|Hau'oli lā hānau|
|Summary:||Cole's attempt at a surprise for Kanani, surprises no one.|
Slender and graceful, the F-71 Stiletto looks every bit as fast as it actually is. A cylindrical center section houses a bubble canopy, with one of the fighter's three engines behind. The other two engines are embedded into the swept-delta of the ship's wings, which are upturned at the ends to form a pair of vertical stabilizers. Two more stabilizers rest atop the engine pods embedded in the wing. Ahead of the wing, two sets of short canard foreplanes are mounted, one angled up and the other down. Protruding from the leading edge of the wing are a pair of mass driver cannons.
Painted on the nose of this Stiletto is an image of a waterlogged Kilrathi floundering at the base of a tremendous wave in the process of breaking over its head. Riding the wave is a cartoon roadrunner on a surfboard. Swirling water at the base of the wave spells out Wipeout in blue and white text. Stenciled letters beneath the cockpit read 1LT Kanani "Tsunami" Nawahi.
Well here's something that you certainly don't see every day. Major Cole on the flight line, but over with the Stilettos rather than the broadswords. In fact, just finishing up the task of applying what appears to be a paint job of some sort to the nose of one of the craft.
"Wow, Major, what's brought you over to the Dark Side of the Force?" Paz inquires with a little smirk as she spots the man and his illicit nose painting.
"Shit" Cole grumbles at the sound of a voice behind him, surprised to find someone lurking here, much less commenting on the work that he'd been doing. He makes his way down the couple steps up a ladder he'd been, turning his attention to Paz. "Just finishing something up" Cole explains with a chuckle.
"Eh, if I may inquire, sir, why are you painting on the Sparklie's ships?" Paz asks, stepping forward to peer at the man's handiwork. "Wait, is that Basher's ship? If it is, please tell me you're writing something along the lines of 'Please kill me, I'm a douchebag.' in Kilrathi."
"Bit of an explanation there" Cole replies, stepping back to let Paz have a look. "But, Lieutenant Nawahi was complaining the other day about not having anything shiny. And I figured seeing as it's just about her birthday, I'd give her a little present"
"Aww…that's cute!" Paz grins, chuckling at the drowned kitty. "She'll love it, sir." she says, nodding her approval. Then the young LT's expression changes as she peers at Cole curiously for a moment, scrutinizing him minutely before her face assumes its most inscrutable expression. "I see….She'll be very pleased, sir." she adds in a neutral, 'I'd be giggling my ass off, but you outrank me and might take offense' kind of way.
Cole can't help but give a little chuckle at Tizona's comment, shaking his head slightly. "I'm not going to bite your head off for laughing" Cole comments with a little chuckle. "Was trying to get away with not being caught at this at all, but I guess that plan's shot"
"Oh, I'm fairly sure she'd figure out who did it." Paz replies, biting her bottom lip as she stifles a giggle. "Kanani's a sweetheart. Even if she's a Sparkly." she adds. "She will be very, very pleased, and no worries, sir, my lips are sealed." she says, letting her voice drain of any emphasis of any kind.
"I'm not worrying about /her/ knowing who did it" Cole replies with a little laugh and a shake of his head. "Wouldn't be much of a present otherwise. Just I'd rather keep the comments from the peanut gallery to a minimum." Cole explains.
"But of course." Paz replies, nodding solemnly. "Peanut gallery, commentary, message recieved." she adds, tightening her jaw as her lips twitch with the urge to break into a goofy grin.
"Then again, probably the worst kept secret on the bloody ship anyway" Cole admits with a little chuckle. He gives a little shake of his head, before he looks towards Paz. "So what brings you down this way?"
"Definitely in the top five, sir." Paz comments placidly, nodding a little while her eyes flash with the vindication of someone who's just won a bet. "Was looking for our ships." she adds, rolling her eyes a little. "Made the mistake of looking at the printed roster instead of actually talking to one of the deckies. They've got them in here, and the Sparklies' in the other."
That look in Paz's eyes doesn't go unnoticed, and in fact it draws a momentary curious look from Cole. But at least he doesn't seem about to voice his curiosity. Instead, he just sticks to the conversation at hand. "One of 'em probably just forgot which side was 'port'" Cole jokes.
"Heh, some of them probably take two tries to get their boots on in the morning." Paz snerks. "Heh, did you hear about the junior deckie and Wiess?" she asks. "One morning, Chief comes in to work and finds one of his underlings sitting in a corner crying. 'Vas ist das?' she asks, mimicking Weiss' accent. 'My feet hurt, Chief!' the deckie replies. 'Zat ist becoss yu haf zem on ze wrong feet, boy!' Weiss informs him. 'But…but Chief…', the deckie wails, "'They're the only feet I have!'"
"No, I hadn't heard about that…" Cole replies, apparently anticipating an actually serious story. Before breaking out in laughter at the conclusion to the joke. "Here I thought I was a bad sport, sending the spacehands to fetch me a hundred feet of flightline. Or telling them to find a long stand in the storage locker"
"Heh, I kid because, I care, Major." Paz giggles throatily as she moves to inspect the nose art in more detail, careful to keep away from the still drying paint. "Well…okay….I don't _care_ care….." she admits with a sigh. "Oh, all right, I'll admit it, I kid because I'm a mean bitch." she snickers. "Honesty's always the best policy…There needs to be a 'seldom' in that somewhere. 'Honesty is seldom the best policy.'
"Honesty is the best policy, except for all the times when it isn't?" Cole asks with a little grin, looking curiously as Paz goes to inspect the work that he's done on the nose of the fighter. "That what you were going for?"
"Eh, no, not exactly." Paz replies, with a little shrug. "Damn…where the hell did you learn to paint, Major?" she asks. "You oughta be working as an illustrator or something." she comments, whistling a little at the detail work. "I was really going for something along the lines of 'Most of the time, the safest thing to do is lie your frickin' ass off if you think you can get away with it.'" she chuckles.
"Oh, you know. One of those paint by number books" Cole replies with a little chuckle. "Truth is, I'm really not all that great. I've been working on this the better part of the day." he explains. "And I'm still not all that thrilled with out it turned out, compared to what was in my mind"
"I think it looks really nice." Paz replies, nodding. "I like the way you colored the water. It looks nice and frothy and…ocean-y." she says, then chuckles. "As you can tell, I aced all of my art history classes." she snerks.
Cole can't help but give a little laugh. "Yeah, let me tell you, it shows" Cole replies. "Just as long as you don't start expecting me to come up with something to stick on yours"
"Nah, I already know what belongs on mine. Just gotta find the time to do it." Paz replies, nodding to herself. "First, I gotta twist Tori…excuse me..Captain Carruthers' arm to sign off on my ship assignment." she sighs. "And that's about as likely as…as…..Ah hell, I dunno, I'm tired." she chuckles. "A very unlikely thing."
"As unlikely as a very unlikely thing" Cole replies. "Expert in art history and the english language both" Cole jokes. "Truly, Tizona, the world stands in awe of your dazzling intllect." He has to take his shots where he can get them.
"Heh, damn straight!" Paz replies with a toothy grin. "I are smart pilot….S M R T!" she giggles.
For the just arrived, Cole and Paz are standing by the freshly-painted nose of a Stiletto. Kanani's Stiletto, to be exact. "You just set it up too well…" Cole tells Paz with a little grin. "Have to take my shots back at the peanut gallery when I can get them"
Kanani wanders into the repair hanger, heading towards where her Stiletto happens to be. As she approaches, she notices both Cole and Paz standing around the fighter, and she raises an eyebrow slightly, since it's not immediately obvious from her vantage point, what reason anyone would be loitering there. Once she gets closer, she nods at them both. "Voodoo, Tizona. How's it going, guys? And any particular reason you're all standing around here?" She asks with a chuckle.
"Heh, well, you gotta let the pig-sword drivers score the occasional broadside." Paz quips back to Cole. "Otherwise, they start questioning their manhood and go back to wearing lingerie." she grins. "And there's just not enough deck space to dry all of those lacy nothings discreetly." Kanani's arrival causes her to pivot on her heel. "Heya, Tsunami! Happy birthday!"
Cole can't help but give a little laugh at Kanani's comment. "I was working on a little surprise for you" Cole explains, gesturing to the painting on the nose of the fighter. "But… I guess it's probably not such a surprise now"
Kanani grins and snickers at Paz. "Oh, you heard about that, huh? Can't even keep a thing like birthdays a secret anymore." She states with a laugh. She then peers at Cole and the gesture towards her fighter, and mutters under her breath. "The hell did you do to my ship, Major?" As her eyes get to the painting, she pauses for a few moments, and then peers back at Cole, for a few moments before she laughs and grins. "That… Is like totally, fucking awesome, sir. Thank you!"
Phillip has just left the port repair hanger, and having heard some voices from the other hanger, he comes over to the starboard hanger. Iceblade enters into the hanger and notices several pilots near one of the Stilettos. He walks over in that direction.
Paz grins and discreetly makes her way to a quiet corner of the repair bay, suddenly find a piece of automatic test equipment _terribly_ interesting. "Ice!" she calls, motioning the Rook over to her. "You've gotta see this…"
The grin on Kanani's face rather quickly brings a grin to Cole's as well. "Happy birthday, Kanani. If a little early." Cole tells her. "Sorry it doesn't make for much of a present, but…" he trails off for a moment. "Well, we've gotta work with what we have"
Kanani nods some, as she continues to look at the painting for a few more moments, chuckling as she does so. "Oh, it's a great present, really. Totally awesome, I think." She nods some more and grins at Cole. "So I guess it was a good thing that I never actually got around to doing my own paint job, yeah?"
Phillip walks leisurely over to Paz and looks in the direction that Paz is indicating. He observes the fighter quietly, clearly thinking about other things than just the Stiletto's nose art.
"Okay, rook, listen up." Paz says, pointing towards the unthinkably complex piece of automatic test equipment. "This is a…" she begins, voice trailing off before whispering. "This is _us_ letting Cole and Kanani be in private, so do me a favor, okay? Nod repeatedly, look interested, and ask questions with a lot of big words in them."
"Why do you think I was trying so hard to keep you from coming up with something" Cole replies with a little laugh. "I was going to actually wait for your birthday, but… well, I suppose headquarters ended up pushing that timetable up by a couple days" Cole comments, stepping in a little closer to her, before stopping, his eyes glancing over towards Paz and Phillip.
"Heh, actually coming up with something was the easy part. And it was actually a bit similar to this, but not nearly as cool." Kanani comments and winks. She chuckles and nods some. "Yeah, I guess that would have changed up the time you had to work with, after all." She states with a chuckle. Her eyes follow Cole's gaze toward the other two pilots and she snickers some, and shakes her head.
Right as Cole turns his gaze over in his direction, Phillip looks up at Paz, eyebrows a little eskew. Iceblade nods and then looks at the piece of equipment. His mind is clearly elsewhere…probably in more than one place actually.
"Okay, so this is the…." Paz begins in a voice quite loud enough to be overheard, then pausing for a moment to peer at the faceplate of the aforementioned bit of gear. "ADS 20-32F. It's designed to test the black boxes in the…" she continues, pausing to listen behind them. "Ya know what? Who cares?" Paz states flatly. "C'mon, Ice, you got CAP early tomorrow?" she inquires. "If not, let's grab a beer."
Right. Peanut gallery is apparently distracted, at least enough for Cole's purposes. "Happy birthday" he tells Kanani again, a little more quietly. And then, he just leans in to give her a quick kiss. After all, as sure as he is about it being the worst kept secret on the ship… where's the harm?
Kanani grins slightly as she tilts her head up. And then she responds. "Thanks. And thanks again for the present." She adds before turning back to glance at said peanut gallery. "So, think you should tell them that they can stop pretending that they're doing real work, now?" She comments with a grin.
(Somewhere in the background, a ginger-haired guy in a flight suit and carrying a helmet notices some folk he recognises and flips a lazy salute from across the deck, while on his way to somewhere else…)
Phillip looks at the machine and says in a lower voice, "Blackbox tester huh? Interesting, so this _big machine_ checks out black boxes like those from a certain _Stiletto_." Iceblade then looks at Paz, "Uh, CAP. No, not duty until 12, but I do have a patrol at 9, but some light alcohol sounds pretty good."
" Awesome possum." Paz beams. "Let's go get a little light alcohol….or medium alcohol…." she adds. "I like alcohol, you know….it helps me sleep and keeps me from turning large caliber weapons on people sometimes." she sighs.
Cole can't help but laugh at Kanani's comment. "I suppose we should" Cole agrees with a wink, before he looks over to Phillip and Paz. "Alright, kids, you can open your eyes again. Scary part of the holovid's over" Cole calls over in a teasing tone, taking a theatrically large step back from Kanani.
Kanani snickers and grins some more. "Suppose it shouldn't surprise me that you bomber pilots aren't so good with subtle yeah?" She nods some to her own statement, and cuckles.
Phillip looks back to the two pilots and says in a joking tone, "Oh good, I'm not much scary movies. By the way, nice paint job."
"You're both still clothed, right?" Paz inquires, playfully covering her eyes with her palms. "I don't wanna see plumbs, bananas or boobies…" she mock-cries. "They make me feel funny in bad places."
"Yes, Tizona, we save the discussion on thrust to weight ratios for places that aren't the flight deck" Cole replies with a little amused shake of his head at the comment from Paz. "And glad you approve, Lieutenant" he tells Phillip, before asking "Was there something you needed from me?" Apparently assuming that's the reason for the man's arrival in the first place.
Kanani grins at Paz, and laughs some at her comments, and she points out. "Come on Tizona, even if Voodoo, were crazy enough to try something like that on the flight deck… I sure as hell wouldn't be." She states with another laugh. She then leans against an unpainted portion of her fighter, as Cole asks his question to Phillip.
Phillip does a what-who-me gesture, "Oh, uh actually I was just in the port hanger and heard some voices and decided to come."
"Okay, maybe I just revealed a little more about myself than I should've." Paz chuckled, playfully pillowing her face in her hands. "But it's always more fun when it's dangerous." she says, raising her head to shoot a wink to Cole and Kanani. "I am, of course, referring to nose art." she adds for Phillip's benefit.
"Even I have limits" Cole deadpans to Kanani with a wink, before he turns his attention back to Paz. "And that's enough out of you for the night" he comments, unable to keep a straight face no matter how hard he tries. The smile still lingers as he turns to Phillip. "Well Lieutenant, seems you picked a hell of a night to wander in, then"
Kanani grins at Paz. "Well, I'm sure no one here will give away your secret. Unless they get offered a helluvalot of money, and then at least maybe they'd share some with you." She states with a laugh, and then smirks at Cole. "Yeah, yeah, but it's way to amusing to believe your one of those crazy Aussies they always show on the vids."
Phillip shrugs, "Well, I always seem to have a curious sense of timing." Iceblade turns his head to Kanani, "So I take you like to surf?"
"Secrets? I have secrets?" Paz chortles, looking around her, pretending to be dumbstruck. "When the hell did that happen? And why didn't anyone tell me what they were?" she pouts, stamping her foot playfully. "So, you like your present?"she asks. "Cole did an awesome job."
"So does that mean I get to joke about grass skirts and coconut bras?" Cole asks Kanani in teasing retaliation, happy to play the little stereotype game both ways. "And Tizona, someone did tell you. You just weren't sober enough at the time to remember" he jokes.
Kanani chuckles and nods at Phillip. "Yeah, surfing's the reason I didn't get nearly as good of grades as I could have, in high school. And it's where my callsign came from too." She grins and nods at Paz. "Oh, yeah, I like it. He really did do a great job on it." She nods some and then chuckles at Cole. "Fine, I'll stop making fun of the Aussies. I suppose."
After Kanani's response, Phillip looks contemplatively at the nose art, "So I've been thinking about adding some nose art…" Iceblade then trials and whispers to himself while his gaze is still on the Stiletto, "assuming I stay"
"Ah…that explains it." Paz chuckles, shaking her head. "Must've been from that time with that guy and the stuff that happened there." she nods. "That whole week's a blur…Spring Break on Erewhon…..best kept secret in the Confed."
"Oh, I don't know. Now that I think about it, I'd almost rather you continue" Cole tells Kanani with a wink, before he gives a little sigh. "Unfortunately… I've also got a bunch of things I need to catch up on before I go. And instead, I spent the whole day painting" Cole comments with a chuckle. "So I'm going to have to sneak off to my office for a bit"
Kanani grins and nods at Cole. "At least the painting was more useful work, than paperwork?" She asks with a chuckle. "But good luck with getting caught up on the work, and take care."
Phillip nods and remains fixed on the nose art, "Uh…yeah…paperwork sucks." Phillip is clearly a little-bit…okay a lot distracted right now.
"Anyhow….you two kids play nice now." Paz calls to the duo of Kanani and Cole. "I'm gonna go snag a pint and a shower." she says, yawning theatrically.
"It was certainly for a better cause" Cole assures Kanani, giving her a wide smile as he moves to scurry his way along towards the lift.