Ryan sacks Webb.
Location: Ryan's Office
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 565
Webb knocked on Ryan's door and the commander waved him in. "Spider," he greeted. "Have a seat."
"What's the word, Colonel?" Webb asked as he settled in.
Ryan's lips drew together. "There's no way to sugar-coat this, Spider, so I'll just say it. You're being transferred."
Webb blinked. He couldn't have heard that right. "Excuse me?" His head tilted forward, eyebrows shooting up.
"Transferred." Ryan handed over the paper that made it official. "Effective immediately."
Webb stared at the paper. His jaw worked, chewing over his words. When he spoke, his tone was clipped. "This is bullshit, sir. Is this because of that thing with Roller? You know we did the right thing."
Ryan shook his head. "No, it's not about that. Though mouthing off to a panel of senior fleet officers didn't help your case any." Webb scowled at that, and Ryan went on. "What you did in the air isn't the issue. It's how you handled things after. More specifically - how you didn't handle them."
"Sir?" Webb looked confused.
"Did you follow up with any of the pilots to see how they were doing? Review the procedures to see where things went wrong? Did you even check the logs to know that this was our fault?" With each question, Webb's scowl only deepened. "What about the pilots who failed their quals? What have you done to help them along?"
"No sir. Didn't realize it was my job to coddle them. They're soldiers. They shouldn't need me to hold their hand."
"I didn't say you had to hold their hand. But you are there to be a leader. When you're the CAG, you have the entire squad's lives in your hands. Not just the ones on your wing, but the ones who go out without you."
It was obvious from the set of his jaw and the tension in his posture that Webb didn't like it. Nevertheless, he said, "Give me another chance, Colonel."
Ryan leaned forward against the desk, resting his weight on his arms. "Where we're going, I need someone I can depend on to lead that wing. You'll get another chance, but not here. You're being transferred to the LCV Ararat. You'll still be the CAG. We see potential in you, Spider.
You're a good pilot, a brave soldier. You work at it, you can be a good leader too."
Whatever Webb might think of the decision, he'd been in the navy long enough to realize that this was a done deal. "Yes, sir."
Ryan rose, and extended his hand. "Good luck, Major."
Webb shook his hand perfunctorily, then snapped off a salute and departed the office.