ALT #447: Ghost Ship
Ghost Ship
Summary: In which the crew of the Orion ventures aboard the wreck of another battlestar, and finds many ghosts.
Date: 29/03/2014 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Return to Helios Gamma
Atalanta Bennett Dray Holtz Kaya Leightner Phin Toby Warren 
The Battlestar Pegasus
Wed Mar 29 14:33:21 2006

Just outside the fringes of the Acheron asteroid belt, twelve ships suddenly spring into existence, their arrival heralded by the telltale flashes of an FTL drive in downjump: a convoy of Colonial ships, a half-dozen Raptors leading a group of larger cargo haulers and transport ships.

Immediately after jumping in, the ships propel themselves into the belt, maneuvering carefully in formation through the floating rocks as they make their way towards their destination: the wrecked battlestar discovered by an air wing recon days before.

The wreck is still there, looking much the same as it had when it was first discovered: glittering pieces of metal debris hanging in space around a twisted, scarred hulk that used to be a top-of-the-line battlestar. However, despite the massive damage to the outer hull — even from this distance, several large hull breaches are visible, the interior of those sections long since vented to space — the ship itself is still in one piece, albeit a mangled one.

With the ship powerless, the hangar pods are unusable, at least for the moment. Thus, while the larger ships hold back, the smaller Raptors head for a series of emergency hatches on the starboard hangar pod, the lesser damaged of the two.

Leightner is strapped into the Raptor, stowed onboard, ready to spring out and make sure no one fails to come back. His head is back, moving through numbers and images in his head. Studying battlestar schematics on file for the ship class they are about to board. It keeps him awake.

Dray arrives from the Tinyplot Room Nexus.

She was one of the ones who found. She's already seen the whole thing, knows its fate. But that doesn't stop Franklin from staring out the Raptor's front window at the dead ship floating in front of them, a dark frown on her face. Her expression is one of frustration, at best. Frustration that remains otherwise unexpressed as she doesn't say a word.

Phin sits in the Raptor as it makes its way toward the hulk of the battlestar, doing a last check of his equipment. Yep, pistol's there. Yep, helmet's in place. Yep, flight suit's secure and theoretically ready to enter a vacuum. He's done it a half-dozen times since boarding, but he's not in the mood to try for conversation, so it keeps him busy.

All fastened in, Kaya is becoming old hat at this, finally. She doesn't lean her head back or close her eyes, just wanting to keep watch of everything, living the whole experience. That jump gets her every time and she grabs on to the nearest body to steady herself. Her weapon is a rifle and it's been all checked over and she's good to go, though it's on sling around her until they are closer to landing.

St. Clair's bus is brought in alongside the hulk of a rusting cargo hauler that's clearly seen better days. In comparison, the raptor seems a swift and agile beast as it strafes on ahead with a quick burst of its twin engines. With a rapid, gut-twisting inversion, the bus is corkscrewed into a belly-up position in preparation for 'landing' on the broadside of the battlestar. That hatch is approaching awfully fast.

Holtz is seated up front, in the Raptor's co-pilot seat. As the small convoy nears its destination, he directs a hard stare at the broken hulk that lies before them, interrupted only by a quick glance at Atia standing there behind him. When Bennett brings the ship in on final approach, there's a quiet sigh as he does a quick check of his belt, making sure his sidearm and his knife are in place and accessible.

With his gear on and his patience wearing thin, Ensign Dray Locke was sitting in his chair, waiting. He looks around the area and nods to the marines gathered. The large hulk of a man looks over to Leightner and gives him a nod as well, happy to have a combat medic with him. Then he glances over to Kaya, the actress. A moment is held on her before he glances away, looking to the deck plating and closing his eyes. He listens to the sounds of things around him, waiting for the leading officer to give instructions.

"Trying to make the grunts back there hurl, Captain?," Franklin quips, just barely loud enough for Bennett and Holtz to hear her. That, at least, finally brings a hint of something that isn't entirely dour to her face. One corner of her mouth twists upwards in a dry, fleeting smile that fades almost as soon as it appeared. It's not enough to drag her eyes from the battlestar's hull, though, or from the breaches in it.

[Into the Wireless] Bennett says, "Raptor four-seven-foxtrot-niner is skids down in fourty-five seconds and counting."

Phin mostly keeps his eyes straight ahead though, as they approach the wreck, he climbs out of whatever he had going on in his head and directs his focus back on it. He mutters a soft prayer under his breath. To Hermes, if one knows about such things, though he tries to keep low-volume so it won't carry too far beyond him.

One by one, the Raptors each latch onto the hull alongside their chosen hatch. Makeshift docking collars are extended, and one by one the boarding parties make their way onto the wreck. The interior is dark, the only lighting provided by the handlamps and flashlight weapon attachments carried by the boarders as they disembark and make their way from the emergency airlocks to the hangar deck proper. Despite the lack of power, however, when one of the deckhands uses his atmosphere indicator, it comes back green — there is air aboard. The hangar pod, at least, must be unbreached.

The interior of the hangar bay is in even more disarray than the exterior flight deck. Most of what few ships remain on the deck are little more than husks of metal, stripped and cannibalized for parts. Various bits of debris are strewn across the deck, including ship components, discarded or damaged metal plating, and the tools and toolboxes used by the deck crew of the ill-fated ship. The various lifts from the hangar bay to the exterior deck of the flight pod are off line along with the rest of the ship's power, but they do have a reserve battery which will need to be activated in order to lift whatever supplies are salvaged from the hangar to the waiting cargo ships.

Bennett merely grins at Atalanta's comment; the curve of her lips is briefly mirrored in her helmet's visor before it shifts to one of contemplative focus. The bus shudders as its reverse thrusters kick in, and then there is a nails-on-chalkboard SKREEEEEEEEEKCLANK as she not so gracefully trades paint with the battlestar's pockmarked, rust-bitten hull for a foot or two before docking solidly. "Sorry about that," is mumbled only loud enough, really, for her copilot to hear. "We're down. Hatch, please." That's to whomever's nearest the winding lever that opens the veritable pit in the floor of the raptor. She's already killing the bird's engines, unbuckling her harness and reaching for her sidearm as they prepare to file out.

Leightner hits boots on the deck, activating his helmet light to keep his hands free for his P90, sweeping with the first insertion teams cool head, calm, large empty hulk of a battlestar? Not scary really. But he does keep a weather eye, because robots can stand still for a looong time.

His helmet still on, Holtz has a hand on his sidearm as he looks around the deserted hangar deck. Not that there's much to see, mind. After a brief examination, he gestures to a group of deckhands that came aboard on one of the other Raptors. "See if you can get the emergency power back on, yeah? Gonna need those lifts online."

Dray hears the screech of metal on metal. He shakes his head softly pondering a pilot who may need more training. As the ship hits the hangar bay, the man was ready. He comes to a stand and then moves to the hatch, ready to file out as well. As the hatch open, he moves out only to hit his head on the bulk head of the hatch, "Damn it, they need to make these ships bigger." He then moves out into the hangar and looks around. It was a mess, it was dark, and it could be a trap. His gun was at the ready, waiting for orders. Dray was in soldier mode and ready to kill. He sweeps around at a 90 degree arc, standing by the ship's hatch covering the others to come on out as well. Hearing Holtz orders, Dray wonders who the techie was here. He didn't get a chance to over see the roster list for this mission.

Phin stands and unstraps himself, though he'll wait until the insertion teams are done clearing the place before disembarking.

With the rocking of the Raptor, Kaya once more grips her safety harness until they screech to a halt. Quickly and deftly, she unfastens herself and flicks off the safety of her rifle once she's off the Raptor. Her helmet is on and she looks at Dray, used to taking her orders from him. When the pilot gives them, she swings her gaze to him, waiting for more of her own.

As Franklin steps out onto the deck, the first thing she does is switch on her helmet light. She squints, her eyes first met with darkness and then that bright white light. "It looks like they were either running on almost nothing, or someone's already been here," she says, softly. "Get the all clear for deck and storage before moving on?," the CAG asks as much as states, her eyes on the back of Dray's and Holtz's heads as she says it.

Bennett is the last one out of the raptor, as per protocol. Its systems are powered down fully, and a couple of locking mechanisms are secured before she ducks out. Her sidearm's clip is quickly checked, safety off, helmet's light switched on as her boots meet deck. "Elevators look to be offline, sir," she speaks into her comm link, "but there's got to be an emergency generator around here somewhere."

Holtz grunts in reply as he moves to stand next to Atia, still looking around the hangar deck. "Yeah, looks like they threw everythin' but the kitchen sink at the bastards," he murmurs. "Still, it's worth a quick look 'fore we head out. Gotta be something left… if nothing else, we might be able to pull something off those hulks." He points at the remains of the few Vipers and Raptors still sitting on the deck. There's a quick glance at Bennett, and he nods. "Yeah, I got a couple of the deckies looking for it. Hopefully there's still some juice in the batteries."

<FS3> Leightner rolls Alertness: Great Success.

<FS3> Atalanta rolls Alertness: Great Success.

<FS3> Phin rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Bennett rolls Alertness: Great Success.

<FS3> Dray rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Kaya rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Leightner pulls a small tube out of a pocket, clicking on a small, potent light and shining the beam on a pair of trolleys, squinting, "Hallo, Raptor missile pods." He frowns a little and looks around to see if anyone who knows more about Aerospace weapons than him can say. Because he knows frak-ALL about it.

Dray knocks on his helmet that he was lucky he was wearing from his knock on his helmet earlier. His rifle brought close to his face as he held it almost eye level. He nods some as he looks back to Kent and Leightner. He was looking for the generator, "Kent, Leightner, with me. Let's see about that generator. Tripod formation. I got point. I want ninety degree sweeps at all times. We're the vanguard after all. Let's move." And with that, the large Ensign makes his way further into the hangar to locate the generator that could help them with this supply run. He spots some crates close to a stairwell. He begins to move, "Emergancy supplies, Kent, check those crates for anything that might go boom, if safe, mark'em."

Phin is one of the straggles off the Raptor. He exits just a little before Bennett. Helmet on, he starts surveying what's left of the battlestar. He lets out a low whistle. Not loud, but it echoes strangely in the interior of the ship.

Well she was off the Raptor and told to look around. So with a flashlight in one hand and her weapon in the other, Kaya begins doing just that very thing, heading off to one of the Vipers, imagining it as the sleek vehicle it was once.

Bennett trains her helmet's beam on the far bulkhead wall, swoops left then right, then pauses and peels away from the group slightly. "Teatime, over here. Ten o'clock. Looks like boxes of MEC rounds, thirty millimetres." Which can mean only one thing: viper gun ammunition. Her eyes flick to the open hatchway nearby, then back to the stacked pallets. Mention of raptor missile pods has her almost visibly perking, and heading for Leightner.

Fanning out from the others, Franklin makes a slow sweep of the room, one hand on her sidearm and the other on a flashlight. A crate is kicked over, peered into, empty. She shines her light into the guts exposed in a downed craft. She frowns. And then stops, tapping her comm unit. A sharp nod is given to Bennett, before her voice comes crackling over the wireless.

Leightner cracks a lightstick and adheres it to one of the trolleys, marking it as he moves to formation on Dray, nodding to Bennett in passing, a couple of words in Virgonesse, jerking a thumb at the marked trolleys, «Both of them.» He says, passing the find off to her as he moves to secure that generator.

[Into the Wireless] Atalanta says, "Teatime to Actual. I'm showing a tylium tank here that's still half-full. Can we get one of the haulers down here?"

<FS3> Holtz rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Holtz likewise begins looking around, aiming for a corner of the deck that no one else seems to have covered yet. And lo and behold, he too strikes paydirt, of sorts. When he reemerges from behind a tarnished Viper nose-cone, he's pushing a wheeled trolley loaded with several communications drones, the kind carried by a Raptor or other small craft. They look intact, albeit perhaps a little worse for the wear.

Phin is drawn to what's left of the battlestar's Vipers, some still lined up out of the way, as if they're awaiting loading that'll never come for them. He ducks around the underside of one, fiddling with one of the undercarriage panels. He gets it open without much trouble, very carefully poking around inside with his gloved fingers. He grins after a moment, and pipes into the comm on his helmet, "Teatime. Team. Dolly. I think there might be some electronics we can still pull in some of these ships. The deckies stripped most of the ships here, but this one's still got some parts left that we can pull. I'll check the others."

Bennett gives a soft, low whistle as she takes stock of the dust-covered racks of missiles arranged atop the two trolleys. Like they were about to be carted out to waiting buses. Like a fight had been imminent. She casts her gaze across to a burned-out raptor, the remains of firefighting equipment still strewn nearby, abandoned and picked through long ago. "Oh, Storm, for me?" she quips to Holtz with a beatific smile, when he appears with the trolley. "Just what I wanted for Saturnalia."

"Mark the ones you think are useable, Dolly. So they know which ones we may still be able to gut," Franklin calls out over the wireless. She's doing the same — marking a great big 'X' on the tylium lines she's standing over, on the ones that lead to that still half-full tank. As more and more of the team sing out about various supplies, she murmurs to herself, "Should've brought another Raptor's worth of knuckledraggers with us."

"We aim to please," Holtz responds with a dry, narrow smile as he wheels the trolley of drones out to the center of the hangar deck. A few moments after he stops, there's a sudden surge of lighting — one of the deckhands that accompanied the boarding party must have found the emergency generator, and contrary to Holtz's fears, there must have been some charge left. The hangar is still dark, but at least now the members of the boarding party can see where they're walking without having to worry about tripping over or slamming into something without a flashlight.

One of said deckhands calls out in Atia's direction, "We got power to lifts one, two, five, and seven, Colonel. The rest must be damaged."

Dray is moving towards the emergancy crates with Leightner and Kaya, "Doc, once Kent clears those creates as we do not need a trojan horse on our hands, check those med supplies, then we'll mark the crates for safety and move on." He says sweeping his rifle back and forth with his eyes following his sweeping as he moves. It's not going to be on the marines if something happens. He heads to the stairwell where the crates are.

Phin nods, before it occurs to him that silent gestures don't really translate over wireless. He then pipes, "Teatime, Dolly. Copy that. Putting an 'x' on the nose of the ones the techs can pull from." He then clicks his transmitter off and hoists himself out of the Viper's underside. Taking out a little grease pencil from his supply pack and drawing on the nose. He spends an extra moment with the plane, palm pressing over the squadron marker on the nose. A sailing ship for the 'Argonauts.' He spends a beat there before moving on to another Viper that looks relatively intact.

"Ensign," Franklin calls out, turning back to look for Dray. And then again, "Ensign, once you've cleared those crates, assemble a team of Marines to accompany the deckhands down to storage. With the lifts back online, we should start dragging anything that might be left down here up onto the deck while they're still getting the haulers down here."

Leightner nods, "Aye, clear med supplies for integrity." He says, prepared to make sure the tamper seals aren't broken, but making a list in his head and preparing to take inventory stock for Sickbay.

Bennett is right back to business a moment later, as the deck flickers to life with a ghastly glow of fluorescent lights that have been out of commission for.. gods know how long. It certainly doesn't pretty the place up, any. "Teatime, we are going to need more than one raptor to haul all this out of here. Permission to return to the raptor and divert teams charlie and foxtrot to adjacent docking bays for assistance?" Scritch, scritch goes her pencil as she marks off each trolley.

Bennett is right back to business a moment later, as the deck flickers to life with a ghastly glow of fluorescent lights that have been out of commission for.. gods know how long. It certainly doesn't pretty the place up, any. "Teatime, we are going to need more than one team to help with hauling all this out of here. Permission to return to the raptor and divert teams charlie and foxtrot to adjacent docking bays for assistance?" Scritch, scritch goes her pencil as she marks off each trolley.

Dray nods as he hears the order. He calls by through the mic of his helmet, "Copy that." He looks to Leightner and nods, "Alright, lets head on." He turns a hand to the deckhands, "Lets get a move on, with the deck hands, we'll move single file. I'll take point, Lieghtner, Kent, take the rear. Deckhands in the center." He begins to head towards the direction of the lower levels to where the storage is.

"You're clear, Butch. We'll need the haulers for the tylium tank, but if the Raptors are filled by the time they get here, it will make it easier to cut and run if we have to." As Franklin says this, she shivers once — a sudden chill that works its way through her spine. She hates these ghost ships, the dead stations, the empty worlds. Every single time, they find a way under her skin. She can't help it.

Leightner nods, moving to take up a rear guard position as ordered, helmet light sweeping while his weapon remains at the ready, keeping alert and looking around for whatever else might be here. It's a scavenging job, and that's the mode he's in, opportunistic survival.

Holtz looks towards Dray and his group of marines and deckhands before glancing in Atia's direction. "Recommend we tag along, Colonel. We can leave the hangar to Charlie, Delta and Foxtrot. More people we've got heading to storage, quicker it'll be to get whatever's there up here." His hand twitches expectantly on the butt of his pistol.

Phin continues to make a search of the semi-intact ships that're still left on the deck. He finds a second Viper with useful electronics still inside, sketches an 'X' on its nose, and moves on to a Raptor. It takes him a bit to gets its door open but, with some jury-rigging under an exterior panel, he manages it. He makes a search of the inside of the thing, paying particular attention to the panels under the ECO counsel. After a moment's looking around, he grins. Pay dirt there.

Phin finishes up the Raptor, likewise marking its nose, and heads outside again to rejoin the others still searching the deck.

Bennett may be bothered by this desolation, this crumbling ship— but if she is, she doesn't let on. "Copy, Teatime," is her crisp reply over the radio, then with one last sweep of her gaze over the trolleys lined up for extraction, she jogs back to the hatch where her raptor is parked. Swinging into the copilot's seat briefly, she thumbs the radio and sends a brief message whilst skimming the readouts that have been gathered from the bus's still-running sensors.

Franklin looks over her shoulder, gives a sharp nod to Holtz, and gestures for the Air Wing to follow — behind the contingent of Marines, with their rifles.

At the orders from Dray, Kaya moves to take the rear, her weapon up and ready after checking out the tool station. "There's some tools over here that'd be good for the taking too." She doesn't linger, not wanting to get left behind, glancing over at Leightner as he takes up the rear with her.

Dray hears an adjustment in orders and nods his head. "You heard him, we got more going with us. Kent, with me at the front, we'll go two by two in a dual file then. Let's keep it tight." He then gives a hand single, heading towards the storage units and the direction he needs to head down to them. He had to keep the formations tight, "Doc, stay in the rear with the pilots. We'll need you to patch us up incase some tinheads get the drop on us. Eyes up people, I want no accidents on my watch."

Holtz delivers a matching nod of his own in reply as he takes his pistol out and joins Dray and the rest of the outgoing column. "Whenever you're ready, Ensign," he says to the Marine with a gesture in the direction of the hangar deck's exit.

Leightner nods to KAya and smiles as they shift positioning, moving to step to the rear of the officers as once more, he's playing meat shield for the air wing. Feels like Minos.

Phin falls in behind the Marines, keeping pace with Holtz and Atalanta. He gets his pistol in hand, though for the moment he doesn't do anything more with it than that.

Bennett swings back out of the raptor moments later, and jogs over to catch up with the group moving out. She's happy to bring up the rear, unless Leightner waves her on. And regardless, her sidearm is out and ready, safety off. She may be a pilot, but she ain't no viper jock.

Warren arrives from the Tinyplot Room Nexus.

Leightner does in fact wave Bennett on as he takes rear guard with his P90 at the ready, looking around alertly as possible, keeping his attention on where they've been, and making sure nothings cutting them off.

Franklin clusters in with the others, her hand on her pistol. The safety clicks off, but she doesn't draw it — not now. Not yet. As they pile into the lift, she counts head, eyes narrowing in consideration as she compares bodies on board to the number of ships at hand.

Kaya steps through the middlemen going to the front with Dray, her rifle in hand and safety off. Once she comes even with Dray, she murmurs her acknowledgement. "Yes, sir." She keeps her weapon ready to fire if needed, but her steps are fairly slow, keeping pace with the others.

Surprisingly, the atmosphere indicators on the wall next to the hatch as they exit the lift indicate that there is air aboard the ship at least in this section. There must not be any hull breaches in this part of the ship, at least none reaching down this far. Most of the ship's emergency lights are out, either damaged or out of charge, but a few still flicker ominously overhead.

The corridors are dark in the places where the emergency lights have failed, but the group's flashlights and helmet lights are more than enough to illuminate their way… which is what keeps their point man from tripping over the first body as the group comes around a corner. That body isn't the only one, either. Over a dozen bodies are visible before the corridor turns off and disappears. Dried bloodstains and burn marks are easily visible on the walls.

<FS3> Holtz rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Phin rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Bennett rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Atalanta rolls Alertness: Failure.

Warren's been keeping mostly silent throughout the exploration so far, and at the moment he's not getting more talkative yet. His hand rests on his sidearm, still in its holster as he moves along in the middle of the group keeping his eyes open as he looks about.

<FS3> Warren rolls Alertnessx: Failure.

<FS3> Warren rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Kaya rolls Alertness: Great Success.

<FS3> Leightner rolls Alertness: Success.

Holtz pages Warren, Bennett, and Phin: You notice some of the bodies are wearing oxygen masks, some aren't. Also, most of them were armed. With pistols, although you can also spot a discarded rifle or two. Furthermore, cause of death seems to vary from body to body. Some of the ones without masks appear to have asphyxiated. Others, including the ones wearing masks, clearly were killed by other means. A couple were struck by fallen debris, though most of them bear bullet wounds.

Phin stays with the others, clicking the safety off on his pistol as the CAG and Bennett do. His helmet light is already on, and it provides him some illumination along the dark corridor. The sight of the bodies make him stop short and suck in a breath. He makes himself look at them, swallowing. Then, eyes narrowing, he moves forward to kneel by one. "This guy's got an oxygen mask on. And he's armed. Looks like the standard service pistol." Perfect match to his own.

Leightner frowns, nodding, "They were boarded, prepared fer centurions ta reach a main damage control center, override tha safeties an blow out tha ship, depresurizin it outta every hatch an airlock an door." He shrugs, "Whot they done in tha first war."

Despite the air indicators saying there was air, Kaya does not bother removing her helmet. Too many times it had been drilled in her head, the safety issues and the dangerous pockets. "Whoa!" There's dead folks and Kaya almost trips over it. Them. She aims the lights over them and shudders. Dead folks. As Phin speaks up, she looks at him and nods. "Keep your helmets on, guys." It's said over the com. "Bullet holes, everywhere, tough it looks like they were defending themselves from canners, cause it's a mix." She traces one of the holes with a gloved finger. She looks towards Leightner, listening.

When Phin calls out about the body, Holtz stops in his tracks and looks down. There's a couple bodies close to where he's standing as well, and he leans down to examine them. What he sees, though, prompts only a frown of confusion. After a short mutter under his breath, he looks over to Leightner with a nod. "Well, they must have succeeded at some point. These two look like they choked to death." A quick glance to the air indicator on his suit, which still reads as green. "But then they must've restorted atmo afterwards." From the look on his face, he doesn't seem sure why they would do such a thing.

Warren frowns at the bodies on the ground looking like that, masks bulletholes etc. He shakes his head a moment before squatting down to take a closer look. Theres a sigh as he stands up again glancing about here and this way and that keeping an eye out silently.

Bennett takes note of one of the atmospheric indicators on the wall, and pauses a moment to wipe off a layer of grime with gloved fingertips. Her brows furrow slightly in thought, and she continues on. The sight of bodies as they round the corner has her left hand instinctively tightening around her Five-seveN's grip. "Indeed," she murmurs into her helmet's comm link as both Phin and the medic speak. "So we are looking at multiple hull breaches, I would guess. Why life support would have been restored—" She pauses as Holtz comes to the same realisation simultaneously, then suggests, "Skinjobs?"

Franklin, for her part, does not seem to be listening. Rather, she's gone a rather shocking shade of pale — it's impressive, really, considering how milky-white her skin already is on its own. Brown brows have knotted together, a wrinkle forming right between them. It's an expression that betrays her age, and then adds some. She's staring down at the corpses blocking the hall, at their faces. Something about her expression, the way she stops, shakes her head. "Skinjobs?," she asks, belatedly.

Leightner sighs in his helmet, nodding, "Tell tha canners ta turn it back on, an then board." He frowns, considering as he waits for orders.

Phin backs away hastily when Bennett says the word 'skinjobs' aloud, stumbling backward as he tries to et away from that corpse. His grip on his pistol tightens. "Should we…umm…maybe Medical would want to take the bodies out…if they are…"

Is there an echo in here? There's a grim expression on his face as Holtz looks from Bennett to Atia and, after a moment's pause, gives a jerky nod. He can't seem to think of any better explanation, at any rate. A hand brushes experimentally against one of the bloodstains on the ground; the blood is bone-dry against the deck. None of this was recent, it seems.

Bennett lifts her shoulders with an accompanying wry little twist of her lips that comes nowhere close to warm. Her guess is as good as anyone's. "That was my thinking, yes," she tells Leightner with a brief glance. To Phin, "Actually, I am inclined to agree. Medical may wish to at least examine a few of them to confirm cause of death." Which isn't her call, really. She continues on, stepping over a body with a thunk of boots hitting the deck. "Speaking of which, do we know where the medical bay might be on a battlestar of this class?"

Warren hmmms quietly to himself as he looks about. He starts edging his way over towards Bennet, still quiet on the matter as he glances at the bodies. He does manage to reach a hand out to stop Phin a moment as he stumbles backwards before patting the man on the sholder.

Leightner points, "Aft three junctions, main stairs up ta sickbay, she's a J class medical, jus like Orion, lotsa compatable parts." He explains, as he did his homework on this one. That or girls just can't keep maps in their heads.

"They're dead. Cylons killed 'em. Seems plain enough to me," Holtz mutters at the talk of bringing bodies back for examination. He stands and takes a few steps further down to peer along the bend in the corridor. "Few more down there," he calls out a moment later.

"I meant, if any of them might be a skinjob we haven't run into yet," Phin says. A shrug. "Or even one we've seen before. There are…lots of corpses." He'll follow along with the others, still sticking to the rear, as they move along.

"Medbay on Mercury-class battlestars are almost always on deck three, fore corridor," Franklin replies, automatically, nodding in confirmation to Leightner. "Though it was in the aft corridor on the Deimos. The engineers crossed the plumbing lines for the pool when they built her, so her whole second deck was backwards." A seemingly useless bit of trivia at the moment, but given that the "S" was one of the only letters left on her battered hull, they could be on any one of dozens of Mercury-class battlestars. "Keep moving. We'll bag and tag as many of them as we can, when we're packing up the supplies." Her voice is, on that last word, strained. The clinical coldness? Forced.

Bennett gives Phin a long look for his remark, but says nothing of it. As are her orders, she keeps moving. "CIC, Medical or Engineering, sir?" she asks Atalanta. "My guess is the cylons would have breached either the former or the latter initially."

With other deckies handling the work in the bays, Toby tags along with the main group incase his technical skills are required. For now he's letting those who know baout such things lead the way, Orion being the sole limit of his experience of fleet ships. Eyes forever moving over the bodies, the corridors, and anything else he in sight he keeps hismelf in the middle of the group, waiting to see what happens next.

Skinjobs? Kaya steps back when Phin does, listening to the others talking about it, stating the possibilities. She stops worrying about the bodies and looks further along the way where they haven't been as of yet.

Leightner settles in in the rear guard, ready to move where led, keeping his eyes on the rear accesses and mindful of anything that might just be a trap left behind. The corpses don't bother him, though he begins his work now, pulling tags while they're stopped. Each man gets a coin, one of the mass produced things he carries with him. He's going to run out of them soon, but he will keep collecting the tags.

Franklin's jaw works, then sets, locking into place. She peels her eyes away from the patches stitched to the dead crew members suits. "CIC. Some of the knuckledraggers will be picking apart engineering already, and if the crew made a last stand anywhere, it was most likely there. Medical should be directly beneath it, so we can hit the stairwell there and sweep through it for any remaining supplies on our way back to the deck," she replies.

Phin meets Bennett's eyes for a beat, before directing his gaze back straight ahead. Deep breath, within the confines of his helmet and suit. He keeps his place along with the rest of the team as it moves on.

Warren nods at Franklins assesment as they move through the ship. "CIC it is then," he says as he keeps moving along with the group hand still on the grip of his sidearm. There is a glance to Bennett from him for a moment or two before turning his eyes ahead again.

Bennett meets the glance from Phin quietly, with just the faintest flicker of something in her expression. But there's no opportunity for loitering; she sweeps her helmet's flashlight afore once more, and falls into step a pace or two behind Warren as they move on. "Understood, sir," is her radioed response to Atalanta.

Toby glances to Atalanta as she mentions knuckledraggers working in engineering, torn between if he'd rather be working somewhere like there or the deck, or continuing with the exploration in the hope that something interesting might be found. Dropping back a bit to walks nearer to Leightner he gives the corpsman a brief nod then prepares to follow those on point toward CIC.

When Atia makes her call on where to go next, Holtz nods, sliding his pistol the rest of the way out of its holster as he moves back to join the group. He waves down the corridor in the direction of the stairwell. "This way."

Leightner returns Tobys nod as he sees the group moving out and brings up the rear, P90 in hand, covering the way they came.

Kaya doesn't take the lead this time, she remains in back with Leightner, opting to be cover instead of fodder. She glances to Toby and nods, then follows the superiors into the deeper recesses of the ship.

Frak it all. Franklin will take point — which means that she moves to join Holtz, finally sliding her sidearm out of its holster and pulling the hammer back with an audible, ominous click. A brief glance is given to Holtz, her lips pressing into a thin line before she flicks her eyes back to the bodies behind them, but she doesn't say a word.

Phin eyes Holtz and Atalanta as they move ahead. Like he's considering saying something, but he stows whatever it is. He keeps his position within the formation of their little group, following the lead of the Marines with them as much as anything else.

As the group makes its way through the corridors towards the CIC, they see more of the same. Bodies are strewn across the deck, some asphyxiated, some with obvious bullet wounds. Occasionally several crates or a pallet of supplies can be found; at each instance of such, one of the deckhands is detached to take it back to the cargo hold.

It's apparent that the crew didn't go down without a fight, at least. The group happens on several dead Centurions intermingled with the bodies here and there, destroyed by armor-piercing rounds. As they near the CIC, several stacks of boxes and sheets of metal plating can be seen, as if the crew tried to set up a makeshift barricade outside the command center. However, from the mess that's been made of the area, it doesn't seem to have held.

Warren hmms softly as he moves along with the group glancing at the centurions and bodies as they go. He shakes his head a bit as he looks this way and that keeping pace with the group.

Toby manages to avoid being dispatched with supplpies for now and for want of aught else to do helps retrieve tags from the fallen. He doesn't deal out coins for whatever reason, but he soes start to amass a collection of tags that he'll hand over to Leightner when they get back

Leightner maintains the rear guard, passing centurions and looking around for any less than destroyed ones, to be sure. Though he's constantly looking for threats approaching as he moves, keeping watch over the group now.

Phin's eyes flick over the supplies they pass, like he's trying to make some kind of note of them, though with the bodies and signs of a fight lost around him, it's hard to be that focused on matters of logistics. His hands tense on his sidearm again, like he's reminding himself it's there.

Bennett keeps pace with the group, apparently digesting what they've seen thus far, and keeping her eyes peeled for any sign of something not-quite-dead.

Franklin picks her way through the debris, occasionally kicking something out of the way with a clatter or a bang. It's an awkward dance, climbing over what's left of their defenses, before she stops in front of the hatch. She reaches for the handle, giving a sharp nod to the rifleman in the unlikely event that there's something still alive behind it. Ready? Ready.

The lettering on the Colonial Fleet seal on the heavy door in front of them proclaims this as COMBAT INFORMATION CENTER - BATTLESTAR PEGASUS BS-62. As with the corridors, there appears to be a few functioning emergency lights in the CIC, though it's mostly dim inside.

Holtz stands behind Atia and the rifleman beside her, who nods in response to the CAG, his rifle leveled as he pulls the hatch open with a grunt. He bursts onto the command deck, swinging his rifle back and forth as Holtz quickly follows the marine inside.

However, the presence of something unliving isn't as unlikely an event as Atia might have thought. When the Colonials begin to file into the CIC, there's a flash of movement from behind one of the consoles, and suddenly, a quick burst of gunfire erupts from the shadows. Several bullets spang off the metal above the door; either a warning shot or simply terrible aim. Behind one of the far consoles is a wild-eyed, dark-skinned man in Colonial uniform and captain's rank, sweating and breathing heavily as he points a weapon at the door. "Don't come any closer!" he shouts hoarsely.

Leightner ducks as the gunfire comes from the front and he aims behind them. Yes away from the focus of everyone else, aiming to where they'd be most likely not to see anyone coming. He will, cuase he's that one guy who'se looking back.

Toby waits his turn to file through into CIC. It's not somewhere he's been on Orion so he's vaguely curious and infact, just passing through into the room as the gunfire erupts. Ducking immediately he dives sidesways for what cover he can find and stays there, drawing the pistol he's been issued just incase the marines and other comabt personel can't deal with whatever, or whoeer it is that's shooting at them. This, this is definitely not his area of expertise and he doesn't want to try an dbe a hero and frak shit up for everyone else in the meantime,

At the sound of gunfire warren ducks behind the nearest object, "Frakking hell." Warren pulls out that sidearm of his and pulls back the hammer since it appears like not everything is dead. He glances about him seeing if anyone's been hit or worse.

Phin flattens his back against the corridor wall when the bullets start flying. Not with as much grace as a Marine, but he's not used to this kind of fighting. "Phin McBride!" he shouts. Is this really the time for introductions? "Lieutenant. Serial number Four-Eight-Nine-Two-Three-Zero-Five-Zero-Three!" The first thing clearly Colonial that comes to mind. We're friendly, really.

Gunfire! Kaya ducks back, lifting her weapon, looking to return fire, but not sure exactly where it is coming from as the sound echoes around her. She ducks down, not wanting to hit her own team, so she holds fire.

Bennett is near the rear of the group, but instinctively throws her back to the wall when she hears the telltale rattle of gunfire. Sidearm cocked to her shoulder, finger on the trigger, she holds fire unless ordered otherwise and chances a look behind— just in case they're about to be flanked.

And this is the reason that she drew and cocked her pistol. Franklin ducks behind the half-opened hatch, letting out a shockingly vulgar, though barely audible, string of Caprican swearing under her breath. Firefights are not exactly her purview, nor hostile negotiations her forte. Her tongue presses into her cheek for a moment, before calling out, "There's more than a dozen of us here and a full salvage crew aboard, Captain! You'll empty that clip long before you can cut your way through us, so I'd suggest putting it down."

"You first!" the man snaps back, his voice still bordering on the hysterical. His arms sag a bit, but the weapon remains leveled; surprisingly, it's not a standard issue sidearm but a Leo M12 submachine gun. His eyes flick from one member of the group to another, almost as if he's surprised by what he sees. "You… but you're not…" His bloodshot eyes blink rapidly, and he gives a jerky shake of the head as if trying to clear his thoughts. "Only nine of them," he mutters. "Can't be them. No copies. No copies." Finally, hesitantly, he lowers his weapon, his chest still heaving slightly as he raises a hand to wipe the sweat from his brow.

Phin exhales when the man starts talking, rather than shooting more. He stays with his back against the corridor wall. His pistol isn't put away, but he doesn't do anything threatening with it, either. His eyes flick over his superiors, and then out to try and track the positions of the Marines. Mostly, he just holds as still as possible until he hears orders different.

"No copies," Bennett confirms, her voice slightly tinny inside the helmet she hasn't yet yanked off. Blue eyes skim the unfamiliar Captain and his weary, wary mien before cutting away to take stock of what's left of CIC. Her sidearm is stowed into its thigh holster, but she doesn't yet break rank. Not until they have orders to.

Leightner looks behind them, covering them till he's called up. Gunfire, panicked voices Last stand or something like it. He's ready to look people over when ordered.

With the noticable lack of gunfire Toby sticks his head gingerly back out to see what's going on. Spotting he unknown captain lowering his weapon he lets his own pistol drop a little too, although to say he's been actively covering the man would have been pushing it somewhat. He's happy to continue to let Atalanta do the talking but does move a little so he's more visbable once again, and can get a better view of the room in general.

Franklin isn't about to drop her sidearm — not even when he cracks. She will, however, step out from behind the cover of the door, both hands up. Her pistol is still clutched tight, her finger on the trigger, but it's not aimed at him, at least. "Lieutenant Colonel Atalanta Franklin of the Battlestar Orion, serial number Zero-Three-Nine-One-Nine-Six-Zero-Nine-Four. There was no answer to my hail on the wireless; we thought she was a ghost ship and will be bringing what's left back with us." A beat. "Are you the only one still aboard?"

Kaya holds her rifle up, she's not sure what to do, but to listen and await the orders of her superiors. She watches to the rear, offering cover so no one comes up from behind,pressing herself against the wall.

Warren keeps his pistol ready just in case. While its not likely there's anyone else alive…it wasn't likely this guy was alive either. He glances about looking here and there before he peeks out around his piece of cover trying to get an idea of where things are as well as where everyone else is.

Holtz, for his part, continues to scowl at the man, his pistol never wavering. But the Pegasus captain doesn't seem to notice or doesn't care; his attention is focused on Atia as she takes charge. For a moment he just stares in Atia's direction before finally responding. "C-captain Joram Zaletta, assistant tactical officer, Battlestar Pegasus," he responds, his voice shaky but slowly beginning to firm up as he introduces himself.

"I… think so, Colonel. Haven't seen anyone in days. Only the copies. Thought you were more of 'em at first, you know." He inhales deeply, and his breath finally begins to steady itself. "Interference is frakking with the com equipment. I lost intraship two weeks ago. Ship-to-ship hasn't worked since they boarded."

Phin likewise holds his position for the moment, though he does holster is pistol. Eyes widening, and head twisting to try and follow Atalanta's progress when she makes her way toward the strange Pegasus man. "Boarded? Gods…" he breathes. Images of the darkened corridors flashing through his head, and with them attempts to imagine what living through this must've been like. "Describe the copies," he calls. "We've run into some ourselves since the attacks. Don't think we've seen them all, though."

Leightner remains rear watch. When things get interesting, it's a good time to get flanked. Any time is a good time to get flanked. Like a beer.

Back with Leightner, Kaya also offers the rear watch, her gun aimed towards the unknown just waiting..

Bennett doesn't look terribly surprised to hear about the 'copies'; her expression says as much as she listens to the other captain speak. "Perhaps Crewman Shackleton and myself could begin going through the data banks and grabbing what has not been wiped, sir," she suggests, hesitating instead of yet marching off to do so. "It would be prudent to confirm, as well, whether the firewalls were breached or any sensitive data was decrypted."

"Captain Zaletta, then," Atalanta repeats. That's how you humanize someone, isn't it? Giving them a name, to separate them from the beasts. To make them unique. To connect. "Captain Zaletta," as though talking to a skittish horse. "We can get you off the Pegasus, back to a safe haven with food and water and people, if you'll come with us." There's a nod to his submachine gun, a pointedly arched brow.

Toby resists what is suddenly a very strong urge to mutter 'and given citizenship to some too' after Phin's words. He does note thought that the man mentioned nine where as there number is twelve. Interesting. He's pondering somethign crazy, like taking his helmet off to show intent before the mention of his name has him swinging his head round towards Bennett. "Damn it Captain, I'm a surivial equipment tech, not a computer guy," he mutters, but quietly and very much to himself before he does step towards the raptor pilot to at least show willing.

Bennett gives Toby a look like 'do you see someone more qualified around here?' and with a brief nod askance to Phin, too, if he wishes to join them, she sets off for the tactical console. Atalanta is busy managing their host and his submachine gun, so she asks no more questions of the woman for the nonce.

Phin is certainly not a qualified tech, so he offers Toby a shrug. Short straw, dude.

Despite Atia's not-so-subtle hinting, Zaletta makes no move to discard his weapon. It may not be pointed at any of the Colonials, but he keeps a firm hold on it nonetheless. He nods at the mention of being taken off the Pegasus, but his brow creases skeptically. "What's safe anymore? My ship, the pride of the Fleet, is in ruins. Rest of the fleet's blown to shit. The Cylons are still infesting the twelve worlds. Our homes. You think you've got safety?" He laughs caustically.

Zaletta's face twitches at the mention of the skinjobs, as if even bringing the subject up was enough to threaten the man's apparently fragile sense of calm. He remains steady for the moment however as he slowly answers. "There were two women. A good-looking blonde, and a brunette with sharp features. An older man, balding, evil eyes." His voice quavers slightly as a hand jerks upwards, pointing in the direction of Holtz, his brow furrowing slightly as he regards the massive Tauran. "And there was one that looked kind of like him."

Leightner looks at Toby, then Phin, and covers the rear approach. At the 'looked like him' He looks back because, like which 'him'. Seeing it's Holtz, he then looks back to the approach hallway. Stored for later.

Zaletta falls silent for a moment, his hooded expression going briefly distant. "The rest… don't remember. Didn't get a good look at all of them. Too much fighting, too much shooting." His words trail off into a brief, incoherent murmur before he falls silent once more.

Toby knows precisely jack-shit about computers, firewalls and databanks but if that doesn't bother the officers then fine, he'll make his best guesses and hope they're no worse than anyone else's would have been. Tagging along behind Bennett he keeps at least one eye on the newly discovered Captain at all times, not really feeling like a bullet or two in the back, while trying to piece together a rough idea of what each console they pass is for and how it all fits into the grand scheme of things. As the man starts decribing the skinjobs he pauses to watch though, before asking pointedly, "kinda like him, or him?" He's taking the lack of immediate gunfire in Holtz's direction a a good sign, but it's fair to say that his attention is now firmly on this conversation, just in case.

Holtz's aim never wavers from the man's forehead, his expression an icy mask of grim calm. He blinks when Zaletta's finger jabs in his direction, though, a note of surprise coming over his craggy features before his eyebrows begin to knot in consternation. That was unexpected.

Warren glances over to Zaletta, "Captain Warren Smythe, serial number one-seven-one-eight-eight-two-nine-nine-four. Shits hit the fan hasn't it?" He shrugs a bit, "I was on the Rubaul when things went to hell, so was Colonel Franklin. Had those frackers tossing live grenades into our bunks. We've been through hell just as you, not the same hell, but we've been there. Where are you from Captain?"

"There are still Colonials left, man. Whole planets have millions of survivors," Phin says, edging away from the corridor wall. In time to see Zaletta pointing at Holtz. Indeed, that was unexpected. He keeps his sidearm holstered, palms up, for the moment. And stares, at both his SL and the Pegasus man.

Leightner reaches to his shoulder pocket, and tears it open with a rip of velcro, lifting a small flipbook up, "Photofile o all known Skinjobs." He says, looking to Kaya, and nodding, "Take rear watch." He says and moves to offer the file, his rural Virgonese accent pretty identifying.

Bennett pauses a beat when she overhears a snatch of conversation, blue eyes darting to Holtz as if to make sure she's heard right. Then back to the task at hand. Someone's gotta do it. Helmet off, since it seems like breathable air isn't a concern in here, her ponytail tumbles out to drape limply across one shoulder while she works. "I am no expert on shipside systems, but the main data drives are here, here, here and here. Auxiliary storage will be over there, and there should be a laptop somewhere about unless someone has absconded with it.."

"Lieutenant McBride has the right of it. The Orion survived, as did the Rubaul, and Picon has been liberated from Cylon control," Franklin replies with a firm voice. But still, her eyes flick to Holtz — linger there, longer than they really should. Her stare moves from toe to tip, resting on his eyes for more than a moment. When she looks back, there's a twitch at the corner of her mouth. A skeptical shadow lingering in the hollows of her face. Has the man planted a seed of doubt. A beat, and then, "Nagala's dead, then, isn't he? We heard it all over the comms in the first wave of the attack — that he took command of the Pegasus."

Bennett leaves, heading toward the Tinyplot Room Nexus [Out].

Kaya does as Leightner directs, taking the rear watch, the safer one as far as she is concerned. Skinjobs and the like held no interest for her and she doesn't bother pretending to be interested. Keeping her weapon up, she keeps them cover.

Holtz's eyes flick around the group, meeting the sudden wave of looks that are coming his way. He seems to have been taken off guard by the man's surprising almost-accusation. "Don't be ridiculous," he growls at the others, though he suddenly looks a little uncertain when he meets Atia's gaze, his skin coloring slightly. "You can't possibly…" He trails off, fingers flexing on the grip of his gun, his eyes narrowing, his lip curling.

Phin's face has suddenly gone very stony, for its part. It's not a look he wears easily, but he takes it out now and again. He says nothing, but he doesn't immediately jump to his superior's defense. One can almost hear the wheels clicking in his head, but it's hard to tell where they're going.

Toby glances briefly to Leightner as he produces pictures of the known skinjobs for the captain to examine, but then his eyes slide back to the 'native', still awaiting his answer on just how much a like the man reckons Holtz and the cylon are. It's not a thought he wants to contemplate really, and for now he's working on the basis that he means there's a resembalance and thats it, but he'll wait for the answer.

Likewise, Zaletta's fingers twitch uneasily on the hand of his submachine gun as he looks down at the major. "He was a big one. Brutal. I saw it. Stabbed the XO, shot down a security squad before they took him down. His eyes linger suspiciously on the major for a second or two longer before he looks Warren's way. "I'm… I'm from Caprica. The capital," he says guardedly. And then those wild eyes flick to Atia, and there's another one of those jerky nods. "He and the commander tried to rally the Fleet, but… they nailed the rest of our group over Ragnar, and we couldn't make contact with any other ships. We thought the Fleet was lost. No contact with anyone. He's dead now."

Leightner snorts, "He's a skinjob we're frakked. Ask his daughter." He comments, "Only reason they're clones is they can't breed fer some reason. Jacks, all o it, solvin problems whot wouldn't exist if they could breed." He looks at the Pegasus Captain, flipping open the photofile, and offering the pictures. "Captain I think ye may be in shock, I'm a medic, I'd like ta look atcha an have ye look at these pictures."

Not a positive ID, just a 'he was a big brute'. Well, as far as Toby is concerned that could cover half the Taurans ever born so with a slow shake of his he starts to turn back towards Bennett and the databanks. He pauses briefly to give Leightner a brief 'good point' gesture when he brings up mini-Holtz but then it's back to the task at hand, leaving those who seem to have a clue to talk down the Captain and get thing moving once more.

OOC Note: This scene was paused on March 29, and this is where Phin Player's log ends. TO BE CONTINUED, DUN DUN DUN…

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