2237-12-29 - Clearing The Way

The air wing sweeps the skies in advance of a Picon bombing raid.

Date: 2237-12-29

Location: Over Picon

Related Scenes: None

Plot: Operation: Bullhorn

Scene Number: 1615

Jump to End

Though there was a bit of a lull in the offensive action last week (rumours attribute it to anything from a supply snafu throughout the Picon lines to the brass giving everyone a little break over Genisi Day) it seems to be kicking back into high gear again with a new offensive against the Cylon-held Axios province.

Today's mission is a simple fighter sweep, in advance of a Picon bombing raid. Major Stirling is in the lead as they zip down the coast from Northholt. "We'll be hitting Cylon territory in about five minutes, so look sharp," the CAG says over the radio.

Aubrey is happy to be back in the cockpit of her Viper after the bit of a holiday. Sure, she enjoyed it, including getting her favorite wingman his very own set of rashie and board shorts for their next stay anywhere with surfing. Mind you, she's not on Jigger's wing today, since he's helping to break in a new arrival. The Picon pilot settles in on one side of Nova's Raptor. "Sweet Pea, Nova, Banshee has your back." She says over the comm.

As is his habit, Alain has the music in his cockpit up loud, fingers drumming along as they travel. Picon always has him tense, but familiar habits help. It's only when Stirling's transmission comes through that he flicks off his music. "Roger that, Whisper. Rabbit, Jigger. Keep a close eye out for any jump-ins, would you? Wraith and I will play overwatch," he says, as he diverts his viper to settle at a slightly higher altitude than the raptor they're paired with, out to the left. "Wraith, Jigger. All good over there? Bird giving you any trouble?"

Rayner is back in the cockpit of a Viper baby! Thus is he flying in the skies with his wing today in his real first day with the Timber Wolves...at least in a mission. "Copy that, Whisper. Alright, let's get this done." he says in fairly upbeat spirits. "Jigger, Rabbit, I've got your back." He starts to say a silent prayer then outside of comms. "...Ares, guide my blade...Athena, guide my path..." he clenches his necklace tight before he's strictly focused on the mission. His eyes are peared for any kind of trouble. "Bird's runnin' just fine."

As thy near their target, Astraea begins going over a final system's check with her ECO. Sure, they already went over one before launch... but another never hurts. She's been extra-focused as of late. Too focused, maybe. Almost to exclusion of other things. Less time for social niceties and often picking up shifts from people over the holiday so they could enjoy themselves in Conway if they so wished. If it's run her down, sh's hidden it wll. Drowning herself in work is likely the term for it. "Flight, Nova- copy. Banshee, Sweetpea, got you both marked." Just in case. SAR training always kicks in first for the Scorpian.

"It sounds strange to have you on another wing, Banshee," Stirling comments, even though it was her own assignment. "Almost as strange as having two Gemenese pilots on the same flight." Folks from that colony being pretty uncommon in the CF. It's not long before their DRADIS is picking up contacts on the horizon. "Looks like the Cylons are coming out to play. Good hunting all."

"Whisper, Banshee. I agree, it's very weird. How is Jigger going to do anything without me over there," Aubrey quips over the comm, the humor evident in her tone. As the Cylons pop up on DRADIS she flicks her weapons to hot and settles in to pick a target. "Here we go, kids," she murmurs. "Jigger I'm giving you a thumbs up, just so you know."

"Good to hear, Wraith. Our deck crew keep them running pretty smoothly, but they all have their eccentricities," Alain warns, though a grin might be audible in the lightness of his tone. "Banshee, Jigger. Right back at you," Alain replies, sounding amused.

"I suppose he'll have to muddle through somehow," Stirling replies, mirroring their levity in her tone. Then her voice turns more serious. "Targeting that heavy."

"Flight, Nova, goin' wep hot." There's the tension in her voice of approaching combat. And then it tightens as that warning of a lock goes off in her cockpit and Astrid swears in Scorpian. "I've got a missile lock, going to try to take 'em out." 'Before they can get me' being the underlying statement there.

"DOn't worry, we're getting along juuuust fine." he says with a smile. "Here comes the welcoming comittee." Rayner says with a small grin, the adrenaline rising in his blood. "Targeting that Raider." he calls out in a serious and focused tone as he prepares for engagement.

"Careful, Wraith. Looks like you've got a couple focusing you," Alain says, amusement leeched from his voice into something tenser as he pulls a wider circuit to give him a clearer shot without cross-fire. "Just keep moving, I'll get a clear shot when I can."

Alain attacks Raider1 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Astraea attacks Heavy1 with Missile and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Wing.

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

Heavy1 attacks Astraea with Missile but Astraea EVADES EASILY!

Raider5 attacks Alain with Kew but MISSES!

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

Aubrey attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Tail. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Stirling attacks Heavy1 with Missile and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Raider6 attacks Rayner with Kew but Rayner EVADES EASILY!

Raider4 attacks Stirling with Kew but Stirling EVADES EASILY!

Raider2 attacks Stirling with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Weapon.

Raider3 attacks Aubrey with Kew but Aubrey EVADES EASILY!

Rabbit attacks Raider5 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Weapon.

Raider1 attacks Rayner with Kew but MISSES!

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

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

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

Aubrey sweeps out of the line of fire of an incoming Cylon with ease, then loops around to graze the enemy's tail with KEW fire. As three enemy birds go bye bye she calls over the comm, "Nice shooting, Wolves!" She comes back around on the raider tussling with her.

"Splash one!" Sweetpea declares cheerily over the coms, literally in this case as the Raider goes careening down into the ocean beneath them.

Stirling dodges fire from one Raider, but the second on her tail gets a grazing hit as she launches her first missile at the heavy raider. The CAG allows herself a grimly-satisfied smile briefly before spinning the Raptor around to target one of the fighters on their tail.

Rayner manages to barrel roll his Viper out of the way of severe fire from a few raiders, and even grazed the wing of one with his gunfire. "woo!" says Wraith over coms. His eyes spot Raider 6 coming on his tail, and he actually manages to perform a flight drift, going after that Raider who tried to sneak up on him!

Moments after the raider Alain is following attempts -- and fails -- a shot on Rayner, the Gemenese pilot's sweeping in from the side, burning hard. His own KEW rattles, ripping through the the body of the raider and utterly destroying it. His whooping call over the comms signals the kill, making it perhaps unnecessary to add, "One down on your tail. Another one after you, Wraith," he advises. And, a moment after checking his tail, "Thanks Sweetpea," is thrown out, gratefully.

The missile from the Heavy goes harmlessly past Astraea and the one she fires, in return, strikes true along with Stirling's. "One down," she reports with hr own measure of satisfaction. A beat, then: "Hate to think of all the munitions in the sea." Cringe. But there's not long to think because they still have bandits to tango with. So she pulls around, forming back up with her wingmen to bring another into her targeting system.

Astraea attacks Raider3 with Missile and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Cockpit.

CREW HIT! attacks Raider3 with Shrapnel and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Left Leg.

CREW HIT! attacks Raider3 with Shrapnel and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Right Arm.

CREW HIT! attacks Raider3 with Shrapnel and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Right Arm.

Astraea's weapon clicks empty.

Raider2 attacks Stirling with Kew but Stirling EVADES!

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

Rayner attacks Raider6 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body.

Raider4 attacks Stirling with Kew but Stirling EVADES EASILY!

Raider3 attacks Aubrey with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Cockpit. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Aubrey attacks Raider3 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider6 attacks Rayner with Kew but MISSES!

Stirling attacks Raider2 with Missile and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Wing.

Stirling's weapon clicks empty.

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

Raider3 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Astraea, CREW HIT!, Aubrey)

Raider6 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Rayner)

Aubrey continues to chase the raider, and this time she pings some holes in the ship's body. The maneuverable thing whips around however, and slams its return fire into her cockpit. She mutters at her readouts, which are sparking and leaving her flying blind. "Flight, Banshee. My pretty screens are dark in here but she's still handling ok."

"True enough. Though at this point that's probably the least of Picon's problems," Stirling agrees grimly with Astraea. "Nice shooting Wraith. Banshee, pull back if you need to." The quick turn threw off her pursuers enough that she dodges both of their shots. Her missile takes out one, but the other's still on her. "Going to lead this one on a merry little chase if one of you can snag it."

After a brief glance to make sure the newest member of the Wolves is holding his own, Alain calls, "Nice work, Wraith," with an audible grin. Jigger focuses on the sly raider that seems to be interested in their CAG. His KEW fire rattles out, clipping the raider on its wing, but it avoids the worst of the damage with a well-timed pull upwards. He grimaces, but doesn't curse, doggedly tailing the raider as he calls, "Banshee, Jigger, are you getting into trouble without me?"

Rayner enters a very intricate dogfight with this particular raider. "Copy that." he says in response to Alain's warning to him. Yet he manages to dodge the gunfire from the enemy Cylon. Instead, he slows -way- down and lets the Cylon pass him, then he boosts up and riddles that Cylon with cannon fire, watching it explode in flames. "Target neutralized!" he calls out that he got his target before he flies near Banshee. "I'm on your bogey, Whisper." says Rayner as he hones in...

The raider being busy chasing Aubrey makes it a prime target for Astraea's second (and final) missile, giving her a clear shot on its cockpit. Though it gets a hit on her wingmate, it sends the bird down. The Scorpian hits her comms: "Fall back if ya need, Banshee. I can get Pit on th' KEW to cover Sweetpea. I'm still doin' fine."

Rayner attacks Raider4 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Aubrey passes.

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

Astraea passes.

Raider4 attacks Stirling with Kew but Stirling EVADES EASILY!

Stirling distracts Raider4 successfully.

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

Jigger, Banshee, you know my luck runs out when I'm not on your wing," Aubrey laughs over the comm, smacking her DRADIS screen until it stops sparking at her.

"Nice work, Wraith," Alain compliments, as their combined fire makes quick work of the remaining raider. "Skies are looking clear, what say you Rabbit?" he asks their raptor pilot, as he pulls back into formation.

True to her word, Stirling gets the last Raider's attention and continues the evasive maneuvers long enough for the others to get a clear shot. "Banshee, you're trailing smoke pretty bad. RTB. You should pass the bombers on your way." Which is probably why she's not worried about sending cover for the damaged ship. "We've got this. Everyone else - form back up. We've still got a bit more sky to clear on the way to the target."

"Whisper, Banshee, copy that. Returning to base. Stay chilly out there Wolves." Aubrey arcs her Viper around back towards the base.

Rayner had taken out the raider on Whisper's tail with lethal precision. "Target neutralized, that's a kill." and he smiles at Alain's praise. "Likewise!" He forms back up with his wing once Whisper gives the order. "Roger that." when Banshee turns heel, he gives her a two finger salute from his cockpit. "Should we see what other party guests we got?" he says in a more merry tone. victory was victory, one dogfight at a time.

"Flight, Nova, copy." Astraea's out of missiles, but she's fairly good at flying so that her ECO can use the rear-firing KEW. She draws in closer on Sweetpea so the Viper pilot can provide her cover and vice-versa. "Keepin' an eye on DRADIS, Whisper. Will report anythin' as it comes in."

"Copy that, Whisper. Banshee, Jigger -- watch your back on the ride back," Alain says by way of farewell to Aubrey. The tenseness of battle doesn't quite leave his voice, though he does answer Rayner, "Hopefully ones without missiles, thanks," he observes, quite dryly, glancing out his cockpit to keep tabs on Rabbit's and Rayner's positions relative to his.

They continue in towards the target, leaving the ocean behind to head inland. A few anti-air cannons from a defensive emplacement take some ineffective potshots at them, but they're past it before any damage is done. Then Rabbit makes the announcement, "More contacts inbound from the west."

"Copy that," says Stirling. "Let's go get them."

Rayner would look then to the west as Rabbit made the call, and he nods a moment. "Sorry Jigger, lookin' like they have missiles they want to introduce you to. Let's change that notion." a grin can be heard. "Let's bring the pain."

With a grimace that can probably be heard in his voice, Alain replies, "Wraith, Jigger. You had to say it out loud, didn't you?" he says, wryly, as he turns in concert with his wingmate. "Good spotting, Rabbit," is added, as he breaks to veer towards one of the raiders heading his way.

"Rabbit, Nova, copy. Seein' 'em here, too." And just about as soon as they do, Astraea's got alarms going. The woman's jaw tightens, but she starts kicking up the speed a bit; trying to get past the pack enough so that Pitbull can get in there with the KEW. "Frak me; I've got a couple targetin' me. I'll try to lead 'em on for ya, Sweetpea."

"Copy that, Nova, on 'em," Sweetpea replies in her calm voice, moving into position to assist.

"Wasp is hitting the jamming patterns to give you some cover too," Stirling adds, her Raptor moving into a covering position.

Stirling suppresses Raider11 with Ecm and succeeds.

Stirling suppresses Raider13 with Ecm and succeeds.

Stirling suppresses Raider14 with Ecm and succeeds.

Raider15 attacks Sweetpea with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Rayner attacks Raider14 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Wing.

Alain attacks Raider13 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Wing. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider12 attacks Astraea with Kew but Astraea EVADES!

Rabbit suppresses Raider14 with Ecm and succeeds.

Sweetpea attacks Raider11 with Kew but Raider11 EVADES!

Raider13 attacks Alain with Kew but MISSES!

Astraea attacks Raider12 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body.

Raider11 attacks Astraea with Kew but Astraea EVADES!

Raider10 attacks Alain with Kew but Alain EVADES!

Raider14 attacks Rayner with Kew but Rayner EVADES EASILY!

Rayner manages to dodge yet another barrage of fire from the Cylon targeting him, dodging with very little difficulty. "Not today..." he murmurs then. "Jigger, Wraith. Careful, you have a raider on your tail." Meanwhile, Rayner is trying to get rid of the cylon on his, attempting to make an incredibly sharp turn to try and knock off the enemy fighter!

For a moment, there's only the battle itself. Two raiders come for Alain -- one going wide, the other coming far-too-close, requiring a sharp turn and a hard burn, but nicely evaded all the same. He focuses on the first, but in the close combat, he doesn't manage to score more than a barely glancing hit on the wing of the raider as the cylon burns hard itself. There's a muttered prayer in the silence of his cockpit as he focuses in, making some sharp turns in an effort to get a good firing solution on the raider. "Make that two, Wraith. I'm good for now, but some assist would be nice when you're done with your own new friend."

The ECM may have helped, but that's a hard thing to gauge. Regardless, Stirling decides to take a more direct approach. "Going to try to peel one of them off of you, Nova," she says.

She manages to evade both of the Raiders on her, but Astraea's ECO just clips the one he's firing at. He reports back to the pilot and she just shrugs. "Do what ya can, Pit." Over the radio: "Whisper, Nova, copy! I'll cross-wise with ya to make it easier." And to continue helping her backseater with his own shooting. It's a bit of dicey flying, but it's what she's good at.

Astraea attacks Raider12 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Raider12 attacks Astraea with Kew but MISSES!

Rabbit suppresses Raider14 with Ecm and succeeds.

Alain attacks Raider13 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Rayner attacks Raider14 with Kew but Raider14 EVADES!

Raider10 attacks Alain with Kew but Alain EVADES!

Raider15 attacks Sweetpea with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Wing.

Stirling distracts Raider11 successfully.

Raider14 attacks Rayner with Kew but Rayner EVADES!

Sweetpea attacks Raider11 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body.

Raider11 attacks Astraea with Kew but Astraea EVADES!

Raider13 attacks Alain with Kew but MISSES!

Raider12 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Astraea)

Raider13 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Alain)

Rayner comes barreling towards his target after a perfect dodge but misses. He's thinking something along the lines of 'crap'. "Jigger, Wraith. Copy that, enroute to show your new friend the door." He keeps an eye on the raider behind him, going to pull off something hopefully lucky!

More fire is traded between Alain and the two raiders on him, but his patience and level-headedness in combat pays off -- he gets a clear shot on one of the raiders, his KEW tearing through the thing's body, resulting in a delighted whooping from the Gemenese pilot. "Wraith, copy that. I'll lead him on a bit of a chase for you," Alain replies, as he swings wide, burning hard. He'll take a shot at another raider as he burns away, but he's mostly glancing at DRADIS now.

Stirling succeeds in getting between one of the Raiders pursuing Astraea and the other Raptor, drawing it off and hopefully letting her ECO get a bead on it from the rear turret. "How are you doing over there, Jigger?" she wonders, given that he had two on him a minute ago. She's a little busy to get too good of a look.

"Whisper, Nova- looks like that did the trick!" Notably since Astraea's ECO does get the shot, downing the Raider on their tail solidly. The Scorpian pilot continues to evade fire sent their way, pulling about to go catch up to Sweetpea to assist their wingmate.

"It's a fine day in Picon, Whisper. Making lots of new friends, but things are good," Alain keeps a deliberately light tone. "Wraith's meeting my new friend now."

Astraea attacks Raider15 with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Tail. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Alain attacks Raider14 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Nose.

Raider11 attacks Stirling with Kew but MISSES!

Raider15 attacks Sweetpea with Kew and HITS! Graze wound to Nose. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Raider10 attacks Alain with Kew but Alain EVADES!

Rabbit suppresses Raider14 with Ecm and succeeds.

Stirling attacks Raider11 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body.

Rayner attacks Raider10 with Kew and HITS! Impaired wound to Body. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Sweetpea attacks Raider11 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Raider14 attacks Rayner with Kew but Rayner EVADES EASILY!

Raider10 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Rayner)

Raider11 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Stirling, Sweetpea)

Raider14 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Alain)

It couldn't be better orchestrated; as Alain burns away from the raider on his tail -- with Rayner after him -- the Gemenese pilot spots a raider heading in the other direction, tailing his wingmate. Since they're heading nearly directly for each other, it's an easy shot -- straight down the nose of the raider. He whoops, and a second later, as he checks DRADIS, "Great shot, Wraith! Looks like my tail's finally clear. How's everyone else doing?"

Turns out the gods are on Rayner's side for now. He manages to execute a perfect perpendicular strike on Alain's tailgate friend, wiping him out of the sky. "Jigger, Wraith. You're clear!" He says in passing, only for Alain to wipe out the raider that was chasing him. A smile on his face as he woots! "Ares smiles on us." Then he turns his head to get a read of the situation. before he sees Sweetpea take a small hit...only for Stirling to have it well in hand. He lets people respond to the sitrep Alain asks for.

She had been doing so well. Nice, solid hits. Then enabling Pitbull to do the same. Then? Nothing. At least the Raider in question is distracted enough by it that he's unable to do more than graze Sweetpea. Astraea grinds her teeth a bit before hitting the radio: "Flight, Nova- I'm fine, but Sweetpea's still got a tail we're workin' on."

"Yeah, he does," Alain answers his wingmate fervently. "Nova, Jigger, roger that. I'll do a pass through and see if I can't give him something else to focus on for a bit," he says, as he turns in that direction and burns hard to cross the raider's path.

"Yeah, could use a little help over here - this one's stubborn," Sweetpea says over the comm, trying to maneuver the Raider into her flight's line of fire.

"We're on it, Sweetpea," Stirling reports. "Looks like it's just the one left."

Alain distracts Raider15 successfully.

Astraea attacks Raider15 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Rayner attacks Raider15 with Kew and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Body.

Stirling attacks Raider15 with Kew and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Body.

Raider15 attacks Sweetpea with Kew but MISSES!

Sweetpea tries to distract Raider15 but FAILS.

Rabbit suppresses Raider15 with Ecm and succeeds.

Raider15 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Astraea, Rayner, Stirling)

The final Raider is taken down in the crossfire, exploding into a fireball. As its bits rain down, the skies are clear for the moment. "Nice job everyone," Stirling says. "We'll hold here for a few while the bombers come in, then we'll RTB." They can see the Picon aircraft on DRADIS coming up behind them.

"Here comes the cavalry," Alain adds, the edge of his Gemenese music heard as he turns up the volume and settles back into his cockpit to await the storm that's about to rain down on whatever target the Piconese are hitting.

Rayner woohooo!'s as they absolutely destroy that last fighter. "Copy that Whisper! Good work everyone. Jigger, Wraith. Thanks for the assist." he gives credit where it's due and he grips the necklace around his neck, thanking the gods before he looks at Alain's comment. "Oooo and here comes the rain." he really wishes he could play his guitar in the cockpit.

With Rayner's assistance and the others distracting, Pitbull is finally able to line up a good shot. Astraea reins in her own speed, drawing back in with the rest of the flight. "Good shootin', all," she chimes in, a touch breathless. Likely sweaty as frak in her flightsuit. In the cold weather of the base, it heats up fast in the cockpit when you're not as used to it. Going back and forth between the two is hard on the body. She settles back, watching DRADIS. Just in case.

The flight keeps a protective watch over their Picon allies as they head on into the target. A few SAM missiles streak up at the colonials, but no real damage is done. There's a satisfying plume of fire visible in the distance as the Raptors unleash their payload of bombs on the Cylon-held munitions factory. "That'll slow them down a little," Stirling observes with satisfaction. "Let's head home, flight."


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