The pilots show off their skills to earn their qualification badges.
Location: Over Scorpia
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 778
The squadron - or at least part of it, since they have more pilots than planes due to duty rotations - has launched from Vanguard and is now cruising around the space in the vicinity of the shipyards. And the CO has decided to launch with them, flying one of the Raptors. No pressure right? Colonel Ryan gets on the comms. "All right, Wolves, time to show your stuff. Spider's on deck first - he's going to demonstrate the route. And you all have orders to never let him hear the end of it if he fraks it up," Ryan says with a hint of amusement in his voice.
They've set out target buoys for the gunnery portion of the trials, and an obstacle course for the piloting part - culminating in a combat landing on the flight deck. (After their turn, they would take back off and rejoin the squadron.) Then the paternal side kicks in. "Fly safe. We need soldiers more than daredevils."
"Ah, now you're implying we can't be both, sir," says Webb back over the comms, the grin audible in his voice. "Righto, Spider engaging." He hits the thrusters on his Viper and breaks off from the pack.
Isolde listens to Ryan, and smirks slightly at her ECO console, but it is the soldiers not daredevils comment that has her shaking her head. "He has no idea who he's talking to." Then she looks over at Calliope. "Nervous, Bite?" She looks up at DRADIS as Webb breaks away, and then cranes her neck to actually see what he's doing in real time.
Alain's relaxed in his cockpit, familiar Gemenese music playing in the background, fingers drumming against his legs while he waits for his turn. His viper sits alongside Aubrey's, giving her his usual thumbs up, before he leans forward during Spider's run.
Aubrey "Banshee" Naxos skitters into the hangar deck just under the gun with Alain in tow. They had to catch a Raptor back up from the planet after a surf lesson for Jigger. Aubrey managed to get into her flight suit in record time, her hair done in a pair of braids, one to either side of her head, as she got into her assigned Viper, sticking her tongue out at Jigger as she does. Now she's idling in the queue with the rest for the trials.
Webb completes the piloting course with ease, demonstrating several quick reversals, some fancy flying, and a competent combat landing. His gunnery scores are just shy of the score needed for expert, but he destroys most of them. He touches down briefly on the flight deck and then takes back off to rejoin the others.
Ryan comes over the comms. "150/170. Not a bad start. Tell you what though - bottle of Scorpian ambrosia to the one who can beat him with the top score." Who knew Ryan was a betting guy.
"Banshee is go," Aubrey says over the comm, before she kicks in her afterburners to begin the course.
Eva, it is know, is not that big a fan of Webb, though, for the most part, they have managed not to air their dirty laundry out where the rest of the wing can see it. And at the end of it all, they're still squadronmates, and she knows how to set a good example. So there's nothing derisive, in her response, as she watches Webb fly the course and take his shots. "Nice work, Spider." Her attention shifts, to watch Banshee move up to the line.
"Little bit," Calliope admits to Isolde, from her view in the pilot's seat. She's been a little quiet since the last mission on Canceron. "I mean, I guess it's nice to just be doing flying challenges again. Sweet break from...stuff that can get you blown up. You cool back there?"
Van holds his position in formation with an occasional touch of maneuvering thrusters, watching the CAG closely as he goes through the course. He has to crane around to watch the combat landing, nodding as Webb manages it with aplomb. "Nice flying, Spider." He may not be the CAG's biggest fan either, but that's no reason not to recognize skilled flying.
Aubrey's Viper soars upwards, or upward relative to the idling ships, then dives down in a vertical barrel roll before straightening out to fire off her shots at the first of the buoys. She streaks past it, slaloming between obstacles, banking left and right, taking shots at the next buoys as they come up in her sights. Then it's a hard-breaking 180 to come up behind another buoy and spray it with KEW fire. She moves into a wingover, then a tight loop, before screaming inverted towards the final buoy. PEWPEWPEW!
"Booze?" The terms of this bet certainly draw Ringer's attention, in a way that perhaps very few other prizes would. So the young pilot focuses her attention as sharply on those before her as she might focus on any work back in her grandfather's tattoo shop.
"175/165. Looks like you've got some serious competition out there, Spider," Ryan comments. "Nicely done, Banshee."
"Yes, sir," Webb agrees, though one can practically hear his teeth being clenched.
Alain's watching intently as Aubrey runs the course -- as much to pick up any tips from where she moves as to cheer her on. "Got an eye on that bottle of ambrosia, Banshee?" He whistles appreciatively as the results of her run are called through. When it comes to his turn to run the course, he's immediately alert, dropping the music to near-inaudible. "Jigger heading in." His viper leaps forward, moving through the course -- accompanied by the familiar whoop from Jigger as he begins firing at the bouys.
"A bottle of Ambrosia? I'll take that beat." Darcy says as the suggestio nis floated by Ryan, "Lowest score buys?" she asks the gathering of Pilots.
"Not really," Isolde confesses. "I don't have any badges." She flickers her eyes up to Soundbite. "Since I skipped flight school and all that. So, I'm not gonna get my expert badge. But I'm terrified of not even qualifying for basic." She grimaces. "They'll put me back in the computer room if I do that." Which might be an overstatement. She listens to the comm chatter and the feedback on Aubrey's run. "Nice job, Ban," she says over the comms.
As Aubrey's scores come in, Van laughs, "On Picon! Hot stuff, Banshee."
"Hot damn, Jigger," Ryan says with glee. "165/200. Perfect score. We may have to get a special bottle just for you."
"I still got you on gunnery, Jigger, but I see the surf lesson paid off on the whole maneuvering thing," Aubrey cheers over the comm. "Great job!" Now she's worried about losing that damned bet.
There's the quiet sounds of grunts of impact as Alain goes through the sharp turns and brakes needed to meet the course. He's in his element, focused on the job at hand, and only when he burns out of the course and back towards the pack does he exhale a breath. He glances towards the CO's raptor as if he might be able to see the reaction before it's called out, eyes widen when it comes through, whooping. "Just thought of them frakking toasters, sir."
"Nice work, Banshee!" Eva maintains her position, the ship at a low idle, as she watches the pilots move along the line as Ryan calls then. And Alain gets an equally loud cheer, "See? Jigger, this is why we never mind picking you up." And then it's Eva's turn on the line, and she throttles up. She doesn't waste time edging her way into the course. She flies and shoots the way she always does. Hard and fast, and just a bit reckless. All she's missing is Finn, and it would be just another day at the office.
"165 / 195... whoo-eee, only a smidge behind Jigger there," Ryan praises. "This is more fun than watching the Queenstown Regatta." Those familiar with Picon might know the famous boat races.
Calliope turns her head to flash a smile at Isolde. "You'll do fine. You've done a really good job backseating for me, if I haven't said it before. Flats and I, and Spider maybe I guess, should make you sit co-pilot sometime. See the view from up here." Into the comms she chirps, "Sweet, Banshee!" Followed by a, "WHOA! Jigger! Work it out there, guys!"
Aubrey shouts over the comm, "Way to go MamaBear!"
Jigger's still bouncing within his cockpit as he slides his viper back into the pack alongside Banshee's. "It definitely helped, Banshee," he says, giving her a wave from his cockpit, before he glances back at the DRADIS as Eva starts her run. "Nice one Cherry!" he calls out as he watches Eva goes through her paces. "Almost had me, I'm sweating up a storm over here."
Eva manages to acquit herself passing well, though there's a bit of a grumble as she hears the gunnery score. But that too, she can overcome, offering a humoured, "Thanks, all," as the cheers come over the comms, "Nice to know I can still mostly keep up with all of you." And to Alain, "Somehow, I doubt that very highly, Jigger. I think all that clean living is paying off!"
"Nicely done, Jigger!" Van shakes his head in wonder, "You too, Cherry." And then when his name is called, boosts up out of formation on maneuvering thrusters alone. His own run is a direct contrast with Eva's, everything under control, within the flight envelope. Oh, he flips the ship, he slides through Newtonian turns, and he blazes away at the targets, but each move is precisely planned -- or at least as best as he can flying significantly faster than a human was meant to travel.
"170/180," Ryan announces once Van has completed his run. "Nicely done." He doesn't comment on the one target that was a clean miss - apparently only Webb has landed in his crosshairs today.
Unfortunately, the course was apparently not laid out by a sane person, as Van completely misses one target. His course, however, has him set up for a picture-perfect obliteration of the next one. His combat landing is solid, but unspectacular, and the Picon pilot settles back into formation with his teeth bared in a grimace despite the respectable scores.
When his turn comes up, Kell reaches up to the top of his flight helmet and nudges it down, his way of reassuring himself that it is on snuggly and all is well. Taking in a deep breath, he releases it slowly as he tries to push all the other thoughts that are floating his in mind away. His hand then goes down to the thrust lever and he pushes it forward, Razor's Viper increasing in speed as he begins the obstacle course, "Razor engaging."
"Zeus," Isolde breathes as the scores come in, and it just seems to unsettle the Tauron even more. She glances up at Calliope, but tries her best at a smile. "Thanks, Bite. I really like flying with you too. I think we're a good team." She listens in as Van goes on his run, and she winces at the missed target. She doesn't comment on it because Ryan isn't, but she knows that's going to completely drive Van insane later.
"Looks like the whole wing is showing their stuff tonight!" Aubrey cheers as Van puts in a spectacular run too.
"130/140." Ryan reads off the scores, and although he's silent - you can probably imagine Webb breathing a sigh of relief that he didn't get shown up by the ENTIRE squadron. "Off to a good start, Draygo."
"Damn. Jigger and Cherry might be splitting that bottle," Hallie remarks, with a touch of nervous awe to her voice. When Kell doesn't do quite so astonishingly well, she doesn't /quite/ remember to mute her comms in time to cover the relieved sigh.
"Cherry! Woo!" Calliope is at high-volume on the radio as Eva flies through the course. There might be a wince at Van's miss, but he still gets a loud, "Woo! Milk Man!" She probably doesn't need to be that loud when she's talking direct into a comm. But there's still the heart of a Caprica City Woo Girl deep within her. She takes a deep breath as Kell moves up. She's not long after him, so the nerves are for her rather than the Viper pilot.
"Milkman's bringing home the milk!" Jigger calls out, before he leans forward to watch Razor's run. "Nice work, Razor. Don't worry, we'll have you flying like a ace in oh... nine days." He sounds distinctly amused. His score is still in tact... for now.
Aubrey chuckles at Jigger's reference to her Ace, and she calls out encouragement for Kell. "You got this Razor!"
Isolde just laughs at Calliope's enthusiasm. She shakes her head slightly, but refrains from comment as Calliope settles into getting herself all lined up. She doesn't provide too many helpful hints, but does watch how the pilot lines herself up, taking some mental notes.
There is no fancy flying or shooting from Kell like the impressive showings that his predecessors but the rookie sticks to his training back in Libran Flight School and passes the basic qualifications with no problems. Making decent speed with his shots hitting their intended targets, Razor does not show any sign that he is still affected by the upcoming inquiry tomorrow. Once he completes the obstacle course, he brings his Viper around to rejoin the others in formation while acknowledging his score and Colonel Ryan's remarks, "Thank you sir." Sounds like he's just relieved that didn't disappoint.
"Nice flying boy's and girls!" Darcy pipes up as the latest batch of qualifications come in, waiting on standby as the next pilots queue up for the course.
"Nice work, Milkman." There's wash of humour in her voice, "And you wonder why I always want you on overwatch." Overwatch, the most thankless, sometimes, but also the most valuable position in a flight. "Razor, good flying!" And that's genuinely said, because it is. Eva throttles her ship upward, moving to get herself a better angle on the flight, as she watches the trials continue.
"Thank you, thank, thank you," is Van's response to the approval from the other pilots. It's a little tight, as he's still getting over the flat-out miss, and Eva's comment draws his face into a slightly broader grimace, but then he's back to encouragement, "Smooth run, Razor. A nice close shave."
"Good job, Razor!" Calliope calls at unnecessary volume into the comms. And then, with another shaky smile back at Isolde, she's off. She doesn't rabbit through the course. A Raptor isn't made to sprint. But she tries to keep her flying steady, her course true, and her hands steady on the controls as she squares up to this challenge.
Isolde let's Calliope do all the flying -- per usual! She focuses on how things are going at the back-end of things. Her eyes scan over her system readouts, and she glances up at the targets. Paige's advice about eyeballing her targets is paying off, and she combines her information on her consoles.
Ryan watches the Rookie Raptor team. While Webb might have said something disparaging, Ryan's voice remains upbeat. "Showing some promise there, Ensigns. Keep at it, you'll get there."
Calliope is more comfortable with her eyes on the horizon - such as it is, in space - and her concentration entirely on making her Raptor move. Nothing she does can be called fancy. There are no acrobatics and her time - even by the standards Raptors are judged on - is sacrificed for a more careful run through the course. But she gets through it well enough. Her attention is all on moving around the obstacles, less on what Isolde is doing with the targets, so she absorbs her ECO's scores practically along with the rest of the flight. "Uh, thank you, sir," she replies to Ryan. Maybe a wince, at the 'ensigns,' but she's new enough to the rank that is barely registers as off to her.
Devasting. Isolde knows with each passing attempt that she's not doing well. Two targets are completely missed, four more are barely dinged, and only three show any sign of solid success. She feels her heart sink in her chest, and it's made even worse by Ryan's encouragements. She swallows down that thick feeling of disappointment as she slumps back in her seat. She glances at Calliope, forcing a smile. "Swap?" She is already tugging off her belts so she can move up to the piloting console.
"I bet you did better than I will," Calliope says with a chuckle to Isolde. "I still feel like a cruise director some days. I'm good with the flying part, but kind of thumbs with the rest." Still, she gives it a go. Leaving the ship on a careful autopilot until Isolde is safely in the seat, and slotting herself in the backseat. She notably is less steady at this part. She's not going to light the targeting world on fire. But she gets through it without punting too badly.
"Close but not quite," Ryan tells them after reading off their scores, which are just a few points shy of qualifying. "Spider, let's work on that, give the ladies another crack at it next week."
"Aye, sir," Webb acknowledges.
Van watches Calliope and Isolde make their run, his lips tightening down further, "Nice flying, Soundbite." He pauses, searching for something to say to Isolde, something he can say on the channel with the whole squadron listening. "You can do it, Pi. You know the specs, you can make them work for you." The second run has him sucking on his teeth, "Almost had it, Pi." And at Ryan's order to Webb, he chimes in, "I'll help, sir."
Eva settles in, watching the raptor team go through their paces, passing no judgments. She just does what she usually does, in cases like this; she lets her flight instructor side rear its head and she watches for little things she can bring out in training that might help them improve. "We all will." Part of being a team.
And the hits keep on coming! Pi does her best through the course, maneuvering awkwardly in the big Raptor. She has a small burst of confidence early on, but progressively harder turns and more demands on her reflexes starts to show. She waits for the atta-girl from Ryan before she unbuckles again. She stands to give the piloting console back to Calliope. Not one to have ever needed to retake a test, the little nerd tries to not let her shoulders fall too much. "Yes, sirs," she manages.
When the course is set, and the go signal is given, Darcy "Pockets" Finch Spadina mutters to herself, "Here we go.." then kicks her Viper into full bore, diving into the course. The begining is relatively simple, manuevers around satellite beacons, attack runs on target buoys, etcetera. The second leg is a bit trickier of course, more in depth high speed maneuvers, more engaging targets, and the run concludes with a combat landing aboard the hangar deck.
While Darcy's gunnery scores don't top the list, her perfect score on the piloting portion has Ryan chuckling in amazement. "Well it's sure as hell going to be hard to top that one. Nice flying Pockets."
Score or no score, Hallie cheers her friend -- and the Tauron she's partnered with -- as they finish the course. "Nice effort, Bite of Pi!" She probably thinks that was clever. But then Pockets just /smokes/ at her piloting, and Hallie trails off as she watches in awe.
Aubrey cheers for everyone as they go.
As the Raptor pulls back into formation, Van nudges his Viper forward on its thrusters, glancing aside to hear Darcy's scores, "Nice flying, Pockets." His heart isn't quite in it, unfortunately, so it's not as enthusiastic as he could be. Pulled up close to the Raptor, he looks over to the cockpit, trying to spot Isolde inside.
And there Darcy goes, flying through the course like a maniac, though one who hits every turn, every manuever, and every obstacle with precision and speed, of course, this is at the expense of her gunnery scores, which she still manages to score decent marks on. She ends the run with a combat landing on the deck, again with precision.
Jigger is mostly silent while the raptor runs through its paces, chiming in on offers to help train. He's cranked his music up again, but knocks it down further when Pockets makes her run, whistling over the comms, "That was amazing, Pockets! Now I don't feel so bad you smoked Socks and I the other night, damn."
Eva's grin is audible, as she watches Darcy run her way through the course, "Oh, no, Jigger, Pockets just came for your crown! I'm almost tempted to ask for a rematch, just to see which if you comes out on top."
The Bite of Pi combo does draw a small smile from Isolde, and she looks at Calliope. "What you think? The title of our joint autobiography?" It is a weak crack, but she at least manages the crack. She spots the nose of Van's Viper, but she shrinks back more rather than trying to be spotted, turning back to her console to stare at it.
"I like it. It's got a ring. You know. For somebody who didn't go to flight school?" Calliope says to Isolde, as she retakes the pilot's seat to idle. "That wasn't bad at all. Next time we fly CAP, you should take the controls for some of it, if Spider's OK with it. If I take another missile to the face, you might need to fly this thing." It's said with a weak laugh. Even if it's not a joke, really. She allows herself a little smile, when she's facing forward again. Basic or not, she got the one she came for.
Finn was a bit late to the pilot qualifications, having just gotten cleared by medical in time to get dressed and get his viper out into space. He settles in, watching the various pilots go through the paces. At the last attempts he goes a bit wide eyed, realizing he is next, "Gee thanks Pockets...No pressure or anything..." And then, he flies out to the course, and rockets off to get started. As a viper pilot, he does both the gunnery and piloting trials, firing where needed, rolling and arcing around the battle field as best as he can. He whips around a satellite in the second leg, and performs a 180 a few moments later to fire on another target before going to finish the trials.
"Lords, Farm Boy, what do they teach you on that farm? Damn." Ryan's grin is audible in his voice.
Even Webb has to offer, "That was some good shooting, Farm Boy."
When Isolde shrinks back from the viewport, Van grimaces, shaking his head as he pushes back from position off the Raptor's wing. He looks up to see Finn's run, and blinks as target after target pops, and the Viper whips through the run, "Gods above, Farm Boy. That was nearly a perfect score."
"Frack me, that was amazing!" Hallie's tone is a mixture of awe and rue. After all, how in all the hells does she follow /that/ performance?
"You go PapaBear!" Aubrey cheers over the comm for Finn.
"No pressure, Ringer," Ryan says with a little chuckle.
Thankfully, Finn acquitted himself quite well out there, and as such wasn't overshadowed by Pockets. Which is good, because he's been doing this for like a decade. Once Finn brings the viper back into formation he comments over the comms, "Taught us to shoot down tin cans, sir." Finn then adds on, "Thanks Spider, much appreciated." And then he falls silent to let the next person go.
"Ringer is go!" Hallie Mata is a true artist with a tattoo pen, but perhaps far more utilitarian with a Viper; perhaps it's no surprise the young Tauron's attitude is a mixture of equal parts excitement and nervousness as she punches her own afterburners and sets off onto the course. There is /Ambrosia/ on the line, after all... though, really, any alcohol would be a motivating factor for her. Not that she figures she has that much hope of winning, not after Farm Boy's performance, but she has to at least /try/ to close out the trials in style, right?
The words of encouragement from Calliope are met with a wane smile, and Isolde nods despite the open hole in her gut. "Yeah." The uncertain word is followed up by a more confident, "Yeah. I'm sure Spider will let us do that." Then she listens to the comms as they light up when Farm Boy makes his run.
Eva watches Finn's qual with no small amount of interest. Not only because the man is usually th one sitting her wing, but also because he barely managed to bribe -- ahem, be cleared for flight, before coming out. But Finn, well, does brilliantly, and Eva's voice is ringing, as it comes on the comms, "That's my Boy."
Calliope is back to "WOO!"ing again as Finn makes his way through the course. With feeling. Because that was smooth. She adds some on-mic clapping as Hallie gets up to take her turn.
"Damn, Farmboy," comes Jigger's awed reaction. "Got to step up my game, eh?" And then he's cheering for Hallie's turn, "Give us a week to run Ringer through her paces, and we'll have her back to ace the test, Spider," he calls out, confidantly.
"Not bad, Ringer." Ryan says encouragingly. "Just a little shy of the quals. The senior pilots will work with you and Soundbite and Pi - you guys'll get it."
"Good shooting Farmboy." Darcy says with a bit of a grin once Finn has finished his run, "You could probably tighten up your manuevers a bit though, but nice run."
Maybe it's nerves, trying to follow up the closest to a perfect performance she's ever seen. Maybe it's just inexperience. But while Ringer manages a semi-respectable showing for her shooting, she utterly blows one of the turns and has to actually guide herself back onto the course. There's no crowing as the young Tauron pilot makes her way back to the rest, only a much more staid and subdued, "Yes, sir."
Van settles back into his seat a little more as Hallie makes her run, "Nice shooting, Ringer." Apparently, he's decided to accentuate the positive.
"All right - that should be everyone for the main course. Now, Pi - did you want to have a go at the Electronic Warfare challenge as well?" Ryan asks, offering her a chance to back out.
There's a lapse of dead space on the comms after Ryan's question. Isolde twitches nervously at her console, as if looking at it for some kind of reassurances. There's no win here -- she either fails or she backs out, both adding a layer of doubt to whether or not she should even be in the cockpit to begin with (at least in her self-conscious mind). She clears her throat slightly, answering with a forced pep, "Yes, sir."
Calliope beams at Isolde and yells, "GO, PI!" into the radio in a way that makes it crackle. And is really unnecessarily, with them in the same cabin. It's more loud than inspiring. She does it with gusto, though. She keeps a steady hand on the Raptor for the Electronic Warfare bit, but this isn't her show at all.
"That's the spirit," Ryan says with a grin. "C'mon, Pi, you got this. Rabbit's got the controls here. You're up against me. Let's see how well you can scramble our systems."
Ryan frowns. He was willing to fudge a little if it was close, but that... wasn't. "We'll work on it, Pi. Chin up." He knows that has to sting. "I think that's... oh. Flats. You're up."
Not really one for lighting candles or sending up offerings, Isolde takes a moment to murmur a quick prayer, ending with, "By Athena... please." At least she's chosen the right God when it comes to this sort of thing. Brainy warriors unite! She hears Ryan's nudge of good luck, and she nods. "Yes, sir." She brushes her fingers across the keyboard, speaking directly to the Raptor this time, off the comms. "Cm'on."
Then she sets her fingers on her keyboard and starts her counter-measures. Her fingers are naturally fast after years hacking her way left and right on the Net and V-World. But it just isn't enough. She slumps back in her seat as she realizes that she can't quite frazzle up Ryan's systems. She should probably say something in response to Ryan, but she can't seem to muster it at the moment.
"Sorry I'm late to the party." Oh hey, where did Tucker come from. "Was helping with some CAP stuff." he manages as he waits for Webb to ackowledge him. "Alright.. you heard Mace. We're up, let's see what this rattletrap can do." Pushing the throttle forward, Tucker moves the Raptor out smartly into the course, calling over his shoulder to Priya. "We're entering the zone, Tarsis, let's see what we can do!"
Tucker is late the party and apparently with Priya in tow. "Got it and on it. Hopefully it doesn't rattle too hard," Priya quips dryly, fingers flitting over the controls.
"I'll keep her smooth as glass for you, Tarsis.. we really need to get you a callsign..." Tucker offers teasingly as he starts to work the course, easily manuvering through it as he works the thrusters and skirts the Raptor around the course, deftly bringing the large bird though the field and around the satellite. "Targets coming up, nail those frakkers." he offers over comms as he keeps the ship's flight quite on course.
"I've heard 'Pants' a time or two," Priya offers in regards to a callsign. "It's open for suggestions." As Tucker pilots smoothly through the course, she sets up the shots the best she can. The first taken with a satisfied grunt, the second shot followed by a rapid-fire curse in Tauron as she readjusts her instruments. The rest of the shots go more smoothly, scoring cleanly against the targets. "Frak. You did a better job keeping steady than I did nailing them down."
"You haven't gotten a callsign yet?" Ryan's a little surprised by that. "You all need to get on that, Wolves." He tallies up the scores as they come around. "140 for Tarsis, and another perfect score. Nice job, Flats. I suppose I owe you both a bottle. And one for Farmboy's perfect shooting score." Then he asks, "You taking the electronic warfare challenge, Tarsis?"
Calliope is watching Isolde throughout her ECM trial, and it's more the fall of the ECO's expression than anything else that maker her look sympathetic. She does not scream into the comms anymore. "I think we can still take shore leave. We should check out a bar later. Or, you know, just do something fun." Her focus does flit back to th trials, when it's Tucker and Priya's turn. They get a chirped, "Woo!" as they represent.
Van can't watch the electronic battle playing out between Mace and Isolde, but he holds his breath anyhow. When he calls it not quite close enough, he lets out a breath and grimaces, shaking his head. He doesn't push his Viper forward to try to look into the Raptor again, stinging a little from the last rejection, but he does study the big bird, his brows knitted together. In fact, he's studying it hard enough that he doesn't notice the flight of the other Raptor until the scores are announced, at which point he notes distractedly, "Nice job, you two."
Still sitting back in his viper while he waits for the rest to finish. He calls out over his comms, "Nice flyin' Flats!" About as nice as his own actually. "Definitely top marks."
"Pants? Like sans pants?" Tucker asks over the comms as he gives a small chuckle. "What do you thing, want to try for the piloting qual? I can sit back there and pew pew for a bit. Unless you know, you're not wearing pants." Though when she starts with the jamming he goes quiet for a moment to let her work.
"Like 'keep your pants on and let's get this taken care of," Priya offers over the comms to Flats, tone dry as dust. "I'm open to options," she offerse in response to Ryan. Her brows rise a little at Tucker's offer, but she shrugs in agreement. "I'll take a run, but youre going to have to suffer through my flying. I learned in a crop duster." It's a - warning. As well as a joke.
"Alright, Sagittarian fire drill." Tucker figures he might as well let her try, and he'll try to be encouraging for her as he chuckles. "So, we have mentions of you and pants, and now dusting.." As he passes by, he smirks. "I'll keep all the obvious ass callsigns in the bag for now." he points out as he settles into the ECOs seat and waits for her to take over the flying. "What do you think, Colonel, wanna give her one more go?"
Tucker adds. "And you and Cap should hang out sometime. She's always going on about her barnstorming days."
"Pockets, Socks, Pants... I didn't know better, I'd say you all were a little too infatuated with clothing," Ryan says with a chuckle. "Go for it, Tarsis. You've got the lane."
"At least wait to see my ass out of a flight suit before you judge it," Priya counters, siding past him to swap positions with a light bump to his shoulder. She dials in the controls, frowning a little a she settles in and getting her heading as she takes a go at the course. "Yes, sir." It's passable and steady, but not nearly as smooth as Flat's fly-by, much as she keeps a handle on things.
Shooting targets really isn't Tucker's thing, he's more used to driving the bus. "Oh hey.." he says to Priya as they finish the course. "Anytime you're offering up inspections." he's clearly teasing in the Raptor before clicking over to the radio. "Well, that went about as well as a pilot shooting and an ECO flying as expected. Good job though, Priya."
"Not bad, not bad," Ryan says easily after the other Raptor crew's performance. No gushing, but like Tucker said - not bad for an ECO and pilot swapping seats. "That's a wrap folks. Good job everyone. Let's bring it back to the barn."
There's a difference in pace, watching the raptors qualify, but Eva doesn't seem at all bored. Given that she's had to approximate a raptor pilot under the worst of circumstances before, this is a perfect opportunity to see it dome right, "Good work!" But with Ryan calling it, it's time to head back to the barn.
"Afraid I'm a bit rusty," Priya notes for Tucker's benefit. "Nice enough shooting, Flats." In the cabin, she tosses a crooked smile back over her shoulder. "You want me to take her in or have you had enough of me for that day?"
"I'll come drop in the co-pilot seat in case you need me, but as they used to say on that one show that used to come on Virgon telly all the time.." Tucker settles into the co seat and straps in. "Miss Tarsis, you have the conn."
"You just can't resist," Priya jokes lightly, gently guiding the bird back into the barn for the night. "I'll make sure I don't crash it." There is more than a chance she missed the reference.