The Timber Wolves' last day on Scorpia is put to good use, as the air wing and marines go out on a practice over-water SAR mission.
Location: Ocean, off of Argentum Bay, Scorpia
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 785
//With another day to burn, a voluntary water training has been offered by Captain Alyssi Treseum, a Picon SAR expert who just happened to be around Scorpia while the Vanguard sees to its repairs. About five klicks off the coast, a training area has been established where the waves and currents are more similar to Picon. Raptors filled with Marines are already dispatched. The goal: the Raptors need to maintain their altitude while under fire, and Marines must jump down with lines, swim out to an anchored platform to rescue dummies, and then swim back to be hauled up. Trainers will be Captain Treseum (Navy) and Staff Sergeant Walker (Marines).//
The afternoon heat is sweltering, but this far out, the breezes off the waves drop the temperature by several degrees, making it almost delightful this far out from the coast. Three Raptors have taken off from the Bay, full of Marines ready to get soaking wet all in the name of preparedness. In one of the Raptors is Captain Alyssi Treseum -- a Raptor pilot who just happened to be on temporary assignment at Scorpia just before the Vanguard is expected to go to Picon. The coincidence is great. The Raptors are fairly high up at this point, coasting over the waves that flutter with white caps as they roll and roar toward the coast.
"Alright, folks," Treseum's voice comes across the comms. "I hope everyone made sure they've got their gear. Not flattering, I know." The wet suits, that is, of course. "Here's the low-down." The Picon's voice is light and has a particular twang that suggests she is not a city girl. "The Raptors are going to be practicing some evasion maneuvers while we get into position. There are four anchored stations in our training zone where you will find our SAR targets. I'm gonna be with the Raptors, and Staff Sergeant Walker is here to provide support to the Marines. There are three different dummy types: we have two Civilian dummies -- an average adult and an average child. The other is a weighted adult meant to represent a fully-loaded marine or ejected pilot. The Marines are tasked to jump down with lines, grab the dummies at your station, haul them back to the lines, and get them hauled back up, all without risking the Raptor as we're going with a hot zone. Questions?"
Aubrey hasn't piloted too many Raptors since getting out of flight school, so today is kind of a throwback for her. The bird is a lot less maneuverable than a Viper, but Banshee seems to handle it with ease. Being from Picon, this is mostly old hat for her. "No questions here, Captain," she replies over the comm.
"Starting to think you just wanted to get me into a wetsuit." Jonas says with a smirk over at Abigail as he pulls at the clingy fabric on his thighs as he tries to get comfortable with the new gear on for the SAR work. "But I guess it's better than trying to jump in full gear and drowning when my radio pack causes me to sink like a stone."
Calliope is flying one of the Raptors, as she does. Keeping in careful formation with the others as they fly overhead, toward the coast. "Kind of wish I'd brought my sunglasses," she quips to her ECO. Who doesn't quip back. She's drawn someone very intent on their DRADIS today. Not that this is unusual, in the wake of all things Roller.
A throw-back, a lot of troops still receive amphibious training in the Picon Navy. For this reason, Roara isn't overly concerned ...even if she too is a tad rusty where Raptor piloting is concerned. How did she even pull this training shift? Must of mouthed off to the wrong person, again. She flexes her jaw, eyes trained to the bird???s controls. Mostly because if she sinks this thing, she???ll never hear the end of it.
Abigail has set herself up in Aubrey's raptor, though it's likely she'll end up in all of the birds eventually. For now, she's moving through the cabin, ensuring that all of the marines have their gear in proper working order. They also have additional equipment, on top of their personal oxygen tanks and masks, including marker bouys, pocket masks for in-water resuscitation, floats, the full load out that might be required of a diver. Most of the equipment is borrowed, generic, but Abigail's is, in fact, her own, the markers denoting her rating as a Picon Marine Salvage and Rescue diver. At Jonas' comment, Abigail comes up behind him, yanking hard on the strap securing his tank to his shoulders, "You jump in regular gear, first thing you do is cut loose everything that keeps you from moving. You're here to affect a rescue, not become another victim. The ocean is no joke."
The strap pulls hard on a spot that he wasn't expecting it to pull and Jonas gives a squawk of surprise, his voice going up an octave or two. "No joke, Sergeant!" Ow.
"Everything in order back there, Able?" Aubrey calls back over her shoulder. "We're coming up on the hot zone. Did Ingvar remember his pool floaties?" You can hear the grin in her voice but, hey! She remembered his name. Probably because he's on her shitlist after the barbecue.
The Captain is in Roara's bird, and is watching the waves. "Alright, Raptors. We're just one klick out. Assume that you know you're heading into a hot zone. We want to get our Marines as close as we can to the anchors. In normal SAR situations, these might be beacons already dropped, or places your ECO has sighted. You're going to be tethered by the lines the Marines drop, so you're going to have to think about how you're going to do maneuvers without dragging the lines too far." Which is half the challenge.
For this training jaunt, Katja decided it might be more interesting to roll with the Marines. She's geared up with the rest of the jarheads in Aubrey's bird looking a bit smaller in girth compared to the other Marines, like someone shoved a runt in there, even if she isn't terrible short. She's checking her own equipment when Abigail comes round. Ingvar's comment earns a small smile from the pilot.
As the Raptors start to come into the training area, reducing altitude as far as they need to becomes a real challenge through the sea breezes -- which sometimes gust. The Captain grabs sharply onto the edge of the Raptor as it hits a hard gust. While the other birds don't have an issue getting down to the necessarily altitude, Roara's bird seems to want to stay as up as it possibly can... and has gone a bit off-course.
"Soundbite, here. Acknowledged, sir," Calliope pipes to the Captain in Roara's Raptor, over the comm link. "My bear's got a fix on our beacon. Lowering into position...now." And so she does, nosing her big ship down toward the water. She's smooth enough about it, getting it into a comfortable idle close enough to her target for government work.
"Divers ready to get under way, Banshee." Abigail, giving Jonas a final once over, moves back to work on the next Marine, a light tap of her hand on his hip signaling her departure. When she speaks again, it on the comms that reach all of the raptors. "You'll be using the guiderope as just that, a guide, keep it between your elbow and your body, do not grip it, let it slide as you would if you were sliding down a pole. You hold on to it and this raptor pulls up, you'll end up dangling above the water with a broken arm or a dislocated shoulder, so keep it loose. Feet pointed down, knees flexed, it'll help lessen the impact when you hit the water, which will feel like falling two stories onto solid concrete."
"Bumpy air ahead kids, please strap in and stay back from the doors," Aubrey announces. "Opening doors in 5. Thank you for flying Banshee airlines, try not to drown." She steadies the Raptor and opens the doors.
"Frak, frak, frak, frak, frak," Roara whispers to herself repetitively not over comms. "Come on, you frakin' piece of-" Though her brow does darken, she doesn't break a sweat ...yet. Her hands move deftly to right the rogue Raptor, shifting in an attempt to better accommodate the wind.
"If I drown, I am so going to put in a bad Shelp review for you, Banshee. I didn't even bring two bits with me to rub together for you." Jonas offers as he moves into position, muttering Abigail's instructions in his head as he blows a bubble and pops it, sucking the gum back into his mouth to chew on.
"Keep it up, Ingvar, and I'm going to replace both your racks' springs with squeaky toys, so you get to entertain everyone at night," Banshee calls back in good humor.
"Just pretend you're jumping out of a raptor with a parachute strapped to your back. Hit the water, move away from the drop zone. You don't want anyone landing on your head." Abigail moves to the door, clearly intending to see each of the divers off from the raptor. As Banshee signals the dive is a go, Abigail nods to each of the Marines in turn, "Away rescue divers." She'll be there to time the jumps, before she jumps herself.
"You should do it yourself so we all know when you've broken your drought!" Jonas calls back to Aubrey before he taps Abigail's hip as he passes by for his drop, sliding too fast, too hard and hits the water with almost a cannonball like splash as he disappears beneath the surface for a bit longer than anyone would really like.
The first few feet or so of water is warm -- you could almost swim it without the wetsuit. But, those who dive too deep will get the faintest hint of chill, warning that the sun is not powerful enough to heat all the way through. It is dark below -- almost abyssal. If you sink, you'll be sinking for a while. There are three anchored platforms that act secure the various dummies. It is hard to discern them through the roll of waves -- most divers won't know who they've rescued until they feel the weight of the dummy.
As the divers jump, lightening the Raptors' loads, DRADIS begins to light up with enemy targets. The ECOs would recognize that they are training targets, coded in DRADIS to light up like a Cylon might. There appears to be five Cypers in route to the rescue sight.
Katja listens closely to Abigail's instructions and even positions her body to get a feel for the motion. She stays quiet and then moves into position, rolling her head just slightly to crack her neck. She's behind Jonas in the jump order. She doesn't have time to really assess Jonas' jump before she has to go herself. Then she's off down the rope, gathering some speed, too much speed as well, perhaps in emulation of Jonas, perhaps just because she really doesn't want her arm yanked. She splashes in after Jonas, getting down to some of that chill. When she finally emerges, she says over comms, "Anchor on my six, 10 meters back," allowing them to mark but not holding up the jump times because...well, they're coming anyways.
"Hammerhead, Soundbite. You OK out there?" Calliope asks Roara over the radio. Eyeing her compatriot's Raptor as it rights itself. With feeling. She holds her ship as steady as she can as the doors open and the Marines dive out. Little grin on her face as she strains her neck out her viewport, to watch them in action.
Aubrey taps the DRADIS to make sure it's showing true and then waits for all the divers to be in the water. "I have contacts on DRADIS. Five bogeys on screen. Look like Vipers, sending hail over today's frequency." Because protocol. She toggles over to the divers channel. "We have incoming, SAR team. Be ready."
Abigail hits the water with aim born of long practice, and she manages to slip only a body length or two into the water, before she bobs up, escaping the current that lurks in the deeper water waiting to drag you down. A quick spin, arms sweeping her around in something very reminiscent of a synchronized swimmer, as she's coming back up to the surface, orienting herself in the last direction she plotted for the location of the platform, "Anchor on my eight o'clock, 20 meters out." She doesn't say anything else, instead moving immediately to begin the swim towards the anchor she's spotted.
Bobbing back up for a moment, Jonas acknowledges the click of his radio. "Have one about fifteen meters out, I'm going after it." he responds as he draws in a breath and spits out his gum so he can push towards his four o'clock, away from the women.
Roara presses her lips together, breathing out a slow, steady stream of breath. She holds steady as well, taking in the breeze come in off the water as her own Raptor is vacated. "Soundbite, Hammerhead," Roara answers ruefully, extending an arm to stabilize the bird even further. No more missteps!"?Just let me lick my wounds in peace. Confirmed. We have contact."
"Alright, Raptors. We want to try to make sure we don't lose those guidelines. You have some wiggle room, but you're going to need to try to always come back to your current point of contact, or our Marines are going to loose track of where they need to swim to." The Captain looks ruefully at Roara. "Nice adjust, Lieutenant." Just in case Roara thought she didn't notice.
The ECO's in the cockpits announce in varying intervals: "3 minutes to contact. No response in hails."
Katja starts swimming towards the anchor she identified as quick as she can. Nothing like swimming all kitted up to remind her of what PT is for.
Aubrey looks to her ECO. "When the divers are clear, drop me a flashing beacon, directly below us. We can use it as a marker to get back to position." She then returns to the comm. "SAR Flight, this is Banshee, no response to the hails. DRADIS contacts are enemy Cypers. I repeat, DRADIS contacts are not friendlies."
"Copy your contact, Banshee, proceeding to target." Abigail, for all that the idea of enemy targets coming in on their location might be worrying, has her job to do, and that is to affect the rescue of her target. She swims hard, long years of practice allowing her to move with purpose, chewing up the distance between herself and the anchor. "Once you've acquired your targets, keep them tucked in close, your bodies should be their shields, your focus is on keeping their heads above the water."
"Copy that, Hammerhead," Calliope replies to Roara. Continuing to hover, easing her Raptor along just above the water while her ECO manages the beacons. She tries to keep a visual eye on the Marines down in the water, as they approach their targets. Grimacing at Aubrey's comm. "Banshee, Soundbite. Acknowledged. We need to extract our jarheads?"
"Negative, Soundbite. The divers mission is priority. It's our job to still be here to pick them and their targets up," Banshee replies over the comm. A lot of Picon flight school training was just this sort of thing of course.
"You got it, Ban." The ECO in Aubrey's cockpit is already preparing to drop the beacon while also switching to counter-measures. The beacon is dropped just as the Cypers appear on visual. They break their formation, but two stay back. The other three start to move in for the Raptors.
"Banshee, target acquired, pilot. Returning to the retrieval point." Abigail is strong, she's a practiced swimmer, but she's also only a woman of average weight and height, and this 'pilot' clearly needs to lay off the cheeseburgers, because the dummy is heavy. Still, she shifts its weight, using the water as best she can to compensate, winding the cable on the floater to, in essence, tie the pilot loosely to her.
Katja arrives at her anchor and there are two dummies. It takes her no time to take the smaller, child-sized dummy over the full civilian sized one. After shifting the dummy into a proper hold, she begins to swim back from where she came. Given she was only ten meters away, it's not that hard for her to find her way back. "This is Deathwish, I'm back with a civilian child. Had to leave an adult civ 10 meters on my six. Ready for pickup."
"Banshee to Able, beacon dropped at extraction point. Wait for clearance to get on the lines, we'll be playing tag with Cypers." Aubrey begins a pattern of movements with the Raptor, up and down, waggling the wings, circling and cutting across the beacon point to try and not be a sitting duck for the enemy ships, while staying close to the point.
Reaching his anchor, Jonas finds himself with a hard choice. And after a moment, he makes it. Gathering up the child bouy, he moves to release the CF one to bounce towards the surface, but remains with the child as he starts to move with the smaller of the two targets back towards the surface as quick as he can, and knowing about something from his own avalanche training, pulls his oxygen mask, sharing it for a moment with the smaller dummy. "Banshee, Theta-Niner-Four. Drop life vests, there's another one we can go get still." he calls out over comms, unaware of the approaching Cypers. That is until the call comes over the radio, and he lets out a small curse underneath his breath.
Without turning her head to actually face the Captain, Roara casts Treseum something of a wry, flirtatiously amused glance out of the corner of her eye. She pivots her Raptor into the beginnings of evasive maneuvers, attempting to exploit that same wind that took her off-guard just moments ago.
Aubrey calls back to her ECO, "You heard the man, drop some vests at the buoy point. Let's see if we can ECM the hell out of those enemy birds. I'd rather not fire missiles or KEW at them. We don't want debris falling on our team." She clicks back over to the divers comm. "Lifevests incoming!"
"Banshee, Soundbite. Acknowledged. We'll keep them guessing." Up Calliope goes, with the other Raptors to play distraction duty for the incoming Cypers. She even tries to waggle her big wings. It's more a wavery knocking that seems to annoy her ECO, though. He, meanwhile, gets on their jamming suites.
Abigail is still swimming for all she's worth, "Approaching the drop point, Banshee, vests are in the water." She moves, checking to see who's come back first of her team, so that she knows who to strap up and lift to the raptor once the guideline is close enough...and stable enough.
The Cyper headed for Aubrey veers strangely sideways, zipping past her Raptor at top speeds, and causing some sheer winds that Aubrey easily adjusts for. The other Cypers go too wide on Calliope and Roara, though they manage to stay a lot closer to the Raptors than Aubrey's target did.
"Banshee to dive team, send first crew up! Electronic countermeasures have been deployed. We have a window for first extractions!" Aubrey calls over the comm. She then moves the Raptor gently towards the beacon for the first pickup, trying to stabilize as much as possible.
Katja tries to move just outside the drop point and even shields her dummy's head and eyes, turning their faces away from it, pointing towards that poor, likely drowning dummy parent. Katja made it back first, and reports back to Abigail, "Still got one back on my anchor. Adult civilian," as she grabs one of the vests and starts putting it on her survivor, making sure the clips stay, as she waits for orders. She is not a Marine. She will obey the Marine.
After getting a vest on her dummy, she immediately moves into position while the Raptor moves in. She grabs the guideline and starts securing the dummy, treading water proficiently for the task. "Banshee, first survivor attached and ready."
"Hook yourself onto the line with your victim, Deathwish, without a rescue basket, you need to guide him in. If you're clear to go again, you'll disconnect and do another descent into the water." Abigail, second back, will wait for her own guideline to be clear, before she'll do the same, hooking herself and the victim dummy into the straps, the pilot's rig helping here, and giving the verbal signal for an extraction, "Abel, ready for retrieval."
"Copy that." Deathwish clips in under the victim and makes sure he/she/it is positioned correctly before giving another, "Alright, good to go!"
As the slow one of the group, Jonas is having to stay with his dummy the longest as he waits for the two women to get up to the Raptor first as he waits his turn to be hooked up. He hooks up the child alone and then turns to head back out. "Theta Niner Four, sending one up for retrieval, going after the second." Uhoh.
Aubrey gives her ECO a shout. "Reel them in, first extraction is GO!" She keeps a cautious hand on the stick to compensate for winds and the waves bobbing the team around below. Practice this may be, but it's still dangerous and she's not about to let her best friend get bashed around down there. "Banshee to Theta Niner Four. Negative. You need to guide your victim up to the Raptor, they can't go it alone. Able, rein him in."
With the dummies secured, and the call goes up for clearance, the lines start to move, pulling up the first of the rescuees. The waves are getting more treacherous as the Raptors and Vipers overhead stir up the breezes, and a large wave rolls through, crashing into one of the anchors. A dummy gets loose, floating like an orange beacon in the waves.
Abigail's voice is harsh on the comms, as she hears first Jonas' comment, and then the order from her pilot, "Theta Niner Four, your victim is dead on that line, return them to the raptor, that's an order!" She waits for her own line to be drawn in, and she'll kick off, back into the water as soon as she's clipped free and turned over the pilot to the marines waiting in the raptor.
The Cypers fly back around, this time their shots are going low, aiming for the opened hatch with the guidelines. There's a call from the Captain, "Live fire, everyone back! Raptors, stay steady! This is where you just hope nothing actually hits. ECO, keep up those counter measures!"
Jonas was just about to pull away, but when Aubrey gives an order, and it's followed by Abigail, the Marine growls out a curt. "Yes, sir." He should have gotten the pilot first, he could have argued that he could have been pulled up, but he returns to 'help' the 'child'.
"Steady as she goes, Banshee," Calliope says. Like she's willing it to be so. And it is. Her Raptor hangs hangs cool and dry above the deeps. Her ECO continues to work the boards, sending out interference at the Cypers in the air, while keeping an eye out for additional contacts.
It's pretty immediately apparent when anyone is on the line, why the victims need help. Those lines don't stay all that steady, and can crash into one another, or the Raptor itself without a strong hand to keep them steady, which the victims don't have. "Copy, Soundbite. I've got three in the bin and divers are preparing to go back into the drink."
Abigail is just about to jump back in, when they get the call that live fire is incoming, and Jonas is still in the water with his victim, "Ingvar, I'm slacking your guide rope, give the child your mask, dive below the water, try to let the wash obscure you." So the enemy can't shoot you out of the water, she means. She moves forward, playing out the slack in Jonas' rope.
Roara grinds her teeth as the enemy Cypers make their first pass. Viper pilot that she is, an instinctive jolt runs through her. She ought to be chasing those fakers down and shooting them out of the sky. But no. She's stuck in a Raptor. She goes on a long, woeful rant on just that subject ~in her internal monologue as she does indeed remain steady.
Because he's still in the water, Jonas has no choice. Taking off his mask, he drapes it on the child, before he draws in a sharp and deep breath, and disappears beneath the surface of the water to try to disappear, hopefully not to strafed while down below.
"Countermeasures away! Hang on back there!" Banshee calls out, and her ECO complies. She tilts the bird up on one wing, away from the open door so no one tumbles out, to try and dodge incoming fire with a smaller profile.
While Jonas tries not to get 'shot' and also not dive so long he runs out of oxygen, Abigail crouches just inside the door, ducking out in quick bolts of movement to get a sight line on the remaining victms. They aren't the only divers in the water, but you can't always trust that you'll have the luxury of leaving the rescue to someone else. "Banshee, Able and Deathwish are clear to away on your mark. Theta-Nine-Four is still in the water, but on the line, cut on slack."
Aubrey rights the Raptor again, watching the countermeasures do their job. "ECM NOW!" she calls to her ECO. "Dive team window is open, Go! Go! Go!" she calls back to Abigail and Katja.
"Able, Theta Niner-Four. Cut line. Get clear." Jonas says. Two lives are not as important as the ones in the Raptors. Jonas knows that, and as he does so, he's already pulling back.
"My ass. Banshee, haul him in." Abigail will spin the line back taut, before she jumps back out of the raptor, hitting the water at a hard clip, bouncing back up after only a minute, "Get you ass back on that raptor, Ingvar, or it'll be your body I'm hauling back." She waits, giving him that split second to make his choice, before she starts for the second dummy waiting at his anchor.
"Roger that, Able, reeling in line three. Theta Niner-Four, hang on to your balls," Banshee quips as she signals the ECO to start the retrieval.
Calliope keeps on keeping on. Her Raptor hangs in the air. Her ECO works the countermeasures as well as he can, and preps to aid with the extraction. Her eyes try to track the movements of the Marines in the waters below.
"Gods dammit, Able!" Jonas curses out of the line is pulled tight, yanking him and the child from the water as Abigail goes jumping back in.
Katja holds on as Banshee shifts the bird, then after they steady out, she waits for Abigail to make her second jump. She's tucked in behind the Marine, and counts out the jump, keeping an eye on Abigail as she hits. Then she makes her jump. This time around, she fairs a lot better, keeping herself from dropping too quickly and dropping into the water and bobbing up quickly. She looks around to orient herself before starting for her anchor for the second dummy.
With Jonas and his victim on their way back to the raptor, Abigail moves of towards the second victim at Jonas' anchor point, the swim much harder going with the wash of the raptor, but she makes no sound of protest, her voice ragged, but focused on the comms, "This is SO much easier in a waverunner, Banshee."
"Banshee to Deathwish, doing us proud! Don't drown, k? Ingvar get in and hang on tight!" Aubrey waits til Jonas and the "child" are on board before she drops the Raptor suddenly a half dozen feet to dodge the simulated fire. "ECM go! Drop measures! Theta Niner-Four clear to drop again! Window is open, go go go!" She chuckles back at Abigail, "No kidding. I feel like I'm flying a brick. No offense Soundbite."
"Negative, not dropping again, dropping second line for retrieval." Because Jonas knows who is left in the water and that's what he's helping with now instead of making the mistake of jumping into Abigail's Ocean ever again.
The Cypers are swinging back around just as the second lines are dropped. They are down to only three operating Cypers as the others are a bit wonky due to the countermeasures. The others are sweeping in higher this time, and Calliope is the first in their sights, aiming for her cockpit. Ruthless. However, Calliope has all her lines up, and people are hustling into their seats, giving Calliope free sailing to do what she needs to do. The third Cyper sweeps past, heading for Aubrey while Roara's bird is currently being weighed down as two lines are being used to haul up a CF dummy.
Roara's teeth continue to grind. She's a sitting duck! She extends her fingers, reflexively balling them back up close to her palm in a fist before her hand returns to the controls. If the Captain weren't right there she'd be cursing up a storm. "Love that hustle," is all she says as the dummy is drawn up, and in very controlled tones at that.
Abigail manages to make it out to the second dummy, and she can only hope this one isn't quite as much of a fatty as the last one, but no such luck. Still, she's determined, still slow, but moving back to where she can see the marker in the water lighting her way.
"Incoming! Ingvar, secure the vics! Hang on back there!" Banshee hauls on the stick to avoid incoming fire and the line drags away from where the beacon is. "Able, we're off course, correcting, get to the beacon and hold for clearance!"
Katja grabs the second dummy and shifts him before she starts kicking her way back to the extraction point. It's only ten meters away, but this dummy must have eaten a lot. Still, nothing happens along the way. She makes it back quickly enough. "Banshee, Deathwish. Got another at extraction point. Am I clear?"
"Hold it steady, Banshee!" Jonas calls out as he tries to steady the line and help the ECO with slack. "Deathwish, Able, time to come back to the roost, we're off course - wait one while we come back!"
Calliope gets her Marines loaded up, closing the doors and getting a little more altitude. Once everyone's squarded away, her ECO is able to direct his full attention to countermeasures again. "Banshee, Soundbite. All aboard. Still providing cover. Ready to go when it's go time."
Abigail hears the call, and she continues on, calling on the comms as she swims, shifting her rhythm, trying to keep herself as low in the water as she can, "Copy that, Banshee, Deathwish, same as before. If you need to, switch out your mask and dive, try to get stuck in the wash to prevent targeting." She'll be doing the same, while she waits.
"Ingvar, get on the ascender. When I tell you to hit it, start it reeling the lines in!" Aubrey calls back. She gently urges the stick in the right direction to set the lines right at the beacon again.
As the first Raptor begins to get ready to depart, the Cypers hone in on it. There are only two of them left now as the others have bugged out. The one haunting Roara has veered off to intercept with the one after Calliope.
"Copy that. Diving." Katja grabs her mask and holds it over the victim's mouth before she dives down, down and looks up, waiting for the threat to pass.
Working on securing the dummies, Jonas hears Aubrey's order and finishes strapping in the last of the victims. "On it, Banshee!" he calls out over the radio. Under his breath, off comms, he mutters, "Secure the victims, Ignvar, get back in the Raptor Ignvar, work the ascender Ignvar, make me a sandwich, Ignvar." He's so putting squeakies all in her mattress later as he starts to prepare to reel in the last group.
"Hold still you piece of-" Roara murmurs to her Raptor as she continues to make accommodations for the wind coming up off of the waves and those produced by the fighters overhead. She traps her breath in her chest, only releasing it after the enemy Cyper that'd been coming after her joins the chase after Calli.
Abigail, following her own advice, dives as well, trying to stay down as long as possible, to stay up as short a time as possible, to try to minimize the ability for the cypers to hone on on them, fighting the weight of the dummy, the exhaustion of trying to keep both of them afloat while she waits for extraction.
Aubrey lets out a breath, remembers it's her sister down there, and then in a moment of pure Picon Zen the Raptor holds as steady as if it was landed securely in a hangar. "Dive team, clip in. Let's get you onboard!" she says over the comm.
"Strap in! We're pulling you in dive team!" Jonas calls down to the women and their 'victims' as he starts to prepare to reel them in as soon as they give signal.
Calliope doesn't exactly zip. She's a big, big aerial boat, in atmosphere and subject to pressure of weather and weight, so zipping's not in the cards. But she tries to give her Raptor some game as it races the Cypers. Her ECO keeps on jamming duty while she tries to win the race against the thing.
Katja emerges and immediately looks around to locate the guideline. She reaches out and takes a little longer to get her dummy strapped in. Just like it took her a touch longer to swim back. After strapping herself in under him, doing a quick double check, and keeping him in position, she reports over comms, "Banshee, Deathwish. I'm a go. Pull us up. Pretty please." It's rather dryly delivered.
Abigail is still under the water, when she hears the call, and she pops up a few seconds later, shaking water from the shield of her goggles, and taking another second or two to find her guideline, and begin the work of clipping in her victim and herself as well. "Able, ready for extraction. Victim secured."
"Ingvar, HIT IT!" Aubrey orders over the comm. She holds the Raptor steady as rock, hovering over the lines.
Jonas hits the button on the ascender as the ECO's working the ECM station and starts to pull the women up. whirrrrr.
The Captain onboard Roara's ship grabs hold of the seat as things get a bit more turbulent. She does a check. "Alright, we're almost all out of the water! Cypers are heading off, and we're almost cleared. Walker, once you're up, we're calling it clear!"
"Flight, Soundbite. Concur with Hammerhead's bird. I think they're breaking off!" Calliope lets out a high-pitched, satisfied little squeak.
"Hold on to your butt," Roara warns the Captain casually ...a moment or two too late for sure. She lets out a quiet hoot of relief at the Cypers' retreat. It's easy for her to hoot because... she wasn't doing any of the swimming while carrying dead weight.
"So good to hear," Katja says, only for her dummy and her as they make their way up to the waiting Raptor. She gets in and reports into comms, "Deathwish on board. Securing the victim." As she's getting the dummy strapped in she advises, "You really need to lay off all the bread." Then she moves to get herself situated, trusting Abigail to get her victim aboard and ready unless fortune proves she needs more help than Ingvar.
Abigail is not far behind Katja, leaving only enough room that there's clearance so that the two divers and their victims don't end up colliding and causing an even bigger tangle. As soon as she hits the deck, she unclips the victim, moving to secure them, exhaustion causing her to stumble, which ends up causing her to unwittingly bodycheck Jonas, as he's still at the door.
Abigail says, "Able is up. We're clear."
"Doors closing! Good job team!" Banshee crows over the comm as she punches the button to close the Raptor's hold up. "Everyone strap in tight, we're going to be trying to make a Brick fly like a Viper!" she warns them. The she hits the afterburners.
Catching Abigail as she tumbles in, Jonas moves to get her aside into the seat and works on getting the ascenders out of the way and securing the door for takeoff.
After her own Marines are good to go, Roara pulls up away from the water. Her raptor forms up with the rest of the wing, ready to depart.
Once she's had a moment to steady herself, her weight heavy on the seat, long enough to take a few deep breaths, Abigail unclips her harness, moving to ensure that all of the victims, as well as the divers are secured and squared away respectively. "Fantastic work, all of you. Damned good for your first time in the drink."
Katja is still catching her breath in her seat. She re-secures her mask from earlier so it's not flopping around all over vics. She was too busy strapping in to see the body check happen, but deduces it as she sees Jonas move. It's time to let Banshee do her job. "So this is what it's like to be chauffeured. Did we get all the vics?"
"Just wait til we get to Picon and REAL waves," Aubrey chimes gleefully to her passengers as she forms up with the other Raptors for the flight back to Vanguard. "And next time, Able, don't forget to tell them about the sharks!"
The Captain comes on the comms, "Nicely done, all. We're headed back to the shipyards to debrief, and then get you some changes of clothes. Good luck at Picon." The Captain's voice quavers a bit, and then she's off the comms. She looks to Roara. "Hammerhead, takes us back."
"She's lying, folks. There are no sharks on Picon." The flash of a grin betrays the lie for what it is, "We got all five." Once everyone is secure, Abigail begins to remove her wetsuit, going through the usual after flight routine. "And just think...you get the joy of potential water rescues and we've got environs in every configuration you can imagine.. Even more jungle."
Jonas settles into place, quiet for the most part for the trip home, studying his hands the whole way as he does so.
"Nothing nibbled my toes off...or my calf," Katja says with a smile before she starts to work her way out of her wetsuit on the ride home.
"Copy that, Captain," Roara pays mind to make the trip back to the shipyards easier than the initial trip here.