2237-06-08 - Low Tech Comms

Kell and Tavo discuss alternatives to wireless for use on Picon.

Date: 2237-06-08

Location: Firing Range, Cutter //Vanguard//

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1105

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What do you do when you could be going into combat at any moment but you aren't actually on duty? There are lots of options, but for Tavo, the answer is apparently, 'sight your SAW.' He has a couple of sandbags in his firing lane, weighing the weapon down atop a rest. Hard ear protection and yellow-tinted shooting glasses provide the necessary protection as he crouches down behind the big weapon, carefully firing off a single shot and then bringing up a spotting scope to check where it hit -- not that he really needs one inside the firing range.

It has been a week since Kell had free time that he didn't spend cooped up in the Ready Room leafing through manuals, books, and checklists while working on the draft to the proposed changes of communication procedures. But he has finally submitted the report to Colonel Ryan wih Eva's approval and permission. Now, it feels like a tremendous weight has been lifted off of his shoulder. There is no beach to relax on or Scorpian bar to enjoy a drink, but there is the firing range to unwind. After stepping in, he heads straight for the rack with the eye and ear protection gear, slipping them on as safety first has been drilled into his head since he was a kid. Then he heads towards the arms locker where the Marine on duty waits. On the way there, his steps slow as he spots the Staff Sergeant working on his heavy weapon.

Tavo shakes his head, setting down the spotting scope and rising to his knees beside the weapon to adjust the rear sight with a screwdriver. Glancing up at the slight motion in his peripheral vision, he gives the younger man a slight nod, then gets behind the weapon again, snugging his shoulder up to the braced weapon, "Never seen one of these fired single?"

When Tavo turns towards him for a moment and nods, Kell recognizes the Marine as the same one that was with him when they intercepted the Cylons on the ground rescuing the kidnapped Sisters. "I have not, didn't even know it had a setting like that since it... defeats the purpose of the weapon." The purpose in the pilot's mind to just be super loud while spitting out rounds, a smaller version of his Viper's autocannon. "But I can see why it has that setting now." He the turns to the Marine guard on duty that is taking care of the weapons, "Rifle please." The request made and while the weapon is fetched, the Ensign signs his name in, the time, and the weapon borrowed.

Tavo shows some teeth as he grins in response, "There's no setting for single fire." And he demonstrates what he means by just barely stroking the trigger, a single shot ringing out into the cacophony of the firing range. The weapon jumps under the sandbags and into his shoulder. The big Scorpian rides out the recoil and then rises up to his knees again, studying the shot. "Not many pilots train with the rifle, do they?"

"You must have really sensitive trigger control then." Kell certainly has doubts that he would be able to just squeeze out one shot on the machinegun. When the Marine guard puts the rifle on the counter and a few clips for the pilot, the Ensign thanks the soldier before heading to the lane next to Tavo's. "Probably not, but I'm also a reservist back home on Libran. So we've had to train with pistols and rifles, even if we were in the flight school pipeline. Also had some training in wilderness survival as well."

Laughing easily, Tavo knee-walks over to the recall button and calls the target back, "Being a gunner isn't just holding down the trigger and spraying." There's more amusement than anything else in his voice. He nods at the response, rising to his feet to study the latest shot, "Good. Could save your life if you go down. More pilots should have that experience. Besides E&E training."

Kell does have the capacity to look somewhat sheepish when Tavo jokes about the assumption on what gunners are capable of. "Sorry Staff Sergeant, I thought they were good at that and carrying heavy stuff." As for the skills he picked up while training to become a reservist back home, the Ensign nods his head in agreement, "My father said the same thing, he's a Marine too. In the Libran Armed Forces. Told me to never just focus on flying and let my reservist skills become rusty." As he steps up to his firing lane, Kell sets the rifle down and then the magazines given to him, laying them out in an organized manner. He then begins the inspection of the rifle.

"That's what everyone thinks." Tavo chuckles again, then adds, "They aren't wrong." The big man safes his SAW, and starts to break down the station, gathering up a handful of little tools and tucking them into a sort of wallet-like folded cloth, then working on spotting gear and targets. "I'm a soldier, actually." Says the Marine. "Scorpian Army. But most Marines are sensible enough. Should be, getting lazy sitting around on Raptors all day. Good advice though."

An amused smirk appears as Kell finishes up the inspection of his rifle. He looks back at the Staff Sergeant and shakes his head, "I know you guys have it a lot tougher than we do. We get to be snug and safe in our cockpits while you guys have to trudge through who knows what. Plus, I heard the fighting was pretty damn rough on the ground back on Canceron." Grabbing a magazine, the Ensign inserts it into the rifle and chambers a round.

Tavo grunts his agreement and approval for the pilot's statements, "From what I heard, it wasn't any picnic up in the air either." He tucks away the wallet of tools, strips out the magazine, works the round out of the chamber, and starts to move sandbags aside. "But yeah. It was pretty bloody down there. Not so bad when the big guns were around, but the others got into some shit pretty bad."

"And from the what we have been briefed on for Operation Cat and Mouse, Picon is definitely not a walk in the park either, far from it." Perhaps another reason why Kell is here instead of just laying about in the Crew Lounge or Berthings. "If any of us in the air ends up going down and we can't do an immediate SAR, we'll definitely need your help. If it is even possible." With that said, the Viper pilot braces the rifle stock against his shoulder firmly and takes aim down the range. Finger flicks the safety switch off and zeroes in on the paper target, squeezing off a shot. Then another, then another.

Another grunt, again agreement, although less approval this time. "No." More agreement, "A lot more opportunity to end up stuck behind enemy lines. That's never good." There might even be a little worry in Tavo's voice then, although he masks it well. The silence that comes with bracing and aiming leaves Tavo quiet as well, and he looks downrange, checking the target with his spotting scope just because he can. "Not bad. Especially for a zoomie. From what I heard, if you're in real enemy territory, you might be on your own for a while. Might want to check out your non-wireless communication techs."

The results show that Kell has no hidden talent as a sniper but he is good enough to hit the paper target at center mass, the clustering not that tight though. He lowers his rifle and nods at Tavo, "Thanks for spotting the results." As for the non-wireless comms, the Viper pilot furrows his brows, "Hmm, that would be a good idea. Definitely need a way to try to contact for help without the toasters zeroing in on the source." The thought of being stuck behind enemy lines, especially with what has been going on down on Picon is a very unpleasant though.

"You've got one round dropping down and right. Holding the recoil down a little hard. First two are nicely spaced." Tavo lowers the spotting scope, considering on his own for a moment, "Recognition panels. Smoke signals are no good if things are burning near you. Rock patterns. Things you can see from the air."

Holding his next series of shots for now as he flicks the safety on, Kell focuses on the subject of impromptu communication methods, "I would avoid smoke signals unless you know friendlies are nearby in the air. If we can see it, Cylons can see it too. But patterns on the ground and whatnot... that is actually a good idea. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst."

"We may make the big ships, but Scorpians also do the whole low-tech thing pretty well. Mirrors too, maybe? Naw, might be mistaken for a Cylon." Tavo chuckles, shaking his head, "Hell, I don't need to tell you, do I? You're the super-pilot reservist." Tavo steps back from the front of his lane, around the divider to make talking easier. "But getting everyone up on their E&E would be good."

Hearing that, Kell can't help but laugh lightly in response, "I wouldn't go that far, Staff Sergeant. Definitely not super-anything, maybe a jack-of-some-trades. Definitely will mention to the other pilots that brushing up on their E&E should be a priority." He can't even make a comment to shrug off these concerns since it would just sound so disingenuous with how serious and dangerous of an operation this will be. "I can say that this Operation will be a true test of this taskforce."

Tavo grunts slow approval at the last point, "Couldn't be much tougher unless it was Aquaria. About the only good thing about Picon is there is some friendly territory to E&E to." There's a beat pause, and then he adds, "And it's not cold as frak."

"Not cold. Just... very, very wet. And I hear there may be sharks in the water." Kell says with a shake of his head, his last comment not entirely serious but then again, he doesn't know whether or not there are sharks. He does reposition himself in the lane and raises his weapons, readying another series of shots down the range.


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