PWD #01: Keeping Busy
Keeping Busy
Summary: Phin runs into Holtz in between CAP shifts. Tthe two discuss life, love, and getting punched in the face.
Date: 1/4/2013
Related Logs: None
Phin Holtz 
Hangar Bay
Each hangar deck is divided into five one-hundred yard sections, each divided from the others by massive blast doors that close vertically from the floor and overhead. Each hangar section houses all of the Vipers, Raptors, and Predators that the wing operates as well as the vital work areas to support and maintain these fighting platforms. Each bay is large enough to accommodate one of these frames and still get heavy work done, though the fore- and aft-most sections are dedicated to overhauls and major work to be done. The bays along the center section are located across from launch tubes and elevators in order to provide scramble and Alert-Five capabilities. The second-to-aft bay provides major elevator and transport access to the starboard bay as well as the major manufacturing facility. Due to the nature of the work, the hangar decks are major hubs of activity at all hours of the day and all but four hours overnight.
PWD #01

Phin isn't quite due on CAP yet, but it's close enough to the start of his shift that there's little point in doing anything else but showing up early and idling. He strides onto the hangar deck, flight suit on, helmet tucked under one arm. He looks ragged but, with the double CAPs and amped up Alert shifts and live training, he's hardly the only pilot who looks like that at the moment. He pauses to talk to a deckie, exchanging some chit-chat and asking about how the patrol in the air now has fared. It's been quiet, he's told. There is lots of activity on the hangar deck, but it remains a lot of hurrying up and waiting.

Ideally, Holtz would have had a bit of time after reporting aboard to get himself back up to speed, but thanks to Orion's current readiness status, he hasn't had the luxury. He's been thrown onto the double CAP schedule along with the rest of Orion's pilots, and in fact, just returned from his own CAP shift a few hours ago. He doesn't appear to have left the hangar deck since then, though; he's still got his flightsuit on, not to mention the last remnants of helmet hair. For the moment, he's perched in the cockpit of his Viper, looking down at something - a manual or some such, probably - with a frown of concentration on his face.

Phin mutters a quick "Thanks" to the deckie and wanders off, so the fellow can return to his duties. The Viper, and Holtz perched on it, is noted. It's in that direction he meanders. "Hey, sir," he offers to the other pilot. There's no name accompanying the greeting. He probably doesn't know it. He was among the newbs who came aboard at the anchorage over Virgon, so he's still connecting many names to many faces. "I'm not late, am I?" It's half a joke. Well, a third, at least. "I thought this CAP shift had another hour to go." Not that he has quite that long a wait, what with the pre-flight duties he'll have to perform before they land.

Holtz mutters to himself and makes a notation in his book with a pencil as Phin approaches the ship. He doesn't seem to notice the younger man approach, at least not right away. It takes him a moment to register that he's being spoken to; his head jerks up and over, and his brow furrows as he tries to find the source of the voice that seems to be addressing him. "'Scuse me?" And, there's Phin, giving Holtz an expectant look. "Oh." The manual in his lap snaps closed with a soft thwack. "You're asking me, kid?" He snorts. "I've got my hands full keeping track of my own shifts." It's not a complaint, exactly, so much as a rueful statement of fact. "But I haven't seen any senior pilots on the warpath, so my guess is you're fine." He tosses the manual aside and pushes himself up out of the cockpit. "Ain't my CAP out there now, anyway. I was on the last one. Been here since my shift ended."

"You stuck around?" There's an unspoken 'My god why?' in Phin's tone. Though, early as he is, he can't really talk. "With the way they're running everybody, I can't wait to get off when my shift's over. Though at least they've got me flying today. Yesterday it was all Alert Five, all the time. I hate just sitting in a plane for a whole shift without getting to go out and up, y'know?"

"Had… some reading to catch up on." Holtz jerks his thumb back up to the now-abandoned flight manual splayed half-open across his fighter's DRADIS display. He chuckles at Phin's remarks. "I know the feeling. Can be maddening, huh? Worse getting stuck in the launch tube during a burnout. At least during a burnout they pull you out and try again." He shrugs. "When you get hung up like that, try thinking of all those fabulous cubits the Fleet's giving you in flight pay to sit there and cool your heels. I know I do." It's a jest. Sort of. But then his expression turns momentarily sour as he mutters to himself, "At least the ex won't get her damn hands on that."

"What, you mean it's not all dog fights and random beach volleyball games?" Phin asks Holtz with a grin. He shrugs. "Right. No. I know. This is my first assignment out of flight training. I'm just glad to be here. And this is a hell of a lot more interesting than most posts. I just wish I knew what was up. Y'know? With the massive alert birds and the amped up training and…everything. The pilots who were here for the first leg of the tour said it was usually dead quiet out here."

Holtz snorts at Phin's crack about volleyball games. "Rook, huh? Might've known. You've got the look." It's not meant as an insult, mind. Rather, it's said in the tone of a man who's seen more than his fair share of rook pilots in his time. "I heard the same thing. Which makes me wonder why the brass are running the wing around like nuggets in flight school. Shit ain't normal, and I've seen enough flightlines to know." He shrugs again, as if to say such is life, get used to it. Then, belatedly, something Phin said clicks in Holtz's mind. "You transfer on at the anchorage then? Yeah, me too."

"Yeah." Phin's grin crooks a little. "Ensign Phin McBride." A pause. "Uh…my callsign's Dolly. For now. I'm told they sometimes change." There's a vaguely hopeful note in his voice. About the changing. "And yeah. Came aboard on Virgon. I just finished Viper quals - and Predator stuff - a few months ago. Where're you coming from? Your last assignment, I mean." Because that man is obviously not a Rook.

"Dolly?" Holtz examines the expression on Phin's face, and the face itself… and, try as he might, can't suppress a laugh. "Yeah, I can believe it. Someone either didn't like you or liked you a little too much, I'd wager." He extends a hand to Phin. "Lieutenant Kurt Holtz. Callsign Storm." No wistfulness there. At least one person in the conversation is satisfied with their callsign, it seems. He snorts at Phin's question. "I was an instructor at Flight School, actually. But that was five years ago. I was mustered out until the ex took the whole damn Colonies in the divorce."

"It's because of my name!" Phin protests. "You know. Phin. Doll. Dol-phin." If he keeps telling people this, eventually someone will believe it. He at least lets out an abashed chuckle as he takes Holtz's hand and shakes it firmly. "Storm?" He's curious. "That's almost not awful. So the way you got it must've been pretty bad. Did you cause a shitstorm or something?" Though he looks sorry for the little joke when the man's divorce is mentioned. "Oh. Sorry, sir. That sucks. I mean, I'd imagine it sucks. Never been married."

Holtz's grip is somewhat more than firm. It's an old habit that dies hard. "Uh-huh," comes the smirking reply. Well, if anyone starts to believe Phin's story, it doesn't seem to be Holtz. He laughs again. "Shitstorm… yeah, I guess so, but that's not exactly where it came from," he answers with a nod and a snort of laughter. A wave of dismissal shrugs off Phin's apology; he seems to take the remark in stride. "Sucks… yeah, that's one way you could put it." Holtz says dryly. There's a short pause. "Never, huh? Smart man. Can't say I recommend the experience."

"Came close once but…" Phin shrugs. "Wised up. That wasn't going anywhere for either of us." He sounds a little regretful, but he dismisses it with another shrug. "Anyway, yeah. No. I don't think it's something I'd be very good at. So, you left the service for awhile? My brother did that. Spent a couple years living the civvie life. He's back in now, though. Except he's a Marine. He's in the unit on the ship. I put in for this post so we could serve together."

"Yeah. Left to be with the wife, irony of ironies. Well, and my daughter, too." Any acrimony in Holtz's voice when he mentions his ex completely disappears when he mentions his daughter. "Some people just ain't suited for it. Honestly, I don't think either of us were." There's another pause, but then he forces a crooked half smile over his somber expression. "Heh. Good for him. Colonial Marines are the best pieces of training equipment I ever met." If the healed-over cuts on his knuckles and fingers are any indication, it's certainly not biathlon training he's talking about.

"Do you like box or something?" Phin asks. Likely noticing the cuts. "Marines, I mean. I never really understood how people got any fun out of that sport. I mean, I was in enough fights when I was a kid to learn I didn't like getting hit, y'know?"

"Box? No, no… nothing quite so formal." Holtz's head tilts slightly to the side. "I don't think anyone likes getting hit." A pause. "Except for those crazy types, whaddayacallem, masochists." The lieutenant chuckles. "Just hit the other guy harder than he's hitting you and he won't be hitting you for long."

"Oh. I gotcha." Phin chuckles at the 'not quite so formal' part. "I haven't run into trouble with the jarheads but, like I said, I've got a brother in the Corps. And we've got the same face, so maybe they mistake me for him or something. I was always better and ducking and dodging than hitting. Like…early reflex training or something."

Holtz gives a nod of understanding. "Can't hurt what you can't hit. Hey, whatever, as long as you're smart enough not to stand there and let your face get pounded into the deck, right?" He's briefly interrupted as an orange-suited deckie dashes between the pair with a piece of equipment tucked under his arm. Holtz glances after the man, but says nothing and turns back to Phin. "They just might. Marines can throw a punch, sure, but they aren't the cleverest lot. Most of them. 'Course, I'm sure your brother is perfectly smart… for a Marine." That might be just a hint sarcastic.

"Uh. Yeah. Bear's really smart," Phin automatically defends his brother. But it lacks conviction. Fortunately, he doesn't have to go into any more detail about Bear's Marine genius, as the deckie informs him it's getting close to his time for CAP. "Anyway, I should go get my pre-flight done. Later, El-Tee. Good to know you."

"For a Marine," Holtz repeats himself with a smirk, tacking his words onto the end of Phin's halfhearted defense of Bear. His eyes slide back to the deckie, and then to a cluster of activity a little further down the flightline as a deck crew prepares several ships for launch. "Yeah, you do that. Me, it's high time I got out of this monkey suit and into a shower. Guess I'll see ya around, rook."

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