Ice was briefly confused by the lieutenant holding a job that would almost seem fitting for an enlisted sailor, but hey, who was Ice to judge? It wasn’t as though he knew much of the other navy jobs except those that could benefit him. Well, Ice was trying to learn, as his commander had deemed it necessary if Ice wanted to become squadron leader at some point, which Ice wanted more than anything.
Taking his hand, Ice gave it a hearty shake and smiled genuinely at him. “I wouldn’t want to impose upon you, Lieutenant. And yes, I am Kazansky.” Ice almost said his first name, but decided that for now, this would do. After all, with how life was on carriers, what chance was there that he’d see this radio repair lieutenant again?
“Radio repairs, so you are the ones responsible for making sure that I can remain in contact with everyone?” Ice smiled at him. “I’m very grateful for the work of you and your men.” He glanced at his records again and asked, “Got some time on your hands, Lieutenant? Do you like records?”
“I love records! And I’ve got plenty of time,” Patrick said, hefting a box. “Yep, we’re in charge of making sure this floating hangar is in contact with our allies, especially with Letloto, and America of course.”
He noticed Kazansky staring at him. “You’re wondering why I’m doing repairs if I’m an officer, right?”
Chuckling a little and glad to have someone to share his music with, Ice motioned for Patrick to come into his quarters and set his box of records on his bed. What he had wasn’t very much, only two boxes full compared to all the ones he had in storage back in the States, but this prized collection would tie him over for the duration of the tour.
“Well I’m glad to hear it, Collins,” said Ice as he then brought out a small suit-case, which when opened was a turntable complete with a built-in stereo system. He showed Patrick one of his records, “Waiting for the Sun” by The Doors and put it on. “I hope you like The Doors! And yes, I am curious to how come you, being the rank you are, could hold that position.”
“Woah, nice setup!” Patrick said, inspecting the turntable. “I have a Harmon/Kardon like this back in Phoenix.” He nodded along with the beat. “I love the Doors.” He didn’t want to sit down until he was invited to, so he stood like he usually did. “To answer your question, I’m actually head of communications for the David Farragut. I’m a repairman myself, I know the systems and I tinker. I could have gone to Anapolis but I decided to study radios.” He paused. “I know, it doesn’t really make sense. I wasn’t always on the floor. I used to just be command, before the incident last year when the radios in the Tomcats went out. They had me fix them and I’ve been building stuff ever since. So how’d you get here?
“Thanks!” replied Ice, brightening at a compliment that his record player wasn’t usually paid. “My father gave it to me when I went to school to become a pilot. We grew up listening to records together and he knew that despite my collection of cassettes that I’d still want to listen to my records, so he bought me this one. It’s simple, but I love it.”
Ice cleared off a spot on the bed and motioned for Patrick to sit down. He wasn’t sure where else the radio tech could sit, as he was just getting used to the room as it was. Going over to the desk, Ice moved the record player over to it before taking a seat on the chair as he listened to Patrick’s story. “Hmm, not a bad thing I guess. As long as you don’t mind doing it, naturally. I thought you might have…” Ice shrugged a little, feeling awkward in thinking that perhaps it was because of a major screw-up that he had been reduced to such a task.
“Why am I here?” Ice smirked and replied, “I’m a pilot. I guess they needed pilots. I was stationed in Washington for a time but then I got orders.. Flew my Tomcat in and well, here I am. You wouldn’t happen to know if anything might be ah, going down, would you?”
“Thanks,” Patrick said, taking the seat offered. “Neat that you and your dad listened to records together. My dad passed when I was a kid, but he’s the one who showed me how radios work.” He left it at that, not wanting to continue about his childhood. “I don’t mind it at all. I like being able to actually do something. I’m not good with telling people what to do.” He looked through Kazansky’s records. “Anything going down? I- I don’t know. I have heard about some little country, Berzerkestan, somewhere on the Gulf. I don’t think it’s even a country, but Captain Potter has been talking about it. Have you heard anything?”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” replied Ice frowning. “Well, if you’re as good as how you brag,” he teased with a playful smile, “then I think I shouldn’t have much to worry about when I’m up there.”
He shook his head and replied, “No, I’m a pilot but I get told about things when I’m being briefed, rarely any other time, and sometimes, it really is random. Right now, all I get to do is well, unpack.”
Ice tried to keep the sadness out of his voice for it hadn’t been easy for him to follow the orders that he had been given. It was just him and another pilot from his base that had been ordered to the carrier and that other pilot wasn’t Maverick. Maverick had been needed at their current base. Ice they could spare and at this time, he had no idea how long it would be before he got to see Maverick again and it was only a matter of time before the loneliness really sank in. Talking about the conflict helped provide distraction however and he smiled at the name.
“It would seem fitting that a place called Bezerkestan would find something to get upset over, that is, if it is real. But you, listening in on a captain’s private discussion? That’s insubordination!” He smirked as he leaned forward. “Hear anything else interesting?”
“Nothing to worry about!” Patrick said with a grin. “I’m the one who developed the comm system we’re using now with just a soldering iron and a transistor radio!”
“Yeah right. It was a general memo to some of the officers. Seems that we may be launching a mission into the country itself,” Patrick said. “Berzerkestan is a possible ally of the States, so we’re going to have to make a good impression, whatever we do. When’s the briefing?”