PHD 266: Flying Watch
Flying Watch
Summary: While flying CAP, Komnenos and Marissa discuss recent events on the hangar deck.
Date: PHD266
Related Logs: It Rolls Downhill

Another day, another shift for the members of Hestia's air wing. Komnenos is here, flightsuit and all, as the deck crew wheels a Raptor from its alcove into the middle of the deck. As the knuckledraggers finish their last minute prep, so does Thorn; his helmet is clasped at his side, and he quickly scribbles his signature onto a clipboard before stepping onto Fox-7's wing.

Just stepping into the hangar, slightly mussed and pink-cheeked, Marissa pauses a moment to look around for the aircrew, her utility bag swinging forward to bump into her legs as it catches up with the rest of her body after her headlong dash down here. She glances at her standard-issue timepiece and frowns, then hurries towards the Raptor being prepped for flight.
Were it not for the attire, she might've missed Komnenos entirely. "Thorn… sorry," she calls, tapping her watch. "This thing's fritzed. If I hadn't seen a deck clock…" She leaves the rest unspoken, moving to board behind him.

Thorn turns at the sound of a voice calling his name; he turns to see Marissa hustling towards the Raptor. A reproachful scowl passes over his face; it's gone a second later, though, as he turns and steps inside the craft. "I'm not th' CAG, Mouse, don't worry about it," he finally says a moment later. "Just dig up a new watch an' don't let it happen again, what?" His helmet comes on, and he locks it in place with a reassuring click before strapping himself into the ECO's chair. "Shall we?"

"Will do," Mimi replies, her shoulders relaxing in obvious relief. She slips in through the hatch and latches her helmet into place, making a few last-second adjustments to her hastily-donned suit before sliding into the pilot's seat and strapping herself down. "We shall."
She clears her throat and toggles on the commmunications array. "Raptor 419, /Hestia/ control. We are full green, requesting permission for launch via flight pod Bravo, aft."

As Marissa goes through the old clearance-for-takeoff routine, Thorn quickly goes through his own preflight checklist. Switches are flicked, systems are activated. "DRADIS, online. EW suite, standing by," he says after she finishes speaking. "Good t' go back here as soon as we get th' OK."

"Copy. Secondary DRADIS functions active on my console," Mouse acknowledges, working with the panel in front of her, fingers flicking keys one-handed with the ease of long practice. "All systems nominal. Power level's just a little iffy on port engine… getting some fluctuation. Might clear up once we're using it for something."
"/Hestia/ control, Raptor 419, you are go for launch. Have a safe flight," comes the return call.
"Beautiful day for it," Mouse returns. "Deck locks disengaged. Launching in 3… 2… 1… HAI!!!" The dialectic word comes in sequence with the initial burn from the engines, and the Raptor streaks down the deck and out into the cold, starlit darkness of space.

"I see it," Thorn calls out, calling up a systems readout on the engine. He frowns slightly. "Looks t' be within tolerance. I'll let th' Chief know when we get back." And then, the Raptor departs. Thorn is pushed back in his seat ever so slightly by the sudden inertia, but he takes it in stride, as he has hundreds of times before. He raises a brow at Marissa's exclamation, but doesn't seem to disapprove. The ECO looks forward, out through the cockpit at the sea of stars before them. "Never gets old, does it?" he says with a crooked smile.

Glancing back, Mouse catches that raised eyebrow. "Hmm? My Dad used to say that on launch… I don't know where he got it. He said it was for luck. He never had a flight that ended in a bad landing, so I guess it worked for him," she explains, turning her gaze back forward to the starfield in front of them. Whether or not this ever gets old needs no verbal answer. That hint of a smile in her voice, the clean flight commands to the Raptor, that says plenty. It also says 'no'.
The Raptor twists as she pulls into a slow turn, smiling at something on the board. "Fluctuation's stopped on that port engine. I guess it just needed to be doing something."

Thorn grunts. "Never was much a believer in luck," he replies. "But if he thought it worked, an' you think it works, who am I t' argue?" he asks in a philosophical tone. "No skin off my arse." Eyes flick back to the systems readout; he nods in satisfaction as the engine readings return to normal. "Still have it checked out when we get back," he replies. "Even if…" Thorn shakes his head, his last sentence trailing off to an inaudible mutter.

"Hmm? Something wrong?" Mouse levels the Raptor off, 'level' being a relative term in space, relative to the massive bulk of the /Hestia/ in this case. Having a good, steady point of orientation never hurts, even when you're swooping away from it to go watch the emptiness of space, hoping that it doesn't get any /less/ empty. "I know there's been some talk about sabotage for a while now." Away from the ship and the closeness of its halls, it's easier to broach a subject like that, somehow.

There's no answer right away; Thorn's eyes sweep over the DRADIS display, and he announces, "Scopes are clear." Perhaps unnecessarily. After a moment, a mirthless smile spreads across his lips. "Not that. Let's just say that ever since th' overhaul incident, Flowers and th' rest of her rock-brained knuckledraggers — the original Hestia crew, anyway — aren't high on my list of favorite people right now."

"I happened in on Flowers berating one of her techies a while back… made me glad I wasn't in /his/ shoes," Mouse says. "I didn't hear about the incident itself, but it does make me wonder how this deck's avoided trouble for as long as it has. Particularly after I read in the history files about that deck-clearing fire on the /Nerius/." The pint-sized pilot shudders expressively. "I hope they're not heading for the same thing. The writer said it was bad deck leadership that was to blame."

"It wasn't long after th' Raptor with Cass an' Beckett — th' doctor Beckett, I mean — blew up," Thorn explains. "Apparently after that, she ordered her deck crew t' 'go over' the Raptors we brought with us from Kharon. I came on shift one morning t' find my usual bird laid open like a frakkin' gutted fish." He frowns. "Because of one godsdamned freak mechanical accident, she feels it necessary t' imply that everyone who did a speck of work on those birds, from Fenix on down, was a frakkin' incompetent." Anton snorts under his breath. "An' me, too. I do a lot of my own maintenance, an' I know enough t' know damn well that Fenix's people are bloody good at their jobs… I'm no slouch, either. Hell, the report even said it was a freak accident." Another shake of his head at Marissa's last. "Won't argue with that. Oh, I'm sure they're competent enough individually… but collectively?" He makes a dismissive snort.

"Flowers strikes me as the obsessive kind. Y'know, nothing's ever good enough for her?" Mouse opines, guiding the Raptor through another turn to paint a bit of space detritus with the forward DRADIS emitter. The scan comes back as just rock. A stray meteoroid. She angles the ship to let it pass beneath them. "Could be that's part of it. I don't like it, though. Might be her technical crew'd be better off without her breathing down their necks. It's been proven that stress lowers the IQ."

Thorn's shoulders twitch in a slight shrug. "Could be. She doesn't strike me as technically incompetent, anyway. But a good leader's got t' know when t' just lay th' frak off an' let her people do their jobs." The meteoroid appears on his DRADIS, as well; he's about to announce it when he feels the Raptor shift as Marissa shifts the Raptor's course to go around it. He gives a tiny nod of satisfaction before speaking again. "Whatever it is, she's got those poor berks wound up tighter'n… well. Awfully bloody tight, anyway." He just manages to stop himself from saying something uncouth. Who says the guy doesn't have manners, eh?

"Which might be the trouble. I've never seen a perfectionist who could do that," Mouse replies, frowning at her console, which is showing all-clear, and situation normal on all systems. "I wonder if Medical knows what's going on on the deck."
She has to smile at Thorn's self-censorship. "'Preciate the restraint, Thorn, but you don't have to censor yourself around me. I've probably heard worse."

Thorn utters a short grunt of laughter. "Noted." Another one of those thin, crooked smiles cracks his lips. "Tighter'n a virgin's snatch, then, is what I was getting at." Hey, she asked. Thorn checks his readouts a moment, later, seeing the same thing Marissa is; that is, absolutely nothing. He stifles a yawn despite himself. Boring is a good thing for a CAP to be, though, he has to remind himself.

"Yup… I've heard worse," Mimi replies with a chuckle, steering the Raptor into a turn to parallel the course of /Hestia/, only faster. She looks back towards the distant bulk of the Battlestar. "Sure looks cleaner from this far away. Not so… scarred, I guess. I wonder how much action she saw before we came on board?"

As Marissa mentions the battlestar, Thorn's eyes flick to the front of the cockpit. "She reminds me of my first assignment. Solaria was an Olympia-class, too," he volunteers. "Lucky for me, too… I already knew my way around. After Kharon, place would've been a frakkin' maze otherwise." He tilts his head at her question. "Fair bit, I'd assume. They don't seem t' talk of it much, though. But then, we don't discuss a lot of what happened on Kharon with them, either."

"That's true." Mimi's silent for a long moment. "What was Solaria like? That back there is my first Battlestar, just like /Kharon/ was my first Colonial Fleet ship."

There's a pause before Thorn finally replies. "It was… nothing like Kharon, anyway. Imagine serving on a military base in space, an' you'd have some idea. There's really no other posting in th' Fleet like one. A lot less intimate than an escort carrier, t' be sure, but there's something about serving on a ship that… tremendous." He shrugs. "Not sure how t' explain it, really. You'll see what I mean, though, soon enough." Then, a flashing indicator in his console draws his attention. "That's th' checkpoint," he announces. "Bring us about, let's head back."

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