PHD #196: Hit...and a Miss
Hit…and a Miss
Summary: Marko and Leyla spend some time at the firing range. One of them is never going to be a Marine.
Date: 10 Sep 2041 AE
Related Logs: Singing in the Rain
Leyla Marko 
Shooting Range
This nearly soundproof room has ten shooting booths in a straight line that face the target field. The ranges move out to thirty yards, each booth using its own track to take targets out to the desired distance vial a simple dial at the booth. Behind the firing line is a long bench that runs the width of the room where crewmembers can load magazines and compare targets. At one end is a huge stack of paper targets that has either Cylons or a few different types of human targets on them. A large sign hangs from the ceiling that details out the rules such as wearing eye and ear protection and watching where weapons are pointed at all times.
Post-Holocaust Day: #196

For a few hours at least, Leyla is back on the ship. And away from the hangar deck. But this is no time for lazing about, and she obviously knows this. And after the frak-storm that was the rescue mission, Leyla's been spending as much time as she can on the ship, visiting with the survivors, in particular, Hiram, who's prognosis is still not good. And rather than make her feel better about, well, anything, it's only made her more angry. And with no torch in the vicinity, she's decided to vent her frustrations in the most creative way she can figure, at the moment. Here, on the range. The smell of cordite, always heavy in the air gives no indication if the woman has been at this a while or she's just arrived. But what can be seen is that she's in the process of loading lower-grade practice rounds into her sidearm.

For his part, Marko's taken the fiasco on Saggitaron in his stride. He's seen enough ostensibly simple ops go pear shaped over the past few months, that he was ringside for another one hardly comes as a surprise. As for his being shot, that, should anyone care to inquire, actually almost amuses him a little bit. After all, damn near everybody else on this boat's been tagged at least once or twice before. It was just his turn. Having a side job in the hydroponics lab's given him a little more placid outlook on life. There's things you can change, and things you can't, and the wise learn to filter one from the other. Getting pissed off is great in the short term, but long term, it's not a good idea. However, that said, one thing that can and, if past experience is any judge, better be changed fast is the fact that he can barely shoot straight. He's let his marksmanship slide and that sorry situation had better be remedied, right frakking now. So, with this in mind, Marko finds himself checking out a pistol from the duty officer, snagging a pair of shooting glasses and some hearing protectors and loading up.

Perhaps the most destructive or alternately creative form of anger is the sort that's completely internalized, that doesn't seep out in the form of face-punching or rules breaking. The sort that forges steel, rather than breaks it. And there's quite a bit of that roiling around inside the pilot. Locked up tight and sealed away, evidenced only in the seriousness of her expression. Leyla looks over, across her shoulder from where she's standing at one of the booths, weapon pointed downrange, as she slides the newly loaded magazine into the weapon and racks the slide, loading a round into the chamber, "Flasher, good to see you're up on your feet. Doctor's cleared you for light duty?" Her glasses are on, but her ear protection is around her neck, the range relatively quiet for this time of the day.

"Yeah, just now. Been puttering around in the Hydro lab waiting for a chance to get seen." Marko replies, scrupulously checking the magazine and chamber of his pistol before jacking in a mag of practice ammo and cycling the slide. "How's Hiram holding out?" he asks. "Haven't really got to see much of him." he adds by way of explanation.

"Not well, the last time I was in to see him. He's hurt pretty bad. And his age is working against him." That the radiation has also done its work is a given. It's hurting everyone down there, the survivors worst of all. "We already lost Jenkins. The others are doing fairly well." But it's clear she takes Joseph's recovery personally. Leyla sets down her sidearm, lifting up the ear protection to slip it on. Thankfully, it's meant to dampen high decibel noise. Normal voices are still audible, if slightly flattened in tone.

Marko slips his own hearing protection over his ears and starts to train his muzzle downrange. "Heard Constin's been cleared for light duty." he comments, double checking his sight picture. "That's one tough frakking dude." he chuckles. "I honestly didn't expect him to still be breathing when we got back." he says, then pulls the trigger.

Leyla takes her time, settling into a careful stance. As small as she is, sheer mass cannot compensate for recoil, and as she does everything, she tries to do this as precisely as possible. One, twice, a third time, lowering her weapon, raising it, as if she were relearning the feel of it. On the third movement, she fires. A single shot.

Marko grunts as he watches his first shot land far outside the bullseye. "Frak." he comments, then prepares to fire again. Leyla, he notes, doesn't seem to be having a problem with her aim. Right. More motivation to succeed this time. So once again, the young man lines up, widens his stance a millimeter or two and squeezes again.

There's no smile, no ease in her movement, as Leyla fires, only the slight wince as the recoil slams back into her hands. The downside to being small and having small hands, is you have to use a smaller gun, which removes a lot of the weight of the weapon that would help to mitigate it. A deep breath as she lowers the weapon, then, lifting it again, sends a second shot downrange.

Now _that_ is more like it. Not quite in the ten ring, but definitely squarely within the nine. No time for gloating, though. Once again, Marko sets up, trying to do exactly what he did before.

There's a soft hiss, as Leyla sees her shot go wide, and she takes a moment, readjusting her grip, before she resumes her stance and tries again. Slow and steady wins the race. And beside her, she can't see Marko, his body blocked by the barrier between her booth and his, but she can see where his shots are landing. better than she's doing.

Not exactly the result he was hoping for, and there's a bit of a grumble from Marko's booth as he notes that. But it is still on the target. Hit a person with that shot, it might not kill them, but they will definitely be very unhappy. Hit a Centurion with a shot like that, it would probably blow you into confetti. So, once more, he lines up and fires.

Better, and back on the mark, at least somewhere close to center mass. She's no marksman, she's not even trying for the head or the neck. Center of the body or low in the abdomen is the best she knows she can do. And so, with another shot fired and another hole about in the seven ring, she fires again.

Another hit, not a great shot, but adequate, and Marko's starting to feel a little more confident in his abilities. Maybe all of that training in the Academy actually stuck?

The stance is good, the aim is spot on. It all looks as though this is going to go smoothly for the pilot. A deep breath, and she presses the trigger, slow and steady, only to feel the sudden pull and stop as the slide jams, locking the round into the chamber. That's going to be messy. She sets down the weapon, taking a moment to fist and open her hands, easing the tension, before she picks the weapon back up, slowly trying to work the slide, jostle it just so, to free the jammed round. But it doesn't seem to want to budge, no sir.

On the other hand, maybe Marko's just been lucky, and luck, as his next shot proves, is fickle. Hearing the mechanical noises from Leyla's booth, he leans over. "Need a hand?" he asks, looking between jammed weapon and woman.

If it were anyone else, she's just give them a short 'no' and keep working away at it. But if she can't trust Marko, who can she trust? And so, when the question comes, she nods, stepping back from the booth to approach his, weapon pointed down towards the ground, but still downrange, "I just can't get the round out, it won't move, not even an millimeter."

"Ah, hell." Marko sighs, shaking his head a little. "Those are always entertaining." he says. "May I?" he asks, stepping into the booth and gesturing towards the weapon.

"Please." Leyla moves out of the way, stepping out of her booth completely, the weapon set back down on the shelf, giving Marko room to move into her space and, hopefully, free up the jam. having to explain to the armory why you need a new sidearm is never going to be something you live down. "I'd be grateful if you would."

"Well, no promises, but I'll give it a shot, so to speak." Marko chuckles, picking up the gun and giving the slide an experimental tug. "Damn….you're not kidding." he frowns. Careful to keep the muzzle pointed downrange, he takes firm hold of the slide and pulls.

"I'm usually not such a klutz, I don't know what caused it. There wasn't any trouble with the magazine, and I know I clean the weapon regularly." There's a decided frown, as she sees even Marko having trouble freeing up the slide. This is not good, not good at all.

"Yeah, something is definitely frakked." Marko sighs, giving another, light tug, then three more on the slide. "Maybe if I can keep jiggling it…" he says, working, or trying to work the slide, even just a millimeter. "You sure you didn't bang it on anything back there on Saggitaron?" he asks, trying the slide again.

"Not that I recall. I spent most of my time in the seat, didn't have a chance to, only time I got out was to help on-load the survivors." Okay, that's not true, she did get up once or twice, but the raptor was on the ground at the time. "These are new rounds though, but they shouldn't really matter, should they?"

"Wouldn't think it would." Marko replies, giving the slide another wiggle, before pulling it back and…pop! Out comes the jammed round. "Think your extractor's having trouble?"

Success! "Thank you, Flasher. You seem to have managed the impossible." But with the question, a frown, "I don't know. I mean, they taught us basic maintenance and operation, but not that level of detail. I'll have to take it to the armory and have the weapons techs look at it. I shouldn't use it again before I do that."

Marko nods repeatedly. "I think that'd be the wisest thing to do." he replies, putting the weapon down on the bench. "Guns with mechanical problems give me the creeps." he adds. "We had a guy in my class nearly get himself killed when we started our firearms course. Got hold of a pistol somebody had forgotten to take to the armory for repair. He pulled the trigger, and the slide came back, went off the frame and right into his face."

There's a wince, as the story is recounted, Leyla shaking her head, "That's not the way you want to start training. But I'm surprised that they wouldn't have checked the weapons over for you before they handed them out." Then again, it is the Academy. More than a bit of a meatgrinder. "Thank you, Flasher."

"Somebody in the Armory frakked up, put it in the wrong place." Marko replies, shrugging a little. "The usual bullshit." he grunts. "Anytime, Sweet Pea."

Leyla nods, stepping back to her booth, if only to retrieve her weapon and take it to the marine on duty to keep for her while she gets a replacement, "I'm sorry that I made you slow down your session, you should continue." She will too, likely, once she has a functioning weapon.

"Ah, don't worry about it." Marko shrugs. "Not like you did it on purpose." he says, stepping back to his own booth. "Besides, if you can't trust your ECO, who can you trust?" he adds, picking up his weapon and aiming again

"No one," comes the pilot's answer as Marko returns to practice and she heads over to the marine manning the range to hand over her weapon and retrieve a practice pistol and ammunition. Once she gets herself situated she heads back to the booth she was using. Hey, it's not like it's the booth that's jinxed…right?

Marko gives a bob of his head in agreement and assesses the results of his shot. Holy Frak! Ten Ring! He's grinning now, and with good reason. No reason not to try again. "You get another weapon?" he asks, lining up another shot.

"Yeah. No reason not to pony back up." And with that, Leyla steps back into the booth, taking time to load the magazine and make certain that everything is as safe and secure as she can make it. She doesn't want another misfire.

"Heh, you got it, Sweet Pea." Marko replies, checking the results of his last shot and looking impressed with them. Again, on a human, it wouldn't be fatal, but it'd hurt like hell and tie up at least one other person while patching them up.

It doesn't take her very long to get everything loaded back up, and Leyla takes a breath, settling herself, as she returns her attention to the target, moving into her stance and taking another shot at the center mass of the 'body'.

Marko notices where Leyla's shot falls and winces a little. "You're not having a great night, are you?" he comments lightly as he sets himself up for his next shot. Widen the stance just like before, breathe in, breathe out and squeeze….

"Perhaps the world is trying to tell me I shall never realize my dream of transferring to the Marines." The shot goes way wide, not even winging the target, but she does what she always does. Keeps on trying. Another moment, to try to settle herself, despite the tiredness in her hands and another pull of the trigger.

"Heh, strange dream, Sweet Pea." Marko replies, grinning at yet another hole in his target's ten ring. To a human, that would've been instantly fatal. To a Centurion, probably more than a little annoying. "But, hey, good luck with that." he chuckles, lining up to shoot again.

"Everyone has to have one." But there's some amount of humour in her voice. "Who wouldn't want to hug the ground with a rifle in one hand and a grenade in the other?" Perhaps there is something to be said for not being so damned angry, because her shot, while not a winner does return to the target. A moment, and she tries again.

"True that." Marko concedes. "But hugging the ground with a rifle in one hand and a grenade doesn't quite seem to fit my idea of 'dream'." he chuckles softly. "Lounging on some tropical beach with an umbrella drink in one hand any my wife in my lap….now _there_ is a dream." he comments, trying his hand once more.

Something, at least for the moment, definitely seems to be clicking with Leyla, or perhaps its just a responser to having a well functioning weapon. Regardless, her shots continue to land close to target, though not nearly in the more or less precise grouping Marko is achieving. "Well, I don't drink, and I don't see myself as ever having anything approaching a wife, so I'll leave that dream for you."

Marko can haz grouping? "Heh, don't dismiss the possibility out of hand." Marko cautions her. "If not a wife, husband then." he adds. "I mean, hell, last thing I expected to find out here was love, but there it was. Right there on my screen." he grins, in that unselfconscious, goofy way of the truly smitten. "Okay, let's try this again." he says, setting up for his last round.

"No husband either." And that's said simply, easily. As though it were a fact, and one she's completely comfortable with. But with that, Leyla lines up another round, still only at the beginning of the new magazine, but small hands and small body means that she tires more quickly, so it's unlikely she has many more in her. A good hit, but not solid. Clearly the woman needs to work on her skill with a sidearm. "But I'm happy for you, Flasher. It's good to know that something good has come out of all of this madness."

"Thanks, Sweet Pea. I gotta introduce you two sometime soon." Marko replies, dropping the magazine out of his pistol and jacking the round out of the chamber. "Wow…..that was fun…but, kinda tiring." he says, placing everything down on the bench and stretching mightily

Leyla makes one more final attempt, to make it an even ten, the most she can manage in a good night, or at least on any night, with a break in between, which was taken when she got a new weapon. Careful, steady, or as steady as she can, but there it is.

You say, "You always know where to find me."

Marko nods. "Heh, yep, same place I live." Marko chuckles, stuffing the stray round back into the magazine. "Have to show you the hydroponics lab, too. You won't believe the progress we've made." he says proudly.

"You spend all of your time in the machine shop too?" A final round, and Leyla sets down her weapon, her arms visibly trembling, something she moves to get under control as soon as the weapon is out of her hands. Only then does she move to remove the magazine and eject the round from the chamber. "I'd be glad to see it. Toast and I were talking about the possibility of getting something larger, since the Cerberus can't really serve as a garden ship."

"Nah, if I'm not in the lab, I'm either in the sim compartment fine-tuning the Raider or on the deck helping with the computer end of things." Marko replies, stretching again. "Software and hardware, I'm good with. Machine tools….eh….Let's just say I'm fond of my fingers." he chuckles.

"We didn't have much, when I was growing up. Derry's mostly industrial. Machineworks and sweatshops. So there's always scrap around, metal, and glass, old machines and tools you could jury rig and get working again. I used to spend every minute I could making things. Welding and cutting, fabricating. Trying to make something beautiful out of a whole lot of nothing. Leyla finishes clearing and safetying her weapon and the ammunition, before she pulls down her ear protection.

Marko strips off his own ear protection and works his jaw a few times to equalize the pressure in his ears. "Heh, I'll keep that in mind if we get a bigger compartment for the lab." he replies. "The more fabricators we have, the better." he adds. "For me, it started with software." he says, collecting his pistol and magazine and starting to head towards the desk. "Wrote my first program in the second grade, little game. Took me weeks to get it right. Teachers thought I was nuts." he chuckles. "The hardware end came later, you'd be amazed what you can do with a standard laptop and the right parts."

"I never even saw a computer, not like that, until I got to high school, and the ones we had were about a decade old, if we were lucky. Couldn't do much of anything on them. School was…not really a priority in Derry. Everybody there is just waiting to get into one of the few factories left, or shipping off to the military, if they can make the test. Most of the stuff they teach you was sort of…vo-tech stuff. They barely had algebra and geometry in my school. I was so far behind when I got to the Academy." Which seems surprising, considering her degree in Astrophysics.

"Damn….that's a shame." Marko sighs, stepping up to the desk to return his weapon and magazine, initialing the list where indicated. "Whatever they taught you, you did good with it. You got an astrophysics degree out of it." he notes with real admiration in his tone. "That's no mean achievement." he notes. "But, yeah, Caprica's a weird place. Even weirder when you're between the money strata." he smirks.

Leyla follows after her ECO, moving over to return the ammo and pistol she borrowed, and retrieving her weapon to take back down to the armory for servicing, "Had a couple of really good tutors. One really hard one. I guess I just got it in my mind every time someone said you can't do it, I was going to show them I could. Was hard, when I got there. My Caprican was really bad, nobody could really understand me, unless they were used to my accent. had therapy to fix it."

Marko nods and stretches again. "Always a good attitude to take." Marko replies, bobbing his head a little. "Yeah, Dad said the same thing about when he immigrated." he adds, then chuckles. "Mom too, come to think on it. You'd think they'd've had the sense to come up with a common language between the Colonies after all this time."

"Caprican is considered the common language between the colonies. But that doesn't mean that everyone who lives in the colonies learns to wants to learn Caprican. Not all of the colonies wanted or still want to be part of the colonies, of unification. Keeping your own language is a way of keeping your identity. That's how it is on Sagitarron. Tauron too." Proud to be Taurian, yes, bitter and hateful of Colonial government…not so much. It is what it is and it got her out of the shite she was living in. Props for that.

"Yeah…." Marko sighs, shifting awkwardly on his feet. The child of a pair of immigrants brought up on the richest planet in the Colonies…he's got a lot of right to talk…honest. "At least the computers can talk to each other." he adds after a few moments of painful silence. "Gotta love Bank of the Twelve." he grins like the proverbial cat who dined on the canary.

"Money always finds a way to talk. Grease the right palm, literally or figuratively, and you can get anything you need." If the silence is painful, Leyla doesn't seem to be the one who notices it. She's busy getting all of her things together and turning over her borrowed equipment. Certainly she doesn't seem to have any sort of resentment towards Marko and his expatriated heritage. "You done for the day?"

"Heh. yeah….especially when you're rumbling other people's credit data." Marko replies, grinning wolfishly.

"That's how I know you're Taurian." You do what you need to do to get by, for good or ill. "I'm going to take this down to the armory and then get prepped to head back down to the planet. You up here this rotation?"

Marko laughs softly and shrugs. "Heh, ya gotta do, what ya gotta do." he replies with a wink. "Wasn't like we were stealing from orphans after all." he adds. "I'm dirt side, if I remember correctly. Have to check the roster. Hope I've got time for a shower. Wash this stink outta my skin."

"Trust me, after a while, you don't notice anymore." The way she stopped noticing the smell of burning metal or welding gases. She does check her watch though, "If you've got the third rotation, you should have about an hour, before you need to get down there." With her things gathered, she starts for the door, giving Marko a chance to catch up with her.

Marko follows along. "Let's hope I'm wrong." he sighs. "As much as I love flying with you….I am _really_ tired." he adds.

"If it helps, I'll let you stay in the raptor and sleep once we put down. I'll seal the hatch and tell everyone you went off to salvage in the prison. It's a big ass prison, with not a lot of lights…it'd take a while to find you." A flash of a smile, before the pair depart out of the range and back into the ship proper.

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