MD #042: Operation Cold Forge Part 2
MD #041: Operation Cold Forge Part 2
Summary: Part 2 - act 1 - commences mere hours after the Marine time successfully arrives on Calumet; the Air Wing arrives to clear the way for the rest of the Marine's enroute to planet & what is possibly the largest battle to take place over any planet commences.
Date: Sat 20/May/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: http://battlestarorion.wikidot.com/operation-cold-forge-pt1
Casey Diaz Garrett Idris 
Melissa Niko Shay 
Calumet
Atmosphere & air space over target area.
Tue 05/Dec/2028 (IC Date)

And so the ritual of the pre-mission briefing begins. Attention is called as the commanding officers enter the briefing room. "As you were," the CAG responds immediately after. An image of a green-blue planet appears on the holo-display as Niko steps up to the podium to start. "This is Operation Cold Forge. Big picture: we are here to help the people of Calumet resist the Skath. Arpay think a successful resistance here could tie up the Skath for years. Multiple Carrier Strike Groups are forming up to clear the Skath fleet around the planet — enemy fleet strength is reported at forty-six ships. So this may end up being the largest fleet action since the first Cylon war. Our mission today is to clear a path for Rhinos and Raptors to land the Marines." The planet tilts and rotates, the hologram zooming in on a section of the planet's surface. It's a river valley in a mountainous region with a scattering of villages and larger towns.

"Critical info for this op: First, the planet's upper atmosphere interferes with wireless signals. We will have raptors positioned at high altitude to relay comms. We dont know how effective this will be, or if the Skath will decide to target our relay birds. If we lose comms, we complete the mission and then return to orbit immediately after. Second, there is a snow storm that is expected to hit the target area by the time we go in. Visibility below 2000m is expected to be frakked. Yeah, I know. But we already have Marines on the ground and we need to land the main force or scrub the whole show. Expect to be flying on sensors and watch out for the winds if you have to descend below the cloud cover."

"The Lucky Strikes and the Ghosts will make the initial attack," Niko continues. "Vipers will be flying top cover and the Raptors will take out enemy air defenses. Our recon bus confirmed 4 Saber and 5 Forge sites in the AO." The location of each of these sites appear on the display now. "One of the Sabers fired a tactical nuclear SAM at our solo recon Raptor, so the Skath are not holding back. Neither will we. I've requested that the Fleet target the Sabers for orbital bombardment. Maybe they'll get lucky and hit a few."

"Each Raptor will carry one decoy drone," the CAG gets down to the details, "launch them as soon as we're in the interference band in the upper atmosphere. Drones to be programmed to fly an attack course for one of the Saber or Forge sites. Priority on the Sabers. We will follow the decoys down and use maximum ECM coverage. I want a blanket of noise and I want a salvo of Shrikes (air to ground missiles that home in on enemy DRADIS emissions) at any Saber or Forge that makes a peep. If they don't go active we'll bomb the sites' coordinates by computer and sensors."

After details are discussed and tweaks made, Niko has one last bit of information. "/If/ you bail out, try to make contact with local resistance. Word is the locals speak something close to Colonial. Any unknown skinjob you see on the ground is working with the Skath. Avoid them. Marines have created a protocol for dealing with the locals, but the important thing for you to remember is: Dont lie. Say you cant talk about something if you need to, but dont lie. Better yet, don't get shot down. That's all. Good hunting."

The insertion Raptor for the initial team returned four hours ago with some news. Plenty of SAMs and air defenses, but also a snowstorm moving in and expected to be in full force by the time they arrive. At night. The bad news is that the combination of high peaks to the west means that anyone diving into the cloud deck at 10,000 feet runs the risk of hitting a peak, in the dark - except that these new fancy helmets provide a 3D wireframe terrain render on the faccemask, allowing the pilots to see the high terrain below them. Plus the standard nightvision systems are also quite handy. A little sneaky trick the Arpay helped develop. But it also means temperatures in the air will be below zero - not so good for the people on the ground probably. The ship went to work pretty fast when the recon pods came back. Its been a made scramble for four hours.

And now its Go Time. The mission clock ticks to zero and four naval strike groups, including the Orion's, jump into a distant orbit around Calumet. More than forty friendly ships, all at destroyer or better, move in to orbit to face down against 48 Skath ships that can't claim the same match. The order to launch every goes out just as the first rounds are leaving the ships. Every single gun is firing at something and about twenty percent are bombarding selected targets on the surface. As the wing departs the Orion they can look out and see how crowded the airspace is around the planet. Anti-ship missiles are flying in all directions, leaving criss-crossed trails in their wake. Most are vanishing into flak clouds on both Skath and friendly ships, but the guns look to be just chewing each other to pieces. The Arpay seem to be drawing a lot of the attention of the Skath fighters in space, though. Perhaps the Skath just don't know who they are dealing with yet. Given there's no immediate announcement on the radio, maybe that's not a bad thing.

As the teams dive towards the surface they can see their target area completely socked in with cloudcover. In front of the clouds, greenry. Behind them? A thick white blanket. Its very pretty, but something else adds to it. The deep EM field coming off the planet generates distracting and beautiful green and pink auroras that come over the poles and halfway down to the planet's equator. They rise up, dozens of miles, making the planet look like it were burning in some kind of electrical pyre against the dark planet below. They're still about 175 miles from the surface and they still aren't getting any threat indicators from the surface. Maybe they are about to cross the threshhold.

After the briefing, viper pilots hussle to their birds. Idris drops in, secures his helmet and checks the seals once he's plugged in, and goes through his preflight checks on the double. Soon as they give the word to launch, he's ready. Accelleration pushes him hard against his seat as the Orion spews him forth out into the stars - and the lit up frenzy of a fight already in progress much larger than any the Captain has ever seen in his life. Gods.

No time for distractions. Bloodfeather immediately kicks in full throttle to rip for the upper atmo and uses his radio while he still has coms.

Melissa is bringing the rookie ECO, by her own orders. Nobody else is going to fly her until Billboard is satisfied Casey is ready. She leads the Raptors off the flight deck and turns towards the planet. Her eyes go wide at seeing whats down there and the auroras across the sky. "Oh my Gods, its gorgeous. Casey you've gotta see this at some point," she whispers. She begins angling the Raptor towards the trget zone, though, pushing up the throttle.

After the lead Viper is gone, Garrett follows soon afterwards, kicked out of the tube as he takes in the blossoms of explosions as the heavyweights take on each other. "Frak me." he murmurs to himself as he shakes his head to throttle up and form on Bloodfeather's wing until the boss calls out assignments as he watches the Raptors and Predators head into the soup. "Reminds me of some frakked up music video."

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Lucky Strikes, Vogue. Form up on me. We won't be able to see for squat and coms may go down fast once we are in atmo. Let's keep our Raptors and Preds safe as we can. Rooster, you have Diaz's wing. We'll have to watch each other's Six best we can. Over."

[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "Vogue, Rooster. Copy that. On your port, waiting for my wing."

It's distracting how damn beautiful that aurora is shimmering over the planet.

Shay is in the mix somewhere, probably with some music blasting in her loaded bus.

When the order to scramble comes in, Niko snaps a salute to the launch tube operator and hits the throttle. But it's no snappy Viper launch for the CAG this time — he's flying a Predator. Outfitted with an ECM pod and a full bomb load, he has to burn hard to join up with the flight and fall in behind the Raptors. With so many unknowns, he's simply going to hang back and see how things shake out before committing to a target. For now Scythe is staying off the wireless and letting the squadron leaders take care of everything. "What the frak," he mutters as he gets his first look at the aurora over Calumet.

"Yeah. Maybe when I'm not busy," Casey replies as she works in the back. Now is not the time to be getting distracted by pretty auroras, right rook? "Just don't fly us into a mountain okay? That'd be a frakking lame way to go." Her eyes flick back to check their elevation as Melissa hits the throttle.

Their altitude crosses 127 vertical miles and something strange happens. The radios from the fleet cut out in a rapid fade covering five to seven seconds. Behind them, they can still see the massive battles raging but there aren't even any dradis signals coming down from the ships. Its probably something none of them have ever experienced before. And that's when their threat warning receivers start going apeshit. There's three Sabers to the north that are already active and tracking them. Each one of the Raptors and Vipers has an imminent launch warning tone in their helmets before a full third suddenly drop as the site goes off the air. Half a second later, another one dies. Then directly below them, near their target zone, there's a series of white flashes that light up the terrain for a dozen miles around it. The third Saber goes off the air instantly. But the Forge sites are still down there emitting, somewhere beneath the cloudcover.

[TAC5] There's a scratchy radio signal starting to come through. Its faded in electrical static but words start to be made out. "…our. Any ai.." Seconds pass with static. "…craft, this is Mike-Six-Four on Tac Five! Plea-.." and it starts to fade out again. The Wing is still too high to get a good signal.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Flight, Scythe. Drones away. Billboard, make sure someone sends one at that fourth Saber."

[Into the Wireless] Melissa says, "Copy, Scythe. Billboard has the decoy on the fourth."

The aurora, all the firing from the big ships, it all makes for a hell of a view. A view of a lifetime. Holy frak. Idris allows himself to watch it briefly as he's descending rapidly, watching out for anything coming directly for them. Down the Raptors and Predator go. Idris keeps his viper above and as they enter atmosphere and his craft begins to shudder with entry, heating up. Soon after Captain Bloodfeather has to rely on instruments to guide him down in relation to the others. The Arpay enhancement tech is a nice surprise to make things a hell of a lot easier. Sweet. Because he can't see shit otherwise.

Then Vogue's DRADIS begins to light up with data from below. Overwatch cover from above is impressive!

The hair on the back of her neck stands up at suddenly losing all that life and signal above her. She really wants to turn around and go fly back just to make sure. But there's just no time. She replies to Niko and clicks over to talk to her ECO, assuming she heard the instructions, "Casey, target the fourth Saber and fire the decoy in three, two, one.. release." She pauses and surveys the systems and tightens her straps. "Select a Forge and lock it up."

As soon as they pass through the bubble and lose signals from orbit, Niko keys his wireless and transmits the 'go' order to the flight. Then he cocks his head and adjusts the secondary channel he's been listening to. A quick scan of the DRADIS and the surrounding sky, and Scythe eases back on the Predator's dive, starting a slightly slower descent. "Skyjack," he calls to the poor ECO who's been assigned to ride with the CAG, "I've got something from the ground team. Keep your eyes open while I talk." Skyjack blinks, having been distracted by the fireworks show in orbit. "Roger that!"

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Mike Six Four this is Scythe. Say again. Over."

Falling in time with Idris, Garrett gawps slightly as he notices the bright blooms of light beneath the clouds. "Think they're nuking them?" he asks mainly himself because he's too gobsmacked for a moment to actually key his radio to ask on the comms. Hearing the chatter snaps him back to the here and now as he listens for further chimes in his helmets and looks from his instruments to take a quick glance outside before returning his attention to the instruments and their descent.

[Into the Wireless] Melissa says, "All Ghosts, lock up ground targets. Master Arm On."

Clickety clack, Casey is already getting their drone ready for release when the order comes through. "Ready," she relays to Billboard as she waits for the order, "And it's a go," as she lets their drone go for the fourth Saber. "Fingers crossed." She then rolls right into locking down one of the Forges as ordered. "Heeeere fisshy."

The descent rate is intense and they dive further and faster towards the planet. Below them, anyone can hear the sonic booms of the huge force diving at the planet, and likely feel the orbital bombardment of selected targets. They're still well outside the engagement zone of the Forges, but they are diving right at them. Then a new threat pop up. Half dozen Skath Raiders approaching from the west, 80 miles and closing fast.

Arpay tech can't tell him much yet. As they get lower and in close to those mountains it'll be vital. Idris adjusts his instruments and listens to coms within their envelope. Most of his attention is on watching out for hostile /airborn/ contacts that he and the other vipers can do something about. He isn't disappointed when shortly after new contacts come up on his helmet's HUD.

[TAC5] The signal finally clears up about 100,000 feet. "Copy, Scythe! Mike-Six-Four on Tactical Five!" The wind can be heard blowing in his mic. "I pass green smoke!! I say again, green smoke at the Rhino LZ! We are go! I'm marking the edges of the LZ with IR strobes! Winds are sustain twenty-five and gusting to forty! Visibility is about one hundred meters. Landing should approach from the west. Six-Four will be on site, over!"

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Lucky Strikes, Vogue. Six bandits to the west, 80 miles and closing. Move to intercept but keep alert. More could show up from any direction, over."

With the TAC sounding off, Garrett turns his focus further to the instruments when Idris calls out the Raiders. Snapped out of his thoughts, the Viper el-tee makes note of them and starts to nose his Viper around to start to move towards intercept, though he's not in a rush, just in case they're a distraction to pull away the Viper cover.

[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "Vogue, Rooster copies, moving to engage, trying to keep the Raptors in our protection, over. Diaz, Rooster, try to keep up, lets see if we can splash these frakkers."

Hearing Vogue's call over the wireless, Niko checks his own threat display and notes the bandits. Frak. In a Predator he's got nothing but harsh langauge to use on a Skath Raider. Looks like the Strikes get to play without the CAG tagging along this time. Checking instruments he reminds his ECO, "Music on, son." And then he's back to working the radio to communicate and coordinate. Scythe transmits on the ground frequency once more, then switches back to the strike channel.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Mike Six-Four, Scythe copies. Things are hot up here. Stand by."
[TAC5] "Mike-64" Knox says, "Six-Four copies. Good Hunting, Scythe. I am on standby."
[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Strike, Scythe. Be advised we have contact with the ground team on Tac5."

From within her Viper, Diaz is eyeing the atmosphere that they're dropping through as much as the various displays and listening intently to everything that comes over the com. As far as drops go, this one is absolutely worth committing to memory, to say the last. When the HUD shows the new contacts that are booking it toward their dance, Diaz alters the trajectory of her flight path slightly, making sure she's exactly in formation where she's supposed to be.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Lucky Strikes, Vogue. Closing on Skath Raiders. Weapons hot! Fire at will. You are free to use missiles, over."

When weapons are freed, Garrett flips the selector switch to missile, arming up, and takes his time to line up his shot. "Let's do this, Diaz." he comments over the comms, waiting a moment before depressing the trigger to let the first missile fly towards the Raiders.

Idris angles towards the West to intercept the incoming Raiders. Like Garrett, he's not rushing full throttle to get led too far away from those whom they are to protect, but he's also eager to meet them while they are still far enough out to not be able to fire upon the Raptors and Predator too quickly. Captain Bloodfeather's heart rate that had jumped up at the sights of heavy combat above atmosphere has now quieted. Cool, unruffled and focused, he flips the cover off of his missile firing stud and preps his anti aircraft warheads as the distance closes. Note is taken of which ones his fellow pilots are going after and he selects a leading Skath Raider to try and get a lock upon. Picking up speed, soon as he has a lock, Idris fires his first missile!

"There you go," Niko confirms for Skyjack. The CAG is no expert at ECM but he can see the kid has the jamming pod spooled up and working the active Forge sites. "Just keep that going and hang on." Still outside the engagement envelop for the Skath AAA systems, he steers the Predator away from the incoming Raiders and waits for the fireworks to get started.

<COMBAT> Melissa passes.
<COMBAT> Casey attacks Forge1 with Missile Ap and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-9178b - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9178b - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9178b - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9178b - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9178b - Critical wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9178b - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9178b - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9178b - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9178b - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Garrett uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Raider-8800w - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8800w - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8800w - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8800w - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8800w - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8800w - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8800w - Light wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-8595s - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8595s - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8595s - Critical wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8595s - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8595s - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8595s - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8595s - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider5 passes.
<COMBAT> Raider4 passes.
<COMBAT> Raider1 passes.
<COMBAT> Niko passes.
<COMBAT> Forge1 passes.
<COMBAT> Raider6 passes.
<COMBAT> Raider3 passes.
<COMBAT> Raider2 passes.
<COMBAT> Forge3 passes.
<COMBAT> Forge2 passes.
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Forge1 with Jamming Pod. <successful>
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Forge2 with Jamming Pod. <successful>
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Forge3 with Jamming Pod. <successful>
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Raider-9178b has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-8800w has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider6 has been KO'd!

Ranges start to decrease rapidly and the crews find themselves rapidly getting involved in a major fight. The Raiders take a few losses but blow right through the Vipers and head directly for the Raptors, still accelerating through the pass. Its a nasty tactic that starts dragging the fight back towards the SAMs, putting pressure on the strike teams. A lot of it.

After the first missile takes down a Raider, Garrett notices Diaz getting jumped by two Raiders and is already angling to help his wingman to clear the Ten of the Raiders on her as he hears the tone in his ear warning him of a missile lock.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue! Watch out! You've got two on you, Diaz! (then he notices the Forge's trying to get locks on them) Shit! Watch your asses!"

Melissa flips on the sighting system for the helmet as she dives through the cloud layer. Winds immediately buffet the frame, shaking it around as she locks up a Forge and swaps over to guns until she can actually see what she is bombing.

Niko continues to circle, steering further away from the bandits when he sees the Skath fighters trying to blow past their Viper escort without engaging. "Keep on the jamming," he advises his ECO. "I'll worry about those guys."

Hard throttle over to come around after the first round, even before he's tracking on whether his missile was a hit or not. Idris's viper slews around in as tight an arc as he can and coming back he sees two Raiders loaded for bear going after Diaz. So he sets his sights on targeting them and speaks over the coms. Things are heating up really fast though! Next thing Vogue knows, the forge's are trying to lock on THEM instead of Raptors! Well, that is their job, to keep things busy while the buses do their thing. Bloodfeather does what he can to jink and jig to keep that missile lock off his butt but he's also determined to help out Diaz if he can! "Come on… get off my ass."

Sending the first Missile away to do it's job, Diaz keeps her attention sharply focused on the task at hand and while she replies via com, it's in that absolutely precise tone she uses when doing her level best to be the viper that has to be escorted home. "Changing to KEW," she replies, "I see them," she adds, "maneuvering to evade." Listening to the targeting system as much as hearing the jarring tone that signals the Forge locking onto their flight. She skims a look out through the canopy, eyeballing the position of the rest of the wing as much as the enemy wing they're tangling with, "Oh yeah. Didn't expect to get shot back at, did ya?" she mutters to herself as the Raider's maneuver.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Changing to KEW," a brief pause, "I see them," she adds, "maneuvering to evade."

<COMBAT> Idris will spend luck on attack this turn.
<COMBAT> Diaz will spend luck on defense this turn.

[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "On your six to assist, Diaz."

"Still not dead," Casey whispers to herself over local comms. "No mountains," she sing song reminds Billboard as they get some turbulence. Her attention is zeroed in on getting another lock, "Locking on." She doesn't seem easily rattled by the first miss and hey…Raiders broke through the Vipers. Cool. Not important yet apparently.

Shay's raptor streaks through the cloud canopy, not even half a click behind Melissa's. Her target is visible in brief glimpses, and she grits her teeth as she tries to maneuver in lower, fighting the high wind and ice beginning to accumulate on her wing surfaces, increasing drag. The moment she gains a good line of sight on the forge, she shunts the lever and begins to pull up.

<COMBAT> Forge1 attacks Idris with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz attacks Raider4 with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing.
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Melissa with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Idris with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Melissa attacks Forge2 with 20mm Minigun - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Forge1 with Jamming Pod. <successful>
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Forge2 with Jamming Pod. <successful>
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Forge3 with Jamming Pod. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Casey attacks Forge1 with Missile Ap - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Diaz with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Niko passes.
<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-0390n - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0390n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0390n - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0390n - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0390n - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0390n - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0390n - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0390n - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0390n - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0390n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Garrett attacks Raider3 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Forge3 passes.
<COMBAT> Shay uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-5252b - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-5252b - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-5252b - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-5252b - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-5252b - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-5252b - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-5252b - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-5252b - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Diaz with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Forge2 uses a MISSILE AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Viper-4729q - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-4729q - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-4729q - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-4729q - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-4729q - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-4729q - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-4729q - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-4729q - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-4729q - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-4729q - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-5252b has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Forge2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Viper-4729q has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Garrett has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-0390n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider4 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Garrett spends a luck point to keep fighting!

Casey spends 1 luck points on Making ECM Goodness…Better.
<FS3> Casey rolls ECM: Good Success.

Having survived the dance and seeing one of the Raiders fall away to (she hopes) make a messy fire ball and then burn up before doing any damage down on the surface, Diaz shifts weapons systems again and takes aim at another of the Raiders. She twists left, then right, head tipping back to get a good look up through the canopy so she can eyeball the position of the flight. As much as she appreciates technology, nothing quite settles the position of each vehicle until she's confirmed it with her own eyes.

Bombs deployed, Shay feels the kickback as they detach, frangible bolts detonating in pre-ordained sequence. Her thrusters are firewalled as she hauls her raptor skyward, engines streaming pale contrails through the crisp evening sky. She's already banking aggressively and lining up her next attack run, as her voice crackles over the wireless.

Though he gets a hit on the Raider, the missile's explosion lights up the Viper and Garrett curses as he is throwing switches and trying to figure out what he can trim to keep the Viper going. Firing off a quick missile towards the Raider, Garrett is scrambling to try to fight the sluggish controls.

[Into the Wireless] Shay says, "Flight, Kiddo. Splash one on that forge. Coming around to help clean up."
[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "Flight, Rooster. Just took one in the side. She's still flying, but the console's lit up like a Caprican Red Light district."

And his luck doesn't hold, as one of the Skath decides that Niko's circling Predator looks like a juicy target. Scythe banks hard and breaks into the bandit as he closes, trying to throw off his aim and force the guy to come around again. In the back, Skyjack continues to work the ECM pod, trying to keep the Forges shut down.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Flight, Scythe. A little help back here."

It's happening fast, chaos in the sky. And visibility so low that he can't see for shit with the clouds and snow. Thank goodness his instruments are /good/. Bloodfeather lets out a breath as he shakes the Forge's missile locks, "Shokran lak, Sidi Al'dieb." That is breathed out to himself but not put out over his com. Idris is a little too busy trying not to get blown up as he finds himself swarmed by multiple Raiders at once, and the Forge trying for another lock. He sweats a little in his flight suit but keeps his cool, focused on staying 'frosty'.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue. I'm covered up! Can you cover him, Rooster or Diaz? Over."
[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "On it, Vogue!"

"Hit!" As soon as they break through the cloud layer, DRADIS lights up some ground contacts on Casey's screen. They are to the east, in the former downtown area of the destroyed city. She quickly switches her comms on to report.

Ah shit. Idris belatedly sees Garrett's been hit badly.

[Into the Wireless] Casey says, "Flight, Quinn. Multiple ground contacts to the east about thirty miles in some kind of destroyed city. Looks like four columns of vehicles heading west towards the bunker area. I can't make out their exact destination but they look like they're moving fast."

<COMBAT> Melissa attacks Forge1 with 20mm Minigun - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Garrett uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-6686j - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6686j - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6686j - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6686j - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6686j - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6686j - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6686j - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6686j - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6686j - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Critical wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Forge3 with Jamming Pod. <successful>
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Forge1 with Jamming Pod. <successful>
<COMBAT> Niko passes.
<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Idris with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider3 attacks Niko with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Raider-5283g - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Light wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Light wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Forge3 attacks Idris with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-5283g - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Light wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Serious wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5283g - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Casey attacks Forge3 with Missile Ap - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Shay attacks Forge3 with 20mm Minigun - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Raider2 attacks Idris with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Forge1 attacks Melissa with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-7947w has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Forge1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-5956f has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Forge3 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-5283g has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider3 has been KO'd!

Niko manages to dodge the Skath fighter, leaving him for the Vipers to mop up. The ground threats have gone quiet and there's only one Raider left up here. And hearing Casey's wireless call, the CAG makes a decision. First he's on Tac5 to inform the ground team, then Tac1 for the Wing.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Mike Six-Four, Scythe. Be advised, we have four columns of vehicles thirty miles east, heading west. Can you confirm these are Skath, over?"
[TAC5] The wind is still howling in the mic. "Scythe, Six-Four. Negative, cannot confirm. We saw the city to the east on the jump down. Its a skeleton, sir. Looked completely abandoned and its massive, sir. Over."
[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Flight, Scythe. Form up for a pass on the nearest column of vehicles. We will make one pass and bug out." Seeing a red marker on his status board, Niko adds, "Rooster, Return to Base. Tell Orion to send the Rhinos. They are to contact Mike Six-four on Tac5.""
[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "Scythe, Rooster copies. I'll nurse this bird back to the roost to pass along the message."
[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "Diaz, form up on Vogue. He'll have to watch you for now."

Once he has his orders, Garrett shuts off the weapons systems to save power as he gives a quick wing waggle. Trailing smoke and vapor, he turns the Viper skywards back towards the clouds to race to Orion to pass the message that the Marines have sent for the Rhinos.

Melissa shoves the Raptor around at the new orders, pushing down below the cloud deck. The visibility is terrible but the targets pop up on the faceplate of her helmet, 30 miles distant. She flips it over to bombs and pushes up the throttles.

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

Shay alters course when the order is given from the CAG. Her raptor swoops back into formation, slotting in on her SL's four o'clock as her thumb taps a rhythm on her flight stick. So far, so good.

[Into the Wireless] Melissa says, "Scythe, Billboard. Are we dumping ordnance on the pass?"

Diaz is already sliding sidelong in the formation to square up with Vogue this time, eyeing his viper to check for any damage just as a matter of course. "Flight, Diaz, maneuvering to link up with Vogue," she confirms and once she's done so she eyes the column that they're burning toward and taps the fingertips of one hand against the console. "Flight, Diaz. Is this the main artery that the column will have to traverse to get to the bunker?"

Whew. That was tricky there for a while but the Chaos takes a breath and subsides as their mission is completed. Vogue tries to assess Rooster's damage but can't get eyeballs on the other viper in this thick cloud cover. Soon as he's hearing about the vehicle collums he's about to order Garrett RTB but Scythe is on it. He brings his viper around, mindful of the terrain his instruments show him as he begins to head eastwards with the rest of the flight.

"Hit. Checking…all Forges down," Casey confirms before Scythe's order comes in. No comments on the new orders. She keeps her eyes on DRADIS as she bounces her knee.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Six-Four, Scythe. We are sending for the Rhinos. They'll contact you this channel. Strike is making one pass on the lead column of vehicles, then we're back to the barn to refuel and rearm. Be adivsed, you're looking at a big force. Good luck."
[TAC5] The radio is silent for several long seconds and Knox's voice comes back fairly serious. "Scythe, Six-Four. These people on the ground are starving and may not be up for a big fight against a lot of armor, sir. Get what you can. I'll be here. Six-Four, out."
[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Billboard, Scythe. Roger that. Dump your heavy stuff. We'll get as many as we can."
[Into the Wireless] Niko adds, "Priority is the tanks."
[Into the Wireless] Melissa says, "Copy, Scythe. Kiddo, line up on the second column. Dump everything you have. I'm on column one."
[Into the Wireless] Shay says, "Billboard, Kiddo. Copy that. Rolling in and dumping the big boys."
[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Is this the main artery that the column will have to traverse to get to the bunker?"

Melissa leads the strike under the cloud layer, forcing them to stay below 500 feet. Its the only way to make sure they can get a solid line and be sure to hit their targets. Dive bombing just isn't going to work in these winds. Shoving the throttles up, they bust past Mach1. "Casey, fire every missile we have when you're in range on ground lock. Don't wait for my permission."

As they close within ten miles their helmets all pop up with identification of the ground targets. The system was originally designed to look for Cylon equipment, but the Skath gear looks almost identical. So when they get clear dradis pictures, it pops up to defaulting to Cylon. Three Cylon tanks each escorting four trucks with Gods know what in the back of them. Meanwhile Skath heavy fighters descend on the group, looking to disrupt the advancing forces. This is going to be a fast knife-fight. The Skath start opening up with heavy tracer fire right away.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Diaz, Scythe. Negative. Looks like they have multiple routes."

<COMBAT> Idris will spend luck on Defense this turn.
<COMBAT> Shay will spend luck on defense this turn.
<COMBAT> Diaz will spend luck on Defense this turn.

Niko slots in with the Raptors, low and fast. The loaded Predator is actually some small advantage against the winds, as he keeps a firm hand on the stick to try and keep on course. As they near the target area Scythe hits the rudder and slides to the right, lining up for his attack run. "Got them, Skyjack?" he checks with the ECO. "Five miles, dead ahead," the ECO replies. "Pickle is hot." And here come the tracers flying up to meet them. "Here's where the fun starts," the CAG mutters, gritting his teeth.

From one frying pan and into a the fire, maybe. Idris eyes what he can pick up about the columns but most of his attention is for the Heavy Raiders. He grimaces and leads the way for Diaz to see what they can do to keep the airborne Skath busy while the buses move in to drop what's left of their ordinance. He chooses a target and pushes the throttle forward hard until his helmet starts warning him that things on the ground are trying to target him. "Son of a…" Bloodfeather is forced to divide his attention in an attempt to make himself a more difficult target while simultaniously gunning for the Heavy Raider.

Shay hurtles through the cloud-dusted evening, her needle edging toward mach one as the raptor closes in on her assigned column of vehicles. She opens up on the guns once she's near enough, lower lip trapped between her teeth as she careens in to commence her attack run.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Diaz, Vogue. Watch yourself. Enemy vehicles and Raiders trying to target us. Do the best you can, Over."

<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Heavy Raider-5730u - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-5730u - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-5730u - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-5730u - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-5730u - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-5730u - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-5730u - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-5730u - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Heavy Raider-8524p - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8524p - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8524p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8524p - Serious wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8524p - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8524p - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8524p - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8524p - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Tanks3 with 20mm Minigun - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Melissa attacks Trucks1 with 20mm Minigun - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Tanks2 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Shay attacks Tanks2 with 20mm Minigun - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Hraider2 attacks Niko with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks1 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Trucks1 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks1 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks1 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks1 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks1 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks1 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks1 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hraider4 attacks Shay with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hraider3 attacks Diaz with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Tanks1 with Jamming Pod. <successful>
<COMBAT> Trucks4 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks3 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Tanks3 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks3 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks3 attacks Niko with HMG but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks3 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks3 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks3 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks3 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hraider1 attacks Melissa with KEW - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Casey attacks Tanks1 with Missile Ap and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Heavy Raider-5730u has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hraider1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Heavy Raider-8524p has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hraider2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-9040f has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Tanks3 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-9724 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Trucks1 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Shay uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-8110c - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8110c - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8110c - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8110c - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8110c - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8110c - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8110c - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8110c - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG - Light wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 attacks Idris with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Idris passes.
<COMBAT> Hraider4 passes.
<COMBAT> Diaz passes.
<COMBAT> Trucks3 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 attacks Niko with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Niko uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-4331g - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4331g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4331g - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4331g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4331g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4331g - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4331g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4331g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4331g - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4331g - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Melissa uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-2795x - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2795x - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2795x - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2795x - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2795x - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2795x - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2795x - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2795x - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2795x - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2795x - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Hraider3 passes.
<COMBAT> Eco1 passes.
<COMBAT> Casey passes.
<COMBAT> Trucks4 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Diaz with LMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Niko with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-2795x has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Tanks1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-8110c has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Tanks2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-4331g has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Trucks3 has been KO'd!

The group flies in low and fast, every single gun blazing away. Missiles are ripple-fired off the racks and even as those are exploding with the gun rounds landing hits, the bombs leave the racks. Everything right down to the kitchen sink falls across the three main columns. The Heavy Raiders can only watch as the group leave behind them a trail of thick black smoke and fires that are raging. Tanks and trucks are thrown around like toys, surrounded by smoking craters and torn-up asphalt. The combat footage is going to reveal that the trucks were filled with Skath walkers, most of them completely shredded by the intense incoming fire and the high velocity that it arrived at. Only one column is still moving along at full speed, but the trucks in the third column escaped, and are disgorging their walkers, forcing them to try and run the rest of the wayto their deployment zone.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. I have one more missile on the rack. Taking another pass to make to make the most of it, over."

"Copy that," Casey lets her last missile go as soon as she's got a lock, but ends up missing. So much of everyone else's hit so… Her eyes flick over towards the back of Melissa's chair and then back to her panel. She keeps her eyes on DRADIS even as they pull through the run. "Suppressing one of these bandits."

As soon as his targeting computer says the lead tank is in range, Niko clamps down on the trigger and opens up with the Predator's nose-mounted mini-gun. A near-solid streak of tracers streak down the road and rake across the lead armored vehicles, sending depleted uranium slugs punching through the thinner top armor. Then his thumb slides over to the toggle for bomb release, and he slews the noise just a hair to stay in line with the vehicles. *Ping* *Ping* *PANG* ground fire is hitting their ship but no serious damage, yet. "Bombs away!" Skyjack yells, and Niko hits the button. Bombs ripple off the underside of the Predator and leave a string of explosions behind as they climb clear. Some secondary explosions well up behind as they climb out on full power.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue copies Diaz. Unload then let's RTB. Keep what we have left to give cover escort to the busses on our way out. Over."
[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Vogue, Scythe copies. Don't hang around too long."
[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Scythe, Vogue. Wilco. We are right behind you. Over."

Two missions successful in one! They couldn't hope for a better air strike! It sets the blood going with great vibes of victorious accomplishment. Bloodfeather doesn't get cocky, mindful to cover the Raptors and Predator as they disengage and start to RTB. Idris brings his viper around cautiously to do his part to keep the Heavy Skath Raiders off of their busses as they all make to withdraw.

<COMBAT> Melissa passes.
<COMBAT> Casey suppresses Hraider3 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Trucks2 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Diaz with LMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Diaz with LMG - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks2 attacks Diaz with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Shay passes.
<COMBAT> Hraider4 attacks Shay with KEW - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Eco1 passes.
<COMBAT> Trucks4 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Idris with LMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Idris with LMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Idris - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trucks4 attacks Idris with LMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Melissa with HMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Melissa with HMG - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Melissa with HMG - Light wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Melissa with HMG - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Tanks4 attacks Melissa with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Niko passes.
<COMBAT> Idris attacks Hraider4 with Kew but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Hraider3 attacks Diaz with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Heavy Raider-6929u - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-6929u - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Heavy Raider-6929u has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Hraider3 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raptor-7326g has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Melissa has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Casey has been KO'd!

Melissa is low on the terrain, not looking to pop up for her climb until she's put some distance on the guns down there. They're just HMG's but.. That Heavy Raider did hit part of the cabin. She didn't know it was only just barely holding it together. The .50's on the tanks continue their bitter firing on her as she begins to roll out and pull up, heading southwest. Just as she does a series of rounds impact the armor and blow right through where the Raider had hit. The rounds continue sailing down and blow apart the control columns and most of the display console. The engines start to unwind and the power blinks out in the ship. "Oh frak. CASEY, SECOND SEAT! We're deadstick! Strap in fast!" She switches over, hoping something gets through and outbound on the radio.

[Into the Wireless] Buried in lots of broadcasted static, "-board! We're hi- … -jecting! …ading southwest from tarzzzz—…" and it goes dead.

Idris is trying to hit the Heavy Raider but as he starts to get a good shot lined up with his KEW, his craft is suddenly hit. The first time was minor damage he could ignore, but this time something cracks his canopy and punches him in the chest! That is unexpected. The Captain blinks with surprise much as he had when he'd been shot in the back recently by Major Donovan. It takes him a few seconds to see if he can still breathe, try to assess how badly he's been hit. Bloodfeather's viper wobbled in it's flight but he concentrates on correcting. Even as the radio starts spitting static and flight status for the other Squadron Leader. "Wescott!"

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue - I'm hit. Think I can make i … WESCOTT!"

"No..mountains," Casey grits out as they roll out and pull up. Gods this is motivation to get good fast. She blinks and jerks back when the console sparks and dies suddenly. She unstraps from the back and tugs herself hard towards the cockpit into the second seat up front. There's a brief moment where she jams seat clip and then once more. No time for thought or words.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Vogue, Scythe. What's your …" Then he cuts off when he hears the Viper leader shout, and sees a ship go black on the status board in his own cockpit. Frak, frak, frak. "Flight, continue egress. Anyone with eyes on Billboard, call out her position.""

Diaz is feeling pretty righteous, pretty damned elated in fact, to see the heavy raider going up in a ball of flame and bits of shrapnel. She's about, in fact, to say something along those lines, draws breath to do so, when she spots Vogue's viper taking a hit followed by Wescott's raptor taking a solid hit. The mayday over the com, paired with Vogue's words has her starting to alter her trajectory but she stops, brought up short by Scythe's words and aligns with the rest of the flight as they continue to Egress.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz, I caught 'southwest from target' in the static, over."

Melissa isn't going anywhere until the ECO is strapped in. Seconds seem like millenia. The Raptor climbs up into the clouds without any smoke trailing, but the two inside it can feel it begin to roll. Once Casey has the last buckle clipped, Melissa reaches across whats left of the dividing console and yanks the ECO's ejection handle. The canopy blows off first, hurtling high within the clouds, then Casey's seat fires. Billboard flinches away with the violence of it, then looks up. No Casey. She pulls her own handle and the seat fires. Even at this low altitutde, the chutes open sooner than they would probably like. Stuck in the clouds, the sustained winds and heavier gusts drag them through the sky alone, unable to see each other, no idea when they will even be able to land. The Raptor crashes down and explodes across the terrain but there's no visible chutes to be seen.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Six-four, Scythe. We are winchester. Estimate three tanks and six trucks of Skath still headed your way. One Raptor down over the target area. Any help the locals can give, the crew'll need it."
[Into the Wireless] Shay says, "Flight, Kiddo, negative on Billboard's location.. shit, I'm almost bingo on fuel, permission to RTB and grab a fresh bird? We can't leave 'em down there.."

RTB is the order. Bloodfeather keeps control of his shot up viper and has slapped one of those damn canopy patches up, and then slapped a second one on his own flight suit where there's a bloody hole in his chest. It's about the best he can do and still fly at the same time. Idris grimaces, having some trouble breathing, but it's nothing so bad as the last time he was shot to hell. Determined, he tries to see where the Raptor went down and any sign of chutes but there is too much cloud cover. Very reluctantly he takes his viper up with the others but off coms he says low, "By my Lord Al'dieb, we will get you out, Wescott. Or avenge you."

Shay has half a mind to go in for the rescue, fuel be damned. Her hand hesitates on the flight stick, like she's considering actually following through on some foolheaded, half-baked plan, but with a soft growl she pulls up and rolls her raptor away. Orders are orders, but she doesn't seem happy about it.

… to be continued …

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