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Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae


It had been a hard day's work for Lillee, but it was work that today, she embraced. She hadn't been shot at, punched or required to pull off some suicidal flying even once. Given how things had gone since the Theurgy had left Aldea, Lillee was happy to call that a win, even if she was absolutely exhausted and filthy. There would be many more days of hard work before the Theurgy's shuttles were all operational once more, never mind specialist craft like the Apache and the Sabine, but it was a good start.

After a luxurious and thorough shower, Lillee put on a fresh uniform and did what came naturally: she went down to the bar to get a drink. Lillee was half tempted to call someone; Anh-Le, Donna, Victor, perhaps even Mickayla or Cameron. Lillee had found friends onboard the ship since being awoken, and she had come to treasure them, especially after losing one, Alessia, during the recent fighting. Nevertheless, just for tonight, Lillee didn't feel like calling anyone. She just wanted to go down to the lounge, drink and let the night proceed as it may.

Still, after downing her first drink (synthehol only, Starfleet regs being what they were for a pilot on active rotation) she was savy enough to respect when the universe was sending her a message. Sitting alone at the bar, the lounge thriving, Lillee nevertheless spotted a familiar face as he entered the lounge, and after a moment's thought, made a decision.

"Chief!" she called out, waving with a warm smile. As Victor approached, she gestured for him to sit down. "It's good to see you. I...what is this?" Perplexed, Lillee gestured at his collar, where a shiny gold pip had replaced the chief's rank insignia. "Um...congratulations?" she said with bemusement, her tone uncertain.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #1
CPO Victor vanVinter | Below Decks Lounge | deck 28 | USS Theurgy | attn: @Griff

Victor had come in intending to get a meal after his shift, the weary mechanic needing the relaxation and food. He liked the view afforded by the lounge and hadn't meant to meet up with anyone. It had been a long day, and Victor needed time to relax after he'd ended the day with yet more flight training. So Victor was again in the cadet-style jumpsuit instead of his usual Operations Gold. he waves politely to the bartender and speaks up in his normal cheerful tone of voice. "Jambalaya, with catfish if you please, and a side of collard greens and cornbread, with a lemonade." So it was the lounge instead of his quarters; he wanted to see more people here. With so many people filtering in and out, Victor needed to feel grounded again.

Hearing the familiar voice, Victor waves and moves over to the stool next to Lillee, and his brow rises in a bit of surprise. Looking down, he notices part of something stuck to his insignia. Victor pries at his rank insignia until he dislodges the piece of metal with adhesive on it.  Victor flicks the scrap far away into the lounge and grins. "No, not yet, still a Chief, for now anyway. However, I have started flight training. So we'll see. And the pilot they have training me, Lieutenant Suder? The woman could maybe give you a run for your money.

With that being said, Victor takes his meal and raises his glass of lemonade to Lillee. "Here's to stupid Lieutenants and excellent pilots, may one trouble us never and may the other always have our back." Victor takes a slug of his drink at that, then sighs, looking to the Romulan with a weary look.

"I owe you a damn bottle of blood wine and probably at least one Klingon pilot or defense controller. That was a goddamn mess down there. Thanks for covering us from the air. I can't believe I was the only damn pilot initially slated for that mission. I got shot twice and lost my hand again, and we lost the Lieutenant and four security officers? I'd complain to the Security chief or whoever Arisaka was under if he hadn't bought it." Victor very nearly spits at that but knew how it would look. He'd kept his voice low, but there was a notable edge to his voice. Taking a moment to eat some of his meal, Victor savors the taste of it and then plays with the spoon with her new cybernetic hand. He did need to thank the surgeon that installed it for him.

"So, on a different note, Enyd, my ex-Fiancee, is on board. Found that out by walking in on her in the middle of a holodeck program. It went ok. We slew zombies together and then had a chat." There was a smile on Victor's face, almost mischievous, but he appeared to light up, having mentioned all of that. Looking at his long-time friend, he chuckles a little. Those few words on that topic held a whole conversation from how he moved and sat, the smile on his face that seemed almost to glow just before he spoons more jambalaya into his twisted mouth.

"Anyway, sorry, hungry, those are the high points of the what, three days I've been awake? What about, you Lillee? I'm surprised you're still wearing red and not a Lieutenant yourself. Why in the hell aren't you flying something with more teeth?" The way he spoke, he was honestly curious. And he'd assumed that she had a damn good reason for not being a fighter pilot right now. Being on the Theurgy was damn near a death mark right now, so it wasn't fear of never seeing her kids again. He knew Lillee, and it wasn't that stopping her. Or he had known her. And he knew that she'd never back down from a challenge and certainly hadn't lost her piloting edge.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #2
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae


Lillee remembered well how Victor liked to ramble, and with some amusement, she simply sat back and listened with a smile. She really had missed the brash mechanic. She was bemused to hear that his ex-fiance was onboard, although Lillee didn't recognise the name. Thank the Elements that it wasn't someone Lillee had bedded, that would've been extremely awkward. When Victor asked that question with his typical bluntness, Lillee was taken aback for a moment.

"I forgot how direct you could be," Lillee said, her smile fading. She took a drink to buy herself time to think. She knew the reason full well, had even explained it others, but there was something different about explaining it to Victor, of all people. She felt an odd hint of shame, but Lillee banished the illogical feeling. "That...that really is a long story. Come, let's get some food and I will explain. Perhaps you will understand my reasoning. We should find a table."

On a whim Lillee got her own meal, and she led Victor to a table near one of the large viewports. Sitting down, Lillee began. "You were revived a few days ago, yes? I was revived...oh, six or seven weeks ago? Just after the ship entered the Azure Nebula. Those days were difficult, there was a lot of fighting. I flew the Stallion first, than the Allegiant for the scout mission to find the Borg, than a Valkyrie at the Apertures...all in the space of a few days. It all felt insane. Unreal."

Realising that she was neglecting her salad, Lillee began attacking it with gusto. Inbetween swallows, she continued, "The squadron took losses against the Klingons, so Commander Ravon needed pilots. It was only logical that I said yes. We had no idea what we would be launching into when the ship dropped out of warp, but when we did..." Lillee closed her eyes briefly. "You can't imagine it, Victor. The cube...this huge, enormous monster, and me, in my little Valkyrie. There was debris all around it, the Cayuga was trying to seal the aperture, there were so many Klingon wrecks, there was phaser fire and torpedoes everywhere. I nearly died half a dozen times. I wetted myself when I intercepted the tractor beam holding Goldeneye. Literally. Thank the Elements those suits are designed to handle that."

Lillee took a breath before continuing to eat. "The frightening part though...that was when the Savi ship arrived. They fired some sort of weapon, it speared right through the cube. The breaches weren't big, maybe twenty meters in diameter at the most? Still, we were ordered to take our fighters through the cube and do what damage we could from the inside. We formed up and we went in. I fired everything I had, but...I cannot describe it. I have never been more frightened in my life."

At that, Lillee closed her eyes briefly. "A drone somehow got on my fighter, on my cockpit. It tried to bash its way through to me. I could hear it bashing it on my hull, then trying to drill through my cockpit. I managed to scrape it off before it broke through, but I...I will never forget that, Victor. Not until the day I die. That thing. And the Wolves took so many losses that was a bloodbath."

Lillee took a long swig of her drink. "Truly, it is a simple calculation. A shuttle has less weapons and shields than a Valkyrie, but a shuttle does not undertake the missions that a Valkyrie does. A shuttle is not a priority target. There was a time when I would've relished flying in the Wolves, particularly with you, but now...I just want to go home to my babes."

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #3
CPO Victor vanVinter | Below Decks Lounge | deck 28 | USS Theurgy | attn: @Griff

Victor nodded his assent and moved to the table near the viewport. He chuckles around the mouthful of jambalaya, holding his organic hand up to cover his mouth. Victor was undoubtedly a direct individual. He tended not to waste time beating around the bush conversationally. And besides, he'd missed out on literal months' worth of gossip. And it starts big, hitting him like a ton of bricks. The Borg, Victor, froze, his usually animated features growing still and icy.

"You can't imagine it, Victor. The cube...this huge, enormous monster, and me, in my little Valkyrie."

Lilliee's words chill him to the bone, and he feels a wave of anger begins to rise for a moment. For a time, Victor is back on the flight deck of the Thunderchild, in the middle of the battle. The sounds of impacts against the shields and hull jarred him to the bone. Launching the few fighters, they had that day and seeing so few make it back. When Markowicz's Peregrine exploded and took his eye and the six lives with it. He misses most of the story until he hears about the Borg drone being on her cockpit and trying to hammer through. That certainly put his teeth on edge. In reply, Victor raises two fingers, indicating something.

"I was there both times the Borg entered the Sol system. The first time on Mars, none of us knew what was happening at all. Just that some massive ship swept through the defense perimeter like it wasn't even there. And again at the 'battle of Sector 001' as it's being called. I was there both times Lillee, so trust me, I understand your fear of them, of that. Both times the Enterprise saved nearly everyone. I wouldn't be here if It wasn't for that ship. So yeah, I get that fear. I do. But the thing for me is that I've faced it twice. It's a fear that won't ever leave me. But now, they replaced me on the deck Lillee, and they need pilots. and I hear that Ravon hasn't gotten his ass shot totally off yet." Victor resumes his meal by taking a long draught from his lemonade and following it with some more of the jambalaya, thinking about his following words.

"I'll tell you what I told Lieutenant Suder, 'I want to fly because it's the only way I can keep people safe.' You know how much stick time I have, and we both know how hard that is to acquire. Sure, none of that is combat time, but I can fly. I'm not going into this blind. I know that I could die the first sortie I'm on. But I've nearly died four times in my life. I'm already on borrowed time, and prophets willing, I can help buy everyone else a little bit more." His voice had a firm conviction in it, and this was something that had been growing in him for years. Lillee had known just how hard he'd pushed himself in the years before the Theurgy launched. The sleepless nights, the endless tinkering on the Mark III's to make sure they performed as well as possible. He knew and understood Lillee's fear, but he wouldn't ever judge her for that. Not negatively, at the very least.

"You're my friend Lillee, and you always will be. And I'd have loved to have flown in combat with you. But you're right, and you have two beautiful reasons to live. And I hope that you get back to Ahnlai and Monoui. They deserve to have a life with you. So I'll do my best to make sure that you get back to them. I'll always have your back." Victor smiles then, winking to Lillee, settling back into his seat to finish off his meal. "Though maybe we can get some simulator time, and you can show me some more of those Imperial tricks of yours."

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #4
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae


"Have I mentioned how much I missed you?" Lillee said with an affectionate smile. "Yes, of course, I would be happy to do some sims with you when we both have some free time. I don't miss the danger, but I do miss flying those Valkyries. They're not as maneuverable or fast as the Hawks I rode for the Empire, but those Valkyries are so smooth, even when you're in combat or flying through a sandstorm. With your skill, you will be fine, combat experience or no. The SCO is taking everyone he can get, anyway. He's not in a position to have preferences."

With that, Lillee resumed attacking her salad. "Suder...I do not recognise that one, they must be a new transfer. What are they like? Since I transferred out, I have not been keeping up with the squadron except to check casualties." Lillee paused, then grinned as she sipped her drink. "At least you didn't get Havenborn. The man is an amazing pilot and I believe he is a good man, but he has a stick up his rear end that is made of duranium, I swear to you. I could never quite understand him. He is a typical Wolf, of course. He rides in bed more often than he rides his Gryphon, I hear, just like the rest of them."

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #5
CPO Victor vanVinter | Below Decks Lounge | deck 28 | USS Theurgy | attn: @Griff

Victor sat back, enjoying his bowl of collard greens and lemonade while Lillee talked about how the Valkyrie's flew. And there was a good amount of pride welling up in his chest hearing all of that. It made him proud to know that all of the hard work of those years leading up to the launch helped. Hearing her assessment of the Valkyries certainly helped to put him at ease. It was good to know that they flew as well as they did in the simulators. "Good, we'll schedule some time and try to fly circles around each other."

Victor had noticed that Lillee didn't refer to Ravon by name, simply calling him the SCO; that small detail got an eyebrow raised, and she spoke more about he was in no position to refuse anyone. "You flew with them, but you're not calling the Commander by rank or name. Did something happen? I mean, I know the man's got a bit of a temper..." He trails off, then sips some more of his lemonade.

Victor gave his friend some time to reply then, but if it looked like she wasn't going to say anything, he'dmove the conversation on quickly so that it would be less awkward for everyone. "Suder is new, yes, came on from the Oneida. As far as my first impressions of her? She's driven, skilled, and a bit haunted. Honestly, I don't understand why she hasn't been given a few more pips and command of her ship. She was at Earth, managed to keep the Terracotta alive until the Enterprise showed up. I need to find out why she went from flying starships to Fighters. But I trust her; she's one of the best pilots I've ever seen. Shame she flies a Valravn instead of a Valkyrie."

The comment about Havenborn brought a smile to his face, his expression shifting to one of sheer amusement. "Well, you're right. The man is odd. That new deck Chief, Ensign Herrold showed me his Gryphon, and honestly, I'm surprised that he's tolerating the extra maintenance for one particular craft. To be flying that thing, he's got to have some skills, though. But I won't pass judgment until I fly with him for the first time." Victor sighs slightly, taking a long draught from his glass, finishing it off.

"We should have dessert, key lime pie? Or did you ever develop a liking to that particular human treat?" His tone of voice was light and cheerful, then happy to keep the late meal going. He clearly enjoyed meeting up with his friend when they weren't getting shot at. "Anyway, is the Theurgy everything we hoped she'd be back before the launch? You've been awake longer than I have, so I'm curious at the very least."

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #6
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae


When Victor mentioned the SCO, Lillee promptly made her best Vulcan face, resolutely taking a long sip of her drink, which was nearly empty. Her cheeks were even flushed a little green as Lillee remembered that whole mess. She hadn’t mentioned that disaster to anyone yet, too embarrassed by it all.

Please just let it be, Victor, let it be, I’d hate to murder one of my best friends on this ship just after you woke up…

Fortunately for them both, Victor let the matter drop, instead diverting to Suder. She sounded decent enough, and Victor’s appraisal of her flying was no small praise. The air of mystery around the woman was certainly intriguing; Lillee made a mental note to investigate, the next time she met another Wolf. If there was one thing she missed about the squadron, it was the opportunity for juicy gossip.

Then Victor offered key lime pie, and Lillee’s demeanour darkened. She looked deeply suspicious, glaring at Victor in outrage. “Lime? Lime!?” she hissed angrily. “Don’t you know what that does to Vulcanoids? I’d be dead within minutes! I thought you were my friend, Victor vanVinter, but then you try doing that? this really an accident, or are you trying to actually kill me, hm? What, are you some agent of Starfleet Intelligence, sent to infiltrate the crew and assassinate us?”

The moment hung for a while, Lillee glaring murderously at Victor, before she finally burst out laughing. His reaction only made her laugh harder, drawing some confused looks from other people in the lounge, and it took a good while before she regained control of herself.

“Oh, the look on your face!” Lillee giggled as she waved over a bemused member of the holographic lounge staff. “Two key lime pies, please, and refills for our drinks. Oh Victor, I couldn’t resist. If it's any comfort, you aren't the first alien I've done that to. Or...well, even the tenth, if I am truthful. It's an old favourite in the Star Navy when dealing with outsiders. I've heard rumours that it genuinely has tripped up enemy spies on occasion, which is a lovely side effect."

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #7
[Lt. “Reggie” Suder | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae   @Griff 

With the Memorial ceremony weighing on her still, Reggie had lost her appetite and skipped her usual dinner window.  For everything that had happened to her in the past week, so much more had happened to the crew and, to a certain extent, she did not feel as though she had a right to be troubled by her own baggage.  She would deal with that in her own time.  But when, at 21:30 she found her stomach growling she realized she’d neglected herself and despite her lack of desire to eat, she needed to take care of that.  So, she made her way down to Below Decks, and ordered herself some needed comfort food- Pulled Pork with sweet barbecue sauce and a healthy side of macaroni and cheese. 

Reggie took her tray and turned into the room, looking for a place to sit.  At this hour there were plenty of available seats, she saw Victor sitting with a young woman with whom she was not yet acquainted.  Reggie had seen her on the deck a few times but never had the opportunity or need to introduce herself.  Time to fix that mistake.

As she crossed the room she heard them talking.  Victor talking about his training, re-iterating his rationale for wanting to fly.  Victor talking about how the Enterprise saved the day at Sector 001.  She pushed down her anger.  He had as much right to his hero worship as she did for her disdain of Jean Luc Picard and coming in hot on that topic would not make a good first impression.  The woman, either Vulcan or Romulan… no…her emotions radiated too intensely for a Vulcan.  The Romulan made comment about Havenborn.  Reggie herself hadn’t had much interaction with the pilot, but based on the comments made about him it seemed like that one enjoyed his bunk bunnies.  Reggie made a note to give him a wide berth.  Then came the outburst about limes.  She stopped in her tracks for a moment until the woman started laughing.  Yes.  Definitely a Romulan and definitely someone she wanted to get to know better.

She made her way over to the table and, at an appropriate moment spoke up.

“Excuse me, but I couldn't help but overhear you two chatting.  I’m Reggie Suder.  Might I join you?”

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #8
CPO Victor vanVinter | Below Decks Lounge | deck 28 | USS Theurgy | attn: @Griff  @P.C. Haring

Victor had expected Lillee to accept the offer of dessert fairly quickly, everyone that could eat it liked Key lime pie, and he was more than prepared to place the order for two slices of pie, and then there was Lillee's outburst about citrus fruits.

"Lime? Lime!?" she hissed angrily. "Don't you know what that does to Vulcanoids? I'd be dead within minutes! I thought you were my friend, Victor vanVinter, but then you try doing that? this really an accident, or are you trying to actually kill me, hm? What, are you some agent of Starfleet Intelligence, sent to infiltrate the crew and assassinate us?"

The implications that she was leveling his way didn't amuse him, and Victor reacted with a look more of shock at being accused of actually being Starfleet Intelligence. His emotions ranged from extreme confusion to incredulity. The look on her face actually sent fear racing down his spine, and then she laughed, and Victor couldn't help but join her in the mirth. His laughter loud and boisterous, the amusement that Lillee felt was contagious. After a moment Victor stops and is able to take a gasping breath, he shakes his head and giggles for a moment. He really was happy to have the chaotic Romulan in his life.

"You had me going for just a second, but Enyd is part Vulcan, and she handles citrus just fine. But you sold it well, I knew you flew for the Star Navy, but you sure you never got picked by the..." He was about to say more when he heard a familiar voice and lifted an eyebrow spotting Reggie next to the table. Victor doesn't respond verbally immediately. Instead, he grinned and hopped up to pull a chair out before resuming his seat.

"Regiene Suder, meet my good friend Lillee t'Jellaieu. Lillee and I met a few years back when she came to consult on the Block 5/10 upgrades on the old Mark Twos. For as nice as craft as the Gryphon was, it's kind of telling that they replaced it after less than twenty years." Victor makes a bit of a showy flourish to indicate the blonde Romulan across from him. The introduction was a bit extravagant, to be sure and might have taken some of the wind of chaos out of Lillee's sails, but he knew she'd regain that mischief rather quickly. His comment about the Gryphons held little emotion to it and a rankle of annoyance that Starfleet had scrapped them so soon at best.

Looking to the holographic waiter, Victor holds up three fingers. "Make that three slices of key lime pie for the table, please." Victor smiles and looks back at the others at the table, taking a final sip from his glass of lemonade before a waiter pops by with a refill. Victor wanted to sell up Lillee's flight experience, but he'd figured that would be a bad idea at present, so after some quick thought, he relaxes back in his chair and chuckles. After the briefest of moments, he'd figured out what to say and looked around, grinning to himself.

"By the way, Reggie, about the arm.." He smiles and pulls up his uniform sleeve, revealing that the arm was off just below the elbow. The skin leading into it looked melted because it had been. "You were fine earlier. The surgeon did a great job patching it into me when I was in stasis. Sure, waking up to it was a bit of a shock, but let's face it when your last memory before waking up with Klingons storming Sickbay is getting sucked out into the orbit of Jupiter, you adapt quickly. Besides, I've actually had this replaced once already, in the span of less than a week. So while the arm is new it feels just like my other one, where it counts at the very least." He raises a hand and wiggles his fingers at both Lillee and Reggie. The terrible pun that he'd made about touch honestly not having the least lewd sentiments along with it, the Asexual part-Bajoran completely missing the double entendre... and wait, there it was. A flush of embarrassment comes to his cheeks and his emotions. Victor blinks then and his mouth drops open a long "Uhhhhhh." Coming out for about a second or two. "That wasn't meant how it may have sounded."

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #9
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae, @P.C. Haring


Surprised by the interruption, and bemused by Victor's flourish, Lillee smiled amicably at Reggie. She was (predictably) attractive, and much like most Tac CONN pilots, clearly as vivacious as they came. Lillee recognised the light in the other woman's eyes in a heartbeat. Fighter pilots were a unique breed; instantly recognisable, typically young and brave, always just a little bit crazy. When Victor made the double entendre, Lillee glanced at Reggie quizzically, working to conceal her mirth by keeping a straight face.

"Hm? What does it sound like?" she asked Reggie innocently, raising an angled eyebrow. "Is there some reference there that I am unaware of?"

Of course, the thought provoked memories of Lillee's own experiences with amputees, and it took more effort to continue looking nonplussed. Oh, Lillee was quite aware of what a cybernetic arm (or even a leg) could do in certain situations. In a flash, she recalled her own experiences long ago in the bowels of a warbird, the half-forgotten images and sensations that Centurion Lloahl had provoked one long night before battle. Lillee had enjoyed better lovers of other genders, both before and after, but she had to give the wily cripple his due. He had known how to work magic with those prosthetics.

Lillee's mood darkened slightly in that instant, remembering that Lhoal was dead, had indeed been dead for many years. At least he was remembered well...

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #10
[Lt. “Reggie” Suder | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae  @Griff

Interpreting Victors introduction as an invitation, Reggie set her tray down and slid into her seat across from Lillee and next to Victor.

“Lovely to meet you Lillee.  Thanks for letting me join you.  I hope I’m not intruding.”

It became quickly obvious that she was not intruding on the two and she tucked into her dinner as Victor finished his introduction, and ordered her desert well before she had even finished.  The sweet barbecue left a nice tang on her tongue, and the macaroni offered a rich taste providing an excellent counterbalance.  By all accounts it was far richer of a dish than she expected from a replicator and it left her wondering if something about the ship being run by an AI made the replication systems that much better.  She’d have to ask about it.

She offered a nod when Victor let her off the hook about her comments during their training about the Mark III becoming an extension of his hands.  But he didn’t stop there, instead diving into a monologue about how comfortable with he was and then…

Wait… did he just say what I think he said?  Yes.... yes he did.

Finishing the forkful of food in her mouth, she looked over to Lillee, an easy empathic read and the lighthearted mirth rolled off her.  Reggie had to stop herself from choking at Lillee’s question.

“Well,” she replied with a light tease in her voice as she daintily wiped her mouth with her napkin..  “In Victors case, it might sound a little squeaky.  He might need lube and a calibration.”

She cocked her head to the side to look at him and offered a teasing wink.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #11
CPO Victor vanVinter | Below Decks Lounge | deck 28 | USS Theurgy | attn: @Griff  @P.C. Haring

Victor had the barest of moments to stare at Lillee in confusion. and he was about to give a snappy retort to his friend when Reggie implicates that he'd need lube and a calibration. Even Victor couldn't miss that one, and he blushed a deep red as he busied himself with the pie.

"You're both awful, and I love it." A smile slowly creeps onto his face while setting his fork down gently. "But as fate would have it, this is the second hand I've gotten since I was put into stasis. Got the damn thing nearly shot off by a sniper down on Qo'nos. No calibrations or lube required...yet." He smirks, winking playfully at them both picking up his fork again, gesturing to Lillee.

"Lillee here can tell you all about it, and she was the one in our mostly pinned-down air support. And let me tell you, Tesla is not designed for that. So she did about as well as anyone could have expected." While it may have sounded like mild praise, Victor was in fact, underselling just how chaotic all of that had been, and likely would still be if the Captain hadn't been able to complete his mission. Victor squints a bit and then looks over to Reggie, curious about her thoughts on a topic.

"Let's talk ground support for a moment, if you were modifying a shuttle, say an Argo model, for instance, I'm curious how you'd do it?" The question was an odd one for sure, and would seem out of the blue, but his eye flick over to Lillee, an eyebrow lifting in her direction. "I'm curious about your thoughts as well since you were the one flying the damn thing." He chews his lip for a moment and grumbles, dearly wishing this was just a hypothetical, but that mission had shown where the Tesla was valuable and where it needed improvement.

"Bear with me here, but if you're using an Argo -Class shuttle, you're already someplace difficult or impossible to reach by direct insertion by shuttle or transporter. So getting help from the ship is next to impossible. You need to bring everything you could possibly need with you. Why have the shuttle sitting around mostly useless?" Victor almost seemed pissed by the fact of bringing the topic up, and he was, the man harboring some dark feelings towards the late Lieutenant Arisaka. But that anger was being put towards something possibly constructive.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #12
[Lt. “Reggie” Suder | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae   @Griff

Reggie continued her dinner as Victor explained his need for a second replacmement hand.  She had a bit of catching up to do as they had already ordered dessert, including a slice for her, and she still had half a plate left.  She made a note to ask Lillee about that mission.

The mood of the conversation shifted a bit, but she found herself snorting over Victor’s first comments. 

“Look,” she said.  “I’m sorry to interrupt.  I know the question about the Tesla is important and I get that.  But there’s something I’m hung up on.  Can we go back to the part where Victor here said he needed two hand jobs?”

Before anyone could respond she took another fork of her dinner and began working on it before she got herself into any more trouble.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #13
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae, @P.C. Haring


Sipping her cider as she mulled over Victor's comments about the Tesla, Lillee fought to stop herself from spurting it all over her dining companions at Reggie's joke. Covering her mouth as she giggled, she glanced at Reggie. "Oh, be nice to the poor man, we all need it every now and then. Besides, you're both Wolves now, yes? You both need at least four hand jobs a week to maintain the squadron average. The Wolves have a reputation to uphold, you see. Oh, the stories I could tell..."

And purposefully wouldn't tell, judging by the sly grin Lillee had. Instead, she changed topics, sobering slightly. "You ask what would be best for ground support, Victor? Well, maneuverability is no problem. Federation shuttles fly like a dream so long as you go no bigger than an Argo or a type-11. I would have enjoyed stronger shields down there, but I don't know how you could improve them enough to be worthwhile without a compromise elsewhere. Those shield emitters would wear out far quicker if we increased shield strength beyond the specs, and the emitters contain components that cannot be replicated. We are hardly in a position to ask for a resupply from Starfleet."

Thinking hard, Lillee bit her lip, looking over Reggie's shoulder out the viewport. "That leaves firepower. The problem is that Federation weapons are too precise. They're designed for space combat, but ground combat is different. The tactical computer systems are an issue too; they are not programmed for ground support and are inefficient for that sort of task. We would need a different weapons system...what would be ideal for that?"

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #14
CPO Victor vanVinter | Below Decks Lounge | deck 28 | USS Theurgy | attn: @Griff  @P.C. Haring

Rolled his eyes at Reggie and stuck his tongue out the woman, shaking his head just a tiny bit. "Yeah, only if you're the one offering Reggie." He winks at that comment and waves his fork at Lillee, figuring that it was ok. he didn't mind some ribbing, especially if he was able to take a few shots at the person dishing them out.  He looks thoughtful, though, and nods to Lillee after giving her words some consideration.

"Ablative armor, the Argo-class has more than enough thrust to make that work, and if you're only expecting to defend against small arms fire, then it doesn't even need to be that thick. That was in my proposal I dropped on Liam's desk the other day." Victor takes another bite of his pie then and gestures through the deck to where the Fighter bay was, referring to Ensign Liam Herrold in the process.

"Not just dispersion, but firing angles. If you could hover and cover a wide area, it would have helped out immensely. But the Argo-Class wasn't designed very well, to begin with. The mission we were just on shows the failings of that. Anyway, all of that said, we'll see if I get the nod from Liam on this project, and we'll see who we can get on it. It probably won't be a priority, though, and it isn't like we use that particular shuttle very often. And I did trash the buggy pretty severely, so that needs to be rebuilt. And I just know that will also be a low priority." Victor shrugs then and finishes off his pie. He was mostly pleased and had been relatively amused by the turn of the conversation since Lilliee had joined.

"Anyway, you what got you both flying, to begin with anyway? I grew up on a freighter, so there you go. I always wanted to fly, but I knew I didn't want to take over the Winter from my parents. So flight school instead of college, then Starfleet basic training." There we go, an excellently neutral topic that they could all go along with, something he knew that they all enjoyed. All in all, it had been fun so far, and he might have to trade jokes and banter with these two another time.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #15
[Lt. "Reggie" Suder | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae   @Griff 

Reggie winced at Lillee's response and tried her damndest to stop from spitting out her pork from laughing too hard.   This exchange was starting to get out of control and every thought that passed through her mind seemed to flop flaccid in the gutter, especially at the thought of the entire squadron getting themselves amped up before an op.  Seems like their reputation wasn't the only thing that needed to be upheld.   She hoped at least, that the men weren't all flying just to compensate for their micro....

"...torpedoes," she said out loud, cutting Victor off of his question, her mouth still filled with half chewed food.   

She finished her bite, a hand up in silent request for 'just a second', and took a swig of her drink before she spoke up in earnest.

"Arm the Tesla with micro torpedo pods from TacCONN." She explained.  "Each pod carries 56 warheads.   They're practically useless against shielded targets, but they're highly effective against lightly armored spacecraft.   IN atmosphere they'd be vicious as an anti infantry platform.   Wouldn't need to target individual people.  Just lock in geographic coordinates, fire from a distance, and let the ground explosions do their job.  Essentially you've created airborne anti infantry artillery."

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #16
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae, @P.C. Haring


At Reggie's suggestion, Lillee smiled viciously, imagining what she could've managed with such a weapon down in the First City. "I knew that I would like you. Even one of those launchers would be perfect if we could figure out a way to fit them to the Tesla. Fifty six micro-torpedoes can do a lot of work. It is designed to be fitted to a hardpoint, so it wouldn't be that hard to fit...I think? It'd be easier than configuring the Tesla to fire micro-torpedoes conventionally, yes? I don't know much about the launcher itself, not enough to judge this. Weapons aren't my area of expertise."

There was a distinct excitement in Lillee's eyes as she spoke, and she looked down at her untouched pie as if surprised that it was still there. She took her fork and began carving into it, thinking as she did. "Resources in the shuttlebays are stretched at present, but it's something. If I'd had a launcher down there, perhaps some armour, so many of the rescue team might not have died." Lillee stopped for a moment, wincing at the realisation. This was something she could've worked out herself long ago, before the Theurgy even left Aldea. She'd considered the Tesla's weapons sufficient when they clearly weren't, not for a starship on a combat mission. It was obvious in retrospect. Shipmates had died because of that oversight.

"We can talk more later,"
Lillee said after taking a bite of her pie. "I don't know if my boss would go for it. I haven't even met her yet. It is true, the Tesla needs work. We can't always hope for a Valkyrie or the Apache to be there the next time someone needs ground support." With that, Lillee glanced between Reggie and Victor. "Oh, anyway...Victor already knows my story. Some of it, anyway. As much as I like to talk about. What of you, Lieutenant?" She considered Reggie with a comfortable smile. "What insanity brought you here?"

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #17
CPO Victor vanVinter | Below Decks Lounge | deck 28 | USS Theurgy | attn: @Griff  @P.C. Haring

Rolled his eyes a little bit and smirked. "Sorta, You never did tell me why you first started flying for the empire. But I'm curious. And yes, the Tesla needs more than one magazine of eight, and I'm guessing that those weren't even loaded." He'd caught sight of the look that Lillee had, giving her the barest of smiles.

"I mean, I get it, don't go leaving ordinance like that loaded, but they really should have been put on. And that might be my fault. I did the pre-flight and didn't check. But again, no orders from Arisaka for those. Still, eight is hardly enough. Anyway, I'll keep you updated on it, and you can help if you want. But not having the torpedoes wasn't your fault. Arisaka thought he could put a hazard team together with random crewmen and do a shuttle recovery mission with only one pilot." Victor pauses, looking sheepishly to Lillee for a moment, and winces slightly. He knew that Lillee was still liable to blame herself, even though there wasn't anything she did that was technically wrong.

"Still, sorry about wrecking the buggy. I do hope that you got a good picture of it, though." Victor winked at that, still feeling a little impressed that he'd managed to ramp the buggy off of the barricade that the Klingons had put up.

He nods to Reggie, giving a slight sigh, nodding thoughtfully. "Yeah, I don't even know why they make a clip that's sized for eight. If there's one thing, the Argo-Class shuttle has its space." He pushes the plate away from himself then and looks to Reggie, wondering if she'd share the reasons she'd started flying in the first place. But he wouldn't blame her ifs he didn't want to share. It was starting to get late, and he was on the morning shift. Who knew what he'd get up to in the morning, work in the fighter bay was always exciting in one way or another.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #18
[Lt. “Reggie” Suder | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae   @Griff 

“The micro torpedo pods, mount onto hardpoints on the Valkyrie and Valravn fighters.  I’m not an engineer, but in theory all you need is a sturdy enough frame, the data lines, and some power and you’re in business,” Reggie said in response to Lillee’s question about how they mounted.

Then came the other question.  Victor had posed it earlier in the conversation and Reggie had managed to ignore it, but Lillee brought them back to it and Reggie realized that this was to be her penance for the ribbing she’d given Victor just a few moments ago.  It was a story that did not sit well with her, mostly because of the painful memories it brought up.  Victor already knew some of it, and seemed to have revered her for what had happened.  Yet despite the laurels and the adulation she received for a job well done, she had always felt a failure for that incident.  Sure she could blame Picard, and he certainly was partially responsible so far as she was concerned, but had she been better at her job, perhaps fewer people would have died.

“How does anyone get into flying,” she finally said.  “I don’t know that my story is anything new.  I fell in love with the sight of Betazed from space as a little kid and decided that  I wanted to learn to fly places.  So I went into piloting school at the Academy and helmed starships until…”

Her voice faltered, unsure of how to identify it.  So many ways… would Victor revere her as a hero again?  Would Lillee?  Could she allow that?  Could she even explain without sounding like she was bragging?  Did it even matter?

“I was at the helm of the Teracotta during the Borg incursion of 2372.  We took a hit from the cube.  Destroyed most of the helm controls, killed a lot of people…shrapnel from the damage to the bridge literally left me blind.  I…um…”

She stared off in the distance as the sounds and the sensations came back to her.

“The flagship,” she couldn’t name the ship, couldn’t name it’s commander.  Wouldn’t.  Not out loud.  “Called for a coordinated strike, but we were too close and too damaged to be of use.  The bridge was so heavily damaged that I had to switch to the manual controls… you know… the stick…  With the computer’s help, I got us to a safe distance.”

She took a sip of her drink.  

“For as horrific as that was, I learned something that day.  Learned that I appreciated the tactile interaction between pilot and ship.  That was something lost on the bridge of a starship, even a small one.  So, after I got through with medical leave and had adjusted to the ocular implants, I transferred to the Fighter corps.  After the war, went into teaching, ended up on the Oneida after…”

Again her voice trailed off, this memory fresher possibly more painful.  The death of one by her hand, more vivid, more real than the deaths of countless others by the hands of others, made all the more complicated by what her brother was…what she feared she might become.

“…ended up on the Oneida which brought me here.”

A wetness on her cheek drew her attention and she wiped away a tear.

“I’m sorry,” she said after a moment when she realized the fun, jovial mood she had entered into was likely dead…poor choice of words… because of her.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #19
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae, @P.C. Haring


Lillee listened, smiling sympathetically as Reggie related her past. It was clear that there was much that Reggie wasn't mentioning; for all her merriment and confidence, there was pain buried deep. Instinctively Lillee moved her hand atop Reggie's, squeezing it.

"It is alright," she said softly, still smiling kindly. "Few onboard this ship, particularly Wolves, walk with light hearts. You are among friends." Lillee glanced pointedly at Victor. "You are well matched, I think, as wingmates. This one has his share of pain as well. He understands as you do. He flies well too, as I recall, although he drives like a drunk Pakled. I think that you two will take care of each other out there."

With that, Lillee leaned back in her seat, glancing around the lounge as it was steadily emptying. "It is time for me to go, I think. I want to go by the gym I can go to bed. It is pointless to try to sleep now now. My roommate is Reman, and he snores horribly." She stood, stretched languidly, then looked at Reggie, briefly bowing her head respectfully. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Reggie. I would enjoy meeting you again, or flying with you." Lillee then glanced at Victor, smiling. "Take care of yourself, Victor. We still have much to catch up on. I will coordinate with you about refitting the Tesla, if it is approved. Good night."

At that, Lillee left, her gait considerably lighter than when she'd walked in.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #20
[Lt. "Reggie" Suder | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae   @Griff 


That was all she could muster in response to Lillee's comfort.   The pilot had been mistaken in her belief that Victor was assigned to her wing in the squadron, but Reggie didn't have the heart to correct her.   It wasn't that important.

Then, Lillee started to excuse herself.

No.  No no no.   This is on you, Reggie... you killed the mood and now she's leaving.  You're ruining their night.

"Please," she said, gesturing towards her as if she was reaching for her without actually making contact.  "You don't have to go if you don't want to.   I...". she hesitated again.  "I didn't mean to bring the mood to such a crashing end.   I just..."

She took in a breath, willing herself to calm down and get a grip.

"It's not easy, sometimes, you know?"

"Plus," she said, forcing her tone and demeanor to lighten back up.   "I've showed you mine, you need to show me yours.  How'd you get into flying, Lil?"  She paused.  "Can I call you Lil?"

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #21
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae, @P.C. Haring


Caught by surprise, Lillee nevertheless seemed content enough to come back to the table. She spun her chair around and straddled it, shooting Victor an enigmatic look before returning her eyes to Reggie. Lillee genuinely had wanted to go, but her curiosity about the other woman got the better of her...and well, she was right. Turnabout was fair play.

"I don't mind the nickname," Lillee said with bemusement. She mulled the word over. Lil. "Nobody has ever called me that. I...I think like it, but only if I may you Reggie in turn, yes, when we are off-duty?"

"As for my history, it is less interesting, at least to start with," she said nonchalantly. "I grew up on one of the farworlds, the outer colonies of the Empire. It is a small colony, only a couple million people. My family rose livestock, mainly. The first time I flew, I was seven years old, herding some khaffu in an old skimmer. I became addicted the moment I took the controls. My addiction never stopped, much like you two." Lillee smiled, thinking back farther than she had in a long while. "My family is descended from one of the Ship-Clans. They built and flew the generation ships that left Vulcan during the Sundering. I grew up on all sorts of stories, of grand adventure and heroics of our ancestors. I dreamed of flying warbirds, of becoming an officer, of commanding my own warbird, conquering our enemies."

Lillee's smile grew melancholy. "That ended when I travelled to ch' pardon, Romulus, to enlist. There is great prejudice against farworlders like me, and in any case, I had no qualifications or meaningful experience that merited becoming an officer. I enlisted as an uhlan instead, hoping to fly shuttles and transports at the very least. I was lucky, though. The Empire was expanding the Star Navy after we made contact with the Federation again, and after we learned of the Borg threat. Fighters were easy to build, but pilots were harder to find. They expanded selection criteria to include uhlans like myself. I worked hard, I passed the selection process, and I became a fighter pilot, flying Hawks."

Then there was just the slightest hint of mischief in Lillee's eyes. "The rest is rather benign. I flew fighters for a couple of years before transferring to fly a warbird. Then I got seduced by a Starfleet spy, became a traitor, defected to the Federation, married that spy, flew fighters for Starfleet during the war and gave birth to two beautiful babes after my husband died on Cardassia. Now I'm here with you both, saving the galaxy."

Finally Lillee raised her eyebrows at Reggie, smirking. "Does that answer your question to your satisfaction?" She even winked at Victor, unable to help teasing him. That was more than she'd ever told him by a long stretch.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #22
CPO Victor vanVinter | Below Decks Lounge | deck 28 | USS Theurgy | attn: @Griff  @P.C. Haring

Victor was plenty pleased to have heard Reggie's story, and as he already knew some of it, he sat by listening to her share it with Lillee. He did feel for her, and emotionally he'd be radiating waves of sympathy and understanding, even as he has his face buried in a glass of water. An appreciative nod is given to the woman. "Thank you kindly for sharing that Reggie, it is appreciated now, if only.."

His thoughts are interrupted when Lillee makes to leave. It was getting late, and he appreciated any help possible with the Tesla. and then Reggie came up with a nickname for Lillee, a wave of amusement coming from the scarred man. And somehow, that seemed to convince her to share the story of why she started flying. Victor's eyebrows rise in surprise as he regards the two women. This was significantly more than he'd ever gotten out of her, the waves of shock and astonishment washing out from him like a high tide against surprised beachgoers. He knew that Lillee had her secrets. He just never expected to hear them.

Looking over to Reggie, Victor shook his head and gave her a sympathetic smile. "We all have our pain. And if we let that pain control us, then 'they' have won. I prefer to stand up and keep moving forward, taking what I can from my pain and making it my own." Victor shrugs and points to his cybernetic eye.

"The fighter that exploded and took my eye away, for example. I used some of the scraps to make the rapier I use. I know that's certainly macabre as hell. But for me, it's a way of keeping that memory fresh and honored. We always remember the fallen and our pain. And I decided to make that into a weapon. In this case, literally." Victor shrugged at that, his emotions a roil of pain and conviction having shared that. And while he was reasonably confident that he'd told Lillee that he'd practiced fencing, Victor didn't think he'd shared the origin of the sword he used. Maybe it wasn't the wisest thing to share, but Victor certainly appreciated the poetry he saw in his actions.

"We all have our ways of coping with things, and I like taking an active approach. I write letters as well. Or I did, and I need to start that up again now that I've got permission to write again. Anyway, enough about that, it's getting late, and it was wonderful spending time with you both. We'll have to do this again sometime." Victor smiles then, a wave of joy washing through him. Overall he had enjoyed the meal and the conversation with Lillee and Reggie. Towards the two of them, Victor certainly felt a friendship that was easy and casual. The joy he felt was directed elsewhere entirely. And while he might not admit it, Victor had undoubtedly enjoyed the wordplay and banter with the two women. A lesser man might have blushed or shied away, but Victor could admit to himself that it had been far more than enjoyable.

Re: Day 02 [2145 hrs.] So, Some Stuff Happened...

Reply #23
[Lt. "Reggie" Suder | Below Decks Lounge | Deck 28 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Tae   @Griff 

Reggie took in a few ragged breaths as she absorbed the reassurances from Victor and Lillee.  Indeed it was very nice to be in the presence of others who could understand and not pass judgement.  It was nice to know people with whom could give as good as they got.  If only that moment hadn’t reared it’s ugly head, it might have been a perfect dinner with them.

She needed to forgive herself for that outburst, and she needed to figure out how to put her insecurities in check.  Reggie had not attended the memorial service in person, choosing instead to listen to it from the Fighter Assault Bay.  Given just how new she was to the Theurgy, it felt wrong to stand up front and center.  But that counselor had said something that had resonated with her- she was not alone.

At first she had thought it a platitude, but as she sat here listening to Victor and Lillee’s stories, she realized just how much truth there was in that Vulcan’s words.  She had also said the resources of the ship were at her disposal and, she decided, she would be making use of the counseling department as soon as scheduling would allow.

“Thank you, both,” she finally said.  “I appreciate the support more than you could know.  And no worries, Lil.   I'll keep it professional while we're on duty.”

Her impromptu companions were finishing their dinner.  Lillee had already tried to depart already.  She needed to read the room. 

Following her companions…no…her friends lead she bussed her dishes and fell into stride with them as they headed out.

As they walked, something occurred to Reggie; Lillee had served in the Imperial Navy.  She didn’t connect that she was Romulan.  For some reason, Reggie had pegged her as Vulcan, at least in part given her emotional reactions.

“You served in the Imperial Navy, Lil,” she asked as they walked.  “If you’re up for it sometime, I’d love it if you could show me some Romulan fighting techniques…”


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