I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat
I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat
Summary: The 1087th patrol for felines
Date: 2349 Hours 2657.324
Related Logs: None

"Alpha Flight to Control. Clear us to launch, so we can clear the tubes for the next schmucks." Pip's words come over the comm, and the Englishman sits silently for a few moments, waiting for the launch order to be given. Once it is? He calls out for his pilots…"Off we go, lady and…Grayson." He can't bring himself to call Sloppy a gentleman. He just cannot do it. With throttles maxed out, the elderly fightercraft shoots forward, catapulting from the port-side launch tubes, and slowing quickly, waiting for his pilots to launch and join formation. "Lets not dawdle. I'm hung the fuck over."

<TC1> Pip says, "Alpha Flight to control. Clear us to launch, so we can clear the tubes for the next schmucks."

<TC1> Sybil says, "Alpha Flight, this is Control. Good evening to you, too. You are cleared for launch on vector 112 mark 34. That should leave enough room for the next 'schmucks' as you call them to launch as well."

<TC1> Pip says, "Appreciate it, Control. Ta."

<TC1> Sybil says, "Of course you do, Alpha Flight. Safe Flight."

For her part, Paz sits in her Scimitar positively itching to get back into the fight after a short, but annoying convalescence. «Tizona, standing by.» she radios, then begins to set her Scimitar up to take the magnetic cat shot, pushing the throttle wide open.

Trey is tucked in tight within the confines of his Scimitar. There's barely room for him to breathe in this thing, let alone move. Truth be told, be probably preferred it when the canopy had been ripped off. «<Sloppy, standing by.»> The pilot inhales a little, then exhales, adding «<Good thing I'm not claustrophic, right?»> and then he laughs a bit.

"You won't even have time to think about it, once the kittens come out and play." Pip's reply is an attempt to be helpful, you see. And, he maintains a slow weaving patrol pattern, while waiting for his wingmen to form up, chuckling over the comm…"I suppose with a name like Sloppy, you're not terribly used to tight spaces." He is getting even worse since he got promoted.

«Tizona, Shooter.» Paz's radio crackles as the techs make sure the shuttle is firmly attached to the Scimitar's front skid. «Shuttle secure.» the man calls as the leader of the launch gang turns and gives Paz a crisp salute. «Standby, launch on my mark…Five…Four…Three…Two…One…Mark!» With that, Paz is heaved back into her seat as the magnetic catapult flings her multi-ton Scimitar down the launch tube like a kid throwing a plastic toy. «Lead, Tizona, forming up.» she calls as soon as she's clear, giving the thruster pedals just a light workout to send her into a lazy, looping turn to form up on Pip's wing. The smile on her face can be heard clearly through her comm channel.

Trey sounds as calm and relaxed as usual, which is to say he's a habitual liar who's probably not even aware he's doing it anymore. «Sloppy. Shuttle secure.» He goes through the motions, except they're not motions for him. It's very, very serious business, even just launching out of here. When he gets the signal, he inhales a bit and squints a few times as he is utterly ejected from the Majestic at a speed normally reserved for comets or the mentally ill. No points for guessing which Trey thinks he must be for having signed up in the first place. He mutters to himself and tabs his afterburners, leaving the carrier behind and forming up on Pip's other wing. «< So… Captain. »> Special emphasis on Captain, of course. «< Well, nevermind. I'll ask you later. »>

"Bloody hell. Sloppy, there are -rules- in polite civilization about raising a question, and then dropping it so quickly." A shake of his helmeted head, and Pip's throttle is shoved forward, placing the scarlet red scimitar at cruising speed…"Alpha flight, set course for Nav1, cruising speed. Line abreast." Eyes shift from scopes to canopy, to scopes again. Maintaining vigil, while conversating…"Tizona? How does it feel to be back in the bird, lass? I've missed having you on my wing."

«Copy that, Lead.» Tizona replies, pulling her navigation console up and moving to make line abreast about a hundred meters off Pip's starboard wing as she slows her craft to its most fuel-efficient cruising speed. «Estimate distance to Nav-1 approximately five zero kay kilometers. ETA, approximately one hour, plus three two, give or take. And it feels damn good, Pip.» she grins. «Real damn good.»

«I'll have you know, sir, that I followed your orders to the letter.» Trey doesn't mess with navigation consoles so much as he just leeches off of Paz's work. She knows what she's doing, presumedly. He pulls the stick lightly to one side, flying considerably better than he did the first time out with Jenthson. « Didn't touch her. Didn't lay a finger on her. Speaking of which, glad you're doing well, too. You just don't look right in a sling, Tizona. Now watch it be my turn. »

"Perhaps we can save the chit-chat about getting put into medbay, for once we're safely in the F&L?" Pip is an old stick, and as such, fucking superstitious at times. Especially when it involves the health of -his- pilots. "I suspect that the ratio of neck injuries in our male crew has risen again, as they readjust to watching Paz walk past." There. He will say something off-color in the attempt to make the subject less about injuries. "I'm glad that you didn't try anything, Sloppy. I'd -hate- to have made you bait, on our next fly about."

For her part, Paz doesn't reply immediately, finding herself into the familiar, if not old, pattern of doing as much of a visual three sixty of her craft as she can every few heartbeats just to keep her head out of the office, before double-checking fuel consumption rates, engine performance stats, weapon system stats, and comparing what her Nav console is saying to what's written on the notepad on her kneeboard. «Think I'm with the Captain on this one, Sloppy.» She comments at length. «I'd prefer this afternoon to end with all three of us in First drunk as skunks.

«She's not bad, Captain. Better looking once you get her out of the hard plaster shell she was wearing, though. It's not that I dumbfire, you know. I like to get a rear aspect lock first.» Even when he's on the job, Trey is On The Job. «Got it. Got it. We don't talk about that. Just…. just learning what's what.» He adds «If I asked why you were such an old First Lieutenant, would you tell me to ask a different question?» His tone is curiosity. The cautious kind, not the kind that kills the cat, as it were.

"You are a classy fellow, Sloppy. You've worked wonders with the females of the ship, so far as I have observed. That little Irish lass looked like the proverbial canary being eyed by the cat." A glance down at his fuel gauges, and Pip flips a toggle switch, raising his NavMap. "Increasing speed to maximum cruising. We'll play it tight on fuel, if it means my arse not going more numb than it must." His Scimitar jumps forward, as he nudges his throttle higher…"Negative, Grayson. I was court-martialed, and sent packing, a decade or so ago. Was a Major, when they sent me home." And, that is all the explanation that the young pilot is given. "What do you think, Tizona? Do we keep Sloppy, or throw him to the kitties?"

«Copy that, Lead, Tizona increasing throttles to max cruise.» Paz replies robotically, giving her throttle a nudge so that her Scimitar reforms off Pip's wing. «Ah, let's hang on to him on a probationary basis.» she replies thoughtfully. «Save the 'kitty bait' option for when he makes one too many comments about my ass.» she chuckles.

« Copy, Alpha Lead. Maximum Cruise. » Trey's response isn't robotic at all. It's more deliberated and cautious, as though watching himself. It's one thing to be trained and another thing to do it. «My God, I know! I was trying to keep my distance. I met her in the mess hall and tried being friendly with her and she acted like I set fire to her dog and came at her with a knife! She's really in the 221st? I thought they were a bunch of psycho confed assholes. » His scimitar stays in formation. The rookie is doing way better at that little detail than last time, too. Of course, Pip isn't trying to lose him, either. « I swear I didn't do anything except smile at her a lot and ask her about herself. I offered her a chair, backed off when she lost it on me. I thought maybe she was just shellshocked, but now I don't know -what- that was. »

"Copy, Paz. We'll keep him around, for the moment." A grin at her response to his banter, and the new Captain continues for the benefit of the FNG. "Archangel is moderately fucking insane, I think. But, the 221st are good people…and most aren't even that cocky. Not like our hotshit CAG." And, Pip's tone is beyond sarcastic, as he finishes that statement. There is a little jink, and his Scimitar shifts to port by about five meters, and one would hope that his wingmen catch the change in position. "Bollucks. Who dropped the space junk in our flight path?" It is amazing…in the vastness of space, Jenthson still almost hits something. What was it? Falling off in the distance already, the mid-sized remains of a burnt-out starfighter. Unknown design. "I've -no- clue what that quiet girl is doing in -any- fighter squadron, truth be told."

Paz doesn't respond, just peers intently at the debris that Pip neatly avoids. Frowning, she spools up her sensors. «Lead, Tizona, permission to do a three second active sweep?» she calls, cautious, but not overly so, Paz, it seems, has learned some lessons from the last fight she was in. «Something stinks about this.»

Trey 's weave around the burnt out remains is surprisingly smoother than one might expect, given his prior feats of navigational ineptitude. «Hoe…» Like he was going to say 'holy shit', of course. «I ended up leaving when I realized she was hiding behind Verdict. That really bothered me. I didn't do anything. I know you probably won't completely believe that,» laughs the man while peering around his cockpit, «But I'm innocent.» Nothing about Trey ever seems innocent, though it rarely seems bad, either. «Uh, yeah. That was a really bad sign.» And for a change, he sounds like he's up to speed and not guessing.

"Do it, Tizona." A quick affirmative is given for the young reservist, before Pip chimes in…"Stay passive, Sloppy." One set of sensors going active might go unnoticed…the three of them going to hot sniffing…unlikely. Shifting slightly in his pilot's seat, the Englishman does maintain a close visual watch, and it should be noted…all banter has been placed on the back burner. If Paz has herself a bad feeling, he's going to approach it the same as if -he- had a bad feeling.

<FS3> Paz rolls Awareness: Success.

«Roger, Lead, initiating three second active sweep in three…two…one…Active….» Paz calls, flicking the toggle switch and uncaging her Scimitar's outdated but still formidable active sensor package. Doing the old 'One one thousand, two one thousand…' Paz switches her sensors off and takes an audibly deep breath. «Alpha Flight, Tizona, I copy zero-three Krant class Kilrathi fighters coming in from port at bearing two one one mark one three two. They appear to be maintining current position and are deployedi n standard Victor, repeat, Victor formation. Looks like we found out where your space junk came from, Cap.» she calls. «We wandered into a CAP.»

"Roger, Contact, Paz." Keying his comm system, Pip reports the aforementioned contacts to Majestic Control, before punching his throttles to max military power, and cranking his flightstick hard to port. He has absolutely no hesitation to turning to intercept the approaching Kilrathi CAP. "Arming dumbfires. Let's hit them with a hard opening salvo, 1087." His afterburners glow, as he streaks in toward the Krant, and he finally pops his own sensors to full active. "Tizona, take Sloppy. Watch her ass, Grayson." Yes, he'll fly solo, if it means the two younger pilots have one another to watch their sixes. "Leader is mine." And, with that? His finger tightens on the trigger, and an unguided missile is spat off the rails, for a long-range explosive interception attempt. "Fox One."

<TC1> Pip says, "Alpha Flight reports contact with Kilrathi CAP. 5 Bandits. Engaging."

<TC1> Majestic Control says, "Alpha Flight, this is Control. Roger. Confirm your position."

«Copy Lead.» Paz replies, throwing her Scimitar into a stomach-churning downward spiral. «Sloppy watch my ass and look for targets of opportunity.» she calls, lining her sights. «Tally-ho! Engaging target designated Krant-2..» she calls, goosing her thrusters to improve her aim. «Fox one!» she calls, pulling the trigger on her control stick.

Trey breaks hard right and catches himself not breathing. He closes his eyes for half a second and then nods slowly to himself, mumbling something he doesn't send across the comms. When he does speak, it's very direct and strong, as if making up for the fact that he's ready to shit himself again. «Copy Alpha Lead. Breaking. I've got Tizona. Fox… One.»

<TC1> Pip says, "212421x, 31313y,24424z, Majestic Control."

<TC1> Majestic Control says, "Zulu Flight, this is Majestic Control. 5 Kilrathi raiders at 212421 X-Ray, 31313 Yankee ,24424 Zulu. Alpha Flight is engaging, requesting you move in for backup."

<TC1> Zulu says, "Majestic Control, this is Zulu Flight. Confirmed coordinates, we are moving towards that position now."

<TC1> Majestic Control says, "Zulu Flight, Majestic Control. Roger. Alpha Flight, Zulu Flight is coming in on your wing. ETA six minutes. What is your status, Alpha Flight?"

The three Kilrathi fighters set to the void of space, streaming at the pilots. Two of the craft completely evade the missiles sent at them from Paz and Trey. The three human pilots' communication boxs lights up, showing a Kilrathi pilot behind the cockpit of his Krant fighter, "You humans fight like SLAVES!" He sneers, his two cat ears peeking out from the confines of his helmet. A third Krant is nearly pulverized by a well placed shot from Jenthson, who, in turn, takes lesser punishment himself. Part of Trey's left wing is blown clear off.

"Fucker tore off half a meter of my nose…" And, no comments! Pip isn't speaking of his actual nose…it isn't quite that large. Cutting his throttle down, the Englishman drops onto the six of the crippled Kilrathi, and uses his thumb to activate his guns. "Guns hot." Depressing the trigger, he attempts to walk a burst up the Krant, and into the back of the cockpit. His non-killing hand? Lifted toward his own comm system, a pair of gloved fingers parted to give the Kilrathi the British bird. "Eat it, Fluffy."

«Dammit..not again!» Paz snarls and drops a trio of flares and stomps hard on the thruster pedal to send her craft into a wild, barrel-rolling climb as the heat-seeker snags a lock on her and starts to bore in. Soon enough it detonates harmlessly behind her and the young Second John uncages the IR head of her own heat seeker, firewalling the throttles as she draws a bead on her previous target.

Trey turns furiously, his shot streaking wode, target avoiding it completely. He's in control when the return fire impacts his craft, tearing apart one of his wings. This doesn't seem to phase him too much, instead making him light the afterburners after twisting the craft around, hoping to evade a subsequent missile lock. It's when the kilrathi pops up on his comm screen that the pilot loses it. «Aaaagh!!!» It's because he was hit, of course. ANd not because he's deathly afraid of cats.

"The only thing you'll eat," bellows the Kilrathi pilot, "is my lasers when I ram them into your FACE!!!" The comm switches to another Kilrathi as Jenthson obliterates the pilot. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA*STATIC*" One Kilrathi lances energy blasts into Paz's nose, coming several feet from the cockpit, but not actually penetrating. Trey's attacker is destroyed, of course, but not before attempting to gun him down and miss.

Trying to click over to dumbfire, there is an alarm in the cockpit…"Pip, guns only for me. Loading system is fucked." Pip doesn't wait any more time on the Kilrathi banter, save for a comment to his pilots…"Fluffy knows his name. How precious." His original target spins away into space, the cockpit splashed with what little remains when mass drivers impact Kilrathi flesh, and Frethan's Scimitar climbs rapidly, throttles pressed to the firewall, his firing pip leading the Krant lead, once again aiming for the cockpit, as he looses a spray of mass driver slugs. "Status report, 1087." Quietly ordered, is that.

«Lead, Tizona, got a little cooked, but I'm okay.» Paz replies, flicking her eyes over her status display. «Didn't lose anything I'll miss.» she adds as she kicks the thruster pedals hard to port and bores in on Krant-2's tail, squeezing the trigger to her mass drivers the instant the reticle in her HUD turns green.

Trey struggles for a lock and finds that he misses his wing a little more than he realized. His heart it breathing frantically. When his face comes in over the other two pilot's comm windows, all his cool is drained from his face and while he attempts to muzzle in on Krant1, all he can manage to do is stammer into the comm, «Y… You… You're a dumb CAT!!» Vicious indeed.

The rookie pilot's warcry brings a rumble of amusement to the remaining Kilrathi sticks. Paz's fighter is struck by pulse lasers from Krant1, but nothing of real value is damaged. Krant2 finds his work is cut out for him. Even being literally unanswered by any of the three Scimitars, Jenthson is too slippery for him to get a bead on. Laser fire streaks past his cockpit, landing nowhere -near- the veteran pilot.

"Roger, Tizona."With the lasers burning in toward his Scimitar, Pip uses his thruster peddals to rock back and forth, allowing the energy beams to pass to either side of the elderly fighter. Cutting his speed sharply, Jenthson yanks his stick back to his chest, and spins end over end, bringing his guns to bear on Krant-1, as it attempts to pursue Paz, and light her up. "Keep cool, Sloppy." Those are the only words transmitted, words that coincide with a depressing of the firing trigger, and a spray of mass driver toward the Kilrathi's cockpit.

The second laser hit registers in her headphones with a 'hoot-hoot' of warning as Paz clenches her jaw angrily and gooses a little more power out of her engines to stay on Krant-2's tail after her initial burst does little more than spark brightly against the ship's armor. Once again, her reticle turns green, and Paz pulls the trigger..

Trey is so unnerved that he doesn't actually squeeze the trigger. He gets it together, though, looking cooler on the comm, this time. «Frosty, sir.» He plays follow the leader, him and his busted wing, chasing after Pip's assailant.

<TC1> Majestic Control says, "Zulu Flight, this is Majestic Control. Proceeded to 164481 X-Ray, 22145 Yankee, 18227 Zulu and return to patrol formation."

The radio falls silent as the two Kilrathi buckle down and attempt to murder the other pilots. Shots streak everywhere, but with everyone twisting around, not a single of the Confed pilots are struck.

<TC1> Zulu says, "Majestic Control, this is Zulu flight," comes the response after a momentary pause. "Roger. Moving to 164481 X-Ray, 22145 Yankee, 18227 Zulu and returning to patrol formation."

Watching the Kilrathi evade his mass driver fire is something that Pip doesn't experience often, and as usual, it results in a burst of "Fucking wanker has rockets attached to his arse. Eat my…." And, thankfully, as if realizing his comm-button is depressed, the pilot clicks it off, and continues to fill his cockpit with English swear words. His Scimitar's throttles are kicked back up to max, and he does manage to drop neatly onto Krant1's six for long enough to release a swift cannonade.

"Gotcha, fuzzy." Paz growls as her second burst finds the mark, a little bit of English on the port thruster pedal and she's lined up sweet for a second shot while Krant-1's shots blaze by her cockpit. «What's the matter, fuzzy?» she says, switching to the open channel. «You havin' trouble shooting straight?»

Trey, who's calm was technically wrecked about ten seconds ago, swings wide, trying to give Krant1 nowhere to go. Run high to avoide him, smack into Jenthson. Go low to avoid Jenthson… well, who are we kidding? He squeezes the trigger and launches another missile which sails off into the good night none the wiser.

Twisting and turning in space, the Kilrathi strike true, heating up Tizona's fuselage, but only tearing off armor plating in the process. An embittered Kilrathi pilot appears on all viewscreens, «Your flying is as disgraceful as your face, human.»

"Massdrivers blow donk" Pip accidently clicks on his comm, when he flips his Scimitar up onto his port-wing, avoiding another burst of laser fire spat toward him by Krant2. But, thus far,the Captain is trusting Paz to remove his threat, and continues to focus on the lucky son of a bitch that he's currently chasing. And, by chasing…it would seem, he is content to remain a few meters behind the Kilrathi, sticking like Trey on some unfortunate piece of tail in the F&L. More mass driver bursts are directed toward Krant1.

«A puddy tat! I tawt I taw a Puddy Tat!» Paz calls, howling with derisive laughter. «I did! I did taw a puddy tat!» she giggles, toggling her remaining heat seeker to standby and waiting for a lock on Krant-2's ample heat signature.
Speaking of Trey sticking to a piece of tail, that appears to be exactly what Trey is NOT doing. His dumbfire missile sails off, joining its brothers off… somewhere in space. He clicks off, raising a protctive plastic shell on his flight stick and switching to heat seekers as well. He struggles to get his wounded bird on target for an aspect lock.

The Kilrathi shout to each other in their native tongue, obscuring their words to Alpha Wing entirely. «I will KILL you!!» rages one cat, lasers tearing pieces of Paz's tailsection apart, but the damage is minor while the five well armored beasts circle one another.

A side-slip to starboard isn't enough to keep one of the Krant's lasers from ripping a nice little furrow in his Scimitar's hull, but with nothing more than cosmetic damage done, his…"Tizona? Wipe my ass, please…" Is much less spirited than it might've been, if he'd actually taken serious injury. "Grayson, put the next missile into the furry bastard's face, so we can end this cripple fight. Thank you in advance. Cheers." Dropping back into high chase position on Krant1, mass drivers rip through space toward the cockpit of his implacable foe.

"Well…crap in a hat.." Paz sighs as, at the last moment, her quarry squirts out a brace of flares to lure her heat seeker off the mark. «Working on it, Lead.» she says, switching back to dumbfires and ignoring the little shudder her ship does as her tailplane is eroded by the other Krant's lazers.

Trey gets tone and lets his weapon free. «Fox 2.» If he wasn't so unnerved, he might've added a swear word or two, but nope. Much to the pilot's surprise, the thing follows a nice parabolic arc and slams into the side of the hairy furball's ride, tearing chunks of armor off of it and mangling the airframe.

"Okay..okay…" Paz whispers to herself, wincing as her quarry does an unexpected dip and roll which she has to follow, praying the SOB she's attacking will stay wings level just long enough to pickle her missile off. A few heartbeats later, the fuzzy-wuzzy working the stick on Krant-2 makes his mistake, lining himself up in Paz's sights long enough for her to fire her missile.

Trey realing he can't get too much of a good thing here, Trey manages to stay on his target's rear, finally picking up enough just from -watching- his CO to at least stick with the furball attempting to atomize his squadronmate, Trey gets tone «Fox 3.» He launches and, well, it actually impacts the damned thing and tears it to pieces.

Their luck having run out, both Kilrathi craft are utterly blown to pieces, their faces stricken with panic and RAGE as they appear on the viewscreens long enough to scream. Kilrathi 1: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA*STATIC*" Kilrathi 2: "NOT LIKE THIS!*STATIC*"

"Pussies." This is the single word reply to the dying Kilrathi, and after a few moments of making sure his squadron-mates are still intact and fly, Pip keys his comm, once again. "Let's finish hitting our navpoints, and get the fuck home. Good shooting, kids. Like usual." The Englishman's voice is quite sincere, and he loses no time in throttling back to max cruising speed, and heading toward Nav2.

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