PHD #198: EVENT - Welcome the Coming, Speed the Going
Welcome the Coming, Speed the Going
Summary: An unwelcome visitor drops into the skies above Sagittaron.
Date: 12 Sep 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Daphne Julie Alessandra Tisiphone Wade McQueen Malone Psyche Cidra Kaz Tillman Cora Kepner Baer Finch Marduk NPC Tucana Polaris 
Space Over Sagittaron
Cold and black and filled with Raiders.
Post-Holocaust Day: #198

[Polaris] What is it that Zeus demands of his children when visitors arrive at their door? Respect from host to guest, for one; respect from guest to host, for another; and most importantly of all, a gift to be given to the traveler upon his departure as a sign of the honor conferred upon the house. Any deviation from these rules, or so say the priests, and the All-Father himself shall rain thunderbolts upon those who dare defy his will.

Unfortunately, Zeus has probably found a nymph on whom he wants to shower thunderbolts of an entirely different sort — and so it is that when marauding Cylon guests set upon Battlestar Cerberus' combat air patrol with the ferocity of barbarians of old, the god's wrath is nowhere to be found. It takes three seconds for them to tear Easy's Raptor into so many thousands of pieces; three more seconds and the escorting Vipers follow suit, blinking off DRADIS with only a single calm beep to mark their passing. And then, the clamor: a panicked voice on the emergency channel, broadcasting to all Colonial radios —

"Contact! Five basestars bearing one-one-five carom two-one-niner, closing fast — "

There's no priest around to declare those Cylons in violation of the sacred rules of xenia, but, given the two hundred-plus Raiders now swarming toward the Colonial formation, it's safe to assume that obtaining priestly sanction for subsequent defensive acts isn't quite what anybody in the Fleet has in mind.

[BlackKnight-854: Alessandra] Alert launches, frantic on a 'good' day, down right sucks this time, the hurried pace down right unsettling for Lucky. Getting into her Viper and being thrown into space has her heart racing well beyond what is normal for her, the rush of it and following combat almost scaring her. It's a downright surprise that she can talk with any sort of levelness to it at all.

[BlackKnight-309: Tisiphone] In the cockpit of BK-309 is Ensign Apostolos, her bruised face ghoulish in her helmet's illumination. It was an easy bet that the Sagittaran-born pilot was going to be down there until the very last Raptor up, but instead, yesterday evening's shuttle brought her back — and off to Sickbay, looking like she'd picked a fight with every Marine down there at once. But there's no time for bedrest and ice packs at the end of the worlds, pilot; out the launch tube she soars with the rest of her brethren, forming up on Drips' wing, portside high.

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Cerberus, this is BlackKnight-854. I have cleared the tubes and am preparing to enage. Splash, get on my six once you're launched."

[BlackKnight-855: Wade] Wade ran towards the deck and pretty much launched himself over his Viper, feet failing to get some of the ladder steps and almost causing him to fall down. His own fault of course. He was just working out at the Athletics area when the first radio message came in and he just left everything there, running to the Berths to get his Flight Suit. After doing all the required checks. he gives the thumbs up signal and is pressed hard against his seat when the launch process starts. The Viper only calms down when it reaches space and he starts looking around to see how the situation has been painted. He finds Tisiphone close by and talks to her over the COM.

[Harrier-303: Cidra] Cidra was still tasked down on the surface when the grim call came down. But she was on Alert Five and loaded up in her Raptor, so it was a matter of a burst up and out of atmo to get her and her Raptor moving toward the fray. She's all over the wireless at the moment, trusting her ECO to know his business on the jammers, mostly clipping off commands to the Raptors who were asked to evac duty if worse came to worst on the surface. Looks like it might very well have.

[Battlestar Cerberus: Tillman] When the basestars jump in and everything goes to hell with the CAP, the fleet begins to lurch. Its a slow ballet that is almost imperceptible at first. But the fleet, still in orbit over the camp, turns its guns towards the incoming ships. With so many people trapped on the surface and trying to evacuate, the Fleet can't afford to just jump away. The Praetorian drifts over closer towards the Corsair for mutual support while the Cerberus turns its massive bow-mounted cannons towards the approaching fleet.

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] There's precious little hesitation as Queenie's Viper streaks a dull grey out of the Cerberus' tubes, letting out a gentle blue halo surround the flickering engines, dragging the little one-man fighter through the blackness of space which has seen so much conflict in recent months. The throttle is kicked upwards as his Viper moves into formation, with his wingman, and he gives the stick a gentle nudge in his selection of targets picking the most obvious one assailing the little Colonial armada.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade looks outside, at the hell falling upon them and says "Ok Money Shot, with me…let's give them something to remember"

[Harrier-303: Kaz] Strapped in the back seat, the breaking up and out to fight is nothing. It's the sudden sign of frakking blips that fill his screen, that has Kaz quickly reacting. "Holy Shit.." and like that his hands are moving quickly over the console as instinct kicks in, a second late-which in most chances can be quite, quite deadly. There's not even a look back to his pilot as Kazimir does trust that the major can do her job.

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Flight, Toast. I am out of Sagittaron orbit…now. Smyth…" to the (NPC) Raptor pilot still down on the surface. "Stay put on Sagittaron. Start extraction. Get as many loaded up as you can. People first. We can worry about supplies if we . Providers…" Reliable (NPC) squadron that they are. "…get five of your birds tasked down to the surface. All other hands, up and out against those Raiders as quick as you can.""

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "This is Queenie. Got a bloody spread here. Going in high to punch a hole in the front of their line, seein' if we can flank their initial wave."

<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Tisiphone with KEW - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Alessandra attacks Raider1 with KEW - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Tisiphone attacks Raider5 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Papa passes.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Engine.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Wade attacks Raider5 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Tisiphone with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Wade with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Alessandra with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Cidra with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kaz suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Kaz suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Kaz suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Fiasco passes.
<COMBAT> Polaris has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Raider-8780b has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider1 has been KO'd!

[Polaris] So many Cylon eyes make themselves known as the Raiders move to engage — creating yet another "target-rich environment" from which aces shall be minted, assuming said aces manage to survive the fire crisscrossing the battlefield from every which direction. For once, the machines don't appear to be moving in any sort of coordinated fashion: indeed, they seem as surprised as the Colonials are, not that surprise really matters when artificial intelligence is concerned. Even as one Raider falls, two more swoop in to take its place, as all around the human fleet bloody battle is joined at last.

<FS3> Polaris rolls 6: Success.

<FS3> Kaz rolls ECM: Good Success.

[TAC3] "Money Shot" Tisiphone says, "Drips, this is Money Shot. Copy that, targeting your-" Her hoarse-sounding voice cuts off to the sound of autocannon fire ricocheting off the plating on her Viper's wing. "Targeting your target. Two on me, taking evasive maneuvers."

[TAC3] "Chicken" Kaz says, "Toast, Chicken. We got two more contacts where that blip went. Zeus' balls they're thick as gnats out. Jamming.."

[BlackKnight-854: Alessandra] The fact that Lucky's Viper has been hit barely registers, the *tinktink* of rounds off metal not even reaching her ear. "…die mother frakker…" she hisses to herself as the first Raider is taken out by herself as well as several others. Not taking the time to celebrate just yet, she picks another target for her and her wingman to (hopefully) turn into so much scrap.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "Tags, Queenie. We're through. Goin' to break hard port on my mark and take this bastard at threenineteen before this dog gets some ideas in his head. Keep it nice n' dirty."

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Good shooting, Splash. Let's find another pigeon to frakking defeather."

[TAC3] Pony says, "Toast, Pony here. Providers are en route to the prison. Keep those Raiders off our asses!"

[Harrier-303: Cidra] Cidra's flying goes into a tight evasive pattern as she moves her ship into formation with the Vipers flying from Cerberus' tubes. Any Raider fire that was targeting them is blown well away by Alessandra, anyhow, so she's got a reasonably clear path. "Keep a heavy touch on jammers, Chicken. We have got *much* to do and will be short support while we are pulling people from the surface," she says to her ECO. Without taking her eyes off the starfield, of course. Toast is nothing if not intensely concentrated in these situations.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, ""Money Shot, Drips here. Copy that. Let's get those two from your back." The sound of cannon fire is heard in the background as Drips attacks one of the Raiders following Tisiphone."

[Harrier-303: Kaz] There's a mild grimace at the jerks of the raptor, but still the ECO is focusing in through the pain. muttering into the coms, Chicken continues doing his job-though it seems like he's just swinging a fly swatter in the middle of a sea, of flies. Sure he might hit some of them-but for the most part they're going to juke and jive and make his life a living frakking hell for the moment.

<FS3> Kaz rolls ECM: Success.

[BlackKnight-309: Tisiphone] Once more unto the furball, my friends. The spray of 20mm autocannon fire from Tisiphone's Viper goes wide as the tiny craft twists away from the Raider's answering fire, sparks bouncing off the matte grey plating into the black.

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] In the initial line of the battlegroup's defenders, McQueen and his wingman punch through, guns a-blazing after Lucky makes a shot that does her callsign proud. The birds curve in a sharp, almost nausea-inducing arc as they move to engage.

[BlackKnight-855: Wade] Wade aims his guns at one of those nasty Riders that are bugging Tisiphone, he starts firing at one and it hits mark, however it's not enough to bring that thing down "Just one more you sorry ass piece of shit…" mouths Wade as he keeps following that Raider.

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Pony, Toast. Copy. Get it done. Flight, concentrate your fire as much as you can. Looks like they…do not expect to find us here." Though she's no real idea what to make of that. "Good shooting, Lucky, but get evasive a-sap. You have got three bandits on you.""

[BlackKnight-662: Malone] Not paying too much attention to anything but the target, the wing and the controls, Malone's going for the next target now, humming a bit to himself.

<COMBAT> Tisiphone attacks Raider5 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Alessandra with KEW - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Tisiphone with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Alessandra with KEW - Moderate wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider2 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Alessandra attacks Raider2 with KEW - Serious wound to Engine.
<COMBAT> Wade attacks Raider5 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Alessandra with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Wade with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Tisiphone with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Papa passes.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider6 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Kaz suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Kaz suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Kaz suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Fiasco passes.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Polaris has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Blackknight-854 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Alessandra has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-1281c has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-4389k has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider5 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Alessandra spends a luck point to keep fighting!

[Polaris] There's a downside to "target-rich environments," of course, apart from the increased chance of a short and fiery death: it's damn hard to figure out what's targeting what, or to stay in any sort of intercept trajectory without ramming into another ship — friend or foe. Small wonder that even the Cylons have difficulty staying with their targets, even with their superior reflexes and their remarkable synthesis of mind and spaceframe.

Meanwhile, the basestars — having jumped into Sagittaran airspace in absolutely no coherent formation — now at last form up into the pentagonal formation that every Cylon model — from Centurions on up — has deployed against Colonial forces over the past couple of months.

And strangely, their guns are pointed not at Cerberus but at something else…

<FS3> Kaz rolls ECM: Success.

[TAC3] Cora says, "Toast, Nikephoros. We're reading a colonial military contact can you or any of yours get us a visual on that?"

[TAC3] "Chicken" Kaz speaks up his voice crackling over the com system. "Nikephoros, Chicken. I can confirm your contact. I have a ship, and she's squawking Colonial, and military. However I can't get a frakkin' ID on her. No class-nothing.

[Tucana's Caddy-608: Tucana] It's a funny thing, that formation. As the battle rages on in the vacuum of space, disorganized or not, the Cylons have the sheer advantage of numbers, here. Which almost obfuscates the ripple of space and light that accompanies an FTL jump. What emerges there isn't something /anyone/ would have expected. It's a mid-sized capital ship, smaller than a Basestar or Battlestar, and those with keen eyes can make something out — it is a Colonial design. An older one. It is enlongated, ugly, asymmetrical, more like a floating tank/fortress than a ship in the traditional sense. What it is, though, is armed. Its flak guns immediately start spewing ordinance, a few small warheads in a point-defense formation are spitting fire at the besieging Cylon forces.

[Tucana's Caddy-608: Tucana] It appears to be, to the militarily astute - bearing the silhouette and profile of an older Colonial class - the Escort Carrier. A few tiny specks begin to emerge behind the flak screen - bearing the size and profile of COLONIAL VIPERS.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Money Shot, Drips here. Great shot! Let's get the other one that seems to like you just a bit too much."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. You heard. Chicken has got a signature but no ID and no joy on visual. We are nowhere near those coordinates. Can you make contact, Cerberus?"

[BlackKnight-854: Alessandra] The focused firepower from the Raiders tears into Allie's Viper something awful but by some miracle of the Lords there is no explosion nor injury to be had except to Allie's pride. Changing her aggressiveness, she calms down, takes a second and breathes before picking a new target, leading her wingman on.

[Harrier-303: Kaz] There's A small fist pump as his net catches a few other files, and he's quick to catch the newest reading on the DRADIS. Blinking eyes focus on the console for a moment, before he's replying over the coms. Another packet ready- he's taking time to look back to his pilot and add a shrug. And then out come the other specks, flowing through out onto his DRADIS map. And Packet's away.

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Splash, Lucky. How are you holding out?"

[BlackKnight-662: Malone] Firing off again, Malone looks around and sees Alessandra's viper get hit. Turning for the one that fired those shots, he growls a little bit, "Okay, time for you to go down…" Pausing for a few moments as he hears the part about the Colonial ship, he blinks, then focuses back on the enemy.

[TAC3] "Chicken" Kaz says, "Toast, Chicken. I'm now reading Vipers-no squad registry. Repeat We have colonial ml vipers, but no squad."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "All good here, Lucky. How about you? Be careful while I work on getting that Raider off your back, okay?"

[TAC3] Cora says, "Toast & Chicken, Nikephoros. We've got the same readings. Can anyone get a visual on that ship to confirm? DRADIS says it's in the center of the cylon formation. Say again, can anyone get a visual confirmation of these readings?"

[BlackKnight-855: Wade] Wade has to throw his Viper off course for a moment in order to avoid incoming fire but goes back to formation with Tisiphone right after that "Frakking toasters…" says the man and starts firing against his favorite target. The thing blows to pieces right before he started firing again as a matter of fact, Tisiphone got it and that brings a wide grin to his lips "That's what I'm talking about!" calls out Wade, not even on TAC3. After that Raider went boom, he focuses his fire on the other one that is after Money Shot.

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "I'm as fine as the fuzz on a Caprican peach, Splash. Don't worry about me."

[TAC3] "Money Shot" Tisiphone says, "It's gonna get pissed if you don't let it hit you soon, Sir." Tisiphone makes a raspy, breathless sound probably meant to be a chuckle. Too many cigarettes and G-force aren't doing it any favours, though. "Keep dancing. Reading one Raider on each of us."

[BlackKnight-650: Psyche] "You're picked up company, Queenie. I've got your back," Psyche chirps over the coms, banking out and coming back around hard to line up behind the bandit on her wingman's tail. She flies fast and steady, unconcerned for the moment about any pursuit. She's got half an ear on the chatter about other ships and colonial signatures, but right now, her head's in the game.

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen 's voice is all shock and surprise. And maybe a little glee. "The hells is /this?/ Looks like they brought the party /with/ 'em."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. No go on visual from here, but I can do a micro-jump in and out. Chicken, prep the FTL after your through with this go on the jammers. Let us keep it very light. We shall not want to linger after we make contact. Viper Flight, keep those Raiders."

<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider8 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider9 attacks Mcqueen with KEW - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Cidra with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Papa passes.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Alessandra attacks Raider7 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wade attacks Raider4 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tisiphone attacks Raider4 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Alessandra with KEW - Light wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Wade with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Tisiphone with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider9 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider7 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Kaz suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Kaz suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Kaz suppresses Raider6 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Fiasco passes.
<COMBAT> Raider8 attacks Mcqueen with KEW - Light wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Polaris has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Blackknight-854 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Alessandra has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Blackknight-853 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Mcqueen has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> McQueen spends a luck point to keep fighting!
<COMBAT> Alessandra spends a luck point to keep fighting!

[Polaris] Like moths to a flame flock the Cylons to this newest entrant into the ring. Heavy Raiders bearing Centurions abruptly move off from the planet, bringing their quad-cannons into play against any Colonial target in their paths. Their smaller cousins wink out with flashes of light, their trademark micro-jumps thinning the field considerably as they dash toward home. What once was two hundred and change is now just over a hundred — and though the field isn't clear by any stretch of the term, the men and women of CVW-14 now find themselves far less outnumbered than before. Small comfort that is.

And that mysterious ugly tank of a ship in the very center of the Cylon formation? Surely something as old as that ancient rust-bucket won't be able to hold up against concentrated basestar fire for long.


<FS3> Cidra rolls Raptors: Success.

[TAC3] Cora says, "Toast, Nikephoros. You're a go on that micro-jump. Confirm what we're dealing with here, please."

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak1:7
< Cidra: Success Flak1: Good Success
< Net Result: Flak1 wins.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak2:5
< Cidra: Good Success Flak2: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak3:5
< Cidra: Success Flak3: Success
< Net Result: DRAW

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche snorts. "I know, Queenie-pie, but you're not going to like what this one wants to put up your ass — SHIT!" And no sooner than spoken, the Raider in question dumps its load-o'-love on McQueen. Psyche's reply puts some serious hurt on it, but it jumps away. "Double shit! Queenie, you okay?"

[Battlestar Cerberus: Tillman] The engines on the back of the Cerberus light up, tylium-fueled flames extending a quarter mile behind the massive structures. The ship lurches suddenly and the Praetorian/Corsair combination begin their push also. The Cerberus is diving in head first, bearings matched for the Cylon formation. Then the bow winks. Once, twi-th-four.. Every bow-mounted cannon fires in rapid succession just as the dorsal guns begin their lethal fire towards the enemy ships. Its readily apparent that the Cerberus is not targeting the scrappy little armored bucket that just appeared.

<FS3> Kaz rolls ECM: Great Success.

[TAC3] "Chicken" Kaz says, "Toast, Chicken. FTL's spun up. We're bloody ready."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. Jumping…now!"

[Harrier-303: Cidra] "Hang on, Chicken. This could get very interesting," is the warning Cidra gives Kaz before she skips off to jump. Her Raptor blinking out of that particular bit of fray (after taking some Raider fire directly to the chin), and into yet another and hotter area of fray. Not just Raider fire, though they're smack in the middle of that, but flak from the carrier as well. Her Raptor gets battered by the first blast from it, throwing the ship off and sending up a nice flare of sparks from her pilot's console. She manages to weave away from any further hits, hastily trying to right her trajectory. She manages it, and they don't die.

[BlackKnight-855: Wade] Wade starts firing again at that nasty Raider that is bugging Money Shot. Now, as for the Raidar that was after him? This time, the tin can doesn't miss. It hits his cockpit, causing a lot of his pretty pretty controls send sparks and pieces towards him "Frak!" exclaims Wade as he tries to regain control of the Viper. He shouts something over the COM and then dedicates his efforts to fix bird as much as he can.

[TAC3] (from "Rudy" Kepner) There is some loud, high-pitched, distorted static whine over the already-busy Tactical channel, and then silence. And then something else. A voice. An unfamiliar voice. It sounds grave, and male, and a bit raspy. "Unidentified Colonial Battlegroup. We are sending challenge codes over an encrypted channel, which you may review and respond to when we're not dealing with this — situation outside. This is Commander Rudolph Kepner of the Colonial Escort Carrier Areion. I don't know what you're doing here and right now I don't care. I don't ask Ares for explanations."

[TAC3] "Money Shot" Tisiphone says, "Splash, this is Money Shot. Reading two on your tail, engaging your seven o'clock low."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Money Shot, Drips. I'm hit, I'm hit!. Going to take a moment to see if I can fix this damn thing."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "Frak. Naw, I'm still here. Just got knicked, but I'm closing on target. Now."

[Harrier-303: Kaz] "Got you, Toas-" the rest is lost in a curse as the hit is registered and the sparks kick up, casting a nice light show, from where he is sitting. And there's a turn as f he's needed, but soon enough in they come, that lurching blink into nothingness before they are right over the little carrier. "Blanket's out!" called over the direct coms to the Major, as he basically makes it seem as if the raptor never blipped over. Cylons mght be lockin' but they won't find anything to lock onto.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche releases an audible breath. "Copy that, Queenie. You've picked up another, but I'm on him. Looks like your ass brings all the cylons to the yard."

[TAC3] (from "XO" Tillman) Its a second or two before Tillman replies. Very looong seconds. "This is Major Clive Tillman, currently fighting the Cerberus Battelgroup. Will review your challenge but I'm a little busy at the moment. Going to hand you off to Captain Nikephoros for reply challenge."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Carrier Areion. This is Major Cidra Hahn of Battlestar Cerberus, number One-Three-Two. We do not know what you are doing here either, but I will take any shield Athena gives me. Cerberus, Toast. Visual confirmation. These bird are Colonial."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Still with us, Lucky? And thanks, Money Shot. Trying to get the other one, but all help is always appreciated in a situation like this."

[TAC3] Pony says, "Toast, Pony, exfil proceeding apace. Cerberus, clear us room in your flak ring — we're on approach from aft, where the Cylons ain't."

[TAC3] "Money Shot" Tisiphone says, "Drips, this is Money Shot. Copy that. Helping Splash pry some Raiders off, he caught our target's eye."

[BlackKnight-662: Malone] Firing off at one of the enemies, Malone then frowns as two of them tries to take him down. "Okay… Maybe I shouldn't have showered today…" he mutters to himself as he moves for one of those Raiders, growling a bit.

[TAC3] Cora says, "Areion, this is Captain Nikephoros of the Cerberus. We have authenticated your signature, sending reply challenge over same frequency now."

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Yeah, still with you, Splash…barely."

<COMBAT> Tisiphone attacks Raider6 with KEW - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Malone with KEW - Serious wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Malone with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider4 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Papa passes.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider7 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Fiasco passes.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Alessandra attacks Raider7 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Wade treats Blackknight-855:
< Cockpit (Serious): successful

<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Mcqueen with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Psyche with KEW - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider4 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kaz passes.
<COMBAT> Polaris has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Raider-8924d has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider6 has been KO'd!

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak1:7-20
< Cidra: Success Flak1: Failure
< Net Result: Cidra wins.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak2:5-20
< Cidra: Good Success Flak2: Success
< Net Result: Cidra wins.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak3:5-20
< Cidra: Success Flak3: Success
< Net Result: DRAW

[Polaris] Suicidal CAG is suicidal. Just days after flying alone to meet with a known terrorist, she now jumps directly in the center of a five-basestar pentagon, which — although they take fire both from the Cerberus battlegroup and the strange Colonial ship — is still as lethal as ever. And all Major Hahn will see are explosions — exploding Vipers, exploding shells, exploding missiles, the works. It's as if the space around her Raptor is filled with combustibles, which, when she thinks about it, probably isn't too far from the truth.

Yeah. Colonel Pewter isn't going to be terribly happy about that.

And those Colonial fighters? The ones she can see out her cockpit when she's not busy getting her arse shot off are a far cry from the sleek silver of Cerberus' Mark VIIs or the old-fashioned red-and-white of her older Mark IIs. These look like they've just come off the production line, devoid as they are of any paint or, for that matter, any identifying marks whatsoever — and though the sixty-odd pilots are significantly outnumbered, they're tearing through the onrushing Cylon Raiders like so many hot knives through butter. And the longer they fight, the more Raiders fly in to meet them, jumping out of range of Colonial guns to where the main encounter is shaping up.

[TAC3] (from "Rudy" Kepner) More noise on the console as numerous Wireless transceivers tune to the tactical channel the Cerberus battlegroup is parked on. "Cerberus. She's Mercury-class. Congratulations, ladies and gentlemen. We are all officially friends here. Let's give our dance partners something to think about since our original target seems /displaced./ Try to get your forces to establish a perimeter and push hostiles in on vector three-eight-two carom five niner, and we'll - let's just say you'll like this. Areion-Actual out." The transmission cuts off after a chuckle. What's interesting? He just requested Cerberus' forces to round the enemy forces in /towards/ the escort carrier and the basestars surrounding it.

[TAC3] (from "Papa" Baer) Another voice joins in. "Flight, Papa. Steady, I want cover on our airspace while Aieron charges up the Gun." It looks like this party has officially been crashed.

"Papa, Fiasco. I got it. LOOK AT THESE SIGNALS! We've got a whole B—"

"Stow it, Fiasco."

[TAC3] Birdie says, "Papa, Birdie, I'm on the two on your tail. Looks like today we keep Hades in his hole."

[BlackKnight-854: Alessandra] Lucky is not about to slow down now despite her Viper's damage, this being a game she's staying in until the end. "Stay with me…" she mutters before picking yet one more Raider to try and destroy, her voice shaking now that she has the realization of just what's going on hit.

[Harrier-303: Cidra] If any ECOs have a complaint about flying with Toast, it is that it's often boring. Not so much today. It's all Cidra can do to dodge the explosions from Vipers, Raiders and sundry flak around her. She's not *really* suicidal today, so the combustibles are dodged as lightly as she can.

[Harrier-303: Kaz] Kaz is sighing in his seat as he leans back, once the blanket is out and holding. Well this is good-very frakking good. A look is given over to the Major as he is sending out packets, left and bloody right. Trying to subvert, flash off, and do whatever he can to keep them and what's around them bloody alive. "Hera's tits.." muttered out as he just braces in and keeps on deflecting. "Toast, if we make it out of this alive, we're officially some of the bloody luckiest bus drivers out there.."

<FS3> Kaz rolls ECM: Failure.

[BlackKnight-309: Tisiphone] Tisiphone's rodeo-clown antics appear to work — one of the two Raiders hot on Splash's tail veer off to retarget her. She veers off sharply, back toward her wingleader, on a merry and evasive chase.

[BlackKnight-855: Wade] Wade works as fast as he can, the controls come back online after a few moments of hard work and he takes the controls again, pushing the Viper's thrust to the max getting back into action and seeking for Tisiphone. He narrows his eyes at what's going on and falls in formation with her again, already taking good aim of the Raider that has her in sight.

[TAC3] Pony says, "Cerberus, Pony, my ECO just ran the numbers. You know what this Areion bullshit is asking us to do, right?" A pause. "Right?"

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] While playing chicken with another Raider, Queenie silently keeps formation as much as possible until his current pursuer is made dust by the collective effort of the Cerberus' viper wing, he systematically continues engaging the next target.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Money Shot, Drips here. Sorry about the dalay, you are doing a hell of a job here. Let's see if we can shoot down a few more of these. Frak, the controls are acting up, this bird is going to need some work."

[BlackKnight-662: Malone] Growling a bit as he gets hit, Malone turns towards one of the remaining little enemies, heading more or less straight for it now. "Time to go to the junkyard, my friend…" he mutters, keeping his attention on the other ship for now.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Splash, Bubbles. Hang in there, kiddo — we're coming for you."

<COMBAT> Wade attacks Raider4 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Tisiphone attacks Raider4 with KEW - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider3 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kaz passes.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Alessandra attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Tisiphone with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Malone with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Papa passes.
<COMBAT> Fiasco passes.
<COMBAT> Polaris has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Raider-2283e has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider3 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-6084f has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider4 has been KO'd!

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak1:7
< Cidra: Success Flak1: Success
< Net Result: DRAW

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak2:5
< Cidra: Good Success Flak2: Success
< Net Result: Cidra wins.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak3:5
< Cidra: Good Success Flak3: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW

[TAC3] "XO" Tillman says, "All pilots, Cerberus. Follow stated orders. Cerberus is moving in to support."

[TAC3] Pony says, "Cerberus, Pony, WHAT?! We've got frakking survivors in here! Say again, you want us to ride right into the teeth of those guns?"

[BlackKnight-650: Psyche] There's barely time to cheer for mopping up the last of them before more raiders engage, a vicious pair ganging up on Psyche's wingman. The little blonde takes a deep breath, grinding her teeth and laying down fire on one of McQueen's pursuers. "Motherfrakkers. Die, already."

[TAC3] Cora says, "Pony, Nikephoros. Raptors with survivors steer clear of the action. You should be RTBing to drop off personnel from the surface and then heading back down to continue evac."

[Polaris] The Raiders, surprised as they were, now seem to have the battle in hand, maintaining numerical superiority on both of the Colonial locations. Even as the ones chasing the Amazing Ensigns turn into space dust, four more arrive, carried to the action by the natural flow of things rather than any real intent.

Meanwhile, one of the Cylon basestars begins to stream purple plasma from its engines, bracketed as it was by Praetorian's missiles and Cerberus' guns — but it isn't dead yet, maneuvering as it does to shield its brethren from fire. It's sacrificing itself to protect its mates, which pour salvo after salvo into the Areion's blackened hull — a hull that, miraculously, is burnt but not broken.

A hull that begins glowing a deadly poisonous green as the carrier's engines turn from yellow to red to white…

[BlackKnight-854: Alessandra] There's no way around it. Allie needs to swap out Vipers if she's going to be able to stay in the game but landing to do so is going to be just as risky as staying in will be. Closing her eyes, she takes a deep breath and makes the hard call, that being to try to get into a new bird before trying to follow any other orders.

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Flight, this is Lucky. I'm going to need to swap out fighters if I'm going to be able to do anything. Do I have permission to do so?"

[BlackKnight-309: Tisiphone] It's a perfect little catch-and-smash that Drips and Money Shot manage on the Ensign's tailing Raider. Dart this way, twist that way — and suddenly it's under fire from both of their autocannons. By the book, Just As Taught, and utterly effective. Tisiphone's fly-through of expanding cloud of debris isn't quite so textbook, however. It's the little indulgences that make it all worthwhile. Back around she comes, angling toward the Basestars' collective flak ring.

[TAC3] Birdie says, "Papa, you hearing this Lucky's horseshit?" The friendly — 'friendly' — pilot called Birdie. "These guys are regulars. Just our frakking luck."

[Harrier-303: Cidra] Cidra's Raptor engages in some more dodging that the boxy ship is just *barely* capable of as all sorts of things both Colonial and Cylon explode around them. But they manage, yet again, not to die. So they've still got that going for them. For now. It doesn't appear they'll be getting out of here anytime soon.

[TAC3] (from "Papa" Baer) The sound of weapons fire extra-cockpit threatens to drown out the voice, "Birdie, Papa. Maybe, maybe. You wanna lead by example here? Less talk, more shoot."

[BlackKnight-855: Wade] Wade keeps his Viper close to Tisiphone's, the orders are clear and so he follows. Since he has one Raider that seems to be pretty interested in him, he aims his guns at it. His bird is bleeding and the controls are not reacting as good as they would in optimal conditions, but this situtation is nowhere near optimal so, you gotta roll with the punches.

[TAC3] Birdie says, "Boom boom boom, Pappy."

[Harrier-303: Kaz] "Frakkin' slipped" And with that his awesome bombarding of countermeasures is continued. Kaz is not about to let their asses explode into space dust today. Perhaps next month, sure, but right now Chicken is throwing out blocks of the electronic kind-that would make a pyramid player jealous. However with that gut wrenching turn he's this close to losing it. But his body's been rather beat up. This, is not helping.

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Lucky, Toast. No time to swap. If you are too damaged to continue engagement, permission granted to RTB, but none of us shall get another try at this."

[TAC3] (from "Fiasco" Marduk) Now it's the self-proclaimed 'Fiasco' that chimes in. "Aw come on. This is where we go boom. Watch /this/."

[TAC3] "Money Shot" Tisiphone says, "Drips, this is Money Shot. Targeting your target. Dance a little faster this time, Sir. We've gotta get you through a flak ring."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Lucky, Splash. I'll cover you until you're back at the base."

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Roger, Toast. I'll stay in. Not sure what good I'll be doing but I'm not going to leave you guys one man short."

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "No need, Splash."

[TAC3] Pony says, "Cerberus, this is Pony, we hear your orders. Staying the frak out of this one. Gods, the fugees up in here are flipping a shit."

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Okay, then. Time to take out some more enemies now."

[TAC3] (from "Rudy" Kepner) "All ships. This is Areion-actual. We are at 75 percent optimization. Keep your cover up, and may the Gods favor you."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Money Shot, Drips here. Copy that, let's race for it. Let's make some Cylon dust."

[TAC3] "Chicken" Kaz says, "Toast, Chicken. Is it me, or does th' Gods favor you sound frakkin' foreboding?"

<FS3> Kaz rolls ECM: Good Success.

[TAC3] Cora says, "Toast, Nikephoros. We read you still near the Areion, can you get any sort of visual on what this weapon of theirs is? We've got significant radiation and power surge readings here, but not radiological."

[BlackKnight-662: Malone] Seeing the situation out here, Malone does his best to get into position to interfere with the Raider going for Alessandra, doing his best to get a good shot into the Cylon. Singing a bit to himself as he flies.

[TAC3] "Chicken" Kaz says, "Flight, Chicken. Everyone bloody better get in here now. This thing is putting off a major surge of rads. And I don't think it can take that much more of the pounding it is. If you're not in the safety hull with your friends, then hurry the frak up. because end is frakkin' Nigh!"

<COMBAT> Kaz passes.
<COMBAT> Tisiphone attacks Raider14 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider13 attacks Mcqueen with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider12 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Malone attacks Raider11 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Wade attacks Raider14 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider14 attacks Wade with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider12 attacks Mcqueen with KEW - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider11 attacks Alessandra with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Psyche attacks Raider12 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Papa passes.
<COMBAT> Fiasco passes.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Alessandra attacks Raider11 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Polaris has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Raider-1856b has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider11 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-2362h has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider14 has been KO'd!

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Flight, Toast. Clear eyes and steady hands. Let us go."

[TAC3] Cora says, "Chicken, Nikephoros. You're going to need to say again with different words because that made about zero sense to us in here."

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] As the ships continue their little dance, McQueen's Viper flies through the junk of yet another smoked Raider and the plane wobbles a little. He turns hard starboard and breaks off.

[TAC3] "Chicken" Kaz says, "Flight, Chicken. Roger that. Get yer asses in here, because we need to cover th' engines otherwise this thing won't work. Aerion's engines are about shot. So we need interference to protect em. Over."

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen says, "Toast, Queenie. I've got a hit which looks like it took a chunk out of my nav systems. I can't maneuver in that mess.""

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak1:7-15
< Cidra: Success Flak1: Success
< Net Result: DRAW

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak2:5-15
< Cidra: Good Success Flak2: Success
< Net Result: Cidra wins.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors vs Flak3:5-15
< Cidra: Good Success Flak3: Success
< Net Result: Cidra wins.

[TAC3] Cora says, "Chicken, Nikephoros. Copy that. Thanks for clarifying."

[TAC3] (from "Splash" Malone) The sound of singing can be heard for a few moments, before Malone speaks up. "Cheer up, everyone. It's not like we're in any kind of trouble here, right?" It's offered quite lightly, yet a bit thoughtfully.

[TAC3] "Money Shot" Tisiphone says, "Made it through the Cerberus's flak ring before, how much worse can five Basestars be?"

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche says, "Splash, Bubbles — how many times were you dropped on your head as an infant?"

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Let's keep the chatter for after we get out of this."

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Just another fun day in Cylon land, speeding up the Rollercoaster. Getting to Max speed now, see you guys on the other side."

[TAC3] "Chicken" Kaz says, " Toast, Chicken. I'll see you on the other side of this-yeah?"

[Polaris] Poisonous green has turned a deadly purple, one so dark that it's almost as black as the space around it — or maybe it's only dark when set against the blinding light of so many things going boom on Papa Baer's orders. And through it all flies Cidra's painted Raptor, dodging bullets like the protagonist of some atrocious action movie, its jammers screeching and howling as missiles swoosh past —

— Missiles that travel slower than the Colonial Vipers that now break for the tremendous ring of flak on the CAG's direct orders. It's a magnificent sight, if one deigns to look out one's cockpit to see it: so many fighters turning away as one, their RCS points flaring orange-white as they flip toward the pentagon. And then, with sad, precise synchronicity, the ships of CVW-14 shoot forth like they've been fired from the quiver of brilliant Apollo himself. The Vipers are the arrowheads; their contrails, the shafts; the pursuing Raiders, the fletching, silver and blue against the night.

So goes the Fighting Fourteenth with its unspoken plea: Fortuna favet fortibus.

It hopes.

[Harrier-303: Cidra] Cidra lets Kaz do the talking to Cerberus. All of her concentration is fixed on dodging explosions and endeavoring not to die. She's really *not* suicidal tday. Though as the orders are given, she does power her Raptor toward the flak to join her ships. "Hang on, Chicken. Gods willing, I shall see you on the other side." Anyone's guess whether she means the physical other side of the flak ring, or the metaphysical one. She flies like a banshee, though, and still manages not to die. For now. She flies straight at the flak along with her ships, however, so we'll see how long that lasts.

[Harrier-303: Kaz] There's a look over Cidra as he is tossing out what he can to keep those flak guns off of them. Another packet flashed out as he is doing his best to keep them coming-as needed. And eve with the twists and turns the little box takes are like torture on his battered body. jaw set hard as he grits his teeth. "You want me to pray sir-for we get in there?" by there he means in the way to save those dying engines. Either way he'll do it silently.

[Battlestar Cerberus: Tillman] With a basestar attempting to absorb the fire from the Cerberus Battlegroup, its going to take some maneuvering. The Cerberus banks to starboard while its dorsal guns track towards the basestars aft of the Pocket Carrier. Not even being targeted, the Battelstar lets off merciless amounts of fire while missiles stream from its tubes. The Praetorian and Corsair break off to Port, meanwhile. They Cylons won't be able to block all the incoming fire. The Praetorian's huge armored doors open and lock into place. Then, the black dots of tube flicker. The engines from dozens of large missiles light the whole cruiser up from bow to stern as the fire off almost simultaneously and careen towards teh same ships the Cerberus is targeting.

[BlackKnight-650: Psyche] Psyche takes a deep breath, lips moving in silent prayer. Her eyes focus on the flak ring ahead, pupils dilated and mirroring the fires in the sky. Her fingers flex and roll back into a fist on the stick. She's going in.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Psyche:Vipers+20 vs Flak1:7
< Psyche: Good Success Flak1: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Psyche:Vipers+20 vs Flak2:7
< Psyche: Great Success Flak2: Bad Failure
< Net Result: Psyche wins big.
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Psyche:Vipers+20 vs Flak3:7
< Psyche: Good Success Flak3: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Malone:Vipers+20 vs Flak1:7
< Malone: Success Flak1: Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Malone:Vipers+20 vs Flak2:7
< Malone: Success Flak2: Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Malone:Vipers+20 vs Flak3:7
< Malone: Good Success Flak3: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Tisiphone:Vipers+20 vs Flak1:7
< Tisiphone: Great Success Flak1: Success
< Net Result: Tisiphone wins.
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Tisiphone:Vipers+20 vs Flak2:7
< Tisiphone: Great Success Flak2: Great Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Tisiphone:Vipers+20 vs Flak3:7
< Tisiphone: Good Success Flak3: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Wade:Vipers+20 vs Flak1:7
< Wade: Success Flak1: Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Wade:Vipers+20 vs Flak2:7
< Wade: Good Success Flak2: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Wade:Vipers+20 vs Flak3:7
< Wade: Good Success Flak3: Great Success
< Net Result: Flak3 wins.

[BlackKnight-855: Wade] Wade keeps his focus on the flack ring, he narrows his eyes and pushes the engines to the max, the Viper already insulting him in binary. The poor thing shakes more now, the last hit to the controls was a bit problematic but it still holds on. Hand firm on the controls tho, non stopping.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Alessandra:Vipers vs Flak1:7
< Alessandra: Success Flak1: Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Alessandra:Vipers vs Flak2:7
< Alessandra: Good Success Flak2: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Alessandra:Vipers vs Flak3:7
< Alessandra: Success Flak3: Good Success
< Net Result: Flak3 wins.

<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors+20 vs Flak1:7
< Cidra: Great Success Flak1: Good Success
< Net Result: Cidra wins.
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors+20 vs Flak2:7
< Cidra: Great Success Flak2: Good Success
< Net Result: Cidra wins.
<FS3> <FS3> Opposed Roll — Cidra:Raptors+20 vs Flak3:7
< Cidra: Great Success Flak3: Good Success
< Net Result: Cidra wins.

<FS3> Alessandra rolls Vipers-20: Failure.

<COMBAT> Alessandra passes.
<COMBAT> Wade passes.
<COMBAT> Psyche passes.
<COMBAT> Mcqueen attacks Raider12 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Kaz passes.
<COMBAT> Fiasco passes.
<COMBAT> Cidra passes.
<COMBAT> Tisiphone passes.
<COMBAT> Raider13 attacks Alessandra with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider12 attacks Malone with KEW - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Malone passes.
<COMBAT> Papa passes.
<COMBAT> Polaris has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<FS3> Wade rolls Vipers-20: Success.

[BlackKnight-854: Alessandra] 854 is too damaged and the weapons fire too heavy for it to come out unscathed and it finally goes out of control. Spinning wildly, Lucky has only one option and that is to eject. The call is put out over the coms just before the explosive egress is made and Allie gets to yet again experience space without the comfort of a fighter around her.

[TAC3] "Lucky" Alessandra says, "Mayday, mayday, mayday…Flight, this is Lucky. I'm having to eject. I repeat…ejecting now!"

[Harrier-303: Cidra] Perhaps the gods are on the side of that Raptor Cidra and Kaz occupy. Whatever the case, Toast and Chicken make it through the flak without getting…well. Burnt and/or fried. Cidra murmurs something under her breath in Old Gemenese. Must be a prayer this time. Athena's name figures prominent. Not that she *stays* clear, mind you. When that call goes out from Alessandra she turns around to promptly commence search-and-rescue. Maybe suicidal CAG *is* suicidal. "Chicken, get a lock on her transponder."

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Flight, Toast. Commencing SAR. Hang on, Lucky."

[BlackKnight-309: Tisiphone] How much harder can three Basestars' worth of flak ring be than the Cerberus's? Not much, apparently, for Tisiphone's sleek Mark VII twists and tumbles through the chaos, the matte grey ship lit up in the stark, stuttering flashbangs. If only the inside of the ring meant /safety/, instead of a brand new furball to navigate.

[BlackKnight-650: Psyche] Psyche's usually pretty meticulous about not flying through the messes she makes. Likes to keep her ride nice and mint — all the better to shoot more Raiders with, my dears. So flying through the flak? It's more than a little unnerving. She jinks and weaves and banks hard, rotated a good 90-degrees from the angle of her approach as she comes out the other side… but she comes out the other side. With barely a scratch on her.

[BlackKnight-855: Wade] Wade's Viper gets hit pretty heavily as soon as he reaches the fire zone. Cockpit again, system boards going boom on him, engines took heavy damage as well, wings…the whole thing got frakked up. The bird starts to spin out of control and he wrestles with the controls to keep the thing from breaking in half "Fraaaaaaaaaaak" shouts the man as the bird spins out of control. Finally, the Viper responds to what he wants to do and the bird stabilizes itself but is pretty much wrecked, the engines shut go into an intermitent lifespan mode, spiting plasma while the ship struggles to keep online.

[BlackKnight-662: Malone] "Here goes… everything…" Malone mutters to himself before taking the plunge, holding his breath as he makes his way through the combined fireworks of Raider fire and flak. He even closed his eyes for a few moments, but opens them as he's gotten through, the Viper being both beaten and bruised, but strangely enough not broken. "That's weird…" he mutters to himself, turning his head to look over in the direction of Alessandra's Viper-turned-fireworks as he hears the sounds on the radio. Relaxing a little bit as he hears the part about the SAR, he starts turning his head back, but pauses as his gaze reaches his wing. "Frak! They scratched my paint…" Turning back to the task at hand now, expression about as still as a statue now.

[TAC3] "Bubbles" Psyche shrieks and giggles madly, voice shaking as she reports, "Holy frakking shit on a stick — uhm! Shit, this is Bubbles: I'm through!"

[BlackKnight-853: McQueen] Meanwhile, one of the Vipers stays on the edge of the fray, /outside/ of the flak ring and flying erratically as he squeezes off a few cannon shots at the pursuing Cylons. After another salvo, he breaks hard left and speeds away for a few seconds, clearing some distance between the engagement and himself.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "'m hit! I'm hit!" the sounds of Wade shouting and struggling to keep the bird in control can be heard mixed with static "Got the shi- *ZZH * contro *JJJJHHHH* -wrecked…*"

[TAC3] "Rudy" Kepner says, "All ships, this is Areion-Actual. Gun is charged at optimum efficiency. All friendly forces, brace for…concussive impact. We are firing on my mark. Five. Four. Three. Two. One….MARK.""

[TAC3] "Splash" Malone says, "Take care until they fish you out, Lucky. At least it's not an ocean, right? And I'm through, folks. Concussive impact…?"

[Harrier-303: Cidra] Toast cut her teeth doing dedicated SAR work, and she's generally at her sharpest when engaged in it. And so she manages to net Alessandra into the loving confines of her Raptor. Without dying herself, thus far. Lucky for both of them.

[TAC3] (from "Fiasco" Marduk) Another howl, from Fiasco, "Splash one. There's gonna be a barbecuuuuue!"

[TAC3] "Money Shot" Tisiphone says, "Through a frakking flak ring and we get concussive impact for it?" There's a tremor to her voice as well, as the adrenaline of holy frak, I made it bleeds out. "Love of the frakking gods-""

[Polaris] Like wounded geese dispatched by a hunter's rifle, bleeding Vipers fall from the skies — their wings clipped, their heads blasted off, their bodies peppered with shot. So many metal carcasses tumble out of control in the melee it's a wonder even some made it past — but one after another, those lucky soldiers punch through the line, soaking up just enough Cylon fire for that purple light to grow ever stronger, ever darker —

Then, on cue, her engines blink out, and CEX-300 is turned into a hulk when each and every one of her lights fizzles, shatters, and breaks. It certainly doesn't look like any gun has been fired, much less any gun worthy of capitalization —

Until every working Colonial wireless suddenly finds itself switching from channel to channel to channel in time to the pulsing electromagnetic waves now spreading outward from Areion, waves visible only on every ship's flickering DRADIS — and like dominos falling one after the next, Raiders and Heavies and Basestars lose all power, flung backwards with their Colonial counterparts while Cerberus, Praetorian, and Corsair sit unharmed and just barely out of range —

And only one side's ships turn back on.

[TAC3] (from "Papa" Baer) The deep voice of 'Papa' comes over the comms after the commotion outside. "…Firmed fire repeat, confirmed fire of gun. All points, all Areion points, disengage and RTB. Repeat. RTB. Areion-Actual, we need evac coords ASAP!"

[TAC3] "Toast" Cidra says, "Cerberus, Toast. Permission to RTB Cerberus flight as well?"

[TAC3] (from "Rudy" Kepner) Now, another voice. "Battlestar Cerberus, Areion-actual. This is where things get awkward. We need to /leave./ But we'd love to see a friendly face. Care to join us on the other side?"

[TAC3] (from "XO" Tillman) The radio takes a second to stop fizzling as it recovers so the first few words are obscured, but its Tillman. "—ndby to copy." A pause. "Evac coordinates are as follows: Romeo Romeo Charlie, Sector Niner-Five-Two-Point-One. Jump as soon as able. We are already spun and will await your leave and meet you on the other side, Cerberus, out." The XO flips quickly to address the CAG: "Flight, Cerb. Bang it out, Toast. Don't spare the tylium on the way home. Everyone is ordered back to the barn at the speed of heat!"

[TAC3] "Queenie" McQueen 's voice is heavily disrupted by Wireless interference, "-st, Queenie. RTB now. G — " "hold together now." More static, and then silence, as his ship turns tail and speeds towards Cerberus' hangar bay.

[TAC3] "Drips" Wade says, "Toast, this is Drips. My Viper is wrecked, I need to hook it up to your Raptor so you can drag my ass home. Possible?"

[Harrier-303: Cidra] And she will at that. Presuming Cidra is able to rig up a tow, she will then RTB with the lot of them.

[TAC3] (from "Splash" Malone) "Barbecue? That was like a barbecue and a frakking rollercoaster at the same time…" Those were the first words from Splash after things have been said. "Heading back home…"

[TAC3] (from "Fiasco" Marduk) The chatter does not go without a parting shot from 'Fiasco.' "That, my man, was /greatness./ See you people on the other side!"

[Polaris] The final tally: seventeen Vipers and two Raptors destroyed, fourteen pilots KIA, seven wounded — versus one basestar destroyed, two more badly damaged, and gods know how many Raiders left on the battlefield to rot. Total time in combat: fourteen minutes, forty-seven seconds. Casualties aboard Cerberus and the fleet: at least twenty from the gun crews, with scattered reports filtering in from other decks and departments. Time for jump prep: twenty agonizingly long seconds, each tick accompanied by flickers from DRADIS signaling that the disabled Cylons will not remain disabled for long…

"Welcome the coming," the poet enjoins, "and speed the parting." He was speaking, of course, about guests — but it's advice that holds even in this most dissimilar of contexts. And the smoking wreckage left behind above the skies of Sagittaron is testament enough to Zeus' rage — which arrives, like everything of the gods, in ways no man can know.

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