The Air Wing smashes some Cylons in a sweep over an airfield.
Location: Kannur Province Canceron
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 762
The air wing is back at it again as operations against Cylon territory continue. This time the mission is to provide air support against a bomber wing of Canceron Air Force Raptors that are hitting a Cylon airfield close to the front. With the air defenses significantly weakened by yesterday's raids, they're able to zoom across the front unopposed. Webb is off leading another assault, so Eva has flight lead this time out.
After waiting for the the Vipers to go, Tucker heads out with the other Raptors after running through his pre-flight. Once again, the cabin of his bird is filled with the sedate noise of a classical piano playing - much different than the jazz that he's used to playing when off-duty. Perhaps it's what keeps him centered.
"Alright, alright, alright. For the duration of this pleasure cruise, you may call me Cherry...you may call me Smackdown Jr...don't call me Little Spider. I hate that." See what you're been missing since she turned over the squadron? Eva, taking lead for this one operation, is leading the flight group away from the Vanguard, directing them into formation, "The job's just a walk in the park today. protect those raptors, they are mission critical. Engage all enemies. I would prefer we focus fire on the most dangerous ones first. Anything with missiles. We lose a raptor, and I've been told it's coming out of my paycheck. Form up on your wingmen."
Escorting the Canceron Strike Force is something that Kell actually prefers doing, an AA-Battery is a motionless target which makes it easier to hit, but it is bristling with weaponry that is designed to take down fighters like he is flying. He considered their successful assault yesterday to be very fortunate, since they had numbers and absolute surprise on their side. At the moment, Razor is in formation with the other Vipers, maintaining cruising speed. When their mission leader gives them her objectives, Kell mentally jots them down, especially the priority of target. "Cherry, Razor. I copy, will tag heavier bogeys as primary targets." It seems like the young Ensign either isn't the type or just isn't as comfortable partaking in the more casual banter as they fly towards their objective today.
Just in time, too, for Antonie Niemec. She's been released back to full duty after her lovely ground encounter and with just a few bandages under her flight suit. The woman is comfortably at the controls of her Raptor and while they fly out... fidgeting with a coin in one hand against the stick. It taps in a strange sort of staccato. Likely much to the re of whoever is riding back seat.
Calliope came through the last fight in one well-preserved piece, so she's back in the same Raptor she was flying over the air batteries. She's in front, hands on the wheel (well, stick). Yohan's riding in her backseat for this jaunt. "You good, Double-Tap? I'll try and keep us flying smooth. Don't sweat it." She actually tries to sound confident and competent for the ensign. She's come far...ish. But not far enough that she doesn't laugh at Eva's 'Little Spider' crack over the comms.
Sure, flying into enemy territory is rarely grounds for /happiness/, but it's also nice to fly alongside some of your old wing again. Plus, /flying/ itself is grounds enough for cheer. And so Ensign Mata can't entirely keep a cheerful note from her voice as she calls out, "Don't worry, Soundbite, we'll keep you in one piece."
Gwyndolen survived the last fight. Well, she stayed in the air by the skin of her teeth (or mostly luck), but she seems perfectly calm as they head out, breaking her quiet hum to herself only to comment, "I always did like walks in the park. So much less likely to end with explosions."
"Gods I love a good fighter sweep." Van sounds positively enthused inside his cockpit, but he still responds as protocol dictates, "Milkman copies, Cherry. Razor, stick close on my wing, if I pick one up, I'll lead him into your fire. If you pick one up, we'll swap lead." He goes quiet a moment, keeping his Viper jinking slightly back and forth in case they missed any AA emplacements on the previous sweep, then adds, "Soundbite... man, that's still odd. I keep wanting to call you Bullseye."
New he may be to the team, Yohan is not lacking in confidence of his abilities to do his job. "Easy," is how he expects the whole thing to go, sounding a little unapologetic allyz cocky. If only the other side could hear him and be as demoralized as an immature young nerd playing for the other team.
"She'll always be our Bullseye. The deck refuses to strip the paint from her raptor." When Calliope was first christened, and her name added to one of the ships, the deck painted a huge bullseye on the one bearing her name. Eva falls into formation with the Canceron flight, pulling in close to shield the missile heavy buses.
"So, if we can't call you Spider, what about Muffet? Muffin-Top?" Tucker asks over the comms as he continues to pilot along, looking thoughtfully at DRADIS as his ECO drums his fingers in time with the music.
As the Colonial ships approach the airfield, the Canceron forces following just a little behind them, Raiders begin to scramble from the surface, heading up to engage.
Calliope chuckles again over the mic, but this time it's a rueful sound. "Milkman, Soundbite." She tries to own it. It's still not uber-successful. "You and me both, but I work with what I've got. Like Cherry says, at least the toasters still know where to aim. Thanks for the good word, Ringer. We'll keep you covered, same as." She tries to give Hallie a wiggle of her wings. It comes as more of a block quarter-roll before she rights her ship. Buses do not wiggle gracefully. Off-com, she says to Yohan, "Lay the jamming signals on them when we get into this. Frak with the Cylons aim. They don't like that." And then, they're in it. She goes straight into evasive patterns. Because, whatever her callsign, this is what she's learned.
"If you called me Muffin-top, it wouldn't be that funny. I mean, everyone already knows I have one." (Cherry)
The tap-tap-tap of the challenge coin dancing between Antonie's fingers only halts once the contacts start popping on DRADIS. The coin is just... gone. A trick of the light? Or just deft fingers disappearing it to Lords know where. When no alarms begin chiming with targets on her bird, she brings the Raptor around sharply to line her own targeting systems up. "Let me know if we get anything else in our sites." This, to her ECO for the day. "Squeak, flight. Lining up on the bogey at..." she rapid-fire reads off the coordinates o Raider 3 as she moves in tandem with the Vipers on her wings.
Isolde "Pi" Asa has been relatively quiet on the comms as she sits in Antonie's backseat, fiddling with her various constrols. She is humming something almost nonsensical just under her breath, and then pops her lips together twice, and sings a bit more clearly, "Pop, pop. Duh nuh-nuh, nuh-nuh. Thunder, thunder." Then she looks over toward Antonie as she finally pops onto the comms. "Flight, Pi is activating counter-measures on DRADIS contacts dee-one-eight, dee-one-nine, and dee-two-oh." And she begins to type, but there's something almost rhythmic in her typing. Someone has a song stuck in her head.
Turning his head, Kell is able to pick out the Viper that Van is in and gives the other pilot a nod, one that probably can't be seen but it is more of a habit as he answers, "Milkman, Razor. I copy. Will be on your wing when we enter the engagement zone." As the flight group proceeds towards the Cylon airfield, Razor spots bogeys popping up on his DRADIS and calls it over to his wingman, "Milkman, we have some inbound. Will be engaging with you." With a little bit of maneuvering, the Ensign maneuvers his Viper so that he is trailing slightly beside Van's fighter. Once his wingman selects a target, Kell follows, using a similar attack vector.
Hallie immediately swings around to keep an eye on Calliope's Raptor as the enemies appear on DRADIS. "The neighbors seem a little rowdy, Soundbite," she calls out on comms, as she watches for the contact drawing closest to her friend. "Need a spare hand?"
Aiming, we don't need no aiming. Tucker hears the call from the ECO of contacts and is already working on lining up a target to get between the Raiders and drop one in their breadbasket as he chuckles softly. "Sounds sweet, Cherry Muffins." he teases a little, before turning his attention to the dance that's starting to form before them. "Speaking of, going to put a missile down the gullet of the one that has tone on me, Cherry. Wanna lend a helping hand?"
Eva, seeing the approaching raiders, selects one which seems to be going for Tucker's raptor. She can just catch the rest of the flight from her peripheral vision, all spreading out nicely to engage. "Anyone who needs a hand, don't be afraid to sing out."
Maybe he's just feeling shy as one of the new guys, or maybe he's just focused on not shit-talking too much over com right at the start. Might not be the best first impression, or something. "Yeah, I got it," says Yohan. Then, "Soundbite's an interesting one." Call-sign, presumably. Maybe not the time for a casual conversation, but it can serve as a rain check.
"Milkman, Razor. Here they come. Doesn't seem to be any CAP. We'll hold high and bounce them as they come in." Van draws his Viper upward slowly as the Raiders climb too, "Target at two o'clock low, rolling in three, two, one, mark..." and he wings over with a flicker of maneuvering jets, diving to interpose himself and his wingman between Calliope's Raptor and the oncoming attacker, "Watch Ringer on your pass."
Gwyndolen swings about, keeping an eye on the approaching Raiders, still humming quietly to herself. "I hope that yesterday's target's not painted on my plane any more," she murmurs, mostly to herself, as she takes aim.
One of the Raiders goes down in flames, streaking towards the treetops. But more are launching from the airfield to join the fray.
Not much talking from Cherry now, as they get into the thick of things, and between the two of them, she and Tucker take down the first raider of the engagement. There's no congratulations, though, as the next wave approaches, "We've got more incoming. Watch your backs." She spins, moving to the next available target.
Calliope fiddles with her weapons systems, grinning as she hears the 'ping!' that notes a lock. She flies as fast as her Raptor can carry her around oncoming enemy fire, and comes through it in one piece. Grin widening, from what she can see on her instruments, of Yohan's work on the DRADIS. "Nice, Double-Tap! Keep it up. Drown them in interference." To the group, "Flight, Soundbite. Missile ready to away. I won't bump into you Ringer." Indeed, she's very good at not denting Vipers.
When Van gives him the countdown, at mark, Kell follows his wingman's maneuver and rolls his fighter over so he can dive down on the Raider. It looks like the combination fire has very devastating effects because with his wingman's help, Razor was able to trigger a burst of autocannon fire where the projectiles punched quite a few large holes into the Cylon's right wing. Somehow, the bandit remains airworthy but it is flying very sluggish now, "Milkman, Razor, more inbound. Are we changing targets?"
"Is that more I'm hearing?" Antonie's trying to sound light-hearted, she really is. Instead, it comes out in a fairly flat tone... which in that already fairly flat sort of accent the Taurans bear isn't helping. At least it's Isolde riding backseat and not some poor Caprican. She calls off her aiming and pulls them around. Sharp. The maneuver would probably be better suited to a Viper, but it might put some of the Raiders already streaming around them in KEW range for the Ensign if she should find herself wanting to fire the rear-facing gun instead of suppressing the Cylon ships. The woman at the ship's controls, however, does begin keying in new targets for the oncoming Raiders.
"Two out of three," Isolde reports as she continues her counter-measures. She finds herself slightly irritated by that Raider that seems to be faster than she is when it comes to countering her counter-measures. One contact drops off, but then her DRADIS comes damn near alive with sharp pings and contacts fill the direct field. "Oh, look... there's more," Isolde confirms to Antonie before switching to comms, "Flight, please advise, our additional order for Raiders has arrived." She starts flagging contacts, sorting them mentally. She immediately switches to KEW, that flip between disruptive to offensive becoming more and more fluid with practice.
Gwyndolen trades fire with a Raider, swooping and swerving and her player must really think of better words to describe flying to avoid the raider's shot while strafing it along the nose. She climbs higher, talking stock of the situation as the enemy reinforcements arrive.
"It was convenient of them to break it up into two deliveries," Hallie agrees with Isolde. "Glad the toasters are so considerate." But despite the quips, her expression turns serious as she finally lines up what she hopes is that perfect shot, and fires...
Van slides past the Raider attacking Calliope's Raptor, twisting his fighter through the roll to gain just a heartbeat longer of a deflection shot. Tracers stretch out, thump home on the Raider, and then he's past, clearing the line of fire for Kell, "Razor, Milkman. Yes. Ringer, you got this one." He flattens out the dive a little more, curling around to await the incoming Raiders, "Let's break up their attack, see if we can't draw one of them into a weave."
As the flight moves to pounce on the other Raiders, Tucker curves around the flaming wreckage of the Raider he and Cherry tag-teamed on. "More tagrets on the horizon, Cherry. Moving to engage." he chirps out as he's already dialing up his second missile to prepare to fire.
"Smooth as lube, Soundbite." It's a compliment. Really. Yohan takes refocuses his attention on the new raiders pinging his DRADIS to give them the same welcome he gave their welcoming party.
Eva gets in a good hit on the raider, sn with the assist from Soundbite, or maybe it was she offering the assist to Calliope, they manage to clear their board. Eva, with not a minute to spare, pull around for another attack run.
Calliope snorts at Yohan, but the lube comment gets a laugh. "Don't get cocky, kid." Is he actually younger than her? Also, only one rank lower, and she was an ensign like ten minutes ago. "SWEET!" That's exclaimed over the comms as her target explodes, in a combined assault of death. As does the Raider who was after her. "Thanks for clearing my tail, Ringer!"
The Raiders are cut down like cordwood under the hail of Colonial firepower. One last group of fighters manages to clear the airfield just as the Canceron AF bombers head in on their bombing raid.
"Thunderstruck!" Isolde cheers this across the comms as her short burst of KEW fire brutally slams the Raider, softening it for Eva and Calliope. The sudden jostle of the hit from the Raider causes Isolde to immediately look over her status output. The lack of report to Antonie is a good thing as she instead has all her focus on the DRADIS. "Flight, I've got six more bandits. Switching to ECM. Double-Tap, I got dee-three-five, three-six, and three-seven if you want three-oh, three-eight, and three-four." She is already tagging her contacts, fingers moving across the keys.
As the Raider reinforcements close in, Van curls in to attack them from the side, keeping Kell's line of fire clear as well. Once more, he connects his Viper with the enemy fighter with a line of tracers, chopping into the hull. As he flashes past, he glances back behind him, grimacing as he sees the Cylon still ascending toward the Raptors, and Kell's target coming apart, "Nice shooting, Razor." As the third wave ascends, Van twitches as if to follow his original target, watching the Raider's below respond, "Looks like we have their attention this time, Razor. Weave and see if we can clear each other's tails."
With his wingman already choosing to move on to engage the Raiders that had just lifted off and moving to intercept, Kell immediately breaks off from his target. It appears that there is quite a bit of trust that Razor is putting in those he flies with. "Milkman, Razor, I'm still with you. Moving in for a head on pass to scatter that new flight of bogeys." With Van targeting one Raider, the young Ensign picks another one in the inbound flight. Once in range, he triggers a burst of autocannon fire before the Raider has a chance this, this one shattering the nose of the Cylon fighter. It appears that somehow one or two of the rounds manage to pierce a system critical component. The entire raider still looks rather air worthy, but it suddenly becomes lifeless and dives towards the ground. Instead of flying after the descending Raider, Kell looks for his wingman and sees that he has dispatched his target as well. Only when he is complimented by Van does Razor look back at the target he connected with, seeing that whatever he hit finally resulted in an internal explosion and is breaking apart on its way down. "Thanks Milkman, must've been a lucky hit into its ammo casing or something." Then more bogeys appear on DRADIS, Kell already maneuvering with Van towards them. "I copy, Milkman."
"Nice work," Antonie calls back, a bit more life in her voice. The thick of combat helps. Flying fast, hard, and having Raiders bearing down on you. The woman likes being in the midst of danger. Perhaps even moreso now. She takes a deep breath as an alert begins pinging in her ear. "We've got one on our tail." Just as a note. "I'll shake it." See? No worries. None. Hands still at the controls and working to bring new targets in line for the remaining missiles in their bank.
Gwyndolen dodges another shot and strafes a raider, with the satisfaction of seeing it plummet to the ground, smoke trailing in the wake. "No rest for the wicked," she notes dryly at the arrival for even more raiders. She lines up a target.
A second missile and another Raider goes down. "Keep the beat up!" he calls out to his ECO, just before the report that they're getting multiple tagrettings. "Ah, frak, someone doesn't like our song." he says as he as moves to turn to assist Gwyndolen with one of the raiders attacking him. "Hey, Lady Knickers-Knackers, mind if I help you out with a piece of that?"
"Can't have someone cutting in on your screen time, Soundbite!" Hallie calls back brightly, swinging around towards the raider moving in on the next Raptor. Best to keep the Raptors clear, after all; that was the standing order. "Squeak, Pi, I'm coming in behind you to clear your dance card."
"Man, I was gonna change my middle name to Cocky and everything," Yohan counters, oh so casual like, to Calliope as he picks up the incoming on DRADIS.
Eva would say something quick and witty, but just at the moment, she;s busy trying to clear the incoming next wave off of the raptors.
"Sorry to get in the way of your plans, Double-Tap," Calliope quips to Yohan, and she tries to zero in on another Raider. It takes her some work. The Raiders, like the Vipers, are faster than she is.
"Your assistance is appreciated," Gwyndolen replies to Tucker across the coms, her tone just a slightly arch as, between both their efforts, the Raider stalls, rolls, and streaks toward the ground. "We'll discuss the nickname later."
As the Raiders close in, Van sweeps his Viper out to his left first, avoiding a head-on pass and gaining some space between himself and his wingman. And then as they come around again, the Picon pilot turns back in toward Kell, the two Vipers creating a slaloming, curling weave that puts the trailing Raiders directly into their crosshairs, one after the other. He plants a neat burst of KEW rounds into his target once more, but it stays flying. Not so his hanger-on, and he shakes his head, "Razor, Milkman, I should just let you take all the shots. Call your move, I'll clear your tail."
"All in a day's work!" The ECO keeps her eyes on her console and the incoming data scrolls. Isolde kind of adores this part, where she starts actually breaking through the systems. She is humming again, popping her mouth occasionall as she does. She catches all three this time, and her mouth starts to quirk. As those DRADIS contacts start to blip off her screen, she keeps moving onto the next one. "Flight, we've almost got a clear map."
Bombs away! The Raptors begin attacking the airfield, and it's a beautiful sight filled with explosions galore. Some Raiders still on the ground are caught taxiing and are blown to bits. No more fighters take to the skies to join the fray.
"We have any more showing up?" Antonie hasn't spotted any, but then that's not directly her job at the moment. She's just evading the incoming fire... and doing a fairly good job of it, too! There's not even a ding to the armor this time around. And her missile gets a direct hit on the Raider's cockpit. Two remaining and the skies are still fairly clear. The Captain looks fairly satisfied with herself. "Maybe the humidity is bad their their systems."
"Splash 1," Cherry makes the call, as she clears another of the raiders, moving in to try to cut down the last of this wave. You know there are going to be more.
The Weave was definitely something they taught at Libran Flight School, so when Kell's wingman called out the familiar term, the young Ensign already knows what the other pilot has in mind. He also chooses not to engage in ahead on pass this time, maneuvering so he can gain some distance from Van's Viper before breaking back towards his wingman, bringing the uninvited guess along. The plan seems to work very nicely as both pilots manage to land their shots. Razor's burst of autocannon fire slams into the Raider's front section again, breaking it off and causing it to lose full airworthiness, spiraling towards the ground with a light trail of smoke. When asked to call the play, Kell already has one in mind after a quick scan of the skies, "Milkman, Razor, going to help clear Ringer's tail, looks like a bandit is still on her. If my bogey follows, knock him down."
"Oh no... quite suited for most any climate," Isolde says in that perfect delivery of a nerd who doesn't recognize a rhetorical statement. "My guess is that they probably don't like volcanic temperatures, and perhaps serious subpolar." Then her words taper off as her social brain nudges her nerd brain. "Switching to KEW." Thatta girl.
"Frak, yeah." Yohan says to the exploding Raiders as he switches from ECM to something that helps make more satisfying explosions.
"One missile left, might as well go home light." Tucker says as he draws up one more targetting feed, and chuckles at the comm. "My apologies, Knick-Knack, got a little excited there for a moment."
Rather than trying to flip around and take out the Raider on her own tail, Hallie curves around to go after the one on Kell's. "Trade you favor for a favor, Razor," she calls back, as she swings around. "Let's void a few more warranties."
Calliope gets a satisfying ping from her weapons systems and locks in. "Let's light this thing up!" she hollers to her ECO. Firing away.
"Mmhmm," is Gwyndolen's slightly skeptical response. Well, not exactly a full response. More like an answering noise. She swings around to target one of the remaining raiders. "Let's clean these up. Knickers or no knickers."
"Razor, Milkman, Roger." Van slews his Viper around, goosing the throttle to curl in after his former wingman, "I'm on him." A bit of chatter in a very familiar voice catches his attention, and he notes, "Pi, Milkman. Nerd." His hand is light on the stick as he shifts by minute twitches, trying to draw a bead on the Raider following Kell. His burst of fire clips it, but doesn't drop it, even when it also gathers the attention of half the Colonial ships in the air. Before he has to twitch his Viper out of the way of all the fire, he notes, "You're mowing them down, Razor." Even if he had a good bit of help with the last one.
"It's a joke, Pi. Just a joke." Not that it's easy to tell with Antonie these days. Not that she was much for jokes even before Twinkle Toes died. Even so, as she's just taken to keeping the Raptor in position for Isolde to do her thing while watching the skies, the coin has come out again. It's back to tapping out against the stick as she flies.
"And a mighty fine joke too," Isolde offers, almost laughing as she does. Then she lets loose, and her KEW fire does its damage to the wing. She is rewarded with the sight of physics at work as the Cylon ship endures too much, being deflected in multiple directions before it begins its one-way ticket to the ground -- whatever's left of it..
Kell must be in the zone today, and for the Cylons? They are in the Danger Zone, the one that is trying to chase after Hallie certainly is as Razor has a bead on one of the few remaining Raiders that are still trying to put up a fight against the strike force. Either the young Ensign is a cool as ice when under fire or his trust in his wingman and squadronmates is on an extreme level because this time, his burst of autocannon fire is devastating. After pressing down on his trigger stub and the KEW cannons on his Viper roars out a stream of cannon rounds, the tracers show that a large number of them slams into the Raider's cockpit. Kell completely pulverizes the head section of the flying toaster and in conjunction of firepower from the others, it's in a many pieces. "Ringer, Razor, you're clear!"
"Good work. Flight, continue on to target." With the threaten, momentarily abated, they still have to fly on and keep in close to the raptors as they complete their run on the enemy target, "Milkman, you're on overwatch." Eva moves ahead, falling into her usual formation with a viper and Squeak between them.
"I'm dry on missiles, Cherry. Will provide ECM cover as needed." Tucker offers as he flips off the master arm switch and moves his Raptor into position with the others, the KEW armed just in case.
"Really" Not that the last standing Raider is going to answer Yohan, who is thoroughly unsatisfied by its lack of exploding despite how much fire it's drawn. But overkill is meaningless to a gamer, and the damned thing is going down.
"Squeak, Flight. I, however, am not out of missiles." Antonie had just been saving them. For a rainy day. Or figuring they'd take out that last raider. But she calls it up in her sights. "Taking the shot."
Calliope doesn't bother to attempt precision this time. She just squares one of her remaining missiles on the Raider and locks in on it, along with so many of her fellows. A very beaten prey for the Timber Wolves.
"Cherry, Milkman, Roger." Frustration and disappointment are evident in Van's voice, but he pulls out of his pursuit, climing to allowing the others to auger in on the Raider chasing his wingman. He turns his attention outwards, although at the flare of the explosion, he looks back down, breathing out a sigh of relief as he sees that they still have a full compliment of Vipers and Raptors in the air.
"And the map is clear," Pi reports when she lands her final hit on the Raider. She is aware of the cockpit hit, but completely unaware of the actual damage. She catches the disappointment and frustration in Van's voice through the comms, but she files that away for now.
With the call from Pi that the skies are clear, Cherry continues in with the mission, "Not many I'd rather have watching our backs, Milkman." Because, in many ways, that's what overwatch does, providing covering fire, but also serving as a scout for the flight. But the run ends in success, and a while after, "Back to the barn, flight."