WD Event: Into the Fire...
Into the Fire
Summary: Orion and her air wings engage the Cylons over the ruins of Caprica
Date: 05/01/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: All Warday logs
Dropkickst Aios Hektor-Ward Jason Duke Jess Ygraine Holtz Phin Ceres Cole Cassie Zander Gwen Keller Tiptoft Thaddeus Bennett 
Space over Caprica
05 January 2005

Sitting in the Viper tubes and on the flight deck, the entire Air Wing of the Battlestar Orion stands poised as it goes into the fifty-nineth minute. Nearly to the second, Jameson's voice comes back over the 1MC and into the pilot's helmets as well. "One minute to jump." The doors to the Viper tubes close and the elevators beneath the Raptors lock into place. Outside the flight deck, fore and aft, the Raptors can see the armor plating slide down to uncover the flak guns. And then there is that sickening feeling followed by a bright flash as the ship begins its series of jumps back to the colonies. One. A few minutes pass. Then another jump. A few more minutes and then there is another from Jameson. "This is our last hop and we will be jumping to just outside Caprican orbit. We have no time for speeches, gentlemen." Everyone is defaulted to male. "Trust your training and follow your orders. Give these motherfrakkers hell. The task force jumps in thirty seconds." It almost drags. "Jumping in five. Good Hunting, Orion." Then the final jump happens and Caprica's glow can be glimpsed against the hull beyond the flight deck. "All aircraft, scramble," is radio'd calmly by a female in CIC.

For minutes that seem like ages, the lights of Cere's helmet are like eerie pinpoints. Her ears are filled with the thud of her heart, the sound of her breath that echoes, reverbing back to her through her headset. Fingers flex, she shifts in her seat as she looks down and checks her straps again and then goes over her weapons until she feels the shift and they arrive. Jameson's voice signals the freel fall before the utter plunge and she knows there is more than just stars waiting for her now. Tubes open, giving her a distant view from her launch tube. A thumbs up is offered to the launch crew with her and a nod of her head. Palms start to sweat and that echoing breathy sound increases. She's instantly flattened back against her seat as she is propelled through the tube and out, her engines flaring as she takes over control and exits into space.

"If he's not giving a speech, I'll give one," Ward announces over his shoulder to Keller as he takes a deep breath and prepares for the final jump. He clears his throat, cracks his knuckles in front of him, and says: "Frak Cylons." That's speech enough, and when the last jump is finished he immediately sets about launching the bird, "Let's go."

Janitor, being one of the first (back) in the tubes, is also one of the first to be flung out by the giant magnetic slingshot of the tubes into the black of space. With all the wing basically scrambling, the flight space is going to get tight and so he pitches low and port to wait on his wingman.

Redeye's Viper is put into position and launched upon being given the command, the Viper then falling into position beside Redux's. "Flight, Redeye is clear and free." A glance to her controls is made before she looks to either side, making visual with the others. "Let's see what kind of mess those naught frat boys left for us to clean up."

Jess is one of the first back in the tubes, refueled and ready to head back out after their alert CAP(ish) rotation. She's tossed out into the black, tipping down and to port to catch up with her wingman before the pair of them clear the area immediately near the tubes so their squadmates can follow.

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Janitor, Nags. I've got your six, let's get out of the way."

"No bombs today. Looks like they're going to have to smell me." Keller's voice echoes in his helmet as he brings his console to bear inside the Raptor's cockpit, arcing his head to Ward. "Lookin' good." He takes a deep, sharp breath and exhales sharply. "Let's do this."

Canopy locked, launchtube ready. Duke looks at this LSO as they do the final checks, making sure that all the systems are showing green across the board. He takes a deep breath and shifts a little, or as much as he can given the sardine can like space. When the last jump is completed, he looks at the LSO again does a thumbs up. After that? The magnetic locks take the Viper down the rail at a very high speed. Light spots flash past him and as he gets closer, he gets a better view of what's out there. Finally, the Viper is out and Duke does a quick control test before pushing on his thrusters and lifting the nose to meet up with his Wingmate.

Holtz's foot is tapping anxiously against a thruster pedal as his ship is wheeled into one of the tubes. He jolts upright as the Viper is catapulted free of Orion's embrace. As soon as he clears the hanger pod, his fighter heels over and he goes into a holding pattern, waiting for the rest of the squad — and his wingman, in particular — to emerge.

Bennett closes her eyes as Orion begins its jump sequence. She's strangely calm throughout all this; none of the sense of unsettlement that tends to grip most crew in anticipation of a sublight traversal. Her lips move soundlessly, fingertips brushing the silver idol in her left ear. Then the final jump is completed, and her bus is rolled onto an elevator to haul it up to the flight deck. She swipes her knuckles across her eyes once, tugs her helmet back on, and closes a gloved hand over the flight yoke. Three, two, one, go time. Her raptor's engines come to life with a boisterous roar and she gently peels the bus off the deck and into the black of space.

Phin is out with the earlier few Vipers strictly by virtue of having been on the initial Alert CAP. It is probably not making the deck crew terribly confident that an ensign who's never flown a real combat mission before might clog up the works. Fortunately, he doesn't immediately crash. So there is that. Dolly's loosed into space, and gets into flight formation without too much obvious awkwardness. He forms up with Holtz, on the older pilot's 4 o'clock.

Tiptoft doesn't have any words for the assembled pilots — or even his crew chief, to whom he flashes only a jerky thumbs-up once pre-flight is complete. Muttering a prayer to Hermes under his breath, he ignites his Viper's engines and leans hard on the throttle. His bird goes from zero to sixty in less than five seconds, screeching down the lane before banking hard to port to form up with his assigned wing.

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "Copy that, Nags. Same game, different day. We'll play leap frog with these sons of bitches, when it gets hot, throttle ahead full open and clean up the pieces behind you."

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Dolly, Storm. I see you. Bring it in, and keep your head on a swivel, yeah?"

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Raptors, let's give our big guns lots of breathing space here. Fall back on me and keep your sensors rolling."

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Storm, Dolly. Will do, El-Tee."

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "You got it, Janitor. I'm planning to make all sorts of trash out here."

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, Redux, got your back."

As the Wing pours out of the Orion, the colonies of Caprica and Gemenon, in their rotating orbit, are plainly visible past the destroyed hulks of several battlestars and their accompanying task forces. Closest is Caprica, its blue oceans and lush green land masses only marred some yellow-orange nuclear clouds still floating away from a dozen of the smaller cities. Most of the large ones look untouched. However, Gemenon, is another matter. Farther off, its harder to make out any details — partially there is a thick pall of black clouds spreading away from most of the major cities and even the smaller ones. But the flashes continue, every few minutes a nuclear weapon is detonating on the surface and adding to the massively radioactive atmosphere.

But even as it all settles in, their target is a huge basestar not far off. It slowly begins an angled movement towards the battlegroup while a squadron of raiders turns on the Orion's Air Wing from nearby. But its neither the Raiders nor the Vipers that fire first. The range is too great and dodging out of the way would be too easy. No, the first shot comes in the form of a flash from the top of the Orion. Then another. And in a quick volley, every single gun atop the ship's spine begins firing. Only moments later, the rest of the heavy combatants join in. Firing all at once, the guns of the Kings Bay, Cygnes, Seradontis, Maerenz, and Offut sling explosive, armor-piercing shells towards the basestar, half a dozen rounds from each gun outbound before they are even halfway to their target. The basestar fires off its own volley of eight missiles towards the battlegroup.

Listening to what's being said now, and the last few jumps, Jason glances back over his shoulder. "Here it goes…" he offers to Zander, before focusing back to the front, and getting the Raptor into the air and out there where it's supposed to be. Pausing for a few moments as he sees how the colonies are faring there. "Frak… This looks bad…" he mutters.

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Holy shit. Not even Gemenon deserves this."

[TAC1] "Stand-up" Jason says, "Butch, Stand-up. Falling back as instructed."

Bennett whistles lowly when she espies the massive hulk of the basestar off to their port side, even now coming about to fire upon Orion. She doesn't waste any time rubbernecking at the carnage going on planetside; there isn't time, and it isn't going to do her piloting any favours. "Milkshake, can you get a lock on one of those missiles?" she shoots over her shoulder to her backseater. "Fry the circuitry without causing our vipers any trouble?"

Cassie sucks in a hiss of air between clenched teeth upon seeing the ruined planets and the utter distruction that now litters space, her eyes gone wide. This is unlike anything she ever expected. The shock is quickly shaken off, however. No time for freaking out.
[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. Let's form up, see if we can cause some trouble for these frakkers. Let's do this."

"There's something you don't see every day," Ward mutters as the vessels launch a broadside at the basestar, face lit up by the flashes that fill up the entire canopy of the raptor, "Okay, Sandwich. Get ready to do that voodoo that you do so well. They're shooting at us." He focuses on getting the craft into a good position away from the incoming projectiles.

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Raptors, we've got incoming. Let's give Orion a hand, and see if we can scramble any of them."

"Gods." Ygraine says under her breath, eyes big as saucers. Despite this, her fingers are flying over her console as she adds, "Working on it, sir." Compartmentalization, thy name is Ygraine.

"Understatement of a lifetime." is what comes from the mouth of Zander, as he's in the back. He doesn't even look in Jason's direction at the moment of conversation as his hands are moving ever so quickly across his own console, prepping and getting things ready for scanning and whatever else needs to be done. There's something awkward in his eyes. But there's no time for that right now. Must stay focused. Very focused.

"Please tell me we're tripping balls, here. That I can handle. I've got contacts all over the /board/. It looks like they're straight-up bombarding Gemenon but I can't even /tell/ what happened to friendlies. This debris is going to make this — " Suddenly, Keller's tirade trails off. "Seeing what I can do with the console here. Maybe we can use some of that debris for cover. Poor bastards…What ship is that?"

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Bumper, Thumper, I — " Beat. "Shit, sir. Even you gotta admit, that sounds kinda dumb. Forming up.""

"Frak…." mutters the DCAG inside the cockpit as he sees the destruction that has already taken place. He opens his com to address his wingmate and afterwards, he just readjusts and sets in formation, getting ready to go hunting. As the Orion guns start blazing, he cannot help but to look at Caprica, and all those clouds where the bombs hit. The man shakes his head, getting his head in the task in front of them and gets his finger on the gun lock.

[TAC1] "Sandwich" Keller says, "This is Sandwich. Got it. See what we can do. Got an idea, maybe we can utilize some of that debris to manipulate the signal?"

Angling in close to her wingmate, Redux sucks in a breath but remains quiet on coms. She hears the call for scramling amongst the Raptors nad moves in position with Redeye to give protection should they need some cover. Moving in amongst the debris as she can, she glances over to her wingmate from her cockpit and nods her head.

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "You mean bounce it around, confuse the targeting sensors? Brilliant idea, Sandwich, give it a try."

A chill runs down Holtz's spine as he catches a glimpse of the basestar. The lines of Cylon ships have obviously changed in the last forty years, if the stacked-spindle configuration of the basestar is any indication, but even so, the craft's origin is unmistakable. Holtz's lip curls as his Viper twitches in formation with the rest. He shivers again as he turns his gaze to the surface of the planet, where the effect of the Cylon bombardment can already begin to be seen.

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Dolly, Storm. Fangs out. Time to pop that cherry of yours."

"You're not going to drown…superstitious bullshit…keep it frakking together…" Phin mutters to himself. Off comms, thankfully. He dumps all his focus into flying, trying to avoid looking too hard at the smoking colonies before them.

Tiptoft's Viper slots into formation, but not before almost colliding with another Viper just exiting Orion's tubes. Despite Thumper's bravado, it seems clear he's suffering from a case of nerves. The moment he clicks off his com, he taps his chest with two fingers on his left hand, pressing hard against the fabric of his flight suit until he feels his medallion's reassuring presence beneath it.

Jason nods a bit as he listens, both to Zander's reply and the words over the comms. "Scramble-time," he offers, before he moves the craft to get into a good enough position for this now.
[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Storm, Dolly. Copy. Weapons hot. Show me how it's done, sir."

[TAC1] "Redeye" Cassie says, "Redux, Redeye. I'm going to stay as close to your six as I can but all this debris might make it hard."

[TAC1] "Dropout" Ward says, "Dropout. Bringing us in close enough for Sandwich to work his magic."

Bennett flexes her fingers beneath her gloves, rolls out her shoulders slightly, then grips the stick again after a steady exhale. Her hands are sweaty, but there's nothing for it at the moment but to deal. She maintains a conservative, defensive position behind the fleeter-footed vipers and near the tip of the support craft spread.

"I think that's the S.S. Frakked To Death," Ward calls back to Keller, muting the wireless for a minute, "Okay, here we go." He dips the nose of the Raptor, kicks the engines on and darts towards the fray to give Sandwich a chance to try his idea.

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, Redux, copy that. Just dodge whats in front, nothing to do for it."

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Copy, Dropout. We've got your six."

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Bumper, Thumper — we going tight here? Loose? Some sorta wiggle-waggle thing?"

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. Let's keep a close formation, if we see big chunks of crap, we'll dodge them together."

There's silence from Redux's wingman who has to focus on flying. Thankfully what she does bump into is small bits of litter and does no damage to Cassie's Viper but she still winces and grits her teeth every time something bounces off of the fighter's hull.

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Wilco, sir. Glued to your ass."

As the range between the raiders close, the Wing leaves the flight envelope of the battlegroup and then the full might of the battlegroup's defenses comes on. The flak guns open up on each ship and its like watching a thousand orange golfballs spit from each gun every minute. They fire off towards the incoming missiles and at predetermined distance of travel, they explode. Red-orange explosions burst across the starscape as flak fragments throw out a wall of lead towards the incoming missiles. The missiles blast into the layer and only one manages to make it through to the other side. It streaks towards the Maerenz. Meanwhile the Colonial's rounds are finding their range. Across the board, every round fired from the first salvo streaks past the basestar, but the second set of incoming rounds are a little more accurate. Three rounds slam into one of the spans and blow the tip clean off, the severed end floating away in a lazy roll towards Caprica. By the time the fourth salvo is arriving on target, the Colonial rounds are crashing into the whole structure and its already coming apart on its own. Only a scant few of the enemy Raiders have managed to escape as the spans begin exploding on their own accord.

Slash one basestar. The Raiders retaliate and their guns belch flame, tracers whipping across the stars towards the Vipers. Fight's On.

[TAC1] "Sandwich" Keller hesitates as he responds. "This is Sandwich. Trying, boss. There's a lot of signal here to get lost."

"What in the bloody name of all that is unholy /are/ these things?" Keller's outburst comes suddenly. "They don't even move like planes. More like bugs. Big ones." He inputs a series of signal commands into the DRADIS console furiously.

The enemy craft flying towards them has Cassie cringing, this definitely more than what she signed up for several years ago. She banks slightly to move herself into position while also keeping with her lead, not wanting to risk moving too far to one side or another and possibly leaving Redux's ass uncovered.

As the Raiders close in, they take their targets and one is Redeye. Swinging her bird around, Ceres comes in from the side, meaning to offer fire along its broadside, aiming for the cockpit as she sings out to her mate.

The flying wing Raider designs Holtz remembers from the old vids have been replaced with a sleeker crescent-like design, much more imposing than the old Raiders — if that is indeed what these new and unfamiliar(but clearly malevolent) craft are. They seem quicker on their feet as well, almost twitchy, even. Holtz narrows his eyes and angles off, choosing one of the Raiders as his first target.

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, Redux, I got you covered, just keep him coming."

Tiptoft flinches back in his harness despite himself, eyes blinking shut to screen out the light from the exploding Cylon ship. His Viper jerks upwards — and then zooms downwards, as only by the barest of seconds does he avoid a piece of spinning debris. He recovers only to see his wingman swarmed by two shiny — things. So of course he charges between them with abandon, all guns blazing, and never mind his sweating palms.

[TAC1] "Redeye" Cassie says, "Copy, Redux. Going to try and get… whatever the frak that is… to come apart at the seams."

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Dolly, Storm. We'll take the trailing Raider. Let's keep those miserable fraks away from the Raptors. Follow my lead."

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Storm, Dolly. I think I've got…no, I've got him. I'm with you."

Cole isn't concerned so much with what they are fighting but rather that they are fighting at all. That's all he needs to concentrate on. As a silver crescent tries to face off with him in a stellar game of chicken, he comments over the comms to his wingmate.

[TAC1] "Milkshake" Ygraine says, "Dolly, Milkshake. Tight like the time you tried to milk the cow. You got this."

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "Nags, Janitor. Showtime, you Rat Bastard."

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Bumper, Thumper." Leo's rumbling bass is tense and shaky. "Don't know what the frak those things are but they're all up on you."

With the large scramble of Cylon Raiders, it is not uncommon to see the fight split into smaller groups. Still, it goes without saying that there are targets for everyone to play with and now, a few Cylon Raiders are heading towards a smaller group of Vipers and Raptors. The Raiders of course look different from what the Colonials are normally used to, but they are just (if not more) as aggressive as the old models. They have a visor-like area in the front of what would normally be the cockpit and a red light flashes from one side to the other. And they don't wait for invitation, they open fire and with lust for murder. One Cylon Raider heads for Thadd's Raptor, already opening fire. Two of his buddies sniffed out the DCAG and are now trying to Double-Team Duke.

"Robots," Ward answers simply, keeping his eyes on the 'road' and piloting the Raptor towards the incoming raiders but off to the flank. Not getting in the muck, just close enough to help Keller make life difficult for the Cylons, "Robots are frakkin' odd. Close enough yet?"

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. You know, someday I'll understand why crap like this happens. Not today tho, I'm going to shake my ass, see if you can take one of them out, I'll provide cover fire but not sure how my aim is going to work."

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Janitor, Nags. You're the rat bastard, you rat bastard. Also we've got one incoming on your eleven o'clock. Engaging."

Bennett maintains her position near the rear of the flight group, her raptor lumbering in like the massive bus it is. Their twin antennae wink on and off steadily with their countermeasures systems on standby, and the pilot alternates between watching DRADIS and the debris field out ahead of them.

And after talking with his wingman, Duke does adopt a more evasive stance and starts shaking his ass to try and escape from the incoming fire. Damn, these frakkers are really out to get him on this run…hopefully they'll get bored at some point and decide to go away, do something else, chase Rainbows…who the frak cares.

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "On it, boss. Weapons hot, say again, weapons hot."

[TAC1] "Sandwich" Keller draws in a sharp breath. "This is Sandwich. We're in range. Welp, here goes nothing. Now's a time for big stupid heroes, everyone."

Phin flies in formation with Holtz to shoot a Raider.

Moving the Raptor to get it in the right place for it's work now, Jason keeps most of his attention on the outside for now. There's a brief grin as he speaks to the ECO now. "Okay, Buttons. Time for you to do your magic now."

"Dub, Fatso. Laying suppression on hostile zed-one-two-seven. We are being engaged. Repeat, we are being engaged. Watch the four." Gwen's clipped and precise accent sounds more like voice replication software than anything human. Her hands move over the instruments, face lit eerily by the displays.

"I've played this level a thousand times. I got this." Zander has already taken a moment to flip this switch here and that switch there, focusing his eyes on his monitors and console. "If we survive this, remind me to get your autograph, yeah?" is muttered off towards Jason. He's not worried. Nope. He's just making sure to talk to keep himself from flipping out while DRADISing all up in this.

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Dolly, bracket, high-low… now!"

As he barks over the coms, Holtz suddenly pulls his Viper into a steep climb. The inertia pushes him back into his seat, and gets even worse when he reverses his angle abruptly and pitches over into a sharp turn. He grimaces; he'd almost forgotten what that level of g-force felt like. Nevertheless, he's able to carry the maneuver through, and when he pulls out of his snap turn, the Raider sits obligingly in his sights. Holtz looses a stream of KEW fire at the target; an ugly smile splits his face as the rounds stitch across the Raider's wing… and blow it to bits.

There's an exhalation over the coms, but Gwen's voice is as precisely modulated as ever. "Beautiful, Storm." A pause. "Suppressing zed-one-eleven. How are we, Dub?"

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz lets loose a primal shout of triumph over the coms. "Splash one toaster!"

Tiptoft's KEW fire bounces harmlessly off the Cylon's thick metal plating, and for a moment he's stricken by the irrational fear that these terrifying things are in fact invulnerable. Until, of course, he finds himself flying through burning silver wreckage. Heartened, he pushes his Viper into a steep dive, firing all the while.

[TAC1] There's a lot of cussing by Redeye who misses as well as gets hit, the attack from the Raider jostling the pilot in her seat even though she's strapped in. "Fraking… what the hell! Redux, did you catch that shit? What the frak!?" There is no time to seethe as she has to get into position again, picking the same target as before. "Let's spash this mother frakker."

"Close /ENOUGH/ apparently!" Keller's exclamation comes back towards Ward. "Well, we know they can blow up. So why is all this debris Colonial?" He slams some coordinates into the controls. "Keep her steady, man."

Ygraine lets out a soft hiss off "Yes…" as one of the raiders goes boom. "Switching targets; suppressing six four nine seven. Looks like it's targeting Dolly."

Phin stays with Holtz, his flying staying reasonably in the zone, whatever is actually bouncing around in the ensign's brain. His shot goes wide, but his wingmate blows the target to bits anyway. So it works out. He regroups to stick on the older pilot's starboard side.

"Frak hell!" Debris gets in Redux's way and having to jerk away, her shot is not recovered. She growls below her breath and as her mate calls to her, she swings around to stay with the silver bird, narrowing her eyes. "Frakker."

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, I saw, coming back around, shake him free, use the debris."

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Milkshake, Dolly. Heh. Copy. Right on. Storm, sweet shooting. Coming about. I've got one on my ass. I'll try and shake him."

Duke manages to dodge the incoming fire, which is at least, a good thing. His targeting solution gives a good result and he hits one of the Cylon Raiders. Definitely not enough to do considerable damage but enough to at least cause some trouble. Yep, time to keep working.

[TAC1] "Sandwich" Keller says, "This is Sandwich. That was gratifying. Nice shot."

Jess speeds out ahead of her wingman, sending a blast of KEW fire at the incoming craft. It leaves a trail across the silvery body of the raider before she spins out of the way of return fire, looping back around to take up her post just off Cole's wing.

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Janitor, Nags. Nice shooting, Ari. Splash one piece of garbage."

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. Alright, alright, good job…let's keep blasting these guys up."

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Hot shit, Storm. Boom boom boom."

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Janitor, Nags again. Saw you got clipped there, everything green?"

As the Raiders and Vipers mix it up, the Raptors pounding the enemies with electronic noise, there comes another call from Orion: "All aircraft, all aircraft: New contact, enemy basestar emerging from behind Gemenon. Multiple squadrons inbound." And lo, to look towards Gemenon is just that target. The guns of the whole fleet turn as one on the nemesis, the one who was raining nuclear hell onto the colony central to so many people's faiths. The guns begin firing right away and the rounds sail off across thousands of miles with little chance of hitting just yet. But the Raiders are already descending upon the Orion's Wing. More and more of them. Squadrons and squadrons of Vipers and Raptors roll in across even more of the armored dogs of the Cylon.

[TAC1] "Milkshake" Ygraine says, "Dolly, Milkshake. We're holding him under the water, you do the pantsing. Watch yourself, he's flashing you."

Bennett feeds her bus a little gulp of tylium as she brings them within jamming range of the raider field. Her raptor is banked heavily to starboard, exposing its underbelly bristling with chaff pods. "Good work, Milkshake," she murmurs into her helmet, voice muffled without the benefit of her radio. "Let's give six four niner some trouble."

Cassie guides her Viper back into position, leveling off her nose once she got a good bead on not only her target but on her ship's condition. "First time in combat and I'm already getting more holes in my fighter than a Caprican whore has in her frakking panties…." Drawing up short, she falls silent when Command calls over comms. Not. Good.

Bitching Betty takes no time at all in calmly alerting Cole that he has damage to the body of his Viper, but she gets ignored as he throttles hard into the oncoming roundsand barrells after Jess' bird in a lethal tag team. Sticking in hot, he waits until the last moment and rolls sharply after his own KEW is released in a quick fire spurt.

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Bet your ass, Thumper. Dolly, check — Oh, frak me."

"Maybe they got the jump on us," Ward says back to Keller, keeping the Raptor in a steady (if evasive) holding pattern near the combat, "I don't know. Right now I'm just interested in making more of them blow up. Keep it up, Sandwich."

"Shit on a flaming stick, look at them," mutters Thaddeus, even as he's pulling his and Gwen's Raptor into evasive maneuvers to /avoid/ looking headlong at any of the attacking ships. "Over here, frakkers, that's right. I talked shit about your mama." The abuse is ceaseless; he might not even realize he's saying it. Then, a little louder and clearer: "Keep it up, Fatso. Everything's green up here."

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "Flight, Janitor. Team Curbstomp: Splash One. I'm clipped, but capable Nags."

One of the fighting Vipers on the DRADIS readouts flickers. A violent, flashing burst catches the side of Talkshow's Viper and sends it sliding at an angle as if locked into place and skidding across a sheet of ice. With one of its wings blown off and a trail of quickly crystalizing oxygen marking its path, the pilot inside can be seen frantically trying to coax some life out of the vehicle as its wingtips begin to flicker, suffering mechanical and electrical failures.

"Flight, Talkshow." The voice crackles over the wireless. "I'm suffering severe damage to my port thrusters and electrical is failing. Avionics down. Life support critical. Raiders inbound. I'm a sitting duck here, over."

In the distance, the two Cylon Raiders that did the initial damage criss-cross their paths and bank back around. Like birds of prey, they bear down on Talkshow's wounded Viper, lining up the killshot. Talkshow, with a turn of his head, has front row seats to their approach. The two Raiders begin to fire.

"Oh hell…" He sighs over the line. "Ceres? I guess this is our goodb—"

The explosion forms at the rear of the vehicle as the primary tylium tanks erupt, sending a violent shockwave across the vehicle that tears it to shreds immediately. The concussive force alone assures that poor Talkshow never feels it, and the sudden, brutal rush of quickly dissipating gasses and exploding fuel rips both himself and the Viper to scraps.

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Talkshow, Butch, we're going to get a tow on you, just hold- no, no, no…"

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Daniel… DANIEL?!"

[TAC1] "Redeye" Cassie says, "Holy gods… what… frak!"

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Bumper, Thumper — OHHHH, SHIT, SPLASH ONE!"

Keller's eyes widen behind his helmet. He doesn't comment further, but were one watching, one could catch a glimpse of his eyes widening — and then narrowing as the reality of this war hits home. People. Die.

"Still with us back there?" Ward's hands fly across the controls as he keeps the Raptor steady, the sound of death over the channel only settling the grim determination on his face, "I'm taking us in for another pass, Sandwich. You've got this."

Tension rolls through Redux but she manages to help her wingmate and fight down the urge to turn and rush for Talkshow. As his com dies out, her voice lifts, a question before it becomes a ragged call of desperation. Her palms flex on her controls and she hears that echoing sound of her breath as her face flushes and she watches in the distance as the wreckage is undone, so easily. Just that easy. "FRAKKERS! DAMN PIECES OF SCRAP METAL!" Its enough to let out her sudden anger to allow shock in and she trembles, focusing. Focus. Everything starts to tunnel vision.

"We have this, man." Sandwich's response to Ward is simple. "Wish I brought those godsdamn chips."

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, Redux..I stil got you *said in a low voice*"

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "Flight. Janitor. Splash Two. Keep flying, people. Keep snug to your wingmates."

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett's voice crackles over the comm, "Flight, I've got two on my tail. Must be my new perfume, huh?" Her voice is a little shaky.

Phin drives hard to line up a shot at the Raider targeting him. Again, his guns go wide, just when the Cylon gets a hit off his wing. His Viper goes spinning, spinning, spinning, and he has to scramble to get it under control. He does manage to pull out of that spacial tailspin, though. And, with Holtz blowing away the Raider who had him in his sights, at least that bit of trouble is over.

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Dolly? Frak! Hold tight, kid, I got 'im…"

"I have every confidence in your skill at this game," Jason offers to Zander, before he grins, "Sure. If we survive, I'll remind you," he offers. Moving the Raptor around as best he can in an attempt to get out of the way of the enemies for now. Not fully succeeding, since there's some shots hitting the cockpit area, though. "That was a bit too close," he mutters.

And the Cylon Raiders that are flying around one of the smaller groups are definitely being taken care of, however, where one explodes another appears and there's a new set of incoming Raiders that look even worse than the last bunch. Two of them immediately go for Bennett's Raptor, definitely trying to get her to go BOOM. Another one goes after Phin, perhaps he found that him and his twin brother are Cylons that miss the group parties and they resent them for this, who knows. The last one, the last one goes after Tiptoft, because Tiptoft did knock off one of those Raiders that was chaising Duke before.

Jess speeds ahead as she and Cole zero in on their next target, spiraling over the raider and raking its crescent wing before racing past. She circles back to watch as her wingman takes out its other wing, sending it tumbling off into space to shatter against a piece of debris. She doesn't spare a moment to celebrate, scanning their area and heading for the raider still trailing Redeye.

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "I got it, I got it…" Phin frantically remembers wireless protocols. "Uh, Storm, Dolly. I'm good. Bastard nicked my wing, frakked up my navigation, but I got it handled. Thanks, man."

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. I see you have a few friend, try to shake it off and I'll see if I can put some KEW on his ass."

"Oh, Talky…" Ygraine whispers softly, and then that's followed up with, "Oh, crap crap crap!" Her exclamations do not keep her from doing her job with swift efficiency.

Thumper's tracers slam into the Cylon craft's tailpipe — a one-in-a-thousand shot, just like the ones he used to slam down on the Pyramid court. The taste of adrenaline hangs bitterly in his mouth as he cuts his Viper to port, hammering the burner as the rest of his triumphant scream dies on his tongue. He's so locked in he doesn't even realize someone died.

Another attack run, another dead toaster. The Raider that was menacing Phin suddenly finds itself under fire; this time, Holtz's shot takes the Cylon amidships, and like its comrade, it explodes in a sheet of flame. Storm's untouched Viper heels over and prepares to meet the next onslaught.

[TAC1] "Dub" Thaddeus says, "Butch, this is Dub. Take your perfume ten o'clock high, we're jamming your nearest boyfriend."

[TAC1] Redeye banks to the left and up, trying to get into position where she can get over the Raider, attempting a 'Death From Above' maneuver. "I am already on it, Redux," she announces in a voice that's dripping hate. "Frakkers will pay."

Apparently the raiders have sniffed out Bennett's lumbering raptor, and decided to paint a target on its broad flank. She's far too slow to try to run, so the pilot eases onto the yoke and takes it in a balletic spin, corkscrewing it through the web of vipers they're here to ostensibly protect. "Hold on, Milkshake," she warns her backseater, "we're going for a ride."

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Dumb chrome frak."

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Dub, Butch. My thanks."

[TAC1] "Milkshake" Ygraine says, "Raptor one seven three oh, we've got a couple of bad boyfriends who won't go away."

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Redeye, this is Nags. Coming in on your eight to take a shot at that bogey, heads up."

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Yeah — " Thumper grunts, his filtered voice sounding extra garbled on the chan. "Breaking hard port. Hope they're not programmed for deflection shooting."

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Dolly… got another clinger on your six. Set him up and I'll bring him down."

[TAC1] "Sandwich" Keller suddenly barks, "SEE WHO DIES THIS TIME YOU PRICK!" It sounds almost like he were the one actually doing the shooting.

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "FRAK. YOU."

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Bumper, Thumper, owe you one. Got kinda hot for — aw, frak, two more just sniffed me. Turning and burning."

Phin's guns hit empty space again, but this time he's concentrating more on evasive flying. He trusts that Holtz has the gunning part well in hand, and his ship dodges out of the way of Cylon KEWs.

[TAC1] "Milkshake" Ygraine says, "Thumper, Milkshake. We're giving him the push."

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. Ok, you know what those ares, groupies…stay away from them. Shake your ass, coming in to help you."

Cole sticks his bird in so close to Jess' they are a breath away from swapping paint. Something beneficial comes from having a tried and true wingmate, though and he banks within a split second of when her wing dips. Like a well oiled machine, the pair along with Ceres clear the last blip off their DRADIS just in time for a few more to join the party.

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Zap him good, Milky."

Try as she might, there is only so much Bennett can do in terms of evasive maneuvers. Both raiders manage to clip her, and she hisses something too filthy for the comms under her breath. "Milkshake," she calls back calmly, easing up on the flight controls as the two bogeys peel off after another target, "do you think you can do anything about that sensor bank?" The one behind her that's currently sparking from when they were hit.

[TAC1] "Redeye" Cassie bangs her hand against hte console a bit, resulting in a steady thudding that can be heard over the coms. "I really don't know how much more I can take, Redux. I took quite a pounding. Frakking son of a bitch!"

"Working on mucking up one of the twins on Thumper." Yggy calls out to her pilot. "Let me know if you need me to switchout."

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Storm, Dolly. Thanks for the save, man. Again. Targeting bandit at carom one-seven."

Thumper doesn't just fly by the seat of his pants. He's got no proverbial pants at all, judging by the erratic way he zips through the debris-littered battlefield. But somehow he manages to duck and weave through oncoming wreckage and Cylon projectiles both, and even manages to squeeze out a few errant shots from his cannons as he skitters back into the melee.

Duke manages to take out one of Thumper's biggest fans but, now? Two more against him. The kid does not have luck this time but hopefully the combat group will be able to help him out. Duke pushes the thrusters and opens fire against one of the Cylon Raiders.
[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "No rest for the wicked, Nags. Flight, this is Janitor. Three away. DRADIS shows more company. Let's set an extra place setting."

Holtz is starting to sound downright giddy as his guns shred a third Raider into tiny shards of metal not fit for third rate paper clips. For the moment, anyway, the threat to his wingman is gone, and his Viper angles off, ducking around a large piece of debris in search of another target.

"It's only too close if we're dead. Level Up, we got this." is all Zander has to say, while keeping his eyes on the prize. Which is to make sure that he keeps up his end of this particular bargain. Jason will keep them alive, while he keeps those damn things feeling the ECM burn.

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "All part of the service. Matching your course. Let's go show Bumper 'n Thumper how the pros do it."

Winging around again, Ceres meets up with two angry looking raiders headed right her way. SHe widens her eyes and then growls, punching through the debris of what was once the fleet to go toe to toe, angling in on one.

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, Redux, you got it girl, its my turn it appears"

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Janitor, Nags. Copy that. I've got one coming in on my tail, I'm going to flip around and engage from the fore, you take up the rear? I know you like it better back there."

[TAC1] "Redeye" Cassie says, "I will try to get them off of you, Redux. Bring them my way and will see what we can manage."

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "More cushion for the pushin'…."

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "I need to eat more donuts."

"Get on the near one, Fatso," Thaddeus says as soon as his mike cuts out. "Quick like you mean it-" His voice is distracted, cutting off entirely as maneuvering pulls the air out of him. "Clever little frakkers, who gave you permission for that?" His eyes dart from his readouts to the combat, back and forth and back again.

That basestar is slinging missiles towards the battlegroup but several of them impact incoming anti-ship rounds. The rest are slamming into the flak barrier and most are getting stopped right there. But as ranges decrease, the colonial rounds are getting more accurate. Only one or two guns find their mark every couple minutes. But the basestar doesn't seem to make the connection with decreasing range. Its persistently closing and accelerating. Constant Bearing, Decreaing Range. Collision course with the Orion. But its just not that simple. Before it can even get close enough to be a considerable threat, the concentrated fire from all the ships starts planting rounds into the center and one of them must plud right into the fuel tanks because a HUGE flash of light erupts from the core and envelopes the whole ship. When it fades, there are only small chunks of the ship drifting off into space in different directions. Non-nuclear, but there is no denying the shocking size of the blast in the distance.

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Just try and stop me, you fraks."

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Flight, my boyfriends are back, and they're mad. Some help, please."

Phin picks up another Raider who wants a piece of his tail. He goes back into evasive maneuvers, as if he'd never left them. If nothing else, he did pay attention to that part of flight school training.

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Butch and Milkshake, Thumper here. Looks like all your zapping just pissed them off. Swinging back your way."

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Cylons must think you're pretty, Dolly. Another one on your six. He's mine."

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. Ok, it seems that they don't like you anymore…let's cover Butch and Milkshake shall we. Set your targeting solution to 4425T"

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Storm, Dolly. Heh. Guess so. I'll set him up, you knock him down."

"They seem to have a thing for Butch," Gwen reports to the cockpit. "Moving to suppress four-four-two-five-tango."

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Five by five, Bumper."

"Godsammit, why do they seem to think we're gonna put out, Butch?" mutters Milkshake in mild irritation. Suppress! Supress! Supress! Like Colonial soldiers on Tauron, baby.

Bennett gives her limping bus all she's got, thrusters firewalled and teeth gritted as she tries to bring the lumbering beast behind viper cover. The two raiders have no trouble maintaining their bead on her, though.

Phin's Viper, at least, will not be so pretty by the end of this. He takes a volley of Cylon gunfire to the hull and goes spinning again. This time, he's slower about righting himself.

Ward keeps his Raptor flying just where it's been, waves of electronic static playing havoc with the Raiders. At one point he even stands up, pressing a hand against the console before him so he can crane his neck up and look at one of the exploding Raptors, He grins, sitting back down and switching his radio back on.

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "I saw that, Nags. Sound off, you rat bastard."

Weaving through the debris and keeping with her wingmate to allow her clear shots, Ceres manages to get out of the way of both of her raiders. Dropping fast and coming up and around, she manages to get a shot on one, Cassie claiming victory as well and the thing shreds. There is a momentary feeling of elation and it fades back into that numb determination.

[TAC1] "Dropout" Ward says, "Flight, Dropout … scratch two more! Good shooting out there!"

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, Redux, sweet shooting, bringing my other back around for you, be ready."

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "I'm right here, Janitor, don't think you're getting rid of me that easy. Took some damage to the nose, but I can compensate."

[TAC1] "Milkshake" Ygraine says, "Dolly, Milkshake. You alright?"

Gwen sucks in a breath as Dolly's bird takes a bit of a beating, but doesn't retarget. "Four-four-two-five-tango," she confirms to the cockpit. "Maintaining target."

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Bumper, Thumper, they're playing man-on-man."

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "I'm used to you taking it on the chin…"

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. Ok, we have one each, let's take care of yours first."

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Now this is just getting personal. Flight, I have two more on me. Will you kindly blow these shitbags out of the sky?"

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Negative, Bumper! I got the bogey on your six."

[TAC1] Finally. A hit. Not a very good hit but Redeye's happy to get what she can. And look. The Raider explodes. "Well, about damn time," she exhales, sounding relieved opposed to jubilant. Holy shit! "Let's see if we can get rid of that second bogey, Redux."

Holtz growls as another Raider peppers his wingman's Viper with KEW rounds. Phin's ship bucks, but stays together. Holtz guns his thrusters, spinning recklessly as he homes in on Dolly's attacker. Again, his aim is true, but this Raider isn't going so easily. It spins out of Holtz's sights, wounded but alive. His Viper heels over once more, and he jets off in the direction of Bennett's beleaguered Raptor.

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Dolly, Storm. Raptor's got some unwanted company. Let's take out the trash, shall we?"

"Target Bumper's bogey," Bennett calls back to Ygraine. "And Milkshake, if this doesn't end well.. it's been a pleasure serving with you."

[TAC1] There's notable static over Phin's comline as he replies, but he does answer. "Milkshake, Dolly. I'm good. I'm good." He repeats it, just to remind himself that it's more or less the case. "Storm, back with you."

Cole only barely clips the Raider chasing after his wingmate, and there is a flash of teeth as he snarled. While jokes float from his mouth across the coms, he's even more determined to stick around hard and clean that bogey off her tail.

"Longer they're on Butch, easier is it for the Vipers to tear 'em new ones," says Thaddeus to Gwen. His lips purse and he pulls a harsh breath in through his nose. "Right until they tear her one. Come ON. Get those coffins in the way already, ladies. Got a damage readout on Dolly? They're loving him long time too."

Jess flips around abruptly to aim a shot at her attacker, but instead takes a blast of fire to the viper's nosecone, her efforts to evade shrugging off fatal damage but sending her shot well wide of its target. She adjusts, feeling out the necessary shifts to compensate for having less beak on her bird than before, and then re-engages.

Streaking between two vipers, Bennett manages to narrowly guide their raptor out of the crosshairs of both pursuing raptors. Shots hurtle past without finding their mark, but even as they peel away, two more raiders drop in to give chase.

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. I said…let's cover yours first. Change your target son."

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. That is an order, Lieutenant."

[TAC1] (from "Thumper" Tiptoft) Tiptoft's com seems to have gone wonky, dispensing only static.

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke snorts and shakes his head "Have it your way, Thumper."

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "There we go! Thanks, Jan. Damage seems to've skewed up my targeting."

"Frak he's a tough one," Ceres growls, but her blood is hot and she turns about, suddenly arcing hard and yanking on her controls, she nearly slams into a large piece of debris in order to come about and try to face him head on, her eyes narrowing on the inside of her helmet.

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, Redux, he seems a bit frisky."

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "Nags, no other bastard I'd rather clean up for. Compensate, sweet cheeks. And yes, you can slap me for that later. Flight, splash four."

[TAC1] "So I see, Redux. Let's cut off its balls and see if that don't calm it down, hmmm? Redeye's fighter's sluggish and most definitely in need of being put to bed for a good night's sleep but she's not going to call to ask permission to go home. This pilot is in it till the end, come hell or high water.

Ward keeps his radio on, doing his best to boost what must be very low morale despite the Cylon kills that are being racked up. The waves of electromagnetic interference coming from the Raptor are fast and strong, determined to dog the enemy into mistakes that will cost them their lives.

[TAC1] "Dropout" Ward says, "Flight, Dropout. Good shooting, good shooting. Coming in for another fly-by, focusing our attention on your friend there, Redux."

Another pass sees another shot go wide for Jess, teeth grit silently as KEW streams wider. Cole manages to take out the target on her tail, though, and she angles back into position, following his lead towards the silver arc of a ship that's hassling one of the fleet raptors.

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Dropout, Redux, much obliged."

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Janitor, Nags. Ass slaps, maybe. You're earning 'em, man."

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Stand-Up, this is Nags, you've got a bogey on your four. Janitor and I are engaging."

Ygraine lets out a breath as she and her pilot make the pass. "We'll be okay, sir, we'll be okay…" the ECO sounds frantic, but her hands remain steady.

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Butch, Milkshake, Dolly. Storm got your boyfriend. Storm, you've got a bandit coming up on your six. Targeting."

And target Phin does, wheeling around to engage the Raider.

[TAC1] "Fatso" Gwen says, "Thumper, Bumper — Fatso. I'll be gelding the friend you've just acquired. Steady as she goes."

This Raider, the same one he'd wounded in the previous exchange, is slipperier than its compatriots. It jinks and jukes, and manages to stay ahead of the torrent of Viper fire for a bit, but not long enough. Holtz's shot wings the Raider just enough to send it spinning out of control, and a moment later it slams into a piece of debris and explodes quite satisfyingly.

[TAC1] "Milkshake" Ygraine says, "Dolly, Milkshake. You and me get to kill somethin' together. Ain't that sweet? Storm, I'm givin' you the push."

Thanks to some fancy flying — and button slapped at the last second to deploy a chaff rocket from one of the raptor's underbelly bays — Butch's bus manages once more to escape unscathed from its assailants. The pilot breathes out shakily, and briefly tugs off her helmet to wipe at a bead of sweat trickling into her eyes. "Good work, Milkshake. How's that console looking? At least bitching betty's shut up." She tries on a smile, but it's weak.

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "Bumper, Thumper — " There's still a bit of static audible on Tiptoft's com. Maybe it really was flaking out. "Sorry about that. This bird's frakking old. Thanks for the snip, Fatso."

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Butch, Storm… someone ring up an exterminator? Splash five — ah, frak me. I see him, Dolly."

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Excellent shooting, gents."

[TAC1] "Dub" Thaddeus says, "Stop jerking eachother off long enough to keep them off us, ladies, or you'll have to start working for your kills."

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. Your radio is frakked…you have one more there, I'm going after it."

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Dub, I hope you swing both ways, because my ex wants a piece of you now."

[TAC1] "Fatso" Gwen says, "Wing, Fatso — we've been targeted — beautiful. Thank you, Milkshake."

[TAC1] "Milkshake" Ygraine says, "Hey, me and Butch are so good together I might just turn for her!"

Smiling thinly to himself, Tiptoft pats his comlink as he slams his Viper into a brutal turn to starboard. "Can't touch this," he murmurs, and to him it almost seems as if his medallion of Hermes is burning hot against his skin.

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, ""Oh, f — " Tiptoft's com-unit shrieks loudly over the airwaves, perhaps lending even more credence to the totally unmanufactured wireless error that led him to disregard Duke's order. " — bzzt KSHHHHH!"

Phin is more surprised than anything else when his guns manage to connect. Not that he has much time to celebrate. Seeing the Raider tracking him on his periphery, he goes back into dodge-y mode.

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. Sing out! Are you alright?!"

[TAC1] "Thumper" Tiptoft says, "BZZT crackle CRASH."

Like a shark that smells blood in the water, Holtz is undeterred from his target… even if it's shooting at him. As the Cylon weaves in and out behind him, squeezing off bursts of gunfire, Holtz flips his ship and answers in kind. He's not making much of an attempt to evade, and thus is a fairly easy shot for the Cylon, but before the Raider can inflict any serious damage, Phin and Holtz's combined fire rips the Raider apart.

Trying to turn away last minute, Ceres hugs in close to the Raider. Her shoulder slams into the side of her viper with the rather vicious angle and she tries to come about. Hitting the heat, she growls and focuses, trying to go faster to get away and then turn around, leading her friend back into the midst of her cohorts.

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, Redux, he''s sticking, can't get rid of him."

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Whoa!" is Phin's surprised holler when he manages to hit that Raider. "Nice kill, Storm. You picked another one. So did I. Where should we concentrate fire?"

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Thumper, Bumper. Frak sakes son, use the light signaling…can you still fly?"

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Shit, looks like these frakkers want a two on two. Let's do another bracket on the leader… you take the high road and I'll take the low road."

Zander is in Focus Mode, making sure that he's got his hands all over his console the way they are supposed to be. He's really got no wisecracks or commentary at this moment, considering the whole Caprica issue. The key right now is: Survival. "You okay up there, Stand-Up?" is asked, just to be on the safe side. Can't have his pilot freaking the freak out or anything.

[TAC1] "Redeye" Cassie isn't getting hit anymore, for now, but while she isn't being hit she isn't getting any hits in, either. Talk about disheartening. "I think my Viper's too damaged to be any good but I'll keep trying, Redux. Flight, Redeye. I can not get rid of this frakker. We need assistance, if you guys will be as so kind?" She then whispers, speaking to her fighter. "Hold together a little longer, baby. Please." Done, she ties for another attack.

Ygraine says, "Sounds like Thumper's comm is shitting out, sir. Gonna try and help him out." Yggy reports to Bennett over her shoulder."

Gwen stares at her intument panel as though it just slapped her in the face. "All my systems indicate that bastard shouldn't have been able to fire at all… Frak. It's on Dolly — maintaining target."

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Storm, Dolly. Copy. Let's see if our shots can meet in the middle."

Hermes is a fickle deity. Thumper exits his turn a half-second too late, and any thought of signaling lamps — or communication at all — is obliterated when his Viper shudders under a Cylon's withering fire. Her entire tailfin evaporates under its guns, and it's all Leo can do to keep control of his shredded fighter. Sweat pours down his face as he lurches forward, his afterburner firing at full blast. And it continues firing even when he tries to turn it off. For better or for worse, the man's all in.

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "Stand-Up, Janitor. You're clear for now. Splitting back off. Nags, get the dust pan. I'll grab the broom."

"I'm okay," Jason offers to Zander, expression thoughtful as he keeps on flying the craft, and making sure to stay at least as close to being in one piece as possible.

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Janitor, Nags. You got it."

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "You're catchin' on, Dolly. Scrag the bastard."

Bennett gives Ygraine a curt nod, then returns her attention to her flight display and readouts — more specifically, Thumper's signal. "Shit," she murmurs under her breath. "He's frakked, I'm not sure if his controls are jammed or what, but.." She turns on her radio.

Duke sees that Thumper gets hit pretty hard and calls out for him in the comms, static is static and understanding that…well. Still, the Cylon Raiders are still attacking, and at this moment, two Raiders are going for Wingmates Holtz and Phin, they don't like them, oh no, they don't like them at all. The Raptors have been left alone this time, which is a good thing because that will give a window for the ECOs to work their magic and save everyone's asses. His attention keeps on his wingmate but the others are in need of some heavy help. For the time being, he remains close to Thumper and attempts for some long range hits.

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Bumper, I think he's lost controls. That, or his mind. I could try to hook him up for a tow, but not with him dropping in like a rock."

"Come on, baby. Dance for me." Thaddeus sounds more like he's back in the Pink Pussycat Lounge than piloting, as he maneuvers the Raptor through a sea of vastly more maneuverable ships. "Beautiful, Fatso, frakking beautiful. Keep an extra eye on Butch while they're on Thumper." Just /where/ Gwen's supposed to find this extra eye is a mystery for the ages.

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Whoa! Splash!" Phin is surprised again."

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Dolly, Bumper. Good shooting out there, that one went down Nicely. There's one more left on your tail tho, keep shaking your ass."

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Bumper, Dolly. Thanks. I'm shaking as hard as I can. Storm, you OK? Sing out, man."

Luck has run out, all that debris causes a lot of problems for Redux and with a sudden pull to the left, the fire slams into that side of her viper and the instruments spark, her glove catching fire and she lets out a surprised sound as the console shorts and explodes slightly to her left, sending pain through her leg hand. She evens out, losing full control as she fights the pain, blinking past it as she breathes heavily and then tries to get herself in the go again.

Janitor is flying balls to the wall as the saying goes, sticking hard and flying right into the thick of things instead of evading. It's a move that years under his belt and full trust in his wingman can provide. He and Nags scream in on the Raider bearing down on Ceres, but even his moderate hit can't dissuade the Raider from it's course.

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Flight, Redux, I have lost the use of my hand…my bird is wounded."

And just like that, Holtz's luck starts to wear thin. Although he and Phin pull off the bracketing maneuver cleanly enough, the Raider evades their combined fire long enough to come around and spit a burst at Holtz. The bursts fly past his ship, and the Viper rocks as he's struck amidships. The impact throws Holtz's aim off completely, but luckily his wingmate picks up the slack, and another one bites the dust.

"Bloody hell," Ward shouts, bringing his Raptor in closer to the fray in order to give Keller a better shot at scrambling the bad guys. He flicks on the wireless, leaning forward to peer out of the canopy and get a better view of the battle.

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "Shit, I saw that from here. Close in on Redux, shake that bastard from her tail feathers."

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Frak. FRAK!" A pause. "Number three engine… *crackle* hit!" Another pause. "Lost some power, but I'm all right."

It's a first, the last half-dozen or so raiders they've targeted have gone down before the combined fire of Jess and Cole. Alas, this one doesn't seem to understand how the script is meant to go. Damage still throwing her off, Jess misses again, dodging too far to one side this time to avoid other craft. She spins around to check on the damage to Redux's bird before speeding back into position for another attack.

[TAC1] "Nags" Jess says, "Janitor, Nags. Got it."

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Raptors, please initiate SAR for Tiptoft, his Viper won't be able to hold it any longer. We got this Raider…"

[TAC1] "Dropout" Ward says, "Redux, Dropout. We're still doing all we can to suppress that tail."

[TAC1] That. Is. It. She's pissed and it shows in the low, throaty, primal growl that comes from Redeye, the sound rumbling from her for several seconds. "Redux! Are you alright? Shit!" The Raider is eyed and bore down upon, Cassie's focus intact but only by a thread or two.

Phin lines up his shots with Holtz, and trying to track up with the more experienced gunner's fire seems to help him. He finds the sweet spot on that Raider, and manages to send it spinning before it can blast him. His wingmate didn't fare so well undefended, though, and he tracks back around to retarget. The Raider's switched its interest from Holtz, at least, though now it's trailing him.

There simply isn't anything Bennett can do about the viper hurtling through space at the speed of mach ass-lit-on-fire, with its controls shot to hades. So she does the hardest thing possible: she hangs back, and gives her ECO a relatively safe vantage point from which to try to get a lock on him.

It's fortunate for Thumper that he's pointed directly at Battlestar Orion's hanger bay, because he sure won't be doing much maneuvering at all. With full burners on, he's got no choice but to go forward — and apart from minor course corrections from what RCS points still function, he can't get the bird to move. Which means that in about twenty-five seconds he'll zip directly into Battlestar Orion's hull. Of course, in Tiptoft's mind that means he's got twenty-three seconds to shoot at whatever target crosses his path. The time ticks down in his head like a shot clock on the fritz.

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Copy, Bumper. Moving into position and awaiting ejection. Milkshake, get ready to feed me his coordinates."

[TAC1] "Dropout" Ward says, "Butch, Dropout. I can grab him if you're otherwise engaged."

[TAC1] "Milkshake" Ygraine says, "I've always wanted to do a barn swallow."

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "We've got him, Dropout."

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke eyes what Tiptoft is doing and knows that he can't leave his wingmate alone. "Flight, I'm going to back up and cover Thumper, I'll try to hit as best as I can"

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Bumper, Storm. Copy that, we'll hold it down out here."

"They are frakking sweet for Dolly, aren't they?" mutters Thaddeus. "Chipping down the others, too-" His words cut off as a fresh explosion off to the side draws his attention. (Pilots and shiny things, yo.) "Eyes peeled, Fatso. If they come in during pickup it's a screaming clusterfrak for everyone."

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Flight…*pause* Redux here…*sound of heavy breathing and crackles* Lost all control, drifting.."

Phin fire his guns but he's not even trying to hit anything at this point. His attention is all focused on flying, and putting on some frantic evasive patterns to shake off his latest Cylon friend. He executes them in not-bad fashion. Keeps himself from getting fried, at least.

Ceres reaches over with her right hand and tries to fix her left hand, lost in the drift of space for the moment. She begins to joggle her controls again. A soft sound is made and she slams her fist into the console. There is a puff of her engines that jerk her forward.

"Clear!" Gwen calls to the cockpit. For now. "And in excellent shape. Beautiful flying, sir."

The Raider on Ceres takes a licking and keeps on ticking as the pilots from Orion swarm around it. Cole hits the thrust heavy on the way in, and then throttles way back while he lets lose some KEW then drops away sharply.

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "This is why we CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS."

[TAC1] "Dropout" Ward says, "Redux, Dropout. We're on our way."

Cassie is full of righteous indignation, bile and ire and everything else, all acting as fuel. "Hold on, Ceres," she mouths while slipping in again, once more lining up a shot while trying to keep it away from anyone who might be disabled.

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Flight, thanks for taking the heat…I can't get anything to work."

[TAC1] "Butch" Bennett says, "Flight, DRADIS looks clear from our end. Anything on long range sensors?"

"Aww SHEEEEYIT!" Tiptoft pumps his fist in the air, a look of absolute exhilaration painted on his face as what's left of his Viper careens through the wreckage of Bogey Two-Oh. But a second later it turns to panic as Orion's gunmetal hull draws ever larger in his cockpit. He yanks the ejection seat just six seconds before projected impact — and the force of the explosive bolts sends him skyrocketing up and away while below him the Viper slams down, its trajectory changed just enough that it might miss Orion after all. By design, of course: the man loves a show. But so intent are Tiptoft's eyes on his stricken ship that he doesn't notice the jagged piece of debris that's a few seconds away from slicing him in half.

"Got him!" Ygraine yells in triumph. "Feeding you the coordinates now, Butch! Eleven seconds to hatch opening!" She hits the trigger, rising and making double sure her helmet is secure as she stands up. "Eight…seven…six…" The doors start to open as she makes her way a few feet in front of them, planting herself like a pro pyramid player. "THREE…TWO…ONE…INCOMING!"

Ward is already moving towards Ceres' drifting Viper as he speaks into the radio, throttling up the engines as his ECO goes about getting the cable rigged. The pilot also makes a quick check of his suit's seals with one hand, eyes locked on the crippled bird.

The numbers of Raiders start to thin out as the Air Wing dominates broadly. Whatever happened to the fleet, it couldn't have been done by these Raiders that are flying like pilots fresh out of dogfight training. Its almost unsettling. But as the last few are starting to be mopped up, a calm descends. A very, very eerie calm. The wrecks of dozens of colonial ships, two basestars, and hundreds of Raiders all mix together in a silent graveyard, dancing in a macabre ballet to music only the dead can hear.

"DRADIS shows all bandits splashed," comes a report from Orion.

Nuclear flashes pop infrequently below the clouds of Gemenon.


Bennett is already lighting her engines before Ygraine's even rattled off the coordinates to her. The big bus is made almost balletic by the pilot's easy touch on the thrusters, and streaks in as the klaxxon starts to sound, warning them of immediate pressure loss from the hatch opening. The sliver of debris caroms toward Tiptoft, and so do they. And at the last moment, she manages to broadside the hunk of raider with just enough force to send it careening in another direction entirely. The bay door drifts open, and the raptor all but engulfs the lost pilot as they swoop in on him.

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Flight, Bumper. Alright everyone, good job…it seems that for the time being we are in the clear."

Unfortunately for brave Ygraine, Thumper actually was a pro Pyramid player, that bullshit steroids scandal notwithstanding. Though he's weightless in space, he's still got inertia — which means that he crashes into her arms and slams her against the ECO panel with the force of a charging rhino. But Bennett has timed her maneuver perfectly. The sparking debris slams into Bennett's Raptor like a buzzsaw just a second after the ECO pulls him in, cutting an inch into its armor before clanging backwards into the black. Meanwhile, Thumper's stricken Viper nicks Orion's port hangar and continues its inevitable trajectory into the depths of space, burner still running.

And inside the Raptor? "Whoa," says the aching pilot, staring at Ygraine's face. Then, with feeling: "Daymn."

Cassie's Viper's fairly well fraked but in comparison to a few of the other ships hers is practically unscathed. When the DRADIS readings are announced she sighs, relieved.

[TAC1] "Redeye" Cassie says, "Flight, this is Redeye. My Viper's a bit sluggish thanks to damage. If someone would be as so kind as to escort me back home I'd really appreciate it. Redux… how you doing?"

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Storm here. Copy that, Bumper. My DRADIS reads clear. Looks like the Cylons went and frakked the hell off."

Cole doesn't have anything clever to say on the channels, he just gets a stony look to his face and falls low into position with Jess. Once she's formed up, he gives a little waggle of his wings but until they're ordered to RTB, he just falls into a standard CAP formation and watches the Colonies burn.

"There are better ways of gettin' in my pants, Thumper." Ygraine says with a manic grin. "Get off me, I gotta close the doors."

Redux' bird is hurting, slammed into by a piece of debris, a squealing sound of metal on metal as the bird continues to pop and spark from the left console. She lets out a heavy breath, trying to move her left hand and finding its not all that responsive and the limb is shaking. "Frak.." Its a quite whisper in that accent of her's.

[TAC1] "Dolly" Phin says, "Flight, Dolly. My controls are spotty but I can get it back to the barn. No enemy contacts on my read-outs or visual."

"Doesn't matter if I could barrel roll this frakking thing if you'd let 'em get a lock on us," says Thaddeus. He's braking the Raptor, giving it a turn Just So to get a good view of Gemenon's atmosphere being baked from the inside out. "Great job, kiddo." The praise is distracted, his pale eyes focussed on the planet beneath them.

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Redeye, Bird is still sparkin *zzt pop crackle…static*"

Jess forms up, similarly silent. All well and good to banter during battle, but when there's nothing left to fight it doesn't quite seem appropriate anymore. She takes up position and holds til they RTB.

[TAC1] "Dropout" Ward says, "Redux, Dropout. We're coming up to attach a tow cable. I promise to be gentle."

Thumper's eyes crinkle as he grins a rare grin, adrenaline still blaring through his veins like some subwoofer run amok. "You gotta tell me how, baby," he says, rolling off the slight ECO to lean against a sparking bulkhead. And then he looks back down at the Colonies and whatever else is on his lips fades away. Damn Cylon cockblocks.

With Thumper now safe inside the Raptor, Duke listens to the comm chatter and sees that Raptors are doing SAR for Redux so he moves up and forms up with Redeye. The map waggles his wings to the other Viper Pilot and then looks outside, paying attention to Gemenon now. A victory? Hardly feels like a Victory. Now it's time to head back to the barn…and just see what the next step is.

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Bumper, Flight. Alright everyone, let's RTB."

Bennett twists around to slap the big red hatch button herself, seeing as Ygraine is otherwise occupied with an armful of viper jock. "And here I thought you were switching to my team, Milkshake," she calls over her shoulder to her backseater. Tiptoft is given a small smile and a "make yourself at home, I'll put on some tea" before she turns back to her flight controls.

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Redeye, Bumper. Forming up with you, I got you covered."

"Thank you, sir," murmurs Gwen, fingertips resting on the photo of the handsome, smiling couple she'd earlier stuck to the instrument panel. She watches the colonies below a moment, then closes her eyes and turns back to the readouts. The numbers — radiation leaping off the charts, seismic disasters planet-wide — are somehow less gruesome. If only slightly.

Ygraine helps with pushing Thumper off, getting herself up so she can get the doors shut. "Can't I play for both?" she asks whimsically, and then after a moment her voice sounds….smaller, as the adrenaline drains away. "Butch?" She suddenly sounds awfully young. "Does Orion have any details on the other colonies?"

While waiting to be towed in she looks out at the scene before them, the bombed out shells of what once were a beautiful planet. It's enough to make her want to puke, frankly. Duke's voice barely registers.

[TAC1] "Redeye" Cassie says, "Copy that, Bumper. Thanks."

[TAC1] "Redux" Ceres says, "Dropou*zzt* R*crackle*ux …"

Ward fires off the tow cable to catch the nose of Ceres' Viper, the Raptor throttling up slowly to make a long turn and drag the stricken ship back towards the Orion.

[TAC1] "Dropout" Ward says, "I bet you say that to all the boys, Redux."

Bennett still refuses to look toward the colonies pockmarked with nuclear blasts. She closes her eyes as she brings their bus about slowly, and opens them again as they turn back for home.

Holtz, too, goes quiet as the battle ends and the flow of adrenaline ebbs. He cuts his engines and lets his battered Viper drip, using his thrusters to turn and face first the Orion, and then Caprica, where chunks of obliterated basestar are still floating in orbit. His eyes swivel to the planet itself, and he watches with an increasingly somber expression as the mushroom clouds continue to oh-so-slowly spread across the atmosphere. He barely seems to hear Duke's orders over the com, but after a long moment, his Viper turns end over end and sluggishly propels itself back towards the battlestar, falling in behind Dropout's Raptor as it tows Ceres back to base.

"Uh-huh," is all Tiptoft says in response, leaning forward against the closing hatch with a blank expression on his face. So he can sear the image of Gemenon burning into his head, where it'll smolder long after the last fire on the planet dies out.

St. Clair adds, over her shoulder, her own voice a little tremulous, "I don't know, but we'll find out, Milkshake. I promise."

Phin also can't quite summon up words right now, or keep his eyes from drifting to the planet of Caprica below them. He sticks with Holtz, providing a sort of escort to the Raptor towing Ceres.

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Dropout, Storm. I'm on your six. Your tow is lookin' five by five from back here."

It starts as a flash at the corner of the eye. Most pilots know what it is. Its an FTL. Over Caprica, a new basestar jumps in and immediately starts disgorging its entire raider pack. The guns of the fleet turn as one on the new target. But then there is another flash, this one on the other side of the fleet. A second basestar begins unloading and immediately begins letting off a salvo of missiles. Then another flash. And another. Four. Fiv-SixSeven! More than half a dozen jump to Caprican space within a matter of fifteen seconds, surrounding the fleet. More than twelve hundred Raiders take to the stars as missiles begin tracking in.

The response from the Orion only takes a breathless moment. "All aircraft, RTB! We are jumping in two minutes!" There's no hiding the fear in her voice.

[TAC1] "Bumper" Duke says, "Flight, Bumper. You heard it! Punch it, RTB NOW, NOW!!"

[TAC1] "Storm" Holtz says, "Oh, frak me. Bumper, Storm. Recommend combat landings."

[TAC1] "Janitor" Cole says, "You heard Actual. GO GO GO. Flight, this is Janitor. I'm bringing up the rear. Asses to the barn!"

Tugged by her back end, Ceres is given a good look at Phin and Holtz, the cockpit filling a bit with some instrument smoke. SHe waves her good hand, trying to clear it. That is what allows her to see the basestar, a motion made to warn them as her com is down. "FRAK…GODS!!!" She cries out and tries to shift in her seat, turning to look back over her shoulder.

"Right. RTB," says Thaddeus abruptly, wrenching his gaze away from Gemenon. He clears his throat twice after saying it, clearing the scratchy knot that had formed there. "Before I-" Oh. Look. It's ALL THE CYLONS. What a lovely distraction. The Raptor's engines flare back to life. Home, little bus. Home before a million Raiders firing a million missiles put an end to you.

[TAC1] "Dropout" Ward says, "Redux, Dropout. It's going to get quite bumpy quite fast. Hold on."

One more Basestar? Then another? Then another? Ah frak, this is definitely not good. After speaking to the Flight group over the comms, Bumper just pushes the throttle on his Viper and the engines flare. He pushes forward but twists and stops to the side, just watching that everyone returns back to the barn. The man stays there, floating, looking at the Raiders, the Basestars and all the incoming crap that is out to get them. He waits, he waits for everyone to go back inside and when /that/ happens, he moves in, covering the back….at least as best as he can.
Gwen has disconnected.

Ygraine, bent over the ECO station, manages to catch a bit of the incoming out of the corner of her eye. The farmgirl freezes in place, staring in horror and without any action to keep her brain running, she just freezes in place like a rabbit.

Ward immediately throttles up, fast enough to keep a grip on Ceres' viper while still gunning it back towards the Orion. He reels in the cable, doing his best to leave as little space between him and his cargo as possible. Rush rush rush, back to the battlestar. He's not taking it slow, that's for certain.

Cassie looks in the direction the Raiders and Basestars can be seen in, it getting her to panic a tiny bit. She starts to bounce nervously in her seat. Even if they get to her and the tow line catches her in time it will make for a nervous run home.

Bennett murmurs half to herself, and half to her passengers, "Sorry folks, but this.." A low whine as she feeds tylium to her thrusters. "..is going to be a bumpy ride. And whatever you do, don't look back." Back, at the basestars jumping in en masse. And then, strange little thing that she is, Butch begins to hum a tune to herself very softly as she guides the fast-moving bus in for a landing. "Balance yourself like a bird on a beam, in the air she goes! There she goes.." Hey, everyone's got their quirks.

Bumpy! Ceres jerks forward and reaches out her hand to steady herself. "Remind myself to give Dropout a kiss.." she mutters, trying to not notice how the Basestar is like a big 'frak you' to the Orion. "Gods damn it.." And with a heavy sigh she can do nothing else but cradle her left hand in her lap, press her right into the console as her head drops. "Daniel…frak…" Its a heavy sound, one that is just for her alone in that cockpit

Holtz is a bit slow in making his landing. Either his craft was a little more damaged than he left on… or he, like Duke, wants to linger to make sure everyone gets home safe. He has to remind himself it's not his responsibility, and he needs to get his ass(and his wounded bird) back on the deck before some other damn thing happens. After a short pause, he brings his Viper back around to a landing pattern; reluctantly, he aims his nose for the deck lights and drops his landing gear.

Ignoring Bennett's order, Tiptoft does what Orpheus did: he looks back. But unlike Eurydice, who vanished into the haze, the blackened shell of Gemenon's still there. His mouth twitches, but he says nothing. Insert appropriate and elegant expression of how sad he feels here.

Anyone not inside when the Orion jumps is going to be in for a day that just goes beyond bad. But she's the last one out. The flak tubs and cruisers are holding the line against the incoming missiles for only so long. But as the Vipers begin recovering, the cruisers jump away just as they send their last rounds towards one of the basestars. Its a complete shoot-out, all firing discipline on the batteries has gone out the window by the time they finally flicker away. And last, the Orion sits over Caprican space as the defiant hunter of legend. But with a twelve hundred little cuts on their way in, she has no chance of holding. "Jumping in three!" the female voice announces once more. Two. One. The ship exits on its first jump leg back towards Piraeus, following the rest of the task force.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License