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Getting on With It

Posted on 12 May 2017 @ 4:04am by Lieutenant Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Flight Deck
Timeline: MD 2 || 1115 hours

Gemma sat leaning against the wall of the flight deck, perfectly comfortable. Some might think it weird but the flight deck was a home away from home for Archer and she took the hustle and bustle in stride. Besides wherever you could use a PADD you had an office and Gemma was just as happy she didn’t have a full on office. After all in her opinion, quarters and offices were nice but were like purses. However much you had, you filled up. It just seemed to happen.

For her part she was happy with the space she had and being the eldest of three rather good at tuning out what wasn't needed. She used that power now as she bend her head over a PADD, jumping from screen to screen as she looked at basic personnel data and their craft experience. She compared it to the available flight time and their normal duty schedules. Final she nodded once to herself in satisfaction and stood.

On the PADD were two plans. Plan A and Plan B.

Plan A’s schedule looked something like this:

Alpha Shift

0700: Arrive at work/beginning shift routine
0730: Mass Brief Flight Ops Briefing Room
0800: Training Brief
0830: Simulation Training in new fighter mock ups
1045: End Training
1045: Initial Debrief
1100: Lunch
1200: Complete Debrief
1230: Additional Duties
1300: Standard End of Alpha Shift

With similar set ups for Beta (1300-2000) and Gamma (2000-0300) it was a standard load. Plan B looked much the same except it added 90 minutes at the end of each shift for more simulator time. So with this extra training as Alpha was leaving, Beta shift would be coming in to fly. When Beta finished its second round Gamma would be coming in. When Gamma left that would leave maintenance time to make sure the simulators were ready for the next load at 0830.

It seemed balanced and took into account the rules avoiding flight fatigue while allowing basic other duties to get done, of course this was contingent on nothing else coming up. Gemma gave a mental laugh at that thought as she went in search of the Boss.

She found him at the Master Display, sans Captain. “All went well with the Big Boss? Boss?” She grinned and held out the PADD, “As ordered.” She said trying to peek at her craft assignment on the display subtly.

Terry turned and accepted the PADD. "Yeah, as well as can be expected on a new ship." He studied what Lieutenant Alexander had put together. She had done an excellent job. And two plans...options for him. He liked that. "I see you've provided two schedules," he said to Gemma. "You like to keep options open, don't you?"

Gemma nodded, "Better to tailor to a situation as it were. One can never be sure, figure this way covers the bases and who doesn't like options?" She smiled easily and glanced at the PADD briefly before continuing, "I had thought to add more hours as a third option but that risks high pilot fatigue and system glitches if we mess too much with the preventive maintenance schedules for the simulators. And I didn't think the need was quite that dire..." She glanced over at Rocco the last part with a slight question in her voice. She had some basic idea of their mission but no details, though she suspected if the bio matter were to truly hit the fan they'd be on around the clock training. "Best part is we have a simulator going spare each time so if one goes down or someone needs more TLC then we can loop them in a bit without messing up overall flow..."

"Yeah, we don't need pilot fatigue," said Terry. "That said, I think your Plan A should be good enough. Nice job on thinking to keep one of them open, too. I'm sure the maintenance personnel will be glad to know that." Terry could tell that Lieutenant Alexander had put quite of thought and planning into her recommendation. "So, are you ready to find out which bird is yours?"

She nodded at his choice for the training schedule, as for the assignment she was glad to have helped. Pilot's had a dare devil reputation that didn't take into account the sheer amount of behind the scenes work they did. Yes they could be wild but they were not entirely foolish. Then duty done pivoted to her other main focus, "As to my assigned craft, Yes." she grinned and didn't even think of pretending that was not on the fore front of her mind. "Show me my lovely, lovely wings if you please..."

Terry laughed and brought up Gemma's name and craft. "Eleven dash zero two. It's the number of the fighter as well as it's location...Deck Eleven, Bay Two. Kinda helps to keep things straight that way. But we'll still go by Alpha One, Alpha Two, and so on when in the black. Or call signs, of course. C'mon, let's go. It's over here." Terry led Gemma to the location on the other side of the deck. "Mine's in the next bay over, zero one." He peeked around the corner real quick and then turned back around. "So what do you think?"

Alexander had already gone up to her craft when he stopped to glance at his own, her eyes glued to hers. Her hands roved it's sleek lines with a happy smile. "It's brilliant, 36 microboomers, 2 launchers, upgrades to the nacelles for faster maximum and emergency warp ratings, improved pulse phasers, and stronger shields..." As she talked excitedly she walked around the craft, hands skimming it as she examined it. She glanced at her Boss, "We allowed to paint a symbol on these? on Earth in World War I and II it was a common practice though I know we don't do it as much nowadays..."

"Correct, Lieutenant, we don't do that as much nowadays," replied Terry. "And there's a very good reason too. If you were to put paint or any kind of markings on the hull of the fighter, it would increase it's sensor cross-section. In effect, you'd be making yourself a bigger target and easier to lock-on to. I want you back on this Flight Deck the same you left, alive. So there'll be no painting on the hull. Though, I am aware of the fact that some pilots have named their fighters throughout history. So feel free to do that. Just...don't paint the name on the bird in any fashion."

"Aye we did lose a bit when we improved tech did we not? Lovely trade off once I think about it though" She said rejoining him at the front of her craft, standing near the nose, thinking of the power that went into such a craft. She gave it a brief pat like one would be beloved pet, "It's alright Arrow, you and me will get along fine regardless."

Terry smiled. "Arrow. I like that. It's fitting...Archer." He paused a few seconds to take in the way she was treating her fighter. "You brought up a few of the new specs. But did you know that they incorporated a bio-neural gel pack core? It increases computational capacity and storage by thirty percent. In terms for us, we have a new tactical link-up library software system that provides a clearer and more accurate battlefield image."

Gemma grinned at her Chief and nodded, glad he saw the reasoning. It was she as Archer, who would ensure Arrow met its target. She nodded again at the rest of his statement, this time in understanding. "Shiny. I had heard they improved it but I'm still trying to memorize all the spec's." She looked thoughtful a moment and continued, "This will definitely aid in reaction time and since we can't count on the enemy to be slackers we'll need every edge. We'll have to make sure all the training really pushes the new spec's to their limit so we'll properly know the range." She said thinking partly out loud.

"Indeed it will, reaction time will be cut. Which is why I had you come up with a plan for a training rotation that wouldn't interfere with regular duties. We all need to get used to it. I like your idea of pushing the limits in the simulators," he said. "Manuals were written by Engineers who sandbag." He smiled at his wingperson.

Gemma answering with returning smile of her own. It was a well known fact among pilots that engineers were amazing. They could bring a craft back from the brink of the scrap yard, however they were also fussy and tended to baby their creations or equipment in their charge, "They really need to have more faith in the solidness of their construction, after all they built the things..." She gestured at her craft nearby. "I am emergency cases only of course..." she virtuously hastened to add, "We have a bit more give than they're telling us and I'd just as soon know before someone starts shooting me."

"No doubt about that," replied Terry. He took a step back and looked at the rest of the Flight Deck. They were getting prepared. But they didn't know for what. And Terry only knew a little bit, at least what had been revealed in the briefing. He sighed. "If you'll excuse me Lieutenant, I have a flight schedule to prepare for the next couple days...among other things."

Gemma's smiled faded as she recalled what could happen but replaced by a determined look, "We'll be up for it. And Remember share the load we'd all help, if nothing else a wingman's job is to have your back." She gave a rueful smile, "Work and worry, both can be shared."

Terry looked at Gemma and nodded. "I'll keep that in mind, thanks." He may be calling on her in the future for some things, since she volunteered. "Have fun getting to know her." He chuckled and head back across the Deck.

Archer nodded the smile returning as she turned toward her craft, pulling out a PADD. "What other secrets do you have for me Arrow mine..." She muttered as she began to recheck spec's.


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