A mission to practice flying around Asteroids turns into a Raider Ambush.
Location: A random asteroid field somewhere.
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 748
In order to give the pilots of the soon to be deployed Vanguard practice with taking off and landing without launch tubs, especially the Viper pilots, Kazimir put in for a mission to use one of the light carriers of the fleet for practice on landings. The LCV Soteria jumped away from the rest of the fleet, carrying the small squadron of Vipers and Raptors to get them used to flight deck operations. Sitting in the lead Viper, Kazimir brings up his radio to cue it to the rest of the squad.
Wit that, he's the first out to lead the small group away from the Soteria and towards the asteroid field.
Isolde is stuck in a Raptor with Rabbit. She actually doesn't mind the pilot, but since the whole Blue Team vs. Red Team deal, he's been a bit grumpy. So, she casually does her work at the ECO station, listening to Kazimir check-in. She snorts slightly when he uses her old hacker handle. "<<Spider's never going to fall for that. He wants me to suffer through the process of getting a real callsign.>>" She finds herself grinning, tapping out a few things on her keyboard. "<<Like a real member of the Air Wing. Thanks for the attempt though, Toesies.>>" She then draws her focus to DRADIS, watching the blips.
"<<Roger that, on your mark Twinkle-Toes. Hammerhead.>>" Roara's Viper whirrs as she preps for take-off. An experienced Raptor-jock, going without where the launch tubes are concerned isn't her biggest worry ...even if the Vipers can be a lot more reactionary. "<<You just haven't frakked up big enough to get a real good one, Scion.>>"
It had been awhile since Delilah had taken off without a launch tube, but she was down for the practice. In fact, she was pretty eager for it. In her own bird, hand on her stick, she does manage it at least and leads her own machine away from the Soteria and towards the field. <<Twinkle-Toes, Pixie. Copy. This isn't the first time I'll be flying directly into trouble.>> Amusement laces her tone though and she listens in on the com for the others to copy.
As Cap had been saying earlier, it can be a little counterintuitive to think about, but as such a basic skill for any pilot, these manual take-offs are one of the first things you learn and practice... and then promptly tend to forget about, as training cycles into more advanced and combat-applicable skills. So today is all about dusting off the cobwebs and going back to page one in the manual, so to speak. Of course, the cropduster-flying farm girl used to do plenty of normal take offs... in atmo. But even that feels a lifetime ago now.
As they enter into the Asteroid field, the Vipers are immediately shaken by the rattle of rocks and small dust bouncing off the windscreen and frakking up the DRADIS. This is why Isolde and Rabbit stayed outside of the field - this exercise is just as much for her to get used to guiding a flight to it's targets as much as it is about the pilots themselves manuvering. <<A little chippy, Flight, Twinkle-Toes. Be careful and watch your windows. Too much clutter on DRADIS.>>
"<<Thanks, Hammerhead. I appreciate the vote of confidence in my ability to earn a callsign through proper procedures.>>" Isolde's voice is light and chipper. She watches the feedback from DRADIS, and then frowns slightly. "<<Alright. You need to really watch yourself. Adjust for asteroid velocity... they are clockin' in at about twenty-five meters a second.>>" She shakes her head slightly at the grunt from Rabbit, flashing the pilot a dimpled grin.
Flaring her engines to move into formation at Kazimir's wing, Roara's bird tilts some to avoid a particularly big fragment of rock. "<<Frak me, Twinkles. You sure do know how to pick your air-space. We're going into this on purpose? Hammerhead.>>"
"<<Ah, you're getting awful close to those big, floating chunks of astrogeology, kids.>>" Isolde tries to keep track of everything popping up across her screen. She is working at the height of her multitasking abilities. Patterns, patterns everywhere... She cringes slightly as she watches a faster-moving asteroid come swinging past several kilometers away from the Vipers. "<<Alright, guys... don't forget all your lessons in physics... particularly inertia. None of you possess enough force to slow these things down. You are just going to get smashed.>>"
With Isolde watching the DRADIS screens, her attention may be holding too much to the screen to notice that four of the rocks seem to start moving independently of the others. Raiders, silently sitting among the rocks, waiting for a ship or transport to pass by, come to life and start to vector towards the LCV Solteria and the flight of Vipers between them and their target.
As Kazimir enters the asteroid field further, he's unaware of the Raiders that have been awaken as he rolls over a rock. <<Hammerhead, Twinkle-Toes. There's no telling what type of environments we may be facing, so we should practice for it all.>> he comments, keeping his eyes on the area around him and rolling his Viper underneath one of the larger asteroids.
As much as 'by the books' was the order of the day, all things considered, flying is something Cap loves and it's hard for it not to show through as she navigates. Past the initial surprise of the asteroid field, and with the info that Isolde continues to relay, she gets a good handle on the motion of the space rocks, and settles in a little better after that initial close call. And when she has a little open space... did someone shout 'Do a barrel roll?' No. No one told her to do that, but she does anyway. Showoff. Yet amidst that little bit of cobweb shaking aerobatics, a bit of making sure she still has the moves after a few too many margaritas on the beach, Cap suddenly comes on the comms, not sounding at all happy-go-lucky. << Flight, Babyface, some of those rocks are moving kind of... Frak, I have contacts at three. Repeat, contacts at three. Confirm bandits? >>
"<<Copy that, Babyface. Flight, we have contact. Hammerhead request weapons free. Repeat, request weapons free.>>" Roara pivots her ship, dodging a rock cluster as she trains her eyes to one of the Raiders. She doesn't want to frakkin' lose it in all of this space debris.
Isolde blinks at the sudden blips, and she curses something in Tauran. "<<Confirmed. I got three on DRADIS.>>" She glances to Rabbit. "And you hoped for Cylons..." She shakes her head before she looks back to the systems. "<<Initiating countermeasures.>>" She shakes her head at the comm chatter. "Where's Milkman when you need him," she says wryly, but definitely not over comms. This causes Rabbit to snort, but there's too much going on for immediate response. Isolde tightens her jaws when the Raider manages to bypass her measures.
Gritting her teeth, Roara presses her back into the seat of her cockpit and releases a spray of firepower. Her Viper slices forward, following after the Raider hunting down their Raptor. She tries to take advantage of not yet being a target herself.
Cap gets her confirmation not by radio, but by one of the former mostly harmless 'space rocks' shooting at her. That's pretty good confirmation! The surprise in her voice when she calls out the contacts is mirrored in her response. In the face of unexpected ambush and immediately under fire, hers isn't the killer instinct of some more veteran soldiers, and so her reaction, first and foremost, is do what she does best, fly - and hopefully not get blasted to little pieces. Whipping her Viper into a hard roll that is nowhere near showing off this time, she tries to spiral out of the line of fire of the Heavy that seems to have it in for her, returning a burst before they inevitably pass each other. The sudden evasion pays off, at least in that she's not immediately blown to smithereens, although not surprisingly her own burst goes well wide. Still, she lives through the initial shock of it, which is enough to get her wits about her as an explosion blooms across the nose of the approaching ship. << Nice shot Rabbit. >> Ah, missiles. She tightens her grip on the stick and, with the two ships still closing on each other, angles in for a more direct line of fire right as they get close to passing. She's confident she can pull off in time. Right?
Hit by one of the Raiders, Kazimir only takes minor damage as his KEW chews through one of the Raiders, sending it spiraling into the rocks. <<One down!>> he calls out. <<Sing if you have targets!>> he adds quickly, moving to come around to try to find other targets in case others need help.
The Raider does some fancy maneuver that draws him out of the line of her fire. Too late, Pixie follows and luckily the move puts her out of the line of fire as well and the kew from the Raider on her own tail flies past harmlessly, but only barely. Gritting her teeth, she bares them, muttering a few choice epithets. <<Twinkle-Toes, Pixie, I got one on my six I can't shake.>> The words are barely out and she's taking aim on the one she's been chasing.
Roara lets out a series of elated hoots as she breaks away from a Cylon Raider just as it bursts between her assault and a particularly jagged rock. "<<Pixie, I've got you. Hammerhead.>>" It takes some time to reposition herself to attack one of the remaining enemy combatants but she does so.
Cap white-knuckles the trigger as she swoops close, pouring a stream of kinetic fire at the Heavy - which is something of a big, fat, singed target now, smoking from the first missile. Her shots are good, impacting on their target, and she'd keep on firing but... ohfrak missile! The young pilot yanks hard on the stick to veer away, and fortunately, they're too close for the slower projectile to establish any kind of lock, the missile passing under harmlessly, and off into space. A few moments more and Babyface's Viper passes just starboard of the large cylon vessel right as another missile streaks into it, the second explosion followed soon by a cacaphony of smaller ones. << Splash the heavy, thanks Rabbit. >> A quick tap on the maneuvering thrusters then sends the Viper end-over-end, engines cutting, then re-powering to slow her momentum before pushing her back toward the fight. She hears a couple calls for Pixie's tail, and so instead angles toward her own target, trailing after the Captain.
As the Raiders are wiped out, Soteria comes back on the comms, <<Timberwolf Flight, Soteria Actual, withdraw and land, we're jumping back to Scorpia space in ten.>> Kazimir hears the call and fires up his comms. <<Flight, Twinkle-Toes. Sing out condition, RTB.>> he orders, turning his own bird around to head through the rocks to make his own landing.
"<<Copy that. Hammerhead, headed back to the barn. Seems like this field debris helped us more than it helped them.>> Roara is careful, taking her own Viper in a wide arch around a condensed cluster of asteroid before setting her sights on Soteria.
"<<I'm detecting no other targets,>>" Isolde announces once that last blip has disappeared. She glances over toward Rabbit as he confirms that they are a-okay. She then looks back toward the ECO console with a worrying frown.
Forming up with her only hours-long squadmate, Cap swoops in behind the Raider tailing her Captain. He probably doesn't need their help, with all his fancy flying, but no one shoots even at the vague vicinity of the beloved officer and gets away with it! It seems the pair can fairly easily box in their target, two streaks of ballistic fire from just varied enough angles that it can escape neither up or down, side to side, and indeed is eventually hemmed in between, and then struck repeatedly. After the echo of kill callouts, she hears said brave leader over the comm and of course feels just a bit better. << Lead, Babyface. Condition good, don't think I took any hits. Copy RTB. >> And so she does, her Viper turning more carefully, not risking the rocks after escaping the more active opponents, to fall into formation as they return to the carrier.
Feeling it more than seeing it, Pixie realizes she no longer has a shadow on her six, the team took it out for her even as she was fighting one on another. A grin in her voice as the call comes in to return to base. <<Flight, Pixie. Looks like no damage here, I've got no alerts to anything. Heading back in, Copy.>> Zipping back towards the designated area, she easily follows formation.
Leading the flight back to the Soteria, Kazimir watches each of the flight land before he moves to follow in after the others, heading to the deck to make a textbook landing, barely securing his Viper to the deck ahead of the jump.
No more fancy flying, for sure. Now it's just clear coasting back, as Cap catches her breath and generally shakes off the combined terror and rush of the brief, unexpected sortie. Waiting for her turn, there's nothing added or improvised as she puts down her Viper, the landing struts extending and the small thrusters firing first to brake, and then to gently maneuver the small ship to a place. And once in place, she lets her head hang back and sits a moment. Still alive.