PHD #413: EVENT - We Are Evocati
We Are Evocati
Summary: The Areion battle royale in space.
Date: 15 Apr 2042 AE
Related Logs: Sooooo many. Continuation of To Fly and Fight and Die. Also overlaps with With Friends Like These (what happened with Queenie et al.)
Khloe Pallas Wade Devlin Burke Trask Leroy Evandreus Stiffy Keenan Bran McQueen Baer Finch Marduk Drake Riederer Cora NPC Hydra 
Ophion Space
Black and filled with planes and gunnery fire. Pew pew.
Post-Holocaust Day: #413

Fade in on where we left our valiant members of the Fighting Fourteenth. In the very hot space above the gas giant Ophion, facing off against supposed the best pilots ever to grace the Colonial Fleet. But Cerberus' flyers have scored some small part of victory already. Their Raptors, carrying a precious cargo of Marines, have broken through the line of Areion Vipers to land upon the deck of the escort carrier. Within, the battle is just beginning. But our pilots have little idea of the ferocity of the clash of troops within. They still have their own battle to attend with, and some will still have a price to pay the ferryman before the day is over.

Some have already paid it. The wreckage of LT Allison "AWOL" Moran's Viper drifts in space, where LTCOL Skion "Papa" Baer put a swift end to her 'betrayal' not seconds ago. And added to the chaos is new fire from as the Areion opens up her flak cannons, which Evocati and Regular alike will have to scramble to avoid. From Cerberus, those planes who were delayed by the chaos on the battlestar's flight deck are only now launching, to join their comrades in this clash against not Cylons, but their fellow human men and women.

Small victory achieved, but the battle has only just begun.

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Flight, this is Poppy. Evasive maneuvers, vector two-two-five, and avoid that flak ring. Bring 'em back to ours. Decoy, Poppy, target is still Birdie. Over."

[Harrier-303: Trask] Poor AWOL may now rightfully be called KIA, but if Kal Trask has his way, LT COL Skiron "Duncecap" Baer will rue not finishing off the mouthy ECO when the opportunity presented itself. Duct taping his injuries as much as he can muster after the massive hit dealt to his Raptor, Bootstrap is back at the ECM console, gritting through the pain because there's still work to do. His pilot, LT Luther "Snake Eyes" Leroy isn't unscathed, but he also isn't in need of significant medical attention. "Workin' on getting this baby back on-line, Boots," the pilot relays.

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Copy that. Taking evasives around this flak, coming back around to target Birdie with you."

[Harrier-316: Keenan] Keenan "Pom-Poms" Raios is more than grateful for the bands around the face-section of his flight helmet that keeps the sweat away from his eyes. The flight suit he wore was stifling and the fact that he could only feel and see the incoming explosive flak rather than hear it has made an already chaotic situation into pure mayhem. "Pens, hang on. Areion's dropping flak on us." It's only a two second warning before Keenan yanks his flight controls to send his Raptor in an evasive dive away from the new threat. His Raptor, like many others, has not yet suffered any actual damage, but the signs of scraped paint and cosmetic damage are evident from flying through wreckage and debris.

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Wade has just recently made his return from the world of coma land. He was sedated right after that in order to prevent him from doing something stupid but, the effects did not last as long as the doctors would have hoped. After a couple ours, he managed to wake up and finding nobody there at that particular time and place, he stood up and hurriedly made his way to the berths. Yes, he bumped against every wall he faced but that's normal…yes, it is. Still under the effect of those drugs, he managed to jump into his Viper and launched with the rest of the others, soon starting to look around to find a possible wingmate. It takes him a moment to get control of his bird, it has been a while since his last flight and he didn't even have sim time. Still, he manages that and pushes the thrusters, speeding towards the targets.

[TAC4] "Drips" Wade says, "Flight, Drips. Sorry I'm late, had a bit of a problem. Moving in to engage."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "What the… Drips? Is that you? Who is piloting 662?"

[Harrier-307: Evandreus] Evandreus moves into this sector of the combat, drawn, perhaps, by comms chatter down the line of a hit on 303 up this way. And there she is, hit hard, by the looks of her.

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Poppy, Pom-Poms, Copy. Bringing myself around your way."

[Polly's Hoopty: Finch] Major Dirk Finch's reflexes — so sharp a moment ago when Leyla ignited a frakking FTL shockwave in front of him — seem to have deserted him. It takes him a couple of seconds to realize that Areion has turned on her flak cannons, and a couple more seconds to fly his Viper out of the way of the shrapnel blooming all over the canvas of space.

[TAC4] "Drips" Wade says, "Poppy, Drips. Hey Captain, long time no see….apparently."

[TAC4] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Snake Eyes, Bunny, you need a hand out here? We're coming into position to buffer your jamming and for SAR if you need us."

[BlackKnight-855: Devlin] Alex "Decoy" Devlin has yet to hit a target tonight, though given his still-relative-lack of experience, that can probably be forgiven as accidental. He breaks off after missing Birdie's Viper yet again, and then has to quickly dodge and dodge again to avoid the flak that suddenly explodes all around the 'battlefield'. It takes a few moments to re-orient himself and then he finds his wingman once again, moving back into formation with Khloe and taking a sighting on her target. Inside the Viper, he's got the edges of those medals he wears constantly around his neck between his teeth, though it just sounds like his jaw is (understandably) tight as he speaks into the wireless.

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Cool is the name of the game, as Baer calmly transmits. "Think about this. This is over. There's only one way this can possibly end. Do you want to lose?"

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Holy frak, Drips? Dude, I thought you were in a coma! We've got zombies on our side, Knights, we can't lose now."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Who cleared you for flight, Drips? Never mind, it doesn't matter. Get into formation, I'll yell at you later."

[Petrel-648: Pallas] It's just a Viper Mk 2 that Pallas is flying in this time, since his 2.5 bit it during that CAP gone wrong when his wingman was captured by the enemy. But he's still doing well in the old bird, not yet having taken much damage. On the flip side, he hasn't dealt much damage yet, either. He splits away from his target as Areion's flak cannons come online, looking for a new target to hunt. Spiral is pissed today.

[TAC4] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) "Lucky ass rabbit feet," Snake Eyes calls back to Bunny. "That humorless muthafrakka," that being Baer, "can't take a joke, and this hardass muthafrakka back here's tryin' to suppress when, I think, some of his guts are seeping out 'cuz /he's/ incapable of taking anything seriously."

[Harrier-316: Bran] "After living in the same room for so long with a diaper-filling babe, flak ain't got anything on me, Poms. I just smell victory over insanity in all this," remarks Bran from the backseat of Three-One-Six. This has been his first sortie since recovering from the space flu and he's missed a good set of electronic countermeasures to spool and party with. He nearly grins; probably would if they weren't fighting other humans at the moment.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "I was, according to what they said, they gave me a wake-the-frak-up juice or some shit like that. And I don't think nobody cleared me, they sedated me again right after. That doesn't really make sense if you ask me, but anyway, when I woke up, nobody was there so…yeah. Forming up."

[BlackKnight-854: Drake] Somewhere during all the chaos and carnage, Papa Baer lost his wingman. Good thing that Lana "Dizzy" Drake quickly zooms over from seemingly out of nowhere to cover his six, which means aiming at Wade.

[BlackKnight-854: Drake] Late out of the gate, Dizzy attempts to get a sitrep from her cohorts, having missed all the drama. "Where's Dimples? Where's Wolly?"

[TAC3] (from "Birdie" Finch) "Ask the CAG, Dizzy." Birdie grinds out the words, seeming not to notice he's on an open channel. "Hey Papa, where's Wolly?"

[TAC3] (from "Dizzy" Drake) Confused, but thinking perhaps something might be amiss with the standard Areion TAC when her SL doesn't use it, Drake does just what Birdie suggests, "Where /is/ Wolly? I thought she was wingin' with you, Chickadee. And where's Dimples? They off elsewhere?"

[TAC4] (from "Bunny" Evandreus) "Snake Eyes, Bunny, do you need a ride home? I will hook you up RTFN. Is he there? Can he talk?" Since usually Boots is the one monopolizing the comm frequency, hearing nothing from him is obviously worrisome.

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Baer's response is curt. "She had…technical difficulties, Dizzy."

[TAC4] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) "Wait for the punchline, Buns." Trask doesn't sound so great, but damn if he is not one resilient Black Country bull.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "You are a real comic, Papa. Dizzy, Poppy. If you won't believe me then you won't believe anyone. Papa shot down AWOL."

[TAC3] (from "Birdie" Finch) "It's all right, though." Birdie's chuckle is just a shade darker than usual — like burned coffee or bitter chocolate. "We'll just write it up as a — frak, I don't know, an engine malfunction, right? Just like we usually do. Those godsdamned knuckledraggers!" His tone is mocking. "Too busy cocking around to maintain our frakking birds."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "You did what?! You frakking piece of shit, you are dead!"

[TAC3] (from "Dizzy" Drake) Still sounding a bit perplexed, "I didn't see her heading back to the barn when I was coming out…" And then what Poppy said sinks in. Before she can come to her CAG's defense, Birdie chimes in. "Wh— what?!" And, just like that, needing to clear her head, Dizzy veers off course, does not take her shot at Wade, subsequently leaving her wingman exposed.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "He did— ? WELL, crap. Is there anyone you people /don't/ want to kill? Like, anyone? Ever? Or are you just going to keep shooting until everyone is dead or you run out of bullets?"

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) If anyone on the Areion's side had been wondering if Bootstrap were dead, the downright darkly gleeful cackle that comes over the shared TAC should dispel all doubts.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "You shoot Cylons, you shoot us, you shoot one another. You just really like the sound of your own frakking guns firing, don't you?"

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Baer's cockpit whirrs with the sound of gunfire and then a snap and sizzle. In the middle of it, he calls out, "What's the matter, Drips? Have to go back to using your hand? She was a good soldier but she did one thing wrong - she didn't follow orders. She will be miss— " Sizzzle pop "Arrrgh." He grunts, in obvious pain and even surprise. "-OH! So I made you mad!"

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Not paying much attention to the incoming fire from Thumper, despite tearing off a few armor plates, Khloe's Viper barrels after Birdie. It seems she has something to prove to the other SL, although for the most part she can't seem to land a point on him.

[TAC3] "Spiral" Pallas says, "Don't worry, Dizzy. You'll be joining her soon. Just hold still for a sec."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "You'd shoot your own gods damned mothers if you could spare the ammunition."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Spiral, Poppy, hold your fire! Dizzy, Poppy. You have one chance to state your intent clearly to me."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Dizzy, Decoy. Come with us, we've got the better party space."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Shut up, Decoy, this isn't a joke."

[Harrier-316: Keenan] "Yeah, Pens, well you aren't seeing the same thing I'm seeing. Just keep frakkin' with them and I'll work on keeping them from putting holes in us the size of soup cans." Poms says through gritted teeth as their Raptor pulls back up, following behind the Vipers as they rejoin the furball. Nose dipping downwards, Keenan puts on the speed, dipping towards port to avoid what appears to be part of an engine. Eyes narrowing slightly to try to keep his vision amidst the flak explosions, he flips on his com on…

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Who said I was joking, Poppy? We do."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe audibly sighs, then switches channels again.

[Polly's Hoopty: Finch] Birdie doesn't seem to have much more to say. He's zigging and zagging to evade the shrill and genuinely unpleasant woman painted to his six, but his guns — for the moment — are silent. He might be just a bit disoriented from the burst of flak that perforates his tailfin and punches a hole in the grey stenciled letters 'VX-1.' Or he might just be baiting her. Or applying aftershave. Hard to tell.

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Frak yeah he's mad. Wade narrows his eyes and speeds up even more, firing angry KEW at Baer. His aim is good and it pays off since he lands a pretty hard hit on Baer's cockpit. Still, he is not down? Well, that means that Wade will just have to keep shooting and shooting at him until he is gone, for good. Now, the man opens the channel and speaks.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "You people are frakking sick-brained. Diseased. You've got the hate-cock up your frakking anuses and can't get enough of causing pain and frakking suffering."

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Bunny, Poms, WATCH YOUR ASS. Go evasive."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "How's that for a regular, you frakking piece of shit? I'll take that Fedora of yours and shove it so far up your ass you'll start spitting it through your mouth."

[TAC4] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "I AM EVASIVE FOR GODS' SAKE."

[BlackKnight-855: Devlin] Surprise, surprise, Devlin once again fails to hit Birdie, though maybe the shots along the Spectre SL's stern help speed him along away from other Knights he might otherwise attack. Who knows. In any case, the main order of the day for the ensign appears to be evasive maneuvers, which he ramps up as he picks up an Evocati bandit on his tail.

[BlackKnight-854: Drake] A girl gets stuck taking a massive dump when Condition One goes off and everything else goes down the crapper. Having aborted her attack on Drips, she either doesn't know or doesn't care that she just left her wingman and CAG to get blasted nine-tenths of the way to the Nine Hells. Living up to her name, Dizzy is dizzying to follow in her Viper, Spiral's attempted shot coming nowhere near her. Nor does she look like she's about to form-up on anyone's six or dispense some KEW.

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Mix-Up adds his taunt to the fray now, "Gods, Bunny, did they really relax the 'No pussies' rule in the Academy? You cry like a little kid."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "No frakking wonder the Cylons wanted us dead. It's because shitholes like you can't be frakking content to live in peace. With less than five thousand people left in the frakking universe you cunts had to go nd pick a frakking fight. I don't FRAKKING get it."

[TAC3] (from "Dizzy" Drake) Sounding on the verge of truly freaking-out, Drake is borderline shrill when she demands, "WHERE IS DIMPLES?!"

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Bunny, stow it!"

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Drake, Decoy. We haven't seen him over here."

[TAC3] Keenan says, "Alright, I'm coming around for you. Pens, see if you can work your magic on 836 Oscar-Uniform."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "I will not stow it. This is frakking retarded. What the hell are we doing out here?"

The Evocati rally to the defense of their CAG as Wade gets in a truly murderous shot on him. All but Birdie, who still seems content to fly in circle with the flack. And Dizzy, who seems to have been thrown into a state of confusion by the news of AWOL's death. "Dizzy, Thumper. Get it the frak together and cover my ass!" comes the call to Drake over the comms. "Birdie, get it together man."

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Alright, I'm coming around for you. Pens, see if you can work your magic on 836 Oscar-Uniform"

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Mix-Up adds again, "Well, I know what I'm doing. Getting some practice time in."

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "With live ammo. Good luck fighting the cylons once you've used it all on us, frakwit."

[TAC3] (from Polaris) Thumper laughs his throaty laugh. "That whole 'regular' thing really got under your skins, didn't it? Did your mommies not love you enough when you were kids? Hephaestus' crooked dick, this is going a little too far for validation."

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Baer's voice again crackles, transmission is breaking up but his voice can still be heard. "m…mind that, Dizzy. Engage designated targets. That's an order."

[TAC4] Keenan says, "BUNNY, Poms. Less mouth more FLY. Hang in there."

[Petrel-648: Pallas] There's an angry growl over comms as Khloe orders Pallas to check fire on Dizzy, but he cuts off the mic before it turns into a full-blown roar of rage. Abruptly pulling away from Dizzy's Viper, he catches sight of Maverick heading his way, so he pushes himself head-to-head with the Evocati, guns blazing as he rolls. It's like he's so blind with rage that he doesn't care what happens to him as long as he gets a kill. The spinning spiral of death approaches Maverick.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "If you want to go die sticking it to the cylons, fine. Do it without us. You'll either do it without us having used half your armory and lost a lot of good men killing us or do it without us at full strength having parted ways amicably. Which one of those plans makes more frakking sense to you?"

[Harrier-316: Bran] Bran looks up and over from his consoles, just briefly. He probably wouldn't mind the sight right about now so long as they are winning. He assumes they are winning if only because they're just fighting the Evocati. That's a made up word. "That's the easy part, the frakking with. We do that well. The Gods say so. Besides, they're just Evocati."

[BlackKnight-854: Drake] Drake does not appear to be defecting, but she also isn't reforming. KEW flies quickly in the heat of battle, and her Viper continues to buzz and loop and swerve like a hornet caught in a bonnet while her mind races with confusion, heartache, and targetless fury.

[Harrier-307: Evandreus] Evan does not, as a general rule, talk over comms while on CAP or on a mission. He tends to find it rude and obtrusive. But today… he seems to have something he wants to talk about. Or, rather, rant about. The voice is strained with a vein-popping frustration more than anger. And that big bus he's driving keeps dancing past Mix-up's ECM-deflected KEW.

[TAC3] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Seriously. For serious, someone, ANY one of you try to explain to me the frakking logic behind that piece of crap decision."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Stiffy, Poppy, shut down B- static -rder. Repeat, get him off that channel."

[TAC3] (from Polaris) Thumper says, "Or you could've just gone along with Rudy's orders. Just saying."

[Petrel-648: Pallas] Pallas takes damage. He takes bad damage. It's only natural, with him attacking Maverick head-on. But he doesn't break off his attack, only spinning out of oncoming fire when his bird goes out of control from the hits that he's taking. His Viper drunkenly lurches about as he brings it back about, sparks flying in the cockpit. He ain't going down that easy.

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Khloe's Viper is buffeted by the repeated barrage of KEW from Thumper on her six, but the Knights SL seems disinterested in bobbing and weaving; instead, she seems intent on the same breakneck speeds and aggressive posturing that some of her fellow Knights are exhibiting. That, of course, gets her wing graced, and in response she barrel rolls off the smoke and flames.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) Between his injuries and howling laughter, Trask is gasping and groaning, tears forming at the edges of his trap-shut eyes. It can be heard ringing on the comms, sounding almost delirious.

[TAC3] (from "Bunny" Evandreus) "Anyone? Anyone? BUELLE"-— and the line goes dead. Yey, Stiffy.

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Wade keeps his focus on Baer who is apparently, chickening out now. He just shakes his head and keeps after the Areion's CAG. This time, his attack is stopped by the the armor on that Viper. He just snorts and keeps his focus, not paying attention to the other Evocati attacking him. He gets hit on both ends and his cockpit shakes but, he keeps fighting.

[TAC4] (from "Bunny" Evandreus) "Poppy, Stiffy, got it. Heh. Bueller."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Ooooh, you still have a little fight left there, good, good….you'll pay for what you did, bitch."

[TAC3] "Spiral" Pallas says, "Come at - *KRSHH* - you son of a bit - *KRSHH* - AT ME AGAIN! That's - *KRSHH* - mother frakking said - *KRSHHHHH* - licked her own shit off my - *KRSHHHHHHHH* - erick? Why don't you - *KRSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH* - FRAKKING KILL YOU!"

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Keep it together, people. We need to give those Marines more time." And, in rare form, Khloe actually quotes something from the scrolls. "We are already dead; we fight to reclaim our lives."

[TAC3] (from "Blah" Tucana) Baer finally breaks Wireless silence again to address Wade. "Good. I like a challenge." ***noisenoise* And a heap of static, "Keeps me on," More static, "toes."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Decoy, Poppy, you're not g-" static "-your six. Repeat, Hasher on your six, refocus your fire.""

[Harrier-316: Keenan] "Frak. Pens, they're getting shot to shit out there. Actually…we're the only ones that aren't limping. Spiral, Bunny, and Poppy look like they're in trouble from my vantage." Keenan calls towards the back of his Raptor. Trailing Bunny's Raptor, he glances down to his DRADIS. His fingers drum on it twice. "Okay this is going to be stupid, Pens." Taking a short, quick breath, Keenan yanks upwards on the stick, trying to force himself to cross DANGEROUSLY close through Baer's forward airspace, trying to rattle the man's cage.

[TAC3] "Dizzy" Drake sharpens when Thumper mentions Kepner. "What about Uncle Rudy? Is he okay?!" The woman has a physics degree, so she really can't be stupid, but damn if she isn't naive like the sweet-natured kid she generally comes across as.

[TAC3] (from Polaris) Thumper sounds a little sad. "Don't kill him yet, Mavs. I kind of want to hear what he did with your mom's shit."

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Flight, Poms, I've got a tail. Going evasive through the fight, repeat, trying to bring them in closer to eachother. Should free up some room on my five."

[TAC3] "Fiasco" Marduk says, "WOOOOOO!"

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] Alarms blaring, Khloe's Viper shows more holes along its center fuselage than a block of swiss cheese. Sparks fly, and the Captain takes a nasty capacitor discharge to her left leg, causing her to cry out in pain. Her cabin quickly fills with the acrid smoke of an electrical fire coupled with singed flesh; with a flip of a switch she depressurizes her cockpit to snuff out any chance of a fire.

[Polly's Hoopty: Finch] Birdie — with nobody on him — finds himself dancing along a wave of flak, giving him a fantastic vantage point of the battle. The reflections of burning Vipers and exploding Raptors shine off his sleek cockpit as he flies, weaving from side to side to evade an imaginary foe. It relaxes him, see. And then, suddenly, the man's Viper levels off the moment he hears Fiasco's voice on channel, as if he's made a decision.

[BlackKnight-1118: Marduk] From behind the Evocati comes a late pair of Vipers, streaking away from Areion and out to join the fray. Fiasco is quick on the comms, announcing his presence, but he goes weapons-hot a little earlier than his fellow Spectres might have anticipated, aiming to spin his way straight through the Evocati line towards the 'regulars'.

[Harrier-307: Evandreus] Stiffy is the only one who gets to hear Bunny rant, now. He won't go so far as to get on the comm where people on his side are actually doing their planning to keep spitting his distaste for the entire endeavor, but maybe his irritation is putting the mischief in him and the acuity in his piloting to worm and roll his way between Mix-Up's KEW and Papa's, leaving both of them unsatisfied.

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] The arm that was just fixed a while ago! Madness! Wade shouts a 'Frak!' inside his cockpit and shakes his arm, just narrowing his eyes and taking a deep breath "Hell no" says the man to himself and moves his hand back to the controls. The man might have been hit but he is dead set on shooting Baer out of the sky, that son of a bitch killed his friend. And he doesn't know that Baer hurt his own CAG! That bitch guy is going down.

[BlackKnight-1117: Burke] Suddenly firing out of one of the launch tubes on the Areion is another Viper 7.5, shiny and clean and moving around as though the pilot were having a seizure of some sort at the controls. As it speeds away from the escort carrier, it continues to jerk and tilt a little more before its pilot seems to set it in a mostly straight line toward the fray. Every now and then it seems to buck like a horse rejecting its rider, but it's tearing along at thoroughly breakneck pace. In the cockpit, Ensign Beauregard Burke is flicking all manner of strange-looking switches on the vastly-updated craft in search of something: "Where's the dang ol' radio … hey!" He lifts his head in time to spot one of the enemy crafts, depressing the trigger on the controls to let fly a spray of ammunition in their direction.

[TAC3] (from "Dizzy" Drake) "DIMPLES?!" That is the sound of tears in the voice of Captain Lana "Dizzy" Drake. "Aphrodite's luscious titties, is that you, Gabe, babe?!"

[TAC3] Hydra (Baer) Papa Baer's usually calm and collected voice is taking on an edge, despite the battle more or less going in their favor against the Regulars. "Birdie, Dizzy, get it together. Let us clear the air of this refuse. Commander Kepner is counting on us to hold the line."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Heads up, Knights, more-" static "-DRADIS."

[TAC3] "Fiasco" Marduk says, "Boys and girls, this is a frakking FIASCO! Dizzy, baby, where have you been? You should've seen me girl, I was like BOOM! And they were like WAH! and I was like blowing shit up left and right! I threw a grenade, how frakking hot is that shit, am I right? Come, now, let's get this shit overwith! Birdie, Thumper, my bros! You don't wanna stick with Papa and their bullshit, do you? These guys are no fun, they wanna kill us and our beautiful awesome Gods-given skills!"

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Fiasco, this is Poppy. State your intentions, over."

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "I bet he is, Papa. I bet he is. But — well, I guess this is the time for ten-second hypotheticals." There's a touch of gruffness in the old pilot's voice. "Let's say you want to shoot Fiasco for that bullshit he just pulled. And let's say I get in the way. What do you do?"

[TAC3] (from "Dizzy" Drake) What follows is some combination of laughing, crying, and hiccupping. "Dimples! I was SO WORRIED about you! Papa killed Wolly! I was so scared they killed you, too!"

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Flight, Pom-Poms, do we have anyone -not- getting shot to shit enough to take care of this -THUNKTHUNKTHUNK- taking fire. We're okay but we're taking hits, over."

[Harrier-316: Keenan] As Keenan pulls up to rattle Baer, it occurs to him for the first moment that they are, in fact, losing this fight. Whispering a small prayer under his breath, his Raptor's nose tilts out and dives for the Cerberus side of the fight. With a viper on its tail, Keenan works what evasives he can while trying to play keep away with someone trying to end their lives.

[TAC3] "FIASCO" Marduk says, "State my intentions? My intention is to frakking rock and roll, Poppy baby! I am all up with that fine, underused ass of yours. Papa killed Wolly? What the frak! Asshole! Let's get him and his stupid hat he never lets me borrow. Oh! Also! This little wobbly dude with me is one of yours, Pops, don't shoot my poor little wingrook."

[TAC3] (from Burke) *tap tap* This dang ol' thing workin' … ?"

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Burke? Burke, Poppy. Get your ass in the fight. Fly it like you stole it."

[Harrier-316: Bran] "Yeah, well," Bran can't really help Team Cerberus when it comes to Viper piloting. It's not his fault the team is apparently losing. "I'm doing my best with what I've got." He looks over the length of his DRADIS readout and shifts his weight to the side, favoring the right as he cycles through jamming frequencies in order to dole out another set against the Evocati. He looks up to the echoing sounds of KEW sanding their Raptor's backside. "Was that really that close?"

[BlackKnight-854: Drake] Unsurprisingly, when Dizzy /finally/ pulls herself together, she does not hesitate to ally herself with her BFF-slash-boy-soul-twin. Why, the way she tips her wing, that could be considered a 'FRAK YOU!' to Baer.

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Flight, this is Poppy. Keep your eyes on Fiasco and Birdie but assume for now they are friendl-" static "-peat, count Fiasco and Birdie as friendly. Count Dizzy as well. Over."

[TAC3] Hydra (Baer) "Birdie…it's your funeral. Dizzy! Dizzy! Get back in formation. Evocati, target the traitors."

[TAC3] Burke says, "S'what Ah'm doin'! This thing's greasier than a cut snake, though …"

[Harrier-316: Keenan] "Close?" Keenan asks through gritted teeth to his ECO. "No that wasn't close Pens, we're getting hit and as far as I can tell we don't have anyone gunning for the bandit."

[TAC3] "Fiasco" Marduk says, "Aww, c'mon, Flameout! Just 'cause I cut you off last time we did karaoke? Are you still pissed about that? I am sorry, but man, you cannot sing for shit! And those moves? I did you a favor!"

[TAC3] "Spiral" Pallas says, "Frakking *KRSHH* that no-name? *KRSHH* you swipe a *KRSHHHHH* you mother-frakking son of a bitch, *KRSHHHH* EPIC."

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Decoy, Poppy, new target is Thumper, then Hasher. Confirm and en-" static."

[TAC4] "Drips" Wade says, "Flight, Drips. My focus is on Papa, I got this bitch."

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Copy that. Thumper targeted."

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "That's what I thought, Pappy." Suddenly, Finch's tone is grim. "You just forgot one thing in all that 'We are Evocati' bullshit you love to spew. We're Spectres first — and Spectres protect our own. Dizzy, Fiasco, you're on my wing."

[Harrier-316: Bran] "If worse comes to worst, I'll open up and pull out my Dragon," his sidearm, "And shoot at them. Hephaestus would be pleased." Bran motions to add levity, or just idle insanity, to the situation over anything else.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) "Wai… wait." There is still chortling. "Burke swiped one of their birds?" Sniggerlin follows. "Man… that's classic G-T-A. Their Grand Theft Aerilonian r… resulted in Grand Theft Aero." The joke just got funnier.

[TAC3] Burke says, "Ain't like they was usin' 'em."

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "Malfunctions, Redneck. You get used to them on that ship after a while."

[TAC3] "Spiral" Pallas says, "*KRSHH* frak over here, *KRSHH* swipe. *KRSHH* flyin' solo since *KRSHH* ass kicked."

[TAC3] "Fiasco" Marduk says, "Dizzy, Fiasco. Let's do this, girl. I knew you'd have my wing."

[TAC3] "Dizzy" Drake off-key sings, "Weeeeee've got the touch! Weeeeee've got the powwwwwwer!"

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Wade's arm is bleeding and old pains are starting to hit the surface again "Gods damn it…" Still he keeps his complete focus on Baer and keeps his bird leveled, going fast and hard after the Areion CAG. When he has him on target, he shoots more KEW against him and he does hit target this time, still not enough to shoot it down but certainly aiding the task. Drips is completely silent right now, set on target and seeing all red.

[TAC3] (from "Birdie" Finch) Birdie's voice sounds a bit fuzzy over the static that rules the airwaves. "Looks like you could use a bit of help there, Drips. Dizzy, you've got my six. And godsdammit, Fiasco, less singing, more shooting."

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Poppy, Pom-Poms, I'm out in the free. I've got loadout and aside from that flak screen I could make what looks like a missile run on a vital hardpoint on the Areion. Could turn a few tails giving you some room. Approved? Over."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Birdie, Drips. Certainly, welcome to the Rodeo. I have a bitch cow running around and I'm sick and tired of that Fedora. AWOL was my friend, so was Colton Duben, also known as Spank. Former Thunderhawks."

[Polly's Hoopty: Finch] Squeezing off a few stray rounds that graze Flameout's bird, Finch's Viper drops directly in front of his former CAG. His flying is forceful and muscular, devoid of anything like subtlety. The fact that his tailfin is getting shredded doesn't really register.

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "Tell you the truth, Drips, I kind of like the hat. Good style — for some puffed-up street rat playing at fighter jock."

[TAC3] "Fiasco" Marduk says, "After all is said and done! You've never walked, you've never run!" Yes, Fiasco is singing. Or was, until he suddenly breaks off, "Shitfrak! Whoooaaa. Alright! I'm alllllright!" And then he continues where he left off, finishing the line, "You're a wiiiinnnneerrr! Hey Dizzy, Birdie, let's help take Papabaer out. Yes maybe please yes? Yes? Okay!"

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Copy, Poms. Light 'em up. Repeat, fire at will."

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "Fiasco. Please. Shut. Up."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "If that's the case Birdie, stick with us. When I get the chance, I'll snatch a Fedora for you and promise not to look at it funny."

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Raptor ID 6-1-3-0-November, please iden-" static "-peat, identify yourself. Over."

[TAC3] "Dizzy" Drake says, "Now, now, my li'l Chickadee. Don't be mean to Dimples."

[Harrier-316: Keenan] "Alright, you hear that Pens? We're gonna get shaken up. Going through the flak. Keep them off our tail. I'm going to make a strafing run for their flak batteries." Keenan replies, taking a deep breath. Pulling hard on the flight controls, his Raptor suddenly breaks away from the combat and makes a beeline away from the engaged Vipers towards the Areion. Flipping on his targetting program, he starts to tap out a pair of flak cannons, arming his missles.

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. Who's my target? Everybody's after Dizzy, should we give her some cover?"

[BlackKnight-1117: Burke] "Behave, girl, behave!" Burke says to the Viper as he attempts to make a right turn and ends up looping completely back around the way he came. The being thrown around in the cockpit by the motion is not a pleasant thing either as he bumps his wounded side against the wall and lets out a sharp, pained shout into his helmet. All the same, he doesn't go spiraling out of control just yet and attempts to fall in on the tail of one of the Vipers that didn't decide to become a recent convert to the Cause of Good. He lets loose another volley of fire, fumbling about with the controls in front of him, "Dang ol' thruster settings all messed up."

One could say the tide is turning. Or merely turning against itself, as the Evocati fight and fly to the death against each other. There are a scattered few more defectors around the Fleet - Birdie's Spectres all - but they are few and far between.

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Negative, Decoy. Stick with Knights formations. Your target is still Thumper. Confirm and engage."

New DRADIS Contact: Harrier-670 arrives from Hangar Deck - Port.

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. No love for our new friends, copy that."

[Harrier-670: McQueen] Another blip appears on the DRADIS readings of the Colonial forces arrayed outside. A Raptor, loaded for bear with missile racks clears the Cerberus' hangar streaks through space leaving a small metallic glint amidst the fire and fury of the combat between the last known free ships helmed by humanity, still within the Cerberus' flak ring.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Raptor ID 6-1-3-0-November, identify yourself, or you will be considered hostile."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen howls, in a familiar voice over the comms. "Evocati, Evocati, Evocati. Luring our people with candy and false promises of gold, beer, and whores over the rainbow? Turning our own guns against us? One would think you're cheatin'."

[TAC3] Hydra (Baer) "What the frak is going on?"

[TAC3] Keenan says, "It's called conscience, you son of a bitch."

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Queenie? Decoy. Is that you? What the frak are you doing?"

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "What's going on is that you are about to die, bitch."

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) With an impudent trickle of giggles, Bootstrap tells Baer, "The punchline, Duncecap."

[TAC3] "Birdie" Finch says, "Poseidon's blue dick, Queenie, I told Rudy he should've put that shit in his little ultimatum. But no. He had to go for 'THIS IS A TIME FOR HEROES.'"

[TAC3] Burke says, "Haha, this jus' keeps gettin' better'n better!"

[TAC3] (from "Dizzy" Drake) "That's why rainbows are so awesome," Drake sunnily proclaims.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen sounds almost contrite. "Sorry, Birdie. By the way, you little shits should know that Jelly is leaking blood all over hangar Bay 5B and your mutineers are goin' to be either dead or in hack. And Decoy — I was bored. I know I can't fly a Viper right now. But someone left this little bird fueled up and armed. You know what they say."

[Harrier-316: Keenan] Miraculously, Keenan pilots the Raptor through the flak screen, and manages to survive the teeth-rattling concussive force that comes with being rocked by the explosions. Like a bullet from a pistol, however, they slip through and the targets on his viewscreen light up. "HOLY SHIT we made it, Pens. Lighting it up now."

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Flight, Pom-Poms, We're through the flak-screen. Opening up a window now. Gonna get their heads turning in a moment as I switch over to…."

[TAC3] Keenan says, "…Areion vipers? I'm just curious, is your CIC screaming in your frakkin' headsets right now about a missile-armed Raptor inside your flak screen? Go frak yourselves. Tell Zeus Pom-Poms says hi."

[BlackKnight-1117: Burke] "Dangit girl if you ain't makin' me miss that bucket them Areion boys done fried!" Burke says to the Viper as once again the shots fly wide of the target, the craft bucking and weaving as he overcompensates for a turn or two while on his attack run. He pauses a moment as he fires upon another target that just so happens to be passing near to him, glancing down at the almost alien-looking console, "Stop blinkin' at me!"

[Polly's Hoopty: Finch] Colonel Baer didn't get his reputation for no reason, and skilled though Dirk Finch might be, his audacious maneuver costs him dearly. Bullets slam into his nose cone, just barely missing his canopy, and tylium begins to leak from the side of his starboard wing. His already-wrecked tailfin is long gone by now, with only a web of steel where that once-proud squadron stencil had been. Birdie's stricken Viper spins out and away from the battle, little bits and pieces of her getting shredded by Areion's ring of flak. Yet somehow his engine still fires, and as Cerberus' Raptors finally begin the short hop back to base, they might see his barely-controlled plan on an intercept course for … the CEX hangar.

[Harrier-670: McQueen] The little Grand Theft Raptor that could flies a bit unsteadily, almost like its operator, although competent enough to actually fly it, is overcompensating a little bit too hard. As it navigates the void and alters its bearing, it points straight at the silhouette of the Areion. And those missile racks? They empty. Each warhead goes streaking towards the Areion, specifically a part of it. The Gun. These aren't nukes - but they are high-explosive warheads, though. Messy.

[TAC3] (from "Birdie" Finch) Static reigns before for one bright and beautiful instant Birdie's smug baritone cuts back into the channel. "Too bad you didn't kiss me the other day, Pops," he begins to say. "We could've made — " And then the rest is silence as his engine outright explodes, his landing skids wrenching away as he vanishes from sight into the gaping hangar beyond.

[Harrier-316: Bran] "I don't know if shit had anything to do with that piloting, Poms," Bran is definitely amused at least, "I'll give that flight a good ten out of ten. Let's see what the Areion's got for us tonight." And with that, the ECO shifts his focus from electronic countermeasures to glorious, bright and flashy assault.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Birdie, Poppy. Sing out!" The dramatic sound of Khloe trying to catch her breath in this insane, intense combat. "Major!"

[TAC3] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Bored?" Decoy laughs briefly, "Wow, Queenie, remind me to make sure to keep you entertained in the future. Unlimited strippers on me, just in case. Fly awesome out there, dude."

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Pom-Poms, Fox One!"

[TAC3] (from "Birdie" Finch) For a moment, Poppy might hear what she thinks is a dark, rich chuckle — but that's probably just the static.

[Harrier-316: Keenan] "Thank, Shakes, for introducing me to the scrolls." Keenan says out of the side of his mouth. Turning the Raptor so that it's on a strafing run on the side of the Areion, he lines up the shot and pulls the trigger.

[Petrel-648: Pallas] Pallas decides to go over to Burke, since he seems to be having trouble with his swiped Areion Viper. Dodging and weaving through birds and KEW fire, he manages to get there taking no significant additional damage, giving a little roll to his formerly-captured wingman before resuming his attack on Maverick.

[TAC3] Burke says, "Uh, y'all, this is Burke. Anyone know what in th' heck the blinkin' blue light here means? Them ol' Vipers was hard 'nuff."

[BlackKnight-854: Drake] BAM! ZAP! POW! It's like one of those comic books turned block buster special effects movie spectacle the way 4 of the Evocati KEW into the hummingbird that is Dizzy, only for her to deflect or roll with the blows. Spinning-out, it takes her a moment to kip-up like some aerospace kung-fu diva.

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Well, that Fedora wearing piss poor asshole can fly, everyone knows that. Wade's attack misses just very, very barely and he snarls. His attention moves for a moment to follow Birdie's Viper and he yells "Nooo!" inside his cockpit. His gaze returns to Baer now and he squeezes the control of his Viper, pushing the thruster even further, moving in to engage again. He'll see that this man goes straight to hell, even if his Viper turns to dust around him.

[TAC3] "Fiasco" Marduk says, "Burke! I couldn't remember your name, little dude. Fiasco here, and you, my friend-in-crime, have got a bandit on your tail. Evade your backwoods ass off and I'll see what I can do."

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] At the apparent crash-landing and destruction of Birdie, Poppy seems to have forgotten her previous target of Thumper in favor of delivering Canceran justice to Papa. Her severely wounded bird limps off in the direction of the Areion CAG's, KEW blazing.

[Harrier-307: Evandreus] Evan's boat has come to something near on to a stop, a slow drift high over the battlefield, listening to the relatively spare chatter on the comms. He can't even really look at the devesation down below, eyes straying to something more generally placid, gazing at the stars while humanity does its best work to bash its own damned brain out. He gives a soft, put-upon sigh when Stiffy calls to his attention the incoming assailant, and he prepares evasives, not implementing them, yet, but beginning to turn and roll the fore of the ship south of carom in preparation for a maneuver when the other ship gets close enough.

[TAC3] "Spiral" Pallas says, "Blue light? Cut back on your *KRSHH* and give a little more *KRSHHH* to *KRSHHHH* systems, and for frak's sakes, don't *KRSHHHHHHH*"

[TAC3] Burke says, "Spiral, Burke. Ah'll, uh, try that. Thanks. Evadin' …"

[BlackKnight-855: Devlin] Devlin always seemed to like the idea of targeting Baer more than any of the other people he was told to shoot at, so when Khloe breaks off to take aim at the Areion CAG, he follows suit.

[TAC3] (from "Dizzy" Drake) Again, there are tears in her voice, but they are hot with anger. "Hey, Papa. Is it true that you're such a crap lay that Toast had to call out some skinjob's name and she /still/ couldn't get off?"

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen makes one more transmission as his Raptor's payload empties. "This is for Calliope. And Commander Laughlin. And Toast, you bastards. If this doesn't work - tell her I love her, yeh?" And with that — silence.

The Evocati do their level best to regroup in the chaos, but between the mutiny within their own ranks and the missiles suddenly flying at their ship from both Keenan's effort and the strange Raptor that suddenly entered the fray, Baer is losing his hold on them. Birdie's fiery spiral back toward the Areion seems to have taken the fight out of the Spectres that remain on the side of the Areion. It's an utter clusterfrak, but somehow it's working in Cerberus' favor.

[Harrier-670: McQueen] And just like that, the little Raptor that could flashes. And winks out of existence as its FTL drives are spooled up and jumps - away from the fray. It's gone.

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Queenie, Popp- damnit. What the frak?"

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) Still not dead, Trask quips, "Duncecap can't blow-up a Raptor. How d'you expect him to hit a g-spot?"

[TAC3] Burke says, "What in th' hecks a g-spot?"

[TAC3] "Dizzy" Drake says, "Somethin' that my li'l Chickadee /definitely/ knew how to hit."

[TAC3] (from "Drips" Wade) The roaring cannons of Wade's Viper can be hard as the man shouts over the general com "Die you frakking piece of shit, go fly a Viper through your momma's ass. DIE!!!!" Angry? You could say so.

[TAC3] "Fiasco" Marduk says, "Oh man, Little Redneck, we are going to have a long talk when we land. There is so much to teach you! You are going to be my greatest work, I just know it. A masterpiece by Fiasco!"

[Harrier-316: Keenan] The missiles fly from the payload launchers on Keenan's Raptor, streaking across the startfield towards one of the Areion's flak cannons. What follows is a large, concussive explosion and the slowly drifting remains of a flak cannon, floating aimlessly away from the missile's point of impact. "One cannon down, Pens, let's line up another. As far as I can tell we're still in the clear." Keenan says, incredulously as he selects the next target.

[BlackKnight-853: Khloe] A burst of static from Poppy's wireless, and her bird practically disintegrates around her cockpit, which flings her clear, managing a good ejection despite 853 coming apart at the seams.

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Flight, Pom-Poms, One flak cannon down, moving in on the next one. We should be opening a window for EVAC with this. No one's frakkin' coming after us. Any priority targets I should hit? Over. Frak, Poppy sound off."

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Poppy, Decoy. You OK in there?"

[TAC4] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Popsicle, you need a ride, hon?"

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe's transmission - if you could call it that - is full of static. What can be made out is "Ess Ay Arr" and "depressurization".

[TAC4] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "Pops, Bunny, I hear you."

[TAC4] "Drips" Wade says, "Bunny, Drips. Start SAR, get Poppy."

[TAC4] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "I've got this guy on my ass, shake him off of me so I can go pick her up, eh?"

[TAC3] Cora says, "All points, this is Cerberus Actual. Be aware: our…asset has failed. We no longer have control of our nuclear missiles; ETA to detonation sixty-seven seconds and counting. Initiating emergency evacuation protocols immediately. All ships are advised to — " Beat. "Get as far away from us as possible. Now. I say again, all ships get as far from Cerberus as possible NOW."

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) "Oh, man," Trask laughs, "this joke just keeps getting better and better."

And thus ends the pride and head of the Evocati, Wade's KEW guns ripping through his Viper like so much glass, as it shatters across the heavens. Between Baer's death, Birdie's fall and now the announcement of potential nuclear disaster, the Evocati are in a state of disarray. They scramble, more flying than fighting, to get themselves clear of any potential blast zone.

[TAC3] Burke says, "C'mon, Ellie Sue, don't fail me now …"

[Harrier-307: Evandreus] "I see her, Stiff," Evan calls back to his backseat as he slows through the debris so as not to run into her. "Running hard decompress, hold on," and the door opens, the greed of space stealing all the air in but moments as he approaches Khloe's location, siding up to her and adjusting the boat so that she floats right into the door as he maneuvers the door around her. Stiffy stands and clips Khloe in, pulling her to a seat while Bunny shuts the door and begins to recompress and let gravity take hold. And then he's heading— for Cerberus? Yeah, someone totally cut off TAC3 in here.

[TAC4] "Drips" Wade says, "You got it, bunnyman. Knights, cover the Raptors..*moment* Well, everyone seems to be running. You heard Cerberus' actual, move away."

[TAC4] "Bunny" Evandreus says, "I'll bring Pops back to the barn, Drips."

[TAC4] "Drips" Wade says, "Bunny, Drips. I'm moving to your six, and no back to the barn until stated otherwise by Cerberus Actual."

[TAC4] "Decoy" Devlin says, "Bunny, Decoy. Do not RTB, the nukes are going to blow. Why do you think we're all going this way?"

[Harrier-316: Keenan] Pulling out of the bombing run, Keenan has more than enough space as he twists the raptor over the dorsal side of the Areion and over onto its other side. Using it like a shield, he speeds away from the Cerberus, gripping his console tight. "It's not gonna blow…it's not gonna blow…"

[BlackKnight-855: Devlin] "Frak frak frak frak…" off comms, Devlin keeps up a running litany of curses intermingled with prayers as he, along with the others, speed as far from Cerberus as possible. Once they seem to be getting outside what is probably the blast radius, he flips around to fly backwards, still fleeing at speed, but watched the battlestar.

[BlackKnight-1117: Burke] Burke frantically fumbles with the controls inside his Viper, letting out a shout of dismay as a burst of KEW fire explodes across the nose of the plane. All the same, he's okay and the ship still seems to be flying. He adjusts the settings within the craft as he flies, gunning the throttle forward as he attempts to fly clear of the potential earth-shattering kaboom. As he guns the craft up to the maximum speed it can attain, he lets out a wild cry of: "Hoooooooooooooooo-eeeeeeee!"

[TAC4] Keenan says, "Flight, Poms, moving to port side of Areion inside of flak perimeter."

[Harrier-307: Khloe] Once Khloe is safe aboard 307 and is clipped in, it's clear precisely what happened: the shock she took to her leg from a cockpit hit earlier burned her flight suit, and during the decompression and adgitation of being flung from her Viper, micro-holes tore and began venting precious gases. Her left hand clenched over the holes are released once the Raptor's pressure comes back up. "Frak me," she says, sounding a little dizzy.

[Harrier-316: Bran] "Hephaestus tells me it's a ruse," remarks Bran offhandedly. He looks to the scattering over his DRADIS. "I'm not so sure I want to listen to those whispers."

[TAC3] (from Riederer) "There will be no need for that." A new voice — heretofore silent, and unfamiliar to most — is Cora's answer. It's a woman, whose cultured accent sounds surprisingly out of place amidst the sound of sparks and explosions making itself known wherever she's speaking. "I am Colonel Alke Riederer," she says, her alto thin and scratchy over the unstable line. "Commander Kepner is dead and I am assuming command of all Areion forces. Those who wish to surrender may do so, though I obviously cannot — " The message cuts off for a moment as the insane Raptor's missiles hit home, and it'll be some seconds yet before desperate engineers in CIC manage to repair the connection. " — are ordered to lay down your arms and return to base. This has gone on for long enough. To the rest of you, I can say only — " More static.

[TAC4] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Drips, Poppy. I'm okay. Take command, get us clear."

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] A vicious smile forms on Wade's lips when he sees Baer's Viper blowing to pieces. It is now that he realizes what happened to Poppy and after a quick chatter over the coms, he adjust his course and moves to Bunny's six assuming a defensive stance, to protect the Raptor should the last Evocati decide to be funny.

[TAC3] Burke says, "She can only say kshhhh kshhh?"

[TAC3] "Spiral" Pallas says, "Your asset? *KRSHH* frakking Cylons, you *KRSHHH* should skull-frak you with *KRSHHHHH* broken glass in your *KRSHH* while making you take *KRSHH* hammer drill, tie you *KRSHH* run the train and *KRSHHHHH* while you bleed out, you frakking *KRSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*"

[Harrier-316: Keenan] Sighing with relief as he spies the EVAC Raptors, Keenan shakes his head in disagreement with his ECOs. "Frak that, the lords are with us man. This is our wake up call and the Cerberus is NOT going to blow. Just…get ready to find SAR targets."

There's something in hearing Riederer over the wireless that gets the Evocati back together, at least enough to turn their Vipers and high-tail it back toward the Areion. They leave the field of battle to return to whatever mercies the good Colonel might offer them aboard that escort carrier. The retreat is silent, but the battlefield of space such as it is is left to the Fighting Fourteenth.

[TAC3] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) Still with dark humor, and still on the shared-channel, Trask cracks, "Just like that fat… drunkass frak… to keep control… of the nukes… just long enough… for us to… more… or less… kill… each… uh… ther…" The blood loss is finally starting to take its toll, coupled with the depletion of adrenaline.

[TAC3] Cora says, "Areion Actual, this is Cerberus Actual. Return control of our nuclear missiles immediately. Say again, return control of our nukes immediately. Terminate the countdown sequence."

[Harrier-307: Evandreus] Evan lets his boat drift to a halt mid-RTB, staring sort of blankly at Cerberus. Cerberus can't blow up. Short Kal's on that boat. And so the Harrier just sort of sits there, helpless, watching.

[BlackKnight-854: Drake] While the rest of the Evocati retreat, Drake does not budge until Marduk does.

[BlackKnight-1118: Marduk] And budge Marduk does, thankfully, flying away with Drake out of range with the rest.

[TAC4] "Drips" Wade says, "Flight, Drips. SAR is priority, get all the Pilots that need rescue. Poppy, see you back Poms, check get Spiral if you please."

[Harrier-307: Khloe] "Stiffy, I want you to calculate a safe emergency jump point, just in case," Khloe orders to Evan's ECO, while she leans against the bulkhead, catching her breath with her helmet off. She vented a good amount of oxygen. "Bunny," she says, giving a haggard look at Evan. "Thanks for the rescue. See if you can pick anyone else up off the field, eh.

[TAC3] (from Keenan) ..Colonel we swore oaths. Please don't do this.

[Harrier-307: Evandreus] Wut? There's still stuff to do? Evan takes a moment to sort of wake up. "Um. We'll have to decompress again. There's patch sealant, um… Stiff, show her where the patch sealant is." So she can fix her suit before he has to open the door again."

[TAC3] Cora says, "Areion Actual. Colonel Riederer! I say again TERMINATE THE COUNTDOWN SEQUENCE. All personnel be advised, detonantion in thirty-three seconds and counting."

[Harrier-316: Keenan] Keeping his Raptor piloting away, Keenan twists the vessel so that the two warships are within view, but angled enough that any explosions would be easy to shield their eyes from. Gritting his teeth, Keenan slams his fist down on the console in front of him. "What the frak is their problem?" He snarls, shaking his head furiously. "Those stupid bastards…"

[Petrel-648: Pallas] Spiral's been having no luck at all flying his unmodded Viper, and he's having a hard time keeping his hurting bird under enough control to fly away from Cerberus' blast radius. With any luck, he'll be right on the edge of the danger zone when - or if - the nukes go off.

It's a slow retreat, but a retreat it is. One of the Vipers even waggles her wings in the direction of the regulars, her unpainted hull glowing green in the shadow of Ophion below. And then another — and then another, until what remains of the Evocati executes that long and haphazard salute, gathering in perfect formation as, diamond by diamond, they extend their skids and disappear into the carrier's burned, pockmarked hull.

And above it all Riederer's voice suddenly reappears as her techs reestablish the connection, speaking the lines of an old and time-honored prayer.

[TAC3] (from Riederer) "Their enemies will divide them," she murmurs, as behind her the thrumming of Areion's FTL engines — so familiar from all those times they've fired that Gun — grows louder and louder. "Their Colonies broken in the fiery chasm of space. Their shining days renounced by a multitude — " More sparks; more explosions. " — Sacrifices. Yet still they will remain — " But now the transmission dies completely when the carrier's running lights flash off, her engineers having diverted all available power to wildly-spinning reactors. With one last glorious hum, the escort carrier Areion disappears from DRADIS —

Leaving it to those who survive to fill in the last words of Riederer's dirgelike prayer.

Always together.

[TAC3] Cora says, "All points, Cerberus Actual. Be advised, countdown sequence terminated. Emergency evacuation order rescinded. All ships return to base."

[Harrier-316: Keenan] When the Areion jumps, Keenan's jaw drops and his breath catches in his throat. Making a small, choked sound he turns to his console and starts going over the readouts. "She jumped." Keenan says, barely believing it himself. "Holy shit she jumped." Putting his helmet into one hand, he shakes and swallows hard as the unspent adrenaline gathers in his stomach. Reaching for the controls, he turns his Raptor towards the Cerberus, returning to the barn.

[TAC4] "Drips" Wade says, "Poms, Drips. SAR for Spiral please."

[TAC4] "Drips" Wade says, "Flight, Drips. You heard the lady, everyone back to Cerberus."

[Harrier-307: Khloe] "Huh." Khloe states, peering out through the canopy, watching the Areion jump away. At that point, she goes over to one of the ECO's consoles and tappity-taps something out for CIC. "Show me that patch paste, Stiffy, if you'd be so kind," she says while sending her sekrit message.

[Harrier-316: Bran] Bran cannot do too much from his seat, not with his attention elsewhere. He's on the tail end of finishing a prayer for strength when leaning to the side and reaching for a stow pocket. It's to claim a pen, his namesake, and begin repeatedly clicking it: one for each second, and then it is over. "I told you, Poms. The Evocati aren't all that special. They're as human as the rest of us, if not more."

[TAC3] Burke says, "Y'ask me, the Boz didn't shoot 'nuff folks with his scatter-gun back on that boat."

[TAC3] "Spiral" Pallas says, "*KRSHH* fine, Drips, frakking *KRSHH* the frak about *KRSHH* don't frakking *KRSHH*"

[TAC3] "Poppy" Khloe says, "Spiral, shut up, you're wasting oxygen."

[TAC4] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) "Wellllll, sheeeeeeyit," says Snake Eyes about RTB. "Ain't gotta tell me twice. Gonna need to prep for Medical. That crazy ass muthafrakka in my backseat just might've laughed his ass to death."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Spiral, Drips. This is the part where I let you know that your comms are frakked, just sit tight and wait for rescue. I'll buy you a drink."

[TAC4] (from "Bootstrap" Trask) There is no witty rejoinder, let alone any sound, from Bootstrap.

[Harrier-307: Evandreus] Stiffy yields the ECO spot, however wise a plan that might be, to Khloe, heading to the nearest emergency kit to get a half-empty tube of sealant and tossing it back across to Khloe, flopping into the backest of the backseat, where the ducklings usually sit, getting ready more SAR cords to clip more rescues in from the cold.

[TAC3] "Fiasco" Marduk says, "Whoa. So, ummmm, flight, Fiasco. Dizzy and I are gonna come home and party with you all, I guess," he says, for possibly the first time ever not sounding 100% confident, "Dizzy, they took my Templars jersey with them."

[Petrel-648: Pallas] Pallas tries to respond to those last two transmissions only to find that his comms have gone completely offline, as though they were willed into silence by Khloe's order. So he drags his busted Viper over to Wade's, close enough to flip him the bird. And just in case Wade isn't close enough to see it, he signals by flash, "FRAK YOU". But waits for SAR all the same. He's in no state to attempt a decent landing that doesn't end up with him going up in flames.

[TAC3] "Dizzy" Drake says, "It's okay, Gabe, babe. We'll get hammered at Pete's, get some lap dances. I heard there's some wicked awesome seamstress on the Elpis. And, like, she does spa treatments, too, I think."

[TAC3] "Fiasco" Marduk says, "You always know what to say to cheer me up, Diz. And hey, I think we get all the shoreleave we want now that we're our own Squadron of two. That's how this works, right? What should we name it?"

[BlackKnight-662: Wade] Wade just shakes his head at Spiral and chuckles, making a heart sign with both hands. 'I LOVE YOU TOO' mouths the man before turning his Viper and heading back to Cerberus.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License