Balls to Wall
Balls to Wall
Summary: Xiang seeks out Markovic for advice about her balls, or lack thereof. After that, Xiang, Aquilina and Draygo play with a mock-Dorthir in the simulators.
Date: 2657.347 (RL: 12-13-2009)
Related Logs: None

Simulators Deck 7
Troy System, Humboldt Quadrant — 2030 Hours 2657.347

This room is oddly devoid of decoration, as it's main function is to house the simpods used for pratice flights and training of fighter pilots assigned to the various wings of the ship. A control pod is situated near the back of the room with a screen so instructors can watch what's going on inside the pods, and eight simulation pods are located in a circlular pattern in the middle of the room.

Xiang has recently put in some time in the simulators and is currently sitting in an open pod, reviewing the data from the program she just ran. Lips pursed, brow furrowed as she does. She'd requested some time with Markovic to discuss her technique, though she wasn't more explicit than that. She was early for that. Quite a bit early, hence the toying around with the exercises.

Xiang Jia is a young Terran woman, no older than her middle twenties, a couple inches taller than average with a slender build that's been toned into reasonable shape by military life. She has almond-shaped dark brown eyes and faintly olive-tinged skin which make her Asian heritage clear. Chinese specifically, if one knows about such things. Her face is oval-shaped with full lips and fine-boned features, usually devoid of any make-up save a touch of clear gloss on her lips to keep them from chapping. Her hair, so dark it almost seems black, is generally worn pinned back in a rather severe bun.

She's dressed in the standard uniform of a pilot in the Terran Confederation Space Force: dark brown shirt with a tan undershirt and dark blue trousers. The rank insignia on her collar shows her to be a First Lieutenant, and a nametag reading 'XIANG' is stitched over one breast pocket.

Markovic strolls into the sims, shutting the hatch behind her. Hair up in a bun for once, she's dressed in her grey officer's uniform. "So Jia," she begins, walking slowly over towards the pod. "It is not often someone beats me to a meeting. I am unsure how to feel about this," Dejana ventures a bit playfully as she arrives at the pod. Her arm lifts to rest on the back of it as she looks to the woman within with a light smile.

Framed by loose strands of nearly black hair, Dejana's face is long, displaying traditional Slavic features. A sharp chin doesn't jut prominently but does set the tone for very precise facial expressions. Thin lips sit ever-ready for a smile under a small nose. Dark brown eyes peer upon their surroundings, the hard edges threatening to accuse the rest of her face of being too lazy. The majority of her hair is tied in a ponytail behind her head that falls down just below her shoulders, flyaway strands tucked dutifully behind her ears. A rough guess on her age might peg this woman to be around thirty or just past it.
She's dressed in the standard uniform of a pilot in the Terran Confederation Space Force: dark brown shirt with a tan undershirt and dark blue trousers. The uniform fits her five-foot, six-inch athletic frame closely as with any other member of the military, flaring only slightly along her hips. The rank insignia on her collar shows her to be a Captain.

Xiang's eyes come up from her pursed, furrowed data review, to Markovic. She's in her regular duty uniform, for her part. No flight suit. Her duties today have her tasked on-ship. "Dejana. Thank you for taking the time. It's nothing urgent, I assure you." And yet, she felt the need to take the time to do it. She clears her throat, pursing her lips again, and takes a moment. As if unsure precisely how to phrase what she wants to say. "I wanted to discuss my…balls, sir." And that's what she comes up with.

Aquilina has arrived.

Draygo arrives from the Crew Services.
Draygo has arrived.

Markovic's smile deepens. "Lieutenant, anything my pilots need is urgent. The difference is I usually have to drag concerns out." There's a wink as she puts some weight into her lean against the simulator. Her brow lifts with the last. Jia isn't laughing, so the Captain keeps it personal. Her voice drops a bit. "I am not sure what you mean, Jia. What is wrong?"

Xiang is seated in one of the sim pods. Though she's not in a simulation at the moment, as the thing is open and she talking with Markovic, who's standing near it. She clears her throat again. "I should rephrase, perhaps." She clears her throat. "I have a great deal of admiration for your style as a pilot, Dejana. You're very…the term my former instructor used for it is 'balls to the wall.'" Which, perhaps, makes her earlier comment more sensible. Another brief pause before she admits, ruefully, "I've never felt as if I *had* that. I mean, I can negotiate the moves, technically, to a proper degree of proficiency…" Xiang is nothing if not by-the-book proficient. "…but I've always had trouble maintaining an edge, as if were. Balls, sir. I was wondering if you had any advice on that sort of thing."

Thank God Alex missed that comment. His footsteps sound on the entrance to the simulators a few seconds after Jia finishes her request to Markovic, heading down towards the control pod in the back of the room. Didn't bring a cigarette in, such a gentleman.

Standing at about 5'10", this man is probably nearing thirty years old. His regulation-short, rather thin hair is a very dark blond, almost brown. His face is nothing out of sorts, sort of squarish in the chin, and his eyes are a pale greenish-gray that some would associate with pond algae. Over those, his long brows have natural arches that never quite go away, lending an air that is - whether accurate or not - somewhat aristocratic. He almost never smiles, though when he does it brings out innocent-looking twin dimples.

He's wearing the standard uniform of a pilot in the Terran Confederation Space Force: dark brown shirt with a tan undershirt and dark blue trousers. The rank pips on his collar are those of a First Lieutenant, and a nametag reading 'AQUILINA' is stitched over one breast pocket.

Not too long after the first male pilot enters, Kell follows having come from the other end of the corridor outside. It is also good that the young rookie missed the comments about how their XO has a pair of balls and Jia wanting a pair as well. Slowing to a stop after entering, he nods to the other pilots before giving Markovic a smart salute, the only thing ruining it is the grin that shows that he made the salute more in jest than anything else.

Standing before you is a human male that is about six feet tall. He isn't an imposing figure, instead holds a more athletic build than bulky one. He sports shortly cut blonde hair, more or less militaristic by design and has a pair of blue eyes that usually holds a focused gaze. His well-defined jaw is clean shaven. Overall, he maintains himself immaculate and very much within military regulations in his appearance.

He is currently wearing the typical Space Forces pilot's distinctive duty uniform. The outfit comprises of a dark brown blouse worn over a tan undershirt. The rank insignia is displayed on the shoulder of the blouse, showing that this pilot holds the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. This is followed by a pair of dark blue slacks which are tucked into a pair of black boots that is usually kept shined and clean.

The Captain stays quiet. She doesn't smile, blush, or otherwise seem to react to what Xiang is telling her until the end. She takes a long breath and nods a few times. Eyes fall to the ground just as Alex walks in. Dejana cranes her neck to look back and see who it is. There's a nod to him and then Daygo as he enters. She taps a few fingers to her temple and looks back to Jia. She keeps her voice to a whisper to Xiang. "Motivation and emotion, Jia. I will explain that in more detail later, but that is what keeps me fired." That smile that sppears on her isn't so much mirth and happiness as it is simply peaceful.

Xiang watches Markovic's expression as she says that, her tilted eyes narrowing even further in thought. "Motivation I can manage. I suppose it's the emotion that I don't quite. Aren't you afraid of it…overwhelming you, if you let it? Isn't it better to keep a sense of…control than to let your head get away from you?" So intent is she on Markovic that it takes her a moment to notice the gentlemen. She turns her head when she sees Markovic nodding to someone, spotting them then. They receive a general smile and brisk nod from her, smile quirking at Draygo's jesting salute.

Aquilina can't hear the two women, so he just touches fingers to temple on his way to the computer. "Que onda?" he calls clear across the room, green eyes making sure to glance at Markovic to see if she remembers that. Without waiting for answers, he pulls his pencil from behind his ear and leans over to check on what the computers are doing, looking back over his shoulder when it occurs to him that there's someone behind him. "Razor. What's up."

Lowering his arm back to he side, Kell shifts his grin Jia for a second before looking between the two women and their conversation. He isn't exactly sure what they are talking about but when the words 'emotion' and 'control' are heard, he assumes they are talking about women issues and lets them be. Instead, he turns his attention towards Aquilina who is at the control terminal before giving Torch a shrug, "Was going to drop by to see if the sims were occupied. Got something planned?"

The Captain looks at Aquilina with a 'WTF' expression, apparently confused. But her attention falls back on Jia as Markovic's shoulders lift, holding in a shrug for a few moments. Her voice stays low. "One can give their emotions a good length of leash without losing control. It takes discipline and work, but channeling your fear, anger, aggression, and anything else?" She claps her hands in the air in front of her chest as if they were conforming to an invisible ball. "You take that and focus it. You make that work for you in the cockpit. Sometimes people have a detachment. Some argue that such a detachment is the only way to get out alive? I chose to make it personal. It may come at great cost to me, but..?" She shrugs. That smile has disappeared.

"Que hmmm?" Xiang inquires of Markovic when Aquilina hollers that. Went over her head, that one did. Though she returns her attention back to what Markovic is actually saying without dwelling too much on that distraction. For now. She nods slowly along with it, turning it over in her mind. She opens her hands and clasps them together, almost experimentally. "I feel as if I get too detatched sometimes. Or at least…my old CO used to say I got too up in my own head, and I think I see what he means. I've felt it out there. My last assignment was to Luna Base. Earth Sector defense. I never really saw it as a problem there but here…it's a whole different game, isn't it? On the front lines…" This is obviously something she's been thinking on for some time. She eases out of her sim pod, so she isn't just parked sitting in it, though she still leans against it as she talks.

Aquilina might be able to hear them by now. He might not, given how quietly Mark is talking. If he does he doesn't show it, tapping around a few keys on the sim. "Thought I might give some timed practice a go. There are a few efficiency programs in here that I was curious about. Fights with a goal and a deadline, so to speak. Interested?"

"Sure, sounds good too, to have an objective to go for while under pressure." Kell says as he nods in agreement with what Torch had in mind, "Should certainly help us perhaps prepare for what might be coming up. I get the feeling that things will be a little more… interesting here in the Troy System compared to what we faced in the Castor System." Especially with multiple jump points, two mining bases, and a planetary base. The rookie then glances towards the two female pilots to see if they are interested.

"Yes. Sitting back in Sol System is cake. I lost of lot of what I had while I was back there, myself. I got lots of hours but it is not.. I hate to sound like I am glorifying combat, because I am not.. but it does not have the same danger and thrill. That pang in your gut when someone calls Tally on bandits? I do not supress it. I welcome it. I focus my emotions on it and let it take hold. I have been called dangerous and reckless in addition to numerous insults to my character due to it. This way I fly may get me killed, though, and that is okay, too. What you have to decide is what it is worth to you. I can offer you help but it is not necessarily something you want." Markovic notices Kell looking to them and shakes her head, waving with it. She probably has some other things to take care of, too.

Xiang nods to all that, just taking it in. She has no immediate response to it and her lips purse again. Thoughtful. "I know what you mean. About the danger, that is. There is a…rush to it." She doesn't sound quite sure how to feel about that. "I'm still looking for a way to balance it, I suppose. But thanks, Dejana. I'll think on all that." She looks up and over and Aquilina and Draygo, giving them both a little nod. "I still need to put in some training time today, myself."

Aquilina sticks the back of his pencil in his teeth so he can use both hands to type, talking around it. "Right. I'll load it up with the instructions." His pale eyes flicker up, catching Xiang's nod. "Stellar. You can lead the party, Jia." Maybe he could hear some of that after all. And then Mark, wrinkling his nose when she turns it down. "Oh come on, Dejana. Certain?"

While the simulated mission is being set up, Kell heads to one of the unoccupied sim pods before nodding back at Xiang who will be joining them before looking towards Dejana when she waves them off. He doesn't try to convince her to change her mind like Aquilina is doing, probably assuming that she has a mountain of paper work to deal with due to her ascension to the XO position.

"Do not fear your emotions, Jia. They can be as strong a weapon as the mind." Her voice is quiet and confident, lips almost turning towards a smile. Markovic gives Jia a small thumbs up. "Let me know what you come up with?" Its a friendly request, not that of an officer. To Aquilina she shakes her head and looks to him. "Sorry, Alexei. I need to meet with a few people on strike planning and I am still trying to talk to the Marine CO about you. Maybe next time." She pushes off the sim she has been leaning against and moves slowly towards the hatch. "You kids have a good time and I owe you."

One of Xiang's dark brows arches at Aquilina, lips quirking wryly. Well, she was asking for that one. "I suppose I can manage that, Alex." Back into the sim pod she slips. She exchanges a grateful smile with Markovic, along with a little thumbs-up of her own. "I'll try, Dejana."

"I also want my whiskey back," Alex calls after Markovic, while he's still loading up the sim. "Alright, Jia. Here's the program. It starts off with two Dralthi guarding a Dorkir. Objective is to get rid of the Dorkir and haul ass. Timer comes into it in that the Kilrathi are aware of the attack and have sent reinforcements. We have two minutes before they arrive, and after that more will come in two minute intervals. We have ten minutes total to get out no matter the outcome, before it'll shut off."

<COMBAT> Xiang has changed weapons to Heat_Seeker.

<COMBAT> You change your weapon. Action and target have been reset.

<COMBAT> Dork has changed stance to evade. (Aquilina)

The mention of the Marine CO and Torch spikes a bit of interest in Kell but he chooses not to ask about that issue right now, filing it off to the back of his mind for the time being. When the explanation of the mission is given, Kell has one leg in the sim pod and one leg out, looking at Aquilina before nodding at the briefing before glancing to Xiang to see what she wants to do.

<COMBAT> Aquilina has started the combat! Pose and pick your first action.

<COMBAT> Dork will attack Aquilina this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Dralthi1 will attack Aquilina this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Dralthi2 will attack Xiang this turn. (Aquilina)

Markovic leaves, heading towards the Crew Services [P].
Markovic has left.

Xiang listens closely to Aquilina as he explains the drill. Smirking. "So the quicker the better, it sounds like. I've the jist, I think." She straps herself in, systems on, and gets down to business as the drill gets underway. "Making friends already, Torch? Try and shake them. Razor, with me. Let's try and get this Dorkir dealt with promptly."

<COMBAT> That is not a valid hit location for that target. Try one of these: Bridge Engines Weapon Cargo Hull

<COMBAT> Aquilina has changed stance to evade.

<COMBAT> Aquilina will attack Dork this turn.

<COMBAT> Xiang will attack Dork this turn. Options: called=Bridge

<COMBAT> You set your action.

<COMBAT> Draygo has changed weapons to Heat Seeker.

<COMBAT> Draygo will attack Dork this turn. Options: called=Bridge

<COMBAT> Draygo has changed stance to banzai.

"Lead, Torch. Copy that, shaking a tailfeather." Alex starts up his cockpit and sends the little mock Stiletto into a sharp turn, dragging the focus of the Dorkir and one Dralthi's guns away with him. He aims for the largest ship on the way past.

Taking a seat in his own sim pod, Kell pulls the canopy closed above him and flicks a couple of switches inside to turn it on. When the simulated starfield appears around him, the rookie matches speed with his flight and falls into formation before sending an acknowledgement to Jia's orders, "Copy that, Lead. Switching to Heat Seekers and going for the Dorkir." With that, he kicks his Stiletto to full speed with missiles armed, diving in on the transport.

<COMBAT> Xiang attacks Dork with Heat Seeker but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Dork attacks Aquilina with Light Flak and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Aquilina attacks Dork with Mass Driver and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Dork with Heat Seeker - Moderate wound to Cargo (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Dralthi2 attacks Xiang with Mass Driver - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Dralthi1 attacks Aquilina with Mass Driver but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Aquilina has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Dork will attack Draygo this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Dralthi1 will attack Xiang this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Dralthi2 will attack Draygo this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Draygo has changed weapons to Mass Driver.

<COMBAT> Draygo has changed stance to evade.

The large Dorkir, thwarted in its attempts to hit Torch, turns its guns instead on the bigger threat for the moment - the one that hit it. Ow. Aiming for Draygo now as it continues its evasive flight pattern, one Dralthi stays on Xiang and the other spins off for Kell as well.

<COMBAT> Draygo will attack Dork this turn.

<COMBAT> Dralthi1 has changed stance to banzai. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Dralthi2 has changed stance to banzai. (Aquilina)

Xiang's pod shudders a little to simulate the ping to her wing, and she enters some quick corrective moves. It distracts her from her missile shot going wide, at least. "Nice one, Razor. Looks like you got their attention, though. Careful. Torch, looks like you're in the clear now. Let's take another pass while we've got some breathing room." A look down at her readout, nose wrinkling at the Dralthi still on her tail. She maintains her course, though, trying to leave herself a bit of room to dodge.

<COMBAT> Xiang will attack Dork this turn.

<COMBAT> Aquilina has changed weapons to heat_seeker.

<COMBAT> Aquilina has changed stance to banzai.

<COMBAT> Aquilina will attack Dork this turn. Options: called=bridge

Whoops, lost em. Alex mutters, spinning the Stiletto back around in a broad loop headed straight back towards the Dorkir. "Copy that, Lead. Taking a pass with the missiles while I've got a shot. Fox one."

"Razor here, heat seeker was a hit but just missed the bridge, Dorkir is still in action and looks like I pissed off the sim-kitties." Kell flicks the switch over to his mass driver cannons, "Breaking right to shake the bandit, you've got that Dralthi on your tail still, Lead."

<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Dork with Mass Driver but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Dralthi2 attacks Draygo with Mass Driver but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Dork attacks Draygo with Light Flak and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Xiang attacks Dork with Heat Seeker - Moderate wound to Hull (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Dralthi1 attacks Xiang with Mass Driver - Light wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Aquilina attacks Dork with Heat Seeker - Serious wound to Hull (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Aquilina has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Dorkir-9214 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Dork has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Sar1 has joined the combat as a pilot in Sartha-2861N on team 2. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Sar2 has joined the combat as a pilot in Sartha-0364Q on team 2. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Sar3 has joined the combat as a pilot in Sartha-4165R on team 2. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Dralthi1 will attack Aquilina this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Dralthi2 will attack Aquilina this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Sar1 will attack Aquilina this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Sar2 will attack Xiang this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Sar3 will attack Xiang this turn. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Sar1 has changed stance to banzai. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Sar2 has changed stance to banzai. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Sar3 has changed stance to banzai. (Aquilina)

<COMBAT> Xiang has changed stance to Evade.

And with that, the simulated Dorkir goes KABOOM across their screens. The timers on their dashes beep to zero and reset to two minutes, the program now launching the first wave of chasers - three Sarthas, guns blazing.

<COMBAT> Draygo has changed stance to normal.

<COMBAT> Draygo will attack Dralthi1 this turn. Options: called=Cockpit

<COMBAT> Aquilina has changed stance to evade.

Xiang is jarred again by a ping on her nose, though with the simulated Dorthir going up in simulated flames on her monitor, she doesn't mind so much. "Reading one Dorthir down, Torch. Scan to confirm, then let's get out of here." More frowning at her read-out. "I'm picking up three Sartha inbound. Finished just in time, looks like. Let's discourage them from chasing us as we're heading out. Watch your tails."

<COMBAT> Xiang will attack Sar2 this turn.

"Confirm, three Sarthas out to play. Dorkir's signs are…absent. Time to gallop." Alex sounds pleased, even with the sim being rather easy. The computer's shaking a fist somewhere and preparing a meaner run down in its shriveled circuitboarded little heart.

<COMBAT> Aquilina will attack Sar2 this turn.

Watching his wingmen's missile strike home on the Dorkir, Kell grins in his simpod before climbing his Stiletto and angling in on Dralthi that had taken a couple of shots at Xiang and who is now heading after Aquilina. He unleashes a couple blasts from his mass driver cannons before breaking after his flight to disengage from combat.

<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Dralthi1 with Mass Driver - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> Dralthi1 attacks Aquilina with Mass Driver but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Sar2 attacks Xiang with Neutron - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Aquilina attacks Sar2 with Heat Seeker - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Xiang attacks Sar2 with Heat Seeker and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Xiang's weapon clicks empty.

<COMBAT> Sar3 attacks Xiang with Neutron - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Sar1 attacks Aquilina with Neutron but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Dralthi2 attacks Aquilina with Mass Driver but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Aquilina has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Aquilina has stopped the combat.

And thus, with a few more pings and booms, do the three Stilettos ride off into the simulated sunset, leaving the Dralthi and Sarthas lurking behind. Fail!

Xiang's pod does some more jerking and shuddering at the sim-emies get off a couple of parting shots on her ship. She still manages to fly off into the computerized sunset, however. "And…mission complete, I do believe." She powers down her pod, setting it to printout the data as she does so. She likes to review these things. "Interesting program, Torch. Could turn quite nasty if you don't finish it quickly."

"That's the point," Alex's voice comes through comms and then stops, as he shuts it off. His pod pops open, side 'door' of the cockpit glossing open on its little hydraulic pumps. "That was the basic run. Couple things one can adjust…primary target difficulty, speed and amount of reinforcements…looks like fun to mess about with more."

With the mission finally ending, Kell powers down his simpod and pushes the canopy open before stepping out to join the others. "If the three Sarthas was the next wave of reinforcements, then I don't think we would've had another opening to take out the Dorkir unless one of us gets a lucky opening in the swarm of Kilrathi. I'd hate to see what it would be like if a third wave shows up."

Xiang hops out of her pod, going to collect her data printout from the control area once she's free of it. "We should definitely try it again sometime. I'm interested to see the variations." A glance up at the time-clock, and a small nod. "I'll hit the mess, I think. I'm due on CAP my next shift, and I'd like to eat and shower before I have to go fly for real."

"Say hello to the kittens for us." Alex stretches up his long arms, lacing fingers above his head. They come down with a loud, cathartic exhale. "And I've got some typing to do. Razor, nice run. I'll let you know when we do it again, if you want a go at something that'll actually be some competition for you."

Nodding at Xiang, Kell says pretty much the same to her that Torch had said, "Have a good patrol, Verdict. Fry some fur for us though you might see me out there, I'll be on Alert Five soon myself." He then nods at Aquilina understandingly, "Sure thing Torch, I'll be up for it anytime I'm free. Will definitely keep me on my toes having these types of exercises."

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