A search for Aldrich's friends turns up something unexpected at a farming village.
Location: Jungle, Isabel Island
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Jungle Fever
Scene Number: 728
It was a longer trek through the forest than Aldrich might have implied to begin with, but at least it's still a day trip. It went slightly easier once they found a well-worn path through the forest to follow. Aldrich himself has not been too talkative, which is probably just as well, under the circumstances. Finally, however, the forest starts to thin a bit, daylight visible through the trees, and Al lifts up a hand to get Cate and Geoff's attention. "We're almost there," he explains, quietly.
Aldrich had described it as a 'farm' but that was probably being too generous. It's more of a clearing with a couple of huts and gardens big enough to sustain just the inhabitants.
Geoff is wary along their way, but not to the point of paranoia. He doesn't press with chit-chat, but of course they're trying to avoid multiple sets of radar, so to speak. He squints when they get close enough to see where they're headed. "You mean there?"
Cate was content to walk quietly along, taking in the sights of the jungle as they walked. It's still all pretty novel to her. Though they're not really in what would be considered 'enemy territory' at the moment, they're close enough to the front lines to warrant caution. She perks up a bit, lifting her head attentively when the others speak.
They had been following a track through the jungle. It would be generous to call it a "road" but you could get a 4x4 vehicle down it. As they near the end of the track, where it meets the clearing, Geoff notices movement through the window of one of the buildings. There might be someone hear after all.
But Aldrich notices something even more alarming... a glint of sunlight on steel coming from a Cylon Centurion, partly concealed by greenery near the front of another building. Not hiding, just not fully visible from their position.
Geoff grips his rifle, though he keeps it down-ready. "You expecting anybody to be here?" he asks softly, eyes on the window, crouching instinctively.
Aldrich freezes for a brief moment, then reaches to grab Geoff's arm and snaps quietly to get Cate's attention. "Cylon," he hisses, already crouching back a little, warily. He gestures vaguely in the direction he saw it.
Cate tears her gaze away from a little jungle lizard when Geoff speaks, then stiffens when Aldrich hisses the warning. "How many?" she whispers back. She draws her pistol, keeping it down but ready. Not the greatest defense against Centurions, but she apparently wasn't as adventurous as Geoff when it came to commandeering gear for their illicit day-trip.
All three of them are able to see the Cylon near the front door of hut 1, just kinda standing there, and Geoff's pretty sure now that the figure that just crossed past the window again in hut 2 is also a Cylon. It's moving too jerkily for a human. And now that they look, they can see two more doing something in the field beyond the hut, but they don't have a good angle from here to see what.
"Frak Apollo's mother, I count four at least," Geoff whispers. "Aldrich..." he says, looking the preacher's way in a manner that does not suggest he has great hopes for the friends whose farm this is.
Aldrich stays crouched, more out of instinct than any extra protection it might give, staring intently through the trees. "Three?" he whispers, but seems just as accepting of Geoff's answer. He looks pretty grim indeed. "What are they even doing? Do you see anyone alive?"
"Where's the... oh," Cate says, when she finally realizes the fourth one as well. "Yeah, I see four, but there could be more. No sign of fighting though." And it's true - the huts are not riddled with bullets or burned down as one might expect from the usual Cylon party. "Maybe nobody was home," she whispers, glancing to Aldrich. "We could swing over there - try to get a better view."
Geoff chews his lower lip. "Look, we better be /real/ frakkin' careful, cuz there's no rescue mission when they don't know where we are."
Aldrich glances toward Geoff, then to Cate, and then answers, "I'm more familiar with the area. You two can hang back... I'll circle around, see what I can find out without getting too close?" He phrases it as a suggestion, but he doesn't wait for their answer. He slips off the main path and into the undergrowth to circle around for a better view.
Cate nods, frowning slightly at the truth behind Geoff's words. "Yeah, but I'd feel better if we at least had some idea what they were up to. Nobody expected them to be this far over the line." When Aldrich starts moving off, she just shakes her head. "Like hell," she mumbles, and creeps forward to follow him. Some escort she'd be if she let the poor Chaplain wander off into danger alone.