PHD 243: Difference Of Opinion
Difference of Opinion
Summary: Questions are asked, answers given, and it all goes south somewhere.
Date: PH243 (17 Dec 2009)
Related Logs: Warm Hearth

Battlestar Hestia, Deck 14, Ready Room
IC Time: Post Holocaust Day #243
OOC Time: Thu Dec 17 20:44:17 2009

The Ready Room is used for pre-flight briefings for the Hestia's Viper and Raptor pilots. It is arranged much like a classroom, with row of tiered chairs facing a podium that sports the squadron logos on its veneered front. Each orange vinyl chair has a small fold-out desktop for taking notes. The front of the room is lined with large display panels to show mission details or review post-flight video footage that can be loaded from a computer terminal instead of the old-fashioned projector still affixed in the rear of the room. On the starboard wall is the whiteboard showing flight schedules and wing assignments - each pilot identified only by their callsign. The Hestia seal is displayed proudly over the hatch entrance, while other awards and accommodations line the walls.

The ready room's silent and quite peaceful, tranquility broken occasionally by footsteps here and there. Roubani is sitting at one of the computer terminals that one would use to load up data getting ready for the projector. Left hand on the mouse, right used to brace his cheek, he's been scrolling through information for a few hours now. Public files pertaining to the Hestia's Air Wing and its various dealings.

The hatch opens and the CAG steps in, a tray of food in hand. She's got something other than the traditional fare down in the mess. It looks like some kind of broth with dry veggie bits sprinkled in it. There is, of course, a large mug of coffee to go with, and a stack of folders tucked under her arm in addition. Her hair is pulled back into a tail, as usual when on duty. She crosses the room, headed for her desk. Her eyes pass briefly over the monitors.

Not long after her, the hatch opens again, admitting Lt. Sparro as well. Striding in, he first sees the monitors and nods… seems Rou's project continues apace. His attention is soon diverted, however, to the CAG, and he walks over to her. "Sir… if I could have a moment of your time?"

Text. Lots of text. Flight logs, at least what a JG's clearance has available for Roubani to be reading over. As he registers movement and someone's voice he looks up, dark eyes appearing over the screen edge. They track the mostly unfamiliar Sito for a second, and then he rises politely from the chair. "Sirs." His thumb taps a few keys, shutting things down.

Sito puts down her tray then tosses the folders to the side with a slap of papers. She slides into her seat, then glances up as she's addressed. "Have a seat. I'm gonna eat while you talk." She nods to the chair across from her desk, then reaches for her coffee.

Roubani nods back to Sparro. Since he hasn't been shooed out, he doesn't close the last file he was poking at, just sitting back down and returning attention back to the screen for the time being. The down arrow at least doesn't make noise when it's tapped.

"Thank you, sir." Sparro says, sitting across from her. With a quick nod and thumbs up to Rou, he turns back and looks her in the eyes. "I wanted to talk to you about my career, sir. My record is pockmarked enough that it seemed appropriate to put it all on the line with you, if you don't mind my saying so."

Sito nods slightly. "I would agree your personal standin' with me is also somethin' that might be termed a little colorful." She takes up her spoon, and regards the older man across the table. "I give all my pilots a chance ta stow their shit an' fly right. Lieutenant at your age has some baggage. Why don't ya pop open a couple pieces and gimme the short version of why you're so damn near coronary age with Louie pins?"

Roubani nods back to Sparro. He glances at the screen, then back at the two talking, and makes a judgment call on this one - shutting down the last file he was looking at he gathers up the folders sitting next to him and pushes his chair into the the table, tucking his things into the crook of one arm.

Sparro smiles at that. "A deep and abiding fear of desk jobs, sir." His smile softens slightly as he continues. "For a long time… and when I say that you know that it means something… all I had was my Raptor and my wing. No family I would choose to speak of, no ma and pa civillian I was aching to send my pay to. Captains didn't seem to last long… gotta make room for the young bucks, after all. So I made a choice. Four times, I was slotted for promotion, as I am sure my record shows. Four times, I was charged with a demerit strong enough to prevent the promotion but not to have me chucked out on my wrinkled butt." He looks at her straight in the eyes. "I felt I was choosing death in fiery Raptor over death by retirement."

Sito regards the pilot for a moment, and takes her time to take a few bites of soup as he relays the tale. There are a lot of personnel records to look through, and either the CAG hasn't looked through Sparro's yet, or she's looking for his perspective to compare. "What is it made you think you're worthy now, after frakkin' it up so many times? Why the interest?"

Roubani watches the side of the CAG's face as he packs up his things, taking advantage of their conversation to spend a few minutes studying his new CO. Whatever's noticed is simply filed away for now, this not exactly being a time for introductions, and he makes his way quietly out to leave them in peace for a few minutes.

"Well for starters, most of the desks are radioactive by now." His lips don't even quirk at his own joke. His brow furrows… this is clearly a question that he has asked himself, frequently. "I was always 'worthy,' sir. They wouldn't have offered those promotions, otherwise." His tone is simple, matter of fact. "I have more flight hours than any two eltees from the Kharon combined, and I suspect the same is true of Hestia pilots. My action record is clean as an Athenian Priestess and with no small number of commendations for bravery and skill. I am an accomplished Flight Instructor, though I was never used in that capacity aboard Kharon, and even though my reaction time has slowed somewhat in the last few years, I am still among the best Raptor drivers left in the universe." He sighs. "What has changed is that if the human race is to have a future, we need the best to step up. And I am among the best, sir. I don't like the idea… but when the time comes for you to advance your pilots, I should be at the head of that line. And this time, I won't fra… mess it up."

The blonde doesn't give a lot away with her expression, and her voice can be misleading to those not used to the particular flavor of Aerelonian drawl. "Most of them that ride desks bein' dead has no bearin' on your worthiness, Lieutenant. I don't know who in their right mind would offer more'n one to a man who throws it away. Promotion ta Captain ain't gonna land you a desk if you got chops in the cockpit. Your flight hours don't concern me." The blonde puts down her spoon and sits back in her chair. She regards the man sitting across her desk with a level gaze, green eyes focused, "If you were among the best, you'd have your own squad. The fact that most ever'body else is dead just means you got lucky. You do somethin' impressive and we'll talk again. It's more than flight hours, more than hands on, more'n any of them things you mentioned." She reaches for her coffee once more. "You say best, all I see is an agin' Louie doens't wanna be bossed folks he hasn't displayed much respect for. Change my mind, change your fellow Wing's mind. Next level up is all about solid character all the way around the block."

"I am not asking for a handout, sir. I wasn't expecting a promotion at the table. What I am asking is for you to kick my ass to see if I can take it." He leans forward. "I want you to make me one of your flight instructors. I have done it before and was damned good at it, sir. And the things that make me a good flight instructor would also make me a good Captain." He smiles. "You couldn't know it without seeing it yourself. So what I am asking is for you to look. Because I am certain that when you do, you will see that the experience I bring to the table is worth lightyears more then twenty commendations for proper behavior in dress."

"I haven't seen those qualities out of you yet, Lieutenant." Sito sips from her coffee, watching him. "At present, I wouldn't consider you for Captain. Like I said. Character all the way around. You don't need an FI spot to improve this wing. I promote because a pilot has served their fellows, demonstrated sound leadership, judgment, and kept others alive. All that experience means is you lived. Don't write you a pass as good with anything other than a stick. You'll also behave yourself, and follow the orders of your superior officers. While I'm at it, since you brought up behavior, if any conflicts of interest arise because your girlfriend is your SL, I'll pull you both so fast you'll think the entire war was a dream."

Sparro turns his head slightly. "Service like towing back Captain Marek and eltee Black under fire in the middle of the fight that nearly killed the Kharon, sir? My experience is in more than dodging bullets. And you can ask Captain Marek… I have never disobeyed an order… even if I thought the order was idiotic at the time. And with due respect, my behavior with you as my CAG is spotless. I showed less than your due respect when you were the CAG from another ship sticking her nose in at an incredibly delicate time with the subtlety of a rhino in a tea shop And for that, I have already apologized. My experience means that I have made a boatload of mistakes. And I've learned from all of them." He smiles. "I discounted you unfairly because of the circumstances with our first meeting. As a graduate with honors from the school of hard knocks, I am giving you my advice to not duplicate my mistake. That is all I can ask for."

"Did your mama drop you on your head?" Sito shakes her head, puts down her coffee. "A superior officer does not stick their nose in, Lieutenant. Do not make me repeat myself. You may be a little hard of hearin' and confusing age with skill, so let me say this in small words so you get it: Don't act like you deserve somethin' you ain't earned. Your age just means your reaction's slower and your vision's goin'. Don't ask me for a promotion until you can get through a conversation without reflectin' badly on everyone you served under before me."

Sparro is quiet for a moment, but then he nods. "Fair enough, sir." His eyes look tired… disappointed. "But again… not asking for a promotion. Just the right to earn one." He stands and salutes.

"If dumb was dirt, you'd cover 'bout half an acre. Like I told you when you came in, you get your head out of your ass, you, just like any other pilot under my command has a shot at promotion. Given how firmly wedged up there it is at present, Lieutenant, y'all gonna busier'n a one legged man in a but kickin' contest." Sito finishes her coffee, thunks down the empty mug on the desk, and drops her hands to the arms of her chair. Her voice carries across the room pretty well when she speaks. She isn't what you'd call a wilting little flower. Not delicate, not quiet. "You're a frak up from way back, but it's your present behavior trippin' you up. You don't never kick a turd on a hot day. Right now all you got is stompin boots and a mine field of shit."

"Sorry I gave you that impression, sir." Sparro says stiffly. "And sorry for wasting your time. Have a pleasant evening." Saluting again, he walks for the door.

Kai steps through the hatch right on the heel of Sparro's words to the CAG, and sidesteps to allow the Lieutenant to pass, with a curt nod of combined greeting and farewell. He's in full flight gear at the moment, dark hair still sweaty from being trapped under a helmet for four hours. Sito gets a glance as well, but he forgoes a salute in the interests of not interrupting whatever's going on.

Sito watches Sparro depart, though she does not return the salute. She's thinking, her pale eyes on the aging pilot. She slides her spoon into the broth in the bowl on her tray, and gives it a lazy stir. Just as he reaches the door, she says, "For future reference, it's traditional to stand in your salute until it is returned or you are dismissed, Lieutenant." Her eyes flick to Marek, and she watches him for a moment before she nods to the man. "Captain."

Sparro turns on heel, salutes again, and holds the salute. "My apologies, sir. Your last statement seemed dismissive enough as it was."

This would be one of those moments not to piss off the CAG. Marek snaps a brisk salute to his temple, arm held rigidly in place until and unless the woman returns it. His expression betrays nothing of what he thinks of this.. predicament of Sparro's.

Sito's eyes flick again to the Lieutenant. "You're new to my command. It's an honest mistake. I either say Dismissed or get out. Depends on the day and who set fire to my vipers last." She nods to the man. Some of the bite seems to have gone out of his tone at Sparro's correction of his not-quite-dismissed leave taking. She even flicks off a brief salute. "Dismissed," she says, clearly to Sparro, but not Marek. Now that the Captain has wandered into the line of fire, the CAG's eyes turn again to him. "Captain, is there somethin' I can do for you, or did you just come to check the board?"

Dropping the salute, Sparro leaves without another word.

Kai drops his hand, and keeps the other secured around his helmet. Blue eyes flick briefly to Sparro's departing back, then return to Whiplash. There's a twitch of his lips that resolves into neither a smile nor a frown. "Actually, Captain, I came to see if you had time to discuss that training schedule. I know my predecessor-" He stumbles over that word a bit. "-had one up, but I'll like to change up some of her drills and try a different rotation or two. If.. this isn't a bad time." His voice is flat, lacking the inflection at the end that the question ought to hold.

"Now m'damn soup's cold." Sito nudges the bowl of broth on the tray. The little dry veggie bits have semi hydrated in the liquid. She glances up and nods to the seat across from her, shoving the tray away. "It's not a bad time. I just asked the Lieutenant about his history, he gave it, then supplied me with his self assessed qualifications for a promotion in rank." She makes a little nose dive motion with her hand, "It went down hill from there." She nods to her fellow Captain. "Take a load off. You didn't get made SL ta sit on your ass. Changes are welcome and encouraged. Anything that makes my pilots better won't get you shipped off to bunk down in Deck 10 storage. It's colder than a frosted frog in there."

Colder than a what? "I'll try to overlook the irony in your request then," the other pilot murmurs, suppressing a smile as he eases his bulk into the chair, and sets his helmet on the floor. His flight suit's unzipped a couple of inches, his nose vigorously scratched in absent male fashion. Or maybe absent Saggie male fashion. Savages, all of them. "Birdman's got the years, and he knows his shit. But his attitude stinks more than a backed up septic tank, some days." He tugs his gloves off one by one, and drops them by his helmet. "I'd like to start running some penetration strike operations. Hit and run tactics, using the my squad and the Kharon, possibly, as aggressor forces."

A frosted frog, gosh. Get with the lingo, Saggie. Sito regards Kai for about three beats before she says, tone flat. "S'real funny, Marek." May-rek. Oh gods. "I knew that smell was familiar." She's probably referring to the stinky tude. Probably. "Traditionally, the Aces run as aggressor. Strikes are some of my favorites. You want permission, you got it. Just shoot me lists of the personnel and equipment you'll need ahead of time so I can nod real stoic like an do all them other CAG things."

Kai leans to one side slightly, pulls a couple of folded sheets of paper out of his flight suit pocket, and unfolds them with a soft crackle before sliding them across the desk to her. "Personnel." He indicates the first page, then flips to the second. "Equipment." Blue eyes come back up to hers. "I've also got some suggestions on recalibrating the mark twos that I think will improve their performance." Mark IIs are touchy machines. "But I can talk to the Chief about that, if you prefer."

Sito reaches for the pages are they slid over. She glances briefly over one, then the other. Her eyes come back up to regard the other pilot. "I always like to know what all goes on with my vipers. Flowers is still a little iffy on full disclosure. All communications for any permanent mods go through me. You want to fiddle with your own for a temp run, just shoot me notice so if it explodes, I know who started it." She's probably joking on that last bit, but it's really not that clear.

Kai nods curtly. "Understood. I'll put together a report for you, then, Captain. It's been a while since I've flown the twos, and they sure as shit aren't for the faint of heart." There's a glimmer of a smile in his eyes, even if it doesn't reach his lips. "I'll leave you to your dinner, then. I've got about an hour before I rack out, if you want me to bring something else up for you." He reaches for his helmet and his gloves, the chair giving a soft creak as he eases back to his feet again.

"You're right about that, Captain. I prefer them, some days. Can be like goin' from a sporty mini to a full size with a load in the trunk." Sito's reply is a little colorful, but not impossible to understand. Probably. "Unless you have a peach orchard in your back pocket, Captain, I'll be fine up here on my own." She nods to the man, without mentioning his name lest it be butchered. A small mercy, though intentional? Again, hard to say. "Watch your six in the twos. Booster flies hot and has been known to come close to kissin'."

"That's twice you've warned me about Booster, Captain," Marek points out, voice still flat and devoid of much inflection. He's also not one for perfect posture when not called to attention; his slouched shoulders and stooped, dark brows give him the look of a ruffian at best. There's a clatter of buckles as he hoists up his helmet, and shoves his gloves into a back pocket of his flight suit. "If she gives me trouble, I'm not afraid to trade a little paint. I've had my share of lovetaps. She'll learn to keep her distance." He sounds confident about that, without being cocky.

Sito just smiles. It's not a wide, or overly amused smile. It's just a Sito smile. She nods once. Her posture remains good, back straight, though not uncomfortably so. Seems to be just how she was raised, or has become accustomed. "I'm sure all of my pilots will learn something from you, Captain. You don't strike me as the fragile type."

Kai's eyes drift over the woman absently while she speaks. It, likewise, isn't a leer so much as an assessment being made without pretense otherwise. "Sure I'll learn something from them in return," he answers, low-voiced. "Everyone's got their story." He watches her a few seconds more, then straightens to a crisp salute. "Permission to be dismissed."

"Not sure you'll be too thrilled about all the things you'll learn," Nini replies. She sounds amused there, but the smile only barely touches her eyes. "Everybody's got a stories. Some got a few." Her eyes remain on him as she returns the salute. There could be an implication there, but she doesn't take it any further. "Granted. Have a good one, Marek." Yep. Still butchered.

Karim, fortunately, is once again able to repress the urge to correct her pronunciation of his name. His mouth pulls into a lopsided smile that's half grimace, and he drops his salute before offering the blonde a crisp nod. "You as well, Captain." Then he turns on his heel and thumps off for the hatch. The flight board gets a glance on his way by, and his sweaty curls get a few fingers dragged through them as he vanishes around the corner.

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