AWD #072: Event - Acheron Belt Recon
Acheron Belt Recon
Summary: In which the Air Wing finds debris of rock and metal, a ship, and many Raiders.
Date: 19/03/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Joint Asteroid Recon Briefing
Agrippa Holtz Jason Kelsey Luc Maia Phin Ygraine 
Acheron Belt — Space
Rocks. Interference.
AWD #72

One of four asteroid belts in the Cyrannus system, the Acheron belt in Helios Gamma is regarded as one of the most difficult to navigate, second only to the Ouranos belt in Beta. As such, the crew of the Colonial Heavy Cruiser Cygnus isn't taking any chances; its FTL drives deposit the ship into normal space next to the asteroid belt instead of plotting a jump among the rocks. The cruiser's engines flare as they push her into the asteroid field, the RF interference from the dense field of metal-rich asteroids acting as natural cover, as it were.

Cygnus isn't the real show here, though. That role is played by the procession of small craft launching free of the cruiser's tiny launch bay as the cruiser sidles in amongst the asteroids. Several Vipers emerge first, followed by a pair of Raptors. The leading craft perform a holding pattern around the cruiser until the entire recon group has been launched, and then the Vipers and Raptors zoom off into the belt, slowly spreading out as they start to thread their way through the rocks.

Their formation isn't as spread out as the recon group in Erebos used, however. For one thing, communications and sensors are even rougher here; natural RF interference makes radio a nightmare and DRADIS nigh useless. It'll hide the Colonials from prying eyes quite well, but it's also not going to make their job any easier.

The formation is being led by none other than Captain Kurt Holtz, who's decided to take this mission out personally after what happened to the last recon mission the Strikes participated in. He and his wingman are at front and center of the scout formation, weaving their way through the asteroids, the Raptors some distance behind them.

Much like the Strikes' last recon, this one starts out very uneventfully. Thirty minutes turns into an hour turns into two. For now, it seems to be nothing but the recon team and the rocks.

<FS3> Phin rolls Piloting: Failure.
<FS3> Maia rolls Piloting: Good Success.
<FS3> Jason rolls Piloting: Good Success.
<FS3> Agrippa rolls Piloting: Good Success.
<FS3> Holtz rolls Piloting: Good Success.
<FS3> Luc rolls Piloting: Good Success.

Phin is flying with Holtz, as he tends to. He is not loving the friendly skies of the Acheron belt thus far. As he weaves, his wing clips the edge of an asteroid. He veers off before faceplanting into the rock itself, or anything else serious, but that'll leave a scrape the deckies can scold him about. Some quick blinking from his lights follows as he course corrects. It's simply, 'OK, SYSTEMS STILL GREEN.'

At the head of the formation, Holtz is keeping his attention on his surroundings, his eyes flicking around as he surveys the rock-studded starfield. He notices a particularly nasty clump of rock ahead of him, but a smartly executed twist-and-roll gets him around the floating debris without a scratch. His nearby wingman isn't quite so lucky, though, and Holtz chuckles quietly as he looks over just in time to see Phin's Viper wobble as he scrapes a piece of rock.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "You (crackle) wake over ther (crackle), Dolls?"

Indeed it has been uneventful other than the lack of radio. Maia manages to fly steady and sure through the rocks. Glancing over at kelsey she flashes her a grin. "How's it feel?" Her glance lasts little time before she's back to scanning the path ahead. Uneventful is good! Safe! "How's it looking from back there Shakes?"

<FS3> Ygraine rolls Ecm: Great Success.

Parked in the front of Maia's ship in the left seat, Kelsey is working with the flashlight and monitoring the controls and everything else. She's nearly finished with flight training and this sort of stuff has quickly grown routine. What's NOT routine is being out on a mission. This stuff is always exciting. She looks like a giddy kid in her helmet. "Feels awesome, sir. I can't wait to fly one on my own on a mission. I solo'd a couple weeks ago but I'm super excited to get out here with you guys." Like an adult! She looks back out the canopy, though, and scans the stars with her eyeballs.

[Into the Wireless] Phin doesn't waste much breath on the static-ridden com line, but he does reply to Holtz, "OK St<bzzt>m. No seri<bzzt> <bzzt>mg."

"Godsdamn, this is frakkin' soup." Ygraine remarks to Maia and Kelsey, the light inside her flightsuit helmet casting a forward directing halo onto her sensor screens. "Like my grandpappy's campfire stew."

Agrippa is a lot more serious and alert on this mission, especially after the debacle that was the last mission when it came to what happened to their Flight Leader. Navigating the rocks without issue so far, even though it is a thicker grouping, Punchdrunk's attention is mostly on the stuff flying past his canopy though from time to time, he would look down at his mostly useless sensors, just in case. For now he tries to remain in line of sight with Luc but there is no way Agrippa is going to try to maintain tight formation at this time.

Keeping his own Raptor in place, Jason mutters something under his breath. "You know, this lack of proper radio makes me want to sing myself," he remarks to the person in the back of his Raptor, while still keeping his gaze on the outside, just as he moves to spin the Raptor around another rock now. "Some old jazz tunes sound good?"

Making sure not to stray too far away from his wingmate, Luc tries to keep good eye on Agrippa as they fly. Or at least enough to be able to keep decent track on him. Glancing to sensors and hearing the crackling radio. Avoiding any rocks and keeps on, showing that all is clear so far. Though he isn't currently making use of the radio.

[Into the Wireless] Ygraine says, "Flight, Milkshake. DRADIS contact are eleven two seven carom nine. Unable to ID. Flash your lights if ya heard me."

Holtz doesn't get all of Ygraine's message, but he gets the relevant bits. Enough to flash his com laser in acknowledgement.

Phin's lights flash as well. Blink, blink. The coordinates came through, at least. He squints off in that direction to try and get a visual. Through the rocks, and other mess.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz's own laser flashes a moment after Ygraine's garbled message comes through. FLT, STORM. ALL ON ME, SET INTRCPT CRS 4 MLKSHK CNTCT

"You got that?" Jason offers to his ECO now, nodding a little bit as they both seem to have managed to piece together the message's important part. And then seeing the lights flashing from Holtz as well, flashing lights to confirm they got the message now.

Kelsey scans around at the aircraft she can see as her other hand picks up binoculars from between the seats. "Looks like Storm wants everyone on him," she says, watching the Vipers converge. She lifts the binoculars and peers out into the deep of space.

When Ygraine's message was passed on, Agrippa was flying through a formation of larger rocks so there was he did not catch her message, thus no acknowledgement was sent. When he comes back into view with his flight again, Punchdrunk catches some of the flashing lights from Holtz but half of his attention is still dodging rocks so he tries to flash a message back. BAD CPY. SAY AGN. He does start banking his Viper towards the main group, attempting to form up with them as best as he could.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz lasers Agrippa again. SAY AGN, FRM ON ME, INTRCPT MLKSHK CNTCT

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa lasers back a brief message. CPY. OMW

<FS3> Phin rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Jason rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Maia rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Agrippa rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Luc rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Kelsey rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Ygraine rolls Alertness: Great Success.

Hearing it from Ygraine, Maia glances over at Kelsey and nods, glad she's got to go on a mission, hoping it won't end bad for anyone. Not a good way to begin a career as a pilot, right? Keeping her eyes peeled, though keeping steady and avoiding the asteroids, intent now on what's going on.

Luc does catch enough and blinks back. Heading on his way as well. Making sure to have Agrippa with him before flying too far off. Once he notices him heading along he will make sure to get into formation.

The Colonial formation slowly closes up as the recon group homes in on Ygraine's DRADIS contact. Before long, they're in as tight of a formation as the rocks and common sense will allow. Coincidentally, they're also close enough that comms should work, by and large.

As they continue along their way, each pilot will notice the occasional glint as light reflects off several pieces of floating debris. However, it's obvious after a moment's examination that these glittery pieces are not rock, but metal — tiny pieces of metallic debris.

Ygraine mutters to herself as she taps away, frowning. "Can't determine anythin' other than that metal bein'…well, metal. Too much interference." She notes to Kelsey, "Ever hear that story about the kids who try to avoid gettin' abandoned by their daddy by leavin' a trail of breadcrumbs?" She reaches for the lights to flash them.

Phin keeps just off Holtz's Viper, now extra wary of floating rocks. His maneuverability doesn't appear to have suffered too much from his bump into the asteroid, but he hasn't had to do any particularly touch-and-go flying yet, either. He does spot the metal, squinting to try and make out what it could be debris of, once he realizes it isn't just more asteroid.

[Into the Wireless] Ygraine flashes: PATTERN…TRAIL…QUERY WE FOLLOW?

[Into the Wireless] Holtz flashes a single-letter response as he angles his craft to follow the path of the debris. Y.

"Yep. That was one of my daughters favorite's. Its sick, the stories we tell our kids. And hilarious because they stick with us." Kelsey smirks in her helmet and settles the binocs into her lap for a moment. "Not sure I want to follow this trail, but what the hell. Nothin else to do, sirs." She lifts the bonics again and looks out past the metallic cloud.

The shiney debris easily catches Agrippa's attention and his eyes quickly lock onto the glittering pieces. Unable to determine much else except that it is definitely not natural or rocks, he looks over to one of the Raptors as it begins to blink a message, then their Squadron Leader's answer. With that, the decision is made and Punchdrunk will maneuver his Viper to follow the trail and others as they will be following it to the source.

Luc keeps in formation as well. Spotting the debris and keeping an eye on it. Careful of it still. Trying to determine about it and the flashing from Ygraine makes him glance between them and Holtz. Wanting to be careful though in hopes it doesn't screw with the viper.

"I have a feeling this isn't going to lead to a candy castle," Maia mutters to her fellow crew. Catching the single letter response, she does move to follow, keeping in as near a formation as she can while avoiding the rocks, seeing the glints of metal, her brow furrowed with concentration.

"What's that thing? Metal of some sort?" Jason asks his ECO, shrugging a little as he hears the answer. "Whatever it is, keep as much attention on our surroundings as we can," he offers to the ECO, as he makes his own Raptor follow with the others for now, every now and then dancing out of the way of an incoming rock.

Phin follows his lead, both flight and wing where Holtz is concerned. Down the primrose metal path, such as it is.

Holtz, for his part, continues to blaze a trail through the belt, his jaw set in concentration as he weaves around rock after rock after rock. He's silent for the moment, eyes twitching to and fro as he makes sure he stays with the trail of metal fragments.

It doesn't take long for the recon group to come across the source of the mysterious DRADIS emissions and debris trail. As the leading Colonials pass around a large asteroid, they suddenly catch another glimpse of light reflecting off metal. It's a space vessel, or rather what's left of one; the rounded lines of its hull are marred by multiple blast points and hull breaches. The trail of debris stretches out from the stern of the vessel, with several larger pieces hanging in space around the hulk.

Whatever happened to this ship must have happened recently; when the recon ships close on the hulk they can clearly see bits of air and flame streaming from several of the wreck as it burns itself out. It's still moving ever so slightly, the momentum it had at the time of its destruction still carrying it slowly forward as pieces of the ship's shattered hull drift away in all directions.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "… frak me. Flight, Storm. Eyes open, and stay away from (bzzt) wreck."

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "(crackle) did this could still be around."

[Into the Wireless] Ygraine says, "Flight, Milkshake. Can't get a specific designation, but I'm able to confirm Colonial markings. Be on the lookout."

[Into the Wireless] Jason says, "Flight, Stand-up. Eyes wide open here. Looks to be fairly recent damage, doesn't it?"

Kelsey puts down the binocs and picks up a camera. She turns on the display and begins snapping photos of the wreckage. "Ugly," she mutters, making sure she snaps shots of anything that might have a name or even just writing. "This doesn't look like it ended well for them. Just a little too late." A few more photos and she looks away, off into the stars again.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Flight, Dolly. Copy. Eyes open, berth wide of that thing. Any chance folks might've gotten off?" He flicks a look down at his instruments, then to squint at the starfield some more. "Escape pods or something?""

[Into the Wireless] Holtz shakes his head, even though no one else can actually see it. "Don't see any, Dolly. Looks like they got shot up (bzzt) bad, though. Might not've had a chance.

With nothing else to add, Agrippa stays off the comms for now as he juices his thrusters a little bit. While the others are focused more on the wreck, Punchdrunk appears to be willing to fly perimeter for the group, eyes focused into the field of rocks, to see if anything else can be picked up. Either something else flying out there or perhaps more debris.

Keeping off the com, Maia just leaves it to Milkshake, trusting the ECO implicitely. While she doesn't talk, she does listen and continues forever scanning around for whatever did this. Without looking away this time, she speaks in a quiet voice, "Still five by five, Squire?" Speaking to Kelsey. "Looks like it, just a little too late. Milkshake, finding anything else?" Not really trained in the job of ECO she knows very little about it, but guesses all the metal around is making it none too pretty back there.

Luc keeps his eyes peeled and tries to look around to make sure that there are no one still around here. The vessel get a brief look and a shake of his head as well.

"Good to go, sir," Kelsey replies. "What're they gonna do? Kill my friends and shoot me down again?" The Petty Officer gives a wry smirk to Maia. "Oh, right, that was humanity. Jerks. ..Nah, sir, I'm fine." She looks back out with the camera, zooms in on a Viper, and snaps a photo. "Sexy. Yes. Show me attitude." Snap, turn camera to the side. "Yes. Yes." Snap. "You're dark and dangerous." Snap. "A lethal tiger!" Snap snap. Camera turn. "Slip that wing off the side.. oh yeah." Snap.

Phin frowns, looking for something in the debris that might indicate less than total destruction, but nothing immediately jumps out at him. He tries to keep wide of the wreckage, gaze tracking the flames still alight in it.

<FS3> Ygraine rolls Ecm: Great Success.

Ygraine's head tilts in surprise. "Y'all hear that?" she asks suddenly, and then starts tapping on her keyboard. "I think I heard…gotta try and boost it.

Holtz pulls into a holding pattern around the wreck as he does a visual survey, but he makes sure to give the thing a wide berth, in case of a Cylon trap. Wouldn't be the first time, after all. But, for the moment at least, nothing rises out of the wreckage at him with intent to kill.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "No joy over here, Shakes, scopes and comms are clear. You got somethin'?"

[Into the Wireless] Ygraine says, "Flight, Milkshake. I'm pickin' up bursts of noise on Colonial military distress band. Signal origin comin' a bit further from the vessel."

Jason keeps on listening and watching quietly for the moment, all of his attention on their surroundings for now. "I'm not sure I like the feeling I have at the moment…" he mutters, mostly to himself.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "Shake, Storm copies. Gimme your best guess on an intercept course. Everybody bring it in, I don't want any surprises when we go chase this frakkin' thing, yeah?"

Well then! That grabs Squire's attention. She quits her photog session and looks back towards Milkshake, then back out she takes up the camera again and zooms in with the lens, looking out of the canopy again.

Phin briefly smiles at word of a Colonial distress band. Though the expression moderates after a beat. Not like it couldn't be a trap. He keeps in close formation with Holtz, wherever this might lead them.

Pulling in from his perimeter lookout position, Agrippa forms back up with the rest of the Vipers as Holtz calls them in. Distress signal though, that is important as it could easily mean a survivor, or more if it's a pod.

Holtz' brow furrows once more at the report from Ygraine, but he seems the picture of calm collectedness as he turns his ship in the direction of the phantom distress signal, using Ygraine's information to chart his course. His eyes are mostly focused front, although every few seconds he looks about, as if half expecting a Cylon to fall upon him from out of nowhere.

Signals? The little black box is talking back. Or something. Maia holds steady when Holtz does, straining to see or hear anything. Leaning just marginally forward, blue eyes regard the blackness of space beyond the wreckage as she inches forward, bringing it in slowly, listening intently. Survivors or a trick? Gods.. hopefully someone survived, though it looked unlikely.

<FS3> Maia rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Luc rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Agrippa rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Jason rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Kelsey rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Ygraine rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Luc heads in tight in formation as he hear the call for it. Still uncertain what it could be. Trap or survivors. Either way he will follow in suit at the moment. Still trying to keep his eyes focused and look around the area.

[Into the Wireless] Ygraine has to take a few moments. "Storm, Milkshake. Eleven two seven carom five." she reports. "Or ummm…thereabouts. It's a little fuzzy."

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "Copy. I'll take it. Flight, you heard the lady."

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Flight, Crater. Copy that, keeping close and eyes open."

As the Colonials fly through the asteroids, they will notice what looks like the beginning of another debris trail. They catch the occasional glimpse of more metallic debris in various sizes… including one piece in particular that looks like the sheared-off wing of a Cylon Raider.

Phin's ears are tuned sharp to the comms, both for reports and to track how clearly he can hear them in their current little pocket of space. A frown settles over his face at the sight of more debris. Some of which is clearly Cylon.

Raider piece, that usually means there is more than one and there isn't enough debris for a graveyard of Cylon Raiders, so with that logic in mind, Agrippa is not on edge. His eyes are quickly scanning the asteroid field ahead of them, either trying to catch the glint of more metal or even the blinking red that is the telltale sign of a Raider Visor.

"Holy frak, did you see that?" Ygraine squeaks as the wing drifts by.

Pausing for a few moments as he sees the further debris, Jason shakes his head. "Look like they put up a bit of a fight, at least," he offers to the ECO. Moving the Raptor along for the moment. Glancing around carefully as he keeps his eyes out there.

Kelsey snaps a photo of the Raider wing as it drifts past. "Not good." She looks back around and secures the camera back into its case.

Another debris trail, this one with Cylon parts and pieces. Centerfold flinches when she notices the large chunk of wing. "Yeah.. not good." Keeping her chin up, eyes peeled and focus for something live.

Luc looks to the wing that drifts by and soon looks around for more pieces, or more ships at all. Trying to make sure that they do not get ambushed.

As the recon flight passes around a particularly large asteroid, they're treated to a scene before them that finally makes everything clear. Three ships are flying in close formation through the rocks, attempting to evade pursuit by a group of Cylon fighters. One of them is a Colonial cruiser, smaller than Cygnus, doing its best to protect the two others, civilian ships that look similar to the wrecked vessel the recon group came across earlier. The cruiser's flak guns belch flame, and a Raider explodes, followed in quick succession by another.

As the Colonial ships continue their desperate struggle, the comms on the recon ships crackle as one. … say again, (crackle, bzzt) the Colonial Cruiser Valeho! (static, more static) tearing us apart! Gods above, (crackle) one out there, please, help us — The transmission cuts off abruptly as the cruiser takes another hit.

Despite the cruiser's valiant efforts, time appears to be running out for the small group of ships. Even as a pair of their comrades are hacked out of the sky, several Raiders make a firing run on one of the freighters, tiny explosions stitching across the ship's hull as the Cylon KEW bolts chew through the metal. A larger explosion rips through the ship a moment later; its engines flicker as its power fluctuates, but for the moment it's still alive.

Roughly half of the remaining Cylons break off the attack on the 'fleet' when the recon group makes its appearance, looping around to engage the Colonial fighters. You've bought your beleaguered comrades a few minutes. Will it be enough?

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "Frak! Flight, Storm, fangs out, break and attack!"

Phin sees the Raiders. They're kind of hard to miss. With so many of them descending on Holtz. And a couple on his own tail, though he's more focused on his wingman. He grimaces, and then follows his leader into an attack pattern rather than evasives. Flying room is tight among the asteroids, anyway, so may as well just let it all hang.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Storm, Dolly, you've got like three tails, man. Breaking for the bandit off your two."

Once they pass by the large asteroid, Agrippa's eyes widen for a moment under the visor of his flight helmet as he sees the attack on the friendlies. That only inflames the Viper jock and he cracks up the thrusts of his engines, increasing his fighter's speed. With a group breaking off to engage them, Punchdrunk picks the one that is angling in on him, obliging the Cylon and going head to head, apparently playing chicken with the bandit.

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Punchie, Crater. Think you grew a tail. I'll try and get rid of it."

"Okay, my friend. Time for you to do some of that electronic magic of yours," Jason offers to his ECO, before he moves the Raptor in for a good position to be in for that electronic magic to happen now. While trying to make the Raptor a hard enough target at the moment.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Crater, Punchie. Help out Storm, he has a swarm on him, I'll take this one head on."

[Into the Wireless] Jason says, "Flight, Stand-up. ECO's going to work some of that magic for you guys now."

Luc is quick to break as he hear Storm's commands. Eyes quickly focus. Heading for the one tailing Agrippa but hearing the call and it does make him spin around to help out their lead.

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Punchie, Crater. Copy that, I'll be back right after. Stay up until then."

A tiny corner of Holtz' mind can't help but laugh, as the Cylons are doing exactly what he'd observed them doing in his marathon film watching sessions — swarming a single target. Unfortunately that target is him. He utters a growl into the comms and stares defiantly at the trio of crescent-shaped ships bearing down on him.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "You lot want a fight, I'll give you one."

Kelsey stares out the windscreen. Well this is something new. "Raiders!" she calls out. Its one thing to see them in a sim, its another to actually fly against them. She hovers her hands over the controls but doesn't take them, waiting just in case. "Standing by, sirs!" Yep, she's gettin excited. There's than adrenaline boost.

Without hesitation, Maia moves in to the area where her ECO can best work her magic, willing the others out there to survive when she sees all those with tails.. mostly Storm. Live, live, live… the mantra in her head right now.

<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Holtz with KEW - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Holtz with KEW - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Phin with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Agrippa with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Phin with KEW - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Holtz with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Ygraine suppresses Raider1 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Phin attacks Raider1 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Maia passes.
<COMBAT> Luc attacks Raider4 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Kelsey passes.
<COMBAT> Jason suppresses Raider4 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Holtz attacks Raider1 with KEW - Light wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Viper-8546o has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Holtz has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-2752f has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-6768v has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider4 has been KO'd!

With the suppressing fire from Jason it causes Luc to be able to get in a good shot to the wing of raider, getting the raider to lose control and go down. Not taking any time to enjoy it though as he is quickly onto the next one.

Phin kind of just absorbs Raider fire while flying for one of the many trailing Holtz. He's hit, but does not explode so…bonus. He manages a ping off the hull of his target, which is if nothing else aimed in good tandem with his lead.

Ygraine is paying attention to what's happening out there, but her forebrain is occupied with other things. "Squire," she says, I've got to focus on keepin' those raiders jammed; get on th'horn with those ships."

The good news? Holtz' mad charge results in a kill, as he and Phin blow up a Raider under their combined fire. The bad? Holtz' tunnel vision in the cockpit finally comes back to bite him, as his target and its two buddies proceed to rake him with KEW fire as he executes his attack run. His Mark VII's silvery fuselage is shredded by multiple salvos. Somehow he manages to stay in one piece, but he's tumbling out of control, engines flickering.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Storm! Dolly. Sing out, man."

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "Dolly, Storm, I — (crackle bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt)"

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Stand-up, Crater. Thanks for the suppress. Storm, I'm on the last of your tails. ((Unless the Raider changed target that is))"

[Into the Wireless] Ygraine says, "Storm, Milkshake! Can you eject? Talk-Show or Centerfold can come get you!"

The head to head pass between Agrippa's Viper and his Cylon counterpart favors the Colonial pilot as his fighter takes some armor damage but the Raider has a few KEW shells punching through the cockpit. In the corner of his eyes, he sees their Squadron Leader being torn up but still in the fight it seems. For now, Punchdrunk is focusing on the Raider he is tango'ing with, breaking his Viper to the right before pushing one of the engines hard, swinging his fighter around in a side skid as he keeps his reticule on the Cylon, more KEW shots being vomitted out of the cannons.

[Into the Wireless] Jason says, "Storm, Stand-up. Just let me know if you need a lift, okay?"

Kelsey watches Holtz's Viper get shot up badly and she unbuckles her seat. She's the extraneous passenger in the flightsuit. She's been briefed on this. Probably. But as she gets up, she nods to Milkshake and stands between the ejection seats as she reaches to her belt and keys the mic.

[Into the Wireless] Kelsey says, "Valeho, Valeho! This is the.." A pause. Yep, its a kid on the radio. "We're the dogfight to your port-aft! We're trying to take the heat off! Don't shoot us down! We're squaking-" A glance down to the instrument panel. "We're squaking 1135, Colonial IFF! Copy?"

Watching the happenings and keeping out of trouble for the moment, Jason lets his ECO do the work, moving a bit closer to one of the other Raiders now. Keeping an eye on where Holtz is, in case the man needs to eject and be picked up now.

Phin tries to stick with Holtz as the other pilot's Viper tumbles, such as he can. He does execute some evasives now. Again, such as he can. He still has a couple of friends. His eyes sweep the field, to see if any of the Raiders are still aiming at poor Storm, before he'll adjust his guns.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "1135, Valeho! Gods, where… aye, we copy! Anything y'all can do… they're killing us over here!"

Maia was watching and with every hit to the Vipers there's a flinch from the Raptor pilot. When Kelsey goes to do as bid by Shake, she is already preparing to move to intercept Holtz on his word. "Gods.." The single uttered word relaying the worry she's keeping tamped down.

Holtz' com is still crackling, and he's so far unresponsive. However, there are suddenly signs of life from his tumbling craft. The Viper sluggishly rights itself as he comes about and heads back for the furball. Persistent Holtz is persistent.

<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Jason with KEW - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Luc with KEW - Moderate wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Agrippa with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Phin with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Ygraine suppresses Raider2 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Phin attacks Raider2 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Maia passes.
<COMBAT> Luc attacks Raider6 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Kelsey passes.
<COMBAT> Jason suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Holtz passes.
<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Raider-5474b has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider6 has been KO'd!

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Punchie, Crater. Are you still managing? Stand-up. I'm getting rid of that tail."

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Crater, Punchie, I'm still good. Watch yourself though, you've gone one on you."

Ygraine continues to target her suppression systems, the movement of her hands taking on a sharp, efficient clickety-clack cadence on the keys. "Centerfold, I think Storm's coms are down." Her voice is clipped. She is very, very calm.

Phin manages to slip well enough among the rocks not to get hit. Not that he hits anything either, but he can live with that. He cracks a slight grin when he sees Holtz returning to life. He doesn't bother with the comms, given the state of his wingman's, but rather flashes at him.

[Into the Wireless] Phin blinks at Holtz. OK?

[Into the Wireless] Finally, Holtz's voice sounds over the com, but he's either shaken, wounded, or both, and the damage is wreaking havoc with his signal. "Flig— (bzzt), Storm, I'm — (craaaack, bzzt)

Able to get off a shot to the raider's wing and it is enough for Luc to get rid of the one tailing Jason. Though there is a shake as he get shot. Not enough to bring him down but it does shake it a bit. Trying to shake and take care of his own tail now.

Storm's engines are flickering and his flight is a little erratic, but he seems to be alive and kicking still, despite the lack of response over the com. With the Raiders' attention off him for the moment, he tries to maneuver for another shot — his nearly wrecked craft notwithstanding.

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Punchie, Crater. Copy that. I'm no monkey, so getting rid of my tail now."

[Into the Wireless] Kelsey says, "Copy Valeho!" Kelsey sings it out, grunting as they dodge through a turn. They can probably hear her pucker over the radio. "We're doin our best. Taking our own licks! We'll get back to you or we won't. Good luck!! Out!"

[Into the Wireless] Either Storm's blinker is damaged or he didn't see Phin's, because there is no response.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "Finally, Holtz's voice sounds over the com, but he's either shaken, wounded, or both, and the damage is wreaking havoc with his signal. "Flig— (bzzt), Storm— (craaaack, bzzt)"

Kelsey grips the pair of ejection seats, squatting low between them as they turn through the fight, glancing over her shoulder at Milkshake and then back forward. Just in time to see Jason's Raptor get sprayed. But her eyes settle back on Holtz's Viper. "Not good. Sir, you want me to get ready to grab him?" she asks Maia.

Shots for both Agrippa and his Cylon opponent goes wide, just lighting up the area around them. The Viper then breaks off, shooting away for a moment before flipping around in a quick one-eighty reverse. Then his engines flare up brightly and once more the daring pilot is going head on against his target, knowing he has to end this fight soon because the Colonial capital ships still need assistance.

Keeping his Raptor in place, Jason might not have seen the incoming Raider as it showers the cockpit with bullets. Managing to avoid taking a hit himself, the pilot looks back to his ECO now, shaking his head a little. "Where did that one come from?" Not waiting for the answer, he starts singing to himself as he moves to Raptor forward again now. "They call you Lady Luck. But there is room for doubt…" Maybe the singing calms his nerves, or something?

"Frak…" Then the transmission. Unable to hear it clearly, Maia responds in a voice calm and controlled. "Yes." Making the call, she won't take any chances. "Ready, we're going in."

Before the singing, Jason sends off a message through the comms, though.

<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Agrippa with KEW - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Luc with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Phin with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Ygraine suppresses Raider2 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Phin attacks Raider2 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Maia passes.
<COMBAT> Luc attacks Raider5 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Kelsey passes.
<COMBAT> Jason passes.
<COMBAT> Holtz attacks Raider5 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Raider3 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Raider-7558l has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-1571y has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider5 has been KO'd!

[Into the Wireless] Jason says, "Crater, Stand-up. Appreciate that."

[Into the Wireless] Ygraine says, "Woo! Way t'go, Dolly!"

Phin isn't hitting hard, but he scores a lucky shot off the Raider's wing. Combined with the thing being drowned in ECM from the Raptor, he does not get shot. And, also, the thing dies. He's more surprised than anything else as he watches it go spinning off.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Good kills, Flight! What's the status on the Colonials? We need to get to them as soon as possible."

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Milkshake, Dolly. Thanks for the assist. I think I'm clear now. Storm, don't know if you can hear this, but you've got another Raider on you. Evade if you can. I'll track him."

All Holtz' defiant attempt at a shot accomplished was to draw the attention of the last of the Raiders. It's bearing down on the crippled Viper, going for the killshot as a new ship, a Heavy Raider, arcs off from the others to engage the recon flight.

As for the other Colonials, the recon's intervention seems to have turned the tide. The last few Raiders harassing the Colonial group are still pressing the attack, but without their friends, it looks like it's going to be difficult for them to finish off the Valeho and her charges alone.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, "*kzzzzrrrrrrt craaaaaackle*"

Luc goes on a chicken race with the raider on him. Seeing Holtz trying to help him out and it is appreciated. Taking a hit to his wing but able to get a clean shot to the raider's main body. Getting him down and avoiding a collision with it before trying to head onwards. Seeing the heavy raider on Agrippa and he heads right for it.

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Punchie, Crater. You got a new tail. Trying to take him out. Stand-up, it was my pleasure to help."

"You got it," Kelsey tells Maia. She wheels around and moves to the back of the Raptor. If Milkshake glances up she'll notice that despite sounding put together, Kelseye fakes it well. She looks scared out of her mind for this. Nobody sane wants to EVA during the middle of a dogfight. She pulls on the straps hung at the back of the Raptor and clips herself into it. A gloved hand lifts to stand at the back. Wide eyes just stare at the view out front twisting and turning around. Terrified? Probably.

"I'll talk ya through it, I'll even two-man with ya if I can, Squire." says Ygraine, her tone so detatched it might be a little disturbing. "Centerfold, flash your lights at the Captain with 'EJECT READY' so he knows we're here. If he ain't tryin' to just fling himself onto th'farm, much less buy it."

Frowning a bit as he watches the happenings out there, Jason keeps on singing now. "You might forget your manners, you might refuse to stay. And so, the best that I can do is pray…" Moving forward so his ECO can work the magic again, it would seem.

When the Raider he is dancing with suddenly pulls away, Agrippa is surprised for a moment until he sees where the damaged Cylon is heading towards. Narrowing his eyes, Punchdrunk drops in on the bandit's tail, hoping to blast it before it can ruin Holtz's day. He knows the Heavy Raider joined the fight and is now angling in on him but his attention remains on the Cylon Raider.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Punchie here, I copy. Still chasing my bandit, it's trying to get a bead on Storm."

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Crater here, Copy that."

<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Holtz with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Heavyraider1 attacks Agrippa with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ygraine suppresses Heavyraider1 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Phin attacks Raider3 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Maia passes.
<COMBAT> Luc attacks Heavyraider1 with KEW - Light wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Kelsey passes.
<COMBAT> Jason suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Holtz attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Viper-9566c has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Agrippa has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Agrippa spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Worried for the young soon to be pilot, Maia glances back only once, trying to convey reassurance with just a look. Just as it begins the look is over and she's making their way to assist Storm when there's more fire and another viper is hit hard.

A chill runs up and down Holtz' spine as he sees the crescent shape of the last Raider bearing down on him. It looks like the Cylon has him dead to rights, and it looses a stream of angry blue fire… which tears harmlessly through space as the crippled Holtz suddenly goes defensive. His RCS thrusters push him neatly out of the line of fire even as combined fire from the other Colonials tears into the Raider.

At first he's elated, but elation turns to shock as he realizes the Raider isn't dead… and it still wants a piece of him in a bad way.

Phin keeps in some kind of formation with Holtz. Whatever the older pilot's Viper can manage at the moment. He aims a pretty square shot at the Raider's cockpit, which penetrates, but the robo-pilot keeps flying anyhow. He'll try try again, if at first he didn't succeed.

Right when Agrippa presses the trigger stub of his flight stick, his Viper gets rocked from behind by the Heavy Raider as it chews through his fighter's fuselage. It must've hit a breaker or something but Punchdrunk's spacecraft blinks out, going dark. But instead of panicking, he quickly smacks the restart switch a few times, jumping the power back on and its thrusters key back up again. "Frakking Raider!" For now, his DRADIS is still booting but he doesn't need it to continue chasing the Raider he was after.

"Frakk." Comes the muttered words from Luc as he sees the hit that Agrippa takes. Getting a hit to the weapon of the heavy raider, with the suppression from Ygraine. Continuing to try and bring it down. "Hang in there, Kid." He continues to say to himself. Trying to get to the raider as well as he can. Though he does see the raider changing target, to his relief. As that means Agrippa is in the clear for now. Hopefully with Phin alert of the new tail.

"A Lady doesn't leave her escort…" Still singing, Jason keeps on trying to avoid the enemies, getting things done now. Frowning as he does so.

Kelsey stares back at the two crew with her. She knows she has to do this. Her other hand lifts and waves them off. "I got this. I need to do it. I can't ask anyone else to do it for me if I get pinned. If I gotta do this, now or never, sirs." She looks out the slatted windows towards the Viper, watching it get slashed at. Gods, what a terrible idea this was. 'Come on the recon!' they said. 'Itll be a milkrun! Totally fun!' they said.

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Dolly, Crater. You got the heavy on you now. I'm still hunting him."

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Crater, Dolly. Copy. I'll try and shake him." He'll try. "Thanks for the cover."

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Storm, Punchie, not sure if you can copy but Raider still on your six. We're trying to burn it."

"That ain't how it works, Squire." Ygraine's voice is terse as she continues to focus on the HeavyRaider. How she maintains conversation while doing so is a secret Yggy Mystery. "Ya accept assistance when it is available to increase the odds of success; ya don't refuse it for some trumped up hubris bullshit. You copy, Squire?" That's where the edge creeps into Ygraine's tone even though her eyes are on her screen.

<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Holtz with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Heavyraider1 attacks Phin with KEW - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ygraine suppresses Heavyraider1 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Phin attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Maia passes.
<COMBAT> Luc attacks Heavyraider1 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Kelsey passes.
<COMBAT> Jason suppresses Raider3 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Holtz attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Viper-6138f has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Phin has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider3 has been KO'd!

[Into the Wireless] Storm's radio is fried, judging from the intermittent crackling that sounds over the comms. His ship is still moving though, so that's a good sign.

Decision, decisions. "Squire, I can go in your place if you want to pilot this one." Yeah, another call Maia is making that is more than likely wrong, but she can't ignore the fear in the young girls eyes and voice. "Take the controls."

[Into the Wireless] Ygraine says, "Flight, Milkshake! Sing out, Punchie, Dolly!"

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Shake, Punchie. Raider is vaped, Storm is clear for now and still flying. Swinging back to the Heavy Raider, watch out for its missiles."

The Raider targetting him is damaged, but still alive, and still bearing down on him. He's again barely able to avoid the enemy's shot, and this time the fire from the rest of the flight converges and blows the Raider to bits.

However, when the others finally get him, it's almost on top of Storm and moving fast. When the ship explodes, the debris strikes Holtz' ship like the blast from a shotgun. The stricken Viper bucks under the impact, and finally unable to take any more punishment, flies apart in a burst of flame.

Phin continues to fly at his Raider target, focused on that and trusting in his ability to dodge and weave around the fire of the Raider on his tail. Sometimes…that doesn't so much work. He's hit, what might normally be a glancing blow, but it's in just the right place. Or, he's in just the wrong one. The tap sends him spinning. Toward an asteroid. Which he doesn't seem able to correct for. "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit…" The profanity's not helping, Phin. Unable to get it corrected, he pulls the ejection seat. Before his Viper crashes into the rock in fiery wreckage. So…bonus, kind of. The not-immediately-dead kind.

Kelsey is already in the vest and ready to go at the door. She watches Phin's Viper take the hits, though, and her eyes go wide. "PHIN!" she calls out into her helmet. At least that wasn't a hot mic. Then look in her eyes is less fear and now more desperation now. "NO! Lemme go, sir!" she yells at Maia. "I'm already strapped!" There's two ships down though. Looking at Ygraine and then Maia, she kicks the door as if wanting it open.

No time to trade now, "Gogogogogo.." Maia keeps her controls, not even bothering to glance back at Kelsey, issuing the order before she even has time to think, already going where she's needed most.

Luc spots the ejections and keeps firing against the heavy one while speaking.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Flight, Punchie, strike that last. Storm is caught in Raider debris!"

"BELAY THAT!" Ygraine suddenly roars, her head turning with an almost audible snap to toward Centerfold. "We are in live combat! You STAY ON THE STICK! Centerfold get to Dolly, get to Dolly now! Prep for incoming, Squire! Basket catch!"

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Crater here. Stand-up, get Dolly. Centerfold, get to Storm."

Singing stopping abruptly as he sees the Vipers going down, Jason turns his own Raptor towards one of the downed pilots as he hears what's being said over the comms. "Ready to go fishing," he remarks to the ECO, bringing the Raptor over in Phin's direction now, ignoring the Big Ugly enemy for now.

[Into the Wireless] Ygraine says, "Crater, Milkshake. Copy tha - what was that?! What was that?! Storm! Storm! Kurt!"

[Into the Wireless] Jason says, "Crater, Stand-up. Copy that. Still awake out there, Dolly. We're coming for you, hang on."

Kelsey hears that from Ygraine and almost looks shocked. Holy crap. She blinks, her heavy breathing causing small condensation marks to appear and vanish in a blink. She turns back to the door and holds onto both the handguards, one foot back. She's seen the training videos. But has she done this before? …Probably not. "Petty Officer at the door, ready for open!" she calls out. Ohgods. Ohgods.

No response from Storm, not even over his emergency suit comms. So far, there's no indication to say whether or not he was able to inject in time. There's nothing on the emergency band save for some intermittent crackling.

With a clenched jaw, Maia looks stoically ahead, guiding the Raptor where the explosion with Holtz happened, she glances back once and nods, a quick action, "Go get him." If there's anything left to get. Frak. Door open.

<COMBAT> Heavyraider1 tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Ygraine suppresses Heavyraider1 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Phin passes.
<COMBAT> Maia passes.
<COMBAT> Luc attacks Heavyraider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Kelsey passes.
<COMBAT> Holtz tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Heavyraider1 with KEW - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Holtz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Heavy Raider-2354x has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Heavyraider1 has been KO'd!

Phin floats placidly in space. His transponder signal is strong, at least, so he's not hard to locate. 'Not hard' in terms of floating in the middle of an asteroid field in the middle of a sortie, that is.

Luc continues to fire at the last one. Digging through the cockpit little by little and then there comes the shot from Agrippa that destroys the raider. Though still a serious expression as he tries to see that Jason got Dolly while he head into where Holtz might be, trying to find the captain. "Come on. Come on." He mutters. Not really celebrating just yet. Hoping still, even if it is looking dark.

Agrippa isn't sure if Holtz's Viper is still flying or breaking apart or what and as much as he wants to hang around to check and mark that location but there is still a Cylon flying around. Not only a regular Cylon, but a Heavy Raider. Last time he ran into a Heavy Raider was in the sims, and that one launched a missile, more or less roflstomping both him and Storm into bits. So reluctantly, he pulls back hard on his flightstick and angles in on the last bandit. Without hesitation, Punchdrunk charges head on with the Heavy Raider and whether by luck or by Ygraine's superior ECM skils, he isn't being showered with KEW, allowing him to deliver a killing shot, each projectile punching into the cockpit of the Raider.

When the HeavyRaider blows, Ygraine pushes away from her console with a hiss. "YES." She stands, moving to the ECO seat at the front of the raptor, peering into the black of space in the hope of finding a second floater. She doesn't sit, she stands - gripping the seat tightly through her gloved fingers.

And just like that, it's over. The Heavy Raider explodes under the combined fire of Luc and Agrippa, and it appears Valeho has managed to finish off the Cylons that were still attacking her. Both of the freighters alongside her are still alive as well, though it looks like one has taken major damage. The Colonial ships pause for a breather as the fight ends, looking for their dead and/or missing in the cloud of debris from the fight.

[Into the Wireless] Luc says, "Stand-up, Crater. Could you get to Dolly? Centerfold, Shakes. Able to get a visible on Storm?"

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Punchie to Flight, Heavy is down, Heavy is down. Do we have status on Storm and Dolly?"

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Recon Flight to Valeho, do you copy? What is your status? I say again, what is your status?"

[Into the Wireless] Finally, the crackling over the distress band resolves it into something concrete — the ravings of an obviously enraged Tauron. "… godsdamn kurg-sucking sons of bitches, I swear to Ares and Athena I'm comin' back here, I'm gonna line all you bastards right up next to your buddies I scragged already, you motherfrakkers, you ain't seen the last of me…"

[Into the Wireless] "Flight, Valeho. Good to see you all out there still." The voice on the other end of the line is shaky, but much more relaxed than before. "We're hit, but still in one piece. Caspian took a pretty bad pounding, but we've got FTLs operational on all ships, so if it's all the same to y'all… if you've got somewhere we can go that isn't here, we'd be right grateful to ride along."

When the door opens and there's an angry Holtz floating in space, Kelsey stares. This is not like the training video with the old flightsuits, crappy music, and comical acting. She gives slow steering directions and leans out of the Raptor, one hand gripping to that interior rail for dear life. She reaches out to snag Holtz's belt and yank him inside as hard as she can. But mass tugging at mass in space is relative and she has to pull hard to get him inside the door way. Once he's there, "Captain is in!" Kelsey calls, looking the Viper stick over for injuries. "You okay?!" she belts, smiling a bit. Terrified, but smiling. She just did that. She hits her fist on the button to close the door.

Moving the Raptor as close as possible to the floating Phin, Jason makes sure to get the door open so the ECO can get the pilot inside now. Glancing back at the two, Jason then looks forward again, making sure to close the door again as he makes a report on the comm.

[Into the Wireless] Jason says, "Flight, Stand-up. We've got Dolly safely aboard now."

[Into the Wireless] Maia says, "Flight, Centerfold. Storm safely on board."

Phin is easy enough to grab. He's not so much conscious as he's hauled into the Raptor, but he may well've just passed out from the…flinging himself into space. His suit's intact, and he groans as he's deposited on the Raptor floor. So, he lives.

Once there is confirmation on both vipers being safe Luc will let out a sigh of relief before steering things up to try and bring them around. Hearing the state of Valeho and their company. Taking a moment to consider before saying anything. Though soon he does speak to them. This before they all will start to head for Cygnus.

Holtz is still growling invectives into his comm when the floodlamp from the Raptor finally shines upon his insensate form. He squints as Maia's ship comes alongside, allowing the Raptor crew to drag him on board the ship. Shaky hands reach up to tear the helmet loose; there's a hard-edged expression of fury on his face, and he gasps for breath as the helmet is tossed aside, but he seems to be conscious and aware, his grey eyes flicking wildly about. He slumps wordlessly against the bulkhead as he tries to steady himself.

[Into the Wireless] Luc waits for a moment but soon speaks, "Flight, Crater. Copy that. Valeho, we copy. Follow our tail and we will find somewhere safe for you all." Wherever safe will be.

Just as soon as Storm is brought on board safely, Maia breathes a sigh of relief. "Good job Squire, good job Milkshake." Speaking the words into the com now that Storm has been brought in safely. Eyes remaining now on the other heavily damaged Vipers, searching for a moment before falling back into a broken formation for either interception or the trip back.

They're headed for the carrier, and that requires sublight, so Milkshake steps away since she doesn't have to spool up yet. "Squire, watch the DRADIS." She pops off her helmet and slides down onto her knees in front of Holtz. She doesn't touch him while he's in a rage - that's like asking to be punched, but she sets herself squarely in his eyeline and just watches him, a fierce expression on her face.

Kelsey looks around at the business in the Raptor and how Milkshake squats with Holtz. She knows better than to get in the way there. "Yessir," she tells Milk and sits down at the panel. Its been a hot minute since she's done this but she flips a few switches and resets it to start a new scan. Hopefully. There's a glance to each side to be sure nobody is looking and she allows herself a smile.

Phin does get himself back to consciousness. For a second he just lays there on the Raptor floor. Trying to figure out what the frak just happened. Then, half panicked, he scrambles to get his helmet off. He's happy to stay there sprawled, sucking in recycled air as if trying to draw all of it into his lungs at once. "Stand-Up?" Blink, blink. "Did you…?" This isn't hard to put together. "Umm…wow. Thanks, man." That doesn't even begin to cover it, but he may come up with something more coherent later.

Storm's eyes are glassy and unfocused, but he notices Ygraine perching herself in front of him quickly enough. That steely expression of his never wavers, but as the seconds pass his control begins to reassert itself. He stares at her for a few seconds, eyes unblinking, chest still heaving a bit as his breath comes quickly. "Get me on th' comlink," he croaks a moment later, his words barely audible if at all.

[Into the Wireless] Luc can be heard to sound more relieved now, "Flight, Crater. Good job out there. Punchie, nice shooting. Raptors, nice saving. And Dolly and Storm, nicely done staying alive." Offering a bit more lightly now that things seem to be over.

Since combat has more or less ended and hostiles no longer present in the area, Agrippa is able to form up with the new fleet, finally taking the time to go through a damage check of his Viper. There is one red critical to a component but it isn't system threatening as circuits had been rerouted around the damaged section. With that, the Viper jock is finally able to relax though adrenaline is still flowing in his bloodstream, it is slowly fading. Punchdrunk is quiet though, just flying while his eyes keeps an eye for a stray rock.

"If ya can stand," Ygraine holds out her arm, "We can get ya over to my front seat, ya can use th'com up there." Because she's not letting his mitts near her sensitive, delicate instrument panel.

Looking back as he hears Phin's words, Jason offers a bit of a grin. "Well, you seemed to have misplaced your Viper, so we figured we'd give you a lift," he offers, looking out again to make sure they won't get it by any asteroids or anything now. "I mean, it would have been a long swim for you, right?"

Maia remains silent after offering the words to her crew, secure for the moment that they'd done all they can for now and still, the asteroid belts were mostly untouched and unexplored. At least they'd found some alive. All sorts of thoughts racing through her mind now as she flies back the way they had come, keeping with the rest of the team.

"Long swim…just like drowning…" Phin murmurs. That was…creepily close to what he was thinking. "Didn't go under, though. Umm…thanks again for that, by the way. The saving my life. Thing." Still doesn't really begin to cover it. He is grateful, though.

"Course I can stand, godsdamnit," Holtz grunts crossly as he moves to rise. It's true; his legs are a bit wobbly still as he rises, but he appears to be uninjured otherwise. He shoulders his way roughly past Kelsey, urgency overriding courtesy as he makes for the co-pilot's seat next to Maia and flings himself down into it as he reaches for a spare headset.

Ygraine's jaw sets stubbornly when Holtz snaps at her, but now is not the time. She'll give him hell later. Rising, she moves over to Kelsey. "Thanks. Good job." Ygraine sounds a little surly, but it's not directed at the Petty Officer. "I can take over.

[Into the Wireless] Holtz says, ""Valeho, this is Recon Actual. Your orders are as follows." The iron in his tone brooks no argument. "You will follow us to our cruiser, where we will all jump together to a rendezvous point near our base. Once there you will heave to and prepare to recieve an inspection party on all three of your ships. Once your identity has been verified, and only then, will you be allowed to proceed on. Any deviation from these orders will result in your immediate destruction. Acknowledge.""

As Holtz talks into the com, Maia glances over, a flash of respect in her eyes. He'd just barely survived his ship exploding and here he was still in command and issuing orders. She says nothing further, turning her attention back to her own business side of things, getting them to where they need to be.

Kelsey thumbs up quickly and just moves aside, standing away from the ECO panel and moving to the back of the Raptor. She rolls the harness over her shoulder and drops it onto the floor with a clank. She stares straight ahead and the sweat on her face is evident. Fear after the fact, right? She collapses backwards against the bulkhead and closes her eyes while she listens to the chatter. Welcome to the Wing, Kels.

[Into the Wireless] There's a short bit of silence, but then a muted response sounds over the com from Valeho. "Recon Actual, Valeho. Message acknowledged. We will comply." The voice is wooden where it was emotional a moment ago.

"So…sounds like Storm's OK." Phin can hear the comm chatter in the Raptor, at least. He pulls himself over to a passenger seat and straps in. It's not as cozy as his Viper, but it'll do.

"Yes, sounds like he's his old charming self," Jason remarks, as he looks out there again. Expression a bit thoughtful for the moment, it would seem.

Holtz' harsh words seem to have had their desired effect, as the three Colonial ships begin moving into formation as well as they can, the recon group leading them back to rendezvous with Cygnus. The trip back is mostly silent; Holtz, for his part, just sits quietly in the Raptor's co-pilot seat, putting his brief amount of Raptor training to work as he co-pilots for Maia on the way back to the cruiser.

Finally, the Cygnus appears, her grey hull a welcome sight for the Colonials. The Valeho and the pair of surviving freighters wait as Cygnus recovers the recon craft; finally, the pilots are all aboard, and the heavy cruiser transmits the jump coordinates for the quarantine point to the other ships. In quick succession, each vessel disappears in a flash of light as their FTLs are triggered, and this stretch of the Acheron belt is empty once more.

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