolutely, sir." he nods soberly. "I wouldn't miss this party for all the whiskey on Aerilon." he says, grinning wolfishly.

"You know, I never believed in Earth, really." Cidra admits it in a half-shy sort of way. Good Gemenese fundy that she is, she's supposed to take everything in the Scriptures literally. "But perhaps there is something like that out there. Or at least some planet we can call home, which the Oracles might have foreseen. We know the Cylons have an interest in human religion, and they have developed their own twisted faith. Perhaps they are seeking something in that. Anyhow. This mission will require a jump *intra*-atmosphere to get as low as you need to, to avoid immediate detection. Get in position to allow the Marines to do a static line jump, get them down, then undertake a standard recon pattern. As if we were just back for another fly-over. If all goes according to plan, the toasters shall not know we have left anything behind down there." If. "Tricky jump plotting for an ECO, and you shall need to practice sharp on your insertion techniques as well. I have marked some programs you will likely find useful. Drill on them intensively over the next days. Clear eyes and steady hands, as ever, are the order of the day."

"Yes, sir." Marko replies, suddenly quite serious indeed. "The plot's the hardest part." he says, closing his eyes as he assumes his usual frown-y/thoughtful look. "Jumping into a gravity well's not exactly a small thing." he grunts softly. Gravity wells and space craft going faster than light have a long and storied dislike for one another. "Does Van have the target co-ords picked out?" he inquires, opening his eyes briefly before closing them again, fingers twisting unconsciously as he begins to employ his not-inconsiderable noggin against the problem. "I understand Sweet Pea's not on the flight roster?" he asks simply. "Who's going to be in the hot seat for this hop, sir?"

"The Captain has reviewed possible landing zones, yes. I understand she has three areas targeted. Do practice calculations with each of them, a final destination shall not be committed to until you lot are ready to go. Thus far we have done well in keeping the details of this close, but if *anything* leaks it could do grievous harm to the mission. Gods only know what McQueen has told his fellow Cylons already about our interest in the planet." A deep frown lines Cidra's face. Slow inhale, long exhale. "Well, it cannot be helped. I have Captain Quinn assigned to pilot. She has a great deal of experience in this sort of insertion and extraction work from her time on Sagittaron. And we shall need all the expertise we can get. Sweet Pea has done considerable flight planning on this and Bunny has similar SAR experience, so they can back the pair of you up if there are unforeseen difficulties. I shall be keeping this to one Raptor for both insertion and retrieval, however, unless things go very awry. I pray we can get those Marines in and out without attracting notice."

The bit about Quinn causes Marko to _blink_ once, but it's a true _blink_, the kind given by the truly surprised. "Ah…..Well….I've flown with Jugs a time or two…" he begins, almost to himself. "She knows her shit, that's for damn sure." he breathes, then remembers he's in the presence of the CAG and such musings are best kept to one's self. "Cap'n Quinn'll do just fine, sir." he says, hoping to sound more confident than he feels. "She's got the chops for this kind of thing, no doubt." She didn't, she sure as frak wouldn't be the Harrier's Squad Leader until she got preggers. "I'll get the co-ords from Van, unless you have them." he says, squaring himself up for the monumental task ahead. "No worries on my part, sir." he says firmly in reply to the bit about the need for security. "Though, with your permission, I'd like to leave a letter for my wife, to be given to her by either you or her CO after we depart." he says simply. "Just….well, you know." he shrugs, blushing a little. Just in case we're blown to smithereens before we make atmo, he doesn't say, though. clearly, that's what he's thinking. "I think we can pull it off, the unforeseen notwithstanding." he says, bobbing his head a little as he relaxes. "Van's plan is pretty straightforward, and I know she's been pulling only the coolest of heads from the MARDET to go with her." he adds, nodding again. "Not going to lie and say it'll be easy, sir, but sure as Aphrodite's love, we'll get it done. In and out quick as Pan." he grins.

"I have the coordinates. I shall leave you with them," Cidra says. As for the request about his wife, she just nods gravely. Reaching out her right hand to briefly grasp his forearm. It's an unexpected gesture from the generally reserved woman. "I understand. I shall keep it for her, if you would trust me with it. Though I believe the main of the danger shall fall upon the Marines it is…always best to prudent."

"Yes, sir." Marko nods, unconsciously moving to return the gesture. "Permission to speak freely, sir?" he asks simply.

"Granted, of course," Cidra says, clasping Marko's arm once more before she releases him. Watching the young LTJG with those cloudy blue eyes of hers. Waiting.

Marko clasps hers back before doing the same. "Not to be the gloomy Gaius at the party, but, if the Intel we've got about the Cylons is right, and there really is a rift, or schism or whatever term counts in this instance….The other side will hit Gemenon." he says flatly. "And they'll hit it _hard_. I'm gonna talk to Van, sir." he adds. "Talk about getting us ready for a potential shoot-down situation, like you just said, never hurts to be ready. Never know when you'll need it."

"Oh, I think very much there is a schism. What I am not convinced of is that either side has our interests at heart. But there *is* something drawing us toward Gemenon. More than the Cylons, more than any message in electronic data. It is too important not to seek out. And it may be the only path forward we have to go on." Cidra nods. "The standing order is avoid hostile contact unless it is entirely unavoidable. But one must prepare for all contingencies. And that is a contingency I do not think unlikely. See to it." A pause. "There shall be a briefing before we touch off, but that is all for the new business. Now for the old." A pause, though she does not appear so much done as ramping up to something.

Marko nods slowly, taking in Cidra's thoughts while he himself keeps his own close to the vest for right now. Without any data to back them up, they'd just be wild speculations of the type that's got him in hot water before. "Old business, sir?"

Cidra takes something out of the pocket of her blues. Which is perhaps why she's wearing them in the sims. Flight suits lack deep pockets. It's a small black box. "Command has finalized the decoration awards for actions undertaken during the Battle of Ophion. Our conflict with the Areion forces. I am told from Captain Nikephoros that you assisted her in CIC when the Areion hackers took control of our nukes. While others among the Harriers were decorated for their valor in the air on April the Fifteenth, that is not the only way one serves. You have been vital to Command on many occasions, not only that day but in breaking the decryption in the data brought back from Gemenon. It goes not unnoticed. Lieutenant Junior Grade Marko Scaurus, I award you the Fleet Commendation Medal, for services rendered. All honors." And she present it to him, with that.

Marko finds himself coming to attention without even realizing he's doing it. (Take that, Master Chief Vorenus! Marko bleeping Scaurus, at attention, your training was not in vain!) "The honor is to serve, sir." Marko replies, formally, accepting the box with somewhat less than smooth, parade-ground maneuvering (Don't start rolling your eyes, Master Chief, it's been a while since he's seen a parade ground!) "I am grateful, though." he adds, blushing a little.

The blush makes Cidra smile. Ever so slightly. She acknowledges him with a fluid salute and gives him an "As you we." "It is I who am grateful that you serve. Anyhow. The exercises I have tagged should prepare you for the insertion as well as anything can. I leave you to it now. Captain Trask and I shall be available for all consultation before the Raptor touches off. And good hunting to you."

"Yes, sir." Marko replies, snapping off a letter perfect salute. (Again, Master Chief Vorenus, are you reading this? If so, insert Marko's smug laughter ~here~.) "I'll get started on it immediately." he adds, nodding seriously. "A gravity well insertion, in atmo….oooh…..hehthis is going to be a _fun_ jump to plot." he murmurs, grinning for a moment as he all but rubs his hands together in anticipation. "I'll be sure to co-ordinate everything with you, Boots and Van." he adds. "Nothing like a challenge." he grins toothily.

The grin is returned with that bare hint of a smile, and glint in the CAG's eyes. "Clear eyes and steady hands, Flasher. As ever." And with that, she does indeed leave him to it.

Marko gives Cid another formal nod before moving to the control station. "Okay….I gotta write a whole new program." he says, fingers starting to dance over the keys as he improvises. "Okay, call up file 'Gemenon'….check out the precise shape of her gravity well…." The next group of trainees and Raptor jocks to cycle in will find him strapped into the ECO station of the Raptor's sim pod, fast asleep and snoring as his improvised programs click and whir around him.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License