The air wing assists a Canceron squadron and then tries to intercept the Cylon evacuation of Kannur.
Location: Kannur Province, Canceron
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 775
Loret Valley. The Cylons on Canceron have made their last stand here, their forces spread out over the region with all their anti-air defenses concentrated there. There's been fighting in the area all afternoon. The Canceron Air Force has taken the lead on the offensive given their more numerous numbers. The Timber Wolves took out some AA defenses for them earlier, then returned to the ship and re-armed. Now they're heading back in the fray.
They were going to go support a bombing raid on a factory when a more urgent call comes in from Vanguard flight control. "Spider, Vanguard. We have a request from Canceron Air Force to assist one of their flights in grid seven-alpha. They've suffered some damage from ground defenses and have encountered heavy resistance. Proceed at haste."
"Copy that, Vanguard. En route," Webb replies. "Righto, flight, you heard the lad. Let's go help out the locals. Keep sharp for anti-air fire." He turns his bird in that direction.
"Spider, Flats. Copy that." Tucker turns down the music in his bird of the moment as he moves the Raptor to the new coordinates, willing the large craft to move, even if was set up to flatten a factory, who knows, there may be another more opprotune target that makes itself known.
"Banshee to Flight, copy that. Altering course to grid seven-alpha." Aubrey settles into formation on the new course, and she presses a fingertip to her lips, then to a photo stuck to her Viper's dash, of her blood and extended family on a beach.
Cherry is, as per usual, in the thick of things. A hard bank, as the call comes and she's moving in to form up near Calliope, falling in to a defensive formation around her raptor, as seems to be her usual. "Copy, Spider, moving to engage."
"Spider, Milkman, Roger." Van keeps his Viper at the top of the formation as they change their heading, and then he notes, "Razor, Milkman. Just stay on my wing, by the numbers. We'll be able to help the locals best that way."
"Copy that flight leader." Darcy, aka Pockets calls out over the radio, adjusting her course and heading to fall in with the formation to the new coordinates offered up by Spider.
Meanwhile, in Alain's cockpit, the sound of Gemenese music can be heard, softening as he cuts the music almost to naught, acknowledging, "Jigger, copy that." His hand steers the viper to the new heading, the faint sounds of absent drumming resuming once they're settled in on the new course.
"Flight, Soundbite. Orders received. Course laid in." Calliope's Raptor sticks in formation with the others as they're directed to assist the locals. Flying just behind and a little low of Eva's Viper. "Weapons systems warming. We'll be ready to go once we reach our destination."
Isolde is in Calliope's backseat, and she blinks when the call comes in to help out the Canceron flight. She glances up toward Calliope and wrinkles her nose slightly as if uncertain. Then she shrugs slightly and nods. "All set back here." Isolde swaps her focus to DRADIS, already starting to keep careful track of any contacts that pop up. "You sound so confident now, Soundbite. Not missing Bullseye anymore?"
"Copy Spider, Farm Boy moving in." Finn calls out over his comm before veering away with Cherry, sticking close to her wing as they move off to join the rest of the flight in assisting the locals.
The inquiry is coming soon but Kell has managed to push that out of his mind, somewhat, after spending some time in the Ready Room earlier by himself, tucked in the corner. Escorting the Raptors on a factory strike didn't seem to be too hazardous, since they have already mopped up some ground emplacements earlier, but when the sudden call for reinforcements comes in, the Ensign knows that it could get hairy. Back up is usually called for one main reason, loss of air superiority. Reaching up, he nudges the top of his flight helmet downward as if that would keep it snugger on his head, then he calls in his acknowledgement, "Spider, Razor, I copy." And then one to his wingman, "Milkman, Razor, I'm on your wing, will try to keep your six clear." Then he banks his Viper in the direction of their new heading, staying with the squadron.
"Copy that, forming up," Socks answers the order and pulls his viper to bank in with the rest of the vipers. He checks his dradis, but doesn't make much sense of the dog's breakfast on the screen. It's a busy sky over Canceron today.
"Lead, babyface, roger wilco, coming to new heading." It's been a rocky couple of weeks for Cap, her Viper getting beat up in a few of the engagements they've been through and little to show from the young pilot in terms of results. Unless you count militarized children as results. Maybe you do: the next generation of Viper jocks has to come somewhere. Right now, she tries to hold calm and even as they turn and approach what already sounds like a giant mess. Can't let doubt creep in.
Calliope lets out a "Heh" off-mic, for her cabin with Isolde alone. "It's weird, right? These things get beaten into your brain. Like, intellectually it still sucks, but it's who I am now. Got to own it." While Isolde's eyes are on the DRADIS, hers are focused out her viewport. Tracking the movements of her flightmates and the terrain visually while her ECO works the instruments.
As he's off radio, Tucker reaches into the pocket of his flight vest. Tucked into the pocket of his flight log, he pulls out a small square of fabric. T-shirt cotton fabric, cut into a small square, he takes it out and puts it up to his lips for a moment. "You're with me, Rhodes. I'll be home for dinner." he promises it, as he moves to tuck it back away, putting the small notebook into his pocket again.
As the Colonial ships zoom over the jungle, Webb activates the joint tactical frequency to hail the other squadron. "Canceron flight 814 this is CF VK-1. We're inbound to your position. What've you got?"
The Canceron flight leader responds. "VK-1 this is 814. Under heavy fire, we've got about a dozen raiders and cypers and a couple heavies on us."
"Copy that 814." Webb then says back on the squadron frequency. "Pi, what's our ETA?" he asks Isolde.
"Razor, Milkman, don't forget to call the switch if you pick one up." Van undoubtedly does not need to remind the junior pilot of that, but it's smooth routine, something to ease nerves -- his or Kell's. And then he notes, "Soundbite, Milkman, you better bring that crate back in one piece." He makes one last check of his flaps, fuel, trim, all the little things that you don't have time to check when you're in a dogfight.
Another, more subtle course correction sees Jigger's viper shifting within the formation. "Banshee, Jigger. Forming up on you." Alain's viper can be seen, holding steady out past Aubrey's right wing, a cheery grin on the Gemenon pilot's face. That sense of something impending is in the air.
Tucker says, "Spider, Flats. Check with Canceron squadron, ensure they do not have Vipers in the mix, over." Tucker is quick to make sure there's confirmation on that to ensure no friendly fire.
Aubrey listens to the frequency, mentally tallying the forces on the enemy side versus their own. She swallows and smacks the side of her helmet to make sure she's fully awake. She's going to need to be. "Copy that, Jigger." She winks through her canopy at Alain.
Isolde grins up toward Calliope. "I kind of like it. Soundbite. You should growl at the end of it. Make it sound real ferocious." Then the ECO frowns a bit at her DRADIS, but mostly out of focus than anything else. "I hate trees. I mean, DRADIS sees okay, but I hate flying around trees." She then listens in at Webb's next broadcast, and when he prompts her, she starts to go through her computer readouts. She gets on the comms. "We should be arriving at our destination in 2 minutes and 43 seconds, give or take 5 seconds. The weather is hot, humid, and with a 98% chance of Cylon attack."
Eva, for a wonder, is not contributing to the chatter passing along the comms. Instead, she seems wholly, for a wonder, focused on getting to the intercept as quickly an safely as possible. A brief glance aside, to catch sight of Finn, and then she's back to the mission.
Socks glances out his canopy as they pass over the jungle, wondering if they're going to make it rain cylons onto any little village down there. Canceron's a crowded planet, he'd spent an afternoon in one of the cities untouched by the disaster, and felt suffocated by the population density on the streets, his farm feels a long ways away in these parts. Two minutes in, and he tightens his harness a little bit, there's goign to be some crazy flying in these crowded skies.
"Milkman, Razor, I copy." Simple and straightforward comes the acknowledgement from Kell, another pilot that hasn't been too keen on having his voice heard over the comms, keeping his chatter to a bare minimum. The young Ensign has gone through quite a bit on his first campaign with the Timberwolves. For now, he is staying in formation with the squadron, eyes peeled outside, trusting the Raptors with their superior DRADIS to pick anything up while he focuses on the visuals.
Webb responds to Tucker, "They've got Cypers, Flats. Everyone check your targets. It sounds like it's going to be a big furball, let's try not to shoot down our own guys." He relays their ETA to the Canceron guys.
"So, Jigger, you get shot down again, you gonna chug another can of gravey?" Socks wonders, teasing the invincile pilot who flies his viper like a tank.
"There has to be a better..." Tucker says, and then keys the comm. "Spider, Flats. Have all friendlies turn on their landing lights." Sure the Cylons won't catch on quickly why the landing strobes on the Canceron Vipers are on, and it'll give the ECOs a chance to try to help identify who is who in the fight.
Jigger gives a thumbs up in response to Banshee's wink. The Major's words are enough to dampen even the lively spirit of Alain, though that doesn't last for long, as he throws quickly back to the other LT: "Depends, you gonna pay up this time, Socks?"
Aubrey clearly wins all the things, since she has somehow managed to get Jigger as a wingman. "You keep me alive in that furball, and I'll be forever grateful, Jigger," she quips. "Not a bad idea, Flats," she adds over the comm to Tucker.
Calliope makes a "Grr" sound that's really not particularly intimidating. At least she doesn't share it with the whole class. "Pi, you have my word, I will keep us out of the trees. I do not want to fly into one of those frakkers. I mean, I think our Raptor could take it, but I don't really want to test it." Mention of Cypers makes her chew her lower lip. Blue eyes narrow, watching for lights.
Socks laughs, "Eh, I already paid when you threw up on my boots! That was a gnarly mess you made!"
"Not give or take three point one four, Pi?" Apparently, math jokes count as flirting for Van and Isolde. The jokes fade away, however, at the mention of Cypers, and the Picon pilot is silent for a long moment before he notes, "Razor, Milkman, we're going to hit anything attacking a Raptor first. Quickest way to confirm a hostile." Tucker's idea gets a nod inside his cockpit, but he doesn't comment further on it.
"That's a good idea, Flats. Trying something low tech might go completely under their radar." Hey, Eva's willing to do anything, if it means all of them, or as many of them as possible making it back alive. She flips on her lights.
"I promise to keep you alive, Banshee, as long as you promise to come collect me off the mudball below if I have to bail out again." Because what are the odds that'll happen to Jigger again, huh?! "If you're lucky, maybe I'll throw up on your bunk next time, Socks." Alain, so thoughtful.
"Oh, aren't you a hoot." Isolde delivers this flatly. Then she shakes her head as her gaze remains moving between the various consoles in her station. She glances over toward Calliope, saying off comms, "I had a dream last night that we ducked incoming fire by going through the trees and then a giant cython ate us. It was very vivid." She hesitates. "Should I have told the Chaplain?"
"Flight, Pockets, Keep an eye out on ground fire and see who they're targetting as well. They won't be firing on Cypers." Darcy pipes up over the squadron frequency.
"You've got a deal, Jigger," Banshee's voice chimes back over the comm. "Let's try and stay in the sky though, okay?" Aubrey grins a moment, before her focus narrows to the view outside the canopy, searching for the battle they're joining.
With the tactics shared from his wingman, there is no delay or hesitation in Kell's tone when he answers Van, "Milkman, Razor, I copy. Anything trying to get at our birds will be shredded." Those who did not know of the incident would not have given Razor's words a second thought, his tone rather calm and passive as usual. Not one to let out bursts of emotions, at least over the comm system, when he can help it.
"Jus' remember ta hook tha handle of the bucket round your neck when yer crawlin round, you'll be fine, Jigs!" Socks calls back with a grin. He glances to the west, enjoying the pretty cloudcover in golds and blues. "How much daylight we got left?" he wonders into the wireless.
"Soundbite, Flats, lets keep our targets on the Heavies and ground targets, and let the Vipers handle anyone that tries to take a sniff at us." Tucker offers to the Raptor as he is already glancing back to his ECO, waiting for a report on what they're flying into. "Get ready to make visual IFF, if needed."
The only relief of being such a lousy shot: at least Cap doesn't have any friendly fire incidents weighing on her conscience! Thus far, anyway. Still, the call over the radio, the idea of a messy mixed engagement with friendly Vipers and enemy Cypers all in the same airspace? It does not make for a happy Capper. She reaches forward to adjust one of the photos on her dash, then settles again, though her hand still works nervously on the stick. The friendly banter bounces around, but she's quiet. Well, quiet until she catches Razor on the radio, where she echoes a simple, but lightly encouraging, "We've got this. Toasters fly like toasters, and we know what we're heading into. They're not gonna take us off guard."
Apparently flirting is something you do just before you go to get into a huge battle. Finn hmms quietly at Tucker's idea nodding just a bit, in his viper. "Hopefully it won't like them up as targets of opportunity..."
Webb hears the suggestions from Tucker and Van. "Good ideas both, Flats, Milkman. 814, VK-1, we're thirty seconds out. Turn on your running lights so we can identify hostile Vipers easier. If the Cypers catch on, start flashing them." He then switches back to the squad. "That oughta buy us enough time to take them down. Our Vipers, turn on your lights too. Here we go."
Van reaches up to his dashboard, flicking on the rarely-used-anywhere-near-combat landing lights, "Spider, Milkman, copy. Lights on." Even though he's in a completely different bird, Van's penchant for buggy birds pops up again, however, and his starboard wing light does not illuminate. The rest do, however.
Calliope makes an "Uh" sound at Isolde. "I'm not sure even I want to know that, Pi. Also, we are so not getting eaten by cythons." She says this like she's vowing it. Of all the things that might happenon flight? Not that. She gets her talons out.
As the colonial ships approach the dogfight, they see the fray on DRADIS and then visually. The Canceron fliers are drastically outnumbered. Another Viper goes down in flames as they're heading in. "Damn, that's a lot of them. Cherry, you take..." And he splits up the group into two flights.
As the furball gets within visual range, Socks takes in the sight, doing a quick survey, he nods his head as he sees the Canceron kids going with their beacons, and he grimaces as he sees one poor sod with three cylons on their tail. "Awright, let's pitterpatter," he says, his engines flaring as he dives into the fray, doing his best to land a telling blow before he has to fly more carefully.
"So... keep dreams of giant Cylon snakes eating us to myself next time?" Isolde smiles to Calliope before she is distracted by DRADIS contacts. She begins to flag them on her console, identifying which seem to be Cylon and which seem to be CF. She swaps over to her counter-measures. "Alright, Soundbite. Ready."
"Copy, Spider. Banshee is lighting up," Aubrey confirms over the comm, switching on her landing lights as directed. "Come on, Jigger, let's pop some toasters masquerading as colonials so there isn't any confusion. Spider, Banshee is engaging Cyper." She draws her stick over to break away from the main formation and enter the battle. She heads for the first Cyper she spots, noting it's lack of landing lights, and settles her targeting reticle over it.
"Copy that, Spider. Flats, Soundbite, you're on me, Razor, Farm Boy, Milkman, for up on the raptors. Weapons free." That's about all that needs to be said, right? They have their targets. "Lets's see if we can get that left flank clear."
"Farm Boy copies. Cherry, I'm on your wing." And with that, Finn flips on his landing lights and prays that he doesn't get shot down for the trouble. Then he moves into formation with the newly formed flight group around Eva.
"Cherry, Flats, following you in. There's plenty for everyone, so lets spread out the targets." Tucker offers over the comms.
Reaching forward in his cockpit, Kell flicks the switch that activates his running lights, an unconventional tactic but a good one. Hearing the encouraging words from Cap brings a slight tweak of a smile to the edge of the Ensign's lips but then his gaze is focused once more as they are approaching an active combat zone. A slow breath is taken and then an equally slow release, calming any jittery nerves the young Viper pilot may have. When the reach the engagement though, Kell's DRADIS lights up like a Christmas tree and he can't help but stare at it for a second or two. That is a lot of bogeys but that is why they are here, to try to save the beleaguered Canceron flight.
"Right on your tail, Banshee," Jigger replies to Aubrey, the grin undoubtedly on his face pretty audible in his voice. He shifts his shoulders and leaning forward. Game time.
"Pockets Copies. Weapons going hot." Darcy says over the squadron frequency, reaching over to flick the switches that control the running lights of her viper.
"Oh frakkin'..." When Cap actually sees the messy engagement ahead, as well as the terribly outnumbered Vpiers, she swallows a bit. "Spider, Cap, roger on the lights." She reaches for a switch, and taps it as they get close, while scanning the mess ahead as her Viper streaks in behind Webb's. "I'm going for some of the Cypers. They can't figure out what we're up to and adjust if they're spare parts on the forest floor. Trashcanfrakking wannabes stealing our rides, we'll frakking show them." Despite her quiet on the way in, she sounds a bit fired up now. Territorial even, over the -stolen- ships.
"Cherry, Milkman, copy." Van gains a little more height, the better to gain speed as they actually auger in on the attack. He whistles softly at the sight of the sprawling dogfight, a hint of sweat springing up on his brow. At least it's jungle down below, not ruined city and water. "Razor, Milkman, let's get the toaster that just dropped that Viper."
The Timber Wolves sweep in, and while they do some serious damage - it's not enough to keep the Cylons from bringing down three more of the Canceron squadron. One of the Vipers explodes catastrohpically. Another manages to eject before his plane goes down into the jungle. The third is going down, but manages to pull out just shy of the trees, clipping some branches but eventually righting the bird. As long as they can keep the fighters off of him - he'll live to fight another day.
Eva throttles in, opening up on one of the missile laden heavy raiders, as per her usual, the rest of her small flight seeming to have much the same idea, and it goes up in flames, leaving only the pattering of debris on her canopy, as she spins around, diving back into the wall of cylons.
"I'm saying, snakes freak me out. Even ones in somebody else's subconscious. Especially Cylon snakes," Calliope opines firmly to Isole, on the subject of dream cythons. Her talon's locked on target and fired off, where it mates with Viper KEW fire to rid the skies of one of the heavies.
Socks manages to rake across the axis of cyper1's vector, scoring a light hit, nothing crippling, or even distracting enough to deter it from destroying the human it, and half of its wing were attacking. "Dammit, locals are takin it hard!" he says, pulling up to get in behind the cyper. He piles on with his attack, doing his best to stay on its six and even out the numbers before things get out of hand.
Aubrey triggers a spray of KEW fire across the port side of a Cyper, pocking a few holes in its armor. "She's a little less pretty, but still dangerous, eyes out Jigger, Banshee is chasing a live one." She banks hard to stay on the Cyper's tail, zigging and zagging along with the stolen Colonial ship.
As his Talons slam ineffectively against the Heavy, Tucker grumbles a curse, especially as Calliope's prove to be far more effective. "Can't let her have all the fun." he calls back to his ECO, moving to remain engaged on the Heavy that he targetted earlier in the battle.
It appears that more than just Van had ideas of revenge, as his chosen target is shredded by himself, Kell, and a pair of Canceron Vipers. He pulls out of his dive in a quick yo-yo, glancing behind him, "Milkman, splash one." He spots the damaged Viper fleeing the fight, "Razor, Milkman, see the runner? Is that...?" And then the Raiders come sweeping in after it, and he firewalls the throttle, curling in to follow, "Let's keep him clear, Razor."
Jigger's viper screams through on the heels of Banshee's, his fire ripping out towards one of the heavies as they pass by. The sound of him whooping with delight as he hits the heavy is audible across the comms. "Another pass, just like the first, Banshee. We got 'em." He's too focused on the flight at hand right now to notice the sad state of the Canceron squadron, bringing the viper around hard.
Finn kicks on the afterburners and rockets out towards one of the Heavies. His KEW blasts slam into the Heavy, though others do the bulk of the damage that destroys the ship. Once he sees the heavy is down, Finn rolls and moves to follow a Raider that is trailing one of the vipers near the tree. "Farm Boy breaking away to help out friendlies. Keep them fresh for me out there."
"Maybe we'll give them a codeword... I had a primary school teacher that did that. Always called tests 'snuggies' as if that somehow made the tests any better. Some kind of anxiety thing, dunno." But then Isolde is too focused on the actual task at hand as she starts enacting her countermeasures. She hisses under her breath. "Shit, Bite... all I got is the Heavy." Which appears to be a good thing when Calliope manages to slam her talon into it. "Alright, swapping to KEW."
Darcy dives into the fray with Webb's formation, getting a bead on one of the cypers, double checking that it had it's running lights off, then opening fire with her KEWs and scoring a hit, but not a crippling one. "Frak those buckets are tearing up the Cancerons."
Diving into the hectic furball, Kell's selected target is not one of the Cypers as they are tangling with the Canceron Vipers. Instead, the Ensign goes for the more iconic Cylon fighters, picking one of the Raiders. One pass at full speed has his rounds clipping the Raider on the fuselage but the rest of the Colonial fighters that were targeting it downs the bogey rather easily. Razor begins to scan the skies quickly, his eyes picking friend from foe as he gets situated in the furball. His wingman's words come through clearly though and Kell is already maneuvering his Viper to follow Van as the other pilot dives down to assist the fleeing Canceron ally. "Milkman, Razor. I copy, following you down to the trees, if you're tail is clear, will assist your target." With that, he pushes his throttle to full as well, pitching his Viper down into a dive as well.
Calliope squints out her viewport, trying to keep some bead on the flurry of targets and friendlies and everything speeding by her eyeline. "Sounds good, Pi. You hit them from the back, I'll hit them from the front." The symmetry of it makes her smile.
Cap pushes her Viper into the fray, bearing down on one of the engagements even as it plays out. The Canceron vessel is fleeing... two, three? More? Enemy ships in some combination, swerving back and forth, trying to break toward the incoming Vipers, but the pilot can't keep up with the fire from multiple angles. Cap picks one of the ships, firing at it more or less head on. Her kews trace across the nose of the cyper, making it veer off to avoid the fire and losing its target. Has she saved them? No, of course not. A raider comes across from another angle and puts a whole volley into the poor ship's cockpit. "NO!" There's pain in her voice, and she grits her teeth as she struggles to focus. The cyper she hit peels away toward another Canceron target, and she follows it. "No, no you don't, gods, please."
"Frak me," Webb mumbles when so many of the Canceron pilots are damaged. He sees the runner and is about to send someone after it, but Van and Kell are already on it. He spies one of the Vipers with a couple on it and goes to assist.
The Viper that was trying to get away gets hit one more time but still manages to hold it together. One of the Raiders on its tail is brought down, and the other is distracted enough that it spins around to go face the fresh ships.
The KEW fire peppers his windshield, and Tucker grits hits teeth as he continues to lay into the Heavy, chasing it all over creation as he works on trying to finally bringing it down, the ECO calling out further targets from his station.
A sharp breath exhales from Alain as he manoeuvers tightly in the congested airspace, trying to track his target. Only once he's lined up a good shot does another stream of KEW fire lace out from his viper to rake the heavy raider, but whatever joy he might've expressed is shortlived as he spots another heavy targeting Aubrey's viper. "Frak! Banshee, watch your six!" He pulls sharply around, targeting the heavy that's on her tail. "Talk to me, Banshee!"
Socks blasts his target to pieces with a sustained barrage. Flying through the fireball, he surveys the area, "Tee-Pe--Farmboy, go defensive, I'll try to pull one off of you!" he says, pulling a few Gees on his bank as he takes aim at one of the raiders ganging up on Finn. Come on, you frakkin chrome plated suns a bitches..
Eva and Finn, between them, manage to take out one of the raiders chasing the friendlies, but not taking a hit in return. Not Eva, as usual, but this time Finn. Finn, who never gets hit. And Eva is...livid. "Now," comes her voice, calm as anything, "I'm angry."
Calliope takes one on the nose from the Raider she's playing tag with. The Raptor's heavy armor absorbs it, though. The Raider is not so fortunate. Her talon meets its face, with an assist from one of Canceron Vipers, and it is no more. "Whoa!" It's as much a worried 'Whoa!' as an 'amazed I hit something' 'Whoa!' "Cherry, Farm Boy, Soundbite. You guys OK? Sing out. It's a mess out there."
"Banshee has the one on your six, Spider!" Aubrey calls out as she chases the Cyper diving at Webb. "Jigger! Get that heavy off my tail!" she barks out, grimacing as the missiles fly towards her, zipping up and over her canopy, then directly down, in a shuddering explosion and the Viper's controls go dark. Aubrey slams her fists down onto the control panel with an angry shriek, and miraculously it lights back up. The comm sputters a bit and static is frequent but she can be heard. "Ban....cockpit...direct hit. I'm...ok, Jigger."
Webb dodges fire from a Cyper on his tail. He does some damage to one of the Cypers, failing to bring it down but at least distracting it enough that it doesn't does only light damage to its target. But the Viper gets hit by someone else and goes down anyway. Webb mumbles a curse under his breath.
Van sweeps across the Raider's tail, getting a slight deflection shot in but then clearing the range for Kell to follow. His burst clips the thing's wing, but not before it punches more rounds into the Canceron Viper, and the Picon mutters, "Come on... hold together..." When the damaged Viper rights itself, Van nods sharply, "Nice flying." His pair of diving attacks, even with the climb in between, have brought him down low to the canopy, and he whips past a particularly tall tree, setting it shaking and waving with his jetwash. The calls about Farmboy and Banshee cause him to glance up, but he has to trust to his fellow Timber Wolves to look after themselves, because the Raider is coming back at him, "Razor, Milkman, going head to head. Grab an angle on him."
Now it's almost likey're mocking her. The cyper ahead of Cap takes its new target, weaving back and forth with her behind. She manages to ding it's wing, and Webb soon joins her, landing another shot. But neither brings it down, and while it might only hit its target lightly... well, that Viper must have been pretty beat up? As down it goes too. She breathes out another swear, the tension in her voice clear. This is really starting to stress her. With Webb on the target, though, she veers off. "Assisting one of the Canceron pilots, it's still got a hostile."
"Frak." Darcy exclaims as the console of her viper pings that she has just been locked on by one of the Cylon heavies, going into an evasive pattern to confuse the missiles, and deploying chaff and flares. She manages to mantain her pursuit of the Cyper, and score another glancing hit on it. A craned neck reveals the Heavy that was angling in on her is taken out and she keys the squadron frequency, "Thanks, I owe you one."
Finn rockets off after one of the raiders on that Viper trying to escape. He manages to land a solid hit, but picks up 3 bandits in the process, "Frak, I've got three rustbuckets on my tail. Gonna need a hand here!" His viper rocks and shudders. He tries to evade, but finds his viper unable to comply after the first hit. The second is the worst. Shrapnel breaks into his cockpit, several bits of metal lodging into his chest and one slams his head. Blood wells from the various wounds, and his viper is slammed once more with another shot, causing his controls to catch fire. The internal fire system puts out the small blaze, but leaves Finn in the middle of the battle heavily damaged. It takes a moment for him to get his comm going and his viper starts to limp back to life, his voice seems to drawl a bit, "Farm Boy to flight..." he coughs over the comm, "I'm still movin'..."
The Raider that Van and Kell are chasing is fast, faster than the young rookiee anticipates. When he triggers a burst of autocannon, he didn't lead the target enough and only a couple of rounds make contact, clipping the tail of the bogey. The bright side is the badly damaged Canceron Viper manages to make its escape which is a victory in Razor's book. Now he grits his teeth and focuses more on the bandit, watching as it flips around to engage. "Milkman, Razor, on it. Breaking starboard." With that update given, the young Viper pilot pushes his stick hard to the right, giving himself and Van a bit of distance so it's easier to differentiate who that Raider is engaging. He then completes the roll and inverts his fighter, coming back at the Raider from an angle, his autocannons roaring to life again.
Isolde knows she hit the Heavy Raider, but she could almost hear the ding of the KEW against the ship's armor. She grimaces slightly, but the call from Calliope has her quickly scanning DRADIS for Cherry and Finn's contact numbers. She finds them, and her expression darkens a bit. Her eyes flick to Calliope once, and then she's immediately readjusting her target. "Finn, this is Pi, providing assist."
Webb breaks off the target he was on when he hears Cap call out that one of the Canceron guys still has one on him. "Copy that, Babyface. I'm with you."
Aubrey grimaces as she tries to keep on the Cyper she's been dogging, trusting her wingman to deal with the heavy chasing her in turn. Alain takes it down, but not before it sends another missile at her. She manages to roll and catch it on her port wing, rather than the cockpit again. The port engine sputters, but she's still flying. Her shots on the Cyper go wide. "Thanks >skrt<.. Jigger."
The scrum of ships is so tight, it's nearly impossible for Eva to get a good hit in, and her shot at one of the raiders on Farm Boy barely grazes it. Thankfully, she's turned off her hot mic, or else the comms would be filled with her curses.
Socks closes in on one of the raiders from a four o'clock high. He sees another viper firing on it, and it pulls away, almost directly at him! He begins blasting away, filling the air between them with bullets before it can target him, stitching it across the nose. "Come ooooon! Come oooooon!"
The Raider and Tucker continue to tangle and fire upon each other without either clearly getting the upper hand. Tucker keeps to trying to keep the other Raider off of him as he concentrates fire on the Heavy. "I know I know!" he calls out to the ECO as he's warned about the fire upon him from the other Raider. "...you know what, frak it.. switching targets!" Suddenly switching around, Tucker rolls the Raptor, turning it hard to fire a spread of Talons at the Raider on his ass, and freeing up the heavy for a moment.
"Frak!" Darcy exclaims as the rest of the flight descends upon the Cyper she'd been chasing, "Gimme some room Spider, Babyface, I had that thing dead to rights!"
Alain releases a breath as he hears Banshee respond on comms. He can't get good vision on her, his gaze narrowing as several sharp turns see him jig-ing and jag-ing after the heavy on Banshee's tail. "Stay cool, Banshee, I got you!" he calls in return, waiting for the opportune moment to release a stream of fire. It rakes the side of the heavy, ripping through the cockpit. This time, Jigger celebrates with a heartfelt whoop, bringing his viper around for a moment so he can get a visual on Aubrey's cockpit, giving her a thumbs up. This time, he sticks close to Banshee, shifting to join her in targeting the cyper going after Webb.
Van rolls his Viper inverted as he races toward the Raider, looking to throw off the Cylon's aim and get a clearer shot on the ship's cockpit. Unfortunately, the Raider too makes an evasive move at the last moment, and both ships whip past one another, strands of tracers splashing out in vain attempts to find a metallic target. He pulls up, gaining a little altitude at the cost of speed, "Razor, Milkman, I can keep this one busy if you want to help out Farmboy, Cherry, and Flats."
Isolde is feeling the frustration build in the center of her gut as she just can't seem to be the back-up that Finn needs. The Raider swoops hard out of her blast of KEW fire, and she tries to keep her focus.
"All right, Babyface, we got 'em," Webb says to Cap when their combined fire takes down the Cyper and allows the Viper in its sights to get away. Webb scans around for anyone else who seems like they need a hand.
Aubrey's cockpit is a spiderweb of cracks and venting air and some other fluids. Her Viper is limping about, but the pilot herself looks all right. She gives him a thumbs up, with an exasperated expression at how she went from Ace to Zero in one fell swoop.
Well, maybe it's good that Webb switches after her. Cap's Viper breaks and banks hard as a different pair of Canceron Viper and pursuing, suspiciously similar-looking enemy Cyper go wizzing by. She takes the turn fast, though, and her spray of ballistics just kind of scatters over the hull, the angle just off of what it needs to be for a proper hit. But the OTHER people shooting it do a little better, and so for once, she doesn't watch the friendly pilot go down in a flaming wreck in front of her eyes. That's worth something, maybe! "Spider, Babyface, I think- friendly flight looks pretty clear, but check your six." She peels off, making the larger, slower turn the atmosphere demands, while searching out a target - the tail or otherwise. It's all kind of mess.
Calliope tries to provide some covering fire for Eva, while Cherry and Isolde focus on protecting Finn. This Raider is too fast for her talons, though. "Ugh!" She's still in one piece, in her bulky ship, but she winces as she catches the occasional glimpse of a beaten Viper or two out her viewport.
Farm Boy takes a light hit to the tail and grunts, jerking the flight stick to keep his viper moving. It isn't doing that well, but it's not like he can just bug out. He can't move fast enough. Still, he's flying as evasively as his damaged Viper will allow him to. The blood from his head lac is trickling into his eyes and his breathing is labored. "Farm Boy coming around for another pass." he mumbles into the comm.
"Milkman, Razor, if you're sure." Kell says after he lands a splattering of rounds on the Raider's fuselage that leaves a few holes but apparently no damage to any vital components. "Breaking away to assist the others, call out if you need me back on your wing. Razor disengaging." With that, he breaks off from the Raider that he was pursuing with Van and then pulls back on his flightstick to gain altitude, rejoining the fray above. As he does so, Kell is more focused on clearing the raider off of Finn's tail who is in very bad shape, "Farmboy, Razor. Coming in to assist, will try to get that bogey off of you, hang tight!" Focused on assisting, Razor does not see that the Raider that he had been dancing with switched targets and is now climbing after him as well.
Eva, seems to have had a bit of luck rubbed off on her, because she continues to evade the raiders on her tail, though it comes at the cost of getting even a single hit on the raider she's attacking. But, seeing as she's never let a thing like that stop her, she comes back around, flipping over to attack the raider now targeting Flats.
The good news? Nobody's shooting at the last two remaining Canceron pilots. The bad news? Now they're dinging up the CF guys. But even so, the tide seems to be turning. Webb's Viper takes a hit to the tail that rocks him and causes him to spin around and go after the one that's got his number.
Banshee goes in beside Jigger, sending a spray of KEW fire across the port wing of the Cyper, slightly damaging it. But She cheers, sputteringly over the comm as Jigger gets a solid hit on it. She stays on it.
Socks fires another blast of KEW at the raider, and blows right past it, "Eeeh, this one's slippy as a greased piggie!" he says, then spots a heavy raider teeing him up. He banks his viper quickly and sees one of the local vipers on its tail. He continues to pursue the slick raider, seeing it's settled behind a Timber Wolf. "here piggy piggy piggy," he says, pulling in behind it, blasting his afterburners to catch up and give it another blast from his cannons.
Jigger flies close on Banshee's wing, his fire raking the body of the cyper as he banks sharply to follow his wingmate in for another line of fire. "Next pass, this toaster's done, Spider!" he calls. He can't hear much of what Banshee's calling, mostly static, but he assumes, "Frak yeah!"
There's a few smacks against Tucker's Raptor, and he gives a little mutter as the pilot is really getting frustrated at his inability to hit the broadside of anything, including the planet it seems. The pilot grits his teeth as he lets out another spread of missiles, slightly cursing that he didn't bring the heavier loads.
Darcy shifts targets towards one of the two remaining Cypers, following in the wave of Vipers and strafing the fuselage of the fighter with her Kew, falling in behind the Cylon and triggering her comms, "Hang Tight Soundbite, I'll get this thing swatted off your tail."
"Get the bastard, Jigger," Webb calls back encouragingly.
"No problem, Razor. Good hunting." Van shakes his head as the Raider he just whipped past starts after Kell, "Wrong move, Toaster." Pulling his comms button, he adds, "Razor, Milkman, break right, he picked you up." He only manages a high-deflection shot, glancing across the Raider's nose, but it's enough to throw it off course -- and into a high-rising tree. "Milkman, Splash two. Razor, I'll pick up your wing, you have the lead." The call referencing Soundbite gets his attention, but instead he works to find Razor and link up with the other Timber Wolf.
In her search for a target, Cap seems to get the same idea as Kell when she spots the Raider chasing down their own wounded bird. No way she's leaving that to chance. They're putting it out of commission. "Razor, I see him too. Farmboy, we have you." And for once, things actually go as planned. The two Vipers converge, and with fire from two angles, the Raider's attempts at evasion only see it hit by both. Only when it's down, does she feel even the slightest touch of relief, drawing a breath she didn't realize she was holding and not watching one of their own go down in the same fashion as the last several Canceron pilots. Speaking of- one of them flies by, chasing a Heavy, and she takes that as her cue to assist.
"Thanks, Pockets," Calliope pipes into the comms in response to Darcy. "That thing is, like, ninety-percenty dead. But he will not get all the way dead. Rude." She keeps on chasing the Raiders dogging Eva. To little success, but she's persistent if nothing else.
Hovering his targeting reticule over the Raider, Kell presses down on the trigger and his autocannons begin spitting out more rounds. However, the last second warning from Van has his burst cut short as he immediately cuts his Viper port side. The shots from the Raider that was chasing him cutting through where he just was seconds before. "Thanks for the warning, Milkman!" Razor calls out, glancing over his shoulder just in time to see the bogey slap into a tree. Looking back, he also sees that Finn's tail has been cleared and follows Cap's Viper on her attack run on the Heavy Raider, "Milkman, Razor. Let's help Babyface down that Heavy. Babyface, Razor, we're with you!"
There's no such thing as flash in this fight. It's a long slog for Cherry's flight, and for Cherry herself, though she and Flats manage to clear the raider on his tail, and the Hibernian once again manages to evade her attckers. But the job's not done, and she spins back around, going back into the fight.
And just like that, the balance shifts. Four enemy craft go down in a few seconds. The remaining two, sensing their luck is running out, try to make a run for it, dipping low by the trees.
"Soundbite, Pockets. Your backside is clear, happy hunting." Darcy says over the comms to Calliope and her raptor before breaking away to rejoin the rest of her flight and re-engage the enemy raiders.
"Thanks for the assist, Cherry." Tucker calls out after ripping the wing off the Raider that was dogging him, and moves to press the attack on the remaining Raiders.
">crackle!< shooting boys! >skrzzzt<!" Banshee cheers over her fritzing comm. Her shots all miss, not surprising as it's a miracle the KEW is still even working, and she settles in beside Jigger and Webb.
Van tucks himself in behind Kell and to his right, "Razor, Milkman, copy. On your starboard." He takes a long-range shot as he closes in, putting a scatter of sparking tracers across one of the Heavy Raider's KEW turrets and then clearing out a little so that Cap and Kell can make closer attacks. As they flash past, he follows Kell around, "Still there. I always forget how tough these things are."
"Get after them, flight," Webb orders when the Cylons turn tail. He does the same.
Another whoop comes from Jigger's comms as the cyper on Spider's tail is torn apart by their combined fire. "All clear on your six, Spider." Another thumbs up is given to Aubrey, before he notices the two fleeing targets. With a gesture of hand, the viper springs forward after the fleeing cylons vehicles.
Salvae continues evading fire from the heavy raider, and blasts the regular cylon with his cannons. The rest of the Timberwolves pile in and a missile comes out of left field to blow it to pieces. "Nice shot!" he praises, watching the raider's pieces skim off in different directions. he banks off to one side, checking over his shoulder as he does his best to get a bead on that heavy raider that's been dogging him. "Aroooo!" he howls in celebration as he sees the wing close in to finish off the cylons.
Finn says, ">fizzzzlecrack< systems failing on >ggrrrrraaaaccck< Good work!" Finn calls out from his comm, his viper still unable to really perform well anymore. Still, he's managing to keep the smoking and damaged viper moving well enough. Sort of.
This time, Isolde does not rush. She takes her time, narrowing her eyes as she focuses on the Raider that just keeps zipping and dodging her as it dances with Cherry. She is breathing slowly and carefully as she keeps her focus on the Raider. Of course, she has kind of not noticed how few Cylon contacts there are on DRADIS. Too focused.
Well, it seems like Cap's brought the cavalry in behind her. Which is good, because uh, hitting the big frakking ship that's busy shooting something else? Yeah, no. Even coming in by surprise, the Heavy jukes her pretty easily, and then breaks to flee. "Thanks for the help fellas, looks like I'll need it." Well, nothing really fancy to do here, is there? She keeps her target and pursues, even as the other Vipers close. Pewpew. At least now the stress has lifted a bit, the impending sense of death and doom all around her.
"They're running!" Calliope pipes this excitedly over the radio. Which the other pilots have likely already noticed. But, she is 'Soundbite' now. Perhaps she felt the need to add editorial color. She shifts the focus of her talons to the last remaining heavy.
"Much thicker armor, that's for sure!" Kell says with a touch of frustration in his tone as his rounds either embed themselves in the Heavy Raider's armor or just glance off, doing negligible damage. He doesn't relent though as he rolls wide to give himself some separation as well as opening the area for others to make a run at the larger and more heavily armored bogey. Then he inverts his Viper and angles back in for another pass, his angle of attack steeper this time.
One of the Raiders must have nine lives, for he takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Webb has confidence they'll get him, so he says, "Bullseye, see about picking up that pilot who ejected. Flats, see if there are any other ones down 'round here."
Webb says. But before anyone can act on those orders, a message comes in from Vanguard. "Spider, Vanguard. Canceron fliers in the vicinity of grid seven-beta reporting a large-scale Cylon evacuation from the airfield there. Divert to assist."
Webb gets on the comm again. "Copy Vanguard. Flight, belay my last. Leave that last one for the Canceron lads - we've got another job."
How frakking lucky can one raider be? Aubrey flies in with Alain to cover his wing. Her shots are evaded by the last little cylon that could, and she grunts. Thankfully, no one has to hear her cursing over the comm.
"Soundbite, Flats. You got someone on the horn to call in SAR for that pilot?" Tucker asks as he hears the change in orders, and is already responding. "Copy that, Spider, awaiting new orders."
Socks chews on his lip as he pulls around, landing a few shots on the heavy raider before the rest of the team knocks it out of the sky. He's about to start fishing for that last one with the smoke trail behind it when he hears the new orders coming in over wireless. "Copy that, Spider, forming up.."
"Anytime, Flats." Cherry manages to get clear of the raptor, coming back around, but unable to get a decent hit on one of the last of the cylons. She's already turning in the direction of pursuit, when she hears the call on the comms, and she pulls up short, spinning around to form up on Webb, "We all in, Spider? Or are we sending our wounded back to the ship?"
Once more, the armor stops Kell's rounds but he sees Cap making her attack run and it is a punishing salvo that she unleashed, "Babyface, Razor, nice shot. Looks like you cored it!" The Heavy Raider is definitely going down now with critical damage inflicted upon it. A long breath is released and Razor is looking around for more hostiles as new orders come in. Then they are overriden from Vanguard Actual, "Spider, Razor. I copy. Milkman, Razor, forming up with you again."
Jigger manages to tag the fleeing raider on one wing, but the toaster manages to keep going despite the other shots that strike it. "Frakking thing has nine lives," he mutters disappointingly. When they're called back for another job, he grimaces, glancing over towards Aubrey for a moment, before he brings the viper around, staying on Banshee's wing as he follows Spider's lead. "Copy that."
"Oh, for frak's sake," Isolde snarls as the Raider evades her once more. She flashes a glance toward Calliope when it dawns on her that Webb just called her Bullseye again. She doesn't say anything, letting that go as she instead focuses on the orders.
"Copy Spider, Pockets disengaging." Darcy responds to the command from webb, flicking the safety on her guns and breaking pursuit from the raider she just winged moments before.
Ok, well, THIS time Cap does hit it. So there. Though it's probably a little easier with half the fleet flying down the bulky ship, providing distractions from every angle. Still, she gets a nice clean solution and unloads a full volley into the guts of the thing, enough to hit, pen, and scrap the armor, and then rip up some of the guts beyond. Well, she can feel a little proud for that, at least. She gives a bit of a whoop. "Thanks Razor, 'bout time anyway." Instinctively, she jukes toward the other fleeing raider - but then registers the order over the comm and pulls back on her stick. "Copy lead."
Van is one of a ton of fellow Vipers buzzing around the Heavy Raider now, his own autocannon mostly sparking off armor. His fellows thankfully do significantly better. He starts to climb again as he peels off the Heavy, only to see it start to tumble toward the jungle below. He nods sharply, "Agreed. Nice shooting, Babyface. Hope all those Toasters break on landing, or the local pilot is in trouble on the ground." And then Webb has orders, and he responds, "Spider, Milkman, copy. Forming up on you. Razor, I'll take the lead again."
Calliope makes an "Uh" sound when Webb calls her Bullseye. And, maybe just to be contrary, replies, "Spider, Soundbite. Acknowledged. Diverting to SAR pick-up." She gets to the business of it quickly enough, though, passive-aggressive callsigning with her CAG aside.
Seeing that they've gotten things well under control, FInn pulls his viper back away from the fight. "Farm Boy to Flight, I'm pulling out, my bird's barely holding together." Which is only sort of an understatement. His engines sputter and his attitude adjusters only work on the port side of the ship.
Hearing Eva's call, Webb replies, "If your bird is frakked, head up with Farmboy. Soundbite, call in another SAR, they'll have to wait. Everyone on me." They divert to the indicated coordinates, which actually isn't that far away. Takes only a few minutes to get there, and when they do, they can see that the Canceron guys weren't joking. There's a dogfight, but the Cylons are clearly making a run for it from the airfield. As they approach, a Heavy raider evades two Canceron Vipers on its tail and then jumps away. Another Raider winks out of existence too.
"Farm Boy, can you manage it back to the ship, or do you need a tow?" Nobody wants to see one viper tow another back to to the barn. Except crazy as hell old pilots, that's who. So do you?
">Skrrrtz!< Banshee ...back to barn>bzzzrk!<" Aubrey confirms over the comm. She signals Alain and blows him a good luck kiss through her cracked canopy, before pulling out of formation to head back with Finn.
Alain gives Aubrey the thumbs up, and a little wing-wiggle to acknowledge her departure. "Fly safe, Banshee," Jigger calls over comms, before he leans forward to scan his DRADIS for the new targets with a sharp exhale of breath.
"Flight, Pi... requesting SAR for pick-ups. We're headed back into the thick, but we have friends on the ground." Isolde glances over toward Soundbite, and she finally offers, off comms, "Let's just mash-up. Soundseye. Bullsbite. Ooh, I like that. Bullsbite."
Finn's viper is already moving back in, and he speaks up into his frakked comms, ">bbzzzzzttd<..back just fine." Hopefully they got that. He'll have a rough landing, but his viper is mobile enough.
Forming up with the rest of the wing, Socks cruises, bidding the two vipers farewell with a little salute. "Clear skies you two," he says, looking over the horizon, he can see the flashes from the dogfight near the airfield. "Looks like some of em jumpin oot!" he observes over wireless. Adjusting a few settings on his dradis, he frowns, "Looks like they're screenin for those two fat ones," he says.
As the flight forms up again, Van slides over so that he can give the Raptor carrying Calliope and Isolde a once over, checking it for damage. He nods to himself, then adds, "Banshee, Famrboy, Milkman, stay safe up there." As the approach the airfield, Van's lips peel back from his teeth, "Oh no, you are not getting away from this. It's payback time. Razor, Milkman, stick close, but pick targets of opportunity. If they're jumping, I want them down before they can."
Calliope dips the nose of her Raptor back up to join the CF formation, after Isolde has called in the SAR. They can't leave the thick of this. Off-radio, she laughs. Though it's a rather melancholy sound. "Frak. I should've just rode with that. He said it! He's the CAG!" Sigh. "And now it's gone again. If he calls me Bullsbite, I am totally owning it and nobody is going to take it off me."
With the Wolves flying into formation and heading to the new target, Eva pulls her wing in close, hitting the comms, "Spider, we've got those transports. See if your wing can clear the rest before they jump away." There's no time to ask for permission. They'll likely shout it out later, but it's time to get to work now.
Listening to the chatter on the radio, Tucker is already watching the DRADIS, waiting to see what the orders that the CAG gives on the order of attack. "We'll try to make a flyby of that transport, make sure that it's not loaded with prisoners." he tells his ECO.
"Copy, Cherry," Webb responds to Eva amiably. "My wing, prioritize those Heavies, but if you've got a good shot at the Raiders, go for it." He heads for one of the heavier craft.
"Copy that Spider." It doesn't take long for Alain to pick his target. Following Spider's lead, he heads in towards the heavies -- he's had some luck taking them out tonight -- picking one and doggedly tailing it until he gets a good firing solution.
"Copy that, Spider! Gunnin fer that big frakker!" Socks answers the orders over wireless. He spies one of the raiders veering off to attack him, but he keeps his aggressive stance, the heavies usually carry the cylon gol--important things, at least that's what they say around the Vanguard. He angles in and begins firing, looking to cut the heavy raider's trip short.
Starting toward the transports at the call from Eva, Van flicks his stick left and right as they flash toward the cloud of Raiders, trying to swerve through the enemy fighters toward the big boys, "Cherry, Milkman, copy. I'm headed for the second transport."
Once more, Kell reaches up and nudges the top of his flight helmet down as they begin heading towards the grid where the Cylons are trying to flee. There is no way he is letting them get away without trying to either bring them down or at least get some licks in with his cannons. "Milkman, Razor, I copy. They're getting a one-way ticket and it's not out of this system but back down to Canceron." Soon enough, his DRADIS picks up the bogeys that are gaining altitude so they can spool up their FTLs to escape. Then, they are visually sighted, the transports much easier to spot. Staying with Van, he matches his wingman's speed and angles in on the second transport that is slowly rising up. He eyes the Raider that is inbound on him but ignores it for now, jittering his Viper just a little to try to make it harder to hit him but he's still vectored in on the big prize.
"You'll always be Bullsbite to me." Isolde gives Calliope an adoring smile before they are back in the thick of it. She shifts in her seat, focusing on the first transport that comes in her sights. She taps at her console, tagging targets in DRADIS before she brings up her KEWs.
"Copy Lead." Darcy echoes as well, flicking her weapons off of safe and preparing to break with the formation to engage the Cylon Heavy Raiders when the command is given to engage.
Cap bears down with the rest of her squadron. Like several of the Vipers bearing down on the heavy escorts, she's immediately picked by a raider, but sticking with the CAG's orders, ignores it - or mostly so. Veering off from her more direct vector in at the target, she gives one good go at shaking it before making her attack at the Heavy beyond.
Socks zeroes in on the heavy raider with singular purpose, and gets it in his sights long enough to drench it with fire before it gets away. The ship explodes brilliantly as several vipers blast it to bits. It's gone quick enough that he can do a little shimmie to evade the raider going for him. "One down, let's get that second raider quick!" he says over the wireless as his dradis warning buzzer starts going off in stereo as another cylon targets him. It's getting busy.
The colonials fly into a hail of missiles from the fleeing ships. One of them strikes the CAG. "Frakking hell," Webb shouts, barely able to keep his Viper in the air. But he manages to pull out of the dive and still tags the Heavy raider with a burst of fire from his cannons.
The Wolves are up against a hard fight, and Cherry sees fully half of her wing take a beating, and, "Flats, sing out, Soundbite!" Both of the raptors seem to have taken a heavy hit, and both of the transports are still going.
With a satisfied slam of his fist, Alain aims to let lose on the heavy raider still trying to gain altitude, only scoring a glancing hit on the nose that barely seems to scratch the armor. Making a face, he breaks left alongside Pockets moments before a missile strikes her viper. "Frak. Pockets, acknowledge!" he calls to the other viper pilot. He glances left, seeing one of the Raptors hit, as well as the CAB. He lets out a soft prayer, but there's not much else can he do but focus on the job at hand.
Calliope is getting into this whole fighter pilot thing. She does not take evasive action. She flies straight at that transport, as ordered, talons at the ready. She gets one off, but it barely taps the transports. And...her Raptor takes a missile to the face. There's a rather nasty-looking explosion, and jerking and spinning, but the crew is unhurt. And Calliope manages, after some fighting, to keep the bus in the air. "Flight...Soundbite..." She has to fight through the static. "We're...well, we're not good, but we're OK. How you doing back there, Pi?"
The missile from the transport slams home into the side of Tucker's Raptor, nearly ripping it in half, before he hits his radio. "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. Raptor Echo83 declaring an official emergency. Traffic to Vanguard, prepare for recovery..." that's when Tucker's radio goes out, and the pilot reaches behind him. "Get up here! We're going into the canopy!" he calls out as he fights the smoking flaming Raptor in a controlled fall before he grunts. Once the ECO's in the co-pilot's chair, he calls out. "Chicken handles, pull!" Over the radio, he calls out, "Eject One! Eject Two!" Pulling his own handles, the canopy is kicked off with explosive bolts before the rocket propelled seat is kicked out of the Raptor along with the ECO, sending them both skywards as the Raptor plummets downwards to explode into the forest below as a pair of chutes open as Tucker and ECO descend towards the ground.
In they go, and immediately, it's chaos: the whole squadron of enemy raiders is there to intercept, and they're everywhere, attacking pilots above and below, on every side. Cap's last minute dodge proves prescient: she only barely evades serious damage from the raider that goes after her, peeling away just as a volley comes across her nose, a couple shells impacting shallow or deflecting. If she hadn't scrambled? Well, she sees the results, several ships from her squad dropping immediately. "Frakfrakfrak," she mutters, even as she sneaks past her attacker and manages to put a few rounds into the heavy that ultimately succumbs. "Spider, Babyface. Orders? Should we engage the tails? Hit the transports?" She's a little panicky, swerving away from another burst of fire even as she looks for clarity.
Van burns through the cloud of Raiders, rolling away from tracer rounds, and then flashes past the second transport, his KEWs blazing and slamming heavy rounds into one wing. As he whips past and curls back toward the big ships, he looks into the melee, and his eyes widen, looking around for a particular Raptor, "Pi, Soundbite..." and then Calliope is calling in, and he lets out a breath, "Don't go skydiving..." and then Tucker is calling his Maydays, and Van grimaces, hesitating for a moment before he turns back to the transport with a shake of his head, "Razor, Milkman, if we don't finish it this pass, we're breaking off to help the others."
As it happens, the missile lock alarm in Darcy's cockpit was drowned out by the many other sounds of battle, and she damn near flew right into the missile, point of fact she did, but she was able to trigger her countermeasures just in the nick of time, causing the missile to explode very close to her viper however, and send shrapnel all through the fuselage causing critical damage, but not enough to bring the viper down, yet. "Frak!" Darcy exclaims over the radio, "I've got warning ligths in the main engine, and the fuselage is heavily damaged. I still have flight control, barely."
Webb answers Cap, "Babyface, Spider - hit those transports. Whatever they're evacuating, it's probably in those ships and not in the Raiders."
Webb sees Tucker's ship go down. "Shit. Vanguard, Spider, we've got a pilot down here. Two chutes. Request SAR."
"I've got your six, Pockets. Play it safe," Jigger calls, close on Darcy's wing.
Once more, the Cylons prove that their transports are made of sterner stuff as Kell's shots are accurate but the salvo lacks punching power. The rounds just embed themselves into the thick armor plating that protects the ships. Pulling back on his stick, he breaks from the attack run on the second transport before hearing his wingman chime in, "Milkman, Razor, I copy. Making one more pass on the transport, will see if I can find an area that my cannons can punch through." Performing a half loop, Razor recognizes that he still has a tail on him but for now does what he can to avoid the shots. Diving down, he makes a second pass on the transport and when in range, his guns bark out more rounds, some of them tracer rounds that flash towards its intended target.
Her seat's safety belt does its job, but she feels sharp pain across her collarbones and ribs as the belts tighten against the opposing inertia of her body. Her lungs tighten as she lets out a breath too fast, and it takes herself some extra time to refill them in a way that relaxes her. She croaks out on the comms for both the rest of the group and for Calliope, "Pi here." Then she glances over toward Calliope before she nods slightly. "Alright, alright." She breathes these words as she looks over the console at the various warnings blaring on her screen. She starts trying to silence some of the warnings that start going off on her console. "We'll be okay, I think we're okay. Focus on those transports, Bite."
The colonials ding the first transport a bit, but it's not enough. It gains enough altitude and then poof its jump drives kick in and it winks out of existence.
Salvae manages to score a few hits on the heavy raider, but its thick hull is proof against his viper's bullets. His cockpit buzzer goes off loudly as the raider disappears behind a smoke plume--no, he didn't blow it up, that's a missile coming his way!! He's too slow to evade it, it explodes right next to his viper, blasting off one of the wings and causing one of his engines to flame out. This is followed by the raider intercepting him blasting away the canopy of his ship. "Ah frak Engine 2 is out!" he complains, looking down to see shards of glass sticking into his leg. "Looks like I'll be landing on the ground tonight!" he grimaces, but continues with the mission, there's no escape for the cylons now, his ship is frakked!
Eva just can't get it done, and she's not in the least happy about it, as a hand impacts the console of her ship, eyes watching as one of the transports winks out, and she turns her attention to the second. But she's not neary quick enough to avoid one of the raiders, whose KEW chews up her tail, nearly shearing it off. It's a job just to keep flying. But as she is, she'll continue on mission.
Calliope is muttering, "Frakfrakfrakfrak" at her blinking control panel. There are a lot of warning lights flashing at her, and her targeting systems are a mess. "OK. I can put us down on planet if I need to, but I'd really like to get back to the Vanguard. So...keep the systems going as well as you can, Pi. I'll try and hit...something." She sounds dubious about her chances, though, and swears some more.
A moment after Alain's KEW fire grazes the heavy raider's weapons, a missile from the transport strikes his tail. Sirens go off inside his cockpit, screaming loudly while Jigger's viper spins uncontrollably for several moments. Bit by bit, he manages to get control of the viper again, although he can't quite suppress all the alarms, and the tail damage makes his normally zippy approaches all but impossible. "Jigger. Stick's all but useless. Frak it!" He's got enough control to target the remaining transport in retaliation.
Van glances behind him once, making sure that the Raider on his tail is still predictably back there. He slews his Viper into a sliding turn, evading a burst of tracers, and then boosts back toward the transport. He may have been excited earlier, but now he's tense again, fingers tight on his controls. The KEWs roar again, punching into the big ship, but when he roars past, it's still flying. "Razor, Milkman, belay my last. Stay on the Transport." There's almost a question in his voice, as if he's unsure of his choice, but he turns back into the big Cylon transport.
Isolde is shaken a bit by the missile hit, and she feels her hands tremble as she tries to manage the KEW triggers. When the transport swerves out of her fire, she barely registers it as she instead hears the sharp blare of another alarm. She stabs at it. "I hear you, I hear you..." She then glances up to Calliope and nods. "I think we can limp our way home... if we don't get hit again." She immediately mutters a small addition of, "Not that I'm jinxing it."
"Frak." Darcy exclaims under her breath as she has to roll her fighter to avoid a missile streaking back from the lead Transport, causing her to miss her opportunity to score hits on it, "Watch the missile Jigger!" She shouts, far too late of course. She skews her fighter around to line up a very aggressive attack run on the remaining transport before it too can jump away.
Missiles everywhere, explosions everywhere. Cap does her best to tune it out, focused on two things - the raider behind her and the transport ahead. She manages to keep the former off her, weaving around it's fire as she dives ever closer to the transport, and then ducking out of it's path completely as she nearly skims the surface of the larger ship, trying to get in whatever damage she can close up. And she manages to hit it, but.. "Frak this armor, eating KEW like it's grits and gravy." And then suddenly, POP. No more transport. But there's hardly any time to lament the failure: she quickly veers around to go for the other ship, hits her throttle hard, and basically just grabs the trigger and holds it down. "C'mon c'mon."
Right as Kell is pressing down on his trigger, the Raider that has been chasing him rattles his Viper with a few rounds, not enough to do any significant damage but it does shake his aim. Instead of splattering more autocannon fire on the transport, his shots go wide. Gritting his teeth, he looks over his shoulder at the Raider as he breaks away, only to half loop back for another pass, "Milkman, Razor, I copy. Making another run, that Transport looks like it's about to hit altitude and jump." The first one already jumped away. One more glance at that Raider him, Kell goes for a gamble and adds more speed but is no longer trying to evade, closing in to get one final shot on the transport.
The second heavy raider winks out. The second transport was probably about ready to activate the button when the combined fire of the limping wolves blows it to smithereens.
Webb grumbles that they didn't get them all. "Frak. Let's clean up the Raiders at least."
"Let's clean it up." Cherry sin't going to be congratualting anyone. Not with half of the objective lost, and worse half of the Wolves in the trees waiting for retrieval. Let's get this done and go collect out people.
Socks continues shooting at the heavy raider, his viper's not responding so well with half a wing blown off and a down engine, at the very least the smoke screen he's kicking up obscures the raider's vision enough that he doesn't get shot again. He slows his speed, pulling back on the throttle until the raider overshoots him, and he puts the balls to the wall as he pulls in behind it and starts after the raider the ruined his window.
"Flight. Oh thank gods. I think it's gone. I mean, dead. Not jumped." Calliope sags onto her console as the transport explodes. There's no satisfaction, just exhausted relief. She cranes her neck around, to check her ECO, grinning as she catches Raider debris on her periphery as well. "Nice shot, Pi. That is a splash." She keeps at this for as long as she can. Her Raptor does not crash. That's a victory right now.
Van comes around for another pass on the transport, once more juking enough to evade the aim of the Raider on his tail -- which promptly explodes, "Nice shooting..." he waits, then laughs as he recognizes where the fire came from, "Pi. Now quit eying my tail." His KEW rounds spark off armor, but the transport explodes anyway, under the fire of the others, and Van lets out a breath, "Break left, Razor, I'll clear your tail." He curves out to his right, then rolls back toward his wingman to set up a beautiful shot at the Raider following him. His guns hammer again, and the Raider comes apart, "Milkman, splash one."
Pi realizes her hands are still shaking a bit, so she grips her hands together tightly to avoid the trembles. She looks up at the remarks of nice shot, and she starts to laugh a bit awkwardly. "Gods. Thanks." Then she hears Van's words, and she starts to relax a bit more. "Yes, sir." Her voice comes through a bit tight, but humored all the same. Then she breathes out a heavy sigh as she looks over her console. "We're a mess, Bite. Once we clear that last Raider, we need to start back. I don't know... can you do a landing in this state?"
Jigger's shot hits the transport, though it does barely any damage. Fortunately the rest of the squadron's damage sees their target downed, and he lets out a whoop. There's still alarms going off inside his cockpit, and he takes a deep breath, steering his viper with a fraction of the grace he usually has, he takes a solution on the first raider to cross his path. He really must have the Gods' own luck, since his KEW rakes the side of one of the raiders, sending it spinning out of control moments before it explodes. "Frak yeah!" he whoops.
The raider on his tail blasts past him through the smoke of his ruined engine, and Socks opens fire with his one working cannon. The sounds is deafening after losing half his cockpit, but his aim is true, and he manages to hit the raider's engines. He pulls away as it streaks to the ground, "Arooo! Nice shootin, Wolves!" he celebrates as the skies clear up. "I'm divering to a ground station, no way this things' gettin to orbit." he says, both hands on the stick as he wrestles with his viper to make it home alive.
The bandit is pretty tight on his six and Kell is doing what he can to shake it. He does pick out another Raider in the air that is chasing Cap but manages to fire off a burst of his autocannon that goes wide, at least it is something for the Cylon to think about. He then hears his wingman telling him to break and does as told, rolling his Viper to the left. With the Raider focused on him, the maneuver basically walks the bogey into Van's shots, "Milkman, Razor, nice shooting. Thanks for clearing my tail!"
Cherry is still barely limping, when the other Wolves manage to take down the last of the raiders. She's not going to be much of an assist if fresh raiders come in, not as damaged as her Viper is. But she hasn't been given the all clear, and even if she had been, Flats is still down there. And Eva is not leaving him or his ECO behind. She heads down, to provide cover until the SAR can arrive.
Not one to back down, really ever, is Darcy, and she breaks from the crippled transport to engage the remaining flock of raiders that are still swarming the skies. Her flying may be a bit off, thanks to the damage to her viper, making it quite a bit harder to engage the pristine Raiders, but she does manage to put on a master class of gunnery, raking fire along the center of the Cylon raider, hitting something vital and causing the enemy fighter to burst apart in a secondary explosion.
When the rest of the Raiders are cleared out, Webb comes on the comms again. "Copy that Socks. Head for the Canceron Navy station." It's their fallback for medevacs and ships too banged up to make it home. "Bulls....bite... frak, Soundbite, can you guys pick up Flats and
Cap continues to assist, though, as usual, that's about the extent of it! It's only once they've finally wrapped things up that she calms down a bit, letting herself slump back in the seat. Though it's just a moment, before she clicks back into duty mode. "Lead, Babyface. My viper's still all green, so I can hang around to cover the SAR teams at least while my fuel holds out." And that's what she'll do!
"That's how we do it, Razor. Have to return the favor." Van brings his Viper in close alongside Calliope and Isolde's Raptor to study the damage, "Spider, Milkman. Razor and I will fly CAP for Soundbite if they can make the pickup." He... should probably have checked with Razor before making that promise, but he has other things on his mind -- plus surely Kell would have called out if he was too badly damaged.
The sound of alarms can be heard in Alain's cockpit as he toggles the comms: "Jigger here, can't do much other than point and cross my fingers. Heading to fallback." There's definitely smoke and shrapnel coming from the tail of his viper, but he manages to limp back to the fallback point.
"I'll race you back, Jigger, last one there shotguns the gravey!" Socks says, glancing out his ruined window to see the other mangled viper.
"I'm forming up on your six Jigger." Darcy says as she breaks to disengage from the Cylon airbase to set course towards the Naval Station that's been designated as a fallback point.
"Copy that, Pockets." There might be a groan from Jigger, but he's not one to back down from a challenge. "Enjoy my tail smoke, Socks!" Alain calls back.
"Check that. You can get my six." Darcy says as the return trip is suddenly turned into a race, and a bet at the same time, two things she rarely turns down.
Isolde does manage a smile toward Calliope at Webb's flub. "He called you Bullsbite," she manages before she focuses on Van's words on the comms. She grimaces slightly, but nods. "We might not be the best for that. We need to get back home before he just decides to drop out of the sky." That's right. Her Raptor is a dude.
"Flight. Yeah. We're kind of frakked right now," Calliope says. She adds no callsign. Perhaps just savoring Webb's confusion. "We can stay up here for a little longer but we'll need relief pretty quick. My controls are really jerky and my warning lights are...pretty much all on."
Eva's ship is badly damaged. She shouldn't be flying. She's totally ignoring Spider's order, simply circling the area where the raptor crew went down. She's also not talking on comms. Because that would give away her dastardly and cunning plan to not RTB.
Socks carefully puts his throttle up and watches as Pockets blasts by the two of them, leaving them in the dust. "Awww, shit, Pockets is washin us!" he says to Jigger over wireless.
"Shit, man. You know what this means, right?" Jigger replies to Socks, with a definite verbal groan. "Pockets get to watch both of us heave up our guts." Lucky Darcy.
"Copy, Soundbite." Webb gets it right eventually. "Head out with Socks and the others. Anyone who's ship is not frakked -" Or who's too stubborn to leave: see, Webb, Eva. "- we'll CAP here till SAR arrives."
Van's offer to fly CAP gets him taken away from the fighter he really wanted to protect. His teeth clench, but he nods unhappily, "Spider, Milkman, copy. On CAP." He does not sound particularly happy, but he'll follow the order, of course, "Safe landing, Soundbite, Pi."