2237-04-29 - Ups and Downs

Beckham and Cate's climbing expedition is interrupted by a Raptor crash.

Date: 2237-04-29

Location: Outside Argentum Bay

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 1002

Jump to End

They didn't have enough time the other day while paragliding to do that climbing Evan had mentioned. So with talk that the retrofits were nearing completion and everyone feeling that their opportunities for shore leave were dwindling, Cate asked Beckham if he wanted to be her climbing buddy. Renting a jeep and some climbing gear from that outdoors-adventure guy Evan steered them towards, they've driven out to one of the more 'off the beaten path' areas where the climbing is supposed to be good. Rainforest on one side, ocean on the other, and the city nowhere in sight (at least from here). Should be a pretty cool view from the top. "You done much climbing?" Cate wonders, as she gets all the gear ready. Her hair's pulled back and braided and she's wearing a tank top and shorts. There's a fair amount of skin exposed, and more than her share of scars - permanent evidence of all those stars on the Sacrifice Medal they pinned on her red coat last week.

Dressed in his tanks and a pair of shorts, Cate's not the only one with skin to show, a pair of sunglasse covering Beckham's eyes as he grins, stretching out a little. "Trying to call my bluff about the falling part earlier?" he asks coyly as he goes through the process of checking the gear and pulling it tight, showing that he has some skill in the art as he glances over at her. "A guy has to keep some secrets to a hold a woman's interest, doesn't he? Though admittedly, never been climbing these rocks before. You have experience on Scorpia?" comes the curious question. "I did some climb training on Sagittaron as part of the ICJPK."

Cate's sunglasses are perched atop her head for the moment while she steps into the climbing harness and gets everything all buckled up. Everything is checked carefully - this is clearly not her first time either. She smirks at his remark. "Hey, you don't have to worry about keeping my interest, buddy. You're married and your wife knows how to blow shit up." Cate shakes her head with a 'oh hell no' wrinkle to her nose. The comment about ICJPK training causes her lips to press together, nodding. "Well, guess the mess on Sag was good for something somewhere. But no - haven't climbed here either." She was quiet during the trip out, but seems to be relaxing a bit now that they're embarking on one of her favorite pasttimes.

"Trust me, Cate, you're hot, but totally married to Tamlin. Not to mention, you already have a wide and varied fan club I wouldn't want to subscribe to." Beckham chuckles softly as he grins. "As far as blowing things up, no kidding, seen the girl in action already. Surprised she didn't put in for the Marines." he admits with a laugh as he finishes making the connections and feeding the line through. "So, you're Hibernian, huh?" He decides to ask, since it's been there on the table for a while. "Guess that explains a lot about the grief that the Colonel gives you."

Cate scowls at that. "Yeah, my legions of admirers." Her brow creases a little there, just long enough for the scoffing noise to not be quite entirely a joke. But there's rope to sling over her shoulder - a welcome distraction - and Tamlin's a much safer topic. "Yeah, she kicks ass. There was this one time, Toasters got onto the hangar deck. She got a rifle from the arms locker and charged right in. That's when she got shot." She nods to the Hibernian question. "Yep, preeeety much."

"I saw the scars. I guess I'm working on catching up to her." The two deeper wounds that he took on Canceron as still ugly pink welts upon his skin, destined to be scars themselves. Getting the rope over his shoulder, Beckham shakes his head. "Far as I'm concerned, that shit's in the past. But I'm not Virgon or from Hibernia. So I can't say anything on that part as far as all that goes. But you ever need someone to talk to - it's what friends do." he offers. Moving the rock, he starts to feel around, finding a good place to grip to start his climb. There's a hint of a smile as he works his way up. "I feel like I should be poking you for more information about my wife's exploits before I arrived."

"Well don't work too hard to catch up. We're supposed to be the ones patching everyone else up, not the other way around." She holds up a hand. "And before you say anything - that's totally a 'do as I say, not as I do' sort of situation." Cate looks a little confused. "Thanks, but... what's in the past?"

"What I meant was.. the way they treat you like you're not worth their time and attention.. that whole Virgon and Hibernia thing, I guess." Beckham corrected himself for the most part after realizing the way it sounded. "Which, in a way, I suppose is a lot like what a lot of colonies did. Caprica and Tauron, the whole Sagittaron thing. Then you get tired of that, Caprica makes their whole own disposable caste out of metal, and look what that got us. There's a lesson in there someplace, I'm pretty sure." he says, turning to look to Cate. "So, I might owe you an apology for sending Erin off to try to ask you out. Have to remember, just because I found mine doesn't mean I don't get to play matchmaker for others."

Cate still looks a little confused, but then shrugs. "Only wish is were in the past. But anyway, don't worry about Collins. She doesn't get to me. Same old shit I've been dealing with my whole life. Still, I appreciate the moral support." She flashes him a brief smile, and then hefts a coil of rope up onto her shoulder. The apology about Erin has her waving her free hand at him. "Hey, don't worry about it. No harm done." The words sound sincere, but they are accompanied by a sad frown for a second before she says, "You ready to get started?"

"I may not be able to help with her, but I'm more than glad to offer her a Tauran salute." Beckham responds, sharing his thoughts on the whole Collins thing. But perhaps he catches something. "Want to talk about it?" It's a softball question, one she can easily avoid if she wants, before he nods. "Ready." chirrped out cheerfully, he grins. "Should have packed something better than a few insta-protein bars for the summit."

Cate offers a wan smirk. "Thanks, but there's no need for both of us being on her shit list. Anyway, I don't think she's coming over to Vanguard. Have you seen the sickbay there? It's smaller than the clinic on Edson." She forgets for a second that Beckham wasn't there for the first part of the jungle shenanigans. "So that's one small blessing about moving ships." She starts hauling the gear over towards the mountain face, then finds a handhold and starts climbing. It may seem like she just ignored his question, but she was just thinking about it. Belatedly, she says, "Not much to talk about. I already told you I have shitty luck with guys."

"Yeah, you did. But maybe it's the guys having shitty luck with you. If they aren't able to keep up with you.." Beckham shrugs at that and starts his own climb. While not an expert at mountaineering, as she is, he's apparently climbed a rock face once or twice before as he starts his way up, methodically searching for handholds to pull himself up with. "Of course, I could also just be a romantic fool."

"I was a romantic fool once. I got over it," Cate says dryly, as if it were a curable disease. She climbs with the ease born of a lot of practice, but keeping a steady pace. It's a long climb. "Let's see... the last guy I was with - he was only fooling around with me to make his dead ex wife jealous. That was pretty frakked up. The guy before that... he was an undercover soldier going after my family. That was awesome. And the guy before that just wanted to make his ex-boyfriend jealous. Must've worked, since he went running back to him. Soo... yeah, I'm going to go with 'I have shitty luck with guys.'" The whole spiel is delivered with a dry, even tone that does a reasonably good - but imperfect - job of covering the emotional scar tissue underneath.

"Maybe we should start calling you the Revenge Frak." Beckham offers uselessly as he listens to the tale and shakes his head. "Tamlin was my first. After we .. well, her father annulled the marriage, I frakked around a little, but nothing stuck, so I shoved my head into doing my duty and being a good Marine instead a good frak." he admits as he continues to pull himself up. "Though it sounds like the last guy just couldn't figure out if he wanted to polish his gun barrel or have someone polish theirs on him."

Cate snorts at the proposed nickname. "I don't sleep around. All of them..." She pauses, chewing her lip. "I thought they were something special. Like I said, I was a romantic fool." Emphasis on the fool part. "Anyway, you're lucky. What you and Tam have - lot of people envy you that. Especially with everything going on."

"Yeah, until the first time that one of us gets hurt or killed. It's one thing to have a lover or a spouse. When you know they're safe and sound, or at least can give yourself that illusion. It's another when you know they're right there and you'll have to face the fact that someday, it may be them. Those three scars on her are proof enough of that." Beckham responds as he moves to pull himself up, lagging slightly behind her, of course, the view is nothing to complain about. "And now? You're just going to not bother trying anymore?"

"Hope you never have to go through that. It sucks." They're at a height now where it would be prudent to start affixing some anchors and a safety rope, but Cate doesn't. Not yet, anyway. She doesn't really answer his last question, but her preoccupied frown is perhaps an answer all its own.

It seems that Cate is spurring on Beckham's own daring, though he seems to be at least thinking about on occassion as he glances at the small mallet that bounces against his side. "We both signed up for this. We know the risk. Best I can do is my best to keep her safe. All she can do for me." he responds, as he considers her, and then grins cheekily. "I'll be the first guy that would tell you, Cate, if you decided to shut it down completely, we as, the collective male gender, would mourn for the loss." he winks up at her as he moves to climb a little higher, perhaps not paying attention as much as he should.

"Yeah, well, that's all any of us can do really." His latter comment gets a little eyeroll down at him, clearly skeptical, but she offers. "Points for effort anyway." While she's frowning down at him, Cate says, "I suppose I should put a safety line in. Dorn would kick my ass if I took you climbing and you splattered your brains all over the mountain." She braces herself and unhooks one of the anchors from her belt to hammer it into a crevice. As she's hammering, she frowns some more and then finally blurts out, "I tried to pick up Bean in the bar the other night. He shot me down."

Moving up next to her, Beckham arches a brow. "Bean? Who the frak is Bean?" he asks curiously. "I mean, unless you mean flick the bean, in which that's kinda sad, Cate." He's obviously teasing her a little, just to try to defuse things as he frowns. "So why do you think he turned you down?" he asks, "I mean, unless he's interested in guys. He.. was a guy, right?"

"Flick the..." The confused tone shows that it takes Cate a second to get it, but then she's scowling down at him. "No, that's not what I meant for frak's sake. Gods." An eyeroll suggests that she's at least vaguely amused by it, though. "Bean from first platoon. The guy. Bean." It's with a frown that she realizes she doesn't actually know his first name. "Everyone calls him Gramps but he's only a couple years older than us." Well, he's only a couple years older than Cate, who is in turn a couple years older than Becks, so... it's all relative. "And I didn't ask him why. I don't even know what I was thinking. I hardly know him, and I don't do one night stands. Not on purpose anyway." She gets the anchor hammered in, clips her safety line to it, and then feeds the line down to Beckham. Then she starts climbing again.

"Not to be nosy or anything.. but did you hit the chamalla before seeing him?" comes Beckham's question. There's a little frown on his face. "But if you just met him and he said no.. maybe he just didn't do one night stands either?" It's a helpful suggestion as he threads through the rope and starts to pull himself up after her, watching where he puts his hands. "Honestly? In my younger days, when I thought you know.. things were different, I won't lie, I'd totally set that night stand at the side of the bed and had the whole spectrum of bed gymanstics with you, Cate." There's a smirk at that. "But that was a different me."

Another eyeroll. "Yeah, because I'm such a hard-core druggie," Cate tosses lightly back. But then she admits, somewhat sheepishly, "I had a few drinks. Newton had this get-together for the Triton survivors. Unhappy memories. Made me think about my two pilot friends." She smirks down at his latter remark. She assumes he's just saying that to make her feel better, but nevertheless offers, "Well thanks. I guess I'll take that as a compliment." Another few handholds are traversed, their height steadily increasing. It really is a nice view. Frowning thoughtfully, she says, "It's not even really about the sex. Just wanted to not be alone for a change." The too-honest admission is followed by a self-deprecating snort. "How pathetic is that."

It takes Beckham a few moments, but eventually he pulls up near her, before reaching to squeeze her lower arm. "You're not alone. I'd like to think I'm your friend, even if I'm a crass asshole that probably talks too much about getting you laid." he admits with his own little snort. "But you're not alone."

Cate drags her arm across her face. Just sweat in her eye. Yeah. That's it. When he comes up and touches her arm, she sniffs and offers him a pained smile. "You are my friend, Becks. Even though you do talk too much about me getting laid." She sighs. "Y'know Evan used to do that too. Dead wife guy," she clarifies. "Suppose it's kind of ironic that he's the closest I came to actually getting laid." She wipes her eyes again and seems to pull herself together. The side of a mountain is no place to fall to pieces. "Thanks," is offered, somewhat awkwardly.

"Yeah, but I'm not trying to get in your shorts, Cate." Beckham points out, before he kisses her cheek quickly and gives her an encouraging wink. "One, nothing ruins a friendship faster than bad sex on a mountainside. And two, my wife knows demolitions." With that, he moves to take the lead in their little rock climbing expedition.

Cate snickers, but Beckham does get a weak smile that time. "Two very good reasons. I suppose I'll have to tell Dorn you're a keeper." A little smirk. Not that Tamlin needs her to know that. Cate waits for him to get a little ahead before following. They get a little higher, maybe halfway up the mountain, when something catches their attention up in the sky. A tremendous flash of light, there for a split second and then gone. "What the hell was that?" Cate asks, alarmed.

There's a pause, as Beckham looks up. Fortunately, he has his glasses on, so the flash doesn't blind him, but he frowns. "...cloudless day. No thunder.." he says, pulling at the inside of his cheek. "Shit. I have a feeling we better cut this short." he says as he turns to look at her. "Our leave may have just ended."

"Frak," Cate mumbles, a somber agreement with his sentiment. "I sure as hell hope that's not the toasters invading. I've had enough being stranded in the jungle, thankyouverymuch." She starts heading down. As they descend, there are more streaks across the sky. Almost like a daylight meteor shower. "Shit, that doesn't look good," Cate observes, craning her neck up at it.

"Could be worse things than being stuck in the jungle with you again. Could be stuck in the jungle with Collins." Though the jokes end quickly as Beckham looks up. "...no. That's not good at all. We're closer to the top than the bottom, but our ride back to town's down there." he starts to say before one of those streaks turns and starts to head in their direction. "Hold still, Cate!" he calls out, in case it is indeed a Raider coming in on an attack on the city.

"That's true. Thank the gods for small favors," Cate agrees with a snort. She seems intent on going down rather than up, but pauses when Becks says to stay still. "What? Why?" Then she follows his gaze and notices the streak heading in their general direction. "Oh. Shit." As it gets closer, it becomes clear that it's a Raptor. Trailing smoke, and bearing Scorpian Navy markings. It just barely clears the top of the mountain they were climbing. It was on its way to the starport, but it's trajectory is just shy of a nosedive and it looks like it's going to crash into the jungle between here and the city.

"Down it is!" Beckham says, waiting for Cate to get a move on. "I'll drive." he offers quickly, as they move down. "They may need more medical attention than I'm able to offer, in case the truck becomes an ambulance." With that, he starts to rapel quickly down the rope after her.

Cate doesn't object to him driving, tossing the climbing gear into the back and then hopping into the passenger seat. "So much for vacation." They follow the road, which fortunately leads to a little rise with a view overlooking the jungle. The smoke from the Raptor crash site is visible in the distance, maybe a half-mile, mile away. "How's your orienteering? I didn't bring a compass. Would suck to get lost in the jungle."

"We have a smoke trail to follow. But we both had basic orientation. And we might get lucky and have a working radio with which to transmit coordinates." Or at least a distress signal, as Beckham slides into the driver's seat, taking the keys to fire up the engine and shifts into gear to start to bounce down the goat trail that got them here to head off the path towards the smoke.

"Here's hoping," Cate agrees. She climbs back into the passenger seat, holding onto the handhold as they head down the track. It takes some doing, but they eventually wind their way into the general vicinity. They have to hoof it from there, pushing through the jungle. Cate lets Becks lead the way, while she laments the contents of the jeep's first aid kit. "This is pathetic. We're all set if we run into someone with a scraped knee, though." She scoffs. "I've got better in my pack." Which can't be saying much since it's a little daypack thing.

"Maybe we'll be lucky and they'll only have a splinter." Beckham says dryly as they bounce over the remains of a ruined log and continue down the mountain trail towards the wreckage. As they get closer, it's easier to see where the Raptor came in; the tops of trees are shaved off, the limbs are hanging uselessly, or crashed into the ground, and the smell of burning oil, tyllium, and hydraulic is getting stronger by the second.

At least the ship isn't totally smashed to pieces or engulfed in flames. There's a chance for survivors. "Least the Raptor should have a real kit." She ducks under a low-hanging branch that's about ready to fall off, and cautiously approaches the downed craft. "Hey! Anyone alive in there?" There's a muffled cry for help in response from inside. "Hang in there. We're going to get you out." Then in a lower voice, she mumbles. "Just as soon as we get the hatch open." It's partly twisted open by the crash - maaaybe enough to squeeze under, probably too badly bent to be operational.

"Frak." Beckham hears the cry for help and the response from Cate. Taking a moment, he digs through the tool kit, finding a tire wrench. "I'll try to leverage it open so tou can get through." With that, he pushes the crow bar into the door frame to try to wrench it open. "Where's Tavo or Chance when you need them?" he grunts as he pushes.

Cate nods to the plan. "Come on, put some muscles into it. Then you can tell Dorn what a big damn hero you were." Whatever gloom was on display on the mountainside has been banished by the prospect of helping the injured Raptor crew. And perhaps it becomes more clear why Cate's been accused of being an adrenaline junkie before.

Fortunately Becks doesn't need to give much room for Cate to shimmy under. "I'm in!" she calls. There's a brief stretch of silence, then her face appears in the crack of the hatch to say, "Pilot's dead, and the radio's smashed all to hell. ECO is pretty banged up but alive. I'm gonna try the ejection hatch up front, maybe we can get him out that way."

"You're the one doing all the work, I'm just the brawn. And you can add it to your fruit salad on your chest." Beckham shoots back as he takes in the report. "Alright, I'll meet you around front and bring my crowbar in case we need to wrench the windshield off to get you two out of there." he offers as he moves around to the front, seeing where a tree punched through the pilot's side canopy, killing the bus driver instantly.

"Hey I'd still be standing outside and this guy would still be bleeding to death if it weren't for you, Mr. Brawn," Cate calls through the winshield. "OK, stand clear," she warns, before trying the emergency hatch switch. It... kinda works? The canopy tries to disengage, discrete charges blowing it loose. But it doesn't go far because, well, there's a tree sticking through it. "That could've worked better," Cate mumbles. But maybe it's loose enough for Beckham to lever open.

Pulling back to shield himself from the explosive bolts, Beckham moves quickly to push the glass out of the screen just to find that the same tree that killed the pilot is holding the screen in place. He shoves in the crowbar to push and growls as he tries to pull it. "Come on.. gods dammit!" he growls as it doesn't budge at first and starts to whale on the tree limb with the crowbar to try to break some of it away. "Break, you gods damned piece of frakking Scorpian piece of shite!" he roars as he smacks the crowbar harder against the limb a few more times to shatter it or at least loosen it so that he can try the windscreen again.

While Beckham is doing battle with the tree, Cate finds a similar crowbar-like tool inside the Raptor. "Let's both try together. Let me know when you're ready." When he gives the signal, she joins him in pushing from within.

Pushing away some of the branches, Beckham returns to the window. "Alright. On three.." he says, working the crowbar into the glass, and with the two of them leveraging together, he counts down, before the pair of them finally manage to ratchet the screen loose and pops back, sending Beckham falling back on his ass for a moment with a whumpf before he tosses the crowbar aside to climb back up the side of the Raptor to help with the extraction. "Pass him up. Did you get a chance to check his injuries yet?"

"Just a quick once-over. Helmet's smashed, he's in and out. Broken leg, probably a couple ribs too." There's some grunting from inside as Cate levers the ECO out of his seat and drags him to the front. She passes him up to Beckham, straining under the guy's weight a little, but they eventually get it done.

Pulling out the ECO, Beckham grunts, assisting with the lift from Cate. "Grab the medkit, we can use the crowbar as a leg splint.. gods, what do they feed these guys?" he manages as he helps with the lifting and after the ECO is free, he starts to set him down on the ground. "And if there's a tech kit, see if there's duct tape, we're going to need to secure the helmet in place in case he broke his neck." Removing the helmet is not an option at the moment.

"Yeah why is it never the little guys who get knocked out?" Cate gripes. "Got it," she answers breathlessly, going back for the med kit. She then shimmies through the gap under the canopy, landing in an inelegant heap on the ground. Stifling a groan, she scampers over to the ECO's other side, opening the kit so they can get to work. "How's he doing?"

"Still unconscious. I agree with you, the leg's broke." The bone's sticking out through the flight suit, it's pretty damned obvious as Beckham grits his teeth. "Can you sit with him in the back if I get him into the truck?" he asks, looking up at her. "At least with him being out, we don't have to listen to him moan and bitch when we drag him out."

"Yeah, sure," Cate agrees readily. "If bumping him through that hatch didn't wake him up, he's pretty out." Which is actually why she's grabbing a penlight from the medkit and opening what's left of his cracked faceshield. She pulls open his eyelids and waves the light on them. "Frak. Left pupil's blown." She exchanges a grim look with Beckham, both of them knowing what a bad sign for a head injury that is. "Screw the leg, we gotta get him to the hospital now." She's shoving stuff back into the medkit and slinging it over her shoulder.

"Frak. Hold his head." comes Beckham's response, waiting for Cate to have a firm grip on the ECO's helmet before he moves to lift him to carry him to the truck with a grunt. "...we're going to need to keep it stabalized for the trip." he manages as he starts to move with care towards the truck.

With some awkward shuffling, they get the injured ECO into a position where they can make decent time while keeping his head stabilized. Grunting from the effort, they get him into the back of the jeep. "I'll keep him steady as I can, but drive fast," Cate says, a notable urgency in her voice.

Once they're settled, Beckham moves quickly to the driver's seat. The drive on the way to the hospital is merciless, there's no easy way to handle the rugged road and makeshift ambulance and stretcher is brutal on the poor ECO as they screech down one of the sideroads towards the city, they run into a traffic jam, and there's just no way around it. "Frak!" he calls out, hitting the horn with an annoying 'BEEEP!' at least a half a dozen times. "Move, gods dammit!"

Cate tries to keep the ECO stable, but it's pretty much impossible as she herself is bounced around uncomfortably in the back. She's been monitoring the ECO's condition in the back on the way. Just as they're entering the city, she calls out, "Frak, I've lost his pulse." All worries about a neck injury fall by the wayside, and she removes the helmet and starts doing CPR. It's probably a lost cause at this point, if the head trauma or internal injuries were bad enough to stop his heart, but she can't not try.

Pulling over to the side of the road, Beckham puts the truck into park as he moves to join Cate in the back, feeling for the neck pulse while she does the chest compressions. After several minutes, he reaches to cover her hands on the ECO's chest with one of his own. Lifting his gaze to the medic, he shakes his head negatively, the frown on his lips easily showing that there's nothing more that they can do other than get him to the hospital to be catalogued and returned to the next of kin.

"Why are you stopping?" Cate asks, continuing to compress the ECO's chest. It's not until Beckham comes around and touches her hands that she lets out a breath, sinking back on her heels. "Shit." She pounds her fist against the back seat.

Moving, Beckham closes the ECO's eyes with two fingers. "Your toll will be paid." he offers as he looks towards Cate. Surely this isn't the first time she's lost a patient, not that it sits well with either of them as he moves to settle behind the wheel for a moment, before punching the horn hard enough that it continously 'beeeeeeps' at the pair of them. "Frak." he mutters, as starting the engine again doesn't stop the annoying squawk as he pulls into traffic to take the pair and body to the hospital.

Not the first time, no, and not the last. A frowning Cate stays in the back, even though her skills aren't really required. Providing a somber escort for the dead ECO.


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