AWD #013: Pew Pew!
Pew Pew!
Summary: Holtz and Phin square off in the sims. The results are predictable, if not bludgeoningly so.
Date: 19/01/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Pewpew'ing at Cylons in general. Into the Fire in particular.
Holtz Phin 
Room Name
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.
Sat Jan 19

Orion's flight simulators are not in use when Holtz walks in. The burly lieutenant is apparently going to change that, however; his first stop is the computer control console, and he has a seat behind one of the stations. He's traded his duty blues from the briefing earlier today for the usual off-duty uniform of tanks and fatigue pants, and a lit cigarette, burned down only about an inch from the filter, bobs in his mouth as he enters a series of commands to the computer.

Phin is a little early for their appointed sim time. Not much, but he's here before he strictly had to be. His flight suit's still unzipped as he enters, helmet under one arm, but he apparently intends to practice in full flight gear. "Hey, Storm," he calls as he closes the hatch behind him. The smoke from the cigarette prompts a faint twitch of his nose.

"Hey, Dolls," Holtz murmurs, a look of concentration on his face as his fingers run over the keyboard. He's done a moment later, though, and he rises to his feet and looks at Phin. "Goin' whole hog there, huh?" he asks with a wry smile, gesturing at Phin's suit and helmet. There's a coffee cup perched on the console next to one of the keyboards, still half full with someone's day-old coffee; a short hiss can be heard as he drops his cigarette in it. Hey, not his fault no one put an ashtray in here.

"It's hard for me to get a real feel for what it's like in the sims," Phin says. "This helps. Kind of." He strolls around to lean near the computer where Holtz is working. Carefully upwind of his cigarette, though he doesn't make an issue of the smoking beyond that. "What're you working on?"

Though the cigarette is out, drowned in someone's old beverage, there's still a light haze of smoke hanging in the air above his head that takes a few seconds to dissipate. Holtz nods. "Yeah, I hear ya. I was the same way for a while." He shakes his head a moment later. "Just thought I'd check up on the program update while I was loadin' up the program for us. Looks like Buttons got started on some of the parameters already." One of the screens he's looking at shows a simulated image of one of the newer-style Raiders. The performance data on the craft that usually comes up with such an image is sadly lacking so far, however.

"Sava's supposed to be a programming whiz kid," Phin says. "So…probably. I'm not really good at that kind of thing myself. I always just wanted to fly. A lot of the technical stuff of how we do it still kind of goes over my head." He eyes the performance data. "Must be hard to put something like that together, with just what we all got over Caprica. I mean, we'll probably get more stuff for it soon, the way Janitor was talking today." He tries not to sound too nervous about future data-collection opportunities. He's not entirely successful, but he tries.

"Yeah, I never learned any of this shit myself," Holtz replies with another look at the screen. His lips quirk a bit. "Same here. Never really cared all that much how we do what we do. Just that I'm one of those that gets t' do it." There's an exhale at the mention of Caprica. "Hope so. Only so much data you can get from a single engagement. For all we know, they've still got tricks we haven't seen yet." He peers over at Phin, catching a slight quaver in the younger man's voice as he speaks. "That frighten you?" he asks frankly.

"First thing I ever flew was a paraglider when I was like ten," Phin says. "Never felt anything like that before. Just knew I wanted to do it again." That prompts a slight smile, which fades immediately at Holtz's last question. It's a beat before he replies. He finally settles on, "I don't know. This isn't…we're all combat officers. I get that. This just…none of this is what I expected."

"I know the feeling, believe me," Holtz murmurs, momentarily lost in memory. But then he focuses again, and he points a finger in Phin's direction. "Look, I'll tell you something I used to tell the nuggets in my classes. Anyone who rides fire in a Viper and tries to claim they're not at least a bit scared before they go out is either a liar or an idiot. Fear is natural… it can even help keep you alive. The trick is not letting it rule you, putting it aside long enough to get the job done." His voice even changes timbre slightly as he repeats the old mantra, his old 'instructor voice' resurfacing briefly. He smiles thinly. "It ain't what any of us signed up for, but it's the hand we were dealt. Just remember, whatever happens, you won't be alone out there."

Phin might've been expecting to be chastised for not just claiming he was calm and cool and invulnerable, so he looks a little surprised at Holtz's response. He nods. "Yeah. I mean…thanks." He shrugs. "And yeah. Everyone I'm flying with seems really solid. And I know I got lucky. I mean, most of the casualties from the Wing where ensigns. Could've been me if I'd had a different wingman."

"Frakkin' right you got lucky." Holtz tries to break the seriousness with a sudden wink and a grin, a meaty hand reaching out to smack Phin on the shoulder. "First one's always the hardest. Just think, you're a combat veteran now, just like the rest of us." He steps away from the computer console and motions towards the sims. "Alright, enough of the jawin' and ego strokin'. You ready to go?"

Phin laughs. "Ready as I'll ever be, Storm." With that, he goes to load himself up in a Viper pod. He gets it online, and prepares to load it up with whatever the older pilot has in mind for them.

Holtz settles into one of the Viper mockups, a headset replacing the helmet com he doesn't have. He hits a switch, and the simulator accesses the program being run by the central computer. "Alright, Dolls, nothin' fancy. You, me, and an asteroid field. Last one alive is the winner. Try not to splatter yourself on a rock, yeah?"

"Storm, Dolly. So, don't splatter. Copy, sir, orders received." Phin's just a little wry as he replies over the mic. He goes through a pre-flight, all systems nicely green, and fires it up. He starts into the program concentrating more on navigation and reading his instruments. Because literally faceplanting into a computerized asteroid would be a bit embarrassing.

The 'glass' of the cockpit clouds over, replaced by a high-res image of an asteroid field surrounding Holtz' Viper. He quickly looks over his controls; seeing that everything checks out, he hammers down on the throttle as his simulated DRADIS beeps with a simulated contact. The 'acceleration' pushes him back in the seat as he jukes through the rocks, looking for his target. And then he finds it, seeing the metallic flash of another Viper among the dull, pitted surfaces of the rocks. He angles his craft towards the other ship and takes aim.

Phin cuts the comm chatter, since Holtz is his 'enemy' for this particular jaunt. He scans his DRADIS, squinting to locate the other pilot in the simulated asteroid field. He manages it, more or less. How well his systems are targeted is questionable, but he hones in toward more-or-less the correct direction.

<COMBAT> Phin attacks Holtz with KEW - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Holtz attacks Phin with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

There isn't much subtlety to Holtz' combat style. As soon as he catches sight of Phin, he cuts in around an asteroid and lines up the shot, zooming aggressively at the other ship as he squeezes off a burst of fire. Phin's got Holtz in his sights as well, though, and their bursts cross each other, Holtz' Viper rocking as it takes a burst right in the nose. Storm's aim is good, though, and his own burst catches Phin's Viper high amidships, near the cockpit. He chuckles as he flips the Viper end over end, barely missing a passing rock as he continues the pursuit.

Phin goes straight at Holtz, which is both effective and not. He scores a hit straight on the other Viper's nose, but it's not a particularly telling blow. And it puts him in a fine position to be hit right back, punishingly to his cockpit. "Frak…" he mutters. Instantly going evasive, and scrambling to make some quickie fixes to his systems to shore up the damage. He's not even targeting now, just trying to avoid taking anymore fire and patch his ass.

<COMBAT> Phin treats Viper-4451r:
< Cockpit (Serious): unsuccessful
<COMBAT> Holtz attacks Phin with KEW - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

Holtz takes his time lining up the shot, but it's all for naught as Phin jukes aside at the last second. Holtz' shot glances harmlessly off the other Viper's nose, and he grunts. "Nice move," he mutters, manuevering to stay with the other pilot as he fires again.

Phin banks his sim-Viper fast to take Holtz's shot on the most armored part of his Viper, which lets him skirt away from the man's fire without a virtual scratch. Whatever efforts he was making in the cockpit to patch his systems don't appear to have had much effect. Which he probably should've expected, since what Holtz dealt him was a lot of body damage. He veers around, still dodging more than really gunning, but he is on path to engage Storm again.

<COMBAT> Phin attacks Holtz with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Holtz attacks Phin with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

Holtz sees the other Viper turn to engage him once more, and instinctively yanks on the stick in an evasive maneuver. It works, as Phin's shot shreds a floating asteroid instead of Storm's ship, but the sudden movement causes his own shot to go wide as well. He puts on the afterburners to give him a burst of speed, his mind totally on the offensive as he tries to get in for an up-close-and-personal shot at Phin.

What was apparent about Phin's flying during their encounter over Caprica is equally apparent here, minus whatever edge that adrenaline might've given him. His gunnery is…precisely what you'd expect from a freshly-minted ensign who finished safely short of the top of his combat classes. So, it needs work. He can fly, though, and he's got a good feel for how to handle the smaller craft even as it takes a beating. He barely seems notice as he blows up an asteroid rather than the other Viper, concentrating on tight evasive maneuvers and bobbing and weaving around the simulated rocks to keep himself from getting blown up by his superior. It works. That time, at least.

Holtz is on Phin like a shark that smells blood, but the other pilot's bobbing and weaving makes him a slippery target. Holtz does manage to clip the other Viper with a shot to the wing, hitting one of the other ship's hardpoints, but it's evidently not enough to finish Phin off. He maneuvers along with the other pilot, lining up another shot.

Phin can't swing quite quick enough to avoid that hit to his wing cannon, but he at least manages to make it a glancing blow. His engines do some sputtering as he makes a particular abrupt turning around one of the asteroid. That first hit he took was painful, and is still evident in his handling. It's unclear if he's trying to lay in wait behind the rock, go around and take Holtz from behind…or if he's just given up entirely on hitting the senior pilot and is just going to make this a merry chase.

<COMBAT> Phin attacks Holtz with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Holtz attacks Phin with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Viper-4451r has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Phin has been KO'd!

Holtz follows Phin around the asteroid without the slightest hesitation. It gives Phin the perfect opportunity for a close range shot, and his Viper shakes alarmingly as the KEW rounds from Phin's ship slice into his wing, but Holtz' shot is true as well. Phin's battered ship takes another heavy hit, and this time Holtz hears a reassuring beep from his console as the lone contact on his DRADIS display flickers and disappears. "Not bad, Dolls," he says with a smile as he toggles a switch in the mock cockpit, ending the program. "Nice shot at the end there."

Phin veers around abruptly as Holtz pursues him and takes a desperate shot at the other pilot. It hits pretty squarely. Not that it matters any longer, since Holtz's own guns find their home and Phin's wing and send him spinning. He makes a few desperate attempts to pull out, but he no longer has any control over his beaten systems, and his virtual plane crashes into a virtual asteroid. "Nicer shot on your end, sir," he says wryly, though there's a trace of a grin in his voice. He powers his pod down. "I couldn't get it to turn quick enough to get out of your line of fire after I shot."

Holtz' own pod powers down a moment later; he opens the cockpit and pulls off the headset he'd been wearing. "Takin' one in the controls at the beginning like you did… you did good lasting that long," Holtz calls out with a nod and a twisted grin. It's meant more matter-of-factly than cockily. "That was a good exercise. Might not be a bad idea to do that more often, at least until we get the aggressor profiles up to speed." Meaning the new Cylon ship models.

"My handling was pretty frakked," Phin affirms, opening his pod up and stepping out. He removes his helmet, running a palm over his sweaty hair. Which is at least less messy now after such things, since he had it chopped. "Yeah. It was. It was tougher to hit you than the Raiders they've got programmed into the sims now, unless you jack up the difficulty level so that everything gets weirded out."

"Frakkin' tinners never could replace a flesh-and-blood pilot, not even the ones they programmed for flyin'," Holtz replies. "Still remember some of the old salts back in the day talkin' about the kill counts they racked up in the first war." He snorts. "Definitely not like the ones they have now. Those new bastards are slippery."

"Yeah," Phin says, exhaling long at the memory of the tinners they did face. He admits, "Most of the time I couldn't tell what was going on. I was just trying to stick with you, stay clear of Raider fire. They the ones who taught you to shoot?" He adds, to clarify, "The older pilots, I mean. The ones who served in the Cylon…in the First Cylon War. A few of my professors back at the Academy had fought in it, but nobody who was still active duty."

Holtz nods. "Had a couple of senior instructors who caught the tail end of the war." He grimaces as he dates himself somewhat with that statement. Leaning against the side of the sim-cockpit he'd been using, he adds, "Been a shooter long before they got their hands on me, though. Got my start with starship gunnery when I first signed up. Different equipment, but the principle's mostly the same." That's an enlisted specialty, but it's likely not a secret that Holtz came up from the ranks. He tilts his head slightly to the side. "Well, you were doin' something right out there… you came back alive, yeah?"

"You started off enlisted?" Phin doesn't sound surprised, exactly, but it's a piece of the man's background he hadn't quite put together. This makes him relax a notch, for some reason. "Cool. I probably would've ended up in A-school for a deck job if my Academy acceptance hadn't come through. Thought about joining the Marines with my brother but…" He trails off. It was clearly not a thing he actually wanted to do. As for himself, he shrugs. "Between the Raptors jamming and you taking down toasters who were on my ass, not like I didn't have help. I never figured I'd be flying in combat like that. I mean…I know we train for it. But all the practical drills we did back in training were against, like, pirates. And insurrectionists with rocket launchers and stuff. A lot of my instructors used to talk about how to keep the Navy 'relevant' in an 'age of peace and unity.'" He can't really manage sarcasm. It was a thing he had clearly believed in.

"Yeah. Frakkin' Academy wouldn't take me, but I still wanted to fly, so I had to do it the hard way." Holtz rolls his eyes, uttering a sharp chuckle. "Yeah, I got that whole spiel in OCS, too. Almost woulda believed it, too, if they hadn't had to send in the Marines back home." A reference to the Tauron Pacification. "Heh, I remember those. When we weren't practicing against simmed Cylons, it was simmed rebels or pirates or some such."

"I didn't figure I'd get in," Phin admits, as to the Academy. "But…" Shrug. "…worked out." Mention of the Pacification sobers his expression, even moreso. "I was glad when Bear put in for this assignment, instead of going back into the field on Sagittaron or Aerilon or Tauron. I wanted to serve with him but…I don't know. I never knew how I was going to do when I was ordered to shoot another person, y'know?" Shrug. "Didn't figure I'd get much of that out there. I mean, not that that matters when it comes to the Cylons. They're not. Even if the Raiders are more advanced, they're still flying chrome toasters."

"No one ever does," Holtz replies softly. "It's not the same as, say, scragging a Raider." There's a long pause, and he nods. "You know, I don't think I've ever met your brother. He the one that gave you that haircut?" He waves at Phin's hair with a teasing smile, but sobers again at the mention of the Cylons. "Chrome toasters that want to kill us all." Holtz purses his lips. "At least against the Cylons, it's simple."

Phin laughs, slicking a hand dramatically across his hair. It's not a true crew cut. He could probably spike the tips decently with some product. But it's much closer than it was before. "Yep. When we were younger nobody could tell us apart. Except our mom. Seemed right to get back to that, or close enough." His humor also fades as to the Cylons, though. "Yeah. Simple. Except they can just make more on some whacked out assembly line on the other side of the Armistice Line and we…" Shrug. "Which I guess just means we've got to kill more of them."

"Twins, huh?" Then something clicks in Holtz' mind, and he utters a little bark of laughter. "So that's why I heard someone call you 'Bear' a couple weeks ago, yeah?" He meets Phin's shrug with one of his own. "We did it the first time around. They might have suckerpunched us a little better this time, but given a choice between human minds and Cylon algorithms… I'll put my cubits on us every time." Stifling a yawn, he pauses to stretch. "Alright, Dolls, I'm gettin' out of here. Time to hit the rack, I'm on the CAP rotation for tomorrow morning."

"Yeah," Phin replies. "I'm the younger, but only by like fourteen minutes." As for CAP, he nods. "Yeah, I should pack it in, too. Hit the showers, rest while we can." For tomorrow they may die, and all that. Not that he says that, of course. He just thinks it.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License