MD #264: Calumet Reconnect
MD #264: Calumet Reconnect
Summary: A small team is landed to make contact with the Calumet resistance.
Date: 28/12/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None.
Adeliza Leander Lleufer Dropkickst 
The Orion personnel return to the planet after a twenty year absence.
Sun Jul 152049 (MD #264)

Getting to Calumet is half the adventure. A cruiser took them out via wormhole, then the Raptor had to jump the rest of the way to Calumet. The ride takes a bit for the whole completion. When they get close enough to Calumet to get a read, the ECO reports a single cruiser in orbit and some generic Skath transport traffic. Logistics. Even Skath have to 'eat.' The next jump puts the Raptor into atmo and the interior of the Raptor is filled with the red-green glow of the planet's wide swath of auroras from the supermassive, iron core. The time is clearly later in the afternoon where they are at, and some of the people aboard may recognize the terrain a little. The briefing where they are going was a name most had heard before, and a place they had become familiar with as visitors.

The town of Kolvenya.

The Orion had liberated the bunker complex to the northwest and the resistance had thrown them a party in town, complete with music to celebrate the re-opening of the local tavern. The market in the center of town had been a riot of good vibes. Hopefully these people will remember the Orion. Its been twenty years for them, also, since the Orion vanished. The recon pass over the planet yielded some very detailed digital photos of the town from space. The market was still there, plenty of people milling about. Everything looked neutral and unreadable until someone in Tactical had spotted a pair of Calumetti tanks under heavy camouflage netting at the northern approach to the town. And two more infantry fighting vehicles closer into town. The Skath would never allow those things to exist on occupied soil.

Putting down about five miles up the valley, the interior of the Raptor fills with the semi-'electric' scent of the atmosphere, as well as pines. The weather is only a bit chilly but they should work that off easily as they move. So far everything seems quiet with only a few high altitude clouds to obscure the light show high above. Just as they are getting out, the ECO reports over comms to everyone on the team, "Passive contacts with a Raider patrol about three hundred miles northwest. Closest air defense site is about the same location. We didn't see any armor or columns patrolling on any of the IR or anything. Coast looks clear. Good luck."

Quiet in her seat for the trip, Adeliza had pulled a couple times at the fatigues she wore, and then rested her hand on the jacket on her lap underneath her tablet and writing pad on the clipboard. Her sidearm is settled at her side. When they land, she looks up to the ECO as she listens to the comms. Her hand steals up to her shoulder to rub the souvenir left there of her last time on Calumet. She nods. "Copy, Lt. Thanks for the ride," she replies, and then puts her recording materials aside as she unstraps and stands to put on the leather jacket with the warm collar. She pulls a knit cap and gloves out of the pocket and pulls them on before she moves to the door, and stands slightly to the side to let the Marines disembark first.

Lleufer rides down on the Raptor looking relaxed, joking a little with Leander, and otherwise maybe even napping some of the way. He's wearing combat ground camo and has his Arpay eyes and ears concealed with contacts and a warm grey knit cap to keep his head warm. Doesn't hurt that it also covers up the bullet wound scars in his skull, front and back. A light weight brown leather jacket lined with fleece, much battered and well used, is worn over his kit. It looks like it used to have patches but they have been removed. Soon as they set down, Lleufer unstraps and feels naked, not carrying a rifle. He double checks his sidearm that is concealed by his jacket and then gives Adeliza a nod before the Gunnery Sergeant hops out. Feels good to kick up some dust on his boots and fatigue pants. He looks around carefully and listens.

Jacob Leander never had a chance to get his boots dirty on Calumet during their earlier visit, less than a year ago by his reckoning. The MP probably isn't first priority for this recon either, but the kid volunteers at every opportunity. Likely someone decided to send him just so he would stop bothering them. He's kitted out as per the mission order — light armored vest and ground combat uniform, with one of the 'ye olde disguise' cloaks over the top. He's got his MP utility belt on, holding his usually duty equipment too: side arm, taser, cuffs, flashlight, and night stick. He's quiet on the ride in, grinning only a little at Lleufer's jokes, and sneaking the occassional look at the incomprehensible readouts on the ECO console. Leander unstraps and heads for the hatch as soon as the word is given, moving out alongside the Master at Arms to scout out the LZ before the officer disembarks.

Getting down to the town takes about an hour, but they can all feel the eyes on them. It is tough to tell exactly when they were spotted but by the time they get into town, it would appear people were waiting for them. There's a couple men wearing Calumetti camo fatigues under cloaks, hands on their rifles - even if they are left hanging by the sling. Anyone flying over wouldn't look twice. But these two look like tough hombres who mean business. They don't stand in the way, but keep to the side and let the group pass. There's a another four men armed as they walk down the street. They don't get very far before one of the original pair stops them. "Oi. You three. Mind explaining where you came from and why you decided to walk into this town?"

Adeliza stops easily with they're halted, and shifts the tablet and clipboard to her left arm. She pulls off her hat with the right and tucks her hair behind her ear so that her face is clearly visible. "Lieutenant Adeliza Wynn," she greets with a firm voice and nod, then she nods to the two behind her. "Gunnery Sergeant Ynyr and PFC Leander, Orion battlegroup. We were here about twenty years ago. We were detained for a few years, but we've returned to see if anyone we fought alongside still remains." Her eyes rove between the pair, but she doesn't strain to look for familiar faces, yet, giving her full attention to the first pair.

Lleufer is trailing a little behind and to the side of Adeliza, staying slightly spread out rather than clumping up. His senses are sharp, watchful, but outwardly relaxed as they walk along. He too stops when the two step out to speak and the Gunnery Sergeant is content to let Adeliza do the speaking thus far. He however is looking for familiar faces for he's been here before, and stayed a while for the party after. More than that, Lleu's looking out for more signs of resistance against the Skath.

Leander takes point and marches along — he's a Marine and it is the default mode of walking — as they make their way down to the town. There's a nod aside to indicate the people watching them, just in case the Lieutenant and Gunney somehow missed them, but he says nothing. Absent any orders, he simply steps aside when the strangers adress them, making way for the officer and NCO to do the talking. There's a tip of his chin when Leander is introduced, but he keeps most of his attention on the people around them.

The two hombres look Adeliza over as if looking for some kind of weakness or doubt to what was just claimed. "Is that so? Yeah, I'd say you people are a little late, if that's the case. Except that you all are considered dead. The Arpay came back. Fencer gave you guys a real nice send-off until they quit the fuck out of here in a real hurry a few years later." The two guys must have been in grammar school when that happened. Seems this has carried down the line. The war is still every day for them. "You sure you want to stick to that story?" Assuming they do, he gestures for them to follow him.

The town's once paved roads are mostly crumbled and the new residents have filled over it with poured concrete and smoothed over the sharp sections, giving it a distinctly different sort of cobblestone effect. Riverbed rocks have been used to fill in where necessary so the gray/white is broken up by black and all covers of the river. The deep blue and gray water cuts centrally through the town with a heavy iron bridge still in place that provides movement between sides. The buildings are unique to this planet but look almost like alpine Gemenese homes, minus the religious sentiments and dedications. The homes are simple and solid, built to survive harsh conditions in the deep winters. The town has one plaza on each side of the river, too, with markets set up through them. The stalls are filled with wares, both made and planted and raised. There are plenty of people around and several of them look like they came in among the carts parked along the roads leading up to the square. Anyone with two eyes can spot the soldiers watching the crowds. …This is not some random town. These people are garrisoned. That becomes more evident when they pass by a covered alleyway and see a truck like a humvee with a big HMG mounted on a pintle. The soldiers inside watch the trio of Orion troopers carefully.

They end up being walked into the same tavern that they had initially visited, though this time it seems more that they don't get an opportunity to choose this location. The place has already been cleared of people, but there are still plates on the tables. Some of it is still hot. The tavern keeper is behind the bar cradling a combat shotgun and staring at them. "Sit. I'm going to make a phone call. You're going to wait here." And wait they are going to. For nearly an hour.

Adeliza gives a slightly strained smile. "We've heard that from a few people, yes," she remarks on the supposed to be dead. She follows their escort, tucking her hat into her pocket and then making sure she has a firm grip on her tablet and such as she walks. Although she doesn't obviously keep her head on a swivel, she does glance occasionally to the side to take note of the changes. She lets the marines take in the details of their surroundings as she takes an overall impression of the place and people within. A breath blows out as they enter the tavern, and she pulls off her gloves when she's told to sit. Her tablet and clipboard rest in her lap. She tilts her head to study the tavern keeper to see if she recognizes him, and then looks around. She doesn't fidget, except for the occasional tucking of her hair behind her ear, as they wait.

Yep, lots of looking around as they walk. No talking, not until there's need. When they pass the alley, Lleufer eyes that truck and the soldiers, giving them a good look over before he continues. Taking mental notes. His own combat boots walk quietly enough along the rough street. As the come up the few steps to the tavern, Ynyr pulls off his balistic shades and chuckles, "My, doesn't this place look familiar." His baritone is kept low. Once inside, he tucks his sunglasses into a pocket inside of his jacket he unzips and looks around. A nod to the barman and Lleu'll take up a seat where he can keep a good eye on the room, the door in, and any other exits. Again, a bit apart from the others, choosing his lines of fire and then gets reasonably comfortable to wait. Stay alert. Lleu idly studies the tavern itself and any people who come and go. Items on the shelves, walls, the layout, trying to pick out things that might have changed. A glance to Leander to keep tabs on his fellow.

Leander gives an unconcerned shrug, should anyone look his way when they're asking about sticking to the story. He does keep a keen eye out, making note of the military equipment and organization in the supposedly civilian town. The goods on offer at the market are a distraction, but he'll have to leave shopping for later. The Private finally speaks up when both Lleufer and Adeliza both seem to recognize the bar. "This the place you guys had the party? Sorry I missed that one." Then he gives a nod for the Gunnery Sergeant's instructions, keeping an eye on his opposite numbers while they wait. And wait. And wait. After a time Leander starts humming a tune — some old Leonese folk song — to pass the time.

Getting a good study of the place, it looks like it hasn't changed at all except for the reception and the faces. Nobody else is allowed in or out and the barkeep would have been too young to run the place when the Orion was last through here. There's more eyes watching them, two two tough guys and four others keeping vigil. After an hour or so, an uncovered jeep with an old belt-fed LMG on the rear comes roaring up the road into town and screeches to a stop outside. Two men get out while the third stays behind the gun and keeps his attention on the tavern windows. The driver enters the room first and closes the door behind him, "Weapons on the table. Everyone keep your hands in plain sight. Lieutenant, put your items on a different table," the last instructed to Adeliza. Once thats done he flips a hand-signal to the guy on the gun in the jeep and he nods. The door opens and the man who walks inside has dark skin and a 'Don't Screw With Me' mustache, with an intensity around him to match. The still black cap on his head has a single star in the center, as do the lapels of his drab green uniform. The sidearm on his hip is a no-shit old Colonial model that must have been left over from the initial invasion of Calumet. While they can look at him, he looks over them with a rather unpleasant frown on his face. Silence hangs, the imposition of him enough to give the idea that speaking before him is probably a bad idea. After several long seconds, "Right now your Raptor has about four rocket launchers sighted on it. You fuck with me, I'm going to kill your ride and you're going nowhere. Sit down." He'll wait. "I'm General Frasier. Lieutenant Wynn," his eyes look like they might bore holes in her face if he stares long enough. "I expect you to provide me some kind of proof that you are actually from a functional ship and not just hijacking a Colonial Raptor. If you can't, this conversation is over."

"General Frasier, sir," Adeliza nods her head once, and she reaches to her breast pocket with her other hand on the table to pull out her ID. "Most of my proof would be on my tablet, but I can tell that you 20 years ago your time, the Orion sent a Halo team here to make contact, and that we further added our assistance in taking out a Ressurection facility nearby. Gunnery Sergeant Ynyr was a part of the team that set up an ambush for the Skath and drew them in during that action." She nods in the direction of Lleufer and takes a breath. "For us, that was mere months ago. We suffered a worm hole breach near the galactic core. By the time we fought our way out and jumped once more, twenty years had passed here and at the Colonies. Our own people considered us dead, as well." She pauses, and receiving permission to use her tablet, she unlocks a couple of general files that show pictures of the battleship Orion, and a file of their actions on Calumet when they were here last. The rest of her tablet operatins remain pass protected.

Lleufer gives Leander a nod, "Yeah, and out in the plaza. There was lots of dancing, music, booze. One of those rare moments you want to remember." That is offered low while they wait. When the others arrive and order them to disarm, Ynyr is not happy to do so. But he glances to Adeliza and if she gives the nod, then he'll slowly draw his Arpay sidearm and lay it on the table, his grenades, and his CMC Kabar. The Gunny lays his hands on his thighs and remains seated at the table as the General walks in. Then he's listening to Adeliza give her answer. While she starts bringing up files of their previous action on Calumet, Lleu reaches a hand up to pull off his knit cap, exposing his Arpay ears. He moves slowly, keeping his hands in plain sight as he then removes a contact lens. "If you are inclined to search us, General, we all of us are wearing Fleet hex tags, and I have CMC tats that are decades faded. Some people here may remember me, Sir."

"Sounds like a good time," Leander replies to Lleufer. Then his brows go up when they're instructed to disarm — he's not keen on the idea, no matter how few options they have with a machine gun trained on them. The Private looks to Lleufer here, and only complies when the Gunnery Sergeant does the same. He carefully pushes back his cloak and unbuckles his equipment belt, removing everything at once and placing it slowly on the table top. Then he settles back to listen as Adeliza lays it out, curious to see how their story will be received.

The General takes the tablet, looking to the photos. He glances up toeach of them as they speak, then back to the tablet. For someone without the tech, he doesn't seem surprised or confused by the interface. Frasier has definitely used one before. "Lemme see your tags. Let 'em dangle." That's an order, not a request. When Lleufer takes off his hat and contacts, though, Frasier looks long at him.

"Nooooo shit," one of the other guys whispers from the wings. Another whistles long in surprise. "Don't that beat all."

"Quiet, Rivetti. You're not here for commentary." The words aren't sharp, but they are quiet and carry a heavy weight as Frasier looks over. The guy clears his throat and then Frasier looks back. "Lemme see those tats, too. I remember the party, though. It went on for a couple days. I heard about it. That was the day before you left. There aren't a lot of people in this town alive who would forget it." Still, there is no smile. He looks the Orion crew over another few seconds and hands the tablet back. "I did OCS on Picon as part of an exchange program. Ain't a person on this planet who has heard hide nor hair from the Colonials in seventeen years. When Fencer pulled out, we feared the worst. The last few years we've been bracing for a Skath assault when word got out that you all had gotten involved here. The Erfriki pissin' in the Skath cornflakes and all." He crosses his arms and looks at them. "Why are you here?" The General isn't asking any one of them.

Pulling out her hex tags, Adeliza gives a slight nod at the response to Lleufer's ears and eyes. She glances over to him, and there might be a tiny curve of the lip that faces to him. Or not. It's brief if it was there. She turns her attention back to the General, tilting her head slightly at the mention of Picon. She nods once. "I did my officer training on Caprica." She keeps her hands on the table in front of her. "I wish I could say your fears are unfounded, but they are not. We are here because we are currently assessing the Skath presence in the worlds that are known to us to find out what has happened in the past twenty years, and from there draw up a plan to take the fight to them, and, best case scenario, send them back to their gods forsaken world.

Hex tags are pulled out from under his armored vest and shirt and allowed to dangle in plain sight. Lleufer otherwise moves slowly, keeps his hands in sight and waits as he listens. He doesn't have a good place to put the contacts without his hands having to reach into a pocket, so he carefully tucks them inside of his cheek where his saliva can keep them moist, out of the way. When he's told to show his tats, Lleu carefully stands and removes his jacket, still wearing his MP duty belt though with an empty holster. His hands unbutton, then strip off his outer shirt, baring his arms with their tats and scars, as well a the armored vest he's wearing. Then he'll resume his seat. The Mithran tat is much more recent than his old, slightly faded CMC tat. His hex tags catch the light in the tavern. "I'm from Aerilon, Sir, but I served for a time at CFAB Crandell, on Picon." Then he's quiet, letting the Lieutenant speak on.

Leander follows suit after Adeliza and Lleufer, fishing out his dog tags so they hang in front of his BDU shirt. There's a troubled frown for the story the General tells about losing contact with the Colonies, but the Private doesn't interrupt.

"Sad to hear about your loss. You all don't seem much worse for the wear and tear. If I recall correctly, this ain't your first rodeo, either." Frasiers voice is flat. "You're here to assess? Assessment is we're still at war, Lieutenant. People die every day on the front lines. Its pretty stable but this is far from over. And in the grand scheme of assessing these planets you're just stopping in to… what?" He's looking for a reason they are on the planet, something specific. His eyes drift to Lleufer's tattoo's and he gives a more serious, confirming nod. "Seen a fair few of those types of tattoos. Not in a long time. Alright, I buy it. If you three are Cleric plants, its a little too complex to make any sense. And you haven't tried to kill me yet. I'll take these as marks in your favor."

Adeliza listens to the General as he speaks. This time she doesn't follow the direction of his eyes as he looks at Lleufer's tattoos. She draws in a breath about the mention of Clerics. "Sir, we've noticed that the Resurrection facility wasn't rebuilt. We are hoping that means that they haven't been able to create more Clerics." She glances to the tavern keeper and his rifle. "Last time I was here, the tavern keeper didn't need a rifle, and this was a civilan town, not a garrison." She leans forward, bringing her elbows to the table, but not stacking her hands. "What would you need, sir, to win this war against the Skath here on Calumet? We have detected one destroyer in orbit, but nothing else. How long has it been like that, sir?"

Lleufer doesn't bother to put his shirt and jacket back on yet. He continues to stay seated while talk continues. "Not here to kill you, General. We're here to offer help, if you'll have it. If you will, then we have some questions, sir." Mostly though he's leaving the talking to Adeliza and merely trying to add support to what she's saying and doing. A shared look to Leander, then mostly studying those who are standing around and how they are armed, what they are paying attention to.

The General just looks at Adeliza, tilting his head forward. Nothing she says seems to surprise him, not even the question of what they would offer. None of the questions are answered immediately, either. He seems to be weighing this, and everything in the context. His eyes move over the equipment on the table, then back between them. The soldiers on the edge of the room glance at each other, though. Some of this was obviously not known. "The Resurrection Hub hasn't been rebuilt." Hm. "That's something. We figued it owuld have been by now. We can't get recon teams that deep and ever hope for a return. To be honest, I'm not sure when the Skath ship arrived, either." He steps back from the table and paces away. "Win the war? A lot of healing from our own people. The Skath have bred a lot of hate of the free people by the ones in their territory. Their women keep escaping. Bunch of pissed off men who apparently don't get it." The General turns and looks back. "You'd need air dominance and the ability to land strike teams. Hitting logistical targets so the Skath can't easily move around the planet. And kill all their fucking Clerics. I mean you make it public and make them scared as hell. Show the people behind the lines that the Clerics are a bunch of skin and bone. Blow their heads off and blow back the hair of the people who see it. Word will spread on its own. After that? Armor. That means fuel and gas. We've got plenty of armored forces but nothing to move them with. Just emergency reserves. We need the ability to use radio communications without getting bombed. You taking notes or am I just talking for the sake of exposition?" Say what one will about him, General Frasier likes to make sure every single word is annunciated clearly.

The question hardly needs to be asked, because once she realizes that the General has taken the question seriously, she takes the chance that she's not going to be stopped and flicks to a new screen on her tablet. She frowns at the mention of the Clerics and showing how they can be killed, but it's fleeting. A snort does escape her at the mention of the women escaping, accompanied with a dark look at her tablet and tightening of her jaw. "They are clueless, sir." She flips through to an aerial map on her tablet and turns it towards him. "Do you know any locations of Skath fuel reserves, sir? Which of these locations would be your main targets?" She pulls a stylus out and hands it to him to make the marks.

Gunnery Sergeant Lleufer Ynyr listens to the General and then as Frasier starts to make his list of needs, the Orion's Master-at-Arms begins to smile. He picks his shirt up and starts to pull the combat ground camo back on over his arms and shoulders, then buttoning it up. While Adeliza listens, he spits out his contact lenses and puts them back in, blinking several times to set them. "We'd need to know where we could bring in transports to land and unload. And Skath ground defenses that we'd need to deal with to do that?" No touching nor reaching anywhere near to the weapons he'd set down on the table. Lleu tucks his shirt in and leaves his jacket and knit cap off until they are ready to leave. "No need to take notes, sir. We have your armor. Tanks, artillery, radios - that's up my alley." Fuel though, yeah, Adeliza is on it.

The General steps back over and moves the map of the planet around, using the stylus to flick it. He moves it around and seems to be getting the hang of zooming back in. "Most of their armor bases are going to have fuel. There's about a dozen of them I'm marking. These are general areas, not exact locations." He moves it quickly, though. "If you spot refineries, don't take them out. We need them. I have no idea what we'd be looking at for offensive targets. We don't even game offensives anymore. I'd have to get back to you." Lleu's points get him to stop and he gives the Marine a hard look. "If you've got all those, we've got more to talk about in the future. As for landing zones?" Frasier walks away with the tablet, skimming over the planet surface and looking around. "There's a couple good places near the front lines, but you'll be spotted immediately and face pretty heavy contact." Those are marked with a red circle. "Two places behind the lines where you could cause a lot of problems, but you'd be surrounded and have to fight your way out and back to friendly lines." Those are marked in yellow. "And if you want safe? We can prep you an LZ about an hour from here."

Adeliza watches the General mark the tablet and nods. "Alright. We'll coordinate this with what we have on file from our previous recon. Might need a couple more recon runs, we'll see." She waits for him to finish. "Safe is good to build up the numbers, maybe push those friendly lines forward a bit more, sir," she points to the yellow areas. Her eyes go over the markings and the terrain, and she nods once, then she looks up to him. "There is one thing you should know, General. We have those among our number that are similar to Clerics. We call them Lines, and they fight alongside us, and have done for awhile. You may have met some when you were on Picon, sir?" she raises her eyebrows curiously. "At any rate, we would appreciate any suggestions you have to keep them from being mistaken for Clerics and attacked."

A crisp nod is given to the General about talking more later, about armor, artillary, and radios. Lleufer doesn't know what his own Command is willing to commit yet so he couldn't give details and numbers with any certainty at this point anyway. So he keeps silent now, not interrupting either Frasier nor Adeliza, letting them thrash out more details while he listens and stays watchful.

The General hands back the tablet and his arms cross one more time. Gaze doesn't quite fix so much as turret between the two people speaking. "If you asked me for anything, I'd be pissed. As of right now, I'm counting on this being just an aberration. If you all are real, then I expect you to prove it to me before you land. When I talk to the other commanders, they're going to want something tangible. You better prove it to them. She them you are serious. Otherwise dropping a bunch of armor and troops on our planet is the same thing the Skath did. As for your Lines? Yeah, I know what they are. Most people here don't. Want to keep them safe? Come up with a plan and I'll hear it. And unless there's anything else, you better get going. My people got itchy trigger fingers."

Adeliza takes back the tablet, then takes her paper pad and makes some marks on it, referencing the map, then more notes in some kind of scrawl. She nods and takes another moment to make sure she's got what she needs. Straightening, she taps the tablet to black, stacks them together, and nods. "Thank you, sir." As his word signal their dismissal, she reclaims her sidearm and slides it into the holster. "I take it our Raptor is not in immediate danger for us to take off, sir?" Then, tucking her hair behind her ear again, she grins. "Trust me sir, when we come, you will know we are coming." Pausing at the door, she salutes the higher ranking officer, and then ducks out, tucking her pad and tablet in her armpit as she pulls her hat out and tugs it down over her ears.

"Actually, General…" Lleufer moves to stand and hearing the dismissal, he picks up his jacket to put it on, as well as his cap. "It's our intention to do a number of strikes against the Skath well before we'd be landing anything. So that's why we're keen to have you pointing out targets. We'll earn your trust and … try to make up for lost time." Ynyr gestures to his weapons to be /certain/ he's got permission to pick up the rest of his things before he'll touch them. Gunny's not wanting to be parted from his Arpay pistol, and if he's given the OK, he'll holster it and put his other weapons back inside of his jacket. "That's all we wanted to ask was if you'll have our help. And how best we can give it, General." Lleufer looks to Adeliza for their cue to move out. He gestures for Leander to take point as before and make sure it's clear outside before their Lieutentant steps out. No saluting the General from the Gunnery Sergeant though - not his Chain of Command. But he gives Fraiser a respectful nod and steps out after Adeliza.

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