2237-09-29 - Canyon Dance

A wing of Timber Wolves go on patrol in one of the mountain ranges in the Sadah province of Sagittaron. They encounter a group of Raiders. It goes -- for the Wolves -- surprisingly well, considering the difficulties of flying (and fighting) in a canyon.

Date: 2237-09-29

Location: Canyons, Sagittaron

Related Scenes: None

Plot: Operation: Watchtower

Scene Number: 1431

Jump to End

After word of increased Cylon activity in the mountain range near one of the larger tyllium mines, a patrol of Wolves have been sent out. Rather than a standard CAP, it's a full wing. The canyon is tight and narrow, so it's tricky flying. Standard sat imagery and flyovers won't do; the shadows run too deep and it's too easy for Raiders to hide in the overhangs and through the passes.

So far, it's been quiet and easy going. Almost -- almost -- tempting at times to let go and open up the thrusters. If one felt like showing off a little. The sun is setting and the shadows make things a bit more tricky. It's a good thing the birds have DRADIS- more than a few times, the shadows have cast Raider-like shapes across the landscape below.

Calliope is usually a careful flyer, and that's particularly on display today. She pays extra attention to her place in formation as the Wolves move through the canyons. There's even less room for error in tight spaces in the bus than the Vipers have. She trusts her instruments and her ECOs to watch for signs of Cylons, her own attention entirely on maintaining course and position.

Far more comfortable in open space, Alain's Gemenese music is turned up within his cockpit, leaning forward. His attention is for the most part out the window, the occasional glance towards DRADIS to double-check this or that, preferring it seems to rely on sight rather than the instruments. He's not relaxed enough to be drumming, and certainly not of a mind to show off.

This is the kind of unusual, challenging flight that Ines would usually relish, particularly given Sadah's dramatic geography. Today, though, finds her flying in silence. No music, no humming, no occasional flex of the Viper against the jetstream for the joy of the thing -- just quiet she can measure in the slow and hollow sound of her own breathing, and an underlying current of tension. It's her first flight since the one that claimed one pilot and may have claimed one more. The memories are still fresh.

Faye is enjoying the flying through the canyons, though she doesn't stray far from Iris' Raptor. Instead she tends to enjoy her time by taking the turns a bit harder than she needs to, she didn't get too far ahead of the Raptor though, staying close to the ship she's been ordered to help protect during this bit of fun flying. If only she was here on her own time in a Viper, or just doing some nape-of-the-planet training in this place. It would be an absolute pleasure.

It's probably not fair to call Irene's flying 'poking along', but it's almost right. She's been piloting cautiously since the wing has entered the canyons, trying to avoid colliding with the walls or having angry Cylon leap out of the shadows at her. In the back, the grumpiest, oldest ECO possibly in existence; Wooly. He's glued to the DRADIS and the pair, from long association, don't need to converse much. They trust each other to do their jobs. She has to do her talking over the comms when she feels the need, but hasn't said a whole lot this trip.

"Jigger, Nova-" She's been quiet on the comms for the most part; focusing on the flight. "I damn well hope ya didn't make any bets with the deck today on th' state of my ship." Mind, the last combat she was in, she came out clean. That would've been a good one to bet on, but then... Knowing Astraea, it's generally good to bet that she will get hit rather than the other way around. "Can't say I'm a fan of this. It's sorta... claustrophobic, y'know?" Pitbull, her ECO (poor guy) grunts as he taps at DRADIS, adjusting for the false positives the canyon walls throw off.

Flying in atmosphere on Sagittaron is probably the most familiar thing Nora's done since joining the Wolves, and it's almost too easy to let the familiar terrain and the sun beaming through her cockpit lull her into a false sense of ease, wind the clock back to before the war - or at least this war - began. But it's been a rough week for the Timber Wolves, and as new as she is to the squad (their losses really just names and faces she'd only begun to learn) the mood is palpable, enough to keep her head on a swivel as they navigate the twists and turns of the canyon.

Being senior pilot means you have to talk, though -- not something Alain's used to with the number of Captains they typically have on deck every mission. And so, off the music goes, with an exhale of breath. "No bets, Nova, not today," he assures her, briefly. "Flight, Jigger. Keep your eyes sharp. Iris, Nova, I want your ECO's glued to DRADIS. Too frakking hard to see anything out here." A beat, and then, "Soundbite, I want you to pull up a little and fly overwatch on the squadron with me." He doesn't have to say it -- his voice says it pretty clearly -- he really doesn't like this.

"Jigger, Soundbite. I've got you covered! And us covered." Calliope pulls her Raptor out of its carefully-assumed place on that, syncing it up with Alain's Viper into a position where she can have a wider view of the territory.

"Iris, Bingo, you are still awake right? I don't hear you drooling yet." A little wiggle of the stick to one side and then the other, she was enjoying the feel of weaving through the canyons. She even started to a hum a little bit off the comms.

"Jigger, Iris - Wooly's staring so hard at the screen I think he's about to burst some blood vessels in his eyes," Irene relays after a glance back into the raptor where her ECO is straining his vision. "Then I won't be able to look at him cause his eyes will be all red, gross and scary." The last part she doesn't say very loudly, but it sounds like she genuinely wouldn't be able to.

"Bingo, Iris, I'm so awake right now. Minimal drooling." She answers watching Faye's viper for a moment or two, before it's back to trying not to crash and playing spot the raider.

The radio chatter amounts to 'stay frosty' -- and she doesn't know their current flightleader well enough to detect the unease there -- so Ines says nothing, her hold on the center stick light and her eyes everywhere. The canyon walls in her periphery are only a bloody smear of desert hues mingled with troubling shadows, leaving her with the feeling that her situational awareness has been compromised. "Thank the gods for overwatch," she murmurs to herself, tilting her head and angling a glance up and back through the canopy.

"Nova copies." It's all Astraea has to offer for the moment. Scorpia has jungles, which are tricky enough when you fly a Raptor in and out of hot zones. Picon had its own share of difficulties. Caprica, well... This is a whole new sort of 'hard' for the pilot. She's a very visual flyer, too, and having to constantly check DRADIS just to stay on target is putting a measure of strain on the woman. She breathes, carefully, but keeps on keepin' on. "Steady," she mumbles, off-comms and largely to herself. Pitbull, as always, just does his job and largely ignores the woman that's gotten him into more tight spots than he'd really like.

<FS3> Alain rolls Gunnery: Good Success (8 8 7 6 5 4 3 3 3 1 1)

<FS3> Astraea rolls Gunnery: Great Success (8 7 7 6 6 3 2 2 1)

<FS3> Irene rolls Gunnery: Good Success (8 8 7 5 5 4 3 2 2)

<FS3> Faye rolls Gunnery: Good Success (8 8 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 1)

<FS3> Ines rolls Alertness: Good Success (8 7 6 5 5 4 2 1)

<FS3> Calliope rolls Alertness: Good Success (8 7 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 2)

<FS3> Nora rolls Alertness: Good Success (8 8 7 5 4 3 2 1 1)

As the shadows deepen as the sun sets past the canyon -- save for Soundbite and Jigger on overwatch -- DRADIS continues to throw false positives every now and again. A flash off a relay here or an abandoned piece of equipment there perhaps. But then a series of blips shows.

Shows and disappears. Then shows again. They flicker in and out a couple of times before they become solid. The ECOs in the Raptors send up the alarm: incoming contacts. It's Pitbull, with Nova, who gets the call out first: "Six Raiders. Can't get a solid bead on direction-" so he can't say, no one can, which direction they're coming from yet, "but they're in the canyon."

Squinting at his DRADIS for a moment, Alain exhales as Pitbull makes the call. "Pitbull, Jigger. Roger that. Flight, Watch your wingmen and stick with your raptors. This is going to be a tight fight -- watch the canyon walls." He's grimacing in his cockpit, although there's nothing of that in his voice as he says, "Soundbite, I'm on you. Let's go frak some toasters," with somewhat of his usual humor.

Returning from the daydream like status that the flight through the sunset lit corridor has provided, Addison blinks up at the sound of alert from others and his eyes scan the horizon to try to pick up the location of the indicated Raiders. "Flight, 'Cane. I don't have any visual yet. Be wary on your thrusters in atmosphere and on the banks in here."

Calliope grins slight. Frak some toasters, indeed. "Copy that, Jigger. My backseater is warming up the electronic warfare suites. Will engage talons once we're closer to the boogeys. I'll try and keep the targeting precise." Tricksy canyons and all. She throttles to a faster clip to keep pace with Alain's zippy Viper and prepares to jam.

"Cane, Shirts," Nora taps the comm but takes a second to follow up with an actual message, attention divided between the flickering DRADIS screen and the canyon ahead (and around, and below, and sometimes above). "No visual here yet either, seems we're going to have to do some shadowboxing. Forming up on you, I'll take the high line if you've no objections."

<FS3> Alain rolls Piloting: Amazing Success (8 8 7 7 6 6 6 1 1 1 1)

<FS3> Faye rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 7 6 6 5 4 4 3 1)

Maybe there ought to be some sort of ratcheting up of the tension when that alert goes out. Fear isn't weakness, after all; it's a survival instinct. For Ines, though, what follows that announcement is something very like relief.
She exhales with it, forms a word with the air. "Finally."

<FS3> Irene rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 8 7 4 4 4 3 3 3 1)

<FS3> Ines rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 6 6 5 4 3 3 2)

<FS3> Addison rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 8 7 6 5 5 5 4 3 2 2)

<FS3> Astraea rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 7 7 3 2 2 1 1 1)

<FS3> Calliope rolls Piloting: Success (6 5 5 3 3 2 2 2 1 1)

<FS3> Nora rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 7 6 6 4 4 2 2 1)

"Shirts, Cane. First, we still haven't changed that callsign? Second, I never have issues with someone on top." Addison's voice, cracking the pair of jokes sounds distant and flat as he flies down the corridor. "Just fly composed Shirts, I'll handle the less composed."

"Iris, Bingo, I'm guessing you're still back there." Faye moves a bit to one side then the other, trying to line up the shots as she starts to angle herself toward the incoming Raiders.
"It looks like you've made some friends." She lets out a snort, she gives a bit more of a thin-lipped smile as it was rather tight in here but - whatcha gonna do but to go for it.

"Wooly, get on the guns, we're not going to have room here to break if anything gets on our six." Irene says to her co-pilot, perhaps hoping the canyon is playing havoc on their systems too. Her hunch, unfortunately, turns out to be on point. Wooly gets to the gunner's seat, just as the raptor is singled out by two raiders swooping in from the shadows. Evasive maneuvers! "Bingo, Iris, I'm Ms. Popular. Will try to break hearts."

"Cane, Nova... We've got a Mittens now, too. To go wit' Shirts an' Socks. Workin' up a whole wardrobe here." Astraea's voice isn't quite steady, but she's trying to bleed off some of her nerves as she forms up on Addison and Nora, the racks holding her Talons shifting out from under the wings of her Raptor. Pitbull is doing his thing, but she's definitely not flying as loose and intensely as she usually does. The canyon, for certain, has the Scorpian pilot nervous.

"Still haven't changed that flying style?" Nora replies, the arched brow easily heard in her tone, "This is hardly the place for wild maneuvers, Cane. You graze a wingtip down here at these speeds and you'll take the lot of us out with you."

Calliope tries to suppress Raid6 with Ecm but FAILS.

Calliope tries to suppress Raid1 with Ecm but FAILS.

Calliope suppresses Raid2 with Ecm and succeeds.

Raid4 attacks Ines with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Cockpit. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Faye attacks Raid5 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body.

Nora attacks Raid2 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body.

Alain attacks Raid6 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Weapon. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raid1 attacks Irene with Kew but Irene EVADES EASILY!

Raid5 attacks Irene with Kew but Irene EVADES!

Addison attacks Raid3 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raid3 attacks Addison with Kew but MISSES!

Raid2 attacks Nora with Kew but Nora EVADES!

Astraea attacks Raid3 with Talons and HITS! Graze wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Ines attacks Raid1 with Kew but Raid1 EVADES EASILY!

Raid6 attacks Alain with Kew but Alain EVADES EASILY!

Irene attacks Raid1 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raid5 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Faye)

<FS3> Irene rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 8 8 6 5 4 4 4 4 4)

<FS3> Addison rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 8 7 6 6 4 3 2 2 1 1)

<FS3> Calliope rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 8 7 6 4 4 4 4 3 1)

<FS3> Faye rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 8 7 7 6 6 5 3 1)

<FS3> Alain rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 7 7 6 6 5 4 3 2 2 1)

<FS3> Ines rolls Piloting: Success (7 6 5 5 3 1 1 1)

<FS3> Astraea rolls Piloting: Success (8 7 5 5 4 3 3 2 1)

It's swiftly from the southeast that the Raiders appear, almost like a swarm. They were waiting, hovering under a deep overhang. The slight adjustments of their own thrusters accounted for the flickering on DRADIS; those little edges that would peep out from under the rock before they'd edge away. The wing is almost past them before they come screaming out upon the Wolves. It goes from a nerve-wracking patrol to a dogfight in the blink of an eye, with the Raiders suddenly thrust into the thick of them.

If they thought the canyon was close, it becomes suddenly closer. The walls echo back the rapport of KEW and the scream of talons alike; a sound that'd be unfamiliar if not for the sheer number of in-atmo battles the Wolves seem to fight these days. One Raider is quickly downed, crashing into the wall in a mess of smoke and flame.

<FS3> Nora rolls Piloting: Success (7 6 5 4 3 3 3 2 1)

A chuckle comes over the comms from Addison as he responds to the pair on his wing; being Astraea and Nora. "Just fly the way you normally do Shirts and Nova. I'll adjust around you." As the words leave his mouth, he rotates the Viper around, actually flipping it over on the dorsal to let a string of Raider KEW scrape the canyon just beyond his wing but keeping on his same path, lighting up some return fire as he does so.

And then there's the merge, and as they reach eachother Faye holds down the trigger for the kews, stitching the Raider even as its shots go wide of Irene. Her's don't though, no, her's send that Raider down with the first burst. "Iris, Bingo, got one off you. Breaking toward another." She pulls back on the stick, kicking in a little rudder to change her angles.

It's a tight furball indeed, made all the more difficult with both friendly and non-friendly in such a tight space. One might think that Alain would be given to aggressive flying, given his usual wingmate, however, there's no need for that. While he flies his usual, composed self, there's something skillful and deliberate about the way he flies down into the canyon sideways, hugging the wall and getting a beat on one of the raiders heading straight for him. While he successfully avoids both the canyon walls and the raider targeting him, his attack doesn't do much more than graze past the other viper's fire. His voice is tight as he checks in, "Soundbite, how you're looking?"

Calliope tries to stay a little above the thick of the dogfight while her Raptor is working ECM bursts. One less element of confusion in the thick of that fray. It has negligible effects at first, and there's a mutter of irritation from her ECO before he makes another pass. She descends a little lower this time, though, and begins to fire up her weps systems.

Irene's raptor bobs and weaves, shakes and bakes, and basically avoids the streams of kew fire chewing up the sky around her from the pair of raiders that drop in on her. She dances her bird out of harm's way without a scratch and plunges ahead into the narrowing canyon with a short burn. The tail guns erupt at the same time, taking the paint off one raider as Bingo clobbers the other before it can set up for another attack. It's just a greasy smudge. "Thanks, Bingo! Kes, Iris - let's get this other one."

"Bingo, Iris, Kestrel. Tracking your second target." It isn't that Ines is unaware of the Raider on trajectory to fire on her -- she knows it's there. It's that there's a visceral desire in her to punch through the target in front of her, and it compels her to take the chance: to tilt like a blade in the air and pour on the speed, angling for the right approach.
Like most of her other encounters since joining the Wolves, this one does not pan out in her favor. The hit to her cockpit jars the viper into a wobble, every little instance of uncertainty magnified by the pressing danger of those canyon walls. "Kestrel copies," is her response over the comm.

Calliope replies to Alain over the comm, "Looks like I picked up a tail, Jigger. I'm going to try and shake him. Be careful down in those rocks. Those walls do not look like fun to bounce off of."

"Frak me, targeting is a bitch-" That's over comms, too. Astraea's talon hits, but only barely. The pilot sucks at a tooth briefly, adjusting a bit as she lifts on the thrusters some to gain some height. It's slightly dicier flying, yes, but it might allow for better targeting. Dialing in the talons isn't quite the same as the KEW. It's wildly different, really. She doesn't even look back at Pitbull; there's no space to do so, not with the canyon, Raiders, and her own wingmates so near. All she can do is focus on her target and not crashing into something.

"Iriss, Bingo, looks like Ines picked one up, I'm going to angle in on it. That the one you mean?"

Nora remains skeptical, but Addison's made it this far, so she just double-clicks the comms in acknowledgement, no time for anything else before they're right up in it with the raiders. Close quarters like this makes friendly fire a serious danger, and Nora's a little trigger-shy, dodging and weaving through traffic but letting off only quick bursts of fire that barely manage to scrape her target.

Nora attacks Raid2 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body.

Calliope tries to suppress Raid4 with Ecm but FAILS.

Calliope tries to suppress Raid6 with Ecm but FAILS.

Calliope tries to suppress Raid1 with Ecm but FAILS.

Alain attacks Raid6 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body.

Astraea attacks Raid3 with Talons and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Tail.

Raid1 attacks Alain with Kew but Alain EVADES EASILY!

Irene attacks Raid1 with Missile and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Faye attacks Raid4 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing.

Raid4 attacks Calliope with Kew but Calliope EVADES EASILY!

Ines attacks Raid4 with Kew but Raid4 EVADES EASILY!

Raid2 attacks Astraea with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Weapon. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raid6 attacks Alain with Kew but Alain EVADES EASILY!

Addison attacks Raid3 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Raid3 attacks Ines with Kew but MISSES!

Raid1 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Irene)

Raid3 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Astraea, Addison)

<FS3> Alain rolls Piloting: Amazing Success (8 8 7 7 7 7 7 5 4 4 3)

<FS3> Faye rolls Piloting: Success (7 7 4 3 3 3 2 1 1)

<FS3> Irene rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 7 6 6 4 4 4 4 2 1)

<FS3> Addison rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 8 7 4 3 3 2 1 1 1 1)

<FS3> Ines rolls Piloting: Good Success (7 7 6 4 3 2 2 2)

<FS3> Astraea rolls Piloting: Amazing Success (8 7 7 6 6 6 6 5 3)

There's a long pause as Alain swings narrowing between a canyon wall and the wing of one of the raiders. "Frak!" he says, expressively -- whether that's for the near-miss or the aggressive flying going on is anyone's guess. "Soundbite, acknowledged. Looks like Bingo and Kestrel have you, confirm?" It's impossible to get actual sight with the pinging of DRADIS and close quarters claustrophobia of the flight. He and the raider trade fire; his impacts on the body, while the raider's fire impacts the wall where he was, mere seconds ago, causing a sheet of rocks to bounce down into the canyon below.

<FS3> Nora rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 8 7 6 6 4 4 2 2)

KEW spray lights up the Raider that Addison has been dancing with and he even slips himself around some of the shrapnel, coming rather close even for his tastes to the edge of the canyon wall. "Flight, Cane. Scratch an additional." He flips off his comm traffic for a moment in order to work on flipping over through his music selections to something he enjoys a bit more. "Nova - Shirts; Cane. Ever get the feeling you might be immortal?"

<FS3> Calliope rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 8 8 7 7 6 5 5 3 2)

Faye banks up, peeling over and slamming the rudder in to pitch the nose over to try and get a shot in on the Raider as is passed underneath. She gives a burst that grazes the wing before she mutters "Frak." But not keying the comm for her bit of annoyance. She wasn't about to let the Raider go, even if another one was starting to angle in on her.

"Cane, Nova, Shirts. Good shooting. But Cane I strongly advise you remove your helmet ASAP and knock on your own wooden head. I can't think of a better way to jinx yourself than to say something like that." That said, he does seem to be having more success, as her dodging and hesitating lets the same raider once again evade any significant hit. Not that she's about to tell him he's on to something right now, of course, but she lets the throttle out a few degrees, lays on some speed and goes at her target instead of laying back trying to navigate the crowd.

While none of them are taking solid hits, they're just picking away at the Raiders. In close quarters, it hasn't been easy to get anything solid in and Astraea's having a hard time actually dialing anything on her talons. The woman's jaw tenses a bit. But she hasn't seen any of their own go down or hear of any. After the last real battle she was in, that's a good thing. At Addison's call over comms, she just snorts. "Cane, Nova, pretty sure that's just askin' for trouble." Immortal, indeed. She lines up another target, gritting her teeth. "C'mon ya frakkers..."

The raider that originally tried to pounce on Irene screams off ahead of her and up, settling in on Alain's tail. That proves to not be the smartest play, since it leaves itself wide open for her to paint it with a missile lock and when she fires it, its got nowhere to go but up and it though it tries its little robot bestest, there's just no outrunning a missile with a solid lock. It turns into a meteor when it's struck, bounces off the canyon walls and scatters to the four winds, a shower of twisted metal and burning debris. "Jigger, Iris, cleared your six." In the back, Wooly calls out, "Bandit, break." Looks like she's got a new dance partner.

Cockpit damage isn't the worst. It's not, say, typically something that results in an interior fire. But the spidering in the ballistics glass and the keening whistle? Those, Ines could do without. None of her shots connect with her target, either. If stubbornly-set jaws could kill Cylons, they'd already be on their way home.
Behind her, the Raider tiling her viper shatters. "Nova, Cane -- " Pause. Nova...cane...no. Just don't. " -- Kesrel. Thanks for the clear."
She sticks as close as she can to Faye given the geography. Not that focused fire has been a hugely successful tactic thus far, but hey.

"Jigger, Soundbite. I'm clear! You've still got one on you. Locking talons. I'll try and give you an assist." Calliope's flying turns more straightforward as she gets into the meat of the dogfight. And is free of having to dodge Raiders amongst the rocks.

"Roger that, Iris. Thanks for the save," Alain replies, that self-same tightness in his voice as he executes another tight, neat turn. "Soundbite, Jigger. Acknowledged. I'll bank hard in three... two... one..." and he slams the viper left, leaving a clear path for Calliope's talons to strike.

Addison attacks Raid2 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body.

Irene attacks Raid2 with Kew but Raid2 EVADES!

Calliope attacks Raid6 with Talons and HITS! Graze wound to Tail. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raid4 attacks Addison with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Weapon. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Nora attacks Raid2 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Alain attacks Raid6 with Kew but MISSES!

Raid2 attacks Irene with Kew but Irene EVADES!

Faye attacks Raid4 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Weapon. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Ines attacks Raid4 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Astraea attacks Raid4 with Talons but Raid4 EVADES!

Raid6 attacks Alain with Kew but MISSES!

Raid2 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Addison, Nora)

The Wolves are getting the upper hand and it seems the canyon is more in their favor than the Cylons. This is a good thing and may make for some good training footage later. Maybe even something to show off for some of them. Who doesn't enjoy (of the jocks at least) being able to point to some fancy maneuvers to say 'I did that!'

But then the ECOs will notice a few more blips. And not just any. That particular trio that people have come to dread. A pair of Raiders flanking a Heavy. The three must be on their own patrol; they're not hiding, just careening around the canyon right in the direction of the Colonial wing.

<FS3> Faye rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 8 7 7 7 5 2 1 1)

<FS3> Astraea rolls Piloting: Success (8 8 5 5 5 4 3 2 2)

<FS3> Irene rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 8 8 8 8 6 5 5 4 2)

<FS3> Alain rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 8 7 7 6 6 4 3 3 2 1)

<FS3> Addison rolls Piloting: Great Success (7 7 7 6 6 4 3 2 1 1 1)

<FS3> Ines rolls Piloting: Good Success (7 6 6 5 4 2 1 1)

<FS3> Calliope rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 7 7 7 6 6 4 3 3 2)

<FS3> Nora rolls Piloting: Success (7 4 4 4 2 2 2 2 2)

"Nova, Shirts - Cane. We got additional. Nova I'm going to try to peel yours off first and see if I can slip in there. This is going to be a bit tricky, but I'm going to hit a brake and duck under the pair of you under the deck here. Pass over and drag the Heavy with you and I'll try to settle in on it." For once the jokes don't come flying from the man, the burning image of the most recent destroyed Raider from his KEW shots barely past his retinas before he's settling in on the next target.

Well frak. That's just lovely. Patrol, meet patrol. If they weren't, y'know, ROBITS, it'd be a moment of 'OH, HELLO!' surprised and perhaps they'd all laugh over a cuppa tea. Or some whiskey. Instead it's a bunch of damn plane-destroying rounds and missiles. Astraea's in no position to fire on the Heavy, so she just bears down on the same Raider she's been chasing, angling off after it with an adjustment to try to lead the big guy on her tail for Addison. "Cane, Nova- copy. Seein' what I can do for ya." All while bracing for what she suspects will be the inevitable impact, knowing her luck.

The setup for the raider that has been dogging Alain all flight doesn't go quite as planned, and like all plans -- gets even more fubar. "Flight, Jigger. Watch out for missiles -- no heroics." Alain calls over the wireless, a tone that is for him, particularly sharp ringing through. As Addison speaks, Alain adds on that, "Nova, Jigger, don't let it get a lock on you. I think I can get a line on it from here, too."

"Oh damn you!" Faye mutters before yanking back on the stick, banking up and over to head at the new Raiders shows up. She sees one angling in toward the Raptor she's supposed to be protecting but... is that another one angling in on her. Frak... frak... Ugh!
"Iris, Bingo, angling toward the one heading for you. Kestrel, Bingo, watch out for the new guys."

The raider chasing Irene's raptor fires and Wooly fires from the tail, and it's just kew-jectiles everywhere. Somehow, by luck or not, nothing connections. Not incoming and not outgoing. The damage done is to the canyon itself, pock marking the stone with wild patterns. As the cylon lines up for another burst, Addison and Nora clobber it and beat it down into the dirt, where it turns into a smoking crater. "Thanks for that!" Iris calls out, tersely, since there's more toasters on the way. "Bingo, Iris. Copy."

Satisfaction flushes through Ines as she finally puts a dent, however small, in one of her targets. She was about to start wondering if she'd be better off as boots on the ground after all, and she'd be awful at it, so that's really saying something.
And because she had the temerity to feel briefly good about things, the world sees fit to throw a wrench at it immediately. The sight of the Heavy is enough to finally get her to ease back on the throttle, but she has every intention of finishing what she started first. She stays on course.
"Bingo, Kestrel. Understood."

Nora darts through the cascade of debris falling from the raider she and Addison have just dispatched, swinging high to high to miss the worst of it before sliding around a corner to catch sight of the new contacts. "Cane, Shirts, copy that. I've no shot on it myself from this angle, let's see if we can tempt it into your trap before it can zero in on Nova."

Calliope is on target, but it's not a direct hit, her talon flicking across the Raider's backside. "Ugh. Jigger, it's still flying. Coming about for another pass." She shifts gingerly through the air, angling up again so she has a little more room to shoot. A grimace, as the ECOs announce more contacts. Not that she's surprised. Toasters being what they are.

Calliope attacks Raid6 with Talons and HITS! Graze wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Faye attacks Raid8 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Nora attacks Raid7 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Nose.

Astraea attacks Raid4 with Talons and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Wing.

Raid6 attacks Faye with Kew but Faye EVADES!

Raid4 attacks Nora with Kew but Nora EVADES!

Irene attacks Raid7 with Missile and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Alain attacks Heavy1 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body.

Addison attacks Heavy1 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Ines attacks Raid4 with Kew but MISSES!

Raid8 attacks Irene with Kew but Irene EVADES EASILY!

Raid7 attacks Ines with Kew but Ines EVADES!

Heavy1 attacks Astraea with Missile but Astraea EVADES EASILY!

Heavy1 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Alain, Addison)

Raid7 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Nora, Irene)

Raid8 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Faye)

<FS3> Addison rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 7 7 7 5 5 3 1 1 1 1)

<FS3> Astraea rolls Piloting: Success (6 6 4 4 3 3 2 1 1)

<FS3> Nora rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 8 7 7 4 4 4 3 3)

<FS3> Alain rolls Piloting: Great Success (8 7 7 7 7 5 4 4 2 1 1)

<FS3> Ines rolls Piloting: Success (7 6 5 3 3 2 1 1)

<FS3> Calliope rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 7 7 6 4 3 3 3 2 1)

<FS3> Faye rolls Piloting: Good Success (8 7 6 6 5 1 1 1 1)

Addison has to adjust his flight path some as the debris from the Heavy sprays outwards, the vessel leaving a bit more mess than the Raiders do. "Nova, Cane. Your tail is clear of the Heavy, settling in to keep it wiped. You're worse than babysitting a toddler with as much mud as you get on your ass."

<FS3> Irene rolls Piloting: Success (8 6 5 4 4 4 3 3 2 1)

It's possible, just possible Alain was holding his breath after his KEW fire struck the heavy, though it's subsequent wreckage is more due Addison than himself. He might be fancy in the air, but his shots just don't seem to want to land, breathing out deliberately before he says, "Good work, flight. Let's clean 'em up."

Amazingly, Astraea actually sees the missile coming. Or maybe not so. She gets so many of them targeting her that she must be developing a preternatural sense for the things at this point. The Scorpian pilot almost makes it look easy by the way she angles wide of the munition, letting it collide into the canyon wall, exploding the rock into rubble and dust. It mars her view for precious seconds, causing her to slow to almost a standstill before she kicks in those thrusters anew to catch back up with Nora and Addison. At the Picon Lieutenant's words, she snorts, hitting her comms. "Cane, Nova- I'm just so damn pretty. They're jealous, y'know."

Faye wiggles her wings a bit, giving a dip to one of her wings, using the rudder to keep the reticle on target. She gives a burst of her kews, hitting the incoming raider to its body. It wings over and noses toward the ground almost immediately after and Bingo grins. She didn't even notice the one that tried to hit her she was so focused in on keeping them off the Raptor.
"Flight, Bingo, that's another one down." And then that one from before. That troublesome Raider that just has been hanging on. "Oh for the love of the Gods." Faye says off comms, pulling over to try and get an angle before it can hurt the Raptor she's protecting.

Iris launches her second, and last missile, after the raider trying to put holes in Ines' viper when the opportunity arises. As the Cylon starts to roll away from Nora's attack, it takes the hit and explodes, wings spinning off, body fully disintegrating. Scratch one. She's momentarily mesmerized by the flash and smoke, and has to bank hard to keep from winging a gouge out of the canyon wall. It was kinda pretty though. "I'll try to get you a shot, Wooly." Because of course, there's another one after her.

More missed shots, though these Ines can chalk up to casualties of the evasive maneuvers she takes as she's fired on, tipping the viper up onto its wingpoint before it tilts over into a single lazy roll. And then she's upright again and still bearing down on that same damned Raider. It may not be her shots that down it -- probably won't be, the way things have been going -- but like a pit bull she'd have to be called off before she let this one go.

Calliope maintains her focus on the Raider. It still doesn't go down, but she's got talons to spare, so she'll try-try again.

Astraea attacks Raid4 with Talons and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Cockpit.

Raid4 attacks Irene with Kew but Irene EVADES EASILY!

Calliope attacks Raid6 with Talons and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Faye attacks Raid4 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Irene attacks Raid4 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Nora attacks Raid6 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Cockpit.

CREW HIT! attacks Raid6 with Shrapnel and HITS! Impaired wound to Chest.

CREW HIT! attacks Raid6 with Shrapnel and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Left Leg.

CREW HIT! attacks Raid6 with Shrapnel and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Abdomen.

CREW HIT! attacks Raid6 with Shrapnel and HITS! Impaired wound to Chest.

Raid6 attacks Astraea with Kew but MISSES!

Addison attacks Raid6 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body.

Ines attacks Raid4 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Nose.

Alain attacks Raid6 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body.

Raid4 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Astraea, Faye, Ines)

Raid6 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Calliope, Nora, CREW HIT!, Addison, Alain)

Alain's KEW fire hits solidly as he pulls another close canyon-wall manoeuver, glancing back out the window at the wreckages with a satisfaction that doesn't quite translate to his normal, cheering whoops of delight. "DRADIS is looking clear. Soundbite, confirm?" And then a moment later, while she's doing that: "Flight, report in."

The final two Raiders become nothing more than metallic rubble in the canyon and as the final screams of talons go silent and KEWs spin down... there's no more. DRADIS show no more contacts and visuals (in the darkness now falling) show no running lights beyond their own.

Faye continues holding her turn before snapping out of it and laying into the Raider along with a couple of the other pilots. She grins and banks up and over, pulling up alongside Irene's wing. She gives a little wiggle to her own viper's wings as she hops on comms, "Kestrel, Bingo, still with me." She turns her head from side-to-side and pokes up as far as she can to look behind herself. Looking for the other viper as Alain speaks up.
"Jigger, Bingo, not even a scratch."

Like so many of her hits before, Astraea's talons hit, but not enough to actually do anything. Nothing she'd consider consequential at least. The jig lets out a frustrated sound, but not over comms (thankfully). She grips the controls tightly, drawing up into her assigned 'wing' with Addison and Nora. "Flight, Nova-" there's a beat as she confirms with Pitbull. "DRADIS an' visual clear. Don't seem ta be any others in range at th' moment." She double- and triple-checks her systems. "Ship's golden. Plenty of fuel, weren't hit, an' got fifteen in th' bank." Talons, that is. "We continuin' th' patrol or headin' back to th' barn, Jigs?"

"Flight, Cane. Not a scratch. Switching playlist back to casual flight tunes and falling in." The dry tone of Addison comes on the coms as he drifts his Viper back into formation and sets to work shuffling through the music.

A bloodied Cylon Raider nose will have to satisfy her desire for something like revenge, as the slippery aircraft disintegrates moments after she lands those shots. And then? All is quiet, once again.
"Bingo, Kestrel. Right behind you."
"Flight, Kestrel. Took a shot to the canopy. Nothing serious." She manages to sound completely indifferent about that, though it must rankle.

"Jigger, Soundbite. We finally downed that Raider. My ECO isn't picking up any other contacts, but we'll do another sweep just to be safe." Calliope's ECO does just that. Reports remain clear.

Wooly does love shooting cylon raiders. He just has a glow about him as he fires the tailguns, even if the guy never cracks a smile. Still, once the last target is downed, he gives up that seat and moves back to the ECM suite without a complaint. Somebody has to keep watch on the DRADIS. Irene handles the check in once she's gone over her console for warning lights. There aren't any. The raptor didn't take a scratch. "Jigger, Iris is go, everything's green. Excellent work, flight."

Alain listens closely as everyone reports in. "Kestrel, Jigger. Roger that. Keep an eye on your instruments and call in if anything starts creaking." At Nova's question, he answers: "Return to formation. We'll be finishing the patrol -- make sure they didn't call in reinforcements. Promise I'll buy you all cake when we get back," because no one wants to eat cake he's made. "Good work, flight," he echoes Irene's sentiment heartily.

"Jigger, Shirts. Copy that." Nora confirms, after finally landing a solid hit square in what passes for a raider's cockpit. It explodes and goes tumbling down into the canyon below, and Nora steers back toward her fellows as the wing finds its patrol shape once again. "Cane, Nova, falling back in. I'll even let you be on top this time, Cane. Apologies for doubting you earlier."

Faye starts murmuring a song off comms, "Ha-a-a-as, anybody seen my wi-i-i-ingman..." trailing off as she keeps an eye on her gauges. She reaches out, giving a little flick to her tillium readout with a bit of a frown. No. Fraking. Way. You gotta be. Son of Hades.
"Kestrel, Bingo, it looks like the deck crew did the equivalent of shortsheeting me. Bingo fuel." Pause, "Mind if I RTB?"


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