PHD #040: EVENT - Fireworks Have Been Cancelled, Part I
Fireworks Have Been Cancelled, Part I
Summary: A salvage op is given a test run on the sims, one night before the real thing. EVENT (ST: Tisiphone).
Date: 2041.04.07
Related Logs: Fireworks Have Been Cancelled Pt II.
Cidra Damon Daphne Evandreus Laskaris Marko McQueen Quinn Raf Temperance Trask Nikolai NPC 
The Sims room has been cordoned off for this evening's training. There's a faux-Raptor set up, its open side facing toward what Command deems a reasonable facsimile of one of the many slumbering turrets surrounding Parnassus Anchorage. The review screens are showing cross-section maps of the minefield, and a larger cross-section of the turrets to be salvaged.

Over by the Sims console stands a somewhat gangly man, sent down from CIC. He looks slightly out of place, and clutches a large sheaf of papers, watching everyone that steps in with a nervous stare.

As everyone makes their way in, their names are checked against a list before they're handed a small sheaf of informational papers, stamped at the top with either 'EVA', 'RAPTOR', or 'VIPER'. How personalized. The beanpole continues to shuffle without ever moving much, waiting for all to assemble.

To VIPER folk: Your sheaf contains a diagram of the minefield surrounding the two turrets slated for salvage, drawn from all three axes. There's a dotted path connecting five mines that lead to, then encircle, the turret. This is stamped OPTIMAL, the same as your sheaf was stamped VIPER.

To RAPTOR folk: Your sheaf contains a diagram of the minefield surrounding the two turrets slated for salvage, drawn from all three axes. There's a dotted path connecting five mines that lead to, and encircle, the turret. This route is stamped OPTIMAL, the same as your sheaf was stamped RAPTOR. There's also a page of schematics detailing the mines that are in use, and a schematic for the turret, showing the targeting circuitboard that's the main salvage objective. The schematics are dated as five years old.

To EVA folk: Your sheaf contains a page of schematics detailing the turret, showing the targeting circuit that's the primary objective for salvaging. The schematics are dated as five years old.

"Hey, thanks, man! I like brochures! Makes me feel like I'm goin' on vacation or somethin'…" Raf says to the paper-handing crewman as he meanders in. Ambling his way over toward one of the nearby steps-on-rollers that serve to load crew into simulators, he plunks himself down upon it, reaches into his pocket, and proceeds to extract a small bobble doll shaped like a hula girl. He is *definitely* prepared for work - his eye-gougingly awful hawaiian shirt is nowhere to be seen, but he's probably stashed it somewhere close at hand.

Quinn is there, on duty and ready. She's in her flight suit, since this will be a full simulation, her red hair tightly braided back along her throat and tucked into the collar of her suit. She's got her helmet resting off to the side and silently surveys the deck and those arriving, her eyes thoughtful, quiet.

It's worth pointing out that Daphne takes the stack of papers handed to her and assimilates them into her clipboard with the sort of perfection that requires her to step out of line and burn some time getting them to line up -just- so. Probably expected one hundred percent, but still worth noting. It's only after she's satisfied that she even looks at the papers. She makes her way towards a simulator pod.

Into the Sims strides Cidra. Punctual. One must set a good example for the youngins, after all. Blue eyes sweep the room, the faux-planes, the faux-turret. The, hopefully, quite real CIC officer. She takes a paper marked 'Raptor.' As she is wont to do. A cordial "Ensign" is offered to the CIC minion at the console. "You have all for this you require, I trust?"

Lasher follows in the procession of pilots, his flightsuit still half-unzipped as he accepts the handout wordlessly from the CIC dood. The papers get a cursory glance as he moves to a sim pod of his own; he pauses ever so briefly to zip his suit and affix his seal collar before ensconcing his frame in the mock-pit.

"Sir!" The CIC beanpole salutes smartly to Cidra, holding it for several seconds before the Major is handed all three sheaves of information. Just in case. Let it never be said that Command isn't thorough. "Everything's in order, Sir. I've got the minefield coordinates laid in to the console. Optimal route is already calculated. It should be a walk in the park. I've got a final briefing - by your leave?"

Marko enters the room in his flight gear, the same as his boss. With a polite nod, he accepts his sheaf and begins to study it as he moves to join his fellow Raptor peeps. "This looks pretty good." he says to no-one in particular. "This oughta take a lot of work off our backs, if it works." he adds.

It's been a little while since Damon went on a mission. Granted, tonight's just a practice - but still. He looks… thoughtfully apprehensive as he receives his papers, marked 'EVA'. A quick glance is cast behind him to ensure that the Deck personnel are forming up on him, and they've all got their papers. Once they're all gathered around, he looks over the schematics. "All right. That looks not too bad," he says mildly. "Not too bad at all." The nervous fidgeting with his left hand, however, might disagree with his spoken assessment.

After his momentary hula-doll fidgeting, Raf pushes off his stepladder, hoists his helmet, and puts his other hand on his hip. "All right, who the heck is flyin' with me today, anyway?" he asks, voice directed in the *general* vicinity of the assembled Raptor pilots. "I have metal in my shins, I been bored for a month, and I wanna go be awesome. Who's in for awesome?!" Subtlety has never been Lt. Cortez's strong suit, to be sure.

Cidra notes the pilots streaming in. Gaze pausing particularly for a moment on Pallas. Hard to read much of her reaction to him, really. He's just given a small nod, watched a moment in that weighing sort of way she sometimes eyes things, and then her gaze moves on. CIC Minion's salute is acknowledged fluidly. That out of the way. All the information is snagged. "Get to it, Ensign. I look forward to seeing what you have put together." The barest hint of a smile at the young man. Hard to tell whether that's encouragement or a challenge, however. She turns briefly to address the room, raising her voice to project properly. "Command places high value on this outing, so let us show them we are more than up for the real thing in the coming days. Clear eyes, steady hands. Good hunting." Faint smirk. "Such as it is in these machines." With that, she goes to take a Rapt-pod.

Fashionably late, Trevor McQueen makes his way into the sim room with a bit of a strut. Even if he doesn't talk himself up /constantly/ there's a certain flamboyance to his bearing and his stride. His somewhat homely features split in a huge grin as he too steps forward to accept the handout, glancing at it. "Mmm. Charming." He says, before thumbing through it and settling into a nearby Viper pod.

Temperance silently makes her way in, arms up and behind her as she quickly tries to tie the mass of her red curls up into some form of regulation ponytail. Holding it all up with her left hand, she reaches out with the right to take her sheaf and then moves farther into the room. First she notes Quinn, and then Damon, and gets a very obvious 'oh shit' look on her face. Angling her body quickly toward Quinn, she nods to the other woman. Finally finishing with her hair, she bites her bottom lip and starts flipping through her packet. She might look better than the last time she was seen around, but she hasn't said a word since walking in.

The CIC beanpole salutes to Cidra /again/, then picks up a little headset so he can address those still in the room at the same time as he talks to those getting into their sim-pods. His voice is a little too loud. Nerves. "Uh. Greetings, everyone! This is the timed run for tomorrow's salvage op. As your information packets will show, there's a small minefield that hasn't been cleared yet, surrounding two turrets with targeting circuits we want to recover. As your information packets will show, these are the same fragmentary mines that patrols have been clearing out all around Parnassus Anchorage. We believe the turrets to be deactivated." There's a hesitation on 'believe'. "However, on the off chance the turret is on standby, we've calculated the time from power-up to combat-ready to be thirty-five seconds. Tonight's drill is to, first, ensure the mines can be cleared without damaging the turrets and, second, ensure the EVA teams can make it to safe distance should the turrets be triggered. Any questions?"

To Laskaris: The information you've got will show that the mines are quite fragile, but if you don't kill them in a single pass, they'll detonate — and set the others off in a chain reaction.

Cidra eyes Raf. Again, no particular expression. He's just eyed. "Lieutenant, in with Ensign O'Sullivan. Scaurus, you're with me." Apart from that sorting, she asks no questions.

"You got it, Major." Marko replies, nodding and making his way over to Cidra's chosen pod. "Okay, here goes the pre-flight checklist, Toast." he says, strapping into the ECO station and starting to go through his list, same as he would on a real flight.

The 'hairy eyeball' is apparently something Raf is used to getting from the CAG. Probably something to do with not really knowing when to shut up, and having a knack for getting himself into trouble. "Sweet!" he says, giving Temperance a thumbs-up. Parking his ass inside the simulator he was standing by, he cranes his head out the door to listen to Mr. CIC give his lecture. Despite his happy-go-lucky appearance and attitude, however, he has already started taking copious notes.

"Is there a scoring system?" McQueen pipes up, languidly raising his hand. "Just askin'." His smirk is gentle.

Lasher half rises out of the faux-cockpit as the CIC nerd finishes, but it's to address the others, not to ask a question. "Vipers. Remember, those bloody mines are fragile enough it ought to take only one shot… which means it'll cause a nasty chain reaction if we don't take them out quick. Three-ship element, open fire only on my order." With that, he sinks back down into the 'pit.

Quinn is quiet with Trask, him not making many smart remarks tonight and she happy to fall into professionalism. Orders are given, so she settles down into her craft and waits for Trask to shut the door behind them on the little sim thing. SHe begins her pre-checks smoothly, going through everything like it was the real deal.

Suited and booted - well enough for the simulation, anyway - Damon points to a Specialist. "Nikolai, you're with me. We'll go in this Raptor." He mounts up with Nikolai into Temperance's Raptor, the two of them carrying a small but apparently heavy toolchest between them. "Rock and roll," he says with a grin and a big thumbs-up. "Let's do this thing properly and rack out. We got time off shift tonight so we can be properly rested for the real deal tomorrow."

The night's still young, which means Trask is bound to start making smart remarks at some point. For now, he simply goes through the sims version of pre-flight.

Amist the hustle and bustle of the specialists and engineers boarding the faux-Raptors, Raf's hands are already moving on automatic. Switches are flipped. Power is conduited. Signals are sent. The hula-girl is smacked on the edge of the DRADIS console. And in that bustle, Raf pulls a small package out of his helmet, shrugs it on over his flight suit, and slams his helmet down on his head. Oh god, it's the eye-gougingly loud shirt. What a treat Damon and Nikolai are in for, having to see it. The Raptor sim's radio crackles to life: "Kahuna, sitting pretty. EW suite is in the green, all systems check go, over."

Temperance nods with a gulp to Raf, and keeps her eyes on the floor as she makes her way to her spot in the Raptor-sim. Sighing, she slides into her seat and flips through her pre-flight checklist with lightning speed, apparently not as worried about leaking oxygen as she typically might be. "Yes, mates, let's rock'n'roll alrigh'," she mumbles under her breath, with a tone of bitter. "All set, Kahuna," she calls back, her Aerilon accent thick as usual.

The CIC beanpole turns back to the simu-console as everyone settles in. As soon as the pilots finish their checklists, the sim-windows fill with the sight of Parnassus Anchorage. Everyone is on a lazy approach vector to the minefield, the Cerberus falling away behind them.

Quinn finishes her own pre-flight checks, nothing wrong of course. She settles back into her seat a bit deeper, the sim ones never quite the same as the real seats. "…All is green on my end, Boots. How you lookin' back there?" She calls casually, the comfort between them there, as always.

"Aha! So it's a little bit like a game of snakes n' ladders, then, yeh?" McQueen pipes up as he thumbs through the documentation, settling into his pod and starting to flick on the console controls. "If we're lucky, which we /always/ are, targetting the mines might do some of work for us."

Cidra goes through her pre-flight as carefully as if this were the real thing as well. She's meticulous about such matters. "Looking green from here, Scaurus. Ready." Into the little mic in her pod she says, "Raptors, keep your scans sharp. Tripping over one of those mines would be most uncomfortable. Flight, 'launch' when ready." Such as launching is in the sims. She does so with hers.

"Good to go, Major." Marko replies, giving Cidra a thumb's up. "Let's see what we shall see." he adds, dialing up the ECM generators. "ECM suite going to standby." he informs his pilot as he hits the switch.

"It's greener than envy back here, Jugs," Trask relays, before cheekily commenting, "Always so prim and proper, even when it comes to talkin' 'bout gettin' our frakkin' asses fragged, Toast."

Damon and Nikolai are strapped in facing each other. The Specialist is going over the schematics again while Damon has his head leaned all the way back, looking up at the ceiling, arms folded. "Well frak me if that voice ain't a familiar one," he says aloud once Temperance finishes her pre-flight. "Though I don't think I've heard it in, what, forty days?"

"Yes, sir. I'll take your portside wing." Daphne has to leave the clipboard out of the pod, sadly. She goes through what passes for preflight in a simulator poss, and hits the 'launch' button.

"Roger that, Toast… Setting DRADIS scan wavelength to K-U band, phased. Routing fifteen per-cent comms power to boost passive scan array, commencing IFF listening and decryption, over." Raf is hunched over the DRADIS readout, the white and green light giving his face a decidedly eerie glow. Whatever his behavior out of the cockpit, he definitely seems to love his job - he's as attentive to that console as an old lady with her cat.

"Careful, Queenie," Lasher retorts dryly. "We're trying t' take out the mines, not set 'em off so as they'll fry everything within half a klick. We actually want t' be able to come back with some salvage this time." Then the sims are fired up; and the simulated starfield appears, and Lasher is all business. "Click, target alpha and beta. Queenie, gamma and delta. I'll take epsilon and clean up whatever's left. One pass, if possible."

The minefield is much broader than the OPTIMAL ROUTE stamped upon the spacemaps, though ragged around the edges — patrols have whittled away a lot of it. The mines are quiet, showing up as barely a glimmer on the DRADIS, and the turret? Nothing but a lump of metal.

Temperance quirks a half-grin, which is likely the best humor seen out of her in the better part of a month. Bitter's all gone. "An' evenin' ta ya, too. Glad ta see ya ain't been shot er ran over by a slidin' Viper comin' hot yer way on th' Deck." Shaking her head, she sends their Raptor out on the fake launch sequence, adding as she goes on the radio, "'Ow's yer fancy stuff comin', Kahuna?"

McQueen fiddles with the console, and gives the stick a tap as he stares at the DRADIS readout and the mock cockpit, changing course. "Copy that, Lasher. Space'em out. Heh heh, they won't see /me/ coming." Which is funny, should one think about it. Addressing non-sentient simulations of non-sentient targets.

Raf mumbles incoherently on the local comms for a moment, eventually glancing up from the console. There is a wide and pleased grin on his face. "Oh, same old, same old, dude," he notes, prodding at the DRADIS with one gloved finger, "The noisemakers is sangin', and they're getting themselves a nice lil' lullabye." He does, in fact, pronounce it 'sangin'.

Cidra smirks. "I do my best, Bootstrap," Cidra mics ever-so-slightly wryly in reply to Trask. Though he's right. The CAG usually practices good manners, even on the comm. Her course is steady on her virtual ship, edging her sim-plane about so her backseater's ECM work can have maximum efficiency. She keeps an ear tuned to the Viper chatter and, as ever, is all-business in the cockpit. "Trying to get you a good angle, Scaurus." She eyes the readout of their virtual minefield and off-mic comments, "This Parnassus intrigues me very much. I do wonder what they were doing out here. Before everything." It's said almost more to herself than Marko.

Quinn launches herself, trying to keep her hands from going too fast for the sim. It was almost the same… Almost, but there were just things where the timing is a bit off and she gets a head of the game by habit alone. Still, she's launching, out into 'space'…She grins from across her shoulder towards Trask. "Stop flirting with the CAG. You're distracting her…" And then settles into their plotted course.

"Okay, full power to the suppression systems." Marko calls from his position. "We're looking good, Toast." he says. "Angle's just about as perfect as I could ask for." he nods. The nice thing about flying with the CAG is the woman knows her shit. Top to bottom. "I'm almost scared to ask, Toast." he replies to her question. "Judging by these mines, probably a heck of a lot than the Quorum ever knew about, I'm guessing."

"Shot at," Damon snorts to Temperance. "Not yet sucked into an engine. So you best keep me alive." While joking in nature, the words carry a tension with them even muffled as they are from the helmet. "Don't get too wrapped up with the papers that you forget to look out to the real shit," he says to Nikolai. "You never know when you'll see a twinkle in the distance that turns into chaos and firing in just seconds." Ever the cheerful optimist.

Trask quips about Cidra being so ladylike, "We love ya anyway, Major," then says to Quinn, "No need to be jealous of Toast, my little scone. I'll always make time to butter you up."

One of the mines is shot to flinders as the Vipers make their first pass. Even as they're sweeping away, there's a chorus of sudden activity on the ECO's readouts as the shot-at mines suddenly wake up, and start ticking down.

McQueen mumbles to himself as he closes a measure of virtual space and his "Hmmm. There you are, you fat little intercolonial treaty-violating political embarassment. How's about we have a little chat out back with my friend, Mister Autocannon, yeh?" Pulling his ship into a slight dive to correct his trajectory, he squeezes off a small torrent of fire which rips into his target. "Lasher, Queenie. How's /that/ for my dumb Leonitian arse?"

"Me keep /you/ 'live?" Temperance calls back with a teasing tone. "Seems ta me it oughtta be th'other way 'round, seein' as you've been countin' down th'days since ya saw me las'." Making her way out to the intended minepath, she arches an eyebrow and breathes, "Frakkin' secrets." Presumably, Raf starts squawking about the mines activating, and Temperance worries a little bit more at her bottom lip, waiting to see if they're all going to suffer sim-death.

"Knights, Lasher." Laskaris' simulated Viper screams through the simulated vacuum at the rear of an inverted-V formation, with Queenie and Daphne forming the prongs, as it were. "Keep it tight. Break and attack on my mark… Break!" At the accented command, Lasher joins his wingmates in opening fire. His first salvo nicks the target, but doesn't completely kill it, and Lasher bores in, lining up for another shot. "Even a blind jackass hits his target once in a while, Queenie."

"Kolettis, Queenie." First things first, all business. "Better keep it tight and give us some distance. "Keep on it, and you'll get it." He almost sounds encouraging. Lasher just receives an off-com snort as he pulls his plane hard right.

Nikolai looks back and forth between Temperance and Damon, clearly confused but not about to say anything about it. "I'll try not to knock you out with a wrench until we're finished with the simulation," he says to Temperance. "After that, I make no promises." Twisting around a bit to get a better view, he watches as it all begins. Nothing to do now but wait.

Daphne peels off from formation, spilling virtual fuel out the back of her craft as she jets across the starscape. She brings the mine into her sights, squeezes the trigger, and streaks off, but is going too fast to correct her course before she whizzes past the thing. "Copy that." Discouraged? Yes, she does sound discouraged, but she brings the ship around anyway.

Quinn turns her head slightly, looking back to Trask behnd her as his hands start moving fast…"Got some activity back there, Bootstrap?" She calls over, her own monitors mostly dead, flight path clear for the moment. She's just keeping them on course while he does the hard work.

"Toast, could you alter our vector by maybe a degree, degree and a half?" Marko requests. "Wanna try and unmask more of our emitters towards those mines. See if I can't futz 'em up just a little." he explains. "I'm not getting anything on DRADIS, which is weird, but they gotta be thinking about cooking off. Some of them, at least."

Trask drily replies to his pilot, "When don't we have some manner of adversary seeking to see our awesomeness up-close, even though it results in their demise?"

Cidra makes a low "Hrm" sound when Marko mentions the Quorum. "Perhaps. Perhaps not. Such things were above even my pay grade, Flasher. I was never much for politics. And happier for it, I always thought." She eyes her sim screen, making the slight course correction at Marko's word. "Done." On-mic she says, "Flight, Toast. Things should be getting more interesting now. Keep it sharp."

"You Tauron boyos an' yer caveman clubs," Temperance calls back, though it's only said with half her attention. The rest is waiting to see if Raf can do anything about these mines. They might not be real today, but they will be tomorrow - and there's nothing more frustrating than being a taxi driver on a dangerous mission when all one can do is dodge and wait.

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Close To Viper-8013f - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-8013f - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-8013f - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Viper-8319q - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-8319q - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-8319q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-8319q - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Viper-9629a - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-9629a - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-9629a - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-9629a - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

Three- two- one- and two mines detonate, even as Viper gunfire savages the one, sending sim-shrapnel out in a deadly and non-treaty-approved storm. By skill or by happenstance, the mine nearest the turret is already destroyed, leaving the two middlemost mines — which now, of course, begin counting down to their own destruction.

Trask sardonically calls over the comms, "The objective is to /not/ get obliterated by the mines, Click." The fact that he suppressed all his targets is moot when it comes to Daphne's damage.

Lasher finally strikes his target full on, just before it hits a full on overload. It's far enough along though that there's a most impressive boom as Lasher's KEW fire shreds it; luckily for him, only the edge of the explosion catches his ship, and he quickly wheels his bird around for another strike. "Knights, Lasher. Right, let's finish the buggers off. Click, I'll back you up on beta."

Quinn frowns a bit to Trask, reaching back between them in the sim craft and swatting at his shoulder. She doesn't scold him over the comms, but the unwords say 'Be nice to the young ones' in her usual, motherly way. That he'll never listen to. But it's part of them being who they are. She dodges smoothly around some debris, but otherwise just keeps them steady and on track.

To Raptor Pilots: If you guys want to roll a Raptors/Piloting and are feeling ballsy, you can try sneaking in for the EVA. It's your call.

<FS3> Quinn rolls Raptors: Good Success.
<FS3> Temperance rolls Raptors: Failure.
<FS3> Cidra rolls Raptors: Good Success.

Trask is out-of-reach, thus avoids being thwapped, but Quinn's sentiment is nonetheless conveyed. And ignored. "Now's not the time to be flirting with me, sweet cakes."

"Yes, sir." While Trask's comment might have made Daphne shit herself in the past, all it does it invoke a short-lived narrowing of her eye. Her response over the comm is controlled and metered: "Zen advice. Lasher, I'm coming around on target. Circle CCW." The damaged pretendy craft swings around, on direct course, or what approximates it with the ship in this condition.

"Dammit." Marko scowls as his DRADIS scope paints the image of a debris field from a detonated mine intersecting with one of the Vipers. "Not getting enough of them, Toast. Request we change our vector another half degree," he says, retasking his ECM gear to try and block the remaining mines and, of course, that turret.

McQueen corrects his course, banking gently left and forming up with Click. Pew pew pew go the guns, as they catch some of the ambient junk around his next target. However, he's quick on the draw, yanking the stick back and applying enough upward thrust to avoid taking a whole /lot/ of shrapnel when the mine goes off. "Oh frak-me. Click, Queenie, how you lookin'?" Well, there was some shrapnel.

"Like a blind beggar lady, sir. Thanks for asking. You?"

Cidra becomes rather more concentrated on her work at her sim controls as the virtual mines start exploding. "Understood, Scaurus. Adjusting course. It looks like we've got a window open for our EVA work now. We've got a path." She gets on mic, "Raptor Flight, Toast. Mine nearest to turret has been destroyed. Move in for EVA, but leave the Vipers room to shoot."

Damon watches as two mines go off. "Ready for jump?" he asks his partner in crime, unstrapping himself to open up the tool chest. It seems a bit silly to be taking the simulation all seriously, but it's better than the alternative of being careless on the consequence-free trial run and slipping up on the real deal as a result. "Let's start preppin' now, we should be ready to go once they get close enough." The two of them start grabbing the tools they'll need - according to the schematics, anyhow - and check each other over to ensure their suits are ready.

In from CAP, Evan makes the simulators his first stop. Too late for the practice go-'round, but not too late to draw up a metal chair to a console, scooting its legs along the floor in a sleepy scrape 'round to the right angle before he straddles the thing and crosses his arms over the seat back, looking over the console for a moment before lifting a hand to peck out, one-fingered, the code to watch the current goings-on.

Temperance replies into her radio mic, "Toast, O'Sullivan. Copy tha', movin' inta position now." She hits what she needs to hit for the sim to do what she wants, calling back behind her, "Better make sure yer suits are sealed an' all taday, boys, so's ya ain't findin' out too late tomorrow."

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Raptor-5937u - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-5937u - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Close To Viper-8013f - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-8013f - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-8013f - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Viper-9629a - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-9629a - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-9629a - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-9629a - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Far From Viper-8319q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-8319q - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Laskaris has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Laskaris spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Three- two- one- and the remaining two mines give their piercing death-shrill before detonating, sending out another simu-deadly blast of shards.

The CIC beanpole has been watching the mine-clearing runs with forced interest. Once the EVA phase begins, he straightens up and speaks into his headset, again too loudly: "Remember, we're positive you'll have thirty-five seconds to get to a safe distance if the turret is activated." Pause. "We're positive, at least thirty-five seconds."

Lasher smells blood. And when he smells blood, he reacts like any good shark would: with a frenzied attack. The man's overdeveloped killer instinct has generally been a boon in the cockpit, but there are times it's been the reverse as well; this seems to be one of those times. He's fixated on the last target, and his usually pinpoint aim deserts him; by the time the mine finally goes up, he's in far too close to avoid a backlash from the explosion. His craft lurches, thrown about like a cheap toy, and it takes him a few moments to pull out of his simulated out-of-control spin. There's a long exhale when he finally does. "Bloody frak me runnin'," he murmurs to himself with a quick shake of the head.

McQueen banks wildly as the mines go hot and the explosions start hitting. "Oh shit. Click, Queenie. Pull /back/ from that shit unless you want to be fillin' up that pretty cockpit with shards! Don't linger after you take the shot!" As he turns his viper around hard to start another attack run, the stick is jerked to and fro. There's a pause as he amends, "Safe distance my grandmother's ass." The latter was off-com.

Ahhah, clear! Time to go in. Maggie's raptor immediately shifts course, going fast towards the turret, practicing as if she might have people in the back. "Thirty five isn't long for a scoop and grab, so we're going to stick close, reel'em in and run if we have to." She comments across the comms, but mainly to her ECO and to the imaginary EVA crew who should be sitting in the back of her ship.

When the 'mine' explodes, and her Raptor-sim is 'damaged', the first thing Temperance does is close her eyes and thunk her head against the back of her seat with a sigh. "We're hit by th' mine an' its bi's an' pieces", she grumbles into her radio. "O'Sullivan's go' damage ta thrusters, wings, all systems showin' signs a' no' bein' pleased." We'll just assume Raf is yelling about that right now - there may be arm waving. "Goin' ta go ahead wi' th' EVA team, ain't goin' down jus' yet."

Airframe rocked by the blast, though no worse for wear, Daphne shoots through the wreckage, leaving most of the shockwave at her tail.

Cidra skirts in the path toward their EVA destination smoothly enough in simu-space. Though her expression is settling into a somewhat grim line. "Jugs, Toast. That's the word. In and out slick as we can. Viper Flight, Toast. Raptors are moving into position. What is your status?" A pause at Temperance's report. "Copy, O'Sullivan. You've go to RTB ASAP if need be. Don't push your bird or yourself past what it can manage."

Tools in hand and starting to hooking in to prep for jump, Damon watches as the remaining mines explode. Ooh, pretty. Pretty and close. He braces as they're hit. "Still alive, Ensign," he says to Temperance. Recovering as best he can, Damon finishes hooking into the jump simulation apparatus. It's not pretty, and it's not all that close to the real thing, but it's what they've got to work with for tonight. A mess of cables that look like the deformed child of a zipline and a bungee, it allows them to at least see whether or not they aim their jump properly. "Thirty-five seconds," he mutters to himself. "All right. Ready." He gives the thumbs-up to the pilot and ECO. Nikolai does the same.

"Frak!" Marko grumbles as the mine detonates. "Toast, its a good thing this is just a simulation." he says. "Thinking maybe we might wanna take another look at the schematic for those mines." he adds. "Something about them isn't jibing with our ECM emitters."

True to form, when Laskaris gets a face full of fake frags, Trask blithely notes, "See, Click? That's what you're /not/ supposed to do."

The turret remains a dead lump on the Raptors' readouts, and an equally-lively lump of cardboard, styrofoam and metal sheeting in the Sims Room. The CIC beanpole turns from his console to watch as the EVA teams start making their out into imaginary vacuum, one bony finger hovering over a button. It keeps drumming soundlessly on it, impatiently, until Damon makes physical contact with the prop — then presses.

Immediately, the turret comes alive on the DRADIS. 35- 34- 33-

McQueen whistles, "Hey, don't be taking the piss out of Lasher," in a voice that's slightly distracted, but gently chiding of Trask. "That's /my/ assignment." He glances down at the DRADIS contact. "Ohshit."

"Ah hell! Toast, that turret just went active on us!" Marko calls, wincing as he watches the stopwatch on his console begin to count down the precious few seconds until it fires. "Tempe, Flasher, check your DRADIS." he calls over the ship to ship channel. "Things are about to get interesting."

Trask mildly and mockingly scoffs back to McQueen, "Takin' the piss? He's practically giving it away."

Quinn mutters quietly, "That CIC stick has a mean sense of humor. Barely got to practice and we gotta drag'em back in." Maggie turns her head quickly into the comms, "Team, get back in here NOW. You got 10 seconds…" And she starts the reels, carefully backing her ship just a bit closer so she can almost literally scoop up the EVA team behind them. "Shut that door the moment your asses are in here." She orders sternly.

"Bugger the lot of you," comes the acid retort from Laskaris over the comms. Lasher's damaged craft circles the battlefield slowly as he settles back into formation with McQueen and Daphne. Then, eyes flick to DRADIS. "Button your holes. Frakkin' thing just went active."

"Toast. In and out, Raptors, it's counting down." Cidra clicks her headset, to her assigned EVA folks. "Team, you're getting out of there. Now. Opening doors. Haul in ASAP."

Fed the info by the now silent partner Raf and confirmed by Marko, Temperance leans forward and calls out in her mic, "Damon, ya go' a live turret ou' there! Better ferget 'bout yer thir'y five seconds an' get back fas' an' quick like." Rolling her eyes, she bites down hard on that lower lip and calls out on the comms, "O'Sullivan 'ere, pullin' m'crew back ta th' ship. Still hurtin' a bi', might take me longer than usual."

Daphne pilots what's left of her craft along with the others, starting to empty out her fuel tank in favor of more speed. "Copy, Lasher. Holes are buttoned. Romeo Tango Bravo asap."

Evandreus keeps his elbow to one side of the console, resting his chin on his palm as he watches the readouts from the simulated vessels and listens to the chatter over a tinny-sounding speaker set into the desk.

McQueen lets out a sharp snicker that might be for Laskaris' benefit, or Trask's. Or both, really. It winds down though as he concentrates on the matter at hand. "Copy that. Goin' to see if I can look alive. Click, I'll cover you." Of course, 'cover' means, 'become a slightly closer target,' also judging by his flying as he manuevers his Viper into position sharply.

The hatch opens with a hiss. "Let's fly," Damon says, and fly they do. The two knuckledraggers land on their target - or at least, they would've done so just fine in a real jump, according to the harnesses. They're raised up on the cable to give them a chance to latch on to the turret. The moment that they're on and secured, they get to work stripping away the 'paneling' and digging into the machine. "Targeting circuit should be… there." Nikolai and Damon work furiously, but in mere seconds, the radios start getting more and more insistent, culminating in the CAG's order to evac. "Rip it out and jump. NOW." The Specialist tears out the piece of folded-over tinfoil, which rips in half as he does, and 'jumps'. Damon's right behind him. Landing on the floor not three feet away, they trudge the rest of the way back to the Raptor as fast as they can in their suits.

15- 14- 13- as the turret's activation timer ticks down. The CIC beanpole looks more excited than nervous, now, as if he was watching a high-intensity sporting moment instead of the potential of EVA crew and open-sided Raptors being filled with simulated bullets.

<OOC> Tisiphone says, "Could the Raptor pilots give me another Raptors roll, please?"
<FS3> Quinn rolls Raptors: Good Success.
<FS3> Temperance rolls Raptors: Success.
<FS3> Cidra rolls Raptors: Success.
<OOC> Tisiphone says, "Excellent. And everyone shall get to a clear distance safely. Quinn, extra-safely."

In an innocent tone that's guilty as all get, Trask says to Laskaris, "What? It's an important object lesson that you just gave Click. Knowledge is power, Lasher. It's our duty to empower the young."

"Thanks, sir, but as fast as possible is probably a better plan." As if to prove it, Daphne redlines her afterburners. She bites her lower lip, spilling some blood onto her chin, but what else is new? "That -is- what you meant by cover, right?"

Quinn flies smooth as butter. Or is that a butter fly? Either way, she gets her crew in and is taking off with plenty of time to go. She's going to make it out alright and might even win the speed trophy at that. She just smiles to herself…

"Nice moves, Toast." Marko calls approvingly, giving his pilot another thumb's up. "Somebody either knows a lot more about these turrets than we do, or has a really sick sense of humor." he sighs.

Damon and Nikolai clamber back onto the Raptor, unhooking themselves from the cables as they go. "Frakkin' thirty-five seconds," Nikolai grumbles, shaking his half piece of tinfoil. "We can't just tear off a panel and rip out the circuit board when it's the real thing." Damon just shakes his head as they strap back into their seats. "If it comes down to it, we forget the circuit," he says. "Coming back alive trumps getting the prize, every time." He doesn't sound so sure that thirty-five seconds is enough time, either. "When we get back, we'll examine the schematics. See if there's any way we can buy ourselves more time if the things come live."

"That's /exactly/ what I mean." McQueen chatters back, half-laughing, half-howling. "We'll burn from here." He kicks up the throttle in annoyingly stereotypical fighter-jock fashion. There's probably a film like this that's been made, somewhere. "Race you."

"Never subscribed to the 'do as I say, not as I do' method of teachin', Boots," Lasher replies, his harsh Aerilon accent in full force. Even if his little adventure was a prime lesson in what not to do. "Could never stand a hypocrite." He snorts at the interplay between Queenie and Daphne. If it was real, he might put a stop to their antics, but they're not, so he doesn't. Lasher just chuckles sharply. "You're a Viper pilot, Click. When in doubt, the answer is always 'more speed'. Well. Almost always."

Cidra waits like a hawk over the controls of her bird until she hears the sound of the door closing. Then, she flies the hell out of there. "Toast, Flight. I've got my team aboard and am RTB. Jugs, O'Sullivan. What's the headcount on your EVA teams?" She doesn't fly /quite/ as smooth as Quinn. Cidra's piloting tends more toward honed competence than style. But it gets the job done.

Temperance waits till the boys are safely inside before punching her commands to RTB in. Everything complains at her while she does so, and it certainly seems to be a bit slower than a usual flight would be, even accounting for being in a sim. But fake damage or no, they manage to get out of there before anything awful happens, and she breathes a sigh of relief. "Both 'ere, Toast," she calls into her comms, after glancing back to make sure they are, in fact, both there.

"All baby birds are home, Toast, and I think I'm gonna beat you back to base… Whoever gets there last buys everyone else a drink." Maggie calls good heartedly over the comms. But then, that's just because she's well on her way to almost being there!

"I believe that sounds like a challenge, sir. I'll go easy on you. I understand how your reactions slow as you get older." She tries to sound as business-like as possible, but the grin on Daphne's face is hard not to hear. She also casually adds, "Being a guy's a bit of a handicap too."

McQueen has something rather short and sweet prepared for a reply. "Oh no you DIDN'T." He ratchets up the burn as the engines fire a blue-hot glow, pushing maximum safe velocity. It doesn't hurt that his fighter isn't /too/ banged up, either.

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