Asteroid Ambush
Asteroid Ambush
Arc: Hammer and Anvil
Summary: A wing of fighters clearing Kilrathi fixed defenses is attacked mid-mission.
Date: 2658.226
Related Logs: Sierra Alpha Romeo
Participants: Cole Kanani Fortescue James Paz Draygo

It's been a fun couple days of playing 'Don't run into the asteroids' while tactical has tried figuring out a way to deal with the latest little Kilrathi annoyance. Even if the plan they've come up with isn't exactly the most cheerful thing for certain members of the operation. A pair of Stiletto light fighters lurk at the front of the Terran formation to provoke the defenses into firing… with a pair of broadsword bombers behind to attack once they do. Keeping an eye in the other direction, to prevent the Kilrathi launching a sneak attack while all of this goes on, is a flight of Rapier-class fighters. A little something for everyone.

« Alright, let's get this over with. Quicker we get started, quicker we're done. » Cole comments simply from inside his cockpit. « Illuminati, move in towards the field. And for god's sake be careful » After all, they've already got a good reminder of how much firepower is waiting for them here back in medbay. « We'll try and hit our targets as soon as they appear »

«Lead, Tizona, copy that.» Paz radios, double checking her weapons load out and throttle settings for a moment before going back to the usual scanning of the surrounding space. "Now, if I was a Fuzzy Wuzzy……" she breathes to herself. "Shut up, Tizona…don't borrow trouble."

Red follows dutifully behind in formation, keeping pace as is needed albeit with a bit of difficulty since it's been a while since she last flew. Darn transfers and whatnot. She listens but doesn't sing out just yet, keeping herself alert and aware without running over anyone over the coms.

One of the two Stiletto pilots, Kell, listens to the orders that are quickly issued before responding with an acknowledgement, «Razor here. Understood, will be diving into the rock field and drawing fire. Hope you 'Swords can keep up and blow them up fast enough.» Shunting more power into thrusters, he pushes the throttle forward, daring for as high of a speed as he could without crashing into any of the floating asteroids. "Come get some." He growls at the asteroids who had recently killed one of their fellow pilots and put another one into the medbay.

«Copy that, lead. Thish should be -so- much fun.» Kanani remarks sarcastically, as the thrusters on her Stiletto light up, and she heads off, right after Draygo. «Now remember, Razor. The object here is to -not- get shot.» She teases as the two light fighters continue on towards the asteroid field.

Apparently, the concealed batteries really aren't so much of a problem for pilots who might be expecting them. The first few shots reach out from long range, easily avoided by the maneuvers of the light Confederation craft.

« Voodoo to Red. Looks like we've got our targets, updating with the coordinates those attacks are coming from now » Cole explains to his wingman simply. « You start from the left, I'll start from the right, work in towards the center. We'll try with guns first, save your torps in case they've set up some hardened installations » And with that, Cole's bomber starts to edge its way along into the asteroids.

«Lead, Tizona. You got a target for me or am I out here just for my stunning good looks and effervescent personality?» Paz radios as she watches Razor and Tsunami make their first pass to lure the guns into revealing themselves.

<Copy that, Voodoo. Red's taking the left.» Maneuvering into place, Red readies her bomber with the weapons switched to guns for now. «Guns are at the ready. Good to go and awaiting your word.» She's careful to not go too fast or too far ahead on the off chance that one of the astroids will leap out and try to get her or one of the kitties might be laying in wait for an ambush.

As the Stiletto pilots begin making their pass, Kell sees the welcoming mat that the Kilrathi emplacements have rolled out for them. «Damn cats seem to be pretty dumb, shooting at us from so far away. And quit that fancy flying, Tsunami, you're making me look bad.» Though his eyes are narrowed and focus ahead, he does shoot in a friendly comment or two from time to time. «Want us to shoot a few rounds at them to distract them even more, Voodoo?»

«Sorry Razor, fancy flyin's all I know how to do.» Kanani jabs back good naturedly to the other pilot. Or as good naturedly as one can manage while being used for bait. As the turrets start making their shots, her Stiletto starts to corkscrew wildly, as she does her part to keep her fighter nice and spotless.

James had caught an overheat alarm in one of his Stilletto's engines and had to switch birds before launch. This brings him late to the combat and he is already juking and weaving as he enters range of the known turrets.

Oblivious to the fact they're only marking themselves for destruction, the Kilrathi batteries continue to fire away… lines of weapons fire reaching out into space formerly occupied by the Stilettos, but none of it coming close enough to make for a particularly serious threat.

« No point in waiting for an invitation, Red. Take a shot as soon as you've got it. » Cole comments simply, diving in on the asteroids in front of him to make his first pass. « Razor, Tsunami… if you want to join in the fun, you're welcome to give it a try. Just be careful you don't end up trading hits. It's a rock, you'll lose. Tizona, just sit tight for now.»

«Lead, Tizona. Copy that. Sitting tight.» Paz calls, sounding perhaps a little irritated at that call. "I could be drinking right now, Voodoo." she says off-channel, giving the man's Broadsword the finger.

«Roger, Voodoo.» Once within range Fortescue begins to fire on one of their targets, her attention equally divided between the looming space rocks and her instruments. Hopefully this will be easy although she's fully prepared for a long job, nothing about this really screaming out as being a 'simple job'.

Kanani is forced to curtail the wild evasive manuvers that her Stiletto had been doing, once she enters the field proper, seeing as that sort of manuvering is likely to run someone smack into a giant rock. She still manages to evade all the shots heading her way, as she calls out. «Copy that, Voodoo, if Razor doesn't mind, we'll see what we can do to help.» Saying that, she gets ready to take pot shots at any turrets that might end up in her sights, during her primary goal of avoiding getting shot.

As Kell's Stiletto gets closer to the Kilrathi controlled turret emplacements on the rocks, their accuracy can be seen getting closer and closer, but for now his light fighter remains unscathed. «More than happy to do a strafing run or two.» Kicking his fighter into a tight barrel roll as he closes in one of the armed rocks, Razor locks in and fires off a couple of bursts of Mass Driver Cannon fire before pulling up.

Wild spirals do not make for effective gunnery, however… and mass driver shots from James' stiletto tear through empty space, managing to miss the asteroid he was aiming at entirely. Fortunately for the rest of the flight, their gunnery is somewhat more accurate. Small explosions blossom along a number of the asteroids where Kilrathi emplacements once stood. A single blinding flash appears from the far right side, where a large asteroid met one of Cole's torpedos, leaving a cloud of dust expanding between the two split halves of the rock.

« Turkey shoot so far. Keep up the good work everyone » Cole comments to the flight. « Seems these aren't quite as dangerous when we know what we're looking for » His broadsword banks around in a wide, sweeping arc around a large chunk of rock, using it to shield himself for a few moments as he lines up his next firing pass.

James isn't able to tell exactly what happened as he is too foccused on evasion but when his manuevers bring him around again he sees that the asteroid doesn't appear to be any different and fires another snapshot before breaking into a weaving patteren.

Sometimes the Good Lord just smiles on you. While the Stilletos and Swords do their dance with the asteroids and their embedded flak guns, Paz is paying a little more attention to the surrounding space. And what is it that she happens to spy on this paticular visual scan. Only a few Kilrathi fighters trying to be sneaky and slip through the 'field before they can be noticed. "'Step into my parlor', said the spider to the fly." she grins malevolently. The first thing she does is flip on the seeker head of an image recognition missile and let it gently come to a lock. Then she squeezes the trigger. Just as the missiles blazes away, she shouts a warning. «Lead, Tizona, multiple bandits incoming, go evasive, now, now, now!»

«Turkey shoot….yeah, right Voodoo. Glad you think so.» With one target eliminated Red slips herself around to another target but her taking aim is halted when she hears that they're being joined. "Dammit…" she hisses out before she changes mindset, Red now preparing for a dog-….cat-fight instead.

With the first group of asteroids destroyed, Razor pushes on, not wanting to dilly-dally any longer as his Stiletto regains speed. Before going after more asteroids though, the warning about bandits incoming is called and he quickly switches from bait mode to escort mode for the Bombers, «Covering your tails, 'Swords.» Switching to heat seekers and arming the master switch, Kell moves into cover position before the new transfer bomber pilot, like a wingman would do to provide cover so that the Kilrathi has to shoot through him first.

Kanani gives a quick nod in satisfaction as her shots take out one of the turrets, but then she returns her attention to avoiding incoming fire. On hearing Paz's warning, she mutters, «Wonderful. Let that be a lesson to never mention turkey shoots again, until they're all dead, Voodoo.»

Apparently, Cole really should be careful of what he speaks. More explosions blossom along the asteroids, and the volume of fire reduces significantly. At the same time, the emplacements finally get lucky, firing a missile nearly point-blank into the front of Fortescue's broadsword. Though the bomber's tough hide prevents much damage to the squishy meatbags inside, the craft itself is certainly quite a mess… a large portion torn away from the bomber's nose.

The Kilrathi fighters, meanwhile, don't seem to have been expecting any sort of reaction to their approach… the first warning they get is Tizona's image recognition missile tracking into one of the Jalthi heavy fighters, knocking it sideways for a moment, though it survives the blow.

Suddenly, Cole's nice turkey shoot has turned worlds of ugly. « Two Two One, get on those fighters! » Voodoo orders, ignoring the Kilrathi craft approaching to continue his mission of neutralizing the asteroids. « I'll clean up the last of those batteries and move to support you as soon as they're clear. Red, what's your status? »

«Flight, Tizona. I make zero four Jalthi-type and zero two Sarthas. Coming in at one one six mark two one eight. I'm on the leader.» Paz calls over the radio. «Voodoo, Red, watch your asses out there,» she adds, «Lining up for my next shot.» she says, suiting action to words and preparing to jam another Image rec missile down the lead Jalthi's throat. «Firing…Fox-two!»

Of course Fortescue has quite a few failing systems as is pretty much the norm when one's ship takes a hit like that, it causing her to hiss out in frustration. «Voodoo, this is Red. I'm not doing too well here. Got some pending failures in the works here.» For someone who's inside a bomber that is about to go tits up she's surprisingly calm.

James breaks away from the rocks noting happyily that the battery he had targeted was no longer firing. He notices two Jalthi heading his way and bores in on one of the pair that seems damaged guns blazing. «Cutlass Guns!»

With the hostiles inbound, Kell continues to fly cover for Fortescue and her stricken Broadsword. For now he keeps his weapons switched to Heat Seekers but due to current maneuvers, he is unable to acquire a target. He is able to stick with the bomber though as two Kfilrathi swoops in, prohibiting them from firing, «Razor here, Red and I have a couple of bogeys on our tail, trying to keep them fof the bomber.» With that, he continues to jink and juke as best he could but not so much as to leave an opening for them on the Broadsword.

«Lead, Tsunami. Copy that, going after the fighters.» Kanani then puts her words to action, as she moves into firing position on a Jalthi that's picked up the 13th's CO as it's target. Once she gets a lock with her missile, she pulls the trigger, and the missile flies off towards the enemy fighter. «Fox two!»

James curses as he takes a pair of hits. He gives his status display a lookover before opening his comm «This is Cutlass I'm hit but it's not bad.» He wings up onto the tail of his original target and switches to missiles, firing as soon as he hears the lock on tone. «Cutlass Fox 2!»

The last of the Kilrathi batteries is silenced by fire from Cole's broadsword, but the news isn't all good… a parthian shot from the dying emplacement tracks straight into the engines of the Broadsword, pitching it forward violently and tearing away an unhealth looking chunk from the portside engine housing.

The dogfight quickly turns into an ugly melee of nimble Confederation fighter craft and the much less maneuverable but much more heavily armed Kilrathi. More weapons fire batters the Jalthi, but the Kilrathi are certainly getting their hits in as well, James' fighter only narrowly avoids being shredded by the frontal firepower of one of the Kilrathi heavies.

« Voodoo to flight. I'm hit, but I'm still in it. Moving to engage the fighters » Cole reports simply, as his broadsword limps around towards the dogfight. He quickly flips the selector to missiles, snapping off a Friend or Foe at the first of the Kilrathi light fighters unfortunate enough to blunder into his path.

Kanani grins slightly in satisfaction as her missile hits the Jalthi with a nice good smack. Not enough to kill it but not bad. Her frown fades away slightly at Cole's statement, but she lets that slide, as she tries to put a second missile into the enemy fighter's engines.

"Dammit." Paz growls as her second missile doesn't do any better than her first. With lots of Fuzzy Wuzzies to deal with and only two missiles remaining, she goes to guns and bores straight in at the enemy ship, bore sighting the enemy's cocpit before squeezing the trigger and spewing out a few hundred rounds of proximity-fuzed explosive-tipped death at the hairball behind the wheel.

Continuing with his primary role as escort, Kell continues to stick with Red's six, flying close cover for her and diverting fire from the ailing bomber to his fighter, giving the Kilrathi no shot. «Razor here. Multiple bogeys on my tail now, repeat, multiple bogeys. Keeping you clear for now, Red, got your six covered but I don't know how long I can hold them off.» He continues to match Fortescue's maneuvers, which isn't too hard since it is a slow, damaged bomber, the hard part is evading just enough to dodge the quartet of cats on his tail.

«Damn…this is insane!» Red snarls this out over the comms by mistake but it doesn't register that she has as she's busy trying to line up another shot while Razor tries to keep her safe.

Battered by the combined weapons fire of the Confederation craft, two of the Jalthi explode within seconds of each other as the swirling melee of fighter craft continues. The Kilrathi forces split, the heavier fighters angling for the Confederation escorts as the two light fighters race in towards one of the crippled bombers.

« Goddamnit, Razor » Cole snaps into his comms. « Get on a target and kill it. » Apparently, the commander of the 13th isn't terribly impressed with the heroics going on behind Fortescue's bomber. His bomber turns in towards the pair of Sartha approaching him, and he gives a little grin under his helmet as he toggles over to his guns. "Come on you son of a bitch." he grumbles under his helmet, squeezing the trigger as he moves to take the pair of light fighters head-on.

James cheers as his missile plows into the engines of the Jalthi followed by the craft coming apart in a ball of flame and opens his commline his tone excited «Cutlass Scratch one!». He dives onto the tail of another Jalthi, boring in before squeezing the trigger <Cutlass Fox 2!»

«Flight, Tizona. I'm hit but it's not bad. Cutlass, that was nice shooting.» Paz calls, quickly skidding her Rapier around Jalthi-1's debris cloud and with a nifty little three sixty, falling onto the tail of the second heavy fighter. "Got something for ya, fuzzy." she grins as she lines up a shot at the enemy ship's engines and squeezes the trigger.

The only sound that comes from Red's coms is a hum. Not from the coms itself but rather from her, a tuneless 'song' that grows louder and less-focused as the battle continues.

«Aloha 'oe. You stupid cat.» Kanani remarks with a bit of satisfaction, as her target is reduced to a fiery wreck. She then sets her sights on one of the Sartha, and switches over to her guns as she lines up a shot on the fighter's cockpit and then pulls the trigger.

The torrent of cannon fire that is showered at Razor's Stiletto is intense, so much so that it was impossible for the Lieutenant to dodge all of them since he is also covering for the bomber. However, he is mostly successful, evading multiple streams of death before being boxed in and taking some damage into the weapons system. Luckily, while he was busy drawing fire, his wingmen managed to get rid of the two Jalthis that were in the mix. «Working on it, Voodoo.» He answers back, before comming the other bomber pilot, «Red, break left on my mark, I'm going right.» Giving it a couple of seconds to sink in, he quickly calls, «Mark!» and heads right hard. That was enough to draw most of the fighters off, only one following him as he now lines up a shot with one of the Sartha's.

Voodoo's voice snaps Red out off whatever zone she has wound up in and she barks out «Breaking left!» just as she does. Seems like someone has figured out how to break her out of the trance she put herself in whether he knows what he was doing or what was going on or not.

Another Jalthi falls prey to a heat seeking missile ripping through its vulnerable engines… the exchange only kept from being far worse for the Kilrathi by the number of shots which connect, but plow harmlessly into armor.

« Good shooting so far everyone, let's keep it up » Cole comments, breaking away from his aggressive approach and falling back to a more evasive posture as he collects some Kilrathi 'friends' once again. "Christ, who put the catnip in my cockpit today?" Cole grumbles to himself.

James executes a snaproll as a second Jalthi falls to his missiles. He swings around and drops in on the tail of the last Jalthi. He waits for a lock tone then squeezes the trigger «Cutlass, scratch 1 and Fox 2!»

Half juking and jinking, Kell dodges the attack from the Jalthi that was trailing him before it is eaten up by Confed fire while manage to splatter the the nose of the Sartha angling in on Cole with his own Mass Driver Cannons. Staying with the same target, he switches over to Heat Seekers now while noticing another Sartha latching onto his tail, «Got another one myself as well. Hang on Voodoo, trying to clear your tail here.» Once there is a missile tone, Razor launches his Heat Seeker, watching it spiral towards its intended target.

«Can't shoot for shite today…» Red laments to the flight as a whole, it accompanied with a feral growl. Someone's pissy. The same target is lined up and she tries again, this time aiming for another of the enemy's ship's systems.

Kanani mutters softly to herself as her shot doesn't do enough damage for her. She switches back to her last missile, launching it once it gets a lock. «Fox two.» She states calmly, as she looks around to be sure that no one's shooting in her direction for the moment.

"Well, that didn't work." Paz sighs as her shots manage to land only on the most heavily armored bits of the enemy ship. Just before James' shot blows him to kingdom come. «Cutlass, Tizona.» she calls. «Mind if I take one this time?» she inquires, voice more teasing than annoyed. The second Jalthi's debris cloud is dodged by a deft bit of stick and rudder and she finds hereself flying perpendicular to the remaining heavy. Keying up her missiles, Paz jukes for a lock and squeezes the trigger.

Behold the difference between a Sartha and a Jalthi. Both struck by missiles, the Jalthi staggers on towards its target… the Sartha simply vanishes in a cloud of debris. With their hope of winning the engagement all but gone, the Kilrathi turn their efforts towards at least accomplishing something… moving in on the damaged Confederation bombers.

« Look sharp Red, looks like they're coming in for us again » Cole says to his wingman, even as he does his best to keep his broadsword limping out of the way of the much more nimble Kilrathi attacking it. In an already slow bomber with damaged engines, that's really a bit of a trick.

Free to unleash hell now that the Kilrathi decides to leave him alone, Razor banks his light fighter around and guns his thrusters and afterburners. Diving in on the remaining Sartha, he launches a Heat Seeker missile once the range closes, planning on shoving this one right down the Kilrathi's tail pipe.

"All right!" Paz grins as her missile strikes just aft of the cockpit, blowing a huge chunk out of the frame and sending all manner of lovely shrapnel into the cockpit to keep the Fuzzy at the controls company. However, her velocity's too great to make the snap turn she'd have to to follow in for the kill. And, as it happens, she winds up with a peach of a shot at the remaining Sartha. «Oh…I taught I taw a puddy tat!» she calls over the open channel. «I did, I did taw a puddy tat!» and with that, her lock is achieved and the missile fired.

James curses as for some reason the launch circuit failed for his missile. He punches a few buttons and opens the comm «Sure Tizona it's all yours.» He announces before breaking away and climbing onto the tail of the last Sartha taking a spiltsecond to confirm missile status before squeezing the trigger. «Cutlass Fox 2!»

Changing weapons off of guns and to missiles, Fortescue gets back into the headspace she needs to be in, hopefully back in full-on pilot-mode. «I am trying, Voodoo. Damned things will not sit still and let me hit them, though!» Or, if she does hit them the armor keeps them from getting damaged. «Changing to torps?» Maybe she'll get lucky this time.

Kanani switches over to guns, as her final missile valiantly shreds apart one of the Sartha. Waiting to get a decent shot on the remaining heavy fighter, once she sees the cat's cockpit, she opens fire, letting loose a burst of mass driver rounds, that'll hopefully finish it off.

And that, it seems, is going to do it for the Kilrathi. Every ship in the formation might be battered, but they're at least all still alive. It's something.

« Voodoo to flight. Showing my scanners clear. Confirm and report your status » Cole orders, pausing a moment before giving his own. « I've got fifty percent rear shields, rear armor's gone, portside engines unresponsive, port aft thrusters unresponsive, portside thrusters unresponsive, acceleration absorbers at seventy five percent, reactor at eighty five percent » Apparently, he'd been understating a little just how ugly that hit really was.

«Lead, Tizona. Got some moderate structural damage to mid-fuselage, intermittent electronics troubles, but nothing I can't work with.» Paz calls. «Gonna try and see if I can reroute some signals through other systems.»

«Lead, Tizona…nevermind….I'm good to trap. Let's get home.» Paz calls a few minutes later.

«Lead, Tsunami. All systems green here. Not even a scratch on the paint.» Kanani gives her status report. One that will at least keep the deck crew from yelling at her much anyways.

With the current engagement over, Kell cycles through his own fighter's checklist and sees that his Weapons System took a hit so he begins cycling repairs though it doesn't seem to be responding, «Razor here, took a hit in the weapons system but otherwise, fighter is good.»

James smiles as two missiles plow into the Saratha almost at the same time both hitting in or near the cockpit. «I honestly don't know who got that one but good shooting Razor.» He checks his status readout «Cutlass Forward shields at 80% and minor damage to my weapons control system and some to my armor. Trying to make a field repair on the weapons now."

«I'm pretty well fubar'ed» is what Red mutters, not bothering to try and list all the damage her poor little Broadsword has been inflicted with. Hopefully there won't be anymore surprises as she isn't sure just how much more the bomber can take.

« Right. Think we've done what we can do here, and we don't seem to be taking any more fire from the rocks. Let's bring 'em on in. » Cole replies. « Fighters first, Red and I will come in last. No point in our blocking the ramp for the rest of you lot if we come apart on landing »

«Roger that, Voodoo.» Kanani replies, as she turns her fighter onto a course to head back towards the Majestic. «Well, I suppose that didn't go -all- that badly, everything considered.» She comments thoughtfully.

«Lead, Tizona, copy that. Good luck getting her down, Voodoo, you too Red.» Paz calls, strobing her nav lights in salute

James replies grimly «Understood setting a course for the Majestic now.» He accelerates towards the ship staying to the flank of the formation until they are inside Majestic's defense preimiter then breaking in to line up for landing.

There's a grunt and then Fortescue gets herself turned back around, that a bit of a trick as things are very sluggish and the Broadsword just does not want to respond like it should. «Heading home.» This is either going to be a whole lot of fun or a whole lot of pain. Will have to see which one it winds up being.

«Heading back as ordered, Voodoo.» Razor answers back his acknowledgement as he sets the waypoint home, forming up with the others as they return to base to land. Mission accomplished.