MD #044: Operation Cold Forge - Search & Rescue
MD #044: Operation Cold Forge - Search & Rescue
Summary: The air wing scrapes together a Search and Rescue team to try and locate lost air crew.
Date: 22/05/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Operation Cold Forge Part 2
Casey Elena Idris Melissa 
Niko Samtara Shay Terrence 
Over Enemy-Held Territory
It's snowy with low cloud cover and a chance of Skath.
Thu Dec 07 2028

"As you know," Niko opens the briefing, "we lost a Raptor with Captain Wescott and Ensign Quinn on the first night. Wing Meteorology put together a recommended search area and we had a recon Raptor make a high level pass. There are Skath in and near our search area, and it looks like they're making a search of their own. We are going to try a Search and Rescue." It's clear this mission is being put together in a hurry, with whoever is not out flying a mission right frakking now. The CAG has even come down to Sick Bay and pulled people out who weren't too bad off. He may well catch holy hades from Medical or Command for this. "The Rescue team is going in a Rhino. I've asked for Marines but we'll go without them if they're not ready in time. If you're too banged up to fly but you can man a turret or a door gun, you ride the Rhino."

There are no fancy displays in the Ready Room holo-system this time. Just a map of the search area with some Forge sites marked. "Rhino will stand off until we confirm the position of the ground team. Vipers will approach from the southeast, behind this low ridge," the terrain feature on the map flashes to indicate where, "and pop up to try and surprise the Skath. As soon as we attack, the Rhino will start trying to contact our people on the wireless. Odds are the Skath will be able to locate any transmissions from the ground, so we'll need to get them to make a visual signal. After things are clear enough the Rhino will come in and try for a pick up."

Shay loiters at the edge of the tiny group of pilots, flight suit stripped down to her waist, blonde hair scraped back into a haphazard ponytail. Her face is intent, and there's a bit of tension in her jaw as she listens to the CAG give his briefing.

Elena stands at parade rest behind the lectern and to the side. Her left ankle is supported by a brace. "This is a dangerous mission," she pipes up. "We are expecting resistance. Stay alert. We do what we have to do to get our pilots home."

The weather still sucks but at least it isn't still snowing. Much. A few flakes here and there. The ground is just a huge mat of endless white powder in every direction. The only breakup are the trees and abandoned buildings that rise up. They are approaching the south end of Domingo, formerly the third largest city on Calumet. Spanning more than one hundred miles diameter in a rough circle, the downtown area of skyscrapers can be seen for nearly forty miles south. The skeletal frames rise more than a thousand feet into the air, hundreds of them making up what was once a majestic skyline. It almost would remind someone of a heavily overbuilt Caprica City. But luckily they aren't heading that far north.

Pre-snow, the photorecon of the area looked to have been a huge, sprawling suburban area with massive neighborhoods and small commercial districts with strip malls. The 49 square mile search area is almost entirely within the suburbia, all nestled under clouds that have a low deck of 1000', and rise to 3400'… and above that is blue and golden sky with the green and purple auroras. Late in the afternoon, the slight wind buffets the craft at such a low altitude but speed minimizes it a little.

The rear ramp on the Rhino is down, letting in the frigid air, but everyone aboard the gunship is in a full flightsuit with bodyarmor and arctic combat gear over it. Coming northbound low enough to fly between treetops, the sun overhead provides enough light to easily see the ground below for those at the edge. Those in the turrets have the same view. Those up on the gunnery deck have backs of TV screens and ammo counters available. Everything from night vision to thermal and even UV sensors are packed aboard and allowing the crew to gun at anything they need to. The lower deck is packed full of Deck enlisted and Marines read to service the guns. Everyone looks ready to kill.

Idris stands in his flight suit, ready to go. It's a new flight suit, one without bloody holes ripped through by shrapnel. Bloodfeather still moves a bit stiffly with bandages around his chest but he's mobile and seems able. 'Vogue' as he's called now, listens, dark eyes intent upon his CAG with his helmet tucked under his right arm, pistol on his hip. Soon as they are given the signal to head out, he goes to power up his viper and get through his preflight checks. Then back out to the snowy landscape of Calumet…

[TAC1] Warlock, the AWACS Raptor, calls steering, "Cobalt Flight, Warlock, bandits bandits. Take heading 345 for twenty miles. They are nose cold." They haven't seen the approaching flight yet. "Mud Spike, four Sabers in the target zone, over."

Terrence Yates is seated in the 105mm Turret Control station, outfitted in a hastily issued flight suit, set of body armor, and arctic combat gear. Though he holds the controls of the turret in hand, and the helmet covering his face gives him an outward appearance of total badassery, if anyone could see behind that visor they would see that the Deck Technician wears an expression as though he is completely confused as to who ninja frakked him. All he can remember is walking across the flight deck to go work on a busted Viper when he was suddenly snagged and told to get some gear and go man a turret on a Rhino. Second day on the job and already going to die.

Terrence leans forward as far as his safety harness will allow and peers through the view port of his turret, eyeing the treetops and ground whizzing by below, and he finally closes his eyes and leans his head back against the head rest and shakes his head as if this were all a bad dream.

Niko steers the course called down from the Raptor on high, keeping his viper low over the snowy landscape. They're going in without active sensors and without wireless, so there's no acknowledgement back to their guiding angel above. He checks over each shoulder, making certain the other craft are making the turn as well, then flicks on the Viper's forward infrared system. The passive system starts scanning for targets, ready to lock on the IR homing missiles on the fighter's wings. He twists in the cockpit and makes a hand signal to Vogue, indicating for him to start the attack. Then he waves to the Rhino and hits the throttle, pulling away and looking for Skath fighters to shoot.

Artic gear is not something he's used to but it's certainly welcome in the event he goes down out here. Vogue turns his head, trying to pick up details against the glare of the white below them. A gloved hand reaches up to scroll through various visual options to see what else he can pick up. The news over the coms has him glance towards Scythe's bird who's wing he's flying off of, timing his course change to stay in position relative to the others. An instrument adjustment is made to activagte his IR, staying low. Scythe's hand gesture is noted and returned to acknowledge. Thrust is fed to the viper's engines to keep pace, watching out for hostiles.

The only thing better than flying a bus is flying a tank. Elena flies along, smooth and steady, getting ready for the shitshow. She is bringing those frakking people home. No one ever accused Crone of /not/ getting too close to her pilots, after all.

Brokering a deal of sorts with Niko, which is as much 'take the blame' as 'share the blame' and at some point a coin is going to get flipped over who gets to lead off when they go talk to Petra. After all, this isn't actually the first time she's exercised her authority as division head to assign herself to certain tasks. She can always sit herself down, later, and have a talk about the responsibilities of command and such. She can even write up a report about it. In the meantime, she's figured out the mechanics of the mini gun, she's not thrown up on anyone so far, and she's absolutely sympathetic toward the pilots who are NOT buried under as many layers as she is at this point in gear and armor and .. well layers of stuff to the point that it's a little exasperating to be bundled so, but she's glad to not be freezing as the door, hatch? ramp, that's the word, the ramp is down. She's sure there's a reason for that, but she's also certain she'll figure out when the time comes.

She should be flying one of the raptors, but instead she's been slapped with turret duty. Or so goes Shay's internal monologue. She's got her business face on though, and focuses on the task at hand.

<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-5742a - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - Serious wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - Serious wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - Serious wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - Moderate wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-5742a - Critical wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Niko uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-7337v - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - Critical wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - Serious wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - Moderate wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7337v - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider1 - Serious wound to Left Arm.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider1 - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> Raider1 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-5742a has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!

Aha, there's one. Niko's sensors picks up a Skath figther and the warbling 'seek' tone goes satisfyingly solid when the missile locks on. Scythe takes his time, lining up the shot on the unsuspecting victim, then hits the trigger. The contrail lofts skyward and arcs right into the target. BOOM. Scratch one. The CAG is still off the air and keeping the DRADIS cold, waiting to see if the Skath realize where they're being shot from before he goes active and climbs out of the weeds.

Coming in low and fast and hitting Skath Raiders before they ever know you are there, is the way to go! Idris might be channeling Alejandro Salazar if he had ever met the other Captain who'd once flown a night mission in the dark without DRADIS. This is a little like that, but over a blinding snowfield. The missile gets a lock on and is fired, ripping away from the viper and leaving a contrail in the frigid air. Right on cue, staying close to Scythe and blowing up a Skath Raider right next to Niko's choice. It's like ballet, synchronized to perfection. And then Bloodfeather peels off to try and get a lock on another one before the enemy can react. Instruments are beeping and when he's got another lock, Vogue lets that hound loose as well.

To the north, Shay and Elena can see the two missiles leap away and disappear. They burn north with lightning speed and then far in the distance they can see two black puffs, followed by tumbling fireballs. Both of them impact the ground in distant balls of fire.

[TAC1] Warlock says, "Cobalt, Warlock. Copy your Fox One." There's a rising anticipation in the voice. Then silence while the missiles streak away. "Cobalt, splash two. ..They know something is up. They are turning and climbing." Silence. "Pop-up bandits, forty miles, bearing zero-two-five. Flight of four, turning hot and southbound at high velocity, over."

<COMBAT> Niko uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-4646e - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4646e - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4646e - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4646e - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4646e - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4646e - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4646e - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4646e - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4646e - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4646e - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Moderate wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider3 - Light wound to Abdomen.

<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-4049h - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - Serious wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - Critical wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - Critical wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - Serious wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-4049h - Moderate wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider4 - Light wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider4 - Moderate wound to Head.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider4 - Light wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider4 - Serious wound to Abdomen.

<COMBAT> Raider-4646e has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider3 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider4 has been KO'd!

Shay tenses slightly when she hears Warlock's voice come over the radio. There's anticipation, too, in the breath she sucks in. "Ten miles," she mumbles, spinning the turret's sight toward her and leaning in for a look. Her gloved hand curves around the firing mechanism, but there's little else she can do for now - though her foot seeks one of the rudders and finds, of course, nothing to stomp on.

[TAC1] Warlock says, "Copy two more foxes. …Splash two more." A small pause. "Cobalt, they have you. They've painted the Rhino, too. They are turning to engage. Four bandits, classify as Group One, to the north are pushing it up. We've got additional bandits inbound. Group Two, flight of four Raiders is 250 miles at bearing zero-eight-five and turning hot, ETA ten minutes. Group Three, flight of twelve, bearing zero-two-eight for five hundred miles. ETA is twenty minutes, over."

The second missile rises up to chase its target and it doesn't matter that the Skath Raiders are gaining altitude. It hits and blows another one of those sons of bitches out of the air in a blast of debris. Bloodfeather grimaces, "That is a lot of incoming." Muttered to himself as he continues to maintain radio silence. He has come back around to line back up off of Scythe's wing, letting the CAG keep the lead and giving cues as to how high they're ready to go, or when they will flip on their own DRADIS.

A flair of the thursters and Niko turns to try and stay in killing positon, behind and below the bandits as they maneuver higher up. There's a quick glance aside to verify that Vogue is also in a firing position. And with an IR lock on a second target, Scythe hits the trigger and sends the second missile aloft. It climbs and detonates against the side of a Skath Raider, which breaks apart and tumbles toward the ground. And then the jig is up. Even as Warlock is making the call, Niko can see the threat warning of Skath sensors painting his ship. He flicks on the DRADIS and goes active too, pulling back on the stick to burn for some altitude.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Flight, Scythe. Go active and engage. Crone, call the lost sheep. Ask them to make a visual signal and have everyone looking."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Warlock, Cobalt Lead. Any friendlies available to assist with Group One, call them up. My authority."

[TAC1] Warlock says, "Copy Cobalt Lead. We'll see about vectors. Standby."

Using her comms to call out on the downed pilots' radio frequency, hoping they hear it, Elena calls out, "Billboard, Quinn, this is Crone. The cavalry is coming. Give us a visual so we can get you. Repeat, give us a visual." She says a silent prayer and gets a lock on one of the forges. Frak, she misses having an ECO.

Checking over her safety harness, maybe wondering if she should have clipped on a second one, just in case. The real possibility that the lead could snap and she'd fall out through the open ramp is absolutely not something to dwell on. Sam goes back to looking over the minigun and focuses on that.

<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Idris with KEW - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Niko with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Shay attacks Forge2 with Kew - Serious wound to Weapon (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider5 with Kew - Moderate wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> Elena attacks Forge1 with Missile Ap - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Aa Battery-9732u has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Forge1 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Aa Battery-3437 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Forge2 has been KO'd!

<FS3> Elena rolls Alertness: Failure.

Climbing and turning, Niko merges with the diving Skath fighters. He fires a burst early, then jinks right. Skath tracers slice around his Viper, but no hits. A few of his own KEW rounds hit the Raider amidships, but it's still flying too. And then all hades breaks loose, with threats all over his board. The CAG hits the afterburners and rolls, breaking hard to try and avoid what he knows is coming.

<FS3> Samtara rolls Alertness: Good Success.

And boom goes the forge. Elena looks around for smoke, flame, anything to indicate her lost Raptor crew. Nothing yet. Come on. Come on.

Vogue had changed to KEW and was closing in to fire when suddenly he was being fired upon! The Captain jinks his craft hard fip it around, getting hit but managing to evade. It ruined his own shot but kept his viper from behing torn up, so that's still a win! Calm, cool, collected, Bloodfeather doesn't worry about the other 4 raiders incoming and now on his active DRADIS, nor the 12 that are 20 minutes out. Just these two, right here and now. That first. Idris hits his flaps to break, flips his viper around hard and pushes the thrust to come up around after that Skath Raider, right up it's ass. His black eyes intent, the firing stud is depressed and the KEW starts kicking off to fire rounds interspaced with tracer fire.

Lower lip trapped between her teeth, Shay lines up her crosshairs and depresses the trigger. KEW fire slices through the second of the two forge sites in visual range, bringing it down with a slow-motion crumpling of failed support beams. She swivels her sight, flexes her fingers, and fires again the moment she lines up her target.

As the Rhino moves into range of combat, Terrence can see the groups of walkers clumped together down below. The Deck Technician may not be a bloodthirsty Marine, but he knows his orders and without hesitation he keys up the targeting system of his turret, moves the controls into position and opens fire on one of the groups down below.

It goes against everything that Sam would have recited to her children about vehicle safety, and remaining seated while the vehicle is in motion, and keeping arms, hands, head, appendages inside the vehicle in motion. Few things bug her more than people who get up and ramble around inside a vehicle while it's moving from point A to point B. Granted, 'vehicle' is usually a smaller passenger type, in this example. But she's still on her feet and is eyeing the terrain that the Rhino is moving over. She blinks then squints then fumbles for the com button.

[Into the Wireless] Samtara says, "Flight, ah, someone is signaling from the ground. That house with the tree smashed through it, there's a light or something reflective that's .. I think it's tracking the Rhino."

<FS3> Casey rolls Body+Body-1: Success.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Doc, I think that's our pilots. You're a gem."

Over the radio to the pilots, Crone says, "I see you, kids. Hang tight."

<COMBAT> Elena attacks Forge3 with Missile Ap but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider6 with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Centgrp3 attacks Idris with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Centgrp1 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent4 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara fires a 3 round burst!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Centgrp2 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Centgrp2 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Centgrp2 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Idris with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Elena with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Forge3 attacks Niko with KEW - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Centgrp4 attacks Idris with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Centgrp2 attacks Idris with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent6 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent3 attacks Idris with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent1 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Terrence attacks Centgrp1 with 120mm Main - Serious wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> Shay attacks Forge3 with Kew but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Forge5 attacks Idris with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Forge4 uses a MISSILE AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent5 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent2 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Centgrp1 has been KO'd!

That instinct wasn't wrong, as a hail of tracers is suddenly filling the air around Niko's Viper. Rounds from AAA and small arms ping off the rolling, twisting fighter. With all those hits Scythe is sure he's damaged, but Betty is completely silent. "Lucky, lucky, lucky…" he chants, too busy with the fight to do more then maneuver.

[TAC1] Warlock comes back onto the frequency, "Cobalt Flight, Warlock. You've got the cavalry inbound. Arpay Hornets, flight of six, inbound on your position. Diverted off a strike, they dumped their ordnance and are on their way. They're ignoring orders to continue on to their target. ETA five minutes. They're fangs out, over.""

As the Rhino comes around for a shot, Terrence toggles the trigger of his turret and off go the explosive rounds, ripping into the first group of Walkers down below. Terrence grits his teeth, grinding them together as the explosion rips apart that first targeted group and the technician lets out a brief sigh of relief before pivoting toward the next in line. His brow is furrowed, eyes narrowed in concentration.

[Into the Wireless] Samtara says, "Flight, there's a tree smashed through the house. That sort of property damage sort of says air wing all over it, over."

The KEW fires away but misses! A whole lot of other things are also shooting at Vogue's craft but he gets off scott free with nothing serious hitting him in turn! What did was soaked by the armor plating. Bloodfeather's attempt to cautious flying and lots of jinking around saves him from the Raider's fire, ground fire, and the Forge targeting which is fortunate. Determined to finish off this Skath Raider before a whole lot more of them show up, the Captain stays on the Kew but feeds his engines more thrust. That's when he notices both Raiders are after him.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Scythe, Vogue. Both those raiders are coming on me. Could use a hand, sir."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Vogue, Scythe." One can probably hear the CAG gritting his teeth over the wireless. "Roger that.""

"Well alright then, let's try this again," Sam says as she didn't actually hit a damn thing with the first couple of rounds and gets a more determined look on her face. The same look she wore when she was firing 100+ rounds per day to really, really, learn how to actually use her sidearm instead of just qualifying when she had to prove she COULD.

"Just hang on…" Crone mutters to herself, firing more missiles at those frakking Forges. Only some forges and a few hundred skath between her and her pilots? Pfffffft. She's got fire in her eyes and her mama tiger hackles raised.

No joy for Kiddo, and the girl cusses to herself softly as she brings the sighting control column around for another go. The crosshairs line up, lose target, line up again. She fires.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, We need to get these frakking forges down. They take priority."

[Into the Wireless] Shay says, "On it like white on rice, Crone."

<FS3> Shay rolls Alertness: Good Success.

[Into the Wireless] Shay says, "Uh.. Flight, Kiddo. Got a line of sight on that house, and I see someone moving around inside. Flight suit and a gun. Looking like they want to get going."

<COMBAT> Idris attacks Raider6 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.

<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Idris with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider5 with Kew - Moderate wound to Controls.

<COMBAT> Cent4 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent2 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Terrence uses a 120mm Main!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Centgrp2 - Moderate wound to Head.

<COMBAT> Samtara fires fullauto!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent1 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent1 with 762minigun - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent1 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent1 with 762minigun - Light wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent1 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent2 with 762minigun - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent2 with 762minigun - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent2 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent2 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Idris with KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Elena attacks Forge3 with Missile Ap and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Centgrp4 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Centgrp2 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent1 attacks Idris with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Shay attacks Forge3 with Kew - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> Forge5 attacks Niko with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Forge4 uses a MISSILE AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Close To Rhino-6196q - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rhino-6196q - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Forge3 attacks Niko with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Centgrp3 attacks Idris with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent6 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent5 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent3 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent1 has been KO'd!

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Billboard and Quinn, hang tight. We need to get these Forges so I can land. REPEAT, HANG TIGHT."

[TAC1] Warlock says, "Cobalt, Hornets are 90 seconds out. …They're locking up. Northern group of Raiders are approaching the merge with your position, over."

Shay's shots go wide again, and she growls as frustration begins to mount. Her hand actually comes off the firing mechanism, flexes once, and returns after she's taken a steadying breath. "You've got this," she murmurs to herself, and aims once more.

Hearing Vogue on the wireless, Niko twists in the cockpit to get eyes on his wingman. Then he banks and pulls hard around to get on the tail of one of those Skath gunning for Idris. A second burst of KEW goes into the Raider, but it's still in the air. Scythe breaks high and turns, sparing a quick look at the DRADIS and threat display to see if the inbound bandits are in range yet. Here they come.

Wasting ordnance just pisses Crone off more. She turns the massive aircraft for a better shot on that Forge. She hums a little song under her breath, one she always seems to get stuck in her head in hot combat. Maybe it'll help.

Terrence growls as he can feel the Rhino taking fire, shaking his head as his first shot goes alittle wide and does not manage to bring the group of Walkers down. He hits the controls of his turret with his palm and then promptly takes the weapon back up and aims for a second shot.

Ugh! Bloodfeather only manages to lightly hit the Raider he's firing for and it nails him a bit more solidly, chewing up his viper! But not bad. Something else hits him from the ground below but it's not serious. "Frak." He flips on his radio pick up, "Scythe, Vogue. My thanks. Turning into a hair ball up here, over." No sooner than he's said that then Idris has more contacts closing - additional raiders and hornets both. But his HUD pings off with the warning of a missile lock trying to nail his ass! He goes evasive, giving up on trying to take as shot for a few seconds, starting to sweat a little in his flight suit.

Making a thoughtful sort of sound, Sam's eyes are narrowed as she sees the results of the different selection setting on the mounted minigun. "Well now, that's more like it," steadying herself as she is working the learning curve here and takes aim at the next pair of Skath.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Scythe, Vogue. My thanks. Turning into a hair ball up here, over."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Vogue, Scythe. Roger. Watch for those Hornets."

<COMBAT> Shay attacks Forge3 with Kew but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Elena attacks Forge3 with Missile Ap and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara fires fullauto!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent2 with 762minigun - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent2 with 762minigun but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent2 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent2 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent2 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent3 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent3 with 762minigun - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent3 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent3 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Niko uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-8757p - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8757p - Serious wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8757p - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8757p - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8757p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Centgrp2 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent4 attacks Idris with LMG Tripod - Moderate wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> Terrence uses a 120mm Main!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Centgrp2 - Critical wound to Head.

<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Elena with KEW - ARMOR on Engines stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Idris with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet6 fires a 3 round burst!

<COMBAT> Hornet6 attacks Raider10 with 6xHMG - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hornet6 attacks Raider10 with 6xHMG - Light wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hornet6 attacks Raider10 with 6xHMG and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet5 fires a 3 round burst!

<COMBAT> Hornet5 attacks Raider9 with 6xHMG and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet5 attacks Raider9 with 6xHMG and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet5 attacks Raider9 with 6xHMG - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hornet2 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Close To Raider-9379m - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Light wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Centgrp4 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent5 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent3 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent2 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet1 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-8475i - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8475i - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8475i - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8475i - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8475i - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Forge5 attacks Elena with KEW - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> Forge4 uses a MISSILE AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Viper-7528x - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7528x - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7528x - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7528x - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7528x - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Forge3 attacks Niko with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Centgrp3 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent6 attacks Idris with LMG Tripod - Moderate wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Idris - Serious wound to Neck.

<COMBAT> Cent2 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Cent3 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Centgrp2 has been KO'd!

[TAC1] Warlock says, "Cobalt, targets merged your position. Group Two is ETA five minutes. Group Three is is fifteen minutes. Pop-up Group Four, flight of six Raiders downbound your position bearing.. Pop-up group Five, flight of ten, five zero zero miles. Standby, Cobalt. We are jumping away to alert fleet. Alerting Orion. Out."

"Fox two!" Niko calls, launching his third IR missile right up the tail pipe of a Raider that's trying to get the Rhino. It's a good angle and the warhead blows a hole in the Skath's fuselage, but somehow he's still in the air. With no time to complain, the CAG banks around and looks for more Raiders. One last missile, and then he's down to KEW. And then there's Warlock's wonderful news to process.

Elena is halfway through her missiles and those Forges are still up. She feels a little bad for her passengers as she pulls some fairly sickening maneuvers to avoid enemy fire. A little bad. Only a little.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Flight, Scythe. We need to be out of here in five minutes or less. Expedite."

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Scythe, Crone. I'm not leaving them down there. We're too close. We've got this."

Somewhere along the line she'd promised not to throw up on anyone, and Elena's fancy maneuvering is pushing the edges of Sam's ability to keep it level. Her face goes pale or an uneasy shade of green and back again, and the surgeon drags the back of one glove across her forehead but keeps going. If any of those Skath's get to where they're going before they get their pilots out, then throwing up or not isn't going to matter.

Terrence has taken down two clusters of Walkers after that last salvo of fire sent groundwork. Listening to the talk on the radio from the other pilots, the Tech angles around looking for what is causing the most damage to the Vipers in the air.

Idris is jinking and pulling his flight stick hard to bank to port, then dropping like a stone to try and shake the missile lock. But something from the ground below blows a round through his cockpit with a PINK of the glass! The Skath Raider on his six misses - Bloodfeather is aware of the firing passing him by to starboard. Still that missile lock warning bleeting in his helmet and then it pounds his viper hard! Everything in his cockpit fritzes, throws up smoke and sparks and Vogue can't see shit. Another round from the ground hits his cockpit almost simultaniously, cracking more glass. SURPRISE! That one hits him right in the side of his neck, rupturing the seal on his suit and damaging his helmet. It's all the Captain can do to try and keep control of his suddenly difficult viper. Smoke obscures his vision inside and a gloved hand slaps at his neck, trying to slow the bleeding and see if he can breath.

[Into the Wireless] Terrence says, "This is Terrence. Erm… no callsign. Get me in range of those gun systems and let me have a shot at them!"

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "frrstzzzz .. gue, took a …. zzztsstt … smoke. Hit me … <static>"

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Terrence, you got it. Vogue, if you're asking to RTB, get your ass to the barn."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Vogue, Scythe. What Crone said. If you have to land, try to make it to our lost sheep."

<COMBAT> Samtara fires fullauto!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent5 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent5 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent5 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent5 with 762minigun - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider9 attacks Hornet6 with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Niko uses a Missile Aa!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-2883q - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Critical wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hornet4 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Cent5 - Critical wound to Head.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Cent5 - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Cent5 - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Cent5 - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Cent5 - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Cent5 - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hornet3 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-0487u - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - Critical wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> Forge3 attacks Hornet6 with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Elena attacks Forge3 with Missile Ap - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Shay attacks Forge4 with Kew but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider8 attacks Niko with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Idris with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Far From Raider-1853l - Moderate wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1853l - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-1853l - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hornet6 attacks Forge5 with 6xHMG and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet2 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-9379m - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Serious wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hornet1 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-0820i - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-0820i - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-0820i - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-0820i - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-0820i - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-0820i - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Forge4 uses a MISSILE AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Viper-7528x - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7528x - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7528x - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7528x - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7528x - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7528x - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Centgrp4 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Elena - Moderate wound to Left Arm.

<COMBAT> Cent5 attacks Hornet4 with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent4 attacks Niko with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Terrence uses a 120mm Main!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-1298f - Serious wound to Body.

<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Elena with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Hornet5 with KEW - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider10 attacks Hornet4 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet5 attacks Centgrp4 with 6xHMG and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Forge5 attacks Hornet6 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Centgrp3 attacks Elena with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent6 attacks Hornet1 with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent5 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Aa Battery-5192 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Forge3 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Aa Battery-1298f has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Forge4 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Idris has been KO'd!

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

[TAC1] Warlock returns, talking through the jump, "zzzrtiverting all flights to your location Cobalt! Fleet adjusting fires! Bombardment underway on aerial groups beyond six hundred miles!"

Two forges down in one run. Hells yes. Crone wiggles a bit in her pilot's seat, even with the Gs bearing down on her. You're never too old for a celebratory dance. That last one looks ready to blow. She gets herself ready to land after this pass.

<FS3> Idris rolls Piloting: Great Success.

[Into the Wireless] Shay says, "Flight, Kiddo. Can't seem to get a lock on anything. Nice shooting, though.. looks like only one forge left standing."

Final missile away, and another good hit. Niko watches in angry disbelief as yet another Skath Raider flies on after having big chunks blown off its wing and tail. "Frak, frak, frak!" They need to close the deal and get out of here. At least the Forges are vanishing off the threat board.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Flight, Scythe. Keep it up. Fleet is going to assist. Anyone with eyes on Vogue, say his status."

[Into the Wireless] Terrence says, "Flight, Terrence. Keep me in range and let me get a pass at that last forge."

Sam's contributions to the combat effort may not amount to much, but it sure helps keep her distracted. After all, to the untrained observer (aka: Sam) this whole flight is a narrow margin between chaos, mind numbing fear, chaos, explosions and an absolute certainty that she's glad none of her children are pilots. Or Gunners. Or ECO's or.. the list goes on and on.

His viper smoking and almost out of control, systems down, Betty bitching and wailing, smoke filling his cockpit, Captain Idris Bloodfeather does his best to shove a sticky rubber seal in through the rent in his flightsuit and up against his neck to try and slow the bleeding. So much blood. Breathing harsh, he's back to fighting the controls even as another missile lock is screaming it's warning. He tries to evade, twisting the crippled viper but the second missile nails him, ripping his craft nearly in half and sundering the cockpit with shrapnel. It takes all the nerves of steel to keep his wits, trying to look for the house the Rhino is supposed to be going to.. the viper is almost out of his control but Vogue struggles and by sheer force of will, lines it up to over shoot his target. The broken canopy is ripped away and a moment later the wounded Captain ejects! One hopes there's enough altitude left for his chute to open as viper-7528 hits the ground in a fireball, red, black and orange against the white snow.

Shay is agitated, but keeps her temper mostly in check for the time being. The KEW weaponry isn't as familiar to her as the raptor's ordnance, and she's undoubtedly going to be putting some time into the sims, if she makes it out of this in one piece. But there's one last forge to lay ruin to, and she tries to line up her shot again with gritted teeth.

<COMBAT> Terrence uses a 120mm Main!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-0820i - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Close To Cent6 - Moderate wound to Head.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Cent6 - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Cent6 - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Cent6 - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Cent6 - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara fires fullauto!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent6 with 762minigun - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent6 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent6 with 762minigun - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent6 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider8 attacks Hornet5 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider5 attacks Hornet1 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider6 with Kew and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet6 attacks Raider9 with 6xHMG - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hornet3 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-2883q - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Critical wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hornet1 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-0487u - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - Moderate wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - Critical wound to Controls.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-0487u - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Elena attacks Forge5 with Missile Ap and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Shay attacks Forge5 with Kew and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Hornet3 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Niko with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Centgrp4 attacks Hornet3 with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Centgrp3 attacks Hornet4 with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent6 attacks Hornet3 with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent4 attacks Hornet4 with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider9 attacks Hornet5 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider10 attacks Hornet1 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet5 attacks Raider7 with 6xHMG and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet2 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-9379m - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Critical wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Forge5 attacks Hornet5 with KEW but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cent6 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Aa Battery-0820i has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Forge5 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-0487u has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider10 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-1853l has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider5 has been KO'd!

And that last Forge is down. Fina-frakking-ly. Crone banks sharply, coming in for a landing. Hopefully everyone's strapped in.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, Crone. I'm coming in for a landing. Billboard, Quinn, if you can walk, get ready."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Crone, Scythe. Vogue is down. Can you see him? Can you get to him?"

Niko continues to twist and turn in the furball on high. He sees Vogue's viper go off the status board, but he hasn't had time to look yet. A missed shot at a Raider and the CAG comes around hard, jumping on the tail of another Skath. There! The last Forge is off the threat display. Time to move.

[TAC1] "Billboard" Melissa speaks through chattering teeth, "Ddddris is dddown. Need help! Bbbb'hind house!"

Below them, the aircrews can see Idris hit the show hard in the backyard of the house. There's two people struggling to get to him in the snow, clearly both injured and in bad shape.

[TAC1] Spoken in heavily accented Colonial, "Cobalt, this is Raygun, the Hornets in the mix here. We're breaking off and heading to intercept inbound bandits. Get your people. We'll fend them. We have a lot of friends looking to bloody some knuckles with us, over."

[Into the Wireless] Shay says, "Crone, Kiddo. Permission to hop off this shitty excuse for a weapons system, and assist with bringing our people on board once we're low enough?"

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Kiddo, Crone. Permission granted. Go get 'em."

As soon as Elena has the Rhino safely on the ground, Sam is running down the ramp and out into the snow toward the three air crew that are floundering toward the Rhino under a combination of mutual effort and what Sam would call sheer determination. She lends a hand in the form of draping the arm of Idris over one of her shoulders, hooking one arm around his waist and reaching out to Mels or Casey to make a solid unit and tows them with her back toward then up the ramp.

[Into the Wireless] Niko answers the Hornet driver in Arpay. Hopefully he's not too rusty to be understood. "Raygun, Cobalt lead. Thanks for your help. Drinks on me. Good hunting. Out."

<COMBAT> Samtara fires fullauto!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Samtara attacks Cent4 with 762minigun and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider7 with Kew - Serious wound to Right Wing.

<COMBAT> Centgrp4 attacks Hornet4 with LMG Tripod - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Raider9 attacks Hornet1 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet5 attacks Cent4 with 6xHMG and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet3 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Centgrp3 - Critical wound to Head.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - Light wound to Left Foot (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - ARMOR on Left Foot stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - ARMOR on Right Hand stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - Light wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - ARMOR on Left Arm stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - Light wound to Left Leg (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Centgrp3 - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hornet1 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-9379m - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Critical wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9379m - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Cent4 attacks Hornet6 with LMG Tripod and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Terrence uses a 120mm Main!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Centgrp4 - Moderate wound to Head.

<COMBAT> Raider8 attacks Hornet2 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider7 attacks Hornet1 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Hornet5 with KEW and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hornet6 attacks Raider6 with 6xHMG - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hornet4 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-2883q - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Moderate wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Critical wound to Weapon.

<COMBAT> Hornet2 uses a Missile AA!

<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-2883q - Critical wound to Body.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Critical wound to Cockpit.

<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2883q - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider9 - Light wound to Right Foot.

<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider9 - Critical wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Centgrp3 attacks Hornet2 with LMG Tripod but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Raider-8757p has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider6 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider-9379m has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider8 has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Raider9 has been KO'd!

Sam certainly doesn't need to manhandle all three pilots. She's got help in the form of a sassy blonde. Shay wades out into the snow a few feet behind the doctor, and gets an arm around whichever is the more injured of the two downed raptor crew. And once one is aboard, if the other is floundering, she heads back out to help them aboard.

Niko makes a spiraling climb, then levels off into a turn, buying time to use the wireless for a few precious seconds. Then he pushes the nose over and dives on one of the remaining Skath fighters, scoring hits with his KEW. Third time lucky? No. The Skath plows on, even though its right wing is badly damaged.

The trio throw open the door to the house. Melissa and Casey have very red faces and torn flightsuits and are floundering hard with hypothermia. They're in bad shape, but nowhere near as bad as Idris. They step out into the deep snow, trying to hold Idris up but there are obvious and additional injuries considering how the Raptor crew is moving.

Idris is coughing up blood to try and keep his airway clear as he tries to walk between Melissa and Casey. His damaged helmet is missing and the front of his flight suit is slicked with blood. He smells sharply of smoke and acrid burnt plastics. He's coherant enough to give Samtara a smile and rasps "Doc-tor." That's a nasty looking shrapnel wound in his throat. With some help they can manage to get him up into the Rhino and strap him in so Doctor Stone can get to work on him right away. Keeping him breathing is a goal.

Shay and Samtara leap out into the snow and meet them a quarter way out the door. With Idris bleeding like he is, he is the priority case. Caey and Melissa help each other to work through the snow to get to the ramp, taking the help that may come out after Idris is inside. Once up the ramp, Melissa collapses onto the deck and crawls herself towards the warm shell casings and tries to hug the spent artillery rounds.

Up in the cockpit, Elena's heart is thudding. So close. She awaits the radio signal that tells her everyone's back on board. She can't see much, pointed in this direction.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Crone, Scythe. Remaining Walkers are running your way. You're going to be taking small arms fire from the north in a minute or less."

Once the Hornets have dealt with the Skath fighters and moved on, Niko is left with nothing to do but circle, keep an eye on the ground situation, and hope they can egress before all those inbound bandits show up.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Copy, Scythe. This is going to be a fun ride."

Casey ends up collapsing next to Melissa in a frigid huddle after trudging up the ramp. She's mumbling gibberish, something about godsforsaken mountains. Her helmet is still on, and her flightsuit is torn up.

With everyone back on board, Crone closes the damned doors and takes off. If she wasn't carrying so many passengers, she'd totally try to buzz the heads off of the incoming Skath. However, today's not that day.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, Crone. I've got the package. Let's get back to the barn."

The Rhino lifts off with dozens of Skath chasing behind, closing from several streets around them. Rounds plink off the outer armor in and endless sound like people banging spoons against pots. Passing five hundred feet it finally starts to taper off and the ship rises while the downed pilots are being treated in the rear - as much as they can be until they return.

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