Calm Before the Storm
Calm Before the Storm
Summary: Kai meets his newest pilot, who turns out to be a blast from the past.
Date: PHD091 (Jul 18, 2009)
Related Logs: None

Kharon's Cargo Bay, 18:00 hours

The cargo bay's had its herd of civilians thinned out considerably, in the past day or two. Scuttlebutt is, that the ship's due to return to Scorpia in the next fourty-eight hours, and anyone who hasn't enlisted and been mustered into the Colonial military, is to be dumped back on the surface and left to fend for themselves. Those who had been hoping otherwise are frightened, and the atmosphere is a tense one.

Alex's papers arrive close to last, hand-delivered by a uniformed petty officer who's making his rounds through the milling people. It comes in its own official looking folder, with the stamp of the navy on the top left-hand corner. Orders, of course, are to report to the commander of the air group, post haste. "He should be getting off CAP right about now," the petty officer mumbles with a glance at his watch. "Probably find him in the hangar bay still, if you move it." And then he's shuffling off, and dodging a child who careens past with its mother close behind.

The time in the Cargo Bay had certainly been interesting, retrospective really as Alex had done his best to help the civilians with stories and words, provide just a presence. So many of them seemed in his eyes to be lacking someone to just be there, to listen and help them cope. Now he sits with the folder in his hands, 'the' folder. Turning it over momentarily his legs push him up off the bunk and his feet fall across the deck while moving without much focused thought. Through the halls of the ship they carry him, falling upon the clanging metal that echoes so familiarly in the Colonial ships.

"And this over here Ensign, this is the Hangar Bay." It was that first look, the lines of the Vipers, the deck hands upon them. They shone, they sparkled and they beckoned.

Blinking, Alex looks around the deck of the Hangar Bay and waits patiently for the returning CAP.

Kharon's Main Hangar Bay, 18:30 hours

It's the calm before a storm. The minutes spent in anticipation of a returning group of fighters, and the air of quiet industry that occupies them. The LSO is lurking somewhere nearby, one of his cronies in the signal booth, and several of his deck hands waiting with fuel lines and fire hoses. There's always the possibility that someone'll foul up the deck. Always the possibility that one pilot will make it home safe, only to make a mistake, and crash and burn. Hands-on landings, gotta love 'em.

There's a clamour of sound: klaxxons blaring, people shouting, boots pounding the deck as orange coveralls-clad mechanics swarm the still-smoking fighter. The CAG's shouldered his way to front and centre, and the pilot that drags himself out while his bird's hosed down, is none other than LTJG Marek. Took a bet that he couldn't pull off a magellan at top speed, into a radial G. He pulled it off. And then came in too hot instead of waving off. Godsdamned stupid kid; it wouldn't be the first time he'd had his flight status revoked for pulling something like that.
Suddenly, the deck crew's in motion as the announcement comes over the comms that all fighters are in the trap and secured.

The buzz of activity should have Alex's attention but rather his dark eyes seem to gaze past all of it as he stands there watching the Vipers getting cooled off and refueled, the deck crew moving like an organized flurry of ants. He sidesteps as someone drags a hose past him, watching the pilots clambor out of their birds.

".. and that's another thing Ensign, don't let me ever catch you standing around gawking at the deck crews like that again." The young faced pilot blinks and grins a bit towards the croaning of the CAG as they push forward. It had almost been amusing, at least to the point Alex can't hide it from his bright eyes, hearing the CAG's language be tested by some pilot pulling moves that were impressive if not foolish. Naturally the Ensign waits a moment then steps forward to follow behind the CAG towards the Jig who is about to get reamed.

Alex's footfalls start forward towards the Vipers, particularly the one that seems most likely to be where Kai is.

The Captain's the first to climb out, as soon as the ladder's secured against his fighter and the attending petty officer's scaled it, and helped him with his helmet and seat harness. He gives her a curt nod, but doesn't quite make eye contact, much less smile. "Stick's loose," he murmurs, demonstrating with his hand around the thing, and a good shove forward then back again. "Tell the Chief to stop cutting corners on my bird." She, probably, is doing no such thing. Marek's just a picky bastard. There's a mumble that sounds like 'yes, sir' and a salute snapped to once the pair are on the deck, and then Kai's handed his checklist and left to his own devices. He ambles around in a slow circle, sweaty and helmet headed, pencil in hand.

The CAG's chastisement breaks off, as he finds a more suitable target for his aggravation. The sullen and oft-contemptible Jig whom he's cornered a safe distance from the damaged viper. The kid's getting quite the lecture over there. Ensign Nikolo is joined by one of the technicians, who quietly informs him that "sometimes it just isn't your day" followed by, "hotshots don't last long around here".

"You look like you've never seen a mark seven before. Need a handkerchief for your chin?" It's Kai, clipboard in hand, and helmet tucked under the other arm while he fixes Alex with a steady look.

Alex looks up at Marek and laughs softly shaking his head, "Mark VII's? Peg was on the frontline with them there slick." Slick, he just called the CAG slick. But then again he isn't really lined in yet fully. Lifting up the folder he motions a bit, "Got my papers it looks like huh? You're not terrified by that?" There's a grin of confidence.

Nikolo blinks and nods towards the Tech. "Not me really. Not a hotshot in the least, especially on this ship." Alex nods sagely before looking back towards the CAG that is getting his lecture on, chuckling. "See me? I fully intend to be a CAG one day. Can't do that if you act like well, that guy over there." He motions towards the pilot getting chewed out.

"Still ripping on the deck hands for your flips?" Alex asks nonchalantly while walking over towards Kai."

"Lowest rung on the ladder, Nikolo. Always offload blame down, not up." Alex probably knows Kai well enough, to spot the sarcasm in his voice. Subtle though it is. He's a hardass, but he owns up to his mistakes.

"You?" The technician looks Alex up and down, and smiles crookedly. "Yeah, I could see it." Hard to say whether she was making an objective assessment of the Ensign, or just an objective assessment of his physical assets. Either way, she's blushing a little. "Nobody seems to have it in for you yet, anyway. But you only just got here. Give it a week."

"Also," Marek continues, "you'll address me as 'sir' in duty areas. You'll salute, and you'll do up your fly. You've always been a sloppy little shit. I don't know how you made it on the Pegasus for so long." The folder's opened, and its contents briefly skimmed before being shut and tucked under the man's arm.

Alex lifts his shoulders a bit in a shrug directed towards Kai. "I made it on the Pegasus because you know the Ice Queen. Follow enough orders and be the best." A smirk touches his lips though as he grins and tacks on a "Sir" just to make it clear it was an after thought.

Alex grins a bit towards the Technician before wincing at the brow beating the young Jig is getting. "What's that guys story? Some kind of hot shot out to prove he's the best or something?"

"So what's the status on this boat for y'all anyway? You short, over loaded on numbers?"

The Jig is standing at attention, hands locked together behind his back, and a slight jut to his chin while his CO reams him out. His lower lip's trembling a little, and when he tries to speak, it comes out more like a hoarse whisper— prompting the CAG to get up in his face even more. It's all kinds of painful to watch.

"Dunno. He's usually a pretty quiet guy. Kinda shy. Likes to fly fancy, but you stick jockeys are a bunch of grandstanders at the best of times." She grins at Alex, and jabs him in the ribs with her elbow. "You fresh out of fleet academy? Why'd you join up?"

Kai just watches Alex for a few seconds at the 'y'all', then pulls away to complete his signoff on the bird. A few boxes are checked, a few notes scribbled down. "We're a single overstrength viper squadron against however many raiders the cylons decide to throw at us. We're always short. And we've lost a few people, recently." There's a pause, and then a glance back at Alex. "I need everyone I can get, who knows how to handle a stick. Have they given you your uniforms yet?"

"Nope, don't have a single lick of clothes other than what I've come up with. Which is really quite difficult when I take the Enlisted out on dates." Alex adds the last with a grin to his lips. Oh the rumors that had abounded about him even back in the day.

"To meet enlisted and do things that break regs without getting caught breaking regs." The man looks over at the Deck hand with a grin then a shrug, "Same reason we all do right, make a difference, etcetra." His attention goes back to the Jig getting an ass chewing, "Really? He doesn't seem to be that sharp of a pilot."

"I catch you knocking boots with enlisted, I'll be knocking your ass into the brig, Nikolo." His eyes stay on the Lieutenant, even as a technician returns to take the signed clipboard back. "Same as I'd do to anyone else. Don't you think for a minute that you've got any kind of sweet spot with me." His helmet's hoisted up again, and he starts walking, probably expecting Alex to follow. He isn't the tallest man, but he has the pins— and he has the grr. People move aside.

"Yeah." The deck hand's blushing again when Alex grins at her. "Yeah, make a difference. Me too." She gives the Jig a brief, distracted look when he's mentioned again, and shrugs once. "I guess they don't need to be articulate, to handle a stick. He's good. But he wrecks another bird, and it won't just be the CAG reaming him. Chief's about ready to blow a gasket too." She leans against the handle of her broom, sweeping forgotten for the time being. "You must be pretty good, to get posted here. Or pretty bad." She grins again. "Most pilots I see come through here, are either top notch, or got what they call 'discipline problems'. Sometimes both." She cuts another look toward the Jig.

Alex does in fact fall in and he nods his head. "Understood sir, don't get caught knocking boots with the enlisted, sir." He leaves that with the vagueness it implies.

"I'm the former, I'm good." Alex explains towards the enlisted and grins, "We should catch mess together sometime, but excuse me, I'm going to creep closer, I want to hear this hot shot get torn up so I can make sure not to make the same mistake." He winks a bit towards the tech then moves towards the berating.

"Any major problems on this ship? Or am I going to be your biggest pain in the ass, because if I am, I'll be sorely disappointed."

"..pull a frakking stunt like this again, Marek, and I'm going to rip your balls off and feed them to the marines for breakfast. You little shit. You think that's a joyride, over there? Two million cubits' worth of military property, put here for your godsdamned entertainment? This is not a ballet class, Twinkle Toes. Keep your fancy flying to your wet dreams, and the hell out of my vipers. DISmissed." The CAG, a burly, toad-faced man with a shaved head and a vein currently standing out on his neck, fixes Alex with a withering look while Karim salutes crisply and marches himself past. Growled, "Is there a problem, Ensign?"

"It's a viper squadron. If there weren't any problems, I'd be worried." Kai keeps moving, the occasional glance sent Nikolo over his shoulder as they traverse the hangar bay of the carrier. "That said, I expect you to behave as an officer of the Colonial navy. I expect you to be on time for your shifts, and to provide leadership for the junior pilots." As they reach the stairs, "And I don't tolerate hotshots in my wing."

He pauses as well at the stairs, "I wouldn't expect so." Oh there's distinctly a snicker in his tone as he moves to follow Kai. "Any idea who I'll have on the wing?"

"Nothing at all sir, just attempting to observe and learn from another's mistakes, sir." The crisp reply comes from Alex towards the CAG with an attention look.

"I won't know until I draw up the wing assignments," Kai explains, followed by the sharp clatter of his boots on steel grating, as he descends the stairs. "I'll have them done by tomorrow morning, in time for your first mission. I'm sure you won't disappoint me."

The CAG just sort of stares at Alex for a few seconds, then his mouth twists in something closer to a smirk than a smile. "A straight shooter, huh?" He taps his nose a few times as he steps backward. "I've got my eye on you, Nikolo." Tap, tap, tap. Then he winks, turns around, and heads off across the hangar bay while the deck crew works on assessing the damage to the downed viper. It's always calm, right before the storm. Then it's close your eyes, say your hail frakking marys, and hope for the best.

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