Dropt From the Zenith
Dropt From the Zenith
Arc: Paradise Regained
Summary: As the marines mop up planetside, the Kilrathi begin a desperate effort to consolidate their forces into their remaining planetside strongholds, fighters from the TCS Majestic are sent on a risky atmospheric mission to intercept the Kilrathi transports.
Date: 2658.336
Related Logs: None
Participants: Cole Paz Victoria Draygo Aiden

Low in the atmosphere of the planet Bodensee, a quartet of Kilrathi troop transports races through the atmosphere with an equal number of fighters positioned above to provide protection. The craft themselves are largely obscured by the glow of their shields, flaring an angry red as they're continually battered by the tremendous friction of atmospheric flight.

Waiting for them up above among the stars are six Confederation fighters, just now angling their noses down towards the planet for an intercept, their shields beginning to illuminate a similar color as they dip towards the surface.

« Voodoo to flight, looks like we've got some volunteers for misery. Fifth Marine reports a launch of four dropships plus escorts, heading straight in for us. Looks like they're sticking low, so take care you don't make yourself a lawn dart » Cole comments from inside the cockpit of his broadsword. If he's having to grip the controls tight enough it leaves his knuckles white, it's less a matter of fear and more a matter of flying something that glides like a brick.

«Lead, Tizona, deorbit burn in one minute, repeat, one minute to deorbit burn.» Paz reports, already starting to position her Rapier into the proper angle for atmospheric insertion. «God, I hate flying in the soup.» she comments tensely.

Glad to be in a sleek and aerodynamically styled Stiletto, Razor punches through into the atmosphere from space with the other Confed fighters, spotting the hostile red blips on sensors, «Understood, lead. Sensors are picking up the hostiles..» With the Kilrathi's low altitude, any chance of a steep diving slashing attack would be risky, if not suicidal.

The CO of the 1087th is moving along in formation as well, a half grin crossing her face at Tizona's grumbling. « I don't think anyone /likes/ it, Tizona. But cheer up - you could be on the planet itself, with the marines. » Tori is quite sure she wants nothing to do with that idea, so maybe neither does Paz. Her own fingers are careful on her controls, her gaze intent, despite the slight passing amusement. « Queen here, ready to go. Even if we all have to move like hippos in a china shop. » Hey, at least her rapier flies a heck of a lot better than a Scimitar. Or a Broadsword.

«Breaking atmo…now.» Paz reports, «Signal black out in five, four, three, two, one…» And with that, Paz's comms cut out completely as the ship's outer surfaces begin to glow the distinct purple-white of reentry. Fortunately, at these speeds, blackout doesn't last long at all. «Lead, Tizona, I'm in the soup, five by five. Let's go kill some kittens.» she grins.

Kanani guides her Stiletto down into the atmosphere, and onto a course towards the Kilrathi dropships, glad that at least she's not trying to fly a Broadsword into the atmosphere. « Copy that, lead. Heading towards the cats now. » She remarks somewhat distractedly, as she keeps her attention on her flying, since she's not to keen on using her fighter as a lawn dart, even if it sorta looks like on.

The newest pilot to the ships complement is getting a feel for his fighter a moment. He menuvers abit as he levels off in formation increasing speed to remain where he should be. «Understood, heading in.» Aiden glances about his fighter a final check before heading along with the others into the atmosphere of the planet and the enemy nearby.

As six Confederation fighters descend on their formation, the Kilrathi escorts respond… the fiery trails of their progress through the sky arcing upwards to meet the attackers. The troop transports move in the opposite direction, dropping perilously close to the ground in the hopes of discouraging aggressive attacks from above.

« And here come the escorts. Razor, Phoenix, you're with me. Let's see if we can't keep the escorts amused. Queen, take Tizona and Tsunami and get those transports. » Cole orders, even as his broadsword lumbers its way through the sky towards the oncoming flight of Hhriss. After all, his chances of catching the transports were probably never very good to begin with. Might as well make himself a big distraction.

With engines screaming in the atmosphere, Razor's Stiletto continues to close the distance with the Kilrathi flight group. When the assignments are given, he comms back an acknowledgement, «Understood, Voodoo, engaging the escorts.» Keeping his interceptor leveled for now, he sees that the hostiles are going after the others so as he flies over the Kilrathi fighters, he inverts his Stiletto and then pulls back hard on the stick. Kicking into a tight half loop, Razor now latches onto the tail of one of the Hhriss, the one that is gunning for his squadmate. When the locking tone goes solid, Kell presses the targeting stub and launches his first Heat Seeker.

« Roger that, Lead. Let's go play with the transports,» Tori says, as she cautiously peels off, angling her rapier towards the transports. She doesn't mind dropping a dumbfire on their heads, but she would prefer to keep herself in one piece, all things considered. She is doing her best to ignore the sights, and concentrate on getting the job done. Atmosphere is not a good place to be, when one is in a space fighter. « Tally ho, » she calls as she gets a chance to press the button and send a dumbfire hopefully after the target.

«Lead, Tizona, copy that, rolling in now.» Paz radios, giving her Rapier a little opposite rudder to kick turn into a spiraling descent on the nearest transport. "Okay, fuzzy….let's see you dodge this shit."she grins, watching her gunsight transition from red to green as her weapons align on a point in space just in front of her target. She's depressing her triggers before she's even consciously aware of it.

« Copy that, Queen. » Kanani says as her fighter moves in after one of the dropship, while trying to avoid such hazards as trees and hills and things, since she'd rather not lose her fighter in such a foolish way. Once she's on the tail of her chosen transport, she waits till her missile gets a lock, and then launches it, calling out, « Fox 2!» and then switches to focusing once again on not getting shot or making a crater.

Aiden watches the space ahead and around himself the best he can as the orders come over the radio. «Copy that, Phoenix with escorts in sight.» The ship pulls off from the transports as they move trying to get away to play tag with the escorts, and allow the others time to attack. The fighter doesnt move quite as well now but he gets the escort in sight and waiting for a good range before firing.

One Kilrathi transport explodes outright with a missile impact, and a second limps on trailing an unhealthy looking line of smoke from the wreckage of one of its two engines. The remaining Kilrathi craft seem in much better shape, even if their gunnery leaves a little to be desired.

While the cats don't seem to be doing a very good job of hitting Confederation fighters, the birds seem to be getting a better score in. Paz's approach leaves her a little /too/ low over the planet's surface, the backblast from her engines throwing up a cloud of debris (and a couple pieces of wildlife) that smacks against the tail of her fighter with an unhealthy sounding thud… though somehow she manages to salvage the maneuver without smashing into pieces on the ground.

Paz winces as her cockpit warnings start screaming 'PULL UP!' and just barely gets enough elevator authority to keep from planting her shiny little Rapier into the ground like a spear. "Whooo…that was a little too close…" she sighs, then pulls up to climb back up on the perch, reading herself for another gun run at the now-damaged transport.

"And where do you think you're going" Cole grumbles to himself under his helmet as his target survives the barrage of gunfire from his Broadsword, and turns in towards the attack craft. Even as his bomber almost comically lumbers after the Hhriss in pursuit, he lines up his shot on the Kilrathi fighter carefully before squeezing the trigger.

The explosion from the result of his heat seeker missile hitting doesn't do as much damage as Kell had hoped for, causing the pilot to frown. Sticking with the same Hhriss fighter, he closes in on the Kilrathi and switches to guns, sending out a trio of bursts while ignoring the laser cannon fire incoming from the side courtesy of one of the Kilrathi transport's gunners.

The fighter screams by but his fire misses its target in the confused fray. "Lucky." Aiden mutters to himself. He moves to be ready for a counter-attack by the escorts, but also to find another target. The fighter is performing well enough and he soon fines another enemy in his sights. He waits for a good mark and fires.
Kanani isn't sure whether to be glad that her first shot did so much damage to the transport, or annoyed that it's still flying, sort of at least. She continues to chase after the now damaged transport, and waits until her missiles get another lock, and launches yet another one at the cats. "Don't make me waste any more missiles on you, damn it!" She mutters under her breath, as she continues to try and tread the line between attacking the transport, dodging incoming fire, and avoiding the ground.

« Careful, Tizona, » Tori says, unable to prevent it. Not that she needed to, but the words were blurted out. She does have to pay attention to her own maneouvers though, as her dumbfire connects, and that takes care of one transport full of kitty marines who won't make it home. Grim satisfaction flashes across her face. She gets a warning blip from her instrumentation as she is targetted, and she takes a slow roll to change targets, avoid the debris, and most of all, avoid the planet. As she turns, she gets a shot off on the same kitty that is targeting her. « Tally ho,» she calls again, letting loose with her last dumbfire.

Paz's threat receivers go off a hair too late for her to evade and the young Latina fighter jock swears viciously as her ship suddenly rocks from multiple impacts as the Hhriss takes a shot at her. "Son of a bitch." she growls, tracking the fighter with one eye while she tries to salvage her gun run against the transport. "Hell with this." she says, once again climbing and lining up for her third, and hopefully last, pass.

The wounded transport never really had much of a chance, falling behind even as a second missile raced in to catch up… with the predictable result and a fiery death awaiting the occupants on the ground below. One of the escort fighters meets a similar fate, slamming uncontrolled into the ground after Draygo's shots tear through its cockpit.

The engines of the Kilrathi transports flare as they draw closer to their destination, a burned-out section of what was once a city drawing rapidly nearer on the horizon.

"Son of a bitch" Cole grumbles as his neatly lined-up shots only manage to score the armor on his chosen victim. As the fighter draws out of range of his broadsword's guns, he toggles the selector switch over to his missiles. « Voodoo to flight, I'm not going to be able to keep up with this mess much longer. Making sure they get something to remember me by » he adds, as he toggles off the friend or foe missile.

Razor's aim is true as this burst firing with the Mass Driver cannons punches through the protective canopy of the Kilrathi's cockpit, shredding the kitty inside. The Hhriss spirals out of control down to the ground in a nice explosion but Kell is already picking out another target, another Hhriss that is harrassing the Confed force. The hostile laser cannon splashing onto his left wing is pretty much ignored, doing minimal damage, mostly tearing the thin armor and scorching the Stiletto. The Hhriss fighters seem to take exception to one of their wingmen being taken down as two peel off and are now diving down on him, «Razor here, looks like I've picked up a couple of kitty cats on me, going evasive.»

It missed? Wait … aww, nuts. Tori doesn't actually miss too often with the dumbfires, but once in a while. Being that she's out of those particular missiles, she switches to full guns, continuing to try to get a shot off on her target. And just as she does so, she realizes her target alert is going off a little more stringently. « Queen, I also seem to have a couple friends. While they're chasing me and Razor, free shots for all. » She starts her own evasive manouevers, such as they are here in the atmosphere.

Aiden hits his target but the armor absorbs the brunt of it. He doesn't wait for this to annoy him yet, banking to come around on the escorts once again. The young man comes around from the outside of their fire-line to minimize his chances of being attacked. «Phoenix coming around for a shot.» The fighter has a good line on his intended target as he holds a moment before firing.

« Got him.» Kanani remarks calmly, as her missiles rip through the damaged transport. She doesn't waste any time congratulating herself, since there's still plenty to worry about. Like the enemy fighters, the two transports that are left, and the ground of course. She switches her target to try and help out Tori, and speeds up a bit, flying a bit more aggressively than she had been, but not enough to risk losing control. Once she's got a lock, she pulls the trigger, and hopes for the best, since the targets are getting close to their destination.

Both remaining Kilrathi transports are battered by weapons fire, but their heavy hulls stay aloft despite the damage. As the Kilrathi transports race in towards what appears to be their landing zone within the wreckage of the city, threat receivers onboard all the Confederation fighters begin to sound. Apparently, the Kilrathi defenses here are still in fine working order… with a number of surface to air missiles locking on to the approaching fighters.

« Voodoo to flight, time to get out of here » Cole orders simply, toggling off his last missile and beginning to bank his bomber away from the hornet's nest that apparently awaits below. « We're just going to get killed going into that mess and I do not, repeat /do not/ have permission to strike the city. » After all, if the Confederation was going to solve this problem with a crater, they'd likely have done so from orbit.

«Flight, Tizona, SAM warning, repeat SAM warning! Multiple search radars in acquisition mode! Break! Break! Break!» Paz shouts as her cockpit comes alive with multiple threats laid out before her ship. That transport's just going to have to wait, it appears.

Razor's Stiletto is built for both space flight and atmospheric flight it seems as it is able to dance gracefully around the concentrated fire from two Hhriss fighters. He was able to get behind his intended target, the third Hhriss but before he is able to pull the trigger, his lock warning screams at him, causing Kell to break hard right, then back to the left to try to remain with the target, «Shit! Incoming, not sure from where!» He knows it can't be from the Hhriss since they are in front of him and the transports aren't suppose to be packing such heat.

Tori is just evading, though if she gets a chance to pll the trigger, she will. Which, as the lock warning screams, she fires one last time. Thumb hits trigger, alerts go off like crazy, and Tori's eyes widen. « Retreating, » she says, not having a problem with that idea. She turns her rapier upwards, banking to the left, and starts to head for altitude and the lack of atmosphere. « Definitely time to get out of here, Voodoo. The party is getting boring. »

« Roger that, lead. » Is Kanani's simple reply, as the warning lights go up. She takes one last quick shot at the transport, and then pulls her fighter up away from the ground, looking to get out of Dodge as quick as she's able.

The fire strikes his target doing some damage this time. Aiden is moving to come around when his screen lights up with warnings. "What the.." He doesn't complete his thought as the radio traffic begins to blare. He pulls his fighter around into a more defensive posture and perhaps to regroup with the others. «Pulling back.» He adds

A flurry of missiles race across on both sides, exploding a Hhriss and badly damaging the Confederation's lone broadsword. Gunfire tears apart a third Kilrathi transport, leaving only one to slow to a stop and flare for a landing as its escorts peel away to return to their base. Trusting to the firepower of the fixed defenses to keep the Confederation fighters at bay.

He really should have known better than to try and outrun a missile in a broadsword, really. Thankfully, the thing is meant for some punishment… so despite an ugly looking hole where the ventral section of his bomber ought to be, Cole's craft remains intact. « Voodoo to all craft, call when you're clear. »

Paz hears the order to pull back, and can clearly see the telephone-pole sized SAM streak past her cockpit at the last second. Clearly, to continue her attack against the lone transport would be daft beyond words….or maybe slightly brilliant. «Queen, Tizona, see ya on the roof.» she calls, easing off on the evasive manuvers to line up for one last try and that transport. Fortunately, the big bastard's not hard to get back in her sights. Hitting it hard enough to bring it down is another story, hitting it, bringing it down and not getting wasted by SAMs, well, that's the brilliant part, isn't it?

Kanani gives a faint grin, as her guns finish off another of the transports, « Got another one. » She comments as her fighter quickly starts to pull away from the ground. She checks her sensors quickly, and though there's still a lot of hits from the SAM's none of them seem to be trying to fire at her as she makes her escape. « Voodoo, Tsunami. I think I'm clear. »

Tori is already on the way out when Paz makes her little statement, which is probably good as she's too far to be able to do anything about it. As she gets up to where space starts once more, she breathes a little easier. « Queen, clear, far as I can tell. » she says, once her lock alerts all stop badgering her. Her voice is a little tight, a hint of frost trying to cover that. "Oh, Tizona, I might have to kill you," she grumbles. Like Turbo isn't bad enough …

A missile manages to explode near the front of Razor's Stiletto but either through luck or secret reinforced armor to the nose of his fighter, he flies through the explosion without taking serious damage, only cosmetic. Kicking his afterburner to full, it seems like Kell is safe from the reaches of the SAM sites, «Razor clear.»

Aiden pulls away from the SAM sites, and the escorts as they peel off. The com traffic calming down he is able to hear one fighter heading back into the fray. He arches an eyebrow « Phoenix to leader, i'm clear." He calls for himself after a brief moment of hesitation. His fighter is streaking away but he cant help but try and keep an eye on what's going to happen.

Of course, like most of Tizona's brilliant plans, this one goes pear shaped almost from the beginning. First, a SAM damn near tears the nose off her Rapier, and with that goes any chance she ever might have had on hitting the transport. A little too late, she realizes that some serious juking would be in order, but with most of her nose fairing now gone, that's a little on the difficult side. Add another couple of SAMs to the mix, namely, one to her control systems that turn them into sludge inher hands and a body hit that nearly rattles the teeth out of her head and a simple EVAC to orbit turns into a nail-biting fight for control, speed and altitude.

Five Confederation fighters race away, and one races back in… as suddenly every Kilrathi missile battery in the area apparently decides to cash in on the free kill. Swarmed by missiles, the fighter is slammed from multiple directions… hanging together by a thread, through some miracle of design. Incidentally, the missile aimed at the Kilrathi transport doesn't manage to connect anywhere nearby.

It takes a few moments for Cole to realize that he's one fighter short… just in time to watch the missile tracks on his sensors converge on the single mark that is Tizona's Rapier. He's almost surprised at the fact the Rapier is still there as the tracks disappear. « Lead to all craft. Ballistic to Atmosphere. NOW. Tizona, if you can still receive, move your ass. » Cole orders, the nose of his battered broadsword swinging back around towards the skyline of the ravaged city for just a moment. The bomber hangs in the atmosphere of the planet for a moment, lurching slightly as one of the four torpedoes flies free from its rails, before pitching up and rolling over in a violent half-corkscrew to orient itself away from the target area as it races for the black of space.

«Vo-d-o, T-zo-a, co-y t-at…He-, th-t was ki-da stup-d, w-sn't i-?» Tizona's voice squelches back over the radio as she claws her way out of the atmosphere. Maybe it's feedback from damaged circuts, but it could be that someone in Tizona's Rapier is actually chuckling. It's a rueful chuckle, to be sure, but a chuckle just the same.

« Roger that, lead. Getting out of here now.» Kanani remarks quickly, as her fighter races towards the safe comfortable confines of space. As she catches the Broadsword turning around for what looks like an attack, she sighs slightly and adds, « Uh, don't get yourself killed, huh, Voodoo? » with a faint chuckle.

Tori already knows she can't do anything to help, much as she'd like to. So she heads up up and away. « Copy, Lead. Queen heading up. And ditto what Tsunami just said. both of you! » She takes a breath, focusing on her own job of getting to space, where she can speed up again, and not move like molasses. Or some fighter equivalent.

The fighter still in one piece is always a plus. Aiden flies to form back up but watches his screen as the missiles move to converge on the lone fighter. He does sigh as the voice crackles over the com again. «Moving to form up.» He says pushing the throttle a bit to exit back into the relative safety of open space.
Not fused for a planetary target, the effect of the torpedo warhead is perhaps somewhat less spectacular than it might otherwise have been. Expecting to penetrate the hardened durasteel plating of a warship, the weapon instead sinks far into the somewhat softer stuff planets are made of before detonating. At the end of the day, however, there's nothing subtle about the explosion that follows a split-second after the weapon impacts. A blinding flash from the surface below marks the brief ignition of the antimatter warhead and the instant annihilation of whatever might prove unfortunate enough to be within a few miles of the impact point. Focused in the wrong direction, the explosive force tears a deep crater into the ground, ejecting the material that had been located above into a tremendous plume that quickly rises into the upper atmosphere.

Paz gives a low, sliding whistle as Cole exacts a rather unexpected and more than slightly zealous vengeance on the Kilrathi SAM sites, alas, her amazement doesn't last long. She's soon too busy trying to keep her Rapier together as she hits the upper atmosphere and tries to make for orbit. "C'mon, baby, hold it together….hold it together." she croons to her damaged machine. "Just a few thousand feet more, that's it…."

« Voodoo to all craft. Back to the Majestic. » Cole reports tersely, flipping his video monitor to view behind his ascending bomber at the crater that now rests where the edge of the city used to be. "And pray to god that there were only Kilrathi down there" he adds under his breath, once his comms have clicked off.

Once she's up out of the atmosphere, Tori takes a look at what the damage is. A soft whistle, but she doesn't say anything, keeping track of Paz' rapier, and escorting the damaged fighter, once and if Paz makes it up. « Roger, Lead, » she says, and only that.