PHD #232: EVENT - Stealing Virtue (Caprica Recon)
Stealing Virtue
Summary: Trask and Ulixes go all tag-team buddy action flick when they return to Caprica for some in atmo recon. ST: Cidra <3
Date: 16 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: None, in particular; Colony recon logs, in general
Trask Ulixes 
The final frontier.
Post-Holocaust Day: #232

It's just past 16:30 and a Raptor has just launched from Cerberus' flight deck and is making the final preparations for the first of a series of jumps to Caprica. Mission is simple: see what the Cylons have been up to since the attacks, just another piece of the ongoing scouting operations. Whether they have deserted it, like Aerilon and Sagittaron, or are bunkering down as they appear to be on Virgon and Picon, only time and this Raptor shall tell. Ulixes is in the pilot's seat, Trask in the back on ECO duty. CIC has given the bird the go to jump at its leisure. The show, such as it is, is about to begin.

"-and if you add a little burdock to that, you get booze. And if you ferment potato skins, you get booze. And if you distill some pomace, you get booze. And if you can get some sorghum and ferment that, you get - hang on, we're getting close now." Ulixes snaps himself out of his musings on the many ways to take your mind off things and looks at his console, casting a brief look back over his shoulder at his ECO.

While his pilot rattles off a litany of liquor-making methods, Bootstrap's jaw clenches with irritation. It's not as though Ulixes is aware that the ECO's daddy is-slash-was a violent drunk. Which, really, is the /only/ reason Trask isn't about to make short work out of Shortcut. "Hey, you know what you get if you get your liver curbstomped?" The crack comes out somewhat sharper than what is typical. Good thing there's work to concentrate on. Things like plotting the final jump. "FTL's spooled. Countdown on my mark." Beat. "Mark… Five… Four… Three… Two… One…"

"Hi-yo, Silver," Ulixes murmurs as he reaches out to punch the FTL drives into action and get the Raptor hurtling through space towards their destination, "Away." He finally makes the jump, glancing back over his shoulder in the instant that he does so to give Trask a curious look.

And off they go. It takes a sequence of jumps to get them from Aerilon to Caprica, but the Raptor makes the trip without any trouble. Once they arrive, presuming they've jumped a goodly distance from Caprica's orbit, they aren't immediately greeted by Cylon presence. There aren't Raider patrols out this far, at least, and space around the planet - as seems to be par for the course - is clear of debris. However, as to the planet itself, there are definitely blips of *some* activity on passive DRADIS closer to it. Hard to get an ID on those blips with just the passive scan on, but somebody's there.

Having more post-Warday planetary recons under his belt than anyone in the fleet, Trask's calculations ensure that the duo arrives under the radar. At this point, if the IFF signatures of those blips read as Colonial, he would still assume they were Cylons. "Pickin' up somethin' at carom six eighteen three oh niner. Lack of debris's gonna make approach a real bitch. How much you missin' the ol' days?" Which is to say daredevil, quasi-suicidal tactics.

"Honey," Ulixes calls in a sing-song voice, imitating some ridiculous accent, "Ve are ho-ooome." The Raptor pilot puts the bird in a holding pattern for the moment, waiting for Trask to get what he can from the data blipping on his console while still being prepared to get the hell out of Dodge should the need arise. The word given, he glances off towards the distant planet with an exasperated roll of his eyes, "I'm back five minutes and already I'm galloping off towards near-certain death and I didn't even have a chance to steal any virtue yet. I want to steal some virtue, Boots. I am fueled by virtue." That is a very roundabout and perverted way of saying yes, in Ulixes-speak.

"Right," is the ECO's idle assertion to get cracking, "Lessee where the nearest, unoccupied fill-up station is." Caprica is swarming with enemy aerocraft, but so was Leonis, and Bunny and Bootstrap still managed to get close enough to acquire vital data. Shortcut is just as skilled a pilot as Evandreus. So, why the frak not? New parameters are plugged into the console, searching for a possible entry point that will draw as little attention as possible. Never mind that 'as little attention as possible' is relative.

The activity on passive DRADIS - and there are a *lot* of blips - is mainly clustered around what were Caprica's cities. And Caprica is definitely an urbanized colony, although there are still parts of it that were relatively rural. The Raptor boys could find a hole in one of them.

"Okay," Ulixes says quietly, falling into silence as the Raptor performs a larger holding pattern while Trask plots the course. He leans forward slightly over his console, squinting out the forward window to try and spot something with the naked, sexy eye.

Scanning… scanning… scanning… While DRADIS sweeps for possible back doors to sneak through, Trask is cross-referencing the offered coordinates with a digital atlas of Caprica to find the point-of-entry closest to the region in which both Delphi and Caprica City are situated. "Think I found our off-ramp. Scenic mountain route, no less. How romantic." More number crunching is performed, taking into account altitude levels, distance, and the overall size of the mountain range that is located near Delphi. Reaching into the clear pocket all flightsuits have on the leg, he retrieves a notepad and pen, and starts jotting down rough calculations for a possible jump to Caprica City, as well as a few to GTFO. Adjustments will still need to be made when the actual moment comes, but at least he'll have a general idea of where to begin.

"Coordinates entered. Should bring us close enough to get something from high altitude. With any luck, won't have any magnetic interference. We'll be making a northern approach," the ECO informs. "On my mark." Beat. "Mark. Five… Four… Three… Two… One…"


And jump they do, into a mountain region that surrounds the Delphi metropolitan area on one side. Though they're still a healthy distance from the city itself. Hopefully, the boys have the Raptors cameras recording, because there is a fair bit to be seen with the naked eye, once they jump into the planet's atmosphere.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly for their chances of survival, the Cylons have most certainly not abandoned Caprica. There's actual 'freighter' traffic visible. In the form of… a Cylon basestar. It's in the distance now, headed toward what was (and perhaps still is) the city of Delphi. For there are still signs of habitation in the urban landscape not far away.

The lights, first and foremost, are on in Delphi. City lights, likely from the buildings and streets, lit up as bright and with as much signs of electric 'life' as the place ever showed when humans populated it so many months ago. There's also more signs of buzzing air traffic around Delphi itself. Raiders, would be a logical assumption, though from this distance the naked eye can't tell.

"Looks busy," Ulixes says quietly, looking around once their jump is made and they're almost in the thick of it, "But do you think any of those lights could be survivors?" He gestures in that direction, not taking his eyes off the route in front of him.

Tactical will sure appreciate this picture show. From where he's at, Bootstrap can't actually see the lights or signs of continued civilization. The readings he's getting, though, paint quite the replica. "It's bright as Solstice on this board. Basestar about 20 clicks from Delphi. So, unless they," aka, the survivors, "somehow succeeded in going all Grand Theft Aero, I'm gonna go with 'No'." Facetious as ever, especially in the face of impending doom. "Energy readings from the city read like it's still heavily populated. To state the obvious: this is not normal, even in these frakked-up times."

Knowing that they really don't have the luxury of a stroll through the city, the SL makes a command decision. "Heavy air traffic patterns. Can't confirm IFF but I doubt they're ours. Crunching coordinates for Cap City. Wanna see if this is an anomaly or what. Continue evasive flight patterns. I'll switch to active DRADIS as we near jumptime."

They do not have much time for sight-seeing in this particular location. It only takes about two minutes for the Raptor to be detected. The basestar itself doesn't deviate from its course, but those aerial hornets buzzing around the outskirts of Delphi do. Four break off and close fast toward the Raptor's position. They are quite obviously, as they come closer, Raiders.

"I'm being as evasive as I can," Ulixes answers in response to Trask, tugging heavily on the 'wheel' and causing the Raptor to juke hard to one side. To his credit, Ulixes knows how to push the Raptor hard enough to get the most out of it without completely smashing it to pieces, "But even I can't fly a Raptor between raindrops. I'd really like to get gone soon."

The beauty of that two-minute response time is that two minutes is enough time to plot the jump and spool the FTL drive. Based on past experiences from similar situations, Trask has a good idea as to how long it'll take those unidentified aerocraft to reach the Raptor. When it reaches the post-detection mark in which he's confident they can make a get-away, DRADIS goes active for a more detailed sweep of the metro area.

There's a hell of a lot going on in that metro area. Concentrated heat signatures, definitely biological life, and quite a bit of it. Delphi isn't as populated as it was before the bombs fell, but there's signs of a 'population' numbering in the tens of thousands. If not human, than at least things that read very much like them. And when the DRADIS goes active, it lights up bright red. They're right in the middle of a Cylon hive. Hundreds of Raider and Heavy Raider signatures in the scannable area. In case the Raiders weren't indication enough. Those four Raiders continue to close, by the by, and once the Raptor goes active more are on their way. They've got easily a dozen Cylon signatures arrowing right toward their position.

"Uh, Boots?" Ulixes asks, peering out the window at the incoming bogies, "If we're about to die, I'd like to put it on the record that my last words are: 'For frak's sake, I told you we should've jumped earlier.'" He doesn't take his eyes off the Raiders, plunging the Raptor sidelong into a semi-fall to try and give them a few seconds of extra time in the hopes that the incoming enemies have to adjust their course.

"Seriously? Not, say, 'if we get outta this alive, I am totally gonna suck your cock'? No, of course not, 'cuz then you'd actually have to suck my cock." It's getting hot an sweaty inside that flightsuit, but Trask just rides the adrenaline high. "On my mark. We'll land several clicks further outside city limits than we did here. Mark… Five… Four… Three… Two… One…"


The jump is successful, and it does take them in the general vicinity of Caprica City. Which looks a lot like Delphi. Except multiplied. Thicker signs of 'biological' life. Whatever the Cylons are doing on Caprica, they're making good use of the cities while doing it. Lights even brighter here. And the Cylon presence is even thicker. Raiders and Heavy Raiders blanket the place as if it were the center of rush-hour traffic, and a basestar hovers over the city proper. It doesn't even take two minutes for them to spot the Raptor here. Dozens of enemy signatures converge toward its position as it jumps in.

The cities themselves, the boys might note, are more or less intact. The Cylons haven't so much destroyed Caprica as moved in and set up house.

"I'm all teeth," Ulixes answers smartly as the Raptor makes the Jump, reaching down to grasp the sides of his chair in order to brace himself for the jolt. When they're at their destination, he puts the Raptor in another, urgent and evasive holding pattern while looking up in the direction of the Basestar, "This is like that movie … Colonial Day."

This is why Trask did pre-calc calculations. That'll shave off some time. Really, though, this is Shortcut's show until the FTL has cooled enough that it can respool. Truly, that is a testament to how much the ECO trusts his pilot, and his trust is extremely hard to come by. Going passive is pointless, at this point, so the data dump goes at full-tilt while Ulixes flies the Raptor at full-throttle. "Good thing I wank so much I have calluses. Failing that, we can get you a mouth guard." Ingenuity, yo. Insofar as this being like Colonial Day, "As long as we're Bill Smythe," action hero star of that summer blockbuster, "bring on the boom-boom."

"Welcome to Caprica!" Ulixes calls out at the incoming Raiders in an imitation of a famous line from that movie, pulling out all the stops in terms of his evasive flying. One minute he's there, the next he's over here. He's really giving the poor old Raptor a hell of a shaking to stay out of enemy sights, and the pair inside the craft are doubtlessly feeling it.

In flight, with speed and movement so concentrated, time is counted in seconds. Split ones, if you're at the top of your game. Closer the Raiders come. Twenty right off the bat when the Raptor appears, if Ulixes and Trask terribly want to take the time to count, their guns going hot as they bear down on the Colonial bus. Ulixes' evasive flying keeps them a little ahead of the Cylons at first, and keeps them from getting blown directly out of the sky. But sticking around is probably not wise.

"Here's a souvenir!" Bootstrap chimes in with the rest of the movie quote. Bracing for an abrupt turn, he glibly tacks on, "It's called my pilot is awesome and you guys suck." Nyah-nyah, tincans. "Keep it up, Toby, an' maybe /I'll/ suck /your/ cock when we Arr Tee Bee." As it stands, the clock is still running before spooling can commence.

"Can't you just convince someone else to do it?" Ulixes asks, eyes focused on the 'road' in front of him as he does his best to keep up the evasive maneuvers. All the same, he can't walk between the raindrops forever and things are starting to get hairy, "I mean, you're a nice guy and all but I don't want road-rash on my junk if you haven't shaved." His joking fades away pretty quickly, though, as dodging becomes even more difficult.

Raider fire becomes thicker as more and more of the Cylon craft descend upon the Raider. Ulixes keeps it in the sky, but they're going home bruised. If they go home at all. Another minute or so of this and they will not be, most likely.

"Maybe if you ask Bubbles, nicely, she'll find you a nugget willing to oblige. She's good at that." Sardonically, Trask smirks. Time keeps on tickin' tickin' tickin'. Into the future. "Spooling." Meanwhile, the Raptor takes a few hits that haven't proven to be incapacitating. "On my mark," is relayed via gritted, bracing for another battery of near-misses and dents into the air tank's armor. "Mark… Five… Four… Three… Two… One…"


"I'm gonna remember that," Ulixes answers, putting practically everything into keeping the Raptor in one piece as the FTL drive takes it's sweet time getting ready. This is some of the fanciest flying of his career, and it's kind of amazing how well one can fly when you know that if you're shot down nobody will ever be coming to find you on the off chance that you survive. They'll just assume you're dead. As the countdown nears the end, he swallows hard and decides to bust out some real last words, "South Sthenoi Crocodiles rule!"

Touchdown! No. Scratch that. This is a Grand Slam. A lesser pilot would've been blasted to bits, but Shortcut's hot shit, which is why Bootstrap drafted him for the escapade. As the Raptor punches through atmo at a pastoral point different from that of their entry, the ECO lets out a whooping laugh of adrenaline, holyfrakwedidnotdie, and giddiness over snatching priceless intel from the maws of death. "And /that's/ why we'll always be Cavaliers." Death-defying crazy? VAQ-136 patented that, yo, and is now leasing the rights to the VAQ-141. "Switching to passive and prepping a swallow." Just in case. "I'm gonna see how bad we've been bashed."

"I definitely deserve that victory blowjob," Ulixes answers, still concentrating on his flying for the time being despite being more or less out of the woods, "Inform the brass that I will take that in lieu of any citations or adulation."

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