AWD #218: No Time Like The Present
No Time Like The Present
Summary: Holtz and Bennett discuss a new plan for handling the asteroid recons.
Date: 12/08/2013
Related Logs: None
Holtz Bennett 
Raptor Squadron Berth
The berthings for the Orion's Air Wing are the same as what one would find on any other Mercury-class Battlestar, though they are distinctly different from the rest of the bunks on the ship. These bunks are separated not into sections of sixty, but by squadron. That means that there is a little more room to move around with only twenty to twenty-five pilots in one bunkhouse. Some officers have brought a small rug to sit in front of their bunks, but the tables and chairs are standard military issue. At the rear is a small couch that was probably new when the ship left anchorage and seems to have been kept carefully clean. The crest of the Gentlemen Ghosts has been painted onto the wall behind the couch, as well.
AWD #218

Bennett has staked out a spot at one of the tables by the far wall, and is squandering some off duty time with a cigarette in one hand and a magazine in the other. It's a pretty trashy looking magazine, with the usual complement of sex tips, wardrobe makeovers and airbrushed models on the cover. There is a stack of unfinished paperwork beside her on the table, and a pair of unworn combat boots lying on the floor nearby that may or may not be hers. The captain herself is dressed in off duty fatigues and tanks which reveal an intricate tangle of inkwork down her left arm and shoulderblade.

Even when he was still seeing Ygraine, Holtz didn't come to the Raptor berths much; when it came time to choose his place or hers, they generally chose his. Nevertheless, they're more or less arranged the same as the Strikes' berth, the Ghosts' crest on the wall instead of that of his own squadron the only immediate indication he's not at home sweet home. He too is clad in off-duties, the sleeveless tanks showing off the wide arrays of tattoos on his arms; his gaze focuses on Bennett, and his lips crack in what could generously be called a thin smile. "Good readin'?" he asks dryly, looking at the magazine she's holding.

Bennett's smile, in contrast, is warm and curves her lips easily once she finally looks up from her magazine. "No, but I do enjoy the pictures," she murmurs, flipping the well-thumbed rag around to show him a slim model wearing a white shift dress and designer boots. She indicates the boots. "I would kill for a pair of these."

Holtz peers over at the picture, though his eyes seem to linger more on how the dress clings to the model's curves rather than the boots she's wearing. He snorts. "Sure, but where you gonna wear 'em?" He motions to an empty chair next to the table. "You mind?" Well, even if she does mind, he's likely going to sit down anyway, as he pulls a cigarette from a battered pack in his pocket.

Bennett isn't stupid, and she isn't blind. And she'd have to be both, not to know where the viper stick's gaze is likely to go, when she dangles that eye candy in front of him. With a sly grin, she flips to the next page and takes a pull off her smoke. "Not at all." Her lighter is slid over, if he cares to avail himself of it. "Storm, they are amazing boots. Practicality does not really enter the equation. Though I'm sure you didn't come over here to talk sexy footwear with me. Is something on your mind?"

Well, using her lighter is much more convenient than digging around in his pocket for his. He grabs it from the table, shooting a last glance at the lithe woman in the magazine before lighting his cigarette and taking a long drag. A throaty chuckle, along with a plume of smoke, springs forth from his lips. "You're right. Another time, maybe." He leans back in the chair. "Actually, that's what I was gonna ask you. Lieutenant Smythe's been kickin' around some ideas about the recons."

"Has he?" Bennett answers with a slightly raised brow, and a polite exhale of smoke away from the other pilot. Her bright blue eyes remain on his, however, and there's a flicker of a smile when he mentions 'another time'. "Which recons are these?" The lighter is silver, with WHITE ROCK CAFE, Caprica City barely legible on the side.

Holtz flips the lighter about between his fingers for a moment or two, finally studying the faded lettering on one side before dropping it back on the table and sliding it back in her direction, grey eyes meeting her blue. "He has," he says with a nod, his lips quirking. "The asteroid recons, naturally."

"I waitressed there when I was putting myself through flight school," Saint Clair explains evenly, that small smile still in place by the time Holtz meets her eyes again. "It wasn't a bad gig, for a day job." Which implies who the hell knows what. Then, with a flick-flick of some ash off the end of her cigarette, "The Ouranos belt? There has been much talk of it, of late. Lieutenant McBride and Ensign Taylor came to me about it the other night. In fact, I had been meaning to speak with you."

"Ahh," Holtz says in understanding. "That's right, McBride did say he was going to talk to you." An eyebrow peaks slightly at her explanation about the job, but he says nothing. Instead, he stays on the matter of business. "Ouranos." He's able to pack a lot of feeling into a single word. "There's all those leftover mines and flotsam… and the Cylons. Lotta toasters floatin' around in there. Like they're looking for something, yeah?" He takes another drag, the smoke shooting out from his nostrils. "So. Why don't you tell me what was on your mind?"

Bennett mms thoughtfully, and leans over to slide a file folder out from the pile she's accumulated beside her. "Well, like I was telling McBride.. I think our priority at the moment needs to be on information gathering." She opens up the folder and lays it in front of Holtz. "I was going to run this by you in a day or two, so it isn't finished, but.. my proposal is a couple of raptors and a minimal viper escort to scout the belt for what might have the cylons so interested. Both sensor buses, DRADOME equipped. I'm not sure if it'll cut through the interference, but maybe a good ECO could get some signal reception out of them."

Holtz slides the folder towards him, pulling it open and thumbing through the contents. "You propose this knowing I've been against the use of Raptors in the asteroid belts for some time now." It's spoken calmly, not as a dismissal but more of an observation as he looks back up to her, gauging her reaction. "We nearly lost several crews and their ships in the early phases. And your buses aren't exactly as easy to replace as my Vipers, yeah?"

"I do," Bennett answers mildly, watching Holtz's face again rather than the file folder that has his cursory attention at the moment. She is no junior officer trying to win his approval; that much is clear. "If we are able to boost the sensor strength with polymer films or magnetic filaments perhaps, there should be no need to risk maneuvering the buses within the close confines of the belt. And if we are not, then we will need good pilots and not hotshots flying those buses. I cannot guarantee either will be successful, but I can guarantee you that we will not find the needle in that haystack without a little help."

Holtz's gaze flicks from Bennett to the documents in front of him and back. He purses his lips in consideration. "Only thing that worries me about that is… if the Vipers are inside the belt while the Raptors are lurking on the edges, they might not be able to get back in time if your boys and girls get jumped by a pack of Raiders." There's a long silent pause, and finally he sighs.

"But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I suppose, yeah? These scouting runs are takin' too damn long, and Vipers ain't really cut out for recon work." His shoulders twitch in a slight shrug. "If your people are willing to brave the storm, who the frak am I to say no?" His fingers drum out a short rhythm on the metal surface of the table as he puffs on his cigarette, before replacing the documents in the folder and sliding it back to Bennett. "I'd like to see the finished outline, but I'll sign off on the plan."

Bennett shakes her head slightly, and touches the smoke to her lips again. "I am not talking about an attempt at a visual reconnaissance of the belt, Storm. I mean for your vipers to remain in close formation with the buses. If we manage to get some data out of this run, if we manage to pinpoint a location of interest, then we send your vipers in after it. As I said to McBride.." She smiles, and places long fingers atop the folder. "..sometimes there is something to be said for subtlety." She drops the folder on top of the pile, eyes skimming the man's ink before returning to his face. "I will drop it off tomorrow, the day after at the latest. I will understand if you feel we should not risk any buses on this one."

Holtz grunts. "Fair enough. If this does work, I suppose you won't need the Vipers in the belt the whole damn time anyway, yeah?" There's a chuckle at her quote. "I'm not much for subtlety, Butch. I'm a sledgehammer, not a scalpel." By now, there's a light acrid haze over their heads from the combined efforts of their smoking. He shakes his head at her last. "No, no. There's no time like the present. If you're ready by the next time we're set to go out, the Raptors'll go with and we'll give this thing a try."

"As you like," answers Bennett with a grin, putting out what's left of her cigarette (not much) on the edge of the table and dropping it into someone's abandoned cup. Then, "You are a viper jock. I think it rather comes with the territory." The sledgehammer approach, presumably. "I will speak with a few of the senior ECOs and avionics technicians about tweaking those sensors, then."

Holtz spreads his hands with an answering smirk. "This above all, to thine own self be true," he responds. He takes a look at the fading nub of his own cigarette, taking one last drag before tossing it after Bennett's, nodding a moment later. "Right, then," he responds crisply as he rises to his feet. "You do that. Let me know as soon as they're ready." With that, he rises to his feet, but waits to see if there's anything else before leaving.

Bennett's amusement becomes a full-blown laugh, and she too rises in order to collect her unfinished paperwork. "You are literate, I see. That is something." She's teasing, obviously, but slips out of retaliation range just in case; the paperwork is headed for her locker. "Absolutely. Thanks for dropping by, Storm. Don't be a stranger." The last is spoken over her shoulder, with a wink for good measure.

There's a gravelly laugh from the Viper pilot, who takes her teasing in stride. Holtz might have one hell of a temper, but he's also got a thick skin to go with it. "Yeah, barely. Who'd've thought, right?" he deadpans, responding in kind. "You bet. See you around, Butch." And then he's moving for the exit, his hulking frame passing through the opening and disappearing as he turns away.

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