PWD #28: Clear and Present Danger
Clear and Present Danger
Summary: Daniel and Ceres' failed session in the sims cracks open the issues of their illicit relationship.
Date: 07/12/2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Ceres Aios 
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.
Dec 07, 2004

The set up for their simulator is a small attack squadron moving in on the Orion with their own squad down a few. Adjusting thrusters and turning about, Ceres grumbles through the headset. "Talkshow, you got two incoming on your seven…moving to engage." She slips forward, gunnign forward with a quick spiral to bring her crosshairs in one, she waits till she has a confirmed lock and then fires, hitting the button on the joystick. Her screen flares red as her target goes down. She grins to herself, "One to go." Her DRADIS flares to life, signalling her own company as she curses beneath her breath and pulls hard, banking upwards from her position. THe Simulator jerks, jolting as it throws her a moment and alerts that she has taken fire. "Frak..Talkshow, this is Redux, I have taken fire, left wing has some damage and my controls are skewed."

The golden rule of simulator time is to treat every encounter as a life threatening one, and to play the simulator to the bitter end. The ethic exists so that each and every second of flight time, simulated or not, is treated with the severity that it deserves. Now the two of them were in some danger in the simulated battle and would have to rely on each other to survive through it.

Truth be told, the two long-time wingmates had never tasted anything but simuated combat.

"Redux, Talkshow, this is going to take a moment, the other one's on your low five o' clock, head to bearing 220, carom 340 and I'll get there in just a second. Hang in there." Daniel Aios gives love to his flight yoke and spins his Viper around to face his last incoming Cylon Raider while maintaining the same forward speed. Flying backwards, the nose of his Viper erupts with the concussive rattle of weapons fire that paints a scar across the Raider's nose. The Raider explodes into digitized fragments, taking him directly out of harm's way.

With precious seconds to spare, he suddenly thrusts forward, rocketing after Redux's no-win situation. He picks one of the two Raiders and opens fire on it, giving it the choice of either backing off of her Viper…or suffering a painful death. "Redux! Break left on my mark….MARK!"

Sims are sims and most things are done as escorts or bombing runs and despite being a rather damn good pilot, Ceres is in a rough patch and without much control. Another hit takes out more of that left wing, setting her controls at a hard drag and she let out a soft curse as her voice is accented over the com by the alert beeping in her cockpit. "Talkshow, need you now. I think I got double trouble." Redux grunts, dragging hard and jerking the joystick to the left when he calls, nearly surprised by his sudden appearance on her screen.

She barely makes it out of his firing range but her second buddy takes advantage of her broadside and aims, his shots tearing just below her hatch and right into where she would be sitting. The beeping goes louder and her screen goes blank. On his, she is destroyed and he's left alone. Her simulator powers down, spitting out statistics at her that have her cursing and slowly dragging off the practice helmet, sweat painting her brow.

Ceres is dead, cut off from the rest of the simulation, so rare fit of swearing from Talkshow's wireless is dead to her. Having failed her, he can only bitterly do his best to survive the sortie, which becomes suddenly easier as the Raider he was firing upon dissipates into another series of digitized fragments. That's not what Daniel meant to do, though. Ceres has been killed by the Raider's wingman, who is still alive. Talkshow's Viper turns and weaves, spraying defensive fire to try to shake the Raider off of his wing…

Outside, the simulator bay is deathly quiet. It's late into the third watch and most of the ship's staff is either asleep or on their late watches. It's an unfriendly environment that leaves Ceres to her own devices while the sim-timer continues to count up. Every second that passes is another second that Talkshow remains alive to fight that last Raider one-on-one. Seconds turn into minutes. It doesn't get any more quiet in the room.

Then, without any warning, Daniel's simulator beeps and a green light shines on the sliding cockpit canopy that has him trapped in the darkness. The over-watch screen reads that the simulation was completed, which means that Daniel eventually won, but at a terrible cost. The canopy unlocks and his fingers reach up to start to slide it back, helmet off and showing a mop of sweaty, blonde hair in the darkness.

Those are long minutes as she stands off to the side and watches that simulator occasionally. Scrubbing a hand to her face, she sighs and leans into the counter as she remains standing. She is stretching when that green light goes off and she waits, heavily for him. Dead. She's dead and the dead don't talk. In this case, Ceres is just peeaved at her own performance. In either case, she is not moving to greet him. Dead don't gree either. She hangs up the practice helmet and sits down on the bench, beginning to peel off her safety harness and so forth, going through the secondary systems on the wall, shutting down her sim unit now that he is done.

Hunched slightly over her knees, she waits for him, really nothing else to do. But in waiting she rises, turning about before the glass from the obersvation room, beginning to pace and go over the sim in her head.

"That…" Daniel's accented voice echoes across the room from his simulator. He's not looking at her just yet. This hasn't happened in quite some time, but when it does and it's her that dies, he can't help but feel guilty. "…was entirely my fault, Ceres."

Sighing, he climbs out of the simulator and starts to work his way out of the training webbing. Like suspenders that allow the system to read his vitals and provide some force feedback against his muscles, they're every part the reason why the experience can sometime seem so real. He looks over to her, his pale eyes scan her while she paces. The helmet makes a light scraping sound as he slides it into its cubby and approaches her.

"It was either you or I, and you chose yourself, and we'd have never been in that position had I not tried to get between them to split them apart." He comments, his voice soft and sincere.

Her pacing does not stop, in fact, Ceres lifts a hand, asking him to quiet as she chews on the side of her thumb in thought. Back forth, back forth, she is going to run a deep trench in the floor at this rate. She is reliving the sim as best she can, replaying her actions and she shakes her head, "No, no it was not your fault, Daniel..don't even go there." Frustration bubble up and she turns suddenly, moving for her helmet as she starts to drag it out and then fix her hair. "I am doing it again."

Their sim time is nearly up, to do it again means running into someone else's schedule. "I need to get this right, I can't seem to turn fast enough to get out of the line of fire after making my shot. I should be able to." Dead certainty colors her movements as she starts to grab for a harness as well. Stalking towards the machines, she brushes past him on the way.

"Ceres." Daniel starts, his shoulder brushing to the side. He lets it, not trying to force her to stop, though his words ring with the tone of please don't. His back to her, his forehead creases in a deep frown, and he turns to follow after her. "We've got ten minutes until this becomes an issue and the last time we went over it went up to CAG. You know how people get about their sim-time."

He reaches out, placing a soft hand onto her shoulder. Again, he frowns, but this time towards her back as he gently tries to slow her pace towards the combat simulator. Gentle as always, rarely trying to force her to anything, his persistence is a sign that he's going to do his best to talk her out of this one. "You've gotten out of their way plenty of times. Are you…distracted?" He chews his lip. "Is this about the letter I received from the lawyer's back home?"

Is it what? That stops Ceres more than his insistence and she turns, her brows furrowing. Her shoulder shrugs out from beneath his grasp and her lips form into a thin line. "Daniel..just.." Her voice hovers on the edge of lifting in a sound of anger. Her eyes dart to the floor and she shifts on her feet, frustration bubbling up and showing finally in a vexated sigh. "Not entirely…I just. Why are we making rookie mistakes. /WHY/?" She directs at him and then runs a hand up through her hair after settling the helmet to her hip.

"Okay, yeah. It is about the letter. That damn witch, she has no right to do that to you. Cut you out like that. What the hell do those courts know? They certainly don't know you."

His sweaty fingers brush through his equally sweaty hair, looking there for answers that he'll never find. The gesture only keeps a jagged look to his already tousled hair, and his hand finally comes to a stop at the back of his neck. Daring a glance back to the door, he steps in and places a hand to her hip, stopping close to shadow over her back where there's just enough room between them to allow for breathing.

"Ceres." He whispers, fingertips squeezing softly against her side. "You're not making rookie mistakes, you're far better a pilot than that. You and I've just been a bit distracted as of late. We had the leave cancelled and it's been loud in the bunks, all of the speculation about that ship. Honestly, it's the first life we've seen in months that wasn't a CAP. We have to fight to not be rusty." He wheels around to stand before her, placing his other hand on her hip. "As for the courts, I'll likely have to travel back sometime next year for the hearing. It's okay. He's my son, and as much as she'd like to take that from me, she has no legal precedence for it. She's just got this wormy lawyer for a new husband and she's…adapting."

Somehow Aios always manages to calm that fiery ire that can be her response to things. Ceres gulps in a lungful of air and lets just a fraction of her tension drain away. "Yeah…yeah. I know. This assignment is going to kill any skill I have left." She murmurs, but likely that's not whats been bothering her. It is not. In fact her jaw tightens with the mention of Aio's ex and she grinds her foot into the metal flooring with a faint squeak of her boot. "Frak her." He's calm, she's not. It's his problem, not her's. Yet, she's reacting as if its her own trouble. "Just send me back, I will help her adapt properly." A moment later she sighs and rubs at her face. "Look, Daniel…this is just shit. It's crap and you shouldn't be here on this trip. Your son needs you…you need to sort this out."

Looking up at him. "And you also need to set your ex straight."

"Believe me, I would love to set her straight. I should probably add that I've never hit a woman in my life and I don't intend to start. Disclaimer there. The problem is that if I were to try to intimidate her in any way, she'd use that against me and then she would have precedence. Oh, you should have bloody seen me the day she aired that recording in court." Daniel shakes his head, releasing her hips so that she can have use of her arms back. They're both sweaty. The cool air filtering through the ventilation systems is like ice water on his skin, and it's exquisite. It reminds him to breathe.

"Send you back?" His little frown shows a hint of a smile. "What, you're willing to head back in my stead to show her straight and keep me out of harm's way? I don't know whether to be charmed by that or not, but you know I'd never suggest it." He pauses. "Why don't you stay here for now and we'll work to get our skills back up where they need to be. Hard sims. Lots of failure. We'll do this together and when we're achey and tired, sipping tea, we'll put together our letters so that I can wrestle Jamey free, aye?"

"I am willing to do about anything to try to help that woman set her head back on her shoulders…if she even has one. Perhaps regrow a heart." Ceres says a bit roughly. A sigh and she lugs her helmet up to her shoulder, "Alright, fine..yeah. Practice." But she knows the schedule. Eyeing the sims, she then turns back to the cubbies to tuck away the gear. "Frak..I am getting too old for this." Which say snothing for him.

Rubbing a hand up through her hair once the helmet is gone, she mutters. "I am going to do better with a coffee and a shower..lets head out and hit the mess before the head…we can chat more there if you want. IF we stick around here, we run the risk of pissing off the next scheduled group."

"Alright, we can do that and I'll schedule us back up again for some more tomorrow after CAP. The roster sheet wasn't empty, but there were enough pockets left on it, and I think we can sign the week off for this time if we're lucky." Aios replies to her, eyes falling to her shoulders while she works at putting away her gear. She isn't looking, so he's finally allowed to let out his visage of being mildly concerned for the woman. All of this preparation and zero action is starting to make the personal issues in his life more active than the job at hand.

"Old?" His word slurs out just a little, accompanied by a quiet chuckle. "Oh dear, if there's one of us that's starting to sound like bubble-wrap when getting out of the bunk in the morning, it's probably me. I'm going to have to start thinking that I'm not going to have a choice but to either retire on Caprica or try to get a posting here within the next five, maybe six years." He moves to stand near the door, folding his arms across his chest. "Do you want to be a pilot till retirement, Ceres?"

A nod is given in regards to scheduling another sim, her hands dusting off her sides and then lifting to smooth her worried hair back She doesn't notice the concern, not in the least, moving for the exit in an attempt to usher them out before she second guesses herslf to try the sim again. "You, retire?" She grins at him as she tries for levity and likely fails. "Well…I say go for Caprica. I say it because I think you need your son. Every father needs his son." Says the single woman with no kids.

Slipping out into the hall, she considers his question a moment before responding. "Well, its hard to say. I think yes sometimes and others, like today, I think its best I let the real hot shots take the seat and I can find a desk job somewhere."

"Gods, look at us. I'm only halfway to forty and you're just past thirty and we're already making plans for the old folks' homes. Being ahead of you, I'm having the hardest time trying to figure out whether or not I'm on the better half of thirty, to be honest. It hasn't slowed down my writing, but don't you think it the slightest bit strange that I'm a bit a sore thumb around these other pilots?" He brushes his hand to her back, tracing it up and down the outline of her tank tops, from bra-strap to small of her back, and then stops. They're in the hallway, and the topic of their relationship with each other is only rumor and well-kept secret. "Maybe I should have never been a pilot. Perhaps I should have become…TACCO?" He looks over to her with a little laugh. "Could you picture me in CIC? Utterly dreadful…"

"Well it has to happen some time and frankly, I would rather make this plans now before I lose my mind and can't help myself later." Ceres says and his touch catches her off-guard. They are in public, makes things interesting. She wets her lips and draws a breath, giving a glance about the corridor before turning to him and tilting her head, studying. "You know, I think it could have worked. But now that you are a jock? Never. Got too much of an ego." She winks and grins faintly before sighing and giving in, forgetting about the rumors and the like in favor of sliding her arms around him and giving him one sweet kiss.

It's a sweet and victorious moment for the man, kissing her in the hallway, and that little bit of naughty adrenaline that kicks into his veins makes their kiss a little bit more fun than it should be. His lips brush and linger against hers, ears perked for signs of nearby soldiers wandering the halls. Hearing nothing, his lips grin against hers and he steps forward, pressing her back into the wall with a far greedier kiss that traps her body against his. His hands paw at the small of her back until he finally breaks the kiss, breathing against her jaw so that he can catch his breath. "Come with me to Caprica."

A grin is echoed as she feels the bite of the wall against her back and she sighs happily. Ceres revels in the feel of him against her, of holding him in the open. Fingers stroke the back of his neck gently and the other moves down his back. That is until he asks her come with him. She draws back just so she can look up at him, her smile gone and her lips parted in some surrpise. "Come with you…" She breathes, suddenly feeling a little claustrophobic. She lets her hands fall from him and tries to slide out and begin back downt he hall. "Why?"

"Why?" Daniel replies, one of his blonde eyebrows quirking as she escapes him. Escapes. A sudden chill of insecurity spider-walks up his spine, and he's forced to turn and follow her. He leaves the elated, hormonal feelings behind at the spot on the hull's wall that her body was momentarily heating.

He opens his mouth to start, but finds the words he was about to lead with to be unappealing. It's hesitation that he's not familiar with. "I…" He starts, simply kicking himself out of the front door. "…I've been told that there might not be an option for signing on for a third tour on Piraeus, and that would be another eighteen months. We've still got another eighteen to go, but by the time this next lap is done there will be so much unspent money and choice of assignments." He slips in beside her, glancing to her profile. "I'm not asking you to do anything out of some emotional need to cling. I'm just saying that I like you. After this eighteen we may not want to go our separate ways just yet."

Hackles rise and Ceres seems a bit more closed off, a bit more reserved as she wets her lips and continues her walk as she weaves around a pair of officers, nodding to them before she glances up at him, pausing as she finds a place to step aside and offer a very limited about of privacy. She meets his gaze, never one to shy away from confrontation. She does what she has to do. "Look, Daniel. I like you too but perhaps we should wait a bit, eighteen months is a long time and you may not want me around after that long." She draws a breath and glances up and down the hall.

"So look, we have some time…and you are just now taking care of things with your son. Its complicated." For her. She rolls a shoulder and then shrugs. "Don't you think?"

"Right, right. No, I wasn't suggesting anything deep. It's hard to explain but I'm not the sort of man that asks a question within a question. I don't test. So, please don't think I'm about to ruin this with talk of futures. Eighteen months is a long time, but it's been a great seven." He takes a deep breath and then reaches out to her, brushing a small lock of hair away from her eyes. He offers her a flattened pair of lips and a conflicted demeanor. It's not so bad. He always looks conflicted and surly.

"How about this? I'm going to work on getting more access to Jamey. I'm going to have to do the lawyer thing and you can help me plan this as much as you'd like, but I'd prefer you weren't a part of the court. I wouldn't dare parade you in front of Penelope like that." He pauses. "Does…any of this bother you? My having a son, ex wife issues and the lot?"

Gods. Ceres looks a bit more uncomfortable at the last question, her hand following up after his once it is doene fixing her hair. SHe does her best to help as well. SHe might be avoiding answering at first but then finally shakes her head, "Not really, its not that Daniel…its just me. I want to just see what happens, to say now that I will go to Caprica with you is …rather impetuous." Fingers press into the flesh of her neck.

"Look, do what you can for Jamey, do what you need and I can help. I would prefer as well, not to be involved with court. Its better that way, makes you look better. Everyone has are no different. I can adapt to the difficulties."

Daniel quiets and his eyes softly bounce in their sockets; once to her eyes, then to her neck, then to some unimportant spot on the wall over her shoulder. His cheeks burn a little more red than normal, and a bashful sigh crosses over his lips and down to her shoulder. "We are both terribly awkward, aren't we?" He murmurs, leaning up to kiss her forehead.

"Gregor Daine once wrote that what makes us human is our need to try to control the future, and that what separates us from animals isn't our ability to create but the lie we've taught ourselves that we're too advanced to live in the present." He places another kiss to her forehead and then leans down, looking into her eyes. "I won't complicate you unless you ask to be. In the meantime, we have our planet."

"More than you know," is her quick reply and she looks up at him. How can she help not to with him leaning so close. "I know you wouldn't, but just being involved with you is complicating." She lets out a breath and closes her eyes. "Frakking hell…lets just pretend you didn't ask me to go to Caprica and things will be peachy. Lets just let things be as they are now…I am good with that." She murmurs, glancing off to the side and looking as if she might want to escape. But she always comes back to him, her gaze meeting his.

"I like our planet. Can we stick to that? To where I complain about your ex and defend you to the bloody end…but without Caprica and eighteen months from now?"

"Yes. We can do that. In fact, if we're lucky we can maybe get to the hot water at the showers before the morning shifts start to wake up." He nudges his head towards the next hallway, the one that will lead back to the Air Wing's bunkhouses. It's a signal that he wants to leave. Before either of them can step away, though, he reaches out to caress the side of her face and give her one last kiss.

"So…I should tell you that my leave was approved again. As I understand it, a large group was just rotated, clearing up the apartments down there for more people to cycle down from up here." He smirks. "It's cold down there, though. How do you feel about camping?"

Signal it is. Ceres seems to be fore it but is caught short in her step as he kisses her. There is only a remnant of her tension left and she returns it, if briefly before falling into step with him at her side. She lifts a brow atth elast and she clears her throat. "Are you asking if I lke freezing my ass off?" She smirks a bit, some of her humor returning.

"I love camping, just not sure I like camping in snow. I can't say I have tried. As for apartments…that I could be okay with. I am still waiting on mine, but should be soon. We put in at the same time…"

"That pretty much settles it, then, because I don't mind a little cold, but I'd rather sit on one of those heated balconies down there and write while looking over the snow. I wonder what it'll look like on the flight in, maybe we should take some video with our wireless phones." Daniel replies, turning around the corner. "Leave down there is always good. I don't think we'll have to work to hard to make a time of it."

He pauses, cocking an eyebrow to her. "I think you're more than willing to freeze your ass off for Piraeus." He smirks. He knows he's got a point there.

Grumbling faintly at him, "No I would rather have a heated porch too.." Ceres mutters and her mood is slowly being restored. She bumps him with her hip to set him off as she continues. "Hurry up old man…remember we were going to the head." She picks upt he pace then, striding quickly down the corridor and geting some distance on him.

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