Catch Up Suit Up
Location: Shuttlebay 41, Training Facility
Timeline: Concurrent with events on Taranok IV
Walking through the station and her shuttlebay levels. Ewo'tOst contemplated how much one conversation could change a whole mood and outlook of a person and ease the stakes of a mission somewhat.
At times like this one tended to fall back on the familiar which is why she went in search of a certain Lieutenant.
Pacing into one of the stations vast shuttlebay, the one Lt. Carver was supposed to be in, at least according to the computer. Vonny made for the status and control console first. It was almost always the case that one heard Rayleigh Carver before one saw Rayleigh Carver.
"Okay, look, if you want to come down here and complain about something that I've got control over, I'll entertain it, okay? But there is literally nothing I can do about electromagnetic phenomena out in the reaches of deep space!" A sly grin on Carver's face said everything. "I mean, look at me for Pete's sake. I'm barely tall enough to see over the glareshield and you think I have any control of the cosmic weather?"
The student had approached the diminutive flight instructor with a complaint over a number of training flights being cancelled due to a particularly nasty interplanetary coronal mass ejection in a nearby system. After having his argument disassembled in front of him, the student was trying to save face.
"I'm sorry ma'am, I'm just frustrated is all."
"No need to apologize, I don't have time for it," Carver sighed before continuing on in a quieter voice. "Look, you're a damn good pilot. You wouldn't be here if you weren't. Just keep your head up and learn to roll with the punches. Delays and snags during training are normal. How you deal with frustration is just as important as how you deal with things when everything is going well, understand?"
"Alright, now get the hell outta here," Carver laughed. She turned back towards the entrance of the shuttlebay before she recognized a face she had seen before.
"Commander! I didn't know you were here!"
Walking over towards her Ewo'tOst let a smile play o her face. "Yeah I've only been on board a week or so, ive been trying to get a new department established and make a space for us and then the whole Taronok IV situation. ........well, let's say I've been quite busy. You're looking well and.....in your element, this assignment suits you I take it?"
"Well, you know how it is when you're good at something - people always want you to teach them. At least with this posting, it's my main job," Carver smiled. "I have to admit though, I missing whizzing around in the Chesapeake every now and then. But it's nice to have a more consistent home and a planet too. That was definitely a bonus."
"We did have some interesting times on board, didn't we." She responded to the mention of their common assignment. "But yes it is good to have a little more of a stable place to call home. Inatarra needed that sense of place and he enjoyed our shoreleave visits. The first beach barbecue is a definite favorite of his." She added with an mixed expression.
"Didn't even think about it from a family perspective, but you're absolutely right," Rayleigh nodded. "Anyway, I appreciate you coming down to see me. Is there anything I can do for you while you're here? Flight country is really busy around here. You'll like the department head, she's an El Aurian just like Commander Barnes. Except less teenage angst-y, if that's, uh, a thing."
"It's a thing, Barnes was its personification. As far as the Flight Ops head is concerned. She sounds quite interesting, I look forward to meeting her, when she returns." The Betelgeusian officer commented, with a nodded looking around she considered the opening that Carver had given her. "Actually I was hoping to get a bit of flight time and some tuition, specifically on the new Arrow Runabout. I've got a mission of sorts, sending teams to assess possible vulnerable planets. Due to the shortages it's been suggested I fly with the escort in the Arrow. Can you squeeze me in?"
Carver's ears perked up at the mention of the new Arrow class runabouts. They were the talk of the hangar from the pilots, the mechanics, and even the operations staff that frequented the area. Flight operations had tried to keep quiet about them, but it was easy to see that they had failed.
"Uh, yeah, I can do that," Rayleigh nodded, pulling out a PADD from her jacket pocket. "That's why I love Ellie so much. She lets you run your little piece of the puzzle however you see fit. Really, that's the reason I took the job. A lot more freedom, even though I was acting as the department head for most of the time on the Chesapeake. Now let's see, how soon did you want to start?"
She smiled as Carver expounded on her the scope and freedoms of her role, her talents were certainly being put to good use. "Would now be possible? If not your next available slot if you please, Rails? I want to get this mission launched asap."
"Let me go look and see what the schedule is like. I'm available for the next little while, at least, until the call of lunch becomes irresistible," Carver explained, pointing at herself. "However, the Arrows are much harder to get. I'll check the schedule. We can get into the full motion simulator, which is enough to fulfill the training requirements, but c'mon, you want to get into the real thing. So, that said, excuse for a moment."
The station's chief flight instructor scrambled up a flight of stairs, disappearing into the dispatch room. She reappeared a few moments later with PADD in hand and smile on face.
"Well, good news. Looks like we've going to go in lucky number seven today. So, if you're ready, follow me."
"Please. You should know me by now, Let's see where we end up." She stated with a chuckle behind it as she followed the Carver across the deck, "Have you had much chance to get back down to the planet. Excluding teaching duties and such?"
"Unfortunately, no. I only got two or three days of acclimation period when I first transferred aboard. I didn't have a chance to do much exploring of the facilities down on the planet. In fact," Carver admitted, "it's a bit embarrassing to admit, but I don't even know where all the stuff is in our department yet. The entire place is just enormous!"
"That's the thing operating on a ship, even the larger ones, you get used to things being within reach. Then you come to a city in orbit effectively and it does take a certain change of mindset. I always find it tricky, still do. " Vonny admitted, adding. "But you should take time, maybe half a day, the coastal town is supposed to be quite interesting and beautiful. Or so I'm told. "
"I will soon, I promise," the flight instructor replied. As the conversation had been going on, the two of them had made their way to a smaller shuttlebay, stowed in an alcove away from the organized chaos that was the flight line. The doors slid to a close behind them, plunging them into darkness until the lighting activated. Alabaster colored floors and walls met with state of the art diagnostic and maintenance equipment in that room. There was something about the sterility and confined space that just exuded exclusivity.
"I know, right?" Carver noticed the slightly slack-jaw gaze. "I half-expect a band to come out and a concierge to be waiting with my favorite drink every single time I come down here. Anyway, there it is," she pointed.
"It's got good lines that's for sure. I can see why." She said after gathering from the slack-jawness, and starting to walk around the craft. There were signs however that this was more than a show craft. "She's designed to work for a living, this you can see, I gather it's fairly mannuverable? What's new with this design, what's the leap?"
"You'd be right. I only have about three hours of actual seat time, but in that time, I can say that it flies pretty true to the sim. I've got hundreds of hours in the sim flying this thing and it changes direction faster than electricity sometimes. You'll see what I'm talking about," Rayleigh grinned as she walked over to the access panel on the runabout and began to demonstration the vessel's capabilities. A series of gull-wing doors began to open down the length of the fuselage, revealing... nothing.
"I'd wager you know what fits in there," Carver pointed.
Watching the gull wing openings fold out and the empty space beneath caused an other smile to play about her features ." Modules. I reckon you could very a mini one in there easy possibly a standard one. That's upped her versatility by about a hundred." She looked across at Carver, face beaming and a level of excitement creeping into her voice.. "I think I just found my proffered mount. When can I take her up?"
"Let's go right now!" Rayleigh closed the cargo doors except for one, allowing the two of them access. "All basic stuff for now, we can get into some high speed maneuvers on the way out to the asteroid belt. Then, when we get there, we can warm up the weapons systems and give that a go on some unsuspecting rocks. After that, we can do whatever you'd like on the way back. Sound like a plan?"
"Sounds a plan." Ewo'tOst responded quickly following the lead Carver set, climbing aboard the craft through the cargo door and into the aft of the cockpit. "It's all feeling familiar a bit, runabout like but with the fight controls set forward a bit. I like it. Which one do you want me in, pilot or Co pilot?"
"Left seat, you're doing almost all the flying if I can help it," the instructor responded. "We'll have time to go over all the nonstandard checklists, but for now, we'll just go with standard operating procedure. That said, all you have to do these days is basically press buttons until all the red and yellow warning lights go out and then you're ready to go. Don't believe me? Watch!"
As she spoke, Rayleigh rattled off each and every step of the before-start checklist from memory as she brought the Arrow out of its slumber and into a standby state. The displays blinked on and waited for the computer to start sending them their information. Before long, they were ready for engine start.
"Now, this is the cool part," Carver continued. "They upped the 'cool factor' by at least a thousand with this bad boy right here," she pointed to the covered red buttons on the overhead.
"Go ahead, lift the switches and light 'em up!"
Vonny grinned as she looked up at the bank of switches, rased her hand and pulled the covers open before stabing each button down in turn. "Now that is deeply satisfying." She admited still grinning from ear to ear, her next sentence cut off by the start up itself.
Somewhere deep in the bowels of the fuselage, the impulse engines whined into existence. A satisfying roar accompanied the first blast of plasma exhaust escaping the vectoring nozzle.
"Okay," Rayleigh announced from the right seat. "That's a good engine start. All the indications are in the green, so run your after-start checklist while I call up for our clearance. They put it right there on the multifunction display. How nice of them."
Carver pointed to the large display that was centered between them as she switched to the other radio to make a few calls to the controllers.
"Good to go. Alright commander, your controls. Now take us out of here and... make it so," Carver attempted her best Picard impersonation.
After rattling thought the list and seeing green lights by all the checks and with Rails instruction that they were clear she responded smartly and playfuly. "Yes Miss instructor ma'am." And then throttled up the thruster controls moving the ship from its side hanger through the main and towards the exit, gently but definitely increasing the engine output as they went, supprised at how easy it was at low speeds. Punching out of the hanger and into space. "Hanger clear. He's an easy and smooth mover, someone spent a lot of time on the dampers and engine geometry."
"Yes, low speed maneuvering is quite good, but wait until we get the taps opened a bit. It's positively breathtaking," Carver beamed. "Unless, of course, you don't want to feel a thing because whoever designed the environmental system made sure to put a lot of effort into inertial dampening. Anyway, let's keep it going and plot a course in for that asteroid field. You can find it on the sector map."
"I see it. Plotting a course." The Betelgeusian woman stated flicking through the navigation menus and settings. "I wouldn't mind dialing them back a bit, the inertial dampers that is, especially when we get to the high speed maneuvers, unexpected encounters tend to lead to compromised systems. I want something up my sleeve, you know me." Swinging the craft onto the heading that would taken them out and into an asteroid field. "Gradual velocity increase? Or floor it?"
"Be my guest. The engines are still in break-in phase so we're supposed to run them hard until the first inspection. I'll tone the dampening back to the setting I normally run. It's not fair, the G-forces that is," the diminutive pilot explained. "After a long career of flying exposed to high load factors, you can end up a few centimeters shorter than you started. I can't afford that," she laughed.
The flight out to the asteroid field was relatively quiet. Stratkas was known by astrologists everywhere for being a rather well-behaved star. Coronal mass ejections and other rude solar phenomena hardly ever disrupted the proceedings in the system. Today was certainly no exception.
"Okay, now that we're here approach the field, go ahead and power up the weapons systems. I've uploaded a box of sorts to the navigation display. That area in the belt is reserved just for us. No one else will interfere, which is nice, considering the live weapons and all that. Anyway, when you're ready commander, let's see what you've got."
She quite enjoyed the flight out the responsiveness and composure of the craft drying both the sharp acceleration and the slightest adjustment to the velocity control. "I like your thinking." She stated while walking up the ship's weapons, seeing the pair of phaser arrays as well as the torpedo launchers become available as options as well as the boxed target area in the target scanner display. "Weapons free in that area then I take it? Seems almost rude to pound them, but Commander needs to be able to shoot so here goes." She went in with phasers first picking off two smaller ones close to her ship, before settling on a larger one just off to the port side and unleashing a pair of projectiles, watching it fracture and seeing only a sizable chunk break off the surface. "Another round I think." As she unloaded a full volley at the crater.
"Well done Commander," Rayleigh nodded. "That just about completes the checkout process. If you'd like, feel free to have another go. When you're ready, take us back and I'll fill out your logbooks and set up some sim time for you to practice."
Selecting another good sized asteroid, Vonny lined up another volley of shots, this time alternating between short phaser stabs and single torpedo shots, in an effort to get familiar with the change over time and controls. "Okay I'm done, turning around for home." She looked across at Carver and added. "I'll have to work on the simulations at a later date. I'm leading a mission tomorrow, I've got my requests in already. One of these and a trio of Polaris transports. Heading to the neighbours of Taranok IV, to make sure they're ready in case they're the next target."
"Well, normally I don't deal with scheduling, but when we get back, I'll swing by dispatch and make sure everything's good to go. Maybe I'll get them to assign this very hull number to you," Carver shot her friend a grin before sliding her seat closer to the controls.
"Why don't you relax and enjoy the view. I'll fly us back in."
Lieutenant Commander Ewo'tOst Menkova
Chief of Planetary Operations
Lieutenant JG Rayleigh Carver
Chief Flight Instructor