Finn and Eva get called to the principal's office to face a disappointed Stirling.
Location: Ready Room
Related Scenes: 2237-08-09 - Win Some Lose Some
Scene Number: 392
Stirling is not a happy camper when the birds finally land back on Dauntless, having lost one pilot, nearly lost a few more, and brought back birds in bad enough condition that Walsh about has an epileptic fit as the ships are raised up on the elevators and towed around. "Frakkin' hells, sir, did you guys decide to take on the whole frakking Cylon army down there or what?"
"Near enough," Stirling mumbles back as she disembarks from her own battered ship. She eyes the damaged tail with a frown. It's a miracle she managed to get the thing back, honestly. Seeing Finn and Eva's birds also returning, she calls over to them. "Cherry, Farmboy - Ready Room now." Her tone is cool but not angry.
Eva has only just had time to step down from the ladder to her cockpit, but she has more than enough time to catch the sound of Stirling's voice and the order that's sent her way. A glance, in Finn's direction, before she fall in to step to make her way through the wreckage, or nearly so, of the returning ships, on her way to the ready room.
Finn's viper comes in easily enough, his viper unscathed for all that the battle was fierce. He glances to Stirling as he exits his Viper and then to Eva, then back to Stirling. He nods once and then makes his way to the Ready Room post haste.
Stirling has one more quick word with a scowling Walsh and then heads off to the ready room. Although it's one deck up, it's pretty close to the stairs leading down to the hangar deck for convenience. She lets Eva and Finn head up to the Ready Room ahead of her, while she hangs back for a minute to make sure the rest of the pilots disembark safely.
Eva takes the steps two at a time, surprisingly spry, all things considered, bounding in to the ready room and getting clear of the deck in record time. Hey, if you're going to meet your maker, you might as well take some time to get yourself put together before you do. "You alright, Finn? Nothing broken?" Of all the things she could be concerned about..."I'm going to be scrubbing pots in the mess for a week."
Finn is behind Eva, but he keeps up moving up the stairs. He blinks at Eva at her question, looking himself over. He barely scratched some paint off his viper. "Never really got hit. I'm fine." He glances behind himself at the door nodding, "Not sure what she expected us to do. Razor had a Raider on his tail, we kept it busy while he escaped. End of story." Of course, they kept on going after it when it ran...
Stirling isn't long behind them, having ensured that no one was hurt. She's still got her flight suit on, but left her helmet down on the wing of her Raptor. She smooths back some of the stray, sweaty hair that escaped from its braid while removing the helmet. Arms folded, she levels them both a stern look. "You two want to tell me what that was all about?"
Eva doesn't look in Finn's direction. Whatever lumps she's going to take, she won't try to get Fin to share her punishment, even that's not really how these things work. "I attacked the raider that was targeting Razor while he was attempting to escape. I stayed on it longer than I should have, and I took a damage that I could have avoided if I had followed your orders."
Finn shifts to attention when Stirling enters, hands moving behind his back, stance shifting broader. He clears his throat as Eva speaks, watching Stirling. "Same, sir. I was covering Razor's wing as he was escaping. I gave chase longer than was required. I wanted to make sure the Raider didn't double back when we turned around." He doesn't add on that he didn't get hit in the process. No need to rub that in anyone's face.
Stirling doesn't look any happier when they explain. On the up side, at least she doesn't yell. Her discipline takes more of the 'disappointed mom voice'. "I expect better from you. You're two of the most senior pilots in this squadron. " She glances to Eva. "Cherry, that's the second time now that you've stayed in the zone against orders. I let it go the first time because I understood that leaving a pilot stranded goes against everything we believe in. But this? This was just plain reckless." Then Finn. "Farmboy, you push the envelope more than almost any pilot I've seen. There's a time and place for that, but it is not when the entire flight just got our asses handed to us."
A grimace passes over Eva's face, at the mention of the first time she disobeyed an order. It's not that she didn't expect it ever to come up, because that sort of thing always turns back up. Like a bad penny. It's just a hell of a thing to have come up now. is she going to defend her actions though? Well, perhaps if there were something to defend. Blame her reply on acute self-awareness, "You're right, Major. I can hardly expect the junior pilots to follow a lead and an example that I'm not setting. I'm sorry."
Finn stands steadfast and takes his verbal lashing stoicly, as is customary for soldiers to do. His face is a mask of stone while she speaks, weathering in silence. After Eva speaks Finn nods to Stirling, "Understood Major, I should have drawn back when the Raider bugged out." He pauses and considers then adds on, "It won't happen again, I'll work on being a better role model for the others." A beat pause, "Sorry, sir."
Stirling looks grimly satisfied when they both bring up setting examples. She nods. "You two may have the skills to back up flying like wild dervishes out there -" Or whatever the BSG equivalent of a dervish is. "But a lot of them don't. Bingo and Banshee both flew into AA fire because they got too aggressive taking out their targets and got suckered. We could've lost both of them." There's a beat for emphasis. "And they could both be thinking that they're following your lead." Stirling frowns then. Speaking of losing pilots, she abruptly abandons the lecture to say, "I think the marines might have a better chance of getting Packrat out than an air SAR. I saw at least four SAM sites, and we don't know how many more Raiders they have in that area. Recon team can hopefully get in and find him before the Cylons do. Thoughts?"
Eva hasn't moved from where she stopped, and she seems poised to receive word of Stirling's disciplinary action, and so when what comes instead, after talk of the two pilots they almost lost, which brings only a deepening of the frown to Eva's face. Because yes, Stirling's right, the shift to the SAR is abrupt. But that's war for you, "I think that we're better off using the Marines. The cylons might well be expecting the SAR, seeing as that's our usual SOP. We've already seen that they're adjusting their tactics and ships to trip us up. Perhaps we might should tak a page out of their books. And the Wolves aren't us or them, we're all in it together. I don't doubt that they'd be up for the task."
Finn frowns just a bit, shifting to business now. "Agreed, Major. Using the marines will have a better chance of success. I'd recommend keeping an alert flight or two available for a strafing run and bombing attack, draw the attention of the raiders, it might give the recon team a better shot at moving undetected."
Stirling nods to both their assessments. "I'll go speak to Colonel Ryan then about putting a mission together. I think it's best if we don't stir up the hornets any more than we already have," she says to Finn's suggestion. "Recon can sneak in - that's their specialty." She frowns briefly, then starts heading for the door with a stern, "Carry on."
Eva's attention shifts, to Finn for his assessment, though, as he allowed her to offer her assessment without comment or censure, so she allowed him to offer his. And then, just as quickly, back to Stirling for her final decision. her mouth even opens, to comment, but then Stirling's already heading out of the door and Eva will just close it again. At least enough to put her thoughts back in order. When she finally does comment, now to a room in which she and Finn are the only occupants, "Why is it, that she sounded so nice, and I still feel like she took a pound of flesh before she left?"
Finn reminds silent as Stirling moves out, just nodding once. He gave his input, the marines will do what they do. Then he looks to Eva and offers a quiet shrug, "Guess that's why she's in charge." Amongst other reasons, "You are a bad influence on me. I never got scolded by the boss before meeting you." Well, at least...not on the Galactica. He had his share of issues before that. He nods to the exit and starts that way, "We should hit the sack, Cherry."