Van finally gets a chance to pass a request up the chain to Kallas.
Location: Ready Room, Deck 6, Battlestar //Galactica//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 948
Kallas hates paperwork. But the only thing he hates more than paperwork is doing said paperwork in the navy offices, which makes him feel like he's flying a desk. So he's here, frowning at his tablet.
When you report to the CAG about an issue that is not directly flight-related, you wear pressed blues, at least if you're Van Newton. The fact that he's meeting Smackdown in the Ready Room instead of the office that the CAG technically has somewhere up-ship doesn't change that in the slightest. Approaching the frowning pilot, Van straightens up, snapping off a Picon Naval Academy palm-out salute that, if it's not parade-ground-perfect, is certainly close. "Sir, do you mind if I rescue you from the tablet a moment?"
Kallas has blues. Somewhere. They're probably not pressed since he hardly ever wears them. Today is no exception as he slouches in a chair in his fatigues. He straightens a bit when Newton comes in. "My hero, Milkman," he says with a grin. "What's on your mind?"
"Non-pilots with flight training, sir." Van relaxes immediately, not bothering with parade rest or 'at ease,' but rather settling into something that actually looks like he's at his ease, "I've been surprised by the number of people onboard who aren't -- or weren't -- part of the Air Wing who have flight training. One of them approached me because he was interested in keeping in practice, but wasn't sure of the regs on using the good sim programs we have here." And since Van is bringing it up with Kallas, he evidently doesn't know the regs on such a thing either.
"Sit if you like," Kallas says, motioning to one of the other briefing seats. He too looks surprised. "A number of people? I mean, I can see a couple armchair pilots out of four thousand crew, but are there really that many?"
Van shrugs a little helplessly as he slips into one of the comfortable chairs, the fingers of his right hand plucking at the writing desk attached to the side of the chair for a moment, "It could just be that I've run into everyone on the ship who can fly, but besides Ensign Asa, Doctor Cadmus is the one who brought it up. It made sense to me to have one more person on a medivac who had some recent stick-time, even if it's in a sim."
"Doctors don't fly medevacs," Kallas points out mildly, but then he shrugs. "But if he wants to use our sim programs, he's welcome to load them onto his 'band or use the ones here if nobody else is."
Van shrugs again, "I wouldn't mind if everyone onboard knew how to get a Raptor from the sky to the ground without turning it into a crater, sir. We found out at Triton that sometimes you don't have time to be picky about the 'right' pilot." The granted permission causes the pilot to nod sharply, "Excellent. I thought I might open it up to any non-pilots interested, sir? Maybe a simple race or some evasion competitions? I can make sure they're useful sims, rather than just zipping around the sky -- when nobody else is."
"I wouldn't mind it either, but I don't think the powers that be would be too happy with us tacking another fifty hours onto basic," Kallas says with a grin, then waves a hand. "Sure, long as nobody's using them and they don't leave the room."
Van chuckles dutifully at the joke, nodding his acceptance of the point, "True. And someone who thinks they know what they're doing but doesn't is more dangerous than someone who knows they don't have a clue." The suggestion that the holobands might leave the room causes Van to look shocked... or at least to feign a look of shock, "I'm not letting any of the 'bands wander off, sir. They're great for training, and I know that the nav lights won't flicker, the DRADIS won't go out, and the engine won't cut out in mid-air." Two things that have happened to him, and one... well... the Raptors are big news in the circles of scuttlebutt on the ship.
Kallas scowls a little at the reminder of the glitches. "It's supposed to be the other way around - bitching about the sims having bugs." He lets that go, though, and asks, "How's everything else going? Racking up quite a score. We'll get you and Stenz a proper celebration soon as we get some leave."
Van nods his agreement at the complaint, "Nothing's ever quite right until it's been broken in, right?" The mention of his score leaves the pilot shrugging a little helplessly and smiling faintly at the same time, caught between being humble and proud, "I'm just trying to do my job, sir. Kill any toasters that get anywhere near my element lead -- or anyone else if their tail is clear. I'll clean up the damage I've been picking up lately too. I know the deck crew has enough to deal with with the glitches without pilots coming home in shot-up birds."
Kallas shrugs, not overly troubled by the damage. "Only way you dodge everything is by staying home. Haven't seen you taking any stupid risks or making sloppy mistakes. Long as you get back in one piece and help your squad get back in one piece, that's the most important thing."
"Can I quote you on that next time a crew chief comes after me with a scowl, sir?" Van chuckles faintly, "You'd think it was their names on the birds instead of ours." He pauses then, a thoughtful look crossing his features, "Come to think of it, maybe that would be a good idea? Show the deck crew that they're part of the same team a little more directly?"
Kallas chuckles. "You think that stops them from scowling at me either?" NotSoMuch, says his amused expression. "I like to tell them to think of it as job security. That goes over about as well as you'd think." He smirks then. "I don't think the deck crew needs their names on ships to know that we're all part of the same team, Milkman."
Van nods slowly, "I suppose not. I was just thinking of how much work they put into keeping the birds flying, and how we get the credit." Shaking the thought off, he shifts back to, "I think that I'll avoid the 'job security' suggestion, if you don't mind, sir. I'd like all the new-bird-bugs to be unintentional, since I don't have seniority to protect me."
Kallas smirks at the security line, but then says more seriously. "There's a whole ship full of people behind us every time we go out there, Milkman. They all share the credit. But at the end of the line? It's your ass in that seat, which is why it's your name on the side."
Van nods even more solemnly at the response, hesitating a long moment before he adds in, "Are we going to get a break at some point soon, sir? Even just a day or two at Condition three. There are a couple of new pilots who saw their first action here on Galactica who could probably use some time to decompress." Grudgingly, he adds, "I could probably use some time to decompress too. Even a year later is too soon to be at almost-Triton levels of action again for too long."
"Beyond my paygrade, Milkman," Kallas admits. "But my guess is they'd best get used to this. Condition three is when you're not in an operation, and I somehow don't think they built these shiny new Battlestars to have them camp out behind the lines while the Cylons kick our asses. Plenty of time to decompress between CAPs." He sighs, then. "Speaking of which, I'm due up soon. Anything else you needed, Milkman?"
Van nods reluctantly, "We'll all make it through. I'll keep talking to some of the newer pilots when I can." At Kallas's query, Van shakes his head, rising to his feet, "No sir. I should actually head down to sickbay. I was going to check in on Gopnik. I heard she got shot up pretty badly. Thank you, sir, for setting me on the right side of the sim question."
Kallas nods. "She was discharged. Probably resting in her rack." He switches off the tablet and rises. "Keep up the good work." Then he starts to head out.
"Good news then. Thanks again, sir." Van nods, but lingers in the ready room for a few minutes, checking up on scheduling details. There is very little more awkward than walking out the door at the same time and in the same direction as someone you just ended a meeting with.