ALT #348: You Never Forget Your First Time
You Never Forget Your First Time
Summary: Phin and Toby exchange stories from their pasts
Date: 20/Dec/2013
Related Logs: Nothing specific
Phin Darius Toby 
Firing Range - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
With ten different bays, the firing range can accommodate quite a few shooters with about two dozen spectators or trainees behind them. At 25 yards, the targets can be brought forward or pushed back up to the stops before the inclined plating designed to deflect rounds up. The lighting can be dimmed down to nothing for use with night vision or flashlights, also. A large sign overhead denotes the requirement of both eye and ear protection, as well as the prohibition of all ammunition except rubber or frangible. However, there are no firearms stored here. All firearms and ammunition must be checked out from the Marine Armory in the Security Hub.
AWD #348

Phin is on Duty Not Involving Flying today. Small arms training isn't as big a part of a pilot's job as it is for ground forces, but he still has to put in regular time to keep his quals up. He's doing that now, in one of the lanes, eye and ear protection on. At the moment he's got his pistol unloaded and is checking the clip. There's a target at the end of his lane, but he hasn't gotten as far as trying to shoot it.

If there was ever the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time, it would be the one callsigned "Hyper", Darius walks into the range looking to get in some practice. He glances around and seeing Phin smiles happily as he heads over the the lane next to his and grabs his own eye and ear protection. He says, "Hey Dolly, getting in a little small arms practice?"

Toby is on a similar mission to Phin it seems. In his off-duty togs and wearing his customary black gloves he files into the range with a pistol in one hand, clip and glasses in a pocket and ear defenders round his neck. The pilots are spotted, and he considers if he wants to head over or leave them to it before opting for the former and heading to the other side of Phin. Both officers get a brief nod in greeting, before he helpfully points at Phin's ear defenders for Darius, "can't here you mate."

Phin is in his duty gear, for his part, albeit in greens rather than the more usual officer blues. Or even the familiar sealing of his flight suit. "Huh?" Indeed, he can't hear the greeting all that well. But he has the general sense of voices, and movement nearby so he does turn his head. And loosen one ear cover. "Oh, hey, Hyper. Crewman Shackleton. How goes stuff?"

Darius blinks at Toby and says, "Huh? Oh…" He blushes at his own stupidity and says, "I knew that…" He quickly loads his pistol and then blinks as Phin responds. He glances back at Toby and says, "I guess he must have heard us…" He makes sure the safety's on as he says to Phin, "Pretty good, the Colonel chewed me out for my lack of… err… comms discipline…" He blushes, it's not his fault he was so excited about his first engagement and tends to WAHOO! loudly. The squadron's puppy, that's him.

Setting pistol and clip down together and sticking hs protective glasses on top of his head for now, Toby looks faintly disapointed that he won't get to tap on Phin's ear defenders to get his attention. That's always a fun trick if you haven't been spotted before hand. "Lieutenant," he offers to Phin, along with a faint upnod, then glances across to Darius, taking a moment to place his face before replying, "sure you did Ensign. Haven't forgotten that you still owe me for that chocolate bar I hope?" He thinks it's that new pilot anyway. Then back to the more familair of the pair, "so so. Managed to talk to Lieutenat Vashti, but not made much progress with anything else."

"Comms discipline?" Phin's more curious than amused. "What'd you say? Was it, like, during a mission or on CAP or something?" For now he's just shifted the ear defenders down around his neck while he takes his weapon apart and puts it back together. Though he leaves the goggles in place. They don't exactly restrict conversation. To Toby, he nods. "Can she help you out? With the…uh…" He's unsure what to call it, exactly. "…Sheperd project?"

"She's agreed to take a look at what I've got," Toby replies with a faint shrug. "No guarentees, but there's hope. She was also apparently working with Chief Rutlii a while back on some sensor changes that might help too." Sliding the clip into his pistol he squints down range a bit, but seems to be in no hurry to actually start shooting. "You guys got anything coming up?" he then asks, not having quite the same connection to the scuttlebutt as he usually does.

"Coming up?" Phin shrugs. "Not that they're telling me about yet. Patrols over Picon. They still get the odd flight of Raiders now and then. Just to frak with us, I think. Maybe the odd piece of air support to Aerilon, though it's a bitch to fly in those parts and I'm never sure how much of a dent we make. Other than that, lots of guncam footage. I think I've found a couple places where Intel might find an intact Raider, so maybe they can get salvage crews out if they like one of those spots." After checking his clip, he nods to himself and taps it back into his pistol proper. He is now locked and loaded.

"Let me guess," Toby replies with a faint grin, "all your potential raiders are in entirely inhospitable places that'll be a right arse to get to? You need a hand any of that though, let me know, got to admit to being interested in just what it is that you lot keep letting scratch your paint." He nods at the comments about Aerilon and Picon, then adds a bit of information of his own. "Ended uo down in Engineering few days back, looks like Captain West is working out a plan to go get the Hebe ships. Said he'd be after pilots for that run so you might be busy there too."

Phin shrugs. "Not sure I'd go so far as that. The CAG said they might be able to make due with big pieces, and there's no shortage of spots on Picon to look for those. I think I've identified a place that's at least worth checking, since we control the planet and it'd be less risky to send men out. If it comes to EVA work, I think checking Hera'd be worth it. Anyway, it hasn't gotten that far yet, but I'm sure they'll tap you guys once they get to sending hands out." For the last part, he nods. "If it's hauling, it'll be mainly Raptors. But they'll probably task us to patrols, in case Cylon company shows up. Fly circles around the ghost ships for awhile, pray for no rain. Err, Raiders."

"Don't like Picon," Toby confesses with a shrug and a bit of a face, "but I suppose it's better than the other options in this case. Definitely better than EVA I reckon." Not that he knows much about EVA, but he can imagine at least some of the complications. Then with regards to Hebe he flashes Phin a look, "reckon you'll get teh best of it then. He had Dr Nadir talking with him too and I heard more than I want to about the bodies they;re expecting. Assuming of course they can restart the reactors without blowing them. Not sure I want to be on the first ship they try it with I can tell you."

<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Failure.
<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Good Success.

"Why not?" Phin asks, as to Picon. About Hebe, he just nods. "I thought they'd already…never mind. More than enough work still to be done, I'm sure." Gun ready, he puts his ear protectors back on and aims. And fires. Three quick rounds. Two hit the target square center of the 'chest.' The other misses, but you can't have everything.

<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Failure.

Toby notes Phin putting his ear defenders on, and raises his own as well, taking advantage of the brief lull to fire off a burst of his own. Achieving a similar result to the pilot he flicks the safety back on again then slips the ear defenders off before he states, "spent a couple of months there after the sttacks. Group of the marines there took offense at my face or something though, it's why I ended up out here." As for Hebe, he just shurgs, having shared pretty much all he knows already.

"Nice," Phin comments after watching Toby shoot, lowering his ear protection again as he adjusts his stance. His looks curious about the deckie's comment about Picon. "Took offense at your face?" The questin's pretty mild, more a wry statement than anything else, and doesn't really demand an answer. "I've been volunteering for shifts back there when I can. My brother transferred to one of their Marine battalions, to help get the place more firm in our hands after the main invasion was done. So the troops there are maybe getting more mixed, like ours are here with the Picon folks. If you're trying to avoid someone in particular."

Toby eyes his target as well, looking faintly surprised at the placings. "Just need to repeat that next time I need to renew my certs, don't suppose they'd let me just present that sheet and be done with it. I tend to find the rifle one easier, spray and pray, seems to have kept me alive so far. Not had too many complaints from the raptor guys I've ended up gunning for either so I figure it works as a tactic." There's a nod to the comment about Phin's brother, then a faintly dry look at the mention of Picon marines ending up on Orion, "Yeah, so I've seen. Got a couple I'm keeping my eye on, but they've played nice so far at least."

<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Failure.

"Rifles're easier to aim with. Pistols are a pilot's duty weapon, though, so we can't really get away from them when they want your certs done." Phin nods, about the Marines, and puts his ear guards back in place. Time for more bullets. Bang, bang, bang. He gets in one highly respectable shot, one that hits the target but only wings it, and another miss. It's sort of a wash.

<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Great Success.

"Aim, is that what I'm supposed to be doing," is Toby's reply. While he might have been a bit serious in tone with his comment about the marines, that is anything but. Ear defenders goin gup as well he seems happy enough to shoot as Phin does, two wingers and then an almost dead centre. "I guess you're right with that whole aiming thing," he offers once his ears are once more uncovered, "that's one bastard who won't be troubling us again. Now, if only the toasters would stand still like that for us eh?"

"Centurions and Raiders are a little tougher than paper targets, unfortunately," Phin says, lowering his ear gear long enough to frown at his target. "Not bad at all, Crewman." Then, curious, he asks, "You ever fired your weapon in the field? I mean, not counting stuff like the backseat guns in a Raptor."

"Since signing up?" Toby asks, although he doesn't wait for a reply before he nods. "Yeah, ended up on a quick trip to Picon to get some scanning quipement from one of the hospitals. Couldn't load all of it and all of us into the raptor so some of us had to wait for a return trip, got buzzed by centurions while we were waiting. Raiding a shopping store as well though, wasn't firing all the way or anything." A quick glance at Phin's target and he gives a brief nod before he finishes, "before that, on Picon? Yeah, a bit, but then everyone did."

<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Failure.
<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Firearms: Success.

Phin nods, and then gets to the business of emptying his clip. He does it in pretty good standing. One miss, but a handful of shots that'd probably be fatal. Were they not aimed at a paper outline of a person. He pulls the trigger one more time, to make sure the barrel's empty, then lowers his weapon. "Never have, myself. I mean, been in combat plenty of times since War Day, but it's all aerial stuff. Real different, from what my brother tells me, and what I hear from the Marines."

Toby seems to be in no particualr hurry to empty his own clip, although he does slip his defenders up briefly while Phin does. Instead, he seems to be thinking something over, or considering something at least. Once the pilot is done he says, back in a more serious tone, "you ever find yourself in a real firefight with just a pistol Lieutenant, take my advice, put your head down and pray no one sees you. Can't say how it'll compare to your fancy dog fights and stuff, but it's.. well, it's not something you forget in a hurry." He takes a quick glance along the line, just casually, seeing who's about, then adds, "first time you hear those frakkers exploding into the wall around you, or see your mates go down pissing blood. Well, it don't ever leave you, thats all I'm saying."

There's a slight tightening to Phin's jaw at the words 'fancy dog fight.' Like he's tempted to reply very quickly to that. But he stops himself. He busies himself checking his clip, and making sure the chamber of his pistol's empty. He's familiar enough with the weapon to be able to take it apart and put it back together with practiced ease, at least. To the rest, he nods. And whatever stiffness had come into him at the former remark relaxes, a little, at the latter. He seems, at least, to appreciate the difficulty of saying it aloud. "I'm in no hurry to get into a firefight on the ground. I don't really have any illusions that drilling here'll prepare for it. Air drills certainly didn't, when it came to combat. Still got to prepare as well as I can, though."

<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Great Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Great Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Firearms: Good Success.

Toby doesn't catch that slight clenching of Phin's jaw, he misses it entirely in fact as he busies himself with fixing his ear defenders in place and emptying his own clip into the target. He focused, that's for sure, but the set of his own features might betray that that focus is not perhaps entirely on the hear and now. Whatever memories it is that he's channelling though seem to do the trick as ever round impacts in the centre section if the target, two nigh-on dead centre. Once the clip is emptied he keeps his stnace for a moment or two, then blinks once and lowers the gun once more. Setting it down, and removing his defenders he uses one hand to rub the side of his face a moment then turns back to the pilot, "bet I'll never manage that one again during a quals test. You're right though, nothing prepares you but the real thing. Didn't have the chance at all this type of thing before my first, but anything would have been better than nothing."

Phin lets out a low whistle as Toby unleashes those shots. "You should keep the target anyway. Just as a souvenir." He shrugs at the rest. "I was just out of flight school when I was assigned to the Orion," he says, as he finishes getting his pistol back in order. He looks more at that than Toby. "Figured it'd be dead out here. I mean, it was a top secret mission, but all the pilots who'd done the first cruise had done was fly circles around scientists. Suited me just fine. Then, boom, one day we get a Raptor report the colonies had been attacked. Jumped to Caprica, and they just threw us out there. I watched a lieutenant who'd shown me the ropes get blown away to nothing in, like, the first thirty seconds. He wasn't the only one. Most of the casualties were ensigns. Kind of thinned out the Rook class."

Toby may be just a dirt-eating knuckledragger, but even he can tell when to shut the frak up and listen. Stuffing his hands in his pockets he leans against the edge of the bay that separates his lane from Phin's and lets the younger man say his fill. Even after he's finished he say snothing for a while, there's nothing really to say. War is shit. Once an appropriately respectful silence has been offered up though, he recipricates. "I was eleven, no, twelve I think, yeah, twelve, guess there are something you do forget." A hand seaks out of his pocket to rub the back of his neck briefly as he pauses to choose his words carefully. Another quick glance down the other lanes, then back to Phin as he weighs up just how much to say. "The situation back then, it was complicated," he starts awkwardly, "but there was a move to do things that others didn't like and a lot of heavily armed and armoured people ended up on the streets on one side, facing an oposition that lacked equipment, training and pretty much anything else bar a common cause to beleive in. I wasn't yet thirteen, that's when.. was when a boy becomes a man on Tauron, so I didn't get a gun. There probably weren't enough, but that was the reason I was told. Had to run messages hoping I didn't get rumbled, give bad directions or information if I was stopped and spoken to, throw the occasional rock, that sort of thing. First time they openned up was after me and a couple of others had spotted an APC out alone in what we considered our streets. Thought it was our frakking birthdays or something so we started pelting it. Half bricks and such against an APC, tells you how much sense we had. Anyway, turns out it was some green-as officer in there who paniced and ordered his men to open fire. Three unarmed kids? We didn't stand a chance, only reason I came out the other side was becuase his gunners kicked up enough dirt that I managed to get to cover." Stopping rubbing his neck he lets his hand drop to his side as he remembers. "All I could do was curl up behind a wall and plug my ears to drive out the screams and the explosions. Can't tell you how long it was I stayed like that but it was dark before my lot found us."

Phin doesn't feel any need to expand on why he felt like saying all that just then. Though Toby's response seems to smooth out any remaining hackles from the 'fancy dog fight' comment. Such as they were visible in the first place. Phin's a guy who tries to keep what he's thinking and feeling pretty close to the vest, though he makes an effort to be generally polite and friendly. He listens quietly, taking that tale in. "That was the Pacification." It's not really a question. "I remember the news reports about it. Sort of. I was just a kid and Scorpia…we had our own problems, but it wasn't Colonial troops-in-the-street stuff. I never really understood why it was happening. Hell, the officers I studied under at the Academy didn't seem to agree on why it'd happened, or how they felt about it."

Toby eyes Phin warilly for a good few moments, then gives one slow nod in confirmation. "Yeah," he says, slowly and keeping his voice low, so it doesn't travel too far, "thats what the history books call it. We called it an invasion and, from where I was standing at least, it happened becuase while Tauron was one of the richest colonies in terms of both mineral wealth and agriculture, Taurons themselves were seeing none of it. We were dirt-eaters remember?" There's no accusation in that, he's just stating it for reference purposes. "Anyway, when the planetary government decided that enough was enough and that they were fed up of off-world corporations and such bleeding us dry they moved to withdraw from the colonial government so they could regulate things themselves. Only of course, it was the other colonies getting rich and they didn't want to see us start evening the balance, so they sent in the military. The rest.. well, you've seen war, I don't need to tell you and to be honest, against the fleet, we never stood a chance." He stops there, straightening a little but still leaning against the dividing wall. "Still, I bet there are other stories floating about, nothing is ever as simple as that, but that's what we were fighting for at least. It worked when we kicked Leonis and Caprica off and won our independance initally, but it was not to be repeated." For a couple of moments he's not sure where to look, then something else occurs to him and he turns back to the pilot. "You know this much, so I may as well come clean. The marines on Picon, it wasn't my face they took offence at, some of 'em were ex-11th… one of them thought he recognised my name. I," and there's his hand coming up to rub his chin this time, "I spent a fair bit of time back then, on and off, in various marine cells and holding pens, I was a known face as it were. Turns out one of the old guys remembered and things spiraled from there."

"The town I was born in was a fishing village before unification," Phin says. "Never saw that part of it, though. Off-world investors turned it into a party town. Casinos and sailing cruises in the harbors and stuff. Not that the locals could afford to have fun with any of it. There wasn't much to do except make the minimum waiting tables or dealing cards or doing whatever else entertained the tourists, unless you got into selling stims or something. There was plenty of that. Anyway." He shrugs. The bit about Marine holding cells makes him blink. He's surprised, but he doesn't react with any huge amount of shock. "So what'd they do?"

"It was minimum wage down a pit or the crimial gangs in my area," Toby replies, noding at the all too familiar sounding tale, "sorry to hear it wasn't just us. If you don't mind me saying though you seem to have made the best of it at least." Catching the blink though he nods again, "yeah. Was likely the fact I was just a kid that saved me, if I'd had any of the times I was arrested…" he frowns a little, deciding not to dwell on that for now. "Turned thirteen in one actually, became a man. Not quite how I'd envisioned it, 'specailly when I heard a couple of 'em discussing if since I was an adult now if theyw ould be allowed to shoot me." A shrug. "Now, with the benefit of hindsight they were likely just trying to put the fear of god into me, but it worked mind. I was frakking terrified." Not the easiest of admissions, but it's all sort of flowing now. Then, to the specific question asked, he stands up stright, no longer leaning on the dividing wall. "Right there and then? There was a fight, but thankfully there were plenty of people around to put a stop to it sharpish. After that? Well, word got round, marines talking to marines and such, and I found myself on an evac raptor. Captain Llywarch told me that some of the threats were credable enough that it was decided to ship me out here."

"You figured the rest of the colonies were all milk and honey?" Phin says wry. Though it's not really meant in a cutting way. He shrugs. "There were gangs in the 'Bay, too. My brother and me did some running for them when we were younger. Just kids' stuff. Look-outs, a little pick-pocketing. I got really good at cracking car doors and hot-wiring. Then, when we were fourteen, we stole a car from one of the casino parking lots. Turned out it belonged to this retired Marine colonel. He made a deal with the judge to get us sent off to temple school - a Fist, one of the Ares schools - instead of juvie. Reformed me pretty well, I guess, all things considered." It's said with some ambivalence, though he's plainly not ungrateful. "Anyway. If that hadn't happened, things probably would've just kept going the other direction. At least you got out, and if the JAG captain didn't hassle you about keeping your place in the Fleet, there can't be much the Marines can do…probably." Not that he knows much about those things.

"Only contact I had with non-Taurons was the local owners and their trusted lackies," Toby replies, his expression conceeding Phin's point readily enough, "can't say I went out of my way to get to know any off-worlders afterwards either. Never even travelled further than Antioch before all this crap started and hadn't been back there since," he tilts his head back ever so slightly, to indicate since the events of mentioned previously in the conversation. "Sounds like we ended up doing similar stuff really, although I'll confess I never got round to any pickpocketing." Looting corpses doesn't count. "Guess we both got lucky, in our own ways eh?" Another glance down the line shows no new arrivals so he continues, "wasn't in at that point, just a civie volunteer. Didn't want to end up just sat down on planet doing frak all though, hence signing on that dotted line. Told her all about it, she didn't think it mattered and so here I am. And the marines? Well, I don't reckon I'd bethe most popular face about if any of 'em decided to air everything but I think you;re right that there's sod all they can do about it." He gives another faint shrug, to indicate that he's largely going off what Rhonwyn had said before adding, in a slightly light tone, hiding fear under the tone of jest, "you ever find me in a pool of my own blood though? Look to them."

"I had quick hands," Phin says wryly. "My manual dexterity scores were frakking tops in flight school." He winces at the last comment Toby makes about the Marines. "I don't figure it'll come to that. I mean, we're all on the same side now. We kind of have to be, with the toasters."

Toby looks faintly amused at Phin's comments, and there's no doubt some serious innuendos running through his head given the faint smirk on his features. "I see," he replies, with a slight nod, then shrugs at the comment regarding the marines. "Like I said, there's a couple I'm watching, but they're playing nice so far. I figured the same as you did, and maybe it was just some form of outlet for the shock of the attacks. You know, 'can't get the toasters but we can get the traitor'. All the same though," yet another glance down the line, "just in case we're wrong, you mind not.. you know."

Phin nods. "I get it, man. No worries. I figure that kind of thing is nobody's business for yours, y'know?" It's not like he goes to any great lengths to make himself an open book to people he just met, and he seems to accept the same from others. "Anyway. I've still got some tapes to get through today, and I'm as done here as I need to be. Take it easy, Shackleton."

"And likewise," Toby states, indicating his lack of intention to go release Phin's revelations into the wider world of the ship's scuttlebutt. As the pilot indicates the desire to leave he glances down range briefly then nods once, "I should probably do more, but after that? I reckon I've used up my luck for the day and everyone'll hit the wall. Good luck with the tapes though Lieutenant, and I'll catch you round."

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