Eva and Alain duke it out during a training flight.
Location: Space, near the //Vanguard//
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1148
The Vanguard, for the time being, drifts in one of the far corners of the Picon system to which it retreats between engagements. Although the ship sits alert, other activities are allowed to continue. The obvious ones, like CAP, of course, and routine maintenance on the ship, interior and exterior, but also training. And so, it's with that in mind that Eva has launched from the ship, moving to a region, far enough away from the ship that they won't interfere with the CAP, close enough that they can get back if things should go tits up, "You coming, Jigger?"
Alain's been, depending on your point of view, either lucky or unlucky to have been off duty when most of the recent battles with the Cylons have taken place. Thus it's with a certain amount of energetic eagerness that Alain approaches the coming battle, training or not. "Right on your tail, Cherry," comes Jigger's cheerful reply, accompanied by the sounds of Gemenese music. He is, indeed, the lights of his viper visible just a shade to the right and behind Eva's viper.
Eva, of course, was really only asking a rhetorical question. She'd promised Jigger a chance to shoot her down, ostensibly to give him practice and maybe a few pointers. Her flying style is her own and as with all of the pilots, each has something to teach the other and vis versa. Eva, gifted with a rather slippery nature, is going to play the cyper, in this engagement, as it were. "Alright, let's move out into near space and then...you see if you can shut me up. Cake for the winner."
"As long as you don't expect me to make the cake," Jigger says with a genuine laugh. "Unless you want it to be rock-hard." The sudden, sharp turn of his viper, departing from Eva's in the opposite direction probably serves as agreement enough, but he tacks on: "Game on, Cherry," as he turns around. For niceties sake, there's enough of a pause to make up a count of 10, before he comes narrowing in towards her viper, lining up for a shot.
As Alain breaks, so too, does Cherry, the two fighters moving to the opposite sides of their virtual ring. They both have the same objective, each set to attempt to take down the other, while trying to remain standing. Eva, with her 'evil cypher' hat on, has no intentions of taking it easy on the pilot flying opposite her, "That mean you don't know how to bake, or you're just not good at it? This could be a teaching moment." She's not a miner's daughter for nothing!
"I know the concepts, and I've done it -- but I wouldn't recommend anyone be forced to eat what I produce except as some sort of initiation and/or punishment," Jigger replies with a dry humor. He falls silent when they near weapons range, concentrating, waiting until the moment feels right -- that instinctive beat of a pilot's heart -- before he opens fire, the laser spilling out across the intervening space. He angles up sharply to avoid Eva's fire, which means he doesn't get a chance to see whether his shot hit or not. He's too busy trying to keep the slippery viper in his sights for a second opening.
Eva is not quite flying in her usual balls to the walls mode, instead trying to get a feel for how Alain's flying, using the first few minutes of the combat to try to suss him out. Of course, he's clearly taking off hard from the gate, as an alarm goes off on the console, reporting a hit on her left side, laughter in her voice as she keys up the comm, "See what did I say...just dumb luck on my part. Nice hit!" Eva throttles up, trying to pull a 180 degree turn to try to get in behind Alain's ship for a shot.
"Luck," is all Jigger says, amusement in his voice. In such a close combat, it's hard for any pilot to get the upper hand over the other. Their ships are evenly matched, making lining up the perfect shot nearly impossible. It's probably why, abruptly, Alain's viper slows and turns sharply, taking a more aggressive, front-end approach. Of course, the turning process opens him up to an attack, but with luck will allow for a clear shot himself once completed. It's a calculated gamble to press the advantage of his initial damage.
Eva, shaking off, figuratively speaking, the body damage to her viper, moves in to similarly close the distance. Cypers, despite their, or perhaps because of their similarity to the vipers flown by the colonial forces, are sometimes some of the most difficult to take down, even though a pilot should technically, be able to anticipate it's movements. "Maybe when this is all over,I'll see about giving you a lesson in the galley as well. If you think you can hack it."
"I think I'll just settle for..." Jigger goes silent to pull off his manoeuvering, but that opening shot is too big an opening, as alarms blare inside his cockpit indicating the considerable extent of the laser's damage. "Frak, Cherry. Nice hit. I think I just earned myself another SAR rescue," he says, ruefully.
"Settle for the fruits of my labour?" Cherry sees how it is. She sweeps in, manuevering, seeing Jigger's more aggressive flight style, and trying to come around and aim for his belly, "Fortunately, I like you." Cherry opens fire, attempting to strafe the underside f Jigger's viper as she brakes hard, flipping her bird end over end. There's something amused, in her voice, "Not SAR yet, my friend, but soon." She hopes. Once more, into the breech!
Even Alain's defensive stance doesn't do much to deter Eva's dogged assault. As his cockpit starts singing again about the projected damage to his viper, Jigger groans. "Now you're just kicking the puppy, Cherry," he says with a laugh. That doesn't mean he isn't sweating it out in the cockpit though, trying to shake Eva's pursuit long enough to bring his viper around for another shot.
"I would never do that to you, Alain, but I'm not me right now. And you're trying to get back to safety. And this cylon simply cannot allow that." A flash of something very like pride, brightens Eva's eyes as she sees Alain turn his viper back around to face her, the two of them charging headlong into mock possible destruction.
Although she scores another hit along his wing -- along with another series of alarms -- that apparently doesn't stop Alain trying to fight back. He can't seem to get a good line on her, though, his laser splashing far wide as he struggles to keep up.
Eva, coming in hard, pulling away only barely in time to avoid crashing into Alain's viper, spinning back around to go in again, "You've been practicing, Jigger. That hit would have finished you off a couple of rounds ago." And Eva's been around long enough to know that to be a fact. "Let's see how long you can keep it up. Two more rounds, and we'll declare you 'safe' on the Vanguard."
"You had to tempt the gods," Alain groans, as his cockpit goes into a renewed round of screaming alarms, before the combat end signal comes through. He lets out a sigh that is more relief from the blaring noise than anything. "Give me a sec to reset everything here. Last time my board was this red... uh, yeah, I definitely crashed onto a planet somewhere."
Eva's mock DRADIS reports loss of signal on her target, and she pulls up short, setting the ship to drifting, as she comes in close to Jigger's 'disabled' bird, "Excellent work on staying in the fight, Jigger. I saw you change up your stance, try a few things that were new for you. Want to head back, and we can review footage? See if we can pick out what worked and what didn't?"
"New doesn't always mean good," Jigger replies, ruefully. "But if anywhere's safe to try new things, I guess it's out here with a friendly." He exhales, audible over the wireless. Audible -- or notable, too -- is the lack of alarms on his side, finally. "One more reset, if you're up for it, Cherry."
"No, new doesn't always mean good. But it can be, if you look at what's working and find ways to fix what isn't." Eva, hearing Alain's call, clears her board, "Sure, we can go another round. Clear your board and we'll start fresh. Last was...8 shots. Let's do the same for this one...see who can get the next kill."
Eva says, "This time, I'll fly the way I usually do."
"Ugh. I think you saying that while pretending to be a toaster legit just gave me a chill then, Cherry," Alain says, with a shudder that, though inaudible, means there's a brief pause. "All clear here," he replies, as he swings his viper away, waiting until they've gained some distance before he turns his viper easily and gathers up speed for his attack, keeping a close eye on where Eva's headed to try and counter.
It's almost like Alain knows it's coming: a few seconds after the alarms in his cockpits start blaring, he slaps a hand down to suppress them. "Nice hit," he whistles. "Was that a deliberate target? Frak, my weapon's not looking good." He turns close in proximity with Eva, looking to get an opening.
Eva shakes her head, despite the fact that Alain can't see it, her voice coming over the comms, "No, just trying to get in any hit that I can. Sorry if I scared you. I'm really not a cylon." Because there are no huanoid ones, we swear! Eva doesn't change her stance, coming back around for another shot.
Like every... well, almost anyone out there, Alain fairly bristles at the implication he was scared. "The alarms have some bad associations," is all he says, rather blandly. He's turning as Eva's laser splashes off one wing, his own laser falling far short of tagging the other viper.
"I know." There's no judgement there. Eva has sat beside Alain in sickbay often enough to know how they must affect him. Another bare hit, Eva spinning wing over wing to avoid the shots coming in from Alain, "Nice! Barely a graze. Pull in just a hair closer and you'd have avoided that completely."
Again, there's a near miss to the wing, Alain's sharp braking exhaling a noise from him over the comms as he swings around to try and take advantage of an opening. Laser splashes across the other viper, though he doesn't take the time to assess how extensive it is -- that's what he can do with the footage later -- instead trying to press the attack.
Again, there's a close hit to the wing, Alain's sharp braking exhaling a noise from him over the comms as he swings around to try and take advantage of an opening. Laser splashes across the other viper, though he doesn't take the time to assess how extensive it is -- that's what he can do with the footage later -- instead trying to press the attack.
"Ow. That's going to leave a mark, Alain." Eva blinded by the flash from the combat system, struggles to keep herself in her former trajectory, needing to also fight the controls, which have gone south.
"A virtual mark, anyway," Alain says, with a brief amusement. Maybe practice makes perfect; this time he manages to avoid Eva's shot, letting out an exhale of relief as the laser splashes close by.
"Again! Ship's down to half strength." Since Alain can't get a good guage on how her ship is doing from his system. She's still fighting the controls, coming back around to try to get in another hit. Like Alain, she's unlikely to stop until he shoots the ship out from around her.
Alain's getting a feel for Eva's aggressive stance, and in combination with the damage already applied, seems to be getting better at evading her return fire. "Would you stay this aggressive, even now, if I were the cyper?" Jigger asks, as he splashes laser fire towards her viper as soon as he spots an opportunity.
"Twenty-five percent." A beat, "You do know I would have given you the cake regardless, right?" Not that she thinks that will stop Alain from trying to take out her 'cyper'. Nor is she giving up herself. No, she'll try to stick it out as long as the ship will last. Because, sadly, cylons never say 'quit'. Depends on the situation. if we were in the middle of the rescue op from last night, trying to fly and fight long enough to effect that raptor rescue? Probably. But I would probably also have my wingman trying to take you out as well.
Eva says, "But then, I've never been the pilot that puts their own life and safety ahead of accomplishing the mission."
"I mean, that was a given," Alain replies, about the cake, amusement brief in his voice. There's an exchange of lasers, neither enough to take out the other, but there's still a grunt as Alain tries to avoid the incoming damage. "Hadn't heard anything about the op last night. I suppose that is the biggest advantage we have -- we can get someone else in our wing to chase down the bogies on our tails. But then... you said they were learning from us, so... maybe we won't have that advantage long, either."
"Still barely at 25 percent." She's still managing to keep the ship virtually together, as Eva takes another hit, her own shot barely grazing Alain's ship. "I've heard people say that Finn and I fly like we have a death wish. I don't know if he does...but I suppose there's a reason, most of the time, no one else will fly with me unless forced." A sluggish turn, banking to the right as she comes back around for another attempt. "I think we're going to need to work on entirely new flight formations and strategies. They're evolving at a pace I don't know that we can match."
Another close call, followed by another strike from Alain, this time to the 'cypers' wing. "It's probably worth considering trading out normal flying patterns for new ones. But honestly, it's such much gut for me. What works in the moment. Some habits are just good habits." He pauses briefly, "I don't think it's about people not wanting to fly with you. I'd say it's more about people feeling intimidated. You're a lot to live up to, Cherry."
"Barely holding it together, Jigger." Eva's voice is not humoured, exactly, as she comes back, "Yes, it's the same with me. I don't think about flying. I just fly. I see what's happening and try to adjust for it." One can almost hear the shake of her head as she comes back around, the ship barely functioning now, "You've flown with me, Jigger, I'm nothing special. I'm just...survived. That's all."
"Some better than others," Alain notes, no amusement in his voice this time. After more exchanges of fire and more alarms -- quickly squelched by the pilot -- he says, "All right. We calling it a draw then? I'm sweating up a storm, and I want a shower before I crash tonight." Just as he's saying that, he instinctively fires towards an opening he sees, habit -- that earns a cough. "Ahh." Surely that's fine, she didn't agree to calling it yet!
Eva had not called it. And the alarms, as they blare and announce the destruction of her ship, require a minute to turn off, the controls locked by the training program. Finally, she manages, and forms back up with Jigger, "Nice work. We'll work on tightening up that attack pattern, see if we can cut out a few passes. "Let's head back. I might join you in that shower. I swear this training program lowers the cooling just to make you even more uncomfortable." It probably doesn't, but it sure feels that way. "RTB, Jigger." And then, after a second, "Race you."
"Is that actually a thing?" Jigger asks, surprised but also not surprised at the idea of putting the pilots under slightly more pressure than they might expect to experience. "First one in gets the first bite of cake." Surely a prize worth fighting for. Alain's certainly giving it his all, his viper leaping forward.
"I doubt it, but damn if it doesn't feel that way. I mean, they wouldn't be that nasty...would they?" Maybe she doesn't want to know. because that would say something about the evils of software programmers, "Lucky for you," comes Eva's reply as she barely manages to get a good enough angle on the approach to beat Alain, barely going skids down a second before he does, "I am always happy to share with you."