An air wing patrol gets called to help out some Tauron ground forces.
Location: Atray Province, Tauron
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Bullhorn
Scene Number: 719
It's been a quiet patrol over the front, Kallas leading the flight over a border along the western mountains. Then the com crackles to life. "Galactica to Smackdown. We have report of a heavy Cylon incursion in sector four. Tauron ground forces requesting air support." Kallas acknowledges. "Copy that, Galactica. On our way. You heard him, guys, let's go help out our groundpounder pals."
The coordinates they're directed to in sector four are near a dried up riverbed tracing its way through the middle of a valley. The valley also includes a highway, and the Tauron forces are set up at a natural chokepoint where the highway cuts between a narrow neck of the valley. The puffs of explosions can be seen from afar - the ground forces under fire from about a half-dozen armored vehicles and a few dozen Centurions spread along the valley floor. Their DRADIS also lights up with four Cylon aircraft apparently flying overwatch.
Patrols on Tauron proper rather than just CAP are Niemec's preference. She gets to see her home, in all its glory. There's a certain relaxation to it and she doesn't mind, at kall, when it goes by without incident. However, when the CAG speaks over the comms, her senses sharpen. Rather than just observing the landscape, she tightens up on the throttle and brings herself into a tighter formation. The Raptor pilot settles into a sort of 'rear guard' behind the vipers. "Squeak copies," she calls, checking over her shoulder to make sure her ECO for the day -- Gutter -- is ready to go. She sucks at her teeth a bit at the explosions in the distance and when DRADIS reports contacts, she flips a switch. "Going weapons hot."
Actual patrols in a hotzone can often lead to combat actions. As such, when the call to provide air support comes in, Finn isn't surprised, it's just back to business as usual. He tights his grip on the stick and rolls his viper to the right of the CAG, rolling into a combat wing position. "Farm Boy acknowledges. I see pretty lights and targets on DRADIS. Weapons are hot, and I'm good to go."
Calliope flies where she's told to fly, though she's growing more comfortable in the skies over Tauron. As unfriendly as those skies are many days. Like today. Her voice is tense as she responds to the CAG's announcement over the comm, but has lost at least some of the nervous edge the ensign once displayed during such things. "Flight, Bullseye. Copy that. Warming our weapons, and Mince is bringing the jammers online. We'll be ready." Mince himself, the ECO she often flies is, just nods tersely from his seat as his console as he gets to work and scans.
Kallas instructs the other Raptor to take on the ground forces, disrupt them enough to provide some cover for the Taurons. "Rest of us, let's clear the skies." The Cylon fighters seem to have noticed the incoming colonials, and divert to attack. All except for the heavy raider, which continues attacking those on the ground.
"Copy." Niemec drops off the comms then, picking up conversation with Gutter. Informing him, largely, to keep an eye on their tail with the KEW. She angles the Raptor a bit above and away. Breaking them of the tighter cluster they'd flown in on. Her target is the Heavy; the one attacking the ground forces. She waits long enough to get it in her sights before releasing one of the missiles attached to the Raptor.
Finn breaks off from the CAG, rocketing off towards the Heavy raider. Best to keep that bucket of bolts occupied while the others take the various raiders out. He engages thrusters and afterburners, picking up speed towards the Heavy. He rolls right to give the Raptor also targeting the heavy a clear shot and while doing that unleashes a flurry of blasts from his KEW at the heavy, slamming in the hull of the Heavy Raider. "Farm Boy to Smackdown, assisting in assault on that rustbucket attacking ground forces."
Calliope fires off a missile at one of the Raiders, but it goes wide. In part because she, before loosing it, has to do some quick, jerky flying to avoid getting a hole in her Raptor. The hit hers does take shakes the thing, and makes the lights in the cockpit flash, but she and her ECO manage to correct it in a beat. "I'm OK! I'm totally OK!" she announces over the mic. Some of the nervousness back there. Before she manages a more vaguely professional, "Hull took some damage but our systems are still green. Adjusting targeting."
Fish's KEW rakes across the cockpit of the Raider he was targeting, and the enemy ship takes a sharp veer into a mountain. "Nice shooting, Fish," Kallas cheers him on. "Hang in there, Bullseye, I'm on him. Slippery bastard."
For the moment, Niemec remains on the Heavy as well. A bit more of a distance than Finn as he angles in, but she's got missiles versus KEW. Another one is brought up and readied as she angles around. "We still clear?" Of locks. Her piloting changes. Trying to get a more direct shot with the next missile fired.
Danica is with Scratch riding shotgun. Instead of overwatch, assigned to picking off things on the ground which is a pretty good welcome back to possibly crashing Raptor #3. Her attempt at her target on the ground that she's picked to suffer, seems to have other ideas. It takes a direct hit to the wing and shrugs it off. "Frakin' really?," she mutters at it, through a hot mic.
"Good job guys," Kallas says when he catches a flash of the heavy raider out of the corner of his eye. He can't seem to bring down the one he's on, but is still hot on its tail. "You all right Bullseye?" he asks.
Speeding off towards the Heavy Raider, Finn lines up another shot and after a moments aim, unleashes another flurry of shots, slamming into the hull about the same time as a missile from Niemec's raptor connects witht he tail of the heavy raider. Finn doesn't wait to see the explosion of the raider, instead banking left at high speed and rocketing off towards the raider attacking Bullseye, "Farm Boy incoming, coming up on your port, Smackdown."
"One down." Niemec sounds rather satisfied about taking out the Heavy Raider. Especially one affecting the ground troops as it was. She draws around as well, heading back to the thick of the initial dog fight. No more missiles loosed; not without a firm target. Instead, Gutter works at his station.
Calliope manages to avoid getting her tail shot that time, though her missile goes wide again. She makes another finnicky adjustment to her targeting, trying to fix on the Raider dogging her.
There's some cheering on the ground as the heavy raider that was harassing them is brought down. A few seconds later, poor Raider2 is obliterated in a shower of sparks from multiple hits. "Finally," Kallas mumbles, then glances around for status. "Raptors, go after those vehicles. Fish, strafe the Centurions. Farm Boy, we'll get that last Raider."
"Squeak copies." Comms have been fairly quiet, save for the quick celebration when a cylon ship goes down and they swoop on to the next. Niemec adjusts their trajectory downward, aiming for the tank on the ground. Another missile shifts and begins targeting. She'll run out, of course, but so far... every fired has counted.
Danica hits again, the pre-amble to excited yelp over her open mic... except when it seems to have done nothing. Again. There's a grumbling noise as her new Raptor banks left to take another attacking pass, a muttered choice phrases follows. "Artemis' Tits."
Calliope breathes a sigh of relief as the Raider on her ass is blown out of the sky. "Sweet shot, Farm Boy," she pipes over the comms, as she directs her missiles downward. "Copy, sir. I've only got one left in the chamber. Or missle rack. You know, whatever. I'll try to make it count."
Moving at break neck speeds, Finn's raptor zooms in for the Raptor attacking Calliope. He unleashes a series of blasts from his KEW at the raider before pulling up hard as he flies by it. The KEW blasts slam into the Raiders hull just a moment before several other blasts hit the ship. "Scratch another raider..." he comments over the comm and the flies into a loop to come back down and around after the last Raider, "Copy that Smackdown. Coming in on your six."
"Gopnik copies, Smackdown." Danica banks her Raptor again, circling back the other way. It's a zig zaggy figure eight, double back to take another wack at the ground vehicles. She's at least given up openly swearing over her hot mic, for now.
Calliope some some aerial bobbing and swerving to get in position where her rear guns can do any damage to the forces on the ground. In the meantime, her ECO interference into the air, before getting on the trigger after they've banked into a decent firing angle. "Guns ready. Opening up."
While Fish makes a strafing run no some of the Centurions, Kallas scores a solid hit on the last remaining Raider. "That's one lucky Toaster there, Farm Boy. What's holding that thing together?"
"Pretty sure I saw some chewing gum in the seams..." Finn calls out over the comms after his own series of KEW blasts slam into the Raiders hull. "Frakkin' unstoppable." he adds on before coming around for another volley.
Gutter grunts from where he sits behind Niemec. Reporting it in as just a glancing hit on the tank. "Coming back around." Lining up shots from a rear-facing fun is not the easiest thing, but strafing runs are the best way about it.
"Duct tape and prayers to the Lords," Danica comments over her open mic as to what's holding that last Raider together until its not. "Nice murdering Smackdown and Farmboy," she appreciates as she executes another turn and burn, getting past the ground unit's armor finally.
As Raider 3 goes down in a flaming mass of wreckage from another series of blasts from Smackdown and Farm boy, Finn barrel rolls and slings around back towards tank on the ground, "Farm boy coming in hot on that tank."
The first spray of KEW Calliope's Raptor fires over the tank hits little but the air around it. She takes her angle lower, coming around for another pass.
The Taurons are not completely helpless, and an AT rocket launched from the lines takes out one of the other (more lightly-armored) vehicles. Fish does a good job strafing the Centurions, many of which have broken for cover. "Nice, Farm Boy," Kallas says when their shots take down the last ship, and then he too joins the strafing.
Some of the Centurions fire up at the aircraft, but they're ineffective.
Thank Kobol for small favors. Centurion fire just sort of plinks harmlessly off the Raptor, when they do hit. It's like flying in a hail storm. A very... targeted hail storm, coming from below, but a hail storm nonetheless. Niemec adjusts and tries coming from a different angle on the next pass. Perhaps attempting to distract the Tank.
The tank isn't destroyed, but whatever that last hit did, it seems to have taken it out of action. The vehicle suddenly stops moving, the turret that was firing on the Tauron ground forces going silent. Fish and Kallas take out another of the lighter vehicles, and the Taurons damage a third. That seems to be the last straw. "Looks like they're pulling back," Kallas says. "Get as many as we can before they get too far."
Shifting focus, Finn diverts away from the tank and starts to law down red bolts of thunder and doom on the Centurions that begin to make their retreat. This is mostly clean up, and there's little danger left, which makes it considerably less fun.
Calliope makes another strafing pass over the Cylon vehicles for good measure, then eases her Raptor back up to a higher altitude. To watch over the Raptors and scan for more incoming contacts. She grins some as she watches the toasters scatter.
The fleeing Cylons are given another strafing run courtesy of Niemec and her ECO, Gutter. Enough to perhaps take out a few of the Centurions, if not the remains of their vehicles. That final pass done, she draws up into formation with the rest of the Galactica birds to head on home.
Much as he would like to chase them until they're all reduced to scrap, Kallas has his orders. And they don't allow him to stray too far over the front. So after a bit of shooting ducks in a barrel, he reluctantly calls off the pursuit. "All right. We got all we could. Back to base and resupply. Good work everyone." And he heads for home.