A group of //Vanguard// pilots and Marines head to check a local orphanage and get more than they bargained for.
Location: Kannur Province, Canceron
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 756
While the relief effort was ongoing at the tent city, an official from the Canceron government approached the medics with a request. All contact had been lost with a nearby village that was on the edge of the tsunami zone. The village was in a valley and known for it's main monestary that not only had been a church but served as the main orphanage in the area. An earlier attempt to make contact had been unable to get through the roads, the main highway in and out of the area had collapsed in one of the mudslides, so entry will need to be made via Raptor.
Once the Raptors from Vanguard arrived, Beckham relayed the mission, carrying his full medical kit and started rounding up volunteers to board the Raptor to be flown in.
There's currently more pilots than ships on the Vanguard, so today Salvae's serving as ship's crew on the raptor. "Everyone get their shots? Scuttlebutt is there's some kind of flu going round the camps," he says, rubbing his arm as he sits in the back of the raptor on its approach. "Hey, Babyface, what's our ETA?"
The CAP that Kell had flown earlier was once again uneventful, no Cylons making an appearance to disturb the rescue and recovery efforts that is happening on the disaster stricken zones planetside. So when his patrol was finished and the Ensign returned to the Vanguard, he still had plenty of energy for the day and his next scheduled duty wasn't for a couple of days. So when volunteers to help out down below was requested again, like clockwork, Kell decided that it was his turn to help out. When Beckham asks for volunteers after they landed, the newly transferred Ensign signs up as well, if you can volunteer once, you can volunteer twice!
While everyone has been doing a bit of everything, right now, Cap was already down on the surface, working out of the aid camp. She'd been wrangled to fly a Raptor down for a cargo run earlier, and stayed on for the grunt work - possibly on a volunteer basis. Indeed, by the time some of the others arrive, it would be kind of hard to pick her out as a pilot if one didn't know her. The farm girl is comfortable with her sleeves rolled up (so to speak - the double tanks don't have them!), and after a day of hard work, she's dirty, sweaty, grimy, but... oddly, in better spirits than she's been in the last week. Indeed, when the newest Raptor arrives, she's not busy lugging things or any of that: she's at a campfire, playing a salvaged guitar and singing camp songs with some children. D'aww.
Of course, soon word arrives that the recent Raptor she saw coming down is there for more than a supply drop, and the young woman predictably shows up to see what's going on - and if she can help.
Tamlin, save for only brief respites to complete her required duties on the deck, has been boots on the ground since the operation started, either working at the hospital, or being flow here or there to assist with repairs, bringing utilities back online. Whatever a space mechanic can mechanic, she's been mechanicing it. So it's no surprise, that as the raptors start coming in for the mission, she's wandering over, checking over her tool belt and the kit she's been carrying around with her.
Even out in the boonies around an orphanage and a monastery, you need security -- especially after the crazy civvie shot an ECO the other day. Tavo is that security (or at least part of it). The fact that he is also very good at lugging supplies is a bonus. He sets aside the flat of water bottles he just unloaded from a Raptor, checks the SAW still slung across his back with one hand, and then starts to rumble over in the direction of the gathering people, sweat glistening on his skin in the muggy heat.
When you're a Raptor pilot, you get used to running the same routes day in and day out. Point A to Point B and back again. Canceron has already been a lot of that and purely for supplies. Antonie has also gotten used to having a marine or two in the back, even if they're packed in along with said supplies. The woman has gotten the Raptor barely settled before it's being off-loaded and she's checking in wit her ECO, in a quiet voice, as that's being done. Likely double-checking over their schedule before she hops off into the humidity to help, herself.
The other part of what might one day be known as the bash brothers, Chance, is also acting as security on site. Being also large and ... well really just large, carrying stuff is one of his specialities as well. He's helping Tavo currently, moving flats of water from the raptor. After moving a final flat, he takes a seat on the top of it, pulling a cloth from his pocket and mopping at his brow. His machine gun is set down next to him as he sits.
With the Raptor nearly being off-loaded, Beckham is grabbing his combat gear and gives Tamlin a glance over with a small smirk. "Figured I couldn't keep you away." he says with a hint of fondness before he looks towards the other Marines. "I hope we won't need you guys, but bring the full kit, just in case." he offers before he starts gathering officers. "Looks like we have enough for one more Raptor.." he admits, a grin given to Cap. "Good to see you down here, Babyface." he offers to the young woman before he starts to let people move to load up where they want in one of the two Raptors that will be lifting off shortly. "We can keep the doors open so you two can mount your weapons." is offered to the Bash Brothers with a shake of his head as he draws in his breath.
Once everyone is loaded it's about a fifteen minute flight over the Canceron countryside. It's easy to see that the area was once beautiful, with red thatch roofs and dark tan buildings, but it has been destroyed, utterly, mud and flood waters covering the former streets and markets. As they cross over a set of large hills that are dotted by at best goat trails, the highway moved around the hills, and was destroyed by a massive mudslide and rock collapse in the aftermath of the tsunami. The village beyond is in ruins, only a small walled community that was hundreds of years old - but the massive masonary of the church remains standing in the middle of the city, the courtyard being tended to by some of the orphans and a few of the nuns that watch over them.
"I go where I'm needed." Tamlin offers in answer to Beckham's comment, "It is strictly a coincidence that it also happens to be where all the mud is." The deckie does spend most of her days covered head to toe, lately, in grime, mud, and other assorted unmentionable things. Even her coveralls are flagging beneath the constant onslaught. Once the supplies are loaded, she sneaks in, leaving room for the marines to work, if they need to.
At least it's a short flight. Scenic, in a... not entirely pleasant way, really, but brief. Antonie is not a chatty pilot, which is a rather sharp change from how she used to be. No, the woman is almost curt. She is not, however, impolite. Just very to-the-point and brief with her ECO and the passengers she ends up with on her Raptor. There's a slight frown at the number of orphans helping tend to the courtyard and a glance back, to the medical supplies. "Looks like we'll probably need those," she offers finally before angling towards the best looking landing site.
"Five cubits says we run into more mosquitos than bullets," Tavo grumbles to Chance. By his tone, it's difficult to tell if that's optimism or pessimism. Maybe that makes it realism. He nods slightly to Beckham's offer, but demurs, "I'll carry, Sergeant. I like to keep her close." Still, he hauls himself into one of the Raptors without complaint, shuffling back a little so that he can stay near the door while letting others past to settle deeper into the ship. "You know what we really need? Some trucks." Which would only work if by 'trucks,' you meant 'boats.' He's silent for most of the trip until he adds, "I still say this flying thing is for the birds." Still, he gives a little wave with his left hand as they come in over the village.
"Been down as much as I've had a chance. Feels good to help, y'know? And been a while since anyone really let me get my hands dirty like this." Which is a weird thing, when you grew up that way, then end up comissioned with a bunch of hard working types, your kind of people, 'beneath' and potentially resentful of you. So Cap is nearly as radiant as her typical old self, despite the general aura of doom and disaster around them. "Oh, need another ride?" That's fine with her too. In atmo flight is also one of those things that harkens back to her pre-Navy life, and there's no distate for a Raptor over the hotrods she normally pilots. So soon enough, she's found some gear (which includes a sidearm, per recent orders and warnings) and got herself settled in the pilot seat of one of the big birds, guiding it gently along as she scans the passing scenery beneath, both quietly majestic for its natural beauty, and terrible in the cost that nature's wrath has brought to the people living there. "So sad, must have been such a beautiful old town. Least the church still looks in one piece."
Chance loads up onto the raptor when the time comes, and where Tavo decides to keep his weapon close, Chance does mount his heavy machine gun up onto the mounting rig and keeps the door open. He nods to Tavo at his comment, "Yeah. I haven't shot anything all day. Getting antsy." He smirks just a but and sets about his duty of watching the scenery pass by.
Tamlin doesn't have a list...but if she did, she would be checking it twice, as she runs through the supplies she brought with her. Her trusty rifle, slung over her shoulder, because it's not safe to go without something, and, not having a sidearm like the officers, she's simply been allowed to keep the one she had the last time she was on Canceron. Her toolbelt, her kit, a backpack of odds and ends, "Ask Tavo, he'll let you shoot me." Tamlin flashes a beautific smile towards the Staff Sergeant.
"She's just wanting to catch up with me. Jealousy is making her a green eyed monster." Beckham says dryly, rolling his eyes at Tamlin. The Marine leans out the side to look over the countryside, his rifle set on his back.
As they approach the orphanage, the sound of the Raptors brings young heads swiveling about and waves up to the pilots and occupants as they quickly forget their work and head to clear one of the parking lots to try to make room for the craft to come in for a landing. They're dirty and tired looking, cut off from the world since the mudslide and already many of the children, once the Raptors have set down are heading out to surround the crafts with grubby hands reaching out to touch the pilots and Marines from the Vanguards, looking for any contact that they can make for the first time in days. There's cheers and murmurs as finally a few of the nuns are trying to shepherd the children. "Our apologies, we thought we were.. the only ones.." left alive. There's gratefulness in the woman's eyes, in her mid-30s. "I am Sister Grossamiere, welcome to the House of Mercy and Nanshe." she offers, shooing the children back as she looks for an officer to take charge. "We had sent some of the older children to make contact, did they find you?"
As the Raptor he is riding in descends, Kell holds on tighter but his eyes are still focused outside, more wreckage and devastation scattered out to the horizon. Since he was one of the first board, the Ensign remains onboard and waits for his turn to disembark from the airbus, only to find himself flocked by dirty children, something he is definitely not accustomed to. His parents may be use to this but he himself did not get a chance to serve in the ICJPK. He offers an unsure smile to the youngsters, the Sister's question left for someone with more up to date information to answer.
The marines are the first to encounter the children and nuns. Then come the officers on the Raptors. After the post-flight checks. After everything is powered down. Thus some may miss the slight cracks that appear in Antonie's armor when she sees those kids. The Captain has stepped out of the bird and started to get a lay of things when one of the smaller children has caught her eye and she's already crouching starting to talk to the kid, but something the Sister says draws her attention up. "You sent-" There's a frown and a flash of concern. She straightens, but will hold the hand of the child she had started to speak to. "No, Sister. We were sent because contact had been lost. How long ago were they sent and in what direction?"
Gustavo snorts at Chance's comment, "You just want less ammo to hump." Tamlin's commentary draws another snort, "I wouldn't do that, Pee-Oh." There's a pause, and then Tavo adds in, "As soon as I did, something would need fixing." Beckham's comment brings Tavo's brows up in surprise, and he tilts his head, looking between Tamiln and Beckham, "What, do deck apes collect scars like kills? Don't they realize that even the Marines are smart enough to treat scars as Fail Marks?" he's Army, of course, just seconded to the Marines. As they start toward the ground, Tavo slings his SAW and reaches back, tearing into a flat of water and collecting several bottles so that he can hand them out as the crowd of kids approaches. When the nun shoos the kids back, Tavo hops down out of the Raptor, spreading out slightly to 'cover' it... and to get within arm's reach of some of the kids to hand out the bottles.
Cap can't help but smile, watching the crowds rush out, although she's mindful of the danger of the children all crowding around their landing site, taking it niiiiice and slow as she sets the bird down. The guilt of squashing a little kid is the last thing she needs in her life, right now! Once safely settled, she goes through a bit of post-flight while everyone else is out ahead of her, before finally returning to the body of the Raptor and then down the loading ramp behind the marines. Spotting the other pilot across the parking lot coming out of her own Raptor, she can't help but smile over at her - a kind of "look at this!" amazement. She moves to join the other officer once able, though naturally she allows the superior to handle the talking, and in the mean time, probably gets distracted with the children. She probably gives them candy, because that's what soldiers do!
Chance holds on a bit tighter to his mounted machine gun as they come in for a landing. Once landed, he begins the process of un-mounting his gun to get it hoisted back into a ready position. "Everyone wants less ammo to hump." The Staff Sergeant replies to Tavo, smirking at him as he moves to hop off the raptor. He goes to cover it as well, moving around to the other side from the other marine.
Tamlin, being one of the last people into the raptor, is also one of the first people out, and as such, she's able to help try to secure a place to start offloading the supplies. her ears perk up, as she catches Squeak's words with the nun, attention automatically turning to that, yes, problem. because there was no sign of anyone on the roads, such as they were, on the ride over.
Sister Grossamier looks to Antonie and frowns. "One of the younger sisters went with them. I wasn't able to." The reason is obvious in side profile, the woman is obviously with child herself. Ah, the different religions at work. "We sent them through the hills just yesterday in order to find help. I had hoped you saw them while flying in and met up with them." she offers with a worried chew on her bottom lip.
The children are grateful for the candy and anything else that's handed out, but Cap's bright blonde hair and youth is drawing attention as well as the boys are obviously enamored with the young woman that doesn't look much older than them and offering to help carry supplies and the like so she doesn't have to.
Beckham, in the meantime, is already starting to assess what may be needed on the medical front, discussing with one of the other Sisters the status of electricity, water, and other essentials, before calling out. "If you have Rations, dole those out first, they're down to just what they were foraging from the gardens nearby!"
It took a rather adamant kid to have Kell hesitantly reach out to pat him on the head, no candy or any sort of treats from this pilot, unfortunately. It seems like the youth has figured this out and has abandoned the Viper pilot in search for someone with actual treats. The Ensign does pick up the conversation between Antonie and the sister, making his way over towards the Captain and Leftenant that is also approaching. Hearing that some of the locals have gone missing, Kell furrows his brow in slight concern before glancing at Antonie, "Captain, do we need to call in another bird to do a detailed flyover for us or take one out and do so ourselves?"
"Well..." Antonie looks back to her Raptor and leans down, peeling the kid at her hand away to pass him off towards Cap and the waiting water, food, and supplies. Basically go, be distracted. "If we look over a map, can you point the path they would have gone? We can do a low fly-over and see about picking them up once everything is off-loaded. Hopefully we can locate them." She does her best to make no guarantees. A disaster like this. A situation like this. There's no such thing as guarantees. She looks up to Kell, glancing to their own compliment of ships. "It's a small enough range that I think we should be able to manage."
Cap is probably used to the reaction she gets, by now, and clearly doesn't mind it one bit! Playing big sister to all these youngsters is an obvious joy, as is anything she can do to brighten things for them. As for the eager to show off young boys, that's nothing new either, and she's happy to 'enlist' them in helping out, albeit to a reasonable degree, that they're not carrying anything too heavy. "Ok, can you show me where all of this goes? Then we'll all carry it together." Then she turns to one: "No, no- no opening it right here, mind what the Sisters tell you and wait until they call you for a meal. But I have a few more bars if anyone didn't get one." Though a younger sister herself, in the strict biological sense, there was always a lot of communal childcare back home, with cousins and neighbors, people caring for one another's kin until everything kind of rolled into one big family. So there were always youngsters underfoot. Amidst overseeing some of the kids, she does glance over at the more important conversation being carried out, not adding anything but making sure she catches anything important - like if they're going to need her back in a Raptor quickly, flying recon.
So Chance doesn't really do candy. He does however dig into his field pack and pull out a bag of jerky sticks offering those out to kids. The reaction he gets is less than water might get. Definitely less than candy. As far as Chance is concerned, jerky is candy, but kids apparently don't agree with that. He nods to Tavo, "Damn right." is his reply and he tries to get a kid to take the jerky. Fail. And then there's the mention of a foot-patrol and the bored Sergeant perks up, glancing over at Tavo.
Tamlin, keeping one ear towards the conversation between Antonie and the Sister, and the actual needs of the mission is handing out water, since that requires the least amount of actual consideration. Kids actually want to pick out things like candy. "And if they're trapped somewhere, it'll be easier to get to them, if we don't need to worry about a raptor putting us down. A raptor for aerial cover..."
The patrol left over twelve hours ago - that's a head start for anyone, but not insurmountable. There's no need for a map, the sister turns and points towards the winding goat trails that cut through the canopies of trees. "That way." she explains. "It is the way that the goat herders take their flocks in the spring, when the grass is abundent." There's a little frown. "Please, if you find them, let them know that help has arrived."
Beckham comes over to hand Tamlin a checklist of things that need to be looked into, including the lack of plumbing and that the water system has been shut down. "There doesn't seem to be any medical emergencies here at the moment, I can go with the flight, in case they ran into trouble." he offers.
Don't worry, Chance, some of the kids are more than happy to have meat candy as much as regular candy, if they're hungry enough. Cap's got her little group all in a gaggle of at least a semblance of something that works, her Aerilon charm winning over the affections of the kids with her as she takes on the big sister role.
Looking to Captain Niemec, Beckham offers, "We should leave some people here to continue work, sir. You make the call, but if there's a flight, I'd like to be on it, just in case."
"Twelve hours?" Once they find out how long they went out. Antonie looks over to Tamlin and Gustavo both. "That's too far to just go out on foot from here." She angles back towards her Raptor, mindful of any kids who might try to tag along to direct back to the nuns. "We'll see what we can do, Sister. Please, make use of the supplies while we're gone. This is what we do." She nods to Beckham, nodding towards the bird in a 'Go on' gesture. "Anyone coming, get on board. We'll fly out to an estimate of how far they'd get in twelve hours with regular stops and start a search pattern on the ground. from there, with aerial overwatch."
As Beckham comes over with his list of tasks that need doing, Tamlin looks between the other soldiers and sailors divying up duties and her husband. She even opens her mouth, as though she were going to protest, but, after a moment, she closes it again, accepting the list and turning, to approach the sister he was speaking with before. "If you could show me to the plumbing system, I'll see about getting that back up and running." Even if the water isn't potable, it can be boiled, and used for washing and other needs.
When the sister mentions the goat trail, Kell looks out in the direction of where she was pointing at and takes note that it appears to be hilly and mountains further out in the horizon. Looking back to Antonie, the Ensign speaks up after Beckham does, "Captain, I'll join the search, spent some time with survival training in the hills and mountains back on Libra. So I'm familiar with similar terrain." More volunteer work but at least this is something he feels he can contribute to. Especially searching for lost people, that's what the Timber Wolves were sent here for.
Cap dissapears with her cargo detail of impromptu helpers, though they're not gone too long, just carrying things to pantry in the main building. By the time she's on her way back, at least one boy is boasting of his plans to join the military as soon as he's old enough. He is not discouraged, although Cap mostly extols the virtues of hard work and encourages all to be good and behave for the nuns: "When things are tough, we all have to make sure we do our best. So no troublemaking, and everyone pitches in extra!" By the time she's back, though, they're sorting out the apparent mission. Sounds like only a single Raptor, though, so she'll offer: "If you just need the one bird, I can hang back with mine and see about sorting things out here. Maybe the nuns can give me a run down on the situation and any other extra supplies they'll need, for the next trip." And there's probably just a little selfish desire to stay back and hang out with the kids. And maybe she can do more there: morale matters.
A nod is offered by Chance to Tavo and he slings his heavy machine gun over his shoulder before walking over to the other heavy gunner, "You go for rock again and I'm gonna punch you in your sleep." he offers with a quick grin. And then the two do rock paper scissors, and in the end, Chance loses and gets stuck on overwatch. He sighs. "Great."
Rock. Good old trusty rock. It works especially well when the other person has just threatened you if you throw rock. Tavo throws rock. Tavo wins. "Think of it this way, you get to play with all the cute kids, and I'm going to be dragging my tail through the jungle. So in a way, you won." And then he's headed off toward Antonie's Raptor, hauling himself aboard and once again tucking himself alongside the door so that others can board past him.
"Riding the rocky skies isn't all that bad, Tavo." Beckham offers with a chuckle as he slings his rifle to move to board the Raptor. It seems that Antonie is getting a second pair of eyes at the front with Kell volunteering, before Beckham notices that look on his wife's face and starts to shrug helplessly at her.
But that's when the ECO doubles over and vomits all over the ground, the latest victim of the stomach bug going around the camps. He's in a cold sweat, and coughs a few times. A couple of the sister's move over to tend to him, leaving them without an ECO for the moment.
"Frak's sake." Antonie murmurs it under her breath, looking over her ECO. It's not unkind, but she shoves a water bottle into his hand. "You-" this, at Kell. She hasn't really learned his name yet. "Ensign? You know a DRADIS well enough. That's what we need. Make sure the skies stay clear." And for the marines? "Keep the door open. I want your eyes on the ground on the flight out. We're going low and slow, just in case." And she's already buckling in and preparing to lift off once the ground is clear. "You spot anything, you call out, alright?"
Tamlin will leave the search and rescue work for some one else on the team. She has enough to be getting on with right here. She's soon off into the monastery itself, to see about what can be done to regain basic human services.
When the ECO suddenly becomes sick, Kell winces in sympthay for the other officer as he has heard of the sickness that is going around. No need to tell the ECO that he doesn't look so good. Instead, the Ensign looks toward Antonie and nods his head, "Understood, Captain. If I pick up anything in the skies, I'll let you know." With him being the makeshift ECO for this flight, the Libran takes the appropriate seat and begins to buckle in, then goes through the system checklist. He has flown Raptors before and with ECOs so the process isn't completely foreign to him.
Before Antonie can quite make it up the ramp, Cap comes by offer, "Keep in touch, Captain? If there's trouble and you need backup, I'm still a lot closer than any help you'll get from the Vanguard. Otherwise I'll hold down the fort here!" Which is what she turns her attention to, thereafter. Since she didn't get a chance to introduce herself to the sister before, she does so now, and continues, "So tell me what's been happening here? I'm not really authorized to promise anything, but if there are things you need, well, I can do my best to try and get them for you when we head back." Then, with a grin, "Got anything planned for the kids tonight? Maybe we can put together a little something fo them, too..." And so it goes.
Chance waves a hand back at Tavo. Actually it is a fist. Not a hand. And then he's off to take up a good overwatch position.
Aaaaand of course the ECO splashes Tavo. Because that's Tavo's lot in life. He swallows hard against the bile rising in his throat, and he grumbles, "Frakkin' Navy pukes." Literally in this case. He looks over to Beckham, eyes flat, "You were saying?" Antonie has orders for them, however, and Tavo shifts his attention outward, only pausing a moment to do his best to shake the puke off his leg and boot. The SAW is pulled around to his right hip, where it can be grabbed quickly at need, but his left hand reaches up to grasp a grab-bar, holding him inside the open door.
Beckham settles into the back of the Raptor, watching the loading, but as the ECO gets sick, he's about to move when the Sisters' to assist the poor man, and he settles back in for the search party, waiting for Antonie and Kell to get settled in the pilot's chairs so they can start on the search.
Once everyone is settled and the lot is clear, Antonie gets the Raptor in the air and angled off in the direction the original 'search party' had gone in. She does, true to her word, keep the bird fairly low. At the outset, she goes a bit quicker. Those first few miles, surely, the Sister and older kids had covered without issue. It's once she gets further out to where they'd presumably had been able to reach that she starts to slow down. Looking for a good spot to set down and for any areas they might have stopped over to rest or camped. As well to give Beckham and Gustavo a chance to look for signs as well.
For the most part, Kell is silent as his eyes are glued onto the DRADIS, making minor adjustments if needed but the continual scanning of the skies comes up empty, which is good news. And since it is good news, the Ensign remains silent. No news is good news, no need to bother the Captain and the Marines with needless chatter as their attention is focused on the ground.
Gustavo holds onto the grab-bar, watching the terrain whip past and then start to slow down. That's when he shifts his crouch at the door a little, adjusting his weight and keeping his attention down and out. With the wind whipping past, he doesn't try to make small-talk either.
Sitting up in his seat, Beckham watches out of the windows opposite of the door where Gustavo is. "I have contact." he calls out, as he frowns, not adding more, except to say. "Staff Sergeant, do you see them? At our five, we're about to overfly them."
"I see them," Antonie is saying even as Beckham speaks up. She sees something else as well. "Get in the door, just in case. I'm going to try to find a point to put us down." The woman is already trying to find a spot to set down. "Ensign, see if you can find us a good landing site." In case she doesn't find one first. Maybe a short ways ahead of the group of people on the ground below them.
As the Marines call out contact, Kell makes out the people running so there is no need for him to confirm verbally, especially since Antonie has also picked them up. For now, he gives DRADIS one last glance for contacts in the sky. Seeing nothing he searches for a flat area and then gives the Captain an update, "Squeak, I see a spot. Two'o'clock, should be in the direction they were running towards, area should be open us for us to touch down without a problem."
Tavo spots movement, gesturing toward it with his right hand. He starts to respond to Beckham's call, then stops, looking for a moment longer, then drops his hand to the pistol-grip of his SAW, "Contact! Toasters at five o'clock low!" His left hand stays grasped hard to the handle by the side of the door, "Civvies have hostile captors!"
As the Cylons see the approaching Raptor, two of them turn their guns towards the ship and start firing. Bullets ping and pang, pock-marking the armor, but the ship is able to avoid most of the fire as Beckham grabs the chicken bar above his head. "Contact confirmed!" No shit. "I count four on the ground, we're going to need to come back around, or deploy!"
"Frak." Antonie tightens her grip on the controls, leaning back a bit to cast a look back towards the ECO chair and the two men at the door. "We'll land up ahead and run in for them. Hopefully draw enough fire on the landing to distract them." And lure them away from the captives. "Doubt you two want to jump out of a Raptor without the right gear." She sort of smirks, but starts for the chosen landing zone. Coming in just a little hot, maybe. Brace for landing.
Even thought Cylon activity was expected when they were all briefed about the situation on Canceron, Kell is still surprised when Tavo suddenly calls out actual contacts. This would be first contact for Kell but it is something he doesn't reveal to the others. There is nothing much besides continuing to do his job, keeping his eyes glued to the DRADIS now that there is actual Cylons on the ground that sees them. Luckily the Captain's flying either evades the bullets coming up from the ground or has them glancing off or into the armor. Tactics were taught at the Academy but right now this is the real deal and Kell will leave their plans to those with much more experience, actual combat experience.
"Couldn't be worse than being in one to start with, sir," comes Tavo's retort. He pulls back from the door, letting bullets hit armor rather than him. He aims well to one side of the cluster of humans and Cylons, triggering off a quick burst. Firing one-handed from a twisting Raptor does not make for accurate fire, and he doesn't want to hit any friendlies, but he does want to draw fire. "Me and one pilot set up a base of fire to draw their attention, you and the other pilot flank them, Sergeant?" He might be the senior Marine, but there are only the four of them, and there are two officers, so he might as well make it a suggestion rather than an order.
"Depends on what the Captain wants. Sounds like she wants us on the ground and them in the air as a distraction!" Beckham calls out to Tavo as he's already moving to stand up to prepare for the rough landing and possible deployment as he draws in his breath.
"We'll come along. Best you have backup." Antonie angles the ship to where they can set down, doors to where they can both disembark and reboard in a hurry. She's got her sidearm - Kell should have his. Shame they don't have rifles on hand. But that's what the marines are for, right? "Sergeant, I'll grab your medical kit." So Beckham has his hands free. "Let's go." To Tavo: "You have point on the ground." Because this is becoming marine territory now.
Kell does indeed have his sidearm and when the Raptor sets down, he is already unbuckling the safety hardness and climbing out of his seat. "If you need me to hold or carry anything, I can assist as well." The Ensign offers to the Marines, apparently in full agreement with Antonie that Marines will be taking the lead here. He won't be leaving the Raptor until the Marines do, perhaps also waiting to see what plan they will pick to rescue the civilians from the Cylons since some have been voiced already.
Tavo nods to Beckham, looking toward the cockpit, and then nods at Antonie's decision. "Yes sir." As they touch down, the big man hauls himself out of the Raptor by the grab bar, already scanning the ground ahead for a fallen log, cluster of trees, fold in the ground, or anything that can serve as cover. "One pilot, with me. We get their attention. The other, with the Sergeant, flank them and hit them. We keep their attention, they ignore the civvies." The SAW comes up in both hands, and then the butt is tucked into his shoulder and he starts to advance for whatever cover he's spotted ahead.
Since Nie offered to take his pack, Beckham nods to the Captain once they land. "She's with me on distraction, then." the Sergeant offers. "Since you're the one with the heavy weapon." Moving to settle into position, he removes his pack, and hands it over to Antoine as he takes up his rifle. "We'll split up from here and head in different directions. What's the signal to start, Sergeant?" he asks Tavo.
"I'm also officially trained as a medic, so if we can get in to assist the captives and get them out of there, it'd be best." Niemec slings the pack over her shoulder and checks over her sidearm, double-checking its magazine. She also checks her radio. "If things go to shit-" this is to Kell, "get back and radio back to Babyface to give the coordinates so she can alert Vanguard. Toasters this close puts the town at risk." Which means she'd do the same if something happens to him and Tavo.
"Get started now, Sergeant. You'll hear me when I open up. Then just hit 'em when you see the chance." Evidently, Tavo is of the 'give general goals and let the others take initiative on the how.' school. "We're the anvil, you're the hammer." He nods to Kell, "Find cover, pick your targets, conserve ammo. Aimed shots, sir." And then he's moving forward toward the Cylons, looking to find the best possible cover point between the Raptor and them.
Moving into position with Antonie, Beckham frowns as he looks at the Cylons. "I'll try to draw them off. Since you're the pilot.. just shoot at them after they start shooting at me, alright?" the medic offers as he moves towards some light cover, and brings up his rifle to fire at the Cylons on the immediate right. "Get down!" he yells to the civilians as he fires, sending the civilians diving for cover.
"Alright." Once the cylons are in range, Antonie tenses a bit. She doesn't usually deal with Centurions up close. Raiders in the air? Sure. But on the ground... This is not so much her wheelhouse. Hence putting the marines in charge. The pack is put more securely across her shoulders, pistol in hand, but she tries to keep low and on an angle where the civilians can hopefully see her so she can try to guide them back towards the ship... while maybe remaining un-shot. Possibly.
Ironic, Kell's first hostile exchange with the Cylons will be on the ground, not in the air or in space. Good thing Librans had mandatory ground training, even if they were destined for Flight School. When the Staff Sergeant moves out, the Ensign follows and looks for suitable cover as well. And there they are, the walking tin cans, much larger and more menacing than actual toasters, that's for sure. Using a rocky outcropping as cover, Kell takes aim and lets training take over. He wasn't planning on shooting until Tavo does but when the firefight starts, he finds that his body is reacting by itself and pulling the trigger of his sidearm.
Gustavo hustles forward, throwing himself down behind a fallen log and settling the SAW's bipod up on it. He takes a moment to steady the cadence of his breath and get his weight behind the butt of the weapon, then flips the switch to full-auto, picks his targets, and cuts loose.
As the bullets start to fly, Beckham somehow comes through the first round unscathed. "Get to cover, Captain!" he calls to Antonie as he continues to try to draw the enemy fire, his finger moving to his webgear and the grenades contained there as he considers an idea, but waits for the moment until the others are in position. At least the Cylons don't seem to be worrying about the civilians anymore, pinned as they are in the crossfire.
Tavo's SAW tears at the air with a roar, the big man leaning into the back of the weapon as he spits tracers down-range. Most of his rounds spark off Centurion armor, but one of them lands a solid hit low on the torso of one of the Cylons, and then he has to duck down behind the log as return fire whips past him with that particular 'near miss' buzz, and one round thumps into the tree-trunk in front of him. The burst of fire from the flanking force draws his attention for a moment, then he shakes his head and just focuses in on his own little part of the skirmish, "Stick with it, sir."
Kell can't help but flinch when the bullets begin whizzing by, two of the shots from the LMG burst going wide to the left, the third closer but the rock took the shot. Thank you rock, new best friend. The Viper jock's return fire actually hit but the Centurion's armor does its work, eating the kinetic energy to soak the damage upon impact. Also, this isn't like the movies at all, no super accurate commando shots coming from the Marines or Centurions, the majority of shots miss their mark. Kell takes aim again and gently squeezes the trigger again. He hears the Staff Sergeant's encouragement but offers no response, focused on his intended target.
While Antonie does try to get to cover, there's also the fact that they're both being shot at and she would like o make sure the civilians remain... not shot at. Even so, a few of the Centurion's bullets come perilously close. One clips near enough her arm to tear through the flight suit. Whelp. Hope that isn't important on the flight back to the Vanguard! She presses near a tree, hoping the civvies get clear enough to start peeling their way to head for the Raptor.
The second shot from Kell's sidearm also flies true and this time, whether the Centurion's armor integrity weakened or what but the bullet punches through the armor. Then Tavo's heavier armament tears into the toaster, sending it to the junkyard. No time to celebrate or cry out in joy despite the desire to do so, instead the Ensign looks at the remaining three Cylons present as well as the two Colonials on the other side and quickly selects the Centurion that is firing on Antonie.
As the bullets streak by Beckham, he feels a few sudden stings along his body, and winces in pain. He knows when he's been hit and hit hard - and this was not a hard hit. Getting into position, he takes aim at the Cylon that's firing full auto as the medic ignores his own wounds for the moment in an attempt to try to keep the Cylons pinned and away from the civilians.
Gustavo stays low, and the tree-trunk eats up two more rounds, a third whipping past Tavo's head. Once more the majority of his rounds hit their target, his rounds slewing across the chest of one Cylon, sparking off the armor at its arm, and then clipping the arm of another before the last two disappear into the wilderness beyond. As one of the Cylons collapses, Tavo shifts in his crouch behind the tree, shifting his fire to envelop the one firing full-auto at the flanking force as well.
As another bullet grazes past her abdomen, Antonie hisses and falls back against the tree that she's been using as cover. "We need to drive them back!" Or something. In the sky, she'd just be using missiles on the damn things. The woman pushes forward from the tree. Likely intent on moving towards the civilians to help them move away from where they're at. Or to ascertain any injuries they may have keeping them in their spot.
Taking aim, Kell's firing posture is pretty solid, evident that he did not forget the training he went through on Libra. With the fundamentals in place, the Viper pilot is rewarded with another well placed bullet that punches through the Centurion's chest plate and into the electrical innards. This shot did particularly critical damage and the Cylon collapses to its knees in jerks and spasms, then falls completely flat and still on the ground. Kell is definitely in the zone right now but so much so that he realized he had actually stood up from where he was, no longer using the rocky outcropping for cover but standing there and taking shots. Chastising himself silently, despite not being fired upon, the young Ensign quickly lowers himself back behind cover before picking out a new target.
Tavo pours the fire in, bullets sparking off Cylon armor while a few of them punch through. At least the Toasters look festive -- and several of them continue to punch through each time, although the Cylon falling this time likely has more to do with the pilot's pinpoint pistol shot. "Keep pouring it on, sir." The choppy 'thok thok' sound of bullets hitting tree-trunk is probably not a great one, especially when they keep whipping by otherwise, this latest near-miss almost creasing up along his right arm before it buzzes past. "But stick to your cover." Although, the pilot already did that, so the Marine merely nods.
Seeing Antonie get hit, Beckham falls back in his response to the woman and hands her his rifle as he drops to the ground. "Cover me!" he barks as he moves to open the pack and start digging around, taking out an autoinjector of painkilled to shove into her thigh through the jumpsuit as he starts to rip away the fabric with a knife to treat the wound beneath.
The last two Cylons continue to fire, but it seems that they are falling back slowly, perhaps on some preconcieved order to report the contact rather than continue the attack. Beckham, as he's wrapping's Antonie's leg -- so sexy, right -- feel the pang of another bullet scraping him and looks to see where the civilians are in comparison to the Cylons. Deciding that the distance is safe, he removes a grenade from his belt to turn around and chuck it with his left arm towards the Cylons.
However, it doesn't explode, instead it starts sending up a thick smoke to make it harder soon for the two Cylons to continue to target, and hopefully give the civilians the chance they need to start to run towards the Raptor.
"Staff Sergeant, are you okay?" Kell quickly calls out the question to Tavo after seing the Marine take a hit to the right arm. The pilot is no medic though, the most he would be able to do is push a piece of cloth over the wound so for the time being, he stays where he is in cover. His previous shot hit again, this one also hitting center mass and inflicting some damage, evident of the smoking hole in the Centurion's chest armor. Switching targets, the Ensign is not gunning for the Cylon that is attacking the Staff Sergeant's position, either trying to draw the toaster's attention or just putting it down quicker.
Each shot had been coming a little closer and little closer to Tavo. And then one of them hits. Two of them actually, but one slips past his SAW and thuds into his left shoulder, drawing a grunt of pain out of him -- one that is echoed when the next round whips into his right arm, a through-and-through between shoulder and elbow. All pain, blood, tingles running down his arm, and greater difficulty holding the weapon on-target. "Gods..." the Marine grumbles, as the sharp pain spreads up and down his arm and the dull ache of the soaked impact spreads through his chest. "I'll live, sir. As long as we drop the toasters." Still, the pain is definitely audible in his words.
A rifle is not really what pilots are trained on. Not outside of the basics. And Antonie isn't really... in the right spot to be using one. Pain-wise. The woman does situate herself as best she can while Beckham works and mostly just provides cover fire. Her shots hit, but not in any way to disable or down the Centurions. She winces as return fire gets through. "Sorry, Sergeant," the woman mumbles through the pain killer. At least the haze isn't too much. As the smoke screen goes up, she's trying to hand him back his gun so she can start getting to her feet, "Let's get these people out of here."
"Just keep firing!" Beckham orders, shoving the rifle against Antonie's chest - and probably for the best, because the woman goes all out on the toaster, it seems as the medic continues to work. That is before a shot through his leg splatters the both of them with blood and he cries out in pain.
Tavo takes another bruising shot to the chest, the bullet careening off a flashlight strapped to his web gear and smashing it. But then the fusillade drops the last two Cylons, and he ceases fire, waiting a long moment to see if he can spot any movement through the smoke, and then hauls himself to his feet with a grunt of pain, "Cover me, sir. I'm going to make sure of them and bring the civvies back." Blood runs down his right arm, and the barrel of the SAW droops, but he starts forward nonetheless.
As the smoke is popped, Kell fires off another round, this time not as accurate as his previous three shots. This one off from center mass but still manages to find its target. Unfortunately, the thigh plate that protects the Centurion does its job as the armor takes the brunt of the impact. However, Tavo cleans up on the mess. Suddenly, just like that, the area is silent of gunfire with the remaining two Cylons dropped. Withdrawing from cover, the Viper pilot jogs forward in a hunched posture towards Tavo, "Staff Sergeant, how bad is the wound?" When the Marine actually chooses to move forward though, Kell doesn't argue. Instead, he uses the cover that Tavo was just using to cover him in case there are more Cylons, "I got you, go."
The last two Cylons disappear in a blast of fire and smoke, one of them completely pulped by the firing of the pilot before the two of them collapse on themselves, allowing the civilians to move away towards the Vanguard contingent to pull out on the Raptor.
...She'll keep firing, then. And apparently successfully, too. With the worst of the pain past, Antonie is able to focus better. However, with Beckham shot, she'll drop the rifle as if it's on fire as soon as the last Centurion is down and grab at the supplies in a rush. With a mind for what's-what, too. She might not be entirely gentle, mind you, but the woman seems to know what she's doing. "Stay still," she yells at the medic before he can go too far to try to tend to him before he tears his wound too much by going to Gustavo. Once satisfied enough, she'll let him go and wave Kell to try rounding up the civilians. Might be up to him to corral the lot of them to the Raptor while the other three limp back.
"I have someone to treat!" Not that Beckham is moving terribly fast as he relents and allows Nie to tend to him, but he's working on Gustavo's arm quickly before he nods to the gunner. "It'll be fine. Go do what you have to, Sergeant." he offers as he moves try to brace himself. How did the medic end up the most wounded? Again.
"It hurts like hell, sir." And then Tavo is going forward. He advances with the SAW's barrel lowered slightly, ducking into the smoke, "Colonial Forces incoming." Just in case Beckham or Antonie has decided to advance as well or the civilians start to freak out. The Captain yelling for the other Marine to stay still causes Tavo to frown, but he continues forward. Approaching the first Cylon, he is finally forced to let his SAW hang down on its sling, his fingertips starting to tingle a little unpleasantly. And Beckham is there, tending to his right arm. So he draws out his pistol awkwardly with his left hand and punches a pair of bullets into the Cylon's chest at close range, calling out to the civvies. "Let's go, people. We've got a Raptor waiting, move back toward the pilot covering me."
Once Tavo is a good few paces ahead, Kell moves out of his own cover and proceeds after the Marine for a few steps to get a better angle and shot. His sidearm is currently trained on the Centurions that are down and immobile, giving them dubious looks. When the Staff Sergeant calls out to the civilians, the Ensign raises his left hand and gives them a wave, as if to gesture, 'Over here!' He does glance briefly over to Antonie, "Squeak, if you want, I can fly us back on the Raptor so you can stay with our Marines and look over the civies?"