MD #162: Operation Buccaneer Part 4.5
Operation Buccaneer Part 4.5
Summary: The wing fight to get their hard won loot away from the Skath
Date: 17/09/2017
Related Logs: Operation Buccaneer Part 3
Niko Gloria Diaz Inez Scott Donovan Idris Kar 
Ples Bunker - Aerlion
Full of stuff.
04/04/2049

Every Raptor is packed to capacity for this landing. Jumping into atmo is always a dangerous proposition but this time it had to be done. The Orion is at stand-off range and will be jumping in just long enough to grab the Vipers for combat landings and then get the hell out of Dodge. When they enter, they are only about two minutes flight time from landing, which means they are moving quick and mostly diving towards the LZ. Below them they can see the remnants of what was once an airfield. The outlines of the overgrown runway can still be made out. But it would seem there's already a fight having broken out. Part of the town is burning and suddenly there's a bright light from a fire north of the field. The blast shockwave can be seen spreading across the mountain valley, knocking down trees and blowing away the buildings. It might be easy to think it was a very small nuke, but there's no radiological alarms. As they descend further and begin flying up the valley approaching from the east, they can see a pair of artillery tubes from a massive hangar exposure in the wall face of the mountain. Rounds are being fire down into the valley while the gun crews hurry to reload. Just as they are coming in they can see a group of four, old as hell, armoured fighting vehicles racing across the valley floor, firing at two dozen Skath walkers coming through the town. Another artillery shot bucks and there's a big explosion in the town, followed by a secondary as an enemy vehicle explodes. Ten seconds to touchdown.

Niko surveys the situation as they dive towards the LZ, then gets on the wireless for a last minute briefing. "All right people, this is it. You all better be wearing your vests. I had to /ask/ the Marines for those." Asking cross-service favours are a matter of pride for the CAG. "Get to the bunker and grab something you can fly. Our job is to cover the assault landers. Those will be manned by helm and nav people who are joining us from Tactical. Vogue will command the Vipers. If you're in a Raptor or Rhino and you can hit ground targets, clear out those Skath you can before you jump clear. Good luck, see you back aboard." With that the CAG straps his helmet on and gets ready to go.

Gloria is significantly better than she used to be at not throwing up in her helmet when she's flying, but now she's back as a passenger? Well.. she hasn't yet, but by the look of her it could happen anytime. Sat with her head forward she's focusing on breathing, and has already had to snap at one poor ensign who had falsely assumed she was scared and tried to offer comforting words. Still as it looks like one torment is about to be replaced by another she lifts her head and prepares for a rapid exit from the raptor.

Standing with the rest of the Viper pilots, Diaz has her helmet secured, her body armour snugged as tight as it'll go, she's holding on to one of the chicken-straps that are within reach and has her knees bent slightly to absorb the impact when the Rhino touches down. The theory about being able to breathe around the body armour is a good one, but the Ten is absolutely convinced that it's a fair trade and prefers to land on her feet than to sit while being dropped into a gravity well like so much cargo.

The Lieutenant was sitting for most of the trip, fingers wrapped tightly about the straps that buckle her in. If she didn't have gloves one might wonder if her knuckles were showing white. After they break the atmosphere, and Niko gives his orders, Inez lets go of the straps, unbuckles, and gets to her feet. She shakes out one leg after the other as she sets them down on the deck, then widens her stance a little, softening her knees to absorb the motion, and checks for her sidearm with the hand not holding a strap. She looks to the seated ECO for a moment, then up to prepare for disembarking.

Checking over his armour one extra time as they make their way down, Scott lets out a bit of a breath as he does. Glancing around at the others present, he smiles momentarily, before his expression turns more focused, waiting for them to hit the ground.

Donovan is riding along. Ugh. Riding. He's a pilot and everyone knows that pilots make terrible passengers. He has his gear on, helmet locked but the faceplate up. He absently checks his sidearm, fully loaded. He's not anxious to get shot at. At least not on the ground. He will be a great deal happier once he is back in a Viper. He cracks his knuckles and gets ready for the drop.

Idris is ready to go with his vest and flightsuit, his helmet getting sealed now. The Captain looks over those Viper pilots who are in the same transport with him as he waits for them to land. "Soon as we are down, run like hell for the Bunker. We can't afford to get bogged down on the ground in a fire fight. Leave that to the Marines." Nonetheless, Vogue checks his sidearm and keeps a firm grip on his straps until they are down and the hatch opens.

It's one hell of a ride down in a bus, and this time it's down super fast. Kar adjusts his flight suit as the CAGs voice comes over the comms. The kevlar is appreciated, albeit less than comfortable. As the raptor continues its rapid descent, the young Jig secures his helmet, and quickly double checks his sidearm as he stands and steadies himself, grabbing hold where he can. Taking a deep breath, Kar glances around at the other passengers of the bus he's on and braces himself for the down.

When the Raptors touch down, they are already taking gunfire from the Skath. The old AFV's are churning dirt, putting themselves between the Skath and the Raptors, too. When the doors open and everyone piles out, the sound is intense. The booming of cannons and in between the constant staccato of machinegun fire - both from the Skath and the friendlies on the ground. The weather is otherwise beautiful, if a little chilly. Sunny, clear skies just after dawn. Good flying weather except for the lead hail being thrown at them. There are several members of the Deck and Marines gesturing the crews towards a huge berm that looks to be from a recent rockslide. A couple aircrew take bullets on the mad dash. Others help them keep moving. Once they are over the berm, though, they are looking at the maw of a massive bunker that looks deep with tanks and other armour, artillery tubes in the distance with their muzzles barely visible. Just lines of them. There's a Marine bellowing, "Get to the stairs, all the way up to Level Three! You can't miss it!"

And when they get up there, its Saturnalia. The Rhinos, near or close to fifty of them, are waiting. All of them armed with engines sitting at idle. Hundreds of Raptors. Even more Vipers. Most of the latter are still in packaging, though, kept or storage. But everything looks armed. Everything. The number of engines makes the noise in here very shrill. Its all ready to go and the hangar doors are left wide open and clear, while one level above the artillery continues firing from the hangar with the amphibs, hammering until the last second.

It's one thing to be in the middle of a dogfight over Aerilon, the planet that she'd called Home after Waking Up years after the last war had ended. It's another thing entirely for Diaz to set foot on Aerilon again and know, absolutely know, that this can't be Home anymore either. With this knowledge, the expression on Diaz's face is etched with regret and determination, and as soon as the ramp is lowered enough to transition, the Ten is racing for it, full speed. Boots pounding against the ramp for a few long strides then out into the dirt and running for the entrance to the berm as fast as she legs can carry her. The dirt that kicked up as rounds are impacting, the sound of pilots taking fire, has her reaching for the nearest pilot that staggers and hauling the pilot along in tandem. Just because Viper piloting is a one-seat-show doesn't mean that they don't play well with others. She puffs out a breath once reaching the relative shelter of the bunker then runs for the stairs. Lets hear it for a healthy cardio routine that has her only winded not wanting to puke at the top of the stairs as she spills out into the massive noise that fills the hangar. "Whoa," she breathes as she moves a few steps to the side, clearing the way, then bolts for the first Viper that's been prepped for launch.

Idris is running flat out as they head into the mountain and are directed to ascend. The moment the Viper Captain's boots hit level three, Bloodfeather speaks over his radio, "Lucky Strikes! No launch tubes here to kick us out! You are authorized for /fast/ flight checks, then launch fast as you can kick out. Watch yourselves! Let's not run into each other on our way out!" Hopefully there's somebody from Deck to help manage lifting off to keep them clear of each other up here! Vogue goes to the nearest Viper that's already powered up and climbs it to get into the cockpit. Before he drops in and straps in, he takes a quick look to count his pilots.

Oddly, going from a fully function raptor, and into a warzone with lead flying in all directions actually makes Gloria feel less likely to redecorate the inside of her suit. Now there is a thing to do, and that thing is run like frak. She doesn't get hit, but one of the guys running beside her gets winged, and it's a momentarily unpleasant reminder of what they're doing, but he continues with out help so she powers forwards. Over the berm was hard work, up the stairs is knackering though, but what breath she had left is taken by the vast array of craft before them. "Frakking Hades," she mutters under her breath before she's glancing around for her assigned pilot. Once she's spotted Inez again she starts moving, running down the line of raptors for the first that doesn't already have an ECO clambering inside. Swinging up onto the wing and into the backseat she starts running the checks before even strapping in. "Engines online, loading jump co-ordinates," she calls, trusting her fellow Lieutenant followed her in.

Donovan is already running before he gets to the ramp. He was part of a ground flight before coming to Orion and so, scramble with no tubes, that is nothing new to him. He keeps looking left and right as he runs, old habit to make sure that you don't get strafed from the air getting to your plane. He heads in behind Idris and Diaz, making his way to another Viper that is waiting for him to take it home. He climbs in and runs the checklist, making sure that critical combat and support systems are online. Everything else is window dressing. He ties into the ships comms and then starts spinning up for the launch.

The CAG hasn't seen ground combat in twenty plus years, but that doesn't keep the memory from flashing back in his brain the instant he is greeted by the sounds and smells of a major fire fight. With a pained grimace, Niko stumbles coming off the ramp, then scrambles forward to regain his feet. "Fu-rak!" The buzz and crack of passing rounds reminds him to run for all he's worth, and so he does. Over the berm, into the bunker, and up the stairs he runs with the rest of the flight crews, arriving at the third level. The sight there would be breath-taking, but he's already winded and there are only so many ships to take. The CAG hangs by the stairs, directing people as needed, and making sure the Tactical crews are continuing upstairs to where the Landers are parked. Anyone stopping to gape at the treasure trove of aircraft is encouraged onward with some variation of, "Move it! Saddle up! Let's go!"

Bloody chaos. Run, Mouse, Run - As they dash through the mayhem, dodging bullets and shells and into the hangar, there's that microsecond pause that cause some if not most of them to change gait in their run and Kar is one. That miniscule moment where what he sees and his brain processes takes in the sight - and it's gone as his body urges him on almost instinctively to the nearest Viper he can climb into. Like his body knows the safest place for him is in the seat of a fully prepped bird. He barely hears Vogue over the radio as he straps himself in and does an emergency launch check. Quickly checking he's clear, Kar makes to launch as he radios in, "Flight, Mouse. In a bird. Launching!"

Running along, trying to make himself as small a target as possible, Scott lets out a breath as he gets into the bunker. "Level three…" he mutters to himself, before he moves over to get to those stairs and upstairs. He whistles as he sees the ships inside there, taking a few moments to pick one of the Vipers. "Hello there. Ready for a little trip," he offers to the craft as he slips into the cockpit, checking the systems and getting ready to launch. "Let's do this, my new friend," he comments.

As they jump to the ground, Inez stumbles on her landing, and hears the bullet whistle over her head. A pilot behind her goes down, and she turns to help but can tell at the glance that he's beyond help. "Frak," she swears, looking at the divot in the ground that ruined her balance and saved her life. Putting palms to the ground, she pushes quickly up, but carefully, gauging those around her so that she doesn't run into anyone and take them down. She's pounding in the middle of the mad rush with the others, and she groans inwardly at the mention of 'third level.' She hates stairs. She looks up and ahead, trying to spot the ECO that probably hit the ground better than she did is likely ahead of her. Once they're in the hangar, and their eyes meet briefly, she's scrambling into a raptor after Gloria and throwing herself into the pilot seat, buckling with only a slight hesitation. Her acknowledgement to the ECO and relay of her own pre-flight check are given somewhat breathlessly.

The Deck members in here are trying to make sense of the madness. The Petty Officers are scrambling around, trying to get out of the way and looking over their shoulders. But once engines are up and there's no more pilots running in front of aircraft, the PO2 closest to the front end Viper throws a salute and points at the exit. She then turns and waits for the first on out and throws another and points the next. So on and so forth. It’s not fast but it does keep people from crashing into each other. One wreck at the entrance or near it and everyone in here is going to die when ammo starts cooking off. After the few Vipers are cleared, then go the Raptors, and then the Rhinos last. There's still more than two hundred aircraft in here. Not a single Predator taken despite the ground mess outside.

Once the pilots exit, they climb up into the sky and more follow like angry hornets leaving the nest. There's a massive fire burning at Position Badger and its wafting thousands of feet above the mountain tops like an angry finger pointing to the location of the troubles on Aerilon. Below, the AFV's are still battling it out and two of them have already been knocked out by missile fire. The two surviving are making a break for the bunker and trying to catch the last ride out. Nobody wants to get left behind here. But when the crews do get airborne and up above the mountaintops, dradis pings. A lot. There's twenty Skath raiders inbound from the east, one hundred miles and closing very fast. Beyond them, another twenty at 140 miles. At two hundred miles there are over 80 Skath Raiders heading their way. This is gonna be close.

Completing what may be the fastest /authorized/ pre-flight checklist that she's ever successfully attempted, Diaz has the canopy sealed and in place within moments. Engines spooling up as she's completing the list, and then waits her turn to roll for the hangar doors. Ironically, waiting in line to roll takes longer than the check list did so she spends the few, extra, precious seconds making sure all the bells and whistles work before she takes this Viper up into the skies. "Flight, Diaz, ready to roll," she calls into the comm and rolls forward as soon as the flagger waves her into the lineup to roll through the doors.

The moment to count his pilots gave Idris a few seconds to get his breath. Then he's doing his own pre-flight checks and looks for any sign that there is some kind of traffic control. Thank God, there's a Deckie on it. He returns her salute and waits until she gives him the go-ahead to lift. He keeps his flaps tamped and slowly throttles up, then lifts the craft free of the hangar floor. The viper moves forward and out through the vast opening in the side of the mountain and then he's out and into the sunlight.

While Gloria has every intention of making a landing on Orion's deck before the battlestar jumps, given the number of DRADIS pings she's picking up, she also does just double check the fleet co-ordinates she entered, and the status of the FTL. "Five minutes till we can jump if required," she calls, "gonna start jamming anything skath looking. Just let me know if you're planning any attack runs on the ground forces so I can prioritise accordingly." She leaves the hatch open as the vipers launch and is rewarded with a trio of deckies diving in for their lift home, but when it's their turn to go she closes it, hoping the others make it to a craft in time. The launch itself leaves the usual pit in her stomach, but now she's back at the controls it's okay. Not pleasant still, but okay.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz, ready to roll, over."

Niko is one of the last into a Viper, and he yells at the ground crew even as he puts a foot on the first step up. "Get going!" Then he drops into the cockpit to slam the hatch. Pre-flight is limited to the absolute minimum to get airborne — if this old Viper is going to have a technical problem on take-off, it's too late to worry about that now. Using the manoeuvring thrusters to get into the air, he then clears behind and hits the throttle to rocket out of the hangar bay and into the sky. Then he's on the wireless and calling out to the ships already in the air.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Vogue, Scythe. On my way. Flight — be advised, we've all got the old Mark II missiles. Don't expect them to lock on to the Skath raiders. This will be a gun fight, people."

Kar launches in turn and quickly forms up on Vogue's wing as he hears the orders crackling in his helmet. As he climbs into the sky and into position his head is now on a swivel, having seen the light-show suddenly ping on his DRADIS. He takes a moment to double check the on-board ordnance and tsks as he confirms the CAGs announcement. Dogfight

> [Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Vogue, Mouse. On your wing sir. Bogeys incoming."

As the deckies duck in, Inez glances back. "Copy," she says to Gloria, and there's a wheeze in the voice. She mentally swears at those stairs and also makes a mental note to do more cardio when they get back to Orion. "Strap in folks, this is going to be a bumpy ride. "Dodona, take comms, please?" she requests, her lungs still not caught up enough for the quick patter needed during combat. "Green across the board, let's go…" and with that, they're being given their clearance in line, and she pushes forward to take off, eyes focused on the fight ahead as she works on breathing properly.

Getting out of the mountain as well, Scott looks around rather carefully. "Another lovely, yet crazy day…" he mutters to himself as he prepares for what's coming, looking around to orient himself.

[Into the Wireless] Gloria says, "Flight, Dodona. Airborn with three hitchhikers."
[Into the Wireless] Scott says, "Vogue, Pollux. Got it."

Donovan roars out of the hanger and into the air. He rolls once and gives the controls a once around the world to make sure that he has all his inputs and then flips all the switches and checks his

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Scythe, Kar, Vogue copies. Watch out! We have four coming for us, Kar. Break and chase, then circle back so we can cross fire on each other's tailers as we come around, over!"
[Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Vogue, Mouse. Wilco. Break and chase. Over."

<COMBAT> Gloria suppresses Raider8 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Kar attacks Raider2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider5 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider4 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Kar with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Donovan attacks Raider4 with KEW - Serious wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider1 with KEW - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider1 - Light wound to Right Foot.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider1 - Serious wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider1 - Moderate wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider1 - Critical wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Raider8 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Donovan with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz attacks Raider1 with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Kar with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider1 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider1 has been KO'd!

Niko finds himself playing catch-up, climbing like hell to try and stay with the Vipers that launched ahead of him. This gives him a chance to jump the first wave of bandits as they break to attack the closer ships. He turns on the one heading for Donovan and puts a burst into the Skath's fuselage, but it's still flying. A quick check of six and he sees he has one on his own tail, but that's not enough to get him to break off just yet.

The Vipers rip ahead of the Raptors to engage with the Skath ships but there are just too many of them and a furball errupts at once. Everyone is shooting at each other and in moments the ships begin to mix it up. Idris fires away and hammers Raider4, softening it up well as it comes around and decides to go after Diaz, instead. But the Captain doesn't keep after it to go for the easy kill. Instead he does as he told Kar to do and circles back to pick up the new Raider on Kar's tail. Even as he is almost ready to fire his KEW again, Bloodfeather dares a glance to see how their Raptors are faring..

And there comes the Raiders. Scott looks around, seeing one of the Raiders go for Diaz. Rolling a bit to the side, he brings the Viper around rather aggressively to send his fire at the enemy fighter, letting out a bit of a breath as the Raider turns into a nice fireball. Noticing one following him, he moves a little less aggressive, trying to get into a good position for firing at that particular Raider.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue. It's a furball, but let's not forget to keep them off of our Raptors, over."

And it begins, the skies are now filled with the zipping of vipers v raiders trading rain. He breaks and chases one down, firing away and getting a few decent smacks on Raider2. As he banks away though he feels a hit to his left wing and he can feel the almost immediate change in response on his stick. He glances around and lines himself up with his captain as they planned, lining up the raider on Vogue's tail.

[Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Vogue, Mouse. Coming around now. One of my flaps got hit but I'm ok. Copy on the Raptors."

Once she's in the air and the first exchange of weapons fire is done, just as a sort of ice breaker from the Skath-Raiders as a general 'Hi, welcome to Aerilon, here's a tourist map, visit the gift shop in the bunker on your way out' sort of gesture, Diaz is quick to drop into position along Pollux's wing. She scans DRADIS then shifts her firing solution to ping off of a Skath-Raider that's taking aim at Corric, keying the com for a moment to advise.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Corric, Diaz. Taking aim at the -6, over."

Donovan spent quite some time in some of these older Vipers so he is not as out of his element as the other pilots likely are. You know how it is. The Battlestars get all the cool new toys and then ground kids get the hand-me-downs. He rolls in tight to his wingman then slowly drifts away a few degrees a second turn. Making the Raider track his turn. Once he has a line and is in range, he jumps up speed and reverses his turn, the Raider turns right into his attack getting hammered by the high velocity rounds. He continues to track the Raider, itching to put him in the dirt for condition of the planet below. Payback time.

[Into the Wireless] Donovan says, " Diaz, Corric, Copy… tracking -4. Keep an eye out for jumpers on the Raptors."

No sooner are they out when the pings start, and Inez's attempts to steady her breathing turns to hiccups. Dammit. She tries to hold her breath in order to stop them, but she doesn't have enough, and she hiccups again. "Is that two *hic* on … going low, Do*hic*dona. Let's give *hic* ground crew more time *hic* to get off planet *hic*" she cuts her coms, but likely the ECO can still hear the "DAMMIT" *HIC* as the Raptor's trajectory dives towards the Walkers, opening up the guns.

"Hang on," Gloria calls to their passengers as a raider fires on them, "this might get bumpy." She's not looking away from her board to check they're strapping in though, that's their problem, her's is keeping up with the jamming efforts. "still got one raider trying to make friends," she tells Inez, "jamming. Four and a half minutes til we can jump." As they take the turn for the walkers she offers a quick, "copy that," but keeps her attention on jamming the raider that's trying to follow.

<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider2 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz attacks Raider6 with KEW - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Raider8 attacks Scott with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW - Light wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Kar with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider7 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Kar attacks Raider5 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Gloria suppresses Raider3 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider8 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Donovan attacks Raider4 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Donovan with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Tail (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW - Light wound to Tail (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Inez attacks Wlkgrp1 with 20mm Minigun - Moderate wound to Abdomen.

<COMBAT> Raider-0831o has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider4 has been KO'd!

As the group really gets into the mix, things start happening fast. There's a radio call from the bunker that the first amphib is departing. Anyone who looks back can see a small capital ship just easing its way right out of the mountain. It’s something for the eyes to behold. Beneath that mountain were ships large enough to sail with the fleet, intended to provide reinforcements anywhere on Aerilon, or the Colonies, with very little notice. The black and grey shape slips out and begins taking immediate groundfire. The rounds do nothing, though, as it starts to rise nose-up and climb away. As it does, another dozen Vipers depart the bay, rising up to join the fight - which might be a bit strange because just about every Viper stick has been accounted for.

[Into the Wireless] Bud says, "Viper lead, requesting to join the fracas. Got twelve geezers looking to put the hurt on, over." The guy sounds like he's in his early fifties or late 40's.

"You picked the wrong ride," Gloria mutters in awe to the deckies, as she sees the amphib leave the bunker. How the frak did -that- fit in there? And then there's rounds pinging off the rear of her airframe and that brings her mind right back to point. "Engines hit," she calls as she checks her readouts, "minor damage only, probably just dinged the paintwork. I'm sure our guests back here will explain how it wasn't our fault though. What with us givin' 'em a lift home and all." She takes a moment to work out her best jamming target, then continues the jump count down, just in case it's needed. "Four minutes to FTL availability."

Donovan gets raked but weapons fire but the armour takes the worst of it. He manages to line up without taking anymore hits and squeezes the trigger again, rounds punching into the Raider and it erupts into a ball of fire. He rolls, rocketing through the expanding cloud of vapor and fire and smoke. He spots another Raider, DRADIS paints it as -3 and so… -3 it is. He turns reverse hard on its tail and lines up for a shot.

[Into the Wireless] Donovan says, " Flight, Corric, splash one, tracking -3."

While caught up in this little miss and fly thing, Scott catches sight of the amphib leaving the bunker. "Oh what a beautiful sight…." he mutters to himself, while twisting, turning, zigging and zagging in an attempt to catch his opponent. Switching to a more aggressive move to get it.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz, staying on target, over."

It's a reflexive decision by Niko that sends him into a tight turn and into a head-to-head pass with the Skath trying to get on his tail. They trade KEW rounds but both ships pass largely unscathed. Then the CAG swivels his head, tracking the bandit to see which way he breaks before making his own move. And that's when he spots the first Lander taking off, and the unknown Vipers coming up behind. Who the frak are those guys? He gets on the wireless just long enough to welcome them to the fight.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Unknown Vipers, Scythe. We are covering until the landers egress, then we will burn for orbit and our ride. Climb and engage."

Diaz works the firing solution with careful precision as she plunks away at the Raider that has shifted it's own firing solution already to take aim at another of their wing. She cues up the display, works the angles, checks her relative position to Pollux to confirm that he's not having trouble with the Raider he's squaring off against and opens fire as soon as she's certain of the firing solution.

Idris fires at the Raider that is on Kar's tail but the Skath twists away and it's a miss. Thankfully the Captain was careful of his line of sight and doesn't throw slugs up his wingman's tail. Soon as it's off of Kar, the Captain drops altitude and goes after a Raider that is attempting to chew on one of their Raptors. Bloodfeather throttles up to push his speed while he is clear without anything obvious coming after him - yet.

[Into the Wireless] Bud says, "Copy Viper Lead, Geezer Flight, this is One. Priority evac. Turn and burn."

Inez gives a fierce grin as she notes the contact with her ground target, but it is totally ruined by a hiccup. She exhales in frustration, and then tries to hold her breath again. Her head snaps around at the sound of impact, but she returns her focus to the battle as the ECO reports in. She lets out her breath slowly, "Copy" she replies, and then half holds her breath again to see if it's worked.

Unfortunately as cool as it looks, the manoeuvre between Kar and the Captain doesn't completely work as he misses his mark. Instead the young Jig mashes the alarm reset as his bird takes a few more hits from the bandit on his tail. According to his console, his belly be on fire. Frak. He swerves off to one side, breaking away as he looks around, getting his bearings to try and re-align with Vogue who has gone off to protect a raider. Mouse goes after his lead, weaving in and out trying to avoid any more raiders that might be on his tail.

[Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Vogue, Mouse. Coming around, following your lead. Over."
[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Geezer Flight, Vogue. Glad to have you. Watch for ground fire from Walker groups, over."

<COMBAT> Raider9 attacks Viper1 with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Inez attacks Wlkgrp1 with 20mm Minigun - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Diaz attacks Raider6 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Scott with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider10 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW - Light wound to Tail (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider7 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider8 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Viper2 with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider6 with KEW - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider6 - Moderate wound to Neck.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider6 - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Gloria suppresses Raider6 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Donovan attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider8 attacks Viper4 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Viper2 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider6 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp1 has been KO'd!

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Mouse, Vogue. You are trailing smoke. What's your status, over?"

Niko puts his Viper into a series of scissoring turns, forcing one of the bandits on his tail to overshoot. The other manages to punch a few KEW rounds through his tail fin, but there's no serious damage yet. The CAG reverses his turn again, looking to turn the tables on the persistent bastard. Then he spots most of the Skath breaking and diving on the 'geezer' flight. "Hope those guys know what they're doing," he mutters before calling out a warning on the wireless.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Geezers, Scythe. Five bandits diving on you."

The first amphib climbs out and is just above the peaks when it vanishes in a blink of light. The blast from the FTL rocks the trees in the valley and causes another landslide. This happens just as the second begins moving out, slowly starting its climb. But at this point the two surviving AFV's on the ground are turning their turrets off the bunker openings and lifting them up to max deflection. One of them begins tracking the Raptor, the other starts to lift towards the ship but caaaaaaannot quite get the deflection yet. It sits there, turret aimed up, waiting for it to continue forward.

[Into the Wireless] Geezer1 says, "Copy, Scythe. Wouldn't be any fun unless they took a few potshots."

Donvan manages to escape notice this pass and not take any new hits but the Raider he is behind is a little better flyer than his long-lost-buddy. Donovan misses clean with his first volley and so he sets the Raider up with a series of back and forth passes… rolling out and not turning at the last moment, letting the Raider turn right into his line of fire. He spots a Raider turning onto Niko's tail.

[Into the Wireless] Donovan says, " Flight, Corric, tracking -3. Scythe, watch your back boss, DRADIS paints -7 as closing on you."

"Nice shooting," Gloria calls through to the cockpit, a big grin on her face. It's one that quickly fades though as another DRADIS ping pops up. "Someone is trying to get a lock on us!" she cautions, then a second or two later, "AFV, targeting now." Switching from jamming to missiles seems to take forever, even if in practice it's only a second or three, but then the Raptor rocks slightly as one of it's underslung missiles rockets off the wing struts. "Rifle, rifle, rifle," the ECO calls as it accelerates away from them. Then gets on the blower to the departing capital ships.

Changing targets up again, Diaz scans the display and is briefly stunned at the sight of the small cap ship gaining altitude with more vipers spilling out of the mountain bunker in it's wake. "Wow," is all the pilot has time to say as she sorts through the weapons sigs and swapping weapons locks to select a target to fire at again. This time she takes aim at one of the raiders that's lining up on one of the newly emerged vipers.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz, retargeting to Raider9, over."
[Into the Wireless] Gloria says, "Amphibs, Dodona. Ground missile tracking your flight path. Deloy countermeasures if you have them."
[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Corric, Scythe. I see him."

Still following the Raider he was trying to take out, Scott grimaces a bit as his own Viper is hit. Shaking his head as he sees it isn't something serious, he continues moving for that Raider he's been following, another attempt to take the thing out.

The shudder of his wounded bird is just one more thing Mouse has to worry about as it's taking all his focus now to push the damn thing around the way he wants it to go. Hard. But not impossible…yet. Glancing back is useless at this stage as the smoke billowing out turns into a smokescreen-trail behind him. He goes in after Vogue to help chase down that pesky raider. He is far too focused now to spare but a moment to notice the new viper contacts, and that's all on that matter.

[Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Vogue, Mouse. Small fire sir. I'll be right. Bandit on you. Got your back. Over."

Inez gives a short, explosive cheer as the first target is down, and as the first Amphib blinks out. She blinks once herself, and swings around the Raptor to cover the next one as it rises. She peers through the dust of the landslide, and then narrows her eyes. "Dodona, you got the AF… yeah," she says almost on top of the ECO's announcement of intention. "Alright, whoever you are…" she mutters, and perhaps that cheer took out the hiccups, because there's nary a hitch in her voice as she swerves through the dust clouds to open fire once more.

Turns out Diaz and Idris shoot up the same Raider until it shreds in the air, loosing pieces and breaks apart in a showy fiery death to splatter the valley below in scattered debris. No sooner than he's done that then Captain Bloodfeather has a Skath coming /right/ at him, head on! Vogue begins firing and hits his thrusters hard to power his viper to right at it, only barely angled off to avoid a collision!

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Mouse, Vogue. It's coming right at me - I see it."

<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider2 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider8 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Gloria attacks Skathafv1 with Missile Ap and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kar attacks Raider2 with KEW - Moderate wound to Controls.
<COMBAT> Raider9 attacks Viper1 with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Viper1 - Light wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Raider10 attacks Viper3 with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider7 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Viper4 attacks Raider10 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Viper3 attacks Raider5 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Viper2 attacks Raider10 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skathafv1 takes careful aim at Inez.
<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Viper2 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Inez attacks Wlkgrp2 with 20mm Minigun and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz attacks Raider9 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Viper1 attacks Raider5 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider8 attacks Viper1 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Viper3 with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Donovan attacks Raider3 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Viper-8718n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Idris has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-6118b has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-1735s has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider5 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-9394g has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider8 has been KO'd!

The second amphib apparent gets the message. White smoke billows from it as hundreds of red flares are thrown into the sky. The Ship continues climbing forward and up as the AFV fires a missile. The guidance lost, the missile pushes through the smoke and past the amphib before exploding harmlessly. But the AFV'2 gun system begins firing and starts chewing holes. The ship seems to slow a bit in the climb before it too disappears in a flash of light. The next one is already nosing out. That's two away. Three to go. But the AFV is turning its turret towards the entrance and getting ready to fire just as the second one launches a missile at Inez's Raptor.

Donovan misses another volley at Raider 3 and he swears under his breath. He needs to get this bogey down and move onto the next before their massive swarm of friends get here and make them all dead. He spots that -3, his target has turned onto Diaz's tail. He increases speed and lines up for another shot, making a call to warn her.

[Into the Wireless] Donovan says, " Diaz, Corric, tracking -3. Watch your back cause it's closing on you."

Niko manages to turn the tables on his tailing bandit, outclimbing it and then going over the top to put a short burst into the Skath. Not much damage, and he veers off as the angle is too high to pursue. Seeing another raider chasing Donovan, he turns and dives to try and get a shot at that one before it can shoot up his ersatz wingman.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Corric, Diaz. Copy that. Vogue, Diaz, status? over."
[Into the Wireless] Donovan says, " Scythe, Corric, I see him back there, trying to shake him."

Once in a while, you don't need to have a very solid hit to make a big boom. Scott manages to hit Raider8 with what he would think was a glancing blow, but somehow, the Raider explodes. Turning around again, he sees another enemy come for him, and he moves for that one, slightly more cautiously.

"Swing and a miss," Gloria calls forward, although Inez can probably tell by the lack of explosion. "We've got a clear run to the second platform if you fancy dropping some boommakers on it? It's got good line on the bunker, we could do with distracting it from the transports." That said she readies another missile and then it's "rifle, rifle, rifle," as the raptor shakes on release yet again.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Targeting the bandit on Corric, over."

As he flits around, weaving and attacking together with Vogue, Kar shreds their target into oblivion as the raider gets off a last round that do some damage to the captain. Getting back into formation, he glances out trying to make out just how bad it is. He sticks to his leader as they turn to assist one of the geezers.

[Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Vogue, Mouse. Bandit down. You alright sir?"

[Into the Wireless] Scott says, "Flight, Pollux. Another one bites the dust. Got one coming for me, so I'll try to show it the error of its ways."

<COMBAT> Gloria will spend luck on attack this turn.
<COMBAT> Viper2 attacks Raider10 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider10 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Donovan attacks Raider3 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Viper4 attacks Raider3 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Viper3 attacks Skathafv1 with KEW - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider10 attacks Scott with RAIDER KEW - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Gloria attacks Skathafv2 with Missile Ap - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Kar attacks Raider7 with KEW - Serious wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Inez uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Forge-8831e - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-8831e - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-8831e - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-8831e - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-8831e - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-8831e - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Viper1 attacks Raider3 with KEW - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Right Foot.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Skathafv2 attacks Inez with 20mm CG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider9 attacks Donovan with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Viper1 with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider3 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider7 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-7571s has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider9 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Forge-8831e has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Skathafv2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viper-3835i has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viper3 has been KO'd!

The lone AFV left is taking fire as soon as it leaves the portal. Every gun on the ground except a group of Skath Walkers is firing at the amphib. The 20mm chews holes as it passes and there's a low belch of black smoke from it. The ship begins nosing up but it isn't accelerating. The AFV turns its turret and waits. Just as it comes into position to jump the AFV fires a missile. It heads right up and explodes in the aft section. Designed to penetrate tank armour, it plunges through the outer armour of the amphib and explodes just as the jump is executed. The effect is painful. The FTL only jumps the rear of the ship as it begins exploding and it vanishes. The front half of the ship, still traveling up, begins dropping tanks, gear, and live personnel out, leaving them in freefall. The front half seems to hang in the air before it begins dropping, slowly at first. It eventually picks up speed and crashes into the mountain peaks on the north side of the valley. The munitions inside cook off and explode, sending debris high into the sky. However, another amphib is already leaving. Either it didn't see what just happens or the crew is just that damned determined. The turret on the AFV begins turning back towards the next one departing.

Niko snaps a quick burst into the belly of the Skath chasing Donovan, forcing it to break off. But there's no serious damage to the bandit and Niko breaks the other way, clearing his own Six. Then he spots another Viper, shot up and trailing fluids, with a Skath on its tail. The CAG banks and turns hard, trying to assist.

Donovan rakes over the back quarter of -3 and watches as it spins out of control towards the ground. He looks over his shoulder quickly, trying to get a look at the raider on his tail when it gets lit up by Diaz. It rocks and shudders under the weapons fire and its round miss just a meter to the left of his Viper. He lets out a sigh and then turns his attention back to the fight. The closest to him is -10, so he accelerates and takes on a vector to get in behind the Raider and do some lead painting on it.

[Into the Wireless] Donovan says, " Flight, Corric, -3 is down, targeting -10. Diaz, Corric, Thanks for the save. I owe ya one."

"Good as done," Inez replies over her shoulder, putting the disappointment of the miss behind her. She toggles over and then sets the Raptor into a dive towards the platform mentioned. Her teeth grit together, and she announces the bombs away, her neck craning a little to look for the results. The cheer dies in her mouth, though, as she watches the other AFV tear apart the amphib. "Frakker," she growls, as she watches a crew member plummeting to the ground. "Give it everything, Dodona," she snaps, setting the bombing run again and urging another missile from Gloria.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue. We could sure use more Raptors or Rhinos … or /Marines/ taking care of what's on the ground and shooting at the Amphibs! We are going to lose th… (oh shit - silence as it blows) Gods."

Blowing the frak out of one AFV is intensely satisfying, but the damage the other inflicts less so. Gloria mutters a solemn prayer to Zeus, then another to Hades as she sees the Amphip go, wondering just how many of their crew they lost in that. Still, it does wonders to focus her attention on the remaining AFV. "Revectoring," she calls, then a few moments later "rifle, rifle, rifle," as her third missile is launched towards the offending vehicle."

Frowning as he looks around, Scott lets out a sigh as he misses his target. "Stop…" he mutters to himself, breaking off to go after another Raider, this one being the one that seems to be going for Diaz. "No you don't…" he mutters as he tries diving a bit towards that Raider.

[Into the Wireless] Gloria says, "All Amphibs, Dodona. AFV sighting on you as you depart. Countermeasures still required. We're working on clearing your way."
[Into the Wireless] Scott says, "Diaz, Pollux. Looks like you have one of those Raiders following you around. I'll see if I can get it away from you."

Idris manages to hit the viper he's firing at but only barely, damn it. Meanwhile it shoots up his viper pretty well, son of a …..! Alarms wail and he slaps the mutes, glancing at the damage readouts. Bloodfeather bares his teeth and pulls the stick over hard to break away, cursing beneath this breath. As he comes around he sees one of the 'Old Geezers' damaged and getting fired upon so Vogue pushes his air frame to go and give assist. Briefly smoke trails from Bloodfeather's viper but he keeps flying, firing away and this time, lighting up the backend of Raider7 like a fire cracker, tearing it apart! Just in time for Idris to have a beautiful view of the huge Amphibious transport getting ripped practically in half and spewing cargo and personnel into the air..

Again as a duo they prey on a bandit before it bugs out. Kar eases up ever so slightly and does what he can to get himself in position as he notices a DRADIS contact bearing down on Idris. His arms now aching from having to battle with the constant shudder of his bird, even more so pulling off high-G manoeuvres. The comms are chaos as an amphib goes down. Kar affords himself a split-second glance of respect out his cockpit at the fallen before his gaze focuses solely on his next target.

[Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Vogue, Mouse. One on your tail. Over."

"May the gods have mercy on them," Diaz says in a low voice, her tone of voice heavily laden with regret and grief at the sight of so many lives lost at the cap ship tears itself in half then embeds itself in the side of a mountain. She shakes it off, or tries to, and pulls up targeting on the incoming wave of Raiders. +com Tac1=Flight, Diaz. Copy that. My viper is bingo damage, I repeat, zero damage. Shifting firing solution to take the heat off of Vogue. Corric, glad to help. Pollux, thanks in advance for the assist.

<COMBAT> Gloria will spend luck on attack this turn.
<COMBAT> Viper1 attacks Raider11 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Gloria attacks Skathafv1 with Missile Ap - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Skathafv1 - Moderate wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Skathafv1 - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Viper4 attacks Raider10 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Viper2 attacks Raider12 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider12 attacks Donovan with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider11 attacks Viper1 with RAIDER KEW - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Viper1 - Moderate wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Viper1 - Moderate wound to Left Foot.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Viper1 - Critical wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Inez uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Forge-7310s - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-7310s - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-7310s - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-7310s - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-7310s - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-7310s - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Forge-7310s - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Donovan attacks Raider10 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider16 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider14 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider13 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider10 attacks Viper2 with RAIDER KEW - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider11 with KEW - Serious wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider13 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz attacks Raider14 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider16 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Diaz - Critical wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Diaz - Light wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Raider15 attacks Viper4 with RAIDER KEW - Serious wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Kar attacks Raider14 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Viper1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viper2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viper-7626a has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Diaz has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-7276x has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider10 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-9568q has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider11 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Forge-7310s has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Skathafv1 has been KO'd!

The combined fire of the bombs and missiles obliterates the last Skath AFV on the ground, leaving nothing but metal scraps on the landscape — before it can even get a single round off. The fourth amphib continues its advance out and begins climbing skyward before jumping away, the last one already nosing out quickly behind it, almost dangerously so. But Geezer flight is falling. They've scored their share. A Raider rakes rounds across the lead's pit and the Viper immediately begins smoking and going into a lazy roll as it dives for the ground.

[Into the Wireless] Geezer One says, "I'm hit bad. Goin in. Keep up the fight, lads. Keep the faith.. Lieutenant Colonel Bud Graves, signing off." Its transmitted in the clear seconds before the Viper hits the ground and explodes.

Niko finally gets in a good shoot, riddling one raider with KEW fire that saws off most of one wing. The Skath goes down, but not before he's already gotten the Aerlion pilot the CAG was trying to save. He hears the man's last wireless call and curses, "Frak." That is all the time he has to mourn the Geezer leads loss. The sky is still full of Machines.

Donovan turns from the smoking and falling debris that was Raider-10. He is almost hit by another that screams past him at near full throttle. DRADIS paints it as Raider -12. He turns and accelerates and gives chase, making every effort for a good firing line up on the Raider.

Wincing as he hears the message from Graves, as well as himself being unable to fully take out the Raider that he was targeting, Scott growls. He stays on the Raider even as it changes target. Moving into a position where he hopefully can hit that Raider quite bad.

Kar squeezes his trigger. Kar misses. Horridly. The bird is getting harder and harder to control now, the damage is bad and probably about to get worse. He's forced into a wide turn as it takes all his skill just to try and not get hit. His eyes in constant motion between the skies and his console. As the sign off rings through the comms, the young Jig can't help but let off a quiet "Frak" and a small prayer to the gods.

[Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Flight, Mouse. My bird is getting really heavy. Bandit on my six. Taking evasive action. Over."
[Into the Wireless] Donovan says, " Flight, Corric, -10 is down, targeting -12."

This is .. bad. About as bad as Idris has seen a fight with the Skath yet. And he's been in a few bad ones. Vogue fires away but misses the Skath again! No sooner than he saw the transport shredded and their people dying, then he hears the Lieutenant Colonel sign off and go down, turning his head sharply to see the viper impact the ground, going up in a fireball. It is all happening so quickly. /That/ was the viper he'd been trying to protect, until more Raiders were swarming over their Raptors again. If only .. Idris doesn't have time to curse himself. The Raider he's chasing opens up on Diaz and about blows her viper out of the sky before his very eyes. The Gods only know how she keeps flying! A sudden wave of intense anger sweeps through him in a flash. Bloodfeather slams his throttle forward and bares his teeth, giving his attack everything he has got to get that son of a bitch off of his pilot!

Fighting the impact from the weapons fire that makes the Viper frame shudder, Diaz's head is rattled around inside her helmet as well and for a moment her vision is blurry and her Viper is spinning in a erratic manner that is almost.. almost enough to make the Ten dizzy. By the time she's straightened around again she can see the damage to the cockpit is the bulk of the damage over all. The warning sound of a target lock on her Viper snaps her focus back into place, or near enough for military work, and she levels out the flight path of her viper once more and swaps weapons locks with the Raider taking aim at her.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Damage to cockpit, mostly," which is her version of 'it's mostly falling apart but I've landed worse, "still intact enough to get the job done, Over."

"Two for two," Gloria calls joyfully as the second AFV immolates in front of them. Not that she can see that mind, just it's dot on the DRADIS fade into nothingness. She does however pass the message on to the remaining transports. Noting a raider on their tail she swivels slightly in her seat to start pounding at the ECM board again. "Not right now," she mutters, "don't fancy walking home."

[Into the Wireless] Gloria says, "Remaining transports, Dodona. You have a clear path, jump safe."

<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 attacks Inez with LMG Tripod AP and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider13 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider16 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Gloria suppresses Raider16 with Ecm. <successful>
<COMBAT> Viper4 attacks Raider16 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider14 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Inez uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Wlkgrp2 - Critical wound to Head.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Wlkgrp2 - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Wlkgrp2 - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Wlkgrp2 - ARMOR on Left Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Wlkgrp2 - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Wlkgrp2 - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Wlkgrp2 - ARMOR on Left Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Donovan attacks Raider16 with KEW - Moderate wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider15 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider13 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW - Critical wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider12 attacks Kar with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz attacks Raider12 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider16 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider15 with KEW - Light wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> Diaz has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viper-7626a has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Diaz has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-5091n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider16 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viper-2339m has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viper4 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Wlkgrp2 has been KO'd!

The final amphib is right on the tail of the fourth. The fifth one climbs out and is making good speed as it climbs. It hits the pre-designated jump point and flashes out. The final boom echoes across the valley while people below have come out to watch. Some are battling the fire while others just stare, faces craned up and skyward. But some can already be seen running for the bunker doors. With the last one away, the mission is officially complete. Radio chatter from the Orion indicates that it is now in orbit and needs to get the Vipers home ASAP before the Skath fleet realize it is on station.

Niko spots Diaz's wounded bird, the Skath on her tail, and Idris chasing that. And behind the Strikes leader, yet another raider chasing him. The CAG dips the nose of his Viper and backs off the throttle, cutting airspeed to try and get inside the raider behind Vogue. Ping, ping, ping! He hears enemy fire glancing off the body of his Viper, but he stays with the target long enough to put a quick burst into the cockpit. The Skath flies on, apparently without serious damage. He'd stay here and slug it out, but with the last Lander away, this mission is over. Time for the better part of valour.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Flight, Scythe. Final Lander is away. Break off. Break off. Return to base. Acknowledge."

Corin rolls out of his turn and lines up, sending a steam of super high velocity rounds at Raider-12. The rounds spark and due to the odd angle most ricocheted off the Raiders armour. He continues to track the Raider. He lines up again, a little anxious to get the shot off and then get the hell outta the mess they are flying in.

[Into the Wireless] Donovan says, " Flight, Corric, -12 is hit, going to try and knock him down on my exit pass. Then heading for home."

Finally coming around to where he wants to be Kar, giving his bird one last push as he goes for broke, goes after the bandit on Vogue. The message from the CAG comes loud and clear in his helmet but he's already committed to this last go at the raider. Getting a lead on his target, he fires…

[Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Vogue, Mouse. Covering your six. Go sir."

With the last transport away Glroia turns her attention abck to the FTL drive and grins broadly at the readout. "Jump capable in 10," she calls, then, 4 seconds later, "5, 4,… 1. FLT spooled. Give the command and we're away." Her hand is quite literally hovering over the button as she lets light know their intentions.

[Into the Wireless] Gloria says, "Flight, Dodona. Jumping clear. See you at the rendezvous."

Piss on it! Even in his anger, pushing his viper to it's damaged limits, Bloodfeather is unable to do more than lightly strafe the Raider that tried to obliterate Diaz! So focused is Bloodfeather on trying to nail that bastard that he is taken by surprise as the Skath lines up behind him and chews the crap out of his air frame - the sound of rounds ripping through make him jerk the stick over as hard as he can to port into a roll and a turn at the same time to break away. Idris looses pursuit of Raider13 for a few seconds, then reacquires. Man is still angry, wanting revenge upon the Skath for all they have done. Only then does the Lucky Strikes Squadron Leader hear the others over the coms, even as he's firing his KEW like pounding a drum.

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

It would seem everyone is getting into some kind of line here. And so Scott decides to go for that enemy going for Niko, moving in a bit aggressively. One last shot and then heading home, right? He waits a few moments, then fires, growling a bit as he does.

As the CAG confirms what her eyes see, Inez pulls up from the last bombing run and then holds level underneath the dogfight going on above them. She listens to Gloria's countdown as she holds steady through the smoke and dust to some clearer air. "Take us out, Dodona," she confirms once the com goes through to flight.

[Into the Wireless] Scott says, "Scythe, Pollux. Copy that. I'll just try getting this Raider off your tail in the process."

The voice over the com is enough to help Diaz shake some of the confusion off, but not enough to bring her entirely into focus for the first few moments after the Viper is hit hard enough that every single warning sound that can go off IS going off. If fact, once the buzzing in her ears is added to the warning sounds the weird cacophony makes a sort of pretty doppler noise as she blinks the blood out of her eyes. She tries to lift her left arm only to have it halt mid-motion, realizes that her left arm is riddled with shrapnel and lowers it again. She uses her right arm only to work the series of commands and smacks her gloved hand into her helmet at least once trying to wipe her face off.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz," long pause, lots of static, ".. damage.." more static then, "over."

Gloria does not need to be told twice and punches the button. Seconds later her, Inez, and their three deckie wink out in a flash of light

<COMBAT> Donovan attacks Raider12 with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Scott attacks Raider14 with KEW - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider15 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider14 attacks Niko with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider12 attacks Kar with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider15 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kar attacks Raider15 with KEW - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider13 with KEW - Moderate wound to Left Wing.

<COMBAT> Raider-7779b has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider14 has been KO'd!

Idris fires upon and chews up that Skath Raider /finally/ but it slips away and rolls hard to starboard, leaving smoke in his screen! But nothing to shoot. Bloodfeather starts to come around to chase it but no, he continues on and starts climbing, taken that chance to break off and RTB. He's barely started before he checks on his wingman again to make sure 'Mouse' is still with him after his flash of all consuming anger. Still hot, it's burned itself out somewhat and the Captain draws a slow, deep breath as he checks each of his pilot's status as they too are breaking away to speed away up out of atmo. It's been a hard won day.

His last barrage hits true, but still not enough to take the raider down completely. Kar curses as he takes another hit, but thankfully he's still flying. He looks around as best he can, his cockpit now starting to smoke, and falls in behind Vogue. That's it. Landers are away. RTB order came through. Time to bug out. The young Jig stays in formation as best he can as they speed up and away, back to Orion.

Levelling off momentarily to count the Vipers, Niko sees that Idris still has one chasing him. Turn into the fight again, Scythe fires a burst into the raider, then breaks off as he sees Kar's Viper making an attack on the same target. Not waiting around to see what happens to the damaged Skath, Niko eases the nose up and starts burning for orbit again. Checking six, he sees another raider trying to get in behind him, only to be shot out of the sky by Scott. With his six clear, the CAG hits the afterburner and continues his climb.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Pollux, Scythe. Nice shot. Flight — let's go catch our ride or we're walking home."

Falling behind slightly as the rest of the wing is climbing out of the gravity well, Diaz struggles with the slugging viper, having to reach across to hit the necessary controls. There's a bit of smoke wafting upward from one panel and with all the spider-webbed damage to the canopy she's flying by instrument and instinct alone. She remembers, along the way, to tear off a piece of tape to cover the damage to her flight suit. Another few pieces get slapped over the damage to her helmet and faceplate, making a sort of Frankenstein fashion plate. Her only goal is to land, and not skid, on the deck when her turn comes. Land. Not wreck. Land.

Firing at the enemy, Scott rolls off to the side as said enemy turns into a nice little fireball. Looking around, he climbs with the others, keeping an eye out in case someone else is following after them. But the one important thing now is getting out of here. When they approach the ship, he'll let the damaged planes land first, before going back into the relative safety.

Vogue's viper is in pretty bad shape too. He keeps an eye on Diaz and feels the controls fighting him - it's easier once they get out of atmosphere. Fairly exhausted, he opens his coms as they can finally see the Orion ahead and the Raiders dropping behind.

> [Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Scythe and Kar, Vogue. Thank you both."

Donovan fires another volley at the Raider and it peels off, dropping for the low cloud cover. He uses the break to turn skyward and head away from the fray. He looks around once, taking not of where the other Vipers are and that at the moment there seems to no one has a tail on them. He notes that a few of the Vipers are trailing smoke but so far they seem to be flight worthy. He looks around frowning for a moment at the high pitched whistle that he is hearing and then notices that there is a bullet hole in his canopy. He opens that BDAR kit next to the seat and peels a self-adhesive temp patch of the hole. He shivers… the hole is only 2 inches behind his head. He turns his attention back to getting to the Orion.

[Into the Wireless] Donovan says, " Flight, Corric, I'm low and behind most of the flight. Got two
[Into the Wireless] Kar says, "Vogue, Mouse. Just doing my job. Let's get out of here. After you captain."

And with that, Kar pulls up close enough next to Vogue so they can see each other through their canopies, and he motions to the barn as they speed towards 'home'.

<FS3> Diaz rolls Piloting-2: Great Success.

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