AWD #090: The First Step
The First Step
Summary: Holtz and Phoenix's first meeting gets off to a rocky start, but the pair soon come to an understanding.
Date: 06/04/2013
Related Logs: None
Phoenix Holtz 
CAG's Office
It's the CAG's office.
AWD #90

Phoenix's office door is open, a tray from the mess sits on one of the filing cabinets- not yet touched, the food in a Styrofoam tray. Phoenix sits behind his desk, a cup of coffee in his left hand as his right is occupied with a file. He's leaning back, reading and seems to be rather engrossed in the work.

Holtz has been borrowing the CAG's office for the last few days. Oh, he knows it isn't his permanently. But still, with Colonel Shepard gone, it's a quiet and empty place to work. At least, until now. He's reading from a folder of his own when he enters the room; he doesn't look up until he's already halfway to the desk, but when he does, the sight of Phoenix stops him in his tracks. There's a frown as Holtz closes his folder and stares at the unfamiliar face. "Who the frak're you?" he asks crossly.

"Major Phoenix Straton. Commander Air Group, Orion." The man answered, as he lowered his file, took a sip from his black coffee and looked up towards Holtz. "And you are?" the man asks, blue eyes staring across towards Holtz as he nods towards an empty chair on the opposite side of the desk. "Take a seat." he says, next- not waiting for the man to answer.

"Major Kurt Holtz." His Tauron accent is thick as he introduces himself in turn. "Commander of the Lucky Strikes." The scowl slowly fades when Phoenix announces himself as the new CAG, and Storm gives him a curt nod as he settles into the indicated chair.

"That make you a pilot, one of my pilots, wouldn't it Holtz?" he asks of his fellow Major. "Cup of Coffee?" he asks as he stands to refill his own mug. A few other sit upturned, open side down on the tray his little coffee maker sits. Phoenix moves, for the moment, with a certain slowness. Blue eyes looking over his file cabinets as he opens one, and pulls a different file. For the moment, its set on the top of the cabinet as he awaits Holtz's answer on coffee.

"Looks that way. Sir." Holtz shrugs, watching the other major as he walks to his coffeemaker. His tone isn't exactly deferent, but it's at least lost the hint of scorn it held when he entered the room. A black-gloved hand idly taps out a rhythm on the arm of the chair as he shakes his head to the offer. "Thanks, no. Never developed a taste for the stuff, I prefer tea." He's still watching Phoenix as the man pulls a new file. "Didn't know we'd be getting a replacement so quickly."

Coffee, and new file in hand, Phoenix opens it up. He reads it for a long, quiet moment. He closes the file- sharp eyes would note Holtz' name on it. "Judging from your reaction when you walked in here, I'd say that was the case." Phoenix offers, "Tell me about yourself, Holtz. You're one of the most senior officers in the wing, you've been here on the Orion for a little while now. WHat's your thoughts on the Wing and your place in it?"

Holtz does indeed have sharp eyes; they flick down to the folder, registering the presence of his name before he looks back up at the new CAG. His shoulders twitch in a tiny shrug. "Good flyers, by and large." He answers the question readily enough. "Got a couple boneheads here an' there, but what unit don't, yeah?" That last might sound like a joke, but Holtz's voice is entirely businesslike as he says it.

The second part of Phoenix's question, though, prompts a pause before Holtz answers. "As for me… I was a lieutenant two months ago." He says it as if it should explain something. "Captain Cole got his bell rung over Aerilon. We got him back, obviously, but he ain't quite been the same since. Job fell to me after that, an' I've been doin' it since." Another shrug.

"You have any concerns regarding the wing, Major?" Phoenix asks next, before he explains. "As I hear it, there's a lot of tension on deck and particularly within the wing. Particularly given this upcoming mission- I'm a little wary to send my entire Raptor Squadron into the thick of a Cylon prison on the urgings of a skinjob, regardless of how well she's trusted by members of command." Phoenix lets known his feeling on that, "However. As you've trained pilots before, I don't need to tell you how important it is a wing work together. Truth is, Major, I've been handed one heap of a wing in trouble- I've got a pilot on suicide watch. I've got an aura of tension between knuckledraggers, and my birds and I'm told the Wing is in danger of tearing itself apart over flying with Captain Garrito. So, I'd really appreciate getting your take on the situation, and any further concerns that would allow both of us to get back to doing the work we need to be doing."

Holtz's eyebrow twitches, and for the first time, he looks at Phoenix with something resembling respect. "Sir, I'm glad to hear you say that," he says slowly following Phoenix's comment about the skinjob. "Your predecessor seemed to believe that anyone what didn't welcome our new skinjob friends didn't belong here. Even went so far as to threaten one of my men with reassignment for merely registerin' a formal protest, as was his right as a Colonial officer. Didn't take kindly to that, and I told 'im as much. Suffice it to say, we had a bit of a disagreement on that score. Frankly, sir, things'd be a lot better if the powers that be would actually recognize we've got a legit concern, instead of tossin' about threats and insults until we fall in line like good little cogs in the machine." His face sours slightly as he says his last.

That expression remains in place when he moves on to the subject of the deck. "I came up through the ranks, Major, so I've seen this sort of thing from both sides, yeah? Too many officers think just because they got gold pins on their collar, that gives 'em license to push around them that wear the green. And to be frank, that in my opinion is the clearest mark of a bad officer, and I don't have the patience for that shit. To my shame, more of the blame lies with my people than with the knuckledraggers, and there's a pilot or two I aim to have a little chat with once I get back from this sortie over Picon." The sudden edge in his voice, though, says he might have more in mind than just a 'little chat'.

"Well. The fact is, this mission to Picon- its the big one. If we can get the information on that dreadnaught- and it all turns out to be right we've got ourselves a *major* big gun in our corner. Furthermore, given the amount of resources we'll have on the ground, its proof positive if the Cylon can or can't be trusted. I believe in actions telling more truth than words, and while I trust command to do their best not to send my people into a suicide mission this Picon mission still stinks like rotten fish. Untrustworthy information is what gets good pilots killed. Its my job to ensure that doesn't happen. We can't afford to lose any more good men and women for any reason."

Phoenix nods, then, quiet as he considers Holtz's Opinion on what makes a bad officer. "I've made it as clear as I can to the TACCO that I'm not comfortable committing the whole wing based on Captain Garrido's information. I consider her unreliable until proven otherwise. As for the issues with Deck and the Wing- I'd like you to remind your people that those knuckledraggers are the ones who keep us in the air. Its not a smart move to upset the guy who ensures your rapture systems are working in tip-top shape. Most of those men come from poorer colonies, and joined up just to feed their families- and they've all lost as much as any Officer. Sometimes a whole lot more." Phoenix just gives a sigh, "We've all lost too much in this conflict. But I absolutely need you to keep me apprised of what's going on in the Wing- particularly in my first few weeks here. You've gained their trust, they know you. Me, though, I'm the new guy. Its very likely that as far as they're concerned I'm just another no-knowing bull-shitter. I have every intention of gaining their trust, but, we can't do shit until we take care of this mission tonight. Any questions, criticisms, comments, concerns?" he wonders of his fellow Major.

"You're preachin' to the temple chorus there, Major," Holtz replies with a nod once Phoenix is done. "Can't rightly disagree with any of that." When the CAG asks for comments, he stands up and takes a few pacing steps before turning back to face the other major with a surprisingly earnest expression. "You don't mind my sayin' so, sir, it sounds like you got your head on straight enough, so I'm gonna give you a headsup. You're the fourth CAG we've had since this cruise started. Wisdom cashed out, Duke burned out, and Sheperd bugged out. So it ain't gonna be easy to win the wing's trust, or mine for that matter. It'd help, I think, if you told them what you told me." He pauses, leaning over the chair with his palms resting on the back of it. "We've got good people, but they've been shoved head first into a bad situation, and we ain't exactly seein' much from on high lately, what with all this skinjob bullshit and such. You let 'em know you've got their backs, and it'll be that much easier for them t' have yours."

"I fully plan to let them know my feelings." Phoenix replied, "I like a challenge, and damned if I'm not up to straightening this wing out. We're going to be the best, because we /have/ to be the best. I want Squadrons of Aces heading out and making the type of legends that never die. I want the Cylons to tell stories about my pilots with hushed fear, if they even do that sort of thing. I have /every/ intention for us to be *willfully dangerous*." Phoenix smiles at that, as he stands- picking up the File he'd taken earlier and replacing it in its place in his cabinet as he refilled his coffee, and returned to his seat. Another file open there already as he begins to write. "You're just the first step, Major. They'll be looking to you for cues. All the words in the universe won't amount to a hill of beans if I've got to fight tooth and claw against the oldhead they already trust." Phoenix gives a small, polite smile towards Holtz. "Its been a pleasure to meet you, Major Holtz. I look forward to our future meetings. This has been pleasingly enlightening."

Holtz doesn't return the smile, but his eyes are ablaze with an almost predatory satisfaction as he takes in what Phoenix has to say about fear and legends. When the CAG finishes, Storm straightens and nods firmly. "Well, Major, lookin' forward to seein' you in action." A pause. "But if you play as good a game as you talk, sir, you won't have to worry about a whit of trouble from me," he vows, his tone as serious as the grave. He tosses off a crisp salute to the new CAG, holding it for a moment before he turns on his heel to leave.

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