MD #269: Checking In and Checking Up
Checking In and Checking Up
Summary: Petra calls in Emily and Atticus to check if they're okay, and to see if they have any ideas to help those rescued from Picon more recently.
Date: 02/01/2018
Related Logs: None
Petra Atticus Emily 
XO Stateroom - Deck 2 - Battlestar Orion
The XO's Stateroom is not nearly the size of the Admiral's, but the allowance of personal space is not taken for granted. There is a small couch that has been pushed against the wall by the bed at the rear of the room. To the side are several lockers next to the entrance to the personal head and on the other is a desk against the wall.

So things have been a Little Busy lately and before the settle down into a dull roar, Petra's taking advantage of a small pause in the chaos to flag down both Atticus and Emily to come up to his stateroom at midday. Whenever they do arrive, the hatch is open as usual with the Commander seated behind his desk, staring at his datapad with a furrowed brow. There is, of course, the typical gigantic mug of coffee close by that still steams from the heat, and the room reeks of the second pot he's already got brewing. At this point, the assigned MPs outside in the hall probably have a contact buzz from the caffeine.

When Atticus arrives he still has a mandated MP with him to make sure he isn't jumped in the hallways or such, she seems perfectly happy to linger outside with her colleague though and he enters through the hatch alone. So far todays he's done a training run, and then a few hours of classroom learning so is ready for a break, although an impromptu trip to the XO is not quite what he had in mind, however much he likes Petra. Unsure if this is a business or social call he opts for the safest option and straightens to attention once inside, offering a clipped, "Recruit Ommanney reporting Sir."

Emily probably has no idea why she is being called up to the XO's office. But when Atticus is seen heading that direction also, she can connect a few dots. She's in her camouflage uniform and coming off some fireteam patrol when word had been passed. She got her armor off and went on up to the Rare Air on Deck Two and knocked on the open hatch before standing beside Atticus. "Sir, reporting as requested, Commander." Well well. Emily has grown into her uniform and looks every mile the part - until she opens her mouth. Her way of speaking will probably always give her away.

Petra perks his head up to look when Atticus appears, and lingers for a moment, conveniently long enough for Emily to appear in the hallway behind him. With that noted, he sits up and swipes his datapad into idle before clearing his throat, "Come in, both of you. Someone kick the hatch closed behind, please?" He takes a moment to tug his vest a little straighter, before adding, "And at ease. have a seat. Coffee's fresh if you need a pick me up. Unless I've completely misread the duty roster, neither one of you have an assignment for at least an hour, right?"

Atticus moves instinctively to close the hatch, that is not a thing for Ladies after all… then pauses mid-close and flashes Emily an apologetic look. Old habits die hard. Still, he's there and doing it so he finishes the job then moves to sit down as requested. He skips the coffee for now, leaving the way open for Emily if she so desires, then nods in confirmation to Petra. It's his lunch break, but one missed meal isn't going to kill him. Gunnery Sergeant Knox might just yet, but skipping lunch won't. "No Commander," he adds to make it clear, "not for another hour."

At ease? Coffee? Don't mind if I doooo! Emily smiles, "Thank you, sir." She's about to move for the door and sees Atticus doing it. Eyes meet and she gets it. She's found herself thinking a little differently lately but breaking free of automatic gestures and such is proving harder than expected. She moves for coffee and pours a mug. "That is correct, sir. I've completed my rotations for the day." She moves back to the offered chair and sits, waiting.

Petra waits long enough to listen to both, nodding slowly in acknowledgement before clearing his throat, "I won't keep you the whole hour then. Just making sure I won't be making you late for any duty by pulling you both aside for just a moment." With that said, he reaches for his own mug and takes a second to drain a large portion of it, setting it back down before asking, "So we're about to launch a new offensive and start taking the fight directly to the Skath, using some of the information we got from Rozzer's folks, and it occurred to me that I haven't checked in with either of you or your COs to see how you both are doing. Things making sense? Feel like you've found a place?"

"Slowly," Atticus admits, apparently quite happy to be frank in the present company. "Some things are easier than others, some will take time though. THe training is hard, but not that difficult, if that makes sense, and it felt good to be advising Gunnery Sergeant Ynyr on cavalry tactics down on Picon. I felt useful, like I was able to contribute because I was me, rather than simply contributing by carrying a gun and knowing how to use it." He hopes that makes sense, but doesn't pause to clarify before pushing on. "Other things less so. I know I've already spoken to you about the Lords of Kobol for one. Another is that habits and attitudes long ingrained are hard to shift, no matter how much I know they're wrong. One of the Sergeants teaching hand to hand is female to pick one example, my thinking head knows she's very capable, but there's still that instinctive reaction to dismiss her and to my shame I have managed to stop that yet."

Emily crosses her legs and keeps that posture. Her mug is held in fingertips of both hands like a teacup. The look on her face indicates that being pulled aside is no trouble. Listening to Atticus, she glances over at him when he mentions being more useful than just carrying a rifle. That's all she can do at the moment. Her eyes move down but she does not comment on it, then looking to Petra when Atticus finishes. "I feel I am with people whom I trust. 'Family' will take time, but that foundation is there. I have had some trouble adapting. I have had to get counseling from Doctor Nadir to help me transition into this life. She's explained and help me understand things that men are not going to understand. To that end, Rance has been more of a father than I have ever had and shown me a way forward in life. We are still working on that. Overall I am in a much better place than I was when berthed with the Naval Enlisted. Safer. More confident. And like Atticus I have had problems with the ingrained things. I find that while I think the changes the Clerics made in my head may have taught me a lot of behaviors I cannot just slough off." At least Emily is being honest about this rather than evasive. She does not seem scared, though, and looks much healthier all over for it.

Petra rumbles softly at Atticus, "Well, when she kicks your ass a few times, it will be easier to get those thoughts out of your head, trust me on that." He stifles a small little smirk at that comment, settling back down as he listens to Emily, pursing his lips for a moment, then nodding slowly in understanding, "No one will be expecting you to forget things you've spent the last two decades with, in the span of a couple of months, and anyone that does, is probably not someone that's been on this boat for very long. My concern is that this is going to get very ugly very fast, and if there are issues going on right now that either of you think are not improving, well, we need to know now. It SOUNDS like, however, that things will eventually be fine, just with a little more time, and THAT, we can work with. Whether you like it or not, in a few more months, you two are going to be part of the old farts helping the new recruits fit in, so hang on to that feeling you have right now, for a while. It will help you relate to them in the future." With that said, he tapes the fingers of one hand to the edge of the desk and glances down at his idle datapad, before lifting his gaze up to each of them in turn, "Do either of you have any questions, or something you want to bring to my attention, while we have a chance here? As we eventually return to the colonies and airlift more people away, its quite likely there are going to be more people in the positions you two were in, so the problems you ran in to are not going to be isolated."

"I think," Atticus replies thoughtfully, "that if you're looking for where there might be bumps in integration that you might want to talk to Sawyer, in medical." He's not entirely sure on Yari's current rank, hence leaving it off, but he hopes it's clear enough who he means. "I think, unless there are specific plans in waiting, that her experience might be the more typical for most of the people you're likely to rescue. Her's and those we pulled from Picon a couple of weeks ago. Ours," he glances briefly to Emily, "are, I suspect, going to be rarer." That said though he takes a deep breath and considers. "If you're anticipating large numbers then perhaps some sort of organised information source. Mentors, or even pamphlets for those who can read. Something to just cover the basics that people can be given. A list of who to ask for what, or what various things are, perhaps a potted history of the world outside whatever colony you pull them off. The Gods. Or maybe some sort of drop-in onboard, once a week or something.." He shrugs faintly, running out of ideas for now.

Mm. Yes. Petra's words seem to summarize Emily's thoughts well enough. "I think it important to pass that I believe that the troubles I continue to have are not just improving, but should not hold me back from doing my part, sir. I am not terribly useful at the moment but I am endeavoring to be more than a rifle, sir." She waits for Atticus to finish before she begins to echo his words, "I think that you will find women do not desire to be in the places that they are. Many men do not wish their wives and daughters to be in those places, but that will be the way of things. Especially if the Skath have been there a long time. I do not know how many royals you will find that are sympathetic to your cause, but I have to believe they are out there. Somewhere." Her lips sip from the coffee and she ends up looking at it, holding it, realizing something. "Sir, these people that come from places like our own? Do not make them dependant upon the fleet. If you drop supplies, drop useful items like tools and books. Games. I cannot express how lucky I am that I was literate. On Picon I was probably one o the youngest, somewhat literate women. When we free places, education will be so important."

Petra grunts softly, "At the start of the Second War, Iphigenia had started a 'welcome to Piraeus' class, to sort of give new arrivals a crash course in things. It sounds like maybe we need to find some volunteers at Pitchfork to start that kind of work again. Not really something one would ever think you'd need to save the blueprint for, right?" He pauses there to nod at Emily, "The society we come from and what we represent is one where anyone can be anything they damned well want to be, as long as they have the skill for it, and if they don't have the skill, there are opportunities to learn those skills. We are here to defend and keep safe, not to provide for or house or otherwise support, This is why setting Pitchfork up was so important. Re-establish people somewhere they can start a new settlement. Create lives that do not NEED us there. Eventually such that they are able to form a democratic government again, because ultimately, we are supposed to be ANSWERING to the government of the Colonies, and right now, we aren't, to be blunt. Really at this moment, no one is giving the Admiral or myself orders - we're making them all ourselves, and that's NOT how it's supposed to work. So, we understand. We're working on that, but thank you for reinforcing it. Does anything else come to mind?"

Atticus shakes his head slowly, he can't immediately think of anything else that Emily hasn't covered. He does chip in to support one thing she said though, "many of the kids won't be able to read or write, some of the adults may well have forgotten. Some form of class, formal or informal, to ensure everyone is literate once more should be a high priority. The kids will struggle though, those who've known nothing else," he glances momentarily to Emily, then back to Petra. "There's a lot of conditioning to break down. I'm struggling, and I have memories of before to draw on, for some it will be a culture shock the may struggle to come to terms with."

"I wish I could have seen Piraeus. The many stories about it call imagery of a magical place where miracles happen." Emily seems to understand that it is a planet and not a far away land with unicorns and fairies and gumdrops. "The idea that a government is elected by people, the pe-" she almost said 'peasantry' but right.. that's not the PC word. "public, this is terrifying to me. Just the idea makes me very nervous sir." Given her background, no surprise. What sort of things would the public do to an abusive royal family once they were deposed? On Bominaire they were hung after Smokejumper - not that Emily knows anything about that. What else comes to mind? Ponies! "Sir, some of the Marines do not know how to ride horses. In places where the Skath have destroyed everything, no roads and no way to fuel your vehicles. Horses will be the best way to get around. Marines will need to learn to ride and take care of their horses and riding gear. I think Atticus would be best to teach others how to fight from a horse, but I can teach care and how to ride in general as well."

Petra nods slowly at Atticus, "An educated populace makes better decisions for everyone, so if we can establish basic educational classes on Pitchfork, that would be preferable. People that can read and write tend to think more critically and be better educated on how the world works." He trails off when Emily talks about horses, and purses his lips, "That's going to be harder to arrange, as I don't THINK we have any horses at Pitchfork, but we'll keep that on our 'shopping list', so to speak, for our next landing. You have a valid point, however, and Atticus, if you can think of some basic points to communicate to your fellow Marines without actually having a horse here to demonstrate with, Im sure that will be more helpful than nothing."

"There are horses down there," Atticus notes, "mostly those farmers brought with them, but myself and Gunnery Sergeant Ynyr rode two trained war horses back to the landers when we were last on Picon. I do not know what has become of them since, but they were lifted off world and brought back here." He considers the rest of what Petra says for a moment then continues, "I think enough marines ride that it should be feasible to make several passable as knights at a glance. Those militia that ride tend to be less well versed in the saddle. We have a few swords now, and enough gear that we could outfit a group if required. Pistols obviously are easier to get hold of here. I think it's sword work though that would be needed to help most pass more easily, and also the basics of cavalry tactics, so they know how to plan fights when knights are present. Like spiking the ford as we did on Picon. That sort of thing."

"yessir we have horses. And if there are horses, there are saddlemakers and people making riding leathers." Emily doesn't know as much about this discussion, but is doing her best to remain afloat with it. "The fact that there are not female knights may create problems if anyone gets too close or we must dismount. I do not know if.." She trails. Em is still trying to get comfortable with how this all works. Suddenly suggesting male knights or women riding with knights just strikes her as something she would immediately be beaten for suggesting. There's a flinch with it when she stops and looks down to the mug. "I still have some of my dresses and my official cloak. I hold no fear of donning it again and playing the part if it would allow easier crossing of lands." She looks back to PEtra, chin lifted slightly. Damn, there's pride on that face. Pride in being royal?

Petra mmms softly, "Likely I missed that being called out on someone's AAR report then. If we HAVE horses, then we certainly ought to be educating our ground forces on being able to ride them, considering the Skath like to remove technology. I'll talk to the Gunny about perhaps arranging some additional assignments for you both to help leverage what you're good at in educating your fellow Marines in such. I suspect old farts such as myself are better sticking to what we're used to, but we might as well make sure the actual calvary can, well, ride in like the calvary, yes?" With that said, he smiles a little, lingering for a moment before sitting up and asking, "Alright then. I've probably kept both of you longer than I intended, but it was important to see how things were going. Before I let you both go, is there anything else you feel I need to know about?"

Atticus nods in silent willingness to teach what he can with regard to teaching then has to pause to consider Petra's closing question. His brow furrows slightly, and he glances to Emily as if she might spark some form of inspiration, but then he just shakes his head. "No Commander, there is nothing I can think of for now. I can send word though, if anything does occur to me?"

"No, sir. I have nothing further. Thank you for the opportunity to speak, sir." Emily doesn't look over at Atticus, but does wait to speak until after he has said what he needed to. She drains the rest of the coffee, preparing to go.

Petra nods once at both and slowly rises to his feet, "Alright then. I'll see what we can do to enact a few classes then, as this is going to come up more often until we actually deal with the Skath issue. In the meantime, make sure your commanders and sergeants hear of any concerns you have, and they'll make sure anything they cannot act on, will get rolled uphill, to me if necessary. Fair enough?" Hey, he even smiled a little, "If so, I'm out of your hair then. Dismissed, and thank you."

Atticus stands as Petra does, drawing himself up smartly, if not quite to attention before they're dismissed. "Will do Commander," he replies with a quick nod, almost for a moment missing their times playing triad while he was in the brig. Not that he has the time for such frivalries now though mind, nor he suspects does Petra, but maybe one day. "Thank you sir," he replies, then waits a moment, letting Emily lead the way out and get the hatch this time.

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