A moment of reflection about the war's anniversary is interrupted when Cylons threaten the mine.
Location: Isabel Island
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Jungle Fever
Scene Number: 742
Corporal Wynick is still with them, even though his leg isn't. He's been running a fever, which has been controlled with some of the herbal tea Aldrich knew about. Cate is sitting by herself near the part of the mining cave that served as their infirmary area, though the once-crowded room is now just down to just Wynick and another marine with Spiro. Her fatigues didn't stay clean for long, now adorned will various bloodstains. She's not doing anything. Just sitting. Watching. Thinking.
Aldrich has been out some chore or another. There's always something to be done... But as he reaches some sort of break, he returns to the mine, appearing quietly near the infirmary area with an appropriately solemn look. "How's he doing?" he asks, of Cate, presumably of the now legless Corporal.
Cate jumps a little, startled out of her thoughts. But then she sighs and gestures toward the Corporal. "Same. Tea and antibiotics are helping, but what he really needs is a bed in an ICU, not a blanket in a cave in the gods-forsaken jungle." She rubs her face, frustration evident, and looks to the Chaplain. "Anything new?"
Aldrich shakes his head a little, and sits next to Cate with his back against the nearest wall. "I've been praying for him..." he offers, quietly. "For what it's worth." He glances back to Cate, "Not really. Other than tensions running a bit high. Everyone is anxious about the mission, I think. The crocodile attack didn't help on that score."
Cate nods. "Thanks. I have too. Hope it helps. I think he'll be all right if they evac us after the mission." She nods a little to his latter comment. "Yeah, it was a shock. I'd never been in the jungle before all this." She fusses with her trousers, picking at a loose string from a hole near the knee. After a few moments, she says abruptly, mouth tightening into a grim line. "It's the fourteenth. I just realized that today. The twelfth came and went and I didn't even notice." The two-year anniversary of the Cylon uprising.
Aldrich shoots a sharp glance Cate's way, then looks away again. Apparently it was news to him, too. "I lost track of the day," he admits. "I didn't realize..." After a pause to digest that, he asks, "Are you okay?"
There's a long pause, and a shrug. The fact that she doesn't immediately brush it off as she has so many other injuries and dramas is probably answer enough, but after another moment comes the tentative admission. "No?" Then another shrug. "But what can you do? We're here. War doesn't pause for us."
Aldrich nods a little, and looks back ahead, at nothing in particular. After a second, he reaches over to give Cate's arm a squeeze, and then offers, "We can pause now, even if it's just for a moment. And if you need to talk..." He leaves the offer hanging, for her to take or turn down, as she sees fit.
Corporal Wynick is still with them, even though his leg isn't. Cate is sitting near the part of the mining cave that served as their infirmary area, though the once-crowded room is now just down to just Wynick and another marine with Spiro. Aldrich is sitting nearby, and has just given her arm a little squeeze. Her new fatigues are already bloodstained again, and she looks upset about something. "Yeah, true enough. Guess a moment's better than nothing." There's a pause, and she says, "I keep thinking about my friend Deb. We were watching the pyramid game when it started."
The sounds of an approaching pair of Colonials is heard in the voices in the cavern before they actually arrive. Beckham smirks slightly as he looks to Tamlin, his battle uniform well broken in, with blood and dried mud splattered into the jungle print pattern. "I just need to get a few things to restock my medic bag. In case you know, we end up coming across a bear or some crap out there. You wearing something that attracts creatures?" he asks Tamlin with a lift of his brow, not entirely serious, but it does seem like every time they go out, they run into something.
Tamlin, as she walks into auditory range gives a snort, at Beckham's comment, "I'm a sailor. It's like blood in the water." She's in duty greens, of whatever passes as close to that from the supplies that were dropped, her fireman's books, toolbelt. Her tone quiets, as she catches sight of Cate and the Chaplain, and she holds out a hand to stop Beckham from walking too far forward, in case Aldrich waves them off.
Aldrich nods a little, frowning faintly. "I'm sorry..." Probably he's assuming that Deb didn't make it. He pauses, and starts to offer, "We were eating dinner..." but then the sound of approaching voices interrupts, and he drops it with an awkward smile. He glances back toward the two newcomers, "Going out on patrol?"
Cate nods slightly to Aldrich. She's momentarily startled when she hears the other voices and drags a sleeve across her face. Falling quiet, she looks over curiously to hear the answer to that question.
"If you didn't go prancing out into the water poking at it with a stick to lure out a crocodile, maybe you wouldn't be so much blood in the water." Beckham offers with a smirk, before he pauses as he sees the Chaplin at work, paused by the touch of Tamlin's hand against him. "Yes'sir." he offers swiftly. "Just grabbing a new saline bag and IV kit. And.. it's a good chance for the Petty Officer and I to talk about things.." he says, casting a glance to Tamlin to alert her that he has discussed a couple of things with the Chaplain.
Tamlin looks between Cate and Aldrich, and does not step closer, sensing that they've intruded on something that was intended to be private. A glance over at Beckham, but she doesn't make any protest, "I'm sorry we've interrupted. Is there anything you need or want on the way out?" Because it's only polite to go the other way, instead of becoming a fifth or sixth wheel.
Aldrich smiles a little at Beckham's explanation. "That's good," he replies, genuinely seeming pleased. "I'm glad to see that you're talking things over." Tamlin gets a little shake of the head, but then he glances toward Cate. "Do we need anything?"
"You're not interrupting," Cate says quickly. And as if desiring to prove that, she scoots over to the nearby crate of supplies to fish out another set of IV supplies for Beckham. "Here you go." Beckham's comment gets a concerned glance though. "You're hunting more crocodiles?" Maybe she missed the bit about going out on patrol.
Sometimes, Beckham has all the social graces of a bowl of overcooked spaghetti. "Thanks, Lance Corporal." he starts to offer, taking the supplies to put in the mylar bag before he shakes his head. "No, I think she wants to find a jaguar tonight." An eyeroll accompanies the comment before he settles back next to Tamlin. "Me, I'd be all for just a peaceful night of hunting snipes. Or just a quiet patrol. How's the Corporal?" he asks, perhaps not realizing that Cate is using him as a very convienent distraction from talking with the Chaplain.
Tamlin shakes her head, still not moving to approach the two. Or the poor Marine, though she does take the time to study him. "You're not hunting me." Snipes being a sometimes nickname for deckhands, "Lords know, I've been shot at, blown up, and generally inconvenienced enough." She catches herself, as she realizes Aldrich is actually here, in that sort of, 'I don't usually think about using the Lords name in vain until it's too late' sort of a way. "Sorry, Chaplain."
Aldrich waves off Tamlin's concern. All things considered, he has definitely heard worse. "I think you're probably in luck. There really aren't a lot of jaguars in this area." He leaves Cate to answer the question of how the poor legless fellow is doing.
"Just Cate is fine," the medic says when Beckham calls her by her rank. "Or Rhodes. He's the same. Fever's still there, but it's no worse. He should be all right if we can get him to the ship tomorrow." There's been no official word that they'll be evacuated after the mission, but it's the prevailing assumption. To Tamlin, she says, "Sounds like we're going to get to blow some stuff up."
"Aww, Tams, I wouldn't hunt you anyway. Too stringy and.." Beckham holds his hand just above her head and moves it side to side. "...short to be legal limit." he starts to say as he nods to Cate. "Puts us under a Hades of a gun.." But then the conversation changes as Tamlin is being told that she may get to do one of her favorite things to do - not that Beckham knows this yet.
Geoff is out of cigarettes by now, which may be good for his health, but surely not his mood. He emerges through the jungle growth and, seeing people gathered, approaches. "What's going on?" he wants to know.
"I was actually considering asking for permission to bring back something as a pet. Something suitable for the desk. Walsh would love a little buddy." Probably not. "Shut it." That's to Beckham. She looks happy on both counts, at Cate's estimation, "You think so?" Talk about bedside manner. Cate knows just what to say, "You do not now how satisfying it is." I mean, Cate is a marine, so she probably does, "Just throwing caution to the wind. Tamlin looks over, as Geoff walks to within conversational range, "Anticipating the action of tomorrow.
"Satisfying? Not my first thought," Cate says to Tamlin, absently nodding to acknowledge Beckham's words. No pressure. She greets Geoff with a quiet, "Hey." They're in the mine, near the part of the cave where the injured are kept. "Nothing much. Dorn wants to bring a pet back to the ship." She gestures toward the deckhand. "Better to get forgiveness than ask permission, I'd say. You know they're gonna say no. What kind of pet are you gonna find around here anyway?" The medic seems more somber than usual, perhaps having something to do with the poor corporal in the cave missing most of his leg after a croc attack.
There's a little arch of a brow at Tamlin as Beckham watches the young woman make her suggestion, and smirks. "Only you would wonder about a pet when we're trying to fight our way off a planet." he mutters a little, before frowning. "So orders coming down that we're going to try to make a breakout soon?" he asks Cate, his arms settling across the front of his jungle camoflauge as he glances down for a moment.
"Considering what we've all been through, we should ALL be bringing back trophies." Tamlin grins at Cate, "I have spent the last eight years with the same mantra drilled into my head, "Do not blow up the tyllium. Do not set of the ordinance. Do you know how much of a relief it was to be able to ignore that...just once?" True facts. "I do like the way you think...though I worry that they'll just space the poor thing." She considers, "Have you seen those little monkeys, the ones that look like they have hair growing out of their ears?
Geoff nods at Cate and Tamlin, crossing his arms in front of his chest. "Pets? Everything here's probably got parasites. But I heard there were alligators or some shit. If I kill one, do you think they'd let me keep the skin?"
Cate shrugs to Geoff. "Put it in your pack, who's gonna know?" To Tamlin, she says, "I'm from Hibernia. Shit blowing up lost its novelty a long time ago," she says with a grim wryness. But then she arches an eyebrow. "But a monkey on the hangar deck? Girl you must really like living dangerously. I can just see that thing getting into an engine or a stack of missiles or something."
Oh right, the breakout. What day was it again? Nothing like coming across your ex-wife never-wife girlfriend what is she anyway to make things confusing in a male's mind as Beckham raises a brow at Tamlin. "Wouldn't a dog be safer anyway? At least.. what she said." he mentions, pointing towards Cate's comment.
Tamlin gives Cate a measured look, "Yes, I would imagine you, more than most, have more experience than is either healthy or necessary." A pursing of her lips, "A dog can't throw things. I can teach a monkey to throw things at people," probably the pilots, "as they walk by." Of course, that's not strictly kosher, seeing as she's also a member of the squadron, but the struggle between deckhands and pilots is real. "Did you skin the one from before?"
Geoff looks somewhat puzzled by Tamlin. "Uh, I mean, I don't know what they did with the one before? I mean, if you mean me. I wasn't there when whoever found it."
"Yeah," Cate agrees with Tamlin, the grim taking over the wry there judging by her frown. Beckham's suggestion of a dog causes her to wave a hand at him. "Cat's a safe bet." She falls quiet for the talk of croc skins.
"...you said you wanted the skin for your bunk, or some shit, Tams." Beckham responds. "So yes, after I put nearly half a clip into it's head after it lunged at you - I spent the evening skinning the damned thing." There's a sigh as he reaches up to his side pocket on his shoulder to get out his smokes, and then remembers he's in a makeshift infirmary and stops himself. "You want some skin, gonna have to ask her." Beckham directs Geoff.
Their conversation is interrupted when Colonel Ryan appears in the mouth of the little chamber behind them. "You five, grab your weapons and come with me." From his urgent tone, something's clearly afoot. He only stays for a moment before heading back toward the mine entrance. He figures they'll find him - it's not like there are too many places to go.
It takes Aldrich just a moment to realize that he's part of 'you five'. He glances around the group, with a kind of questioning look, but then jumps into gear as he realizes he's being summoned, as well. He climbs to his feet, and goes to find an unclaimed weapon. He should probably be keeping one closer to hand, under the circumstances...
"I've got a skin you can have." She chucks a thumb in Beckham's direction, "I put him to work." She makes absolutely no comment on the fact that she played chicken with a crocodile. Thankfully, Ryan pops in just them, and she moves to follow his orders, going to retrieve the weapon she's been assigned.
Already carrying his rifle, it seems that Beckham and Tamlin won't be going on patrol tonight. After checking the magazine, he slams it back home before turning to head quickly in the Colonel's direction so that they can link up at the mouth of the cave.
Geoff looks like he's about to complain that no one is being clear about the matter of the skin, but when he's told to grab his rifle, he brings the weapon around from his back to a down-ready position. And he follows without asking questions.
Cate snorts a little at the exchange. "You guys just keep your skin to yourselves down here," she snerks. But then the Colonel is summoning them and Cate sobers back up again. Her rifle has never been far from hand since they escaped from Edson - except for that little crocodile incident - so she grabs it and her medical kit. A brief glance is slanted toward Aldrich. "We're gonna have to make you and Dorn honorary marines or something after all this."
When they all get out to Ryan, he's talking to two other marines near the mine entrance. As the rest of the fighters come closer, he motions to the redshirts, who seem a bit out of breath. "They saw a Cylon patrol out on the road. I want you guys to haul ass out there and intercept them before they decide to wander up this way. If we're lucky, maybe they don't already know we're here, but we'll be getting ready to bug out just in case."
Aldrich fetches his weapon and trots to catch up. Cate gets a wry little smile for her crack, and he answers, "I'll be happy to cede that title to someone else, once we're all safely back on the ship." But then they're joining up with Ryan, so he shuts up to pay attention.
Tamlin flashes Cate a grin, at the woman's comment, "Aren't the Marines just a department of the Navy?" She goes silent as she listens to the briefing and nods, moving to fall into line with the rest of the small group. She knows what she has to do, and she's determined to do it.
"As if Tams' head needs more swelling. She already thinks she's bossing me around." Beckham responds as he suddenly drops his teasing pretense and as they head down the small goat path, he frowns, pulling the shemagh around his head to cover his face, except for his eyes as he becomes far more cautious in his steps and his movements take on the motions of someone that has served in plenty of combat zones before.
Geoff doesn't have so much of that experienced confidence. But at least he seems to take it seriously. He doesn't chat back, but keeps with the group as they move toward their assignment.
"Yeah, the men's department," one of the breathless marines - Ridley - chimes in to Tamlin's joke, grinning at her. But then catching the stern look from Ryan, he sheepishly says, "Err, sorry sir."
Ryan gestures toward Ridley and Sgt. Pushkin. "They'll take you to the place they spotted the Toasters. Go. Godsspeed."
Cate smirks slightly at the others before falling quiet to listen to the orders. Once Ryan sends them on their way, she falls in with everyone.
"All right, follow me. Let's double-time it," Pushkin says, just a bit grimly. Because nothing's quite so fun as running through the jungle towards imminent threat of death.
Are you kidding? All things considered, this has been a revelation for Tamlin, and she moves easily after the Marine that Ryan's put in charge, a grin sent in Ridley's direction. She doesn't speak, though, moving as quickly and silently as she can manage. Which is not nearly as well as the marines, but she's trying!
Falling into line, Beckham holds proper spread distance so that they can't all be caught in a gernade blast - not that a Cylon has used a gernade - he's used to a different type of enemy as he checks his rifle, making sure the selector is set to burst as he keeps a diligent watch on the flanks. The occassional glance is stolen towards the Deckie with them, but his attention mostly remains on course.
Aldrich double-checks his weapon with one eye on Ryan as he's giving the final orders. Ridley earns himself a vague frown for that comment, but then it's time to follow Pushkin, so he focuses on that. He looks a little grim, perhaps, but he keeps up with the others, at least.
Geoff keeps his head a little ducked, ignoring Ridley's joke and flicking his eyes one way, then the next, looking for that glint of metal.
Pushkin leads the way through the foilage, following a secondary trail rather than the main "road" that leads down from the mine. Road is really a generous term though - it's more of a muddy track that technically yes a vehicle could traverse. When the mine was active it was probably maintained better. Now, not so much. After booking it for a ways, Pushkin slows down. "If we cut through here -" he motions to the jungle to the west. "We should intercept the main road in a position that will give us a good view as they come up." And it's true - after slogging through denser brush, they come to a little hill that looks down on the road. The road then goes around a bend, out of sight.
"Good place to set up an ambush. And use without any explosives." Gallows humor, as Beckham is already looking for a position to set up in order to wait for the orders to set up and wait for the Cylons to come to them, a grim line set to his brow.
Tamlin follows orders to the letter, settling in, eyes on Pushkin, waiting for the word to go ahead. Hey! She's the smallest, she might even make a good scout. But most of her attention is on the directions being laid out for her.
Aldrich squints down the road as they come to it, frowning faintly, but it's only for a moment, before he finds a place to hunker down where he won't be immediately visible, but he can still have a good line of sight to that bend in the road.
"How will we know they didn't already pass us?" Cate wonders aloud as she settles into position near Aldrich, behind a hefty-looking tree. She squints down the road. Her question is answered almost immediately by the sound of Cylons, which they can hear even before they can see them. "Guess that answers that," she mumbles.
Tamlin remains in a crouch bringing her weapon as the sound of the cylons approaching put her on alert. She's not trigger-happy though, and she won't shoot until give the order, or driven to do so.
Settling into position, Beckham brings up his rifle, setting it on his shoulder as he aims it downrange and flips the safety off as he chews on the inside of the cheek as he waits for the Cylons to come marching in one by one, hoorah, hoorah.
Aldrich glances toward Cate with a crooked, mirthless smile, then turns his attention to the road, lifting his rifle to the ready. He doesn't close his eyes, but his lips move silently in a quick prayer as they wait for the Cylons to come into view.
"Wait till they've all come around the bend and are in the open, then open fire," Pushkin murmurs, readying his own rifle. And sure enough, after another minute four Cylons come into view.
The hail of gunfire from the marines takes down one of the Cylons and does some damage to a couple of the others. There's a moment when the robots stagger back a step and zero in on the Colonial positions, and then they raise their weapons and return fire.
Well, one of the cylons succumbed to the combined fire of the ground team, but that means that three are still standing. Tamlin readjusts the rifle at her shoulder, shifting o the next closest target.
Cate fires a burst at one of the Toasters, but it's still standing. When it adjusts its aim at them up the hill, she sighs. "Well, surprise was nice while it lasted. Next time let's bring some grenades, Beck."
Aldrich flinches back into cover a little when the Cylons return fire. "I can get behind the grenade idea..." he mutters, then grits his teeth, readjusts his position, and prepares for another burst.
"And me, without my combat armor." Though honestly, Beckham was better off without it, since that stuff gets hot as he settles in to bring his rifle up to fire upon the Cylon again, frowning beneath the cloth.
Two more Cylons go down, but the return fire does a bit of damage. Ridley takes a solid hit to the chest, falling over with a cry of pain. He's still conscious though, and struggling to get back up. Geoff ducks down as a burst rakes across their position, but the bullets take out a chunk of the tree above them. A branch collapses, smacking him on the head and knocking him out.
Tamlin is no Marine, but she wants to survive just as much as the rest, and she steps up when she's called to, her aim true as she attacked one of the cylons, narrowly avoiding return fire. As soon as one goes down, she shifts to the next.
As Beckham puts in another three round burst into the Cylon, the canner still keeps moving on his position, and the medic realizes he might exactly be on his own at this point as he moves slightly up from his cover to try to get a better shot on the thing as he eyes narrowed. "..gods damned, will you frakking fall?!"
Cate also ducks down when the Cylons rake their position with autofire, though fortunately no tree limb falls on her head. "Cort!" Cate shouts in alarm when she sees him go down under that branch. Still firing, she moves over to his position to check on him.
Aldrich glances to the side when Cate cries out, trying to catch what happened, but there's no time. Still, he's glaring as he lines up to shoot again, just as determined as the others, in his own way, to see that last Cylon fall.
Bullets tear through the foilage around her as Cate shifts positions, but somehow she isn't hit. She crouches down next to Geoff, shifting her rifle to her back so she can check on him. "Hey, Cort, can you hear me?" But nope, he's out cold. She spares a glance over at the others, "Beck, Ridley - how bad?"
As he was rising to start a drop back to bring the Cylon into the field of fire for the others to get a bead on, Beckham regrets immediately leaving the armor behind as he feels two sharp stings in the center of mass as he lifts his rifle at near point-blank into the advancing Cylon before he falls back to his knee, rifle dropped next to him as his hand moves to press to the wound immediately with a hissed, "FRAK. Gonna need a medic."
As soon as the threat is eliminated...for the moment, Tamlin hops up. She's no combat medic, but she knows enough from her emergency training to be able to triage. "Niles is hit worse." She slings her rifle over her shoulder, not one to ever set it down, as she quick steps over to where Beckham has taken a knee, reaching for his medical pack, "Chaplain, can you get Ridley, until the Doc can get to him?" A glance up to Beckham, "Put some pressure on that!" As if he doesn't know what he's supposed to be doing.
Aldrich takes a second after the last Cylon goes down, watching to make sure they're going to stay down, and that no more are on the way. By the time Tamlin makes her request, he's already moving. "Yep," he calls back to Tamlin, and shifts his destination to Ridley. "Anyone else hit?"
"Well aware of.." there's a soft wheeze in Beckham's voice. Possible punctured lung. "..how to treat myself. Morpha first. Pack has bandage.." though the pain's starting to get a little worse. "Think I need to sit down.." he mutters as he moves to settle down and looks a little pale.
"Niles?" Cate echoes Tamlin's word, a confused look briefly on her face until she realizes who he's talking about. But then she's getting up, medkit and rifle bumping together on her back as she moves over to Beckham's side. "Take it easy, Beck. Let me see." The medic is quick and efficient.
Ridley seems to be in a similar boat, still and in pain. Pushkin surveys the wounded. "Frak. We can't stay long. Toasters may have radioed their position back."
Thankfully, she knows how to follow directions, and the doses of morpha are pre-filled. She digs through the pack, pilling one out, about to apply it, just as Cate comes over, and thank god for that. "I leave you alone for one minute,a nd look what happens to you. Pushkin gets a look, then Cate, "I can help to carry them back. Tamlin Dorn. Small, but mighty.
"Get me patched, and I can walk.." Stubborn Beckham is stubborn as the Marine Medic is trying to muscle his way through it as he glances to Tamlin for a momemnt. Anything he may have thought about saying is lost as he smirks. "Just means you can't leave me alone anymore." he offers as he looks to Cate. Two hits, chest. Possible lung hit.
Aldrich doesn't have a medkit, but he does have a knowledge of basic first aid. He sacrifices his jacket to put pressure on Ridley's wound, offering his best reassuring-confident-Chaplain smile. "Medics are on their way..." He glances up at Pushkin's comment, but then focuses on what he's doing.
"We'll get them going here in a minute, Sarge," Cate tells Pushkin, working to get Beckham patched up. "You're lucky - looks like it hit a rib instead of your lung." Her eyes flick to Tamlin after hearing their little exchange. "You want to help him up and back or get Ridley?" A little uncertain about what's going on with them.
"I'm already here, I can help him get back. Geoff's deadweight, he;s going to need a lot more help." Tamlin, of course, the good soldier that she is, will nor argue with Cate if she has other orders. A comment, as an aside to Beckham, "See? Just a rib, you can shake that off no problem." What a peptalk.
Just a rib? Beckham's trusting Cate's call on this as he nods his head to Tamlin as he moves to rise, using her assistance before he looks between the medic and deckie. He doesn't offer the explanation - after all, it's only half his to give as he smirks. "Remind me to rub some dirt in it too, Tams."
"All right, get him up and start moving then," Cate tells Tamlin. Not that she's really in any position to be giving orders, but hey - when have regulations ever stopped Cate from doing anything? "Half dose of morpha for you since you're hoofing it back." She injects it into his thigh and then claps him on the shoulder. She moves off then to patch up Ridley real quick and then they coordinate getting Ridley and Geoff up and moving as well.