AWD #052: Beneath the Mountain
Beneath the Mountain
Summary: The latest survey of Site 994A-3 reveals a mystery beneath the mountain.
Date: 27/02/13
Related Logs: To Be Added
Ygraine Sera Maia 
Site 994A-3
A radioactive valley on Piraeus.
AWD #52

"The sonar system that you asked for wouldn't work; I was lookin' at the full function of the systems an' on a Raptor, in the air, they'd just bounce around and get a lot of noise, see?," Sera says, as she tosses her bangs back from her eyes. "So what I did was I rigged the bird up with GPR — ground penetratin' radar. It'll hit some snags when you're aimin' it at the site, 'cause of all that granite down there." Really, the girl ought to be frowning. That's a problem, after all. But instead, she's grinning like a particularly self-satisfied cat at her own cleverness. Smug much? Yeah. Sometimes. Mostly when she's showing the machines who's boss. "But I learned some interestin' tricks, last time I rerouted power from the weapons systems for a scan down here. I think I jazzed up the lines enough that you'll get a good picture. It ain't goin' to be very pretty, though."

"If it helps," Ygraine chimes in, "We've got a real computer wiz in the Ghosts, Buttons. He's already said he'll work up a rendering program to clean up any images we get. How's it going up there, Centerfold?"

"Everything's looking good Milkshake, no company around anywhere that I can tell." Always good news right? Maia is having the time of her life, flying the bus as the Vipers call it, like it's an insult or something. She'd have it no other way! Listening in though on the conversation, she doesn't input anything but she learns some. There's a smile on her own face.. hard to believe this is -work- right?

The flight descends slowly towards a particular valley dozens of miles southeast of Sheridan, the green of Spring slowly working its way farther north across the planet's latitudes. Its actually a rather lovely view.

"That might. I mean, once it's gone digital instead of mechanical, that ain't my field. I make the parts work. What the parts spit out? Don't ask me," Sera says with something of a shrug. Sure. Go ahead. Ask her to calculate the pounds of torque in her head. Don't ask her about binary. "The CAG was goin' to have him work with me on examin' ways to alter the use of the ALQ jammin' pods, but I think he ended up stickin' Wescott on that."

"Pretty, ain't it?" Ygraine remarks. "Can't wait to see what's under all the dirt." She pauses at the mention of Kelsey, and nods a little but doesn't comment further. It might be a sore subject, Kelsey's transfer.

Descending, Maia is really keeping an eye on the various multitude of gauges and her hand on the stick, but hearing the chatter, she does look out and the view takes her breath away. "Kind of reminds me what we're fighting for.. all over again." Words mentioned recently, she uses again because she likes reminders. She does. The Raptor handles like a man, grab the stick and take control and it was your baby.. purred for you and everything. "Gorgeous."

Descent father into the valley and the holes from the drill sites are still visible, as is the large pit where the digteam was examining the location. The drill crane is still there and likely nobody is going to be touching it or the drillbits for a very long time. They're still marked as individually radioactive sources. This whole valley is marked as a no-fly zone, though, without permission. Down here, all of the wildlife has retreated from the area. The only sign of natural wildlife are several dead birds and small animals over by the initial digteam's pit. Otherwise? Its a very pretty day. Just stay the hell away from any holes in the ground.

"You're goin' to want to make sure you're in full gear, sir, if you're gettin' out of this bird," Sera advises Centerfold. Perhaps the beauty is lost on her. Perhaps she simply considers the warning more important than the sunshine and the trees. "Last time we were here, one of the officers from Engineerin' got himself a lovely stay in sickbay, after gettin' a bit cooked." Oddly, there's little sympathy in her voice.

Ygraine shakes her head. "Can't land, Centerfold. It's radioactive down there. I'm gonna need a sustained hover and slow movement while we get the pictures." She can't help but add, despite the other women already knowing, "The raptor will shield us."

"I'll remember, just want to check things here first then I'll make sure I'm suited up before stepping out. Thanks for the reminder." OOoohhh .. not landing.. Helmet magically back in place, she hovers the bird over the area, avoiding anything, eyes on the ground alternating between there and the gauges, her hand gripped on the stick. "Radioactive.." the word muttered. Hovering is easy, keeping it stead not quite as easy but she's good at her job. "It's a Kodak moment. Snap em at will, Milkshake."

"Ohh, c'mon. What's a little genetic mutation between friends?," Sera mutters as she hovers over Ygraine's shoulder, eyes on the monitors and the dials to make sure her tweaks are performing as they ought to. Personal space? Pffft. Clearly not important when faced with the question of maintaining equipment performance.

Centerfold holds it steady over the terrain, eyes taking in the surroundings as she looks for any pending trouble coming up, "How's it going back there 'Shake?" The Raptor pilot glances down a half smile on her face. "Everything here is good, little wind." The craft holding stead.

Sera frowns slightly at some of the squiggles and snow showing in some of Ygraine's readings. Her tongue pokes into her cheek for a second as she considers that, before crawling under the console and peeling one of the panels back. "Now try," she says, her voice muffled due to the fact that she's pretty much got her face buried in Raptor guts while she tightens a wire and makes a small adjustment.

There's a soft, "…huh." of thoughtful tone from Milkshake as she peers at the her screen. "Centerfold, can you bank and hover closer to the base of the mountains, across the valley? If I'm seeing this right…huh."

"Consider it done." Confident in her own abilities, Maia does lift and fly nearer the base of the mountains, keeping the height just until she's certain of the terrain below as she lowers the craft, hovering above like before. "This good, Milkshake?"

"What is it?," comes Sera's still muffled voice, from somewhere down near Ygraine's boots. She scoots out from under the console, an expert at sliding out from under a cramped workspace, even without a creeper's wheels to help her. One dark brow quirks sharply up at the ECO.

As the Raptor moves and settles to its new location, the returns start coming back more and more clearly. It shows on the screen on the ECO panel in black and white, the return looking much like any 3D imaging system. But over here, closer to the base of the mountains, erosion has moved much of the 'smaller' rocks under the surface but left the larger ones intact. What's left is a clearer picture of exactly what is down there. Static fades and the lighter colors fade in as solid radar returns. There's a large swath of flat return that consumes the entire image about thirty feet down. but as Milkshake brings the image outmore, its easier to see what it might be. Or may have been. Beside the flat area, on both the north and south sides of the perfectly straight line are boxes. They're deep, too. Maybe an additional ten feet below the surface of the initial return. Off to the side, these shapes might look oddly familiar. Staring at the white on black glow and scanning around the area the radar can see its more of the same.

"Do you see those?" Ygraine points to the boxes, looking over at Sera, because maybe she doesn't believe her own eyes. Clearly she's missing the forest for the trees. "Those don't look like natural formations, do they?"

Hearing the chatter brings Maia to look at the feed on the screen to see exactly what they are speaking about. Not natural formations? Afraid to look but drawn to it, she turns her head even as she hovers. "The hell?" Her words heard clearly. Peering a little closer, she blinks. "Looks like foundations of a house. Correction. Houses, foundations for houses. What do you make of that?" Her hand on the stick, ready to get the hell out if it comes to it, she's prepared to get her crew to safety. "What do you recommend?" Always, she waits on her ECO.

"….There's no way those are natural. Nature doesn't do convenient geometric shapes. Like, ever. Even planets ain't really round. They're roundish," Sera says as she, having hoisted herself up to her feet, stares down at Ygraine's street. "Those are buildin's. And that's a street, see?" One finger traces the outline of the empty row between a series of squares. The knuckledragger swallows once, heavily.

"Houses…a street. That would mean there have been people here before. But how long ago?" Ygraine is baffled by what she's seeing. "Piraeus is supposed to be fresh. Untouched. The only other place I know of that humanity comes from is Kobol."

"Streets?" Maia repeats, careful to keep her attention on the Raptor instead of the feed for now, not wanting to have to touch down for any reason, staying steady. "That makes no sense.. What's your call 'Shake?"

"That's true," Sera mumbles, her brows knotting together furiously. Like, the furrows forming above them are so deep, Ygraine's family could probably plant corn in them. "But the Colonies weren't the only place humanity went. The Thirteenth Tribe left hundreds of years before the remainin' Twelve Tribes. The Scrolls say they went to Earth. But… if that's a town… what happened to all the people?"

"Good question. Centerfold, can you get any closer? We can try and get the reading to go deeper. Sera, anything you can do to tweak it?" asks Ygraine, making sure to save the data they've gotten so far.

"I'll give it a go," Maia replies immediately, holding the stick, she watches carefully as she lowers the hover some, trying to remain safe since they are at the base of the mountain, but she takes it down as far as she imagines is safely prudent while she glances to the feed every now and then, though most of her attention is on her ride.

"Uhhh, I can try," she replies. Once again, there's that face. Her tongue pokes into her cheek thoughtfully, considering her options for adjustments to the system. "But I don't know if I'm goin' to be able to do anythin' more — at least not much more — while we're still in the air an' the systems are runnin' full bore."

And lower down, the image doesn't get much better. Below the already seen outlines are some other difficult-to-distinguish items. Straight lines that head back towards the wide, open return that Sera pointed to as a street. But as things become clearer, the radar dome nearly pressed to the ground, the detail on the 'structures' becomes easier to discern. It looks like there is debris from each one scattered in the same direction as if something had blown them over or knocked them all down in the same direction. Something large. Something powerful. But there is little else new to see.

"Damn." Ygraine says softly. "I don't think there's anything more that we can see here. But…damn." She shakes her head. "Gonna be real hard for the science types to find out what happened down there with all the rads. Let's head back up. Ladies…I think we may wanna keep our traps shut about this until Command gives us feedback. I know it's a given, but can't hurt to say."

"Looks like a bomb." Or something. Maia moves her eyes from the feed, sucking her lower lip between her teeth. When nothing more is easily discerned, she taps her fingers lightly on the stick as she waits for the others to look their fill so she can get them back to safer airspace. As soon as Ygraine gives it, it's as good as done, hopefully.. she gives the command and she's heading up and out. "Yeah, I was thinkin' the same, we can see what happens in the debriefing." The puzzled look is still there. Strange things were afoot at the base of the mountain. A

"One things for sure. There's nothin' left of those people here now. I… I don't think they'd have made that kind of mistake, settlin' a place as pure an' empty an' new, if there was still people on it." Sera sucks on her lower lip, pulling it into her mouth and worrying away at it. "Course, that'd probably mean we'd have plenty more answers. There'd be someone to ask, then."

Ygraine shakes her head. "My first AAR." Ygraine says, gulping. "And it's gonna be a doozy. Let's head home."

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