Last Ride Late Cavalry
Last Ride Late Cavalry
Arc: Cole's Gone
Summary: Cole leads an impromptu strike against a well guarded convoy. Will they succeed? Will the pilots survive the encounter?
Date: 2659.255
Related Logs: Last Ride of Sabre Pilot
Participants: Azran Silence Cyric

After having been called out for launch, a group of lieutenants are prepping for launch to act as a reinforcement wave.

Azran straps on his helmet, fits his gloves, and climbs the tiny hooman stepladder into the Rapier, full throttling off the runway at the first go ahead.

Cyric locks down his helmet, and runs through his pre-flight sequence through matte black flight gloves…following close behind…

«Mittens, Talon, Silence, hurry into your birds and launch; Voodoo will be at the target zone before long.» radios 1st Lt. Draygo - Callsign Razor.

Jamie's been checking the replaced armor on his Rapier. He's had a chance to bunk down since the unpleasant surprise a few days ago, so he's ready to go when the call comes.

«Understood and Acknowledged, Razor. We'll be there before the fun's all over. » Cyric confirms.

Out in space after launch a few minutes later, Silence checks in. « All right, Mittens, I'm on your wing. »

« Acknowledged. Forming up and moving to intercept. » Azran responds whilst turning to the designated coordinates.

«Roger. Forming up. Ready for autopilot.» Cyric slips into place on his wing leader's wing.

«Echo and Fempto flights, be advised the Kilrathi transports are being escorted by a pair of Ralathas.» The Amber-haired beauty of the Majestic's bridge radios with concern. «Voodoo's group is already on final approach.»

Arching his brows under his helmet as the communique comes through, Jamie mouths to himself, "Two Ralathas?"

Cyric smiles. The Cats are going to bleed today!

«Roger that Majestic, Fempto lead out.» Draygo radios, aligning up his position relative to the nav 1.

Silence merely radios, « Silence copies, Majestic. »

« Hmm, they must be guarding something…or someone, important. » Azran comms over.

«We will find out who soon enough.» Cyric says grinning with dark pride in anticipation of the coming battle.

As the group approaches nav 1 (an intermediate nav point) - slowing down with the ramscoops closed; they begin picking up transmissions from the combat zone.

«Ozone, Tizona, don't worry about me, just keep those damned fighters busy before the bombers get whacked.» she adds. «Iceblade, Tizona, sound off!»

The transmissions are coming in sporadic and marginally broken.

Azran growls and opens the comms to the rest of the wing, « We're late. Loosen formation and increase speed. » He says whilst throttling up to everything but the afterburners.

«Dang it, sounds like the fight is getting a little rough. Echo/Fempto Get on course for the target zone and burn it up.» Draygo radios the group.

As the group's speed increases, the target region ETA drops from an hour's trip to minutes.

«Tiz, Ice, Pain, shakky ship, RTBing.» - radios a static transmission from Iceblade.

« Copy thaht, Mittens, » Silence calls out in return. He spreads out the formation further, and pushes more power to the Rapier's huge engines.

«Its already done, every last spark of energy fully transferred to the engines» Cyric pushes every last scrap of energy into his engine's ramscoots forcing the tiny craft to its upper limit on velocity in a desperate bid to get there in time.

«Ozone go evasive! It looks like both destroyers are concentrating on you.» radios Lt. Williams - Cutlass - trying to manage a deteriorating battlezone.

As the nav computer's distance keeps decreasing - rapidly… but far from rapid enough… communications keep filtering in from the battle. «Damn it, who Rushed this strike mission.» Draygo accidently radios on the flight group's comm channel.

Azran growls a little deeper and gives her all she's got, kicking the afterburners on.

Two transmissions one - after the other are clearly heard.
« Goddamnit you two, what part of 'leave' did you not understand? » - comes Voodoo, CO of the Black Cats.
«What part of 'Not until you do' don't /you/ understand?» - responds Tizona, CO of the Minuteman.

Cyric is worried now as even with the rapidly diminishing distance counter, they are still much too far away to do much good.

Possibly forgetting that he should be letting his wingleader handle communications at this point, Silence calls out on Tizona's frequency, « We're almost there! If you can retreat toward us, we can cover you!»

The transmissions are coming in clear on the Confed channels: «Tizona, Ozone. Been better. Engines are Fu…» Static, followed by a few seconds of eerie silence.

«Tizona this is Cutlass. I'm a little behind you. Hopefully between us we can fry the fighter at least. And remind me to write a long note about how to properly calculate the size of a strike force to our higher ups once we're home.»
A pause….
«Voodoo! Voodoo! Sound off!»

It doesn't appear that the transmissions are getting through from Echo's side.

During the next 30 seconds, it is just silence and static.

«Hold firm! We are coming! We are almost there! Just hold them off for another 30 seconds!» Cyric says as the counter in his HUD vanishes with breathtaking alacrity.

Then loud and clear:
«TCS Majestic, this is Bravo Flight. Request Sierra-Alpha-Romeo at Delta-Tango strike location. Three Bravo Charlies down, no pods detected. No bingo on Deltas or Tangos.» radios on a stronger out-going communication by Iceblade.

Lt. Murphy responds with a cold professional tone covering her worry. «Bravo Flight, this is the Majestic. Several Sabres and Rapiers are inbound on your location. ETA 30 seconds. Hopefully they will have better luck in the search. Return to base Bravo and Omnicron flights. Majestic out.»

Azran grumbles before opening a channel to the rest of the group, « Stay focused. If they were overwhelmed, we'll do no good if we're too rage fueled to fall back if we need to. » He clicks off just as Murphy radios out, going quiet as he settles back in his seat, flicking the afterburners off to conserve them.

Echo and Fempto experience heavy Gs as their craft begin massive deceleration on approach to the strike zone. Two Ralathas and both transports are already making haste out of the region. - 20 seconds to nav coordinates.

«Acknowledged, resuming normal flight. Preparing to break and attack on your order!» Cyric turns down the burners as the enemies come into visual range on his HUD.

As the targets come into view, Azran opens the channel back up and calmly gives the order, « I believe the saying is, "cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war"?…Break and attack. »

Jamie ponders first about how odd it is to get advice about anger from a Kilrathi. Then, about how they're probably the best ones to give it after he spins his ship around and begins deceleration. He breathes hard as the G-forces kick in.

Draygo radios, «Strike mission aborted commencing SAR operations. Sensors on full, Fempto. Let's see if we can find Voodoo.»

«With pleasure, Wing Commander! Attacking!» Cyric feels exhilaration mingled with joy to be here at this moment as his craft peels off to engage the enemy targets harassing the friendly Confed strike force.

As the group finally reaching the combat area. They spy 4 Dralthis and 2 Grikaths.

« Targets, targets, targets! » Silence calls out to Talon and Mittens. « I have six enemy fighters, at least two of 'em heavies. »

The Grikaths appear to be meandering around the battle zone scraps while the Dralthi quickly move to engage the Rapiers.

«Echo, Fempto, this is Fempto Lead, let's clean up these Dralthis.» Draygo radios in way of orders as he focuses on one of the Dralthi.

« You have your orders. Pick your target and destroy them, then move to the next. » Azran replies whilst picking a target of his own.

«Go after the Traitor… Show him what the Emperor thinks of those who do nooot kneeeeellll» Dralthi 1 broadcasts in Kilrathi (with hooman software providing a mostly accurate translation).

COMBAT BOT: Silence scored a glancing hit on DR3 with a Dumbfire Missile.
DR3 lost their aft shields and took severe damage to their craft's missile launchers.

COMBAT BOT: Talon's Dumbfire Missile hit DR2 dead-on.
DR2 lost their front shields and took crippling damage to their craft's nose.

COMBAT BOT: DR2's Dumbfire Missile was easily evaded by Mittens.

COMBAT BOT: DR3's Stalker HS Missile failed to lock onto Mittens and is flying off into the distance.

COMBAT BOT: DR1's Stalker HS Missile failed to lock onto Mittens and is flying off into the distance.

COMBAT BOT: Cadillac almost hit DR4 several times.

COMBAT BOT: DR4 barely hit Mittens with Mass Drivers.
Mittens had their front shields weakened.

COMBAT BOT: Draygo's shots missed DR1 completely.

COMBAT BOT: Mittens's Pilum FF Missile hit DR1.
DR1 lost their front shields and their front armor absorbed the hit.

COMBAT BOT: Swordbuddy's shots missed DR4 completely.

COMBAT BOT: GRIK2 passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: GRIK1 passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: GRIKG1's shots missed Mittens completely.

COMBAT BOT: GRIKG2 only scored glancing hits on Silence with Aft Neutron Turret.
Silence had their front shields weakened.

And the shooting proves rather weak for both sides, but the Grikath are kind of not moving very much… assuming anyone is paying attention.

Azran lets out a slow, measured breath as the near entirety of the enemy force bares down on him, sinking comfortably into the seat as they open fire. And then he's twisting, turning, engine stuttering, and whirling and twirling all about as the missiles fly wildly around him, lining up on one of the attackers just long enough to pop off an FF of his own before bursting away.

As the Dralthi start focusing in on Mittens, along with that highly ominous transmission about traitors who won't kneel, Silence grits his teeth and bears down on one of the fighters as the rest of the wing splits up to try and clear his Kilrathi wingmate's tail.

«Dance… HAHA.. Dance you little worm.» Growls Dralthi 1 as he tries to get another bead on Azran. Again, the transmission is in cat lingo and very very roughly translated to English.

Cyric's rapier carves a fist sized hole through the Dralthi's nose ripping it off and leaving its controls and cockpit exposed to his guns as he slams the craft to a pin-needle stop spinning in place as the Dralhti flew obviously by in their eagerness to kill Mittens. Eagerness that shall prove to be their undoing! *sinister laugh*

Azran clicks on the comm on an open channel, « A performance? Very well. I am more than happy to take requests from the dying. » Spoken in his native tongue with a snarky barb to his tone and barely translated by the hooman machines.

COMBAT BOT: Talon scored multiple weapon hits on DR2 with Full Guns.
DR2 lost their aft shields and had their craft's engines shot up.

COMBAT BOT: DR4 scored several hits on Mittens with Mass Drivers.
Mittens lost their aft shields and took minor damage to their craft's left wing.

COMBAT BOT: DR3's Stalker HS Missile failed to lock onto Mittens and is flying off into the distance.

COMBAT BOT: DR2's Dumbfire Missile was easily evaded by Mittens.
DR2's missile launcher clicks empty for Dumbfire Missiles.

COMBAT BOT: DR1's Stalker HS Missile failed to lock onto Mittens and is flying off into the distance.

COMBAT BOT: Cadillac only scored glancing hits on DR4 with Full Guns.
DR4 lost their aft shields and took crippling damage to their craft's tail.

COMBAT BOT: Draygo scored several hits on DR1 with Full Guns.
DR1 lost their front shields and had their craft's right wing blasted to pieces.

COMBAT BOT: Swordbuddy scored multiple weapon hits on DR4 with Full Guns.
DR4 lost their front shields and had their craft's controls fried.

COMBAT BOT: Silence's Spiculum IR Missile scored a critical hit on DR3.
DR3 lost their aft shields and had their craft's right wing blasted to pieces.

COMBAT BOT: GRIK2 passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: Mittens's Pilum FF Missile scored a critical hit on DR1.
Mittens's missile launcher clicks empty for Pilum FF Missiles.
DR1 lost their front shields and took crippling damage to their craft's left wing.

COMBAT BOT: GRIK1 passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: GRIKG1's shots missed Mittens completely.

COMBAT BOT: GRIKG2's shots missed Silence completely.

And the Kilrathi finds themselves… butchered but alive… MEOUCH. All four Dralthi are partially or heavily crippled and the Kitten with the Mittens keeps going - only receiving minor damage.

«Keep them busy a bit longer. This is Talon, Fox Four knocking down your door!»

Azran grunts as his shields are broken through, jostling the Rapier as the wing gets scoured. Despite the minor trauma, his helmet hides a wide and vicious grin as his target's wing is blasted near to pieces.

Cyric burns to get even closer to his enemy eager to finish it before it can get another shot off at Mittens whose luck can't hold for much longer!

And the Grikaths begin to start speeding away, ramscoops closed. Draygo radios, «Echo keep them busy, Swordbuddy/Cadillac, get on those Griks. I'm scanning for Pilots.»

Silence switches to guns after he leaves one of the Dralthi crippled and slowing. Squeezing the trigger, he attempts to continue evading fire from a Grikath turret so that he can nail what's left of the small fighter!

COMBAT BOT: Swordbuddy's Pilum FF Missile scored a critical hit on GRIK1.
GRIK1 lost their aft shields and their aft armor absorbed the hit.

COMBAT BOT: Draygo passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: Talon's Dumbfire Missile scored a critical hit on DR2.
Talon's missile launcher clicks empty for Dumbfire Missiles.
DR2 lost their aft shields and had their craft's engines shot up.

DR2 is shredded to pieces and explodes as its ship's core detonates from shrapnel.

COMBAT BOT: Mittens's Dumbfire Missile hit DR1 dead-on.
DR1 lost their aft shields and had their craft's tail sheared off.

COMBAT BOT: Silence barely hit DR3 with Full Guns.
DR3 had their aft shields weakened.

COMBAT BOT: DR1's Stalker HS Missile scored a critical hit on Mittens.
DR1's missile launcher clicks empty for Stalker HS Missiles.
Mittens lost their aft shields and had their craft's engines shot up.

COMBAT BOT: Cadillac's Dumbfire Missile scored a critical hit on GRIK2.
GRIK2 lost their aft shields and took severe damage to their craft's left wing.

COMBAT BOT: DR4 passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: DR3's Stalker HS Missile scored a critical hit on Talon.
DR3's missile launcher clicks empty for Stalker HS Missiles.
Talon lost their aft shields and had their craft's engines shot up.

COMBAT BOT: GRIK1's Fang FF Missile scored a critical hit on Swordbuddy.
Swordbuddy lost their aft shields and their left armor absorbed the hit.

COMBAT BOT: GRIKG2 scored multiple weapon hits on Cadillac with Aft Neutron Turret.
Cadillac lost their front shields and their front armor absorbed the hit.

COMBAT BOT: GRIK2's Fang FF Missile scored a critical hit on Cadillac.
Cadillac lost their front shields had their cockpit blown out.

Cadillac is out of the fight due to a destroyed cockpit.

COMBAT BOT: GRIKG1 scored multiple weapon hits on Swordbuddy with Aft Neutron Turret.
Swordbuddy lost their front shields and took minor damage to their craft's left wing.

And the Kilrathi are not out of the fight yet as Cadillac barely ejects before an FF missile smashes his cockpit and both Azran and Cyric noticeably lose speed thanks to heatseekers up the tail pipe… in fact their maneuvering keeps killing almost all of the speed they have.

Silence cringes when he sees the hard impact on Mittens' ship. He calls out, « Eject, Mittens, eject! »

«Enemy Destroyed! Under Attack! Taking Evasive Action! Fox 2!» Cyric's moment of elation turns to grim fury as his engines get shot up so he corkscrews and spins with all his tiny glass cannon can handle to evade the enemy that launched that HS missile.

«Damn it! Swordbuddy, pull back and assist. We'll let the Grikaths go. Let's finish these Dralthi and the SAR before we lose any more.» Draygo radios with frustration in his voice.

Azran continues his twisting and turning until he notices most of the host breaking off. Feeling emboldened, he quickly sights his target back down, popping a dumbfire right up his tail. Just in time for a heatseeker they'd fired to find his own, tossing him about in the cockpit with an enraged roar.

Cyric notices that one of the Sabres has suffered severe damage to its cockpit and curses! That wasn't supposed to happen!

«Roger that, moving to engage Dralthi.» Swordbuddy radios as he tries to get a bead on Dralthi 3.

«Oh and they’re turning onto us, go Evasive SB.» Draygo radios as he beings to weave and dodge attacks from the Dralthi - launching an FF in return

COMBAT BOT: DR3 scored multiple weapon hits on Draygo with Mass Drivers.
Draygo lost their front shields and took minor damage to their craft's nose.

COMBAT BOT: DR1 scored several hits on Swordbuddy with Mass Drivers.
Swordbuddy lost their front shields and took crippling damage to their craft's maneuvering thrusters.

COMBAT BOT: Silence's Dumbfire Missile scored a critical hit on DR3.
Silence's missile launcher clicks empty for Dumbfire Missiles.
DR3 lost their front shields and had their craft's left wing torn off.

DR3's ship exploded due to a critical failure of ship's integrity in addition to the loss of structural elements.

COMBAT BOT: Draygo's Pilum FF Missile scored a critical hit on DR1.
DR1 lost their aft shields and took crippling damage to their craft's engines.

DR1 is shredded to pieces and explodes as its ship's core detonates from shrapnel.

COMBAT BOT: Mittens is unable to complete their attack as DR1 has been taken out.

COMBAT BOT: DR4 passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: Talon is unable to complete their attack as DR3 has been taken out.

COMBAT BOT: GRIK1 passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: Swordbuddy is unable to complete their attack as DR3 has been taken out.

COMBAT BOT: GRIK2 passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: GRIKG2 passes this round.

COMBAT BOT: GRIKG1 passes this round.

And with the final FF and a DF goodbye, the last two Dralthi are spaded and neutered. «Echo, Fempto Status Report.» Draygo radios as he pulls his fighter around to survey the area.

Silence hits what little's left of his afterburners, growing as close to the Dralthi he's been pounding as possible before letting loose with a Dart. He pulls up sharply to avoid the debris field. « Dralthi three is down! »

Cyric twists the last of his inertia and speed with all the power he can get from his maneuvering jets only to watch the last two enemy fighters die before his eyes.

Azran sights down the Dralthi trying to turn its attention from him, "Don't you ever turn your back on me…" Aaaand then as he's about to fire, Draygo's FF turns it to dust and debris. Azran blinks a few times, then lets out a roar of rage that nearly cracks his helmet's visor.

Silence radios, « This is Echo 3. Fully operational, but I'm low on fuel and missiles. » Then, he flicks on his scanners, seeing what he can pick up of the friendlies they hurried here to rescue.

Cyric radios, «Echo 2. Engines shot by a lucky HS hit. Out of dumb-fires still have FFs and IRs. Board clean otherwise.»

«Razor, I feel like I'm in a 'sword again. Can't turn for shit.» Swordbuddy radios. This is followed by a peep radioed by Cadillac: «Uh, Cadillac is still alive, but my craft is totalled boss.»

Azran pants from his roar as Jaime radios in, taking a moment to compose himself before answering, « Very good. Fan out and guard the perimeter while survivors are searched for. »

«Understood. Echo 2 taking up perimeter CAP. Good Job keeping those Cats busy long enough for us. That was some excellent flying, Echo 1.» Cyric scans the area looking for more enemies as the Sabres pick up the ejected pilots from the downed Sabre. What terrible luck! A cockpit blow out.

Coming down from the combat high is something Silence is starting to get used to. He radios a short acknowledgment to Mittens, then begins to move slowly through the area with scoops fully opened. May as well recharge what minute amount of fuel he'll be able to in the next few minutes.

«UGH!! Cadillac, your "ride" is fine, just needs a new cockpit. We can tow it back.» Draygo responds to his wing. «Mittens, Talon, you'll never make it home with just thrusters. Use your scanners; I'll see if we can get the Cruiser out here.»

«TCS Majestic, this is Fempto flight. Requesting the TCS Salamis help with retrieval. Major damage and another Sabre took a nasty hit. Fixable, but useless without a cockpit - doubt worry, the pilot ejected.» Draygo radios on tight-beam back to the Majestic.

«Roger that Fempto. Request acknowledged. Any word on the original Sabres?» the Majestic responds.

Skill Roll ECM 15
Iceblade Succeeds
Talon achieves Great Success
Mittens Succeeds
Draygo (Ace) Succeeds

«Engaging retrieval of their remains now. We'll see what we can bring in. Majestic.» Draygo responds dourly.

The group's sensors pick up two dead humans within their cockpits.

Three dead Sabres from the original flight.

Cyric's ebullient heart chills to the bone as the fate of two of the missing show up on sensors…Where's the third one?

«Echo, are you picking up anything else. I can't find a third cockpit.» Draygo radios.

«Confirmed! Third pilot missing in action. Confirm, Echo Wing?» Cyric radios

Silence radios, « Mittens, I've got significant debris over here, bearing zero-one-five, short range. Looks like Sabres. Got bodies here… but not enough for their full crews. Confirmed, Talon. »

Skill Roll ECM 20
Draygo (Ace) Fails

«Damn, which one is BS13-1?» Draygo broadcasts aloud.

«Transfering Sensor data now, Fempto Leader.» Cyric says smoothly.

Azran fiddles with the strange tiny hooman buttons until the sensors start picking things up, glancing over the results with something possibly resembling comprehension. At Jamie's call in, he perks up, « Debris?…. Check their drift, see if there's anything nearby in that direction. » He says as he begins maneuvering closer to the called out location.

«Roger Talon… wait, there is an ejection!» Draygo grows hopeful. «Anybody picking up any other ejection pods?»

Skill Roll ECM 20
Mittens Fails
Silence Succeeds
Talon achieves Great Success

« Echo leader, this is Silence… I think I've got something. No pod signal, though… possible damage to the pod. We should hurry. »

«Confirmed! I have found evidence of an ejection but no pod. You don't think it could be that…» Cyric responds as he double-checks his sensor data again.

"NO, it couldn't be." «TCS Majestic, this is Fempto - there are two dead pilots and the third definitely ejected. Unfortunately, the pod is MIA - either destroyed in the fighting or … » Draygo cannot finish the statement.

«Captured. Roger that Razor. Majestic out.» A very sad Lt. Murphy finishes.

« The Grikaths. » Silence radios, flatly.

Azran goes quiet for a moment before replying, « ….Most likely, it was picked up…Assume dead within 48 hours… »

«…and we are in no position to tail the Grikaths in time for a recovery mission…» Cyric responds sourly as he stares with anger at his craft's engine status report blaming his engines and the pique of the universe that a single HS could do THAT much damage through full shields.

Jamie's got his moments of rage, but right now, exhaustion and duty are taking precedence. Two wingmen badly damaged, his own fighter low on fuel. He might catch up with the Grikaths if he broke formation and ran for them, but he'd arrive with no fuel against multiple heavy fighters, while leaving his other squadmates with minimal protection. He pulls into formation with the Salamis when it arrives, quietly carrying out his duties.

After another 5 minutes, the TCS Salamis arrives and carries out recovery operations. One Sabre is retrieved and all craft land on the Salamis. The recovered Sabre debris will be analyzed to confirm the finding and determine who ejected….

Azran lands, and takes slightly longer than usual before climbing out of his banged up fighter, tucking his helmet underarm as he reaches the semi-stable ground of the flight deck.

Cyric lands on thruster power only and sets down with a light touch. He powers down his craft after taxing it into its slot as a ladder is rolled up to help him down. Cyric says nothing as he climbs down to the flight deck sighing as if under a great weight. This was meant to be a celebration of a great victory not another funeral. Cyric sighs as he nods respectfully at Azran and leaves to clean himself up no longer so eager to talk or celebrate his and Silence's 5th kills with his squadron right now.

Jamie is given leave to land as the Salamis' own escort complement are in formation.

Well-practiced enough now that he's handling landings and taxiing like an old pro, Silence pulls his Rapier into the recovery deck and climbs down the ladder with his helmet tucked under his arm. Brow furrowed, he heads for debriefing, to listen for the status of the recovered pilots.

Some B-swords and techies and a shuttle will handle transfer operations between the Salamis and Majestic.

Upon examination of the debris, it is Major Victor Cole, CO of the Black Cats, who ejected - lucky or perhaps not so lucky.