2237-07-22 - The Least Wrong Choices

Calliope commiserates with the CAG following the battle over the Bay.

Date: 2237-07-22

Location: Biscayne Bay Spaceport

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 305

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Even the CAG has to rest sometime. Stirling has grabbed a shower in their minimalist facilities and a clean uniform from the spares crate they brought over from Vanguard. For someone who's most often in her duty blues or flight suit, being in tanktops and green fatigue pants is an unusual sight. She's sitting on her cot, lacing up her boots.

Calliope has been trying to keep it together since becoming a refugee - along with the rest of the Wolves - on the surface of Picon. With limited success. Mostly she just looks pale and a little stunned. But she's managed to get a wash and a borrowed uniform as well. It's made for someone both shorter and less skinny than she is, so it hangs on her sack-like while also showing off her wrists. Still, she's here, and reasonably intact. She wanders in, spying Stirling on her cot, and approaches. "Uh. Hi, Whisper."

Stirling looks up at the approaching figure, offering the other pilot a faint smile. "Soundbite." The smile fades to a more concerned peer. "Rough night, huh."

"Uh. Yeah. Majorly." Calliope offers Stirling a smile. Or tries to. It flickeres onto her lips an then dies. She strides over to sit on a cot near the CAG. Is it her cot? Unclear. She might not even remember which one she first picked out when they were packed into this area. It's a cot. "How're you doing, sir? That was...well, it was a seriously rough night."

Stirling's face makes a little 'oh boy' expression when Calliope asks that. "You can say that again. I'm holding up all right though, thanks for asking." There's a little smile at the other pilot's concern. "I think it's normally my job to be asking you that though." The implied question is there in the loft of her eyebrows.

Calliope shrugs. "Well, I mean, nobody's good now, but I figure you're doing all you can about that." She unfolds her hands in her lap, looking down at them. "I'm..." The question trails off, and she has to start again. "I've been thinking a lot about the battle. I mean, the one before we ended up here. And about those Raptors. The Cylon ones. Cy-tors, I guess."

Stirling nods slightly. "You know, there's no shame in having a chat with the chaplain or the counselor. That's what they're here for." She then observes. "Cytors. Rolls off the tongue a bit better than Rap-cys." Lips press in consideration then she says, "You did well. Getting in close and confirming the id."

"Thanks." Calliope mutters it without much enthusiasm, but the compliment is enough to get her to look raise her eyes to meet the CAG's again. "I mean, I think I flew well. The flying part of this has never really been my problem. I've been doing that since I was sixteen, in some form. It's the rest of it that's..." She stops, swallowing. "Whisper...were we wrong? To wait to I-D them like that?"

Stirling leans forward a bit at the question, reading her forearms across her thighs. "You tell me what you think, then I'll answer," she offers gently.

Stirling adds, an afterthought with a serious smile, "And for the record - you're allowed to tell me if you think I was wrong."

"I don't know." Calliope sounds both sad and frustrated. "I mean, I think about the Canceron pilot that our flight shot down a lot. The one where...well, you were probably briefed about the inquiry, when you came aboard. We're supposed to be fighting for humanity, right? That's what the Colonial Fleet is supposed to be about. Not killing our own people. I know it was an accident but..." She shrugs. "...I still think about it. And I was thinking about it when we were up there. And I wanted to be absolutely sure. And then, they were Cylons, and Farmboy got shot down so...I don't know."

"Well, for what it's worth - it wasn't your call. I was flight lead, you followed my order. Simple as that." There's a wan smile that suggests Stirling knows it's really not that simple. She steeples her hands together, still leaning forward. "I was thinking about that incident on Canceron. What would have happened if their squadron leader had seen you shooting down their bird and ordered his squadron to take you all out? Assumed you were Cylons? Is that any different than the situation we faced?"

Calliope shakes her head. "No. I guess it isn't. And I guess I can see why he would've done it, if that's what had happened." She chews her lower lip for a moment. It doesn't seem to help her arrive at any profound conclusions. "I mean, I've been going over it in my head and what fraks me up is, if I had it to do over again, I'd rather take thirty extra seconds to know for sure than not. But that can get your flightmates dead. Everything happens so fast and...I can't even imagine having to be the one who was giving the orders, sir." There's a note of sympathy in her voice.

Stirling's lips thin. "Sometimes in war there are no good options, so you just try to find the one you can live with. For me? It was taking the thirty seconds to be sure." She spreads her hands then, in a what-can-you-do gesture. "Personally, I'd rather take a missile on the chin myself than get that call wrong. A giant dogfight like that - I could see some Picon rookies getting confused by our markings and thinking we were Cypers. I thought... between all of us jamming and trying to block the Raptors, our guys would be all right for a few seconds while we double-checked. Turned out they weren't, but there was no way to know that at the time. So no, I don't think I made a mistake. Though I think there are other pilots who'd disagree."

"Yeah. Same," Calliope agrees, about the jamming. "I figured we had it covered. But it wasn't enough." She nods. "I don't think you made a mistake, either. At least, I wouldn't do any different, if I could go back and do it over again. It's just...a bunch of bad choices." She exhales a huff of a breath. "I guess that's all I wanted to say, Whisper. And also, if there's anything you need me or the other pilots to do while we're...kind of stranded here...I mean, you know you can order us to do anything, but I wanted to say that I'm ready to do...anything."

"Just imagine how we'd feel if we had taken them down and they turned out to be a couple of Picon flyers who made an honest mistake, like Spider and Razor." Or so Stirling keeps telling herself. She nods to the latter bit. "I'm going to snooze for half an hour then I'm going to round up people to go help out in the city. I'll find you then."

Calliope nods to that. "Yeah, I want to do something to help. Even if we can't get the Vanguard space-born again. I'll be around, Whisper. Rest as well as you can." With that she stands, and wanders off. Toward a cot that stands a slightly higher chance of being hers.


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