Day 18 [1924 hrs] Cough it up, Wolf September 06, 2022, 12:17:49 AM [Ens. Talia 'Shadow' Al-Ibrahim | FAB | Deck 16 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @BipSpoon [Show/Hide]For all intents and purposes, Talia was on cloud nine. All the struggles, the unfortunate misadventures and exhausting effort she'd put in over the previous days and weeks had paid off. Her qualification runs were over – she'd done it. It felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders, at least for now; on the other side of that high, new burdens awaited. She knew it, braced for it, but refused to deal with it for the time being. The AC-409 was hers to fly, and she couldn’t stop grinning.Shadow stood at the nose of her fighter; dressed in a grey maintenance coverall. The top section was tied by the sleeves around her waist, her torso clad in the light grey undershirt of a duty uniform, the sleeves rolled up to her elbows. Her hair was loose, spilling down her back and shoulders in a black curtain. Her dark eyes were drinking in every contour of the crafts hull, again. I could do this all day, her grin widened, all teeth and dimples.“Yo, Shadow,” a voice from under the craft laughed at her, breaking the moment. She was supposed to be assisting with final stress testing of the secondary power couplings, along with a laundry list of other systems, before her bird was signed off to fly. Startled, blinking rapidly, Talia fixed the man with an apologetic frown. “Sorry,” her nose scrunched up, before joining him under the belly of her ship; she didn’t need to duck or cock her head at all. “Just excited, Reeds,” she shrugged, then gestured to her head with both hands blowing up. “Heads just all over the place.” “Eh, I get it, no worries – I’d be pumped up too,” the big man nodded his shaved head, crouching between the impulse manifolds. “Just a few checks off the paperwork and she’ll be set,” he nodded to her. “We put a lot of work into her for you. Hope you remember to take care of her for us.”Talia didn’t miss the specific language used; the crews never inferred the ships belonged to the pilots – because they didn’t. We just like to think they do, Talia smirked at him. “I’m with you. No more daydreaming, promise.”“Well alright,” he nodded, “let’s get to it.”While they worked, and time passed, the rest of the bay was anything but quiet. Crews were trickling in, inspecting other fighters; engineering teams were working on finishing up last minute repairs. Nothing like the noise and commotion of deployment or recovery, but Talia had noticed a steady uptick in activity over the last few days. Everyone knows something is coming, she thought, but shook the unwelcome feeling off; they had work to do.[Three hours later, 1924 hrs]Talia clapped Reeds on the back of one enormous shoulder as they cleared the aft of the Valkyrie. “That was longer than two hours,” she grinned at him.“Couldn’t have nothing to do with you staring at her all googly-eyed, ma’am,” the tech laughed, jerking his head back to the bird. “I’ll get these to the chief,” he waved the PaDD in his hand at her, “thanks for the hand. Good hunting tomorrow, Shadow,” he nodded, leaving her there to stride off to the office areas on the other side of the bay.Talia watched him go, nodding to herself, when her eyes caught the hesitant arrival of someone else. Tilting her head, she leaned against one of the struts under the port wing of the Valkyrie and watched, folding her arms with a grin. Well, I suppose she’s here about that tour I promised. Once she was noticed, her grin faded to a subdued smile as she moved to meet the arrival half way; her hand trailed the belly of the Valkyrie while she walked. It seemed like an eternity since that night on the holodeck, where they’d tried to beat the shit out of each other. The corner of her lip curled up at the memory.“Medusa! Welcome to Wolf country,” Talia called to her, tightening the coverall sleeves around her waist. Once she got closer, she ran a hand through her dark hair to get it out of her face. “Sorry for the noise,” she gestured with her other hand around them, “things are picking up around here.”They were standing right in the middle of the bay, as loader crews came and went by – hauling munitions and equipment between the fighters, all lined up in their individual bays along the sides. Talia made sure to keep an eye out so they didn’t get in the way, but jerked her head back the way she came anyway. “C’mon, we can catch up while you look at mine to start,” she grinned, turning to let Valyn fall into step with her. “Good to see you,” she nodded to her guest, dropping the volume of her voice once they moved away from the noise. "You are here to see the fighters, right," she asked with a laugh, just to make sure.