2237-05-05 - Calliope Crashed to the Ground

While running supplies to the Tent City that the Dorns are at, Calliope Drake is blindsided by a reporter of the Canceron Press. Charlie gets her boot stuck.

Date: 2237-05-05

Location: Tent City, Kannur Province, Canceron

Related Scenes: None

Plot: Operation: Mission of Mercy

Scene Number: 754

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It's been forty eight hours since the Canceron disaster. Twenty-four since the Vanguard arrived on scene. After the shooting of a Raptor pilot and ECO by a distraught civilian, Marines have been recommended to accompany all relief flights for security.

However, Tamlin and Beckham Dorn are already on the ground. On the outskirts of the city is a large hospital and park. The park has been converted to a makeshit tent city and relief camp with a large generator that has been recovered and repaired, and a working water system. What they need at the moment is food and water to feed the hungry people of the encampment that haven't had a chance to be tended to by the Canceron Military.

Dressed in his combat fatigues, Beckham's rifle is slung across his back as he is tended to a patient at the aid station, making sure they are set up with a saline water IV before sighing. "Just rest, sir, you lost a lot of water being sick." Ironic, considering how much water there was around, all of it unpalattable.

A request was sent to Vanguard to deliver more supplies, especially bottled water, at least until the water filtration system can be fully operational.

Calliope is on supply run duty, taking a bus down from the Vanguard to the camp. There are Marines riding with her, of course. Given the situation on the ground. And she's not unloading this thing herself. "Ground, this is Raptor Omega-Five-Two, from the Vanguard, on approach to land." She'll await clearance before angling her big ship down, down, down. Eyes scanning the situation from what she can see through her viewport. She tries to do it impassively, but can't, really. The destruction done to the planet by Mother Nature isn't a thing she can be stoic about.

This is not the sort of work that Charlie is suited for. Manual labor and medical assistance, more or less. The woman is a recon marine and sniper. But, marine is the sticking word there and thus here she is. Acting as a guard first and a pair of arms second. That's how she's ended up on Calliope's Raptor. Tucked in amongst the supplies being carried down, kitted out for combat -- just in case -- and already sweating through the layers of gear. With her shoulder propped against a crate, the Corporal is trying to nap. Unsuccessfully.

Tamlin, for her part, is neither tending to those in need, nor seeing to doing whatever other repairs might be needed at the hospital, or down in the tent city. She is, instead, sitting just outside of the aid station, using the waterproof material it's built on to protect her from the still oversaturated ground, zooming (complete with zoomy sounds!) a small tow truck around for the amusement of the little boy sitting cross-legged in front of her. "Don't be polite, see? You just drive right over them."

From the aid station, Beckham hears the radio go off, and as clearance comes from Canceron air control, the medic moves to step out of the aid station. "Unless she's talking about driving over Cylons, I wouldn't listen to her, she knows about as much about driving as I do tyllium engines." He winks down at Tamlin. "We have a shipment of supplies coming in. Let's get the cart ready to bring over what they have." he offers his hand to Tamlin to help her up.

Out at the landing area, there's already a few Marines along with the Canceron military, protecting the area from the growing crowd, eager to get help, a small rumbling murmur of general discontent in the heat and humid conditions.

Calliope puts the Raptor down, doors coming up and open once it's settled with an ungraceful thunk in the landing zone. "Keep the DRADIS up and running," she tells her ECO over her shoulder. "At least we'll have some warnings if the Cylons start moving." For whatever that might be worth. She's dressed in her flight suit, but she's got her sidearm with her. She idly pats it at her hip, once they're down. A glance back at Charlie and the other Marines. "You guys can start the off-load whenever you're ready. I'll help with the carrying."

Oh yes, ready and rarin' to go. This is exactly what she joined the marines for. Charlie just loves manual labor! Full kit and hauling crates in heat and humidity. Her favorite! The Corporal grouses and grumbles under her breath like a good little grunt as those closer to the hatch file off before her. She grabs a box of supplies on her way out, ducking her chin under the helmet sitting loosely on her head as she steps out from the Raptor. Clearing out of the way so those on the ground can get on board and help haul off more.

Tamlin takes Beckham's hand, looking up as he give the call. But she soon releases it. Not because it's a hot potato, but because she still has a little man who is also now holding out his hand, mimicing Beckham, "Let's get you back to your grand-da, shall we?" She leads him back, into the tent and towards Beckham's patient of only a few moments before, before she comes back out, "This is not going to go well, Beckham. Someone is going to get hurt." But she will go down to approach the incoming raptor.

After watching Tamlin shepherd the child away with a fond, and for a moment, far-away smile, the Marine finally reminds himself of where they are as he moves to head towards the Raptor with the Deckie. "I know, Tamlin.." Beckham offers back. "They're tired, hungry.. and just lost everything. We need to be careful." Arriving at the landing zone as Calliope comes out, the medic offers a salute. "Welcome to Canceron, sir. Thanks for delivering the water. We're almost ready, but this is a much needed stopgap measure." he says as he moves to start to help with the offload into a military truck for transport to the camp. Noticing Charlie, there's a grin given. "Hey Corporal, working hard or hardly working?"

There's just a sort of droll look for Beckham even as a few droplets of sweat bead down under helmet and across Charlie's nose. Her hands are too full to even do anything about it. Charlie adjusts the box she holds as her boots stick in the wet ground, schlupping her way through it. "First time, sir," she offers towards Calliope. "Looking forward to all the fun we're sure to have. Can't wait for the big bonfire and sing-a-long later." And off towards the truck with her load she goes.

"They've lost everything, and there are going to be some of them who will be looking for someone to blame, even if no one is to blame." Tamlin can already see them crowding in, becoming agitated. She too has her rifle. Yes, that rifle, that she carried all the way from Edson, damnit! But she won't have it at the ready. She's happy to keep doing her job, which means hopping down and heading to the raptor to get loaded up, "Thanks for coming, Bullseye." You know, as if any of them had a choice. She grabs something and turns to follow Charlie.

Moving to take one of the boxes, one of the civilians of the crowd comes through the checkpoint. The Marines try to stop him, but the man is undeterred. "Captain!" he calls out, trying to get Calliope's attention without knowing her real rank - but aren't all airplane pilots 'Captains'? "Captain! I'm with the Canceron Press, I have some questions I would like to ask you about the Colonial Forces and their presence here!" he calls out, trying to get the young woman's attention.

"We've kept him at bay all morning, sir.." Beckham offers apologetically to Calliope as he moves towards the truck to load in some of the cases of water. "...he's been demanding to see an officer all day, I guess he figured you out."

A chuckle escapes Calliope at Charlie's comment about the sing-a-long. "I'm hoping for a marshmallow roast. But I'll settle for getting done and back to the Vanguard without getting stranded." She strides along to the truck, long legs at least eating up some distance. Her eyes go to Tamlin's rifle, and she gives the deckie a little nod. "Yeah. Well. It's the job today, and they don't exactly let me pick where I fly. I'm glad we're helping, though, even if it means putting down on Canceron again." Her memories of this planet aren't exactly fond. She doesn't respond to the Captain right away. She's still confused when people call her 'lieutenant', so that one definitely doesn't penetrate. It takes Beckham to make her blink and, "Huh" in that direction. Blink, at the Canceron press man. "Oh. Uh. Hi." She's so quoteable.

"Marshmallows... So long as we get the whole shebang and s'mores, sir." While Charlie's wishing for a whole vacation. When the man with the Canceron Press approaches, the Corporal puts her head down and stalks towards the truck. She'd go faster, but her boots keep getting stuck. So she just sort of grunts and slogs on forward until she can shove her box onto the truck where Beckham can get it in place. Then it's back towards the Raptor for more.

Tamlin, box in hand, is already on her way away from the raptor, when the man from the press pushes in on Calliope. She at least needs to get the goods to the delivery truck, right? A glance to Beckham, but the man has clearly been doing everything he can already. And asking him to shoot the reporter would be wrong, Tamlin Dorn. Wrong.

The thought has crossed Beckham's mind, several times already, in fact. He rolls his eyes at the reporter. "Can she at least help us unload the Raptor first?" he starts to ask.

"No!" the reporter responds. "You have stonewalled me all day with your Caprican doubletalk." He looks to Calliope, and takes out his recorder. "This is Gus Atwell with the Canceron News Network, and I am speaking with.." he sticks the recorder near Calliope's face. "...just your rank, name, and where you're from, sweetheart." he offers, looking up at the woman. Cause he's shorter than her.

"Umm, you can walk with me I guess?" Calliope says, continuing her pace toward the truck even as the reporter latches onto her. The recorder is stared at, like it's a grenade that might explode in her face. The sweetheart gets raised eyebrows. "Umm. Calliope Drake." She gives her name with a visible squirm, but doesn't actually not do it. "I'm just a lieutenant. Junior grade. I was an ensign like a month ago. So I'm barely an officer at all, really." Tamlin and Charlie get a somewhat wide-eyed look. Run! Save yourselves!

Charlie is saving herself, don't worry about that. But she's just a little ol' Corporal. No one gives a frak about her unless she dies in some way that gets viewership. So the woman just adjusts her helmet, wipes away sweat, and returns to the Raptor to get another box. Grunt.

Tamlin is indeed going to save herself. But she's not running. Rather, she intercepted as she makes her way to the truck to drop off supplies. One of the ship's engineers, whose been down trying to keep the hospital up and running. The engineer stops her, his tone urgent, his manner moreso, even if his precise words might not be, and tamlin, setting down the box, gestures to Beckham. She needs to go take care of something. She'll be back.

"Alright Lieutenant Drake.. wait, you're Caprican too?" A dark look is shot from the reporter from Calliope to the Dorns and back to the young Viper Pilot. "How many Capricans do you know of in the Colonial Forces? Would you say that it is disproportionate to those of the other colonies?" he starts to ask more questions, as he sees Tamlin get pulled away. He watches the pair for a moment before his attention returns to the pilot. "How do you feel about the machines of your world turning against all of the colonies?"

Beckham, for his part, is currently loading in some of the supplies, playing relay with Charlie as the Corporal brings him supplies. Seeing Tamlin step out of the line, he nods to the gesture, a swift and fond smile offered to the woman before he takes the next box of water. "He's been asking a lot of questions about the Caprican involvement." Beckham admits to the Corporal. "I think he's some crazy conspiracy theorist, myself."

Calliope gazes after Charlie with undisguised envy, sidling along to the truck as well as she can, with the reporter in her face. "Well...umm...I am Caprican." She says it like she's admitting something. "But the people who serve with me are from all over. I bunk with Virgons, Taurans, Picons...like, everybody!" Her gaze fixes on Charlie again, and she points. Maybe going back on that whole 'save yourself' thing. "She's not from Caprica!" Does she know where Charlie is from? Unclear. Hopefully she isn't Caprican.

Indeed, Charlie is not Caprican! The woman, however, is not going to out herself. Nope. She's just going to focus on not losing a boot to the sucky, wet ground. Just grab a box, tromp her way over, hand it off to Beckham, and return. She'll pretend she didn't even notice she was being pointed at. Maybe she didn't!

"Do you even know her name?" the reporter demands, as Beckham winces on the truck. Seems that Calliope is trying to throw the poor rank and file under the vehicle, literally as he takes a box from Charlie and loads it in, the load dwindling, but not fast enough for anyone's tastes.

"After all, you claim to bunk with all these other people, do you know who she is? Where she serves? Or is she just another pawn in the Caprican's reach to control the so-called Colonaial Forces to press for a takeover of the Colonies under their banner?" Oh, he just went there.

"She came in on my Raptor. I think I know where she serves." Calliope winces as the box is out of her hands, and she loses any excuse of doing work to avoid the reporter. "I don't have any pawns!" A little defensive. That is her home colony. "Look. I just signed up to fight the Cylons, the same as anyone else. We aren't here to take over anything. We just want to help."

Really, she feels slightly torn, but Charlie has no idea what she'd even say in this. The Corporal gets a box handed up to Beckham and just looks up at him with a shrug? before she shifts back and starts... nope, she's not going back to the Raptor yet. Her boot's good and stuck this time. "Frak me," the sniper mutters, crouching as she starts to work it free.

"What's going on with your boot?" Beckham frowns, sensing a possible medical issue. "Too large? Too small?" he moves to hop down from the back of the truck, ready to assist Charlie with whatever issue she may have.

However, the reporter changes tactics. "You said that you want to help. Does that include peacefully surrendering Paige Greystone should the Canceron government demand she stand trial in proxy for the crimes of her family's genocidal machines?"

"Umm." Calliope's eyes bulge at mention of Paige Graystone's name. She is a very blonde deer in the headlights in the moment. "Look. Captain Graystone's putting her life out there, every day, fighting the toasters. And I'm not surrendering anybody! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do. We are, like, done. If you want to talk about the Graystones or how evil Capricans are or anything else, call the press office." She turns on her heel to march back to the Raptor. Fleeing in as officer-like a manner as she can manage. But, still fleeing.

"No. They're just new and keep getting stuck in this mud." Charlie glowers at the ground in frustration after practically throwing her last box aboard the transport truck. She kneels then, dirtying the rest of her kit. As if she hadn't sweat through most of it as it was.

"So you're saying that you support what she's done!" the reporter calls out after Calliope's retreating backside. "And do all Capricans feel the same way that you do?" he adds, knowing he's not going to get an answer, but any quote is a good quote for the papers, right? Poor Calliope, she's now the voice for the Colonial Forces on Canceron.

Beckham helps Charlie with her boot and gestures. "You better get going, I think you're about to lose your ride off planet, unless you want to stick around here." Like anyone wants to do that. But Beckham moves away from the Raptor slapping his hand against the door of the truck. "Roll out!" he calls up as the diesel engine roars to life, drowning out any follow up comments from the reporter, who in turn, glares at the Sergeant.

Calliope will not abandon Charlie to Canceron. But she will hide in the Raptor until the off-loading is complete. "So how bad was that, do you think?" she asks her ECO weakly. The ECO keeps monitoring the DRADIS and silently thanking the gods he is not the voice of the Coloinal Forces on Canceron.

"Frak's sake." Charlie looks from Beckham to the raptor before holding tight to her helmet and cutting it in that direction. She hauls ass aboard and drops into her seat.

The Raptor is given clearance to depart, it's supplies taken - it's pilot spent - and yet more firewood for the rumor mill to turn into so much yellow press.


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