A trio of pilots discuss the differences between Raptors, Vipers, and officers and enlisted.
Location: Mess Hall
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 388
Still in the midst of the swing-cycles of Alert shifts, Astraea is only recently awake and procuring herself a meal. It's nearing the end of one of the meal times and there's not much left to be had on the buffet, unfortunately, but there are hot meals available at least. One isn't left with just the sandwiches and snacks (unless they prefer those things). The woman is in her flight suit already, but not fully zipped up and ready to go; she's still got it tied off at the waist. After procuring a spot at a table (with helmet, gloves, and sketchbook to delineate her spot), she's posted herself up in line with a tray in hand.
Ahead of the Scorpian, a trio of marines jockey for position and thankfully are too distracted by arguing over who belongs where in line to notice that they're passing over some turkey that actually looks passingly decent. Nova might actually get to have herself the last serving in the serving pan and clutches her tray in the hopes the Privates continue at their arguing and skate on by.
Coming off of his own CAP shift, Kell even wears his flightsuit well and to standard even just finishing a patrol. Instead of pulling open his flightsuit to air out, it is still properly clasped and any perspiration that he had under his helmet was wiped away before he came to the Mess. Instead of taking all of the time to change and shower, hunger won and he walks into the dining area, hoping for some hot food instead of the usual sandwiches and fruit. Seeing Astraea here in a flightsuit as well, Razor gives her a wave as he heads to the line for chow behidn her, "Hey Nova." He is eyeing the selection, or lack of, with what is left.
Irene looks freshly scrubbed, but tired enough to suggest she's just come off her shift as well. She's had time at least to shower, shuck out of her flightsuit in favor of duty greens and develop a thirst. The latter leads her here and to the line where she queues without fuss, hands clasped neatly behind her back, posture ridiculously perfect. She eschews the stack of trays and elects for a cup, and some tea to go in it. "That was hairy." She notes aloud from behind Kell, perhaps of the CAP or whatever fun adventure she was on in particular.
There's still the air of sleepiness around Astraea, but she smiles brightly at Kell as he steps into line behind her... and quickly modulates it down to something much more sedate. A small, little smile of greeting. Yes, much better. "Razor," she offers, with a nod past him to Irene as the other woman appears. "Iris." She shuffles forward and claims the remaining turkey. Hers, all hers; not that there was more than a serving to be had. The rest of the line is much the same. Either it's ample amounts of what no one wants or slim pickin's of everything else. Hope you like your vegetables! There's a look back towards the other Raptor pilot, then to Kell to confirm: "Busy CAP today?"
Turning his head to glance over his shoulders, Kell sees that Irene has caught up as well and nods his head, as if agreeing with her comment, "It's nothing like Picon though, I can say that. We aren't always looking over our shoulders in a hostile air zone, at least we have air superiority here. Just have to maintain it." He grabs his own tray as well and some metal utensils as he scoots up the line as people begin to move. Razor has no issues with vegetables, filling his plate with mostly vegies and filets of some kind of fish. "Sort of," He answers Astraea, "Cylons weren't too keen on engaging us but they were trying to see how far we would chase."
"Bad weather too. Cloud's like soup all the way to the ground trapped up against the mountains, then the DRADIS kept alerting on I'm not sure what. I think the moisture got to it." Irene adds with a smile even, because she's weird enough to have wanted the extra challenge to keep things interesting. Her tea gets a tiny blip of creamer and she's good once its well stirred in. "I was worried they had more AA sites on the ridges, so it was a bit of a white knuckle trip. Especially with the ECO all nerves." There's a slight shrug there, and though she isn't grabbing any food, she stays in line, shuffling along patiently behind Kell.
"Hopefully they got their fill," Astraea muses, even as she stifles a yawn; balancing her tray against the rails to lift the back of her hand to cover it. "Not sure I'm up to bein' dragged in to playin' chase th' Raider today." She stares at what bread options remain before grabbing a roll to drop onto her plate. It's a poor option for 'breakfast' she's got going, but when you're on swing, you don't get much of a choice. There's no desserts left, either, and the Scorpian's shoulders clearly slump as she discovers this. With a sigh, she steps away to aim for the coffee pots. "I heard from one of th' pilots playin' taxi yesterday that th' marines on th' ground ran into some trouble. Guess it ain't a field day down there for sure."
It looks like Kell is rather thirsty as well as he grabs not one, but two bottles of water. Heading over towards one of the tables as they finish grabbing whatever they want to take from the chow line. "Yeah, the cloud cover was not fun at all. Maybe that was why the Cylons chose not to engage us." As for the potential AA sites, Razor nods his head again, having bad experiences with missile batteries in the past. "I don't think they are that entrenched in the area we've been flying over. Not yet at least." Popping the cap of one of the water bottles, Kell drains about half of it before putting it down, thirsty for sure. When Astraea speaks of Marines having trouble on the ground, Razor can't help but frown, wondering if that was just the prelude.
"Made me think of home." Irene says with a hint of the wistful for the cloudy skies of Virgon. Everything else is nodded to, no arguments from the pilot on any count. "But the toasters seem to burrow into cities like ticks. Those Marines are a special kind of brave to be down there going street to street like that." With just the cuppa, she steers herself out of the line too, heading for a table.
It's that specific table that she claimed earlier that Astraea aims towards; the one with her gear and sketchbook already occupying a spot. It's situated not too far from the drink stations, so they need not go far. The Raptor pilot drops into a seat after setting down her tray. She picks up her coffee and starts doctoring it with the packets of sugar and creamer she grabbed. "I hate flyin' through thick cloud cover. Havin' to rely on DRADIS that much." She shudders a bit, sipping at the hot drink once she's satisfied with its new state. "I just hope they've got less rocket launchers than they did on Picon. Had more problems with those than th' batteries."
The thought of fighting in enclosed spaces and street to street has Kell shuddering slightly before he starts working on dinner, "Being down there alone in the open terrain on Picon was bad enough. Thinking that there may be toasters around every corner?" That is something he definitely will not be able to do, even with his reservist training. On home turf, it's a different story because he knows his own area, but so do the Cylons. "Good news about cloud is that if we can't see them, they can't see us. And if things turn hairy, reinforcements are probably much easier to come by with us owning the air."
Irene claims an open seat for herself, sliding in and crossing her ankles beneath her chair. There's a careful sip of her tea after that, and finding it not scalding, she just puts both hands around the cup and holds it up level with her chin, elbows resting on table. Her eyes close for a longer than regulation blink, open and close again. "You're making me feel sorry I missed most of it." She jokes, lightly while popping just one eye open.
"It's... not fun," Astraea says quietly to Kell. "Dunno how it is in Delphi, but th' time I was shot down on Picon in a city-" She shudders a bit, "I'm just glad there was an SMG on th' Raptor. But it was a lot of runnin' through th' streets an' hopin' you didn't turn a corner right into a patrol." She pulls her plate and all off the tray before leaning to set the tray aside on a nearby table. Helmet and sketchbook are stacked off on the edge; making sure the other two have space. She starts to tuck into her meal, though there's a faint snort for Irene. "I'm sure Caprica'll hold all sorta fun for ya."
There is a light laugh as Kell shakes his head at Irene, "I'm pretty sure we will be going back to Picon sooner than later, they just need us here to tip the balance at Delphi. I think when the Cylons took it, it was a shock to the Capricans." Razor then glances to Astraea as she speaks of her experience down on the streets of Picon, when a pair of Raptors got shot down. "Though if we're shot down, I think it's better to keep our heads down than to shoot it out with the Cylons. I didn't shoot a shot when I was downed, but if I did, I think it was over for me if it came to that point."
"I hope so. I qualified as half a marine, so I should be fine." Irene assures the other pilots, but her smile is bent enough to suggest a deep, and meaningful realization on her part, that it's not really sufficient at all. She hides a slow yawn behind her cup after, wipes a tear from the corner of her eye before it can mark her cheek. That same hand goes to one of the big chest pockets on her top, taking out a paper wrapped packet about the size of a deck of cards. She lays it out on the table and unwraps a stack of cookie-like biscuits. There's an invitation given with the way she puts them there, but she doesn't make it verbal, not when she's already lifted the top one for herself and is nibbling the corner off it.
"I didn't shoot anything until we found the other Raptor," Astraea affirms, nodding with Kell's want to avoid engaging with Cylons on the ground. There's a glance at Irene in mild amusement about being 'half' a marine and Nova shakes her head slightly. "I do wonder sometimes iff'n we shouldn't get some sorta trainin'. We bring 'em in an' outta hot zones often enough." And she's been shot down, so it's clearly going to be on her mind. The woman does look sidelong, wanting, at the pile of biscuits, but she focuses on her meal for the time being. Got to eat something proper before she goes for what may very well be sweet. There's veggies to be eaten!
When Irene takes out a package that is the size of a deck of cards, Kell eyes it with much interest, perhaps a bit more than normal for anything else he has shown interest in besides flying and anything piloting related like reviewing flight tapes, sims, etc. However, when the paper is unwrapped and biscuits are revealed, there is mixed reaction of disappointment and pleasant surprise. Not a Triad deck, but something looking much more tasty than what is being served. Reaching out, he grabs and says, "Thanks," Before he starts munching on it. He then looks between Astraea and Irene, "For us Viper jocks, we probably don't need it as much as you do. You two are much closer to the ground than we are half of the time, when you transport troops or supplies. You may even tag along with the Marines from time to time too."
Biscuits of the Aerilon type, it must be said, likely sent by someone back home. They're rock hard and dry as sand so they'll keep, but moistened with some tea, say, or a lot of saliva they have a sweet, buttery taste that almost makes up for the texture. Irene seems to like them fine as they are since she happily nibbles away at hers. "I know some of the Marines, maybe we can ask them to teach us some stuff. They'd love it. They love talking about guns so much it's kinda cute."
"I was talkin' 'bout us Raptors," Astraea points out to Kell, playfully kicking at him under the table. "Since when do Vipers cart marines into battle?" There is a flash of a smile for the Libran pilot before she picks up her mug to take a long sip. She finishes off most of her meal before pushing the plate aside; bits of gravy and some of that roll left behind. By the looks of it, it was too hard to be worth the effort. She does eye the biscuits before reaching for one. "You think so?" She looks at Irene warily when she says the marines would love it. "I was under th' impression that they didn't like us much."
The cracker is left on Kell's tray for now, probably as a dessert, as he finishes off his vegetables first and then the fish. When Irene talks about Marines talking about their guns, he can't help but laugh lightly in amusement, "Kind of like how some of the pilots have a special relationship with their Vipers or Raptors?" Though on the Vanguard, they had to share so there was less of that. When he gets shin kicked, he lets out a yelp of mock pain, though more in surprise. As for not being liked much, Kell also finishes what is on his plates and opens his second bottle of water, taking a long drink. "It may have more to do with us being officers and they being enlisted."
"Well, I'm sure they hate viper jocks." Irene grins, waving her biscuit vaguely in Kell's direction. "But we pick them up and drop them off, so they have to be sort of nice. As nice as they can be, lacking as they are in our refinement, great attainments in higher education, impeccable grace and exceptional good looks." She's just clowning now, especially obvious when she applies a snobbish ennunciation to her Virgan accent. If she layed it on any thicker she'd barely be able to see anyone down the length of her snobbishly upturned nose.
"Well, I mean, everyone hates Viper jocks," Astraea offers to Irene, helpfully. She flashes a brief, small smile to Kell before picking up her coffee to wash down a bite of the dry biscuit. "As for us bein' officers... mebbe. I forget sometimes... Ain't like I'm very high on th' totem pole. We got a lotta Captains 'round here. Too many folks I gotta think 'bout takin' orders from to ever think 'bout anyone that's gotta look up to me." She wrinkles her nose. "I don't even like thinkin' 'bout it."
Hearing that from Irene, Kell can't help but frown at her though there isn't much seriousness behind that expression. But he does pick up the honeyed cracker and tries to bite into it, only to find it being almost as hard as a rock. So Razor is stuck with sucking on the cracker, letting it soften up, tasting the sweetness. "Officers are officers, doesn't matter how high up we are."
Irene proves she doesn't actually have metallic teeth by dipping her rock hard biscuit in her tea to soften up one of the virgin corners before gnawing at it (daintily). "I don't think they mind so much, if you aren't ordering them around and acting like you're so much better than them while you do it. They're really autonamous and highly capable, so they'll likely save their own asses, and yours too, if you stay out of the way. It's not like we'll ever be trying to babysit green boots in this outfit." Nod.
"S'not like I'm gonna ever try tellin' 'em what to do on th' ground. They'd know better'n me any day." Astraea seems to see it fit to gnaw on the biscuit... or at least gum at it until it softens up enough to eat. Maybe she's stubborn! Or just unsure how it'll do dipped in coffee. "But on th' Raptor, so far, they know better'n to test me." There's a glance to Kell and she frowns a little. "Just... seems weird some days. I mean, some of 'em have been at this whole thing longer, y'know? Not... I mean, th' war itself, but bein' a soldier. Just 'cause I went through OCS doesn't make me better than they are."
When the cracker is soft enough to bite into, Kell does so and is surprised by the taste though he does arch a brow at Irene, "I guess if you put it that way, you are right about us trying to babysit them or boss them around. Completely different branches, and expertise. And I wouldn't be surprised if they were all highly capable." He then glances to Astraea and nods his head, "Just different types of education and training. It does separate us but I think it's in terms of responsibilities. We're supposed to know how to lead, or be prepared to. How to prepare reports, all that extra stuff."
"Definitely. I defer to their judgement on the ground, but on the bus, it's my way or I can open the hatch and let them out if they're unhappy about something. They can float home." Irene agrees, even if it's sort of hard to imagine her being quite that mean. She probably meant to say she'd give them a stern, but very polite reprimand, and encourage them to comply with smiles and biscuits. "We have to respect each other's experience. OCS isn't a joke. They didn't just give me a political science major and an ensign pip just for not getting lost on my way to the Academy. And, I don't care how many sim flights you have, you can't just fly a real viper in combat like an ace."
"I wish they could handle my reports. That'd be nice. I hate th' damn things." Astraea shudders a bit. "Upside to all this time on Alert status is fewer reports, but I'm sure my next shift cycle'll make up for it." She finally gets a bit of biscuit soft enough to chew on. There's a giggle for Irene and she shrugs, "I've been thinkin' of th' larger ones an' how they might suit as a replacement door... or get 'em posted there holdin' their big guns. Make my Raptor into some sorta assault vehicle." Moreso than it already is at times.
Grinning when he hears the two pilots talking about their way on the Raptors, Kell is obviously amused by their bossy antics. "I'm sure you don't have too many complaininers, yeah? You /are/ their only ride home most of the time. Unless they want to walk to the nearest base." As for sim hours versus real flight hours, Razor nods his head in agreement with Irene, "Nothing beats actual combat experience, not just flight experience. Flying back home on Libran was completely different than what we do here, even when I was eased in on Canceron, it was... different."
Irene allows a little snortle of a laugh at the image Astraea paints in her mind, "Stupid, sexy marines." Nibble and sigh. They can be posted at her door with the big guns anytime, says that sigh. "And they're actually well behaved, when they aren't bleeding everywhere or losing their lunches." She'll admit that much and add a few agreeable nods to Kell's talk of the difference between sims and not sims. "It's so different. Not just flying either. Different radio procedures, SOPs, preferred formations and reports to fill in."
"I couldn't imagine havin' gone from sims straight to Picon." Astraea muses, suddenly. "It'd've been terrible. I did some hotzone work on Scorpia an' even it was nothin' compared to Picon." She missed out on Canceron completely, herself. The woman finishes off her coffee and starts stacking plates and the like; hers and Kell's, since he's finished also. The biscuit occupies her mouth the entire time. Once they have a neat pile, she adds. "Oh, they behave. They're just mouthy is all. Which... I guess is normal." There's a small shrug, but a nod finally. "Sims're... so controlled. Even combat. Th' real thing is so... chaotic."
Hearing about Marines bleeding all over the deck of a Raptor, Kell winces as he sucks on more of the cracker before taking a bite, "Hearing stuff like that makes me glad I am encased in multiple layers of armor when I'm up there." Of course, he is fighting against bigger guns and missiles, which could end a pilot's life even faster if he isn't careful. Complicated maneuvers and SOPs is definitely a lot to take in but having taken some training as a reservist, he knows that the groundpounders have to learn signals, maneuvers, formations, and the like, "Yeah, both topside and groundside have a lot to learn, completely different branches."
Irene finishes the last of her tea and covers a yawn by burying her face in her arm, when recovered she seems to realize just how tired she is. "At least the racks are just as hard." She notes with a faint smile, rising up out of her chair as she does, "I'm going to go tuck myself in now. Or you can, Razor. I like a firm tucking to chin level, as per Royal Navy regulations. None of those sloppy Libran tucks." She puts her empty cup atop the stack of plates, her biscuit in her mouth and slides the tray over, volunteering herself to take the mess away as she goes. She says 'goodbye', or something to that effect, but the biscuit is hard to talk around.
"They make th'Raptor's to hose down pretty easily for just that reason. Had to do plenty of medical evacs on Scorpia," Astraea explains, shifting slightly. When Irene gets up to take the trays, the woman starts to protest, but she's not quite in a rush to get up herself. She just offers a murmur of "Thanks" to the other pilot. "Have a good night," she says, though there's a bit of a scrunching to her face at the banter about tucking in. She doesn't comment on it, but there's something to her features that has her reaching for her gloves from her helmet. "I should prob'ly start heading for the Alert lounge soon. Almost time for my shift of sittin' around waitin' for that call that might not come."
A scowl is tossed at Irene's direction from Kell as he shakes his head when she jokes about tucking her in, or was it the jab at the way Librans do things. But when the subject of rest is brought up, Razor is also suddenly feeling more tired than he was when he was eating. He starts stacking his own plates, empty water bottles, and utensils, "Yeah, I'm going to hit the head and then hit the sack as well. Been a long day and tomorrow is another one." Rising to his feet, he inclines his head in Nova's direction, "Hopefully it doesn't, if it does it means that someone is in trouble and you'll be heading towards that trouble. Stay safe, Nova."