Just Doing My Part
Timeline: PCH-15 1800 Hours
Ranulf was working on a Viper not his own. The Techs had been struggling with the removal of a missile. It was stuck on the rack and they were trying to off load it so they could work on whatever was hanging it up. Ranulf had seen them and walked over to help, “you lot look like you could use a hand? Mind if I help?” The plane captain had seen Ranulf often enough to trust him and nodded “Sure Ensign we could use another strong back. Ranulf moved to the one side that was dipping lowest and took hold of the nose of the missile. He lifted with his legs and lifted the missile level. The strain showed on his face but not in his speaking “You two go help with the other end I got this.” The plane Captain nodded and with the missile held level they got it off loaded. The plane Captain thanked Ranulf as the missile was hauled to away to be checked. Ranulf nodded and started across the deck toward his own Viper. He saw the new CAG looking at him and walked over to her coming to attention “did you want to see me Captain?”
Alethea had taken notice of Scout during the earlier interesting turn the Briefing took, it seemed clear he was definitely trying to keep Jestor under control but she couldn’t help but feel intrigued about the individual. As she witnessed him helping out with the Viper it started to become clear the interest for fellow crew definitely was not restricted to just Jestor. When he walked up to her and asked the question she nodded. “Yes Ensign, just checking up on my pilots in general but especially the ones I will be flying with in my squad” She replied.
“Yes Ma’am, if you have any questions I would be happy to answer any questions.” Ranulf stood straight his eyes on hers. There was no challenge, but there was pride and confidence. He waited patiently not wanting to say something stupid and alienate another senior officer, especially his own boss.
“I’ve noticed you seem to be watching out for Jestor a lot, any history there I need to know?” Alethea started off the first question, she could of course admire the Ensign’s loyalty but she needed to make sure that it wouldn’t interfere with his loyalty to the rest of the squad.
“We go back a bit, we met at the Academy. He is an idiot at times but he is a decent guy. As you might guess he had made some stupid joke and a couple other cadets, well three guys bigger then him. They were going to pound him. I stopped it, he has hung around me ever since.” What Ranulf did not mention was the ensuing fight had put the three Cadets in sickbay. Nothing serious except for a few cracked ribs, but a lot of bruises. They were off duty and off campus, one of the cadets was from Tauron had pulled a blade. The incident report from the police mentioned that Ranulf had shielded other customers as he handled all three men. Ranulf had not been injured and neither had anyone else. The incident was overlooked and no charges had been filed. His counselor had made strong statements in his favor. There was one flight instructor however that made disparaging comments about Ranulf’s fitness. (the one he had beaten in mock space combat). Ranulf shrugged unconscious of the gesture “I sort of try to keep him out of trouble. It is not just me, a few of us watch out for the little guy.. He can be funny at times and he is a good pilot Captain.” Ranulf made eye contact and his voice became defensive and firmer “honest Ma’am I would not lie for him. I have to live in my skin, I won’t knowingly lie.”
Alethea nodded “Very good to hear, now going forward what can I expect from you out there?” She asked, leaning back against a table that had some equipment on it. “Will you take an aggressive approach or generally hold formation?”
“Depends on the situation Captain. I am aggressive, but I follow orders. I prefer a fluid formation so you can exchange positions according to circumstances. I feel tight strict formations are just suicidal. I would prefer being free to maneuver but I will stay with my Element leader regardless. One of the best things about flying with Jestor is he can keep up with me. I would sooner be a marine then fly the typeVII’s with that AI. I felt like that before the day.” He frowned, most likely most of his classmates died trapped in those TypeVII’s. He made eye contact, pride in his expression “I like my TypeIII, you see I feel I can outfly any computer chip.” Ranulf smiled and shrugged “I hope that did not sound rude Captain, it was not meant to be. You asked me a question and that was how I feel.”
“The later types have some advantages beyond computer guidance but I get your point. In general the rest is good to hear as well. I expect my pilots to obey orders but use their heads when doing so. I think things will work out well” Alethea replied.
“Good to hear Captain.” There was relief in his expression, he seldom had much luck with superiors. Truth be told he had been worried when Kilmarten had been promoted up as he had like the.. Well Major now. “If it is all right to ask Captain, any idea when we get out into the black again?”
“We’re doing the CAP tomorrow at 0900, as for an op beyond CAPs and alert readiness. You’ll have to ask the CIC, I haven’t been briefed on anything yet” Alethea said.
“CAP at 0900. I will be there locked and loaded Captain.” He straighten, which was not much of a move. “If that is all Captain.” He waited to be dismissed. He was perplexed just the same, had the Captain just suggested he go over her head to the CIC or was she just being sarcastic? That had to be sarcasm! He was going to need to listen to her really close or he was going to get into trouble for sure.
“You better, Ensign. Dismissed.” Alethea said, concluding the small exchange.