PHD #059: Fun With Rehab, Pt. II
Fun With Rehab, Pt. II
Summary: Tisiphone tries a round in the sims with her squadleader.
Date: 2041.04.27
Related Logs: Fun With Rehab, Pt. 1.
Laskaris Tisiphone 
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

When one's Squadron Leader requests a go in the sims with you, one had best be there on time. And so it is that Tisiphone loiters restlessly just inside the Sims Room, smoking her cigarette as if it was filled with cancer-causing courage. Perhaps oddly, there's little eagerness to her countenance; in fact, it looks like there's any number of places she'd rather be. Maybe it's just the name at the top of her dance card that's got her out of sorts.

Some officers might choose to show up a few minutes late, just to impress their weighty importance upon their subordinates. Laskaris, whatever his other flaws, isn't one of those officers. The flightsuit-clad captain crosses the threshold of the sim room right on time, cigarette in one hand and helmet in the other. Upon seeing Tisiphone, he stops and nods. "Ensign." One last powerdrag on the cigarette, and it's cast aside.

Tisiphone isn't wearing her flightsuit. The sims work just fine whether you're in your flight suit or not, so why bother, right? Such must be the Ensign's line of reasoning — if she has one at all. "Sir. I, ah." She stares down at her boot-tips for a moment, as if she has cheat-notes scrawled there. "Appreciate you taking the time for a round in the sims with me." So. Dutiful. Maybe there's a SL Phrase Handbook handed out to fresh Ensigns.

"Don't sound so excited, Ensign." Lasher's voice is wry. He musters a wan, tired looking smile for her benefit. A moment's pause, and he picks out a mock-pit for himself. Usually he stakes out one of the red-and-white 'pits set up to emulate a Mark Two, but this time he goes for one of the silvery-gray Mark Seven simulators. He shrugs. "Any time. Just glad to see you get that bloody cast off."

"It's a little- funny how our bodies work around obstacles, Sir. First couple or three days the cast was off, I would've had an easier time of things if it was back on. Could barely lift my own hand. Could actually feel the difference lifting it, holding a cigarette. Frakking unreal." Tisiphone finishes her cigarette, crouching to grind the cherry out on the edge of her bootsole, then pushes off toward her own sim-pod. "I'll let you handle the flight parameters, then, Sir?" She throws open the sim's canopy, hesitates a moment, then climbs in and quickly pulls the canopy shut behind her. A few moments later her voice comes in over the intra-sims comms. "Professor Bell and I have tried formation flying as well as dogfighting."

"Hnh." He snorts knowingly at Tisiphone's comments. Probably been there a time or two himself. "Right." He enters his own sim-cockpit, throwing on his helmet and closing the canopy behind him. Sure, he might not need the full ensemble, but it never hurts to keep up appearances. The simulator comes on line, and he quickly enters commands into the sim computer.

Tisiphone /ought to/ be in her flight suit. It could be one of the factors contributing to her restless, vaguely guilty expression. What's the point in practicing for real flight if you're not kitted up as accurately as possible, right? "Um. Okay. Everything's… everything's green over here, Sir. I'm ready when you are."

"Then defend yourself." With that, he immediately sends his 'fighter' into a gut-wrenching turn, the ship spinning wildly as he seeks out Tisiphone's fighter. A thin smile tugs at the corners of his mouth as he applies the afterburners, a quick glance to his DRADIS display to verify the ensign's position.

Tisiphone's virtual Viper has blinked into existence in the simulation starscape about two thousand meters out from Laskaris's starting position. Plenty of time to posture and bristle before the real scrap begins. For her part, she starts with a wide, fast arc around Lasher — trying to suss out his tactics, no doubt — before roughly twisting her bird and blasting the afterburners perpendicular to where she'd been flying before, ready to cross firing lines for their first pass. It's the sort of move to set her imaginary G-limiter warnings to shrieking.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Tisiphone:Vipers-10 vs Laskaris:Vipers
< Tisiphone: Terrible Failure Laskaris: Success
< Net Result: Laskaris wins big.

Laskaris watches as Tisiphone circles around his fighter. You want to see some tactics? All right, then. His faux-Seven's RCS thrusters start flaring seemingly at random, pushing his ship into what to the uneducated eye might look like an out of control spin. Suddenly, though, the thrusters stop and he trips the burners again, his fighter straightening out and rocketing in the direction his nose is pointed. His sudden maneuver pulls him outside of Tisiphone's loop, and a quick course correction points his nose at Tis's fighter. There's another burst of thrust as Lasher moves for a weapons lock.

Five weeks of watching everyone else'a camera footage has given Tisiphone a whole head-ful of ideas… and not a lot of practice with implementation. The maneuvers she's trying aren't her usual ones — by-the-book Flight School training, bolstered by a bit of bloodthirstiness and good reflexes — but instead are cribbed from the rest of Air Wing. And it shows. The maneuver could have pirouetted her around and unexpectedly landed her on Laskaris's tail, but the fine control isn't there, and instead too much momentum is sapped, dragging her down toward Sitting Duck territory. A beat later, declaring failure with her tactics, her afterburner kicks in again, scything her out in wild evasive maneuvers to try and shake her SL. So slow, though. Too slow.

Lasher, for his part, hasn't been on the shelf for weeks — and as always, he's got the instincts of a blood-smelling shark. He's on Tisiphone's tail now, and he doesn't seem to have any intention of letting the woman shake him off. "Still rusty," he comments idly over the com as his eyes fixate upon her flailing fighter. Lining up his sights, Lasher squeezes the trigger.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Tisiphone:Vipers-10 vs Laskaris:Gunnery
< Tisiphone: Failure Laskaris: Great Success
< Net Result: Laskaris wins big.

Tisiphone's comms crackle to life for a second with the sound of her drawing in a sharp breath for some manner of angry, defensive rebuttal, then abruptly cut out again. Discretion is the better part of, well, not bitching at one's Squadron Leader. She has her hands full, anyway, trying to scramble out of the tactical hole she's wallowed down into — not to mention that, when it comes to things Lasher may need to improve on, his ability to line up shots and take the advantages he's given is /not/ on the list. Her Viper jinks in a hard, spiralling portside turn. It wouldn't be a bad dodge, if she had any sort of good positioning — as it is, it just introduces a hail of virtual bullets across her fuselage and canopy, lighting her console up like some sort of death-announcing holiday decorations. She either doesn't bother ejecting, or has no time to, before the virtual Viper blows itself apart, and Lasher's console cheerfully notes Target Lost.

Call it skill, call it luck, call it prescient positioning on Laskaris' part, call it what you will. Any which way, it's more than enough; Lasher pulls the string perfectly, and his KEW fire tears into Tisiphone's amidships. The simulated image of her fighter disappears in an explosion, and her icon disappears from DRADIS. An eyebrow is raised, and after a short pause, he ends the simulated combat, his canopy opening as he pulls off his helmet and shakes his hair loose.

Tisiphone's canopy doesn't open for a short while. Maybe she's quietly trying to die of embarrassment in there. It'd be a fair cop. Finally, though, it swings open to the sounds of a tight, nervous coughing fit. She starts climbing out of the sim-pod, turning around to clip the headset away and triple-check that all the power-down routines have been properly managed.

With the sim discontinued, the computer is deactivated and Lasher powers down his mock-pit. His helmet is placed on the console in front of him, and with a deep breath, he leaps out of the cockpit and over the side, boots clanking on the deck. A quick detour to the control console, and then Laskaris steps over to Tis' cockpit. Leaning against it, his arms fold over his chest as he regards the young woman. "So. What happened there?" he asks, without preamble.

"You beat me, Sir." Great answer, girl. Tisiphone straightens and checks some external spot on the sim-pod that just happens to be in the opposite direction of Laskaris, bringing a hand up to scrub at the scalpfuzz on the back of her neck. There's only so much stalling even /she's/ capable of, though, and she turns to bring her gaze around to the Captain's. She makes eye contact for only a moment before it's skittering away. Pins. Non-existent lint on shoulders. Anything- wait. She doesn't have a cigarette, yet. Down her attention goes, while she's digging out her pack. "I- tried something I saw on the flight cameras. My arm's not up for it yet. Too many Gs."

There's a slight browraise at Tisiphone's initial reply, but Laskaris stays silent, piercing gaze locked on the woman's face as he waits for her to finish, and finally she does. He nods slowly. "You bit off more'n you could chew, and you got burned." Predictably enough, Lasher pulls out a cigarette of his own about the same time Tis goes for hers. "Patience, Ensign. It'll come back. I won't have you press yourself and get scragged your first bleedin' time back out because you weren't ready." Even though they're the only two in the room, the man's thickly accented voice is kept low. "Don't get too ambitious. Stick with what you know, not with what you think you might. You don't need to impress anyon in here, you just need to get your rhythm back. And you will."

Tisiphone doesn't even look /pissed off/ at the loss, which is passing odd. It's the sort of thing that should burn with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. Just a little rattled, and a lot cagey. "Uh. Yeah. Yeah, you're right," she agrees, nodding repeatedly. Her own cigarette is finally drawn out, her scuffed steel zippo produced. She flicks it to life, offering it out to Laskaris first if his own smoke remains unlit, before drawing it back for her own. She turns to lean back against the sim-pod, craning her neck back until her head rests against it with a quiet THUD, eyes up at the seam between ceiling and the opposite wall. "I'm just trying to make sure it all comes back. Only five days to go until the assessment, you know? There's no time for me to be slow on the draw."

"Well, don't try to force it." Laskaris lights his cigarette from Tisiphone's offered flame, exhaling a short puff of smoke. "Right now, we've actually got more pilots than ships for them to fly," he reminds her. And considering the casualties they've taken, that's saying something. "Yeah, I want you back, and as soon as possible. But all things considered… I'd rather have you back one hundred percent in ten days than fifty percent in five. An unfit pilot is a danger to herself and everyone she flies with. Understand?"

"We're running out of birds. Last thing we need is me scrapping another one. Yessir. I understand, Sir." Tisiphone looks away as she exhales a lungful of smoke, closing her eyes for a moment. "Can I- ask you something?" The question's to Laskaris, presumably, though she doesn't look back until after she's said it. "It's- personal, maybe. You might just tell me to frak off."

Lasher narrows his eyes ever so slightly, but after a short pause, he nods. "You may. And I might." He smiles thinly. "Never know until you try, now, do you?" The cigarette comes back up to his lips; there's a barely audible crackle of paper and tobacco burning as he takes a drag. "What's on your mind?"

"You, uh." Tisiphone plucks her cigarette out of her mouth and frowns hard at it, pale brows trying to knit together in the center of her forehead. "You ever." She's starting to get that evasive, twist-mouthed expression that comes along with her trying to dodge around a topic. "You ever have…" Deep breath. On the exhale, she bullies the rest of the words out at figurative pike-point. "…problems getting back into the cockpit after a crash, Sir? I'm getting moments of… vertigo, I guess."

"Hm." Lasher looks contemplative as he exhales smoke. After a moment or two, he shakes his head. "Me, personally? Couple times. Once before all this, once after." Beyond that, he doesn't clarify. "Wasn't anything physical for me, just a… mental block, of sorts." He shrugs. "Once you get back in and fly your first sortie, though… that broke me out of it, at least."

"Did it?" Tisiphone looks up with sleety eyes full of desperate hopefulness. "Really? Frak, I- I sure hope so. I sure hope a couple more days and…" Back to frowning at her cigarette, until she lifts it up for a drag. On the exhale: "It'll stop feeling like there's anywhere I'd rather be than in there. We don't have time for this- whatever-the-frak this crap is. But. Um. Thanks, Sir. That's really good to know."

Lasher nods. "No worries." He stands up straight, pushing himself off the side of Tisiphone's pod. "And you're right, we don't. So try not to take too long to pull your head out, hm?" He's straightfaced enough as he says that that it's probably difficult to tell whether he's joking or not. "Like I said, Ensign, you'll be fine." A wry smile. "In my mind, you don't have much other choice."

If all else fails, the black humour approach will save the day. Tisiphone musters a smoky chuckle, her eyes brightening with the grim humour of it all. "Fake it 'til we make it? Or we're all either fine or we're dead. About how it goes anymore, yeah? Guess it means I'm fine." Another chuckle, and a shake of her head. "Yeah. Ju-u-ust fine." She takes a deep breath, though, and resquares her shoulders, pulling a slightly more purposeful stance to herself. "Thanks for the pep talk, Sir."

Lasher nods curtly. "Just part of the job." A fist raps dully against the side of Tis' mock-pit, and Lasher steps away, moving for the hatch. "Hope to see you on the flightline, Ensign." With that, he's off.

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