AWD #119: Corvettes and Blondes
Corvettes and Blondes
Summary: Responding to signals, Team Blonde head out and discover more of the good guys.
Date: 05/May/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Maia Ygraine 
There's rocks and stuff.
AWD #119

Helois Delta is always a dangerous location to fly to because of Aerilon, but the colony is well past this location in relation to the orbit of the star. Canceron is closest, but its a glassed ghosttown. Aquaria is on the far side of the orbit and there's very little activity out there. Keeping in close to the asteroid field to keep from being detected, the Raptor crew approaches the huge asteroid (about 90 miles across at its diameter) without another single thing on the DRADIS. The low-powered broadcast from the comm drone can still be picked-up at the edge of the very distant pulsar signal, but its there.

"Yep, there's the signal." Milkshake confirms, keeping a sharp eye on the DRADIS. "Ya got a spot ya want t'pick for deployment? And then we'll dart to our listening spot. Good for that, Toybox?"

Gauging the size of the asteroid, Maia can only lift her brows at the sheer magnitude. Once they get the confirmation of the signal, there's a sharp nod at the question. "Sure, 'Shakes. I want it somewhere we can watch, listen and monitor fairly easily." Looking out the canopy, she finally chooses a spot. "Good for that, 'Shakes. Let's hope if something happens, it's friendlies." Hoping for a good day. Good news.

Approaching the signal source to land, because firing the drone at the asteroid would destroy the drone, there seems ot be very little that changes. Out here everything seems to be quiet. Getting closer, the pulsar's distant signal fades to the other side of the asteroid and leaves only the signal of the beacon. Coming in closer to the asteroid's surface, the number of comm drones deposited here becomes clear. Scattered out in the same general area are nine of the drone pods, all of them dead except for one that has a telltale green flashing light on the side, just about the size of a pinky fingernail.

Ygraine occupies herself with eyeballing the DRADIS. "If this turns ugly, I'll try t'spool us up as fast as I can." she promises. "Ya ready t'drop th'pod?"

"Nine drones," Maia murmurs softly, away from the comm, studying the area through her canopy, looking out for anything out of the ordinary. Having come for answers, Team Blonde is determined to get them. After landing, she points out something barely visible markings. "'Shake, just there.. looks like where the Raptor lands to set off the drones." Since there's no dust on the asteroid, the only noticible difference is the broken rocks where the skids of a Raptor set when landed. "Yeah, let's get it dropped and get out to observe before whatever it is arrives before we're ready."

Ygraine taps out the commands to set their own pod free, announcing, "Pod away. Ready for whenever ya want t'back off and play peepin' tom."

Eyeing the rocks a little longer, Maia nods almost absently, craning her neck to look around. Once the pod is away and she's given the go ahead, she looks around once more before lifting off again. "We're going to be leaving the same marks now too." Up and off, she flies off to a distance where they can still watch. And monitor.
Thinking better of that, Maia doesn't go so far away, just back enough to keep her eyes on the area through the canopy. "Nothin' to do but wait and watch.."

Ygraine grins. "Yep." she says. "So. Know any good dirty jokes?" She keeps her eyes on the pods, noting, "Ya know, Petra shoulda assigned two teams so we don't have a dark period for when we go back t'Orion."

Sitting back several miles, the crew settles in for an hour. With the active DRADIS off and the ship running cold, they look like a hole in space. Sit there and it would take another active set to spot them. But in a field like this, they would probably just look like another floating rock anyway. Radio signals take time to propogate, anyway, so an hour isn't unrealistic. Passing the fifty minute mark, there hasn't been anything even approaching activity. Just the same beacons running.

"Dirty jokes? Maybe.. " Maia kicks back, eyes on the prize. "So, what's the difference between a gold fish and a mountain goat?" So it's not dirty but… Leaning forward she rests her hands on the controls, just sitting there. "This could be a long journey, you know?"

"If we complain about a lack of excitement, and then somethin' excitin' happens, that's when people die." says Ygraine, a bit grimly. "But yeah. We gotta keep our eyes on nothin' and in its own way, that ain't easy." Her eyes are on the prize to, and she adds absently, "So what part of Leonis are ya from, anyway?" The pair will undoubtedly be spending a few hours together and this sort of conversation is bound to happen.

Then there it is. Just at the edge of the field and up high to enter from the top, there's the flash of an FTL. At this distance it looks like a star twinkle, but only for an instant and it carries that subtle blue hue. Anyone who has flown Raptors for any amount of time will recognize it. With DRADIS in passive, there's no contact or alerts. The craft is too far away to make out exactly what it is, but the tiny speck is descending into the asteroid field and right towards where the beacons were placed.

"Oh I wasn't complaining. Far from it.. just passing time." Just when Maia was going to get to the punchline, then reply about Leonis, there it is. Maia sits up, watching. "Look alive, 'Shakes. We've got company. Looks like it's time to find out what we're here for."

"We don't gotta kiss 'em, but we should get closer and see if we can figure out what sort of make that ship is." Ygraine says. "Sorry, Toybox. Statin' th'obvious, I know ya know your job." Ygraine for her part gets ready to turn things on. DRADIS, comms…jump drive.

The ship continues its descent towards the asteroid, twin engines on the rear visible with the flickering blue of tylium burn. As it goes lower and lower, the spot on the engines disappears and so does visual contact. The craft drops down towards the rocky surface and vanishes from sight. Too far out and the colors of the paint just don't help.

Yeah.. the hesitation was only a moment, but Maia gives a quick nod to Ygraine. "Fire it up." And she does the same, not wanting to keep it out of visual for any longer than necessary. As soon as they are up and running, Maia flies as near as she dares, near enough to observe, to see the colors of the ship, the make. "Hey, 'Shake, never be sorry for offering your advice or opinion. We're a team, yeah?"

"Damn." Yggy says, as the ship moves out of visual. But she fires up the DRADIS, letting its soft whir-whir sound fill the silence, and makes sure the jump drive is prepared to accept coordinates as well.

Starting their approach back towards the asteroid, it gets easier to pick out the speck on the ground. Yes, that's definitely a Raptor. It has the same rust-brown paintjob as every other Raptor in the fleet, too. When Yggy starts up that DRADIS, though, the contact appears on the scope and there is barely a passage of five or six seconds before, "Unknown Raptor, state intentions."

Oh Frak. Glancing back at Ygraine, Maia speaks into the comm. "Colonial Raptor 325 issuing response beacon. identify yourself." Her voice is a little tense but firm.

"This is it." Ygraine says. "Either they're friendlies, or they're gonna start firin'. And even if they seem friendly, there's no way t'know they ain't been jacked." Ygraine's hands are poised over the keyboard, prepared to enter jump coordinates if necessary.

The Raptor doesn't move, but both of the beacons shut off. With their close passage to the Raptor, they can see both crew members out on the rocks shutting them down… which means neither one of them is in the Raptor to issue that response that Ygraine and Maia just heard. Several seconds pass. The two crew are planting what is probably charges on the beacons and climbing back into their bird about the same time as the next radio call arrives. Its not an uncommon challenge and these days, for as careful as the Orion crew has been, if they are friendly? They're likely far more paranoid.

"Raptor Three Two Five, identify the first name name of your ship's Commanding Officer."

"Let's hope for the best." Maia keeps her hands on the controls, ready to do what they gotta do when the time comes, poised for.. The reply comes back and it isn't what she'd asked. "Raptor three two five, again, Identify yourself." This is all she gives this time.

The Raptor crew powers up, shuts the hatch, and takes off. They rise up off the rock and its not hard to see that the ship looks unarmed. It lifts up towards the Orion Raptor and heads their direction sort-of. The interior lights are on and the pilot can be seen to throw a salute.. what's probably a salute. It passes beyond them and jumps away in a flash. Gone.

"Awaiting confirmation, three-two-five. We already have your beacon instructions. Over." There is nothing else on DRADIS except rock debris.

Ygraine considers a moment. "Give 'em Louis and request ID again. If they still refuse, I say we jump. I still ain't likin' how one sided this all is, but it's true, they did already get th'beacon."

When they refuse, Maia nods, listening to Ygraine's advice, watching as the Raptor powers up and takes off. Either it's a military salute or a one fingered salute, she doesn't particularly care at the moment what was offered. "Colonial Raptor three two five. Louis. Please identify yourself."

Seconds pass. Ten. Fifteen. The Raptor doesn't return and more do not appear. Just when it seem like they might have been snookered, the radio crackles again: "Three Two Five, this is the fleet corvette Morrisettii." One of the black operations ships the Navy has for things that they don't need the press or an enemy finding out about. Stealth, top to bottom. "Standby for Morrisettii Actual." A pause for several seconds longer and a woman's voice comes across the radio. "Three Two Five, this is Actual. Confirm you are a nomad?" To anyone listening, given the circumstances, its a pretty innocuous question.

The silence draws out long and loud and Maia thinks they have missed their chance or the other ship was waiting on reinforcements. Listening for the beeps on the DRADIS in case it was the latter, it makes the few seconds seem like minutes. Looong minutes. Finally when the radio crackles she ceases breathing to catch every word. Hearing the woman's voice, she looks back at Ygraine. "You got this?"

With a sudden grin, albeit still thinking cautiously, Ygraine gives Maia a little nod, and then takes over the comm. "Morrisettii Actual, this is Raptor Three Two Five. We are the head of the arrow. Repeat, we are the head of the arrow."

The radio crackles back after Ygraine's reply. "Copy, three-two-five. Want to come on up for a drink?" the voice asks, a grin evident. Some claps and subtle celebration can be heard in the background of the broadcast.

Maia remains silent while Ygraine takes over radio control, hearing the reply, she grins but remains silent even when the reply comes back. Reminding herself to breathe, she looks back at Yggy. "Nice, 'Shakes, Nice."
You paged Ygraine with 'nooo not letting you outta my sight.'
Long distance to Ygraine: Maia grins

Ygraine lets out a laugh. "As much as we'd like to, we gotta report back, Morrisettii Actual. But when we meet up at rendezvouz, you save some of the good stuff for Milkshake and Toybox, you copy?"

The woman's voice comes back as clear as ever. They're probably close. "Sad to hear, three two five. You all run on home. We'll be there at the location with a lot of friends. Take a look on out at your one o'clock, very high. We're just outside the field. Glad to get a response. We'll see you in a few days. Actual, out." There's a lot more voices, some pretty excited in the background. But if they peek out and up from the Raptor, there's a shape up there blocking out a few stars as it passes by, invisible otherwise with the coloring. The running lights flip on for five seconds then shut off. She's not huge, but the ship is slightly smaller than a flak frigate.

The definite feeling inside the Raptor of their own is relief, at least as far as Maia is concerned. Still, she leaves the radio up to Ygraine as she grins at the ECO. "Did you even imagine?" Leaning forward, she looks out and sees the flash of the lights. A fist pump and she calls back. "Let's get home." And yeah.. that flight recorder was going full force. They'd have plenty to bring back.

"See you soon, Morrisettii. Raptor Three Two Five out." She spools up the jump drive with a beaming smile. "Man. We gotta get ourselves into debrief with Petra ASAP." she says in delight to her pilot. "It's gonna be hard not to just ask for him to come onto comm and tell him right off the bat!" And then they blink out in three…two…one.

So its not really Petra's Watch shift - Abbenshire is on duty and occassionally cutting in on the wireless when one of the fleet needs the Orion for something, but when Maia and Ygraine pop back into Piraeus space, there's about 2 seconds - enough time for Petra to probably lift a finger to Abbenshire to stop her and the Comms Operator from logging the arrival, then his voice cutting in as Tactical to make sure they are intact and aren't bringing home guests. The rest, apparently can wait.
Sort of. He's probably been watching the clock from the moment they were given clearance to land - by the time they make it to CIC, one hand is on the map table in the center of the room, fingertips tapping on the edge in nervous tic fashion. Does the TACCO drink entirely too much coffee on days like today? Hell yes he does.

And they return back successful! Home again, home again. Maia does her post flight check on the Raptor after tugging off her helmet and letting all that blonde hair spill free. "Woo!" Yeah, celebrating already. Unfastening the top of her flight suit, she pulls her arms out of the sleeves and ties them around her waist, just wearing a white tank underneath. "Milkshake.. you're amazing as always." Making her way with Ygraine to the CIC for the debriefing, there's a spring in her step. "Reporting good news is always the fun part."

"We are amazing." Ygraine stresses with a beaming smile, and after summarily celebrating and getting themselves sorted in the hanger, she notes, "Let's go report t'Petra. I bet he's chewin' on his nails."

Laughter follows and for once, Maia agrees. "Amazing." Tossing a wink in there with the word. "Yeah I'm kinda surprised he wasn't right there waiting as soon as we landed." Her words are followed by more laughter. "What was that victory dance I saw the first time we flew together?"

Ygraine snickers as they walk, and once she's also out of the top part of her flight suit, does her little hip sway, complete with "Unf, unf, unf." for emphasis. It would be an excellent time for Petra to turn the corner.

Maia lifts her arms and celebrates with her sound effects, that hip sway she learned while learning to belly dance. Or something. Team Blonde create their own party.

Yeah, not exactly the image Petra really expected to catch when his overly impatient self happens to be waiting OUTSIDE the CIC hatch for Team Blonde (well, it isn't his Watch shift!). So he catches sight of the two, takes a step forward, catches a better look at exactly what they are doing, then reconsiders. Closing his eyes for a moment, he tries to stifle a small smirk, sighs, then reopes his eyes. Composure! Dont smirk at the pilots! Clearing his throat as he starts towards them, he lifts his voice, "Lieutenants…welcome back home. Considering you dont seem to have any new data ports on you and you both seem to be in…a good mood, I'll assume things did not go horribly wrong?"

Ygraine flashes Petra an utterly unapologetic grin. "Sir, we are pleased to report that we made successful contact with the battle corvette Morrisettii." she announces. "They'll be meeting us at the rendez-vouz point at the appointed hour per the beacon message."

Catching sight of Petra only when he speaks to them, Maia offers a wink and holds out both her arms. Palms up. No Dataports there! "No dataports on me!" Those words are accompanied by a flash of a grin. As Ygraine relays the stats of the mission, she leans against the bulkhead, giving an encouraging smile to her counterpart.

Petra seems to relax a little when the two convey the news, "Morrisettii. Crap, I think I remember that name from a gigantic list in one of the rosters I read because I was bored at Anchorage year before last. Now I'm gonna have to go look them up again. So they confirmed they'd be at the coords then…did you destroy the pod then, or is it still out there ticking away? Wont matter much either way - not like we are ever going to be there again after the one meeting. Good. Good, good, good. Did they give you any information at all? Is it just them? Any idea who's in command?"

"All the pods were destroyed, sir. We saw them do it." Ygraine supplies. "We're both so glad ya can give the Old Man good news, sir. Also, the commander of the Morrisettii owes me an' Toybox a drink." Cheeky grin.

Petra chuckles softly, "If they've been stuck out there since War Day? I have a feeling Charlie's is about to have a serious run of business. Both Blackjack's group and now this team? Excellent. Careful now…if Jameson actually smiles, the world might actually come to an end. alright…get me a copy as soon as you get ir written up, and your first round at Charlie's is on me, since I think you two are still off CAP duty for another couple of days?"

With a nod of her head, Maia agrees with the consensus that Ygraine reports back. "I'm not sure, Sir, but the celebrations in the background when they found out we were friendlies was sure nice to hear." She falls silent when Petra begins talking again just offering a nod to him now.

Ygraine lets out a little laugh. "I still have my coin sir, but I won't say no. Did you want further details sir, or do ya just wanna wait for th'AAR?"

Petra shakes his head, "Anything you have. Dont get me wrong, I want the AAR, but if there's more, by all means!" Its really about now that it finally registers they are all still standing around the corridor, and he half turns to reach out for the hatch for the Ward Room, "Before we start attracting a crowd and block the corridor off…"

"I don't really have more, the pods were destroyed, we made contact, the meeting place is set. I'd like to go on that one if it's allowed but otherwise, I'm good to go whenever." Maia says with a grin.

"What she said." Ygraine echoes as she walks along. "The person we wound up speaking to was a female voice, if it makes a difference."

Petra stops when they mention that was pretty much it, though he reaches out to lean on a chair, "I suspect we'll fly out to meet them in a Raptor and land so we can relay the jump coordinates in person, and bring them back here. That way we can make sure noone's tagging along with the trip. We'll have to have them in quarantine for a while until Medical can check them over, but that shouldnt take too long and I'm sure they wont mind a couple days of downtime after what they've just been through. Did everything sound on the up and up to you two? Nothing that set your red flags off?"

"I'll fly it." Maia says about the Raptor, looking to Yggy to see if she was up for ECO on it. Always Team Blonde. "Sounded good to me, like I said, Sir, the celebration in the background sure sounded genuine. Not with malicious intent. I look forward to bringing them home."

"I'd be game, and besides they recognize our voices." says Ygraine. "It was initially a little touch and go…and we won't know much more until we see their wrists." She sighs at that.

Petra chews on his lower lip and nods as he eyes both women, "Good. Its about damned time we had some good news around here. Then when the time comes, we can fly out to meet them, check the command staff out, and retrieve them. Spree is going to come unglued when I finally tell her we have a legitimate shot at retaking Picon now. I hope you're both up for the 24/7 dogfight this is going to lead up to…at some point, we're going to jump in to Picon space, and not plan on leaving for a while." He lets that linger for a moment, then nods, "Good work, you two. Unless you have anything else you want to add, dismissed. As far as I'm concerned at this point, this mission is not classified any longer. I know Major Straton originally classified it as, but we're beyond that now, so if you have people you've been biting your tongue off trying not to tell…THIS kind of rumor, I wouldn't mind spreading around the ship."

Ygraine grins broadly. "I'm good to go, sir. Thank you for giving us this mission. The pay off was so worth it." She rises to her feet, and takes the dismissal, heading out.

"Sure thing, I'll be ready for the constant dogfight. Thanks." And with nothing else to add, she's dismissed, Maia offers a salute and a beaming smile, before bowing out with Ygraine.

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