MD #098: Charlie Foxtrot - Air
MD #098: Charlie Foxtrot - Air
Summary: With the Skath closing in, the Air Wing scrambles all hands to try and buy time for damaged ships to escape.
Date: 07/15/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Charlie Foxtrot - CIC
Bennett Casey Diaz Idris Lukes Niko Scott 
No Place Anyone Wants to Be
Hey look! I can see the galactic core from here!
Tue Jan 30 2029 (MD #98)

Given the situation, normal duty is basically cancelled in order to maintain the Wing's alert state. Which leaves most of the flight crews hanging around the Ready Room, waiting for the call. That call comes down from CIC, and the few stragglers rush back for a hasty mission briefing. Every pilot who can fly and every ECO that can punch a console is present, save only those who are already sitting in their cockpits on Alert 5 — they get to watch via helmet holo.

Niko is suited up and kicks off the briefing in full 'no bullshit' mode. "Attenion on Deck!" is called, followed by a shout of "As you were!" from the CAG. He goes straight to the point. "You all know what's happened over the last twelve hours. The good news is that FTL is back on-line and we are jumping back to the Colonies to get help for the ships still stranded out here. The bad news is that we don't know exactly how much time has passed back home or what will be waiting for us."

"We are loading a full space combat package, and we will be ready for a combat launch when the ship returns to normal space. Everybody goes. Nuclear release is authorized and the Raptors will be packing. Preliminary squadron tasks are on the display." Niko waves to the holo readout which shows the Gentleman Ghosts are the primary attack squadron, with the Lucky Strikes assigned to escort them. Other squadrons are assigned to EW and support, with the other Viper squadron dedicated to close defense of the fleet. "We don't know what's waiting for us," the CAG says, "so if we launch, expect verbal orders and be ready to improvise. You all know your jobs. You've fought the Skath before. If the Machines are waiting for us, you know what to do. If we run into Colonial Fleet ships that were not part of our Task Force, we can't assume they're friendly. We don't know what the APF may have been up to back home." There's barely time for an abbreviated discussion of the specifics before Niko calls, "All right people. Let's go strap in and get the job done. Good luck."

And it's not long after before the Wing is locked and loaded. The Orion is preparing to make the jump. What will they find back home? Apparently the Skath don't want them to find out, as a voice comes over the intercom:

(Intercom) "All Hands, enemy contact. Repeat, enemy contact. Scramble, Scramble, Scramble. Spin up tubes One through Three. Nuclear release has been authorized."

With the scramble order thrown down, everyone is expected to launch. There's no immediate indication of where the enemy is at, just that they have arrived. The ship's guns aren't firing yet, either, which could be good or bad. When the groups launch, each Raptor has four nuclear anti-ship missiles slung under each wing and the Vipers have full missile and gun loads. Deck wasted no time in getting them ready.

When they hit space, CIC directs them out forward and to the port side, outbound. As the Colonials come over the top of the Orion they can see every single gun across the spine manned and aimed out on their vector. They can also see the heavily armored nuclear hatches sliding back on three of the tubes. Each missile contains six variable yield warheads. Eighteen warheads. The ship looks as ready for a fight as it ever has, aircraft still spitting out of the ports and flight decks. Around them they can see the rest of the damaged fleet. The flak frigate Maerenz is 'dead in the water' and floating off on its own, everyone warned away while they were fighting an uncontrolled fire hours ago. Nobody has heard anything from the ship since, but power is back online - with no comms traffic. The three supply ships are maneuvering away from the fight, using the fighting ships as shields, while the rest is coming around to the right. Both heavy cruisers, bristling with guns, look to be under full power. The two cruisers, Clotho and Valeho, are moving as well with guns up. The other smaller ships are moving with the battered battlegroup except for Oleander, which hasn't been seen in eighteen hours and isn't expected to have been able to stop after exiting the wormhole lane.

<FS3> Casey rolls ECM: Good Success.

<FS3> Lukes rolls ECM: Failure.

Casey takes a deep breath, but otherwise looks insanely calm. It's got to be a facade. The ECO is no veteran and she didn't exactly hold her cool on the last mission as well as she'd have liked…in retrospect. She's suited up with her helmet under her arm. After she hops into her assigned Raptor, she mumbles to herself, "Bennett…why does that name sound so familiar." Ynyr doesn't sound very familiar to her, but…she shakes it off as she starts firing up her consoles and going through some checks, trying to focus on the mission at hand while she waited for her pilot to show up. When Bennett does arrive, she gives the older pilot a nod. "By the way, I don't have a callsign. But my last name's Quinn. We've just been using that," she explains before they take off. When they finally hit the Big Black, Casey's already looking at DRADIS. She purposefully broadcasts over both their tac channel and the one reserved for Orion and the Wing leaders. "Flight, Quinn, I've got contacts. Skath signatures far out but closing. There are something like over thirty capital ships by the looks of it, probably three carriers, and several Raider squadrons inbound. ETA is six minutes to engagement for the Raiders. Over."

[Into the Wireless] Casey says, "Flight, Quinn, I've got contacts. Skath signatures far out but closing. There are something like over thirty capital ships by the looks of it, probably three carriers, and several Raider squadrons inbound. ETA is six minutes to engagement for the Raiders. Over."

Idris has been living in his Flight suit since last night when the ship was forced out of the wormhole. Like many others, the Captain was thrown from his bunk and tossed down hard on the Deck with great surprise, then scrambled to combat ready stations. Since that time Bloodfeather has had his Squadron held in readiness and going over their situation as the intel has been handed down to him. Pilots have been rotated to assist Deck with checking that all viper craft are undamaged after the eruption from the wormhole, and to be cautious of possible additional sabotage of their individual airframes.

So it is that 'Vogue' runs full tilt for his own viper assignment after the CAG's briefing. Flight checks are quick and as soon as they are given clearance to launch, they begin to eject from the tubes and out into Colonial space. Idris's dark eyes are at once alert, seeking information both visually and through his DRADIS input to his HUD.

Damn, but the Orion looks magnifiscent and ready for a fight. That is reassuring. The rest of the Fleet however … Idris grimaces and drags his gaze away from their own ships to look for the enemy.

Lukes was not every expecting this. Flying backseat in the lead squadron. She's thrilled until it really sets in. When she hears the scramble order, sitting in her Raptor, her stomach drops. Okay, this is no longer exciting. When her Raptor gets off the flight deck she can't help staring out the canopy glass. There's contacts popping up but she's frozen for a few moments, staring at the ships and all the guns coming online. Her pilot has to verbally shake her to get her back and she looks back to her screen, trying to sort things even as Casey is calling out targets. Shit. Shit. Shit!

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue. Vipers form up on me. Let's keep our Raptors clear, over."

[TAC1] "" Petra says, "Flight, Orion Actual. Be warned we are using our first three nuke launches as flak bursts against the incoming Raider swarm, detonation in 1 minute, be prepared for the flash. Figured you could handle 20 to 1 rather than 200 to 1. Good luck, over."

Bennett showed up late last night with Suds in tow, and has been cloistered away in various briefings with Command thus far today. Nevertheless, she showed up at the ready room along with the other pilots, helmet tucked under her arm, professionalism painted meticulously on. Once in the pilot's seat of her bird, she gets to work immediately: flight checks are run through with a practiced ease that belies her concern about their mission, and there's a warm smile for her backseater when she introduces herself. "No callsign? Hmm, we will have to fix that." She winks, locks her harness securely, and flips the switch to close up the hatch. "All right, let's do this." The raptor's engines come to life with a roar, and soon enough they are a swiftly moving flash of light amongst many.

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Quinn, Nyx. Copy that. Orion Actual, I am not getting any comms traffic from Maerenz, but power seems to be back online. Do we have any reason to believe the frigate may be compromised?"

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Orion Actual, Nyx. Copy your last. Maintaining separation until detonations are complete."

Looking worse for the wear and literally green-yellow bruised that is going to only get worse, and not quite willing to talk about what happened on Calumet as of yet, either. Gaining permission for flight-status may not have been possible in any other condition, but as many walking wounded as can be slated back to duty status have been fast tracked out of sickbay and back to work. Diaz is no more an exception or a rule or an example than anyone else. The viper she's in is a new one to her, which means it doesn't actually have any battle damage that's been repaired as result of her skillz in combat yet, but it's handling well within expected parameters, as is the pilot at the helm. A quick pre-flight and check of all the panels and displays and she's out in the soup with everyone else.

[TAC1] "" Petra says, "Nyx, Orion Actual. Marentz was last reported as severely compromised by fire before Comms were lost and they have not been restored since then. Her status is unclear at this moment but our scans indicate she is still severely crippled. We'll keep an eye on the situation from here. Over."

Niko is one of the last Vipers to launch. The CAG is in his cockpit, scanning the incoming data to try and get a picture of what they're up agains as he listens to his squadron leaders forming up. Here we go again. Then he's ready to be shot out of the Orion himself, and he snaps a last salute to the launch tube chief before his Viper is accelerated down the tube and out of the ship. As soon as he's clear Niko vectors his ship towards the strike package and starts calling out on the wireless.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Orion Actual, Scythe. Roger that. Wing, Scythe. Stand by for friendly nukes ahead. CAP squadrons, form up outside the flak screen and get ready for company. Strike package, form on Nyx. Vogue and Nyx: Once the nukes have gone off, we will try to use that hole to get to the Skath Fleet. Nyx: If the Vipers can't clear a path for you, raptors can make a tactical jump to deliver the nukes. Your call Nyx."

In place, and in a Viper, Scott lets out a bit of a breath as he launches with the others. There's a brief moment when he turns the Viper slightly, before moving to form up with the other Vipers as he hears the word from Idris. Trying to keep his expression as neutral as he can as he glances around out there.

None of the ships are firing yet, though. The range on the Raiders is closing. Petra does the job of cluing in the Air Wing only a few seconds before the missiles launch. They arc over the top of the ship from their boosters, they the huge rocket engines light up and begin a hot burn. They race past the wing, right over their shoulders, and out front. Just as the Raider swarm begins to take shape as a cloud, there are small puffs from each of the nuclear missiles. The independent warheads separate and track off in their own directions. This seems to panic the Raiders because the cloud seems to disperse but there just isn't enough time to get away for them. Eighteen warheads detonate in the 50 megaton range, lighting up light small stars in silence. The Sixty veterans may remember the Nebula Bushwhack quite clearly, where a similar tactic had been used. But the DRADIS screens in the aircraft momentarily static with the blasts. When huge plasma balls fade from view, the DRADIS screens return with still a large number of Raiders but hundreds and hundreds of them are wiped from the table. There's simply nothing there in eighteen massive areas. But even as the triumph settles in, the rest of the Raiders turn and dive towards the ships like angry junkyard dogs. Beyond them, the Skath capital ships can be see heading right for the Orion Battlegroup. Those Skath carriers look to be twice the size of the Orion.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue Copies."

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "*fzzzzzt*-ythe, Nyx. Understood. It is good to fly with you again, by the way. Raptors, form up on me. We will take fire; do not break off, but prepare to spool FTL on my order."

You will no longer hear messages on channel <Public>.

Lukes lines up some targets for the nukes, spinning up the warheads. Then there's more orders about FTL. Helmet fire. She freezes another moment before shaking her head. "Get in the game, Shelby," she whispers to herself. "Just a training mission." And then the nukes go off and she closes her eyes. Training. This is a sim. Fingers begin to fly over the controls and she starts locking in potential jump locations. Meanwhile her pilot steadies up to fly Nyx's wing.

[Into the Wireless] Lukes says, "Suds copies, Nyx. FTL running up. Weapons hot."

It is one hell of an awesome sight. Something indeed on par with what the origional 60 would have seen at Blue Axe in the last war. Only this time it isn't the Cylon, but something worse. Whatever did happen to the Cylons anyway? No time for Captain Idris Bloodfeather to dwell upon that question. He dares to flip his visor to opaque for a few seconds to not only protect his eyes but his hide from the flares of nuclear blast light. Patiently he does a quick meditative prep, then draws a slow deep breath and flips his visor back to transparent. A fast check to see how many of the Raiders are left and their dispersal as they continue to throttle up and close the distance.

Bennett gazes out her windscreen at the raiders buzzing the fleet like flies. It's enough to make even the most seasoned veteran sick to their stomach, but she stuffs it down and gets to work. There's a soft -ping- as she flips a switch, and a flash of red sprawls across her screen: MASTER ARM ON. Then the thrum of engines throttling higher, afterburners fed more tylium as the bus begins to skim toward the gap created by Orion's detonated ordnance. She flies cautiously for now, letting the vipers take point and provide suppression.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Lucky Strikes, Vogue. Full throttle! Follow my lead to clear a path for our Raptors. Weapons hot. Let's show'm our missiles before we close it up, over."

"Spooling up FTL so we'll be hot," Casey reports calmly enough to Bennett before turning to look out at the exposion through the segment of the cockpit she can see. Isn't much to look at on DRADIS anyways, but she expected that. "DRADIS back up. Still got lots more Raiders." She starts clacking away on her keyboard and starts picking out her targets, making some rapid fire mental calculations for possible jump locations. She doesn't talk much. Too much to think about, too many knee jerk situations on the ever approaching horizon of battle.

Briefly stunned by the scene that fills every inch of the viper canopy and beyond, Diaz's eyes track the disparate and way-to-many enemy ships, knowing that DRADIS will be intermittent while the nukes are being deployed. Grateful that the helmet's face plate will polarize when/as needed, the Ten guides her viper into position at Vogue's side, a single tip side to side as greeting once she's in place. Mercifully, the fight is -out there- and not -in there- (in her head or that of anyone else at the moment) and that bit of breathing room is all Diaz needs to keep her hands steady and both eyes on the ball.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Copy that, on your wing. Lets get it done."

Niko glances away for a second as he sees the telltale puffs of the nuclear warheads separating, keeping his eyes on his instruments instead. Then he's accelerating to stay with the Lucky Strikes, and dropping in at Scott's five o'clock.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Nyx, Scythe. Just like old times." Which isn't entirely a good thing, but still. "Here we go, people. Time to save everyone's asses." Then he adds, "Pollux, Scythe. Take the lead. I've got your wing.""

"Copy that," Bennett replies, just as calmly, to her backseater. "Please let me know once you have a vector plotted, though with luck we will not need to use it."

Wincing as he keeps on flying, Scott manages to keeps his gaze away from most of the light show from the explosions. A quick glance to the systems as he hears Niko's words.

[Into the Wireless] Scott says, "Scythe, Pollux. Will do."

<COMBAT> Scott uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-7931r - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7931r - Critical wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7931r - Moderate wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7931r - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7931r - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7931r - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7931r - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7931r - Serious wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7931r - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7931r - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Niko uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-9241b - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9241b - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9241b - Moderate wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9241b - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9241b - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9241b - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9241b - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9241b - Serious wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9241b - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9241b - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Casey suppresses Raider1 with ECM. <successful>

<COMBAT> Lukes suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <successful>

<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-1027n - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1027n - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1027n - Critical wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1027n - Critical wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1027n - Light wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1027n - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1027n - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1027n - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1027n - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1027n - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-4835v - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4835v - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4835v - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4835v - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4835v - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4835v - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4835v - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4835v - Moderate wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4835v - Serious wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4835v - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider5 - Serious wound to Chest.

<COMBAT> Raider-1027n has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider3 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-7931r has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider4 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider5 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-9241b has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider6 has been KO'd!

Niko has half an eye on his holo display, watching how the battle is shaping up as the two space fleet start to close. Then he has to focus on his own fight, and getting those raptors through to their target. They need to even the odds if the Orion and company are going to stand up to thirty Skath ships. A quick glance aside to check Pollux's position, then Scythe opens the formation a bit and locks up a raider with a long range missile. Time to go to work. "Fox one!" he calls as the missile is launched and streaks away to end the existence of one raider. Only a few thousand more to go. And then they're merging with the bandits, and Niko quickly finds two of them headed his way.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Pollux, Scythe. Two on me. Dragging right."

<FS3> Bennett rolls Piloting-3: Success.

And there, the first raider seems to be doing a good impersonation of fireworks, so Scott looks to the system to see where the incoming badguys are. Starting to head slightly towards one, he turns a bit as he hears Niko's words, moving for one at his tail.

[Into the Wireless] Scott says, "Scythe, Pollux. Moving to get rid of one on your tail now. I think I've got one following me as well."

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Raptors, Nyx. Course correct to one one five mark niner. Hold formation, weapons hot."

Idris is really busy diving ahead of the Raptors to clear a hole for them. Hot and heavy on the throttle, 'Vogue' fires his first missile and doesn't wait to see if it's going to hit. He is at once tracking to set up a lock on a second target, one that looks like it's coming into range to gun for himself or Diaz. Calm and cool, Bloodfeather twists his airframe and keeps up his top speed, holding nothing back in these first seconds of the engagement. The Raider h e was after tries to evade but is engulfed in a silent fireball even as more and more errupt against the twinkling blackness all around them.

"No missile locks. We're clear," Casey reports to her pilot quickly after successfully suppressing one of her targets. She switches it up though and checks DRADIS for their positioning with respects to the Viper formation and the Skath for just a moment before dialing in her next suppression target rather quickly. She doesn't bother to confirm success, starting to recalculate a jump now everything's changed. "FTL is spooled up, nukes are hot…for when we need them."

Trying to contain the absolute glee that tries to color her tone of voice as she lights up one of the Raiders like a pyrotechnic display, Diaz speaks briefly into the com as she sets her sights on the next target. She exchanges another glance sidelong to confirm that her wingman is 5x5 as well before she alters trajectory slightly. To be fair, the raider is making unfriendly maneuver toward one of the raptors, which Diaz considers to be hostile.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Maneuvering to engage hostile targeting Raptor-4263. Suds, en route. Over."

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Lucky Strikes, Vogue. Much as I hate to say this, we don't know what else they are going to throw at us. Let's keep at /least/ one missile each in reserve. Things are likely to get a lot uglier yet before we are out of it. Over."

Lukes is plugging away at her system, trying to maintain her lock on her target. She's never had to try to work in violent manvuering like this and its harder to keep her hands on the keyboard and trackball. Her eyes flicker across the screen quickly and she almost misses the radio call as she pounds a Raider with EM interference.

[Into the Wireless] Lukes sounds flat, focused, "Suds, copies."

Bennett's bus begins picking up speed, afterburners aglow with burning tylium as she hurtles in inexorably closer to their target. Spotting a pair of raiders circling the CAG, she flicks a switch to deploy a chaff pod; it launches on the heels of a small detonation, and manages to muddle the raider's sensors enough to trick it into retargeting her raptor.

Diaz's coms draws Idris's attention back to the Raptors they are clearing for, and he alters course to keep them paired and go after antoher Raider instead that's also targeting the same Raptor. As long as the Skath aren't using missiles yet, Diaz can probably weather or shake her tail.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Diaz, Vogue. Watch your Six. I'm taking the other going after 4263, over."

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Vogue, Diaz. Copy that. Eyes on. Over."

<COMBAT> Scott uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-3673k - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3673k - Moderate wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3673k - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3673k - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3673k - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3673k - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3673k - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3673k - Critical wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3673k - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3673k - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> Raider9 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider8 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Scott with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Lukes suppresses Raider2 with ECM. <successful>

<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-6669g - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6669g - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6669g - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6669g - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6669g - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6669g - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6669g - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6669g - Serious wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6669g - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6669g - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Casey suppresses Raider7 with ECM. <successful>

<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Bennett with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider10 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-9378p - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9378p - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9378p - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9378p - Serious wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9378p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9378p - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9378p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9378p - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9378p - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9378p - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider-9378p has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider10 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-3673k has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider9 has been KO'd!

As the fight gets more intense there are suddenly much larger streaks than just their KEW tracer fire. When the crews get a chance to look around they notice that full battery fire has begun between the two groups of ships.

"Good work, Quinn," Bennett mentions over her shoulder, without taking her eyes off her windscreen or her hands off the flight controls. Her voice sounds tinny and strange off the comms, with her helmet in the way. She isn't precisely known for her smooth flying, a fact which Casey is probably becoming aware of by now; the bus jukes and rolls as she dodges out of the raider's line of fire, then swoops back on course again. Another chaff pod is deployed in time to throw off the second machine's targeting sensors - or so she hopes.

Sending another of the Raiders back to the hub to learn from it's mistakes, Diaz scans DRADIS and then the formation of the Raiders that are sliding and weaving a complex pattern to continue to engage their flight. She speaks briefly into the com, again, then executes a precise roll, works the angle, and veers toward on of the raiders aiming at Nyx and Quinn.

Niko sees a Raptor throwing itself in the middle of the dogfight and decoying one of the raiders off his tail. "Frak," he growls, realizing who it is. Then he reverses his turn, trying to hurry around to take out that Skath before they lose their strike lead. Thankfully there's one explosion behind him as Scott nails the bandit on Scythe's six. But now he's drawing even more attention, and he can't spend any more time defensive. They'll be swamped soon. Time to get creative. Niko hits the MCS and pivots his viper, letting it fly 'backward' so he can shoot a missile at one of the bandits dogging his tail.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Maneuvering to lend fire support to Nyx and Quinn. Vogue, lets knock them out of the game. I'll handle the one on your tail. Over."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Nyx, Scythe. Stop frakking around."

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Raptors, Nyx. Battery fire at our four o'clock, eyes open. Scythe, you have got a whole lot of company. I hope you brought the fine china."

As the missile lock alert starts to go off, Casey says, "Yep, that's what it sounds like, bearing of 330 mark 15. Casey confirms her suppression has taken. "Missile diverted. Confirmed miss." Then another alarm starts to go off as one of the Raiders looks to be trying to get a lock on them. "Switching to suppress our tail." Those suited fingers fly as fast as they can, but as they start maneuvering more wildly, Casey shuts her eyes for a moment to ground herself and then continues. "Thanks," comes out belatedly.

And yet again, the Raider he was attacking goes boom. Scott looks around for a few moments, gaze moving to DRADIS to see all the Raiders moving for Niko, and also the ones coming for himself. "Well, at least they don't go for the Raptors if they're stuck on us…" he mutters to himself, moving for another of the Raiders going for Niko, while trying to make himself a little harder to hit.

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Scythe, Nyx. You are quite welcome."

[Into the Wireless] Scott says, "Scythe, Pollux. You forgot to use the Raider repellent today, didn't you? Trying to clear away one. Got a few of them following me too now, it seems."

Vogue's second missile is away! It streaks after and chases a Raider to it's firey death. As things begin to thicken up and they are now fully engaged in dog fighting, Bloodfeather must pull his throttle back slightly and manuver to swing back and cover another Raptor. He's close to use a missile as he comes up behind Raider13 so his gloved hand flips the weapons over to KEW. Idris's scarred face is serious, dark eyes intent as he brings his viper around. His HUD lights up with Skath activity trying to get locks on him for firing but as they aren't missile tone locks, he ignores them and trusts his wingman, Diaz, to help watch his ass. Even so, the Captain takes a little more care to try and not be a dead on easy target as he lines up his own shots and starts firing his KEW. Keep that frakker off of the new Gentleman Ghosts Squadron Leader he hasn't even met yet.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Diaz, Vogue copies. Appreciate that, over."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Pollux, Scythe. Roger that. Keep it up people, we're getting there."

[TAC1] "" Petra says, "Flight, Orion Actual. Our last straggler needs 20 minutes to finish their FTL repair and then we are out of here. We are going to cover our retreat with a final nuke strike. Vipers need to be ready to land in 18 minutes and Raptors ready to jump to Emergency Fallback Coordinate Alpha. Over!"

<COMBAT> Lukes suppresses Raider14 with ECM. <successful>

<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider13 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Diaz attacks Raider15 with KEW - Serious wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Raider15 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider14 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider13 attacks Bennett with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Scott with RAIDER KEW - Serious wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> Casey suppresses Raider13 with ECM. <successful>

<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider2 with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider12 attacks Scott with RAIDER KEW - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider11 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Niko uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-3117y - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3117y - Critical wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3117y - Critical wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3117y - Critical wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3117y - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3117y - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider11 - Moderate wound to Left Foot.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider11 - Serious wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider11 - Light wound to Right Hand.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider11 - Critical wound to Neck.

<COMBAT> Viper-3377h has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Idris has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-3117y has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider11 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-0335q has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider15 has been KO'd!

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

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Orion Actual, Nyx. Copy and confirm visual on targets. Raptors, weapons free and fire at will. Spool FTL for jump to Emergency Fallback Coordinates Alpha as soon as targets have been neutralised."

Even with the call from Orion, the pilots can see hits being taken on both sides. Nobody is safe. The huge rounds pass right through the dogfights as it rages closer and closer to the Skath Carriers. They're the biggest targets and therefore the easiest to hit. But the Orion Battlegroup is taking hits and it looks like the Walker Shoals, one of the heavy cruisers, may be smoking off the rear. The fire isn't getting any less intense, but the number of Raiders are.

"Frak yeah," the missile lock stops chirping and Casey quickly shuts up when the TACCO's voice comes in over comms. Still she's one hundred percent success rate on suppressions! If only she was that good with missiles. "Nyx. Keying in emergency coordinates so we're ready to go." She's really on the ball, maybe even /too/ on the ball, which can be a thing if she still needed the flexibility of jumping in for an attack in the next five to ten minutes. "Oh yeah we evaded that missile. Made it wonky." The Ynyrs….wait, Shay's mom? It suddenly hits Casey in the middle of combat where she knew Bennett from. She went to school a few years ahead of Bennett's daughter. She looks over. Then she looks back to her console. And finally she has a 'oh yeah, battle' moment before keying in her next suppression target.

"Target acquired!" Lukes calls out excitedly, surprising herself. Just like training. She focuses down on the carrier and tries to control her breathing. The box on the screen has a diamond hovering around it until suddenly it fixates over the box. "Target lock!" She hears weapons free. Shelby doesn't even get a moment to think about it, her finger slams down on the fire button. "Eat shiiiiiit~!" she sing-songs to herself beautifully a the missile streaks off, then keying over to her jump screen.

[Into the Wireless] Lukes says, "Suds, missile away!"

Luck is with Scythe today, as his manuever catches the trio of Skath raiders off guard and their KEW rounds fly wide. "Fox two!" he calls, launching an IR homing missile in reply, which blows another bandit into scrap. They're into engagement range for the Ratpor's weapons, and now it's down to the next few moments to see how many enemy ships they can nuke before being swamped. He hears the wireless chatter with Orion, keying his mic for one terse message in response. Eighteen more minutes? We'll see how the goes.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Orion Actual, Scythe. Understood."

As more and more of the raiders enter the fray, Diaz's starts counting targets and eyes the DRADIS to discern the pattern as several - mark that as 4 specifically - take a bead on Lukes and Company. She hears the sounds of not one but two raiders taking aim at her Viper as well and begins evasive maneuvers while shifting weapons systems again and takes aim at one of the Raiders.

Idris is firing away and suddenly his cockpit lights up with warnings as not one, but /two/ Skath Raiders are shooting him up! Bloodfeather has no choice but to break off trying to get the Raider that's going after Bennett, hit flaps and twist his viper away as hard and as fast as he can to try and break out of their line of fire, damn it. Vogue isn't fast enough to evade enough of it and they chew up his airframe's right wing and body. "Sons of bitches!" NOBODY ever hears his swear. Only Betty, and she's busy bitch'n already. A glove slaps the mute on his alarms and gritting his teeth at the slightly more sluggish response of his viper, Captain Bloodfeather then pushes the throttle up, "No you don't." They are positively swarming over some of the Raptors. His glove flips the weapons back over to missiles to arm and prep the next one as he barrels in at higher speed to get one off. It zips away and starts to cross over, zeroing in after one of the Skath.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Engaging one of the targets lighting up on Lukes. Vogue, sing out damage report? I'm maneuvering to assist. Deploying third of four missiles. Over."

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue Copies, 18 minutes. I'm hit, multiples, but I'm still flying. Keep the heat up on those Raiders, over!"

He doesn't quite succeed this time, and takes a hit as well. Scott frowns as he rolls a bit to the side, switching to mostly focus on getting away from the incoming Raiders on his tail. And oh, there's another Raider in front of him. Firing at the enemy in front of him, he tries spinning out of the way of those behind him.

[Into the Wireless] Scott says, "Flight, Pollux. Trying to keep these guys following me around like puppies a bit busy…"

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Lucky Strikes, Vogue. Nevermind about holding back on missiles. We don't have that much time left. Over."

"Understood," Bennett tells her backseater again, voice smooth as silk, as if they're out for a drive in the country rather than a skin of their teeth fight. Two more raiders pick up their scent and begin harassing them, and she's oblivious to the realisation that's hit Casey. "Hold on," she warns, and chops the throttles, skidding her bus in a crab crawl away from one set of guns before swiveling in a full, vomit-inducing barrel roll to avoid the other. "I will get you in as close as I can.."

<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-2356d - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2356d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2356d - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2356d - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2356d - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2356d - Serious wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2356d - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2356d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Casey attacks Carrier1 with Missile Ap - Serious wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-9748v - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9748v - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9748v - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9748v - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9748v - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9748v - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9748v - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9748v - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider17 attacks Scott with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Tail (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider13 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider13 with KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider13 - Critical wound to Head.

<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider19 attacks Bennett with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider16 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider14 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Diaz - Moderate wound to Head.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Diaz - Moderate wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> Raider12 attacks Scott with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Raider18 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Bennett with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Lukes attacks Carrier2 with Missile AP - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Aa Battery-5087i has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Carrier1 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Aa Battery-6792n has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Carrier2 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-2356d has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider18 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Viper-6243v has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Scott has been KO'd!

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

Niko is focused on trying to clear the bandits off the Raptors when he hears Pollux's call. A quick burts of KEW blows the 'head' clean off the raider he was targeting, and then Niko brings his Viper around to try and help his wingman. Seeing the damage info on his own display, he can tell Scott's ship is in a bad way. And things are not likely to get better. At least the nukes are away and they're keeping the Skath busy, for now.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Pollux, Scythe. Hang on. On my way."

Lukes watches the missile on her other screen from the corner of her eye. "FTL locked in for Orion!" she calls to her pilot, then looking back to her missile on the targeting camera. It flies right into the frame, sucker-punches the ship in the jaw and then explodes inside. "OH MY GODS!" she hoots, watching huge sections break way, even though its still firing. "Missile away!" she calls, firing another.

Bennett can't quite maneuver fast enough to pull her out of the second raider's sights. The bus takes a hit to its flank, shredding metal and frying a few circuits, but nothing critical. "Bitch," she mutters softly into her helmet, off comms. Her gloved hand shoves the flight stick forward, engines coming to life as she brings them in on what's hopefully their final approach at full burn. "Good hits, Quinn. One more should do it." Calm and certain, her words are an undercurrent to the chaos.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Diaz, Vogue! You're hit! What's your status? Over."

Taking the hit which sends him spinning off course for a while, Scott takes a few moments to recover. Ah, another incoming Raider. And there's Niko incoming. Oh, and another Raider coming in as well. Switching to missiles again, he waits a few moments, firing for the one going for the other Viper.

[Into the Wireless] Scott says, "Scythe, Pollux. Holding on as best I can. I see there's one following you as well, I'll try to take that one."

Casey is more prepared for Bennett's flying this time around. "Understood," she replies as Bennett tears them through the mass of Raiders to get in close enough for Casey to get a missile lock. "In range, attaining a lock. 3, 2, 1. Firing." She hits the button and the nuke launches, zipping along till it impacts with the carrier and it lights up the vessel, immediately causing the fuel line to ignite and take it away. "Another one starboard. Get me there and I'll take it out." Bennett doesn't have as far as she had before to close the gap, but the fighting is thick and all the Raiders have turned in on them. "Armed."

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Vogue, Diaz. Damage to the canopy, over. No other damage to Viper, over."

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Raptors, Nyx. Good hits. Let's finish the job and get out. Scythe, are you going to need help on egress, or should we stick with the plan and jump when ready?"

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Nyx, Scythe. Negative. Get your people out of here as soon as you're out of ordnance."

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Lucky Strikes, Vogue. On my last missile. Hold'm off our Raptors a bit longer and they can finish and jump. I copy, Diaz. Hang in there. Over."

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Scythe, Nyx copies."

Diaz's answer is honest, for what she says. So some of the inward explosion of the canopy did damage to her helmet and, in the process, opened a gash that's making Diaz's eyes water. She peels off a length of pre-sliced duct tape and presses it calmly over the tear in her flight suit, flexes both hands, and continues with the task in front of her. A careful tip left, right, left again as she tests the maneuvering capabilities of the Viper and takes aim at another of the Raiders lining up on Lukes and her pilot.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Vogue, Diaz. Taking another run to lend cover fire to Lukes and pilot. Last missile away in three.. two.. one.."

Diaz he saw hit but her viper didn't break apart or spin off out of the fight. His missile makes a good impact but Idris is too busy to see if it took the Skath Raider out of the fight. He's taking enough heat of his own but focuses down hard on the Raptors and which ones are getting the most Skath attention. He pushes his throttle up a bit more and readies his last missile, trying to get a lock. "Make it count. Come on." There are strange vibrations he can feel through the hull of his airframe from the damage his viper has taken. Bloodfeather tries to ignore it, eyes sharp for everything going on at once all around them. He is unaware of Diaz's personal injuries or that she came into this fight already hurt. Nothing he can do about it. Vogue has never seen so many Skath and they are /everywhere/ Gods damn it. He grits his teeth and sends his last missile away, trying to keep the Raptors whole.

Far in the distance, some of the guns on the Orion turn and swivel, aiming towards the Maerenz, a veteran flak ship from the Second War. Dead in the water, there's nothing coming from it despite hving power. But the Orion guns being pouring fire into it and the ship begins coming apart in huge chunks before blowing apart in a matter of seconds when the ammunition lockers cook off.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Diaz, Vogue. I'm right with you, over."

[TAC1] "" Petra says, "Flight, Orion Actual. Change in schedule, we aren't going to make 15 minutes. Recall all craft NOW. Ghosts, cover the Viper landings then get your humps to the Fallback point. We are /leaving/. Over!"

<COMBAT> Scott uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Raider-9452 - Serious wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9452 - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Close To Raider-8831m - Light wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8831m - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8831m - Light wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8831m - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8831m - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Lukes attacks Carrier2 with Missile AP - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-6960h - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6960h - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6960h - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6960h - Moderate wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6960h - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6960h - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6960h - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6960h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6960h - Serious wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider19 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider14 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider12 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Niko uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Close To Raider-9165c - Light wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9165c - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9165c - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9165c - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Casey attacks Carrier1 with Missile Ap and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Scott with RAIDER KEW - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

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

<COMBAT> Raider17 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Tail (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Aa Battery-8956v has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Carrier2 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Viper-6827e has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Diaz has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-9452 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider17 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-6960h has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider19 has been KO'd!

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

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Lucky Strikes, Vogue. You heard the man. Break off your attacks and RTB. I repeat, vipers RTB! Do it NOW. Over."

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Raptors, break off and prepare to jump on my mark."

Niko sends off his third missile, which explodes well behind the raider he had targeted, failing to kill. And while he's trying deal with the bandit, another Skath shoots up the backside of his Viper. The uncomfortably familiar sounds of KEW rounds hitting his ship are ignored, since there's no red warning light and the fighter is stil flying. There's a relief when he hears the Orion's call over the wireless, though. Maybe they won't all die here after all.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Wing, this is Scythe. You heard the man. Lucky Strikes are inbound. All Vipers, regroup and make combat landings."

The impact of multiple rounds make the Viper that Diaz is piloting begin to juke slightly and list noticeably to the side in an uncontrolled turn that the pilot, now a bit groggy and bleary eyed, is having difficult mitigating. She mumbles as she tries to clear her eyes and focus on the orders. "Flight, Diaz, say again?" even her voice sounds uneven. "Damage… alarms. Venting.." is as far as she gets as the Viper lists again despite her attempts to correct and control. The sound of targeting alarm and threat warnings from the DRADIS has her blinking, hands moving on muscle memory and relying on the targeting computer to do the math, round up the ones and zeros, carry the decimal and make accurate calculations. "Out of missiles, Flight. Over.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, " "Flight, Diaz, say again?" even her voice sounds uneven. "Damage… alarms. Venting.." another lengthy pause then, "Out of missiles, Flight. Over."

Bennett hits the pedals and banks their bus sharply to starboard once the order is given to RTB. She speaks briefly, casually over her shoulder to her backseater, "If you think you can get one more shot off, do it. I can handle the jump if need be." Weapons fire to their left and right, silent puffs of detonating ordnance mere feet from the windscreen; the bus jolts as she dodges more shrapnel.

Letting out a breath as his third missile finds its target, Scott smiles briefly as the words from Orion comes in, and he turns to head back towards the Orion, firing off his last missile in the process.

Casey's nuke is intercepted by battery fire before it can reach the carrier. "Two more left.," she doesn't bother to say anything about the transmission except, "Our FTL is already spooled and Alpha fallback coordinates are already loaded. Double-checked." Yeah, in between nukes? When? Well that was one of the perks of dialing it in awhile ago. "Yeah I'm trying to get a lock now." It's hard with Bennett's flying, but that's what is keeping them alive. The lock sounds and she says quickly, "Firing." She's determined not to let this carrier to get away from them.

Lukes watches the second missile go go go.. She hasn't prayed like this since he was little. The second missile emerges from the Skath flak screen on the other side and pierces right through the armor, burrowing in. Half a second later it explodes as well. The nuke takes out a huge chunk and the whole ship bucks once, entering a spin… and then exploding in a blinding white light as fuel and munitions kick off. "HOLY SHIT! I KILLED IT! I KILLED IT!" she hollars at her screen, rapidly fistpumping. Her pilot yells at her to knock it off and get back to work. Ahem. Yes, right, escape. She almost forgets to call it.

[Into the Wireless] Lukes says, "Suds, Splash that carrier! …Oh, FTL spooled, too! Over."

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Suds, Nyx. I copy, and good work. Raptors, jump when ready. Scythe, we will see you on the other side."

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Diaz! Vogue here. Use your brain, Ensign. Canopy patches are a thing! Get your ass RTB. That's an order, and I'm right behind you, Over."

Idris does as he's passed on and turns his viper to head back for the Orion. He starts to throttle up for top speed his craft can make but sees Diaz is in trouble. THe buses are on their own for the moment as he tries to keep Raiders from taking out his wingman, and chews her out on the coms to try and keep her shit together long enough to RTB. Meanwhile, Vogue slows up to cover her while she heads out.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Nyx, Scythe. Copy." The CAG's response is full brevity. There's nothing more to say."

While the targeting system is doing its job, and the warning sounds are making that annoying sound that Diaz finds to be frankly more annoying than helpful, the Ten is listening to the sound of the canned air hissing past the damage of her helmet and . . right on out through the canopy as well. Vogue's voice jars Diaz back into focusing, instead of drifting in just the general/correct heading. She fumbles a patch from the kit and slaps it, one handed, over the worst of the damage, watching as the patch dimples then holds. Just doing this helps get more - useful - oxygen up into her brain, circulation for the win, and she slaps another patch into place- this time onto her helmet with, after a few precious moments, starts to help over all. She blinks blood out of her eyes again, then spits the coppery taste out of her mouth, oh, bit her tongue somewhere along the line as well. She lays off the trigger long enough to guide the Viper in an unsteady 180 to come around to a reciprocal heading and wobbles more or less back along the original flight path.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Vogue, Diaz. Copy," there's a cough, "copy that. RTB. Compliance," another cough then, "WilCo, Over."

<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Niko uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-2224k - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2224k - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2224k - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2224k - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2224k - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2224k - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider2 - Critical wound to Left Foot.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider2 - Moderate wound to Right Hand.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider2 - Moderate wound to Abdomen.

<COMBAT> Lukes suppresses Raider12 with ECM. <successful>

<COMBAT> Diaz attacks Raider1 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Scott uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Far From Raider-8831m - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8831m - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8831m - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider12 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider7 with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Casey attacks Carrier1 with Missile Ap but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Pilot1 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider14 attacks Bennett with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Diaz has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Viper-6827e has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Diaz has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-8831m has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider14 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-2224k has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!

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

Niko sticks with Scott and the other surviving Lucky Strikes, burning full power back toward the Orion. But he takes advantage of a momentary respite to lock up his last AAM on one of the Skath raiders that goes for Lukes' raptor. "Fox one!" His last missile blows the Skath in half, but now he's down to KEW. Hopefully they can catch their ride before that becomes important. And the instant it's clear they're going to be able to break off, the CAG is on the wireless.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Wing, Scythe. All ships, knock it off. Orion can't hang around forever!"

Humming softly to herself, Diaz hits a combination of switches, toggles others, and the sound inside the canopy goes nice and quiet. The viper is responding in even more sluggish delay times and outright not responding at other points, leading Diaz to surmise that there's a wiring issue and .. smoke. She tips her head - and helmet - to the side to see one of the wings and realizes that both wings are still affixed, excellent. But the body damage over all is going to take more than a hammer to fix dents and possibly more than a spit shine to buff up the rest. She keeps the Viper moving in the right direction, as much because she wants to get back to the barn as because she already said she was RTB and that means she's RTB, come what may.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Gonna stick this landing. Might.. might want a fire team on hand, over."

Ah yes, running back home sounds like a brilliant idea now. So Scott does that as the last missile has been sent off. Glancing around for a few moments, before he focuses back on making it back to the Orion. Just get back, get down onto the deck. That's all…

<FS3> Diaz rolls Piloting: Success.

<FS3> Scott rolls Piloting: Good Success.

<FS3> Niko rolls Piloting: Amazing Success.

<FS3> Idris rolls Piloting: Good Success.

With the call to RTB, Bennett pushes the throttles up and - instead of backing off - slings them in closer to the crippled carrier in order to give her backseater one last shot at taking it out. Hunks of shredded shrapnel are dodged around, one coming within feet of the raptor's nose as they hurtle along at increasing speed. She prepares mentally for the impending shift in reality; one thousand metres to the carrier. Five hundred. One hundred. She's putting an awful lot of trust in Casey's ability to pull them out in time.

First Diaz must head into the Orion. As Flight Leader for the Lucky Strikes, Captain Idris Bloodfeather hangs back while his people, including the CAG, all get their butts into the flight deck ahead of himself. Thankfully it looks like Diaz doesn't go in and impact herself and her viper in a messy fireball, so that's a relief. Then he brings his own damaged craft in without fanfare, the last viper pilot of their squadron to go in and land.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue. All Lucky Strikes Vipers have landed, over."

[TAC1] "" Petra says, "All Colonial Craft, Orion Actual. Execute jump to Fallback Alpha now. Sound off check in after jump completes. Over."

The CAG is one of the last Vipers to land, coming in hot while they hope the flak screen will keep the Skath off them. He's coming in fast and has to swing his viper around and burn with the main engines to decelerate, even as he's coming into the landing bay. Safety regs be damned. With a final flare of the MCS he manages to get his ship down and locked before the Orion jumps. Phew.

The nuke gets intercepted by a Raider slamming into it before it can get into battery range. "Flight, Quinn. Jumping in three, two, one." As they close in fast on the carrier, the batteries light up the space around them, taking out some Raiders in 'friendly' fire just as Casey's gloved finger depresses the button. The raptor is there one moment, then gone the next. "Well that was a ride," Casey says with an easy smile, her eyes still on DRADIS even if they are just landing back in the Orion for a quick escape.

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