Marines and Raptor crews help evac an apartment complex threatened by Cylons.
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Cat and Mouse
Scene Number: 797
The sky is on fire, burning with the crimson and orange glows of dusk. Smoke rises from below as buildings burn from recent missile strikes or worse. The crystalline ocean reflects the sunset, adding to the infernal glow. Raptors cut through the clouds, spreading out across the seaside village of Moeree.
In just a matter of hours, what had once been just behind the secured lines of the Colonial Forces is now a warzone as the Cylons advance. Emergency SAR missions have been scrambled with the full intention of getting as many civilians out as possible.
Two Raptors from the Vanguard are sent down along the beach, specifically assigned to the Lucent Edge Apartments -- a low-income housing complex that had been mostly evacuated during the first emergency call, but is said to still have about 12 to 20 occupants still inside -- the exact numbers are a bit ambiguous at best. Their mission is clear: get in, grab as many as you can, and get out.
Even while the Raptors fly over, there is the occasional glint of chrome far below as Cylons begin to move out throughout the city streets.
"Hold onto your bloomers." Tucker calls out over the comms as he drops his Raptor to near the deck, flying aggressively and zig-zagging through the skyline of the cities in order to stay out of the SAM sites that may have been set up while trying to maintain enough speed so that shoulder mounted rockets can't get an adequate lock. He took the city approach because the beach was too open.
Lyn is, as per usual, napping on the flight down. It's how she clears her head of anything except the mission. She is sitting in a corner of the bay of Flats' Raptor, her helmet tipped down to cover her eyes, and her rifle cradled in her lap. Despite all that went wrong on the recon mission a few nights ago, she's been cleared for duty. Tucker's zigging and zagging jostles her awake though, and she grunts as she pushes her helmet back and looks around.
This is the first piece of action in a heavily contested sector for Aleksander ever since he transferred on board, but the Marine could have fooled everyone as he doesn't look remotely excited or focused. Instead, he is lounging back in his seat in the belly of the Raptor he boarded, strapped in as he waits silently for the ride to be over. The Tauron has his eyes closed with his arms folded across his chest but he is definitely not asleep, especially when he breaks the silence, "Lieutenant, can you keep the ride a little smoother please?" The Gods seem to have found it amusing to place the ex-Legionnaire in the Raptor that is being piloted by the petite woman that he almost stepped on.
A SAR mission is a good way to improve Astraea's mood after the piracy encounter. Since joining the Fleet, she's been pretty focused on fighting machines, not fellow humans. For a lot of folks in the berthings, there's been some sour moods. Shooting at other living, breathing beings doesn't sit well with some. Others, well, it was a bit thrilling. Nova's happy to be sent out to do some good and keeps tight on Tucker's wing as they fly low, juking their way through the tall buildings to avoid the targeting systems of those AARs. "Flats, Nova. Lookin' good. Roof seems clear." Their intended landing spot, since it's good for evac of the residents. She tilts her head slightly towards the rear at the sound of complaint from the near-giant and scoffs. "Smooth as ya get when avoidin' munitions bigger than you."
Every marine, in the end, is a rifleman. Right down to the top brass. It's a lesson that Corporal Kyle Costello is reminded today. Outfitted with a carbine with a long-range scope option, Kyle, unlike Lyn, is wide awake in the rock-and-tilt of the Raptor. Sitting next to Lyn Arda, it's her helmet that Kyle's own dome-cap bonks into when the Raptor takes another jink. "Frak." Kyle holds her weapon, steady, eyes snapping quickly from Lyn to Aleksander, casting an already sarcastic smile his way. "Hey, wait till the lights come on and the in-flight showing of Ladies of Winter Mills comes on. You'll forget all about it." Kyle smirks and tries to predict the sway, boot pressing in.
Staff Sergeant Claudia Amioz is in Tucker's bird, holding tightly to her seat as they rumble their way through. She looks serious as they come in sights of the apartment building. "We're in your hands until we're on the ground," the Virgon reports in a tone of someone who often states the obvious. She cranes forward a bit to get a good look at the complex.
The building is a simple three-story structure that looks almost like someone dropped a brick in the middle of beachfront property and put a bunch of windows all over its faces. The roof has two access points, but one smolders a bit from what looks like a downed Viper. The roof is painted kelly green, and it appears there had once been a rooftop garden that was left to seed.
Lyn cracks her neck, one way, then the other, as she notes to Kyle," Might want to sit on your helmet. The shots here will be coming up through the Raptor's belly. Better an uncomfortable seat than getting a .50 cal bullet up your poop chute."
Bami's in his usual spot as ECO. He mess around with a trinket held by a string of leather that's quickly hidden away under his jacket. This is the Ensign's first trip to Picon, and he seems to be a little excited. Sadly, it's not a vacation for the Scorpian. "So, um, what's Picon actually like. Most I ever really saw were in vids or holos." Even with the awful sight outside he isn't too deterred from finding out more, and asks, "Is it all as bad as what we saw on the way here?"
"I'm hope you're better at avoiding those munitions than Marines that are bigger than you." Aleksander says with a slight tweak of his lips that shows an amused grin threatening to peek through. He can't help but poke at Astraea since the Gods decided to place him here. Someone may tell him soon or after the mission to not tease their ride as their lives counted on it. He does fall silent after that as his eyes open and he looks at Kyle, "I love that movie. But it seems like all Raptors I've flown in has the same exact in-flight showing." The comment from Lyn about a fifty cal going up their pooper has Aleksander staring silently at her, as if silently asking her why she had to put that image into his head for the rest of the flight.
Despite Tucker's invitation to ride shotgun, Cate's sitting on the bench in the back with her fellow marines. Maybe because she didn't want to piss off the unfamiliar staff sergeant, or to get a few extra seconds toward getting out when they land. Either way, she's holding onto the bench with a white-knuckled grip as the Raptor zigs and zags, the other hand balancing her SMG across her lap.
Cate glances over to Lyn. "If it has enough oompf to get through the Raptor's armor, you think your helmet's going to make a difference?"
Too bad, Cate's missing a hell of a show, as DRADIS is lit up like a doppler radar in a hurricane. Tucker sweeps past a billboard of a suntanned Abigail Walker lounging on the beach in a bikini, advertising a surfboard that was brand new to the market at the dawn of the war, though he barely has time to make the connection in his head as he swerves hard to the right, throwing everyone to the side in the vehicle for a moment as the contrail of a missile streaks by him. "That was close." he murmurs as he finally makes it to the beachfront area outside of the apartments and drops in for a landing. "Go!" he calls out as he starts the shutdown procedures and reaches for the spare rifle. "I'll be out in a moment."
Kyle twists her head to get a better look at Lyn, but rather than a cold stare, Sergeant Arda is gifted with a sarcastic roll of one shoulder and a shake of her head. "I guess it's close enough to my top ten ways to go." Kyle snorts and turns her attention to Cate, one ear perched to listen for the go-call. Boots tapping gently at the heel, rocking back and forth like a slow pedalboard, Kyle sighs off the excess energy. She opens her mouth, "Hey Cate-" JOLT. Kyle flings a hand up to catch the handgrip above her head as the Raptor banks. Hard. Train of thought? LOST.
"Costello, up!" Kyle calls out and unclips her harness, securing her rifle, and turning to file out with the others.
"Y'should ask fer a ridealong someday durin' a dogfight," Astraea offers to Aleksander, helpfully. "Jes' so ya can see how good I am at avoidin' missiles." Though, the gods might have a laugh and she'd get hit hard if a marine did ride along in a space battle. As they angle towards the apartment roof, she casts an eye towards DRADIS. "Meteor, what've we got goin' on there? Can ya get a read on th' angles they've got, by chance?" She's too focused on keeping a tight grip on the stick to get them landed to take a close look, avoiding the SAM fire coming their way.
The Virgon bumps into the wall of the Raptor, grimacing slightly as she does. But then she has no other time to gather her senses beyond that before they are landing. "A'right!" Amioz is on her feet, and she easily measures in at a modest five-foot-two. She shoulders up her rifle, adjusts her helmet, and joins the disembark onto the glowing room. She speaks through the comms as she files out. "We go level by level, and we move fast. We're working on the buddy system. No one leaves the main corridor without a friend."
The west entrance to the apartment complex is clear, and it looks as if a small child with a handsome collection of chalk has colored all over the door in stick figures and floating shapes.
Lyn grins at Cate. "The armor should slow it down enough for the helmet to help," she quips back. Then she's hanging on while Tucker does some stunt flying to get them to the LZ. When they hit the rooftop, she's on her feet. "Yes, sir!" she barks to Amioz' orders, hopping out and moving to the cover of an AC vent on the roof, crouching down to cover the disembarking of the other marines.
As the Raptor that he is in goes through the evasives to dodge whatever the Cylon Triple-A can throw at them, Aleksander doesn't too uncomfortable but he has fallen silent and his facial expression too blank which betrays how he may actually feel. However, once he feels the sudden slowing of downward velocity and the craft touching down, the strap is undone and his kit grabbed. For him, it is a standard issued CF assault rifle. "Thanks for the ride." He does offer to Astraea in all seriousness before hopping out in quick fashion. When Amioz starts issuing orders, the Tauron remains silent but nods his head in acknowledgement before moving to a position to help cover the roof for now until he is buddied up and ready to move out.
Cate looks to Kyle when she calls her name, then the Raptor is jerking to a halt and she's grabbing her stuff. Tucker's declaration that he's coming out, getting a rifle, gets an alarmed peer. Maybe someone wasn't paying close enough attention to the mission briefing, because she's surprise by that. But they're moving out and she's moving with them, sticking close to Lyn.
Lyn's eye catches a glint of metal to the west, opposite direction of the beach. She levels her rifle and looks through the scope quickly, scanning the next building over. "Missile launcher! Rooftop to the west! It's targeting the Raptors!" she barks over the comm.
"Multiple bogeys of ours and Cylons in the air, Nova, but far enough away we should be safe. We should be safe." Bami gives DRADIS one more look over before confirming, as much for himself as the others in the Raptor. "At least for the time being." As they near the drop and set themselves down he goes about checking his own sidearm, and begins to disembark with the rest. He at least kept a pretense of calmness until Lyn's call out, and begins scanning as much as he can.
"I read you, Sergeant!" Kyle barks back to Amioz, filing out of the ramp and onto the LZ with her head low and the butt of her rifle tucked above her shoulder. Both hands in use, she's got her gloved fingers around the foregrip and her eyes scanning left and right. Lyn's call to SAM to the west has her hustling to the western wall, looking over it first, but finding some cover away from the Raptor.
While the others are disembarking, Astraea is settling back in place and double-checking things over in the cockpit. Post-flight checks and keeping the comms open. Both between them and the Vanguard and between her and the marines on the op. She does tilt her head to see Tucker with a rifle in hand. "Copy that," she offers to Bami. There's a nod for Aleksander as he steps out. But then she hears Lyn's shout. "Frak! I wasn't even thinking of-" just the SAMs. They're what a pilot is usually considering. Not a single Centurion with a shoulder-carry. She starts scrambling towards the rear controls and the Raptor's KEW to see if she can get its targeting up in time.
When the warning is called out by Lyn, Aleksander's training takes over and his rifle is immediately raised to his shoulder, stock pressed firmly against him as he looks to see if he can spot the threat. If he can, he would fire off a few rounds while his feet begins to move away from the Raptors. If they are firing at the Raptors, the worst thing he can do is be next to one.
The chalk drawing gets the briefest of glances as Cate disembarks from the Raptor, then her eyes are scanning the area, SMG pointed at the ground but ready. Lyn's call about a rocket has her moving toward cover away from the ship and scanning the rooftops for other targets.
There's a sudden burst of light from the opposite roof, and the missile bursts through the cylinder, barreling its way toward the Raptor that had just been under Nova and Meteor control, and it slams into the nose of the ship with a snap explosive of energy. The Raptor actually half-turns under the inertia, flashing its tail to the Marines on the roof. Inside, the front console is totally destroyed. The Cylon is already disappearing back behind the cover of the roof.
"Everyone, inside!" This comes from Amioz as she has her own rifle up into her shoulder, backing up toward the door. They are too out in the open!
Lyn returns fire, but the Cylon fires the missile and then vanishes without her hitting it. As the Raptor blows up she ducks low behind the vent, until the shrapnel stops flying, then she dashes for the door per Amioz' orders. She moves to one side of it, rifle held low, and nods to Kyle to open it.
Kyle gets her head up enough to the light show, but once the Raptor doesn't appear to be sailing to crash into their position, Amioz' words have her moving again. Following along closely behind Lyn, rifle pointed to the floor as she moves, she looks to Lyn and returns her nod, reaching for the door and pulling it open. She tugs to swing the door wide and plant a boot against it to keep it open, facing the rear, covering the others heading inside.
As the Raptor eats a missile, Alek sees where the missile trail is coming from and fires off a few rounds, knowing that he can't see the target. However, it may help in supressing any further attempts by the Cylons to reload and fire off another. Even if temporary. When Amioz calls for them to move inside, th Tauron is already moving his feet again to the door that leads to the stairwell.
So much for Tucker going. He hadn't powered down the engines yet. "OUT!" he yells to the departing Marines as he's throttling up the engines to kick up sand and dust as he tries to will the Raptor into the air, it's rear hatch hanging open as he tries to pull it away from the landing zone. He hears the tone, and watches only for a moment as Astraea's Raptor buys the far. Pushing the engines as hard as he can, he kicks up sand and surf as the ECO is trying desperatedly to pull the door close as the Raptor tears away from the fight to go into a holding pattern and call in support for the group and to get ready to pick up survivors as needed.
Though she's unable to get the KEW warmed up and able to fire on the Cylon with the missile launcher, Astraea is at least not in the cockpit when the missile hits and tears the front end of her Raptor partially open. Apparently, she's not able to dodge missiles when sitting completely still. The impact throws her into the sidewall of the bird, but at least doesn't do worse than knock the breath out of her. Nova grabs hold of the edge of the ECO console, drawing herself to her feet. "Frak me," she mumbles, dragging her helmet off for a better look at herself, first... then back to the fore of the bird. "...Ain't flyin' her out." She jams the helmet back on. "Flats, you still golden? 'Cause we're down a bird. If you got comms, we need to call Vanguard an' get another down here for haulin' refugees out." As she talks, she sights out Bami and starts clambering out of the Raptor in case there's a second missile sent their way.
By the time he has his pistol raised Bami's too late to get eyes on the Cylon. He does catch sight of the missile as it takes the Raptor for a dance, and he's already swearin in Scorpian. His sidearm goes down as Astrae makes her exit of the now dead bird, and lets out a sigh of relief. "You good?" he asks with a tinge of worry in his voice and his attention on the other Raptor making a hasty departure.
Cate jolts in surprise and ducks down when the explosion goes off behind them. Heart in throat, she turns to look - and there's a flash of relief when she sees Tucker's bird taking off "safely" into the sky. But the other Raptor has her attention. "You guys all right in there?" she yells to Astraea and Bami, staying in cover in the courtyard for the moment to cover the Raptor crew's exit.
There is a sudden lack of movement on the roof across the street, which may be more unsettling than the second sight of chrome peeking up over the roof's edge. Another Raptor goes streaking to the east, heading toward what looks to be a commercial district.
Lyn spins around the doorframe with her rifle brandished, and she heads down the stairs to the third floor, sweeping the gun left and right, checking corners carefully. She steps into the hallway and leans a shoulder against the apartment door at the western end, before trying the handle to see if it's locked.
When Aleksander reaches the door, he lowers his weapon and with his free hand, reaches for the doorknob. Luckily, it isn't locked though the door looks to be not very well maintained and he flings it open. "Open!" Without waiting, he continues forward, weapon pointed forward as he enters the stairwell and begins descending half a flight of stairs so he isn't jamming up the entrance by standing there. With the adrenaline pumping, his eyes are focused as he takes each step down. If there were Cylons on the opposite roof, there may already be Cylons inside.
"Copy, Nova, will have to break atmo to get signal." Tucker reports. "Try not to get smashed too bad until I get back." he mutters, as he moves to turn his Raptor and rocket towards the edge of space.
Kyle doesn't let herself get left behind. Once everyone's through the door, she closes it behind them and stomps down the stairs to the third floor and into the hallway. Once she shoulders into the wall next to another door marked C4 (better than G4), she tries the handle and spits onto the floor at her feet. "The air tastes horrible." Kyle comments to the others, leaning to call through the closed door. "Colonial Forces! If you're armed, don't shoot and get ready to move!"
"I'm good," Astraea offers to Bami, stepping off the remains of her Raptor. She's pulling out her sidearm and checking it. Her hand comes up as Cate shouts their way. "Good," she shouts back. Just a bit banged up. She puts that hand on Bami's arm, gesturing towards the door into the building itself. And then she's taking off after a final: "Flats, Nova. We'll hold tight." There's just a brief glance up after him and a silent prayer that he stays free of more SAM fire.
The stairwell contains all the usual plaques: IN CASE OF FIRE and AUTHORIZED ACCESS ONLY. The latter is puzzling based on the broken lock and signs of frequent wear on the carpets. Maybe all residents had authorization. Emergency lights are on above, flickering dully and casting heavy shadow in the lower part of the stairwell. It zigzags down to the landing of the third floor, and a big "3" is on the small sign beside the door. This door exits out into something like an airlock with yet another door finally opening onto the third floor, with a small corridor making a T with the main hallway.
The general decor here is worn, but had once been a calm seaside theme including a wave pattern on the carpets. There's a giant panorama photograph of the local beach along the small corridor's wall. It had suffered from water damage years ago, and ripples at one corner in its frame.
Bami lifts a free hand to Cate and gives a nod. His gaze moves from the Raptor to the apartments entrance as he joins with the rest of the Timber Wolves. Down the stairwell he goes with the rest as he notes, "I hate stairs like this. Always seemed like a death trap waiting to give way." Before they get to the doors he keeps his attention on that beachfront photo, and takes a few seconds to long to look away from it and continue on their trek.
"Don't forget your buddies!" a call comes from slightly behind the middle of the group.
Lyn knocks on the door of C3. "Colonial Forces! We're here to evacuate you! Coming in!" She opens the door and steps inside, sweeping with her rifle.
Once Aleksander reaches the landing of the third floor, he steps through the door for the hallway that leads to the T-intersection. That is where the Tauron stops though, especially with the reminder that they need to pick a buddy. Looks like the ex-Legionnaire is waiting to see if one of the Marines is available for him to tag along with. He doesn't call out for anyone who isn't buddied up though perhaps more than willing to just wait here in the hallway, perhaps take the easy job of babysitting the pilot and ECO.
This is unfamiliar territory for Astraea. She's supposed to be sitting in the cockpit of the Raptor, listening to comms chatter. She grips her sidearm tightly, steps ahead of Bami as they descend the stairs. "Th' whole thing makes me uncomfortable," the pilot mumbles. She glances to the photo as well. With that shout, there's a small scoff. "What're we, school children?" Even so, in the hallway, she sticks to the ECO's shoulder. She doesn't go up to the doors; that she leaves to the marines. The skies are her domain. The ground is theirs. There is a sense of unease, however, to the Scorpian.
Cate covers the Raptor crew until they're safely inside, nodding to them as they pass by. Then she's moving forward to catch up with the others. "Sergeant - you want the Raptor crew to watch the rear or one of us?" Since there were Cylons outside she doesn't want them coming up behind everyone.
Kyle's door is unlocked. She shoves it inward and brings her rifle up, sweeping in quickly and checking her corners in leans and bends. Her voice echoes over the walls, calling out orders for people to come out and present themselves, but no one comes. When she's back to the hallway, she pulls out a thick marker and writes a large 'X' on the front of the door. "C-Four! Clear!" Kyle calls, then turns to rendez-vous closer to the center of the floor.
It has been uneventful as the Colonial Forces rush through the topmost floor of the apartment complex. The apartments are in various states of disrepair and abandonment. One entire apartment looks as if it had once experienced a serious interior fire. The lighting is poor, aided only by dimming and spotty emergency lines along the corridor. One entire light fixture is missing, a gaping hole into the ceiling innards in its place. When they reach the door, they find it locked. There is a small sign hanging just below the peephole that defiantly remarks that "Solicitors Will Be Shot and Fed To Rover." Beneath the words is a silhouette of a barking dog. Behind the door is the sound of music that occasionally resonates with a serious bass.
Lyn creeps up to the door of C11. She arches a brow at the sign, and looks to Amioz, questioningly, raising her hand to knock on the Sergeant's orders.
While some of the Marines gather by C11, Aleksander moves a little bit further down the hallway, glancing back at his teammate Cate for a brief moment to catch her attention. He points two fingers to his eyes and then he points to the door to C9 and down the hallway as well. Looks like the Tauron is willing to cover the team while they poke at the C11 in case they get unexpected surprises.
Cate gives a brief nod to Aleksander to acknowledge his signal. She stands behind Lyn, also waiting for the sergeant's signal. Noticing the sign, she says, "How're you with dogs, Arda?"
For the most part, Astraea has just been going to doors that she's directed by the marines. She's just got a sidearm; no rifle here. "Reminds me of some of th'places back home," she offers sotto-voice to Bami. "Ain't much of a tour of Picon, 'm afraid." Almost apologetic, even. When there's a question of dogs, she looks up quick, then nudges the ECO with her elbow. "Did yer family have animals? How're ya wit' dogs?"
The Staff Sergeant grimaces at the sound of music, almost looking perturbed. She nods to Lyn, and she steps up to the door. The tiny Virgon raises her fist and immediately begins to hammer on the door. "Colonial Forces! We're here for evac!" Almost by the seventh syllable, there is a very squeaky dog barking on the otherside of the door and a voice raising in genuine annoyance.
"What the frak, man? Colonial what?" The dog continues its barking, yipping at the door with vigor.
Lyn snorts at Cate. "I'm better with polar bears," she mutters. Then she adds to the Staff Sergeant's yelling, "Colonial Marines! You're building is under attack by Cylon forces! We're here to evacuate you! Please restrain your dog and unlock the door!"
It may not be a vacation, but Bami at least gets to see something of Picon - however ugly it may be. Astraea's reminder elicits a brief frown. He shrugs to both the question and the barking dog, and points out, "We had animals and I took care of 'em, but I can't say I got a gift with 'em unless they need help with husbandry."
Cate lets out a soft snicker at Lyn's remark about the polar bear. Since it sounds like the man inside the apartment is neither incapacitated (except perhaps by stupidity) nor under attack by Cylons, and Lyn and the Sergeant have shouting at him well in hand, Cate shuffles over to Aleksander to watch the hallway.
There's a long silence, and then a voice says -- a bit loud because there's a good chance that the owner of the voice is also trying to talk over the yipping dog -- "Dude, the Picon Marines are here!" Close enough. "No, dude... stop!" Then there's a sudden shotgun blast that blows open the plaster almost right in front of Aleksander's post. The dog's yips are pretty much at the height of frantic, and there's the sound of a scuffle beyond the door, and two voices arguing.
"Marines, dude! I said MARINES."
"I thought you said Chromines!"
"Dude, when have I ever said that!"
Aleksander does have his rifle aimed diagonally downward but it is still pressed against his shoulder, ready to be brought up at a moment's notice. His gaze does move from the hallway where it leads to the other stairwell to the door at the end of the hall, and then the door nearby to the right. When the plaster and wall gets a chunk blown out in front of where he is, the Tauron immediately jumps to the other side of the hallway and presses his back against his. His rifle is now aimed at the wall where the shot came from and he looks furious. He actually takes aim at the wall and his hand hovers over the trigger, ready to shoot back.
Rundown building, half the apartments in bad shape. Astraea's a bit jumpy... which is an understatement, truth be told. When that shotgun blast comes through the wall, the Scorpian pilot literally squeaks, jumping sideways into Bami. Her sidearm comes up, hand tightening on the grip. She stares, wide-eyed, at the hole in the plaster. "...th' frak is peoples' problem?!"
At the shotgun blast Lyn crouches down below the line of fire and grunts. Then she eyerolls at the conversation wafting from inside. She looks to Amioz for orders.
Like Aleks, Cate has her SMG at her shoulder but in the 'pointed at the ground so as not to shoot some hapless civilian' position. When the shotgun blast rips through the wall ahead of them, she drops to one knee and jerks the weapon up toward the hole in the wall. Her heart skipped a beat there for a second, but outwardly she barely flinches. Hearing the commentary from inside, she sighs. "Poor form to shoot the people trying to save you, dumbass," she yells back. She gets back on her feet, muttering something in Celtan under her breath.
Shots fired bring out a very tangible fear in Bami. He was bringing his sidearm up when the other Scorpian bumps into him, and causes him to take a nervous glance her way. "Frak," he grumbles while lifting a hand to his chest. It takes a few for him to catch back up, and when he does so he looks between Aleks and the whole in teh wall. "You alright?" he asks of the Tauron.
"Hold your fire!" The Virgon holds up both hands, which means her weapon slides to her side. "We're here to get you out!" Which is a much better way of saying what Cate said. Sniff. Hiberians.
"Oh uh..." The first voice turns away, muttering something to the second. "We'll, uh, open the door now."
The door cracks open after the sound of something scraping the floor and then a series chains and locks disengaging. It reveals a kid's face -- or at least a young adult's face. Speckled with acne and a paranoid expression beneath a shock of black hair. When he sees the marines, his eyes go wide and the door opens all the way to reveal an older teenager -- maybe even a young twenty-something -- with a dark complexion but bleached hair and a dog the size of a loaf of bread in his arms. They both look shaky and nervous, and a unloaded shotgun lays on the floor at the dog-bearer's feet.
"Oh shit, dude... they're the Marines," the second one says.
It takes Bami's words to pull Aleksander out of his rage as he turns his gaze from the hole in the wall to the ECO, "Dumbass motherfrakkers with their frakking itchy trigger fingers. I'm about a second away from kicking that wall in and beaten whoever almost shot me senseless." Of course that would not be very professional of him but the temptation is very real. Instead, he just turns away to look back down the hallway he was keeping an eye out, trying to keep his thoughts occupied on the possible of Cylons reacting to the weapon fire instead of the youths that open the door. "Frakking idiots." He adds, a bit lower in his tone but probably still loud enough for the others to hear.
"Like we said. Three times," Lyn points out to the teens. She jerks her chin indicating they should come out and head back with Kyle to the stairwell to wait for extraction.
Cate just offers an irritated, "Seriously," in agreement with Aleksander. She scowls over her shoulder when the door opens, but otherwise just keeps watching the hall.
Shaking her shoulders out slightly, Astraea steps back and away from Bami; giving her fellow Scorpian some space. No need to make the tight quarters even worse. She takes a deep breath, dropping her sidearm to her side. Eyes close briefly and the woman moves to the side as the young men come out. "We takin' th' dog too?" This, asked under her breath of her compatriots. Almost in annoyance. No pilot wants a yippy thing on board.
"As long as you're safe, big man." Bami flashes a brief smile to Aleksander, and then looks upon the youths coming out. They earn as much of his ire as they do from everyone else, but question of the dog comes into play. "I don't see the harm in it," he offers while looking around the place. "What's the worst that could happen?"
"Look, dude... uh... dudes," the first begins to explain, "we want to come with you, but... uh... we can't go downstairs." His adam's apple bobs. "We, uh... heard some screaming and shit downstairs. Like... we are much happier in here." Reasonable. "So... you can totally go downstairs, but we can wait for you here." He's already starting to shut the door as if he feels much better when the door is closed and all his barricades are engaged. Then the door opens wider at Astraea's comment. "What you mean, takin' the dog? We're not leaving Frecks here!" Outrage, initiated.
While the young adults are yammering about being scared and not going downstairs, Aleksander's scowl doesn't disappear as he continues to stare down the hallway. However, something catches his ears and it doesn't sound particularly right. "Corporal, do you hear that?" He asks Cate, hoping she can confirm what he is hearing, "It's coming from somewhere downstairs." The rifle is raised and aimed at the corner of the hallway that leads to the stairwell. The Tauron begins to make his way towards the hallway, already on edge.
Lyn puts a foot in the door to stop it from closing. "Down the hall, in the stairwell to the roof. A marine will protect you til the evac. Go now."
Cate shakes her head at Aleksander's question, but it does fuel a growing impatience. "Can we stop dicking around with dumb and dumber back there?" Other people are probably dying, yo. "What is it?" she asks Aleks, following along with him with her SMG ready but still pointed down.
As more and more ears start to hone in on the phantom sound, it becomes more clear. It has a faint whooshing quality, almost like wind blowing through trees or clothes on a clothesline. It is very faint, but is coming from below, sound carried through the open doors to the fire tower on this end of the building. Where the doors had been shut in the fire tower the Marines came down through, this one has its doors gaping open. Almost invitingly.
Lyn grabs one of the teens by the ear and escorts him and the other one, and their damned dog, back down the hall the way they came, to the stairwell leading to the roof.
"Apollo's tits," Astraea mutters at the behavior from the two. She doesn't say anything further; she lets Lyn and company handle it, escorting them towards the stairs to the roof. Instead, she follows Aleksander and Cate towards the stairs, trying to pick out whatever the giant o a marine has spotted.
Bami rolls his eyes at the two civvies. Before they depart he says to Lyn, "Keep 'em safe." He gives the pair one last glance, but it's the dog that gets a look of worry. Her turns to Aleksander, and then to those doors, waiting to follow behind the marine.
"I'm not, can't put my finger on what it is but it doesn't sound right." Alek says, which is another reason why his frown doesn't fade. Rounding the corner, it's clear and the Marine proceeds forward to the door that leads to the stairwell. "I'm going to start down." He's already in the front so it only makes sense for him to continue first unless a change of position or plans is called out from behind. One step at a time, his rifle is still held at the ready and once the turn is made and the door to B-Level appears, he trains his weapon on that entrance.
"Yeah I hear it too now," Cate says as they move down the hall. She glances back to see who's with them but then says, "I'm right behind you." She follows a short distance back, close enough to cover, not so close to crimp his style.
The venture down the stairwell is silent except for that whooshing sound. It's origin becomes quite obvious once they get through the last opened door on the second level: fans. Giant fans meant to dry out wet carpets. They are blowing steadily down the hallway, hooked to a wall outlet that is probably siphoning most of whatever emergency power the building has. The carpet is dark and wet in a large splotch just in front of the fan, and Cylon footprints are easily to track through the soaked carpet and out onto the drier flooring. Under the dim light, the wetness is merely black and the footsteps head down toward the shared lounge on this floor through a pair of swinging doors that had been opened on the floor above.
There's no way Astraea's going to try to take point. Nope. At this point, since they cleared the third floor, she's happy enough to remain at the rear of the grouping. As they descend and those footprints become clear, the pilot looks a bit uncertain of things. She takes a step or two back. The sidearm is held tighter. "That's no good."
Bami nods to Aleksander's declaration as they continue. When going down the stairs he looks about as if some stray ghost will surprise the lot of them, and when they reach the second level he does get his sense of an unseen threat. He follows the footsteps as far as his gaze can go, and then turns to give Astraea a brief bump of his shoulder. "We all got this," he as as much to reassure Astraea as himself.
"What the frak..." Aleksander says in a rather quiet tone as possible threats are nearby. Peeking down the hallway, the Marine tries to see if there are any toasters lurking. Seeing nothing, he can only motion to the tracks that are now imprinted into the wet carpeting. For now, the Tauron goes no further as he waits at the corner. He crouches down to provide a lower profile as he takes aim down the hallway, both ready for anything that steps into the hallway and to provide covering fire while he waits for further orders, perhaps waiting to see if Cate has a plan in mind.
Cate's sentiments are the same as Astraea's. No, that's not good at all. She doesn't say so out loud, but the evidence of her thoughts is written on her face. She moves cautiously down the hall with Aleks, glancing back to see if the sergeant has any orders for them. Otherwise she'll move up to the next door in a classic 'room clearing' position. Just like training right? Uh, not so much.
Amioz is stalled by the sight of the fans, and the words Nova offers sends her own expression into a grave frown. She nods in mute agreement with the pilot before she raises her own rifle back into her shoulder, looking down the iron sights. "Alright, stay close... no on -- "
The double doors abruptly open, and a Cylon steps straight out of them and immediately turns as if to head into the opened doorway into Apartment B7. It is carrying something between its hands that appears to hold its interest, and it doesn't even look up to spot the approaching humans.
See? Totally no good. All the no good. Astraea tightens her jaw as they go along, her eyes snapping up towards the ceilings and the duct work there. She suppresses a shudder, drawing up her side arm as the doors open. Then, shit a gods-be-damned motherfrakkin' cylon. And Nova, well, Nova squeezes that trigger because CYLON, firing at the thing. Even though it's not directly firing at them. Yet. It would. She knows it. It's what they do.
When Cate begins moving down the hallway, Aleksander is covering her for a few paces before proceeding down the hallway as well, walking down and hugging the other side of the hallway that the Corporal is on so he still has a clear line of sight. When the doors to the lounge suddenly open though, the Tauron takes aim and when the Cylon walks out he has it in his sights. He was going to take a few more seconds to steady his shot but someone is already firing away with their sidearm behind him. So he depresses the trigger of his rifle, sending a burst of bullets down the hallway at the toaster.
Cate was pausing to check doors as they passed, not wanting to leave uncleared rooms behind them. She was just about to check room B8 when the lounge doors opened. Seeing the Cylon, her SMG snaps up to fire a shot.
It doesn't take much and the Cylon is completely unprepared for the incoming fire. Whatever it was carrying is immediately dropped, and it thumps lightly on the floor. It is fuzzy and looks almost like a child's toy. The Cylon collapses in a heap, and that's when a small child bursts into tears in the room it was about to enter.
Upon entry, the duo of Marines and Air Wing are met with a unsettling sight. Six full grown adult humans are layed out on random surfaces -- tables of various heights and a few mattresses from other rooms. They are all dead, and in various degrees of what looks like autopsy. The child's cry is coming from the small closet just on the other side of the entry door, and upon opening the door, they find a small girl of about five, curled up in the corner, and holding her arms over her head in complete shock and fright. It will take coaxing to get the girl out.
Hey, at least Nova didn't shoot anyone. She may be jumpy about pulling the trigger, but she's a trained enough pilot that she has good aim. Once the Centurion is down, she drops her sidearm to point at the ground. The Scorpian assists in clearing the rest of the floor before returning to the apartment in question. If only because Astraea has a hard time hearing the screaming of a child, but... clearing the floor for hostiles comes first, right? "Oh.... shit." That's, that's upon seeing the adults laid out as they are. "What... what the frak were they doing here?" She just sort of stalls in the room, stunned at the sight. Grateful for the helmet to help with the stench.
Astraea was right. Bami won't admit it aloud, but she was. Without a moment's hesitation he fires off a shot upon the Cylon along with the rest of the Timber Wolves. With that done and gone, he marches along with the rest until they come display of gore. He brings the back of his hand to his mouth, and after a few seconds he's able to hold onto his lunch. Instead, all of his attention is focused on the wee girl, and he rushes right over in an attempt to calm the child and evacuate her along with the only other two living civvies. "C'mon, we won't hurt ya, and we'll take ya some place to be far and away from the fra- the cylons that did this."
As the Cylon is brought down, Alekander advances forward down the hallway towards the double in quick fashion since that is where the threat was coming from. When he passes by the open doorway into B7, he glances in and sees the gory layout. Another curse is uttered but since there is no threat inside, the Tauron continues forward, his weapon still trained on the double door. The crying child is currently not his concern, it is the possibility of additional Cylons. Aleksander would work to slowly check the rest of the floor, making sure threats are cleared.
Cate keeps tracking the Cylon to make sure it's really dead, moving closer. She starts to check the lounge for any other Cylons, but then the child's cries draw her into the room o' horrors. She stops just inside the door, blanching at the sight. There's revulsion in her face, but not surprise. She's seen this shit before. Seeing Bami trying to coax the kid out, Cate pauses to pick up the toy that the Cylon had been holding. If it looks suitable (i.e. not horribly bloodstained or anything) she offers it to the ECO to give to the kid. "Try this. Get her out of here." Then as much as it tears at her to do it, she leaves the child in his charge and heads off after Aleks to continue clearing the floor.