Junction Recon
Junction Recon
Arc: The Battle of Junction
Summary: Pip leads a recon patrol in an attempt to find the Kilrathi Carrier Group in Junction.
Date: 2659.141
Related Logs: None
Participants: Jenthson Kanani Draygo Trey Phillip

Briefing Room on Deck 12

Set above the ready line, this sizable room serves as a briefing area for the Majestic's air wing. Stadium-style seating in five rows provides space for sixty pilots or other flight crew. At the front of the room, a lectern with the Confederation logo stands on a raised platform for presentations, with a trio of chairs located behind it. A large vidscreen is set into the wall, for projecting mission flight paths or other critical information. The side walls are decorated with the insignia of the squadrons operating off of the Majestic.

It has been a long bleeding few weeks in Junction, and Pip looks like it, leaning heavily on the podium, sipping from a steaming cup of tea, and waiting for his pilots to file in. A cigarette burns in an ashtray before him…one that has gone unemptied between briefings…and is stuffed with butts. While the other pilots have all had time to unwind, and rest between seemingly endless patrols, not to mention the combat missions….he is stuck in a constant cycle of flight, paperwork, plugging holes, and plotting missions. And the other pilots would realize…he hasn't cut down on his flying hours from squadron days, despite the additional workload. A glowing map of Junction lights up the vidscreen behind the Englishman.

Kanani slides into a seat and then turns her attention towards the podium as well as the map that's currently up on the vidscreen, waiting to see what today's mission is likely to be about.

Phillip walks in and quietly sits down at his usual seat in the 1087th squadron area. He looks up at the haggard Jenthson, and then looks at the map to get an idea of what mission is ahead.

Having just fully recovered and cleared to be put back on the active flight roster, Kell joins the other pilots in the briefing room, finding an empty seat without much fanfare as he waits for the main briefing to begin. His eyes does take a look around the room, checking to see who's here and who's not, and perhaps any new faces.

It isn't a particularly large group for this patrol, but it does appear to be almost everyone, as Pip folds his arms, and scans the seats. "Aside from one lollygagging bugger, I suppose is the sorry lot of you. Let's see what torture I've planned for you, today." And, the WinCO's mood is clearly even more scathing than usual….he clicks his pointer(old-school, and wooden) against the vidscreen with an audible *crack*. "It -appears- to be a standard patrol, obviously. Three nav points, a routine pattern." A pause, and then he taps the triangle that makes up the void between the three. "We know that the Kilrathi Battlegroup is somewhere in the void between the navpoints, and as such, if we do locate them, we will try to get a good picture of their force composition…without stirring up a fucking hornet's nest. We need to be -subtle-, people."

Phillip just listens only nodding at mention of subtle.

Trey skulks in the relative dark. The lighting in the briefing room is a dingy red. Not great for seeing anything but whoever's at the podium, and the screen in the front. He peers about, somewhat out of breath, and then waits for his time to strike, relatively speaking. When heads are looking one way, he takes his first crouched step. And then one after that. And after that. He's heading, of course, for the back of the room.

Kanani keeps her attention on the WinCo, as well as the map, as the briefing starts up. She stays quiet as she listens to Pip talking, and she nods at a few points as the briefing goes on.

And, it would appear that Pip did not notice a certain skulking Minuteman, as he makes way into the briefing room. "Very well. We're flying fast, and light. Rapiers and Stils. We'll not being taking bomber, or capital ship support. If we run into Kilrathi fighters, or freighters, we bounce them. Capitals, and we bug-out." Eyes shift around the room, and he taps the pointer against the flat of his palm…"Questions, comments, compliments?"

Kanani doesn't seem to have any questions, since it seems like a fairly simple mission objective. Too bad that simple don't always mean easy, though. She looks around the briefing room, to see if any of the other pilots have any comments or anything, though.

Trey raises his hand from the back of the room, as though he's been here from the start.

Phillip just gives a quick shake of his head to the negative.

The mission seems simple enough to Kell, except the fact that their patrols tend to be as subtle as a large elephant in a room dressed up in a pink tutu. However, this the Lieutenant keeps to himself as he merely nods at the objectives, giving the other pilots a glance again.

The raised hand has Pip pointing at Trey with an emphatic thrust of his pointer. "So you -are- here. Interesting. I've been working on the flight plan…" A point to the small desk in the room's front corner…"For the last hour, and never saw you step foot into the room." A sigh, and a shake of head…"Flash Rogue of a bastard, you are." Pointer is stowed beneath the lectern, and he makes a gesture with his hand, as if asking for the question from Trey.

Kanani raises an eyebrow slightly, as she notices the raised hand from the Minuteman pilot, and waits to hear what sort of question he might have.

Trey's eyes instinctively size up the approximate distance from here to the exit. That the next thing he does is evaluate the positioning of all the chairs, podiums, and other things for their usefulness in a sudden firefight or brawl is, of course, a matter of pure instinct and not because he feels he needs to. He does this without turning his head. "I've been here, sir." Really. "I just wanted to know if there were better than normal odds of hitting a capital class ship."

Phillip's eyes shoot open at the question and attempts to keep from snickering, barely succeeding.

"Unless we are dragging some bombers along, hopefully not. Or we'd just be flying target practice for the damn Kitty gunners." Kell says with a slight shake of his head, not enjoying the possible prospect of being turned into chow by rows of Heavy Flak Cannons. Not to mention his rather bad experience in a Broadsword in his most recent mission.

"Well, lad. If you'd been listening, you would have recollection that I explained that we're trying to make -some- sort of contact with the Kilrathi main battlegroup, and as such…chances are better than average." A pause…."I was unaware that women shat potatoes, all eyes and no ears, in lieu of children capable of following a line of thought for more than thirty seconds." And, his mood continues to improve, clearly. "We're strictly recon, folks. Bringing Broadswords along is just going to accelerate the tempo of conflict in-system before we're prepared. We're a simple little patrol, nothing for the Kilrathi to bat a whisker at." A final look around the room…"Now, if that is all….head for the flight deck, and please don't move too fast. I'm an old man, and don't feel like trying to keep up with a pack of snot-nosed striplings that fell screaming from their mothers' while I was cutting my teeth on combat." He is on a birthing kick in his rants, now.

At that, Phillip has to stifle more chuckling with some coughs. "Excuse me," he says as he gets up to move with the rest of the flight down to the readyline.

Kanani smirks faintly as she listens to the Wing Commander, and then stands up and starts to head towards the flight deck once the order is given to move.

"Yes, sir." Trey blushes faintly, and stands, then makes his way towards the Wing Commander. "Hey, uh… you know, after this mission? I know you're dignified and all, sir, but… see, I bought a hundred and fifty yo-yos a few weeks ago." Pay no attention to why the man bought 150 yo-yos. Please. At least, his demeanor isn't implying there's anything abnormal about this -at all-. "And that was a bit more than I really needed, so I traded them away and there's this guy. He's got a line on some…" The man lowers his voice and whispers as if he's revealing state secrets: "Hot Girl On Girl Action." He leans away again, "Was wondering if you wanted in on some of the goods."

Rising to his feet as they are ordered to report to the flight deck, Kell gives the Wing Commander one final nod before turning to head down to their fighters with the rest of the pilots. He does catch sight of Trey and Jenthson exchanging some sort of brief yet secretive conversation but is too far to hear what it is. He only arches a brow before heading outside.

There is a moment of silence, as Pip listens to Trey's quiet offer, and the Wing Commander blinks. "Jesus Christ, Grayson. You think I'm dignified?" A shake of his head, and Jenthson drains his tea, and sighs. "I'm so exhausted, and old…I doubt that my plumbing would work even -with- hot girl on girl action. But, there's always a chance. Leave it outside my quarters, marked as inventory reports, please. There's no chance that someone would mistakenly walk off with those." He's speaking quietly, now…and adds…"And, Trey? If you can find something a smidgeon more perverse, and make sure it finds its way to the Commodore's office….I'll pay for it, and start calling you something more befitting your abilities, lad." A wink, and the older pilot starts walking without an answer, heading for his starfighter.

"What, like goat sex?" It comes from Trey's lips immediately, as if he's got some. He turns to go.

Once the flight has launched from the deck of Majestic, Pip's quick to key his comm, and speak…«<Echo. Let's move quick, today. Form up into wingpairs…Iceboy, follow the rogue bastard….Tsunami, Razor has lead.»> That out of the way, his own Rapier, once again flying alone to save needing a sixth pilot, throttles up to maximum cruise, and has her nose turned toward Nav-1's bearing. «<Set course for Nav-1. Enjoy the in-flight movie.»>

«Heeello, ladies.» Trey says this to nobody in particular, though he manages to sound like a lounge singer in the process. «Copy that, Major. Icecream, take my seven o'clock position, stay seven clicks above me. Sir, I am staying in staggered formation with you, waiting for Meow-Mix to make a show.»

Phillip clears the Majestic and pulls alongside Trey's port already knowing ahead of time whose wing he would be on. Upon receiving Echo Lead's orders he comms, «Roger Lead. Sloppy, Ice is on your wing.» After changing his fighter's position to Sloppy's 7, he throws in joking seriousness, «Wait there's an in-flight movie? What is it?»

«Copy that, Lead.» Kanani calls over the comm, as her Stiletto slides into formation with Razor's fighter, and settles in for the trip to Nav 1. No comment is made about in flight movies, though she does chuckle, as she glances around the cramped confines of her ships cockpit.

As they depart from the Majestic's launch tubes, Kell pulls his Stiletto into a shallow climb and then banks around so he can form up with the rest of the patrol flight. As the orders come through and assignments given, Razor sends over an acknowledgement as they flight pairs up and coordinates to the first nav point is plugged in so the HUD can help him navigate to the first destination.

«<Don't know, Icicle. Ask the Commodore to check out his private collection. Give it a week or so, though.»> That should be enough time, right? Pip clicks on the comm…«<Chatter to a minimum, now.»> As they pass farther and farther from the Majestic, detection becomes more dangerous, of course. The trip to Nav1 is lengthy, and boring. No civilian traffic in-system, and the Kilrathi do not seem to want to come out and play. Just a lot of numbass for their trouble, thus far.

Despite not joining in on the conversation, Razor does enjoy the momentary exchange with the new guy, Ice Queen. A chuckle may be heard in the background of the comm but once the order is given for radio silence, it is obeyed. As they approach the first nav point, the young Lieutenant's senses are heightened as he continues to scan the surroundings outside of his canopy while flicking his gaze to his sensors from time to time.

Phillip remains silent and keeps watch with both his sensors and his eyes. On occasion, he'll take out his abridged version of the manual to make a few fine-tuning adjustments to certain minor systems to improve its performance, but it won't make much of a difference.

Trey says nothing at all, maintaining a tight formation. Fingers slip towards the top of his craft to flip a few switches and twist a few knobs, its pilot peering about at the other craft, then turning back to look front and center.

«<Nav2.»> That is the entirety of a very brief transmission, as they pass the computer marker that designated the first waypoint on their patrol. Pip lets the flight know to change course, and does so himself….clearly, this is -not- where the Kilrathi Battlegroup is hiding, is it? The man is content to focus entirely on the mission at hand, not fiddling with doo-dads, or anything, beyond staring at his scopes, and the surrounding space.

The first nav point is passed uncontested, which has happened many times in the past so Razor isn't surprised, but he doesn't completely relax either. Since there are no asteroids floating around, it'll be harder to sneak up on them but crazier things can happen. He does look down at his HUD and punches in new coordinates on the keypad next to it, bringing up the next destination point. His fighter banks along with the flight as they change their heading, his throttle speed matching the new Rapiers.

Trey swings his rapier around, staying in formation and turning nice and gently with the group. He peers at the dash and presses one of the many buttons on his confusing starfighter. A message pops up on the screen: Access Denied and he mutters to himself, "Sounds like my sex life."

The only acknowledgement to the brief orders, that Kanani gives, is to turn her Stiletto onto the new course, that leads to Nav 2. She stays in formation with Kell, and the rest of the group, still keeping her eyes open for enemy contacts.

Phillip doesn't so much as change course as he just maintains his position with respect to Trey's Rapier. After that, he settles in for another long sensor observing run. Frankly, he is already really used to these long boring patrols from the multiple ones he has been on in the past several days. He gives a quick yawn and keeps on watch.

And, mid-way to Nav2, from the interior of the triangle that they're skirting around, power-blips appear on the Confed scopes, and attentive pilots will even notice them. Blazing in from seemingly nowhere, a flight of Sartha light fighters have powered up weapons, and gone to active sensors, making them much easier to spot. They are fast, and seem to be relatively skilled, as they are quick to fall upon those pilots that seem slow to react.

And, this is why it pays to pay attention. Pip's Rapier is already banking hard, and going to full afterburner, as the Sartha come into view, having noted an energy signature with enough time to react, calling out…«<Tangos. 9 O'clock. Engage.»> His guns begin to pump out aimed fire, in full salvos of neutron and laser weapons that steadily drain his energy banks, shooting for the lead scout that has chosen to fall upon Trey. «<Watch it, Trey. You've got company.»>

While on the way to the second navigational point, Kell's sensors come alive with contacts just as his eyes manage to spot some metallic glints in space. «Razor here, we have contact! Three light Kilrathi fighters on hot approach!» With the Kilrathi already bearing down on them, Razor reacts quickly just as the orders were given to go weapons free as he breaks off and goes in a sharp climb to see whether the Kilrathi have him targeted or not.

Seeing that he is free at the moment, Razor inverts his Stiletto and dives back down on the Sartha that is bearing down on his wingman, «Tsunami, watch yourself, you have one on your six. Break right on my mark, I'm painting it with a missile…» There is a silent count as his lock goes solid and he fires off his first missile, «Mark!»

Phillip spots the enemy craft, first on sensors then visually. They are quickly approaching and baring down on their flight. Phillip just in time begins to evade as the incoming missiles are fired but is it quick enough. As a result, he pulls out of formation from Trey. «Sloppy, heads up,» he comms quickly.

It's not so much a matter of getting caught by surprise, as much as it is, that Kanani just doesn't feel she could get a good shot on one of the Sartha, from her current positioning. Therefore she elects to try out some fancy flying, and distract some cats while someone else blasts them, for the moment.

Trey: Blindsided. He doesn't even notice the incoming craft, having chosen exactly that moment to get into a knifefight with his VDU. It's not displaying radar right now. It's actually displaying the news. In Spanish. «Wait, what?» He looks all around his cockpit and mutters, "Aw hell." He can't see the crafts, but they're out there. Turning to his 'radar' just informs him that something is going on somewhere.
With pantaloons. «Please to not be using my first name on radio, sir. Son of a… my radar's busted.» He takes evasive action, jinking hard, but it's not effective because he doesn't even see what's attacking him. «Ice Queen, thanks for the warning. Cover me. I'm having problems.»

«<Splash one. Apologies, Rogue. Didn't realize you had stalkers among the Kilrathi.»> A snort, and Pip's starfighter rolls over toward the scout that continues to try and ride Phillip's ass, seeing as how it is the last undamaged enemy vessel. The pair of surviving Kilrathi light fighters continue to engage their previous targets, still aiming for a knockout shot with their dumbfire warheads, instead of their more accurate mass drivers. «<That Sartha pilot -really- wants to have IcedCoffee's babies, the way he is after him.»>

The first missile that Razor fires flies true, assisted by the evasive maneuver provided by Kanani as the heat seeker intercepts the Sartha and slams into its lightly armored fuselage, punching a nasty hole. With it being rather sluggish and damaged now, Kell's Stiletto closes in for the kill as he decreases the range between himself and the fighter that is gunning for his wingman, hovering the targeting reticule over the cockpit area of the Sartha and sending out a burst of Mass Driver Cannon fire.

Kanani easily dodges the first shot by the kitty that's chasing her, and once the missile flies past and harmlessly into the depths of space, her Stiletto swoops around, to start firing mass driver slugs into the fairly damaged scout.

Trey continues messing with the VDU, frantically punching at buttons along its side and finding it delivers him a mixture of undesired results and Access Denied. He gets it to display his weapon loadouts, like on the VDU to his right. "Not helpiiiiing." Meanwhile, he's twisting his craft around, trying to avoid getting hit by something he can't even see. He pushes more buttons and gets a test pattern. "Oh come on. Why the FUCK would that be helpful?" «I need a bit more time. I'm having trouble with this thing.» Truth be told, he sounds awfully calm for a guy who can't even find what's trying to kill him. In fact, he's not even aware that it's dead. "Fucking piece of shit." He makes a fist and pounds the buttons, which gives him his radar back. "Oh. Huh. I guess it works like real hardware." «Yeah, this is 'Rogue'.» Sarcasm drips in his voice. «Got my eyes back. Let's mop this up.»

Just in time, Iceblade dodges the missile. Iceblade quickly notices that the Kat after Trey is already space dust, so he focuses on Scout-3 - the little bugger gunning for him. As Ice swings and dodges around the little Sartha, he comms, «Ha, can't hit me little kitty. Here's your reward.» He then switches to FF and lets one loose.

«<Well. I don't know if they got a message off. If so, this is our best shot at finding that battlegroup. Change in plans. Set a course for…»> A new heading is transmitted to each of the starfighters in the flight…..it happens to coincide with the direction from which the Sartha appeared to intercept. «<Eyes open, this time, please. I'd rather not have a Ralari drop on our heads..»> Jenthson's afterburners disengage, and return to maximum cruise as his course changes, the dogfight left behind as quickly as it began.

«Here Kitty Kitty!» Trey swings his ship around, «OH! They're just lights. I thought we were actually in trouble or something. Whoever nabbed my tail… thanks, man. Iceboy, you've got a bandit on you heading one zero one mark… oh, screw it.» He opens fire, shots screaming from his many, many cannons. They tear through the craft, mixing with Pip's guns. He flies through the debris field, shields flashing blue as the wreckage bounces off. «Nevermind, Ice.»

Razor's second attack is a bit more lethal this time as the Mass Driver rounds punches through the lightly armored cockpit area, blowing out shards of canopy glass and most likely killing the pilot as the Kilrathi pilot spins out of control before exploding. The Lieutenant quickly searches for the last target with his eyes, only to see the third explosion occur before checking out the sensors again, seeing it empty of hostiles for now.

With new coordinates issued, Razor shoots in an acknowledgement to the patrol leader before sending a quick query to his wingman, «Everything good on your end, Tsunami?» He was pretty sure the cat didn't land any hits on his wingman but he wanted to be sure.

After his missile misses, Iceblade decides to reduce the loadout of the Sartha's DFs, he halts his evading a quick second and turns around to keep an eye on the Sartha until it launches its missile. He then deftly dodges it with a barrel roll. «Ha, nice shot.» he comms mockingly as he continues to dodge the Kilrathi's further attacks. Just then his sensors register the eradication of the other two Sartha. «Alright, their done.» He finishes and returns to formation with Trey. «Thanks Sloppy,» he comms quickly, ignoring the callsign error on the part of Trey.

«Nice shooting, Razor.» Kanani states as the Sartha that was chasing her is blown up real nice. «Everything's fine here» She states in reply to Kell's question, trying to keep the talking to a minimum as Pip gives the new orders. She then pulls back into formation, and once again goes back to scanning the skies and her sensor readouts, hoping not to get caught even a bit off guard next time.

Their spur of the moment patrol path has, it would seem, been one of a fortuitous nature. After almost an hour of cruising, the flight's radar begins to alert the pilots to a fairly large blip on the screen. It is escorted by a handful of smaller blips, and as they approach….they can breathe a little bit easier. It is a Dorkir-class transport, clearly in the Tanker configuration. And it is headed in the same direction as them, deeper on their heading into the unknown triangle of space around which they were originally patrolling. A flight of four Jalthi make up a fairly formidable escort for the important logistical craft.

«<Fee-Fi-Foo-Fum, I smell a grease-dripping fatty.»> A slight dramatic sigh after Pip's confirmation that they were all seeing the same thing, before he adds dryly…«<And, here I thought my ex-wife had tracked me down.»> This is a very good sign that they are on the correct trail, after all. Weapons controls remain on full guns, as his starfighter's throttle is thrust forward to the fireblock, afterburners igniting in blue flame. «<Tally-ho. Let's clean off the escorts.»> From just within his weapons envelope, he opens fire. Sometimes, the WingCO forgets proper engagement procedure.

«Hailing Kilrathi escort group, designation 'Sucka Wing'. Sucka Wing, you are ordered to power down and surrender your cargo. I just want you to know that your mothers were all a bunch of honorless sluts and that I just got done beating up stray cats with some Kilrathi scalps we keep on board. You should've -heard- the way they screamed when we killed them.» Trey laughs. Out loud. «Honorable in battle my ass. You guys are such bullshit.» And then he lights the afterburners and screams across the convoy, coming only a few feet from the hull of the Dorkir. «I think I got their attention. Clean up, man!»

The blips appear and Razor quickly cycles through the targets, the HUD letting him know that they are facing off with a flight of Jalthi's and a fat Dorkir Transport. With a head-on pass, there is no real chance to use his remaining two Heat Seeker Missiles so he stays with the Mass Driver Cannons. Choosing not to break off, Razor watches as the klicks decreases at an incredibly fast rate and at the last moment, kicks in his afterburners while spraying a burst of cannon fire before going into a tight barrel roll that will hopefully help him evade any return fire.

As the fatty and it's escorts come into view, Kanani lets her Stiletto leap into combat, once the order is given to attack. She switches over to her heat seekers, and tries to play tag with a Jalthi that has decided to target her. Once she's got an open shot, she pulls the trigger, and calls out. «Fox two.» As the missile flies off to meet its destiny.

Phillip smiles as he sees the juicy targets ahead. Commenting to himself, "Jalthi, no-head-on attack, get on their tail, and stay there." He prepares an Imrec and locks onto one of the fighters headed for Trey. «Got your tail, buddy.» He comms to Sloppy as he burns past the Jalthi, then he makes a tight turn onto its tail and launches his missile right up the kitty's tailpipe.

A young-looking Kilrathi appears on the VDU, speaking in less than perfect English. «<I know not what this Sucka is. You dislike it. It must shine gloriously.»> And, that, apparently is the Kilrathi idea of a joke. But, then again…the exchange of fire in the opening seconds of the furball would indicate that these are -not- the Empire's best…despite the fact that they're flying heavy fighters. The insults, for the most part, seem to be lost on these inexperienced pilots, as well…though they -do- seem to gravitate even further toward attempting to kill the rather mouthy human.

«<They seem like decent pilots, but shit if they appear to be able to shoot.»> That is Pip's -first- reaction to the dogfight's early going, though he -does- glare into the VDU-screen, and respond to Trey's antics…«<Queen will be displeased if you continue to try and get yourself killed. I already had this talk with Tizona.»> Shit, now that the furball is underway, the Major will chatter away, as he throws his Rapier through a series of intricate maneuvers with the intent of avoiding the forward guns of his target, so that he can place an IR missile into his rear-aspect.

Kanani gives a faint sigh of annoyance, as her missile, just barely misses out on an explosive demise, along with the cat she was shooting at. «That is so annoying.» She states as she once again pulls her fighter through some swoops to get back on her targets tail and open fire once again.

The exchange between Trey and the Kilrathi brings an amused smirk to Kell's facial expressions under his flight helmet but it certainly has its effects as the six-cannoned Jalthi he was dancing with suddenly peels off to go after Trey. «Shit, Sloppy, they're gunning after you, full evasive!» For now, all Razor can do is try to take care of the Jalthi and get one off of Trey's tail as he flicks a switch over to the Heat Seeker missile. With a solid tone, he launches his second missile of this mission as it sails out, tracking the heat signature coming from the Kilrathi fighter's engines.

Trey howls laughter into the comm, heedless of the danger and seeming to enjoy it. He's not worried about dying at all, if one goes by his tone. He sighs laughter into the radio. «Wing, this is… yeah. Fuck…» He swings around, curling about the Dorkir as not one, but two craft gun for him. That some of the Dorkir turrets are after him as well is no real surprise. He lights the afterburners and does his best to keep them off him. He succeeds, but comes too close to a turret, which manages to find a weak spot on his shields and punch into the body. «Nice shot, cat!» He laughs derisively, then adds more seriously as two Jalthi become three… and then four. «You know, I think I touched a NERVE!»

The Jalthi, after missing Trey on its first pass, pulls a quick turn right into Ice's missile. Unfortunately, this resulted in a glancing blow to the nose instead of the full-on hit desired. "Dang it," Iceblade says as he redoubles his efforts on this Jalthi. Iceblade quickly burns and maneuvers to keep locked on the Jalthi's tail before letting loose with another IR missile to knock it out of action.

And, the Jalthi finally cease to target the same target, especially since three of them have taken not inconsiderable damage. They really are a set of green pilots. As of this moment, only the Dorkir has proven any true threat. The damaged trio -do- peel off from the fight, dumping off a friend or foe missile apiece, in an effort to avoid dying before their time. The Dorkir does what it can to protect itself, and one must assume reinforcements are incoming.

«<Leave Jalthi-4. Its leaking engine is leaving a nice trail, looks like. We'll follow it home. Kill the rest, and move quick. I want to find that fleet. Pip, out.»> His Rapier's afterburners remain lit, and he fails to report the minor damage that the Lady Jane Grey takes from flak from the tanker. His last IR missile is released toward Jalthi-2.

Kanani keeps her last heat seeker snug and safe in its missile rack, as she switches to guns and tries to give her target Jalthi a gift of mass driver rounds, through the cockpit window. Once she draws a bead on the damaged fighter, she pulls the trigger, opening fire, and hopefully hitting the darn thing, as well.

«Holy shit. That looks really pretty.» What Trey is speaking of is the sheer number of guns firing on him. There are shots -everywhere-, streaking under, over, and around his nimble Rapier. Shields sputter and flicker, taking hits and struggling to regenerate while the pilot micromanages them, applying whatever energy remains to the places they're needed most. «Did I just con a convoy?? Is that why they call it that? Con-voy? Ho ho ho. I slay me.» He's fast and nimble.

Iceblade's last IR missile barrels right in the enemy heavy doing serious damage to its engines and causing the fighter to get slower and slower. "What the? How are you still alive," Iceblade says as he quickly pulls back on his throttle and switches to full guns to finish this sucka off. «Time for a little Kitty-Kitty Bang Bang….Wait what.» Ice comms as he halts firing of his guns and peels off for another target, picking on the least damaged Jalthi and blasting it with full guns - all the while avoiding flak from the transport.

Since the one Razor has tagged isn't the fourth designated Jalthi, he sticks to the sluggish Heavy Fighter, especially after it suffers a nasty impact on its left wing from his previous Heat Seeker missile. Choosing to save his last missile, Kell switches back over to the Mass Drivers and does the same thing he did for the earlier Sartha. He aims a little bit head of the Jalthi, leading the slower target while closing in before letting a lethal burst.

Explosions of flak, and warheads fill the skies, and suddenly Pip's cockpit goes dark. A bit of shrapnel managed to hit a power coupling, and send his fighter onto a ballistic course. Again. Fuck. A moment later, after much kicking, and pounding on panels, everything lights back up, still showing only minor damage. «<I miss my Scim, goddamnit.»> A growl, and he flips weapons over to FoF… «<Tsunami, Razor. Follow the damaged fighters, kill them if you can. IceBoty, go with them. Find the fleet, take pictures, bug the fuck out.»> His Rapier reorients itself on the Dorkir, and one of his as-of-yet unused Friend or Foes is popped off toward the Fatty, since it is a more valuable target, and the hostiles are running. «<Let's kill it, Rogue. Then we'll follow on their six.»>

Iceblade's shots only do a glancing blow and knocking off some of the Jalthi's armor. Just then the Jalthi start making a run for it and throw off an FF missile. Iceblade quickly goes evasive to avoid the missile before moving to tail the Jalthi. As he does so, Ice quickly comms, «Roger Lead, Iceblade out.»

«Copy that Pip.» Kanani states, as her Stiletto leaps after her target. She hits the button to switch back to her final missile, and after getting a lock, states. «Fox two> As the missile is released and heads towards the Cat, and hopefully into its engines.

«Roger, Lead, in full pursuit.» Kell responds, giving a quick acknowledgement after his previous burst of fire peppers the Jalthi he had been chasing, shattering the cockpit and gouging some holes near the armor area of the cockpit. Getting closer still, Razor fires off another burst of Mass Driver Cannon fire before getting a klaxon warning that a missile has locked on and is barreling in on him, causing him to let out a curse.

«Oh, am I Rogue, now?» Trey snickers, sweeping his craft around, having navigated the tsunami of neutron bolts with a little (a lot of) help from his shields, and good old fashioned blind luck. «Copy, sir. Taking out the trash.»

Both missiles slam into the Fatty, and do a decent bit of damage to the hull, though the lumbering Tanker continues to chug along, firing bursts of flak at her attackers. As it stands, the Jalthi continue to drop friend or foe missiles at the three fighters still chasing them. But, that is the limit of their offensive capabilities at this point. Jalthi-4 continues to leave a nice trail, as well.

Kanani grumbles as her missile bounces more or less harmlessly off the Jalthi's engine armor, and she switches back to guns, as she's out of missiles. She tries once more to bring some cheer and light to her target's life, but placing some more mass driver rounds into the damaged fighter.

«<I miss my bloody dumbfires, Rogue.»> A note of dissatisfaction as the FoF does only minor damage to the Tanker, and in the same comment, he confirms the response to Trey's question. Sloppy is no more. Long live the still sort of generic, but way less embarrassing callsign! Pip's Rapier maneuvers through the flak field successfully, avoiding damage, while lining up another decent shot in the interim.

The Kilrathi FF is easily evaded with a little ECM work. After firing a few random shots at the Jalthi, Iceblade gets serious and begins to bare in on the Kilrathi's tailpipe with full guns. Quickly setting a few switches on the comm unit, Iceblade sends a quick transmission to Kell and Kanani, «Remember guys, leave Jalth-4 alone.» Iceblade then lets loose his guns.

Trey's shields flicker as some of the flak bursts explode in close proximity to his craft, dropping the signal strength from his emitters while the reactors struggle to keep them filled. «Wow. What a bunch of dumbasses. Do you think they're asking themselves what they were thinking?» He adds to the Kilrathi pilots: «It's not that you planned to fail. You just failed to plan.»

The second Mass Driver fire from Razor's Stiletto splatters onto the Jalthi's cockpit area again but this time it finds chunks of armor so no real damage was done to the armor. However, the Kilrathi fighter does shake a bit from the impact and fractures begin to appear all over the hull. From all the damage it had taken before, the hull integrity was in a critical state and the last hit pushed it over the breaking point. Instead of a brilliant explosion like most kills, the Jalthi just breaks apart.
With one of the escaping Heavy Fighters down, Kell shifts his aim over to the next one and launches another burst while going into a tight corkscrew in an attempt to dodge the blindly fired Friend or Foe missile that is looping back at him. «Damn Ef-Oh-Efs are annoying as hell, all it takes is a stroke of bad luck.»

In succession, Trey and Pip's last missiles strike the Fatty, and within moments, the tanker is blooming into a giant fireball, a dangerous shockwave reaching toward the pair of starfighters still in range. And, as for the Jalthi, with only a pair remaining, they continue to flee, as they have little other choice. Already, flashes of noise on the radar screen indicate that they are approaching a large formation in the distance, though it is far too distant too identify any ships.

«Excellent shooting, lad. I suspect we'd best trail after the other children. See them home safely.»> Pip's already speaking, as he's on full-burn away from the fireball that laps at his shields, rolling to port to avoid a nice chunk of superstructure that goes shooting by, sent on a long, neverending journey courtesy of the explosion.

Kanani burns off a bit more of the Jalthi's hull that she's shooting at, but it's still not enough to bring it down, so far. A glance at the ships sensors and she notices the flashes indicating something else out there. «I think we might be getting close to what we're looking for, guys.» She states, as she opens fire on the Jalthi once again.

With another Jalthi vanquished, Kell focuses on the remaining Kilrathi that they were told not to destroy and hovers the targeting reticule over it when some fuzzes appear on his sensors. He taps the sensor panel a couple of times with a finger and quickly comms in, «Razor to Lead, I think I am picking up something up ahead, sensors aren't clear of it yet. Permission to destroy all Jalthi's before investigating?» With the request made, he sends out another burst of Mass Driver fire at the Jalthi-3.

«Oooh. That's just adorable.» Trey's shields strive higher, and he drops the power to his guns down to nothing while the shields do their thing. He has no further comment, watching the fireball as he flies past it.

Combined with the initial hits by Kell from the front, Iceblade rips into the tail of the Jalthi with a few pin-pointed shots causing its reactor to quickly explode. As Ice avoids the blast, he comms in a cold, harsh voice, «May the cold death of space rip through your soul, feral beast.» Iceblade then pulls around to lock onto the tail of Jalthi-4, then he just waits while maintaining a definite position behind the Kilrathi as much as it tries to evade. He notices the fleet but holds back a finishing shot until given the go ahead.

«< You -think- Razor? Permission denied. I ordered you to leave Jalthi-4 intact, and you want to destroy it without being -positive-? I repeat, do not destroy that starfighter.»> Pip's voice crackles over the comm, sounding more than a little irritated that the question was asked. But, hey…Kell -did- just save Kanani and Phillip from the arse-reaming of their lives, and possibly ruining the mission, itself. The contacts in the distance begin to shape up….it is a convoy, and the Jalthi just changed course, and took on a near heading, still deeper into the triangle.

After an hour of tailing the damaged Jalthi, Kanani, Iceblade, and Draygo find the Kilrathi battlegroup. Draygo and Kanani manage to identify that the battlegroup includes a Snakier-class carrier, two Fralthi-class cruisers, three Ralari-class destroyers, and at a number of smaller contacts. It is at this point that Kanani decides that they best pull back otherwise they may run into Kilrathi patrols. Further, the Stilettos are reaching bingo fuel and will need to return to base.

However, Iceblade had remained so intent on the Jalthi at the edge of his fighter's sensor range that he doesn't notice the new sensor contacts. Eventually the computer chirps at him with a warning that the fighter is nearly at the extent of its range. Just then he hears the comm from the others about the fleet, and only then does Iceblade notice the large number of new sensor contacts on his scoops. These comms causes him to jerk and accidentially fire off the FF missiles he was holding back. The missiles manages to strike into the Jalthi's engines - destroying the craft. «Uh, yeah I confirm that is one big fleet. No convoy is that well guarded.» Iceblade comms mentally noting that the targets must contain ships heavier than destroyers as he comes around and sets his course for the TCS Majestic.

All five members of the patrol returns to the Majestic without incident and lands… on fumes.