Van and Aubrey have a chat and get acquainted as members of the Wolves Air Crew
Location: Vanguard -- Hangar Deck
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1072
There are only certain things that the deck crew will let pilots do to their ships. Apparently, for Van, that includes taking readings from various computer ports attached to avionics, engine, cockpit, and other systems. Not interpreting the readings, of course, just taking them. The lack of trust besides taking the readings is probably reinforced by the fact that he seems distracted, a thoughtful frown on his face as he stands under the nose of 'his' Viper, holding a computer-pad in the crook of his left arm, a wire connecting the pad to the fighter to download the information. He keeps looking around the hanger deck, as if expecting to see someone.
Aubrey has been stuck on delivery duty for the day, while she's just itching to finish up and get back down to Scorpia for more surfing. The pilot is in her duty greens, with a cart loaded with packages which she's chucking at techs as she passes. "Milkman!" she greets, happy to see a familiar face.
Van startles slightly at his callsign, a little grimace twisting onto his lips before he turns it into a smile, "Banshee. How are you doing?" And then he stops a moment, frowning once more as he studies the other Picon pilot, "Wait... I've seen you before. Not just around here, I mean. You weren't in the Redtails or the Sea Knights... were you in The Wrecking Crew?" All Picon squadrons.
"I was with the Wrecking Crew, but only for about six months before they transferred me here," Aubrey notes with a little lopsided grin. "You get three guesses where you recognize me from," she quips, tossing a package at another tech.
Van nods at the response, his thoughtful frown deepening, "That would be it then. I was with the Crew back in '34." The tablet computer is switched to his right arm, "I want to say... The Tide Always Turns," it's a soap opera of the most Picon kind, but he shakes his head, "But that's not quite right. It was definitely on-screen..."
Aubrey is grinning now, amused at his attempts to ID her. "No soaps, nope. But you're getting warmer." It's probably hard to place her with so many articles of clothing on." She leans on a large crate and holds up a finger to indicate his wrong answer.
The other Picon doesn't rush into his next guess, considering it closely, "Let's see, 'Banshee,' on-screen..." Van's eyebrows lift slightly as he smiles faintly and guesses, "The Dela Vance show?" It would be a singing and dancing variety show, popular among the upper crust due to its staid morals.
Aubrey laughs merrily at that. "Colder now. Believe me, you don't want me singing OR dancing. Unless it's to chase away Cylons at the horror." A second finger goes up. "Plus ugh, the Dela Vance show? I'd rather eat glass."
Van grimaces good-naturedly as he gets colder, although her disparagement of the Dela Vance show has him frowning again, "Mother loves Dela Vance." He pauses, and then admits, "She also loves Tides," Which is known for its ridiculous and salacious plotlines. "So..." And then he's back to the guessing game, frowning in thought, "Someone was saying you were down surfing before the quals..." and then it clicks, "Oh! Right! The Bored Shorts commercials."
"Bingo. That was one of the companies I did ads for. A few other surf and swimwear lines. My dad was a director for ads, so I had an easy in," Aubrey admits. "The weird part was seeing my ads up on people's bunks here." She turns the two fingers into a thumbs-up.
"They were good clothes. The tops weren't exactly yacht club appropriate most of the time, but the shorts were quality." Van chuckles softly, "And it would be rather hypocritical of me to have any complaints about a little light nepotism, considering that I'm half convinced that's how my brother passed the bar." The last point draws a slow nod, "I... can only imagine. There do seem to be rather a lot of people with some fame on the ship. I suppose that's a side effect of this being a high-profile assignment." That faint smile returns, "Or, the best people are just the best at everything, including both smashing Toasters and being famous."
"Pretty sure it's the profile thing. We're special because we're recognizable or someone people can feel connected to in some way. Great for recruiting, as long as we don't embarrass ourselves," Aubrey explains. Mind you, the kid made ace in 9 days with the wolves so it's not all recognition that got her here.
"That plus skills, of course. I'm pretty certain that they didn't transfer anyone here simply because of their pretty face." That might be intended as reassurance... until Van adds, "Plus, if we couldn't manage, we would be dead, recognizable faces. Or at least those of you with recognizable faces would be." And then he hesitates, changing the topic a little warily"This wasn't your first taste of action, was it?"
"Sort of was. I was only 6 months out of flight school and in the Wrecking Crew when I got called up to the wolves. I guess all the surfing I did made me something of a natural pilot," Aubrey says quietly, sifting through the other packages and tossing one to a passing engineer. "I sure didn't get it from my parents. Teacher and commercials director? Nope."
Van's brows lift sharply, "Six months out of flight school? I wouldn't have guessed it by your flying." Letting out a little breath, he checks the tablet in his arms, tapping a couple of commands to save the log file and then looking up again, his voice quieting to slip beneath the clangor of the hanger, "How are you holding up then? I know that my first real taste of combat did a number on me."
"I'm holding up well. I have a score to settle with the toasters, couple of em really," Aubrey admits with a tight press of her lips. "They killed my mother. Turned my dad into a shell of himself when he couldn't handle her being gone. Shot one of my best friends down behind enemy lines some six months ago and they all think he's dead. So that taste of combat was delicious and I want more of it."
The first words draw a sharp nod from Van, and the look gets even sharper as Aubrey continues, his lips pressing tightly together as her words spark his own anger. He nods again, "My sister and sister-in-law. At the Colonies' Fair. I was supposed to meet up with them two days after that." He closes his eyes tightly, trying to get a handle on his remembered anger. Shivering just a little, he shakes his head, "There's always hope for the people who are just MIA. One of Doc's friends is the same away. I've got a dozen Academy classmates who are the same. Some of them will turn up. You can't lose hope until it's sure." And then he lets out a breath, "Well, if you do need to talk to someone, let me know. I've been through the anger, the shot-down... I don't know that I can help, but at least I can listen."
"Thanks , Milkman. I appreciate it," Aubrey replies sincerely. "The waves down planet-side are my therapy right now. Surfing is freedom from everything, so I'm heading back down as soon as I'm done with this stupid delivery duty." She pauses, realizing she should offer the same. "My door, er bunk curtain is always open if you need to talk too, ok?"
Van nods some form of understanding, "I wish I could get some time on a sailboat myself. I know what you mean about the water." The offer causes him to pause a moment, chuckling and shrugging a little, "Thanks, Banshee. I think I'm good for now." Which anyone looking at his file and observing his behavior after the first Canceron liftoff would certainly disagree with, but he seems under control now. "I've just been trying to touch base with all of the relatively new pilots, even if they smash toasters as well as you do." That would... probably be the job of the CAG in most groups.
"That's kind of you. Isn't that what Spider should be doing?" Aubrey asks with a grin. "Shhh, don't tell him I said that. I think he might be sore we all wrecked him in the trials last night." Her smile is genuine. Despite all the bad that has happened to her, Aubrey Naxos still feels joy.
Van shrugs a little uncomfortably at the question, "I'm sure Major Webb has... other issues on his mind." 'Like sulking about how his pilots wrecked his scores at the quals,' suggests the tone behind the perfectly appropriate words. "Honestly though, even Smackdown was more worried about putting the squadron together than checking in with individual pilots. Plus, I figure I'm a little closer to the events that some people are going through -- first dogfight, first kill, first wounds, first crash landing."
"I suppose you are, though it's not an enviable position to be in," Aubrey says quietly. She smiles though. "But thanks for being there. It helps a lot. It's that feeling of family; that we all have the same roots that got us here. We aren't alone, you know?" She chucks another package at a passing electrician.
Nodding definitive agreement, Van responds, "Right. We're all in it together." His cheeks pink a little as he chuckles, "Although I do happen to know that there are things going on on-ship that should not be happening inside a family. But yes, I wouldn't want to serve in a unit where I didn't know that anyone in it would have my back without question. I'm glad I was assigned to the Timber Wolves."
"Tell me about it," Aubrey laughs. "Shore leave has been a nice break from all the bunk squeaking going on." She grins as if it doesn't really bother her. She's not anyone's moral compass, this one.
Van's blush deepens at the response, and he actually seems on the verge of apologizing for a moment, then he just shrugs, "One of the benefits of relaxed fraternization rules in the Cee-Eff." He hefts the tablet a moment, "I should get this moved on. Just remember, you can't kill more toasters if you get yourself shot up. Fly within yourself and you'll get back home to kill more."
"I'll keep that in mind, Milkman. It's kind of nice to see a guy can still blush after all the things we see out there," Aubrey assures him. With that she pushes the cart to finish her deliveries.