A Modern Military Man
A Modern Military Man
Summary: Captain Bayless greets the Battlestar Genesis' newest pilot.
Date: 106 ACH
Related Logs: None

The Ready Room is for pilots to get their assignments for the daily CAP. Rows of seating line six deep and back to the wall. At the front of the room there is a whiteboard, star maps and a podium for the CAG or Squadron Leaders to address the room. The flags of the colonies stand along the starboard wall as well as plaques of recognition. One plaque stands above those who have lost their lives and reads:

Captain Ide 'Screamer' Kolis
May he rest in peace among the stars.
So Say We All.
'Star Screamers' - Fighting 58th

Bayless is seated in one of the pilot's chairs, the one which used to be hers in the pre-CAG days, filling out paperwork out of a manila folder. Another loose stack of papers litter the seat of the chair next to her, and a water bottle stands on the deck near her feet.

If punctuality is truly a measure of worth in the Colonial Fleet, then Aniketos is the very model of a modern military man. Today — as yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that — he's attired in a dusty tweed suit that's clearly seen better days: a turkey trussed up for slaughter, we'll call him, judging from the trepidation evident even underneath the frozen mask that is his face. Bidding his marine escort farewell, the Genesis' newest recruit taps tentatively against the ready room's open door. "Hello," he says, a bit too quickly. "Reporting for, uh. Duty."

Bayless blinks as the hatch opens, her eyes drifting towards Aniketos neutrally. After he speaks, she closes her folder and rests it on the chair atop the other papers and reaches for her bottle. "I'm seeing two possibilities here. Either you're one of the fleet's civilian residents and having a laugh, or you're one of my new pilot trainees, which of course would elicit the question of why on the Gods' green earth you chose to report out of uniform, not that the suit isn't charming as frak all. So." Bayless unscrews the cap on her bottle to take a sip of water. "Which is it?"

Aniketos drags himself into the ready room itself without further invitation, his syncopated footsteps echoing altogether too loudly for his liking. In six or seven strides he's closed the distance between himself and his boss — and though he has her by an inch or so (let's be generous here), he can't help but avert his eyes to his boots, where it seems he's found something particularly interesting to stare at. "Nobody issued me a uniform," he mutters, shifting uncomfortably in his suit. One hand rises to loosen his collar, scratching an area on his neck where tweed meets skin; his unwilling smile remains as wide as usual, showing yellowed teeth. "They just told me to show up here tonight to report in and get acquainted with this fellow named Captain Cag, or something like that."

A beat. "Whom I'm assuming is you. Ma'am. A pleasure." He looks up at last, grinning to the end, one hand outstretched — the bravest thing he's done tonight.

Bayless smiles a bit and accepts the handshake. "CAG would be my title. As in 'Commander, Air Group.' Captain Rachael Bayless. And I'll talk to the quartermaster about getting you uniforms and a jocksmock." She sifts through her papers, looking for the personnel records she was recently handed. "Got a name?" she asks, finding the page she was looking for.

Military doctors have long wondered whether it's possible for an individual to sustain whiplash trauma after being spoken to by an officer. Here's their confirmation — as Aniketos blinks once, then twice before withdrawing his hand intact. "Oh," is all he manages to say for a good two seconds, as a flash of color seeps back into his pallid cheeks. "I'm Karahalios," he manages at last. "Aniketos Karahalios of the container transport Polaris — or should I say, former container transport Polaris. I'm not usually this nervous," he adds conversationally. "Blame the marine outside, who informed me in no uncertain terms that this Captain Cag — er, the CAG? is that right? — would bite my head off and eat me for lunch. She said I'd taste better than eel. Ma'am." He still adds the honorific as an afterthought, but this time it's accompanied by a dry chuckle or two.

Bayless smiles a bit at the Marine's attempt to put the fear of the Gods into the new pilot. "Night's still young," is all she offers in response to the rumors of her cannibalistic tendencies. "Right, got here the report from Jammer… got the basic rundown of the job… scheduled for physical and psych eval… yadda yadda…" She looks over the paper a couple seconds before locking eyes with Anik. "What I don't see's a summary of your flight experience… also curious as to whether you're shooting for Vipers or Raptors…"

"I've been at the helm — and in the guts — of at least six different models of freighters," Aniketos replies without missing a beat. When talking about credentials at least, he seems on much firmer footing: indeed, if Bayless is sharp, she might notice that he seems to be speaking a tad bit quicker now, as if repeating something by rote. "I know I don't have any records in the flight academies or anything, but that's because most of my experience has been — off the grid, if you can say that. But don't get any ideas, ma'am; I'm not some criminal on the lam. I just picked up the tools of the trade while hopping from ship to ship in my attempt to make it as a folk singer."

Yes, she heard him correctly. And she hears him correctly when he coughs a bit and scratches a few tufts of hair before confessing that he has "No preference, ma'am. I really don't have one."

Bayless's mouth quirks upwards in a grin at the mention of folk singing. "I wouldn't really care if you were a criminal on the run, Mr. Karahalios. We're hardly in a position to turn people away, and, that aside, I tend to judge people on what they do in the here and now as opposed to the past. As far as a spaceframe preference, I'd suggest picking one fairly soon. The Air Wing's broken into two squadrons, one for Raptor drivers and one for Viperjocks. Once you qualify, you'll be assigned to one or the other, depending on which craft you train on. We plan to do cross-training in the future, but we'd prefer to get you good at one instead of 'sorta good' at both, if you get my meaning."

"I do," he says. "On both counts. So I suppose that's now a good time to confess to the fact that I've been convicted of four truly vicious quadruple homicides on four separate planets, then." And Aniketos' smile widens even further, a fairly disgusting sight that might detract from his attempt at levity. "Regardless, I suppose I should have been less circumspect. When I say that I have no preference, I mean that I don't know enough to have a preference, though I can tell you right now that from an aesthetic perspective, the Viper has the Raptor beat." There he goes with that head-scratching thing again, faded brown hair twisting around his finger like wiring around a spindle. "And on a more personal note, Miss CAG, I hope you don't think that with my looks, being a fighter jockey is going to help me get girls."

Bayless smiles. "Yeah, the Viper's a damn pretty machine. It'll also kill you if you fly her just the eensiest bit wrong. But it's got guns, so it's got that going for it. Don't mean to sound biased though, since I'm a Raptor pilot. Just giving you a heads-up that flying a Viper's dangerous even without the Toasters lighting up your fuselage. But if you're up for it, I won't say no."

"Seems like a win-win to me, the Viper." Aniketos' wide grin wavers just a bit, and one gloved hand rises to wipe a bit of spittle that's gathered at the side of his cheek. "Heads, I get to make pretty fireworks in the sky. Tails, the Cylons send me careening down to Tartarus, where I finally get to collect on that one Pyramid bet I made with Kieran before — " The nugget stops mid-sentence, his expression now inscrutable as ever. "My bad," he adds, and his voice is more than a little bit quieter. "Didn't mean to sound nihilistic, there. I swear to the gods I'm not out to turn myself into a fireball my first day on the job. Takes a while to get used to my sense of humor. The Viper's fine." A wan smile. "It'll keep me on my toes, eh?"

Bayless nods and makes a notation on her sheet. "Okay then, Gold Squadron it is. You'll be supervised directly by Lt. Novella. I very much suggest tracking her down and speaking to her as she'll be overseeing your training. You should also find Lt. Micah St. Germain… he'll be picking up slack while Novella's in the air or doing other things. Their callsigns are 'Cav' and 'Jailhouse'… you'll probably have better luck finding them referring to their 'signs."

"I'll make a note of it." And indeed he does, fishing out a crumpled-up recruitment flyer from the inside of his tweed suit and a stubby pencil that's on its last legs to go with it. The only sound coming from his direction for a while is the scratching of charcoal on paper; then, when he's satisfied, he folds the latter into the former and stuffs it back into his coat. "And, um. One impertinent question, if you don't mind: where exactly is it that I should be sleeping? The marines have put me in the civilian quarters for now, but I don't imagine that I'm supposed to stay there for much longer, now that I'm a — " Aniketos searches for the appropriate rank. "A military man," he finishes lamely.

Bayless grins. "One deck down from here, aft end of Deck 12. Each squad's got its own berthing. Hope you're not bashful about co-ed bunk arrangements." The grin widens a bit after that statement.

"My apologies to all the women in Gold Squadron, whom I assume are all incredibly attractive, but I think I'm going to be getting more stares than they will — from both sexes, if you know what I mean." Aniketos' skin is thicker than it appears. "Unless you have any objections, I'll trundle over there now and put down my things, and by my things I mean my coat. I don't want to waste more of your time than I have to."

Bayless shakes her head. "I'd rather you waste my time and ask questions, then not ask and have you nosedive into the side of the flight pod. I'll send down word to Cav that you're moving in."

A nod — and there's that mischievous twinkle in those watery eyes for the first time tonight. "I'll do my best to keep your training Vipers nice and free of scratches for the next hapless idiot in my position, Miss Cag. Don't worry: I'll speak my mind when I have to. Too old for the military to beat that out of me." With that, he turns to go; a half-second later, he spins around to look his boss in the eye. "Wait a minute: now's the part of the conversation where I'm supposed to say, 'Will there be anything else, ma'am?' So, um. Will there be anything else, ma'am?"

Bayless starts to say something, then sort of mentally switches gears and says, "No, I think that pretty much covers it. Feel free to find me if you have any other concerns, and good hunting on your first flight out." She offers a handshake in parting. "Good talking to you."

Aniketos doesn't pursue the matter, instead taking the proffered hand with his own. And then he's off into the bowels of Genesis once more, clip-clopping down the halls like some demented satyr after one too many drinks. A quick turn, a salute (of sorts) — and gone.

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