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Posted on Sun Nov 27th, 2016 @ 12:21am by Major Meredith Thompson & Master Sergeant Ernest Santini

Mission: Episode 0: The Prologue
Location: Flight bay USS Devonshire
Timeline: 1600 hrs

Meredith, having had her usual "discussion"with ground crew was under her fighter making sure it was up to her exacting standards. One of the ground crew had gone and snitched to Chief Santini that a pilot was "brazen" enough to check their own craft.

Ernest Santini was a hot tempered Italian. Who was, as anyone knew protective of HIS fighters. Barrel chested and bandy legged the stocky, white haired maintenance chief stormed into the bay and down to the offending craft.

It was fortuitous that Meredith had finished her checks and was cleaning her hands on a piece of rag.

Ernest Dominic Santini had been round the fighter pilots for more years than anyone cared to remember. some even claimed it was clones of the original that they saw now in the bays. Ernest had been assigned to the Hell Cats when her mother Meredith had flown top cover for a spec ops team. Usually her father Ryan's team. given that the Thompsons, Malones, Fallons, Isaaisa's and Wilcox's thought of him as a good luck charm he had somehow ended up as Godfather to numerous of the kids. Following their progress attentively. It had probably slipped his mind that MJ was on the Devonshire. A strange coincidence as it had been a ship of the same name where her mother had met her father years before.

When he saw his goddaughter standing some three inches taller than hm and cleaning her hands his face broke into a broad toothy smile. "mia cara Meredith!" he greeted his voice raising as rapidly as his hands gesticulated in his typically Italian manner "Since when do you not tell Zio Ernie you are on board. I should have known it was one of mine stubborn enough to do their own checks ad so skinnny!" he scolded. "Just like your Mama. Are you eating?" he asked going from the irate Maintenance Chief he was most of the time too the caring Godfather he seemed to reserve for "His" Godkids in mere moments.

"Mi dispiace zio" Meredith said when he took a moment to catch his breath. "I just wanted to check my bird was all. I am eating." she said attempting to forestall anything else he would say. She failed

"I picked up some Sfogliatelle on the station. Come have coffee with me and tell me about the others." He commanded and linking arms with his Goddaughter he guided her to his office.

Ernest Santini was a man of few luxury's (Not that you'd know from his expanding waistline) but the two things he loved was Sfogliatelle and good coffee. He made two latte's ad setting one in front of her with the lobster tailed pastry he sat the other side of his desk and grinned "So how are your mama and Papa?" he asked
"Mom is still flying. She'll die in the air given her choice and Daddy is threatening retirement." she grinned. Ernie laughed at her remark. "Your Papa will die with his boots on that one. And the rest of the family?" he asked
The rest of the "family" were various members of the Hell Cat team who considered each other family and indeed treated each other accordingly leading their own kids to treat each other as cousins and react as such. "Oh all over the fleets. Little Tazzy is on the Ajax unfortunately so is her ex Jason." Meredith confided. Ernie laughed. His laugh seemed to originate from his tummy. It reminded Meredith as to why he had played Santa so often.

"Oh those two will sort themselves out sometime neonata." he watched her eat the pastry slowly. "Have you reported in yet?" he asked. Meredith shook her head

"CO ain't on board yet so thought I would check my bird and see how long before your minions came running to find you" She admitted with a grin that reminded him of her father. "I know finish your food and go find him," She said as she did just that


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