AWD #204: July 29 Viper Squadron Meeting
Viper Squadron Meeting
Summary: The Lucky Strikes gather for a briefing from Holtz, and have a discussion of their own at the end.
Date: 29/07/2013
Related Logs: Several references to earlier logs, mostly recon scenes
Holtz Phin Atalanta Luc Warren Taylor Agrippa 
Ready Room
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 #204

Holtz is already here by the time people start filing into the ready room. Clad in his blues, he's standing over at the whiteboard with a marker in his hand, making notes and rearranging names in a spidery hand with a dry-erase marker. Waiting for him on the podium is a binder and several sheets of paper, likely notes for the meeting.

Coming in soon enough is Luc. Chewing away on some spearmint gum and taking a look around before heading towards one of the sides to pull out a chair and situate himself. Holtz, and anyone else around, getting a nod.

The meeting scheduled set a certain time and Agrippa actually arrives a few minutes early, since this is specifically a meeting that Viper pilots were told they would have great interests in. Plus, being here a little early gives him a good selection of seats and the young Viper jock heads to the back of the room as usual, selecting one of the seats in the back.

Phin is prompt, in neat duty blues, carrying a notepad and pen. He heads for the second row center, his preferred place to sit at these things when he can plant himself there. Holtz is offered a two-fingered salute as he settles in, and he offers Agrippa and Luc a polite nod.

Warren slips on into the ready room with a notepad in one hand. He glances along the seats before he heads on down towards the front. Yes…apparently hes that kid from school. His blues are clean, pressed, practically brand new looking as he sits down and flips the desk arm of the chair down and pulls out a pen before glancing up at the boards and Holtz's scrawling.

Leaning back in his seat, Agrippa is now waiting for the meeting to start. When he spots Phin entering and directing a nod in his direction, he returns it with a upraised hand wave back.

Occasionally Holtz turns his head away from the board, taking mental roll as the various pilots enter and fill up the chairs. Finally, once the stream of new arrivals seems to have tapered off, he turns away and approaches the podium, rearranging his notes and clearing his throat. "All right. There's a shift change on the CAP due soon, so I'll try not to keep you too long. First off, a couple housekeeping matters." He looks out into the crowd, eyes focusing for a moment on Taylor in particular. "One of our new pilots still needs a name. Ensign Taylor, after consultin' with my senior lieutenants, I've decided your callsign will be 'Wheels'. Until the trainin' wheels come off or you do somethin' to get a new one." A very dry, very thin smile tugs at his lips before he moves on. "Next, I've got your new section assignments…" He pauses, pulling out a small sheet of paper and preparing to read off the names listed in sequence.

At the people filtering in Luc does offer them nods in greeting as each one steps inside. Sitting in the front to the side for once. Grinning a bit at the callsign for Taylor. Running a hand through his hair as he just listens for now.

Taylor sits quietly in the middle row of the room, a bit off to the side. His blue uniform is nothing spectacular, but it's not wrinkled or dirty either. Cocked forward and to the side slightly, he is leaning on his hand and tapping a pen quietly on his notepad when his name is called, freezing him in place and causing all of the color to drain from his face. As he is dubbed, he merely nods solemnly, though his pinky under his chin can be seen shaking slightly.

Phin half-turns around to grin at Taylor, and offer him a quick thumbs-up. Talk of new section assignments earns a more ambivalent look from him, but he's not exactly dreading it.

Once Holtz begins the meeting, Agrippa stops his lounging posture and actuallys its up. This also allows him to pick up his pen and is ready to jot any notes down on the octagonal papers that he deems necessary. For the first bit though, no notetaking was done but a laugh does come out of Punchdrunk, unable to hold it back. His gaze does look over to the new pilot for a moment though before refocusing on his Squadron Leader.

Warren smirks a bit at the announcement of the callsign and looks over towards Taylor and smirks a bit. He taps his pen on his notepad a moment before looking back up towards Holtz.

"Something funny, Lieutenant?" Holtz shoots a steely glance down at Agrippa when he laughs, before he reads off the names. There's a short pause as he again looks into the crowd before him. "Whoever you're paired with, this is your new best friend. Get to know them. Train with them. Their ass is yours, and yours is theirs." Yes, the Instructor's Voice is in full effect. "I know we've had a lot of transfers and reassignments lately, and it's hard to form a bond with someone who might not be here in a month, but it can't be helped. We're a squadron, an' I'd like to start seeing you act more like it, yeah?"

Cold eyes pass over each member of the squad in turn before he finally looks back down at the list in front of him. "Right, then. Wheels, you're my wingman. Dolly, you're flying lead for Medusa. Toast, you're lead for Bigmouth…" And down the line he goes, pairing off the pilots into two man sections until everyone's been paired off. Well, all but one, anyway.

As if the newly dubbed 'Wheels' couldn't go any whiter, getting assigned to the squadron leader just made him, looking as if he wanted to escape to the nearest airlock, again only managing another slight, solemn nod.

When he is addressed, Agrippa quickly clears his throat, answering with a, "No sir." This is definitely serious business now as it seems like new partners will be handed out. Punchdrunk begins jotting down notes about this, emphasizing teamwork as the main point right now. Even though the ones being listed so far isn't his pairing, he still jots it down for reference, in case he needs to find one of the pilots, he could always ask the other.

Warren smirks a bit at Holtz calling out Agrippa's laugh. Then its note taking time and he starts scribbling down who's flying with who currently. With his name called he glances over towards where Luc is and gives the man a nod before continuing to scribble down the pairs of callsigns.

Phin nods when his new regular wing is read off. He looks perfectly agreeable to that arrangement. A quick look around the room to see if he can catch Calanthia's eye. If he doesn't catch up with her here, he'll snag her after CAP or whatever. A look is flicked back to Taylor and, when he sees the man's expression, he can't contain a suspiciously chuckle-like cough. He buries himself in taking notes to hide any further amusement.

As his callsign is mentioned Luc just nods and looks to his new best friend. Running his hand through his hair. Just grinning a bit and sitting quiet. Resting rather relaxed for now.

Late? The DCAG? Nothing short of the Lord Chronos himself could've caused it. Well, that or being one of the pilots stuck on the aforementioned CAP that was due to end about now — a conclusion evidenced by the fact that Franklin still has her flight suit on, though it's been stripped down to her waist and hangs loose, knotted sleeves slapping against the front of her thighs as she hurries down the steps. The damned things are hot as Hades, and the way the blonde curls at the nape of her neck are plastered down with sweat indicates she was cooking in a for a few hours. "Continue, Major," she says brusquely, indicating that the meeting should not be stopped in order to offer her a room full of disruptive salutes.

Holtz can't entirely suppress a smirk when he sees Taylor's expression, but he doesn't comment. Instead, his eyes find Agrippa once more, the only pilot who doesn't have a pairing at this point. "Lieutenant Agrippa, the DCAG has requested that the Strikes provide her a wingman, and you're it." He looks back over the room as a whole. "Once the meeting's over, I want everyone to touch base with their new sectionmate. Swap names, schedule some joint sim time, whatever. Which brings me to my next subject." There's a pause as Atalanta rushes in, but he merely nods in her direction without calling for attention or anything else of the kind.

There's a soft exhale, Holtz's voice taking on a more conversational tone. "Command's still playin' their cards close to their chest when it comes to the Picon campaign. I wish I had somethin' new to tell you, but I don't yet. As soon as I hear somethin', I'll pass it along. However, when the call does come down, I mean for us all to be prepared. This ain't gonna be like a lot of the fighting we've seen lately; these asteroid recons we've been doin' will be child's play in comparison. The battles are gonna get a lot bigger and a lot bloodier. Start gettin' some extra sim time in; if the Cylons are gonna kill any of my people, they better have to fight for it, yeah?"

Phin's spine straightens at the sound of Atalanta's voice. There's the impression his instinct is to spring out of his seat and salute. He manages to contain that, at least. He jots down a few notes as Holtz talks, his hand going up at the end of it.

When he is assigned the DCAG as wingman, Agrippa looks up and blinks for a moment, and it seems like the timing is perfect because the LadyCAG had just arrived. There was of course the urge to stand to attention but with it quickly belayed pre-emptively by Atlanta herself, Punchdrunk jots down the final touch on his notes, writing in the wingman that he was assigned to. As for the Picon campaign, the young Viper jock looks up once more, nodding his head when it is mentioned that the campaign will most likely be a brutal one.

Warren straightens up a bit as he spots the DCAG get upfront but when she seems to be moving along he doesn't jump up for a salute. He notes down Agrippa's new wingman for a moment and then loks up as there's mention of the Picon campaign. He hmms quietly to himself and nods noting down something a moment in his notes.

Despite her ill-timed entrance, Franklin doesn't simply slink into the nearest empty seat. Nor does she claim command of the room by taking up a spot at Holtz's side. On the contrary, she slips into the front row, settles into a seat as quickly and unobstrusively as possible, and primly crosses her feet at the ankles. Her notebook is laid out a moment later, the end of her pen clicked and poised over her pad — just like every other pilot in the room.

"In addition," Holtz declares, "I've scheduled a squadron-wide sim exercise for later in the week. I'll be runnin' things from the computer, but it'll be Major Franklin servin' as flight lead. I want you lot to get used to hearin' her voice give the orders, because you'll be hearing it a lot from 'ere on out." He's cut off by the raising of Phin's hand, but he takes the interruption in stride. "Yeah, Dolly?"

"Regardless of the standing of the larger Picon op, are we going to continue providing occasional air support to sites on the planet?" Phin asks. "Like we did during the SABER run, and I know from the reports that Bigmouth and other pilots have been involved in some bombing action over those parts."

His hands still resting on the edge of the podium, Holtz shrugs his shoulders. "Haven't heard nothin' different. As far as I know, ground forces are pretty thin on ships of their own, and with the Cylons bombin' the crap out of the ground-based airfields the ships they do have aren't easy to maintain, so I imagine we'll still get the occasional call for that sort of thing."

A few more notes are scribbled in Warren's notes and he glances over towards the DCAG a moment. He looks back to Holtz but he calls out to Phin to ask the his question and he looks over to hear it. And then his attention is back up towards Holtz and the answer there and makes a note of it.

Picon missions are still a go, Agrippa jots down real quick, which means that when the campaign op is actually launched, it'll be much bigger than what they've been doing thus far. His mind does wander a bit from Picon to the new pairings that have been assigned, beginning to ponder if the assignment was just by chance or for a purpose.

Phin gives Holtz a nod and, "Gotcha, sir" at that answer. More things are scribbled.

With no other interruptions apparently forthcoming, Holtz returns to his notes. "Right, then. I'll give out more details on the exercise on Wednesday in the sim room. And don't forget, I still want to see you doin' sim runs on your own." Another breath, and he moves on. "Asteroid recons are still on the table, as well. Keep that in mind when you're plannin' your sim time. So far no one's planted face into a rock, and I mean for it to stay that way." He straightens behind the podium, his expression finally lightening. "All right, that's all the business I've got for now. Anybody got any questions, anything they want to bring up, now's the time."

When the inevitable call for questions come up, Agrippa actually raises his hand to show that he does have one indeed.

"Go ahead, Punchie." Holtz nods in Agrippa's direction.

"I have a question about the Ouranos System, sir." Agrippa starts off by stating what he is asking about, so that Holtz and perhaps even Atalanta has an idea of what he will be asking. The follow up can easily be guessed, "Do we have any special plans for that belt? It seems like we are two for two on hostile engagements there, in force. Could the Cylons have some sort of base built up there, especially with some of those asteroids apparently being pounded down to bits?"

Warren nods a bit at the asteroid recons still being on the table. Another note taken before he glances over towards Agrippa and his question. He nods at that and glances first towards the DCAG, possibly to judge her reaction to the question, before glancing up at Holtz.

Franklin, for her part, looks only mildly surprised by the question. After all, two missions have resulted in two engagements — two engagements of no small number, either. She pauses in her note-taking, having just underlined two words sharply, and looks to the Lieutenant for a moment. Rather than answer immediately, green eyes swivel over to the Strikes' squadron leader.

"Like I said, Command isn't saying much about much at the moment," Holtz replies. "So as far as plans go, I can't tell you much on that score." He clears his throat, hunching back over the podium as he peers down at the lieutenant. "Certainly seems the Cylons are interested in the belt, but remember, their Raiders are FTL-capable. They don't necessarily need a staging platform in the belt itself to maintain regular patrols or search parties when they can just jump right in. That said, I'm definitely not rulin' out the possibility. Especially after seein' those cleared-out sections on our last run." He tilts his head. "Major Franklin, you got any thoughts on that?"

Phin stops writing and leans forward when Atalanta seems about to render an opinion on this. He wasn't inattentive before, but his focus sharpens now on her.

Taylor seems to have regained his composure, possibly since all the eyes are no longer on him for a while. At the mention of the belt, two patrols he remembers vividly, he perks up, raising from his slight slouch and watching the DCAG and Squadron Leader intently.

Agrippa dips his head into a nod when he hears Holtz's response, knowing that his Squadron Leader can only offer what Command gives him, but his gaze does shift to his new wingman. Atalanta is certainly higher up in the chain and Punchdrunk is also looking to see what else she may wish to share on this subject.

Warren glances from Holtz back to Atia a moment. He shifts in his chair a moment, setting his pen down a moment, looking as if he's ready to raise his hand for a question now himself, but not untill the DCAG answers apparently.

"If you would review the flight footage from both ops," Franklin begins in her rather distinct Caprican accent. Her elocution would be be impeccable, if not for the slight burr in her voice. "You'll notice that the Raiders aren't flying in their usual strike pattern. Rather, they've been fanning themselves out into a wider formation that is ill-suited for combat maneuvers, with wingman often separated by a distance that leaves them inconveniently exposed. The only time that ''I'' would ever order you to fly in a pattern that leaves your partner vulnerable like that would be while conducting a search, and only then for a high-value target." One brown brow arches upwards. Sharply.

"Do we have any idea what might be in that belt that the Cylons might consider valuable, sir?" Phin asks Atalanta. Forgetting to raise his hand. He makes a token gesture of putting it up and taking it back down after the words are out of his mouth. "I've read a little about the system, but it was mostly in the context of the larger Leonis-Virgon wars in Helios Beta. And I could never keep track of why they were fighting over a particular area. Seemed like they just fought over everything in the years before unification."

Agrippa had the same question that Phin had so when Dolly asked, it saves the other Viper jock the trouble. Instead, Punchdrunk's attention shifts from Phin to Atalanta, seeing of their LadyCAG had some information on that or an idea. Because if it's a high value item that the Cylon wants, it's always a good idea to keep it out of their hands.

Warren raises his hand as Phin suddently jumps in, but he stays silent for the moment, listening intently.

Holtz glances over at Atia before nodding. "I'm thinkin' of that last recon in particular," he adds. "You spotted that first Raider all off on his lonesome, Punchie, and when his buddies came after him, they came in piecemeal instead of swarmin' us like they usually like to do in a fight. Like the Major said, it looked more like a scouting party than a combat formation." Although Phin's question was directed at Atia, Holtz volunteers an answer of his own. "Could be lookin' for Fleet units hidin' in the belt. It's as good a spot as any in the system to hide, and they've gotta know that as well as we do. We've already found a few ships camped out in the various belts since the initial attacks, and there may well be more in the sections we haven't reconned yet. Or they could be lookin' for tylium; their ships need fuel, same as ours." He notices Warren stirring in his seat. "You got somethin', Toast? Sing out."

"Lieutenant McBride, if I ever give you any indication whatsoever that I've begun to understand the inner workings of the Cylon mind, I expect you to shoot me. Without hesitation." The statement is made coldly, frankly, and without so much as a blink. "As for what may be in there I? I honestly couldn't say. Major Holtz has made several valid suggestions. Virgon and Leonis went to war even more often than Caprica and Gemonon," Franklin continues. "As I understand it, they laid down an enormous amount of mines during the course of their wars. If I were desperate, I can think of very few other places where it would be safer to conceal myself — or anything else I considered of value. My concern, at this point, is not speculating as to what may be there, but finding it. Our sensors are effectively useless. There's no way to know until we're staring it in the proverbial face."

"Sirs. If we assume either is possible, either they have a base somewhere near by, or they're searching for a high value target, which may be more probable. Has there been any consideration of starting another recon further down the belt in order to triangulate either their target, or the possible location of a base?" Warren intones much like one might expect a math professor might speak. He pauses a slight moment, "We've got two data points of engagements and their locations. We can use the third, say farther down the belt, to narrow the possible area down."

Taylor raises a hand timidly, almost lowering it at the DCAG's words, but somehow keeping it in the air.

"Uh, yes, sir," Phin says promptly, when Atalanta says that bit about how he needs to shoot her if she starts to behave in a Cylon-knowing fashion. What else could he say, really? He nods about the mines, taking some notes, but he doesn't immediately have more questions.

Holtz nods in agreement with Atalanta. "Speculatin' is pointless without anything to go on. Better to just keep lookin', and if they are trying to find somethin', do our best to find whatever it is before they do." His flinty eyes flick back to Warren. "Let's try not to outthink ourselves, yeah, Toast? If we start skippin' sections, who knows what we may leave unseen behind us. Might not be a good idea to start jumping ahead until we've got a better notion that there's somethin' ahead to jump to. Right now this is all pretty damn theoretical." Looking away, he nods in Taylor's direction. "Speak up, Ensign."

"Of course Sir, didn't mean to imply leaving areas unscoutted. Wasn't my intention," Warren says before quieting down, taking down a few notes before he glances over to Wheels.

Taylor shifts his weight slightly to begin to stand, then seems to notice that no one else had. Face reddening, he insteads shifts to lean to the other side of his seat, trying to play it off and hoping he didn't just embarass himself in front of the entire squadron. "Sir, are there any plans to send Raptors in with us on these recons? I know sensors are useless in there, but theirs are strongers than what we have in a Viper and I was thinking they might be able to hit some sort of pocket where they could use that sensor strength to break through and find out what's got the tinnies so interested.. place the carrier can't get to. Like that big gap we found the other night." He falls silent, realizing he's approaching rambling and shrinks back in his seat.

Franklin tips her chin up to Holtz. Apparently, the ball is back in his court and the question is his to answer.

Taylor's question makes Phin raise his hand again.

"You're not the first one to suggest it, Ensign," Holtz points out, "but the Raptors can't match our Vipers for speed or maneuverability. The rocks get pretty tight in parts of the belts, and with all those Raiders prowling about, they don't have much room to maneuver if and when things get hairy. If the situation absolutely calls for one, we'll send 'em along, but we'd rather not chance anything for a routine recon. We've had a couple close calls already." Head tilt. "Don't sweat it, Toast. I don't mind hearin' ideas." Finally, he points to Phin and his again-raised hand.

"Even if their systems are borked for scouting, could we work up some way the Raptors could track us to provide jamming cover?" Phin asks. "Maybe have them fly in space above the coordinates we're scouting in the belts if the rocks are too tight. So we can lead the Cylons up when we run into them or something. I miss the blocking, and it sounds like we expect to encounter more patrols of the same size we've run into so far."

Warren listens quietly to that and hmmms jotting a few things down as he thinks on things. He flips to a new page jotting down more notes, or perhaps working something out as he listens.

Taylor frows slightly at at least part of the response, but quickly wipes it away and nods in understanding, jotting down out his notepad, circling one specific note a couple times before returning his attention to the front for the next answer.

Franklin presses her pen to her page, scribbling across the white surface with a soft scrrtch-scrrtch-scrrtch. It seems that she, too, has a few interesting notes to jot down. Her brow furrows at the page, before she finally looks back towards McBride.

Notes are of course being jotted down by Agrippa who had remained silent after opening up this subject for discussion. For the time being though, his hand hasn't gone up for more questions, instead just listening to the others throw ideas and thoughts around.

"Do that, and they're wide open for an attack with fighter cover potentially a long way off," Holtz says to Phin. "With FTLs, a Raider could jump out of the belt and hit the Raptor before we can do anything about it. Without a close escort or the cover of the belt, they're sitting ducks." He shrugs. "Sounds messy all around to me. But you might want to take it up with Captain St. Clair or one of the other senior Raptor officers. For all I know, they might have different ideas."

Phin nods to Holtz. "It was just the first thing that occurred to me, sir. She'd know better how the Raptors could support us in that terrain. We'll reach out to her." He looks at Taylor as he says 'we.' Hey, the ensign had the first Raptor-related question. Maybe he wants to come.

Taylor looks down to jot another note before he catches Dolly's eye. Catching the other pilot's meaning, he shrinks down in his seat a bit and stares at his notepad.

Holtz raps his knuckles on the podium. "Right, then. Anything else?"

Warren is quiet glancing about to see if anyone else is going to say anything else for the moment.

For the first time since she arrived, Franklin leans back in her seat. Being as she closes her notebook in the process of doing so, it's a fair indication she considers the meeting concluded.

"I'll take that as a no," he adds a moment later as only silence responds. "All right, you're dismissed. Don't forget to touch base with your new wingman on the way out. Dismissed."

Phin gathers up his notes and stands, taking the dismissal. Not that he leaves the Ready Room right away. He'll have to confab with his new regular wing later, but he does take a second to review the CAP schedule while he's here. In case his rotation has changed.

Taylor closes his notepad and shifts in his seat, but doesn't make a move to leave. Doubtless his new wing leader will still be here when everyone else leaves.

The DCAG pushes herself up from her seat, collecting her things before slipping out from the front row. One hand runs over her blonde hair, pulled back but also plastered down from several hours inside a poorly ventilated helmet. She is, no doubt, already thinking of her escape to the showers. The ''Orion'', after all, still has real shampoo. "Lieutenant Agrippa, is there anything you feel the urgent need to discuss?," she calls towards his seat several rows back.

After he gives the dismissal, Holtz gathers up his things and steps down from the platform. He doesn't move to leave just yet, though, heading instead over to where Taylor's still sitting. "Don't worry, Ensign, flying with me ain't punishment detail. Just keep your eyes open out there and you'll do fine."

With the meeting at an end, Agrippa looks over his notes and then puts his pen down. When he hears his new wingman calling out to him, the young pilot rises to his feet and shakes his head, "No sir, not at the moment." Even if he has anything, unless it is extremely pressing, he isn't going to take up Atalanta's time, especially right after she got off of CAP.

Phin does start to angle out once he knows his rotation, but he pauses when he passes Taylor. Offering the ensign a one-shouldered shrug. "Sorry if I kind of roped you into the Raptor thing. It should be pretty painless, though. Butch is pretty chill for someone with that much rank, and seemed like you were interested in what the Raptors could maybe do for us. I mean, maybe nothing, but it's worth asking." He grins slight at Holtz. "He'll keep you alive, well as anyone can. Worked for me, at least."

Taylor stands quickly as the squadron leader approaches, nodding. "Yes sir, I'll do my best." He then turns to Dolly and nods. "I'll tag-along if you're going, yeah. If for at least to understand Raptors a bit more."

"We'll arrange additional time in the sims soon," Franklin assures him with a sharp, crisp nod. And with that, she's moving towards the stairs once more, her slender hand already working at the knot which she's made of her sleeves, untying them from their place secured around her waist.

With the meeting over Warren shuts his notebook, flipping back a couple of pages and tucking his pen away. Slowly he stands up from his seat to go exchange schedules with Luc for a moment or two before he gives people a nod to head on out.

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