MD #181: Training in Virtual Rain
MD #181: Training in Virtual Rain
Summary: Two vipers escort a Raptor and Predator in a training sim to destroy a com tower.
Date: Fri 06/Oct/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None/Current events
Inez Ben Idris Diaz Lukes 
Flight Simulators - Deck 2 - Battlestar Orion
The Air Wing has access to flight simulators to train pilots off the ground in combat maneuvers and situations that are hard to replicate with regular dogfight practicing and this is their home. A very large rectangular room, the hatch opens up beside the bank of computers that control the simulations and what is seen by the individuals when training sessions are in progress. The sims are actual cockpits cut out of old frames and installed here to function exactly as the real thing, right down to oxygen plugs for suits. The screens of the old days are still there but rarely used, and in each helmet the crews see a projected hyper-realistic depiction of the combat environment and what their cockpits look like with any incurred damage. There are two Vipers, two Predators, and two full-cabin Raptors available.
Mon 23/Apr/2049 (IC Date)

Training missions being what they are, especially in light of the rumors that aren't actually rumors but non-specific almost actionable intel, more pilots are taking their turn in the training sims while the fleet in in position over Pitchfork. The current time slot allows for Vipers and Raptor pilots to take a turn at targets that are ranged over (of all places) Picon. Picon as it was, to be fair, not as it is now. The common factors are the gravity well, near space, relative fleet formations, anti-aircraft batteries on planet and the usual mix of variables not already named.

Carrying her helmet tucked into the crook of her left arm, Diaz hurries into place once the previous group clears the sim room and takes a seat in the first open viper frame to begin her pre-flight check.

Idris is of course here already and has chosen a viper cockpit frame. With the sim cued up, and after a very short briefing, he too goes through the motions of the flight checks. The Captain's helmet is sealed, radio checked, and as soon as the other pilots are ready, he'll cue them through 'Orion Actual' to be green to go. The Vipers of course kick out first and begin to form up, with the heavier and slower Raptors and Predators to come behind. Once out into space over Picon in the sim, the planet reveals itself like a multi-hued marble within it's atmospheric envelope.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue. Vipers, Diaz, form up off my wing. We'll be escorting in our payload when they confirm readiness, Over."

Ben holds his helmit close to his body, his first sim aboard the Battlestar. He moves in after the others and finds his seat. He sets it to Predator and puts the helm on, keying the system to begin.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Moving into position off your wing, over."

Diaz speaks into the com even as the image forms up on the screen to show the way Picon once looked. For a moment the image is bitter sweet but the Ten shakes it off as she flexes both hands and manouvers her Viper into position off of Vogue's wing then, after checking proximity, scans for the rest of the wing. A glance is spared for DRADIS, studying it silently, then around as HUD pings with the known targets, each given a unique identifier and targeting solution to accompany. Granted the 'friendly' vs 'enemy' targets are very very important to distinguish.

[Into the Wireless] Inez says, "Flight, Sawyer. Raptors, Cross form up on me. Keep it low and eyes peeled, over."

The last time she was in Sims it was short and splodey, and not the good kind of splodey. Inez enters today with her helmet tucked under her arm to sign in, with a bit more of a serious mein to her features. With a little toss of her head, she flicks her bangs back from her face and then pulls on her helmet to board her raptor. After the preflight checks, she watches as the screens come up, and then she's checking in with her wing.

[Into the Wireless] Ben says, "Roger, forming up now. Eye's peeled."

Ben doesn't see the sim once he's plugged in and responds to orders. He's behind the controls of the Predator, forming up with the others. Watching his speed, checking radar, looking out the views. Stick and throddle, just like the real thing.

For the sake of this training mission several of the old (or last) war installations are flagged as enemy strongholds and are painted accordingly. The mission, should they choose to accept it, is to destroy a communication relay site and the defenses ranged around it. Intel suggests that the com site is defended by a wing of Skath-Raiders, at least one AA battery and a garrison of soldiers (quite likely a mix of Skath-centurions and clerics with their mix of collaborators and pressed-into-service civilians). For the sake of the mission the objective is to get in, hit the targets, and get back out as clean and fast as possible.
The weather on approach to the mission location on Picon is a mix of wispy clouds and those dense gray smudges that promise rain, whether that promise of rain will be fulfilled or not is something that - hopefully - they won't be around for. The approach to Picon is facilities with a jump that drops the assault team as close to the gravity as well, forcing the team to begin intra-atmosphere maneuvers almost as soon as emerging from the jump. It's a risky technique, not leaving a lot of room for avoiding obstacles or other debris in near orbit, but for the sake of the sim the approach is clear for maneuvering.

As soon as Inez's Gentleman Ghosts are set and give the signal that they are going in, the vipers pull out to lead the way down. As they enter into the atmosphere and craft begin shaking, splattering with rain as they start getting lower, visibility at times is poor. They have to rely on instruments. Brief breaks see them out of the cloud cover and into sunlight, then engulfed again. Idris keeps an eye on his DRADIS as they arrow in, dropping fast and coming in low for an approach from the east to have what sun there may be at their backs this time of the morning, local surface time. The stick shudders in his gloved hands with air turbulence, the Captain's dark eyes searching and not relying upon his HUD alone.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, I have DRADIS contacts. Raiders incoming from the southwest at 400 klicks and closing fast. Diaz and I will engage, weapons hot. Gentleman Ghosts are clear to drop below cloud cover and proceed, Over."

Ben follows in, looking at the insterments when the rain covers the windshield view. He holds the stick tight, compensating for the sudden gusts of wind, keeping his line. The stick shakes, but he has it covered. Keeping his range tight but not to close, he hears the order and responds.

The odd jostle of weightless to falling to bumps of atmosphere pockets that are clear only to cloud over again make this a Bumpy Ride, as far as Diaz is concerned. Of the many things that the viper is not equipped with, windshield wipers are absolutely on the list. Though, considering what they're up against when not in atmosphere, wipers would be rather redundant. The Viper is cutting through the wispy rain clouds fast enough that the ambient moisture that gathers turns into beads and smears of rain that move almost to fast to be seen. With a careful read on the hard deck and relative position to same, Diaz keys the com as she eyes the incoming Raiders.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Copy that. Manouvering to engage. Over."

[Into the Wireless] Ben says, "Starting approach. Going in hot."

As they drop into atmosphere, Inez takes a sudden drop in an air pocket, then steadies, feeling her stomach jump. Steady once more, she looks through the splatter of drops, eyes scanning through the gloom. As Idris makes contact and comes over the coms she gives a nod to herself and turns to her eco. "See if you can jam those raiders for them while I take us down."

[Into the Wireless] Inez says, "Vogue, Sawyer, copy. Cross, let's get down low and see what they have. Ready to fire."

[Into the Wireless] Ben says, "On your wing, dropping down. Ready."

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Inez uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-3227p - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ben uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-3227p - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-3227p - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Skath4 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skath3 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skath2 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Skath1 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Heavy Raider-7740c - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-7740c - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-7740c - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-7740c - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-3960q - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3960q - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Skath1 - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Skath1 - Serious wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Skath1 - Light wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> Diaz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Skath1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-3227p has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Skath4 has been KO'd!

The skath raiders on patrol around the comm station alter their patrol path to intercept the incoming Raptors and Vipers. Those on the ground would hear the alarms going off, a call to battle positions, and anyone actually close enough to get a look at the grounds around the comm structure would see vehicles and personnel racing from one facility to the other. The comm tower, which is easily the tallest structure for miles around, is lit up rather brightly by a series of lights that blink in programmed patterns to alert traffic in the area to veer away. Those same lights flick off by the time the first exchange of weapons fire is completed and debris begins drifting down toward the facility. Whether it's to reserve power or to try to make the tower harder to hit or harder to see as the rain actually does begin to fall, there's no way to tell. What IS easy to discern is that more raiders are vectoring toward the combat theatre and another of the AA Batteries in position around the tower is powering up and shifting focus to track the flight path of the enemy (Colonial) targets.

Lukes is late for the sims and moves in, fully clad, and stares at the already-moving sims. "Shit." They're in combat. She reaches into her helmet bag and pulls out her helmet, tugging it on as she sets down in one of the control chairs. Flailing for a moment, she searches and is able to find a cable. Its quickly brought up into her helmet and she brings up a screen to view the overall. Eyes averted, she twitches away from looking at the God Screen and boots up a Raptor dradis at high altitude. Once it loads, she starts parsing it.

[Into the Wireless] Lukes says, "Suds in, taking AWACS." Airborne Warning and Control. Less Control, more Warning. "Contact, bandits merged with you." A few seconds pass. "Pop-up group, hot, bandits bearing two one five at 120 miles."

The Raiders drop and dive low, ignoring the Vipers initially! They are going for the Raptors and Preds. Therefor Captain Bloodfeather drops lower and gets a missile lock while the heaviest of the Skath Raiders is still incoming. It fires away, leaving a trail as it rushes off out from under his wing. Idris doesn't wait to see if it hits, twisting in to stay tight and close up to see if he can pressure the Skath to force it off course as it heads for Inez's craft. It's the viper's job to keep them off of their payloads! The two groups rapidly converge, swarming as the first strikes are made against their ground targets.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Predator-4555V, Vogue. You have two on you. Diaz and I will try to keep you clear, Over."

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Suds, Vogue Copies. Glad to have you, Over."

As the first bombs are away, Inez pulls around to the side, giving a wide berth to the spot she had seen the tower lights, now that they've gone dark, she's not risking a collision this run, until she has a better view. She looks down as she turns, and notes the new battery being charged. Clearing her throat, she lines up for another charge.

Ben pulls in beside the Raptor, allowing for wind and gravity, launching missels on the fly over. Pulling up, the tracker pings and he glances back briefly as he pulls up. The explosions brighten the field of sight for a moment, he knows he hit something, but the pings get louder and he register behind him, but he can't see anything.

Moving in tandem with Vogue as she sends the first of the four missiles away, Diaz tracks the path initially to ensure that it hits the intended target all while being overly aware of the proximity to the hard deck and the tower that is the primary objective of this entire mission. She flips a switch to select another missile from the racks rigged to the Viper and calls into the com.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz, missile one away. Selecting target for missile two. Cross, be advised, taking aim at the Skath targeting you. Suds, Diaz, eta on those bandits?"

[Into the Wireless] Ben says, "Frak! I can't see them. Where are they?"

[Into the Wireless] Inez says, "Suds, Sawyer, acknowledge. Cross, Sawyer, the tower has gone dark, watch yourself. Pull around for another run, they're charging another battery, over."

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Inez uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-4285u - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4285u - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4285u - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4285u - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4285u - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4285u - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-4285u - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-3878i - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - Light wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - Moderate wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-3878i - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Skath2 - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> CREW HIT! Skath2 - Moderate wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Raider-9556r - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-9556r - Critical wound to Engine (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ben uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT> Skath7 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skath6 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skath5 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skath3 attacks Ben with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skath2 attacks Ben with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Skath2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-4285u has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Skath7 has been KO'd!

The second of the defensive positions around the base of the tower explodes in a sudden burst of light and sound, munitions cooking off in response to the destruction of the battery causes a chain reaction of minor explosions that set more stuff on fire. Burn baby burn. More of the raiders are knocked down out of the fight, each passing sweep of the combat brings debris ever closer to the tower and on the ground skath walkers can be seen moving into position, sunlight - dim as it is - gleaming off of their metal forms and it's only a matter of time before the Raptors and Vipers are within weapons range of both the tower and the weapons carried by the Skath Centurions.

[Into the Wireless] Lukes says, "Flight, King." The adopted callsign of the all-seeing eye. "Bandits bearing two-one-five at one hundred miles, hot. Warning yellow at fifty." She pauses for a moment and when her mic goes hot again, the can hear the click of the ECO trackball buttons, "Strike, Mud Spike! Saber going active! Bearing zero-one-five, 200 miles! Do not flow North, repeat, do not flow north, over!"

Idris took a minor hit to his craft at the outset and gets two more Raiders trying to gun for him. Still, the Viper Squadron Leader keeps his cool and becomes more cautious in his flying, jigging and jinxing to try and make himself a harder target to hit, while most of his attention is focused on trying to keep Ben's Pred from being ripped apart by /two more/ Raiders. With Diaz's help, the pair of them manage to get their locks and send off another pair of missiles, keeping those Skath too busy dodging to do much damage. Soon as he blasts clear, Vogue is rolling to port and bringing his viper back around. Dark eyes don't need his instruments in his HUD to see that the Heavy Raider he damaged before is going after Inez's Raptor again. Bloodfeather guns his throttle up, feeling vibration through his lightly damaged airframe. Rain sleets off of his cockpit glass, blurring visibilty by turns. Seems their Gentleman Ghosts are lighting things up nicely! Idris bares his teeth in a feral snarl of pleasure.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz, Copy! Staying south of target, over. Say again, staying SOUTH of target."

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "King, Vogue copies, over."

Ben had broke away slightly, the field of rain making it impossible to see. Radar pings two close, he pulls the stick hard left, then down before doing a barrel roll upward to evade what might be closing in on him. An explosion burst on his right and he counts, "One missle." Pulling sharp, the tug of the Praditor lagging from the manuvering. A ship blows up to his left, he hopes it's one of there's. The chatter over the coms makes him check his location. A brief window opens in the rain and he tilts slightly right to see the ground. Another AA coming to life. He pulls the ship wide to get a bead.

As the rain begins falling in ernest, and the munitions below sending up a fireball, for a moment, Inez's vision through the glass is a blur of runny reds and yellows. She pulls around and cranes her neck to try and see a little further around as the explosion in the air around send debris through the smoke and falling water. "Where are you?" she mutters to herself, looking for the tower again. Then she hears Lukes's warning and she nods.

[Into the Wireless] Inez says, "Cross, Sawyer, still with us? Looks like we have one more battery before we can make a run on the tower. Stay south of the target. Repeat, maintain flight SOUTH of the target."

[Into the Wireless] Ben says, "Flight, Cross, Thanks for the assist. I've the AA in my sights, coming around."

Diaz sends the 2nd of her missiles away before she speaks into the com, tone of voice managing both alarmed and steady at the same time. The HUD pings with the third of the missile batteries coming online while the heavy raider continues to swoop in and out of the soup, firing away at the Raptors and Vipers that are closing in on the tower. Rain once again streaks along the canopy and she taps one gloved fingertip at the display to clear up the targeting solution then shifts the focus north to get a read on the Saber that's actively pinging from north of the comm tower. "Frak," she swears abruptly as she has to veer away from the wind sheer bouncing off of the tower.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Inez uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-1997o - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ben uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-1997o - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-1997o - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Skath8 attacks Ben with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skath6 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Idris uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Heavy Raider-7740c - Critical wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-7740c - ARMOR on Right Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-7740c - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-7740c - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-7740c - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-7740c - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Skath3 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Raider-7664 - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7664 - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7664 - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7664 - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Raider-7664 - Light wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Skath9 attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW - ARMOR on Tail stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Diaz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

Another not so minor explosion kicks off as the third of the defensive batteries goes up with a cough of smoke, accompanying explosion, and someone is going to get yelled at for storing munitions to close to the missile batteries once this is all over. Thunder booms now, both from the sound of combat but from the clouds that are sweeping in from the west, obscuring the daytime sky with more cloud cover and the promise of rain is absolutely fulfilled at this point. On the ground the Skath centurions that were moving into position end up getting hit by the falling debris from the Heavy raider, an unfortunate hit as far as the Skath are concerned but a fortuitous hit as far as the colonial wing is concerned.

Idris fires off his third missile and away she goes! It's barely left his wing, arrowing for that Heavy Skath Raider when another Raider comes around and starts chewing up Captain Bloodfeather's viper! Skath rounds rip into his wing and Betty sets off to bitching her alarms over his consule, damage reports lighting up on his weapons systems, flashing vehemently! Vogue twists his craft away hard to starboard and throttles back up, having to dodge that tower that looms up with a sudden warning on his HUD! "Shit!" A hard yank on the viper's stick gets him clear without splattering himself on it, visibility dropping off rapidly. His effort pays off to get the Raider off his tail as it breaks up under Diaz's fire - and Idris's missile also finds it mark, going up the Heavy Raider's engine in a fireball of debris! Vogue slews back around, feeling the turbulence of air resistance against his battered craft and looking to see what targets are left.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Flight, Vogue. I got chewed up there. Lost weapons control on my last missile. Switching to KEW. What's our status, people? Over."

[Into the Wireless] Inez says, "Vogue, Sawyer, I have visual on the Tower. Cross, form up on my wing, we're going for the Tower."

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Down to my last missile. No damage to Viper. Over."

Ben drops a load on the AA Battery, tossing caution to the wind. The bombs fall and explode and his sights turn to the tower. He pulls the stick to the right this time, noting Viper's engaged and brings the Predator up to avoid line of fire. Giving this run a wide turn, loads his payload and lines up with Sawyer, waggling his wings on approach.

[Into the Wireless] Idris says, "Diaz, Vogue. There's another heavy and it's going after Sawyer. Use your last missile on it, over."

[Into the Wireless] Ben says, "Sawyer, Cross, I'm right beside you. Tower dead ahead. Missiles ready. Let's get er. Over."

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz. Changing targets now. Over."

The air is a turbulent mix of rain, storm gusts, and the force from the explosions as they bloom upwards, and it's almost all Inez can do to hold it steady. She's peering through the rain, and then, "there you are, you bastard," she breathes and calls for the form up to take out the objective of the mission. The message that there's one on her tail is heard, but she's focused, and depends on Diaz to cover her so she can concentrate on taking down the tower so they can all skeedaddle.

Speaking into the com not once but twice, Diaz keys up the first firing solution and then, half a beat later after listening to Vogue's orders over the com she exhales a breath and changes targets again. She flexes both hands, eyes the comm tower and then the burst of lighting that arcs through the clouds to the west, briefly reflects on the origins of swear words and makes a promise to invent a few after all this is over.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Ben uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-8526t - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Inez uses a Bomb Racks!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Aa Battery-8526t - Critical wound to Body.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Weapon stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Aa Battery-8526t - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Skath9 attacks Idris with RAIDER KEW - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tower attacks Diaz with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Skath10 attacks Inez with RAIDER KEW and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Idris attacks Skath10 with KEW - Serious wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Diaz uses a Missile AA!
<COMBAT>
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Cabin stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - Critical wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Left Wing stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Engine stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Heavy Raider-8367m - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Diaz has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Viper-9534f has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Idris has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Aa Battery-8526t has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Tower has been KO'd!

All the practice, all the rounds fired, all the rain that's smudged up their canopies and all the debris that is littering the ground is just cover and for the main attraction. As soon as the bombs hit the comm tower it's a slow motion catastrophe. The first bombs impact into the side of the structure with the second strikes impacting the base of the tower itself. There's a ground of sound that's almost audible to the flight crews and pilots of the Raptors and Vipers that are wheeling around again to reverse course back to their ex-fil site. The tower sways, the wind kicked up from the constant sweep of activity around it causes the tower to lean . . then list… the facade crumbles almost like a sand castle dissolving in the wind. Where sand would be is, instead, the groan of metal and concrete, of power lines snapping, of lights flickering briefly to life once again only to stutter and shatter. Unseen is the crew assigned to the operation of the tower itself, ordered to remain at their stations even as combat had raged outside. The tower collapses into a sudden heap of debris, dust, coughing plumes of smoke and a great belch of fire that burns merrily beneath the afternoon sky and falling rain.

<COMBAT> Diaz has stopped the combat.

Ben follows Inez's line, matching speed, watching for the drop. The target set and the timing is perfect between them both. Bombs away and he pulls the Predator to the left to avoid the Raptor. The explosion lights up the view, and when it fade, he watches the tower fall. "YEE HAW!" He yells out, a shout mostly hear throughout the simulation room. His monitors go blank and he pulls off his helm. The door swing open and he comes out of the pob with a huge grin on his face. "Did you see that?" Up to Inez, "Beautiful. That's some great flying there." He seems quite over excited for the simulation.

His last missile fubared and unable to fire, Idris flips his weapons control over to his Viper's KEW. His craft is already chewed up, but the Captain doesn't dare pull out and RTB early when Inez is getting pegged by a Skath Heavy Raider! She might get killed if he and Diaz can't chew it up first! Soon as he can get lined up with the Heavy in his sights, Idris opens up and starts firing on it hard. His 20 mm rounds rip into the Heavy Raider and then he's past, clear for Diaz's missile to blow it to Hades! Bloodfeather turns his head to see if Inez gets through unscathed, his attention on her instead of his HUD instruments that show a Raider opening fire on his already damaged craft. The Captain never sees it coming as his viper suddenly sparks and is ripped apart, shredding his canopy in the sim which suddenly goes dark. "Son of a … !" Surprised, he lets go his controls as the others in their simulations get to see his viper fragment and auger into the ground a short distance beyound the falling tower…

Inez has one eye on her flight path, and one eye on the tower as the impacts hit. She pulls left and up, climbing in a circle so she can look out the side of her canopy, and only watches long enough to see it begin to disintegrate. A 'whoop' fills the cabin, and overflows to the room at large. The debris splatters across the raptor, pinging around her, but nothing big enough to do any damage. She calls the objective accomplished before the screens go dark, and then she's hopping out of the simulation cockpit, pulling off her helmet. She offers Ben a fist bump and nods. "No so bad yourself."

[Into the Wireless] Inez says, "Flight, Sawyer. Target destroyed, repeat, target destroyed. RTB, over."

Maintaining mission protocol to the end of the sim, Diaz angles away from the tower once Sawyer and Cross drop their payload and the tower begins to crumble. Missile away she watches the display as the Heavy Raider becomes so much debris that it's just a cloud of metal particulates that fill the air. She's reaching for the command console to key in for another sweep of the terrain when the Captain's viper is shredded by fire from the remaining Raider in the combat theatre and, like the heavy raider, becomes so much debris and then a crater. She makes a startled sound that thankfully doesn't make it to com and after a half beat she keys the com to reply.

[Into the Wireless] Diaz says, "Flight, Diaz, RTB, copy. Remaining on your six until the ex-fil point, over."

A moment later, Idris opens up his sim canopy and gets out. He pops the seal on his helmet and seeing the Gentleman Ghosts celebrating their sim run, the Viper Squadron Leader can't help but ease his grimness almost into a smile. His dark eyes go to Diaz's sim, glad perhaps to have had her as his wingman once more. He makes an 'aw well' gesture and tucks his helmet beneath an arm, "You all did very well. Simulation debrief in ten minutes. Coffee and tea are in the Ready Room." Bloodfeather goes on out to see that it is so.

"I wonder if there's any cookies," Diaz says as she slides out of the sim cradle and quickly disengages all the hookups, tugging her helmet off once she's out and clears the way for the next batch of pilots and ECO's to run their training sim. "Training sims and actual combat missions leave me with the most ridiculous sugar craving."

Ben follows Diaz, "I heard coffee in the ready room. Everything else came out Did you see that, what a rush, but frak we lost a vipor in my head. Could be cookies."

"I wish I could say that we only lose them in training, but this is why we train, to minimize losses all across the board," Diaz says as she runs one hand through her hair, ruffling the red and blue streaks as she does so. She nods then as she adds, "The captain also said Coffee, but I prefer tea, personally. Or," and Diaz turns a smile at Ben, "fruit punch. How silly is that? I wonder if the mess has anything that'll taste like fruit punch," the viper pilot's eyes narrow ever so slightly in speculation.

Ben chuckles, "Sugar rush." Keeping up with the Vipor pilot. "I hope there are cookies. I get hungry, don't care what it is to eat, as long as it's eatbale." He give a glance back at the simulaters and pulls a cleansing breath. Nodding to the statement about sim and reality differ. His smile fades just a touch as the though sinking in that some ships don't make it back. He turns back to where they are going, he doesn't want to get lost because he does get lost in this ship.

Puffing out a breath that's part laugh and part recognition of the truth of Ben's words, Diaz slows her pace slightly to make sure that the Raptor pilot can keep pace. "That's exactly what it is. Sugar rush, or rather a craving for sugar after the adrenaline rush. Also, did you get to spend any more time on planet after landing day? They won't let us bring live animals up," she swaps topics with absolutely no warning, "I'm pretty sure I could keep a pet fish alive but it's still an absolute No."

Ben chuckles, "I heard in order to have a pet, you have to keep a plant alive for a year." He holds up his hand and thumbs up it, "No green here. I kill them within a week." He lowers his hand, still following Diaz to the ready room. "Makes me wonder if that applies to mates." is said under his breath as he walks.

"If you can't keep a friend alive for a whole year, then you absolutely cannot have a pet OR a plant," Diaz replies as she steps over the hatch and out into the hall, sending a worried/perplexed look at Ben. "I've kept a mint alive for a whole month now, well almost a whole month. So you're saying I'd need to keep it alive for an entire year before I can have a pet fish? That's a bit.. restrictive."

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