This Is No Drill
This Is No Drill
Arc: None
Summary: The TCSF and Marine gunners are jumped by a glut of Kilrathi.
Date: 2657.317
Related Logs: None
Participants: Markovic Korsakov Pickett Jenthson Melia Draygo Aquilina Lucian Xiang Valentine

"General Quarters, General Quarters! All hands man your battle stations. Go up and forward on your starboard side, down and aft on your port side. General Quarters, General Quarters! All fighters, Magnum Launch! This is no drill!"

Not the words that any pilot ever really wants to hear, since it generally means one thing and one thing only. As the fighters are dumped into space from the Majestic's launch tubes as quickly as the Carrier is able discharge them, the reason for the alarm becomes clear. A pair of enemy capital ships supported by bombers and fighters have made an approach towards the Majestic's battlegroup.

"Fuck me" is Pickett's professiona assessment of the mess outside, watching as the radar fills with dots as his bomber clears the launch tube. "Archangel to all craft, we've got a mess out here! Fighters, keep on those bombers and DO NOT let them launch on the carrier! Broadswords, let's take the Fralthi out first, it's going to be the bigger problem if we leave it unattended"

Markovic is out the tubes and kicking off towards the engagement. "Torch, I have lead. Clean them up for me. I'm going to try and sanitize Pickett." She flips her Master Arm and selects a missile. Targeting a fighter, the Captain throttles up and dives into the engagement.

Third pint of bitter left on the bar of the F&L, and Frethan hurries toward the flight bay, only to be told by his crew chief that Victoria is still lying in pieces all over the floor. And, with that, he jogs to find the only thing that doesn't have a pilot. An unattended Broadsword. And, while he's climbing in? He grabs a non-busy looking Marine, and jerks his thumb at the uncrewed bomber. "Corpsman…want a lift?" A wink, and he disappears into the cockpit, strapping in, and giving his ad-hoc crew time to board. "I dub thee Lady Jane Grey, may I wish that you give me at least a nine-day reign." And, we're off! Once clear of the flight tube, there is a sigh, and the English pilot flicks his weapon controls over to torpedo. "Archangel. This is Pip, forming up on your wing. I hear you, loud and clear. I'll make a run on her bridge." A glance over his shoulder…"I think those guns have some instructions, if you're confused. Point and shoot at anything that looks fuzzy." And, then? He's all business, focusing on locking up his target, and making ready for a nice pass.

Out of the tubes shortly after Markovic is Aquilina, engines blazing hot as soon as he's clear of the TCS Majestic's precious paint job. Moving up to flank his sec lead, fingers flip the weapons switches to on, lightning up the front of his Stiletto. "Copy, Needles. At your four and breaking, cleanup crew coming through."

"Copy that, Archangel." Korsakov's rough tenor never wavers, even as a Kilrathi battlegroup screams towards them, fangs out. "Verdict, you're with me. Go for the Grikaths first." He targets the first Kilrathi bomber and preps his missles; a moment later Max touches off his afterburners as he bears in on his target.

With his Stiletto still in the repair bay, Kell is one of the pilots who are assigned a fat Broadsword Bomber for this mission but the Rookie certainly has no complaints as he is getting an opportunity to scramble and defend the mothership. When the Squadron leader barks out orders, the young pilot's fingers are already inputting the proper commands and switching to the appropriate target. "Copy that, Lead. Going for the weapon bank first. Not having afterbuners is a new experience but Kell is learning to get use to it, knowing that thick armor is protecting him and his gunners. The lock-timer seems to take forever though, unlike the Heat Seeker missiles as his torpedo slowly picks up a weapons lock on the big, Fralthi.

Melia snorts softly at Picketts fuck me. "Later dear." She drawls in the intercom from her position at the back of the Sword manning the turrets. It's not surprise that the marine managed to wringle her way into the Major's bomber, of their going down at least it'll be together.

Xiang's Stiletto is out of the tubes and into the black. She wings up with her XO's ship, slipping alongside him in a clean bit of formation flying. "Hammer, Verdict. Copy. On your four. Aye, aye, sir." She keeps any trace of excitement, or nerves, out of her tone. Over the comm, at least.

"Ugh are we seriously that undermanned?" The combat medic slumps down in the gunner seat preparing himself for battle. Flicking on the comm system he relays the message to the bridge, "This doesn't look to hard to figure out, what weapon system do you want me to engage?" The components are easy to figure out, but the rest is pretty hard according to Lucian's lack of gunnery training. "Where do you want me to fire this thing?" If he gets a valid response, he will aim and pray for the best.

The sky explodes into a flurry of activity as the Kilrathi and Terran forces run into each other virtually headlong. TCS Durban moves between the two Kilrathi capital ships and the carrier it's assigned to protect, weathering the storm of antimatter flung in its direction. A tremendous volley of fire reaches out from the Majestic's laser batteries, slashing into the enemy bomber formation. First to go on either side is the Fralthi-class cruiser. Caught between weapons fire from the Durban and three seperate torpedo impacts, the ship ripples with explosions before blowing apart in a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. Struck in the cockpit by a missile, one of the Grikath spins lazily away from the formation, its pilot clearly having moved on to the realm of Sivar.

"Scratch one Fralthi, Archangel. Nice work, Broadsword. Easy as skeet." A grin, and Pip doesn't spare the exploding Kilrathi ship another loo, instead, glancing over his shoulder, and punching his comm. "Hang in there, Corpsman. We're going to be making a sharp turn!" And, with that announcement, he yanks his pig-like spacecraft into a dizzying turn, and hits thrusters to max, settling his firing pip over the Ralara, and waiting for a solid tone. "And, here we go, for a few hundred more dead Kitties." Squeezing off a second torpedo, once again leveled at the Bridge of the Ralari, Jenthson is prepared to do more damage, apparently. He does settle his craft into a roll, though…expecting a more dangerous time, with plenty of AAA, this pass.

Melia curses softly as she misses the first of her targets. "Tom, your going to have to keep this thing flying straight or I aint going to be able to hit shit." She says, sounding mithed, of course it's his flying that was bad and not merely her aim.

Markovic sits the Stil side to side, alternating in rapid succession as she dodges the fire from the attacking Kils. Right at the merge, she shoves the throttles up. "Needles. Sweet tone, Fox Two!" The missile streaks across teh sky towards the fighter attacking Pickett's bird and blows a large chunk off the right wing. "Torch, I am still engaged. I will finish him and move for support," she calls clearly over the comms to her wingman. The burners light and her Stil rockets in, ignoring the exploding nearby.

"Little busy" Pickett replies over the intercom to his gunner. "What's the matter, Kittens… you lose something?" Pickett taunts over commes as the Fralthi blows apart, already swinging the nose of the ungainly bomber to point towards the Ralari, looking to take care of the second of the two enemy capital ships. For the moment, he continues all but ignoring the craft that are attacking his own, remaining intent on the task of acquiring a torpedo lock on the destroyer in front of him.
Aquilina sends a missile straight into the nose of one of the two Sarthas chasing his section lead, blowing quite a few ragged chunks of metal and circuitry into space around it. He keeps after it, swerving through the debris and keeping the chase on at full steam. "Copy, Needles. Still seeing two on your ass…one's limping like an old man. I've got heat on it, do what you need to do."

The first Kilrathi bomber explodes in a terrible flash of light, and Korsakov growls in satisfaction. He puts his fighter into a snap turn, the Stiletto rolling in a tight arc as it plunges back towards the melee. Another Grithak is called up onto his targeting display. Korsakov's fighter spins and twists as he maneuvers for a missle lock. Finally, the sound of good tone hums in his hear, and he fires. "Hammer. Fox Two."

Lucian scoffs at the missed target, "Give me some time to get used to this…" As the sharp turn begins, Lucian begins to feel a little sick from the force while trying to aim. Focusing a little more, Lucian fires off another charge at the same target, trying to finish off what he had started.

Xiang keeps her stick steady as she launches her missile. Nothing fancy, but it's on target. There's no growling from her end but her tone contains a certain satisfaction over the radio. "I can see where you got your callsign, Hammer. Verdict, copy. On fox two." She banks to to keep in form with the Russian's fighter, though she doesn't try anything so fancy as his spins.

The combined attack of the Majestic's escort Capital vessels along with the Broadsword Bombers were apparently too much for the Fralthi to handle as Kell watches on with amazement. His torpedo is unleashed after hearing a solid locking tone, his is one amongst the others as they all converge on the Fat Cat. The torpedo that was launched by the Rookie pierces the weapon banks of the Fralthi, causing it to implode for a micro-second before sending out a thundering explosion, one amongst many as the Fralthi as it breaks apart before lighting up the darkness of space brilliantly. "One Fat Kitty down, whooo!" Next target is most likely the Ralari and Kell banks his bomber slowly in its direction, the torpedo slowly getting a weapon's lock once more. He also maintains formation with the other bombers since each gunner can help provide overlapping fire for mutual protection. The Ralari seems a lot smarter than it's dead big brother as flak is now incoming, "Bombers, head's up. Entering Heavy Flak territory!" With that he begins to jink and juke with his flight stick, slowly approaching the Ralari while taking his time to aim for the bridge. He doesn't fire yet, wanting to get closer for a sure shot, focusing on evading the Flak explosions.

"Archangel, Pip. Are you intact? Suggest you pull out, if you are." He saw the flashes of flak tearing into his fellow Broadsword, and the Englishman is quick to hit comm, and try to reach the other pilot, make sure he is alive. His own ship is unscathed, and as such, Jenthson continues on his firing pass, particularly close to the Ralari, as he releases his final torpedo. "Last fish in the water…" How is -that- for an anachronism? "Going air to air, and SAR." A final report over the Tacnet, as the big ship is turned in a fairly tight arc, searching for a fighter.
The three Grikath launch their torpedoes at their respective targets, though thankfully none of them manage to score a hit on the Terran vessels. The Ralari is rocked by torpedo and AMG alike, though manages to hold together better than its larger cousin, the Fralthi, did. Flak from the Ralari smashes into Pickett's broadsword, the heavy craft shedding pieces of durasteel plating, the portside wing blown clear away. Xiang's stiletto is likewise battered, flying straight into a Dumbfire launch which nearly destroys the craft. Still, for all that, the Space Forces seem to be coming out on top.

"Still here" Pickett replies to Jenthson over his comms. "Damage board is lit up like a christmas tree, but we're not out of this fight yet. As long as there are Kittens, I'm staying engaged" He replies, though he does take a slightly more sensible posture in light of the damage to his Broadsword.

Either Kell got very lucky or the Ralari gunners are very bad as the Flak explosions around him aren't even close and pretty easy to dodge. He does see the Squadron Leader get peppered and speeds up his Broadsword a bit, perhaps wanting to overtake the Leader to provide the gunners with a juicier target. Having taken the time earlier, the young rookie pilot now has a very nice shot lined up for the Ralari's bridge as it now dives towards it, pushing the trigger stub and launching a torpedo that begins spiraling towards its intended target.

Captain Markovic speeds in aggressively, not willing to let Sartha-2 get away. The missile lock tone warbles in her helmet for half a second and she mashes the trigger. "Needles, Fox Two!" The missile system once again works as advertised and sails its warhead right into the cockpit of her target. "Splash my bandit! Torch, I am on our last friend." Her Stil rockets away from the flak cloud and maneuvers around the sky, trapping Sartha-4 in a scissors for Aquilina. "Going to guns!" she calls, cutting her maneuvers dangerously close to her target as they enter the back-and-forth.

Melia brings her hand up to her head, as she feels wet running down her cheek. "I think that last one was a little close, Tom, might wanna try evading, but also keep straight at the same time. That'll be great thanks." She says in a condersending tone. "Cause I will be hitting someone."

"Splash one," Alex calls back through com. "Loud and clear, Needles, coming up fast on your seven and closing in. Working it like a weedwhacker." He flips over to guns himself, bearing down on markovic's second pursuer as fast as he can push the nimble Stiletto.

"Ugghhh I think I'm going to puke all over the place…" Lucian grabs a hold of the controls tighter and tries to think of images that wouldn't make him barf. "I need a bag down here…" His gunnery is suffering at the moment, and he doesn't feel to well. The show must go on though, and through the nausea he continues to target and shoot, his face turning blue, cheeks puffing.

Korsakov's missle again finds its mark, but it's not enough to kill Korsakov's second Grithak on its own. "Yebyona mat'! Switching to guns." Korsakov flicks his weapon controls, switching over to the Stil's mass drivers as he tenaciously stays with the twisting and weaving Kilrathi bomber.
Xiang's missile goes wide of its target. Perhaps because her ship goes spinning out of control as the Stiletto is battered by fire from the Sartha fighter. That will muck with one's aim. A sharp exclamation comes from over her comm. Maybe profanity. It's in Mandarin, so it's difficult to tell. There's some rather ominous smoke coming from one of her underpanels, but she does manage to smooth the ship out of its spin and get it under control. "Verdict over…" Her voice is interspersed with crackling but it's intelligible. "Took a direct to my controls…think I've got her straight. The mechanics, however, are going to have my ass. On guns as well." Though she hangs back some. Her ship has taken a nasty beating.

It's a day late and a dollar short, really, but the Kilrathi gunnery seems to finally find its mark… the undamaged two broadswords taking solid hits from the last of the Sartha's dumbfire missiles, and an ugly explosion blooming along the Marciano's hull as a torpedo strikes the corvette. Durban's gunnery remains accurate, however, directed Antimatter tearing through the bridge of the Kilrathi destroyer, leaving only a twisted, charred mess where the control structure used to be.

Markovic mashes the trigger, dodging through fire while her velocity steadily climbs. She sprays off a few rounds at Sartha-4 as it opens fire on Jenthson. "Torch, push it up! Protect those bombers!" She flicks back to missiles, lining up a shot and firing off a missile before its barely established a lock on her target. "FOX TWO!"

"Wanker. Fuck. Whore's mother." A glance over his shoulder to make sure that Lucian is still alive, and Pip goes back to fighting with his Broadsword, trying to keep the bomber from going into a spin, and ending up dead. His usual profanity when pissed has also become quite vocal, filling the cockpit, before keys the comm. "Pip. Nice gaping hole in the port side. Do one of you Stiletto's want to try to kill the Sartha on my ass, or do I have to do that, too? Jesus bloody wept." Yes. This is why he prefers flying fighters, come to think of it. Huh, he's still showing a torpedo in the bay. The upgrade he missed. One must remember these things. "Now, the last fish is out!

"Fucking nancy guns," Aquilina spits that opinion of the Stiletto's main weapon out into his helmet mic. "Trying this again with a fucking missile. Fox two!" One's chasing him now and he's aware of it coming up on him, trying to break to avoid its fire while sending a missile towards his intended target - the Sartha chasing Jenthson.

"You still with me, Verdict?" Korsakov asks over the com, his brow furrowing as he studies the sensor readout of Xiang's fighter. "Come on, let's kill these khuily and go home," he adds crossly as he looks back to the Grikath he's chasing. Narrowing his eyes, he touches his afterburners again, closing on the Kilrathi bomber as he prepares to fire again.

"Archangel here. Done playing with this guy, I'm making a straight run on the engines. Forget the flak. Imp, you might want to keep a hand on the ejection switch" Pickett comments simply, and true to his word, he swings his battered broadsword around for another pass… keeping perfectly straight and level as he counts down the range, waiting for the solid tone of his last Torpedo's lock. Keying his open comms again, he snarls at the destroyer "Who overcomes by foce, hath overcome but half his foe…"

Right before Kell launched his torpedo, one of his gunners shouts out a warning about a Sartha bearing down on the bomber with a dumbfire unleashed. This caused the young rookie to jerk his flightstick very slightly but enough to throw the aim off. The bomber was also less than responsive to Kell's attempt to do a barrel roll, it is more or less a pig roll which is way too little and way too late to dodge the dumbfire. All it did was keep the Kilrathi projectile from impaling the bridge and exploding, instead exploding brutally on the nose, causing the bomber to break up. However, before it explodes, Kell calls out an ejection order to his gunners before ejecting himself, the turret pods punching out along with the cockpit, leaving the pilot and gunners extravehicular now. The emergency beacon automatically activates on each ejection pod, showing up as a yellow blip on friendly sensors.

Melia eyes widen a little as the string of swearing comes out of the English guys mouth. "You kiss your mother with those lips, pip if you was mine I'd have the soap in your mouth." She says, trying to brake the tention inside of her, she's rather worried that this is not going to end well for her or Tom. "I think we're going to need a new bomber after this." She says ducking as something falls from the top of the space craft. when Rom speaks she nods her head slowly. "Right with you there, just as long as yours is there also Major Pickett." She says rather firmly.

Xiang's guns don't find their target, but she manages to avoid exposing her poor Stiletto to further abuse. She'll take that right now. She assumes a defensive flying pattern, angling alongside Korsakov. "Still with you, Hammer. And that does sound a fine plan." She curls her fingers around her controls for another blast from her guns.

Getting frustrated, Lucian begins firing in random spots ahead of his target in hopes to get a lucky shot in by leading them ahead of the enemy. A brief pause is given as Lucian pulls a stim injection out and stabs himself in the thigh, "Arrggh!" It will enhance his hand eye coordination, and most importantly reduce his nausea.

"Are we ready yet?" comes the impatient voice of the Wing Commander from the cockpit of his Stiletto fighter, and finally the tech crew has fixed the problem with his missile launcher. The all clear is given, and the launch sequence couted down. Then, Valentine is launching into the void, ready for combat. "Confederate flight, this is Grim, copy. Finally given the green light, and I'm inbound on your position, over." There is a difinitive edge to his tone as he soars in, taking in the information provided him by the scans coming up on his display. Inbound, he immediately heads for the Sartha moving in on Aquilina's vessel, switching over to heat seekers. "Torch, I'm gonna squash that bug for you." he states casually as the crosshairs align, and then he's calling out. "Grim.. Fox One." His thumb presses down, and the missile streaks in at its target.

The weight of numbers begins to tell for the Confederation side of things, as the remaining Kilrathi fighters are swarmed by those from the Majestic. Struck by yet another torpedo and more antimatter from the Durban, the Ralari shudders for a moment, looking as if it might hold together for a moment, before it breaks into two slowly-spinning halves. The two halves impact, explosions rippling along the surface before the Kilrathi destroyer falls apart entirely.

"Nice of you to join us, Grim. Wonderful to see a chap that leads from the front." As the Sartha explodes in his wake, Frethan's open comm on the tac-channel is continued with a whoop. "I appreciate the wiping, Torch, Needles. Keep it up." As his torpedo misses the his target, and clicks empty, Pip punches his weapons console, and arms Friend or Foe. "Razor, I'm inbound on your position, but just want to drop a present for that fighter, on my way, if you don't mind. Just climb in the hole on the port-side, when I get close." A joke, right? His shaky Broadswoard shudders lightly, as a F&F missile is ejected toward Sartha-3.

Melia closes her eyes as Tom goes speeding through space…Or rather limps at this point. "Wow if this is the after life I wanna see the other place." She opens her eyes and looks around. "Okay no boom, looks like we're still here folks." She syas into her comms. "You can hold back teh tears." She says. "Tom, you okay up there?"

"Splash two! - Illuminati Lead, Needles. I have contact with a set of ejection pods! Pass the word to activate SAR!" She yanks the fighter around through a hard break to port and moves in on Aquilina's bandit. She tumbs through a missile lock and comes over the top. "Sweet tone, Fox Two."

"I'm not dead, if that's what you mean" Pickett replies over the intercom, before swinging the ungainly broadsword around and into the dogfight that's going on. Sure his fighter is all busted to hell, but that's never been the sort of thing to stop him from engaging aggressively before. "Copy Needles. We'll make the pickup once the fur is gone" Pickett explains. "Assuming our tractor beam still functions"

Aquilina feels his Stiletto shudder at the impact of the Sartha's guns. BANG. "…ta, sir," he answers Valentine, a hint drily. He's up on the trigger though, letting off a missile that slams the other Sartha a second after Markovic busts the shit out of it. "Hmpf!" Next target ahoy, as he skims around and opens fire on the last Sartha in the party, the one coming dead on balls at him.

Slipping onto the tail of the same fighter he'd just damaged, Valentine pays little attention to the comm chatter. He was angry enough at having to stay behind while the rest were having their fun, he hated to leave men to engage and die when he wasn't out in the thick himself. Intaking a deep breath, Valentine aligns the crosshairs once more, aiming for the engine this time. "Grim.. Fox Two." he calls before loosing another missile.

Well at least someone was able to hit his target. Lucian begins to search for another target to fire upon. Even if he didn't get anym hits, it was all about being involved now more than anything else. Quitting wouldn't look good on his behalf. "Locking on new target, it's coordinates are…." 'Ah fuck it..' He stops himself short and begins firing away.

While the bandits have other pursuits, Xiang risks edging her beaten Stiletto into a more offensive position. "Nicely done, Hammer," she says, with no small note of pride in her wingman as his shot adds to general pummeling of the Grikath craft. "Anymore sighted? My sensors are fiercely buggered."

The remaining Kilrathi never really stand a chance. Battered by a volley of missiles, then surrounded by a hail of gunfire from three seperate ships' batteries, the two remaining craft practically disintegrate.

Melia looks far too relieved when the last of the fighters are destoryed, she gets up from her seat and goes forwards to the cockpit her hand gently squeezes Tom's shoulder. "Eh, now do you think you can land this thing in one piece?" She asks, with a grin as she strips into the co-pilot chair.

"One Less" Pickett comments happily after his missile slams into the cockpit of the last remaining bomber. "Archangel here, looks like we're clear. Someone else want to confirm?" Pickett asks, swinging his fighter through as tight a circle as a one-winged broadsword can manage to make sure he hasn't missed any potential targets. "And landing waits until we make the pickup on Razor" Pickett tells Melia.

Markovic watches all these missile trails converge on a single bandit. It looks like hers might get the kill then..! Boom! Her missile plows through the exploding wreckage, only adding to the destruction. "Wow. Shit." She throttles back and sidles her Stil up next to Aquilina. "Good shooting, Lieutenant. Good cover, too. I owe you beers. Again. Do not get used to it." She looks out her cockpit and flashes him a thumbs up.

BOOM. Aquilina's missile follows a few others, turning the sartha's cockpit into half the kitty it used to be. "Scratched my paint, you fucking whore," he grouches into the com. A light snort at Markovic, flashing her a return thumbs-up through the slightly darkened viewport. "What am I up to now, sir? Coors?" He smirks, then his eyes turn around the field of wreckage. "Where's Razor, he come out alright? Saw him eject out there."

"Razor. I'm nearing your position, and my tractor beam is still working, if I wiggle this little red wire. So, I think we're good." A look over his shoulder, which is really annoying, because damn, he isn't as young as he used to be, and stiff necks are a bitch, whoof. "Marine…whats your name? And prepare to load up an EVA pilot. The bay door will open, and you just need to help secure him." and he hits the comm. "I can grab him, Archangel. I'm not missing a wing." A kind offer, isn't it? Plus, for some reason, this particular rookie has become something of a project for the Englishman, even if Draygo doesn't know it. Poor kid. "Did you pop your ace cherry, Razor? Do I get to find the manliest woman on the Majestic for you, tonight, lad?"

"Hammer confirms, Archangel. Scopes are clear; srany kittens are done for." Korsakov's fighter turns lazily through space as the Confed ships look for surviving Kilrathi, to no avail. He looks to one side, where Xiang's tore-up Stiletto hangs off his wing. "Not bad yourself, Verdict," the XO's voice crackles over the radio. There's approval in his voice as he addresses his wingman. "Glad to see your ship is still in one piece."

Melia nods her head up and down. "That's what I meant." She says going to lean forwards, and about to ask when Pip comes over the comms. "Well isn't that very gentlman like of him." She says then looks shocked at the comment. "Hey Pip, I know a few we got this one gal in the squad that swears she can wrestle crocs."

The ejection pod had stablized it's axial movement, the spinning slowly to a stop and a good thing because anymore would have the poor rookie feeling a little green. While the pod awaits for retrieval, Kell answer Pip's question the best he could, "Not sure Pip, don't think so though. Which is fine by me, because I rather pop my ace cherry in a Fighter, and I haven't stocked up enough liquor for that very handsome women you are trying to find me. I also have a couple of gunners evac'd near me too if you can pick them up, will be a tight squeeze though."

"I think I can spot you some hard alcohol, Torch." Markovic salutes the wingman crisply. "Let us RTB. See you back on the deck." The Captain rolls her fighter to starboard and peels away slowly, heading for the Majestic.

"Copy that, pip. In that case, I'll just worry about setting this pig down on the deck" Pickett replies with a little chuckle. "I guess on the bright side, I'm keeping the deck crews from getting bored with this. Hopefully they'll have my Stiletto ready when I land…"

"Barely, Hammer," is Xiang's wry reply to Korsakov. "Should get this thing home so it can get some TLC. Thanks for watching my wing." She keeps in formation with his Stiletto as she limps into the clear.

"If I didn't know better I'd think you liked me, sir," Alex answers Markovic, primly. "Copy RTB, I'll be in soon as our limping friends put their skids down."

Korsakov says, "Don't kid yourself, Torch, no one likes you," Korsakov's voice crackles over the radio in a deadpan. "Copy that, Verdict. Good work out there. That goes for the rest of you." Praise doesn't come easily to the 221st's XO, but there's no mistaking the honesty in his tone."

Aquilina guides his Stiletto towards the Majestic, at Markovic's four. And Kors is praising them, holy crap. "Oh, Hammer. Does that mean I get to be the big spoon tonight?"

"Copy, Razor. We'll find room. The Jarhead can ride on my the wing, if need be." Zing. As the old pilot goes through the process of tractoring in the fallen 'swords crew, he looks over his shoulder, making sure the process is going smoothly internally, as well. Once they're collected, the rickety-old bird is gently directed toward the Majestic with a kind word…"Ah, lassie. You lasted me long enough. Hopefully, they won't strip you for parts, once we're down." Which, given her impromptu namesake? Possible.

Fade to Recovery Deck…