The //Vanguard// responds to a Picon destroyer in distress, and witnesses its destruction.
Location: Picon Space
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Cat and Mouse
Scene Number: 792
At approximately 1905 hours Picon Local Time, the Vanguard recieved an alert message from the Picon Navy. The destoryer Oreti had come across a heavy Raider patrol, and while they had the initial advantage, a Cylon ship had jumped in and had heavily damaged the Oreti. The ship is aflame and adrift, and the remaining Raptors had already jumped from the battle, leaving only a squad of Vipers that were ordered to retreat from the fighting and to be recovered by the Vanguard. The orders to the squadron was simple - support the retreat of the remaining Vipers until they're clear and then jump away.
As the Vanguard jumps into the battle and vents the landing bay, the Oreti is completely engulfed in flames, twisted, her back clearly broken from starboard to port. A few anti-air guns are still firing, but it's probably just a few last sailors trying to buy the pilots a few moments of time as the ship is clearly broken and not long for the fight. The Cylon ship is also heavily damaged, but is still firing upon the Oreti while the Raiders are attempting to mop up the last bits of resistance. The radio is alive with the calls of pilots, in their last desperate attempts to break from the battle, knowing that they may be doomed, as Vanguard arrives. "Flight, actual. Launch. Engage at will, all non Vipers are non-friendly."
Aubrey is in good spirits today, knowing her pseudo-brother, Addison, is alive and recuperating in the Vanguard's sick bay. The brunette pilot launches on her mark, and her Viper screams out into the black to settle into formation with the others. Her eyes sweep from DRADIS to the burning ship. "Banshee to Flight, Cherry, is there anything to be done with those still on the Oreti?" There may be people she knows down there, trying to buy time for the Vipers to escape.
Alert Five is usually boring and quiet, and Kell thought this session would be the same as he would just sit thorugh the hours of duty. However, when the clock ticked to 1905, the alert came out and Razor was activated to full flight status, prepped for launch once the Vanguard jumps to where the stricken Oreti is fighting with its last, valorous breaths. One the bay door opens, Kell gets the thumbs up to launch and he does so. His comms are quickly abuzz with chatter from pilots in trouble, Kell immediately scanning the brutal scene in front of him while he forms up with the rest of the squadron.
Eva, as always, is never one to say no to combat of any sort. But when it's to support a ship doing it's best to salvage its crew? She is so there. She launches, forming up on Finn's wing the other two vipers coming in to compliment them, "Banshee, I copy." She heard the question, but has no immediate answer, "Nova, confirm with the Oreti that they have raptors enough to evacuate the remaining crew?" And then, for the other course of business, "Stay out of the Oreti's firing solution, engage at will."
Nova was almost late for her Alert Five watch. Almost. She got nudged at the last second by someone and made it to sit in her Raptor and kick back to wait for what she'd honestly expected to be a quiet and boring shift. The pilot even had her helmet just sitting up on the console. But then the klaxons began to sound and she was propelled into action as she pulls it into place over her tight braids. Her bird is up in the air alongside the rest of the flight and they're off in the... not-so-quiet of space. The limited atmosphere within the Raptor brings with it the noise of the canons firing from the Oreti and the more distant sounds of dogfights already in action. Astraea's breath catches as she settles into formation. "Cherry, Nova. Copy that." She's flipping over comms then, to a wider band. Just in case the destroyer's own radios have been damaged in any way. "Oreti Actual, Vanguard Flight. Update on evacuation progress?"
Gwyndolen was not asleep. That would be horribly unprofessional. But it's possible that she might have started off a little unfocussed, expecting it to be a quiet watch. However, she's sprung instantly into focus, maneuvering her Viper to form up with others. She says nothing just yet, only the faintest gasp escaping her as she takes in the situation.
Farmboy was on time, and like most people on Alert Five, he was bored. Luckily, the constant cat and mouse of combat with the Cylon's lately has meant that any shift has the potential for fu...action. Action. He flips on his comm, "Farmboy copies. Whose callin' out wingman assignments?" And then he sighs, strapping his helmet into place and getting ready for launch once the Vanguard reaches its destination. Once launched, he forms up as usual with Eva, and lets the others figure out their own assignments.
"...bzzzt.. guard, we're trying to assis.. bzzt.." the Oreti's message is garbled and barely intelligible, and a few moments later makes no need as a pair of missiles slam into the side of the destroyer, and the engine compartments collapse in on themselves. The shipis rocked by a massive explosion that rips the entire backside of the ship apart before it sends the bow of the ship tumbling forward, a few momentary screams of panic before the entire ship goes up in a flaming conflaguration that threatens to swallow the remaining Vipers that are on the retreat.
The Cylons, noticing the jump of the Vanguard into their space, turn to face the new threats, ready to engage now that they have the first blood on their hands.
Eva's expression hardens, as she sees the ship go up in a fireball, taking out some of the very pilots they were trying to save. Her voice, though, as it comes along the comms, is cool, and collected. Grief, even momentary, hasn't got any place in battle. She learned that lesson on Edson. "Engage at will, we still have a crew out there that needs us. Nova, Meteor, keep your ears peeled, just in case you hear an distress signals. Let's take care of business." She too, leaves the other vipers to choose their own wings, or not.
Aubrey scans the contacts on DRADIS, grimacing at the general mess of the battle. She presses a fingertip to her helmet over her lips, then to the crinkled photo of the Naxos and Walker families on a beach, tacked to her dash. Then the Oreti dies in a horror of explosions and fire and she grits her teeth. She watches as three of the Picon birds meet their fate in the fireball and she growls. "Vanguard flight to Oreti flight, we're here to cover your retreat, evade, evade, evade!" She triggers her thrusters full blast to scream in towards one of the ships targeting the Picon Vipers, spiraling through the vacuum in anger-fueled maneuvers.
The radio signal is left open; the whole of the Vanguard flight can hear it. Astraea flinches. "Didja catch anythin' makin' it off th'Oreti b'fore it went up?" She asks this of Bami, though she doesn't sound entirely hopeful as she does. Then they're lighting up with a contact as a Raider targets them. The woman winces, but adjusts her targeting on the heavy raider she's picked up. "Flight, headin' Flats' way t'help wit' that Heavy. Cherry, copy that. Iff'n we hear anythin', we'll pass it along t'Vanguard fer medical."
The flash of brightness from Oreti's death has Kell flinching involuntarily as he turns away, eyes squinting for a moment before the area darkens again. When the orders to engage at will comes through, Razor looks around and picks out one of the friendly Vipers, "Knick-Knack, Razor, I'm on your wing." A quick update to Gwyndolen offered as he pushes the thrust lever to full, his engines glowing brightly, picking up speed quickly. His Viper closes in on the Cylon forces, already picking out one of the Raiders.
Finn kicks in the afterburners and rockets off into the fight as soon as the order to engage is given. His gaze narrows in on the wreckage that used to be vipers, now destroyed. "Farmboy engaging." He points at the window of his cockpit at a Raider rushing towards him, "Me and you tincan, let's do this..."
Gwyndolen hesitates a moment as she stares at the fiery death of the Oreti. She closes her eyes for the space of the breath, tightly, as if trying to will away the images--and, after that dangerously unguarded moment, she's all business again. With a touch of her controls, she forms up with Kell. "Razor, Knick-Knack, I read you." Her voice is crisp, all business.
Bami hadn't yet seen how things were for Vanguard, and his first mission out is already a big one for him. He was happily lazing about when the call for Alert came, and he was quick to answer. He rushes off to his assigned Raptor, and when settling into his ECM station when the bus began its takeoff. The sight of the Oreti just about knocks the wind out of him until chatter picks up over comms, and he calls tothe pilot, "DRADIS has one big mama of a Cylon, and smaller bogeys in the area. I also got-" He gets cut off as the Oreti explodes in a vibrant, horrific display that only serves to drive Meteor's ire. Nova's question goes unanswered as he calls back, "Suppressing fire, Nova, make sure to keep her steady."
Tucker rolls his Raptor into the fray, a frown on his face. "Flights, Flats. I'm hearing a tone, and not liking the beat." he admits. "Sending covering fire to fleeing friends, keep my ass clear." he offers quickly as he glances back. Figures he didn't bring an ECO with him, he was a last minute turn around to the fight.
Banshee soars through the battle's ever widening debris field, coming in at an angle on the raider chasing one of the Picon Vipers. They're here to help this group get out, and she's determined to do just that. Aubrey lines up the raider in her reticle and triggers the KEW. Her weapon spews damage out across the body of the Raider, making sure it knows she's there. "Come on you basta-..." she hauls hard on the stick to bank away from the fire from another Raider. "Banshee to Picon Flight, keep going! Get out of here!" She heads back in to chase her prey.
"Frak me!" Eva, coming in hard on her target, possibly too hard, but hey, that's how she rolls, manages to get in a decent hit on her target. And take a little love tap herself. The controls for her kew stutter for a second, but a bang on the console puts paid to that, and she flips back around, hoping she's gotten enough of the cylons attention that it will just lay off that viper and go for her. or else, she can finish it off before it finishes the friendly.
"Doin' m'best, Flats," Astraea offers to the other Raptor. Difficult to hit a Heavy with Talons, but she's on record as not being overly fond of the limited missile complement provided to Raptors. And in this cluster frak? Well, she's even more glad to have the greater number of smaller rounds. The woman does manage to avoid the rounds that come their way from their own tail. She glances sidelong at the smaller DRADIS display in the cockpit. "Good work back there," she offers back to Bami. "Keep it up. Iff'n our tail gets too hot, switch over ta th'KEW, but keep up wit' what yer doin' fer now." She speeds up a bit, trying to get a good angle on the Heavy.
The head on pass against the Raider that was gunning for his wingman is a miss on Kell's part but Gwyndolen pulverizes the target. As he pulls back on his flightstick hard to perform a half loop, he sees that his wingman has her Raider handled, "Knick-Knack, Razor, going to clear the tail of one of our Raptors, let me know if you need assistance and I will come back." For now, he ignores the Raider that is chasing him as he had evaded the Cylon rather easily on that first pass, more than willing to lead it on a merry chase.
Lately, Finn's luck has been gods awful. That doesn't really stop him from flying like an aggressive jackass most of the time. Today is no different, but his luck appears to be in the right place. He barrel rolls right as he loses shots at the raider, his KEW blasts slamming into the nose and while they don't seem to do much damage, he must have hit a critical system somewhere because the raiders power flickers multiple times and then it just starts to drift away. Finn arcs his Viper around and rockets off after one of the heavies, "Farmboy incoming on heavies."
Gwyndolen's Viper shudders as she takes a hit to the nose, but her plane still flies true. She eyes her target with a touch of disdain, mostly for the fact it's still flying. "Razor, Knick-Knack," she replies, voice still crisp. "Go ahead. I'll deal with this little nuisance."
"Vanguard Flight, Oreti Flight. Bugging out, thanks for the watch on our ass!" comes the response from one of the Vipers. As they're streaking by, a lone Raptor is left in a tumble. The front of the Raptor is dark, with the pilot slumped at the controls as the ship is in a lazy end over end spin away from the exploding Oreti.
Tucker squirms away from the firing missile. "Just keep on it, Nova. I'll keep tap dancing!" he calls out as he prepares a second missile. "After this, I'm gonna have to deal with the frakkers with the ECM on manual!"
Bami's already checking over his DRADIS after firing off shots. "I read you, Nova." All of his focus was on the battle before them, but his breath catches when there's feed over the radio and he sets off more suppressing fire. "Frak! Nova, we got a stranded ECO out there! Raptor-F47, callsign Rodeo. Sealed up, almost outta power."
With the throttle full forward, Aubrey's Viper barely misses the husk of one of the destroyed Vipers as she dives under it to come up behind the Raider she's been chasing. A tip up onto one wing avoids a burning chunk of the Oreti's decking as she banks to keep on the target. With a hiss she triggers the KEW and the fire rips right through the port wing of the raider, shearing it off, and sending the ship spiraling out as it breaks apart against some debris it can no longer avoid. "ONE DOWN!" she crows over the comm, then gets a Raider shot up her Viper's caboose in return. "Now that was just impolite," she mutters. With the Viper she was covering in the clear, she shifts to target the one who is pestering her incessantly. "Come to Banshee, little toaster."
"Splash 1." Cherry's voice comes in over the comms. She doesn't waste any time moving away from the wreckage of the cylon that was gunning for one of the fleeing vipers, moving in to try to clear another and hopefully leave a clear window for SAR, "Flats, Nova, we'll cover you, pickup on Raptor-F47." She'll leave it to them to decide whom is closest and better able to do it.
Look at that, another minor injury leads to a downed Cylon!!!! ... After several other Vipers also shot it. Whatever. It still counts. Finn arcs back around into the fight once more, "Let's clear the field, Timber Wolves." he calls out into his comms and then goes about doing just that. Or helping to anyway.
"See? Talons ain't so bad. Whaddya need t'limit yerself ta just two missiles fer?" The comms aren't on, so only Bami is regaled with Astraea's rant as the heavy goes up in flames. She blinks a fw times, however, as he speaks up about the stranded Raptor. She halts in looking for another target to assist in the dogfight, glancing over to the various monitors in the cockpit. "Copy, Cherry." There's an adjustment to her trajectory. "Flats, yer tail is clear. Nova, adjusting trajectory fer..." a glance again, to DRADIS, and she reports her angle as compared to Raptor-F47. "pickup." She leans back to glance to Meteor. "Is she holdin' air fer a tow or are we gonna need to go EVA ta get th'occupants?"
Kell continues after the Raider that is chasing Astraea's Raptor while dodging the shots from the bandit that is still chasing him, "Flight, Razor, still covering Nova's tail, I have a bogey on my six though, can't shake it." He says as he glances over his shoulder, spotting that saucer shaped craft that is trying to follow his Viper.
Gwyndolen's Viper swoops away as the cylon explodes in the air with a sudden bright flash. "Razor, Knick-Knack," she calls over the coms. "I'm on your little friend."
Both over comms and to his pilot Meteor responds, "She's no power. They blow the door for an EVA, or we can tow." After a cursory look over DRADIS he goes back to supressing as much of the enemy as he can, and to Astraea he asks, "We're not gonna leave them out there, are we?"
Aubrey is still tangling with the Raider that tried to give her ship an enema. She hard banks and breaks to avoid smashing into a remnant of one of the Oreti's guns as it floats by. She streaks back at her target and fires off shots that shred much of its starboard wing, while juking out of its line of fire and coming away unscathed in the pass.
"Negative, Vanguard Actual." Cherry's voice is steel. They were brought in to do a job, and she'll be damned if they're leaving even one person out here to die if they can help it. "We have a disabled raptor with crew aboard requiring assistance. We will engage, with your assistance, and give Nova a chance to retrieve the target." A beat, "Flight, Cherry, RTB or stay, your call." She won't order any of the pilots to risk their lives. Not with rescue and the safety of the ship so close.
"Frak no we ain't leavin' 'em out there." Astraea shakes her head slightly, even as she starts maneuvering towards the listless Raptor. "Just get ready on that tow line, Meteor." She swings their own bird around to start lining up with the other bird. "It's got atmo, so best we just try ta tow 'em. Ain't gonna risk one of us goin' EVA-" she glances towards DRADIS. Not with those other contacts coming in, no. If their line misses, maybe. But she'll make this attempt first. "Alright... We're jes' 'bout there..." Oh no, she's not returning to base yet.
"Banshee to Cherry, staying put. We're covering you, Nova. Go get that crew!" She continues her tussle with the Raider.
"I'm out of ammo, and my ECO doesn't have EVA or tow training. I'm as useless as tits on a boar hog, but I can use the bus as a target." Tucker offers.
"Negative, flight, your orders are to RTB. We have multiple targets inbound." Vanguard actual doesn't exactly sound pleased with Eva's plan.
When the orders to return to base from Vanguard Actual comes in conflict with Captain Thorne's, Kell's brow furrow up as he glances down at his DRADIS as more red blips begin to show up from the dying Cylon capital vessel. There is no verbal answer from Razor's comms but his Viper has not turned around to return to the Cutter, instead he continues to chase after the Raider that is going after Nova. Settling onto the Cylon's six, he unloads another burst of autocannon fire.
Cherry: "Negative, Flats, RTB. We'll take it from here. Nova, we'll give you as long as we can, but this might be one-shot and done." She doesn't state the rest which is...'don't frak this up'.
"Frak. Copy, Flats, RTB." Tucker isn't pleased, but he does turn the Raptor back to head towards the Cutter at flank speed.
"'Preciate the help, Razor," Meteor calls over comms. He briefly turns his head to Astraea as she answers, and then back to his controls he goes. DRADIS is given a cursory glance as he say, "Getting ready for a tow. If this goes sideways we EVA. Risk or otherwise, Nova."
Gwyndolen listens, her mouth set thoughtfully. She does not turn to return to the base either; she settles into pursuit of a Cylon. "Staying put for now," she calls out grimly. "Fancy flying is my strength, after all; here to help."
Alrighty...time to roll. They've got multiple bogies in bound, so they need to clear the last two to make sure they don't get overwhelmed. "Farmboy moving to your six, Cherry. Providing cover fire on that bogie. We don't have much time to clear the field here."
The tow line clangs against the Raptor, gaining a tenious grasp with the magnetic lock at best. Astraea nearly collides with the damaged Raptor, pulling it around, but the ships rattle and shake at the poor grip between the two.
That's a Picon Raptor. And this Tiberwolf is a Picon born and bred. Aubrey doesn't acknowledge the CIC's orders. She's with her Captain, no man left behind. They're the godsdamned Timberwolves. They do things different. She begins turning things over in her head, doing some calculations, if their Raptor can't manage the rescue. She unleashes a hell of KEW fire into the body of Raider even as she climbs up above its return fire. She watches as Eva follows and finishes it off. "Nice shooting, Cherry!" she calls over the comm. Then she quiets at the incoming pile of raiders. "Frak."
"Thanks fer takin' care of that one," Astraea offers as she notes the Raider that's been on them is finally clear. Thanks, yet again, to Razor. Her bestest hunting buddy. She does wince at the exchange of paint between the two Raptors, but manages to keep close enough that Bami can get the tow line out to make a connection. She won't be able to zip away or even fly evasively to head back to the Vanguard. It's just going to be defensive flying on the way back to try to protect the Raptor they've picked up. "Hold on tight," she warns Meteor. "...We might get hit hard."
Aubrey shifts gears as one of the new arriving raiders heads for the disabled Raptor. She toggles the comm, slowing her flying noticeably to be careful not to hit either Raptor in the tow package. "Nova, still covering you. Got one coming in at the Picon ship. On it."
Meteor's getting the tow ready when he looks up at the DRADIS. After swearing something under his breath he notes, "Let's try to make this quick then, Nova. Multiple bogeys from big mama, and I don't like meeting so many new folks at once without my face on." When the other Raptor is locked up with theirs he returns to his former actions, and begins trying to provide whatever cover he can.
Tucker is making haste to the Vanguard, letting the guns of the ship cover him as he rushes in for the landing to alert the deck crews of the plan, waiting to hear from the others on their return.
Eva, moving in with the remainder of the flight, doesn't seem terrible bothered by the tone of Vanguard Actual's voice. But then...there's a reason she has twenty years in, almost, and is still a Captain.
Gwyndolen glances at her DRADIS even as their previous targets burst into flame. Her forehead knits into a frown. She shifts into evasive patterns, aware of her wounded state. Damaged state. However, she keeps on trying to provide what cover she can, aware of that heavy targetting the crippled Raptor.
This time, Kell's salvo is deadly accurate, a full burst of autocannon rounds punching through the left wing of the Cylon Raider, causing it to snap off. The shots from teh rest of the flight puts a quick end to the bandit. "Nova, Razor, you are clear." For now at least as the Ensign quickly turns his attention to the incoming bogeys, a large number and the most threatening is the quartet of Heavy Raiders. His alarms are already going off as one of the Heavies is painting him with a missile lock, the worst kind. He's already kicking his Viper into a barrel roll as he moves to try to intercept, to buy the rescue efforts more time.
Where Kell was deadly accurate, old man Finn apparently fell asleep at the stick, his KEW fire only grazing the raider. Luckily it doesn't matter as the raider goes down and they can turn and burn to focus on the incoming swarm. He rolls away from incoming fire from one of the raiders and fires off a shot that hits the Cylon he and Eva are attacking. His systems warn him of incoming missile lock and Finn grits his teeth. "Frak." He rolls to the right, starting to fly more defensively.
Gwyndolen's shoots go wide, missing the Cylon as it dodges, but she weaves away from fire herself, her Viper nimble and responsible to her touch on the controls. If nothing else, she's distracting them.
The Cylons swarm in on the attack, firing on the flight as it tries to flee now from the battle. The Vanguard shudders as it takes a few hits from missiles, and then.. comes the call that everyone is dreading, or should have been.
"Flight, Vanguard Actual, nuclear warheads detected!"
Even towing another ship, Astraea is not too bad at evading fire from multiple angles. It's not easy and she's swearing in not one, but two tongues as she does it, but she does it. The talons she lets fire at the Heavy on Kell's tail go wide, but the woman is at least trying to help out her fellow wolves. "Frak me," she mumbles as they make their return towards the Vanguard. "Let me know iff'n that tow cable even begins ta look like it might go slack," she calls back to Meteor. There's a glance down at the controls as she sucks in air through her teeth at the call from the Vanguard. She fires again. "C'mon, c'mon... We'll make it." They've got to.
Aubrey unloads a pile of KEW fire into the port wing of the Raider coming at the disabled Raptor and she fries one of its engines. "Take that you sorry..." Then her KEW cannon gets hit dead on by a missile. "Frak! KEW took a hard shot. I don't have much control of it! We need to move!"
The squawking of the target lock doesn't relent and Kell can see the missile spiraling in on him at incredible speeds. He attempts to break away but the missile continues its chase and there is nothign that Razor can do to shake it. It collides with the fuselage and his fighter shakes wildly, taking everything within the pilot's power to keep control and prevent a spin-out. His systems almost wink off, but after some flickering of internal lights, the Viper stays operational. Then comes the announcement from Vanguard Actual that nukes have been launched, "Frak!" Kell curses with his comms off, firing off a quick burst at the inbound Cylons as if that would dissuade them chasing.
From the Cylon ship, a pair of bright blue blots launch from the ship, streaking upwards for a moment, before turning towards the Vanguard. Nukes.
Aubrey plays up her ship's bad looking condition as she puts herself between the disabled Raptor and the Raider dogging it. She shudders the stick to make it look like she's limping even harder than the choice target, trying to draw its attention.
"Flight, Cherry. We've got Rodeo, RTB. Combat landing...not optional." There's almost humour in Eva's voice.
"Vanguard Actual, Flight, acknowledge. Nucleur ordinance detected. We are RTB."
Luckily and sadly, Nova's ECO is one that can understand it all. "I'm watchin' it Nova," Bami calls back while still checking between DRADIS, his own controls, and how well the tether is holding the other Raptor. Then there's bogeys heading their way, and he's the one left swearing in Scorpian.
Aubrey got someone's attention all right. But it was a heavy instead. She takes a missile to her starboard wing, shearing off the engine, and sending her into a spin, aimed at the landing deck of the Vanguard. She grits her teeth, hauls the stick over and back, tapping guidance thrusters until she straightens out, just in time to make a combat landing without blowing herself up. Her Viper is pretty much on fire where the engine and KEW cannon used to be.
"Razor, Nova. I got ya." And this time... she actually does. The talons may not take out the raider on the Libran pilot entirely, bu they hit hard enough that it'd seem he's able to evade the missile sent out after him. Astraea manages, in turn, to avoid a missile of her own. Even the Raptor she's towing gets away with minimal damage. But the radiation alarms going off in the cabin, well; those are all kinds of worrying. "Flight, Nova. We've got th'Raptor still an' are on our way in." The landing is fairly rocky considering the powered down bird on the tow line, but they make it in to the hangar with minimal additional damage to their own Raptor. It's just a fairly jarring and potentially headache-inducing landing altogether.
Eva, once she's sure that the Picon raptor is well in hand does indeed RTB, still firing though, as she tries to clear the way for the now retreating vipers. "Splash 2," comes out with a sharp hiss, as she sees Banshee take a solid hit, and then she's skids down and scraping paint on the deck.
Grumbling low, Finn jukes his viper to the left and then to the right coming in dangerously close to the raider he's facing off with. At the last possible moment he unloads his KEW on the raider, blowing it into space dust, and then he kicks on the thrusters, screaming past the debris to avoid a missile that was fired at him. It flies past with no harm, no foul. Arcing back towards the Vanguard, Finn kicks his viper into full gear, "That's three..." Farmboy calls out, roaring towards the landing deck. Just before landing he kicks in the reverse thrust to slow himself down and slams into the deck, his landing skids kicks up sparks behind his viper. Still, for all intents and purposes, it was a safe landing.
Gwyndolen dodges and swoops the way back to the Vanguard, leaning on her thrust to streak off at full speed before slowing to come to a landing. It's not her best landing, her landing gear scratching along the deck, but she's safe and sound.
Even though he took a very nasty missile strike, it appears that none of Kell's systems are hit as he heads back to the Vanguard with the rest of the squadron. Though his Viper may be moving sluggishly, he is able to perform a decent landing. The deckies that see his Viper may beseech the Gods to curse him for his supposed recklessness but at the moment, the young pilot is just glad to be back onboard. Now, he can only hope that the Vanguard has enough time to spool up the FTL and jump out before the nuclear warheads strike.
When they're back on relatively solid ground Bami's finally alowwed to let out a long, almost content sigh. "Thank the world," he mutters to himself. The rocky landing doesn't faze him overmuch, but the prospects of his first real battle does. He looks over to Nova then, saying, "Good shooin' out there, Nova."
Aubrey pops the canopy and leaps out of her very overly warm Viper almost before the techs get the ladder to her, and the deck crew starts putting out the fires. She looks down at herself, blinking at the fact she doesn't have a scratch on her, despite her bird likely headed for the scrap heap.
Outside the hangar, those two blue orbs are easily seen from the hangar deck closing in on the ship. As soon as the Vipers and Raptors hit the deck, there isn't even time to seal the ship before it jumps into FTL, causing the ships on the deck to get jostled further as the nuclear missiles streak through the point where they just were a few breaths before, and they're back within the comfort of the nebula that's been hiding them.
"Flight, clear the deck as soon as you have a go. I will see you all after I check in with Vanguard Actual." Cherry ins't going to let any of her pilots take the heat for her decision. Even if she didn't order them, she was the senior pilot on the flight, "Farmboy, can you handle getting Rodeo squared away?" A beat, "Good work, all of you."
"Yeah Cherry, I got it. You go deal with the paperwork, I'll just clean up the mess over here." Finn replies with a grin at Eva. And then he moves off to go check on the towed in Raptor.
First comes the helmet, and it's tugged off as the deckie comes on board. Off the ship Bami goes, gaze set upon each ship for a few moments. His attention falls on his own ship, and after assessing that bit of damage lets out a sigh of relief. "We did good, but we still lost some good women and men." He wipes away the sweat of his brow with the back of his gloved hand, and then gets ready to leave the deck. "I pray the world has something good in the mess."