A handful of pilots meet in the Mess.
Location: Mess Hall, Vanguard
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1139
It's just on evening meal time, and like clockwork, people are appearing from all over the ship. Having just come off CAP, Alain's hair is still wet from a shower, his clothes -- fatigues and a tank top -- crisp and pressed as well as any uniform might be expected. He moves into line, joining a couple of other pilots. "I swear, that asteroid looked just the same as a raider on DRADIS. Back me up?" The other LT shakes his head. "Sorry, Jigger, you're on your own on this one." Making a noise like he's disappointed, Alain dumps a little of everything onto his plate, then hunts for a seat away from the others as if in protest, claiming an empty table.
Unlike some of the other pilots coming off-duty, Astraea wasn't on CAP. She was sitting Alert. Which meant hanging out in the small room off the Hangar, zipped up in a flight suit, keeping occupied on the off-chance that shit hit the fan and she got called to action. Action, however, never came and the Raptor stick is now slouching her way into the Mess Hall once shift change is finally in place. She's not fully changed out of her flight suit, but it has been peeled back to her waist and tied off, revealing the dual-tanks beneath. Her hair is still neatly braided and secured down, but the woman is without the usual sketchbook. Instead, she just has her binder tucked beneath an arm. She ends up in the chow line in the midst of a few marines jockeying for position, rolling her eyes as they fight over who gets to be first. Grabbing her tray, she just leans for a look at what's on offer, waiting her turn.
Stepping in from the outside, Paquette looks like he's been working out, and then gotten a shower as well. Pausing a few moments as he enters, he moves to get hold of one of the trays as well. He glances around at the people present, and then over towards the food. "Anything good today?"
The prospect of food sounds like heaven after his trip and transfer. Thankfully, Bami's also off-duty, and the lack of uniform says the same. He rubs at the back of his neck while scanning over the lot of new faces, and after letting out a tired sigh rolls up his sleeves. A few more seconds of hesitation come until he grabs one of the trays, and makes his way to the line. Paquette's query earns an askance glance, a slow shrug, and a tired smile. "Anything that'll fill my stomach counts as good right now."
Most of Alain's plate seems to lean towards vegetables, though there's a smattering of meat in there, too. Mostly, while he's chewing slowly at his table, he's people watching, eyeing the marines jockeying in the line with an oddly rueful expression, brief as it is.
"I think th'general rule is ta just slather anythin' yer uncertain about in gravy," Astraea offers to both Paquette and Bami, glancing over her shoulders to the two officers in line behind her. The jig starts loading up her own tray with a variety of things. A bit light on the vegetables, but a few greens still make it on her plate. She's a bit more keen on proteins and fruits, but she takes that gravy advice to heart for some of the items herself. A few rolls make it on the stack, followed by a slice of cake. The woman peels away for the drink cart and rather than the classic of coffee, she spends a moment making herself some tea. The marines, thankfully, seem happy to all go off and occupy their own corner, breaking out a deck of triad cards to play a few rounds while they eat. They're loud, but largely self-contained.
"See, this is hen I wish they would let me take over the kitchen every now and then," Paquette replies, with a brief grin. "But of course, whatever fills the stomach is a good thing too," he adds, before he fills up some of that food. "New arrival, then?" he offers to Bami.
Much of Bami's attention is paid to the food, and the answer to Paquette delayed. Eventually he catches up to the real world, and nods in response. "Yeah, I am," he says while filling up his tray with an even mix of meat and greens. "If you can make anything that'd have some kick to it I'd sign on for that in a heartbeat, and-" He stops, and offers his free hand in greeting. "Sorry, forgot my manners. I'm Bamidele."
Gaze tracking the marines as they head past his table, Alain watches them thoughtfully for a moment or two, before he resumes his food. He runs a hand through still-damp hair, as much to smooth it back into place as it dries, an apparently absent habit. After a beat, he stands, regards his plate, and the table, and then eyes coffee station, as if weighing the probability that he'll lose his plate of food, his table, or both. Apparently coffee wins out, and he's striding over towards the drinks, nodding towards Astraea as he steps in behind her. "Masters, isn't it? I've seen you on roster."
"Can tell ya soon we get leave, I'm findin' m'self a kitchen an' cookin' somethin' proper." Astraea apparently decided to juggle her tray and binder rather than risk abandoning it all at a table while retrieving her drink. It's a precarious act of balance, but she's managing so far. The petite pilot glances over her shoulder at Alain, lifting her chin in acknowledgement of the Lieutenant when he approaches. "Yeh," she answers. "Or Nova, over th' radio. Yer- ah... Jigger, yeh?" Apparently she's already heard his name. But then, he's probably one of the more common ones in Scuttle. A heaping amount of sweetener is added to her tea before the mug is added to the tray and she clears the way from the station. She'll head towards the table Alain had claimed, since it still has open seats, but her going is slow to avoid potentially spilling anything.
Paquette grins as he hears Astraea's words as well. "Just let me know where the kitchen is so I can do some cooking too," he replies. Nodding to Bami, he offers another smile. "Welcome aboard," he offers, before he adds, "I'm Mathieu Paquette, or Jukebox."
Bami mouths the offered name as he nods, and then motions off to the table free of seats while going to the drink cart. "Jukebox, huh? How'd you end up with that?" There's then a look of faux concern that washes over him as he continues the questions. "Is it music over the radio?"
"Yeah," Jigger answers Astraea, with somewhat of a wry expression, like he knows the sorts of rumors she might've heard. "Oh, yes. Nova. I think we're rostered onto CAP together mid-week." As she steps away from the station, he slides in to make his coffee -- it doesn't take him long since he takes it black and sugar-less. He glances towards Paquette and Bami, giving both a nod as he takes a sip of the hot liquid before he strides back towards his table, a beaming relief as he sees his food unmolested, slowing as he catches up with the raptor pilot. "You need a hand there?" he sounds amused, but it's a jovial kind of amusement, inclusive.
"Shit." This slips free of Astraea's lips when Jigger mentions the roster, but doesn't seem directed towards the Viper pilot at all. "I completely forgot to check the schedule." She slows on her path to the table when he offers to help and turns towards him in offer of the binder still trapped between her elbow and side. "Iff'n y'don't mind," she says with a small measure of relief. "I'll have t'mark my rotation down after I eat or I'll find myself all frakked up later. Still sorta gettin' settled after transferin' in. Ship's all sorts of diff'rent from a base, y'know?" Once she's got her tray down, Nova slides into a seat with a sigh, glancing towards Bami and Paquette as they make their introductions, then back to Alain. "Lot more CAP, for one. Though I hear it's worse 'cause of how things are on Picon."
"Music, yes. I tend to sing to myself to focus. One day, many years ago, I ended up transmitting it on the radio," Paquette replies, with a brief grin. "So nothing worse than that, thankfully." Looking over to Alain and Astraea for a few moments, then back to Bami.
Bami was going to laugh, but it's stifled with a clearing of his throat. He reaches for some water, and turns to look over seating options. He leans to Paquette, and offers, "Sounds fairly harmless, at least." He then moves over to Alain and Astraea, all smiles as he asks, "You two mind another?"
Alain's brows go upwards at Astraea's words, before a grin slips onto his features at her clarification. "For a second I thought you'd heard the rumors about me nearly mistaking an asteroid for a toaster," he faux-stage-whispers. Reaching over, he carefully slides the binder free from Astraea, holding it casually in one hand while he sips from his coffee with the other. "Lot to take in," he nods agreeably, and presumably sympathetically. "Everyone's pretty jumpy right now -- myself included," Jigger admits, wryly. "As much because a lot of folks have relatives still on Picon as the fact that we're as liable to accidentally stumble into the toasters as readily as they are into us." He strides a few steps ahead, mostly to make sure he claims the table that his food is at when it's being eyed by a group of marines. "Feel free," he invites Bami, with an expansive gesture to the table as he sets the raptor pilot's folder down on top.
"Was it a tiny asteroid?" This, Astraea inquires of Alain in return faux-stage-whisper. There's a grin for the Viper jock. "'Cause that's th' only way I can imagine makin' that mistake. She shuffles the binder beneath her tray as Bami approaches the table, nodding towards a chair as Jigger invites the ECO to join them. "It's a damn crowded planet, it seems. Been flyin' a number of evac missions an' it ain't pretty down there." She shudders, briefly, but tries to mask it by grabbing a roll off her tray to start tearing open to stuff meat into. Makeshift sandwiches being one of her meal staples.
Pausing as he steps over towards the table as well, Paquette looks to Alain. "Mistaking an asteroid for a toaster?" he asks, before he adds, "Room for yet another at the table?"
"It was exactly the size and shape of a raider." Alain wouldn't lie, nope! He even coughs and gives Paquette a wry look. "I mean, on DRADIS, all blobs in space look like blobs." He gives a nod towards a chair in invitation. "Feel free. Say, did I overhear right before, you're a cook? Anytime you want to practice cakes, I'm happy to help taste-test," Jigger says with an unrepentant grin. He takes another gulp from his mug, before setting it down and picking up his fork again, gaze flickering towards Astraea as she mentions her recent missions. "Haven't been boots on yet, myself. Don't really miss that part," the once-marine admits, with a wave of his fork.
Without another second's wait Bami sits down and sets his tray before him. "After all the sitting to get here there's been way too much standing. It feels good to sit my ass down again, and pretend that I can get comfortable." Being the new guy he's quick to offer a smile in thanks. "Appreciate it by the way. Finding my way around here's been worse than getting lost in the woods without a compass, and a lot less sunny too. About that toaster, though. Did it put up a good enough fight at least?"
"That's why y'got eyes. Check DRADIS an' then y'track it visually." Astraea tsks aloud at Alain as she finishes stuffing her roll with meat. She leans over the tray as she takes a bite, scooting up to the edge of her chair to do so. No towering thing is she to just lounge all casual-like as she eats. "Might be I could cook up some desserts once I gotta kitchen. Keep my gram's pain patate recipe 'round, but it ain't fer everyone. Mebbe some beignets fer th' wing or crepes? Those're always a hit." She adjusts her tray-and-binder stack a bit to make sure there's room at the octagonal table for Bami and Paquette as well. Picking up her tea to down it, the woman offers for both their sake: "Astraea Masters, Nova on th' radio."
"Ah, but you know, tracking stuff visually can be a bit hard when it involves asteroids," Paquette remarks as he sits down, before he shrugs a little at Alain's words, "I'm usually better at making the main courses, though..." There's a brief pause as he hears Astrae's words, before he offers a brief nod. "Mathieu Paquette, Jukebox," he offers.
Bami lets a chuckle slip out as he reaches for his water. After downing it for a few seconds he sets his cup down with a contented sigh. "This why I'm happy not to be a pilot. I think I'll stick to the small bit of stuff I already do and the guns on a ship." He lifts his cup to his lips, but before drinking is quick to note, "Bami Osanyin, and Meoteor when the time calls for it."
"Yeah, that was the thing, I couldn't see the frakker," Jigger says ruefully. Probably because it wasn't what he was looking for. "Alain Tomlinson. But most people just call me Jigger," he adds to Bami's introduction as he grins between the others. "Heck, that small bit of stuff you ECO's do has saved my bacon once or twice or undoubtedly more," he tells Bami wryly. He looks vaguely disappointed at Paquette's response on cooking, as he munches on a mouthful of vegetables. "What's your specialty, Jukebox?" presumably he means in the kitchen rather than in the air, but it's easily misinterpreted either way. He perks up a bit at Astraea's words about dessert. "That'd be something. You know, Razor just made ace. I bet he'd appreciate some tasty desserts in celebration."
"Jukebox, Meteor," Astraea repeats, pointing to each in turn with her fork. She stuffs her face with a few more bites before washing it down with tea. All the while, she listens to the virtues of piloting versus the work that ECOs do. When Alain mentions Kell's status as ace, she bobs her head with a nod. "Aye, was there when he did. Helped clear a bogey off m'ass, actually. Y'know, mebbe good iff'n I whip somethin' up fer him. Man needs t'learn how ta enjoy himself sometimes, y'know?" She purses her lips, looking thoughtful. "Might be hard t'get time in th'kitchens, though. Dunno if they'd let me-" She stares off that way, chewing on the end of her fork as she does.
Keeping a bit more silent as he hurries to eat his food, Paquette shrugs a little as he hears the question. "Various kinds of dinners, really." There's a brief pause as he looks to his clock. "Ah... I should get ready for my shift. It was nice to speak with all of you. Take care until we meet again." And with that, he gets to his feet and hurries off.
Bami, for his part, starts digging into his food without much obvious thought for etiquette or manners. As the questions go around he continues wolfing down his food, occasionally stopping to take a sip of water so he wouldn't choke on his gluttony. He does take a brief moment to stop, and notes, "Don't go thanking me just yet. I haven't seen any action out here just yet."
There's a knowing grin from Alain as Astraea speaks of Kell learning to enjoy himself. "Maybe bake some rum into whatever you make?" he suggests, with an easy grin. As for the kitchens: "Figure things are quiet between meals. Shouldn't be too hard, especially if you're willing to trade off duty chores." He's chewing when Paquette makes his departure, so he gets a wave of his fork by way of farewell. After swallowing, he grins at Bami, "It pays to make nice up front Chances are you'll end up picking me up off some mudball sooner or later on SAR duty."
There's a broader grin for Alain when he mentions rum. "Y'talk like ya know Argentum Bay. Rum, rum comes in just 'bout errtyhin' I make." Astraea glances to the kitchens again, then back to the table at large. "Y'think Razor actually drinks? He looks like th'sorta fellow t'sir 'round sippin' water while th' party's doin' shots." She grins, but picks up her tea to down a good bit. Most of her plate is gone, so she's slowing down. "Mmm, so that mean th'rumors're true, Jigger? Y'get shot down often? 'Cause I already seem t'get pulled fer SAR pretty often." There's a glance to Bami, then back to await the Viper pilot's answer.
Alain's responds gets a brief laugh out of Bami that's followed by a soft shake of his head."Don't go thanking me too much, then. Credit like that goes to the pilots. I just shoot down the badguys, and make sure the path's clear."
"Not familiar with it, but I have an appreciation for good liquor in good food," Alain replies to the raptor pilot with a grin. "Can't say as I've ever seen Razor drink, but then -- most people end up doing a lot of things they don't usually do celebrating an Ace, so who knows." He sets his fork down, pushing the plate away, as he gulps a mouthful of his coffee. "Um. Only a couple of times since I joined the wolfpack," he says, a little wryly. "Enough that it's worth staying on the good side of you two, I'd think," he says with a tip of head and brilliant grin to the pair. As for Bami's response, the viper jock leans forward, earnest: "The way those heavies seem to absorb KEW fire lately, shooting down bad guys and keeping the path clear might be the best response we have."
"I've seen them heavies in action now," Astraea admits with a shake of her head. "Makes me wish the Raptors carried more'n jes' two missiles. Ain't enough. Fly int' combat, see two of 'em, two missiles... Yer frakked if one of 'em misses... An' if ya spend a while aimin', yer jes' a sittin' duck. I know there's talk of coverin' us while we do so, but I just ain't comfortable with it. I fire 'em an' I'm jes..." She shakes her head again, pushing her tray to where Paquette had been sitting, grabbing her piece of cake to retain only it and her tea. "I'll stick with th' Talons. They don't aim so easy nor hit so hard, but I ain't left defenseless, y'know?"
"Whisper seems to do a good job with just the two... ripped right through the two of the heavies straight up before it took us the rest of the fight to take down." Alain drums fingers on the table-top as he considers. "Could be worth looking at simulations with the different loadouts against the heavies, maybe see which is the most optimal..." he gives a wry grin and nods. "Everyone has their preference."
"Had two solid hits an' one didn't take down a heavy an' th' other took m'missile an' th' Vipers out there," Astraea points out to Jigger as she spears her cake with the fork, glancing up. "Missiles ain't enough. Mebbe Whisper got lucky that time. I don't trust missiles alone. Not unless there's like... I dunno, three or four of us Raptors out there with 'em, y'know? I did alright with m'Talons last time an' we had heavies. Took a bit longer, I'll admit, but I was able t'help clean up after, too, rather than just sittin' 'round wit' m'ass hangin' out." She shakes her head, scowling at the plate. "I jes' don't like hearin' all th' jocks at Academy in th' back of m'head, goin' on an' on 'bout how useless th' bus drivers are, y'know? An' blowin' m'load of two missiles right at th' start of combat... I spend the rest of it, hearin' 'em, screamin' at me."
Rubbing his clean-shaven chin thoughtfully, Alain says, "Don't think it's luck," he disagrees, albeit with a wry twist of lips. "There's a reason she's our CAG now." He exhales slowly, grimacing as she mentions the academy. "I remember how much shit I got for being a ground-pounder, and much older than most to boot. All that piss and ego doesn't mean much, as at the end of the day, you do your job and you come back to the barn. Any jock that doesn't understand the value of a raptor is a frakking idiot." It's about as riled as Jigger's likely to get, enough that he grimaces and exhales a breath. "Anyway. Can't promise you won't hear that shit. But you won't hear it from me." He drains the rest of his coffee, and pushes to his feet, collecting plate and cup. "It's good to have you both on board. I'll catch up with you later?" he nods to Astraea then Bami, before heading off to deposit his things with the dirty dishes and heading of the exit.