PHD #370: EVENT - Swarm XII: Night of the Living Swarm
Swarm XII: Night of the Living Swarm
Summary: The Raiders have not lost their teeth, even in the gas giant clouds.
Date: 03 March 2042
Related Logs: Swarm logs in general.
Cidra Khloe Trask Pallas McQueen Leyla Evandreus Marko Solstice Roland Malone Devlin Kaitlyn Galen Shiner 
The final frontier. Swarming
Post-Holocaust Day: #370

[Harrier-651: Cidra] The CAP had been quiet for an hour. But then, most CAPs have started off quietly. Audumbla has dampened the length of the Swarms, but for the past days it has not stopped them. Perhaps Cidra felt the area gave her enough cover to resume proper Nugget training. Or perhaps she wants Shiner to get a taste of combat. Or she's trying to get him killed. Either way, the Nugget is actually flying, in her co-pilot's seat, as she navigates the beautiful but pain-in-the-ass to fly in radiation haze that is this area of space. It had been a quiet CAP for him. And then, suddenly, it gets no-so-quiet anymore.

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. Just got a visual, two Raiders have jumped within range. Launch Alert fighters. CAP, move to engage."

[Harrier-651: Trask] Lucky Shiner. Not only does he get to co-pilot (in theory) for the CAG, he also has the hardass who's most likely going to be his future SL manning the ECO console. Even better, he's getting a front row seat to the upcoming Grudge Match between the BSG-132 and the Triple-Hash Raiders. "Copy, Toast. Seeing if I can get some kind of lock."

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Crusing along, Poppy's Viper slips in and out of the illuminated clouds that make up the Audumbla Anchorage's perimeter. If not for these radiation-letting gases making up the gas giant's upper atmosphere, the fleet would likely be still getting pounded with withering swarms. Now, fortunately, the tide has turned, with the advantage going to the fleshy.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Toast, Poppy. DRADIS confirms two contacts. Intercepting."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Flight, this is Poppy. You know the drill, they are slow and stupid. Cockpits and engines. Cover your wingman and support the Raptors at all times. Let's get to work."

[Harrier-303: Solstice] As the DRADIS lights up, she mutters beneath her own breath, "Its okay Bunny, keep us moving and I got us covered." she says. Shakes is then redefining the suite, updating the frequencies to the faint fuzz that has stayed upon the screens there entire route.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Toast, Bunny, I'm coming around seventy four carom eight on your flank. Suites outgoing."

[BlackKnight-309: Roland] Blue keeps his Viper tucked in close to the SL's bird. He leans on the throttle as Poppy speeds up to intercept the Raiders.

[Harrier-651: Shiner] Shiner is copiloting very carefully indeed, by which I mean he's not touching anything, sitting on his hands and shutting up for once, before he gets in shite for interfering. He is the nodding dog on the dashboard, but when the call goes out that there are Raiders, he squints through the windscreen, nose wrinkling, to try to spot them.

[Petrel-649: Pallas] Contact. It's no longer a surprise, and Pallas has gotten used to the routine of the Swarm showing up. He flies his Viper Mark II straight toward the oncoming bandits, hooks one on his tail, and starts drawing it out for his wingman to engage. Gotta break the new guy in so he can get some kills to his name.

[TAC3] "Spiral" Pallas says, "Nugget, Spiral. Keep your eyes sharp and stay on my frakking tail. Take this bandit down to warm up, then we're gonna do some real hunting."

[BlackKnight-308: Galen] The crackling over his commlink puts a feeling in Galen's stomach. Contact. That means combat. That means, if all goes well, he'll be back on the ship with a few kills to his name. At worst that means he'll be corkscrewing into an asteroid somewhere while on fire. Let's not think of the bad things, though. He hits his thrusters and moves with Pallas, keeping steady. Watching the dark for tell-tale points of light.

[TAC3] "None" Galen says, "I read, Spiral. On your tail, ready to roll."

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Well, shit, Sweet Pea…Here we go again." Marko says, cinching his harness tight as he starts bringing Bertha's systems to life. "We're good to launch on my end, just say the word."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] "Steady as she goes, Wright. I have done this before," Cidra says to Shiner. Perhaps she means it to be encouraging, though lately those in the Wing have done this *far* more than any of them would like. "I have got one on my tail. Initiating evasive maneuvers. Do hang on back there, Boots. I shall keep us in good rhythm with Bunny as best I can."

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "I had just started that book too." Cue the dramatic sigh, as Sweet Pea's hands get to moving, bringing the raptor from the semi-powered up status it sits on alter to full power, "We'll be good to launch as soon as we get the okay from the flight officer."

[Harrier-651: Shiner] "Whore eating son of a shitwhippet," Shiner breathes, looking back over his shoulder. This is somewhat ineffective for seeking out the Raider on their tail, but perhaps he's considering redecorating the inside of the Raptor. WHO KNOWS. "Uh. Sir? Isn't it kind of /bad/ to have them on our tail? I mean, just saying. I'm sure you know what you're doing and everything, but y'know… pew pew pew, explodey death?"

[Harrier-651: Trask] "No worries, Toast. My swelled sense of importance is just large enough to keep me from being all that jostled without hindering the use of my hands," is the easy reply. He was going to quip to Shiner something along the lines of 'try not to vomit in your helmet' but refrains from doing so.

[Harrier-651: Trask] But then the Nugget actually opens his mouth and Trask is simply unable to refrain from cracking, "Even though we can't smell it, Wright, please refrain from shitting in your pants. It's just courteous to the deckhands."

<COMBAT> Mcqueen passes.
<COMBAT> Marko passes.
<COMBAT> Malone passes.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Shiner passes.
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Cidra with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Pallas with KEW - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Pallas - Light wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Pallas - Moderate wound to Left Foot.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Pallas - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Evandreus passes.
<COMBAT> Leyla passes.
<COMBAT> Khloe attacks Raider2 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider2 - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider2 - Critical wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Kaitlyn passes.
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Cidra has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Pallas has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Petrel-649 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Pallas has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!

[Harrier-651: Shiner] "Deckhands expect nothing but shit from pilots, though, sir," Shiner points out wryly, switching his attention to the DRADIS readout now. "Whoa! That's not good," he adds, a flash of EXPLODEYNESS brightening the windscreen.

[BlackKnight-855: Devlin] Devlin is on alert status again when this latest iteration of the swarm arrives. When the call comes in he double-checks his system and launches along with all the rest, engines burning brightly as he speeds in towards the site of the attack.

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Flight, Decoy. Launched and inbound. Queenie, I'm on your wing, engagin—whoa, Spiral! You alright in there, man?"

[TAC3] "Freshmeat" Kaitlyn says, "Flight, Meat. Support coming in, Splash and I are inbound and ready to send them packing."

[BlackKnight-1117: McQueen] It's almost become as routine as CAP shifts, as McQueen calmly punches through the pre-flight launch and, like so many other glinting metallic streaks that comprise the Cerberus Viper cover, his ship hurtles out of the tube, the defiant blue flare of his bird's engines almost lost in the sea of color in the engagement outside. Forming up at an angle with Decoy's ship, he plunges ahead straight in formation, before kicking up the throttle and wildly pulling left.

[Harrier-303: Solstice]
As the screen shifts and fuzzes over a moment, Shakes compensates to clear the noise and running a equalizer through the mess. As she clears and gets a relative ping back, her screen lights up and she stops…breathes in and out. "Bunny.." She starts. "Multiple contacts in coming and fast. We have a lot of company." She intones and instead of saying so over com concentrates on keying up new suites for the flying frakkers.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "Why can't it ever be easy? No, I have to get Bertha all scratched up just after she got her new paintjob. I hate you, Spiral, I hate you with a passion you can only dream of." Not that that stops Sweet Pea from piloting the alert status and now launched raptor over in the direction of the heavily hit viper, nor curtail the rather fond tone of her voice.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) To the trained eye of an ECO, Pallas' near-splashing is a mini-tsunami. "Spiral, Bootstrap. Sing out. That looked ugly." A pause. "Flight, more contacts. A LOT more. Harriers, do what you can. Over."

[Into the Wireless] To the trained eye of an ECO, Pallas' near-splashing is a mini-tsunami. "Spiral, Bootstrap. Sing out. That looked ugly." A pause. "Flight, more contacts. A LOT more. Harriers, do what you can. Over."

[BlackKnight-308: Galen] Seeing Spiral get hit spurs Galen to action. Urging the viper to full throttle, he fires at the raider who just shot the cap out of his wing man.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen starts, "Decoy, Queenie, Yeh, I see 'em, OHO, they see me —" He then too breaks off. "Spiral, you in that mess? Spiral? Decoy, stay square with me on the initial approach. I think they want to gang up on us."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Flight, Poppy. More DRADIS contacts. Pick up your visual scanning and do not rely on your instruments in this soup. Bunny, Poppy. Blue and I are on our way, keep dodging. You copy, Blue?"

[TAC3] "Blue" Roland says, " Poppy.. Blue.. Roger that. I'm your starboard… A little low.. Lets go to work."

[Petrel-649: Pallas] Away Pallas goes, stringing the Raider along on a mad spiraling course. His wingman's shots go wide all over the place, not a single one of them even so much as scratching the bandit from what he can see. After a while, he gets frustrated and decides to pull the old flip-and-fire for a quick burst… but the Raider beats him to the punch. That old Mark II takes a serious beating, and it ain't pretty. There's flashes, then fire, then - before there's any response on the wireless from Spiral - BOOM. Bye bye Viper. Luckily, he's managed to eject in time.

[BlackKnight-1118: Malone] Having gone through all the pre-flight stuff and the launching as quick as possible, Malone's Viper spins to the side after clearing the tube, before he forms up with his partner for this little excursion into local space. Heading for the target now, preparing to give the selected Raider a face full of death.

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Sweet Pea, we've got Raider soup out here." Marko cautions her from his station, frantically setting his ECM suites to active. "Whole lot of Cylons, Artemis' cunny, don't they have anything better to do?" he grouses. "I'm gonna get the cables ready." he adds.

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra manages to avoid getting her Harrier singed by Raider fire, though she continues to fly tight even after she's shaken her tail. "I shall try to live above your expectations, Wright," she replies to Shiner wryly. Though her dryness fades as she sees the flash of fire from the area of Pallas' Viper. And as one Raider fell, indeed, more and more are appearing. The Swarm gathers, and even gimped by the radiation it can still hit.

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Spiral? Toast. Do you copy?"

[Harrier-303: Evandreus] Evan rolls on up to formation with Toast as per his announcement over comms, then, when she goes into evasives, he tracks her and runs a permutation of her course, keeping in loose formation with distance enough for her to be able to run it as she needs it. His eyes intent on the console and the signals being sent up from the backseat, he only glances up briefly to peep through the fore viewport, the anti-rads or the sight of a viper getting hit hard making his stomach turn. "It's okay, Sticks. Just keep sending the suites up. Remember that air is your friend." Eyes are drawn back to space by a flash of something bright. "Adonis' bloody thigh…" he whispers.

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Bunny, Toast, can you get a bead on Spiral's transponder? SAR shall be required."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Toast, Poppy, confirm Spiral ejecting. Frak that was a hard hit."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Toast, Bunny, we're on it."

<FS3> Evandreus rolls Raptors: Success.

[Harrier-651: Trask] That's what the lady said, Leyla. Trask, however, does not quip that. Have it entered into the formal record. Instead, he relays something else over the comms.

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Copy that, Spiral. Well, most of it. Dispatching SAR."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Sweet Pea, Toast. Affirmative, Bunny should be closer to Spiral's position and is en route."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "And I shall appreciate all additional coverage. It is getting thick out here."

[Harrier-303: Evandreus] "See if you can get his coordinates, Shakes," Bunny calls back to the backseat, "I'll head in to see if I can get a visual," he tells her, even as he's half-done doing so. It's slow going, the Raptor moving at a crawl so as not to pass the floating pilot too quickly or— y'know— accidentally hit him. It's evidently enough to draw some attention from the Swarm. "Think I see him."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Toast, Bunny, we see him. On our way."

<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Mcqueen with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Roland attacks Raider4 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Galen with KEW - Serious wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Mcqueen with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Mcqueen - Moderate wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Pallas passes.
<COMBAT> Leyla passes.
<COMBAT> Kaitlyn attacks Raider6 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Galen attacks Raider1 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Evandreus passes.
<COMBAT> Devlin attacks Raider1 with KEW - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider5 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider6 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Evandreus with KEW - Light wound to ECM.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider1 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider5 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider6 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider6 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider6 - Light wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider5 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider6 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Shiner passes.
<COMBAT> Khloe attacks Raider4 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Kaitlyn with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider-1640g has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider4 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-5248o has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider6 has been KO'd!

[Harrier-303: Solstice]
"Working on it, Bunny." She again starts to clear up the readout, narrowing her gaze as she releases her suites first at the raiders. "Got him..hard to port." She intones and then as they swing about for Pallas, the Raptor is struck and her console lights up a moment with a jolt. There is a soft cry from Shakes as she jerks back a bit to try to keep from getting the brunt of it. Rolling off the shocks, she winces a little and moves back to try to keep the DRADIS clear to extract Spiral.

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Poppy, Bootstrap. Remember what you said about them not improving…?" That no longer seems the case, does it?

[BlackKnight-662: Kaitlyn] With KEW almost immediately rattling against her Viper, giving it a good enough jolt to knock her shot off course, Kaitlyn winces. "Man, Frak that," she mutters, wheeling back around to catch another in her sights.

[TAC3] "Freshmeat" Kaitlyn says, "They definitely are not fraking around this time, no."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Audumbla may be driving the Raiders to retreat these past days, but they're getting in some hard hits while they're here. The Swarm is now fully engaged with the Fleet, pressing the Colonial planes on all sides.

[BlackKnight-308: Galen] Crap crap crap. Galen was concentrating on the target in front of him and not what's around him. The shot hits one of his control servos, knocking his viper a bit off kilter, making it a little harder to steer and knocking his shot off course, but thankfully the armor took a decent bit of the punishment. He slams on the retro-rockets to bring his forward momentum to a near standstill, locking on to raider 6 and firing.

[BlackKnight-1117: McQueen] KEW flying indeed. There's an exchange of fire as the fighters from the two sides dodge and weave. Queenie's guns go wide but the same can not be said for one of his opponents, whose burst of gunfire bites into his Viper's armor. Sparks fly inside the cockpit and the ship bucks wildly but then rights itself moments later. It's still holding.

[TAC3] (from "Queenie" McQueen) There's a great deal of static across the Wireless. "Arrrgh…FRAK ME YOU GAPING ARSEHOLE.. Decoy, Queenie. Beginning to think these bastards have it in for me. I wonder why.. I'm still here. Need" …. "Cover."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Yeah, so much for happy thoughts. Frak you and your coffee, Boots." Whatever that means. "Flight, Poppy. Duck and weave. Use your agility. A few lucky shots won't get us down."

[Harrier-307: Marko] "And, just like clockwork.." Marko notes as the reinforcements jump in. "Any word from Cerberus about a jump?" he asks, keying his radio.

[TAC3] "Freshmeat" Kaitlyn says, "Splash, Meat, you've got one on you're. Coming around to cover you!"

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Blue, Poppy. Get that frakker off my six, I'm going to help Queenie."

[TAC3] "Flasher" Marko says, "Flight, Flasher, two new DRADIS contacts incoming at two two four carom one zero niner. Speed 6, Range 4."

[TAC3] "Blue" Roland says, " Poppy…. Blue I'm on him.. Break right!… he's firing.."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Toast, Flasher. Understood. I think I have a visual on them. It is clear as mud out here. Cerberus, ETA on FTL?"

[TAC3] Hydra says, "Flight, Cerberus. FTLs are spooling. We'll be jump ready in two minutes."

[Harrier-303: Evandreus] "Venting the cabin… guh!" Bunny grunts as his boat's hit, gripping the console anxiously. "We're going to have to expedite decompression," he calls back, then adds in a lower mutter, "Can't just sit here." And so the boat sinks port and south of carom, the half-vented cabin venting the rest of the way as he opens the cabin hatch, hovering low like a frog eying a hovering insect before Evn sends the ship into a wide-spiralling barrelroll, scooping Spiral gently into the cabin and then descending slowly, upside-down, letting him settle against the floor of the Raptor while Evan closes up the doors and repressurizes the cabin.

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Meat, Splash. Thanks. Working on getting the one following you turned into fireworks."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Queenie, Decoy. Seems like they do, you okay? And yeah, I'm covering. Still got that first one in my sights, hopefully this time I'll actually hit it."

[TAC3] "None" Galen says, "Hitting my brakes to take the big new one."

[Harrier-303: Solstice]
With the Raptor depressurizing, Shakes makes sure she's strapped in tight and continues to collect the readouts for a more accurate suite. Sitting ducks at the moment, she watches as Bunny works his magic and Pallas is scooped inside. The whole ordeal has her turned about a moment, but the ECO compensates. As the cabin begins to gather compression once more, she casts a look over her shoulder towards Spiral. "Spiral, it's Shakes." She says, "We came to save your ass."

[Harrier-307: Leyla] Sweet Pea moves in, leaving communications to Flasher, as she steps in to replace Bunny on Cidra's wing, as it were. She's yet to step down to evasive maneuvers, however. Better they target her than Bunny. She, at least, hasn't taken a hit yet.

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask quips back, "I warned you about the cooties, Poppy." As for the FTL. "Wait— WHAT?" Blink-blink. "We're not jumping out of the system just 'cuz we've taken a few hits?" His tone is somewhere between incredulous and mortified.

[TAC3] (from "Bunny" Evandreus) "Toast, Bunny, we've got him, we're RTB RFN." No direct report on the man's status, but the deliberateness with which he reports his haste to return to the nest probably says enough.

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Boots, Toast, keep the comms clear of confusing chatter. We shall see if the enemy retreats before we must. Bunny, thank all gods. Any report on his condition?"

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Bunny, Bootstrap. Copy that. We'll do what we can to cover your cotton-tail."

[Into the Wireless] Trask says, "Bunny, Bootstrap. Copy that. We'll do what we can to cover your cotton-tail."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Deck, Bunny, reporting Harrier-303 scrambling RTB with SAR. We're going to need medical."

[Harrier-651: Trask] OFF the comms, he then adds a bit sourly, "The only confusing part about it is that someone would actually consider leaving the cloud." HAI, SHINER. YOU ARE SO NOT HERE.

[Petrel-649: Pallas] They could have scooped Pallas up using pillows and let him down gently onto the softest bed in the world, he'd still be going through hell. It looks like his cockpit pretty much exploded on him before he ejected; there are burns all over him and a piece of shrapnel embedded through his left hand. His chest area doesn't look pretty either, and he was definitely venting oxygen from there. Good thing the Raptor got to him quickly. He's not outright screaming, but he's writhing in pain and something like constant mumbling and groaning can be heard through his helmet. At least he's conscious.

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra slots her Harrier into flying as smoothly parallel with Leyla's as she can. She's also keeping in evasives, so she matches Sweet Pea's bus in as much aerobatics as a bulky Raptor allows. Which isn't so pretty as a Viper, but it gets the job done. "Hanging on, Wright?" she asks the Nugget simply. Again, not taking her eyes off the spacial 'road.'

[BlackKnight-1118: Malone] Nodding a bit as he sees the Raider he was targetting going up in fire, Malone turns his attention to the Raider that was attacking Kaitlyn. Switching to a bit more defensive approach since he's got someone trying to follow him, though.

[Harrier-651: Shiner] "Yo," Shiner responds simply, wiping his nose briefly. "Sweet," he adds, watching Bunny's manoeuvres. "What's the big deal with jumping, sir? Surely not getting shot's a good thing, no?"

[BlackKnight-855: Devlin] Devlin follows Queenie's strategy but his shots are wide, which draws a muttered curse inside the cockpit. He checks his instruments, slaps one of the displays that's not showing anything at all helpful just now, and then peers out his canopy again. Still keeping a lock on one of the Raiders who've picked up McQueen's scent, he wheels around to take another pass.

[Harrier-651: Cidra] "We are perfectly capable of micro-jumping within the Audumbla system, Boots, which so far as I am aware continues to be the plan," Cidra retorts to Trask. Again, attention firmly fixed on flying. "Whether we leave this position by sublight or hyper, we cannot linger at these coordinates."

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Is Shiner flying with Cid tonight?" Marko asks as he keeps going through his ECM suites, trying to find the optimum balance of white noise to signal scattering. "I only caught a glance at the Flight board when we were briefed." he notes, adjusting one of the high-gain knobs by a fraction of an inch.

[TAC3] (from "Bunny" Evandreus) "I'd say he's had better days, but I can't tell much from up here. Shakes is looking after him, and medical's been called to deck. If they're not already there," Bunny replies as he high-tails it home.

<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider5 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider7 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider78 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider5 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Leyla passes.
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider5 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider7 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider78 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Mcqueen with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Mcqueen with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Pallas passes.
<COMBAT> Khloe attacks Raider1 with KEW - Serious wound to Engine.
<COMBAT> Kaitlyn attacks Raider7 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Galen attacks Raider78 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Shiner passes.
<COMBAT> Roland attacks Raider78 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider78 - Moderate wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Malone with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Kaitlyn with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider1 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Evandreus passes.
<COMBAT> Devlin attacks Raider1 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider1 - Light wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider1 - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider7 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider78 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Raider78 attacks Khloe with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.

<COMBAT> Raider1 has been KO'd!

[Harrier-651: Cidra] The longer the Raiders fly in Audumbla, the rougher it gets for them. They're rapidly getting mowed under by Viper fire, though this time they're giving some of their own casualties back for good measure. But it isn't only KEWs that are blowing the Raiders away now. In a flash some disappear, FTLs taking them out of the haze. The Swarm is retreating again. Though it's not quite gone yet. A few stragglers continue to engage the Colonials.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "I believe so, sitting co-pilot seat, which is going to be a hell of a thing, if they need to eject, because they're a man heavy on a ship with only two seats for ejection." Leyla isn't going to comment on the fact that poor raptor nugget might get left behind. "They're learning to fly better in this, just like we are, Flasher." The raider she means.

[Harrier-651: Trask] "The big deal, Wright," Trask explains somewhat sardonically, "about jumping out of the system is that we'll lose what little cover we've had to prevent these latest attacks from being a slaughter. And the big deal about jumping within the system is that even ExLORAD having difficulty piercing the interference, which means we are at increased risk of accidentally jumping into a gas giant." And considering the SL nearly drifted into one when Morgenfield murdered his pilot nearly 8 months ago, he has a point.

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Yeah, I've noticed." Marko replies, wincing a little. "The more practice they get, the more efficient they become." he notes. "Interesting. 'Cause we're vaping them by the dozens out here." he says, still working his panel. "Tell you what, this background rad's making it a pain in the ass to run suppression suites."

[TAC3] (from "Queenie" McQueen) More crackling. "…See, 'Swhat I'm talkin' bout Decoy! Yeh! See a few more round the way, Two-Three by Seven-one Carom — oh shite, he's right there. Wait. //Whaaat? Uh, cover me while try to secure this panel, would you?"

[Harrier-651: Shiner] "Oh, right you are," Shiner responds, almost cheerfully. "Jumping into a gas giant… I'm assuming that's not a euphemism, huh?"

[BlackKnight-308: Galen] Kew shot goes wide, Galen cursing to himself as another pair engages the raider he was fighting with. Ther's still one that's looking fairly okay…let's make him not okay.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Raptors, Poppy. Confirm targets beginning to jump out. Flight, mop up what's left, and get ready to RTB."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Queenie, Decoy. How's it looking in there? Looks like your popularity's worn off for a minute, but I'll keep the cover going."

[BlackKnight-1117: McQueen] And with that, McQueen's Viper breaks off, moments after the Raiders disappear. He doesn't flee the scene yet.

[Harrier-651: Trask] "That it's not, Nugget," is the dry reply. "Toast, looks like they're starting to retreat. Still have a few stragglers, though."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen belatedly adds another choice note. "Poppy, Queenie. This is a beer I owe you. Shitty Canceron beer. But beer all the same."

<COMBAT> Mcqueen will attack Raider7 this turn.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "I don't drink, Queenie. Enjoy it yourself. Splash, Poppy. Covering your six. Blue, finish off that wounded one."

[BlackKnight-1118: Malone] Spinning around a bit as he works on avoiding the incoming fire, Malone's own shots misses the target. Blinking a bit as the Raiders start to disappear, and turns towards the one that was shooting towards him. "Frak off…" he growls, going in at full aggressiveness now.

[TAC3] "Blue" Roland says, "tac3 Poppy.. Blue.. He's hurt but he's still moving. I'm on it."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "Oh fine, Sir. Don't mind if I do. Listen, scratch my previous, Decoy. Think I'm okay."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] "It is not, and Bootstrap is over-dramatizing, our CIC plotters are more than capable plotting us clear of it at short ranges like this," Cidra replies to Shiner. "But if you presumed we were leaving the system, Boots, we are not. This is the only spot that gives us any sort of cover, though we cannot linger here forever. And so it does." The last to Trask, with a nod, as to their immediate situation. "Not near soon enough for my liking." She arcs her Raptor to keep it in 'form' with Leyla's, flying rather easy beside Sweet Pea.

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] In true Poppy fashion, she barges and barrels around the battlefield, taking care of her Knights. She shepherds those that are in danger and charges into battle with sword drawn along side her squadmates. Like her edgy personality, she does not take any shite from these toasters.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] You've heard the rumours about the cylons being able to share thoughts, resurrect and download their programming into new bodies. These are cylons, aren't they? What if they can do the same thing? They throw themselves at us, gather what intel they can on how we fly and how our ships maneuver, then when they die, they pop back up already knowing about us. And about this place.

[Harrier-651: Shiner] "So, uh… how many of them are there?" Shiner queries, as Raiders begin to disappear. "And where do they go? I mean, like, are they likely to go jumping into gas giants, too? Can we convince them to? Because that'd be pretty frakking awesome, right?"

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Aw, FRAK! Why didn't I think of that!" Marko replies, swearing under his voice. "That explains all of it. That's why they can rely on these kind of near-suicidal swarm tactics. As long as they've got Raiders to download into, they can keep getting shot up all they want. They'll just keep getting better." he says, then sighs. "That is not the most pleasant thing I've heard this week, you know."

[Harrier-651: Trask] "More than we want," is Kal's quip to Shiner. "And odds are they jump outta the system to regroup. It's been hard to determine with all the haze," suddenly shifting tacks to address the CAG, "but we should try getting a closer look to see if they are returning damaged or repaired."

[Harrier-307: Leyla] Leyla continues moving with Cidra, flying rather well with Toast, their styles, while not entirely similar, Cidra seeming more fluid, while Leyla's a bit more of a jackrabbit, they are complementary enough that it works, at least for the time being. "I am most decidedly not a virgin." That's more pleasant, isn't it?

[Harrier-307: Marko] "Eh, no offense meant, Sweet Pea, but I already kind of surmised as much." Marko chuckles softly.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] "Fine, see if I share anything with you ever again, Flasher.

<COMBAT> Raider78 attacks Khloe with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider7 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Marko suppresses Raider78 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Khloe attacks Raider7 with KEW - Serious wound to Engine.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider7 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Trask suppresses Raider78 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Roland attacks Raider78 with KEW - Serious wound to Controls.
<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Malone with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider7 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider7 with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider7 - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Shiner passes.
<COMBAT> Pallas passes.
<COMBAT> Leyla passes.
<COMBAT> Galen attacks Raider7 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Evandreus attempts to treat Pallas but Pallas has no treatable wounds.
<COMBAT> Devlin attacks Raider7 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider7 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Solstice suppresses Raider78 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Kaitlyn attacks Raider78 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Raider-7152f has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider7 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-7856j has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider78 has been KO'd!

[TAC3] "Blue" Roland says, "tac3 Poppy …. Blue.. Your six is clear."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] The Raiders are gone, one way or another. Either in a blaze of Viper fire or by the speed of their own jump engines, but they've either retreated or been ended on the space field. DRADIS shows a whole lot of nothing for enemy contacts.

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Flight, Toast, RTB. Cerberus be advised, have medics en route to hangar deck."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "You heard the lady. Everyone home."

[TAC3] "None" Galen says, "Returning to base."

[Harrier-651: Cidra] Cidra looks over at Shiner as she drives her Raptor home. Just looks. She knows the way home, and guides it in gladly.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] Sweet Pea gives a decided sniff, as she hears the call to RTB and turns the raptor back to head back to the Cerberus. Stupid Flasher.

[BlackKnight-1118: Malone] Adding his own fire to that fire that's taking out one of the Raiders, Malone turns to head back to the base with the others. Glancing around every once in a while, before he comes in for the landing.

[From Harrier-303:]
Telling Pallas not to do something is sort of like telling a toddler not to do something. He grits his teeth hard and tries to curl in his fingers. Oh, he can feel that. His body spasms in pain, which causes a chain reaction of more pain since he's injured all over. "Ngggaaaaah!" he roars in helpless rage. His breaths are starting to get shallower and faster.

[From Harrier-303:]
Evandreus knows the aid kits forward and backward, having packed and checked his fair share of them in his time volunteering with medical. And he does what he can to talk Solstice through the application of basic care— starting with something for the pain. Soon enough they're on deck, though, and Evan doesn't even take the time to open the hatch the normal way, slow as that can be. He releases the emergency hatch and crawls back out of the cockpit, shoving it open with a shoulder and jumping out onto the deck, fingers working to unfasten his helmet.

Khloe clambers out of her Viper quickly, hopping down the ladder, leaving confused deckies waiting for her signature-on-clipboard. "Sitrep!" She calls out, heading over towards the Raptors - what she thinks is Bunny's, anyway. "I need an update on Spiral," she calls out, helmet under her arm. She casts a concerned glance towards where medics are tending to Queenie, but doesn't rush over there just yet. Queenie didn't instantly eject.

The Medical teams and damage control knuckledraggers have swarmed themselves as the birds come in. Some in worse repair than others. They'll attend to the wounds - both mechanical and physical - as they need be attended.

Evandreus comes jumping down from Harrier-303 in the wake of the emergency hatch getting shoved open from inside. Anxious fingers get frustrated by the latches keeping his helmet in place, but, once he finally gets the thing undone, he comes up for air, red-cheeked, wheezing a little, "We need medical in here. Now." And there they come.

Roland slowly climbs out of his Viper, and takes off his helmet. He runs a hand through his hair, and lets out a low whistle. Absetntly he signs the clipboard, and slowly walks around the Viper, checking it.

Unlike what's been the norm lately, Malone lands his Viper quite easily, and more importantly, unharmed. Waiting for a few moments as he removes his helmet, while watching the happenings from his cockpit for a few moments longer.

"And that was your first combat flight, Wright," Cidra says to Shiner as she disembarks the Raptor. Not that she lingers much over him, as he's made it back in one piece. "Boots, if you could handle the post-flight, please?" She presumes he'll be good for it, going to get an update on her wounded from one of those medics who isn't wrist-deep in tending them.

"Mmmph. I don't think they like me. Can't blame 'em, really. What am I to them, yeh?" McQueen mumbles a bit before he flashes a slightly woozy grin at the crewman and starts to reach for the ladder.

Shiner gives a double thumbs up. "We're not dead. Result."

Galen signs the offered clipboard with a quick scrawl - basically his initials with a swirl for the end of his name, and gets out of the way. The adrenaline is pumping still, his hands kind of shaking. He was pretty useless out there - basically acting as a target for the rest of the raiders while the more skilled pilots did their jobs. Someone is going to be spending time in the simulators to get better. He reaches into the inner pocket of his flight suit and pulls out a wooden pipe, clenching it between his teeth. He might eenlight it wiht what's left of his tiny store of tobacco because, god he needs to calm down.

[From Harrier-307:]
"Hey, that's a good thing, then." Marko smiles as they touch down, light as a feather. "Glad to hear you've got someone like that in your life." he says cheerfully. "It makes all the difference, believe me." he says knowingly. "Say, I been meaning to ask you about this, but we haven't had a lot of opportunities to talk. Me and Lunair wanted to invite you for a picnic on the Elpis, soon as possible. If you wanna bring Mark along, that'd be great."

Still kneeling next to Pallas, Shakes is trying to get him to obey simple commands like 'STOP MOVING' - its not quite working. Can't teach an old dog new tricks. With Bunny's aid, she has dressed what she could, and its not a pretty sight. "Sorry for ..not doing so hot with the med kit." She intones and wets her lips, trying to keep her own pulse at a reasonable rate. "Medical is on their way, Buns is making sure of it." She says warmly. The ECO's helmet is off and so is Pallas' easier to see what she was doing.

Evandreus's eyes settle on Khloe, "He's hurting pretty bad. Burns and a chest wound," he recounts the worst of it. Or at least what looked like the worst of it, from his having passed by on his way to the hatch. They're distracted away once more as the medics board 303, hefting up a board they can carry the fellow down on if they need to. And they'll probably need to.

The medics are indeed on their way. A pair of them motion for a clear door into the Raptor, giving Evandreus a quick thanks as they carry Pallas out. And carry him out they will. This one's going straight to Sickbay.

[From Harrier-307:]

"I'll ask him. I know he's been pretty busy lately." But then who hasn't. "But I imagine as soon as we're off Condition Two and can actually leave the ship, he'll be off to Pete's like someone lit him on fire." Leyla's settled into her post flight, working her way through as quickly as she can, before she'll step out of the raptor.

Pallas, for his part, is being very non-cooperative with Solstice and Evandreus, which is probably not particularly wise considering they're trying to help him. He's got burns all over, his face is bruised and bleeding, there's a piece of shrapnel embedded through his left hand, his left foot is at an unnatural angle, and his breathing is getting continually shallower and faster. But he's conscious for now. Writhing, moaning, and conscious.

"He's kicking like a mule," Khloe observes as Evan relays Pallas' status. "Tough old bastard," she murmurs. "Right, let the medics clear him out of here. I'll check up on him when we get a replacement CAP out there." She gives Bunny an uncharacteristic pat on the shoulder. "Thanks for reeling him in, Bunny." And with that, the Knights SL heads over to where Queenie's Viper has come to rest. Disapproving frown. "Queenie, sit still. You've bleeding from the head. Looks like you've got a sizable cut, too. Sit. Wait for medics."

"Pick up the slack for your lazy ass?" Trask ribs, "For you, Toast: sure." As for himself, he's already started his post-flight. "Later, Wright," is tacked on as an afterthought.

Malone finally gets to his feet, stepping onto the ladder and down from there, shaking his head a little bit as he looks around. Pausing on the lowest step of the ladder, humming a little to himself.

"Eyyyy. Relax. I won't go anywhere til they haul the shitecart out, will that make you feel better?" McQueen continues to banter with his long-suffering crewman, and right as Khloe approaches, or rather, he /registers/ her approach, he grins a crooked grin and shoots her a salute. "Relax, sir. Like I told Banks, here — I'll wait like I'm supposed to, yeh? Somebody better take a look at that nav panel. Those things hit like a 15 year-old girl in a South Newport remedial school."

McQueen amends, hastily, "What I mean is, the other girls they're hittin' are usually three years younger, you know?" He seems a little woozy but otherwise in one piece. Minus the blood and gouges.

Galen approaches the wounded Pallas, loking to the bedics, looking down at the man who he was supposed to be taking care of.. "Sorry, man…"

[From Harrier-307:]
Marko nodders as he goes through his own post-flight as speedily as efficiency will allow. "Nice." he smiles. "I'll see if I can't sweet talk Lunair into making a pie." he smiles. "It'll probably be the best part of the meal." he chuckles. "Wait…that's not right…" he says, frowning at an amber light on his panel and flicking the switch it's associated with repeatedly. Finally, he just gets tired of it and thumps the thing, and voila! It instantly turns back to green. Bertha's sound mechanically and electrically, but you can only patch a bird so many times before she starts having a personality and mind of her own.

[From Harrier-307:]
"She doesn't like being hit, Marko. Nest time she'll blow a panel on you." Yes, Bertha does have a personality of her own. And she doesn't even have advanced programming, "I'm set, let's go see if they need us back on the CAP."

Khloe shakes her head. "I have no idea what you're talking about, Queenie. I barely got through primary schooling, myself, before my GED, and the academy," she offers. In typical Poppy fashion, she suggests that she has a sense of humor, but says it in a deadpan, dry fashion sans smile or smirk. "Get something to eat and some rest, once the medics sew you back up."

"Seems like it worked to me." Marko shrugs a little. "Probably a connector just worked loose." he adds, looking around for any sign of Spiral.

"If anyone asks, Sir, I'll say I saw your Doctorate." Another salute on McQueen's part and he just falls silent, waiting for the sawbones. "Wonder if I can go make the Areion's on-loan doctor feel all kinds of uncomfortable."

"How are the stars tonight, Queenie," is Cidra's question to McQueen as she approaches him, after quick consultation with the medics. Giving up him a quick look up and down.

Galen makes a note to talk to Spiral later, once he's oout of sick bac, or, at least more concious.

"Don't ask me. Go talk to Flash, Toast. He's the astronomer." Queenie shoots Cidra an off-kilter grin. "Listen, I think — um, I'm not in the best shape to talk about this now. Something occurred to me out there. I'll fill you in later, yeh?"

"Later, yes, and get you to Sickbay," Cidra says to McQueen. "You took a nasty hit, from what I did see. I can walk you. I need to get a full casualty assessment anyhow. The Raiders still have teeth, even in Audumbla haze."

Having been at the background, Malone now makes his way to the stairs, disappearing from view.

"Only because they don't like me. I wouldn't like me either, if I were them." McQueen's laugh comes rough, complete with a toothy grin. "Oho, well. Lead on then, boss. I don't need the shitewagon yet." He dangles his feet over the edge of the Viper and unsteadily slides onto the ladder, accepting whatever help may be available.

Cidra extends her arm to link with McQueen's, to squire him properly. She'll accompany him, with that.

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