AWD #428: Airwing Aerilon SAR
Airwing Aerilon SAR
Summary: Spree contacts the Orion for assistance with picking up two downed pilots. A simple run gets complicated when the weather doesn't cooperate.
Date: 24/08/16 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Elena Epiphany Agrippa Alejandro Buchanan 
Aerilone TP Room
Mountains, lots of clouds, rain. Low visibility.
Fri Mar 10 18:06:39 2006

It's a rather spur of the moment thing. One minute Airwing people are going about their daily duties on board the Orion, and the next thing they know pilots not on CAP and who aren't off duty are called to the Ready Room. There Alejandro gives the brief, "We just got word that a mission on Aerilon has gone sideways. Some of Commander Carolyn Spree's people have been shot down and require extraction. This actually happened a few days ago and it was too hot to go in after them. We now have a report that they have managed to get word on their location to resistance, but the AA Batteries and Raiders are keeping Spree's people tied down and very busy. So, this is where we come in."

The Captain looks at the pilots seated before him, then glances at his clipboard. Hobo is in his own flight suit, ready to go. "We are sending in a Raptor with viper escort to the coordinates provided. Intel on the ground assures us that it's a quiet area, outside of the city, and /should/ be a nice, easy pickup but it's in an area that isn't easily accessable by road. It -may- prove difficult to find clear ground to land the raptor. While Heron's crew are doing that, we will provide oversight."

There is another pause while Salazar looks them over, "Raiders are apt to sent so, we'll try to get in fast and low, set down, and get Spree's people out before they are on top of us. BUT if we get swarmed, orders are to GTFO. Cover the Raptor but RTB and not linger any longer than we possibly can. Any questions?"

And there's the CAG, standing in the doorway, in her own flightsuit. Someone wasn't too busy, apparently. Or maybe they needed an extra body. "Do we have a map of the area? What's the AAA coverage like? Hard to send a Raptor in kitted out for medevac with only Vipers if there's going to be batteries on the ground giving us a hard time." Medical means less room on the bus for things like missiles. Epiphany does cast a glance to the Air Wing officers gathered. Likely doing a quick headcount of sorts. And a visual. Lots of young faces. At least she doesn't frown.

Buchanan is present and correct. Dressed in as close to a pristine flight suit as is possible, dark hair neatly braided, and helmet securely held in one hand. She stands off, a little seperate from the gathered group of pilots, listening intently to the brief. Cold, dark eyes stare straight ahead, fixed on some blank point on the wall a little beyond the Captain and she stands perfectly still and straight, not quite to attention, but not 'at ease' either. She's so weird. Even when the CAG throws out her questions, the Ensign doesn't twitch, just waits for the answers to come.

What happened to the days where not being on CAP means time to relax and enjoy being off-duty? Things sure have changed since Agrippa was gone, though there were days when they had to fly double CAP, which was not fun either. However, when duty calls, Punchdrunk will answer, especially since he had been away for a couple of months down on Crandall assisting with the creation of the Air Wing down there. Suited up and into the ready room, he is seated at one of the desks and jotting down notes as his squadron leader begins the mission briefing.

When Hobo mentions that Intel believes the area to be quiet, Agrippa can't help but smirk silently but still jots that down on his notepad, underlying that particular tidbit of data three times. When it is time for questions, Punchdrunk does raise a hand and when he is called on to speak, he asks, "How many are we extracting? Any word on their injuries?" Orders may be to bug out but it's always hard leaving good people behind.

Alejandro holds up his clipboard, "I have data on the terrain. It's rough ground, low mountains and foothills outside of the city. No AA batteries, it's too rough to bring them up and no road access. Spree's people are on foot and when we buzz through, they are to pop smoke for extract. There should be two pilots we're picking up and last report both were mobile with minor injuries."

Salazar glances at his clipboard, "Supposedly they are hunkered down and safe, but we should be prepared for anything."

Ensign Heron sits still and quiet, listening. Her face is set in a cool, inscrutible mask, her red hair pulled back in a bun that would be considered severe on anyone even a few years older. She's suited up, on the edge of her seat, as if she's ready to sprint for the door at the word go. "How's tree cover?" she asks, perhaps a little too softly.

A few more notes are jotted down by Agrippa before he puts his pencil down and leans back in his seat, an easy grin appearing as his confident attitude appears to be undaunted. "Sounds pretty easy then, Bossman, we just have to down any tin cans in the air that try to get close. The downed pilots can skip to the rescue boat without any worries." Looks like Punchdrunk has no further question on his part though he will quiet down to listen to the others.

There's a tilt of her head in a nod for the answers and Epiphany approaches the Viper squad leader to get a closer look at the clipboard. She's quiet while the others pose questions. Or make commentary. "I know Spree's pilots have been having trouble. Be good to help them out a bit."

Buchanan shifts slightly, her gaze slipping sideways to give Agrippa a sidelong look. Her face doesn't shift expression though, so it's not entirely clear what she thinks of what he has to say. Her breathing deepens a fraction, so she's probably not amused by his apparently careless flippancy over the situation. Then she's back to staring straight ahead, paying attention to the Captain.

Are /you/ ready for PowerPoint? Hobo fiddles wot insert the data into the consule and see if he can't bring up the sat image. There it goes. Up on the screen it illuminates with an image of rough terrain, mostly thickly forested but with patches of open spaces in the form of small alpine meadows. Alejandro uses a red lazer light pen to point out an area, "They are here in this general area. There's a sheep pen up there, roughly 5,200 feet elevation. The slope continues to rise the further east into the mountains. We can come into atmo along the highest ranges and angle down sharply and low to skim at around 200 feet or less above the tree tops. Once we see their signal, we'll know which clearing to try to get the Raptor in for pickup." The area when Hobo zooms back out is west of a small city area but without a great deal there. Not even an airport, just a highway access. Ale gives Epiphany a nod, "I heard they are hurting for pilots especially." A look at the Ready Room occupents, "If there are no further questions, let's get to our aircraft, people." A dark brow is lifted at Epiphany, "You coming along, Major? Mission lead is yours, if you want it."

Looking up to the screen, Epiphany scans the area. Satisfied enough with their intel, she gives a slight shake of her head in answer to the query. "I'm coming along, but not as flight lead. I'm going to be evaluating our new kids." Which means she doesn't need the distraction of the whole operation plus her mental note-taking.

Alejandro smiles and says very low to Epiphany, "That's why I pulled who I have for this. Everything indicates it should be pretty quiet, so give them a chance to get a feel for something light. But .. I'm going along to keep an eye on things. Glad to have you, Major." One never knows when shit might get messy.

Elena folds her hands in her lap. No more questions from the nugget.

Fortunately, Agrippa was completely oblivious to the unamused look that Buchanan was shooting at him, more focused on their squadron leader and the LadyCAG who is apparently going to be coming along. Overkill on personnel but that is always a good thing, it means much higher odds of everyone coming back alive. Once the orders are given to head down to the hangar bay to saddle up, Punchdrunk rises from his seat and grabs his helmet as well as the notepad, filing out with the others.

Once the briefing is done, Buchanan turns to leave. One gloved hand straightens her already straight flight suit, lifts to make sure her hair is still in place - which is it, but she's going to make sure she's completely squared away, anyhow. Then she's following her fellow pilots from the room.

It takes time to transfer their aircraft from the Orion to one of the frigates that will jump them to Aerilon. The Raptor could make a few hops to get there but the vipers aren't made for distance travel. While it is a mission to help Spree recover some of her pilots, it's also a nice, cosy little mission well suited to feeling out their nuggets in action. Raiders are a very real possibility even if AA batteries aren't expected.

The aircraft are jumped in and launched over Aerilon. Below them spreads the brilliant multi-hued marble of green and gold cut with blue seas and sparkling brilliant white swirls for clouds. Being an agricultural world it is green and lush or invitingly golden ripe over much of the landmasses, except for the mountain ranges.

Hobo gives his viper a little throttle to get into position ahead of the Raptor before he flips on his wireless comms.

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Flight, Hobo. Buchanan, you fly my wing. Punchdrunk, you're on Goose's. Heron, soon as they Copy, you are clear to begin your approach, over.""

There's a slight snort from Epiphany, but she doesn't disagree. The woman seems content with it and heads out after the others have filed their way out of the Ready Room. Not that she delays getting to her own bird. Nope, before long, 'Goose' has flown the coop. For the transfer to the frigate. And then again when they take off over Aerilon. She settles behind the Raptor, taking up a tailgunner-type position. Escort is a go.

[Into the Wireless] Epiphany says, "Hobo, Goose. Copy."

[Into the Wireless] Buchanan says, " Hobo, Mimic. Yessir."

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Hobo, Punchie, I copy."

[Into the Wireless] Elena exhales slowly, and apparently started transmitting too soon. "Hobo, Heron. Beginning my approach."

Buchanan manouvers her Viper, bringing it to the Captain's wing. No fuss, no bother. She just does as she's told, taking care of her Viper and keeping a close eye on her screens and the positioning of the other craft. No chatter comes from her either. Aside from acknowledging the Captain, there's not a word from the Scorpian Ensign as she keeps her bird in position.

The transfer of carrier vessels is not something new for Agrippa and the flight is made over in silence, staying in formation before slipping into the berth that is assigned to his Viper. Once the jump by their frigate is completed, Punchdrunk waits for his turn to launch and after doing so, his eyes looks out of the canopy to the lush, green world that awaits them, such a peaceful looking globe. When his comm crackles to life, Agrippa sends a verbal acknowledgement as he slips into formation with Epiphany, tweaking the throttle so he matches her speed.

Ever have one of those moments when you realize you've got a bunch of Vipers following your lead? No pressure. Heron starts humming a soft melody under her breath, a fluid tune in a minor key. Once the Vipers are in place, she begins her approach into atmo. Keep it cool. Nice and steady.

There are distant contacts on the DRADIS and their ride jumps away at once, as soon as they are dropped off. The Cylon basestars in orbit are used to Fleet ships popping in and out so as a matter of routine, they begin to deploy Raiders at once to try and track any smaller craft that may attempt to descend towards the surface.

Almost at once the pilots dive into the clouds and their airframes begin to shudder, buck and kick with the turbulance, heating up with entry. Alejandro keeps his coms off and mumbles to himself, "If she doesn't buck and kick like a woman possessed, I'm not doing it right." Thankfully, nobody can hear him. All of then are having to rely on their instruments, unable to see anything…

<FS3> Alejandro rolls Piloting: Good Success.

<FS3> Epiphany rolls Piloting: Great Success.

<FS3> Agrippa rolls Piloting: Good Success.

<FS3> Elena rolls Piloting: Success.

<FS3> Buchanan rolls Piloting: Good Success.

No flashy flying or showboating from the CAG at least. That'd just be wrong, right? No, in truth, Major Arrington has things well in hand and it's a casual descent through the atmosphere after the Raptor. Her control of the Viper in the drop towards the planet proper is on point. No ramming the ass end of the medevac, oh no. That'd just be embarrassing.

The Raptor enters atmo. She doesn't go in too hot this time, nice and… fraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaak. The clouds part and there's a mountain peak, coming up fast. It's not graceful, but Heron pulls up sharply, avoiding becoming a greasy stain on the summit of Mount Ninja by about fifty feet.

Yep, a mountain peak suddenly looms right out of the clouds and the lead viper swerves easily to avoid it as Alejandro keeps close tabs on his instrument readings. Almost at once the clouds swallow them up again and at least the Raiders are going to have fun trying to pinpoint them in this mess. Soon as they are clear of the high ridge, Hobo speaks over the coms.

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Heron, Hobo. Watch your instruments but drop low. See if we can get beneath this cloud cover - we may not be able. If not, this is going to get a whole lot trickier. Watch your altitudes and topography, over."

Buchanan grits her teeth as they move through the clouds, being on comms or not, doesn't make a difference, even on her lonesome she's silent as a grave. Just focusing on her instruments letting them guide her through clouds as she concentrates on keeping her breathing even. Definitely no show-boating from this Ensign, she tries to keep it all by the book. Mimic keeps her bird on the Captain's wing, right where he told her, and follows suit as they veer off to avoid the peak.

As the flight approaches atmospheric entry, Agrippa moves his Viper a bit further away from his wingman just in case there is too much heat turbulence as they punch through, causing his fighter to collide into Epiphany's. As the area around his cockpit begins to glow from the friction of entry, he is able to maintain the right heading and the heatshield pointed in the right direction. When they break into the atmosphere, Punchdrunk immediately reacquires his wingman and follows her lead.

<FS3> Elena rolls Piloting -1: Good Success.

<FS3> Alejandro rolls 2: Failure.

Heron's ECO sends over the topographical info. It's not looking good. The clouds come right down to the slope of the ridge. She swears to herself and calls out over the coms.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, Heron. There's no way we can get below cloud cover here. It's coming right down to the side of the range. I'm going to have to overshoot the coordinates and double back."

Cloud cover isn't fun, but it could be worse. There could be dozens of Raiders coming down upon them in clear skies. Even so, Epiphany's hand is near the switch to turn her weapons live. Just a flick of the thumb if (…when…) it's needed. When the others settle in on DRADIS or through the cloud cover, the woman eases back a bit into a slightly broader spread. Best not to be perfect targets.

[Into the Wireless] Epiphany says, "Punchdrunk, Goose. Let's ease back a little. Keep Heron in sight, but not too close."

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Goose, Punchie. I copy, staying on your wing."

Everything is a grey-white wall of cloudcover rolling up against the mountains and slowly being forced up and over the cloud stopping peaks, forcing the clouds to drop their rain. Elena's and everyone's craft begins to be fuffed lightly by wind and rain at the low altitude, making visibility almost nil with only the barest snatches of view briefly here or there, like a trick of the eyes.

Alejandro checks on Buchanan but she's sticking right with him just fine, and not so close as to be dangerous. He hears Goose over the coms and nods to himself before he speaks as well. His viper swoops out ahead and above of Heron's position but there's no way in Hades she can see him except on her instruments.

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Flight, Hobo. Aye, let's spread out a little. As we swing back around keep your eyes /peeled/ because the signal is going to be visual only. Unless they can rig up something else. A fire, a flare, or colored smoke. Sing out of you see anything! Heron, watch for clearings if you can, over.""

<FS3> Elena rolls Piloting -2: Success.

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

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

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

[Into the Wireless] Buchanan says, " Hobo, Mimic. Copy that, sir."

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

<FS3> Alejandro rolls 2: Good Success.

<FS3> Elena rolls Alertness -1: Great Success.

<FS3> Buchanan rolls Alertness-3: Failure.

<FS3> Alejandro rolls Alertness-3: Failure.

As the Captain brings his Viper ahead and over the Raptor, Buchanan follows suit. Keeping his wing, but with the order to spread out, she verbalises her response, her voice cool and calm over the comms, short and to the point. With that, the Ensign eases off, putting a bit of distance between her bird and Hobo's. But not so far as to be unable to come to his aid should the need arise. If nothing else, she's following orders to the Tee.

<FS3> Epiphany rolls Alertness-3: Success.

<FS3> Agrippa rolls Alertness-3: Good Success.

The Raptor dips below the clouds. She spots some clearings below — they're in the right place, all right. The ECO marks the coordinates and she sings out over the com.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, Heron. I'm below cloud cover and I see the clearings below. No sign of smoke yet, over."

It's easier following than leading a Viper element, at least in Agrippa's opinion as he can just focus on staying with his wingman while keeping and eye on the surroudnings. When he hears Epiphany's orders over the comm, he pipes back a quick affirmative while trying to keep an eye outside of the canopy despite weather providing poor visibility. DRADIS is usually reliable, until it isn't and you have a bunch of Raiders suddenly in your lap. When Alejandro speaks up, Punchdrunk adds another item to keep an eye out for, any visual signal as he looks outside again. Luckily for Agrippa, manages to catch an area where the cloud cover is thinner, allowing to a clearing below which he calls in.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Flight, Punchie. There I caught sight of some fencing and a shed to the right, where that cloud cover is a bit thinner than the rest. Can anyone confirm?"

<FS3> Alejandro rolls 5: Success.

Cloud cover isn't fun, but you have to learn. Can't control weather patterns, much as any pilot may want to. But soon, Epiphany is angling her bird just a bit to get a look at the land below. No sign of the flares or similar signal yet, no. But she does catch on something, thumbing her comms.

[Into the Wireless] Epiphany says, "Flight, Goose. I don't see fencing, but I do see some clearings down there. Could be a good spot."

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Flight, Hobo. Let's circle around for another pass. They've had time to hear us and get that signal going if they're there.""

The ECO, Stevens, riding with Heron in the Raptor suddenly speaks up over the coms, "I have contacts inbound on DRADIS. Looks like two Raiders but they are possibly sweeping. Not yet direct nor full throttle."

<FS3> Buchanan rolls Alertness-3: Failure.

<FS3> Elena rolls Alertness -3: Success.

<FS3> Agrippa rolls Alertness-3: Success.

<FS3> Alejandro rolls Alertness-3: Success.

<FS3> Epiphany rolls Alertness-3: Great Success.

Heron turns the Raptor for another pass. On her second approach, she sees that fence and the barn that the others mentioned… and what looks like a column of orange smoke. She thumbs her coms excitedly.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, Heron. I think I see the signal. It's by that fence and barn-shed thing. I'm going to try and get in closer. Over."

And there, in the second sweep, Epiphany spots something. She angles her Viper just a bit lower. May very well be noticeable by those Raiders on approach. But it does give her a good view. And she's soon hitting the comms as well, even as she's letting up on the throttle to slow down even further.

[Into the Wireless] Epiphany says, "Flight, Goose. Copy on the smoke. Just before the shed. Quarry spotted. Two pilots."

As the flight moves in for another pass, Agrippa keeps an eye on that clearing he spotted as it offers the best view in this lousy weather, like a porthole into another world where everything else is covered. On this second pass, he believes he sees something and sqints his eyes slightly as if that would provide a better look. When he hears Heron chiming in over the comm, Punchdrunk shoots back a quick verbal confirmation.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Heron, Punchie. I confirm your sighting, looks like orange smoke has been popped. Any updates on that pair of bogeys? Maybe it didn't see us and will continue on their sweep."

Buchanan doesn't see a thing. She'll probably beat herself up about that later, if she survives. She just keeps her Viper steady, still looking for this mysterious orange smoke that's being talked about on the comms. But doesn't see it. She's also completely unconvinced that the Raiders are going to leave them alone, so she starts getting herself ready to engage too.

Elena's ECO gets nervous, "I think they've spotted us, Sir." That to Heron rather than over the coms, which he flips on now, "Two Raiders inbound, ETA 2 minutes and counting. They're going to be on top of us before we can get down."

[Into the Wireless] Epiphany says, "Flight, Goose. Going weapons hot."

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Heron, Hobo. I copy! Get your bird down and pick'm up as fast as you can! Weapons hot! Let's keep these Raider's busy, over."

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Punchdrunk copies, going weapons hot!"

[Into the Wireless] Buchanan says, "Flight, Mimic. Weapons hot."

Alejandro peels off his viper from flying escort to Heron's Raptor. Another quick glance around and a check of his instruments for the positions of his team members before he gives it throttle to head out and intercept those Raiders before they can locate the Raptor and LZ. "Come on, let's keep you bastards busy." He flips the firig stud over off of his flight stick. Salazar's HUD goes full active for combat as he gains altitude sharply while closing the distance.

<COMBAT> Buchanan attacks Toaster2 with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Epiphany attacks Toaster1 with KEW - Serious wound to Right Wing.

<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Toaster1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Toaster2 attacks Agrippa with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Toaster1 attacks Epiphany with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider-5144g has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Toaster1 has been KO'd!

<FS3> Elena rolls Piloting: Failure.

<FS3> Elena rolls Reaction: Success.

Those engines that had been scaling off? Epiphany kicks them back in and peels away from the Raptor to cut off the approaching Raiders. The CAG? Well, she didn't get her gig just because she's older than most of the other pilots. While she and her wingman both get good hits in on the lead bandit, it's her rounds that are right on point, tearing through its right side. But then there's more contacts appearing on DRADIS and the remaining of the first two seems headed right for the Raptor. Well, that won't do. Her bird is drawn up, pulled around, and she angles in towards the Cylon ship with weapons ready to go.

Buchanan opens her Viper up, keeping on Hobo's wing, but not too close. She's so busy focusing on her flying that when it comes time to actually shoot her chosen raider, she completely misses. There's a low growl of annoyance, though fortunately that probably doesn't come over the comms. Breathing exercises! Calming herself down again, the Ensign brings her Viper around, careful not to get in the way of the other birds, watching the incoming Raider backup on her screen and hopefully manouvering herself into a better position to actually get a hit.

The Raptor landing starts out textbook. Heron clears the trees and makes an approach to the clearing. Then, a gust of gale-force wind and rain mess everything up and she's forced to overshoot, taking the roof of the shed with her. Oops. It wasn't a nice shed anyway. "S'not funny, Steve," she warns her ECO as she pulls up and prepares to make another landing attempt.

With the answer to his question given, Agrippa flips the master arm switch on his autocannons and settles in for the ride. He continues to follow Epiphany's lead instead of just accelerating towards the two Raiders, flying a little higer than she does. As the pair of flying Cylons get closer, it's obvious that they are vectoring in on himself and his wingman. As the first toaster angles in on Epiphany, Agrippa throttles up and moves to intercept to cover Goose and once he gets a clear shot, he unleashes a burst of autocannon fire. The projection screams out and tears up some of the right wing armor on the Raider and then he breaks to the right as it appears that there is a bogey on his tail. He almost dodges the hail of projectiles that come at him, the armor on his own right wing slightly chewed up, something for the mechanics back home to yell at him about.

Ignoring the bogey that is on his tail, he continues to jink and juke his Viper as he follows Epiphany where she chooses to lead. As two more Cylons join the party with one breaking towards the Raptor, he dives down towards the Raider with Goose, ready to unleash another barrage, keeping his Viper jostling a bit as another tin can has chosen to charge in on him.

Epi's shots hit soundly and even with the thick cloud cover and low visibility, the instruments show that one of the Raiders goes too low, wobbly and impacts the mountains a few clicks east of the LZ. No body can really see it for all the rain. None of them can really see what the hell Elena is coping with down there either as the vipers rush out to engage the incoming Cylons.

Alejandro locks on and fires away as they race towards each other as if playing chicken in the sky! It's not focused on him though as he riddles it with his KEW and rushes past. The stick is laid over and he flips around to bring his viper back, keeping an eye on his instruments so Hobo doesn't run into the other vipers he can't see for shit.

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Mimic, Hobo. Drop back. I'm going to engage this next Raider, hit flaps and try to draw him. Come 90 degrees and he'll be an easier shot for you, over."

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Flight, Hobo. Don't let'm at Heron! Cover her, over."

<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Toaster3 with KEW - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster3 - Light wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster3 - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster3 - Critical wound to Neck.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster3 - Moderate wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Toaster4 attacks Agrippa with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Toaster2 attacks Buchanan with KEW - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Epiphany attacks Toaster3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster2 with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Toaster3 attacks Elena with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Buchanan attacks Toaster3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Raider-7952o has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Toaster2 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Toaster3 has been KO'd!

<FS3> Elena rolls Piloting: Good Success.

Buchanan actually manages a hit as the Raider screams past her Viper. In the process her bird takes a hit. Cursing under her breath, Mimic brings the Viper around, keeping it as steady as she can, all things considered. Even with more enemy blips showing up on her screen - well, she's not running away yet as she finds her next target.

This time, the Raptor lands safely. Ellie opens the hatch, but doesn't unbuckle herself — hopefully, the two pilots can get on board without assistance. If they can't, then she'll see what she can do. She cranes her neck to see what's going on outside. "You see 'em, Steve?" she asks anxiously.

The advantage of diving down towards the target is that you gain superior speed and in combat, speed is a very serious advantage. Agrippa manages to find a great angle of attack on the Raider that is chasing after their prized possession, the Raptor, and when he sends out a burst of autocannon fire, they hit with lethal precision. The projectiles all land, each one punching through the cockpit section of the Cylon. Half of the projectiles actually punch through the robot piloted craft, the red shiney visor is shattered and the hostile breaks apart.

Punchdrunk does pay for making such a focusd shot though as his own Viper is hit again, a bit harder this time as the fuselage of this fighter gets carved up, mostly the projective armor which is almost gone. He is still more than air-worthy and he immediately pulls up to relocate his wingman, only to see more Raiders inbound. As one of them goes after Epiphany, it's obvious that Agrippa will be covering his wingman as he angles in on the Cylon, weapons hot.

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Flight, Hobo. It's heating up. Watch out! What's your status, Heron? Over."

The Raider chasing after the Raptor doesn't have a good day. With not one, not two, but three Viper jocks on it… Well, it didn't stand a chance. Epiphany's hit isn't as clear this time, but it's still on target. She starts drawing the bird around as more bandits show. "Frakkers," the CAG mutters to herself, tearing after one of the few that seems to have taken a shine to Hobo.

[Into the Wireless] Epiphany says, "Hobo, Goose. We'll take care of your tail."

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Goose, Punchie. You have one heading your way, will try to cover your six."

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, Heron. I've landed, hatch is open, seeing what I can see. Over."

Hobo's viper dives down from the altitude advantage he had gained and he manages a light hit on an already damaged raider. It's enough for the Captain coming down almost on top of it to force it to clip the trees and it breaks apart in a rolling gout of flame to light up the clouds as Alejandro pulls up hard to climb. His belly exposed as he comes around, more Raiders are zeroing in fast and hard, swarming after the Squad Leader even as Hobo speaks over the coms wanting an update from Heron.

The cloud cover is thick and the ceiling bottomed out in most places. With almost no visibility, instruments are te pilot's guides. Hobo's HUD warns him that he is being lit up with firing control even as Epi tells him she's on his six. Ale jinks hard to port and lays his viper over, trying to shake'm but also to line up a shot himself!

Out of the fog and wet, two figures run from the trees and towards the Raptor. Both of them are garbed in Fleet flight suits, one of them melted in places. Neither of them have helmets as they try to come aboard, "Lt. Rawlings! Permission to come aboard!" She puts a hand out to help haul the wounded Ensign up. His leg is bloody but he's able and game.

<COMBAT> Toaster5 attacks Alejandro with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Epiphany attacks Toaster5 with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster5 - Moderate wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Toaster4 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster4 - Moderate wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster4 - Moderate wound to Right Foot.

<COMBAT> Toaster6 attacks Alejandro with KEW - Light wound to Tail (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Toaster7 attacks Alejandro with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Toaster4 attacks Epiphany with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Buchanan attacks Toaster6 with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster7 with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Toaster4 has been KO'd!

<FS3> Elena rolls Piloting: Good Success.

With only one on her tail, Epiphany just tries to focus on one of the trio that Alejandro is dealing with. Her shot is dead on, but not enough to take the beast down. Thankfully, she manages to evade the one on her own tail. The movements are quick, sometimes hinky, but still show the skill and experience the CAG has. Does she make it look easy? No, not quite. So there's that, at least.

The next Raider that Agrippa is angling in on did not fare any better than the first as its fuselage is riddled with autocannon fire, more projectile penetrating into where the 'pilot' should be, making a rather awful mess and putting the Cylon out of the fight and also off of Epiphany's tail. However, that seems to just draw more Raider towards his wingman and he immediately goes after the closer one as he shoots a warning over to Goose.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Goose, Punchie, one that was one your tail is gone but you have two more inbound!"

Buchanan misses, again. She's trying to keep her cool, but it's getting harder as she keeps messing up. At least in her head. Mimic once more brings her Viper 'round, figuring to hell with it, guns blazing. Sort of. It's hard with all this cloud cover, so she just sticks with using her screen as a guide and hoping like hell she doesn't hit one of her fellow pilots by mistake.

[Into the Wireless] Epiphany says, "Punchdrunk, Goose. I see 'em. Just keep them clear of Heron."

Alejandro fires away and scores a light hit but he's much too busy jigging and jagging this way and that to really focus on his attack. If nothing else he tried to harry it and make it harder for that raider to hit anyone else as he roars past. Hobo can't even see shit, his cockpit glass covered in rain and nothing but clouds to see. :fires away and scores a light hit but he's much too busy jigging and jagging this way and that to really focus on his attack. If nothing else he tried to harry it and make it harder for that raider to hit anyone else as he roars past. Hobo can't even see shit, his cockpit glass covered in rain and nothing but clouds to see. He keeps checking his instruments just when things FLARE up in his face with Betty Bitching her alarms as he's hit once, then twice. Salazar corkscrews his viper and seeing he's gotten a bit of altitude, makes a nose dive suddenly for the ground before he pulls off again, trying to shake'm. A quick assessment of how bad his damage is and he slaps the over ride to mute the damage alerts. His breathing up, blood moving fast and fluid in his veins, Alejandro comes back around to get back into the fight, seeking another target.

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Heron, status!"

Alejandro fires away and scores a light hit but he's much too busy jigging and jagging this way and that to really focus on his attack. If nothing else he tried to harry it and make it harder for that raider to hit anyone else as he roars past. Hobo can't even see shit, his cockpit glass covered in rain and nothing but clouds to see. He keeps checking his instruments just when things FLARE up in his face with Betty Bitching her alarms as he's hit once, then twice.

Salazar corkscrews his viper and seeing he's gotten a bit of altitude, makes a nose dive suddenly for the ground before he pulls off again, trying to shake'm. A quick assessment of how bad his damage is and he slaps the over ride to mute the damage alerts. His breathing up, blood moving fast and fluid in his veins, Alejandro comes back around to get back into the fight, seeking another target. (repose)

The two pilots drag themselves through the Raptor's hatch. Heron's in the air again before the hatch is even fully closed, hugging the treeline for now.

<COMBAT> Buchanan attacks Toaster6 with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster7 with KEW - Moderate wound to Controls.

<COMBAT> Toaster6 attacks Epiphany with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Toaster5 attacks Epiphany with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Toaster7 attacks Elena with KEW - Light wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Epiphany attacks Toaster7 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster7 - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster7 - Serious wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Toaster6 with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster6 - Moderate wound to Neck.

<COMBAT> Toaster7 has been KO'd!

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, Heron. I've got them, let's go home, over!"

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Heron, Hobo. Good job! Let's give her cover and RTB! I repeat, RTB. This was supposed to be a safe and easy in and out. Don't make me do extra paperwork, over!"

Nope. No Raiders getting that medevac. None at all. Epiphany is right up there with the others, chasing it down and setting KEW straight down the line. The Major manages to evade being hit once again. Sure, it screams by and comes close, but no deckies will be pitching a fit. At the call to return — with a call sent out on the radio for the frigate to plz return naow — she pulls around to resume her place behind Elena's Raptor.

Buchanan manages to miss her target, again. She brings her Viper around, watching the Raptor's blip on her screen. That is the whole focus of this mission after all. Seeing a Raider going after Heron, she decides to target that one, rather than evade the one coming up on her. Hopefully it'll miss.

Though Agrippa's shots were on target, this time the burst of autocannon fire did not bring down its intended target and he breaks away as the dogfight gets a bit hairy with another Cylon downed and the Raptor lifting off with the rescued pilots in tow. As he gains a little distance from the bogeys, Punchdrunk banks his Viper back around for another pass on the hostiles when he hears the orders to prepare to return to base and cover the Raptor. As one Raider heads towards their esort target, Agrippa can see the other three flightmates converging on the toaster, making the airspace a bit cramped for him to squeeze in as well. Instead, he spies the second Cylon going after the nugget that was assigned to this mission and immediately starts his attack on it.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Mimic, Punchie. You've picked up a bogey on your six, watch yourself. Break right if you can, I will blow it out of this rain."

Alejandro is also on it to make sure the Frigate is alerted to jump back in for them. No way they want to haul ass out of atmo and run smack dab into some basestar crawling with a hundred Raiders waiting for them with big o' Cylon smilie faces. The signal sent, he is craning his head around inside of his flight suit helmet, trying to see. His instruments aren't giving Salazar the best readings, fritzing but he's not been hit badly and it snaps to. He brings his viper around hard to follow up Elena's Raptor's ascent, lining up on a Raider that's trying to swoop in and nail her. "Try this up your ass, you mother frakker…"

<COMBAT> Toaster6 attacks Elena with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Epiphany attacks Toaster6 with KEW - Moderate wound to Controls.

<COMBAT> Buchanan attacks Toaster6 with KEW - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster6 - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster6 - Serious wound to Head.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster6 - Serious wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Toaster6 - Light wound to Left Arm.

<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Toaster5 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Toaster5 attacks Buchanan with KEW - Serious wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Alejandro attacks Toaster6 with KEW - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> Raider-1564h has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Toaster5 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Toaster6 has been KO'd!

Heron's Raptor starts climbing and picking up speed. As she climbs, she starts talking to her passengers. Of course, she hits the wrong button and sings the whole damned thing out over the coms.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Raptor-71380 with service from Aerilon to Orion. We're currently at an altitude of 18,000 feet and climbing. The local time is 1:18pm. The weather looks like shit, but that's not going to be our problem for too much longer. The weather on the Orion is always beautiful, kept at a steady 65 degrees year-round. The cabin crew doesn't exist, the in-flight meal is some crackers I accidentally left under my seat, and the in-flight movie is whatever's in front of us. Sit back, relax, and try not to bleed too much."

With three on one, the last Raider on Elena's tail is taken out. Quick. Epiphany keys the comms briefly, but largely just angles up to follow Heron back to the frigate. And home.

[Into the Wireless] Epiphany says, "Goose, Mimic. Great shot. We'll watch you in, looks like you got hit hard."

The two pilots strapped down for a ride in the back of Heron's Raptor look at each other. The fella's hurting but he's still got a leg and he's alive, so he's not complaining. The LT, she's in better shape. She shouts forward, "We're damned glad not to be caught and jacked into Cylon fodder. Trust me, we're enjoying the ride! Thank you!"

Buchanan manages to hit the Toaster on Heron's ass, but in the process isn't paying attention to her own bogey, the result being she's unable to get out of the way quick enough. Taking a critical hit to the controls, it's all Mimic can do to keep her Viper in the air, and heading toward wherever their exfil is at. The dour Scorpian doesn't even bother to acknowledge the Raptor pilot's… words over the comms, aside from some sort of brief acknowledgement, the slightest hint of tension touching her cool tones. Just trying to stay in the air here.

[Into the Wireless] Buchanan says, "Mimic, Goose. Copy."

While the others pounce on the Raider that is going after the flying ambulance, Agrippa is angling in on the other Cylon that is going after their nugget flying her first live combat mission. Unfortunately, he was not able to land his burst of autocannon fire before the tin can manages to fire off its own, but his shots were able to plaster over the engine casing. This causes it to begin tumbling out of the sky and towards the rock solid terrain below. Punchdrunk immediately looks over to where Buchanan's Viper is supposed to be and releases a sigh of relief that she is still flying though her Viper is now in rougher shape. As he sends an update to Mimic over the comm, Agippa can't help but pause and snicker as Elena cuts in with what was supposed to be an onboard announcement for her Raptor.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Mimic, Punchie, your six is clear, Raider is gon… *snerk* …Raptor Seven-One-Three-Eight-Oh, I think you hit the wrong button, over."

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Oh frak me, sorry."

Alejandro misses his shot and as they rise up through atmosphere, he drops back to check on his wingman - Buchanan took a hard hit herself and now they finally are clearing the stupid clouds, he gets a good look at her viper. It also allows him to hang back and cover her six, flying off of her wing and slightly behind her instead of the other way around. Protective. But she seems to be able to limp it back up towards their pickup point. He double checks Punchdrunk's status as they RTB.

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Flight, Hobo. We're in the clear, People. Get the Raptor in first, then Mimic. The rest of us can hang until they're clear, over."

<FS3> Buchanan rolls Piloting-3: Failure.

<FS3> Elena rolls Piloting: Good Success.

<FS3> Epiphany rolls Piloting: Good Success.

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

After that button fail, Heron's com is silent on the way back to the transport. The landing is smooth and once they're safe in the hangar, she unbuckles herself, pops the seal on her helmet, and goes to help out her passengers. As she gets up, she crouches down and fishes something out from under the pilot's seat. She walks over to offer assistance, if they need it, holding out what appears to be a packet of crackers. "I wasn't kidding about the crackers. Let's get you guys checked out and fed, yeah?"

Buchanan tries. She really, really does. But completely wrecks her entrance and landing. At least there's only the Raptor in there ahead of her, so she can't do too much damage to anyone else, aside from probably adding more to her Viper, not to mention the poor Frigate. It's really quite spectacular, the screaming of metal grinding against metal, that singularly unique sound that crunching steel makes when impacted violently. All the while, there's complete silence from the pilot inside. Maybe she's dead? Maybe she's crying? Even after the steely dust settles and normal sounds resume, there's still not a word. At least she didn't explode.

As the Raptor and Mimic's Viper are assigned as priority to return to the Frigate, Agrippa immediately goes into a holding pattern around the main ship they are all getting ready to land on. Weapons remain hot in case there is pursuit from planetside or if some Raider decides to jump in on top of them, but DRADIS and the Frigate will give them a clear warning. For now, Punchdrunk watches as the Raptor slips into the berth safely followed by Buchanan who's Viper is certainly in really bad shape. He can tell by the way that the fighter is maneuvering that it isn't as responsive to the pilot's controls as it should be, however he remains silent for now, not wanting to talk over their squadron leader in case he is going to chime in over the comm.

Oh shit. Alejandro hangs back to wait, watching for Raiders in bound as Buchanan takes her viper in to land in the Frigate's Bay. Thankfully it's no narrow launch tube - she has the whole bay aside from parked craft. And she totally nails it, clipping even Heron's Raptor and probably sending them all for a lurching faceplant.

Hobo grimaces and can't see how bad it was. He flips on his coms.

[Into the Wireless] Alejandro says, "Flight, Hobo. We have a lot more Raiders incoming. Get your asses in. Watch for wreckage and do your best. If the Frigate has to jump away, we don't want to be left out here. I'll go in last, over."

And the CAG? The CAG sorta floats on in behind the rest. Being the least (as far as she can see) damaged, Epiphany opts to be the tail. That is, however, until Alejandro make the call. Weapons aren't dark until she's too far in for them to make a difference. She veers in, takes her landing, and is soon flying through her post-flight checklist. Thankfully, the deck won't have to do much to her bird. Refueling, the full post-list. Nope, the Major is heading right for Buchanan's bird, signaling for medical to be brought over. Just in case.

For now, there's nothing that Agrippa can do besides begin his own approach on the Frigate's landing bay and he starts by banking his own damaged Viper around to line himself up for entry. The retro-thrusters are goosed a bit to reduce speed as he closes in but not too much as time is of the essence. As he gets even closer, he applies firmer pressure on the retros, feeling the straps over his chest digging into his body as he cuts the speed and once inside, he selects the furthest berth from where the crashed Viper is, wincing as he looks out the canopy, knowing that a crash team is most likely rushing to help extract the downed pilot.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Hobo, Punchie, I copy. Starting my landing approach now."

Alejandro is the last one to come in. His craft is only lightly damaged and he has no particular trouble with it. Once he's down he taxies where he's directed and stops. He does a quick post flight and flips his canopy up, breaking seal and removing his helmet. People have rushed over to Buchanan's crashed viper so, not much he can do except frown with concern. The Major is already over there. So Hobo finishes his post flight and then hops out.

Deck crew will have pulled out one of the ship's hydralic jaws to cut Buchanan out of the wreckage if they have to. Medical has assembled with a stretcher to get her extracted with care. Lots of ready hands to help get her out of her demolished and probably unsalvagable bird. Soon as they can get her on the stretcher and strapped down, they'll be hurrying her off to medical.

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