The pilots provide ground cover as the marines make a return trip to the ski resort to look for more survivors.
Location: Zhota Mountains - Tauron - Atray Province
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Bullhorn
Scene Number: 707
After de-briefing the civilians rescued from the ski resort a few hours ago, it was determined that there might actually be other survivors in hiding there. The powers that be decided to mount a SAR mission to go and find out. There are actually two flights going out this time, each with 4 Vipers and 2 Raptors. One is set to scout the north face of the mountain - some cottages not too far from where the survivors were rescued. The other flight is bound for the main complex at the bottom of the mountain. Main mission is to put down marines to do a ground sweep while the birds search for signs of life from the air and fend off any incoming hostiles. Secondary mission is to strafe any Centurions on the ground upon approach to clear the way for the boots.
Eva barely had time to eat, shower and get her suit clean, before Kallas was on the horn, calling the squadron back to duty. But this is the job, and it's what she's signed up to do, so here she is again, minus a fruity oaty bar, having consumed that while she was in the launch tube, something that might have been noticed, or not, as she was being maneuvered into position. Both hands on the stick now though, as she continues in formation, scanning the terrain for sign, friendly and non.
If the question is: you must be new here? Then, yes, Dani is very new. Fresh off the transport ship, barely moved into her rack, vague idea of which way is aft. And now, she's here. Still new but on this mission, now. Ensign, fresh meat that she is, she's in one of the Raptors and by the smell of the cockpit, the much passed over one. Smell blindness welcomed, Dani manuevers for one of the slopes containing as yet searched cottages, one eye on her radar as she negociates the approach.
Kallas is leading this particular flight himself. "The last group ran into a SAM battery near the front, so keep a sharp eye out," he warns as they come over the lake and pass into the snow-capped mountains. But this time they're lucky - no SAM batteries mess with them. They do spy some Cylon troops on the ground, and Kallas asks the Raptors to make note of their positions. Now they're coming up on the ski resort. "Skies are clear - call out what you see on the ground."
Eva never trusts just the DRADIS, especially this close to the ground, where the Viper's systems, nowhere near as sensitive as the raptors, can give her too many false positives. She trusts her actual visuals better, and as she banks to continue towards the proposed drop point, she hits her comms, "Flight, Cherry, I see a group in the central clearing, and I peg another coming in from the east. It looks as though they're carrying a large weapon array. My bet would be they're looking to replace the battery we took out."
Even with the advantage posed of flying the Raptor, Dani misses some of the more salient details. "Uh...Gopnik copies," Danica comms back, squinting at her screen for a moment. "I... just see the ones in the clearing," she confirms, if a little unhelpfully for the bigger picture.
"Any signs of civvies near the Toasters?" Kallas calls out. When the radio chatter confirms a negative from all the various pilots, he calls out, "All right. Weapons hot. Let's clear the way for our boots. Make sure you don't hit any of those buildings. Might be people hiding in the wreckage."
"Copy that, Flight. Clear the road, don't damage the structures." Eva does like to make sure she has things clear. She banks hard, moving in to strafe the cluster of cylons moving in the heavy weapons. Attack the biggest threat and help the rest of the strike team identify their location. Once more into the breach.
Danica flanks the other way, going for that which isn't claimed by Cherry. "..opy," she states, with distraction, her commlink just a hair short of the full word.
Eva does not keep a hot mike, and so the group is spared her cursing, as she barely manages to get a hit in on the battery, throttling up hard to avoid the missile it sends her way. But that has never stopped her before, and so she wheels back around, going back in for another round.
Kallas dips is nose to buzz the treeline, his cannon spewing lead at the battery. Unfortunately he gets only a glancing blow. Grunting under his breath, he comes around for another pass. The centurions were taken by surprise at first, but now several of them raise their weapons towards the sky. Can those things actually make a dent in Viper armor? Guess we'll find out.
On the other hand, Danica seems to leave her comm channel open by accident she fires on the knot of Toasters in the opposite grouping. "...holy fuck... that's... yep," she stumbles, sounding entirely too surprised about the outcome before a small chuckle sneaks in. The Raptor swings around, finding the next target.
Now she's just getting mad. It doesn't help that, while she avoids the missile and gets another bare hit to the battery and the centurions around it, she ends up with cylon bits and bobbles peppering her ship, "I'm alright!" She calls out. She's still flying, and a quick check of her controls show that her bird wills till do what she needs it to do. She maneuvers back around, going back in to try again. Third time's the charm, right? "Nice work, Goptik!" Man, what she wouldn't give for missiles.
Danica's missile makes a nice explosion that has Kallas coming over the coms to say, "Nice fireworks show there. Focus on that battery. Those pea shooters aren't going to do much."
"Fuck yeah!," Danica acknowledges, enthusiastically via her commlink. There's a nickle's worth of a pause before she adds, "...sir." The short run checks winding down to locking her target on the other group are interrupted with a few quick taps and the Raptor at her command swivels in the direction of the battery, instead. "You'll get it next one, Cherry," she continues, moving in on the advised target.
"Why...won't...these...things...just...die? Also, can I have missiles next time? I could use missiles." Seeing as how Danica is simply laying waste to every Cylon in her path. Eva is determined to take down this clump of cylons, and she banks back, checking Kallas, as he too is hit, "Flight, you green?" In she goes. This might end very badly.
Kallas's bird takes a hit, the controls shuddering in his hand. "I'm fine," he says, though his voice sounds irritated. "Godsdamn it, what is that thing made out of? Coming around for another pass."
Gopnik's celeration whoop for mowing down things is cut off, her head snapping to the side to watch Kallas' bird take on the damage from the ground fire. She's silent now, waiting for Kallas' affirmation that he's in reasonably sized entact man pieces. "...about to be salty tears," she half drawls into her open link as she shifts position, "Comin' to you guys..."
"All right! That's what I'm talking about. Nice shot, Goptik." Yes, the CAG totally just butchered her name. If he realizes it, he may apologize later. Then he's glancing at his DRADIS. "We've got bogeys incoming." Four of them, looks like. "Goptik, finish off those ground troops. Cherry, you're with me. The rest of you - cover the marine insertion and scan the area for any signs of survivors."
Eva, thankfully, this go around, is not the target of any of the cylons, and she makes it through the strafe with no damage to her own ship. Danika's raptor swings around, and as the bus takes care of business, she comes back on the comms, "Thanks for the assist, Gopnik." As Kallas' call, she forms up with him, settling into his wing. "Bit of smoke on your tail, Flight." Tell him something he doesn't know, right? As the raiders peel off and seem to choose them targets, Eva guns her engines and prepares for another run.
"Oh fuckkkkkk yeah!," Danica half-bellows. as classy as her callsign seems to promise, into her hot mic as the battery implodes into a pile of fire and salty tears. "You got it, Flight! Get 'em, Cherry," she rallies, either not hearing Kallas' gaffe or not mentioning it for now, opting out of dusting her enthusiasm with more profanity as her hand levers down on the flight stick, peeling off for some ground control.
Eva zigs and she zags, managing to evade the kew fire from two of the raiders, while doing, once again, barely any damage to the raider she was aiming at. "Fifteen years I've been at this, and now you are just making me look bad." She says that entirely to herself, remaining silent on the comms as she swings back around, still following her original target.
Kallas actually hadn't noticed the smoke until Eva pointed it out to him. "Frak, thought that last one missed." It did, but the explosion was still close enough that his tail caught a bit of shrapnel. "Thanks for the head's up Cherry. Systems still green. Let's get these bastards." He peppers one of the Raider's wings with his cannon but only does minor damage.
"I love this job!," Dani exclaims with great enthusiasm into her hot mike, she continues stumble upward successfully for once. It's only downhill from her. "You got this guys," she informs them affiably, as the Raptor turns tightly and heads back in the other direction for the Centurion still wobblingly upright.
Kallas dodges to the right as one of the Raiders comes in gunning for him, but manages to take a healthy chunk out of the belly of the plane on the way past. "You and me both, Goptik." One can almost hear the grin in his voice. He comes around for another pass, calling out, "You good, Cherry?"
Eva, once again, manages not to die, but it comes at the expense of also not doing any dmage to the raider she's locked on to. She needs a snack, but she also needs both hands for her controls. Choices. "I'm shooting like a nugget. But I'm still alive." The fruity oaty bar will have to wait. Back in she goes again.
"...nik. Uh, sir...," Danica gently corrects, a grin present in her voice along with that small bit of reluctance that comes with doing it. There's probably a few hazing moments in her largely greenhorn past. There's a pause before a slightly annoyed: '...fuck. I'm out," she mutters, perhaps referring to her payload count. There's another pause before Scratch is on commlink, "...I'm on Kew," he announces in the moments before he opens up on a target.
"Nick? What?" Kallas has no idea what Danica is talking about. But he's also a little distracted dogfighting two Raiders. Having taken one of them out, and in light of Eva's comment, he veers off. "Got one. Taking the one on your six, Cherry."
Eva still cannot seem to pull her head out of her ass, and once again, she barely gets a single hit on the raider she's targetting, even if she does manage to evade the incoming fire headded her way. "Maybe I should just try crashing into them with my ship." She only sounds half joking. In she goes...once again.
Eva still cannot seem to pull her head out of her ass, and once again, she barely gets a single hit on the raider she's targeting, even if she does manage to evade the incoming fire headed her way. "Maybe I should just try crashing into them with my ship." She only sounds half joking. In she goes...once again. "Thanks, Flight. Hate for you to have to be babying me, but I appreciate it."
"Murder everything!," Danica encourages her ECO, via comm, with enthusiastically before throwing in a quick afterword. "...in accordance with Colonial Fleet rules of engagement." Of course. Silence and maybe not the amused kind comes from Scratch's link as Dani falls into paying more attention to actually flying, turning the Raptor to away from the Vipers as she tries to get her ECO better positioned.
"Hey, I'm not exactly mowing them down like ten pins out here either," is Kallas' way of consoling Eva. Case in point - he dodges and waves enough to keep the Raider on HIS tail from doing any damage, but can't get the one on Eva's tail to sit cleanly in his site. "Slippery little bastard," he mumbles.
"I saw you back there. Still the best showing of the two of us." Because of course, Foreign Legion forever, and stuff. Eva, once again, both avoids being hit and avoids hitting her target at all. Here's to hoping that she isn't as limited on her KEW as Dania was with her missiles or else this is gong to be epic in the worst way.
"Damnit," Danica hisses, as the ECO's attempt at felling the Raider results in only a glancing shot to it's wing. There isn't time for woe as Danica leans forward in her chair a bit, baring down on her stick. "We'll make it," she offers in assurance across the link, in distraction for actually trying to fly less politely.
"There ya go - knew you were just biding your time," Kallas says with an audible grin. And then his ship rocks as the one on his tail clips his wing. "Frak - do me a favor and get that bastard off my tail." While he tries to do the same for Eva - albeit with only a glancing blow.
Eva refuses to look like a noob in front of her CAG, and she actually does lift a hand from her stick, as she twists and turns around, avoiding the two still on her tail. It's like three ships playing dosey-doe. The free hand gives the console a good bang, "Don't frak with me!", (that's to the ship) before she dives back in, finally managing to put paid to the Raider that's been her bane for most of the combat, "Splash One. I'm coming Flight." Eva targets the raider who, until now, has been doing damage to Kallas. We'll see about that.
"Hoyes! You got it now!," Dani calls out in cheerfully murder-y tones in support of Eva's takedown as Dani zigs and then zags in anticipation of the Raider's movements. Scratch tries but the Raider remains evasive on both bursts. There's a brief pause before she utter the words no one wants to hear: "Hold on, Scratch."
"You. Do. Not. Want. To. Frak. With. My. CAG." Eva is either over playing games, or just needed the right incentive. She barely registered avoiding the raider still dogging her, jamming the throttle forward as she kamikazes (or something else appropriate) on towards the raider that's on Kallas. His viper is still flying, but it's starting to get closer to missing pieces that he actually, you know, needs. In she goes, guns blazing, and manages to get a hit hard enough to blow off a wing and set up a chain reaction that turns it into a shrapnel cloud she can fly through, "Frakker." By the time she wheels back around, the last of the raiders have been dealt with, "Gopnik, Scratch, Flight, you all in one piece?"
Eva says, "Scratch 2."
Kallas flies toward the Raider on Eva, and vice-versa, and that basically means that the two are almost playing chicken with one another. Almost. As they pass, the CAG's cannon fires and tears the other Raider apart. And the skies are quiet before. "Good here, Cherry. Nice shooting. All wings report in." Everyone's OK - someone from the other flight took some heavy damage though, and one of the pilots was hit (personally hit, not his Viper) by ground fire. "All right, well keep searching for survivors and keep your eyes on DRADIS. Going to expect more company sooner or later."
It's like backing up a school bus, right? This move has probably resulted in Danica getting tuned up verbally in flight school before in flight school but she's going for it. A few buttons and a hard pull on the stick and the Raptor is burning backwards, as Scratch wobbles in his rig and Danica earns a professionally resentful look from him. Scratch and Kallas fire. The Raider they're both after falls from the sky from the hits but not before one of the Ground Toasters catches the Raptor by the tail and the ship jostles in protest left and right, the second shot assigning damage. "Nice one Cherry! Smackdown!," she grins through her comm, apparently knowing Kallas' callsign after all. "Yep, we're good but I think Scratch doesn't want to marry me now," she affirms their soundness, briefly glancing at the damage output monitor on a screen. It'll fly.