Posted Aug. 11, 2022, 9:31 p.m. by Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm "Astro" Dawkins (Commander Air Group (CAG)) (Jerome Davis)
Posted by Major Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (Pilot, Blue Squadron Leader) in The New Marines in Town (Fighter Hangar/Observational Lounge)
With the Rangers docked in their designated slots in the Brian A. Olinski’s massive Fighter Hangar, and with the Crew Chiefs left to their own assignments, the twelve members of the ship’s newest Recon team made their way to the lounge, as it had become tradition with their every new assignment.
“So, hold on a second. You’re Hudson’s son?” Andrew “Charlie” Brown, pilot of the Sentinel 2, asked to their newest Squad member.
“As in Lieutenant General Hudson?” It was the Squadron Commander Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie’s turn to ask in the middle of a sip of her vodka.
Andrew Hudson III was the newest addition to the team, manning the Sentinel 4 with the other two members of his crew. He nodded his head proudly. It was clear that he liked to be the center of attention.
“Isn’t your sister a big shot fighter pilot? Devri Hudson, is it?” The question came from Lauren “Ice Tea” Tadych, the Sentinel 3’s Sensor Operations Officer.
“Yes.” The younger Hudson smiled. “She and Dad were both fighter pilots.”
“How the hell did you land in Recon then?” The voice was that of James “Doc” Sloan, Flight Engineer for the Sentinel 1. “You must be the black sheep of the family then, no?”
Eleanor’s eyes widened at the words, and the glance that she exchanged with Sloan told Hudson everything he needed to know.
“Oh no… please don’t…”
Eleanor’s lips curled into a smile. “Oh yes.” Rising from her seat, she lifted her glass, cleared her throat, and proclaimed loud enough for the whole lounge to hear. “Here ye, here ye, here ye! The Sentinels proudly welcome their newest member, Andrew “Black Sheep” Hudson.”
As if on cue, Sloan jumped to his feet shouting. “Three cheers for “Black Sheep” Hudson! Hip hip…”
“HURRAY” The rest of the table joined in.
When the Marines around the table finally settled down, Hudson’s cheeks were bright red.
Placing her empty shot glass upside down on the table in front of her, Carnegie signaled the waiter to bring another round to the large group, as the conversation resumed.
Looking at her wrist chronometer, Eleanor removed her commbadge from her shirt, placing it in the middle of the table. “Alright everyone.” She disregarded the side glances they were getting from the tables around them. “Place your bets! How long do you think it’s going to take him to comm?”
Cpt. Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie, Recon Flight CO (and the Sentinels)
Damn near a half-mile away in the Olinski’s Main Hanger Bay, the Olinski’s new CAG… LTC Malcolm “Astro” Dawkins… stepped off a turbolift and walked briskly down the corridor leading into enormous Flight Deck that was home to the Carrier Air Wing 14 . Dawkins had been in such a hurry to see the huge aerospace facility, he’d failed to even review the Squadron names before the assignment. In light of this small oversight, Dawkins decided to make a surprise ‘house call’ on his new subordinates. The more than a thousand-foot long, 900-foot-wide Hanger was almost like walking through a living, breathing thing as hundreds of personnel… almost all Enlisted… scurried around the cavernous bay.
Dawkins walked first by the rows of Compies and his beloved Templars before he made it to the Ranger Class section of the bay, strided past the position designated from the Squadron’s CO and then… Now wait a damn minute! Dawkins thought as he stopped dead in his tracks then took three steps back. His eyes scanned up the Ranger to the bow and an immediately recognizable symbol blazed down at him… distinct script and the yellow, red, & blue of the centuries old emblem of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
To say Malcolm knew the pilot was an understatement… he’d loved the woman since the moment they met and had, just last December, asked her to marry him. The smile that crossed his face was unmistakable. Malcolm reached to tap his commbadge when his train of thought was broken by another familiar voice.
“Astro?!” Came the voice of the Lady of Steel’s longtime Crew Chief, PO1 Charlie “Chuck” Simmons. Malcolm turned and saw the dumbstruck Crew Chief walking towards him… a huge smile on the younger man’s face. “It is you!” He exclaimed, offering a hand that was quickly taken by the CAG before both men pulled each other into a quick happy embrace… both wrapping an arm around the other’s shoulders and patting the other’s back several times before breaking.
“How the hell ya been Chuck?! Damn good to see ya!” Dawkins exclaimed, giving the man’s hand another few shakes before releasing it. “It’s great to see you too Boss!” The younger man smiled. “The Old Lady said you’d be arriving this afternoon. We all got in with the last transfer of the day yesterday.”
Dawkins’ smirked, knowing the old military custom might still cost Ellie’s beloved Crew Chief his head if she ever heard him call her the ‘Old Lady’, but he couldn’t help but smile wider. “Dare I ask where my beloved… and her gaggle of miscreants are?” The CAG asked and Simmons laughed, shaking his head. “Dawkins… you know damn well where she is. Only thing is, in this monstrosity… ya got a hell’ofa walk to get to your lady love!” It was Malcolm’s turn to laugh, as he reached up for his comm once more, he added. “Guess I should call ahead to have them pull me up a chair?” Chuck just shrugged, waved quick salute and returned to his duties as Dawkins tapped the commbadge.
=A= Dawkins to Carnegie… think you drunks got space for one more? =A=
LTC Malcolm “Astro” Dawkins, CAG
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