2237-05-03 - An Ensign's Dreams Shattered

Kell arrives to the Vanguard, finds out that he is no longer going to the Galactica. Surprise!

Date: 2237-05-03

Location: Vanguard - Hangar Deck

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 999

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The Vanguard is still prepping to depart, which means supplies, material, and yet a more personnel being shuttled over to fill out its compliment, whether late arrivals from Galactica or those from other ships making stopovers at the Scorpia yards. And while the recent surprise attack was repelled in what was hailed as a fairly major colonial victory, there's still cause for nerves and that means combat patrols. It also means the tough reality of getting right back in the saddle for those who don't feel like they 'won' much in the recent battle. Cap is in the latter category, the usually chipper Aerilonese woman just looking... tired, more than anything, as she climbs out of her Viper from one such recent flight. The deck is busy with arrivals, meaning there's some competiton for deckhands and postflight, leaving her waiting beside her bird, helmet tucked in one arm.

No one has really bothered Antonie Niemec as of late. They know better. If ever there were a woman going through the motions, it's the Tauran Captain. She wakes up. She does her job. She sleeps. Or she at least climbs into her rack and stares off into space until it's time to repeat the process. She's just in from bringing some supplies aboard and has handed off the post-flight checklist to a deck-hand while the last of the crates are carried off the Raptor itself.. Helmet off, ECO off to the Mess, the woman just slumps forward in her chair and leans against the controls. Taking a rare moment of relative quiet on an otherwise busy deck. It's not as if she cannot be seen through the bird's windscreen.

One of the Raptors that had just landed is probably partially to blame for the delay that Cap has to deal with as a crew of deckhands are already with that bird. The bus itself isn't kitted for combat, instead it looks to be more of a transport variant and it shows when the side door slides open. One to disembark is a youngish looking pilot, outfit easily identifying him as Navy and upon closer inspection, an officer with the simple rank of Ensign. Kell does not have the grizzled or jaded look of a veteran, in fact, he looks a little lost. Right hand is by his right shoulder, clutching the straps of his duffel bag. Left hand holds a sheet of paper that was tri-folded, open now as he looks down at the contents, transfer papers most likely.

"That was about the quietest flight ever.." Tucker is admitting, signing in the bird after Niemec finishes the check, since he flew for the ECO as he frowns a little. He heard about who she was and who she lost, so any attempts at small talk were kept to the minimal as he hands the log book over to the crew chief. "She's running like a dream, Chief." he manages as he glances over at Cap and arches his brow. "Goodness, they do have them young and cute around here."

And here's the relief, Irene, strolling out onto the deck looking rested and fresh. Yet another raptor pilot, looks like, probably set to take one out and keep the runs going. As she walks down the line, she fixes her vest despite it looking just fine and tucks her hair behind her ear. Otherwise she looks smart and perfectly composed, the Virgon Navy training on full display. She breaks decorum only to lift a hand to the tall blonde pilot she spots, calling a friendly, "Hi, Flats."

While Cap is trying just to do her job and get on with things, the wear shows. Eventually, she gets annoyed with the wait. Because ultimately, it's just time out of her off duty cycle, out of the routine that will play out before she's right back here again. It's an infringement and a reminder at the same time. So, with a rare scowl, she sets off purposefully across the deck to see if she can't harass someone into looking at her ride. "Hey, what's the hold up?" she will demand, coming upon some poor young (but not any younger than her, maybe even a little older) woman who of course isn't in charge of the schedule. This is where the tension between comissioned and enlisted can easily show. Frayed, over-angsty pilots harrassing hardworking folk who aren't responsible for the problems yet aren't fixing them fast enough to satisfy. However, she stops mid-berate as she spots Antoine through the window, expression softening just a little. She's making her way around to the nearest entrance, to offer- well, whatever she can, when Tucker calls over. "'Scuse me?"

"Just taking in the sights of a new ship, el-tee." Tucker offers with a grin at the small and cute but feisty pilot, before he hears the familiar voice. "Hey Irene." he greets Iris as he finishes with the post-flight check in.

There's been enough loss in all of their lives that everyone's come to start processing it in a lot of ways. For some its become alcoholism. For others its become a sort of numbness. Many funnel it into simply destroying as many canners as possible. Antonie is growing weary. But then, as compared to many of those who volunteered for the Colonial Fleet... she's on the older end of the spectrum. Especially for being a Captain. She's a decently decorated Captain, but still just a Captain all the same. Maybe it's the simple fact that she's a Tauran and the Fleet is ostensibly Caprican-run. Maybe they know more of her past than they let on. After a few moments at the controls in repose, she finally pushes herself upright with a hand scrubbed across her features. She dissembles into something of neutrality, moving to step off the Raptor with her helmet under her arm. "Cap," she offers lightly. It's not in warning, either. Just a sort of gentle, meant-to-redirect tone even as Tucker aims himself away. "You want to get some coffee?"

This is definitely not the Galactica, which is what Kell was telling himself when they flew towards the Scorpia Shipyards but not towards the magnificent Battlestar. Instead, the Raptor he was in that jumped in from another system angled towards a small Cutter-class vessel, which was apparently the right destination, even telling the pilot what the transfer papers were saying. Now after stepping onto the hangar deck, it appears the situation is not improving. The Libran Viper pilot can tell that there is some tension in the air, his attention turning towards the young looking pilot that is still in her flightsuit. When Cap directs her attention from the poor deckhand to another, apparent new arrival, Kell was about to brace for some sort of fireworks and may have chosen to intervene but with others nearing who knows them, the situation looks to be defusing. Now is not a good time to ask for directions though, that he can tell.

Irene pulls a quick face at Tucker, a boy-you-done-stepped-in-it-now smirk, but she seems more amused than anything. No backup from her, in fact she keeps going, heading for that Raptor that just recently disgorged an ensign named Kell. A fact she duly noted on the walk down deck. "Is that Raptor C-327. Why are you so late?" She asks him, like somehow he's responsible and not the actual pilot. "Did you stop off somewhere for a late dinner and some drinks?"

"Well, I'm not on the tour," Cap replies, curt and sharp. At any other point, Tucker would probably be having much better luck with this. But alas, timing! She goes on a, little sarcastically, waving a hand to indicate the space around them, "Shockingly, this is the hangar. As you can see, it's a lot smaller than a Battlestar's. Which means everything runs at a snail's pace when we have a lot of traffic on the deck." Amidst this annoyed tirade, she investigates his flight suit for his rank, prior unit patch, all those little details. Antonie's greeting comes as she's examining, and so she looks over, sighing a little. "I think he's one of yours," she offers, thumbing at Tucker. "But yeah, coffee sounds great." Notably, she does not ask any stupid questions about how the other woman is doing or anything, nor does she bitch about the logistical situation. Nope. No heaping trouble on her! A casual glance does take in another pair of unfamilar arrivals, although her mood means for once she's not the volunteer welcome committee, greeting them with bright smiles and welcome tours. They can figure it out their frakking selves!

"A shame, that." Tucker offers to Cap, handing in his helmet. Everyone around here seems so grumpy. "Maybe I should stay away from the water on this ship." he mutters to himself as he continues on to head off to the berthings, just to get out of Grouchland.

There's no grumpiness to Antonie. There is simply... nothing. The woman seems devoid of anything, one way or another. There's no frowns, but there's no smiles, either. She just reaches a hand out towards Cap's arm to draw the much younger pilot towards her. "Ignore him," she offers in a quiet voice. There's a lift of her chin to sight down the deck, spotting Kell and the tell-tale color of those transfer papers, "You'll want off the deck before someone runs you over. Come on. We can get some coffee on the way and figure out where you belong." She may be a broken thing but a mother bear never stops being a mother bear and it'd seem she's off to shepherd cubs to the berthings if they find it suiting to follow. Tucker may not find his solace there.

Irene's approach was definitely unexpected as Kell had already shifted his attention from her towards Cap and Antonie, expecting the Lieutenant that is now barraging him with questions to intercept Tucker. So when she approaches and the questions are fired away, the Ensign looks surprised and his response does not come immediate. After taking a moment to process what Irene just said, the Libran finally speaks, "Everything is delayed, Leftenant, at least that is what the pilot told me. Inbound flights into Scorpia have been backed up, a backlog that is slowly clearing up." Must've been the surprise attack on the Shipyard that rudely interrupted the perfect scheduled flights that were in place. Kell is tempted to ask her for directions, his eyes glancing back down at the slip of paper in his left hand, the duffel bag over his right shoulder shifting slightly for comfort. Before he could ask questions to Irene though, Antonie speaks up in his direction. A quick study of her flightsuit reveals Captain ranking, which is another tier of ranking, "Yes sir, that sounds like a good idea."

"Well, that's outstanding." Irene without a ton of malice there, just resignation since she can't turn back the tides or unscrew a schedule this far off the rails. She glances past Kell, sees the Raptor isn't even fully unloaded and realizes she has time to kill. No point standing there, making the crew antsy, so she turns back. Being a friendly sort and not currently a sucking void of apathy and despair, she smiles at Kell and gestures him along, "You're new? Exit is this way, if you're lost."

Cap is very readily drawn over and subsequently shepherded, falling in with Antonie. In doing so, she also seems to step off the metaphorical warpath, at least a little. It's certainly a testament to the older officer's stature that she can not only keep professional, but by her attitude and presence create a good example for her younger counterpart. Mother bear indeed. Then her attention goes with the Captain's back to the other transfers. "Ah, hi. Welcome." She can even remember her manners, a shread of basic humanity. It helps that some hot-shot isn't hooting at her any more! And just like with Tucker, Kell's suit gets a once-over for insignia and all the like. "You're a Viper Pilot?" There's a flicker of a thought - a flash of something worried or sad on her face - but it passes. "Well, guess we'll be getting to know each other soon. Caprica Duncan, Lieutenant JG." She's not so bouncy, but she can manage pleasant.

There's a hand, lightly, to Cap's hair. An attempt to soothe the young Viper pilot. A hint of a bond there, perhaps. War does this, but so do small units. Antonie does manage a smile, finally, but it is not one that reaches the woman's eyes. "Coffee it is, then." She seems perfectly happy for Irene to lead the way; the woman is a suitable tour guide at the moment and Niemec is able to just fall into step. Measured paces through the new ship. And new as the Vanguard may be, it's a ship like any other. Things belong where they will and fit a certain rank and file. Much as the occupants themselves. "Antonie Niemec," the woman herself finally offers. "Raptor pilot."

Kell's uniform holds no previous squadron patch or any hint of where he is transferring from. Well, the only hint is that it looks rather new, as if the pilot has just transferred into the Colonial Forces not too long ago. His attention returns to Irene for a moment and gives her an appreciative smile, "Thank you, and I'm not exactly... lost. Misplaced perhaps?" Then it's to Cap's question which is answered with a quick nod of his head, "That's right, Leftenant." And the new arrival would follow with the impromptu welcome committee, especially since introductions are being exchanged. "Ensign Kell Draygo, previously with the Libran Air Command. Vipers." There is a pause before he decides to explain his 'misplaced' statement as they walk towards the exit of the hangar, "I... think I'm supposed to be on the Galactica. Need to report to the CAG, Major Webb. During the delay of my transfer in-system, they mentioned something about no longer joining the Wolfpack but instead, I'm to be transferred to the Timber Wolves?" Not surprising that the Ensign is confused, with last second changes and delays.

With introductions flying around, Irene slows down the tour to turn and give everyone a proper looking over. She hadn't really the opportunity until now, being all worried about catching her Raptor and all. Noting the captain's rank insignia, she salutes and tosses her name onto the pile, "Captain. It's alright, these Cutters aren't too hard to find your way around once you're acclimated. They call me Iris, by the way. I was driving the other raptor during the attack." Which seems more directed to Cap than the others, as her eyes settle on her a moment, putting a face to the voice she heard.

Cap definitely smiles a little more under the attention from the other woman. Still a softie at heart, she can hardly act up when Antonie is such a stoic and comforting presence. But Kell is a curiousity! "Well, uh, maybe the Captain can figure it out from your papers? But it's probably not a mistake," Cap explains, turning toward Antonie for confirmation. "Timber Wolves are a new unit on the Vanguard, some special operations... well, anyway, they're taking us and will be training us for whatever we'll be doing. But a whole bunch of the Wolfpack were transfered off Galactica. I dunno if you're brand new, but," and here, she can't help verbalizing the thought she's been trying to avoid saying aloud, "we took... some losses in the recent attack and they've probably tacked a few more names onto the transfer list to make up for it. Or maybe you're lucky and it's all a big mix up." Irene's introduction also draws a surprised "oh!" Sometimes you really don't associate the faces and callsigns, when it's not your immediate wingmen and cohorts. Her smile is only mildly uncomfortable. "Ah, nice to meet you properly."

"Well, many of the Wolfpack found themselves transferred here just recently. Including Major Webb. It's possible you were part of that grouping. He'll likely be found around the berthings. At worst, we can get you a meal in the mess while we sort it out." Antonie squeezes Cap's shoulders lightly before disengaging, aiming for the hatch and corridor properly before a deckhand decides to start pitching a fit about pilots on the hangar deck.

The sinking feeling is now there when Kell listens to Cap and her clarification about the Timber Wolves. If they are indeed to be berthed on this Cutter, then his original transfer plans to the Battlestar has been scrapped. Going from potentially staying on the most powerful vessel in the Colonial Navy to a much smaller vessel meant for scouting and picket duty, it is not good news at all. Then again, the new transfer does not know about the special operations part that the group on board will be participating in. Then the second hammer drops, which easily explains why there was such a tense atmosphere. However, Kell does have some tact, he doesn't probe any deeper about the losses, only offering a simple but straightforward, "I'm sorry to hear about the losses." No sugarcoating about how they were brave men or women, or how their sacrifice was for the greater good. He knows nothing about those who perished while fighting the Cylons and any assumptions would be inappropriate. The Libran does incline his head to Antonie, "Then it looks like they dropped me off on the right ship, sir. Thank you."

"Nice to meet you too." Irene echoes warmly, her smile a bit easier but restrained in slightly obvious sympathy. At the hatch she leads the group to on a smart march, she stops and stands aside, clearing the way for the other three. "Hope you find your place alright, ensign. Captain." Apparently she's going elsewhere, likely to wait for her bird to be turned around. The tour is over.

A much smaller vessel without even proper launch capability for Vipers! So many happy realities for poor Kell to face. Whatever of the man's sinking feeling shows, earns a sympathetic look from Cap. "Well, we're in it together now, Ensign, and we'll all have your back. No use worrying." Seems like, with that, he's already happily accepted. Of course, she's the baby of the group - leave it to the hardened aces to dish out the horrible hazing rituals. And that seems to be that. The Captain is heading out ahead, so she quickly falls in behind. "C'mon, if you're coming, anyway. Otherwise uh, we can point you to the right level for the berthings."

When Irene allows the group to pass, Kell realizes that she was headed to the flight deck in preparation for her flight out before she had intercepted the new arrival, him. So after passing the Raptor pilot going through the hatchway, the Ensign gives her another appreciative nod, "Thank you, Leftenant, looks like this will be... home." The encouraging words from Cap does bring a slight smile to the Ensign, the edge of his lips tweaking upwards slightly, perhaps more amused by the fact that a pilot who looks younger than him is the one offering inspirational words. Amused and perhaps a touch ashamed, but that won't be mentioned, of course. "Likewise, especially since it appears we will be flying together." As for traveling together through the ship to get some coffee, Kell nods his head, showing that he is inclined to follow. Wandering aimlessly looking for the Major is not the most efficient use of his time.


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