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Topic: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break (Read 334 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Nero
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CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
[ Lt. JG Logan Hale, callsign "Wraith"| Shuttle Hangar | USS Oneida] Attn: @P.C. Haring
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CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break

As the deck crew slid his Valravn into park, the lieutenant junior grade opened the cockpit dome. The transparent aluminum slid away almost silently. Logan opened his helmet and removed it. His gloved hand wiped sweat from his forehead and out of his hair. Hunter, who sat behind him, did the same. She began doing the post-flight check.
"I wonder if the Sabine came through?" asked Logan.
"There's a good chance she did," Alith answered him.
Logan nodded only once briefly. He knew that Vulcans were often quite efficient with words. Sometimes their Vulcan way was just a bit too cold and analytical. Nevertheless, Logan strongly believed that she shared his concern.

In the meantime, the deck crew rolled up the stairs and helped the pilot and his RIO to get out of the flying vehicle. Feeling solid ground under his feet again with both legs, he felt how stiff he had become. Logan took a few seconds and stretched. Though not for long, the fight had been exhausting and that tension was now slowly falling away from him.
"Have you heard anything from the Sabine?" he asked the USS Oneida crew present. But most of them just shook their heads, which Logan didn't like. He sighed heavily. Damn.

Then he turned to inspect his Valravn. In addition to the battle scars from the previous encounter with the Klingon cruisers, new scars joined them. Logan was glad of his fighter's maneuverability and that he did not encounter any other fighters in combat, because that would have been very unpleasant for him and Alith. He crouched down and checked the underside of the Valravn, as well as the nearly empty additional torpedo launchers attached. After starting the approach to the hangar bay, he had engaged the safety, disarming the last two torpedoes. Only then had he been certain that the remaining two Klingon ships would not dare do anything foolish.

"They need to be replenished," he explained to the Chief of Deck, who had joined him by now.
"Yes, but we have a little problem there. We gave you all the torpedoes we had on board for this mission. We might still get the two inner carriers full. But that's about it." The two men crawled out from under the fighter. Logan looked at the chief expectantly. "The Oneida doesn't have a fighter squadron, so it's not equipped for it. What we had was the remains of a couple of severely damaged fighters we picked up from the Paulson Nebula."
"Fuck..." the pilot breathed.
"Fuck." he then said somewhat louder. "I'll need torpedoes when we get to Qo'noS. The more the merrier."
He took a few steps around the hangar, considering what options he had left. Finally, it was Alith who nudged him toward the solution. She pointed to the wreckage of his former wingman.
"That could work. Great idea, Alith."

They walked over to the wreckage together and examined the torpedo launchers under the wings of the fighter, which had been destroyed on the top side. They quickly determined that there were still enough torpedoes to fill it up completely. They had even been quantum torpedoes. Logan was tempted to take an airborne leap, but his joy was quickly dampened when the Chief of Deck explained that the launcher platforms were warped.
"We need to load those torpedoes into my fighter," he said.
"Sure, but that's going to take time. We'll have to cut them out and if something goes wrong there... Well let's put it this way, I don't want to be here then."
"I see." Logan surveyed the man.
"Good, hurry up then. I want to be ready to go when we get to Qo'noS."
"Alright, Lieutenant."
Logan grumbled a little as he walked back to his fighter. He looked Alith in the eye.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
"Yes, I'm fine," she confirmed to him matter-of-factly.
"Good, can you spare me for a moment? I want to see how the crew of the aerowing is doing."
"Of course."
"Thanks."

Logan turned to leave and headed for the turbolift. But apparently, he didn't need to go that long way at all, because the mountain came to the Prophet. Stepping out of the lift was an attractive woman dressed in the typical Starfleet uniform, but with a white collar. Emblazoned on her collar were the insignia of a lieutenant.
"Oh, come on..." he muttered, before then assuming his posture.
"Ma'am."
  • Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 10:43:29 AM by Nero

  • P.C. Haring
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Re: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
Reply #1
[Lt. Regiene "Reggie" Suder |Turbolift en route to Shuttle Bay |  USS Oneida] attn: @Nero

The ride from Sickbay to the Shuttle Bay seemed to take far longer than it should.  So often, lifts would wisk her away from one part of a ship or station to another without so much as a pause that she had almost forgotten what it was like to be on a lift that made intermediate stops.

Until today.

Reggie's lift had stopped eight times and counting and while she normally would have been grateful for the opportunity to be in the presence of the thoughts of others, right now, she just wanted the quiet.  Only one voice mattered to her and as the distance between her and Kalil grew, it became more difficult to find him.  Had he closed his mind off to her?  That was most likely.  Maintaining their connection at distance took a lot of concentration and if he was talking with the Oneida's medical staff, it made sense.

She couldn't understand why thoughts for his well being weighed so heavily on her.  This was not the first time he'd been injured and this was far from the worst injury he'd sustained.  He had sounded good and was planning to be down in just a few minutes. 

The reason was obvious, even to her.  Tactical Conn Training Center Omega had been a shit show... a shit show for which she needed to accept some responsibility.  It was one thing to lose people on mission.  Combat casualties were an occupational hazard and she had certainly seen more than her fair share.  But to lose people in a training accident... to lose so many people in one fell swoop.

Less than a dozen survivors from a station population of just over one hundred.

And it was her fault.

Get it together, Gemini.  You did what you had to do, she reminded herself.

You hesitated.  You waited too long, she chided herself in response.

Everything had happened so fast and in just the blink of an eye it was over.

Yeah.  She needed to talk to someone.  Perhaps when she got aboard the Theurgy, or wherever she would end up, she would find someone. 

But for now, there were other concerns and she needed to push this out of her mind.  Kalil would be fine, and what had happened at Omega, could not be changed.

The lift drew to a stop and the doors opened with an announcement that she had arrived at the Shuttle bay.  Reggie took a step out of the lift, but stopped short as she almost bumped into...

He stood tall over her, easily a good fifteen to twenty centimeters taller, a scar over his eye and an external plate lining the back of his skull.  He wore the exo-suit of a Tactical CONN pilot, his name and rank stenciled on the suit's right breast.  It didn't take a telepath to know who he was, but even so sensed his conscious thoughts, confirming what she already knew.

"Logan Hale, I presume?  It's a pleasure to meet you."
  • Last Edit: June 19, 2021, 09:32:36 PM by P.C. Haring

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Re: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
Reply #2
[ Lt. JG Logan Hale, callsign "Wraith"| Shuttle Hangar | USS Oneida] Attn: @P.C. Haring
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Logan exhaled in relief when he heard a voice he had previously known only from the radio. She had been providing him with clues and information just a few minutes ago and had been aboard the aerowing he had flown alongside. Her name was Suder or Reggie if he wasn't mistaken. But that she was a lieutenant was no longer on his mind.

The pilot had been on his way to check on the aerowing crew and the breakneck pilot of the Type 9 shuttle, which perished in a brilliant explosion at the end of the battle. As far as he knew, the man was beamed aboard the aerowing at the last second and was able to survive. He knew that all aboard the shuttle were trained fighter pilots, but it was one thing to get behind the controls in a small sardine can and pilot an overpowered missile. It was quite another thing to operate aboard a ship that had to be piloted and operated by a crew of several men.

Logan was seriously concerned about the well-being of his colleague, especially since he felt painfully reminded of the loss of his little sister again at that second. Somehow, he was not comfortable with the idea of losing the next good pilot. Logan reached out to the Lieutenant and confirmed that her hunch was correct.
"I was just on my way to check on you and the Aeorwing crew. How's that Daredevil from Type-9 doing? Is he all right?"
  • Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 06:04:38 PM by Nero

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Re: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
Reply #3
[Lt. Regiene "Reggie" Suder |Turbolift corridor |Deck 11 |  USS Oneida] attn: @Nero 

Reggie sensed Hale's confusion immediately.  In the not so chance encounter she had forgotten to actually introduce herself.  That, she realized, had been a mistake on her part, especially if she wanted his help.

"My apologies," she said before he could ask about the shuttle pilot.  "Where are my manners?  I'm Lieutenant Regiene Suder, but I insist you call me 'Reggie'."  She paused to take a breath, allowing Hale his question about the pilot.  She would have to let Kalil know that a seasoned combat pilot thought so well of his skills to commend him.

"The Aerowing crew and I are doing fine.  Mostly bumps and bruises.  Ensign Trevik had a console explode in his face, but he is stable in sickbay.  As to the Type-9 pilot, that was my RIO, Kalil Daik.  He has some burns and some inhalation injuries.  He is also stable, and should be released back to duty before we arrive at Quo'nos."

She took in the Lieutenant, very easy on the eyes, even with the surgical steel wrapped around the back of his head like a Ferengi's head piece.  She fought the urge to read him beyond anything he'd inadvertently project.

"What about you?  Any the worse for wear?  That was a hell of a piece of flying yourself."

  • Nero
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Re: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
Reply #4
[ Lt. JG Logan Hale, callsign "Wraith"| Shuttle Hangar | USS Oneida] Attn: @P.C. Haring
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"That's good news," Logan acknowledged the brief status report Reggie, as she liked to be called, gave him. The young woman, Logan estimated her to be about his age, explained what the Type-9 pilot was all about, and the fighter pilot nodded appreciatively. That the pilot was Reggie's RIO, however, seemed to explain a lot. In an emergency, it was the rear intercept officer's job to get the fighter back to base. For that, of course, they had to be properly trained, and that had been noticed.

Logan still thought it was pretty reckless of Kalil Daik to climb into an underpowered and poorly armed transport shuttle in combat with as many as four Klingon Bird of Prey class ships but couldn't deny the man's skills.
"Cool. Tell him congratulations when you see him again."
Reggie asked Logan how he was doing and if he still had all his toes and fingers together, which elicited a smile from the pilot. He was sure she knew that, but if you were going to fly a fighter, have a screw loose was part of the basic qualification. Normal people with just an ounce of common sense would stay away from such infernal machines.

Logan nodded. "Thanks. Yeah, I'm fine so far. Alith, my RIO too." He turned a little and gestured over to his Valravn, where the Vulcan ensign was busy supervising the work on the fighter and the rearming. "My fighter took a bit of a beating, but by and large it's just damage to the paint. A lap through the wash should fix most of it up."
The pilot turned back to the lieutenant. "Those were some pretty damn cool ideas out there, though. Faking a ship's warp signature was pretty damn clever."

  • P.C. Haring
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Re: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
Reply #5
[Lt. Regiene "Reggie" Suder | Shuttle Hangar |Deck 11 |  USS Oneida] attn: @Nero 

Reggie smiled at the praise Logan had bestowed on Kalil.  It was not often that her RIO got to fly on his own.  Worried Logan might get the wrong impression of him, though Reggie felt a need to correct the record.

"Don't be too hard on Kalil, though.  I sent him to the shuttle bay with instructions to prep a type 9 in case we needed support.  Granted I didn't expect he'd launch, but it worked out."

She listened as he made his compliment about her thoughts to project a false warp signature on the Klingons and get them fighting each other.

"Thanks, though I can't take credit for it.  It's a tactic from the Dominion War the Federation had to employ in order to destroy Cardassian orbital weapons platforms.  They drew power from a central source that our weapons couldn't hit.  So Allied forces projected Federation signatures onto the power source and tricked the weapons platforms into attacking their own power generator.  Frankly, I'm just glad it worked.  I half expected the Klingons to see through it."

As they talked, she walked deeper into the shuttle hangar, stopping a few meters shy of the fighter Logan had used.  Even sitting powered down in the hangar, the ship looked like a wicked piece of equipment.  It's swept forward wing design gave it a bit more narrow and sleek of a profile relative to the Valkyries and it's leading forward micro torpedo launchers certainly sent the message that this spacecraft meant business and was not here to play nice. 

She'd seen it in action, of course, seen what it could do, but even if she hadn't there was something about that ship seemed to call to her.  The peregrines she had flown during the ware were ancient by comparison, but they had been her first ship, the ship where she and Kalil had cut their teeth.  The Mark II Valkyrie was a decent upgrade from the Peregrine but for some reason, they had never had the right feel to her.  Maybe because she had only flew them in peacetime- on patrols and training exercises.  She had seen very little combat in the Valkyrie as most of the time a starship had been called in to take over when they found trouble.  In fact...as she thought about it... she had only seen one real combat engagement in the Mk II, and she had one kill in that cockpit.

Only one.

The world around her flashed away and she found herself in the cockpit of that Mk II, screaming into her comms, begging, pleading with him to stand down, her finger hovering over over the trigger. 

The explosion brought her out of the memory and back to the moment at hand.  Yes.  This Valravn called to her, it wanted her to fly it.  This one might belong to Logan, but it had sisters who needed a pilot and she would oblige.

"This," she said, "is a very impressive ship.  I'm sure you'd much prefer to get out of that flight suit, but would it be too much an inconvenience if I asked you to show me around her?"

  • Nero
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Re: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
Reply #6
[ Lt. JG Logan Hale, callsign "Wraith"| Shuttle Hangar | USS Oneida] Attn: @P.C. Haring
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"So, it's already a proven tactic." Logan nodded in affirmation. "Then congratulations on a successful execution. I'm glad the Klingons didn't see through it."
They walked deeper into the hangar, stopping just short of his fighter. The deck crew's maintenance work was in full swing, and on the opposite side Logan could see the Chief of Deck carefully cutting one torpedo after another from the wreckage of his former wingman. For the moment, Logan didn't notice how Reggie's mind seemed to drift. His drifted off as well. Since there wasn't much for the pilots to do now except wait to be allowed back out, he allowed himself the moment of nostalgia. He thought about how he would now tip a beer or two with his little sister. It was then that he abruptly realized he would never have moments like this again. Logan blinked away the tears that were welling up. Somehow, he was pleased that Reggie asked him to tell her more about the fighter.

"Sure, come along." Briefly, Logan introduced Reggie to Alith and then began to tell her.
"This is the product of dozens of engineers from the Advanced Starship Design Bureau. The design was penned by James Knight. He wanted to combine the best of both worlds. The strengths of his Knight-Class Interceptor with the combat power of a Space Superiority Fighter. The result is this gem: the AC-477 Mk I Valravn."

Logan led her around the spacecraft, showing her the key points. Warp nacelles, phaser banks and micro torpedo launchers were part of the basic equipment of this machine and formed a damn good core for everything that was built around it.
"This baby can reach warp 8.2, making it the fastest fighter in the fleet. Unfortunately, there aren't many of them left and even fewer that can actually fly it."

Logan led them up the stairs. Next, he wanted to show Reggie the cockpit, his workplace. He was eager to hear her questions.

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Re: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
Reply #7
[Lt. Regiene "Reggie" Suder | Shuttle Hangar |Deck 11 |  USS Oneida] attn: @Nero 

Reggie listened intently as Logan explained the history of the fighter and showed her the key points of the design.  Of course all the basic anatomy was present, and she found herself particularly attracted to the variety of ordnance options available given the number of hard point mounts under each wing.

"Fast as hell at warp," she agreed.  "She out paces some starships.  How is she at combat maneuvering compared to the Mk II Valkyries?"

She listened to his answer and accepted his invitation up the stairs to look into the cockpit.  The Valravn cockpit was tight, sleek, mean, and screamed of efficiency.  By comparison, the Peregrine cockpits she had trained an and flown during the War felt like a Danube class runabout's command deck. 

The ship continued to call to her and hearing the Theurgy was low on pilots to fly her, that call took on a new air of need.  The need for such a beautiful machine to be commanded, controlled, and piloted, so that the ship could perform just as she had been destined to do.  Reggie was falling.  Falling hard for this ship.

"May I," she asked motioning to the cockpit, in deference to the unwritten rule that one does not sit in another pilot's cockpit without permission. 

In the brief moment before Hale either gave or denied her permission, Reggie knew that when she eventually sat in the cockpit of the AC-477 MK I Valravn, she would be ensnared.

"And can you teach me to fly this beauty?

  • Nero
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Re: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
Reply #8
[ Lt. JG Logan Hale, callsign "Wraith"| Shuttle Hangar | USS Oneida] Attn: @P.C. Haring
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Logan smiled as he saw the realization on his interlocutor's face. Speed, however, was only a small part of what the fighter was capable of. Logan explained to her, in response to her question, that in combat the fighter uses its agility in combination with its speed and armament. What Knight had devised here was a true monster, but in the right hands, it would be tamed and become an efficient weapon. "I've come to know the Valravn as a very agile fighter, which is probably mostly due to its slightly shorter design. This naturally makes the weapons quicker to get into position. The fact that it has forward- and aft-facing phaser banks also helps a lot."

They strode up the stairs to the cockpit and Reggie asked permission to sit in his chair. "Be my guest." the pilot replied, gesturing to his seat. He gave her a moment for a first impression and then beamed brightly when she asked him to give her some flying lessons. "Damn, that was easy," Logan said with amusement, kneeling next to the cockpit. "My parents were right: I should have been a used car salesman."

Logan showed Reggie the flight controls. They weren't much different from those on the Valkyrie, and anyone who could fly a Valkyrie would quickly find their way around on a Valravn. Still, there were many small subtleties that differed from the other fighter class. Logan instructed Reggie on the aircraft as best he could and as time permitted. He explained the differences from the Valkyrie and also pointed out many similarities that should make it easier to get familiar with the layout of the controls. The pilot grabbed the PADD that was in a side pocket of the cockpit and called up the internal database. After a brief search, he found the entries for the Valravn program and handed it to the lieutenant. "Light bedtime reading. All the relevant information on the Valravn technology is here."
  • Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 07:21:08 PM by Nero

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Re: CH07: S [D03|1639] Coffee Break
Reply #9
[Lt. Regiene "Reggie" Suder | Shuttle Hangar |Deck 11 |  USS Oneida] attn: @Nero 

Reggie allowed herself a smile at Hale's comment about being a used car salesman.  She had no idea what a used car was or why anyone would want to sell one, but that was not the part of the statement that caught her attention. 

"Calling me easy are you, Mr. Hale," she said with a tease and a wink before turning back to the control schemes and configurations. 

She paid as much attention as she could as Hale explained and walked her through the ships' systems, making mental notes as they went on where the Valravyn differed from the Valkyrie's she'd been used to.  In truth there wasn't *that* much difference, but there were some nuances that, if she wasn't careful, could get her and Kalil killed. 

Then he handed her the PADD.  'Light bedtime reading', he called it. 

"By 'light', do you mean 'turn off the lights before you start reading it because it'll cure your insomnia'?"

Despite the joke, she took the PADD from him and kept it close for referencing.  A few minutes of continued work passed when the doors to the shuttle bay opened.  Normally, such a thing did not draw her attention but as the doors opened, a familiar presence entered her mind.  She turned, smiling at the sight of Kalil walking in.  He had said he would meet up with her when he got released, but even so seeing him back on his feet was a welcome sight.

She waved him hover and could not miss his smirk as he saw her sitting in the cockpit.

"Lieutenant Hale," she said by way of introduction.  "May I introduce you to my RIO, PFC Kalil Daik?"
  • Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 09:10:57 PM by P.C. Haring