Captains' gossip. Nothing to see here.
Location: Biscayne Bay Spaceport
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 342
The quals are over, and the vipers are being moved back to the line to be serviced and ready for the next time the wing needs them. And with the promise of free drinks, most all of the pilots who had been in the air wander off in Stirling's wake. Eva, however, seemingly not in the mood for drinking, lingers behind, moving through each of the ships, until she finds the one she wants. The one that actually has her name on. She slips around, not to the side that has her own name plate, but to the side that has Kallas'. A hand rises to touch the name.
Emrys somehow managed to wrangle his way into qualifying in the viper that actually carries his name. As the others wander off in celebratory mood, he makes to join them and then, seeing his friend absent, goes in search of her. When he comes across Eva, and sees what she is doing, he stops short and the boisterous greeting dies on his lips.
Eva looks over, as she catches sight of Emrys out of the corner of her eye, a warm, full smile crossing her lips, "Fantastic flying, Emrys. And you had nothing at all to worry about." She looks back to the nameplate, the smile not fading, "You know, he was the one that allowed Pi to train in the field. She had been a tech on the Galactica and he gave her a chance to train as an ECO. he'll be terribly proud of her. I plan to send him a message as soon as I can, if I can't get in to see him."
"Thanks. I was out to prove something anyway, and then with Whisper calling me out like that..." Emrys grins, and half-shrugs. "You weren't half bad yourself, you know." His eyes follow hers to the nameplate. "Bold decision, in wartime, to take a tech and try and turn them into an ECO. Says a lot about his command philosophy. She did good out there. Everyone did."
Eva lifts her shoulders, a light shrug, though she isn't going to become dour or anything, as she steps away from the viper. A ship that has been through the wars, no doubt. One of the last remaining ships that came with the Wolves from the Galactica. "I could have been better at the KEW. I should have been better." And a nod, "I think he saw the potential there and took a risk. I think it helped that she wasn't trying to become a pilot." A moment, "As useful as the ECO position is, it still, is easy, or at least easier, much, than trying to qualify as a pilot. And yes, they all did."
"Well, be that as it may, maybe there's a reason you weren't." Emrys offers at the talk of the KEW. His tone suggests he has an idea, but he doesn't offer it right away. "I suppose that's true, I hadn't thought of it like that. Still, speaks well of him that he was willing to take the risk. And it paid off."
Eva turns away from her plane, eyes studying Emrys, "Don't bullshit a bullshitter, Emrys. You saw something out there, so just tell me." She waits, offering only a nod to his estimation of Kallas and the chance he took on Isolde. She doesn't seem angry or put out, just...neutral.
"Actually, I didn't see something." Emrys corrects gently. "It's more that I listened to you." A pause. "You told me you hate being top ace. About all the pressure you feel, and how you dislike how it's turned you into this cardboard cutout, right? You'd never hold back in combat, where it counts for real...but someone who doesn't want to be perfect, who just wants to be allowed to be Eva Thorne, pilot? Would she hold back a little in quals, where she knows she doesn't have to be perfect? Unconciously, I think, but yes."
Eva just stares at Emrys, looking momentarily angry, as if she might lash out at him, before she looks away, moving to sit on a crate not far from where he's still standing, "I don't know, Emrys. Maybe, I don't know what I was thinking out there. I wasn't expecting Whisper to call me out like that. I just came to watch the others." Her eyes fall, to her hands, hanging down between her knees, forearms on her knees.
Emrys weathers that anger, bracing for the lashing out. Which doesn't come. When Eva instead moves to sit on the crate, he moves over there too. After a moment, he risks putting a hand on her shoulder. "Well, even unexpectedly, you won." He reminds her gently. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you."
"Yes, I won. Because I know the frame, and I know how Jigger flies. You'd be surprised how those sort of things get burned into you like muscle memory, even when you stop flying regularly." But there's a shake of her head, as she hears the apology, "It was nothing to do with you. I suppose I just didn't want to think that you might be right, that I purposefully sabotaged myself."
"Even if I am right, though." Emrys muses. "You purposefully sabotaged yourself and you /still/ had enough of all that stuff to win despite yourself. That's pretty hot." A pause, for him to hear himself and register poor word choice. "In the, ah, hot flying sort of way." One hand rubs at the back of his neck. Awkward.
Eva doesn't quite laugh, but she does offer a smile, rising to her feet from the crate, "Yes, even if you were probably right." She brushes off her flight suit, the smile widening to a grin, as she hears the compliment, "Well, it is an onus, but I do the best that I can to bear up under the burden."
Emrys grins back, clearly pleased to see his friend smiling again. "Well, good. I'd hate to see you walking around bent double with the weight of it." A gesture to the direction the others vanished in. "Everyone cleared out pretty quick...but they're probably all crammed into the bar, so we're not missing much."
Eva heads back to the ship next door, the one she flew, picking up her helmet from the egress ladder, tucking it under her arm, as she hears Emrys, "I have never had much of a taste for alcohol. I know that I don't handle it well, and i don't enjoy feeling drink. But if you want to go, feel free.
"Nah, I'm fine hanging out here." Emrys shakes his head. "I still like a good drink." Some things never change. "But I'm not about to run off and leave you just to cram into a bar with all of them." He's got his own helmet tucked under his arm.
"That's sweet of you, Emrys, but you don't need to curtail your own social life, or the other things you might want to do while we're actually on shore and in a place to do them, just to keep me company." Eva begins to make her way away from the ships, off towards the rest of the shipyards, stopping, first, to find the temporary locker where they've been storing helmets and other gear, "Not to mention it might be nice to get away from the madness of the housing for a while. I can't imagine it's your dream housing situation."
"I don't have a social life, Eva." Emrys reminds her with a grin. "I'm working on that, remember? Honestly right now I'm doing good that I'm not just...trying to get back up there, you know?" At the talk of the house, though, he groans. "Yeah, it wasn't bad at first. But two of the girls got into a squabble the other night. So much alcohol, so many hormones. If you wanna be by yourself, though, I can get out of your hair."
"You don't need to have a social life to just want to get away from this place, and these people, and all of the reminders of the shit we've had to deal with since...well, I suppose since the war started, but you know what I mean. Lord knows, this is one of the few places where you can almost forget that there is a war on, and be as normal as it's possible to be." With her helmet off, she's heading back, "That's a problem. What was going on, exactly?"
"No, you don't." Emrys agrees, following along as they talk. "I don't know, precisely. It was more than I could figure out and it didn't seem too serious." He explains. "But as best I could tell these two marines both like the same girl, and somehow this means they can't be friends anymore. From what I caught, it's just a continuation of drama they started back on the Vanguard. They remind me of some of our pupils."'
"I feel as though that tends to happen more often on this ship than it has on others, have you noticed? Or maybe it's just the war getting to people. Everyone trying to get what they can get in the time they have, and latching on to whatever happens to be handy. I try to stay out of all of that, though I'm sure there have been enough tales told about me, given my own situation. Although, to be fair, I've never had to break another woman's...or man's, come to that, spirit for trying to make a move on Finn." A smirk, humour crossing her expression, "I must just be too intimidating." But then, more seriously, "I'm just glad it was a couple of marines. Because I have no time or patience for that shit with the pilots."
"I have noticed. It's making me seriously reconsider my desire to get into the whole dating thing." Emrys notes sardonicly, before nodding agreement. "You sort of expect it from marines. I almost think they find reasons to fight sometimes, as much as they seem to enjoy it. Speaking of the pilots, though...am I just getting old, or do we have a really young group?"
"To be fair, I think I lucked out, in both cases. Neither Antonie or Finn are at home to any sort of drama, so I've never had to deal with it, I think because neither of them invited it. Of course they were both older or wiser. You learn how to nip that in the bud before it gets out of hand." They're back into the hangar now, and heading towards the guest suites. Even if they don't have rooms there, they've been given access to the facilities at need. "It just comes down to finding the right one, I suppose." A snort, of laughter, as she hears the question, but there's little humour in it, "Yes, we have way more Ensigns and junior lieutenants than I think is really prudent. I want to think that part of it is the CF finding talent and plucking it early, but part of me also things that they have to content with the rest of the bureaucracy of the colonies. No one wants to lose their best people to a strike force like this. There's even less chance they'll get them back than if they were just in the CF." And that, is one of the biggest problems in the fight between the CF and the existing colony specific forces.
"It sounds like you really did." Emrys agrees. "I thought about asking Walsh out for a drink..she's around our age..but I have a feeling pilots are not her favorite people." He shakes his head as they walk. "In the end, that's going to be a real problem. Although it may give us a really strong talent pool...if we can survive in the fight long enough to properly develop it."
"I don't think you should let that stop you. No deckie is ever happy with a pilot. But she's funny, and smart, and has a good head on her shoulders. You could do worse. A lot worse." Eva turns the corner on the corridor, heading towards the housing area, "Yes, that's been my thought too. Actually, I had a thought about that as well, well, not me. I managed to wrangle a few hours with Antonie before her ship left the yard. She's the new CAG for the Atalanta, and she suggested doing what we could to advance some of the Lieutenants into flight leader positions, give them some a fast track to learning how to lead a wing, command the rest of the flight. In case they need to step up sooner rather than later."
"Ah, we'll see if I can actually pluck up the courage." Emrys laughs it off, though whatever he was going to say next is lost in Antonie's suggestion. "That would be...a really good idea I think. Whisper, you, Finn, me...we could all sit at the back of the briefing and play on our little games and make snarky comments. And then when we get in the air we could play comm-kareoke." There's a pause, as he makes a face. "In my head, that was funny. But coming out it mostly sounded old and crochety."
Eva shakes her head, "I know that it's Whisper's bailiwick, but I have no patience for that bullshit that Double-Tap is pulling, I don't give a frak if he is a good pilot. It's the height of disrespect." She turns the final corner, heading for the lockers just outside the head, where they've banked their changes of clothes, "And it's not old or crotchety. But I do think we need to start advancing some of the junior officers who have the potential to lead flight, like Milkman." A beat, "You should ask her. All she can say is no."
"Well, and that's the other thing. I thought being a good pilot was meant to come with more responsibility and expectations, not less." Emrys notes, before looking slightly confused at the talk of asking her. "I mean, I can. But it's your idea. You and Antonie's. So it'd probably make more sense for you to ask her, though I support it one hundred percent. But if you want me to, I'll run it up the mast. Worst she can say is no, you're right."
EVa heads into the head, because, apparently, this is where she and Emrys Montjoy have their best conversations, and heads to undress, flight suit and clothes neatly folded for later retrieval, "I do think the same, Emrys. But neither of us is the CAG, she might already have plans in place for how she wants to advance the junior pilots and how she wants to manage their training for leadership positions. I don't want to step on her toes and tell her what I think she should be doing. It's not my wing, no matter how many missions I fly. And she is still new. She might not know the pilots as well as I do."
The head does indeed seem to be where they do most of their deepest talking and planning. It takes the place of the wardroom or an office for the pair of them. "No, I don't think we should be telling Whisper what to do." He agrees. "She's CAG, we're not, like you say. But if you want me to ask her about moving some of the more promising LTs into those flight leader roles to let them get some experience I will. I'm guessing you don't want me to tell her where I got the idea?"
Eva shakes her head, as she heads to the showers, supplies in hand, "Oh, I don't want you to talk to her about anything. I have no problem broaching things to her. We have a good working relationship, and she has never struck me as a woman who isn't willing to take advice and information that will help her to do her job." A hand turns on the shower, waiting for the water to heat to a necessary level.
"So when you said I should ask her, because the worst she could say was no..." Emrys' tone is incredibly confused, as he starts his own shower. Then it finally dawns. "Oh! You were talking about Walsh."
Eva's laughter is ringing and bright, echoing a it in the confines of the small head, as she slips under the water, getting right into the business of washing, "Yes, I meant Walsh. She won't bite you. Especially, if you want to judge things that way, because you've never brought her back a piece of junk to beat back into the shape of a viper."
"True. And I probably never will, unless things get real bad. I mean, I won't hold back to accomplish the mission but in general I'm hard to get fire on." Hawk muses as he shampoos his hair. "We'll see. Although lately I have a track record of taking your advice, so..."