PHD #119: Three Questions
Three Questions
Summary: Marko gets a project to go with his promotion.
Date: 25 Jun 2041 AE
Related Logs: n/a
Marko Trask 
Ready Room - Deck 7 - Battlestar Cerberus
With the hatches at the rear of the room, the walkways on both sides slope down towards the dais at the front of the room. The stadium seating forms a partial semi-circle around the speaking podium and provides enough seats for all three hundred members of the Air Wing. The walls are adorned with the patches of each squadron aboard and their mottos stenciled in white lettering above each one. Behind the podium is a set of large LCD screens that can display any matter of material from reconnaissance to maps to gun camera footage.
Post-Holocaust Day: #119

It's been scarcely a week since the return of the Leonis team and even less than half that span of time since Bootstrap got shoehorned into a command position that he never wanted. Having gotten all his bitching and protestations out before those shiny El-tee pins were put on, he's since been busy assessing the current state of the VAQ-141 and its members. Like everyone else in the squadron, Marko has been assigned a meeting time to speak with his new SL. It's in the Ready Room that Trask is waiting, a thermos full of Deck coffee in his left hand. Flight footage plays on the LCD screens but he's currently not watching. No, his head is slightly bowed, his eyes momentarily closed, and the bridge of his nose pinched by his dexter fingers.

Marko, for his part, is still getting used to the notion of being a Lieutenant, even if it is just a JG's billet. Even after Warday, he had no serious notion that he'd be promoted, the green ECO being too young and inexperienced to expect Cidra to be willing to roll the dice. What he hadn't counted on were the murderous losses that this campaign was incurring. And, when you're getting your teeth kicked in as solidly as Battlegroup has, and that's by no means being defeatist or negative, people tend to do unexpected things. Marko puts this out of his mind as he pauses inside the hatch, rapping at the open door with the knuckles of his off hand. "You wanted to see me, sir?" he calls, unable to suppress the faint smirk calling Bootstrap that elicits. Gods, Bootstrap's the new Squad Leader… Look out, Toasters, Bootstrap's a lot meaner than Jugs.

There's a brief moment of silence that's punctuated by the tightening of lids, and then Trask is springing to his feet, his rear parting ways with the desk edge that was serving as a makeshift parking spot for his ass. It is, as the saying goes, Showtime! Disregard the onset of stubble and the tired lines around his eyes. The man has a job to do, which might explain the sudden pep (or the pretense of such). "That I did, JiG. Come on in. Lemme get a good look at you all grown up."

Marko chuckles softly. "Heh, I dunno about grown up, Bootstrap," Marko replies, scratching at the back of his head. Note to self, wash your frakking hair and get it cut, soon! "But definitely older and somewhat wiser. Why, just last night, I turned down an invite to a Triad game with Specialist Mikklessohn and Sergeant Kovacs, and racked out instead. And I _know_ I could've taken them," he grins. "So, what's on your mind, boss?" he asks, cocking his head curiously. "Congratulations, by the way," he adds. "I know it's nothing near like what you wanted, but for whatever it's worth, I'm glad they picked you."

"Why, it seems as though it was only two days ago that you were an Ensign…" is said with a faux rendition of the wistfulness one would expect of a parent watching their graduating child. He lets it briefly hang there for effect and then suckerpunches the sentiment by adding, "Probably because you were." A swig from the thermos is taken, followed with the wiping of his mouth with the back of his free hand. "You're not anymore, though, so it's time to learn your first post-promotion lesson." This is bound to not be a good thing, as Trask is known to be a rather harsh teacher. "See, Scaurus, the CAG passes out the pins, but I'm the one who gets to saddle you with more responsibility. Congratulations, you've just earned yourself a programming project to go with your new position." In response to the congrats sent his way, the curve of his mouth takes a more sardonic turn. "I'm not," glad that he was picked, "but that's more or less moot. Thanks, anyway." He knows the kid means well.

Programming? Marko can do programming. If Delphi were still a going concern, all Trask would have to do is talk to any cop in the 10th, 23rd or 41st Districts, they'd be more than happy to tell him about Marko and his programming. "Sounds interesting," the young man nods, smiling faintly. "What's the project?"

Ever one to get right to the point, even if the route is often facetious, Bootstrap replies, "Cylon technology has advanced to an absurd degree since the first war. Their tactics have likewise evolved to take full advantage of those developments. Whereas getting our ships and whatnot overhauled will be a long and arduous process, our battle tactics can and should be immediately rethought because, frankly, they're shit. Totally outdated. What we learned in flight school is more or less obsolete. I'm gonna need you to code new sim scenarios that'll take into account what we know about Heavy Raiders and what can be gleaned from flight footage." Ergo, why one of the many engagements against the Cylons is playing on the LCDs.

"Heh, truer words were never spoken, Boss," Marko replies, nodding grimly. "The little bastards got real smart on us real fast," he admits ruefully. "Guess we should've seen it coming, I mean, they had as much time after the war as we did. And they apparently don't have a thousand politicians and armchair Admirals to second-guess their every move," he grumbles. "Only have three questions, sir," he adds. "How realistic do you want the settings to be? How much computer time can I get? And, of course, when do you want the new programs up and running?"

"They also seem to be lacking a bunch of jagoffs who do stupid ass shit for the sake of some cubits," the SL dryly snarks. As for Question #1, "Shoot to kill, Scaurus. We can't trigger smoke and fire in the pods — well, we /could/ but that would be dangerous, ergo dumb — but, as a starting point, I want it as brutal as any battles we've thus far had. Start with Raider engagements. Eventually, we'll factor in baseships." Long-term planning, yo. "See if you can get the visuals to match. Sparks flying, whatever. Simply having penalties factored into the reaction times doesn't cut it. I'm gonna be panning for Nuggets, and they need to experience as much as possible what they have to expect."

Question #2 garners, "You have the standard 4 hours of CAP, plus the weekly training quotas and flight footage reviews that everyone else has. By the way, you could stand to improve your gunnery. As if that isn't enough of a drag — I know, I know — I intend for there to be some inner-squad cross-training going on between our pilots and ECOs because we need to be better prepared for worst case scenarios. Never had much interest in flying, myself, but I also never wanted a command position." Which means even Trask is going to be honing his chops in the driver's seat. "I'll see if I can get Apostolos pulled into the project. She has experience reviewing flight footage, and you'll need a Viper jock's perspective."

And the final answer to Question #3, Kal quips, "When I /want/ them isn't possible 'cuz, like, that would be months ago. I trust you to do the best job possible in the least possible amount of time. Don't short-change anything. And, if you have questions or need some help, you let me know."

"It all sounds very do-able." Marko nods agreeably, his expression already starting to take on that slightly 'far-away' look he always gets when he's plotting and planning and possibly scheming. "Hey, Boss, do you know if anybody aboard has any fireworks?" he asks. "Maybe you could ask around… I've got an idea…" he smirks cruelly. "But… yeah. I mean, yes, sir," he says, straightening his posture somewhat and giving his new CO a firm nod. "I'll snag Money and we'll get to work on it immediately," he replies firmly. "She seems like she could use something to do. She's been kind of… off since she came back," he adds, then winces at his own tactlessness. "I mean, I know it was hard down there, Bootstrap," he adds by way of apology. "But you should've seen her last night. She was damn near hostile to the CAG. Something's going on there… Maybe a project like this is what she needs to snap her out of it."

Trask, true to form, doesn't wince at his own tactlessness when he relays, "That something going on would be that she's unlucky to have Lucky as a leader." Isn't there some sort of unspoken rule about dissing fellow officers, especially to the junior members of the ranks? Either there isn't or the man simply doesn't give a frak. Not that they are mutually exclusive. As for it being hard on Leonis, the senior El-tee only says, "That's why it's always a good idea to have people checked after they endure shit like that." About the fireworks, "Dunno, but I'll see if Engineering has anything that might suffice. Plus, they'll need to sign-off on the fire code safety." Odds are he has a good idea as to what Marko's idea is.

"Well… I'll talk to her," Marko replies, shifting uncomfortably. "And the project. I'll get a working group up and running ASAP." He nods enthusiastically. "We'll come up with some bad _ass_ battle sims. Hell, Bootstrap, you've made me a very happy man. This is going to be fun on a bun," he grins. "Permission to get started, sir?" he asks, straightening again, but not quite coming to attention. Trask might not like it, but he is Marko's superior officer and his Squad Leader to boot. So yeah, the deference is going to be there.

"Fair's fair, Flasher," is noted with a small, pleased smile. "You've earned it, which actually makes my job a bit easier." Yes, that is Trask-speak for some semblance of praise. With a rolling of those large brown eyes of his, he adds with a smirk, "You can cut the sir crap, Scaurus, at least until I tell you otherwise." Then, dismissively waving off the JiG in a cheeky manner, "You've had permission since I gave you the assignment. Go on, now. Quit slacking."

"You got it, Boots." Marko nods. "Oh, and _please_ find out about those fireworks. Hell, anything that'll go ~bang~ and give off a flicker of light'll do," he adds. "Talk to you soon!" And with that, Marko's on his way out of the hatch, already starting to mumble to himself as he begins to think around the edges of his assignment. "Okay… what we need to do's start right from the beginning. The basic AI on the enemy ships is pretty solid, they're just set too… stupid… We gotta smarten 'em up… lots…" he mumbles as he closes the hatch behind him.

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