The Timber Wolves pilots go up against each other in a training exercise.
Location: Scorpian Space
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 750
Major Webb has called a briefing, and the summoned pilots have gathered in the ready room. Our fine heroes here and an equal number of NPCs. Webb claps his hands, seemingly eager to get down to business. "All right. I hope you lot didn't enjoy yourself too much at the party last night, because it's time to get back to business." Certainly if Webb is the least bit hungover, he doesn't show it. "Like the Colonel said - it's one thing for them to slap a special ops patch on us. Quite another to be good enough to deserve it. And you bet your asses you're going to get good enough to deserve it." His smile there seems more challenging than warm. "First up - OpFor practice. You lot - blue team. You lot - red team." He divides the room down the middle.
"Looks like you get to build up your sim kill count, Cherry." Kazimir offers as he finds himself on the side with her and smirks. "Though I tend to be the bullet sponge in these things." It's an idle comment as he grabs his helmet to start to head for the Vipers to get his newest assignment as his last one is still blown to hell.
Calliope has logged some time planet-side, but she's back on the ship for this. Hastily changed into her duty garb. Her LTJG pins aren't attached quite right. She fidgets with them while she listens to Webb, trying to make them straight. She does not quite succeed.
The distinctly unimpressive and informal briefing rankles with Van, but he does his best to keep his disappointment off his features. Here he has a notepad and pen out to take notes and everything. But... not so much to take notes on. The notepad is folded up and tucked away, and the pen follows into one of flight suit's capacious pockets, and then he grabs his helmet and rises as well, looking over the group to check who has been assigned to blue team with him. Familiar features catch his eyes, and he blinks, "Hammerhead? When did you get aboard?" A faint smile hides behind the words.
"Well, in that case, I'll make sure to let you fly lead, Twinkle Toes. I could use the bullet magnet." Eva, is, by all accounts, not feeling the effect of the previous night at all. Shes almost spry, as she makes her way towards her ship of the day. The helmet goes on, and she climbs the ladder to get herself buckled in. It's all fun and games...until you get shot down by a laser tag. And then it's just embarrassing.
Isolde appears next to Calliope, almost like the focus of someone's magic trick. She tilts her head as she listens in to the rules and briefings set aside by Webb. She quirks a brow slightly at the sight of Van, and she offers him the smallest quirk of a smile from their distance, and she taps the side of her mouth with her first two fingers. Then she resumes her focus on Webb.
Roara brushes off the shoulder of her flight suit in a simple, silent gesture of challenge to a fellow pilot on the opposing team. It's accompanied by a theatrical musing of her lips before Van calls her attention away. Her expression falls slack. "Since Conceron," Roara cocks her head back on her neck, scrutinizing the man's features. Her own are in perfect health, having avoiding much of the previous evening's festivities. After a frozen moment, she opts for a less nostalgic reunion. Nope! No shared harrowing experience here! "Let's see if you still got it, huh?" Roara swings out a hand in an attempt to firmly double-pat Van on the shoulder, stepping past him to seek out a Viper.
Webb claps his hands once more, oblivious to Van's disapproval. "Righto then, let's get to to the ships. Thorne, you've got lead." Did he miss what she just said to Kazimir or is he just screwing with her? "I'll be evaluating." With that, he starts heading down to the flight deck to see to it that everyone gets in their ships. Probably to their surprise, the Vipers are not loaded into their usual launch tubes. "Vanguard won't have launch tubes, so we may as well start getting used to it," he says, pulling on his own flight helmet.
Van has his own moment of 'does this suck or is this great' that flashes across his face, and he too elects for 'great,' nodding and slipping through the crowd to exchange the 'formal' double-pat on Roara's shoulder, "I must have missed you." A hint of past bravado comes through his newfound starch, "Didn't you hear the citations the other day?" Sharking it off, he adds, "Good hunting." And then he's passing by Calliope and Isolde as well, repeating the benediction, "Good hunting," with a wink for the ECO before he's off to his own ship.
"You heard the man, you're the lead, double Cherry." Kazimir gives Eva a wink as she's the one with the most kills after all as he moves to settle into his own Viper, and eyes the lack of launch tubes. "Piece of pie." he reminds himself as he settles his helmet into place to start to run through the pre-flight warmups, motions that can be done in the dark as practiced as they are by the test pilot.
"Have you got a callsign, Asa?" Calliope asks Isolde with a bright grin. "I should know what I'm yelling in my backseat. Or, err, what to call the person yelling at me upfront." This might be the thing that happens more often. She fiddles some more with her LTJG pins. She's succeeded in turning them entirely upside-down, instead of just a little crooked. Without a mirror, she deems this a success and gets herself situated for training. Van's 'Good hunting' gets a little two-fingered salute. "Same to you, Milkman."
"Asa is fine," Isolde says with a wry smile. "Back in my misguided youth, my V-World handle was Scion. But I don't think that's really the way callsigns work." She flashes Calliope a broader grin. "I guess until I earn one all proper like, you just call me Asa." She then nods toward where the rest are heading. "Don't worry. I'm not a yeller. I'm a calm and peaceful Tauron." No oxymoron there. She then nudges Calliope. "Let's go, Bullseye."
"Yes, Sir." Eva is all business, and it's about to do something childish, like stick her tongue out at Webb, or argue because he's given her command, "Alright, red team. Get aboard. Get prepped, and get ready to go as soon as the deck clears you for takeoff. Standard wing formations as we depart, protect the raptors, Milkman you've got drogue with Twinkle Toes, Hammerhead, you're with me."
Roara slides into her cockpit and brings an outward-turned palm to her brow, saluting Eva from afar in the Picon-style. "Yes, sir," she presses her helmet down over her head and begins clipping herself in.
His helmet in his left hand, Van offers up the same open-handed salute as Roara in response to Eva's orders, "Yes, sir." He glances back to check where Twinkle Toes is getting situated in his Viper, then clambers up into his own cockpit and gets his helmet into place.
Already in her Raptor, Antonie is settling in and doing a pre-flight check along with her ECO-o-the-day. Just the final bits and pieces before everything is signed off and they get the green-light from their assigned tech on the ground. Lack of launch tubes aren't an issue for their ilk, so the bus drivers perhaps get a bit of fun in watching the Vipers today.
Calliope chuckles. "They'll give you one pretty quick. I was Bullseye by like my first month in. Because the Cylons liked shooting at my sweet, sweet ass." She adds quickly, "I haven't gotten blown up yet! So, you're safe. Probably. I mean, we can't die for real here." Their pride can die, but that's another matter. She puts her helmet on, boards, and preps for the show.
Isolde slips on her helmet -- fairly nondescript for now as this Ensign hasn't earned much of anything at the moment. She taps it into place, and then swings into her seat before the consoles. She flexes her fingers, dances them over the keyboard like a pianist preparing for an intricate piece. She grins over toward Calliope. "Well, let's try not to die at all!" There's some positivity.
"Scion?" Webb overhears that, grinning while simultaneously making a naaah kind of face. "That's no callsign for a rook. You were a Specialist before, yeah?" Webb glances over at Kazimir. "Maybe Speck. What do you think Fairchild?" He's teasing. Probably. Maybe. Then he's going over to climb into a Raptor. Better sensors to observe everyone in those.
"Milkman, Bullseye, I want you to follow after me after I take off." Kazimir offers, glancing over to Eva's Viper as he brings up the comms. "The two of us are used to ground and tubeless launches, they may need some guidance on their own. "Cherry, since you're lead - last out, keep an eye on them and see how they do?" he offers by way of suggestion to wait for the clearance to launch.
Eva settles in for the wait for clearance to launch, hand reaching out to adjust the flag stuck on to her console, as well as to peak into the bag full of emergency rations. A nod, at Kazimir's words, not seeming at all out of sorts as he sets out the flight formations, "take them out, Twinkle Toes, I'll be right behind you."
Antonie is in -C34.
"Thanks for the concern, Twinkle-Toes, but the Picon Navy trained us to take off real carriers. Launch tubes are a luxury. A flight deck that isn't moving on waves is nearly a luxury in fact." Of course, Van had better be able to back up that talk now that he's opened his big mouth. Especially since he's been using launch tubes since coming to Galactica, and he was taking off from long, open ground runways before that for quite a while.
Calliope shoots a semi-sympathetic look back at Isolde. The naming has begun. Then, eyes forward, hands at ten-and-two (ish, it's a flight stick, not a wheel), and she gets down to business. "Twinkle Toes, Bullseye. Copy that. Coming into formation, two clicks back and above on your seven o'clock."
"Speck?" Isolde starts to laugh at the suggestion, and then she shakes her head as she settles in. "There's so many ways to take that. Speck on a glass, speck in the sky, speck on a pristine white shirt..." She grins to herself, and then she starts going through all the various prep steps at her console. When Van and Kazimir get into it, she shakes her head slightly. "I'm the only Nugget here, sirs," she reminds them.
"Copy that. Don't give away all of our secrets, Milkman," Roara rumbles jokingly as she finishes up her checks. Her Viper gives a little hum as it responds to her. "I wanted to see the look of awe and admiration on his face."
"You don't get to pick your callsign, I'm afraid," comes Antonie's voice over the comms once she's settled in. "But I must say, sir-" a few more checks, switches flipped. "Let's give her the chance to truly embarrass herself before we slap one on her helmet." Then she's off radio to lean around and chatter with her ECO a bit.
There's a moment as Kazimir breathes in, and then he responds evenly. "Milkman, Twinkle-Toes. When you've made your Captain's pins, and you have as much experience as Cherry and I have in various birds, at that point, you can consider yourself no longer in training. Until then, everything is a chance to practice, Lieutenant." he says quietly, and firmly. "You may have had all the tests and practice you can handle, but there is /always/ room for improvement."
"I wouldn't dream of it, Hammerhead." Kazimir's response causes Van to set his teeth inside his helmet, but all he says is, "Milkman copies, sir." He warms up his bird, runs through the cockpit pre-flight from memory, does it once more, and waits for Kazimir to lift off and then to follow after the element leader.
"Take it as you like, Asa. But Squeak is right - we ought to give you a chance to do something spectacularly embarrassing before we sort yours out," Webb declares over the comms. "And anyway, Speck and Squeak in the same squadron would get everyone all turned about." One can hear the grin in his voice when he says, "That's the spirit, Twinkle Toes. All right, form up on your team leads and get started."
After the encouragement from Webb, Kazimir shakes his head for a moment, before he throttles the bird, taking off with the practiced ease of a pilot that's done this as many times as he's gone to the head for a shower.
Calliope laughs ruefully, turning her head to share an expansive roll of her eyes with Isolde. Such are the pleasures of being an ECO/Raptor pair. You have someone to eye-roll at the Vipers with. Her Raptor moves in sync with Kazimir and Van's Vipers. "Flight, Bullseye. We're in formation and ready to engage on your mark."
"I appreciate your thoughtfulness and desire for a truly creative moment. Perhaps if there's multiple ideas, perhaps we can do a silent ballot. Or a loud one. Your choice, boss." Isolde's words are full of humor and guile -- or at least that's what she's going for. She shakes her head as she taps up some info into her console, and focuses on Rabbit -- who she adores, surely. "Hop, hop." She then turns her head toward Calliope.
Eva opens her comms, about to respond to the chatter, but focuses instead on watching the birds proceed out, Kazimir and Webb handling it, at least for now. She's the last out of the gate, all of the birds in her flight away, before she lifts off and departs from the deck, "Form up on the raptors. Stay out of their firing solution. Engage at will."
There's no change to the launch process for Niemec. A Raptor in a launch tube would be a hilarious thing, truly. If they even found a way to fit them in there without it being an awkward mess. So her bird angles up and glides off easily enough, settling into the formation. "Alright, get jamming. I want you to focus on the Raptors missile banks." This, to her ECO. "I can evade the Vipers easily enough, but the targeting systems on the missiles are something else." She'd know best, wouldn't she? So it is that Antonie settles into things, focusing on one of aforementioned Raptors as they get rolling.
Maybe Kazimir has a point, or maybe Van has gotten rusty. Or, more likely, there's something about launching not from a tube that reminds him all too much of his most recent non-tube launches -- takeoffs in Raptors from airstrips being bombed. His launch is not as smooth as that of the former test pilot, but he manages it without embarrassing himself. His form-up on Twinkle Toes' wing goes much smoother, "Flight, Milkman. Locked in and ready to go."
Roara takes off without pageantry, flying wing with Eva once the Captain is out. She's silent on comms save for the necessary as her viper cruises forward, eyes and trigger-finger at the ready.
Calliope goes straight into evasive patterns as their instruments ping multiple weapon locks on their Raptor. If nothing else, she has learned those evasives well in her months on the Galactica. "See?" she quips with a grin to Isolde, though her eyes are fixed forward now. "When you fly with me, you get all the love." Over the comms, "<<Flight, Bullseye. Trying to get a lock on Rabbit's bus." She mirrors Niemec in targeting an 'enemy' Raptor first and foremost.
"I've got eyes on Link." And targeting crosshairs. Antonie gets lined up, nearly wing-to-wing with Calliope in formation. She breaks away once the dogfight comes into full play, breaking away with her own viper escort as she releases her chosen missile. And her munitions? Dead on target. Sorry, Link. You're out.
While most of red flight acquits themselves admirably well, Eva gets only a glancing blow on her target. That Jigger. Always so lucky. That doesn't deter her, indeed, it gets a response over comms, 'Nice shooting, red team, but we've still some vipers to clean up. Can't have the raptors doing all of our heavy lifting.'
"There are worse things to be lavished with, I suppose. Rivers of flaming lava, for example. Rabid, but overly friendly bears," Isolde replies with her own blossoming smile. Then she flicks her eyes up to her DRADIS output. "<<ECM locked on Cee-Two-Seven. Support coming in through Viper, Cee-Three-One.>>" When Kazimir acknowledges his assistance, Isolde nods. "<<Much obliged, Twinkle Toes.>>" The freshly-minted, no-longer-beta-tested Ensign focuses on her task with acute, honed focus and quick response. It's all about the code, and there's patterns in everything. She unleashes various ECMs on Rabbit, and Bullseye flips her callsign on the incoming Raptor. She barely registers the disappearing blips and instead focuses on the ones still up. "<<Flight, I got three Reds still up.>>" Then she comes off comms to flash Calliope a grin. "Nice shootin', Bullseye."
"Blue flight, you're getting your asses handed to you." Isn't Webb so helpful? They should give him one of those leadership awards next. "Step it up, you lot, or you'll be doing drills for the rest of liberty." No compliments for red team. Because he's an ass.
:* three blues still up
"Milkman, Twinkle-Toes. Looks like you got a bit of a clinger on you. Want help cleaning it off?" Kazimir offers so cheerfully over the comms, even as he's already moving into attack position on Hotshot.
Calliope leaves it to Kazimir and Van to give their Raptor covering fire against the Vipers. She is all about Rabbit's Raptor. Her missile goes off, and connects. Her head turns again, as the 'kill' registers, so she can exchange a big grin with Isolde. "Thanks. Good work on the jammers. Keep it up. You'll have them so frakked and they can't shoot straight while they're blown out of the sky." Over the comms, "<<Flight, Bullseye. Clean hit, Rabbit's reads are off the screen. Retargeting.>>"
Exchanging shots with Fish, Roara hisses as she takes a 'hit' to the wing. Hard-headed as she is, she goes about targeting the other viper with renewed vigor. Letting somebody named 'Fish' best her is NOT on her to-do list.
Free of the bounds of gravity, Van is able to make his Viper do just about anything he can think of, and he curls through the converging blinkers of laser trackers, darting away from Hotshot's incoming Viper and then twisting to break Link's lock. As the two formations blow past one another, he flicks his Viper ninety degrees, slamming a passing burst of targeting laser across Hotshot's fuselage, then rolls out onto Kazimir's wing again. "Thanks for clearing up Link, Squeak. Don't worry Asa, if Hotshot wants some more of me, I've got plenty to go around." Whatever frustrations he may have had with Kazimir on deck, he glances behind him once and then nods, "I'll lead him into a Weave, Twinkle-Toes." And he immediately starts turning into his left before sweeping back out to his right.
Eva swings back around, and between the two of them, though, given she has a missile, Bullseye did most of the heav liftinf, she clears her target, and swings back around, to note the now empty playing field. Well, not empty, but certainly paused, as all of the blue team have come to a halt, signalling that they are 'out', "Reset, Spider? or do you have another spread in mind?"
Despite some chatter and attempts to coordinate better, the blue team just gets their asses handed to them. "Oh for frak's sake. That was pathetic, blue flight. How do you lot expect to last against the Toasters when the shit really hits the fan?" Webb scoffs. "Righto then. Twinkle Toes, Bullseye, Hammerhead. You're the new blue team. Cherry, Milkman, Squeak - red. Let's see if we can last more than thirty frakking seconds this time, eh?"
Again, Asa is on it. This is not unlike frakking around with someone in the V-World, hacking in and changing their holoband profile. Putting her behind the ECO console means she can quite literally make someone's day confusing and uncomfortable. She works through more of her measures until she sees Jigger's blip go, well, blip and disappear. "Viper, Cee-Two-Nine is out. DRADIS clear." She glances to Calliope then, speaking off comms. "I bet Spider expected more of a --- " Then she's cut off when Webb announces teams, and she groans. "Here we go."
"You heard the Major,' Eva's voice comes up on comms as she forms up with Milkman, the two of them slightly ahead of Squeak's rator, 'I really do like you, Bullseye, I'm sorry you have to go out like this."
As the new teams are declared and Niemec is checking over her remaining two missiles, the woman grunts. Not over comms, at least, but she does break away with her two-man viper escort. "Well, Cherry-" this is on the radio. "Nice to have you on my wing again. Shall we show them how it's done?" The two have flown together for quite a number of missions now.
Van's trap for Hotshot is two-fold. There's the usual sweeping turns to draw the other Viper into his element leader's sights... and then there's the fact that as he comes out of the second turn, and Hotshot has the chance to spot Kazimir's attack and get distracted, Van takes advantage of the fact that the Viper can flip end-for-end in point six seconds. The Viper pirouettes, and Van's targeting laser blinks right into Hotshot's cockpit (mostly accidentally, those things could actually be dangerous if he hit someone in the eye with it). "Milkman, splash one." He glances down to his DRADIS, then inquires, "Six up, six down?" Webb's... inspirational speech causes Van to frown inside his helmet, but he doesn't comment beyond, "Milkman copies. Cherry, joining your wing."
The two Vipers perform the weave perfectly, cutting poor Hotshot to 'ribbons'. "Good shot, Milkman.." he starts to say, when Webb announces the suprising but inveitable betrayl of Cherry, Milkman, and Squeak. "Blue Team, Twinkle Toes, scramble and shuffle, don't let them get on your six, sing out your targets!" As he's closest to Milkman at the moment, what had started off as wingmen turns quickly to a furball as Kaz works to press they advantage he has for the moment being at Van's six.
Calliope lets out a "Woo!" at loud, cheerleader volume as her second missile connects. She has her comms off, but Isolde gets to enjoy it. Her celebration is short-lived as the CAG divides up new teams, though. "OK. This might not be such cake. Squeak is way scarier than Rabbit. I'm just going to keep us in evasive patterns." Over the comms she says, "<<Twinkle Toes, Hammerhead. Bullseye. We are totally with you and very invested in not dying.>>"
"Copy that. Hammerhead, Blue Team, Razzle dazzle time." Roara breaks away towards Calli and Kaz after quite a bit of hooting hand celebratory hollering over the former Blue Team's unfortunate loss. "Bullseye, wipe that target sign off of your back."
"Remember... this is just a training exercise... which means if we fail, we will just have to hide in the head and hope no one finds us for a few days. You know. Duck and run from possible embarassment." Isolde flashes another dimpled smile to Calliope to show she is most certainly kidding. Okay, 90:10 kidding to serious. She refocuses her measures, thinking about Raptor to Raptor measures once more. "Switching to KEWs, Bullseye."
With both he and Hammerhead chasing after Milkman, Kazimir leaves himself open to Cherry. "<<You didn't even stamp my dance card, Cherry!>>" comes the playful call as he grits his teeth after he feels the hit to his wing and twists to go chasing more firmly after Van as Roara falls back to chase after Eva.
A couple of good hits given, and a few returned, as Eva's mush reduced flight tangles with the now enemy. Those turncoats. Eva swings back around, shaking off the cobwebs and moving in for the, hopeful kill. She'll need to lose the straggler she's picked up, <<Didn't realize I needed one.>>
While she's not able to hit Calliope as their Raptors go by -- perhaps due to some creative jamming in Isolde's part -- Niemec does end up evading the missile that comes her way. The woman is capable of some pretty creative flying, all told. She is, however, not very happy about the single missile left in her bank. "Cherry, Milkman- you'd better take them out. I'm about down to my rear gun and no one wants a butt-gun party." Her ECO is probably some poor Ensign she's purposefully embarrassing.
Van flips his fighter around once more and starts to curl after his new teammates, only to have the fracas resume near-immediately. Once more targeted by a pair of 'enemy' ships, he twists and curls, trying to evade their fire even as their targeting lasers play over his ship. He's rolling back toward Eva's Viper, trying to draw them into her sights, when he gets a scattered glance of reflected laser from his instruments and jerks his head aside, twisting and slamming his elbow and knee into the dashboard, "Ow, Frak!" He really didn't mean that to get caught on the comms, but it did anyhow. "Milkman. Doing what I can, Squeak. Little busy."
"This is what you get for your 'Cherry Pie' crack, Twinkle Toes," Roara calls over comms, pumping her viper to get a lock on the fighter targeting Kaz. She's not going to keep kicking Van while he's down ...especially not after that embarrassing take off.
"Wait, when did I make a comment about Pie? I like pie!" comes Kazimir's protest as he's smiking. "I'm all for some of that butt gun action though."
"That's more like it," Webb says, almost grudgingly. "Pay attention there - you old blues, you may just learn something."
"Nice hit, Hammerhead, but you'll need to come in a bit harder if you wants to be the one who tags me out.' Eva twists the stick, adjusting for the slight reduction in control as a result of the hit, and she comes back around, still aiming for the more dangerous target.
More lights flash in Van's cockpit, registering more hits and reducing power to several subsystems. He does his best to chase after Roara's Viper while still evading Kazimir's fire -- and is not particularly successful. "Spider, Milkman. I've learned that being double-teamed by Hammerhead and Twinkle Toes is a lot less fun than you might think." Did... did by-the-book Milkman just give the CAG lip?
"Nice flying, Bullseye," Isolde offers as she looks up from her own console. Then she flashes a grin, twisting in her chair a bit. She glances over DRADIS, allowing her eyes to focus on the various patterns of movement. She notices something, and her brows arch slightly. Then she starts rapidly moving fingers across her consoles, swerving in her chair. "Keep on Squeak, but look out... we've got doubling ups on Hammerhead."
Scoring another hit upon Van, but doesn't take him out just yet, instead, Kazimir chuckles lightly in the comms. "But Milkman..." comes the response, but instead of gloating, there's a simple. "Every action is an opprotunity to learn. Be with you shortly, Cherry!"
"Harder upon request, Cherry." A great deal of Roara's evasion can very well be attributed to her attempts to track and match Eva's movements while in pursuit. She stays on the hunt. Indeed, her own objective appears to be keeping Kaz in the game -- 'more dangerous target' or not.
Webb was actually talking to the former blue team, which is perhaps why he doesn't react to Van's comment as 'lip'. "As it should be, Milkman, otherwise everyone's doing something a bit wrong."
Calliope manages not to get blown up. Whether from her flying or Isolde running interference, is unclear, though it's likely a combination. She winces as her missile connects, but does not finish off Antonie. "See? Squeak is made of nails." It's said with much respect. "And, my gun's dry." Which leads her to comm, "<<Flight, Bullseye. Raptor is out of missiles, but Asa's still on our rear gun. Our systems are reading green and clear of damage.>>"
Oh, hey, she got hit. Not a solid hit, but a hit nonetheless. "Good shots," Antonie offers over the comms to the other Raptor team. She does flip a few switches, shutting up a few alarms. Her missile racks empty, she has to adjust course. With Calliope trying to keep ahead of her for her rear-facing, Squeak has to find an alternate target to try to hassle. Like Roara.
"Now you're just making things difficult, Twinkle Toes. You know how this is going to end." Eva manages to evade the shark on her back, but so too does her target evade her. "Another dance, then."
The dance continues in the star-lit backdrop as Kazimir calls out over comms. "Hammerhead, Twinkle-Toes, want to switch dance partners, since it seems that Cherry wants to get her hot little KEW all over me?" he asks, holding Van in the chase, nicking and chinking against the other Vipers virtual armor.
Isolde shakes her head at the comm chatter, but she suppresses the urge to jump in. She is instead watching the moving blips of the opposing team, as well as those of her own. She grimaces at the evasive maneuvers from Squeaks, but it is a light grimace instead of something more serious. "Get the feeling we're participating an intricate game of foreplay?" Isolde looks over to Calliope with a tilt of her head, and small quirk of a smile.
"Cherry?" Oh, she can hear those comms. Antonie is already angling her Raptor. "It sounds like you have some Virgon trouble. Want a hand?" Because it's not too difficult for the old-hand at the stick to allow her rear-gunner to get a good angle in on Twinkle-Toes over there.
Eva says, "From you Always, Squeak."
"Sorry, Twinkle Toes, tall, dark, and handsome isn't the sort I like chasing me." Van's evasive attempts are cleaner this time, although he still takes a nice solid flash to the nose. And he also manages to get a deflection shot on Roara in the bargain, his own targeting laser sliding across the root of her wing. "I prefer cute and nerdy." How's that fore intricate foreplay? Not that he heard Isolde's comment inside the Raptor.
"Et tu, Squeak? And here I was waiting to have the best piece of aft in the fleet for last." Kazimir responds.
Calliope beams at the 'Good shots' from Antonie. She calls out a rather shy, "<<Thanks, Squeak./>>" over the open comm line. She has to use all her concentration to keep her Raptor in a line where she can continue to shoot at the other Raptor. It's a dance in and of itself. Isolde's comment gets a giggle. "I think most pilots think of flying as, like, seventy-five perfect frakking metaphors. Which, fair. This stuff totally charges you up on the days it doesn't kill you."
"Roger that, Twinkles," Roara pulls upward, sweeping around to engage Van, "Targeting Milkman, Blue Team. Remind me to tell you all about when he was just a MilkBOY, sometime."
"I get that," Isolde replies. She's waiting for something, her eyes on DRADIS even while she remains mostly focused on the next shot to Squeak. The comment about Van sends her into a short sputter of giggles, and she shakes her head. "<<Ah-ha... you went to school with Van. Now it all fits. We must talk later." Then she immediately switches her focus to Van.
"I don't want to talk about the sailor suits I was put in as a boy." At least Van can roll with the verbal punches as well as the laser-targeted ones. "Hammerhead and I go back to the Academy and Flight School." He can't even get more than a glancing window of opportunity on Roara, and even then his shot misses, far more interested in avoiding the fire of all three opposing ships, "Cherry, Squeak... I think I have their attention."
"Cute, nerdy... and poor aim." Isolde flashes a wry smile to the DRADIS monitor before she starts to swap from her KEWs to her various measures because Van has suddenly remembered how to be evasive. She is preparing to show him the irritating side of adoration. "<<We like you, Milkman. You're good with KEW-kies."
It seems that Kazimir is having to do his own dodging and juking through fire as he chuckles. "Close, Captains, clooose." he comments as he flares the engines to try to get up and above the firefight to switch targets as needed.
Cherry is still moving in, chipping away at Kazimir's bird, but once Van calls out for the assist, she'll leave the other viper stick, for now, and instead move in to target the raptor, hoping to draw off the vipers to protect it, 'let me see what I can do, Milkman."
"Hoolllld stilllll," Roara commands Van in a grumble of irritation. What window she might have had to actually make a hit on the slippery devil is used to dodge incoming fire.
Calliope giggles at Isolde's assessment, keeping her flying loose. She can focus all of her concentration on not getting her ass shot off now that her missiles are spent. "Oh, Hammerhead went to Academy with Van?" She did not know this. "I bet she has stories! I hope we get more bar time before we start, like, being special forces motherfrakkers."
"I must say," Antonie chimes over the comms. "For all that they didn't take us out- Bullseye and Asa got in better on me than any of the toasters have thus far." Really, Squeak is fairly well liked by deckies. She tends to come in from dogfights fairly clean. "So good job ladies." It deflects from any frustration her ECO may have with their own performance, likely.
"Yes, please, nobody needs any images of you in a sailor suit, Milkman," Webb says with frown nobody can see. Though maybe it comes through in his voice. The dogfighting goes on for a little while longer before Webb is finally satisfied. "All right, let's head on back to the barn. But I want everyone to practice combat landings. And don't frakking embarrass yourselves. Especially you lot on the first blue team."
Van groans aloud at Isolde's pun, "Oh... thank the Gods your aim is as bad as your puns, Asa." Roara's order causes him to shake his head, even if she's not quite close enough on his tail to see the gesture, "Sorry Hammerhead, I'm disinclined to do so." When Webb calls off the fight, Van rolls out of the twisting, turning dogfight, "And just remember, Hammerhead, any stories you have on me, I have on you too." He tucks back into formation, "Nice flying, Twinkle-Toes, Hammerhead, you had me on the run."
"What? Are you saying my puns are pun-itive? A real pun-ishment?" Asa stops before she's sent back to the Galactica computer hub and never allowed out again. She does brace for whatever this combat landing is going to bring, but breathes out slowly as Calliope doesn't send them skittering any which way.
Eva doesn't manage to take out her target, because the combat is called, and that doesn't seem to have improved her mood. Still, she has enough control that she comes in smoothly for the landing, touching down and popping the lid even before the deckies bring the ladder over.
"You too, Milkman. Red Team," Roara echoes the compliment as she falls into line and comes in for a landing. It's done with ease and precision. Whether that's Picon-related or not ... who is to say?
Kazimir's landing is by the book. There's no need to be special, just to put his Viper in place as he goes about his own post flight shut down. "Maybe next time, Cherry." he says, thoug he's looking for Niemec's landing.
"We didn't die!" Calliope goes cheerleader volume in the Raptor pod again, to celebrate this. "That was awesome, Asa. I will fly with you again, anytime." She brings her Raptor in with little dramatics. It's a big, bulky bus of a vehicle. But she gets it down safe and sound.
Combat landings are nothing new to Antonie and really, they're a whole fat lot of 'no big deal' to most Raptor plots. But for a SAR pilot, you make them part and parcel of what you do. When you aim for getting in and out of hot zones and evacs while under fire, being able to land and clear rapidly is required. The VTOL design of the Raptor, mind you, is made specifically for that purpose. So really, if she makes it look easy? It's with damn good reason and a good chunk of that can be attributed to the bird itself. The woman unbuckles and pulls out of her helmet, tossing it on the copilot's chair as she starts the post-flight checklist with her relatively rookie ECO.
Van lines up for his combat landing toward the back of the pack, "Positively Unenjoyable Nonsense." There's a little emphasis on the first letter of each word. When it's his turn, he comes barrelling in at appropriate combat speed, and then cuts the throttle, feathers it backward to reverse thrust, and sets the Viper down just right so that the skids kiss the deck instead of skidding and throwing up sparks. He... might have been showing off a little.
Isolde shakes out her hair once she pulls off her helmet as Calliope cheers. The bob of brown and gold bounces lightly to her shoulders, and she ruffles up her forelocks. She grins over toward the Raptor pilot. "We're a good team! So, definitely ditto," she says to Calliope with a dimpling smile. She starts to go down through her checklist, but once she's cleared to open the boarding hatch, she does, letting the noises of the hangar filter in. When Van's reply comes in, she snorts, but will offer a reply in person rather than over comms now that they are all reassembling.
"Hell, Milkman, did you even touch the deck?" Webb says, a grudging compliment. He brings his Raptor down after the rest of them. After landing and making sure his bird is being taken care of, he finds the first blue team (NPCs) and says, "You lot, briefing room, five minutes." And then he's heading off.
Once her part of the checklist is done and she's confident in the Ensign's abilities, Antonie grabs her helmet and disembarks the Raptor. The woman is sweeping sweat off her brow, but looks fairly energized even if it was just a training exercise. She is looking out for a particular Captain and once she spots Kazimir, she grins his way and makes her way over to hook her arm through his. "Shame I wasn't able to catch those tail feathers of yours." Well, her ECO, but still.
"Still hovering on thrusters, sir." He's not, but it sounds good. In fact, Van is pulling off his helmet, running through his post-flight checklist, and waiting for the elevator to take him down to the hanger deck. Once he's in atmo, he pops his cockpit hatch, rubbing at his knee and elbow in turn as he hauls himself up. When the deck crew brings over the ladder, he descends easily enough, for all his stiff knee, giving a brief report of 'no problems' to the crew chief. He watches Webb gather up their erstwhile opponents, wincing a little in sympathy.
Isolde peeks her head out when Spider corners the first blue team. She waves to Rabbit as he skulks about, smiling slightly as she does. Then she does the last of her checks, nodding to Calliope that all is good. She gives the Raptor a gentle pat as she steps out onto the deck, almost a good boy kind of affection. She is out on the deck, stretching her legs a bit, and she spots Van. She waves a finger at him in a distant admonishment for, well, something.
"You and Eva both, Antonie." Kazimir responds as he feels the press of Nie's arm within his and he chuckles. "I think she was trying to show me that she was more than willing to shoot me in the ass if I ever hurt you."
Eva, for her part, remains silent, as she's brought down to the deck, watching the members of the red team mix and mingle as their opponents are carted off by Webb. She'll wait until the last possible moment, short of one of the deckies coming to haul her out of her viper, before she'll climb down the ladder and make her way down towards the stairs and the lower decks.
Calliope does a post-flight check of the Raptors systems as it powers down before exiting. Helmet off, blonde hair both sweaty and sticking up in random places. As it always is when she's fresh off a flight. She scans over the deck for Antonie, big smile one her face. "Squeak, that was frakking intense. I'm really glad you're on our side. I mean, I always was, but you are made of iron."
"I-" Antonie looks over her shoulder, seeking out Eva. "I hadn't even thought about that." Despite her own veiled threats to Finn, the Tauran woman had never thought about the same in return. She's distracted, however, by Calliope and a slight flush colors her cheeks at the praise. "You ever want to go SAR, we'll talk. But being unafraid of being shot down is part of it. Once you stop caring, you realize you can get away with a lot." Which might not be the sort of thing Kazimir wants to hear from his new girl.
Roara comes out of her own cockpit rather subdued as well. Pulling herself free of her helmet, she props it under-arm at the curvature of her waist. Her free hand gestures a few times towards the bird as she goes about giving one of the engineers are brief two-cents. Afterwards, she makes her way to the lower decks as well.
Van spreads his hands at his sides guilelessly as Isolde scolds him silently, a 'who me?' expression painted across his face. Headed in her direction, he chuckles at Calliope's grinning words, glancing to watch Roara heading off for a moment, then looks back to Isolde, "Really? Trying to shoot me when Twinkle-Toes and Hammerhead were both gunning for me already?" He waits a beat pause, then adds, "Smart move."
There's a grin at Antonie's blushing as Kazimir waits for her to talk to others while he remains quiet in the meantime.
Isolde flashes Niemec a grin from behind Calliope, and offers a slight shrug of her shoulder. "S'okay, Niemec... I only thought you did so-so." The fellow Tauron is definitely teasing her as she stands behind her Raptor pilot. When Van approaches, she offers a sly smile and half-shrug. "Yeah, well... if you were a Raider, we would have had no mercy, so I had to play it true to form. That's the whole point of these things, right?" She then looks back to Antonie and she smiles again. "You're a tough one to shake though, Squeak. I had to swap mid-keystroke."
"Really?" Calliope's blue eyes widen at Antonie. "I mean...yes! I want to train for it, at least. If you think I'm up to it. And if there's time now and we're...motherfrakking special forces or whatever. That'd be awesome. Being on the ground on Canceron kind of...made me appreciate how frakked up it can get when you go down for retrieval." She wipes an arm across her brow. "I seriously need to hit the showers. Later."
"I still can't believe they gave me a medal for the combat over the dam," Antonie says, suddenly bursting out with a laugh. "I guess they had nothing for 'frakking idiotic.' I'd run out of missiles and the last heavy with its nuke was getting away from us. So I decided to fly at it head-on and see if it'd flinch." Clearly, it did. For Calliope's follow-up, she smiles at the younger pilot. "Once we're settled into the new digs, we'll talk to the bossman, see what we can do, alright?" Then she's nudging her shoulder against Kazimir and making to head away. Likely also to the showers. Or at least out of the personal sauna that is a flight suit.
Isolde watches Calliope with a small, wry smile. Then she waves to the pilot as she heads off to the head. She bounces on her heels a bit, but she spots the ever-lingering Kazimir, and she gets the hint. When Antonie nudges Kazimir, she offers the pair a simple wave and then turns to Van with a quirk of a brow. "Sailor suits?"
Snapped out of his thoughts, Kazimir glances to Antonie and moves to walk with her, letting her lead the way. Apparently he got a little distracted there for a second as he was running thoughts through his head on the whole exercise.
Van offers nods to each of the other pilots as the little knot disperses, looking back at Isolde and grumbling, "I'm going to kill Hammerhead." Then he shrugs and nods, "Yes. I told you that we had a boat, right? Well, Mother is... a little attached to the yacht club." He moves to touch Isolde's arm, looking to draw her off, out of the hangar deck as well, although he slows his pace to give the other groups a little privacy on their way.
Isolde falls into stride with Van, keeping to his pace. She tilts her head a bit, and she snorts a bit. "You Picons are really, really weird." As if to say there's nothing wrong with Taurons, of course. She shoves her hands into her pockets as they go, falling into easy chatting with Van.
"Cool!" Calliope says it to Antonie with a level of enthusiasm that's maybe no appropriate for deadly combat training. And then, she's off to the showers, with a bright wave to Isolde before she goes. "Later, Asa! Thanks for the backseating!"