AWD #236: Home Is Where the Bullets Are
Home Is Where the Bullets Are
Summary: Kelsey and Phin practice their shots, and sort of kind of discuss home and life beyond war.
Date: 30/08/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Nope
Kelsey Phin 
Firing Range — Deck 3 — Battlestar Orion
With ten different bays, the firing range can accommodate quite a few shooters with about two dozen spectators or trainees behind them. At 25 yards, the targets can be brought forward or pushed back up to the stops before the inclined plating designed to deflect rounds up. The lighting can be dimmed down to nothing for use with night vision or flashlights, also. A large sign overhead denotes the requirement of both eye and ear protection, as well as the prohibition of all ammunition except rubber or frangible. However, there are no firearms stored here. All firearms and ammunition must be checked out from the Marine Armory in the Security Hub.
AWD #236

Its not the normal place one finds Squire. She's usually off futzing around in her bunk with technical manuals. Even with her technically completing pilot training, she's still working on educating herself. When she's not flying or reading, she's with her kid. So the range? Might be a surprise. Standing at a stall at the rear, she aims a pistol at a target five meters away and fires a few shots, tongue tuck out the side of her mouth in concentration.

Phin isn't found on the firing range too often, either. Definitely not on his off-time. He puts in the required practice to keep up his qualifications, but he's a pilot, not a sniper. Still, he's here today. He checks his pistol at the desk and receives some practice ammo from the enlisted rating on duty. "Thanks," he mutters as he signs in, before taking his gun and ammo box back to the lanes. "Oh. Hey." To Kelsey, when he spots her. His surprise is mild, but it's present.

Other people! Kelsey looks over suddenly and grins. "Hi!" She seems to be in a good mood. "How goes?" She looks back, concentrating again and fires a round at the target. Most of them seem to be hitting in the black! …shooting is not her strong suit, obviously. The slide locks back and she puts it down and looks over to Phin. "Thanks for those apples. I snagged one before bed the other night. Soooo nice to have."

"Those? Oh, you're welcome. Milkshake dropped some blueberries by Viper country awhile ago. Saw them the last time I was down planet-side, figured I'd return the favor. Easy to forget how much good stuff is down there, if you spend too much time aboard ship." Phin picks out a lane next to her. He half-turns his head to watch her take her shots, but he doesn't offer any advice. From his own handling of his gun as he loads, it's unlikely he'd have much to offer. He works the pistol competently, but not with any huge feeling of comfort with the weapon. "Goes OK. Figured I'd better start getting more practice in down here, the way Command is talking about Picon."

Kelsey nods a few times and goes about slowly loading her own clip. "Yeah, that's what has me down here. To be honest, I haven't even shot a gun since I was shot down on Picon back in February with Petra." She makes a face and shrugs. "I dunno. We'll see what happens. I'm kinda nervous about getting back there and getting the whole attack underway. It just-" She sighs. Kelsey has lost a lot of that coltish new-pilot-legs uncertainty. The nervousness seems more nuanced. A social concern, perhaps. She's come a long way. "Its a big commitment. We've been sorta hiding here, but its the beginning of a long push. We're -really- going to war to fight for Picon and the other colonies. I'm excited, scared, a billion different things." She slides a glance and a subtle grin at him. "But I'm also a lush. We know this."

"I've never shot my weapon in the field." Phin admits it kind of sheepishly. All the action he's seen since Warday has been in a Viper seat. "I mean, not real combat. Exercises don't count." He sounds a little nervous about the prospect of doing this, himself. "Yeah. Looks like we are. It's hard to wrap my head around taking Picon back, with all the Cylons did to the colonies. I don't figure Command would commit unless they thought we could hold it, though." Bang! He hits the target. It's winged in what would be the shoulder, were that paper a Cylon.

"I'll be pleased as peaches if I never have to shoot it in the field again. I don't like guns. Never have. Which is horribly ironic sense I get giggly shooting off the miniguns on the Raptors and Preds." Kels shoots him another sidelong smile. "Can't help it. The rumble in the seat, shake of the stick," and Kelsey looks like she might start giggling even with the idea. "But! Yeah." She blows a strand of hair from her face and up over the top. "You nervous about it? And what it means?"

"Me either," Phin admits. He shrugs, as he tries to line up another shot. "It's different when you're up in a plane. I guess the Marines'd say we're more removed from, like, being in the trenches. Which I guess is fair. At least, it's probably true when we're fighting Raiders in the black. Not sure how it's going to be dogging with them down in atmosphere." Different, he suspects. "And…yeah. Flying's a rush. Gets your head in a different place." As for that last question. He pauses, firing another shot. Again, it hits the target. Wounding, but it'd be in no danger of killing the paper Cylon. "Yeah. I mean…yeah. I guess I am."

Kelsey nods slowly and keeps focused on putting more bullets into the clip but she's loading it slowly. "Yeah. But I'm okay with being removed. I guess its probably right, what they say. Its weird, though. When you strap on a Raptor and you're bombing stuff on the ground, I just-" She shrugs one shoulder. "I feel like I'm in a movie theater. Like I'm just watching this movie and I get to control the camera and the action, but that's not real outside the cockpit. Its dissociative and I guess its probably not healthy but it helps me deal with it. Guns are very-" she seems to hunt for the term for a moment, but eventually just shakes it off. "Got anyone in particular out there on the Colonies you hope might be alive somewhere? Anyone you're holding out for?"

"Y'know, when I joined up I never figured I'd see combat." Phin admits it without looking at her, eyes still on the target. Bang! Bang! Those're at least slightly closer to the center, even if they're probably still not fatal wounds by themselves. "I mean, pirates on, like border patrol duty, sure. And maybe stuff like the Pacification on Tauron. Or Sagittaron. Though I…I mean, I hoped not." He sounds decidedly put off by the idea of that kind of fighting. "But, like, I figured it'd never be anything huge. The Fleet just seemed like the best way to get to fly." He doesn't answer her last question right again. Firing off another shot. It hits the outer edge of the target. Not the 'body' at all. "I didn't really keep in touch with too many people back there. That was part of why I liked the idea of this mission, actually. I mean, my mom was back on Scorpia but…I try not to think about it. Not sure what good it does. You?"

Kelsey laughs gently. "I don't think many of the people in the Navy join thinking they are ever going to see serious combat. I mean we always knew they could come back, but after forty years?" Kels shakes her head. "I was just here to get money for college. I was gonna get out when this cruise was over. It would've been my four year mark. I don't mind fighting but the idea of war scared the absolute hell out of me." She shakes her head and finally finishes loading, putting the mag into the grip of the gun and tapping it to lock. "That's sad, though. Shame you don't keep in touch with a lot of people. I think it also explains some things. Is there a particular reason why you don't?"

"Explains what things?" Phin asks. Maybe a little defensively. As if he has no idea what those things could possibly be. Another shot's fired, still playing with the outer ring of the target. "Anyway, there are lots of reasons. It's not sad it's just…the way things are. Given the alternatives right now, I don't think I'm too bad off. What about you? Anybody you're hoping to find still? Back on the worlds."

Kelsey actually laughs when he gets a bit defensive. "Calm down, cowboy. Just things. You know, observations we all make about each other. Nothing bad. Its just part of what makes Phin 'Phin'." She beams a smile at him despite the uniforms and using his first name. "But I do think its sad when people don't have others back home to miss and write to and want to go see. I've met a few people like that but I guess I just don't understand it. One day I'll accept it! One day. But that day is not today." She pulls back on the slide and the gun loads itself. "Me? Yeah I've got friends from high school who were in the military, scattered all over. My neighbor who I still to this day wish I'd married. I know my parents are gone. I never met most of my extended family so…" She shrugs before aiming and firing. The round hits an arm. She makes a disagreeable sound.

"Umm…thanks, I guess, Kelsey." Phin doesn't seem to know how else to take the comment about what makes him…him. He returns the use of her first name. Without too much awkwardness, but it's not a thing he does too often. "I spent my last few years on Scorpia at the Ares School so…I kind of hadn't been 'home' there in awhile. I didn't really figure I'd go back after I joined up. Didn't, either." He doesn't sound sure if he regrets that or not. Bang, bang! One gets a bit closer to the center. He's not awful, but he will never be asked to lead a sniper team in between CAPs. "You're from Picon, yeah?"

Kelsey just grins to herself with the thanks. "Don't mention it." Whatever she was referring to seems just pass away. "Well 'home' is supposedly where you are from, but I like to just think its where your family is. Even if your family is your friends and that's it. The place you want to go to when everything sucks. Where you can feel safe and relax. Unwind a little. Maybe space is your home, sir?" She fires a few more rounds and these are a little better. 'Better' is a relative term, though. "Yeeeeep. Picon. From a town called Lewins on the north side. Dusty, small, cold, boring. Where nobody is in need of heroes or doing huge things for humanity. I'd like to go back, but… I hear there's a war. Some jerk gave me a uniform. Might as well go see what all the fuss is about while I'm out here, right?"

"Maybe." Phin considers the possibility of 'space' as home. Unsure if he likes that or not, either. "Lewins? Never been. But I didn't get too far from the base when I was doing flight training on Picon. I liked the planet, what little I saw of it. And boring doesn't sound so bad. You were obviously happy there, which is about the best anybody can say about a place. Maybe you'll get a chance to go back once we're stationed there more regular. You…have you gotten any word on it, from the reports that've come back from Spree's people?"

Kelsey laughs gently. "Nah, most people have never heard of my hometown. It was about twenty thousand people." The rest gets her to smile, though, and she nods. "I really was happy there. But I also intended to leave. It was just…home." She makes that connection back to how she described her definition of home and looks over with a serene smile. "I had scholarships, student loan applications, I had plans to go to this really small but amazing engineering college on Leonis. I was so excited. They even had a Masters program." She chuckles, shaking her head at the memory as she looks back to the target. "Two lifetimes ago. Four years later I'm a Raptor pilot. How utterly bizarre. But yeah, supposedly the town is still there. I haven't gotten any detail on the condition but it was pretty useless to nuke. It had a regional spaceport, but nothing exciting. Supposedly the Cylons bombed the hell out of the port and when the Centurions rolled through they killed a lot of people. But? I'm not special. Everyone lost a lot. I'll get back there one day and I can be patient, though I suspect Piraeus is where I'll be having my family when I get there."

"Yeah. I figure the same about Scorpia. I'm not special enough to get a chartered flight to my hometown. Not sure I'd want one if it was offered. I'll see what's back there when I see it." Phin says it like he's mentally braced himself for the worst where it's concerned a long time ago. "I try not to think about the future too much. Doesn't seem to do much good. But…I like Piraeus. It's a good place. Glad for whatever time I get to spend there." He fires off the last shot in his clip, which manages another unimpressive but technically passable hole in the mid-range of his target. "I should maybe get down here more often."

"Well when we get to Scorpia? If I ever get through the area I'll have my ECO take some photos, okay? You can look at them or leave them if you want." Kelsey fires a couple more rounds, some of which hit the black. "Not thinking about the future also makes sense for you. I'm a dreamer so I think about it all the time. As a mom, its near impossible to keep from worrying about it." She safeties the gun and puts it down, then, and turns to face him. She leans against the diving wall, sort of hanging around the side as her eyes linger on him. "I'd love to know what makes you tick, Lieutenant McBride. But I don't buy it. Everyone thinks about the future, they just don't realize that its what they are doing." She just smiles up at him. "If we drive the Cylons off the colonies, what would you do? Would you stay in the Navy? Would you get out and help rebuild?"

"I try not to think about the…" Phin almost just repeats what he'd said before. But before he completes it, he trails off and shrugs. "I don't know. I never really thought about it, I guess. I spent so much time working to get my wings. I wasn't sure I'd actually manage it a lot of the time. Like, in a weird way, my career's where I wanted it to be. Except for the whole…brutal war of attrition thing. But, I mean, I'm a Viper pilot serving on a battlestar. This was pretty much everything I wanted, if you don't count the circumstances. Now I got it." He does not sound entirely sure how to feel about that.

Squire watches him around the barrier and looks him over. Its not like she's sizing him up for another roll in the hay, but more that she's measuring the man to his words. "I think you are holding a lot back. Not from me, but from yourself." She leans her head against the divider and looks back to his face. "You've got everything you wanted, Phin, but you stopped dreaming. At one point you were a bright-eyed little McBride and probably had endless daydreams about the future and flying Vipers and doing what you're doing now. But if you're telling the truth… something happened. I think that's a little tragic. Dreams are what makes the soul go round."

Phin snorts a soft chuckle when she speaks of 'bright-eyed little McBride.' Though he was a kid who had clearly dreamed about doing exactly this for a long time, so it's probably not as inaccurate as he might try to claim. He takes the clip out of his gun, checking the chamber. Yep, actually empty. It's a distraction from having to give her any kind of answer. Though he finally says, thoughtful, "I'd kind of like to have a cabin. I mean, like, on a lake. Some place the air was fresh, and I could go swimming in the morning. I don't know what I'd be doing, really. I mean, I can't imagine not being in the Fleet. I never really felt like I was good at anything else but…I don't know. I'm not sure I want to do it forever, but I don't know what else I'd do. Except maybe that. I guess that's what I think about, when I do at all."

Kelsey smiles, even her eyes bringing a light and happy expression that completes it all. "That sounds amazing. Get up in the morning, go out on the dock, go for an early swim before breakfast?" The Raptor pilot closes her eyes a moment to imagine it before looking back up to him. "I think there's a lot you could be good at, but you're just so focused on flying that you're not looking for it. Which is fine. You're a Lieutenant. You've got responsibilities and noses to wipe. But I think you could probably find something else out there that would make you happy in your free time. I think you might just need to get back in touch with who you were and what you wanted to be. And maybe have a little beauty in your life. Something or someone that inspires you."

"It's all kind of beside the point right now. I mean, there are twelve worlds. And even with the ones that've been glassed, we're probably going to be fighting the Cylons to retake them until we're as old as Storm." Phin tries to tack a joke on at the end, but that's the future he sees for himself. If nothing else, it gives him plenty of entirely plausible excuses not to get in touch with anything about himself. "But…yeah. If I could live by a lake like that someday, I think it'd be nice. It's something to think about, even if it's probably not going to work out quite that peaceful. Anyway. I should go. My chamber's empty, and I've got to rack out pretty soon."

Kelsey smirks at the joke. "I think we'll be fighting them as long as we need to, but I doubt it will be that long. Whoever is left will probably be done with the war and just wanting to go find their own cabin and find some peace. I just want to meet a good father for my girl and go plop down and be a nobody for awhile." She watches him still, mentioning he's going to head out, and Kels nods. "Sure thing. But Phin?" She looks to meet his eyes, voice quieting. "Dare to dream. Its not enough just to fight sometimes. Sometimes we need to have something inside us to fight for. You're a good guy so don't short yourself by trying to avoid the future. You might make someone who cares start to worry." Squire's smile is slow to arrive, but there's an undeniable warmth to it. "Dream of busty babes at your cabin, Phin." She winks and slips back around to her own lane and starts humming a light tune to herself.

"Later, Kelsey," Phin says simply. Though he returns her smile. It's not quite as big, but there is real warmth there. He seems grateful for the sentiment, at least. And off he goes.

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