PHD #000: EVENT - Into The Jaws Of Death
Into the Jaws of Death
Summary: Warday from the pilots' perspective.
Date: 26 Feb 2041
Related Logs: Preceding Log: The Blameless Tide; Concurrent Logs: The Powder Keg & What Sweet Price Freedom; Following Logs: After & Emotion's Embrace
Alessandra Atreus Cidra Daphne Evandreus Hellicon Julie Laskaris Malone Marko Naevi Nostos Quinn Raedawn Rojas Sitka Temperance Tillman Tisiphone Trask NPC 
Hangar Deck - Port Midship - Battlestar Cerberus
The single largest rooms on the Cerberus are the hangar decks. Each flight pod consists of two stacked landing bays with adjoined decks and hangars, which along with computer-assisted landings results in a faster Viper recovery rate. Mirror images of each other, these two huge areas are located on the flight pods. The inboard sides of the deck, closest to the ship's main hull, are lined with parking and maintenance bays for Vipers and Raptors based aboard the battlestar. The outboard side of the deck contains the launch tubes used by the Vipers for standard deployment. Huge blast doors seal the deck into four sections, each one containing an elevator that leads up to the flight deck directly overhead. The fore-most section contains an elevator system that leads towards Aerospace Fabrication.

The Cerberus' hangar deck is absolute chaos. As the alert lights flash red through the gigantic bays, deckhands in orange scramble to ready the Air Wing's attack dogs. Elevators rumble in motion, voices make a deafening din of shouts, and metal slams on metal as lockers of flight suits are thrown open and Viper parts clang. The smell in here is sharp - oil and the incredible spike of adrenaline and terror from every pore in the place.

[TAC3] (from "Lucky" Alessandra) There's cursing and swearing and a bit of shouting for as long as Lucky remains in her damanged Viper but that soon cuts out as she exits what remains of the multimilion cubit fighter craft.

[TAC3] "Halo" Nostos says, "Halo to Shiv, do you want us to persue these unknowns that Goddess has found, please advise."

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Halo, Lasher. You have your orders, land that frakking bird!"

[TAC3] Raedawn says, "They're… they're not there anymore, Halo. They vanished."

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Spanner, Lasher. On me."

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Major, permission to go straight to S&R? I got Bootstrap with me and we're ready to go!"

[TAC3] (from "Spanner" Rojas) Fingering the comm button, Spanner's voice crackles. "Lasher, Spanner. With you. We're… uh, not exactly carrying an optimal combat load here."

[TAC3] (from Raedawn) "And what would we use anyway if we /did/ chase them? Harsh language?!" Beginning to overcome her moment of panic, Raedawn sounds furious. "We're not carrying ammunition!"

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Jugs, Toast. Permission granted. On the double. Find out what in Hades happened up there."

Julie is waiting in the hangar bay with her flight suit on and helmet in hand, by virtue of not going to the gala she's been here on-duty while everyone had a good time. After the birds start landing, both the vipers and Raptors from the gala she knows things are getting heated. Standing beside her Raptor, she's listening on the radio to hear what happened.

"Does anyone know whats going on?" Naevi calls in the direction of one of the technicians running this way and that in the chaos, but receiving no answer she doesn't stand around to fret and worry. She's not about to get written up after whatever this is blows over as someone who stood around being baffled - she's dedicated herself to this job, after all. She makes her way towards the Vipers, looking for one that may be prepped and ready for her.

[TAC3] "Easy" Julie says, "Major, this is Easy here, permission to get my bird outfitted for possible combat and ECM duty."

By the time Bootstrap reached the Raptor, he was mostly stripped down. Damn, if the jerkass didn't haul ass to get his phenomenal ass into his jumpsuit. Strapped in, helmet on, he fires-up DRADIS and the ECM suite. As soon as it's all good to go, he tells Quinn, "Punch it!"

Evandreus lands 305 on deck, opening the hatch so that his collection of Viper jocks can go and find their birds. But he doesn't disembark, himself, keeping systems green and waiting on word for further orders over Comms.

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Goddess, swap out and grab one of the fresh birds the minute you hit the deck. All of you landing, stand by for orders from the CAG. Sidearms out."

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "We've got what we've got, Spanner. It'll have t' do."

Marko is on his way to where Julie waits, dropping bits of his dress uniform as he pulls on his flight suit. "Are we hot?" he calls to his pilot over the noise?

Alessandra hasn't even waited to be towed back, the pilot having removed herself from the cockpit of the Viper that got taken out once it reached the part of the hanger that actually has atmo. "Frakking…what the hell was that?" Panicky. No, not really but she is livid. Pissed even. "I can't even get a bead on whatever happened before I'm coming in, belly-FRAKKING-down, having to do an emergency landing!"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Cerberus, Lasher. I've got nothing on DRADIS out here. Orders?"

[Harrier-303: Quinn] Maggie, in her flight suit now and behind the stick, pulls all too fast out of the launch tubes, barely waiting for clearance until she rockets into spacke. She's no joking now, nothing but business as she heads towards her best guess where that explosion was…

Cidra was ferried back to the Cerberus via shuttle. She disembarks, posture stiff, face fixed in a mask of composure that she's likely trying desperately to hold on to. "Everyone keep your heads!" she barks as she strides onto the Deck. "Await orders. We shall find out what is going on soon enough." She clasps her hands tightly behind her back, knuckles whitening.

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Bootstrap, find me that missing pilot. Lets get'em back home -now-."

Sitka's viper lands in a bluster of exhaust and skids showering sparks as they strike the deck. He has his service pistol out the moment he's clambered down from his cockpit, helmet hauled off as he strides across the 'bay in search of the CAG. Spotting her, he makes a beeline for the woman.

Julie seems remarkably calm despite everything that has happened, this was what she had trained for all her life. She shakes her head to Marko, her tone all business, "Not yet, I'm waiting for confirmation to have the bird loaded out for possible combat. Aside from the two vipers exploding in mid-air.." She pauses, "Do you know anything?" Since Julie is the ranking Harrier squadron member on deck with Quinn and Trask rushing off, she motions for Marko to follow and approaches Cidra offering a crisp salute, "Sir, can we get the flight crews prepping these birds? I don't know what the frak is going on out there, but I want to be ready to launch when we do know."

Temperance is standing on deck with Tisiphone and Daphne beside her after exiting their shuttle, watching the birds fly in and out as everyone scrambles everywhere. "I frakkin' can't jus' stand 'ere," she says to them, hopefully out of Cidra's earshot. "Feel useless, watchin' everythin'." She fidgets and reaches up to rub her temples. "Cannot /believe/ somethin' 'appened durin' th' fanciness."

Told to keep her head, Naevi hefts her helmet up and places it on her head. She seals it with a swift, practiced hand and glances over towards Cidra when she hears the command. She waits, though she looks ready - almost like she'll break into a sprint at any moment.

The Raptor ride has transmuted Daphne's confusion into out and out anger. "I hope they gods-damned court martial whoever did this and execute him for being an incompetent…" She stops herself, biting her tongue instead of her lip.

Marko follows hard on Easy's heels, finally peeling the rest of his uniform off and the rest of his flight suit on, doing a fair amounto of helmet juggling in the process. "Somebody shot up one of the demonstration Vipers. Not an accident, either, I saw the tracers." he says grimly, not really panicked, but not exactly a hundred percent calm, either. "I take it Jugs and Bootstrap are on SAR, Major?" he asks.

The CAG's call for calm snaps Allie out of her ire, the blood-haze that colored her vision slowly ebbing from top to bottom of her eyes untl she can see. She's looking around, clearly confused, not knowing what to do.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) After no small amount of searching the manic DRADIS console, Trask grimly notes, "If Ricochet is out here, she's scrap an' vapor."

Cidra nods sharp to Julie, acknowledging the salute. "I am awaiting information on the situation, Lieutenant. Fundamentally we do not know what we are dealing with. But get the crews prepping a bird. We may need them soon enough. All pilots! See to having the flight crews prepare your birds." That will give them something productive to do, at least. Sitka is spotted. She exhales shortly. Well. There's that, at least. "Captain Sitka. What happened out there?" Her tone is clipped not sharp. She is all of tight focus.

<Intercom> Attention! Action Stations! Set Condition One throughout the ship.

Evandreus hehs, "Don't worry, Daph. They will," he assures her as they're disembarking. He squints out the front window at all the chaos reigning over the deck on account of a flight acci— what the hells and waters? Condition One?

[From Harrier-303:] Quinn remains hunched over her console in the Raptor, trying to give them the best flying radius possible near debris, doing anything to pilot around the bits of interference. She blinks against a strange bit of stinging in her eyes, the shock of this all numbing all the way to her gut. "Frak… Kal… we are not losing someone on… on today… Not today. Too much celebration. This was supposed to mean something…Frak…" Not over the coms. Just to the man at her side, through their private channel.

"So much for 'oogling manflesh," Tisiphone wryly agrees, trying to mimic Temperance's earlier turn of phrase. Having just disembarked, she's still in her dress grays. She's about to say more, but the Condition One klaxons shut her up like a switch was flicked, eyes wide and confused.

[From Harrier-303:] Quinn says, "Keep frakking looking… she's got to be there."

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "Bootstrap, Cerberus. We're looking through the DRADIS mess now. Keep your hopes up, if Ricochet's plane is out there, we'll find it."

Malone has gotten out on the deck as well, looking around for a few moments as he frowns a bit, "Too much ceremony equals disaster, I guess," he mutters, mostly to himself. Looking around as he does his best to stay calm now, pausing as he hears the orders, and moves to follow said orders, as quietly as he can.

Alert lights. They're red and angry, flashing through the hangar bay with that thrilling, chilling blare of the klaxons. The deck crew, if they weren't panicked already, run even faster trying to get the wing's vipers prepped and ready. It is chaos up here.

Atreus strides onto the deck, all traces of alcohol gone. Lifting a hand, he signals one of the leads. "Higgins. Get your group busy. We don't know the sitch yet, but we will be prepared. The birds need to be cared for. We are loading ordnance. Go." Higgins pauses to stare and Atreus snaps once, "Move, man." And the man does. Looking around, Atreus frowns a little until he realizes that the chaos is ordered and pretty by the book.

Seeing as the hangar bay clearly hasn't been compromised, Sitka slaps his sidearm back into its thigh holster, and doesn't even bother with a salute as he draws up in front of the CAG. The expression on his face? Muted shock. Though he hides it fairly well. "I.. I'm not sure, sir." He jerks his head toward the flight deck, and in the direction of the Anchorage itself. "We were just coming in for our second pass. Two contacts briefly registered on DRADIS, though I didn't get a read of what they were. Slotted into formation right behind Ricochet and Flameout; before I had the chance to ask what was going on, I've lost three birds." He drags his hand over his cheek, clearly distressed despite the even keel of his voice.

"Tha's /ooglin'/ darlin', ooglin'. No g." She's teasing back, but it's clear her heart's not in it. She notes the Condition One with fear in her eyes, but just turns to nod at the other girls, and Evandreus in turn, and moves over to her bird, hustling the flight crew along perhaps a bit more than is needed.

Julie nods to the Major, "Got it Sir, I'm not going to say it but I'm really hoping this isn't civil war or something worse. Let's cross our fingers and hope this was some kind of terrorist attack.." She doesn't believe her own words as she says them, in her heart she knows there is something far worse happening right now. Snapping her fingers, she yells at team near Harrier-307, "GET THAT BIRD PREPPED NOW!" She's in her zone now and she doesn't waste time since the deck chief isn't here, "Make sure we're prepared for possible combat, I want A-P Missiles loaded with a full strike package. Get to it!" Turning back to Marko she forces a smile, "Alright Flasher, let's go over what we know. We got tracer fire and invisible DRAIDIS contacts that appear and dissapear. What else do we know?"

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Cerberus… we've got incoming… one, two… Frak… too many to count."

"There'll be plenty of… what the frak?" Daphne looks around as the ship puts itself onto red alert status. "Wait, Flasher… what do you mean it wasn't an accident?" She looks from side to side, "What's going…" Then she stands straight, closes her eyes, and counts to five. When she opens her eyes again, she's a little calmer. "OK. Let's just… follow orders." She steps away from her friends and jogs towards the nearest deck hand she can find, and then makes her way towards the lockers in a big hurry.

[Harrier-303: Trask] Emotions and shit? So not Trask's strong suit. Quinn would know this by now, but it certainly won't make it any easier for her to hear him say, "I'm tellin' ya, Maggie. She's out there. Just not all in one piece. Not even remotely." There a pause, his brow furrowed with concentration. "Maybe she managed to eject in ti-"

[TAC3] (from "Lasher" Laskaris) Lasher's voice is low and breathless. "Oh my gods."
Harrier-303 heads for Space.

Following orders. Yes. Evan closes up his raptor door again once it's just him and his backseater. "Incoming? Incoming what?" he wonders. "Ten cubits on Tauron."

Nostos stands in his flight suit looking a bit impatient. He is ready to fly and he does not look pleased at being told to head back to the barn. His the clasp to his sidearm is unhooked though his hand is no where near it at the moment. He just stands there waiting to follow orders and looking angry enough to knock down the first words that are said to him beyond, 'Your flight is a go.'

Marko remembers to fire a salute to the CAG, who probably isn't listening and shakes his head to Easy. "That's all I know, sir. I was booking it for the shuttle hangar the second I realized what was going on. Captain Sitka could probably tell you a lot more, though." he adds, remembering to salute the man. The worst of the initial shock has worn off, and Marko seems to be settling, if only slightly, with its passage.

Already changed into her flightsuit, Naevi is pacing back and forth as she waits for her bird to prepped. As she does so, she checks the seals just to make sure there won't be any explosive decompression if something goes wrong. Satisfied, she glances towards the techs swarming over the Viper and bites her bottom lip, "Almost done?" Her voice is edgy but she doesn't yell or get on their case - she knows she's not the only one stressing.

Impatience seems to be the current mood-of-the-moment as Lucky's not exactly able to sit there and be patient, the pilot wanting to get out there and find out what happened. Yeah, this is not easy for her.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) There is an edge to the ECO's voice when he relays, "Flight, Command, Bootstrap. We have party crashers. A frakton. With FTL drives an' who knows what else. If ya haven't done it yet, I suggest setting Condition One. Right the frak now."

[TAC3] "Spanner" Rojas says, "Mingling with the other voices is a single, incredulous "Holeee. Shit."

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Cerberus, Lasher. What Bootstrap said. And what are my frakkin' orders?"

[Intercom] Michael says, "All hands, this is not a drill. Medical, prepare for wounded. Marines, ensure all civilians are escorted to proper quarters. Cerberus will remain docked for as long as possible."

Julie knows the CAG is busy trying to organize the chaos, so she takes it upon herself to help out with the confusion, her voice cutting through the noise clearly as she yells, "PILOTS, DECK CREW! LISTEN UP!" She lowers her voice a little when she has some attention, "I know you're all very confused, do not panic, do not freak out. Keep a clear head and be patient, this is what we know so far.." She takes a deep breath, "Two of our vipers were attacked while flying parade formations for the QUODEL event. There were reports of tracer fire being seen and a contact on DRAIDIS that blipped in and out. This is all we know, stay by your birds and get ready to launch when the word is given. Remember, this is what we trained for, keep calm."

Cidra nods short to Sitka, taking from that what information she can. "Let us find out how they were lost then, Captain. See to your bird and be ready to go out again. We shall get this sorted." Her tone is grim, but she manages to hold that outward composure together. For the moment, and with obvious effort. She's tense as a drawn string. "All pilots, be ready to launch ASAP." And she goes to suit up.

Daphne changes in a damned hurry, stripping down as far as she has to go and getting into the first flight suit that appears to be her size. Even in this hurry she stops what she's doing to make sure her dress greys don't end up on the floor. In fact, she hangs them up, spending precious seconds to be certain the uniform won't get a wrinkle. It really should jsut be on the floor, though. She slips her helmet on and looks for Tisiphone in the chaos to shoot her a worried glance, then looks for Temperance to do the same.

Malone nods as he hears the CAG's words, and moves to get hold of his flight suit, putting it on as quickly as he can now. Moving for one of the Vipers, at a sprint now.

"Twenty cubits on Sagittaron," Evan's backseater counteroffers. "Deal," Evan agrees.

Atreus steps forward to catch another of his leads, "Makowitz. Get the ordnance loaded. And, no I am not kidding. This is not a drill, remember? Move." Walking down the line of birds, he pauses near one to watch a moment, then turns a startled frown to Julie. Looking around, he does not see chaos, really. He sees crews working to get their birds ready for action. He sees wheeled sleds moving from bird to bird as ordnance is loaded. Fuel lines are snaked to refuel those in need. The frown remains, but he does not address the woman yet. No. Later, when things have returned to normal, perhaps.

Alessandra gets her Viper checked out, the pre-flight down and dirty. She then hops into her fighter and gets it powered up.

A crisp "Sir," comprises Sitka's acknowledgement and acquiesence to the CAG's orders for him. There's even a brisk salute given the woman before he strides off to make sure his bird's refueled and ready to launch.

"Easy, I'm gonna go start getting my end of the preflight done, if that's okay." Marko says, forcing himself to wait for her reply.

Cidra offers Atreus a crisp nod as she makes for her Raptor, but she spares no further word for anyone. She'll be on the comm."

Atreus motions to the crew near the 308. "Finish up there and get the frak out of the way." He steps back himself and then motions to another group of men and women. Turning to Cidra, he gives her a quick, sharp salute, respect clear in his attitude. "Sir." He moves to her bird's side and checks a few connections himself.

[BlackKnight-309: Daphne] Climing into a viper, Daphne goes through her preflight check while there's still time. History in the making, folks. She cuts a corner: SHe doesn't verify the serial number on the viper this time. Clearly she's living dangerously. She pulls the canopy door down, tightens the atmospheric locks on her flight suit, and then mutters a prayer to Hera, Zeus, and Ares individually.

Temperance gives up on hassling the flight crew, and listens to everything - Julie yelling, the intercom, Lasher, and her mouth flattens into a line. Ripping her dress greys off, she tosses them somewhere, anywhere, and shimmies into her suit as fast as she can. Daphne gets a return worried look, as does Tisi, and she touches her heart at them before rushing off.

Naevi climbs over the side of the Viper and slips into the seat, immediately making with the pre-flight checklist - only once pausing to look at the list kept in the plastic pocket on her arm. A flicked switch here, an altered dial there. She bites her bottom lip again, eyes narrowing as she concentrates.

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "All squadrons, CIC. Launch all remaining birds. All birds are cleared to engage, Black Knights, assume point defense positions around Cerberus and report in when in place."

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Comman, this is Blackknight-308. Preparing to launch."

[Intercom] Tillman says, "All stations report manned and ready to CIC."

Julie calls out, "Raptor Teams! Get on your birds and get ready for launch as soon as you've got the word. Remember, this isn't a drill!" With that said, she rushes to 307 and hops into the pilots seat.

[BlackKnight-311: Malone] Going through the pre-flight stuff as quickly as he can, Malone looks around for a few moments as he makes sure the Viper's all ready to launch.

Deck crews work in tandum one with the other. Ordinance is loaded with a brusk, practiced efficiency. Fuel is added and the lines pulled away with quick ease. Atreus moves here and there, assisting where needed and generally providing a calm, steady presence. Moving to one young man, he claps him on the shoulder, "Buck up, Evans. You've trained for this. Just get the job done."

[Harrier-307: Marko] "ECM suite's good, DRADIS is good, FTL is good. Got nothing but shiny little green lights back here, Easy." Marko says, appearing to calm significantly now that he has something to do that he understands and believes he's capable of actually doing.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "BlackKnight-311 launching."

[TAC3] Daphne says, "Black Knight three zero niner is green and in the pipe. Launching."

[TAC3] (from "Lasher" Laskaris) Laskaris grumbles. "Nice of you t' get back to us, CIC. Copy that. Assuming point defense position."

Naevi drums her hands on the console as the Viper is wheeled swiftly towards a launch tube, getting well-prepared to launch but still waiting for the go. Prepare to launch. Prepare to launch. This is not exactly how she expected to spend any of her time aboard but in for the goose, in for the gander.

Sitka hauls his helmet back on, pulls out the little pre-flight checklist from a pocket of his suit, and skims through it while on the move. The instant they've disconnected the fuel lines from his Mark II, he's clambering back up the ladder and sliding into the cockpit. The canopy's dragged down while deck crew bark orders and other vipers are readied for the tubes.

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "Lasher, things are little crazy right now, bear with us and we'll get you taken care of."

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Black Knight one one zero ready for launch on go, all systems green."

[Harrier-307: Julie] Julie settles into the pilot seat and gives her thumbs up to Marko before launching the Raptor in grim silence. She doesn't seem to have much to say while she gets the bird off the deck, a soft sigh escaping her lips.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "We're green for launch, here, Easy. Coming out behind you. Are we going for a pickup on the surface?"

[JudgeShip-316: Antares] From the sides of the Cerberus, thousands of fighters are launching into the black of space — and into a chilling sight. A choking sea of flak, locked instantly into a battle against those bizarre silver crafts that just crashed their expensive part. Space is brimming with them, a hornet's nest worth of bright and black streaks racing through the fleet on their way towards Picon below. Behind them in a broad ring that's rapidly closing around the Colonial fleet, the fat bulged figures of the army of basestars are letting off more Raiders by the second, swarming in a cloud so thick they obscure the twinkling of the stars. As the Cerberus' fighters join the fray, there's a bizarre flash of reddish light. One from each basestar, that seems to blink past the eyes of all the pilots like some strangely serene camera flash.
Control panels in the Vipers and Raptors suddenly light up, error lights blinking as systems begin to lock up. The panels of the older Mark IIs only show a minor issue, but the Mark VIIs seem to be hit hard and the Raptors? The raptors are utterly fried, their systems going into a hard shutdown.
And suddenly Colonial Fleet's beautiful battlestars stop dead on their warpath, lights flickering through the length of the majestic vessels. Two of them, on a collision course no doubt meant to be straightened, collide in mid-space in a spectacular richochet, bouncing off each other like billiard balls as an explosion rips through the upper decks of one of them.

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "Bunny, Cerberus. Planetary Pickups are not authorized, remain on station and keep your eyes open."

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Oh, Gods. Ares help us."

[TAC3] "Easy" Julie says, "What the frak! My controls are not responding!"

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Command, O'Sullivan, all systems down! I've got nothing!"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Knights, Lasher. Form up and prepare for incoming. Kolettis is with me, Money Shot on Lucky's wing, Splash and Naevi are on Halo… what the frak?"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Cerberus, Lasher, my systems are going crazy here!"

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Frak….Godsdamn board went down like somebody threw a swtich!" Marko growls, frantically attempting to reboot the system.

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "*static…static* -dead… *static* -start…*static*"

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. I'm getting red across the board on my flight systems. Something is utterly frying us. I *static* *static* *static*"

[TAC3] (from "Lucky" Alessandra) There is a strangled choke of shock from Lucky, that being as how her controls flash red. "Lasher, Lucky. I'm getting errors all over the place, here. How are you reading?" She tries to get in formation with her wingman. Hopefully she'll have better luck at that than she did earlier.

[Harrier-307: Julie] Julie doesn't panic despite her surprise, immediately she begins trying to run diagnostics on her systems and get them to respond to her, "FLASHER!? Any clue what the frak is happening?"

[TAC3] Daphne says, "Lasher, Kolettis. Trying, but I'm FWI. What's going on here?"

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Cerberus, Naevi. I've got somethin- *static* … -st all *static* … -ponsiveness. *static* … the Frak!"

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Luck— *static* — sher. I'm getting *static* same over here. Kolettis, I wish I frakking knew."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra launches green with Ensign Faceless in her backseat, working the board as per normal. If any of this can be called normal. And then…hard right light. "Ensign, what in hades is going on?" Cidra barks back to her ECO, scrambling to get some control over her wonky bird.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Cerberus, Bunny, I —*OUT*"

[TAC3] (from "Spanner" Rojas) Rojas' voice comes over local comms, clearer than most others, albeit with one hell of a confused tone. "Eeeerm. Shiv, Spanner. …I'm showing a electrical fault but… that's it?"

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "tac3 Lasher, Splash. Everything's errors all over."

[Petrel-648: Nostos] Halo having had to take on of the Petrel ships out in all of the confussion tapes his non-responsive coms as the pilot stops to watch what is coming toward him. "Mithras, save me."

[TAC3] "Money Shot" Tisiphone says, "Lucky, this is M-" Crackle. "-red lights. Attempting to form on-" Snapcrackle. "-rakDAMN, you cursed-"

[Harrier-305: Evandreus] "O… kay," Bunny goes on as comms shut down. As… eveything shuts down. "Those guys aren't from Tauron, are they?" he mutters, trying to get any feedback in his console. At all.

[Harrier-304: Temperance] Temperance flies out, Chopsticks in the backseat. Getting a view finally of what's going on, she stares slackjawed for a moment, murmurs a prayer into her comms, and goes to do…nothing. It's all gone, nothing's working right.

[Harrier-303: Trask] "Just a bunch of shit that isn't workin' like it should. What th' Hells?" Trask doesn't dwell on it, though. His curiosity will need to be sated later. Right now, he has systems to get back online.

[JudgeShip-316: Antares] And in the midst of all this chaos, in the middle of this swamp, the raiders have spotted their new targets. The Colonial fleet Vipers and Raptors, rendered so beautifully hurt by the strange pulse. Black specks begin sweeping in towards the fray, hungry for blood.

[TAC3] (from "Shiv" Sitka) Sitka's voice crackles over the static, two simple words, "Holy shit." And then, not a heartbeat later, "Petrels, full *static* spread. Find your wing and *static*. Spanner, form up on me. Cerberus, I'm *static* some trouble with my sensors, too."

[BlackKnight-310: Naevi] Naevi sets about yelling at her instrument panel in the silence of space. Perhaps from outside one can see her waving her fists and shaking her head from side to side like some ranting dictator. But not a word can be heard. Radio off for the moment. It only lasts a moment, however, before she lifts her eyes to look at the sheer number of enemies with her eyes instead of her instruments.

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Not really sure, Easy." Marko replies, finally deciding that a system boot is not going to do any good. "Don't worry, I'm on it." he says, starting to pull the panels to get at the computers' innards. "Okay…no sign of damage to the hardware…." he says, voice trailing off as he begins to try to diagnose the problem.

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Money…*bzzt*…try to…*static*…same target."

[BlackKnight-309: Daphne] FWI. Flying Without Instrumentation. With the systems on Daphne's viper as much a mess as any of the mark 7s, the ensign has to eyeball it to come onto what she hopes is Lasher's wing. Worried eyes look from cockpit to cockpit and finally settle on the right pilot.

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Kolet — *static* — with me? Stay *static static* my target."

[TAC3] Daphne says, "*static*, Kolettis. *static* orders, *static static static* C-n-t *static*"

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Not gett- *static* … clear signa- *static* … -ak me! Eff double-you eye."

[Harrier-303: Quinn] Maggie can't even get another comm out over the stream. She continues pressing at her board before finally giving up. There's not much more she can do to it. She suddenly drops down, possibly making Kal think she's passed out, but nope, she's just going down beneath the panel and almost violently ripping the metal off so she can get into the guts. "Come on, Kal…I know you're better at this than me. Let's get her flying again or we're dead…" Frak callsigns, frak rank right now. She's speaking to her friend.

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "Any fighter able to respond, this is Cerberus, we copy your comms, what is your situation, over?"

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Anyo - *garbage* Can't ge - *garbage* Targets ho - *garbage* Nothing!"

[BlackKnight-311: Malone] Getting all of this trouble, and the sight out there, "Come on… Come on…" he mutters to himself, frowning as he sees the incoming enemies. Looking around for the proper target, and the persons he's supposed to be on the wing of, finally hoping that the one he's aiming for is the right one. If there's anything called wrong in this mess.

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Kolettis, Lash- *static* I say aga- *static* find my tar- *static*"

[BlackKnight-308: Alessandra] Giving up on coms, Lucky just takes to finding a target and aiming for it, hoping her wing will know to fire at the same one she does.

[Harrier-307: Julie] Julie continues to screw around with her controls, trying her best to hard reset the Raptor's controls so she can no longer be a sitting duck. Teeth grinding, she calls back to Flasher, "Frak, I have no frakkin idea what the frak this is but it ain't frakkin good."

[Petrel-649: Sitka] Shiv's Mark II fighter slips out of the tubes a little late, and swoops into formation with the other Petrels. Who, by the grace of the gods, seem to be faring a little better against this electronic interference. If that's what it is. Weapons coming live with a flick of a switch, there's nobody in there to hear him take a steadying breath as he lights his engines and swings in on Rojas' bandit.

[TAC3] Daphne switches to colonial signal code: 312 309. Eng your tgt

[BlackKnight-308: Alessandra] Lucky shakes her head as the combat starts in earnest, this being something no amount of sim time or classroom discussion can prepare one for. She manages to not be targeted, somehow, but the raider she picks is missed as well, causing her to wince. "Frakkers," she whispers while trying to line up a second shot, this one aimed for the foe's cockpit.

[Petrel-649: Sitka] Heart thudding in his chest, Sitka rolls his viper out of his pursuit curve and executes a solid snapshot on the fleeing fighter. Tracers arc across the enemy ship, scoring its flank but not quite managing to tear it apart. He guns his engines, curves his hand around the stick, and slots in for another try.

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Okay…okay…." Marko says, mostly to himself as he starts pouring over every bit of the computer he can get to. He's heard of just how terrifying combat really is, and, frankly, wasn't sure he believed it. He does now, big time. The only thing keeping him from making a mess in his flight suit's the fact that he's _very_ busy right now and not getting this right will get him killed. "Easy, I think I've got this, but you're not gonna like it. We need to do a hard reboot from the actual firmware on the system itself. I think CNP just frakkin' ate itself."

[Petrel-648: Nostos] While the coms from the Petrel might not be working Halo manages to get the guns from the ship working and bullets move with silent percision from his guns as they connect with one of the Raiders guns. If Halo is normally full of ego all trace of it is gone right now as he is busy focusing on taking down the same raider and this time he is moving to go in for a kill.

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Spanner, bandit still on your six. Keep jinking!"

[JudgeShip-316: Antares] The battle begins to rage, and it is incredible. The cylon raiders are relentless, far outnumbering the Colonial fleet's viper complements. Battlestars hanging dead in space, there's no flak cannon firing from the big boys. The fleet's forward defenses are on their own against this horrendous attack.
Cylon guns blaze, ripping through the viper fleet and tearing swaths through the defending Mark IIs and VIIs, and ripping up fleet raptors along the way. And more are coming.

[BlackKnight-310: Naevi] Naevi swears aloud as the raider does a sweep by her, still trying to get the hang of flying without her instruments when she feels the burst of fire glance over the body of her Viper and cause her to shudder. She's quick, though, and she manages to regain control and dodge to one side as a second raider makes it's pass. Falling in on it's tail, she squares her shoulders and takes off after her newfound quarry.

[Harrier-305: Evandreus] Bunny's taken the time to get himself deep into systems and get some rudimentary ones back up and greened. Or. Sickly vomit-yellowed, at least. "Get me some suites to send out, Stiffy," he calls back to his backseater.

[Petrel-647: Rojas] When the interference hits, Spanner's MKII throws it's nose down, as if it just sneezed. Unlike the rest of the… well, fleet, that's about all it does. However, the time to ponder the ramifications of such an event is taken up by suddenly throwing off into a roll, barrelling away, and attempting to give Sitka a shot or two on his new friends. A little inertial spin imparts a few wild bursts well wide of a persuer before he's moving again, engines kicking the Viper into a sharp angle path.

[BlackKnight-312: Laskaris] Lasher's Viper is as stricken as the other Mk VII's, but he presses the attack nonetheless. However, with his electronic systems on the fritz, it's nigh impossible to get a solid lock and his shot goes wide of the target — only a scant moment before enemy weapons fire tears into his starboard wing. His fighter heaves drunkenly, one of his cannons disabled by the torrent of fire. His face bone white under the helmet, he curses rapidly and floridly as he tries to get his fighter under control. He's definitely no longer in attack mode, as his primary concern has shifted to keeping out of the line of fire of the — whatever it is that's doing its level best to kill him. It sure doesn't look like the Cylon Raiders from those old First War vids, though it likely couldn't be anyone else, either.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Jugs, Bunny, systems up. Sort of. Trying to get the EC suites out."

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "tac3 Shiv, Cerberus, whats your situation? We've lost comms with the majority of the wing. Who has engaged you?"

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Scratch that— shit, I've lost it."

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "*static* -lettis, Lasher! *static* -m hit, cov- *static static static*"

[Harrier-307: Julie] Julie winces as the attack hits her Raptor, eyes wide with the first bit of true terror she has ever felt in her life. Slamming her hand down on the control systems, she looks back to Marko, "Do it then! Let's get back in the fight, I don't want to be a sitting duck."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra does not swear. Her desperation mode is not the vocal sort. She fights with her controls but her Harrier is all but dead in space. In her backseat, her ECO tries desperately to restart and get any kind of operability out of the system. To no avail.

[BlackKnight-309: Daphne] Daphne may as well be jammed for all the good her systems are doing. Worse than jammed. There just isn't anything to work with here, and she's lucky if she can even gen orders from Lasher. She chases after the same target he does, trying to take advantage of superior numbers on the target. Most of her shots go wide, but she does manage a glancing blow against the peculiar-looking craft… but not enough to actually penetrate anything. When shots strek past her and plow into her wingmate, she peels off, fishtailing violently in space and pointing her craft directly at the… thing… that just tore pieces off of Laskaris' viper.

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Got it." Marko says, and pulls the plug, sending the Raptor into darkness. As quickly as he can, the little ship's systems begin to come back on line. "ECM suites are up….DRADIS is good, control is good, comms are good…FTL is….wait one…Frak…There! We're hot."

[Harrier-303: Trask] "How 'bout you fly incredibly awesome an' I be incredibly awesome fixin' this mess?" Trask quips. "Hold on. Goin' for a hard reboot. Should work. Get ready to get the frak outta the line of fire."

[TAC3] Daphne uses colonial signal code: 312 309 AFF

[BlackKnight-311: Malone] Getting hit by a few Raiders, Malone's Viper spins around a bit, being hit quite badly. He then just tries to get away from the enemy craft, doing whatever he can to get out of the enemy fire now.

[TAC3] "Spanner" Rojas says, "You've got a friend, Shiv! Scissors, It'll give me a shot!"

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Harrier Three Zero Fou- *static* … Naevi! *static* … -on your tail. Engagin- *static* … lying without instruments my as- *static*."

[Harrier-303: Quinn] Once Maggie's helped get the panel off, she lets Trask duck down, doing what he needs to with the machinery below. She just waits for her panel to come back up, "Fine, fine, but remember who gives the orders here, handsome…" She grumbles down at him, trying to give a bit of lightness, for just a moment, to the situation. Graveyard humor, so to speak. "…There you go.. think I'm gettin' something…"

[Harrier-304: Temperance] Temperance yells back to Chopsticks, "Go' nothin', Sticks!" as she tries frantically to get through to Command. While she's busy doing that, Sticks goes to town on the systems, and yells back for her to hard reboot. Suddenly, she's back online, good to go. One raider shoots and hits her, but there doesn't seem to be any damage, and the other misses.

[BlackKnight-650: Tisiphone] Tisiphone takes up her usual wingman spot — portside wing — and follows hot on Lucky's tail. When her lead fires, so does she, the spray of bullets going wide as their target dances out of harm's way. Lucky curves to line up a second shot, and Tisiphone makes to follow — until she's hit, spun out wide by weaponfire carving up her Viper's body.

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Roger, Spanner."

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "Shiv, Cerberus. Who have you engaged? We have no comms with the Air Wing at present, who are you engaging?"

[Petrel-649: Sitka] Just as he's acquired a firing solution on Rojas' bandit, the crafty bugger manages to slip out of his sights. With a growl that isn't heard over the comms, the Captain hauls back on his stick when his wingman calls his tail, and pivots away into a sharp port to starboard swoop as he tries to shake the raider off. His sensors are still giving him warnings, but they're ignored in favour of flying by instinct at the moment.

[BlackKnight-308: Alessandra] It's like they're a team already, Lucky and Money, the pair managing to get the Raider they've been chasing down not one but two good hits with Tisiphone's shot being the real…well, money shot. That gets Lucky to grin but there's no time for celebration, the LT busily leading the other pilot on to another target.

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Cerberus- *static* -read at least twenty, I repeat twenty enemy contacts. Raiders, I read raiders. We're taking some heavy hits out here. On board equipment's having some trouble."

[BlackKnight-312: Laskaris] Lasher's damaged Viper continues to juke and evade madly, but between the damage and the constant malfunctions, it's not hard for the Raider to keep a bead on Laskaris, and more KEW fire punishes his ship. Cursing continues as Lasher continues trying to maneuver his ship and somehow evade further Cylon fire.

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Bootstrap, Flasher, recommend we give Cerberus a heads up on what's happened out here. Think we just got smacked with a virus."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra's comms are silent. Whatever's frakked with the CAG's systems, it remains frakked.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Jugs, Bunny, frak, I'm fried, here, dead in the water. Trying to get backup thrusters enough juice to get us back into the barn."

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Cerb- *static static* -akkin' Cylons! *static* -frak else w- *static* be?"

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Bunny, I hear you. If you can't, eject, we're coming for you. I swear it."

[Petrel-647: Rojas] With the raiders on his tail distracted by easier prey, Spanner's head turns on a swivel to aquire the sneaky toaster going for Shiv. On the command for scissors, the Viper burns to intercept shiv's curling path, drawing down a perfect lead on the raider following. A soft squeeze of the trigger sends rounds hammering home through the silver body. There may be a little, inaudible 'WHOO.'

[BlackKnight-310: Naevi] Naevi breaks into a bout of vitriolic swearing as her fire passes harmlessly over the Cylon she's pursuing, gritting her teeth as she sees the havoc the swarm of silver ships is doing. In the middle of the rant, however, her radio captures that particularly volatile exchange between herself and her deadly foe.

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "*longish pause* Check that, did you say Cylons?"

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Cerberus, this is Shiv. That's an affirmative."

[JudgeShip-316: Antares] Space is alight with combat, thousands of raiders versus thousands of malfunctioning fleet vipers and raptors. The fleet's battlestars are still horribly crippled, hanging in space like fat blimps on tethers, unable to shoot. And meanwhile, the destruction of the Colonial Fleet continues. Raiders tear through the swarms of defense birds, explosions lighting the vastness of space. A massive V of raiders has cut straight through their forces, tearing their way towards Picon unhindered.
And then, the basestars launch their nukes: one volley, then another volley, then another. Thousands of silent missiles drift past the motionless Fleet. There's no sound, only the sight — battlestars one by one ripped to shreds.

[TAC3] (from "Bunny" Evandreus) "Jugs, Bunny, I hear you." With -just- enough trepidation in his voice as if to say, 'the frak I'm going out there in just a spacesuit.' These thrusters will get their juice.

[TAC3] Naevi says, "*static* -rakkin' son of bi- *static* -efore I tear that damn- *static* -our neck and frak th- *static* -motherfrakking son of- *static* -five times! *static*"

[Harrier-303: Trask] Back on-line, Trask starts to jam, even though the systems aren't working as well as they should due to the hits that the Raptor took. "Damnit, Quinn. I said get the frak outta the line of fire." Grim humor, indeed. "Lemme see if I can beat some shit back into subservience."

[BlackKnight-311: Malone] Doing whatever he can to keep flying for now, Malone mutters to himself, as he fights with the controls, hitting the side of the cockpit. "Frak! Do I need to go out and swim now?"

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "Copy… We copy, Cylon Raiders engaging."

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "I also have two unidentifi— scratch that, two cylon base ships. Bearing five six carom niner zero— *sounds of engines roaring, then gunfire* —I don't have a visual on Toast."

[BlackKnight-309: Daphne] Daphne chases after the bizarre craft that's attempting to murder her wingmate. Sne sends streams of bullets after the thing, swinging past countless other craft in this massively unfair fight. WHile giving chase to the cylon raider, another one picks up her own 'scent'. Daphne can't seem to hit the thing she's chasing, but the thing chasing her tears a chunk off of her nose.

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Yeah, we said Cylons! Don't you have anybody looking outside?" Marko grumbles, pulling every watt of power out of the ship's ECM suite to try and throw as much white noise into the Cylon's beady red eyes as he can. Because, ya know, it might keep him from _dying_.

[BlackKnight-312: Laskaris] Oh yeah, Lasher said Cylons. He manages to get a decent look at one of the Raiders' cockpits as it passes his battered craft. It's a dead ringer, almost, for the 'facial features' of the Centurions from the First War, bobbing red eye and all. That can't be coincidence, right?

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Gett*bzzzz* qui*bzzzz* beaten *bzzzz*. Try*bzzzzzzzzz* now…"

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Cylons? Frakkin' Caprican dumbasses. Well, if frakkin' machines are behind this, it would explain the system's shut-down."

[BlackKnight-650: Tisiphone] Say what you will about Ensigns, but they follow their wingleaders well. Tisiphone sweeps back in on Lucky's portside wing, trailing close behind. This is teamwork the way she and Ensign Kolettis have done, so many times before. Lucky shoots, and Tisiphone waits a beat for the raider to spin away before adding her own gunfire. The dual assault is too much — the raider hurtles away into space, disintegrating to a fiery mass, a tiny counterpoint to the Battlestars dying beyond.

[Harrier-307: Julie] Julie watches birds blow up one by one and in the midst of the chaos, she desperately tries to reach the ship her father ADM Jack Walker was on with little success. She slams her fists down against the control panel, tears welling in her eyes, "FRAK!" She's on the verge of losing control and breaking down right here in the middle of all this, was it the end? Was this the end? She lets the thoughts float around while she maintains control of her viper, "We're losing too many Flasher, we need to do something!" Eyeing one of the basestars, she cries out defeated, "Why didn't they let us load missiles! FRAK!"

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Command, O'Sullivan. Systems up now, are you not reading us? Bunny is down, Toast is down. Bootstrap and I attempting to jam."

[BlackKnight-308: Alessandra] With Vipers and Raptors getting torn up, Lucky finds it hard to focus. Getting hit hard like she did (for the second time in one night!), it's amazing that she is able to fly her fighter at all. The fact that she can becomes all the more amazing upon receiving the shock she does when she notices the missiles being launched at the fleet. "No…nonono!"

[TAC3] (from "Jugs" Quinn) Maggie's voice has, somewhere in the panic, lost it's clipped Caprican to more of her odd, lilting voice that is far, far from the rich colony. "Frak the cylons… what… are those frakkin' nukes… gods… does anyone need EVA? Now or never, speak the frak up."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] There is, finally, a blip of light from Cidra's near-dead-in-water Raptor. Not much of one, but Ensign Faceless has apparently succeeded in getting /something/ working again. The bird stuters to right itself from its listless hanging in space, movements jerky but at least alive.

[Petrel-648: Nostos] From his perspective Nostos can hear static but he can't seem to respond on his coms at all. He has managed to hit Raider twice in its weapon systems and so far he hasn't been hit but he has notice a lot of his fellow pilots have been shot up pretty badly. The pilot is in a silent place as he flies and makes his way around trying not to get hit and as he watchs out for his fellow pilots. Cylon, must be, since these things don't look like any Colonial ships.

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Frakkers! This is…..y! I've b…it badly. Wha…rak is….ing on!?"

[Petrel-649: Sitka] Shiv's viper wheels, swoops, and darts like the bird it resembles, guns lighting up again and again in the black. He barely even has time to check his fuel gauge— which happens to be spinning uselessly, anyway.

[TAC3] "Lasher" Laskaris says, "Godsda- *static* -ice-cursed sh- *static static* toaster, get- *static* frak off me, afore *static* shove it *static static static*"

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "O'Sullivan, there was some jamming from your end, we've been trying to raise you for a while. Be advised, we have radiological alarms, they're nuking the godsdamn fleet!"

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "CIC, Boo<static>trap. Give the ChEng an' Chie<static> heads-up that <static> wanna do a system<static>weep an' diag<static>stic. Search for virus<static>."

[Harrier-304: Temperance] Apparently wine and flying DO mix, because Temperance manages to be missed again, twice. But then the basestars send out nukes, and she goes slackjawed. "No…" she whispers softly, shaking her head in denial. "Chopsticks, get on the ECM now!" She yells into the comms at Command, finally getting through.

[TAC3] "Shiv" Sitka says, "Toast, Shiv. Do you read? I'm getting heavy static from you. Cerberus, we aren't going to last much longer out here in this shitstorm. It seems like the sevens are taking the brunt of it—"

[TAC3] Temperance says, "Command, O'Sullivan. Under heavy fire, birds out here havin' a hell of a time wi' their systems, please advise."

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "Copy, Shiv. All fighters, Romeo Tango Bravo, RFN! Combat landings are authorized, get the frak out of there!"

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Radiological alarm! Multiple radiological alarms! Oh, holy….." Marko says as his screen comes alive screaming its warning. "Easy, this shit's starting to get a little heavy out here!" he says, voice trembling as he takes a deep breath and works the ECM panel for all it's worth. "Get us back to the Barn!"

[BlackKnight-310: Naevi] Naevi stops turning the air blue in her Viper and turns her attention back to the Raider she's chasing, attempting to target it's engines but unable to get a bead on it. She swears yet again, firing off a burst of fire after it in the hopes of at least clipping it. But as the order comes through and she manages to pick a few individual, choice words out of the wireless banter she immediately turns tail. Combat landing time! She makes for the Cerberus at speed, flying without instruments and momentarily praying to herself.

[BlackKnight-312: Laskaris] Laskaris utters a long sound that's half growl, half groan as he continues to yank frantically on his controls. Somehow, he manages to turn his trashed fighter end over end and point it at Cerberus' hangar deck; he guns the throttle for all it's worth, hoping as streams of blue KEW fire flash around him that it'll be enough to carry him home.

[TAC3] "CerbTac" Tillman says, "Corsair and Praetorian, this is Cerberus CIC. We are disengaging from the station at this time. You are instructed to do the same and fall in with us once we are clear of the anchorage. Confirm."

[Harrier-305: Evandreus] Little by little 305 begins to flip itself in awkward, uneven backward somersaults sort of in the direction of the deck. This is just how it's going to have to be. Bunny's working hard at those frakked controls, though.

[Harrier-307: Julie] Julie can only stare in horror at what is happening around her, the flying of her Raptor little more then second nature to her. Her knuckles are white and her cheeks are stained with tears for the fallen, both present and future, sounding resigned, she sighs before replying, "Yeah… I'll get us back to base, this is a…" She doesn't finish the words and begins to angle her fighter towards the Cerberus for a landing.

[TAC3] Daphne in CSC: 312 309 CFM

[Harrier-303: Trask] That growl? That would be Trask. He's pissed-off that his attempts at jury rigging are failing. The whole 'ohai dey hav nukez' thing isn't at all helping. "Angel cake," he tells Quinn, "let's make like flambe. Snag whoever we can on the way home." Back to DRADIS, he goes, plotting a course for the closest bird that's dead in the water.

[TAC3] Naevi says, "Arr tee bee, Cerber- *static* … -oming in hot- *static static* … nukes! *static*"

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Shiv…*st*…copy…barely. I believe I…*static*…get her home…*static*"

[BlackKnight-308: Alessandra] Lucky shakes the shock off and simply takes to making good with the landing thing, hoping to have better luck with that than she did anything else this evening. Someone is so going to be putting in a request for a new callsign, triplicate be damned.

[JudgeShip-316: Antares] As the order crackles over the Cerberus' static-laden comms calling the fleet home, the raiders are having a field day with what's left. If anything their strength has increased in the last few minutes, black clouds of them pouring from the basestars in the menacing ring around the battlestars and its charge - the civilians below. Space above the landing port is a wasteland of Colonial wreckage, a stunning and utterly chilling sight.

[Petrel-647: Rojas] The second the issue to get the frak home is ordered, Spanner's viper loosely forms with Shiv's, engines glowing as he follows as much as possible, evasion and 'not wanting to explode in a horrible ball of fire' making it… looser than most. Despite his best efforts, a single stray round from somewhere impossible to tell rips through his right wing, punching one hell of a hole.

[Harrier-303: Quinn] "That's the plan, Bootyboy…" Maggie echoes to the man at her feet who is trying to fix their ship and, well, not doing all that well at it. Still, she's managing to fly them steadily across wreckage and debris, trying to keep some sort of scanning going for anyone that has EVA'd, but really… she's not seeing much of anything between static and debris. Still, she's doing her best, and they havent' taken any other damage, at least.

[BlackKnight-309: Daphne] With the order to make an emergency landing, Daphne does her best to at least keep the raider off of Laskaris. She's no longer actually going for a kill, but just trying to do everything she can to completely ruin the raider's chances of landing a shot. Effectively she's laying down suppressive fire while trying not to get pasted, herself.

[TAC3] (from "Bunny" Evandreus) "Jugs, Bunny, we're gonna get there if we don't get shot again. Go pick up someone else, yo," he lets her know he'll be OK. 'Cause he knows she worries.

[TAC3] (from "Shiv" Sitka) With the CAG's radio still breaking up, Sitka's voice crackles over the comms again, more strident this time, "Cerberus, all points, assuming flight lead. All vipers RTB, combat landings. Knights, cover the rap— *sounds of guns firing*

[Harrier-304: Temperance] Temperance silently hangs her head, and calls back for Chopsticks to stop his efforts. She's an ensign. She's never even been in a real battle, only war games. She's never been shot at, she's just a baby. With heavy heart and tear-filled eyes, she turns them around, and heads back home.

[BlackKnight-311: Malone] Just trying to get back home, Malone mutters quite a bit under his breath, "Come on, come on. Please…" He looks around as he still works on getting the beaten up Viper back to the Cerberus. Almost there now…

[JudgeShip-316: Antares] The Battlestar Athena, a fine Mercury-class piece of work hovering off to the Cerberus' starboard suddenly EXPLODES. Debris hurtles throgh space, knocking Colonial and Cylon fighters aside without discrimination.

[Harrier-307: Marko] He doesn't want to watch, he _really_ doesn't want to watch, but where he's sitting and good old morbid fascination make it impossible for him not to. Before Marko's eyes, the DRADIS console shows Colony of Picon begins to take the first wave of nukes. "My Gods…..Mom….Mom was….Mom was right….." he says, seeming to go blank.

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra's Raptor jerks and spasms but she appears to have nominal control of it. It's going in the right direction, it's just limping as it gets there. She jerks it homeward.

[Petrel-649: Sitka] Breaking off from his pursuit of a fleet-footed raider, Sitka wheels his bird about nose over tail, and streaks back to Cerberus' bulk.

[Harrier-305: Evandreus] 305 stumbles sickly into the bay, but, honestly, for all the damage, the landing could be a lot harder. It smacks the front corner of its topside into the deck and slams the rest of its top into space directly afterward, leaving its pilot gratefully strapped to his seat, panting and looking out onto the deck all upside-down.

Daphne pushes hard into the deck to counteract what seems to be a sudden tendency for the craft to rise and roll counterclockwise. The craft skids along the deck, but she maintains control and comes to a graceful stop. Shock keeps her from losing it, but she's aware enough to utter a few choice words to herself in an attempt to maintain her sanity, "I don't want to be a viper pilot anymore."

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Splash, just hold on tight, we gotcha… This might be a bit of a rocky landing, but we'll make it."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Holding on. Just don't ruin the paint, okay?"

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "CIC, Bootstrap. To run the risk of stating the obvious: page Medical to Deck."

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Kiss it, Splash. Kiss it hard."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Plzkthx."

[BlackKnight-308: Alessandra] Blackknight-308 is just not able to handle the harsh landing and her pilot just can not keep it together, her shock and the damaged condition of the Viper causing a horrible display of sparks, fire and bits and pieces of fighter that fly here and there. Hopefully Lucky will be alright.

Naevi is coming in at a pretty standard angle for a combat landing, if it can be called as such. However, when the nearby battlestar explodes a small shard manages to clip her wing. Not a great deal of damage, no, but it throws her off course and she goes twirling towards the deck in a dangerous fashion. As she nears the point of no return, however, she manages to lift the craft's nose and land in a sidelong skid through the flight pod before she comes to a stop. Once she's back inside where there's an atmosphere, she glances up to hear Daphne speak, "I know the feeling … " And the young woman's first name escapes her, the heat of the moment having robbed her of senses for the moment, so she just lamely appends, " … Clicker."

Cidra comes in like a whale, Raptor continuing to jerk in those desperate spasms as she endeavors to put it down on the Deck. She gets her bus home, however. There's not a scratch on it. Clearly not due to any fancy maneuvering on her part. She was lucky enough to avoid Raider fire throughout that little outing. She bails out and gets directly on an internal, working com line.

[TAC3] Hellicon says, "Copy, medical is being notified now."

Sitka's viper slips in somewhere near the end of the pack, touching down for a relatively smooth landing, then jerking his craft sideways at the last minute to avoid a raptor tumbling in hot and heavy. Forward momentum's arrested swiftly by his seat harness, and he's swinging out of his viper as soon as a couple of deck crew've secured him for a tow, a lift, and a haul to a free spot in the hangar bay teeming with frenetic activity.

[Intercom] Tillman says, "Medical personnel to the Hangar Bays to receive wounded. Repeat, Medical personnel to the hangar bays."

Nostos lands in a perfect and practiced combat landing. He might fall out of bed but he is no slouch as a pilot. As his Viper skids to a hault he waits until the ladder is brought and then he all but jumps out of his ship as he walks away making space as he is clearly a bit off from suddenly spotting cylons again and they didn't look like the ones his grandfather fought.

[Harrier-303: Quinn] Quinn, despite the fact that she's towing a WHOLE OTHER SHIP behind her, actually manages to bring her Raptor in for a surprisingly smooth landing. She might not fly too splashy, but she's experienced and damn good at what she does. So despite metal squealing, explosions all around, and the seeming world going to pieces around her, she glides herself and Splash's ship behind her to a reasonable stop.

[TAC3] "Jugs" Quinn says, "Look at that. Five point landing if I ever saw one. Everyone else in one piece?"

Julie guides her Raptor onto the deck, entirely silent since she last spoke until she sets the bird down. She normally wasn't the type to be vulnerable or to show any displeasure at events, but she was a mess right now. Throwing her helmet on the floor of the Raptor, she rushes to Marko with tear streaked eyed and just hugs the man tightly, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. Everyone's gone…"

Tisiphone's landing goes relatively unnoticed, amongst the chaos and sparks and sounds of tearing metal. It's smooth and light, textbook-perfect in a situation no textbook could possibly explain. The canopy opens, revealing an Ensign already shedding her helmet.

There's no motion from within the wrecked Viper once it comes skidding to a halt, Allie unconscious.

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "You win a medal. Hey, Splash? You still there, buddy?"

Temperence lands, fast and easy. It seems like she's the only Raptor who managed to come out undamaged and with her systems functioning by the time it's all over. She /flies/ through post flight and tears out of her bird, ripping her helmet off viciously and jumping out. Tears are running down her face, and she looks around, eyes wide, for someone, /anyone/ to latch onto. And finds Tisiphone. Dropping her helmet on the deck, she runs to the other girl and holds out her arms, barely holding the sobs back.

Evandreus, for his part, sits quite still, his Harrier winding down to cold and dead around him as he hangs there by the straps around his chest, feet up against the underside of his console. Conscious, if stunned, he calls, "Stiffy?" to his backseater, weak-voiced. But there's no answer. Torn between wanting to look back and NOT wanting to look back, he just tries to keep his breathing steady, for the moment.

Marko feeling a bit overwhelmed himself, just hugs his pilot back as hard as he can. "We're still here, Easy…okay? We're still here…." he says simply. "Mom didn't check out for nothing…." he adds, starting to tear up a little himself.

Cidra breathes out long at the intercomm message. Medical already on their way. Well, that's something. Her face is pale as salt, and for a moment she can only watch as the beaten Raptors and Vipers come in for a landing. She gives herself a shake. Getting it together, at least outwardly. Nominal control and all that. "My Gods…" she can't help but breathe it. She calls sharply, "Clear to the side, those who can. Give the medics and mechanics room to work."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Unless you guys are somewhere entirely else, I think so, yes."

Lasher's hacked-up Viper is one of the last fighters to straggle in for a landing. He's obviously having trouble keeping the craft under control, and the sudden explosion and spray of shrapnel doesn't help any. Just as he's about to enter the deck, one of the bits wings his ship, knocking it off course; watching his ship suddenly careen towards the side of the deck, Lasher does the only thing he can do: he pushes hard on the stick, literally throwing his craft to the deck. The landing gear gives way under the force of contact, and sparks fly as the Viper screams across the deck, leaving shards of twisted metal in its wake. Luckily for Laskaris, though, his last maneuver keeps the fighter from plowing into the side of the hangar, spinning with the groaning sound of metal on metal as it finally comes to a stop. It's pulled down to the deck, but Lasher is motionless inside the fighter, its cockpit staying closed.

Sitka swings out of his ship, pulls off his helmet, and sets off at a good clip toward Alessandra's viper when he sees the thing come in like it did. No doubt the CAG's already getting on the horn with medical, so he doesn't clutter things up by barking any orders. He does, however, muscle in to help the deck crew pry Lucky's cockpit open— if they let him.

Rojas' viper crunches a littler harder than it should, rotating to skid right, and clear of the rush of ships coming in hot on his heels. Momentum takes over quickly, tilting the viper so it looks as though the left wing is going to crack into the deck… Closer. Closer… and the craft tilts back, resting on all three points. His helmet's off before he's free of the cockpit, Crew working already working to clear it from the deck the second he's out. It takes him a couple of seconds to locate Sitka, but when he does, that's where he's heading.

OOC Note: Continued in Broken Birds in Their Nests.

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