PHD #413: EVENT - To Fly And Fight And Die
To Fly and Fight and Die
Summary: The Fighting Fourteenth launches an all-out assault on CEX-300. Arrayed against them are the elite pilots of CVW-00 "Evocati" as battle is joined at last.
Date: 15 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: Many. So many. I will do related links when the madness is over. Continued in We Are Evocati
Khloe Trask Leyla Solstice Devlin Baer Finch Moran Leroy NPC Polaris Hydra Tucana 
Space — Planet Ophion — The Eurynomê Sector
It's about to get burning hot in the cold expanse of space.
Post-Holocaust Day: #415

[Hydra's MysteryMobile: Hydra] The time is 15:55 hours on April 15, 2042 AE, as the chronometer reads. More than an hour since Commander Kepner took 'control' of the Fleet, at gunpoint and with his finger on the trigger of the Cerberus' nuclear missiles. But whatever is taking place in CIC has bought the crew some time, so far as those nukes are concerned. It's wild rumor as to precisely /how/ Captain Nikephoros and her people interrupted the Areion's hold over their nuclear detonation codes. Rumors that may or may not have been dispelled as Marines were hurriedly readied and boarded onto Raptors in the Cerberushangar deck. Vipers prepping to launch right behind, to cover them. The mission? Protect those boarding Raptors through the nest of Evocati that now control the space over Ophion, so they might have a chance of reaching the Areion and recovering Pewter and the Department Heads held there. Might have a chance of taking Commander Kepner now.

The chronometer ticks down to 15:56 as Captain Aron "Broadside" Matise's voice sounds over the wireless. "All flight. This is Broadside. We are clear to launch. Fight and fly and die."

And launch they do. Vipers at the fore, boarding Raptors not far behind, the Evocati already scrambling between them and the shape of the Areion. So close, if Cerberus' Regulars can get through what are supposedly the best pilots ever to grace the Colonial Fleet.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] Boarding raptor it is, as Sweet Pea and Shakes launch out of the hangar bay and proceed in formation towards the Areion. They are on mission and they intend to see it through. At least, Leyla is. Of course, the look on her face that only Shakes could see, if her face were turned that way is cold. The coldness of serial killers, and the thing that goes bump in the night.

[Harrier-303: Trask] Whatever those rumors about CIC, Bootstrap hasn't commented other than 'ass-kicking, first; debriefing later'. The ass-kicking part consists of a group of missile-armed Raptors ferrying their precious groundpounder cargo to the Areion while the rest of the Fighting Fourteenth buys them as much space and time as is possible. Thankfully, since the plan also involves those boarding Raptors plotting micro-jumps right next to Areion's hangar doors, it really isn't terribly far to travel.

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Captain Khloe Vakos' Viper launches with the rest at the order of the interim CAG, Captain Aron "Broadside" Matise. The fleet of Vipers and Raptors form up, looking as if they were a hail of arrows shot by Artemis and her archers. True to form, Poppy flies straight and true with no fanfare and no flair. There's business to be done.

[Harrier-307: Solstice] Shakes for her part is not much different from Leyla - by far not a serial killer but definitely not of a jovial nature. Keying up her frequencies, she gives a look forward towards the pilot's seat and the dead silence that is only occasionally separated by a punch of controls. She makes no motion to even disturb what she feels is sacred and rightly Sweet Peas. Shifting in her seat, she tightens her straps to keep herself in place and silently prays to the Lords as her gloved fingers fly over her controls in preparation.

[BlackKnight-855: Devlin] Devlin's Viper launches alongside Khloe's, forming up on the squadron leader's wing. They've done this dozens of times now, from CAPs to the never-ending Swarm battles, but there's a new hint of nerves from the Engins this afternoon. Fingers lift and re-grip once, twice, three times, uncomfortable on the stick, though not so much that it affects his ability to get into position.

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. I'm on your six."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Areion flight, Bootstrap. Keeping in theme with all the shlocky crap Kepner's been spewin', I suppose this is where I'm supposed to tell you that this is your last chance to turn away before we beat your asses into oblivion, and then you reply with something equally cliched, and then I say something along the lines of whatever, and then we beat your asses into oblivion."

[Hoopty-607: Tucana] A pair of grey, bog-standard but quite deadly Viper Mark VII's are amongst the launchees from Cerberus, containing the dynamic duo of Ensign Arlene "Stinkmitt" Minos and her better-mannered Section lead Patrick "Goose" Chase, forming up and obediently following Khloe's lead.

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Stinkmitt isn't one to keep Wireless silence either. Her voice wavers a little bit though, maybe masking the fact that she is /scared shitless/ with some sort of feigned bravado. "Back off, spooks. I'm a frakkin' /Citizen/. The Fleet I joined didn't let me wear some bullshit hat on duty."

[TAC4] Goose, of course, cuts in, "Can it, Stink. You know they can hear us." His rural Aerilon accent is noticible. "Stay in formation and don't…don't look for any trouble."

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. I've got… I think it's Zooms on me. Taking evasives."

[TAC4] "Sweet Pea" Leyla says, "Approaching jump point. We are spinning up our FTL as quickly as we can. We will attempt to jam for you as much as is possible."

[Hoopty-607: Tucana] Of course, there's someone out there who very much enjoys wearing said 'stupid hat' and would probably prop it on his flight helmet if he could. Amongst the closing Evocati is the personal Viper of one Skiron, 'Papa' Baer, flight lead who flies cool and steady towards the enemy. Who happens to be Human and not Cylon today. Imagine that.

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Calmly, on an open channel, is the suave, unshaken voice of 'Papabear.' Or 'Papa' Baer, if you will. "Evocati, this is Papa. It appears they want to do this the hard way. All birds, weapons free, you are clear to engage. And remember, these are traitors, and we're… Evocati."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Flight, this is Poppy. Boots is right; this is not the time for cliches. However, I must emphasize: these men and women that are opposing us are following a commanding offer that has committed murder and mutiny, and by that extension are guilty themselves. Do not hold back against these enemies, because they are our enemies. Fight well."

[Hydra's MysteryMobile: Hydra] LT Allison "AWOL" Moran takes flight along with her counterparts in the Evocati, moving to form up on Birdie's wing. Her movements sleek and practiced, as befits one of the Evocati, though she perhaps lacks the eagerness of her counterparts to fly into the fray against the Cerberus pilots. Her weapons do not read hot, those manning the ECM consoles might note, though she is only one Viper among many, many Areion planes.

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "All Cerberus units, this is Birdie. You are outclassed and outmatched. Surrender now and we'll spare your lives. Fight on and die."

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) Without missing a beat, Trask replies to Baer, "No, you're morons, Duncecap, but there's not enough time to /try/ to explain that to you. And can it, Birdie. You're late to the lobbing of lame-ass lines."

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Baer just laconically transmits as he changes course, "Mmmmm. Bootstrap, Bootstrap, Bootstrap. Want to hear a 'Dead Tauron' joke?"

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Birdie, this is Poppy. I believe you called me a coward. I refuse to let you kill the baby before it has a chance to cry out."

[Into the Wireless] Hydra says, "Birdie, AWOL. Having…a bit of difficulty getting my gunnery systems online. I am on your six."

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "Oh, Pops. I love babies. You and me, babe, we could've made some magic."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "I'm sure, like everything else coming outta your yaphole, Duncecap, that it's something old, tired, uninspired, rehashed, and likely only amusing in its amount of fail, but, by all means, tell me some dead TaurIAN joke," stress on the IAN, "that I surely have heard before."

[Harrier-307: Leyla] Birdie's shot lights up the side of Harier-307, but Bertha might well be channeling the taurian at her helm, because she just keeps on coming, relentless as the tides, continuing to move into position. "Keep jamming them, Shakes. I've got this."

[Harrier-303: Trask] What does big, bad Papa Baer do? He scarcely grazes the Raptor's wing.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) The voice of Luther "Snake Eyes" Leroy pops on the comms. "Sheeeyit, Duncecap. That punchline was a pratfall on yo' ass."

[TAC4] "Sweet Pea" Leyla says, "I wouldn't mind some help with this bastard, I've got a load of marines in here I can't afford to lose. Shakes is prepping FTL, expanding the field as wide away from the ship as we can, be aware, if you come in too close."

[Hoopty-607: Tucana] And the first clash of personnel, shots are fired, and the opening salvos tear into armor and damage systems. And yet they keep coming.

[TAC4] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Doin' my best to bait the stupid, Sweet Pea."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Decoy, Poppy. You have a hole in your wing, roll off the fire."

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "What, Pops, not gonna let your boy stay out and play?"

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Copy that. I'm good."

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Baer merely responds to the taunt, "Oh. You know. It's all in the timing. That was just a warning shot."

[TAC3] "Bootstrap" Trask says, "Is that like how you couldn't hit the CAG's g-spot, Duncecap?"

[Hydra's MysteryMobile: Hydra] And so they meet. Human pilots fighting human pilots today, no Cylons in sight. The Evocati open fire on Papa Baer's orders, little Ensign Devlin's Viper taking a nasty beating. Many of the more experienced pilots, Baer and Birdie among them, zero in on the Raptors. Though they don't appear to have a sense of which ones bear the Marines and which do not. And as the sortie begins, AWOL Moran still can't seem to get her guns fired up. Not that most don't have better things to do than notice.

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Stinkmitt's voice is exuberant and defiant. "Well, damn, son. Looks like these Vipers aren't bulletproof. Good morning, asshole!"

[TAC3] Hydra says, "Birdie, AWOL. Ten-second hypothetical." LT Allison 'AW OL' Moran is speaking over open channel now, for all that it sounds like a private exchange between her and her wingman. "Everything's gone to absolute shite. What do you do?" Her voice actually sounds near tears. "It's been an honor serving with you, Major. I'm sorry."

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "AWOL, Birdie — pull yourself — AWOL! In formation! Now!"

[Hydra's MysteryMobile: Hydra] But AWOL does not pull back into formation. But her guns do read hot now. And she guns her engines straight for the plane piloted by her CAG.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) Is that impudent glee in the voice of Bootstrap. Why, yes. Yes, it is. "Now, see, /that/ /right/ /there/ is a punchline."

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Skiron Baer suddenly transmits in response. "Shut it, dirt-eater." There's a delay, although he does not alter course. "Moran. We have one chance. /You/ have one chance. Think about it because you only will have just that. /One/ chance. Do you want to throw that away?"

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Flight, Poppy. No targeting on AWOL. I repeat, let the reality sink in."

[Hydra's MysteryMobile: Hydra] AWOL does not respond to Baer's wireless call. Her comms have gone dead, and her weapons are hot and aimed at the Areion CAG.

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Is that code for something? Let the reality sink in?"

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) "AWOL, babygirl," Snake Eyes chimes in, the sound of a big ol' grin in his voice, "I'm'a buyin' you a whoooooole line of shots when we're finished here."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "I want Baer and Birdie to realize that they're frakked."

[Harrier-307: Solstice] With the request for FTL, Shakes is on it, "Copy that, Sweet Pea, revved up and cooking." Comes the ECO's reply. She extends further, realigning the trajectory for their jump with ease as she ups the alpha field. "Good to go!" She tells Sweet Pea. Her gaze narrowing some as she watches the DRADIS readout.

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "AWOL, this is Birdie. Don't do this, girl. He'll kill you!"

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Baer's voice comes over the Wireless, curtly. "Mmmm. Guess you didn't like the punch line after all." The sound of cannon fire erupts and fades, and he snaps again, "Moran. AWOL. Thanks for your service. Guess you made your choice. Didn't you?"

[Hydra's MysteryMobile: Hydra] There's a break of confusion in the ranks of the Evocati at AWOL's abrupt turn about. For her part, her comms are entirely dead, either to the offer of drinks from the Cerberus side or Birdie's pleas. She does score a hit on her CAG, but it's a glancing blow. Around she comes for another pass. If flying could be described as grim, this most certainly is. She is concentrated on nothing and no one in the sortie but Papa's Viper.

[Harrier-307: Leyla] Leyla and Shakes, if nothing else, know their shit. And Bertha's damage is soon repaired, mostly, enough for them to see this through, enough for them to get into position, enough for Leyla to try to keep Birdie on her tail, as close as a lover, if she can manage it.

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "Papa, Birdie — " The man's voice sounds like it's about to crack, even as he continues his pursuit of the Raptor he's on. "You know and I know she can't do a damn thing to you — that was just a lucky hit —"

[TAC3] "Sweet Pea" Leyla says, "Come on, Birdie. I'm waiting."

[Hoopty-607: Tucana] Skiron Baer's guns open fire on Snake Eyes' Raptor with extreme prejudice, as his Viper closes in on the vessel. Guns are loose and rounds erupt into the void, enough to at least get the Raptor's attention. But his focus is interrupted by the sudden about-face in allegiance and attack staged by AWOL. Breaking hard right, he cuts the throttle and turns to face his newest 'enemy.' Birdie was right. Alison Moran's Viper, no, the woman herself, is his next target.

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. What's my target?"

[Hydra's MysteryMobile: Hydra] Birdie can't be entirely ignorant of what Leyla is doing, but he's got very little time to do much more than try to get the hell out of her wake while dealing with the increasingly deadly interplay between AWOL and Baer. He'll have time to get clear. Zooms, however, is not so lucky, and shows no sign of getting the hell out of Leyla's way.

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Decoy, Poppy. Focus fire on Birdie. We need to take out more of their leadership."

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Copy."

[Harrier-303: Trask] Well, that joke was painfully not funny. As the Raptor gets hit, Bootstrap gets a fair amount of shrapnel in his chest and beloved wanking hand, and a whole lot more in his stomach, as if to reinforce the lack of belly laughs. For the nonce, the ECM console is unmanned while the ECO commences emergency repairs upon his person.

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Boots, Snake-Eyes, sing out! Raptors, Snake Eyes might need SAR. That looked crippling."

[TAC4] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) There's coughing and what might be sputtering remains of vomit when Trask quasi-croaks, "So. Not. Funny."

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "My gods," breathes Finch, his voice thick and syrupy with disbelief. "My gods. Papa. You actually did it."

[Harrier-307: Leyla] The jump goes off well, in once sense, as Big Bertha winks out, the compression field from her FTL exploding out to the maximum limits to which Shakes could configure it. Zooms, not quick nimble enough to escape the battle rage of one seriously pissed off Taurian, finds her viper crumpling, exploding under the force of the wave that slams into her ship. Birdie, however, manages to escape Leyla's wrath. But no matter. Bertha winks back in, just shy of the hangar deck, weapons hot and free, to clear any opposition, as she preps to land on the Areion's hangar deck.

[Hydra's MysteryMobile: Hydra] There's a moment of utter confusion as the planes clash in space. Just a moment, but it's enough to allow Cerberus' Raptors with their Marines aboard to jump into position to land. Just in time, as the Areion is now opening up her flak cannons. They made it through. Now it's a matter of facing the teeth of whatever Kepner has prepared for them on deck.

The action surrounding the Areion Vipers is no less confused. AWOL's turn seems little more than a symbolic act as Papa opens up on her full with his guns, shattering one of his own Evocati to smouldering splinters. Between that and the wake of the jumping Raptors, it will take them a moment to regroup. Those moments that seem to stretch deadly long in the air.

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Papa's voice again is icy calm. "I keep my promises, Birdie. Sincerety is the only measure of a man. She will be missed. Now stay on task, Evocati."

[TAC3] "Sweet Pea" Leyla says, "Funny, I always thought honour and loyalty were the measure of a man. AWOL showed loyalty to reason, and to humanity. What are you going to be loyal to now, Birdie, Evocati? Will you kill each and every one of your own that may follow in her wake?"

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Sweetiepea, Poppy. The damage is done. Baer shot one of his own. The rest of the Evocati now know that their CAG is a bastard. Let it fester."

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Or they know that their CAG's the one to be afraid of 'cause he can blow them to hell a lot faster than we can. Just sayin'."

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