A team of Marines recon Cape Shediac. A detour nets them their secondary mission objective.
Location: Cape Shediac, Picon
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Cat and Mouse
Scene Number: 791
The frak-all-o'clock morning seas outside Cape Shediac are choppy, a storm front having moved through last night. But the merry crew motors their way toward the dark shore in their zodiac-style boat. GPS in this area is spotty thanks to the Cylons having taken out several of the sats in the network, but at least their compasses still work. So far so good - no sign of Cylons since the Raptor dropped them off in the middle of the ocean an hour earlier.
Sing it with me..
Row row row your boat,
Deep into Cylon territory,
Merrily Merrily Merrily,
We're All Gonna Die.
Settled into the dingy with one of the steering oars, Jonas is in blackout mode, black camouflage, grease paint on his face, which also serves as great anti-bug coverage as he has the small power lights of his radio dimmed and only on occasion so that it's more of a firefly signature when looked at instead a fully turned on light. However, he's still chewing his gum, a small pouch on the side of his jaw as he chaws on it occasionally as he waits for landfall to be made.
Erin's typically uncomfortable and sick in the choppy waters. Raptors suck, but zodiacs are worse. She looks positively green -- or she would, if there were light out to see.
That said, she's dressed for the night. She wears a recon hood with black fatigues. Her eyes are ringed with black greasepaint, giving her a distinct appearance on pale skin. Carbine held tight against her, strapped about one shoulder. She carries only the light gear, her pack filled with only the necessities for this mission: hook; rope; canteen; pick; and simple explosives and flares. That's it, along with a few reloads.
Once landfall is made, she hops out nimbly to get to cover and dry, frakkin' land. Thank the maker.
Abigail, for her part, looks more at home, as she sits against the side of the zodiac than she has at almost any point in her time since coming to the Vanguard. It's not just that she's of this place, this colony, it's more, simply, that she was born and raised on the water, she spent most of her career on the water. And mostly, she's quiet, eyes looking out towards the approach to Cape Shediac, the fingers of her left hand running along the tattoo on the inside of her right arm. Lost, at least for the few minutes more that she can be lost, in her own thoughts.
Usually Chance doesn't leave home without his LMG, but given that this is a stealth op and that they are not interested in being noticed, so he's only packing a standard issue rifle with his black ops garb. He seems to be fine with the waters and the boat. He's been here and done this before...just not for years. In the mean time, during the trip, he's methodically cycling through checking his rifle and side arm, making sure his knives are secured, that sort of thing.
The boat comes up on shore with no fanfare, the driver ready to put it back out to sea as soon as his charges are deposited on shore. The plan is for them to recon across the Cape in a semi-circle and link back up with the boat this evening further up the coast. Jonas can signal for an early pickup if they run into trouble, but here behind enemy lines there are no guarantees that a Raptor is going to be able to get through. In short: don't get caught.
Once on land, Jonas moves so that Erin can get by. "Don't wander too far." he warns her quietly, a hint of humor there before the Marine radioman checks his own gear, drawing his SMG into position before holding out a hand to help Abigail out of the zodiac and onto land.
As soon as they get near to landfall, Abigail snaps out of whatever trance she seemed to have been in, looking back into the boat, studying each of the members of the landing party, as it were, before she rises. The pilot barely needs to stop the boat, before she hops out, with a nod to Jonas, and a grasp of his hand. She needs the assist with the amount of gear she's carrying. The pilot she offers a murmured word of thanks, before she gestures the team up towards the beach proper and what little cover it offers. Speech she's going to try to keep to a minimum, at least until they're clear of the boat and the edge of the shore.
For a second, Chilly turns her face away from the rest of the group. And then, she vomits onto the ground. Ptooie. Indelicate, sure, but she-of-the-queasy-tummy apparently doesn't have much of a choice. Can't exactly proceed further until settled.
Now that the unpleasantness is gone, the recon Marine moves ahead a few more paces -- but doesn't "wander too far" by any stretch. She finds a new place to conceal herself, and checks around the beach with her scoped carbine, looking for signs of patrols or other surveillance. It'd be an awful short mission if they get caught now.
Chance is going to leave the recon to the specialists. When they make land, he lets those who need to get off do their thing. He hops out of the boat and brings his SMG into a ready position, barrel pointed at the ground. He eyes Chilly as she pukes, then looks back to the others, waiting.
After making sure the beach is clear, the team gets underway. They have a couple hours before the sun comes up fully, but already streaks of light are beginning to streak the sky. It's forest here, the beautiful old-growth trees that this part of Picon is known for. They move through it, keeping a watchful eye out.
Abigail keeps her voice low, as the team moves out, "Hayes, keep a fifty foot lead. The rest of you, spread formation, at least ten feet between you and the next person in the team." So at least they won't be tripping over each other as they start to move out. Abigail, for her part, has the rifle she usually carries, and she keeps that at a low ready. Off they go.
With Erin out in front on recon, Jonas takes his place behind the group as the radioman, the occasional chewing of his gum the only noise as he pulls his low light goggles into place to scan the area ahead. He moves with the group, watching Abigail on occasion for orders as he keeps his SMG pointed towards the ground, his fingers well off the trigger as he checks the nearby area, a quiet chirp of the radio in his ear from time to time his only company.
The dark camo gear is going to mean very little once the sun's up. Plus, frakkin' hot. Erin looks behind for a moment to the remainder of the group, before muttering into her com: "Orders?" She sets her carbine's stock against her shoulder, runs her fingers along it, and scans ahead with her scope for potential trouble.
As the team moves, Abigail keeps a weather eye on the horizon, or at least what she can see of the terrain, but she slows, as she catches sight, "Hayes, east, through the trees, something metal glinting, too far to see what it is exactly. See if you can approach; see what you can see. We'll follow your lead."
Chance takes one of the rearmost positions of the spread formation. He'll let the stealthy types stay up front and he generally prefers rear guard. He moves with purposeful steps, gaze focused on the terrain around them. And then there's recon word coming back of something moving. Chance moves keeps himself at the ready and alert.
"Roger." And so, Erin slinks on forward, low to the ground with her carbine trained at the approximate area of the target -- the metal. No hesitation at all, even if that metal might be, oh, let's say a Centurion. Silly scouts: so expendable.
As Erin moves forward to investigate, she crests a little rise and can see a Cylon surface-to-air missile battery. Some Cylons are just chilling out at it, seemingly motionless. Since Cylons don't need to sleep, one might guess they're on some kind of low-power mode, waiting for contact.
Jonas waits quietly, his radio powered low to keep it from squawking unless an emergency as he holds position, taking a knee as he waits for Erin to report back.
Erin sends back the sighting, tersely: "Four toasters. SAM battery. Non-objective. May want to mark." In case Raptors do need to be called in. The term "non-objective" is emphasized. "Orders?"
"Hayes, mark the target, Ingvar, assist as needed. We'll wait for your rendezvous before we continue on, Hayes." Abigail is not moving any closer than she needs to, nor risking more of the team than is strictly necessary. "Every position we can find will be valuable intel."
And so, Erin does as ordered. She lifts her sight up, checks on her own devices, and calls back the coordinates of the SAM battery for marking. Then, she backs up, turns, and returns back to the party's sight. Cool as a cucumber; ready to move on to the next position, as ordered.
Taking out the small laminated map from his pouch, Jonas waits for Erin to come over as he takes out a grease pencil to mark the position on the map with the number of missiles and Centurions before Abigail gives the order to move out again.
Ok, so they aren't going to attack. No worries. Chance's trigger finger is only mildly itchy, but he's not interested in a SAM battery right now. So Chance just keeps up his guard position and waits for his next set of orders.
Abigail, once Erin gives the coordinates, and Jonas takes care of starting the tally, motions for the group to continue on. "Daly, if you see anything that might be useful offensively, make a note." That's the other reason they brought the gunner. When fighting a guerrilla war, bring in a guerrilla. "Reynolds, anything you can offer, we'd be grateful."
As per her modus operandi, Erin carries forward along the pre-set path around the cape. That semi-circle. Low, slow, and alert, and keeping her eyes open for, oh, other points of interests. Like SAM sites. And garbage bins.
Jonas isn't the quietest radioman in the world, but give him credit for the effort as he moves along the forested floor, the small crush of sticks and leaves underfoot as he moves along the floor, SMG held towards a loose ready as he watches the forward path.
Abigail did order them to keep a ten foot space between each other, so she's not heading over in Jonas' direction any time soon. But not to worry. A hand reaches in to one of the many pouches on her vest, pulling out one of his pouches of gum, and digging some out for herself. #sorrynotsorry. Clearly, Hayes has been rubbing off on her.
Reynolds nods to Abigail's instruction, but he doesn't seem to have anything useful to offer about the Cylons in his backyard. He does pipe up here and there as the group moves off across the countryside, suggesting ways to go. But for the most part he's quiet, tense but competent.
Time passes as they continue their mission, and it's becoming apparent that the Cylons have a pretty good hold on this area. They have to evade a few patrols, mark a few more SAM batteries, and even see a group of armored vehicles moving down a back country road - going where, they can't see. But they mark it all for the intel boys and girls.
"Daly, thoughts? See anything worth further investigation?" With the mission, well, mostly halfway over, might as well start thinking about possible other avenues to investigate. They've been lucky so far. It might hold out. "I'm curious about where those trucks were going." Abigail's expression is a perfect mask, calm and efficient, betraying none of what else she might be feeling or thinking.
Chance keeps his eyes open for ways to use the terrain to their advantage, nodding to Abigail, "I'm on it." he replies. He's able to not step on any branches or make load noises, but he's not exactly rolling like a ninja out here. "Still checking out for ambush points. So far I'm not seeing much."
Casting a glance towards Abigail, Jonas opines quietly. "Or where they came from." he points out gently. After all, they didn't get that information either.
As Chance starts to venture forth, Erin stops her trailblazing, and turns to look back over her shoulder. "Could track for you." About the convoy, or, possible, about going for a hunt for the convoy's source. She does not move from her position of concealment, though. Never a good idea.
"No. Not yet. Let's complete the mission. That's the main objective. Once we've got what Ryan needs, we can see if we have time to do a bit more scouting, pick up the trail, if we can, and we have the time." There's something...not quite fully realized in her voice, but for the most part, Abby is, or seems to be, determined to stick on mission. For the time being.
There's a small frown as Jonas glances to where the trucks were heading, before he looks to Abigail. "Gut says to follow the trucks?" he asks quietly. "Could be a base." he says finally. "And that would fit within the mission parameters." Technically. By the skin of the teeth it does. "Up to you, Sergeant. But.." he leaves it hanging. He knows what this means to her.
Right. Erin remains in place because Jonas makes a good point. She looks between the two. Waiting for the call.
Abigail will never be one of those NCOs who isn't willing to listen to the other people on her team. Especially the ones who have more on the ground experience than she does. Give her an expanse of ocean, that's one thing, but this thing. This is a new thing, and not a good thing. Finally, a nod, "Hayes, belay that order. Go after them. Don't range too far." She has to pick a single direction. Forward will have to do.
Sure. Let the trash panda out first. Going after an APC isn't particularly easy, given that it's probably faster than her. Still, Erin moves as quickly as possible while moving from concealment to concealment, her carbine up to allow her to see further than naked eyes could, and ahead of her to spot potential problems.
Since the Cylons were created to take over manual labor from the humans, it is pretty ironic that the Cylons are now using the humans in the same fashion. Materials are finite, after all, and they've got Centurions to build. Humans are cheap labor, especially when you hardly feed them and don't particularly care if some die off from malnutrition, illness or injury. More where those came from.
And so it is that a group of four humans have been conscripted from the prison camp to help move supplies. There's a bracelet affixed to their ankles, which they know from others' bitter experience is tied to some kind of proximity sensor to ensure they don't wander off. Sort of a house arrest type system. The truck that brought them (and the supplies) is parked on a dirt road that shoots off the main one. They're delivering boxes to a SAM battery.
The APCs are driving fast enough that there's no way the humans can keep up with them. But they can follow the road. Occasionally there are smaller road offshoots, but none that show any sign of recent use. Erin follows her gut, leading the others along a path that parallels the road. But then she comes to a dirt road offshoot that looks like it has fresh tire tracks
"Vehicle turned off main road onto dirt road. Fork up ahead. Head west." Erin reports, and then follows her snout. Down along the newly-pressed tracks. Staying low. Eyes open.
Abigail continues following Erin's trail. She's not nearly as nimble as some in the group, but, so far, she's been able to hold her own. For now, though, she's more concerned with the scout dangling her foot over the edge to see how far the drop is, than anything else. "Copy that, Hayes, we're behind you."
Follow follow follow, follow the yellow dirt road.
Walking with the main body, Jonas steals a glance over to Abigail and gives her a quick and encouraging smile, even though he finds the lack of any noise on the comms, because of the jamming, more than a little unsettling. He's spent most of his life with some type of white noise, and the sounds of the great Picon outdoors are not quite the same as he notes Erin's instructions to divert from the main path.
Comms are flakey here, so they're lucky that their frequency isn't being jammed by the Cylons at this precise moment. It's been touch and go. As Erin continues forward, through the trees she can see the SAM battery, and the truck, and... humans! Three Cylons are visible - two Centurions at the SAM battery and a worker-model Cylon watching the humans offload boxes from the truck. The humans look rough - dirty, gaunt, depressed. It's also a reasonable guess that there might be at least two more Cylons off in the vicinity somewhere, as SAM batteries often have four crew.
Chance follows along with the rest of the group, able at least to keep himself from being loud. It's hard when you are that big to be totally silent. He keeps his position still towards the rear of the group.
Or at least, that's what Addison's count was. There were a few black outs in that mix as well from passing out or more common getting knocked out. This morning had started like all the rest. Gruel for breakfast and the exciting morning exercise routine; which was really what he tried to playfully call it. In reality it was just the death march to move the previous night's corpses to the mass grave. The Cylon's had stopped even using vehicles for that, instead pushing the slave laborer's into that role. After the morning hike, it was assignments time. The jobs off site were usually the ones where returning was less optional. Or at least returning with all body parts. Fixing machinery or hauling explosives without proper equipment led to explosions and maiming, or death. But today... for some reason today, Addison had stepped forward to take that gig. To haul the boxes.
The scout finds herself a place to gain a good vantage point, and then murmurs back through the radio. She looks to the APC. And then, she looks at the odds. "Spotting two Centurions, a Cylon. Probably a couple of others." Beat. "Work detail here. Taking boxes from the transport to supply a SAM site." Pause. "Might be some explosives to set off."
"Hayes, remain in position, we'll move up to join you." She turns, signaling to the group to close the distance, but to keep low. All they need, is to ruin all of the hard work that Erin has put into finding this location. Trash Panda would be Angry Panda. Abigail moves, as quietly and carefully as possible, eyes scouting the ground, as well as the area ahead.
Following Abigail's instructions, Jonas moves with the rest of the team to go join Erin and the others, a slight chew on his gum as he looks out and frowns. "How you want to handle this, Walker?" he asks quietly, waiting for her instruction, and as he does so and is close enough, reaches and gives her hip a small tap.
Fate must be really on their side today. Because once they've moved forward and joined Erin and are trying to sort out what to do, one of the other human prisoners who's by the truck sees that the work detail Monitor Cylon is looking the other way. He must know about the proximity alarm, but desperate times call for desperate measures. He spies his chance, and he makes a run for it into the forest -- away from the hidden recon team. The Monitor Cylon steps away from the other humans, firing at the fleeing one.
Erin doesn't seem to have much of an opinion. Except, she does say: "We're outgunned." Beat. "Unless we put guns in the hands of the prisoners." And that's when one of them decides to run for it, and that draws the scout's attention back to developing scene. Instinctually, she draws her gun up, and takes aim.
All according to plan... perhaps? The crate of SAM equipment is dropped by the other humans who instantly cover over their ears and assume a position that looks to be one of surrender and fear while trying to also hide the fact that they're attempting to pry open one of the crates. If only to get inside and what is available there, a chance...
Chance moves in time with the group, frowning as he eyes the terrain and starts to take in what they are up against. He huhs quietly but doesn't articulate anything substantive, taking up a position and waiting for orders.
With Erin already in cover and in a defensible position, that leaves three members of the team for immediate use. The medic is out, because he doesn't need to pull a Rhodes and get himself half shot to Hades and back. And, just for the moment, the comms man is far too valuable, given that they still need to finish the mission, "Daly, with me." With the cylon moving out, and, hopefully, with the other cylons, if they hear the noise, following in the direction of the departing shots, Abigail rises from where she's been crouched, "We can try to save these three." The fourth will...probably die. That's not her immediate concern. Save the three you have a better chance at saving. Doesn't matter who they are. Save them or kill them. Nobody deserves to keep living like that. "The rest of you, cover us. Do not compromise your cover unless strictly necessary." Off she goes.
Moving over towards Abigail, Chance keeps low up until he reaches her and nods once, "Alright, let's move out." he says quietly, rifle still at the ready. He'll let her take the lead, trailing a few feet back and to her right to keep a clear firing line. Once they are moving in earnest towards the target, his SMG is aimed more generally up for quick shooting.
If you're going to go for it, then motherfrakking commit to it. That's Abigail's other, other motto. Because as soon as she's taking off, she's hauling ass. There's no way she's not going to be seen, and no way to get to cover, except if that cover is the truck the human prisoners are working out of.
Jonas has no choice but to hang back as cover at this point. He watches worriedly, ready to bring his radio up in a heartbeat if needed. But right now, with all the SAMs, it invites disaster.
With the chaos brought on by the Cylon babysitter shooting down one of the others, the other three humans finish prying open one of the storage crates. Within, the explosive materials are pulled out and one of them is thrown out without much aim or hesitation towards the trucks and another towards the monitoring Cylon. Sure, they probably aren't armed but with luck, who knows. When slave labor becomes desperate, all they rely on is luck.
Abigail is not a large woman, but sometimes, being small has its advantages, and she's quick, coming in fast across the low grass, "Get down, stay down." Again, it's not like they won't know she's here, so might as well try to give the three remaining humans a heads up. Is the cylon trailing that fourth still firing? She's not paying attention, "Clear that ordinance." Nobody needs to get blown up before their time.
When Abigail starts to haul ass, Chance does the same, his large frame and long strides meaning he doesn't need to expend as much effort to move as quickly as Abigail does. He keeps his rifle trained, and when they arrive at the remaining humans, he keeps his rifle trained in the direction of the Cylons. "Let's get a move on, if they come back we're gonna be in some trouble."
Abigail, as much of a rush as she's in, still takes the time to look over the prisoners. Because there's got to be a reason why, when one of them ran in one direction, the others hunkered down and sheltered in place. The condition of them, as well as their clothing, make the bracelets easy enough to spot, "Frak me." She slings the rifle over a shoulder, never a good position to have a rifle in the middle of cylon infested water, fields, whatever, and reaches into a pocket to remove a pair of portable bolt cutters, and try to get to the prisoners to remove their monitors.
With the bolts being cut, the trio of slaves begin prepping to make a break for it. The last amongst them; a man whom is far too familiar to Abby, looks up and tilts his head. "Run." He says in a strong voice, reaching out to push the others and help them with that effort.
There's no time. And yet, in that moment, as Abigail sees that face, even after all these months, these trials, and all of his pain, so very much like hers, time seems to stretch out to infinity. It's the crackle of the comm in her ear that finally gets her moving, as she comes back to her feet. A hand reaches out, cupping Addison's cheek. And that will have to do for all, as she too gives the order, "Daly's heading back with the prisoners." Abigail will stay to stick a few charges to the underside of the truck, just in case they need it, before she turns and heads back the way they came as well. With just a bit of luck, they'll make it back to cover, without needing to use the backup plan. What happens after that? Well...a tale for another day.
"Move, move, move." Chance whisper bellows, in a standard marine, parade ground sort of chant. His rifle is trained on the Cylons and he looks to Abigail for a brief moment. As soon as the prisoners are ready to move, he will rear guard them back to the others, keeping his rifle trained as he walks backwards at a double step.
OOC Note: Scene was handwaved/called for time. Assume the cylons were engaged, or not, but were successfully dispatched by the marines, and possibly the liberal application of explosives. The recon mission continued from that point.