2237-05-05 - Frakking Diplomacy

Salvae realizes the supplies he and Aldrich dropped off for Camp 3 never got to their destinaton. The two grab a couple other Wolves to investigate, and discover a group of miners from the Tyllium mines revolt.

Date: 2237-05-05

Location: Canceron

Related Scenes: None

Plot: Operation: Mission of Mercy

Scene Number: 755

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"Aldrich! We have a problem!" Salvae says, his eyes wide in a panic. "XO's shitting bricks on me, says those supplies we unloaded never made it to camp 3." He bites his lip, running his hand through his hair in a panic. As the senior officer on the supply run, it was his responsibility to make sure everything was legit. "Tell me you have some pull with the workers down in camp 3.."

Aldrich has been working hard as anyone, in his own way, and it shows on his face as he makes his way through the docking bay for the next supply run. That probably explains the kind of bewildered look that Salvae receives in response to his panic. "The... Oh." He sighs wearily, "I thought there might have been something off about that guy... You think he might show up and try it again with the next drop? Maybe we can bring him in?"

Sergeant Lyn Arda is filthy, tired, and angry at all the devastation she's witnessed the last two days. She's dealt often with snow and ice, and even lava, on Aquaria, but she wasn't entirely prepared for the destructive power of water in its liquid form. She steps off a Raptor with Geoff in tow, sullen and silent. As she heads across the bay, her mind is firmly on taking the hottest shower possible, and sacking out for a good 6 hours sleep in her bunk.

However, the Marine's forward momentum screeches to a halt when she passes close enough by Salvae to hear about the situation. She holds out a hand to ask Geoff to stop, and turns to approach. "What's this about missing supplies?" So much for that shower and some rest. She's in her ops uniform, with a heavy pack over her shoulders, and a rifle cradled in the crook of her arm. Weirdly, there's what looks like a ski pole hanging from one side of her pack.

Geoff seems exhausted, too. He's got no experience running rescue missions, and there's no release from the tension in the form of toasting toasters. He rummages in a pocket for a cigarette, looking up just in time to stop rather than barrel into Lyn. He also has a ski pole.

Stood on the wing of another Raptor is Lt. Irene Harris, clipboard in hand that she's reviewing. She's in full flight gear, minus helmet, obviously doing a last check before another trip to the surface. Crewmen stream by her, loading up the back with cartons of emergency rations.

Salvae nods his head at Aldrich's suggestion. "Yeah, the XO was saying something similar.. We should grab a couple of--" he looks over as Lyn and Geoff wander over. He gives their ski poles a curious WTF look for a moment, but then snaps out of it. "Perfect! Sergent, feel like a double shift?" he asks, his heart racing. "Looks like there's someone down at camp 3 skimming the relief supplies." Perfect, there's Lt. Harris getting ready for a trip down to the planet. "Lieutenant! Got room for some passengers?" If he doesn't have to requisition a raptor to cover his foulup, nothing really went wrong, now did it?

Aldrich is a bit more calm about the whole thing than Salvae, and even gives the fellow a pat on the shoulder. "These things happen in situations like this. We'll straighten it out." He looks up s Geoff and Lynn approach, and gives the former an apologetic smile.

"I've got one more run in me," Lyn admits with a grimace. "If you can take me to where you dropped the last shipment, I might be able to track where the goods went," she says, looking between Salvae and Aldrich. Then she reminds herself she only got to the Wolves yesterday evening. "Sergeant Lyn Arda, Marines Recon."

She looks over at Geoff with a weary expression. "You up for another one, Courtois?" Those ski poles kept the two of them from stepping onto sharp metal or snakes under the flood waters, or sinking into unseen muck. Otherwise, they'd be even dirtier.

Geoff lights his cigarette, looking Salvae up and down, perhaps as a reproach for making him work a double shift. "Somebody has to, right?" is his reply to the sergeant.

Irene's raptor looks like it might have some standing room, so she waves Salvae on up, "Sure, I have some room. You might have to sit on the ECO's lap, but I'm sure he won't mind. Unless you're qualified? He might like the extra rack time." Her clipboard is referred to once more before she signs off on it and passes it on to the crewman exiting the hatch, last of the rations neatly stacked. "Where you need to go and how many bodies are we talking?"

Salvae smiles, nodding to Aldrich and his soothing calm, then looks up to Irene. "As ruggedly handsome as your ECO is, I think he'd prefer a nap to my bony ass digging into his thighs," Things are playing out pretty well, and the pilot looks visibly relieved that the Timber Wolves are coming together to fix his frackup. To Lyn, he gestures to their ride, "Lt. Gess," he says, introducing himself to the sergeant. "Callsign's Socks. This is Lt. Kavanagh, ship's chaplain, and our driver's Iris." As everyone settles in, he explains the situation. "We touched down last night at 19.30 hours, and dropped off medical supplies. Word just got back that the supplies never made it from the LZ to Camp 3, where they were headed. Sounds like bandits, or the transport likes their chances on the black market. Either way, we gotta get those supplies back to the camp." He catches his breath, "Good to have recon in on this."

Aldrich gives a mock salute after the introduction, but adds, "Aldrich. Or Al, if you like." He lets Salvae explain everything and climbs up into the Raptor to claim a spot among the cargo. "Or it was frightened people behaving the way frightened people tend to," he interjects, as another possibility. "I should have gone with them to the camp."

Lyn hikes her pack up higher with a loud huff of breath as she listens to the situation. "Let's get a move on then, before the siren song of the showers saps the rest of my will power." She gives Irene a nod as she boards the Raptor, and plunks herself down on the floor to sit, drawing her knees up and resting her head on them. They may have heard some scuttlebutt prior to her arrival that her call sign is Ghost, because she's so stealthy, she can appear out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly.

Geoff looks from person to person as they are introduced. He smiles around his cigarette, if faintly. "Aphrodite's tits, though, there's always something down there..."

"You got it, Skipper," Salvae answers. Once everyone's got a seat, he seals the hatch and crawls into the co-pilot seat. Switches are flipped and buckles are fastened. It's pretty smooth sailing down to Kannur province. Weather is clear for the moment around Camp 3, but there's a heavy thunderstorm warning in effect, with heavy, dark cloudes collecting in the distance. "Ah, there's that clear patch they were calling for," he says. "Weather in about an hour or two by these reports. Should be a treat with a light show and everything." With the crew assembled, the pilot is becoming more and more collected.

Camp 3 is a large tent city that's quickly on its way to becoming a shanty town. it's up on a plateau above the flood plains, with a muddy dirt road down to the LZ area where the supply shuttles land. About two kilometers away, are the ruins of a large town, most of which is still under water, but some of the buildings on hills look like they might be salvageable. "Let's take a slow circle, see if we can spot anything that might be a hideout.."

Aldrich snorts a little at Geoff's comment, though his amusement is a little wry. "It's the nature of the beast, unfortunately." Securely buckled in, he settles back for the ride. He even closes his eyes and seems to take a quick cat nap on the way down. Nope, he's not going to be spotting anything.

Lyn keeps her head down on her folded arms, and catches a quick cat nap on the trip. There might be soft snoring even.

Geoff peers down. "Something's there," he says, taking his cigarette out of his mouth so smoke won't be in his eyes. "Right there, do you see it?" he asks, pointing.

"I don't see anything," Salvae answers, "There's too much cammo netting."

The trip is silky smooth, aside from the bumpy chop and bright inferno as the bus descended through the upper atmosphere. Irene can fly a bus well enough, even if she seems to think the raptor is more of a snake - given how low she goes over the camp and before banking out for the wider circle. "That's going to be thick as soup." She says of the oncoming stormfront, but she doesn't sound altogether worried. As for the actual search, she scans with her eyes, turning the circle into an S to get another look. "That's it down there?"

Aldrich gives a bit of a start and blinks his eyes open at Geoff's words, and leans slightly to try to get a better look. He squints, frowns, and then shakes his head a little. "Maybe. I can't tell..."

Lyn wakes at Geoff's words and snorts as she shakes off sleep. She snaps to readiness an instant later and pulls what short lengths of hair she does have back into an elastic at the nape of her neck. She frowns at the storm on the horizon. "That could work to our advantage. No one is going to be looking for us if they're busy making sure their camp isn't getting washed away. Thunder can cover our approach, just need to be sure not to move during lightning flashes."

"I'm sure of it," Geoff insists. "But, hold on, we're not going down there to hurt people, are we? I mean, maybe they took something but...what's our approach, here?"

After the second circle on Iris' approach, with Geoff's help the camp can be spotted. It looks like some sort of old weather station up in the hills overlooking the ruins of the town. A cement structure big and remote enough to warrant a generator, though the lights are currently off. Beneath a cammo net that obscures the clearing around it, it looks like a couple of trucks and jeeps can be seen, the only kind of transport that could handle the muddy roads during rainy season. "I don't know," Salvae answers the questions. "I suppose it depends if they're selling the supplies or using them for the sick."

"Word of caution here, but I can't land this thing just wherever. I'll be up over the skids in mud, if the bird doesn't end up going for a slide into the stew." Irene warns, giving

"Word of caution here, but I can't land this thing just wherever. I'll be up over the skids in mud, if the bird doesn't end up going for a slide into the stew." Irene warns, after eyeing the terrain down there. Even on the hills the earth looks sodden. She starts to bank the bus back towards the proper LZ.

Aldrich looks a little worried at the talk of sneaking up and/or hurting people, and clears his throat. "Maybe we should try just... talking to them, first?" he suggests. "I don't think it's a good idea to antagonize people who already feel desperate."

"We need to scout it out. People are scared, and if they know they've done wrong, they might shoot first and ask questions later, Courtois," Lyn explains. She grunts. "I'm not much of a diplomat either. I leave that stuff to you, Chaplain," she adds to Aldrich. "We could always fake them out. Tell them the tin cans are approaching and we need to move their 'reserve camp' to the main one immediately. Act like they did nothing wrong, and get them and those supplies to where they're supposed to be."

"Salvae bites his lip and glances back to Aldrich. "I'm a bit out of my element with this sort of thing, to be honest." He looks between him and Lyn. "I'll defer to your judgement on the ground, Sergeant. Al, you think you can talk to these guys, I'll give it a go, last thing I want is to turn this into a bloodbath."

Geoff draws his eyebrows down, looking at Salvae with dissatisfaction. "You don't know it's that simple," he says. He nods at Aldrich, then looks to Lyn. "All right," he says. "I'm just saying, scouting doesn't mean we immediately mow them down." He seems more comfortable with Lyn's plan.

"Please don't kill everyone. I really don't want to have to explain that to command." Irene laughs softly as she brings the raptor down at the LZ, skids clomping down on a more or less solid concrete pad. "Also, grab a box on the way out."

Aldrich nods a little to Salvae. "Well, I'm no strategy expert," he gestures vaguely toward Lyn. "But I'm willing to go in and talk to them. We might be able to clear things up without any further trouble... I'm not thrilled about the idea of lying, though. It's too easy for that to blow up in our faces." As the raptor sets down, he wastes no time unbuckling to climb to his feet.

"All right then," Lyn says as she hops down out of the Raptor and grabs a box of supplies. "We try to get this done without violence if possible. We go in, get a look at the situation, then the Chaplain can do the talking for us. Hopefully these guys have a religious streak and aren't going to be inclined to shoot a man of the cloth. We follow whatever lead he gives us, agreed?" Lyn looks from person to person for affirmation.

The LZ is a busy place, with aid workers scurrying around like ants on a disturbed hive. With the storm front coming in, they're working hard to get things down during the clear weather, and a truck is already there waiting for the supplies in the Raptor.

Salvae nods his head. "Sounds like a good plan," he agrees, giving Geoff a quick look, wondering how he got it in his mind that Salvae was bloodthirsty. Must be his rank or something. It's a short look, and the pilot is unbuckled and quickly helping unload the Raptor, which, with all these hands is a quick operation. "Iris, can you be on standby if things go south?" he asks, going with the ground team because it's his frakup that caused all of this in the first place.

Geoff shoulders his rifle and takes the cigarette out of his mouth. "Let's all come home safe, eat some frakkin' pizza," he suggests as he stands up.

"It's pizza night?" Salvae wonders as he makes sure his sidearm hasn't fallen out of its holster. "What am I doing on Canceron, then?"

"Sure thing." Irene replies to Socks as she steps out the hatch last and hands off a box to one of the aide workers. "I'll stay near the horn." Which means she's not leaving the bus, but that's alright, she's already getting an ear talked off by yet another worker - something about a medicine shipment.

Aldrich grabs a box on his way out, as requested, and gives a little chuckle at Geoff's comment. "I vote for /that/ plan," he remarks, and then steps out carefully, box in tow, and follows along with whatever everyone else is doing.

Lyn glances at the sky and scours the terrain, before she begins picking a path towards the bandit camp. She uses hand signals as she goes on ahead a little bit, scouting the way for any obstacles or dangers. Her rifle is not un-slung; instead she has binoculars in one hand and uses the other to probe the ground with her ski pole.

She seems to disappear into the murk ahead, silent, swift, and invisible for a good 10 minutes, until she allows herself to be seen again, appearing a few feet from the group.

The sergeant whispers quietly, "Two riflemen on the roof of the weather station, one guard on patrol with an SMG. Station door is open, and there are two more men working on one of the trucks." She looks to the Chaplain, "They're wearing armbands with the insignia of those miners who revolted a few years back. What is the plan, Chaplain?"

Once the raptor's empty, the Timber Wolves begin their hike into the hills, following a dirt road that causes more than one comedic slip and fall along the way. It's about 90 minutes until they've snaked their way to within 200m of the station. It's steep, and muddy, but there are enough roots and rocks to find purchase and make the climb. Salvae rests against a rock as they wait for Lyn to return, eyeing the horizon with the looming storm on the way. The light drizzle's started, and it's starting to get a bit dark.

Geoff ditched his cig near the raptor and quietly tailed Lyn on the brief scout. He looks between the members of the group. "Look, why don't me and the chaplain just go down and talk?" he suggests. "You all can cover us 'til we know what's what."

Aldrich is probably responsible for one of those hilarious slip and falls, but he doesn't complain as he makes his way up with the rest. He does look a little worn out by the time it starts to drizzle, and he gives a bit of a nod at Geoff's suggestion. "I think that's a good idea. If it seems like they're going to be aggressive, we can retreat, but otherwise we'll just try to clear things up without resorting to violence."

Lyn looks uneasy at the idea of the two men approaching the camp alone, but she said she'd follow the Chaplain's lead. She does unsling her rifle though, because she'll be watching through the scope. "All right, give us 5 minutes to get to a vantage point, then head down," she advises. With that she vanishes back into the ether to find a high spot to watch from.

Salvae nods his head at the plan. He activates his radio to call back to Irene. "Iris, standby, we're about to make contact," he messages the raptor back at the landing pad. He then follows along with Lyn into a good position to back up Aldrich and Geoff should things go sour.

"You go down first, Preach," Geoff advises. "I'm right behind you." He's carrying a rifle, but he doesn't hold it at the ready, he leaves it strapped to his back as they make their way down once the five minutes have elapsed. He puts a hand in the air when they get close enough to see. "Hey, can we talk for a minute?"

Aldrich waits the five minutes there with Geoff in silence, then nods a bit and heads down slightly ahead of Geoff. He keeps his hands out where it's clearly visible that he isn't armed, and squints through the drizzle to look for signs of activity. Or impending violence, anyway. "We're here representing the CF chaplains," he adds to Geoff's question. Just to make sure that's clear, since the uniform might not be totally obvious under the current conditions.

Lyn lies down in the muck and mud, setting up her rifle and sighting down it. She settles the scope on Geoff and Aldrich for their approach, then sweeps it between the patrolling guard and the riflemen on the roof to keep an eye on their reactions. She takes a steadying breath, adjusting her sights for the distance and weather conditions. "Just for the record," she murmurs to Salvae, "I have a bad feeling about this."

As they're hailed, the guy walking patrol perks up and raises his SMG before approaching Aldrich. "YOU! Hands where I can see them!" he commands. The two guys working on the truck flip the lights on to illuminate the road in the peetering drizzle, even after five minutes, the waterlogged ground has puddles forming, if they even went away since the previous storm. The guards up on the building seem to take notice of this and watch the interaction with interest, their rifles held in lazy grips, with nervous glances exchanged between them.

The SMG guy gets close enough that Aldrich might recognize him from the day before, the one that was loading up the truck. "CF Chaplains?" he asks, glancing past to Geoff. "What the frak are the CF chaplains doing up here?" he demands, clearly nervous that their hideout had been foundout by the CF, four years earlier, the ICJPK put down the miners revolt, there's a history at play here.

"Here's the thing," Geoff says. "We're here doing search and rescue, so the whole mission is making sure people who are getting flooded out get help. We had some supplies go missing, and intel says they might've ended up here. We're not tryin' to get involved in local politics at a time like this, right? Or cause a big conflict. But the stuff that's missing, it needs to go to some people in real bad shape. If you guys are hurting, too, we can work something out to make sure you get your...what's the word? Humanitarian needs seen to, just not with that particular shipment. So...we get our stuff back, we get out of your hair and we can work out a later drop if there are people here who need emergency supplies. What do you think?"

Aldrich keeps his hands up, and his face composed into a mild, unthreatening smile. "Aid mission," he answers, easily, then glances aside at Geoff with a slightly raised eyebrow. He clears his throat a little, and then adds, gently, "It's our job to make sure that we help as many people as possible."

Lyn cracks her neck to loosen it up and re-sights through the scope. "These guys look as nervous as a group of fresh out of training Privates at their first surprise barracks inspection," she mutters.

"Aid mission?" the rebel miner asks. "You talk about aid missions, when the government treats our cousins like slaves? Throw them into the Tyllium mines to work them to death, and then, when the cylons revolt, just sacrifice them like they don't matter?" he spits on the ground and shakes his head. "You think they're better than we are? The supplies we took are going to help our families. Some are still trapped behind the lines, getting slaughtered by toasters while you help the wealthy here?" the man looks pissed, and he paces, shaking his head, but he knows the math on this one. Where CF Chaplains are, the CF Riflemen are not far behind, literally in this case. He gives Geoff a sharp look. "I have your word you'll send us relief supplies so we can get our people to safety?"

"That guy looks twitchy as frack, Sergeant. Is he going to light up big Al?" Salvae wonders, watching the situation unfold from behind his fern.

Geoff nods at the miner. "Look," he says. "I know where you're coming from, you know? I have taken stuff that wasn't mine just to get by, I have been stepped on by rich motherfrakkers who think they're better than me, who take food out of my mouth so they can go on frakkin' vacation, I know what that's like." He at least seems to be speaking sincerely. "Honestly, I don't know if the CF is doing everything right. I'm just a grunt. But personally? I want everybody to get what they need to live. So you have my word, I will make sure we find a way to get you what you need if we can safely get those supplies back to where they were going. Deal?"

Aldrich glances to Geoff, then back to the miner. He lets Geoff talk until he starts making promises, and then jumps in to interject. "I can stay here until the next drop," he offers. "You can help me better understand your needs, and then I can communicate them to the CF... Make sure your voice is represented. We really do just want to make sure that /everyone/ is taken care of."

The expression on the rebel's face and his spitting has Lyn settling her finger on the trigger guard of her rifle. Not on the trigger yet; it won't go there til she's decided to take a shot. "Keep an eye on the guys on the roof, Socks, I have Twitchy McMiner covered," she replies to Salvae. She murmurs softly, "Come on Courtois, diplomacy the frack out of this."

The miner grimaces as he feels himself about to give away all his rag-tag outfit has worked for over the past few days. He seems about to pull away from the deal when Aldrich offers himself up as a reassurance. "Yeah, okay," he nods his head. "That works." he wipes his face and glances back to the guys by the truck. "Koral! Stand down!" he waves them off, giving a handsignal like one from the movies, rather than one any of the marines would recognize as legit, these guys are clearly desperate and untrained, but they're ready to brave cylons to help their people when the government left them hanging. The guards on the roof look visibly relieved at the news, and the two at the truck make sure it's clear they don't have weapons in their hands. The minor lowers his SMG. "I'm Acera," he says, introducing himself. "We'll help load a truck."

Geoff gives Aldrich a somewhat worried look when he more or less volunteers to be a hostage. But he doesn't contradict him. He looks back to the miner. "I'm Geoff. And listen: Preacher here is the /real/ deal. And he's my friend. So I need you to take care of him like you would want me to take care of your family. Yeah?" He seems very earnestly concerned on that point. "Let's get it loaded. I've got a team out in the field, I'm gonna signal them now if that won't freak you out. To let them know we agreed and help us move the shit." If the miner gives the okay, he'll make a signal to the others.

Acera swallows, at mention of a backup team in the woods, he thanks the Lords of Kobol that it's raining and his pants are already wet. Of course there's a team in the woods, how could he have been so stupid? "Okay," he says, slinging his weapon. "Bring em in," he says, before calling out orders to the others to help move heavy things.

Aldrich gives Geoff what is probably supposed to be a reassuring look, then turns his attention back to Acera. "My name is Aldrich. I'll help with the truck and then you can introduce me to the others..."

As Geoff gives the signal, Lyn's finger moves to slide the rifle's safety back on and she lets out a relieved breath. "I can't believe that worked," she quips with a small smile. "Socks, radio Iris and tell her we're good and we'll be back, hopefully ahead of the worst of the storm." She climbs out of the mud, looking twice as dirty as she did before, but the drizzle is already working on washing some of the muck from her uniform. The rifle is slung over her shoulder as she heads down to the outpost. "There better be hot water left on the ship when we get back," she grumbles.


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