PHD 304 : Uninvited Guests
Uninvited Guests
Summary: A major assault is launched against the enemy. A major tactical win comes at a price.
Date: PH304 (16 February 2010)
Related Logs: None

Battlestar Hestia, Deck 16, Hangar Bay A
IC Time: Post Holocaust Day #304
OOC Time: Tue Feb 16 18:16:25 2010

The hangar deck is where the Hestia's Viper and Raptor squadrons are stored, repaired and maintained between missions. Ships land on the flight deck, one level above, and are brought down via massive elevators. Tow vehicles move the ships around the deck, their shrill alert beeps causing an almost constant cacophony of noise. The floor itself is a light gray in color, but a lifetime of wear and tear has left marks and scratches everywhere. Numbered sections are marked off with paint to house the various spacecraft. The place is rather a mess, with tool chests, machine parts, diagnostic equipment, and even the occasional spare engine or chassis scattered all over the place. But despite the apparent disorder, everything has a place and the deck crew's foremost concern is safety.

Finally having gotten some rest, Cass comes wandering onto the flight deck and starts his preflight, paying particular attention to the nukes under his wings. After all the prep, this had better damn well work, it's their best hope.

Sparro walks out onto the flight deck, rolling his head on his shoulders as he gets started on his pre-flight, examining all of the little details of his bird. Same as it ever was, though his eyes occasionally dart to the entrances. This is a big dance, after all. More than likely, folks were not going to be coming home from this one, despite how long he had been drilling them. Maybe there WAS a reason he had drifted at eltee for so long…

[Intercom] Praxis says, "All hands, this is the XO. In minutes we will be making preparations to commence the operation. At this time, we will be going to Condition One. All personnel, report to your action stations at once."

Just cleared to land, Thea's Raptor comes in not quite screaming hot, but touches down pretty quickly. For once, the Captain hopping out doesn't wait to do her usual post-flight. That gets delegated to her back seat tonight. With a bit of spark to her step, Thea heads toward CIC as if someone lit her tail on fire.

Pre-flight done, Kisseus lets the deckies tend to loading up the loathesome ordinance, standing sone sort of guard by the hatchway of faithful Foxbat-4, flightsuited but for the helmet waiting for him on the co-pilot's seat inside, watching out for his backseater, his Captain, or quite possibly his other half. He sees the second option, first, but doesn't try to halt her in mid-expedite, only taking a deep breath, and holding it a while. Maybe the whole thing's off.

Suited up in the dark green of the Gunslingers, Roubani has been tending to pre-flight on his Viper for the last while and now makes the final checkmarks on a clipboard braced against his hip. His helmet sits on the floor by his ladder, waiting for its owner to come back and fetch it.

Grim faces, stilted conversations, nervous smiles and murmured prayers fill the hangar bay as pilots do their pre-flight checks and the deck monkeys are crossing i's and dotting t's. Eddie pops out of the stairwell just about the time the Klaxons wail their Condition One cry, her helmet still under her arm but the rest of her is locked and loaded into her dark green flightsuit. Her expression is thin-lipped as her eyes search the bay for something or someone in particular before she even considers heading to her own bird.

Logan looks to Thea curiously. but doesn't say a word. He figures if he needs to know she'll tell him.

And Reverie appears on deck dressed in her flight suit. She remains quiet for now and just sighs softly.

The redhead known as Ramses is parked next to her bird with a clipboard, doing a pre-flight checklist. Her helmet is up in her cockpit, slung there a while ago. As she finishes one particular check off the list, she moves down the length of the vehicle, running her hand down it to it's nose and pausing there.

"Guess it's time, then," Harrison grumbles as the call goes out over the intercom. He's parked on a crate next to his Viper, and as he stands, he gives his bird a fond pat on the nose. "We'll work on absorbing less enemy fire this time, I think. How's that sound?" Predictably, his long-suffering fighter says nothing.

Smalls has grown accustomed to his pilot insisting upon being the first to board, so he kind of just loiters by Foxbat-4. "This is one helluva cherry we're gonna pop, innit?" he remarks to Matto.

The CAG's finished up his own pre-flight some time ago, and is currently pacing back and forth in front of his viper, rolling his shoulders out under his flight suit with a soft crack, crack of joints no longer quite working how they ought. There's a glance at his watch as Thea's bird touches down, then a glance up at the condition alarm. He sucks in a breath, grabs his helmet, and barks across the bay to the other waiting pilots, "Let's give 'em hell, boys!"

Iggy comes jogging in, zipping up her flight suit as she goes. She looks, well, for lack of a better word, jazzed. "We ready to do this," she asks Harrison, passing by.

Kairos egresses from the central stairwell, looking fairly bitter and grumpy: an operation like this might certainly cause someone to be. Chances of survival? They're not looking good, at least for someone with a doomsday attitude like Backfire. He looks up skyward at the booming voice as the sirens go, and soon the pilot of the Raptor finds Eddie, who appears to be peering around for something or someone. A swift hand to the back of the head would be the next thing she felt, Dak feeling it an appropriate gesture to get her attention. "Frak, you look like a little scared puppy that lost its owner." Eddie's suit then gets grabbed at the chest, and she's yanked towards him for a lip-lock.

The Kharon's (former) CMC CO stands at the security area, in combat blacks. Salazar's eyes follow Thea's progress across the bay, from landing to her hustle for the stairwell. The black haired marine is silent, and nods to a query from one of the MPs also on duty. Sal's eye slide over the pilots, noting their faces one by one. She glances over at the CAG last, and her gaze lingers on him the longest. She offers no greeting, no words. The marines stand in silent watch over the pilots, waiting for the mission to begin, performing their guard duties just a little more heavily armed today.

As the Condition goes red, Sparro closes his eyes a moment, taking a deep breath. His bear gives him a pat on the back and he nods without opening his eyes, wondering what precisely Thea had found. There isn't a lot of time to worry, though, as he supervises the last of the nuclear ordinance being attached. He rolls his head, his shoulders… keeping the old body limber. At the CAG's exhortation, though, he raises his helmet in a salute. Lords know the two have their differences, but all that could be put aside for a dance like this.

Logan nods to the CAG and looks to his assgined ECO; "Alright, let's do this. We're only gonna get one shot at it, and have that damn FTL spooling the minute we jump."

"Ready as we'll ever be," Harrison replies to Booster as she jets past, still petting his faithful steed. "Are we winning in the ship's pool yet, or are we still looking to clean up?" He snags up his helmet as he waits for his wing's answer.

Kai's eyes find the marine in combat blacks across the 'bay, just for a moment, before he climbs into his bird. It's probably missed by most of the other pilots and deck crew and the flurry of activity, but he touches his lips to his gloved knuckles briefly, then hauls on his helmet and swings up the ladder.

Roubani hands off his clipboard to a deckhand, returning the salute he's given. It's an unusually formal exchange, as if both were well aware that it might be the last time they ever do that particular ritual. He turns around, looking over his shoulder at the bunch of raptor crews getting ready, his hand settled on the ladder. Then, after a few moments, starts to climb.

Objective found. Or rather, the objective found her. Hopefully that'll be the only time she's caught unawares this evening. As Kairos pulls Eddie into a rough kiss, she clamps her hands to palm his head, holding him as close as their gear will allow which isn't much. Rules or no, they can brig her for this if she ever gets back. After a long moment, she rocks back on her heels, breaking the kiss and offering a wicked smile to her counterpart. "Don't be a dumbass out there." Is murmured before she steals another kiss, flashes him a wink, and then disengages for her bird. Feeling much better now.

Matto straightens just a little at the announcement, eyebeams meandering over toward Wolf-7 before he turns to look to his backseater, "Eh?" he wonders, in characteristic Leontinian dialect, uncomprehending. Well. Comprehending the metaphor, just not how it applies. Finally seeming to realize he's being waited on, he gives a tight degree of nod to a deckie and climbs up and in, crawling up front to the cockpit so that Sol can come in after him.

"The ship's pool is too full of chlorine to tell," Iggy says with a grin. "But I suspect we're winning."

Salazar's eyes follow Karim, the gaze measured. She waits until he's climbed the ladder to the viper, and is seated in the cockpit. Her hand comes off of her weapon, and she turns to make her way toward the stairwell, rifle slung over her shoulder.

[Foxbat-5: Legacy] For those still about, Thea comes back to her bird, double-timing it. Pre-flight is done in record time. Given that everyone else has boarded their craft, she doesn't stop to talk with folks.

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] Sparro is concluding his pre-flight, all of his instruments and those of his backseat reading green. Seeing Thea scuttle to her bird, he smiles.

[Raptor-2203: Logan] Preflight done, Surgeon's got Raptor-2203 hot and ready to fly. Green board, nukes at standby. He watches Thea from the cockpit of his bird, and nods as she wealks by.

[Wolf-3: Kai] Spider, like the other vipers, is pre-flighted, locked and loaded, and simply awaiting his orders. You can bet there's a pair of sweaty hands inside those gloves right now.

[Wolf-7: Roubani] Roubani is silent inside his viper, his helmet casting shadows on his face that make his eyes and the skin around them look even darker than normal. He watches the rest of the deck as chatter comes over the comms, hands resting motionless on his controls.

[Foxbat-5: Legacy] Thea looks up after a moment, looking through the canopy until she spots Matto and his bird. With a small smile, barely visible behind the faceplate of her helmet, she sketches a salute.

[Intercom] Praxis says, "All hands, this is Demitros. Kharon is away. Repeat, the Kharon is away."

[Raptor-2203: Logan] Cass mutters quietly; "Well. This'll be different…"

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] As the Kharon jumps, Sparro closes his eyes. "Lords speed you to your rest, old girl. And thank you. You were fantastic."

[Foxbat-4: Matto] Kissy's waiting for that look, and shares a quiet moment with the Captain in the boat parked next to his before looking back down to his controls, a smile on his face, sedate, almost morose, but— there.

[Wolf-12: Eddie] Pilots all have rituals, and Eddie has a music player to her thigh while they sit idle waiting. Classic rock is the order of the day. Something's different about Mooner's cockpit this time though, and that's a small picture she's pulling out of her thigh pistol holder. A black and white picture of a smiling little girl with serious eyes, it gets stuck to her controls and then her fingertips touch her face shield in the approximation of a kiss and then tap the image.

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] "Rock and Roll…" Sparro says to himself with a grin.

[Intercom] Praxis says, "Engineering, spool up the FTL. I say again, spool FTL drives."

Here, the PoV swaps to space outside the ship…

[TAC3] Neha says, "Lead, this is Hestia. Stand-by to jump on Actual's mark."

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "Copy, Hestia. Black Cat. Raptors, FTL spooled and ready to go as soon as you get the word. Gods speed and good hunting out there."

[STC] "Backfire" Kairos says, "Hestia control, Backfire. Let me at 'em."

[TAC3] "Surgeon" Logan says, "Spider, Surgeon Copies. Ready to jump."

[STC] "Birdman" Sparro says, "Spider, Birdman. Ready to go. Beers on you when this is done."

[TAC3] "Black Cat" Legacy says, "Spider, Black Cat copy. Ready to jump. Good hunting out there, ladies and gentlemen. Come home safe."

[TAC3] "Knight" Praxis says, "All hands, this is Demitros. Kharon is away. Repeat, the Kharon is away."

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] Visible to the vipers hiding with the Sapta Rishis is the Kharon, silently spooling for jump. A gaze down the flank of the old carrier reveals its battered exterior, the mostly untouched letters of its designation along the side, and the patch job in the hull where the raptor berthings once were. Scorches along the hull are still visible from many of the battles over the last year. The ghost ship remains silent, still for a long moment while calculations crunch through the computers aboard. As the order is given, distortion surrounds the Escort Carrier briefly. There's a flash, and the vessel winks out of formation with a starburst of light, disappearing on its lone one way mission to begin the assault with a costly gambit.

[Wolf-15: Harrison] Wolf-15 is one of the powered-down ships hiding on the Rishis, and the pilot within salutes as his former ship goes on its journey. "I hope to hell they aimed 'er true," Exile mutters as the ship vanishes. "Or this'll be the shortest offensive of all time."

[Viper-113: Ramses] In her viper hiding on the Sapta Rishis, Ramses watches the Kharon prep for it's final voyage. When it finally does blink out of existence, she raises a hand to her brow in salute… awkward as that is in a cockpit while wearing a helmet and gloves. "May the Gods speed you into the heart of our enemies, Kharon."

[Viper-110: Kallisto] From the cockpit of her Viper, Kallisto gives the battered and broken ship a small salute as it winks out of existence…literally. "Thank you for keeping my brother safe of his journey, Kharon."

[STC] "Knight" Praxis says, "All Raptors, scramble from the Hestia bay. Repeat, Raptor-class vessels cleared to launch when safe."

[STC] "Madman" Matto says, "Hestia, Madman. Acknowledged. Scrambling launch."

[STC] "Black Cat" Legacy says, "Hestia, Black Cat. Copy and scrambling."

[STC] "Birdman" Sparro says, " Hestia, Birdman. Copy, cleared, and scrambling. Keep the beds warm."

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "Good hunting, all of you. Hold jump for the XO's orders."

[STC] "Surgeon" Logan says, "Hestia, Surgeon. Copy and away. Standing by for jump."

[STC] "Backfire" Kairos says, "All callsigns, Backfire. I'm clear from the battlestar. One step closer to getting slagged…"

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] Falling into the configuration they had drilled in sims a thousand times, Sparro takes a moment to enjoy the field of stars in front of him, glancing through his glass at his squadmates. "FTL spinning and ready," his backseat reports.

[Raptor-2201: Kairos] Backfire carefully guides his raptor out of the Hestia landing bay when it is safe, glancing around for his wingmates so that he can fall within formation. "Rev, let's spin up those FTL drives," he mentions to his backseater. "Input the coordinates and we'll hold for the order."

[Raptor-2203: Logan] Okay, Jakes. Spool up the first jump and be ready, this one's gonna be bumpy.

[Foxbat-4: Matto] "Have we got our jump solution, Smalls?" Kissy wonders to his backseater as they rise to space, passing the boundary of Hestia's protection and turning as it rises, then sets a vector away from the vessel, heading on that course within the proximity speed limits.

[Foxbat-5: Legacy] Thea's Raptor comes out of the bay, smooth and easy, as has been done thousands of times in the past. Clearly, given the look on Thea's face, something is "different" this time.

[STC] "Madman" Matto says, "Hestia, Madman, reporting Foxbat-4 clear of Hestia's proximity."

[TAC3] "Knight" Praxis says, "All callsigns, this is Knight. Prepare to jump on my mark. Ten… … three, two, one…mark."

[TAC3] Neha says, "Sapta Rishis, Hestia. What is your status? Over."

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] "Punch it!" Sparro calls out, to his bear, and suddenly the universe makes a small step to the left…

[TAC3] (from Nike) After a few seconds, a voice crackles over the comms, "Hestia, Sapta Rishis. Report.. all systems green. Ready to rumble. Hope your fairies are strapped in tight, it's going to be a helluva ride."

[Raptor-2203: Logan] …and the monkey flips the switch. Surgeon's bird flashes out of sight in the wink of an FTL jump.

[Foxbat-4: Matto] Foxbat-4 doesn't dally, but jumps into FTL in tandem with the others.

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] The blackness of space is lit up here by a massive, smoking wreckage of what was once two separate ships. The tangled, mobile debris is spread over a large swath of space. Chunks of hull, here and there are just big enough to tell parts of the CEC Kharon from parts of that strange ship — the pieces of the Res Hub's architecture is more spidery and sharp. The bits spin lazily through space, dispersing from the central impact, littering the fighting field with debris. A nearby basestar, the primary guard for the hub itself, is smoking and venting a portion of its innards. One of the prongs of the vessel is blown away, the rest peppered with debris from the collision of the Kharon with the Hub. There are raiders on patrol, though they are almost dwarfed by the field of debris behind them.

The main target remaining is an intact basestar, nearly halfway between the wreckage and the fuel depot. The depot itself has at least fifteen raiders guarding it, but their ETA is a few minutes. The only thing standing between the Raptors and their target is a small 'CAP' of three raiders, which swing around the basestar as the raptors jump in. Their ETA is but a few seconds… 30… 29…

[Raptor-2203: Logan] Popping out of the jump and seeing the sheer carnage, Surgeon takes a half second to fistpump. "Yes! it worked!" Then gets busy lining up on the remaining basestar.

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] Sparro's eyes immediately scan the field of debris as his Raptor leaps into the vicinity. His eyes lock onto the dead res ship, and he hits the com button with a grin.

[TAC3] "Birdman" Sparro says, " Atta girl, Kharon! Way to go down swinging! YEAH!"

[Foxbat-2: Legacy] Thea's Raptor pops out of the jump ready and raring to go. There's a brief smile, though her brows pull together. It's almost as if she feels something Isn't Quite Right.

[TAC3] "Backfire" Kairos says, "Just as an aside, if anyone dies from hitting debris, I'm going to laugh at your casket. Just saying."

[TAC3] "Case" Samantha says, " No more death-by-windshield, righto? Once was enough."

[Foxbat-4: Matto] Fox-4 appears smartly in the shadow of the remaining Baseship. Not that that wasn't planned that way, but it's still quite fortuitous, given all the flying debris elsewhere. "Smalls, do you see our target? Unload ASAP so we can GiTFO." Two acronyms, four syllables.

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] "This is almost too easy…" Sparro mutters as he lines up a smooth and easy shot on the remaining Basestar. "Ok, Guppy, I got you lined up. Give 'em nuclear Hades."

[Foxbat-4: Ambrose] Smalls' all-too-familiar voce comes over the airwaves. "Initiating Operation Frak 'Em Up."

[Raptor-2203: Logan] Surgeon cusses up a storm as the first mssile goes wide. "FRAK. The HELL!?!?" Steadying the raptor down a bit, he lines up for another shot. They've got multiple missles per target per his plan so it /should be ookay.."

[Raptor-2201: Kairos] Fwip. After blinking into existence and making his little crack over the radio, Backfire immediately assesses the situation and grinds his teeth, wondering just how long it'll take for each of them to get pulverized. His Raptor veers towards the basestar target, quickly looking down to his controls to see if he can remember which is the one to kill the bad guys.

[Foxbat-2: Legacy] Black Cat isn't too particular about where she leaves her presents for the Cylons. Ok, so she's a typical cat and sends the little gifts to where they're gonna do the most harm and frak up the little Cylon party. She's not chattery, not celebrating, but very, very intently focused. Apparently she and her back seat do quite well together.

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] "That's the way…" Sparro says with a smile as the nuke flies true. "Payback's a bitch, ain't it? Frakking Cylons. Ok, get ready for round two…"

[Foxbat-4: Matto] Kissy lifts an arm briefly at the flash Sol's shot makes against their alloted section of the baseship's unscored flank. "Nice shot," he speaks calmly, fingers tapping out a degree of backdrift to the boat's course, ready as always to turn tail and flee, "Is it disabled?"

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] The missile fired from Black Cat's raptor sails toward the unfortunate basestar who's crossed her path today. The gods were smiling when she punched that button, because the strike is solid, and lights up the hull like a little firework smacking into the face of a bully. The flash is bright, and the structure is definitely weakened. Birdman's missile strikes a little off to the side, into the already weakened hull, flashing brightly as it detonates. The hull is breached, and a vent spills into space. Anything not bolted down is sucked across the bay, and ultimately vented into space. Debris include a couple of shiny centurions, a bit out of place and sorts.

Another targeted volley of phallic shaped missile goodness slams into a main battery of guns along the basestar's axis, crippling their port (from this view!) guns and reducing their firing solution to a much smaller radius. Surgeon's missile is quickly followed by Smalls' and Princess' missiles along the axis, weakening two other points in the hull. Another missile slams into the hangar bay, seriously crippling the flight of raiders that seeks to scramble in response to the Colonial signals. Several are greeted by missile explosion, and on even eats a missile that went slightly off target. More raiders disperse from another bay on the other side of the basestar, only seconds out.

By now, half of the raiders guarding the fuel have turned toward the battle, though they are several moments out!

The main threat to the raptors are the closing raiders who were already on CAP. 5… 4… 3… There will be no time for another volley of missiles before they come under fire. Will they run, or will they take a chance for another shot?

[TAC3] "Backfire" Kairos says, "Tycho. Get on the jamming suite, I want to get a shot at them this time."

[TAC3] "Tycho" Reverie says, "Backfire, Tycho. We're in the same Raptor. No need to use the tac."

[TAC3] "Birdman" Sparro says, " Black Cat, Birdman. She's hurt bad, but still limping at us. I say we stick around for another volley. Orders?"

[Raptor-2203: Logan] Surgeon grins as the nukes land and murmers to his backseater; "Hold on to your ass and hope Hestia gets here soon with the Vipers, cause we're going for another round.

[TAC3] "Black Cat" Legacy says, "Black Cat to Raptor strike team. Unload one more time on them then get the hell out of the way immediately. I'll be covering retreats. Jump out as soon as you've fired."

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Black Cat, Madman. I hear you."

[TAC3] "Tycho" Reverie says, "Black Cat, Tycho. Roger. (wow, three names)"

[Foxbat-4: Matto] "You heard the Cap'n, Smalls. One more time and we're the frak out of here," Kissy calls back, readying the retreat course to enter the moment the missiles are away.

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] "Ok, you heard the lady! One more round for good fun, eh?"

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] "Missiles away… WHOA!" Sparro's bird dives to evade a round from the incoming Raptors.

[TAC3] "Birdman" Sparro says, " Is it just me, or have they started to object to our presence?"

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Black Cat, Madman, missiles are gone and we are on the run."

[Raptor-2203: Logan] Surgeon gets his own birds away and turns to get the hell out of dodge. He's jinking like a madman on the way out, trying to get clear for a jump, and delaying just slightly, trying to make sure his own pilots are out first. One round bounces off his bird; "Fraaak."

[Raptor-2201: Kairos] Feeling no pressure as Raiders have not decided to fire shots at him just yet, teeth run over Backfire's bottom lip as he stares the basestar down - at least until the missiles are away. Wishing he could go for another few shots, Kairos contemplates disobeying orders when he remembers he's responsible for someone else. Pulling back on the stick, the Raptor spins around and starts screaming away. He's sorry he won't get to watch the thing blow up.

[Foxbat-4: Ambrose] From within his seat, Smalls wiggles to do a chair dance of sorts. Over the channel, he can be heard singing, "I like the way you work here. No diggity. I like to frak it, frak it up…"

[TAC3] "Black Cat" Legacy says, "Nice work, ladies and gentlemen. Now get the hell out of dodge. Surgeon, that means you. Return to the barn and prepare to stand by for possible SAR. Sit tight and wait for the CAG's orders."

[Foxbat-4: Matto] Kissy doesn't just say it, either. Foxbat-4 pivots in a tight a triradial turn and runs like scared little girl from the Raiders. "Smalls, get our FTL spooled up, yah?"

[STC] "Surgeon" Logan says, "tac3 Workin' on it Cat - trust me, I got no interest in hangin' around here!"

[TAC3] "Surgeon" Logan says, "Workin' on it Cat - trust me, I got no interest in hangin' around here!"

[Foxbat-2: Legacy] Thea's raptor is the last one to turn back. She's staying close to the line of fire to give the others a chance, clearly. There's a small, tight little smile on her lips as she orders for her back seat, "Prepare to suppress."

[TAC3] "Birdman" Sparro says, " Black Cat, Birdman. Jumping back to barn. I think we have heroes enough, already."

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] While the Colonials are gearing up to fire another round of missiles into the belly of the beast, three crescent shaped raiders spin into the field of combat, taking strafing runs on the raptors. Perhaps it's the massive blow dealt to the MamaBasestar, or simply the rush of awesome the pilots are displaying today, but all fire misses the birds by degrees. Surgeon's boat might have a tiny scratch in the paint, but surely no one will notice in this mess!

The raiders come around for a second run once the missiles are free, closing hot and fast.

Meanwhile, MamaBasestar is having a bad time at the rodeo. It's worse than a barfly passed out drunk on the pool table over there.

Missiles from the raptors slam into the basestar like a six gun salute. Each hits a different point, with varying degrees of success. The missile launched by the little man on the team strikes with the greatest accuracy, crippling the main gun battery, and finishing up the work Surgeon started. Meanwhile, the Surgeon has moved on to the weakest point of the ship — the axis. A true strike slams home, and the vessel all but separates. All along the hull, from the various strikes, decompressions occur, venting bodies and debris into the field. The ship itself doesn't explode, but several pieces sheer off, and no raiders manage to free themselves of the flaming mess of the hangar bay.

There's a flash of light fairly far afield of the battle, and the refinery ship Sapta Rishis flashes into view on the flank of the cylon forces. It's enough of a juicy target to send the remaining refinery raider guards whizzing off in the direction of the SR, leaving the depot seemingly unguarded.

If the first basestar, which was damaged by the Kharon/Hub's star crossed love, is disgorging any raider reinforcement, it's almost impossible to tell. The breadth of the debris field, and aftermath of a single kiss, is enough to frak DRADIS six ways to Sunday.

[Foxbat-8: Sparro] "Ok… hit it!" Kyle yells as FTL spools the rest of the way up. He just has a view of Legacy taking fire when his ship does it's 'screw the laws of physics' thing. "THEAAAAAAAA!" he shouts as he does… but then everything is gone.

[Viper-116: Iggy] And from the direction of the SR comes one of Hestia's vipers, afterburners flaring as if to say "Yeee HAW!" Yes, Iggy's clearly wanting her some raider tonight for dinner. Raiders - catnip for pilots.

[Raptor-2201: Kairos] Kairos' Raptor engages the FTL thanks to Reverie's super quick plotting skillz, and they're blinking out of existence, and rematerializing on the other side almost instantly. Yay scifi physics. Haha Thea teh suck.

[Raptor-2203: Logan] Surgeon's taking fire and dodging like a madman. He sees the others getting clear, glowers when he sees Thea taking fire, and makes a call over the Tac as he hits the button.

[TAC3] "Surgeon" Logan says, "You too, Cat. Bring it on home."

[Viper-113: Ramses] Following not too far behind Iggy is Ramses in her viper. There isn't a yeehaw, though, that would just be silly. Burners thrusting, she moves to engage the nearest Raiders.

[TAC3] "Black Cat" Legacy says, "Surgeon, Black Cat. Get your ass out of here now. I'm right behind you. Birdman, get in position once you're out for our next strike."

[Wolf-15: Harrison] "Who taught these rock jockies how to drive?" Harrison mutters as he disengages from the refinery ship and pushes his throttle to the red line. "Frak, it's like a hangover after drinking with them." As the scope of the destruction becomes clear, he can't help but smile as he joins the formation of Vipers streaking in.

[Foxbat-2: Legacy] Thea's bird is hit, lightly, and jinks a bit. But, as the last of the Raptors winks out of existance, Thea's, too, makes the jump.

[Viper-110: Kallisto] Disengaging from the SR, Kallisto fires her engines up to max burn. They spew huge jets as she races off toward the furball, looking to the debris. "Holy frakking shit…" she mutters, looking at the shredded basestars, and the former carrier/hub amalgamation.

[TAC3] "Exile" Harrison says, "Booster, Exile. Let's stay tight. There's more debris out here than disease in a Gemanese whore house."

[Foxbat-4: Matto] Foxbat-4 emerges back into reality with the rest of the group. "Well, that went…" Kisseus pauses, "A lot more smoothly that I thought it would," he remarks to the guy in back.

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "Alright you Aces, we can't let the Raptors have all the fun. Keep your heads, keep to your wings and kick some ass!"

[TAC3] Neha says, "Raptor flight, Hestia. WHat is your status?"

[TAC3] (from "Madman" Matto) Kissy hears the query from Hestia, and, to his Captain, "Black Cat, Madman, reporting in. All is green here," he lets her know.

[TAC3] "Black Cat" Legacy says, "Raptor squadron, sound off. Madman, got you. Everyone else back to base?"

[TAC3] "Birdman" Sparro says, "tac3 Black Cat, Birdman. Home safe."

[TAC3] "Surgeon" Logan says, "Black Cat, Surgeon. Clear with minimal damage. I have Damage Assessment footage for Hestia if needed."

[TAC3] "Knight" Praxis says, "This is Hestia. Preparing for jump. Engage the FTL drive on my mark. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Jump."

[STC] "Black Cat" Legacy says, "Hestia, Black Cat. I'm waiting on one of my birds to report back in, but I think I have visual. Raptor Squadron back with minor injuries and damage report."

[STC] "Backfire" Kairos says, "It's Backfire. I'm here, I'm here. I'm going home."

[Viper-116: Iggy] Iggy's Viper takes a licking and keeps on ticking, apparently. Though it takes her a moment to see who her wing's on. Oops.

[Wolf-15: Harrison] As the fight erupts, Exile's weapon chews into the right wing of the target attacking Iggy. Protecting your wingman is step one, right? He takes a good hit in the nose of his ship, but he keeps on flying and shooting.

[TAC3] "Exile" Harrison says, "Booster, Exile. You scratch mine, I'll scratch yours. You okay over there?"

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "Looks like those fat bird drivers really pissed them off. Sketch, you picked up a bogie, stay on this one and I'll drop back."

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] Nearer the fuel depot, the Sapta Rishis jumps away again in a flash of light, leaving its friends in vipes to mop up that quadrant of space on their own. A few raiders fly in to engage the Colonials.

Meanwhile, there's a flash right in the face of one of the basestars as the Battlestar Hestia joins the assault. Daddy's home. (If Daddy were named after for the Goddess of the Hearth.)

[TAC3] "Knight" Praxis says, "Jump complete. Scramble all alert fighters. I say again, scramble alert fighters."

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "All right vipers, drop your cocks and grab your socks, it's go time. Once we're out there, we're going to hit them hard, and hit them fast. They will have fighters in the air, but they'll also be distracted by the Sapta Rishis jumping in, if Command's played their cards right. Form up tight on your wingman, and stay out of Hestia's flak ring."

[Viper-110: Kallisto] Attacking the Raider drawing a bead on her wingmate, Kallisto puts a few shots into the Cylon. Unfortunately, she takes a few hits from another. Inside the cocpit, she sputters a little, and curses, before swinging aroudn to get out of the line of fire and attack another.

[TAC3] "Mooner" Eddie says, "Launching. C'mon Poet. Time to shine, love of mine."

[TAC3] "Poet" Roubani says, "You know how to charm a man, dear."

[TAC3] "Case" Samantha says, "Any cock that belongs to me is riding in a Raptor, but i'll keep that in mind…"

[Viper-113: Ramses] Struggling through a hail of enemy fire, Stonewall's viper-console darkens momentarily. The pilot thumps her fist against the dash and it springs to life again, prompting her to whisper a prayer and dive back into the fray.

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] The vipers trucked in by the Sapta Rishis are engaged in a dogfight nearer the fuel depot. As the Hestia's vipers are shot into space, the sight that greets them is ghoulish, but undoubtedly heartening for the human forces.

There is a large debris field, individual elements still in endless rotation and dispersal — spidery elements of Res Hub hull spin in a lazy dance with pieces of the former colonial escort carrier. Large chunks of debris mingle with smaller bits, and a very close look, which no one has taken yet, may reveal bodies floating among the wreckage, blissfully deceased before they ever achieved consciousness. A wing of raiders makes its way through the mess, headed for the spot where the Hestia's jumped in, near the listing basestar that the raptors just pounded to shit. The ship is still functional, though its main axis appears to be compromised, along with its ability to maneuver, disgorge raiders, and its main battery. The firing solution for the vessel is painfully small.

Behind the debris field is another basestar, one spoke blown completely off, several large holes along its hull long since sealed off. Someone still at home in that vessel, as it's repositioning itself, making the way through the very edge of Kharon/Hub debris to drag closer to its sister ship, and the Hestia. ETA: 4 minutes.

[Wolf-3: Kai] Spider's thrusters are firewalled as his fighter breaches the lip of the launch tube, and he guides his bird in a tight roll as the vipers scream into a classic flanking position on the decimated enemy forces.

[Wolf-11: Samantha] Just on Spider's wing, the newly named, female Lieutenant Komnenos swoops out of the launch tubes and quickly into the black. Case has already got weapons hot and ready now that she's free, following smoothly into that flanking position, ready to attack.

[Wolf-7: Roubani] Wolf-7 shoots through the Hestia's launch tubes Roubani breaks hard to the left, away from where he knows Eddie will be right on his tail. Crashing before the fun even starts would be a tragedy, after all. One eye on their SL's position, his thrusters burn bright blue as they're engaged and are pushed to their max.

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "All points, attack formation. *a pause, and the growl of his ship's thrusters* Weapons free."

[Viper-116: Iggy] Looking through the canopy at Iggy, one might see her mouth open slightly as Harrison gets hit. Her Viper, injured as it is, goes screaming in a tight turn, bearing down on the raider that just took Exile out. Or tried to.

[Wolf-12: Eddie] Eddie's bird spits out of the tubes with a silent grace, a beautiful thing if their nature wasn't so deadly. There's a brilliant flash of blue as she fires up her burners, screaming at full speed to get up on Roubani's four o'clock to cover his wing. There's a quick waggle of her wings to indicate she's there, then she's dropping her pitch a little lower so she can come up on their target in a doubleteam even the porn industry would be proud of.

[Viper-110: Kallisto] Recovering from the spint-out earlier, Kallisto pursues one raider. Though the first shots go wide, she continues the pursuit, staying tight on its ass and waiting for the perfect moment to pull the trigger.

[Wolf-7: Roubani] Roubani can see Eddie out of the corner of his eye. He flashes her a thumbs up and screams past, leading the charge up some most unfortunate Raider's ass. Wondertwin power, activate.

[Wolf-15: Harrison] Exile doggedly chases the fighter that's attacking his wing, hanging on and spraying rounds at his target. This, of course, means that the one attacking him can sucker punch the ever-loving hell out of him, and bullets go screaming through his cockpit, causing explosions and all sorts of ruptures and spraying shrapnel. One bit slashes through his hand, and just as he opens his mouth to scream out in pain, more jagged bits slice through his throat. Cue a spray of blood, a rapidly cut off gurgle, and a dead stick that slumps over after pointing what's left of his bird's nose more or less at Hestia, so far away.

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "How y'all doin' Aces? Exile, that better not have been you explodin' in my peripheral."

[Wolf-3: Kai] Spider completes his roll, flips his weapons to READY and slots in on his wingman's two o'clock as the vipers streak in on their initial strafing run.

[TAC3] "Exile" Harrison says, "AUUUGHHHR….*gurgle*"

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "Booster, you have a visual on Exile?"

[TAC3] "Booster" Iggy says, "I have the visual, Stonewall."

[Wolf-11: Samantha] Upon seeing the direction of her lead, Case immediately turns her nose towards the same raider. Poor Raider. Two of the oldest sticks in the squad bearing down on it's ass. It's almost not fair.

[TAC3] (from "Booster" Iggy) Iggy's voice is very quiet. "Spider, Booster. Request SAR for Exile."

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Black Cat, Madman, we're green to go here if you need us in for SAR."

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "Exile, Spider. Do you read me. Hestia, I have one pilot down. I repeat, one pilot down. Approximate coordinates follow. Madman, prepare for SAR on Hestia's orders."

[TAC3] "Fingers" Jupiter says, "Bummer. Wrong day to dry out."

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Spider, Madman, I hear you, ready to scramble."

[Viper-116: Iggy] Iggy's bird continues to chase down the one that got Harrison. Honestly, it looks like she's ready to ram the shit out of it, but she continues with flying and shooting, shifting over to make room for Ramses.

[Wolf-3: Kai] The one-two punch of the Case-Spider team doesn't leave that raider a hope in hell of seeing another day. He wheels his bird through the wreckage, rather than around it, in the interests of bearing down on the next target while it's still working on acquiring a firing solution on his wingman.

[TAC3] "Case" Samantha says, "Splash one between you and me, Spider… now if we can get someone to scoop up Exile… everything'll be all the better."

[Wolf-11: Samantha] Case can't celebrate much over the comms, seeing Exile's craft floating like that. So, while she and Marek prove a damned deadly team, her voice on the comm units is tempered and quiet.

[TAC3] Neha says, "Madman, Hestia. You're green to launch. Hermes' speed!"

[Wolf-12: Eddie] There's a whisper of breath over the comms as Eddie exhales a long breath. Exile. No time to think about the lost, only worry about not losing your own ass and your wingman's. Hopefully the SAR can pick him up. As always, she works in tandem with Roubani like a well oiled machine, the two tagging but not bagging one of the Raiders.

[Viper-113: Ramses] As her own target disintegrates from the withering fire it's under and maybe a little at the tone of Iggy's voice, Ramses' bird slings after the Raider the currently wingless pilot is after. It's a safe bet that it's the one that took out Exile. "Lords keep him and protect him."

[TAC3] "Mooner" Eddie says, "Poet, we've got company. Someone just realized we crashed the party, drank the good booze, and shit on their pool table…"

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Hestia, Madman, launching. On my way, Case."

[Wolf-7: Roubani] Roubani can see the raiders turning to come after their section now. But he keeps after that one for one more pass, knowing those shots landed. Maybe this round can down it. His thumb moves back to the cannon controls.

[TAC3] "Poet" Roubani says, "Mooner, Poet. I see them. That one ahead of us is damaged, I'm going to try and put it down before I swing back around."

[Viper-110: Kallisto] The combined attack of Kallisto, Ramses, and others shreds one of the Raiders. Two left to go, though. These frakkers shredded Exile, so now they need to be turned into scrap. She whispers a prayer, not over the coms, but then grunts into a high-g turn, ruddering and nosing into it to line up a shot on a Raider that zoomed by in the opposite direction.

[TAC3] "Mooner" Eddie says, "I'll cover your ass, Poet. Take him out."

[Foxbat-4: Matto] Foxbat-4 rises once again from the deck and out into space, clearing proximity before adjusting its course and sailing in a tight arc toward the skirmish by the refinery, making good speed, but it's got some space to cover getting to the further dogfight.

[TAC3] "Poet" Roubani says, "Mooner, Poet. Thank you kindly. If I may return the favour?"

[TAC3] (from "Booster" Iggy) Iggy's voice is grim when she speaks again, probably not realizing she's got her mic cued. "Take THAT you godsdamned frakking piece of shit!" Oops. Then a cough. "Stonewall, shall I cover your wing for this last one?"

[TAC3] "Mooner" Eddie says, "Sure thing, Poet. You clear my ass, I'll keep after your original target, see if I can shake him from Papabear there. Don't FRAK WITH MY FAMILY, godsdamned tincans…"

[Wolf-3: Kai] Spider's rounds chew straight through the enemy fighter who's taken a liking to his wingman du jour, scattering its entrails to the winds with Samantha's assistance. Well, the space winds, anyway. He slams hard on his port thruster, whipping his bird wing over wing and pinwheeling away from the resulting explosion— and already lining up his sights on the next unlucky victim. Until a glance at his DRADIS tells him he has a tail. A tail with poor aim, but a tail nonetheless.

[TAC3] "Sketch" Kallisto says, "Booster and Stonewall, Sketch. I got frakked up there at the start. Supposed to be me on Stonewall's wing. Let's take this frakker down."

[Wolf-11: Samantha] Seriously a dream team, Case cleans up any bit of Raider that Spider leaves in his wake without even blinking or hesitating, though the thing had been bearing directly down on her, it's nothing but dead pieces now.

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "Hot shit shooting, vipers. That's what I like to see. Madman, status on that SAR? There's too much junk out here, I can't tell if he's still- *engines obliterate whatever he says for a second or two* -there."

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] DRADIS lights up with contacts as the raiders from the first basestar finally break free of the huge debris field. Once clear of the chunks of spaceship(s) that were interfering with the resolution of individual signals, the contacts light up the screen. There are many incoming, though they fly quite close, and may require a mark 1 eyeball to determine the exact count.

[TAC3] "Case" Samantha says, "What we were born to do, Sir… but you got a tail on ya, yanno? I think we have a bit more cleaning up to do."

[Wolf-15: Harrison] A dead stick is a dead stick. Quiet and dark, Exile's broken-ass fighter spins through the debris, generally in the direction of the battlestar.

[TAC3] "Mooner" Eddie says, "We've got more company! My DRADIS is lighting up like Stone Dead concert."

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "Negative Booster. Let's join with the rest of the flight group, sounds like they got another wave coming in… Chum, Wedge, Omelet, finish off the straggler and join up with us after."

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Spider, Madman, we're closing in on the coordinates, we should be making visual soon. I'll yell when I see him."

[Wolf-12: Eddie] Eddie traces after Roubani's bogey, streaming after the crescent shaped death machine, not holding back as she lights it up with a long round of KEW. Her comments on the tac channel correlate to her slipping in behind the bird she and Roubani were originally chasing, hoping to take out Raider01 before it does any damage to Papabear.

[TAC3] "Poet" Roubani says, "Mooner, Poet. I see them. Let's clean up this garbage before the rest of the dump gets here."

[Viper-110: Kallisto] The manuver seems to have worked. The Raider Kallisto was targeting erupts into flames. While some of the others sprint off to deal with the new arrivals lighting up DRADIS like fireworks, Kallisto stays behind, manuvering in a series of twisting, spiraling nose-up turns to get a shot in.

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "Thanks for the heads-up, Case. Guess he still wants a piece of me."

[Viper-116: Iggy] Booster HAD been heading toward the straggler, but on Ramses's order, disengages, rolling away. Yep, that's one pissed off Nikos. The path to the rest of the air group takes her by Harrison's downed bird.

[TAC3] "Booster" Iggy says, "Roger, Stonewall. Disengaging. We leaving anyone to guard Exile until SAR arrives?"

[TAC3] Neha says, "Hestia to Flight: We will be firing flak guns momentarily. I say again: We will be firing flak guns momentarily, so haul tail."

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "You heard the woman. All points, clear Hestia's flak ring. Stonewall, you've got incoming. I repeat, incoming."

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "No time, Booster. You heard the man and you know the drill."

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Spider, Madman, nothing's up on DRADIS, here, and no joy on visuals. Continuing SAR through this debris."

[Viper-113: Ramses] Stonewall's viper swings over towards the main group and kicks in the burn. When the distance is closed, she picks a target and zooms after it, opening up with her guns.

[Foxbat-2: Legacy] Iggy's Viper spins off, moving to cover Stonewall's 8 o'clock, leaving of plenty of room for her 'real' wing. Time for some more teamwork from the way too quiet Iggy.

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "Copy, Madman. Keep looking, and watch your aggro."

[Viper-110: Kallisto] A few of Kallisto's shots ping off the Raider, but she doesn't spend anymore time messing with it. Pressing the throttle level to full burn, she zooms off to catch up with Booster and Stonewall, and meet up with the rest of the air wing in handling the new arrivals.

[Wolf-3: Kai] They shoot, they score. Bits of wing, engine and gore shred and split away from the enemy fighter as Spider and Case converge on it, some of it splattering across the CAG's canopy. He guns his viper away from the exploding wreckage, and careens in on the recently disgorged raider gunning for Samantha.

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] As the Colonial vipers converge in the middle of the field, roughly between the debris and the fuel depot, the Hestia pulls forward, turning to achieve a firing solution on the most injured of the basestars — the one the raptors spitballed earlier. The battery opens up, guns jerking as large rounds fire free and slam, moments later, into the already weakened hull, lighting up fireballs against the hull. It's almost a symphony of light, and the capital ship is shredded where it floats.

[TAC3] (from "Madman" Matto) "My—? Ohshit.." Yeah, Kissy sees the Raider, now.

[Wolf-11: Samantha] Done and done. Three for three. Samantha has ceased to celebrate over the comms and now simply falls into place on the next target between she and Spider, the one who is coming after her ass again.

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "Chum, watch your pursuit curve, you're going in too shallow. Case, shake your ass like you mean it."

[TAC3] "Case" Samantha says, "Aye, aye, sir. Only way my ass knows how to shake."

[Wolf-7: Roubani] Wolf-7 keeps chasing the raider trying to chew up Mooner's wing. Roubani's thumb moves from side of stick to the gunnery controls again, left hand pushing forward on the throttle as he tries to streak up the raider's port side and get a shot through the cockpit.

[Wolf-12: Eddie] It's hell out here, if hell was a big stagnant pool of swamp water and the Raiders are mosquitos. It's a nasty swarm of blood hungry vermin, and Eddie's doing all she can to cut down the population one by one. She nearly swaps paint half a dozen times, sticking hard to avoid becoming a little fiery ball of mushy pilot bits. No more time for witty banter, she just fires her KEW as some twisted back up beat to the rock music that fills her cockpit.

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] Another volley of concentrated fire blasts through weak points on the cylon basestar. Several unfortunate raiders fly right through the volley of flak, spinning into bits, and joining their brethren in final death, nothing but debris and soon-frozen bloody globs floating in space.

The cylon force is nearly defeated, with a depleted number of raiders in the air. The second basestar is just shy of range of the Hestia, the two large ship jockeying for the upper hand.

Just as the (now) five pronged basestar moves into range, radiological alarms are triggered.

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "Nice shot Booster, light him up again!"

[Foxbat-4: Matto] Kisseus can't do much for now but wade south of carom through the tide of debris that's spinning in toward the basestar, jarring off-course a little when Marek alerts him to the Raider taking a bite at his boat, but resuming it when the others come in to pick the Cylon off of him, continuing his search for the dark bird.

[Wolf-3: Kai] The trouble with luck, is it eventually runs out. And as Spider maneuvers in to an aggressive firing solution on Samantha's bogey, he's clipped across the wing of his fighter by a stream of rounds. Alarms start going off in his cockpit, which are disengaged without a thought. Venting tylium from one of his tanks, he quickly diverts fuel with a flip of a few switches and swings around to take a few potshots on his tail.

[TAC3] "Case" Samantha says, "Shite, Spider, that one on your wing seemed to come out of no where. Got my bogey, but you doin' okay over there? Let's clean up the bastard on you next."

[Wolf-11: Samantha] Sure enough, the fourth target from the dream team is obliterated, but not without damage this time, Kai finally tasting a bite of a raider's bullet. Samantha immediately swings into action, flying over in attemtps to defend his injured side as she readjusts her position and shifts her fire to his bogey.

[Viper-110: Kallisto] Kallisto watches the Raider she had been zeroing in on just a moment ago blip off her DRADIS…somewhere in that mess on the screen. She comes screaming into the new furball at full burn, howling out in the cockpit as she wildly barrel rolls to avoid fire from the buzzing cloud of Raiders and friendlies alike. In the mix of ships, she zeroes in on one, and slows her wild maneuvering to take a shot.

[Viper-113: Ramses] Ramses weaves her viper in and out of debris, tagging after the bogey on Matto's butt. Having some success, she goes to repeat it, opening up with her guns again.

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "All points, watch your range and mind you don't get eaten up by Hestia's guns. I'm fine, just a lovetap. Nice shooting there, Case. Mooner and Poet, how're you doing over there?"

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Booster, Stonewall; Madman. Thanks for the cover. I think I see him. Moving to catch him, the bird looks down for the count."

[Wolf-3: Kai] Once he realises their raptor's under fire, Spider of course switches targets.

[Wolf-7: Roubani] The Raider Roubani was chasing disappears into a cloud of debris under triple fire from the Viper squadron and he banks port, joining back up on Eddie's wing. His guns open up on the vessel she's rolling after, keeping up the double layer of fire.

[TAC3] "Mooner" Eddie says, "Spider, Mooner. Five by five, sir. Keeping it clean."

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "Madman, Stonewall. You're clear for the moment. Work that rescue voodoo you do so well."

[TAC3] Neha says, "Flight, this is Hestia. Cylon capital vessel is arming the nukes. I say, again: Cylon capital vessel is arming the nukes."

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Stonewall, Madman; much obliged, I've got the leads deployed, I've got him. Scrambling RTB. … C—"

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "Damn good shooting, vipers. One more run, and then prepare to bring it- *there's a pause* Stonewall, Booster, Sketch. Give me some sharpshooting on those two bogeys, will you? Then clear the frak out of the way, all of you."

[Wolf-15: Harrison] Down for the count is an apt term for the Mark II that holds the shattered bits of pilot that are called Harrison. It still drifts aimlessly, having avoided large bits of debris only by a miracle. When the leads slip onto the bird, it comes quietly.

[STC] "Madman" Matto says, "Hestia, Madman, I'm RTB with Exile. Can we please get a medical trauma team on deck?"

[TAC3] "Sketch" Kallisto says, "You got it boss."

[Wolf-11: Samantha] While at the last minute her lead goes to cover the Raptor, either Case doesn't see him move quick enough, or more likely she notices the whole ton of forces piling onto covering Matto, and she makes a decision to just keep the bogey off of Kai. Which, a smooth shot later, she sure as hell does, the thing exploding with one fell hit that seemed glancing, but it's now drifting dead in air…

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "Smalls, see if you can buy Hestia some time here."

[TAC3] "Case" Samantha says, "Splash four… Home sounds good just about now."

[TAC3] "Booster" Iggy says, "Copy that, Spider."

[Wolf-12: Eddie] Eddie joins back with Roubani after they can cut through the chaos and find each other's wings again. It's not an easy task, with all the debris and hurtling bodies of metal. But they join back up and take out another target, then Eddie sticks back to follow Poet's lead on the next target.

[Wolf-7: Roubani] Roubani glances out his starboard view, spotting Eddie creeping up on his three. His wing dips towards the Raiders, with a hard break to skirt some particularly nasty debris spinning between their Vipers, and down comes the KEW rain.

[Viper-110: Kallisto] It takes a moment to locate the other pilots she entered the fray from the SR with, but Kallisto manages, using her eyes as much as her DRADIS. Sliding in behind Stonewall, Kallisto looks to focus fire on the same Raider and take it the frak out.

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "Copy Spider. Booster, Sketch… let's do this, girls and then we all go home."

[Viper-113: Ramses] With a hard break, Stonewall reorients her viper. Trusty old viper such as it is. Then she kicks in the burn, eyeball the dash as if daring it to give her problems again. "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon…"

[Wolf-7: Roubani] Wolf-7 breaks away from the raiders as Kai gives that call, though. It's time to SHOOT NUKES. It might have struck Roubani as a particularly bad idea at any other time, but right now, here we go.

[Wolf-3: Kai] Afterburners lit up in a blue halo around his tailsection, Spider skids through the wreckage of multiple raiders, dodges a little more incoming fire, and jams his weapons as he closes in on Martin's bogey. In the distance, Hestia's railguns continue to fire upon errant raiders that stray too close.

[TAC3] Neha says, "Madman, Hestia. Medical has been paged to the Hangar Bay."

[TAC3] "Stonewall" Ramses says, "Great shot, Sketch!"

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Hestia, Madman, thank you. Coming in on all engines."

Lost DRADIS Contact: Foxbat-4 heads for BS Hestia.

[TAC3] "Sketch" Kallisto says, "Thanks much Stonewall. No frakkin' toasters are going to nuke /my/ battlestar."

[TAC3] "Spider" Kai says, "All points, RTB. I repeat, RTB. Black Cat, prepare to launch the base strike as soon as Hestia's ready for you."

[Wolf-7: Roubani] Roubani lets out of very tense but silent breath as KEW fire rips up the second nuke. That his hand is shaking just a little on the controls, nobody is ever going to see but him.

[Wolf-12: Eddie] The boss says to shoot nukes, Eddie's going to shoot nukes. It's better to get blown up out here with nuclear missiles, then have them hit the Hestia. Babooom. Eddie peels off once she's sure she's hit her target and then Kai's giving the order to return to base.

[TAC3] "Poet" Roubani says, "Spider, Poet. Copy RTB."

[TAC3] "Case" Samantha says, "Well, if that wasn't cleaning up, I don't know what is."

[TAC3] "Mooner" Eddie says, "Copy that Spider. Mooner returning to the barn."

[Wolf-11: Samantha] Once Samantha finishes off that Raider there, she gets wind of Kai's return to base orders and quickly turns tail, not minding getting the heck out of there with her bird and body in tact. Hopefully her husband fared as well…

[Viper-113: Ramses] When the nukes are no longer blips on her DRADIS, Stonewall hauls back on her stick and spins on her axis to face Hestia. Punching the engines, she moves to comply with Kai's order.

[Wolf-3: Kai] As the pinpointed explosions cease to light up the sky, and no more raiders disgorge from the crippled baseship, Spider turns his fighter nose over tail and guns his engines for Hestia. The ship's missiles can surely handle what's left of that hunk of junk.

[Viper-110: Kallisto] The nukes are taken care of, the mopping up is finished. Already pointed in the direction of the battlestar from her run on the nuke, Kallisto continues on towards the ship at a downright leisurely pace by Viper standards, i.e., throttle not set at 11.

[TAC3] "Black Cat" Legacy says, "Copy that, Spider. Black Cat prepared to launch the strike."

[Nem's Ride: Nemesis] As the vipers egress to climates more hospitable to human health and prosperity, the main battery of the Battlestar Hestia unleashes a rain of fire upon the last remaining basestar. All guns are focused and firing, The limping ship returns fire, though its volley is severely weakened by damage to its battery. The fight is over before it begins, though the enemy does stand to the last breath. Or whirrr-clunk, as it were.

[TAC3] "Dash" Martin says, "Peanut?"

[TAC3] "Fingers" Jupiter says, "Boner."

[TAC3] "Dash" Martin says, "Nice shooting."

[TAC3] "Fingers" Jupiter says, "Shut up."

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