AWD #349: Callsign Pending
AWD #349: Callsign Pending
Summary: The squadron commander of the Lucky Strikes takes a rookie pilot through a combat sim.
Date: 05/06/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None.
Alejandro Niko 
Flight Simulators
The Air Wing has access to flight simulators to train pilots off the ground in combat maneuvers and situations that are hard to replicate with regular dogfight practicing and this is their home. A rectangular room, the hatch opens up beside the bank of computers that control the simulations and what is seen by the individuals when training sessions are in progress. The sims are actual cockpits cut out of old frames and installed here to function exactly as the real thing, right down to oxygen plugs for suits. In front of each cockpit, complete with armored glass, are LCD screens that cover most of the front view to the front and above. There are two Vipers, two Predators, and one full-cabin Raptor available.
AWD #349

Niko has been doing his damnedest to get approved for combat flying with the Lucky Strikes, and he's actually logged a lot of sim hours, and as many cockpit hours as he's allowed, on proving he can handle the basics — launch and landing procdure, combat and otherwise, recovering an out of control Viper, and formation keeping. Both his gunnery and piloting marks have improved, and at least on paper, his scores are adequate for a pilot on his first tour. Military protocol may still be a weak point, but he's made some progress there at least. And today he's arrived a little early for his sim time. Even if he's a few years on the young side, the new flight suit helps him look the part of a Viper jock — that and the confident manner as he checks in with the sim operators and waits for his CO to arrive.

Alejandro does indeed arrive a few minutes later carrying an electronic clipboard with stylus. The Lieutenant is also wearing a flight suit rather than his more usual Duty Blues. "There you are, Ensign." He lays the clipboard on the simulator console and has a look over the entries, "You are coming along nicely. What did you think of your little foray down on Aerilon recently with Lieutenant Stavros and Captain St. Clair with their team?"

Leaning against the edge of a desk and tapping one foot, it looks like Niko isn't good at waiting. But he pops to his feet and greets Alejandro in a very positive manner. "Yes sir. Thank you, sir." Then the last question forces him to think for a second. "It got a little hairy, sir." He sounds pretty blasé about it, at least after the fact. "I mean, there wasn't much for me to do but stay out of the way and hang on. Worst part was not being in the pilot's seat, you know?"

"Yes, I sympathize. I saw the gun footage from both Zoe's viper and the Raptor. Even though you were there, it may do you good to go back and watch it as well. Get a more first person feel for what was going on from the pilot's point of view in both cases." Hobo ticks the clipboard lightly with the stylus, "You feel like hopping in and I'll punch us up something? I haven't gotten to do sims practice with you myself, yet. You can fly my wing, let me see how you do?"

"Yes sir," Niko seems to take what Alejandro says as instructions, rather than a suggestion. "I'll watch them." He's watched a fair amount of footage over the last few weeks, but makes no complaint about more. But the offer to fly with his squadron commander in the sims is much more interesting. He gives a confident nod. "Ready when you are, sir."

Alejandro gives an upnod, "All right then. Pick your bird and strap yourself in, go through your preflight checks while I pull something up for us on the simulator. I'll be a moment." Hobo slides into the seat at the simulator controls and brings up the monitor to key in his password and access sceneros that are already programmed in.

"Will do," Niko responds, grabbing up his helmet and heading for a specific sim pod halfway across the room. Not unusual for pilots, he's found a pod he likes better than the others, even if the techs claim they're identical. Helmet on and sealed, he climbs into the simulated Viper cockpit and slides the canopy closed, activating the pod. Then he busies himself with the litany of preflight checks, well aware that the CO might be watching this too, and it needs to be done right.

Alejandro is in point of fact not watching Niko but as he programs in a sim, he can see Niko's progress as that pod hsa gone live and is selected within his program. After a moment, the Lieutenant leaves the consule and his clipboard to pick up his own helmet and fasten it down tight. Hobo slips into another of the viper rigs and starts his own preflight prep. The sim logs it and everyone is expected to do it - if you skimp, it'll record that too.

Over the Wireless Alejandro says, "In this simulation, we'll keep things very simple. We'll come out of the tubes and form up as though bandits were already in the vicinity. Our job is to clear them out before further mission action may continue. In a later sim I can set up something more complicated and have you a specific Raptor crew, or pred crew, to keep safe while they do a run. Later we can see how you do flying a boming run on a pred yourself."

"Understood," Niko's voice comes over the wireless once Alejandro has given the briefing. "I'm ready in the tube." Then he is reminded of something. "Am I callsign Janik for this, or…?" He doesn't have one as a member of the Lucky Strikes. Not yet.

From his own rig, over the wireless, "Yes, we'll use Janik until you have earned a Callsign of your own. It's typical for Rookies." Alejandro grins, "Don't worry, you'll frak up something and get a handle you don't want, soon enough. My callsign is 'Hobo.'" At this point he clears them for launch and powers up the throttle. When the simulation clears him for take off, Hobo ejects his craft down and out of the tube, "Flight, Hobo. Janik, form up on me. Two Raiders on DRADIS, but at range. Weapons Tight." A pause before he continues, "Orion, Flight. Two Raiders on DRADIS at …" he gives coordinates, "Requesting permission to engage, over." While Niko forms up on his wing and the rest of their make believe flight also ejects and forms up, there is a brief lag before 'Orion Actual' responds to give the order to the flight to intercept and engage. "Orion, Flight. We Copy." Checking his instruments and the positions of the other craft, he then adds, "Flight, Hobo. Let's head in and close the distance." As Squad Leader, he takes the lead to take them in, curving his viper for a course adjustment and starting to accelerate.

Niko thumbs his mic hot, "Janik," he acknowledges his temporary callsign, "got it." There might even be a sound of a laugh in there for the assurance that he'll get one he doesn't want soon enough. Then he flips through the launch sequence and hits the afterburners on cue, sending his simulated Viper down the tube and out into virtual space. "Hobo, Janik. Roger." A smooth sweep of the stick and a short burst on the thursters sends his Viper over to tuck in behind the flight leader at five o'clock. And then Niko's craft changes course to stay in formation, following the lead's arc towards the distance bandits.

Basics first. Alejandro checks Niko's position and speed, making sure the distance is safe but not too far back. Yes, looks good. "Stay far enough out that if I have to brake, there's no chance you'll hit me. If I have to turn hard, I'll try to turn any direction but into you. But keep your eyes sharp and keep me abreast of everything you are doing." Niko's seen combat before, but a quick refresh still doesn't hurt since they haven't flown together before.

They zip directly in towards the Raiders. Into the Wireless, Alejandro toggles it on and speaks, "Flight, Hobo. Here we go. Watch for additional Raiders once things heat up. Weapons hot!" In the simulation, the other vipers in their flight are picking up additional Raiders on DRADIS and are veering off slightly to engage as Hobo directs them to do so. Lieutenant Salazar comes right at the original two Raiders, lining up to fire on one even as they slightly part to each start firing at himself and Niko. "Janik, Hobo! Fire at will on the first pass!"

"Hobo, Janik," Niko says acknowledges the instructions over the wireless, "Understood." Then he's mostly focused on the DRADIS, and then as they close, his visual scanning, keeping an eye on the pair of Raiders that are closing with them head on. There's no verbal response to the order to engage, however. Instead Niko acknowledges by opening fire at the Raider that's on his side of the formation.

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.

<COMBAT> Toaster2 attacks Alejandro with KEW - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Toaster2 with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Toaster1 attacks Niko with KEW but MISSES!

Whoa! Things heat up fast right away! Hobo is zipping in and firing like a fiend and as he and the raider he's engaging pass, it firing at Niko, Alejandro scores a hit! Whooo! But then suddenly there's a bright flash in his cockpit, the loud snap and pop of rounds hitting his frame and his board lights up with red lights as warning alarms come online. As soon as he's past, Jandro checks on Niko and pulls hard on his stick to slew his craft around, testing it's response and keeping the speed poured on as he comes around to see where the Raiders are and how badly damaged they may be!

"Flight, Hobo! I'm hit and Betty's Bitch'n but I'm all right. She's hurt'n. Status, Janik, over!"

Niko jinks just as they merge with the Cylons, and he and his opponent both fail to score any things. Rather than breaking, the rookie looks towards Hobo's Viper for his cue, sticking on the flight leader's wing. "Hobo, Janik. A-okay and on your five. You're hit on the starboard side and losing fluid." Now there's some tension in his voice, as he's twisted around in the cockpit, first to scan Hobo's Viper and then try and locate the Raiders again, out there against the stars.

Alejandro is being a little more careful this time as they all zip around and he swings a little wider to gain a few precious seconds before they engage again, "Janik, Hobo. One's gotten around behind. Drop back and keep him off my six while I keep this one off yours." If he gets hit again, they are going to have to make some decisions here. With more pilots to hand they could get more creative a lot more easily. When he's lined up, Hobo starts firing on the Raider that is turning hard to try and come at Niko, but he's also jigging around to try to keep from being hit again!

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster1 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Toaster1 attacks Niko with KEW - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Toaster2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Toaster2 attacks Alejandro with KEW and MISSES!

"Hobo, Janik. Roger." And Niko has already hit the MCS and rocks forward in his harness at the sharp deceleration of his Viper. The Raider on Alejandro's tail shoots right past him, and not even the rookie can miss that low-angle shot. He hammers the trigger and is rewarded with the sparks of hits on the flank of the target. "Hit!" he crows into the wireless. "He's still on your six, Hobo." There's no sign that Niko has even noticed his own Viper has been hit by the other Raider, or even where it is.

If Niko was tagged, it doesn't look bad to Hobo either. Alejandro fires but misses. It is harder to do when he's trying not to get his back end blown off and his bird is more sluggish to manuver. He grits his teeth and mutters something rather unofficer like under his breath and into his helmet, before he toggles his coms, "Good job! Keep it up!" Salazar slews around to try and shake the Raider off his six and hit his own flaps before he brakes and cuts to starboard, trying to line up a fresh shot.

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster1 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.

<COMBAT> Toaster2 attacks Niko with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Toaster1 attacks Niko with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Toaster2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Raider-4796q has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Toaster2 has been KO'd!

And then it's Niko's turn to overshoot, as he hits his thrusters and piles on the speed, trying to stay on the tail of the Raider that's dogging Hobo. The new pilot flies by and finds both Raider's moving in behind him, and that convinces him to go defensive and not try to stay on Hobo's wing. Stick hard over and throttle down, he breaks hard right, trying to drag them across Hobo's flight path. Somehow this works out better than he planned, as one of the Raider's loops high and ends up right in front of his guns. All Niko has to do is pull the trigger. Boom goes a simulated kill. There's no crowing this time, though. Niko is too busy trying to shake the second bandit.

It's hard to compliment Niko's flying when he overshoots, but .. "Janik, Hobo. Nice save there, kid! Good shot!" Or a lucky one. It seems the FNG is able to shake the second bogie on his tail and it twists around to go after Alejandro just as Salazar has fired upon and lightly hit it. Suddenly they are both pulling on their sticks to make a circle, one chasing the other's tail with Niko left entirely with nobody shooting at him! "Well, frak me. Die you little shit lick'n piece of scrap!" Hobo's a little focused on his own flight to notice if his coms were on or off for that personal little comment. He's firing away!

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Toaster1 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster1 - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Toaster1 attacks Alejandro with KEW and MISSES!

Niko slews his Viper around to try for a shot on the last Raider, but he can't get the angle. He reverses his turn even as he sees Alejandro hit the Cylon again. "He's still frakkin' flying," he says into the wireless.

"Yeah, he's a tough one!" Alejandro barely glances at DRADIS, keeping tabs on the rest of thier simulated flight. He tries to throw flaps not to brake and loose speed but to nose down hard and power up the throttle in an attempt to shake the Raider off and get pull closer in an attempt to cut their little circle in half. But Hobo's got to be careful as he starts firing, not to hit Niko either!

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Toaster1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Toaster1 attacks Alejandro with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider-1587h has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Toaster1 has been KO'd!

Niko locks on to the damaged Raider's tail as it starts to lose control, courteous of the shredding from Alejandro's earlier hits. "Come on," he mutters to himself without the wireless, "Come on mother frakker…" And then he's square in the sights, and Niko hits the KEW again, raking the Cylon's fuselage. He pulls up hard to avoid a collision with flying debris, and then starts looking around for the bandit and his flight leader again.

Niko's flight leader is still flying without any new damage, but Alejandro's viper is badly damaged and not performing up to standard, still trailing residue. "Flight, Hobo! Looking good out there! Wrap it up and Return to Barn. I repeat, Return to Barn." A slow breath as he levels out in his turn, the DRADIS clearing up as the last Raiders are polished off. "Very good job there, Janik. Over."

It takes a second for Niko to spot Hobo's Viper, but the trail of fluid helps. "Hobo, Janik. Roger that, and thank you sir." He steers his ship over to join up with the flight leader, taking a bit more time to assess the damage to Hobo's craft. "Hobo, Janik. Damage looks bad but I don't see anything ready to fall off. Where'd the other bandit go?" He seems to have missed it's destruction after they both shot it up.

<FS3> Alejandro rolls Piloting-2: Good Success.

"Janik, Hobo. You blew it to pieces, over." Alejandro says all else until they come on in. He's in a bit of rough shape so he has to concentrate on getting not only his own viper back to the Barn, but also making sure all of his people come back whole enough to land. They mostly seem to be all right and he's in the worst shape, but able to fly. So once they are in, he goes on into the simulated Orion and is able to keep everything together for a neat and tidy landing. Soon as he's down, Hobo starts shutting things down and removes his helmet to step out of the simulation and wait for Niko.

After he's finished post-flight shutdown, Niko comes out of the sim pod grinning from ear to ear. Yes, the kid seems to be pretty pleased with how that went. Possibly he doesn't realize how much good luck he just experienced. He pulls off his helment and tucks it under his arm, then heads over towards the CO's pod. "That good enough, sir?" he asks the Lieutenant.

Alejandro has his own helmet tucked beneath an arm as he waits for Niko, "Yep, you did just fine, Ensign. Kept your head, followed orders, didn't do but one thing that was stupid. But it wasn't too bad, just overshot. You're getting there." Hobo turns to set his helmet on the consul and steps up to make a copy of the tape, "Here, I want you to review this footage from the sim as well. I'd say you keep this up and you'll be approved to fly live combat pretty soon, now. I'll send the CAG an update on your progress."

"Yeah," Niko looks a little chargined for the overshoot. "I mean, I figured that toaster would hit the throttle, and so I did too. Then I was past him before I knew it." He receives the tape from Alejandro and sticks it in the chest pocket of his flight suit. "Yes sir." There's a glance aside at the console and he sees some of the damage readouts, which causes Niko to frown for the first time. "I was hit? Frakkin' when?" He doesn't sound like he believes it.

Alejandro chuckles, "It happens. I still frak up sometimes too. We just try not to get our asses killed, doing it." Then he laughs, briefly, "Go back and watch the gun footage, and you'll find out when. It is a good idea to keep closer tabs on your own status." Most of the damage this round was nailed on Hobo. "Anyway, you are dismissed, Ensign. Good job."

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