AWD #006: How to Pewpewpew
How to Pewpewpew
Summary: Pilots discuss piloting; Augie makes a memorable entrance.
Date: idk man, January something
Related Logs: Code Blue
Ceres Jess Holtz Tiptoft Augie Samtara 
Observation Deck
It's a deck wherein people may observe things.
AWD #06

Obs deck in the recent days has become a rather popular place, as has the Chapel. Yet, Redux is not a religious woman and a quiet place is only what she ever needs. Between her duties, she sits on the edge of one of the couches, feet planted and arms resting as she leans over her legs. Her dogtags swing back and forth about her neck, danging in mid-air along with a solid coin of Zeus. Fingers play at it, twisting it about and about as she dips her head in thought, eyes narrowing occasionally as she stares the flooring.

Jess takes a seat on the couch just in front of the captain's, half in duty blues, half in tanks. She has headphones in her ears already, and plugs them into a laptop as she sits and curls her legs up beneath her. Video begins to play after she hits a button, and Ceres might recognize it as gun camera footage from the engagement over Caprica. After a minute or two the dark-haired lieutenant takes the earbuds out and lets them drape around her neck, making notes with pen and paper as she watches.

Her thoughts interrupted, Ceres looks up to Jess as she sits down with a video player and sets to watching the video feed. Her head lifts further and she sits up, trying to get a better look befores he is pressing her hands into the back of Jess' couch and getting to her feet to lean over. "What bird is that from?" She asks lowly once those earbuds are out. Her head tilts and she considers, watching it play out as she notes something. "LOok, the way it flips its its communicating."

Jess twists to look at Ceres, and then turns to find the disc's case and read, "Ensign Harry "Street" Walker. Templars." She rewinds a few frames, and plays back that wing waggle, head tilting to watch closely. She rewinds again and plays it once more, slower, and nods. "Could be," she agrees, "Though you'd think they must have better ways to talk to each other than that. Networked up or whatever they are."

"Oh they probably do, but that doesn't stop us from communicating with our ships…easy to understand, no hope of people listening in. Its a harder code to crack, less consistent." Ceres glances to the name again on the disc. She considers it and then continues to hover behind Jess, hand on the back of the couch. "How many disks do you have to look at yet, mind if I join?"
Announcement: Meridian shouts, "If you have reason to be in medical at this moment, please feel free to join us."

There's a soft metallic clang as the hatch opens to admit Holtz. The Viper pilot's bootsteps sound softly against the deck as he crosses the observation lounge, moving to stand beside Ceres. "Redux, Nags, what's happenin'?" He squints at the screen. "What's this?" Storm's hand digs around for a pack of cigarettes; he pulls one out and lights it. As he takes a drag, he coughs slightly. "Hm. Maybe Beth was onto something about these things," he mutters, examining the lit cancer stick with a mildly sour expression on his face, but he doesn't put it out.

"Yeah, true," Jess nods to Ceres, "And I have noticed others doing it. No pattern that I've seen, though, so I didn't pay much attention. I've got, uhh" she twists and looks at a list of names, lines through about a third of them, "A lot," she says, "Couple dozen. We're trying to get through everyone's, make notes on how they fly, see if we can track patterns enough to codify it for Buttons to program up a decent sim. Holtz is hey Storm, right on cue," she greets him, "I'm almost done with the Templars, finally," before continuing to Ceres, "Holtz and I split up the footage to start with, if you want to take a cut and help out, that'd be great."

"Its worth looking into if nothing else, probably something later on to consider…" Ceres adds, caught up in the footage before she nods to Jess. "Oi, thats a lot." SHe says and wrinkles her nose. "I can take some off your hands if you want. Sure beats staring out the viewport and fumbling my fingers together." Grinning, she then glances up at Storm, straightening as he steps up beside her. "Those things kill you..not as fast as a raider but still." She notes of the cigarette. "Anything you two have found so far or too soon to say?"

"Yeah, my ex-wife said the same thing," Holtz notes dryly to Ceres. "Made me quit when Alley was born." Puff, puff, puff. "But what the hell, right? End of the world, and all." He gives the Viper captain a smile. "Hey, anything you want t' take on, that'd be great. I've been watching so many of these, I can see them in my frakkin' sleep." A nod goes down to Jess. "Just about finished with ours, myself. Was gonna start on the Avengers next…" He pauses to take a drag, shooting a sidelong glance at Ceres. "… but we could split those tapes between us and let the captain here start on the Prophets." Storm turns to the aforementioned captain. "A little. Armament's more or less on par with our fighters. They like to swarm you, especially when there's a lone Viper all on its own. Almost as if they had a pack mentality." His head tilts to one side though. "I made a photocopy of my notes for Nags here, I can always make another one if you're interested in the rest."

"Yeah, worth tracking," Jess agrees with Ceres, "Going forward. Not going to re-do the whole squad for it just now, but I'll keep an eye out with the rest." She rubs at the side of her face and says, "Yeah, I was going to make a start on the Prophets tonight, but if you'd want to take some of them, Redux, that'd be great. I forgot to get my notes copied yet, I'll grab them for you later, Holtz, sorry."

A fingertip ruffles her eyebrow and smooths it again and Jess nods along, "Yeah, you definitely get a sort of pack feel here and there when they jump on someone, at least. They're crazy quick but I didn't need to tell you that. I think anything else we'll need more time to say. I'm going to try to get ahold of some wider views of the field, too, so we can get a better sense of how the groups move, once we've figured out how to boil down the individuals."

"There always truth in a wife's word, Storm. Remember that…" She smirks a bit but then something Jess says wipes that light mirth away. She presses a finger to her chest, right over that coin and then it falls away. Her face is unreadable befores he gives a nod. "Maybe we should adopt the same mentality but then again we were frantic out there, lots of rooks…hell even the higher ranks have never fought a raider before..most at least. We were too scattered." She intones and then nods, making a motion of her hand. "I can take the Prophets if you want, no problem there. Plenty of time on my hands and if it gives you time to look through the other disks more thoroughly? Well its better to spread the load."

"Yeah. Oughta get a few more engagements under our belt before we try drawing too many conclusions on specifics," Holtz tacks on to what Jess said. "No rush, it's not a homework assignment." He gives a dry chuckle. "Just leave 'em on my rack when you get a chance." Ash flutters towards the floor behind him as he walks around the room, leaning against the massive window at the front. "You want a wider field, try pulling some of the Raptor tapes. They've got better recorders than we do, and they weren't mixing it up in the middle of a furball like we were."

Holtz's lips spread in a thin but roguish smile at Ceres, and he holds up a finger. "Ex-wife. There's a reason for the 'ex' part, believe me, and it ain't cause she was a font of truth," he says to Ceres. Then his expression goes serious once more. "Actually, Redux… I don't think our tactics were the problem. Once we started pulling it together, we were giving almost as good as we were getting." A somber pause, and a faraway look comes into his eyes. "Our rooks — hell, them and everyone else — are blooded now. Next time we fight 'em…" He trails off, bringing his cigarette to his lips in lieu of finishing his sentence.

"Please, if you're willing, go for it," Jess says, digging a pile of disks out of her bag and passing them over to Ceres, "Yeah, we've still got all the raptor squads after this, so the more help the better. We're mostly noting vectors of attack, firing patterns, any sort of consistent maneuver or tactic. Kind of making it up as we go, I guess." She doesn't seem to have a comment about next time, glancing at Holtz's cigarette and drumming fingers on her knee, beating out some sort of rhythm. "Anyway," she prompts. "We'll see how it goes."

Redux glances up at Holtz, a light look of amusement playing across her features. "I see, well then, that changes things. Never listen to an ex." The disks that Jess drags out are reached for, gripping them and drawing them back. She takes a moment to look at the names written on each. Survivors, each of them. "Just be glad we have this many to look at," she starts, "means they are still breathing." There is a glance between the other two before she is rocking on her feet, biting at the corner of her mouth in thought. "How may after this? You said Raptors than too?" Its an idle question when she is not identifying callsigns with faces in vague familiarity.

Holtz chuckles darkly. "Never was all that good at listening to her." His brows crinkle thoughtfully, and he makes a contemplative sound. "Hmm. Two more squadrons of Vipers on top of what we've already done, plus the Raptors, in case they got anything interesting…" He exhales loudly, cigarette bobbing in his lips as he speaks. "Few dozen, I would think, at the very least. Depends on how many survivors in the other squads." Storm's muscular arms, tattoos visible under his off-duty tanktops, cross over his chest as he answers Ceres' question.

"A lot," Jess agrees, "Dozens, easy. I mean, each tape isn't all that long, but it's a lot of footage, and I'm finding I've got to watch them a couple times each to get any real numbers." She scratches her shoulder, only visible tattoo the little crosshatch on the inside of her right forearm, a letter in each of the four spaces. "Raptors and whatever we can get from CIC." She shrugs, and says, "It's the most worthwhile use of time at this point. Not much use training in the sims til they're up to date. Got to do something while we wait. See where the rest of the fleet's regrouped. Or… not."

"Yeah, watch em a few times around, only way you catch what you need." With a stack in hand, that could be a weeks worth there alone. Ceres taps them against her left hand and considers something, her eyes going distant as she stares something unseen down. Dark eyes narrow further and that High Virgan accent cuts through her own silence. "Well I should likely start pushing this through. How are you two dealing?" She asks, though with a look she doesn't seem overly worried.

Holtz is leaning against the observation deck's main window, arms crossed and a cigarette hanging from his lips. He tenses minutely at Ceres' question, as if forcing down a sudden well of emotion, and his arms twitch ever so slightly. The man's voice, however, remains steady, if suddenly toneless. "Dealing… well enough, I guess." A long pause. "Keeping busy helps," he admits.

There are things one expects to be in Leo Tiptoft's hands: Pyramid balls, free weights, and snack foods from the mess, to name just a few. And then there are things one wouldn't be surprised to see in Leo Tiptoft's hands, depending on context: laundry hampers, portable music players, and the like. But tonight Leo Tiptoft is holding in his hands something completely different: a book. It's a thick one, too, and one well-traveled with years. A forest of sticky tabs explodes from its pages in red and yellow and green and blue, and its faded title — MK VII VIPER FLIGHT MANUAL — has been annotated in black ink thusly: 'HOW TO PEWPEWPEW.'

"Shit, Thumper," an orange-clad deckhand calls from the coffee machine. "Does that thing have words?"

"Shit's all written in crayon," the pilot hollers back, ever so affably. "Black, two sugars." And then, seeing the officers: "Uh. Yo, sirs."

Jess shrugs at Ceres and doesn't really reply, turning to look at Tiptoft's noisy entrance instead. She's seated on a couch in front of the captain, notebook on one knee and paused video on the laptop on the other. She looks up at Holtz and nods, agreeing, "Always good to keep busy anyway. We should get another Pyramid game in soon. You play, Redux?"

"Aye, busy helps. Rather grateful for these, actually." Ceres taps the stack of disks. She rocks back on her heels and casts a glance over at Tiptoft, a brow lifting. "Evening," She returns to the 'sirs' offered first. "Pyramid? I haven't played in years.." Dating herself. "But yeah, I can. Not really any good but it would be a welcome distraction at best. I heard you guys had a bit of a game down on the planet." A quirk of a smile takes the corner of her lip before her gaze slips to Tiptoft. "As long as he's on my team, I am game."

The doors to the observation deck slide open, and the DCO moves into the area. As he walks, Augustus digs in his pocket and fishes out a cigar, sticking it in his mouth, and drops the strip of fabric he was holding. As he lights the cigar, the lights above bear more of the large engineer. The front of his sweats are soaked in blood that goes from trickles on his chin to a soaking at his stomach and waist. As he draws off of the cigar, his left arm is covered in even more blood. He blows out the smoke shakely, his skin already starting to pale as he walks to where he can make out Ceres. At least he heard her callsign. "Hi, gorgeous." And he presses a kiss against her temple, with the gods and officers and everyone and then leans against the bar, ignoring the small trail of blood from him back to the doors.

"I think one of the civvies just killed Doctor Phareem." he comments, just as casual as can be about it. Or something else. It just sounds dead. No emotion, no nothing. He just stares out at the planet. "When'd ya wanna go climb rocks?" And then he notices the others. "Oh. Evening." And back to that dead stare he goes.

The lanky deckhand strolls over to Thumper with a paper cup filled to the brim with life-sustaining joe, bending to mumble something into his ear — while jerking her grease-covered thumb in Jess's direction. The big man's eyes narrow in annoyance as he snatches the cup and shoves her away. "Yo, I'm playing this chill," he half-snarls half-whispers, while the retreating deckie bursts into amused giggles. Then, perching himself on the arm of a couch, he chucks his book on the seat and opens his mouth to — say nothing. Time to gawk at all the blood.

"You can read, Thumper? May wonders never cease." And just like that, the self-assurance is back into Holtz's voice as he smirks at the newly-arrived Viper pilot. No reaction is made to the whisper-and-point. "Yeah, I'd be down for another one, but I'm not going up against him next time." Storm's head twitches in Tiptoft's direction. Then there's a pause, and he uncrosses his arms slowly as Augie comes in. Holtz watches the man cross over to Ceres, saying nothing, though his eyes widen slowly as he exhales a breathful of smoke. "What the frak?" Killed the doctor, what now?

Jess snrks at Holtz's jibe and then nods to him and Ceres, "Yeah, it was fun. Nice to get off the boat and do something. Hey, we can't all be on his team. Not unless we get a lot more people to play agai—" She trails off to stare at Augie, echoing Holtz, "What the frak?" She's up on one knee, other foot sliding to the floor, notes and computer both slid off onto the couch as she rises, "The frak's going on?" That is a lot of blood.

"Hey there," is Ceres' first reply to Augie and the kiss and smell of cigar smoke. Its familiar enough that she doesn't jump. A faint smile curls her lips and then dies as she stares at the blood. A step or two is taken and its a good thing she has a grip on her disks. "Augustus!" His name sounds odd in thet Virgan accent as her brows furrow. She stops short of coming to his side and eyes him over. "That isn't your blood is it?" Gods she hopes not. She is left gaping in shock for a moment or two, looking briefly back at the others to make sure they see it too before turning her attention back. "Lieutenant, what is going on?"

"Someone stabbed the doc." Augie offers, and pulls off the cigar again. It's not all his blood, but he has some of his own all mixed into it, especially from the lovely gash under his right arm. "Went all shit bat cray cray cause her husband was dyin or some crap. Went after the doc with a scapel. Got me and then her. She's dead. I stopped the gal that stopped her." And he leaves it at that, taking another puff from his cigar.

Tiptoft processes, processes, processes — and then, finally, acts. Coffee forgotten, the stocky man unslings his gym bag from his back to retrieve a big green towel still damp from his recent shower. Five massive strides and he's at the tattooed fellow's side, into which he shoves the towel with unaccustomed force. "Dude, wipe this shit off," he growls. His eyes flick back to the deckhand at the hatch, whose pale face has taken on a stunned and slightly sickly shade.

Oh, Holtz sees the blood all right. He's no longer leaning relaxedly against the window, having pushed himself to a fully standing position. He notices and points at the deep cut on Augie's arm. "Tie that off, godsdamnit, you're gonna drain yourself dry all over the frakking deck." He doesn't move in, though, seeing as Tiptoft is already rushing at Augie with a towel. Too many cooks spoil the broth, and all that. "Hey, you!" Holtz's voice booms across the room to the palefaced deckhand. "Go scrounge up a medkit or something… Go! Now!"

"I'd say get to Medical, but…." Jess frowns, and drums middle fingers on the heel of her hand as she watches towels offered and medkits sent for. "You should probably get back there and get a nurse or somebody to take a look at that anyway," she says after a moment. "Might need stitches. The MPs are there taking care of it, right?"

As if there aren't enough booming voices, Ceres' parts her lips and then looks sour as she notes his own wound. "Frak." SHe says in a breathy tone. Stalking towards him as well, she nods her head to Tiptoft and reaches up to snag Augie's cigar away. "Get your ass back down to sickbay, now." Her voice is low, tight and not at all raised. "What the hell are you thinking?" She mutters and glances back behind her. "Press that towel to your wound and go, scaring the frak out of everyone. We are already on edge." She leans in, keeping her voice down.

Augie apparently isn't thinking. He looks at the wound on his arm as if noticing it for the first time. "Well, shit. She got me good." And the towel is pressed to it and the cigar is yanked from his mouth and he gives Ceres a confused look, but whatever was whispered? Has it's intended effect. "Sure." he murmurs.

The front of Dr. Nadir's scrubs are smudged with dark splotches that haven't quite had a chance to air dry, despite the rapid pace that she is setting as she'd followed the trail of blood from the med bay to the obs deck. For once she is not calculating the sheer amount of biological contaminate inherent in each drop of blood as the liquid begins to evaporate and leave behind a sticky/tacky splotch that paints the direction in which the Lieutenant (whom Nadir has dubbed 'Bull' in her own muttering) had taken. With a first aid kit carried in her right hand Nadir stops just inside the obs deck, sweeps a searching look around before spotting the Lieutenant, focus narrowing sharply, and sets course in his direction.

The deer-in-the-headlights look doesn't quite go away, but the deckhand manages to gather enough of her wits to sprint off — but not enough of her wits to realize that she's just passed a doctor. Tiptoft, for his part, steps forward further into the man's personal space, his nose wrinkling at the metallic tang suffusing the air around the big and bloodied man. "You're still frakking dripping," he mutters with a twitch of his head. "Shit, Midge back there's probably just booted all over the boat." The deckhand, presumably. "Scare the bloody hells outta everybody. Wipe."

"Sickbay's probably a madhouse right now, if somebody just got stabbed," Holtz says, shooting another look goes to the hatch, but the deckhand is already gone. "Frak, just tie the towel around it before he leaks out all over the deck — " But then Samtara enters, the sound of the hatch slamming aside cutting Holtz off midsentence.

"It's still full of other doctors, they've got to still be treating people," Jess replies to Holtz, "They can't just lock the place down." She grimaces as Augie drips and says, "Yeah, at least get some pressure on that." Her head swivels at Samtara's determined approach, and she asks, "You said civilian, right? They got her?" Or is that her right over there coming for more blooooooood?

Ceres eyes Tiptoft and his continued reminder, giving him a nod of agreement. Ceres' sharp gaze slips back over Augie in assessment, shock and mild frustration being overrun by concern. "Damn it Augie…always manage to get in the thick of it.." She sighs, a soft hiss of breath escaping her teeth. But attention shifts to the Doctor as the others look and the pilot steps back, hand with the disks falling back to her side as she then finally gets a look at the trail he's left in his wake. "Gods damn…morale is gonna take a dive."

He's finally coming back around, the initial blast of a doctor bleeding out of him leaving his system as Augie presses the towel against his wound. "Frak, just a scratch, quit yer bitchin." he grumbles. "I've had worse." His shoulder bears the proof of that.

With trained medical personnel on call in an instant — gods bless Fleet insurance? — Tiptoft steps back to the couch, pulling up his sweats to smell them and make sure he hasn't got any blood on him. "Keep the towel, yeh?" he calls to the wounded man. And then, finally, he notices that his right hand is trembling. "Bullshit," he mutters, reaching for his coffee and taking a long, deep drag.

Dr. Nadir draws to a halt, sends another of those sweeping looks around, this time taking note of what names are displayed and ranks to accompany displayed names, before her focus again narrows upon the man who'd prevented the crazy civilian from doing more damage than she'd already managed. "You," is said in a clear, crisp and excruciatingly precise tone of voice, "are leaving a trail of blood in your wake. Which is both unsanitary and extraordinarily rude to the deck crew who will have to sterilize the spots then mop them up," priorities, after all. "You are still bleeding," her eyes had dipped long enough to take in the towel pressed against the wound, "and require treatment to address the injury. Here or med bay, take your pick," said in the same voice to accompany the same squared shoulders, jaw angled, stubborn posture she'd taken to prevent him from bulling his way through her to the civilian already on the floor of the med bay after he'd knocked the woman unconscious.

Holtz's cigarette crackles softly as he brings it to his lips once more. He looks on silently, his expression emotionless as he watches the doctor do her work. He hears the prim tone of Samtara's voice, and almost laughs at the sudden absurdity of it all, but is able to restrain his reaction to a slight twitch of the mouth. A narrow-eyed glance goes to Tiptoft's trembling hand, and then back to the wounded engineer.

Oh good, docter rather than murderer. Jess is still frowning, though her expression eases slightly as Samtara takes the Augie situation in hand. "Right," she says in a dry undertone, "That was exciting." She rakes a hand through dark hair and turns to sit back down, though she perches on the arm of the couch and doesn't quite return to her work right away, gathering up scattered notes and straightening them without reading.

Glancing towards Ceres and her angry eyes again, Augie lets out a grunt at the doctor. "Wherever." he finally agrees, even as Ceres still holds his cigar hostage. He lets Samtara lead the way, wrapping the towel tightly around the wound.

Tiptoft shotguns the rest of his coffee and lopes over to the machine for a refill, only to find that his left hand has balled up into a fist and crunched the paper cup down to nothingness. With a grunt, he chucks it into the nearest bin and stalks back to his seat. Jess gets a sidelong look; Holtz, the finger. "The hells you looking at?"

Sudden acquiescence makes Dr. Nadir narrow her eyes subtly at the Lieutenant but gives a measured nod. "Med bay," she says and turns back for the hatch but doesn't budge until Augie does, even making a 'after you' gesture with one hand, waving toward the hatch.

And the large man moves along, grumbling and trying to stop the bleeding. Augie only pauses for a moment to give a respectable nods to the evening he just ruined, and then heads back through the door.

Holtz, for his part, has started pacing in his little corner of the room, at least until Tiptoft's sudden outburst. "Hey. Watch it, dumbfrak," Holtz snarls at Tiptoft as he grounds his cigarette out against the deck. A warning finger is extended in the man's direction, and the older Viper pilot scowls fiercely.

Ceres watches Augie yanked out and leans down, stubbing the cigar out against the heel of her boot. This gives her a good view of the blood on the flooring. THis brings her back up silently, staring down at it before she lets out a breath. "Gods.." She glances back to Tiptoft and Holtz. She lifts the disks and heads for the door. "I will catch you soon, I have to go check on a stubborn assed DCO." That said, she nods to Jess and heads for the hatch.

"Yeah, yeah." His incurable good cheer suddenly cured, at least for the moment, Thumper turns his back on the senior pilots, fiddling around in his gym bag for — something. Out onto the couch comes a pair of boxers, worn; and then a pair of reflective swim goggles, wet; and then two notebooks covered in what look to be Pyramid plays, new; and then a stick of gum, unchewed. Ah-ha. Nom om nom. And then he's digging into his bag some more, looking for — well, something else. Presumably.

Jess nods to Ceres and gives a bit of a wave as the captain heads off with Augie and the doctor. As Holtz and Tiptoft start cursing and posturing at eachother she rolls her eyes and retakes her seat on the couch proper, folding long legs up on the cushion and returning earbuds to her ears. She hits play, and goes back to work.

The tension again dissipates from Holtz' body, and with a long sigh, he leans back against the window and takes out another cigarette. The older pilot gives it an almost disgusted look before lighting it with an uneven jerk of the hand, and after a brief pause, mutters to no one in particular, "Well, ain't that a frakkin' trip."

All that sound and fury to find — a pen? But find one he does, a bright red ballpoint he chucks on top of his flight manual before Thumper stuffs his laundry and various other gear back into his bag. Then, flipping to a well-worn section of his book, he throws his legs up on the end of the couch and settles in. To read about salient differences between the Viper and Predator spaceframes, apparently, as explained in bone-dry text and a bunch of black-and-white pictures.

"You should get the newer edition," Jess informs Tiptoft after a few minutes. She gestures at his manual without looking up, "They updated the section on in-atmo escape manuevers and most of chapter six." She pauses, rewinds, and taps some settings on the viewing program, eyeballing angles and making a couple quick notes.

As if making a snap decision, Holtz stands abruptly and goes for the hatch, a trail of smoke following him. He glances at the other two pilots on his way to the hatch, a look of sudden exhaustion coming over his features. "Night, you two," he murmurs. "Had my fun for the evening. Nags, I'll grab the top half of the Avengers tapes." Then, the hatch clangs open as Storm pushes it aside, looking down with a scowl at the trail of blood leading to the room that's now in the process of drying off the deck.

"Mmph?" Tiptoft looks up, doing his best to speak. This is hard, because he has a red pen in his mouth whose cap he is currently worrying with his teeth. He spits it out. "They did? Shit. I haven't looked at this since Nike." Flight school. Holtz is given a loose salute as he goes, as if that little exchange had never happened.

Jess looks up and tugs one earbud out to nod at Holtz, saying, "Alright, cool. I'll keep working on the last of the Templars and we can compare notes later. See you around." She looks back to the screen, scratches something out and makes another note before nodding at Tiptoft, "Yeah, they're up to edition eight, now, I think. That one's seven, I think, with that color cover. Important changes, though, you should upgrade. Sure they've got it in the library." Back in her ear goes her headphone. She hits play.

"Sure thing." That's to Jess. See ya, Thump." Exchange? What exchange? Holtz doesn't seem to be dwelling on it either, and after catching Tiptoft's gesture out of the corner of his eye, he mimics it as he steps over the threshold and exits the room, pushing the hatch shut behind him.

"Huh." Tiptoft looks down at his flight manual, then looks back up at his fellow pilot, then looks back down at the flight manual. And then in one fluid motion he shuts the book and tosses it in the bag. There it'll lie as he switches couches, settling down on a cushion to peer at Jess's computer. Then: "You're famous, you know?" Is this a pick-up line? "I remember walking by your name on the wall every frakking morning during Advanced Flight." (Probably not.)

Jess is also peering at Jess's computer, easily slipping back into her work. Tiptoft joining her wrinkles her brow, because the couch moves and her pen is jostled, not that her handwriting was super neat to begin with. She turns to arch a brow and ask, "Yeah? And?" She makes an expectant rolling motion with a finger in the air, "Come on, let's get to the punchline."

"Punchline?" The subtlety is lost on Thumper. As is her mild annoyance at the shifting couch. It shifts once more, as the big man shifts backwards on his cushion to give the woman some space. "Just saying. My FI talked about you like you walked on air or something. Never thought I'd meet the person behind the face, is all. Small world." Beat. "You, um. Busy?"

Jess looks skeptical. "Who was your FI?" she asks, still eyeing Tiptoft askance, and not only because they are side by side. Better pick the right name, Thumper. As for busy: "Yes," she replies, "We're analyzing raider flight data to create a new simulation program." She taps the screen, "Starting with everyone's gun cams."

"Hnh. glad someone's working that. After the other day, shooting hard-mode Cylons in the sims felt like cake." As for the name? "My FI? Moustache." Major Elias Murphy, so named because he couldn't grow one. "Said he was on the eval committee or something. Apparently you spaced him during your final AQ like a half-klick before he could hit the hard deck." The big man shakes his head, leaning back against the couch and letting out a long, drawn-out breath. Dark eyes make sure not to look at the patch of blood gleaming in front of the window. "Never could do it, myself. Atmo quals kicked my ass."

Jess drags a fingernail back and forther through her eyebrow. "I don't remember him there," she says, "But yeah, might've. I did well in AQ. Not quite well enough to make the all-time top ten on the wall," she adds, a little dryly. Nice try, Thumper. She rolls the earbud between her fingers and says, "Predators are better in atmo. I like them better, anyway. Vipers aren't really built for ground targets."

"All-time?" Tiptoft stretches a massive arm across his body, trying to relieve the tightness. It'll take him a while to figure out just how their wires got crossed. Eventually: "Oh. Nah, I'm talking the class honors." The big man lets out a little snort. "Only ones I paid attention to 'cause they were the only ones I had a chance at, and I pissed it away after stalling out every time Moustache did his turn-and-burn in AQ. My banging space scores couldn't make up the difference." Beat. "You remember how you got him?"

"Oh," Jess replies, "I forgot they put those up, too." She rubs at her eyebrow some more, doing nothing to smooth the lines on her brow as she attempts to remember. "I've forgotten," she admits after a minute or two, shoulders lifted and dropped, "I think I might've come up unexpectedly, had him thinking I was dealing with Catalog exclusively and then ditched out of it to nail him as he came past. But that might have been Lampshade, I don't remember for sure." She thinks on it for another minute, and then shakes her head. Anyway.

"Hells. You forgot about the class ranking?" Tiptoft chuckles incredulously, folding his hands behind his head and staring out past the window to the glowing planet beyond. "That's straight up ice water right there, is what that is." In her veins. Or on his aspirations at being a sweet pilot. Or something. The man's metaphors probably aren't wholly clear even to the man himself. "You remember how you wrecked him, though, you hit me, yeh? Figure we're gonna do a bunch of that shit now. Heard the boss-man had a Raptor to take a little peek around tonight, see what's there to see. And the way those things fly — " Thumper jerks his head at the frozen frame on her laptop. "Well, figure I gotta step. And not get blowed out like the first time."

Jess might be lying, she probably didn't forget entirely. She shrugs, and says, "I was only a couple tenths short of that top board. Me and a couple hundred other frakkers, probably." She drums her pen against her notepad and nods, "Yeah, I'll let you know if I think of it. Probably going to see them in space before atmo, though, I'd bet. Can't get to atmo without going through them. But yeah, we'll see what the recon teams find out." The pen rattles faster, tip tapped against the page instead of the slower back and forth of tip then cap then tip then cap. "Yeah, we all have to step it up," she agrees, "Hence the project. Which I'd better focus on," she says, "I've got a shitload of data to put together so Holtz and now Redux and I can start isolating some actual patterns and putting the numbers together."

Talking about patterns and numbers is a fantastic way to drive off a meandering Tiptoft, who is much more interested in the dance of tip-and-cap-and-tip-and-cap than in any intellectual discussion of data. With a grunt, he rolls to his feet, fist extended to proffer a bap. "Hey, thanks for hearing me out," he says, his grin looking a bit tighter than usual. "Good luck with those, um. Numbers. And um." Beat. "If you wanna throw around a Pyramid ball again or something, just hit me, yeh?" The big man breaks into a brief smile. "You drift left when you shoot."

Jess bumps his fist, and nods, "Sure," though she doesn't seem entirely certain what she is being thanked for exactly. The mention of pyramid gets a smile, though, and she nods, "Sure. We should get another game together sometime soon maybe." Dark brows inch up at that note and she says, "I do? I'll have to work on that. I was always better at defense. Translates better from rugby."

"All in the stance, Nags. You gotta step up before you throw, like — " Tiptoft steps into a fluid spin and releases a fake ball, which presumably falls into a fake net judging by the way he boogies down in celebration. "Anyway. You let me know how not to get scorched in atmo, I'll get you rocking the court in no time." Walking backwards to his own couch, he slings his gym bag over his shoulder and thumps off to the hatch. From which place he yells, "It's a deal!" And then ambles off to find Midge — and a crewman to clean up the blood.

Jess watches this demonstration closely, actually paying attention to his form, though she chuckles at the celebration and nods. "I'll keep that in mind for next time," she says. She seems amenable to that deal, giving him a thumbs up over her shoulder as he shouts, and then getting back to work.



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