Wolf In Cat's Clothing
Wolf in Cat's Clothing
Arc: Strange Bedfellows
Summary: Paz leads a medium range patrol and encounters a damaged Hhriss, which turns out to be ruse. Is this a trap for the pilots of Kilo Flight or the Kilrathi?
Date: 2659.091
Related Logs: None
Participants: James, Paz, Phillip

The infinite void opens up outside the carrier, dominated by the massive asteroid housing what was once Rygannon's mining complex. Debris from the defunct mining operation has formed into a dense field of slowly tumbling asteroids, making the approach to the station a dangerous one. Clustered loosely around the Majestic are its escorts: A pair of Venture-class corvettes, a pair of Gilgamesh-class destroyers, and a Gettysburg-class cruiser.

Two little Rapiers are parked outside the Majestic waiting for their sensor packag…I mean…Stiletto to join them for the patrol.

"Any time now, Illimunati." Paz sighs to herself, drumming her fingers on the console's edge. "Iceblade, Tizona, do you have an ETA on our patrol mate?" she growls over the radio.

Phillip nods at the comment in agreement, then suggests over the radio, «Maybe it's engine trouble.»

«Copy that.» Paz sighs. "If I wind up pissin' in my relief tube, somebody's going to get their ass kicked."

Phillip thinks over the past few days of patrols in a quick mental review. Very few engagements for certain. «We sure have been lucky that the Cats haven't found us, eh Tiz.»

«Iceblade, Tizona. Don't get too happy, man.» Paz cautions him. «We've got a long way to go before we're back in anything close to a safe sector and the Fuzzy Wuzzies aren't going to stay stupid forever.» she notes. «Also, don't ever call me 'Tiz' again.» she snerks.

Phillip chuckles over the comm, «Okay Tizzy-ona.» Yeah he is way too bored for his own good, but maybe he saved himself by adding his poor pronunciation of Paz's callsign. Also if this were on anything but the wing's frequency, well let's say this kind of levity would be worthy of at least a mild reprimand.

«You're going to make me come over there and kick your ass, aren't you, Iceblade?» Paz chuckles, shaking her fist at her fellow pilot.

Phillip retorts with a bit of smile, «Tizona, save your flirting for the First and Last will ya.»

«Heh, careful, Iceblade, or I'll be remembering these remarks when I'm writing the next duty roster.» Tizona replies sweetly.

Phillip responds with mock accusation, «Oh, so you have been the one keeping me on safer patrols these last few weeks.»

«Only because we've only got so many spare parts.» Paz replies, bobbing her head a little. «After one of your traps, there's always something needing to be fixed.»
Phillip chuckles, then notices a lone Stiletto finally fly out of the ship. «Hey Tizona, looks like our final patrolmate has arrived.»

«Copy that. Hello, Cutlass.» Paz radios. «Good of you to join us.»

James is watching the engine status readout on his display very carefully as he slides into formation «Sorry about that. There was an odd reading on my main drive and they had to look up whether it was enough to downcheck the fighter.»

«Well it is good to finally see you, what do say we get this thing going.», Iceblade Radios

«Copy that, Kilo Flight, Lead. Cutlass, take the point, I'll take your wing, portside high, Iceblade, on my wing, starboard low. Everybody keep a weather eye on your sensors and let's keep the chatter to a minimum. Don't wanna make it too easy for the Fuzzies.» she orders, settling into her couch and starting to vector to her position in the flight.
Phillip doubles clicks his mic for acknowledgement.

James nods and kicks up the drive until he's on the point position «Don't worry I'm on it Tizona.» he replies as he turns his focus to the scanners.

A while later, the flight of Confed fighters is out in the middle of their patrol in this Cat controlled space (or near Cat-controlled). Leading the formation is a Stiletto whose sensors, while not the best, prove to be far better than the other fighters on board. As patrols are likely to run into heavy resistance, two Rapiers or Raptors have been assigned to each patrol flight.

James's Stiletto has picked up the ion emissions of a Kilrathi fighter that is definitely suffering from damage near the flight's patrol route. As the fighters continue their current trajectory, the Stiletto picks up significant sensor emissions emanating from 4 points. Based on the information the Stiletto is receiving, the sensors guesses 4 medium fighters, possibly heavy ones.

James looks over the scanner and then clicks on the comm before reporting «Ok everyone I'm picking up a damaged Kilrathi fighter nearby.» He continues watching the scanner then cuts back in suddenly «Make that 4 Kilrathi birds ahead. Looks like they're most likely mediums but they could be heavies.»

"Well, hello, Fuzzy." Paz murmurs, peering at the bright splashes of electromagnetic energy on her sensor scope. Double-clicking her mic to acknowledge receipt of message, she begins to plan. "Throwing around a lot of energy. Even money they've spotted us." she muses. "If they have, they'll be ready for us. If they haven't. we'll give them a hell of a shock." she says, grinning ferally. «Kilo Flight, Lead. Vector to one four three mark one one five.» she orders, setting co-ordinates that puts them beneath the enemy fighters. «We'll give 'em a single pass from below. Watch your fire and check your targets. Remember, we're a long way from an ammo dump, so don't waste it on anything you don't think you can hit. Cutlass, I'm taking point. Watch my ass, okay?» she calls, already vectoring her fighter into position.

Phillip notes the detection of enemies and comments to himself, "Me and my big mouth." «I can definitely confirm there is something out there putting out a lot of signal. Let's hope that they are just Dralthis, so we can kick their butts and go home.» Iceblade then double mics and follows.

As the Confed flight closes on the enemy, the combined sensors of the three fighters determine that the enemy flight is made up of 4 Hhrisses, one of which appears damaged based on the ion trail. Three of the Hhriss detect the inbound Confed ships and come about, racing directly at the Stiletto and two Rapiers. All of which are locking on with missiles. The damaged Hhriss slows down and turns toward the Confed fighters as well, but remains far behind the others and well out of range of the Confed ships.

Paz's threat receivers suddenly scream a warning as one of the Hhriss' target computer starts tracking her, looking for a lock. "Not so fast, Fuzzy." she grins, firewalling her throttle and starting to jinx her fighter left and right a little as she lines her crosshairs up on the enemy ship's nose, flipping one of her dumbfires to active and lining up the shot. «Fox-2!» she calls, squeezing the trigger and starting to maneuver more violently as the missile speeds away.

James replies, «Understood» as he moves his ship into position. Then the lead Hhriss swings around towards Paz's Rapier «Watch it Tizona, the leader's coming for you engaging now.» he settles his gunsight over the enemy leader's glowing engines and switches to missiles squeezing the trigger once his has tone then weaving to try and shake off his own attacker while announcing «Cutlass Fox 2!»

Phillip notes the nastiness of the enemy. "Hhriss, why did it have to be Hhriss," says to himself. Iceblade locks onto one of the Hhriss with an Image Rec and hopes it will hit the target. «This is Iceblade, attacking now.» Ping! Finally a lock, «Fox 1.»

As the Confed and Cat ships close with their missile salvo, the damaged Hhriss increases speed and appears totally undamaged. A ruse and trap for certain. But for which side? The apparently undamaged Hhriss lets loose with a missile not at the Confed ships, but at the other Kilrathi fighters specifically attacking the Lead Hhriss. What a strange development, indeed. With all of the missiles flying, several ships take quite a beating especially Paz's Rapier and the LeadHhriss.

The traitorous Hhriss turns toward the Hhriss chasing the Stiletto while another Hhriss turns to take on the traitor.

Paz gives a shout as her Rapier takes a near-mortal blow from the Hhriss' missile, screaming red damage reports spilling down her displays like blood from an open wound. Though unhurt herself, her ship is, as they say, _fucked up_. It'll take all of the deck gang's art to put this bird together again. But she's not dead, and worse, for the enemy, she's pissed off! "Borroso de mierda!" she snarls in Spanish, flipping her weapons to full guns and giving her attacker a volley at near point blank range!

James grimaces as his missile sails past its target and the says "What the hell?" as a missile from the 'damaged' Hhriss slams into the enemy leader. He switches to guns and cuts in the comm «Are you ok Tizona, and did either of you see what I think I saw?" before sweeping towards the enemy leader guns blazing when his weaving course brings them to bare.

Phillip notes with satisfaction as his missile clips the wing of the Hhriss and he easily evades the incoming one. The sight of Tizona's damaged bird gives him pause, so he comes about and heads straight in on the lead Hhriss. Then he notices two of the Hhrisses start angling for each other, "What the hell, wasn't that fighter damaged a minute ago. «Tizona, coming to your rescue, but please go evasive.»

As the melee continues, only two fighters get a solid hit, the Lead Hhriss on poor Paz and the formerly damaged Hhriss upon the Lead Hhriss. Amazingly, Paz's Rapier chucks along as in it is definitely spitting out its guts in a manner of speaking. The Damaged Hhriss decides to help this time and lines up for head on attack on the Lead Hhriss.

Paz takes the next missile in her lap, almost literally. One second, she's squeezing the trigger, frowning as she watches her rounds stab out into empty space, then the whole world seems to explode. The cockpit shatters around her, shrapnel sending hot wires of pain deep into her chest and right leg. Seemingly screaming it's agony to her in the form of a wicked shudder, Paz's fighter comes shuddering out of its climb as she frantically starts shutting down all non-critical systems and easing her mortally wounded engines back to flight idle. «Flight, Lead, break off, repeat, break off.» she radios, static squelching out half of her words as she fumbles with her medkit, desperately seeking trauma patches. «RTB, repeat, RTB immediately. Am transmit….» her comms short out at this juncture, leaving her tumbling through space in the dark, charred remains of her fighter.

Phillip radios on his wing's frequency, «Tiz, Tiz, Tizona. Do you read.» Damn it. "Alright kitty, you are going to pay for that." Iceblade lines up shot with a dumbfire on the Lead Hhriss who has now decided that the traitor in the mist is far more threatening than the three…excuse me… two Confed fighters and the hunk of junk Paz is flying.

James watches the missile strike Tizona's fighter then pales at the orders before opening his commline <Sorry lead I couldn't make out your last transmission.» He then notes a fighter angling for Phillip's tail and boars straight in on it guns blazing, «Iceblade you've picked up a tail but I'm on it.»

Wow, it takes a beating and keeps on ticking. The Lead Hhriss suffers a severe missile hit to the cockpit by Iceblade with a dumbfire no less in addition to some nasty gun hits from the traitorous Hhriss who just dodges the shots from the Lead Hhriss with an ease only long time aces have. All three Hhrisses decide this traitor must go down.

Paz decides it's more appropriate to start trying to get her fighter together than herself. Judging by the blood flow, the wounds aren't life threatening. Flying around in a ship with no electrical power, and hence, no life support, kind of is. Cursing to herself in a steady, reassuring stream, Paz rips the breaker panel open and starts patiently trying to rewire her cockpit systems. Only when the important stuff comes back on line, and is confirmed by a few test vectors, does she allow herself time to work on her own wounds.

James curses as his shot only dents armor and mutters something about wanting a fighter with decent guns as he continues to pursue his target with weapons blazing.

Phillip fires the dumbfire and lands a solid cockpit hit combined with that from the traitor, but it remains in action. Iceblade then takes a hit to his nose and dodges a bit before coming back around to finish off the Lead with guns. Iceblade decides to radio to James, «Cutlass thanks for the assist, but help me finish this sucker off. Iceblade out.»

Finally the lead Hhriss takes a final hit and explodes as Iceblade lands one more hit on it right at the cockpit. The Traitor Hhriss is clearly an amazing ace and he easily evades the other two Hhrisses. Both of the remaining Hhrisses decide to focus in this traitor with full force.

Paz manages to get enough systems online to _sort_ of get herself back in the fight, though, as squirrelly as her ship's flying, whether or not she'll hit anything's in the lap of the Gods. Uncaging the seeker head of a image recognition missile, the only weapon system she can get to function, she draws a bead on her assailant and squeezes the trigger. "Hey, borroso! Conjetura quin es todava vivo? La vez proxima usted desea tirar en Tizona, acaba el trabajo de mierda!"

Phillip reports with some modulated excitement, though he is really happy inside, «Space just got a little colder. That is one Kilrathi out of action.» Iceblade then comes about and focuses on one of the other Hhrisses. «Cutlass, Ice here, are you seeing what I'm seeing with that Hhriss?»

James watches the enemy leader come apart and opens his commline «Good shooting Iceblade» then swings around towards the nearest cat and unleashes a short burst as he boars in «Yeah I am assuming you mean the one the other two are shooting at which shot their lead.»

James Stiletto's mass drivers again hit with no effect due to the heavy armor and shielding of the Hhrisses. The Hhriss that Confed is loving right now is evading the enemy with ease and then immediately tacks onto one of the Hhrisses tails and fires a full blast at it somehow missing the target. The only guy doing anything this round is Iceblade it seems.

Paz swears as her missile, predictably, fails to hit anything, and begins to vector, haltingly, away from the combat zone. Keying her mic, she tries to get off a transmission, but swears elaborately when all she gets is static.

Phillip notes the hit on the Hhriss and switches to dumbfire to finish it off. «Cutlass, escort Tizona back to base. I don't know if this traitorous Kat will be friendly.»

James mutters a curse and swears to examine his fighter's guns once they get back. He continues pursuing his chosen target «You would think by now the other two would know better than to ignore us but their stupidity is our gain I guess, and I'm kind of busy at the moment.»

All three Hhrisses take damage, but the traitorous one is only lightly damaged on his guns. Paz's Rapier heads out of the field of combat while the remaining two Hhrisses turn tail.

Phillip makes a solid hit on one Hhriss with his dumbfire, but decides it best to get out of the area, especially as Paz's Rapier is completely defenseless. «Cutlass, Iceblade. Let's get out of here quickly.»

James smiles as one of his shots finally punches through the enemy shielding to strike home then mutters a low curse under his breath when both enemy's break away. With a quick rude gesture to the fleeing enemy he swings around to form up with Paz «We should find out why one Hhriss was shooting at the others as well Iceblade.»

Paz double clicks her mic, still fumbling around inside the guts of her ship's switchbox to try and get some power to her comm systems. Because it's not much fun trying to trap without comms. After a few hair-raising moment's worth of fumbling, she's able to get off a squelchy «Flight, Tizona….status…eh…not so good…» she reports woozily. «Am RTB..»

As the remaining hostile Hhrisses run away, a new human voice comes on the scene. «Ha, Yeah just run with your tails behind your legs, little kittens.» Where can that be coming from…oh, it is from the traitorous Hhriss who is not a traitorous cat after all. This Hhriss is in now turning away from the Confed ships and heading out of the area at full speed, and its sensor emissions drop to nothing. The three Confed fighters then receive a comm over one of more common and older Confed general purpose frequencies. «Thanks a lot, Confed. You showed up at the wrong time. I nearly got a good look at their fleet in this system. Well, you best run back to your hole in the ground.» The pilot finishes in a rather condescending tone. The fighter then goes to full afterburner straight toward the relatively nearby asteroid belt.

Phillip chuckles to himself, "Jeez, that was just insane." «Cutlass, Iceblade here. Did you receive that transmission? Seriously, who was that guy.» Iceblade then checks his own ship out. «Kilo flight, reporting very minor damage and I still got my FFs and one dumbfire in case we run into anything.» Iceblade then checks over Tiz's ship, if you can still call it that. «Tizona, acknowledge if you can land.»

Paz chuckles softly and gives the retreating Hhriss' the finger. "Assholes." she sighs, then winces as her trauma patch doesn't quite null out the pain or the wooziness as well as she'd hoped. «Flight, RTB.» she calls unnecessarily, shaking her head to clear it as she pushes, with horrid slowness, for home.

James assumes escort position at the rear of the group «Cutlass here "I'm undamaged.» He grimaces when he gets a scan of Paz's fighter «I'll see what I can do for your fighter once we're home Tizona.»