AWD #141: Dancing with Sabers - Vipers
Dancing with Sabers - Vipers
Summary: An Orion Raptor and a pair of Vipers undertake a mission to Picon to play a deadly game of tag with Sabers. Viper portion of the show here.
Date: 27/05/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Dancing with Sabers - Raptor
Agrippa Phin Dropkickst 
Wartorn Picon
Unfriendly skies.
AWD #141

In order to maintain surprise, the Vipers and their pilots spent the night at a 'forward' 'base' about two hundred miles from Marlin City, which is near the saber site. It had all the trappings of a modern base, too. Collapsed roof, a bathtub with pumped water out back, an outhouse, crosses in the ground where the house's former occupants were buried. The place was originally a brick rambler built about forty years ago and had been turned over to a naval fighter base…. which means that people used the family room as a barracks for sleeping room only and the barn held the whole wing: five Vipers.

After take-off at dawn, immediately after the terrible coffee, the pair of Viper pilots are up and off heading towards their target zone. With the sun at their backs on this cool desert morning, the cactus blast by at nearly three hundred knots a couple hundred feet below them.

"Ram Six, Anvil. You all airborne yet?" Its Commander Spree. They're talking to Actual.

Phin slept little in the farmhouse turned 'base.' Part a mix of being pumped and nerved for the mission, and probably in part the atmosphere of the place itself. Makes the battlestar look downright cheery. He's alert enough as he swallows his coffee and loads up, though. And now he flies with Agrippa, eyes following the horizon. And occasionally ticking down to the maenad bobble-head doll he's mounted above his controls for the occasion. A good luck charm, or something. He smiles some as he turns his Viper, just a tick, to catch the wind currents they get to play in while in atmosphere.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Anvil, this is Dolly. We are up and en route."

his is the first time that Agrippa was happy to be out of bed and flying an early mission in his Viper instead of desiring the luxury of sleeping in late. The coffee was just as bad as the sleeping arrangements, tasting like mop water and some sort of paint cleaner. It did help him wake up a bit more though, his eyes looking out over the horizon of the planet until the call comes in through the comm. Punchdrunk remains quiet, letting Phin answer first since his wingman is of higher rank.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Avil, Punchdrunk. Flying and all lights green, ready to rock."

[TAC1] Anvil Actual: "Copy Flight. Alright, here's your options listing: You've got Forge sites out beyond the towers up ahead of you but we're not positive on exact positions. A Viper we had in the area last night was jumped by a few Raiders not too far from there. Intel also reports several columns of wheeled vehicles we believe are transporting Centurions over land towards Crandall. There is also a Heavy Raider refueling site in the area." The voice is static-y and a good ways away. "What's your preference, over?"

As the Vipers speed along, the terrain up ahead is looking more rough. Towering buttes rise up out of the land hundreds of feet in the air making for some interesting places to hide. A little farther north are the canyonlands with deep ravines that also make for good places to hide. Ahead of them, according to the underpowered sensors they have, arethe distant contacts of active Forge sites and the ever-present electronic 'tick' of the saber site far to the north. Everything is still out of range for now, probably.

It probably hasn't entirely sunk in for Phin that he's lead of this thing, at least where Agrippa's concerned. It still takes time for him to remember he's not a Rook anymore most days. He listens to the options for what awaits them over the wireless, eyes flicking from the horizon to his instruments. The tick has an ominous ring to it.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Copy that, Anvil Actual. Punch, Dolly. Recommendations? Sounds like we've got nothing but fun to pick from."

As the terrain begins to change in front of them while they are blasting by at speed, Agrippa grows more serious and alert as they are now fully entering hostile territory. His eyes are still glued to the outside of his cockpit while his ears listens in on the tactical channel with ANVIL giving them options. When the electronic tick begins, Punchdrunk knows that it is the real deal now.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Dolly, Punchie. Sounds like either the transportation vehicles or refueling site will attract the most attention, the latter might have a fat present waiting for us too."

[TAC1] Anvil Actual: "Copy flight. The refueling site is going to be twenty miles west of the center of the towers ahead of you. The vehicles will be in an area, we believe, along Highway One Sixty. It's a long road to patrol and you'll need to be as low as possible for it. If you want steering, for the other targets, let us know. We'll keep you appraised if we pick up any Raiders. Be advised that at this range we may not be able to warn you in time so keep your eyeballs up. Anvil, out."

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. It's like Saturnalia down there, far as presents for us go. But yeah, refueling base it'd probably have the most, and we're not packing bombs or any heavy ordnance. Let's say we take a look at those vehicles. Copy that, Anvil. Flight, course to Highway One Sixty. Watch it when you get low."

Phin adjusts his own course to that, of course.

Once Phin makes the final decision, Agrippa banks his Viper in the same direction as they make the course correction.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Copy that Dolly."

<FS3> Agrippa rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Alertness: Success.

Dropping down to low altitude is serious business. Once out of the buttes, the land flattens out except for the gentle roll of the desert floor. This area was likely once a sea bed in the far distant history of Picon. As they scream by in their Vipers, scorpians and snakes flee in their wake. A lone highway is spotted in the right area. Its the only thing out here and is a four-lane highway. Destroyed vehicles can be seen randomly strewn about like toy cars that a giant child had discarded in a tantrum. Some have bleached bones laying beside or inside them. Others are picked clean. Fewer are bent and twisted, looking as if they had been exploded from the inside. Its a graveyard out here.

Phin lets out a long, slow breath as they drop in altitude. Accompanied by a slight smile. He likes the feel of it, even as his brain's aware that it's not the safest way for a Viper to fly. He banks around as they fly in sight of the highway, so he can go along parallel with it.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. Sign down there says this is One-Sixty. Right road, at least."

<FS3> Phin rolls Piloting: Good Success.
<FS3> Kelsey rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Agrippa rolls Gunnery: Great Success.

As the land evens out, Agrippa's alertness heightens and his eyes are focused more on the surroundings. The highway is blatantly obvious in the open lands and he begins to follow Phin in his slow bank when he catches something in the corner of his eyes. There is a brief second of surprise before training immediately kicks in and he shouts a warning over the comms. As the warning is yelled out, Punchdrunk breaks his Viper towards the mobile gun platform and begins a strafing run, hoping to cover Phin if his wingman didn't go evasive in time.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Dolly, break right! Break right!"

Phin banks hard right on Agrippa's warning, making the sharp turn before he's even fully aware of why he's doing it. And then the tracers whip by him. Not hitting him, fortunately. He does another instrument and visual check, once they're past him.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. Thanks for the heads up. I'm good. They've got to know where we are now, though."

With the small mobile gun platform aiming at another target, Agrippa has a free shot so he is able to aim straight for the Cylon AA. Knowing that missing this could spell disaster for his wingman, Punchdrunk ensures that his targeting reticule hovers over the target before pressing the trigger stub. The triple autocannons of his Mark VII Viper spits out lethal projectiles, punching through the thin armor, catching the ammo and causing a quick explosion.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "No problem Dolly, threat is down. And you're probably right, we will have to move fast."

As the dust settles after the gun's pieces stop raining down out of the sky, the inky black smoke from it begins ascending into the air. Down on their sensors, about ten seconds later, the Saber system chirps again and is followed by a more ominous buzz right after. It knows they are there. Its trying to find them. They might very well be in range.

But there, in the distance, is a glint of sunlight on something on the road. A lot of something. Far to the west, is it just another destroyed car? A lot of destroyed cars? Or is it a convoy? It could be anything.

Phin tries to make the chirping a background noise in his mind. No point in dwelling on how close they are to the things. Eyes on the road. Squinting at the somethings now.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. You see that? Might be our convoy, but I can't quite tell at this range."

The chirp that turns into a buzz is a pretty scary warning, one that Agrippa knows that they are being scanned for, so out of reflex, he causes his Viper to drop another meter or two lower in altitude, not much but it does make him feel safer. The glints on the road is noted, his eyes trying to make out what it is.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Dolly, Punchie. I copy, should we set up a strafing run in case it's something?"

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. Yeah, let's do it. Weapons hot, but don't loose until we've got confirmation on what we're shooting at."

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Understood Dolly, following you in."

There's a flare from the engines of Phin's Viper as he veers about and heads toward the convoy of what might be enemy vehicles. Probably. Possibly. He readies his cannons and continues squinting down at that road.

Following Phin, Agrippa sets up so that he is a bit behind his wingman so that they don't accidentally collide when they strafe. It also helps cover Dolly's six just in case something else unexpected, eyes still scanning the horizon as they get closer to potential targets.

Cruising in, rooster tails kick up behind them from the intakes and engines. Dust, debris, and even human remains go airborne as the Vipers scream in. As they get closer, it becomes more obvious that is just the particular convoy they are looking for — and its huge. Maybe a dozen miles long, 18 wheelers are lined up both lanes of traffic on their side of the highway and traveling at an even 55 mph. There is no possible way that they'll have enough ammo to shoot up even one quarter of the convoy. Or even a fifth. They'd need a huge number of Predators or Raptors to take out the whole thing. Or artillery or something. But there it is, coming up, barely a mile ahead. Driving into the west, the pilots approach the group from the rear and nobody can see them coming in out of the rising sun.

Phin lets out a low whistle as they near the convoy. That is, indeed, what they were warned about. He hadn't imagined it being that big. He aims, getting on the wireless before firing.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. Cylon convoy confirmed. No way we can waste that whole thing by ourselves. Clock its position to report back to Anvil and let's hit what we can quick and dirty. Target first half of it, three shots, then wheel back around and get gone. Don't want to empty our ammo for the ride back home, they'll definitely know where we are after this."

As they get closer to the glints, it turns out to be the actual convoy but it is humongous, much bigger than Agrippa had anticipated. Bright side is that this is a target rich environment and the targets are not Raiders that can shoot back or chase them down. As he hears the orders over the comm system, Punchdrunk answers back before focusing on the strafing run.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Dolly, Punchie. Understood."

<FS3> Agrippa rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Agrippa rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Agrippa rolls Gunnery: Good Success.

<FS3> Phin rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Gunnery: Amazing Success.

For all that Vipers are normally meant to be tooled around in space, Phin's always had a higher comfort level with atmospheric flight. Improves his aim, apparently. His first two shots hit their mark well enough on the convoy as they strafe past it. Explosions happen. The last one, however, causes…a bigger explosion. And a chain reaction that's satisfying to watch. It must hit an engine direct, because a truck bursts into flames and goes veering to hit another in the convoy. Which hits another, causing a domino-like pile-up of vehicles.

Agrippa's strafing run is efficient and well aimed, nothing spectacular like his wingman's though. It does it job as the rapid firing triple autocannons churn out quite a bit of firepower, chewing up a row of Cylons. Some are shredded while vehicles explode but soon enough, feeling like it's too soon, Punchdrunk realizes that he fired off enough of his ammo before following Phin to loop around.

As the two Viepr race over the convoy, blasting it, there's something else the tries to come across the radio but just returns as static. It sounded like a voice, but if it was Anvil, they might be too low to hear. Before either of them can consider what it might have been, though, red tracers arc through the air around them and a couple skid across their wings. A quick check behind them and there are two Raiders and they are closing FAST. If the Vipers climb much higher than they are, the Saber will get a lock. Do they risk a dogfight that tries to stay below two hundred feet? Is anyone sane enough to try it? Or do they run? …Or does caution get thrown into the wind?

"Shit…!" Muttered from Phin as tracers whisk along his wing. As the Raiders appear he instinctively starts to pull up, but the chirp of that Saber on his instruments makes him stop. Somehow, the low altitude is less ominous than that thing. Not that hitting the ground would be any less painful than getting hit by Saber fire.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. We've got company. Focus fire on Raider at carom five-two-nine. And keep it low. Let's see if we can avoid that Saber lock."

The sudden tracer fire has Agrippa almost pulling up on of instincts as well but he quickly changes that into a quick barrel roll, fighting the urge to gain height when it comes to getting jumped. With the orders from his wingman coming in, training kicks in again before he could worry about the surprise attack too much. With a quick response back, Punchdrunk follows Phin, forming up properly like a wingman, not to the side but a bit behind him, making it hard for the Raider to shoot at Dolly.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Copy that Dolly, I got your wing, drawing fire."

<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Agrippa with KEW - Serious wound to Tail (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Agrippa with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Phin attacks Raider2 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Raider2 with KEW and MISSES!

<FS3> Agrippa rolls Piloting: Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Piloting: Good Success.

Phin swings (figuratively) and misses. He manages to keep himself a decent distance above the ground, at least, still kind of riding the gravity rather than letting it throw him off. A glance at his wing makes him wince, and he veers his flying to try and attract at least one of Agrippa's tails.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. You OK? That looked harsh. I'll try and shake them off you."

Getting his hard on his tail, it throws off Agrippa's aim and his burst of KEW goes wide against the Raider they are focusing on. This causes his Viper to grow sluggish, causing him to pull up hard to avoid crashing into the ground. Gritting his teeth, he sees that the hostiles have changed targets so he climbs back up after the Cylons, trying to get them off his wingman's back.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "I'm good, Dolly. Viper is sluggish but I'm still flying, going to try to get one off your six."

<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Phin with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Phin with KEW - Light wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Phin attacks Raider2 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Raider1 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Viper-8158g has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Phin has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-6483y has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider1 has been KO'd!

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

<FS3> Agrippa rolls Piloting: Good Success.
<FS3> Phin rolls Piloting: Good Success.

Phin is peppered with Raider fire, a hit to his right wing in particular throwing off his aerial equilibrium. It sends him spinning. An easy correction to make at normal dogfighting altitudes, but right now it takes him scary close to the desert. He manages to pull up before his nose can hit the dirt, getting back to a still-not-very-safe height with Agrippa.

Despite the sluggish controls, Agrippa manages to get a solid bead on one of the Raiders that are chasing his wingman and leading the Cylon with his targeting reticule, he pulls the trigger. A burst of KEW slashes through the Raider, causing it to dip towards the ground and before the Raider could recoer, it plows dirtside. Wasting no time, Agrippa chases after the remaining Cylon.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "I'm good! I'm good! I'm totally good!" That was a little high-pitched. Phin moderates his wireless update after a breath. "Punchie, Dolly. Took a hit but systems seem OK. Nice splash. One more to go."

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Scratch one Raider. Dolly, Punchie. You okay? One left, gonna try to blast it off of your tail."

<COMBAT> Raider2 tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Phin attacks Raider2 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Agrippa attacks Raider2 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider2 - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider2 - Serious wound to Neck.

<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!

<FS3> Agrippa rolls Piloting: Good Success.

Phin spends 1 luck points on Because I know I will totally biff it at the end.
<FS3> Phin rolls Piloting: Good Success.

Phin skims above the ground as Agrippa puts away the last Raider. He inches a bit higher as the thing crashes to the desert below, that chirp of the Saber on his instruments still buzzing in the back of his head.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. Nice shot. Anymore contacts? I'm showing clear of Raiders."

The second burst of fire from Agrippa is much more accurate as it skewers the Raider right through the cockpit section. It enters from the middle of the fuselage and then a few projectiles punches through the red visor, causing it to spiral to the ground in a trail of smoke. He then begins pulling up slightly, slowly gaining altitude.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Dolly, Punchie. I'm good, no contacts on DRADIS or visual. Do you remember where the buttes or canyonlands were? If we keep the SABER's focused on us, those Raptors can get closer."

Phin takes a deep breath, watching the maenad on his dash dip her head down as he climbs. Distracting the Sabers was why they came here, and he doesn't hesitate to work up toward it. It's not a comfortable direction to fly, though.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. Right. Let's do it. Gaining altitude. Evasive maneuvers. No reason to make it easy on them. And yeah. I remember those canyons. Wanna take in the vistas again?"

Passing three hundred feet, that slight chirp-then-buzz of the Saber vanishes. The warning receiver washes over and the yellow ^ symbol disappears. A half second letter, it reappears as a much larger red carot and the chip-buzz turns to a very angry warbling tone in their helmets. Both of them. It has a lock… In a few more seconds, if it hasn't already done so, its going to fire.

Climbing higher, Agrippa peaks that limit where the SABER is able to get a clear lock and soon enough, it does. Fighting all instincts and training, he continues to maintain the altitude instead of diving back down to shake the lock. Once the tone is approaching the point where the AA missile is fired, Punchdrunk kicks his Viper's afterburner on and begins angling towards the canyons.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Dolly, Punchie. Let's do it, if we can't shake the lock after it fires, we may be able to use the terrain to our advantage."

Phin shoots toward the canyonlands as well, painfully aware he's now flying at at a height where the Sabers can see him. And are, quite possibly, firing on him right now. Eyes straight ahead. His hands tighten on the controls, as if squeezing them will help him dance against missiles.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. Copy that. Good idea. Maybe we can use the rockfaces for cover. Not that we want to crater into them, either."

Up ahead the terrain starts getting more wavey and it rolls deeper. Some of the darker canyons contrast sharply against the tan color of the terrain, the deep shadows of the canyons at odds with the bright, rising sun. But meanwhile.. inside their cockpits, the sound suddenly changes again. The warbling vanishes. Its almost like a warning horn coming fro mthe worlds smallest speaker. There's no mistaking the hostility of the sound. Each Viper can see it. Missiles are away. At least one per Viper adn it may suddenly occur to them that they have no idea just how many have been fired.

As long as the warning horn alarm continues to sound, it means to Agrippa that missiles are in the air and at least one is on locked onto him. Fighting panick, the young pilot forces himself to focus on his training and flying ability. The canyons can be seen up ahead and with the missiles launched, now it's time to take the supersonic warheads for a ride. Agrippa sends his fighter into a dive, picking one of the openings and flies for it. He knows that it requires full focus and fast reactions to stay alive, but to fly up in the open is more or less death.

Not panicking is hard. Phin isn't entirely succeeding, but he's at least dumping his nerves into intense focus right now. Another deep breath, and maybe a prayer for good measure. He veers a touch behind Agrippa when the other pilot dives. Then he follows, into the canyons.

As soon as they dive into the canyons, the angry hornceases. However, there is the chirp-buzz. There are missiles still out there. The canyon winds in and around, roughly skirting east-west across the terrain with a lot of twists and turns. Flying cannot be done too fast. As the maneuver, looking up to the outside, two smoke trails suddenly streak across the sky above them and explode harmlessly into black puffs. One for each, the spears hitting nothing. Just as it seems safe, the pair of Viper turn along a rough north-south line within the canyon and the tone suddenly reappears. Its not the Saber. Its the missiles. There's more out there and one of them is headed for each.

Agrippa spends 1 luck points on Boosting my Piloting Roll so I don't die a horrible death..
<FS3> Agrippa rolls Piloting: Great Success.

Phin spends 1 luck points on I WILL SPEND ALL MY POITNS.
<FS3> Phin rolls Piloting: Good Success.

There was only a brief second where Agrippa relaxes when two missiles fly past overhead harmlessly following the explosion. However, when the missile tone comes right back, Punchdrunk takes the risk of goosing his thrusters, adding a little bit of speed as one of the missiles comes down after him. With the warhead on his tail, it's taken for a ride, Agrippa maneuvering his Viper as if he's been doing it for years. After flying over a rock formation, he quickly dips his Viper down behind, getting very close to the ground but it's enough for the missile to crash into the rock formation, shedding the tail. With no tones following the destruction of that missile, Agrippa begins to pull up and out of the canyon, looking for his wingman.

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Dolly, Punchie. You okay? Shook the missile off my tail."

Phin makes himself slow, hard as that is with missiles flying about the air, to avoid crashing into Agrippa and/or deadly rocks in the tight space of that canyon. He sees the black smoke, and can't suppress a "Woo!" Which he does, indeed, broadcast over the com system. Panic and adrenaline combine for a nice rush.

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Woo!"

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Uh, Punchie, Dolly. I'm good. Yeah. I think I shook mine, too."

[Into the Wireless] Agrippa says, "Copy that, Dolly, what's next?"

[Into the Wireless] Phin says, "Punchie, Dolly. Now we hope we did our job, I guess. Rest of this is up to the Raptors. Let's pack it in. We can give Anvil the specs on what's left of that convoy, at least. Maybe the pile-up was enough to keep it there for awhile."

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