AWD #339: Aerilon SAR
Aerilon SAR
Summary: A Raptor is down on Aerilon with a team of Marines with a dead pilot. The Orion sends another Raptor with viper escort to find and extract Spree's people. Things get hot. Alejandro as ST.
Date: 26/05/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Rourke Zander Zoe Niko Kapali Bennett Alejandro 
Aerilon TP Room
Over the plains of Aerilon with a large winding river through it.
Sun Dec 11th 19:17:21 2005

In the Ready Room, a small team is gathered together. A Raptor crew as well as a couple of Marines. An officer arrives in his duty blues carrying a file folder and checks his chronometer on his left wrist before he looks at the people already waiting, "My apology that Captain St. Clair is detained. I'll be giving you the mission breif this evening. I am Lieutenant Alejandro 'Hobo' Salazar, Squadron Leader of the Lucky Strikes. I'll take any questions at the end." The file folder is opened and laid on the podium and he glances at his notes.

"At roughly 06:30 Orion time this morning one of General Spree's raptors was forced down on Aerilon. They were carrying personnel necessary to a critical mission. We believe they have lost their pilot but otherwise have reason to believe their Raptor may be operational." Alejandro glances up from the folder, "You are going in to locate and extract them. /If/ possible we'll also bring their Raptor out but mission personnel and their documents are our primary concern. Your mission file has coordinates and details for your pilots. Hostiles are in the area and they may be pinned down so extreme caution is warranted. Do you have any questions?"

Sitting at the front of the room is Rourke Stavros, filling in for the otherwise detained St Clair. The raptor jock considers for a moment and then raises his pen. "We know what brought down the Raptor, Hobo?" he asks. "Need to know if I need my bird ready for AA junket or just straight recovery." he asks as he jots down a few notes.

Zoe's found COFFEE. It's an important part of everything, and she's busy sipping at it as she listens. She apparently does not have any questions, judging by the shake of her head as she sets her coffee down, mostly finished with the contents.

Recently transferred aboard from Crandall, Niko is a new Viper jock who hasn't yet been cleared to fly combat by his superiors aboard the Orion. But his assigned minder, Ensign Wescott, did tell him to get out on SAR missions. So he's taken the chance to ride along on this one. Zipped into a flight suit with a helmet in hand, he is at least dressed the part, even if he can't do much more than man the Raptor door and free up the ECO. The rookie pilot looks around at the other personnel in the ready room, paying attention even if he doesn't ask questions of his own.

"Just one."

Zander "Buttons" Sava is sitting there with his feet crossed at the ankles and pretty much just relaxing as much as he possibly can while listening. He's got one earbud in and its jammed into the Savant Tab that his family designed back when they were, y'know, alive. While he normally would be playing a game, his screen shows the files and notes for this meeting he's in right this moment! So he was actually paying attention. Kind of. Sorta'?

"Is it too early too call dibs on the Raptor? I'm just sayin', as a Level 25 ECO… I should get my own Raptor." Zander cracks a smile. He's kidding? Maybe?

As one of the marines who volunteered for this particular mission, Kapali's hands are tucked calmly into her pockets as she studies the faces of those in the ready room while listening to the briefing offered by the LT. A sidelong look is aimed atone of the ECO's before she turns back to the LT, "Failing to make the bird operational to lift off, sir, do we have the go ahead to deny the asset to the enemy?" 'deny the asset' is marine code for 'blow crap up', of course.

Alejandro lifts a dark brow at Zander, "You were hand picked for this team, weren't you? I don't see any other ECO's in here, Lieutenant J-G. Raptors are military property." Hobo is usually a pretty laid back, happy fella easy to joke around himself, but the look he gives Zander isn't as amused as he might be, "Now, I'm not flying with you but you will have a viper escort. Raven will give you cover. There is an AA Battery in the area and Raiders may be called in before you are out." Salazar gives Kapali an upnod, "If it's not salvagable, yes. It should be rendered unusable by the enemy. It's too hot an area to risk a repair crew." To Rourke, Ale adds, "As far as we know they reached their landing point intact and lost their pilot while on the ground. It sounds like you may be able fly in low and avoid detection by the battery so check your direction of approach accordingly."

"Right." Rourke says as he closes his book and moves to stand, glancing towards Buttons. "Try not to jump us into the middle of the planet." he says as he gets to his feet. "Make sure we have a couple of bomb loads, but we're going to be mostly medvac." the pilot comments as he looks to Kapali. "We'll try to take out the battery before we land - if not, we might need your skills to take it out before we depart." It may come down to that, but Rourke certainetly isn't hoping so.

Zoe gives a quick wave when Alejandro mentions that she'll be flying escort, flashing a bright smile at Zander, as well as to Rourke and Kapali as well. She then reaches for her coffee again, downing the remaining coffee before she bounces to her feet. She leaves the empty cup on the table, reaching up to start twisting her hair up into a quick bun.

Exhaling a small, almost, laugh at the suggestion that they don't jump into the middle of the planet, Kapali gives a mild shake of her head as though this should be SOP for things NOT to do before she shares a brief gleam of a smile at Rourke. "We'll pack what we need, just in case."

The Savant Tab's screen gets swiped clean and Zander gives it a bit of a twirl before tucking it under his arm. "That wasn't a no." Zander turns towards Zoe with a quick smile. "You heard that, right? He didn't say no." Fully self-counting his dibs as being intact, Zander finally gets to his feet in time to get commented at by Rourke. "Hakuna Matata, right? I got this." Zander is feeling pretty confident about his jump skills. "I was makin' jumps harder than this when I was an Embryo. Cakes." Oh, the gamer lingo. It has returned.

The new guys looks confused by some of the banter in the briefing, mostly that centering around Zander. Is the ECO speaking some foriegn language he's never heard of? Niko frowns to himself and makes some notes when the AA battery and possible raiders are mentioned, and asks his first question. "Do we know what type of tripple-A it is, Sir?"

Bennett arrives a little late for the briefing, though is undoubtedly up to speed on the details regardless. She's zipping up her flight suit as she slips in through the hatch; looks like Rourke's got himself a copilot for this mission.

Alejandro has picked up his file folder and closed it, but waits to see if there are any last questions as they begin to file out. He gives Niko a negative movement of his head, "I don't have that information. The map I've given to Rourke shows the AA Battery is along the river, over looking a loading facility for grain barges. The Raptor is located approximately 3 miles to the south east on the opposite side of the river." The Lieutenant turns his head when Bennett arrives, "Captain. They've been briefed."

Bennett nods slightly to Alejandro for the update, and addresses the room briefly before they get underway: "This will be Lieutenant Stavros's show. He has command of the flight; I will be riding along as an observer." And, one presumes, to evaluate the raptor crew's performance. No pressure or anything! She looks back to the viper commander, awaiting his word to file out.

—-

The Raptor could make the jumps to Aerilon, but the vipers can not. Therefor they depart the Orion and are given transport on board a frigate that can jump in, deploy the team, and jump back out again before the two basestars in orbit might close in or swarm them with raiders. The viper and Raptor hit atmo almost at once to begin their descent, coordinates up on their computer systems. DRADIS shows nothing close by initially. It doesn't take long for the river to come into view as it is the primary navigational landmark in the sea of agricultural plains below.

As the Raptor breaks atmo, Rourke settles in at the controls, and glances about him. "Keep your eyes open for possible locks, Buttons." the pilot orders. He knows where the AA battery was supposed to be. But the crazy thing about AA batteries? They tend to move. He keeps alert, eyes on the ground below and the horizon, drifting to the DRADIS and back again. He was shot down last time he was here - he's not about to let this happen again.

Webbed in place like everyone else who is NOT part of the flight crew, and seated so that she doesn't actually have a good look at anything useful, Kapali had taken every opportunity between Orion and this last leg of the inbound trip to close her eyes and nap between moments of moving to another place to sit and wait. One of the greatest skills of any marine is the ability to sleep, at the drop of a hat. She isn't sleep right now, of course, but since she can't see a damned thing, and her gear has already been checked, re-checked and then left precisely as is to avoid another OCD combing through, she's simply biding her time until they get to where they're going and either get to disembark OR get shot to pieces and falling debris. Either way, nothing she can do until they get there.

As they drop into atmo, Zoe starts to check things, looking around to make sure that they aren't attracting the wrong kind of attention. While she's usually as bouncy as they come, put her in a cockpit and she sobers up pretty fast. It doesn't stop her from talking to herself sometimes, running through the list of things to keep herself organized, or reciting the galaxies silliest song. Hard to tell.

It may or may not be a coincidence that Rourke is accompanied by the Ghosts' squadron commander herself on this foray to Aerilon, after their last misadventure there. It's certainly not typical to fly a copilot, but not unheard of either. True to her word, St. Clair issues no commands from her seat, and really has not spoken much at all save to confirm a couple of statuses during pre-flight. Her pale blue eyes are fixed on the windscreen now as they are jostled around by atmo playing havoc with their craft.

Buttons is doing that thing where he looks like he's in the zone. His eyes sort of gloss over whenever he's at the scanners and radar aand everything else that he has to actually pay attention to. "We all crystal right now." Lingo of being in the clear is tossed around before Zander turns his eyes to another panel that he's got to work with. "By the way, we need to upgrade these things. With Stealth. Just sayin'." Buttons makes sure that the Raptor is doing all the scanning for all the things. He may even be trying to get a bead on possible energy signature that may or may not come from battery shenanigans. ECOs do a lot of stuff, okay!

<FS3> Zander rolls ECM: Great Success.

The river snakes serpentine over the land below as Rourke drops altitude, coming up on their coordinates. From the air, Aerilon still looks mostly intact, especially today with green and golden fields and swatches of darker green trees. No smoke rises up from burning buildings here. But as the Raptor with viper escort descends, it can be observed that many of the fields are fallow, filled with weeds or grasses and though closer along the river and coming up on their target, there is more active argiculture in evidence.

Up ahead looms the bend in the river with the grain barges and loading facilities. Their DRADIS begins to light up with enemy contact.

As the DRADIS lights up, Rourke becomes more attentive. "Weapons hot. What do we have, Buttons?" the pilot asks as he reaches to flip the arming switches to active. They aren't carrying a full bomb load for the the mission - since it was supposed to be recovery. They only have two bombs, and then it's run like hell. "Buttons, get ready to pop countermeasures."

Muttering under her breath, "And the say marines are crazy. There are no break down lanes in the sky," she checks over the webbing that keeps her snug to the seat and pulls a stress ball from one of the pockets of her vest and puts it to good use after calmly closing her eyes.

As things light up, Zoe sighs, her eyes closing for a split second before she opens them again. She then starts to check everything again, the whole thing somewhat paranoid. But better safe than sorry.

"Relax, the Champ is here." Buttons takes his eyes over to the DRADIS himself and smirks pretty deeply. "Follow the river. The Battery's up next to the grainery. But wait, there's more!" Zander grins and pushes a button or two. One of his screens switches. "We got a Raider. Looks like at uh, 20,000 feet. 'Bout 3 miles out. Northwest. Pretty sure it's a patrol pattern." Zander shrugs and starts booting up countermeasures. Just in case. "We could probably skim the trees if you take us super low. Might be able to squeeze by."

"Dropping to the deck. Hold on to your lunches!" bringing the engines to full as he dives for the surface, the Raptor races along the nap of the earth, using the river to throw a rooster tail behind it. It may not be as elegant as a Viper, but it's an impressive wave and hopefully confuses the AA battery sensors further. "We're going to be cutting in close."

As the targets come up there's really no question about which one Zoe'll choose. She chooses you, Raider Buddy! Her full attention settles on the Raider, and getting it out of commission as soon as she possibly can before dealing with anything else. She pushes her bird full on, eyes narrowing as she sets up for that perfect shot. At least mentally.

<FS3> Rourke rolls Piloting: Success.

Continuing to calmly work the stress ball with her right hand, her left hand cradling the rifle where it's secured to the front of her combat vest, Kapali listens to the pilot geek speak that zips around the cabin while the pilot does some fancy schmancy stuff to keep them from all going splat right out of the gate. "Close as in 'make a crater' or close like 'oh look, tree'?"

Bennett is the epitome of calm in the eye of the storm, despite the momentary panic that arises at facing down a bogey without the benefit of flight controls. Her gloved hand even starts to reach for the yoke, but withdraws quickly before she can get in Rourke's way. "Nice flying," she comments to the Lieutenant beside her with a slight smile.

Along for the ride. Niko is less than thrilled to be sitting in the back of the bus when things start heating up, but the rookie pilot does the one thing he can do to help right now. Keep quiet and not get in the way. He secures his helmet and pressurize his flight suit, just in case. This also lets him listen in to the chatter as the pilots and ECO discuss the situation, and there's a quick glance at the DRADIS display to try and track the situation.

Rourke drops low, so low that he almost hits the water, but manages to keep control of the Raptor. He's entirely right that a big plume of water sprays out from beneath the zipping air craft and throws up a rooster tail high behind - which is visible at a distance. Impressive. The river is wide open. The AA battery is active and pivots it's guns down river towards the approaching craft to try and track it.

Meanwhile, the single Raider on a slow patrol begins to change course from it's circle to dive and start picking up speed aggressively. If the Raptor is too low to see, the rooster tail spray rising up pinpoints it's location over the water!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-6028d - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raptor-3718h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-3718h - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-3718h - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-3718h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-3718h - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-3718h - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-3718h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-3718h - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-3718h - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cylon1 attacks Rourke with Kew and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Zoe attacks Cylon1 with KEW - Serious wound to Controls.

<COMBAT> Zander suppresses Cylon2 with ECM. <unsuccessful>

<COMBAT> Raider-6913o has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Cylon1 has been KO'd!

<FS3> Rourke rolls Piloting-2: Good Success.

"HA! Take that!" Zoe shouts when the Raider goes down, "Teach you to not look, you stupid hunk of metal!" But, there's more. There's the AA Battery that is still an issue, and as she pulls herself back around she turns her attention towards it.

"Close as in I hope you packed your swimsuit. Unless you skinny dip." Rourke retorts as he focuses on keeping the bird just above the water. "Come on baby, line up for me." he murmurs, flipping the drop mechanism. There's no response to Bennett, the pilot's eyes narrowing as he takes in the target and starts to lock in. "Raven, Shaft." he says into the comm. "Keep that raider busy for a moment while I clear the zone." Order issued, he focuses back on his target. "Come on Buttons, lets knock this frakker out." he says as the bomb and missiles streak out at the same time. The explosions are near spontaneous and the entire control panel of the Rapor lights up. "Frak!" he says as the whole cockpit glass splinters and shudders as the Raptor makes the turn slowly, trailing smoke as the Raptor rolls back in. "Buttons! Surpression! Passengers, brace!" he says as rolls in to use his other bomb to try take the damn battery out before it takes out Zoe. "Raven, evasive! We're rolling in hot!"

Making a low sound of amusement, Kapali exhales a breath and tucks the stress ball back into a pocket of her vest, the marine checks over the webbing yet again, just in case. The 'just in case' is completed just as she hears the sound of the cockpit glass splintering. "Ahh. New plan. Blow THIS one up and make the other one space worthy, got it. Plan B it is."

"Chizz!" Buttons isn't particularly feeling the fact that there's all sorts of stuff rocking around the Raptor. He's got a frown on his face but he's pretty damn focused on trying to keep things working. His hands don't leave the controls for a second. "What the frak…" Zander sits up straighter and focuses on his screen. "Seriously, Buttons? You didn't calibrate the polarity levels?" He flips a switch or two and then sets about to trying to get this suppression to land this time. "I got you. I /got/ you." Zander's not gonna' miss this time!

Niko rides like a pilot who's not at the controls, which is to say, not very happily. He's not worried by the sudden descent or the low altitude flight, but he does pale when that missile warning goes off. He's already bracing himself as Rourke calls out, and then he flinches instinctively as sharpnel pings around inside the Raptor's cockpit. "Frak…" he mutters, looking around for the fire extinguisher. Just in case.

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-6028d - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-6028d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Zander suppresses Cylon2 with ECM. <unsuccessful>

<COMBAT> Zoe attacks Cylon2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Weapon (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Far From Viper 537 - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Aa Battery-6028d has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Cylon2 has been KO'd!

As much as it is said that Rourke has little in the way of drive or ambition, let it be said the man flies like a man possessed. "Bomb away." he growls, as he lets the bomb go to skip along the ground and slam into the body of the battery. "Clean hit. Put that one on the board." he rumbles as he doesn't celebrate long, immediately cutting back on the thrust to watch DRADIS and try to battle the Raptor for control, a frown. "Butch, give me a little extra stick and lets see if we can coax our baby to behave." he says as he reaches up to pull the landing struts into position to make a landing. "Hope you packed plenty of speed tape, Kapali."

<FS3> Rourke rolls Piloting-2: Good Success.

The hits that rocked the Raptor and nearly shredded it came like a thunderCLAP, hitting hitting it hard but Rourke keeps his wits. The craft wobbles badly but doesn't hit the water, managing to stay on course even as black smoke boils out behind over the water. The wind whistles harshly through the blown out cockpit - they obviously won't be taking this vehicle out of atmo after this ride.

The raider has been blown part but the AA battery turns to fire upon the Viper, distracted from remaining on the more important target. It dosen't last long as Rourke delivers the second and final bomb with precision…. a great plume of smoke and fire billows out with he explosion.

Carefully keeping her jaw slightly unclenched so that she doesn't risk biting her own tongue off as the Raptor goes bouncing through the air with a cloud of noxious smoke and probably panels falling off along the way, Kapali makes a muffled sound that could as easily be interpreted as 'of course' as much as anything else. One never insults the pilot, after all, at least not until safely back on the ship. Where another pilot all together is driving. Kapali aims a brief look at the back of Rourke's head, possibly so that she can use the image for target practice later, but declines to actually say anything aloud, because she's just a marine. If she accidentally shoots Rourke later, plausible deniability is required.

Bennett has kept her trap shut like a good little observer throughout this whole gut-wrenching ordeal. She does speak up now, Virgan accent coming through a little more crisply than usual over the wireless, "Damage report, Buttons?" Her gaze drifts to the console in front of her, a few taps bringing up a rough terrain map of where they're headed.

"Shaft, Raven. Take it out fast…" Zoe replies, but doesn't change the path she's taking towards it on her own. She thumbs the button when she's within range, which leaves her as a sitting duck in a way with it's attention turning towards her. Evasion might have been a better idea, but as her bird is rocked by the explosions and all hell breaks loose, she manages to not curse, or lose her cool. Audibly, at least.

Now they are no longer being shot at, the Raptor is able to come around to the coordinates for the landing zone. The trees on this side of the river are thick but here and there are open spots … and there it is, one Colonial military Raptor neat as can be, landed in the shade of a huge oak. Camo netting has been thrown over it to help hide the aircraft and there is no sign as Rourke brings them in of anyone else around. There are structures a little to the west along the river that appear to be a small town. There is just enough space for the additional craft to land beside the first Raptor, or in another clearing near by.

As they move the wounded bird in for a landing, Rourke frowns. "Let's check to see how flightworthy the other Raptor is." Tapping the wireless, he transmits, "Raven, Shaft, we're at the lz. Contact Daedalus, let them know we may need a ride." The pilot shuts down the engines, and moves to unstrap. "Kapali, you've got point." Why not put the marine out in front?"

Flipping open the webbing as soon as the Raptor is on the ground, Kapali rolls her shoulders to settle her gear back into place and is on her feet and securing the rest of the gear she's carrying as soon as the dust clears. Her helmet is snugged down as well, head tipping left then right again to ensure that it doesn't shift position, "Aye Sir, moving out," is her only reply as she pats her pockets down then tosses a roll of speed tape toward Rourke. "Maybe I can find something that'll serve in lieu of glass that you can use this on, sir," she offers before she moves to the door, wrestles it open as necessary, and is the first to put boots on the ground, rifle held at the ready, scanning forward and around not just their bird but the one parked in the shade of a huge oak.

"Shaft, Raven…I'll pass along that message, you wanting me to stay up here?" Zoe questions, remaining in the air, flying around like a circling bird until she knows just what Rourke is wanting her to do besides shoot off a message to the Daedalus.

Niko is on his feet before they touch down, moving to man the Raptor's side hatch. He has it opening as soon as the bus comes to a slow enough air speed, and hits the catch to unlock the door gun. Swinging the minigun into position, the ride-along pilot grabs the weapon and trains it on the tree line, checking for big silver robots. "Looks clear!" he shouts as they touch down, but he stays on the gun to cover Kapali, for now.

"Pull the data drive," Bennett reminds Zander, unbuckling her harness as she prepares to disembark with the rest. "If this thing is not salvageable, we may need to destroy it." There is no movement in either direction, leastwise so far as the naked eye can see. The treeline, too, is quiet; a slight breeze rifles through the leaves, and causes the netting over the other raptor to lift and billow soundlessly.

"This is bullchizz." Zander doesn't like when the Raptors take damage and there's all kinds of damage to the Raptor and that's not a good thing. He knows he didn't get any hits during that either. His head drops and he unstraps slowly. He frowns, "I'm on it." Buttons already has a good bead on what kind of damage has been acquired but he's going to run some tests to make sure there's nothing else they can do to save this bird. The data drive is pulled and tucked away. Safely.

"Raven, Shaft. If you can fly, come land for now. If we run into trouble, you can make a run for the Daedalus." Rourke transmits. "See you on the ground." With that, he shuts off the radio so that Buttons can start to work on stripping the datadrives and set the Raptor for destruction when Kapali is finally ordered to do so."

"Copy that, Shaft." Zoe replies, and makes one final loop before she comes in for a landing, quick, but she doesn't explode or anything so there's always that. Once she's on the ground she powers the Viper down, then pops the cockpit open to start unbuckling herself, then starts to climb up from her seat.

"Not that we did a stealth landing, but lets not shout, please," Kapali says into the open com, her voice pitched just loud enough for the com to pick up, in fact, as she continues to move forward, scanning every inch of the way. "Sir, was there any actionable intel as to the status of the crew of this bird?"

Niko watches as the crew piles out of the Raptor, and the Zoe's viper comes in to land. There is whistful moment as he studies the fight craft, then a shake of his head when he realizes he's getting distracted. The kid gets back to watching the treeline, and the sky as well, hands on the big door gun.

"So, we're here. Where's our package?" Rourke says as he frowns and looks around. If he was from UPS, he'd be pissed off. Instead, he's more worried. "Bennett, can you check on the Raptor?" he asks as he looks towards the other craft and starts to make his way towards it with the Squadron Leader. "Anyone see any signs of where they went?"

Bennett tugs off her helmet, draws her sidearm, and clambers out of the raptor in order to bring up the rear. She'll leave answering Kapali's question to Rourke, however. They've set down not too far from a patchy little gravel road that appears to lead into town - and it is, quite literally, a town. There's a temple in the centre, as is common on Aerilon, and a smattering of low buildings fanning out from there. As Kapali nears the other raptor, a fairly unpleasant scent wafts toward her. The hatch is closed, but a few fat black flies buzz around it. It doesn't help that the air in this valley is warm, especially for those wearing flight suits.

Bennett shakes her head to Rourke. "I think the Corporal has it covered. I will try to figure out whether there is anything salvageable here." She nods toward their ride in, and disappears around the other side momentarily.

Zoe hops down out of the Viper, tugging her helmet free to toss back into the cock pit, her hands reaching up to scrub her fingers through her hair before she heads over to meet up with those that came in on the Raptor.

Holding up one hand to signal that the rest of the rescue party hold position, "Advancing to Raptor," she says into the com as she moves a quietly but as swiftly as possible. The distinctive smell, unpleasant that is is, accompanied by the lazy buss of flies, has her moving cautiously and, out of habit, breathing in shallow measures.

After scanning the sky, Niko notices Kapali signaling and turns his attention towards her and the downed bus she's approaching. There's an antsy sort of nervousness about the pilot-turned-gunner, and he turns to give Zander a quizzical look. "You guys don't keep the pilot on board?" Raptor's aren't his thing. "Sitting on the ground, I mean?"

Moving cautiously, which is to say with extreme care and at best speed for moving cautiously, Kapali pans left, then right, then up and back again. Not enough people look UP for some reason; to many years of human evolution has made humans lazy, nothing in the sky is dangerous that is indigenous, on my planets. Save for falling bits of human made machinery, acts of nature and random things like meteors. The tree that the downed Raptor is parked beneath seems to bug the marine for some reason and she keeps glancing up at it as she approaches, the smell coming from the raptor and the incessant buzzing of those fat flies also making her notably cautious. possibly trigger happy. But cautious.

"Copy that, Kapali." Rourke responds, as he checks his pistol to make sure it's loaded after making sure that the datadrives have been pulled from the Raptor. Returning to the one they came in on, he opens up the wireless. He's not speaking yet, he's listening for traffic to see if there's anyone nearby. Friendly, or even HAM radio traffic as he waits to hear that the other Raptor is clear before he'll leave this one.

All around it is quiet and pleasant so far. It's a sunny day, there's a light breeze off of the river, birds are slowly starting to resume singing in the trees now the Raptor noise has died down. The glimpse of buildings through the trees do not show any signs of life, no sounds of vehicles. One might easily think this would be a good spot for a picnic.

Zoe's mostly along for the ride, so to speak. She's not a Marine, she doesn't usually wander around on the ground where she can be shot, but it can happen. And clearly it does, but that doesn't change the fact that she's pretty quiet, and not bouncing around at all.

"Lieutenant Stavros," Kapali's voice is still quiet but again pitched just loud enough for the com to pick up, "sir, you're certain there's nothing on the DRADIS showing movement in the vicinity?" said as she does another slow 360 before panning up, and eyeing that bloody tree again, then levers the door of the downed raptor open and moves to the side of it at the same time, staying out of the potential path of anything that might come flying out. Color her cautious and cynical.

Once Kapali opens up the netted Raptor, the odor gets a little worse but not choking bad. Right there laying on the floor by the door is a body bag. The seal is not entirely closed over the face of the dead woman within, hense the odor, as if someone broke the seal to have a look after she was left.

When Kapali unseals it a bit further, a flight suit is visible beneath with a Lieutenant J-G's rank pins and pilot's wings with a Picon Raptor patch. The woman appears to have been shot, repeatedly. Most things within the Raptor seem to be intact and there is no noticiable damage to the aircraft.

"DRADIS is clear, Corporal." Shutting down the systems to the Raptor finally, he starts to move towards the other Raptor. Glancing towards the city in the distance, he pauses as he comes across the bodybag and body within. Reaching into a side pocket on his flight suit, he takes out a small group of pictures and sorts through them to see if the dead pilot matches any known skinjobs. Why else would she be in a bag? There's a frown. "Corporal, you're an engineer? Can you give this bird a onceover to make sure she ain't gonna blow up as soon as we touch anything. Noone touch anything until she has a chance to check everything.. including the body."

Rourke will find that the woman in the body bag does not match any of the known skinjob models.

<FS3> Kapali rolls Alertness: Success.

Kapali spends 1 luck points on Luck be a lady and help me find anything fishy!.

<FS3> Kapali rolls Engineering: Good Success.

While Kapali seems to be tending to the Raptor and it's contents, Zoe takes the time to start wandering around, poking at things and looking around. In general, she's just making herself keep busy while everyone else is busy as well.

<FS3> Zoe rolls Alertness: Good Success.

The distinctive stench of a dead body is not unfamiliar to this marine, and she'd recognized the scent - that heavy metallic, rotting flesh, bloated body and gases stench that says blood and death and the last bit of dignity that anyone has before they become so much empty remains. Panning another slow skim around, covering the LT as he approaches to check the body of the dead LT JG, Kapali gives a measured nod, keeping the rifle ready as she begins a careful, thorough, examination of the interior of the Raptor's electronics, going through the usual pre-flight check with the ease of someone who's spent a lot of time with heavy machinery. "I don't find anything rigged to the systems, LT, but I don't have the by the numbers to do a pre-flight check. I can say that it's not rigged to go up like a fire cracker, though, at least from inside. I want to do a combing over of the exterior before I say for sure."

Once the all clear is given on the body at least, Rourke nods. "Do what you need to, Corporal. We can keep a little longer." But the body can't. There's a check of the bodybag to make sure there's nothing left within as he removes the JG's tags and checks for her flight log if it was left on her before he zips back up the bag to drag the body off the Raptor. It may stink to fly in, but she can still fly, hopefully.

Something…Zoe pauses, her head tilting to the side before she moves towards the tail of the Raptor, starting to look around a little more seriously. She even goes so far as to get down on the ground to make sure that she looks under anything that might be around the bird.

Sharing a brief nod with the LT, Kapali emerges from the Raptor again, salutes the body of the dead LT in a solemn manner while no one else is paying particular attention, then begins to comb around the Raptor as well. She frowns as she spots Lt. Illyria and . . "LT Stavros, your Lt. Illyria has located another body," again her voice is quiet in the com as she approaches Illyria and the body that the LT is observing.

There's a pause as Rourke enters the Raptor after pulling the pilot's tags. "..frak." he says quietly. Okay. He can chalk it up to the bird has never made the flight to Piraeus. But. He doesn't trust that the datadrives are still in place. Zander can wire in the ones from their Raptor if needed, but he doesn't want to be the one to frak it all up by introducing a virus or something equally dangerous. That's until Kapali speaks up. "Understood. Give me a few." He starts to power on the ECO console, just to see if the datadrive currently in place reacts.

"He's wounded." Zoe points out as she scoots towards the leaves where the body is, moving quickly but quietly in that direction. As soon as she's within range she quietly announces herself with a shhh, "Hold still…" A medic she is not, but she knows enough to know moving is bad.

Bennett has been mostly occupied with the task of assessing their heavily damaged bus for signs of anything salvageable. Her flight suit's unzipped down to her waist, bare arms smeared with grease and a little blood - the latter from a cut she appears to have sustained while detaching the doorgun assembly. A brief glance is sent over her shoulder to check on the rest of the crew's progress with the other raptor, then back to her work.

<FS3> Bennett rolls Mechanical Engineering: Success.

The young man lying in the leaves is in a Colonial Airwing flight suit. No pilot's wings, but he has the rank pins of an Ensign. He is trying to move, trying to speak, "Who?" He fixes his eyes on Zoe and reaches out a bloody hand towards her own flight suit to paw at her arm, "Orion…" his voice is thready, weak, "Cylons … killed Jenner. Got to recover … the … got to … recover the documents."

<FS3> Kapali rolls First Aid: Good Success.

So far so good. As the console powers up, Rourke waits for the loading process to complete. He's no ECO, but he knows what it's supposed to look like at least as he continues to run system checks, going through the mental checklist that's been more than drilled into his head with years of practice.

From the sky there is the sound of a Raider's engine as it flies into the area. It does not fly directly over their position but instead seems to be on the other side of the river bend to circle the plume of black smoke as it rises up into the sky from the remains of the AA Battery.

The marine, also, isn't a medic but she carries a compact first aid kit at her side on all missions anyway; just because a marine is willing to use duct tape and super glue, or speed tape and staples, doesn't mean that a good old fashioned bandaid and some real bandages are entirely out of the question. While the ensign is rambling at the LT, Kapali takes a knee beside the wounded man and flips the kit open with one hand (silently praising - again - the genius who figured out that a first aid kit that requires two working hands to work the latch is a stupid ass design and instead made THESE kits so that one hand is sufficient to work the latch), "Keep him talking, sir, it might keep him calm," she suggests while checking over the Ensign in her best attempt locating the damage and beginning to address it as best she can.

"What documents?" Zoe wonders, potentially having totally not read the file on the mission. She reaches a hand up to catch the man's hand, blood and all, "Where are they? The documents." She glances towards Kapali, but seems fully capable of keeping up a litany of questions and comments. "I'm Zoe…We're going to help you, okay?"

As Rourke is powering up and going through checks on the abandoned Raptor, the DRADIS comes on line and starts to plib an alert. Slightly late.

The Ensign has been shot in the chest and gut, as well as his leg. At least a few hours ago or more. "Marines .. Spree's people." He trie to point but isn't sure which way is what from where he's lying, "Town. Shipping … records." The poor fella has to breath several breathes before he can whisper, "Barges… I'm .. Craig. Ensign .. Thomas Craig…. ECO, CFAB Crandall."

"Contact." Rourke reports as he hears the plib of the DRADIS, the droning warning giving him the tingle of adrenaline he usually feels before combat. "Pull the wounded aboard. Butch, we're gonna need to go hot out of here. Raven, get to your bird. I know she's hurt, but we may need it to break us through. We need to raise the Daedalus, let them know we're on the way."

Basic first aid enough enough to help Kapali locate where the ensign is wounded, and what bleeding she can get too is bandaged with a couple of compression bandages rigged in place as well to slow if not stem the tide. The ensign, now identified as one Ensign Thomas Craig, looks to be in rough shape of the sort that would set those medicos on the ship into a tizzy. The sound of a DRADIS warning going off has her making a low sound that is almost a mutter that sounds like 'told you so' but it's to low voiced to actually carry. "Need a hand moving him, LT?" she asks of Illyria as she repacks the first aid kit and seals it with a snap of sound.

"I need you to take him…I've got to get to the air." Zoe replies, looking a little pained by the fact she's going to have to make a run for the Viper. She does at least move to help get the Ensign up so that others can help hustle him to the Raptor, "Get as much info, tell Butch, tell Shaft. Once we get out of this, we'll deal with that, yeah?"

Bennett resurfaces from the other raptor, and tosses down another armload of what looks like wires attached to a panel. It ain't pretty, but maybe one of the technicians can make something serviceable out of her salvage. "Can you provide some cover for Illyria, Corporal?" she asks Kapali, squinting up into the sky in the direction the raider headed. "Our bus is not going to make it back to Orion, so we will need to make do with this one." A glance and a nod to Rourke. "Good call, Stavros. Let's go." She grabs what she can - namely, that doorgun and their data drive - and hoofs it for the other bus.

"We don't need to make it to Orion." Truth be told, Rourke doesn't want to take this Raptor back to Orion. The unpulled datadrive has him more than a little nervous. "We just need to get to Daedalus." That way that they don't have to put in jump coordinates - they can make like a Viper and hitch a ride, hopefully.

"Yes ma'am, Sir," Kapali corrects even as she's manhandling the Ensign back into the Raptor as gently as she can. Gently, unfortunately, does not mean painlessly, and she apologizes at least once to the wounded ensign as she gets him into the Raptor. Once he's in place she backtracks, seals up the body bag properly, then hauls that one inside as well, though she does have the courtesy to rest the body of the JG as far away from the ensign as possible. This accomplished she's back in the grass again, covering Illyria's movements outside the bird while the flight crew and all and sundry are tinkering with the bird to make this one flight worthy. "Sirs," she speaks into the com, "I need to rig our original ride to blow, SOP."

The Ensign is being helped aboard but he tries to protest as they do so, "Can't leave … Spree's … Marines." Craig is a little paniced, "They … " But the rest comes out a mumble as he fights to stay conscious whereever they put him. Might be somebody else will have to come back for them.

Keying the com again, Kapali interrupts what ever else is happening on channel with, "Sirs, the ensign just said something about marines, Spree's marines, to be precise, and not wanting to leave 'them'." This said she takes a knee beside the Ensign again, "Sir, Ensign, can you tell us where in the field those marines are?"

With Kapali and the others handling the Ensign and those issues, Zoe makes a break for the Viper. This is when her usual bounciness is handy, she's got all that pent up, locked down energy to funnel into hauling her ass as fast as she can to her bird. As soon as she's there she's hauling herself up, reaching for the helmet to get herself airborn as fast as she can.

The sound of that Raider can be heard to circle around closer but it still doesn't pass directly over their position, yet.

Being moved seems to have been too much for the Ensign. Craig has gone unconscious and doesn't answer Kapali.

"Frak, frak.." Rourke hears the words. There's a frown as he drops into the pilot's chair. "Butch, switch the drives!" he says as he keys up the radio. "Then I'm going to need you to help with the flight - you've done CSAR hot drops, that's what we're going to be doing. Corporal, give us a thirty second delay - that Raider will be coming here to check it out as soon as we blow it, we can buy Raven a chance to get a drop on it." Hoping that the radio is tuned to the marine's frequency, he transmits, "This is Raptor 3718Hotel. Any Marines in the area, mark your AO with green smoke."

Doing a swift and entirely futile search of the Ensign's pockets, Kapali checks for anything on his person that would give them any measure of intel into where those marines might be located. Forced to abandon the search after a few moments of rifling through is pockets and checking his sleeves, anywhere that he might have secreted some sort of mission data, Kapali wipes her hands on his uniform before she hustles off the Raptor back back to the bird that she has to rig. Working as swiftly as she can, both hands turned to the task and employing the EOD kit to it's fullest potential, rigging the charges with the requisite delay time and building a redundancy into the rig just in case. When in doubt, make the boom big enough to eradicate anything useful.

Zoe jerks her helmet on, and starts to strap herself into the cockpit, closing it up to then start powering it on. "Shaft, Raven. I'll be airborn soon, did the info from the Ensign get relayed?"

A crackle comes over the Raptor's frequency, "Raptor 3718Hotel, Recovery Beta. Copy, Over."

Kapali spends 1 luck points on Boom, baby!.

"Raven, Shaft, copy." Rourke is silently cursing the whole way. Yes, Kapali may have told them so, but right now her 'told you so' is becoming 'let's fly into danger to pick up the Marines.'. "Copy, Recovery Beta. Position compromised. Drop green smoke, we are coming to evac. Copy, over." Rourke says as he continues the combat startup of the Raptor. "This is not going to be fun. Kapali, shake the dew off and move your ass if you don't want to get left behind!"

<FS3> Kapali rolls Demolitions: Great Success.

Bennett shoves what she can, what she has time for, into the open hatch of the raptor, careful not to jostle the body in the bag back there. Then her helmet is fetched and tugged on, and all Rourke gets is a wicked little smile. Hot drops are what she does best. "Let's do this." She ducks back in, and gets to work on swapping the data drives. "Don't be a party pooper," she chides Rourke, lower lip caught between her teeth as she pries the drive loose and sets it aside. Over the comm, "Raven, how are you doing up there?"

The day has waned and the sun is getting low in the sky, starting to pink the clouds against the lingering blue. That Raider circles over slowly once more and this time is very close and fairly low, though well above the tree tops. So far it doesn't seem to have seen anything. Visibility is beginning to drop with the lenghthening shadows. The Raptor's radio crackles once more, "Raptor 3718Hotel, Recovery Beta. We have casualties. You know there's a Raider buzzing us, right? Popping smoke, Over."

"So far, so good, Butch." Zoe replies over the comms, not waiting on them to get airborn, and instead she shoots up into the air, checking for the target quickly as she flicks weapons to hot. She doesn't ask, she doesn't wait, she just leaps into getting the air cleared for the Raptor to make it up behind her. She hopes.

Fast and dirty demolition has it's time and place, this just happening to be one of those places and times, Kapali has the downed raptor rigged to go sky high when the timer elapses, the secondary trigger primed just in case, and is hauling ass off of one raptor at a full out run to the other when she hears the call back from the Marine's on the comm. She hauls herself into the second raptor almost as Rourke is suggesting that she not lollygag around and pick flowers along the way. Sliding, ok skidding, into the Raptor as she throws herself inside with a half roll, she slides to a halt alongside the Ensign and checks him over once she stops bouncing around like a bullet in a jar. "Sirs, you're going to want to haul ass out of the blast radius," is her terse recommendation as she checks those bandages again, trying to bring the Ensign around if possible as she secures him into place along a trio of seats.

"Raptor copies, Recovery Beta. We have a hot little number for that Raider." Rourke says, a glance to Bennett and he changes seats. "You're the expert on these, and it's not the time for me to learn. Let's do this." he murmurs, willing to copilot in this case as he points. "We have smoke!" he says, the green tendril starting to rise in the air from the town.

As soon as she's spotted the Raider that's flying way too annoyingly close and low, Zoe takes a breathe, getting herself centered before she guns it, pushing the Viper as fast and hard as she can towards the target in the hopes of getting it by surprise.

The Raider's engines can be heard to gun and pick up speed as it turns to come back, sighting in on the rising smoke that comes from the small town's square by the river. It is likely zeroing in for targets to blow but the viper rising unexpectedly OUT OF THE TREES past the town is a surprise! The engines rev hot as it goes like an angry hornet to zip low over the town and start gaining altitude to go after Raven's flight! It's guns start firing rapidly at her as she succeeds in making a distraction for the Raptor below.

This isn't the time for lengthy discussions, not with a raider overhead, and wounded in need of exfiltration. St. Clair simply nods to Rourke, finishes slotting in the data drive, and clambers over to the pilot's seat to harness herself in. Flick, flick, flick as the remaining systems are brought online, and a brief glance toward their weapons console as the CAPARMS indicator turns green. To her passengers, "Hold on. This will get bumpy. Shaft, don't harness in. I may need your help loading people on." And then with a roar of engines, she peels the bird off the ground, the force from the turbines flattening the grass and kicking up dirt in a thick cloud around them.

Butch has no problem handling the Raptor. It responds as exactly as it should, ripping out from under the huge oak tree. The camoflage netting is blown aside with a swirl of dust as they depart the ground to take to the sky.

"Frak." Rourke mutters as he gets to his feet from his seat to head towards the back as he doesn't even bother with the dry humor as he moves past the ECO station to the back door to be ready to open it, settling in next to the doorgun mount and waits for the word to open up.

<COMBAT> Zoe attacks Toaster1 with KEW - Serious wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Toaster1 attacks Zoe with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider-9400u has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Toaster1 has been KO'd!

Counting down the seconds as soon as the Raptor is in the air and moving away from the remains of the rigged bird, Kapali leans to the side, face angled to look through one of the tiny view ports alongside the Raptor, absently calculating rate of acceleration against weight, spent fuel, the approximate weight of the bird, surface tension and wind sheer to determine elapsed the approximate linear measurement of distance between where the bird is and . .

BOOM

The rigged Raptor explodes with a sudden roar of sound, a cough of concussive sound that is accompanied by a quieter series of secondary then tertiary explosions that is, in her opinion, a work of art. Granted, the concussive force does throw one hell of a debris field around it as the raptor becomes so much flying shrapnel. On the bright side, she's no longer worried about what could have been hiding up in that damned tree.

Someone seriously wants to just make it home safe, with as many of the others as she possibly can. That person? Zoe. As soon as she's got that Raider in her sights she hits the button on her guns, nailing the incoming Raider on the left side.

Within the tree, a squirrel was just putting away the final nuts for the winter. Settling in for a slumber with it's little squirrel wife, the sudden explosion destroys his world. The squirrel lands on the ground some distance away, the confused creature looks around, and finds his mate lying on the ground, and the squirrel rushes over. The poor female squirrel lays amongst the nuts, her body broken and battered. They chitter.. and the female squirrel passes. The male squirrel looks athe sky, standing in the flaming wreckage of Raptor and tree and swears vengance on Corpoal Kapali! SQUIRRELY VENGANCE.

Almost right away on the heels of the grounded Raptor going BOOM, overhead and to the north east there is a dog fight in progress between Raven and the Raider. They zip and corkscrew aggressively around one another like a pair of pissed off hummingbirds with GUNS! Only, the Raider misses her and as it twists around Zoe nails it, ripping it to pieces. The Raider fragments and spews firey fuel as it shears off in a gout of flame to start spewing itself into the trees and the river - and thankfully, not into the town.

Green smoke rises from the town square - nice and wide open for a Raptor to land. A man down there in Marine combat ground fatiques is moving out away from a half blasted wall, trying to drag another Marine with him, waving his rifle.

Bennett wasn't kidding when she said there'd be some bumps. The kinetic force of the explosion slams into the raptor's flank as it's getting airborne, buffeting it as it banks into a tailwind. Luckily, it's not enough to bring it down; she firewalls both engines and swings them back on course for the town. The tops of trees whip past outside the open hatch, which is angled toward the ground as they race toward the gout of green smoke marking the pickup point. "Nice shooting," she tells Zoe over the comm. "But it may have friends incoming. Please hold your position, and we will make this as quick as we can."

With the hatch open, Rourke is washed in the heat of the blast, slightly singed but otherwise fine, as he holds tight to the jump handle. As they hover just off the ground, the pilot hops out to run over and help the Marine with the rifle with his wounded companion. "We're bugging back to Orion!" he says as moves towards the Raptor and calls out, "Go, go!"

"Copy that." Zoe replies, maintaining her position in the air above the village, pulling up so that she's out of the way of the Raptor heading in for the evac, and where she can have the best view of any potential incoming enemies she can.

Shrugging out of some of the extra gear that she's carrying, and fastening a safety line to her vest, Kapali is in the door ready to help haul the marines into the raptor as Rourke is out of the Raptor before she can do the same exact thing. Her hands are there to help haul the marines back into the bird, settling the wounded half of the new arrivals alongside the Ensign and hastily checking both over in the process. Offering the first aid kit to the non wounded half of the new arrivals along with a marine to marine pair of nods.

The Marine who's still on his feet has Lance Corporal pins and the older man he's dragging has Gunnery Sergeant stripes, "He's hurt bad! We have two more, but they are dead! Canners are here, looking for us!" Between him and Rourke, they can haul the older man up into the Raptor. One of his legs looks half blown off but he's conscious, if unable to run as they get aboard as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, Zoe flies over watch but sees no Raiders in the sky - not close enough for the naked eye, but her DRADIS starts to pin with multiple incoming from the southwest.

Rigging a tourniquet to tie around the ruin that is the lower leg of the Gunny, Kapali tightens the tourniquet until the bleeding is slowed to a seepage instead of a bloody wash. She helps web the gunny into the seat alongside the Ensign before she offers the Lance corporal a fresh canteen of water, "Do we have any other assets in the field that need to be evaced?"

Working to seal the door back closed, Rourke calls out, "Contact Daedalus, let them know we're coming up." He's going to be a few minutes making his way up, fortunately Kapali is handling beverage service.

The Gunny himself is somehow still lucid, "No… I have the documents." Even as he says it, a shot rings out, followed quickly by other shots coming from the town. Toasters have homed in on the green smoke in the last dying light of day and are opening fire on the Raptor!

There is a bit of an art to keeping a raptor relatively level while maintaining enough thrust to remain airborne. The engines spool at a low whine, and her gloved hand rests lightly atop the trigger mechanism for the raptor's minigun - just in case they're joined by more company. "Where are your dead?" she asks the LCpl, voice calm and clearly audible over the noise in the cabin. Switching to wireless, she speaks into her radio, "Daedalus, this is flight seven echo four niner, requesting immediate rendezvous at the following coordinates.."

"Shaft, Butch…I've got possibly three incoming, maybe more." Zoe calls over the coms, moving to protect the Raptor from the potential incoming. "Move your asses!"

The Captain's question draws a quiet look from Kapali before she shares that same look with first the Gunny and then the Lance corporal. OP-Sec being what it is, it's better to have the bodies of the marines obliterated than to risk having any of the remains of the marines uses to gather intel. "You have their tags, Gunny," making it not exactly a question but there's the subtle upward tip of tone at the end that allows the remark to be interpreted as a question, as need be.

"We're gonna have to leave them, Butch." Rourke says as he drops into the co-pilot's seat and straps in. "Raven, Shaft, break contact and make your way back to Daedalus, we're right behind." There's a sympathetic look to Bennett, but his attention is on saving who they can and completing the mission.

It's the Lance Corporal who pulls two extra sets of octoginal tags from his combat armour, "I have their tags. Corporal Kimber … we'd have to scrape her out bits out of the rocks. There wasn't much left of her. They had mined the town." He looks pale though mostly unhurt and instead of answering the rest, he's distracted by staring at the ECO lying there unconscious, then notices the body bag, "Eh, is that our pilot?" The young Marine looks like he might get sick.

Well, it looks like time's up. Bennett doesn't look too happy about having to bug out with bodies left behind, but Rourke's right. She shakes her head to Kapali, briefly making eye contact in wordless answer to her unasked question. They don't have time. "Dusting off," she tells the crew, and throws the bus into a gut-twisting roll just as a few shots ping off their flank. "Raven, can you keep our friends busy until we break atmo?"

Outside, more shots ring off of the Raptor as the Toasters get closer. They are shooting, intent to try and damage the air craft before it can escape them. Maybe puncture the wind shield up front if they can make her unable to leave amto.

"Of course." Zoe replies, pulling herself around to make a half-run in the direction of the Raider's that are heading towards them. She doesn't fully commit to going all the way, just enough to draw fire and give the Raptor enough time to get distance between them and the rest. How does one draw attention? By shooting, of course.

The Gunnery Sergeant answers the last, "Evans is back there. I was trying to haul him back when they blew my leg out from under me." He shakes his head, "Gods rest his soul."

Professional enough to not voice any actual remark regarding leaving the dead bodies of the marines behind, especially in light of the air crew member they'd managed to recover, Kapali simply claims a seat near the wounded so that she can keep an eye on them in transit. Lacking anything else that's useful once the bus is in transit, she checks the tourniquet again before trying to coax the ensign into a less uncomfortable position; she knows enough to not offer the wounded ensign anything to drink, not with a potential gut wound. First Aid 101.

Turning his attention to watching the flight controls, Rourke takes over the comm so that Bennett can fly. "Daedalus, Shaft. We're coming in at 47 degrees north, 18 degrees west, and we have company. Prepare your batteries for covering fire." he transmits as he glances out from the DRADIS. "Raven, Shaft, cut contact, get on our six, I'm calling in a surprression barrage to cover our afts."

The Corporal sighs, "Gods rest their souls. So say we all." The Raptor takes off and pushes them all into their straps hard as Butch rides them up into the sky. The shots below are quickly left behind as they head out over the river, gaining altitude.

For her part, Bennett doesn't look too happy about having backed up Rourke's call to bug out. It's clearly bothering her, but she too is professional enough not to discuss it further. For the time being, at least. With Rourke handling communication with the frigate, she drifts silently into the zone - and focuses on not getting hit by the pursuing raiders. A few more tracers prang ineffectually off the raptor, but by the time one of them manages to get a lock on the bus, Zoe is there to harass them into breaking off their attack.

There is a thunderous sound like an explosion going off in the clouds, and Daedalus completes her jump into orbit, forward batteries immediately lighting up as she maneuvers for the raptor to land. One raider is blown to pieces; the second follows close behind. And the third turns tail and jumps away in a flash of light.

All is still above Aerilon, and home awaits.

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