A CAP from //Vanguard// gets orders to take down a Cylon transport during the battle of Canceron - and discover just how dangerous the Cylon AA can be.
Location: Skies over Canceron
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 771
The news from Canceron has been decidedly better. The Cylons are being beaten back and are starting to fall back into what some are calling 'last stand' positions. In the midsts of a CAP, word comes from the Vanguard that recon has spotted a medium transport ship, believed to be carrying Cylon supplies and escorted by a flight of Raiders is pulling back to the fortified zone.
"CAP, Vanguard, you are clear to intercept and splash all flight. Including transport. Repeat, transport verified hostile, splash all. Copy."
"You know, I thought about going to vacation on Canceron once," comes Cherry's tones on the comms, "I mean, sand, and surf and swinging through the trees. What could be better, right? This is not what I meant by that." Between the rescue mission, being stranded on a snake infested island, and being shot down over said island. Her tone sharpens, as she hears the call, "Flight, Cherry, moving to intercept."
Aubrey Naxos settles into the cockpit of her Viper as the orders come down from the Vanguard. She's got a bit of frustration to vent today, after receiving a message from her father back on Picon. "Flight, Banshee moving to intercept," she states over the comm, grinning at Eva's words. She smacks the side of her helmet a few times to get into focus. She made a good showing last time they ran across hostiles; she needs to keep that up.
Having never been taken off flight duty, Kell is slotted for today's CAP and the luck of the draw has him back in the front row of another engagement against the Cylon. When the orders are delivered from the Vanguard and the other pilots are already chiming in their acknowledgements, Razor's comes as well, a short response, "Razor copies." He seems to have no problem staying in formation as the flight of Colonial aircrafts redirect their heading on an intercept course.
"It's all sunshine and pretty beaches until the Cylons move in..." Finn comments over his comm. Then the call comes in from the Vanguard to intercept. Cherry sings out and is on the move. A few moments later, with the others, Finn adds in, "Flight, Farmboy moving to intercept."
Raptor 27 is Irene's favorite, even if it's the same bird that had a wing crumpled in and half sheared off by a Cylon missile during the attack on the shipyards. It's all patched up now so she's not babying it along at all, she keeps it humming in the rear of the vipers. When they alter their courses, she tags along with a smooth bank and burn, acknowledging with a simple, "Copy." Her ECO today is definitely not Roller, but a more reliable veteran.
As soon as Cherry clears atmo, she hits her thrusters, having spent enough years at it, that she has no trouble switching from orbital to atmospheric combat. She charges ahead, as usual, "Moving to try to clear that transport."
"We've got anti-aircraft guns on that boat!" Banshee calls over the comm. "Be careful, Cherry!" For her part the Picon pilot rolls her Viper and heads towards one of the raiders guarding the transport, trying to get the shifty bugger in her sights.
Luckily for Kell, there are no Cypers in the mix of the escort force so there is no hesitation or doubt in the rookie's mind when the Cylons are spotted after they entered atmosphere. As they get closer to the bogeys, the specs become large enough to differentiate Raiders from the transport. "Razor copies, appears to be two turrets on the transport." When the Raiders move to intercept the incoming Colonial Forces, Razor picks one of the saucer shaped fighters at random for the initial head-on pass and when they are close enough, he triggers a burst of autocannon fire.
Finn clears atmo to find himself being locked in on. "Farm Boy here, looks like it's pin the tail on the ... well, me today. Take that launcher down quick please..." Not that he doesn't intend to go at it himself. He pours on the speed, then banks right to try and draw fire to create a better opening for the others. And he'll take a few pot shots on the way.
As soon as the Cylons are engaged, the Raiders break to intercept the Vipers and Raptor, attempting to bring them down, even as the transport is dropping chaff and flares, trying to get countermeasures up against the flight.
As per usual, the Cherry half of the Cherry and Farm Boy show, moves in to engage one of AA arrays on the transport, completely ignoring the fact that she has a cylon on her tail. Which is, also, just par for the course, as she both gets a hit on the transport and manages to evade her pursuer. She throttles hard, coming back around for another pass.
Aubrey ruins the paint job on the Raider's wing, but it doesn't do any actual damage to the enemy ship. "Dammit," Banshee growls under her breath. The Cylon breaks off from her, flips back in that strange, twisty, flip-turn way they have, and sends a burst of return fire that grazes her wing. "Frak those batteries are scary!" she says, as she whips her head around to watch the missiles come out of them. "Moving in to assist!"
Wooley, the Raptor ECO, calls out the contacts when the scope is up and is already on the countermeasures before Irene has to ask. "Flight, Iris - 4 raiders, 1 transport with AA. Jamming them. Good hunting." Irene calls out, as she keeps back. Sadly, if she was hoping to go unnoticed, luck just isn't a lady. Two raiders have her selected for a vigorous kew'ing and she has precious few moments to react. As their fire snaps and pounds over the raptor's hull, she gets tone on one and sends a missile after it as she breaks hard. The missile streaks after, turning one of her attackers into a brilliant lightshow and angry cloud of metal.
"Don't be heroes out here. If you need to punch out, head back to base, just do it. Farm Boy and I will take care of it." And that's not just Eva being arrogant. Just acknowledging that both of the other viper sticks are rooks, and she and Finn have each over ten years of experience between them. "Enough dead bodies down there."
It seems like Kell has been brutally accurate the last couple of mission, whether it be a Colonial target or Cylon target as the saucer shaped Raider that he was gunning for takes multiple rounds into the cockpit area. Debris crack and peel away from the Raider but it still stays airworthy, rather sluggish now but still flying for the moment. Before Razor could celebrate though, his Viper gets rocked by a missile that is fired from one of the transport turrets, the impact hard enough that his systems suddenly short out. With no power in the Viper, he goes into an uncontrolled dive for a moment as he tries the master switch on and off a few times, the last time the systems begin powering up again. Having lost some altitude, Kell pulls his fighter into a steep climb and gooses the afterburners, finding that damaged Raider that was going after their Raptor, "Iris, Razor, you still have a damaged Raider on you, trying to rectify that. Climbing up to meet it."
The missile fired at Finn goes wide as he barrel rolls, and his KEW shots slam into the launcher. "I got this..." Farm Boy calls out into his comm, though he finds that the launcher has changed its lock to another target. "Moving in for another pass. Ya'll listen to Cherry, now. If you start takin hits, you book it."
There's a large explosion from the transport as one of the batteries goes up in flames, the port side of the ship trailing flame and debris. From the ripped open side of the transport, several Centurions and crates fall tens of thousands of feet to become crushed on the ground below.
"Nice shooting, Iris! I love it when you raptor pilots represent. And Banshee, jackrabbiting her way up toward Ace. Nice work, pilots. Now let's get this job done." Eva moves back in, third time lucky. She hopes.
"Yes Mom, yes Dad," Banshee quips back over the comm. Then the freshly minted Wolf screams towards the untouched of the two anti-aircraft batteries, regardless of the Raider chasing her. She barrel rolls, leaving the Raider to simply graze another wing with its shots, while she pours KEW fire into the battery. The shots go through the armor, and slice into the underlying magazine for the battery, causing the entire thing to explode.
"WoooohooooO! One big gun down!" Aubrey yells into her comm. Yep, she screams like a banshee alright.
Irene bites her lip in concentration, willing the raptor to turn harder and move faster. Probably doesn't help all that much, buses just aren't ballerinas, but she's no slouch on the stick. When the AA sends a missile after her, she neatly evades and counters as the raider chasing down Aubrey's viper fills up her viewscreen. She quickly puts a fox on it, blasting it off its trajectory with a solid hit to wing which turns into a ragged, holed slag. "Thanks, think I got some new dents in her. All missiles expended, on defense."
As Kell's Viper climbs up with its afterburners pushed to full thrust, he is able to close the distance on the sluggish Raider that was trying to chase after their Raptor but with its maneuverability in serious jeopardy, the Cylon just picks another target in its front arc. Before it could get a solid bead on Finn's Viper, Razor triggers another salvo of shot from the KEW cannons, the rounds zipping upwards and punching through the cockpit from below. No third chance at life for the the Raider as the Centurion inside is pulverized and the hostile craft itself begins its death spiral down towards Canceron. Kell is already searching for a new target, seeing a well placed shot by Irene's Raptor giving the Raider behind him a pummeling. "Thanks for the cover fire, Iris." Instead of trying to out maneuver the one that is chasing him, he goes after the bogey that is chasing after Aubrey, "Banshee, Razor, coming to assist."
"Don't make me turn this battle around..." Finn calls out into his comm as he alnds another set of KEW shots on the Cent and then rolls to come back around on it again, "Farm Boy moving in for another attack run."
The other battery on the transport goes silent, smoke trailing from it as there's no earth-shattering kaboom like the other one did. The transport's still racing towards the enemy lines. On the DRADIS, Wooley looks up from his screen. "We're starting to get light pings from several missile sites, we're going to need to mop up that transport and soon!" he calls out, even as there is one last Raider harassing them.
"I hear you Razor. I'm going to see if I can put on the brakes and let him fly overhead, right into the path of my guns." Banshee dips slightly down and then brakes hard, as the closely chasing raider zips past. She opens fire and rakes the body of the ship with bullets. "He's gonna feel that in the morning. Or maybe not, since he's a frakking ROBOT!"
Aubrey punches the acceleration and wheels for another pass at the Raider. "I'll handle the Raiders, get that transport!" she offers.
"Wooley, get on the gun. Pepper that transport." Irene tells her ECO as she brings the raptor around for a pass, burning hard before whipping the tail around to put the guns on the ship as they coast by. "Hit something important looking." She helpfully instructs as she keeps puts an eye on her DRADIS.
The transport is heavily damaged, trailing fire and smoke behind it and is descending, but is somehow still airborne. Wooley calls out to Irene as they close the distance. "I have active tones from six SAMs, more SAMs actively seeking!" he warns over the comms, giving Eva a choice - go after that transport and risk being fired upon by the SAMs, or letting it go.
"The rest of you pull out. Finn, ferry them home, I'm going to take a shot at them and then I'm out as well." She might as well give it her all, right?
Banshee screams in a tight arc to follow the Raider that's been annoying the crap out of her since the start of the fight. It turns to come at her as well and flashes of weapons fire rush from the Raider as they pass in a game of space chicken. Aubrey holds her fire, holds it, even as the Raider rakes her Viper's nose, and smoke begins to belch from it. Then she fires, and blows the side of the Cylon ship wide open, where it trails sparks and debris into the black. "SUCK ON THAT!" she yells loudly over the comm. "My nose may be smoking, but your ass is in the wind, Toaster!"
Her celebration is short lived though as the SAMS pop to life on the DRADIS screen and the tones of missiles looking for locks make her ears ring. "That can't be good. Farmboy I'm breaking hard right! Evade! Evade! Evade!" She jerks on the joystick and punches a button to drop flares.
"I'll dirty the water, should buy you that much time." Iris calls out to Eva as she puts the raptor's nose up and burns hard, turning it over and around. "Wooley, drop everything we got, make a mess." Then she's bugging out.
"Alright squad, this is Farm Boy. Everyone should bug out and fly on home. I'll take rear guard action." Finn says over the comm. "Cherry, I'm going to keep covering your six until you bug out too."
Cherry's voice isn't argumentative, it's just...quiet, as she keys her mic, following Finn's comm chatter, "I know, Finn."
The warning of SAM sites starting to activate from their locations is very bad news in Kell's mind, one thing he was taught in Flight School was that those missile launching AA Emplacements can shred an entire flight of friendlies. So the Ensign is already putting the damaged and fleeing transport on his top priority, especially since the Raider that was chasing Aubrey is not in the best of shape after taking a volley from both himself and his intended victim. "Banshee, Razor, I copy. I'm going after that transport, good luck with your bandit." With that, he peels away and heads towards the larger craft, passing by Finn's Viper who is going to help clean up the Raiders. Approaching the transport, strafes it and manage to carve up a good chunk of the ship.
Surprised to see the flying beast still limping along, Kell is about to make another pass when warnings begin to ring out in his cockpit that he is being painted by SAM radar. Hearing Eva's orders, Razor blinks once and looks over towards where her Viper is, not sure if she is serious about taking on the transport and SAM sites alone. There is no 'Razor copies' this time, his Viper and comms eerily silent as the Ensign continues to fly on Eva's wing, making the approach on the transport.
Eva's shots tear through the cockpit of the transport, severing the head of it, and the transport rolls over, falling towards the ground as it spews fire and flame. It's going to make a nice big explosion when it hits the ground. But the more pressing worry is the missiles that streak up from the SAM sites towards the Vipers that remained in the fight, more than a little aggressive in their attempt to take out the Vipers.
Aubrey gets out of range of the SAMs and she cruises back around so she can watch what unfolds. "Oh FRAK!" she curses as missiles strike all over the place and the smoke from the flaming, dying transport keeps her from seeing if anyone is ok. "Flight to Cherry, Farmboy, Razer. Are you ok out there? Anyone!?"
Irene forms up on Aubrey's viper, but doesn't burn straight from home either. Out of SAM range, she's just as curious about the fate of the rest of the wing. She glances back over her shoulder at Wooley, asking, "What's the count?" He holds up his fingers, all vipers still accounted for. "Flight, advise immediate withdrawal."
While Razor is flying on Eva's wing, his comms are still very silent. It may be that the hit earlier damaged his communications systems and he is no longer receiving or sending, in any case, there is no hestitation from the Ensign as he continues towards the heavily damaged transport despite the extremely irritating squawking of missile locks on his Viper. Cherry's accurate shots though downs the large, flying transport and at that moment, Kell pulls back on his flightstick, pushing his fighter into a very tight turn to gain distance from the SAMs. He also punches the button, letting flares tumble out but the pair of missiles that are streaking up through the atmosphere ignore them completely. One explodes right by his tail, shredding the vertical fin and the top engine while the second missile punches another large hole into his fuselage. Razor's Viper is sent tumbling again and once more, the pilot struggles hard to regain control, the spiraling slowing and then the craft finally evening out. No comm acknowledgement again as the Viper gains altitude to join up with the Viper and Raptor that are in the clear.
Finn fires off a few blasts at one of the SAMs, which connect but don't take it down. Then Cherry and Kell are on their way back, Finn tries to evade the incoming missiles. He makes a good effort, but not good enough, the first one slamming into the undercarriage of his viper, and his controls start to spark and catch fire. Despite this, Finn manages to jerk his fighter away from the second missile by jamming on his counter measures. It takes a few moments of firefighting to get his Viper back under control, and he activates his comm, "Farm Boy ....ZZZZZ.... I'm in rough ....ZZZZ.... but I'm holding together." Still, despite the damamge, he's going to hold out until Eva gets her viper moving then he'll follow.
"Flight we have Razer back in formation, I think his comms are down. He's taken serious damage to his bird," Banshee reports, looking relieved as Kell joins them out of the range of the batteries.
"I have eyes on two, Iris, no sign of Cherry." Wooley responds, hands tightening as he watches for the veteran pilot.
Cherry, in most combat situations, is usually known to be the first man in. In this case, she's also the last man out, as she dives in, throttling in, probably too close, to the transport, purposefully risking acquiring more targets, in order to get a better shot. Almost immediately after taking the shot, one of the SAMs hits her right wing, right up on her cockpit, shredding most of her weapon controls, pulling the viper down into a nasty spiral, and she only barely avoid slamming into the body of the rapidly descending transport, in an attempt to evade the second SAM that targeted her. For a moment, there's no sign of the tiny ship in all of the smoke and debris, but finally, the smoking husk of Eva's viper appears against the backdrop of the clouds, "The smell of this smoke is never going to get out of my hair." But that's all said to herself, as she too has lost her comms. So silence, from the redhead, as she heads back to form up on the flight, banging away at her comm panel, trying to juryrig some sort of bridge to bring them back up, all while heading with them back to the barn.
As Cherry rejoins the flight, Aubrey lets out a breath. "The repair crews are really not going to be happy with us," she notes as she falls in to head back to the Vanguard.
"They can put it on my tab." Cherry rarely, very rarely ends a fight with any damage to her ship, and almost never to herself. But when she takes a hit, she gets hit hard.
The transport slams into the ground, breaking up and tumbling end over end as it explodes and parts of it fly away as it's broken away into several unrecognizable pieces.
Irene checks her own screen, tapping on it with a gloved knuckle like somehow that'll conjure a blip for Cherry and everything will be a-ok. Tap tap tap. Blip. "There she is." She announces as if she was absolutely positive she'd reappear and somehow Wooley just didn't have enough faith, or didn't know how to read the DRADIS the right way. "Nice to see you guys." She says over the comm, hanging back to visually inspect the vipers rejoining the formation.
Once Cherry is out, Finn is also on his way back to the formation, "And that is an example of what you don't do as responsible Viper pilots." He adds on helpfully.
Limping back up as he regains altitude, Razor's Viper sluggishly rejoins the other Colonial birds and returns into formation as they prepare for the trek home. If he catches any of the pilots looking towards him, he would give them a thumbs up sign to show that he is in good condition. No damage to the canopy this time.
"I don't know how you're still airborne, Razor." Irene comments after she's checked out his banged up ride. She gives him a thumbs up all the same, but she obviously needed to qualify it a little. "If you need a push to get you to the Vanguard, let me know."
Banshee zips around the flight a few times, checking out the damage and circling them with smoke rings from the singed nose of her Viper. "Come on old folks. Let's get you back home so you can get on with your knitting, or whatever it is that old pilots do in their downtime." Yeah she's getting wrecked for that later.
"Actually," comes Cherry's tired voice, "I quilt."