Summary: (December 2027) Get on the Bus! Bandit indulges Fusillade in some inaugural dogfighting. At night. With a black Sukhoi. What was she thinking?! She is reminded that it takes more than targeting hardware to nail nimble opponents.
Sky above New Crystal City
The air above the island is rough and turbulent, but it does little to hide what lies below. Instead of the rocky islands typical of this region of the Pacific, there is a tall silver volcano overlooking what looks like the frosty blue, skeletal bones of an enormous metallic fish, including ribs, a "skull", and a massive mouth rimmed by huge, jagged metal teeth. It looks large enough to fit even a cityformer between its ribs.
Evening over New Crystal City is filled with Decepticon patrols, placed on active alert after the two strikes on EDC holdings. Still bearing considerable damage from the as of yet unreported strike in Alameda, Fusillade loiters in the skies, wings swept fully forward.
Black S-37 XF launches upwards from the Spaceport. The sleek fighter climbs steadily. The reflection of the night's stars make a pattern across its ebony canopy.
As a proximity chime rings out, Fusillade rouses from her aerial slumber, looking upwards at the constellations in consternation. It had been broad daylight when she first departed! The Lancer simultaneously sizes up the approaching aircraft and her own residual damages. "Still pretty roughed up..." she murmurs to herself, even as she veers to intercept the Sukhoi, complete with a groan of protest from internals. <<Bandit, hey there. How have you been?>>
Black S-37 XF continues his climb up on Fusillade's wing. << I am doing well comrade Fusillade, though it seems as if you have been seeing better days.>> The black jet performs an aileron roll up and around the B1 flipping from her right wing to her left. <<What happened?>>
B-1B Lancer chuckles, despite herself. <<Half of me is several Seekers, Bandit. The autorecovery will tend to it, I loaded up on energon and other necessities before taking to the air.>> She watches the nimbleness of Bandit with some envy, and bobs toward him playfully, seeing just how much crowding he will tolerate. <<So you haven't had to return to the medical ward, have you?>> She betrays a bit of concern. <<And this was from the attack that Axis lead on the EDC headquarters in Alameda. Now, I KNOW that I can't expect to dodge everything, especially when there's missiles, ground to air, flak, and fighters on my tail. But I couldn't hit ANYTHING! I hate it -- couldn't touch Sunstreaker at all, and only nailed one hangar out of, like, a MILLION there.>>
Black S-37 XF remains silent for a minute as if processing something. <<Well some would be saying half of me is worth several Seekers....wouldnt you say?>> he grins to himself. <<Well your frame is built for speed and terrain following....perhaps you can be using those assets to better protect yourself...but one of the best defenses is being the good offense.>> he allows the B-1 to come dangerously close without flinching. <<Perhaps you are in need of some practice...>>
B-1B Lancer looms close to the obsidian fighter, their silhouettes blotting out stars as they move. Close enough, that high-speed air between their frames pulls lightly against metal skin, <<Well, I can't argue about the issues with my mass. So I would quite rather get them before they get me. I wish there was some way for me to access my targetting systems while in robot mode. Targeting, though, hmm?>> A non-committal paint of radar from Fusillade bounces off Bandit's hull.
Black S-37 XF can feel the faint tingle of radar emissions bouncing off of his frame. He remains on course in fingertip formation. <<Well, why do we not practice some high speed high altitude maneuvers so that you will be doing much better against any airborne foes. Afterwards...perhaps I can simulate some ground to air fire and you can be practicing some bombing runs?>>
<< I do love the air. So much so that I want it all,>> Fusillade admits, <<And that sounds good, but what about my cruddy aim in robot mode? Some other time, huh?>> She pauses as she does another diagnostics sweep, <<What do you think should be first on the list? And if I can manage to hold my own against you, I don't any EDC fighters would stand a chance!>>
Black S-37 XF peels off immediately, taking spacing from the large B-1. <<Da.....start with me.......and I will run through some basic maneuvers. Remeber to try and lead your targets and be expecting high g manuevers...complete with jamming, chaff, and flares.>> he lights his burners and streaks out to 5 miles and increasing. <<Begin your maneuver comrade Fusillade...>>
Dealing with unmoving targets was worlds different from dealing with a moving target -- particularly an agile and fast one. <<Lead off? As in anticipate where they're going? Usually I just the escorts in to do that,>> she muses, mostly to herself. It had been a long time since she's been able to really speak with Bandit, and the generosity of the XO's offer is not lost upon her. With a flick of nose canards, she gamely follows along, doing her best to ignore the soreness and the temptation to go monopolize a hangar back in New Crystal City. He was already ahead of her, and wasn't he faster, anyway? She ignores that nagging thought, and checking a few matters on IFF, immediately begins to climb, straining to get ahead, and possibly cut him off.
Black S-37 XF watches as she moves into position. <<Ach...what are your trying to do there.....? Take the shot>> he booms as he completely flips on his horizontal axis and bears down, beak to beak on Fusillade. <<Do not hold back......>> he states as he powers up his weapons systems on training setting.
The cobra maneuver from Bandit, combined with his edict, startles Fusillade into action. The bomber activates her own disruptors, and sends a flurry of rounds his way, the lowered power setting faint even against the stark contrast of the night sky. <<That's going to be my big problem, I think... that whole holding back thing....>>
Black S-37 XF evades your grasp attack.
Black S-37 XF rolls on his longitudinal axis and lets the blasts fly harmlessly pase. He increases his speed and closure rate and rolls inverted, flying just overtop and to the right of the B-1s fusellage. <<Anticipate comrade.....anticipate...you have been seeing enough combat footage to know the standard responses.....watch, I will perform an alpha approach on your six. Thwart my approach and be coming back with your own response.>>
As the Berkut shrieks past, Fusillade's internals clench in the same old familiar way when Autobot and EDC fighters begin to gang up on her. As Bandit's presence in the airspace behind her threatens, she flares tailslabs and wingflaps wide, her airspeed dropping sharply to near-stall speeds, her altitude maintained only through the generous use of anti-gravs. Bandit thunders past again, now in front of her. Her competitive edge sparked, whetted by the challenge, there's no delay this time as three neatly dispensed rounds sizzle towards his tailfins.
Black S-37 XF evades your grasp attack.
Black S-37 XF corkscrews in the air and dives downward in a spiral. He booms <<Too slow.....and your barrage pattern, while effective at ground based targets is too random for a trained warrior.>> he screams downward towards a mountain range. <<This time comrade....anticipate....lead your shots...you must think two steps ahead of your foe...>> The black jet flies dangerously close to the ground, beckoning the B-1 to follow.
The faint glow of afterburners against the nighttime mountain ranges of New South Wales, their peaks still glittering with the albedo of unmarred snow. Fusillade thus far has been politely going through the steps directed by Bandit, but for now -- some part of her rankled at not being able to get a very good shot in. There are a few near-misses as she begins to weave and swing after the Berkut, but after a few minutes, Bandit's going to find things are rather quiet. Transforming, Fusillade drops completely out of the skies to an indeterminate location far to the rear.
The sleek bomber rears up, wings collapsing onto hips even as the rear fuselage splits to form arms. The horizontal stabilizer slides up, the forward fuselage folds up accordian style, and Fusillade hops up on thrustered feet.
Black S-37 XF continues on his way, until he can feel himself get out of range of Fusillades firing solution rather abruptly. <<Ach, what...?>> he states as he makes his way through the windy hills. <<Why did you disengage...you have the advantage here ...low to the ground, high speeds....>>
As the Su-47 wends through the peaks, Fusillade can't but help smirk at the consternation in the voice over the radio. Unholstering her disruptor from a dispensor in her right thigh, she doesn't immediately respond, as she braces the muzzle along her forearm, and waits, waits, for the jet to once again come barrelling toward her. She squeezes the trigger, aiming about half Bandit's length ahead the tip of his nosecone.
Fusillade succeeds in grasping Black S-37 XF, throwing him off-balance.
Black S-37 XF takes the sniping shot fair and square. He transforms and nods approvingly. <<There there....now you are starting to be getting the hang of it>> his foot thrusters bring him towards her position. <<Now try that again......>> he states as he lands and cartwheels.
The nose bends forward as the wings flip and rotate backwards. The engines spilt and extend, as arms, fists and feet are revealed. A head flips upward and locks into place with a purple shimmer of the optics.
Fusillade plants her hands on her hips, and ehns as she stows the weapon, and paces closer to Bandit. "Ehn, I was a bit worried you'd not approve of such a tactic, though, Bandit. You seem more like the type to appreciate skill." Her attempts to keep a straight face fail as he demonstrates his prowess. Fusillade shrugs diffidently, "You're going to be able to dodge most anything I could throw at you." But there's a wicked glint in her optics, and while he's mid-cartwheel, she disgorges a pair of missiles from her chest. Low yield practice rounds, in line with what MSE would give recovering troops. Honest!
Bandit evades your grasp attack.
Bandit continues his cartwheels and then performs a triple axle that lands himself behind Fusillade. He grins and taps her on the shoulder. "Da.....but one would be foolhardy to not be able to use sound tactics to overcome obvious advantages..." after he says that in her audio receptor, he flips backwards a couple of feet beckoning her to strike him. "The principles which I instructed in the air are remaining true here on ground zero comrade."
Fusillade EHS? as Bandit beckons her attention, and she nearly turns her head into his face. As he begins to prance away, the frustration at the situation begins to build, and any delight at the attention is forgotten briefly. The desire to retaliate is strong, but she quells it, keeping it from getting out of hand. With a flick of her wrist, she turns with his leap, sneer on her face, as she slides one hand up, and then snaps out one wingblade to its full span in an attempt to sweep the larger robot. "Ah, good to hear that, then."
Bandit evades your grasp attack.
Bandit leaps overhead as she attempts the sweep. He taps her other shoulder and returns, "A very nice move....but I am too fast for such strikes. You are needing to attack where you think I will be going...not where I am....my reflexes will more than not be able to be keeping me out of harms way."
Fusillade's temper is starting to show, and she spits out, "You can be pretty much whereever you PLEASE! This is a losing proposition." She scowls fiercely as he once again lingers within arm's reach, before huffing and kicking backward to get some distance. At that point, she shoots at the rock face to his left and rear.
Fusillade succeeds in grasping Bandit, throwing him off-balance.
Bandit takes the shot and blocks it with both forearms. "There you go Fusillade....now you are starting to internalize the principles which I was trying to be teaching you." with that he move up to her. "Remember these lessons well...they will be paying you dividends in the battles to come." he puts an arm on her shoulder. "That is all for this evening comrade....I think you will do just fine. Make sure you are taking time to get well...and when you do....practice practice practice."
"Ah, but the flights are so long, and practicing for me just alerts the enemy," Fusillade half-laughs, before lasping into a brief silence at the contact. However, a moment later, she smiles, before wincing slightly. "Yeah, I think all this workout while still injured is just now starting to catch up with me, ow, heh." As she limps abit along the valley of the Snowy Mountains, she mms at Bandit, and asks, "So, up to a few drinks?"
Bandit shakes his head. "Nyiet.....I must be returning to my duties.....another time." he states as he flies upwards.