PHD #347: Whakamānawa
Summary: Leyla comes to Kal bearing gifts.
Date: 8 Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: Canceron and Beyond (specifically). Correcting An Oversight (backstory). Flybys and Flies (referenced).
Leyla Trask 
Ready Room
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: #347

If Kal Trask has ever been the sort to let sleeping dogs lie, it's simply because he found something more deserving of his attention. Three solid weeks were spent planning the Air Wing's successful, casualty-free approach to the Cylon foundry. Even before the Silent Mastiff was laid to rest, he was already doing prep-work on the next big fish to fry. So, here he is, in the Ready Room, once again reviewing the available footage. Brown eyes remain on the monitor even when he occasionally notes something.

And surprisingly, it's never really that difficult to find the Harriers SL when one needs him. And so, the silence is disturbed, as the hatch behind opens, letting in the small pilot, Sweet Pea managing to juggle the laptop, in a case on her shoulder, an armful of paperwork in folders, and a large, well, largish storage crate. Big enough that she has to work her way carefully through the seating towards the man sitting down close to the monitors. "You joining the mission tomorrow?"

Indeed, aforementioned SL is a creature of habit. Also? His daily schedule is posted. Only lazy people would fail in finding him… except during those rare occasions when he doesn't want to be found. Then leave if to a former snipe who is a long-time friend of the ex-ChEng (who, it should be noted, helped design the Cerberus) to drop off the proverbial DRADIS, if that is what he so desires. Today, however, is business as usual. "You suffer severe head trauma recently?" is idly quipped back. Bootstrap miss out on the chance to first-hand examine an ancient ship? Maybe if /he/ were suffering from severe head trauma. Besides, at the debriefing, he declared he was going. Perhaps Leyla forgot that part because she was busy telling him that he'd be riding her and Marko's coattails.

Leyla waits until she makes it all the way to where Boots is working. And promptly plops down the storage case right on top of where he's working. It's like a present, only no wrapping. And it's not even his birthday. "I'm sure that bit of information would have made it across your desk if I had. But you are still healing, and you do have a new addition to the family." Never let it be said that Sweet Pea doesn't, for a minute, think that Boots doesn't actually care about anything. Or that his people don't care about him. "Congratulations on your promotion."

Trask pings the incoming pilot in his peripheral vision with more than enough time to register what her plan of attack is. And since he'd like neither his work nor parts of his body squashed, he clears the proverbial landing pad of the present. "I'm not sure becoming an uncle is a promotion per se, but— " A thought comes to him, which results in a cant of his head and a musing furrow of his brow. 'Aroo?' "Well, no, actually, it kinda is like a promotion. More responsibility, more hours. At least when a baby cries, it's for vital reasons, like being hungry or not wanting to sit in a sack of its own shit." Whereas adults cry because they get butt-hurt. With that all said, he decides to tale the bait and asks, "So… what's in the case?"

"Presents aren't really that much fun if I have to tell you what's inside." Does Leyla seem upset that Boots, having seen her coming, has gotten all of his important workly and other bits out of the way, not really. "You got rid of the Interim and you got yourself more brass." Leyla really hasn't seen much of the man since that happened. And she certainly hasn't had the time to really say congrats, "And you know you get Bunny to change the diapers anyway." Bunny's like that…baby crazy. "I didn't even lock it." The case that is.

Into his third week of detox, he's slowly returning to his usual impish, facetious, irreverent self. Another 7 days and he'll be puffing more smoke than a Black Country factory back in the golden age. "Interim only ever was for show." That might actually be true. As for the brass? "Better hope I don't die anytime soon. I've made a note in my will that you get 'em upon my demise." That also might actually be true. Well, less is the sense of a will and more in giving Cidra his recommendation for his replacement. In reference to the diapers, he flashes a winsome smile. "One of the perks of command." Delegation, yo. Oh, but there is something far more interesting going on here. A present? For Trask? There's a scampish boyishness in the way those big brown eyes are flashed at Leyla, augmented by the way he dips his chin and presses his hands to his chest. 'Pour moi?' the expression cheekily asks. "I'd say that you shouldn't have… but the jury's still out on that. Require more evidence." Which might be why he pops open the case.

"Sometimes, the most difficult part of a job is realizing that you don't have any other choice but to do the job." With the crate delivered, Leyla settles a hip against the opposite side of the deck." As for the pronouncement that he'd leave all his worldly possess—-people to her well, "I would do my best not to disappoint you, Boots. But I think it's not time yet, to hand over the reins." As the storage crate opens, Boots' 'gifts' are revealed. Carefully wrapped bundles of clean, albeit old pieces of cloth. Diapers perhaps? Surely not. Not as they also seem to exude the faintest hint of freshly tooled metal, the sharp, slightly earthy scent of metal polish and preservative. "For you, oh Captain, my Captain."

"Well," the man smirks a wee bit, "I've thus far proven to be difficult to kill. So, you're off the hook for now." Briefly, the curve of Kal's mouth turns fonder. "I know," is all he says about the pilot seeking not to disappoint. Being a Blackie herself, she should know that he meant what he said about a successor. That is not the kind of thing that would be said in jest, even if he is being a smartass.

Now regarding the contents of the case, keen eyes stroll across the medals. Totally deadpan, he asks, "What's this?" Oh so lightly, the two fore fingertips of his left hand stroke the stylized arrow that has been snapped into a chevron shape. Such a pensive look that starts to form. So much for the punchline he was working towards because, surely, he knows precisely what all this is.

Yes, Leyla is a Blackie, which mean she doesn't comment, or even acknowledge the softening of Boots' expression, save only with the slightest warming of her own. She prefers, in the Taurian way, to simply stay and wait, watching as the man begins to unwrap the pieces of cloth, revealing the perfectly machined medals on their strips of salvaged cloth. Whatever else Leyla has become in the years since she found art as a way to escape the bleakness of Derry's streets, she hasn't lost her touch. Each disc perfect, precise, beautifully machined after hand molding. "Sagittaron." The cloth necklace, for lack of a better term, is a neatly stitched strip of some traditional garment.

For quite some time, Trask simply regards the medal, callused fingertips still grazing. Pensiveness personifies him, although there is something in his countenance that is forlorn. Eventually, he quietly clears his throat and carefully wraps the precious item. "Long overdue…" is murmured. One by one, he unwraps, admires, and re-wraps the medals he commissioned. "This is…" Again, another quiet clearing of his throat as if that will somehow dislodge the emotionality he fears creeping into his voice. "This…" The words don't really come. "You do your kin proud, Aydin. Your family. Your Fleet."

There's no time limit on opening your gifts, even the ones you commissioned made for you. But in the end it's work both of them did. Boots to collect the pieces and to live the experiences, Leyla to take what he brought back and fashion it into objects as close to perfection as her human hands could make them. No poking, prodding or questionable needling, as Kal lingers longer over the first one than the latter ones, "You are my family now, Kal. My kin." Like Maggie, Like Bran, like Bunny, and little Kalli. Like all of the Air Wing, "Honours to your service."

There is no real reaction to his being called kin. In all likelihood, the CVW-14 is considered his clan, and the BSG-132 his tribe. That is, after all, a typically Taurian outlook, and he is very much a bull. "And all honors to yours, Aydin," relayed perhaps a touch somberly. Sure, the emotionality can largely be blamed on symptoms of withdrawal, but there is more than that at play. With a final glance, Bootstrap then carefully closes and locks the case. "Thank you for this." Beat… two… three… "And for the one you'll make for Mastiff. I'll see if Jesse is willing to lend some bloody tatters of his fatigues." For the ribbon, presumably.

That is indeed the Taurian way. But a few words to make sure that both she and the SL are on the same wavelength never hurt anyone. "How far we've come from that day I offered to put mine on the table if you did, isn't it, Boots?" That first maiden flight in the skies above the bombed out remains of southern Sagittaron. And then, more gently, "I still have some pieces left over from Sagittaron…if you want them." Nor nearly as many pieces as the pieces of lives and loves left behind on a lost world, but some, better than none. "I would appreciate that. I left my ideas for a design at the bottom. If you want something else…" Leyla steps back, sensing the man's need for solitude. "You're welcome."

"It's amazing how much can happen in so little time," the man murmurs, probably referencing more than what Leyla has just recalled. Momentarily closing his eyes, Trask's left hand lifts to lightly the hair at the top of his head. Nothing like a little bit of pain to clear the senses. "Nah," he says, looking to the pilot and looking more like his usual self. "You took my piddly doodles and made them something worthy of their intended recipients. That's talent." Good-naturedly, he flashes a small, self-deprecating smile. "It's also all that I wanted… apart from one for Mastiff an' anything else that should be commemorated down the line." Enough with the sentimentality, he easily shifts into, "Anything else?" In the 'you need something from your SL?' variety.

"The world can change…and we can stay the same." Yes, so little time and yet, nothing is the same anymore. "Sometimes…a moment can be enough to last a lifetime." Now that she's standing, Leyla gathers back up the work she brought in with her. Not the crate, but her laptop and the papers that go along with it. "No, Boots, I'm straight. When I have the maquette ready for Mastiff, I'll bring it to you." With everything gathered, Leyla lifts a gloved hand, reaching out, not to touch Kal's arm, and the new tatau there, but to hover in the air above it. The closest she usually gets to anyone. But the sentiment is the same. And her voice, when it comes again, is her BC-inflected Taurian, «Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.» And with that, turning her face, not to the sun, but towards the hatch and the back of the room, Leyla heads off in that direction.

"Not forever," is quietly mused about staying the same. "Adapt or die." Not quite sardonic nor rueful or self-deriding, but close enough kin. As the pilot departs, all that Bootstrap adds is, "«Only your own…»" But that amounts to something, right? One can hope.

OOC Note: Whakamānawa is a Māori word which means, as a verb, to bless or to honour, and as a noun, a tribute, honour, award, or prize. As used for the purposes of this log, both meanings apply equally well.

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