PWD #26: Antiquities of Peace
Antiquities of Peace
Summary: Phin and Keller admire the Predators and jaw on what the future might hold for their peacetime military service.
Date: 09/12/2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Nah
Keller Phin 
Hangar Bay — Deck 3 — Battlestar Orion
Each hangar deck is divided into five one-hundred yard sections, each divided from the others by massive blast doors that close vertically from the floor and overhead. Each hangar section houses all of the Vipers, Raptors, and Predators that the wing operates as well as the vital work areas to support and maintain these fighting platforms. Each bay is large enough to accommodate one of these frames and still get heavy work done, though the fore- and aft-most sections are dedicated to overhauls and major work to be done. The bays along the center section are located across from launch tubes and elevators in order to provide scramble and Alert-Five capabilities. The second-to-aft bay provides major elevator and transport access to the starboard bay as well as the major manufacturing facility. Due to the nature of the work, the hangar decks are major hubs of activity at all hours of the day and all but four hours overnight.
Dec 09, 2004

The Orion's deck is a nest of clatter-and-din, coming and going. Deck crew and the occasional pilot alike tending various birds. Vipers, Raptors, and the odd plane out that may not seem as familiar to some depending on where they served. There's a mottled grey airframe off to the side in one of the maintenance pads — at first glance the shape and outline resembles the classic image of the Colonial Viper from decades ago. Except it's a little bigger, a little longer, and has a big obtrusive gun on it. Standing against that grey is a sweaty, sooty form. Lt. Keller's broad-shouldered figure, with a sheen of mechanical grease and sweat glistening on his face squints idly at the airframe and converses with a deckhand, clipboards in both their hands.

"So wait. Let me start from the beginning. Why'd they put the auxiliary intake valve /there/?" His question is almost lost in the commotion of the deck.

Phin unzips his flight suit down the front to reveal the green Navy t-shirt underneath, but he doesn't scram from the deck just yet. Instead he wanders over toward the Predator that Keller is standing against. He gives it a long look over, trying not to look like he's rubbernecking, but not being entirely successful.

The squat, bald man in an orange deck uniform looks up at Keller and nods his head a little. That man has a very thick Aerilonian accent. "It's an artifact of how the things were hooked up on the old Columbia-class ships, sir. It was easier to do that than re-engineer an entire Battlestar." His tone is polite but there's an obvious twinge of annoyance in the deckhand's manner.

For what it's worth, Keller doesn't really seem perturbed by it if he even noticed. "I never thought of that. I've only ever /seen/ these birds 'board the Erinys." The taller man's voice has a very bland accent, like that of someone raised on television, Wireless, or extensive travel throughout the colonies. Shifting his weight, he tucks the clipboard under his arm - which sends his elbow knocking into a container of drillbits. Which are sent crashing along the surface of the deck, skittering across the metal — and towards Phin.

Phin starts when drillbits come skittering toward him, hopping back a step. Not that they pose any kind of danger to him. Once he's done being startled - which doesn't take more than a second or two - he kneels down to start picking the things up. "I think you dropped something, El-Tee," he says to Keller. He may well not know the man's name. He's still picking those up.

"I guess that makes me the guy who makes the mess." Keller's voice is deadpan, and his mouth curls in an almost-smile. His eyebrows make up for the ambiguity of the expression though, clearly quirking to project an expression of amusement. "Sorry, man." He lunges over to either a) help or b) accept the bits after they are retrieved. "I'm just making a pain in the ass of myself. "What's good — Ensign?" There's a pause as he clearly searches for a moniker.

Phin's blue eyes tick up at Keller's tone, studying the man, though his face relaxes into an easy grin at that sign of amusement. "It's all good, sir. No worries," he semi-drawls. He's clearly taken pains to curb what must've been a pretty heavy Scorpian accent at one time, but it's impossible to completely eradicate. He hands Keller the bits he's already picked up, then resumes corralling the rest. "McBride, sir. Ensign Phin McBride. Just transferred aboard with the fresh personnel back at the anchorage. Those birds see much action aboard this ship?" A head-tilt gesture toward the Pred.

Said broad shoulders shrug rather heavily as Keller smirks a little at Phin. "Hey man. I'm technically off-duty. I kind of gave up emphasizing that," he looks over his shoulder to the now-asborbed deckhand performing maintenance on the Predator as Keller glances back at said plane, gesturing with a lazy point of his finger. "Think I saw you, I was there at the same time boarding this thing. Lieutenant Ambrosius Keller. Some assholes back at CFAB Parizad called me 'Sandwich' and unfortunately it stuck." He pauses a beat. "To answer your question, I wouldn't know. I just saw them aboard the Erinys. She's Mercury-class too. Apparently they're a /thing/ aboard some Merc's. I did some predator quals on one of them so I was kind of happy they had these birds here. They're sort of a relic in terms of military operations though. At one point I'd think they'd be the most interesting thing an ECO would see. Until I ended up being stuck on recon of that.." his nose wrinkles, "Ghost ship."

"Yeah, me too, I guess. Technically," Phin says. "Just coming off. Pleasure to meet official-like, sir." He gets the last of the drillbits gathered and strolls over to deposit them back in their container. "Yeah. I did quals for them when I was in flight training on Picon. Scored better on the Viper stuff, but I passed. I've done some sims on them, but I haven't taken one out since I've been aboard." His head tilts, when the 'ghost ship' is mentioned. "The Roland Reese? Yeah. I heard about that. That seemed like some weird shit. At least from the reports and stuff."

"Believe you me." Keller says, thrusting a greasy finger in Phin's general direction, eyes widening and his expression suddenly serious - "I saw as much as I ever need to see. Which wasn't much." He frowns a bit, his big features wrinkle some as he looks back towards the Predator for a second and then back to the pilot. "Thanks for getting that. Anyway, — you're a jockey? Nice. For some reason, Raptor pilots don't transition well to that airframe. She's a gem. I've never flown in anything like her. Everything was scaled to wargames for us. Not like they see practical use these days though."

"Yeah," Phin affirms, as to his jock status. "CAG's got me flying with the Lucky Strikes. Seems like a good group so far." His eyes go back to the Predator. "I had a professor at the Academy who claimed they'd be totally out of service in five years. He was one of those guys who was really big on partial disarmament, though. He thought it'd make all the colonies less eager to fight over petty shit." He shrugs. What he makes of that idea isn't entirely clear. Though he does smirk and add, "The superintendent hated him. Class was interesting, though."

"Mmm." Keller's weighing of the other man's words comes with this wordless sound and a pause as he rounds about the airframe of the plane, resting a hand on its dorsal fin. "From what I know, he's basically right. These things aren't made for peacekeeping. Just all-out assault on heavily armed targets, like an armed installation or a capital ship. And last I checked, pirates and insurrectionists haven't been getting their hands on large warships these days."

Phin nods. "It's a cool ship but…I don't know. I'm not sure it'd be so bad. Stuff like this was made to fight the Cylons, and the Cylons are gone, and if the only thing left to fly them against is a bunch of guys with home-made rocket-launchers on Tauron or something…" He shrugs. "Anyway. It seems like what we're doing out here is something different." Which he sounds both glad, and a little relieved, about.

"Doin' out here. Heh. Imagine that. Heh heh. I know what we're doing out here." Keller lets out a deep snicker. "What we're doing out here is making a /lot/ of pay and busting our asses on someone's pet project. Which is fine by me, to be honest." He shrugs a little bit, sloppily, as his big shoulders shift up and down while he walks to circle the Predator some more. "Keeping these on board probably just falls under the heading of 'due diligence'. I've seen taxpayer money wasted in a much more spectacular fashion than this, that's for sure."

"You really think it's just a pet project?" Phin asks Keller. Though, before the other man can answer, he continues earnestly, "I don't know. I mean, don't you think it's kind of amazing? That we're actually part of making another planet? I didn't even think something like that was possible. I mean, the universe is huge, but most of it's just poisonous gas giants and hunks of rock with no atmo anyone'll ever be able to breathe. This makes you think, you know? About what else might be out there, or what else we could make out of what's out there."

"Oh. I was talking about a harmless deep space mining expedition in the middle of nowhere." Keller's teeth flash in a broad, overly-cheeky grin. "You mean /down there./" His boots clank a little as he continues to circle the plane, tracing his fingertip just above the fuel intake panel. "Nah, it makes sense, really. This is just hush money. It's a useful project, probably, until some asshole decides to open it up for tourism for rich kids. But to answer your other question — the universe is a big place. Who /knows/ what's out there? We certainly were given enough worlds here for our use, although you might not know it by how people squabbled over them. There is enough real estate in space as there needs to be."

"Maybe if this is a success, we'll get to see more of it," Phin says. "I mean…maybe that's what the Colonial Navy's going to be, in five years." His eyes tick back to the Predator again, which his professor speculated will be gone by then. "I don't know. I'm just saying. I'm glad I ended up here, and not flying over Tauron or something. Not that I wouldn't go there if that's where they sent me but…" Shrug. "Did you have any idea what this was? I mean, what it really was when you got into it? The pay made it obvious it wasn't just some random guard tour for a mining op but…"

"This is my second deep-space cruise. 'Course, I was aboard the Bitch." Which is a nickname for the Battlestar Erinys, for those who keep track of such things. It's an affectionate nickname, all things considered. "She's got a rep as a party ship for what it's worth." Keller intones, now making his way to the front of the plane.

"Honestly, I figured it was shit detail and they were paying a ton. I was in it for the money. Instead of back-breaking labor, this is basically hush money. And a hardship post in some ways, but — trust me when I'm saying it could have been a lot worse."

"My brother's stationed with the Marines aboard here," Phin says. "I didn't think much about it beyond that. And the cubits. This is my first assignment." As if that weren't painfully obvious. "Hardship? Maybe. If I still had family back in the colonies…but I'm on my own, basically. Actually looks like it might be quieter than's ideal, as far as getting stuff on your service record that looks good to the officers that're usually in charge of Viper wings. It's just two years, though. And, right, way worse ways we could all be spending our time. You been down to the planet yet?"

"Your brother? No kidding?" Keller wheels about, finishing his little plane inspection with an arced brow in Phin's direction. "Got no family in the service that /I/ know of, that's for sure. I have a little guy back on Virgon though. Two years is a long time to miss with him, but some things are expensive." Another shrug from him as he is prone to doing and he adds - "I took a walk or two planetside. It might be a nice place one day. Right now it's a pile of rock."

Phin grins, shoulders squaring up a notch. He is quite proud of his brother. "Yeah. Bear McBride. He's a sergeant. He's enlisted right out of school, so he's been in for awhile." His expression sobers some when Keller mentions his kid. "Oh. Yeah. I mean, that must make it rougher. At least you're providing for him, though. That's what you're supposed to be doing. It's actually not as bad as I thought it'd be. The planet, I mean. It's cold, but if you squint it's not much different than being up in the mountains some place. I was kind of wondering if there was a place you could go boarding. I mean, on the snow. If we get enough leave time to make it worth it."

"Hmm. Yeah — well, his mom is too. Shit's just gotten expensive, that's all. We're good though. We're good. She'll be sending pictures and tapes so it's not like I'll come back home to a giant." Keller snickers, waving a large (and slightly greasy/sooty) hand dismissing the topic as he rounds back to the little maintenance cart, leaning on it. "If snow's your thing, looks like you'd be welcome to it. At least get to it before the crowds do when the Quorum finally gets wind of this place and decides to pimp it out for revenue. But anyway — how much shit do you give your brother about getting a paycheck that says "Fleet" on it?"

Phin laughs. "Not much. I might've gone into the Corps if my Academy acceptance hadn't gone through. Or enlisted for A-school and worked the deck or something. Never seemed much doubt about where we were going, just how we were going to get there, you know?" He follows Keller, idly running a hand along the frame of the Predator as he goes. "I'm more used to beaches, but I don't mind the snow. I got up into the mountains a few times when I was on Leonis. It's nice. You can kind of make yourself believe you're the only person in the world if you get some place where you can't see a town or a lodge or anything. Gets you out of your head."

"Kind of like being on Aquaria at the wrong time of year. Wait — it's always the wrong time of year." Keller's voice is deadpan. "But yeah — I might have enlisted too if I'd decided to go in before I headed off to school. ROTC is what it is, I guess." He slaps a hand against the airframe softly. "So, you interested in flying one of these?"

"Yeah," Phin affirms, mouth crooking into a slight grin. "I'm interested in flying pretty much anything they'll let me. Though, like I said, I did better in the Viper frames back in flight training. It's just…easier to kind of feel what you're doing, I guess. You spent much time in these?"

"Wargame qualifications when we went head-to-head with the Perseus." Keller's response comes almost immediately. "I frakked something up. Something that accidentally worked. Like one of those truisms - It works, but I have no idea /why?/ Well, as an ECO I took to it and apparently impressed /someone./" He continues his pacing. "If you're interested, why don't we run it by the CAG? I'm pretty sure I can backseat out there for you and show you the ropes for some test runs." With that, he glances towards the stairwell door. "Well — you can. I've got to turn this report in in thirty." His eyes roll with faint annoyance.

Phin chuckles. "At least it worked. Whatever in the games, I mean. I guess you figure the rest out later. But, yeah! That'd be sweet. You can run sims all day, but it's not the same as actually getting your hands on something seeing what it does out in space or in atmo. Thanks. I should get going. Get in a shower before I rack out. Was good talking to you, though, El-Tee, and hopefully we'll chat more about a Pred run later."

"They never programmed these quite right. At least from a backseater's standpoint. You'll see what I mean." Keller notes. "Oh. Shit." Another glance at the stairwell. He's clearly wanted somewhere. With that, he takes off in that direction. "Catch you around, I'm sure!"

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