Location: Masters' Office
Timeline: After "Color Blind", prior to departing for Feneras
The frosted glass doors leading into the office of the director of flight operations split open with a pneumatic hiss and the station's chief flight instructor stepped inside. Commander Masters was still technically off duty after dealing with the change in uniform for her department, but anytime the lights were on in her office, people knew that they could drop in and visit. Eliana was wearing the newest edition of the department's duty uniform - a chic combination of white, grey, and black that contrasted sharply with the standard maroon that everyone was used to.
"Hello Commander, it's good to see you again."
"Ah, Lieutenant Carver!" Eliana stood and motioned her guest over to her desk. "Believe it or not, you're exactly the person I needed to see."
"Well then, I'm glad I came down. May I sit?"
"Of course. Can I get you something to drink?"
"Water is fine, thank you."
Glasses in hand, the two pilots went over and took seats by the window overlooking the main hangar below. Currently, the giant hulk of the USS Chesapeake dominated the landscape, but several of the smaller, privately owned vessels could be seen as well. The scale on which the department operated really had no equal, and with the projected increase in civilian traffic that was to come, the sheer numbers associated with flight operations would grow by the day.
"I'm sorry ma'am, but before we get started, what are you wearing?" Carver raised an eyebrow. The question had sprung to the forefront as soon as she walked in the door, but this had been the first opportunity for her to voice it.
"This," Masters explained, "is going to be the new departmental uniform and color. More specifically, it's this one here," she pointed to the grey portion of her jacket. "It's kind of a long story, but the long and the short of it is that the paperwork is complete and we're changing over from command red whether we want to or not."
"I see. Well, I sort of like it! It has sorta this formal vibe to it, and I can really get behind that idea."
"Sure. They'll be assigned early next week, but if you ask the quartermaster really nicely, I'm sure he won't mind giving you early access. All the cool kids are doing it," Masters winked. "Anyway, the reason I'm glad you came down is we have some things to discuss when it comes to pilot training. More specifically, I need to ask how long it's been since you last flew in atmosphere."
"Atmosphere? Oh gosh, I dunno. I'm probably still not even current anymore, and I sure wouldn't go right now without practicing in the sims. May I ask why?" Carver raised an eyebrow.
"Well, the way these mission briefings are going, I would suspect that we're going to be doing a lot of heavy transport flying back and forth from station to planetside, and I need to make sure we've got enough pilots in rotation to handle that. You figure the Titan is going to handle well in atmos..."
One glance from her counterpart told Eliana all she needed to know.
"Yeah, it was a good thought," the El Aurian sighed. "I think I'm going to start running scenarios in the sim in order to prepare myself. I'll fly as many trips as I can."
"Well, I can start classes ASAP for it. I'm sure a lot of guys would jump at the opportunity to pick up another endorsement, but I'm afraid you're right. The two of us are going to be picking up a majority of the flying for the foreseeable future."
The clink of ice cubes against an empty glass signalled Eliana to get up and refill their drinks.
"To be honest, I'm just glad that I've got an excuse to fly. The sitting behind the desk part is necessary, but I can't do it for too many days consecutively before I start missing the pilot's seat. But that's enough about work for now," Masters handed over a refilled glass to Rayleigh. "How's life? Adjusting to the station well?"
"Absolutely! I'm happy to be able to go home every night, and the challenge of running a training department of this size is pretty daunting, but rewarding at the same time. I don't think I'll ever be bored at work, that's for sure. Plus, the constant job offers from private clients is pretty good for the ol' ego. Gotta work to keep that in check now and then," Carver couldn't help but laugh.
"I'll be sure and park those companies all the way in the back, away from the door. That'll teach 'em."
Both pilots stopped talking as the hangar doors opened to admit a sleek cruiser owned by one of the private charter companies that operated in and out of the station. The designer, whoever he or she was, must have had a good eye for graceful lines and curb appeal, because the vessel was a real head turner.
"I need one of those," Carver muttered as the muffled sound of her communicator alerting her of a message resounded in the office. "Hmmm, looks like I need to cover a shift for one of our sick instructors. I hate to cut our conversation short Commander, but you know how it is sometimes."
"Please, by all means, don't let me hold you back. I'll make sure we get enough pilots interested in learning how to fly atmosphere. I'm going to reserve some sim time, so if you see my name on the schedule, feel free to stop by."
"Yes ma'am. Will do. And again, nice threads. Can't wait to wear 'em myself."
"You'll do the new colors proud, I'm sure. Take care Lieutenant," Eliana smiled.
The door shut behind Rayleigh as she left the office. The only remaining witness to the conversation that had just taken place was the half-empty glass sitting on the table. Masters returned everything back to the replicator and sat down to send out a notice to any pilots who might be interested in volunteering for the atmospheric flight course.
ATTN: Pilots and crewmembers assigned to the Taranok or Fenera missions
The flight operations department is going to offer a limited space course designed to train pilots on how to fly the station's fleet of small craft and transports in atmosphere. Training will begin as soon as the seats are filled, so be sure and sign up quickly!
Not a pilot? Wondering why you received this notice? If you're anxious at all about flying in a shuttle, or you've never flown in turbulent atmosphere before, come on down and take a familiarization course with one of our instructors. Save the medical department's dramamine budget and prepare yourself for the flight conditions that are to come.
I look forward to seeing you all in one of our classes.
Commander Eliana Masters
Director of Flight Operations
Lieutenant JG Rayleigh Carver
Chief Flight Instructor
OOC: Consider this an open invitation to have your characters come down and take some flying lessons!