While the other teams create a diversion, Aldrich, Cate and Geoff try to bust out the prisoners.
Location: Edson Airbase
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Jungle Fever
Scene Number: 735
Eight Colonial soldiers against an entire base full of Cylons, and at least one Cylon patrol they avoided in the jungle on the way in. What could possibly go wrong? The plan gets off to a decent start, at least, with Team 1 and Team 2 shooting up the other side of the base. This team is perched at the edge of the jungle, still in cover but ready to charge in as soon as Team 3's pyrotechnics kick off (or after 5 minutes, whichever comes first). The Cylons never bothered to patch up the hole that Tamlin cut through the fence during the escape, so that's their way in. Hopefully the hole is there because who would expect anybody to be insane enough to come back? But then again it could totally be a trap. They'll know soon enough. It's dark, a quarter moon providing limited visibility.
Geoff smoked a cigarette right before their foray. There's no doubt that he volunteered for this detail and no doubt that he's nervous as hell about doing it. He grips his rifle tight.
Aldrich probably prayed while Geoff was having his cigarette. He has his pistol, which might not be much help if they get into real trouble, but hey. It's the weapon he's got. As far as nervousness, it's hard to tell with him. Mostly, he just looks focused as he waits for the pyrotechnics to start. Now and then, he glances around behind them, to make sure nothing can sneak up from that direction.
Cate leans against a tree, her rifle held at the ready, anxious eyes squinting into the darkness. She's got one of the medic backpacks, though if they have to stop to use it they're probably frakked. "Good luck guys," she murmurs.
Kaboom. Something blows up on the north side of the base - a fireball rising up into the sky. That's their signal. Cylons may not be as easily distracted as humans, but the two Centurions visible in their immediate area do turn and look in that direction.
"Frak me with Apollo's dick," Geoff whispers. And coming from him, that's probably the equivalent of a praver for safety as he starts forward, keeping low for now.
Aldrich gives a quiet snort which is probably the equivalent of an agreement with that sentiment, and follows Geoff's lead. He keeps more than half an eye on those Centurions, while moving quietly as possible.
Fortunately for them, the hole in the fence wasn't booby-trapped or anything, and they're able to dash through and sneak over to the cover of one of the ruined buildings. Those Cylons will be more of a problem on the way out, but for now - they're not noticed. Moving from cover to cover, the trio manage to get close enough to the metal cage that they could probably throw a pyramid ball and hit it from here. Just one problem - the two Centurions standing guard out in front of it.
Cate huffs breathlessly as she scans the cage, her shoulder against a wall. She looks to Geoff in silent question to see what he thinks.
Geoff rolls his lips together. "The two of us could draw them off while Preach sneaks up and opens the cage," he says as softly as he can.
Aldrich glances between Cate and Geoff, a little worried about that plan, but he doesn't argue. He just gives a little nod to show his willingness to go along, and then glances to Cate.
Cate looks uneasy too, but she doesn't exactly have a better plan so she reluctantly nods. "Let's go round to that corner," she whispers back, motioning to a position on the east side of the rubble where the Cylons' attention will be drawn away from the cage "door". She claps Aldrich on the shoulder and murmurs something in her native language. The words don't come across, but it has the tone of some kind of blessing.
Geoff nods and follows Cate, giving a solemn nod to Aldrich and gripping his rifle.
Aldrich squeezes Cate's arm, with a grim look that is somewhere in the neighborhood of 'likewise' even if he doesn't catch the exact words. Geoff gets a matching silent arm squeeze, before he double-checks his pistol, then presses his back against the wall to wait for them to execute their part in the plan.
Once the two of them are in position at the far end of the rubble that was once the enlisted barracks, Cate gives Geoff a little nod of a signal and then - assuming he looks ready - opens fire.
Geoff looks ready, all right. And provided he has a line of sight to toaster chassis, he's letting bullets rip, too.
Well they managed to get the Cylons' attention all right, but that's not necessarily a good thing, as the robots start shooting back. They exchange gunfire for a few seconds before pulling back around the building, and thankfully the Centurions follow - moving away from the entrance. The prisoners inside perk up immediately upon hearing the nearby gunfire, though they were already a bit on edge after the fireball. Someone starts tugging on the locked door, to no avail.
Aldrich waits in the appointed place, watching anxiously and probably praying for those Centurions to just /move/ already. Finally, they do, and once they've cleared out far enough, he takes a deep breath, then runs out into the open, darting quickly over to the gate and the locked door. Discovering it padlocked, he addresses the people inside. "Back away, I'm going to shoot it off!" And then he takes a step back, taking aim to do just that.
"Get some, motherfrakker!" Geoff yells at the approaching centurions while he unloads in their direction. Sound. Fury.
Cate throws herself down behind a chunk of concrete just as a burst from the first Centurion blasts chunks out of the rock. Then she pops up and fires a burst that strikes the Cylon in the chest and causes it to topple. Geoff damages his, but it doesn't go down yet. And it's still firing back, the bullets kicking up dust on the ground near Geoff.
Inside the cage, someone recognizes Aldrich, and yells, "Chaplain! Thank the Gods!" Then they're backing off so he can shoot off the lock. Unfortunately they've attracted some more attention, more Cylons moving this way. Better run!
Geoff dives for cover when his target gets off harrowingly close shots instead of going down. But as soon as he can, he shoots again.
Once the lock pops off, Aldrich glances up, spots the Cylons on the approach, and mutters a little curse. "We gotta move quickly!" he announces, even as he's pulling open the door to clear a path. "Come on, this way. Keep running west and don't look back. Look for the hole in the fence! Is there anyone who can't run?" He's already looking inside for signs of anyone who might be lagging behind.
The combined fire from Geoff and Cate take down the second Cylon, just as the prisoners start hurrying out of the cage. There are some who are more or less injured than others, but enough healthy hands to help them along.
"Good shooting. Grab the guns," Cate urges Geoff as she dashes out from behind cover. She pauses just long enough to grab one of the guns before continuing to run back to the chaplain's position.
Geoff runs forward and grabs the extra rifle, hurrying like hell to get to that group of prisoners and that hole in the fence.
Once Aldrich is sure that everyone is out, he glances back toward where the approaching Cylons were, exactly like he told the prisoners not to. Then, regardless of how much progress they're making, he skedaddles himself, running to take up the rear of the group headed for the fence.
Cate does a full-tilt sprint to catch up with the others, no fun feat considering she's still nursing a leg wound from the first escape. Yay adrenaline. She yells to get the attention of one of the other marines she recognizes in the prisoner group, then hands off the rifle. And not a moment too soon, as they get into range of more Centurions, who start shooting.
Geoff says, "Frak!" Geoff yells, turning to open fire on the new crop of Centurions. "GO! GO!" he yells to the other Marines.
Aldrich is not slowing down in his own retreat, booking it as fast as his legs will carry him. As he runs, he does take aim to fire at the Centurions, just in case it might help at all. It doesn't seem likely that he's actually hitting anything, though.
A few Colonials are hit, one killed. The survivors help the wounded along. Thankfully the return fire from Geoff, Cate and the newly-armed marines manages to clear a path and they manage to make it into the jungle. Since the undergrowth is thick enough that running full out is not terribly practical, the group slows down a bit. One of the senior Canceron pilots says in a thick accent, "We must split up, make it harder for them to run us down." And so the group splits up into three with plans to send people to a common spot to get back in touch later. Lieutenant Hale ends up with Aldrich, Geoff and Cate's group along with a few other soldiers.
Geoff passes off his extra rifle to one of the other group, then huffs a few breaths as their group movew into the jungle. "Frak, we got one killed," he laments.
Before the group splits up, Aldrich passes his pistol off to someone more skilled in using them, since surely /someone/ must be. He claps Geoff on the shoulder as they head into the jungle, and corrects, "No we didn't, we saved all but one." It's knee-jerk encouragement, but he has a kind of glassy-eyed look that doesn't quite match.
While the other two are beating themselves up, Cate is actually grinning - the first real smile anyone's seen on her since the airbase fell. She hunches over slightly, catching her breath for a second. "Yeah, we got them out. Least now they have a fighting chance," she says distractedly. "Keep pressure on that - we'll tend it when we get further away," she tells one of the crewmen cradling his arm. Her hand touches her side, and the smile fades when she realizes that the jab there wasn't just a stitch from too much running. Her hand is damp, and there's a tear in her shirt. "Shit."
Geoff reaches out to grab Cate's arm. "You're hit," he says. "Let me see." He goes to lift up the hem of her shirt so he can see how back the wound is, face drawn with worry.
Aldrich looks back, with a slightly delayed reaction when he realizes Cate is injured. "Is it bad? We can't stop for long..."
Cate winces as she lifts her arm and then Geoff lifts up the shirt to see. There's a gouge along her lower rib that's bleeding pretty freely, but it's hard to say how bad it is with a quick glance in the darkness. "It'll keep till we get to the rendezvous point," she declares, though whether that's wishful thinking or practicality (if it's worse than that, there's not anything they can do anyway) is open for debate.
"Okay, okay," Geoff says quickly, grabbing Cate's hand and pushing it toward that wound. "Just...you push on that, let's keep moving. You say if you need to stop. Go," he says to the others with them. And he starts moving, but he's making sure to keep pace with Cate.
Aldrich glances to the others in the group, but he takes Cate at her word. Still, Geoff gets her moving again, he falls in on the other side, silently ready to lend a hand if he's needed.