AWD #217: Pre-Flight
Summary: Dolly and Medusa prep for patrol. Holtz comes down from the same.
Date: 11/08/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: July 29 Viper Squadron Meeting for the new wingmen
Calanthia Holtz Phin 
Hangar Deck — Battlestar Orion
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.
AWD #217

It's a busy night on the hangar deck, but that's hardly unusual. Raptors bus in and out on taxi trips to and from Piraeus. Knuckledraggers move about in a constant state of activity to keep the place running in some kind of order. Everyone is busy. Except for Phin, at the moment. He's hanging by the rail of the catwalk, in his flightsuit. Mostly. His helmet's still tucked under one arm. He's due on patrol with the next rotation, but there's still a good half-hour left in the current CAP, and some time before he has to prep for pre-flight. So he's just hanging.

One Viper over, but dressed in the same stylish duds, waiting for the same thing is Calanthia. Rather than hanging out around the catwalk, she's up on the little ladder, half leaning into the cockpit of her bird. Never too early to make sure that all the connections are tight, that everything works just fine. Sure, sure, there's pre-flight, but this is /pre/ pre-flight, the stuff that goes one extra step deeper, behind the shiny panels and blipping screens.

Phin eventually gets tired of just goldbricking on the catwalk, and wanders down to where his Viper is parked. It's adjacent to Calanthia's, which only makes sense, as they'll be dragged up into the tubes for launch at the same time. "Medusa. Hey." Head tilts as he watches her work. "Everything OK with your bird?"

"That's what I'm nosing around to check out. I want to make sure the knuckledraggers decided to hook all the negative ends to the positive ends and vice versa. Sometimes you can never be too sure. If I go out, I want it be because a Raider shot me to oblivion or something, and /not/ because I got smoked out and burned to death by an electrical fire, you know?" When she talks to him, she lifts her head out of the cockpit and peeks over the edge, but doesn't climb down that little ladder.

"Yeah. I'm told it's important to eliminate the negative," Phin says. A little wry. Was that a joke? "I try not to get my hands too deep into the panels unless I have to. I pay attention to the pre-flight, but the few times I've tried to look at the electronics, I've frakked up more than I've done anything useful."

"Oh, I know just enough to suspect something's wrong, but not nearly enough to actually muck around under there like I can fix it. If I think something's wrong, I'm grabbing one of these geeky knuckledraggers to check it out." To further prove her point, she motions at one of said knuckledraggers, walking down through the bay who happens to be passing by the Viper at that moment.

Phin nods, watching with some interest to see what it is the deckie does with Calanthia's Viper. "I'm really lucky I landed an Academy spot. My back-up plan was enlisting into A-school, and the science-y stuff was never my best area." He pauses, like he's trying to figure out how to say something. He finally lands on, a little abashed, "So. Storm says we're supposed to be, like, best friends now." Wry. "Since we're going to be flying together regular."

"Best friends, complete strangers, whatever. It comes down to the business end of one of these bad boys at the end of the day." She pats the side of the fighter before she hops off the ladder. To the deckie, she waves him over. "Take a look inside there, will you? Think there's a bit of exposed wire in there. Green one, on the left side. Insulation looks like it melted off."

"Pew pew pew." Phin nods, and dryly rattles of the 'Viper' sound effects. "But yeah. Point. I'm not really into the warm-and-fuzzy, sing-about-your-feelings thing so…works." He winces, as he catches a little about the exposed wires. "Think it'll be cool to fly by the time we're supposed to launch?"

"No clue. That's why I pointed it out. Worst comes to worst, I guess they'll put a few layers of electrical tape on it to keep the wire from shorting on anything, and pull it apart when we aren't a half-hour out from CAP." Calanthia leans against the nose of the Viper while the deckie checks it out, nodding at Phin. "Yeah, I don't wear my heart on my sleeve. Just one of the reasons they call me Medusa. Flying and killing isn't about being a nice guy or being lovey-dovey with your wingman. It's about flying and killing Cylons. You do that, and you're alright in my book."

"Hey, I was not proposing lovey-dovey stuff," Phin says, holding up his hands, as if to defend himself on this matter. "I'm just quoting Major Holtz. I think it was aimed more at the newer pilots. Truth be told, I was pretty relieved when he said I was paired with you now. With all the transfers, lots of them new…figure I could've done worse." He frowns slight at the Viper, but he leaves that to her and the deckie to handle. "One of the reasons they call you Medusa?" He doesn't quite ask, except by inference. He does sound kind of curious, though.

"Well, the story of Medusa has a lot of parts. I like to think that I earned the nickname because of all of them." Here, she gives Phin a wink; it may be uncharacteristically playful, but it never hurts to keep the guys thinking about just why she's called Medusa. She does have crazy eyes though, if nothing else.

Phin blinks at the wink. Though he chuckles a moment later. "It's a complicated myth. The part I remember involves snakes, and turning dudes to stone if they didn't like the way she looked at them. It's scarier than Dolly, at least." Not that he's really complaining about his callsign. He's worn it long enough that he's used to it. "Where were you posted before this? Before the Orion, I mean, though that kind of includes before…everything."

"I was at Andross, on Tauron, before getting posted to Athena. That's it before I came aboard here halfway through this pleasure cruise. Figure that was a good move, in retrospect. I don't have the pages-long service record like some folks here, though. Short and sweet, and here I am. Though, one more tie to my callsign, huh? Silly Athena, turning women into gorgons because they have the gall to be raped by her uncle in her own temple!" Calanthia chuckles a bit, and just shakes her head at the myth behind it all.

"Longer than mine. This was my first," Phin says. He also gets a laugh out of the myth she recounts. A decidedly rueful one. "It's amazing how frakked up the gods were, if you look at the stuff they supposedly did to mortals. I mean…" He adds quick, "No offense, if you're a believer. I know it brings a lot of people comfort, even if I never could quite take it that direction."

Calanthia holds up a hand, and waggles it side-to-side. "Grew up with it, know my way around it enough to keep from pissing off the sister something fierce, get enough out of it to find some comfort in it, but I won't rip anyone's head off if they go saying something negative about it."

"It's not that I don't believe. I do. I just…can't help but think some of the gods are pretty frakked up. About the only way I can make sense of stuff," Phin says. He shrugs. "Anyway, like you said kind of, doesn't matter to me what anyone else thinks about that stuff."

"Pretty frakked up gods for pretty frakked up people, huh? Makes you wonder if the tin cans have crazy logical computer gods that only think about killing humans, huh? It's a competition: who has the most frakked-up spirituality. Of course, the only logical way to solve it is by nuking humanity to shit. Congrats Cylons, you win." She has another little chuckle at the sheer insanity of it all.

Holtz arrives from the Main Corridor.

Phin chuckles again, nodding. "That's what I figure. I guess it makes sense. If the gods made humanity in their own image, explains where we get some of our problems." He's hanging by his Viper, which is currently parked for some quickie maintenance before his CAP shift. Calanthia's is adjacent to it, and is getting a somewhat more attentive work-over by the techs. "I don't even want to think about what the Cylons might believe. Though, I mean…humans made them. And the gods made us frakked up, so kind of stands to reason we made them the same way." He snorts. "Eternal return. Or something."

"Two generations removed from crazy, huh? I'm good with that explanation." Calanthia is sort of half-leaning by the nose of her Viper as a deckie hangs into the cockpit checkout out a wire with a bit of melted insulation and whether it's the sort of thing that can be fixed with some electrical tape or has to be pulled and replaced.

Phin's CAP shift might be about to begin, but Holtz's is just ending. A dull chime sounds from the speakers overhead as the hangar bay elevators drop his Viper from the landing strip above down into the interior of the hangar deck. When it comes to a stop, a team of aircraft handlers rush in and begin wheeling his Viper back into line with the others parked on the deck; when his fighter is in place on the opposite side of Phin's, the canopy opens, and Holtz peels off his helmet and seal collar, handing them off to his waiting crew chief, who in turn hands him a clipboard with the post-flight checklist. He takes a moment to stretch his limbs and crack his neck before going down the list, checking off one item after the other.

"The crazy seems to multiply with each one, too," Phin says. "By that logic, if the chrome jobs made the skin jobs, they're by far the most frakked up of us all. Hey, Storm." It's not shouted too loud, as the Major's Viper is towed in from post-flight. He doesn't want to interrupt. But it's audible enough.

"Exponentially-increasing crazy. Yep yep, that's it. That's the explanation, and it certainly works to explain all manner of human religious conflicts. But then, history never wasy my strong suit," Calanthia replies with a shrug of her shoulders. By this time, the deckie seems to have concluded that a few layers of electrical tape will do it just fine for now, but if it melts on this CAP, the thing will have to be pulled and fixed proper.

Holtz is still scribbling on the clipboard when the greeting reaches his ears. "Hey, Dolly-man," he replies without looking up. He's spent enough time with the other man to recognize his voice when he hears it, after all. Then, the checklist is finished, and handed off to the crew chief, who hops down from the ladder. Finally, Holtz does look up and over, seeing Phin as well as Calanthia, still hanging around the Viper parked two spots down from his. "Medusa," he greets her as well before his eyes flick back to Phin. "Philosophy again?" he shoots at the younger man, a thin, crooked smile pulling at his features.

"Got to pass the time somehow, sir, and the Pyramid season is kind of on indefinite hold. Kills the possibility of sports talk." Phin goes over his instrument panel, flicking a few switches, and checking off a few boxes. Nothing he sees seems to alarm him. "How was Piraeus orbit?" The question isn't really expecting anything notable. CAP in these parts is always a quiet flight. To Calanthia, he chuckles. "I majored in the stuff. History that is. And…that's pretty much a summary. Exponentially increasing crazy. Your bird OK to fly?"

"That's what the gorilla tell me," she says to Phin as the deckie gets back to his initial task, mumbling and cursing at the pilot abuse. "Phin-losophy, perhaps. This sorta shit doesn't seem at all like what they'd teach in schools. If any of us were scholars, we could probably make a killing by putting all this wartime philophy down in a book, though!" With Holtz coming off the last CAP, it seems about that time to hop in and start running pre-flight for the next round.

Holtz snorts. "Point," he says as he finally pulls himself out of the cockpit and shimmies down the ladder, his boots making a dull, metallic thud against the deck as he hops past the last couple of rungs. He shrugs at Phin's question. "Quiet. As usual." A sardonic grunt of laughter escapes his lips. "If the toasters know we're here, they're takin' their own sweet time doing anything about it." A look in Calanthia's direction. "More's the pity. School might've been more interesting if they had, yeah?"

Phin snorts out a laugh at that. Phin-losophy. "Gods, I hope not." He flicks another switch. It's green. Another check mark is completed. "How's Wheels treating you?" That to Holtz. His new ensign, he presumably means. Unless it's some sideways question about his landing gear.

While Phin and Holtz chat back and forth, one checking off items on one list, Calanthia has another checklist that she's working through. This is the pre-flight list though, and as their CAP gets closer, she talks less and less and gets more in the zone to get ready for it.

Holtz grunts as he leans against the nosecone of Phin's Viper. "Not bad. Don't remember you spookin' as easy as he does at times… but then we were flyin' together since before I had these," he replies with a slight smirk as he points a finger at the major's insignia on his collar. His head nods in Calanthia's direction as she clambers up the ladder to her ship. "How're the two of you gettin' on? Sounds like you've at least got things to talk about out there," he adds dryly.

"It was different back then," Phin admits. "I mean, yeah, you had more rank, but you were just re-upping into the Fleet. So it wasn't like I was flying with the boss. You're big time now, man." It's teasing, but it's not really a joke. Check, check. He looks up to turn and glance at Calanthia, shrugging. "Medusa's cool. No bullshit. Like I was telling her, I figure we got off pretty well. We've been flying in the same squad for awhile, not like we're transfers or brand new or anything."

"Big time, yeah," Holtz says with a harsh chuckle. "Hell, man, if anyone'd told me five years ago I'd be wearing major's pins one day, I'd've laughed in their faces. Never figured I'd even make Captain. Funny how shit works sometimes, yeah?" There's a long pause as he sighs, stretching out his arms again now that he's no longer stuck in the cramped cockpit of his Viper. "Good. Figured you two'd make a decent pair." His lips curl in a half-smile. "Both of you've been pretty bullshit-free so far. Didn't want to see that change. Lords know we've got enough of that already."

"Five years ago I wasn't even sure I'd get through the Academy, let alone flight school. Used to spend my days thinking up back-up plans. A-school. Maybe stay on Leonis and get work driving a taxi in Hedon…I was so focused on getting the wings I didn't think too much about what came after." Check, check, check. Phin's nearly done with his list, and isn't finding any problems thus far. "Not that I do much thinking about the future now. Just gotta survive and adapt. And yeah. I think it'll work out. Not that she's a proper replacement for you but, I can deal."

"Somehow… I just can't picture you as a cabbie," Holtz snorts. There's a rather self-satisfied smirk at Phin's last remark. "Well, of course not, but then who would be?" He looks away for a moment as another group of deckhands move past the pair of pilots towards a nearby Raptor. "But yeah, I hear that. Got plenty to focus on in the here-and-now, Lords know." The deckhands are aircraft handlers, who begin guiding the Raptor towards one of the elevator pads. "Looks like they're gettin' ready to launch, so I'm gonna get out of the way. See you when you get back, yeah?"

"Yeah, see you." Phin offers Holtz a two-fingered salute, and concentrates on doing a few last checks. He'll be ready to be towed into the black with Calanthia on time, to fly circles around the Fleet for a handful of hours.

Holtz returns the gesture before turning on his heel and moves off. He threads his way through the crowd of orange-suited deckhands towards the cavernous hangar bay's exit, the loud sounds of the busy deck echoing in his ears until finally he passes through the hatch leading to the corridor.

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