2237-06-01 - Assignment Prep

Kell and Van begin working on their new assignments with Hallie. Jonas delivers a new pilot to the trio.

Date: 2237-06-01

Location: Ready Room, Cutter //Vanguard//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1077

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With the Vanguard returning to the Scorpia Shipyards, the Ready Room has not been in much use and Kell has taken advantage of that. Instead of doing what most of the crew is doing and enjoying some much needed R&R planetside, the young Viper pilot has taken refuge in the quiet room, occupying one of the desks that is situated in the corner. It seems that he has also commandeered a desk next to his as well which has some paper and notes placed on it. At the moment, Kell is leaning back in his seat, earbuds in both ears, reading something that looks like a pre-flight procedures checklist for Raptors.

R&R is for those who haven't drawn the attention or ire of their superiors. While many of the crew are dirtside, Van Newton is still aboard the Vanguard, looking for a quiet place to work and meet with pilots who need or might want a little coaching up before their next run at the quals. He too has documentation with him as he steps into the Ready Room, a collection of books on Raptor and Viper flight, all stamped with Picon Navy insignia, plus a civilian-issue holoband, all tucked under his left arm. He stops a couple of steps into the room when he spots Kell, then just gives a little salute and moves over to one of the chairs in the front row, setting the books and 'band down and digging into the pocket of his greens for a pack of cigarettes and a little box of wooden matches.

In the wake of her rather sad performance during quals, Hallie has been sticking to quiet spaces -- and the simulators -- as she practices, hoping to improve her showing on her re-test. The disused ready room is no exception, and so Ringer makes her way in with a maintenance and tuning manual for Vipers under one arm. As if by understanding the systems that make up her ride, she can better control it.

Though the earbuds may block any sound, which was the purpose before, Kell's peripheral vision does catch someone entering the Ready Room. Seeing that it is Van, he fixes his more relaxed position and sits up a bit straighter, giving the Lieutenant a nod in greeting as he reaches up to pull the earbuds out of his ears. It looks like not only Van had thought that the Ready Room was a good place to do some work, Hallie enters as well. Almost looking amused, the hint of the edge of his lips tweaking upwards, Kell says, "Reminds me of when I was still in grade school, after school detention for students who weren't the most well behaved."

Van gestures up to the air-recycler overhead of his chosen seat, then hefts up the pack of cigarettes demonstratively, "Anyone mind?" Hallie gets a nod, "Ringer. Good to see you in here." Kell's commentary on their situation gets a faint smile from the Picon man, and he nods, "But let me guess, you were watching from outside, Razor?" Looking back to Hallie, he adds, "Webb... asked... me to help out with anyone interested in pushing for quals again next week, or just looking to improve."

"I'd like it better if I were here for mischief," Hallie admits to Kell, with an uncharacteristically ever-so-slightly sour edge to her tone; mischief at least would mean she had fun, rather than humiliating herself with her performance. But then she turns her attention to Van, nodding once as she places the maintenance manual on a desk and settles in. "I'm frakking sure going to do better next time."

At Van's question, Kell shakes his head as he has been around those who have smoked and has no issue with taking it in secondhand. As for the reply about detention though, the young pilot can't help but smirk and shake his head again, "No, I attended a few sessions when I was younger." Which is probably hard to believe with how reserved the pilot is these days. As for what Van was tasked with, Razor can't help but arch a brow, "You have been assigned the instructor role by the Major? Impressive." Then Kell shifts his gaze to Hallie and shakes his head once more, "Ringer, that test was much harder than it would seem, especially with how easy those who went first made it look. They only made the course even more deceptively hard, I know I was barely on the edge of achieving basic and I was flying on the edge of my seat."

Nodding sharply in response to the fire that follows Hallie's grumpiness, Van agrees, "I'm sure you will. You've already proven that you're a capable combat pilot." He nods his agreement at Kell's stance on the quals, "It was not easy. And I wouldn't say that my being assigned to help out by Webb is particularly impressive." This time, his faint smile is rather dry, even self-deprecating, "When he expressed his desire that Pi not make the squadron look back at her re-test, I may have said something intemperate about how she has only been a pilot for four and a half months and already has three kills and made an unflattering comparison to his six kills and near decade of experience." And then he remembers he was going to get a coffin-nail going. Tucking the filter into one corner of his mouth, Van pushes the pack back into his pocket, pops open the ash tray arm of the chair, strikes a wooden match, and lights up, scorching the end of the cigarette perhaps a bit longer than strictly necessary.

Hallie eyes the cigarettes almost longingly, but then takes a stick of licorice from a pocket, sticking the end in one corner of her mouth as though it were a cigarette. A sad, droopy cigarette of sugar. "I guess a lot of us are still learning," the former tattoo artist remarks. "But I still felt like I ought to be able to do /better/, after all this time." Yes. All... what, nine months, Ringer?

When the clash between Van and Webb was described in more detail, Kell can only answer with an 'Oh' at first, falling silent after that. "Well, no one that has fought while we were at Canceron can make the squadron look bad. The qualifications... not sure if it was ill-timed or what, but right after we just finished fighting the Cylons on Canceron and right before the inquiry, I am sure more than one pilot had other things on their minds." It certainly took a lot of mental preparation for the Ensign to push it to the deepest corner of his mind just to get through the course. "Some people do better when it actually matters, I know exams and tests were not for everyone back in school and even flight school."

Van takes in a deep drag from the cigarette, blowing the smoke upward and then relaxing just a touch. "My instructors back at the Academy would say that if any of us aren't learning, we're on our way to dying, Ringer. And I would have to say that I agree. That's why... or rather," he admits, "part of why I volunteered to help out in the first place. Helping other practice is a good way for me to practice." He nods his agreement with Kell's statement, "There may be some of that as well. Fatigue, distraction. While we get some gun-cam footage of the run set up for Ringer," he gets out his holobands and starts to prep them, "what are you working on, Razor?"

"I overthought it," Hallie admits, finally, with a nod to the other two. She chews the end of her licorice, her expression pensive. "I was so concentrated on showing off -- doing really well -- I didn't do very good at all. When we're flying in a fight, it's not about showing off. About score. You don't have /time/ to overthink it."

Kell nods understandingly when Hallie shares why she didn't do as well as she thought she should have, "And in combat, it's about survival, your own, your wingman's, and your flight's." He adds as he idly taps the end of his pencil against the paper on his desk, a idle motion that is equivalent to how some may fidget without knowing it. "To me, good pilots aren't those who can earn top scores or bullseye a target from a klick away. It's the ones who are reliable, who will be there and have your back, who focus on the mission. Not just trying to add notches to their belts." The Ensign then looks back towards Van and at the papers that he has on his desk and the one next to him, "Colonel Ryan assigned me a project after the inquiry was concluded. I have to revise the pre-flight procedures and checklists for mission comms."

Van nods to Hallie, "I over-thought the gunnery section myself. I like to think, at least, that that's why I flat-out missed one of the targets." He's not going to shy away from his own failings, even if his overall scores were solid indeed. Nodding at Kell again, he adds, "I agree completely. I would much rather have a new pilot who is more concerned with the safety of his fellows on my wing than I would a hotshot out for kill count." The news of the task set before Kell draws Van's eyebrows up, "That sounds like a very useful task. I'm glad Mace put someone reliable on it." He gestures to the stack of books before him, "I had my flight school books shipped out when Izzy," that would be Pi, of course, "was running through her crash course to become an ECO."

"I think I owe Pi and Bite some booze," Hallie remarks after a moment, ruefully. "I mean, it still never feels /good/ to fail, so we could all use the consolation." Then she shakes her head, taking another bite of her licorice. It's getting short enough that the droop is less pronounced. "But I'm not interested in notches." Tattoos, maybe... but those are a different thing.

"I'm... surprised that the Colonel would assign such an important task to an Ensign. A new transfer to the Colonial Forces at that. Though I guess that is why he has me reporting to Captain Thorne, so she can keep an eye on my progress to make sure I don't go completely off course." Kell says as he releases a quiet sigh, still feeling the weight of the project but he doesn't look overwhelmed. "First order of business for me is to review the Raptor procedures again. I know we all had to fly them but I never exactly spent time to see what the ECO's tasks were, only focused on what I had to do after I graduated from Flight School." Of course, the importance of such checklists and procedures were never an emphasis on the Ensign until the inquiry revealed the cause of the friendly fire incident. Kell does look from Van to Hallie and then back to Van, asking the both of them, "How are Pi and Soundbite doing? No one likes to fail, even if it was just a test."

"I'm not," Van responds to Kell, "You clearly know all the regs, and you haven't had time to develop bad habits." Plus it's good motivation to kick the other man out of his funk, but Van isn't going to say that. The comment and question about Pi -- and Soundbite -- draws a slightly uncomfortable shrug from the Picon, "I... haven't actually seen Pi since. She ducked me in the Hanger, and I think she's been hiding out since then. Trying to avoid most everyone." Which does not sit well with her boyfriend, evidently. The slow destruction of Hallie's licorice piece seems to remind Van that he has a cigarette smoldering between his fingers, and he ashes it into the seat's tray and then takes a drag, "But we'll get you all ready for another shot at the quals, no problem." And then he finally plugs his private holobands into the main connection in his seat, "Do you want to start by watching gun-cam footage from some of the other birds, to see where you need the polish, Ringer?"

"I haven't really seen them either." Hallie frowns as she polishes off the last of her licorice. "I think you're right; Pi's hiding. Bite might just be busy." But then again, it's not as if Ringer's been a huge presence either; she's been sticking to the simulators or quiet corners to study in. On which note, she adds, "I've already watched what I could, but I'll watch it again."

Though there may be a little bit of concern, Kell is more than willing to give Isolde the benefit of the doubt, "Maybe she just needed some time to reset mentally before tackling the footages and books for her requalification. Back in school, I've seen some people get hit harder by failure than others, and needed time to get back on their feet." As for the reviewing of gun footage, Razor can use a break from the notes and checklists to view the recordings. Since his arrival on the Vanguard, footage is something he had been focused on, not his own but others that were accessible to him.

Van nods his agreement with Hallie's agreement, grimacing as he does. He draws in a long, slow drag of his cigarette, then coughs a bit as he blows the smoke up to the air recycler, shaking his head, "I'm trying to give her her space," he responds to the other pilots, although his tone suggests that that may not last long. "I've found that I can learn quite a lot from watching footage from other ships, both how they maneuver and also how they view my own maneuvers. Why don't we start with Farm Boy's, since he nearly aced the course?" The holobands are settled over his eyes, and the screen at the front quickly boots up to show the footage.

Hallie turns her gaze to the screen, falling silent. For all that she leans back in her chair, and has no notebook or pen with her, her gaze is /sharp/ and her attention focused on the footage.

Pulling the screen out from his desk, Kell activates it and logs in so that he can watch the footage concurrently with the other two pilots. With the inquiry, the project assigned to him by the Colonel, the young Viper jock actually hasn't taken the time to review the footage from the qualifications so this will be new. Certainly a fresh pair of eyes.

The starfield blurs and whirls as Farm Boy goes through the maneuvers of the course, but Van slows it down here and there, "Personally, I think he's flying too aggressively, but he's making it work for him." Despite the 'bands over his eyes, he glances over toward Hallie and then toward Kell, "What do you notice about how he moves from one maneuver to the next? Or how about how he lines up his shots?"

"It's fluid?" Hallie ventures, to start with. Then she considers it a moment longer, and shakes her head. "No, that's not it, is it? He's not overthinking, but he's not just /reacting/ either. He's thinking about it, planning. Lining up his turns /before/ he starts them."

There is a nod from Kell as he appears to agree with Hallie's assessment, "It looks like he is just choosing what he feels is the best option without wasting time deciding. It does look like Farm Boy prefers to take high-risk, high-reward type shots." The assessment made after watching the Viper pilot perform a half flip to take out one of the targets.

Van points his cigarette-filled fingers at Hallie (careful to keep them well away from her, of course), "Exactly. He's acting, not reacting. In a dogfight, he would be forcing the other pilot to react to him. Here, he's acting on the course, staying one step ahead of it." He nods at Kell as well, "Right. He's taking a lot more deflection shots. It makes for harder shots, but it lets him tighten up his flying without working about getting into the ideal position. If you're a good enough shot, it's an excellent tactic. If you're not... well, as you said, high-risk, high-reward." He runs through the footage one more time, then inquires, "Who should we watch next?"

"Why don't we watch Cherry?" Hallie asks, after some consideration. "She did pretty well, so we might as well go through the best of them, before..." She trails off, though the rest hangs in the air unspoken: before getting to those who didn't even qual.

A trio of pilots are apparently watching gun-cam footage from the quals, Van running the show from a civilian holoband, while Hallie watches on the big screen at the front and Kell watches on one of the smaller, chair-mounted screens. Kell has claimed two chairs in one of the back corners, while Hallie and Van are closer to the front. Van and Kell each have a stack of books with them, Hallie has one, and a cigarette smolders between Van's fingers.

At the moment, Kell, Hallie, and Van are all reviewing flight footage from the Piloting Trials, having just finished watching Finn completing his turn with his near perfect run. Razor is occupying one of the desks in the corner of the room, papers and notes on Raptor pre-flight checklists and other procedures sitting on both his desk and the one next to him.
At Van's question and Hallie's response, Kell nods his head, "I am fine with watching Captain Thorne's recording next." He has a new sheet of paper out and is jotting down notes from time to time.

Arriving at the Ready Room, Jonas is leading a small figure behind him. "And this is the Ready Room. I know you're used to the smaller spaces, so this won't be too much of a difference.." he starts to say, and then pauses as he notices the gathering. "Ah, sorry, sirs." he offers to the pilots already present. "Was just showing the new el-tee around." he offers, before stepping aside for Leonie to enter fully. "Lieutenant Leonie Ignvar, this is some of the other pilots in the wing."

"Ensign Hallie Mata. Callsign Ringer." The compact young blonde's oft-mischievous look is subdued, her performance -- or lack thereof -- during the recent quals having dampened some of her natural enthusiasm. "You're welcome to join us, though, LT." The Tauran sounds a /little/ reluctant at letting the newcomer witness her shameful piloting performance in great detail, but offers a smile in greeting nonetheless.

Leonie looks to be fresh from shore leave, not an uncommon sight around the ship today. She's in civvies, since she's technically enroute from the hangar bay to billets; a knee-length dress and folded aviators tucked into a pocket of her leather jacket. Her blonde hair is tied back into a ponytail. "Oh, it's.. I've gotta go shower and change anyway, before someone comes by and gives me an earful." She shoots a bashful smile Hallie's way.

Van nods at the requests, the footage rebooting the start of the run. "Cherry flies just as aggressively as Farm Boy. That's why they make a good pair. It's also, in my opinion, why they come back damaged so often, but Chief Walsh and Spider haven't complained yet. I may just be sensitive to perceived over-aggression in flight." As the footage runs, he stop speaking. Apparently, he has the immersion dialed way down on the holobands, as he hears the arrival of the others. Pulling the 'bands up and away, he sets them down, stubbing out the cigarette in the arm ashtray of his seat and then rising to his feet, "Sergeant. Not a problem. Welcome aboard, Lieutenant. I'm Lieutenant Van Newton," his lips twist in the faintest hint of a grimace, "Milkman. Vipers." He gestures to the other pilots, but Hallie has already introduced herself, so he lets Kell do the same, then adds, "Both also Vipers. We're just reviewing some of the footage from our qualification runs."

"I'm just giving her the cubit tour before hitting the hay. She's a Viper stick as well, one of the survivors of the Fall of Aquaria." As any Aquarian is. Jonas gives the smaller blonde's shoulder a squeeze for a moment. "I suggested to her that she go through the quals while we're still on planet, so any advice you have might be helpful.." then he realizes that he's in big brother mode, and little sister outranks him and he ahems. "I mean, if that's cool with you, sis-sir."

When the new arrivals enter the Ready Room, Kell shifts his attention from the screen at his desk as he looks up at both Jonas and Leonie. Placing his pencil down next to the notepad, the Ensign also gets to his feet as introductions are being made, "Ensign Kell Draygo, Razor." No need to claim the Viper tag as Van has already done it for him, "Welcome to the Timberwolves, Lieutenant Ignvar." At the mention that she is an Aquarian survivor, Kell has a more sympathetic look there as he is a Libran himself, so he has seen the refugees that had chosen to taken shelter on the colony that he is from.

Leonie elbows Jonas. "Ixnay on the irsay." At least while they're not in uniform, anyway. She flashes a smile at Van, and then Kell. "Looking forward to flying with all of you. I'm sure I'll have a lot to learn." She doesn't exactly look like career military. "Think it's too late for me to get in on that? The qualifications, I mean. It's been.. a while." She grimaces.

"There's going to be re-tests soon," Hallie assures Leonie. A little more ruefully, she adds, "A few of us didn't really do so well the first time around." The mention of Aquaria earns a sympathetic look for the new LT, but no verbal comment.

Van nods at Hallie's words, "Several pilots and ECOs weren't happy with their first scores." Van isn't going to say more than Hallie already did on why they might not be happy about their scores, "If you speak to the CAG, Major Webb, you may well be able to join them." A faint, dry smile touches his lips, "Major Webb might consider studying the required maneuvers beforehand something approaching cheating, but I'm sure that if you wanted to assist with their preparations, it wouldn't be a problem."

"Practice makes perfect. And after all, didn't each pilot get to see what was going on with the pilot before them?" Jonas suggests with a chuckle and small oof at the elbowing. "Oh right.. callsign.. what is it these days anyway, Leonie?" he asks curiously. Though as she gathers sympathetic looks for being from Aquaria, he smirks a little.

Leonie lifts her hands, palms out. "Nonono. I am not a cheater. Like I said, I've got to go change, anyway, but it was really nice meeting you all." She gives the group of pilots a little wave, sneaks a glance at the screen up front, and hitches the strap of her duffle against her shoulder. "Same as last time you asked. Axion." Neeeerd. "Shall we?"

"Neeeerd." Jonas says under his breath towards his sister as he takes the hint to head off. "Next stop berthings! And then you're on your own for the head. There's rumor that some recon person is in there all the time waiting to ambush people." There's a teasing lit to his tone as he moves to head off with sister in tow. "Have a good evening, sirs!" he throws over his shoulder to the gathered pilots.


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