CCDA Headquarters -- Meeting the Boss

Posted March 26, 2023, 9:47 p.m. by Colonel Eleanor "Iron Lady" Carnegie (Commanding Officer, 1st Colonial Defense Squadron) (Joana Ribeiro)

Posted by Civilian Lucas Elliot Holloway (Business Owner) in CCDA Headquarters – Meeting the Boss

Posted by Colonel Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (Commanding Officer, 1st Colonial Defense Squadron) in CCDA Headquarters – Meeting the Boss

Posted by Civilian Lucas Elliot Holloway (Business Owner) in CCDA Headquarters – Meeting the Boss
Posted by… suppressed (11) by the Post Ghost! 👻
“I’m telling you it’s this way!” A man’s Scottish accented tone broke through the silence of the hallway.

“How do you know!?” A female voice added. Its accent was distinctly American.

Seemingly alone in one of the many corridors of the CCDA offices on the higher levels of Government Tower , the pair came to a halt, the woman taking the PaDD from her companion’s hands and looking at it herself. “I can’t find it anywhere on this map! Where did you see it?” It was clear that she was becoming increasingly frustrated.

“Here.” The Scott indicated the spot on the PaDD. “You know, Eleanor, for a Recon pilot you really have poor navigational skills!” He chuckled.

“Shut up, Sloan.” Yet, she smiled. “Alright, let’s go. It should be…”

“Second door on the left.”

“Right.” She said as she resumed walking.

“No, left.” Eleanor glared at Sloan as he stifled his laughter behind his hand. Yet, a smile played on her lips when she looked away.

It didn’t take long for the pair to find the door they were looking for.

“General Calvin Harris… are you sure this is the right place?” Eleanor asked.

“I mean…” Sloan hesitated as he looked at the location on the map. “… it must be… if not, I’m sure General Harris will be able to point us in the right direction.”

As the pair approached, they would find a Black Walnut large door, flanked by two large flag poles holding the flag of OED V and the grey, white, and gold flag of the CCDA. Opening the door, they stepped through onto wall-to-wall cobalt blue carpet. The room featured a pair of comfortable black leather couches either side of the door. Directly across from the opening was a large wooden desk with a small table tent sign reading…

Welcome to the Office of the Commandant General & Staff of the CCDA. I am currently away from my desk but please feel free to press the chime next to the door of the office you are visiting. Thanks, SFC Brianna Reyes - General’s Aide

The view out the window behind the desk was breathtaking, a sweeping view all the way out to the edge of the former dome to the northwest. There were equally large doors on the left and right sides of the room, the one to their right flanked by CCDA’s flag and a red flag with three silver stars, and the one to their left had the same but with four silver stars. The plaque by the four-star flag flanked door read Commandant General Calvin “Raven” Harris, CCDA

“Fair.” Pressing the chime without second thought, the two officers waited to be called in. It would be clear that they were new to the place. They had no uniforms, and their ID cards dangled from their pockets with the help of a small metal claw — Eleanor’s from her right pants’ pocket, Sloan from the chest pocket in his button down shirt. Patiently, they waited, and hoped that General Harris wasn’t very much like Samantha Halloway.

Col. Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (and Major James “Doc” Sloan)

Twenty-seven minutes. Commandant General Calvin Harris had been back to his office on the 86th floor of Government Tower for twenty-seven goddamn minutes and just as he was about to finally settle into start the day’s work… and the massive pile that formed in his absence, when Jersey’s automated proximity alarm on the CCDA Command Offices lobby went off. He was still frustrated that of all days for Brianna to come down with a cold, it would be his first day back. It wasn’t ideal and certainly wasn’t her fault… maybe he was just more apt to find himself frustrated than when he was younger. He watched the pair in civs walking lost across the lobby leading to the formal offices of the CCDA’s Senior Military Commander. Tenkiller had absolutely refused to be in the building full of, as he put it… “so much bull**** bureaucracy”, so the Vice kept his offices and support staff at the CCDA Operations Center on the ACS Orbital Station, though the space still granted the CCDA’s second in command a formal office in Government Tower across the room from his boss… the man had been in the room precisely twice since he was hired.

As the pair reached his door, Harris heard the chime and, after a slow deep breath, sighed. Saying clearly “It’s open.”

The door opened to a large office on a section of curved outer wall, the left to right windows were stunning. Centered on the window was a large desk with a sitting area with a couch, two leather chairs and a coffee table on a large round rug featuring the CCDA’s trident. Looking up from his screen, Harris raised an eyebrow with a slight smirk at the two Aviators. “You two look lost… can I help you?”

General Harris, CCDA

As the two former Marines walked through the large door, it couldn’t be more obvious that that was not where they were supposed to be.

Looking around, Eleanor’s gaze was momentarily lost in the view before centering itself on the man behind the desk.

“Uh… As a matter of fact… we were hoping you could, Sir.” Carnegie started, taking a few steps closer to the desk, her eyes not even daring to look at Sloan, who matched her pace. Standing with his hands smartly behind his back, it would be clear to Harris that the pair came from his former division. “I am Colonel Eleanor Carnegie, and this is Major James Sloan.” Eleanor motioned to her partner. “We should be reporting in with General Hudson, but we were told to check in first with the CCDA Recruiting and Retention Office, and uh… this is where it was marked on the map we were given.” She handed Harris the PaDD she was carrying.

As the General reached for the PaDD, the smirk on his face was unmistakable. Looking first to Carnegie then to Sloan, Harris chuckled softly as he then scanned the PaDD. After a moment, he looked back up at the pair with a genuine smile. “Marines, eh.” There was pride in the tone of his voice. “Why am I not surprised. At ease Major..” The CCDA Head nodded to Sloan before handing the PaDD back to Carnegie.

With a soft smirk, Eleanor added. “If I didn’t know any better I’d say someone has tagged us for rookies and is taking us for a spin.” She smiled more broadly. “But I wouldn’t put it past Major Sloan here not being able to read maps.”

Sloan’s eyes widened at the insinuation, but he said nothing. They were, after all, talking to CCDA brass, but he made a mental note to let Carnegie know his thoughts when they were out. Not that she would expect otherwise.

“So… if you could tell us where to find General Hudson, we’ll be on our way.”

Col. Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (and Major James “Doc” Sloan)

“Oh, trust me Colonel…” Harris began with a chuckle. “… you two being here is as much the fault of my Aide as it is your own.” He shook his head with a smile. “Sergeant Reyes sent out a Sick Call notice this morning, so the entire damn building knows I’m by myself until lunch. Meaning… the old man had no one running interference and you two happen to be the poor schmucks that got the short end of the joke.”

Harris was still snickering as he reached into his desk and handed Carnegie a small, paper brochure. Emblazoned on the front were the CCDA Trident and the bold words Recruiting & Retention Services Command. “Inside is the map to the actual RRSC Offices down on 75. They should be able to square you away and make sure you actually need to visit with Starbuck. I wouldn’t want you two catching unnecessary wrath from someone with a much shorter fuse than I.”

Eleanor raised an eyebrow at the comment, as she took the brochure. Great… so, Harris didn’t seem to be like Halloway, but their new boss was. Just great. She could see now why both women got along enough for Hudson to ask Halloway for recommendations. Carnegie would have to remind Black Sheep not to keep important details from her the next time she asked…

“And you, Sir, are a lying ass!” Came the laugh from the open door behind Carnegie & Sloan as a striking redhead in Colonial Defence Force red & grey stepped in the office and walked toward the trio. Her piercing emerald green eyes flashed a playful challenge at Harris as she approached. “There you two are… I swear to God Raven, I’m gonna kick Mitchell right in his ass if he does this again!”

Neither of the pilots flinched with the loud entrance of the newcomer, but both turned to face the sound.

There was a momentary pause as the statement registered and the man laughed heartily as he finally climbed to his feet. Beaming at the woman that had just entered, Harris rounded the desk asking. “Another Wild Weasel mission, eh Starbuck?” To which the woman laughed aloud as she stepped to the General, greeting him with a tight hug. “You know it! It’s damn good having ya back Cal… seriously. Things haven’t been the same without cya.” The CCDA General smiled warmly at the redhead before turning her to face Sloan and Carnegie.

“Devri, I believe these two are yours. Colonel, Major… may I introduce you to the Chief of Staff of the Colonial Defence Force, General Devri Hudson. Starbuck, this is Colonel Eleanor Carnegie and Major James Sloan. I have the feeling these are two of the group Sam warned me about.” He said as he smiled at the pair while Devri rolled her eyes and offered her hand, first to Eleanor then James. “Welcome to the CCDA you two. So glad you took up our little invitation to join us.”

Harris & Hudson

“We are happy to be here, Ma’am.” Eleanor said, shaking Hudson’s offered hand. “We are thankful for the opportunity.” She continued as Sloan shook the woman’s hand. “Even though I have to admit, it was a tough choice leaving the Corps behind… but… sometimes a change of pace is a good thing. And of course…” Eleanor beamed, motioning to Sloan. “I am lucky that my crew decided to come along. I would be nothing without them.” Sloan blushed slightly and opened his mouth to speak, but Eleanor continued without giving him a chance. “We arrived on the Colony about two days ago… we were told we should meet with you, Ma’am.”

Col. Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (and Major James “Doc” Sloan)

“Oh believe me…” Devri began with a smile. “… the General’s old man is the Lt. General Thomas Harris, Vice Commandant of the SFMC. Cal here was eighth generation Corps and I was sixth. We can absolutely appreciate the challenge of the decision to start down a new path.” There was a pause before, leaning back against the edge of Harris’ desk, Hudson asked with a warm smile. “So… Colonel, you’re the colorblind Tempie jock? Impressive doesn’t even begin to give that kind of accomplishment the credit it’s du…”

There was clear recognition in both former Marines’ faces. Even though ‘General Calvin Harris’ was not a name known in the circles both Carnegie and Sloan moved, ‘Lieutenant General Thomas Harris’ was a much different one altogether.

She was suddenly cut off by Harris. “Now wait a damn minute!” Harris smiled brightly at Eleanor. “You’re that Eleanor Carnegie? So this is the girl you two have been bragging about bagging for the last two weeks?!” Hudson nodded proudly as Harris offered his hand, first to Eleanor then Sloan. “It really is a pleasure to meet you Colonel and you as well Major. As a former TOPGUN instructor, I can appreciate anyone that can pass the quals for Tempies… but the fact that you earned and kept them with colorblindness is impressive! When I took over here a year ago, I was committed to building the finest planetary defense organization in the Federation and aviators like yourselves are a key component.”

And there it was. Eleanor hated it. To her, what she had accomplished was nothing short than what everyone else in her class had. Not to mention, she felt bad for dragging Sloan with her, now that she was the center of attention, and she realized he was the only non-pilot in the room.

“Thank you, Sir.” She said with a polite smile as she shook Harris’s hand. “The pleasure is mine.”

“Same here, Sir.” Sloan added as he shook the offered hand after Eleanor.

“If you need anything, Colonel…” Harris said warmly. “… do not hesitate to ask. Devri & Sam are great at what they do but only because they have been incredibly careful to bring only the finest talent in their respective fields.” Patting Hudson on the shoulder, he added. “We joke around and pester each other relentlessly, however… never at the cost of mission effectiveness. When I say most of the senior leadership was hand picked, I’m not exaggerating. It’s because we…” He motioned to Hudson then himself. “… specifically wanted to work with you or your reputation preceded you. In your case, it was a little from Column A and a little from Column B. If you ever need anything, my door is always open… unless it’s not. Then I ask that you knock first.”

Harris & Hudson

Eleanor and Sloan chuckled. Inward, Eleanor was rolling her eyes, while Sloan truly appreciated the joke. “Thank you, Sir. And don’t worry, we’ll make sure to knock first.” Eleanor smiled and her tone was polite. The same tone one would use to address an elderly person.

“I’m incredibly flattered that the CCDA thought we would be a good fit for the organization, still… I am no more impressive than any other pilot out there, especially the ones in the Corps.” Carnegie smiled. “While I love to fly Tempies, my true passion lies with the big birds, Sir. It took me a while to accept that, but I feel much more comfortable at the stick in one of them. Plus… as I said before, my crew makes me who I am. It’s not just me at the cockpit. Major Sloan here is my Flight Engineer, and I wouldn’t trust anyone else’s hands with my ship, just like I wouldn’t be able to see without Captain Price, my Sensor Ops officer, colorblind or not.” She paused before continuing. “I think it’s something that makes us different than fighter pilots, if you’ll allow me to say it… Recon is a much more team oriented field than Fighter missions, and I think that makes all the difference.” Her smiled broadened. “I am proud of my accomplishments, and of the hours I have spent flying Templars, but I am much more proud of the people that work with me and of what we are able to accomplish together. I hope that the CCDA didn’t handpick me just for the ‘impressiveness’ of my record given my disability, but rather handpicked me and my crew for the quality of our work.”

Col. Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (and Major James “Doc” Sloan)

“And that, my dear, is exactly why you’re here.” Harris smiled as his Okie accent came out, patting Eleanor on the shoulder. “You didn’t let a disability define you, excelling in everything you’ve attempted. But more importantly, you clearly understand the importance of team work and getting the very best out of the people under your command.”

“To be honest…” Hudson chimed in. “… the final piece was my little brother’s raving about his new boss. Andy doesn’t take to people like me nor his Aunt Sam…” She smirked as she elbowed Calvin. “… and certainly not like his affable black lab of an adopted uncle. You’re a good person Eleanor, and you don’t back down when a superior jumps your ass… wrongly… for no reason. Sam is a pain in the ass sometimes but she respects the hell out of you… and that’s to say something. I’ve known Samantha over half my life and we share a TOPGUN trophy, both trained by old Raven here.” Devri pointed a thumb at Calvin. “We understand better than most that you are truly only as good as the people you have around you. Your old squadron, your team that you brought with you is a prime example.”

Hudson leaned once more on the edge of the desk. “Your team blew the top off the curve, performing in practical and tactical better than anyone in the fleet. Two days before your resignation went through, your entire Squadron was awarded the Battle E for exemplary performance in last month’s war-games. You’re the best recon folks in Starfleet… or….” She smirked again. “… should I say you were! You’ve joined the sharpest team in the Federation, Colonel. And we’re very very happy you said yes!”

Husdon & Harris

Eleanor blushed slightly at Harris’s and Hudson’s praise. Still, even though she knew she was right, she knew better than to let the statistics and the awards get the better or them. To her, they were merely the recognition of a job well done. Not the goal to achieve. No matter what, the next day would still be a hardworking one.

“With all due respect, Ma’am, while I genuinely appreciate all the praise, there’s no need to butter me up. Admiral Halloway likes to point out that we went to the same school and such, but… I’m already convinced. All I want to know is where and what is expected of us next, and for you to know that we will do our best to do what is required of us.” Carnegie paused and smiled. “And I’ll make a point to thank Black Sheep for such kind words. I didn’t know I had made such an impression on him. I just assumed he’d like to be a little closer to his family.”

Col. Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (and Major James “Doc” Sloan)

“Impressions don’t even begin to cover it, Eleanor.” Devri beamed. “I haven’t heard my brother shut up about you for the last month. Oh, and James…” Hudson smiled at the Flight Engineer. “… my father wanted to make sure I extended his personal thanks for, likely, one of the better Calllsigns he’s heard applied. The General kept insisting on Andy not trying to select a personal moniker… that it would come.” Devri laughed. “And holy hell! Did it ever! Pop’s has been giving him crap ever since he went Big Birds… but not only is Black Sheep perfect considering that boy’s roots, Andy wears it like a badge of honor now… seeing it came from the FE of one of his new personal heroes!”

“Oh… it was just…” James blushed brightly and closed his mouth with no further words. Instead he opted to look at his shoes. Even though Eleanor had been working with the Scotsman for years now, it was the first time she truly saw him embarrassed and at a loss.

Hudson turned to Calvin and smiled. “Raven, I’m gonna take these two up to the Station. If you need me for anything before lunch, I might be outta pocket but I plan on having these two squared away by lunch. You wanna grab lunch with Sam & I at the O-Club or you heading over to HHI to the Executive Wardroom with Molly?” Harris smiled and nodded. “I’d love to Stabuck… Molly is tied up with planning for a Trade Show over at the Convention Center all day, so I’m all yours.”

Eleanor eyed the pair curiously as the conversation developed. She didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but it wasn’t as if she really had a choice. The truth was that, as her father was the head of Logistics at Holloway Heavy Industries, Carnegie was familiar with the names at the company. Not to mention, Molly Holloway wasn’t exactly a nobody. Yet, what made Eleanor even more curious about the mention of the name was the fact that Molly and her had been classmates in high school, something that Carnegie had taken a long time to put together – that the stern stickler for the rules that had been her Battalion Commander fifteen years ago was in fact the CEO of a multi-million credit company. It didn’t help that the woman went by a different name when she was younger and it took her father’s word and a photo for Eleanor to actually believe it.

Hudson then motioned to the door. “Colonel, Major… Shall we?” Leading the way after the pair shook hands once more with Harris, the trio headed over to the Secure Transporter room. Looking to Eleanor, Devri smiled. “So, you all have the unique position of having offices....” Hudson air quoted. “… both at the Squadron’s HQ located on the 1st Aerospace Wing’s base just outside the city and Operational bays on the Astro Control Service’s North Point Station… a rather large, multi-branch Starbase of the CCDA fixed directly above the planet’s North Pole. That’s where we’ll start and then go visit the main facilities where your day-to-day Ops will run from.”

Hudson & Harris

“Oh!” Eleanor uttered in surprise, exchanging a quick glance with Sloan. “I don’t know if we… uh… well… I don’t know how much I’ll be needing one… so if there’s anyone else in more dire need of office space, I don’t mind not having one.”

There was barely any time before Sloan added. “Well… to be honest, I have never had an office before… so I am not entirely sure what do with it either.” He chuckled.

Hudson’s air quotes and the real meaning behind the word were clearly lost on the pair.

Col. Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (and Major James “Doc” Sloan)

“Don’t be ridiculous you two…” Hudson laughed aloud as they walked down the corridor. “… this isn’t a damn starship! We have plenty of room for both of you to have offices… hell, Eleanor, you have both a military Aide and a civilian Administrative Assistant. Sloan, you only have a civ Admin Tech but I doubt you’ll mind… she’s a real sweetheart that used to work for me.”

Eleanor’s eyes widened at the mention of her having a small staff, not really sure about what to make of it. The only thing she was certain was that she’d figure it out once she was settled down.

Sloan on the other hand, smirked as Hudson mentioned his Admin Tech, but the glare Eleanor gave him made the look disappear from his face almost as quickly as it had appeared.

Reaching the end of the hall, Hudson shuffled them into the small transporter room. Moments later, the trio were standing outside a two-story red & white brick building halfway across town with a large, full-color 1st Aerospace Wing seal above the door. “After you Colonel.” The General said with a smile.

Hudson, CDF

The transporter ride was fast and uneventful, as it would be expected. The building they were being brought to was impressive, and Eleanor eyed it curiously as they approached it. For as curious as Carnegie was to see where their homebase was and what it looked like, she was ten times more curious to see the hangars and the ships they had available. Most of all, she wanted to make sure that her own ship had come in one piece. The whole squadron had been given new birds, far better than those Starfleet used to make available for them, not necessarily on account of better tech, but rather because they were new ships, whereas the one in the Fleet’s service might have seen many pilots before retiring for good. Not Eleanor though, when Halloway had told her that they could keep whatever they wanted, she had made sure that The Lady of Steel came with her. Sure, she had requested refits where possible, but it was still very much the same ship. Carnegie could not wait to meet with her beloved bird again.

With a smile, she walked through the door, quickly followed by Sloan, and both waited for Hudson to follow and lead them further into the building.

Col. Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (and Major James “Doc” Sloan)

Hudson strode into the building, giving the pair the tour. As they visited various offices, Hudson introduced the pair to the rather sizable Command Carnegie had assumed officially upon her arrival on planet. Down the second floor corridor, Hudson helped both through the registration process… formal IDs issued, uniforms, and the like. After introducing them both to their office staff, Hudson walked them to a large set of sliding doors. On the wall beside it, the sign read Main Transporter Room. “Shall we head up?”

Hudson, CDF

“Up?!” It was Sloan who said what both of them were thinking. “You mean that there’s more?”

Having fallen more and more silent as they progressed, the more they walked, and the more they spoke to people, the more Eleanor had found herself thinking in what exactly had she gotten herself into. Even though she wasn’t completely surprised, Carnegie was thankful that Sloan had voiced her own thoughts.

“Of course!” Eleanor tried to look cheerful but it was all quite overwhelming, and her mind was struggling to process it. Still, she was curious to see what was ‘up’ that needed a transporter room to access… if her guess was correct, this next part might prove the most interesting part of the tour.

Col. Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (and Major James “Doc” Sloan)

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