PHD #059: CAG's My Wingman
CAG's My Wingman
Summary: Cidra and Pallas run through a Viper exercise on the Simulators.
Date: 26 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Pallas 
Flight Simulation - Deck 11 - Battlestar Cerberus
Post-Holocaust Day: #59
A training room specifically dedicated to honing aerial skills, this area is equipped with several flight simulator pods that allow the pilots to practice maneuvers and tactics without being in a real live plane. The Viper-pods are installed on one side of the room with a little space between them, an attempt to provide a realistic feel for close-range wing training, while a smaller number of Raptor sim-pods are installed on the opposite side of the room from the Vipers. A central computer terminal and overhead display screen sits at the head of the room, where one can input exercises and data to be run in the sims, scroll through score records, and control the training modules.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Pallas has just come off of CAP and hasn't even bothered getting out of his flightsuit from the looks of things - he came straight up into the Simulators. Sitting now in one of the Viper pods, he looks to be just flying about and doing maneuvers and testing his limits. In particular, he's flying near a large planet with a high gravitational pull which also has two moons nearby. No wingman, no enemies, just… flying. Dipping in, getting pulled in by the planet, twisting about and breaking loose, sometimes seeing how far into the atmosphere he can get and still maintain control to break away, sometimes trying to use the lighter pull of the moon to affect his flight path. In other words, just dicking around.

Cidra slips into the sims room. Step quiet, as is typical of her. She'd be easier to track if she wore a bell around her neck. Still, she's looking for nothing in particular but a pod. She heads toward the Viper area before she notices Pallas. Though, when she does, she pauses. And pads up to the main control console to get a glimpse of the program he's running. Curious.

Sneaky, sneaky CAG. Pallas, of course, doesn't see or notice her come in. He's too focused on exactly how sharp and fast he can hurl himself toward the planet without burning up when he tries to peel away. Twice, he's successful at somewhat decent short 'dives' - but on the third, he gets greedy and his Viper burns away before he can even try to pull away. Only a disgusted grunt marks his disappointment, and the sound of matches striking followed by the smell of smoke. He spins himself sideways in the seat, which is when he catches sight of Cidra. "Toast," he says apprehensively, looking her over.

Cidra stands at the console, watching Pallas' dives impassively. If she's any particular reaction or opinion on his flying, it registers not visibly. It's only when he says her callsign that she looks up. And over at him. "Spiral." She offers him the barest hint of a smile. Again, hard to know precisely what to make of the expression. She's an inscrutable creature when she wants to be. "You did get a bit too close on that last pass, I think." Observed mildly.

Pallas's eyes scrutinize Cidra thoroughly. "There was a rumor that you showed some emotion the other day," he says facetiously, the comment followed by a stream of smoke. "I, for one, know better than that." The console blinking stats and messages about his simulated death start to annoy him, so he reaches over and turns it off. "I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm ordered to make a suicide dive against a planet," he says belatedly in response to her observation.

Cidra shows no sign of amusement, annoyance or other outward emotion to Pallas' facetious remark. That faint smile remains on her lips, however. "I never believe rumors." Now that he's done she moves out from behind the console and back to the Viper pods. Head tilted at him. "Are you finished? Pity. I was hoping for a partner. I do not like to practice the Viper exercises alone. It is not really applicable to how one operates in the field, after all." Viper Toast is something of an Air Wing urban legend. She's certified for combat in them. She flies the odd CAP. Particularly when there's a short of Viper pilots. But she's not put herself out in one in any sort of real operation or done much in the little ships beyond flitting patrols around Cerberus.

"For you, dear CAG, and only for you, I'll brave the simulator once again." Pallas takes down about half the cigarette in one pull, then puts it out on the side of the pod. "Wouldn't want you to have a lonely practice." He leans over and switches his simulator back on - it comes alive with a loud hum. "I don't know if there's enough space in this pod for you to sit in my lap - as hard as it'll be, I think you'll have to find a pod of your own."

Cidra regards Pallas levelly with her cloud blue eyes after that remark. Just looks at him. Still no particular expression about her face. But her gaze has a sort of 'nail-to-wall' quality. After some staring she sweeps over to slip into a pod. "Excellent. Your pick of the exercise. I need practice of any sort. I shall fly your wing."

Aw, no reaction. Pallas doesn't seem all too disapointed, though - he just gives her a little shit-eating grin and gets himself positioned properly back in his own simulator. "Flying my wing, huh…" he mutters to himself. Maybe she can hear him, maybe she can't - he's too busy going through the list of simulations to really pay attention. "In that case…" The exercise takes a moment to load. From the looks of it, they're in a debris field and under pursuit from two enemy ships. And good old Pallas has skipped the warm-up. After all, he's already warmed up.

Cidra finds her pod thrust into the thick of faux-action much more quickly than she anticipated once she's linked into Pallas' choice of sim. An audible snort over the microphone system. "Sporting, Spiral. Increasing speed. I shall be on your five o'clock shortly." She does manage to slot into formation with him without colliding or otherwise immediately crashing. Her technique is competent but unremarkable, and she shows none of the comfort with the maneuvers she displays out in the Raptors. Still, no crashing. Yet.

A dark chuckle is his only reply over the comms. Pallas maneuvers through the debris with relative ease, though he's moving pretty slow by Viper standards. But if his movement seemed sticky and unnatural during the previous simulation, when he was being pulled in by a planet's gravity, he's free and untethered out here in the void. "Stay tight, Toast," he says. "Banking hard right in three… two…" As the lead bandit starts to gain, he breaks away hard right as warned. But the fact that he was also going downward at a sharp angle was not warned.

"Copy, Spiral, hard to starboard." Cidra actually executes the turn without much trouble, though her angles are sharper and not so pretty as Pallas'. She over-handles the Viper, as if compensating for a far bulkier ship than the little spitfire. Nonetheless, she stays with him…until he makes that sharp downward pull. Then she's momentarily left behind and has to speed to catch up. Increasing speed while also trying to execute a similar sharp angle. She swivels out of formation, losing him for a minute while she regroups.

As Pallas goes down and right, Cidra lags for a brief moment. The bandit gains… starts to lock on. But before he can get a shot on Toast, Pallas opens fire. It doesn't take the enemy down, but he hits chunks of debris in front of it, which causes it grief - enough for it to break away, at least. "Our turn," he says into the mic, giving chase to the bandit. But he doesn't get a clean lane for firing.

Pew pew… Boom. It doesn't take much to take a ship out in a dense debris field like this. Even a couple dings that make a craft lose some control capability send it veering into its surrounding obstacles, and then… death. "Good kill," Pallas calls out, already starting to draw out the remaining bandit. Again, he chooses to bank hard right and downward. Spirals.

"Not so different than a missile rack," Cidra says over the mic. As if trying to convince herself, really. She sounds half-surprised. Again, she's a step behind in following him. Her call to fly wing was likely more than just an element of practice, or some obscure mind-game. She doesn't /quite/ handle like a rook, but she shows signs of double-checking her maneuvers in her mind, and there're still those odd habits and jerky patterns that mark her as an out-of-place Raptor driver.

Hell, Pallas isn't much better, and this is his full-time job. His movements are jerky and abrupt when he's dodging meteoroids or sharply changing directions, and he varies his speed unpredictably while maneuvering. With the bandit on his trail and gaining once again, he doesn't have time for fancy moves - he tries to make his way through as best he can, just managing it more often than not. Watching him navigate the mess would probably be nerve-wracking to non-pilots. He manages to deflect, shooting more debris to screen himself and get loose - but he hits some of it himself and struggles to maintain control. "Bandit's loose, but I'm shaken," he says. His voice carries the vibrations of his pod. "I got no shot."

It's all Cidra can do to keep from getting peppered by faux-debris. She's getting slightly less jerky on the handling as the program goes along, but her attention is still more on her own flying and avoiding debris than the target. She does get a shot off, and not a terrible one as KEW hits go, but given the odd angle she's shooting at it only clips the bandit's wing. Still, it makes the target slightly less flitty. "Spiral, Toast. Back on your five. I do think I clipped his port wing. Looks like he's coming about."

"Copy, Toast. Got him in my sights." Pallas turns his ship to fire on the bandit, but what with not being completely stabilized again and not being that great a shot to begin with, he only manages a couple non-critical hits. "Frak," he hisses. "Lost him. Bandit's gone." And he is. Out of targeting range and not looking like he wants to come back into a two-against-one. Banging against the side of the pod with his fist in frustration, he turns the exercise off, not seeing the point in following through with the rest of it when there's no fight left. "He got away."

Cidra lets out a soft hiss, powering down her sim pod as the exercise concludes. She steps out, running her fingers through her dark hair. "Gods, I feel rusty as a new junior lieutenant jockeying a Viper." It's muttered more to herself, in mild recrimination, than to Pallas. A long sigh. "Well. All things in here are learning opportunities. Less so out there. I thank you for indulging me, Spiral. I thought we near had him at the end." Her disappointment is mild but visible.

"We should have had him," Pallas says. He's obviously pissed, but he also knows he's got nobody to be pissed at but himself. "I should have had him on that last shot." The self-contempt in his voice is plain as day. "At least I didn't burn up this time." Shaking his head - his hair even longer and more unruly than before - he heads out from the sims. But on his way out, he pauses for a second by Cidra, looks up into her eyes with a strange kind of curiosity for a moment, says nothing, and continues on his way. You're welcome, I suppose.

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