A flight of Timber Wolves clear the air over the city of Tellorn in advance of a Picon recon sweep.
Location: Tellorn, Picon
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Cat and Mouse
Scene Number: 790
Picon-based SeaVipers (float-capable versions of the standard Viper) are great for recon, since they can lift off the sea and land on it again without having to come in from a predictable course, but they're much slower and less maneuverable than standard Vipers, and so they need the area swept before they come through to do their recon. With all of the local squadrons busy elsewhere, a flight from the Timber Wolves has been called on to clear the way. The Colonial Forces have the benefit of being able to drop straight out of orbit (after the Vanguard jumps in and back out) into the area, the contested city of Tellorn.
A half dozen small skyscrapers still stand around what was once downtown Tellorn, but each is ravaged by explosives and the other catastrophes of war. The rest of the city sprawls out behind a dock district and up into low hills. The Colonial fighters will have to sweep in, find any Cylons in the area, and defend the area so that the SeaVipers can get in and out again to recon the city.
Socks flies into the are of Tellorn city with the rest of the Wolves. He'd seen a bit of action earlier this week, and already, he's sweating, having never really operated behind enemy lines like this. "Tellorn, why is that name familiar?" he wonders as the vipers begin to challenge the cloud cover, despite going down, he's pushed against the seat of his cockpit. "This where they do that thing with the deep sea canoes?"
Aubrey grimaces at the brief, because she knows people from Tellorn, or did, before she joined the military. The brunette is solemn in the prep for the mission, and doubly cautious about her pre-flight check. This could be the precursor to retaking a city; they need to do it right so the SeaVipers can do what they need to. She falls into formation in the Flight, a frown plastered on her face. "Yeah," she replies to Socks.
Isolde sits in the back of Nova's Raptor, her eyes moving from console to console with a curious tilt of her head. She catches some of the opening comm chatter, and she blinks. "Deep sea canoes?" She glances over toward Nova with a half-shrug for the Picon. She narrows her eyes, speaking into the comms again, "Doesn't that kind of defeat what a canoe is?"
"I dunno, when I was a kid paddlin my canoe on Lake Agean, I would always pretend I was one of those guys. Never got the shoulders, though," Socks says. The mission is to attract enemy attention, so the chatter keeps going.
For a wonder, Van doesn't know anyone from Tellorn, and the fact that he feels relief at that fact has his brow furrowed inside his helmet. "Whale hunting canoes. Yes." Blowing out a little breath, he checks his Viper's trim and fuel feed, then gets his game face on, "Flight, Milkman. I don't know how many of you have flown in an urban area, but if you get drawn in among the skyscrapers, watch out for crosswinds."
Most of Astraea's missions on Picon proper have been of the transport variety. Dropping marines off, picking them up, and medical evacs. This is her first of a different variety. The petite pilot is nigh buzzing with energy in the cockpit. She's doing her best to keep the way her hands tremble from being obvious and at least her handle on the throttle has been steady. "Least Scorpia's canoes are proper an' stay in shallow waters. Anythin' deep sea has an engine, like it oughta." She shakes her head, though it's barely noticeable under the helmet. "Mebbe it's a misnomer?" She's not on the comms, mind. No need to fill it with chatter in case something important comes through. She remains behind the rest of the wing, leaving a broader range for the Raptor's sensors.
Though Kell usually doesn't join in on the chatter, he does keep an ear open on the banter though most of his attention is on what is going on outside the canopy and his DRADIS. The war ravaged skyline is pretty grim, realities of war staring back, nothing hidden from view. He can't help but feel for those that call this colony home, and partially glad that his own world is untouched by the Cylon menace. There is a feel of unease from the rookie though when he hears the mission brief on what they are doing in Tellorn, defending a fixed location for a period of time is just asking for the Cylons to respond and jump them. But a mission is a mission, this one just as important as the rest. Intel is necessary for those in the air and on the ground, for both the Colonial Forces and the Picon Forces.
We join the wolves in mid-descent, the flight seemingly flying a straight arrow down through the atmosphere, Eva's hands steady on the controls, as she fights the buffeting from the pre-storm cloud forms that they're flying through, "What is a canoe, except a ship to get you from point A to point B? Why can't it go over deep water as easily as shallow?" Look man, she just knows what she reads in books, "Do they do some weird thing that's not supposed to happen in deep water?" And then, after a moment, "Milkman, you're with Razor, Banshee, with Socks. Milkman, you want Nova or you in the mood to fly solo?"
There is a crackle, and an unfamiliar voice notes, "Pack One, Eyeball. Pack One, Eyeball. Coming up on target in one-zero mikes." That's the callsign -- and the proper frequency and encryption -- from the SeaVipers.
Moments later, DRADIS starts to light up, six unknown bogies rising up from an outlying airfield on the landward side of Tellarn.
"Copy, Cherry. Socks, I got your wing," Aubrey reiterates over the comm. She nudges her Viper in an arc to join up with Salvae's bird. "DRADIS is showing 6 unknowns, Cherry."
"Don't worry, Milkman, I've flown cities before. We used to drill over Minotoa," Socks says sarcastically. Minotoa having a population of 6000 spread over about 10,000 sqkm. The highest building was a water tower, that over the past six years has been hit twice by crop dusters (totally wasn't Salvae). Dradis begins to light up, "Copy that, confirm, six contacts," he calls out.
Eva copies the call of unknown contacts, the idle chatter replaced by her usual no-nonsense tone, "Nova, Pi, send your challenge. Let's see if we can identify friendlies, before we move to engage." Better safe than sorry at a distance, if at all possible.
@emit "Cherry, Milkman, your call. I can fly on Nova's wing or Razor can fly on mine." Van doesn't call out the contacts, as Aubrey already has, although he does slow his descent slightly so that he can maintain some altitude over the rising bogies.
"Cherry, Milkman, your call. I can fly on Nova's wing or Razor can fly on mine." Van doesn't call out the contacts, as Aubrey already has, although he does slow his descent slightly so that he can maintain some altitude over the rising bogies.
Isolde looks up at the DRADIS contacts, and starts tapping away at her keyboard, drawing up some information through her sensors. She starts to shake her head, "Flight, I got two heavies in the mix. Don't think they are Raptors, but be advised." She then glances over to Nova, speaking off-comms. "Just let me know how you want to do this. I'll follow your lead."
"Flight, Nova. Y'all watch your wings and we'll holler if things get hairy." Astraea doesn't seem concerned about the need for someone immediately on her wing. The pilot does tighten up a bit towards the rest of the wing once contacts come in, reaching for the targeting systems on the talons on their undercarriage. There is a glance back to Isolde before she's looking back out the canopy. "Call 'em up," she offers to the Ensign. "see what we get back on th' horn, if anythin'." And then it's back to juking through buildings in preparation for dealing with the new contacts on the DRADIS.
As the contacts appear on DRADIS, Kell remains silent as the inbound unknowns have already been announced on the comm. Razor does remain on the Colonial Forces frequency though so he doesn't clog up the joint taskforce channel, "Cherry, Razor, briefing mentioned that we were only supposed to meet two friendlies in the area. Inbound are most likely to be hostile." With that mentioned, Razor falls silent again as he stays in formation with the rest of the flight, ready to pair off as needed with a wingman when that is clarified. The mention of two possible heavies has Kell frowning under his helmet though.
Socks keeps in formation, and glances towards the coast, squinting his eyes to see if he can get a visual, but it's still too far. "6's way more than two.." he observes sagely.
"Milkman, take Razor. Nova, sing out if you need me." Perhaps an odd pairing, but they're a viper heavy...or short...as you want to count it, with only a single raptor in the formation. And that means one viper to support the flight as needed. "Copy that, Pi, Razor. Prepare for contact, but keep your eyes out."
Aubrey looks over her console to confirm her KEW is ready if they need to engage. She sticks close to Socks, tapping her DRADIS screen as if that can make it give up the secrets of the incoming ships.
Isolde narrows her eyes as more info comes through, but it is the look through her viewport that catches her attention more than anything. She flicks her eyes to Nova as she speaks into comms, talking to her and the other flight at the same time, "Flight, I feel comfortable confirming... heavies are Raiders. I'm starting to mark them now. Looks like the others are probably Vipers... so... two and four." She starts marking the DRADIS contacts with her usual alphanumeric labels.
"Cherry, Milkman, Roger. Razor, we'll try to stay above the skyline. If we get drawn in, loosen up so I don't accidentally run you into building." Van starts to circle, "Flight, Milkman. Razor and I will bounce them when they come after you." And then something catches his straining eye, and he nods, adding, "Confirmed. Visual contact on two Heavies."
"Cherry, Razor, I copy." Kell answers quickly once the pairings are finalized and with some minor maneuvering, he forms up on Van's wing and follows his maneuvers, "Milkman, Razor, I'm on your wing." As the distance between the new contacts on DRADIS and the friendlies decrease, the Ensign narrows his gaze as the contacts grow larger on the horizon. The two larger targets are identified first, "Flight, Razor, confirming two are heavy raiders." There is a pause as he tries to make out the long distance silhouettes, "I think it may be two Cyphers and two Raiders, over." The Cyphers do bring another frown to the young pilot's brows though as he reaches up to nudge his helmet downward a bit, as if that would make the fitting more secure.
As the flight continues in, and the identities of the oncoming ships becomes more apparent, Cherry's voice comes back in over the comms, "You heard the lady. Engage at will. Try to use the buildings to your advantage, if you can, but watch yourselves."
Aubrey feels the usual buzzing creep over her that she gets before a dogfight. She watches as the DRADIS contacts get marked and she glances over to Salvae's Viper. "What's the plan, Socks? I'll follow your lead."
Socks cringes as it comes over the wireless that the heavies are raiders. Ugh, those missiles! "Focus fire on the heavy raiders," he answers Banshee, "Those cheatin bastards use missiles!"
Indeed, as the six Cylon targets close, they resolve themselves into a pair of Vipers in the fore, then a pair of Heavy Raiders, and finally a pair of Raiders bringing up the rear, slightly above the Heavies. They climb straight up toward the Colonial forces, slowed slightly by their ascent.
"Lemme know if we get anythin' on our tail too hard," Astraea calls back to her ECO. "Otherwise I'll just keep doin' what I'm doin, yeh?" Which is flying fairly close to those buildings, but Raptors are built for multi-directional flight as it is. She may not be able to make the sharp turns, but she's able to angle in and around the city's skyscrapers without too much issue. When you're used to dropping off and hauling troops in and out of hotzones, this isn't too bad. Sure, it's not dogfighting in the thick of it... but so are she's managing without calling in backup from the jocks. Nova keeps an eye on the incoming Cylons, reaching for the targeting for the talons under the Raptor's wings.
"Sounds good to me!" Isolde reports this back to Nova before she is focusing on her ECM console. She starts tapping at her keyboard, honing in on the heavies.
As the bogeys get into range and the furball begins, Kell pulls back on his flight stick for a moment before diving his Viper back down towards the Raiders that are at a lower altitude. He picks out the Raider that is going after this wingman, "Milkman, Razor, you've got one angling in on you. Will try to shake him off of your tail." With that, he leads and triggers a burst of autocannon fire, the rounds splattering on the saucer shaped craft. The angle of attack was poor so the rounds that makes contact bounces off of the nose section, doing no damage. Kell himself is peppered by one of the turrets from the Heavy Raider but a last second dip of his wing avoids most of the damage. He tries to stay on the Raider that is on Van's tail.
Eva singles out the cyper approaching, who seems to have honed in on her as well. Just for this first moment, she seems to leave the flight to tend to themselves, as she flips end over end, avoiding the cyper's kew, at the cost of only managing a light hit to the enemy ship.
"Copy that, Socks. Banshee is targeting a heavy." She continues to ride Salvae's flank, screaming in towards one of the heavies to spray KEW fire at it. She spirals and dives, coming up suddenly to strafe the enemy ship's nose. She woots over the comm, as she sees sparks fly and gas vent. "That got through the armor!" she crows. She hauls back on the stick and drops flares and chaff to confuse the missile the raider fires back at her, and evades it. "Coming back for another pass!"
"Razor, Milkman, rolling in on the northern Heavy in 3, 2, 1, mark." And then Van wings over, dropping down toward the Cylon fighters. He nods at the call from his wingman, "Roger. I'll flare out 220 degrees." Twisting in his dive, he evades the ropes of tracers coming his way, hammering away with his KEWs and punching into the upper surface of the Heavy Raider. He hauls back on his stick to pull out of the dive, turning west of the cluster of skyscrapers, toward the water.
Socks grimaces as he sees on heavy raider veer off to meet him and Banshee. His Dradis starts beeping as a cascade of bullets come his way, "Missile!" he warns, jinking as the heavy's fire grazes his wing, the missile sails off into the blue. "Looks like a Cyper is on my tail, keep on that heavy, Banshee!" he says, doing a quick roll to avoid the cylon's attack as he pulls into a turn to reaquire the heavy raider, "Time for another tilly!" he grits his teeth from the Gs pushing him against his chair to take another quick pass at the enemy.
Isolde starts working through her countermeasures. Her fingers move swiftly over the keys, doing all she can to counter the sensors and other accessible systems. She is deifnitely outsmarting one of the heavies -- or at least it's pilot. It's gunner is far quicker on the KEWs, and the other heavy pretty much ignores her like a fly on the windshield. She shakes her head, grimacing slightly. "Flight, measures in place on DRADIS contact eff-seven-seven."
As a missile goes past their wing, Astraea lets out a laugh. It's definitely nervous laughter, but it hits a building instead of their Raptor, so in the Scorpian's book, that's a win. She shakes her shoulders out a bit, coming around to try to chase down the Cyper on Salvae's tail. "Think we're doin' alright back there," she opines. "Hopefully we can keep our boys doin' alright. Mighta been better off wit' missiles, but I doubt just two missiles 'gainst two heavies woulda done much good." She doesn't have too great an opinion about the light loadout of those. Probably why they have all the lighter, less guided talons on their ship for the mission. She does try to even out, taking a less zig-zagged route for the next volley. Using the bird itself to try to give a bit more guidance.
Aubrey stays on the heavy, per Salvae's orders. "Dinged him again! Mostly armor this time though. Another missile incoming!" She spins and dives under the angle of the missile almost lazily, and it skitters away with a fizzle. "He's out of missiles! Coming back around!" she calls over the comm.
Eva manages to exchange fire with the cyper, the two ships coming out of with scratched paint and not much else. But With the fight intensifying, Eva, catching sight of the raiders heading towards the raptor, peels off of the cyper to head in that direction.
While Kell does well in evading the incoming fire, the Raider that he is chasing appears to be /very/ maneuverable as luck is not with the Ensign. His shots while seemingly accurate initially, well lead, is gracefully dodged by the Cylon as it performs a barrel roll, the tracer fire basically a half step behind, "Frak!" An actual curse inside his cockpit before Razor flicks on the comms, "Milkman, Razor, I can't keep up with the one on your six, watch yourself, can't clear your tail!" The warning is given as the Raider maneuvers around one of the taller, damaged buildings, forcing Kell to turn away in another direction. This does line him up towards one of the damaged Heavy Raiders, the same one that Van was engaging.
"Frak," Isolde hisses under her breath as she still can't seem to get anything through the second heavy Raider or the first heavies Gunner. She shakes her head, and flexes her fingers. "Trying one more tactic, then I'm switching to KEW," she says this to Nova, though her eyes remain focused on her workstation, gaze flickering between DRADIS and her ECM console. She pops her knuckles once, and then starts a new series of inputs.
"This pig's a tank!" Socks grimaces as he blasts the heavy raider again, blowing out some of the windows of the cockpit, but it keeps flying. As he hears the zipps of bullets stitching across his viper, the evacuation indicator on his flight suit starts blinking, and he shakes his head, the board's still green. He twists in his cockpit, trying to evade the cyper for a few moments as he lines up the heavy again, "Let's kill this frakkin toaster already!"
"Nova, Milkman, we're working on doctrine to maximize..." Van cuts off as he hauls himself into a twisting barrel roll to avoid the fire of the rear turret on his target Heavy, squeezing his trigger to smash heavy rounds into the big ship's stubby wings just where they join the body. "...missile effectiveness." He peeks back over his shoulder as he zips past the Heavy. Kell's call causes him to flick his stick over to the right, hauling into a tight turn to evade his pursuer's gunfire, "Roger, Razor. One more run on the Heavy, then I'll try to draw it into a weave."
The adjustment in flight pattern helps and Astraea finally lands a shot, even if it's not a solid one. Unfortunately, it means that a missile clips the wing of their raptor. Clip and missile means luck is on their side and Nova's hand goes up, blindly, to flip a switch and silence an alarm. "Mark that on our report, eh Pi? Pretty sure it ain't nothin' too bad. Everythin's still flyin' jus' fine up here. Deck might pitch a fit when we get back in." She cuts up slightly, evening out while she adjusts trajectories. "Flight, Nova. How's it goin' wit' them Heavies? Adjustin' to bring some talons in." She's quiet a moment before hitting comms again, "Yeh, well, two missiles against two or more targets ain't gonna be effective no matter how ya cut it. Sorry, that's just how math works."
"I wondered what that was," Isolde says with a wry note, apparently having totally missed the rumble of the clip to the wing.
"Dammit! He's getting wise to us, Socks!" Aubrey calls over the comm. She banks hard and fires her KEW into the body of the raider, but barely scratches it. "Time to change tactics."
Well, when you just have no luck at all, what can you do except go back into the fight? Eva doesn't even manage to get a single hit on the raider dogging the raptor, even if she does manage to avoid the cyper still on her tail. But she seems inclined not to let the thing go, even as the rest of the wing starts to winnow down the enemy, "Good work, flight."
Too busy trying to avoid getting hit again, Socks is unable to get a good solution on that pesky heavy raider. "Oh come on, now," he complains, as it does a cheeky roll to evade his cannonfire. "This toaster on my tail's gonna get lucky if we don't splash this. Come on, Banshee, you clip this thing, I'll chug another can of gravey!"
Isolde raises both hands in the air, wriggling her fingers in some kind of quiet victory celebration. She then clears her throat and gets on comms, "Flight, please advise, countermeasures are in place on contacts F78 and F7 -- " The ECO stops, and then clears her throat as the second heavy contact blips off DRADIS. "Correction, just F78... nice shooting, Raze." Then she nods to Nova. "I'm switching to KEW." She focuses on the Raider that is swooping after them, using the cameras to sight the target.
The speed that Kell is flying at appears to be too fast for the gunner of the first Heavy Raider to follow, the tracers lagging far behind the more nimble Viper. The Ensign, however, appears to have lined up a very good angle of attack on the second Heavy Raider, coming up from below. Squeezing the trigger, his twin autocannons roar to life and every round he fires slams into the belly of the larger Cylon craft. The first couple shatters the armor and then the rest punches through into the fuselage, coring the ship and causing it to explode. "One heavy down. Milkman, Razor, coming around to give that Raider on you another go. I'll be making a run on vector... four-eight-niner." With that said, Kell breaks away in the other direction that his wingman is heading in before banking his Viper around, heading back towards Van so they can start up the weave maneuver, first pass incoming.
The Heavy makes a bigger target for the Talon and even if Astraea doesn't land a big hit, she lands a hit. It's enough to help alongside the other two targeting the thing. If she could tip her hat. "Yeh, see what you can do about 'im," she offers back to Isolde. "I'mma try fer that Cyper again." Because he's been an annoying little bugger for a while. "Socks, Nova. Gonna try fer yer tail. See iff'n ya can lead 'im past mah nose, will ya?"
"Nova, Milkman. That's what Vipers and ECOs are there for. Theoretically." Van grunts as he fires off another burst of rounds, spattering them across the rear turret that is trying to bring him down, and then rolls under again. "Razor, Milkman, nice hit. I'm going to try to force this toaster into the building or your guns." He too arches out and then turns back into his wingman, almost playing chicken with the nearest of the skyscrapers.
The first of the Heavy Raiders tumbles, pinwheeling as it is wracked by secondary explosions. It hits the city just outside of downtown, flaming fuel spraying out and igniting a (relatively) small blaze.
"Pack One, Eyeball Flight. Seven mikes out."
Aubrey streaks in at the heavy, firing her KEW wildly, then diving hard to reveal Salvae behind her, ready to take a more focused shot. "Get im socks!"
The weave usually doesn't incorporate a building but Kell can see what his wingman is doing, "Milkman, Razor, I copy. Will have my shots waiting if he is good enough to clear that building." Good news, the building may blind the Raider and Razor's attack could be a surprise. The downside is that he will have to react quickly to where the Cylon fighter is popping out. It looks like the Raider comes out on top again as Kell wasn't able to make the last second adjustments quick enough. His burst of autocannon rounds manages to splatter the Cylon's fuselage, minor damage inflicted. The Viper in turn gets splashed as well by the gunner of the remaining Heavy just before it goes down.
Well, damn. A decent hit, but not enough to either deter the raider from its target or destroy it completely. Eva sweeps in from the side, banking hard to avoid a cell tower, still rising, forlorn, from the top of a office highrise, moving in to attempt to finish off the target. "Everyone still five by five? Those SeaVipers are getting close."
"Copy that, Nova, I'll tease it along," Socks answers, his viper banking and twisting as he spies the raptor at his three oclock high. He guns his engines, pulling the cyper into the raptor's sights as he falls in behind Banshee, and when she does her sweet move, he lays on the cannons, filling it with so much lead it could use its landing gear for a pencil! "Heavy down! Let's get these fighters before they spot our friends."
Trying to run your opponent into a building works a whole lot better when they can't just go straight up. That's exactly what Van's trailer does after spraying the building with tracers, leaving the Picon pilot to shake his head in admiration, "Razor, Milkman, he went vertical!" Rolling out and away from the building, he notes, "Turning back into the furball. Heading for the Cyper on Cherry's tail." That should give his wingman a vector for the Raider if it continues after him.
Her request to Socks does the trick. Astraea lands a solid hit on the Cyper. Unfortunately, it also puts her and Isolde in the sights for that Raider behind them. It gets them in return and their bird rocks and nearly careens into one of the buildings as a result, but the Scorpian pulls them out of it with a solid string of colorful swears. Know the language? Enjoy. At least she doesn't provide it in Standard. "Oh yeah, deck ain't gonna be happy with us at all." She clears her throat. "Flight, might need a bit of help wit' this Raider. Pi's tryin' ta keep it occupied, but it's got our number." She does angle in on that Cyper again- should get it gone soon, at the rate she's going.
"Belay that, Razor. Going after Nova's tail," says Van.
Isolde thinks she has it lined up perfectly, but the moment she releases a barrage of KEW fire, all it does is sweep off into the skies, completely useless. It doesn't help she is thrown slightly off kilter by the incoming hit that shakes the body, and makes her grab onto the keyboard. She glances up to Nova. "Well, they'll be more mad if the Raptor ends up in the ocean..." Then she breathes in deep through her nose, and feels her entire body settle deeper into her chair. You can do this, she almost coaches herself before she begins to line back up her shot
Aubrey turns on one of the Cypers, and she zips in Salvae's wake, rolling out to fire at the enemy, which jukes her shots. She grunts.
"Thanks for the assist, Milkman. As you can see..." her voice cuts out, as she takes a hit, enough to force her to course correct to avoid what used to be a parking garage, "...he's a resilient frakker." Eva stays on target, because second time might just be the charm, with another pilot on to assist.
It jukes Banshee's shots, but it juked straight into Socks' line of fire, and he blasts a chunk of the cyper's wing off. He glances over his shoulder and sees the cyper on his tail taking another textbook shot, and he shakes his head in contempt, this cylon must be on training mode or something. "Okay, Banshee, let's finish this frakker off," he says, repeating what he said before shooting down the heavy. With luck, he won't have to promise the can of gravy, too!
This frakker is good, Kell silently says in his mind as he leans forward slightly in his seat as breaks his Viper to the right to follow that elusive Raider. He changed his target to the Heavy Raider last time but this time, he is a bit more stubborn in trying to down that Cylon pilot. This one is definitely harder to take down, Razor never having to focus so hard to stay on a Raider's six before. It takes quite some effort to lead his targeting reticule in the right direction as the Cylon continues juke and jink, but when he does, he triggers another salvo. This time his rounds make contact but like the first exchange, the rounds just glance off of the fuselage. For a moment, the usually calm Ensign was about to lose it to anger at the continual failures on this Raider but he manages to take a deep breath before hitting the comms, "Milkman, Razor, still no joy on the bogey on your six. Do you want me to continue to dog him or assist with clearing Nova's tail?" The stubborness is shed as asking the question also helps to keep him focused.
"Frak me, but he's a wiley one," Astraea mumbles to herself. Isolde can hear, but it's kept off comms. They do manage to avoid another solid hit, but something does glance off their wing. "Pi, iff'n we find ourselves takin' an up-close tour of th'ocean, I 'pologize in advance, yeh?" The woman shifta tactics then, going to something just a bit more aggressive in nature. Seems she's taking it a bit personal, this chase she's got going on with Socks' tail.
Tracers reach out from on high toward Van, and he jinks his Viper aside, almost in time. They clip his wing, turning his jink into a barrel roll. He turns back into the fight, sweeping after the Raider aiming for the Raptor once Eva has cleared the line of fire. It's already dodging, however, and his tracers don't come anywhere near, "No problem, Cherry. I'll try to hem it in, force it to turn left. Razor..." and Van hesitates a moment, then goes with, "...give us a hand if you can get a firing angle. Otherwise stick on that one."
"Well, I did want to go swimming the next time I visited Picon... in all fairness." Pi chortles a bit, but then there's an obvious snarl in Tauran that expresses her frustration with the Raider. "I just can't seem to get this Toaster to stop bobbing around." She shakes her head, but goes back to lining back up. Third time's the charm, they say.
Aubrey streaks down through the ruined city, teeth gritted at the sight of it, and she weaves around a building, before coming up and over, firing down at the Cyper's cockpit and helping send it to oblivion. "Nice shooting, Socks!"
"I just can't get a bead on this thing, Milkman...going to come around and see if I can't that raider on your tail."
Stay on target... Stay on target... Socks finally lands a telling blow on the cyper, raking it across the cockpit while Banshee comes in for the kill. "Nice shooting, Banshee!" he praises, and gives a jump as one of his cannons explodes as he takes another hit. "Oh, bloody frakkin leapin lords o kobol! Let's dash this turkey!" he says, doing a quick dive down leading it on for a stretch so the others can get their shots in before he pulls into a high g bank to try and outmaneuver it so he can get a shot.
"I hit it!" Isolde should probably not be that happy about such a minor clip across the Raider's cockpit, but she almost seems gleeful. Then she feels a small twing of embarrssment color her cheeks, and she looks to Nova. "I'm more of a computer nerd." Then she clears her throat and resumes her focus on the Raider. Maybe she could hit it twice!
Their Raptor gets hit again and it's right across the nose. It rattles through the cockpit and Astraea swears again. "Apollo's ballsack," she hisses. This time, totally in Standard. "Gonna feel that one for a week." Someone bit her tongue. "We got that frakker yet?" Right as the ECO cheers. "Good! Now take 'im down." She's not doing any good on her own target as of yet, even for the more aggressive flight patterns. More alarms are silenced, even if the red lights still flash in her peripherals. Hopefully folks were right about all those cubits being spent on their repair bills. "How's DRADIS lookin', Pi? We ain't got anyone new comin' in, do we? This ain't a quiet fight by any means."
Since he was given a choice, Kell breaks off on the Raider that has been chasing his wingman and instead vectors towards the second Raider that is giving their Raptor a very tough time. Instead of keeping his targeting reticule on the Cylon, Razor actually vectors in on Nova's position. This basically has him on an intercept course and instead of slowing, Kell kicks the afterburners on, boosting his velocity. As he charges at the Raider, he triggers a quick burst of autocannon fire, shredding some more of the bogey's armor before flying right in front of its path. The hit in combination of the maneuver has the Raider breaking off its chase on the Raider, now it is chasing Razor. "Milkman, Razor, reengaging the bandit that is on your six."
Van fires off a burst of KEW-fire, using the tracers to force the Raider on Astraea and Isolde's tail off to its left where Eva and Kell can hit it. The heavy hit on the Raptor draws his lips tight, and when Kell and Eva each beg off the target, he starts to say something, then nods as Kell draws its attention, "Razor, Cherry, Milkman, copy. I'm on it. Nice draw, Razor. Turning left to follow the bandit on Razor's tail. Weave it."
Pi takes a moment from her targetting console to track DRADIS. She frowns slightly, and then gets on the horn with the rest of the flight, even while she addresses Nova's question, "Flight... I got the SeaVipers on DRADIS. Six minutes until they are in range." She then switches off comms. "Not to put pressure or anything." She resumes her focus on the targetting console. "Alright, let's get this frakker outta here." She shifts the joystick, bringing in aim.
Aubrey curses as she strafes the Cyper in a flyby and barely scuffs its paint. "There's one in every bunch, isn't there," she grumbles over the comm.
"Sometimes I wish we were flying those viper 1s, they're tough as heavy raiders!" Socks spits as he sees all three of the vipers' fire bounce off of its impenitrible hide. "Manufacturer must have dipped it into the river styx or something.."
Well, she's been doing two hits and switch, but that doesn't seem to be working out in her favour, especially not with the collection of enemies dwindling, but none of them managing to get a good hit in. As Kell switches, Eva will switch off, moving back to assist Van.
The high speed does help keep Kell ahead of the tracers that chases his Viper, only a few rounds catching up but they glance off of his tail fin without doing any serious damage. Hearing his wingman on the comm, Razor answers in quick fashion, "Razor copies." Keeping his velocity high, the Ensign begins banking back towards where Van is, leading the Raider on his tail along and eventually into his wingman's front arc. In exchange, Kell spots the bogey on Milkman's tail and takes aim for a few seconds, waiting for the Raider to get closer before firing off another burst of autocannon rounds.
As the Raider moves off their tail, Astraea breathes a bit easier. But it also frees her up to keep up the more aggressive flight patterns. "Lemme know if anythin' changes back there, Pi. We're holdin' t'gether, but might be onna wing an' a prayer by th' time this is all over." She glances sidelong to the talon count. "Still doin' good on ammo though. Let's see iff'n we can't wrap this up in a neat package fer them SeaVipers."
As he and Kell trace entwining arcs through the air over Tellorn, Van triggers off a burst that walks right over the Raider trailing his wingman -- but the Cylon stays on course long enough to hit the other Colonial pilot, and Van tightens his lips, smothering a curse. "Pi, Milkman, six minutes is forever." He probably set himself up for a nasty insult there, "Just remember the sims." It's meant to be reassuring, but it's more than a little tight with his frustration. Avoiding the fire of the Raider on his tail, he notes, "These things might be onto the Weave. Any more bright ideas, Razor? Or should I take this one through the buildings?"
Second hit! The ECO seems almost rejuvenated from the second graze hit. She then glances over her shoulder toward Astra. "I think we're getting some help from Razor!" Then she turns her focus back to the targetting console, and she decides to take a note from Kell's playbook. She can take her time this time around.
Whatever is flying this Cyper has crazy luck or frightening skill. Aubrey dips and dives, weaving through buildings again to try and come in at it from a different angle. She triggers her KEW, but the shots hit air where the ship had been a moment ago. "He's coming at you Socks!" she hollers over the comm.
Finally! The raider that's been giving them such grief...but then, haven't they all?, finally goes down, and Eva banks hard, getting clear of the debris, hearing the call from Banshee, and with her reticle now clear, she heads that way to try to come to the assist.
When that Cyper gets such a solid hit on Salvae, Astraea stiffens in her seat. Her eyes go wide and she hits the comms. "Shit, Socks!" Not the best protocol on comms, but she saw it go through the cockpit. That's no good. "I'm sorry, been tryin' ta get 'im off yer tail. Shoulda got it sooner. Sing out. Ya still conscious over there? Need medical?" She hasn't seen him start to go down, but you never know... Either way, she's not peeling off that cyper just yet.
"I think... I think I might..." Isolde is lining up her shot with ease, even as the Raider takes a hit from Razor that knocks it to the side a bit. Then she breathes out a slow breath, nodding her head slightly. "I think I got it." As long as nothing throws her off her balance. Like news from Socks. Her eyes dart up to DRADIS briefly, but she has to breathe and keep her focus or she will lose her opportunity. No doubt.
Frustrated by the cyper's ability to soak bullets like some sort of lead sponge, Socks pulls in for a tighter angle, blasting the cylon viper across the body, but his bullets bounce uselessly off of it's hull. He shakes his head, "Aw frack!" he complains, spitting with anger- spitting in a flight helmet isn't the brightest idea as it impairs his vision enough that he doesn't see the cyper do a little trick, turning off it's training drone act that it'd been doing all along to blast a barrage through his cockpit. His control panel explodes and his arm is covered in a melty plasma that sizzles througfh the rubbery space suit he wears while a staccato of broken glass fills his leg. "There goes date night," he complains, his voice sounding pained as he goes into shock, and tries to steer with his left hand.
The Raider that Kell is gunning for continues to prove just how good it is, the Cylon pilot keeping the saucer shaped craft elusive, evading any critial hits and taking only minor ones. The hits on the bogey are slowly building up. Razor's salvo manages to riddle the Raider with more shots into the fuselage before being hit in turn. "Thanks for clearing my tail, Milkman, will try to do the same for you." Now he's back to trying to stick on the Raider's tail to finish it off.
With both Van and Eva on its tail, the Raider after Kell doesn't stand a chance. The Picon pilot follows up Eva's hit with a burst that tears into its body. He stays with it a moment, watching to make sure that it does indeed collide with the nearest skyscraper, and then he whips his Viper away from the building, leaving his trailer to shoot it up in his wake. "Thanks for the assist, Cherry." And then Salvae and Astraea call out, and he jerks his head back in that direction, "Razor, Pi, and I have this one, Cherry." He's noticed the fire from the Raptor's turret, then.
"Talk to me, Socks! You ok in there?" Banshee calls over the comm as she banks hard to come after the Cyper that just blew the crap out of her wingman. She's angry, she's flying angry. And it shows when she zips up and over the Cyper, then hard banks and turns to face it, firing her KEW full bore into the nose of the ship.
Socks watches the rest of the cylons go down in flames and he quickly switches to autopilot for a moment, going through the first aid drills he thought he'd never really need. "Ugh, I thought the point of flying a viper was it'd be over quick if it happened," he grimaces, hand fumbling with a morpha dart before he finally jabs himself with. He looks over his wounds as the searing pain in his arm begins to fade into a gross feeling headache. "I'll live," he decides, getting a tournequet around his thigh--a difficult task in the cockpit of a viper with only one good hand. "What's... What's the nearest friendly airfield?" he wonders, his voice sounding woozy. With all these holes in his viper, it's not likely spaceworthy.
With the assist from Isolde's turret fire bracketing the Raider for him, it pushes the Raider into Kell's stream of autocannon rounds as he triggers a longer burst this time. Multiple projectiles punctures the ammo section of the Cylon's guns and that causes multiple mini-explosions, blowing off one wing and right after, it begins to spin and spiral down towards the ground, trailing thick black smoke. "Whew, finally. Milkman, your six is clear. Pi, good shooting to keep him bracketed for me."
Finally, the final two cylons go down, and the air is, if momentarily clear, "Pi, alert the SeaVipers that they can proceed on coarse to target. We may need to ditch that viper though, Socks. No way you're making it back into space with your ship that compromised, and we may not be able to make it to friendly space before we pick up more cylons. If that's the case, put down on one of the tall buildings, and Nova will pick you up."
"Cherry, permission to escort Socks to the nearest friendly AF?" Banshee says over the comm. She moves to keep a little ahead and to one side of Socks. "Nova, tail us in case he has to set down before we reach one?"
"Socks, Milkman, Nova copies." Astraea was already enough on Salvae's viper that tailing him is no big deal. She just adjusts her flying into a closer pattern to observe his bird. Her own isn't doing too hot, but it's still space worthy. And jump capable. "I'd recommend he just set down on a buildin', from the looks a'things from back here," she offers into the comms. "It's closer an' iff'n he's injured, means we ain't at risk of him passin' out before we get t' any airfield. Ain't like I gotta do anythin' fancy ta set down somewhere."
"On it, Cherry." Pi then switches channels, opening up to the SeaVipers' chosen frequency. "SeaVipes, you're clear to proceed. We're gonna bug out as to not draw attention." Then she looks back to Astra and beams. "Nice flying, Nova. Deck will forgive us for the scratches." Then she looks over DRADIS, keeping her eye out for any other enemy contacts that might come in.
When Van slows his bird and tries to take it slow and steady to draw his trailer in, the Raider clearly sees through it. Thankfully, Kell and Isolde are up to the task, and even as the Raider punches several rounds into his Viper's body, it goes down under the concentrated attention of the two Colonials. As he begins to circle, he draws back on the stick to ascend. He keeps quiet as the chatter goes back and forth.
Socks nods his head groggily. "Copy that, setting down," he says, steering with his left hand on his joystick, it feels so... alien. Like someone else is flying his viper. He approaches the city, to set down. He misses landing on one of the burned out buildings, but doesn't go straight into the rhubarb as he'd say, he does recover enough to scrape in a combat landing on the beach. Wincing with pain, he works to unbuckle his harness. What's left of his canopy pops off in an arc and he begins to crawl out, falling onto the wing to slide down.
The SeaVipers come back, "Pack One, Eyeball Flight," there's something a little chastising in the tone, "Roger. Incoming in four."
"Nova, you've got the lead." Because it's a SAR now, but to the incoming Picons, cherry replies, "Eyeball Flight, this is Pack One, we are happy to assist, if you require overwatch. We're mostly in one piece over here."
When the adrenaline begins to fade from his blood streams and his heart isn't pumping as hard, the chatter from the rest of the flight filters into his mind and he realizes that one of the pilots is in bad shape. There is concern and he feels like raising a voice on comms but schools himself to calmness, staying silent for not to not clutter up the channel with more chatter. The only thing he can do is increase his altitude so he can help with overwatch as the rescue begins. He does look down from time to time, watching Salvae begin his attempt to land his Viper and the Raptor rescue that follows.
Aubrey circles the landing site at a distance, keeping an eye on Socks from above.
Astraea spends a luck point on Not Squishing Socks.
Isolde unbelts from her seat, getting up so she can assist with the hatch. "We're coming for you, Socks. You better not stink. No one likes a smelly pilot." She then starts to work on the hatch, going through the necessary inputs to release the safeties. She then grips to the edge of the hatch as Astraea starts to lower down to the rocky waves below
Socks blushes as he hears Isolde over comms. He looks to his blinking evacuation indicator. "Uhm, prepare for disappointment," he warns. After righting himself, he turns back to the viper and pops open a hatch to get his viper's black box. He then opens another one to set the scuttling charge. Waiting for the SAR raptor to land, he does a janky morpha-limp down the beach, stumbling a couple of times in an embarassing fashion.
"Nova, Cherry, Copy." Lead? Frak. Astraea shuts down the remaining talons and grabs tight to the controls. "Ain't never been lead before," the jig mumbles. To Isolde. Briefly forgetting she's not alone in the Raptor. The woman draws a deep breath. "Stay by yer bird, but get clear of th' cockpit if y'can," she offers into the comms, for Socks. "Don't wanna land on ya." She's got a bit of troubles out of one of her VTOL engines, but she's compensating for it as she comes down by the beachfront property that Socks has chosen. The wind kicking up by the waves doesn't help, but she does finally settle down on the sand, hitting the hatch. "Medkit's on board, but we ain't kitted out for full medical. We'll hafta strap him in an' make due 'til we're back on th' Vanguard." Then to the comms. "Flight, Nova. We'll take Socks back ta Vanguard fer medical attention. He'll need immediacy."
Circling overhead, Van glances down as the Viper and Raptor both set down on the beach, "Cherry, should we strafe the Viper once they're clear? Make sure we never see it again?"
Socks looks up in horror as the Raptor seems to come down directly on top of him. He reaches up feebly with his crisped arm as if it could protect him, but at the last moment, the raptor makes a deft move to set down just steps away from him. He grins, "Best landing I've seen all day," he says, making a mockery out of getting up. "Little help?"
"He'll be okay," Isolde laughs, though she does seem a bit amused when she opens the hatch to reveal Socks. She shakes her head slightly before she steps out so she can help him up. "Ugh, time-waster." Then she gestures for him to get onboard so she can get him into his seat and start trying to see if there's anything she can do in the here and now for his burnt up spacesuit.
"How's he look, Pi?" Aubrey asks over the comm with concern in her voice. If she'd landed a few more shots earlier...
We need at least two vipers to watch the SeaViper's backs. They are the primary mission. Banshee and I look to have taken the least amount of damage, so that'll be us. .Milkman, Razor, help to scuttle that ship, and then you can join us, if you feel your ships are still capable. if not, head back to the rendezvous point. Nova, jump back to the rendezvous point. We can't spare the manpower to escort you at normal speed.
"Flight, Cherry. We need at least two vipers to watch the SeaViper's backs. They are the primary mission. Banshee and I look to have taken the least amount of damage, so that'll be us. .Milkman, Razor, help to scuttle that ship, and then you can join us, if you feel your ships are still capable. if not, head back to the rendezvous point. Nova, jump back to the rendezvous point. We can't spare the manpower to escort you at normal speed."
Socks accepts the help and gets up, grimacing at the comment, but he seems happy enough to get back into an intact ship. He crawls into the seat and lets out a tired sigh, strapping in goes slowly, and he's already picking at the glass shards in his thigh. "Fanks thor the lift," he says, as the morpha really begins to kick in.
"Cherry, Milkman. I'm still good, just a little scraped up. I'll deal with the downed bird. Razor, let me know if you're good to go or if we should RTB." Van draws his fighter around, circling a different area of the sky where he can make a pass along the beach when the Raptor is clear.
"Pack One, Eyeball Flight, One minute."
Razor's answer is quick, "Cherry, Razor, I'm still good to go. Milkman, let's make sure that Viper is scuttled and we can proceed with the mission."
A few moments after the raptor lifts off, the scuttling charges go off, and Socks' viper is a shell of flames and smoke.
Once their injured pilot is on board and the hatch closed, Astraea gets the Raptor back in the air. It's a bit rocky taking off from the beach with that damaged thruster, but they do get airborne and steadily back in the skies. "First aid kit oughta be able to get ya some basics," she calls back into the cabin. "But I wouldn't pick at it too much. Docs tend ta yell 'bout that." The Scorpian woman then hits the comms once they're further aloft. "Flight, Nova. Spinnin' up FTL... Jumpin' ta rendezvous. We'll be fine on our own. Y'all get ta doin'. We'll make sure Socks is taken care of." And she'll give the signal back to Isolde to handle the jump.
"Alright, flight, let's complete the mission. We don't return to the Vanguard until the SeaVipers are clear." That's Eva's plan, and she's sticking to it, as soon as she sees the raptor wink out of the airspace above the beach, "Eyeball Flight, Pack One, we're at your service."
"Razor, Milkman, rolling in for my run." He waits until the Raptor is clear, then curls his fighter over, making a smooth strafing run on the already-blazing Viper. His KEW rounds chew up the beach, the Viper, and the beach again, and then he rolls out of the run, pulling up again.
Two Vipers with big flotation 'shoes' come growling up over the beach several dozen meters above water level. They lift up somewhat to make several passes over the city, then turn around and head back out to sea ten or fifteen minutes later, "Pack One, Eyeball Flight, we're RTB. Thanks for the cover."