Crossed and Tied
Crossed and Tied
Summary: A rough engagement leads to the loss of two Terran ships, and almost costs Valentine and Kell their lives.
Date: 2657.320
Related Logs: None

All active fighters aboard the Majestic are scrambled with orders to proceed to Nav-1 with all possible haste. The TCS Ali, and TCS Durban had reported a full squadron of inbound bogies, a mix of light, and medium fighters escorting a full flight of Grikath bombers. It is not a long flight, and as they near sensor range, it should be come quite clear, just what the Confederation starfighters are in for. 4 Dralthi, 2 Krant, 4 Sartha, 4 Grikaths, and a Yal-wah have already begun to engage TCS Durban, an Exeter-class, and her patrol partner, TCS Ali, an old Venture-class. Flak bursts is lighting up space around the developing furball.

The squadron of Terran starfighters is inbound on the coordinates provided, and as they near the inbound bogies, Valentine is examining the readout display on his control panel. Intaking a deep breath, the Wing Commander nudges his Stiletto into the lead. "Alright boys and gals, let's keep a tight formation. Cover each others asses, and make sure everyone comes home." Pausing a moment, he flicks over to his heat seeker missile, preparing for the engagement. Then, the Kilrathi are upon them, and Valentine's got two kitties firing at him. Rolling onto his port wing, the Wing Commander banks and climbs before rolling back to starboard, sweeping about to come infrom above and to starboard of one of the vessels that attacked him, firing his heat seeker towards the cockpit of H'dan Ki'al Qarq. "Grim. Fox One."

Korsakov sits quietly in his cockpit, staring only at the sensor readouts as Valentine's voice crackles over the com. As the angry horde of Kilrathi hurtles toward them, Korsakov fixes his targeting sensors on the Jalthi in the lead and switches to his missles. He curses lightly as Valentine suddenly breaks away to engage said Jalthi, and his fighter arcs over to follow. "Razor, you're with Torch. I'm on Lead's wing." He does an admirable job of matching Valentine's maneuvers, staying close to the wing commander while jockeying for a clear shot of his own. "Hammer. Fox Two." The missle streaks free, speeding towards the Kilrathi fighter for all it's worth.

"Jerry, since Lead has neglected to target those bombers prepared to smack our capital friends, we'll do so." This transmission is for Keonig, as the English First Lieutenant has been calling the German pilot in lieu of a proper callsign. See, this is why you get a callsign. "Dumbfire armed." The borrowed Scimitar peels off from formation, and screams toward the Grikaths that are so intent on turning the TCS Ali into a smoking wreck. His primary target appears to be Grikath-a…"Missile away!" An unguided warhead streaks toward his target, trusting the erstwhile bomber pilot to target a Grikath of his own. Jenthson's starfighter than twists into a sharp turn, and steep climbing roll, an attempt to evade the incoming fire from his intercepting Kilrathi.

"Hammer, Torch. Copy that, boss." Alex's voice tells Korsakov over the comm. His Stiletto flashes away from Hammer's side and towards Kell, speeding past on the port side. "Razor, Torch. You've got three new friends over here. Shake 'em off, preferably in front of this missile. Taking out that Sartha first, fox two."

With multiple red blips on his forward sensors, Kell furrows his brows as he stays in formation with the rest of the mission squadron, switching weapons from the Mass Driver Cannons that he isn't a big fan of to the much harder hitting Heat Seeker Missiles. Atleast the young pilot is once again comfortable in his Stiletto Light Fighter, repairs finally completed instead of a fat and slow Broadsword where he had a very bad experience. As the XO shoots the orders to the rest of the squadron, Kell sends an acknowledgement first to the XO, then to his wingman, Torch. "Going Evasive, Torch, will try to draw the Sartha into your path." With that, the young pilot breaks his fighter to the left the Kilrathi gets a bead on his fighter, the darkness of space being lit up as both sides engage. Once the Sartha and Dralthis drop on his six, Kell throws his Stiletto into a quick but tight weave, shaking right, then left before back right as he tries to get them to follow in front of Aquilina's line of fire. As he does so, he selects another Sartha to keep an eye on, wanting to keep them off of the Scims that are engaging the heavier fighters. For now though, he focuses more or less on dodging the abundance of deadly energy being shot in his direction.

"Roger that, Pip." Comes the slightly accented words of Koenig. He furrows his brows at being called Jerry, but, not so much he can do out here. He pushes the throttle forward on the Scimitar he's flying for the evening, having recently been temporarily transferred to the depleted Reserve squadron. The man flicks his weapons over to missiles, and settles in to target one of the approaching bombers. "Fox one," he announces as he releases his shot.

The first seconds of combat are hectic, as always, but it does show that this squadron of Kilrathi are not bad. Not at all. Only -one- of their starfighters is erased by missile fire, and that happens to be one of the bombers. But, both the Ali, and the Durban suffer torpedo hits that seem debris bursting from their hulls. The starfighters do not seem focused on killing individual targets, but rather on selecting the closest Confed fighter, and attacking at will. Unusual Kilrathi tactics…they seem less concerned about -who- gets the kill, so long as a kill is achieved. Their weapons fill space, as they converge on selected human ships.

A smoke-filled bridge appears on the starfighters' internal video screens, with a young Ensign addressing them"TCS Durban to Confed fighters…Captain Nucefora sends his greetings, and wishes you luck. Two of those Kilrathi fighters keep filling our comms with chatter about their many victories. I'd say you're dealing with an elite squadron. Durban out."

Eyes narrow as his heat seeker misses, and then he's jostled about within the cockpit by the barrage of gunfire to his cockpit, trailing up and over the crest of the craft. Shaking his head, Valentine intakes a deep breath. As he examines the data on his feed, he tags the ship that had just ripped into him, and notes its destination. "Jenthson, the guy coming at you's good. Recommend full evasive." Then Valentine takes note of Koenig's marginally wounded craft, and two inbound. "Koenig, I've got a bead on the Sartha inbound to your position. I'll dust him for you." Pushing the throttle to the max, Valentine then calls, "Grim. Fox Two." His second heat seeker is sent hurtling in for Sartha-2.

Aquilina at least succeeded in Goal A: Distract the Sartha from Kell's tail. Of course, another one goes speeding after his wingmate instead, and he gets a second friend following him as well. Grunt. "Coming up on your five, Razor. Keep that Sartha steady, giving you some backup."

"Copy that, Durban. Pip, I will cover you." Korsakov's Stiletto streaks through space after the wounded Jalthi; Max pours on the afterburners as he moves to reacquire his lock. The Jalthi's forward weapons suite could reduce even a Broadsword to metallic mulch fairly quickly, so Korsakov doesn't want the Kilrathi to get the chance. "Hammer. Fox Two." His targeting display glowing an obliging red to signify missle lock on, Korsakov's second heat seeker is launched.

Shaking one or two of the Kilrathi fighters off of his tail, Kell somehow manages to pick up two other new ones so there are still three angry Cats after him, "Jeez, the new paint job must be luring these Kilrathi onto me, got another three on my six, maintaining evasive." Angling his Stiletto to the left, he breaks in that direction for a second before he continues to invert, banking downwards before breaking to the right as his fighter not screams after Sartha-3, launching a missile as he does so, unsure if he was able to get a lock or not in his erratic movements.

"I'm hit, going evasive Pip." Koenig says into the comms before jamming the stick downwards, and stomping on the rudder pedal of his Scimitar. The lumbering craft does not make nearly as dramatic a maneuver as he wishes, but, it does its job, of pulling out of the line of some fire at least. He grumbles a bit and spots the Dralthi that had been firing at him, and returns the favor.

"Lead? I'm better." The words are cocky, and perhaps foolhardy, but it doesn't keep Frethan from stomping hard on his port-side rudder pedal, and skewing his starfighter into a zippy turn that ends with his nose leveled at the Kilrathi ace, his firing pip settling into position just a bit forward of the Jalthi, the seeker head on his Heat Seeker warbling until a constant tone indicates lock. "Roger, Hammer. I'm sending a package his way, as well." He is the most dangerous target, clearly.

The next few seconds of combat are nasty, but for the Kitties, rather than the confed ships. Their ace is killed in what amounts to a lovely shot from Hammer, though it is a boring death. The explosion rips off the cockpit, and leaves the ship intact, not even an impressive explosion for the Kilrathi pilots to glory in. The already killed starfighter is exploded by a follow-up heat seeker from Pip. Two Sarthas meet the end of the line, courtesy of Valentine and Aquilina, as well. The Ali seems to have become the main target of the Grikath's, and torpedos continue to be launched.

Watching his target go up in flames, Valentine flies through the debris ending up on the other side. As the Kilrathi goes up that had hit him, Grim nods slowly to himself, but spends very little time focusing on it. Then alarm klaxons are warning of inbound fighters on him, and the Wing Commander begins to dip and dodge. "I've got two inbound on me." he informs the squadron. "Anybody feel like taking one off my hands?" Then he's examining the layout of the furball, and he rolls to bring him about, bearing down on the Dralthi targetting Jenthson. Targetting the Dralthi's cockpit, Valentine lets loose with a barrage of gunfire for his cockpit.

Aquilina's missile hits gold this time, exploding the Sartha's cockpit into a shiny mess of dust right before he speeds through it. "Splash one kittymobile. Razor, haul around and take out that other one that's following you, let's free you up to do some heavier dirty dancing over there."

Another round of blasts whizzing past him, another few moments of survival for Koenig. He continues his evasive maneuvers, though he switches his target in the furball. Apparently his strategy is to shoot whomever is shooting at him, so when a Krant works on getting behind him, he tracks after it and fires a high deflection shot.

The evasive maneuvers is doing nothing to help Kell with his ability to acquire a firm lock with his Heat Seeking missiles as the one he fires goes wide while he earns a direct hit to his controls, causing one of the screens to crack. "Razor here, Thorn, just a scratch. Still in fighting shape. Only one on my tail this time, you've got a Krant on your tail though so heads up." Switching to the weaker Mass Driver Cannons, Kell is now able to have an easier time firing bursts and while staying cautiously evasive. He decides to assist his wingman and dives after the bigger and tougher Krant fighter, not sure if his cannons will be able to punch through if they hit.

Korsakov's Stiletto jerks under a hit, but it's not enough to shake the persistant Russian pilot; he watches his missle gut the Kitten ace's Jalthi with a snarl of satisfaction. "Tuka'!" The Kilrathi insult is broadcast in the clear, for the benefit of the Jalthi's still surviving friends. "Va ka garga ka naru ha garga." Korsakov's heavy Russian accent undoubtedly butchers the Kilrathi words, but not quite beyond recognition. The black Stiletto arcs away from the Jalthi's exploding wreck as Max takes stock of his sensor readings and looks for a new target. "Spasebo, Pip. Lead, Hammer. Will cover you." Korsakov's ship twists and turns as he maneuvers against the pair of Dralthis, going for a lock.

"Nice shooting, Hammer." Compliments given, Pip's undamaged Scimitar twists up onto its port wing, and knifes through a gauntlet of fire, impacts pinging off of the borrowed fighters thick armor, the englishman calling into his headset.."I've got the Dralthi on your six, ." A deep breath as he waits for prime firing time, and then his last dumbfire is streaking clear of the underslung rack, and heading for Dralthi-a."

The Dralthi pilots appear to take their time in lining up missile runs, moving into an inverted formation and swooping back into the combat, warheads not launched, clearly waiting until the last moment. It is a costly, and foolish move, as one of their number is eliminated by Pip's dumbfire ripping it in half. A Sartha falls, thanks to Torch's accurate shooting, but the true victory for the last moments go to the Kilrathi, as their bombers are able to destroy the TCS Ali, life-pods shooting in all directions, but the ship clearly torn apart by torpedos, with explosions ripping through space.

Aquilina fires his missile, cracking Kell's trailing Sartha right in the faceplate. KABOOM. "Splash Two. You're clear, Razor." Right then is when he swings back around and notices two things. One, the Ali's wreckage. Two, the Dralthi joining a Krant on his ass. "Sons of bitches." He pulls back on the throttle, jinking hard to port to get out of the way of fire and return it.

Slipping onto the tail of Dralthi-b, Valentine shakes his head as he fails to connect with the last attack. Yet he's undaunted. "I'm pursuing." he informs the men. Continuing with evasive maneuvers as he flies through the thick of the firefight, the throttle is pressed forth, sending the Wing Commander hurtling through the most dangerous area in pursuit of Dralthi-b. Then, as he levels off and the crosshairs align, he's loosing another barrage of gunfire.

If it aint broke don't fix it seems to be Koenig's theme as he continues to turn with the Krant. He fires off another blast or two at the enemy ship, and continues to keep his head turning to make sure that someone isn't sneaking up on him.

Still jinking and juking the Kilrathi Sartha that is on his tail, Kell is finally able to fake it out and shake the annoying attacker off of his tail. However, before he is able go hunting for Aquilina's pursuer, his eyes quickly snap to the vision of one of their Capital Ships exploding. Balling a hand into a fist, Kell bangs it against the console and growls, "Torch, watch yourself, you have one… no two Cats on your tail. I can't help you though, already making a run on one of the bombers, can't let them take out the Durban either so hang on and I'll try to swing back." With the warning given to his wingman, Kell now focuses on the Griskath bomber that he is targetting, diving in at a steep angle, taking advantage of teh Stiletto's speed. Flicking a switch to the Heat Seeker Missile, Kell waits to get a locking tone on the sluggish Kilrathi bomber before pressing the trigger stub, sending a missile after the Cat that just blew up the TCS Ali.

"Got them, Razor. Go give them what for, watch yourself," Alex calls back to Kell. His focus is on staying out of the line of this gunfire, and he opens up on the Dralthi coming at him.

"Fucking wankers…." Jinking to avoid a lifepod that ejects into his path, Pip's Scimitar stands up on its side, and looses his final dumbfire in a purely reflexive shot, as Grikath-C slips through his cross-hairs, inbound on the TCS Durban. "Goddamnit, Flight. We're going to let the Durban fry, while we fuck around with these light-weights." As he sees Kell release his missile toward the lead bomber, he hoots into the comm once again…"That's the spirit Razor!"

Korsakov's head jerks to the side, the Russian pilot gaping in a small 'o' of horror as he watches TCS Ali break up under the impact of multiple torpedoes. "Torch, Razor, clean up those srany Gri—" Max cuts himself off as Kell moves to obey his order almost before he's even given it. His eyes narrow as his attention returns to the Dralthi he's doggedly pursuing, and his finger squeezes the trigger on his controls, spewing another burst of mass driver fire.

Eh, fuck. Alex doesn't quite say that, but he's thinking it. He catches sight of the Grikaths going for the Durban, then the two little ships still behind him. "Right. Catch this, assholes." Swinging guns around, he goes shooting for one of the capital ships instead, trying to keep the little ones on his tail and shooting at nothing. He hopes.

The TCS Durban, one of the finest ships in the 12th Fleet, is torn apart by Kilrathi torpedos, a second kill by the bomber element lead by Yal'wah, a kilrathi bomber ace. His own vessel critically damaged, the Kilrathi leader sends Grikath-b to attack his pursuer and let the elite Kat escape frombattle. The fighters continue to zip through the fight, doing serious, possibly fatally damage to atleast one of the Confed starfighters.

Missing his target once more, Valentine is finding he's been behind the desk too long. He's about to deliver further orders to the squadron when Sartha-4 comes in from his blindside, a rain of neutron descending upon his cockpit. "I'm hit! I'm hit!" comes the Wing Commander's call over the comm system, and then words a pilot dreads hearing. "I can't hold it together! I'm ejecting!" Pulling the ejection lever, Grim is shot into space enveloped in a capsule, his Stiletto going up in flames only moments after he managed to eject. So far, the man's alive, but all around him the battle still rages, and it only takes one stray bullet.

Koenig lets out a loud curse in his ship as the Durban explodes. He frowns, murmurs something under his breath, and then goes back to attacking the Krant that had been trying to fry him. He rolls his ship over, and switches to missiles, firing one off at his target.

"Fucking whore," Alex spits between his teeth as more debris joins the Ali in wreckage. He pushes the Stiletto faster, breaking from his flightpath and swinging around to fire at one of Kell's increasing number of pursuers, trying to cripple it enough that the younger pilot can get a shot off at the fleeing Yal'wah.

"Well. We failed, Flight." Those words are spit over the comm system, and Frethan's starfighter twists into a pursuit of the Sartha that is intent on wiping out his rookie, temporary wingman. "I've got the cat on your six, Koenig. Heat Seeker away." Once the warbling turns into a solid tone, it releases from beneath his craft, and jets in toward target. "There'll be hell to pay, when we get home. Calling in SAR for the crews, and Grim, now." Even as he fights, he begins to speak on yet another communications frequency.

Watching as the lead Grikath Bomber unleash another torpedo before his Heat Seeker was able to slam into the Kilrathi's cockpit, Kell can only watch helplessly as the torpedo tears into the already wounded Durban, causing the pilot to bang his console again, "Fuck, die you damn cat!" With the Ace Bomber's cockpit slightly venting atmosphere, the young rookie pilot smells blood and continues to dive at the Kilrathi bomber, drawing attention from a few nearby enemies. However, before Kell is able to get a solid lock on the now evasive bomber, his own fighter blares a warning that an enemy is trying to lock onto him, "Dammit!" Now at a fork in fate, the young pilot is trying to decide whether he should go continue his suicidal charge that will pretty much guarantee his Stiletto's destruction or go evasive and have basically no chance to shoot the ace down. Finally, reason overcomes passion and Kell kicks his nimble fighter into evasive maneuvers, sending the Stiletto breaking left followed by a tight barrel roll. However, he does launch the heat seeker right before he broke away, despite not getting a solid tone.

Korsakov's eyes stare daggers into the back of the damaged Dralthi he's still pursuing. "Save it, Pip." The only anger in the captain's tone, though, is directed at the fact that Jenthson is correct. "We're not done yet." His black Stiletto jukes and weaves in time with the tawny Dralthi. He goes back to missles, and fires one off in the fleeing Kilrathi's direction.

"Shit." Aquilina mutters into the comm. "Shit, shit." He abandons pursuit of the slippery Krant, the hit to his controls having jinxed his missile accuracy. "Razor, you've got two on you. Watch yourself. Hammer, Torch. Coming around to help crash your party over there."

"SAR is inbound. They need a fucking clear bit of space." In other words, Pip wants to fucking finish this fight, so they can go home, and face the music from Command. His, the sole undamaged Scimitar in the fight, is pushed to full acceleration, and sent streaking toward the last Sartha, his Heat Seekers set for lock-on, trying to destroy another Kilrathi in the battle. What payback they can find, will be better than none. "Good kill, Koenig!" A gleeful call over comm, able to appreciate that milestone in the other pilot's career, despite the fucked up mission.

"Splash one, first kill." Koenig calls out over the comms, obviously happy despite the loss that the flight has suffered. He rolls his Scimitar over slowly, and then picks out a Dralthi as his next target.

With the ace having fled the scene, Kell is now fighting for his own survival as he continues to go into evasive maneuvers. The lock warning chimes yet again as the Grikath bomber continues after him, "I see them, Torch. Damn Bomber is still trying to get a missile lock. Deploying chaff!" While he rolls his Stiletto to the right and then back to the left, he is able to see a Dralthi angling down at his wingman, "Torch, watch yourself as well, one damaged Dralthi four o'clock high, coming down at you. Trying to get a bead on it!"

"Grim, Hammer. SAR is enroute. What is your status?" Finally, Korsakov is able to spare a moment to check on his ejected CO. That moment doesn't last long, though; that damn Dralthi is still alive, and now the remaining Krant and Sartha and another Dralthi all seem intent on making Korsakov's day even worse. "I see it, Torch." A longing glance is directed at the damaged Dralthi he's still chasing, followed by a venomous glare at the three blinking red dots on his rear sensor display. Muttering a string of curses, he flips his ship into a tight, looping roll; after a moment, he and the Krant are screaming towards each other as both human and Kilrathi go for a weapons lock.

The combat is coming to a close, seemingly…with Kilrathi doing yet more damaged to the Confederation starfighters, a missile impacts Draygo's Stiletto, causing serious, and possibly fatal damage. With the numbers against them, the Kitty fighters seem to go into crazy attack mode, all lining up a target, and attacking with no regard for their own survival.

As the Dralthi blows up, Koenig grins a predatory smile, and then says over the comms, "Splash two. Let's see if we can't make it three for the day." He turns the Scimitar slowly, and starts to seek out another target. He is Karl Koenig: Killer of Kittens.

"Splash one." Words spoken, as they have been dozens of times over, and Frethan's Scimitar is banking hard to starboard to make a pass on the remaining Grikath, his heat-seeker streaking out from beneath the elderly starfighter's wing, and curving to port, as it fights to engage the heavy bomber. "Razor? Are you still with us?" This is calm, but worry finds itself evident in Jenthson's voice, as his young…sorta protege's ship takes a wicked strike. "Pip, I've got the bastard that fragged Razor." Not one to make things personal, too often…this Kitty just made it that way.

Korsakov's Stiletto and the Kilrathi Krant would have smashed into each other head on… if Korsakov's well placed missle hadn't torn the Krant's front half off first. As it is, Korsakov's Stiletto flies instead through a cloud of flame and expanding plasma, no worse for the wear for the experience. Another blue dot disappears from Max's sensor screen: Kell. Max's features twist in a silent sneer as he turns to reengage the Dralthi he'd already wounded, bringing his last missle on line.

"Razor," Alex's voice cuts through the comms, as he catches the man's Stiletto take a massive hit to the nose behind him. "Shit. Razor, Torch. Do you read?" And now that damn bomber's turned around, chewing its way back into the fray after wreaking destruction. "Come get some, fucker."

It seems like two missiles are one too many for the Rookie pilot to handle as his Stiletto is able to side step the Heat Seeker that is fired by a Dralthi, the chaff he popped distracting the projectile. However, the second missile, a Friend or Foe is free to chase down the Stiletto and has deadly accurate aim as the missile and Kell's fighter slams together, causing a brilliant explosion. The young pilot didn't even have a chance to call out a warning that he is EVA, instead he had to immediately pull the ejection cord to survive, his pod shooting out though it is burnt on the way out.

And, as quickly and violently as the battle began, combat operations are complete, with a flight of SAR vessels inbound, and multiple larger salvage vessels reporting that they are inbound for crew recovery, and salvage operations. The twisted hulks of the TCS Ali, and the TCS Durban float in space, debris from a more than a dozen fragged starfighters helping to hinder recovery operations.

Aquilina goes careening straight at the remaining Grikath, giving a boost of speed just before firing his last heat seeker. The missile slams into its body, making solid wreckage of the thing just before Jenthson's missile disintgrates what's left, leaving dust in his flightpath that his Stiletto screams through. "Hammer, Torch. Splash fucking three. Anyone got word from Grim or Razor over there?"

Any attempts to raise Razor's escape pod would only find static in return as the ejection was almost too late, the explosion from the Friend or Foe missile damaging the pod's communications system to the point where nothing can be sent and a very small amount of data can be received. The beacon itself is pretty weak, going out from time to time while the life support system is only mildly damaged but Kell is actually pretty resilient for a pilot due to his natural athleticism.

"Splash three." Koenig dutifully speaks into his comm as the last Dralthi explodes under his final heat seeking missile. He tugs back on the throttle and surveys the damage, frowning a bit at the carnage out there, "Joining SAR to try and find survivors." Or, EVA pilots.

The wounded Dralthi is no match for Korsakov, and the captain's final missle shreds the bat-winged Kilrathi fighter into scraps of metal not fit for third-rate paper clips. Max throttles down from combat speed with a slow exhale as he pulls his fighter around in a leisurely loop. "Copy, Torch. I read no further enemy contacts." A pause. "Nothing. Both of their pods look intact… their comm systems could be down. Guess we'll find out when SAR brings them in, da?" Korsakov's fighter winds about the battlefield, the captain keeping a watch over the larger Confed ships as they perform rescue duties.

"Splash four. I've got nothing on my sensors, except for a lot of fucking sensor clutter." And, that is clearly annoying, but Pip is observant of his duties, slowing to a crawl as he begins to mark capital-ship lifepod locations on his sensors, and relaying them to the combat recovery vessels. Switching off of the public comms, and intiating a ship-to-ship transmission to Koenig's borrowed Scimitar…"You did well tonight, kid. We took it on the chin, today…but don't take it too hard. You fucked them up, Blitz." A pause…"What the fuck is your call-sign, anyway? I am tired of making random names for you."

"I'll tell you when the CO gets around to appointing me one." Koenig replies to Pip over the comms. He does a slow sweep of the area where Kell's Stilleto exploded, ship moving along at barely a crawl as he looks for the EVA pilot.

"Hammer, Torch. Copy." Alex guides the Stiletto towards the other ships, less on SAR than on vigilant watch in case any more kittens are prowling out there. Our his port side he can see the wreckage of the TCS Durban, drifting pieces of it blinking as lights hit and reflect. "What a clusterfuck."

"Nichevo, Alex," Korsakov responds over the radio with a resigned sigh. "The damned kotyonoki can't lose every time." His Stiletto comes up alongside Aquilina's as the two remaining Stilettos continue their watchful patrol over the battlefield. It's about all the light fighters can do to help their comrades at this point. "All ships, Hammer. Once the SAR teams have retrieved everyone, return to Majestic at maximum burn." The prospect of going home doesn't seem to thrill Korsakov at this point, though; someone's going to have to report this, and with Valentine down for the count, guess whose shoulders that little responsibility falls upon?

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