Stirling handles a request and a reprimand during her office time.
Location: Squadron Office
Related Scenes: 2237-09-26 - Walkway Discussional
Scene Number: 1420
Stirling is sitting at her desk, frowning at a piece of paper in her hand. There are a few other papers and folders set out neatly on the desk, and a tablet displaying a zoomed-in map. The desk is pretty tidy. 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 from Argyros. She's wearing rumbled Navy greens that she's probably been wearing since the squad got back from the mission last night.
Irene had requested a word with the major so arrives promptly after waking. If she stopped anywhere it was just to freshen up, splash water on her face and put her hair back in a neat, low ponytail. Upon entering, she stops to straighten the collar on her duty greens and look circumspectly around the room. It's only a second or two, just long enough to get the lay of the land and then she's moving again. It's a beeline to Stirling's desk, where she comes to attention and stays until acknowledged.
Stirling looks up at the motion in front of her desk. "Iris," she greets. Her tone is polite, but there's a somber edge to her voice that no doubt has something to do with the pilots lost last night. "Have a seat. What's on your mind?" There's a chair in front of the desk.
Irene glances back at the chair as if she hadn't saw it or hadn't expected there to be one. It's not shocking, but puts her off balance a little as though her train of thought had been interupted. When she's settled in, she gets back on track quickly. "Major Stirling, sir. I have a strictly informal request and I understand you're under no obligation or duty to honor it." She begins, diplomatically, without much of her usual Sally Sunshine self beaming through her serious, troubled expression.
The chair may have gotten shoved to the side by whomever used it last, which is maybe why Irene didn't see it. Stirling sets the paper down to give Irene her full attention as she gets situated. "Let's hear it."
There's a moment of hesitation, then Irene just says it, still in a careful, measured way, "Sir, it would be my preference not to be assigned to Captain Thorne's wing in future missions, if the composition of the force would allow it. If not, I will of course, fulfil my duty and follow all orders without complaint or hestitation." Done, she seems to will herself to sit there and meet her superior's gaze without a flinch or show of nerves.
That was certainly about the last thing Stirling expected to hear, judging by the crease of her brow and tilt of her head. But she takes it in stride, asking evenly. "Why is that, Lieutenant?"
"She's an excellent pilot and in no way do I wish to disparage her, which is why I'm coming to you informally, sir." Irene prefaces slipping up slightly by biting her bottom lip as she spends a beat thinking through her words. "But I don't feel confident that she'd have my back like Razor, Jigger, Bingo or any number of other pilots would and have. I understand yesterday's mission was especially difficult, but it's not the sole incident that led to my feeling that way."
"I see," Stirling says in that same even tone. "Can you give me a specific incident before yesterday in which Cherry has failed to have your back in some way? Ignored a Raider on your tail, left you on your own, that sort of thing?"
"It's an impression based on observation, sir. I didn't come with a detailed list of grievances to build a case against her." Irene answers, bringing her hands together to clasp uncomfortably in her lap, "I don't want to either. I'm not here to cause strife, sir. I just feel a higher probability of being left high and dry with her than most. That's it. If you can assure me otherwise, I'll happily walk away and never mention it again."
Stirling nods, then there's a little pause while she consider her words. When she speaks again, her tone isn't unkind, but it is firm. "Captain Thorne is an outstanding pilot with an exemplary service record. She's received the Colonial Forces' second-highest decoration for bravery. She's been chastised for refusing to leave a pilot behind despite orders to the contrary. So unless you can present me with some actual grievance to convince me otherwise, I am confident that she would lay down her life in a second for any member of this squadron - including you." There's a pause to let that settle then she asks, "Was there anything else on your mind Iris?"
"Then I am fully assured, sir. I apologize for wasting your time." Irene nods, rising up to salute and wait for dismissal. She seems ready to just leave it there, but an angel or devil on her shoulder whispers in her ear and, well, "Sir, I'd like to confess to a uniform infraction. I may have been party to an ill advised attempt at levity by wearing civilian clothes shipboard. I accept any punishment due, and apologize for the lapse."
There's a tiny quirk upward of one corner of Stirling's lip at Irene's latter confession. "The frog costumes? I'm aware, Lieutenant. I trust you to exercise better discretion in the future. Carry on," she says by way of dismissal.
"I will, sir." Irene vows, turning neatly on her heel with the carry on, and doing so with the annoying precision those Virgon Naval Academy grads are famous for. She must have got high marks for that. Out she goes without delay, on the march.
Stirling is sitting at her desk, watching Irene walking away from it. There are a few papers and folders set out neatly on the desk, and a tablet displaying a zoomed-in map. The desk is pretty tidy. 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 from Argyros. She's wearing rumbled Navy greens that she's probably been wearing since the squad got back from the mission last night.
Faye is wearing the duty blues. Faye was in wasn't on the mission last night, instead she had CAP and had wrapped that up before the squadron got back. She even got a bit of sleep! Precious, precious sleep! And then there was Irene! And she grins widely at her, giving a little crinkle to her nose and a wiggle of her eyebrows as she says in a quieter tone "Oooooo! You too? Well, gimme a sec, Iris. I wanted to talk!"
And so Faye steps around the other community desks and finally makes her way over. A stop where she comes to attention, a salute, "Ma'am." She says, keeping her eyes looking forward. "Lieutenant Jay Gee Faye Zeller reporting as ordered."
Irene doesn't respond very jovially but cracks a half smile at least, nodding to both indicate 'her too' and she'll give Zeller the sec requested. She stops at the door and turns enough that she's not staring directly at the pair, giving them a certain privacy that she breaks with only the odd sidelong look. Like barely any though. She prefers to stare at the video screen, even if it's not showing anything particularly interesting.
Stirling had looked back down at her papers, but lifts her eyes when she sees Faye approaching the desk. "Ah, Bingo." The CAG's expression is carefully neutral. "At ease." Though she does not invite the LtJG to sit in the chair in front of the desk that Irene recently vacated. Maybe the chat isn't so cordial. Or maybe she thinks it won't take long. Who knows. "I assume you are aware of the location of the laundry facilities on the ship?" Stirling asks blandly.
"Uh." Well, that was not what she was expecting. She looks down at her own clothes, starting to ponder over exactly what was being talked about? Ah crap, did she get a bit of egg on her uniform? Hah that would really be some egg on her face. She starts pulling lightly at the cloth, trying to find where the obvious spot is as she comments back, "Err, Yes ma'am? Did I miss something? Is it jam?"
No comment from the lone member of the peanut gallery. Irene simply stands there, hands clasped behind her back, eyes front and pointedly not looking at Faye or Stirling now. Just gonna mind her own business.
There's a very brief, very tiny smirk at Faye's reaction, but Stirling shakes her head. "I'm glad to hear it. I trust you're also aware of the existence of the quartermaster, should you need to put in a uniform requisition." That one's more a statement than a question. "So I see no reason, Lieutenant, why you should be lacking in regulation uniform apparel to wear while aboard the ship." The slight lift of her eyebrows gives Faye a pointed look.
Well, now she's at a loss. She stops looking over her uniform since apparently it had nothing to do with her's being dirty now. Was it the frog? Or the Zebra? Or maybe it was the iguana one with the googly eyes? Crap! Faye blinks and stares at Stirling with a look a bit like a deer in the headlights. "Yes ma'am?" She says again. Her eyebrows inch upward on her forehead. Oh no, was it the underwear that looked like a dress uniform.
Irene, who totally isn't listening, continues standing there impassively. There is a second there, when Faye gets called out for the uniform issues that she does close her eyes and faintly shakes her head, but that's it. They'll probably have words about that after.
"Good," Stirling's lips press together, apparently satisfied. "Then I'm sure I won't be receiving any more reports of wild animals loose aboard the ship," she says dryly. She takes a sheet of paper out from under a folder and puts it on the edge of the desk closest to Faye where she can see it. A print-out of a digital photograph of her in full zebra regalia. Caught red-handed. Or white-footed. Or whatever. "Once is a prank. Twice is a lapse in judgement. I advise you not to try to find out what three makes, Lieutenant. Carry on."
A cant of her head and she reaches for the photograph. A pause as she picks it up, turns her head one way, then the other, a turn of the photo too... Hm. "Uhhh." A blush rises up from her cheeks and she lets out a coughed noise to cover up her pause.
"Nay, ma'am." She says as she looks down at the photo and then sets it back down on the desk. For posterity.
"No more wild animals, loose or otherwise, ma'am."
Photographic evidence, even. Irene lifts hand to forehead and presses her knuckles gently to her brow as if to ward off either a massive headache or an inappropriate burst of laughter. Maybe both. When she's conquered both impulses, she reclasps her hands behind her back, saying nothing.
Stirling gives a brisk nod to Faye. Despite having dismissed her, Stirling seems to remember something at the last second and says, "Oh. One more thing." Brow furrowed, she searches for a piece of paper. "The deck crew is performing pressure tests on all the flight suits this week. Thank you for volunteering to assist them, Lieutenants." The plural, and a glance Irene's way, apparently includes the totally-not-listening Iris in on that as well. "Hurricane will be joining you as well." Has he done something recently? Or is he still on Stirling's shit-list from that stunt back on Scorpia? Who knows. "Chief Walsh will get you the details. Report to her at 0800 tomorrow."
Faye blinks then tosses her head back in a silent groan of anguish. Pressure tests?! She pulls her head back down to look at Stirling and gives another salute. "Yes, ma'am. Be happy to ma'am." And not even a ton of sarcasm. "I imagine we will hoof it down there tomorrow, ma'am." And there's the pun. Pause, step back, turn, and then heading back toward Irene.
Irene opens her mouth. Then she closes her mouth. When she opens it again, it's to acknowledge with a neutral, but still somehow a bit glum sounding, "Aye, sir." No protest from the blonde, she merely turns, probably wishing she'd not waited and slow steps her way out so that Faye can easily catch up. If she has anything she wants to say to her, it definitely will wait until they're out in the corridor.
Stirling gives another little nod to the pair of them, and then goes back to her work.