War Games
War Games
Summary: Jester and Shadow take a nugget for a ride in the simulators.
Date: PHD 182
Related Logs: None

Simulators - Hangar Deck

Thankfully, the nugget Helios is alone within the simulators for now. He likes it when he's alone because frankly people bother the hell out of him. Being a nugget is not easy but he'll perservere. Anywho, he's standing near a table, the table housing many textbooks and notebooks that the man has been tirelessly studying. Each textbook is on its last page, each notebook full of his own notes. At this point of time he stares at the simulators, reluctant, taking a huge sigh.

That whole 'nobody else here' part is blown out the airlock when through the door to the room steps Absalom. He is looking over a notebook of his own, filled with scrawls of marginal readibility, but, apparently he can make sense of it as he walks right to the first cockpit, and starts dialing in a scenario. The man might be oblivious to Helios as of now.

Well, Helios isn't exactly oblivious to anything … especially when it comes to new arrivals. Eyes immediately lock on to Absalom, fingers scratching his head and releasing unsightly dandruff when the pilot begins to input a scenario. "Uh, sir…" he begins, his anxious and nervous voice wavering as he speaks. "M-mind a wingman? I could use the p-practice." It took a lot of courage for him to say that!

"Hmm?" Absalom asks as he turns away from his simulation preparation. "I'm sorry…who are you again?" he asks as he looks at Helios, "Aren't you supposed to be on the flight deck or…?" The man seems genuinely puzzled with Heilos' presence.

Helios gives Absalom the weirdest look he's ever gotten in his life before he looks down at his clothing and frowns, before glancing right back up. "I suppose I l-look like I should be elsewhere, sir…but I'm not. I'm a pilot in training. Christopher Helios. I haven't earned my officer c-commission yet." He scratches his head, feeling a little bit awkward. "I'm not allowed to fly for real, yet."

Xanthus steps in, holding his helmet under one arm. He's in just in time to hear the exchange between the two viper pilots… well, the viper pilot and the protoviper pilot, anyway, "Oh, cool. Fresh meat for the grinders." He smirks to himself the same way cheshire cats do. "Nose to the books and the flight stick, I hope." He gives Absalom a casual nod, looking him over for a second, and then giving the cadet a careful once over, sizing him up.

Absalom snaps his fingers and then nods, "Right, right. The new guy. Yeah, sure, why not. I got nothin else goin on. Might be worthwhile to see if you've learned anything from all that writing you've done." He then pulls himself into the cockpit of the Viper sim he's selected, and then glances at Xanthus, "Want to run Opfor or you in with us?" he asks.

More people. More reason to be nervous. Helios looks at Xanthus when he comes in, looking a bit intimidated but managing to reply, looking off to the side, "The books…yes, sir. Hard-pressed to find someone more book-smart than m..me." He gestures over to the table, which is piled with texts and notes that the nugget has jotted down. To Absalom he simply mentions, "Yes sir."

Xanthus snorts, "Oooh. One of those. Yeah." If his lack of interest in book-smarts were being made any more apparent, he'd probably have to literally spell it out. He shrugs, "Yeah, I know the type." He slips his helmet on, "Better idea to fight real people than pure pilot-in-a-box." He gives Absalom a nod, "Haven't had the pleasure, man. Jester." He mock-salutes him, and secures the helmet tight. "Sure. How you guys wanna play this? Loosey ducey? And chill, bro. We'll keep you alive long enough to get some payback. Longer than that if you're good."

"Shadow." Is Absalom's reply to Xanthus, before he adds, "Loosey works for me, and, unless the nugget here objects I'll fly his wing." He glances at Helios for his reaction, before shutting the cockpit of the simulator, apparently not at all concerned about what the man is about to say.

He glances between the two of the pilots as they make introductions. Both of their names are made a mental note out of, before he looks towards the empty machine that's inviting the nugget to come out and play. "No objections, sir." Helios replies, perhaps slightly disheartened at the fact that Xanthus is unimpressed by the hard work he's done to learn things by the book. Perhaps now he would show Jester exactly how important knowing those techniques are. Chris steps into his cockpit and closes it, getting settled in. It's go time.

Xanthus climbs into a cockpit and securely shuts the door, "Who were you in a previous life, Helios?" His voice comes in over a common comm frequency, amidst the sound of tapping keys, switches, dials, and buttons. "I mean, I'm not trying to make a cat feel put out or give you a hang up. I mean, what? You were into academics, I'm guessing, right? Hey, Shadow… 23 clicks out okay with you, running start, max cruising speed, non atmos? Put me in a Mark 7 instead of one of those stupid tin can boomarangs? Swear I'd crash into something out of spite."

"Give me a second here…" Absalom replies as he works on getting the simulation set up correctly. He looks over his display, and then declares, "Looks all set. Now if we can just get everyone in the actual simulation…" The man finishes his preflight check, and then, waits.

Helios takes a moment to get his own communications set up, but when he finally does his voice crackles over into the other's 'pits. "Student. Lawyer. Then a luxury liner pilot. I was on the Elpis." The answer is pure and simple, he doesn't explain how that massive change in career paths came about. "You don't have to pretend you care, sir." He halts the communication for a moment or two as he goes through his pre-flight as well … very good practice for the real thing. "My board is all green, sirs. Ready to enter your instance on your mark." His voice is clear and unwavering over the comms … unlike when they were all speaking face-to-face.

"Luxury liner pilot!" Xanth's exclaimation is gentle and has a hint of amusement to it, but none of it mockingly so. "And I was about to tell you to relax, ease up on the stick. Lots of cats start twitching on the flight stick when they're new and nervous. If you do, that's cool, man." Casually, Jester adds, "OpFor, Spider. Green light on my kite. You're go to execute my program and then possibly execute me." He settles in, "And nah. I care. So you were a square in your last life. I dig it." More amusement in his tone. None of it is mocking and it probably doesn't sound personal, either. "I just had more college than I could possibly stand. A bit more, if you get what's between the lines."

"Roger that, all greens here, and sim starting in three….two…one…Engage." And with that Absalom flicks a switch to start the simulation, the cockpits go black as space takes over, and, suddenly the two Vipers are hurtling along in practically open space. "Red One this is Two, copy?" he asks over comms as he checks his sensors.

Helios looks about as soon as the viewscreen turns into space, glancing to the side and seeing his Viper wingman off to the side. "Shadow, Helios. Transmission received and understood. Maintaining formation and continuing on present trajectory." He switches channels to speak to the enemy ship, to finish up their conversation. "I will be fine, sir. And yeah, I was a square, I agree. So I would be doubly embarassed when this square spreads you out into the void of simulated space….sir." Jester can't see it, but Chris' lips twitch up in a smile.
Anywho, the little viper under the control of the nugget moves forward, the man very anxiously checking his sky for baddies. "Don't you hate the feeling of 'he's out there, but you don't know where he is?'"

"Bogey, eight o'clock, twenty clicks away. Let's move One." Absalom says into his comm as the target he's been looking for appears on his scope. As soon as he says this though, he pushes his throttle all the way forward, and zips off ahead of his wingmate in an all out run towards the target. The pilot grins a little to himself in his simulator.

As the starfield fades into view Jester's viper screams towards the pair of targets up ahead, lighting up his afterburners and attempting to avoid a head-on, instead screaming down and attempting to come up on Shadow's underside. "Could happen, Cadet. You're new, not stupid. Besides, I'll be focusing more on your buddy unless you give me a reason to worry about you some more. Just remember we're here so you can watch people with combat experience pulp the snot out of things. I don't care if you do well or not, you dig? But… do well." He snickers into the comm and then narrows his eyes, "I spy with my frakkin eye… a pair of vipers who're gonna die. Hey, get that. I'm a poet!" They don't call him Jester for nothing. Maybe there's a way to mute him.

"Do try and keep up nugget, I don't wanna get fragged by this clown." Absalom comments into his radio as his burst zips right into Xanthus' simulated ship. He pulls back a little on his yoke, and then follows that with a decrease in throttle, as he attempts to come around for another pass on the enemy.

"Shadow, Helios. I copy. He's in my scope." Chris squeezes the trigger and his ordinance comes out, but it missed the viper that screams across his windshield. Undaunted by this failure, he swings his bird around. "He's tailing you, just as he said he would. Take evasive action, I will cover your six and try to squeeze off a few while he's distracted with your shiny butt." Punching the afterburners, his Viper screams towards Jester's. Protect your wingman, the books said. Well, Helios will.

Jester whips his craft around, managing to line up a decent shot on the nugget, when along comes a Shadow who… true to his name, is in his wake. He jinks hard one side, and then another, his shot basically lost and still rounds scream through his bird's tail. "That's good. Nugget, he's going high. Get your kite low so I've got nowhere to hide. Stock, standard textbook move for you."

Oblivious to Helios' firing behind him, as he's busy dodging the gunfire of Xanthus, Absalom works on maneuvering so as not to take any hits. "Talk about my shiny butt anymore nugget and I'll come around and blast you outta the sky after we finish off Jester," he replies. He glances over his shoulder, and then jinks again.

Sir, we can talk about your insecurities after we're done." Helios replies smartly before taking the words of Jester to heart, applying everything he's read and has been taught. He sends his bird a little bit lower, and when the enemy viper begins to send ordinance in Shadow's direction he pulls a little bit on the stick, fighter nosing up and Jester's fighter coming dead center in his sights before he pulls the trigger. The rumble of the machine gun is felt, but even more gratifying is the hits he scores. The last thing he wants to do however, is be cocky. "Shadow, Helios. Break right."

"Nugget's got a mouth on him. He'll fit right in. Just watch it around Lieutenant Leda, or he'll threaten to kill you to death or throw a frakking shitfit and disown you." He applies reverse thrust, but -hard-, swimming around and trying to get onto Helios' six for a little payback, "Good clean hit, man. I really should be kiting you guys around, but that's no fun. Two on one's not a good situation to be in against human beings."

Absalom seems to notice there are distinctly fewer bright lights of tracers passing by his windscreen, and he pulls around sharply to get a burst off at Xanthus. He speaks into his comms, "One, take evasive maneuvers. I'll settle in on him and make sure he doesn't dust you." He then pushes his throttle forward, and grins predatorily as he attempts to line up Xanthus' ship.

Helios gets a little bit scared as soon as he sees Jester's viper break away from Shadow and acquire a new target, the nugget himself. He said he wouldn't come after Chris unless he was a threat, and apparently he now is. "Oh, shit." he mutters, suddenly breaking away. "Red Two, this is one. Acknowledged, going eva-KSSHHH-I'm hit!" The ship rattles like crazy and jars the nugget when bullets slam into the body of his viper, causing the simulated displays to flicker and spark. Helios slams on the breaks and enters into a half- barrel roll, Jester catching up to Helios before he pulls back slightly on the stick. It's then he strikes a minor hit on the upside down pilot before twisting off and running away. "Go get him."

Jester streaks after Helios, apparently meaning to press the attack regardless of what measures the cadet takes. He flies the deep-space equivilent of low and agile, giving the occasional glance out his cockpit to keep an eye on Shadow while peppering Helios' field of vision with simulated streaks of tracer fire, essentially turning the combat into a train of three spacecraft, even as his own vessel takes a nasty ding right on the nose, dangerously close to the cockpit, "It's just a fleshwound, what are you talking about?" He lights the afterburners and attempts to take his pursuer on a little chase.

"Glad I didn't put any asteroids in here, nugget would've splatted himself against it after that. Keep it together One." Absalom admonishes over the com, before he maneuvers into position behind Jester. He fires off a burst at close range, and grins a little when the bullets strike his target. "Keep evading, I'm going to see if I can't put this fellow down." He then moves in for another burst.

"Understood, Two. I'm going to keep trying to shake him." Helios says, jinking left, jinking right, diagonally - pretty much flying as unpredictably as he possibly can. Every so often he makes a sharp turn, giving Shadow — and Jester, if he's quick enough — time to gain some distance on the nugget. "Is there a course in Asteroid Dodging 101?" he asks quietly. "Is it anything like your sister throwing potatoes at you over the dinner table?"

Jester loses more rudders than he'd probably have preferred, "Hey! I was using those!" He swings around hard… a feat made all the more difficult considering his craft is missing a few pieces, at this point, "No, but I knew a couple Ensigns who killed themselves crashing into Raiders when things got kind of tight. Damn it. Did you have to hit my rudders, Shadow? You son of a bitch." He comes around, meaning to send some fire back at the other pilot.

"Stop turning around like a whale the both of you and maybe y'won't be so hard to hit." Absalom says with a rather arrogant tone in his voice, made all the more so as his next stream of bullets rattle Jester. "Turning makes you a nice big target, the sharper the turn, the wider the profile." He continues his maneuvering, keeping his guns silent until he's at close range with Xanthus' ship again.

Turning and seeing that Xanthus has given up the chase on Helios, it's then he sweeps around to engage. "Noted, sir. Any particular tips on evasion techniques?" He says this on open channel to the both of them, knowing for sure that the main idea is the learning experience. Lighting up the burners and attempting to catch up with Jester, the itchy trigger finger releases fire to Jester's craft, hoping he'll get finished off soon. Not that he hates the guy. He just wants to win.

"You nailed the rudders and I don't have a mate to give me any relief. Besides, damage you did, my torsion values are off by a coefficient factor of about 0.1175." Say what?? "Got the secondary drag off by a third of a sheer constant. Calculated risk, man. Calculated risk." Not that it paid off in this case, of course. He hits his burners and attempts to sheer off from Shadow and come in for a deflection shot, "You're doing good, Cadet. Main thing is to watch your airspeed and attitude. If we were in atmos, you might've lost control, there, and that isn't cool. You cats have this pretty well tied up. Now shut up and dance, sucka!"

And, Absalom does as ordered, he dances around, letting the distance close between him and Xanthus, before he pulls back on the trigger at close range. The stream of bullets he fires strikes the cockpit of Xanthus' ship and, in the simulation it just keeps flying straight on. "Scratch one." He says into his headset, before looping around slowly.

Helios has never seen a simulated exploding craft on the other side of his guns before. Boxing in Jester and letting loose with his cannons, he just helps along what Absalom finishes - the demise of the pilot. "Shadow, Helios. Copy that. Splash one. Returning to standard formation." He pulls his viper in back alongside Abasalom's, doing an obligatory victory roll before ending his instance of the simulation, cracking open the cockpit. "Feels good to be part of a team, sir. There's only so much you can learn from the books." The gratitude is directed to the both of them as he gets out of his craft, removing his headset.

Xanthus screams into the radio, "Aaaw lawdah! Aaaw shit! It's goin' BLACK! Alice, ah'm comin fo' ya, sweetheart! Ah'm comin fo' ya! Aww lawdah, I'm comin' home!" He doesn't sound ashamed one bit. He climbs out of the cockpit and leans against it, pulling his helmet off and giving Helios a nod, "You did good. Main thing is that you stick with your wingman. We've got target rich environments like frakking mad." He narrows his eyes at that one, voice lowering and darkening a touch as he continues, "You stick to your wingman no matter what. Being in a group of two is what keeps you alive. Being part of an entire squadron is what keeps your group of two alive."

"You're lead One…" Absalom comments to dead air, before he pulls himself out of the cockpit as well. "Good job for a nugget, but, really, YOU were lead for a reason, me zippin off like that to start, sometimes you gotta reign in your wingmate. But, good job goin with it and keepin my wing."

"S-sorry." Helios says to Shadow, the nervousness coming flooding back to him as soon as he comes back face to face with both of the pilots. "I was definitely c-confused when you called me One. C-can't say I'm really experienced with being in a leadership position." An uneasy little smile. "Understood. I will…try." Jester is regarded with a short little nod. "Keep with your wingman. Got it, sir. We're a team."

Xanthus shrugs, "A situation like that, when there's one target, it doesn't even mean that much. I mean, what are you going to do? Buzz the carrier? What it really means, though?" Xanth leans forward so he can rub at the back of his neck, "When you've got about six targets, one's on you, and one's on your wingman? Whoever's lead is picking the tactical targets. Wingman's job is to beat off anything that hits the lead. That means dealing with doing your job while you've got toasters fogging up your tail, and nobody returning fire at them."

Absalom smirks just a little bit at Xanthus' words, and then nods once to Helios, "You'll get it nugget. Not bad for your first time out though." He turns on a heel and starts for the exit slowly.

A another little smile is shown before the nugget scratches the back of his neck and heads towards all his textbooks and notebooks, closing them. He'd read every single word there is to read three times over, but now he decides that he'll learn from others and experience from now. "I will not forget both of your lessons." he says softly as he gathers everything up. "I want to do this again sometime. Different s-scenario?" He starts heading out. "At any rate, be well, s-sirs. I really appreciate the help."

Xanthus nods, "Sure. Hey, works. Seriously, you want to learn a textbook lesson, that's the one to learn, man. I need to get out of here, myself. I'm on CAP in twenty minutes."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License