AWD #019: Kicking The Tires, Lighting The Fires
Kicking The Tires, Lighting The Fires
Summary: Kelsey gets a lead on a possible new project from Sebastian before going for a ride in the sims with Holtz.
Date: 25/01/2013
Related Logs: None
Holtz Kelsey Sebastian 
Flight Simulators
The Air Wing has access to flight simulators to train pilots off the ground in combat maneuvers and situations that are hard to replicate with regular dogfight practicing and this is their home. A rectangular room, the hatch opens up beside the bank of computers that control the simulations and what is seen by the individuals when training sessions are in progress. The sims are actual cockpits cut out of old frames and installed here to function exactly as the real thing, right down to oxygen plugs for suits. In front of each cockpit, complete with armored glass, are LCD screens that cover most of the front view to the front and above. There are two Vipers, two Predators, and one full-cabin Raptor available.
January 25, 2013

As much training as the Air Wing's been doing lately, it's uncommon to find the sims empty. At least one of the Viper, Predator, or Raptor mockups is generally in use at any given moment, and tonight is no exception; the large faux-Raptor cockpit is lit up and in use, with the telltale rocking and bobbing that comes with simulated maneuvers.

What is unusual, though, is the identity of the Raptor's occupant; not one of the usual Raptor jocks. Instead, it's Lieutenant Kurt Holtz, a Viper pilot. His inexperience in the larger airframe shows; a stream of muffled cursing can just barely be heard inside the simulator, and suddenly red lights start flashing in the cockpit and the mockup abruptly starts moving. The hatch of the 'craft' opens, and Storm can be seen hunched in the pilot's chair, scowling at a 'SIMULATION COMPLETE - CRAFT DESTROYED/OBJECTIVE FAILED' message.

When the hatch opens there's an enlisted woman, one of the Deck monkies that usually services Raptors, leaned up against the control desk. The Petty Officer Third, barely looking like she's old enough to drink, is leaned there with a half smile cocked onto her face and arms crossed. Someone was watching. She's wearing her orange deck coveralls, a little dirty to be honest, and has a black backpack over one shoulder like she was on her way to class but fell in Orange on her way there. But there's no sarcastic clapping or jeers or anything else. Only silence.

Holtz is in his flightsuit, though he's operating sans helmet, and the black gloves he's wearing don't look quite like they go with the rest of the uniform. He's still scowling as he moves back to the ECO station in the rear of the compartment to examine some of the readouts. There's a slight twitch of the head as he registers another presence, but he doesn't look directly at Kelsey. "Godsdamnit, Shiner, I've still got another frakkin' half-hour to go in h — " He cuts off abruptly a moment later when he does look over, and sees the orange clad deckie instead of the pilot he'd expected to see. "Oh," he says with a surprised blink. "Thought you were someone else." He squints at her. "It's… Wescott, right?"

Kelsey doesn't say anything or even really react until he finishes and asks her name. "Aye, sir. Petty Officer Wescott." 'Wehs-kitt'. Like the Picans from the sticks would pronounce it. She watches the man for another moment and steps closer to the Raptor's hatch, her meandering gait bringing her slowly. "I came up here to do some studying. I was kinda hoping maybe there wouldn't be anyone in here, but I know you guys are kinda busy. I guess I should probably come back a lot later in the night?" she asks, coming up to a lean. "But I heard a rumor from this girl I know whose friend is supposedly gettin her freak on with this /Viper/ pilot, who is ugly as sin by the way, that you guys come up here drinking some nights. So I dunno if that's a good idea for me. Think I should just stick to a library?"

Holtz stands on the 'wing' beneath the Raptor's hatch, a freshly lit cigarette dangling from his lips. "Wehs-kett," he echoes, or tries to; his prominent Tauron accent makes a hash of the proper pronunciation. "Shouldn't listen to rumors. They'll get you every time." He exhales a lungful of smoke with a raised eyebrow. "Besides, shit, everyone knows Viper pilots ain't ugly." Somehow, he manages to say that with a straight face. He shrugs. "Study where you like, I don't give a frak. You wanna stick around, I'll try and keep it down." He momentarily ducks back towards the pilot's seat.

Kelsey, wearing her orange duds and a black backpack, is leaned on the Raptor by the hatch. She turns her nose at the smell of the cigarette. "It wasn't a rumor that he's ugly, sir. That's a fact. He looks like his momma was actually a freight train and his momma was a puffer fish. Widemouth bass with the body definition of a thick felt tip marker." Kelsey nods several times as if this were simply an immutable fact of the galaxy. "Okay. I guess I'll hang out, then. But you shouldn't smoke in the craft, sir. Gets dust and stinky stuff in everything." She wafts her hand in front of her face and steps off towards the control panel.

"Careful, Wescott. He's got a mean right hook." That from a wry voice at the entrance to the sims. Sebastian is in off-duty duds, and he gives Holtz a lift of his chin in greeting. "Don't try and come between a pilot and his smokes." He suggests in that wry tone, "They get a little high strung without cigarettes. Hello, Storm. How's tricks?" That to the pilot.

"Now, that's just unkind. Tiptoft ain't that ugly." Holtz' wry retort emanates from the inside of the Raptor mock-pit. The admonishment about his smoking is ignored, a wisp of smoke trailing tauntingly from the open hatch. His head ducks back into view a heartbeat later, though, and he's looking at Wescott with a thoughtful frown. "Hey, didn't I hear something about you doing some flight training? Backseat stuff?" His head swivels to face Sebastian as the other man enters. "Hey, Booboo. I'll have you know I stayed smoke-free for eight frakkin' years, just about." The cigarette flares as he takes a long drag, and he shrugs. "Hangin' in there… you?"

Kelsey smirks at seeing Sebastian. Hey! She's smiling again! That's a healthy sign. "I thought you guys were mostly high-maintenance, but if you're also highly strung, that's just a deal breaker for me, sirs. I'm going to replace all of your coffee with decaf. Or sanka." Augh. She takes off the bookbag and settles it on the desk and looks back to Holtz. "Is he the extra large mocha? That man is a-" Awkward pause. Ahem. "No, I don't know this guy's name." Right. She digs into her backpack and looks up towards Holtz again with a quick glance, then back to her books. "Yeah, sorta. The end of the worlds put a dent in it. Major Shepard is trying to 'motivate me' to keep at it. Its tough, though. I don't have a lot of free time. Between my JAG sentencing stuff and actual work? Its not easy." Did the crime, doin the time.

"Oh, same old, same old." Sebastian flashes a quick grin, one that's only slightly crooked from the scar on his lip. It takes years off him, making him look Kelsey's age. "Trying to work out the best date for Thaddo and I to attach ball and chains to each other's legs." He glances at Kelsey, "I've got to talk to you when you've got a few minutes about a project I'm working on, Wescott. Deck and Engineering both gave me your name when I asked for some help." He wrinkles his nose at Kelsey. "'Course it's tough. We don't have time to give you the easy version we went through."

"Ain't gettin' cold feet, is he?" Holtz asks Sebastian, a slight quirk to his lips before he turns that measuring glance back at Kelsey. "Right, well. Ain't exactly easy for anyone on this tub, yeah?" He considers her for a moment before seemingly making a decision. "Leave the books for a minute, then, and come down here. I need a backseater for this next one."

Kelsey settles into a chair at the control panel and open one of the books as she takes out a hi-liter. "Yes, well, I also have to go to group therapy and talk about things that make me angry and how to appropriately deal with it. It doesn't leave a lot of room for discussing velocity vectors." But Sebastian's comments about a project have her blink and look up to him. "Wait, what? My name? For what? …I didn't do it." A pause. "At least, not if it gets me in trouble." But Holtz's request has her look back and sloooowly rise. "You sure, sir? I've got the backseat finesse and skill of a three-legged squirrel on acid."

"Go on, Wescott. I'll catch you later. Just a project I'm doing you might be able to help with." Sebastian says with a quick smile, even as he gets up from the wall he's leaning against. "Don't worry. Worst that happens is you get whiplash from the sims jerking you around." To Holtz, "No, but he's one of the senior officers in the Squadron which means a shit ton of paperwork, and having to fit a ceremony and party between bouts of paperwork."

Holtz furrows a brow in Kelsey's direction. "Did I stutter? You said you wanted to study, didn't you? I mean, if you'd rather shove yer frakkin' nose in a book all night…" Her protest falls on deaf ears, considering he's apparently still working the kinks out in the front seat. "Sorry, Seb… you can borrow her for a second if you want. I gotta set up the next program anyway." The nub of a cigarette still in his mouth, he crosses over to the control computer and starts entering commands. He looks back to the Raptor jock with a nod of understanding. "Heh, I hear that. If I'd known about the paperwork when I traded my green pins for gold, I might've written off a commission as a bad idea," he says dryly, uttering a snort of laughter.

Kelsey's eyes brighten. "You need my help for a project?" DING! A big smile crosses her face. "I can do that! I have no idea what the hell it is but if people think I can do it, then I can do it!" Its like she just found out she just won the lottery. She looks back to Holtz,though, and seems confused. Crap. "Uhm." Both! She wants to do BOTH! Kels moves around the console and there is this awkward moment where she kind of dances between the two, no knowing where to go. But it seems Holtz is doing something so she sort-of faces Sebastian more. "Sir?"

"Makes me really wonder if I want to buck for a promotion to fill the Captain slot St. Claire freed up." Sebastian says wryly, regarding paperwork, "But if we're equals in rank, it takes a lot of the worry about frat out of the marriage, yeah? Besides, once this is all over, I plan on going in with Pie to buy land and start a farm. Captain pays better, and that'll buy more land." How optimistic. But he says it with a casual, bone-deep certainty of someone that has accepted current realities but also decided to plan for a future. "I want to try and alter some jamming pods to function against Centurions." Sebastian tells Kelsey, "Maybe not a complete disruption of their processing, I doubt we could manage that, but at least a way to disrupt targeting systems enough to give us a better chance, and make ground engagements a little more evenly matched."
Kelsey has reconnected.

"Eh, as long as you both answer to Butch, frat shouldn't be a problem, I wouldn't think." Holtz says slowly, his attention focused on the console in front of him. "Hnh," he grunts, his only response to the bit about land and family. His jaw clenches slightly, and his eyes briefly go distant as if calling up old memories, but it passes after a beat. He doesn't snap at Kelsey or try to divert her attention, so she's probably safe listening to Sebastian as he explains what he had in mind.

Kelsey listens to the idea Seabass has and quirks a brow. "EEeeeeeeenteresting." She makes a kissy face as she looks away, eyes narrowing while she thinks on this. Its the essential 'Mom Is Considering Your Request' look. "Possibly?" she offers, unsure. Eyes turn back to him. "Those pods are pretty nasty. Everything would really depend on how they target. Do you have any information on that, sir? Because if you really get down to the nitty gritty, those systems are designed to flood radio frequencies which is what DRADIS and comms operate on. But I could see potential in the possibility, yes, sir. I just need to see some data on how they operate. Do we have a Centurion?" she asks hopefully. Aglance over her shoulder to Holtz and then back.

"If we do, I haven't heard about it," Holtz calls out in response to Kelsey's question without looking over, his eyes still locked on the screen in front of him as he resets the sim computer and starts to bring up a new scenario. "Not that they'd have any reason t' tell me. I deal with the clankers in space, not the ones on the ground." He shrugs. The remains of his cigarette are put out, and he pockets the butt.

The glance shot Holtz' way isn't sympathic. The burly pilot would probably split the other side of his lip if he tried to be sympathic. But it is empathic. The ECO is from Canceron, after all. "Not yet." Sebastian says calmly to Kelsey, with the sort of steadiness that it would take to work with Centurions. "We'll be running some missions on Picon and Persephone, so I'm sure we'll be able to get some. Before we secure one, I want to make sure I have a team ready and to have a few theories to work with. It'll be dangerous to bring them out here, after all."

"Well I don't need to look at them, sir. You can let other people play with them. In fact, I'd kinda prefer it. I'm happy with the number of holes I have. I don't need artificial ones, yanno?" She makes a face. "But that sounds great, sir. I mostly just need to know if there are any antennas on them and what kind of systems they might be linked into. Even if we can't mess with targeting, the Cylons have always loved networks. We might not always have the best luck with breaking into them, but if you can't do that, what's the next best thing?" She doesn't make him wait. "Deny it." She's just so frakking chipper about it, too. Maybe she's finally getting to use some of her higher education! A look to Holtz and she shrugs. "I think you got the easier end, sir. I've heard the rumors about the people on the ground on Picon."

"Yeah, so've I." Heard the rumors, Holtz means. "Poor sorry fraks." And with that, whatever Holtz was telling the computer to do, he's done it. With one final stroke of the enter key, he straightens and looks over at Kelsey. "Right. Whenever you're ready, PO." He steps down towards the Raptor mockup, dipping his head slightly as he ducks into the compartment.

"We aren't trying to read the data from the network." Sebastian tells Kelsey wryly, shrugging one shoulder. "We don't need to preserve the signal. Disrupting it shouldn't be too hard. But you're right, denying it would be easier." He shakes his head. "I've got a request in for Buttons to assist, seeing as I heard he had experience with networks, but he's busy with the sims." There's half of a wry glance at Holtz, before he shrugs one shoulder. "I'll get with you in more detail once I've had a chance to do some research of my own. For now, though, think on it and write down any theories or areas of experimentation you think we should explore. I'll be doing the same thing, as well as anyone else I can get for the project." And he makes a shooing motion towards Holtz. "Have fun, you two." He tells them, and makes his way towards the exit.

Sebastian can probably see Kelsey's face twitch at the mention of Picon have 'sorry fraks'. But no, Kelsey says nothing about it. She bites her tongue like a good enlisted. Sebastian has her nodding, though. "Copy that, sir. I'll put some ideas on paper tonight or tomorrow and see what I can come up with. You'll get it. So with Mister Zander. …Have a good night. And thanks for the opportunity!" Wewt! Kelsey does a very lady-like fistpump and dance once Seabass isn't looking. Helllz to the yeah, baby! Time to turn and move for the Raptor, though.

At Sebastian's parting remark, a hand — and only a hand — can be seen extending into the visible part of the compartment to offer a wave to the Raptor jock. "Take it easy, Booboo," can be heard from inside the mockpit as he waits for Kelsey. "Hop on board, Wescott." Wes-kett again. Hey, the accent isn't his fault. "Time to kick the tires and see what this ugly bus can do, yeah?"

Kelsey climbs into the back of the Raptor and stands there as she looks around. Its the deckhand's eye. She can't /not/ look for problems. She spots a broken fastener and makes a mental note before moving to the chair. The young woman plops herself down into it and sighs. "Okay. Well, I went flying with Major Shepard once in this seat and he had me do stuff and I managed to refrain from killing us all. But the ride in the Predator was hands-down the bestest thing -evar-. I'm pretty sure I was giggling most of the time." She grins and looks at the panel. "And, sir, just as a warning? I'm really, like, terrible at this. I've got no formal training, just what I know from the Deck and my books." Which is probably close to nothing.

Holtz snorts. "Don't worry, I'm not gonna make you plot a jump or somethin' like that." He does, however, make a few adjustments into the console connecting the sim cockpit with the central computer outside. "I can set most of your controls to automatic. The computer'll handle the legwork, you just have to tell it what you want it to do, yeah?"

"Good, sir. Cuz if you needed a jump plotted I think I'd probably jump us to someplace fairly unhappy. I'm not sure the computer could handle me flinging us to a black hole." Kelsey shakes her head, no sir! "Gotcha. Well I'll see what I can do with that. Let my hands to the yelling for me. I might be able to work it then. But if we put everything to automatic, will I still learn stuff?" Kelsey happily rolls through a quick diagnostic program, cuz that's what she does and knows. And it looks like she is doing something properly, which is really the best reason to do it.

"Don't let the description fool you — it's not completely automatic," Holtz cautions her. "You still have to tell it what to do, and that means you have to know what you want it to do. But it'll handle tracking, target locks, finding proper jamming frequencies, all that other shit on its own. Believe me, though, it'll be educational," he says with a snort. "I just don't have time to give you Raptor 101, and that's even if I was qualified to give that particular lesson. Which I'm not."

Then, he leans around the back of the pilot's chair to look at her. "All right, then, here's the mission. We're going to do a low-orbit, high-angle jump insertion over Caprica. That means we're gonna hit atmo pretty godsdamn quick, so expect the ride to get pretty rough, pretty fast." He smirks. "And if that doesn't sound like enough fun for you, we're gonna be under fire while we do it. Nothing major, but enough t' keep us on our toes, yeah?" He turns back, but hesitates before he gives the start command to the computer. "The goal is to reach a Colonial base just outside of Delphi. There'll be plenty of friendly AA set up around the LZ, so it's a victory if we make it into the base's flak cover in one piece. Questions?"

"Huh." Kelsey stares at the systems as the diagnostic comes back just fine, though the sound was more directed to Holtz. "I guess. Makes sense. I didn't even know these things could do that. Waaaay cool. I'll make it work. Somehow." She gives a few nods. When he leans around, Kelsey turns to look at him with the same nearly-smiling face. She holds it through his turning around and she looks back to her own. At the end, she nods to herself. "Only one, sir: How many times do we die before we give up on this mission, sir?" she asks with a laugh. Fingers hesitate over the keyboard and she stops. For a moment, she freezes in place and looks over the systems. "Okay. Just a game." Another nod. She dances her fingers across the keyboard like a pro, flicking through the systems. The woman has done her homework. Holtz can see several systems get turned on, the bright GO lettering appearing next to most the the combat systems. …She can turn them on, but can she employ them?

"Just don't expect it to be that simple if you ever get to do the real thing," Holtz cautions her with a wry smile. "Real Raptors don't come with an 'easy mode'. All I did was disable some of the functionality on the automated ECO program." He snorts at her question. "Well, we'll see how the first try goes, yeah?" And then he triggers the scenario.

A digitized image of space appears in the cockpit, and Holtz' hands wrap around the controls, one on the stick and one on the throttle. He takes a breath before speaking once more. "Jump coordinates have been preprogrammed, all you gotta do is trigger the FTLs. Count us down."

"Oh if I ever do this for real I doubt I'll be sitting her calmly. I'll probably be going bonkerzoids." What a mom. "But okay, we see how this goes." Kelsey nods and as the sim starts, she glances up to see the view of the stars. 'This is just a game.' "Cool." She looks back to the panel and stares again. FTL, FTL, FTL… Right. "Just be patient with me, sir, please. I'll get this stuff. Going to be a little slow, though." But she's talking and typing. Hmmmm. "These aren't normally systems I- Oh, hey, cool." The jump clock comes up and she smirks. "Okay! Ten" And it begins counting down and she hums a tune, lightly singing it, too. It was overplayed on every top 40 station. "Wiffa." 3. "Boddle-of." 2. "Jack." 1. She hits the 'Execute' button and they jump.

"Save the excuses for someone who cares," Holtz rebukes her, although his tone is mild. "Take your time. You're not bein' graded." He waits calmly as she finds the FTL controls and starts the countdown.

There's a flash of light as the computer simulates a jump, and all of a sudden a computer generated image of Caprica appears in front of the Raptor. The small craft's engines are already at full burn as it screams towards the planet, and the cockpit begins to shake slightly as the Raptor barrels into the edges of the atmosphere.

Suddenly, Kelsey's DRADIS console beeps with the warning sound that indicates new contacts; they're quickly identified by the computer as Cylon Raiders, and they're closing fast on the Raptor. Holtz and Kelsey have been spotted.

Holtz does his best to keep the craft steady under the atmospheric resistance, but with the little ship's nose angled up as it is, it isn't easy. He curses as the ship starts to spin, but he manages to correct; however, the clumsy maneuver has caused the ship to bleed off speed, allowing the Cylons to close that much more quickly.

<OOC> Holtz will roll piloting-1 to simulate his unfamiliarity with the Raptor. When I call for ECM rolls, do it at +2 to simulate the help from the automated systems.

The sim flashes and then its shaking. Okay, that wasn't expected. Kelsey reaches quickly for the lap belt to the chair and tries to buckle it while things start beeping at her. Oh hell. "Uh!!" her voice bounces with the sim. "Two.. red- Badguys! They're behind us, I think!" Kelsey looks away to the buckle, decides its not possible right now, and ends up just tying the seatbelt in a simple overhand knot. "It looks like they're getting closer I think!" Hands reach out to the keyboard and try to operate it while things are bouncing. This is not as easy as she had thought it might be.

"Got it," Holtz calls out. He jams the throttle forward, trying to open the distance some and give them some breathing space; it's a move that might have worked on a Viper, but not in a slower Raptor. The Cylons continue to close. "Shit, even the fake bastards want a piece," he mutters.

The rocking and weaving gets worse as the Raptor continues its plunge into atmosphere, but Storm seems to be getting a feel for the controls finally, and is able to compensate this time. Suddenly, Kelsey's DRADIS console sounds another alarm — this one signaling that the enemy is in weapons range and going for a targeting lock.

Holtz either hears the alarm from the front seat or is going on instinct; he yells over his shoulder, "Bring the ECM suite online! They're gonna be shooting any second!"

<FS3> Holtz rolls Piloting-1: Success.

<FS3> Kelsey rolls ECM+2: Success.

Kelsey is still trying to refrain from falling out of her chair. So far, so good. The knot holds. She's trying to type and already her hair is tickling her cheek. A hand comes up quickly to wipe it away, only to come away wet. Sweating already? She scowls at her hand and clenches her jaw as she tries to focus on the system. "Shut up," she says quickly to Holtz. Probably the least appropriate thing ever. She needs his cues. "Sorry. Didn't mean that." Searching, and Found! Kels plugs in the system and she grins. "Bam! Its working I think!" she says excitedly.
GAME: Save complete.

Working, indeed. Kelsey gets the ECM going just in time; the electronic interference coupled with a sudden jerk of the controls from Holtz causes the bursts of fire from the Raiders to miss, bracketing the Raptor harmlessly. The untouched Colonial ship continues to scream through the air, the pair of Raiders following hot on their heels and continuing to squeeze off bursts of KEW fire.

Kelsey's brief outburst is ignored as Holtz pushes down on the controls, sending the Raptor zooming towards the deck, the cockpit rumbling all the way. "Good," he calls back after a pause. His iron-jawed expression is locked on his readouts as the clouds flash past the cockpit at high speed.

<FS3> Holtz rolls Piloting-1: Success.

Kelsey can see all sorts of different things flashing around outside that front canopy on the screen, but there is no way in hell she wants to look. Nope! She's going to pretend she's just at work. She continues humming and singing gently. This time its a different song, but similarly overplayed. Fingers are still working on the keyboard as she gets lost in systems then tries to fight her way back, /through the shaking/, and find what she is looking for again.

<FS3> Kelsey rolls ECM+2: Good Success.

The Cylons are right on top of the Raptor by now, well within optimal firing range, but Kelsey's jamming is still apparently too much for their targeting systems to overcome. Several more streams of blue tracers flash past the Raptor, but once again, the Cylon fire fails to connect.

Finally, the cloud cover breaks, and the verdant green surface of Caprica is visible through the cockpit glass. Off on the horizon, the towers and spires of downtown Delphi are visible, along with a blue ribbon of a river in a valley running just past the city.

Holtz jerks the craft into a steep dive. "Gonna try and get us down into the river valley," he shouts out. "Should get a little extra cover down closer to the deck."

Not that the Cylons aim to let them get that far, though. The alarm on Kelsey's console changes timbre slightly, indicating that at least one of the Raiders is going for a missle lock.

<FS3> Holtz rolls Piloting-1: Great Success.

"Sounds like fun!" Kelsey calls up front, voice still bouncing with the Raptor. She grimaces with it, though. Despite her success with the sim, she still is having trouble just keeping pace. This is way harder than she expected and its a fight to not be overcome by the panic. She keeps humming and singing whiletracers blast past. "Uhm!" she waves a hand towards the back of Holtz' head, then to her screen. "They're trying to shoot a missile!!" Kelsey has no idea what the terminology is. ..And then it hits her that its her responsibility to /stop/ that. Uh oh. Fingers flllyyyyyy and she crosses her toes.

<FS3> Kelsey rolls ECM+2: Good Success.

Whatever Kelsey pushed, it must have been right. A swallow, one of the Raptor's onboard anti-missile decoys, drops out of the bay right as Holtz pushes the Raptor into a steep dive. It works perfectly; the missile is suckered into chasing the decoy instead of the ship, and an abrupt explosion consumes both the swallow and the missile.

"Well frakkin' done, Wescott!" Holtz shouts in triumph as the missile lock warning light fades from his screen without an impact. Meanwhile, his maneuver seems to take the Raiders by surprise; it takes them a moment to adjust to the Raptor's sudden change in heading. He's also helped by the fact that the craft is no longer rocking and rumbling as much now that they're in the lower atmosphere. The ground looms larger and larger in the window as the Raptor drops, but then there's a lurch, and Kelsey and Holtz are both pressed back into their seats for a moment as he levels off over the river, right where he'd intended to be. "We're halfway there. Keep it together."

<FS3> Holtz rolls Piloting-1: Good Success.

The Cylons aren't giving up too easily, though. Another missile lock warning sings out in the cockpit as the Raiders once again close for the kill.

The missile misses and Kelsey doesn't really seem to notice. Nope, she doesn't even seem to hear Holtz. She's found her zone. "Hot then you're cold, in then you're out…" she whispers to herself, some kind of beat to it somewhere in her head. Then they're going to shoot another one. "Oh Come /ONNN!/" she blurts. "This isn't fair! SHOT SHOOTING MEEEEEE!" she whines. But Holtz can hear her banging away on the keyboard.

<FS3> Kelsey rolls ECM+2: Failure.

And that's when Kelsey's luck runs out. Her frantic commands finally cut loose another swallow from the Raptor's ordnance bay, but the Cylon missile has already executed its terminal attack run, and the Raptor is within the explosion radius when the missile immolates itself on the decoy.

The ship jerks from the impact, several damage indicators flashing on the ship's status display. The hit doesn't seem to have been a bad one, though, and Holtz is able to keep the ship steady and level, preventing it from cartwheeling over and careening into the ground. "I said keep it together, godsdamnit!" he roars from the front seat, hearing her frantic exclamation. Surely she'll hear that.

Smelling blood in the water, the Raiders bear in closer, the leading ship closing to gun range while the trailing ship goes for another missile lock.

<FS3> Holtz rolls Piloting-1: Success.

"I AM!" she blurts, trying to keep up with all these freaking missile locks. "Just what I need, a front spaceship bear," she mutters. "I'll come up there and beat the living sh- They're shooting missiles again!," her voice rising suddenly.

<FS3> Kelsey rolls ECM+2: Good Success.

This time, Kelsey is a little calmer, and it shows. Her ECM suite continues to pump out interference, and a third swallow shoots loose of the Raptor, this one with enough time to intercept the missile at a safe distance, which it does. The first Cylon's guns still can't find the mark, either, and the blue tracers fly wide, chewing up the ground instead of the Raptor.

Under Holtz' touch, the Raptor bobs and weaves, following the course of the river. Digitized and slightly pixellated images of the Delphi skyline pass by on one side of their ship as they continue their dash towards safety. "Yeah, that'll be the day," he mutters in response to her crack — and then his head jerks as he sees a small puff of smoke in the distance. And then another, and another. Flinty eyes sweep down to the display. "Coming up on the LZ," he calls out. "Just need about 30 more seconds and we'll be inside the AA cover…" He opens the throttle, sending the Raptor flying for home at full burn.

<FS3> Holtz rolls Piloting-1: Good Success.

<FS3> Kelsey rolls Ecm+2: Success.

"No complaints from me!" Kelsey says back. She ventures her arm up to wipe some sweat from her forehead and she sighs. "Man this is not as easy as I thought it might be," she mutters to herself. Nobody is trying to blow them full of holes with missiles this time so she looks forward towards the bursting flak and she breathes a sigh of relief before returning to the systems. "I need a drink," she grumbles. "Oh.. For- FREAKING SAKE! One last one!"

The Raiders' shots are rushed, and despite the weight of metal their guns are pumping out, none of it manages to find the Raptor. Then finally, blissfully, the Raptor crosses the threshold into the flak cover from the Colonial base. The telltale beeping of the missile lock alarm sounds again… only to be cut off abruptly a moment later as flak rounds shred one Raider into shards of metal, followed a heartbeat later by the other.

"Hah!" Holtz lets out a bark of triumph from the front seat as he brings the Raptor into a hover over the landing platform. Then the image fades from the cockpit, and a green text box with the words 'SIMULATION COMPLETE - OBJECTIVE ACHIEVED' spelled out in white letters appears on the computer displays. Storm lets out a slow whistle, slumping back in his seat for a few seconds before turning to look back at Kelsey with a crooked eyebrow. "So. How was that for a learning experience?"

Kelsey is about to punch the ECO panel. For srs. Another lo- Oh. The Raider vanishes from DRADIS and she lets out a quick 'Woo!' in her seat. Awwyeah. She nods in satisfaction and settles back as the Raptor comes to a hover. She turns her head to watch the screen and when Holtz looks back he'll see the same Deckie, but this time with a big, proud smile on her face and lots of sweat streaks in her hair. "It was terrible. Worst thing ever. I demand to do it fifty more times until its perfect."

Holtz' booming laugh fills the compartment. "Yeah, well, have to be some other time," he responds wryly as his eyes flick down to his watch, "Shiner's gonna be here any minute, and he's probably gonna want this tub too." 'Shiner' being one of the pilots from the Black Watch squadron, and who signed up for the block of sim time following Holtz. "That wasn't terrible work up there. Keep with it." It might sound like faint praise, but it's praise nonetheless. Especially considering her experience, or lack thereof.

Kelsey goes to stand and nearly slams her face into the ECO panel with a laugh. Whoops. She winces as she goes about untying the seatbelts while laughing. "Okay, fine, some other time." Untied, she stands up as the hatch opens and she hops on out on wobbly legs. "Thanks, sir. That was a super awesome trip! Someday I wanna try flyin!"

"One step at a time, PO, yeah?" Holtz says mildly as he unbuckles himself from the pilot's seat. He follows a couple steps behind her, though his steps are much steadier than the young woman's. Then again, this is nothing new for him. He pulls the hatch of the fake Raptor closed behind him before shrugging. "Don't mention it. Needed someone to sit backseat, and you were here." With that, he's lighting another cigarette and making his way towards the exit.

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