The marines guide bombers to a target but then have to help rescue a downed Raptor.
Related Scenes: None
Plot: Operation: Bullhorn
Scene Number: 1619
The Axios offensive is underway. The Wolves are doing their part, and today a squad has been sent to sneak behind the lines and provide laser target guidance for a bombing raid on a Cylon supply depot. They've spent the past two hours trekking through the chilly forest. There's no snow, at least, but the temperature is decidedly cold. SSG Bordeaux is leading the squad. "We should be coming up on it over this next ridge, so keep sharp," he tells them. The depot is a warehouse on the outskirts of a small town, long-ago captured by Cylons.
Long treks are nothing new to Wagner. Really, to a recon marine, two hours doesn't even count as 'long.' It's an easy ruck. Cold, but easy. It's the cold part that sucks and Charlie, being from the southern hemisphere of Picon, has been doing her Kobol-given right as a marine and bitching. Frequently. "Frakkin' ice. Fleet couldn't send us somewhere better? Beach, maybe? I'd take sand in my kit over this." She'd probably find cause to bitch about that, too. Probably because it'd be worse for Sasha in the long run. Really, it's when they were last on Picon that they had it best, truth be told. At least as far as climate goes. Spiders were the worst they had to deal with. She pulls the scarf tucked into her coat up around the lower half of her features a bit tighter, moving into a better scouting position to spot potential targets.
Cate has been quiet throughout the trek, but is quick to echo Charlie's sentiment. "I'm never going to complain about how hot it is on Scorpia again," she vows, shifting her SMG to one hand to ball up the fingers of the other inside her glove, warming it up.
Bailey is living up to both sides of her callsign right now; she's definitely alert, if not hyper-aware, glancing from side to side and over her shoulder whenever she hears any of those ghosts of noises that may or may not even be real. At least for the most part Bailey does not have a reputation for hallucinations. She's also walking on her tiptoes, and with the way she moves it's easy to tell even in lined combat boots that that's what she's doing, as if having her heels touch the ground might make her even colder. The noise she makes is one in agreement with Charlie, but uninterested in unwrapping the scarf from her face enough to make it into actual words.
"Isn't this a Recon unit?" Is the soft growl-mutter from Aetrian. The aging Staff Sergeant rolls his eyes about the bitching. Though bitching troopers is not necessarily a bad sign. The biggish man moves far silently than his frame appears capable of, and he ninja's his way ahead slightly trying to gain a viewing vantage point over the ridgeline.
"No, sir," Charlie answers Aetrian. She thumbs towards Cate. "Doc there ruins the aesthetic." She's teasing, it's clear. The Piconese woman's never had an issue with a medic along for the ride. It's just fun to, well, poke fun. "Just listen to her clomp along, making all that damn noise." Not that she's yet heard the Hibernian make any more noise than the rest of them. Again, Kobol. Given. Right. Plus, someone's got to be the loudest complainant. Tomak's not around. There's a quota to fill.
Cate makes a little snickering noise, though whether it's to the original question or Charlie's teasing is unclear. Either way, she falls quiet and focuses her attention on the ridge as they approach.
"Mm, we might be louder in snow," Bailey whispers, and it is just that -- only loud enough to be audible. At least at this point no one is sneezing, and it's not so chilled that they have to take loud breaths to keep going. She's squinting to try to see ahead, though as far as she actually can see, it's just more cold land.
Bordeaux ignores the chatter. The ridge is not right next to the warehouse, but the laser targeters have a good range and the ridge provides them with a good view. They can see some Centurions patrolling around the building. "Take cover and set up a perimeter," he orders. Checking his watch, he sees that they still have a few minutes before the bombers are set to be inbound.
There is the faintest sound that might be a sigh of exasperation, followed by something that could be amusement from Aetrian. He looks back to the small group to at least show teeth in a brief smile before going all impassive-face-serious again. He shifts a cloak about him and goes to ground for targetting purposes, taking a brief moment to verify his earpiece is tucked in properly, and his sighs are set to where he needs them to be.
It's not as if they could even be heard at normal volume with the engine noise in the background, but Bailey's still opting for silence -- her response before laser-light production is only a nod and a salute. There's also a slight adjustment of her headwear, earpiece and warmth gear alike, but she's definitely in pay-attention-and-hold-still mode.
Shifting slightly, and making a last moment adjustment to a knob. Aetrian flips the switch to activate the targetting laser. Once done, he checks again to ensure he's lighting up the proper target. A quick nod and a murmur towards Bordeaux "Confirmed." Not content to simply settle in for the show, Aetrian resumes slowly scanning for hostiles that could discover them.
Cate has hunkered down behind a fallen tree stump, peering over it to watch their flank. She glances over her shoulder at the sound of approaching engines, but spares them only a brief glance before returning her watchful gaze to the forest.
Checking over Sasha quickly, Charlie settles in at her chosen spot (a mossy rock) with her preferred rifle. She breathes carefully against the scarf, the wool warming and dissipating her breath. The rumbling and noise overhead does cover them, but now that action is go... she's in a more serious mode like the others. Ready for that which may come.
While that's happening, the bombers loose their payload. The ground shakes and a hot blast of air rushes towards the marines as the bombs strike true. The supply depot is hit multiple times, and soon becomes a conflagration.
"Nice work," Bordeaux tells the squad. "We're being tasked with securing that crash site. Let's move."
"Did anyone see a 'chute?" Aetrian queries the rest? He's already on the move as ordered, trying to do his best to balance speed versus his stealth approach. The rifle was stowed onto his back with the sling. A knife has appeared in his hand born of habit and precaution. He's an odd one of several campaigns though the toasters were still new to him.
Those sensitive ears of Bailey's that are often so useful are also a detriment in moments like this, as she's screwed up her face into an eyes-nearly-shut wince at the onslaught of further air and the sensation of ground quaking underneath her, but as expected she makes a quick enough recovery. Crashed craft may not have been part of the day plan, but it is important, and she's fast to spring from crouching to standing. "Do we know anything more about it?" she asks softly, head canted to one side. Will Cate get to save anyone, for instance?
"I didn't see one." Securing a crash site? That's a new one on Charlie and not one she's entirely keen on. She's not SAR. But they do have a medic with them. The woman casts an eye towards the nearby trees, gauging them for potential to be climbed. The ice isn't... too terrible. "I can try to get a better vantage point, see what we're working with."
Cate flinches a little at the force of the explosion, but when the sergeant is telling them all to move, she nods. Scooting back away from her covered position, she rises to a crouch then to a hunched-over standing position. "I didn't see any, but it looked like it still had partial power as it was going down." So hopefully they didn't crater.
Bordeaux answers, "No word yet from the downed pilots, but the rest of the flight thinks the bird's intact enough there may be survivors." He nods to Charlie's suggestion. "When we get closer, go ahead and look for some high ground. Too far away to see shit from here. Let's move out."
"I'll range on ahead then. I'm quieter than you lot." Recon types often get painted as loaners, Aetrian seems content to make use to this stereotype for the moment. He picks his footing carefully, seeking more solid placement in the cold forest. Slipping between trees, ducking under branches. Being as undisturbing as he can be along his way.
Bailey takes advantage of Aetrian's willingness to go first by simply stepping in the spots he stepped in first as much as possible. "I could probably challenge that," she murmurs, "and say I am at least as quiet, but now is not the time," instead she just has to prove it by not getting caught out making loud noises. Or hit in the head again: it's definitely been one of those years. Stepping in others' footfalls definitely helps, especially when the other person is bigger and has larger feet.
Just because she's not being quiet doesn't mean Charlie can't be. She's just lazy. Or doesn't see the necessity just now. In the overall silence afforded by the snow-covered landscape, they'd hear most Cylons at a distance. The woman nods sharply to their CO and falls in, keeping an eye out for good vantage points as they surge forward towards the fading plume of smoke that marks the crash site.
Moving as someone who taks pride in their stealth skills, Aetrian leads ahead to the site almost gracefully. Once on scene, he ranges beyond the crash site as Bordeaux gives instructions for defensive positions. The knife is sheathed away, and the long rifle comes back out to track it's muzzle slowly side to side looking for targets, and/or trouble.
Hopefully trouble is not inside the downed ship; much as Bailey likes finding it, the best way to do that is not when with a medic looking for injured parties. She does a quick weapons check (still there and operational, as is her head lamp, though she isn't wearing it) before offering an affirmative salute-nod. "No walking into fires," Bailey murmurs softly enough that might be a reminder for herself: she wrinkles her nose once as if adjusting to the smoky smell as she soldiers onward into that wreckage, glad now for the scarf that's covering her face. There aren't any actual fires as far as she can see ...
Cate nods to the order. After a brief glance to Bailey, she moves out with the other medic cautiously towards the downed ship. "Least it's not burning badly," she comments in agreement. The smoke seems to be confined to the engine area where the missile hit. Looking to make sure Bailey's ready in case something bad lies within, Cate activates the Raptor hatch's manual override emergency switch, then starts climbing in.
Like all marines, Charlie is capable of basic first aid. Beyond that? Nope. So the woman begins scouting out a good high point to defend the two scouting the ship. She finds a tree that's been shielded from the worst of wind and storms by the hillside. At least one side of it has. This, then, is when she does go into full recon marine mode. It's business time. Slinging her rifle back alongside her gear, she takes further to ground, thumbing her mic to report the coordinates of the spot she's heading towards to the rest of the squad before she takes off, heading for the spot.
Bailey manages to climb in behind Cate while not losing one hand's grip on her pistol; as of yet, not too much fire and not too much smoke smell means she's just going to keep her glorified guard position over here. Now her eyes are open wide, the squint left in the cold, and ears attuned-- but she is also not really expecting Cylons in a crashed fighter. This may be an error.
Cate is also not expecting Cylons in the ship, and when a quick glance confirms the absence of chrome inside, she slings her SMG behind her to be more mobile. Things have been tossed around inside the bird and it's tilted at an odd angle, so she holds onto the seats as she moves to the ECO. He's unmoving, still buckled in his seat. "Check him - I've got the pilot," Cate tells Bailey, making her way forward.
Checking on whether or not someone is alive is something that easily falls under Bailey's first aid skills, so she murmurs an affirmative as she hops over a couple of fallen objects and makes her way to her apparently unconscious subject. The one mistake she might make is removing those buckles before checking for pulses and breathing, but it seems like a good enough idea as seat belts don't always help with remembering to take breaths. If the ECO's still unconscious and stays that way with her initial wrist grasping, she'll use her flashlight to take a peek at his pupils. Most people who are going to wake up on their own will do so when someone else is lifting their eyelids and trying to get pupillary responses, too.
Once she's found a good perch in the tree, Charlie settles in. Her pack goes there. Extra ammo there. It's not a perfect sniper's nest, but she's had worse. The Piconese woman settles in and gets... if not comfortable, then situated. She starts surveying the surrounding landscape, then spots the glint in the winter sun. She zeroes in further with her scope, tapping the mic. "Four targets," she notes. "Two standard, two non." Beat as she tracks them further, "Approaching from the..." coordinates, direction are given as she follows.
"Pilot's pretty banged up. How's the ECO?" Cate calls back from the cockpit, her voice grim. Regardless of the answer, she's already moving to cut through his mangled harness and pull him back from the seat.
Seat belts out of the way, Bailey tries her best to situate the poor ECO more supportively until they've got a decent way to relocate two unconscious injured parties ... or get one out first and come back for the second. "Alive," she says, "and with normal pupillary response, though that is all I can guarantee. Had a bad day, I am guessing." Good call, Bailey.
Since she was already tracking the Cylon patrol, it's not hard for Charlie to pick out her assigned target. "Copy," the sniper notes into the comms. She follows her Cent for a moment and the crack of the rifle breaks the otherwise largely silent wood. Some of the snow shakes off her tree and the metal being drops to the ground; headless. "Boom," she murmurs to the others, satisfied. She doesn't leave the tree just yet, no. There's the two worker bots to deal with yet and overwatch to provide the two helping the pilot and ECO.
"Could've been worse," Cate replies to Bailey, trying to find the bright side. She clicks on her mic. "Sergeant - both the pilot and ECO are alive but in a bad way. Not sure they'll survive the transit to the LZ. Can the SAR team get us here?" It's a dicey proposition given the trees.
"Copy, Rhodes. Stand by," Bordeaux tells her. With their heavy hitters down, the other two Cylons start to retreat. "Don't let them get away. Though they've probably already radioed our position. Wagner, take the one on the right." Again, the marines line up and fire, and again two Centurions go down. After a brief conference on the radio, he then says, "SAR Raptor's inbound to our position. ETA two minutes. Get those pilots prepped for evac."