PHD #053: Unconventional
Summary: Sawyer starts poking around about the Draft. Her first interview is with Cidra, who agrees to see the Journalist, but insists on a rather unconventional setting.
Date: 20 April 2041 AE
Related Logs: Give Me Liberty Or... & A Swift-Footed Creature.
Cidra Sawyer 
Raptor Interior - Some Where in Space
I'm on a BOAT!
Post-Holocaust Day: #53

When Cidra received the reporter's request for an interview she was, perhaps surprisingly, quick to respond. And she even picked the location. She's taking Sawyer for a ride. She's offered to let her tag along on one of Cid's stints on CAP. They've just loaded up on the Raptor now. Cidra's going through her pre-flight check in the pilot's seat. An ensign, one young enough to still be mildly cowed when flying with the Major, is pulling ECO duty. "Strap yourself in tightly, Miss Averies," she advises. "Patrol has been rather quiet thus far in this system, so we should have time to chat." Ah, CAP. Ninety-percent boredom punctuated by ten-percent sheer terror.

Sawyer glances around as she secures herself into the seat, checking everything three times to make sure it's tight enough. "You know, the last time I was in one of these things, I ended up in the driver's seat, forgive me if I'm a little bit nervous." Sawyer's quiet while they work through all their lift off procedures, and finally end up in the black of space as they fall into their patrol pattern. "So, Major, I hope you don't mind if we speak candidly in front of your Ensign." You know, it's really hard to take notes or even /bring/ notes when you're zipped into a flight suit. "But I wanted to talk to you about your department and whether or not you'd find a Draft beneficial. Being one of the heaviest hit departments, I'm interested in what you have to say on the matter."

Perhaps the difficulty of note-taking factored into Cidra's desire of this spot. Just perhaps. "Cerberus, Toast. All systems green. Commencing launch." And so she does, Raptor touching off the hangar deck with the cow-like grace the craft generally shows. The pair of Vipers also on this CAP slot launch out of the tubes not a moment later. There's some wireless chatter back and forth as everyone establishes their positions, but they know the drill by now. Hopefully, the sector will remain quiet. Once that's attended to, Cidra does answer Sawyer. Not taking her eyes off the starfield. "A draft?" She snorts. "Is that what this concerns? Anyhow, the answer is no. Hard hit or not, for the Wing, such an idea is largely moot. It would simply be unworkable, to my view, to attempt such a thing with pilots."

"As you can imagine, it's a concern among the civilian population. The word hasn't spread yet, but. I worry. Of course, I'm not excluding myself from that concern, so. That leads us, here…" Sawyer drifts off, shifting uncomfortably in her jump seat as they get further away from the safe halo of the ship. "Are you sure this is safe?" Nervously, the Journalist clears her throat and presses on. "What factors have you forming that opinion, Major?"

Cidra's lips curve into the barest hint of a smile. Not that she turns around to show that to Sawyer, of course. Her wings tip slightly as she arcs the ship to begin a standard patrol flight around the battlestar. The great hulk of the Cerberus and the lights within it shining as they bank past it. "This sector has not given us any trouble so far. I deem the risk of contact low enough that this shall not prove too much a distraction." Was risk of Cylons what Sawyer meant? Well, it's the only part of safety Cidra answers. "I can understand that, I suppose. That it would be a concern, I mean. Anyhow. To me specific. Do you have any idea how long it takes to train a Navy pilot, Miss Averies? Flight school alone can run twenty-four months. For my part, as I was not a product of the Academy, I had to put in fourteen weeks of Officer Candidate School even before that. A combat pilot took thousands of hours and more thousands of cubits to train. Obviously, times are different now but the base skill requirements have not changed. You cannot just plunk a man into a cockpit and set him to work. Such would endanger not only himself, but every pilot who flew with him and the overall defense of the ship. To attempt such on someone without basic flight qualifications would be a waste of time."

"Not to mention the risk to machinery and the already dwindling amount of birds you have to put up in the sky?" Sawyer's not diminishing any of the reasoning Cidra has already given, just offering up an additional option for the Major to confirm or deny. It's a good thing Hahn hasn't turned around, and the gloves obscure Sawyer's hands, for she's got a white knuckled grip on the edge of her seat. No, the threat addressed does nothing to assuage Sawyer's fears, but she's doing the best to keep the shaking out of her tone. Some how, being up in one of these /before/ Warday was a lot easier to stomach.

Cidra's flight path doesn't jostle too much but a Raptor ain't exactly a comfy sofa. Its wide turns are felt as it rounds to the starboard side of the battlestar. Again, it is hard to tell whether the pilot is making any attempts to veer and swivel more than usual or not. Her handling of the controls suggests nothing but careful control. A low "Ah" and nod in reply to Sawyer. "Also a concern, I shall admit. But I would take more pilots any day. So long as they can be taught to handle themselves. I would welcome volunteers with flight experience from among the civilians. Training would still be a challenge but it is manageable. If one is willing to learn. I do admit, even now, there's nothing I'd rather do." Her own knuckles are probably quite a normal shade under her gloves. She inhabits the pilot's seat like there's nowhere else she'd rather be in the worlds.

Sawyer closes her eyes briefly, but that doesn't seem to help and they flutter back open. Beneath her suit, the poor reporter has broken out into a cold sweat, but she's still trying to hold her own which means this just might be important to her. "But overall, you'd feel a draft would be ineffectual if not damaging to the fleet?" Sawyer focuses on the Major, instead of all the distracting flashing lights and the starscape creeping by. When ever little speck outside the viewport looks as if it could be a potential villain, you tend to want to stop looking.

There's intermittent comm chatter with the pair of Vipers also out on this run but, as it goes on, things are indeed largely quiet. The ensign in back also doesn't seem inclined to add anything to the conversation. CAG + Reporter is scary. It does keep the kid's attention sharply focused on the DRADIS, however, so if nothing else he'll spot anything incoming. "Overall, I'd not be proponent of such a thing. Were it even proposed, of which I've heard nothing," Cidra replies. Her course leveling out some as they skim off to take a sweep around the Praetorian, a little off from the battlestar. Perhaps taking pity on her passenger. "For me, it becomes a question of cohesion as well. I can count on the fact that my pilots are not only fully trained, but fully mentally prepared to stand if a Raider jumps up on them." No Raiders yet on this flight, of course. "Even the Reservists joined with full knowledge they could be called to serve. Perhaps not anticipating something such as this but…well. None of us did at that. A man forced to fight? I think might become a liability. No offense meant to the civilians, of course. But there is a mental aspect to this beyond pure practical training."

"Speaking on behalf of the remaining civilian populous, no offense taken." Sawyer will have to resort to memory for this conversation, so she's trying to focus. Not thinking about Raiders. Nope. Not much, anyways. "What about an organized civilian work force, do you think you could utilize that within your department? Not in the cockpit, of course, but handling clerical work, organizing and compiling data, that sort of thing. Anything just shy of confidential information and actual combat?"

"Now that I do think will fast become a necessity," Cidra says, as to the matter of the work force. More banking. A gentler arc this time, but it's still tons upon tons of Raptor swiveling. "I suspect something like that would be better applied to the Deck, when it comes to air operations, but I could likely find a place for a few willing hands. I think it a good notion in a sense beyond simply our needs. Idle hands are a demon's workshop, after all. It is very hard right now. For everyone. Duty gives one a sense of purpose. A reason to get up in the morning and go on. The civilians, I think, are as much in need of that as any of us."

"I couldn't agree with you more, Major. But that's purely off the record." Sawyer makes an odd sound back there, like she's swallowing past something heavy in her throat. "Uh, Major. One more question….uh….how much longer are we staying out here?" Because throwing up in her helmet really isn't her ideal.

Cidra lets out a throaty chuckle, completing her turn around the Praetorian without too much unexpected veering. "Our stint up here is near through. We are beginning our final pass now. Ahh. Miss Averies. There is one matter I had been meaning to discuss with you. Have you perhaps wondered why you've not been evicted from the Viper berthings since the Cylons attacked?" No word for or against her status there has been heard from the CAG. Yet there she's remained.

Well, that question is just as uncomfortable as the ride. Sawyer's suit creaks as her weight shifts again against the restraints. "Initially, I had chalked it up to falling through the cracks after Warday. Sleeping arrangements seemed a low priority. Then later, when I spoke to Admiral Abbot, it became a request of mine that I be allowed to stay to continue working on some of my projects, and he agreed as long you didn't find it an interference."

Cidra chuckles again at the 'falling through the cracks.' "You are not so difficult to miss as all that," she says. Eyes still fixed upon the starfield and the form of the battlestar outside their little ship as they near Cerberus again. "I must admit, Miss Averies, when I was first told of the idea to embed a reporter with my Vipers I was…dubious. But you proved far less of a nuisance than I had anticipated." That's a compliment. Sort of. "I saw no reason to have you moved. I see no reason for it now. Do you have a guess as to why?"

Sawyer ventures a guess, though her response is meant to be more humorous then flippant. "Because my pink pajamas and sparkling charisma would be missed…or because you wouldn't inflict me on your worst enemy?" Wouldn't that be a new strategy in the war. Send the Cylons a reporter.

Cidra's laughs is low and rather cackle-like "Ha ha ha" that time. "Not quite." More strains of comm-chatter between herself and the Vipers. Final sweep around the ship of CAP, blah, blah, blah. That done, Cidra answers Sawyer properly. "I do not think the civilians have a very good idea of what it is we do, Miss Averies. Perhaps it is the fault of those like myself. I have spent over fifteen years of my life in the Navy. I mix little with the civilian populace. But, if their lives are to depend on our defense, they are owed some understanding of us. Perhaps you are useful in that respect." Perhaps. She's dubious but willing to consider the possibility.

"And I'd really hate to be a disappointment." Sawyer says simply, letting Cidra take from that what she will. The Journalist stops with the questions, letting conversation drift off so the Major can focus on getting them back to the barn safe and sound.

Cidra comes in for a relatively smooth landing. Much to Sawyer's relief, assuredly. "Not yet," she says wryly. "I thought it best to clear things up now. There is going to be a consolidation of unused space on board ship, so I shall be moving the Raptor personnel into the vacant Viper berthings." Vacant from all the Warday death. "Do not worry. You may keep your place. None of us are going anywhere."

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