Nugget Patrol
Nugget Patrol
Summary: CAP flown by a flight of 2nd Lieutenants
Date: 2657.350
Related Logs: None

Distant Space Troy System

Troy System, Humboldt Quadrant — 0103 Hours 2657.350

Centrally located within the Humboldt quadrant, Troy system is a desirable piece of real estate for any number of reasons. Two mining bases are situated on small planetoids, with the system's one naturally habitable planet being the lush agricultural world of Helen. Five seperate jump nodes lead from the system, which is notably clear of rocks or other space debris.

Contents: Trey Sonia Paz Draygo

Exits: [Inbound] Local Space [Outbound] Far From Home

The hazy purple-green sphere of Helen hangs in the infinite void of space, looking deceptively peaceful. Trouble is soon headed its way, however, as the view zooms past a slowly approaching carrier and its destroyer escort, then in closer to the planet where a trio of scimitars and a lone stiletto fighter approach the planet well in advance of the capital ships. As the loose diamond of Confederation fighters draws nearer, trouble looms from near the planet… two series of four red dots appearing on the pilots' radars… one ahead to port, the other ahead to starboard.

Sonia rests at the six of the squad of fighters, maximizing her ECM to capacity to ensure the wing's approach is not readily spotted. She runs a diagnostic of her systems to ensure all her other systems are good and functioning properly. Once done she looks to her radar and notes the eight blips on her passives. «Midnight here. I have eight contacts. Four in far orbit and four in tight. By the looks of things they have not seen us yet.» She checks her ECM and ensures the system continues to drown out any sweeps that might be coming their way.

«Lead, Tizona, copy Midnight's findings.» Paz transmits. «Zero four enemy aerospace craft of uknown type to port and the same to starboard.» she calls, frowning at her sensor display as if willing to make it give her more information.

The maneuverable but paper thin Stiletto is in the lead of the TCSF patrol currently flying in diamond formation. As they approach their first waypoint of the Combat Aerospace Patrol mission, which takes them over the planet of Helen, the blips appear on Kell's radar. "Nugget Lead to Nugget Patrol, I'm picking up blips as well. Let's head towards the group that is closer."

With that said, the rookie Lieutenant angles his fighter towards the first flight of Kilrathi and kicks his afterburners on, his speedier fighter starting to put a gap between himself and the slower Scimitars. "Since I'm in the Stiletto, if they spot us, I'm going to draw their fire. If they turn to engage me and you guys get an open shot, turn them to a group of fried fur."

Trey's Scimitar flies steady, staying in formation with the rest of the wing. He's otherwise completely silent on the radio, just staying with the group. It's only after orders are given that he clicks on the comm while swinging his starfighter a bit to one side and boosting power to his guns. «I don't suppose anyone's ever considered just barking at them to see if that makes them scatter, right?» A sound theory.

As the four Confederation fighters draw closer to the lefthand group, the Kilrathi finally seem to catch on to their presence… the four contacts angling for the patrol and accelerating in towards the human fighters, resolving on sensors after a brief moment as four Jalthi-class heavy fighters.

On a more positive note, the second flight does not seem to have been alerted yet, kept from directly communicating with the first by the bulk of the planet.

«Copy, lead.» Tizona acknowledges then toggles to her missiles, starting to angle her Scimitar as much as she can to draw a bead on the lead Jalthi while she uncages the IR head of her first heat seeker. «Lead, Tizona, zero four Jalthi-class heavy fighters ahead and it looks like they know we're here.» she adds, wincing a little as the heavies turn to meet their oncoming attackers.

«Copy Lead» Sonia states just as the wing of fighters leaves its charge and comes towards them. As Paz calls in the class and approach of the Jalthis, she diverts power from the ECM to her engines and weapons and brings her Scimitar up to battle power. «Sloppy, Midnight. I have your wing if the squad breaks up. I'll try not to over run you in my haste to shave some Kitties.» She smiles through the canopy towards the other pilot's Scimitar and she brings her targeting systems up onto one of the fighters.

As the red dots on sensors draw closer, Kell winces when the his computer is able to identify the bogeys as Jalthi, "Looks like we ran into a group of Heavy Fighters. Pulling ahead to see if they will play." With that his afterburners kick on and he angles the Stiletto slightly upward so that if the Jalthi's do try to track him, they will expose their bellies to the Scimitars.

When the Kilrathi doesn't adhere to the sneaky plan that the rookie pilot had in mind, Kell curses before inverting his fighter and diving down, "Nugget Lead to Flight, the cats didn't take the bait, they're still heading towards you." Flicking a switch in his cockpit, Draygo changes his armament to Heat Seekers and begins a dive on the less maneuverable and slower Jalthi, picking one from the group and unleashing a missile once he gets tone.

«Copy that. hey. Now's my big chance to test that theory out!» Trey, while turning his starcraft hard and attempting to lead his attackers on a merry little chase, switches to the wider band comm frequency… the one that puts him in touch with the Kilrathi pilots. «Hey, cats! Woof! Woofwoof! Aroorooroo!! Grrrrrrrrr!!!» Oh dear.

<COMBAT> Jalthi-1 attacks Sonia with Full Guns but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trey attacks Jalthi-3 with Mass Driver but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Jalthi-1 with Heat Seeker - Critical wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Jalthi-4 attacks Trey with Full Guns and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-3 attacks Trey with Full Guns but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-2 attacks Paz with Full Guns - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Jalthi-2 with Heat Seeker - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Jalthi-8384n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-2 has been KO'd!

The Jalthi might pack a terrifying amount of firepower, but the reason the design has faded from popularity with the Kilrathi rather quickly shows… even the sluggish Scimitar fighters manage to outmaneuver the large, overgunned Kilrathi craft, with heat-seeking missiles slamming into the vulnerable backsides of the craft. Tizona's fighter takes a hit in return, but the Scimitar's thick hide blunts the worst of the Jalthi's terrifying firepower.

The other Kilrathi flight, meanwhile, finally has either taken notice or had news of the engagement relayed to them. Still well out of range, the course change of the four dots to close in on the fight is a difficult thing to miss.

Paz forces herself to wait until the warbler in her earphone is practically screaming her missile's lock before squeezing the trigger, and the missile darts away from her Scimitar to pound the Jalthi's starboard wing with a satisfying fireball, but not enough to destroy the thing outright. A millisecond later, her craft is pummeled by an hail of projectiles from another fighter. Quickly, she sweeps her eyes over the damage report on her display and switches to guns to finish off the Jalthi she's after.

The fighters make their passes and as they draw close Sonia thumbs her guns and lets the staccato of fire rain down into the Jalathi's nose. «Banking right…» she warns her flightmates, jamming the thrusters to one side and skewing her fighter into a tight pursuit of the Jalathi she mauled in the first pass.

Trey keeps barking at the Kilrathi while weaving left and right. Shots stream past the port side of his cockpit, so he rolls port and pulls back on the stick. A quick glance behind him shows another fighter hot on his six, so he applies the afterburners and then pushes forward on the flight stick, narrowly avoiding their shots, «What's wrong? Don't they teach you guys how to paw at butterflies in primary school!!? You can't hit nothing! You can't hit NOTHING!!»

The first clash between the TCSF and Kilrathi seems to be in the good guy's favor as the Jalthi that Kell targeted managed to explode brilliantly with a well placed Heat Seeker while the other is in bad shape. "Sloppy, you still have two on your tail, continue with evasive. Trying to shake one off of you." Since one of the Jalthi's that is preying on Trey is being attacked by one of his wingmen, the young rookie selects the other and banks his Stiletto towards the enemy, waiting for a solid tone as the missile reticule tracks onto the target before he unleashes a second Heat Seeker missile.

<COMBAT> Trey attacks Jalthi-3 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Sonia attacks Jalthi-4 with Mass Driver - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Jalthi-4 attacks Trey with Full Guns but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-3 attacks Trey with Full Guns but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-1 attacks Sonia with Full Guns and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Jalthi-3 with Heat Seeker - Critical wound to Right Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Jalthi-1 with Mass Driver - ARMOR on Nose stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Jalthi-2584n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-3 has been KO'd!

As a second Jalthi explodes to a heat seeking missile jammed through the weak aft shields, the four Krant fighters continue to close… racing in on what must be full afterburner for the craft, moving quickly to try and overwhelm the Terran fighters before they can finish off the Jalthi.

Sonia stays on the tail of the Jalathi fighter she has been hunting and hammers the fighter once more with the mass driver's impacts. She flips her fighter, keeping locked on the larger craft. "Damn you fucking bastard die will you!" She curses in the cnfines of her fighter at the Kilrathi fighter in her sights. She banks as tight as the Scimitar allows and she notes the cry of targeting pings as the Krants come into range. «Midnight here. I'm sticking to this bastard but seems the litter doesn't like that idea.» She keeps her sights on the Jalathi and hammers it again with her guns.

"Dammit…" Paz growls as her mass drivers only sparkle against the Jalthi's nose without doing any serious damage. "C'mon, little fuzzball….Just gimme half a second.." she says, goosing the power to try and slip in on the enemy ship's tail. A plan that is more or less thrown out of the window by multiple 'whoop whoops' from her threat receivers as the electronic eyes of not one, not two, not three, but four, count 'em four friend or foe style missiles are opened wide and begin to study the Confed flight eagerly. «Lead, Tizona, looks like the other group's decided to join the party early.» she reports, deciding to give the Jalthi one last go before doing anything about it, but keeping her hand on the jammers and chaff dispensers.

"They finally put combat effective warheads in our missiles it seems…" Kell comments to no one in particular as the second Jalthi gets nailed with his second heat seeker, shattering the right side of the Kilrathi before causing the rest of the Jalthi to break apart due to hull integrity failure. With one almost out of commission Jalthi and one damaged Jalthi remaining, Kell glances up briefly at the sensors and notes the new batch coming to play.

Opening up the comm to his patrol, Kell quickly alerts them, "Heads up, Nugget Patrol, we have new arrivals." The sensors then screech at him as missile blips appear on sensors as well, "We have incoming missiles, Ef-oh-Efs!" As two missile trails begin diving at him, the young rookie quickly kicks his fighter into a hard right break while deploying chaffs.

Trey continues to duck and weave while the twin cats swat harmlessly at his tail section. «Aw! What's wrong, guys? Cat got your tongue??» He laughs over the radio as Draygo finishes off one of his attackers. Trey flies straight at the Krants as they join the fray, lighting his afterburners, «There are those four bogies, bearing zero zero two mark one niner at three zero zero knots. Thanks for the assist.»

<COMBAT> Trey attacks Krant-1 with Dumbfire - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Sonia attacks Jalthi-4 with Mass Driver - Moderate wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Jalthi-1 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-2 attacks Paz with Friend Or Foe but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-1 attacks Draygo with Friend Or Foe and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Draygo passes.
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Draygo with Friend Or Foe but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-3 attacks Sonia with Friend Or Foe but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-4 attacks Trey with Full Guns but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-1 attacks Sonia with Full Guns and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

The Kilrathi Krant attempt to keep the fight at range, banking away after firing their missiles… though the tactic proves perhaps a touch less effective than envisioned, as all four Claw FF missiles fly wide of their targets, exploding harmlessly in empty space. The dumbfire exploding against a Krant's cockpit armor? That's not so harmless… though through some miracle, the durable Kilrathi medium fighter holds together. Their spirits bolstered by the arrival of reinforcement, the surviving Jalthi press their own attack more aggressively.

"Okay, that's it.." Paz growls, giving up on the whole 'evasion' business and fire walling her throttles in attempt to put paid t othe most annoying Jalthi in history. Fortunately, the Krant's Claw FF's are spoofed by a combination of good flying from the wing and one heck of a lot of decoys from somewhere.

Breaking right, Kell dodges the first Friend or Foe missile before dodging breaking left and letting the second Friend or Foe scream by, doing no damage this time. With the Krants keeping at range and the Jalthi turning right at them to engage, the young rookie lines up on the less damaged Jalthi to finish off the first flight so they can tangle with the Krant without distraction. "Damn Kilrathi. Looks like the Krant are firing another volley of missiles, let's try to get rid of the Jalthi so we can close with the Krant." He is only able to fire a short wild burst from his Mass Driver Cannons before pitching his Stiletto into a steep climb to dodge the second pair of FoFs.

Sonia continues to stick to the Jalthi's six, her mass drivers glowing red and white with the constant barrage of fire she rains into the opposing fighter's body. The missles fired at her from the Krants are scrambled by her ECM and she pats her system with affection. "That a girl… keep teaching those Kats what should be done." She swings high over her prey and focuses her attack on the Kilrathi's cockpit and engines.

Trey swoops in amidst the quartet of human seeking missiles, afterburners lit, and squeezes the trigger once the Krant is a bit above him. That's when he pushes forward on the stick and opens fire with his guns, making his target pull up… directly into the dumbfire missile which tears the cockpit apart. «Heeeeere kitty kitty kitty! Here…. shit.» The latter when the world's second most annoying Jalthi attempts to take him out. This hasn't been a terribly successful endeavor so far.

<COMBAT> Krant-2 attacks Paz with Friend Or Foe but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-2's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Jalthi-4 attacks Trey with Full Guns - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Trey attacks Krant-1 with Dumbfire and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-1 attacks Draygo with Friend Or Foe and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-1's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Jalthi-1 attacks Sonia with Full Guns and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Sonia attacks Jalthi-4 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Jalthi-1 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Draygo with Friend Or Foe - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Krant-4's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Krant-3 attacks Sonia with Friend Or Foe but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-3's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Jalthi-4 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

The tactic employed by the Kilrathi works better this time, two Scimitars battered by weapons fire from the Kilrathi with no hits scored on their own craft. Unfortunately, having shot the last of their friend or foe missiles, the Krant are forced to turn in… moving quickly to close the range with the Terran craft, turning the fight swiftly into a wildly tumbling melee through the vacuum.

The first friend or foe is dodged like before but Kell's attempt to roll away from the second one fails as it tracks his Stiletto successfully and explodes, shredding his armor and doing some damage to his system, causing one of the HUD screens to shatter, "Damn, took a hit but still in there. Let's finish off these damn Cats. Tizona, you have two Krants bearing down on you but they seem to be out of missiles, going after one." With that warning given, Kell switches back to his Heat Seeker missiles and returns the favor to the Kilrathi.

The Krant's sudden shift in stance, as well as the cessation of panicked noise coming from her threat receivers does not escape Paz's notice, but given that, for the second time now, she's managed to miss clean despite having two very good shots any ten year old familiar with a video game console should have made, she's a bit too annoyed to care. «Okay, listen fast, Fuzzy.» she taunts over the enemy's comm channel. «I have officially run out of patience with you.» she snarls before cutting the channel.

Again the Jalthi lucks out and Sonia swears velhmently. "FUCK!" She flips her sights onto the fighter and sticks with it, even as it refocuses its attention to one of her wingmates. She spares a moment in the loping arc the two make on this fourth pass, Sonia glances and notices a pair of the Krants bearing down on her rapidly. «Sloppy, Midnight. I've drawn the ire of the Fuzzies it seems so feel free to use their asses for missle sharpeners.»

Trey takes a bit off of the front of his Scimitar as the consequence of that head-on assault against the Krant flight. He attempts to finish what he started with the lead fighter, spraying mass driver everywhere, but can't seem to get a hit. In the chaos of combat, he switches on to the next target, «It's slow and screwed. Someone finish that thing off.»

<COMBAT> Sonia attacks Jalthi-4 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trey attacks Krant-2 with Dumbfire - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Jalthi-1 with Mass Driver - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Sonia with Laser - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Krant-3 attacks Paz with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-2 attacks Paz with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-1 attacks Sonia with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-1 attacks Draygo with Full Guns and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Krant-2 with Heat Seeker and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-4 attacks Draygo with Full Guns - Moderate wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Jalthi-4784n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-1 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Krant-6858n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Krant-2 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Scimitar-4846 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Sonia has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Sonia spends a luck point to keep fighting!

The troublesome Jalthi finally explodes under the continued fire from the Confederation craft, but there's certainly a price to be paid… weapons fire from the Kilrathi slamming home on Sonia's scimitar, tearing ugly chunks away from the fighter's thick hide.

The heavy barrage of laser cannon and neutron cannon fire from the Jalthi peppers Kell's Stiletto but he manages to stay in one piece, riding through the storm. Sonia's bad shape is evident though as she gets chewed up by the Krant's laser cannons, "Midnight, watch yourself, you have two on your six, break hard left. I'll try to get the Jalthi off of you." Looks like the Kilrathi are moving in on the wounded Stiletto, sensing an easy kill but it's something that the young rookie, who was thrust into the role of patrol leader, is trying to avoid.

Paz's shout of elation could probably be heard in a ten meter radius around her cockpit, if they were in atmo, of course. In space, all it does is make her ears ring as she, grinning, watches the Jalthi that had been frustrating her so finally turn into its component atoms. A heartbeat later, two brilliant beams of energy lance by her cockpit on either side. "Okay….How about we try a little of this…" she breathes, switching to dumbfires before stomping down on her thruster pedal and swinging her craft around to stare right down the throat of one of the incoming Krants. Her missile leaps from the rail almost on its own volition.

Fresh from getting clawed on, Trey's Scimitar leaps back into the fray, lining up a suckerpunch with his dumbfires just like last time, where he fires the missile in one direction and lures the unsuspecting kitten into it with his guns. This time the results are more colorful than before, with the Krant exploding into a pretty display.

Sonia is a trooper and she keeps her attention on the Jalthi fighter she has mauled since the opening pass. Yet she lets her attention slip for but a moment and the Krant's laser blows open her canopy and destroys half of her systems. Sparks fly and shrapnel from the consoles pepper her flightsuit, her engines fluttering and her fighter lists badly from the impact. <Nuet -ead -his — Mni-ht. Sys-s faing.» Her comsystems give a final pop and fall dead just as Sonia watches as the remaining Jalthi and one of the Krants come to finish her off.

<COMBAT> Sonia will attack Jalthi-4 this turn.
<COMBAT> Krant-3 attacks Draygo with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Jalthi-4 with Heat Seeker - Moderate wound to Left Wing (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Trey attacks Jalthi-4 with Dumbfire - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Trey's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Sonia attacks Jalthi-4 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Krant-3 with Dumbfire - Critical wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Paz with Laser - Moderate wound to Nose (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Krant-1 attacks Sonia with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-4 attacks Sonia with Full Guns and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Jalthi-6984n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Jalthi-4 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Krant-9758n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Krant-3 has been KO'd!

Two more Kilrathi fall to Confederation firepower, though not without scoring a few hits of their own… each of the Confederation fighters now showing the scars of multiple weapon hits along their surfaces… ranging from scratched paint and scorched armor on Trey's craft to the ugly rents along the body of Sonia's fighter.

As two more Kilrathi are eliminated, Kell switches targets to the Krant that is still unscathed as he checks over the status of his squadron, "Tizona, Sloppy, status report?" He asks with a touch of concern creeping into his tone, his attempt at being an unmoving patrol leader not holding as the furball gets nasty. He also sees that they were able to keep the Kilrathi off of Sonia, "Hang in there Midnight, we're almost of this."

Increasing the thrust of his Stiletto, Kell begins closing in on the Krant he has locked onto, awaiting for a better angle before letting lose one more Heat Seeker at the enemy.

Bringing enough of her systems online long enough to activate her weapons, she lcks out as her fighter lists into line with the Jalthi fighter and she presses the stud on her yoke once more. Her guns do nothing, the fighter's momentum bringing her fire way off target but the enemy fighters explode under a heavy barrage of fire from her wingmates. Debris and particulates scatter over her fighter from the dying Kilrathis, some of them hitting her hard and she tries in vain to keep her ailing systems up and running.

The dumb fire's massive warhead slams into the Krant it was targeted for and proceeds to unceremoniously blow the enemy fighter to smithereens, white hot fragments scattering every which way and causing Paz to twist her Scimitar, unthinkingly straight into the gun sights of its wingman. The other Krant's laser illuminates the nose of her ship, instantly boiling off a good deal of armor, not to mention some of her forward sensors and comm systems. Fortunately, the designers of the Scimitar had the good sense to put the weapons-related part of the sensor package in a less vulnerable spot. Another dumbfire leaps off the rails in the Krant's direction.

<COMBAT> Sonia tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Krant-4 with Dumbfire but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Paz's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Krant-1 attacks Sonia with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Krant-4 with Heat Seeker - NEAR MISS!
<COMBAT> Draygo's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Trey tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Paz with Laser - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Scimitar-9036p has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Paz has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Paz spends a luck point to keep fighting!

The misses are all Confederation, the hits are all Kilrathi… and with a predictably ugly result. Weapons fire chews through the armor around Tizona's cockpit, leaving more ugly holes in a fighter that's already sporting a disconcerting number of them.

Another pass and Sonia finally manages to get her systems back up enoug and flash to life. "Bingo!" she cheers and selects one of the dumbfires and comes about on a ballistic course towards one of the remaining Krants. She snaps the missle off and then banks at the last minute, nearly riding in the missle's wake the full way to the target.

Watching as his Heat Seeker missile narrowly misses the Krant, Kell tries to hold back a curse but when it leads to the Krant getting a free shot on Paz, the patrol leader grimaces. Gritting his teeth, he continues to angle towards the Krant who has decided to attack him. Seems like he has had enough of this engagement prolonging, knowing that any more time being chewed up may result in Kilrathi reinforcements appearing. He closes in head-on with the Krant, his Mass Driver Cannons pumping out deadly projectiles.

Paz's last dumbfire falls prey to a simple bit of annoyingly good piloting on behalf of her would-be victim, who manages to zig the lumbering Krant out of the way in the nick of time. An instant later, Paz's cockpit is filled with a blinding light which instantly scorches off enough armor and reflective coating to shatter her canopy like a crystal goblet from the thermal shock. The HUD mounting cracks, deforms and starts to melt, mirrors shattering the same way every piece of plexi in her cockpit bigger than the width of two fingertips. The remainder of the laser's fury is spent on Paz's helmet, which, thanks to its reflective and ablative layers, maintains integrity and visibility, but leaves her face with the mother of all sun burns. Frantically, before her systems are still active, Paz flips her last heat seeker into active mode and blindfires.

<COMBAT> Sonia attacks Krant-4 with Dumbfire but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Draygo with Laser - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Krant-4 with Mass Driver - Moderate wound to Controls (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Trey tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Krant-4 with Heat Seeker and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-1 attacks Paz with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

Paz's blind fire shot with her heat seeker goes predictably wide, but so does the other Krant's, which is a good thing, as her systems decide to finally cross their circuts in frustration and start eating themselves. She notes Razor's exchange with the Krant that nearly killed her and grins, not bothering with the radio as she frantincally moves to start trying to bring the wounded Scimitar back to something approaching a flyable state.

The exchange between Kell and the undamaged Krant results in both combatants scoring hits but the patrol leader remains undaunted as he kicks his fighter into a tight half loop to return for another pass. As he does so, he comms to the other fighters in his patrol, "Midnight, Tizona, if your systems are still functional, try to take out that limping Krant so it doesn't get a lucky shot. I'll take care of this kitty." With that order given, the young rookie switches to open broadcast, taunting the Kilrathi, "Alright furball, you know how this is going to end. Your wingman there is probably mortally wounded and you're going to be a burning wreck soon so save us the trouble and self-destruct."

Sonia gives a shake of her head, obviously not managing to get a proper lock with the missle so she elects to do some hasty repair work. Nothing can be done about the loss of the fighter's canopy but she tries to at least smooth out the way her sustems handle.

<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Krant-4 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trey tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Paz passes.
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Draygo with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Krant-1 attacks Paz with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

The half loop is successful but the Kilrathi had the same idea so the Stiletto and Krant was only able to do a quick pass on each other, causing their shots to be erratic. Kell's last second jink seems to save him from getting nailed by the incoming laser blasts. Grittig his teeth, the young rookie checks the combat situation and sees that both Scimitars did not shoot. Breaking right, he disengages from the Krant that has been dueling with him, letting the enemy chase him while he goes after the Kilrathi's stricken wingman who is still pumping out deadly lasers at his wingman.

Trying to fix a badly damaged fighter in the middle of a combat engagement is kind of like trying to…Oh, screw the metaphors, it's just scary as hell! Fortunately, fear can really motivate a person. Which is why Paz, once she's got her head into her 'office' and starts assessing the damage, is able to see that, while serious, the Scimitar's design has once again saved her pretty Latina ass. Backup systems are available. Her HUD is gone, along with it the ability to really shoot at anything effectively, but she can connect power to her guns and does so. Her primary control system is FUBAR, but the backups, with a little fussing, are good. Comms, shockingly, can be brought back, even if they're squelchy to the point of sounding like Rice Krispies. Most importantly, her throttle controls, once goosed and cussed at enough, come roaring to life when she connects the right circuits. Suddenly, Paz goes from drifting to full power! «Go…I L.v…th..f..kin….Scim…» she transmits as she switches to guns and tries to do _something_ to keep Sonia's ass covered. The wounded Krant is a natural choice.

<COMBAT> Krant-1 attacks Paz with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Krant-1 with Mass Driver - Moderate wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Trey tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Sonia passes.
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Krant-1 with Mass Driver - ARMOR on Body stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Trey with Laser - ARMOR on Controls stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
<COMBAT> Krant-2358n has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Krant-1 has been KO'd!

The crippled Krant fighter finally succumbs to the barrage of fire thrown its way, shattering in a brilliant explosion as its reactor core detonates, leaving only a single Kilrathi fighter left in space… which quickly turns back on the Stiletto which fired the final shot into its wingleader.

With the bothersome itch that is the cripple Krant out of the way, Kell sees that his patrolmates are out of trouble for now and he angles back at the remaining Krant with a feral grin. Flipping over the comm to broadcast to the enemy, he taunts the Kilrathi some more, "Looks like your wingman couldn't count on you to save him, eh? Perhaps you're a furless cat behind that cockpit?" He depresses the trigger stub, sending a stream of mass drivers at the Krant at range as if to taunt him further before breaking hard right and kicking the afterburners. Back on secure comm channels, he shoots a quick message to the Scimitars, "Razor here, Tizona, I'm bringing the remaining Kilrathi in front of your line of fire while his attention is fully on me, blow it to hell."

Paz clicks her radio twice in acknowledgement, setting her eyes and steeling herself for what is probably going to be the single hardest shot of her entire career. And just to make things interesting, one she really can't afford to foul up. Disreguarding her ship's currrent state of decrepitude, she gooses the throttle and starts to line up. "Here kitty, kitty, kitty….." she whispers to herself, scanning the stars for her mark, fingers tense on the trigger.

Sonia growls and she gives up on her attempts to repair her fighter's systems. She decides to aid as she can from afar and launches a spread of heatseekers towards the sole remaining fighter left from the Kilrathi escort.

<COMBAT> Sonia attacks Krant-4 with Heat Seeker - Serious wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Krant-4 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trey tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Krant-4 with Mass Driver - Moderate wound to Weapon.
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Draygo with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

And it might have been a slippery target, but there's only so much one lone Kilrathi can do against a flight of Confederation fighters, even if a rather battered one. The Kilrathi, not out of the fight yet, presses home its attack on the lone Stiletto, hoping to at least claim one Terran victim before death.

The missles launch and find a good soft hit, blasting the cockpit of the Krant in a corona of flames and she cheers herself on. "About time!" she chides herself and then launches another volley of missles towards the limping Kilrathi.

"Haha!" Paz laughs as she watches her gun's sparkle all over the Krant's laser, with just enough snap, crackle and poppery in the way of terminal ballistics to reassure her that said laser is, if not out of action, at least going to be harder to use. "Now that's what I call shooting." she grins, and gooses her throttle even more, kicking her thruster pedal into try and follow the enemy ship and close in for a shot at its tail. Her Scimitar's probably a strike anyway, why worry about it?

As the two Scimitar prey on the Kilrathi who was too busy chasing the quick and sleek Stiletto, Kell cranes his neck so he can look back while he went into evasive maneuvers, skidding his fighter left, then rolling right before seeing flashes of explosions behind him. "Nice shooting you two, let's end the Kitty's misery!" Kell encourages his patrol flight before kicking the afterburner to full on his Stiletto, then yawwing the fight hard to the right so that it does a quick one-eighting, unleashing his own salvo of mass driver fire.

<COMBAT> Sonia attacks Krant-4 with Heat Seeker - Critical wound to Cockpit.
<COMBAT> Paz attacks Krant-4 with Mass Driver - Light wound to Body (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Draygo attacks Krant-4 with Mass Driver and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Trey tries to attack but has no target!
<COMBAT> Krant-4 attacks Draygo with Laser and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Bossman has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

The Krant still survives, battered and scorched but undestroyed… the same cannot be said for its pilot, however. The already-shredded cockpit armor does little to protect the Kilrathi inside, and while the craft might still be capable of flight, with no one to direct it it goes careening off aimlessly into the void.

Not all kills are brilliant explosions or shattering of armor and steel but the status of the remaining Krant fighter is evident as Kell cheers, "Nice shot, Midnight! That's a kill and sensors pick up no more hostiles. Status of the Scims? Enough fuel and systems stable enough to limp home?"

Paz starts to check her displays, but remembers they're all shattered, so she double clicks her mic again, starting to settle back into her seat, then realizing it's studdedwith plexi shards and only her suit's keeping her from the vaccuum of space. "Christ, this is gonna be a looong flight home.." she sighs, resigning herself to sitting up painfully straight and carefully starting to nudge her ship in the appropriate direction. «Lea-, T-zon-….Re-uest —u sla-e y-ur nav t- mi-e…» she transmits. «Shi-'s fly-bl- bu- no-, r-pe-t, n-t confi-ent on -y na- -ix.» she says, pressing what she hopes are the right buttons to accept a command over ride for her nav system.

As the fighters pull away, a quartet of Raptor-class heavy fighters approach with a pair of transports in tow. Three of the Raptors are unscathed, the fourth looks like it had been used as a dog's chew toy. Or perhaps a cat's. There's a burst of static from the damaged Raptor, a momentary ear-splitting squeal, before it shuts off. A more sensible broadcast comes through a moment later, though still lacking a visual image to accompany the audio. "Nugget flight, Archangel. Don't suppose you left us any entertainment?"

"I copy that Tizona. Nugget Flight, form up with Tiz's Scimitar and I'll slave her controls to mine." Kell says as he is able to make out what Paz said through the static, barely. After reducing speed and maneuvering next to one of the wounded Scimitars, the rookie begins accessing the Scimitar's nav computer.

When sensors blip at him, Kell quickly checks it and is relieved to see blue blips instead of new red ones. What was excited relief turns into a brief annoyed pain at the screech, causing the young rookie to wince. When a more recognizable voice is heard though, Kell responds, "Nugget Lead here, sorry to say we're fresh out of Kilrathi, seems like they are on backorder here." There is a slight pause before he continues, "Though if you guys are heading back to The Boat, mind if we tag along? Some of us are a bit dinged up, the cats like to play rough."

Sonia sighs as she looks about, reducing the power requirements to a minimum and coming to limp alongside her wingmates. Her commsystems are totalled so she simply waggles her wings and tosses Paz a thumbs up since she too lacks a canopy and follows along the path of the flight's lead.

Hearing Archangel's voice over the comms bolsters Paz's mood and she's half tempted to stick an arm out of her shattered cockpit window and wave. Half tempted, mind, to actually do it would be stupid to the highest degree. Instead, she waggles her wings in return to Sonia's greeting and waves a little to her fellow Minuteman. «Arc-an-el….-bo-t -ime -ou -how-d -up.» she transmits with a chuckle. «F-shio-bly -ate ag-an..»

"We're actually holding here and waiting for the Majestic to come to us, Razor." Pickett replies, pausing a moment before adding a set of orders to his own flight. "Padre, Phoenix, you're with me. We'll stick to Speedwell and Swiftsure until Majestic and Pretoria arrive. Friction, form with Nugget Flight and make sure they don't get jumped on the way back" He orders, before he chuckles. "And Razor? When you get back to the carrier, kindly ask them to hurry. My ass is falling asleep"

One of the Raptors peels away from the formation, moving to take up a position trailing the four damaged fighters of Nugget flight.

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