Vanguard's Air Wing faces down the Cylons attempting to retake the Frontier Fuel Station.
Location: Fuel Shortage
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Cat and Mouse
Scene Number: 260
Scene 260 - Fuel Shortage
"Action Stations! Set condition 3 throughout, warn Alert 5 and CAP to prepare to engage." Vanguard Actual comes over the comms of the ship's compliment. "Picon forces are under attack and overwhelmed at the Fueling Station and need out help to push them back. All forces engage until Vanguard can join you to secure."
Aubrey was on CAP and grimaces as she throttles her Viper up to accompany the rest of the patrol on a course for the fueling station. "Flight, Banshee. I'm ready to roll." There may be people she knows defending that station.
Bami ran right to his locker when the call for Alert comes in. With 5 he doesn't have enough time to enjoy the sandwich he set aside when hopping into his flight suit, and trashes it when rushing to the hangar. Once inside the Raptor he's hasty when going through his usual pre-flight diagnostics, and double checks before they're into the air.
About to put the finishing touches on a project, Socks perks up as the action stations announcement comes over the intercom. His knitting is discarded, and he plucks his helmet up from the seat next to him as he rushes to the flight deck to hop into his viper. "You didn't load blanks again, did you, Chief? I hate hitting those toasters and having my bullets bouncing off," he wonders, quickly getting buckled in as a crewman secures his helmet. He looks up just in time to catch the deck chief flipping him off as the canopy of his ship closes down and he's fed into the launch tube. It's only a few seconds later that he's spit out into space to form up with CF forces to launch the counter attack.
Eva lifts her head from where she's working on some embroidery, settled on one of the seats in the alert lounge, when the announcement comes over the comms, and she jumps up. It doesn't take her but a few minutes, before she's in her viper, and down on the landing deck to launch. She takes a minute, to find the correct vector to intercept the CAP, before she heads in their direction, "CAP, alert 5 flight, launching and moving to rendezvous with you. Proceed to intercept the incoming cylon forces."
Emrys is one of the pilots currently on CAP. It's been an entirely uneventful patrol so far, but these things never last. "Flight, Hawk. Ready to go here." A few quick checks, to make sure everything is as it should be with the viper.
In Astraea's case, she was actually hanging out in the Raptor itself on Alert; sometimes she just finds it easier that way. Less time spent spazzing out if the call comes in. She's been finding that happens more often than she'd perhaps like over Picon. Than any of them would like, perhaps. The woman has her sketchbook on her, propped against her knee as she slouches a bit n the pilot's chair. When that call goes out, however, it's stowed away and she's grabbing her helmet to fix in place. By the time Bami is aboard, she's already largely through the pre-flight checklist. << Couldn't bring anything to eat with you? Damn. >> Either way, it's not long before she's hitting the comms. "Flight deck, Nova, ready for launch." And once the green is given, she's off not long after Eva and angling to join up with the rest of the growing wing.
Already on CAP, Mason notices a few blossoms as the first engagement of the Raiders and the Picon defenders has begun. "The Picans only had a squad out there. They gonna get fragged." he mutters, bringing up his comms, "Actual, Jar. CAP moving to deploy. Flight, Jar, lets go see if we can give the locals a hand."
"Jar, Banshee. Roger that." Aubrey puts on the speed, as if simple urging can get them there faster.
While on CAP already near the Vanguard, Kell has been keeping his eye out for any disturbances outside or if anything pops up on DRADIS. It is the former that catches his eyes as flashes in the distance by the fuelign depot seems out of place. "Jar, Razor, I'm on your wing." With that, he banks his Viper in the same heading as Mason, moving to assist the patrol that is already on site.
Also on alert five was Finn, though he was napping when the alert came up. He jolted awake and ran off down to his viper right behind Eva, getting in and getting his helmet settled after wiping some drool from the side of his face. He coughs and says into the comm as he gets his pre-flight checks done in rapid order, "CAP, alert 5 flight, launching now." And then a few moments later, he's launched and joining up with the CAP.
<<No,>> the ECO answers before checking over DRADIS. <<I couldn't->> Bami goes silent when DRADIS lights up. It isn't until he gets a full read that he goes about swearing under his breath, and readying his ECM. When the full sight of it all comes into view his heart just about drops, and has to take a deep breath as he begins countermeasaures.
"Flight, Cherry, keep those ships away from the station. I have a feeling they'll blow the thing rather than let us have it. And with as much fuel as that thing is holding, even the Vanguard wouldn't get off unscathed. Provide what assistance you can to the Picon ships, within reason." A moment, and then she comes over the join taskforce cooms, "Picon Flight, this is Vanguard Flight VX-1, Actual, Cherry, we are moving to intercept your location."
"Flight, Banshee. Looks like they know we're here. Let's make them regret their decision." Aubrey streaks in after one of the light raiders who seems to be inclined to double team her with a buddy.
"Flight, Hawk. Moving to engage." Emrys pushes forward on the throttle, moving toward a hostile that's coming his way. Maybe he can get the drop on it, if he's quick.
Socks grimaces as his danger lights begin blinking like crazy once they're into the area of action. "So many frakkin heavies," he groans, eyes scanning the area looking for the raiders that his dradis says are coming to get him. He spots one, and banks towards it, taking a cautious approach as he tries to drop one of the raiders quickly.
When Kell is in range of the furball that is already in place, his console suddenly starts squawking an alarm at him. It sounds like one of the Heavy Raiders is painting him with a missile lock, "Flight, Razor, getting missile lock warnings. Going evasive!" He is unable to stay on Mason's wing as he quickly pulls back and right on his flightstick, kicking his Viper into a roll to try to either shake the lock or evade the missile after it is launched.
"Razor, Jar. I see yer lock. I'm gonna try to knock him off of ya." Mason reports as the Viper peels off of his wing for a moment to drop back and bring his little clingers with him to try to engage the heavy with concentrated KEW fire.
<<Shit.>> Or whatever the equivalent is in Scorpian. Astraea's seen DRADIS, too. She doesn't need to be an ECO for specifics, either. It's lit up well enough; she can see it through the canopy, too. The woman takes a deep breath. "Flight, Nova. Weapons hot." She's not waiting for clearance on that one. Nope. She breaks away from the rest of her wing, too, spreading out wide. There's enough heavies out there to surely have missiles; no need to group up and become masses of targets. "Cherry, copy." And then it's into the fray.
Finn piles on the speed as he races off to meet up with the rest of the flight. Unfortunately thinks heat up pretty quickly and Finn finds himself getting targeted by multiple tincans. "Farm Boy to flight, I've got multiple contacts on my six. Breaking left to deal with them." He veers off and turns his attention to dealing with his tails, "Everyone should start concentrating fire on those heavies."
"Got two bogies on my tail," Aubrey calls over the comm, dodging the fire from one and reducing the other to just grazing her port wing. "Time to let them know they've made a terrible mistake." She puts on the air brakes and dives downward, letting the pair of light ships shoot ahead of her, before lining one of them up in her sights and firing. She sends a burst of KEW fire into the Raider's body and the thing falls apart, drifting like so much detritus in space. "Scratch one!"
There are too many ships boiling away in a cloud of fire and smoke and shrapnel for Eva to seem to be able to get a good lock on the raider she's targeting, but she isn't about to let that stop her. She can give it another go, spanning on her axis as she tries to avoid the raiders she can't see, but her systems can sense locking on to her.
When the first actions of the sortie happens, Finn is quick to get hit with blast to his KEW mount. It isn't anything major, just enough to rock his ship to the right and throw his shots wide. The hull is scorched, but will survive. Then the raiders all break out and start moving on new targets. Finn frowns just a bit and arcs around to move in on one of the heavies, "Farm Boy re-engaging."
Emrys easily avoids the fire from the raider as it zooms past him, but his own fire also misses. Whirling around to try and get on the raider's tail as it moves to another target, he either doesn't notice or doesn't care that he in turn has picked up a new dance partner.
Kell is unable to shake the lock but going through a series of rolls, climbs, followed by an inverted half loop, the missile that was chasing his Viper finally loses its lock and streaks off into the depths of space, away from the vicious furball. As he streaks back into the chaotic battle, Razor picks out one of the Raiders that is in his front arc, closing in on the bandit until he is at short range before firing off a burst before breaking hard to starboard, hoping to shake the Raider that continues to dog his tail.
Pulling into an attack vector, Socks has difficulty getting a bead on the raider when out of the mess of ships and bullets a missile with his name on it comes soaring out of left field. It slams right into the cockpit, destroying the canopy, but miracle of miracles it turns out to be a dud! Oh sure, his controls are mangled, and he's all cut up, but at least he's not a fog of chunky salsa floating over Picon. He coughs as he realizes he's still alive. "Holy molly, them toasters must be usin grampa's surplus or somthin!"
That's one toaster down, but then the humans lose two of theirs. <<Frakking frak,>> Bami grumbles. His gaze flits to DRADIS again, and when the target locks come up for them it's not the happiest feeling. He has to take another breath to keep his anger from spilling. When he does find that little bit of calm the ECO shouts to the cockpit, <<Can you help the last one left?>>
Eva says, "Bailout, Cherry, go evasive, we're coming to you, just hold on, and we'll get you clear.""
The sheer number of alarms and target lock alerts going off in Astraea's raptor earns a hard smack to the inner wall. <<Shut the frak up!>> As if the craft could actually hear her. "Flight, Nova-" The Scorpian pilot cuts herself off. She's not sure what all got taken out back there, but she can see the flashing lights and knows the console is spitting out all kinds of error reports. The flight controls aren't too happy, either. But then there's that Picon pilot struggling and her own ECO. <<Bami? I'm trying to help us,>> she answers her backseater in a quieter voice.
Aubrey fires off a shot at another raider, but it evades, just in time for her to hear the missile lock screaming from her cockpit warning system. "Oh Frak!" Boom. The missile slams into the side of her ship and the port engine sputters and shuts down. But she's still there, and still moving. "Flight, Banshee. Lost an engine but I'm still capable."
Eva nearly spins out of control, as she takes a heavy hit to the cockpit, the sparks lighting up the enclosed space and making her night blind for a few seconds, before she pulls out of it, adjusting her flightline, and moving back in for another attack.
Finn doesn't do anything fancy with his flying right now. He just rockets off after one of the Heavies and slams it with his KEW, taking it down to barely functional. He grumbles a bit as it remains flying. "Frakkin' tincan..." he mutters. And then Eva takes a big hit and Finn stares out the side of his cockpit, "Farm Boy to Cherry, sound off. And then you should get that viper back before it falls apart around you."
With the high g maneuvering, Socks pulls his stick back, and... out? Oh frak, his stick is disconnected!! Using his feet on the pedals to do the bulk of his maneuvering, the pilot quickly tries to jam his stick back into the socket with frustrated jabbing motions. "That mother frakkin deck ape did this on purpose!" he mutters, his incoming transmissions are scratchy static for the mosst part, so he's not too worried about his ire going out over comms.
Eva says, "I'm fine, Farm Boy. It's just a flesh wound."
"Dammit, this is a mess.." Mason murmurs as he moves to continue to engage the heavy that keeps dogging the battle.
<<I read ya, but->> Bami doesn't get the rest out as the Raptor's hit several times over. <<Frak,>> he shouts. It keeps coming out in a cascading of swearing, and thankfully not over comms. He changes up targets after looking over DRADIS, still swearing a mile a minute as he preps countermeasures for the Cylons going after them. It takes Bailot's ship going up in flames to set his mind right, and keep what little focus and calm he has.
Emrys scores a hit, but he's attracted more attention that he bargined for, including one of the Heavies. Breaking off from his engagement he reorients and squares up with the bigger threat. So far, he's been able to run circles around enemy fire. Hopefully he can keep that up.
Four tango. Three raiders and one heavy. That's how many that Astraea is trying to evade in a heavily damaged Raptor. She manages two, but the third and fourth are just too much for the young pilot and one of them is that heavy with another missile. The craft's tyllium drive goes out and the entire thing just sits dark and listless for a few long -- too long -- seconds. <<Come on come on come ON!>> Everything finally comes back to life and the drives kick back in, allowing her to catch her breath. <<How many targets are still out there?. My DRADIS and comms are still down.>>
With his haste of trying to break away from the Raider behind him, Kell's shots on the Raider he was diving in on is rushed, his autocannon rounds only chewing up some of the Cylon fighter's armor on the fuselage. With more friendlies being blown away while the Cylon force remains to be numerous, there are too many targets to choose from, too many bogeys zipping this way and that. "Nova, Razor, at least thirteen!" Comes the quick reply as he picks out a new target, having lost sight of the one he was shooting at in this chaos.
Aubrey sweeps into a barrel roll to dodge the fire from a light with ease despite the state of her Viper, but the damage has badly affected her aim as her shots spit past the light she's aiming for.
With a frustrated yell, Socks stabs his control stick back into the socket. It seems to get stuck on something, and his cannons engage briefly, actually scoring a hit!! "Oh, lords o frakkin kobol, don't let that get out," he mutters, scoring a hit by pure fluke. "Awright, back in bisnizz, let's scrap some FRAK!" he jumps as a raider strafes him, stitching his viper's hull, but luckly hitting nothing of import. With what little control he has, he continues to be a moving target, trying to get the healthy vipers a chance to scratch some raiders as he limps around, after pesky Raider 12..
Leveling out his Viper, Kell glances over his shoulder to keep an eye on the two bogeys that are gunning for him, one large and one small. However, the Heavy gets knocked out of the action by a friendly Viper, Razor calling out a quick thanks. "Farmboy, Razor, thanks for clearing one off my six!" Then he focuses on the Raider that he is chasing, his thrust pushed up to full throttle as he closes the distance before triggering another burst of autocannon fire, the rounds raking the fuselage and punching through, lighting it up. "Socks, Razor, bogey off of your six, you're clear for now. Breaking off to engage another target." With that said, Kell tries to track some of the bandits near him, seeing which one he can latch onto.
Eva, despite the fact that she's been given her marching orders, is still doing her level best to stay in the flight, even if she does seem to be holding the ship together from sheer force of will alone. But with all of the Picon ships lost, and most of the wing limping, she doesn't have much choice.
About friggin time. Finn lands another series of KEW blasts on the heavy and leaves it a smouldering wreckage, floating in space. "Razor, Farmboy, help me clear off Cherry's six now and we're even." And then he rockets off to go try and deal with the two Cylons bearing down on Eva.
<<You want to get on that cannon?>> Astraea knows she's about to have to give up on evasive maneuvering, so she might as well see that if they go down, they go down swinging. It's just a battle with how damaged their bird is. Deck is just gonna love her for this one. But at least her comms seem to be back up... Mostly. She's starting to hear things again. Well, proper things. Like comms chatter. Even if some of it is more static than anything.
"Flight, Jar. Keep us up to date on yer status. Frakkin' fuel ain't worth the loss of life." Mason mutters as he moves to engage, considering shifting targets as he looks around to find Kell. "Coming up on yer six, Razor, I'll see if I can shake him off for you.
Once again, Emrys' pass produces no results for either side. He opts to stay with his current dance partner, trying to climb and get some distance so he can turn and come down on top of the heavy and maybe score a hit that way.
Bami was still typing and readying countermeasures when the command comes in. <<On it!>> he shouts up to the cockpit. The ECO's apparently lost his inside voice. He checks over DRADIS, and spots one of the raiders. <<Spirits guide me,>> he mutters.
Aubrey keeps getting pings to her wings, but she's still flying. She's not hitting anything though. "That shot to the engine messed up some of my electronics I think," she mutters to herself.
Eva manages, barely, to avoid two of the locks coming in on her...but not the last. And that one rips through the wing of her ship, nearly sending her crashing into one of the incoming raiders. It's a hard fight, to try to get the damned ship back under control, but she manages, it, if barely.
Frustrated by the evasive flying of the raider he picked up, Socks kicks at his rudder control and peels off towards a heavy raider moving recklessly towards Razor. "<<Tzzzzzcczht>>Razor!<ZTTtsssszzzzt>>Yer arse!<<Tsssszzzzth>>" Yeah, his comms aren't coming through so clear after that missile went through his cockpit.
Despite the static coming through Salvae's comms, Kell seems to understand what he is saying as he glances over his shoulder rather quickly, spotting the Heavy Raider banking around and coming after him, "Socks, Razor, I see him. Leading him to your line of fire. You've got one on your six too, weaving towards yours!" This sets up a decent weave maneuver he has done with Van in the past, a crisscross action so Socks has an easier shot on the bogey on his six and Razor on Salvae's.
This time, Emrys finally manages to land a shot. Coming down on top of the heavy evidently worked, since it's right into the cockpit. Deciding to try the same, since it worked so well, he once again climbs upward before another stooping strike.
Under a hail of autofire a Raider goes down, and Bami only celebrates it by whispering the now dead pilot's callsign. His eyes go back to DRADIS as he looks for another target. <<By mountain and sea, there is peace in the union of earth.>> The prayer ends in a sigh as he fires down at the Heavy.
"Cherry, Jar. Ya hangin' in?" Mason asks as he continues to fire, switching targets as get too close to his Raider to engage. "This is starting to look like a very bad scene." Not that he's ready to bug out yet.
Eva almost goes down and Finn curses again, "Farmboy to Cherry, that was not a flesh wound. You should get that viper back to the barn before you take another hit!" He grumbles and then finds himself with two new friends. At least only one of them is a heavy raider. Finn rolls his viper to the right and then cuts back tothe left, weaving to fly less aggressively before he flips his viper and rockets off, straight for the Heavy on his tail.
Eva says, "I'm fine. Take care of your business."
"--igh-, No--," Astraea's comms are still hinky. "Ta--- hea-- d-ma--, b-- -ti--," it cuts out into static for a moment before going out entirely. At least the Raptor itself is still there and the KEW going. They don't take further damage, so they're out there. But Nova? Probably not going to be performing any SAR this mission. And that's if she doesn't end up needing it herself.
Socks manages to maintain enough pressure on his flight stick to keep it in the socket as he follows the heavy raider, scoring a hit, "<<Tzzzzchththssz>>You like <Tzzzzzttssszzt>>-entience now, motherfrakk-<<Ztttttzttszztt>" His mangled viper maintinas pursuit of the heavy raider, fortunately getting missed by the raider sniffing after him.
Eva is still flying, and she isn't doing frak all worth of damage trying to keep herself out of harm's way. So she might as well go down in a blaze of glory, right? Once more, into the breech!
"Is swiss cheese a valid status?" Aubrey quips over the comm.
It seems like the smaller Raider was wise to the weave maneuver that Kell and Salvae was initiating as it breaks off its attack when he triggers his twin autocannons, the tracers streaking by when the Cylon evades. Fortunately, that also caused the Raider to abort its attack on Salvae, missing completely. During the weave though, Razor does take a few more rounds into the front of his Viper, but he tries to stay on the Cylon's tail, "Socks, Razor, still working on clearing your six!"
Emrys dives down on the heavy, but this time it's wise to his trick and evades the attack. He does have the satisfaction of seeing it going up from someone else's shot, however, before picking another of the heavies and streaking after it.
<<I've got a bad plan,>> Astraea notes to Bami as she starts adjusting angles, gritting her teeth a bit.
Eva says, "Vanguard Actual, flight, we're barely holding together out here. We could use a firing solution, and destroying the deport isn't it."
Finn's aggressive tactics pay off and his KEW blasts end up blasting off one of the heavies wings. The Heavy wavers and then tumbles off out of the fight. Finn sweeps around and rockets off towards the other Raider on his tail. He sets his sights on the raider, reading to unload a KEW blast at it. "Hold out just a bit longer, flight. Just a bit longer."
Bami's prayer continues, calming down his anger. <<Where there is chaos in the storm, I find peace in the waves. The anger of the sea does not deter the will of the land, and through the two I find harmony.>> Bami shoots an askance glance to the cockpit when the pilot calls out, and he responds, <<Whatever it is, do it. I have faith in you.>>
"Flight, Jar. You heard them. Let's see if we can keep these Raiders busy just a bit longer." Mason frowns a little, but he understands the needs of the flight at the moment as he moves to engage and frowns. "Multiple targets on my ass, nothing new tonight."
Said bad plan? Astraea turns right into he path of one of the Raiders that's been hassling her. Because if her flight controls are acting up, maybe if she flies straight for it... she can fire straight for it.
Socks curses as his bullets bounce off the heavy raider like they were made of rubber. He makes a mental note to slug the deck ape who armed his viper.
Aubrey spirals and dives to try and avoid another shot, and the raider chasing her only grazes her KEW. She, on the other hand, finally lands a solid hit to the light she's been dogging. "That's more like it."
"Fly and die, right, Farm Boy?" Eva's voice is slightly winded, coming over the comms, no doubt in large part because she's having to right to keep her plan in the air. But she's still in the thick of things, doing her best to fire, which isn't going well, and trying to evade, which, given she now has two tones on her, probably that won't go well either.
With the Vanguard closing in to assist, it gives a boost of confidence and hope to Kell who is feeling the strain of the furball they have been fighting in, in what feels like an eternity. This also has him taking a bit more risk as he focuses more on the elusive Raider that has been dodging his shots, trying to get closer as his previous salvo nicks the front of the Cylon's craft. Sticking to the bogey's tail and getting tighter, Razor triggers another burst of autocannon fire, the rounds streaking out at their intended target.
Emrys scores a solid hit on the body of his new target, managing to weave away from the raider firing at him. Sticking with the same target, he comes back for another go. Aware of the chaos around him, all he can do is try and keep some of them busy and score hits along the way.
"Vanguard Actual, we've got about ten. We'll lead them to you." Flight, see if we can maneuver these frakkers up into Vanguard's flak screen.
"FRAKKER!" Well that made it through the comms crystal clear. You're welcome, Vanguard Actual. Apparently, Nova won that game of chicken. The raider peels away rather quickly, sending the talons off into the dark. She does take another light hit to one of the wings. Either way, for the second, no alarms ring out locks on their bird... which gives her room to both breathe and chase down (or try, crippled as her jalopy is) someone else's problem.
There's a sigh from Finn, "Fly or die..." Finn responds. He picks up two unfriendlies and switches his flight style up, going less aggressively than before after one of the two Raider's he's picked up. He rolls to the right before unloading his KEW at the raider, trying to draw its fire.
Aubrey grunts as a shot from a raider sparks across her canopy, but doesn't penetrate the cockpit thankfully. She spirals and grazes the wing of a raider in return.
It seems to do Socks some good to have no windshield in space, he's able to see his attackers coming all the more clearly without the protective glass shielding him. As the heavy raider comes about to light him up, he fires back, doing a deft roll around the heavy's barrage,a nd landing a few hits himself. As the rest of the wolves pile on, he cheers, "<<Tttzzzztt>>ROoooooooOoooO! Back ta da scrapheap, toaster!<<Tttzztzt>>" He pulls away before the exploding bits zip through his now unprotected body, looking for another raider to annoy long enough for the flight to shoot down.
Eva clearly meant what she said. The flying, certainly, and possibly the dying, as both of the raiders attacking her get purchase. There's a moment of hot mike, "Keep them heading to the--" before a scream of pain and her comms cut out. An end over end tumble nearly brings her directly into the Vanguard's screen, before the ship corrects itself and gets itself out of immediate danger.
Mason grins his teeth as he moves to engage, firing off his KEW, trying to draw out the Raiders. "Cherry!" comes the call over the comms. "Vanguard Actual, Flight, we're bringing them to you!"
Emrys ducks in and out of enemy fire, and as part of a concerted focus of fire on the heavy helps send it down. He doesn't have time to celebrate, though, between the scream that comes over the comm and a new dance partner coming for him. Sure, he'll dance. Delighted to be asked.
Another toaster goes down, and the Scorpian prayer continues. Astraea might understand it as a prayer safety and protection as he searches for another of the toasters. His attention is soon taken away as DRADIS lights up with new friendles. <<Thank the world,>> he murmurs when squeezing the triggers.
The Raider that Kell is chasing is an elusuve one, luckily for the young Viper pilot, the Cylon that is after him is sluggishly slow. Even when his target attempts to bank away to change targets, Razor stays on his tail, there is a lapse though when he hears Eva scream in pain over the comms. This rattles Kell slightly as he realizes that there are still a significant number of bogeys in the area. This only pushes him to be even more aggressive, to the point of pretty much tunnel visioning into the one that has been dodging his shots. "Die already!" The comms are off as he grits his teeth, the words muttered out with urgency.
She will have to light all the candles to Apollo later. Sorry, Aldrich. She can buy more, but Astraea honestly doesn't even know how she hasn't crashed into the fuel station by this point. There's so many alarms she won't even want to fill out the post-flight list. She may just bolt once they land. If she lands? The woman takes a deep breath and starts another head-on attack, trying to herd one of the raiders towards the Vanguard's flak screen. <<C'mon you frakker.>>
Apparently Raiders are highly distractable. The ones on Finn's tail fly off in a few different directions and he's left with only one tail. He veers off after the Raider on his tail, pouring on the speed and launcing himself headlong into the fight.
"Thank all the gods, the cavalry has arrived," Aubrey says in a relieved tone over the comm. She evades the raider firing on her as one of the Vanguard's guns takes out the one she'd been dogging.
Socks has to duck as the Vanguard's missile batteries blow up the raider he'd been chasing. His viper is pelted by bits of cylon ship and other scrap zipping by at deadly speeds. "<Tttttzzzzzzzzt>--Yerfire!<<tttzztzzt>" Recovering from his sudden dodge, Socks picks up a new target to harass and hopefully keep occupied for the moment.
Mason gives a small whoot as he finally brings down one of the Raiders and streaks past the Vanguard to get out of the firing solution of the missiles from from ship as they streak off to engage the Raiders.
Emrys picks up a kill, the raider getting the sharp end of their pass. There's the briefest of fist pumps, a little break in discipline, before he's scanning for a new target and diving down after it while avoiding the firing solution.
The Raider that Kell manage to hit must have been already on the edge of breaking apart because when his rounds punches into the front of the Cylon craft, it begins to break apart. There is a long breath released by Razor as he swings his Viper around. His eyes do catch one of the Raiders coming at him but adrenaline is still pumping with how bad the odds were against them for most of the dogfight. He still focuses more on taking out the remaining Raiders than dodging the incoming shots, perhaps trusting his squadronmates to cover him or just wanting to remove the remaining bogeys in the area as soon as possible.
With no communication ability, there's no way to tell whether or not Cherry acknowledges the order from the Vanguard. Well, no, for an answer, she pulls an old trick out of her hat, and lights her signal lights, using them to send the coded response that means, 'I copy," before she does her best to try to escape the firefight still all around her.
It works, at least. Insofar that Nova takes out the raider before it even makes it into the Vanguard's field. The maneuver she tried earlier works on the second time around. This time, however, it has the effect she'd risked the first time. Two volleys from the raiders going after the bulky (and hobbled) raptor take it down. They aren't hard hitting, but they hit hard enough and the entire ship goes dark. This time, it sits that way for longer before it finally comes back on. There's no answer from it, but it does seem to be starting to angle its way back towards the Vanguard... albeit slowly.
Farmboy jets off after Eva, more importantly, the raider that's on her six, "I've got you covered Cherry." He moves at top speed, firing off his KEW at the raider he's trailing behind.
A swing and a miss, but there's still fight in the Raptor. However, the Cylons prove more fortunate as the ship takes another. Despite every alarm reminding them of the ever-present danger they're in, the ECO remains calm. Bami focuses his attention on another the Raiders, and uses that to block out the cacophony of electronics around him.
Aubrey tries to distract one of the enemy ships, but her Viper lacks the real waggle oomph down an engine. She looks relieved when the Vanguard splatters it like an annoying fly. "Flight, Banshee. Everyone ok?"
And another raider explodes as the Vanguard fires more missiles. Socks breathes a sigh of relief. He jaws on over comms but the static is unintelligible. With the cylons all but taken care of, he banks his viper towards the Vanguard for a quick combat landing before anything else decides to FTL into the area.
Eva's viper, barely, manages to make it back to the ship, the plane skidding nearly all of the way across the flight deck, before the mags can engage and bring the thing to a stop. And then she just waits, not having the strength or ability to do anything else.
Emrys stays at the rear of the flight for the RTB, guarding it in case of the sudden appearance of more hostiles while the damaged birds limp back.
Aubrey's Viper comes in looking lopsided, but she manages to straighten out at the last moment and land with a screeching of metal on metal, sparks flying, smoke billowing, and sounds no Viper should make. She pops the canopy and jumps out, just before the whole ship pretty much falls apart at the seams, reduced to so mych scrap metal.
Behind Cherry, Socks pulls in, a bouncing skid across the deck before lurching to a sudden stop. He shakes his head as he finally as a moment to survey the damage in his cockpit.
Without comms, there's no way for Astraea to warn the flight deck that one of her vertical thrusters is out. <<...hold on to your ass.>> Because what else is there to hold onto? She's a decent pilot, by Wolves' standards. A damn fine pilot by CF standards. But the Raptor has forward velocity until it reaches the ingress point to the Vanguard, cuts those thrusters... then only a single one comes on for the verticals... which means she goes in sidelong and uses one of the wings to stop momentum in the end. The Raptor stops, but the already damaged wing crumples and is torn off the rest of the way before the whole thing just lists and falls to one side.
Walsh is probably crying in her office.
Finn is one of the last to land, coming in about as perfectly as anyone could expect to land. Of course, his ship was barely damaged, but even then, it's pretty perfect. Too bad his shooting wasn't as perfect as his landing was just there.
Once those with greater priority have landed, and he's been cleared, Emrys brings his own bird in for landing. Once he's put the untouched viper down, he just sits there for a moment before shutting off and waiting his turn to be elevatored.
<<Hold onto what?>> Bami shouts up to the combat. The ride was already shaky, and wasn't freaked out. At least until the ship goes sideways and the thrusters give. Any sense of peace is soon shot out the window when his body's slung around its seat, and leaves the ECO momentarily breathless when the Raptor finally comes to a halt. <<Better than the earthquake at least.>>
With the rest of the flight making their final landing, the Vanguard seals it's flight pod, and the deck begins the process of moving the birds to elevators to bring them back to the hangar deck. A few of the birds, Finn's, Emrys', the others who took the least damage, come up first. Eva's viper, and Astraea's raptor are among the last to be brought up.
For her part, Eva is still silent in the ship, making no move to release the canopy, which, from the looks of it, is going to need some application of brute force to get it open.
The Raptor takes some special effort to get onto an elevator to be brought up, but they have equipment for that. Step one: get it tipped upright. Step two: dragged into place. Meanwhile, Astraea is getting her wits back about her. She didn't get knocked out, just rattled a bit. The woman puts a hand to the canopy and closes her eyes for a long moment. <<Still back there?>> She's not moving until they're solidly on the hangar deck. Or... mostly solid.
Silence. That's all the ECO can offer when things come to a still. <<My insides are still inside.>> A deep breath in, and a long sigh out. Bami remains in his seat, waiting for the newfound movement to die down before checking anything just yet. Instead he starts humming a flighty, disjointed tune while waiting for the trip to finally come to an end.
Once his viper is in position, Emrys gets out. The bird is given a grateful pat, as he looks around and surveys the state of the rest of the flight. There's a low exhale of breath, as he realizes just how bad it is.
Once Finn is out of his viper, he's off to Eva's wreck. He did tell her to bug out after the first two times. Still, he's not just going to leave her in there, so Finn climbs up onto Eva's, having grabbed a prybar on his way and starts going to work on the canopy. For his part, he hasn't taken in how bad it was. He's too focused on this task.
Eva's trying very hard not to move, as she feels the viper settle onto the deck, though, as she sees the movement on the ladder, she does turn her head. Yes, she does actually recognize that it's Finn outside her window, as it were, but she can't quite manage to pull back the curtains for him. Once the canopy finally comes off, she manages to speak, but so low, as to be difficult to hear, as if she were trying to speak with as little breath as possible. Most of her damage seems to be on the left side. Arm and leg, but she's got a few dangerously large pieces of shrapnel in her stomach and abdomen, "I think I might need a hand, Farm Boy."
<<Good.>> Astraea gets her helmet off and leans forward, undoing her restraints so she can just sort of list over in the seat for a moment to breathe. When the deck crew finally gets in the Raptor, it's with medical near on their heels. She's on the verge of waving them off, but she's not really quite capable of that either. A mix of weariness and a pinched nerve in her arm get one of them on her quick. The pilot barely has time to retrieve her sketchbook before she's being guided off the raptor. Well, she did want to avoid that post-flight checklist, right?
Emrys makes sure he's out of the way of the medics who are swarming the area. Since Eva and Astraea are being tended to, he moves among the other members of the flight to make sure there aren't any other severe injury cases that have been missed.
The tune cascades into something slower as Bami continues humming. His brow furrows when outside of the ship, and he remains there at the moment. He answers the questions asked of him as needed while keeping much of his attention on the jacked up Raptor. His gaze narrows when he gets the all-clear, and he stays there for a moment longer. <<Still better than the earthquake,>> he grumbles.
Once the canopy is off the viper and Finn can assess the damage, he grimaces. He unbuckles her from the seat and then waits for the medical crew to get there. Lifting her out of the viper on his own when she's hurt is a bad idea.
It will be medical, in the end, that needs to lift Eva out of the viper, keeping the woman as steady as she can be, for the trip back down the ladder. A smile, if a faint one, as she passes Finn, her voice still barely above a whisper, "Told you it was just a flesh wound."
And that is all she'll manage, before they wisk her off to medical, following the line of the rest of the wing who will all end up in Cadmus' operating suite. Which will make for an unhappy surgeon, but living, breathing pilots. As for the ships...let's not think about the ships. It's just better that way.