2237-07-04 - There's Always After

The Work Doesn't End When The Mission's Over. Eva And Stirling Touch Base.

Date: 2237-07-04

Location: Navy Admin

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 206

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Look, she's //totally/ on light duty, see? Or she was, which is why Eva is actually here. Or, it could be that she's trying to make up for lost time, or avoid a reprimand, well, she probably can't avoid that, but hey. Mostly, she's making her way through the sea of brass higher than hers, a pile of white boards and a tablet in hand, heading toward the desk that CAG's been assigned. She's dressed in her duty blues, so at least she's trying to make a good impression.

Stirling isn't wearing her blues, which is actually a bit unusual for her. She's at her desk, wearing her duty greens, typing on a laptop. The desk is kept neat and orderly - a stark contrast to Kallas' organized chaos and Webb's piles of 'I'll get to it when the CO starts hounding me about it'. The two sole personal touches are a family photo - Stirling with a man and a little boy - and a coffee mug bearing the logo of her old Caprica Navy squadron. As Eva approaches - and before the CAG seems to have noticed her, she stops typing and leans back in her chair with a frown and a sigh.

Eva pauses, a respectful distance from the desk, shifting her load from being primarily on one side, to the center. She's at least looking better physically, even if the pall of the events of the mission seem to have dampened her usual good spirits. Her voice, though, is calm, measured, the result of years of practice, "This is always the most difficult part, I suspect. Writing the report, sending out the letter. Especially if you didn't know them well."

"A-yup," comes Stirling's grim confirmation of Eva's assessment. "Funny how they leave that part out of all the recruiting vids and the rah-rah-ing of flight school." She laces her fingers behind her head, stretching out her shoulders, and they eyes Eva with concern for a moment. "How are you holding up?"

"I've had a lot of years and a lot of losses to learn how to hold up. Flats was a friend, though I was not as close to him as some. It's difficult to lose someone, but...I suppose after a while, it's hard to hold on to it, you know? It's there, but if you look at it too closely, if you don't keep it in your periphery, it will drive you mad." Eva bridges the last of the distance between herself and the desk, taking the liberty of setting down her whiteboards on the edge of whomever's desk it is that's currently not being manned, but is just next to Stirling's. "Maybe they shouldn't, come to think of it. As many washouts as we get, in School and after, maybe they could use it as a way to weed out the people who aren't committed enough before we invest the time."

"True enough," Stirling agrees generally to what Eva's said. She finishes stretching and leans forward in the chair again, a more neutral pose. "You're welcome to sit if you like." There's a chair opposite the desk. "Oh, medical gave me an earful for you skipping out of light duty to fly combat missions. Consider yourself yelled at." Though the way Stirling waves a dismissive hand suggests she doesn't actually give a crap about it. "I'm still learning my way around the squad, so I trust you and the other seniors to keep an extra eye on anyone who might be taking the losses particularly hard. I know Ingvar lost her brother the other day too."

Eva leaves the whiteboards as they are, moving to settle, still a bit gingerly, into the seat opposite the desk, "Thank you," and then, a nod. Eva is not going to be the one to deny that she broke regs, "We needed our best pilots out there, and I wasn't bleeding out of any unfortunate places. I try not to make it a habit, bleeding, or breaking regs, I mean, but I'm also not going to stand by, if the ship is at Condition One." And then, as the business turns more serious, she nods, "I haven't had a chance to speak to her, though she was so new, though, I'm not sure I've even spoken to her, beyond the polite words you say in passing between duty assignments. But we've all got eyes on the squad for you. I was actually worried about Banshee, yesterday, when she thought her family might catch fallout from the bombings. I suppose it's easy enough for me to say, because it's pretty unlikely that the Cylons will ever try to take Hibernia, but this isn't going to be the first, or last time that we have to fight with our homes at risk. If we can't keep it together, that might be a problem."

"We always need our best pilots out there. We also always need our best pilots healed up so they don't pass out at the controls and dead-sticking their Viper into a building. Just be careful," Stirling advises, her even tone suggesting she's not intent on making a big deal about it. She nods to the rest. "I'll make a point to follow up with her. As for Banshee - she did fine. Show me the pilot that doesn't get a little rattled when their home town's about to be bombed, and then I'll worry. We have it better than the home navies, I think, given the mix of pilots." Not everyone is fighting over their home turf. "What's your take on the new guy - Jar?"

"Yes, sir." Eva knows well enough to take the admonition, no matter how well-couched it is, and she's good for keeping her word. "Yes, she did very well, all of them did. We've been lucky with the junior pilots and ECOs they've been bringing in, especially the ones who came into the CF with little to no previous battle experience, like Soundbite, or Pi." Eva pauses, considering. With only a few days in, "Seems like a capable flyer. And from what I've heard, he's got plenty of experience in multiple locations since the war. So I don't think. A bit given to self-sacrifice, if his wanting to wave off assistance from the rest of the wing in that last engagement is par for the course with him, but that's the pot calling the kettle black there, because I've done that myself.." A pause, "Well, self-sacrifice or possibly a high level of confidence."

Stirling nods. "Well, there's a fine line between confident and reckless. Something to keep an eye on, at any rate. We don't need to lose any more pilots out there. The deck chief's had trouble keeping up with all the repairs too. We've got three Vipers still down at the moment."

Eva shifts in her seat, moving until she's sitting forward, forearms on her knees, considering the problem, "It's getting harder and harder to come back with fewer wrecked birds. The cylons are taking their tactics to the next level, and they seem to be getting better at taking us out, not to mention building birds that take longer to bring down. So better fighters, coupled with needing to stay out in engagements longer is not conducive to keeping our ships pristine. And it doesn't help that we have sow few to spare." A hand rises, a one minute gesture, though she doesn't lift her arm from her knee, "Not the chief's fault, we just can't fit the sort of ship compliment we need to cover all of our loses."

"Oh, no, not their fault at all. Just an unfortunate reality," Stirling agrees easily. "All we can do is our part in making sure we minimize losses. Easier said than done, most days." She offers a wan smile and a sigh, and closes the lid of the laptop. "I'm due up on CAP soon. Anything else on your mind?"

%Eva sits back, as Stirling gets ready to leave. "Actually, yes, a couple three things. First, I wanted to see if we were still going to be doing quals. I know we have a few people in the wing who missed them last time, and they've been working hard to improve. I'd be happy to either run them, or do some training runs." She indicates the white boards, "I worked up a few training runs as well, since we've been running into a lot of asteroid fields and debris clusters, might be worth some dry runs to get people comfortable and improve their ability to spot enemy hiding places." Eva pauses, taking a moment, before she finishes, "I'd also like your approval to adjust my schedule to be more in line with O'Day's. It's something we've been missing, having schedules that align and give us time outside of the cockpit."

Stirling gets her desk tidied up while she listens to Eva's questions. She nods. "Do some training runs. I don't want to run the quals again until we're sure they're up for it. Last thing we need right now is to dump more on morale by having them fail again. No such thing as too much training." The last query causes Stirling to purse her lips briefly considering. "I'll do what I can on the scheduling. But I'm sure you understand - you two are among our most senior pilots. I need you out leading flights to cover the rotation."

"I'll start getting some training on the schedule, and see if we can slot in the pilots for it, once I get an idea of who all will be interested in which training." Eva rises, as Stirling does, using her hands to brace against her knees, to take some of the stress off of her abdomen, "I understand, Sir, and we don't expect miracles. Even just one or two aligned off duty periods more a month would be a gift. We don't get to fly much together anymore, and that's for obvious reasons, so we've got no trouble with that." As Stirling said, they can't spare the pilots, or bunch up the flight leads into the same flight, "We'd appreciate it. Thank you, sir. I'll leave those with you." The stuff she brought with her, she means.

"I think I can manage that," Stirling offers with a light smile. There's an edge of concern to it as Eva gets up gingerly, then she nods. "Fly safe." Even though she's the one heading out next on CAP, it's more of a general sentiment.

Once Eva returns to her feet, she returns the smile, "You as well, Major." With her hands free, and some more other officer who's not her, thank the gods, desk half covered with her work, Eva will move to step away from the seat, and allow Stirling to go about her duties. "By the way, sir..." Eva looks back, "Do you like cookies?"

The question gets a curious look. "Of course," Stirling replies easily, offering another little smile.

Eva beams, a final smile before she ducks out of the hatch, "I'll let my supplier know."


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