PHD #300: EVENT - Fire on the Mountain
Fire on the Mountain
Summary: Cerberus' Air Wing encounters a token force of Cylons in Tauron's volcanic region. Fire flies, but where do the sparks land?
Date: 23 Dec 2041 AE
Related Logs: A Dragon With Matches
Andrea Devlin Khloe Leyla Malone Marko McQueen Psyche Trask Wade NPC Hydra 
Tauron Space and Atmo
There's a dragon with matches that's loose on the town…takes a whole pail of water just to cool him down…Fire! Fire on the mountain… - The Grateful Dead, "Fire on the Mountain"
Post-Holocaust Day: #300

[Polly's Hoopty: Hydra] The tension of the Cylon sighting in Minos has leveled out to a tight knot of almost frustrated waiting for the other shoe to drop in the last day. Above Tauron, Cerberus still sits crippled, unable to jump lest her damaged supports tear themselves apart. On the surface, it's unclear precisely what is going on. There has not been any aggressive action taken toward the battlegroup since the attack, yet there *was* a positive ID on a group of Fives, and at least one Centurion, ransacking a deserted temple in the city of Minos. A group that seemed to vanish into thin air when additional forces converged to investigate, and has not been seen sign of since.

Still, the planes are out, eyes are open, and there's a sense of waiting for that other shoe. Two hours into the latest patrol schedule, now flying over Tauron's Northwestern Quadrant, it still hasn't come yet. Double CAP flies in orbit. Again, no contacts so far. Nothing but the rain out there. Or so the saying goes. Tauron air is mostly dry as dust.

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] "Brings back memories," Khloe says to herself as her Viper cruises along in the dry, dusty atmosphere. "Deckies must have lots of fun pulling pounds of dirt out of the engines." Her eyes peeled, though, she keeps up her visual scanning as well as referencing her DRADIS.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Decoy, Poppy. Nothing like Tauron atmo. How're you holding up back there? Over."

[BlackKnight-650: Andrea] CAP was boring. Even in condition 2, you were basically flying laps around the air group, and anyone could tell you that got old in a hurry. Andrea "Hosedown" Demarcos keeps an eye on the situation, as well as her DRADIS, but this is rapidly getting old, despite her insistence that it never would if she could ever get in a Viper again. Glancing around to look at her Wingman, she gives a little waggle with her wings. Perfect Radio Free Andrea for BORED.

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Planetary patrols are relatively new for Devlin; one of the few he's been on in the past was more memorable for Cidra's antics than anything else. Not great experiences, all in all. Today is at least so far free of maybe-crazy CAGs, and there's a semi-familiar landscape to be stared at out the windshield. Not that that's interesting for several hours straight.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche sings under her breath, "This is the CAP that neh-ver ends… it just goes on and on and ON! It just goes on and on, my friend! 'Cause this is the CAP that never ends! Three, four! This is the CAP that neh-ver ends…!"

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. No complaints back here. Same as the last two hours straight. Bubbles, I will kill you if you get that song stuck in my head."

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Double CAP's are certainly energy consuming, that's for sure. Wade is Andrea's wingman on this opportunity, so he is flying at her six. The pilot keeps his eyes open, looking at everything out there. Pretty much, they are doing rounds to cover the BSG-132, you know, your usual CAP. He sees the waggle of Andrea's wing and he does the same with his Viper. Yep, another day, another day.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "You know, Boots it would really make my day if you told me you had something interesting to report." You know, just saying. Sweet Pea seems to have settled into the routine of the flight. Adjust here, change pitch there, keep scanning the horizon and the ground down below. Either it can get boring after a few hours, or it can just make it so you can look without really having to think about doing it. You just scan.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "You know, if I had a recording studio of some kind, you'd get the contract to sing, Bubbles."

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Drips, Hosedown. I spy with my little eye something… black."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Hah. Right. You could contract out to MPs and people who need to defuse hostage situations with constant streams of intolerable noise at high decibels."

[Harrier-307: Trask] "I like pie." Interesting? Perhaps to someone else who likes pie. Two hours of pulling out every trick in the ECM book and still no signs of electronics, organics, or metallics, though. "All things considered," Trask wryly muses from behind his console, "maybe the sighting was a bizarro tesseract fold of space and time."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Splash, Decoy. Thank god you haven't got one, then. Not that you can't sing, babe, but that song…." He laughs at the bit about hostage situations, agreeing, "Yeah, it'd be a niche market."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. Space. Everything looks clear on my end, something on yours? And I think I already got that song stuck in my head…"

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Drips, Bubbles. Muahahahaha! Suffer as I suffer."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe's voice, predictably, gets an edge to it. "Let's not make this like a cross-province school bus trip, boys and girls. We are at condition-two, so let's not be too chatty, yes? Yes. Over."

[BlackKnight-308: McQueen] In-atmosphere flight is always either an interesting vacation from the regular void of space, or a royal pain in the ass in the eyes of most Viper pilots. In Trevor McQueen's case, it appears to have been more of the latter, although he maneuvers smoothly enough. Leading a section with Ensign A.J. "Mushmouth" Jensen, king of the impenetrable Aerilon accent, Queenie's gunmetal grey plane cuts a blue-engined arc across the sky, turning at a harsh angle.

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Sorry, boss. Just trying to distract myself from the cruel and unusual Bubbles is piping at us. Drips, Hosedown. All clear on visual and DRADIS."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen finally breaks radio silence himself. "Mush, Queenie. Got to give it a little extra hand. Arm. Y'know what I mean, yeah?" Some static breaks up his speech with a pause. "Bastard foiled my attempts at installing a cupholder in this heap."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Maybe it could even be used as a weapon against the Cylons? And got it, Poppy. Quieting down a bit…"

[BlackKnight-309: Psyche] "Yes, MOM…" mutters Bubbles. She manages to keep is off com. She thinks. She startles for a moment and double checks to make sure the channel was closed, then settles back in the seat with a sigh of relief. "Frak me. I need this CAP to end." She takes a deep breath and goes through cockpit checklists, verifying all the gauges and readouts, one at a time. Anything to keep on task.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade "Bubbles, Drips. Revenge is sweet Bubbles." Wade can be heard chuckling after that "Copy that Poppy."

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "I like pie too." Since they're sharing and all. "It's nice to know we have that in common." Not quite the most interesting conversation ever had between a pilot and her ECO, but then, Sweet Pea and Boots are not the chattiest of Cathys in the air wing. "Alright, we're vectoring back along the eastern edge of the search grid."

[TAC3] "Sweet Pea" Leyla says, "Poppy, Queenie, we're coming up on the outside edge of our search vector, time to start the next circle."

[Harrier-307: Trask] Not unless the chatting involves banter, snark, technical stuff, or the relaying of pertinent info, anyway. "Well, not everything can be boobs versus ball sacs."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe responds using her own version of Sweet Pea's callsign. It's rare that the woman shows affection for anyone, although the two do have service history together. "Copy that, Sweetiepea. Make sure you elbow Boots every so often to keep him awake, over."

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) "Not my fault you have such a dulcet, lulling voice, Poppy," Trask cracks back.

[Harrier-670: Marko] "Hey, Flasher, you getting anything back there?" Classy asks out of sheer boredom as he steers the Raptor around to the far edge of the fleet. "Not a thing, Classy." Marko replies, peering at the DRADIS screen with growing disinterest. "Maybe the surface teams are having more luck?" he muses. Because, well, anything has to be more interesting than this, even if it does mean flying down in the soup.

[TAC3] (from "Queenie" McQueen) The static drops to normal. "This is Queenie. Copy that. All of that. Um, yeh, DRADIS is green, and my view over here's uneventful. We've reached our perimeter and are turning thirty-eight degrees and continuing our sweep." When he says 'uneventful', it almost sounds as though he was disappointed. Slightly.

<FS3> Trask rolls Ecm-10: Great Success.
<FS3> Marko rolls ECM-20: Failure.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "It can't?" Yes, that's a trace of sarcasm in Sweet Pea's voice, which might go along a bit better if she could look back to her ECO, but at the moment, no. She's still got sign to be looking out for.

[TAC3] "Sweet Pea" Leyla says, "You know I always follow orders, Poppy."

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Flight, Flasher, is anyone else getting this interference on the DRADIS?"

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Flasher, Bubbles. Negative. DRADIS is clear. What're you seeing?"

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Flasher, Drips. Nothing on my side, everything looks normal."

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Flasher, Hosedown. All clear up here."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Flasher, Splash. All clear over here."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Flasher, Decoy. Nothing down here, either."

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Bubbles, Flasher, I'm getting intermittent interference on my DRADIS screen. Maybe it has something to do with the debris field out here? No contacts, and the DRADIS appears to be functioning normally, just got static on my screen now and then."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "Flasher, Queenie. No joy on the abnormal. Repeat, all green."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "If by interference you mean a faint blip that just jumped in around Lake Taupo," which is quite a ways into the southwestern quadrant of the planet, "then: yes." Bit of cheek aside, he then relays, "Too far to get an I-F-F read, but the sig is consistent with an FTL jump. Transmitting the coordinates. Over."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen coughs. "I could be wrong."

[TAC3] "Sweet Pea" Leyla says, "I wouldn't mind getting a better look at that, if we can."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Boots, Poppy. You're certain of a jump-in? Please confirm, over."

[BlackKnight-650: Andrea] Andrea, hearing of a possible jump, suddenly straightens in her cockpit and evens her flight pattern, keeping an eye on best case scenarios for a rush to the surface, in case assistance is called for.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Boots, Flasher, say again, are you reporting a jump in?"

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Devlin looks out his window when Trask mentions a jump, and then realizes that's stupid, because Lake Taupo is way far away. Instead he peers down at DRADIS, and reaches out to rap on the screen with his knuckles.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) Drier than the bulk of Tauron's terrain, Bootstrap volleys, "Geez… I dunno, Poppy. Ya think?" If the Harriers' chief ECO is mistaken, the Wing really has problems. "Affirmative, Flasher. It's reading like an FTL sig. Faint, but it's there. Which means it's time for a bit of a scenic drive."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "CIC, this is Poppy. Bootstrap has picked up a possible hostile contact that's jumped into grid 2-2-3. Atmospheric patrol is diverting to investigate. Request CAP support, over. Atmospheric flight, this is Poppy. Snap to heading 3-1-5 and give her some gas. Let's check it out."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra is listening, of course. Toast is always listening, or so she'd like people to think. Presently from flight control rather than a Raptor. But she is out there. "Bootstrap, Cerberus. Copy. Checked the CIC read-out and they confirm. Planetary patrol, get en route to investigate. Present CAP can intercept you lot on planet to accompany if you deem a proper escort necessary. Alert Vipers, prepare to launch four to supplement CAP to so we are covered in space."

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] "This should be interesting…" says Wade, outside the com channel. The man looks at his DRADIS but looks back out there almost right away. Not like something is really showing on his end. But now, he hears both Toast and Poppy's words over the channel and opens his line.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) With a smug little smile evident in his voice, Kal calls over the comms like a little rascal, "See, Poppy? CIC confirms."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Copy that. Diverting to heading 3-1-5 and matching your speed."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. "Heard that? Let's give them a hand, intercept and find out what's that thing.""

[BlackKnight-855: Malone] "Time to wake up, it seems," Malone comments to himself, shaking his head a little bit, as he prepares himself for whatever that will be coming now.

[Harrier-670: Marko] "Classy, I don't like the way this is going." Marko calls to his pilot. "Think we'd better get our game faces on and do it _fast_." he says, "Switching ECM gear to standby." he says, giving the three-way toggle switch a flick. "Nothing on my scope so far." he adds, adjusting the high gain on the sensors ever so slightly.

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Drips, Hosedown. Confirmed, lets form up and run down there. Keep an eye on DRADIS on the way, though. Space is still our responsibility until supplements are in space."

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Poppy's Viper arcs around a dusty orange cloud (rather Millenium Falcon of her) and once aligned for the proper course, kicks on the afterburners.

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Devlin re-checks his systems and then switches to the heading Khloe indicated, sticking to the squadron leader's wing and putting on some speed, engines flaring pretty, pretty blue.

[TAC3] "Sweet Pea" Leyla says, "Copy that, Poppy, adjusting course to heading 3-1-5, and moving to rendezvous with you."

[BlackKnight-650: Andrea] Andrea's snake gives a sudden burst and breaks out of the circuit she had been flying, heading on the fastest available intercept course.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. Copy that, keeping eye on DRADIS. Moving in."

[BlackKnight-308: McQueen] Not to be left behind, McQueen cuts the throttle in a harsh shift of the controls and brings his fighter around, closing in with the rest of the group. Mushmouth follows in tow.

[Harrier-307: Trask] True to form, Trask quips, "Yanno, pie /almost/ seems like a letdown in comparison." Beat. "Almost." It is pie, after all.

[BlackKnight-309: Psyche] Planetside? That sounds more like it. And then there's also the fact the the SL's leading The Other Devlin into potential danger. That wakes Bubbles up right quick. She banks and throttles forward, engines flaring in the silent black as she puts on all speed for Tauron atmo. The direction to her wingman is a belated and unnecessary one. She knows Splash is on her six.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Splash, Bubbles. Follow me, Tommygun. Let's see what we've got down there."

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Wade's Viper does a fast change of direction, and he positions himself at Andrea's six. Thrusters are pushed more now to bring that oh so desired speed increase. He positions his bird to enter the atmosphere and pushes it just a little more. Ah, the fire, it can be so interesting to watch.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Bubbles, Splash. Following like a guard dog."

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "Even if it's cherry?" Despite the rather subdued banter between the two taurians, Leyla retains her focus, as she adjusts her speed to meetup with Poppy's flight team, slightly behind and just above, in her own way putting the vipers between herself and whatever incoming there might be. Better safe than sorry. "You been this way before, Boots?"

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Boots, Sweetpea, Decoy. Lake Taupo's the one with the volcano, isn't it?"

[BlackKnight-855: Malone] As soon as he sees Bubbles head off towards the planet, Splash follows in the same direction, doing his best to keep up with her.

[Harrier-307: Trask] "What man doesn't love cherry pie?" Oh, the delivery is innocent sounding, but there's no way there is no innuendo in there. As for ever being down this way before, "The first time I left Flint was when I left the whole frakkin' planet," is what the ECO idly notes.

[Polly's Hoopty: Hydra] And they're off, south by southwest as the group of planes meets up and gets to business. Closing the distance fast as the spacecraft fly, but Tauron is no small planet. As the pair of Raptors and eight Vipers meet up and fly into formation, the terrain below them goes from dusty brown earth to increasingly rocky and mountainous. Tauron's southwestern region is volcano county. None are currently spewing red-hot lava into the air in any truly cinematic fashion, but there are a few active mounts in states of perpetual activity that ooze slow creeks of lava out of their gaping maws, to form 'pools' of the stuff on the terrain below them. If you didn't like flying in atmosphere before, you'll pretty much hate this. A higher concentration of dust in the air fraks even moreso with your instruments and the updrafts on the wind currents muss with maneuverability. Not to mention the unpleasant notion of ejecting over (at best) hardened volcanic rock, if worse comes to worst.

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Unless the Flint public school system led me astray, that'd be the one, Decoy. Over."

[BlackKnight-650: Andrea] Frakking Volcanoes. Andrea grits her teeth as she flies her snake through the turbulent air, having to work much harder than usual to stay in formation. This is frakking awful.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Flight, Poppy. This is going to get squirrelly. Don't rely on visual scanning. Use your DRADIS, proximity sensors, and other instrumentation. Also, you're going to get jostled around a lot, so I hope you didn't have a big lunch. Boots, Flasher, you're our main eyes. What do you see? Over."

[Harrier-670: Marko] "Gods!" Classy grumbles as the Raptor starts to shake, rattle and roll in the disturbed air. "I think I hate this planet, sir." he comments firmly. "Scratch that, I _definitely_ hate this planet!"

"I'm right there with you, Classy. Trust me." Marko replies as he tries to keep down his lunch and focus on the DRADIS screen. "Got some real degradation on our DRADIS." he notes. "All this frakkin' dust."

"Tell me about it, sir! Gods, people lived here? Voluntarily?"

<FS3> Marko rolls ECM-10: Great Success.
<FS3> Trask rolls Ecm-10: Bad Failure.

[BlackKnight-309: Psyche] Tauron might be one ugly ball of dust, but it's almost home to Bubbles. And flying in this special brand of crap atmo's how the cheerleader-in-space cut her teeth. The sigh she utters is well-nigh nostalgic as her plane's buffeted about, a grin tugging her lips as the stick fights her.

[BlackKnight-308: McQueen] Cruising in along with the main vanguard of planes, Queenie's Viper veers right in a shallow arc and rights itself before he pulls up on the stick and steadies the Viper against dust, ash, and turbulence. His wingman, green as he is, actually fares a little better.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "We never go /anywhere/ nice."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "That's because you don't put out."

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Wade keeps a firm grip on the Viper's controls, eyes ahead in this low visibility area. Indeed, the bird is taking some punishment and the Deck crew will certainly hate all pilots after this one. "Walk in the park, walk in the park" says Wade, mostly to himself. This reminds him a little when he used to fly shuttles, it was only for a year tho. But of course, it definitely is not a walk in the park, not this time.

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Frak, that windshear is like someone's hitting my Viper with a really big hammer. Who in their right minds would try to jump INTO this? One two not carried and you're getting knocked into a lava pool…"

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Just be glad there's not big oceans…"

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask cuts in, "He doesn't put out for /you/, anyway. An' frak. Gotta make system adjustments to compensate for the interference. You pick up the signature, Flasher? Over."

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Devlin, along with Khloe, is one of the first to reach the volcanoes and he mutters a "Whoaaa…" as the shifting, swirling winds shove his Viper about. He's silent for a minute or two, working on keeping the plane rightside up and on the right path, and then taking a second to peer out over the dashboard.

[TAC3] "Sweet Pea" Leyla says, "That's my home colony you're talking about, you know. Just cause you lightweights can't handle what she's dishing out is no reason to hate on her."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Always wanted to see this place," Decoy comments, "Not like this, really."

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Poppy's Viper speeds along, but it's not any more immune to the turbulance than anyone else's. However, like Bubbles, she has experience flying in this sort of situation. Granted, it was a long time ago, but the horror stories never quite leave you. Determined SL is determined.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Well, it would really make some nice pictures if you get a clear line of sight."

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "DRADIS contact! Bearing three one fiver carom two six one. Signal is…Frak, clean as it's going to get in this. No IFF signature, but it's definitely a ship and it's more than likely not, repeat, not likely. Evaluate as probable hostile."

[Harrier-670: Marko] "Shit! It's a real burden being right so often." Marko grumbles.

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Copy that, Flasher. Poppy, Bootstrap. Let's go take a closer look-see, shall we?"

[Harrier-307: Leyla] Leyla has never been a fan of flying in atmosphere. And she certainly won't be now. But she'll be damned if she's going to let Tauron get the best of her and Bertha. How taurian is that? They even hate on themselves. But in she goes, fighting to keep Bertha on an even kee land all, to let Boots do his job.

[BlackKnight-650: Andrea] Andrea grumbles to herself as she holds her Viper in formation more through will than anything. Sweet Pea's comment has her shaking her head. She was from Aerilon, but you didn't see her making people feel good about fields of wheat, did you? She is about to say as much when Flasher gives his warning, and she takes a deep breath. They're gonna be flying in THIS?

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Flight, Poppy. Adjust course to carom two six one. Attack formation. Hold weapons fire until the ship is identified, repeat, hold fire. Try to get a visual on it, if DRADIS can't identify. Over."

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "DRADIS contact! Bearing three one fiver carom two six one. Signal is…Frak, clean as it's going to get in this. No IFF signature, but it's definitely a ship and it's more than likely not local. Evaluate as probable hostile."

[BlackKnight-855: Malone] "Nice scenery, though," Malone remarks to himself, a bit lightly as he keeps on working his way in with the others. Otherwise just concentrating on the job now. "Always wanted to see Tauron at some point."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Copy that. Adjusting to carom 2-6-1. Attack formation, on your wing. Over."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Poppy, Bubbles. Adjusting to carom 2-6-1. We've got yout back."

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Any attempts to getting volcano photos (at least with the gun cameras) are abandoned at Marko's call over the wireless, and Poppy's that follows. Devlin immediately sits back and turns his attention to his systems, eyeing DRADIS while readying weapons.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen begins to take the bait. "Hey, 'sn't like I'm the type of guy who would —" He doesn't finish this sentence though. The mumbling of his wingman is heard as 'Mushmouth' hits the comms, "Shit, Idon'tseeum!"

"Mush, Queenie. Keep your shirt on. All points, this is Queenie. Locatin' target, attempting visual scan to be certain. Poppy, m' going to try to cut under this turbulence, adjusting to carom 2-6-1. Heading one-five-niner. If this is a Cylon, these dogs are bloody cheating."

<FS3> McQueen rolls Vipers: Success.
<FS3> Khloe rolls Vipers: Success.
<FS3> Psyche rolls Vipers: Good Success.
<FS3> Malone rolls Vipers: Success.
<FS3> Leyla rolls Raptors: Bad Failure.
<FS3> Wade rolls Vipers: Good Success.
<FS3> Andrea rolls Vipers: Bad Failure.
<FS3> McQueen rolls 4: Terrible Failure.
<FS3> Devlin rolls Vipers: Success.

[Harrier-307: Trask] A steady ship certainly helps in this environment, but a lack of dust and magma would make Bootstrap's job a lot easier. Point by point, he starts running through the whole roster of adjustments, trying to get the Raptor's sensors back on track.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] Sweet Pea is more than happy to allow the Vipers to take the lead. After all, she's not here to meet the enemy, if there are any, head on. She's just the backup, Boots is just their man in Havana….you know, they're the technical support. But she does stick close enough to stay under their protection.

[Harrier-670: Marko] "Coming around to your carom, Flasher." Classy reports, shifting the Raptor carefully in the unstable air and doing a pretty damn good job of it. The little ship pivots neatly on one winglet and is heading smoothly on course, speeding increasing as Classy adds more power. "You got anything more for us, sir?"

"Negative, Classy. Just the same blip I had a second ago. I'm gonna try the optics package, maybe I can get something ,but with all this dust and crap in the atmo, I'm not holding my breath."

[BlackKnight-650: Andrea] Hosedown, she has issues. Between the windshears beating down and the updrafts beating up, it is all she can do to hold in a tight formation at the moment, fighting in all of this does not sound like her idea of fun. Her bird vibrates visibly as she wrangles it into flying something resembling a true course.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] And this is precisely why Leyla does NOT like being in the atmosphere. There's smoke and dust and grime, and FRAK! Where the hell did that lava flow come from? You know, the one she nearly just flew into because the smoke is blocking her vision, "Maybe you should take over, Boots."

[BlackKnight-308: McQueen] The silvery glint of Queenie's Viper cuts through the red and black haze belched by the volcanic landscape, buffetted slightly and he compensates with a violent counter-turn that rights his bird and keeps in formation, screaming towards the appointed target. Mush is not quite as lucky, though, as the aforementioned turblence catches him /hard/. Apparently flight training hadn't prepared him for these conditions, and his plane starts to spin. His compensation is off, though, and the Viper continues spinning for a few moments, falling out of formation and dropping a bit in altitude. Queenie spins his head around in the cockpit.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen suddenly cuts in. "Whoaaaaaaaaa-ho! Mush, if you don't make it back in one piece I will personally dig out whatever's left of your carcass and pound the living /shit/ out of it! Don't fight it too much, move with it. Make the momentum work /for/ you!" Mush's response is panicked, "Godsohfrakoh — think I can handle it, Queens!" And then silence.

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Devlin actually doesn't seem to be having all that much trouble with the atmospheric conditions, all things considered. Maybe it's a benefit of not being such an experienced pilot that the adjustment between space and atmo is an easier one to make. The updrafts and sidedrafts and plumes of dust and ash and whatever aren't exactly the easiest conditions ever, but he keeps a light hand on the stick and manages to keep to his course through them with a minimum of trouble, for the most part anticipating and adjusting for the winds.

[BlackKnight-309: Psyche] If you're not looking really close, it'd be hard to tell Bubbles is flying in the same atmo as her beleaguered viper brethren. Her smile just grows wider as the controls fight and she keeps it on an even keel, leaning physically when she has to haul hard on the stick. From the outside, it looks smooth as silk. Her plane cuts through the dust and buffeting winds like butter, with just a little wiggle which might very well be intentional: flipping dear old Tauron the bird. "Oh, Tauron, you bitch, I've missed you!"

[Harrier-307: Trask] "I'm not lookin' to die, so I'll pass, thanks," is smirked, but the sudden jerking of the big bird can't go uncommented upon… and yet it does. Sorta. "Just be your usual awesome self." That's right. No snark. No sass. Seems all those pilioting lessons has made the ECO SL more gracious about certain things.

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Flying through crap, you gotta love it. Visuals are pretty damn low and Wade's viper is being hit by all sorts of nasty stuff, but the man is not trouble with the situation at hand. He looks to where Andrea is and narrows his eyes for a moment. The man looks at his DRADIS and then outside again, keeping the bird leveled and in place. He opens the com channel and speaks.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. Keep it steady, we'll get through it. I'm still on your six."

[BlackKnight-855: Malone] Keeping his cool with the atmosphere, Malone looks around for a few moments now, then back to the front. "Feels like a dirtier version of Aquaria," he mutters to himself as he looks to see where Bubbles has placed her Viper.

[Harrier-670: Marko] And, of course, Flasher's brilliant idea almost works, for a grand total of two seconds the ECO gets a nice picture of something sort of silver and very blurry. Then the ash and dust clog the camera's lens. Go team Flasher! "Well, hell." he sighs. "Looks like we'll be doing this one the hard way, Classy." he reports.

"Just don't lose the damn thing, sir! I've got enough on my hands without having to play bumper cars with a frakkin' toaster!"

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Woo! Gods, I love Tauron. It's like riding the bull. Splash, Bubbles — how we doin'?"

<FS3> Wade rolls Alertness: Bad Failure.
<FS3> Psyche rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Khloe rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> McQueen rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Devlin rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> McQueen rolls 4: Good Success.
<FS3> Malone rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Andrea rolls Alertness-15: Success.
<FS3> Trask rolls Ecm: Success.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Doin' fine, Bubbles. Like I said to myself, it's like a dirtier version of Aquaria."

[Harrier-307: Trask] "As if /she'd/ know what /that's/ like," Trask snickers to Leyla, in response to Psyche's comment.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "Clearly my usual awesome self is just not enough." And then, more softly, "Come on, my girl, you can get me through this." Yes, she is talking to Bertha like the raptor with the big behind can actually hear her. It's creepy. But regardless, Sweet Pea is trying to level out.

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Drips, Hosedown. I've got a visual of the bogey, going for a strike. Let me know if I'm about to fly into a lava lake, hey?"

[Harrier-307: Trask] "Good thing I'm awesome enough for the whole fleet," Trask winsomely cracks. "Also: quit slackin'." Leyla's awesome has not been granted shore leave.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "CIC, Poppy. Confirm visual on Heavy Raider, I repeat, Heavy Raider. Flight, weapons free. I repeat, weapons free. Boots, Flasher, jam its radio."

[Polly's Hoopty: Hydra] And indeed, they've got a visual. It's hard to miss at this range, even with the dust and wonky DRADIS. That right there is a Heavy Raider. Hovering near the volcano, as if waiting for the Colonials. Weapons hot.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, " Poppy, Flasher, already transmitting. Between me and Boots, he's not likely to start talking to anyone…ever again."

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) With a cheery cheekiness, Bootstrap replies, "I know it's a mess out there, Poppy, but we really don't need the obvious pointed out." ECOs frak stuff up. It's their shtick.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. I see it, I don't have a clear shot though. I'll move in with you and engage when possible."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "This is Queenie. Oho. Something isn't right about this. That's a big, fat frakker. You goin' to pull that tub in this wind? That's right. /I see you/, piggy. Mush, stay on me when you level your arse out! Poppy, I'm going to go in slow and show our new friend the business until my wingman's back in position."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Copy, Queenie."

[BlackKnight-308: McQueen] And, true to his word, Queenie's Viper dips slightly as it begins a steady downward plunge, the nose of the fighter staring directly at its prey. Safety's off, and the guns are hot.

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Queenie, Bootstrap. They're all big, fat frakkers, or is this one the obese sister? Longshot that it is, are you seein' anything non-standard about that hussy? Over."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "What the frak is it doing out here, all alone? Splash, Bubbles. Stay serious frosty, 'kay? Much as a hard-on as I have for destroying this thing, it's got to have friends nearby."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "No problems, Bubbles. Let's hope we get it out of the way before anyone else drops in, okay?"

<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Heavy with KEW - Light wound to Cabin (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Heavy attacks Malone with KEW - Critical wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Wade passes.
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Heavy with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Khloe attacks Heavy with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mushmouth passes.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Heavy with KEW - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Heavy with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Heavy with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Leyla passes.
<COMBAT> Classy passes.
<COMBAT> Andrea attacks Heavy with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Devlin passes.

The Heavy's guns train themselves straight on Splash's poor Viper, and score a palpable hit. That one's gonna hurt in the morning. Also, right now. It's strafed by the fire of the Knights but it by no means blown straight out of the water. It veers, continuing to engage the targets which vastly outnumber it. Away from Malone now that it's wounded him. Perhaps to what it perceives as the bigger 'threat' given the hits dealt against it.

[BlackKnight-309: Psyche] Bubbles swoops in and lights up the heavy's cockpit, but her little crow of delight is cut off as she sees the much larger explosion in her peripheral. Right where Splash should be. Her head snaps 'round to get a visual, but there's only time for that split-second, instinctive-and-unadvised glance before the pugnacious controls demand her full attention again. "Frak frak shit shit frak…!" she mutters, going with a fierce buffet of wind, banking and coming back around.

<FS3> Marko rolls ECM: Good Success.

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Devlin follows Khloe in over the Raider, but hits a weird gust of wind, and that combined with the concentration of planes in a small area combine to prevent him from getting a shot off. He grumbles under his breath and struggles with the controls, coming back around for a second attempt, sticking in his place in the formation as much as possible given the conditions.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] All Leyla can really do right now, is try to keep Bertha in the air, keep her pointed in the right direction, and give Boots the time and space he needs to do his job. It's the downside to being a raptor pilot, you can't do anything to protect the vipers that are flying into the fray in your stead, "I copy you, Boots."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Frakking shit, Splash! Sing out, that looked bad!"

[BlackKnight-308: McQueen] And hang back he does, as McQueen finds the shortest path between two points — a straight line. As he closes on the Cylon craft, he fires a quick salvo into the front of the Heavy Raider, quick and precise, before breaking off and turning about to mount another attack run.

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Poppy's Viper swoops past the Heavy Raider with a withering barrage, but she fails to connect in any meaningful way; probably pushed out of her targeting solution by a side-draft.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, ""Wakey wakey. Did I just get your attention? Were you lookin' for us, you sour bitch? Where is your God /now?/""

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Flight, Hosedown. Confirm multiple hits on target and… ummm… it seems to like me. Not gonna be able to do much evasive action in this mess."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Sorry, couldn't get an angle on that one and be sure I wouldn't hit one of us. Better next time. Splash, Bubbles, you OK?"

[Harrier-670: Marko] Marko can't see the Vipers' guns reaching out to riddle the Heavy with twenty mike mike, but he can clearly see the thing wobbling drunkenly in reaction to the hits it's taking on the DRADIS. "I think they've got its attention." he grins wolfishly.

"Yeah, c'mon, Knights, splash this frakker so we can get out of here. Wait…did Splash take a hit? Flasher, you got him on DRADIS?""Yeah, it's still painting him."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. I'm moving in to engage, try to cover you as much as possible."

[BlackKnight-855: Malone] Firing off his shots just as he gets hit badly himself, Splash grimaces a little bit as he looks around the cockpit, taking a few moments to control his bird, before he moves in again, a little bit more agressively now.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Splash, Poppy. Pull back if you need to. Flight, keep after it; watch those cross-drafts and compensate for KEW tracking. These winds are brutal."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Bubbles, Splash. Still here. Feels more like my uncle's very old car when I try twisting and turning though. But holding on for now. Thanks, everyone."

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Wade gets to see all the shots being fired, he also gets to see that the Heavy is paying special attention on his wingmate. "Oh no you don't" mutters the man to himself and pushes the thrusters to get a fierce burst of speed that sends him speeding towards the Heavy Raider, moving in to provide cover for Andrea. Weapons hot, ready to fire.

[BlackKnight-650: Andrea] Hosedown does what she can to keep her bird clear but with the winds buffeting her, she has to work harder to just not get slammed into a flaming mountain. No point evading, better to see if she can make it blink. She squeezes her trigger and sends all she has at it.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, " Frak! Flight, Flasher! Multiple DRADIS contacts bearing three one four carom two six one. Call it five clicks and approaching fast. Again, no squawk on the IFF. Evaluate as probable hostile. Keep your eyes peeled out there Knights. I think we've got a few more Heavies coming to say hi."

<COMBAT> Trask will suppress Heavy this turn.
<COMBAT> Marko will suppress Heavy this turn.
<COMBAT> Message from Hydra: Anything to add? Cycling in 5…
<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Mushmouth attacks Heavy with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Heavy with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Heavy with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Heavy with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Leyla passes.
<COMBAT> Andrea attacks Heavy with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Raider3 passes.
<COMBAT> Raider1 passes.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Heavy with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Heavy attacks Andrea with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Devlin attacks Heavy with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Classy passes.
<COMBAT> Wade attacks Heavy with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Heavy with KEW - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider2 passes.
<COMBAT> Khloe attacks Heavy with KEW - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, ""This is Queenie. She's not goin' anywhere. But she brought friends. Knew this was a frakkin' trap. Mush, you allright? Stay in formation and keep your arse level. We don' know /how/ many of the bastards are down here.""

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Queenie, it's Boots. Still waitin' to hear if you've noticed anything non-standard about that Heavy."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Other than that it won't. Frakking. DIE?"

[BlackKnight-308: McQueen] And another salvo of fire as McQueen and Mushmouth add to the death of a thousand cuts that may one day claim the mechanical life of this here Heavy Raider. Queenie pulls his ship out of the soup just long enough to reorient himself as he arcs his head wildly in-cockpit to study the DRADIS output and line up the most logical target. Not that he'll necesarily choose it.

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "That's not so different, took Drips and I forever to take one out the other day."

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] "What the frak?" Poppy watches her instruments and peers out of her cockpit, watching strike after strike hit the Heavy Raider. Then, the alert of one of the incoming Raiders locking on to her. That's when she kicks her Viper into a roll.

[Polly's Hoopty: Hydra] The Heavy Raider takes a beating that really *should* have killed it but somehow it keeps on flying. Though that punishment appears to have been more than it wanted to take, as it does veer off suddenly away from the Knights. Taking what evasive maneuvers it can in the ashy-choked air. It doesn't seem to be as thrown around quite so hard as the Colonials by the updrafts in the volcanic wastes, but with the hits it took its not exactly flying on all cylinders. But it's got some help now. Three Raiders come to its aid, taking up defensive positions around it and targeting the Vipers on its wounded tail.

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, "Drips, Hosedown. Nice shooting! Let's put the heavy to bed. Bubbles, think you could help me with the one on my tail?"

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. You've got one on your tail, changing course to intercept."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "Just puttin' two and two together, Boots. That's a /heavy/. Probably piloted by one of the soft, squishy types. Why else would they use it?"

[BlackKnight-309: Psyche] The heavy's lit up on all sides, and Psyche cackles, just giggling her fool head off. Sometimes it's good to just blow shit up. Except… there's no 'splodey. And this makes Bubbles a sad panda. Her expression of consternation and confusion is puppyish — her head even cocks to one side. Aroo? Not so much with the giggles, now. "Good frakking LORDS. What's UP with that?"

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. Likewise, damn fine shooting. Want to….? Or we could keep following the Hevy Raider. Keeping focus on same target, punching up speed."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Bubbles, Splash. Looks like one of those new arrivals has taken a liking to you. Going to try to see if I can get rid of it for you."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Flight, Poppy. Incoming Raiders. Priority is still the Heavy, repeat, put that Heavy frakker down if possible, but cover your wingman."

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Devlin's KEW fire strikes the heavy raider along with all the rest, not that it seems to make much difference. He waits for the explosion that doesn't come, but doesn't seem totally surprised, having been similarly jerked around in their last encounter with heavy raiders. As regular raiders zoom their way onto DRADIS he tracks the one that's locked onto Khloe and wheels around, fighting with turbulence to try to take a shot at the SL's pursuer.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Hosedown, Bubbles. I've got you, darlin'. Splash, much obliged, sweetie. How're you holdin' together?"

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Wade gets a damn fine hit on that Heavy Raider and so do the others. His eyes narrow when he sees that it doesn't go down. "What the frak?" That piece of junk took massive beating and it's still flying. After hearing Hosedown's orders over the com, he nods and responds. Another burst of speed from his Viper and he follows that damn thing. You are not going to get away of this one.

[Harrier-670: Marko] "Ye Gods, that thing's still going." Marko says, astonished as the by-now heavily damaged Heavy Raider keeps weaving like a punch drink prize fighter. "And….ah hell, here comes the others." he comments. "Classy, fly good, fly _really_ good…they're comin' in hot."

[BlackKnight-855: Malone] Firing at the Heavy once more, Splash frowns as it doesn't blow up like it's supposed to. Seeing the arriving Raiders, and one of those heading for Bubbles, he moves in the direction of that Raider now, trying to take it out before it can do much damage. There's decidedly quite a bit of effort in the turning now, but he gets it done, it seems.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Flight, Flasher, we've got company coming in on previously established bearings. They're moving fast and I think we've made 'em mad."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Got some tape ready in case I need to fix something in a hurry, but otherwise doing good."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "Mush, Queenie. Look alive. We can leave that crippled slug down there to rot. She's not going anywhere. Form up on me and engage Bandit Two."

[Polly's Hoopty: Hydra] Mushmouth does some weaving as he struggles to adjust to pulls in various directions (not to mention his own less-than-graceful flying) but in the end he copies and follows Queenie.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) "Last one we hauled in," yes, Trask has hauled in more than one Heavy Raider since Warday, "was piloted by a chrome dome, actually. An' I'm askin' 'cuz the last basestar we saw wasn't standard. Just tryin' t'determine if they've been crankin' out the new models for '42."

<FS3> Trask rolls Ecm: Good Success.

<COMBAT> Trask passes.
<COMBAT> Mushmouth attacks Raider2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Heavy with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Classy passes.
<COMBAT> Wade attacks Heavy with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Khloe with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Psyche with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider2 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Leyla passes.
<COMBAT> Khloe attacks Heavy with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Heavy with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Heavy passes.
<COMBAT> Devlin attacks Raider3 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Andrea attacks Heavy with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Andrea with KEW - Light wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Heavy Raider-7671t has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Heavy has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-2630t has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!

[Polly's Hoopty: Hydra] The Heavy Raider is no longer making any attempt to engage. It's retreating. But not fast enough. KEW fire lights it up and the limping Cylon creature finally goes down, under the combined fire of the Vipers. One of the Raiders is blown to bits as well. No more contacts, though the remaining two Cylon ships don't cut and run just yet, sweeping around for another pass at the Colonials.

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Poppy's KEW strikes true, bullets ripping through its left wing. As her Viper swoops by, she turns in her cockpit to watch Hosedown tear the rest of it apart. "Yes!" She says to herself, pumping a victory fist in the air. But, then it's back to business, as those Raiders seem… mad. Really mad.

[Harrier-307: Trask] Never one to be idle or lack initiative, Trask isn't about to start lollygagging now. "Frak this," he mutters before starting to work his magic, which requires extra mojo in this venue. "Somethin' just ain't right about this…" Adjustments are made, finesse employed and, when that doesn't work, brute ECM force picks-up the slack. "Oh, you frakkers," he snerks, then jumps on the horn.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) For whatever reason, no signals jamming emitted from Harrier-307. All is soon enough revealed, however, when Trask relays, "Flight, Bootstrap. Big ass bitch was transmitting. Not sure what or where, other than somethin' not good for us, but I've managed to record some of it. Terminated when you put that puppy down. We now return you to your regular scheduled programming."

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Woo! Flight, Hosedown. Heavy is down, repeat, Heavy is down! Raider got me, but its not bad. Drips, let's repay the favor…"

[BlackKnight-308: McQueen] And in a hail of proverbial bullets, focused fire on one of the Cylon Raiders results in a gout of flame and debris as its detritus adds to the already polluted atmosphere. McQueen's Viper breaks off, as he shifts his head over his shoulder to see if his wingman's still there.

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Devlin misjudges his shot, and KEW sprays wide of the Raider chasing Khloe, but at least it maybe makes the machine blink (or whatever they do), since its own shot misses the Colonial squadron leader. An explosion out the corner of the ensign's eye turns his head and then to DRADIS, and he spends a moment reassuring himself everyone's still there before wheeling back around, trying to get into position to follow-up on the bandit still chasing Poppy.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Hosedown, Poppy. Great shooting. Your bogie seems really pissed off. Recommend evasive. Flight, clean up the Raiders, and keep your eyes peeled for more."

[Harrier-670: Marko] "Alright Knights!" Marko grins as he recalibrates the ECM gear to get a better fix on the Raiders. "Just keep us flying another few minutes and we should be good to go." Then he hear's Trask's comment and is on the horn tout suite.

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Perhaps it's that last burst? Perhaps it's the whole scenario around them…who knows. The fact is, Wade attacks the Heavy Raider and he misses. "Motherfrakker…" mutters the man under his breath. His expression however, changes a little bit, showing a smile after that damn thing goes bye bye.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Boots, Flasher, any idea what it was?"

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. Copy that, just target something and I'll follow."

[BlackKnight-309: Psyche] Flying more cautiously with a raider on her ass, Bubbles can't hammer her target hard as she'd like — but she doesn't miss. That's something. She flashes a big smile, however, as the heavy and the bogey on her tail blink off DRADIS. "Nice," she murmurs, staying on Hosedown's little issue, adjusting slightly so the raider's dead center of her sights.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen howls a laugh. "Mush, Queenie. I take back everything I said about you /and/ your mother. That was /beautiful/ shooting. Hey, uh, Bubbs - you might want to check your arse for stains. You had a creeper." There's a little bit of a pause. "Engaging secondary targets."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Great shooting, Queenie and Mush!"

[BlackKnight-650: Andrea] Hosedown pulls her bird into a hard turn, using the updrafts to lauch her at the bogie that shot her nose. Gees pull, but thats what lets you know you're alive, right?

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "Boots, I didn't get this year's showroom catalog. Guess I won't get that set of steak knives for most sales - I was just jumpin' to conclusions, yeh?"

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Queenie, Mushpie — Bubbles! I owe you boys a drink. Many thanks. Splash, let's get this bitch off Hosedown."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "That's a negative, Flasher. It's somethin' that'll need to be analyzed post-flight. An' no worries, Queenie. I like to do my own research. Caveat emptor an' all that rot."

[TAC3] Hydra || Pewter's gravel voice suddenly interrupts the radio chatter. "Flight, Cerberus Actual. What the hells you got down there? We just picked up some kinda damn signal from the surface trying to ring us up. Looks Cylon. Isolating and recording. Systems still green but we don't know it was sayin'."

[BlackKnight-855: Malone] Watching his own bullets go wild, Splash nods a bit as he sees the others take down the Raider. He then nods as he hears what Bubbles says, and moves in to try taking out that target.

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Poppy, Hosedown. I thought I WAS evading. You've got a better feel for this atmo than I do. But watch it, your friend looks like he's still pissed. And Bubbles, nice shooting before. If you ever need a babysitter for Decoy, you just let me know!"

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, " Boots, Flasher, copy that. Whatever the hell it was, it even got CIC's attention. That's probably not a good sign. Think we're starting to overstay our welcome."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Actual, Bootstrap. Looks like one Heavy an' three Raiders. Heavy was transmittin' somethin'. You meanin' to tell me it was ringin' you up? Who knew Cylons made crank calls? Anyway, I managed to record some of it. Got some visual footage, too. Over."

[Harrier-307: Leyla] Leyla is being quiet. Which might be all for the good. She goes where Kal tells her to go and flies how he tells her to fly. If ever there was a pilot who listened to her ECO, it would be Sweet Pea.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Cerberus Actual, Poppy. We just downed a heavily armored Heavy Raider that wasn't flying normal. Popped one of three Raiders and we're cleaning up the last two, but my gut says something strange is going on. Over."

[TAC3] Hydra || Pewter grunts over the comm. "Strange is right, Poppy. Cerberus Actual. We ain't readin' anything additional so far as contacts go, Corsiar and Areion confirm. Put 'em away. We got Alert Vipers launched up here in case we get more company outta atmo."

<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Andrea with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Classy passes.
<COMBAT> Mushmouth attacks Raider3 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider1 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Andrea attacks Raider1 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Wade attacks Raider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider3 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Khloe attacks Raider1 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Devlin attacks Raider3 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Leyla passes.
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Khloe with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider-6225o has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider1 has been KO'd!

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) "You said you're still recording, sir?" Trask asks presumably of Pewter. "What I isolated died when the Heavy went down. Over."

[TAC3] Hydra || Pewter comms, "Flight, Cerberus Actual. Were recording. Signal went done dead. Probably when you downed the thing."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "/Something/ was non-standard 'bout this. /Something./"

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Two down, one to go."

[BlackKnight-308: McQueen] McQueen is uncharacteristically silent here regarding the in-battle commentary. Maybe he's preoccupied. Well, who cares? He's still firing.

[Polly's Hoopty: Hydra] At this point the Raiders are massively outgunned, so it's just about scoring cheap shots and making the Cerberus' pilots bleed a little. One of the two remaining joins its fellows in whatever afterlife the Cylon god promises. Just one more to go.

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Drips, Hosedown. Nice Kill, but that last hit took a bit more out of me. You take lead on this run."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "A'right. That actually makes more sense, Actual. We'll compare notes after class. Bootstrap out."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "LOVE-ly! Nice shooting, kids! Poppy, we're comin' for ya, sir!"

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Wade keeps his focus on the Raider that is tailing Hosedown. This time, he hits target and mixing that with the other hits from the Colonials, the thing goes boom. "Fraking thing" mutters the man, smiling at that. He hears Hosedown's voice over the com and nods to himself before answering.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. Copy that Hosedown, taking lead. Poppy, we'll target the one after you. Moving in."

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Poppy's Viper continues to do its aerial dance, doing her best to make sure the angry Raider does not get a clear shot at her posterior. Because, well, the rumors say that the Captain has a nice one, and it'd be a shame to get it shot up by a Cylon.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Not much else to target now, Drips. Unless we should be targetting each other…"

[BlackKnight-855: Malone] Missing, and then seeing the enemy explode once more, Splash heads for the last one now, climbing a bit to get to it from a bit above it. Working on his aim now.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade chuckles a little "Thanks Splash, I'll try and keep that in mind"

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Always happy to help, Drips."

[BlackKnight-854: Devlin] Targets in short supply, Devlin keeps on that single last Raider, even as the rest of the flight horns i— comes to help.

[BlackKnight-650: Andrea] Andrea falls back into a support position, and grins at the banter as she tries to get her own shot lined up.

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " You know, Splash, that sounded like you're volunteering for target practice."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "No celebratory chatter til this frakker's dead, Knights."

<COMBAT> Wade attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider3 with KEW - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Leyla passes.
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Khloe with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mushmouth attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Classy passes.
<COMBAT> Andrea attacks Raider3 with KEW - Serious wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Devlin attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Khloe attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider-3234x has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider3 has been KO'd!

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Well done, Knights and Harriers. Let's head back to the barn. CIC, Poppy. Enemy contacts destroyed, heading back to the barn. Recommend we secure this space and send down an investigatory team to see if anything's left of that Heavy Raider in the mountains, over."

[Polly's Hoopty: Hydra] Nothing but the rain. And shards of dead Raider under the combined and massively overwhelming firepower of the assembled Vipers. And when it's blown away…that seems to be that. DRADIS is clear of contacts. Visual picks up nothing more than the ash and dust blown into the air from fiery updrafts. Quiet as it was when before that first FTL blip was noted. Nothing more jumped in on the ship during all that, despite Cerberus inability to move. How comforting that might be is an open question.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, " Poppy, Flasher, don't have to tell us twice. Let's get the frak outta here."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen 's voice is a little on-edge and a bit distant, but still — loud. "Poppy, Queenie. Copy that. Uh, I'd say 'Kill it with fire' but the Redundancy police'd get me on that one, yeh? C'mon, Mush! Let's give this a go. And don' mention it, Bubbs. I'd do it, any time."

[Harrier-670: Marko] "Classy." Marko begins.

"Copy that, we are out of here." the Ensign responds, starting to point the Raptor skyward and going to full military power. "Out of atmo in about five minutes. Hang on to your lunch, sir, got some seriously rough air between us and the big empty." he advises.

"Heh, I haven't barfed yet." Marko chuckles, securing the ECM gear. "DRADIS is …clear….Gods, I need a shower…."

[TAC3] Hydra || Pewter's gravel confirms, "Flight, Cerberus Actual. DRADIS up here is clear. Don't know what they're playin' at, but they ain't bringin' more to the party just now. Ar-Tee-Bee acknowledged."

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "They weren't just sitting there for no reason, Boots. I don't like the idea of going back before we have a look around, who knows what we'll miss in the meantime?"

[TAC3] "Hosedown" Andrea says, " Splash, your bird looks terrible. Can't imagine mine looks much better. Don't know what I'll get along with if I'm not pretty."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Actual, Flight: Bootstrap. I'm gonna round some of my peeps and renew sweeps of the area. Maybe geological readings will shed some insights. Over."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Pretty sure that heavy fell into a volcano, captain. Just saying. RTBing on your six."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Queenie, Mushpie, meet me at Pete's boys. I'm buying you drinks and dancers."

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] That poor Raider received a hell of a lot of fire, included one from Wade since he did hit target. That was brutal. He speaks something over the coms and the aligns his bird to RTB, time to go home boys and girls.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Looks can be deceiving, Hosedown. Not in this case, though. Bird's handling just as bad as it looks. Returning…"

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Hosedown, Drips. It doesn't look as bad as you think tho, your bird I mean. Anyway, on me, let's go back home, I'm hungry and I need a shower…"

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "Thank you, Kal." And that's just for Boots, and not for the flight group at large. He may not agree with her overly 'run into the fire mentality', much less support it, she really doesn't even know. But she appreciates that sometimes, he does give her her head. And right now, Sweet Pea turns away from the retreating Vipers, to begin a sweep of the lava fields, awaiting the arrival of her fellow Harriers, before the big birds get to work scouring the surface of Tauron. Lava fields notwithstanding.

[Harrier-307: Trask] True to his word, Bootstrap calls in the cavalry. It even includes a few of the Mighty Lions who opt to go on the prowl. As for being thanked, he shrugs it off, as he tends to do with positive feedback, downplaying it with a simple, "C'mon, now. We Blackies never do anything half-assed." Even so, a moment passes and he adds, "You're welcome, though."

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