PHD #124: Tough Day At The Office
Tough Day At The Office
Summary: Coll goes over a rough day with Allie and Marko.
Date: 30 June 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Alessandra Marko Coll 
Pilot Berths
The battlestar's pilots call this place home. Bunks line the walls with grey curtains to cover their sleeping areas. Lockers sit between each pair of bunks and a round metal table sits in the center, furnished with simple but comfortable steel chairs. A hatch at the rear of the room leads to a communal head.
Post-Holocaust Day: #124

Coll wanders into the pilot berths in a flight suit. Its almost like the beginning to a bad joke with a tragic ending. She's specifically lacking the required toll that was spoken of the last time she was here, too. Fortunately for her, another Raptor Captain (Captain N.P. "Bot" Cee) is right behind her and asking her to stand by the hatch while they travel off towards the showers. Being made to wait? Such is the life of an E2. The woman looks like she's had a helluva day in the sims. The comm cable that might normally sit in her ear is left to dangle out of her neckle while those mildly tired eyes look around. Nope, Coll is gonna keep her damned mouth shut.

Alessandra's here and has been for quite a while as she's been busy working on…work. Tired and quiet, she doesn't notice Lauren's arrival until she's been standing there several minutes, the only sound to be heard besides the occasional snoring from a few slumbering pilots and ECOs being the soft scritch-scratch of the pen she's writing with upon paper. She's wearing her blues pants and her tanks, her tunic nowhere to be seen, that having been stowed for now, her hair left to fall about her shoulders and neck. Definitely a sign of her having declared herself off-duty. The writing stops as she looks around, Coll seen when she sweeps her gaze hatch-wards. "Coll. What can we do for you." And she means herself in that 'we' as there is no one else around.

Coll noticed her but the work of a Lieutenant? Coll barely got a taste of it and it wasn't even squad leader duties. Thus? She is quiet until spoken to. She has herself 'At Ease' near the hatch. "Sorry, sir. Nothing to be had. Just waiting for the Captain to return. Wanted to grab a shower after our sim time, before we debriefed. Right now? I'm just hanging out and waiting, sir. How's the paperwork treating you?"

Alessandra beckons her closer, not wanting to have to speak too loud. Sleeping pilots can be such assholes when they're woken up too soon. "I took a shower a bit ago and feel like I could use another," she grouses with a bit of a smile and too much sincerity for tC hat to be a joke. "Ever since I got back from Leonis and was cleared to do more than just dab a wet washcloth on the dirty spots I've taken up with taking at least two a day." Covering a yawn with a hand, she stretches as well, being careful not to move her arm beyond a certain point when she does. "Paperwork is as paperwork does, Coll. It…still sucks."

Coll steps closer but still holds her stance. "Yes, sir. I sure could use one myself. I think I could smell myself coming around a corner earlier," she says quietly, laughing a bit. "Sim training is pretty intensive. I forgot how much they put you through. Just had to do a low level recon of Canceron. Air defenses were pretty thick. Wasn't ready for it or the tricks. Got our asses shot down, sir." She shakes her head. "Sorry bout the paperwork. Its neverending, I imagine, sir."

"No reason to be sorry about the paperwork, Crewman. It's all just part of the job." The paperwork is probably a bit more than it'd normally be since Lucky's inherited the backlog of SND (shit needing done) along with the position but such is the way of things, alas. "There are days I swear that sim training's harder than just about any real, honest-to-gods mission we could ever be sent on. Good for training but not so good for one's nerves, lemme tell you." Finally hitting the end of whatever she was doing currently, she closes the folder and puts the pen atop of it, Allie looking relieved that she can do so.

"Heh. Aye that, sir. Haven't been out on anything too hairy yet, myself, though, so my opinion is likely suspect." Apparently Coll isn't counting her time on Leonis anymore. "But its like my instructors back at Advanced ECO told us - Train Hard, Easy War. Not quite sure anything is easy anymore but I think the spirit of it is accurate." She clears her throat. "Sir? Think there's something to how thick the defenses are? I mean, I haven't sat aircrew for anything except simulations. Is it really that bad down on the surface, sir?"

The saying Lauren shares is either something she's heard before during her own training or, at least, is something she agrees with as Alessandra's nodding. "Smart person," is what she responds to that with and could very easily say more but then she's asked that question and she feels the blood drain from her face some. Not exactly something she wants to revisit, Lucky balks and then entertains the notion to ask for a change in topics of conversation but when she tries something entirely different leaps out of her mouth. "It was worse than you could ever imagine, Coll. Between you and me, it…I never could have anticipated it. No one could. It was a clusterfrak wrapped up into a big ball of scary shit."

That answer has Coll looking around to the berthings and some of the few completely barren bunks. It makes her visibly nervous for a moment before she looks back to Allie. "I saw the gun camera footage from what Fresh and Knickers brought back during your extraction, sir. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen, Lieutenant." She deadpans it, but there's no humor to be found. She's standing only a bit short of rigid here in the berthings and daring to wear a flightsuit in here. "I guess its not the instructors trying to shove things down my throat then. Got any advice? Things to do? What to look for? I know our jobs are pretty different sir, but it doesn't hurt to ask."

The El-Tee Coll's speaking to is at the table, looking a bit tired. Paperwork, newly finished, sits before her, its folder closed. "I can't think of advice or anything like that off hand but tell you what. We'll get some time in the sims together and we can talk about it then when I can focus on that instead of other things." Bending her left elbow, it's placed against the edge of the large piece of furniture, her chin braced against the back of her hand instead of the palm like 'normal'.

Coll dips her head. "That would be appreciated, sir. Any kind of attention I can get. Sadly, I can't run sims with anyone except Raptor squadron leaders right now. Or the CAG. But.." Coll tries to smile and it fades quickly. "Its startin to hit home, sir. I had a lot of brass talkin the streak I did before but if that's how it is out there? Just wanted to apologize, sir. That was damned rude of me. Should have put the respect down where it was due. Flying these simulated missions is pretty tough. Harder than anything we really trained for in sims prior. It.." A sigh leaves her. "It was damned unprofessional, Lieutenant. It won't happen again, sir."

"Hey guys." Marko replies, wandering into the berthing area with his customary bottle of water in one hand and a manual of some type in the other. "What's shakin?"

Alessandra wants to dismiss Lauren's apology as being unnecessary but they're kind of in need of putting on a show to at least give the appearance that everything is as regs require them. She instead nods and gives Coll a slight grin. "Don't let it happen again, hmm?" Marko is looked at and she waves to him with a wag of fingers upon the hand she's not using as a pilow. "Flasher. How are you doing?"

Coll isn't smiling. At all. By the look in her eyes, she might even be a little scared of what she got herself into. Those empty bunks go a long way. A lot of Raptors have bought it. "It won't, sir." She definitely means it. Apparently those sims are putting the fear of the Gods in her. "This isn't what I was expecting at all. Knowing that its probably worse than what I'm getting on Day Four? Its a swift kick to the rear. I appreciate the candor, too, sir." As Flasher appears, the Crewman dips her head to him. "Sir."

"Heya, Duckie," he smirks, then nods slightly more formally to Coll. "Tech. How's the sims coming along?" he asks, finding an empty chair and flopping into it tiredly.

"We'll talk about it more later, Crewman. Grab me tomorrow and we'll do that. And…" Standing, Allie groans a bit while she feels her knees crackle a little, those poor joints protesting over her having sat for a few hours without stretching out her legs. "Hmmm. Frak. Anyhow, I should get some rack time in. Frakking still exhausted like hell. Catch you both later, hmm?"

Coll turns a bit so she can be see both more clearly. The recently happy-go-lucky Crewman from the Deck doesn't seem to be in attendance. "They're beating my rear, sir. Bad. I just ran a sim and I missed a DRADIS sig. We took SAM fire. Dodged three. Two scored hits. Low level? We didn't even get to eject. ..As I was just telling Lieutenant Sophronia, I didn't realize how bad it was out there. Brings it home what I volunteered for. But I'm confident I'll be fit for duty come the end of next week or just after, Lieutenant." Apparently she's done using callsigns with the man, too. For all intents and purposes, but the those E2 pins, she probably walks and talks like an officer. As Allie rises to leave, Coll straightens a bit. "Aye, sir. Thank you for the info. See you later."

Alessandra has disconnected.

"Take care, Duckie. Sleep easy. You're gonna need it." Marko offers with a smirk before turning his attention back to Coll. "Oh yeah, low-level. That's _always_ a gas." he grins. "So, walk me through it?"

"Uh, right, sir." Coll takes a long breath. "Sim started with a jump to Canceron. We were tasked with reconning a Cylon mining operation. Uranium, I think." She clears her throat, still standing as if waiting to be called to attention. Just a shade more relaxed. "We had some Raiders spot us on our descent but we were too hot for 'em. They ducked out and beat feet. I had planned the flight to take us northbound so that if we were spotted on the descent, it wouldn't be tracked. Our, uh, the mine was west of us." That seems like an afterthought. Her hands come out from behind her back to indicate angles as she continues. "We're diving in pretty steep to avoid a SAM site out east and we roll hard to port into a valley and we beat feet up it pretty quick. The ingress went pretty well, sir. Captain said the approach looked good. But I missed a DRADIS signature somehow on the approach to the target zone." She shakes her head. "We were wings level when we came off the target and the Captain took us off to the right. I'm spooling the FTL and suddenly DRADIS goes nuts. They shot five missiles at us, sir. The Flak was really nasty, too. Very sudden. We dodged the first two missiles, the third clipped us and took out my board. Fourth missed. The fifth speared us through the cockpit." Coll sighs. This isn't what she expected, obviously. Not any of it. "It wasn't pretty, sir."

"Yeah, that doesn't sound like an ideal day at the office." Marko nods with the faintest of smirks. "So, now for the fun part." he continues with a gleam in his eye that indicates 'fun' is going to include some amount of ball-busting. "How did you manage to miss a DRADIS contact?" he asks simply. That being pretty much one of the biggest no-no's in all of ECO'dom. "You get distracted? Maybe a little bit of tunnel vision trying to track that one SAM site, or roaming the screen looking for the two Raiders you dodged?"

"Not by any stretch, sir. Pretty bad day by any definition." It obviously taught her a lesson, though. "It was a combination, though, sir. We had been running passive and music off the whole time to be as silent as possible. I ran a quick active on my own initiative, which, I know: Stupid." She sighs. "I let the thing sweep while I switched over to the FTL screen and started our spool. Too damned soon." Its frustrating for her, obviously. She's probably trying too hard.

"Ah yes, I've done that one a time or two myself." Marko replies, nodding and chuckling softly. "I hope the Captain gave you a guided tour of all the Hells and Purgatories for it." he adds with a smirk. "They always did it to me, so it's only fair. Remember, you never break EMCON without letting the bus driver know." he adds firmly, his manner teasing but his voice serious. "And you know you can save your FTL waypoints, right?" he asks. "That way, all you gotta do is spool the drive and key up the next set of co-ords."

"Heh. The Captain is in the shower at the moment, sir. Has me waiting here until we can do our debrief." Coll doesn't get a shower. She looks like she was sweating pretty hard in those sims, too. "Yes, sir. I did know that. I had them all plugged in. I did most of our jump prep in the computer on our run up the valley. I just had to initiate them and spool the drive. Rookie mistakes, all around. I'm just rusty, sir. I have to find my groove again and its coming. I just have to stop trying to push myself. I keep trying to impress the Captain." Its an embarrassed admission, but an honest one. "Every time I do, I keep screwing up. I know what I'm doing. I just have to relax and let it flow, sir. Its just that the number of contacts and the thick defenses? I wasn't expecting any of it."

And that, judging by Marko's expression, was precisely what he was hoping to hear. "Then it sounds to me, for whatever it's worth, that you've got most of your shit in the same suitcase." he nods approvingly. "You've probably heard this a thousand times, but call this a thousand and one and listen 'cause it's still important: Do your _job_. That's it. No if's, and's, or but's. Keep your head in the game and trust your pilot. You do that, and everything else will take care of itself."

"Aye, sir. Its all packed and I'm ready to go but the CAG was exactly right." It almost looks like it pains her to admit it, too. "I need the sim time. I'd have gotten someone killed, sir." To his last, she smirks and nods. Her eyes fall away. "Aye, sir. My last squadron? I had the same pilot for five years. Our CAG let us form permanent pairs. She took a chance on an Ensign that'd had problems with other pilots. We flew together for five years. Best friend I ever had, sir. Save for Sergeant Constin, I've never trusted anyone more in my life. And it went two ways." Coll lifts her eyes back to Marko. "When I beat her to full Lieutenant? We both cried. Though I think she was more than a little miffed, sir. But it was the best bond. Breakin' that when I was kicked out? Punched a hole in me no round could match."

"Yeah, that had to have sucked donkey balls." Marko nods, sighing a little. "But, the good news is, we have some damn good pilots in the Harriers." he smiles. "Even Fresh." he chuckles. "Guess we kind of had to be, since this wasn't exactly in the plan."

"I'm not quite sure words are up to the task of describing just how much it sucked, sir." Coll deadpans it, not a shred of humor there. "But I'm aware. I've fixed your birds for three months. I've noticed who tends to come back with more holes in their birds. I've watched a lot of gun camera footage that stays loaded in the hard memory on the ECO stations, sir. Doesn't take long for an experienced ECO to spot the chops and the flops, Lieutenant. Fresh is a good pilot, though. I know you didn't ask for it, sir, but in my opinion, he's going to go far. I'd volunteer to crew his bird any day, sir."

"Yeah, I know. It's just fun to pick at him." Marko confesses. "I gotta pick on somebody, shit, I'm just about as far down the totem pole as you can get." he shrugs. "Speaking of totem poles, Coll." he sighs. "I wanted to apologize for what I said to you the other night." he says simply. "I was _way_ out of line."

"Heh. You want to try the bottom, sir, I'll trade you rank pins. Its a long, dark tumble down the rabbit hole from O-3 to E-2. Before this whole mess with Raptor 305, at least I could joke that I'd just traded in the O for a newer model." Coll manages a little smile but it doesn't stay long. Standing around these quarters doesn't seem too terribly comfortable for her. "I appreciate the apology, sir. Thank you. I'm sorry I let fly like I did. That was totally out of line and totally unbecoming for someone in my position. I'm trying to measure up, not measure distance." That's probably a Pissing Contest reference.

"No apology needed, Coll. You had a right to be pissed at me. I had no right to be pissed at you…Or Tisiphone, for that matter." Marko replies, sighing again. "It just all…I dunno….kind of caught up with me at once." he shrugs. "It's a good thing they don't pack psychiatrists on these ships." he comments. "They'd be spacing themselves with all of the mental trauma victims we've got."

Coll looks like she might have something to say about Tisiphone but thinks better of opening her mouth. This is bear country. One does not smear themselves with meat while traversing this terrain. "Sir? Its the stress of it all. Our CAG on my last boat? A couple of us stayed up late drinking with him one night. Told us some tales about the first war - he was an Ensign back then." She takes a breath. "He told us that in conditions like that? Everyone breaks in their own way. Some break down. Some break off. Some break in. It stuck with me, sir. A long time. Last few months I've thought a lot about that. But unless you're looking for it, its hard to control your reactions in that sense. I very nearly broke down. My time in the brig was the darkest pit of my life. But I thought about it and had a coach. I decided to break in. Toughen up. Way I see it? There's no shame in the way each of us deal with the things that we've seen and experienced. Not anymore. We're veterans and survivors of a massacre. I think each of us has earned the right to break, Lieutenant. You don't have to explain yourself or think less. I still rank you pretty high, sir."

Marko takes in that lecture with the faintest of smiles, nodding at all the right moments as Coll basically tells him what he already knew, but looks damned grateful for having someone else tell him. "Glad to hear it. Coll." he says at the end. "And, for what it's worth, likewise." he smiles. "You'll do _fine_ on your quals. Don't sweat it."

Coll dips her head. "Thank you, sir. I'm hoping so. My quals are going to be out in a Raptor. It'll be the first time I've crewed a real Raptor in more than eighteen months. Can't simulate the G forces and real stress in an actual environment. I'm gonna give it my all, though.." The Captain reappears from the shower, dressed. Coll comes back to attention as the senior officer passes by with just a gesture to follow them. "Thanks for the time, Lieutenant. I'll be seeing you." She gives a crisp nod to the man and turns sharply for the hatch.

"See you around, Coll. Good luck!" Marko smiles, nodding to both the Tech and the Captain in turn before turning his attention back to his manual.

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