PHD #073: EVENT - Have One for the Road!
Have One For the Road!
Summary: The ground team from Leonis is due back at Cerberus. They don't show, but the battlegroup does receive some party-crashers.
Date: 10 May 2041 AE
Related Logs: Get Some; and the subsequent Lost on Leonis logs
Psyche Malone Cidra Bell Villon McQueen Marko Hippolyta Nostos McCoy Tillman Abbot Tucana 
Cold. Dark. Black.
Post-Holocaust Day: #73

[BlackKnight-309: Shaking his head a little bit, Malone keeps on looking at the DRADIS and out the window from his Viper. Grimacing a little to himself as he keeps said Viper where it should.

[BlackKnight-855: So far, it's just CAP. Lately, Bubbles is flying her rotations like it's Condition One, super-focused. No friendly chatter. No singing inane Caprican pop. When she does speak, at intervals, it's only to touch base with her wingmate. "How you doin' over there, Splash?"

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Well, blackness is very, very… black. But aside from that, everything's fine on this end, Bubbles."

[BlackKnight-309: Malone] Answering the question over the com, Splash checks his instruments a bit more carefully, grimacing a little bit as he does.

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra is out on this CAP as well, a dutiful and quiet ECO backseating away behind her. She keeps in formation a little aft of the Vipers, her Raptor's DRADIS up, eyes soft and all that jazz.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Copy that, Splash. State of the inky void noted and logged."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Bubbles, Splash, Toast. All clear in here as well. We are blessedly black thus far."

[TAC3] "Crash" Michael says, "Combat Air Patrol, this is Cerberus-Actual. Be advised. We are closing in on our deadline for rendezvous with Cobra Team. Keep your eyes peeled."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus Actual, Toast. Copy. No signs thus far but we will get the feelers out."

[BlackKnight-855: Psyche] Bubbles takes a deep breath, forcing herself to relax a little. She keeps her hand steady on the throttle. "Godspeed, you guys," she whispers. "Come on home, all of you. Please."

[TAC3] (from "Splash" Malone) There's a brief pause after he hears that part from the boss, before there's a thoughtful comment from Malone. "Anyone noticed how quiet it's been with those guys away on their little trip? I think one of them might have a snoring problem. Probably Echo, I suspect…"

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra verbalizes no signs of worry about the souls due back from Leonis. Either over the comms or within the confines of her Raptor. Wherever her thoughts are for them, she keeps them to herself. "Lieutenant, keep an eye on the clock," she tells the LTJG ECO laboring behind her. "And keep our DRADIS range high."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Flight, Toast. Remember, use of the IFF transmitters may still be in affect on jump back. If you pick up blips of Cylon contact, think before you shoot and do not engage without clearance."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, ""Pfft. Never noticed. I can't hear anything over the phlegmy chainsaw-soundin' horror that sleeps beneath me." That, of course, would be Spiral. "I think I've actually incurred hearing loss."

[Unknown Contact-888: Tucana] Speak of the devil. There is a flash in the distance, klicks and klicks away of the battlegroup and the CAP ships. And just like that, the pilots' DRADIS readouts flash. It reads 'unknown contact', with apparently two unknown Cylon transponders showing up as little red dots flickering on the consoles.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Copy that, Toast." A brief pause as he looks to his DRADIS. "That include what just appeared there, Boss?""

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Splash, Toast. Might at that. Flight, maintain CAP. Formation sharp. Cerberus Actual, we just got a pair of unidentified contacts on our DRADIS. Cylon transponders. No communications initiated from them yet. Any transmissions from them we aren't catching out here?"

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Roger that, Toast. Maintaining formation."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Mantaining formation."

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "Negative, CAP. We're not getting anything. Proceed with a visual contact protocol." The man pauses and switches frequencies to the broadband. "Eidolon. Eidolon. This is Cerberus battlegroup. Authenticate Victor Five Charlie."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. Copy. Flight, move to engage. Let us see if our wanders are home. Prime weapons hot but do *not* fire without visual confirmation of enemy contact."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] And on those words, the bulk of Cidra's Raptor turns to head, still a little aft and between those Vipers, toward those red blips.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Copy, Toast. Weapons hot. Moving to engage."

[BlackKnight-309: Malone] Turning the Viper in the indicated direction, Malone makes sure that his Viper stays in formation with the others, looking over a few things, before looking carefully out there again.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Copy that, Toast. Everything ready in case these are unwanted guests."

[BlackKnight-855: Psyche] With that, Psyche throttles forward, moving to engage the distant speck. Keeping it steady, turning her head to get a quick visual contact with her wingmate.

<FS3> Cidra rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Psyche rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Malone rolls Alertness: Success.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Unless they've really changed it down there, that's not the Eidolon at all. Looks more like trouble, doesn't it?"

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Cerberus, Bubbles. That is NOT Eidolon — repeat, NOT Eidolon. Visual confirmation of more than one ship."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] And on they go, Cidra's Raptor proceeding to meet those two blips. Eyes ahead. Though they don't immediately pick up anything terribly telling in the distance. Though Malone's words are rousing enough. "Lieutenant, get our jammers ready," she orders her ECO tersely. "It appears those are foes, not friends."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. Vipers giving us visual confirmation on Cylons. Repeat, this is *not* the Eidolon. We have bandits. Flight, engage."

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "Copy that! Rolling Vipers and spinning the FTL!"

[Unknown Contact-888: Tucana] That "contact" is not one ship. It's, well, apparently the Vipers on CAP were right. Maybe their planes were just better positioned. Upon further observation, it is a pair of contacts. Dark, squat, grey-and-black. It becomes immediately obvious that they are Cylon Heavy Raiders. Oh shit, son. Only two, though. Only two.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Only seems to be a few of them. Engaging."

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "Corsair. Praetorian. Contacts are -hostile-. Repeat, -hostile-. Spool FTLs and ready for jump to fallback location. Set Condition One throughout the fleet."

[Petrel-647: Bell] Eighty seconds after the call goes out, the first pair of Vipers streaks out of Cerberus' portside launch tubes, a mismatched Petrel and Knight. Doc Bell, piloting the former, gives a short wing waggle before he punches the throttle towards the CAP and their contacts.

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell comes over the comms, clipped and to the point. "Cerberus, Doc. All systems green. Moving to engage."

[Unknown Contact-888: Tucana] As the CAP moves on in to intercept our new friends, the Heavy Raiders alter course silently to engage, bringing their central cannons to bear on the Colonials. Soon they will be within firing range.

[TAC3] (from "Snag" Villon) Villon's voice is far less calm than her reservist wingman's, that thin and quavering soprano stammering out her confirmation. "Cerberus, th — this — this is Snag. I'm — " A quick breath. "I'm looking good. All systems five by five. Launching."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Flight, Toast. We've got a pair of Heavy Raiders out here. Repeat. We have heavy raiders. CAP is almost within firing range."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "All ships, Queenie. Careful with those dogs, they bite. All systems showing green, launch sequence beginning in five. Oh, and Godspeed, yeh?"

[Harrier-651: Cidra] "Lieutenant, get on those jammers," Cidra orders tersely. Again, without turning her head as the Heavy raiders loom large and full into view. Not that Lieutenant (JG) Daisy "Skeeter" McCoy needs any encouragement. "On it, Toasty!" she squeaks back.

[BlackKnight-309: Malone] Hurrying in for one of the heavies, Malone readies his weapons very carefully now. Preparing to blast that ship out of space.

[BlackKnight-855: Psyche] Bubbles throttles forward, darting in towards her target them swinging out and around, hard, attempting to make herself a harder mark while firing on the Heavy Raider from behind.

<COMBAT> Tucana has started the combat! Pose and pick your first action.
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Heavyraider1 with KEW - Serious wound to Controls.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen passes.
<COMBAT> Heavyraider2 attacks Malone with KEW - Serious wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Villon passes.
<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Heavyraider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Heavyraider2 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Heavyraider1 attacks Psyche with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Bell passes.
<COMBAT> Tucana has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Heavyraider1 has been **KO'd!**

<COMBAT> Blackknight-309 has been **KO'd!
<COMBAT> Malone has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Malone spends a luck point to keep fighting!**

[Unknown Contact-888: Tucana] And they're off, closing in like hungry wolves. The two large ships start to bear down on the intercepting Vipers. Shots are fired, and the marksmanship of the Colonial forces is keen. Malone takes a hit but it is returned. Meanwhile, Psyche's guns are positively murderous, tearing the offending heavy raider to shreds, it erupts in a silent flash as little bits of Cylon strew throughout the stars. The remaining ship keeps coming.

[BlackKnight-854: Villon] Emilie finds it difficult to stay on her wingman's tail, though she certainly tries her hardest to do so. Her Viper's nose waggles up, dips down, and tilts up once more as she puts the machine through its paces, just barely keeping control of the powerful fighter. Her voice trembles as the hulking Heavy Raider grows ever larger in her sights.

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] Coming hurtling out of the tube is one Lt. Trevor McQueen, lightly jockeying at the bird's controls as its engines flare up and begin to move the ship on its own power. Throttle is increased as he pulls in towards the engagement, keeping something resembling formation.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "This is Queenie. Ho, look at that! That dog's going down!"

[TAC3] "Snag" Villon says, "Doc — I've got — got your six. Target in view, bearing oh-four-one carom — um — um, oh-one-niner."

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell says, "Snag, Doc. Break high and cut throttle to two-thirds. Don't want to overshoot him on the first pass."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Splash, Toast. You still flying? Get your backside on evasive maneuvers. Good shooting, Bubbles. Flight, one down. One remaining."

[BlackKnight-855: Psyche] "Take that, motherfrakker," Bubbles mutters, banking hard to avoid the wreckage. She comes 'round to pursue the bogey that's got her wingmate, mouth set in a grim and very un-bubbly line.

[Petrel-647: Bell] From so far off, Bell needs little course correction to close in on the combat zone. As he nears the fray, he scales back his throttle and rolls his fighter so that the engagement is 'up' - idiosyncratic, but hardly out of character. Once in range, he opens up with several short, staccato bursts.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Nice shooting, Bubbles! Got some trouble controling this beast now, but I'll do what I can."

[TAC3] "Snag" Villon says, "Roger, Doc." Far easier to acknowledge orders. "Snag has high, over."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Hang on, Splash, I'm comin' for ya."

[TAC3] (from "Amazon" Tucana) Another voice comes over the comms. "Uh, this is Halo. Having some trouble with the launch sequence. Wait one …. Coming through now!"

[BlackKnight-309: Malone] Malone's Viper looks like it has some trouble turning after it takes a hit, but with an effort of the pilot, it turns around to head for the enemy again.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "Dammit, Halo, you're turnin' into /me/ here. I'm engaging. Get your shiny Caprican arse out here when you can."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Hanging on…"

[Harrier-651: Cidra] The Raptor swerves with far less ballet-like grace than the Vipers in the middle of the fray. Mostly Cidra keeps her steady, nosing in close enough for her ECO's electronic weaponry to do as best work as it can.

<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Heavyraider2 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Villon attacks Heavyraider2 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Heavyraider2 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Heavyraider2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Heavyraider2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Heavyraider2 tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Bell attacks Heavyraider2 with KEW - Critical wound to Controls.
<COMBAT> Tucana has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Heavyraider2 has been **KO'd!**

[TAC3] "Snag" Villon says, "Oh — oh wow." Snag sounds momentarily heartened. "Th — that — that was awesome, uh, sir."

[Harrier-307: Tucana] And like that, the second Heavy Raider falls to pieces like confetti under the field of fire posed by the newly-reinforced Vipers. And those contacts go dead. And there was much rejoicing. That was easy. Time to.

Oh wait. Someone had to know this was coming. There is a flash. And another. And another. And the sudden ticking off of DRADIS consoles. Did someone say, 'IT'S A TRAP?' The Admiral's probably saying that right now.

[Harrier-307: Tucana] To make matters, worse, more Raiders start pouring out. Another Raptor joins the fray as Alert Vipers continue launching. All told, there are now some thirty-odd small craft contacts. And then, a huge contact. And another. The spidery, black forms of two Cylon Basestars arrive, in the distance, looming and ominous.

[TAC3] (from "Snag" Villon) That confidence? Gone with those two disintegrating Heavy Raiders. "Gods!" comes Villon's breathless voice, catching in her throat. "DRADIS — DRADIS is going insane — I'm seeing — two basestars and escorts —

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. Heavies neutralized but we have got more company. They are pouring in like a waterfall. Reading two basestars and multiple Raider contacts. Getting about thirty small craft contacts here."

[Into the Wireless] Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. Heavies neutralized but we have got more company. They are pouring in like a waterfall. Reading two basestars and multiple Raider contacts. Getting about thirty small craft contacts here."

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell says, "Snag, Doc. Go straight through, full throttle. I'll hang back and pick them off your tail. Steady, now."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "I have a bad feeling about this…"

[Petrel-647: Bell] That's the nice part about flying your glorified rocket slowly - it gives you that much more time to line up your shot juuuuuust right. Bell's bursts each slice into the Heavy Raider, severing its biomechanical control lines and sending it into an uncontrolled spin into the void. But the Professor's celebration is cut short, and he angles towards the new contacts, craning his neck for a moment to ensure his wing is still where she ought to be.

[BlackKnight-309: Malone] Getting in a bit of a hit at the Heavy Raider before Bell finishes it off, Malone turns a bit, frowning as he sees all the incoming DRADIS contacts. Looking out there as well, with a bit of a grimace.

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "Corsair! Praetorian!" Tillman is on broadband again. "You are weapons free! Focus fire on the southern basestar! We are commencing full battery fire now! CAG, get your boys and girls out of our flak rings!"

[BlackKnight-854: Villon] Thanks, Bell: put the rookie pilot in lead. But inexperienced though Emilie might be, she's nothing if not brave. Gritting her teeth, blinking to wick some sweat out of her eyes, she guns her engine as ordered, slamming against the back of her seat as she accelerates to her Viper's not insignificant top speed.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche breathes in though her nose, one quick gasp. "Not good." Understatement of the millennium. "Splash? How are you doing over there? Good to go?"

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Oh, this night's turning real interesting." Marko grumbles as he frantically races to power up the Raptor's powerful ECM suite in the hopes of kicking some sand into the eyes of the Raiders.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Need to use a little force when it comes to the controls, but I'm still flying, Bubbles."

[Harrier-307: Tucana] "I wouldn't call this /interesting/, Flash." Amazon calls out, as she brings the heavy form of the Raptor to bear, as an EW picket, letting Marko do his magic. "Shit shit shit. They're ready for war this time."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. Copy. Flight, keep them occupied for one more go. We shall want to get out of the flak zone ASAP with the capital ships aer in position. Raptors, full on jammers."

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] McQueen's Viper, now bereft of wingman, comes screaming into the fray. He's got the weapons racks open and kicks up to maximum velocity as he enters the engagement.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, ""Four lead contacts. Go easy on this. Those dogs are getting close. Engagin' contact Delta. And for the sake of all that's holy, WATCH THAT FIRING SOLUTION.""

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Splash: Good. I'm going to come around hard to port — follow me. Let's see if we can't sandwich one of these bastards and break up their formation a bit."

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Toast, Flasher, ECM suite's up and running. Let's try to dazzle 'em long enough for Praetorian to start cracking that Basestar open."

[TAC3] "Snag" Villon says, "We're not — we're not going to try to beat them, are we?"

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell says, "Snag, Doc. Stay on target."

[TAC3] (from "Amazon" Tucana) That other voice transmits again. "This is Halo, I'm clear the tubes. Bringing ship around to eng——ARRRRHHGHHGGH*" He disappears in a scream and some static. And then, silence. He wasn't engaging anyone, either.

[Harrier-307: Tucana] Just after clearing the tubes, Halo's Viper wobbles a bit, and then the engine just flares up into a puff of flame and shrapnel. And it disintegrates. With its pilot.

[TAC3] "Snag" Villon says, "I've got one on me, Doc!"

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra's Raptor likewise keys up for another round of electronic warfare, maneuvers light. It's not a Viper, but she can bank it when she needs to.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Splash, Bubbles. I've picked up a bogey. Just come around in my wake and you should have a clean shot."

[BlackKnight-855: Psyche] Bubbles screams forward, past a raider, pretty much waggling her proverbial ass to taunt it into following her — drawing it out into Splash's sights. As she does so, she banks over towards Queenie's viper, playing ersatz wingman to his solo plane for the moment. Never fly alone, no?

[BlackKnight-854: Villon] Fast? Now that Snag doesn't have to worry about jinking and juking and spinning and spiraling, she's going plenty fast, that roaring enging screaming sweetly in her ears. It's almost as if she's trying to break the record for fastest speed ever attained in a Viper, which shudders around her fragile frame as she dumps every iota of power she can spare into propelling her bird forward. The fighter shoots forward like a great silver arrow, aimed at the heart of the Cylon formation.

It's a good way to die, at least.

<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Cidra with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider2 with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Engine.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Villon attacks Raider4 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Bell with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Psyche with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Villon with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Engine.
<COMBAT> Bell attacks Raider2 with KEW - Light wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Amazon passes.
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Tucana has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Raider2 has been **KO'd!**

[Harrier-307: Tucana] The two basestars float ominously in the inky blackness. They slowly begin to put distance between themselves, each moving in the opposite direction of the other. While the Raider and Vipers dance, the main contenders plot and target. Firing solutions are computed and weapons systems brought on-line. The Colonials, having already gone to Condition One, seem to have made it there first. Missiles begin flying from the Praetorian's massive arsenals while the Cerberus' main batteries blink across the back of the ship.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Cerberus, Flasher, Splash one Raider. Repeat, Splash one Raider. Multiple targets remaining. Base stars are seperating, Basestar One coming to one four two carom three four one. Base star Two coming to two one one carom three three two. Any word on SAR for Halo, over?"

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "Copy, Flasher. All our birds are flushed. CAG will have to assign SAR."

[BlackKnight-854: Villon] Cylon lead screams towards Emilie's cockpit as she charges forward, heedless of danger. Bullets puncture her nose cone and come dangerously close to cracking that transparent shell through which she views the battle. Little fracture lines trace their way across her HUD as her Viper sheds bits of shattered metal skin. The fact that through some miracle she's managed to hit the Raider on her wingman's tail is small consolation as her bird spins out of control for one brief moment, spiraling past the wreckage of her attacker before leveling off, engine flaring.

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell says, "Snag, Doc. Nicely done - now drop back and pick this one off my tail."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Flight, Toast. Keep clear of the flak zone. Copy, Cerberus. Flasher, do you have coordinates for Halo's last position? Permission to SAR. I do not have a bead on him."

[Harrier-307: Tucana] The vanguard of the Raider squadrons closes in on the main Viper force, even as the Capital ships curve about to form separate engagement zones. Shells and firing solutions clash, as more Vipers move to interdict the Cylon fighters at long-range, the explosive of flak and point-defense shells, and gunfire flare through space.

[Harrier-307: Tucana] "Shit, he was hit close, Flash. " Amazon declares, her eyes widening behind her helmet. She brings her Raptor to the back of the fray, waiting. "I'm not reading a transponder."

[Petrel-647: Bell] Bell's weapons fire rakes across the Raider before he follows his wingman through the heart of the enemy formation. He increases his throttle to full power, rocketing ahead of Villon's viper to draw out his pursuer and give her a clean shot.

[TAC3] (from "Snag" Villon) Intermittent static is the only reply Doc will get — though she does move to obey those orders. Com's on the fritz, it seems.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen howls as he snaps off a few volleys at the enemy as his Viper arcs through space. "Bubbs, Queenie. Stay close on me and we're tearing these bastards up!"

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra shudders at that comm from Amazon. No transponder. Close hit. She's enough experience with SAR work to know how grim that is. But she'll have to mourn Halo later. They still have their waterfall of Raiders to deal with.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Splash, nice shot. Stay on it — I'm putting on the evasive maneuvers 'cause ow. Queenie, I'm sticking with you, babe."

[Harrier-307: Marko] Marko frantically scours the increasingly confusing display on his DRADIS console, "Concur, Amazon, not getting anything that isn't part of our flight." he says tonelessly, thumping the panel in frustration before keying his radio.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Toast, Flasher, negative contact on my board. Halo's gone. Repeat, Halo is Charlie Alpha."

[BlackKnight-309: Malone] Following that Raider that was enjoying it's place by that fine ass of Bubbles, Malone waits until he's got the enemy right where he wants it. Pulling the trigger, he fires at the raider, nodding a bit as he hits it. Moving to follow the enemy once more.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Thanks, Bubbles. Just keep wiggling that fine butt at it, and I'll sneak up again."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Flasher. Toast. Copy. Remain as you and Amazon are. Without a signal you can be of no help to him out there in all this."

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell says, "Snag, Doc. One on you, take evasive maneuvers. Moving to engage."

[BlackKnight-854: Villon] No response from Villon, though her Viper suddenly swings into a truly incoherent set of desperation maneuvers, yawing like mad to make herself as difficult a target as possible.

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] McQueen's plane bobs and weaves, firing off two controlled bursts at the bandit on his 12 and ducks away, with a quick sidelong glance out his cockpit making sure Bubbles is where she said she'd be. She's there.

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Amazon, looks like we've got a friend.." Marko calls as he notes one of the Raiders suddenly match their vector. "Coming in from about six thirty, low…"

[BlackKnight-855: Psyche] Her section leader's target is also hers — Bubbles goes after the Raider harrying Amazon, staying tight by Queenie's side.

<COMBAT> Villon attacks Raider1 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Villon with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Amazon with KEW - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Bell with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider3 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Amazon passes.
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Bell attacks Raider4 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Tucana has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Raider3 has been **KO'd!**

[TAC3] (from "Snag" Villon) If it's possible for static to sound happy, the bursts of electrical mumbo-jumbo coming from Villon's Viper would sound just. Like. That.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Woo! Nice job, boys! I'm lovin' this little threesome."

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "CAG, Cerberus. We're two minutes to spool. Get your people back to the barn and light a fire under it!"

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Copy. Flight, battlestar's is spun up and ready to jump. Return to base. Repeat. Disengage, evasive maneuvers and back to the barn."

[Harrier-307: Tucana] And the lead Raiders are reduced by one more, as they unsuccessfully waylay their attackers. One gets through and the rounds bounce harmlessly off the plating of a raptor, and Amazon can he seen howling. "HOOO HOOO!" She turns the ship hard port as she grins. Marko must be having a wonderful time.

Meanwhile, the capital ships continue their proxy war, as the ships bring out their big guns. The firepower shines bright in the void.

[TAC3] (from "Snag" Villon) Bzzzt-skrrktch. It's 'Wilco' for the younger generation.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, ""It's always fun when our balls are touchin', Bubbs!" McQueen yells, with a sharp, high-pitched laugh. "Engage alpha on my mark.""

[Petrel-647: Bell] The Professor's Viper settles in behind the Raider chasing his wingman, and lets fly with a long stream of 20mm shells. He stays on the Raider's tail another few moments, attempting to harass it enough to get Villon clear.

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell says, "Snag, break and RTB. I'll cover your retreat."

[TAC3] (from "Queenie" McQueen) Yes. Yes, McQueen really said that.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, ""Belay that, belay, we provide cover and get the Hell back!""

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Getting back out of here. Now comes the funny part, with these controls…"

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Nice evasive." Marko comments as the Raider's shot smacks loudly against the back end of the Raptor's armor. "Or…something." he adds, turning just long enough to watch Amazon yuk it up before turning his eyes back to a DRADIS screen that's starting to look like the sketchpad of a three year old with ADD and a new pack of crayons.

[BlackKnight-309: Malone] Nodding a bit as the order is heard, Malone turns his Viper back towards the Cerberus. Making sure to move fast, but still not too fast for control, he frowns a bit as he looks to the instruments.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Shit, Queenie, here I was all hot and bothered what we were gonna go rogue. Splash, I've got your back — just worry about landing in one piece."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra's Raptor turns to set a good example and get on its way back to base. Still not as speedy as the Viper fairies, but she manages. Eyes locked on her viewport to monitor the retreat.

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] Sharply bringing his bird to bear, Queenie gets hot and bothered by the sight of his enemy's tail. Or something. He's flying like he's got someone on his tail. Which is odd if you think about it.

[BlackKnight-855: Psyche] Bubbles throttles back to get a clear shot at the Raider on Malone, pairing up with Queenie to see the injured bird safely back home.

[BlackKnight-854: Villon] Now that is an order Emilie is more than happy to obey. Her wounded Viper turns tail and limps away, more metal sloughing off from her wounded Viper the faster she goes. Romeo Tango Bravo: she does it well.

<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Malone with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider4 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Villon passes.
<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Villon with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider4 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Malone passes.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Bell attacks Raider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Amazon suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Tucana has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Blackknight-854 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Villon has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Villon spends a luck point to keep fighting!

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "Sixty seconds. Battlgroup, set your jump clocks to forty-five seconds on my mark." A pause for a few seconds. "Mark!""

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra gets a peripheral glimpse of Villon's poor, battered-ass Viper. But the ensign doesn't explode in fiery wreckage. She'll take that as a positive. RTB she goes!

[Harrier-307: Tucana] One of those bandits gets a good, lucky shot on Villon's cockpit. It doesn't quite take her out, but that Viper's going to need a new paint job, at the very least. Meanwhile, the sky is filled with retreating Vipers and encroaching Raiders, which begin to get caught in Corsair's flak screen on one edge. Flak explosions are here and there, kept free of the Viper force. Meanwhile, Praetorian's missile batteries start pouring forth in the direction of one of the Basestars, concentrating fire.

Other missles start to fly free from the Basestar's though.

[BlackKnight-309: Malone] Managing to spin out of the way of the incoming fire, Malone keeps on moving, heading for the long prophesised hard meeting with the deck aboard the battlestar. At least he'll be bringing in the Viper itself this time?

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. A couple of Vipers are coming in rough. Have repair crews standing by. Flight, disengage and home."

[Harrier-307: Tucana] Suddenly, the console in Amazon and Flasher's cockpit howls. Toast's and Skeeter's too. It means one thing. RADIOLOGICAL ALARM. Those missiles have an ETA of three minutes.

[Petrel-647: Bell] "You /are/ a tenacious one, aren't you…" This from the Professor, off the comms, as he's forced to push his starfighter to the max to keep up with his target. A quick glance to Villon, who is somehow still flying, and then his thumb latches onto the firing stud.

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "Copy, Toast. We'll have crews standing by. Report to CIC on landing."

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] Chipping away at the enemy, Queenie leads another attack pass on a Raider, not really putting it down. He keeps at it, though.

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell says, "Queenie, Doc. Fall in on my target if you can."

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Villion, Flasher, say your status, over?"

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen mutters, "Uhhh," Then the flash on his DRADIS pops up. "Doc, Queenie, Negative. There's one on /us!" Or rather, Psyche. But that's close enough, right?

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. I just got massive radiological alarms on our consoles in here. Missiles incoming. ETA three minutes."

[BlackKnight-855: Psyche] Bubbles is so intent on getting that Raider off Malone's ass, she's almost completely taken off-guard when it turns on her. She banks hard to evade, firing off a short burst as she does.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Radiological Alarm! Cerberus, Flasher, you have nukes inbound, ETA three minutes!"

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell says, "Godsdamn it all. Flasher, Doc, her comms are out. Not sure I can cover - may want to standby for SAR."

[BlackKnight-854: Villon] Sheer terror is writ on the young pilot's face as the merciless Raider activates Slice-and-Dice. Her fighter's smooth nose is sawed off entirely, exhaust and plasma spewing out from her suddenly uncontrollable ride. What oxygen there is in her cockpit ignites as yellow-red sparks fly all about her, flames licking at her helmet and form-fitting flight suit for fifteen horrifying seconds before her canopy cracks entirely — extinguishing the fire but creating a far bigger problem in the process. Ionized controls explode in Villon's face as she careens towards the Battlestar's flight pods, her hands scrabbling desperately to find the RCS controls before a maximum-speed impact in three —

Two —

One — And then the belly of that ship is torn off entirely a half-second after her ventral thrusters explode into action. Knight-Eight-Five-Four spins lengthwise into the starboard bulkhead with a silent, sickening crunch. And that pilot? Her fragile figure is slumped forward in her safety harness, moving not at all.

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "We're aware, Flight. The faster you all get aboard, then the less likely they will be able to cover the distace so move it!"

[Harrier-307: Tucana] "Shit." Amazon's one line to Marko. "Rads. We're turning this bitch around!"

<COMBAT> Skeeter suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Psyche with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Bell with KEW - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider4 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Malone passes.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Bell attacks Raider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider4 with KEW - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Amazon passes.
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Tucana has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Raider4 has been **KO'd!**

[TAC3] "Doc" Bell's normally collected tone grows a good deal more excitable. "Cerberus, Doc, need medical to portside hangar bay!"

[Petrel-647: Bell] As Emilie's Viper makes its grisly way across the hangar deck, Bell stares transfixed. His target comes about to face its pursuer, the Professor's own weapons fire crossing with the Raider's as each score hits on the other. The Petrel has the good sense to disengage, at least, and follow his wingman home - if somewhat more gracefully.

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "FTL's are spooled. We are jumping this fleet. Corsair and Praetorian, proceed to coordinates. We will follow as soon as combat landings are completed."

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Nice shot, Queenie! Malone, you should be clear — go, go, go we are OUT of here!"

[TAC3] "Amazon" Tucana says, "".Amazon transmits, "We're RTB now! Right frakkin' now!" Her finger holds down over the transmitter a moment more. "Amazon ETA Five, Four, Three, Two, One!""

[BlackKnight-309: Malone] Malone fights with his controls now, growling a bit to himself as he works on getting the Viper into the Battlestar. Which he does, although the landing is of the rougher kind now, ship a bit out of control as it hits the deck, tumbling over sideways as it does. With the pilot covering his head as everything turns sideways inside the cockpit. But it's landed, at least.

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "All Flight, Toast. Coming home."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen shouts, "I'm just lucky, I don't know what I'm bloody doin'! RTB, Bubbs! ASAP."

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] And McQueen comes in hot. Pretty hot, as his Viper comes skittering on down the metal of the deck, sending sparks flying EVERYWHERE. But it comes to a stop. Without exploding or crunching.

Bell wastes no time clambering down from his cockpit, landing gear barely secured by the Deckies as his boots hit the floor. He trots towards the mangled form of his wingman's fighter, tucking his helmet under one arm. Without concern for the job they're engaged in, he queries of the nearest knuckledragger, "What's her status?"

[Intercom] Tillman says, "All stations standby for jump in ten seconds. This is the final call."

Cidra comes in faster than is really good for a deck when it meets several tons of Raptor, but she hits her landing spot without denting anything. Or even skidding. The big birds have taken fewer dings than their counterparts, at least. She piles out, her ECO LTJG Daisy "Skeeter" McCoy just a few steps behind her. Sweat dripping down her face as soon as she's in a place where she can yank her helmet off. The mangled form of Villon's Viper stops her short. "Has a Medical team been called?" she asks the nearest Deckie. She'll comm it herself if not.

McQueen climbs out of BlackKnight-853.
McQueen has arrived.

Marko lingers aboard his ship just long enough to complete a quick post-flight on his gear before stripping off his helmet and climbing out. The sight of Villon's savaged Viper draws his attention instantly. "Holy Frak…Does anyone know if she made it out of there?" he asks, swallowing as his personal assesment makes that a little unlikely.

Tumbling out of her plane in her haste to disembark, Psyche pulls off her helmet, ponytail flattened like roadkill and plastered to the back of her neck. She bites her bottom lip hard at the sight of Snag's plane, eyes huge, fist pressed to her mouth. She shakes her head mutely in response to Malone. "Oh, Lords of Kobol, please…" she whispers, her voice thick with tears and dread.

Announcement: Tucana shouts, "And Five. Four. Three. Two. One. — and the countdown goes off. And the shift /shifts/ as the Cerberus arrives somewhere else in space."

It's fortunate that the medical crews get to little Emilie Villon when they do, and it's doubly fortunate that she was knocked unconscious immediately upon impact. That might be why she doesn't so much as whimper when she's pulled from her cockpit, head kept from lolling backwards by an EMT's firm grip. Her right hand and arm is mangled beyond belief, that flame-retardant fabric having melted into her skin after so many seconds of exposure to short-circuited consoles and white-hot fire. Her left ankle is set at a fairly odd angle, and there's all sorts of bruises and cuts on her forehead where her helmet has smashed into bone. Wavy brown hair is matted with still-sticky blood, plastered to her pallid face as she's rushed to surgery — breathing, but only just.

A scowling McQueen arrives shortly thereafter, peeling out of his helmet and waving the post-flight checklist off, he strides forth, his hair matted. "That wasn't — that shouldn't have bloody happened!"

Hippolyta exits the Raptor shortly after Marko, getting out of HER helmet, silently watching the medics come for poor Ensign Villon. Silent.

Bell can only stand and watch, teeth clenched and eyes pained. He remains motionless as Villon is wheeled past, gives the medics a ten second headstart, then heads for the hatch in their wake. "Excuse me, sir," he says curtly to the CAG as he passes with long, purposeful strides.

Cidra gets her answer before the Deckie can actually reply, as medicals pour in to see to poor Villon. "Leave the medics room to work!" she calls crisply. Post-flight on that Raptor has been left to poor Skeeter. Cid has a date with CIC soon. Though she lingers to watch the initial treatment of the poor ensign. "Doc," she replies to him simply as he passes. She half looks tempted to follow the Petrel. But, CIC still awaits. "Get your post-flights done and hit the showers," she tells those still standing.

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