Asking For Help
Asking for Help
Summary: The Legsykitten gives the Kissybear some pointers on close-range evasion and combat SAR.
Date: PHD 169
Related Logs: None

Matto gnaws on the back end of a pencil stub so short that the back end is very nearly the front end again. He's got some flight data tucked onto his forearm, held still by his fingers, and he squints at it as he wanders toward the sims.

Thea's on her way out of the sims, smiling. And zipping up her flight suit. The Captain looks…smug for some reason. She looks very smug.

Matto looks up quickly from time to time, though it's not 'til he's looking down again that his brain processes the Legsykitten there, providing an excellent opportunity for a double take. "Kitten!" he calls, something evidently on his mind, mouth open to air it in his usual forthright manner, before her smugness hits him, too, and he pauses. "Did you throttle one of the machines in there?"

Poor Thea. She didn't expect to get caught. "I…something like that," she admits after a moment, turning a bit pink. "What's on your mind, Madman?" When in doubt, focus!

Matto's brows both rise for a moment as if trying to piece together what might be coloring Thea's cheeks that particular hue. But he doesn't inquire further, just hefting the flight data under his arm demonstratively. "I was wondering if you could give me some pointers on close-range evasion tactics. I was looking over your flight data from when you were standing ready for possible SAR at the edge of the dogfight we ran into on Scorpia and I've been running some similar situational exercises on the sims but my mind's still tying 'evade' to 'get the frak out of there.'"

Thea blinks for a moment, then smiles and dips her head. "Sure thing. Come on in - I've got about an hour before CAP." She studies him for a moment. "It'll take some practice, but I can get you started." She turns back toward the sims, cheeks going pink again.

"Thanks, Kitten," Kissy smiles at her, prepared to stroll on in after her. "I know you're busy, but I've been hitting these sims hard for the last few weeks just trying to glean what I can from your flight data, and it's been a serious case of no joy, so I thought I'd pick your brain. How in the hells and oceans do you manage to stay in so close without painting a ginormous bull's-eye on yourself?"

[ Simulators - Hangar Deck ]------[ CEC Kharon ]—
IC Time: Post Holocaust Day #169 OOC Time: Sun Oct 04 20:13:40 2009

The perimeter and walls of the room are lined with posters, white boards, viewing screens, file cabinets and lockers, which leave very little of the battleship grey bulkheads visible. A trio of small tables and chairs are set up by the hatch, allowing a space for crew to relax or study while awaiting sim time. Triad cards, some dishes, and a small coffee maker are lined up along the counter behind the tables. The paint along the steel floor is scuffed and worn in places, a testament to the volume of foot traffic the sims experience.

The dominant feature of the room is a set of four viper cockpits, complete with outside skin and canopy, which have been bolted in place. Retractable curtains separate the pods, two of which are modeled after grey Mark VIIs, and the remaining two after white Mark IIs. A trio of liquid crystal screens are positioned in an arc around each pod, providing a one hundred and twenty degree view of the sim world to each pilot. Behind the simulator setup is a control station with a view of each of the sets of screens.
-=[ Condition Level: 3 - All Clear ]=---------
Matto Legacy
[O] Hallway

Thea leads the way back in, glancing over her shoulder at him for a moment, lips pursing. "The trick is to let the vipers stay in between you and the target," she says quietly. "And it's a matter of keeping your ass out of the way. The Vipers are usually harrying the hell out of the toasters, so they're the obvious targets."

"I try to stay out of the way, but the only problem is that 'the way' keeps changing. So in any given simulation I either find myself, y'know, underfoot, as it were, or too far away to launch a successful SAR in a dogfight situation," Kisseus gives his conundrum flatly.

The Captain nods and moves over to the console. She pauses for a moment, lips quirking upward in what can only be described as a slow, secret smile, then taps at the screen. "I try to maintain at least a certain distance away from the nearest viper, so I'm always compensating for that. When in doubt, drop back half." The sim comes up on the screen and she steps to the side to show him.

Matto makes some annotation on the topmost sheet of paper in the stack he's hauling around as his Captain gives instruction, then actually pauses to think about it for a moment, "Oh, so you're… falling in with one Viper at a time, sort of," he begins to realize, "I've always been looking at the Raiders, seeing which one of -those- is closest and then trying to find a Viper for cover. That… would work a hell of a lot better, just sticking with one outlying Viper at a time. Then…" Kissy's pencil hand slaps down against his thigh as though he feels like a complete idiot for not figuring it out sooner, "Then if you -are- called for SAR you're already paired with a Viper who can clear the way for you."

"Almost," Thea says, cocking a hip against the console. "You're not picking ONE Viper, but you're picking the -nearest- Viper. You're not following them around like a puppy. Instead, you're darting between their legs like a cat." Oh, yeah. She's in rare form tonight. "Let's run you through one focusing on you and the vipers rather than you and the raiders. It's a trick my old mentor taught me, and why I'm generally right in there driving Spider batshit."

Matto sets down his stack of papers on a desk portion of the console and jumps down the three steps all in one go before ambling over toward the simulators proper, giving his Captain a nod. "Like juggling Vipers. Catch them when they come hurting toward you and let them go when they hurtle away again. And remember to yield to their velocity," he adds with a chuckle as he climbs in and gets the sim linked up to Legacy's controls. No crashing into Vipers.

"Exactly," she says with a quiet laugh. "And don't drop them. Dropping them would be horrible. Alright, let me know when you're settled in and I'll send the dogfight your way." She taps at the console again. "Don't shake the vipers up too badly. They're not equipped with barf bags."

Matto straps into the facsimile cockpit and sets up the controls the way he'd have them in a general alert situation, "Alright, I'm set alert, do you want me to start at standard CAP settings instead?" he asks back.

"Nope," she says quietly. "You're getting thrown into the deep end." And that she does. Suddenly, there are five toaster signatures on his screen, five vipers and two Raptors, all right in the midst of one hell of a dog fight. They're all on his screen. In her quietest, sweetest computer voice, ECO Thea announces, "Lieutenant Matto, I'm showing five unfriendly signatures on DRADIS. There are also five vipers engaging them and two raptors. Our current orders are to stand by for possible SAR."
Matto's voice goes on something like autopilot as he processes the data on screen, answering his Captain as if the order had come over TAC like usual, "Black Cat, Madman, acknowledged, standing by," he utters with a plain seriousness of tone that people generally over hear over coms from him. He then finds the two closest vipers, and, making a choice, swings the ass-end of the sim-Foxbat around to fall in with the first, matching speed at three-quarters and prepping a course corrrection to then tail the other one coming around the horizon of the fight, establishing a freakish-looking crooked sort of patrol route around the outer perimeter of the fighting.

Thea's voice is quietly professional. "Madman, you have a toaster coming toward you at six carom niner." It's at that point Madman's chosen Viper peels off and starts to come down, under. The toaster isn't in firing range - yet. The other two Raptors are on the other side of the dog fight, darting in and out. One of the other Vipers, we'll call him Six, takes a hit from a toaster. It looks like left engine and wing. Thea confirms that a moment later in an SAR call. "We're closest, Madman. SAR's ours."

Matto grunts a little as the next viper he'd been planning on tailing diverts from its course suddenly, and Kisseus has about a tenth of a second to decide where to go next. He finally just maps a line straight through the descending Viper he'd been tailing to the Raider beyond, and descends backward without turning in a gut-tickling arc, staying fast on the other side of that Viper as he heads into the fight, "Wolf-4, Madman," he calls the wall between him and the Raider, "I'm SAR on Wolf-6, keep with me, yah?" he calls.

Thea's voice changes slightly so it's definitely not ECO Thea. "Copy that, Foxbat-4," the reply comes. "Watching your ass, but I've also got three other toasters out here watching your ass." Then it's back to Thea - not ECO Thea. "Remember, in a dogfight like this, you'll want to announce your intentions, but you can't ask for a whole lot of help. We're on our own out here." And then it's back to ECO Thea. "Madman, reading a second Raider coming in hot to take out Wolf-6." Wolf-6 is floating dead in the water. A toaster gets blasted out of the sky right behind Foxbat-4 and a Viper zooms overhead, trailed by another toaster. It's a mess out here.

Matto comes out of the arc, hopefully at the very least having lost the first Raider. The others he leaves in the capable hands of the Vipers watching over him and Wolf-6, careening through the dark to pull the downed Wolf from the fight. "Wolf-3, hitching a ride," he announces as he trends south through a series of carom readings, keeping underwing somewhat of the other Viper on its way through the battle, swaying one way and then the other to keep it between him and the bulk of the incoming fire, peeling away from that modicum of cover at the last possible moment, only able to hope that the incoming Vipers will distract the Raider enough to let him get in position and the lines let out to grab the downed bird. "Approaching for SAR; in position." Nothing really to do while the cords are deployed other than sit there and have faith in the Reds.

Thea watches from her perch at the console, eyes cutting over toward the side, the desk, briefly. Definitely smug. "Initiating pause," she announces and pauses the sim. "Ok, how did that feel," she asks him. "That was a nice move cutting down like that, but I want to hear what you think."

"Definitely -better,-" Kisseus admits, half-unhooking himself so that he can lean out of the machine and not be hollering back over his shoulder. "Still a lot of quick decisions to make and not a lot of time to make them, but I'm feeling less lethargic out there than I was. I think if I can code in some radials I might be able to plot better-timed transitions, I was just running a standard three-quarter V out there and I was having some serious issues on the turns. And I need a better plan for getting into the combat zone, it was damned lucky I didn't hit anyone on my way in," he adds, perhaps a little overly self-critical, but— this is important, and he needs to get it right.

"That's close to what I saw," she says, coming around to lean against the other sim. "Your turns need to be tighter. Your ass is swinging more than a Caprican drag queen. And you don't need to stick QUITE so close to the Vipers. If you get too close, they get shaky. Keep your important bits behind the Viper. It's alright if your tail sticks out a little bit. They need more room to maneuver."

Matto gives a little breath which might be a laugh at the Kitten's comparison if it weren't still mildly rueful over the performance. "Right. Stop using the Wolves as personal security blankets," he notes. "They'll be able to cover me all the better if I just give them room to work their magic. It's just…" Kissy shakes his head, "Scary out there," he admits, never one to mince words where his feelings are concerned. "I'll keep at it, Captain. Thanks for giving me some pointers."

Thea reaches out and gently tugs at a curl. "You did well," she says with a smile. "It was an excellent first step and you're right, it IS scary out there. What we do is scary. It's damned terrifying, to be honest with you. But they'll keep watch on our asses. We just have to let them do their jobs. They'll let us do ours."

Matto laughs a little, still rueful, but at least audible as she tugs at his curl, "I was so mixed up in all of that I broke my number one rule, too," he notes, a quiet smirk settling on the corner of his mouth, "I've told both Thorn and Kitty, when they were each in my backseat on various occasions, never ask a Wolf for help. They see what's going on. And if we get shot up they know it's their ass on the line. They'll do what they need to do."

There's a low laugh and she dips her head, once. "It's not so much that we shouldn't ask for help. Make the announcement of what's going on, what you're doing. That's what you need to do. But asking for help? Only if you -absolutely- need it. Don't be afraid in that case, ok?"

"Right," Kissy nods, then takes a deep breath, "So, can I ask what you were all gleeful over when I found you in the corridor?" he wonders, crossing one leg over the other briefly as he looks across to the other sim.

Pause. Blink. She just grins at him for a moment and pushes off the sim. "Some things, Kisseus," the Captain says with a little smile. "Some things a woman needs to keep to herself." Yep, her eyes are sparkling and there's a hint of smug there again. "And I wasn't gleeful, thankyouverymuch."

"Now you're just making me the more curious," Kissy points out. "And you sure looked gleeful enough, for someone who wasn't gleeful," he adds, reaching out with one arm to touch a knuckle to her ribs and tweak in a gesture akin to a tickle, all playful again.

She squeaks and wriggles away from him, laughing. "Curiosity killed the cat," Thea tells him, waggling her brows a little bit. "You…may find out, eventually. It all depends." She glances over at the chrono and sighs. "And I should be getting to the flight deck soon."

"Go. Fly," Kissy tells her, grinning. "Don't kill me." Tricolon crescens FTW, eyes wrinkled at the corners with amusement. "And thanks again for helping me out with this. It's been driving me mad."

A fingertip taps the end of his nose as she turns to head for the door. "No problem. I'm glad I could help - and glad you came to me." She smiles over her shoulder then pauses for a moment. "Ah…by the way. Don't eat anything off that desk for awhile, mmmkay?" With that, she's gone.

Matto looks cross-eyed at his nose as she taps it, then gives her a smile. About to say something else, he's interrupted by her next bit of advice. He looks over to the desk, though, and, seeing nothing edible thereon of which he might be expected to partake to some dire consequence, he just shrugs. "O… k," he answers her, and unstraps from the sim, powering it down and going to get a printout of the data in order to work on those radial equations.

And then she's gone, just grinning.

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