MD #020: Operation Smokejumper PT1
MD #020: Operation Smokejumper PT1
Summary: Airwing assault on Bominaire.
Date: Fri 28/Apr/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: http://battlestarorion.wikidot.com/bominaire-recon http://battlestarorion.wikidot.com/this-is-what-we-do
Diaz Elena Garrett Kieve 
Melissa Niko Shay 
Bominaire
The descent into the atmosphere shows a planet that looks a lot like Leonis. The oceans are a dazzlingly dark shade of blue. The continents look lush and green along the latitudes they are descending towards.
Mon 13/Nov/2028 (IC Date)

Not wanting today's mission to be overshadowed by recent events, Niko leads off the briefing in the Ready Room with a few words about the command situation. "All right people, settle down and listen up." The CAG is fully geared up to go along on this one, and looking relatively unruffled by the events of the last few days. "You've all heard the news — we've had trouble with what we think are APF infiltrators, starting with that bomber who blew himself up in the hangar. The schedule shake up we did was to help the MPs flush out others. And it looks like maybe it did. Suspects are in custody, so effective immediately, the Wing is back to its original organization. We've already announced the new acting Squadron Commanders where there's been a change. Other than that, all I can tell you right now is the investigation is on-going and we still have Skath to kill." He pauses to look over the assembled air crews before summing up. "It's war. There are going to be losses, even ones we dont expect. So focus on the mission and do your jobs."

Taking his own advice, Niko cues up the holo display to show Wing deployments and missions over the target planet. Two Viper squadrons rotating on space and air superiority, with the rest flying top cover for the Ratpors. The busses are tasked with clearing the LZ and lifting the Marines, hitting the nearby airfield, and dealing with enemy reinforcements. A few select pilots from both craft, those with the most training and experience, are being pulled to fly Predators and deal with enemy air defenses.

"We're expecting a lot of SAM but the Arpay will hopefully have dealt with most of the Skath fighters." Niko sums up. "I want /every/ Raptor and Pred with ECM active. A DRADIS goes active on the ground, we all jam the shit out of it, and then we clean them up." After questions and final changes, they're ready to go. "All right, let's do this, people."

Phase One complete, the pilots and crews are already in their tubes and one the flight deck during the wormhole travel. When they exit the wormhole there is an immediate jump into orbit around Bominaire. The deck's flash green before the jump flash has even started to fade in their eyes. With the Orion discharging every available aircraft, they all come out and immediately head for their sectors. The Vipers closest to the planet are already heading for the closest formation of Skath Raiders. Behind them the rest of the Battlestar Group is jumping. On each ship the pilots can see the gun systems turning towards the planet. On those long gun decks the officers are calmly delivering fire missions and target packages based on the outboard cameras. Down the gun galleys the senior NCO's are barking loudly while the safety loudly disengage. To the pilots they only see the rounds start pouring down towards Bominaire and the briefed flight lanes around the fire become more clear. Far towards te horizon their dradis systems can pick up the deorbiting pieces of Skath cruisers tumbling into the atmosphere. Carrier Strike Group 13 definitely did a bang-up job. The now-distant Vipers on sweep can already be seen lighting off missiles at the few Skath fighters that managed to survive.

The descent into the atmosphere shows a planet that looks a lot like Leonis. The oceans are a dazzlingly dark shade of blue. The continents look lush and green along the latitudes they are descending towards. There's a lot of SAM activity down there and their warning receivers are already pinging on something some of them will remember from the sims… and two of them will remember from the first war. Sabers. Frakking Godsdamned Sabers. Its the exact same frequency for their tracking systems, too. So far the wing is still too far out as they cross down past 40,000 feet, their first recon target (the primary LZ) dead ahead at fifty miles. At their speeds, triple the sound barrier in this atmosphere, they will be there in minutes. But beneath them, for hundreds of miles in any direction but front, people are coming out of their homes and looking to the sky. Vast groups of contrails in precise formations are descending towards their planet. Meanwhile, in the distance, single contrails can be seen where large caliber shells are falling on targets. They may not be able to feel it far from the impact zones but the whole planet is trembling.

Melissa pushes her Predator off the flight deck and comes off the side closest to the planet. The Captain turns her heavily laden bird through a slow turn and flashes her lights for a form-up. Once her wingman forms, she gets into the larger formation an dives on down towards the planet. The HUD in her helmet is already picking out distant targets and she shakes her head a little, grinning. "This is so cool," she whispers to herself. Once they are down and crossing forty thousand, she starts to push up throttle as the need for thrust overtakes the drag on the frame. Waiting for orders.

Having launched in one of the Vipers, Garrett is forming up and throttling down his thrusters to keep up with the heavier and plodding Predators and Raptors as he flies overwatch of the larger ships, ready to break off to pull off any attackers that may come straying into their airspace.

That particular frequency is what drags Ensign Ynyr's attention to her console, as the predator she's piloting sweeps into formation with the other strike craft. Her brow knits, and her head swivels so she can take in the landscape being painted in broad strokes below. Then she rolls her shoulders out, feeds some tylium to her bird as they drop in lower, and focuses on the task at hand.

Niko launches in a Viper, and after assessing the space situation, he takes position in trail behind the group headed for the Marines LZ. It's the priority at the moment.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Strike group, Scythe. Phalanx has air to ground and I will be keeping an eye up top. Wynn, you're on Fawkes' wing. The three of us will cover the Raptors and Preds. Here we go — let's clean house."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Strike group, Scythe. Phalanx has air to ground and I will be keeping an eye up top. Wynn, you're on Fawkes' wing. Diaz, you're with me. We will cover the Raptors and Preds. Here we go — let's clean house."

In her younger days, Phalanx would have been in a Predator cockpit in a heartbeat. Instead, she's in her Raptor. It's like an extension of her body. She falls into formation over the planet, easy and comfortable. It's always comfortable before the shit hits the fan.

Launching a half beat after Scythe does, Diaz gives a flex of both hands and a mild -contained- happy dance to be in the cockpit again and hurtling toward a fight at a speed designed to feed the latent adrenaline rush that every viper jock enjoys. Giving a single left-right wiggle of the viper to indicate that she's both in formation and absolutely on Scythe's wing, Diaz casts a glance around. Visually, eyeballing, the other vipers in the formation, backing up the visual sweep with a look at the DRADIS.

Kieve had been prepared for this fight with the ground op. He knows how dangerous it might be and what the odds are their facing, but also it's his duty and he's glad to strike back at those who caused so much damage all over the known worlds. The viper pilot was suited up and will launch with his wing no matter what thought he'd have.

The strike force descending down past thirty thousand, 25 miles from the LZ. It can be seen in the distance. About ten miles from the castle, it looks like a very large series of farm fields with a could dots that could be big enough to be manor houses. Ten miles beyond, they can see the large castle looming over the surrounding terrain. Even at this distance and altitude, it stands out. The walls are about a mile and a half in diameter and seem to contain a lot of interior structures. The main housing complex can be seen sitting on the hill towards the heavily fortified rear. To be seen from here gives a whole new scope to just how much presence the Skath have here. And their influence.

Diving through twenty thousand feet they pass over the LZ and the lead Raptor in the group has its cameras pointed downward, getting 12k HD images and video of the whole surrounding terrain. But something else happens about that time. In the distance, that Saber goes active. They are about at the limit of the range but the targeting radar lights up and begins painting every aircraft in the flight. It can't hit them /all/, hopefully, but they are lethal at the range of the castle to the firing position 80 miles north in the hilly and forested lowlands. They can't see it, but it is out there. And a few seconds later, multiple /Forge/ (what the shit?!) sites begin coming online. Their tracking radars light up the sky while flak begins busting in the sky near the castle.

Diving down through the soup in his viper, Niko hangs back to keep an eye on the larger situation and track how the other squadrons are faring on the networked data streams. There's a quick check over his shoulder to verify that Diaz is back there in position, but otherwise the CAG is leaving the scanning and target detection to the other pilots in the Wing. The warble of that active Saber is a concern, though. And as soon as it goes into targeting mode Scythe is on the wireless again.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Phalax, Scythe. Let's get that Saber. Everyone — ECM active if you've got it. Shut that thing down."

"Shit shit shit," mutters Shay into her helmet, as her predator's sensors begin bleating at her about targeting locks being established. «Please tell me we have something that can take out that turret» crackles her voice over the radio, a little strained sounding as she tries to juke out of the way of incoming flak.

Following on the opposite side of the formation, Garrett glances over to check on Wynn as he starts to warble the Viper to make it less of a lockable target as he grits his teeth beneath his helmet. "We got this.. just a walk in the park." he reminds himself as he watches the DRADIS and swivels about to watch for any incoming fighters that may try to jump them as they're busy with the multiple locks.

"Oh. Oh damn." The Saber lights her up and she looks that direction, helmet pinpointing the general location on the horizon. She stares at it. Her eyes then look back to the ground approaching them. «Lanx, Doodle, requesting permission to break formation and begin engagement.» She watches her own threat warning receiver and looks up, the sight painting multiple targets out across the terrain. Time to get dirty. Her throttle hand lifts and tightens the straps to her ejection seat, fixing her in place. The hand then reaches out to sit under the Master Arm, waiting for the order.

Lanx's ECO sends the information to her screens and she sings out over the coms «Scythe, Lanx. Missiles armed and ready to go. Doodle, go ahead.» She gets a lock, keys it in, and says a quick prayer. She fires. «Missiles out!»

<FS3> Elena rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Diaz is precisely where she's supposed to be; on Scythe's wing and sticking there like a tax collector determined to squeeze every cubit until it squeaks then fully intending to sell tickets to make a profit off of the squeaking noise that the cubit made and then tax those profits as well! Dedication to the cause. The ten hears the warble, exhales a snarl of sound and if possible focuses even more. Funny how the knowledge and identification of certain sounds just changes the tune of everything.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, Lanx. The LZ looks clear. We can get our Marines down there."

The young man is flying in formation. "Here we go." Kieve says as he lines up readying everything for a run. The other pilots and the others which are assulting are kept in mind. The viper is lined up and it's more of now or nothing.

Streaking across the sky, Garrett continues to juke and move, trying to baffle the missile locks of the missile systems while manveuring through the showers of steel that is being blasted across the sky, threatening to tear the Viper apart. "Hold her steady." he reminds himself, keeping his vision open to what's around him.

In the distance the Saber fires. Shay can hear it in her helmet. The warbling beeping chirps a short, angry ton for one second and then goes to a low, threatening electronic growl. She's being targeted. The missile has already left the distant tubes 95 miles to the north and is being accelerated to Mach 6 by the first stage of the missile's booster. Too far to see, but it will be on target in twenty seconds. Meanwhile there's a call over their comms, «Scythe, Walleye. We've got six squirters heading your direction. We are in pursuit but they will be on you in sixty seconds coming down from orbit!»

The missiles fire from Phalanx's Raptor, heading northbound without a contrail. They dive low to the ground, hugging the landscape as they head towards their target. Lanx pulls up, flying steady.

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Walleye, Scythe. Roger that. Vipers, Scythe. We've got company inbound from orbit. We are engaging. Missile targeting systems active and form up on me."

A sliver of raw, unadulterated fear runs through Shay as she hears that warble in her ear. Her heart begins hammering in her chest, and it's not just the adrenaline from her strike run. «F-Flight, Ynyr. That big boy wants a piece of me. Initiating evasive maneuvers, p-permission to break formation Phalanx» She jams on her flight stick, nosing up, while still keeping one of the forges in her sights.

«Copy, Lanx. Rolling in. Shay, on me.» Doodle rolls her Predator over onto its back and punches the throttles up. She pulls the nose down and for a brief second her ECO can be heard letting out a hoot on the radio before he cuts it off. She dives down, plowing through Mach 4. Pulling out after a few seconds she begins her pullout and begins to line up on the closest Forge throwing a SAM radar. "Tracking. Gods- damned shoot cue! C'mon! Find it!" she blurts over intercom to her ECO.

After responding over the wireless, Niko pulls the nose of his Viper up and hits the throttle, going to meet the inbound bandits rather than waiting around. With the targeting DRADIS active, hopefully the incoming Skath will see the Vipers are the threat and come meet them. In the meantime, they can be ready to engage as soon as the enemy fighters are in missile range.

[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "Scythe, Fawkes. Copy, Wynn, form up, we're joining Scythe and Diaz on intercept."

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Ynyr, Lanx. Follow Doodle and fly smart."

The target sensors go off alerting to the inbound even as the words break the com. "Wynn, breaking off, and forming up." Kieve calls into his comsystem pulling up and away to go and meet the intruders with the others of his squadron.

[Into the Wireless] Shay says, "Phalanx, Ynyr. Copy… copy that."

With Scythe pulling up for the engagement, Garrett hits his own throttle to break from the escort mission, and tears skywards to chase after Niko and bring his own Viper to bear on the intercept of the Skath fighters.

Mirroring Scythe's manouvering, Diaz adjusts her vector accordingly and pours on the speed to send the viper arrowing toward the Skath that they will soon be engaging. The com chatter is listened too and when there's a pause between instructions and responses she chimes in.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Scythe, Diaz; copy that."

<COMBAT> Melissa takes careful aim at Forge4.
<COMBAT> Garrett passes.
<COMBAT> Shay takes careful aim at Forge2.
<COMBAT> Saber1 takes careful aim at Shay.
<COMBAT> Niko passes.
<COMBAT> Forge2 takes careful aim at Shay.
<COMBAT> Elena takes careful aim at Saber1.
<COMBAT> Diaz passes.
<COMBAT> Kieve passes.
<COMBAT> Forge4 takes careful aim at Elena.
<COMBAT> Forge3 passes.
<COMBAT> Eco1 tries to suppress but doesn't have enough ammo.
<COMBAT> Forge1 passes.
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

The Vipers break high and the attack aircraft break low. The Vipers rise up, blasting through 30,000 feet again as they hear the missiles get lock with the shrill tone in their helmets. About the same time they can all hear the sudden pulse beep of several Raiders firing missiles. Down lower, the attack pilots are rolling in on their targets at low altitude. There's very little terrain cover out here, either. The castle looms closer to them, only ten miles out and they can see the slate gray walls out ofthe corners of their eyes. But they have bigger problems. Missile plumes kick up with dirt and go airborne at the same time that the AAA begins firing. Meanwhile the flak overhead is still bursting, black ugly smears on the sky.

Melissa rolls out and the tone locks up in her ear. "Finally!" She depresses he trigger even as she calls out, "Doodle, Magnum!" Firing an anti-radar missile. It clears the rail and she tucks her eyes away from the bright light of the motor as she begins banking away.

Niko skids his viper to jink and give the incoming Skath a more difficult target, at the same time slewing the targeting cursor onto the one on his nose. The lock on tone sings out and the HUD shows that reassuring diamond around the target. Good lock. He squeezes the trigger and sends the DRADIS guided missile on its way. «Fox one.»

"Frak!" Garrett's helmet pings from once lock signal to another and instead of breaking the attack, presses the throttle to full, attempting to baffle the missile before it has a chance to get a solid tone on him. Flipping his indicator from KEW to missiles, he draws up a quick and solid tone and call out over the comms, «Fawkes, Fox One!» the missile leaps from the undercarriage of the Viper, streaking towards the Raider flight.

The missile tone lock strikes solid in his ear. Kieve looks over and will prepare to move though he also doesnt want any to get by them, and so he'll switch from huns to missiles waiting for his own lock to be made. "Wynn, firing." He calls in the mic his own weapon launching from it's holding space.

Swapping out weapons selection to queue up the Missiles, and maintaining relative position with Scythe, Diaz dances the viper in a swift, if mathematically complex and seemingly erratic, pattern that is her best attempt to screw up the incoming weapons lock. Swift glances at the DRADIS then the HUD then around again, hands steady, her end of the com muted while humming to herself in an odd counter point to the beat that she's moving the viper too. «Fox one» she breathes this to herself as audible reminder of how many missiles her viper is carrying.

Shay drowns out the thumping of her pulse in her ears with the engine noise of her predator as she firewalls its thrusters and climbs. Then she's hammered with G forces as she begins dropping the bird like a rock. Master arm already switched to ON, she jams the missile release button and launches a volley forward and down, which zip off toward the forge dead ahead.

<COMBAT> Elena attacks Saber1 with Missile Ap - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Forge2 uses a MISSILE AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Predator-7790k - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Shay - Critical wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Shay attacks Forge2 with Missile Ap but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Saber1 uses a MISSILE AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Predator-7790k - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - Light wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Predator-7790k - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Shay - Moderate wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Raider4 passes.
<COMBAT> Niko uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-6115k - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6115k - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6115k - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6115k - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6115k - Critical wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6115k - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6115k - Serious wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6115k - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Melissa attacks Forge4 with Missile AP - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Kieve uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Raider-8523s - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8523s - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8523s - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8523s - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-8523s - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider5 - Critical wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Raider5 - Moderate wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Garrett uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-6812h - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6812h - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6812h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6812h - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6812h - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6812h - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6812h - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-6812h - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Forge1 attacks Melissa with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Saber1 with ECM. <successful>
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-3480d - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider5 uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Very Far From Viper-9725f - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Viper-9725f is not hit by shrapnel.
<COMBAT> Raider2 passes.
<COMBAT> Forge4 uses a MISSILE AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raptor-1153h - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-1153h - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-1153h - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-1153h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-1153h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-1153h - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-1153h - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raptor-1153h - Moderate wound to ECM.
<COMBAT> Forge3 attacks Melissa with KEW - Moderate wound to Tail (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider6 passes.
<COMBAT> Raider3 uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Far From Viper-9685n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-9685n - Light wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Raider1 uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Viper-7874s - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Viper-7874s has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Diaz has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-6812h has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-6115k has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider3 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider5 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Shay has been KO'd!

«FRAK!» Phalanx accidentally swears over the coms. Her missiles somehow miss the Saber. Her nostrils flare and she rolls her shoulders back. Now this shit is personal. She banks, turning for a bombing run.

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "FRAK!"

Shay dives, and dives, and.. all hell breaks loose. Her missile is chewed up by a hunk of shrapnel that ricochets across its path, and never reaches her target. And simultaneously, both the Saber and one of the Forges pin her in their crossfire, ordnance ripping through her cockpit like a knife through butter. Alarms start going off. Alarms are silenced as wires are shredded and relays destroyed. Something cuts clean through her helmet - a hunk of shrapnel, maybe - and there's blood everywhere. Swimming in and out of consciousness, she grits her teeth, hauls her helmet off one handed, and reaches over to arm another missile.

The messy fight is messy. Kieve watches his missile before banking hard to try and avoid the ordinance which is streaming his direction, the turn comes well not perfectly as the explosion rocks his ship and warning lights light up where the shrapnel has done damage, but still he's in the fight beanking back in to retarget one of the raiders left.

[Into the Wireless] Shay says, "Flight.. *there's a long pause* Ynyr. I'm still in the fight. Not sure my bird's gonna make it home though."

[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "Wynn, Fawkes. Looks like Scythe and Diaz are having a time of it. Lets lend them a helping hand or missile!"

Hearing the warning tones, the beeping alarms, the nasty buzz of exchanged weapons locks, Diaz struggles to slide the viper out of the incoming weapons lock while equally fighting to maintain the weapons lock in return. Missile away she immediately begins to maneuver even more to evade only to feel the Viper shudder with the impact of the shrapnel as the missile explodes. The surreal moment of exchanging weapons fire with the Raider is accompanied by the ever increasingly shrill tone within the confines of the cockpit of various alarms sounding off in jarring cacophony. "Scythe, Diaz, shrapnel damage to air frame and weapons system, still in the fight." She silences several of the alarms with a flick of switches or a jab of the corresponding buttons. "Another hit like that, Flight, and I may be RTB with Ynyr," she advises.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Scythe, Diaz, shrapnel damage to air frame and weapons system, still in the fight." There's a brief pause then: "Another hit like that, Flight, and I may be RTB with Ynyr," she advises."

No, Elena. Not bombs. The other missile. She aims, and the missile goes on its contrail-less way, homing in on the Saber. Hopefully. She checks in on her friendlies on the displays. Frak. Ynyr's hit. Her new mantra, muttered over and over to keep herself calm, becomes, "Bennett will kill me if I kill her kid."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Diaz, Scythe. Roger that! Break right, you've got a Skath coming on your three, I'm on him."

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Ynyr, Lanx. Sing out your status."

On high, the vipers trade a salvo of air to air missiles with the Skath. Niko goes evasive as his own threat warning goes off, and the enemy AAM detonates off his port wing. Minor damage. He doesn't even see what happened with his own shot, as there are other things to worry about with the bandits closing head on. Then he sees the red-red-red status warnings for his wingman on the display and reverses his turn, looking for Diaz.

After the first missile scores a direct hit and a Raider disintegrates into a flaming pile of metal, Garrett gives a momentary whoop of approval. Before he listens to the radio chatter, and sends out a call to the other Viper team that help's on the way as he twists the Viper around and moves to lock in on the Raider trailing after Niko. Moving to pull up his target reticle, trying to keep the CAG clean so he can help the Ten out.

[Into the Wireless] Shay static hisses for a few seconds, then, "-vionics funcioning nominally. Life support failing, DRADIS-" hisssss "-fline. I've got attitude controls and weapons, Phalanx, so I-" the rest is garbled.

Melissa watches the missile hit the dirt by the Forge and rock the thing to the side. "Oh HELLLL no." The smarter decision would be to come back around on the attack. Instead she banks into the incoming fire and spins up the gun. The motor whirrs up, trying to roll her whole Pred and she counters as she dives in. "EAT SHIT."

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Scythe, Diaz, copy that. Breaking right!"

Diaz immediately jukes the viper in a hard right turn, banking to the side at the same time and fighting several things as once. The pull of gravity, the drag of the wounded viper in atmosphere, and the constant dance of trying to lock weapons systems while evading the same in return.

[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "Scythe, Fawkes, coming in at your seven to intercept your tail. Be aware!"

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Fawkes, Scythe. I see him. Kill the frakker."

<COMBAT> Melissa attacks Forge4 with 20mm Minigun - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Niko with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Kieve attacks Raider1 with KEW - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Shay uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Far From Aa Battery-2558k - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-2558k - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Garrett uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-2119o - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2119o - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2119o - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2119o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2119o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2119o - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2119o - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2119o - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-2119o - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Elena takes careful aim at Saber1.
<COMBAT> Saber1 takes careful aim at Diaz.
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider6 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Forge4 attacks Elena with KEW - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Forge3 attacks Melissa with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Forge2 attacks Shay with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Eco1 suppresses Saber1 with ECM. <unsuccessful>
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Diaz with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider1 uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Very Far From Viper-9725f - Light wound to Body.
<COMBAT> Viper-9725f is not hit by shrapnel.
<COMBAT> Forge1 attacks Melissa with KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Raider-3480d - Moderate wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - Moderate wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-2558k has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Forge2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-5164q has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Forge4 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Shay has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Predator-7790k has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Shay has been KO'd!

Missiles, heavy gun rounds, and flak are flying everywhere. More hits are taken but its turning into a heavy grind for the Colonials/Erfriki. The air combat fight keeps dragging lower and lower, the Raiders -finally- getting in range of the Raptors and Predators. Below them, if they get a chance to glance down, they can see thousands of people outside their homes, staring up into the sky and watching. The Preds and Raptor at low altitude are blowing past faces at 400+ knots and get a chance to see closer, people cheering. Even the Viper bottoming out a dive gets a chance to see it. Nobody is watching the Skath.

Shay manages to launch her bombs, which sail off smoothly, right on target. And quite by accident, she manages to juke out of the way of the incoming missile as her body slumps forward at the controls and her stick hand shoves it forward. Her quick-thinking ECO leans forward, quickly tugging her ejection cords around her head and securing his own ejection mechanism. Two explosions, one after the other as both aircrew are blasted up and out of the ailing predator - which quickly begins to break up as its velocity exceeds the ability of the airframe to withstand. The Forge, meanwhile, goes up in a gout of flame and plume of smoke.

Somehow, after Garrett's missile literally rips the cockpit of the Raider to shreds, the ship continues to fly. Gritting his teeth, Fawkes bears down, flipping from missile to KEW to try to spray the Raider with enough live ammo to finish the job that the missile started. That's when he hears the tone in his ear, at the last possible moment, and curses to himself as he immediately starts to juke to try to boggle the Saber's systems.

Niko is too busy avoiding the bandit on his own tail to get a good shoot — despite his best manuevering, he only manages to rake a short burst across the target's right wing, leaving the enemy fighter still in the fight. But a glance behind shows that Garrett has clear his tail, so he can stay with the bandit. Following the Skath through his turn, Scythe can spare a moment to completely focus on lining up a shot.

Kieve manages to escape the worst of the blast the shrapnel this time, but the concussion does a bit of damage to shall of the fighter. "Getting too low." He comments to himself switching on his com. The pilot will pull hard around trying to come about and get behind the raider that had shot at him. Once in range he'll pull the trigger and blasts escape the gun on his viper.

Another exchange of fire, another test of dueling weapons locks. Diaz sends the second of the four missiles that she's carrying at the Raider that she's been dueling with for the last few minutes. The actual tick-lock elapse of time becomes a genuine variable that's entirely subjected and irrelevant at the same time. She hears the missile lock then explode with a cloud of shrapnel that only does additional damage but doesn't take it down. Still. She manages to evade the the next exchange of unpleasantness and fights - still - for a lock on the Raider to knock it out of the fight once and for all. The sound of weapons lock on her Viper has her doing a visual then DRADIS sweep while also trying to note the location of the chutes from Shay and her ECO.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Still in the fight. Noting location of Shay & ECO, sending visual coordinates."

<COMBAT> Shay passes.
<COMBAT> Saber1 uses a MISSILE AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Viper-7874s - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-7874s - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Niko attacks Raider6 with KEW - Critical wound to Controls.
<COMBAT> Melissa uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-4454g - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4454g - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4454g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4454g - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4454g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4454g - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4454g - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4454g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4454g - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Garrett attacks Raider4 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile Aa!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Raider-3480d - Serious wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3480d - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Raider6 attacks Garrett with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Forge3 attacks Kieve with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Forge1 attacks Diaz with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Elena uses a Missile He!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Far From Aa Battery-0835n - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-0835n is not hit by shrapnel.
<COMBAT> Raider4 attacks Elena with KEW - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Kieve attacks Raider1 with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider1 uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Far From Viper-9725f - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Viper-9725f - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Viper-7874s has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Diaz has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raptor-1153h has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Elena has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-4454g has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Forge1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-3480d has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-5027w has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider6 has been KO'd!

<FS3> Diaz rolls Piloting-4: Good Success.

With the missile exploding nearby, Garrett jumps in his seat but manages to keep control of his craft as it weaves through the fire coming in from the Raider trying to get a bead on him and twists his own Viper around, taking the Raider back high. "Come on, chase me.." he calls out to himself, waiting for the Raider to come up, and when it doesn't, he moves to turn his attention to spray KEW fire into it in an attempt to finish it off fully. «Wynn, Fawkes, sing your status!»

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Diaz, Scythe. I'm on your wing. Can you make it back to Orion?"

Free to focus on the kill, Niko lines up a good angle and riddles the twisting Skath fighter with his KEW. It rolls over and spirals down. Then there's another huge *BOOM* from the Saber missile going off, and he flinches instinctively away. Frak that thing anyway. With the sky clearing he checks his console, looking over the situation as he keys the wireless.

This round didnt go as well for this viper pilot, his weapon misses and once more an explosion goes off close enough to set off alarms in his cockpit. Kieve looks over his screens before answering. « Medium damage, still in fighting shape.» he answers this time low enough he'll turn over hard switching to missiles he'll take aim at the tower instead, waiting for lock on and then pulling the trigger again.

Melissa dives in on the Forge firing at her and shoves a couple bombs down its throat. The bombs hit the turret and blow the vehicle clean in half. Thats about the same time she hears a beeper in her ears for an ejection seat. Mels cranes her neck in her seat to see Shay going down. The anger builds to a boil in a few seconds. Finding the last Forge at her seven oclock, she shoves up the throttles, putting her ECO and her through a gruelling high speed turn. Coming back around her pipper comes up as she busts the mach flying low. «Bombs gone on the last Forge.» she says way too cool. There's fury in those eyes. Even as they tumble off the racks, she staring at the castle as she blows past.

More shrill alarms, whistles, bells, blinking it not pulsing lights and other 'warning - warning' signals are going off all across the board. More shrapnel shreds into the body of the viper, the vehicle shuddering on impact and, worse, is the sound of safety glass cracking and beginning to spider web fracture in ever expanding path.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. RTB. Say again. Diaz is RTB. Critical damage to air frame and canopy, breaking off. Fawkes, Wynn, form up on Scythe. Falling back"

Phalanx can't help but wonder what side the people below are cheering for. She bites the inside of her cheek hard enough to draw blood when she sees Ynyr eject. And the godsdamned Saber goes down. That's something. She starts to pull up. Her ECO is bleeding badly and her bird can't take much more, if Betty's squawking is to be believed.

[Into the Wireless] Garrett says, "Scythe, Fawkes. If you want to make sure Diaz gets back safe, I'll keep the remaining Raider busy for the flight."

[Into the Wireless] Elena says, "Flight, Lanx. I'm RTB. My bird is bent sideways and my backseater's bent, too. Wescott, follow the Vipers. We'll bring Ynyr home soon. Repeat, Lanx is RTB."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Diaz, Scythe. Roger. I am on your three o'clock. Fawkes, Scythe. That's the plan — will escort in case she has to eject on the way. Call me if you need me."

[Into the Wireless] Niko says, "Phalanx, Scythe. I don't hear the Saber anymore. How's it looking down there? We had an eject?"

<COMBAT> Garrett attacks Raider4 with KEW - Light wound to Right Wing.
<COMBAT> Melissa uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-8461n - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Kieve uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-8461n - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8461n - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Shay passes.
<COMBAT> Niko passes.
<COMBAT> Forge3 attacks Kieve with KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Elena passes.
<COMBAT> Diaz passes.
<COMBAT> Raider4 tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Melissa has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-8461n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Forge3 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider-2119o has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider4 has been KO'd!

Shay's Predator explodes across the terrain, tumbling wreckage right towards the gate with an engine even bouncing off the wall. However, her ECO ejected as the Predator was rolling to the right. He could have survived and gotten out himself and left her to die. Ejecting her first may have saved the critically wounded pilot. But it killed him. The Predator was already at a 75 degree bank and his ejection seat fired him right into the tops of the trees, the guy disappearing in a flash of blown-off branches. Shay's chute yanks automatically when the suit falls away, giving her three full swings before the slumped pilot disappears into the trees six miles from the gate.

As the pilots turn to head home there's intermittent dradis contact with several ships heading towards the surface. Looking out the canopys in their directions the pilots can see Arpay landers cloaked in stealh camo diving towards the planet in all directions. Meanwhile the orbital bombardment continues unabated across the planet. I it shaking in fear or hope?

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Scythe, Diaz, copy that. Company is appreciated."

Speaking into the com in a voice that is as calm and as level as she can make it, which takes more effort than she'd ever admit to, Diaz keeps both her piloting and her com remarks carefully policed and fenced in. A glance is spared to the DRADIS, another to the HUD, then resists the irrational impulse to 'kick the windshield out' so that she has a clear field of vision. Impulses are generally stupid for a reason, this being a prime example. What systems can be jimmied or goosed along, are. What things must be ignored because there's nothing to be done until the Viper is on the deck again. As a wise man once said: There are no break down lanes in the sky.

Kieve watches as the tower goes down and the last raider disapears from scope. It's a hard pull to gain air back under his wings. The viper pilot hears the traffic over the com «Wynn forming up.» he'll press forward the throttle to catch up to the others forming up in his place with the other squadron members.

When the data for the downed raptor winks out from his display, Niko knows the answer before Elena can reply on wireless. Frak. He goes back on the wireless. «Orion Actual this is Scythe. I have a raptor down at coordinates <X>. Repeat Raptor down. We need SAR with escort and SAM suppression ASAP. We are returning to base. Out.» With the transmission is sent he's checking on the rest of the mission group, and making sure they're all climbing for home. Data starts to come in on the airfield attack a strike against Skath armored reinforcements — both heavily damaged but not completely out of action. Mission mostly accomplished.

With the remaining Skath Raider going down, and Niko escorting Diaz back, Garrett brings up his comms, «Wynn, Fawkes. Let's link up with the bomb flight and escort them home. Phalanx, Fawkes, where do you want to link up for RTB, over?» he calls out as he waits for further instruction.

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