AWD #083: Elite of the Fleet
Elite of the Fleet
Summary: If these guys are it, pray for us all. Zachary calls Phin and Holtz to carpet for their recent grumbling over certain Cylons.
Date: 30/03/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Any 'Ceres is a Cylon omg' logs
Holtz Phin Zachary 
Ready Room — Deck 2 — Battlestar Orion
Capable of seating every member of the wing with space to spare in its stadium organization, the Ready Room has more than two hundred seats and is the largest room on the ship dedicated to single briefings. Sections of desks were manufactured specifically for this and wrap the width of each level of seating, rolling leather seats positioned at even points through each row. The walls have the tenant squadrons' patches painted on individual panels as well as a Kill Board up to the left side of the dais and podium, the Training Board on the other side to log progress. At the rear hatch, on a barren section of wall, is the framed and cased photo of 'Bad Dog' Ruegger.
AWD #83

While Phin is getting whatever it is that he wants to get, Zachary has been busily working on drawing up mission profiles on the board, looking down at the paperwork he carries in his free hand as he works the marker over the whiteboard, writing down the information that he has on the SABRE missile system. There's a triangulation drawing on the board, with a rough drawing of what appears to be an air park as he draws out a map of the area on Picon.

Phin wanted to get two things. An octagonal file folder, which he has tucked under his arm. And changed into his duty blues, which he managed well within the fifteen. There might be a few wrinkles in the jacket, but he's done his best to press himself into respectable young officer mode. Eyes flit to the board. Hey, there's a sketch of Picon. He gulps. Trying not to look too nervous, though he is a few shades paler than usual. "Major Sheperd, sir." He presents himself to Zachary, sharp salute, coming to attention.

"Colonel." Zachary corrects flatly. "Take a seat, Lieutenant. How's your plans for the mission in the demilitarized zone and Cylon territory coming along?" he decides to get his own questions out of the way for the moment. "Once you give me that information, you can carry on with your protest." he says as he makes a few more notes on the board. Starting with numbers. 1000 Vipers. 500 Raptors. 500 Predators. Question marks are made where needed and added 'Captured Transports and Combat Capable Vehicles'?

By the time Holtz enters the ready room, still in the process of fastening the buttons on his blues, Phin and Zachary are apparently already deep in conversation. His strides are long, carrying him down the steps towards the room's center dais. "Colonel. Lieutenant." His tone is flat, businesslike as he addresses both men.

"Sorry. Colonel, sir." Phin is stressed, to be making mistakes like that. And it mortifies him a little more, judging by the slight widening of his eyes. He takes a seat. "Well, sir, I think. Mostly I've just been firming up what we've discussed, in terms of whether it'd be preferable to start with a pair of Raptor or smaller capital ship. I thought it'd be best from a logistical point of view to wait until some of the ops on Picon were completed, since that seems like it'd be a priority for our resources." He's in duty blues and armed with a file folder, but he's not wearing his sidearm. He might relax a notch at the sound of Holtz's voice, but his focus is on the CAG. He does offer his SL a, "Captain."

"Captain." Zachary's own tone is clipped and formal, as he nods to what Phin says. "Good. I think that one of the light cruisers and a formation of Vipers and Raptors, like what we use in the asteroid belts would work best. Hopefully, we are still working those as well when we're not dealing with internal strife?" the CAG asks in a voice that doesn't demand an answer to the question. It's a reprimand, pure and simple. To both of them.

"Yes, sir," Holtz replies to Zachary with a clipped nod. It's hard to miss the reprimand in Zachary's tone, but nevertheless he answers the question, expression still wooden. He remains standing, hands clasped behind his back as his feet trace a short path back and forth across the deck. "We still plannin' to have Viper jocks fly Raptors back if we can find 'em, Colonel? I ain't fully rated on one, mind, but I can manage in a pinch, need be. Enough to get back from Picon in one, leastways."

"Sir, I haven't been neglecting my duties," Phin says, taken aback by the idea. He gives an explanation anyway, one that's still more nervous than defensive, though there's a touch of that, too. "With all due respect, you might have the wrong impression of this. I drafted a three-paragraph letter on my off-time of some concerns regarding the treatment of the Cylons aboard." He places his file folder on the table, withdrawing said letter. They can both read it. "It's not a petition. I'd like it submitted for the formal record, but I don't kid myself that it'll go anywhere more than that. And this is just mine, nobody else's. I had some people ask about signing on, I'll admit that, but most don't seem sure what to make of the situation right now. And those who do, some of them are doing things that…that I don't terribly want to be associated with." He has signed the bottom in a signature that mixes cursive and print, but no other names present save the superiors it'll theoretically be forwarded to. "Sir, I was trying to operate within the regs and within the chain of command about this matter. If I have misunderstood what was permitted to me in regards to this situation, you have my apologies, sir."

Zachary accepts the protest, however, he doesn't throw it away. Which is what was probably expected. Instead, he slips it into the file and looks at both men. "Let me ask you both something." he says simply as he folds his hands on the dias to study both men. "What do you think my reaction was to finding out that Captain Garrido was an enemy implant?" he asks them both.

The question, at least, is enough to stop Holtz' pacing. He takes up a position a few steps away from Phin, and looks at the CAG with his head tilted slightly. "I don't normally care to play guessing games, Colonel." His tone is hard, without — quite — being insubordinate. "But I do know she'd not be back in uniform or on duty if you'd protested overmuch. Sir." His eyes are locked on Zachary's, chin jutting out ever so slightly.

"I wouldn't presume to know, sir," is Phin's answer on that, tone carefully neutral. He watches as his missive is taken, swallowing a knot his his throat, and waits for anything else the CAG might have to say about his views on the Cylons.

"That's funny, considering that you are presuming to know based on that reaction alone, Captain." Zachary retorts to Holtz. "So. We have two people. Captain Garrido and Sergeant Knox. Let's talk about Knox for a moment. He came out at the same time that Garrido did. How many reports have you two heard about protests against him? About attacks on him? That his CO has a busted lip. Or that they're cornering him and forcing issues." he says simply to both men. "Tell me, you two. How is it that the groundpounders and dirt diggers can show to be more handling of this problem then the supposed elite of the fleet?" he asks the two calmly.

"More importantly, look at this board. Did you get me this information on the Cylon missile systems? Did you put your neck out for it? Did you take on the suicide mission about this or the FORGE?" he asks them both. "I'm not pleased to have a Cylon pilot. But Colonel Petra and Admiral Jameson made it clear that I have to handle it. And that's what I'm doing. With professionalism and a business like demeanor. NOT like a bunch of drunken FRAT boys and SORORITY girls looking to run the rival college girl's panties UP THE FRAKKING FLAGPOLE."

Holtz' wooden facade begins to show cracks as Zachary speaks, but he manages to keep his composure. "Do you know what I see on that board, Colonel?" He waves his hand at the whiteboard with a jerky, chopping motion. "I see scraps. A few tasty morsels to keep us happy, sated, and trusting. I see nothing yet to convince me that we're not being set up for the slaughter." His voice rises slowly as he speaks, nostrils flaring in barely restrained anger. "You wanna talk about how they're here to help us, sir? Tell that to the people on Tauron. Or Sagittaron. But you can't, can you?"

"And what about our lives? I've put mine on the line dozens of times in the past few months, for this ship and this crew. So has Lieutenant McBride. So have you, Colonel. You wanna talk about professionalism when the enemy is walking unrestrained among us and I'm bein' told my contributions to this ship are less than a couple of frakkin' skinjobs?!" His grey eyes are alight as he finishes, his lips twitching as the words tear their way free from his throat. "You got one thing right, sir. This ain't a schoolyard game, and I'm gonna do my damndest to look out for the people under my command. And tellin' em to fly with a skinjob is tantamount t' measuring their backs for a knife!"

"Sir, I was just…" Phin starts to say at the end of that. But, whatever he was going to say, he stows it. His eyes do go to the schematics, but not for long before they're back on Zachary. He forces himself to make eye contact with the CAG, though he's not terribly easy to read. "I understand, sir. You've clarified the situation and my position here. I've said what I have to say. You won't hear any more about it from me. It's your prerogative as my CO to do with my submission as you see it." Holtz's outburst makes him tense. Even more, if that was possible. His reaction to it is, again, hard to gauge. He does switch his eyes away from either men, putting them back on the sketches of Picon.

"What I'm telling YOU, Captain, is that if you're going to be a brat with your frakking behavior, at least be frakking SUBTLE about it!" Zachary suddenly snaps in irritation. "And don't you even bother to tell me you don't know about subtle, because I know that you and Lieutenant Vashi are sneaking off every chance you get to play 'Ride the Storm'!" he growls low in his throat. "You're supposed to take care of your people, but when you show that you're going to put your personal beliefs n front of command, all you're proving is your own FRAKKING SELFISHNESS." he says, and stands there, right in front of Holtz. "Are you going to hit me too, Captain?" he suddenly says, a dare in his voice. "Because that seems to be the ONLY way you can handle any pressure."

"You'd love that, wouldn't you, Colonel?" Holtz' voice falls to a soft yet deadly growl. "Perfect excuse to get rid of me and put some sycophant in command of my squad, yeah?" He bristles as Zachary approaches, his clenched fists twitching at his sides, but he makes no move to swing at the colonel. "But I ain't goin' anywhere, and I'm past givin' a damn what you think of me, either. If wantin' to keep my people alive is selfish, then may Ares and Athena keep me a selfish bastard until the day I die." He throws his head back defiantly, eyes never leaving the CAG's.

Phin's eyes switch back to Zachary and widen, though he still keeps his mouth shut. Tightly. His shock over where that went is obvious. He sits very still and very straight, perhaps under some assumption that superior officers can only see movement and he can achieve invisibility through paralysis.

"Good. Now that we have a frakking understanding, this is what I want you to understand, Captain." the Colonal says as Zachary pulls back just slightly from Holtz as the SL shows he has some restraint in all of this. "Capatin Garrido is a pilot. She's allowed to fly. But last I checked, I didn't say shit about what missions she has to fly. You're her squadron leader. You decide what missions she does and doesn't fly. Just like I would not expect you to tell me who you would want flying a Raptor mission. Are we reading five by five, Captain?"

Holtz is still fixing that baleful, dangerous stare on his superior, his nostrils shooting breath as would an enraged bull, but he gives Zachary the tiniest of nods. "You're m'lawful superior, Colonel." Mind, right now he doesn't seem terribly happy about that fact. "I will obey the orders I am given." He makes a visible effort to calm himself, his breathing beginning to slow. "So yes, sir. Five by frakkin' five."

"Do you have anything further for us, sir?" Phin asks Zachary, when he manages to speak again. It's not quite, 'Oh my gods, please dismiss us now,' but he can't quite hide that subtext.

Phin speaks up, and Zachary turns his cold blue eyes on him. "Are there any protests you wish to make to my clarification of orders, Lieutenant?" he asks him with a lift of his brow. A dangerous one. "…as a member of the CIC, I must follow the commands of my own superiors. And I will do so. As will the both of you. And gods help me, if either of you breathe a word of this to anyone outside of this room, I have so many missions on Picon to handle you'll think Spree is your new CO. I don't need the damn skinjob realizing that her superior to the CIC isn't exactly the happiest camper about this if I am to continue to gather intel on the targets we need to hit. Am I clear?" he asks, looking between both of them.

Holtz gives another nearly imperceptible nod. "As crystal." His voice is back to its earlier woodenness, having lost the animation of a moment before. He straightens his uniform top with a short, sharp tug. There's a brief look to Phin before he casts those hard grey eyes back at Zachary.

"My letter says everything I wanted to say, sir. I would still like it submitted to Command for the official record, though as I stated you're my CO and that's your prerogative." To the rest of that, Phin nods. "As crystal, sir," he echoes Holtz. His tone isn't wooden, exactly, but it's taken on that 'yes, sir, no sir, as you will, sir' manner that Midshipman have to perfect, if they want to keep their voices free of inflection of feelings about their orders.

"It will be. And if you decide that you don't want to hack here and do want to transfer to a skinjob free environment, I will do my best to find you one." Zachary says, and looks between the two. "No more schoolyard tactics. Pass it down. Next rumor I hear about someone harassing the skinjobs, I will have you polishing the floors of the air wing with your toothbrush. Dismissed."

Phin swallows. "That won't be necessary, sir," he says firmly, as to transferring him. The idea clearly deeply unsettles the junior lieu. He stands, salutes, and pivots on a heel to go upon dismissal. It's not fast enough to be called fleeing, but that's what it amounts to.

If not for the rise and fall of his chest as he breathes, Holtz could be mistaken for a statue, he's that still. Finally, though, at Zachary's dismissal, he too turns rigidly on his heel and heads for the exit, though his pace is almost defiantly slow in contrast with Phin's sudden haste.

You head toward Air Wing Corridors

Phin drops the 'respectable young officer' bearing once he's fled the Ready Room, near-collapsing his back against the hull wall and breathing like he's just run a mile. He roughly undoes the top couple buttons of his blues jacket. He looks like he might hyper ventilate. Or throw up. He has probably not been this visibly freaked out since that first combat flight over Caprica.

Holtz follows a few steps behind Phin, though his iron composure never falters. He lights a cigarette as he exits the ready room, the cherry flaring angrily as he puffs away. He looks at the younger man with something resembling concern in his eyes, though he says nothing just yet.

Phin pulls himself together, visibly, after a beat. Then he just leans on the wall. It's another beat before he says anything. "Thanks for coming along, man. Appreciated having you around for that. Though I kind of wish I hadn't asked."

"Don't." Holtz shakes his head jerkily as he, too, leans against the wall and starts plucking at the buttons of his blues jacket, the cigarette bobbing in his lips as he speaks. "Needed sayin', and I wasn't gonna let you face him on your lonesome." His tone is quiet, muted, but no less sharp than it had been inside the ready room. That sharpness doesn't seem directed at Phin himself, though.

Phin has gone reflective, now that he's gotten his breath back. "I used to have this Headmaster, back when I was going through the Ares School. Hardcore Gemenese dude," he says. Mostly to Holtz, though he seems to be talking himself through something in his head, too. "CAG kind of reminds me of him. Just more…velvet glove, so you don't notice right away. I get it now. Rules are what he says they are. Shut up and tow the line, only way to get along. Well, whatever. Now that I know the score, I can adapt."

"Sure as frak wouldn't want to be in his shoes right now, I'll give him that much," Holtz replies on the subject of the CAG. He nods. "He's right about one thing, anyway," Storm opines, his head falling lightly against the bulkhead with a soft metallic sound as he stares up at the ceiling with a quiet sigh. "Bad enough we got skinjobs among us, we don't need to be tearin' ourselves apart, too." Then he looks at Phin; that hard, dangerous glint still hasn't completely faded from his eye. "You're right to be suspicious of the skinjob, though." He still can't quite bring himself to say Ceres' name. "Still ain't convinced they're our new best friends. Gotta do better than a few scraps of intel we coulda gotten ourselves eventually."

"That stuff he said about us being the elite of the Fleet?" Phin's tone has a sarcasm to it he either can't, or doesn't bother to, curb. "That was bullshit. I get that now, too. The Navy has us get degrees because you need to do math good to jock a Viper. But they don't want anymore out of us than they do out of the groundpounders. We shoot who they tell us to shoot, when they tell us to shoot it. Maybe that's all I was ever supposed to be. All this ever was, even back before the worlds went to hell." His head rolls, from where it rests against the corridor wall, to regard Holtz. "I wasn't trying to tear anything apart. I was just…whatever. It doesn't matter anymore. It's done. It is what it is, and I'll suck it up. I'm not one of those assholes who wants to form a lynch mob, or is putting up pictures of Redux in the firing range or…that's not what I wanted."

Holtz just listens to his wingman, the stolid captain remaining thoughtfully silent as Phin speaks. Finally, though, he nods. "Survivin' doesn't make us elite. Just lucky." That isn't quite the point Phin was getting at, he realizes, but it's certainly not disagreement, either. "We're men, not jackals." he says a moment later. "To my shame, I almost forgot that." And that's all he's saying about his run-in with Ceres in the sims. "But you didn't." A sigh. "You know, I went down to the range a couple days after that happened. Thought taking a few potshots at her frakkin' face would help, even if it was just a cutout. But when I got down there? …" He just trails off, giving a slight shake of his head.

"I still look at her and I think…" But Phin doesn't finish what he thinks of Ceres. "Whatever. She's a liar, whatever else she is. I was stupid enough to trust her once, not going to happen again." He tilts his head slight up at Holtz. "I figure that's the best we can do right now. Figure out who we can really trust, just get through the rest of it. And I do trust you, Storm. For what it's worth." This seems like something that's a fairly big deal for him to say.

"Ain't stupid. She took us all for a ride." Holtz murmurs with a slight headshake, focusing on Phin once more. "I'll be damned if I let her warm a cockpit with her lyin' arse anytime soon." The CAG had reminded him he could do that much, at least. "Yeah," he replies with a nod. The significance of the younger man's words isn't lost on him, either. He inclines his head again, more deeply this time. "It's worth a hell of a lot more to me than empty assurances from the brass," he says, quietly.

"Gotta have you wingman's back, y'know?" Phin says with a shrug. "Can't count on much else." Pause. "That crack about you and Yggs are really out of line. That's none of his business, and had zero to do with anything you were saying. All respect for not laying him flat for it."

"I wanted to," Holtz admits. "You've no idea how close I came. Ten years ago, I would've." He flicks his cigarette angrily. "But that's the kind of selfishness he was talking about. I'd be in hack and some preening arselicker would have my squad because I couldn't restrain myself." A snort follows. "Besides, it's like I told him. I don't give a damn what he thinks of me."

"Me either, I guess," Phin says. "Or I shouldn't, now that we know what we know. He's our superior, though. So. Tow the line. Anyway. Look. I won't do anything else to…I don't know. Cause trouble, I guess. I get that you've got enough to deal with, without that. Bad enough to have to sort out a frakking toaster who wants to jock a Viper for you. If there's anything you need or…whatever? Just let me know."

"See that you don't, or I'll chop you off at the knees." The quirk at the corner of his mouth belies the seriousness of Holtz' rebuke. "You haven't disappointed me yet, Dolly," he adds more seriously a moment later. "'S good to know I have someone I can trust at my right hand, yeah?" With that, he pushes himself off the wall, clapping the younger man on the shoulder as he moves to leave.

Phin returns Holtz's quirk with a crooked half-smile. He claps the taller man's shoulder in return, before also shoving himself off the wall. "Same to you, man. Later." He also moves off, in the opposite direction. To do gods knows what with himself to decompress, but he's due on Alert Five in a few hours, so he won't have long to chew over this in an off-duty capacity.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License