AWD #035: Hibernia and Pallus Provide
Hibernia and Pallus Provide
Summary: Zachary scrambles a Raptor to see what happened on Hibernia and Pallus.. and gets a surprise result.
Date: 11/02/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Zachary Ygraine Kelsey 
Helios Beta
A star system
11 February 2005

To Helios Beta, once again. With the intent to scout out Hibernia and then Pallas, there is the potential to make contact. Both locations have known populations so checking them is logical, though they may not make the best hiding places. But with the jump in going flawless, the Raptor finds itself floating through dark space with the star far out ahead. Hera and her 29 moons are visible closer, as is the green dot of Virgon and the Ouranos Asteroid Belt. Dradis is clear and there are no emissions out here. At all. The silence is deafening.

Last time he took a recon, Zachary took the timid route and it cost him a chance to actually be able to do anything. This time? He comes loaded for bear. The Raptor is ladened with HE missile pods, AP Javelins, twin 20 mm cannons, a doorgun and a currently set to passive DRADOME. As he settles into his seat after the lanuch from Orion, he lets Ygraine handle their spool ups and jumps, counting them down and marking them as they go. He gives a glance over to his co-pilot on occassion.

Poor Kelsey, she barely had a chance to drop her things and try on the issued flight suit before Zachary snagged her for a scramble launch. Ygraine was equally snagged. He needs to get these recons done, and it didn't matter who was in the shower, or if they were doing laundry or whatever, he's settled and serious. "We didn't get a good look at Hibernia on the last pass. We're going to try to get a better look, hopefully the EMP interference has cleared up." he says towards both over the comm.

"From there, we're going to Pallus. It's a small colony, maybe the Cylons overlooked it.. and it's personal to me. It's where I met Eden. I'd like to tell her what happened." he says as he glances towards Virgon way off in the distance. "If we have the time and the fuel, I'd like to swing by Virgon again, see if we can get another look for the ranches we're going to raid for the livestock and such." he comments to the two. "Everyone alright?" he finally asks.

And with that, he flicks on the gun camera, checking the picture quality before he settles in. "Prepare to get us to Hibernia, Milkshake. I've got nothing up here. How about you?"

Kelsey, strapped into the co-pilots seat, is wearing her freshly issued flight suit and helmet. Any other day, she might have been excited by this development, but the usually chipper and talkative Raptor tech has been fairly quiet since the Raptor took off. She's keeping her eyes on the instruments (sort of), though, and watching the control movements Zach inputs. At least, she's looking at the instruments when her eyes aren't staring at the stars. Hands? Bolted to her lap. "Fine, sir," she replies quietly to his question.

Ygraine is kicked back in her chair, idly watching the displays of her sensor suite. For grins and giggles she tries pushing the range of the coms in an effort to try and pick up some voices, but then Zach's ordering and she's straightening and preparing to spool.

"What do you think, Milkshake, Wescott?" Zachary comms out, and then looks back towards his ECO. "Reports were that Virgon was clear if shattered. Want to drop in atmosphere for a closer look on the way out?" he asks. "After we check our two primaries."

"I think you're the pilot, sir." Yggy replies. "But I'm game if you are."

"Alright. We're going atmospheric on Hibernia, and then skip it over to Virgon for a closer look." he comments, his thoughts drifting for a moment as Zachary considers.

Kelsey almost seems like she doesn't hear for a moment as she looks around at the instruments and then over at Zach. She turns to glances back towards Milk and then to the pilot again. "Uh. I'm okay with whatever. But sounds good." She knows what this does to the frame. Kelsey tightens down her straps to secure her into the seat.

In a flash the Raptor covers the distance between two points instantly. Blasting into the jump locale, the Raptor is sitting pretty high up in the atmosphere, somewhere around ninety thousand feet. The sky above is black and the lush green of the moon below beckons them lower, though the surface appears marred with several large craters in places where shipping debris has impacted. Locally it seems to be sometime in the early morning, though. Above them, Virgon looms large and the northern hemisphere is coated under a thick cloud of ash.

Just before the jump, Zachary mentions, "Brace for insertion." he calls out over the comm, releasing the controls from Ygraine's control post jump to take over the stick. The reason for this is readily apparent as they insert in high enough but with still enough interference to rock the Raptor as the Major takes over the controls. "Eyes and ears peeled. What are we looking at, Milkshake?" he asks, putting his reliance on the ECO as he starts to push down on the controls, bringing the Raptor further down in the atmosphere and towards where the green deck is.

Kelsey probably wasn't prepared for that. She nearly jumps with the sudden appearance of the moon in front of her. There's a gentle gasp at the view and she leans forward in the straps a bit to look. "Wow," she whispers. But she quickly sits back and goes back to her instruments. Hands move to hover around the controls, mimicing Zach. But she doesn't touch.

Once they're seeing the blue, Ygraine starts doing her finger dancing over the console. "Mmmm…got some DRADIS contacts, non-hostiles, but I think it's just wreckage…" she trails off as she peers at what her systems are telling her. "Oh hey, wait a minute." she says, sounding intrigued.

"Well, don't keep us in suspense, Milkshake." Zachary says, watching the forward DRADIS of the cockpit as he keeps his eyes peeled on the atmospheric interference, and looks up towards the skies, keeping his eyes peeled. "…what do you have?" he asks her as he waits for her commentary and then his determination to move his ship.

"Well, most of these DRADIS contacts are pretty obviously wreckage, but a few of them are fluctuating in clusters that seem too well patterned to be random wrecks." Yggy offrs. "We could go check it out?"

Kelsey glances back to Milkshake but doesn't otherwise speak up. This is all new to her. Eyes go back to the instruments and she watches the altimeter unwind quickly. Its one thing to imagine it or read about it in books.. But the news has her smirk to herself in her helmet.

"Seems like a good day to do that." Zachary says. "Feed me the coordinates, and we'll head that way." he says. Once Ygraine does send the information, he turns the stick and starts on a cautious wide turn. "Be ready on counter-measures, arm javelines and cannons, Milkshake. This will not be a repeat of the asteroid field."

As the altitude drops and the location turned toward, everything remains very very quiet inside the Raptor and even on the sensors. It would seem like the whole moon had just ceased living. They pass over the destroyed wreckage of what looks like a minesweeper that exploded across the terrain. In the distance is the burned hulk of a small city, the visible buildings scorched black from intense fires. But as they approach the coordinates, they crest a small ridge and out ahead are half a dozen ships parked in a low, grassy valley next to a highway stretching towards the town in the distance. It looks like a couple passenger liners and four medium bulk transports.

And still, its quiet. Not a peep. Anywhere.

"Whoa." is Ygraine's delighted reaction to the sight. "Can I try and hail 'em sir? I mean, unless you think a bunch of Cylons are gonna pour out of the hanger doors once we touch down. Can I?"

"OH! Lookit!" Kelsey blurts, staring out the windscreen at the transports. She goes quiet afterwards, though, but that excited look on her face doesn't leave. She probably missed the part about bulletheads pouring out.

"Frak me." Zachary says, fingers clucthing the controls tighter. "Careful, Ygraine." he uses her actual name as he slowly turns the ship to aim at the nearest liner and arms the javelines, just in case their worst fears are correct. "Hail them." he says, once he's sure they have good lock.

There is no movement below them. Even as the Raptor hovers and the engines run, nobody comes running. Cylons don't pour out. There aren't even signs that anyone has been here except for the ships.

Ygraine toggles the com. "This is Colonial Raptor Two four seventy two delta. Anybody home? Repeat, this is Colonial Raptor two four seventy two delta. Does anyone copy?"

"I'm going to land us, Milkshake." Zachary makes the decision finally as he moves the Raptor down over the larger of the liners and moves towards the emergency access hatch. Once he's hovering above it, he lowers the Raptor one. Collides lightly with the metal. And then two more times. Knock knock. And then he settles the Raptor down fully. "Grab the rifle from stowage, Milkshake. Kelsey, do you know how to work that?" he asks, gesturing towards the door gun.

Kelsey glances back and looks to the door gun. "Hell yeah I do, sir. I've never shot one, but I cleaned and installed it myself." Because that's the same. Well, maybe it is. The young woman unstraps and moves back to unfold the gun and she feeds a belt into the top before pounding the top down and charging it. "Guns up," she calls happily.

Seconds pass. Seconds stretch into a minute. Minutes continue on. Even despite broadcasting, nothing comes back. Not even the knock to the side of the liner does any good. Looking in the windows reveals nothing out of the ordinary. It looks like they were just unmanned.

"Maybe we ougtta look for clothes on the ground somewhere." Ygraine says, a bit nervously. Her rifle is up, and she looks over at the other two. "Do we try to get in?"

"Masks on." Zachary says, as he opens his rebreather kit and slides it in place, as he moves to grab down the second rifle. "We're going looking, Milkshake." he says, as he checks the magazine, and slams it home before charging in a round. "..lower the door, I'll use the passkey to get inside."

Masks? Pshaw! Kelsey never took her helmet off. People flying around in space without helmets… what do their mother's think? Sigh. "You want me to stay with the Raptor, sir?" Kelsey offers happily, looking at the Major with a lofted brow. "Oh, hey, Milk is onto something," she offers with a grin.

"Why do you gotta wait with the ship?" Yggy makes sure her own helmet is secure before she does as ordered and lowers the door.

"You can stay if you want, Kelsey." Zachary says. "I didn't pack a third rifle, it's a new protocol for dealing with Direwolves." A face at that as he gestures towards the open hatch. "If you want to sat though, if one of those other ships as much as twitch angrilly in our direction, light it up."

"I'll stay here if its all the same, sir. Never know. Don't want someone stealing your ship or something, right?" she offers with a shrug. Kelsey maneuvers the big .50 cal out of the way and moves to allow them off.

The warmth of the sun probably feels good through the glass on the masks and helmets. There's no telling the temperature outside, though, through the suits. The large liner, though, which probably has a capacity for more than 250 souls, is parked with the emergency ramp left down and open. Coming up to it, just looking up inside and its dark except for the sparse light coming through the windows. It doesn't sound like anyone is around, either.

Zachary comes up on the door, and frowns, noticing it wide open, and flicks on the underslung flashlight on the rifle. "…we should have brought a team with us, Milkshake." he says quietly as he looks inside, and steps into the liner itself. "Any souls, any souls, this is Colonial Major Sheperd! Please respond!" he yells out, listening to his voice echoing down the hallway. "Milkshake, see if you can find a commo panel, patch into the ship's PA system, in case someone's way down below and didn't hear all of our racket."

Ygraine keeps her rifle up, until she receieves instructions. "Copy that." she says, upon remembering that one can't really nod well in the affirmative in these helments. She starts searching the walls, finding it likely enough that she should find one. "D'ya think if there's anybody here that they'll actually respond?"

"We have to try, we could spend a week walking this ship with nothing answering." Zachary says with a frown. "At any rate, we should try to make our way to the bridge. If these ships are still working…" he trails off, he doesn't really need to say more, does he?

"D'ya want me to broadcast where we're heading? Opens us up to ambush, but it'd give any souls to rescue a direction." Ygraine says.

"It's a gamble, but yes, do it." Zachary says with a nod towards the ECO.

Once up into the hallway, there are a few electrical panels for controlling the stairs and even a wired phone, but nothing works. There isn't even a residual charge anywhere. The power seems to have completely shut off. The floor has hundreds of different bootprints and trails of dead grass to indicate people had been up and down the stairwell plenty of times. But as they move forward towards the bridge, they enter into the passenger cabin and things become very eerie. There are bundles of blankets in some corners with those cheap, disposable pillows as if people or something had made beds and nests. There are discarded bags off food, empty, but some of the open cabinets reveal food still in supply. Clothes are hung up along clotheslines as if used as privacy dividers. Shoes. Pants. Dresses. A diaper bag is left sitting on a chair. Farther up, a childs doll is left sitting in the middle of the floor as if the kid had been playing with the stuffed item and suddenly walked away. Again, there isn't a single sound or out of place movement.

"Coms don't work, sir." Ygraine says after a few moments, and as they proceed, she admits, "Seems like this place got abandoned. Or whomever was here got rounded up."

"Slow and easy, Milkshake.." Zachary says as he gestures down one of the halls, he takes the other aisleway so they can cover each other's flank. As he makes his way down the alley, most of the discared clothes match reports he's heard. It's the sight of the diaper bag and stuffed animal that grabs his attention. "Zeus. Why the frak did you allow this?" he asks, fists clutching around the rifle. "They were here. They could have been for days. And.. we're too late." His hand clutches the back of the chair for a moment and he shakes it. "Frak." he repeats and steadies himself. "Let's get to the main cabin, see if she'll still fly."

The movement through the main cabin and passenger area is easy, but checking corner takes a few minutes longer than usual. Up another set of stairs and past an armored door is the flight deck. Larger than most, this model has room for three flight crew and even a small bed for one to sleep on. The pilot and co-pilot seats are both turned away from the controls to face the flight engineer's table and console. On it is a book, the title on the front indicates it to be the 'Flight Log'.

As he opens the door to the cabin, Zachary moves to take the pilot's log, and opens it to glance for the last entries before something catches his attention and he kneels down, looking at the floor. Picking up one of the pistols discared from the safe, he resets the safety and checks the magazine. "Not a shot fired, Ygraine. They didn't even fire a shot." he says, a frown deepening his features as he shoves the pistol into his waistband and passes her the other one before he sits in the captain's chair to read the last entries.

The flight log's last entry reads the following:

'19 JAN 2005 - 0730 LOCAL
The Petersburg Mlaree landed last night to make six ships total. We had dinner with the Captain and he seemed a good chap. We had warnings of possible Centurions overnight but the only real excitement was when an armed man and woman appeared out of the woods and approached the perimeter. They said they were locals. George thinks they're not right. Morning watch rotation said they spent most of the night in the middle of the field just looking at the ships and talking. Janette said they want to talk to the Captain in a few minutes here on the flight deck. Alice Kershaw, the XO on the Proud Wing, has suggested we unify what fuel we have left and use it to try jumping one ship to go find something habitable and safe but' -and the writing ends abruptly.

Ygraine leans over the chair to read over Zach's shoulder. "Frak." she says softly. She sounds a little crushed. She was really hoping to find people. "Why did it cut off, d'ya think? There aren't any bodies, and there aren't any discarded clothes, either. Things seem pretty orderly."

"I don't know, Ygraine." Zachary says honestly as he hands the log to her. "Stow this, we'll give it to intel to try to figure out." he says. "Come on, let's do a quick search, these things usually have cameras, maybe we can catch a loop of the last few minutes and downloaded or just pull the drive." he comments. "Or one of the passengers may have had a camcorder."

Given the ship's lack of power, there's nothing to see. There are only two camera's aboard, and both are in the cockpit. It might take several hours to get at and pull the drives considering the lack of proper tools, even with having a mechanic back in the Raptor. Given the number of bags, it could take just that long to search for one with a camera.

"Fair enough. It's probably safe to assume the other ships are like this. When we come back for the livestock, let's make sure we have engineers that can come see if they can get these things up and running, and have a good fuel supply to at least spool their FTLs." Zachary says as he stands up and takes a careful note of the area before turning to leave. "Let's go, Milkshake. We have two planets to go still." he says, finally steadying himself.

Back at the Raptor, Kelsey is sitting there patiently, but doing her best to make a fierce face behind the fifty for anyone who might have come poking around. Good little guard dog. She inquires as to what was found but doesn't press the point. Once take-off begins, she refolds the fifty into the frame and moves back up to settle herself into the ejection seat and strap back in.

Zachary sits down silently in his seat. "Mark their locations, Milkshake, we're going to have to come back to them." he says, as he starts to guide the Raptor skywards once everyone's settled. "Get us to Pallas, I can do a flyby of Virgon later." he says quietly.

Ygraine spools the FTL and punches in the coords for Pallas. She seems eager to get out of there.

At an inclined orbit over the rest of the Helios Beta system, Pallas is a planet that, at one point, held a life-sustaining atmosphere. Its long since depleted as the solar conditions changed over the millenia. Today its home to several research and a military installation. Jumping in reveals the grey surface to be largely untouched. From this altitude there aren't any obvious signs of destruction, but then again the planet's stations aren't terribly large.

As soon as Zachary settles the system and reads the DRADIS to get where they are, he takes the stick, a determined look hitting his features as he guides the craft into the depleted atomsphere and towards one of the research stations near the base. "…this is where Eden was stationed when I first met her." he says to noone in paticular. "We had our first date here."

"I'm picking up radio signals, but nothing really solid on DRADIS." Ygraine interrupts from her seat. "I'll see if I can clean up the signals.'

"Work on it, see what you can decode." In the meantime, he cues up his own comm. "Colonial station Pallas, this is Colonial Raptor, do you copy?" he asks, as he pilots the craft towards the military station. "The landing strip should be nearby.

"It'll help if we get closer." The blonde ECO notes. "Get into kissin' range, will ya?"

As they descend farther towards the surface, the radio traffic starts to clear up. It sounds like a status report from one of the stations to another one. News and stores listings. Power output of their reactor and fuel available. It sounds fairly routine and mundane. But as they approach that military reservation and the strip, it becomes more obvious why nobody responded. In fact, all radio transmissions stopped as soon as Zach broadcast his own. The military station is a small nuclear crater, the sand beneath the surface turned to dark glass. The science station nearby appears more or less unscathed but the parking ramp for the larger transports has been bombed and wrecked, vehicle debris preventing anything large from landing.

"…the comm just went dead. Can you verify that?" Zachary asks. "The base is gone, but I can get us to one of the research domes."

Dutifully, Ygraine picks up the comm. "This is Colonial Raptor two four seventy two delta. Anybody copy? I repeated, this is Colonial Raptor two four seventy two delta. We're searching survivors. Is anybody out there?"

The radio sits in silence as the seconds tick by and the Raptor climbs up. Eventually a woman's voice with a Virgan accent comes back on it. "This is Genevive Station," she says carefully. One of the science outposts. "Did you say you're a Colonial Raptor?" Its asked as if the idea were preposterous. "Callie, are you drunk and playing on the radios again?"

The radio sits in silence as the seconds tick by and the Raptor climbs up. Eventually a woman's voice with a Virgan accent comes back on it. "This is Genevive Station," she says carefully. One of the science outposts. "Did you say you're a Colonial Raptor?" Its asked as if the idea were preposterous. "Callie, are you drunk and playing on the radios again?"

"Frak me sideways." Zachary says, and cues up his radio. "Correct. This is Major Zachary Sheperd of the 11th Air group, Genevine Station. Do you read us five by five?" he asks, and then calms down, glancing towards Ygraine and her expertise. "Sorry."

There's the faint sound of muted clicks during the silence after Zach makes that announcement. Its the telltale sound of high powered radio sets, and their mics, being turned on. The female voice comes back after around half a minute. "We hear you just fine, Major Sheperd. The Eleventh Air Group, you say? I'm afraid you have us at a loss. What are you doing here?" she asks hesitantly. She's being cautious. Possibly against traps.

"Looking for survivors, Genievne Station." Zachary considers for a moment, and then adds. "…how long have you been stationed here? You might have met my wife, Doctor Eden Ackerman." It's a shot in the dark, but this is her former post.

Ygraine looks a little unpleased about having revealed their air group, but she'll roll with it. She takes her hands away from the com, since Zach has it on hand, and keeps her eyes on DRADIS instead.

"I know Eden," a male voice pops onto the station suddenly. The Virgan woman comes back afterwards. "Looking for survivors. And where do you propose taking these survivors, Major? We're being left alone here except for the occasional Raider patrol. I would hardly call the colonies bastions of safety at this juncture."

Ygraine turns quickly to look at Zach and begins frantically shaking her head.

Zachary frowns, and considers. He taps his fuel gauge and frowns, though he shoots Ygraine a sharp look. "We're low on fuel, we couldn't do an ex-fil if we wanted, but we can drop what emergency supplies we have. How many souls do you have?"

"We're quite fine on supplies for the moment, Major," she replies. "Several months left on the shortest colony. However when food runs out, it runs out. We have a shade over three thousand scientists and their families across five stations. If you do find yourselves willing to drop supplies, please do let us know so we venture out to get them, though."

"Copy that, Geneviene Station. We'll be back through later, and make contact with you. Take care, keep your heads low and hearts down." Zachary says as he notices the master caution light starting to flash for the fuel. "Colonial Raptor, going higher." he says, as he cuts the transmission and manuveurs the Raptor for jump.

Ygraine's lips are set in a grim line. "We can't tell them about Orion." she says. "I wish we coulda taken even some of them, but we're low on juice."

"We'll see if we can get the ships we found on Hibernia up and running." Zachary says as he returns her look. "I'll talk about what we can and cannot talk about with command." he points out to her. "It's not like we're only two miles away from their position."

"Will do. And take care to avoid the Raiders, mm? They tend to pounce and have rather sharp teeth. Genevive Station, out." The other radio sets haven't turned off, though. Nobody has left this frequency. They're probably more desperate than they sound.

Ygraine doesn't shrug, she doesn't say anything at all. She bends her head over her console and does as ordered.

With the amber glow of the Master Caution light warning of low fuel, Zachary finally sighs. "Take us home, Milkshake. We'll be back." he promises.

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