BCH #013: Lessons
Summary: Cidra and Laskaris do a bit of simulated Viper sparring. Lessons are learned.
Date: 12 Feb 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Cidra Laskaris 

Flight Simulation - Deck 11
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.

Cidra has escaped the bureaucracy of getting the Air Wing together. But she's spending her time in the Simulators, so the quality of the escape is debatable. At the moment she's fiddling with the computer terminal at the head of the room, scrolling through some of the available programs. A soft "Hmm" is exhaled as she pauses on one.

There's not a lot of actual flying going on; other than a couple escort missions to and from the surface, Laskaris has barely even so much as sat in a cockpit since he came on board. Thus, his presence here; burning cigarette in hand, he's halfway to one of the mocked up Viper 'pits — one of the ones done up like a MkII, curiously — before he even notices the presence of another. He straightens, hurriedly exhaling smoke in mid-drag. Cidra gets a nod. "Major."

Cidra is apparently satisfied with the program she was looking at, as she selects it with a satisfied 'Tap!' on the computer with one long finger. Her nose twitches at the smell of cigarette smoke. Incoming. But she doesn't look up until Laskaris speaks. "Ahh. Lieutenant." A cordial nod is offered to him as she moves out from behind the terminal. She approaches the Viper pod he's examining. Curious herself. "A love for the oldies, Lasher?"

The cigarette butt is tossed to the floor and crushed with a quick stamp of the boot as Lasher pulls up next to the cockpit. He shrugs at the question. "I don't know about love, exactly, but I do try and make it a habit t' get into the simulated ones once in a while." His eyes flick from Cidra to the screen where she was working, and then back to the CAG. "I find they're rather less forgiving than the Sevens. Better teaching tool."

Cidra contemplates the Mark II pod, considering that, and finally nodding. "Come to it, I noticed that when I was training on Picon. I have great respect for the design. The fact that it is still serviceable after all these years is impressive. It does 'help' the pilot a bit less than the Seven, however. How goes your day?" A pause and she asks wryly, "Get bored of escort runs?"

Laskaris laughs at the last; it's a guttural, harsh sound. "Sort of a loaded question coming from the CAG, innit?" He doesn't seem especially guarded, though. "I suppose so, sir. It's probably a little better for your Raptor wranglers; at least those bloody sots get to stretch their legs on open ground a little." He nods to the mock-pit in front of him as he begins to climb in. "Figured I'd blast a few virtual toasters t' remind myself I really do like flying." There's a dry little smile at that.

"There is plenty of moving things and people about to do for the Raptors, it is true," Cidra says. "I have gotten little time in the cockpit, myself. There is much do to on-ship with getting the Wing sorted before we depart." A hint of regret in her voice? Perhaps. She doesn't dwell, however. "You will have a good deal more to do when we launch, but it is good that you attend to your training in any case. I had that idea myself. I want to get in some Viper exercises before I had to play with my squadrons. I do not want to allow myself to rust, as it were."

Lasher nods soberly. "Well. Here's hoping we launch soon, then, sir." He eases into the seat of the cockpit and fiddles with a few dials; after a few seconds his head cranes out of the cockpit, and he directs a speculative look over at Cidra. "You're Viper qualified?" A sly glint appears in his eye as he speaks again. "Care t' 'spar', as it were, Major?"

"I am, yes," Cidra replies mildly. "As I was telling your Captain Abbascia, my last assignment at Fleet Headquarters was not entirely as an instructor. I was also there for intensive Viper training. It is not a requirement, of course, but one has an easier time getting a CAG spot if they can jock a Viper." She chuckles. "Abbascia called it a smart 'political' move. Perhaps he was. I was considered for it on my last space post, on the Battlestar Aegean, when there was a vacancy. But it went to the lead Viper pilot rather than myself. I would like to think I am merely one who learns my lessons, however." That bare hint of a smile comes to her lips at the offer. She chuckles. "I would most appreciate it. The computer can never perfectly mimic a pilot. Particularly a Viper jock, I think. You lot defy algorithms." A little joke.

There's a sardonic little chuckle at the algorithms joke. His face is kept carefully neutral at the mention of Kefir, though. "Captain Abbascia seems to be astute when it comes to matters political." His stony tone doesn't betray that as a compliment or a condemnation of the man, though. "He's right about one thing, though… I've hardly ever met a CAG what came up through Raptors and not Vipers." Another indolent shrug. "Stick jockeys get all the glory, I suppose." He looks back down to the controls. "Well, sir, shall we?"

"It is not unheard of, but I will admit it is uncommon," Cidra says as she steps over to a Viper pod. Another of the few Mark IIs in the room. "A superior of mine during my hitch over Tauron space, our lead ECO at the time, even eventually made CAG. He ruled over an escort carrier, however. The less choice assignments are a bit more forgiving of the bus drivers." Another chuckle. "And Flight command is dominated by former Viper flyers. I adapt to my surroundings." And in she goes to the pod.

"Fact of life, that," Lasher says matter-of-factly to the statement about flight command. "Only thing I can figure is that Vipers tend to attract a different sort than Raptors. More ambitious hotshots and the like." He smiles thinly. "They're welcome to it. Never anticipated being a careerist, myself." A grim chuckle. "Right, then. Prepare t' be ignominiously scragged. Sir." A smirk, and then Lasher disappears into the pod.

[From outside the ship:]
Laskaris has left.

[From outside the ship:]
Laskaris climbs into Sim-01-540.

Cidra slides into the simulation pod. She does not look entirely comfortable in the small space, faux-Viper though it is, but she doesn't twitch too much. She begins a standard 'pre-flight check', going through those motions with practiced ease. The exercise she input into the computer seems to have put them over Gemenon space.

<COMBAT> Cidra has joined the combat as a pilot in Viper-4877I on team 1.
<COMBAT> You join combat #547.
< Weapon set to: KEW

<COMBAT> Cidra's team set to 2. (Cidra)
<COMBAT> Antares has joined the combat as a observer.
<COMBAT> Laskaris has joined the combat as a pilot in Viper-7941J on team 1.

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] Cidra 'takes off,' at least as far as the computer is concerned, ship flying free of its virtual pod and into the blankness of simulation space. The course she picked is reasonably free of external obstacles, so all the Vipers have to contend with is each other. Her handling of the craft is competent. She doesn't try anything fancy, but as far as just flying it goes she has a professional enough feeling for it. "I expect you to make a good account of yourself, Lasher," she chuckles over the pod mic. "Only way one learns is to be tested."

<COMBAT> Cidra will attack Laskaris this turn.

[Sim-01-540: Laskaris] The pod shuts with a soft clang, and the sim program initializes. Lasher eyes the simulated starfield before his eyes look down to the DRADIS display in his center console. The red dot of a single enemy Viper blinks in an out, almost tauntingly. Lasher gives a wolfish smile as he keys his own mike. "I'll remind you you said that when this is all over with, Toast." With that, he yanks the Viper into a high-G turn, bearing down on Cidra's ship as he goes for a target lock.

<COMBAT> Laskaris will attack Cidra this turn.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Cidra attacks Laskaris with KEW - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Laskaris attacks Cidra with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cidra has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Viper-7941j has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Laskaris has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Laskaris spends a luck point to keep fighting!

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] Cidra says nothing more once the little fight is underway, moving her controls to arc her 'ship' about full to meet Laskaris head-on. She shows little hesitation, if nothing else. Admittedly, that's easier when it's all just practice. She squeezes off her gun controls and sends a burst targeted at the blip on her screen that is the lieutenant's plane. There's a certain determination about the way she handles herself. Can't let the Viper jocks get too confident, after all.

[Sim-01-540: Laskaris] As Cidra's ship turns to meet his, Laskaris trips his portside RCS thrusters, sending his ship into a lateral slide. It's a very basic maneuver, and as it seems, one borne of overconfidence. Cidra isn't fooled, as her volley tears into Lasher amidships, while his own burst goes wide. Alarms ring in his cockpit, and Laskaris blinks. "All right, then," he mutters as Cidra's 'Viper' roars past him, almost teasing him, it feels like. His lips a thin, determined slash against his face, he pitches his Viper into a whirling roll as he comes about to reengage.

<COMBAT> Cidra will attack Laskaris this turn.

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] "Text-book move, Lasher. I had to practice that one daily for three weeks. Never cared for it," Cidra says as she brings her ship high and about. Trying to come and his blip from behind. She has to do some weaving to compensate for his rolls, however, and she fusses with her controls to get her target lined up.

<COMBAT> Laskaris will attack Cidra this turn.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Cidra attacks Laskaris with KEW - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Laskaris attacks Cidra with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cidra has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

[Sim-01-540: Laskaris] "Feh." Laskaris' only response is an incoherent snarl. All of a sudden this has become serious business. He keeps juking erratically, trying to evade; his RCS thrusters engage again, flipping his craft around to bring his weapons to bear. The CAG fires again, though this time her shots glance harmlessly off his armor. Meanwhile, Lasher's shots again go wide; the simulator apparently determining that Cid's first volley seriously frakked up his targetting systems. Storms on his brow, Lasher lines up for another shot.

<COMBAT> Laskaris will attack Cidra this turn.

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] Cidra is mostly quiet on the mic for her part. Either she's going through the motions coolly, or is concentrating particularly hard on doing things 'correctly' in the Viper. She twists her controls, causing her pod to 'tip' in the computer to avoid the fire from Laskaris' sim-plane. Another corrective twist, and she too lines up for another go. Apart from her first lucky shot, her flying is definitely unusual for a Viper pilot. Heavy on defense, more deliberate targeting that one might see with missile-carrying Raptors. Nothing fancy.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Cidra attacks Laskaris with KEW - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Laskaris attacks Cidra with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cidra has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Viper-7941j has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Laskaris has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Cidra has stopped the combat.
<COMBAT> You stop combat #547.

[Sim-01-540: Laskaris] Laskaris' beat up fighter isn't so lucky. His evasive comes a second too late, and another burst of KEW fire spears his sim-Viper. This time, the computer decides he's had enough, as his controls die with an electronic whine. At that moment, his steely composure snaps under the sudden rush of humiliation. "FRAK!" he yells, an open hand slamming down on the top of the console. "Bloody useless piece of electric… frak!" His thickening accent makes the words almost incomprehensible.

[Sim-02-541: Cidra] "I do believe I hit your maneuvering thrusters with my first shot, Lieutenant," Cidra says mildly. "Call it luck. My instructor on Picon did say my experience with missile launches favored me in early rounds of fighting. Raptor offense is about putting something in the right place the first time. As you don't get many chances. Powering down." And so she does, easing her Mark II pod back out of active mode.

A red-faced Laskaris is still muttering a fair number of heavily accented curses as he climbs out of the sim pod. He finally falls silent, though, as he sees Cidra coming out of the pod next to his. "'S no excuse," he mutters sourly in response to the CAG's last comment. "Shouldn't have let you get that bloody shot in the first place. I was overconfident." A speculative look over at Cidra. "Your moves aren't bad, sir," he allows, his face flushing an even darker, angrier shade of red. The man's fists are balled tightly at his sides.

"My moves are still better suited for bus than sports car," Cidra says dryly. She grins. "But you were overconfident. It *was* luck, Lieutenant. I am not fool enough to think otherwise. You compensated for the initial damage as well as you could. View it as a lesson. That is why we bother with these pods, after all."

It takes a very visible effort for Laskaris to unclench and purge the flush of rage from his features, but after a few moments, he's down to merely mild annoyance and a slight pink blush. He nods in a jerky motion. "Hope you're right," he mutters darkly, not quite able to bring himself to meet the major's eyes. "Looks like I'll be putting some more work in soon."

That flush of rage is noted from Cidra. It's hard to tell precisely what she makes of it, but it is noted as she regards Laskaris. When he seems to unclench himself a bit, she doesn't comment on it. It's just noted. "I will as well. Perhaps we can spar again sometime, Lieutenant. See if my luck holds." She adds, "As I said, being put through the wringer is the best way to learn."

"Yes, sir." His hands remain balled tightly, despite himself. Other than that, though, he seems to have regained his composure. His face blanches slightly under the scrutiny, but he makes no other acknowledgement of Cidra's eyes on him. He does manage a thin smile, though. "Any time, Major. I'll try not t' be so much a bloody whipping boy the next time around."

"You cannot win every outing, Lieutenant," Cidra says to Laskaris. Simply but firmly. "Remember that, and take as a learning experience." With that, she departs the room, leaving Laskaris alone with the sim pods.

"I'll try," Lasher mutters. He lights a cigarette, puffing with abandon, as if the smoking somehow would ease the sting of defeat. Then Cidra's gone, and Lasher is left to his own devices.

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