The air wing defends the city of Islesboro against a massive Cylon attack.
Location: Over Islesboro, Picon
Scene Number: 297
While the pilots are waiting for the jump - which actually takes closer to ten minutes than five - Major Stirling comes over the radio in their helmets. "All right everyone. We've got word of a massive attack against Islesboro and Biscayne Bay." Two big cities in a highly populated coastline located near each other across a bay - like Baltimore and Washington DC. "Vanguard is jumping in. We'll be launching into atmo over the coast. They're reporting dozens of bombers and Raiders and a base star currently over Islesboro." How she can say that with such a calm, quiet voice is anyone's guess. "Picon Navy is sending ships to deal with the cap ship. Our job is the air cover. There will be friendly forces in the area, so watch your targets."
Aubrey was on alert and got suited up and in a ship quickly. She sits in her Viper, making goofy faces at Alain, until Stirling comes over the comm. Then the pilot's face goes ghostly pale, bordering on gray, and she swallows convulsively. Biscayne Bay is her home. Her father is there. The Walkers, her 'other' family, are there. Her childhood took place there. She whispers, half-panicked, "Jigger, the Bay..."
When the call for action stations went out, Mason ran from the head, still dripping wet from his shower and barely bothered to towel off before pulling on his flight suit and grabbing his gear. Making it down to the hangar bay just before the jump, he grabs his helmet to squeeze himself into one of the remaining Vipers before he becomes part of the bench of more pilots than birds. Settling in and shoving his helmet into place, he runs through his pre-flight during the jump and waits for Stirling's orders to lead them out.
The vipers and raptors seem to be stacking up like cordwood in the hangar deck, and on the landing deck, as they're loaded and moved into position. And Eva is in one of them, as if there was any doubt. She was just on the tail end of CAP when they were recalled, so she's not going in there fresh. Still, that's the beauty of war, right? It doesn't wait for when you've had your eight hours of beauty sleep.
Alain was in the shower when action stations are called. So, bonus, he doesn't have to strip to get into his flight suit, at least, although he'll have an exceptional case of helmet hair later, assuming he survives. He makes it down to the hanger and into the cockpit of a ship moments before Stirling comes over the radio -- just long enough that he sees Aubrey's face, snickering as he settles in. His grin fades swiftly enough at Stirling's words, paling. "Frak," he breathes. "We've got them, Banshee," he says, firmly.
Emrys is one of those bringing a viper in for a combat landing, along with the rest of the ship's CAP. He doesn't bother even taking his helmet off, since they're going right back out, and instead sits there and runs through...well, is it pre-flight or re-flight at this point?
Gwyndolen looks half asleep--likely because she was. She practically vaults into a cockpit, still settling her helmet into place, and gives herself a few smacks on the head to try to wake herself up as she runs through pre-flight. It's not coffee, but it'll have to do.
Calliope was on an Alert shift when the call for action stations went out. So, into her Raptor she jumped. She waits in the pilot's seat now, doing some of the deep breathing she engages in before battle. "How you doing back there, Pi?" she asks, turning her head to look back at Isolde, who's manning her ECO console. A big smile comes to her face beneath her helmet. That is a sight she's missed.
It had been one of those relatively quiet duty cycles on CAP... until the radio crackled in with the alert. Astraea kicked in the after burners to her thrusters to come screaming back in to the hangar with the rest of those on CAP, Pitbull assisting with the call to Flight Command to let them know their ETA to gear down. She's not one of the last ones in, but close; Raptors being just that bit slower. The woman gets the word in over the radio before just cutting the line and sitting back in her seat to wait for the jump. There's no point to getting on the elevator; they'll just be taking right off once they're in Picon airspace, so she double-checks her load out and waits... on pins-and-needles.
Van was on CAP, and so he comes screeching in to skitter across the landing area before his thrusters halt his momentum. And then he's stuck in his cockpit as his bird is turned back around, ready to launch again. He really, really needs a cigarette, and so he takes a moment to pull off a glove, roll back his sleeve, and apply one of the nicotine patches he finally got to his arm. "We've got them, Banshee," Van repeats Jigger's words. "Trust in the Navy, trust in our people."
On an off shift from CAP tonight was Finn, who was instead on alert. He'd been in his flight suit, reading a book in the seating area for alert pilots. Some trashy space opera novel, well worn out with years of re-reading. When the alert sounds, Finn blinks and jumps to his feet. An alert while the CAP is landing is...well not that common. He shoves his book into one of the zipered pockets of his flight suit, zips up the suit and runs off to his prepped viper. He pulls his helmet on once he's in the cockpit and starts up his vipers pre-checks while he gets situated. "Farmboy to Vanguard actual. Alert viper, ready for launch in 10...9...8..." he continues the countdown while finishing up his checks.
Isolde is putting her helmet in place when she scrambles onboard Calliope's Raptor. She is still a bit tentative with that left hand, and the ring finger of her glove has been secured down with medical tape because she still can't seem to figure out what else to do with the needless digit. She glances up to Calliope, and flashes her a broad smile. "Oh, you know... all nine fingers, all ten toes." There's a slight edge in that crack, but she feels safe enough to say it with Soundbite being the only ears to hear it.
With how much combat they have scene on Picon and on short notice some of the times, Kell is usually able to suit up on very short notice and when Action Stations are called, he is quick to change into his flightsuit. Grabbing his flight kit, he makes his way down to the flight deck before the Vanguard jumps, catching up to the impromptu briefing by Stirling after he hops into his Viper. A major attack on not one but two major Picon cities, this will be a very chaotic fight. When the Basestar is mentioend, Razor can't help but release a long and slow breath. A very chaotic fight.
Socks was doing his usual in the alert lounge, killing time by knitting a pair of socks. It's been a slow week for the pilot, and his current pair appear to be more of legwarmers than the usual socks, as if he'd had word or snuck a peek at a report they were going somewhere cold in the near future. When the call comes, he ditches the project and picks up his helmet, rushing off to hop in a new viper. "Aven't ad time ta frak this one up, have ya, chief?" he comments as he gets buckled in. His last two vipers had cockpits that exploded on him, and it's beginning to be A THING.
What they find is indeed chaos. The bombing has already started, multiple flights of bombers - escorted by Raiders - up in the sky. Explosions flash here and there. The base star itself looms over the city. Another Picon heavy capital ship has jumped in and is trading fire with it, lighting up the sky with fireworks.
"Head for Sector 142," Stirling orders over the radio. That's the east side of the city, closest to the coast - an industrial area where some of the bombing seems heaviest. "We've got two flights of bombers on DRADIS. Team 1, team 2 - let's split up and take them out."
Calliope might glance at Isolde's left hand, though her eyes quickly flit away. "It's really good to have you back. The cabin was getting lonely without you." Not that they let her fly without an ECO. But Isolde knows what she means, probably. She directs her attention back to waiting, waiting, and then getting them airborn when the time is right. "Flight, Soundbite. We're up, forming with our team."
Aubrey gives Alain a shaky nod through her canopy, then she touches the photo she's stuck to the dash. Family is everything. "I'm coming Dad," she whispers off comm, rechecking all her systems because she has to be better than her very best today. Then they jump and she steels herself for the launch command. Once they're off the Vanguard, there is a moment of horror at the visuals both above and below, before she's finding her way to Jigger's wing and into formation.
Van grunts as the jump twists at his guts, squeezing his eyes closed for a moment, waiting until those who combat-landed after him take off, then pushing his own throttle forward to launch. "'Bite, Pi, watch out for each other there." Once he's free of the launch bay, he throttles back just long enough to form up with his own little element, "Razor, Nova, Milkman. Waiting for you up and..." he pauses as he takes in the in-atmosphere battle between the capital ships, whistling softly before he finishes, "starboard of the launch path. Same as always, bombers first unless someone gets a remora that won't let go."
The waiting is always the hardest for Alain, doubly so now. Even cranking the music and drumming -- his usual pre-launch ritual -- doesn't take the edge off this time. By the time the deck clears enough that he can launch, he's tense, not even shaking it off as he normally would when he gets into the skies. It's chaos out there, and it takes him a moment or two to take in what can see out the window. He forms up on Banshee's wing, giving her a thumbs up -- perhaps a little less enthusiastic than normal -- as they form onto Stirling's wake.
Once the clearance to launch is given, Kell sits up straighter in his Viper's cockpit and when it is his turn, he guides his fighter out of the hangar bay in quick order. What greets him outside was not what he had expected, definitely much more chaotic as the giant battle that is happening around them is much more massive than he assumed. "Gods..." He mutters, accidentally saying the word too loud as it actually transmits over the squadron channel. Hearing Van's voice, Razor shakes his his head before reaching up to press his flight helmet down, making it snugger as he tries to focus on their task, "Milkman, Razor, I copy. Forming up."
As soon as Eva recieves the all-clear from the LSO and the deck, she moves to launch, forming up with Finn and Soundbite and following the lead Stirling is setting towards the area of engagement. "Good to have you back, Pi. And as always, Soundbite. Finn, all clear over there?"
"Rightyo, Hawk, formin up on your wing," Socks declares as he pulls out of the launch bay. "Looks like a right knock down draggemout out der," he observes, squinting his eyes as he scans the immediate area, shielding his eyes from the bright glow of his dradis.
As the teams form after launch, Mason finds himself on Gwyndolen's wing. "Knick-Knack, Jar. Ya want to start from the bombers and work our way down the list?" he asks as he manuveurs his Viper into position. "You've got the lead, I'll keep yer back clean." he offers, before giving a slow whistle at the DRADIS. "We're going to earn extra dessert tonight."
Once they relaunch, Emrys slots into his place in the formation and begins throttling towards the engagement area. "Socks, Hawk. Looks like we're freelancing for this one, so let's move around as we're needed." He relays the instructions.
As soon as the orders to launch are given, Finn fires up his engines and rockets off the flight deck, towards the indicated sector. "Farmboy to Cherry, All good. You takin' the lead this time or am I?" He forms up with the others when they are also launched and starts to check his various systems to ensure they are on target and moving to the right sector.
Gwyndolen studies the DRADIS, lower lip caught behind her teeth. "Jar," she says, voice crisp, "Knick-Knack. Certainly. I intend to earn my dessert."
Pitbull is stuck listening to Astraea singing a Scorpian lullaby as they wait. She stops as the pull of reality warping drags the Vanguard through space and time. Then the hull, even, of her Raptor creaks as they end up within Picon's atmosphere. The woman's hand goes to the canopy. She knows that sensation. Those who stick with Raptor frames long enough do end up jumping in-atmo at some point or another. You have to, at some point in a career. Even just so you know for an emergency situation. "Frak me," she hisses... accidentally over comms. "They jes'..." She shakes her head, grabbing at the stick as she zips out along with the rest in the fray to get off ship. "Milkman, Razor, Nova- copy. Got y'all marked on comms. We'll get th'bombers. Holler if anythin' looks amiss." There's a look out into the fray, too, for the other part of their greater team- Jigger, Banshee, and Whisper. And then she's zeroing in on their targets.
Eva says, "It's all you, Farm Boy."
It's only on approach that Alain flips off the music, gaze fixed on DRADIS to try and sort out one target from the other, before he selects his. Unsurprisingly, he's focusing in on one of the bombers, and as he spots Banshee breaking away from his wing to focus on one, he breaks the other way to target the other. Especially for him, Jigger's approach is far more aggressive than he's usually given to -- though how much of that is Aubrey rubbing off on him, or just simply an acknowledgement of the stakes at hand is hard to tell.
Socks spots the raider that Hawk is going for, and he blasts his engines, pulling into a complimentary angle to give him a shot at the same target. "I'm on yer five-low, Hawk, let's drop this metal sonavabitch fore it stitches Nova."
Aubrey pushes the throttle on her Viper as the bombers come into view. She's swinging her ship around like a woman possessed, intent on stopping the bombers before they can reach their targets, praying that the rest of those battling above the Bay, and on the ground, are giving as much. She rolls and comes in at one of the bombers with her teeth gritted. "Don't let any slip through," she whispers.
"I missed you too, Bite." Isolde flashes Calliope a small smile before she focuses on the launch. She is working on DRADIS, and it flickers to life with all the Colonial Forces and Cylon forces. She frowns slightly at the sheer numbers, and she looks up to Calliope. "Focusing DRADIS on the indicated Sector. I'm picking up the flights." She starts to adjust her hands across the keyboard, and it takes her some work to get her middle finger and pinkie to make up for the lack of her ring finger. She misses a key twice, and has to slow down to stay focused on that part of her keyboard.
As the Colonial Wing closes in on the Cylon strike force, Kell remains in formation with his flight, watching as the specs grow larger and larger as the distance decreases greatly every second. As he begins an attack run on one of the Bombers, his cockpit starts squawking at him about a missile lock, "Milkman, Nova, missile lock warning, going evasive!" Instead of firing off his guns, Razor snaps his Viper into a barrel roll, then another, then another, either trying to shake the lock or throw the missile off course.
Calliope's ship moves with Finn and Eva's Vipers to target that particular swathe of Cylons. She'll never fly seamlessly in sync with the Vipers, but she's accustomed enough to playing bus for the pair of them that she's learned how to play shadow with as much grace as a bus allows. "Weapons hot. Engaging. Gotcha, Pi. Give us some interference, and I'll try to get you in a sweet spot where you can work the rear gun afer a few passes."
Van falls in behind and above Nova's Raptor as usual, then charges his autocannon as the group wades into the mess of combat below. "Thank the gods there don't seem to be any Cypers." Kell's call causes Van to glance aside, nodding, "Razor, Milkman, do it! I'll scratch your back in a second."
"Hell, we make it through the night, Knick Knack, I'll give ya my dessert. Unless it's that fruit cocktail and gelatin stuff." Mason offers as he works on lining up one of the bombers. "If not, well.. it's gonna be a busy night."
Gwyndolen lines up on a run on one of the bombers herself. She yawns once and then frowns, slapping herself across the face again. "You're welcome to the fruit cocktail and gelatin," she replies. "You can have mine, even."
"Alright Socks, let's try and get both sides so it has nowhere to go." Emrys returns to his wingman, as they prepare to light up the target the element leader has selected.
There's no one moment, that marks the start of the battle. It simply...begins, and Eva is in the thick of things, flying fast ans loose, as she always does. It's not that she doesn't know how to fly by the book, she just is very astute at knowing when that is or is not required. She it's into the dance and hoping that she can do more damage than is done to her.
Frak, frak, frak. "Frak, I've got missile lock. Let's keep focused on those bombers, team. I'll keep this heavy occupied for a bit." And that's exactly what he does, rolling as a missile comes at him, evading it but witout much in the way of extra room. As a resule, his own KEW blasts don't do much more than scratch the hull of the heavy raider. He grumbles and pours on the speed, no time for being cautious right now.
Socks manages to land a good barrage on the raider, chewing a few important looking pieces off, but the cylon keeps in the air. "Aw, frakkin leapin lords o kobol, that deckape gave me the plastic bullets again," he complains as he watches the raider pull back and angle towards him. "If I die, I'm gonna kill that lazy ass!"
"Flight, Nova, I mark bombers down in our sector." Astraea sounds pleased with that as she adjusts her trajectory. She does not note the raiders on her; largely because she hears that there's people on that, but also because it's still a godsdamn mess out there. There's oo many to worry about herself. She's still unscathed and there's still work to be done. Instead, she just kicks things up a bit. "Razor, Nova... gonna see what I can do 'bout that lock y'got on ya."
"Got somethin' against fruit and gel, Knick Knack?" Mason asks before he gives out a small curse as he glances up into the rear views. "Got a pair on me." he mutters as he hears the now familiar pangs of kew rounds smacking against armor. "Cutting across the bomber to try to take it down. How's yers?"
"No luck on countermeasures against the bombers. I'm switching to KEW." Isolde sounds somewhat disappointed in herself, but she doesn't let it linger. She switches to her KEWs and sights the Raider flying at their tail. "Bite, I'm going after the friend chasing us. I'll switch to Bombers on the next pass."
Stirling lets one missile fly at a bomber, combining with Alain's cannon fire to bring down the ship. "Good shooting, Jigger," she comments, then scans the sky for a second target.
Aubrey unloads a stream of KEW fire into one of the bombers, and with the combined fire of others, the thing explodes. She flies through the fireball, screaming past the falling debris, as she looks to see if the other bomber is down too. Yep, there it goes. "Nice shooting, people!" she calls over the comm in a voice pitched higher by tension. She swings around and comes in at the Heavy nearby.
Alain's angle takes him up behind Stirling's raptor. His KEW fire rakes one of the bombers across the middle, at the same moment Stirling's missile impacts. His whooping call announces the kill, as he glances to see how his wingmate is doing. "Right back at you, Whisper!" he calls, pleased. "Banshee, Jigger. We frakked 'em up but good!" he calls, as he swings back around. He spots a raider focusing in on Astraea's raptor, honing in on it. "Nova, Banshee. Watch your six, going to swat him off your tail."
The toaster in Calliope's sights skitters away from her talon. Her own flightpath dances some to get out of the way of incoming fire from the toasters, as well. So that's fair enough. She lets out a high-pitched "Ugh" of frustration and makes some readjustments to her targeting mechanism, nodding at Isolde words. "Understood, Pi. The air's full of targets, so no shortage of stuff to hit. If we can hit it. Banking now." The Raptor jolts as she shifts it, before it levels out again.
The barrel rolls did enough to shake the missile lock as the missile that is launched at Kell flies harmlessly straight, not tracking the Viper at all. However, the squawking inside the young pilot's cockpit continues to go off. As the Raiders fly by on the head on pass, Razor pulls back on his flightstick rather hard, to evade the second missile lock while trying to keep the Raiders in his sights, picking one that is chasing his wingman. His evasive jinks continues, hard enough that he is unable to get a shot again, "Nova, Razor, thanks. Second missile trying to get a lock!"
"I am not sure 'gel' is a proper food," says Gwyndolen primly. Her Viper cuts through space, strafing the bomber with some small success. "Hrm," is her answer to Mason. "Switching up to take on your little friend there."
Emrys is flying a little more aggressively than he typically does, as he and Socks riddle the raider with KEW fire. "Socks, Hawk. Looks like they've noticed we're here, so tighten up." He comes across the comms, as the pair they've been picking on try to come around and fire on them in return.
Van hits his afterburners just as Astraea launchers her Talons, leaping ahead of the Raptor. He squeezes a short burst out of his KEWs as he closes, then rolls and dives to avoid both the resultant fireball and the flying Banshee. "Nova, Milkman, looks like it." Unfortunately, in diving through the melee, he's picked up a pair of tails, and although he yo-yos away from the first, accelerating upward after his dive, there's a second waiting, and he rolls desperately, bleeding speed now but still getting a jolting hit to his left wing, "I've picked up two trailers. One of them winged me. Stay safe, Razor, good call, Nova. I'm going to try to shake one of these toasters off." There's a moment's pause, and he adds, "Banshee, Milkman, told you we'd get them."
"Sounds like a proper plan, Knick-Knack." Mason comments and then snorts. "Gel's totally a proper food. Momma used to give it to me fer dessert all the time back home, and ya see that it helped me grows into what I am today."
Aubrey streaks in at the Heavy like a wild creature screaming through the skies above her home, and she unloads her KEW into the port side of the Heavy Raider. Sparks, smoke, and fire stream from the gaping holes she leaves behind, but the thing is still flying. "Flight, Banshee. Coming back around at that heavy."
"Ya! Back ta da recyclin bin ya frakkin toaster!" Socks cheers as he and Hawk blast a raider out of the sky. He does a quick victory roll and spots a raider zeroing in on Hawk. "Hock! Ya got one commin atcha, gonna give it a hard time!" He pulls into a tight turn and tries his best to angle in on the raider going after his wingman.
"Knick-Knack, Jar. All I'm doin' is pissin' this bomber off. Tell ya what, I'll team up.." Mason grits his teeth as he rolls his Viper around and through some heavy fire, and tries to get himself back into position. "...and take down yers, and we'll come back to mine. Sound good?"
The raider Alain's targeting isn't going down without a fight -- typical raider! -- but Jigger stays doggedly on its tail, scoring a good hit to its weapons system. He's still flying aggressively, the occasional glance given to check Aubrey and Stirling's respective positions and making sure they're otherwise clear of tails.
Hawk reins in his flying a little as the raider that's taken in interest in him clips his wing. It doesn't seem to affect the bird's handling, but it does lead to some more careful piloting. "Nice work, Socks. Let's get this one down just as quickly."
Once again, Kell with his focus on dodging than firing off any shots is able to shake the lock of the second missile as it also flies straight as it fails to establish a lock. With the second missile expended from the Heavy Raider, Razor finally evens out his Viper and now is able to earnestly chase after one of the Raiders that is on Van's tail, "Milkman, Razor, shook the second missile. Coming to try to clear off one of the Raiders off of your tail!"
Eva is flying hot, but she never flies so hot that she loses sight of Finn. Even as her own viper is lit up with KEW, she catches sight of Finn taking a heavy hit, and her voice come over the comms, "Finn, you good? Soundbite?" She doesn't care about her own viper...what does that matter?
Finn's aggressive flight style doesn't always work out for him. Like here and now, when it definitely doesn't work out for him. He powers off towards the heavy, unloading his KEW at them, but despite landing a hit, he is unable to evade the missile that slams into his viper. It is luck more than skill that kept him from turning into a fireball in that moment. His viper smokes and sparks and rolls. Finn is luckily uninjured and manages to cycle the power in his viper and gets one of his two engines back online. "Frak...Farmboy to flight, I'm still in one piece...barely." And then he starts back into it.
Van wings over into another yo-yo, porpoising through the dogfight with two Raiders chasing after him. As he sweeps through the bottom of the yo-yo again, there's a thump at his tail as he looses some more paint and gains a new dent or three. Instead of pulling up out of the dive, however, he curls horizontal, whipping around inside the arc of one of the Raiders and punching a short, high-deflection burst into it, "Come on." But despite his words, the Raider hangs with him, "Razor, Milkman, copy. I've got one of them right where I want it." Indeed, its own fire sprays wide, "You can clear Nova first if you want, Razor."
Gwyndolen scowls as the bombr evades her, her own plane twisting and serving at her touch on the controls. "Jar, Knick-Knack," she replies. Her gaze flicks to the DRADIS. "Sounds fair. Take it out and I'll buy you all the gelatine you want."
Calliope's approach to the bomber this time is more straight-on. Which she pays for, with a scratch to her paint. Her target only gets winged, for her trouble. She lets out another huff, and keeps on the assault. "Cherry, Soundbite. We might've gotten a ding, but we're OK. Farmboy?" She sounds a touch worried. Missiles to Vipers are worrisome things. "Copy that. Sing out if your Viper gives up on you out there."
"Frak," Astraea mutters as her talons go a bit wide, scoring little more than a glancing shot. Her mood, however, brightens when Alain chimes in. "Nice 'hear ya out there, Jigger. I do love knowin' yer watchin' my tail." But the alerts for any new locks on her may be coming in too late for her to adjust her own flying. She's too focused on that heavy that's bearing straight down on her to deal with the fact that it might just have the better aim. Who will come out ahead?! Who knows! Tune in next... round to find out!
The zing across the Raptor's wing jars Isolde a bit, and she has to take an extra moment to line back up her KEWs. When the Raider veers off from her KEW fire, Isolde offers a sharp grunt. She looks over her DRADIS, keeping tabs on contacts. As Calliope goes streaming past, it gives her sights on one of the other bombs in the collection. "Bite, switching to contact A-zero-six-one."
"Hawk, Jar. We got some bombers here giving us a hard time, ain't too proud to ask for an assist, over." Mason calls out on the radio for the wandering squad.
Stirling mumbles under her breath as her missile goes wide. Now she's out, and glances over to see Finn's ship take a hit. "You all right over there, Farmboy?" She dodges around a ship to give her ECO a better shot.
"Socks, you heard Jar. Shift fire, let's even the odds over there. This one'll keep." Hawk comes across the comms, banking hard as he swoops in the direction of the area that they've been requested to assist in.
Aubrey flips her bird tail over nose to 180 and come back at the Heavy Raider again. There's no hesitation in her tonight, no instinct for self-preservation. It's all about the people down below. It's always about protecting people, but when you know those people's names, and faces, and personal histories, it becomes something more. She unloads her weapons fire into the wing of the heavy and sheers it clean off, sending it spiraling to its death with Nova's help. "Scratch the heavy."
Socks manages to land a couple telling hits on the raider as he pulls in behind it. He spots the raider zipping Hawk's viper a little bit, and he grimaces. "Ya sure bout that, Hock? I almost got this one.." He glances towards the bomber flight as he tries to adjust his angle on the raider.
Today is not a good day for Eva, as she takes hit after hit, this last one nearly destroying her flight controls. She's spiraling down, dangerously close to the ground, as she struggles to regain control of the viper. It takes just a few minutes too long, before she manages it, and throttles up, making no comment about her status, as she climbs to regain her wing.
"Come on..come on.. Frak!" Mason growls over the radio. "..bombers starting their run, Flight, Jar! Any available, need guns here."
This time, Alain scores a solid hit on the raider, but it keeps limping along. If there's any frustration he doesn't let it out; instead, he offers a prayer to Ares -- who better to ask for help? -- as he sticks close on the raider's tail. "Shit," he mutters, as he glances left and down, seeing some of the explosions below.
As the explosions light up the factory district from the other bombers, Aubrey slams a fist into her cockpit canopy. "NO!" The fact any got through makes her nerves jangle like they've been set on fire, and she sweeps in after one of the light raiders nearby with fire in her eyes.
Calliope mutters a soft, fervent "Frak!" as the bombs rain down on the surface. She doesn't bother to mute her mic for it. "Got it, Pi. I'm trying to keep my lock on this frakker but all I can barely chip his windscreen. Cherry? Farmboy?" Her voice catches some, particularly when she sees that spiraling of Eva's craft. There's a sharp intake breath of relief when it climbs again.
Gwyndolen's voice is low over the comms, but tense with frustration. "I want whatever it is they're using for armour." She lines up another run on a bomber, jaw tense.
Eva says, "I'm fine, Soundbite. Focus on the mission."
"Frak! Cherry, sound off!" Finn calls out as he watches her viper go down. Hell, he didn't even see his shots go wide of the bomber. "Roger that Soundbite, I'm moving. Barely." He however keeps his viper locked onto the bomber and makes another pass.
"Socks, Hawk. Confirm, I'm sure. They're getting cut to pieces over there." Emrys returns to his Wingman. Sure, his bird has a little bit of damage too. But only a little.
The bombs that drop send Isolde's focus reeling as she tries to follow their descent. It is the series of sharp questions after Finn and Eva that snap her attention back to her friendlies, and she scans their DRADIS contacts quickly. "Bite, I'm switching on you... we've got to get this Cylon off our tail." After all, the bombs are dropped. So she instead focuses on the Raider still playing with their tailfeathers.
Holy frak, did that just? Yep, fire just went flying past her cockpit. Astraea breaths, but sort of laughs under her breath. "Banshee, Nova- good hit there." She shakes it off, angling in for one of the raiders on Van's tail. "Milkman, Nova, seein' if I can get onna yers taken care of."
"Frack, don't you get chewed up Hock, I'll miss yer oldspice in the locker room," Socks replies as he shifts targets, his wingman making the call to leave his six open.
"Milkman, Razor, unable to break off. Still have a Heavy on my tail and I can't locate the Raider that is on Nova." Kell is focused on his raider as he throws a glance over his shoulder every few seconds, to keep track of where the pursuit is located. His shots pepper the Cylon he is targeting but not enough to do any serious damage. Razor does try to stick on its tail, leading his target a bit before triggering another burst from his twin autocannons.
Rolling and twisting through the furball, Van takes his attackers on a merry chase. "Razor, Milkman, breaking right in three, two, one... mark." And he rolls to his right, dragging his pursuers after him. The call about the attack run brings his attention 'up' through his canopy while he's inverted over the city, eyes widening as explosions bloom, "No...." And then tracer-fire lashing past his canopy drags his attention back to his trailers, "Milkman copies, Razor, Nova." A high-speed curve tightens, and he manages another quick deflection shot into the Raider he hit before, "One more trick, and I think I have this thing."
Socks puts his ball to the wall as he tries to close the distance with the bomber. He begins peppering it from a distance, most of his barrage falling short or wide thanks to turbulance of going so fast, but the distance begins to get more reasonable, and his engines whine as he throws the breaks on and pulls in behind the bomber, hoping to down it before that raider lands a hit on his focused wingman.
With Van counting down on when he will be breaking right, Kell adjusts his aim, assuming the Raider will be continuing the chase. On the mark, the Cylon reacts predictably and Razor's autocannon rounds devastates its intended target, shredding and punching into the power plant, causing it to explode rather brilliantly. "Milkman, Razor, got him! Will look for Nova now." That is when the Ensign begins looking for Astraea's Raptor or another major threat.
She's still flying, but she's not hitting the broadside of a barn. So perhaps it's for the best that Stirling calls off the chase and gives her a new and possible more easily defeated enemy. But given her luck today...probably not.
Doggedly following the raider on Nova's tail, Jigger's whooping call announces the kill after his KEW fire rakes the body of the already-heavily damaged raider, finally taking it down. "Nova, Jigger. Tail looks clear." He turns and picks his next target, before Whisper's call comes across the wireless. "Frak," he mutters, as he glances down at DRADIS, tracking the new targets. "On your lead, Banshee," he calls.
"Knick-Knack, Jar. You heard the boss..." Mason watches one of the bombers they tag-teamed on go down in flames. Despite having taken some damage, he's still in the flight as he plots a course on DRADIS. "Let's intercept this bomber, and see if we can get some luck in again."
Van's 'one more trick' does indeed get him another clean shot on his pursuer, hammering more KEW rounds into its body in the wake of a Talon hit by Astraea, but it the slewing turn also turns him broadside to his other attacker, who gets a hit in itself before being shredded by Van's fellows. "Thanks Banshee, Razor. Milkman is alright." Stirling's call draws his eyes wider, and he cranks his head around, "Nova, Razor, forget my other friend, after the new bombers." Once more, he straightens his flight-path out and pushes the throttle to its stop, jinking his Viper as he accelerates rapidly toward the bombers himself.
Aubrey sweeps in after one of the birds chasing Van, and she fires wildly at it, sending up sparks and bursts of vapor from the ship's body before Kell finishes it off. "Nice shooting, Razor!" She comes around and shifts over towards newly incoming ships. "Jigger, Banshee, nice takedown! We have more bombers incoming though! Need to stop them! Everyone!"
More bombers light up DRADIS. "Flight, this is Pi. I'm tagging the bombers as they are coming in hot and heavy." She does so, marking each on the DRADIS readouts. She grimaces at the Raider still on her tail, and reports off coms to Bite. "I'll get this Raider off our tail and switch to ECM."
"Ah, it'd have to catch me first, Socks." Emrys returns. His poor wingman is probably close to whiplash, as Hawk changes targets yet again. "You heard Whisper. Shift fire, let's go meet those new bombers." And off they roar.
Gwyndolen's comm channel is quiet for a long moment. Then it is broken by a single, sincere, "Shit" at the sight of the new bombers. She plots a new course, a run squarely targeting one of the newcomers. Never mind the one on her tail.
"New contacts!" Copies Socks as he veers off to leave his target to rearm and fight another hour. His viper pulls into an aggressive vector as he zeroes in on one of the lead heavies, for the moment, he's ignoring the warning light indicating a raider has him targeted.
"Jigger, Nova- I look clear now!" Astraea leaves that for the rest of the flight, too, drawing back into line with Kell and Milkman. It takes pushing her Raptor frame, but she's working at keeping up with the two Vipers. She's not had too much trouble in the past, even if she can't pull off the same antics and theatrics they can. She can at least push for some of the speed and keep them n their sights.
As the bombers form up, Finn redirects his viper to meet them in combat. He started opff at high speeds, moving quickly to engage, but seeing that he had a Raider targetting him, Finn brings down the speed, his damaged viper not handling well enough for defensive flying at those speeds. He veers off to engage with the raider escort. "Farmboy engaging bomber escort."
Calliope curses again, but she breaks off her pursuit of the now-emptied bombers on the CAG's orders. Her Raptor banks again - she's welcoming Isolde back with a more aggressive ride than usual today - and she swoops off to take aim at the new targets. "Do not frak this up..." she mutters to herself. Off-mic, thankfully. To Isolde, "Got it, Pi. Do what you can to clear our backside. I'll see what I can manage from the front."
"Yaaaaa, that's ow it's done!" Socks cheers as the pack piles on and shoots down the bombers that had just arrived. "Frak those toasters, I like my bread rawdog!" he says, evading the fire from a raider on his tail. He pulls into a circle, "Hock! I'll scratch yer back, you scratch mine, eh?"
"Please, please, please," Aubrey mumbles to herself as she heads in on the lead bomber. "Don't let them get through. Then she's inverting her ship to fly above one of the bombers and unloads her KEW cannon into the cockpit of the ship making it erupt into flames. With the combined work of the air wing they all fall down. She lets out a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding.
"Nice job everyone. Keep your eyes peeled for more bombers while we pick off some of these Raiders," Stirling says.
The shot across the Raptor's nose barely deters Isolde from her intentions. She breathes slowly, waiting for the Raider to fall perfectly into her sights. She opens fire, unleashing a burst of KEW fire that blasts through its body with a succession of rat-a-tats. Despite this, the Raider continues to fly after them, and she shakes her head. "Cm'on, I got you." There's something in her tone, like she's getting some payback in this time around.
"Copy that, Whisper." Eva's managing, mostly, to fly and flight and stay in it. There's really no option otherwise, is there? But the turbulence from the atmosphere is playing havoc with her controls, and she's mostly just trying to find targets of opportunity that happen to be where she can manage to direct her viper.
"Nice shootin', Razor." Mason reports, before gritting his teeth as Mason feels several hits to his bird. "Alright, time to pay attention to some of these gnats. Ya good, Knick-Knack?" he asks as he twists his Viper around to try to go into a spiraling attack with the Raider that has been after him since the battle began.
The new flight of Heavy Bombers definitely consists of a new threat and Kell responds accordingly, "Milkman, Nova, going after one of the bombers." Instead of just angling in directly, Razor pulls back on his flight stick to gain some altitude, the maneuver helping him evade the autocannon rounds that were shot at him from one of the Heavy Raiders. Then he dives down on the third Cylon bomber and fires off a deadly accurate burst of autocannon fire. Whether by luck or he is carrying rounds touched by the Gods, Razor's bullets punches right into the cockpit section, effectively decapitating the Cylon bomber. With black smoke billowing out of the destroyed control area, the Heavy Raider slowly spirals down towards the ground.
"Alright Socks, let's go to work." Hawk is a lot less expressive than his wingman, but they seem to be able to understand one another. Bombers downed, he swoops around to focus on the tail the other pilot has picked up.
That exhale from Alain is one of relief as the combined power of the wolves decimates the new bombers. No whooping cry this time; anything to avoid further scenes like earlier. "Nice work, wolves," he calls, the relief obvious in his voice, glancing at DRADIS and latching onto the nearest raider.
Van finds himself part of a rather vast armada of Colonial forces determined not to allow another bomb release -- enough ships flying at the trio of bombers that he has to pull up to avoid collision before he gets within ideal range, his shells mostly scattering off armor but a few still punching through. "Banshee, Milkman, that's how we do it." Luckily, his own near wave-off on the attack run made his determined pursuer miss as well, "Nice shooting, Razor. I'm going to finish off this stubborn Raider, then I'll come help you with the Heavy after you."
"I'm good," Gwyndolen says simply as she swings back around to target one of the raiders. "Not even the slightest bit gelatin." She lines up for another run. Her sleepiness disappeared in the tension of the bomber run, and she's hyper-focussed on now.
Calliope switches her focus to the remaining Raiders, when the bombers are dusted by the flight. She tries to keep her flight pattern more level now. Not wanting to jar Isolde's intense efforts with that rear gun.
When the new bombers appear, Astraea doesn't even think twice. She just angles in and lets fly with the talons. And they do the trick; square into the body of the craft. It's a solid hit, too. Along with Alain and Aubrey. The Scorpian pilot seems largely relieved, overall, settling into the routine of things. "Whisper, Nova, copy. Focusing on the raiders. Keepin' an eye on DRADIS." But so far, Pitbull hasn't shouted out about anything.
Aubrey sweeps in alongside Emrys and fires at the light Raider she's chosen. Between them it explodes over the waterfront and she calls out, "Nice shooting Uncle Hawk!" over the comm. Yeah he's stuck with that from her.
Mason's busily chucking and manuevering through the fields of fire with almost abandon as he remains close to Gwyndolen. "Knick-Knack, Jar. They ever start calling us by the names of relatives..." he trails off because he finds his hands full with a pair of raiders as he continues his attack.
Eva manages, with assistance from Pi, to finish off at least one of the raiders,before she moves in to try to clear the one she can see on Finn's tail. Because that's not happening today. Not again.
Socks is able to pull into a tight enough circle to get a good angle on the raider tailing Hawk with ineffective fire. "Cammmon, cammon you rusty heap," he grits his teeth, his thumbs closing in on his KEW controls as he rakes a blast of fire across the raider's axis, hitting the cylon pilot inside. "Finally got ta da real bullets!" he grins as the raider goes tumbling down into the city, finally exploding against what looks like a bank. "Frak yer credit rating!" he quips as he rolls over evading his tail's fire as he moves to find another target.
Gwyndolen swoops along a raider, her guns strafing it, just denting its armour. "Jar, Knick-Knack. I prefer not to be anyone's uncle," she says. "My family is quite complicated enough without that."
Calliope breathes easier as Isolde and Eva blast her Raptor's toaster follower away. She continues to annoy the Cylons with unflattering hull dents, though her shot doesn't pierce deeper than that. "Pi, Cherry, sweet shooting. I think we're clear."
It takes Isolde an extra moment to realize that some of that incoming fire comes from Cherry. She breathes out a heavy exhale when the Raider falls in a hunk of debris, and she then catches sight of Eva. "Thanks for the assist, Cherry!" She then looks over DRADIS to catch sight of her next targets. "Flight, our sector is thinning." She nods her agreement to Calliope's words, perhaps laying the groundwork for the incoming attacks.
Van weaves and twists some more, opening up a line for him to fire on the Raider that is just getting hammered by Alain as well, "Jigger, Milkman, nice shooting." His own tracers hit home, and the Raider comes apart, the Picon pilot searching out his wingman and curving around toward the Heavy chasing Kell, "We can't all be family, Banshee. I'm not marrying my cousin." Apparently, having Isolde back has recovered Van's sense of humor somewhat.
This time, there's a whoop from Jigger as his KEW hits the body of the raider he's targeting, tearing it apart when combined with Van's hit. "Milkman, Jigger. Back at you! Looks like things are clearing up..." he's spoken too soon, clearly.
Sadly, this announcement was not news to Eva, as she picked out the glimmering of chrome under the light of the day, and she's already moving to engage the new threat, basestar or no.
"Nevermind, Knick-Knack. Seems we have yet more company. Same as the last?" Mason asks as he works on breaking the contact to head towards the bombing flight.
"Whisper, Jigger. Roger that. Banshee, you in with me?" Alain calls, as he redirects his target, swooping towards the bombers. If he's anxious about the relative near-ness of the base star, it isn't audible in his voice.
"One would think they would run out of bombers eventually," notes Gwyndolen with a sigh, lining up yet another target. "Yes, Jar. Let's take down those bombers."
Emrys is caught completely by surprise by the announcement of bombers, somehow having missed their approach. He's quick to respond to the orders, however, zooming off toward the new arrivals. He doesn't join in on the family discussion on the comms, tending to silence.
"Jigger, Banshee. With you all the way, partner." Aubrey moves to join her wingmate.
In his search for a new target, Socks spots the bomberwave coming in, and he quickly forms up with Hawk. "Let's takem down jus like before," he says, speeding off for the new bombers, lining one up.
"Uh. Shit." Isolde gives just that much over comms before she is moving her focus to the incoming Raiders. She switches to ECM this time, dropping her fingers to the keyboard. Again, the ghost of her ring finger spooks her a bit, but she shifts over her middle and pinkie in some desperate attempt to make up for its loss. "Flight, I'm applying countermeasures on the bombers."
With the furball in full swing with the Cylon reinforcements joining in, Kell sees a friendly Viper fly across his front arc with one of the new Raiders giving chase so he does what any squadronmate would do, clear the friendly's tail. "Jar, Razor, slipping in behind the Raider that is chasing you." A quick skid maneuver sheds some speed, giving Razor a window to light up his target and light it up he does. Triggering a burst, his twin autocannons roar to life and the Cylon craft is shredded to pieces. "Jar, it's down!" When the announcements of more bombers in the air, Kell quickly shoots his gaze at the looming Basestar which looks bigger and bigger everytime he glances over.
"Razor, Nova... Y'gotta problem." Meaning Astraea's spotted the heavy on his tail. Likely around the same time Van has. Still pushing her Raptor, she angles in that same direction, from a different angle. The Talons are warmed up and ready to release. Just got to wait for the right angle...
Calliope has too much momentum to divert her attack pattern from the Raider she's focused on. She'll take them on the next pass, if the skies don't clear. The basestar makes her gulp, but she tries to keep her focus on her own little corner of airspace. And not on all the things adjacent to it that could blow her and her fellows up at any moment.
"Farmboy to Flight, Frak...My targetting systems are fritzing out. Smoke in my cabin..." Finn sounds off as he tries to keep his bird steady enough to hit...well...anything. As it stands, he can manuever well enough to avoid getting hit so far since the big hit that almost killed him. Still, he isn't flying in top form at this point.
Aubrey dives in at the bomber alongside Jigger, and she spirals to dodge the KEW fire from it, even as she unloads her own into the ship. She riddles the body of the Cylon vessel with holes and streaks past it, grimacing as she sees the shot Alain's Viper takes to the nose. "Jigger, Banshee! You ok? What the hell, was that a Raptor?!"
Eva comes in hot, on one of the clear raiders, and she seems to either come up lucky, or just got in on a raider with a bit less armor than most seem to, as she takes it out in a single, nicely times press of the trigger. She's flying through the debris and coming back around, catching sight of the incoming raptors, the missiles they're firing. Well, that puts paid to that, as she moves in to engage.
Isolde immediately gets on the comms the moment she gets the signal that there's Picon IFF Raptors in view. She frowns slightly. "Raptors A-zero-nine-two and A-zero-nine-three... this is Ensign Asa of the Colonial Forces. Please respond." She glances slightly toward Calliope.
The other bombers go down, but Socks only manages to land a superficial hit. His eyes do light up as Hawk blasts out its windows, "Aw, yah, nice hit Hock!" he says as he evades some defensive fire. He kicks his engines up a notch and tries his best to take it out before it completes its run.
A moment of whooping celebration from Alain as he and Aubrey take out one of the bombers. "Best teammate ever!" he's calling delightedly to Aubrey, a second before a missile streaks across and impacts into his nose. His comms go out, and near every alarm goes off in his cockpit as regains control. "Shit," he taps at DRADIS, "Banshee, Jigger. I think my DRADIS is frakked. They're reading friendly!" A beat. "Sure as shit doesn't seem friendly to me," he says, immediately switching to an evasive pattern.
Emrys streaks by one of the bombers, pouring kew fire into the cockpit. Then suddenly there's a missile on his tail, and he's got no idea where it came from. He manages to avoid it, by the skin of his teeth, but the Virgon's tone isn't quite as calm as normal when he comes over comms "Socks, did you see where that missile came from? Did I gain a tail?"
"Whisper, I've got a confirmed Picon IFF signal but no response to hails." Isolde says this awful fast. "Please advise." She starts to tap away at her keyboard, preparing to apply countermeasures. Worse thing that could happen there is that she disables it. Right?
Sadly, the call of the new bombers is a little too late for Van, as he's currently heading west to curl in behind Kell's tag-along. He comes around behind the Heavy, but it means that he's a good ways behind the first wave going after the new group of bombers. "Flight, Milkman, don't forget to keep up your juking." His own juking doesn't keep one of the Raiders from splashing tracers over his bird in a head-on attack, but he blows by the Raider and augers in after the Heavy, pummeling it with mostly-armor-denting shells. It still comes apart, thanks to hits from Stirling's ECO and Astraea as well, and he breathes out a sigh of relief, looking around for a new target. The calls from his flight-mates about the Raptors draw him up, his eyes widening, and he looks through the combat, "Milkman is going after the last bomber."
Locating his wingman, Kell sees that Van picked up a trailer and immediately responds to that threat, pushing his thrusters to full, "Milkman, Razor, you've got one on your six, coming to assist!" He isn't able to fire off his shots before the Raider does but when the Ensign does fire, his rounds are deadly accurate again. It seems like Razor is very much in the zone as his autocannon rounds pierces the cockpit section of the Raider, the Centurion inside shot to pieces and the Cylon fighter tumbles down towards the ground below. Then friendly fire happens as Kell immediately shifts his gaze to the two friendly Raptors that reinforced them, "What the frak?!" He's frozen in his cockpit, watching as the Raptors are engaging them and not the Cylons.
"I ain't seen shit, Hock!" Socks calls back, looking this way and that, he sees a couple of new raptors. "Ders two local boys, must be drunk on grampy's shine!"
There's a lore in the flight annals, known as the Golden BB. It's when a pilot gets that lucky shot that brings down a craft that would normally be considered impossible. One of the Raiders manages to find a small flaw or opening in the scratched up armor on the side of Mason's Viper that causes one of the engines to explode and flame, before trailing fire. All of the engines shut off automatically to control the explosion and it takes several moments for Mason to get the systems restarted and the the two remaining thrusters back on line to get him back into the fight and twisting on one of the remaining bombers.
Gwyndolen does not cheer, exactly, but she gives a small sound that is almost a 'whoop' as the bomber explodes. "Jar, Knick-Knack," she reports. "I'll see if I can take care of the one on your tail." She's already committed to that run when she catches sight of the newcomers, the friendlies targeting them. "What..."
Calliope tenses as Isolde comms up those Raptors. She flicks a quick backward glance to her ECO, then directs her eyes out the viewscreen again. Staring at the 'friendly' seeming buses. As if the force of her gaze alone could peel back hulls and reveal Cylons or humans. It can't, though. So she just concentrates her fire on the things she knows are Cylons and waits. Biting her lip beneath her helmet.
"Jigger, Nova, ya got a..." but Astraea's not even sure how to relay the details from her ECO. Partially because Pitbull isn't sure, either. Isolde's picked up the thread, but Nova just tries to get a visual on the ships. Raptors, alright, but what's going on. The woman takes a deep breath and just tries to focus more local. On what she knows. She knows Raiders. Shaking her shoulders a bit, she angles in towards one of the raiders, adjusting her talons and their targeting.
Since the viper isn't cooperating for evasive flight patterns, or even standard flight patterns, Finn has to compensate. Seeing these new threats appear on his DRADIS, he veers off to intercept. It's only a moment later that he realizes it is a raptor, "What the frak..." he says into his comms. Still, Eva's on their tail, so he is too. That's where flight patterns come into play. Those things are packing missiles, and he isn't looking for anyone to get killed today. So he pours on what speed he can in his damamged viper and flies straight for the raptor. That's not dangerous at all. What could possible go wrong?
Isolde starts to think quickly, and she looks to Calliope. "We should get close. Get sight on the cockpit. We could get a visual confirmation." She waits for her partner's thoughts on the matter even while she continues to tap away at the keyboard.
"Banshee, Jigger. We don't know they aren't friendly! Wiggle your ass at them a bit, try and distract them!" Alain calls. "I can outfly them."
Eva is still moving in on the raptors, "Whisper, they attacked our flight with missiles. They had enough time on the approach to verify who we were." She still appears to be targetting the raptor.
Calliope nods quick at Isolde's words, getting back on the mic, "Flight, Soundbite. I think I can get in for a tighter pass while Pi's jamming them, to try and get a visual on whatever's inside. Should be able to bank clear if there's trouble." She sounds so confident in that. She might even believe it.
"Cherry, Whisper. There are dozens of ships in the air here, including Cypers. We'll take the time to confirm," Stirling doesn't sound upset, but she does sound firm. And she's doing her best to put her bird in the line of fire in case she's wrong. "Copy, Soundbite. We'll also try for visual confirmation."
Isolde nods confidently to Calliope's words. "You can do it, Bite!" There's even a good chance that Isolde sounds like Calliope can do it, too.
Along with the rest of the pack, Socks helps bury that last bomber. He glances over to Hawk's viper. "You spot who's shootin atcha, Hock?" he asks, scanning the skies.
"Razor, Milkman, not anymore. Thanks for the cover." Van glances over to his wingman then, frowning, "Come on Razor. Engage the Raiders. Give Cherry and Farmboy a hand." He puts a burst of KEW-fire into the bomber along with several other hits, the quartet tearing it apart. And then the Raptors fire again, "Flight, Milkman. I think they're pretty clearly unfriendly! Farmboy? Whisper?" He hasn't spotted Mason getting hit again, with his attention focused on the big ships.
"Copy that," Aubrey grunts over the comm, though she'd rather being shooting up the Raptor that hit her wingman, she turns her attention to the remaining bomber. Adding her shots to the others to take it down.
When Calliope gets close enough to the ship, providing fire onto the nearest Raider, Isolde gets a good look inside the Raptor's cockpit. She doesn't hesitate getting onto the comms again. "Flight, Pi. I've got a confirmed sight! Cylons in the cockpit! Repeat, unfriendlies confirmed!" Just for those who really, really needed that confirmation. She only realizes that Farmboy's DRADIS contact as blipped off when Van asks for a confirm. Then she spots the loss of Mason's, too.
Another KEW round finds it's way into Mason's Viper engines and the whole kit and kaboodle blows, shattering it to the point that restart isn't an option. "Knick-Knack, Jar. Mark position. I'm heading down. I'll find ya somethin' nice to bring back." With that, his Viper starts to nose over and head towards the city, with Mason trying to guide it over the water so it doesn't slam into a populated area before ejecting.
Eva moves in to try to distract the raptor, which is now coming in hard on Finn, and it's missile hits, the explosion flashing across her sight and causing her to lose sight of Finn, giving the raider on her a chance to get in a hit on her own bird, "Godsdamnit, Whisper, that's Farmboy, how long we going to wait for confirmation on these frakkers?" her voice hardens, "No, they don't get him."
Alain's evasive stance is all for naught, it seems -- since the raptor retargets onto Finn. He spins his viper just in time to see a missile impact. "Farmboy! Frak," he's yelling into comms, accelerating towards viper and raptor both, the former to protect, and the latter to target. "Frak this. IFF or not, they shot down one of our own!" Even before Calliope's confirmation, he's switching targeting to the very unfriendly raptor.
Calliope gets her already-locked talon off without, honestly, expecting it to do much of anything. And it doesn't, really, but it's a death by a thousand cuts situation with that Raider she's been pinging all night. "Uh, seriously? Flight, splash." She sounds kind of baffled, and gets back to her real concern right now. Moving in for tighter visual on unidentified Picon Raptors." And so she does. Easing off the throttle and taking advantage of the slower pace a Raptor is capable of, so she can drag it past for a proper look within. She grimaces when Isolde confirms Cylons aboard though. Nodding tight to her ECO. "That was bright, Pi. It would've frakked with us, if we hadn't known for sure."
"Socks, Hawk. It must have been one of our new friends." Emrys replies. Then the confirmation comes over the comms that they are indeed unfriendly, and he whips around to try and get KEW on the one that moved into position on his wing earlier. He's gunning his bird, pushing it to the limit.
Gwyndolen was too focussed on the raider that evades her. "Jar? You all right?" Well, obviously, he isn't. She slams a hand against her cockpit, and whips her Viper around to fixated on that raider again.
Isolde glances over toward Calliope, and she swallows a bit. "That's why they do it. To frak with us." Then she bobs her head slightly. "Next time... let's use bionculars." Which means she was getting very, very nervous being so close...
"Copy that, first they take our vipers, now they're takin our rapters!" Socks sounds offended at the idea, and he peels off on Hawk's tail, zeroing in on the offending cylons.
Having loosed their two missiles though, the two Raptors are now beating feet.
As confirmation of the centurions at the controls of the raptors gets out, Astraea lets out a string of epithets in Scorpian- some choice Leonese in there, too. A bit of it gets out on the comms as she flips in to chime: "Flight, Nova. Get those bastards. I'll cover yer tails on these Raiders." They've got a couple remaining, so she won't join the soon-coming fray for the familiar ships being used against them.
As Alain spots the raptors accelerating away, he punches his viper forward to try and cut one of them off. "Oh no, you don't," he's muttering under his breath.
"Just goin' fer a swim, Knick-Knack." Mason offers quietly, trying to hide the worry in his voice, before adding. "Guess I'll have to wait for the response to my letter, huh?" With that, he pulls the eject handles, kicking away the canopy and punching out as his seat falls away and the chute pops as the Viper continues it's dive towards the waters of the bay.
Finn's a pretty good pilot. Even in a damaged viper, he's managed to evade shot after shot from raiders. Missile lock is another story, and while Finn was trying to fire off the ships bow, his ships systems don't give him enough warning to evade that incoming missile. It didn't help that he was flying in a straight line, to try and get a decent shot in. The missile connects with his viper, right in the kisser. Finn jerked the controls at the last second, and the missile blast came just to the left, tearing away the front end of the viper. It spins out of control, a smoking wreck towards the ground.
"Sorry Milkman, getting my head back in." The friendly fire did shake up the young pilot a bit, with what happened back on Canceron, but Kell rolls his Viper back into the furball. Though the Raptors have revealed their true colors, Razor still chooses to engage one of the two remaining Raiders instead.
As Finn's viper starts to tumble down to the ground, Eva peels off, moving to track her wingman's descent, and if she can take a final shot at the raptor that did him in great, if not, that's not what's important. She's following him down.
Calliope cries out "Farmboy!?" when she sees her Viper take a missile to the face. Yelling into the comm probably doesn't make it anymore for him audible for him right now, Calliope. She swallows. "Flight, Soundbite, we're going to need SAR. Farmboy's Viper's down." After that, not quite muting in time, she breathes, "Oh gods..."
Aubrey chases alongside Alain's Viper, going after the Raptor that shot down Finn. Her fire goes wide. "This is a slippery one! Need to catch them though, or they'll fool someone else down the line!"
"Of course they are, Socks. They've been doing it since the Uprising." Van curves his Viper back around, "Razor, Milkman, no problem. You've got it." As he bores in on the false-flag Raptors, he notes, "Flight, Milkman, I'm going to try to drive the starboard Raptor further starboard. Three, two, one, Mark." And he fires off a burst of KEW-fire, aiming just in front of the Raptor and slightly off to its left. Despite the fact that he uses it often, he's still not particularly good at the herding tactic, and the Raptor flies on despite his best attempts.
Though it's probably the last person anyone expects it of... Astraea cuts in over the comms: "Flight, Nova.. We gotta basestar overhead... We can't SAR yet. Each onna us out of th' fight is one less protectin' th' rest." Even if she sounds anxious as frak as she says it.
Socks' viper zooms in and lands a hit on one of the raptors. Sparks fly everywhere, bits and pieces tumble down towards the ground, and the raptor stays aloft. "Dammit, this thing's tougher'n Ray's shitbox!" he complains as bullets zip through the cylon raptor.
The Tauron is back on the KEWs the moment that she is confident that she's dealing with unfriendlies. She unleases fire, and it zings across the wing with a blast of concentrated fire. She hears Calliope, turning her focus to DRADIS to sight where Farmboy's signal was last seen. She hears the sound of a crash in her ears, and the rushing in of water. She shakes her head after a moment, clearing her of those sensory memories. Her voice is a bit breathy as she says, "We'll get him, Bite. I've got him tagged."
Emrys scores along the body of the raptor with KEW fire as it does its best to evade. Locked in a dogfight with the cylon-piloted craft, he shows no signs of throwing on the brakes. Perhaps it's the fact it snuck up on him like that. Then Stirling issues new orders, and he breaks off pursuit and banks his viper back over toward the crash zone. "Whisper, Hawk copies. Nova, we've got you covered."
Eva was already on her way, tracking Finn's descent, so at least she's not disobeying orders, "Next time, I don't give a frak what IFF they're reading. if they shoot at one of us, I'm taking them out. You can mast me after." She forms up with Hawk, her eyes catching, "Whisper, second SAR, Jar's punched out, his shoot's deployed."
With teeth gritted, Alain's voice sounds strained as he replies, "Banshee, Jigger. Couldn't get his attention, come in from the left, I'll pincer him from the right!" he calls, as he pushes his viper faster, trying to line up a shot. He grimaces at Stirling's words, but until there's another bomber in front of him, he's going to try and take down that frakking raptor with his wingmate.
"Flight, Knick-Knack." Gwyndolen's voice is calm even as she swoops around the raider, dancing a deadly dance with the Viper that took down her wingmate. "Jar's down as well."
Calliope takes a deep, shuddering breath and tries to regain some handle on the battlefield, eyes tracking Eva's Viper. As well as she can in the madness. A tight little nod back to Isolde, though it's followed by a low "Ugh" at the comm from Gwyndolen. "Gods..." She starts to say more than that, but cannot. For the moment, she just keeps flying as best she can.
There's some surprise from Astraea as she's given orders to handle the SAR now. She looks back to Pitbull, briefly, before grabbing at the controls to peel away from Razor's wing. "Copy that, Whisper. Headin' to Cherry's mark." She zips ahead of the others named to cover the pickup. "Knick-Knack, send th' coordinates- we'll get 'im after." If she's already on SAR, she'll handle both to keep the others in the fight.
"Jigger, Banshee. Copy that!" Aubrey swings out to come in from the left of the Raptor.
The news that the CAG is ordering SAR causes Van to let out a sigh of relief, although the news that Jar is down too causes him to grimace again, "Milkman copies, Whisper. Cherry, Knick-Knack, Milkman. Positive chutes?" He hauls his Viper around, linking back up with Kell, "'Bite, Pi, Milkman. Razor and I will be your escorts from here on." Since Nova, Cherry, and Farmboy are all otherwise engaged.
There's a brief pause before Alain answers Stirling, enough of a pause to suggest he's taking a deep breath first. "Whisper, Jigger. Roger that. Returning to the flight." He glances out the cockpit window to make sure Aubrey's with him.
Aubrey follows Stirling and Alain to wreak bloody havok on those bombers.
Calliope casts a look down toward the surface, like she's envying Astraea in that moment. But, she sticks to business. Which, right now, is continuing to fight. She forms up with Van and Kell, mostly concentrating on flying and attack angles while Isolde handles the guns.