Kell, Aubrey, and Astrea go over some Viper-cam footage to try and figure out how to efficiently take down heavy raiders before the CAG comes in with a mission for them.
Location: Ready Room -- Vanguard
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1133
There is already an occupant in the Ready Room, Kell taking advantage of the room being unused which is a lot rarer ever since they arrived in Picon. The Picon Theater is much more active, which isn't a surprise with how heavily contested the colony is. Instead of having gun camera footage or mission video on the big screen, the Viper pilot is sitting in one of the desks, the video playing on a personal screen. Earbuds are in his ear and hooked up to the terminal at his desk, and he is indeed watching flight footage. From time to time, he would pause the video, switch angles, go slo-mo. It's rather quiet though, except the occasional scritching of the Ensign jotting some notes down.
Aubrey makes her way into the Ready Room, with a copy of her flight recording from the last fight in hand. She spots Kell and moves to the front. "Ok if I pop this in on the big screen? Trying to get an idea of where my shots were bouncing off that heavy raider." She mutters.
There's no simulators on the Vanguard. Or on any ship, really. There's holobands. And where do you get those? The Ready Room. Astraea is in BDUs and dual-tanks, looking a bit tired, but in that 'just woke up' sort of way. Something further exemplified by the fact that she's holding a thermos in one hand, sipping as she makes her way through the hatch. A binder is tucked up under her arm as she goes, but comes to a stop as she spots the room already occupied. There's a glance towards the screen, but she instead starts off towards the shelves where the bands are kept. There's just a nod for the other two; not recognizing the Viper jocks, but keeping it polite for the moment. She tosses the binder down on a desk as she goes by, but retains a tight hold on the precious coffee. Her hair is still a mass of curls around her features, partially obscuring them.
When Aubrey walks in, Kell hits the pause button on his video and looks up. After removing the earbuds from his ears, there is a nod of his head, "Go for it, Leftenant." At the mention of the Heavy Raider though, he does ask, "Is that the mission when we intercepted that Cylon strike force that was heading to Langsnar? I'm reviewing the tapes for that as well, the Heavies were easy to hit but their armor was a major problem." Razor's attention then shifts with the second arrival, eyes moving to where the identification is on Astraea's BDUs, "Hello Leftenant." A simple greeting is issued for a pilot he has yet to meet yet. Kell is in his duty blues, the standard for him as he usually forgoes the casual attire.
Aubrey looks over as Astraea enters and flashes the woman a thousand watt smile. "A face I don't recognize. New to the Wolves?" she asks. "I'm Aubrey, or Banshee, whatever you prefer. This is Razor," she gestures to Kell. She nods at his question. "Yeah. That one that just refused to die. I was on it the entire fight, so we can get a good look at what damage we did do."
Picking up one of the holo bands, Astraea lets it dangle from her fingers with a faint look of trepidation across her features. There's a slight wrinkle of her nose, but the woman looks over at the others. There's a long stare for Kell at his particular vernacular, but it's Aubrey that finally draws her attention. She returns the woman's smile, but doesn't respond immediately. There's another sip of the coffee before she does say anything. "New, yeah. Came aboard just before y'all -- we -- shipped out from Scorpia." Which means she's been aboard for a few days, but keeping a low profile. "Nova. Raptor pilot." She moves towards the desk she tossed her binder on, setting the band carefully atop it. "I hear those, ah... heavies been givin' y'all a hard time."
It's obvious that Kell is the more subdued one compared to Aubrey as the latter is the one that intiates actual introductions and a question instead of offering a simple hello. When his callsign is introduced, the Ensign inclines his head again as he studies the semi-new Raptor pilot. When the subject shifts back to the Heavy Raider though, that is when Razor speaks up, "Yeah, right now it looks like only the anti-ship missiles loaded on Raptors are the only reliable way to taking them down. I had three passes on the flying tanks where its armor was able to shrug off my autocannon rounds." That was what he was reviewing before the other two pilots arrived.
"They really have been a pain in the ass. The armor is tough to get through. We need to either start specifically targeting weaker points, which might mean missing more shots, or we need to cover raptors while they unload their missiles on them to shred the armor before we go in with KEWs," Aubrey explains. She moves to pop the flight recording into the device for the big screen and powers it up before plopping down into a front row seat.
"I noticed th'Raptors on board have them talons or a two-by-two missile load out," Astraea says, reaching out for her binder. She glances up to the screen as Aubrey loads up the guncam footage. She carefully -- very, very carefully -- moves the holoband to the edge of the desk as she opens the binder. The woman slides into the seat, flipping through a few pages. "I was plannin' ta largely request tha talons due ta volume, so to ensure some form a offensive capabilities fer the whole mission, but..." She worries at her lower lip as she leans over the binder, wrapping her hands around her coffee. There's a look up to the screen, then back down. "How often y'all seein' these heavies out there anyhow?"
With the mission video on the main screen now, Kell begins closing down his terminal so he is able to focus more on what all three pilots will be looking at. "So far, I've flown two missions where we ran into Raider activity. One was to intercept their strike force that was heading to Langsnar, the second was a recon in force mission. So one out of two I guess, since we just jumped in-system not too long ago. But with how strong of a presence here, I have a feeling we'll be seeing more and more of them. The operations docket for Picon painted a pretty grim picture."
"A lot more lately. Picon is more of an occupation than Canceron had, so they're doing more bombing runs on the population centers," Aubrey explains to Astraea with a grimace. That's her home down there, being blown to bits by the machines. She grimaces at the footage. "We can't get through the armor on the body without missile strikes I don't think. Not in any kind of timely fashion at least. But the canopy might be more vulnerable."
"Canopy's a damn small target," Astraea points out, tapping fingers absently against her mug. "Talons an' y'all's cannon's already just bounce off shit an' then tryin' t'hit that?" She lets out a long breath. "But then sendin' us Raptors out there with just four missiles... Worries me, y'know? I miss with two of 'em an' that's..." She makes a face, looking away from the screen and down at her binder. "S'all frakked." In comparison to Kell's very precise way of speaking, she's nearly speaking with marbles in her mouth. Someone up from the streets. How she ever paid for college, let alone things like flight school... Who knows. "Talons help me help y'all, yeh? But if there's gonna be them heavies out there." She slouches back in the chair, sinking down into it... which just makes the small pilot all the smaller as she lifts her coffee, taking a long drink as she looks up to the big screen at the front of the room again.
There is a nod of agreement from Kell on Aubrey's assessment, "I think it was Ensign Tarsis control the rear turret that brought down one of the Heavies with a well placed burst into the canopy, I believe. Problem is, at the speeds we're flying, it's almost impossible to hit the cockpit section at will." A quick glance to Astraea and Razor is nodding in agreement as his words matches up with hers, "Yeah, reviewing the gun camera footage from my Viper, a lot of my rounds either didn't penetrate the armor plating or it glances off at a bad angle." The limited number of ship-killers is also a gamble as the Raptor pilots mentions, "The only thing I can think of is to take more time getting a good firing solution on the missile before letting it go, but that would also leave you in the open without cover like Banshee mentioned." He slips into the usage of callsigns as the conversation flows more smoothly and Kell is more into the discussion, the formalities usage slipping.
"We don't have much trouble hitting our targets," Aubrey notes with a lopsided smile. "Just the penetration has been an issue. The heavies are less maneuverable than the lights, which makes hitting them a bit easier. Milkman is working on a write up about methods for taking out the heavies, and a bunch of us are helping with it." She pauses and rewinds the footage with the remote, starting it up again. "You should both let him know your thoughts too. I think covering the Raptors while they thin down the armor with missiles and then doing some mopping up might be our best option right now."
"An' here I thought y'all couldn't give two shits 'bout us bus drivers," Astraea notes with a sort of lopsided smile. "Way I always heard it in Academy, us lot weren't good for nothin' but haulin' cargo." She flips a few pages in the binder, glancing up to the front screen again. "But also keepin' other Raptor pilots from blowin' their load is a pain in th' ass, from what I saw in my prior postin'. Heat of battle an' all. Shame we can't collect a downed heavy to poke at for findin' weak spots. There's gotta be somethin' on its... undercarriage or somethin'. Whole thing can't be that armored."
Kell is surprised that Van didn't come find him for input about the write-up, but then again, he had just finished drafting a rather technical and verbose procedure proposal to the brass so it wouldn't be surprised if the senior Viper pilot felt the rookie needed to rest his brain. "I'll definitely seek out the Lieutenant and offer input if he wishes." As for the myth about how Viper jocks feel about their Raptor drivers, Razor shakes his head, "We can definitely sense the difference when we have Raptor support in a furball and when we don't. Not only do you guys bring the heavy artillery but the ECOs definitely up our survival rate. When the Raiders miss me by a mile, I can tell it's because they are being jammed."
"Plus the Timberwolves CAG is a Raptor pilot," Aubrey adds to Kell's words with a smile. "So I think she'll have a good perspective on how to reign in any load blowing," she chuckles, because PHRASING!
"That's a damn sight different from my last post," Astraea admits, propping her elbow up on the desk she's sat at. She rests her chin in her hand, looking away from the screen to regard the other two. The corners of her lips twist upward a bit. "We were fer recon an' playin' bus driver, more or less. I think th' jocks saw us as a burden in combat more'n anythin'. They'd leave us hangin' if there was a dog fight. Zippin' off an' all around without so much as a thanks iff'n we saved their ass with a well-placed missile or a jammed system. Nice t'hear y'all know what we got ta offer." She lifts her coffee for another sip, glancing to the holoband. Once she's set the mug down, she reaches out and picks it up carefully. "I can't believe they trust us with these things. What if we break 'em?"
Of course, Kell's opinion about Raptor pilots is because he isn't exactly the type of pilot that is more bravado and ego, instead he appears to be the more practical type who understands that he is less experienced than most of the other pilots assigned to the Timberwolves. "What was your last posting, if you don't mind me asking, Nova? It was... similar with my previous assigment before I was transferred to the Colonial Forces. But then again, we never went up against any Cylons on Libran. Just a lot of practice and patrols, so the true potential of Raptors in combat was never realized. Only on paper." But ever since Kell has been thrusted into actual combat, he realizes just fragile life can be in space.
"We come back with our birds in pieces a lot of the time. Pretty sure replacing a broken holoband isn't a big worry for the brass," Aubrey quips with a grin. She pauses the reply to listen to what Astraea has to say about where she was posted.
Thankfully, Kell shares his own non-combative prior posting, so the initial tension that starts in Astraea's mien fades away. She sets the holoband back down. "That things costs more'n my ma's whole house," she says of it finally. It might, might not. In her mind, however, it probably does. "Just 'bout the same really on Scorpia until I was transferred here. Or bein' tossed out to sit 'round listenin' posts for any sign of shady behavior from th' Cylons. Stuff like that." She looks up to the screen, squinting. "Th' past few days is th' most action I've seen. Wanna make sure I prove myself worthy of this assignment, y'know?"
There is a slight smile of amusement that threatens to reveal himself on Kell's lips when he hears Aubrey mention their birds being less than pristine when returning from missions, "When I transferred in, I was told we were Special Forces, so I take it that we are higher up on the priority list when getting replacement parts. Holoband included I'm sure." His gaze then returns to Astraea as the other Ensign speaks about her previous posting and then how she wishes to prove herself, those words an echo of his own thoughts when he first arrived on the Vanguard, "Just trust your training, Nova, and don't over-extend and you will do fine." What is this, a rookie giving another rookie advise?
Stirling comes into the ready room, scouting around for pilots to rustle up. Of course there are the pilots on alert and CAP, but for whatever reason the CAG is trolling for others.
"If you weren't worthy, you wouldn't have been called up to the Wolves," Aubrey points on with a smile. She gets up and pops the recording back out of the machine, stuffing it into the pocket of her off-duty jacket. She snaps to attention when Stirling comes in. "Sir!"
Slouching at one of the desks, Astraea looks practically like a child. She's already a fairly small thing and it just makes her smaller. The Raptor pilot has a binder in front of her, a coffee thermos, and a holo band, but she's dividing her attention between the binder and the other two pilots. "S'just a big leap, yeh? Goin' from where I was ta postin' like this." She shakes her head a little, but then the CAG comes walking in and it doesn't take much of a deduction from Aubrey's response for the Scorpian to stumble out of her seat and into a semblance of attention herself. "Sir," she follows, straightening in her BDUs-and-tanks. Someone was doing some mid-shift studying, apparently.
The conversation stops when Stirling enters and Kell, like Aubrey, rises from his desk and stands to attention, more out of habit than something that is purposefully done for this particular CAG. "Sir." The simple greeting is mirrorwed as well. At the moment, Razor is in his duty blues, not in his flightsuit since he isn't scheduled for CAP or Alert-Five anytime soon. A sign that his schedule is open.
Stirling nods to acknowledge their 'sirs'. Then she makes a little lasso type motion with her hand. "You three suit up. Got a job for you. The birds are being fueled. I'll brief you on the hangar deck." She doesn't stay for questions, but ducks back out into the hallway.
Aubrey can barely contain her glee. She is happiest when she's doing one of two things. No not THAT pervs. Surfing and flying. She salutes and then hustles out to get suited up.
There's a look of surprise at Stirling's quick note for them to suit up and Astraea just sort of fumbles for her things. Binder, coffee mug, and the holoband. Well, the latter isn't hers. That, she quickly returns to where it belongs. The jig then hits the deck to return to the berthings to put her things away and get into a flight suit. Likely only steps behind or alongside Kell and Aubrey in getting to the flight deck and her assigned -- for the day -- Raptor for further instructions.
When Stirling lets the trio of pilots already in the Ready Room know that there is a job coming up and for them to suit up, Kell, who is one of the trio, nods his head and quickly collects his notes after making sure his terminal is shut down. "Yes sir, will be suited and on the hangar deck on the double." With that, he heads towards the exit, giving Salvae nod of his head in greeting before stepping out of the hatch to head to the Berthings so he can get changed.