AWD #046: Sinibasestar
Sinibasestar
Summary: Zachary tries to use a game to build Zander's confidence. It does not go as planned.
Date: 21/02/13 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Zachary Cassie Zander 
Flight Simulators - Battlestar Orion
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.
21 February 2005

Morning in the simulators. However, for once Zachary did not come to check to see how Zander is doing on working on the simulators. The CAG has a file folder in his hands as he moves towards the control panel, and searches for the wayward ECO. "Buttons, you up here this morning?"

"I live here, Sir."

Zander "Buttons" Sava pops his head up from underneath a pile of paperwork. No, literally, he's underneath a pile of paperwork and it practically has him hidden. He finishes fiddling with a couple more mathematical equations and gets to his feet as quickly as possible. He slips on some of the papers, but he immediately stands himself at attention. "I swear to Gods that I'm making progress. Honest, I am." Immediate Defensive Strategy Activated!

"At ease, at ease." Zachary looks amused as he finds his way over to where Buttons has ensconced himself and Buzzkill takes a closer look at his ECO. "You getting plenty of rack time and meals?" Speaking of, he sets down a small box of cookies for Zander. "I know you are making good progress with the simulators. I tried out one of your programs the other day, it worked really well when Redux and I used the new Cylon codes. Anyway.. that's not what I wanted to talk to you about."

After not getting into the sims last night Cassie made it a point to come here especially early, forgoing an extra couple hours of sleep to make sure she can get a slot. Voices are heard just as she enters, covering a yawn. A copy of her service records is tucked under one arm, a coffee mug held in that same hand, while a well-chewed pencil is tucked behind an ear with her othr hand. "Morning…"

"… Oh." Zander immediately starts racking his brain to make sure that he hasn't done anything in the past week that could have him getting visited by the CAG. Since his brain works faster than anything else on him, he comes to the conclusion in record time and offers an immediate, "Whatever it is, I didn't do it and whoever told you, is a lying bastard and I will destroy them for getting me in any trouble that I may or may not be in at this very moment." Pause. "… Sir." is added, before he forgets. And somewhere in the midst of all that, he relaxes himself into a more 'at ease' position. It is about this time that he offers a nod in Cassie's direction, before the CAG's words finally catch up to his ears, "Wait. You tried 'em? They didn't suck?" Zander fights a small smile, not wanting to look too proud of himself in public and whispers a small, "High Score." to himself.

Zachary looks amused at Zander's defensiveness and waits for his worries to be voiced before he glances over at Cassie. "Good morning, Shoes." he offers the Viper pilot, before he turns his attention to Zander. "You have not been on any missions lately. Centerfold is taking Sister Geni and a few others on a run to Picon, didn't know if you might want to go ECO for her." he comments. "Get you out of the sims for a while and back into the seat. But.. before we do that, I need you to requalify with the ECM systems, so can we knock that out this morning?" he asks and grins. "Cassiopeia is just in time, she can help with this.. if she wants?" he suggests.

Yes, he just suggested putting Zander in a Raptor. With Maia. And Afton. And Iphigenia. And Rozzen. Gods save him.

The conversation is listened to while it flows between the two men, that getting Cassie's expression to grow more and more amused by the second. The mentioned mission is nodded over but left unspoken upon by her, it not something she needs to inject an opinion or the like on the subject. What she does do is find a place to set her stuff down before saying anything. "I could help with practice if you need it, Zach. Lords know I could use some sim time myself." Which is what brought her here in the first place.

Zander brings his hands up pretty quickly, "Uh. Okay, um. First of all, totally cool with getting back out there and kicking some Cylon can. Serious. But um… I'm pretty sure I'm still as amazing with the ECM as I've always been. I mean, don't get me wrong, I might be a liiiittle off my game since I haven't had my Scion Delta to keep my fingers nimble, but once you become a Gamemaster like myself, you don't lose those skills. You just don't." Oh. So there's where the cockiness of Zander Sava comes from. "But! If you just want me to show off my skills to Shoes here, I'm more than willing to make with the impressing." Zander reaches for his pocket and realizes he's missing something. "That speech would've been so much cooler if I hadn't left my shades in my bunk."

A little confidence is never a bad thing. "Okay, Gamemaster, let's see what you have got." Zachary says with a chuckle of amusement as he moves to set up the simulator. "Shoes, I want you to take a Predator for this mission." he says to her. "I think we should all get qualified on this."

Cassie blinks once at that show of ego from the ECO. "Wow, Buttons. Really?" Turning slightly, she looks at their boss, her expression unreadable. "He is serious, right?" Okay. Teasing about that can happen later. Right now Zach's wanting them to get into the sims so that's what she does. "Just take it easy on me," she requests playfully before sliding the faux cockpit's canopy closed, the pilot busying herself with powering everything up once she's inside.

"I kid, I kid." Zander remarks as if that's going to make all of his confident speech go away or something. He takes a moment to shake his fingers out before climbing into the simulator, strapping up and flipping switches and twisting dials. It's second nature the way he's running through the initial set up process and such. Not to mention the fact that he's been studying these simulators and modding them for the past ever. "Please tell me we're skippin' right to the Holy Frak difficulty setting. I'd like to break a sweat, at least." Oh dear.

"One holy frak level coming up." Zachary says as he takes the program file out of his pocket of his fatigues and loads it into the system. As the simulation loads, the CAG starts to explain the mission. "It's pretty simple, Buttons. Our Raptor has been hit and our engines are dead. Shoes is flying protective cover for us until the cruiser Cygnes can get us a recovery team over." he explains as the screen loads and brings us a space-scape. "The problem is.." And with that, a basestar loads on screen, off in the distance.

"The Cylons know we're here and are coming to finish us off. Shoes has a damaged DRADIS so not only will you have to surpress the incoming Raiders, you will have to guide her to her target." he points out as he finishes loading the simulation. "The goal is to survive as many waves as you can until we are ex-filed."

That basestar? It looks kind of weird. Sorta like.. this:

Sinibasestar.png

And with that, it starts to spit out a pair of Raiders to start towards the two wounded birds. And then.. the basestar speaks in their comms.

BEWARE I LIVE!

The scenerio isn't too different from some Shoes' flown for training in the past. A fairly typical 'protect each other's ass until help arrives' kind of thing the instructors like to use to drive home the importance of situational awareness and all that. Not always a cakewalk but she can still do it in her sleep just about. Yup… just another day in the sims, right?

"… what the frak, sir," that said when she sees the Basestar on her screen. Yup. WTF. Big time.

Shaking her head, she gets herself ready, getting into pilot-mode mentally.

[Into the Wireless] Zander says, "Shoes, Buttons. You don't need DRADIS, you've got me. I got you."

Buttons eyes have narrowed at the sight of the Basestar that's off in the distance, but that's a problem he's going to have to deal with in a moment. A lip gets bitten and he's letting his fingers fly across the console in front of him, whilst he's working on a couple options in his brain. "Let's see if we can't frak this up for you a bit." is muttered to the incoming Raider, even if it is under the Gamer's breath. And he sets that off to do its thang.

In the next moment he's switching his eyes over to a different screen, pulling up coordinates of Shoes' location and uploading a custom grid across his screen. To anyone that's played a particularly annoying board game, this grid looks muy familiar.

[Into the Wireless] Zander says, "Shoes, Buttons. I hope you've played Battlestarship before. Because I've got our Raider at E7."

Zachary suppresses the smile he gets when Zander steps up to the plate. Well, played, sir. As he releases his own controls, he's just along for the ride, as it were, if this were a dating sim, he'd only be the chaperone that Shoes and Buttons avoid to go try each other on.. err..

The single Raider is called out as it drifts towards the two, but there are no guns firing. Oh man, Zachary must have placed the game to start on the tutorial level. And off in the distance, the Sinibasestar taunts:

RUN COWARDS! RUN! RUN!

Cassie rolls her eyes, supressing the desire to sigh at the antics of not only the ECO but of the DCAG who seems more than happy to endulge Zander. "Alright. Just like in the arcades," she grunts, that kept off the coms. When she does speak it's while she's also trying to get into position, Zander's use of coordinates based off of a game she's only vaguely aware of (didn't really play it as a kid) throwing her a second.

[Into the Wireless] Cassie says, "Buttons, Shoes. Roger. Am getting into position. Firing upon the enemy contact."

Buttons is in focused mode right now. This is where he shines and this is where he critiques himself the hardest. Which is why he's only somewhat paying attention to anything besides his screens and his consoles. He doesn't want to miss anything and he sure as Hades isn't going to let the comm chatter from the Basestar shake him up.

In fact, it only amps him up more. And then he's got his fingers back on the ECM console to make some more of his magic happen.

<COMBAT> Raider passes.
<COMBAT> Zander suppresses Raider with ECM. > <successful>
<COMBAT> Zachary passes.
<COMBAT> Cassie attacks Raider with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Zachary has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

Not only is Button's call-out good, Shoes is able to get a good shot in, and the Raider is hit hard and starts to swirl around in circles to be finished off. Zachary takes out a notepad and starts making a few notes as the DCAG works on making entries and multi-tasks some of his own files to be done.

"Good shot, Shoes." he says.

The Sinibasestar does not look pleased. "WOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAARRRR!" it announces quite loudly, but does not deploy new targets yet. The current round is not over.

[Into the Wireless] Zachary says, "Good job. Finish it off, and we'll start the next level."

The video game feel to the morning's training is not really doing it for Cassie but she remains quiet. This isn't being done for her benefit but rather Zander's and she does not want to do anything or say anything that might kill the fun for him. "Alright. This is too easy…" With the Raider now actively in her sights she doesn't need Zander to call it out for her, the pilot instead easing behind the target after a little showy loop maneuver that gets her on its six in no time at all.

[Into the Wireless] Cassie says, "Buttons, Shoes. Taking a second shot at this puppy."

Buttons is all about the making with the witty banter and the quips, especially in Simulations. He's not sure if everyone else is having a ball at this the way he is but he's certainly going to be as supportive as possible. Half the job of an ECO is to back up their Pilots and yes even the Viper/Predator Pilots. Everybody's on the same side in Zander's book. Might as well cheerlead 'em all.

As far as he goes, he's making with the ECMness and checking sensors to keep an eye on that basestar. He doesn't trust it. It's almost too easy.

<COMBAT> Zander suppresses Raider with ECM. > <successful>
<COMBAT> Zachary passes.
<COMBAT> Cassie attacks Raider with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Zachary has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Raider-5844l has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider has been KO'd!

TUTORIAL COMPLETE!
Achievement Unlocked: Rookie! - 5G

When the Raider is hit in the wing, it spirals out of control and explodes, disappearing in a flaming ball of wreckage. However, now that the basics are out of the way, the Sinibasestar opens it's mouth and spits out two new Raiders. This time, they are priming weapons and working on targetting the two ships.

Zachary sets aside his notes for a moment. "Alright, we have trouble coming, time to move us up a little to see if we can avoid that fire. You need to decide which Raider you want to suppress, Buttons." The lady or the DCAG?

Oh boy. This is getting more and more surreal. Cassie really feels like she's living in one of the game consoles in the rec room right now. A quick glance is given towards the Raptor while she shakes her head, that most likely going unseen by the others. She taps a finger on the flight control as she considers her next move.

[Into the Wireless] Cassie says, "Buttons, Shoes. Alright, buddy. Good job directing me to the first target. Now you'll need to keep an eye on whatever else the Major sadistically throws at us and keep tabs on their location as well mine."

[Into the Wireless] Zander says, "Shoes, Buttons. Don't worry about a thing. Saving the Princess happens to be my specialty."

Whether his words are just to make everything clear or just to keep the banter going, it doesn't matter. Zander's eyes are practically glossed over as he's watching both of his monitors and his consoles all at the same time. Suppression of the ECM style is sent for the Raider that's on course for Shoes.

"I'm always sacrifice my Knight to protect my Queen. It's just the way I work." This is said to the CAG, as if trying to explain his ECM protection choices. "Besides, our best bet at surviving this is if she does." His eyes skim his grid and he's back on the comm.

<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Zachary with KEW - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Zander suppresses Raider3 with ECM. > <successful>
<COMBAT> Zachary passes.
<COMBAT> Cassie attacks Raider2 with KEW and MISSES!

Zachary doesn't say anything, just takes a note as he leads the Raptor onto defensive manuveurs as the Raptor shudders from being hit and the CAG checks the caution panel. "Armor hit, nothing major!" he calls back to the ECO as he considers. No damage to the Raiders. Shit.

[Into the Wireless] There's a sigh and a grunt following that, Cassie's frustration at that singluar hit given voice. "This is going to suck," she grumps, forgetting her coms are on. "Damnit. Buttons, Shoes. Get me where I need to be, buddy," she implores, her voice hitching a little. This is a sim, sure, but hey. She's getting a bit worried. What'll happen if they fail this?

Zander doesn't like being hit. It pisses him off. Even in Sims. "That's not happening again." is muttered to himself, hoping that his pilot amps up the evasive action. "Time to play a little Mix and Match." Zander's fingers move to switch up things, bringing some missiles into play on his own accord. Maybe he should've checked with the CAG but this is war. He'll run laps later or something. Fire.

[Into the Wireless] Zander says, "Shoes, Buttons. I'll do yours, if you do mine. B9."

This is not something she'll be writing home about as this is not something she's exactly proud of. Not that they're not doing well because they are but dammit, she just does not want to admit that she's playing a video game while in the sims. Hopefully this is something that'll be kept between the three of them and not leaked out to the other pilots as Cassie's just not sure how they'll react to this. Swinging to the port side, she retargets, quiet now as she focuses.

<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Zachary with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Zachary with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Zander attacks Raider3 with Missile Ap - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Light wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Zachary passes.
<COMBAT> Cassie attacks Raider2 with KEW - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider2 - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider2 - Light wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> Zachary has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider3 has been KO'd!

The missile streaks out from the Raptor and slams into the Raider and it explodes violently, leaving behind a token of some kind. Go get the token! Zachary works the Raptor through the shots, using his one engine to dodge out of the firefight and holding his breath as they do so.

Cassie's blasts tear through her Raider, and the body of the ship disentegrates, the wings seperating from the body as it collapses in on itself.

WAVE ONE COMPLETE

Sinibasestar ROARS his disapproval at the pilot and ECO. "BEWARE COWARDS! I LIVE! WOOOOOOOOAR!" And this time, the ship it spits out is a Heavier version of a Raider that comes targetting in with missiles. Oh noes!

Shoes: 2000 points
Zander: 1000 points

Zander is whirling from one screen to the next the moment they take out the other incomings. "Frak." is muttered under his breath, but he doesn't seem to miss a beat as he's working his magic across the console and switching weapons and what not again. "Gonna' have to run a Play Action on this one." Zander's talking to himself, as he needs to in order to function in combat situations. And then he's switching to comms while getting his SUPPRESS on.

[Into the Wireless] Zander says, "Shoes, Buttons. Our problems just got Upgraded. But don't you worry. I'm all over this thing. You just light him up. He's at D12. With a bumper sticker that says: Shoot Me I Hate Humans."

[Into the Wireless] Zachary says, "Sim Flight, Buzzkill. It only gets better from here. You're both doing great."

Nice way to up the ante, Buzzkill. Just couldn't keep things the easy cakewalk it was before, could you? With a laugh Cassie watches the view outside of her canopy, her expression incredulous. She flies towards the closest Heavy, her eyes held to her readout. No DRADIS but she still has her crosshairs which aids her in getting off her shot.

[Into the Wireless] Cassie says, "Flight, Shoes. Enemy engaged and opening fire. Any ETA on when the calvary will get the frak over here?"

<COMBAT> Heavy Raider takes careful aim at Cassie.
<COMBAT> Zander suppresses Heavy Raider with ECM. > <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Zachary passes.
<COMBAT> Cassie attacks Heavy Raider with KEW - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).

[Into the Wireless] Zachary says nothing, just presses a button on his recorder. And a simulated voice of Sinibasestar intones. "I HUNGER. RUN COWARDS. WOOOOOOOOAR!"

"Uh… nope, don't think so, mother frakker," Cassie hisses, her smile growing cooler, the amusement that has been in what smile she has had off and on now bordering on outright evil. She's careful, not one to succumb to the urge to be wreckless even though this is pretend, the Viper jock turning her fighter up onto its left side in unison with firing.

[Into the Wireless] Cassie says, "Sim Flight, Shoes. Ten minutes is a long time. Let's hope the shit doesn't hit the fan before then."

"… Oh no you didn't. Oh nooooo you didn't." Zander's got his sights set on the Heavy Raider that's launching missiles at Shoes and that's not going to stand. He's decided that ECM is no longer a good way to go on this one and is more worried about putting this thing down for good at this mome—

"Frak. No. Stay on it, Buttons. Keep her safe. This is not That Moment. Not yet." Zander talks himself down and out of weapons switching, aiming to suppress this damn Raider's attacks again, while getting back to the comms to pay attention.

His hands are shaking for the first time as he's not really sure if he's making the right decision. Second Guessing is not good for the Soul.

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Viper-6320v - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-6320v - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Zander suppresses Heavy Raider with ECM. > <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Zachary passes.
<COMBAT> Cassie attacks Heavy Raider with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Zachary has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Viper-6320v has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Cassie has been KO'd!

The missile slams into the side of the Viper and it is torn apart, blowing into fragments.

On the screen, it flashes:

MISSION FAILED!

Mission Objectives:
Destory Tutorial - COMPLETE
Survive Two or More Waves - COMPLETE
Protect Wingman - FAIL
Survive Until Ex-Fil - FAIL
Destroy Sinibasestar - FAIL

Cassie does not get an extra life as Zachary stops the simulation with Sinibasestar laughing sadistically as he eats the Viper and pilot. "BEWARE I HUNGER!"

And Zachary just shakes his head in amusement as he powers down the simulator. "It was good practice at least."

"I regret to inform you that your daughter is dead because she was stupid," Cassie quips quietly, back to being amused. "Well, we didn't do too bad at first." The canopy is slid open and she hops out, the simulator powered down after she gives herself a chance to get some fresh air. "You didn't do bad at all, Buttons. That totally was not your fault, alright? No kicking yourself in the ass for that."

[Into the Wireless] Zachary says, "Sim-Flight Buzzkill, I regret to inform you that Shoes was eaten by a giant basestar with a mouth. I believe she willed all of her glossy shoes to Milkshake."

"…"

Zander doesn't move. He can't move. He just let his Wingman get killed because he made a stupid decision. If this were real, she'd be dead and it'd be all his fault. His hands continue to rest on the console, but they are shaking a bit at this moment, because he's not sure he made the right choices. He doesn't say anything to the CAG's statement and just stares at the Screen and the Sinibasestar. Which, at this point, is just mocking him.

"…"

Cassie's words break through a little bit but he can't get that laughing Sinibasestar out of his head. Probably because he won't switch off the Sim and climb out. He just… keeps staring at it. "No. I was off. It had to be me." And then he's throwing his gaze down to the ECM console and he's backscrolling through combat info. "My numbers were off. They had to be off. That's… I'm sorry." And now he's grabbing at the nearest anything to start scribbling on his hand the figures that he figures were wrong. He's not getting out of this Simulator until he figures out what he did wrong.

Zachary does not look pleased as he looks towards Zander after he swivels the seat around. Oh shit. He knows that look. All too well. Passing out of his seat, he makes his way over towards Zander and frowns. "I think you're taking this too hard. It was a sim. It's supposed to be a learning experience. Don't take it personal. I want you to take a few days off. There's a mission to Picon. Centerfold is the pilot, she doesn't have an ECO yet. I want you to go. Find Sister Geni, she'll brief you and what will be going on. Alright?"

"That was fun, Zander. Don't sweat it! It's just like a video game, right? We're all alive even though the big GAME OVER flashed on the screen." Cassie's looking between the two men, her nose wrinkled in poised sympathy. Poor Z. He's really taking this whole thing entirely too, too hard.

"And if it wasn't a Sim? You'd be dead. Dead, Shoes. Dead. We've lost enough people." Zander is starting to freak out but he's realizing he's showing it in front of people and now he's got the CAG all up on him and he calms down, holding up the pen and placing it down on the console to show that he's coming out of the Simulator. "Sorry, Sir. I just… I can beat him. I know I can." Zander takes one last look at the Face of Mocking and then turns back to the CAG. "Is this a direct order, Sir? Because I'm not sure how much help I'm gonna' be if I'm shooting like this…" He nods back at the GAME OVER.

"Yes, Gods Damned. Go see Sister Geni." Zachary says and frowns, as he rises up as he shuts off the screen. "You're going on the mission." It's a flat tone as the DCAG looks towards Zander.

Cassie clears her throat. "Think thisi s my cue to exit: stage left. Thanks for letting me help with the training, sir." She dips her chin to both of the gentlemen before making to hurry out of the sims room, not wanting to get caught in the middle.

"Understood, Sir. I jus—" Zander realizes that this will probably get him into more trouble so he just gives a dismissive wave at himself. "Nevermind. Reporting to Sister Geni, ASAP. Sir." He doesn't look happy at all, but he drops his head and is headed off in the direction of the exit himself. He does stop near the exit for a brief look back, "I /can/ beat him though, Sir. I know I can." And then he's off. Time to go find the Chaplain personage.

"I know you can, Buttons." Zachary says and lets out a small breath as Zander leaves, shortly after Cassie. And with them both gone, he slumps into the nearest seat, everything that had him driving so hard lost for a moment as he reaches for the coffee pot.

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