The Sinews of War
The Sinews of War
Arc: Cloaks and Daggers
Summary: The team undercover on New Detroit takes on the first mission for their new employers. How far will they be willing to go to establish credibility with the local underworld?
Date: 2659.028
Related Logs: None
Participants: Pickett Paz Draygo James Kayly Oceana Raine

For a few of the people here, this has to seem familiar. A pack of Talons waiting by a jump point for a civilian convoy to come through. It's the sort of thing that they're used to breaking up, after all.

« Lucifer to flight » Pickett begins, keeping his eyes firmly on his readouts rather than the hazy blue jump sphere out his front viewport. « Convoy we're after should be through here any minute. Remember, our contact wants us to disable the cargo ships, not destroy them » he explains simply. « And try not to be too hard on the escorts. This is going to be messy enough as it is »

«Lucifer, Straightrazor, you're taking some of the fun out of it.» Paz chuckles softly as she settles into her seat a little more. "How you doin', Raine? Cramped enough for ya?" she asks with a snicker. "Remember, go for their engines primarily. Any escorts get in our hair, we'll disable 'em best we can."

Squish. Poor Raine. She's not exactly 'short'. She sighs. "I think our pilots are part time contortionists," She winks. She seems amused enough and glad for Paz's company. "Got it," She nods. "I prefer disabling anyway. Space injuries tend to …" Splat!

James says "Lucifer this is Dagger. So we aim for the engines and try to leave guns out of it, or should we try to disable the crew?" He struggles to keep his tone calm as he asks the last part.

«Blackbeard here, understood. I guess we'll just bust their knee caps instead of going for headshots.» Kell responds after activating the comm, one can tell that he isn't entirely comfortable flying the Talon but he'll have to deal with it. He flips a couple of switches to get the weapons online before turnig his helmet slightly as if to glance back at his gunner, "Strapped in okay there, Tumble? It might get a little rocky." The warning is given in a good natured manner, one can hear the pilot grinning as he purposely changes her callsign.

Kayly is fairly squished in the back seat of the the Talon she's occupying. "Oh I hope this is as fun as our last outing…" She comments sarcastically, as she watches out out her viewport at the area of space around the fighters. She chuckles a bit at the comments about just disabling the targets, seeing as she's unlikely to hit anything anyways.

She must be a glutton for punishment, since here she is, cramped into one of those darn talons for a second time. But she's here, she's alive, and she can try again to hit something. Who knows, maybe it will work this time. She listens to instructions and the chatter on the radio, but doesn't add anything to it, instead keeping quiet while out of her element. Though at the comment from Draygo, Cea tilts her head, and makes a face. "Been here before, hotshot." Blackbeard? Alrighty then. Tumble - eh, she's heard worse. "If you are as good at flying as Lucifer, my hair won't even get mussed."

"Heh, you gotta learn to think 'small and thin', Raine." Paz chuckles softly, but sympathetically. "So, what do you want I should call you?" she asks as her head starts to slowly swivel around to check the space around them. "You know, like a call sign?"

The jump point flares, a single Drayman-class transport popping through… followed a few seconds later by another, and then a third. The jump point closes again behind the three ships, leaving them alone with their hunters.

« Lucifer to flight, looks like we've got our targets. Gun for the engines. We need to bring 'em to a stop » Pickett orders, even as he swings his fighter around to angle for a shot at the trailing transport's engines. "And whatever you do, stay on your bridge you poor bastards" Pickett mutters under his breath to the transport's crew as he presses the trigger.

"I'm slightly the second, not so much the first. Um. What about Sunshine? Or Cactus? I'm bad at this. Something hilarious?" She considers. Rain is quiet and closes her eyes. Ugh. Not a fan of jump points. She grits her teeth quietly and will do her best.

«Tallyho!» Paz calls over the radio. «Three Drayman-class transports coming in at one fiver fiver mark one zero four. Engaging.» she adds. "Hold on tight, this is gonna get bumpy." she advises Raine before firewalling her throttle and zipping towards the nearest of the three transports. "Hello there, those are some nice engines, Mind if I shoot them up a little?" she asks as she depresses the trigger.

James replies «Understood engaging now» After the omm goes off he says "After I make y run I'll break port so you have a shot at it." even as he manuvers to come around behind the lead transport and starts his run.

James replies «Understood engaging now» After the comm goes off he says "After I make y run I'll break port so you have a shot at it." even as he manuevers to come around behind the lead transport and starts his run. He weaves in then lines up his gunsights on the engines only pausing the weave to fire a salvo before breaking away as planned.

Kayly nods a bit, even though her pilot obviously wouldn't be able to see it, as he gives his instructions. "Got it. Hopefully I'll be able to hit the broad side of a barn with this thing." She states dryly, as she waits for James to make his attack run. "Oh, try and keep us in one piece, huh? Getting blown up would totally ruin my day."

"As good?" Kell responds with mock disbelief at the doubt that is in her voice, "I'm better, don't you worry." The grin is there again as is the cockiness, perhaps more since he's playing a Merc now. The playful banter stops however once the blips appear on sensors, "We have incoming." He calls one final warning to his gunner before becoming serious again, his full attention on flying.
«Targets spotted and engaging, going for disabling shots, cannons only.» Kell shoots back the confirmation to the lead fighter before breaking hard right and putting the Talon fighter in a steep descent. With the engines tucked under the tail of the Drayman, he has chosen to attack at an upward angle so when he gets to a good distance, he pulls back on the stick and puts the fighter into a climb. Once well within range, Kell pushes the trigger stub, sending a couple bursts of carefully aimed shots towards the engines.

"Dammit…" Paz grumbles as she watches her shots go wide. "Well, I crapped out, how'd you do?" she asks Raine, bringing the ship up in a high-g immelman before making another pass at the Drayman's engines.

As the Talons move in to attack, the three Drayman transports draw closer together. Looking to maximize their volume of fire to better protect themselves. As the two sets of craft exchange fire, the jump point flares again behind them. Though what comes through isn't a fighter escort. Instead, it's a militia frigate.

« Attention all craft, this is the Gemini Sector Militia. You are hereby ordered to stand down and cease fire immediately.»

« Crap. Just what we needed. Keep on the transports, but keep your eyes open. That frigate's bit more than we want to take a crack at » Pickett orders, swinging around for another run at his target.

James curses as his shots somehow fly past the engines to hit the cargo bay. He pulls the craft into a loops and says "Ok same plan but we'll break port this time and shake things up more next time." He notes the frigate and mutters "Just what are we after." before firing and breaking away.

«Lucifier, Straightrazor, copy that. I doubt these bumpkins can shoot straight anyhow.» Paz snerks over the radio as she gives the frigate the fickle finger of faith.

Oceana doesn't even get a shot off, maybe she is surprised at Draygo's sudden maneouver. Seems he's not so old as Lucifer after all. In any event, she grins as the pilot protests, perhaps a bit too much, and then she actually turns to trying to hit the incoming ships in the engines. If she can hit anything at all, that is. The alarm from the militia - peachy. Just peachy. Give her a gun and solid ground any day. "Good luck, fly right, and remember to open your eyes when you shoot," she mumbles to herself, as she finds a target and squeezes off a shot.

"Um. I hope I hit something not friendly…" Raine seems less confident, but gives it a shot. She smiles at Paz, obviously trusting the Pazinator, despite being slightly squished in. Darn. Long. LEGS. UNFOLD. Oof. Somehow Raine is either a drunken (sober) master, insanely lucky or sometimes Darwinism likes a giggle. Regardless, her lazer zorches the hull neatly. "Um I think I got it." She thinks. Either she's modest or confused.

"Oh, goodie. The day gets better and better, by the moment." Kayly mutters as the Milita broadcast comes over the comms. Her shot didn't go wide… But it also didn't do more that scratch the armor at best. She waits for the Talon to fly around so she's got another shot, and then squeezes the trigger. "I really hope those militia guys are as bad as the ones I've always heard about."

The burst fire from Kell's Talon fighter was close but not close enough as it splatters near the engine pods, scorching the thick amror plating. When another hostile blip appears, he cycles through the targets before seeing that it is a Frigate, something he isn't able to deal with. "Sit tight, the ride may get a little rougher." A friendly and earnest warning given to Cea before he loops the Talon around for another pass at the Drayman, going after the engines one more time.

"Ah-ha! Now that's more the thing!" Paz grins, throwing the Talon into a barrel roll before rolling wings-level and arcing back in for another pass. "Keep at 'em, Doc!" she encourages Raine as she brings the big ship's engines into her sights and squeezes the trigger.

It's easy enough to tell who the bad guys are here, really. The ships of the convoy stop firing (but keep running!) while the Talons continue to engage. A few more shots strike the middle transport in the formation, and it begins to fall behind the others, a slow atmospheric leak visible in the hull from somewhere that apparently was very much not the engines.

« Unidentified Talon-class craft, stand down immediately! » The voice from that frigate warns, as threat warnings begin to sound through the cockpits of the mercenary fighters.

« Let's make this quick! » Pickett urges, even as he swings around for another pass… hoping for something a bit more effective than just chewing up the armor on his target this time.

Hey, c'mon, she's a ground pounder. She aimed at the engines. What do you mean she didn't hit them? Dumb space messing up her aim. Must be all the pilot's fault. Ayep. Cea thinks it's a dubious honour of actually hitting that ship, but she certainly is willing to give it another shot. Maybe this time she'll hit the engine? It's at least a step in the right direction. "No worries. I'll hang on for dear life. You just keep us in one piece."

"Okay! I think that one bounced off," Raine seems a bit sad for a moment. "Yeah…" She seems worried hearing the news now. Raine furrows her brows and tries to aim. One eye closes. Squint. Hrrm. Raine's a doctor! She tends to do the exact opposite, anti-lasers discounted.

James opens the commlink «I'm on the leader» and plots his run before glancing back to Kayly "I'll come in from the side. You hit it after we pass it." He manuvers to the lead vessels flank and makes the run at high speed firing then ducking the craft to fly beneath the transport hopefully giving Kayly a better shot.

This time Kell's burst punches through, but at the wrong place, "Fuck!" He curses as the ship begins to leak atmosphere, knowing that it is in serious trouble. Since nothing could be done now, he tries a different strategy by opening up the comms to broadcast, "Stand back, you backwater militia frigate, get any closer and the Drayman gets it! As for you three, stop your engines or we'll scatter your atoms around this sector!» Perhaps a little intimidation will work and get the Frigate to back off before he switches targets, not wanting to cause a major hull breach on the one he was shooting at before.

Kayly grimaces slightly as her next shot goes way wide of the target. "Why do those ships move around so damned much?" She complains to herself, as she waits for another opportunity to open fire on the ship again. So far she hasn't had much luck, but maybe that'll change soon. Worries about such things as the frigate in the area, she'll leave to the pilots for the moment.

"Dammit…Fucking Talons!" Paz growls. "I'm hitting everything _but_ the engines. At this rate, I'll have the bastard vented to space before she stops." she says, pulling the ship through another series of wild gyrations to avoid incoming fire. "Huh..I see the milita's decided to join the party. They flip one of those missiles at me, I'll be about half tempted to go strafe their bridge." she growls.

"I am so glad I don't make you mad," Raine considers at Paz's growl. She winces. "Ugh. This could get ugly," She bites her lower lip. She seems a bit worried. "Well, let's give this another go. Hope they are wiser than to provoke a Pazinating."

A few more hits land on the transports, which begin to engage again now that it's apparently clear which side of the fight the Militia ought to come in on. The gunners concentrate their fire on a pair of the Talons, perhaps hoping to inflict some damage to assist their would-be-rescuers in the Militia.

« Let's hope the weekend warriors are as bad as I've always made them out to be » Pickett grumbles as the Militia frigate joins the fight. After all, it's not like he can very well explain the situation to the frigate, now can he? So instead, he just brings his fighter around and hopes to avoid the storm.

You'd think the darn thing would be disabled by now, right? Right. But no such luck. Cea's next shot misses by a mile, leaving her grumbling under her breath like so many others. She blinks as Blackbeard takes on some very piratey speech there. «Just don't make 'em walk the plank,» she murmurs, finding a hint of amusement in the dire situation and sharing it in case it helps. And back to work - time to shoot again, and hope she hits something this time.

James twists his ship out of the line of fire of the second transports lasers then smiles as he realizes that the weapons fire tracking his fighter breaks off. He turns back and says "Ok same plan but I'll be flying straight in and out which should make it easier." He brings the craft around and boars straight in on the lead transports engine firing a salvo then diving and flying straight to give Kayly the best shot possible

Kayly smirks slightly as the Talon stops twisting and turning around for the moment. "Let's just hope that helps my aim some." She returns with a chuckle. Once her target gets back into her light of fire, she opens up on it again. "Come on and do a bit of damage for me, you piece of crap lasers."

The rollercoaster ride now begins as the Frigate and one of the Drayman continue to gun for him, the first missile going wide after a last second hard break to the right. Swinging back, Kell fires off a quick burst before kicking the Talon fighter into a tight scissoring maneuver, trying to shake the second missile that will be flying at his fighter.

«Lucifier, Straightrazor, you realize that we're starting to look like the universe's least competent pirates, right?» Paz grumble as her shots are turned by the Drayman's shields. "Heh, I only get mad at people who shoot at me, Doc." she reassures Raine. "It annoys me on a rather profound level."

The exchange of fire continues, with the Talons slapping ineffectively at the armor of the Draymans. Apparently, piracy is harder than it looks when you're trying not to inflict serious casualties on your target. The Militia corvette has no such compunctions, however, and its second missile shot slams into Draygo's talon, tearing a chunk from its wing.

« Christ, we've found the one militia boat in Gemini that doesn't have a crosseyed gunner » Pickett grumbles into the comms. « And Straightrazor, I'm getting a whole new respect for how hard this line of work has gotta be » he adds, even as he swings around for another run at a transport that just refuses to die.
Ancient wisemen said that payback is a bitch. This is proven in spade as there are now two streams of fire heading James's Talon's way. Out of good ideas he says "Ok you hit your target as we fly away I'm going for the middle transport." He swings around and unleashes a hasty salvo before breaking into a wild series of evasive manuevers.

We're not going to ask how aiming at the engines ends up with armour on the weapon stopping the shot. Just … not even going there. Cea just chalks it up to bad aim, caused by ducking and dodging. And the fighter getting shot in the wing. Ahem. "Nobody ever said this was going to be easy," she murmurs. "You okay up there? I seem to be all in one piece still." Once she can tell. And then she's back to targetting, and as she gets a shot, she takes it.

"Well, I'll try and hit it, at least… I make no guarantee's cause they didn't teach this stuf fin med school." Kayly comments with a snicker. And the ships shooting at the fighter she's in? Not her problem, from her point of view, yet at least. She waits until she's got another shot and then opens fire on the transport yet again.

"Shoot, they really are squirmy," Raine frowns. "We can't… I can't hit him," A pout. Gods! Frustratin. Bonsais need target practice. She sighs. "I'm just glad you're an awesome pilot."

There is a violent jostling of Kell's talon as the explosion rips off one of the wings, forcing the pilot to fight the flightstick for control and stop the spacecraft from spinning. «Blackbeard here, I'm hit, right wing looks like a mess. Under control though.» He adds in real quick at the end before clicking off the comm and turns his helmet slightly as he hears his gunner, "All part of the plan. Taking the hit to draw them into a false sense of security, then pow, hit their chin when they drop their guard." Atleast Kell still sounds confident though he doesn't sound amused at their predicament.

Two of the three transports slow to a stop, their hulls darkened as their systems fail from the repeated shots into their hulls. The news isn't all good, however, as the Militia frigate sends another missile plowing into a Talon. At this rate, the Talons might not get much chance to celebrate their victory.

« Lucifer's hit. Bird should still fly, though. » Pickett comments flatly, perhaps a bit of anger in his voice. « Let's get this last transport before that idiot gets lucky and manages to kill somebody » he adds, even as he swings around to line up a shot on the last transport that's still a threat.

"Ha!" Paz calls triumphantly as her last burst rips through the freighters engine, causing massive cascade system failures and probably more than a little consternation among her engineering staff. "That's one down." she grins to Raine, giving the Doc a thumb's up as Raine's shot connects as well. «Lucifer, Straightrazor, Convoy 2 is disabled, repeat, Convoy 2 is tango uniform, engaging Convoy 1»

James smiles as two of the transports lose power. Unfortuantly whatever deity is watching the mission decides that it doesn't like James's smile apparently because the missile threat alarm soon goes off. «Hang on back there» he says in a tense voice before firing a hasty burst towards the last transport and throwing his Talon into a wild series of evasive manuevers some of which should allow Kayly to fire a shot if she's fast.

Rain looks surprised and nods. "Good job," She grins back and nods. A pause. Thumbsups! Right! "At least they don't seem hurt too badly…?" A wince though. "Did someone get hit?" Ack!

At least picking a target became easier. Cea isn't exactly fooled by Kell's nonchalant attitude, but she does grin. "Just so you know, I'm fated to die on the ground somewhere, so you have to get us out of this alive," she retorts. "Just fly in circles or something, and I'll try to see if I can hit the broad side of a barn." Yeehaw, at least someone hit something. Other than them.

Kayly apparently managed to hit something in her target transport to knock it out of commission at least for a while. As the threat warnings in the cockpit go off, she mutters softly, and answers back to James, "I'm hanging on, don't worry. Just don't get us shot." She doesn't expect to get a good shot off with the fighter moving around and all but she tries her best, and opens fire on the remaining transport.

"Fly in circle she says, get her out of the combat zone safely she says. Who am I flying around, some sort of Princess?" Kell grumbles as he kicks the throttle back to full as the Militia Frigate and remaining Drayman lost interest in him. Dipping under the bottom of the transport, he angles his fighter back up though in a more sluggish manner as he triggers another burst of all his cannons, directing them at the engine pods.

That last transport proves to be a rather resiliant sort, shrugging off the combined attacks of four talons and their gunners with only a little scorched hull plating to show for the effort. Fortunately for the attackers, the escorting Frigate finally fires a shot that doesn't connect with something.

Pickett swings his battered Talon around for another run on the last of the transports, trying his best to ignore the unhealthy sort of grinding sound that's coming from his missile-torn hull. After all, the fighter hasn't torn itself apart, so it can't be that bad. Right?

"Damn, here we go again." Paz grumbles as she breaks off her attack after her burst misses clean. "C'mon people, just give up, already, will ya?" she sighs. "I really don't wanna dance with that Frigate. Not when I can't really attack it."

And apparently the Unknown Evil Deity is angry that James evaded the first missile because now there's laser fire heading his way along with a second missile. He says "Just fire when you have a clear shot." Before firing a salvo in the middle of a weave and snaproll combo.

Ooh. Wow. they really like James. Raine is a bit busy working her own station though, wincing a bit. "They really don't like us huh?" She asks Paz quietly. "Me either,," She admits quietly to Paz. Raine is remarkably calm though, perhaps so utterly panicked she looped back around to zen.

Kayly snorts lightly at the latest comment from James. As if it's that easy, but she stays quiet for the moment, waiting to get an open shot on the transport, instead of making sarcastic remarks. For the moment while they're getting shot at, anyways.

"Hey, I'm nowhere near royalty," Cea says. "And I'm sure those are fighting words. You gotta watch who you call a princess there." Grumble. "Okay, what's that thing made of?" Sheesh - how can one little transport get so lucky. She focuses on taking another shot, hoping that by some fluke she'll hit something she's supposed to.

Letting out a sigh, Kell watches as his shots are soaked up by the armor of the Drayman. Instead of cursing at the suddenly invincible Drayman, he continues to banter with the gunner seated behind him, "Right, could've fooled me. As for the Drayman, we just need to hit it in the right… spot…" Once he says that, he fires off another burst of cannons, his speed slowed a bit because of the shredded wing and because he wants to get a better shot.

Battered by concentrated fire from the Talons, the last of the transports slows to a stop. Granted, it's not the neatest job of things… with a few perforated hulls and a bit more debris than might really be idea, but the transports themselves at least seem mostly intact.

« Lucifer to flight, let's get the hell out of here. Whoever wants those damn sports can figure out how to get 'em from under the guns of a Frigate » Pickett orders. With no real way to hurt the thing, he's apparently not in the mood to stick his neck out any further than he has to. Doubly so for such a dubious cause.

«Lucifer, Straightrazor, don't have to tell me twice. Straightrazor is RTB, RFN.» Paz calls, firewalling the engines towards their exit point. "Well, that went….not exactly well, but not too horrifyingly."

The Talon of James and Kayly emerges from the combined missile and laser strike unscathed. He opens the commline and says «Copy that.» before setting coruse for the exit point though he keeps weaving in case the frigate tries anonther missile attack before he leaves it's range.

Kayly breathes a sigh of relief as the final transport stops dead in space, and surprisingly enough the Talon she's riding in, is in one piece as well. "Getting out of here, sounds good to me, that's for sure." She comments wryly, as she powers down the controls for the turret.

"Not too bad for a first go," Raine peers at the controls. "I … don't think I could do that for a living. You're braver than me."

Pulling away from the combat zone, Kell let's out a sigh of relief as he follows the other Talons away. "Well, we're alive, like you asked. That right wing needed to be replaced anyways, was coming loose before we took off."