2237-10-23 - Grab And Go

The Wolves save some Virgon marines trapped by an artillery barrage.

Date: 2237-10-23

Location: Over Sag

Related Scenes: None

Plot: Operation: Watchtower

Scene Number: 1509

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A squad of Royal Marines has gotten itself pinned down while assaulting some Cylon positions outside a Tyllium mine, and they've called for air support and extraction. Whatever tensions may exist between the Wolves and the VRM, everyone's still on the same side as far as Stirling's concerned. Leaving part of the flight to continue their original patrol, Whisper pulled off a group to go lend a hand to their allies.

"Marines have spotted two mobile artillery units on the hill beyond the mine. Cylons have their position zeroed in. Razor, Sweet Pea, we're going to take out those field pieces. Watch out for possible SAMs as well. Soundbite, Nova - lay down some fire on the ground troops north-northeast of the marines' positions -" Which they have the coordinates for loaded in. "- And prepare for SAR pickup."

"Whisper, Nova- copy. Goin' weapons hot." Astraea rotates a bit in her seat to look back to her ECO. "Hop over to th' KEW. I'll get us lined up proper." It's always tricky flying to get the right angles for the rear-firing weapon, but she's had practice. It may not result in as accurate shots as a Viper, but she's helped her ECOs gain a few kills that way in the past.

"Whisper, Soundbite. North-northwest. Acknowledged. Talons online. We'll clear the field and be ready to take those Virgons home." As unfriendly as the passengers might be. Calliope will worry about that later.

Since he was on Alert Five, Kell was more than willing to help out as he was already suited up as a back up Viper. And as far as he is concerned, they are also all on the same side, despite the rumors of what has transpired between the Colonial Marines and the VRM. As they head towards the besieged friendlies' position, Razor listens in to the directions from their flight leader before answering with, "Whisper, Razor, I copy." He has no love for SAMs but a mission is a mission.

"Whisper, Soundbite. North-northeast. Acknowledged. Talons online. We'll clear the field and be ready to take those Virgons home." As unfriendly as the passengers might be. Calliope will worry about that later.

<FS3> Astraea rolls Gunnery+3: Great Success (8 8 7 6 6 4 3 3 3 3 1 1)

<FS3> Calliope rolls Gunnery: Great Success (8 8 8 7 6 5 5 5 5 4)

<FS3> Kell rolls Gunnery: Great Success (8 7 7 6 6 5 3 2 2 1)

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

The flight can see the battle as they approach - plumes of dust and smoke as an artillery barrage hammers the marine positions. Fortunately they're in the cover of some wrecked outbuildings and not out in the open, otherwise there'd likely be nobody left to call for help.

Kell and Sweet Pea zoom in on the mountain, taking out the artillery pieces. Kell's console lights up briefly with a missile lock, but a missile from Stirling's bird takes out the launcher before it can fire.

Sunlight glints on the chrome of Centurions closer to the marine positions, but Astraea and Calliope's fire either takes out or suppresses most of them.

"We're clear for now," Stirling reports. "Nova, Soundbite - pick up the marines. We'll cover you."

With no missile locks thanks to Stirling and Kell, Astraea is able to focus more on her flying so her backseater can use the KEW to full effect across the Centurions. It's largely suppressive fire, but a number of them do fall under the large rounds that tear through their midst. Enough of them, at least, to make things safer for the Royal Marines. "Flight, Nova. Copy." She levels out, adjusting thrusters as she angles in towards the marines in their shelter. Her ECO abandons the gun to move to the hatch; opening it even as she comes in for a landing.

Without any Raiders to interfere, the fixed ground targets are more or less sitting ducks for the faster and more maneuverable air units. Kell descends on one of the artillery pieces and once he is within range, he presses down on the trigger stub, letting his twin autocannons roar to life. His target is shredded apart and one of the rounds makes its way into the ammo casing, lighting up a beautiful explosion. When his cockpit suddenly squawks at him about a being painted with a lock, Razor can't help but tense up and pull back hard on his flightstick, only to have the alarming alert cut-off. Seeing Stirling Raptor's destorying the SAM site, he comms over, "Whisper, Razor, thanks for saving me there. Moving to overwatch position."

Calliope lays down as much covering fire as she can. As accurately as she can. Sagittaron is a touchy place to operate, even on 'normal' runs, and that seems doubly so when flying assistance directly for the Virgons. "Whisper, Soundbite. Got it. Ready to go down." And she angles that-a-way.

"Just glad it didn't have a chance to fire, Razor," Stirling replies to Kell's remark.

As the two SAR Raptors maneuver into the landing zone, the beleaguered marines scramble to meet them - some still taking potshots as they run at the few Centurions still visible. A few bullets ping off the Raptors, but don't do any damage. The marines start the scramble aboard as soon as the Raptors have touched down, carrying their wounded.

"We've got air contacts heading this way. Let's make this quick," Stirling urges.

Her ECO directing everyone on board and to strap in, Astraea just watches DRADIS intently. Her hands remain on the controls, ready to take off as soon as she has the all clear. The woman waits, holding her breath. She winces as a couple of the marines cry out as they're hit, jaw tightening. <Please don't let any of 'em have a rocket launcher,> she mutters to herself in Scorpian. She's had enough of those hits to last a lifetime. As soon as the last is clambering on board, she starts her take-off sequence; relying on her backseater to get the hatch close before she gets in the air. "Flight, Nova. Full up here. On my way up."

Kell is still flying with Sweet Pea at a higher altitude, performing overwatch as promised and when Stirling announces the bogeys in-bound, he is preparing to intercept in case the SAR Raptors need more time on the evacuation. "Whisper, Razor, should we delay them?" The question asked even though from what DRADIS is displaying, two Vipers would be outnumbered.

"Go! Go! Go!" Calliope's ECO, Mince, directs the on-loading with a lot of yelling, helping secure their passengers as everyone gets aboard. Calliope pipes over the comms, once they're settled, "Flight, Soundbite. Our cargo is in and doors are secured. Touching off." And so she does, flying smooth as she can. While she's adapted decently enough to combat piloting over her time in the CF, she's more at home hauling people. Even evacuated Marines.

Stirling looks at the DRADIS then at the Raptors loading up, judging distance and speed. They won't get clear before the Raiders are on top of them. "Affirmative Razor. Soundbite, Nova, form up once you've got your marines abord."

The marines are pretty battered, most injured, and fully half of them having to be carried or helped along by their comrades. The squad's medic works on one of the worst-off soldiers on the floor in the back of Calliope's Raptor.

With orders engage, Kell sends back a confirmation while angling his Viper towards inbound Cyons, "Razor copies, engaging until our SAR birds are cleared." Reaching out, rubs a finger over his DRADIS screen as if trying to get a clearer picture of how many are actually on their way. Then, Razor reaches up and pulls his flight helmet down as if trying to get a snugger fit. Focused, he watches as the Raiders get closer and closer, then once they are in range for the head to head exchange, he fires his autocannons.

As she finally takes off, Astraea gets a good look at the incoming on DRADIS. She winces. "Frak," the woman says, earning some sharp looks from the back of her Raptor. "Make sure they're all strapped in!" It's a sharp command to her ECO who is still just getting situated back in his own place. Tightening up on the controls, Nova draws her Raptor in alongside Calliope's once the other pilot is in the air as well. "Flight, Nova. We're headin' your way."

<FS3> Calliope rolls Composure: Good Success (7 6 6 5 4 3 3)

Stirling trails along behind Kell and Sweetpea as the Vipers zoom in towards the incoming Raiders. As the dogfight commences, she takes aim at one that seems to be going after Kell.

Calliope moves to fly parallel to Astraea's Raptor, going into cruise director mode aboard her Raptor. "Just hang tight back there, and we'll get you back to the barn safe and sound before you know it." It's meant to be reassuring. She manages to project confidence, at least.

Kell attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Raider2 attacks Sweetpea with Kew but MISSES!

Raider1 attacks Kell with Kew but MISSES!

Astraea passes.

Raider4 attacks Kell with Kew but Kell EVADES EASILY!

Raider6 attacks Stirling with Kew but Stirling EVADES EASILY!

Raider3 attacks Kell with Kew but MISSES!

Stirling attacks Raider1 with Missile and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Stirling's weapon clicks empty.

Calliope passes.

Raider5 attacks Sweetpea with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Nose.

Sweetpea attacks Raider6 with Kew but Raider6 EVADES EASILY!

Raider1 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Stirling)

Raider3 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Kell)

Stirling's missile takes out one of the fighters, and she jerks the stick to evade the one that she's picked up on her tail. Her ECO takes aim at it with their rear cannon while Stirling continues to evade.

The head on pass goes heavily in Kell's favor as he fired his autocannons at maximum range with lethal accuracy, shredding the Raider he was targeting. That gave him enough time to break hard right to get out of the way of the return fire, most of them not coming close. Jerking his flightstick hard in the other direction, he reverses the roll and breaks back into the engagement, already watching out for Sweat Pea and the two bogeys on her six, "Sweet Pea, Razor, you still have two trailing you, moving to take one off of your tail.

In the air, Astraea is able to start dialing in targets for her talons. She spots one of the Raiders trailing after Kell and decides to lean into the same trajectory. "Razor, Nova- seein' what I can do 'bout th' one on yer tail. Line it up for me, willya?" Because if anyone can fly bait, it's a Viper. She tunes out the marines behind her; their pain and fear is understandable, but she has experience enough with SAR in hot zones.

Calliope leaves her ECO to deal with the passengers. Which he doesn't so much, really. He just keeps monitoring the DRADIS and occasionally grunting gruffly at them. Calliope, for her part, aims her talons at the Raider interlopers. Trying to maintain as even a keel in the air as possible, and silently thanking whatever god that's listening that she doesn't have a toaster on her tail.

Raider6 attacks Stirling with Kew but Stirling EVADES EASILY!

Stirling attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Kell attacks Raider5 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Sweetpea attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Astraea attacks Raider4 with Talons and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Calliope attacks Raider2 with Talons and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Raider5 attacks Sweetpea with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider2 attacks Sweetpea with Kew but MISSES!

Raider4 attacks Kell with Kew but Kell EVADES!

Raider2 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Calliope)

"That's one off - thanks Soundbite," Sweetpea says as one of the Raiders trailing her gets taken out. Though that seems to draw the other one's attention from the Viper to the Raptor that just took one of them out.

Kell continues to dog the Raider that he was chasing, even as it changes target from Sweetpea to Calliope's Raptor, "Soundbite, Razor, the bogey I'm chasing is moving onto your tail, heads up." He does glance back briefly over his shoulder, keeping a quick eye on the Cylon that is after him but then turns his focus back on the bandit that is going after one of the Raptors that is loaded with Marines.

Stirling continues to evade, while her ECO pings away at the Raider on their tail rather ineffectually. "Nice shooting, Soundbite," she says.

Swearing in Scorpian to herself as her shot hits, but only enough to keep the Raider from hitting Kell rather than take it own, Astraea starts to shift up into a higher gear. It may not be fun for her passengers, but at least she's not flying totally wild. No, she's just operating on the idea that the sooner the Raiders are gone, the safer everyone will be. "Flight, Nova... We don't have anymore incomin' do we?" She's not seen anything on her DRADIS, but that doesn't always mean anything on Sag.

Calliope is more relieved than triumphant as she manages to hit one of the Raiders. She refocuses her fire but is wary of flying too aggressively, with so many on board. "Thanks, Whisper. Staying on course. We'll get these guys home. Do not worry." That last part might've been more for herself than the CAG.

Calliope attacks Raider5 with Talons and HITS! Graze wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Stirling attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Astraea attacks Raider4 with Talons but Raider4 EVADES!

Raider6 attacks Stirling with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Kell attacks Raider5 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Raider4 attacks Kell with Kew but Kell EVADES!

Raider5 attacks Calliope with Kew but Calliope EVADES!

Sweetpea attacks Raider6 with Kew but Raider6 EVADES!

Raider5 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Kell)

This time, Kell's aim is dead on as he leads the Cylon just enough with his targeting reticule before he unleashes another brutal burst of autocannon fire. The heavy, armor piercing rounds cuts into the Raider's fuselage like a bunch of hot knives into a fat stick of butter. Internal systems go critical and with an explosion, the flying toaster is just pieces of debris that blossom and rain down towards the ground. "Soundbite, Razor, you're clear." The Libran is stlil on the hunt, seeing two more bogeys in the air, one chasing him and the other going after their CAG.

Stirling mumbles something under her breath as her ECO continues to only ding away at the Raider, which in turn gets a glancing blow on them. 'Come on, come on,' she mutters off-radio. Astraea's ECO spies another flight of Raider reinforcements closing in on DRADIS. They'd better mop this up fast or they'll have company soon.

Calliope hits little but air on her next shot. But she manages not to get hit, which is more her focus right now. She keeps on flying, straight and reasonably true. Weps systems taking hasty aim at one of the remaining Raiders.

This time, the Raider fully avoids her. Astraea closes her eyes for just a beat, taking a slow breath. She wills herself to focus, putting on an extra burst of speed with a whine of tyllium-fueled engines. She keeps the Raptor itself steady; relying on the speed alone to help her make her next shot. "C'mon..." As she's muttering to herself, her ECO snaps up with a report. The woman hits the comms -- fumbles, really -- to chime in: "Flight, Nova. Bogies incomin'. We need to book it."

Calliope attacks Raider4 with Talons and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Astraea attacks Raider4 with Talons and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Cockpit.

Kell attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Stirling attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Raider6 attacks Stirling with Kew but MISSES!

Raider4 attacks Kell with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Nose. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Sweetpea attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider4 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Calliope, Astraea)

Raider6 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Kell, Stirling, Sweetpea)

As the last Raider goes down in flames, Stirling says, "Nice work flight. Let's get these people to safety." Before the others show up, remains unsaid. They should have enough of a head start for it not to be an issue. "Set course for Thorpe." That would be Thorpe airbase, the closest Virgon facility. Apparently the CAG isn't keen on taking these marines back to Dauntless, even though it might be a smidge closer.

With the last two Raiders clobbered, Kell climbs a bit in altitude, a habit so he could get better visuals on the surroundings while he listens to Stirling's order to bug out, "Whisper, Razor, I copy, falling into escort formation." In this case, he would fly a little bit higher than the three Raptors in the flight and also lined up between the buses and where the reinforcing Cylons are coming from.

Calliope manages to land a hit on one of the Raiders, along with Astraea, and it clears from her DRADIS. "Acknowledged, Whisper. Adjusting course for the airbase." And that's the way she flies, as fast as her bus can carry her.

Maybe the potential incoming flight lit a fire under her. Astraea's next talon flies straight, true, and right into the sweeping red 'eye' of the Raider. It's a solid enough hit that along with the other lighter ones serves to take the Cylon craft own. The Scorpian breathes a bit tighter, tightening up into formation now that the skies are clear of enemy ships. "Flight, Nova. Layin' in a course for Thorpe."


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