PWD #09: That's Not A Date
That's Not A Date
Summary: Ygraine gets to know Eric, and seizes the opportunity to advance her training.
Date: 27/12/2012
Related Logs: None
Ygraine Eric 
Mess Hall
The Crew Mess on the Orion is one of the larger rooms meant for occupation. The room is far longer than it is wide with the classic stainless steel tables that can be seen anywhere else on the ship, standard to all navy ships. Most of the chairs match, their padding on the seats worn down after several years. Towards the rear of the room is the food prep area and serving lines. During the time in between meals the Mess will serve midrats, or 'mid-shift rations', such as sandwiches and drinks. Coffee pots are left to run at all hours to keep people going as needed.
PWD: 9

So, it's late. Really, really late. And in peacetime on a warship, that means that there's just as likely nobody burning the midnight oil who doesn't have to be. Sure, folks are at their duty stations - but the mess is at that quite time of the day, when the only people showing their faces tend to be folks grabbing a quick m-rat and going. That is, everyone except _him_. On first blush Eric might look to be more of a groundpounder than flight officer; he's bigger than most, broader in the shoulder and long limbed. Plus, that scruffy sort of ambience that settles around him - rumpled fatigues, blouse unbuttoned to the pasted-on black muscle shirt worn beneath and general sense of 'just rolled out of bed' probably doesn't help matters. The fact that he sits alone at one of the tables, elbow braced down and palm clamped to his temple, pouring over what appears to be a series of technical binders with an extra, extra large, we're-talking-fraking-bucket-sized cup of coffee sitting next to him likely does not elevate that image any.

Ygraine has just come back from her CAP. Well, not just come back - there was a detour to the head first, because flight suits are actually kind of gross once you've been in them for hours and hours. So now with pink albeit still freckled skin and damp hair that has been plaited into her usual braids, Ygraine is refreshed and comfortable in her off-duties, and summarily mad, mad hungry. So, time to go poking in the mess to see if she can get something more substantial than the snacks in rec room. Besides, it's crowded in there, and she's kind of hoping for some quiet.

Hey, there's nothing wrong with being in a flight suit for hours and hours! It's a manly smell. It'll put hair on … your… chest. Er. Right. Whatever the case might be, Eric seems rather completly absorbed in whatever the heck it is he's reading - so much so that he doesn't really appear to take notice of your arrival until you're within what might, were this a combat situation, be considered a dangerous radius - four, perhaps five meters. There's a moment of reflexive tension, then a slight canting of his head to one side as the bright blue eyes snap to your location - focusing, then offering you a somewhat lopsided little half smile of greeting before dropping his attention again.

Ygraine does not want to smell manly. She wants to smell like strawberries - and she does at the moment, with her shower rso recent - and she will, at least until the shampoo she bought on Virgon runs out and she's forced to start using ship supply again. She beams right back. "Hey. Hipshot, right?" She looks over the sandwiches, and selects a turkey and an egg salad. Apparently she's quite hungry, and is unashamed of her healthy appetite. She snags herself a bottle of juice as well, and calm as you please, heads for Eric's table.

"That's what th'brand says." His voice is deep, with just enough of a rasp to it to make it quite unsuited for singing - though at the same time it gives it a homey, calming sort of natural undercurrent that might indicate he can lull someone to sleep while reading a report on war atrocities. Said words are coupled with another quick glance up and towards you - this time settling in as you approach with a somewhat lighter, yet likewise more focused, half smile.

Ygraine sits down without invitation. She sets to prepping her food to start devouring it, uncapping her juice and peeling the plastic back on her sandwiches. "What're you reading?" She takes a big bite of her turkey sandwich, chews, swallows. "Ygraine. Milkshake. Whichever you prefer. I'm easy." She probably doesn't mean it the way that came out. She takes another big bite of sandwich. Ygraine tucks into her food with gusto; not bad manners, but clearly a healthy appetite.

"With a name like Milkshake, I'd wonder…" Ahem. The comment begins, even getting so far as a glitter of almost mischevious amusement in the eyes; then breaks away again in a sharp shake of his head whilst he abrubtly snares the coffee cup and takes a long, long drink from it - which, coincidentally and completly unplanned, also hides his face for those few moments until, taking it down and setting it aside once more, he pins up the front of the book and turns it to you; showing an imprint of a Predator specification manual. "Lawn Dart 101. Apparantly, we need to know them."

She can't help it, she grins back at him. "I'm from a dairy farm. On Leonis. Why are you called Hipshot?" Well, that does explain it, even if it's less exciting than he might have imagined. She leans a bit forward to peer at the manual. "Two man bomber, huh? Cool way for an ECO to get a feel for being in a viper. They tap you to fly it, or are you just getting a leg up on the potential competition? Can you even fit in that cockpit?" Om nom nom, and she eyes him as she eats.

"Uh huh. I'm sure that's the only reason." Oh, look. More coffee. Maybe it's nothing. Maybe he really _does_ need the stuff like a fish needs water. It would certainly explain the size of the container. Whatever the case, though, after this second hefty sip he slides the cup slightly aside and lets the book fall open once again. "Mmn. Yeah. I dunno; orders from on high is we're going to need to get specced in it, but I've got my reservations - never was much a fan of non-specialized craft, and this one seems like it's going to have some issues in the wash. Still, won't know for sure until I get out there." The question about his callsign warrants an arch of one shoulder and another one of those vaguely sheepish smiles. "I dunno. You rip out the ITAS system from your trainer HUD _one_ time, and they never let you forget it. I mean, do people remember my scores actually went _up_? Nooo…"

Ygraine smirks, but that's her story and she's sticking to it. "Poor baby." she mock-soothes, and then peers at the manual, half standing from her seat and putting her finger on the top of the manual so she can gently tug it downward. She peers over the manual's top edge to study the text as if she could read it upside down. "I dunno. I mean, it calls for a viper pilot and an ECO. Stick jockeys aren't always the best at working in teams." She dimples at him, and then eyes the manual again. "You think between the sensor suite and the flight systems, it won't drain juice faster than a fratboy after a kegger?"

"Mmhm. I know; it's horrible, isn't it?" That, in as much a singsong sort of tone as your initial 'poor baby'; though he flicks back to the more serious undercurrent a moment later; head canting to one side ever so very slightly; but not before a fragmentary half smirk follows up with "Uh huh - tell that to the next squad assigned to escort your slow tails." Then, it's all business. Really. "That's actually part of what I'm worried about, though; most of the ECO chatter I hear is them telling the pilots to hold 'er steady. Fighterjocks, on the other hand - instinct is to keep moving, flying erratically is what keeps you alive when the fur starts flying. The other issue is performance changes - these things'll handle much differently after they've dropped their load than before. Plus, they're built for speed - not maneuverability. They can outrun a Viper which… isn't always a good thing, if you're leaving your escort behind and you're only passable in a dogfight. In that kinda situation, there's no prize for second place."

Ygraine frowns some more. "Sensor suites take time. You need to be steady, even the most senstive systems need time for processing and feedback. Predators are going to have to take practice." That's her conclusion, and she leans back to chew on her sandwich some more. "Tell me what the advantages are supposed to be?" Based of course, on his reading of the manual.

"Exactly. It's a specialized skill with specialized hardware. I _know_ what you guys do in the back of the bus needs patience and a steady track; and that's what Raptor pilots are trained to handle. Viper pilots are a different breed pushed down a different skillset. I wouldn't try 'n do a Raptor pilot's job any more than I'd expect one to be able to do mine." He tilts forwards fractionally there, looking down at the page before flicking his attention back up to your - now, apparantly, rather close - face. "Ahem. Well, they're supposed to be fast attack bombers, right? Get in fast, get out fast; sounds good in theory - but I'm wondering how they'll handle ack-ack, or interceptors. They can outrun a Viper, but they can't outfly them. They're supposed to be able to stay high enough to avoid ground defenses, but 'supposed to' and 'reality' don't usually mesh."

Ygraine finishes her turkey sandwich as she listens, likewise chugging some of her juice. Her elbows go on the table, and she rests her chin on top of her balled up hands. It's almost coquettish, like they're having a date over burgers and milkshakes. Pardon the pun. Once he's finished, she asks him matter-of-factly, "You hoping to be the pilot?"

"Truth of the matter is, I hope to never see th'inside of one of these things." Eric offers with a slight roll of a shrug - eyes flicking down over one of the fold-out diagrams before flicking his gaze back to your face. "But, y'know; hopes don't mean much. Way the top brass has been talking these things'll be just another part of our day to day training requirements so, like my dad used to say, if y'can't fight it; bite it." He doesn't necessarily pull away from you, nor does he draw nearer - rather, there's a slight adjustment of his posture to brace the heel of his hand along the line of that jaw; head tilting just so to one side. "So;" a pause - the tone given just a hint of a warning in the glimmer of amusement welling up in those eyes. "Come here often?"

She seems oddly disappointed by his answer, leaning back. "Might be, but get in your start training early and you've got a leg up on other stick jockeys who will need to spend time learning how to maneuver with an ECO on your back." She leaves it at that, and then as she reaches for her egg salad sandwich, chuckles. "Well, you know. A girl's gotta eat. Where you from anyway, Hipshot?"

There's a faint quirk of one brow at the initial expression; though Eric shakes it off fractionally as you settle back, his own shoulders squaring just a touch whilst he straightens up in the seat. "Mm. That's the idea, yeah. Need to get the academic stuff out of the way; but for the most part it's just learning the new specifications. The math doesn't change. Like I said, though, you never really get the feel of a girl until you take her out a few times." and he says that so naturally too; as if it _wasn't_ a euphamism or anything. Then again, all things considered, it could've probably been worse. Shifting his attention to object of your new focus for a moment he follows along with "Aquaria, born 'n bred - though I've not been back in a bit."

"So that's what Aquaria sounds like." she nods in satisfaction, adding, "What do you people do in all that cold? Winter was shit boring on the farm."

"Naw, mostly Aquaria sounds like 'shhhhhwhhshhh'" And yes, he does make the sound of wind - whistling the breath thorugh his teeth - for a moment. "And occasionally 'sploosh'." Both are given with a slow dawn to that lopsided smile - faint, but there - though he lets it trail off a second or two later with a shake of his head. "Depends on where you are, though, really; folks in the city, it's mostly a research lab. Folks out in the ranges? It's mostly a field research lab. Usually our days are spent travelling, trying not to get killed, and playing Pyramid on ice - which, it seems, people around here think alot more strange than it actually is."

Ygraine considers that for a moment, and how it might work. "Skates?" she guesses. "Sounds fun. I'd break my neck, but it sounds fun. I wonder if the lake down on Piraeus will freeze over when it hits deep thaw. So why'd a big guy like you go for the viper pipeline, anyway? Seduced by the glamour of it all?" Ygraine wriggles her freckled nose at him, adding, "Seriously, how do you even fit in it?"

"Crampons." Comes the reply, just as matter of factly; though he breaks it into a sideways little smile a moment later. "At least, if you do it the _right_ way. Some city folk just like playing on frozen over lakes, so they just learn t'control their slide. " The latter question brings a momentary sobering and another quick drink of coffee. "Enh. My dad was a pilot in the last war; even after he retired he flew atmos and transats locally. Grew up flyin'; really nothing else I ever wanted to do with my life." Though the expression lingers in that thoughtfulness for some heartbeats longer, he does seem to brighten at the last - rolling a shoulder back again "What can I say; I'm good at crammin' myself into small places."

Ygraine's mouth quirks SO HARD and yes, she is fighting off the urge to roll with the innuendo with a mighty effort. She can't keep the grin from face, regardless. "So you wanna?" Wanna what, exactly?

And he takes that moment to boop your nose. One might've gotten the sense that it was something he had been resisting for a bit of time now - at least since you had been wrinkling it in his general direction - a slowly building urge, like water rising behind a dam, until it finally overtakes and he simply lifts a hand to poke the tip of an index finger against the tip of said nose. Light, quick, and almost subconsciously. "Wanna what, exactly?" Ahem. See? He asked it; even as the hand lowers.

As he starts to withdraw, she leans forward and snags his finger with her hand, curling several of her own around it. "Three older brothers." she explains. "You think you're the first to try and steal my nose?" There's a chuckle as she adds, "But you are definitely not one of my brothers." She leans back after letting him go and points at the manual. "Try sim-ing her out. With an actual ECO." Because, hi. "Means you get a leg up if the others haven't thought to start and I don't think anyone has."

"Now, why in the name of Hephestus' sweaty backside would I want to steal it? It looks perfectly good just where it is." He doesn't seem too put off by the finger-snaring; glancing down to your closed fist for a moment or so before - upon release - dropping his hand to rest, palm down, on the table once again. The eyes remain, glittering lightly, for a moment or two - then drop down to the book once again with a somewhat thoughtful release of breath "Y'know, yeah. I think I'd love that - you tried out one of the things yet, yourself?"

"Two person job, and you're the first viper pilot I've seen who's even bothering with the manual." she says, only a little smug. "I know opportunity when I see it." What, did you think viper pilots were the only cocky ones?

There's another crack of a smirk - crinkling all the way to the corners of his eyes as he rolls his head back at the shoulders; then "Fair enough - sounds like a date, then."

"Naw, that's not a date." Ygraine's grin turns up in wattage as she rises up from her chair, taking the remnants of her juice and last sandwich with her. "You me, and that shadowy corner on the deck where they park the birds near the port wall? That's a date."

The initial response is a slight quirk of one brow, again; which slowly bleeds to a faint tilt of his head to one side as the bright, bright blue eyes come in to settle on you once again. Fingertips brush lightly against the table surface before he continues "Naw. That's not a date either. That's more unwindin' after a day's work."

"I'm all for a stress free work environment." chirps the Ensign. "I got slots already signed up on the sims. A couple have to go for instructing a friend, but I'll keep a few open for you." She heads over to the trash to dump her excess, but has a second thought and keeps the sandwich for nibbling.

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