The troops go to the firing range to earn their marksmanship badges.
Location: Firing Range
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 777
The new marine sergeant has wasted no time getting to work, his Colonial Forces fatigues still looking like they just came off the quartermater shelves. The man himself though has a crisp confidence about him. "All right ladies and gentlemen," his voice booms over the soldiers assembled for the first round of qualification trials. "They tell me this is supposed to be the special operations unit. I'm expecting to be frakking dazzled here this evening." He picks up his clipboard. "Captain Thorne. Step right up, sir." There's a row of weapons on a table near the firing line for those who didn't bring their own service weapons.
Eva, standing in a small pocket of air wing that have come down to Marine Country, steps out as she's called. She's worn her duty greens for comfort, and she has brought her service pistol. Apparently, that's what she's chosen to qualify on tonight. Only seem fair, considering that it's the weapon she'd be called on to use most often. Start at the bottom, work your way up, right? "Thanks, Gunny." She moves to the line, presenting her weapon for inspection, before she gives it a final once, over, loads, and steps up to the firing line.
Mercer is wearing his hearing protection, standing just a bit behind the line to observe without getting in the way. When Eva has finished firing, he calls for the targets to be pulled back so he can tally the marks, jotting down the results. "140. Not bad for a pilot, sir. Gives my marines a challenge." He casts a stern look down the line at the marines.
Cate slips in, a little late. She spies Miko out in the crowd and wanders up next to him. "Hey. You gone yet?"
Eva laughs, as she clears the action on her pistol, and unloads, securing the weapon, before she steps away, glancing over at Mercer, "Not much of a challenge, Gunny. You've got a hell of a platoon of Marines." A nod, to the rest of the pilots, and to the gathered Marines, before she clears out. Bit crowded in the range.
Lyn stands among those waiting to test. She has marked herself down for the rifle assessment, unsure if they'll let her do the sniper one as well. She gives Mercer a serious once over, trying to gauge how hard the new Gunny is going to be on them. She's ok with hard, it makes it easier to piss them off and not get promoted to paperwork levels. She's in her tans, and when called up she dons the ear and eye protectors, checks the rifle over, including checking and reinserting the magazine, then steps up to the line. She levels the weapon downrange, and starts her trial.
Somewhere near the back, Charlie sits and waits her turn. With her weapon. Her weapon. As in her sniper rifle. She's got the kit out and she's slowly piecing it together carefully. Mostly because she's still pretty thoroughly bandaged up; a lot of it visible because she's just in BDUs and dual-tanks at the moment.
Standing with the others that are waiting for their turn at the Marksmanship qualifications, Kell is also a non-marine that is planning on testing his skills at the firing range. He had two weapons in mind and in the end, he will be going for the qualifications for his current sidearm. When Eva receives her qualifications, he nods his head at her, a congratulatory motion before watching the next person step up to qualify.
"165," Mercer announces with a brisk nod after bringing the targets back to tally the points. "Not bad, not bad at all." 160 is the minimum score for expert. "Got a new record for today, ladies and gentlemen. Let's see who can break it."
Lyn clears the weapon and sets it down, removes the protections from eyes and ears, and nods to the Gunny. "Sir," she says, and grins a little on her way back to watch the others take their turns. She still has it after all this time.
Abigail sits quietly, having found a comfortable perch early in the gathering of crew. She's waiting for her turn a well, but seems content to wait as needs be, more interested in cheering her fellow marines than just waiting for her name to be called on the line.
When the next person, the Marine that was telling him to stop rehearsing in concert with Isolde, makes the Expert Marksman Qualifications, Kell also gives her a nod of respect. Then when his rank and name is called, the Viper pilot picks the assigned lane that is being used for the test. Once there, he puts on the eye protector, then slips on the ear protector as well before unholstering his sidearm, a standard issued Colonial Forces pistol. After a quick inspection, he re-inserts the loaded magazine and looks over to Gunnery Sergeant, "Ready." Then he takes the appropriate stance and levels his weapon down range, beginning his trial.
Normally Miko lets the entire room know when he's arrived, being the center of attention something he feeds off of. Today, however, seems to be a different matter. He's hugging the wall like a flower more apt to grow clinging to the bulkhead than in the spotlight, his head bowed and watching the proceedings from just the tops of his eyes. He chews the corner of his mouth as the others step up and qualify for there particular badges, fingernails scratching at a bit of old tattoo or another on his arm while he waits.
Mercer stands with almost a parade rest stiffness even as he's watching the soldiers come up and take their turn. Once Kell is done, he calls the targets back and tallies them quickly. "135. Respectable for a flier, sir."
The mandatory training that all Librans have gone through to become reservists seems to have stayed with Kell as all of his shots find the target, not all may clustered tightly together center mass but it allows the pilot to clear the Basic Marksmanship Qualification without issue. Once his rounds are spent and his trial is completed, Razor releases his breath slowly and lowers his weapon, immediately flicking the safety back on for his sidearm before holstering it. At Mercer's judgement, Kell steps away from the lane, "Thank you Gunnery Sergeant, I'm glad to still be able to perform my duties back home as a reservist on the ground if needed." With that said, he will step away and instead of leaving, will linger around to watch the others complete their qualifications.
Lyn gives Kell a thumbs up for his performance, trying to keep the kid's spirits up.
Mikolas slides a look aside to Cate when she sidles up into his attempting to blend in with the scenery. "No one is shouting at me that I need to go back to basic, so...not yet."
Once her name is called, Charlie pushes to her feet. That doesn't take much work; her legs are fine! But her arms are fairly thoroughly bandaged and one can see hints of bandaging on her torso under those tanks. The sniper rifle is balanced at her shoulder as she waits for the pilot to finish out his turn. There's no judgement on her; he did well enough for a pilot. But she'll move up to the mark for sniper rifles once the targets are back in place to settle in to take her shots.
Cate smirks at Mikolas' response. "C'mon, you can't be that bad. Unless you bribed your way through the marksmanship quals in basic." She arches an eyebrow at him. Apparently that's not outside the realm of possibility in her mind.
Abigail watches Charlie move to the line with great interest. The other woman has been the sniper of choice on most of the missions Abigail has been on, so she has a bit of a horse in this race. Gotta root for the squad you're on, right? She doesn't move from where she's sitting though, right hand working at the muscles of her left, the left still showing more than a fair bit of damage from the last mission she was on.
Mercer's brows come together when he sees the bandaging on her torso. He looks at her askance. "Wagner. I'm not gonna get any sickbay docs up my ass for you busting stitches, now am I?" But yet he doesn't tell her not to do it. There's a mild challenge in the tone.
There is a grimace from Mikolas at Cate's suggestion, "See, there was this girl..." Which is how most of his stories start, but he cracks the barest of grins, "Nah, just haven't been to the range much since ...what year is it?"
"It's been a few days, sir," Charlie replies, curtly. Like hell she's gonna miss out on a chance at a proper sniper qual! Sure, she has her Picon ones, but this is a chance for another set. The woman closes her eyes briefly to tune out everyone else before opening them to focus on her targets. The rifle is quieter than the others, but that's to be expected of one meant for taking things out at a distance, right? And damn if she doesn't show why she's chosen for what she is on those missions. It does take her a bit of time to get up from that position and if someone looks close, they may see some bleed-through at her abdomen, but she's trying to downplay that. She's got a damn fine score to celebrate.
Lyn lets out a loud whooping cheer for Charlie. She and her recon sisters are making a strong showing.
Cate rubs her forehead, simultaneously smirking and wincing. "Why do I get the feeling that 'there was this girl-slash-boy is like the story of your life?" She nudges him, and challenges, "C'mon, you're not going to let a bunch of pilots and a doctor show you up, are you?" Nevermind that she's not really a doctor any more. "Hot damn, Wagner," she cheers from the back.
Mercer tallies the scores. "Hoo-rah. Now that's what I'm talking about. 195."
Abigail's cheer for the Marine sniper is loud and long, but as she sees Mercer looks her way, and hears her name called, she slides down from the edge she was perching on, heading over to the line, settling for the basic rifle qualification. She's a combat engineer and happy to be so. Save the real weapons for the real marines, right? Once she's given the all clear, she lifts the weapon, moving a bit gingerly with her arm, and takes her time finding her sights, before she makes the attempt.
"You know how I'm good at everything I do?" Miko asks Cate, scratching at his tattoo again, even though it's several years healed. Maybe tickling the pinup girl on his bicep is for good luck. "It's because I only do what I'm good at."
Giving Lyn and appreciative, thin smile for her gesture, Kell is now at the side where most of the others are watching and waiting their turn for the qualifications. The person that went after him, Charlie, certainly shows everyone the difference between a talented and well trained marksman and a trained reservist. Even the young Ensign can't help but clap his hands in applause for a brief moment in apprecation and perhaps even some awe of the skill that was on display.
Holding her arm against her side, Charlie does flash a grin for the others. It certainly helps her feel better for the poor showing at the competition a couple months back. That, that was all down to a piss-poor rifle. She moves back to her rifle case, sitting with her back to the wall. She's breathing a bit heavily, but starts breaking down her rifle to return it to its home. "Thanks guys."
Cate snickers at Mikolas. "Well, just don't frak up too badly. Somehow I don't think that's gonna go over too well with this new guy." And speaking of new guys, she glances over at Kell when she notices him. Lowering her voice to Miko, she says, "Isn't that the friendly fire pilot guy? Poor bastard," she mumbles.
"Better him than me." Miko mutters back to Cate, raising his hands to clap belatedly along with the other cheers and congratulations of the new high score.
Abigail, working as she is with one bad wing, and with quite a bit less 'in the trenches' ground experience than the other marines gathered around, doesn't seem at all displeased with her scores. 135. Basic. Good enough, this go around, for government work. She secures her weapon, still favouring her off-right hand, before she moves off the line to find her old perch and watch the rest of the competition.
"Nice job, Charlie," Lyn murmurs to the sniper in passing, as she watches Abigail's round through narrowed eyes. She applauds politely for the demo expert.
Mercer pulls the target back and counts up Abigail's points. "1-3-5." He presses his lips together. No praise for that one, but no critique either. He looks at the next name on the list. "Rhodes." That triggers a memory and he glances over at the wall and the top shot plaque. "Wagner set the bar high, Corporal. Don't disappoint."
Cate does not exactly look thrilled as she pushes herself off the wall by Mikolas when her name is called. "Wish me luck," she mumbles, before moving up to the firing line. She dons the safety glasses and ear protection and takes aim with her SMG - her new favorite weapon ever since the climbing mission.
"Now if we were blowing shit up, she'd do better than us all," Charlie offers absently as she finishes packing her weapon away." The woman waits until everyone else is watching Cate before peeling back her tanks a bit. Oh look, she did pull some stitches in her abdomen. Quite a few. Oops. She doesn't peel back the bandages, but just sort of... pats down her tanks and leans back with her eyes closed. Ow.
Mercer pulls the targets back once Cate's finished, and he frowns. "There some other 'Corporal Rhodes' on this ship?" he wonders aloud, eyeing the one shot that didn't even hit the bullseye ring. Clearly not what he expected from the name on the plaque.
"Just me, Gunnery Sergeant. No accounting for luck." Cate says, safe-ing the weapon and putting the stuff away with a helpless shrug.
"I don't believe in luck," Mercer says flatly, still frowning. "Kovac," he calls the next name.
Miko says some word of encouragement after Cate, but not overly loud that it'll follow her to the line. When Mercer says he's on Deck, there is a slight blanch to the medic's skin that he covers up with the biggest shit eating grin and swagger he can muster. He busies himself with getting kitted up in safety gear, "I make orange safety glasses look goooood." He comments, before moving up to take his test.
Lyn moves to pat Cate on the shoulder. "Your hands are the healing sort, not the hurting sort, that's all," she murmurs with a small grin.
Unfortunately, orange safety goggles are the /only/ thing Miko is making 'look good' at the moment. There is actually a little nervous wobble to his hands as he aims his weapon down range and squeezes off the requisite rounds. It's like he's forgotten to breath through the entire ordeal and as the ringing of the expended rounds dies off, he looks as if he might lose his cookies right there on the line.
Cate cheers on her fellow medic when he passes her on his way up to the line, "Come on, Kovac." But then seeing his results - it's like watching a train wreck. She actually facepalms.
Mercer pulls the target back. He doesn't even count the marks before he starts glowering. "What the shit is this shit?" He doesn't raise his voice, but it drips with disapproval. "That is a marine uniform you're wearing, is it not?"
Abigail, thankfully, is not Mercer, and so she can cheer for and congratulate everyone, as they come down the line. A qual is a qual, and there's always room to improve, and she turns her attention to Mikolas. Nice to see the medics represent. Well, poorly. But he does actually make the safety glasses look good. Accentuate the positive, people! Accentuate. The. Positive.
Lyn winces on Mikolas' behalf, her lips puckering up like she just ate a lemon. "That's gonna sting," she mumbles.
Miko must have some sort of practice at getting dressed down, because he calmly secures his firearm and then stands at sharp attention in front of Mercer. "Sir, yes, sir." Eyes are locked not the Gunny, though look through the man as they were taught.
Mercer may be a couple inches shorter than Mikolas, but he draws himself up straight enough that he's looming in spirit. "Give me that," he says, holding out his hand for Miko's firearm. "And don't call me 'sir', I work for a living." He waves Mikolas out of the way and then does his own impromptu qualification on the line using Miko's gun.
Mikolas does as he's instructed, relinquishing the firearm to Mercer before getting the hell out of the way. He's not about to want a front row seat to his own funeral. Back to the wall he goes.
Mercer frowns, his scores just shy of expert himself. He expected better. He safeties it and hefts it up for Mikolas to take - only to realize that the medic has wandered off. No such luck escaping though. Crewmen part like the sea as the angry sergeant stalks over to Mikolas to hand him the weapon. "I want this weapon field stripped, cleaned, and re-zeroed. And you're going to re-qual next week, and I want those scores up or you'll be doing remedial drills till you can shoot straighter than my blind grandmama. You get me, Sergeant?"
Seeing Mercer grab Miko's weapon, Abigail leans a bit, to catch sight of the new platoon lead in action. Aren't they all feeling each other out? And don't they all want to see their new leader is going to do. A blink, as she watches him hit the targets. Probably not fully concentrating. A wince, as he stalks Mikolas. This is bound to end poorly.
Charlie is not watching the new Gunny tear Miko a new one. She's too busy just sort of being slumped over catching her breath. Chances are she's calculating how likely she is to get away with just changing out her own bandages.
Not likely, Charlie. Cate is still wincing as Miko gets reamed, but out of the corner of her eye she can't help but notice Charlie hunched over like that. She wanders over. "Hey, you okay?"
Don't puke on Mercer's shoes. Don't puke on Mercer's shoes. "Like a bad case of the herpes, Gunny." There. Bravado fixes everything. Miko pulls his chin up higher as he takes the weapon from Mercer, and with a few jerking movements, expels the clip and clears the chamber. Then he waits to be dismissed to do as he was told.
Rothschild has been here the whole time (really, guys). But the one thing she shies from since Trenoir is being front and center, so she loiters near the wall, waiting until someone dares to notice that she's there. Perhaps a bit odd for the Praetorian, but there's also plenty of rumblings that she's also been avoiding stepping off the Vanguard. Period. There's reporters out there. She tilts her head slightly as she watches Mikolas and Mercer, and she grimaces when he brings up herpes. She shakes her head ruefully. "Oh boy," she says under her breath.
"Like a bad..." Mercer starts to echo Mikolas with a disbelieving shake of his head. "Zeus wept," he mumbles, in a 'what have they sent me' sort of way. But there are still soldiers waiting for their turn to go - many a bit more nervous now that they've seen poor Miko's plight. Mercer stalks away from Mikolas (probably as much of a dismissal as the medic's going to get) and picks his clipboard back up. "Rothschild," he calls.
With the Mikolas and Mercer show seeming to die down, thank the gods, Abigail turns back to people watching ans sideline cheerleading, attention shifting to the Leonese Staff Sergeant as her name is called. A hand sets down her rifle, returning to cradling her left arm, in lieu of a sling, as she waits to see the woman take her turn on the line.
Miko gives one glance off to where Cate wondered off before he lugs his new ball and chain off to get a cleaning kit to an empty lane to continue breaking down the weapon. Likely he'll be there a while.
Frak. The Leonese noblewoman grimaces slightly, but she really can't avoid it. Also doesn't help that some people in the back are looking at her meaningfully. Rothschild pushes off the wall, and starts to saunter up toward the front. "Sir." She nods her head to Mercer before she selects one of the SAWs available for qualifications. Stick to what you know. She hefts up the weapon, slings it, and then tucks it into her strong shoulder. There's something almost ritual about how she settles into the weapon and moves to take her place on the range.
"1-9-5," Mercer reads out after pulling the targets back and tallying the scores. "Outstanding." He doesn't sound exactly thrilled, still irritated from before, but the performance does seem to have appeased him.
Lyn whoops, "Way to go Praety!"
Rothschild sticks to burst fire, triggering off multiple shots at her target. She doesn't really surprise herself, but she certainly squints suspiciously when the score is read. Perhaps some doubt there, but she doesn't linger long enough for Mercer to analyze it -- if he would even notice. She smiles to the sound of her name being whooped, and she raises her hand toward Lyn before she unslings and then sets the weapon back with its peers. "Thank you, Gunny." She then starts to head back toward the wall.
Looking up at Cate, Charlie kind of winces and tries to smile like all is well. "Uhm." If she stands, the ruse will be revealed for what it is anyway. So she sort of gives up. Instead, she unfurls slightly. The bleed-through is obvious on the tanks. "I think I pulled some stitches." Around where she'd been shot in the abdomen.
Tavo still has a pressure-bandage on the right side of his head, although it's somewhat masked by his hard-case ear protection and yellow-tinted shooting glasses. He watches the Praetorian's shooting, then steps up when his name is called, offering up a clasp of hands to Rothschild as she steps away from the firing line. He too heads for the SAW, winding the sling around his shoulder into an active firing position, changes magazines, slapping the new one home with one extra check to make sure that it's seated, and then brings the butt of the weapon up, his left hand holding it under the downward-pointing barrel, "Ready Gunny."
Cate eyes Charlie's abdomen with a concerned frown. "C'mon - I'll get you patched up if you like. Don't need the Gunny giving you shit too." Since he was on such a tear with Mikolas.
Another expert has Mercer nodding approvingly. "Another 1-9-5. It's reassuring that at least some of my marines can shoot." He casts a side-eye glare down the lane where Mikolas is stripping his weapon.
Lyn cheers for Tavo as well. The Marines made a good showing. Hooray for the family!
When he's given the go-ahead, Tavo lifts the weapon up to ready, cutting loose with smooth, steady, short bursts. The first trio tear out the general center of the target, the second trio is a little short of that mark, and the last trio starts out a little awkward, but works its way inward, the last rounds disappearing into the previously-shot hole. He safes the weapon, lowering the barrel again, and watches the targets come back. As they return, he strips out the magazine and sets it alongside the other partially-used ones. "That's because some of us were soldiers, Gunny." He flashes a good-natured grin, then sets down the big weapon and steps back for the next marine.
Abigail rises from her spot. She doesn't really need to be dismissed, of course, but she waits until everyone who looks to be wanting to go, actually has gone, before she'll follow the masses out into the rest of the ship, turning to go, though, in the direction opposite where most of them seem to be heading.
There's a bit of a grunt from Charlie, but she offers up a hand towards Cate for help upright, the other grabbing at her rifle case once she is on her feet. "I think my score should keep him happy for now."
Mercer gives a little harrumpf at Tavo's soldier remark. A few other soldiers from the peanut gallery go, then he glances at his clipboard. "All right, think that's all from this group, unless someone's name wasn't on my list?" He looks around to make sure everyone had a chance. Seeing that everyone has, he says, "That'll be all then." He starts to get ready for the next group.
Tavo raises a hand to acknowledge the cheers from the peanut gallery as well, then moves back into the group to offer a few hand-clasps and forearm-bumps for those who shot well.
"Probably," Cate agrees, offering Charlie a hand up. "Nice shooting, by the way. Here - let me get that," she says, bending down to grab the rifle case for the sniper.
Rothschild joins in the congratulations for Tavo, and she starts to chuckle slightly at the remark. She steps up toward the gathering of those still loitering. "Alright. Now, we drink?"
"Thanks," Charlie offers at the praise, but tries to retain the case. Sort of. "I can-" but Cate has it and she does look grateful. "Thanks. I was just going to swing by the armory and check it back in. There's a sort of half smile. "Maybe I should've waited, but... I want that qual now, y'know?"
"And now we drink." Tavo is speaking a little louder than even the hardshell ear protection would necessitate, "I'm going to have to go down to the surface at some point," he doesn't sound happy about that, "to refresh my stash."
Cate picks up the rifle case. "Sure, we'll get this stashed and then get you fixed up." She grins. "You just wanted to show off and make the rest of us look bad," she teases. "Well except the machinegunners I guess." She offers an upnod over to Tavo and Roths on their way out.
"Well, I mean, when you're firing something that blankets a square mile in rounds... I'd hope you can kill shit," Charlie offers in a quiet aside to Cate. There's a sort of wink for the medic. "Their skill is in being able to sort of aim and carry the damn thing." She has to lean on the other woman a bit as they make their own way out so she can get those stitches fixed. At least before Evan sees. Because even if Gunny doesn't frown, the Scorpian totally would.
"That's what snipers and gunners do, Doc. We make everyone else look bad. Docs accepted. We like to stay on your good side, because we tend to draw fire." Now that the firing has died down, Tavo pulls off his hard-sided ear muffs, revealing soft earplugs underneath. These are pulled out in turn, although he leaves the 'stylish' yellow firing glasses on. "It's easy to put the first round in a good place," he responds to Charlie, "It's harder to put the third. Or the thirty-third."
"Well, good job regardless," Cate offers to the pair of them. "I'm just happy I did better than Kovac."
"Come over here, get on your knees, and say that directly into my microphone, Rhodes." Miko says from his station of stripping down his weapon and giving it a good thorough cleaning. No doubt he's going to be here for a good deal of time, running through the drills until he smells of gunpowder, oil, and self-loathing.
"Everybody did better than Kovac, from what I saw at the back." And then he's off, offering up a wave as he heads out. Miko, for his part, gets a nod, "Incentive for next time."
"Hey, you got top shot in that one contest," Charlie reminds Cate. There's a glance past the medic towards Mikolas and the Piconese woman laughs... which hurts. A lot. She leans over, arm to her side. She makes a sound that... isn't very good, all told. She probably should've waited for the next round of qualifications, really. "Alright. Let's go get these fixed up."
"In your dreams, Miko," Cate snarks back good-naturedly. "But I'll be happy to give you some shooting pointers sometime." She's just having too much fun. She turns to follow Charlie.