MD #175: New Toys and Old Toys
New Toys and Old Toys
Summary: The CAG wants to play with Hurricanes and Missiles
Date: 30/09/2017
Related Logs: None
Niko Gloria 
Mess Hall - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
The Crew Mess on the battlestar is one of the larger rooms meant for occupation. The room is far longer than it is wide with the classic stainless steel tables that can be seen anywhere else on the ship, standard to all navy ships. Most of the chairs match, their padding on the seats worn down after several years. Towards the rear of the room is the food prep area and serving lines. During the time in between meals the Mess will serve midrats, or 'mid-shift rations', such as sandwiches and drinks. Coffee pots are left to run at all hours to keep people going as needed.

It's lunch break for Alpha shift when Niko enters the mess. Sporting his blues today, the CAG heads for the back of the 'lunch' line, joining the queue with everyone else. He greets a few of the Air Wing that come into close proximity, but most of his attention is on his data pad, which is playing out yet another instructional lecture on the Apray Hurricane. The sound is muted but Arpayan subtitles crawls across under the visuals.

With her experience in teaching at fleet flight academies after the Cylon war, Gloria has been spending a reasonable amount of time running nuggets and junior pilots through various sims. Once such has just finished, which means it's lunch time. Stepping into line behind the CAG her eyes catch a glimpse of the tablet and it's programme and she smiles slightly. "Vipers not good enough for you any more sir? Just don't let Deck find out, they'll think your abandoning all their hard work for a new shiny toy."

Niko blinks, losing his concentration. But he seems just as happy having an excuse to hit 'pause' on the lecture and turn toward Gloria. "Dodona. Hey." The aging Viper jock flashes the ECO a quick grin for her jibe. "Planning ahead, for when we have the pilots to fly those Hurricanes on the Norton." Given the wing loss rate and the lack of a home planet, this may be just a tad optimistic. "I hung out with their pilots and took a joy ride in one once, and I know Arpay, so now I'm the expert." There's no lack of confidence at least. "How's things with the Ghosts?"

"Well, if I ever have any questions about them I now know who to talk to," Gloria replies, although it's not likely to come up in her line of work. As for the Ghosts, "busy. Some of the youngsters want to go do some more fighting, blood themselves against the Skath, rest of us? Well, never complain about a stretch of downtime I figure. I'm intrigued about this planet though. Wish we had a better idea on what killed 'em all."

"Yeah…" Niko says with a little less confidence. "Give me a couple weeks to get up to speed. Take one out and bang it up." Then he gives a nod for her word about the squadron. "They'll get their chance. Good that they're eager though." And then he's reminded of something else, which causes the CAG to change course abruptly. "Hey, you did tech stuff in the last war, right? I mean, you worked on missiles and countermeasures? Did you work on the upgrades to the old Air to Air systems on the Viper Mk II? The ones we got right before the end of the war, that let us finally lock up the fraking Cylons?"

"Just let us know when you're taking it out for a spin," Gloria replies trying to sound serious, "so we can have a SAR raptor prepped and ready to retrieve you." The change of tac catches her by surprise and she initially nods, then stops. "Peripherally. I was working mostly on countering their Surface-to-Air capabilities. Why, what’s up?"

Niko laughs at the suggestion. "Hey, you know I learned to fly at Crandall during the last war? My first carrier landing was when I was transferred to Orion. Four wave offs." He's joking about it now but getting waved off on landing is a big no-no. "I didn't die back then. I can get a Hurricane back on the deck." The CAG gives a quick nod for her response to his question and launches off into his explanation. "We brought up a load of old AAMs aboard those Landers from Aerilon. They're all from before the Second Cylon War. We need to get them upgraded so we can use them when we run out of the latest stuff." He flips up his pad to make himself a quick note. "I'll talk to Nyx. Don't be surprised if your name comes up."

Gloria tsks and shakes her head slightly, "four? Wish I could say it doesn't surprise me, but I've seen the same at Spangdahlem, and we were supposed to be for the best of the best." Well, if your into Raptors anyway. "Just don't die this time either, Major Heron would kill you, probably repeatedly." The mental image is a lovely one, but she moves on. "Ah, yeah, you don't want to be firing them without that. If it's work that’s been done before though you're likely best trying to sweet-talk the Deck Chief though, some of her techs should be able to sort it. I've done a reasonable amount of general ordnance work though, and have the Qual, so if you do need an extra pair of hands then I suspect I'll get volunteered."

Niko flashes a grin for the DCAG's likely reaction to his death in a crash. "Crone will end up commanding a Wing of her own, one way or another, before this is over." Was that 'no promises?' He moves on as well. "Yeah, I can take it to deck. But I'm not up on the technical details. Which is where you come in." He steps forward a few paces in line as things move slowly along, but doesn't break his train of thought. "Delegation, Dodona. That's the art you really have to master to get promotions. Get the people who know the job better than you to do the work. Makes you look good on your performance review."

"Rather her than me," Gloria replies with a smirk as they edge closer to the food, "I do miss not feeling like I'm going to hurl whenever I go to work, but if I stop flying then I reckon it'd be back to CIC, not a desk in a cupboard." Or office, as apparently some people call them. "The Chief knows her people," she notes, with regards to the technical details, "just catch her on a good day. Last I heard she was still being a little spikey." As for delegation she just smiles, "see, most of what I was doing before all this kicked off again was training the nuggets to get them into a position where others could delegate to them. Never got to myself though, they always insisted on graduating them before we could take advantage.

"Not that they couldn't use you in CIC," Niko says, "but we need good ECOs more. You guys are hard to replace." Which sounds like a transfer would not be approved willingly, just in case she were wondering. And then he shrugs off the details about working with the Deck. "Yeah, I'm sure the Chief can handle her end." A bit of advice is offered after her final comment. "So now's your chance to some initiative, Dodona. Grab yourself a junior ECO and drag them along, get them to handle most of the work, and tell them it's a learning experience."

"Don't worry Scythe, I'm not going anywhere while the docs can keep supplying the tablets. If it gets to the point where I am actually heaving each time then who knows, but you're not going to get rid of me just yet." Anto-nausia pills are Gloria's friends when she flies. As for junior ECOs she just nods, "good plan. We can try and get the new guys through their quals as well, and this seems like a reasonable project. Don't suppose we can do a quick recruitment drive before we drop the civvies off though could we? We picked up a few pilots, but no one seemed to want to volunteer to backseat."

"Just keep you in drugs, huh?" Niko jests. Then he nods to confirm that yes, his suggestion is indeed a good plan. "That's the beauty of it. You cut your own workload and you bring someone else up to speed. Pretty soon they're taking over that job and you can move on to something else. Like squadron commander." The idea of a recruitment drive is met with a small frown. "We put out the call. Most of the people we picked up from P are either old or kids. Couldn't hurt to try again though."

"Just keep 'em coming," Gloria grins, "and the Commander won't be able to tempt me back." Not that Petra has tried mind.. "I guess saying 'hey, nerds, come be an ECO or get dumped on a planet where everyone mysteriously died and we don't know why' would get vetoed? Something something something, don't scare the settlers, something something?"

"Yeah, that might not be the best initial point," Niko goes with a 'start of an attack run' metaphor. "We're only putting people down there because it's the least-worst choice." Or so the CAG hopes. He hardly sounds enthusiastic about the idea. "If I were trying to recruit ECOs, I'd make up some bullshit about telling everyone where to go and saving their asses while they pretend they're doing all the fighting. Something like that."

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