2237-05-20 - Sharpening the Razor

Van and Kell go over some guncam footage and talk tactics. Salvae joins in.

Date: 2237-05-20

Location: Ready Room, Cutter //Vanguard//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1032

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Having been released from the Sickbay after getting the stitches removed, Kell's options were limited in what he wanted to do. He is avoiding the gym on his free time right now, giving himself more rest before the upcoming big operation, which the young pilot has been cleared for to fly in. That means he can be found in the second location that he usually spends time in, the Ready Room. When his schedule is open and the Ready Room is not in use, Kell occupies one of the chairs with the fold-out desktop, his earbuds hooked into the system where he is reviewing post-flight footage, and not just his own either. This is where he is now and exactly what he is doing, tucked away in a corner seat.

Van is in his flight suit, complete with helmet hair and the metal ring still around his neck. Running a hand back over his hair -- which is probably what did for his hair rather than his helmet -- he spots Kell and heads over in that direction. As he approaches, he offers a brief wave to get the other man's attention. "Gun camera footage?"

Focused on the footage he was reviewing, notepad on the side and pencil in hand, Kell didn't notice Van's approach until the other pilot was halfway across the room. When he realizes that he has a visitor, Razor puts the pencil down and hits pause on the footage before pulling the earbuds out of his ear. At the question, a nod is answered while looking up at the other pilot, "Yeah, been doing what I can to try to cram as much combat knowledge into my head since it's obvious that others more combat experience than me." Didn't help him enough that last CAP mission, but luckily he's still here. "Getting ready to head out or did you just get back in?" Kell asks, nodding at Van's outfit and kit.

"Good idea. I do it myself." Van glances down at himself, "Just getting back." One hand smooths down the flight suit, and then he gestures toward the other pilot, "I wanted to make sure you were alright. I haven't had to punch out personally, but I've ridden a couple of birds down myself. When are you supposed to be back on flight duty?"

At the concern from Van, Kell offers the other man a thin, but appreciative smile, which is what most would get out of the rather reserved Viper pilot, "Thanks, took some shrap but luckily my flightsuit took the brunt of it. A couple of cuts that needed a few stitches, that's all. Going extra-vehicular... was an experience. I mean, we've all trained for it while hoping to never have to use it." There is a pause before he continues, "It's a rather helpless feeling until your feet touches the ground." As for returning to active duty, the Ensign nods again, "I was cleared today when they removed the stitches. Told me I can fly but try to not to over-exert unless necessary. Just need to get my name slotted back into the CAP schedules and whatnot."

"I've heard that V-World ejections just don't measure up," Van agrees. He is, of course, assuming that the other colonies use the V-World to practice ejections too. The Picon pilot nods slowly at the other man's explanation, "Good. Because you were an excellent wingman. Chose targets well when we split, covered my tail when we were working together, responded well to commands, and shot straight." He holds out a hand for the other man, "I'm glad that you've been cleared for flight duty, because we need all the skilled pilots who work well with one another that we can get."

Getting to his feet, Kell accepts the proffered hand from Van and gives it a firm shake, "Thanks, I had good teachers. From since I was a kid, easier for me since I had military parents and good instructors back on Libra." There's a pause as he looks away for a moment, as if considering something, "I may have been lucky too. The first two active engagements against the Cylons went very smoothly for me, which I guess gave me a lot of confidence." Perhaps too much confidence, which resulted in him being shot down the other day. "The training kind of just takes over if you've taken it to heart."

A quick, firm shake, and then Van lets go, "Good." The mention of luck, however, draws a faint smile onto the Picon's lips, although he listens to the rest of the man's words before responding, "I would not ever complain about luck, but you have to be sure to not let good fortune go to your head. The biggest lesson that I took from the fighting over Triton is to fly within yourself. Do what you were trained to do, avoid the hot-dogging that draws too many good pilots to try to do too much, the hot-dogging that gets other pilots killed."

"Triton? That must've been hell..." Kell says as he can't but help but wince visibly. Being on Libra since he started his military service, the young pilot has nothing to compare to what Van most likely went through. "I can't even imagine myself living through a nightmare like that. But I guess, like you said, you do what you are trained to do." A nugget of combat wisdom that he is definitely taking to heart. "That was also one lesson that the instructors tried to drill into us, but it's much harder to understand until you've actually been through it." And Razor has finally been through it, the ups and the downs. Not even close to rock bottom but certainly a very real dose of the risks involved in combat.

Van grimaces a little, nodding, "It was bad. It made some soft people hard, some hard people harder, and it killed those who let themselves go." He... didn't get the same lessons out of Triton that many others did. "But you're right. It sounds like you got the most important lesson a whole lot sooner than I did." Lifting his brows slightly in question, he asks, "You said your family was military? Did they serve in the ICJPK? I did a tour on Sagittaron in '34."

"It was definitely a trial by fire for many, I'm sure. Even my parents told me that nothing could have prepared anyone for the surprise attack by the Cylons, since it was completely unexpected." Oddly enough Kell could easily understand where Van was coming from, the other pilot's perspective in an untenable situation. As for the question about his parents, the Ensign nods his head, "Yes, they were assigned a couple of tours with the ICJPK, lent out by the Libran Armed Forces. Father was a Marine Officer, my mom was in the Navy. They're still with the Libran Armed Forces... guess the brass didn't feel like letting them go, to transfer to the See-Eff."

Van smiles faintly again, "I wonder if I served with them. I was a bus driver back on Sagittaron. I didn't go to Viper school until after that." Still, he nods again, "It's a balancing act, I believe. Each of the Colonies has to keep enough of their quality personnel to maintain an effective defense against the Toasters, particularly the planets with infestations, but if they don't provide the See-Eff with enough skilled personnel, the battlestar groups won't be effective as fire brigades." He gestures toward the seats again, moving to sit down himself, "So what have you noticed from the camera footage?"

"It's possible that you may have given my Father a lift, my mother is assigned to one of the larger ships though, not planetside." Kell says with a slight shrug of his shoulders, "I wouldn't be surprised if my parents were assigned to that sector since it was one of the flare spots." He does return to his seat though when Van asks about the camera footage, pushing the screen on a flatter angle so that the other pilot can see as well, "I think I found out why I was shot out of the sky on that last combat air patrol." He uses the controls to rewind to the part where the two opposing sides collide together in a furball, "After the Cypers were snuffed out, I basically stuck to one target, trying to clear our Raptor's tail. Combination of me landing hits but not enough to knock the Cylon out of the sky, and only getting barely clipped probably lowered my guard. Overconfidence is most likely the case. Gave the flying toasters enough time to adjust their strategies and I guess I flew right into that burst that took out my canopy." Luckily it was only the protective canopy and not his head.

Leaning over to study the camera angle, Van frowns and gives the footage a little body english, his head bobbing a little with the sharp maneuvers of the dogfight. "Who was your wingman?" He frowns thoughtfully, gesturing, "Maybe tunnel vision? Focusing in on your target to the exclusion of all else? Run it back again?" It's a request, not an order, "One of the things that Triton drilled into my head time and again was that even if it means losing your current target, checking your six every second or so can save your life -- or at least a long repair time."

"Jigger was my wingman, and I think that was where I made my first mistake. The two Cypers were originally tagged as friendlies, because they were actually fighting the Raiders when we arrived and they have the same camo as the Canceron Air Force." Kell answers while he works the controls to run the battle back, starting from when their CAP flight was approaching the furball that was already taking place. "When we got closer, the Vipers were disengaging and heading towards us, I looked at one of them and managed to catch that red glow from the cockpit, called out the Cyper warning." The footage continues to roll, "And instead of sticking with Jigger, I went after the Cypers. Initially two came at me but one peeled off to attack our Raptor, the other Cyper stayed on my tail."

Van grimaces at the mention of the Cylons-in-the-grass, nodding, "I read the report. I'm surprised they haven't tried that more often, honestly. Not that I would have expected it either," he is quick to note. As the footage plays back, he nods slowly, "Yes, I think you're right. It's one of the downsides of the ad hoc organization of the squadron. Flying with someone regularly and learning how they act and react is an amazing weapon, although I suppose that we can't exactly ensure constant wingmen with a single squadron detached from duty and having to cover all of the shifts." Settling back in the chair a bit, Van adds, "That's why I was so frustrated the last time we flew together when Cherry called me off the Raider on your tail. I mean, it didn't make any difference, as the rest of the flight dealt with it, but..." he grimaces slightly, shrugging is if trying to slough a weight off his shoulders.

"They could be learning. I hear that the groundpounders have it worse, sounds like Cylon's R&D has been cooking up some nasty surprises for our troopers on the ground." Cythons, snipers, who knows what is next. "I'm worried about what they may have in store for us, besides these Cypers." And the ad hoc organization is something that the young Ensign was warned of, "My parents talked to me about that as well when I was given a chance to call them before being shuttled to Scorpia Shipyards. They told me that the See-Eff is nothing like the Libran Armed Forces, a giant melting pot with different attitudes, loyalties, and fighting style. Makes it that much harder to really work together." Especially when a group is first formed like this.

Van nods slowly at the first point, "Obviously the Toasters can adapt," there is a certain fire of hatred behind every use of the word 'Toaster,' "given that they decided we should all be killed, but I wonder if they're faster or slower at adapting than humanity." There might even be a little wry humor behind that question. The two pilots are seated in a pair of adjacent chairs, a screen playing before them showing gun camera footage. Van is in his flight suit, while Kell is in his greens. "But we had Toasters taking shots at us at Triton as well, so I don't know how new some of the complaints are." And then a faint but very dry smile touches his lips, "Very different attitudes, in many cases. That's actually why I thought I would come by. I've been trying to talk to each of the pilots that I know are new to combat after they first get into a fight, because I know that I wasn't particularly ready, even after a tour on Sagitarron, and I also figured that Spider likely had... better things to do."

"I would like to believe that we still have the edge on impromptu tactics, though how successful they may be can vary. If the tin cans are more like computers, I have a feeling they won't stray too far from parameters that werent' pre-determined." Kell says with a slight shake of his head as he watches how the footage plays out. He knows how it ended but it's still rough and a bit embarrassing watch it play out on a screen. When their CAG is mentioned again, that draws Razor's attention away from the screen, "I get the feeling not a lot of the pilots are very... fond of our CAG." Kell's own interaction with Webb has been straightforward and pleasant, so it is something that he is still trying to figure out.

Salvae comes down to the flight deck, he's got duty in an hour or two, and needs a quick briefing on the situation. He sees the screen going with the grainy gun footage, and he nods to Van and Kell. "How are ya now?" he asks to Kell, remembering the SAR from the other day. He takes a seat and pulls a pen out of his arm pocket, giving it a few happy clicks before getting ready to take some notes.

"I wouldn't doubt it. But I've seen pilots trying to fly unpredictably, and they were so busy trying to do that, they didn't check their sixes enough, and got shot down." Van grimaces, an edge of very, very dark humor touching his voice, "One ran into a skyscraper." Looking up to the newly-arrived pilot, Van offers a nod, then shifts a little uncomfortably in his seat at Kell's query about the CAG, "I think that Spider has... a different way of doing things than many of us are accustomed to. And his predecessor was very well-liked within the squadron."

"Hey Socks," Kell greets the other pilot that has just arrived as well, "They removed the stitches down at sickbay and told me I can return to active duty, just no strenuous exercises and stuff like heavy lifting for a week or so." There is a brief pause before the Ensign adds, "Thanks for the rescue, by the way, saw that you were part of the SAR group that picked me up." The young Viper Jock then looks back to Van and nods his head understandingly, "It's hard to get use change, especially when it comes to a superior." He doesn't ask what happened to the old CAG though, perhaps not wishing to step on a landmine like he did with Captain Niemec.

"Ah, that's a downer, Razor, gotta keep your hands outta your pants?" Salvae asks, "Guess we'll all be able to sleep soundly without that noise," he teases and shrugs his shoulders, "I was wonderin what happened out there. Was all quiet till all hell broke loose, you guys wander over a staging area?" he wonders.

"I think it may be one of those See-Eff issues, where you just have to learn to deal with the situation." Van is still speaking somewhat carefully, since he's speaking about his superior officer. The jokes from the other pilot cause him to blink, his brows rising slightly, and he glances over to Kell to see how he might respond.

Though Kell is usually more reserved with his own emotions and words, he can appreciate a good ribbing when it comes from squadronmates. Certainly isn't the first time and it also usually happens when one is assigned a new callsign. With an amused smirk, the Viper jock shakes his head, "Cylons laid a rather unique ambush on us. Ran into a flight of Raiders taking on two Vipers wearing Canceron camo colors. When we moved into assist, turns out the two 'friendlies' were Cypers."

"Those squirrelly sons uh bitches," Salvae narrows his eyes. He inclines his head, as he leans back, "Fleet adjusting transponder codes to accomodate this sort of tomfoolery?" he wonders, making a few notes. With so many cylons on the planet, there's no telling how many secret codes they've acquired for their nefarious plans.

"Probably so," Van responds to Salvae, "It's probably on us to make sure to check transponder codes more carefully as well. I know that my first instinct on seeing a Viper surrounded by Raiders is to dive in and help break them out." His shoulders rise and fall slightly in a faint shrug, and then he pushes up to his feet, "I need to hit the mess hall, I'm back on shortly. Razor, I was laid up for nearly a year after Triton. You got off easy, but if you want to talk about sick bays," or anything else, his tone suggests, without being presumptuous enough to suggest that the other pilot might need help in front of a third pilot, "let me know."

When Van gets up to leave, Kell gives the other pilot a wave, "Will do, Lieutenant. Thanks." He says appreciatively, not wanting to delay him on his food run, especially when there is a briefing coming up for some big operation. Probably the big push that scuttlebutt has been passing around. Razor than looks towards Salvae and nods his head, "I am sure Fleet Command will be passing down new procedures when encountering a situation like the one we did. We all wanted to jump in and help, especially seeing possible friendlies being outnumbered."

"Copy that," Salvae nods to Van, "more rigerous challenges," he says, making note in his notebook. He thinks for a moment, "I wonder if Canceron has a full inventory of their vipers? Or if the cylons got a factory out there somewhere?"

That is a good question, one that Kell furrows his brow at the prospect of the Cylons manufacturing Cypers with the same coloring as the local air wings, "That would be very troublesome... would make IFF identification and verbal confirmation even more important." And would also make pilots more hesitant about helping out potential allies. "Let's hope that those Cypers were just Vipers that were recently stolen. Otherwise, a groundside Cylon factory capable of that will no doubt become a priority target for us to strike."

Salvae nods his head, tapping his pen on his notebook, "These Canceron airbases seem to have security like a sieve," he complains. "I think on every mission in this AOO I've been on, there've been one or two vipers flying for the wrong side." He leans back, watching the gun footage for a moment, "What really makes me wonder, though.. Where the frak are all these raiders coming from? Are they a colonial design? Or do the toasters have some factory in deep space pumping these things out?"

"It has to be local, or we would see more reports of Basestars jumping in to drop off replacements." Kell says with a shake of his head as he pushes a few buttons on the controller to begin shutting down the foldout computer that was playing the camera footage earlier. "Most likely captured when Cylons also captured the airbases earlier on, I guess? I wasn't here when the Galactica was assigned to this theatre, only hear tidbits of what happened."

"Well, logistics ain't really my forte," Salvae admits, watching as Kell begins packing up his gear. "I spose the muckymucks up in the command deck know all about that sorta thing," he clicks his pen and tucks it into his arm pocket. "But the big op tonight should shed a bit of light on what the grande strategem is."

With the terminal shutdown, Kell picks up his pencil and notebook, then begins to rise from his seat as well, "Yeah, we should definitely know more with the briefing that is coming up, should definitely change a few things with the ops planned. I'm gonna go get changed, I'll see you at the briefing, Socks."


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