PHD #193: Nobody Likes Monkeys
Nobody Likes Monkeys
Summary: A night in the sims. There's shooting and smoking and zombies.
Date: 7 Sep 2041 AE
Related Logs: Black Doesn't Wash Out, The Sims, and Flybys and...Flies.
Evandreus Devlin Leyla 
Flight Simulation
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.
Post-Holocaust Day: #193

Evandreus is here by himself, for the moment, hunched over the back terminal as he peruses a selection of programs and, toggling back and forth from one to another, smudges the data clumsily line by line from one program into the other, juryrigging something together for training purposes while a stub of what was once a processed fruit roll of some sort sits lodged between his teeth. He seems to have forgotten all about eating it, however, in his quest to modify the programs' levels of atmospheric turbulence.

Devlin wanders in, a notebook held under one arm, and announces his arrival by popping his gum real loud between his teeth. "Hey, Evan," he greets the pilot with a broad smile, "How's it going?" He leans over the terminal to take a look at the program being designed, eyeing it curiously. "What've you got in store?" he asks, "One of those radiation fields like back at Audumbla?"

Late or early doesn't really apply, in the black of space. And so, with time of day not truly a factor, Leyla simply….arrives. She's dressed, rather then in the flight suit she usually wears to the sims (being a proponent of 'give me the same conditions I'll have during a mission') she's instead dressed in the combat gear she's more or less been living in since she was sent down to the planet below. A quick scan of the room, as she looks for the object of her search, before she heads over towards the terminals, lightly tugging at the cuffs of her gloves, to settle the fabric around her fingers. The newly arrived viper pilot receives a greeting, before she comes up short, allowing the conversation to carry on without her.

"Shorta," Evan slurps around the fruit roll in his mouth, having first acknowledged Abs' greeting with a short bob of his head, eyes still on the lines of data rolling past him. Eyes skipping a line can lead to dismal events mid-simulation, after all. "Ah'm gonn… oh," he pauses, finally looking up, having caught Leyla out of the corner of his eye. "Hey, Shweepea," he remarks, sitting up straight and munching the rest of the fruit roll in half, swallowing part of it and leaving the rest of it in his fingers. "Radiation and dampening interference with three stationary targets and minimal active cover. Think we can swing this?" he asks of the two.

"Hey, Leyla," Devlin greets the other raptor pilot when she arrives, his smile still friendly around a wad of pink gum between his teeth. He stops popping it and just chews normally, nodding as Evan explains the scenario. "Do you want me in a viper, or just watching?" he asks, adding, "I'm cool with either."

"Bunny, nice to see you." As for whether or not they can manage the sim, well, "I think we can handle it. Are we hooking in an extra seat so that Devlin can have a go on the stick, or is he going to be sitting in the viper chair?" She did, after all, promise to show him a little something about flying. And at the moment, raptor piloting is all that's on the docket. At least from her side of things. "You'll be backseating?"

"You can fly escort, if you want, Abs," Bunny offers the guy, dipping back into the programming to root out one of the Viper slots. "You want me to open up the lead slot for controls, or want to fly wingman beside a computer-controlled lead?" he wonders, then, tossing Sweet Pea a grin, "Yah, I'll be in your backseat. Give you both something to laugh at. Last time I tried my hand at ordinance deployment it looked like the boat was trying to take a crap on the target," he chuckles, shaking his head almost mirthfully at the memory.

"Sounds good, Bun," Devlin replies, head bobbing with an easy nod, jaw working on that gum. He blows an absent-minded sort of bubble as he considers the question, popping it to reply, "I think wingman'd be better. More realistic and stuff." He shrugs a little, and then chuckles at the other man, shaking his head, "I'm sure it won't be any funnier than me trying to hit a target," he replies, heading towards the viper pod and climbing in.

There's an answering smile sent to the man at the terminal, though not nearly as free or easy as the one sent to her, "I imagine I could do much worse. But if it helps, I'll try to make sure I keep circling the bowl for you." But once the viper pilot's position is laid out, Leyla steps away from the terminal, heading over to the opposite side of the room, settling into the first raptor sim at hand. She's not really picky about that sort of thing. "You'll do fine, Alex. We can review any mistakes afterwards. Don't go into it expecting to make any."

"Wingman it is," Evan's fingers move over the keyboards with a mellifluous grace as he taps his way past the grueling copying and modifying he'd been slogging through earlier at not quite so fawn-like a pace. "And we're set." He gets up to stretch his back and, popping the last of his fruit roll into his mouth, he chews it away into nothingness on his way to join Sweet Pea in the simulator. For his part, he's a tanks-and-sweats-in-the-sims sort of guy, sacrificing realism in the name of comfort— unless he's training with the CAG or his SL, of course. "Should be okay to load up your IDs into the control slots Ess Five Gamma, Delta, Zeta."

Devlin is a tanks and fatigue pants kinda guy pretty much all of the time outside of the gym, and now is no exception. He clambers up into the pod, settling into the cockpit with a stamp of booted feet. "I've only been flying for about a month," he tells Leyla, his smile crooked and and a little rueful, "There's really no sense pretending I'm not going to make a frakton of mistakes. My goal's just to make fewer than yesterday." He scrubs a hand over his hair and stretches his arms over his head a little before setting about flipping on systems and warming up the faux-viper, coms headset put on once the cockpit is shut so he can inform them, "All right, I'm green to go."

Once Leyla receives the word, she finishes settling into the sim, making adjustments for her size. Whomever was in here before clearly needed a bit more time in PT…or alternately, a bit less time in the mess hall. But, regardless, she's soon settled, and loading her ID into the pod, switching on the simulated starfield positioned just ahead of her. A quick pre-flight check, to make certain all of her systems are functioning, as she waits for her ECO to join her and take care of his end, before she'll give the go-ahead. "Doesn't matter if you have been flying for a day. The mindset you walk into the cockpit with is the one you walk out with. Yesterday doesn't matter. Tomorrow doesn't matter. Today matters, and today is a clean slate with no mistakes in it. Yet. I'm ready, Bunny."
GAME: Save complete.

"And we're green in the backseat," Bunny calls back up to Leyla once he's got all the faux console's systems online. "We're loaded up with two four-point missile racks, front-loaded," he tells his pilot. "I'll feed you up the RTCs, you pick your favorite and take us into atmo on escort. Remember to try to be conservative in your tylium use. Do most of your maneuvering before atmo or in high atmo and then just adjust your course as needed due to whatever interference you find. Be ready to trust your escort to keep the road clear."

"Thank you, Bunny." Leyla trusts the man sitting in the back to handle the hard stuff, leaving her to do little more than take him in for the big kaboom. Once she gets the green light, she flips the switch to start the sim program, 'launching' from the bay and making her way down towards the 'planet' below. She's easy on the stick, true to Evandreus' orders, allowing the drift and inertia of space to supplement her movements, letting the craft, in effect, 'have its head', with only the occasional twist of the stick to send it in the right direction. Silent, as she likes to be, unless there's need for chatter between herself and the group.

Devlin launches and forms up alongside the Raptor and his NPC wingman, following the trio down towards the planet. "Got it, Bunny," he replies to the advice from the ECO even if it was possibly directed more at Leyla than him. Every little bit helps, right? He focuses on flying for the time being, adjusting to account for flying in atmosphere, which is obviously something new, at least while flying a Viper.

How well advice for piloting a Raptor applies to piloting a Viper remains, at this point, to be seen. In any event, Evandreus is busy trying to load up a missile for launch without killing everyone and everything. Which'd be bad, yo. And so he lets Leyla go on ahead while he's puzzling out his half of the equation. "We're going to be encountering some localized radiation spikes as well as counter-systems assault from the ground. I'll, uh. Try to keep the damage to a minimum, but flying could get a hell's worth of fascinating here in a second or two," he warns ahead of time.

Trust the vipers to keep you clear. Leyla does just that, as she shimmies her way into the atmosphere, coasting on into atmo, as much as one can when you're suddenly buffeted by little things like, oh, gravity. But in they go, needing only minor course corrections as she heads down towards the targets now straight ahead, as the crow flies. "I'll hold off on the final push until you're ready, Bunny. Vipers, still with us?"

"Ummm…" Devlin's response is not comforting, but it is fairly telling, even before he replies, "Kinda? I'm… having some trouble." And so he is, his simulated viper on the screen currently tilting out of position and beginning to fall back as the nugget fills in, "My systems are all going crazy, I'm having a hard time keeping control. Sorry, guys."

At least the computer is kind enough to have the lead bird fall back with its wingman, not letting him fall too far behind. Of course, now that the towers have caught sight of the approaching forces, two light craft jet straight up from underground tubes and cross in midair, pretzeling around onto an intercept course. "I'll get another jamming solution in the pipes, Abs. Hang on, see if this helps."

Leyla can only slow the bird down so much, as they are on a deadline. There's a reason that these towers need to be taken out. And so, while she does let up on the engines, to try to give both the vipers time to recover and give herself some time to plan for maneuvers to evade the incoming enemy crafts, she's still on course to intercept the primary targets, "I need a go on those weapons, Bunny, looks like we either need to move faster or get the hell out until we get them in zero-G." That is to say, where the raptor doesn't fly like a dead elephant.

"Thanks, Bunny," Devlin replies and a minute later his Viper is righted and puts on a burst of speed to catch up to the Raptors. "Yeah, that helped. There we go. OK." He and his wingman move into formation once again, their posture defensive of the Raptor as raiders appear in their future. "Alright, we're back on course," he informs Leyla and Evan, "Are you guys ready to take shots at the targets or should we head out and see what we can do about them?"

"Weapons are… go. I. Think," Evan stumbles across those last few words. "Well, they're as go as they're getting. Let's give it a shot. No pun intended. Clear us a path, Abs. We'll come out swinging behind you."

With the okay from Bunny, Leyla comes out from the momentary stall, accelerating into the line of fire, though she doesn't just head in straight as an arrow. She may not have as much experience in this sort of situation as more experiences VAQ pilots, but she's done her fair share of dogfighting, as it were. She knows how to stay out of a firefight, and she flies a rollicking course towards the leftmost jamming tower.

"Will do, Bunny," Devlin replies, and he and his wingleader sweep out ahead of the Raptors, putting themselves in the way of the raiders. The obstacles to zoom zoom having been eliminated, it is time to try out the pew pew part. Luckily, the coded Viper is more experienced than Devlin, who fails at landing a hit on either of the raiders but at least does a good job getting in their way and avoiding return fire.

Where Devlin's shots go wide but he weaves deftly between the ships and their fire, his lead vessel, on the other hand, lands a shot across one of the Raider's wings, sending it flicking to the side, and then, in a moment of turbulence, he slams his vessel directly into the other Raider, the both of them catching flame in the atmosphere and going dancing the dance of downed ships spiraling around one another, hooked awkwardly in each others' arms as they descend toward the surface. The remaining Raider catches its breath and hauls ass toward the Raptor, sending a well-aimed volley of firepower straight for it.

"We lost Viper 1," Leyla offers perhaps unnecessarily, as she catches 'sight' of the lead viper colliding with the raider and taking it out, leaving only Devlin's viper to take them in. "Just you and me now, Alex." But Leyla doesn't spare much consideration for the loss of the viper as the raider screams in her direction and she guns the engines, working them with ease along with the thrusters as she dances out of its firing line, still streaking in towards the tower, "We've got one more shot at this thing before he's on us, Bunny."

Evandreus saw it go down on DRADIS, of course, but doesn't have much to say about their fallen comrade, either, concentrating as he is on getting that missile out and down somewhere not -too- far from the target. "Okay.. o.. okay, I think I've got it," he manages to spit out before he mashes go on that sucker and sends fiery death raining down upon… well… nowhere near the tower, prompting, "Ssshhhhhit," in a long-drawn hiss from the pilot unnaturally inhabiting the backseat. "Just… just one more time. I can get this." Except for the Raider coming around to fire at them again.

"It's alright…just get your bearings, and I'll come around again." Despite the misfire, Leyla is anything but upset. It won't help her fly better, or her ECO work better. It's quite certainly don't bring your shit to work day. "Alright, let's try to line it up from the back, see if we can't put these towers between him and us." Not likely, being the tortoise to the Raider's hare, but she seems determined to give Evan every chance he can to eliminate the target.

"Alright, okay, here, I've got it," Evan tries to psych himself up for this little game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. "Missile deployed," he announces. He's getting there. The tower certainly -felt- that one, at the very least, and it takes a while for the DRADIS to clear from the explosion sufficiently for Evan to realize that the target's still standing. "Gods d—" he cuts himself off from shouting, trying his best not to get frustrated with the whole endeavor.

"Alright, I'm vectoring away for the next pass," comes Leyla's reply as she drags the stick hard, to compensate for the shockwaves of the explosion, now that she's nearly on top of the tower. This time as she positions herself, they're nearly opposite of the direction from which they came. "We're running out of rocks to throw, Bunny." Still, there's no ire in her voice. Sim or not, Evandreus is her partner and she'll support him, "Alright, we're heading back in."

Evandreus gives a short bout of laughter equal either a little bit wry or a little bit nervous. "Six more shots. Chances are I'll get it in that. Or you want me to route controls up front and give you a shot at it before we, y'know, get shot down?" he asks, even as he plots another targeting sequence.

"Route them up to me, see if you can keep those towers from jamming Devlin again." With the nugget flying solo, he's going to need all the interference he can get. "I want us to come back out of this in one piece. And that raider doesn't look terribly broken up about the loss of his wingman." Still, she's not idle, coming back in for a strike on the same tower. Here's to hoping third time's the charm.

Evandreus gives a further bark of a laugh as he just. Keeps. Missing. "Yah, better take them over before I hit something I oughtn't," he tells the woman in the front seat, routing them up that way with the air of a man washing his hands of the whole fiasco, and resuming sending out counter-jamming solutions, something at which he seems a great deal more at his ease.

As soon as the controls light up on the pilot side, with the raptor already in position, Leyla releases the controls that fire the missiles, the fourth of their eight, this hit succeeding in taking out the target as she sweeps past, barreling her way through the smoke and flash to move in towards the center tower. She doesn't move as far as she did before, however, trying to stay close enough to the tower that the raider might not want to risk hitting the towers if it fires on the raptor. "Alright, one down, two to go."

Devlin has been doing his best to avoid getting shot down and to keep the remaining Raider's attention off the Raptors as much as possible. It's complicated, of course, by the jamming going on, which forces the nugget to struggle to control the plane and keep it on his desired course. When Evan takes back the ECO controls and counter-jamming kicks in, the nugget says, "Oh, so much better, thanks Bunny," and whips around to fly back towards the other ships, this time firing on one of those towers as he passes and "WOOO!" actually hitting it.

"Woah," is Evan's comment on the sudden destruction of the first tower. "You make that look so easy," he goes on, ciphering down another jamming suite and dispersing it to the troublesome towers.

"It's all about practice. The more you do it, the easier it is." Not one to toot her own horn, is Sweet Pea. Nor one to stomp on her partner's ego, either. When she sees Devlin zip past her, and take a crack at the tower, the pilot jerks back around, pulling a hard 180, something that…perhaps, is not such a good idea. But hey…that's what safety harnesses are for. back in again on the second tower, to finish the job Devlin started, and with a bang, there are only two targets left. The third tower, and the final raider. "Devlin, we've still got a monkey on our back."

"Right, on it," Devlin replies to Leyla, breaking off from his firing pattern and peeling away from the tower as Leyla finishes blowing it to bits, swooping back around the Raptors to come up on the Raider. He gets a good shot off on it that just barely misses as the craft twists skillfully away, and then avoids getting hit himself. He weaves in and out of its path, trying to draw the enemy off so the raptor can get a shot in at that last tower.

The raptor is still going, like, some would argue, the bunny sitting inside it. Debris clouds, heat and wind, it's all swirling around in the air, all seemingly magnetically drawn towards the little stubby-winged craft in the storm. But it's still a fair fight, still two on two, and Leyla is still in it to win it, as they say. She manages to evade the crumbling second tower, but she can't quite manage to get a good bead on the final tower, and her shot goes wide, landing off in the ground just in front of the final target. Hopefully nobody here speaks Taurian, except her, because her comment is not very ladylike, not very ladylike at all. "Alright, we've got two more shots, can you do anything about jamming that raider?" You know she doesn't know. Not an ECO.

"I can try to get an r-spin off of the countersuite and splice the signal," Evan replies, half to the pilot, half to himself as he endeavors to execute the countermeasure he's indicated, his attention and self descending into the work.

Devlin says, "I'm pretty sure Psyche'd get jealous if I did that, Leyla," Devlin replies teasingly to that guttural bit of Taurian the pilot lobbed into comms, sounding definitely amused. Only for a second, though, before he is caught off-guard by an adjustment the raider makes and does a little low cursing of his own, muttering, "Shit. Shitshitshit," as he tries to compensate and instead ends up missing the raider entirely with his KEW and out of position, leaving the Raptor wide open for attack.

Now she's just getting mad, is Leyla, as the Raider comes in, turning its full attention, it seems, on the raptor, as the third tower goes down. Who knew a raider could hold a grudge? But grudge it is, as it opens up on the raptor, which, even in the best of circumstances, couldn't possibly deflect all fire at this range. Most Sweet Pea manages to avoid, but a few rounds make it in range, and the hull of her ship, HER ship opens up. Oh yeah, she's pissed, and the sudden loss of cabin and air pressure doesn't help either, the stick suddenly taking on a life of its own as Leyla attempts to fly clear, at least clear enough to give Devlin a clear shot at the last remaining target.

Evandreus is neither mad nor, to all appearances, agitated, now that his bout of flinging missiles aimlessly over the countryside like so many daisies from a basket is at an end. Nor does he do much more than blink and sit back for a moment when his console goes blank in front of him. No errors cropping up. No notifications of system damage. Just blank, indicating that the computer thinks that that particular blow to the ship ought to have either killed or severely incapacitated him. It's always a weird feeling, being pronounced dead by a computer, and not one he's gotten used to, as few times as it's happened to him. One with a little bit more poignant a punch, now, than before. As is only appropriate in these circumstances, he neither reports the situation to the pilot up front, nor makes any other manner of report. But the jamming suites come whirring to a close— not that it's easy to tell, now that none of the jamming towers are functioning.

Devlin is somewhat mad at himself for letting the Raptor get hit so hard, from the sound of the unintelligible grumbling under his breath. He wheels back around as Leyla flies clear and zooms straight at the remaining raider, firing all the while, apparently determined to just explode the thing with his own ship if need be. Luckily, it need not be! as the raider finally accumulates more bullets than it can handle and explodes in a cloud of shiny, tinkly bits of flaming chrome. "Got him!" the nugget says, sounding pleased, "What is it I'm supposed to say? Like, 'splash!' or something?"

"Somebody's pay is being docked for my ship!" is all Leyla has to say, as she continues to try to evade the incoming raider, "Bunny, you good back there?" She even spares a glance back, only to see Evan sitting silently, and his console blank and dark. She spares him only a look, before she turns back to finish the sim, the program still running through to its end, knowing precisely what it means. "Splash 1, or whatever number it is. Good shooting, Devlin," comes the quiet, reserved voice of the pilot over the comms. "Let's head back to the ship. Bunny's down." It is a sim, yes, but it's certainly not a game.

Evandreus offers Leyla a helpless manner of shrug and a little smile from back there in the dead zone, lest things get altogether too somber. Still, he maintains the custom of remaining silent until the simulation's finished.

"Splash one, then," Devlin replies, "Or… two? I guess it'd be the number that there were and not the number I hit myself." He is anything but somber, despite the fact that Bunny is apparently dead, turning his sim-viper back out of atmosphere as he says, "Aww, that sucks. We almost made it out, too. Well, luckily in real life you'll have a better escort than me. Somebody who can, you know. Hit stuff that moves more than once in a blue moon."

"I think the pilots count up their own kills, not everyone else's, but I'm not sure. I'm going to put down. I need to check on Bunny and seal this hull breach." There's just nothing for it. She can't get back to the ship with a huge hole in the hull. If Bunny is still alive, the vacuum would kill him dead. And so, rather than turning her raptor back towards 'home', Leyla pilots it down towards the ground, not far from where the towers once stood. "I wouldn't mind some company, Devlin, can you fly a patrol over us, let me know if something's coming?"

"What?" Devlin sounds surprised, having stopped really paying much attention, his plane just sort of drifting in midair nearby, "Oh, we're not done?" Definitely surprised, but he turns his attention back to his systems after a moment and replies, "Umm, yeah, sure, of course." And down into a patrolling pattern he goes, looping around in a fashion that is clearly straight out of a textbook.

Evandreus' eyebrows rise just a little bit. Wow. Sweet Pea takes these sims seriously, yo. His cheeks flush just a little bit with the sudden care being offered to his imaginary person, feeling oddly out-of-body about all this, being compelled to actually consider the implications of the circumstance instead of just being able to write it off as a simulation.

"Bunny's program is still running." At least, her sim hasn't shut down yet. So there must be something else in the routine that he programmed in. "Clearly there must be something else that needs doing." She takes the same care with her piloting now, that she did before. But soon enough, she's putting the raptor down on the ground, and unfastening her safety harness, to head into the 'back', such as it is, in a sim pod.

"Or it just sort of runs indefinitely once his programmed scenario is over," Devlin points out, a bit tentatively, "I'm pretty sure some of the generic base ones do that? But, you know. Either way. Whatever!" His tone remains pleasantly even, a shrug almost audible over the com as he zooms his viper around in the patrol pattern, gradually speeding up faster and faster like he's on a racetrack or something. He at least resists the urge to make 'vrooooom' noises.

The pod is small, and Bunny does the best he can to squirm out of his seat and shove his person into a back corner in order to let Leyla log in at the other console in order to run some repair simulations. Silently, of course.

"Thank you," Leyla offers to Coma/Unconscious/DeadBunny, as she moves into the repair console, thankfully tiny enough that she doesn't need much room to maneuver. As the pod can't really be repaired, as such, she instead programs in the repairs she would make, before she sets about checking if she can spin up the drives and program the computer herself. She's no ECO, but she's had more than enough experience for that. The hull breach is sealed with a patch, the fuel lines tested, and the attempt is made fire up the drive and program in coordinates for the area just outside where the Cerberus is anchored. "If you get close to burning out your fuel, head back to the ship."

Vroooooooooom! Around goes Devlin, faster and faster. "How's it going down there?" he asks as he whizzes around above the Raptor, banking hard on each turn to see how tightly and quickly he can pull the Viper around, "I'm alright on fuel," he says, "How's Bunny? Fake-dead or fake-unconscious or what?"

How's Bunny? Bunny's getting a little bit of a crick in his back, standing hunched like this, but other than tha— oh. Fake!Bunny. Once the console is up again it relates the extent of the injuries, severe shrapnel and artillery damage to the back of his head and neck and back. Bad places to catch the brunt of an incoming shot.

Either it's the console, or its the operator, but there is clearly an error, as the console flashes red, Leyla missing something in the repair. "Frak's sake." That to the computer, as she tries, once again, to make the correct repairs. As for the question of Bunny's status, "He's hurt bad. But I'm getting him back to Cerberus. That's for damned sure and certain." As for real Bunny, there's no doubt she can see how uncomfortable he is, and just for a moment, there's a break in the somberness of her demeanour. "Nice to be small." A flash of a smile, and back to work she goes. Repair the console, get the drive working.

Evandreus returns the smile with a cheeky slice of a grin. He's not super tall, but he's near to six feet, and that's plenty tall enough to make standing in the back of the pod less than comfortable. But he's a soldier. Sorta. He toughs it out with a good grace, though his lips twist oddly as he restrains himself from trying to guide his pilot through getting the FTL online. He can't help, after all.

"Sounds good," Devlin replies, sounding slightly distracted. Not that there are any other bandits coming to attack or anything like that, no. He's just focused on treating his fake viper like a racecar and pushing it up to its maximum in-atmosphere speed. If it had gears, he would be ratcheting between them like a pro. As it is, he practices ("practices", this is totally educational, for real) turning on a dime, racing back and forth.

Well, the hull is no longer breached, but the FTL is now shot to heck in a handcart. And her once chance to get it up and running is gone. She simply can't afford the time now, if she even could before. The attempt at the drive was nothing more than a potential two-fer with the repair to the ship. "Alright, FTL is shot, I'm heading back to the ship." And back to the pilot's seat she goes, strapping back in, and calculating best speed, given their fuel stores. "Come on, Zippy. Let's get all of us home." And with that, she's off, lifting off from the planet and trying to clear atmosphere as quickly as possible.

"Zippy's a new one," Devlin replies, "And I was just about the break the sound barrier!" It's not quite a complaint, but it has a note of disappointment, though good-natured all the same. "Alright, RTB it is," he agrees, flipping around and lowering his speed to match the Raptor's as they shoot back towards Cerberus.

Evandreus slides back down into the seat Sweet Pea vacates, nose wrinkling up as he looks over the damage report, the sight eliciting his very first breach of Dead Person Sim Protocol: "Ow."

"Maybe next time." There's always a next time in the sims. Leyla finishes out the sim, going through the protocol, reporting back to the ship, calling for a medical team for her injured ECO, and finally, touching down lightly on the deck. No divets to be pounded out, no. "I know, you look terrible," she calls back to Bunny.

Devlin lands once the raptor is safely in, cruising in for a pretty smooth touch-down. He goes through a quick post-flight, and then shuts down the sim and the pod system by system before hanging up his headset and popping the canopy to climb out. "Where'd you get it, Bunny?" he asks, wandering over towards the Raptor curiously.

Aaaand touchdown on deck brings the simulation to a conclusion, storing the scores and stats and resetting the panels. Bunny slides up and out of the pod, stretching his back. "Back of the head. I'm surprised my head stayed on at all. I must have tenacious neck muscles or something." A bright grin lightens the bit of dark humor.

Now that the sim is over, Leyla sets aside the headset, unstraps herself, and turns, cracking open the pod, as it were, so she can plant herself on the edge of the pod, "Really messy. Like bad horror movie messy. Nice flying out there, though, Devlin. Especially after you lost your lead." Which, she's seen devastate some new pilots. Ah Flight School, brings back so many memories.

"Gross," Devlin agrees, "But yeah, neck muscles of steel, Ev. Just what you've always wanted, right?" he grins. The nugget shakes out his limbs, stretching as he waits for the other two to disembark. "Thanks, Leyla," he replies to the pilot, "Sorry I got caught off mark and let you guys get hit that time. I need to fly against more raider programs, that guy totally faked me out." His lead he doesn't seem too concerned about. No use shedding tears over spilt sim-blood.

"It's alright. That's what the sims are for, to teach you, not only what you need to know, but to show you what you don't know. I think I need to brush up on my ECO skills, because that FTL was a complete frak-up on my part. I think I know what I did wrong, but we didn't have the time for me to keep pounding away at it, and if it were actually happening, I could well have blown us all to hades." Leyla reaches into a pocket of her combat gear, pulling out a burnished silver cigarette case, opening it to offer them around, before she'll take one for herself. "Sorry we didn't have such a nice introduction, Bunny. I try not to kill my ECOs right off the bat."

"At least I'll meer have to worry about the Lamia, huh?" Evan chuckles back, easefully taking his play off of Devlin's cue, then, more seriously, "Lemme go load up your data for you to go and review, yah?" And he's sliding over to the consoles again, looking up and over to his pilot. "Hey, no harm no foul, right?" he calls back, only giving a slight shake of his head to the offer of a cigarette. "Yeah, you were trying to start us up without accessing down past primary injection. It could have gotten pretty bad pretty fast. I can guide you through it a couple of times if you want. Maybe you can show me how to drop a bomb somewhere within two miles of my target."

"I might start calling you 'Necks'," "Abs" teases with a grin, chomping down on gum he managed to silence for the sake of the coms. He shakes his head at Leyla's offer of a smoke, replying, "No, thanks." He wanders over towards the console as Bunny goes, leaning against it to listen to the two pilots discuss as he waits for a download of his data.

Well, it could be worse. She could be a drinker. As it is, Leyla pulls out only one for herself, before she hops out of the sim, padding over towards the terminal to get her data, "I wouldn't mind that at all. I need to make sure I'm up to speed on those things. Flasher is good, and I think he's been very understanding, but I'm pretty sure Bootstrap was not happy with me the last time we went out." The cigarette is lit. She smokes like she flies, when there's no raider on her hindparts, slow and easy. "I've been meaning to ask. We don't have a single raptor nugget, do we?"

Evandreus neither smokes, what with his asthma, nor drinks, anymore, due to his recent liver issues. He'd be a model soldier if he weren't quite so sickly. "We have a couple," he answers, pulling up Abs' data, first, on a stick drive, and hands it over to him to go take to a print station at his leisure or look at on a monitor. "And don't worry. Boots isn't happy with anybody, especially not the first time he flies with them. I'm pretty sure he thought I was a complete idiot the first time he was in my backseat. But I was an Ensign at the time, and… may… well have been a complete idiot, after all."

"Oh, no, there are some," Devlin tells Leyla with a nod, "I think there are probably about a dozen of us nuggets total, and… maybe about half are Raptors? Or a few more? Some of those are ECOs, though. And, you know. Some come in, others drop out. It's hard to keep track of the exact numbers and stuff. But there are some, I promise." He smiles, and then at Bunny as he accepts the stick drive, replying, "Thanks." He tucks it into a pocket and offers to Leyla, "I think Bootstrap thinks most people are idiots other than Evan. How've you been, anyways?" he asks the other guy after a second, "I haven't seen you in forever, seems like."

"I'll have to look them up. I feel like I missed most of the last six months, I'm not sure where my head's been." Likely where everyone else in the Elevens has been, on recon and whatnot. Doesn't leave much time for meeting the natives, as it were. "That's not a terribly comforting thought, that." Clearly, the fact that she's been lumped in with everyone sort of…well, sucks. "Sort of kills my hopes for a good first impression." Of course, telling the SL that her shlong was bigger than his probably had something to do with it too. But anyways…she settles in to finish her smoke, as she allows the two men to catch up.

Evandreus starts to load up Leyla's data, as well. "Just don't be disheartened, dude," he suggests. "Keep at it, and he'll get to know you. Maybe even like you. He likes me, most of the time. But we've been flying together over two years, now, so I had, y'know, a head start."

"I mean, what's going to happen?" Devlin shrugs, "If he gave everybody he didn't like bad assignments, or something, most of his squadron'd be in trouble." He doesn't sound concerned, adding, "I'm sure you'll be fine." Evandreus gets a nudge with an elbow and the prompt, "So, dude. How's it been going? How's the liver and stuff?"

"I have a feeling a monkey would have had a head start." But there's a shrug, as Leyla sets it aside, for the time being. Nothing she can do about it right at the moment. "Would you have done anything differently with the piloting?" After all, he is a pilot. And this is why he was assigned to be her minder. "Yeah. It's not like he can do much worse than request I be sent back to the Elevens. Which he really can't, now that the Major's approved it." Again, there's that polite step aside, metaphorically speaking, as the conversation returns to topics she knows nothing about.

"Eh? It seems to be doing okay. They're limiting my time down on Sagittaron, though. they want to make sure the anti-rads won't send me into relapse," Evan tells Devlin with a quiet degree of a helpless smile. He looks to Leyla, next. "You looked good, out there. Did about as well as you could do with me lobbing bricks off the side of the boat from the back, all the times I made you turn back to the same target. I might suggest you switch to a point-degree turn in atmo, but— I dunno, I think it works better for evasive maneuvers, you might find it doesn't suit you."

"Nobody likes monkeys," Devlin replies to Leyla rather seriously, at least in compared to the inanity of the statement. It does not immediately appear that he is joking, turning to nod at Bunny instead, "Yeah, makes sense, good," he agrees, "Well, it's good to see you. We should hang out while you're up." The pilot-to-pilot advice is observed with mild interest.

"Flying in atmosphere is really taking some getting used to again. The last time I did it, was in Flight School. I spent the last three years in deep space, or in asteroid fields. I keep wanting to use inertia to help me get clear, and then gravity gives me the big goose-egg." She certainly wasn't terrible, but…a dead ECO is still a dead ECO. "I'll draw up some programs to refresh my memory." Smoke, smoke, smoke. Too many things to think about and improve on.

"I've got a metric frakton of old simlogs sitting in my locker if you want to look through some of the numbers," Evan offers Sweet Pea with a smile. "I still think you did okay, though," he reaffirms, just in case she thinks he might be sore about getting near-to-decapitated. "We should. How're things with Bubbles?" he goes on to wonder. Catching up, indeed. Time to loiter and gossip.

"I'm more used to flying in atmosphere than not," Devlin admits, "It seems more…natural to me somehow? Or something like that. But it was weird at first, since I've finally started getting used to space." He doesn't seem to mind the smoke even if it's not his vice of choice, smiling as Evan reassures the younger pilot and then offering a sudden grin at the agreement and the question. "Awesome," he replies, "And…awesome. They're really, really good, man. Like… yeah," he grins. Eloquently.

"I'd appreciate a chance to look them over. Not sure how much time I'll have before we leave Sagitarron, though. We've got two new assignments from the Major, and this is the first time in a week I've even been able to be on the ship for longer than it takes to refuel. But if you wouldn't mind letting me look at them over time, that'd be great." Leyla finally finishes her smoke, moving over to an ashtray to put it out. No using her uniform to put it out for her, "I love the freedom of space. The black. It's so damned bright down there." She's returning only after the conversation shifts, picking up only the back-end, but she can get the gist. "I should probably leave you two to catch up." She is waiting, though, for her data, before she'll try to duck out. There's definitely an air of, 'this is not really a conversation for three.' And she's okay with that.

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