2238-01-20 - Helping Hand

The missing marines have to decide whether to risk lending a hand to some others in need.

Date: 2238-01-20

Location: Picon

Related Scenes: None

Plot: Operation: Bullhorn

Scene Number: 1626

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It's been a rough week. Hiding out in the woods. Keeping warm (at least there hasn't been any snow here). Foraging for food. Evading patrols while trying to maneuver closer to the nearest town. The critically-injured Scott's been touch and go, but finally opened his eyes for the first time yesterday. He's asleep now. Charlie's on sentry duty a short distance from the camp. The others have just finished a paltry supper of a rabbit that one of the recon girls bagged earlier.

This hasn't really been roughing it for Lyn or Charlie. The former is not only used to being out in the wild for long periods, she's used to much colder temperatures and less forgiving terrain. But with the badly injured Scott, Cate with her head wound, and the Chaplain with them, the two Fox Force members can't move and survive like they would normally. No sleeping in trees, no shortcuts through waterways, no moving quickly with short rests.

Lyn has done a lot of the carrying of Scott for the two medics, leaving the sniper freed up for her sharp eyes to be their best chance of spotting trouble before it spots them. She eats her rabbit, a small portion since she's fully healthy, sitting near Aldrich.

Aldrich does not approve of Lyn taking less than her fair share, but he hasn't said it explicitly. Instead, he eats a portion of his, and then casually hands the rest to Lyn, and is already climbing to his feet before she can refuse it. "I should check on Scott. Cate, how's your head feeling?"

Cate hasn't been her usual self. The aforementioned head wound left her dizzy and nauseous for a few days, and still plagues her with headaches. A few cracked ribs kept her from doing much in the way of physical activity. She's helped Al tend to Scott, but otherwise has been withdrawn and on-edge. "Little better," she tells Al, chewing methodically on her chunk of rabbit meat.

Picon is home for Wagner and she's trained in similar areas before. But being this close to Hyperion has had her on edge. Charlie's been much quieter and more distant than might be her standard. Few quips, almost no joking around. She's been focused, serious... and has taken just about every watch, every scouting, and waved it off with a 'Spend time with the padre' for Lyn's benefit.

It at least saves them from her poor moods.

For now, she's returning with a pheasant in hand from a trap set earlier. It's just as poor off as the rabbit, but it's something. "For next meal," she offers quietly as she drops it near the fire before sitting down heavily.

A silent look passes between Lyn and Aldrich at the exchange of food, and the woman sighs before eating the remainder of the Chaplain's portion. He's always caring for her, even when he's the one who needs the care more than her. It's one of the many reasons she loves him. When Charlie drops off the pheasant, she picks it up and begins the plucking process to get it into a condition to cook for their next meal. "Bout how far do you think we are from friendly lines?" she asks Charlie and Cate.

Aldrich nods a little at Cate's response, but he still looks worried. He seems to be debating something for a moment, but whatever it is, he lets it drop when Charlie arrives with the pheasant. He steps over to check that Scott is still alive, but his attention is half on Charlie, Cate, and their answer to Lyn's question.

The quiet of the forest is suddenly broken by a burst of gunfire to the east. That's in the direction of the town, though the town (long-since devastated by Cylons, now a ghost town) is still at least a mile and a half distant. The first burst is followed by further clatter of rifle fire. Sharp ears will recognize a mix of Cylon and colonial weapons.

There's a grateful grunt to Lyn when she takes over the pheasant. Charlie grabs a canteen, taking a swig of water. She considers Aldrich's question. "Depends," she begins. The sniper is about to continue, but is cut off by that burst of fire. She almost drops her canteen as she jumps to her feet, but training kicks in. It's capped, shoved into her gear, and she listens. She listens and grabs up her rifle again as she scurries to the edge of the clearing closest to that town.

Cate tenses when she first hears Charlie approach until she ascertains who it is. Then she relaxes fractionally. She shrugs to Lyn's question, a mild frown taking hold. "Fifty miles maybe? That is assuming..." She was going to comment about the ever-shifting front line, but like Charlie she is too busy being jolted into action by the gunshots. Eyes scanning the trees, she grabs her SMG.

Lyn is on her feet at the sound of gunfire, and the pheasant gets shoved into a bag she's designated for their catches. She snatches up her rifle and checks the weapon. Do they help the Colonials? Or do they hunker down and hope the fight misses them with their injured? "Charlie, what's the call?" she asks the sniper. She has rank and time in with the Wolves over Lyn.

The gunfire causes Aldrich to jump and look toward the source, even though it's too far away to possibly see where it's coming from. His rifle is still sitting next to Lyn, so he steps back over to scoop it up, without even looking down. Even the chaplain is starting to become an expert in this stuff, it seems. "Whoever it is, sounds like they could use the backup," he offers his two cents, and leaves it at that.

There's a tightening of Charlie's jaw as she looks over her shoulder at the others. One badly injured. A concussed corpsman. She looks over each of them before her gaze goes back out to the woods and the direction of fire. She considers before jerking her head towards Scott. "Let's pack up, get moving. We don't want them to come up on us."

Cate gives Charlie a confused look, glancing back towards Scott briefly. "He'll be safer here while we go help whoever that is out there." She slings her medic kit onto her back and seems prepared to move out - in the direction of the ongoing gunfire, that is.

Lyn looks between Charlie and Cate, to let them argue it out. She'll follow the lead of whomever is in command, because it's instinct at this point. "I need to know if I need to carry Scott, or camouflage him."

Aldrich gets a pained look on his face, torn between defending the downed man and going to help whoever is in trouble. "Cate..." He starts to call her back, but then stops and glances toward Charlie, apologetically. "We can't just leave them without backup."

"Cate-" There's a firm tone in Charlie's voice, but she's following after the medic, already checking that her rifle is loaded and ready to go. "I need an honest frakkin' answer. Are you ready? If you were evaluating someone in your condition, would you let them go out and fight?" She kicks up some gravel and sticks underfoot as she runs up to put a hand on the Hibernian woman's shoulder, trying to get a good look at her before dropping her voice. "We don't know what we're going into. If something happens to you, that's two people to the three of us. That's worse odds. Do the math, Rhodes."

"And if we all go down, what happens to Scott?" Lyn adds to the conversation.

Cate slows up when Aldrich calls after her, but it's not until Charlie puts a hand on her shoulder that she stops. There's an annoyed frown on her face when she looks back to see what the holdup is. The words from Lyn and Charlie cause her brow to furrow, and her gaze flicks to Aldrich briefly. "Damn right I would. Our people could be frakking dying out there," she says, her voice an impassioned hiss.

Lyn looks back at Scott, and moves to stomp out their fire and smother it with dirt so it doesn't smoke. "Someone make a decision," she says quietly as she works on erasing any evidence of their camping spot.

Aldrich doesn't look so convinced of Cate's wellness, but as Lyn kicks out the fire, he tucks some supplies in next to Scott and starts concealing him from observation by anyone passing nearby. "I'm not standing here while our people are being shot at," he announces. His voice is quiet enough to keep from carrying, but there's no question that he means it. For one thing, he then shoulders his medkit and rifle, and starts at a quick trot toward the gunfire.

"Well, frak me, I've been wanting a demotion anyway. Just never figured it'd be at the expense of any of your lives. Fine." Charlie withdraws her hand, staring at Cate for a moment. "Go. Arda, take point." It's clear Wagner intends to take tail and watch over the three of them as they head out.

Cate snorts a bit at Charlie's sentiment. "We get killed, just throw us under the bus," she quips, but is quick to fall in line with Aldrich when he starts moving. Though she will slow a bit to let Lyn take point as ordered.

"Copy that. What the hell were they thinking promoting Fox Force anyway?" Lyn says with a smirk. She moves to skitter through the trees like the Ghost her nickname indicates, weaving them a path through the woods towards the sound of the conflict.

Aldrich lets the others catch up and falls in next to Cate. He keeps an eye on the forest next to them, just in case something unexpected should pop up. Otherwise, he moves silently toward their destination.

As Lyn gets closer to the sound of gunfire, she can hear it starting to taper off. Fewer guns firing than before. There's an explosion. Not a grenade, but something rougher-sounding. Improvised, most like. They can all hear it, but Lyn's close enough to see the flash through the trees. She can see three humans - not military, from the looks of their dirty, motley clothes. But they're armed, and they're fighting a fall-back action against three Centurions who are pursuing them. Right now, one is laying down some covering fire while the other two dash towards the cover of some rocks.

"Three civvies fighting three Centurions, not good odds for the civvies. Let's go even those up," Lyn notes, before she moves in to find a clear line of sight and a good bit of cover to shoot from.

There's just a grunt in answer to the others before Charlie is drawing her rifle up to her shoulder. It's in its mid-range configuration. Not worth risking Sasha's more valuable components and they need her nearby at the moment anyway. So she fusses with the settings a bit, verifying that the gun is in working order. "Rhodes, if we get enough cover for the civilians, try to get them back to the trees if you can."

"Okay," Cate replies to Charlie. Truth be told, she looks a little pale - sweat beading on her forehead despite the cold weather. But there's a look of grim determination on her face, and she moves up behind a tree for cover, taking aim.

<FS3> Lyn rolls Firearms: Great Success (8 7 7 6 6 6 3 3 2 2)

<FS3> Lyn rolls Reflexes: Success (7 5 3 2 1)

<FS3> Charlie rolls Firearms: Great Success (8 8 7 6 6 5 5 5 4 2 1 1)

<FS3> Charlie rolls Reflexes: Success (7 4 3 2 2 2)

<FS3> Cate rolls Firearms: Good Success (8 8 6 4 4 3 2 2)

<FS3> Cate rolls Reflexes: Success (8 5 4 4)

<FS3> Aldrich rolls Firearms: Success (8 6 5 5 2 1 1)

<FS3> Aldrich rolls Reflexes: Failure (5 4 3 1)

The civvie that was fighting the rear guard action takes a hit despite the covering fire of the other two from the rocks. He stumbles, and probably would've been a goner had the marines not intervened at that moment. Their accurate fire takes down one of the Centurions immediately and damages another. The remaining two, seeing that the odds have shifted considerably, begin to fall back. But not before spraying a few bursts in the marines' direction. The trees they're behind take the brunt of it, but one of the bullets finds its way to Aldrich, catching him in the leg.

Lyn continues cover fire. "Cate, check Al, please?" she asks, with the slightest tremor in her voice as she shifts position towards the civilians. "Colonial Forces!" she announces to them so they don't get shot. Hopefully.

Well, it was inevitable that Al's luck would run out eventually. He takes cover behind a tree during the firefight, but as he leans out to shoot at the Centurion, a stray bullet catches him in the leg. With a startled grunt, he falls at the base of the tree, but luckily (or perhaps by design), behind the dubious cover of the tree. Gritting his teeth, he unslings his med kit and starts rifling through it. Hearing Lyn's call, he calls back, "I'm fine." His voice sounds strained, for obvious reasons.

Pressing close to a tree as she provides cover fire, Charlie keeps her head low and her body tight to the bark. Out here, med evac isn't just a call away. Even a flesh wound could be lethal if it gets infected. It's not a matter of getting to the doc in an hour or two. She grits her teeth to fight the tremor that threatens her hands, firing back on the retreating Cylons. "Arda, keep up suppression. Everyone else, begin falling back." She'll continue firing also to provide rear guard again.

Cate's fire isn't as accurate as all the others, but she sends a few bursts downrange before yelling to the civilians, "Over here - we'll cover you." When Lyn points out that Al got hit, she shifts over that direction, coming up to a tree next to him. "You okay to walk?" she asks, seeing that he's at least got the basic bandaging in hand.

The civilians seem startled by the sudden gunfire from a new direction, but the accompanying shouts from Lyn and Cate keep them from shooting back by mistake. They hurry towards the marines, one of them pausing to help the one who'd fallen. As they dash, they continue to shoot. "Where the hell did you guys come from," the first one to get to them - a young woman - says with breathless relief as she nears their position.

Lyn moves backwards as she fires and calls to the woman, "Walked into a trap a week ago, and lost contact with our ride out. Been hoofing it back towards friendlies. What the hell are you three doing out here in the dead zone?"

Aldrich is already doing a rough job to stop the bleeding when Cate arrives at his side. His jaw is clenched, but he grunts an affirmative to Cate's question. Probably he even believed it, but when he tries to climb to his feet, his leg gives way and he sags against the nearest tree. "I'll be fine." That's even less convincing the second time around.

"Kavangh, don't push yourself," Charlie snaps back towards the chaplain. She's not moved from her tree. She's keeping an eye out over the clearing in case the cylons come back. "We need to get somewhere safe and secure. Are there any known caves nearby?"

"Dead zone - that's a good name for it," the lead woman snickers without really answering Lyn's question about what they're doing out here - not after Charlie asks about the caves. "We know a place - this way." The other two follow her, one helping the other.

Cate makes a scoffing noise at Al's insistence that he's fine. "You're as 'fine' as I am," she counters. "Come on, let me help you."

"Need to head back and get Scott first," Lyn barks out as she covers the retreat.

"Oh, my mistake. I'll just lie back and have a vacation..." Aldrich answers Charlie's snap, but he accepts Cate's help, possibly leaning on her more than he would really like to. After that, he's mostly focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

"We'll get Scott," Charlie assures Lyn, "then head to the caves." She nods to the survivors, then falls in to provide a rear guard as they head out again; looking tired.

"Gotta have the wedding before the honeymoon," Cate tells Al. Her teasing is strained, but she's trying. She helps him along, joining the rest as they return to get Scott.


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