AWD #171: Vipers and Visions
Vipers and Visions
Summary: Jock talk about flying zippy planes, and then something else entirely as Phin and Maia reflect on their trip through Cylon projection.
Date: 26/06/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Surreal; Afterimage
Holtz Maia Phin 
Observation Deck — Deck 3 — Battlestar Orion
The Obs Deck is one of the more quiet areas on the Orion where people can come to get away from the hustle and bustle that goes with of the rest of duty on the ship. The front of the room is a very large armored glass window to allow a dominating view of whatever is out ahead of the battlestar. Seats rise up at even levels, plush chairs and couches provided for the crew to relax in. During Condition One an armored plate is lowered down to cover the view and prevent the room from becoming a hazard and seal tight.
AWD #171

It had been a very busy few weeks for Maia, training in the sims in her off time as well as reading all she can about the Vipers. At the moment, she's standing near the window of the Obs Deck in some rare off time, hands in the pockets of her fatigues, head tilted down, looking at the planet below. On the floor beside the table surrounded by the grouped seating is a small bag of LEGOs, but it's still all zipped up. At the moment her expression as reflected in the reinforced glass is pensive, though she doesn't appear to be particularly unhappy.

Phin has been busy as well, caught up in the planning for Picon, and generally running himself semi-ragged. He's still wearing his new lieutenant's hardware heavily. He's off duty at the moment, though, dressed down and looking recently from the showers. And as if he's looking for something - or someone - as he steps onto the Observation Deck. He spots Maia, nodding a little to himself. Though he hesitates to approach her. He ends up standing in place for a second, sucking one cheek in thoughtfully. But finally he steps some toward where she's contemplating the window. "Umm…hey, Centerfold. How's…stuff?"

With her mind elsewhere and her eyes looking down below, Maia doesn't immediately see the reflection of Phin as he enters. She does withdraw on hand from her pocket and twirl a loose curl around her finger that had escaped her bun she'd been wearing when she'd removed her flight helmet. Alert Five. Not so fun, sit and wait and wait and sit. When she hears her callsign, she doesn't jump, she does lift her head though and turn around to face Phin and offer him a friendly smile. "Hiya Dolly." Contemplating the question only a moment she lifts the shoulder of the hand not on her pocket even as she unwinds the blonde hair from her finger. "Stuff's good. How's things with you?"

"Stuff is…OK." Phin does some contemplating of the question himself, and that's what he lands on. He starts to say something, hesitates, and then seems to change his mind. And takes off on something work-related. "I've been trying to study up on section tactics for atmospheric stuff. Medium and low altitude. I figure we'll be running into that regular enough on Picon, and it was a trip when Gripps and I had to dogfight at those heights during the SABER run. How's the Viper quals going?"

Holtz arrives from the Fore Corridor.

When he seems to hesitate over his own reply, Maia's smile turns encouraging. "Just Okay?" Blue eyes study him a moment, before she nods, accepting his answer at face value, though when he looks as if he was going to say something, then hesitates and then talks about work, she gives him a curious expression, almost questioning him about it before she realizes he was speaking about something else all together. Forcing her mind to go off on the work detour when she'd been expecting whatever it was he was first intending takes her just a second. "Section tactics for atmospheric… stuff?" The question is almost blank, but once more she nods encouragingly. "Yeah I can't wait until we take Picon back… Viper quals are going fine, staying steadily busy with it all of my off time."

"Combat stuff," Phin adds to clarify, with a small shrug. "I usually like flying in atmo. I like the feel of riding the gravity. But you've got to watch yourself more, especially when you're spinning around trying to tangle with Raiders. Cool." That last, about her Viper work. "You have to do a work-out with the new DCAG? She wanted to put all the Viper jocks through their paces in the sims." Though he, after a breath, trails off that line of conversation. "I was…uh…talking to Sergeant Knox the other night." He doesn't immediately explain what they were talking about.

Holtz strides onto the observation deck, moving surprisingly quietly for a man his size. He looks slightly surprised to see the other two pilots there, but their presence doesn't dissuade him; he crosses to the front of the room, leaning against the large main window as he fishes for a pack of cigarettes. "Hey, Dolls. Lieutenant Kane." When he greets Phin it's casual, comradely; but when he acknowledges Maia, it's with the Instructor Voice. "How's tricks?" There's a slight browraise from the major when Phin mentions talking to Knox, but he doesn't comment.

"Ah, I've not got to go in a real Viper yet, still have awhile until I even get that far, but the sims are getting easier. So different than handling a Raptor. Sticks a lot touchier in a Viper, that's for sure." Maia turns fully from the window, putting the view in the background, plucking her other hand out of her pocket. "Nah, I've not met with her yet. Kind of worried about it, because I'm not yet qualified to fly a Viper, so I'm not a hundred percent I'll answer everything right yet. Not till I have some real time practice, you know?" Having been in a casually relaxed position, hearing Phin speak of Knox brings a startled look to her features. "Yeah?" Next question would be.. what about? But just then Holtz walks in. "Sir," snapping a salute since she's in her fatigues.

"Storm! Hey!" Phin sounds, not nervously exactly, but that's kind of abruptly exclaimed. As if Holtz's voice startled him. "Umm, good. Tricks're good. I was just talking to Centerfold about her Viper stuff and the new DCAG and Picon and…stuff." That was a lot of babbling, and he doesn't follow up about whatever he discussed with Knox. He doesn't salute, at least.

Holtz is in his off-duties himself, but nevertheless he throws off a casual salute in return to Maia before lighting his cigarette, pulling in a large lungful of smoke before exhaling with a long breath. "Good to hear." He looks amused at his old wingman's rapid-fire speech, but for the moment his attention focuses on Maia instead, the cigarette jabbing in her direction. "Funny you should mention that, Centerfold. Been reviewin' your progress, and I think you'll be gettin' a shot at that soon." The corners of his lips twitch slightly. "Only one last thing I want to see from you first. A… final exam, as it were."

Dropping the salute and relaxing once again into more of an 'at ease' stance, Maia looks between Phin, then Holtz. "Yeah, everything's going good. You, Sir? Things good for you also?" Well while in the at ease, she pokes her hands into her back pockets again out of habit more than anything. Phin's odd behavior catches her attention again though and she studies him, head tipped to the side. "Knox?" Yeah she hasn't forgotten the direction of the conversation. Well, until now when Holtz drops that little bit on her. At first excitement lights her eyes and she mentally dances inside, a shot at flying?!…. But that's quickly drowned by a sliver of fear. "An.. exam, sir?" Oh Frak.

"Might not be able to skip Major Franklin's little test after all," Phin says wry to Maia, crossing his arms along his chest. He settles back from his momentary startled-ness casually enough. He also makes no more mention of the skinjob Marine. Save a shrug and, "It's not important" to Maia. He quiets to listen to them discuss Viper things.

"Oh, I'm survivin'. And stuff." Holtz can't help but poke a little fun at Phin, his words accompanied by a throaty chuckle. His thin smile widens ever so slightly at Maia's reaction as he continues to exhale smoke like a chimney. "Like I said, I've been reviewin' your progress. So far, you've just been usin' the preprogrammed trainin' scenarios in the computer, yeah? Well, before I sit you down in one of my Vipers, I'd like to see you in action against a live opponent. Namely, me. Maybe a couple of the other Strikes as well, if they can spare the time." His smile takes on a predatory note. "The training scenarios teach technique and doctrine, but not instinct. And computer opponents present a rather more… limited challenge, don't ya think?"

In an aside to Dolly, Maia gives him an amused look and mock whispers. "I think you may be right, Phin. Looks like it's inevitable." Truly, it does not seem to bother her too terribly if her relaxed stance is any indication, hands still in her back pockets. Taking the 'It's not important' assurance and deciphering it her own way, she nods to him, letting it go. For now. The challenge from Holtz receives an arched brow in return, but the look all over her features is anticipation. "I look forward to it, Sir. I've already had a few of the Strikes offer some help in the sims against them. I agree though, computer opponents do offer a limited challenge."

Phin lets out a "Heh" of a chuckle at Holtz's survivin' bit. "So say we all, man." He wrinkles his nose a little at the smoke, but otherwise doesn't complain. It's one of those things he's more or less acclimated to. He nods at mention of live opponents. "I'm up for it. I want to get in all the practice time I can, and it always feels different going against something other than the computer. They're programmed for advanced tactics, but they do them straight by the book, so things're still predictable if you know the scenario." Which seems to put him in mind of something. "Teatime work you over in the sims yet?" The question to Holtz.

Holtz nods. "Good, good. We'll set up an appointment in the sims sometime in the next few days, I think, other duties permittin'. If you want a warmup or two with Dolly or someone else beforehand, that'd be fine. Just make sure I get the tapes." He nods again, this time at Phin, with a snort. "Yeah, she got me a couple days after you." He shakes his head. "Our new lady CAG doesn't exactly play fair, yeah?" Though there's a twinge of… something in his voice, it's not said as a condemnation. In fact, there's a grudging hint of admiration in his tone, though he doesn't clarify any further.

"Thanks, Dolly, I'll definitely take you up on it. Gotta be less intimidating than having my first time be with Holtz as an opponent." The good humor is still there in her expression though, Maia is just taking the opportunity to gently rib Holtz. Except it doesn't work when Holtz suggests that very thing himself. The Raptor wannabe Viper laughs. "Sure thing, Sir." When the two speak of the DCAG, she just keeps her own opinions to herself, not knowing her so well yet.

"I think she's got the right idea about a few things," Phin replies with a shrug. He doesn't sound happy about it, precisely, but it's generally approving. "Anyway, she seems to know how to fly, and gods know we've had worse Foster CAGs." Very wry, and he smirks some at his own joke. It's not so much disrespectful, as ruefully aimed at the situation in general with upper command. "We can just partner for a scenario instead of going against each other, if you want to warm up before Storm tries to kill us. Teatime told me I should get more experience flying lead, anyway." Something he sounds neutral about.

Holtz snorts amusedly at Maia, giving a half-bow as if accepting a complement. "Yeah, you got that right," he mutters at Phin's reference to 'foster CAGs'. Unlike the younger pilot, Holtz doesn't bother disguising the sudden note of contempt in his voice. As for Atia herself… "She acts like she's got a two foot stick planted up her arse sometimes, but I've seen far worse in my time. Least she's got her mind on the job instead of worryin' about who's frakkin' who, yeah?" His last is accompanied by an eyeroll. He nods at what Phin says to Maia. "Probably a good idea. As much as I hate the thought of havin' to break in a new wingman, the way you're goin' I'm gonna have to give you a section sooner or later. May as well start gettin' used to the idea, yeah?"

Withdrawing her hands from her pockets, Maia reaches up and tucks the loose curl she'd been twisting around earlier back into her bun while the guys talk about the DCAG. And the stick. So she laughs, but feels the need to add. "Least we have someone who's interested in getting missions done.. instead of…" lifting a shoulder she just half shrugs, dropping her hands to her sides, but her grin flashes when Holtz says exactly what she was thinking. "So, lead Phin? Nice. Congratulations. You've earned it."

"She's hardcore brass, no doubt," Phin says of Atalanta. He sound both a little admiring and a little intimidated. "From a legacy of hardcore brass. I think I cited her grandfather once in a paper I wrote back in the Academy. On combining all the colonies' militaries post-unification. To Maia, he shrugs. "I don't know about that. They usually just pair the lower-ranked Vipers with the higher ones, so there's a slightly lower chance of a Rook getting themselves killed." He cracks a slim grin at Holtz. "We'll see. I figure they'll want you breaking in the newbs from Picon and the other taskforces. But if you ever get desperate for a wing on a mission sometime…" His grin widens. He's enjoyed his partnership with Storm, even if it's probably going to get more sporadic in the future.

Holtz's grin widens to match Phin's own, and he pounds the younger pilot on the back. Hard. "Believe me, you'll be the first one I call." He crosses his arms, puffing contemplatively as his sudden joviality subsides. "Yeah, I know about that. Military dynasties, hnh." His lip curls in slight distaste, but he shrugs it off after a moment, nodding at Phin. "Yeah, you're probably right. From what I've been told, ain't a lot of other qualified instructors in the crowd we've got left. If any at all." He shrugs again. "Anyway, I think I'm shovin' off for the night. Gonna grab some rack time while I can, yeah?" He winks at Phin and nods to Maia. "See you in the simulator, Centerfold."

"Sounds like she knows her stuff. Even more intimidating than Holtz here." Maia glances towards the man himself then and offers a crooked smile. "Can't help it. Authority figures and all that. Must just be ingrained or something." Lacing her fingers together, she looks back to Phin. "I've seen you fly Dolly, you're good. Heard about your recent mission too. Impressive." The closeness the two Viper pilots feel is apparent and it's endearing. Only when Holtz mentions leaving does Maia look back. "Sleep well, Sir and you betcha, I'll see you there. After I practice." Soft laughter follows, but she doesn't contradict it either.

Phin is jolted by Holtz's pounding, but it makes him grin and laugh. And he tries to give the man a shoulder-fist in solidarity, before he's out of range. "Later, dude," he says simply. To Maia, he shrugs. "Storm's a better gunner. Grips is, too. They're the guys you're going to want to watch, when it comes to Raider scragging. I wasn't kidding. I was just a Rook when I came aboard here. First time Storm and me flew together was Warday, over Caprica. I know I would've gotten blown away if it wasn't for him."

Holtz snorts as he moves towards the door. "Clearly I need t' work on my foreboding manner, then," he says lightly to Maia, the corners of his mouth twitching. He brushes off Phin's praise with a wave of the hand. "Yeah, well. Ain't like I was flyin' your ship for you. Scraggin' all the Raiders in the sky wouldn't've mattered a damn if you couldn't handle the stick, yeah?" A final nod goes to the other pilots as he reaches the hatch. "Night, you two." And then he's gone, the metal door clanging shut behind him.

Holtz leaves, heading toward the Fore Corridor [FC].

When Holtz leaves, Maia watches the hatch a moment, but doesn't say anything for a moment. When she does, it's to comment on something Phin had said. "Yeah, I've seen him fly. Also seen him eject when the saber latched onto him. Thought he'd been too late there when he'd ejected later, with Ceres." And now they have come full circle. Ceres. Skinjob. Knox. "So, you were saying something about Knox?" Course she remembered.

"Yeah. Thank gods Redux found him." Phin directs his eyes out to the planet below, not saying more than that for a beat. He must've heard Maia, and he did bring it up before. But now he seems reluctant to get back on that track. He takes a breath. "Yeah. Umm. We were just talking. About Redux and…lots of things, I guess. And he mentioned you and he'd…umm…" He does look back at Maia as he says this. Trailing off, not seeming to know quite how to put what he's trying to say.

Maia nods solemnly, "Yeah, I'm so glad he was found. Ceres put herself in danger for him. Repeatedly." Her lips thin briefly. "She was hurt, I was flying the Raptor that picked them up… and no one would help her. I had to order one of the deckhands to at least give her the Medkit so she could doctor herself." It had been a rough moment and the Raptorette doesn't remember it fondly. At all. At the talk of her and Knox though, she looks genuinely confused. "Hey, we never did anything tog…." Then it hits her almost like a punch. "The vision?" The question is only a whisper and she crosses her arms over her chest, holding her arms tightly with her hands. "Is that what you're talking about?"

"Keep your voice down," Phin whispers tersely. In spite of the fact that she very much is. Another deep breath, that he lets out slow. "Vision?" It's not a term he seems to care for, though he doesn't refute it. "I guess. I mean. I guess that's as good a way to describe it as anything. Look I…please don't tell anyone this. I know what people'd say if they knew somebody let a Cylon frak around inside their head but…" He purses his lips. "…before she…the night they put Redux in the brig, to ship her to Picon…before that she and I…I don't know if I'd call it a vision, exactly, but she showed me…something. Sergeant Knox said they called it projection and that you and he'd…" He makes a vague hand gesture that really doesn't approximate projecting.

It was something Maia had not allowed herself to think about forever. Not since that day when she'd been ordered not to tell anyone else about it and it wasn't even by Knox that she was told. Wrapping her arms tighter around herself she looks at him with… unbearable sadness, but it's more of a haunted look than something she, herself is feeling. "Yeah," she whispers, barely even moving her lips with the sound. "Projection… except… I was Knox or he was me or.. I don't know, but I felt what he felt for Ceres. Gods.. how he even lives or breathes without her now after what he showed me he feels for her.." With a shudder she looks away, down at the floor. "I don't know how he can even function if what he showed me was real. No one can ever, ever convince me they don't feel love because I felt what he feels. For Ceres. I'd just.. die if I loved someone like that then lost them." Lifting her eyes once more, she attempts to meet his. In fact there are tears glistening on her lashes. "I never felt love like that before. It makes me feel curiously empty to have experienced it in someone else and not have it myself. Odd huh?"

Phin's blue eyes are haunted, too, though for him the sadness is his own. Touched with regret, and an intensely searching sort of quality. "They were family…" he murmurs. More to himself than her. He clears his throat. "Are family. For me it was like…I was inside her head. Connected to everything she was feeling. About Knox. About us, the Strikes, Storm and Janitor and even me…about her husband, and Talkshow…" He swallows, blinking rapidly. It's a beat before he can meet her eyes again. "I…I've never felt anything like it, either. Sometimes something close to it with my twin brother, when we were kids. Felt it most when they'd keep us apart, weirdly. But that's the only thing I can compare it to. And even then…I could always separate myself from it. That was like…yeah. It was like a flood, and I felt all drained out after it was gone."

"How do they even function? Feeling like they do about someone and then… losing it? I don't have any siblings, I've never been particularly close to my parents. They're scientists on Caprica, but yeah.. we never really connected on any level. They're very clinical people. As for Luc? We got married cause there was a baby on the way. And then there wasn't.

"How do they even function? Feeling like they do about someone and then… losing it? I don't have any siblings, I've never been particularly close to my parents. They're scientists on Caprica, but yeah.. we never really connected on any level. They're very clinical people. As for Luc? We got married cause there was a baby on the way. And then there wasn't." Another careless shrug is given, but her hands clench into fists as she drops them to her side only to shove them in her pockets. Again. "What's it like having a brother? Does he love you?"

"I never knew my dad…" Phin murmurs. "Pretty sure my mom didn't, either, really. She'd tell me stories sometimes when I'd ask questions, when I was younger, but they'd always change. Maybe not knowing's better." When she asks about his brother. "When we were kids, only people we could count on were each other. Through whatever, in spite of whatever. I'd like to think that's what love is. Part of it, at least. I…Maia…" He doesn't seem to know quite what to say to what she tells him. Except, "That sucks. About Bigmouth and…sucks."

Scuffing the toe of her boot on the floor at an imaginary spot, Maia listens, but she lifts her gaze to meet his at something he says. "I don't know. I always at least knew who my father was, so I can't say if it's better not to know. Least there's the bonus of not having to make up explanations to yourself about why your parents don't have some sort of love or bond. Well, I can't really say that, I mean maybe they do, in their own way. Maybe that's love to them. I dunno." With a half smile that just barely reaches her eyes she nods. "Thanks, Dolly. I'm good now though, it was in flight school so long ago. I'd never even seen Luc since it happened till I met him again here. It's all.. under control now. I promise myself not to think or talk about it, and life goes on." Pausing a moment as she does mentally push it all away again, she smiles more fully now. "I'm glad you've got your brother. That's a pretty important part of your life.." Then her voice turns slightly wistful. "If you feel anything for him the way Knox feels for Ceres.. then you're definitely a lucky man."

Phin shrugs. "Never had to wonder why your dad didn't stick around. Not that I can blame him, all things considered." Another shrug, as to the 'lucky' part. "Maybe. Anyway. Look. Umm. I didn't mean to…I just…I've never felt…connected to anyone like I did when Redux…and I…I don't know. I guess I just wanted to talk about it. I still don't really know what to do with it. I should've talked to her before she…I thought there'd be time. I was awful to her when I found out she was a skinjob and I…" He swallows, closing his eyes for a beat. "…you think you can just turn it off with people. Cut them out. Like that'll make it stop hurting, or make it even when they hurt you or…but it doesn't feel like you're done. Just that you left things a mess that you might never get to clean up."

A definite case of the blind leading the blind. Maia withdraws one hand from her pocket and awkwardly touches Phins shoulder. "Course you can blame him, Phin. He's a dad, dad's stick around, it's what they do. What they're supposed to do." Though she knows that isn't what this is all about. Not really. "I understand what you're saying and … you want honesty? I think she'll be back. The Raptor was brought down over Picon, she crashed there. She got to download. I bet she's biding her time until she can come back to Orion. But you know, there's more like her without whatever makes her special so if we're ever down on Picon and you see her, just don't.. you know. Don't think it's her right away, okay?"

Phin looks at Maia's hand on his shoulder for a beat, before he reaches up to clasp his around hers. He clears his throat. "Sergeant Knox said he figures she's still alive. He talked about how she wanted to try and turn her whole line. Her model was made to be a killer. He ever tell you that? Killers and martyrs. And now he thinks she might want to do the same thing, only try and turn it back on the Cylons." This idea doesn't seem to give him much comfort. "She wanted to be…better, I think. Than what whoever the frak made the skinjobs had engineered her to be. She wanted something different. Maybe that's not up to us, though. Maybe we just…we are what we are, and we just need to embrace it."

Maia offers him a tentative smile when he reaches over too and nods somewhat hesitantly. "That's what he said to me. I hope she comes back, but I don't know about the reinforcements. It'd be weird to have more than one Ceres. I mean how would we now which was the original? And would every one of them have her memories from… before? Like being friends with you? Married to Augie? It'd be really… weird, I think." Shaking her head, she offers the negative. "No, he never really did say what model she was." Finally she withdraws her hand and gives him the most sincere smile she's worn all night. "Maybe we are just what we are, but there's nothing too terribly broken about us." Glancing towards the hatch again she motions her head towards it. "We should go see Knox together sometime, you know, just to talk about things. Right now, I better hit the head, then the pillow."

Phin grins faintly at the 'nothing too terribly broken' bit. "No more than most, I guess. Anyway. Later. I'm going to stay up here awhile." He goes to settle in a chair with a good view of the stars, with that.

"Lego's are by the table there, feel free to play. I'll get them from you later if you want." Maia turns back and smiles, but then heads out the hatch. "Sweet dreams, Phin." Calling back just before she leaves.

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