2237-10-07 - Finding The Lost Wolves

The marines execute a rescue mission to find their missing comrades. Aleksander commandeers a Cylon AA battery.

Date: 2237-10-07

Location: Sagittaron

Related Scenes: 2237-09-30 - Well, We Found Him

Plot: Operation: Watchtower

Scene Number: 1465

Jump to End

The marine inserted early this morning into the foothills of the highland region where the prisoners were being kept. Ideally they would have preferred to drop right onto the rescue zone. Just one problem... they don't know the exact coordinates. What they do have, though, is Cate, who convinced Ryan that she had left enough markers and would recognize enough landmarks to get back to the cave once they got to the place where the recon squad picked her up.
They reached that spot - a rather unremarkable piece of scrubby hillside - about three hours ago, and now are moving cautiously across the hills following a circuitous path and avoiding the occasional Cylon patrol. Gunny Mercer is in charge, moving near the center of the group while Kyle and Cate are on point to navigate.

Kyle's getting her boots dirty for the first time since her MIA stint on Picon. It's all coming back rather quickly, from the DMR rifle to the heavy backpack, but the Picon humidity has been replaced by a dry heat. Beneath layers of tactical armor, fatigues, and a shemagh wrapped around her neck, she can feel the sweat trickling down into her boots. All the while, she's quiet on point, eyes shifting from left to right while she assists Cate on the path, regularly leaning and dipping to check behind rocks and embankments as they go.

Fore or rear: the two places Charlie prefers to be in formation. With Costello scouting out the way alongside the medic, Spectre has taken to tailgunner as they trek through the dust and scrub. Her rifle is in its mid-range configuration for shooting, but the scope is attached all the same and every so often she'll lag back a few strides to take a lay of the land behind them to check for any Cylons that may be tracking their progress. The Picon woman has been rather stoic the whole time. One of their own is out there and this isn't the first time the enemy has taken some of their number hostage either. This time, however, she's in a position to do something about it. Unlike Edson.

Gage has been even more grouchy than usual, this mission, keeping to non-verbal grunts at best. He's been shifting his weight awkwardly, almost mincing like he's hurt his feet or something, grimace flashing across his features now and then before disappearing just as swiftly. Their cautious movement doesn't allow for smoking, which probably isn't helping with the Tauron's mood any, on top of the Sagittaron heat that means he's sweating profusely.

Since others are keen to be out front or out back, Geoff settles for the middle of the pack, and he's as serious as he usually is on missions these days. And as quiet. And as ready.

Cate's hand is wrapped in a bandage and her face still shows scrapes and bruises from her capture and escape, but there's a look of determination on her face as she struggles to recall the path back to the others. No pressure right? She hasn't said much since leaving the Dauntless. Taking a knee - and wincing despite the kneepad guarding said limb - she scans the area ahead and then points. "That cluster of rocks up there - the one with the little arch near the bottom." She points out the next 'waypoint'.

This mission, Aleksander is minus a cigarette pinned between his lips, apparently a bit more focused for a rescue mission in unknown terrain. Even though they have two taking point, the Tauran has his eyes open as he moves with the main group. He does glance towards Gage from time to time, seeing the combat engineer with a little bit of awkwardness in his movements, but he doesn't ask about it for the time being. Davion does keep himself hydrated, taking drinks from his canteen more often than usual.

It's a good day for a walk, at least? Akeso is in the pack, towards the rear with Charlie - but not like, right next to her. There's nothing off about her, she just trucks along with everyone else. This is the Sagitt's home turf so the terrain and climate seem to agree with her just fine. So well in fact, that she is almost, sort of, kind of smiling to herself. It is awfully sunny though, which is probably why she's brought a black and white check scarf along to cover her head with, as the locals tend to. From time to time, she stares at Gage's boots, as if she's trying to determine whether he's legit injured himself.

Jacob, being part of the recon team who found Cate, is marginally familiar with this section of the scrubby vacation spot. His familiar v-shaped body is parked near the front of the group, somewhere near the rightmost edge. The position offers him visibility a bit beyond the group, though judging by the systematic destruction of the toothpick between his teeth, it's doing nothing for his mood. Neither was the heat, in point of fact. His own shemagh was wrapped around his neck mostly, though it did have a habit of coming up over his mouth and nose whenever sand was kicked up. Occasionally, those bright eyes flash from the surroundings to Cate, studying something within the woman. They remain a bare moment before switching, of course, back to the landscape.

The wisecracking Noah was doing on the way down ended the moment his boots hit the sand, and he's been silent ever since. Eyes up, head down, he follows in the wake of most of the others and keeps an eye on Kyle and Cait, too, watching for any body language that might signal a sudden stop.

Kyle slows next to Cate, not taking her eyes off of the path ahead, but nods at what she says. "Alright. I'm going to go take a look." Kyle whispers to the woman, then raises an arm to signal behind to the others. She motions to the rock and signals for a hold while she creeps her way towards the cluster of rocks, then slips down into a crawl to take a look around.

The glance Gage gives Aleksander is a familiar one, usually preceding a request for a smoke, but he says nothing this time, same as last -- especially when he notices Cate pausing and pointing further ahead of them. Instead, he shifts his pack, rechecks the rifle he's already rechecked a dozen times, and comes to a halt as Kyle signals, unaware of Akeso's interest in his feet as he shifts his weight grudgingly forward while they wait it out, digging for his canteen and taking a swig to hide another grimace.

With a hold signaled, Akeso neatly steps off the line and takes a knee behind a rock large enough to provide a modicum of cover. From there she scans the landscape intently, gaze tracking left and right, knowing that motion is best caught in the periphery of one's vision. Faily certain that the slope isn't crawling with Cylons after that, she spares the odd glance back at the group, but says nothing. Just checking.

Geoff takes his hold and scans the surrounding area while they are still, pausing just once to wipe sweat from his brow with one arm.

With their lead scout having the group hold, Aleksander slows to a stop and actually takes a knee, his rifle coming up to a ready position just in case. He watches where Kyle is heading towards before looking away, eyes slowly scanning the surroundings as they wait. Ears are also open to listen for any mechanical noises or anything that may be out of place.

Once a hold is marked, Charlie moves to a good spot herself. A rock, a shrub; something that provides some cover, but also gives her a good view of the landscape behind them. She settles in, takes a breath, and begins scanning the landscape.

And so it goes - Cate pointing out landmarks, Kyle scouting them, then the rest of the team advancing. Rinse and repeat. The better part of another hour goes by in such a fashion, the afternoon sun already past its zenith and on its way down. Still plenty hot though. But finally they seem to have reached their destination. "Down there," Cate murmurs to Kyle, tensing. She motions back for Mercer to come up to their position. The Gunny scoots forward, confers with the medic and looks down at the scene below.

When he returns to the main group, he speaks quietly. "All right listen up. Rhodes thinks this is the spot. We've got five Centurions patrolling outside of a cave, and three more on a SAM battery on the slope just to the east. Tomak, Ma, Davion, Wagner - you skirt across that ridge over there and take the SAM battery. Rest of us on the cave. Get into position, and watch for my signal." The Gunny looks around for any questions.

Inspirational photo: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Road_to_Bamiyan_2.jpg -- Imagine there's a cave and Cylons moving around down near those trees in the bottom left of the image, and the SAM battery is on the slope on the far right.

Gulping down water, Gage recaps the canteen and passes a hand across his brow. There's rocks everywhere, and he takes one, easing his weight down onto it, resting his rifle across his knees with a shift of expression that might be momentary relief. About now is when he'd usually complain about it not being a beach -- or something -- but clearly he's taking this rescue mission deadly seriously, so even that's absent. It's only when Mercer walks back towards them that he pushes to his feet again with a grunt. "Copy that, Gunny," he mutters, glancing in Wagner's direction as if waiting for her to take the lead.

Kyle waits from her forward position, watching as Mercer makes the call. A fresh bead of sweat smears dirt that has stuck to her cheek down somewhere between her neck and her shemagh. "Copy." Kyle mutters to the man as she tugs out her canteen and takes a quick sip. She brushes her lips dry with her sleeve and tucks the canteen away, then turns to move with her team to their overwatch position as silently as she can.

As they pass through more landmarks that are recognizable to Cate, Aleksander maintains his silence and focus, even if an hour or so has passed. When they stop again, the Tauran once again takes a knee to provide a lower profile, watching the Gunny move to the front. Then when their leader returns and issues quiet orders, Davion nods his head once before looking towards the aforementioned ridge. "Wagner, you want point or overwatch?" The question asked quietly to their recon sniper, who's skillset offers both.

The news that they've reached their destination arrives as a relief for Noah -- not necessarily because the travel is arduous, but because there's an eagerness and urgency to their purpose. He drops into a half-kneeling crouch as the Gunny edges up to confer with Kyle, and there are no questions from him when Mercer comes back. Just waiting.

All the Gunny gets from Jacob is a tight nod. It's silent, succinct, and mitigates all questions about the man's understanding of the plan. As soon as he gets a few steps from the Gunny, his rifle comes from a casual 'low ready' to a significantly less casual version of the same stance. His rifle fits brilliantly in the crook of his shoulder and the muzzle of it seems more than content to cover the mechanical visages on the canyon floor. On his way by Cate, though, his left hand comes up in a gloved fist and gently presses into her shoulder for just a moment. Another silent message. But this one meant something entirely different. Recon, being recon, puts the big Hibernian man near the front of the pack. He does choose a position with a rather large rock, though, either for luck or cover. With his weight slightly leaned against it and the straw of his camelbak joining that toothpick in his mouth, his eyes go to Mercer. Awaiting said signal.

There's a nod for Mercer when the orders are issued and Charlie moves away from her current position of overwatch to join up with the Taurans she's been assigned to work with. She looks towards the SAM site and then lifts her rifle to review it through the scope. "I'll take point on the way there," she notes to Aleksander when he asks. "Then we cover so Tomak can plant explosives." She looks to the other three: "Sound good?" If it's in the affirmative, she'll take off at a brisk pace.

"Right." Akeso nods, acknowledging Mercer before moving to the others named in the SAM hit squad. "Sounds fine. Allons-y." She falls in after Charlie, ready to soak up bullets like a champ.

"You know I'm always good to blow things up, Wagner," comes the not-very-surprising response from Gage. At least the prospect of blowing up stuff seems to have marginally cheered up the taciturn marine, though it doesn't exactly add a spring to his awkward walk as they move out, falling in behind Akeso.

Geoff has probably never asked a question during a mission. They don't pay him to think. He waits for Team Cave to be ready to roll out, shifting his grip on his rifle.

Cate looks up when Jacob touches her shoulder, a pensive expression on her face. She doesn't give voice to the anxiety though, focusing instead on finding a firing position behind some rocks.

Once the decision is made by Charlie to take point, Aleksander nods his head and falls in, ready to follow the recon sniper towards the ridge so they can start their assault on the Cylons. Safety is switched off on his rifle and he is on the move with them. He is hunched forward as he moves, trying to stay out of sight. Once they reach the ridge, he doesn't charge down the slope yet towards their objective, instead he takes aim with the others and once the signal is given, fires off a burst, the silence broken.

Kyle crawls into some cover in a cluster of rocks. The muzzle of her DMR pokes out from beneath a dried and pitied shrub. Once she's found her target, a Cylon wielding grenade ammunition, the hoods on her scope flip open and she draws down, lying in wait for the fight to start.

Nicole slides in with the group headed to the SAM site, she doesn't really say anything just moving along with like she has been. Finally tucking in the rifle to her shoulder she flicks off the safety and lines up on one of the Centurians, hunkering down low behind one of the rocks she leans out and... waits. When the go order was given she would lay into the Centurian she's sighting in on.

Geoff knows exactly which Cylon scares him the most, and takes aim at that one as he seeks the best cover he can find. He would prefer to keep the number of explosions today to a minimum.

Aleksander fires a burst!

Aleksander attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Aleksander attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Left Arm. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Aleksander attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Right Leg. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Noah fires a burst!

Noah attacks Cent2 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Noah attacks Cent2 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Left Leg.

Noah attacks Cent2 with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Cent3 passes.

Cate fires a burst!

Cate attacks Cent1 with Smg. Stopped by ARMOR on Abdomen.

Cate attacks Cent1 with Smg and HITS! Graze wound to Left Arm. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cate attacks Cent1 with Smg but Cent1 EVADES!

Casey attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Abdomen.

Charlie fires a burst!

Charlie attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Right Leg. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Charlie attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Charlie attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Jacob fires a burst!

Jacob attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Jacob attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Jacob attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Right Leg.

Martinez attacks Cent3 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Abdomen.

Geoff fires a burst!

Geoff attacks Cent2 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Geoff attacks Cent2 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Left Arm. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Geoff attacks Cent2 with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Akeso fires a burst!

Akeso attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Abdomen.

Akeso attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Akeso attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

All along the line, bodies turn into shadows in the lee of cover, or along the line of the ground. Noah manages to do the same, stature and all, his shoulder lowered and tilted into the rough side of the rock in front of him. As it happens, his criteria for target selection is the same as the other Caprican's not far from where he is: he could stand to not eat a grenade this evening.

Nicole fires a burst!

Nicole attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Nicole attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Nicole attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Left Arm. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cent7 passes.

Gage fires a burst!

Gage attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Right Leg.

Gage attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Head. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Gage attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Right Leg.

Hamilton attacks Cent3 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Left Arm. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cent1 passes.

Cent2 passes.

Cent6 passes.

Cent8 passes.

Mercer fires a burst!

Mercer attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Mercer attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Mercer attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap but Cent5 EVADES!

Kyle attacks Cent2 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Head.

Cent5 passes.

Cent4 passes.

Cent2 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Noah, Geoff, Kyle)

Once the Centurions around the SAM come into range, Charlie gestures for those with her on 'kaboom' duty to fan out. "Take 'em out, make a space for Tomak to do his thing." She'll head for a good rock or similar outcropping, herself. She'll let fire with a burst towards one of the Cylons, skidding to a stop at her chosen slice of cover once she reaches it.

Mercer gives the signal once everyone's in position. One of the Cylons goes down immediately, and a few others take some damage as bullets ping off their armor.

Gage isn't the most stealthy, perhaps a little worse than usual today, but he gets up to the ridge without alerting anyone. Sweating profusely, he takes a knee, rifle sweeping across the centurions around the SAM batteries, before settling on one and waiting for the signal to open fire. His burst impacts one of the centurions, but it still standing -- a little more dented -- as he drops onto his front and rolls behind the cover of a rock to aim from.

Akeso keeps to cover where she can (not that there's much), moving with the others, placing each step carefully. By the time Mercer gives the signal, the medic is in place with the rest of the small team and ready to go. When it's on, she doesn't hesitate, sending a burst at the nearest Cylon from her spot prone behind a rock that hopefully will stop a bullet or two.

When the firing starts, Kyle holds her breath and steadies her rifle on its bipod. The Cylon Centurion with the grenade launcher sucks some bullets into its torso by the time she pulls the trigger. The gun barks and bucks back into her shoulder, and by the time Kyle Costello reacquires her target, the Centurion is falling into a useless heap. The DMR sways on its bipod, centering on the head of another target: A Centurion with an LMG. Once again, Kyle draws in her breath and...

Jacob manages to land all of the shots of his burst with his camelback straw still in his mouth. Drink water and fight. If the marine corps had an official motto, that may well be it. If it weren't for armor and distance, the centurion he was aiming at may well be down. The man releases the straw from his teeth and spits the splintered toothpick on the canyon floor. That rocky outcropping takes a bit more of his weight as he focuses entirely on aiming down his rifle.

Cate fires a burst at one of the Centurions out of habit, but controlling the recoil of the gun is hell on her injured hand. Wincing, she switches over to a more carefully aimed single shot.

Once the initial burst is fired off, Aleksander settles into a prone position on the high point of the ridge where they are situated. With the advantage of elevation, the Tauran keeps his weapon trained on the Centurion below guarding the SAM battery. He presses down on the trigger again and his rifle stock recoiling against his shoulder while he keeps it firm.

Nicole lets off a burst of fire, and it seems to catch it at least somewhat in a joint or something as it did more than skitter off the surface of it's armor. But then she saw the Centurions start to turn on her and she ducked down heavily behind cover, "Frak!" She says in anticipation for the next moment, taking time to peak out as best she can from behind cover to pop off another burst.

No grenades tonight. Noah watches the dying light splash brass orange over his target as it tilts over and collapses, worse the wear for a hail of bullets and a single surgical shot from recon. There's a trickle of sweat down the center of his chest and the trench of his spine that would've been maddening thirty seconds ago, but as he selects his next target, he remains blissfully unaware. The one perk of being likely to soak incoming fire: it puts a lot of other discomforts into sharp perspective.

Geoff lets out a breath when the one with the grenade launcher goes down and immediately adjusts his aim for the nearest tin can.

Charlie fires a burst!

Charlie attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Charlie attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Charlie attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Kyle attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap and NARROWLY MISSES!

Jacob fires a burst!

Jacob attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Jacob attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap but Cent1 EVADES!

Jacob attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Geoff fires a burst!

Geoff attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Left Arm. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Geoff attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Geoff attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Aleksander fires a burst!

Aleksander attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Chest.

Aleksander attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Right Leg.

Aleksander attacks Cent7 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cate attacks Cent4 with Smg and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Head.

Nicole fires a burst!

Nicole attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Nicole attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Nicole attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Akeso fires a burst!

Akeso attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Akeso attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Akeso attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Cent5 attacks Geoff with Lmg+Bipod but Geoff EVADES!

Mercer fires a burst!

Mercer attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Abdomen.

Mercer attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Mercer attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Right Arm. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Martinez attacks Cent3 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Head. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Gage fires a burst!

Gage attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Gage attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Gage attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cent6 fires full-auto!

Cent6 attacks Aleksander with Lmg+Bipod but MISSES!

Cent6 attacks Casey with Lmg+Bipod but MISSES!

Cent6 attacks Charlie with Lmg+Bipod but Charlie EVADES!

Noah fires a burst!

Noah attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Noah attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Noah attacks Cent5 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Left Arm. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cent8 attacks Akeso with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Hamilton attacks Cent3 with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Cent1 attacks Martinez with Rifle+Ap but hits the COVER they're behind.

Cent7 attacks Nicole with Lmg+Bipod but MISSES!

Casey attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Chest.

Cent4 attacks Jacob with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Cent3 fires full-auto!

Cent3 attacks Hamilton with Lmg+Bipod and HITS! Graze wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cent3 attacks Mercer with Lmg+Bipod. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Cent3 attacks Noah with Lmg+Bipod but MISSES!

Cent4 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Cate)

Cent5 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Mercer, Noah)

Cent7 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Charlie, Aleksander)

Geoff pulls his upper body back behind cover /just/ before a bullet whizzes past. But he's ready to pop out again to try to down that clanking piece of scrap.

The second burst that Aleksander fires off is much more effective as the third bullet slams into the Centurion's chest, punching right through the plated armor, the integrity of the protective shield weakened by Charlie's shots. With his target going down, the Tauran gets to his feet and looks over to Gage, "Tomak, let's go." It seems like Davion is afraid that if they take too long, reinforcements may show up and he doesn't know how long it will take the combat engineer to set up. As he starts advancing down the slope at a quick pace, he fires off another burst, this one intent on keeping the Centurion's heads down and distracted.

It's routine, really. One can lose themselves in it. Pop up, fire a burst, and duck back down. Charlie goes with it, mouth pulling in grim satisfaction as the Centurion she's been firing at finally drops. One of the others isn't looking too good, so she calls out towards the engineer: "Tomak, get ready to head in. Siska, Davion, I want you with him for close support. Ma and I will provide cover."

Cate grunts in satisfaction as the Cylon falls, its domed head splintered by a single shot. She shifts her aim to another one.

Kyle's round leaves a large puff of rock dust next to where the Centurion's head once was. Her lips twist into a scowl as the round missed. She holds her place on the firing line, hunkered down in the rocks, and draws up on another target.

Gage's growl suggests he's not all pleased with the outcome, hand slipping into the vest pocket to pull free some gum and shove it into his mouth. There's a sudden grin that appears -- probably the first tonight -- at the other Tauron's words. <<Right behind you, brother,>> he replies in Tauran as he slips from behind the rock and half runs, half slides down the ridge. He's firing vaguely towards the centurions ahead, not really intending to hit so much as to distract.

Jacob has enough time to stare at the Cylon he is targeting. He looks at the machine with a slightly gap mouth before looking down at his rifle itself. "Armor piercing ammo, my ass." The words are really only meant for him, though he's irritated enough to not care who else hears it. His head ducks behind the rock seconds before a bullet whizzes by the space his head had just occupied. He sighs, taps his magazine a couple times, lowers his body position a bit, and takes aim once again.

Another one bites the dust. Noah's second target drops, perforated from two directions, and he's just shifting around to try to get a better angle on the next when a round pings off of the rock he's leaning into, and he snaps his head over to the side, away, squinting, jamming the heel of his palm into that eye and then blinking away the grit. Seconds later he's leaning out, aiming again, dimly aware of the movement near the AA battery.

Nicole lets out a sigh as the one who had just laced her cover with shots from a LMG goes down. She hazards another look from out of her cover, then leans out a bit farther. It looks like the Centurions are going down quickly, well, this was a nice change of pace from her old outfit. Tucking the rifle in tight to the shoulder again she tries for another burst of fire at the Centurion she's after. The last was pretty ineffective.

Akeso is putting rounds into that one cylon with the machine gun, but it just won't keel over. It's not for a lack of trying on her part, and seeing the Taurans start running in she grits her teeth, doubly so after Charlie's said her bit about the situation. "Dirt eaters." She mutters, but since it's happening she goes with it and tries to put that persistently not dying toaster down.

Gage suppresses Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and succeeds.

Gage suppresses Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and succeeds.

Kyle attacks Cent3 with Rifle+Ap and NARROWLY MISSES!

Akeso fires a burst!

Akeso attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Akeso attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Akeso attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Nicole fires a burst!

Nicole attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Nicole attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Nicole attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Charlie fires a burst!

Charlie attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Charlie attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Charlie attacks Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Aleksander suppresses Cent6 with Rifle+Ap and succeeds.

Aleksander suppresses Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and succeeds.

Noah fires a burst!

Noah attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Noah attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Abdomen. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Noah attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cate attacks Cent1 with Smg. Stopped by ARMOR on Head.

Martinez attacks Cent3 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Chest.

Cent1 attacks Martinez with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Casey attacks Cent8 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cent6 fires full-auto!

Cent6 attacks Aleksander with Lmg+Bipod but MISSES!

Cent6 attacks Aleksander with Lmg+Bipod but Aleksander EVADES EASILY!

Cent6 attacks Aleksander with Lmg+Bipod but Aleksander EVADES EASILY!

Cent6 attacks Gage with Lmg+Bipod but MISSES!

Cent6 attacks Gage with Lmg+Bipod but MISSES!

Cent6 attacks Gage with Lmg+Bipod but Gage EVADES EASILY!

Hamilton attacks Cent3 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Abdomen.

Jacob fires a burst!

Jacob attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Flesh Wound wound to Head. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Jacob attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Impaired wound to Right Arm.

Jacob attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Cent8 attacks Nicole with Rifle+Ap but MISSES!

Cent3 fires full-auto!

Cent3 attacks Hamilton with Lmg+Bipod but MISSES!

Cent3 attacks Kyle with Lmg+Bipod but Kyle EVADES!

Cent3 attacks Geoff with Lmg+Bipod but hits the COVER they're behind.

Geoff fires a burst!

Geoff attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Graze wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Geoff attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap. Stopped by ARMOR on Chest.

Geoff attacks Cent1 with Rifle+Ap and HITS! Incapacitated wound to Chest. (Reduced by ARMOR)

Cent1 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Noah, Jacob, Geoff)

Cent3 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Martinez)

Cent6 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Akeso, Charlie)

Cent8 has been *KO'd* ! (Damaged This Turn By: Nicole, Casey)

Geoff hits his target, and it's hard to say if he is so focused that he doesn't register that bullets are ricocheting off the rock he's crouched behind, right near his head, or if his keen awareness of that fact makes him too tense to visibly react. But at least the Centurion goes down.

The last Cylons fall, and Mercer wastes no time in waving his team forward. "Costello, Marx, take point, we're heading into the cave. Wagner!" He shouts over to the other team. "Your team covers the exit."

Either Aleksander trusts his comrades in arms on the ridge or his Legionnaire training has stripped fear from him but it appears that their tactics work out. His bullets along with Gage's suppresses the pair of canners while the rest of the team blasts them apart. Reaching the AA battery, a quick check on the downed Cylons show that they are indeed metal scrap now. <<Brother, how long until your explosives are set up and is it remote det or on a timer?>> While he asks, Davion actually goes to where one would man the AA battery, taking a look at the controls before actually going to take a seat. He seems to be checking and working with the guns, as if intending to use them if possible and necessary.

The final two Cylons drop and it leaves the secondary team open to set their explosives. Charlie shifts her stance to provide a broader sweep of cover with her rifle, watching for more Centurions. "Copy that, Gunny," she returns to Mercer. "Tomak, set it and get moving. We've got to cover the exit for the others!"

"Good copy, Gunny." Marx finally draws himself off of his rock. His eyes are still on the Cylon that finally went down, but took half a magazine to do it. As he approaches another position, one with a better path down the hill, he ejects that magazine, tucks it into his vest, and withdraws another, popping it into rifle with a casual slap against the side. The big Hibernian man keeps behind cover but turns his eyes over to his fellow recon marine.

Kyle pulls the trigger, wrenching the shot just enough to, yet again, explode a puff of rock dust beside the Centurion's head. It turns its weapon her way and the area around her coughs up dust as she rolls further behind the rocks for cover. No darkness? No pain? Kyle pats herself down and sighs relief, then leans back out to see a whole lot of Centurion feet pointed her way and their dimmed, red eyes to the sky. "Copy that, Gunny." Kyle kicks pebbles down the ridge as she shoves out of position and flips the angled sighs on her rifle into place. Heading in towards the mouth of the cave, she takes the right side, moving with Jacob.

Bullets flying all around them, Gage is running at full speed -- or at least as fast as he can manage with in between his pack and the rocky ground -- spraying bursts towards the remaining centurions. The bullets stop, but only because their fellows still up on the ridge manage to take them down. He slows enough to give a thumbs up towards the ridge, and then he's hoofing it for the base of the SAM battery, sliding in even as he's swinging his pack from his shoulder and pulling out charges. <<Watch out for those sneaky frakkers, need a couple of minutes.>> He pauses -- briefly -- at Aleksander's question. <<Remote. In case we need the distraction.>> The grunt acknowledges Charlie's yell, not that she can hear it from this distance, as he bends his head to work.

<FS3> Gage rolls Demolitions: Good Success (7 6 6 6 5 4 4 2 2 1)

Three for three is a solid way to kick things off, and there's some visceral satisfaction underneath the broader current of focus that carries Noah forward with the rest of the marines on his team. He stays low, sticks close to the pair of boots in front of him, and keeps his eyes peeled. This is not, it's safe to say, his favorite time of day for this sort of thing: the low sun is anything but ideal, every shadow harsh and dark.

Nicole gives another burst of fire into the Cylon and she knows her shots hit - but what really matters to her is the fact that it drops finally in the crash. She moves up to her feet, staying in a low crouch with her rifle still tucked in close. She glances toward the others and there's a pull of a smile before moving along with the others. She's staying quiet and following the lead of the other for now.

Cate may not be on point, but she's not far behind Jacob and Kyle as everyone starts moving towards the cave entrance. She hesitates, though, as they near the cave, a look of dread settling on her face. Mercer, coming up from the side, seems to notice this. "Rhodes - you can stay with Wagner's team." She shakes her head, swallowing. "I'm good to go, Gunny." Desperate to find out the fate of the others, even if she's also terrified of what that fate may be.

<<Good, I'm going to stick around in case the Cylons throw air units at us. Controls are the same. I'm sure they would be surprised that their own guns are shooting at them.>> Aleksander says after he looks over the controls of the AA battery before glancing at Gage who is getting to work with the explosive. <<If they threaten to overrun us, we can blow it on the run.>> For now though, the Tauran is providing cover for his brother-in-arms who is planting the explosives, eyes scanning the horizon, at least the sector where the Colonial Forces aren't.

Geoff follows up with the rest, sparing a look for Cate. "You can stay by me if you want," he offers quietly. "We're gonna get 'em, don't worry."

<<That would be fun. Not as fun as blowing it up though,>> Gage replies to Aleksander, to probably no one's surprise, as he moves around the far side. <<Besides, this baby'll take a million cubits off my tab with Harris,>> he adds with a low chuckle. It's probably not unfair to suggest Gage takes pride in his work, at least when it comes to explosives. There's a neat symmetry to his placement that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing, earning it a last look of satisfaction as the Tauron swings his pack back on and claps a hand on Aleksander's shoulder to let me know he's good to go, ready to move out back to the rest of the squad, keeping the remote detonator close to hand.

Finally. The SAM site cylons are put down, and Akeso can give herself a gold star later for putting a big hole in one. For now, she picks herself up off the ground and trots to the edge of the slope, putting herself at the end of the line of three. "Cover the exit, yes I heard. Merci bien, Wagner." She sounds vaguely sarcastic, but it could just be the accent and the complete lack of warmth and cheer in her flat expression. <<Over here when you're finished.>> She calls back to the Tauron twins, as if she's slightly worried that they'll decide to wander off on some other adventure.

When the two Tauran boys don't end up falling back, Charlie sets her jaw, frowning. "Tomak, Davion, we don't know what the frak is waiting in those caves. You seriously gonna leave the rest of us to cover the other team?" Assuming, it'd seem, that both of them plan to just hang out by the SAM site. She looks to Akeso, but says nothing else, instead gesturing to Casey and Nicole, waving out to a point on the opposite side the cave entrance as she moves to take up a position herself along with the corpsman of the group. "Eyes and ears out. Ma, stay close. They'll probably need you." Medical expertise and all.

Cate looks over to Geoff, nodding a little. "Yeah, thanks." She holds her SMG a little weird, trying to take pressure off the injured palm, but falls in beside Geoff as they start to move into the cave. The medic looks distinctly rattled, but she's hanging in there.

Geoff says no more about it, just happening to glance Cate's way once or twice as they advance. But mostly his eyes are ahead.

When Gage mentions a million cubits, Aleksander's attention quickly shifts back to the other Tauran, "Wait what? A million cubits? I didn't know Harris has that much money... think she could secretly be a Leonese Princess?>> The question is no doubt asked in jest, perhaps five percent seriousness. Then the concerned words and questions comes from the ridge and Davion looks towards the friendlies, waving his free hand at them while the other holds onto his rifle, "Wagner, I can get this AA unit to provide air cover for us in case they send something that is bigger than a Centurion, and flies." It seems like the Tauran feels that is enough explanation on why he is sticking around though he does look back towards Gage, <<If you want to rejoin them to provide more cover fire, go for it.>>

Jacob has no issue taking point. Cate's voice causes him to cock his head to the side a bit, though. A deep frown creases his features underneath that shemagh even as his feet start to crunch sand and rock beneath them. He makes his way down to the cave, careful to match his steps with his recon counterpart. His rifle is up, covering the entrance though his field of fire suggests he's also worried about the space to the side. There isn't much cover. But Marx does his best to work with what he has.

Nicole finally gives a snort of laughter at Akeso's comment in Tauron, then she glances off in the direction of Charlie as there's motion from the woman. A nod of her head and she's moving off in that direction, keeping low and quiet, and trying to keep her eyes and ears open. Wouldn't do to have them get caught by surprise. She sets up on that opposite side, glancing into the cave from time-to-time.

Kyle glances over her shoulder once and then tucks into the cave. Staying as silent as her footsteps will allow, she heads into the dark with her weapon forward, and once she's deeper into the darkness, she flips the torch at the end of her rifle to life. Trailing dust and stinking of sweat, she moves in line with Jacob, covering her side of the entrance on their way in.

Careful foot placement, avoiding scuffing that would only stir phantoms of dust into the air in the dark, where torchlight would turn it into a visibility-hampering haze. Noah's closer to the end of the line of marines edging into the cave, and there's an occasional glance back over his shoulder, awareness spanned out in every direction.

The cave grows dark not far into the cave, but the marine flashlights quickly light up the rocky walls. The tunnel leads around a bend, and another, and opens out into a cavern. In the center of the cavern are two cages - a design familiar to anyone who saw what the Cylons were holding people in after capturing Edson. Both cages, though, are empty. Another tunnel leaves the cavern from the opposite side.

"Wagner, just worry about the task at hand, I don't think you can guilt them into doing what you like." Akeso says with a faint snort before half turning to point at Gage and jerk that hand back toward her, thumb first. Get yo ass over here, seems to be the meaning of that one. Then Davion is the next to have the dark eyes of the little sergeant bore into him, "If you're volunteering to guard the rear, that's very good of you. Yell if you see anything, the rest of us will cover the exit as the Gunny wanted."

Cate sucks in a sharp breath when they come into the cavern, the light on her gun barrel wavering a bit. "This was it," she murmurs, though quite probably it was so quiet only Geoff could hear.

Unfortunately for Astraea, she couldn't find it in her to eat much -- if anything -- of what the Cylons gave them. She drank water, but couldn't get or keep down any food. It means in the wake of their own escape, the Raptor pilot is not in the best of shape. Not that she would be even if she had eaten everything they'd been given. Her right hand is tucked in close to her abdomen, protectively, but her left is being used to support the marine at her side. This is what the rescue team is faced with from the tunnel on the far side. Not Centurions. Not some Cylon horror-show. Just a pair of humans -- fellow Timber Wolves -- who are alive. They certainly don't count as healthy or hale, but they are alive. The Scorpian's hair is a mess and her flightsuit has been peeled back to her waist, the top layer of her dual-tanks torn away steadily whenever she replaced the makeshift bandaging on her hand. When a flashlight crosses her vision, she stumbles back in initial surprise- almost taking Lyn with her, potentially. Probably not, at all, expecting a rescue party.

"Ffffr-" Kyle begins to whisper under her breath at the sight of two empty cages. She nearly breaks silence for the inevitable 'frak', but catches herself. Her weapon goes up and around, scanning for targets in the cavern, but doesn't stop her forward movement to feed through the cavern and lead the marines towards the next tunnel. She lifts a hand to point forward. Not stopping.

Lyn is being propped up by Astrea, leaning heavily on the pilot. There is fluid and blood soaking through the bandage on her left leg, where the crash shrapnel struck and Cate had to tend it without any real meds or cleaning fluids remaining in her pack. It's infected, and she'd be dripping with sweat if the water deliveries had been remotely regular. But instead, she's dehydrated and looking pretty ashy. Her hair is plastered to her skin, dirty and greasy from not being washed in a week. Her eyes are glazed and she shrinks back from the light of the marine's flashlights. She raises a hand to shield her eyes, and it's holding some wires from the innards of a Cylon. She apparently took a trophy with her. Her pupils finally adjust and she squints. "C-Cate?" she asks, as if not entirely sure she trusts that the medic is really there. Or really exists. Or...let's just say it's been a really rough week.

<<Yeah well. Paying it down by blowing up these babies.>> Gage gives a fond pat to the SAM site that has as much to do with the fact that he's about to blow it to kingdom come than any fondness for the weapon. When Aleksander doesn't move with him, he stops, growling briefly as he eyes the other Tauron. <<Leave the air support to air support. This thing's wired to blow, and I'm good at my job, but I didn't make it safe for you to frakking fire the thing.>> Still, he can see something in the set of the other Tauran's expression that means his shoulder shifts in acceptance of Aleksander's decision, as he glances back over his shoulder towards the ridge, smirking briefly at the reaction of the others. He lifts the remote detonator into view. <<Trust that I won't slip, brother?>> He asks, with a sudden grin, as he takes a step back, then begins to pick his way back up towards the ridge to join the others.

The glare of a pair of dark eyes from Akeso is answered by Aleksander with a thumbs up for the Sergeant, as if unfazed by the stare. He does look back to Gage who is heading back towards the ridge, grinning, <<I know you're good enough not to slip, and if you do, I will come back and haunt you to no end. Plus, you know how punctual air support is, remember that frakking tank?>> The tank that kept shooting shells at them until air support finally decided to swing by. <<If you want something done right, do it yourself.>> With that said, Davion keeps close to the AA missile system though he has already planned his hasty exit in case it looks like his position is in trouble.

Geoff looks over at Cate. "We're gonna get them..." he starts to say again, but then there they actually /are/. "Frak," he whispers. "There's Lyn, there they are." He lifts a hand when Lyn hails them.

Not stopping is an apt description for the movement of Jacob's feet. His rifle and accompanying flashlight scan the seemingly empty cave, cover the rather bedraggled looking occupants, and moves beyond them. "Two friendlies." He calls back.

"If I'm lucky, it'll end up on an official report and I'll never make it to Sergeant for frakking up," Charlie replies to Akeso as she sweeps the opposite corner of the landscape. She then adds, muttering: "If we're unlucky, Davion will be too busy gazing at clouds to help us if Centurions decide to swarm the hillside."

Light thrown by flashlights passes through the cage bars, painting the far wall in black grid lines larger than the source, ominously immense and dark as a spectacle. Noah flicks impassive eyes over the scene, but they linger long enough to hint that it's more memorable than his neutral expression purports. He was not at Edson. This is, very probably, new.
And dismissed wholesale the moment Jacob says they've found some of the soldiers they're looking for. He closes in behind the others again, ready to help if help is necessary.

The rest of the marines can have the cavern. Kyle clicks her tongue with a nod to Jacob as they step past Lyn and Astrea with weapons forward, moving towards the far tunnel to secure the entirety of the cavern before any stoppage is had. The Kyle-shaped shadow steps past Lyn and Astraea without so much as a nod; she is a mere shuffling of boots and the gentle clinking of equipment.

Cate lets out a shaky breath when Lyn and Astraea appear in the doorway. She mumbles something under her breath - a prayer of thanks in Celtan - and then rushes forward to help them. She's choked up and can't actually get any words out to greet them, but the look of relief on her face is obvious. Letting her SMG slip down onto its strap, she reaches over to help take Lyn's weight.

Mercer says to Martinez and Hamilton, "Head back to the cave entrance and signal for pickup. Arda, Lieutenant, we've got you. Do you know where the others are?"

Half turning back, Gage grins at Aleksander. <<Frak. Ought to bring our own AA along with us, way things are going,>> he says. It'd be about par for the course if they were to die now -- bitching about air support -- and, apparently, sweating up a storm. By the time Gage reaches the ridge he's brushing sweaty palms on his thighs, swapping the detonator carefully from hand to hand as he does so. He finds a rock to perch on, resting weapon on one knee, as much watching over the Tauron down the ridge as anywhere else.

"Emrys and Bailey are back there, two," Lyn struggles to think clearly, "rights and one left, I think? Medical type room. They're alive," she croaks out to Mercer as she leans on Cate to spare Astraea her weight. The kid has held her up long enough. Note she said they're alive. Not alive and well. None of them are well, nor will they be for a while, long after the physical wounds heal up.

Once Akeso has given the sergeant eyes to the Taurons, she does like Nicole and Charlie both, watching the cave and countryside for signs of imminent doom. She's super, super calm, considering the excitement of barely a blink ago. She considers the recon sniper and pulls a thoughtful half smirk, "I trust a Legionnaire not to be that big of a frak up. He'd already be dead if he was that dumb." Still, she does glance back over her shoulder to check up on the pair. Everything checks out as far as she's concerned, so there's look over at Siska and a tiny upnod for the fellow Athena vet.

A look of mild relief washes over Astraea's features at seeing Cate and at the aid with Lyn both. "Ya survive," she notes to the medic. "I- I didn' know what ta think." Her voice cracks with the limited water, the dry air, and how many times she'd drift off to sleep and wake up sobbing anew. She nods along with Lyn's description. "Jes' th' two of 'em. Yer other men were... lost when th' Raptor went." She looks apologetic for that, even though the Air Wing lost an ECO in that explosion, too.

There's just a grunt for Akeso from Charlie. She looks back down the ridge briefly, rolling her shoulders to ease up an uncomfortable prickle down her spine. "Tomak," she calls to the engineer once he joins them. "The Cylons can't operate those things remotely can they?"

Geoff steps forward to give his canteen to Astraea, who sounds like she needs it. "Any tin cans patrol the medical room?" he asks.

"Davy knows what he's doing," Gage says, sharply -- whether in response to Ma or Wagner isn't clear. Yeah, still in an ill mood, he hasn't actually blown up anything yet, and it's still hot as balls. "Besides, we all know Wagner'd spot anything before either Davy or I even thought we might've seen something." Despite being seated, he shifts weight from foot to foot, a decidedly discomforted expression passing fleetingly across his features. "The frak should I know? It starts shooting willy nilly, Davy'll jump out, and I'll just," his gaze slants to the detonator. "Poof."

Outside, the sound of an aircraft engine can be heard. As the rear guard team looks up, they can see a Heavy Raider approaching from across the canyon.

Lyn shakes her head a little at Geoff, giving him a small smile. "Good to see you, Zombie," she murmurs. "The only one we saw, we took out," she notes tiredly, waggling the wires in her hand. "If it's ok with you, Gunny? I'd really like to go home to the Dauntless."

"We'll get them," Mercer tells Astraea and Lyn at the news of the other two's location. "Courtois, Rhodes - get those two to the cave entrance. Rest of you with me." He motions for the others to proceed down the other tunnel with him.

"Shouldn't we have a better idea how the frak those things work?" Gage's bad mood is rubbing off on Charlie. Either that or she's really not enjoying this whole 'team leader' exercise at all. Then there's that heavy raider. "Davion, if you don't take that down, I am never letting you near a big gun ever again!" And then it's to the radio, mashing the comms: "Gunny, what's your status? We've got company."

Cate finally finds her voice when Astraea speaks o her. "Yeah, I know." There's a note of apology in the words. "C'mon, let's get out of here."

Nicole had stayed quiet, just watching for now. She did that a lot, her eyes running along the people and all that was going on but just sort of absorbing it. She stayed off to the side, nearer to the entrance to the main part of the cave with the two cages. As the sounds filter down and then the comments of new enemies?
The Tauron woman steps back a bit, using the corner as some cover while she leans out with the rifle, ready to guard that way.

Just a brief sidelong glance from Noah as he passes the people they came to get, and then he's falling in behind the marines remaining for the sweep.

When the sound of aircraft approaches, Aleksander can't help but frown since there was no call of air support or announcement that a rescue Raptor is inbound. Eyes up into the skies, it isn't long before Davion spots the Heavy Raider on approach and he says a single word, "Frak..." He wasn't expecting to put his own skills to the test, just wanting to lean against the AA launcher, take a break and have a smoke. But training takes over and he hurries to the control panel again and begins working with it. One target is easy enough to select and he primes the AA Battery to begin its attack.

Jacob doesn't need any more motivation to move than that. The big recon marine steps carefully in the darkness, his knees slightly bent because ceilings weren't always at a uniform height. His rifle levels, coming to be tucked into the pocket in his shoulder once again. "Understood, Gunny. Costello? Up for taking point with me again?" He'd paid attention enough to catch her name, at least. Even if he hadn't worked with her until this point.

"Cover!" Akeso yells just as soon as she can make out the dark shape of the raider to go with the sound. There's also a simple request of the Tauron, "Davy, kill it!" Somehow she doesn't let herself say 'inconceivable!' at this turn of events. She has discipline. "If it makes it to ground intact, we'll have to take care of the toasters before they can get out. Tomak, do you have anything that might implode a raider?"

<FS3> Aleksander rolls Gunnery+1: Good Success (7 7 7 7 3 2 2 1 1 1)

Geoff gives Lyn a nod, the tension of which actually reveals how relieved he is to see her. "Let's go," he says to Lyn and Astraea, "Cate and I can each give you a shoulder to lean on.

"Aint no gunner. Ask Tavo." Gage is dismissive; he knows what he's good at, and what he's not good at. And then there's a frakking raider. "Frak!" And then a wide-eyed look to Ma. "What the frak, do you think I carry a rocket in my pants?" He's cursing, and then he's off, sliding back down that ridge, headed for Aleksander's position. <<Don't you dare blow the frak up, you dirt eater,>> he's growling.

Moving alongside Jacob, Kyle glances over to her fellow Recon Marine and whispers. "Absolutely, Marx. Let's get this done and get them into beds." Kyle mutters to the man, then once Mercer and the footsteps catch up. The light from her torch floods the tunnel as she moves down, checking one of the two rooms. She emerges a few seconds later to the turn of a droning "Clear!" then she's back out towards the cavern again.

There's a small nod for Cate from Astraea and when they're given the order to move out, she just sort of sags with relief. The pilot nods Geoff to Lyn, stepping from the marine's side. "Help 'er," she offers. "Her leg's hurt." For the Scorpian's sake, she's got two good legs. She's just exhausted and in need of hydration and food. She will, however, gladly follow them out to the exit.

There's no response to Charlie's radio query from Mercer - the caves block the comms rather effectively. But Hamilton and Martinez arrive and activate the pickup beacon. "We found two of 'em - Gunny's looking for the others," Hamilton reports. "Pickup should be on the way."

The raider flies casual, having no idea that the AA site has been compromised. A missile streaks out from the launcher after Aleksander figures out the controls, striking the craft square on. It goes down behind a ridge, out of view, but there's smoke wafting upward from that position. Crashed or crash-landed, who knows.

"Could use a damn rocket launcher," Charlie mutters, hunkering down by her rock. To Casey, she points sharply at the cave entrance. "Get back there and let them know to hold back until our ride out is here! We don't want to put more targets on this hillside!" For the others, well, the best they can do is hold tight and shoot anything their guns have a hope against, right? When the missile hits the raider, she relaxes... but not much. Instead, she looks to Hamilton and Martinez. "We got an ETA on that pickup? 'Cause I doubt that's the only frakkin' raider they're gonna send our way."

"Here," Geoff says to Lyn. "Put your arm around my neck or I can carry you. Preacher's gonna be frakkin' glad to see you."

Inside the cave, the group follows the tunnel a little ways, a faint glow up ahead. It opens up into another cavern - this one seemingly turned into... something. Lab? There are cables running around and a half dismantled Cylon in the corner of the room with cables running out of its head and a simple metal chair. Another Cylon lays on the floor with its head smashed in. Emrys and Bailey are here, along with a dead human (Muttering Guy). After picking up their people, Mercer waves the marines back out.

<<Godsdamn, Davy!>> Even Gage has to stop and admire that, skidding to a halt on the rocks not far from the SAM as he watches the raider explode. Just a moment, and then he's racing into range, dropping down next to the emplacement. <<Don't you frakking move, brother,>> he growls, checking over the detonators. <<All right. Slowly, now, to your right,>> he instructs. He's sweating. Could just be the frakking heat, though.

"A bag of grenades would do." Akeso frowns up at Gage like she's completely disappointed he couldn't MacGuyver a rocket out of MRE packaging, cigarettes, elastic bands and a battery, but it's all a bit moot since the AA missile does the job and the heavy disappears over the hill. She picks herself up then, from prone to kneeling with her own cover rock to rest a hip against. "Are they coming out? Tell them it's clear, and an ETA would be excellent." She agrees before lifting a hand to Davy, actually cracking a smallish smile as she calls to him in Tauran, <<I never doubted you.>>

Lyn slides her arm around Geoff's neck, and she looks at him blearily. "Is Al ok? I was so worried about him," she murmurs groggily.

Once on the ship out, Astraea doesn't pass out, but she's not very responsive either. Largely just silent and staring. She stays close to Emrys' side once he's with them and remains wildly protective of that hand. It's going to take a fair bit of morpha and the medical staff to get a good look it.

Just as was the case with the cages, there's not much marked difference in Noah's expression as the marines filter into the wider space containing...
Containing...whatever the hell this is. He stands in the midst of it while the other two MIA soldiers are retrieved, tracing the lines of running cables with his eyes, but the faint frown that appears just before he drags his shemagh back up over his nose and mouth says there's nothing in the configuration to salvage.
And anyway, there's the distant, concussive boom of munitions to worry about at that point, and he double-times it with the rest, all focus distilled down to evacuating rescued marines.

There is a sigh of relief from Aleksander after the missile exited its tube safely since one, he didn't blow up, two, the missile actually was launched. Then he watches as the rocket continues to gather speed and altitude, watching it heading towards the Heavy Raider, realizing that it might be working properly. Then the intercept, impact, and the large Cylon aircraft disappears behind the ridge. Davion can't help himself as a somewhat pleased grin appears. A hand goes to his pocket as he pulls out his pack of cigarette, feeling that he deserves a reward. With Gage running at him, apparently alarmed, he offers the pack of smokes to his Tauran brother before stepping to the right in a rather casual manner, <<What's wrong? It fired and it didn't blow up.>> Aleksander then looks back towards the ridge and gives Akeso another thumbs up.

"I think he's okay," Geoff says, carefully helping Lyn along. "But he's been scared for you. We're gonna get you to medical and then I'll find him and let him know you made it."

Kyle grunts under her breath at the two dead Cylons, even if Bailey and Emrys are alive. There's still one dead body back there, which is one more dead body than she'd preferred to see today. Back to the main cavern, she sidles over to Geoff and Lyn, and reaches out to gently squeeze the shoulder of the latter in passing. A final glance to the hanging cages has her shaking her head on her way out towards where they came. "Hard part's over," Kyle mutters back over her shoulder, tugging her shemagh back over her mouth. "The ride home's worth the wait."

When their ride shows, Charlie's shoulders sag with relief. Especially since it's a ride home and not more centurions. "C'mon," she calls down the hill. "Set that thing to blow and let's get out of here!" The sniper would very, very much like her post-mission meal and shower, thank you very much.

<<Yet. It didn't blow up yet,>> Gage corrects, abruptly. There'll be more time for admiration -- and smokes -- later. Right now, the combat engineer is hustling the other Tauron away. Moments after they're minimum safe distance, the SAM blows, sending twisted pieces of metal and smoke into the sky as he tucks away the detonator. Gage just exhales, and then claps the other Tauron on the shoulder, allowing himself a grin finally, as they move to meet the others. <<Who needs air support?>>

When Gage doesn't take the cigarettes, Aleksander tucks it away back into his pocket before watching the combat engineer work on the explosives again, <<Oh.>> He says, though not entirely concerned by the answer from the combat engineer. When their ride appears though, Davion seems to be in agreement that it is time to depart, no longer hanging the AA missile battery longer than necessary. Securing his rifle with the safety on and when the other Tauran sets the planted explosives to blow, Aleksander out of reflex puts a hand over the front of his helmet, shielding his face with his forearm. As for the question, he answers only with a grin.

The pickup that comes for them is a sizable flight - they're not taking any chances by sending one lonely Raptor after all that's been lost here. But the birds land while the Vipers provide cover, and in a few minutes the marines are picked up and on their way back to the ship.


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