2236-11-13 - Feedback

Van goes to complain to Isolde about fellow pilots, and gets to help her test a VR tweak instead.

Date: 2236-11-13

Location: Tech Shop, Deck 5, Battlestar //Galactica//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 884

Jump to End

Where do you go when you're some strange mixture of elated and frustrated? If you're Van Newton, apparently you head to the Tech Shop. He wouldn't have expected that, but it's where he goes. He's limping slightly, but doesn't seem to notice it as he moves through the Tech Shop, utterly ignoring the clanging of the machine press for once. Spotting Isolde at her station, steps up to her, touching a shoulder as he hauls out a stool and drops onto it, grumping, "Hey." At least he's alive.

Isolde isn't at work, though maybe she should be. She has her earbuds in, and is doing something on the tablet in front of her. When Van touches her shoulder, she jumps, and when he sits down, she quickly shuts down whatever she's working on. She looks him over quickly, and then offers a small nod. "Hey..." She frowns a bit. "I heard... Raiders?"

Van nods, "Yeah. They were going to bounce a group of Tauren Vipers and Raptors. CIC vectored the CAP in to bounce them before they could. Three up, three down." The tablet gets an idle glance, and then Van leans back against the table, resting his elbows atop it. It might be the most relaxed the techie has ever seen the pilot, or at least the most out-of-his-own-head. Annoyance purses his lips, "Cherry and Squeak couldn't stop bitching at me like a nugget though."

Isolde starts to wrap up her earbuds, listening dutifully. Then she frowns deeper, considering the lax pilot. "I only understood, like, every third word of that... except the last bit. I understood the last bit." She touches his thigh gently as she turns in her stool to face him. "Sorry that they gave you the nugget treatment." She wrinkles her nose. "Eva kinda seems to generally be quick on the draw when it comes to bitching... maybe Squeak was just taking her lead?"

"Nope, she bitched me out first." Van blows out a breath, reaching up with both hands, one after the other running back over his buzzed hair. Grunting, he admits, "Okay, she didn't bitch me out. But she corrected me. And was wrong." He sounds more drained than angry though, so maybe just letting it out helped. "Have to check gun-cam footage, but I think I got my fifth." A faint smile is offered up with that, and he shrugs a little helplessly. "Or maybe shared." Won't he be surprised to learn that shared kills aren't a think in the Colonial Forces, "I know someone else was shooting at it too."

Isolde's mouth twitches a bit as Van goes through his frustrations. When he grunts his admission, she tries very hard not to smile. "And my guess is that you were real good and didn't tell her she was wrong." When he mentions the kills, her brows arch slightly. "Five? That's pretty good, Van... I have zero, so that's quite impressive." She offers him an earbud after a moment, turning back in to the workbench. "How did the Viper fly?"

"It would make me an ace, if it gets confirmed. And no, I didn't tell her just how forever five minutes is in a dogfight, and..." he desists again, slowly sitting up on the stool and accepting the earbud. The pilot looks at it for a long moment, then gives a slight shrug to himself and tucks it into his ear, "The ship flew like a dream. She had a problem with the nav lights though, but I think it's just a loose wire somewhere because she was cranked out so fast." His spleen vented, he raises his eyebrows, "How'd you hold on through your first action, Isolde?"

The music that comes in through the earbuds is soft and techno -- a kind of hypnotic rhythm. There's a pretty good baseline to it, and a significant presence of drums. She listens, mouth twitching. "You want me to take a look at the nav lights?" Then she shrugs a shoulder slightly at the question, and she looks away. "Pretty much just hid out in here... that's where I go... I wasn't needed on the deck, or in CIC, so, I just... stayed here... like..." A Chicken.

"I think that the deck crew can handle something as simple as nav lights, Isolde." Van manages a faint smile at that, but her halting words draw his eyebrows further upward, "...like someone who knows she's already done her job for the day and can stay out of the way while others do theirs?" He puts a hand on her shoulder, squeezing gently, then lets it drop away again. "But you've been in action now. Or at least, the ship that you're on has been. It'll be different when someone's shooting at the ship, but you'll do fine then too."

"Yeah... a passive participant in my own fiery end," Isolde says, unaware of how dismal those words sound. She shakes her head quickly, but not disrupting her earbud. "Nevermind me... just thinking about things." She looks away, fiddling with her tablet. It is a distracted thing -- unfocused, but it relaxes her mind. She looks up at him after a moment. "I hope you get ace, but even if you don't, I know you'll get plenty of opportunities for that fifth kill."

"Who knows, maybe you'll be the one who saves the day after the toasters try to crack into our computers." Van glances down to the tablet, then back up, "Don't get me wrong, I like keeping count, but what really matters is that the toasters turn into ex-toasters." Gesturing over to the tablet, he nods toward it, "What have you kept busy working on?"

The techy looks up toward the pilot as he settles his attention on her tablet, and she offers a slight glance around at the other technicians working in the tech shop. She then draws open her tablet, and shows the program she's been working on. "It's a VR extension... I've been having a hard time without my drums... I thought I could get close-ish with a VR experience." She looks up at him, her shyness quite evident. "It's weird... I know."

Van leans over the tablet as she turns it toward him, "Oh, I thought you said that wasn't the same. Or do you think that you've fixed that part? Gotten the muscle memory problem solved?" He shakes his head, "I'm sure it would be nice to be able to practice though." Leaning forward with his forearms on his knees, he adds, "How did you fix the coding?"

"No, and it isn't," Isolde almost whines, but she then releases a heavy sigh. "But, I don't think the Commander is going to be letting me have a drum set anywhere." She looks up at the pilot from his loom, and then she shakes her head slightly. "I don't know if I fixed it... haven't tested it really yet. I tried to up the reactive code, so that I get more neural feedback."

Van chuckles faintly, nodding his head slowly as he listens, but his brows draw down together as he considers her words, "That could be dangerous though, couldn't it? Increasing the neural feedback? If it gets too high, the holoband could theoretically hurt you -- hurt the user."

"I mean, anything dealing with holobanding has a level of risk," Isolde says casually in the face of his concerns. She shows him the tablet so he can look over her code. "It's just drumming, though... I'm not trying to blow things up or shoot things. It is relatively safe."

"Yes, but increasing the feedback..." Van subsides, taking the tablet and looking over the code. It's... definitely not doing things by the book, and he shifts uneasily on the stool, his right hand dropping away to rub as his thigh as he scrolls down through the code. He's clearly only glancing at it, "I'm sure you've already gone through things carefully, Isolde. I would just like to make sure that you're being careful." He hands the tablet back, shrugging a little apologetically.

"Stop looking so uncomfortable, Van. I'd never do anything to knowingly put myself in danger." Isolde sounds a bit defensive as she takes back the tablet. Her fingers twitch and she looks over the code a couple more times. When she looks back at him, her frown is small, but set. She starts to close down the tablet once more, setting the offending topic aside. "Why don't you run the program with me and if there's any problems, then we can debug together?"

Van's left hand shakes a little as he pulls the earbud from his ear and passes it back, and he settles his forearms back onto his thighs, glances down, and carefully laces his fingers together, "Sure, I can spot you." Of course he puts it in weight-lifting terms, given how long he spent in PT over the last year. "Do you want me in the VR too, or watching the code from out here?"

Isolde takes the earbud back, and she looks down at it. She rolls it between her fingers, and then shoves it into her pocket with its twin and her music player. She watches him for a long moment, and then shrugs. "You can be in VR with me..." She starts to slide off her stool, taking up her tablet, and trying to clear her space.

Van lifts his brows slightly as she watches him, glancing down at his hands again, then shaking his head as he looks up again, "It's adrenaline, Isolde. That's all. Just the let-down from the flight." Unlacing his hands, he turns them palm up, showing the slight shake to each hand, "It'll be fine in a couple of minutes." And then he stops, "Uh... do you have an extra 'band here? Both the one that I borrowed and the one that Dad sent along are back in my bunk."

When he starts to explain why his hands are shaking, Isolde looks dubious at best. She does reach out, and her warm hands envelop his as best they can. She squeezes, trying to ease the shaking with her own steadiness. When he asks after the bands, she nods a bit. "We can't VR here though... dangerous with all the equipment around. Unless we pick a corner to huddle in." She hasn't entirely let go of his hands yet.

Van's hands still shake a little in Isolde's, his hands chilled with the aftereffects of adrenaline. Her explanation causes him to nod, "Right, of course. Interference." He squeezes her hands in a manner intended to be reassuring, "You're in charge, I'm just here to spot you. Pick the place, get the 'bands, and I'll watch your back."

The techy frowns, but she nods slightly. She isn't reassured, but she accepts it. With a gentle nod, she starts to gather them up her things. "Okay, cm'on... there's a workroom we can grab, but we will have to use a closed feed." She realizes she's starting to ramble, so she shuts up and just leads Van to the workroom.

Van rises to his feet, gathering up the helmet and neck-piece that he set down when he sat down, "Lead the way, boss." There's a little flash of a smile there, "Well yeah, you don't want the changes you made to get spread around to any other 'bands. Plus the Old Lady's prohibition on networking them." Which he heartily agrees with, if his tone is any indication. The benefits of a software engineering degree, you can follow when the cute tech-nerd starts to ramble. He follows along readily enough, glancing around the workroom briefly and then setting his helmet and neck-piece down on a table. As the door closes, he offers a little broader smile, reaching out to touch Isolde's shoulder again, "Really, I'm fine. It has happened since I was a child. Now let's see the tweaks you've made."

Isolde looks up when he touches her shoulder. She is soothed for a moment to see his broader smile, and she sinks into her own smile in response. She lingers for a few moments, and then she nods as a small touch of shyness works through her features. She then starts to pull out some cables to hook up to the holobands she has on hand, uploading the program into the closed operating system. She works silently, looking over her code one last time before she commits. Then she turns to offer him the holoband.

Van collects the holoband, checking the plug to make sure that it's in place, inserts his persona chip, and then settles down leaning on a hip against the edge of the table. The holoband is set over his eyes, and he closes them, drawing in a breath. Colors whirl and he grasps the edge of the desk to steady himself against the disorientation of slipping into VR.

Isolde watches him settle into the VR world, and then she slides her own holoband into place. She lowers herself onto the floor, sitting cross-legged. She rests her hands on her knees, taking in a deep breath to steady herself. As they slip into Isolde's program, it is extraordinarily plain. A simple white room with very little decor save for a rather expansive drumset. The tech is dressed in a light gray pair of coveralls, her hair a bit longer and drawn back into a lazy pony tail. She looks around for Van, hands deep in the pockets of her coveralls.

Van looks very similar to how he usually does when his persona loads up, although he has a Picon Naval uniform rather than a Colonial Forces one, and his hair is longer, still helmet-short, but not a full buzz. He glances around the room, "I see where all the processing power is going." He murmurs, "Diagnostic, show feedback detail, window upper right," and a window pops into his view. He studies the baseline, then looks to Isolde, biting back a comment about 'nice cans' in theoretical regards to the drumset, and then nods, "Ready when you are, Isolde."

Isolde looks over at Van, and a warm memory hits her as she thinks back to Picon. She bites her inner cheek lightly, offering a wry little smile. "Hello there... don't you look familiar..." She then wrinkles her nose slightly, and gives a small nod. "I'll keep the diagnostics running, as I'll want to look over the feedback when we're done." All nerdy and professional. She steps over to the drumset, drawing out a pair of sticks from her back pocket like they were always there. She steps up, and slides into the stool, and then gives the sticks a light and idle twirl. She gets comfortable, and then runs a few test rhythms -- a dance across the snares, a thump of the bass, and a little shimmy over the cymbals. The feedback is good, but sharp, and the noise reverberates a bit.

Van looks down over himself, "Right. I never did update myself." His hands rise slightly in a palm-up shrug at his sides, "I probably should have done that at some point." His brows draw together slightly as the sound of his own voice shivers a little oddly. Stepping over to the drumset alongside her, he nods slowly as she starts to play. His eyes tighten a little at the volume and reverb, and he studies the scrolling text on the window of his vision, "Maybe isolate physical feedback next version?" Shaking that musing aside, he flashes a little grin and gestures to the drums, "Alrighty Izzy, let's see what you've got."

"We can do that now," Isolde comments, and she takes a pause to flick open her own diagnostics feedback to do some edits. The world flickers a bit, fading in and out like a brain about to go unconscious, and then it settles again as it live-boots the new code. Update without restart, that's what that was. When Isolde gives the cymbals a twang, the sound no longer reverberates, but is a clear and crisp noise. Then she offers him a wry look at the new nickname, and then nods. "Alright... don't judge," she warns him. Then she starts with an easy beat, rocking slightly as she rolls through a starting rhythm on the snares. Then she adds in the bass, and is soon going through a smooth almost jazzy solo.

Van holds onto his butt, metaphorically speaking, as she live-boots the room, drawing in an unconscious breath. Once things settle down, he lets it out again. The wry look causes one corner of his lips to tug upward, "What? Every rocker needs a rock star name." Still, he nods at her request, settling back on his heels and crossing his arms idly as he lets her get started up. Nodding along with the beat, he settles into it, then appears to think of something, glancing down a moment before he consideringly pinches the inside of his elbow. The pressure causes a wince as the increased feedback spikes through his nerves.

Isolde shakes her hand slightly once she's done, holding both drumsticks in her hand. She frowns thoughtfully. "It had the same percussive feedback... a bit too harsh, though... but, I don't know... it didn't produce the same neurological effects." That is to say, not even holobands can give her the endorphins from playing the drums. She looks up at the pilot, missing hte pinch. "And I don't know if Izzy is a good rock star name..."

Van shakes out his left arm, working his fingers, "Yes. You might want to tweak it down just a little. Currently all physical feedback is being amplified..." he gestures to his left arm, "And getting pinched hurts. What's wrong with Izzy as a rockstar name, Isolde? Doesn't it make you want to throw up the Pan-horns?" Stepping up behind her, he rests a hand on her back, beneath her ponytail, "Have you usually had problems with triggering neurological reactions in VR?"

The hand at her back sends a sudden shiver through her, and it startles Isolde a bit. Her eyes flicker up to him, his question almost forgotten in the moment of nerve clarity. Person-to-reality is always quite different than person-to-virtual, as two neurological pathways connect. She blinks slightly. "What? Oh... only with this..." She shifts slightly, rolling her shoulders a hint.

Van leans over Isolde's back, studying the code for the drums in his open window, even as the he feels warmth spreading into his palm, far warmer that it would be in real life. Clearing his throat, another thought runs through his mind, his fingers curling lightly against her back. "So... have you considered..." as the Picon pilot leans down ever closer, his voice quiets, "...that it might just be you?"

Isolde closes her eyes, sinking back into his curled fingers. She shivers slightly. "Are you... trying to tell me that I'm broken?" When she opens his eyes to see him leaning down into her field of vision, her smile twitches slightly. She leans forward, and immediately catches his lips in a sharp, but short kiss. "I'm not broken," she murmurs against his lips, but the simple connection sends a wonderful shiver through her.

The kiss sends a wash of flame through Van's nerves, and he draws in a sharp breath. "You're clearly not broken..." he loses his train of thought as he chases after her lips, indulging in a longer, slower kiss, his lips moving over hers. As the kiss draws delightfully onward, he steps around in front of her, crouching down alongside her and bringing his left hand up to her cheek. When he finally draws back a hair's breadth, he clears his throat, "...um... where was I? Clearly not broken. Right. I just meant, maybe it's not the feedback for the drumming. Maybe it's the emotion."

Isolde is clasping hard onto the seat beneath her as the kiss continues, and it sends a blissful sharpness through her nerves. She grasps at his elbow as he leans that bare minimum away, and she breathes out a slow breath. "M-maybe," she stutters quietly. Her fingers move up his arm and to the base of his neck. She touches the fine hairs there. "But this emotion seems to be translating pretty well."

Van's eyes remain closed despite his return to speaking, and the touch of her fingers to the back of his neck has an extreme reaction on him. "Aphrodite..." The word is a bare whisper, and he struggles to draw together his thoughts again. "Yes. Um. Enhanced physical feedback. It's very nice." His fingers brush over her cheek, and he forces his eyes open, "But it's dangerous too. Hard to think, for a start."

Isolde nods slightly, nose brushing against his own. His words draw her eyes open, and she meets his own gaze. She bites softly at her inner cheek, and then she brushes her fingers along his jaw. Her mouth twitches slightly. "It isn't going to set false expectations, is it? If everything feels so good here...?" She tilts her cheek into his questing fingers.

"It might be a little bit of a let-down..." Despite the words, Van leans in for another kiss, shifting on his knees so that he kneels close to her drum stool. His other hand slides down her back as he luxuriates in the play of lips and a little flirt of his tongue. Straightening up again after a time that sings in his nerves like an eternity, he finally opens his eyes, "...might be. It's also dangerous. I pinched myself, and it hurt... a lot." Despite discussing the feedback, Van's voice remains quiet, roughened from its usual clear tenor.

Isolde starts to smile as their kiss resumes. She breathes out a slow breath through her nose as she lavishes in the movement of their lips and the dance of their tongues. Then she offers a vague nod at his concerns. She reaches up her hand to her forehead, and she murmurs, "Closing down." She then flicks her fingers, and their world melts away. The feedback still plays around her nerves even as the real world comes back into focus. She is pulling away her holobands, and stepping toward him as he is released from the virtual world.

One moment Van is very nearly wrapped around Isolde, and the next, he's standing across the room, leaning against the side of the table. Aaaaand he has to shift a bit, gathering up his helmet and neck-guard to hold in his left hand before him, his right hand rising up to lift his own holoband. He opens his mouth to say something, but... nothing really comes out. What do you say after a literally better-than-real-life kiss?

Isolde does not seem content to leave it there. She advances, sliding her hand up across the back of his neck and into the short buzz of his hand that easily slips through her fingers without purchase. She is on the balls of her feet to beat that four inches difference, and she is pressing her mouth fully against his in a kiss that stirs the depths of her belly. She closes her eyes to enjoy it, finding the smallest details that the holobands miss.

Van moves aside the helmet as she steps close, letting it clatter and spin atop the table as he drops it and smooths a hand up her spine, ducking into the kiss. It doesn't have the sheer nerve-jangling volume of the kisses in the boosted-feedback V-World, but there is a certain reality to it that is unmistakable and unreproducible. His right hand blindly sets aside the holoband, then slides up within the silken hair at the back of her neck. Breathing deeply through the kiss, the pilot makes a soft sound of pleasure, slow to finally loose her and straighten up again.

The kiss sends a wave of pressured warmth through her. Her nose brushes across his, and the quickness of her inhale is unlike the fabricated breaths in the V-world. It catches and shudders with her own excitement. "Not yet," Isolde protests when he starts to straighten away. She draws him down again for another kiss, allowing for him to straighten away from her once done.

Van chuckles huskily at her complaint, but he obliges her, ducking his head again to nip at her lower lip and draw it out between his teeth before he sinks into another slow, simmering kiss. His hips sink against the table so that he doesn't have to bend over her, and his arms draw her close against him, one sinking down her spine to the small of her back, the other still loosely tangled up in her ebon hair. His heartbeat thunders in his ears, another difference that V-World never quite gets right.

The Tauron woman sinks forward when he sinks back into the table, and she nestles against him so that he can feel the lines of her body resting against his own. She shifts her hips a bit, settling into the lean with a content noise spared through their kiss. Her fingers glide down the back of his neck while her other hand slips behind him to rest on the table top. Then she sighs, breathes out her nose, and falls away. "This... is definitely against regs," she says breathlessly, "even if I wouldn't mind you pulling me on the table and just settling in for a good... oh... maybe hour." She flashes up a tentative smile.

The close press of their bodies makes it quite clear that the interest caused by the over-clocked V-World programming has not diminished by their real-world interaction. Van chuckles a little huskily, and there's some part of the pre-Triton Van in the way that he meets her dark eyes so readily, "It's... a gray area. Very light gray, actually. We're not assigned to the same branch, not in the same chain of command." And then he blinks, his eyebrows lifting slightly, "An hour? And just what are you planning to do for a full hour?"

"I more meant making out in the tech shop workrooms," Isolde teases in response. "Or is that a light gray area too?" She wrinkles her nose just slightly, smiling all the while. Then she nestles in again, her warm lips sliding across his cheek and jaw to nuzzle against the side of his neck, just below his ear. "Fighter jocks... always want a quick in and out... never want to savor." Her hand slips off the table behind him, and her fingertips just grace the upper leg of his flight suit.

"Oh." Van blinks, his eyes lifting up to the room about them for a moment, "Well yes..." the word trails off as her lips find the sensitive skin between his jaw and his ear. "Maybe darker gray." He draws in a breath at the tease of her hands, and he chuckles, his fingers lightly stroking at the small of her back, his other hand loosing from her hair at the back of her head. It finds its way over her shoulder-blade, down her side, to her hip, "Well, there's savoring, and then there's going blue. An hour sounds painful, unless there's some trick that you have to teach."

"Darker gray is still lighter than black," Isolde points out, very helpfully. She starts to laugh at his words about going blue, and she nuzzles her nose against his ear. "Okay, maybe an hour is a small exaggeration..." She sounds slightly embarrassed, but she powers through with a small twitch of a smile and casual note of, "I would definitely not want to leave you dissatisfied."

If Van were on point, he would make a comment about 'nothing small about it,' or something along those lines. Instead, he ducks his head into the crook of her neck, his lips returning the teasing favor of her own as they explore the line of her neck. "No... leaving anyone dissatisfied is bad..." Not his finest verbal moment, but in his defense, he is rather distracted. There's a half-heartbeat's hesitation, and then his hands sink down to her hips and he turns, aiming to lift her up to seat her on the edge of the table where he doesn't have to crouch or lean over to continue the exploration of the line of her neck, the angle of her jaw, and the pulse at her throat.

Isolde closes her eyes when he nuzzles around the sensitive line of her throat, and she breathes out a slow, steady sigh. Her head tilts back to open her throat, muscles flexing a touch. When he turns her, she obliges. The slight lift that sends her on the table edge causes her feet to swing. Her knees open, inviting him against her again as he focuses his attention at the crook of her neck. She sighs blissfully, fingers now moving slowly up his back. "Van..." She sighs, and her toes curl in her workboots.

Van immediately steps in close between her spread knees. One hand drops down to slide curled fingers along the curve of her side to her waist, the other dragging slowly up her opposite side, one rib at a time. Drawing his head back just far enough to clear Isolde's

chin, Van turns his head to the other side, brushing his nose along the underside of her jaw before his lips find the skin of her neck again. They march inexorably up and out, finally reaching her earlobe and capturing it between his teeth in a light nip. The sighing of his name draws a pleased smile to his lips.

Isolde arches her back when his hand steps up her ribs. She opens her eyes briefly to gasp at the small nip, but then she sinks back into the moment. Her hands tighten at the points of his hips, rolling back and rubbing with her palms while her fingers tighten into the lean muscle at the sides of his rear. She bumps the rubber heels of her boots into the table as she curls her legs up and open, hips rolling up slightly as she does.

Van's rear tightens under the influence of her fingers, and the roll of her hips against his draws a groan to his lips. His warm breath -- thankfully he's had a mint since his last cigarette -- washes over her lips, and he opens his eyes for a moment before leaning forward to close the distance again and to seek out her lips for another kiss, his eyes washing closed as he does. His lips move over hers for a long, slow eternity, and then he lets out a tiny breath and admits, "We really probably shouldn't be doing this here," his lips moving against hers with every murmured word.

When their eyes meet, Isolde's heart catches for a moment in her own excitement. The shared gaze is broken, replaced by the warm dance of lips. She professes her hunger in that kiss -- a deep ache of need that she's been simmering for some time. She lavishes -- taking in as much as she can as if she's afraid she'll be quitting cold turkey soon. Then his words draw a slight sigh from her lips, and gentle nod against his head. "Really, probably, shouldn't," she agrees.

"So I should probably step back." Van does not do this. "And I probably shouldn't be kissing you." Van does this again, another slow, luxurious dance of lips and flicker of tongue. "Not in here at least." The long fingers of his left hand gently trace the arch of her neck, his right hand at her hip, his thumb curled around the point of her pelvis.

"You should," Isolde agrees, but does not argue when he doesn't. "And you shouldn't." But does not argue when he does. She welcomes the next kiss, joining the dance of lips and tongues. She groans slightly against his lips as he has her nicely captured, but then she shakes her head slightly against his hand. "We should stop," she murmurs, and she leans back finally, breaking the moment between them as best she can.

Van's thumb tightens down on her hip as she leans back, but he does not protest further that that, nodding a little and letting his hand drop from the side of her neck. "Yes, we should." The words are grudgingly spoken as he draws in a breath, and then his hand slides down the outside of her thigh and off her knee as he steps back, standing a little awkwardly a pace away from the edge of the table, and then offering her a hand to hop off of it. "Even if I don't want to." That fact, at least, is manifestly clear.

"I don't want you to either," Isolde reassures him. When he offers a hand, she takes it, and slides off the table and resumes her shorter stance beside the pilot. She steps up, wrapping her arms around his shoulders to press just one last kiss against his warm, minty mouth. "Guess we'll need to find a place where we can do this..." Then she releases him, stepping back to give space between them. Safe space.

Van's arms wrap around her waist by pure reflex when she steps up to gather in that one last kiss, and again they are loathe to let go, sliding away reluctantly. "Besides V-World. Because I'm pretty sure that with the tweaks you made... that could get awkward rather quickly." Right... back to safe topics! Van turns aside to gather up his helmet and locking collar again, and then glances to Isolde, "Real nice coding on the increased feedback though. I'm still worried about it being dangerous, but if you're careful, I'm sure it will be fine."

Isolde blushes at the idea of secret liaisons in V-World, as if it might have crossed her mind a couple times. She looks down, fiddling with her holobands now that they are back in her hands once more. She looks up at his concerns, and she shakes her head slightly. "I'll probably scrap it... it isn't releasing the proper endorphins for it to really do what I need it to do..." But kissing Van sure seems to be a nice replacement behavior. She shifts from foot to foor, looking like Awkward Antelope again.

"Maybe you need the right people to play with?" Van wasn't thinking that through, and he clears his throat, "I mean a band. For you to play drums with." Turning back to face her despite the awkwardness of his clarification, the pilot shrugs a little helplessly, "Maybe it's not V-World's fault? Maybe it's about the situation and the socialization?" By his tone, he really has no idea, but at least he's trying to find a solution... even if she hasn't actually asked him to help come up with one.

"A band?" Isolde looks up, brows arched slightly at the premise. "I... I haven't played with a band before." Then she shakes her head, offering a small smile. "I'll figure it out." She steps forward, pressing a hand to his chest as she arches up to touch her lips to his cheek. "This was nice," she confesses quietly. "I hope it wasn't a one-time thing." She doesn't look like she's seeking his confirmation, but just stating a wish. Then she grabs up her tablet and holoband, and looks like she's getting ready to leave the workroom.

Van shrugs a little helplessly, one hand coming off his helmet to rest at her hip as she steps close, "Just an..." his words trail off for a moment as he tries to decide if she's going for cheek or lips, and then turns his cheek into the kiss to accept it, "...idea, Isolde. And yes, it was nice. Very. Um, I hope it's not either." Hesitating again as she starts for the door, he evidently decides that he's okay to go outside, although the helmet is still held before him as he follows her toward the door.

Isolde smiles slightly at his confirmation, and she nods. "Okay... I won't let it be then." Even if she has no idea if there's anywhere on the battlestar, despite rumors of boot-knocking between some of the officers and enlisted. She waits a heartbeat before she opens the door, the gesture dissolving the last bit of warmth in the room and inviting in all the noise from the tech shop.

Van does his best to compose his face, banishing the faint smile lingering at the corners of his mouth as he follows Isolde out the door, "Like I said, the 'band settings might need a little tweaking if you decide to go forward with the idea, but it's an interesting thought." Despite the formal-ish words, Van's hand brushes at the small of Isolde's back as he steps out and away, clearing space between them.

"Okay, well... I won't scrap it yet, but maybe we can do some more testing if you need a break from the routine." Isolde seems comforted by the soft brush at her back, but she then ducks her head and steps back as he starts to move away. "Thanks again, Newton."


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