The marines are sent to investigate a farming village where the Cylons are up to something.
Location: Jungle, Isabel Island
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Jungle Fever
Scene Number: 729
The Cylons are up to something at a tiny farming village on the "friendly" side of the front (not that these things are particularly well marked). Satellite scans haven't given any hints as to their intention. The force seems to be too small to be a big assault (estimated 10 Cylons tops), and there are no signs of AA emplacements or anything like that. It's a mystery. The Colonials could've just bombed it off the map, but there may be civilian hostages. Plus, the brass would really like to know what they're up to, if possible. So the boots have been sent in. Sergeant Adams is in charge of the squad (eight marines in total) and the Chaplain is tagging along for reasons that weren't really explained during the briefing.
They're currently slogging through the jungle on a track that could be called a "road" if you were being generous (and had a 4x4 vehicle). They're still a safe distance from the village, able to chat freely but on guard. Because if the Cylons are already over the front, who knows where else they might be.
The thing about being in the midsts of War is there really is no such thing as 'light duty'. Miko was given forty eight hours to fatten up and fit up post his sickbay sojourn, and now he's back out amongst his brethren covered in so much bug spray it follows him like an imaginary cloud around him. The toothpick in his lips switches corners of his mouth before being chomped on again. "Hope you're prepared for some blisters." He comments to Aldrich as they trudge along.
Geoff seems a little on edge. Of course, that's not shocking, given the fact that they're supposed to investigate Cylons doing something they're not supposed to be doing in a place they're not supposed to be. He's less chatty than usual.
Aldrich's presence wasn't explained, and he doesn't seem to be in the mood to volunteer information, today. Someone has supplied him with a helmet and a gun, and he looks... Well, pretty freaking weird. He's been trudging along in silence, his mind apparently in another place, when Miko addresses him. He glances over, solemnly, and then shakes his head. "Blisters are the least of my concerns."
Cate is walking just ahead of the Chaplain, and glances back over her shoulder at the two who are chatting. "They could've spared a truck to take us part of the way, at least," she grumbles, wiping sweat from her face. "I think Tavo's been putting too many ideas into the LT's ear about the 'real army'." If not, he's an easy scapegoat. "Surprised they let you out so soon, Kovac. Didn't you just get out of sickbay?" Except it's not sickbay here. Habit.
Miko pulls the toothpick out of his mouth right before he spits out a splinter from it. Thankfully, he directs his loogey opposite of the company. "Pushed for the duty, because I was tired of laying on my back in sickbay without anyone riding on top. Though there was this one blonde nurse who I wouldn't mind being smothered by her tits and put out of my misery." Marines and they're locker room talk to pass the time in the field. "Passed the PT test, that's all they care about."
"That how they're doing euthanasia these days?" Geoff asks in a low deadpan tone, glancing Miko's way. But then his eyes swivel back to the path ahead.
Aldrich might have laughed at Geoff's quip on another day, but all he manages this time is a mild, tight smile. But it's something, at least. Otherwise, he seems content to let the others talk for now, keeping his attention on the 'road'.
"Hey, if you've gotta go... I guess there are worse ways," Cate reasons dryly.
"Okay pipe down everyone," says the Sarge, although he can't help but smirk at the exchange. "We're going to head off the track and make the final approach through the bush." There's some grumbling about that, but it wasn't entirely unexpected. Everyone falls quiet as they begin slogging through the jungle. Eventually they come up to the village clearing. For atmosphere: https://tinyurl.com/jzvrev3
There are a half-dozen houses/huts in all. Prior recon reported that the Cylon activity seemed to be centered around one in particular, so that's the main target. The marines are divided into three teams. One to secure the village center (3 NPCs off-camera), one to assault the main hut (Adams, Kinney, Geoff, Cate), and one to provide overwatch from the treeline (Miko, Aldrich, Renard). Adams fields a few questions, then gives the signal to move out.
Miko, despite his bravado, actually takes orders rather well and is now crouched down on at the edge of the tree line with a pair of binoculars pressed to his eyes as he surveys the progression of the forward team. "Don't know why we hauled you out here, Padre, but I hope it's not to give us last rites."
Geoff goes quiet again and checks his rifle before following behind the sargeant. He looks pretty serious, but they are a small force to take on Cyclons in such strange circumstances, so that might have something to do with it.
It might be surprising, but Aldrich takes orders well, himself, in this context. He crouches down with Miko and Renard at the treeline, peering out toward the village. He doesn't look away as he answers Miko, quietly, "I know people in that village. If they're still alive."
As the marines approach the village, creeping through the brush, they can see two Cylons wandering in the clearing (not represented in +combat). The village-center team heads in first at the Sergeant's signal, and the crackle of gunfire erupts as they engage the two visible Cylons.
While that's going on, the assault team quickly moves towards the target hut. They catch a glimpse briefly of Cylon1 through an open window, but then he's gone. Cylon2, however, comes out onto the porch at the first sound of gunfire.
Also summoned by the gunfire, Cylon3 and Cylon4 come out of the largest hut, further away from the fighting. They start moving toward it. The overwatch team has a clear line of sight to them.
Cate moves along with Geoff and the assault team, rifle gripped tightly in her hands. "Hope they haven't multiplied since last time," she mumbles to Geoff. When the shooting breaks out, she hustles behind the sergeant, firing a burst at the Cylon that emerged from the target hut.
The binoculars pull away from his eyes as Miko looks aside to Aldrich. "So we were dispatched to save your friends." The medic pauses. "Copy that." He puts the lenses back to his eyes and immediately drops them again. "Provide cover for Beta Team, two unfriendlies inbound." His rifle snaps up. "Hope you remember your time in Basic, Padre."
"No, you're dispatched to find out what Cylons are doing this far in," Aldrich remarks, then brings his rifle up to take aim. "My friends are just the reason we know about it." Then his attention has to focus on the task at hand.
Geoff nods at Cate's hope and steadies his rifle as best he can to squeeze off a shot at that Cylon.
Cylon2 fires back but misses, then promptly goes down in a hail of gunfire from the strike team. The doorway is clear. "Courtois, with me! Rhodes, Kinney, behind us." Adams calls, giving signals for the standard room-clearing procedure. As they go through the door into the first room, they see what looks like some kind of weird lab setup on the former dining room table. They don't have a lot of time to study it, though, because around the lab area are Cylon1 and Cylon5.
Out in the clearing, the NPC team is holding its own against the Cylons in the open. But the reinforcements (3&4) have taken notice of the overwatch team and return fire.
The toothpick in Miko's mouth waggles with the first smile he's cracked since the beginning of the mission, thanks to Aldrich. It's even genuine by the way it crinkles his eye around the sight of his rifle. "Touche, Holy Roller. Touche."
Cate zigs just in time to avoid getting nailed by the Cylon's fire, and her burst is pretty well-centered around the robot's torso. She takes up a position on the porch, covering the rear until it's her turn to go through the door.
"Y'sir," Geoff replies, following Adams on the order. "Frak," he grunts while aiming at the Cylon...scientists? Lab partners?
Aldrich snorts faintly at Miko's comment, but keeps his attention on the task at hand. He might be mildly amused. Maybe. It's harder to tell with him, sometimes. Besides, he has Cylons to shoot.
There is a sudden hiss from Miko as a shot tears through the material of his uniform, his arm jerking back as a thin red line appears where the cloth once was. "Keep your head down!" He warns the others, though he's loathe to follow his own directions as he fires again.
The worker-Cylon in the hut looks to the doorway, scrutinizing the humans briefly before returning to his task, fiddling with a big steel(?) container on the table. "Frak is that a bomb?" Adams asks, just before getting blasted in the arm. "Arrgh!" He falls, clutching at the wound. Out of the fight, but not unconscious - he can still bark orders. "Take those frakkers down!" Kinney joins Geoff in the doorway, firing too.
Cate isn't even through the door, but that's the trouble with flimsy huts - not much bullet resistance. A shot grazes her arm, eliciting a yelp. But then the sergeant is down, and she's trying to drag him out of the doorway. "Keep pressure on it," she reminds him.
Out in the courtyard, one of the NPCs goes down, but so does a Cylon.
Geoff's got his orders, and the suspicion that the one that looked less dangerous at first might be arming a bomb. He steps up ahead of any other friendlies and gives a spray of automatic fire at both of the toasters.
Miko's hiss is enough to take Aldrich's eye off his target. The flash of concern seems genuine, and he pauses just long enough to make sure it's not a life-threatening wound before going back to shooting. "You all right?" he asks, even as he lines up another shot.
Despite his bravado, Miko is a little gun shy after already being hit once, and thus when a line of fire eats up the trees around him, he flinches and misses his target. "Nothin' your momma hasn't scratched worse in my back!" It's one of those gut vocal reactions and in no way related to Aldrich's actual matriarch. Probably.
The worker-Cylon goes down with a well-placed shot to the chest. Thankfully, there's no kaboom. Either it wasn't a bomb or he didn't have a chance to arm it. Either way, bonus. Kinney and Geoff both pepper the other one, but it stubbornly keeps fighting.
Cate pulls Adams out of harms way and then goes to the window to fire at the other Cylon in the room.
Cylon3 and 4 are still firing at the overwatch party, taking a few hits as they move across the field but it doesn't seem to have slowed them down too much.
"Apollo's balls," Geoff mutters as the stupid Cylon stays on its dumb metal feet. Now that the other target in the room has been eliminated, he hunkers down to focus on the one that's left.
Aldrich snorts faintly. "Keep talking about my momma and you'll wish the toasters finished you off," he retorts, but he doesn't sound too serious about that. Probably too busy shooting Cylons to /actually/ wish death on Miko. Probably.
The last Cylon in the hut goes down in a hail of burst fire, his machinegun stitching the ceiling as he falls backwards.
Out in the village, the center team takes down their last Cylon and then turns their attention to the two reinforcements that were plaguing the overwatch team. Their combined fire makes short work of them, and then the village is quiet. Adams, still kicking despite the bullet in his arm, orders the center team and Kinney to sweep the village and calls down the overwatch team. "Rhodes, Courtois, can you tell what the hell that thing is?"
Cate slants Geoff an anxious glance. "Guess we drew the short straw."
"I have to do all the talking, her mouth is full!" Miko can't help it, honest! It's like a verbal tick for him, to talk smack and bury his actual feelings beneath layers and layers of bluster. But despite himself, he's still a little 'off' from his illness, lacking some of the strength he normally carries in his frame and his aim is just a hair off.
"That thing" is the container on the table, in case it wasn't obvious. Now that they have a moment to breathe, they can see some of the other lab equipment. Vials and syringes... actually, come to think of it, it maybe looks more like a medical lab than a science lab.
Geoff approaches the lab apparatus with the flinchy expression anyone might make when ordered to approach something that might be explosive. Or corrosive. Or gross. "Should I...open it, sir?" he calls.
"Where I come from, you would be castrated in the market and then flayed. They'd sell popcorn. It would be a nice day out for the family," Aldrich remarks, dryly. At least he doesn't seem genuinely offended? In any case, he crouches a little less, peers down to be sure the Cylons were really finished off, and then stands and offers a hand to help Miko up, if he wants to take it. "Come on."
Miko's rifle slings back over his shoulder, his hand slapped into Aldrich as he hoists himself to his feet, ignoring his would in favor of eyeing over the other man for any injuries. "At least I'd die balls deep in your mom." Which is hard to do when castrated, but details details! "Delta team, forming up!"
"Just see if you can tell what it is," Adams says.
Cate has a slightly different vantage point from Geoff, starting at the window, and squints at the contraption. "Uh, I don't think you want to open it. I think it's... moving? Okay, that's creepy." She moves around through the doorway to follow the Sergeant's orders, even though she'd just as soon stay back where she is.
Aldrich eyes Miko, brow slightly lifted. "Mm. You'd probably miss the target and frack the goat instead." With that low blow, he starts for the huts. Maybe a bit anxious to see what's going on down there.
When Cate points out that it's moving, Geoff pulls back. "Frak," he whispers, then peers at the equipment. "It's bugs, sir!" Just looking at all those crawly moving mosquitos makes him itchy enough to scratch his own shoulder.
"Bugs?!" Adams and Kinney exclaim it almost in unison. The latter backs away, out to the porch. Over the radio, the other troops report in as they clear the huts. So far, no more Cylons or humans.
Cate comes over to stand near Geoff, looking at the container in disgust. "Frakking hell," she mumbles. "They're frakking around with mosquitos."
"Don't knock goat pussy." Miko mutters, trudging down with Aldrich until they come up on the hut. "They never say n-n-n-noooo." He bleats as he steps into the doorway. "What da we've got, chief?" Of course the word 'mosquito' hits his ears and he frowns. Deeply.
"Can we leave and get some people who know what the frak they're doing in here?" Geoff requests. He doesn't look anxious to risk disease-ridden mosquito bites.
Anyone who moves around to the other side of the table can see that the front side of the big steel container is clear glass. Inside, swirling around, are mosquitos. Hundreds of them. A veritable swarm.
Aldrich rolls his eyes, but what can he say to that? He lets Miko have the last word, and as they arrive at the hut, his attention is less on the mosquitoes and more on the surrounding huts and conspicuous lack of anything resembling civilians. "Have we found any sign of the people who lived here?"
"The other team's still searching," Kinney tells Aldrich. "Nothing in there but a frak-ton of mosquitos."
Cate nods in agreement with Geoff. "Yeah, uh... I sure as hell don't want to mess around with that." She does, however, peer at some of the other bits laying around. Naturally the vials aren't helpfully labeled or anything, and she doesn't touch anything.
Adams says through gritted teeth (due to pain, not bugs), "I'll radio HQ and see what they want us to do."
"I'm out," Geoff says, and leaves the hut. He waits outside in case there are orders to go back in, but it's clear he doesn't want to risk being swarmed to an itchy death.
Miko's lip curls as he spies the case, it is, after all, the indirect reason he spent so much time in sick bay is the virus that could be carried by these mosquitos. These Cylon frakked with mosquitos. Likely his vote would be to level the entire village, but this isn't a democracy. "Prepare for Evac, Lance Corporal Rhodes."
Aldrich frowns at the news (or lack thereof), glances to the mosquitoes, but then goes to the window to look out. He seems to have nothing to say on the subject of the mosquitoes.
Cate arches an eyebrow at the former address. "Aye aye, Sergeant Kovac," she replies, too flippantly to be serious. But she does take the opportunity to flee from the mosquito bin, pausing near Aldrich. "Sorry we didn't find your friends," she offers quietly.
Geoff crosses his arms over his chest and looks away from Aldrich and Cate.
Aldrich glances over, startled out of his thoughts by Cate's words. He smiles, stiffly. "It was a very small chance that we would," he replies. "But I am, too." He glances back into the room, but then announces, "There are some things I need to do before we leave here. I won't go far." So much for following orders. He doesn't wait for permission, but leaves the hut. Presumably for some sort of spiritual hoodoo or something.