AWD #175: A Walk in Woods
A Walk in the Woods
Summary: In which intrepid pilots trek through the woods of Piraeus.
Date: 30/06/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Atalanta Holtz Phin Ygraine 
The Great Beyond — Piraeus
With one main road running north and south, the road parallels a snowmelt river the flows south towards a large lake and the planned site of the CMC Camp. To the north the road runs off towards the future site of the Naval Air Station and the ALS Jolie Point, the First Batallion's landing ship, then past and deep into a narrow ravine that runs along with the river. With the camp located on the west side of the river valley, there is a large bridge built to accommodate the construction crews working on the Presidential bunker out in the mountains. To the east is a mountain range that stretches for more than two hundred miles and quite a bit of the lower altitudes are grassy mountain valleys.
AWD #175

The sun's still up on Piraeus, the weather warm but not oppressively so in the landscape around Sheridan. And a large portion of the Air Wing has been dropped off out in the wilderness for survival maneuvers. The main task today is to navigate to a 'campsite' using a map and compass and one's sharply-honed pilot-y sense of direction. For Phin, this presently involves standing in place and squinting at his copy of the map. And then up at the sky. "So north is…?" He raises a finger to point, then hesitates. Rethinking his directions.

Clad in green fatigues with a rucksack slung over his shoulder, Holtz comes up behind Phin, trying and failing to stifle a smirk. "Frak's sake, Dolly, give me that." He reaches out for the compass and map currently clutched in Phin's hands. "Whose idea was it to make the city boy the navigator here, huh?" The smirk widens as he manipulates the compass with the air of someone who's done this before. Soon enough, the compass is pointing north, and after a quick glance from compass to map and back again, he turns slightly in place and jabs a finger into the air in front of them. "That way."

Ygraine is in with the group, but well, mum's been the operative word from her for the majority of the trek. If she's specifically asked questions she offers teaching points to help people find the answers themselves. With her own pack slung over her shoulder, she can't help but tease Holtz a little. "Are you sure?"

"Mine, Major," Franklin says drolly. "Learn by doing." Which would certainly explain what she herself is doing here. It isn't as though she seems to belong in these surroundings. On the contrary, the woman looks entirely out of place in her off-duties, let alone out in the middle of the woods. She's yet to utter a single complaint, though. On the contrary, she's stubbornly carrying no more than would be accompanying her after parachuting out of a downed airframe.

"I'm just a sad product of the urban jungle, sir," Phin deadpans, handing the map over to Holtz without any argument. "It's society's fault, really." He only looks a little sheepish about it, at Atalanta's words. "I think it's this way." And he turns to head in the direction Holtz was helpfully pointing. He's in greens as well, and brought along a pack stocked with what would be in a properly stocked parachute kit. He doesn't look exactly comfortable, but he's not complaining.

Holtz, for his part, does look comfortable, far more so than Phin and Atia. But that's at least somewhat to be expected; the climate on Piraeus is downright balmy compared to what he's used to, and he's had at least some experience roughing it in the past. Ygraine gets a snort and a dirty but light-hearted look as he begins walking again, moving in the direction he'd indicated. "Yeah, actually," he says to her, resisting the urge to stick out his tongue.

"Pfft." Yes, Yggy actually does that in Phin's direction. "Ya spent a good enough time on th'farm when we'd go into th'acreage t'do better." she says. She skips (well, sort of skips, it's not really a child's skipping but there's something very gleeful about it) over to Holtz. She's got a look in her eye. It's the sort of look he's come to know is prefaced by her pouncing him, but all she does is pluck up the compass out of his hand, drop it on the ground, and press her heel down on it. Cr-unch. "Aww frak," she says innocuously, "Looks like your compass got busted up on th'landin'. Or maybe a direwolf ate it. Either way, ya ain't got it t'depend on. Also, your team is gettin' hungry and you've eaten up what supplies ya have for edibles. Gettin' thirsty too." She considers the small team. "Now what do ya do?" Big smile. To Atalanta, she adds, "I respect that are took bare minimum sir, but there are some things ya can include of your own choice especially if they're versatile. Me, I always carry a bit of wire. Ya never know when ya might need t'go fishin', or set up a trip wire, or garrotte an enemy."

A brown brow hikes sharply upwards as the compass gets ground into broken pieces in the dirt. It is not, after all, something which is easily replaced — at least not in the larger sense, in the quartermaster's opinion. "I'm personally of the opinion that if I have to resort to close combat tactics, I've already made several grave mistakes, Lieutenant. As for the rest of my pack, I've spent quite enough time sleeping on soft mattresses, thank you, and am here to learn to survive with as little as possible, not see to my own comfort. There's no need to worry about me. I assure you, I'll be fine." She's accustomed to hunger, there's no doubt about that. The edges of her ribs are visible under her tanks and her arms are too thin. The woman ought to put on at least ten pounds before they let her sit in a Viper again.

Phin winces at the broken compass, but he doesn't look anymore daunted than before. Then again, it's not like he had the most commanding ability to use the thing. "Look for water?" is his guess, at the scenario Ygraine lays out at the variety of ways the terrain might be betraying them. "Fish I could deal with, I think." He leans over to get another look at the map, in case such bodies are sketched out on it. "You guys in Blackjack ever spend any time stranded on-planet anywhere, sir?" he asks Atalanta.

Holtz raises an eyebrow as the compass is ground into pieces under the enthusiastic application of Ygraine's boot. He shrugs. "Right, then." A sigh escapes his lips as he looks around. "Look at the trees," he suggests. "We're on the northern hemisphere, yeah? Lichen tends t' grow on the north side of the trees. Out of direct sunlight." He looks up at the twilight sky overhead. "We could find our direction with a star fix, but it ain't quite dark enough yet."

"I don't recall suggestin' that ya need t'cart around a mattress, sir." says Ygraine amiably. "Only that there are some small, extremely versatile items that will fit without any problem into your flightsuit pocket that with a little creative thinkin', can be th'difference between life or death. That bit of wire my not be needed for close quarter combat, but it may be th'difference between an enemy chasin' ya and them havin' t'sit in front of a tree somewhere dealin' with a broken ankle, or whether or not ya eat that day. Even if ya can go without, th'point is ya don't have to. Not givin' yourself any advantage, includin' bein' able t'get some protein in y just because ya can go without ain't smart. And sometimes it ain't mistakes that lead ya into close quarter combat…it's just th'way things pan out. Again, if ya can have th'tool available to ya and it don't compromise th'rest of your kit - especially if your kit gets damaged or destroyed - time could come where you'd be greatful for that lil' bit of wire." To Phin, she nods a little. "Locatin' water is a smart thing - and there's often a lot of edibles - not just the fish, but vegetation surroundin' water sources - that are potentially edible. But can help ya t'find your way, unless ya already marked it as a navigational point for yourself?" Holtz, for his part, gets a tapped finger on her own freckled nose and a point in his directon. "Dolly, it's a damn shame that th'man from the planet that don't even got flowers is showin' ya up on this." A grin.

Franklin's eyes drift over to the trees, narrowing slightly with consideration of Holtz's statement. "Thank you," she replies crisply, though it's difficult to say whether she's addressing him or Vashti, given the fact that they've both made edifying points. To Phin, she simply shakes her head once before replying, "No, Lieutenant. At least I haven't. This is the first time that I've set foot on solid ground since two weeks before the Cylons struck on War Day. Some of the crew from the Rubaul's sister carrier may have, before she was destroyed, but I was more concerned with finding a way to accommodate and integrate the additional personnel than getting to know them personally, and was transferred before I had much chance."

"Can you navigate by flower?" Phin asks with a slight grin, though he isn't entirely sarcastic. Might be handy if one could. He does pad over to a tree with interest with Holtz points out the moss thing, running his fingers along a trunk until he locates the spongey vegetation. "If moss is any indication, this is north." Which is consistent with the direction Holtz had indicated back in more compass-intact times, at least. To Atalanta, "Well, welcome to the ground, sir. You figure we'll be spending more time actually on Picon, when we get into full operation there?"

Holtz is wearing a web belt, of the kind that pilots usually wear with flight suits. He's wearing the standard issue gear, including a sidearm, but with one addition: a long, broad-bladed combat knife. It's the same knife that went down with him when he ditched over Picon; he, at least, won't have any problems in close combat scenarios. "There's hope for you yet, Dolly," he says wryly, slapping the other pilot on the back as he passes. Atia's admission doesn't surprise him, as if he's heard it already, and he simply nods in her direction before he again starts moving in the direction of their destination.

Ygraine for her part lapses quiet, at a point now where she wants to observe people rather than offer new challenges, and see how they fare. Though she does remark to Phin over her shoulder, "No, but some are decent eatin', either raw or boiled up."

"I certainly hope not," she says as she trudges along at the rear of the group, a spot where she can watch all of them as they interact. "We're committed to air supriority over Picon in the third stage of the invasion, but I hope that it can be maintained by the pilots in Spree's resistance that are still grounded there. Once Crandall's been liberated and Deck gets their hands on the craft there, they may be flight-ready again. Then we can move on to Aerilon and Caprica." Franklin reaches up to swat a bug that's landed on one of her arms, before she says, quietly, "I plan to take point on the capital mission myself." ….Is the woman half-mad?

Phin has a knife as well, a decent fold-out utility one tucked into his belt. He smirks up at Holtz, but he seems glad enough of the approval. Straightening up and heading off to follow the Tauran. As the trees lead them. "Like dandelion wine? Or soup, I guess," he muses to Ygraine. "Yeah. The folks who live down in the tropics on Scorpia can live off the jungles without ever stepping into a market. I wouldn't want to try it, though. Eat the wrong plant and it'll kill you. Used to get stories about it on the news all the time, tourists who'd come to experience the tropical camping splendor poisoning themselves on the wrong bush." He adds, "I did not get too far from the cities, and you didn't want to eat what was growing in the alleys as a general rule." He does blink back at Atalanta, when she talks about leading the capital mission. It's not really a sanity-doubting look, but his brows are a little raised.

Holtz grunts in thought. "Hope you're right." That's to Atia. "They've taken heavy losses. Lot of the pilots they've got left are barely trained, and it's hard to properly maintain their ships when the toasters're bombing the crap out of their bases and puttin' up heavy anti-air around any worthwhile target. We've lost a few ships to ground emplacements on strike missions of our own." When Atalanta announces her intention, he seems to take it in stride. In fact, he almost seems to approve, offering a firm nod in her direction. But then, he's been accused of the occasional bout of crazy pilot syndrome himself. There's a chuckle at Phin. "My sister went to undergrad on Scorpia before she went to medical school, ate the wrong kind of berry on a camping trip. She was pukin' her guts out for three days afterwards."

"If you're not familiar with local vegetation, particularly where berries are concerned, best t'stay away from 'em altogether." Yggy says. "But unless ya got an allergy, gatherin' nuts can sometimes be a possibility, and the chances of any kind potentially edible shrubbery or flower bein' poisonous is actually less so than a berry. A good sign is if ya see local wildlife partakin'." Ygraine offers as they walk. "Don't guaruntee a lack of poisonous substance, but significantly lowers th'odds. And there's ways t'test. Never swallow anythin' ya don't recognize th'first time it goes in your mouth. See how your tongue reacts, and spit it out. Wait a while, see if ya get a reaction. A lot of times, your body will know." There's a sidelong glare at both men as if to keep them from remarking on something she said with purposeful misinterpretation. Because she knows how their minds work.

Fortunately, Franklin seems oblivious to the innuendo — that, or she's deliberately ignoring it. It could really go either way with her. At Phin's stare, she merely smiles, however slightly. It's a polite expression, although not especially warm. She's well aware that it's widely regarded as a suicide mission, and gives no sign of being troubled by the fact. "Being as this is my first trip to Piraeus, I'm not familiar with the local vegetation — at all. Though I've been told that the native flora aren't entirely dissimilar to what can be found on the Colonies.

"No kidding? She go to school in Celeste?" Phin guesses, interest perking when Holtz mentions his sister. "I spent my last few years on-planet there. I liked it, as places go. What I saw of it, at least. I didn't get out in the city that often." He looks away from Atalanta when he catches her smile. Ygraine gets a smirk, but no cheeky comment is forthcoming. He's nothing if not a well-mannered young man in front of his superior. He does ask, "Have the biologists with CIDSR and stuff gotten much info on the local flora? What we can eat, what'll kill us, that kind of thing?" He adds, half to himself, "I should probably look some of that stuff up when we get back. Native Picon vegetation, too. Just in case." He continues to head in a generally northernly direction, if the trees are any indication. Occasionally tipping his head up to listen to the sound of the Piraeus woodlands.

"Yeah, actually. The school there had a good biology department, apparently," Holtz affirms with a nod. His eyes slide over to Ygraine, and unlike poor sweet Phin, he can't help but react. "Get a reaction with my tongue, eh?" he says with a gleam in his eye. He tries to affect a serious expression as he says it… but fails miserably. Manners? What are those? "Think so," Holtz grunts at Phin a moment later. "I remember readin' about a few of the run-ins some of our people've had with the local wildlife. The direwolves, those screamin' chipmunk things…" He snorts. "I mean, not like they've had much frakkin' else to do, yeah?"

"Gosh, I wouldn't know anythin' 'bout dealin' with direwolves." drawls Ygraine wryly. "Vegetation can be good if you're injured, too." she notes and then spotting something, walks over to a tree, hefting herself up on it. She plucks a few leaves and drops to the ground. She then bites off a bit of it, seeming to think about what she's experiencing, then spits out before offering the leaves to the others. "Take one, give it a chew, and spit it out. Won't hurt ya if ya swallow. You'll get a sharp kinda taste on your tongue…it's an astringent. For ya, that means ya can mash it up, or just press it on a wound, and it should help keep it clean and disenfected." Then she mutters under her breath to Holtz, freckled nose twitching.

There's nothing quite like a quarter century of dinners shared with six sisters to teach someone when to keep their mouth shut and just not say anything. At all. For their own good. "Shrieking chipmunks?," Franklin asks, wearing an expression that's dubious at best. Surely, Holtz is putting her on. Haha. Play a joke on the new DCAG. See how gullible she is. Her attention turns to the plant which Ygraine has picked. She hoves over it for a moment before plucking one herself and inspecting it closely, though she doesn't appear to have any intention of chewing it up.

"Haven't seen any in these parts, at least," Phin says of the direwolves, fervently grateful for the lack of them. "I wouldn't want to run into one of those screaming tree-rat things, though. Janitor was practically deaf for an afternoon after it yelled at him." He nods to Atalanta about the chipmunks, all of sincerity. "They live pretty close to the settlement, though I haven't seen them since we were down there helping build the temple. Maybe having more people around is scaring them further away." He takes a leaf and sticks it in his mouth. For a second it's just held on his tongue, then he chews it experimentally. The ECO and Holtz are smirked at but he mostly just keeps chewing his leaf. Then spits it out, rather than swallowing. "Handy."

"Oh yeah," Holtz replies to Atia. Instead of explaining further, he points to Phin. "Hey, you don't have to take my word for it." Because surely Phin of all people wouldn't try to pull one over on the DCAG, would he? There's a sidelong leer in Ygraine's direction, and he smirks knowingly at her before looking down at the map still clutched in his hand. "Shouldn't be much further."

"Th'shriek's a defense mechanism." Ygraine tries to hide her smirk back at Holtz and kinda fails, but she presses onward as indicated. "Ain't really too much to 'em, but they can be a pain if you're too close, or if ya want t'keep from havin' your presence noticed. Best just t'stay outta their way."

"One of the many charms of uncolonized worlds, I'm sure," she says with a quiet sigh. The leaf which Franklin plucked is tucked very carefully into one of the pockets in her fatigues, and she takes the time to be certain that it's secure by refastening the buttons near her knees before continuing on. She stops after only two steps, though, and turns back to pluck another, which she pops into her mouth with a mild frown.

Phin does have a fresh sort of face one might believe about shrieking chipmunks. Even with the stupid mustache he still seems intent on not shaving. "We going to stay the night down here?" he muses. Presuming Holtz is correct and they're on the right track to their goal site. "I went over those pictorial directions on how to build a fire without matches or a lighter last night. It doesn't look that hard." Despite his confidence - or perhaps because of it - that doesn't sound encouraging.

Unlike the others, Holtz isn't messing with any of the surrounding foliage as he continues to blaze the trail through the woods, though he does occasionally use his knife to hack through particularly troublesome bits of vines and shrubbery. It isn't quite a machete, but it works well enough to clear their way through the brush. "I think that was the plan," he says to Phin. He fishes around in his pockets for a moment, a tattooed hand emerging with a cigarette and his lighter. "I suppose using this would be cheatin', yeah?" he says with a smile as he looks at the lighter, its metal surface gleaming under the last rays of the evening sun.

"No." says Ygraine frankly, "Not if ya carry it with ya under any circumstance, and not so long as ya do know what t'do if somethin' were t'happen to it." She looks over at Phin. "Though if you're in enemy territory, ya don't always want t'risk a fire. Sometimes ya gotta cold camp, especially if ya ain't got a means t'hide th'smoke."

"Given the temperature, I don't think we're going to be in much need of a fire, unless someone's particularly inclined to cook," Franklin mumurs as her eyes turn towards the sky, squinting at the sun. She shifts her pack on her back, then checks the time on her watch. Having never been on the planet before, she's not sure the times quite correlate — or even come remotely close.

"I mainly wouldn't mind the practice, just to see if I can manage it," Phin admits. "Night wouldn't be bad without it, though." In case he fails at that particular brand of woodcraft. To Ygraine he nods. "Yeah. Worst we'll have to contend with here is the wildlife. Not so much back on the colonies proper." He takes his own knife out, venturing forward a little to help Holtz with the brush-clearing. Should he need it.

I never leave home without it," Holtz says wryly, patting the pocket from where he'd originally pulled the lighter; it's in the same place a similar pocket would be on a flightsuit. The cigarette flares as he lights it; he pauses, looking ahead of the group — and then he points. "Looks like we found it," he says, his finger pointing to a clearing some distance ahead of them, where a campsite has already been set up, ready and waiting for them. "Am I good or what," he says dryly. "Well? Shall we?"

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