PHD 232: A Bad Time?
A Bad Time?
Summary: Admiral Mehra visits Praxis in his Quarters for a little discussion on the future of the Kharon.
Date: PHD 232
Related Logs: N/A


Praxis is sitting at his desk like he generally does when he's not working in CIC, his pen is scribbling across the page of some minor requisition form. If one were to view the expression on the features of the XO, there's not really much to be gleaned other than some form of exasperation, perhaps a hint of worry. Undoubtedly it has something to do with the uncertainty that is the future of the CEC Kharon. The hatchway into his room is cracked open and anyone who is strolling outside can see in.

There's a few short raps on the hatch, and a pause of approximately ten seconds before it's breached. The officer on the other side is accompanied by a pair of marines on guard duty, rifles at the ready. They're asked to wait outside with a quiet hitch of the woman's chin that explains what the absence of words does not. Then, softly, "Good evening, Captain. I hope I haven't caught you at a bad time."

Praxis' eyes slowly drift from the table upwards to the dark-skinned woman, his pen being gently placed down onto his desk before he stands up, chair skittering backwards but not falling over. He becomes straight as a rod an as formal as humanly possible and then quickly twitches up a salute. He hasn't had to deal with brass much lately, but at least he still remembers how. Hopefully. "Any time is a good time, sir. Please, make yourself comfortable." A hand gestures over to the nice red seat off to the side. There's a glance to the door at the guards, and then his hands clasp together. "I don't suppose there's anything I can get for you, sir? Water? Coffee?" There's a subtle nod towards a cabinet that holds things inappropriate for Condition Two. Demitros turns out to be a good houseguest, too! Of course, being the businessman that he is, he waits for Sabah to get settled and provided she doesn't ask for anything, he pulls up a wooden chair and sits down across from her. "I am hopeful that you know where to start, sir…because I am honestly still rather taken aback."

The marines melt in the proverbial background, within earshot should someone yell, but otherwise ensuring that they aren't underfoot or prying on the conversation that's about to take place. The Admiral smiles slightly, returns the crisp salute, then tilts her head a little to the offer. "I don't suppose you keep any tea? I'm not sure what's been rationed aboard your ship, and what hasn't, by now." A few steps take her toward the offered chair, and she settles into it before crossing her legs slowly. Her dark eyes don't leave Praxis. "As for where to start, why don't we begin by you telling me why the Colonel wasn't available to speak with me." There's a hint of something that could be termed accusation in her voice, but it's difficult to say whom it's aimed at. And the edge is softened considerably by the warmth in her voice.

When the admiral asks for the tea, there's a bit of a smile of Prax's features because the other that resides in this room is big on the whole tea thing. Demitros begins to stroll for a cupboard and opens it, reaching in for a box of tea-bags, the supply of course dwindling like everything else on the vessel. He doesn't comment on the rationing, however he does seem reluctant to answer the question about the Colonel. "On PHD 183, our original commanding officer, Commander Jack Sheridan, was killed in a bombing incident as you may or may not have heard. Colonel Cortez automatically assumed the position the late Sheridan had, and promoted myself to Captain." There is no pride shown as he explains this, thank the Gods. "Colonel Cortez has scarcely come out of his quarters since the event. He has left much of the duty to myself - I have been doing what I can."

Sabah watches the ex-TACCO carefully as he moves to fetch the tea. Her posture remains relaxed, comfortable, and she briefly examines her nails when he launches into an explanation about Cortez's absence. "I've heard a few stories, Captain, but I prefer to get the facts from the source." She smiles a little and lifts her eyes again, studying Praxis while he makes the tea. "In fact, the first thing I'd like to authorise is the release of all duty logs and reports from your department heads to mine, and vice versa. I feel that we should be accountable to one another, and that such information will become invaluable to me if and when a crew merger takes place."

Water is brought to a boil, and Praxis turns his head to look towards Sabah when she mentions releasing the logs and reports. Demitros replies almost without thought, "My sentiments exactly, sir. It is a lot of catchup to to do for the both of us, I imagine - but I understand the reasons and will be sure to facilitate that immediately," he voices. "Actually, I may have been hoping for an officer evaluation at some point." It's strange that someone would actually ask for one, but an overachiever like Praxis had hopes for such even since he was Tactical officer. "The crew merger. Most everyone, including myself - is on edge about the uncertainty of the future. For many of us it is a difficult reality to face however the escort carrier is battered and broken. Complete rooms have been breached. There are concerns about structural integrity. The boarding action in CIC did not help either."

Sabah's smile turns a touch sad as she listens to Praxis speak. Her dark eyes finally rove away from him, and drift over the bulkhead walls that comprise his quarters. "I remember when these ships were new. The latest and the greatest that the fleet had to offer. From an economic perspective, of course. They weren't built for this kind of work. I'm quite frankly shocked that she's held together as well as she has, with what your command's put her through." She licks her lips slowly, then turns back to Demitros. "I will be evaluating you personally, Captain, of course. My executive officer will handle the remainder of your tactical personnel. I'm sure your crew is having a difficult time of things. My CAG and my S2 have told me as much." She continues to watch him steadily. "I've had deck and engineering crews working with yours to inventory the damage you've sustained, and to be frank, it's quite.. extensive. The Kharon's barely useful for more than scrap at the moment, but I don't want to make any final decisions until we're off this rock. Mining operations are set to be completed tonight, and we'll be destroying the site and jumping out to backup coordinates in the morning. After that.." She pauses a moment. "..after that, I'd like to reduce your ship to a skeleton crew, and start bringing people over to the Hestia where capable hands are sorely needed."

If there's a change in Sabah's demeanor, Praxis doesn't notice as he's busy setting teabags into a teapot. He does look over but it's only for a brief moment to nod and regard her. He doesn't comment about remembering when the ships were new … he's kind of on the younger side here and was probably a lot younger or nonexistant when it took place. "We've unfortunately had to extend her use slightly. When you are the only vessel you think that is left in existance, suddenly you must make due with what you were given. I bet with reasonable certainty that you would not believe that we planned to attack the blockade on Solon II shortly before you arrived." Finding a couple of clean mugs, he pours the tea into each of them. "It's been hard on everybody, but I'm relatively certain you have had the same experience. As for reducing Kharon to skeleton…I have not met with my department heads but I am getting an air of concern from my personnel. Whether or not they will be replaced, utilized, respected…I realize that they aren't to be given a choice though I believe they do not want to feel like guests or second-class citizens aboard the Battlestar. Do not get me wrong, sir - I am not complaining myself, I am simply relating to you my perception of things."

Sabah uncrosses her legs, and scoots forward in her chair as the tea is poured and set out, in order to reach for the nearest cup. She wears no rings on her fingers, nor does it look like she ever has. "I find it difficult to believe, but you'll forgive me, Captain, if very little surprises me at this juncture with regards to your ship and her crew." A small, almost secretive smile is intimated there before she takes a sip. "We haven't had much contact with the cylons. The occasional skirmish, yes. But we've stayed out of Colonial space for the most part." She runs her thumb along the rim of her cup, thoughtful for a few moments at Praxis' last words. "Tell me how you feel that could be best accomplished, Captain." She waves her hand. "Not making them feel second class aboard my ship."

"I ceased to be surprised myself since the day the Colonies were attacked," Praxis explains, finally having a seat and drawing his mug into his lap and just holding in there, staring across at Sabah. "Since then I have been continually expecting the unexpected, the most unfortunate scenarios go through my mind. Suddenly nothing surprises me anymore. Until of course, the Battlestar Hestia appears on a reconnaissance mission." Getting to the point, Demitros shakes his head. "I would suggest integration programs. I am not asking for anyone to step down from their position on your vessel because that is entirely realistic. What I do suggest, in the event of such a merger, is that CAPs be comprised of Hestia personnel with Kharon wingmen. Bunk assignments should be cycled such that they are entirely shuffled. Perhaps you see what I am getting at, here. We actively encourage, or should I say, -nudge- our people to become one; I fear if this does not work it will upset the balance so much that shipboard operations will become ineffective."

Sabah nods slowly as Praxis speaks, her focus on him rather than on her tea, though the latter's sipped from occasionally. "You needn't be so humble about your crew, Captain. If you've survived this long, you clearly have some capable men and women serving with you. Credit will be given where credit is due, and my people will step down if they are asked to— just as yours will. There is no dishonour in it. We are people of the Colonial military, and we will do our jobs to the best of our abilities, whatever those jobs entail, now or in the future." She releases a soft sigh. "That said, I do not imagine it will be easy. And your suggestions are good ones. I'll keep them in mind, and I'll expect you to inform your crew of the plan for the next little while. I'll make permanent decisions as to who goes and who stays, once we're out of this system. I would like your input on that, when the time comes, Captain."

"Yes, sir. They are excellent people and very capable officers, you are correct." There is actually some relief in Knight's demeanor as Sabah subtly says that she's going to give a very fair look at the Kharon personnel compared to the Hestia personnel. "I apologize. When I was made the executive officer of this vessel, everything was already in place for me. I had people I could trust, and more importantly, people I had faith in. I had never thought for a moment that any of this would ever change save for further casualties. Adding to our numbers is a very, very wonderful thing but also so very difficult." Ah, a sip of relaxing tea. "I will inform the crew of what will likely take place, sir. I will ensure that they are ready." That much he can do just fine. "Understood, sir. I will procure detailed service records for each of the personnel we shall review, that will in turn cause the decision process to progress more smoothly. My honest input will be imparted without hesitation."

"Excellent, Captain." The Admiral's smile seems genuine, if well practiced. The remainder of her tea is drained, and she turns the cup with the tip of her finger until the handle's pointing away from her. Perhaps some kind of ritual, or some relic of her culture. "I'd like to make this process and quick and as painless as possible. My chief medical officer has a word for it.. which escapes me at the moment." She chuckles softly, draws a breath, and begins easing to her feet again. "I will also review the Colonel's records, in addition to yours, Captain. If you could have him procure them for me."

Praxis stands up and begins to walk towards his desk, one of the drawers being pulled open, fingers curling around a file folder; undoubtedly a service record for one Praxis Demitros. Bringing it over to the Rear Admiral, he hands it to her. "I have ensured that file is up to date and I am certain you will find it a fascinating read. I will immediately procure Colonel Cortez's record as per your orders, but I might as well give you what I have now," the Kharon XO explains. "Sir, before you go - my curiosity can't help but get the better of me here. The Colonel and my fate; to me they appear the most uncertain. Are there any sort of projections as to where we shall most likely end up?" It could be a no brainer - they could be running the skeleton crew.

The folder is accepted, and tucked beneath the woman's arm. She turns slightly to regard the taller officer, mouth curving in a small smile again. "You'll receive your orders when you receive your orders, Captain. I trust you don't have a problem with that?" It's a question, but only barely so. Her velvet voice hides, most assuredly, the fact that she's been judging him since the moment she walked in the door.

Praxis folds his hands behind his back. "Yes sir, not a problem at all." Strangely enough, there was truth to the statement that just flew forth from his lips, as he somehow knew that answer might have come. Demitros is a good boy, very well behaved. Not to mention dressed to impress! "I trust you will have a safe return to the Hestia. In the meantime, I will make every effort to ensure that the impending transition will go smoothly in the case it does take place." Demitros begins to walk the Admiral to the door. Oh man, if Praxis knew for sure that the Rear Admiral was making judgements on him from the moment she walked in, he'd be hitting himself right about now. Can't really say she caught him at his very best.

** END **

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