PWD #19: Frakking, Flying, and Fud
Frakking, Flying, and Fud
Summary: This is what happens when company and metaphors get mixed.
Date: 16/01/2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None.
Kelsey Duke Cole Cassie Bennett 
Mess Hall
The Crew Mess on the Orion is one of the larger rooms meant for occupation. The room is far longer than it is wide with the classic stainless steel tables that can be seen anywhere else on the ship, standard to all navy ships. Most of the chairs match, their padding on the seats worn down after several years. Towards the rear of the room is the food prep area and serving lines. During the time in between meals the Mess will serve midrats, or 'mid-shift rations', such as sandwiches and drinks. Coffee pots are left to run at all hours to keep people going as needed.
December 16, 2004 (PWD #19)

Someone once said that, people gotta eat from time to time. Now, if that person was right or wrong, nobody knows…but the truth is, the Mess Hall always has place for the hungry. Richard Duke can be counted among those that are hungry at this particular moment. He is standing in line with his platter, looking at the options available in front of him. The Viper Pilot takes things from here and there, serves himself some water and then scans the tables to find a place to take a seat and enjoy his meal. Not a lot of empty seats at this time, no…but he does find a table close-by that is currently not being used, so he marches on that direction. He takes a seat and pulls his chair closer to the table, taking the glass afterwards to enjoy a small sip of water.

She knew it was going to happen. Lose track of time on a double and next thing you know you're screwed out of grub seats. She takes up a hot dog and some beans and stands there at the head of the room, looking around. The deckie, clad in orange with her hair matted down, stands out like a sore thumb and she plainly is new to the ship. Slow steps have her try to smile at people but it doesn't seem to catch any takers so she plods along until spotting an empty seat by Duke. She stands there with her tray next to the chair and she looks at him hopefully. "Can I sit here, sir? You don't have to say much. I won't be a bother. Promise." She finally glances to his pins and swallows. "Uhm. Captain. Sir."

At first, Duke is pretty much focused on his own food, already thinking that he might have taken more than what he is going to eat. However, when someone speaks to him he looks up and finds Kelsey there. He nods to the chair next to him and offers "Not at all, please, take a seat" A smile is offered to the girl and then he takes another sip from his water. He chuckles right after and just shakes his head "Don't worry, you are not going to bother me" A nod is offered as a way to reassure her of that. He sticks his plastic fork in a potato-looking thing and smells it just a bit before taking a tentative bite.

"K!" she suddenly pipes. The tray is carefully put down with her glass of milk. She sits down in the chair as well and straightens her uniform subtly. She's been at work all day and the orange shows the grime, but the straightening is probably recognized. She's trying to look more professional. Fingers lift to loop her hair around her ears and she sits a little more straight, glancing to the Captain and then back. Fork and knife are taken up and she begins cutting the hotdog into little slices. Then halving the slices. "I don't get to talk to a lot of pilots. Usually the Deck Chief or the plane captains talk to them." Kelsey swallows, looking a little hesitant. "But the last few days I've met some nice crew, sir. I think its because I put on my Petty Officer pins." She clears her throat. "Do you know Captain Saint Clair from Raptors? Or Jig Pitera… I think her callsign is Redeye?" Trying to be conversational rather than awkward.

Kelsey and Duke are currently sitting in one of the last tables that show some available seats to take, the place is actually pretty packed right now. From the distance, it seems as if Kelsey is telling a few things to Duke and the man is of course paying attention. After Kelsey says her part, the man offers his hand to her and says "Richard Duke, callsign Bumper" That stupid video is still all over the fleet archives. "I'm glad you've met a nice group of Pilots, we aren't a bad lot at all…but I do believe we might have a bit of an image of cocky and arrogant…or so I've heard." Haters gonna hate! Or something like that, right? "Yeah, I know Captain Saint Clair…" Pause "…I'm, not entirely sure about Pitera? New on this ship?" He downs half glass of water and takes a napkin, wiping his lips afterwards.

What's that? Pilots are cocky and arrogant? No frakking way. That's a label, that's a stereotype. That's down right departmentalist! Of course, one Aristides 'Janitor' Cole is doing nothing to help perpetuate that stereotype. No sir, no way. No…wait. Yes he is. Instead of going around a table, he merely steps up on the seat of a chair, takes two strides over a table top, one step down and then plops his veggie laden tray on the table occupied by Duke and Kelsey without waiting for an invitation. "Bumper." The greeting comes around the chewing of a green bean that has already made it to the Lieutenant's mouth. "Adding to your collection of Enlisted?" He looks over at Kelsey and offers her such a wide grin he can't mean anything untoward by it.

Kelsey is rather surprised someone wants to shake her hand. Especially a Captain. That's two in three days! She wipes her hand on her pants and takes his with a firm shake, eye contact, and a smile. "Kelsey Wescott," she beams. "nice to meet you! Avionics and bombs and guns, here." Another shake and she pulls her hand back to sort-of salute in case anyone is watching. She goes back to cutting the hotdog into little slices and smiling a little easier. But she is sitting straighter. "Nothing so odious, sir, promise. I just got bumped up and its, like, -really- hard to get anyone to talk to you as a Crewman. Just another face in the crowd and there's a billion of you running around on a deck. So, you know. No blames. I wouldn't notice me, either, sir," she laughs a little. But then Cole approaches like that and her eyes go wide. Oh crap. She can't help but smile and turn a little red at the man's grin.

And lo and behold, here comes the very person being asked about. Cassie wanders in casually only to then pause at the hatch, her nose wrinkling a bit when she sees just how crowded it is in here. Ugh. Oh well. She'll worry about seating after she gets her food. The queue is entered and then swiftly moved through, food picked out at random without any real concern as to what it is given. Once her try is sufficiently filled she goes and gets a mug of coffee and it's now that she tries to find a seat. Groups of people who are either friends or co-workers already take up the majority of the tables, leaving Cass a bit discouraged until she notices a familiar face. "Wescott…" She hurries over but holds off on joining, noticing she isn't alone. "Mind if join you guys," she asks, the politely worded question posed to the others as a group.

"Likewise" offers Duke to Kelsey, this of course the 'nice to meet you' part. He smiles at this and then tilts his head "Oh, Avionics, bombs and guns?" He nods his head, still holding that smile "That's gotta be a lot of fun indeed" Because really, working with things that go boom is fun. "Granted, there is a lot of people in this bucket and sometimes, interaction cross departments can get a little complex. But everyone is to be noticed, there is not a single job in this bucket that is not important" He nods firmly to this and then looks at Janitor as he speaks, he half smirks at the other man's comment and then looks at Kelsey again "Like this gentleman here, he's the ships clown" He looks back at Janitor and nods to one of the empty chairs "Sit down before your head explodes" He is also showing a smile after that. And now there's a Cassie! Duke looks at her and shakes his head "Not at all, take a seat if you want"

"I prefer the term 'comedic hero'." Cole comments as to Duke's assessment of him, punctuating it with a wink to Kelsey. As Cassie approaches, he flops down in a seat, scooting over a hint so that everyone has room. It's his silent way of saying 'join us' to the fellow Airwinger. His fork is lofted and inverted like a spear, and he stabbity-stabs his pile of green beans to puncture them on the prongs. "You afraid of a choking hazard?" With a little nod, he indicates the way Kelsey is carefully slicing her hotdog. Clearly, Cole is afraid of no such thing, because his forkful of green beans gets shoveled into his mouth.

Cassie really hasn't had a chance to do more than run around like a chicken with her head cut off recently, today being no exception. Thankfully she has a chance to sit down and relax as well as get acquainted with a few more of the ship's personnel and she has actually been looking forward to meeting more of the people she'll work with. "Thanks," she quips happily while sitting down, placing herself so that she won't accidentally bump into anyone while making herself at home. "How are you doing, Petty Officer," she asks Kelsey before glancing at both Cole and Duke. Faces she's seen in passing but not much more than that, it being what prompts her to offer each gentleman her hand. "Cassie Pitera." Simple, quick, nothing fancy. Just a name for now.

Gulp! Lots of officers! Kelsey looks like a deer in the headlights for a moment, but she see's that at the top of those pins is Cassie's head. There's visible relief and she smiles. "Hi, sir," she says with her smile. She glances to the other two pilots in hope. But Duke gets a shrug. "Oh, I dunno sir. I know some empty deck suits filling important positions and we manage to get along. Seems like flexibility is, like, exigent to getting anything done down at my level, sir," she muses, cutting up her food into smaller bites. Shoulders slouch a bit before she catches herself and sits straighter again. Kelsey's eyes catch the wink and she smiles down to her plate. the point out to her cutting gets a laugh and she stops, "Ah, no sir." Ahem. "Used to just cutting food down." She smirks a little and looks back to Cassie. "Doin' okay, sir. Sorry about the thing with that Marine. He sounded kinda.. grumpy."

"Comedic Hero" repeats Duke, nodding at this "I'll have to remember that for future reference" He shakes his head at this, but clearly amused by the entire deal. He looks back at Kelsey as she speaks and tilts his head, asking "Empty deck suits?" And then Cassie introduces herself and he extends his hand to shake her own "Richard Duke" Yep, he leaves it at that as well. And now the thing with the Marine makes him look up "What Marine?" asks the Viper Pilot, officially beaten by curiosity. After saying this, he takes another bite of his potato-looking food and pushes it down with a sip from his water.

Ari points at himself with his fork. Me, caveman. "Ari Cole. Janitor." The last a callsign rather than a profession let's hope. He's too busy shoving his vegetable melody into his maw to contribute much to the conversation at the moment, though his eyes tick tock between the various people, showing he's interest in the table talk about grumpy marines and the peculiarities of teeny tiny bites of food.

Bennett slips into the mess with a stained coffee mug hooked over two fingers, a pack of cigarettes tucked into her palm, and looking about as off duty as she possibly can without being in violation of regs. She's sporting a N A V Y tshirt over her sweatpants, and must be fresh from the showers, judging by the slightly damp hair pulled back into a ponytail. Rather than grab a tray and get in line, she angles instead for the coffee table, and begins filling her mug with hot water.

Names are good to know and eventually the rest of the blanks will be filled in as well but Cassie's content to keep it casual. The atmosphere here is too relaxed to weigh it down with things like ranks and positions, in her opinion. Leaning over she looks at how methodically Wescott has cut her food, that something she did not notice the first time they talked here. "I wouldn't worry too much about it," she whispers to her to try and make Kelsey feel better. "Marines are supposed to sound like that. I don't think the Captain meant anything by it." Leaning away, the ordie's allowed to explain to Duke what happened while she pokes her fork around her tray, trying to decide what to eat first, Cole watched after she decides on a bite of meat. "Janitor, huh? Now you got me curious. How did you get saddled with that?" Bennett's arrival is missed at first but is eventually noticed although not before she's already out of the line and prepping her drink.

"Well, you know, sir," Kelsey says, the orange sore thumb in the group of officers. "Just people who get put into important positions. They they go static like a Viper on display. Happens everywhere." Back away before he wants names. Ahem. She takes up a forkfull of her sliced up hot dog, gets some beans with it, and eats a small bite. "Kelsey Wescott. I guess people are calling me Jailbait," she laughs with a touch of embarrassment. Gotta introduce yourself to everyone, even if its meant for Cassie from Cole. "I'm in Avionics, sir." Because the orange suit and helmet hair pretty much gives her away as Deck. But as she finishes her claim to job she spots Bennett and grins all anew. Endless, youthful energy. She gives a brief nod to Cassie. "Uh, Captain, the looey and I were down on the Deck talkin bout some things and life and havin a laugh and this Marine sounded kinda gruff about keepin a separation of officers and enlisted. Some kind of GrrrrMarine talk about leadership. I understood it, but I had other things on my mind."

Bennett quietly takes stock of who's out and about today, while filling her mug. She spots Cassie at about the same time the woman spots her, and offers a friendly smile her way. The little PO3 is not yet glimpsed. Then off to find a table, with a brief detour past a bowl of fruit that nobody seems interested in. She snags an orange, dodges an incoming marine, and starts hawking for a spot to sit.

"Oh…ok, I see what you mean" says Duke, finally understanding. Count him as slow, today. And no, nothing to worry about, he doesn't ask for names. He goes back to his food for a moment, letting the others talk but still listening to the conversation, to jump in when he can. He covers his mouth and lightly clears his throat, taking another sip of water afterwards. When Kelsey explains what happened, Duke shrugs casually "Everyone knows the rules, but I don't think that means you can't talk to people" He looks over his shoulder at the source of Kelsey's grin and finds Bennett there. But his attention drifts to Cole now and he says "You know, that's a good question, I never got to ask you how you got that callsign…." and now he waits.

"Because when I fly, I clean-up, baby." This is said by Cole just about as arrogant as possible, complete with a little dance that looks like it was choreographed by a boy band. All the while seated, of course. It involves a lot of elbows and a few close calls of a fork accidentally being stuck into one of his table mates. The dance, however, stops more abruptly than it started as Cole freezes mid-cocky-explosion. If one were to follow his eyeline, it seems the cause is Bennett as he locks eyes on the Captain. Arms flop back to the table, set upon elbows as he bends over his tray and now eats more normally instead of slovenly. "As long as you're not frakking them while you talk." Is his only contribution to the fraternization talk.

Kelsey nods a few times to Duke. "Yessir. I think that's how I understand it. I just don't want to get people in trouble. Last thing I need is that nickname being /literal/, right?" she asks with a light smile. The dance from Cole, though, gets a laugh and Kels covers her mouth as she giggles at it. Shoulders shake with it as she squeezes her eyes for a mental snapshot. But opening them, she see's the look from Cole to Bennett and the Petty Officer clears her throat. "Scuse me." PO Wescott stands from her seat by Duke and pulls her tray aside. "You can have my seat, sir." Yeah, this 20 year old might be out of her league.

A hand's quickly lifted to protect herself while that little dance routine's made with. Last thing Cassie needs is an eye poked out. Would suck if that were to be a career-ender for her. "At least it's a lot nicer than what I'm stuck with," she grouses after Cole settles down. "Seems like some callsigns are just destined to be stuck with." Ah well. She'll bitch about that some more later. Room is made for Bennett as she waves to her even if it might seem like she's already heading their way, inviting her over. Always room for one more. And to the latter? She merely adds, "If you're talking while you're frakking then something's most likely wrong," that being her two cents on the subject.

Indeed, if one were to follow Cole's line of sight, one would find a very bemused Bennett on the other side. The captain's paused in mid-stride to watch this little spectacle, the expression in her blue eyes somewhere between humoured and.. well, something difficult to discern. Nothing's said once the Lieutenant drops his stage show. Just a slight shake of her head, a chastising look, and she settles into a chair rather awkwardly near him, at Cassie's table. "Good afternoon, Wescott," she greets the technician with a warm smile. Like Jekyll and Hyde, that woman.

Cole touches the handle of his fork to his nose while looking at Cassie, agreeing that she's got the right idea as far as talking and sexual activity go. His hunger has seemingly slagged off as he digs through the food on his tray, all of the items seemingly devoid of meat products. He's driving a steamed carrot through rehydrogenated potato mountain currently. "Captain." He greets Bennett without so much as lifting his gaze from his food. Choo-choo! Go little carrot engine. This is serious business, yo.

Duke nods to Cole as he offers his input and then looks at Kelsey "What he said…basically speaking" And then, he nods at her words. When the PO stands up, he looks at her and then over his shoulder again at the incoming Bennett. And hey, now he has some questions for Cole, maybe. When Bennett takes that seat, he nods to the woman and offers "Captain." A look towards Cole and back to Bennett, and the man makes no comments…nope, no comments at all. He does however, clear his throat, taking a bit of water afterwards. Awkward.

Kelsey smiles to Bennett and nods once. "Sir." There's healthy respect in the single word, the feeling also given by her standing a little straighter. But the smile never drifts. She looks back at the table and her empty seat as if insisting it be taken. "I'll grab another or something." Because E3's don't ask O4's to do a damned thing except give permission. "We're just discussing, uhm, the fact that- well, you know, more /precise/ violations of frat policy." Ahem. "I think I got the looey here," she motions to Cassie, "-in trouble on the Deck but she says I didn't so yeah. Consensus seems to agree."

Noticeable change in demeanors? Noticeable, yup. And so much so that one would have to be blind not to notice it. Quickly looking from Duke to Cole and then to Wescott, Cassie arches a brow before glancing at Bennett. "How is it going," she asks the lady captain. "Life's been treating you well, I am assuming." Her fork is dropped to her tray, meal forgotten. "Petty Officer Wescott, you did not get me in trouble," she rushes to try and assure her, her brow knitted as she tries to assume a stern expression. The smile totally ruins it, though. "We were merely discussing the subject. Trust me. You'd know if I were in trouble." As would Cassie.

Bennett looks back and forth between Kelsey and Cassie, then briefly askance to Duke when he greets her. Goodness, but this conversation is difficult to follow. "Hello, Captain," she returns in kind to the viper jock. Warm, not merely polite; her smiles light up her eyes with the ease of someone who enjoys the company of others. "Wescott, don't be silly. Sit please." She points to the chair, and that may just be an order. For herself, a chair from a neighbouring table is snagged with the toe of her boot and dragged over, which she promptly plunks herself into. Her mug of hot water is set down, along with her orange and her pack of smokes. "So what's the scuttlebutt today? Someone's in trouble?" She grins at Cassie, probably just teasing.

"You're only in trouble if you get caught." Some of the tension has eased out of Cole's shoulders, but his still seem knotted along his jaw line, making that easy smile somewhat a little more difficult to surface. There is a hint of it though, as he looks across to Cassie. A well placed elbow gets aimed at Duke's ribcage when he clears his throat. "Saint Clair, have you heard from your folks? I posted them Magpies birthday card when were were in port…"

Duke does look at Kelsey and nods in acceptance to what Bennett said "Yes, you don't have to get up or anything like that" He smiles at this and then takes his glass with one hand, half lifting it as a 'toast' like motion before he drinks from it again. "Trouble? What do you mean, Captain" says Duke, now smiling at Bennett before looking at his plate again. He uses his plastic fork to poke at the remaining food but doesn't seem all that inclined to eat anything more. There is a brief glance towards Cole but he looks at the rest of those gathered around right after that. That elbow? That elbow hits him and he edges to the side as if trying to cover himself. What does Cole gets? A stomp on his foot.

Kelsey laughs a little to Cassie and finally dips her head. "Aye, sir. Not in trouble." Its said with a guilty smile. Lesson learned. "Thank you, Cap'n," she whispers to Bennett and sits herself back down. The PO busies herself with a big sip from her glass of milk, looking around at the heavy assortment of ranks around her. But even behind the glass, Kelsey's eyes squint into a big smile at Cole. "Best not to get caught. Like whoever put all the Maenads in the Viper cockpits." Preen! Oh yes, she saw. The girl seems a bit pensive in the silence, like she's a big ball of excitable energy. "So do you all like flying?" she blurts, looking at them each in turn. "Is it awesome like in the movies??"

Bennett rolls her eyes slightly in a 'boys, please' sort of way at the hijinks going on between Cole and Duke. Meanwhile, her hands are busy making quick work of peeling that orange. It's not hard to tell she's a pilot. "I haven't, sorry," she tells Cole without looking up. Some juice is sucked off her thumb. "You know how long mail takes to get out there." Her eyes flick up to him finally, expressionless, then back to Kelsey as she sits herself down. "You're welcome." A wink, and a smile.

"Trouble? Hell no. Although there probably will be some eventually. Give it a week or two." No longer hungry, Cassie opts for her coffee instead. Sadly the bitter brew has grown cold, making it a bit difficult for her to drink but 'waste not, want not' definitely applies where caffeine goes. "I'll probably be warming a bunk in the brig." Okay. Maybe not. Cassie is good at keeping her nose clean, as her service record can attest to. A sip silences her but she hurries, a bit of it getting away from her, running down her chin. A hand is used to wipe it off, it then wiped against the pants of her uniform. "It's… it starts out as awesome, sure. And I guess it remains so but… well, speaking for myself, after a while the sense of duty kind of takes away from the shiny parts of flying."

Gravelly wounded is he, or at least that's the way Cole plays up that stomp of his foot, making an exaggerated wince. "Frakker." His own boot makes a lateral move, looking to sideways clip Duke in the shin. "Flying is like sex. Even if it's a bad flight, it's still a flight." His hand lifts to scrub through the short hair at the back of his neck. "Well if you do…" He starts to say to Bennett, but his voice drifts off, unsure of how to finish that sentence.

Duke nods at Kelsey's question and offers "I love flying, been flying since I was 14 years old…" he nods and elaborates "My dad owns a cropduster and started teaching me since I was very little, my first solo flight was at 14" He smiles at this, he is very fond of this memory. "I wouldn't know about it being like in the movies really" He shrugs at this and says "I just enjoy flying anything that can fly" And now he is basically kicked in the shin. He looks down and winces a little "Mother~~~~" says the man on the low and then takes a deep breath, and doesn't respond the hit. He's playing the calm and collected role, see?

Kelsey listens to Cassie first, her expression blanking some as she takes that opinion in. Looking in turn to Cole, her eyes go wide and she snickers. "Okay, I think I like that analogy the best. But yeesh, sir. When you have a bad flight does the plane leave you unsatisfied, wanting more, and inwardly hating yourself for being so pliable to its wiles? If it does, sheesh, a good flight must be fantastic!" Then, to Duke, the brighteyed PO nods several times. "My dad works at a regional spaceport near where I grew up. He's a Chief of Planes up there and is responsible for a lot. He used to take me up into the command decks of transports when I was younger. I'd do my homework up there while he worked. He usedto tell me that if I wantedto I could fly like my my grandma. She was an ECO during the Cylon war. Killed lots of bulletheads." She raises her fist (andfork) a little. "Wooo! Go gramma! Cylon Slayah!"

"…I'll let you know," Bennett supplies quietly, mouth curving into a small and very guarded smile for Cole. And then, "Much as I hate to agree with him, he's right." That flying is like sex? Apparently. She pops a slice of orange into her mouth, and offers the untouched fruit in her hand to Cassie and Kelsey nearby. Duke's story draws a curious glance the man's way, and the technician's causes her to chuckle; then again, she's heard that one before.

Cole swallows a smile with a carrot that has met it's fate in the Viper jock's chompers, silently claiming victory of the little back and forth that just happened between himself and Duke. "The worst flight is too short and usually the result of when your KEW discharges before you're allowed to go weapons hot." There is a little stolen glance to Bennett and a nod about the family discussion and he goes back to his tray with his fork, snorting a laugh at Kelsey.

"So if sex and flying are alike…" Cassie looks at Bennett for a moment before shrugging, daring to continue with her line of thought. "… does that mean it's a case of a guy putting himself into the cockpit?" She can be smacked now and in fact fully expects to be which is why she ducks her head and covers it with an arm. "Sorry," she mumbles preemptively. "I could not resist." A quick peek is given to her table mates, too curious to miss out on their reactions even though she's afraid of some kind of retribution for her pun. "Your grandmother served then," she asks, arm lowered. "Wow. That's a heck of a story to tell the kids."

"Seriously? Flying is like sex." Kelsey thinks on that for a moment and looks back at Cassie. "Geez, sir, no wonder that Marine was so grumpy. He needs to fly more." She even manages to get it out with a straight face. Somewhere, over her head and that innocent expression, a halo shatters. Back to Cole she humphs. "Soooo you get all the work and none of the payoff, sir? Dag. That sucks eggs." This time she grins devilishly before looking back to Cassie. "Sure did, sir! She sat backseat in lots of Predators. Got shot down twice! Crazy lady! Sweetest gramma ever, though. You'd never know it to look at her. My first week in the fleet she made me send her a picture of me sitting in the back of one giving a Grrrr," double thumbs up, "- look to the camera."

"I guess that must be a common problem with the vipers," Captain St. Clair remarks oh so matter-of-factly on the heels of Cole's pontification. And no, she doesn't smack Cassie. But she does feign scandal with a comical widening of her eyes and a gasped, "Lieutenant Pitera. Why, I never." Another orange slice is popped into her mouth, blue eyes twinkling as she eases back in her chair.

Victory? Never! Richard Duke chuckles at Kelsey's last words and then nods his head "A lot of great soldiers fought during that war" Duke goes back to his food after saying this, letting the conversation carry forward as he enjoys some of that food in front of him. For a moment, he gets rather distracted but soon enough, he is looking up, trying to catch up with what has been said so far. "Vipers what?" finally asks Duke, looking at Bennett now.

"And then you gotta put your Viper back in the barn, and be all apologetic when you throw a towel at the Deckie responsible for cleaning up the console. Wait." Cole's eyes squint, a smatter of fine lines around his eyes betraying his age. "Too far." He nods simply to himself before his attention returns more so to Bennett. "I'm told it happens to all Viper pilots. As long as you can launch at all, right?" Speaking of launch, a little projectile lob of potato accidentally falls off the end of Cole's fork and accidentally is aimed at Cassie.

Kelsey makes a face, looking like she's about to cry, but starts laughing at Cole. "Ohhhhhmigods," she sputters with a cringe. "Please, no riding hard and putting away ..used.. okay?" she laughs. "You have any idea how- that- the mess- I'M AVIONICS, SIR!" she blurts with another laugh, 'Ew!Ew!Ew!'ing afterwards as she turns away to Bennett. "I'm gonna hang out with Raptors more, okay, Cap'n?" she laughs.

Bennett could probably take this conversation much further than is appropriate for the mess hall — or so says the gleam in her eyes when Cole fires back an answer — but she drops it with a graceful lift of one shoulder. "Oh, probably." Duke gets a beatific smile as she finishes the last of her orange. "Nothing, Captain, just a bad joke." Kelsey just gets a sage nod, and a comforting pat of her arm in reply.

The glob of tater-like matter is noticed but she's too relaxed to move too fast and the projectile food substance hits her square on the shoulder. "Ah frak. Cole." The urge to get even for his little error is strong but is quelled since what she might do might start a food fight and that'd be bad. Kelsey… ah, gods. Her laughter is contagious and she too starts in, it not taking long before tears start running down her face. "Just be careful if the pilot ever comes to you complaining about their flight controls sticking," she quips to add fuel to the fire. "And wear gloves if they do."

"Joke, got it" says Duke to Bennett and looks down at his plate again. Well, he is pretty much done there so he pushes the tray away, taking his glass afterwards. Now, he focuses a little more in the conversation, particularly on wha Kelsey and Cassie just said. He clicks his tongue and shakes his head "I don't think you'll run into that problem…or at least I would hope so…" Now, he takes a deep breath and ponders a little "Do tell me if you do, I might have to talk with some of the Pilots." He doesn't call out names, no…

"My work here is done." Finally Ari's smile fully forms on his features, making him look an odd cross of amused and predatory as the women start laughing. Satisfied, Cole stands from his seat, dragging his tray with him. He manages a last few forkfuls of food while he moves, cleaning his plate like a good boy. Even if he /does/ talk with his mouth full. "Be good, or be good at it." Cole tells the table as a collective before moving off to bus his dishes.

Kelsey looks back at Cassie and makes a little circular motion as if to point all over and around the JG. "Sir, I'm callin /you/. They don't pay me enough. Besides, I've worked with Crew Survival. I know those suits are HAZMAT rated. You think we get snazzy stuff? Coolest thing I got issued was a set of socket wrenches." The PO then looks to Cole and nods several times. "I like that, sir," she perks before Kels turns her attention to Duke and Bennett. "Oh probably not, sir. I don't think anyone's gonna risk their big fancy job over lil me. No point. Besides, I got bigger problems. I can't mess myself up over some rough-cut, blistering-smile'd, hazel eye'd hero." Mmmmmmm. Whut? She blinks and looks at Bennett with a grin. She knows what Kelsey means about the responsibilities.

Bennett, on the other hand, does not speak with her mouth full. So Cole's departure garners nothing more than a long glance from the raptor captain, punctuated with that selfsame expressionless look she seems to have perfected for him. Then she swallows, and starts working on her tea with a bemused smirk shot Cassie's way. "No?" murmured Kelsey's way. "Well, could you send them my way, then?"

Duke nods at Cole as he leaves and offers "Don't wander off too far, gotta talk about something with you" This time in full serious mode of course. But, he does stay put in his chair, looking from Kelsey to Bennett as they talk, chuckling at that. "And if you don't mind, a redhead lady my way?" He nods to this and smiles, leaning back against his chair, drinking his water. He'll probably have to rush to the bathroom soon enough due to all this water. He looks at Bennett for a moment and he knows he wants to ask what's the deal (with Cole), but he doesn't, he just looks back at the group.

Cassie snorts lightly at Duke, her expression as amused as before. "I hope our pilots are better behaved than to…" Her voice trails off and she takes to shrugging. The joke has already been beaten into the ground so she just stops herself. Cole's given a wave as well a look that screams 'I will get even with you', still revenge-minded for the earlier food mishap.

"Oh, I'll take the redhead, too," Bennett tosses back to Duke with a dimpled grin. "So long as she's not too much of a lady." Aaaand it seems she's done with being inappropriate. For the time being. A smoke's tucked between her lips and absently lit while the conversation continues to flow around her.

Kelsey eyes the Captain. "Sir? You musclin in on my choice of prime cut Pican male? Fresh off the ranch? Mmm." Squinty. "If, perhaps, I run across any who are not quite up to snuff. Possibly, sir." She nods slowly. "But I'm not sure that if they are good enough for me I would feel okay pawning them off on you. Might be treasonous, sir. Got m'oathes and all." To Duke, she nods. "Well, this redhead in front of you, sir, is the only one I know. We don't work well in pairs. Kinda like trying to shove two polar ends of magnets together." Bennets last gets a grin and a big nod, though, and she looks back to Cassie. "Any requests? Individuals I can try and hunt down for you, mm?" Winkwinknudgenudge.

Readhead in front of him. Duke considers this for a moment and then it clicks "Ooooooh! No, I didn't…" the man clears his throat and shifts on his seat "I didn't mean…" then he opens his mouth to say something, finds himself surrounded and goes quiet "Nevermind" Yeah, enough digging a hole dammit. Dum Dee Dum…he's pretty quiet not, looking at his glass and drinking from it afterwards, downing the remaining water.

Bennett laughs and holds up a hand in supplication to Kelsey. "Wouldn't dream of it, Wescott." She gives a little huff, and ashes her cig out into her empty mug. "Besides, I don't date." Smoke's expelled on a long exhale, her gaze lowering to examine her fingernails — more specifically, a chip in her polish on her pinky finger.

Men? Who has time for men? Surely not Cassie who hasn't even so much as dated since her art school days. Means she doesn't really have an answer for Kelsey at first. Takes a bit but she does answer, eventually. "Someone with dark hair and light colored eyes, I guess. Maybe some guy with a bit of a bad boy streak? I dunno, Wescott. Hell… just surprise me, huh?" And she stands up, mug in hand. "I need a refresh. Anyone want or need anything while I'm up?"

Kelsey smirks at Duke. "Aw, sir, don't sweat it. No worries. I had brown hair til I was eleven. You're fine! We're just talkin, right, Cap'n?" Chipper as always. She waggles her brow at Cassie and nods. "You got it. And, uh, could you get me a mug of hot water, sir? Please? I need somethin f'my cocoa mix." But she look back Bennett and smiles. "No worries. Me either. Got me into a problems last time and not many guys my age are lookin for someone like me. I can't spend any money on them, all my free time goes to family, when I'm at work?" She makes a -bzzrt- sound. "Focused right in like a machine. Most of the time. Priorities, right, sir?"

Duke looks at Cassie and shakes his head "Nothing for me, thank you" He then looks at Kelsey and shows a faint smile, nodding to her words. After hearing her comments about family, he nods "Family comes first, always. I had a couple invitations to go to Picon, catch up with some old friends but I went back home to Aerilon, my old man was sick…" pause "…nothing bad really, just a flu like situation. Since he doesn't know when to stop, I took all his shifts and worked the cropduster to cover all the incoming jobs."

"Priorities," Bennett agrees, favouring Kelsey with another of her easy smiles. "And you're right, most twenty year old boys are still thinking with their dicks." That part is muttered sotto voce, so as not to be broadcast to the room. "Oh, Cassie, bad boys are overrated. Get yourself a nerd. Trust me." She waves her hand dismissively to the question, indicating she doesn't need anything. "You sound like a really dedicated guy," she tells Duke sincerely, watching him for a moment or two again.

Hot water. Right. She can do that. Cassie nods to Kelsey before going to get her the needed ingredient for her cocoa and more coffee for herself which doesn't take long at all. The only thing that gives her a reason to pause being Bennett. Turning around, she cocks a grin at the lady and shrugs. "Nerds are alright. Dated a few in my life. They're a bit too innocent for my liking, usually." And now she's back on track, returning to her quest for drink stuffs.

"Sir, I've got a three year old because I know that all too well," Kelsey says that plainly to Bennett with an amused smile. "Doooon't I know it. They're all about it until I mention my daughter. She's like an adorable countermeasure, sir." Kelsey beams and watches Cassie move off before looking to Duke. "Awww. Well I'm from Picon, sir. Small town up north. Biggest thing around is the Marine Camp. You should go if you've never been. I can't really recommend any particular area, but I just like the people. Whenever something bad happens? Its a community event. People band together. Makes me really proud, sir," she says quietly. Such a peaceful smile to her.

Duke looks at Bennett and offers a smile to her "Both my parents did a lot for me, and I believe in giving back. My dad used to stay up at night just to tech me about the different parts in the cropduster and even risked his neck when he allowed me to fly solo at that young age." He nods and continues "My mom was a school teacher, so she kept me in track. All good with learning about the planes but schoolwork is also important…so I would have a lot to thank them for, really" He licks his lips and adds "Family to me…well…that's really important." He smiles again, a soft, warm smile. Now, he looks at Kelsey as she mentions Picon and nods "Oh, yeah, I've lived in Picon for a few years, I was Viper Instructor at the Hermes Air-Base…really nice people there"

Mission success. Mugs are acquired, hot water poured into one while more coffee is dispensed into its mate, both of which are then brought over to the table. Wescott's handed hers before she sits, Cassie going as far as to kick her feet up on the chair Cole earlier relieved when he stood up and left. "So did I miss anything important while I was off getting more caffeine to further dilute my blood stream with?"

Kelsey nods along to Duke, watching him with one of those completely contented looks. Shoulders slumped, she looks more like someone's little sister that's playing dress-up for a party. "Yeah, I know what ya mean, sir. Family is everything. When everyone else leaves or turns their back? Family is there. I'd be a complete disaster without mine. My dad's parents? My parents? My daughter? To me, sir, wealth isn't measured in cubits but the value of your experiences and the quality of people you surround yourself with." Quiet, sage words from the young woman. "Viper Instructor? Do you give lessons? I can trade in toothpaste," she counts off fingers, "pocket lint, fleet-issue soap and shampoo, annnnnd spare women's socks. Warning: They are pink." But with the delivered mug, Kelsey looks back up to Cassie and grins. "I shared the secret of life. Nothing big, sir."

Maybe it's the conversation about family, or maybe she's just remembered a report she'd forgotten to hand in, but Bennett rather abruptly puts out her clove cigarette and begins collecting her things. "We'll have to catch up another time," she murmurs to the group at large, her smile seeming genuinely apologetic. "You be good, Wescott." She gives the PO3 an affectionate squeeze of her shoulder, wiggles her fingers to the two viper jocks, and heads for the hatch.

Duke points at Kelsey and nods his head "Exactly that." It seems that their views when it comes to family match rather well. Now, the man chuckles amusedly when she mentions all the trade options "I'm not sure how good would a set of pink socks work for me" He smiles at this and shakes his head. "As for giving lessons? I'm all for it really, and no trades are required. However, approval from your Chief and the CAG would be required in this particular case" Now, he tilts his head and asks "Would you be looking into switching branches?" Now, Bennett stands up and he looks at her "Oh. Certainly" He offers a nod of his head with a gentle smile and then looks back at Kelsey and Cassie.

A feigned pout forms when Cassie's 'caught up', an act put on to make it seem like she is put out by having missed such important, worlds-ending information. "Perhaps next time," she laments before chuckling, the ruse ending. At the mention of lessons she raises a brow. "Lessons? Wait. I really did miss something, it seems."

Kelsey makes a face and shakes her head. "Probably won't happen then, sir. I cover everyone's shifts when they wanna go down to the planet cuz I'm trying to drum up recommendations. I still haven't seen it yet except from the Obs Deck!" she laughs. "And change branch?" blinkblink. "Sir, I-" she gives a breathless laugh. "Sir, I got a GED my junior year. I've got like 15 college credits from a community college. I'm about as far from officerin' as I am from, well, bein rich." he shrugs. "Flyin looks great, but I got my plans. I'm going to get a proper high school diploma, get my associates. Then get a job with my associates and work my tail off and use every recommendation I can to get into a really good school and get a four year degree." Confidence, overflowing. Solid, dedicated confidence. "Have a career, make my family proud, raise my daughter right and be an example. I have my plan. Like I told Red- Err, Lieutenant Cassie?" She glances to her then back to Duke. "I want to be a mentor, sir. I want to be someone that girls like me can look up to and know that their life isn't over when they have a kid like I did. Flyin.." She shrugs lightly. "Its like the coolest thing ever, but there's no way I could ever make it. Not now." She takesthe water and removes a packet of cocoa from the pocket of her suit and looks to Cassie. "Sorry. Yeah, I asked if the Captain might show me some stuff. I like planes. Just don't have the time or the realistic ability, ya know, sir?"

Duke gives his full attention to Kelsey as she says her part. He nods from time to time and a smile starts drawing on his lips as she reveals her entire master plan. "Very well" offers the pilot now, nodding his head. "I see you have placed quite a few set of goals ahead of yourself and that is always a good thing. I'm sure your family is already proud of you for doing this…" And by this, he means Orion "..You know, being away from the family can be hard" He takes a deep breath and says "I wouldn't mind setting a recommendation letter. The dedication you are showing is…well, only a few people show that strength of will, and that's important." Now, he looks at Cassie and nods "And Vipers are the best planes" He smiles at this and then chuckles, looking back at Kelsey "Well, if at some point in time you find yourself in a position in which you think you'll want to go for it, let me know"

"I already told the Petty Officer that I'd like to help as well in that regards. With a letter of recommendation. Even though we just met I can tell she has the kind of dedication and gumption needed. Would be good to have her in the wing." At the voiced opinion of which craft is the best Cassie chuckles, nodding at the same time. "Damn straight," she says while raising her mug, her own little way of agreeing with Duke.

"Yessir," Kelsey nods quietly. "Sucks being away from my little girl, but-" Force that smile, Kels. "-we do what we have to. For family. But? One Day. One day at a time until One Day arrives. And thank you for saying as much, sir." She swallows. "I don't think there's anyone on the deck that wouldn't mind learnin to fly 'em. I'll always /want/ to. Growin up on gramma's stories? Geez. That's tough to get away from. But, you know? I gotta be realistic, sir. If the dreams get a hold of me I'll lose focus and I can't do that." She straightens her palm out in front of her with a chop. "Walk the path, Cap'n, and don't let the bandits or fools tempt you down the other sides. Maybe in my next life, I guess. But if you ever get bored?" She whispers. "I might be able to sneak off the Deck if you feel like maybe showin me some basics?" There's a little bit of anxious hope there. One last shot at the request. The packet is slowly stirred into her mug and she uses her fork to get the clumps out as she looks back to Cassie. But its meant for Duke, too. "That means a lot, you guys. Thanks. I know I'm young. Its hard to find people who think I'm more than an airheaded idealist. But I don't let anyone get in my way and I don't step on faces, either. Its not easy but.. Thanks." Pause. "Sirs."

Duke smiles at Kelsey's words and when she requests that last, he presses his lips together "Well, it really doesn't depend on me alone…I will have to see if the simulator time can be booked while off-duty for classes with non-airwing personnel" says the man, nodding at this. He takes a deep breath and adds "We'll see. I can't really make the promise of course, given regulations and all" A faint smile is offered to the girl and then he looks at Cassie, chuckling at this "Nothing wrong with Raptors tho, beautiful piece of Aircraft" See? He pretty much loves everything that can fly.

Cassie gets up again, this time a bit abruptly as if remembering an appointment at last moment. "I got to jet. Look, will hunt you both down for some more talking, soon." She winks to Duke and waves to them both. And then off for parts unknown.

Simulators. "Holy..s-cow." Kelsey swallows. "Uhm." eyes wide. "Wow, that'd be suuuuuper awesome, sir." She forces herself to wet her throat with a sip of the cocoa. "I was expecting, like, books. Charts. If you want to sit me in something, though, okay!" Biggest. Smile. Evar. "I mostly work on Raptors and Predators, so I probably know their systems best. But I'll start at zero for anywhere!" She looks like she's ready to jump out of her chair. Or cry out of happiness. Possibly both. The looks over to Cassie and she looks horribly like she wants to hug the JG, but refrains out of sheer force of will. "Thanks, sir. I'll see you later!" She sips at the mug and watches her go for a moment before looking back to Duke.

Cassie has left.

"There are books, plenty of them…if you want to read them of course." says Duke, nodding his head at this. "I brought with me every possible manual you can find, along with Navigation charts that cover the 12 Colonies." He smiles at this fact and then adds "Predators are fun, they go wicked fast…they don't offer a lot of manoeuvrability but, they are still very fun" And now, Cassie is leaving and he chuckles at this with amusement "At this point, I'm not sure if I should start thinking that I smell bad or something like that" He shakes his head at this and smiles, obviously joking.

Kelsey listens closely. She's not about to drift. Focus! But the last has her smile and look back to Cassie, then to Duke. "She did this a few days ago, too, sir. You don't smell pretty as a lady after a shower, but you're not bad." She gives him an honest smile before continuing. "Well, Captain? If you want me to read? Sure. I mean, learnin is learnin is learnin. I didn't get my scholarships by falling asleep in my books and osmosis. You want something, work for it. I- Well, I'd like to learn how one day. Even if I'm not flying for the Navy? ..Or well, maybe. I don't know. Probably not. But it'd be a huge thing for me. and anything worth doin is worth doin right, sir."

Duke smiles at her last words and offers "Look, I told this to a very good friend of mine already and I will say this to you as well. Before anything else, I'm a Pilot, I was a pilot before joining the Navy. I believe, that anyone that shows the drive, the determination and the focus required, can learn how to fly. Heck, if when we are out of here, you still want to learn…look me up, go to Aerilon, take your baby girl if you want. You'll learn to fly in an old cropduster but you'll learn. And you'll fly" There is a firm nod coming from the man. "I'll even drag you to the registration service to get your license"

Kelsey listens with a patient smile. That enthusiasm bubbles just beneath the surface. That kind of raw, emotional explosion inside that's barely contained. People with four years at a Naval Academy are usually cocky or they know how to restrain themselves. Kelsey is also two years younger than most academy grads and her idea of a military bearing is /smiling less/ and straightening a greasy uniform. "If we get out and that's the case, sir, I'll spend all my vacations and extra cash on it. I'll pay ya whatever I can. I just-" She looks like she might hop right out of her chair for a second, then hands suddenly come to her face, eyes peeking out over her fingers. "OHMIGODS!" she breathes. "My gramma is gonna /FLIP/! ohmigodohmigid, sir. She my want to meet you. And, like, bring you over for a dinner or something. Just… whatever. You're warned! Major Wescott is superduper Awwwww, though."

Duke can't help but to laugh softly at her reaction and she'll find him shaking his head right after that "Look, you don't have to pay for instructions…if, and only /if/ its required, maybe something for the fuel but I would seriously doubt that really." And as for the grandma, he nods his head and smiles "Certainly, always Happy to meet a War Veteran." A veteran…he's not calling her grandma old, nope, not at all. "Your money should go for your little girl, so let's not take any away from you, deal?" Which means that he'll probably not even charge for the fuel.

Kelsey leaves her hands in place, just watching the man while he talks. She shakes a little on her shoulders with an inhale as her eyes glass over at his last. She swallows, sitting very still with a ragged breath. One of her hands slips to the side and wipes a tear off her cheek. Its subtle and she's careful to not cause a scene in the middle of the mess hall. There's another hard swallow and she, in a very controlled movement, puts her hands in her lap. "Thank you," she mouthes. Obviously that meant more to her than anything he could imagine. "When we leave a very crowded Mess Hall, sir," she whispers, "I'm going to give you a very big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Because phooey on frat, I can't tell you what that meant to hear." That really hit her at the core. "Consider me dedicated, sir." She continues to whisper. "When would you like me to start?"

Duke presses his lips together when he sees that tear on her cheek. Processing, processing, processing. He blinks and takes a deep breath, showing a smile to her "Didn't they warn you about Viper Pilots being grumpy?" He now chuckles and does know he can be a bit of a grumpy cat sometimes. "Now, remember..I do have to ask the CAG for access to the Simulators, eventually…so it really depends on his final word." This is perhaps, of some annoyance to him. Not directed towards the CAG of course but more towards the how things work. "Regardless, should things here turn to be…not allowed, there is always the Aerilon part, because I control that" As for starting "Whenever you want, as long as it doesn't interrupt with your normal duties /and/ as long as you promise to not kill yourself with the books…you need to be rested like all of us" He smiles at this last fact and finishes with "I'll take some books to the Deck, you can borrow them. It'll pretty much cover flight basics for Civilian craft, then you can see Military craft there and there's even some ECM stuff there…not my personal strength but /very, very/ important as well"

Kelsey does her own processing. The student in her chair taking mental notes. Dirt trade on her forehead. Hair a mess. Dried sweat on her neck. Hands permanently charred and greased to a dark gray. But the light in her eyes says everything that her body and dress doesn't: Yes, sir. The glass fades slowly from her eyes while she listens, pursing her lips. "ECM stuff isn't a problem. Like, playing with the systems? Harder. But concept and /how/ they work mechanically and within their own systems? I know that inside and out, sir." She inhales and her shoulders swell with pride, chin lifting. "I'm okay without sims, sir. Promise. Do what you can with what you can. But I make no promises that I won't stay up late studying, sir." She swallows. "My college involved bomb casings, dradis theory, and electrical work. Its not what I wanted for myself at 20, but I'm moving past it. But I had a three point six eight GPA before I had to leave high school. I had scholastic scholarships for computers. I didn't get these things by just spending an hour a night reading." She shakes her head. "No sir. You've given me a lot of faith. What you said… When I get into the air for real, I'll tell you why that was so important to me. You'll understand. But I'll repay you with success. I won't let you down, sir. I won't. I'll make you proud. I'll stick my name and reputation on that, Captain."

Duke studies the girl for a moment, in silence, letting her say whatever she needs to say. At the end, he just nods his head and offers "Very well. I'll get the books for you and you can start with that. As for the ECM stuff, it's pretty much everything you find at the Flight Academy, I managed to get my hands on them while teaching at the AirBase." He shrugs and says "Nothing wrong with wanting to further the knowledge base. So it's basically Operation and Tactics, throw a bit of interaction with other Avionics systems and you are all set" And of course there are books on Piloting as well, plenty of them. About what she wanted at 20, he just shakes his head and offers "Life punches you, where it hurts…and what do we do? We punch back, we move forward, and we get better." He is doing that for himself, perhaps unrelated to flying but still, it's something that screwed up his own life, and he is done with letting it consume him.

"I'll read and comprehend everything I can, sir. I know its more than reading so if you want me to pass written tests or anything, I can do that. I used to lead study groups in A school. Nobody scored higher on munitions than I did. That includes the delivery systems inner guts, sir. ECM is just basic stuff so the books will be a…different kind of read." She looks down at the table and scoops up her hot cocoa once more. "I understand, sir. I sorta punched myself, though. At 16? You get pregnant?" She look up to him. "Who do you blame? Your parents? The boy? Society? Violent movies?" She sighs. "I'm living with my decisions. I've also found that I don't totally regret them. Where I am today? Its not /ideal/, but I wouldn't trade my daughter for a life without her." She tilts her head as she says it, looking to Duke. "I understand punching back. I do. But I think its more that I'm not just fighting to stay afloat and tread water, I'm willing to swim the whole ocean to safe harbor."

"There is one particular test I want to throw at you at first. I mean, after giving you some time to digest the reading. It's an aptitude test designed to get some pipeline data from you" says Duke, nodding at this. Pretty much the stuff every Candidate goes through before being pushed to their specific pipelines (at least on a written level) "Maybe Rap Music?" asks Duke, smiling at this. Hey, Rap music is to blame for a lot of things. The last words that she throws at him bring a smile to his lips and a nod to her "Good, good…exactly how it should be" Yes, he agrees with that and at the same time, he is completely revising these past eighteen months… The things you realize when you least expect it. "Swim the whole ocean to safe harbor" repeats Duke now. Now, he stands up and takes a deep breath, still smiling at the girl "Alright, I better get going, I have CAP in just a few minutes. I'll make sure to get those books for you as soon as I'm back….and had a shower" Because showers are good yo.

Kelsey listens, nodding. The gag about rap gets a smirk but little else. "I'll be ready for the test, sir. I'll look over the books and get everything down. I've never even looked at most of this but I won't let you down, sir. You put time and faith into me, I'll be someone you're proud of." Given the look in her eyes, it'll happen or she will die trying. But as the man stands, as accustomed for an enlisted, she rises with him. "Yessir." She takes up her mug of cocoa and lowers her voice, looking a bit prim in her expression. "Request permission to accompany you to the hall so I can deliver big hugs, sir. Or I can ambush you somewhere. I will not be denied this requirement, Captain."

Duke nods in silence at what she says first and smiles "Good, good" He does take a step away but immediately stops when she requests the hug. The man can't help but to chuckle at this and then takes a deep breath, finally nodding his head. "You won't be denied the requirement then?" asks the Pilot, definitely amused at this. He finally nods again and says "Alright, alright…" With that said, he takes a step to the side and offers her to lead towards the exit "Nothing wrong with a hug, I would say"

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