Isolde helps out with repairs on Van's Viper. Van stops by.
Location: Hanger Deck, Deck 6, Battlestar //Galactica//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 916
Isolde did not need to hear the news through the scuttlebutt. She has connections, and had gotten a play-by-play of the bombing run. It was a surprise how anxious she became when she heard Van's ship had been hit, but relieved when the news came that Milkman was safe. She is working with one of the deck monkeys at the moment at Van's fighter, pulling the diagnostics as she often does from the computers for review. Nothing is left up to chance, in her eyes. Any computer close to a Cylon is given a look over. As she sits in the cockpit, waiting for the diagnostics to finish, she touches the damage to the canopy.
"Don't worry," Harlowe says, as if catching Isolde's concern in the mere touch. "A quick fix. He's lucky he weren't in extra-atmos, though. Woulda tried to suck his face through the hole."
"Oh, now that's a pleasant picture," Isolde replies dryly.
Van is still limping a little, his knee recovering from pressing his foot down on the rudder pedal to keep the recalcitrant fighter (literally) in line. It's not enough to do more than ache and slow him down a little, but it's still noticeable. More noticeable than the bandage around his arm, in fact, especially considering that the cloth is covered by his duty greens. Spotting the deck ape talking to someone in the cockpit of his battered and smashed Viper, the pilot calls out, "They gave the bird to someone else already? I hope that means I'm getting one that isn't a lemon."
Harlowe grins down at Van, hooking an arm lazily at the ladder. "Yeah... we figured it was safer in Asa's hands." He nods to the techie, who is trying to keep her eyes resolutely on the screen for a few focused minutes before she sheepishly presses herself up a bit more, looking down to Van. "Just running diagnostics, Newton. I'm almost done." She smiles up to Harlowe, looking a bit more like the famous Awkward Antelope. "I'll let you know when I'm done." The deck ape looks from Asa to Newton, and then back. He shrugs, and slides down the ladder with a light thud. When he passes Van, he arches his brows in silent question before moving on.
Van starts to nod at Harlowe, "Thanks, Harrow, is it?" Close, but... oh, he said 'Asa,' didn't he? Van stiffens a little, then does his best to relax, crossing under the nose of the Viper and trailing the fingers of his left hand over the abused fuselage. "I suppose she can't break it any worse than I did." The pilot shakes his head at the silent question, shrugging a little as he comes around to the base of the ladder, looking up, "Is it likely to be a few minutes, or are you looking at an hour or so? The attitude controls were broken pretty badly by the time I got back here, but I think that was physical, not electronic."
"Altitude?" Isolde asks, brows arched. "Or have you pilots started to gauge the levels of attitude your ships have, too?" Then she offers a small smile of amusement at him before she looks over her tablet as code scrolls. "Maybe another fifteen," she offers to his question, leaning her head back. She finds herself looking over the dash, and her mouth tugs slightly with a frown. It is a passing expression before she calls... "So... the first to make Colonial Ace..."
Van shakes his head, "Attitude." He holds up his left hand, rolling it around about the center of his palm like a fighter banking left and right, tipping nose down and nose up in turn. "It makes it dangerous being too close to friendlies." Or enemies, or inert objects, or... anything more than space or air. At Asa's estimate, Van nods a little, resting a hand on the ladder at about shoulder height. The mention of his accomplishment causes him to smile faintly, nodding briefly, "One of two on Galactica at least. Lieutenant Stenz too. I don't know if anyone on the Athena made it yet."
"Oh..." Isolde's embarassment is transparent in her voice, even if he can't see the sharp rise of color at the height of her cheeks. "Attitude... right." She looks back down at the readings, looking at the progress bar. She glances down his way again, head tilted a bit. "I think it's great," she offers, voice quiet. "I think... I think you should be proud of yourself." She looks back in over the readouts, fingers tracing along the edge of the tablet's casing.
Van can hear the blush, even if he can't see it. Before he can talk himself out of it, the Picon makes his way up the ladder, wincing slightly with every step of his right leg. He stops most of the way up, his head on a level with the cockpit, rolling his shoulders in a bit of a shrug, "I am. Mostly I'm happy that most of us made it back, although we still lost too many." He stops, as if about to say something else, then blurts out, "I lost the sliders."
Isolde hears the wincing advance up the ladder, and she frowns slightly in concern as his head emerges into sight. She nods gently when he speaks of too much loss, but the blurted out words cause her to frown abruptly. "I..." She shakes her head, brows arching. "Oh." Then she looks at the dash, and then back at him. "I thought you may have..." Her words taper off. "It's okay," she offers him them, tone attempting to be nonchalant.
Van blinks slightly at her reaction, and then lifts his brows as well as he realizes what he just suggested, clearing his throat and leaning back on the ladder a little, "Even with..." one hand gestures between them, "...everything. It was a nice reminder of home." He shakes out his right leg, taking the excuse to look down as he does.
"Yeah... home..." Isolde looks down at the tablet again. She is quiet for a long moment, watching the code scroll. With a breath, she looks back up at him with a slight tilt of her head. "The Wolfpack going to celebrate you making Ace?" The question is offered quietly, as if giving them both a bit of grace from awkward, and deeply painful subjects. "Or does that cause more thirst for competition?"
Van settles back into a lean against the ladder as she shifts subjects away from awkward ones, shrugging slightly, "I don't know. Back on Picon, it was usually carrier landings on the nearest bar, but with the ship at Condition Two, we can't even drink, let alone do carrier landings." Which only work when you're very, very drunk.
Isolde looks up to him, brows furrowed deeply. "What's... what's a carrier landing?" Her brows then arch over her eyes, her brown gaze earnest -- and innocent in its own way. "Is this an important pilot thing?"
"Well, the real thing is landing a bird on an aircraft carrier. The nautical kind, not the space kind." Van lets a faint smile touch his lips, "But what I'm talking about is when you wet the bar, usually with alcohol, and then slide down it on your belly, with your feet lifted. You try to hook a rope with your ankles to stop you before you fall off the end of the bar."
Isolde blinks at the description, and then she starts to laugh -- bright and clear, with a flash of dimples. "Picons," she says with a firm shake of her head. "Absolutely crazy." She looks back down at the tablet. "You're definitely not getting a carrier landing on the Galactica, but..." She looks up at him beneath the fall of her forelocks. "I'm sure we can find something to do to celebrate."
Van's smile lingers in the face of her laughter, nodding a little to himself. "Yes. Although in this case, that would be 'pilots -- absolutely crazy.'" The glance from beneath her curtain of dark hair causes him to swallow briefly, shifting his stance on the ladder and settling down a step. "It isn't a big deal. Celebrating, that is. Thank you for the offer though." There's something a little hurried in his words, clearly thinking of a two-person celebration.
Isolde has missed something, as he hurriedly dismisses her offer of celebration and starts back down the ladder. "Oh..." She sinks into the seat of his Viper once more, fingers curled around the tablet. "Yeah, okay..." She shrugs a shoulder, trying to seem indifferent even while her voice carries a small weight. She tucks away her hair, looking over the scroll of data once more.
Van can feel things going all crossways again, and he shakes his head, "No, no." And he works his way up that step again, "When we're not at Condition Two, I would love to let you take me out for a drink to celebrate."
Isolde just nods slightly at his renewed offer, but the forward step back up the ladder draws her eyes up to his once more. She looks uncertain at first, but she adds a soft, "Alright... if you want to. I don't want to make a big deal out of nothing, if it isn't a big deal. I mean, if it is supposed to be celebrated, you could just let me know when the other Wolfpack will be celebrating, and I can stop by... doesn't have to anything more than that." Rambling again, and only saved by the somber beep of her tablet, letting her know the diagnostics are done. She starts disconnecting. "She's all yours... but you should wait for her canopy to be replaced..."
Van nods slowly, "If I know when it will be... if there is anything, I'll let you know." The commentary on the fighter causes Van to reach down for where his name and callsign are stenciled just below the cockpit, then shakes his head, "I think I'll do that. It was nerve wracking enough holding my breath all the way up," probably not, given the length of flight time back to Galactica, "on the way home. I don't want to try doing it through an entire mission."
"Okay..." Isolde doesn't look up, feeling disconnected just as she disconnects from Van's fighter. Slowly, she starts to ease up out of the cockpit, though she realizes that with Van on the ladder she is appropriately blocked. She clears her throat. "I'm sure that they will get the canopy replaced quick... I... I have to... get going."
Van seems to realize that he's blocking her way down just as she does, glancing down and then descending quickly on two arms and one foot. It's just quicker that way, to say nothing of the fact that it hurts less. Stepping away from the base of the ladder, he gives his thigh a rub with the heel of one hand, "I can fly a spare if they need me in the air before it's ready." That's the benefit of not having your full compliment on board. The downside, of course, is working shift-and-a-halfs.
Isolde waits for him to get down the ladder before holstering her bag and swinging down herself. She is careful in her descent, and alights softly on the deck. She turns slightly, spotting him rubbing at his thigh. A bit of concern tugs at her expression, but she looks away to adjust her bag after a moment. "Shouldn't take too long," she says, having no idea what the work orders are like on deck. She starts to step away, always uncertain on how to say goodbye to Newton. She bites at her inner cheek, glancing back toward him. "Uh... see you around..."
Van senses the awkwardness -- as well he should, since it infuses him too. Straightening up from rubbing at his thigh, he rolls his shoulders in what could charitably be called a shrug, "Let me know how you like the books." There, that'll work. With a still-awkward nod, he takes a step back, then turns to head back toward the alert room, even if he isn't on alert.
Isolde turns back around toward Van at the reminder of the books, but she continues to step away, this time backwards. It really is a poor decision as just as she's offering a, "Will do," she's also running into a stack of small cargo containers that rattle, but not quite spill their contents on the deck after the run-in with the awkward techie. She turns, closes her eyes, gently rights the containers, and tries to gracefully continue her exit.
Van turns back at the clatter behind him, brows raising in... surprise, concern, or both. He doesn't comment, however, and in fact glances aside quickly so as to not embarrass Isolde by being spotted watching.
Wise beyond her years, Isolde doesn't look back, but keeps walking even if all she wants is the deck to open up and eat her. "Maybe I should put in for a transfer," she breathes under her breath, even if she can't take a single syllable seriously. She's close enough to the bottom of the barrel that maybe she will start crawling out of it soon.