2237-06-14 - Loosen Up

Astraea and Kell talk missions after flying one.

Date: 2237-06-14

Location: Head, Vanguard

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1134

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The first stop after a mission for just about any pilot is the head. Provided their bird comes back intact. The mess hall is usually stop number two, but the showers are a first stop after grabbing fresh threads from the berthings.

Thankfully it wasn’t a full flight and the showers nearest the Timber Wolves bunk hall isn’t crowded as Astraea trips her way through the hatch- almost literally. Her boot just barely catches on the lip and she stumbles a few steps before catching herself. The woman swears in Scorpian for a good few seconds before throwing her things down on a nearby bench. Towel, fresh set of sweats, and dopp kit. Her flight suit is already tied off at the waist and rather than beeline straight for a shower stall, she angles for a spare spot on aforementioned bench to start removing the slapdash job she did of twisting back her hair for her helmet. Already -- from the cramped, humid space -- the dark locks are forming an unruly halo around her head.

For how tired she must be, the jig is grinning. But then, her first dogfight with her new wing and she got herself a mark on the Kill Board.

Since post flight procedures for Raptors is a lot lengthier and tedious compared to Vipers, Kell is already in the head cooling off. He has already claimed one of the showers and is standing under the running water, letting it splash on his face as it is tilted up. It’s much easier for Viper jocks after they land as they usually just let the deckies handle the post-flight check, Razor is no different in that bad habit. When he hears someone else, he pulls himself from his thoughts and takes a quick look to see who it is. As Astraea makes her way to the bench, Kell catches a glimpse of who it is and calls out, “Nova! Good mission today, you messed up those two Raiders real quick with those missiles.” Then he’s back under the water and actually begins to wash instead of just soaking under the spray of water.

There’s a glance up from her work. Usually, it takes Astraea much longer to get her hair undone. But then, she usually leaves it in whatever twists or braids for a few days at a time. These? No way. That’s a recipe for disaster. She’ll take them down, put on a shower cap, and put them in something proper while watching a Pyramid recording in the lounge later. There’s a grin for the Viper stick as he calls out the praise. “Couldn’t leave ya hangin’ when y’were so kindly handlin’ th’bogey on ma ass, Razor.”

She finishes her work and pulls a cap out of her dopp kit, leaning forward to shove the mass of hair up into it, pinning the fabric into place at the nape of her neck. The flight suit is tugged off the rest of the way, clothing underneath following suit and the whole lot left in a pile by the bench. She wraps her towel underneath her arms before hiking her way over to a nearby shower stall, leaving the cloth on a hook just outside. The woman is not so brave to stand beneath the water once the turns on the knob. Nope. She presses herself to the side wall as she waits for it to warm up.

“Whaddya think they were listenin’ fer out there?”

“It’s how it’s done here and how I was trained back in Flight School on Libran. Was told that unless you receive a direct order from your superior to engage a particular target, the priority as a Viper is to protect your wingman, protect the Raptors, and protect yourself. I wasn’t kidding when I said earlier in the Ready Room that we cover for each other out here.” Kell says after he rinses out the shampoo in his hair and body wash as well. Now another brief soak to relax his muscles after that mission.

As for Astraea’s question, Razor says, “My best guess would be ship movements. From the operations packet that we received on Picon, it’s a cat and mouse game out here in space. We got the jump on them when our recon in force discovered one of their capital ships in an asteroid field. Picon navy emphasized just how big the stakes are when they jumped in not one but two destroyers right into the asteroid field to take out the Cylon ship. A slight miscalculation and one destroyer would’ve been gone in a blink of an eye, very courageous on their part.” There is a pause as he shuts off the water and grabs his towel to dry off, “I bet that dish was to try to give them more intel on our movements and Picon Navy’s movements. If it picked up something, their Heavy Raiders would probably drop in and deliver their nuclear payload.”

“What about Banshee an’ Socks? They had bogeys on ‘em also? Tho Whisper didn’t assign us any wingmen, so I s’ppose… Wolves don’t have any official wingmen, do ya? Raptors don’t. We support th’ whole flight whenever we’re out there, so it ain’t somethin’ I’ve ever paid thought ta.” Astraea is straight for standing under the hot water to let it start working out the tension that any dogfight puts into the muscles across one’s neck and shoulders. She lets out a long sigh as they unkink. Nothing can beat a massage, but considering she won’t see one of those unless she buys one next leave… This is the best she’ll get.

“Either way, I appreciate it.”

The woman is quiet for a bit as he gives his thoughts, going into washing up. “Ain’t it a weird spot, though? That gas giant was frakkin’ wit’ my sensors as it was. I’m no expert, but it just seems off. Somethin’ just feels wrong ‘bout it.”

After drying himself off, Kell ties the towel off around his hips as he walks out with his own showering kit, heading to the bench and the locker he temporarily commandeered for use. “We only had three Vipers for this mission so I guess there was no wingman assignments. Usually we do have wingman but nothing official. I usually fly on Lieutenant Newton’s wing if he’s available, so we cover each other. If Banshee or Socks was in a bad situation and sing out, I would definitely go assist but it looks like they had their own bogeys handled.” As for the appreciation, Razor would wave it off if she could see it, “Anytime Nova, it’s what we’re here for.”

“So y’were th’odd man out an’got stuck with th’new girl,” Astraea offers in a bit of a sing-song voice. Moreso than her usual, at least. Teasing the Ensign a bit, it’d seem. She finishes up in her shower, spending a bit of extra time rinsing off and savoring the hot water. You don’t get many pleasures during war, so you appreciate the small things. Like a hot shower with decent water pressure and she lucked out in choosing one of the stalls with such. But the Vanguard is a new enough ship that the showers haven’t been frakked up too much yet. Once she switched off the water and grabs her own towel, Nova ties it off under an arm and steps out, padding across the deck to her kit, hauling the small bag over to one of the sinks. Thankfully, thanks to the shower cap, she has less to worry about.

“Gonna take time ta get used to not bein’ given shit all th’time by th’ jocks, if I’m bein’ honest.”

Shaking his head, Kell answers, “Nah, there was no wingman pairing on this mission. I think we all were assigned our own vectors to recon for that blip on civilian DRADIS.” Not exactly recognizing the teasing as his response is more serious. Opening his locker, the Viper jock removes the towel from his hips and begins to dress, his duty blues are waiting for him. It looks like he prefers that outfit than the off-duty brown tank top of grey short. As he begins to slowly button up the duty blues, he glances to the side at Astraea who finished her shower, “Well, we’re all in this together and up here, life can be snuffed out in a second. I doubt anyone is willing to increase the odds of that happening by rocking the boat.”

“Is it jes’ how they grow ya where yer from or was it a class in Academy that did it?” Astraea asks this as she glances up in the mirror, using the reflection to look back at Kell as he dresses. There’s not much of a ‘beauty routine’ that a military woman can have, but she sticks to the basics. Mostly pertaining to face wash and a moisturizer. Neither take long and she’s soon moving from the sink back to the bench nearby the Libran plot and his locker of choice. She’s not even going for off-duty BDUs. She’s got standard issue sweats, which likely means she’s going straight to the gym after getting a post-mission snack. The towel is dropped and she grabs for her clothes to start dressing as she waits for his answer.

That question has Kell puzzled as he isn't sure what Astraea is asking about, perhaps not noticing or realizing the particular way he speaks and the way he chooses to dress is actually a bit different than most. It is certainly quite a bit more particular, some may even call it uptight. "A class in the Academy? What do you mean?" Some may even see it as amusing with how oblivious the Libran is with his behavior as he meticulously finishes the final top two buttons before his fingers smooths out the blue, stiff collar on both ends. The entire time, his eyes are on the mirror a quick side glance to the Scorpian when she asked her question.

“C’mon, Razor…” Astraea looks almost defeated for a moment as she tugs on a sports bra, looking up at the ceiling with a sigh. “Jokes, y’know? Like, frakkin’ around wit’ yer fellow pilots an’ all. Shit, it’s like, part of what we do.” One of the ways they let off steam and all. She grabs at a pair of shorts, tugging them on and following with a loose pair of sweatpants. Probably smart she not go around the ship in short-shorts. The shower cap is removed and tossed atop her towel. “I mean, bein’ serious on a mission is one thing an’ all, but do ya ever just… relax? Have a little fun an’ all?”

Grabbing the medium sized sack that looks like it's made from plastic woven fibers, Kell adds his towel into the dirty laundry which already included his flight suit and personal wear. Closing the locker, he looks at Astraea and realizes what she is talking about rather quickly, it isn't the first type he had this kind of conversation with someone. "I guess it's what I'm used to since I was a kid. Harder for me to relax when we're on this ship, on the front lines. Like you said earlier, need to prove myself. Already made some critical mistakes back on Canceron, that can't happen here over Picon."

“Y’know…” Astraea tugs on a fitted gray t-shirt, smoothing it into place over her hips. She plunks herself down on the bench to pull on socks and start lacing up sneakers. There’s a glance up for Kell before she looks down to the work. “Used to work wit’ some pretty fiddly shit back home m’self. Sorta things that could kill ya iff’n it went wrong. An’ I found that relaxin’ was pretty important. Mebbe not in th’ thick of it, naw, but after th’ job was done. ‘Cause the more tense I got, th’ more prone ta mistakes I was, y’know? Always worryin’ ‘bout th’ next job. Always worryin’ iff’n I was gonna make a mistake on th’ next gig.” She finishes the knots and gets to her feet, gathering up her laundry and kit.

“I dunno what mistakes y’made, Razor, but there weren’t any I saw out there t’day. Ya deserve some downtime an’ I think ya ought ta try takin’ some before ya get so wound up that yer too tense.”

What Nova is sharing with him is certainly sound advice, something that Kell has been considering and thinking over again as it is brought up. "Yeah, I know that I need to relax a bit more, unwind and stuff. Just doesn't seem like there is enough time in a day, between trying to catch up on experience and combat knowledge compared to the other more veteran pilots, and working on integrating into such a diverse unit, not much time to relax. Too bad I didn't get more free time back when we were over Scorpia before we jumped to Picon." As for what mistake he made, there is an amused smirk that appears on his lips, "I'm sure you'll find out soon enough through scuttlebutt, if not I'll let you know what it is one day. But you're right, we did good today. Real good."

“Pretty sure that’s why so many folks turn t’frakkin’,” Astraea points out with a snort. “Quick, easy, an’ ya just roll over an’ sleep after.” She wraps up her laundry in her towel, making knots of the corners to carry it all after. No fancy laundry bag for her. All in all, she came aboard with very few belongings. No music player, no personal holo band. Very little beyond the stuff issued by the fleet and personal care items, in fact. “But I think ya oughta find time fer it. Be a shame iff’n ya made a mistake ‘cause ya were too busy tryin’ not ta make mistakes, Razor.”

She slings the bundle over one shoulder, picking up her dopp kit to dangle from her fingers. There’s a tilt of her head as she regards the Viper pilot. “We’ll do more good, ‘m sure. You an’ I ain’t gonna catch up wit’ th’ veterans right away. They got years. We gotta take it as it comes. CAG’s gonna notice if we’re rushin’ it.”

Hearing that, Kell can't help but laugh lightly, shaking his head, "That is true from what I have heard. But that introduces a share of other problems, I've heard a couple of Marines having a really tough time settling their personnel issues on board. Think it involves some sort of triangle, a guy, new girlfriend, old girlfriend. Lots of yelling and screaming and crying from what I have heard." There is a slight shake of his head, the fratting rules back on Libran making perfect sense to the Viper pilot now, "Definitely can't have that hanging over our head when we fly at the speeds we do." As for rushing it, Kell nods his head in agreement, "You're right, we shouldn't be rushing. But I don't feel like I'm rushing at all, I feel like moving hip deep through slog."

“Well, lucky me. No old flames on board that I know of-” Astraea pauses, tapping the bag against her leg. “Then ‘gain, no new ones either.” She flashes a grin in Kell’s direction. “I’d say that’s that Marine’s problem. Mebbe he shoulda settled things with the ex ‘fore he moved on, yeh? Relationships’re th’ issue. Ain’t no problem wit’ a good roll every now’n then, but when ya start mixin’ feelin’s up, then ya got issues.” She shrugs, turning towards the hatch. Best she toss her laundry in before heading to the Mess for that snack, after all.

“I dunno. Ya got nabbed fer a mission special wit’ th’CAG, didn’t ya? I’d say that means yer doin’ alright.”

Nodding his head understandingly and in agreement, Kell says, "True enough, though I have a feeling for some it's harder to separate the feelings when getting involved." He is heading for the hatch as well, following Astraea out, "I don't think we were picked because we were special, Nova." Razor says with another amused smile, "I get the feeling the CAG got that new piece of intel and just went to see who's free." When the Raptor pilot looks to be heading in the direction of the Laundry Room, Kell says, "I'm gonna head back to the berthings and drop this off."

“An’ here I couldn’t imagine wantin’ ta get feelin’s involved. Too complicated, y’know?” Astraea just scoffs a bit, shaking her head. Some of the loose curls bounce around her features as she does. “But then, war’s part of Scorpian life. Shit ain’t new ta us.” He mentions heading to the berthings and she just lifts her chin in an upnod of acknowledgement. “I’ll see ya in the mess. Might even leave some cake if ya ain’t too slow.”

As if he won’t beat her there. Takes time to get the washing machines working right.


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