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 Not So Routine, Tag Spoooooooky
calicokit
 Posted: Feb 18 2017, 04:53 PM
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Corporal Elena 'Elle' Sloane marched onto the flight deck the morning before her mission, as was her custom, and headed straight over her craft to check it over. It wasn't that she didn't trust the mechanics in charge of working on her ship (although she didn't. Well. She didn't trust all of them), but she thought it was very important for a pilot to have a good rapport with their craft and she liked to make sure everything was in working order before she flew.

Today didn't seem to be one of those days.

She reached her usual docking station only to find that her ship, her precious fighter, was damaged. More accurately, it was currently being repaired, but as she wasn't aware of any repairs required, the sight irked her. One of the side panels was off, revealing a tangle of wires she was quite certain were not supposed to be that messy. She glared down at the legs sticking out from underneath the ship.

"What the hell are you doing?"

Spooky
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Spooky
 Posted: Feb 18 2017, 06:06 PM
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anything you can do
I can do better
It wasn't every day that Corporal West got yelled at for doing his job. It was more like every other day, actually, so he wasn't too surprised when he heard the very unhappy voice berating him from above. Not above above, but lying on his back on the creeper, pretty much everyone was above him right now.

Rolling out from beneath the ship, he looked up at Corporal Sloane with an 'are you kidding me?' expression. Of course it was her, it was her ship, but some days he felt she'd go out of her way to yell at him even if it wasn't.

He looked from the mess of wires to the pliers in his hand and then back up to her. “My nails,” he deadpanned. “Want me to do yours next?”

TAG: calicokit ,FACE: François Arnaud , NOTES: such a charmer  ©
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calicokit
 Posted: Feb 18 2017, 06:13 PM
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❝Don
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"Oh my goodness you're so funny, West," she simpered in a passable impression of the female recruits that trailed around after him whenever he was off duty. And sometimes when he wasn't. As soon as the words were out of her mouth, however, her expression hardened.

"That's not what I meant and you know it. What are you doing to my ship? She didn't need any repairs and I have a flight later today, so what's all... this!" she waved a frustrated hand at the missing panel and the wiring. She knew some basic mechanics, most pilots did, whatever they might need for repairs on-the-fly, but anything beyond that escaped her, much to her irritation when any of the grease monkeys in charge of repairing her started techno-babbling about what was needed. She fixed him with an icy glare and silently dared to him to give her anything other than a straightforward answer.

Spooky
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Spooky
 Posted: Feb 18 2017, 06:29 PM
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anything you can do
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The impression was quite good, honestly, though the transition from giggly airhead to cold Corporal was almost terrifying. She didn't beat around the bush for long, though. West would have been surprised if she could have carried on any conversation for more than two minutes without berating someone. Or maybe he was just special.

Pushing the creeper out a little further, he pushed himself up to sit. “This,” he said, imitating her gesture, “Is a standard upgrade. More accurate tracking system, all the ships are getting them. Didn't you read the memo?” Wiping his hands on his pants, he gave her a challenging look. “Oh, I forgot. You didn't need to learn to read to pass your tests, did you?”

It was no secret that Elena Sloane's father was one of the most highly decorated brass around, and people liked to speculate that her own position had more to do with him than her own talent and ambition.

TAG: calicokit ,FACE: François Arnaud , NOTES: such a charmer  ©
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calicokit
 Posted: Feb 18 2017, 06:36 PM
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There had been a memo posted under her door this morning, she dimly recalled, but she'd been running late to breakfast and hadn't got a chance to read it, much to her irritation at this point. Still, he'd at least given her a clue what was on it, enough that she could bluff and - oh no he didn't. Her expression, already cold, could have frozen fire in that moment.

"I passed my tests just the same as everybody else, thank you very much," she replied, every syllable clipped and filled with barely contained rage "Memos like that are supposed to come out 24 hours in advance, or do they not teach you to tell the time at mechanic school?"
It was technically true, but in practice ship upgrades were never given that much notice, they rarely had time to give that much notice.

"Just tell me it's going to be done in time for my mission this afternoon?"

Spooky
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Spooky
 Posted: Feb 18 2017, 07:46 PM
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anything you can do
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It was a low blow, West knew it even as he said it, but she was constantly looking down on him for being a lowly mechanic despite them being the same rank, so it was only fair he get his digs in where he could. A lesser man would have felt a chill at the look she shot him, but he took great satisfaction in the reaction.

He didn't need to be a pilot to live on the edge.

“Mmm hmm,” he muttered, picking up a small screw driver and a roll of electrical tape. She tried to get him back but he just chuckled at the attempt. “I'm no desk jockey, sweetheart, memos aren't my business,” he said with a shrug. “I can't make any guarantees, but the longer you keep distracting me, the longer it's gonna take.”

In other words: go away.

TAG: calicokit , FACE: François Arnaud , NOTES: such a charmer  ©

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calicokit
 Posted: Feb 19 2017, 05:29 AM
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❝Don
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"Of course not," she said, appearing momentarily to have calmed down "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have mentioned memos, they're probably a sore spot," her overly saccharine tones were clearly just gearing up to something particularly mean, but she paused for just a moment before delivering an equally low blow back to him "You probably can't write, can you? That's why you didn't get into flight school."

The joke that mechanics were just failed pilots annoyed most of the deck crew, but she'd noticed it particularly rankled West, and, well, if he was going to hit her where it hurt she was damn well going to do the same.

"Now hurry up and finish, I have work that's actually important to get done."

Spooky
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Spooky
 Posted: Feb 19 2017, 08:19 AM
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She seemed to accept that he needed to get back to work, and West was momentarily surprised. Maybe she could actually be reasonable once in a while.

Then again, maybe not.

He should have been ready for it, one low blow deserved another, after all, but he thought that maybe she'd let it go so he could finish her ship on time. He'd thought wrong. Just as he knew exactly what buttons to push on her, she knew the same for him. He had worked hard to get where he was. Some mechanics worked on fixing the spare parts, or on the less crucial systems around the base, but only the best got to work on the ships. He knew every system on that entire ship, in and out, and was one of the few that could do the mechanical parts just as easily as the electrical, so calling his intelligence into question always got him riled up.

Being just over six feet tall sometimes made for fitting into small spaces on the ship difficult, but it was nice when trying to intimidate someone shorter than him, which he might have been trying to do a little when he got to his feet to loom over Sloane. He wasn't a bulky guy, more slim than muscular, but his work made him strong, and there was a certain intensity in his eyes that was hard to ignore. “Like I'd wanna be a pilot. Any dumb bimbo can fly a ship, but it takes really brains to understand how it actually works,” he seethed before taking a deep breath. He had a bit of a temper control problem, and he hated when she made him lose it. It was better to get his digs in in a calm manner. “You know it's funny how your oh so important work can't get done unless I finish my supposedly unimportant work. Huh, fancy that,” he continued, voice dripping with sarcasm.

TAG: calicokit , FACE: François Arnaud , NOTES: ooooh  ©

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calicokit
 Posted: Feb 19 2017, 08:35 AM
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❝Don
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There was something about having West loom over you with that intense look that made most of the women (and some of the men) on the base weak at the knees, it did not have the same effect on Elle - in fact it only seemed to irritate her more, and she was practically fuming as she had to tilt her head up to glare at him.

"Do you know how many exams I had to pass to get where I am? How many hours of training? No, of course you don't, so why don't you just go and play with your little tools and stop talking about things you don't understand," she snapped back, her voice raising a little. They were starting to draw the attention of some of the other crew on deck, and she overheard a mutter of 'there they go again' from behind her.

"My work has to be done today, yours could have been done any time, this isn't just unimportant it's getting in my way!"

Spooky
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Spooky
 Posted: Feb 19 2017, 10:04 AM
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She was feisty, he had to give her that, but at the moment he wasn't in very much of a giving mood.

“Oh, like you understand what I had to do to get here? I didn't have anyone pulling from the top for me, I had to do all of it myself,” he countered, oblivious to the attention they were drawing. “If my work was so unimportant they wouldn't have scheduled it over yours, but you're gonna have to take that up with my superior if you have a problem with it.” Which he highly doubted she would do. It would look bad on her to question how anyone above her handled the scheduling of their unit. Maybe she would just get daddy dearest to do it for her.

“But hey! If you think my work is so easy an unimportant, why don't you finish it?” He lightly bumped his fist against her chest, the one holding the screwdriver.

TAG: calicokit , FACE: François Arnaud , NOTES: ooooh  ©

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calicokit
 Posted: Feb 19 2017, 11:20 AM
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❝Don
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"I got where I am on my own," she snarled back, "I earned my place here just as much as any other pilot in the fleet, would I really have so many successful missions under my belt if I hadn't?" she was a gifted pilot, but her promotion had been rapid up until this point and no matter how skilled she was it wouldn't stop people insinuating (or outright saying) that she didn't deserve her rank.

She didn't have a comeback to the comment about taking it up with his superiors, neither of them was going to start trouble with any of the officers, not with a promotion coming up, she knew she wasn't going to question then and she knew he knew it too. Instead, she glared down at the screwdriver in his hand then back up at him, lifting her own arms to shove him - he might be bigger and stronger than her, but she was hoping the element of surprise would at least make him stumble.

"If I wanted to be a grease monkey I would have flunked out of school."

Spooky
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Spooky
 Posted: Feb 19 2017, 03:06 PM
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”Careful there, princess, you're sounding a little defensive,” West baited. He couldn't deny that her record was impressive, but her swift advancement through the ranks was a little to convenient in his mind. She had an advantage none of the other pilots had, and it was hard to see past that to her true accomplishments, especially when she spent so much time looking down on him.

Of course she didn't comment on the scheduling conflict, instead falling right back to insulting his education instead. He hated that term, 'grease monkey'. He was so much more than that. It wasn't just about the mechanics but electronics, electrical, pneumatics. He knew all the systems, hell he could probably make a toaster fly at this point, but no, because he didn't sit in the pilot's seat he was clearly uneducated.

The little push was a surprise, though, and he had to move one foot back to steady himself. That got the crowd talking for sure, and one good little soldier ran off to find one of the higher brass before it got too out of hand.

“You would have flunked out if you'd even tried. It takes actual skill and intelligence to do what I do. You wouldn't even have a ship if I wasn't so damn good.”

TAG: calicokit , FACE: François Arnaud , NOTES: ooooh  ©

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calicokit
 Posted: Feb 19 2017, 03:24 PM
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❝Don
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"Princess!?" she hissed, giving him another shove, even though she knew he'd be prepared for this one and it wouldn't have the same satisfying effect of knocking him backwards, however minimally.

"Actual skill and intelligence? To wave a wrench around and tighten screws? Please! You wouldn't last five minutes in a pilot's seat. You-"

"Corporal Sloane," she was cut off by a sharp voice from behind her and she automatically snapped to attention, spinning on her heel to face the imposing figure that had marched onto the flight deck.

Wing Commander Sloane was taller even than West, with the bulk that spoke of long years of military service and peak physical condition. His hair was blonde, like his daughter's, but beginning to grey around his temples, and it was clear where Elle had mastered her icy glare.

"Yes sir," she saluted sharply, her expression neutral but there was tell-tale tension around her jaw.

"Is there some problem here?"

"No sir." every word was clipped, precise, straight off a parade ground.

"I have received reports of an...altercation between you and Corporal West, is this some issue that needs to be brought to senior attention?"

"No sir."

"Good. See that it isn't." he gave them both a stern look "When you are done here, I will speak to you in my office."

"Yes sir." she nodded, and he turned to march away again. Around them, the deck crew (at least, those who hadn't scarpered at the commander's appearance) appeared to be holding their breath.

Spooky
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Spooky
 Posted: Feb 20 2017, 03:33 PM
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Oh, that one had really gotten to her, but he was prepared for the push this time and managed to only sway a little. He didn't even let her keep railing at him, this time cutting in and talking over her with Wave a wrench around?” he sputtered, but she was still talking, not even letting him get a word in.

And then a sharp voice cut through even her angry tirade and for a long moment the entire hangar fell into silence. West immediately straightened, legs tight and eyes forward, and saluted. Commander Sloane was an imposing, intimidating figure, exactly the hard ass one expects to see in the military after watching enough films.

While the two Sloanes spoke, West remained quiet and still. He had not been addressed, so it was not his place to make any interjection, nor did he want to attract any attention if not necessary. Only when the confrontation was over and the commander gone did he let his shoulders drop and exhale slowly. Well, that could've been a whole lot worse. Looking back at Sloane he could see the tension in her body, coiled like a spring ready to snap. Still, he couldn't resist one more shot. “You better go, I gotta get this ship up and running, and you don't wanna keep daddy waiting.”

To be fair it was pretty tame. He could have said a whole lot worse, but even West knew when to quit. Mostly.

TAG: calicokit , FACE: François Arnaud , NOTES: ooooh  ©

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calicokit
 Posted: Feb 20 2017, 04:37 PM
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❝Don
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Gritting her teeth, Elle whipped her head back around to West, eyes narrowing. For a moment, it seemed as though she was going to start their argument all over again, but instead she took a steadying breath and snapped back "It better be in top condition by the time I get back." before storming away from him.

When she reached her father's office, she was kept waiting, his secretary advising that he had gone to another meeting and would be with her shortly, leaving her to sit outside his office and try not to tap her feet in impatience.

Commander Sloane was, instead, halfway across the base and in the office of one Captain James, the lead engineer and consequently West's superior officer.

"I have a proposition for you, Captain, I think we have a problem that needs resolving."

Spooky
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