Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

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Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:20 pm

Ace had worked with Coraline on a couple if missions so far, the second of which had ended with plan H, however she had professed a lack of familiarity with Bingo Wings and tactical airborne transport in general. Ave had offered, somewhat out of hand, to give her some private tuition and was satisfied when she accepted. That is why he was currently in Oracle's private hanger at Seoul Airport performing pre-flight checks on the Oracle helicopter.

He was dressed the part of a pilot, with his pilot green form fitting flight suit covering his fatigues. He had given many members of Oracle similar ones over the last year, but this was his and from the many pockets full of maps and miscellaneous items to the rank displayed on his epaulettes he very much looked the part of a military pilot. As he checked he muttered to himself, a ritual he didn't need but never grew out of.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:48 pm

Ace! Hey there dear, just arrived at the airport. Afraid I've already gotten turned around though. My apologies but could you text me directions to the hangar from the main foyer? Cheers dear. I did make enquiries of the staff but the poor dears are really run off their feet today! [p.s. Is it always so busy here?]
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:32 pm

Rather than send a text based message to a fellow Agent who was close by, Ace replied via Smeeker.

"Good Morning, Coralline. It's usually fairly quiet, although I think they are a little short staffed at the moment. I don't tend to go into the main building much these days as we have our own chip-checked hanger. If you leave via the east exit onto the airfield I'll walk over and get you. I did tell them you were coming so there shouldn't be a problem with security."
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:26 pm

"Ah, hey Ace. Exceptional, I'm on my way currently. Sorry for the text message, bit low tech. I just didn't know what you were up to so I wasn't sure speaking straight into your head would be appreciated, especially unannounced. See you soon dear!" A few minutes later Coraline had walked out of the east exit and looked around, with an expression that broadcasted both anticipation and expectation.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:00 pm

Outside Ace was striding out along a walkway at the edge of the Tarmac, from the direction of private hangers. Upon seeing Corraline he slowed and gave a small wave.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:22 pm

Coraline smiled and strode forward until she was level with Ace. She had brought only her medical toolkit but that was more force of habit than anything else. Coraline stopped on the spot before the ex-fed and saluted smartly, a smile teasing at the edges of her lips. "Sargent Carnell, technically, reporting for basic airborne insertion, sir." Coraline raised her eyebrows emphatically as the word sir departed her lips. It was pretty clear that Coraline was earnestly attempting to emulate military procedure but couldn't bring herself to take it entirely seriously. The plague doctor looked awkwardly to the side and had the decency to look embarrassed. "So Ace dear, shall we get going? Or do I get a briefing first?" This last sentence was said in complete earnest, Coraline's enthusiasm for new information showing through.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:15 pm

Ace raised an eyebrow at Coraline's tone and actions. "No need to make fun of me, 'Sergeant'. I'll brief you in the hanger. No point standing around in the wind and the cold, is there?" Ace was tempted for a moment to about-turned sharply and march off, to fit with Coraline’s own exaggeration but he decided that there wasn't much point. He turned sharply on his heals anyway and strode off at his normal pace, looking back over his shoulder slightly to see Coraline behind, or possibly to the side of, him.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:24 am

Coraline 'oh' -ed to herself as she had to double time to keep up with Ace. "Well I completely agree with you there but I have to admit I'm curious my dear, aren't you fed types supposed to come over all tough and ignore such trivial annoyances? And I didn't mean to poke fun, I'm just not quite used to military procedure. At least I suppose not. One other brief question before we start dear, you said you'd be flying and jumping with me? As well as flying the plane? Would you mind elaborating on how you're going to do both of those at once? If letting me know isn't too compromising of course."
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:17 am

"I'm not the normal 'fed type'. I wasn't when I was in, and I'm less so now I'm out." He led her to a hanger on a row of hangers. There were no specific identifying features to differentiate it from the surrounding ones. "Before I worked for Oracle I spent a lot of time as a test pilot for Western Aeronautics. I.. have a way. Never get the plans for it, unfortunately, but it’s like emersion piloting but wirelessly. And a lot less concentration as it uses Internal AI to help with things, sort of."

He scanned his chip at the wicket gate in the large hanger doors and pushed it open to revealed the interior. It was a fairly large blank space that could hold a private aircraft, but was devoid of decoration. There was a workbench in the corner, full of parts and tools. In the centre of the hanger was a large helicopter, clearly designed for transport. It was not weaponised, although a practiced eye can see plenty of places where things had been modified, including the winch for the rappel line and anti-gravity generators cleverly affixed to the exterior. The poly-chromatic paint was set to matt black at the moment, which contrasted with the white lighting of the interior.

"There she is."
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:07 pm

Coraline had smiled at atypical Ace but her eyebrows raised and her mouth hung open as Ace described an insane technology. The plague doctor remained stunned for several seconds until the ex fed introduced his helicopter, she knew the implications of such a technology and they whirled through her mind. No wonder he didn't let me program his hornet. "She's ah, she's beautiful. I-I don't know much about flying but would I be right in thinking that I'm a very privileged person to be seeing this work of art at all? And you.... can fly her with your mind, while doing something else just fine? Oh Ace, you do know how to spoil a girl."
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:55 pm

Ace took a quizzical look at the woman in the hanger with him and then looked over to the helicopter. Then he looked back at the woman once more. "You think this is a work of art? It's heavily modified, sure, but it's still at core a stock civilian transport 'copter with bits glued on. I'm starting to get the impression that you are trying to tell me what you think I want to hear, rather than what you actually feel. It's not even a very good colour."

Ace concentrated for a moment and the colour of the craft rippled. Waves of colour flowed over the surface as if multicoloured drops were splashing into a pool of black. It rippled and flowed until the patters were a complex and constantly shifting. After a few seconds it had transformed into a white craft with Oracle branding moving across it's surface, before the outside appeared to shatter, falling away to the ground and leaving an empty hanger. There was no trace that the 'copter was ever there to begin with, for a brief moment before it faded back into existence, and the rotors slowly started to spin.

"Is that better?" He said and walked towards the door, which slid open as he approached.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:46 pm

Coraline stood by the entrance as Ace spoke, manipulated his ship and then walked away from her. Slowly she shook her head. "No Ace, thats not even close dear. Matte black paint? Antigrav motors on the outside, lowering both weight and noise? I'd have guessed there was a sound dampener as well but now that you've shown me the polychromatic paint and stealth field, I'd say it is a certainty. What I thought was a helicopter modified for stealth, and praised for its modifications, you have shown is also a chameleon. Given your familiarity with it, I'd say that you modified a regular domestic helicopter into a functional infiltration design. That's what I meant by beautiful Ace, in biology and immunology particularly, functionality in design is everything." Only now did Coraline follow, arms folded tight across her chest.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:28 am

At this Ace shook his head and started laughing. A low chuckle, nearly under his breath, but a laugh all the same.

"No. It's still a standard domestic helicopter with bits glued on. The antigrav motors are there to counteract the shocking drop of manoeuvrability that suitably armouring it created, and even then the Armour is lower than I would like. It's not designed for what we use it for, at all, and that is really obvious in the handling. It's slow, as well. Even with the tuned engine. The CEO wouldn't even let me add weapons to it. Sure, it's functional, but it's not elegant and it sure wasn't designed this way."

Ace wasn't really looking at Coraline as he spoke, rather he was looking at the 'copter apprasivly.

"Even with the shielding and armour plates one solid hit with an EMP cannon and the whole thing will crash to the ground. It does the job, I suppose."

As he mentioned EMP he did shoot a quick glance towards Coraline. He frowned slightly, as if considering something, as he reached into the passenger seat and pulled out a garment that was very similar to the one he was wearing.

"I suppose I should get a more functional hovercopter. The Gunship is all well and good but doesn’t do very well for troop transport. Hmm..." He mused as he turned back towards Coraline, looking at her properly for the first time since he started talking about the 'copter. It was clear from his tone and body language that, despite his protests, he did care for the 'copter in a way. Certainly the way the talked about it confirmed that he was a professional in this field.

"Anyway, put this on." He said as he thrust the flight-suit towards his fellow agent.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:10 pm

"Okay so you're picking me up on the technical vocabulary I used. Efficient problem solutions was what I meant to say, while design functionality was what I said, fair point my dear. Colour me corrected then. Still you can't really demand subtlety and the capacity to weather an assault from the same vehicle, can you? You're too hard on the poor girl Ace, if she gets the job done what more can you ask of her? Oh, no waiting around then I suppose?" This last comment immediately followed Coraline almost dropping her newest outfit as she bunched her arms to accept it.

The ex V.K. agent undid the zipper and began to pull the flight suit on, up over her outfit. This was done with a great deal more grace on her part. A strange look passed over her face and Coraline spoke again as she finished zipping up her flight suit. The words 'Ace' and 'pilot' met in Coraline's mind and she shook her head, ruefully. "Hmm, oddly comfortable. So, Ace, where are we headed for aerial insertion 101?" It was clear from Coraline's voice that the ex fed's comments about incoming fire and crashing hadn't concerned the plague doctor at all. Especially when considered with their proximity to a war-zone. No siree, not a drop of concern hidden in that voice.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:46 pm

"Oh, you can have subtly and firepower in the same craft. You should see the Gunship." Ace replied with a smile. "It suits you." he gestured to the outfit she now wore.


In answer to her question Ace climbed into the cockpit. "I was planning to find a quiet spot outside the city and go from there."
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:15 pm

Coraline smiled and bobbed, apparently pleased by the compliment. "Well, that certainly seems reasonable to me but I suppose.... once we get there the only way to go is. *Ahem* Down?" The plague doctor sounded more nervous as she cleared her throat. With a cry of, "Oh, sorry!" Coraline clambered over into a free chair and strapped herself in. She grinned over at Ace, a slight frown the only sign of her misgivings.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:25 pm

Ace sent a quick radio message to the control tower, to inform them that they were about to leave. Unlike most pilots Ace did not ask for permission and wait for a takeoff slot, he mealy told control that he was leaving and the Air Traffic was rearranged around him. With a mechanical whirr the roof to the hanger slid open in stages, peeling away above them as the 'copter rose into the air. Within moments the old city was below them, the edges visible on all sides save that blocked by the Spire that still towered above them. With a few more toggles of controls the 'copter set out over the old city and towards the wasteland beyond.

Ace looked over to his passenger and asked "What do you think of the view?".
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:47 pm

Coraline had been gazing intently out of the 'copter, from the moment they cleared the hangar doors. Now she looked back to Ace with a somewhat forced smile "Seoul is as illustrious from above as it is from the ground. I see a powerhouse of a city. But I'm afraid my view is obscured by a few too many smoke plumes. And what I can see of the city's cramped decayed houses, well, it says 'I won't be the start of a plague but oh man if I was hit by one.' Epidemic; especially with a decent incubation period and so many travel connections." The ex V.K. agent shuffled awkwardly in her seat. "Although I suppose, I won't be able to see it at all before too long?"
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:58 pm

"Today isn't a good day for the view, I guess. I'm prefer looking at the horizon. You can't see as far as this from in a city, too much in the way."

Ace frowned a little at the ground as the 'copter tilted a little more forward, giving them both a better view of the rapidly retreating buildings below. "I've never considered a city in that way before. It's a good job modern medicine has wiped out most of the big contagious diseases then.” After a little more of a pause the buildings below and ahead gave way to open land. “Why did you choose to be a plague doctor? It seems a bit of a leap from plastic surgery, but then I don’t know that much about medicine.”
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:20 am

"The one isn't too far from the other actually, since plastic surgery is almost entirely cybernetics these days. So knowing how they interact with the body and vice versa is, you know, vital knowledge. As it happens, your immune system treats cybernetic augmentations the same way it treats pathogens. Because that is how it reacts to everything it detects as a foreign entity. Unfortunately, that blatant xenophobia is the basis of all immunity to disease."

Here Coraline sighed and turned her face from Ace's, opting for the aft view instead. "I switched because I had put a lot of time and effort into making the richest people live fuller lives. And that is work that has value. But with the same knowledge and skills.... I could make a difference to many many more lives with only a little more effort. And yes, I knew that the work would be in less comfortable conditions but we have to suffer for our art to mean anything. I need to actually make some progress in that area. How about you my dear? You've told me a little, but surely there must be more?" The self proclaimed plague doctor still had not returned her gaze to Ace.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:10 am

Ace was very familiar with flying and passengers. He had spent a decent portion of time airlifting troops from one place to another, inserting or extracting them as needed from combat situations. He was well used to behaviour like Coraline’s at this moment. She clearly was not comfortable with flying. Ace could understand, intellectually, how some people have a problem with being suspended so far above the ground but he had never felt it himself. To him the sky was a wonderful place, free from distractions, high above the concerns of people on the ground. A place where you could see the enemy coming and prepare. Ace wondered why Coraline had volunteered for insertion training, knowing that she was going to be jumping from this aircraft before long.

"What do you want to know?" He replied.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:45 pm

"Well, I'm afraid all I remember are sweeping statements about the nature of the WF. And while I have every confidence in the validity of your account I don't quite think there enough on their own. All the corporations have problems like that. Surely, surely people were involved, dear? And I really must confess.... I'm quite curious, not to mention concerned, as to why anyone would want to do anything to you that would result in driving you out." Coraline still had not looked away from the window and while her voice was not unkind, something of its usual cheer was missing.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:08 pm

Ace looked ahead at the horizan ahead as the last buildings of the city dissapeared from under them. He looked at Coraline breifly, once, but turned his gaze away when it was clear she was not looking at him. It took a moment before he replied and it was clear that he wasn't entirly comfortable with the topic.

"The full reason isn't a very good story. I don't think so, anyway." Another pause. "I did something. Something I don't regret, but which turned out to be very bad for me. As a result I was transferred from active service and put in the middle of nowhere, out in the desert. Oh, it started alright. I was a test pilot, flying new and interesting types of aircraft, but it wasn't long before the A.I. projects became the forefront of development. Unmanned drones. Taking the pilots out. At first keeping them on the ground and then getting rid of them entirely. I was there for four years and in the end I was only there to guard my replacement.” Ace went silent.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Coraline on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:40 pm

"[Ehehe, well if you don't mind me saying so Ace. That sounds rather ghastly you poor dear. Being phased out like that must have felt terrible. But.... well I, if you're uncomfortable talking about it then in that case I completely understand. It's just that.... I asked about the people you knew, who mattered to you and you didn't so much as mention another human being. And now I can't help but wonder why?" Coraline was looking at Ace now, a thoughtful expression on her face. The helicopter, their height and what they were about to do seemingly forgotten.
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Re: Week 54: Airborn Insertion Training.

Post  Ace Nizky on Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:39 pm

Ace wasn't any good at lying. In fact it had been drilled into him since he was a child that lying was bad, that one should do what is right and then you wouldn't need to lie. So he didn't. But that didn't mean he was bad at keeping secrets. Then again this wasn't really a secret, it was just that no-one had asked.

After a brief moment of internal conflict, with the two of them sitting in uncomfortable silence, Ace replied, a slight bitterness undercutting his tender tones.

“Her name was Jennifer Sykes. Jenny. She was beautiful, delicate, caring. At least, I thought she was. Turns out she was heartless and cruel. Still beautiful though. I loved her, and I thought she loved me. Eight months we had together before I found out that she was married, and when I confronted her with it she just laughed. That should have been the end of it, only she was my Mission Officer. Two days later my whole division was sent out for a suicide run into the free states. I’m the only one who made it back.” Deep, quiet anger infused his voice as he spoke. “They knew we were coming. My whole division was gunned down by the ambush, and Cardona turned against us. Started shooting his own team. Johnson and I were the only ones who made it back to the plane, and I only made it out because he stayed behind to make sure Cardona didn’t get away with it. I never found out who he was really working for, but I think I know.”
Another pause. When Ace spoke again the anger was gone, replaced with resignation tinted with sorrow and regret. “I was court marshalled, of course. Charged first with being a spy for the enemy, and then with cowardice. Nothing stuck. In the end I was stripped of rank and sent to the desert, rather than being executed.”

Despite his voice and the clear emotions of his reply the helicopter flew straight. There was a movement now as it decelerated before coming to a stop. “We’re here.”
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