2236-11-24 - Blooded

A recon mission turns into a rescue when a pilot is shot down.

Date: 2236-11-24

Location: Somewhere

Related Scenes: None

Plot: Operation: Bullhorn

Scene Number: 709

Jump to End

Atray Province would probably be pretty scenic under other circumstances. Clear blue lake, with the snow-capped mountains as a backdrop. There's a reason it was popular with tourists. At the moment, however, its natural beauty is spoiled by the fact that the lowlands along the lake front and the forested foothills are crawling with Cylons. Not all Centurions though. As has been typical of the war so far, the enemy troops are a mismatch of warriors and workers. Fortunately the optics on the Raptor are good enough that they can stay out of the range of small arms fire. They've had to deal with a pair of SAM batteries, but fortunately without incident. So far - so good. Eva is flight lead, with Hallie and another Viper on wing and a recon Raptor they're escorting.

For reference, it's presently a clear and sunny late afternoon.

"Rabbit (NPC Raptor Pilot), we're on you," Cherry's voice comes on along the comms, as the raptor flies in along the target sightline, Cherry settling in at point,. And while, strictly speaking, Vipers have no stealth mode, she at least is trying not to use more thrust than she needs to keep a steady speed. "Jigger, form up at my six, Mata, you've got my wing." She'll let the raptor set the pace, since they're here for the readings Rabbit's crew will be bringing back.

Ensign Mata is razor sharp in formation on approach, though there's a little drift the moment she takes in the sheer number of Cylons sparkling up the lowlands. They're almost pretty this far out. Even in the face of potential SAM batteries, mechanized flying death, it's a beautiful day on Tauron (full disclosure: every day is a beautiful day on Tauron). At the crackle of the comms, Hallie replies, "Copy. On your wing, Cherry." There's the faintest bit of crackle in her transmission.

There are an echo of 'rogers' from the other pilots, everyone staying in a tight formation as they cruise over the Cylon lines. But alas, their luck couldn't hold forever. A transmission comes in from Galactica. "Cherry, Galactica. One of the Tauron units on the front has reported a flight of six bandits on a vector towards your position."

"Copy that, Galactica." Cherry pulls ahead a bit, making sure to keep out of the way of the raptor, as she checks her DRADIS, "Alright, Jigger, Mata, you stay close. The raptor is our priority, for as long as Rabbit sticks around. Engage all targets. Don't be afraid to sing out if you need assistance. Rabbit, stay as long as you feel safe. If you think you need to jump back to Galactica, do it." Would she love the support the raptor can provide? Absolutely, but not at the expense of the intel they're carrying.

Hallie gives her flight helmet a couple of whacks before going hands on again. She remains steady through the chatter, though incoming undoubtedly sets the young Ensign's heart to beating a little bit faster. "Glued to your wing, Cherry." No crackle this time.

"We got the short straw today, Cherry," Rabbit reports. "No FTL. But no worries, not planning on playing the hero today and going down with all this intel. Almost finished with our run anyway."

The Cylons don't keep them in suspense for long, though. Pretty soon they can pick up the inbound birds on their DRADIS.

"I suppose that means I'm actually going to have to do some work today, Rabbit. Get what you need, we'll watch out for you." Cherry reaches out, whacking a little finger puppet she has strung up in her Viper, right next to her emergency fruity oaty bars, "Contact, confirm six incoming targets. Moving to engage." And Eva does just that, throttling up to try to get a good distance ahead of the raptor. Far enough out that she can, hopefully, get the cylon's attention, not so far that she can't get back to the ship if she needs to. It's a fine line.

Ensign Hallie Mata takes a deep, slow breath, and the faintest of smiles is evident in her voice when she says, "Good hunting." She pulls a little more loose, still in formation, but leaves herself some maneuvering room. Atmo is a little different, of course. She keeps her eye on the incoming, grip tightening briefly, then loosening on the stick as her shoulders relax. "Cherry, following your lead." And she is, sticking to her flight lead, blowing past the raptor to engage the first of the DRADIS contacts.

Raider4 attacks Jigger with Kew but Jigger EVADES!

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew but Eva EVADES!

Hallie attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body

Raider3 attacks Hallie with Kew but Hallie EVADES!

Eva attacks Raider2 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Nose (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider1 attacks Jigger with Kew but Jigger EVADES!

Jigger attacks Raider4 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Wing

// Raider4 has been KO'd!//

Eva swoops in. Not quite going for her usual pell-mell attack style, what with precious cargo chugging along behind her, but she doesn't avoid the raider who seems to be coming in and aiming right for her. In fact, she heads right for the cylon, dipping and wheeling away to avoid its fire, and landing a light hit of her own. "Nice work, guys." She couldn't see who got the shot, but she can see one raider down. A quick bank, and she's going after that same raider.

The first pass ends up in one Raider being sent into a tailspin toward the ground below, with Jigger letting out a triumphant (and a little surprised, honestly), "One down!" The two Raiders that were trailing a little behind the pack are now in range to engage. One of them heads for the Raptor, while the other seems intent on avenging his pal. Rabbit's voice comes over the comms. "Got one coming in on us. taking evasive action."

Mata's first strafe lights along the body, barely kissing the raider, and really doesn't appear to do too much in the way of damage. Hallie really probably frakked up his paint job, though. She banks slightly, swooping out of a barrage of nearly simultaneous fire, Viper Mark II emerging with nary a little paint particle of her own out of place. She remains quiet over comms, though she tracks her canopy visually, keeping a weather eye on the field.

Raider1 attacks Jigger with Kew but MISSES!

Eva attacks Raider2 with Kew but Raider2 EVADES!

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider3 attacks Hallie with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body

Hallie attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Nose

Raider5 attacks Rabbit with Kew but Rabbit EVADES!

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew but Eva EVADES!

Jigger attacks Raider1 with Kew but MISSES!

One of the Raiders gets a glancing blow on Jigger, who lets out a startled yelp and then suddenly realizes. "Frak - got two of them on me. Took a hit but still green." He starts dodging and weaving in an attempt to evade the one on his tail while still trying to draw a bead on the other.

Rabbit meanwhile is also doing some fancy flying to evade the one on his tail. The rear KEW gun was removed to make room for the extra A/V gear, but his ECO tries to bring the countermeasures to bear. "One on my tail," he reports calmly.

No joy this time around, as both Eva and the Raider on her get any damage on the other. Eva spins back around, just in time to see Hallie take a hit, and then Jigger sings out, and she switches targets, doing what she can do to get at least one of the raiders of of Jigger's tail. "I'm coming Jigger, just hold on. Mata, sing out, you alright?"

Mata grumbles something vaguely caught by the comms that sounds a little vulgar, and ends in something about fudge sauce, then pipes up, "I'm good. Just a little hello kiss. All the parts are still attached." She tightens her grip on the stick and takes a deep breath. Her viper remains swings back into control, aligning with Cherry's trajectory once more.

Hallie attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Nose (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider1 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing (Reduced by ARMOR)

Jigger attacks Raider1 with Kew but Raider1 EVADES!

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew but Jigger EVADES!

Raider5 attacks Rabbit with Kew but MISSES!

Raider3 attacks Hallie with Kew but Hallie EVADES!

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Tail (Reduced by ARMOR)

Eva attacks Raider1 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body

// Raider1 has been KO'd!//

The one Raider on Jigger manages to evade the salvo from his KEW, but steers right into Eva's instead. "Whew. Thanks, Cherry." His ship takes another little nick, but he shakes it off and veers towards the one that's on their Raptor. "Going after the one on Rabbit. Do me a favor, Cherry and get that other one off my tail?" He may not have noticed that there's also one on Eva's tail.

Eva throttles up to clear the debris as the combined fire from Jigger and herself puts paid to another of the Raiders. The price for that, of course,w as not being able to avoid the raider on her own tail. Thank goodness she's not on hot mike, as she gives a loud, 'Frak'. "I'm on it. Mata, I'll be right with you." Or she might not, with a three string, it's hard to pair off leads and wingmen, "You're doing great. We've got this." She adjusts her targeting, pulling in behind the raider still going after the pilot now heading for Rabbit's raptor.

Mata plinks away at the raider that keeps dogging her. Body, nose, nose. She recognizes the pattern on its body, though the enemy seems to have some pretty substantial armor, or perhaps she's just hitting all the extra strong spots. That same one keeps coming for her, so she's more than happy to return the favor. "Meet you in a moment, Cherry. I have a clingy boyfriend." Watching fire spray past her six doesn't seem to offend her flying sensibilities at least.

Hallie attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Wing

Eva attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Controls (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider3 attacks Hallie with Kew but Hallie EVADES!

Raider5 attacks Rabbit with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Weapon

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew but Eva EVADES!

Jigger attacks Raider5 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body

// Raider5 has been KO'd!//

Jigger manages to turn the one on Rabbit's tail into a fireball, but not before the Cylon gets a solid hit to Rabbit's wing. "Frak - they got a pretty solid hit on our missile launcher." He decides to take Cherry up on her earlier orders. "Going to head back now and not risk losing this intel. Pulling out." He angles the Raptor up toward space.

Jigger is hit with another glancing blow, but rights his ship. He spins it around once the one on the Raptor is sorted out, heading for the one that was on his tail. In the process, he glances over at the rookie. "Nice flying, Mata."

She's still plugging away, but as she sees Jigger take out the Raider he was aiming for, she can't be upset, "You are on fire, Jigger, nice work. Jigger, if Rabbit looks alright, see what you can do about getting that raider that's on you, Mata's taking some heat." She can't just leave her poor Ensign all alone out here." She changes course, moving in on the raider that's been plunking away at Hallie's tail.

"Best under pressure, Jigger. Safe trip to the barn." Mata's words are clipped by adrenalin, though there's a certain spirit in her maneuvers that suggests the Ensign isn't about to fall apart under pressure, no matter how many times she has to smack the raider on the nose. "Appreciate the company, Cherry."

Raider3 attacks Hallie with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Controls (Reduced by ARMOR)

Hallie attacks Raider3 with Kew but Raider3 EVADES!

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Wing

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew but MISSES!

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew but Eva EVADES!

Eva attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body

"Righto, Cherry. I got 'em," Jigger says, though he might be a teensy bit overconfident when the Raider ducks his fire and manages a glancing blow to his wing. He stays with it, though, doggedly. Rabbit's Raptor seems to have successfully disengaged from the fight, the other Cylons too busy dealing with their respective targets to follow.

"Hold them here. Do not let them follow after Rabbit." With the raptor unable to jump, the vipers will have to run a lot of interference to give Rabbit time to escape back to Galactica. "Galactica, Flight, Rabbit's heading back to the barn, request an alert viper escort for her. We've got our hands full down here." Eva barely managed a hit on the raider she's trying to pick off of Hallie, and her words come out between gritted teeth, "Quit messing with my wingman."

"Got it." Mata glances over, taking another look at the field, which is sure to get more interesting the longer the enemy is aware of us. "Cherry, you can watch my back any time." After that one hit she took, the Ensign seems to be flying pretty well.

Raider3 attacks Hallie with Kew but Hallie EVADES!

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew but Raider6 EVADES!

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing (Reduced by ARMOR)

Hallie attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing

Eva attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew but Eva EVADES!

It's Kallas' voice that answers Cherry. "Cherry, Smackdown. We're on our way back from our sector. We'll rendezvous and bring him in." Jigger is still dogfighting the one that's been dogging him, his ship shaking again with another little hit. "Man, the Chief's gonna be pissed at all the damage to the paint job."

Clearly, Eva is a better flier than she is a shooter, because, once again, she manages to avoid that raider that's been on her since they first engaged. "Copy that, Smackdown, thanks for the assist." She swings back around, still determined to clear Hallie. Both of her flight group are taking damage, but she wants the Ensign clear. "Man, Smackdown is going to be pissed at all the damage to his pilot, if you let yourself get show down."

"Nobody's getting shot down today but these tool bags," Mata decides, dropping a bit of the more formal comms-speak. "Not on my colony. Not today." Hallie seems to be in the same boat as Eva, that is to say she's a better flier than shooter today. Still flying!

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew but MISSES!

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew but Raider6 EVADES!

Eva attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew but Eva EVADES!

Hallie attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Cockpit

Raider3 attacks Hallie with Kew but Hallie EVADES!

"Damn straight I will," Kallas agrees from afar, apparently still tuned into their chatter.

"Heh, got it boss," Jigger replies. "He's a slippery bastard but I'll get him. Coming around again. You all right over there Mata?"

Eva swoops in, dancing the dance with Hallie as they both go after the raider that;s been dogging her. "Nice work, Mata!" As she sees Hallie get a solid hit on the raider, "One more like that and we'll clear him. You still holding up, Jigger?" Once she hears the okay from Jigger, she goes back in for another go. "Halfway there, guys." Three down, three to go.

Mata's smile returns as her KEWs hit, though the tank of a raider doesn't seem much worse for wear. She does spot another volley hitting it, and calls out, "Staying alive, Jigger. Cherry's my doubles partner on this beautiful Tauran afternoon. Thanks for the wellfare check." There's a pause, and then she notes, "I think I was drunk here one summer... best stargazing in the province."

Eva attacks Raider3 with Kew but Raider3 EVADES!

Raider3 attacks Hallie with Kew but Hallie EVADES!

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Weapon (Reduced by ARMOR)

Hallie attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Tail (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew but Jigger EVADES!

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew but Eva EVADES!

Eva attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Wing

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider3 attacks Hallie with Kew but Hallie EVADES!

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Tail (Reduced by ARMOR)

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Cockpit (Reduced by ARMOR)

Hallie attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body (Reduced by ARMOR)

// Raider3 has been KO'd!//

"Holding together," Jigger replies. "Another nick, but nothing major. Nice shooting gals," he says when he spies the fireball.

"Nice shooting, Mata!" The pair of pilots manage to take down the raider who'd been dogging Hallie, and Eva veers off, right into the path of that raider that's been on her, "Frak me." She does not, however, turn around, instead heading to intercept Jigger, "Going to see what I can do about the one on your tail, Jigger. I want you more than holding together."

"Nicely done, Cherry." Ensign Mata's viper probably shows a couple of minor dings, so the lecture from the deckies shouldn't be too vicious. (Particularly considering the 'splainin' the recon taxi's gonna have to do about that wing.) "Looks like somebody's got their eye on you, Cherry. Got your six." She veers to intercept.

Raider2 attacks Eva with Kew but Eva EVADES!

Hallie attacks Raider2 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Wing

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew but Raider6 EVADES!

Eva attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body (Reduced by ARMOR)

// Raider2 has been KO'd!//

"I had no doubt, Mata." She doesn't see the hit, but she can see the raider drop off her DRADIS, "Shots on me tonight!" First kills should be rewarded. But she does manage to see Jigger take another hit, "I'm on it, that's on me." Whether she's got one wingman or two, it's still her job to protect them.

Ensign Mata's Mark II slides into the perfect alignment, her finger on the trigger. That raider sniffing after Cherry slips into her crosshairs and a gentle squeeze sends ends its cog-filled, chromed up existence before it has a chance to fire upon the flight leader, a zipper of sweet, sweet damage opening up across the body of the metal beast. "All that pretty debris." There's a pause, then, "I never pass up free booze. Your lead, Cherry. Jigger, we got you."

"Score one for the rook," Jigger celebrates when he hears that Mata got one. "Lets take down this last frakker and go home," he says, coming around again for another pass. "My wing's starting to look a little worse for wear."

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew but Raider6 EVADES!

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body (Reduced by ARMOR)

Hallie attacks Raider6 with Kew but Raider6 EVADES!

Eva attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body (Reduced by ARMOR)

"Not a rook anymore." Eva swoops in, all three of the vipers now honing in on a single target. "You know, if that thing were human, I'd say he was one hell of a pilot." It's the raider that just won't die. She flies as carefully as combat allows, the danger of friendly fire more than just a slight possibility. "Try to lead him to us, Jigger."

The last raider standing seems to be a little wiley, and while it completely evades two of the three volleys, Mata's included, the tide of KEW fire cannot be denied. The Ensign pulls more wide, as there's a good chance some flight paths may cross here, and atmo flight isn't her best subject. "Ready when you are."

"Roger that, Cherry, going to bring him right past you." Assuming he takes the bait, that is. Jigger spins his ship around to do just that.

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Cockpit

CREW HIT! attacks Jigger with Shrapnel and HITS! Impaired wound to Right Arm

CREW HIT! attacks Jigger with Shrapnel and HITS! Impaired wound to Right Leg

CREW HIT! attacks Jigger with Shrapnel and HITS! Graze wound to Chest

Eva attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Cockpit

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew but MISSES!

Hallie attacks Raider6 with Kew but Raider6 EVADES!

Jigger, frak!" Hallie and Eva are both trying to chip away at this last raider, but the damned thing refuses to go down, and Jigger is the worse for it. "Damnit, Jigger, just hold on, try to get behind us." She moves in, trying to put herself directly in the raider's sights. She throttles up, all kamikaze style. She catches Hallie out of the corner of her eyes and has to smile. Seems the Ensign has the same idea.

So that didn't work so well. Jigger tries to turn around, and manages to turn his ship so that the Raider gets a perfect shot at his cockpit. There's a garbled cry of pain over his hot mike, then some more groaning. "Frak me." Well at least he's still alive.

The Ensign is looking right at Jigger's bird as he takes that devastating shot, and though she doesn't see any blood spatter the canopy, that's what happens in her mind's eye. She's seen damage to the body, and in that moment, everything gets very real. The good-natured pilot just ate some shrapnel for sure, and Jigger's frakkin' nice to her. Niceness matters. Yeah, Hallie punches the speed too. "We're clearing up this mess and coming back for you, Jigger. Stick your finger in any major bleeders." It's possible that when she kicks in the burn, her mouth just disengages from her brain somewhat. It's busy with the controls.

Eva attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Cockpit

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body (Reduced by ARMOR)

Hallie attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew but MISSES!

Eva attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body

Raider6 attacks Jigger with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Cockpit

Hallie attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body

Jigger attacks Raider6 with Kew but MISSES!

// Jigger has been KO'd!//

// Raider6 has been KO'd!//

Another cockpit hit! That one does Jigger in. His Viper takes a sharp nosedive downward, obviously a dead stick. At first it seems like he's a goner for sure, but just when it's about at the point of losing hope, he ejects. His chute deploys, and he begins floating down toward the ground below. No transmissions on the coms from him, though.

"That's my pilot, you frakker!" Clearly, there is a reason Cherry should never be on a hot mike. Also, the fact that technically, it's Kallas' pilot is not the point. That she and Mata manage to kill the hell out of the raider does not improve her mood, though she does manage to grind out a, "Good shooting, Mata". Eva swoops in, trying to track the direction that Jigger's ejecting. "Smackdown, Galactica, Jigger's down, we need a SAR evac immediately. Skies are clear, for the moment."

Galactica CIC comes back on the line. "Copy that, Cherry." Kallas' voice comes back almost immediately, "Galactica, Smackdown. We're on it. Gopnik, Squeak, on me. Rest of you take Rabbit home."

"Jigger, you copy?" Eva skims her viper as close as she can, careful no to let the turbulence from her ship catch his chute, because that would be a hell of a thing to explain. "Jigger, come on. Jigs, don't do this to me." A deep breath, "Hallie, keep the watch." She leaves the no longer a rook to patrol and keep a weather eye for other incoming cylons. "Smackdown, he popped his chute, but I'm getting no response on his comms."

"Gopnik copies," Danica comms back, the Raptor descending and trailing after Kallas as it falls into formation. Her mic left hot, as she does, leaves an open channel as she cranks down on the stick a lot to pick up the pace. "...ya think he's dead?," she asks, in muffled tones that seems to suggest that she's looking over one shoulder to pose this to Niemec.

"Cherry, Mata. Vigilance is my middle name." Ensign Mata's Mark II rises and she assumes a wide, circling flight pattern, occasionally breaking things up with an occasional wide figure 8 just to keep things interesting. She tests her controls once she's a little farther afield, making sure nothing seriously important was damaged when she took those couple of minor hits. "At least he didn't go down in the lake. Millions of people have puked in that lake."

Well, frak. Being on possible SAR duty is not something Niemec is unfamiliar with. And having the younger Danica at the helm allows the Captain to impart things like wisdom. Or just help the Ensign learn the ins and outs of flying overwatch or... going in on a rescue mission as now. Squeak has already climbed out of the co-pilot seat and into the rear of the craft. She's grabbing the medical kit and other potentially needed gear. "Hope not," she answers to Danica. The mic to the flight is brought on: "Flight, Squeak. Anyone got eyes on Jigger?"

There's still no answer from Jigger on the comms. He fell from a pretty low altitude, unfortunately, so there was no time for a leisurely trek down to earth on his parachute. It's already down by the time they start searching for him. Fortunately given that they were right there when it happened, it's not too hard to find the white satin in a stand of trees in the foothills. Unfortunately, that's in Cylon-occupied territory. There don't seem to be any right next to him at least. For now.

"...well frak a jumping jack," Danica mutters darkly in response to Niemec, by the slightly muffled sound and perhaps implied slight shake of the head. It's likely that SAR operations have been largely abstract to Danica until... now. "...I think I see his chute," she continues, this time talking to the group on her open channel. "Luckily, it's conveniently located to opportunity to make out with a Toaster," she adds, that being the bad news. "My DRADIS is clear to approach...," she adds, with a bit of lead that seems to invite confirmation of this fact.

Eva is torn. On the one hand, she wants to be down there trying to find her pilot. But with none of the maneuverability of raptors, she'd be a taking a hell of a risk, doing little more than throwing herself at the ground. And it would mean leaving the raptors and her wingman without support. "Mata, form up on me. That's past the demarcation line." She moves in, trying to, if nothing else, keep her viper's pointed in the direction of any incoming Cylons.

"You got it, Cherry." Mata agrees, taking a wide loop to return, sliding neatly into formation with the Captain as to engage any incoming threat. Hopefully it's not a SAM up the thruster. "Never let it be said that Jigger's crash landings are boring."

"Leave any bandits close to our man to the Vipers. Missile might not be what he wants to see right now." There's amusement in Niemec's tone, but it's wry. Whereas KEW could clear a nice swath, like as not. "But anything further out, have at." The woman shifts towards the cockpit after grabbing things to get a good view of the noted chute. "Alright, bring us in." Mic on, "Flight, Squeak. Gopnik's got eyes on Jigger." Then she's moving back; securing things before opening the hatch. They won't want to stick around very long.

"We've got you covered," Kallas reports, keeping his Viper in a holding pattern around the crash site. "Skies look clear for now. Anyone got eyes on whether he's moving?"

Danica manuevers the Raptor in downward approach, eyes flickering from screens to sight line to brief stick adjustments. Rinse repeat and without further airquotes insightful commentary. The Raptor moves in, following visual spot of the white silk waiting below downward, her own concentration less on spotting Jigger and more on not falling into a too slow stall. "...almost down," she states with labored concentration before the Raptor lands with a slightly standard jolt.

"I can't get good eyes on him, but I don't see anything but the wind whipping his chute." She stays in formation, allowing Kallas to take the lead. DRADIS as well as her visual scans, trying to make sure she catches whatever cylons might be approaching the area. Jigger did not go down without a bang. Nor did the raiders. "Mata, how's the ship holding up?"

Jigger came down through the trees, which at least managed to slow his descent some. May have even saved his life. He chute's in tatters from the branches, and he himself is laying on the ground. Bleeding from various spots, his arm bent at an odd angle, and the faceplate of his helmet cracked. He's not moving.

Ensign Hallie Mata has today experienced her first combat flight, her first splash, and it's the first time she's witnessed a pilot shot down. She gives the occasional stink-eye to the trees. "She's smooth, Cherry. No worries here." The deck chief might have other things to say, but. Her gaze snaps back to the flap of that white chute in the breeze.

Even as the raptor is landing, Niemec is opening the hatch and moving out with basic medkit in one hand... and sidearm in the other. "I may need a second set of hands," she notes into the mic. Either for Danica or the others still aloft. She moves quick to be able to reach the man and at least do a prelim check (and allow someone time to get to them as well) before hauling him back to the raptor.

Kallas has been quiet, just observing and frowning in worry. "You need one of us to land?" he asks after Niemec's remark. "Terrain's not ideal for it, but if you two need us, Cherry go."

Danica doesn't wait to be asked, the click of her harness releasing in the moment even as she's mashing buttons to manage post-landing things what keep the Raptor in place and heading out after Niemec. "...coming," she exhales into her open mic, the anxious underpinings of the situation a wide thrum in her voice. Her own sidearm strapped to her leg via a holster, she's moving quickly behind Niemec as her eyes scan their 3 and 9 for any chrome flashes between the trees.

"Copy that, Smackdown." Eva pulls back from the formation that Hallie and Kallas have fallen into, maneuvering down closer to the line of trees. "The CAG is yours, Mata." She starts powering down the forward engines, switching over to the vertical thrusters. If nothing else, it gives her a better view of the sight line through the trees. But she's not completely in rescue mode, because she still has her finger on the trigger. It'll be a minute before she can put down and pop the top.

There's a mutter across a hot mike that sounds a lot like, "I'll try not to damage him." Ostensibly from Ensign Mata's comms.

The sidearm is returned to its holster once Niemec reaches Jigger, though the safety is still off and it's not strapped back down. Ready to be grabbed if need be. She removes the man's helmet first so she can check for the important things. Like a pulse. "He's alive." That's the important bit. From there, it's gauging if he's safe to move. And she decides... yes. The woman slings the medkit over her shoulder and moves to get her hands under the pilot's shoulders. "We'll move faster with help," she calls to Danica. "But someone's gotta keep us covered-" beat, listening to the landing Viper. "Cherry, can you cover us on the way back to the bus?"

Once she's skids down, Eva wastes no time popping the top of her birds and climbing down, drawing her sidearm as soon as she's got a hand free. The tree cover is too dense to get in super close, but she gets as close as she can. She doesn't take her helmet off though, because that would just be dangerous. "I've got you, Squeak." She moves away from her viper, moving to intercept the raptor, "Just get him home safe." Hopefully, if she times it just right, she'll be able to provide covering fire to the two pilots now getting ready to evac the third.

Danica removes her hand from the grip of her own pistol, grimmacing through a nod at the instructions given and ... just possibly the discomfort of taking one's hand off their weapon in Cylon infested woodlands. All the same, Danica goes for Jigger's ankles, grasping firmly and lifting with her knees as she assists with the hustle back to the Raptor, the cockpit of which will never stop smelling like nacho cheese and vomit no matter how many kicky pine tree air freshners you hang. Never.

Jigger remains blissfully unconscious through all of it. Still breathing, still bleeding, still frakked up.

Ensign Mata remains in formation over Tauron, keeping watch over the land-based rescue, ready to throttle down if she's needed. Occupied territory or not, the sky belongs to the colonials. The surface can't be far behind.

"Thanks." The word serves double-duty to Danica and Eva both. Niemec is a bit breathless as she works. She's a rather petite woman and Jigger isn't light. Especially unconscious. But she's trained for these sorts of things and the help from the other Raptor pilot is quite the boon. Better than if she were just dragging him. It's back to the Raptor they go... hopefully without coming under fire. "Take off as soon as we're settled in. I'll try to get him stabilized." Into her mic, however: "Smackdown, Squeak. We've got Jigger. Does Galactica have medical on standby to receive?"

"You got him?" Kallas prompts, continuing to circle above. When Niemec responds in the affirmative, there's a shift of his voice in relief. "Good work. And copy that, they're already on standby. Get him home. We're right with you."

Eva remains on the ground, keeping, as best she can, an equal distance between her viper and the raptor. An occasional glance tracks the two women carrying Jigger back to the raptor and she'll stay on the ground until they're buttoned back up and in the air. Only then will she head back to her Viper to climb back in. If the ground remains clear, it'll be liftoff and back in the air to join the other vipers. if not, well, that's what strafing is for.

Danica barely avoids setting down her end of Jigger with a rude-ish thump of expendency, after the slightly labored manuevering to get him loaded into the Raptor. "No problem," she mutters back to the Captain, less with impolite mein and owing for the distracted scramble that climbing back into your harness in the Toaster Lands brings to your life. As such, Danica slams into the other cockpit seat with a hard, audible noise that will leave a mark before she's landing awkwardly and squirming into her harness. Her fingers mash at buttons, the engines spinning up in the moment before she pulls back on the stick and the Raptor starts lifting off. "...taking off now," she intones into her hot mic, over the slightly muffled acceleration of the engines taking off.

Hallie eases off the throttle a little more, giving another look to DRADIS before going Mark I Eyeball on the tree line again. When the raptor with precious, newly aerated cargo lifts off, she adjusts to swing in well behind, bringing up the rear position in this little medical train. Maybe she's just reluctant to leave all of Tauron behind, hanging onto what she can of the visual of her home colony for as long as she can.

"Thank you both." This time there's more intent to the words, once Niemec is in the Raptor and strapping Jigger to a board for just this purpose. The hatch's button is hit so it closes and she's... not strapping in. There's work to be done. Like to check the man for any wounds in need of immediate treatment. The arm is left be; it'll hurt like a bitch when he wakes, but broken bones are less an immediate concern.

fade out on the return to Galactica


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