BSG: Escortstar Meleager

Viper One Zero, Meleager. You are cleared for Hands-on approach, vector two-two-eleven, carem four.

Acknowledged, Meleager. Inbound, two-two-one-one, carem four. Flipping the toggle for the transmitter, Reddog mutters to himself, "Frak, frak, I hate this part." The Mark VI Viper wobbles a bit as the young pilot twitches the control stick, but turns gracefully enough to line up on the landing deck of the Hunter Class ship.

Easy, Reddog, easy. Keep the throttle light, and flare right before touchdown. Just like the simulator. I'll be right behind you, Vortex chimes in from just off his Port wing. The Mark VII flown by Old Mel's CAG slides gracefully back and takes up a following formation.

Easy for you to say, Vortex. You're actually older than the ship you're flying. I still say we should just let the automatics handle our landings. Isn't that what they're for, anyway?

Sure, kid. The Automatics are great. But I'm not going to pass you if the only landing you can make is while you're sleeping. You don't have time in combat to let the ship do the work. You need to be able to come in hot and touch down, even dead stick if that's what it takes. Now throttle back thirty. Yeah, that's it. Nice and slow this time. Combat landing protocol will be the next step.

Reddog's Viper shudders a little in response to its pilot, but is now skimming only meters from the landing deck. Reddog throttles back, cutting relative velocity to near zero, and flares the fighter up twenty-five degrees. The Viper settles almost gently to the deck and slides only a couple feet before the mags kick in, bringing the fighter to a halt. Reddog sighs and slumps in relief. Finally, he hadn't slid into anything important.

Vortex's Mark VII flips gracefully over the downed Viper as the CAG waves happily down at the nugget. Not bad, kid. You barely even scraped the deck plate this time. Now Checker owes me thirty cubits!

"Oh, frak me, Checker's gonna cream me at Pyramid tonight!"