PHD #388: Treat Your Raptor Like You Treat Your Woman
Treat Your Raptor Like Your Treat Your Woman
Summary: In which Shiner feels up space via a military aircraft.
Date: 21 March 2042 AE
Related Logs: Flying Air Shiner and other Shiner Tries To Be a Pilot logs; including What Do You Do With a Naked Nugget for the PTSD incident
Cidra Shiner McCoy 
A Raptor
A Raptor flying around space.
Post-Holocaust Day: #387

While Fleet is still nominally under Condition 2, space has been quiet since the jump to the the Eurynome Sector. And so, Cidra Hahn has time to attend to some of the bits of business neglected during the punishing month of the Swarms. Presently, that's taking Midshipman Wright up for another training flight in a Raptor. LTJG Daisy "Skeeter" McCoy sits in her backseat and comments, as the CAG's bus leaves the hangar deck, "You going to get naked again in here, Nugget? Girl'd appreciate some warning if you're going to whip it out."

Cidra clears her throat with a sharp, "Ahem. Eyes on the DRADIS, Skeeter." A pause. "Wright will be staying fully clothed."

"If you need preparation for all my glory, sir," Shiner allows with a smirk, sitting on his hands so he doesn't touch anything, "I can come and see you later on. Assuming I don't crash and kill us all," he adds cheerfully, beaming a huge grin.

"Sweetie, I lived through Warday, everything in between and a month of those gods-damned Swarms, but your pasty ass is what's going to give me PTSD," Skeeter chirps. Conversationally. It sounds more like banter than an attempt to really wound him.

Cidra clears her throat again. "So, Wright. We have been up in the buses a few times now. Once in combat. How do you find the feel of the Raptors?" A pause. "They are a good bit different than in the sims, hard as we try to approximate flight in those machines."

"Jealousy becomes you, sir," Shiner tells Skeeter cheerfully, then nods to Cidra, expression becoming more serious. "Yes, sir. It's a bit more… woobly… in the real thing." He wrinkles his nose as he tries to explain. "Like the difference between running your hand through oil or water. Slicker. It just kind of /feels/ different in the real thing."

"Wobbly? Not a critique of my flight style, I do hope," Cidra replies dryly. "There are not even any Raiders trailing today. All right. After we make this next rotation over the Praetorian we should have fairly uninterrupted space. I am keeping us clear of Ophion's atmosphere so we should not experience any gravitational drag. I think it is time you took control of the real thing, Nugget."

"Wooobly," Shiner corrects. "Like… sloooshy. Like… uh. Yeah. Like th— what?" he stops himself, looking at her in a panic. "Sir, what if I crash?!" Into… something. In space. Don't ask.

"Crash into what, Wright, we are surrounded by a vacuum?" Cidra does indeed ask. "You can do this. Skeeter has disabled the pilot's seat FTL controls, so the worst you can do is knock us around a bit at sublight. On my mark, you will have steering control. Counting down, thirty seconds. Just keep us on course. Twenty-nine…" And down she counts.

Skeeter sniggers some in the backseat. "Relax, Wright. I won't let you jump us into a sun. For the rest? Good luck."

"Look, if anyone can crash in a vacuum, it's me," Shiner admits frankly, flexing his fingers nervously before gripping the steering column and biting down hard on his lip, knuckles white. "I'm just a knuckle dragger with delusions of adequacy." All traces of levity and bravado gone now. This is serious business.

Cidra ignores Shiner's babbling and continues to count down. Skeeter's also actually quiet now, and the 'Good luck' sounded fairly sincere. On the CAG goes, slowing the ship so it's at a decidedly leisurely cruising speed. "Five, four, three, two, and…mark. She is yours, Wright." And so the Raptor is, gods help them all.

There's an almost immediate lurch as Shiner falls back into old habits with the nerves, chasing the line for his heading and bearing and invariably overcorrecting every time. He lets out a sharp hiss every time the ship rolls back and forth, the pitching getting worse with every pass as he tries to compensate and throws the whole Raptor from side to side. Nobody had a big lunch, right?

"Whoa!" The exclamation comes from Skeeter, who takes her hands off the ECO board to tighten her safety harness. Cidra winces and braces herself, attempting to avoid being rocked *into* the Raptor control panel. "Level off, Wright," she says. Tone calm enough. After going through trials with him in the sims, this isn't exactly unexpected. "You are overcorrecting again. A Raptor is made to go where to tell it go. Trust your controls and do not force it. Lighter touch."

"I'm trying!" Shiner insists stubbornly, yanking the controls to a central position and taking a long, deep breath. Centre. Calm. Woooosa. Woooooooosa. The Raptor is sort of half drifting at an odd angle through space now, but at least the lurching's stopped. He experimentally nudges at the rudder pedals, pulling what would be an amusing set of comedy grimaces were he not deadly serious about this. "Like swimming through frakking treacle," he mutters to himself, nodding. "Nice and easy. Nice and easy now."

"Good," Cidra says. And she means it. An odd angle is an improvement over the jerking they were doing before. "Try to go fore, straight ahead, accelerate. Remember Wright, are in a vacuum. No chance you can fall. Operating in atmosphere is a completely different story. But. We do not have to worry over that today."

Shiner takes another deep breath, releasing one hand from the control column to hover over the controls for the various additional thrusters. He gives Cidra a meaningful, questioning look, hand hovering over one of them. "So…" he breathes, "…this will push on the /starboard/ side so we go…. no, wait. This one will push on the /port/ side, so we go starboard. So I want the other one. Right? Right, sir?"

Cidra glances over and nods. "That one will push on the *port* side, Wright, which would propel us starboard was that our destination. But for full forward speed you want to fire both thrusters, as you will need to equalize the energy through both of them." She grins, ever so slight. "Give it a go. You are doing just fine thus far."

Shiner nods uncertainly, then just shoves both thrusters all the way forward, the G-forces pinning each unfortunate passenger to their seat as the Raptor suddenly accelerates, and Shiner's head whipping back like some kind of bobblehead doll. "Shiiiiit!"

"Whoafrak!" Skeeter exclaims, her high-pitched yelp harmonizing with Shiner's elongated profanity. Cidra doesn't swear, for her part, though she does let out an "Oomph" as she jerked back against her seat. "Slow it, Wright. Take thrusters down two clicks. Just two to start, do *not* cut engines completely. I do not terribly want the forces of physics to hurtle me into the viewplate shield. Two clicks. Down."

"Two clicks, aye aye, sir," Shiner responds with far more confidence, sliding the thrusters down smoothly. As long as he's following orders, his movements are fine, relaxed and easy. It's only when he's left to panic for himself that it all starts going to pot, apparently.

Cidra untenses, some, as their speed decreases. "Take it down another notch, we are still burning space too quickly. We should be a decent cruising speed again after that. Once we have reached coordinates carom-one-eight-zero, prepare to turn so we can double back toward the Cerberus. We should be there in one minute. Just watch your navigation instruments. We shall handle turning when we come to it." A pause. "So, how does it feel to actually fly one of the real things?"

Shiner eases the throttle down a little further, and with all the concentration on his speed, his level flight is markedly improved. "Frakking terrifying, sir," he admits frankly, "But frakking awesome, too. One-eight-zero, aye aye, sir," he repeats, watching the dial tensely. "Which way am I turning, sir? What do I do when I get there, sir?"

Cidra cracks the faintest of grins at that. "It is rather…awesome. Turn full around and back the way we came, Wright. Just ease off the port thruster, slowly, starting in thirty seconds, and let the ship's momentum bring us around. Then, once we are headed in the right direction, bring up pressure to both thrusters to this level again. Then, back as we came." She chuckles. "I never feel more right with the worlds than when I am flying a Raptor. I tell you that true."

"Ease off on the port, so we'll go… starboard?" Shiner guesses, tentatively sliding the control back. "Whoa! Wrong way! Shit!" he admonishes himself, automatically attempting to correct with the steering column, and lurching the aircraft into a hard right spin. "Frak! Frak it all!" The column goes hard left again and the all too familiar seesawing indicative of Shiner-flight begins again, the drunken path of the Raptor limping round in a big, jerky turn from the thrusters at least.

"We will go starboard…" Cidra affirms, though she trails off and grits her teeth as the Raptor *jerks* around. From ECO land, Skeeter groans. But the CAG does not actually seem all that put out, taking a deep breath as they limp around. "Well, we got ourselves turned. That will do, Wright. Straight us out, then both thrusters back to half-speed - where you had them previously - and we shall be on course home. Not so hard, eh?" Skeeter groans again.

Shiner grits his teeth, shoving the thrusters back up to half way with an almost angry glare at them, then grips the control column once more for dear life. Levelling out. Always his bugbear, the more stressed he gets about doing it and the worse it gets. The sweat is beginning to bead on his skin now, and the creases in his brow must be well on their way to being permanent. "Straighten out, Dave, come on… Level it off. Frakking THING! Argh!"

"Midshipman." Cidra does not bark, but her tone is firm. "Do not force it, or it shall only buck worse. You are doing quite well." She means it, too. Gods only knows what she was expecting. "Take us back at this speed. We should be back in position around the battlestar in three minutes. And then you will be able to say you have flown this contraption."

Shiner gives it another yank through sheer frustration as the contraption in question continues to buck and swerve around the sky. All the bad habits he'd thus far managed to just about quash in the sims are coming back hard with the nerves now he's under real pressure in a real aircraft. "Go! Frakking! Straight! You son of a frakking BITCH!" he tells the aircraft, going so far as to give the roof of the cockpit overhead a thump with his fist. Oddly enough, this tactic works, distracting Shiner long enough from trying to correct for the aircraft to just level out naturally. He looks slightly confused for a moment as the horizon indicator is suddenly even, and gives the roof a suspicious, dubious look.

Cidra also directs a dubious look up at the roof. "That is…not a standard technique," she says dryly. "Wright, take it down a notch in yourself. You do well enough when you do not allow your frustrations to get the better of you. And slapping the…bitches is not actually a proper method of course correction. Steady on course now. Just keep flying straight. We are at a good angle for approach."

Skeeter sniggers. "Heh heh heh, bitches…" This amuses her.

Shiner doesn't let go of the stick, but it's not far off, letting his fingertips alone rest on the control column while he wipes his brow with the opposite sleeve. "I can do it, sir," he tells the CAG hotly. "I've done it dozens of times in the sims." Reassuring somebody, probably just himself. He takes a deep breath, rolling his shoulders and mumbling something under his breath to calm his nerves. Something that sounds suspiciously like 'boobies', complete with gropey motions of his free hand. But hey, if it works, right? Light touch on the controls, and they're approaching in an almost competent fashion. Wonders will never cease.

"Hey, not awful, Nugget," Skeeter chirps up from the backseat. She is far enough away to miss the 'boobies' muttering. "Keep doing whatever the frak that is."

Cidra clears her throat and snorts softly. But the handling itself gets a generally approving nod. "That is about right. Dial back on thrusters one click every five seconds until you pull us into a stop. I shall get us landed. *That* we are saving for next time up for you."

"One click every five seconds, aye aye, sir," Shiner agrees, resting a hand on the thrusters and gradually easing them back, with another subtle gropey motion of his fingers. "What, you don't trust me, sir?" he challenges, cracking a nervous half-grin.

"Perfect your turns and takeoffs, then you can land," Cidra says. The groping motions earn another of those very wry looks. But she's not about to object to what more or less works. "You are on track for it. By the end of the week I would like to get you flying a full run, from pre-flight to touchdown, with your own hands. I just pray this system stays quiet. The Swarms *seem* to have abated, but the Cylons have a way of giving us just enough breathing room to choke us a heartbeat later."

Shiner nudges the thrusters back that final click, momentum still carrying them forward. He frowns a little, then flicks another switch once or twice to give a small reverse boost or two in short bursts until the aircraft is perfectly still, hanging in space. He gives Cidra a smug look at that and a cocky shrug of his shoulders. Yeah! Didn't expect THAT, did you!

"Now that, Mister Wright, is how you treat a lady proper," Cidra says. With that, she retakes control of the plane and guides it toward the maw of Cerberus' flight deck.

"Treat your bird like you treat your woman, sir," Shiner quips, relief evident as he settles back and she takes the aircraft in. "Get inside her twice a day and take her to heaven and back." Woof.

Cidra brings the Raptor in for a landing with relative ease. It's an easy approach in the - thus far - tranquil system. "Whatever aids your ability to keep her level, Wright," she says with a snort, not responding to the comment beyond that. "You take care of the post-flight. Lieutenant McCoy will check it when you are done and hand it off to the deck crew. After that, you are dismissed."

Skeeter, on the other hand, chortles. "That *was* a lot more jerking around than I want on a first date. But, nobody got knocked up. Small victories."

Another snort, and Cidra opens the doors and leaves them to it.

Shiner grins at that, running a hand through his hair and beginning the post flights. These, at least, he's got experience with, albeit usually from the deck side of things. "So how about a second date, sir?" he suggests to Skeeter, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. "Drinks on the Elpis, as soon as we're stepped down. I scrub up well, honest I do."

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