PHD #277: Mouth Shooting Range
PHD #277: Mouth Shooting Range
Summary: Khloe and Vandenberg get in some target practice in the shooting range, but the weapons they use are their mouths. Not what you think. :)
Date: 30 Nov 2041 AE
Related Logs: This Is Why We Don't Open Up
Khloe Vandenberg 
Shooting Range - Deck 12 - Battlestar Cerberus
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: #277

Early in the afternoon, Vandenberg has managed to bring herself back to the firing range for another test about her theory of the room being cursed. So far its held up well. The Lieutenant is in her duty browns and practicing draws from the holster with her sidearm. She's already managed to shoot a few decent groups but nothing utterly fantastic. There is already one discarded box of ammo on the booth's shelf in front of her and there's most of another waiting to be shot.

Not long after Natalie's scored her couple of groupings, Captain Vakos enters the range, dressed in her uniform blues but carrying protective headgear and two boxes of ammunition. She chooses a slot that's far from any other shooters, and sets up her gear. Boxes get placed on the shelf in front of her, and she unholsters her weapon and begins checking it over.

Vandenberg glances up as she notices the lighting change when the hatch opens. She watches Khloe move off and chuckles to herself, shaking her head. "And here I thought I might get away with it this time." Natalie reholsters her sidearm, lowering her hands to her side. "How's it going, sir? Didn't think pilots did much practice down here."

"Exorcising some demons, Lieutenant," comes Khloe's cryptic reply. Satisfied that her weapon is safe and operational, she begins loading it. The target she's chosen is in fact your generic Centurion silhouette. With a satisfying click as she slaps her clip home, she checks the safety of her weapon, then holsters it so she can put on her protective ear and eye gear. And bang bang bang goes Poppy.

Van waits until the Captain has donned her gear before she draws and fires. Its a fluid, very practiced motion - which probably is not surprising given her chosen profession. She holes a few into a human target, apparently selecting a part of the body to aim for. "Shooting is good for that. We've got a Sergeant in Able that comes down here to shoot like its meditation. I used to think the same. Hasn't been working out so well for me lately." She reholsters the gun and returns to her previous position. "I keep getting into arguments down here."

As the sheet zips towards Khloe, she goes through the motions of checking her chamber and safteying her weapon. She seems less than pleased with her grouping, despite it being fairly on the money. "I'm not interested in meditation, nor arguments," Khloe says to the back of Miss Dog Actual. "I'm interested in ironing out some simple hand-eye coordination issues. My gunnery has been subpar lately, and I'm going back to basics. I had an instructor who insisted proper Viper gunnery began with proper pistol form." And she begins reloading after a new sheet has been loaded in the zipline.

"I know this may come as a shock, but I'm not a Viper stick." Vandenberg smirks with the remark. "But is it possible you're overthinking the problem, sir?" She draws and fires once more, two rounds pushing through the target's right shoulder area. The groups are not super tight but she's putting rounds into specific areas. "I suppose its not a bad way to look at the problem but think about this, yeah? If you're getting worried about the problem then you'll think about it more and more and stress yourself when it really matters. You'll start trying to spot your gun - or in your case I guess it would be your sight..system..thing - and then you're just screwed. In basic they teach us to think about careful aim and all that crap." Vandenberg draws again and fires. Two into the chest. She lowers the gun and drops the magazine out. "In reality? In a gunfight? You never see your sights except at long. Its too fast. You try to use your sights and you've lost the fight. Gotta trust your gut, sir. Its like throwin a rock. You don't look at your hand. Just focus on what you want to hit. Don't stare at your hand or worry about your technique, sir." The Lieutenant slowly loads rounds into the magazine.

Glancing over at the Lieutenant as she shares her wisdom, Khloe quips, "Now I know why you think this room is cursed." Looking back to her reloading, she finishes and slaps the clip home once again. "I don't prescribe to that 'be the bullet' nonsense," she states flatly. "Good marksmanship comes from practice, a steady eye, and a steady hand. And more practice." And that's when she empties her clip at the next sheet.

"Take it or leave it, sir. Nobody has to like the truth." Natalie smiles inwardly, eyes down on the magazine as she continues loading it. "Good marksmanship actually comes from a focused mind and muscle memory if you want to get technical, Captain. I don't buy into the 'be the bullet' idea either. I just think that worrying about the problem will only make the problem worse. Demons, too. Whatever works for you, though." Van kinda trails off, getting the idea she should probably just shut up. The mag loaded, she slips it up into the handgun and runs the slide before reholstering it and facing up to the target.

Khloe snorts lightly, although it's not at her grouping - this time, she's gotten far more center mass and head shots in. As the page zips towards her, her habit is flawless, checking her weapon and then holstering it - apparently, not reloading yet. "Maybe the room isn't cursed and you just have a mouth on you, Lieutenant. I didn't come down here looking for a lecture. If you're going to help me with my pistol technique, fine. Otherwise, stow the commentary." Glaring at the shorter Canceron woman with those fierce gray-blue eyes, the Captain seems a bit touchy this afternoon. Then again, when isn't she?

"Not looking to lecture, sir. Just making conversation. Sorry I pissed you off, Captain. That wasn't.." Vandenberg seems like she might start up again and stops herself short. She stares at the target in front of her for another few seconds but doesn't draw. "What you're doing seems to work well for you, sir. I don't think you need my help." She finally draws again but the motion seems a little sloppy and her shots find paper - but not the target.

When the Marine takes her shots, Khloe turns back to her own business, unholstering and loading her gun for a third go. Seems she's only loading half-clips at a time, in order to conserve ammo, her goal likely to make every shot count. Her eyes travel down the lane to eyeball Natalie's target paper, arching an eyebrow when she doesn't find purchase. At all. "Someone's easily rattled," she says to no-one in particular as she makes her third go.

Van's mood sours with the comment from Khloe and she tightens her jaw as she lowers the Fiveseven. "I hate this ship. Finding someone to joke around or talk to is like asking to get groin-kicked." She drops the nearly full magazine out of the sidearm and runs the slide, unchambering the round. She begins pushing the rounds back into their slots in the box. "I get rattled when I'm trying to be friendly and helpful and someone slams a door on my face, yes, sir." The box is closed up and she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a handfull of hollowpoints and begins loading them.

"Frak," Khloe mutters as the target zips up, and she's back to where she started. A few well-placed shots, but nothing dead on, and nothing grouped well. Eyeing her pistol, she has a thoughtful look on her face, thumbing the clip release as if she was debating whether or not she was going to give it another go. Then, glancing sidelong to Vandenberg, she states: "So you're going to complain about how your life didn't turn out the way you wanted, again? I thought we had this talk already. Aren't Marines supposed to be tougher than Viper jocks?" She does go through the motions of checking the chamber and whatnot, still mulling over her decision for another round.

"You know something, Captain? Just because I'm a lower rank doesn't mean I have to stand here and take your abuse. I was trying to explain something about myself and you got on your Woe Horse and rode off into the sunset. I get that your life was hard. I get that mine was easy. I'm not going to apolgize for who I am, though." Vandenberg is shoving the rounds into the magazine as fast as she can, nearly finishing in the time it takes her to speak. "Being cast iron like you must be hard in its own right." Natalie slams the magazine into the sidearm and racks the slide, loading it. Its shoved into her holster and she looks back towards Khloe as she moves for the door. "Keeping up an act like that must take a toll on your gunnery."

Making a short, edgy sound almost like a laugh, Khloe thumbs her safety on and juts the empty sidearm into her holster, stepping out of her lane to block Natalie from her exit. "Oh, no you don't," she says, eyes narrowed, a hint of an upturned corner of her mouth making her look almost sadistic. "You want me to stow rank for your benefit, Lieutenant? Fine." The Knights SL reaches up to her neck and tugs out her dog tag chain, looping it over her head and around from her trapping braid. "Here you go. Now you know it's not about rank. It's about Cancerons who are supposed to be tough. No self pity here, Vandenberg." Her name, rather than her rank.

Vandenberg stops at the hatch turns to look back at Khloe. Her own eyes narrow, jaw setting. The short, scrappy blond suddenly looks like she's ready to kill. "Self pity? Oh really, Captain?" Vandenberg takes another few steps towards the Viper pilot and points a finger at her. "So says the drug-addled woman with the sob-story about her youth that she uses as a defense mechanism to hide behind because she's afraid to face up to what life has become. You want to see some self pity, Captain Vakos? Take a look in the mirror. We're the same godsdamned person but the difference is that I'm not afraid of who I am. So the next time you want to get high and mighty about your troubled youth and who is the stronger Canceron, why don't you go find someone who gives a rats ass about your pissing contest. Sir."

"Drug-addled? That's the best you can come up with?" Khloe sneers down at the shorter, but likely more skilled, soldier. "You and I are nothing alike. I embrace the Navy. It's everything that I am, now. I replaced a weak and ineffectual girl who frakked for morpha in the Canceron welfare ghettos with a strong and capable soldier. I made something of myself. And no matter how frakking bad it gets out there, I'm something better." She stands taller now, squaring her shoulders. She believes her own rhetoric.

"No. Its not. I'm being nice to a ranking officer." Van dead-pans the retort but likely she means it. "Great, I'm happy for you. Congratulations, you're a better frakking person for joining the Navy. So are a lot of people on this ship. But it doesn't entitle you to be a cold-hearted bitch. Maybe it does somewhere in your mind but in all honesty? It might do you some good to let some scrap of your soul back into your life at some point. It wouldn't kill you to smile. Or is that a little too much like drinking? Remind you of times when you could laugh?" Vandenberg makes a face a bit like she might laugh but its only a snort. "No, Captain. You're right. We aren't anything alike. I'm fine with myself. Its what makes me such a damned different person. You're too locked-up in trying to be the tough leader. I got some news for you, Captain. Normal, well-adjusted people? They can see right through that facade because we all know what crumbles behind it. Sooner you face your shit, the better it will be for everyone."

Khloe shakes her head at Natalie's words, apparently not too disturbed by the ideas or the emotions she shares, but the small hint of a sadistic grin is now gone. Back is the semi-permanent, stoic scowl. "You're right, Vandenberg. That's me, precisely. There's nothing you haven't said that isn't true. I know, without my duty, and my structure, and everything that makes me a good soldier, I would be nothing. Weak, addicted, and probably thanking the Cylons for nuking me to death." She steps aside, no longer blocking the shorter woman from exiting if she so chose. "But you don't hear me crying about it. Everyone with something to prove, that they're better than me, brings those facts up." She steps back over to her lane, where she begins boxing up the ammunition she didn't use. She's blown enough brass with her argument with Natalie. "I've nothing to prove. I know what I am."

"No, you wouldn't." Van's face never changes. The deep-seeded anger and fire still burns in her eyes. "You probably had to work your ass off to get to where you are from where you crawled out of. That means that the determination was always there. You could have gone anywhere but you chose the fleet. That front that you cling to like a talisman works in the military but you could have gone anywhere. I don't buy for a second that you couldn't have done anything else which means you could have just as easily faced-up. Probably tough being scared of yourself in the mirror. And if you think I have something to prove, sir, then that's not my problem. You want to know who and what I am? Read my file. You obviously don't care about the people under you so all your pertinent facts should be there to be helpful and explain." She then flashes her brows as if expecting her own head to explode, hands lifting to the space beside her face as she starts off once more for the hatch.

"Now you wait just one gods-damned minute!" Spits Khloe, whirling on the retreating Vandenberg. "Don't you ever insinuate I do not care for the men and women who entrust their lives to me when we fly out there and defend this fleet. They are not just numbers, they are human beings, each of which sacrificing their lives each and every time they launch down a tube. You, Lieutenant," she says, pointing at her, index finger unfolding from the fist that holds the chain to her dog tags. "You are not 'underneath me', despite your rank. You're not in my chain of command. And you should thank the gods for that." She loops the chain over her head, jerking her head around harshly and stuffing the tags down the collar of her uniform, her movements jerky and agitated.

This is apparently the reaction that Vandenberg was expecting. Maybe its what she was going for. Who the hell knows with that little bint. She leans on the hatch handle with one arm and looks back up to Khloe with a raised brow. "Oh, I thank the Gods I'm not. I'd rather have a CO that actually seems like she gave a shit about the men and women under her. Say what you want about Major Cavanaugh-Willows, I have no doubt people are her priority. Can your pilots say that about you? You can say that you care but at the end of the day you still have to answer for it in your own way. Do you make the concious choice to care about these people or is it something you can't help? Because if your four titanium walls that you've got erected force you to make an effort to care then maybe you ought to re-evaluate yourself. If you can't help it then maybe your cage you've locked yourself into isn't quite as secure as you thought - and that probably frightens you." Vandenberg's voice is pure ice. "Have yourself a lovely afternoon, sir."

Khloe's fists ball up at her sides at Vandenberg's parting words, with fire still in her eyes. Titanium walls, indeed. "Frak you," she says after the Marine Lieutenant, apparently out of words and left only with emotions. "Cry me another river about how your life aboard Cerberus is so hard. Boo-frakking-hoo." She turns her back on Natalie now, grabbing a broom and beginning to sweep up her spent brass. Although, after the hatch closes, the Captain does give a look over her shoulder after the departing Marine. Shaking her head, she makes a soft derisive snort and resumes her clean-up.

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