PHD #037: Bad Habits
Bad Habits
Summary: Flight footage gives some insight on Sitka's flying style.
Date: 2041.01.04
Related Logs: None.
Covington Sitka Tisiphone 
Ready Room — Deck 7 — Battlestar Cerberus
Post Holocaust Day: #37
With the hatches at the rear of the room, the walkways on both sides slope down towards the dais at the front of the room. The stadium seating forms a partial semi-circle around the speaking podium and provides enough seats for all three hundred members of the Air Wing. The walls are adorned with the patches of each squadron aboard and their mottos stenciled in white lettering above each one. Behind the podium is a set of large LCD screens that can display any matter of material from reconnaissance to maps to gun camera footage.
Condition Level: 3 — All Clear

The ready room's lights are dimmed, possibly in anticipation of a little movie watching, or possibly only left so out of laziness. The only visible occupant is a bulky figure in a flight suit at the front, half slumped into his seat. A muffled scrawling of pen on paper might be heard occasionally, and the origin of the faint haze of cigarette smoke is almost certainly the cancer stick being toyed with between his fingers. There isn't any footage up on the projection screen, though there is a stack of gun camera tapes beside the machine.

Twenty hours a week, give or take, to satisfy the oh-so-stringent requirement of Light Duty, and all of it spent here. Tisiphone's become quite adept at logging her time in fits and jumps, slipping in just after CAP change, back out again before the next shift appears. Lots of late night hours. Ghost in the machine, as best as she can manage. A stripe of light falls down the walkway as the hatch opens, Tisiphone's shadow thrown out as a skinnier stripe within it. Closing the hatch behind her after a few moments' hesitation, she makes her way down toward the podium, loose-laced boots scuffing on her feet. Silent, save for that; she's content to close the gap, rather than raise her voice.

A ghost in the machine, or a midnight gremlin, take your pick. Depending on how well Tisiphone's managed (or bothered) to commit the wing's patrol schedules to memory, she may or may not be aware that Shiv was due to have been off more than an hour ago. It shouldn't take that long to file a simple duty report, yet here he is, scribbling away at paperwork. His head comes up briefly when the hatch opens, his profile briefly caught in the shaft of light that slices through the room. A flick of his eyes is enough to make a positive identification of the whippet-thin Ensign, and his mouth twists into a crooked smile as he turns back to his reports. "Hey," is his quiet greeting, once she's within conversational range.

Indeed. The room should have been empty. "Sir," she greets, casually-enough despite the title. It's not the berthings. He's in a flight suit. She hasn't had /all/ the squeaky-clean Ensign-ness worn out of her yet. "I'll- I can come back later, if you'd prefer. I was just going to log a bit more time in front of the flight footage." She has a clipboard thick with dog-eared pages tucked under her arm which rustles thinly as she shifts her stance.

Scribble, scribble, scribble. The page is lifted, and something checked on the sheet below, then the Captain quickly scrawls his signature at the bottom. The next file folder in the stack is lifted onto his lap, and flipped open. "Hmm?" He looks up again, as if suddenly registering that Tisiphone's still there. "Oh. No, I don't mind. Go right ahead." Blue eyes vanish again beneath dark lashes as he begins to read. "Unless I'm in the way." Scribble, scribble in the margin.

"No, sir. Not at all." It's probably fair to assume Tisiphone would say that, even if the Captain was using the gun camera tapes as a footstool. She crosses over to the projector and starts flipping through the tapes stacked there, comparing them against the worn pages held together by her clipboard. The notes are in two different hands — Sitka may recognize Bell's occasional notes next to what must be Tisiphone's scrawling. "I suppose there's not much point in archiving flight footage for formation flying, is there?" she asks after a minute or so. "Fewer raiders to track, and all."

"I'm not on duty," murmurs the flight suited Petrel, setting down his pen for a moment and bringing his cigarette to his lips. "You don't need to call me sir." He takes his time with the drag, sucking smoke slowly into his lungs, then letting it sift out his nose with his eyes half-closed. Indulging in it, as much as one can indulge in anything, in times like these. With the zipper pulled down to his clavicle, and a very non-regulation tee shirt visible underneath, it's probably safe to say that he is, in fact, off duty. "Archiving flight footage?" he queries, gaze drifting to the stack of tapes. "Formation flying's pretty different from combat, but I wouldn't say it's pointless. Depends on what you're looking for." The question there is implied.

It's more contagious than yawning, to watch someone enjoying their cigarette; Tisiphone looks away, digging out her own rumpled pack of ciggies. "Um," she non-clarifies, recollecting her thoughts as she taps out her own smoke. "I was curious if you ever watched your own flight footage, actually." Pale eyes flick over to Sitka for a moment, before sliding back to the end of her cigarette as she lights up. "A lot of the tapes- ah." Pause to exhale at the ceiling and reconsider her words. "There's a lot of archived footage from you."

Ibrahim's so accustomed to this little dance, that he's already got his own lighter halfway out of his gear, by the time Tisiphone finds her own. It's shoved back in after a moment, and he eases back in his chair with a soft creeeeak of metal protesting under his weight. A slight doubletake at her mention of the archived footage; his blue eyes find her own, paler gaze and remain riveted there for a few seconds like a deer in oncoming headlights. "I, uh. I guess Acropolis Forge must've sent it up for the CAG to review," he proffers quietly. A column of ash is tapped off the end of his smoke, and his thumbnail scratch-scratches at the scar above his lip. "Sure, I've probably watched it all a few times. Not much use for it now."

Covington arrives from Deck 7 Corridor.
Covington has arrived.

Tisiphone doesn't expect to flick her glance over and actually /make/ eye contact with Sitka; she just freezes there a moment, partway into saying, 'Uh,' or 'Um,', caught flat-footed and staring at the sudden change-up of events. "Yeah," she finally vocalizes, pointedly looking down at her dog-eared clipboard. Which doesn't help her one whit. "That's interesting. Never noticed any- tendencies in your own flying?" 'Tendencies' is a cop-out of a word; she changes it a moment later to, "Bad habits." She's standing near the projector and a stack of flight footage tapes. Sitka is slouching and smoking in a chair, nearby.

Expected or not, the eye contact's held for a full three seconds before Tisiphone jerks hers away, and develops a sudden interest in what's written on her clipboard. Not that this stops the Captain from continuing to watch her. Silently, for a measure before and after she's spoken to him. His lips twitch when she mentions 'bad habits', which seems reason enough for him to pull from his cigarette again. "I'm sure I've got a few," he confesses, scratching again at that scar. Nervous, maybe? "I think 'reckless' was the word my old flight instructor used to use. But it's always hardest to spot your own mistakes, so.." He rests his shoulders back in the chair, tosses his pen down, and slides the arm across his midsection with a crunching of his flight suit. "Let's hear it."

Right then, one of the other Petrels wanders in through the hatch. Gods bless condition 3. Covington is wearing sweats, with a messy little ponytail, blonde hair pulled back after some kind of fight with a badger. Least that's what the wild curls look like. The pilot sweeps a glance toward the white board, and marches on over. The waistband of her sweats is rolled once to shorten the length of the legs a little bit, and exposes just the hint of a small tattoo on the back of her right hip when she bends over, just in front of the board to tie her undone shoelace. Not enough is exposed to reveal what it is, but there's something. When her chin comes back up, her eyes sweep the board. Flight status, flight status… "Crap sakes. Some Captains is so lazy when it comes t'paperwork." Don't mind her, y'all.

A distraction! Praise whichever twisted godlet's up for the day in Tisiphone's backwoods pantheon. With the lights half-dimmed for Combat Footage Night, Covington's arrival is heralded with a fresh stripe of shadow and light down the corridor. The Ensign's eyes track a neat path around Sitka before lifting to watch Covington at the whiteboard. "Sir," she greets, dutiful as you please, before dragging hard on her cigarette and turning back to the camera footage. Sorting through the stack for one in particular, it seems.

Shiv's head is down again, by the time the hatch creaks open. That paperwork ain't gonna do itself, and seeing as Tisiphone's gone all skittish on him, he doesn't seem inclined toward intensifying her discomfort at the moment. He's just retrieving his pen by the time she wanders on up to the flight board, so he misses the flash of skin and hint of ink on her hip. When she speaks, though, an odd little smile creeps across his lips. "I just got the paperwork from medical last night, cowboy. Cool your heels." His eyes flick up to her, then back down again while he writes. "How're you feeling?"

There's a glance over the shoulder as Skids glances over her shoulder, as if just noticing those two over there, and the reason for the dimmed lights. As if her situational awareness is as slow as her accent, running on its own time. She pops up to her feet after the tying is finished, a lopsided little bow in her laces, and approaches the pilot pair (not enough for a gathering, and about 15 short for an assembly.) Her eyes fall first on Tis, since it's she who speaks directly to the El-tee, and she flicks off a little wave, rather than bothering with saluting, and replies, "How y'all doin'?" It's a plural y'all, despite the omission of 'all' in 'all y'all'. Trust. "Don't mind me. Just a little sweaty from what was s'posed ta be a spar with some flat top jarhead from down there in Marine Country. Man was slicker'n a greased hog and mean as a one eared alley cat after I put'm in a headlock even after my feet was off the floor." She shakes her head solemnly. "Weren't pretty." There's a pause as she draws nearer, and then her eyes light on Shiv. "They's slow as molasses 'round here." She gives her Captain the eye, and notes, "Shiftin' the blame, sugar? All right. Okay. I guess the machine needs a little time now'n then. Body's right as rain, just a little marked up, but them things fade in time. Ready t'get back to the stick." She smiles, though. It's a full on oneAnd that's when she's in range to touch Tisiphone. And she does. Ohgod. The blonde actually steps right up to hug the other woman. "Skids. Did we meet before? I feel like we prolly did, but I ain't got to know nobody real well before that whole… ya know." Picon thing. Her eyes flick to Shiv while the body hug holds for just a moment. That can be awkward for relative strangers. And full time military (er, before-the-bombs full time, that is. Everyone's full time now!). "Don't panic, honey. I'm a professional." Hugger.

It's a testament to just how well the Captain knows this particular.. individual.. that he doesn't even bother trying to interject into the midst of that little spiel. If it could be called little. The corners of his eyes crinkle with amusement, particularly when she goes for the full body greeting, and he touches his cig to his lips for a steady pull while marking something down on his report. "It's sitting currently at third on my to-do list," he tells her, chancing a brief smile Tisiphone's way. As if it might help smooth over the ninja-hug.

Skittish, rattled. /Something/ put Tisiphone to re-finding her footing. Searching through the tapes and squinting at their annotations has a meditative quality to it, though, if you work at it hard enough. She's determinedly flipping through the last few recordings in the stack, having set a couple aside, as Covington's lazy voice strolls its way into Near Touching Range. She looks up for a moment, eyes on some unfocussed middle distance, then back down to the pile. She's talking to Shiv, after all. Aerilonian, maybe, by the sound of it. No concept of personal space. Just passing by, albeit a little too close. It's somewhere in this final bit of mental calculus that she's hugged from behind. Her spine turns to a broomstick, and she's bringing both elbows, one bony, the other casted, back toward the other woman's midsection before she's really realizing it. The reflex to whoa-the-frak-WHOA comes a beat later, hopefully before any jabbing actually /connects/. "Si-ir!" she yelps. It sounds comical, likely — the same sort of panicky squeak someone gets upon being goosed, or having ice dropped down the back of their shirt.

Oops. Well, that certainly got a reaction. There's a soft intake a breath from behing, then that lilting voice continues on speaking, "You know that physical contact has been proven, in studies to improve the immune system's response. Little babies, like them premies, they do better on the whole if they're held every day. Somethin' about the heartbeat and warmth. Anyhow, you ever feel like you might wanna revisit that, you come ta me." Dallas eyes Tis' arm for a moment, then adds, "You get that heavy thing off and you have any muscle or tendon soreness, come see me. Licensed massage therapist." She points to herself, warm green eyes rising again. If she was startled by the almost-elbowing, it doesn't show in her slow mannerism and gentle voice. Maybe that last offer was an attempt to smooth over the moment there. "Now." She edges aroud the side of the desk. "I don't wanna interrupt y'all, but I figure maybe, jus' maybe, we could work that little to-do up one higher." She grins, edging almost close enough to invade the Captain's personal space. Is that a threat of full body contact without agreement to re-instatement? "Any chance at all, Cap?" She holds up a hand, fingers about an inch apart. Little chance? Tiny? Small? These words are mouthed, not spoken.

Sitka goes so far as to pinch the bridge of his nose, as if that might keep a jag of laughter from bubbling up uninvited. His blue eyes stay resolutely down until Dallas releases the poor, startled Ensign and edges in closer to him instead. And then they come up slowly, and he observes her for a few seconds amidst the haze of smoke from his cigarette. "I'll see what I can do." His lips twitch once, twitch twice, then slant into a reluctant, crooked smile. She's just so darn cute. "Get out of here." He leans forward to swat at her playfully. "I'll have you on the roster by the end of the night." His bulky frame thumps back into the seat again. "Troublemaker," is muttered more quietly.

Covington strolls herself toward Sitka, and Tisiphone immediately takes a step back in the other, bringing her good hand up to scrub roughly at the back of her shorn scalp. "Yuh- yessir, I will, sir," she replies by rote, eyes flicking around the floor to relocate her cigarette. She spots it smouldering around the corner of the podium, broken in half by her own spastic twitch, which earns it a very sour look. Somehow, cancer-stick, this is All Your Fault. Crouching down and leaning a shoulder into the podium, she takes her sweet time breaking off the smokeable half from the non-smokeable bit, and relighting what's left.

The grin just grows as Dallas stands there, out of range of Tis' arms now, within arms reach of the Petrels' Captain. It reaches critical mass as Shiv agrees to 'see what he can do' which, in Dallas speak, means yes. There's a little hip dodge, which is probably unnecessary as the swat is only playful, but the banter is easy enough. It's clear from the duck and brief touch to the Captain's, that Dallas Covington is both energetic and something of a hippy. She resists a full on hug. "I'ma catch you with a hug later. Don't fight it. But now, on account of the authority and the whole suited duty thing, I'm gonna go make some beds elsewhere. Nathan ain't never learned a proper corner tuck. Pleasure to see you, Ensign. Let me get outta our hair… so to speak." But, while she's there next to the smoking Captain, she slides in closer, ducks in, "Just let me…" slides her fingers around his wrist lightly, to sucks a quick hit from the cigarette. Shiv's smoke. "Thanks a million." Then she's off for the hatch, regardless of ciggie mission success. She almost knows when the getting is good, and usually gets while she can. Usually.

The swat misses, but Ibrahim's probably just getting old and slow. At least he has the good grace to look amused when she goes for a stolen drag off his cigarette— he doesn't pull away from her opportunistic grabby fingers, though it might be a bit of work trying not to get burned with the filter. "Anytime, cupcake," he tosses out after her, reaching over to ash the cig out. "And make sure you take it easy, and rest up tonight. First day back in the saddle's always rough." His eyes follow her to the hatch, then drift back to Tisiphone, still fussing with her cigarette. "Sorry about that," he murmurs. Like it's his kid misbehaving, instead of a full grown woman.

"Good to know you, Sir," Tisiphone dutifully replies, turning her downcast face just enough that she can lift a sidelong glance up at Covington. She watches until the Lieutenant can't be watched any further from her crouch, then straightens up and clears her throat. "It's no problem, sir," she says to Sitka, looking back at the two tapes she'd set aside, trying to get her thoughts back in order. "It's always good seeing people walk out of Sickbay." /That's/ truthful, at least.

There's a call from the hatch, which continues as she goes out, "Ain't never had no problems with saddles!" Ah, the arrogance of the young. Dallas disappears from the scene, taking her disruption with her to another part of the ship. Someone, somewhere, is sure to be hugged or otherwise cheered in some personally invasive way. "Yee haw!" Yeah, that was her too.

Covington leaves, heading towards the Deck 7 [Out].
Covington has left.

The fondness in Shiv's eyes is pretty tough to miss, even in the low light afforded by the occasional dim halogen overhead. Warmth isn't something that seems at home on his stern features, but it's there — briefly — in the lopsided slant of his lips. And gone again after he's dragged from his cigarette. "I said.." He looks up to Tisiphone. " don't have to call me sir." The zipper of his half-undone flight suit is tugged at with his free hand. "See this? Not on duty." Gentler, "You still shell shocked from that talking to Lasher gave you?"

"I'm not shell-shocked." Hotly defensive, that, slashed across at Sitka with a flare of resentment in sleetstorm eyes. "He hasn't spoken to me since, the frak would I still be-" Tisiphone abruptly swallows back the rest of her words, mouth twisting up as she draws a harsh breath in through her nose. "I just like a little warning before someone's all up in my space, all right?"

The standard viper jock response to snappishness, is generally to snap back. Sitka, however, might not be a standard viper jock. He simply watches Tisiphone for a few seconds, taking the resentment and the heat in her voice, perfectly in stride. "All right," he concedes, pen scratching roughly against paper as he signs off on his second report of the night. And flips to the next one in the stack. Utterly calm and unflappable. At least, when dealing with indignant young women. Hey, he's got plenty of practice.

Rather like barrelling shoulder-first into what you think is a barricade, and finding yourself stumbling right through an open door, instead. It takes several beats for Tisiphone's expression to cool off, passing through several permutations of sullenness, then confusion, as it does. There's a couple or three throat-clearings before she speaks again, sounding vaguely tired. "Okay. You've still got time for this?" Rather than cue up either of the two recordings she pulled aside, she crosses over to the lowest row of seats and slouches down into one directly across from the Captain, flipping through a few of the scrawled-upon pages.

It probably is a little disconcerting, though the Captain seems utterly unaware. Or, maybe, simply unconcerned. He looks up at the second throat clearing, and follows the younger pilot as she settles into a chair not far from where he's sitting in that first row. A quick check of his watch. "I've got about an hour. Yeah." One more drag from his cigarette before it's smooshed into his makeshift ashtray (read: coffee cup) and left there. "So tell me about my bad habits." It could come off as facetious, from a man with fifteen years of flight experience, talking to one nearly fresh out of flight school. Somehow, it doesn't. At all.

The last run of fresh-from-the-presses Ensigns. Ever. Tisiphone flips back and forth through some pages, settling on one of the more heavily-annotated ones. "Kinda funny. Tried talking to Spiral about this- well, exact opposite of this, actually. At least-" She looks up from her clipboard for a second, hesitating on the rest of the sentence, then finishes it with a drag on her cigarette, instead. She starts digging out her pack again. "Well. First. You're way more comfortable flying in atmo than out here. You're aware of that, yeah? You can really see it when you double back; you start to come over, and there's this- this moment-" Her eyes lose focus for a second, footage playing back in her mind. "-when gravity would carry you the rest of the way, you know? Only it's not there, and there's a blip where you have to compensate for it."

Sitka continues to watch the girl quietly, now with one less thing to occupy his hands and satisfy his oral fixation. There's always his pen, which he flips expertly between his fingers while she talks. End over end over end like an acrobat, never once dropping it. "You're perceptive," he replies with a brief, and almost shy smile. The business end of the pen is wielded again, and he chews on the plastic cap absently. "I, uh, never really took well to spaceflight, to be honest. Aerodynamics. Lift. A strong tailwind on a June afternoon. It's.." Pause. "Yeah, you're perceptive."

Tisiphone lights her new cigarette on the last gasp of the previous one, looking over at Sitka through the thick puff of smoke. Her mouth quirks slightly at one corner, a bit shy as well, as her eyes flick back down to her dog-eared notes. "Flipside is, say, Spiral." There's a sour note as she says his name. "Who flies for shit in atmo, wants to be out here playing zero-G tetherball, corking his Viper in ways gravity would have his balls for." She rubs her fingertips near a couple words, then presses forward. "I- mentioned it during the sims run, the other day. You and Nathan both, you cut your maneuvers really close. /My/ point of view, /way/ too close, but I guess it's the formation flying that tightens your proximity up. It's really tough to watch in a couple spots. Brain's telling me you're about to crash, and then you don't. Familiarity, I guess."

"Spiral," the Captain repeats, turning the name over on his tongue. "Pallas something, right? One of the lifers on—" Whoops. That might've come out before he'd even realised he'd been thinking it. Old habits die hard, apparently. "Well, uh, you know." He clears his throat, then starts rifling for his own pack of cigarettes again. "Really?" And he pauses, when he hears about Nathan. "Does he? I guess he must've picked it up from me. Well, shit." He actually cracks a grin there, and continues rifling.

"Yeah. That's the one." Tisiphone's mouth purses again as she rolls her cigarette between her fingertips. In a bit of dilemma over what to say next, it seems. "If he walks half the talk he's talking, he'll be quite the acrobat once he's back out there." That seems to leave her more content. Rather than dig out her lighter as Sitka rummages, she takes a sharp drag off her ciggie to flare the cherry up, then offers it out to him to light from. "Keep an eye on what he's picking up from you," she says, looking across to him. "You're a better pilot than he is. He's not as good at cutting away at the last second as you are. Flies like he wishes he was a rodeo clown, forgets there's a bull he needs to dodge."

Sitka leans to the side, not to accept the cigarette, but to touch the end of his to the slowly burning roll, until it ignites. He smells very faintly of sweat, some kind of non military issue shampoo, and neoprene. There's grease under his short fingernails, and that solitary platinum ring on the third of his inked fingers, gleaming like a diamond in the rough when the light catches it briefly. "I'll see what I can do," he offers, though it lacks conviction. "I used to teach, back on Picon. Not, uh, not powered aircraft. Sailplanes. The first bad habits you pick up, are often the ones that'll stick with you the longest." He brings the newly-lit cigarette to his mouth, and speaks out of one corner of it, "Where'd you attend fleet academy?"

Sandalwood soap carried along with sweat, somewhere under all the cigarettes, for Tisiphone. She holds very still while Sitka lights up — a relaxed stillness, as opposed to frozen tension — and slants her scrutiny away as he leans back. Down to her cigarette, which she seems to be asking for assistance in answering the Captain's question. "Caprica City," she finally admits. "Straight off Sagittaron into Caprica City." Rueful, and perhaps a touch of shame. "What a frakking trip /that/ was." She starts to chuckle at herself, stops with a shake of her head and a slow lungful of smoke.

After another glance at his watch, Ibrahim begins gathering up his paperwork. Two reports down, however many more to go. The lack of productivity doesn't seem to bother him. Then again, not too many things do. "Caprica Cityyyy," he repeats, pretty much just like that. Dragging out the last syllable on the heels of an exhale of smoke. "I'll bet it was. Got out of the airport, the first time I was down there, and all I could do was stare." Shuffle, shuffle. His head turns briefly, blue eyes dragging down along her cheek, then drifting away. Contact isn't ever quite made. "You don't find skyscrapers like that in Xenos. You don't see people walking the streets without carrying a semiautomatic, just in case." He shoves the last file folder under his arm. "Anyway. Thanks for the input. I should, uh, probably go shower. Eat."

"You play with knives? The way you were fidgeting earlier made me wonder." It's an odd look that goes along with the question-in-place-of-farewell. It's almost, /almost/ a grin. A little sly, the tiniest bit wary. She doesn't really leave much time to answer, though, slouching back into her chair instead, sliding the papers over the one she'd been cribbing notes from with a light slap. "You make your bird dance out there, atmo or not, Ibrahim. Get your targeting back up to where it could be, you'll probably outlive us all." A drag off her cigarette, which she lifts as a salute-of-sorts as she exhales.

The question about knives isn't answered. Did she expect anything else? Not even a smile in silent acknowledgement, as he pushes to his feet. What's it like, sitting down with an open book only to find the pages are all blank? "I'd put in for retirement four years ago," he offers out of left field, tucking his pen into one of his flight suit's many pockets. "I was scheduled to be done with the Petrels, and done with the navy at the end of this year. I never wanted to kill anything. I just wanted to fly." He hesitates, as if there's something more that needs be said. Then simply returns the 'salute' with his own cigarette, and turns to trudge off for the hatch. "Take it easy, Apostolos," is tossed back over his shoulder.

You spins der wheel, you takes yer chances. A little like a knife-throw at a carnival wheel, perhaps. Tisiphone's metaphorical throw looked good until it hit one of the wire dividers and flipped wildly away — landing quivering and point-first rather close to home, if that look of startlement at Shiv's comment is any judge. She finds nothing to say aloud to him, as he makes his departure — simply stares after, in hooded, intent re-appraisal, until the hatch performs its own magic and removes him from sight.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License