The air wing meets resistance on their way to rescue the missing Raptor crew.
Location: Over Havison
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Cat and Mouse
Scene Number: 294
Aubrey slips into the Air Wing formation, waiting for her wing assignment since Jigger isn't with them on this one. She's been quiet, concerned for their people below, and the people of Picon, her homeworld.
Eva is as much at ease as she ever is, having launched and descended into the atmosphere with little comment. All the knights are on the board today, and she's been bouncing between and above her fellow pilots, trying to provide as much forward cover as she can, as they make their descend. Not good to trust to the Picon navy for all of their watchdogging.
"Left my dawdlin' pole back at the farm, Whisper." Mason responds as he moves into position off of Stirling's side to bracket Whisper's Raptor. "That said, Flight, Jar, weapons free. Let's get to huntin'."
Having made his walk-around with little boxes of food from the mess to each of the Raptor crews before take-off, Van now finds himself arrowing down toward enemy territory, his nerves afire with anxious energy, his left hand all but locked to keep him from pushing the throttle to the limit and streaming ahead of the mixed formation. His discipline holds, however, and he stays in formation. In fact, he calls across the wireless, "Razor, Milkman, you take element lead on this one. I'll keep your tail clear." There might be a slight tremor in his voice, or it might just be the edges of Cylon jamming affecting the frequency.
Emrys is calm and quiet, as usual pre-flight and during. Very little in the way of talking during the lead-up, and now that they're in the air he's holding steady in formation.
Calliope made sure she was on the roster for this mission. She spent her share of time pouring over flight footage for signs of Pi, Cate, and Gustavo, and she wants to do her bit to get them back. She's tucked into her seat of her Raptor, flying with Mince. As always, the ECO is frowning at the DRADIS with a professional sort of intensity and not talking much. Calliope doesn't attempt banter. She's all serious business for this.
Having packed away one of Van's care packages in the hold with a slight, sad smile, Priya is ready to go as they depart. The ECO is at her seat, dialing in their comm patterns as needed and listening to the orders. Calliope isn't the only one who made sure she was on the roster. "Pleasure to be flying with ya, Nova," she comments to her pilot.
Jackson holds position within the formation. He's got his serious face on right now, although he was joking around with his ECO shortly before , keeping an attentive eye on the skies around them.
Rescuing their own seems to have an extra level of urgency and importance to Kell on his personal rankings of missions, especially when the Air Wing did the same for him when he was shot down behind enemy lines. When Van tells him that he will be taking the lead today between the two of them, there are no arguments from Razor since he had a feeling that his wingman also wanted to keep himself in check on this mission, "Milkman, Razor, I copy. We'll clear the skies and get our people home together."
It's probably more than just chance that Finn and Eva fly together. Well, it's obviously more than that, but a lot of it is there similarity in flight styles. Finn endures the launch and descent into atmosphere with any icey sort of silence. It's time for business and Finn, sticking to his usual style, is all about flying smart and shooting tincans. He forms up on Cherry's wing as they approach their target destination. Once they are close enough for such things to matter, Finn calls out over the comms, "Cherry, you want to lead or should I?"
As one of the first to volunteer for SAR on live missions, it's of little surprise that Astraea volunteered for this one as well. The woman lacks the anger that she had after the mission in the mountains the other day. She got that out of her system the day of and moved on. The Scorpian is going over those final tidbits of flight checks once they're off and in the air, but glances back to Priya wth a nod. "You too, Sweetheart. Saw ya grabbed one of th'boxes. Hopefully we get back b'fore anyone needs 'em." Back fore, with everything clear, she settles in and flips comms. "Flight, Nova. Everythin' is go. Razor, go you an' Milkman covered."
Aubrey forms up on Emrys wing. "Hawk, Banshee. I've got your wing tonight. Anything I should know? Welcome aboard new Raptor guy. Arda right?"
"Figured it can't hurt. And it'll make 'em feel better," Priya answers, adjusting some switches at her console as she answers Astraea. "Besides, might be snacks for us if need be." Cheerful. Her tone says that it's a joke, amid the seriousness of their job.
"I'm happy to follow your lead, Farm Boy." And Eva says that genuinely. They've never fought over who was lead and who the sidekick, as it were. She pulls back, as they begin to make a steeper approach, moving into formation with Finn. They fit smoothly together, a testament to months of flights, and fights, and going back for second helpings.
Van's view of his cockpit gets a little blurry there for a moment at Kell's response, but he blinks the moisture from his eyes, "Milkman copies, Razor." There's a fierce determination to the simple words, "And you too, Nova." Even as the Picon pilot resumes his DRADIS and visual scanning, he works his right hand on the flight stick, trying to loosen up fingers that have been grabbing on too hard.
They continue to descend, and the city comes into view in the distance below them. Havison has seen better days, to be sure, many buildings damaged or destroyed by the fighting. They're still a few thousand feet up when the Raptor crews get contacts on their long-distance DRADIS. Raiders, heading their way. "Clear them out, but don't dawdle," Stirling orders. "We have a short window to get in and get out."
"Banshee, Hawk. Good to have you along. Nothing you need to know right now." Emrys responds. And then they have their orders, and it's off to the races.
Eva says, "Copy that, Whisper. Moving to engage targets, weapons free."
"Flight, Soundbite. Mince has confirmed those contacts. Weapons systems priming, will concentrate on jamming interference." Calliope's Raptor cuts through the air a little behind Eva and Finn's speedier Vipers. She can't help but scan the ground, wincing at all that destruction below.
Jackson replies. "Thats right, Banshee. Jax Arda." He repositions his raptor until its more perfectly aligned with the others on the team. "I'll answer to either since new guy's to much of a mouthful."
As the squadron begins to fly over Havison, Kell looks out of his canopy as they continue to decrease into altitude. When it is mentioned that bogeys are inbound, Razor sends an acnkowledgement, "Razor copies, moving to intercept." He pauses before continuing, "Milkman, Razor, we'll go for intercept but Nova's Raptor is our priority. Nova, squawk out if you have extra heat on you."
Aubrey sweeps after Emrys and Jackson, and she grunts over the comm. "Arda, Banshee. You have a Raider ogling your backside. I'm on it!" She maneuvers in behind the light chasing the Raptor.
Jackson returns. "Roger that Banshee" as he puts his trust in the others to protect his rear. "Targeting Heavy."
"Roger that Cherry. Let's clear the road." And with that, Finn rockets off towards the incoming Raiders, banking left to engage.
"Razor, Nova.. Copy that." There's a second's hesitation in Astraea's voice, but this is a straight-up SAR. She can't quite be flying like she might usually go out there. This isn't a SAR after the dogfight. She's got to keep her nose clean from the moment she goes into the fray. Even her thrusters ease off a touch. "Weapons hot, aimin' fer heavy mark... 7." The closer blip on her DRADIS. "Sweetheart, let me know if we get any louder locks on us."
"Milkman copies, Razor. Covering Nova and Sweetheart." Van charges his KEWs and half-rolls to get a better view down below, "There's a Raider coming in at two-o'clock. Getting an angle to attack from my starboard." And he flutters his stick out to his right before curling back in toward the approaching Cylon.
"Whisper, Jar, seems I have a bit of a draw tonight. I'll keep them busy, ya see about knockin' them down. Sweetpea, ya got a target?" Mason asks as he hears the chirping of twin tones in his head, and flips about his Viper to go chasing after one of the Heavies after it looses a missile at him, and he dives for the deck, hoping to use some of the taller debris of Havison to detract the missiles from their target.
"Flight, Sweetheart. I'll be jamming heavies and mark 5 - so hit 'em hard," Priya says shortly over the comms. Her hands flip over the DRADIS as she works to do just that. "Roger that, Nova. I've got your six... currently it's a bit in and out."
"Banshee, Hawk. Looks like you've got a friend. Keep Arda clear, and I'll try and get this one off of you." Emrys calls out to his wingman, as the new friend in question comes into view.
Since this is SAR, keeping the Raptors safe was extra important as they were basically the ride for those they are rescuing today. As the bogeys get closer, Kell's DRADIS lights up like a Christmas tree but he stays with his wingman and Nova's Raptor. When Van mentions a Raider inbound on their Raptor, he sends over a quick acknowledgement and turns his flightstick to set up an attack run with his wingmn, "Milkman, Razor, I copy. Adding my fire to yours."
"I'm right behind you, Farm Boy." Eva moves in, ignoring the twin locks she can hear on her bird, in favour of trying to clear the one off of Soundbite's raptor, "May need you to dance a bit, Soundbite, but I'll see about getting rid of this hanger on for you."
"Cherry, Soundbite. Copy that. I'll try to get my bus at a good angle to bring the love." And by 'love', Calliope means talons. "We'll do our best to keep any fire clear or you and Farmboy's sweet Viper asses."
Aubrey's Viper barrel rolls behind the Raider, and her KEW spits out tracers at the enemy ship, but the lithe light Cylon vehicle evades. In turn, she manages to avoid the fire from the one chasing her. "These guys are slippery!" she calls over the comm. "Nice shooting, Arda! Earning your keep!" She grins.
Eva is moving in hard and fast, but with so many birds in the air, it's difficult to get good purchase on the cylon she's aiming for. Thankfully, well, okay, not thankfully, but it doesn't seem to be targeted by anyone else, so she moves in for anther pass, switching places with Fin as they duck and weave around each other.
The bank to the left isn't enough to keep the raiders off his back, there are two that lock onto him. He's able to evade anything more than a scorch blast against his hull. Meanwhile, the KEW blasts he unleashes at the Raider in his sights are enough to almost take it down in one pass. Almost. Finn arcs back around for another pass, "Cherry, Soundbite, how we doing back there?"
"Razor, Milkman. Sorry, should have let you call it." Van sounds a bit bashful as he whips past the Raider, crossing Kell's tail as he twitches his stick to avoid ropes of tracers coming in from another Raider, barrel-rolling to recover from the juke. "Force of habit. You've picked one up too, but I'm sure you know that already." His own shots... well, the less said the better. His shells missed and missed badly as the Raider shot between himself and Kell. "Nova, Milkman, nice shooting."
Eva says, "Still alive, Farm Boy. Soundbite's still lookin good."
It looks like the target that Kell and his wingman selected is rather elusive as it rolls away from both of their combined fire rather easily. Razor's own Viper gets clipped slightly with a round but it doesn't work its way past the thin armor. "Milkman, Razor, don't worry. Let's get this bogey down, I'm going to aim more towards its port side, hopefully it will get him to flinch to the right." Banking his fighter around, Kell sets up for a second attack run but this time, he purposefully aims towards the right, his autocannons roaring to life and he fills that particular section of airspace with rounds.
"Splash one, Heavy down." Astraea doesn't care if comms are being jammed. Taking down a heavy before it can use both missiles? Always a win. "Weren't just me, Milkman," she chimes back, but does follow wth: "Thanks." Her target adjusts towards the other heavy. "Seems I still gotta tail, but it ain't doin' much. No other targets my way."
Jackson sends talons streaking towards the heavy a fraction of a second before he slews his Raptor away from the rounds targeting his Raptor. "Sorry bout that." he says to his passengers, a grin evident in his words. To the others in his wing he says "Jax - Targeting Heavy."
"Frak," Priya swears at the console as the Cylon's outpivot her electronic manuevers. "Looks like we've got one on us, Nova," she agrees. "Nice shooting though. I'm moving into KEW position to get our trailer." She slides from her panel position to take a better shot at their tail.
Emrys manages to rake the body of the raider chasing after Aubrey with his KEW, staying on its tail as they weave through the air. Not having anything to impart right now, he stays off comms.
Stirling stays quiet on the comms, though there may be some banter on the ship channel between her and Wasp. She glances around to make sure nobody took any serious damage. Her missile blasts the side out of one of the heavies and she swings around to give the ECO a chance to finish it off while seeking out a fresh target for her final missile.
As the first missile streaks by, Mason cuts down a few hundred feet and then cuts his engines just as the second missile explodes, nicking his wing. Giving the wing a small waggle to make sure it's okay, he glances towards his part of the flight to check on it, intercepting a Raider in the path as he keeps trying to juke the last Heavy.
There's some muffled cursing from the back of Calliope's Raptor. Mince is frustrated with his jamming controls. Calliope leaves him to it, positioning herself for best firing at the press of Raiders.
Aubrey swings around to come back at the Raider dogging Jackson. She manages to graze its port wing this time around, but that doesn't do much to the capabilities of the ship. She in turn takes a cockpit hit from the one chasing her, but luckily her Viper's armor holds. "I'm ok!" she calls over the comm.
There's a quite crow of success from the back of the Raptor as Priya scores a hit. Although it's not enough to take down their tail. Her dark eyes narrow as she goes for another shot.
Hallie takes a shot of opportunity at the raider on Kell's back as she tears past, before turning her attention fully towards the raider now zeroing in on her teammate. "Jar, Ringer... need any help peeling your new friend off?"
Stirling frowns as her missiles don't seem to be finishing the job today. She drifts past the Raider, allowing Wasp to take a crack at finishing it off.
"You're clear for the moment, Soundbite, going to see if I can help Farm Boy with one of these cylons on his tail." So head's up, Farm Boy, here she comes! Eva pulls back hard on the throttle, nearly sending the viper into a stall, before she flips the nose up and over to come back around, opposite to the direction Finn is flying in.
Jackson steers his raptor with apparant ease, evading the fire of the harassed raider on his tail. "Hell yeah!" he exclaims as the second heavy stops working. "Lets get that raider off your tail Banshee."
There's a quiet swear from Astraea in Scorpian as her talons miss, but she notes something on DRADIS. "Razor, Nova. Looks like m'rider is on his way t'ya. Gonna see iff'n I can help wit' that." She tilts her head a bit, side-eying towards the rear of her bird. "Hold on, Sweetheart. Gonna have ta maneuver... a little here-" And then things might get a bit tricky.
"Milkman copies, Razor. I'll watch for its dodge..." And there it comes, and Van triggers his autocannon, "...to starboard." The rounds tear across the Raider's body, but it keeps flying, even with the KEW rounds from the Raptor hitting home as well. "That's the way, Sweetheart. Let's finish it off and then clear Razor's tail." The Raider on his own tail fires off another burst that's avoided with a neat roll, the tracers whipping past his cockpit close enough to send shadows chasing across it before it seems to find a more interesting target.
After firing off the distraction rounds to the Raider's left side, Kell breaks off to the left as well and increases the thrust of his engines, trying to put some distance between himself and the Raider that was chasing him as it manages to rattle his Viper with a couple more rounds into his fuselage. However, glancing over his shoulder, he sees that he has two bogys on his six. Attempting a riskier maneuver, starting at his high speed, he pulls his bird into a slight climb before kicking in to a barrel roll, at the same time, he cuts the thrust as well as applying the air brakes to get the bogeys to shoot past.
Still having one on his tail, Finn finds that he's doing too much bobbing and weaving to finish off the Raider he's firing on. He lands a hit, but it isn't enough. "Roger that, Cherry, I'm in good shape." And knowing that she's on the way to deal with the raider that keeps firing at him, Finn rockets off, in a straight, unwavering line at the Raider he's been trying to close the books on.
This pass, the Raider Emrys is tailing manages to evade his fire. And then it loops up and swings around, turning to focus on Emrys instead. Rather than attempt to avoid it, Emrys just lines up for a third pass.
Calliope wings the Raider she was aiming at, and keeps her fire focused there. She tracks Eva and Finn as they speed through the air. As best she can. Things happen quick in a flight fight. Mostly, she just tries to keep her weapons on target and occasionally check in with her ECO on the state of her tail.
"Apparently it's all Aerilon all day, for this one, Farm Boy." Eva's managed a hit, managed not to be hit, but both of the cylons attacking Finn are still up in the air. Well, no matter. So is she. She can always try again.
"Nice shooting, Grandpa!" Aubrey calls over the comm to Emrys as he takes out a Raider. She seems to have picked the absolute worst one, which is still dodging her every move. Luckily, it may be piloted by Hermes but it sure isn't Ares targeting, because it's not hitting a thing either.
The gamble paid off very nicely for Kell as his maneuver has both Raiders shooting right past, their aim not catching him as he climbed and slowed drastically. When the pair of Cylons shot past, Razor pushes his thrust lever back to full and his engines glow brightly, pushing his Viper forward. Picking one of the bogeys, he lights it up with autocannon fire, the rounds punching into the area below the cockpit section, shredding the Raider's controls. He keeps chase, moving in to finish it off.
This frakkin raider just won't go down. Still, Finn's viper is undamaged for the most part, so he has no reason to bug out. He rolls to the right and pours on the speed, chasing after the Raider, letting Eva do her job on the one behind him, "Just keep him off me a little longer, Cherry. I've got this frakker right where I want him."
"Nice shooting Nova, Razor!" Priya calls, catching the edge of the debris in her vision as Raider1 blinks out on DRADIS. "<<Now if I can just get this frakker down,>>" she mutters to herself in Tauran.
"Grandpa?" There's a hint of amusement in Stirling's voice when Aubrey addresses Emrys. "Didn't think we were that old, Hawk."
"Razor, Nova, looks like th' shoes on th' other foot today." Usually it's him having to keep her tail clear. Instead, the raiders all seems to have the Libran in their sights. Even so, her talons seem to be a bit more on target than usual. Astraea's good by that. She does try to pick up on whatever Priya is muttering, but can't quite. Instead, she calls back to the ECO: "DRADIS still clear? We don't got any others' tryin' ta sneak in, do we?"
Calliope keeps hitting that Raider, but it does not fall. She keeps after it. She'll give it a thousand cuts, if necessary. Or as many as her talons can manage.
Van finds himself combining forces with Astraea rather than Priya, his KEWs scoring minor hits across the Raider's tail, but it's clearly the Talon that does most of the damage that sends the Raider tumbling toward the city below. "Milkman, splash one. Nice shooting, Nova." Curling back toward Kell, he studies the smoke-streaming Raider angling to attack the Ensign, then notes, "Razor, Milkman, I'll try to drive this one starboard for you." He has a moment's thought to the debris falling to the city below, but buckles back down. Can't worry about that now... they have to go down if the SAR's going to make a pick-up.
"Looking clear on DRADIS at the moment, Nova," Priya answers briefly, pivoting to get a better look at DRADIS. "Let's clean up."
Jackson prefers to believe that his raptor hasnt taken a scratch because he's just that good at dodging. He swings the ship around, taking advantage of the fact that the raider has stopped trying to shoot him. He waits for an opportunity and then fires another talon, hoping to force it into doing something that will hurt its hopes of long term survival.
Hallie curses under her breath in Tauran when the raider in her sights handily evades her shot. "Jar, Ringer... I think your new friend likes to dance," she remarks to her wingmate. "You want to lead him on a nice curve, and I'll see if I can't put a little pepper up his tailpipe while his attention's on you?"
Emrys manages to dodge the fire from the oncoming Raider, and a well placed shot sends it tumbling out of the skies. "Well, Whisper, what is it they say? Something about us staying the same age, and new pilots getting younger every year."
Aubrey dives beneath the line of fire of the Raider who has turned on her now, and its shots don't even come close to hitting her. She does manage to stitch some fire across it's body though, as the rest of her squad come to help. "I swear this thing refuses to go down!" she mutters.
"Nice shooting, Nova!" The raider goes down, between the viper and the raptor fire, and it frees up Eva to spin off on another target. "I know the feeling, Banshee. You'll get it, I have no doubt."
"Something like that, Hawk," Stirling agrees. More of the Raiders go down, and the Colonials zero in on the remainder. Her ECO dings the armor of one with the rear cannon.
"Whisper, Razor, do you want Milkman and I to make an initial pass over the site to make sure it's clear?" Clear of hidden SAMs or short ranged anti-air threats, the question being asked by Kell since the number of bogeys are down to four with the airspace getting crowded by friendly birds.
Apparently Finn landed the unkillable Raider this time around. Hit after hit, and it just won't go down. On the plus side, it can't manage to hit Finn meaningfully either. Still, his last round of KEW blasts to the Raider's body, while drawing more smoke erratic movement from the ship don't take it out. Finn grumbles a bit and engages his thrusters to rocket off after the raider, "You are going down, punk..."
"Whatever th' deck put in these Talons, they'd better keep on doin' it," Nova chirps to Priya, rather pleased with the going of things. She tilts her head a bit, hitting the comms. "Razor, Nova, ya better not be plannin' ta leave me behind." Tut. Forgetting his Raptor overwatch. She's been useful!
Calliope keeps up her game and knicks and a thousand cuts with Raider she's chasing. Well, not quite a thousand so far. Her weapons systems are not that well-loaded. But she's got enought to keep on it for awhile yet, at least.
"Negative, Razor, we'll go in together," Stirling replies.
"It just doesn't know its dead Banshee." Jackson retorts, stabilising his Reapers flight pattern to line up the perfect shot. "Just gotta remind it."
With the request denied, Kell doesn't protest though it sounds like the young pilot is getting a bit anxious. "Razor copies." He then swings his Viper around, waiting for an opening on one of the Raiders before moving to engage as he answers Astraea, "Of course not, Nova." Flying more on a straight path, he dives in one the Raider that has been on Calliope's Raptor.
Van's burst of KEW-fire is a little too wide of his target to cause the Raider to dodge, but that's just fine, considering the Cylon still goes down in flames. He shifts his finger toward his wireless switch, but Kell is already making the call he would have otherwise, "Nova, Milkman, we'll stick with you. Call the target, Razor."
"If I can land a solid shot -- just one really /good/ one," Hallie mutters half under her breath, and perhaps to the Lords of Kobol themselves, "I promise I'll stop drinking for a /week/ and... and do nothing but run sims!" She lines herself up, trying to get a good line on Mason's pursuer.
"Milkman, Razor, follow me in if you can. Making a run for the Raider that is on Soundbite, I see a clear window for a shot before it closes again." Kell says as he makes his attack run on the Cylon.
"After all, Razor, what would ya do without me?" Astraea's saccharine-sweet tone probably doesn't come through in the crackle of the nearly-jammed radio, but she has to try. It takes some mildly-awkward flying to keep in line so that Priya has her targets to fire out of the rear, but that's part of the Raptor pilot training. You figure it out.
"Oh, it's going down Banshee." Hawk assures his wingman as the element renew their focus on the stubborn raider.
Aubrey fires in concert with Emrys, dinging the raider's body before the older pilot blows the hell out of it. "Ok, so maybe you're not grandpa. How about Uncle Hawk?" she quips.
Eva says, "I think you have a family fetish, Banshee."
"If it was a fetish, it'd be kinkier, Mom!" Banshee replies
"I'm so glad we have these little talks." Hawk deadpans across the comms, peeling away as the KEW fire he slotted into the raider's cockpit does its work and shrapnel begins to fly.
"Milkman copies, Razor. I'll try to drive that one down for you." Van fires a quick, short burst, more a threat than anything else, trying to keep the Raider chasing Soundbite from climbing away from the Colonials. The joking on the wireless causes him to press his lips together, but he doesn't make any attempt to chastise his fellow fliers this time, weaving through the dogfight on Kell's tail and keeping an eye out for any Cylons who might be approaching his element lead or Astraea's Raptor.
"Whisper, Soundbite. Copy. Eyes very peeled." Calliope dips lower in atmosphere so she can better scan the ground. Even in her Raptor, she's going fast, but she does so intently.
With the last raider finally down, Finn sighs, leaning his head back against his headrest as he regains his senses. Then they start flying again. In the mean time, he keeps his eyes open, peering out of his cockpit window to the left and right as they go.
Now that the skies are clear, Eva falls back into line with Finn and Calliope, moving at, not quite a breakneck speed, but they do nee to not dawdle. Especially if they need to the effect the rescue with the support of the Marines they brought with them. "I hope the Picon flight is fairing as well as we have."
Aubrey settles back into formation on Emrys' wing in front of Jackson's Raptor. "Banshee copies, heading in."
The joking keeps the tension down. Helps avoid hands from getting too tight on sticks. From focusing too much on one spot or area. At least it does for Astraea. The Raptor pilot lets off a final talon to help finish off the Raiders before bringing her bird in tight with Razor's wing as they angle down in the ascribed area. She's got half an eye on DRADIS, but is largely relying on the more powerful system that Priya's got for any incoming danger. For the most part, Nova's leaning up and by the canopy to look down below for any signs of their lost comrades.
"Whisper, Hawk copies." Emrys responds, as his element begins to descend with the rest of the flight. He looks left, and right, to see whether the elements to his immediate sides are. Perhaps it's something he sees during that check. Perhaps it's something else. Whatever it is, Hawk is suddenly oblivious to whatever is right in front of him.
Jackson watches the raider's cockpit crack under the barrage of both vipers. "Nice." With the immediate threat dealt with he urges his raptor back into the overall formation. With the vipers in front and the skies apparantly empty he falls back into the constant low-level vehicle level chatter that happens between a pilot, his ECO and a bunch of angsty marines.
With the skies clear for now, Kell returns to formation though he does shoot a quick word to his wingman, "Milkman, Razor, good flying there." Then they begin making their way down in altitude as they start their approach on where they believe their friends are. No more chatter from Razor as his eyes are once again focused outside of his canopy.
As the last Raiders go down, Van's attention narrows down, rolling his Viper inverted to get a better view of the ground below, "Thank you, Razor. Nice shooting." In response to Stirling's orders, he adds, "Milkman copies, Whisper." Some portion of his senses are spent staying in formation behind and above Kell and Astraea's ships, but the majority are focused outward, 'up' toward the ground.
Stirling and Astraea also report two SAM batteries - not in the same neighborhood, but near enough to be a danger to the rescue crews. "Nova, Elf, get some suppression fire on those Centurions to the north. Soundbite, have your marines rappel down on the south side."
Calliope gets right on that, taking her Raptor hard down close to the ground. "Whisper, Soundbite. Copy that. Heading down. We are coming for you, Pi!" Isolde is not on the comm. But she yells it anyway. Maybe she'll hear it somehow, somewhere.
Eva's all eyes to the ground, as she brings the viper in for a flyby with the rest of the squadron. And, as luck would have it, she manages to catch a glimpse of a gust of smoke hazing the air, "Flight, Cherry, I'm seeing some smoke. North quadrant of the city, in that low residential area. Raptors, can you confirm?"
And as the flight all zone in on the area, Eva, once again, comes in on comms, "We can do a low strafing run. Take out those cylons surrounding the building."
"Roger that" Jackson replies to the order, changing his flightpath to coordinate with that of Nova.
Van chafes at the bit as his attention is called to the firefight in progress. Once they've spotted the location, he rolls his Viper right-side-up again, banking into a slow circle so that he can still look down on the house in question, "Flight, Milkman, do you want some of us to strafe the SAM sites to clear exfil?" Because he knows better than to jostle Raptors in the middle of a SAR.
"Negative Cherry, they're too close to the building for a strafing run," Stirling replies. Not that she doesn't trust Vipers zooming down over a residential area, but, well. "Vipers take out those SAM sites. Raptors will secure the target building."
"Copy that, Whisper, Cherry, moving to engage the SAM batteries." Because that worked so well for her last time. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. And if she ends up getting shot down,well, at least they'll know where she is, right? Right? Alright...onward, to victory!
With the extraction zone declared hot with Cylon activity, Kell's brows furrow up into a frown as he is sorely tempted to strafe the Centurions that are attacking the house. But when orders come in to engage the SAMs so that they aren't able to shoot down the recovery birds, Razor is already forming up with the others to make the strafing runs.
"Copy that," Hallie echoes. Any joking around has vanished from her tone; dogfights are one thing, but now time is of the essence. And she might not be the best pilot in the wing, but Ringer's at least a pretty solid shot. (Especially when the target is stationary.)
"Ok Hawk, let's blow up some missile launchers," Aubrey quips over the comm, before heading towards a SAM.
"Whisper, Hawk copies. Moving to engage." Now, just where are those SAM batteries? They must be around here somewhere. Fortunately, after a minute, Emrys realizes he can find Cherry's bird and she'll lead him to the batteries. That, at least, he manages to find.
"Nova, Stirling- copy that." Astraea offers a salute through her canopy towards Razor's raptor as she kicks in the thrusters to fly on by him from the side she's on opposite Milkman before peeling away towards the house. She might throw a talon towards the SAMs on the way, possibly, but largely she just goes in for a low, arching pass so Priya can let it fly with the glorious BRRRRRT of the KEW.
Meanwhile the Vipers make short work of the SAM batteries, though not without a few near-misses. They can see more Cylon troops in the streets, including some armored vehicles that start shooting back up at them. "We've got them," Stirling says, "Think we've overstayed our welcome here a bit."
Aubrey spirals her Viper down at a SAM battery and unloads fire on it the whole dive, before pulling up and barrel-rolling away from the return missiles. "Woohoo! Let's go home!" Banshee yells over the comm.
Making his strafing run on one of the SAM units, Kell's rounds punches through and leaves it inoperable and smoking before pulling up. Seeing the additional forces on the ground, the young pilot begins to frown until he hear the message that Stirling has their friends. Razor quickly puts his Viper into a steeper climb, getting more altitude while keeping his eyes on DRADIS and the airspace up ahead, making sure that there are no Raiders waiting to intercept.
Calliope hovers as the Marines head down. She's not the praying sort, but she murmurs something fervent under her breath that doubles as one. Her ECO makes sure the hatch is kept open so those going down can get the folks they bring up back in promptly.
Once it's confirmed that Stirling has those they came for, Astraea makes a final pass before peeling away to rejoin Kell and Van in formation. Once she's settled in near Kell's wing, she hits the comm. "Milkman, Nova. Think I got an eye on 'er." She doesn't expand beyond that. She figures he'll know what she means.
Jackson keeps his raptor in tight to the north of the rescue zone, the rapid retort of the kew helping to keep the centurions nice and busy. When the retreat is called, he's glad to leave.
"Raptors, Milkman," Van has no business giving orders to the Raptors, especially since the CAG is flying one of them, but his words are less of an order than a prayer, "Bring them home." And then he has to push his worries back again, struggling to focus on following Kell toward one of the SAM batteries. His focus sharpens rather quickly, however, when the missile-lock alarms in his cockpit begin going off and he has to throw his Viper into a climbing roll to avoid an incoming missile. It means his own shots at the SAM site never come, but at least the others going after it can tear it apart without worrying about return fire. The report from Stirling causes him to breathe out a sigh of relief, but only a partial one, until Astraea makes the additional call, and he breathes out, "Thank the Lords," more surely, "And thank you Flight."
Eva goes, as she always does, hard, leading the way into the battle with the SAM sights, not knowing that Emrys is following after her, which, might well be the worse for him. But so it goes. And if, on the way back, she takes a few shots at the ground vehicles trying to hit them, what of it. They got what they came for.
Brrrrrrrrrrrt. Brrrrrrrrrrrt. Brrrrrrrrrrt. Emrys' KEW barks out. He's got himself oriented now, and no longer needs a seeing-eye Eva. Which is just as well, since they're in the thick of it. And then just as quickly they're winging it home, with what they came for.
Once a wingman, always a wingman. When Eva goes in hard, Finn follows suit, rocketing off after her, firing on the SAMs and cylons on the ground to go with them. He'll bug out when the job is done, not before then though.