Roara, Aubrey, Van, and Isolde plan future tactics, while Tucker comes in to add his own opinion.
Location: Ready Room, Cutter //Vanguard//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1112
Pushing the holoband up off his face, Van blinks back into real world and out of V-World. He's claimed one of the front-row seats, and has a scattering of notes across the fold-out desk and an unlit cigarette sticking out of the build-in ashtray in the arm of the chair. Glancing over, he offers Isolde a faint smile, "That went pretty well. Still a little work to do on thruster-slides, but you're definitely getting smoother in your maneuvering." Despite the smile, there are mild bags under the pilot's eyes, and he looks weary.
Shifting in her seat, Roara tugs at the thick fabric of her uniform where it hugs the swell of her hips. No easy feat, her wild hair has been pulled back out of her face. "He's holding back is praise," she comments with a dry, lack of enthusiasm caused by her own weariness. She pulls down her own holoband with knuckles scabbed over from too many rounds on the punching bags, "Worried about being outshined."
Isolde tugs up her own holoband, it collecting her hair behind it as she does. Her tawny features hold a light smile, though it has brittleness at the edges. She rubs at her eye with the blade of her hand, still trying to work the lingering sense of tiredness out. "Yeah... I felt it though. That's something at least." She plucks up a piece of paper, looking over their shared notes -- two handwritings scrawled across the paper, with hers being more blocky and almost exclusively in small caps. Then her gaze cuts to Roara, and she starts to laugh. "All he has to do is see me fly a Viper, and then all his worries will melt away."
Aubrey makes her way into the Ready Room in her off duty greens. After being rather ineffective against a heavy raider last night, she's determined to train her rear-end off until she can take those things out. She moves to one of the remaining front row seats, manual in hand, and flops down into it. "Hey Milkman, Pi, Hammerhead."
Van reaches for the cigarette, and stops as his hand comes back with just the unlit white tube. Sighing a little and looking down at the cancer stick, he carefully puts it back in the astray, then shrugs a little, "Good. Being able to feel it, down in the seat of your pants, that's the start of being a good pilot, rather than just a pilot." And he reaches over to give Isolde's shoulder a little squeeze even as he looks up and nods to Aubrey, "Banshee. How's it going?" Only then does he shrug to Roara, "I don't want to seem like a biased instructor, now do I?"
Roara cocks her head on her neck, eyeballing Van with muted skepticism. "No, never that." The look passes. Aubrey receives a cool little nudge of Roara's chin in greeting. "Put him back behind the controls of a Raptor, see how well he does." Nevermind that Ro almost sank one in the ocean a few days ago. The corner of her mouth twitches upward.
Isolde just looks between Van and Roara with an amused twitch to the corner of her mouth, and then she's beaming up at Banshee. "Hi Ban." She starts to gather up Van's notes, keeping them in a particular order as she does. She even collects the unlit cigarette. See? She's helping! "Speaking of Milkman's antics... I hear that everyone was trying to shoot him during yesterday's mission." She casts a glance at Van, her amusement apparent.
"Well, I couldn't make a dent in that bomber last night, so it's not going as well as I'd like. The KEW seemed to barely scratch that armor," Aubrey grouses as she flips through the manual for information on any weak points in a heavy raider to aim for. She chuckles at Isolde's words. "He was basically mooning the heavy while everyone else tried to do enough damage to bring it down. I'm starting to think that damned Bomber was flown by Hermes himself."
"Hey!" Van protests, "I flew a Raptor just a couple of days ago on a training mission." Not well necessarily, but not horribly either. Thankfully, there was no ocean nearby. He starts to protest the collection of the cigarette too, then subsides with a shrug, "It was only Bite that came that close." And he points toward Aubrey, "And yes, I was rather trying to slow it down. It worked too, although I may have gotten a touch close." Looking over to Roara, he adds, "You remember Antin from the Academy? His family lived in the city they were trying to bomb."
Roara slowly balls up a fist, testing her bony scraped-up knuckles. Without physically turning her head upward, her eyes cut sharply up in Van's direction. They settle there steadily for a time before looking back down, she occupies herself with contents of her lap. Her notebook, the holoband, etc. She responds with a noncommittal little grunt. Sure, she's got some thoughts about that.
"I'm sure you are a very capable Raptor pilot," Isolde says, her tone that of a girlfriend mollifying her boyfriend. Then she laughs again before she collects Van's holobands, too. Apparently, when Pi is tired, she decides to clean. She looks up at the news if it being Bite that almost got him, and she grins. "That's my Soundbite." She looks over to Aubrey, and frowns. "Lots of heavies out then?" She hasn't really read the report of how things went. Then she looks over toward Roara.
"Close? I think Soundbite almost gave you a missile enema," Aubrey quips back at Van. The mention of the target of the bombing has her sobering quickly. Picon is home, and the worry about loved ones planet-side is eating at all the native wolves. So far Biscayne Bay seems to have remained unscathed, but even thinking about it makes her stomach do flip flops. She nods to Isolde. "Four of them, on top of lights and Cypers. We got them all but, well I spent most of the fight scratching the paint job on this one that just would NOT die."
"They didn't make it to their pickle-point." No bombs were dropped, in other words. Van's statement is quiet, and he leans back in the other direction to squeeze Roara's shoulder a moment. Glancing down, he frowns, then adds, "What did your knuckles ever do to you, by the way, Hammerhead? I haven't seen them that bad since... what was it, third year? Those college kids who decided to check out the Half Hitch?" He lets out a slow breath, then looks back to Aubrey, doing his best to settle a smile back onto his lips, "I've found that the cockpits are relatively weak. I mean, relatively. Also the top and bottom seem slightly less-heavily armored than the sides. But only slightly."
Isolde continues sweeping around the ready room, cleaning up as they talk. She picks up a cup, sniffs it, and promptly makes a face like she just got a whiff of vinegar. "I'm blaming this on Jigger." Then she steps to the trash can, and dumps it and several other pieces of garbage. She looks over toward Aubrey, and nods. "For heavies, they can be really frakking nimble. Those Cylon pilots must have some serious reflexes." She then looks back toward Van. "So, gotta actually do some aimmed shots instead of willy-nillying it." The Tauron looks thoughtful, frowning. "That's harder for ECOs. We gotta rely on our console feeds. Aimming is a bitch."
Roara doesn't tense at the contact, per say. She's halfway made of stone. She doesn't need to. "Overdid a bit," she pops her lips, wetting them. "Twinkletoes had a few good maneuvers mapped out for taking out the tricky ones. I'm sure his notes are still hanging around somewhere. Might be worth checking out." There. Helpful.
"I'll have to remember that," Aubrey notes to Van. She scribbles something into her manual about the alleged weak points. "So we aim for the cockpit and hope it lands. Maybe we need to let the ECOs missile the frak out of them first, weaken the armor."
Van nods a little to Isolde, "Flats and Sweetheart had a neat maneuver yesterday. Dangerous, but Flats pulled in right in front of a Heavy, and Sweetheart had a perfect shot right back into the cockpit and weapons turret." He frowns a little thoughtfully at Roara's suggestion, "I wonder where they went, with Spider and Squeak gone too." Finally, Aubrey gets a sharp nod, "Getting an aimed shot in is really hard in a furball, but you know that. I do think that we probably need more Raptors loaded with the shipkiller missiles rather than Talons. Whisper did a number on two of the Heavies before she was out."
"Oh, I think I might have those somewhere." Isolde rubs at her chin. "I came across a lot of paperwork all over the place, and I tried to keep it organized. I wonder where those went." She squints around the room, as if trying to remember. Then she looks back to Van as he mentions the work Flats and Sweetheart did, and she makes a thoughtful noise. Then she brightens when she hears the CAG. "I like Whisper. She flew with me a few days ago when I was trying to find someone to pilot for some live practice."
"Maybe Babyface," Roara guesses. Her eyebrows lift high into her hairline before sinking back down into place. Or Isolde, as she says her peace. "Sounds like I missed a heck of a dance. Personally, I don't know how anybody can tell the difference between Cherry and Whisper." Widening them, Roara shifts her eyes around the room. No alpha-type redheads around, right? "I sure as frak can't."
"We might need to let them wear the heavies down with the missiles, while we take on any lighter things trying to target the Raptors, then when the missiles have done their job, finish the heavies," Aubrey proposes. She chuckles at Roara. "They all outrank me, so I just call all the redheads sir on the ground."
Van looks abruptly bashful as Roara mentions not being able to tell the difference between Cherry and Whisper, "I... well, I may have called Whisper 'Cherry' when I first met her." He looks up and adds hurried, "In my defense, it was from behind. And then I noticed that Whisper is about ten centimeters shorter than Cherry." He nods to Isolde then, "Yes. I think she might fit in too. She gave the order to concentrate on the Heavies about a second before I was going to suggest it." Which is apparently what Van wants from a CAG. Plus competence. Nodding to Aubrey, he puts in, "Especially if the Heavies are on a bombing run. In that case, we might even want to try to hem them in for the missiles along with defending the Raptors."
Isolde looks over toward Aubrey. "Maybe. Raptors focus on the heavies to soften the targets? I mean, the ECMs can help there too, but those heavies are almost as dodging from a cyperwarfare perspective as they are otherwise." She then laughs at Roara's observation. "So... you just gotta gauge height as you approach. Which I, personally, am terrible at." She nods to Aubrey's suggestion. "That might work. Just call both of them 'sir' and wait for them to turn around." She moves to take a seat beside Van again, slumping deeping in it. "That's what we need to be doing to the Cylons... bombing runs. We need to do a recon, find a good concentration, and then bomb the Hades out of it."
Roara's chest heaves in a breathy, two-toned huff of amusement. "You did not," she admonishes Van. "That's a safe bet. Just need to get them to stand beside each other to see which one is taller and 'til then, it's 'Sirs' all around." She shifts in her seat.
"What if we hem them in, like Milkman suggested? Provide suppressing fire while they launch the missiles?" Aubrey muses. She nods in agreement with Isolde. "We do. We need to bomb them the frak off the planet." She frowns, the line creasing her forehead, and begins to absently braid her hair into two tails.
"I did." He points over to Isolde, "She was there. So were Razor and Flats. They were all witnesses to my embarrassment." Van nods to Isolde and Aubrey, "Raptors try to drop the Heavies with missiles while the ECOs keep the Raiders and Cypers suppressed and the Vipers try to drive the Heavies into easy firing solutions for the Raptor pilots. It might work, if everyone can hold their discipline." Reaching up to rub at the back of his neck, he starts to pull his cigarette pack from a pocket in his duty greens, then grimaces and puts it back, "I agree with Izzy though. The parts of Canceron that weren't horrible were nice because we were on the offensive. I don't know that we have the force to do much more than be a fire brigade here, but a few strikes might put the Toasters on their heels."
"Should request the footage from some of the birds from the last firefight." Roara chews on the inside of her cheek. Her voice implies only mild interest, but it always does. "Come up with a comprehensive strategy to present to the CAG. I can help if you want." She knits her brow. Picon is her home, too. She's got a dog in this fight as much as anybody.
"Ha. Ha. Ha." Isolde snorts at Van at the idea of the group and discipline. "We are kinda the types who see DRADIS contacts and get super excited. Like, almost giddy." She starts to laugh, but it is good-naturedly, and even a little self-deprecatingly. After all, Isolde has also gotten a bit excited by clearing the DRADIS too. Then she shrugs a bit at Van's vote of confidence. "I mean, I'm not the one in charge. Nor do I want to be... I'm just saying that I think at this point, we gotta do some serious push back." She holds up her hands. "Which I am happy to assume Ryan and Stirling already know we should do." She looks to Van and Roara, knowing that this is far more personal.
Aubrey nods to Roara. "That sounds like an idea. I nominate Van to do the presentation, because he is way smarter than me," she declares.
Van chuckles at Isolde's response, "Yes. That's why I like flying with Razor so much. He flies within himself, and he's an excellent wingman." He shrugs a little at the two Picon women, "I'm sure I would say the same of you, but I don't think we've ever flown as wingmen, Banshee, and it's been what, years, Hammerhead?" He nods to Roara, "Maybe try it in the sims once or twice too?" Back to Isolde, "Yes, last time I brought the idea of an offensive to Mace, he very kindly and obliquely told me to teach my grandmother to suck eggs." And then he blinks at Aubrey, opening his mouth and closing it, then smiling faintly, "You're just saying that because you know I don't mind paperwork."
Roara brings her things up in both hands, jutting out a hip as she pushes up out of her seat. "I don't think you're smarter than me," she offers to Van in would-be consolation, cocking her head back and forth on her neck. "Was gonna hit the gym, but I'll see about that footage before I do."
"Yes." Isolde laughs at Banshee and Van, agreeing with Van's objection. Then she giggles. "Well, I'm sure you could probably teach your grandmother that, if you thought it was an important skill." She then looks over to Roara as she gets up, and she nods slightly. "My guess is that we're gonna need to do a lot more studying this time around. We're in a totally different situation than Canceron." In various ways.
"That too," Aubrey responds to Van with a grin. "And I hate paperwork. With the fiery passion of a thousand burning heavy raiders," she quips. She sobers at Isolde's words and nods. "Much different. This is more of an occupation."
Speaking of footage, Tucker is just returning to the ready room with the data drives from his Raptor downloaded and ready to be uploaded into the sims and viewer. "Hey." greets the Sagittaran as he smirks. "It's only our point of view, but it's something. Sorry it took a while, wanted to talk to Sweetheart for a moment, she had a couple of moments that were good and wanted to point them out to her."
Van points across to Roara at her 'reassurance,' "There we go. I didn't need that ego boost anyway." He chuckles a little, shaking his head in amusement. As Roara stands, Van shifts in his seat, but doesn't stand himself. When Tucker comes in with the tapes, he gestures to Roara, "Might be good to start there, take a look at the sweet maneuver I was telling you about?" He shrugs a little helplessly at Isolde's teasing, the giggles broadening his smile to something approaching a real grin, and he nods, "Yes, Banshee, I'll write up the proposal once we have something firm, and put all of our names on it. But yes, over real occupied territory, areas that the toasters have dug in, there's a lot more danger. Plus... and I know this shouldn't matter... but I know those people down there."
"Take a look at you almost getting your ass shot off by friendly fire? Is that what we're talking about?" Roara arches an eyebrow, cocking up the corner of her mouth at the same time. Smirk. "I gotta get out of this room before I spend the whole day here," she nudges her chin in Tucker's direction, "Let me get a look at those before they get lost somewhere?" In the vague future times, perhaps. Roara swings her hips just for a step, putting more distance between herself and the front row of chairs. "Good hunting," she says dryly to the room.
"Yes, I got a good view of the Vanal Manuveur in there." And that's what Tucker's calling it as he moves to load the drive into the computer for easier consumption on monitors, the sim, or the VR goggles. "Priya got her first kill, from the looks of it."
Isolde just shakes her head from her slumped down seat. She looks up as Tucker enters, and she nudges Van with her elbow. "See? Flats delivers." She grins at the Raptor pilot. "Hey, heard you and Sweet pulled a good maneuver yesterday. I definitely wanna check that out." She then starts to pull herself upright so she doesn't look like the seat is about to eat her. She waves to Roara as the woman makes her leave. "See you later, Hammerhead! Be kind to the punching bags!" Then she looks back up to Tucker. "Is that what you're calling it? Sounds like something Mikolas would say." She smiles at the news of Priya getting her first kill. "Gotta congratulate her later then."
"Oh, that? She was getting frustrated with she didn't seem to be having an effect with the ECMs, so I dropped her into the fight so she could get a good look at what she was doing when she chewed up that first heavy with the rear guns." Tucker offers with a shrug of his shoulders as he moves to drop into a seat, taking a cookie out of his pocket to chew on.
"Same," Aubrey says quietly to Van. Her dad, the Walkers, possibly Addison in a camp somewhere or playing 6 months of cat and mouse with the Cylons on the ground. She waves to the departing Roara. "Yeah, Sweetheart blew the frak out of that heavy."
Van nods to Roara, "Yes, yes, I almost got in Bite's way. But we got the job done. Stay safe, Hammerhead." Not exactly the 'traditional' benediction for a Viper jock, but Picon's a little under Van's skin. He rocks a little at Isolde's nudge, and then shakes his head, "Are you saying that I don't deliver?" Looking back to Tucker, he raises a brow a little, "You're naming your maneuvers now? I think it should be called a Raptor and Jam Sandwich, myself."
"So what is the Venal Maneuver then?" Isolde grins at Tucker. Then she rubs at the back of her head slightly, ruffling up her hair while her holobands are still in place, acting like a headband with her forelocks. She smirks at Van. "Oh, are we talking about your move? If so, then yes... definitely a Raptor and Jam Sandwich." She looks almost delighted by this, and is finding some solace in the joy of just shooting the shit as it were, considering how tired everyone in the Ready Room looks.
"Van sticking his ass up in the air for a Heavy to ride. That's a Vanal." Tucker deadpans and snorts. "Except Priya wasn't jamming, she lit up that Heavy's cockpit with glee." he explains as he continues to chew on his cookie.
Aubrey glances at the clock and sighs. "I have package delivery duty to get to. I'll come look at the tapes after," she promises. "Maybe we can all meet and work on that tactical proposal soon." She gathers her manual and pats Tucker's shoulder on the way past. "I think Sweetheart missed her calling as a Viper jock," she chuckles on the way out.
Van shakes his head at Isolde, "No, no." He points to Tucker, "His move. Put his Raptor right in between two Heavy Raiders so that both he and Sweetheart could get shots. I just added the 'Jam' because a Raptor Sandwich sounded a little dry." Smiling faintly, he adds, "I was a little busy, but I'm pretty certain that she cored her target." And then he winces as Tucker explains, "Ow. Ouch. I might need to see Doctor Cadmus for that burn." Still, he chuckles faintly, giving a little wave to Aubrey, "Stay safe, Banshee. And yes, I'll put something together and we can test it out."
Isolde waves after Aubrey as she leaves, and she looks over toward Tucker with a giggle. She holds up her hands at both pilots. "Alright, alright. See, I don't do any maneuvers, so I'm spared of getting anything I do named." She then looks over toward Tucker, tilting her head. "How are you doing, Flats? Getting enough rack time?" Which is something everyone is trying to achieve. Based on how tired Van and Isolde look, they definitely haven't clocked enough hours in that department.
Tucker looks tired, as he gives a shrug to the answer. "Catching Cate when I can, but we've been on different shifts, so getting plenty of sleep." he offers with a thoughtful glance to his hands. "Used to dealing with occupations.." After all, isn't that what Sagittarian is, except for the little 'free zone'? "..but know that I'm useless without rest, which is something you'd do well to remember."
Van looks over to Tucker as well at Isolde's question, nodding a bit of commiseration at being on different shifts. The rest, however, Van shrugs a little, "I don't know. The Toasters don't seem to exactly do 'occupations' like humans do. We, at least, don't flat-out massacre one another." Which may be an overly rosy view from a Picon who has really only seen the other colonies from several hundred feet up most of the time. "We'll get some sleep. We wanted to get a little more training in," he gestures to the holobands that Isolde has gathered up, "And then there's flight footage to go over. Then food and sleep, I think." If there isn't another alert.
"You need to add an appropriate finger-wagging, Dad." Isolde grins to Tucker, but she does offer a small nod of appreciate for the advice. The glance from Van at the mention of the off-shifts causes her to smile a bit, and she offers a small nudge to his shoulder before she looks back up to Tucker. "Thanks for the footage, Flats." She starts to pull herself up to her feet. "I should probably ask Mace if he thinks I'll re-qual when we get back to Scorpia." And in her tone, there's no doubt that they will be heading back. Confident, this one. "But... food sounds good. And sleep. Maybe before the flight footage." See, she has priorities.
"Yeah.." Tucker says with a smirk. "Make sure you find time to practice when you're not.. sleeping. And talk to Whisper. It helps that the new CAG is a Raptor driver." he comments as he rises to his feet to depart as well. "Anyway, I'll... finger wag when I'm more awake." he murmurs, before he moves to head out. "And don't be too hard on Bite, she didn't know Van was gonna jump in front of the Raider - hell, if I hadn't juked at the last moment, it might have been Sweetheart lighting you up."
Van snorts softly at Tucker's smirking words, although he nods his agreement with Isolde's thanks. "Food and footage, then sleep?" He proposes to the ECO, then looks back to Tucker, "Oh, I don't have a problem with Bite, and I'm going to be sure to let her know when I see her. I was danger-close, and that Heavy Raider needed to go down, and go down hard."
"Oh yeah. Whisper and I have already flown together. She's a good teacher, but also kind of just let me do what I needed to do." Isolde seems pleased by this. Then she breathes out a breath, and offers a nod to Van. "Alright, fine. Food, footage, then sleep." She grins to Tucker and then shakes her head with a snort. "I told Bite she can blow up Van if he's getting on her nerves." She smiles to Van as she gives him a nudge. "Cm'on. Just don't let me have any coffee. Then I'll never sleep."
"I'll see you two later." Tucker offers, throwing a wave over his shoulder as he goes to head off to get a shower and then sleep and hope to catch his girlfriend somewhere in the in-between.