A mission to scout for the POW camp that Lt. Addison Walker escaped from goes sideways.
Location: Belltown, Picon
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Cat and Mouse
Scene Number: 793
35000 feet above Picon. The single Raptor that's carrying the recon team is far above the scanning range of the SAM sites below, which was the whole point. The vehicle rattles a little as it passes through a thunderhead, the turbulence shaking the Marines within as the ECO stands up to move to the door. "We're thirty seconds out!" he calls to the team, causing Jonas to move and stand up in his place to move towards the door. His backpack is in front of him, the parachute resting on his back as the ECO starts down the line to make sure everyone is secured for the jump and handing Charlie a barf bag.
Lyn has come prepared for a few days in the wild if things go sideways. Tucked away on her person are all the things she needs to survive out here, from several knives (boot, thigh, wrist), to the thin metal pins holding her hair in a bun under her helmet. Amid her pack and pouches are distributed a compass, signal mirror, firestick, flashlight, binoculars, night vision goggles, nylon rope, ice axe, MREs, bottled water, extra socks, and a rain poncho. One of her knives has a removable endcap, holding fishing line, fish hooks, matches in a waterproof pouch, and a small rolled up copy of the map. And of course, she has a pistol on one thigh, a second in a shoulder holster, and her rifle across her back.
And of course she's asleep until they hit the thunderhead. Then she's on her feet, checking her parachute, and ready to go.
See, Erin's all set for this. Using the ancient technique of self-purging, she managed to get all of her snacky goodness out of her before deployment and after her nap. This means that, while green in the face and a little disoriented, she doesn't make a mess in the Raptor painted with the mean fish on it. The Flying Hellfish.
Along with her standard gear, the raccoon Marine has her usual assortment of sundries and fruit. A single canteen does her well, as does her carbine, and the rest of the survival gear that comes standard for recon recruits. That's the good stuff, true and traditional.
Plus, lockpicks and little thieving tools aren't exactly noticeable. Or standard issue.
First drop is actually a drop. No pressure. Aside from a fit of performance anxiety, Kyle Costello has spent the ride out finalizing her equipment checks. She's left the parachute alone, putting faith in that more than actual prayers, but her chest-slung backpack has become her own personal fidget spinner. Boots tied and taped, hair in a bun, goggles over eyes, she's packed for three whole days of fun in the mud and a long-ranged spotter's rifle. Checked out with everything the Vanguard would approve in her kit, she lets out a bitter puff of air and uses the above-rung to do a one-handed pull-up to stand.
"Guess this means I'm in the club now," Kyle raps her knuckles against the back of Erin, Lyn, Jonas, and Charlie's helmets on her way to the hatch. She bounces on her heels and see-saws her head. "This is the part of the job I really love."
"That was one time," Charlie grumbles as she's handed the bag. One time. The woman does, however, stuff it into her gear. She's got her case with her rifle between her legs. She'll strap it up properly once they're ready to go; her main gear back to her front and the gun will go to her back along with her 'chute once they're ready to make the jump. For now, her baby is cradled between her legs. The woman is also, for a rarity, awake. Then again, she doesn't have her usual napping partner. She also hasn't been napping as much when they leave on missions over Picon. She's actually been a bundle of nerves for every mission over her home planet. Like the others, she's rather thoroughly geared up; it's all light-weight, specialty survival gear. Everything at least dual-purpose, but preferably moreso. She's been growing out her hair and it's twisted into tight braids. Most of them tucked up under her helmet, but one has fallen free by her cheek. She tugs at it slightly, glancing up under her helmet as it's knocked on. She grunts faintly in answer. Either she will need the barf bag at some point... or she's that far lost in thought.
A small light above the rear hatch of the Raptor illuminates red, casting it's pall across the Raptor's interior. As the door opens, the greeting that hits the team is wet. Not the pleasant warmth of a summer's rain, this is a cold and angry wet, like pinpricks of ice into the skin. The clouds give absolutely no peek at to what waits below, before the light flashes red in one.. two.. three.. beats, and illuminates green.
Jonas is the first one to step out into the wet darkness with nary a word as he starts to plummet towards the ground. They dropped at 35000 feet.
The parachutes aren't set to open until 10000 feet. It's a long drop down.
"Try doing it over a volcano," Lyn quips, tilting her head to one side, then the other, to get the kinks out of her neck. Jonas would know her little in flight naps are how she shoves away all distractions and gets her head in the game for a mission. By the time she's up, the nerves are melted away and she becomes the Ghost. She steps out of the Raptor when the light cycles again, giving Jonas enough room for them not to tangle.
One. Two. Three.
The Chilly One goes. Without hesitation. She closes her eyes as she passes the threshold of the doors, and freefalls, like Jonas, in silence. On the way down, she opens her eyes, and watches, keeping an eye out for her teammates, that she doesn't accidentally fall on them or get entangled.
Shuffling down the line, Kyle presses her gloved fingers to her lips than crams the tips of her fingers to the edge of the open hatch. "It's not safe to do it anywhere near a volcano, Arda. Get a bed." Kyle chatters after the woman before, finally, Kyle's turn comes. Boots pressing against the deck, she pushes out and is met but the sudden fury of falling sky. Silent now, she looks to the shadows of the others and keeps them in the corner of her goggles as she falls, letting Picon's gravity take her until it's time to pull the cord.
Once the red light comes on, Charlie propels into action. She's quick and calculated. The woman in mission mode is not the same as she is outside of it. Banter and all is largely gone. Then again, whenever Picon is in view... most of that is gone anyhow. Her rifle case is slung over her back and clipped into place against her pack, under the parachute. She does a final check of straps and buckles before holding on to an overhead strap as everyone else does the leap into the great, wet unknown. A slow breath is taken, her eyes closed for a second as she mouths a silent prayer to the Lords of Kobol. Then the light flashes and it's her turn. Three, two... and then nothing beneath her feet. She's silent, letting the wind and wet rush past her ears. Just eyes for the altimeter on her watch.
The team plumets faster and faster towards the ground, Jonas feels the slight tug and sudden stop at 10000 feet as the chute deploys and yanks him skywards another 50 feet before he starts to descend towards the ground. It's only at 7500 feet that the lay of the land becomes more obvious. Down below is a heavily forested area, and about two miles to the west, a clearing with several buildings that mark the outline of the city becomes obvious as they hit 5000..
Lyn keeps an eye on the altimeter. The cold and wet doesn't seem to even phase her. There's three Aquarians on this drop; for them this is positively balmy. The stomach in your throat sensation of freefall is less comfortable, but that stops at 10000 feet when the chute opens and yanks her back upwards, before gliding her through the buffeting storm towards Picon's surface. She aims for the designated landing spot, praying not to get tangled in a tree or the like.
Again, the count. Erin checks her altimeter, and then -- three, two, one. Pull.
Out goes her chute. Hands move instinctually to the maneuvering handles. She braces for the haul, lets out her breath when it hits. Then, it's a controlled fall down.
Eyes on the prize. Eyes on the prize. That is, some sort of clearing in the forest. Because landing in a tree really, really sucks hard.
Fringe benefit? When it's not so stormy, the ride down looks a lot more like the maps you were shown in briefing. Oozing into her zen until twenty-thousand, Kyle watches the ground's coming approach, and when her altimeter hits ten-thousand, she pulls the cord and her shoulders jerk roughly against the harness. Storm or not, it's always a relief. Counting the other chutes, she pulls on the handles to follow their descent, and when she's in the LZ, she lands in a roll, skidding in the mud and moving quickly to gather her chute.
The air is thinner and colder. Wagner is not used to this sort of weather. It gives her flashbacks to a lake on Tauron. A Raptor's systems cutting out. A crash landing. Almost drowning. Barely making it to shore. The woman swallows it all back and stares ever harder at her watch as the numbers rapidly decrease. Then the magical line of zeroes flip up and she yanks the cord. An unbidden hiss escapes her at the way it pulls her shoulders, but Charlie's had enough training that it's pushed to the background while the wind fills the specialty fabric. She takes hold of either side, eyes down to the ground now as she fights with it to do her best to guide herself downward. The hard part; there's little by way of guiding and a lot of hope and prayer. Really, one just hopes they don't find a sudden very pointy rock or tree limb in their way. Anything else is just gravy.
The clearing was well marked on the map. It was a park before the war, and now, it makes a perfect spot for a landing. As the first one out, Jonas is the first one to ground, rolling for a moment before bouncing to his feet, starting to roll up the parachute to put away as he moves towards the edge of the treeline to take cover.
Lyn lands in the designated landing zone in a textbook manner, feet touching down and moving forward until her own weight keeps her in contact with the earth. A breath later she's pulling down her chute and gathering it quickly to keep it from being spotted, and moving to the treeline. She looks around to locate the rest of the team, making a clicking sound to help them converge on her position.
Control, control: you must learn control. It also helps to have training. And physical strength. Not to mention raccoon-like reflexes. Yeah, boss.
When Erin hits the ground, she sticks a landing nicely, moving away so that she doesn't get enveloped by her parachute. Thereafter, she rolls it up, stuffs it, and begins the process of putting her backpack into place and checking her weapons. Carbine? Check. Scope? Check. Pistol? Check. Chocolate ration bar? Check.
Soon, the Chillster makes her rendezvous with the rest of the team. Head nod to Ghost, then she checks her com.
Boots already smeared with mud, Kyle backs towards the tree line. Reeling in her chute, she stuffs it back into the pack as quickly as she can until she's beneath some cover. There, she slings her rifle off of her chest and shrugs her weekend kit over one shoulder. She flashes her teeth towards the others, signaling that she's in one piece, give or take a knee soaked with frigid water. Within seconds she's rifle in hand, pointed to the ground, and looking to the others for the wind-up.
The wind caught Charlie just a bit. She doesn't miss the clearing, but she does end up a bit further to the edge of it. It causes her landing to send her nearly into some overgrown bushes. Her run and eventual settle to her knees brings her almost face-to-face with their tangled growth and the woman swats at some damp leaves, spitting at a few that try to get a bit too frisky. Even so, it's a clean landing foiled only by the inclement weather. Spectre pushes to her feet and away from the bush, starting to wrap up her parachute after unclipping herself from it. Lest the wind pick up. No need to Mary Poppins herself away from the LZ, after all. "All good here," she notes into her comm, voice flat. It's as much a check as an assertion of her state of being. Once the 'chute is clear, she's angling off to the tree line after the others and down by a large trunk to start adjusting her gear. Her pack goes to her back now that the 'chute is off. The rifle itself comes out and after she's verified her baby is alright, she slings it on in a standard configuration and wraps up the add-ons to clip onto her main pack.
Lifting his head towards the clicks in the air, Jonas can't help but to smile for just a moment. Stupid crickets. He switches his backpack into place, pulling off his SMG to carry at his side as he approaches Lyn and the others. There's a nod to Lyn, and he waits for the woman to decide which direction they're heading, though there is a glance towards the town they passed over head that was shrouded in the dark.
Lyn pops the cap off the end of her combat knife and pulls out the rolled up, thinly laminated copy of the map. She clicks her Maglite on, low power, and settles it on the surface. "We're here," she indicates the former park. "Town buildings are here," she indicates the structures they saw on the drop in. "Jonas, where was the work crew you encountered, and which direction did Walker say they brought them from?" With a pair of markers on the map, they can triangulate easily enough.
The conversation now is between Ghost and Th-94. Chilly stays frosty and quiet, waiting for orders.
Rifle slung, Kyle does a half turn to keep an eye around the assembled as she strolls over to Lyn and Jonas. Fresh water streams off of her helmet and goggles, streaking down into the scarf she's unpacked from beneath her BDUs. "Comm check." Krima, her operating name, whispers onto the line with a tilt of her head towards her shoulder and a pinch of her receiver. Once that's done, all that's left is to look to the mama bear, a glance down to the map, then her eyes back on their path through the storm, watching for light and movement.
"Belltown," Charlie offers suddenly, after moving nearer to cast a glance over the map. She toes at the mud briefly. "My father signed books here once." Her voice is kept low, but she looks away finally, moving out in an opposite direction to Kyle with hands on her rifle as she keeps largely on 'alert' status. Not her call to make for where they're heading. Nor does she have the intel for the mission itself. But the layout is familiar enough to name the place.
Gesturing to the map, Jonas makes a couple of marks. The easiest way is through the town itself. Once they're on the way and Lyn's set their order, Jonas moves with the group towards the town. As they walk, a steady rain begins to fall over the area, the brief rumble of thunder as the sky opens up above them. The distant rumble of thunder is accompanied by the lightest of flashes for a moment as lightning flases above.
The yards haven't been tended to in years, the yards on the outskirts of the town are overgrown, the houses abandoned since the Cylon uprising. This area of town didn't afford Cylon helpers, so most of the houses are still mostly intact, the main road heading towards the town proper.
"All right. Theta, you're with me. Everyone else, 10 meter spread, wedge formation, traveling overwatch. Remember, we are not to engage. If you spot enemies, double click on your comm. If you hear a double click, freeze where you are, take cover if you're in the open, and hold until the all clear is given. Maintain radio silence otherwise." Lyn looks at each soldier in turn. "If we're detected, we might be a death sentence for those prisoners, so move quiet, be smart, keep your eyes peeled. If things go sideways, this is our bug out spot." She indicates it on the map. "Make sure Ingvar gets there no matter what. He's the one who can call for your ride home." She puts the light and the map away and unshoulders her rifle. "You wouldn't be recon if you weren't creative and resourceful. I trust you to handle your shit. Any questions?"
Then they move out. Lyn keeps low to the ground, holding a hand out to direct Jonas to stop or go as needed, picking a path that will let them stay in cover and quiet if possible.
"Roger." Chilly sets out to take the left flank position, hunched and keeping nice and low. Which is easy when you're the shortest in the group, and most likely to be mistaken in this deserted city for Ellie from The Last of Us.
Erin's carbine with scope is kept up, so that she can peer through it from time to time to get a farther view. She is constantly checking her position relative to the others, and the surrounds to her front, left, and behind her. Looking for glints of metal, even in this dark, damp place.
Kyle bends an ear to Lyn, listening while she maintains her watch position. Lips curling into a mien of distaste at the rain's thickening, she double checks the cover on her rifle's scope. Rain is good for when you don't want to be seen or heard, but worse for when you want to see what's coming. "Negative, Ghost." Kyle replies to Lyn with a shake of her head, and fans out into the spread. Far less talkative in the brush than the bunks, Kyle keeps herself low and quiet for the walk, head on a swivel, listening for clicks.
"Who do you want on point?" Charlie is already adjusting a few items to more easily and quickly retrievable positions. Like her scope in a front pocket. "Assuming you'll be mid with Ingvar?" There's a glance to Jonas and his radio. "Just in case things do go awry, what's the rough ETA for our evac?" She squints into the rain, frowning at it briefly. Unhappy with the conditions for sighting purposes, though it does provide them additional cover in the sound area. Rain does a good job of drowning out footsteps and softening things like branches and twigs. Once their assignments are finalizes, Wagner will fall into place as well with helmet pulled down to provide some additional cover for rain to slough off as they head out; rifle tucked into shoulder.
Lyn tips her chin towards Charlie "Point, 10 meters ahead, no further. Hard to keep track in the rain."
"Fifteen minutes." Jonas offers simply, a glance towards Charlie. He's trying to remain quiet at the moment, part of the recon squad, he's trying to be part of it, after all.
As the group moves towards the main part of the city, the downtown area. The first signs of what happened here start to show. There are signs of evacuation, a pile up of a traffic jam where cars had stopped near the town's lone station, for busses or trains. However, what dominates the area?
A large single transport, possibly used to carry those from the city - it settled on the edge of the station, seemingly in eternal park, the ship long since deactivated. There are signs that there was a firefight here, a partially collapsed building, a few cars that have long since burned out, but the city is empty.
Lyn sets her back to the side of the partially collapsed building, using it for cover and a moment of shelter from the rain as she checks her compass against their heading, using the lightning flashes for illumination. She pauses to use her binoculars from time to time, in their night vision setting, to scan for movement. She trusts Jonas to follow her lead. They've been on enough missions together over the years to not need to say much to communicate with one another in the field. Which is good, because usually when they communicate, they wind up yelling. The joy of working with your ex.
This was someone's home once. Now it's a place of ghosts, and that isn't lost on the Ghost herself. It's an eerie reminder of her final week on Aquaria, where the silence was deafening in the absence of living, breathing, things. There are things she saw in that week that she still hasn't spoken of to anyone, not even Doctor Anders. Things she sees in her nightmares. Things words are not a sufficient medium to describe. Those things make her fight harder now. No one should lose their entire world like the Aquarians did.
No bodies. Lyn grimaces and looks to Jonas. "Where are the bodies? Shouldn't there be some?" she whispers.
Erin's eyes catch no active intruders. Yet. But there's something peculiar. Like a nagging feeling that something bad happened here.
But Erin doesn't put a voice to it. There's no reason. She pushes darker thoughts away for now, keeping her mind on the objective. Find the camp. Locate defenses. Mark. Get the frak out in one piece.
Kyle slows her crouched walk on final approach to the far edge of Lyn's building. On the far wing of the echelon, Kyle scans her eyes forward past the cars and rubble to the transport, taking quick note before she turns her attention to the wings of the opening. She ducks low, gracefully extending one leg over the other until she's behind a small staircase within eyeshot of the others. She takes her time, sweeping the edge of the building with her eyes, before she's extending a thumb's up towards Lyn, signalling that she sees an all-clear from her vantage point.
The transport was one of those that was used for planet hopping in system. No FTL drive. Probably could hold 100 souls plus crew. As Charlie settles in against the wheel well of the transport, she'll notice that the grass has not grown around it recently, as if it was just recently used and landed back here.
Within the transport itself there is a creaking noise, as if the transport is still occupied.
Lyn has a bad feeling about this, but she doesn't voice it. With no one clicking, she moves towards the transport, to a burnt out car nearby, beckoning Jonas in her wake. Things aren't making sense in this town. It has her on edge and highly alert.
Lyn moving towards the transport causes Erin to tighten up to keep formation. Cover shouldn't be hard to find, so Chilly moves to an abandoned vehicle and crouches down behind it, using it to shield against potential attacks from the left flank. Carbine at the ready, up on her shoulder.
Looking down her shoulder to Lyn for cues, Kyle vacantly nods as she moves closer to the transport. Eyes back to the forefront, Kyle Costello digs her rifle against her shoulder and begins her walk around the opposite side of the building. Walking in a crouch, she steps over puddles and loose pebbles on her path to an overwatch point at the edge of a blown-out patio. Shoulder to the concrete wall, she keeps her eyes not on the transport, but the virtual smorgasbord of cover around the area. No, Costello doesn't like this one bit, either. It looks like home. It looks like a place better left circled around.
Tilting her head slightly as she hears that movement in the transport, Charlie frowns. She's noted the grass. The woman moves slowly along the side of the transport, but she doesn't click her radio. There's no evidence that it's unfriendlies. It could just as well be refugees. She's not going to call down firepower on it yet. Instead, she casts a look back to her compatriots and lifts a hand, then gestures towards the transport. Basic conlang to indicate that she's heading inside. Or at least up to the nearest hatch to try to get more intel as to what's inside. Be it human, animal, or machine. The sniper's going is almost painfully slow as she continues to listen while she moves; ready to stop in an instant if something makes itself known.
As Charlie moves to step onto the transport's ramp, there's a whirr step of what could be a Cylon activating within the darkness of the transport, before there's a flicker of light that is a single beam of a laser sight being set on Charlie's heart. "Halt." comes the quiet voice. "...who goes there?"
Click-chick. Erin whirls her weapon around from the left flank to the right -- to the transport. Sighting through the scope. Waiting for the order. After all, there's a remote chance that this is a friendly. Remote.
Lyn holds at Charlie's sign, leveling her rifle over the hood of the damaged vehicle and covering the woman.
Feeling a line of tension thick enough to cut with a knife, Kyle shifts her posture. One knee slides under her body, bracing to support her weight, while another comes up to balance her rifle over to keep pointed at across the clearing. Keeping the front hood of the scope covered, the rifle is left to rest and up comes a small pair of night vision enhanced binoculars. Through the rain, Kyle continues to sweep places where she would definitely take point to kill someone from.
The fact that she wasn't shot immediately is mildly reassuring, even of the laser sight isn't. Charlie does halt, mid-step. The hand by the trigger of her rifle slowly retracts, rising to rest by her head; palm outward. The angle she's raised it at, however, isn't perfectly straight nor flat. She's angling with the side of her palm towards the where she's guessing the sound within the transport to have come from. In the hope that one of the others with her might pick up on it. "Corporal Wagner, Colonial Marines. Service number six-oh-five three-one six-five-two-nine." It's the same spiel she'd issue if she were ever captured, but it works as a form of identification, also. It gives nothing away. They'd find it on the tags around her neck if they were to kill her. Spectre speaks it in a flat, quiet voice.
From inside the transport, there's a step. And the red light flickers off, before the voice sounds off again. "Halt... who goes there?" Stepping into the light, the half destroyed face of a Cylon nannybot, playing a soothing female voice over it's speakers. "I will take care of you. Halt, who goes there?" it repeats as it starts to shamble towards Charlie, stretching it's mechanical arms towards the recon woman.
Outside the transport, there are several mechanical thuds of something being activated, searchlights flickering to life near the transport, thankfully everyone is in enough cover that they are not spotted by the lights immediately.
Still unable to see anything, Erin remains in place, her weapon at the ready. Waiting. Sweating just a little. Orders needed, but none will come. Waiting. Tense and prepared to fire. And just waiting.
When Charlie starts speaking, outloud, and holds her hand up, Lyn zeroes in on her, looking through her scope. Then that nightmarish image of the Cylon nannybot steps into the circle of light. Lyn goes pale and Jonas might not have ever seen the expression on her face before. It is absolute horror. Something has definitely triggered the Ghost.
Kyle's binoculars come down in a hustle. She sticks her head an inch around the cover, more than enough to feel the string of muck-filled water drip off of her helmet and down her neck, to see the lights coming on. "...frak." Kyle whispers under her breath. Pressing down with her knees, Kyle bucks her hip and stretches back into a crouch with finger braced over her trigger-guard. She pops open the front cover to her scope and nestles back into cover, resuming her overwatch. She remains like Erin, behind cover, quiet, holding position.
That is... neither reassuring nor... okay, it is moderately more terrifying. Charlie doesn't cut and run, but she doesn't yet hit nor comms either. The woman does, however, try to approach the bot instead. Don't these frakkers have an off-switch? "I'm fine, promise," she mumbles to the thing, trying to evade those out-stretched arms as she tries to go for where she hopes said switch is. Need to power it down before it sets off any potential alarms or summons any nearby Cylons down on them. Because shooting it would definitely echo far enough to be heard. Even if she really does want to shoot it.
"Arda.. Sergeant.." Jonas is starting to say as he sees her go as pale as her namesake and starts to stare. "We need orders, Arda.." he's trying to keep this professional, he promised her this, but his hand drops down to her wrist, finding a thready pulse. Frak. This is the wrong time to go into shock.
Grabbing her shoulders in the rain by the car, Jonas gives her a firm shake and forces her to focus on him. "Lyn. Snap out of it." he growls. "You have to or we're all going to frakking die."
Oustide, the solid metallic footfalls of a Cylon patrol are becoming more clear over the falling rain. They are nearing the area, perhaps alerted by the nannybot, perhaps something else. They do not notice the patrol yet, but are starting to move through the traffic jam. They total four in number.
Inside the transport, the cracked and bloodstained screen of the nannybot's chest illuminates, showing the visage of an affectionate young woman, perhaps the mother the Cylon was originally programmed to assist. "Halt, who goes there?" she asks again, "I'll take care of you."
After a moment's thought, Jonas hisses beneath his breath. "Don't hate me more for this." he reaches up and pinches Lyn's cheek hard to try to break her moment of lost thought.
Blink. Erin snaps into action. "Roger." And, with that, she flips herself to the other side of her cover, keeping her weapon trained in Charlie's direction. When the latter (presumably) gets on her way, she remains on overwatch until Spectre is clear of the area -- shouldn't take more than a couple of seconds -- whereupon she too makes her way to an abandoned building. Not the same one as TH-94 and Ghost, mind -- one of her own.
Once in cover again? Weapon up. Scope sighted.
Click. Kyle taps the receiver of her comm once, leaning out from cover to watch Lyn and Jonas retreating towards the building she's on the edge of. There, she lowers her rifle just enough to press her hand to her forearm. ENEMY. Then holds up four fingers, then points a single finger in the direction the Cylons are coming from. With that, she crawls back in behind cover, shivering through an stream of frigid water into cover beneath a blown out window. Slick with water and mud, Kyle tucks in her weapon and reaches for the scarf about her neck, pulling it up over her face to just beneath her eyes. Cold and miserable? Yes, but cold helps, or so she was once briefed.
It takes another moment of fumbling before Charlie finds the switch in question, thanks to Lyn's directions. When she does, she doesn't wholly retreat. Not with the Centurion patrol on its way. The transport and the bot within provide her a handy enough cover without having to go out into the open. Instead, she swings around the wide base of the bot and crouches down behind it, shouldering her rifle again again as she waits for the all clear.
Inside, Lyn wants to scream, run, shoot, vomit, anything but stay still and hidden and silent. But her training perseveres and so does her therapy from two years ago, and the meditation she's been trying to learn from the Chaplain. She focuses on a happy moment, a single, happy moment, and makes it her universe so there is no need to do anything else. She sets a hand on Jonas' arm, to signal him to stop talking for just a few more seconds while she listens, intently, to the sound of the patrol. It's very much like being back on Aquaria, in the ruins of Akranes, where she listened to the patrols move past over and over, timing them for her to move between. Once they fade enough that she can gauge their facing and distance, she nods to Jonas. "Make the call." She whispers into the comm, "Mission is aborted. Retreat to the park. Pick your best path. They've moved south of our position, go north and circle back. Run silent."
Jonas transmits briefly. "Abort. Return to park for exfil. Repeat, abort."
Erin makes a noise into her comm unit. Retreat? Raccoons don't retreat.
Oh, wait. No. They do. You just have to turn on the lights.
"Roger." And then, Chilly makes a break for it. Okay, she stops for a hot second to snatch up a bottle of hooch from an open liquor cabinet, but then she makes her break for it. Stashing the stash quickly. The payload. The prize. Because she's gonna want to celebrate some sort of success.
Time to go. At least there'll be a drink or two on the ride home.
Holding position, Kyle hunkers her shoulders upwards, as if she could turtle her head into her chest. One foot twists in the muddy carpet, getting a better stance as she turns her rifle to an angle, putting the canted iron sights to the top. "Roger." She whispers onto the line. She mouths 'frak' silently as the mission is called off, then makes her creep towards the edge of cover. There, at the edge of a door hanging on one hinge with a mat that reads 'HI, I'M MAT', she crouch-walks through the doorway and down the two steps, creeping out to the cover of a large tree, intent on escaping to the north as ordered.
Ow ow ow ow ow ow. Charlie just mouths the word over and over before she wrests free of the damn bot and hunkers down behind it, waiting for the patrol to pass. She does listen in on the comms before they're given the all clear. There's a bit of a sigh as the abort is given. It's frustrating to have the call given. But some intel -- such as how overrun the place is and the recent transport use -- is better than no intel. She does lean back slightly into the transport behind the nannybot to try to get a better view into it. Maybe she can get some idea of what it was used for and by whom. Either way, "Spectre, on my way," she murmurs into the comm befor starting her own exit to aim back to the park with the others.
Lyn isn't going to move out until she's sure the rest of the recon team is in the clear and on the move. She shifts quietly, holding a finger to her lips to signal Jonas, and settles where she can watch for Charlie to emerge through the scope of her rifle.
Inside the transport, as Charlie turns to head out, there's a slight whir, and that damned voice again. "Halt, who goes there?" When she turns, the Nannybot is taking a swing with one of it's large mechanical arms at the sniper, which is drawing the attention of the partol that is starting to move towards the transport.
At the building. Jonas looks at Lyn and frowns. "I have mines. It's going to make a hell of a racket, but we need to draw the patrol away." He's waiting to see what she decides to do though.
Lyn nods to Jonas. "Blow one of the houses to the east. I'm going to get Charlie." And face her frakking nightmare. This time, she's not alone. There aren't civvies to protect. And she's not out of ammo. She moves out, quickly and silently towards the transport.
Erin would like to help. Really, she would. But having been ordered to retreat, she does so, keeping low and moving as fast as she can. With her payload of delicious booze. Delicious.
Crouch walk from the tree to the shed. From the shed to the other tree. From the OTHER tree to the garbage cans. All it takes is a few glances for Kyle to pick her path, keeping the Cylon patrol in mind as she couch-walks slowly to slip behind the shed. One leg at a time, Kyle steps over an empty coffee can and continues her retreat, unaware as to what Charlie's going through. Scarf over face, kit covered in leaves and mud, she's only TWO stops from the garbage cans, where she can fight a trash panda for two-week old Tauronese take out.
"Frak." Moving from cover, Jonas heads towards one of the buildings. This time he is not bothering to be stealthy because Lyn told him not to be. He gets into position, glancing towards where Kyle is in position, gods please let her still be in cover, as he turns and slams one of the claymores into the ground, pulling the firing pin and grabbing the trigger mechanism as he moves to cover as the Centurions have clearly seen him and started advancing on his position.
Kaboom. There's a mine explosion. Erin brings herself to the functional equivalent of a screeching halt, especially after gunfire erupts from Jonas' part of the scene.
Orders are orders. Everyone likes them. But, sometimes, you gotta make a judgment call. As a part-time looter, it is, perhaps, with some trepidation that Erin breaches protocol and considers covering a retreat. That isn't exactly what she was ordered to do, but the real question for her is "WWRD?" (What Would Rocket Do?).
So, like a good trash panda, she grits her teeth, sets herself, and unleashes return fire.
Retreat. Circle back. Run silent. Though Kyle doesn't like any of it for a second, she continues her northern crouch walk, double-timing it from the shed to the OTHER tree (Other tree, in her head, because it looked like a good name for it). There, she barely sets the toe of her boot down before she's zig-zagging her path behind the garbage cans at the edge of a copse of trees. Kyle doesn't stop. She stays low and scurries four trees in before she's sliding in behind a tree and leaning out with her rifle pointed towards the sounds of explosions and gunfire, looking through her scope to see what she can see.
Jonas is hit.. multiple times. But the mine worked. Damn did it work. With the building's windows blown out, he took out the first two Centurions that were chasing him down, only to get shot to hell by the remaining Centurions. He's still on his feet somehow, as he switches to his SMG to fire in a running retreat. Overhead, the first signs of the Raptor drop are made as they approach the field, having not jumped away yet from the initial drop, just in case.
"Thought... it... had... off switch." Charlie pushes to her feet, letting the rifle fall on its sling so she can get both hands around the pipe she's secured to attack the bot with. Rifle would be loud. And risky in an enclosed space. At least the bot doesn't manage to really get at her, but neither does she really hit it. Wagner is, however, surprised to see Lyn. Especially after the mine goes off. "What the frak?! Why aren't you heading to the park?! Get out of here!"
Lyn's swing goes wide as the bot ducks, and she growls at it, bringing the axe back up to swing again. "Get out of here! You're injured. Find Ingvar, get him to the pick up point, I'm right behind you!"
With the Centurions coming towards him, Jonas fires a burst into one of them, doing damage, but at least in the process, Erin's shots distract it as it turns towards her. "Fire in the hole!" Jonas yells out to warn Erin not to get too close as he sets the other mine up to try to blast through the remaining Centurions as he tries to crab crawl backwards away from the attackers, more than a little desperate and hurt at this point.
Brrrt. Erin's rifle unleashes a salvo of shots at one of the Centurions chasing Jonas. But seeing as how that hasn't seemed to slow her target down, she pulls up from her cover in order to get a better stance. Being out of cover isn't exactly smart, but it allows her to line up a better shot -- hopefully without drawing too much more attention.
Taking the enemies down seems to be the best way to ensure the full retreat. Only two more Mega-Toasters to take down.
"...frak, come on." Kyle encourages the people she doesn't see, but the gunshots are heard easily enough. She curls her top lip over the tips of her teeth, biting down until her plush lips turn white. Six. Seven. Eight. "Frak." Kyle hisses under her breath and picks up kit in a low crouch, moving quickly now and choosing her steps, on a path back towards the exfiltration point at the park. She's not ordered to help, so her new duties are simple: Secure the exfil. Kyle leaves the others behind, silent as can be.
There is a frown for Lyn, but Charlie does start to extract herself. She'll have to wind her way out of the transport and she's not in any shape to run. "Don't you stay behind or anything stupid," she warns Chilly. Either way, there's one last swing at the gods-be-damned Nannybot's head as she tries to extract herself from its reach on the way to the exit.
The second mine goes off, and after several seconds, Jonas stumbles out into the street, blood streaming from beneath his helmet as he looks around, holding the trigger in his hand to the mine. "....<<did I get them?>>" he asks in some muddled mix of Sag, Leonese, and Tauran as he stands there in the middle of the road.
Lyn slams her axe into the Nannybot's chest and wrenches it back out, watching sparks fly. That should slow it down, hopefully. She rushes out after Charlie, looking for Jonas, cringing at the secondary explosion. She gets one look at him and grimaces. Frak. His girlfriend is going to murder her in her sleep.
Well, you know what raccoons like? Hamburger. And you know what Jonas looks like? Hamburger. After the two Centurions pop like weasels, Erin slings her weapon over her shoulder, and then rushes forward to grab her fellow Aquarian by the jacket. Or the scruff, depending on perspective.
With her surprising strength, Erin hauls Jonas as best she can to his feet, and steadies him before pulling the both of them towards the evac point. Not a word comes from the Chilly One, as she seems pissed off. Like really pissed off. Thank goodness no one hit her bottle of booze.
The Nannybot sparks and flames out after a few moments. "...let me hellllllllpppppppppp yoooooooooouuu...zzt" and it definetly seems down for the count at this point.
"Sure you did, Bubbles. Spectre, clear the way." Lyn barks. She's gonna have to help Erin carry him while using one hand to try to keep his insides inside. "That nightmare is still up, but I don't think it can keep up with us." She toggles the comm. "Krima, if you're lurking, if anything follows us, put a bullet in it. We have wounded. On our way."
Well, she gets free of the damn Nannybot and casts a look back towards Lyn that reads 'you'd better get the frak out of there, too' and Charlie is taking off towards Jonas quickly. She's breathing shallow breaths, but the woman is in far better shape than the wirelo. She drops the pipe as she goes and is about to help on the other side when Lyn joins up with them. There's a sharp nod for the orders given as she brings back up her rife. "Copy that." And she's off at a quick pace to put a bit of space between her and the trio to clear the way ahead. Or at least keep it clear.
Lyn is opening Jonas' medkit and ripping bandages open with her teeth to slap on his chest and abdomen while they move. It isn't pretty, but it at least preserves some of his blood volume.
The grass hisses against Kyle's heels as she steps on flat rocks and hard surfaces as much as she can, avoiding the worst of the mud on a hustle through the trees. She moves in an arc, north from the transport and a curl around to the park, hooking her way to the park's edge. There, she grinds her shoulder into the side of a tree, taking a knee, and sweeps the park with the iron sights on her rifle, holding the weapon at an angle.
"Ghost. Krima." Kyle whispers over the line. "At exfil. Grid reference G2 to G3 clear. Moving to overwatch. Over." Frak. Having just got to the sweet spot, Krima picks back up again and moves through the trees, rifle at an angle, tracking to a covering position.
Several moments later, the Raptor is landing in the park, it's a hot landing, and the recon team is quickly pulled aboard as the ECO tends to Charlie's chest and a few moments later they are airborne and back on their way towards the Vanguard. That.. did not go well.
"You really like those 'forgot to duck' medals, don't you?" Lyn murmurs at Jonas with a scowl as she gets him settled in with Erin's help. "Walker is going to stab me to death in my rack, isn't she?" Maybe now he groks why she couldn't take him with her on Aquaria.