PHD #211: EVENT - We're All Friends Here
We're All Friends Here
Summary: Cerberus and Areion's air wings are all one big happy family.
Date: 25 September 2041 AE
Related Logs: Wine, the Giver of Joy, Welcome the Coming, Speed the Going
Bran Cidra Devlin Malone Psyche Trask Baer Finch Marduk 
CEX-300 Areion's Hangar
The Areion is in many ways, on the surface, a standard Colonial Escort Carrier. A cheap and fast alternative to a more grandiose battlestar to put Vipers in the air, smaller vessels that were largely used for shipping lane patrols and transport. The flight deck certainly corresponds to that. It seems quite tiny for one used to Cerberus' expensive, six flight deck arrangement of air support. And yet…this is no ordinary escort carrier. For once thing, it's either fresh off the line or has received a major remodeling job. Everything, from the unmarked, still-unpainted Vipers that sit on its deck, to the deck plating, looks new. There's also a…sleekness to everything. Particularly the machinery.
Post-Holocaust Day: #211

The crew of the CEX Areion have, apart from the meeting down on Aerilon just after their jump to that particular colony, largely kept to themselves. And no one from the Cerberus has set foot aboard the souped-up escort carrier. Until today. Major Hahn and the Areion's CAG, Lieutenant Colonel Baer, have arranged this little meet-and-greet aboard the carrier. Its flight deck sits open now, ready to receive the Cerberus' Vipers and Raptors as said ships complete their short flight over from the Cerberus. Major Hahn is piloting the Raptor on its way over, flanked by a phalanx of Vipers. The Vipers in particularly 'flying' themselves over probably was not necessary but perhaps, just perhaps, Toast isn't above putting on a little show for the strange ship.

Psyche stays in strict formation on the flight over, apparently very aware that she's representing the wing. So she minds her Ps and Qs, executing a textbook landing and working politely with the Areion's crew once she's arrived. On deck, helmet and gloves stowed in the cockpit, she hangs back until the others have disembarked, then moves to join them. Though she manages to resist the urge to run around peering at and touching all the shiny new things, she can't quite contain her curiosity about their mysterious new sister ship. Blue eyes are wide, and she does more than a little staring at her environs.

Devlin keeps to his place in the formation as well, and waits his turn to land, climbing out of the cockpit and giving himself a little shake, discreetly working out the nerves that landing an actual real life Viper still brings. Extra gear tucked inside his ship, he too joins the others, stepping predictably over towards Psyche, though he stays silent and most of his attention is focused on looking around the shiny hangar.

When the commanding officers of the Air Wing were initially informed of this little rendezvous, Bootstrap didn't hesitate to remind the CAG that the Areion peeps are all spooks who by and large were hand-picked by Admiral Madeline Hauck. Which is to say that if there was a group that would forego whatever semblance of humaneness they might have retained post-Warday, his money is on those guys. They may be allies, but he sure as frak doesn't trust them. Enough so that he made sure to hash-out a skinjob-spotting protocol with Cidra. Now, though, all he can really do is hope for the best and anticipate the worst. Facetious as ever, he asks before disembarking, "Any wagers on when all this will go to Hades in a handbasket?"

Moving with the other Vipers on the short flight over there, Malone looks a little lost in thought for a few moments after he landed on the deck. Now he's getting out of his Viper and looking around the unknown deck area, nodding a bit to the people he sees. Looking around for the rest of the Cerberus group, and moving over in their direction.

Bran doesn't have a pen in sight but he presumably has one tucked out of sight somewhere around on his person. The flight over isn't nearly as anxiety-fueling as he had thought it would be and after giving himself a once over he's lifting from his station in order to follow behind Trask. "What kind of bets're you looking to make?" There's a pause of a beat before he adds, "I was looking forward to a smooth shindig."

Apparently unable to behave herself for long, Psyche wiggles her fingers at Malone as he approaches — then crosses her eyes at him and sticks out her tongue. Just for an instant before she's back to being uncommonly disciplined, standing at parade rest with her hands clasped behind her back. La dee dum. See the halo?

And the Cerberus flight personnel would find some interesting things to peer at, though they might not know exactly what to make of them. The Areion is in many ways, on the surface, a standard Colonial Escort Carrier. A cheap and fast alternative to a more grandiose battlestar to put Vipers in the air, smaller vessels that were largely used for shipping lane patrols and transport. The flight deck certainly corresponds to that. It seems quite tiny for one used to Cerberus' expensive, six flight deck arrangement of air support. And yet…this is no ordinary escort carrier. For once thing, it's either fresh off the line or has received a major remodeling job. Everything, from the unmarked, still-unpainted Vipers that sit on its deck, to the deck plating, looks new. There's also a…sleekness to everything. Particularly the machinery. And it's saying something that one notices it, given that the Cerberus herself is supposedly the latest-and-greatest Mercury class battlestar. The Deck runs with fewer techs than one might expect, though they come out dutifully to settle the Vipers and Major Hahn's Raptor in once they land. There are signs of a great deal of the work, from landing systems on down, having been delegated to automated systems. Where there are fewer techs, there are far more control panels and other signs of system automation.

"Best behavior, Bootstrap," Cidra says firmly from the pilot's seat as she settles her Raptor in for a landing. "I never did think I would lay eyes upon another ship of Colonial pilots again. Wherever they are from, I thank all gods that they are here. Remember. Wherever we come from, we are all friends here. Pens, I am well down. Proceeding with post-flight." Once she's done with that, she'll head out of her Raptor and lead the little delegation off to meet the half-dozen or so Areion pilots gathered on the hangar deck to greet them. They're headed by the Areion's CAG himself, Lt. Col. Baer.

Devlin gives Malone a chin-up of greeting as he approaches, offering, "Hey, Malone." Then their are Raptors and hosts arriving, the midshipman watching the latter with interest until the CAG is prepared to lead them over. Being, after all, so junior an officer that it's not even totally clear if he IS officially an officer, he hangs out of the way of the others, and keeps his mouth shut.

"The kind I'm hopin' to lose," is wryly murmured back to Bran, indicating that Trask does not at all expect any semblance of smoothness. Letting the junior officer emerge first, he then follows suit once only Major Hahn remains aboard the Raptor, so she can make the star entrance. When instructed to be on his best behavior, a gleam enters his big brown eyes and one corner of his mouth twitches into the kind of smile expected of a naughty little boy with a knack for both getting into and out of trouble. Other than that, he looks the model officer, sticking to Cid the way a de facto second-in-command should.

"Very mature there," Malone comments to Psyche, very quietly, before he nods to Devlin. "Hello. Flight went well?" he offers, before he turns to look over to the Areion folks now.

"You were obviously expecting to see some other little blonde Viper stick?" Psyche returns to Malone, sotto voce. Mature's not something she gets accused of often. As Cidra leads the way, she turns and follows the small delegation to meet their pilot brethren, flashing "Papa" Baer and company a big, toothpaste commercial smile. One can almost hear the *BLING* and see the animated gleam.

Bran opens his mouth to comment further and then purses his lips and offers a slight nod of his head, which helps to stop any would-be smiling from the man. Less informal, and more formal, he can do that. He can do that just as soon as his boots slow and he's casually glancing from one point of interest to the next. Briefly, he checks the Cerberus' ships over and then moves to follow with everyone else. "Half hour, tops," is murmured, "Nothing to wager though." He quiets down on the chatter and brings about politely smiling.

"Cerberus Flight. Assemble and come to attention," Cidra says, marching forward to present herself to the Areion crew. Raising her arm and snapping off a text-book perfect salute to the CAG. "Colonel Baer. Major Hahn presenting myself and my pilots. I thank you for having us aboard." She's quite obviously putting on her best Navy manners.

Which is something of a contrast to the Areion personnel who greet them. Though in flight suits all, none of them look as spit-shined as one might expect. Most of the men sport scruff and even full beards some full beards that would not pass any sort of enforced grooming standard, and there are more than a few signs of non-regulation civilian T-shirts being worn under those (occasionally sloppily unzipped) suits. Still, those pilots carry themselves with a confidence bordering on cockiness in some cases as they eye the Cerberus personnel. And there's not a man or woman under the rank of full LT among them. Most are captains, and a couple sport major's pins as well.

One of those lieutenants, while definitely not breaking the prohibitions on facial hair (instead sporting a jaw so perfectly clean shaven it almost shines in the light), is definitely making up for it with an extra measure of cockiness and a serious lack of decorum. "Woo! Visitors!" is how Fiasco greets the arriving Cerberus personnel, "Come to gawk at our awesome toys? I hope you all don't get jealous easy or this's going to be an ugly little field trip," he laughs.

"Wait, there are others?" Devlin teases Psyche, snapping his fingers, "How come nobody told me?" He shoots her a quick grin and then smiles at Malone, nodding, "Yeah, no problem. Good to see you." He looks like he might chatter on in that vein of friendly pilot small talk, but they're called to attention and he gets down to that business, watching as Cidra greets the Areion CAG.

Psyche comes to attention has ordered, no longer smiling as she returns the assessment of the Areion contingent. Quite frankly? Her nose wrinkles a little — just the tiniest bit — at the sloppy, cocky mess of officers. She's not impressed. Fiasco's bragging on their toys prompts her to take a breath and open her mouth as though to reply — but she snaps her jaw shut and glances at Toast, instead. Best. Frakking. Behavior. Athenos is on it.

"Point…" Malone offers in Psyche's direction, before he hears the order of coming to attention. Moving quickly into that position, he looks over the Areion folks, a very momentary change of expression at Fiasco's words, before the expression goes back to normal, just a few seconds later.

Bran flattens his expression and gives a short inhale, holding that as he comes to attention. The air is knocked out of him by the time Fiasco is speaking up and Pens is looking to the other man before roving over the others. None below Lieutenant makes for a curious Bran. He looks away and glances off in Toast's direction and then to the others, if only for some measure of direction.

Trask is not the poster boy for military protocol. As it stands, irony of ironies, Areion's Air Wing is rubbing him the wrong way. Even more ironic? He's actually in agreement with Bubbles. Frakkin' Bubbles. This can only be a precursor to doom. Standing at attention while his CAG handles the formalities, his expression is rather blasé. This might be in part because, regardless of their no less than full-LT ranks, he's of the belief that the bulk of the Aerion's crew landed this posting due to some manner of nepotism or cronyism. Indeed, just who is Fiasco's uncle or granddaddy?

Baer himself is a gracious enough host, returning Cidra's salute and offering an "As you were" all around. And flashing Psyche a slight crooked smile in return for her animated one. "Major Hahn. Cerberus flight. Welcome to the C-E-X Areion. Birdie here - that is, Major Finch, one of my squadron leaders - will be showing you around our little nest." He gestures to a tall Viper pilot in his late thirties, who's sporting an almost pointedly scruffy goatee. "I was hoping, Major Hahn, that we might speak privately? To coordinate our CAP rotations and those other upcoming join projects we so-briefly discussed previously?"

Major Finch eyes the Cerberus pilots in an assessing sort of way, and seems to find them wanting. He also looks Cidra up and down when Baer requests a private audience with her, in a way that suggests he's not appraising her flight qualifications. He smirks at his CAG. "Go have your fun, Papa. I'll take care of the Regulars." The word 'Regulars' is said in an extra-smirky manner.

Maybe Birdie is Fiasco's uncle, since he stands near the older pilot, and their smirks match in tone if not in their proximity to awesome goatees. The LT snickers at the use of 'Regulars' and its enunciation, and then he flashes a wide grin at the Cerberus pilots. "What're you all looking so serious for, anyhow?" he asks, "Isn't every day people get a look at our stuff, you know. Isn't any day, even. You all should consider yourselves lucky, you're in for a treat here, you know? And none of you can manage a smile? 'cept you, honey," he shoots Bubbles a grin that would rival hers in an audition, "I'd see that one of yours again, though, wouldn't you, Birdie?" he chuckles and nudges the major with an elbow.

Psyche's smile returns, briefly, for Papa — and dies an immediate, gruesome death as Major Finch becomes the center of her attention. Good thing she's been given leave to relax a little, because she probably couldn't stop her hand from settling onto her hip if her life depended on it. Her jaw tenses visibly at Birdie's extra snark, and those closest to her can hear her muttering something under her breath. It sounds suspiciously like, "Just got outta the brig… just got outta the brig…"

Devlin doesn't seem quite sure what to make of Birdie and Fiasco, brows inching inwards a tic as the pair talk, and then a tic further as Bubbles gets called out in particular. He still says nothing, though, at least not loud enough for it to carry to the other set of pilots. In response to that litany about the brig, though, he mumbles a very soft, "No pissing the CAG off, remember?" before looking to the CAG(s) as they head off and then back to the other Major who's supposed to be showing them around.

Malone remain standing where he is, expression neutral for the moment. Studying the different people with very small movements of his head now, those seeing his eyes can see the thoughtfulness there at the moment.

Bran relaxes his posture to an at ease but for the life of him he cannot produce a smile. If it's not going to be genuine, yet, than he shan't bother forcing one out of respect of the CAG's wishes; though, he can look on neutrally. He stops reflecting and looks down the line of Cerberus pilots before turning his attention to the Areion ones. Pens huffs under his breath and then begins to step forward, join the Areion folks and all that jazz, without being so stiff about things. If they're going to be shown around, he'll follow their lead: "Let's get this grand show on the road, eh?"

Cidra *eyes* Major Finch when he looks her over. No particular expression on her face. He is just *eyed*. She clears her throat, focusing entirely upon Baer. "Certainly, Colonel. I have an operation upcoming for which coordination with your Raptor crews in particular would be most helpful. Bootstrap…" A look to Trask. "Do see nothing is set afire while we are here, yes?" It's half a joke. And half not. Her whole manner seems to scream 'BEHAVE' to the Harriers SL.

And Baer is giving Major Finch a not-disimilar look. "Best behavior, Birdie," he reminds the man in an undertone that's maybe not supposed to be as audible as it is. With that, he leads Cidra off out of the hangar bay. To…elsewhere. One might note Cidra's posture is a little stiff as she walks beside him. Far more all-business than she was when she met the Alter-CAG on Aerilon not so long ago, certainly.

"I'll be good," Psyche mutters to Devlin, heaving a resigned sigh. It's a concession given with extreme reluctance, arms folding over her chest. But she seems to mean it. A glance shot toward Boots as Cidra hands over the reins.

Fiasco's behavior is thus far more of a problem than Birdie's, but the lieutenant doesn't seem to have any sense that that order might be directing him to be on his best, too. Or maybe this IS his best behavior? Scary thought. As the CAGs head off, the pilot animates even further, bouncing a little excitedly on his toes, and unzipping his flight suit far enough to see a t-shirt with a slogan that begins 'Female Students Wanted For' and perhaps luckily, the rest is still hidden. "Well, come on!" he urges, both his own leader and their guests, "Let's get this tour started, huh?" Bran's similar urging earns him a grin.

"I'm not the one called Toast, Major," is wryly pointed out to Cidra before Bootstrap segues into, "Speaking of Raptors… are you dual-qualified, Major Finch?" It's spoken in that innocent, polite tone that never really is such but still can't be proven to be otherwise. Why, if he weren't behaving, there might even be a brief batting of the lashes. As it stands, the question alone suffices. For now.

"Yeah, come on," Finch says, beckoning them all to follow him and leading them off to toward an area of the deck where their unmarked Vipers are lined up. If the pilots themselves have paid less-than-strict attention to their appearance, the opposite is true of the planes. They are shined and polished and maintained with obvious care. Viper Mark VIIs all of them. At least, so it seems at first glance. "Might as well get this show on the road. Papa'll be awhile. I'm not dual qualified, but our CAG is." He smirks some more. "Man knows how to land himself a Raptor." There might've been a double entendre there. Finch is *not* subtle. The chances of that rise, given the chuckle he exchanges with Fiasco. Anyhow, he goes on. "Fiasco isn't just bragging. You folks are in for a treat. You're the first regulars to set foot on our here little C-E-X, outside the paunch of a CO of yours when he came over to meet our Commander. Frak, you lot are the first personnel aboard that weren't hand-picked by Admiral Madeline Hauck herself. We ain't seen another Colonial ship since that Cylons blasted the colonies to hell and back. What about you folks? From the looks of that battlestar of yours, you've been through a Hades of a time yourselves. What were you doing hanging around Sagittaron space, anyway?" The question is generally addressed to all of them, and it's both blatant fishing and an attempt to make somewhat pleasant conversation.

"Quite lucky…" Malone mutters under his breath at those words, before he shrugs a bit at the question about what they were doing hanging around Sagittaron space. "Enjoying the nightlife?" The words are spoken quietly, and it looks like he hasn't quite noticed that he said it out loud. Fiasco is studied a bit closer now, "What did the callsign come from there?" he offers to the man after stepping a bit closer to him, sounding mildly curious now.

Psyche draws a breath, presumably taking her cue from Bran, and shakes it off. She unfolds and puts on her game face, brillianting another tooth-polish smile and falling in with the informal group. She keeps her pleasant smile in place, even as off-hand aspersions are cast on the CAG and CO. "You know our CAG's callsign is Toast?" she offers, conversationally, to Birdie. "And there's reasons for that. So I wouldn't be surprised if Papa winds up burning up in atmo, attempting this landing." Her CAG ain't no bed-swerving harpy, yo.

"Papa's been known to land all sorts of birds," Fiasco backs up Birdie with a grin and a snicker. He's quickly distracted by their approach to the Vipers, though, and while he lets the major do most of the talking, he can't help but pipe up and reply to Malone with a broad smirk, "'cause when I show up, the enemy's day turns into a fiasco. You feel me?" He laughs, and then heads over towards one of the vipers, stroking the nosecone proudly.

Devlin seems vaguely uncomfortable as tensions between the two sets of pilots continue. When Cidra moves off and leaves them alone with Trask and Birdie in charge, he doesn't quite cringe, but he does become even more interested than before in studying the differences between this hangar and their own. As they approach the unfamiliar vipers, he shifts a little closer to the outside of the group so he can get a better look.

Now Sam Bran can smile and do so relatively good-naturedly, the ECO lifting his chin and holding his gaze aloft and off to Fiasco. He gives a nod in agreement. It's about time to get this tour started. He slows down on the following though so he's less with the ones he doesn't know and more with the other Cerberus' crew. For the time, he's all ears and eyes with his arms loosely folded over his front. That smile of his lingers though.

"We'll see, honey. We'll see," Finch says to Psyche, chuckling another of those chuckles. And looking *her* up and down now. "Oh. Yeah. Forgive my lack of formality. We've all been together awhile. We don't stand on much ceremony here. Name's Major Dirk Finch." For all his lack of formality, he makes sure to note the rank yet again. "I'm squadron leader of the V-X One. The Spectres. And these are my rides." He gestures to the Vipers, inviting the pilots to take a closer look. Or, perhaps, urging them to. He seems real eager about showing off his personal toys.

"I'm Bubbles," Psyche replies to Finch, just a little tepid. If he wants her rank, he can get it from her collar — due north of her chest. "Yeah. We've been out here a while, too." Funny, how they were all displaced from their homes at roughly the same time, yet some of them managed to shower for the occasion. Her smile flashes a tad brighter, re-reasserting her Note to Self: Be Nice. "This is Boots, Pens, Splash and Alex. So what were you all doing out around Sag?" It's probably killing her, not running over to get a better look at the planes… but she's not about to give him the satisfaction.

"Oh yeah, I'm Lieutenant Gabe Marduk," Fiasco introduces himself after Finch's reminder, still standing with one hand resting on the side of one of those vipers. "Nice to meet you, Bubbles," he grins at the blonde, adding after a moment, "And all the rest. What kind of a call sign's 'Alex'? Not very creative," he adds, heavy dark brows furrowing in puzzlement. He's easily distracted by the proximity of shiny vipers, though, and he pats the one under his hand and urges, "Yeah, come see! That's what you're all here for anyways, yeah?"

"Marduk? Name sounds like a Fiasco in itself," Malone offers a bit lighter now, shaking his head a little. "Just be careful about the day when you turn into your own callsign," he adds to the Lieutenant, before his attention goes to the Vipers. Stepping further towards them, he's unable to hold back a bit of a whistle, even though he tries. "Nice rides you've got here," he offers with a bit of a chuckle.

Psyche fields those fly balls (Har. Har. Fly. Balls.) and Kal continues unruffled. "Well, Major Dirk Finch," he smiles a touch wryly, "Bubbles here earned her callsign 'cuz she has a knack for burstin' 'em." Totally not true, but that doesn't matter. He speaks it like it came straight from the mouth of Hermes. "The kind that isn't one," is drily pointed out to Marduk. There is no further elaboration. Instead, he idly regards the ship from where he's standing, which is further away than what would be expected of a pilot. An aerospace engineer can pick-out differences in aerodynamic design, after all, in ways a layman can't. "How much time these modifications shavin' off?"

"We were there to do the thing we were made to do, Jig Bubbles," Finch replies to Psyche with another of those smirks. Though he apparently /did/ make note of her rank in between eyeing her chest. "Give the Cylons a punch in the nads. We'd gotten intel the toasters had built some kind of research station there. For their sicko fleshjob experiments." He spits. Carefully away from his precious Vipers, of course. He nod to Trask, with no small amount of both pride and surprise. "Thought you said you weren't dual qualified, *El-Tee*." Yes, the rank is stressed. "Noticed the facelift these puppies got, did you? It ain't a ton of time, but when you're talking seconds and millimeters it's enough. We've been able to push a little more speed out of them. Three percent across the board, some of them as high as five or even eight. Makes for one hell of a ride." He pats the hull of one of the Vipers for all the world like he was caressing it. "Most of this stuff hadn't made it off the drawing board back at Scorpia. Old Maddy let us test drive them, though."

"Yeah, I'll watch that, Splash," Fiasco chuckles, "And you watch those water landings, yeah? Shit like that'll get you killed quick and stupid." He looks as lovingly at the vipers as Finch does, distracted only by the matter of call signs and the like, brows rising as he looks between Trask and Devlin, "Not one? How com— ohhh. Midshipman," he spots the rank and laughs, "You all so hard up for pilots you brought over a Mid? No offense, man," he chuckles at Alex, his smile wide and dimpled, "I'm just saying. You must be landing that raptor yourself to get this invite. But woo, man!" he switches seamlessly back to Trask and Finch again, then, "Mine gets six or seven, I think? Eight sometimes. It is crazy, man. I'd say you've gotta try it, but." But nobody is touching his baby, is the clear implication.

Devlin shrugs a little at the mention of his name, replying, "I haven't— yeah," he cuts off as Trask answers for him. When he's further addressed by the Areion lieutenant he just kind of chuckles and shrugs, "I dunno, man, I just asked nice and they said I could tag along if I didn't touch anything." He doesn't touch anything, either, but he does look over at the souped-up viper as Trask and their hosts discuss it, tilting his head a little to try to get an eye on the differences the ECO is noticing.

"I'm here because I heard there'd be booze," Psyche replies to Fiasco's assumption that she has any interest in his silly old Vipers. She glances up from examining her sparkly manicure. "There is booze, isn't there?" She bats her lashes. Her mouth opens, as though to say something more, but closes again as Finch stresses Trask's rank. She might not like the Raptor SL, but she knows Kal Trask's not the man you want to get into a pissing contest with. And since it looks like Finch is heading there, she decides she just might suddenly be interested in the Vipers, after all. Lesser of two evils. "So can I get a look inside?" she asks Fiasco, strolling over. His comments to Devlin, however, bring her up short. "No. Actually. We didn't bring out highest ranking pilots — we brought the ones who best represent by their conduct what it means to be an officer in the Colonial Navy. The ones who know to shower and drag a comb through their hair when receiving guests. That sort of thing." She puts on another sweet smile. "But hey. I guess we can't expect you to stand on formality when you've been out here so much longer than the rest of us."

Keeping most of his attention on the Vipers for now, Malone is unable to hold back a bright grin in Fiasco's direction, as he hears the words. "Been there, done that," he remarks. Looking over at Finch and Trask for a few moment, he's unable to hold back the grin as well, although he's soon distracted from it by Psyche's words. "Easy, Bubbles," he comments. "Experimental ship, isn't it? Maybe it's also an experiment in not showering and such?" Spoken a bit lightly, but quietly, mostly meant for the woman.

Bran lifts a hand from being folded over his chest when he is introduced and he offers a short grin too before relaxing the hand back down and tucking it away against his side. He pulls out his full name too, for those that care to note. He's left to watching the Vipers with the others but since he's with metaphorical buses and not sport cars he's relatively quiet. Then again, "So long as I can't smell them from a mile away - everything's fine by me. I like'm." There's a brief smirk given to Psyche.

"Hey hey hey now," Fiasco laughs, holding up a hand to Bubbles and Malone, "Whoa! I shower every day, you know. Can't go to the gym and not, after all." And he does looks 1) like someone who spends a fair bit of time in the gym and 2) like his hair is just a bit too perfectly tousled for a comb not to have been intimately involved. "But the experimental part you got right, at least," he grins, "This stuff's not for public consumption. They hand-picked our whole squad before we were allowed to get these planes, so… like I said, quite a treat. Anybody got any questions about 'em or anything? Birdie and I could talk all day about these babies."

"I said no such thing, Birdie." Unruffled smartass is unruffled, stressing the Major's callsign with an amount of insouciance to equal the stress Finch placed on the Lieutenant's rank. He also is deadpan in pointing out, "In fact, I haven't said a single thing about myself. You, on the other hand, said that you weren't dual-qualified." TruFax. "Three, huh?" Yes, he's opting for the lowest number and perhaps not taking it at face value. "What's the alloy?" Guess who is removing a glove so he can tap on the nearest Viper like a good knuckledragger would to get a make on the materials. That's right. It's Trask. Unlike the owners of the planes, he's not talking out of his ass when he says, "With the proper avionics upgrades, I can see three. The closer you get to five, the more the malfunctions there'll be to outweigh the risk. If you honestly believe that you're gettin' eight," this last being added for the benefit of Marduk, "either you seriously suck at math or someone is frakkin' with your readings for some lulz."

"The Evocati only fly the best!" Finch says, raising his hand to high-five Marduk. In true frat boy fashion. When Devlin's rank is noted, he actually pays the Nugget attention for the first time. And laughs a laugh that's somewhere between amusement and shock at seeing this half-formed thing allowed to handle a plane. "Holy shit, son! This one's still got its baby teeth. What's your kill-count, junior?" It's not *pure* mockery. He does sound curious to hear how many Devlin has bagged. He nods to Psyche. "Sure thing, Bubbles. Have a look'see." And he does get about popping the hood, as it were, so the Viper jockette can get a look inside the cockpit. Though the comments about his lack of showering makes him add, "We don't need to polish up just to impress the Regulars. We all know what we're worth. You don't get picked for an assignment like this because you know how to do your buttons up proper."

When Trask removes a glove to fondle his Vipers, however, Birdie gets less smirky. Though he doesn't stop him. "You can push them higher. You've just got to know how to handle them." Said rather stonily. Not that he actually *denies* anything Trask is saying.

"Kill count?" Devlin laughs a little and shakes his head at Birdie, replying, "Nah, man, I'm still on the bench." He shrugs a little, and then tries to remove himself from the spotlight by shifting subtly into the taller part of the group near Bran and Malone and eyeing the viper from there.

"And you sure succeeded with that," Malone remarks to the part about not being for public consumption, before he looks between the others for a few moments, shaking his head a bit lightly.

Fiasco lifts a hand to high-five Birdie with a "Damn straight!" and a whoop as their palms slap together. He snickers a bit as the Major picks out the Midshipman but mostly just watches Trask eye the vipers and shrugs at the ECO. "Just 'cause you can't see it, man, doesn't mean it can't be happening," he replies, "You don't get picked to drive these things 'cause you're an average sort of pilot."

"And yet, somehow, some of us manage both fly and dress ourselves in the morning," Psyche replies blithely, trotting up to bend over and peer into the cockpit. "We even make our own bunks, like big kids." She has a look but not a long one — just long enough, it seems, to confirm something for herself. "Yeeah. Birdie. Thanks for putting in all the effort in, having us over," she dusts her hands on her flight suit, "but you might have wanted to polish up, after all. 'Cause your planes ain't all that, either." She shrugs and strolls back down. "Minor modifications, but not end-all, be-all next gen shit, is it? I really don't see what you boys are swaggering about."

Bran whistles a bit under his breath. So long as attention isn't brought onto the ECO, he will get along just swimmingly about things. He takes a half-step forward to better assist Devlin in disappearing into things and he gives off a short nod of his head. Tightening his folded arms, he leans to the side. "I like the back-and-forth. We're like one big, happy family 'round here."

"Push 'em higher… maybe. Get 'em to eight without gettin' yourself killed?" Here is where Trask levels a sardonic 'c'mon, son, you should know better than to try to feed me that bullshit' look at the Major. It lingers just long enough to convey 'no, really — just stop and save yourself a smackdown while I'm still willing to play nice'. "Doesn't matter how shithot you are on the stick, your bird will always be physics' bitch." Walk away, little boy. Just walk away. You can do that, right, Fiasco? Then, back to Finch, perhaps about Devlin or perhaps as a reference to Marduk, "We eat our young. The strong ones survive after bein' chewed-up, soaked in bile, and shat out." That said, it's back to business, "What're you runnin' instead of CNP?" Whatever you want to say about the man, he knows his stuff.

Also, it should be noted that his entire rebuttal to Birdie's claim about the kind of people who get assignments like this is something that Bootstrap keeps to himself. That is how well-behaved he's being. It also is something he will never let Cidra live down either, no doubt.

Finch loses what thin veneer of pleasantness he had when Psyche disses his ride. "You know what Evocati means, Bubbles? Veteran. That's what we are. Hand-picked by Admiral Madeline Hauck herself to serve on the Areion. I don't know how it worked aboard your Mercury, but you had to be more than some Caprican admiral's pup - or fraktoy - to get a spot here." Not that he goes into detail about what they're veterans of, mind you. He seems half-irritated with himself for mentioning it. He goes on. "Back to the Wing. We fly with five squadrons of Vipers. Like I said, I run the Spectres. We got an assault squadron of Raptors aboard as well." A finger is pointed to Bran. "Family's over-rated…Pens, was it? You don't kill toasters by being Mister Congeniality. And that's what this ship - and this crew - was built to do."

Trask's last question actually gets a slight return to civility. Or, at least, a weird sort of proud enthusiasm. The man obviously loves his Vipers. "Old Maddy didn't let any of that CNP shit about her C-E-X. Program's a 'minor modification' on it, as Blondie here put it. I ain't a hacker, so I ain't going to try and explain it, but you want specs on the programming, I'll get them for you before you all leave." He just snorts at what Trask says about the dangers of getting higher than three percent above out of his ships. Again, it's not really denied.

"Man, you all are kinda hostile, you know that?" Fiasco replies, those dark brows drawing together in an expression that's somewhat disappointed, like his balloon got popped or his parade rained on. "We invited you all over to hang out and check out our birds and be friendly and stuff, and all you all do is rag on our hygiene and our rides. What's up with that? We don't have to be showing you guys all our stuff, you know. We never show anybody this stuff, except the cylons and we kill them before they can appreciate it."

"You live for the fight when that's all that you've got…" Malone mutters under his breath, before he looks over to Fiasco, offering the man a bit of a grin. "Sorry. But don't say that it doesn't feel a little good for you guys to finally get to show these ones off, after all. It's like when you have one of the best sports cars. You need to show it off once in a while, right?" Speaking from experience there, perhaps?

"Heh," Devlin replies to Bran, nodding a little, "Some kinda family, at least." It's offered in an undertone, not loud enough to catch Birdie's ear and merit another response from the major on that subject. He reaches up to scratch at his neck, tugging at the collar of his flight suit before nudging the ECO beside him and suggesting quietly, "You should ask them if their Raptors are souped up too, huh?" Because he'd rather not raise his hand himself, apparently.

Bran doesn't rise to the occasion of backtalk, though he figures he could if he replaced Finch's mug with Sweet Pea's - as awkward as that would be. Instead, he lifts up his hands before him and passes the moment in quiet, letting the comment go. Devlin easily catches his attention though and he knits his brows thoughtfully, briefly, with a sidelong glance. "Eh, worth a try," but he's not going to raise his hand after all of that. He clears his throat loud enough. "Alright then, so where're those Raptors at?"

Psyche tchs at the Specter SL's response, casting him a look of amusement and mild rebuke. "Gosh, Birdie, I wasn't impugning your qualifications to fly. Just your machines. And Hades, barely even that. A Mark VII isn't anything to sneeze at. And these are basically sevens… just with spoilers and rims. The truth might not help you guys maintain your erections, but it is what it is." She glances at Fiasco — and actually looks slightly apologetic for living up to Trask's interpretation of her callsign. "I think we expected to be received with respect. We come here and find half of you look like you just rolled out of the rack, you're all hung up on boasting about your ranks and your rides, you're disrespectful about our CAG and our CO… I'm not sure what you were expecting. I was voted Best Ass, not Miss Congeniality."

"Of course not," Kal disingenuously concurs with Dirk, "Why would a Saggie appoint some Caprican Admiral's pup or fraktoy?" It's not like someone wouldn't do that as a pay-off for political favors, right? Right? Yeah. Sure. Right. Anyone who's been around the proverbial block enough times would pick-up on the subtext. Civility returns with the offer of programming specs, though. "Definitely. I imagine a test engineer or two was sent along with the prototypes. If they're still alive and cleared for duty, I'd like to speak with 'em. Failing that, I can go over any hardware or software schematics with your Chief. See if we can get up to Five with no more problems than at Three."

With the Vipers more or less handled, Trask picks up where Bran left off. "You have two V-A-Qs, correct? Are your Raptors also modified?" Then, not really at all apologetic to Marduk, "Don't look at me. I was voted Smartest Ass."

"Raptors?" Finch's disinterest is palpable at Brans' question. "Oh, yeah, we got those. There're over that-a-way. Haven't tricked them out as much as our Viper array, but we keep them in good shape. Nothing but the best for C-E-X." He gestures to where a Raptor currently slated for maintenance is parked. Outwardly it doesn't look like anything different than the Cerberus wing carries, though they're equally well-maintaiend. But it's more of a bitch to make the buses more aerodynamic and still able to do all they do. He's about to amble off that way, but Psyche's words forestall him. And make him linger to snark back at the blodne. "We received you with all the respect you needed, Junior Lieutenant Bubbles. I figured, if you'd been through half of what we've been through, your feelings wouldn't be so tender. Guess I was wrong."

"Boasting about rank?" Fiasco laughs, incredulous, "I'm just an LT, what would I be boasting about rank for? And hey, I'm sorry if everybody's haircuts don't quite live up to your standards, but we've had a few other things on our minds, you know? We're here, we're helping you out, letting you see The Gun, showing you our ships, trying to be neighborly and shit and you're all broken up 'cause we're sick of wearing five layers of military issue under our flight suits? Come on. And you could be Hera herself and Matthews back there wouldn't comb his hair for you, so I wouldn't take it personally. And your CAG is fine. But you do have the best ass in the room, I'll give you that one," he grins, shooting Bubbles a wink.

"I guess you were," Psyche practically purrs at Birdie. "But I'm sure you're used to it." She hears Fiasco out, head tilted, looking slightly incredulous — but ends up laughing. "This is, like, Good Cop/Bad Cop, isn't it? He gets to be a flagrant, condescending asshole and you spin it so it's all reasonable and charming and shit?" she asks the LT. "Considering mine is presently the only female ass in the room, I'll take that with a grain of salt. But thanks."

Malone just shakes his head as he listens to people, going back to study the room in question carefully again. Holding back any comments in any directions now.

Something in what Fiasco said makes Finch's attention snap up to him, and completely off jockeying at the Cerberus officers. A very deep frown suddenly knitted on his face. "Marduk. Shut up, you frakwit. That's classified." He doesn't specify *what* is classified in Fiasco's latest spiel. Getting him to shut up is obviously the priority.

Devlin is still peering at the Vipers curiously, before wandering over to join Bran by the Raptor, not that he knows enough about those to really tell whether there's anything interesting about it. One the way, he leans down to whisper something in Psyche's ear before continuing on towards the larger ships.

"Major Hahn is a big girl, Athenos," is issued by Bootstrap with a flippant sort of faux-chiding, complete with equally faux-chiding look leveled at the pilot. "Should Birdie an' Fiasco have enough balls an' not enough brains to act, in front of 'er, like dickheads who think jizzing all over a titty rag makes them studs, she'll deal with it. And if they decide to keep making such crude comments but not to her face, then they're eunuchs." An aside is cast to the two men in question, with the simple, casual explanation of, "I'm such a huge fan of pussy, I feel it's just plain wrong to use it as an insult. So, yanno, you'd just be cockless dicks." Cue the boyishly cheeky shrug, mild headtilt, and guilty-as-charged for lovin' the cooch roll of his eyes.

"So." Moving onwards! "Schematics." This is important. Pay attention, Finch. "And now Raptors. And, for the record, my penis is staying in my pants, Marduk." Trask's take on The Gun comment, no doubt.

Bran gives a mild glance over his shoulder towards the Vipers and eases the breadth of his shoulders into a rolling shrug. Vipers really aren't all his thing at all but with his leg of the conversation shifting towards Raptors he can be far more interested. There's another low whistle and the man is making his slow and meandering way in the direction of the motioned to Raptor, giving himself the chance at ignoring the comments of the other pilots in the background.

Perhaps COs are drawn to escalating snark and near-spilling of sensitive information like the call of a dog whistle. Or perhaps it's a coincidence that Cidra and Baer pick this moment to make their way back to the hangar deck. Neither with a hair out of place, and engaged in very professional discussion. "…I am hoping to deploy our Raptors back to the colonies as soon as our salvage efforts are less intensive," Cidra is saying to the Areion CAG. "And I shall get you a full roster of our CAP rotation. We have…things are somewhat unsettled now, in terms of our Viper wing, but I shall get you what we are running." Baer nods, and the pair of them make their way toward their officers.

Psyche casts a look of wide-eyed innocence at Devlin's whisper. "What? I'm being so good!" And she sort of is, right? She totally hasn't kicked anyone in the nads. She draws herself up to parade rest for the returning COs, reaching up to adjust an imaginary halo.

Fiasco frowns at Birdie, replying, "Everything's classified, Finch, that doesn't narrow it down!" He shakes his head a bit and then glances around once as if surprised, and then grins at Psyche and shrugs, "Guess you are the only one, huh? Still, it is high quality, is what I'm saying." He turns then to Trask, and just sort of blinks at the man for a moment at that diatribe and then shrugs a little and shakes his head, chuckling, "Dude. I don't think anybody can call us disrespectful now. Way to take the lowest road around." He gives a thumbs up, and then spots Cidra and Baer on their way back and calls out a loud, "CAGs ahoy!" Whatever that might mean.

"He can be like that, once in a while," Malone offers a bit lightly at Fiasco's comment to Trask's words, before he pauses at the call about the CAGs, and turns to look over in that direction, a bit carefully.

Unfazed as ever, Kal quips, "I never said not to say what you're sayin', yo. Only that you'd be cockless dicks if you can't say the same shit to her face." This is, after all, coming from the man who called Cidra a dumbass. To her face. Also, a prude. To her face. Upon sight of the CAGs on deck, the Harrier's SL doesn't /snap/ to attention but still shows the appropriate respects. "Sirs. As you can see, nothing has been set afire, nor has anyone ended-up in sickbay or the brig." See how good he was, Cidra? See?

Devlin comes to attention as Fiasco's ridiculous shout apparently does actually prove helpful in alerting him to the COs return. Then he heads back over towards the rest of the group and does it again.

Cidra eyes Trask. And the rest of her delegation. "Ah," she says simply as his pronouncement that no one has maimed or burnt anything during this meeting. Well, that's something. "Excellent. We should be heading back soon. I do hope this has been fruitful for the lot of you. It certainly has been for me. Lieutenant Colonel Baer and I have been speaking on coordinating our operations. And some training exercises."

Finch, for his part, has sort of retreated from the interplay to give Fiasco A Good Talking To in the semi-private behind his beloved Viper.

Fiasco is getting a Good Talking To behind one of the Vipers but on his way over that way, he can't resist giving Psyche a wink and then grinning at Cidra and saying, "Hey, Major! Your eltee here thinks I won't tell you you're fine, but damn, girl! You are fiiiine." She gets a big, dimpled grin and some finger-guns, and then it's off to get yelled at by Finch.

"Or airlocked…" Malone offers a bit quietly at the end of Trask's words to the CAGs, while still moving into a position of respect and seriousness. Although that's almost broken by Fiasco's comment, but he recovers from that.

Raptors are Bran's area of expertise but he isn't given much time at all in looking things over, or listening to the explanations about them, since the head honchos of the flight personnel are returning. It leads to him stepping off and away from checking the cabin of the bus. He returns to the rest of the Cerberus-types, only to look after Fiasco and reach up with his right hand, pinching the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger. "Big, happy family," dryly mutters the ECO.

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