AWD #056: Lines and Pins
Lines and Pins
Summary: Phin pitches his mostly shot-in-dark Armistice Line mission. Zachary weighs him down with some more rank.
Date: 03/03/2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Possible Points most recently, of the Arm Line logs.
Phin Zachary 
CAG's Office — Deck 2 — Battlestar Orion
Mostly portents of doom for junior officers.
Sun Mar 03

Phin swings by the CAG's office, folder under his arm. A brisk knock at the door. If he's admitted, he'll enter and crisply salute. "Major, sir. Was wondering if you had a minute. I've been working on that project we talked about awhile ago. Concerning exploration beyond the old Arm Line."

Having been swamped under every other mission that's been thrown the Air Wing's way, Zachary had very nearly forgotten why Phin was dropping by. Finishing up the report on Virgon and Hibernia's finds, he blinks as the young Ensign explains his reason for being here, before he finally recalls that. "Oh, right! Shit, sorry, Dolly." he offers apologetically. "Grab a chair and tell me what you have? I assume that Captain Rozzen found you?"

"No worries, sir," Phin says as he sits, setting the folder on Zachary's desk. There's a crisp proposal inside. Two pages, double-based on octagonal paper, painstakingly spell-checked. He will probably explain it rather than making Zachary read it, though. "Survivors are the priority. I'm still not even sure this will yield anything useful, but I do think it's worth looking into. Yes. We went over some coordinate points she'd pin-pointed as likely places to start. She gave me four to pick from, said one was about as good as another. We have no idea what's out there, so it's going to be like shooting blind however it's done."

"Yes. It is going to be totally flyiing blind." Zachary has to concede that point. "My only guess at a start would be the Armtice Station that sat on the line - where we sent our diplomats." the CAG rolls his shoulders in a shrug and clears some room on the desk. "So, what are the options?" he finally asks.

Phin actually digs into his papers on that one, presenting a chart that goes with them, with the four points outlined. "Armistice Station's a good idea, sir. My thought was actually to start with the area where we encountered the Roland Reese, in that line incident before the attacks. But I'll admit, that's arbitrary. One would be as good as another. Captain Rozzen did recommend that, if we investigate the Reese site first, we proceed to Point Four from it. Do our sweep there. As much due to proximity as anything else. Like I said, shot in the dark. And no way to know which area might be more or less dangerous for the pilots reconning it."

Zachary nods his head as he takes in the information, tapping his chin thoughtfully. "…so, from the Reese sight, what is the importance of these other three?" he asks, expecting there to be some reasoning and that these aren't just blind jumps. Unless of course, he should already know.

"The sectors Captain Rozzen identified had signs they might yield raw materials, or space anomalies, the Cylons could be exploiting, sir," Phin replies. "She narrowed it down as best she could, there just isn't much good data for even the Tactical spooks to pull from. She said a first jump was unlikely to yield anything conclusive. But it could give us a better idea of where to look in future, more targeted missions. If this turns out to glean information we can follow. I was thinking this should start fairly modest, for that reason. One Raptor, one ECO. Lieutenant Ward - Dropout - recommended kitting the Raptor down to fly as quiet, and fast, as possible. Little excess weight as can be managed. He figured, whatever we might meet out there, we wouldn't have much chance of winning in combat against anyway. So, best to kit it out to run and jump out fast as possible. Anything like that would need to be run by the Deck, though, and whichever pilot ends up assigned. See how they think it's best handled."

Studying the map and listening to Phin, Zachary nods slowly as he considers. "Then just one Raptor for this first mission?" he asks curiously, a glance towards the Ensign for him to answer that before he goes any further.

"That was my thought, sir. I wasn't sure how conservative to be, or what sort of resources would be worth dedicating to it, given that it might not yield anything at all." Phin adds, "Though if you'd agree to release a second for the project, it could investigate the old Armistice Station and the third sector Tactical highlighted. While the other concentrated on the Reese sight, and the fourth. Captain Rozzen said the third and fourth sectors would be where she'd start, and I've no reason not to think she's got the best handle on that of anyone."

There's a slow nod of his head, and Zachary considers the map again. "This mission is inherently high risk. I think it shows a hell of an initative. However, we're dealing with some very dangerous unknowns out there in the dark." he admits. "I'm putting you in command of the overall on this operation. This project came from you, it's yours to own. These are the resources I can advise you that I will be willing to release for use on these missions. Remember, they will still need to be cleared through Command." he points out, and then turns back to Phin.

"Once one of those cargo haulers we reovered is off-loaded, and empty, she should be able to move faster and provide you with a platform for Vipers or Predators to use for a launch and recovery stable area." he lets out a breath. "I'd love to give you something with more meat, but that's the Old Man's department. You want to ask the Admiral, I'll back you up on it. Next, this is a volunteer only project, with an exception. Anyone higher ranked than a Lieutenant Junior Grade will need to speak with me for permission before they go along." he says quietly. "Let's be honest.. I can't afford to lose my experienced pilots on what may be the gates of Hades itself. But.. in return, this is what I'm willing to do to make your life easier. As of this moment, you're Lieutenant Junior Grade McBride. The pins carry some weight, and I'll stand behind your decisions. If you mess up, we'll have a talk. But so far, you have impressed me, and I want to reward that."

"Understood, sir," Phin says, nodding firmly about volunteers. "My initial thought, about not asking for something like a cruiser initially, was that we really don't know what we're looking for. It's a big commitment of resources, and personnel. I was thinking the Raptors would gather some initial data, and if they found anything worth pursuing, we send in something bigger for a deeper dive…" He's getting off jawing about the mission itself, and does not seem to really register that Zachary kept talking about him. Then he trails off. Blinking. "Umm…" Not a coherent response to a promotion, Phin. He clears his throat, and dredges up something less monosyllabic. "I…Understood, sir. Thank you. I appreciate what this implies, about the responsibility you want me to live up to. I'll do my best not to disappoint."

"Good. I'll have a set of pins delivered to you from the Quartermaster, I'm out at the moment." Zachary chuckles, and shakes his head before he lets out a slow breath. "This is a hell of a risk. Sure you're up for it, Dolly?"

Phin doesn't answer that last question straight. As, he does not look sure he is at all. But he replies, "Nobody's up for anything they're doing right now, sir. To my mind. I'll try and rise to the trust you've placed in me, though. And not let anybody I fly with down." That's the best he can do. Once loosed by the CAG, he stands and salutes. And will retreat fairly quick. So he can go hyper-ventilate in a quiet corridor about this.

Zachary can't help but to feel a little bad, and it might show in his expression as he rises and salutes in return. "Good luck, Lieutenant. I know you can do this." And with that, he watches him leave and slumps back behind his desk with a sigh, looking at the picture of Eden. "…I finally get what you said - but it doesn't mean I like sending them out."

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