Edson Air Base falls to the Cylons after a massive surprise attack in the dead of night.
Location: Edson Air Base
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Jungle Fever
Scene Number: 730
Aldrich is on his way across the courtyard. There's a patient due for morning surgery who requires a ritual that absolute, without exception, must be performed at sunrise. So he has dragged himself out of bed, still gummy-eyed and yawning. He's just about three-quarters of the way across the courtyard when the klaxons go off, and he jerks to alertness. Given that klaxons are never a good thing, he takes off running for the clinic. Hopefully he doesn't have a bomb land on his head. That would not be a good look for him.
Calliope was in her bunk, sound asleep. As peaceful as one can be on a military base with a war on. Then, sirens. And explosions. It's a rude awakening. It takes her a moment - and some yelling from the more senior piltos she sleeps with - to realize what's going on and get herself moving. "Frakfrakfrakfrakfrak..." she murmurs as she wakes up, and fumbles into her footlocker in search of her sidearm.
"Somebody had better be dead out there!" Tamlin grumbled to nobody in particular as the noise brings her to consciousness. It takes about a full second before her brain kicks into gear and she recognizes the klaxons for what they are. So...yeah, somebody probably is dead out there. Fortunately, it's the birds she cares about, not all that squishy flesh. She hops right on out of bed and towards her coveralls, which she always has prepped and ready, complete with legs already tucked into boots, and she wiggles into it at top speed. She bends down, still hustling to grab up her toolbelt and strap it on around her hips.
The clinic has been quiet since the bulk of the patients from the village attack got moved to civilian hospitals or off-world for further treatment. Between that and the treatment for the Cylon-aided line of Spiro Fever, there's only a half-dozen people to look after, including a tonsillectomony patient scheduled for the morning. Even with a dozen, someone needs to be near at hand. Eli was dozing in one of the exam rooms when the alarms sound. He blinks awake and it takes him a few minutes to become fully alert. He gets up, then exits the clinic to witness a bomb dropping. Not...not good.
Cate was in the clinic too on the night shift, making the rounds when the attack began. After jumping out of her skin, she ran to the nearest window to gawk at the damage. "My Gods," she murmurs. She just stares for several seconds before recovering her wits enough to yell, "It's an all-out attack - everyone who's mobile needs to get a gun." They don't keep those in the clinic, of course, so Cate starts dashing towards the door to head outside, probably just as Aldrich is coming in.
"What's going on? Should we get in the air? Oh my gods!" Calliope exclaims these things to the pilot she's scrambling along with, after finally escaping the officer berths. She very much looks like she just woke up, but at least she managed to find her gun and put on pants before stumbling into the fray. She heads in the direction of the airfield. It's the only place she can think to go right now.
Tamlin only barely made it out of the enlisted barracks, before she feels the pressure of the explosion lifting her off of her feet. She's thrown a good five feet, possibly as far as ten by the violence of the explosion, landing in a sprawl. She's winded, but not stupid, and she scrambles up as quickly as possible, head swiveling around as she looks for the best route to a weapon. Instead, she spots a few guards killed in the explosion, and dives to grab one of their weapons. You know they're not going to need it anymore. Now it's time to show these Cylons how the Caprican Navy does it.
Aldrich doesn't look back. He just keeps on running, until he can fling himself through the clinic entrance, probably face-first into Eli and/or Cate. He's a little dusty, but unharmed. "Bombs," he announces, breathlessly, as though that weren't already obvious. "And... I don't even know. Raiders maybe. Frak."
Eli reaches out to touch Aldrich's shoulders as he runs in. He checks for injuries just as a matter of course. He looks past the chaplain and mutters, "Shit." He looks over his shoulder towards Cate, but then she's darting out. "All right, people are going to be bringing the injured here. We need to be prepared."
Cate narrowly avoids bowling Aldrich over on her way out the door. "Get into cover padre," she urges, before heading off - only to be stopped by an explosion going off nearby. It knocks her down, and she lays there dazed for a few moments.
Tamlin was already on her way towards the flight line, so spotting Calliope in all her just rolled out of bed glory, is no surprise, "Get under cover, Sir. Nobody's getting near that flight line right now. Not until we clear a path. You got a gun, sir?" Tamlin has two, one strung over her shoulder, the other rifle in hand as she dodges some shrapnel raining down from the sky to find cover from where to try to halt the centurion advance.
Aldrich brushes Eli off, though his attention is more on where he just came from. "I'm fine... Cate!" he tries to call her back, but it's too late. "Gods..." And with that, he heads out again, to try and grab the dazed Cate so he can pull her back into the clinic before she gets hit any worse.
Calliope lets out a scream, as much in surprise as fear, as an explosion suddenly goes off in the direction she's running. She gives her head a little shake, to right her brain, and blinks at Tamlin. "Huh. Yeah. No. I don't think anybody's taking off right now." In answer to the question about the gun, she awkwardly pats her hip. She's got it. "Come on. We need to find...cover." It seems like a sensible thing to find. She ducks toward the closest available building. Which just happens to be the clinic.
Eli dashes out to help Aldrich with Cate. "I sure as hell hope that the other medical personnel are trying to make their way here," he calls as he ushers chaplain and medic back inside.
Cate is limp as Aldrich hauls her to her feet, but gets her feet moving after a few steps. She seems more stunned than hurt, but stumbles a bit as he and Eli help her back into the clinic.
Tamlin pricks up her head, as the call comes to evacuate, and she nods, more to herself than anything else. "Sir, we need to get people evacuated." Because that's what you do when you're on the deck, right? Rescue and salvage. This is just a really big hangar fire. A realy big hangar fire. "I'm going to try the door." She still keeps her weapon in hand, as she begins to scurry around the back of the clinic, gun still at the ready. She can't just up and leave.
"I don't think this is going to be a--" Aldrich is starting to say to Eli, even as he's hauling Cate back to the clinic with the other doctor's help. He stops and presses his lips together as the loudspeakers fire up and then crackle out again. Once they've made it back inside, he looks over at Eli. "We need to get the injured out. Is there anyone who can't be moved?"
"Everyone should be ambulatory." Eli starts to speak before Aldrich finishes speaking. "My tonsil patient is feverish, but she should be able to move. Stay with her. I'm going to grab the bug out bags." In fact, two of the patients are already on their feet. The third, the feverish tonsilitis patient looks around like she's not sure what's going on. He darts up and exchanges a few reassuring words with her, then throws open a filing cabinet and tugs out two backpacks laden with emergency medical supplies. The bags were put together for just this type of situation.
"We sure as frak aren't flying out of here," Calliope says, with a big-eyed look toward the flight line. And the many things on fire in that direction. "Maybe we can get a vehicle out of here? Frak." The last is muttered to herself again. She sticks with Tamlin, heading around the back of the clinic. Her gun is ready...ish. She fumbles it out of her pocket and hastily checks to see if it's loaded.
"I'm okay," Cate tells Aldrich after he helps her inside, though the shaky voice is not entirely convincing. Famous last words, though, since that's about when the bomb hits the clinic. She yells in fright and tries to pull the chaplain into cover behind a cabinet.
"Don't think we can paint that big a target on our backs as that, sir. Anything with wheels is going to draw raider fire. Best we can do is try to stay small and stick to cover, but we gotta get--" And then half the clinic is gone, and it's like a nightmare version of the cylon attacks on Caprica all over again, "Go, that way, the door there, I'll see if I can find any other weapons and try to cover you." Tamlin will settle for being the target. Being covered in dayglow orange will do that to you. Calliope is a ghost next to that.
Aldrich nods a little and guides Cate to the nearest seat, even if it's only temporary. "You look like you have a head injury..." he observes, trying to check her for any signs of such an injury, even if his first aid training was fairly basic. And then the clinic gets hit. Sometimes you never really grow out of the behaviors ingrained in childhood, and that is never more obvious than when Aldrich instinctively attempts to shield Cate from debris, even as she's pulling him behind a cabinet. Chivalry isn't dead, apparently? Of course, the moment the initial shock is over, he jumps up, looking around. So much for being under cover. "Eli! Eli, are you okay?" he calls out, over the background chaos.
Eli finishes clipping one of the heavy backpacks on just as the bomb hits. He ducks, and by the time he looks up, the tonsil patient is lying prone in the rubble. He gets close to her only long enough to check her pulse and confirm what he suspected before the heat of the fire that's broken out pushes him back. He snatches up the other bug out bag, and darts back towards the exit. He shoves the other bug out bag at Aldrich. "I'm fine." Except in the chaos, he didn't notice that bits of debris slammed into his temple, leaving a streak of blood and a lot of soot. "We have to get out of here. I don't want to be close to this clinic when the fire reaches the oxygen tanks." He looks back. "If the other patients didn't get themselves out, they're gone. We need to make for the jungle." He's not Cool Hands Cadmus for nothing. He is far calmer than most in a situation like this.
Calliope finds her gun loaded. She has to take a second to remember how to get the safety off. Thankfully she points it away from herself, and Tamlin, while she's doing that. She ducks instinctively as half the clinic goes up in flames. The half on the other side of the building, thankfully, but it still puts her on the ground again, and she has to scramble back to her feet. Numbly, she manages to get the back door of clinic open. "We're evacuating!" she shouts inside. Duh? "We can help move the wounded. Or...something." She is not at her most useful outside a plane. But she at least seems motivated.
Cate has a reputation for being calm under fire, but right now she looks rattled. Maybe it's the head injury Aldrich suspected. She's a little slow to get up, surveying the fiery wreckage on the other side of the wall with a dazed expression. But when Eli starts talking about getting out she coughs and nods. The other two patients are quick to start moving towards the rear exit too.
"Just stick with me, sir." Tamlin, gauging Calliope's condition, and her lack of ease, moves into the front. DC team of two, incoming. She manages to get into the doorway, proceeding in a line to try to clear or maintain a clear line of retreat, pushing and kicking away anything that's been tossed around, everyone else is moving out, but somebody needs to cover their retreat, given the sound of approaching cylons. She'll wave whomever goes by her back towards the waiting raptor pilot.
Aldrich takes the bag shoved into his hands, and slings it over his shoulder. "Frak..." he says, with a glance toward the bombed out half of the clinic. "We can't just--" But he stops himself before he finishes that thought. Instead, he just offers an arm to Cate and heads after Eli for the exit. Or, you know, drags Cate along if she's not moving fast enough. Whichever. "The ones who needed help are gone," he informs Calliope, as she appears in the doorway. He glances over a shoulder, toward the sound of gunfire, but he keeps moving.
"I heard the evacuation order. I don't know if we can get to a Raptor. So the question is, Raptor or jungle. Both are risky." And Eli is not strategist. He moves forward, out of the clinic. It's exposed, but at least the building won't crash down on top fo them.
"Raptors are a no-go right now, Doctor," Calliope replies to Eli, tone kind of apologetic. "The airfield was on fire last time I saw it, and the toasters are concentrating their attack there." She nods to Aldrich, at his reply about the wounded. Her gun is out and she covers the medical personnel as they move forward. She is far less sure of herself with a gun than she is behind the console of one of those no-go Raptors. But she is still, at least, pointing it mostly in the right direction.
Cate needs that little nudge from Aldrich to get moving, apparently also reluctant to leave the wounded behind. She doesn't say much the whole time, but sticks close to the chaplain. She picked up a rifle and a radio from one of the fallen marines, and is standing guard while they try to get through the fence.
Tamlin is totally in her element, right now. In the midst of all of the bombs, and the gunfire, and the cylons and the death, here she is, at the end of all things, working with her tools. She hands off the gun she was holding, still keeping the second slung over her shoulder as she pulls the pliers out of her toolbelt and starts snip, snip, snipping like her life depended on it. Like all their lives depended on it. Which it does.
Aldrich does what he can do to help Cate along when she needs it, and claims some sort of pistol when he has the chance. By the time they reach the fence, he has a bloody rip in the shoulder of his shirt, but it must be superficial, because he's carrying on ignoring it. While they wait for Tamlin to get through the fence, he joins Cate to keep watch.
Calliope will remember firing her gun in the direction of the Cylons. She will not remember hitting anything. She barely even looks to see if her bullets connect so, even if she does, she wouldn't know it. She's winded by the time they get to the fence, both from the run and heart-racing adreneline. She takes a moment to pant and breathe while Tamlin snips the fence, keeping close to Aldrich and Cate. Shoulders jerking at every sound, like it might be a metal enemy.
At one point, someone insisted that Eli take a gun, though he tries to steadfastly refuse on account of carrying medical gear instead. He eventually relents, and even gets a few shots off at the Cylons. He's a better shot than you'd expect a doctor to be. As they approach the fence, he's at the back of the pack because he dropped part of his kit. As he stoops to pick up the bit of kit, there's the sound of something very high velocity cutting the air. Eli goes down with a grunt and a sound of surprise as the bullet cuts right through his right shoulder.
"Doctor C!" Cate yells, snapping her rifle up to her shoulder and looking for the source of the bullet that felled the doc. A flash of chrome is spotted - two Centurions advancing on their location. "Over there!" she points. Moving up to Eli's position, she takes a knee by him and starts firing at the Centurions. Another of the crew joins her in returning fire, only to be cut down a moment later by a burst to the chest.
It doesn't take Tamlin long to make a hole wide enough for the group, "everybody get through, right now, drag him if you have to." She gets clear of the hole and takes back up her rifle, though she doesn't take a knee, "You too, medic." She well remembers the firefight of the hangar deck only a few months ago, now, and she does her best to keep the cylons at bay, as long as she needs to to help the others escape.
Aldrich gives a wordless shout when Eli goes down, and looks around for the source, himself. But then gets his wits about him and instead leaps over to Eli's side, going to one knee to assess the damage. Before he can do much more than put pressure on it, Tamlin has the fence open. "Frack," he mutters, and changes tactics to haul Eli through the fence. Too bad for that other guy who went down, though. Al's hands are full.
"Need a hand?" Calliope offers Aldrich, moving to take Eli's other side and assist with hauling the wounded doctor. She's not much of a shot, but she can carry. She intakes her breath sharp, stifling a scream or a curse or some other sound, as that crewman goes down next to Cate. No time to think about that.
Eli's wound was a through and through, but he's bleeding and dropping in and out of consciousness. He's not going to be any good to anyone for the foreseeable future.
The combined fire of Tamlin, Cate and the other soldier manages to take down the two Cylons, but not before the marine takes a bullet to the head and Cate is grazed across the thigh. It's easy to see that his brains are now splattered across the dirt. "Frak." Cate's up, then, at Tamlin's urging and grabbing the marine who got shot in the chest, hauling him to his feet as he coughs up blood. "C'mon, Austin, I've got you."
With everyone either dead or on the move, Tamlin takes the drogue position, giving Calliope, Aldrich and Cate the time they need to get clear of the fence. She tucks her beloved pliers back into her belt, before she follows them through. She gives the ground a glance, picking up any medical supplies they might have dropped on the retreat. She even looks to see if there's anyone else that needs help, before she gets with the program and moves with the group.
Aldrich shoots a grim look at Calliope, and warns her, "Watch his shoulder. We'll have to stop and get the bleeding taken care of before we go too far..." He slips through the hole in the fence, a little clumsily due to the need to haul Eli through as well, but once they're through, he starts for the jungle and the nearest cover, moving as quickly as one can while hauling a mostly-unconscious doctor.
Calliope shoulders some of Eli's weight as she stumbles toward the jungle with Aldrich. She gets bled on a lot, though she's managed to avoid being shot herself. She glances behind them once, to check that Cate and Tamlin are moving. But mostly she just keeps lurching ahead, to whatever safety the foliage of the jungle might provide them.
Cate hauls Austin up into a fireman's carry, staggering a step until she gets situated under his weight. Good thing they practiced that a lot in training. She follows along with the rest of the group as they leave the burning base behind and flee into the jungle.