AWD #296: House on the Hill
The House on the Hill
Summary: PJs and Marines search for a missing Marine squad and are saved by having set an overwatch.
Date: 29/10/2013
Related Logs: NONE
Kalum Jena Kostas Erik Reed 
Farm House, Picon
The mission parameters were simple. A squad of Marines went missing while clearing houses on the outskirts of Liberty Center, a small rural town on Picon around which several battles with the Cylons were fought. Their last known position was reported to the local command, and when they didn't come back a request was put in for a Rapid Response Team to go looking for them. A small squad of Marines and a PJ were tasked with going out to find the missing Marines…
October 29th, 2005

The mission parameters were simple. A squad of Marines went missing while clearing houses on the outskirts of Liberty Center, a small rural town on Picon around which several battles with the Cylons were fought. Their last known position was reported to the local command, and when they didn't come back a request was put in for a Rapid Response Team to go looking for them. A small squad of Marines and a PJ were tasked with going out to find the missing Marines…

The Raptor swoops in low, and streaks across the brown landscape of Picon. To the Raptor's aft lies the gray sea, and white capped waves being blown against the shore by a stiff wind. Dark storm clouds boil in the sky, and a mid Autumn storm threatens to fall heavily upon the coast and inland areas in short while. As the Raptor passes over a small rural town, which straddles a muddy river, it begins to slow down. Outside of the cockpit and viewports of the Raptor the war torn town can easily be seen, and it is a buzz with life. Colonials are beginning the process of tearing down and rebuilding, now that the Cylons are in full retreat, and many stop to wave at the Raptor as it passes over head — continuing towards the edge of town.

Kostas seems intent on dividing her time between studying the horizon and the incoming threat of a storm and the map and notes she's made about the last known location of the missing squad. She's got it marked on the map, apparently near an old farm house, a ways out from the town that they'd been clearing. After a moment, she offers it around to those that want it, including her chicken scratch comments on the side, probably unreadable. "Usual thing," the Ensign says in her signature Canceron growl. "Engage th' brain before your weapon. Short bursts, if necessary. Let's hope not but," she shrugs a bit. "Never know what got left behind for us, so look sharp. Hopefully we find what we gonna find and get th' frak out before that storm comes up, neh?"

Another mission, another day, this one involved missing Marines though so there is that extra bit of motivation from Erik. Losing the coin toss between himself and Jena, the Lance Corporal is seated inside the Raptor with the others. He's his usual self, seated quietly with his eyes closed while waiting for them to arrive at destination to disembark, though from time to time his eyes would open a crack, looking towards the PJ and her door gun position.

It wasn't long after they took off that Reed finished the last minute adjustments of his comm unit, tightening his helmet properly, last minute check of the rest of his gear and he seems satisfied that all is set. The SMI 80 is held muzzle down between his knees, safety on. Once satisfied that all is set he gives the other's in the Raptor a glance before resting his head back with a slight clunk against the hull. A hand goes up to stifle a yawn, eyes nearly closing. Really, is he going to sleep? His body easily rolls with the maneuvering of the ship, save for that one big jolt that seemed to break his relaxed state. "Next time, I'm flying first class," he mutters to no one in particular. An eye opens as he peers to Kostas as she gives one of her signature pep talks, a nod "Sure thing, Sir," and the eye is closed once again.

Jena had held her favored Raptor position, manning the door gun. She'd looked back briefly at the others, but she was more interested in what was outside the Raptor than what was inside it. Sensing the Marine she'd won the coin toss against, eyeing her every now and again, she mostly ignores it, figuring him to be upset about losing. Finally, she concedes. "If anyone is injured, I'll probably be tending to them on the return trip, so the gun is yours then." Over her back is her pack and her personal weapon is slung over her, the P90.

"We're closing in on their last known coordinates, Ensign." The Pilot calls out from the front of the Raptor, firing the engines and RCS thrusters to slow their descent further. A wind gust catches the ship, and jerks it sideways. "Whoa… Easy girl…" The pilot says quietly, jerking the controls around, and bringing the ship swiftly back under control. "Snake Shit," the ECO calls out, "looks like the weather is going to get really sporty in just under a half an hour."

The Pilot turns his head back towards the assembled Marines, and then motions out the front cockpit window. "We're at their last known coordinates…" Beneath the Raptor is a low hill, with a farm house sitting on the crest of it. Surrounding the Farm House is an Apple Orchard, which leaves almost nowhere for the Raptor to land that is close. Beyond the hill lies the farms barns, empty pastures, barren fields, and a small family cemetery.

<FS3> Reed rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Kostas rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Jena rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Erik rolls Alertness: Great Success.

Kostas's gear clinks at the sudden change in position, though she's strapped in so doesn't manage to go tumbling ass over elbows at least. She peers out the window at the farm below, as she folds her map back up and tucks it into a utility pocket. "Gotcha," she says to the ECO's comment. "This 'un should be a fun one." There's a flash of a grin in Reed's direction. "Thanks for the lift." She readies her stuff, though isn't going to unclip until they're actually touched down.

The only acknowledgement that Erik shows that he heard from Jena said is a slight twitch at the edge of his lips, a smirk threatening to escape. His eyes then close but only for a moment because soon after, the Raptor jostles a bit. With the announcement that they have arrived, the Lance Corporal turns his head to look out the window, most likely to see what they will be getting themselves into.

As the Raptor flies over, the Marine's notice that the front door of the Farm House appears to have been blown off, and pieces are lying all over the path leading up to the House. The more keen of eye (Jena and Erik) might notice a leg laying amongst the doors debris.

As Reed feels the Raptor start to slow he shakes off his resting and turns to peer out at the landscape below him. It is then that the ship takes a wild ride and he pushes back in his seat to steady himself. A glance to Kostas and he mouths "First class." Another peek outside before he seems to ready himself, just waiting for the ship to actually land. Nothing worse than being strapped down in the back of a Raptor and not able to do anything till his feet hit the dirt. Rifle is taken a tight hold of, his free hand ready to release the harness.

"We're going to put you down behind the barn. That'll at least give you some cover to disembark from." The Pilot says calmly, as the Raptor jumps sideways yet again in another windgust. "Lords…" He curses quietly. "You got thirty minutes to look here, and then we need to get out of here before the weather comes in." With that the Raptor swoops in low, comes in behind the barn, and touches down. Seconds later, the hatch opens and the marines are free to depart.

"Aye," Kos says to the pilot, though her eyes are narrowed in the direction of that blown off door, though she doesn't see an appendage there. As soon as the touch down happens, she's out of her clip. "Let's move out! Eyes sharp though. Hopefully that door was somethin' our folks did, an' not a trap, but it's possible. We'll know more if we get a looksee." Rifle in hand, she'll depart, providing coverage until everyone's out and ready to to go.

As soon as Reed feels the ship touch down, the door opens, he is out of his seat and out of the ship. Weapon up on his shoulder, he looks over the top of it as he moves out a short bit, takes a knee and watches his sector. In all that he has clicked the safety off and set the weapon to burst. He knows the others will follow so there is no need to look back to make sure. Thirty minutes, the clock is ticking. The four times scope is used as he scans, he sees nothing and reaches down to key the coms "Clear," is all he says.

At her prime position at the door, Jena hears the announcement and turns to look also. Experienced at spotting things from the air, she notices the limb.. or what she thinks is a limb to be laying among the debris. "Is that an arm? Oh wait.. a leg, there's a shoe.." She doesn't seem particularly alarmed but she does get a grin expression.

"Yeah… it's a leg. Looks like we already have a fatality down there." Erik says after hearing Jena's words, confirming the PJ's visual assessment of the blown off front door. Once the door opens after touchdown though, the Heavy Weapons Marine is quickly on his feet, the heavy machine gun hoisted over his shoulder as he disembarks with the others. No time to waste, that is for sure.

<FS3> Kostas rolls Demolitions: Good Success.

Thirty minutes and already there was a leg. Jena draws her personal weapon, her rifle, around and flips the safety off. And she's out of there with the rest, keeping near the others, her gun up and ready.

The wind comes in gusts, blowing through the cracks in the wood siding of the old barn. The barn itself smells terrible, as if something died inside of it, and has been rotting. Beyond the barn lies the orchard, filled with gnarled appled trees which reach up out of the ground like dark and skeletal fingers. Beneath the trees is a veritable minefield of rotting apples, amongst which nearly anything could be hidden.

Kostas motions for Reed to take point, though she's not far behind. "Mind th' steps 'til we get close enough for me t' take a looksee at how that blast was made," she mutters. "Clear th' barn first, then we movin' outward to th' house. Any evidence of new tracks leadin' elsewhere, give a shout." She moves cautiously, once the others are ready.

"Aye, Sir," replies Reed as he gets to his feet and begins heading to the barn. All the while his rifle is up on his shoulder, eyes scanning the area before him - for friend or foe, for tracks of any kind. The smell of the rot is unmistakable and causes him to wrinkle up his nose. Carefully, well as carefully as one can in such conditions, he moves to the entrance of the barn. He has his back to the wall and leans to peer inside.

While the others begin investigating the barn, Erik's main priority is to look for a place where he can set up his HMG and provide cover for the squad in case things get heated. There is already signs of possible trouble so the Lance Corporal isn't taking any chances.

Stepping off, Jena fights the wind when it wants to blow her slighter form made bigger target by her medpack on her back. She straightens and ducks her head as she walks with them. Lifting an arm to her nose to block the smell of death, she looks around, looking into dark places. At the orders, she replies, "Yes sir." But that's all she inputs.

A quick glance, followed by a more detailed look "Bunch of dead animals, Sir," Reed tells Kostas as well as Jena and, if Erik is close enough to hear as well. "Other than that, all clear. Looks like they were killed right in their stalls as well." He looks back to the others, gives a shrug.

Kostas says, "Aye," Kostas says, to the announcement that the barn appears to be clear, though she scowls. "Odd thing t' do," she remarks, of the killed animals. She looks back in the direction of the house, and then where Erik's set up the machine gun. "Let's move on towards the house, then, careful-like. 'Til we know different, we assumin' somethin' might be rigged, or hostile." She herself is sweeping the area with her gaze, rifle at the ready."

The smell is certainly foul but Erik has smelled that foulness before, on the front lines of Picon back before he was transferred to the Orion. He had spotted a nice spot in the barn to set up his weapon and when what was inside was clarified, he speaks up to Kostas, "Sir, permission to set up my weapon up on the loft. I can cover the area while the search continues."

<FS3> Reed rolls Alertness-2: Success.

"Aye, Sir," Reed replies and looks at the orchard before him. Perhaps trying to find the best way through before he actually heads that way. Again, with the rifle up to his shoulder, he steps out, a bit of a crouch, one foot before the other. Eyes scanning for any tracks, trying to avoid any trip hazards. Reed isn't sure which was worse, the smell of the dead animals or the over powering smell of so many rotten apples.

<FS3> Kostas rolls Alertness-2: Success.

"Aye, Jast. Good idea. If we find somethin' suspicious on the ground, we signal t' ya, so when we to th' house ya know what t' avoid." Kostas nods once to Erik's suggestion. And then she is moving out behind Reed, though it's the standard distance for a potential minefield—so that if either one or the other trips something, less likely that both are going up. "Hold before we get right up on the house, Cassidy," she says quietly, a quick reminder. "I'd like t' see if that blast was goin' in 'r comin' out before we stick our asses into th' fire."

A nod is given by Erik and he quickly begins climbing his way up to the loft with his HMG in tow over his shoulder. Once up there, he finds the best view out from the second level of the barn and begins to set up the tripod mount for his weapon. Then he sets up the ammo link, making sure that the HMG is ready to go before settling into a prone position, eyes looking out to keep the area covered both visually and with his weapon.

Reed doesn't look back, he knows that the Ensign will be back there. "Aye Sir," he replies about not getting right to the door. Foot over foot, rifle ready, he moves through the tangle of limbs, squashing apples as he moves. Once he gets through most of the apple orchard, in the bows of a tree, he takes a knee. "This look good to you, sir?" He uses the scope, trying to see inside as well as around the house proper. Clearly close enough with the scope to see "It's one of ours, Sir," and with the weapon pointed at the leg it leaves little to decipher what he is talking about. "What ever did it it was huge, boot's all torn to frak, took off right at the knee."

<FS3> Jena rolls Alertness-2: Good Success.

Following along with the others, Jena looks around, the strength of the wind whipping at her hair, her clothes. She makes herself as small a target as she can, behind Kostas or Reed, whichever is in the rear.

The wind gusts again, and a couple drops of rain splatter on the faces of the soldiers from the Orion. There is a flash of lightning off in the distance, followed by a low rumble of thunder. The branches of the apple trees twist and groan in the wind, and dry leaves blow all around the marines.

Kostas grunts slightly, perhaps in dismay, as a CMC foot is identified. "Shiiiit." She says, though par for the course, right? She glances back towards where Jast is covering them. "Well, reckon they know we here, 'cause of the bird but—" the lighting and thunder twists her lips in a more evident display of displeasure. "Let's move quiet and quick as we we can. Still too far away for me t' make out much, other than th' blast came from inside out. Which…prolly ain't good, neh?" As soon as it looks like everyone's ready, she motion for those on the move to make their careful way up closer to the farmhouse, keeping her eyes peeled.

A wipe of his face with his gloved hand after a large drop of rain hit him right in the eyes "What did that pilot say, it's going to get sporty?" Reed asks as he quickly brings his weapon back up. As Kostas gives the orders he nods "Aye, Sir, moving" A deep breath and Reed gets back to his feet, moving as he did before, the rifle sweeping from side to side. he keeps to the edges of the one row of apple trees, trying to use the leafless limbs as some kind of cover.

<FS3> Reed rolls Alertness-3: Success.
<FS3> Kostas rolls Alertness-3: Success.
<FS3> Jena rolls Alertness-3: Failure.

The rain doesn't seem to bother her any as it splashes on her but the foot.. well Jena wasn't really sure, but she had seen it from the Raptor. "Frak," she mutters quietly, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. "Yes Sir," she says of the orders to move as quiet and quick as possible. At the motion, she continues on.

"B'leve so. Hopin' it mean croquet 'r whatever them academy fucks play, instead'f boxin', but—" Silvia shakes her head slightly, and as Reed moves off, she waits her clicks and then starts to move off closer as well, though still keeping mine-distance apart. She moves slowly, every now and then stopping and checking on the other 2 marines and the PJ before starting up again, keeping the pattern until they reach the farmhouse proper.

"Sir, this is Jast on Overwatch." Erik finally chimes in on the comms, the updated directed for their squad leader while he continues to man his position providing cover for the squad, "The storm is closing in, about fifteen mikes till it's on us." It seems like the Lance Corporal is not only keeping an eye out for hostiles, but the storm front as well.

Coming to the end of the orchard, at the last tree, Reed takes another knee, he still scans the area, not bothering to look back. He knows the other's have that covered. "Sir?" He asks, "How close you wanting to get?" Now he does glance back, a brow rises even if it can't be seeing in the worsening weather. A grin does form as she knocks the academy types.

Mine distance.. Good deal, but Jena does keep it, mindful of the others. Still, she sees absolutely nothing except a farmhouse and some trees. Oh and a leg with a boot. She moves as does Kostas, short bursts that keep her an exact distance apart. Fifteen minutes. Frak.

As the Colonials approach the steps the evidence of an explosion becomes more obvious. The doorframe has been charred, the windows near to it have been blown out. There is copious amounts of dried blood on the front steps, and signs that whoever the leg belonged too was drug inside. The shades have been drawn on most of the windows, obscuring the Colonials view, and little can be seen from the front door save for dim gloom and the trail of blood leading further into the house.

There's another soft curse under her breath as Kostas reaches out to pick upa few shreds of shrapnel that have scattered near where they finally end up coming to a standstill. "Well, fuck me," she growls. "Bet my ass on toast that's a claymore. This whole place might be ready t' blow." At the crackle of the comm, she pauses. "Roger. Let us know if y' see th' bird comin' in early. If ya need t' take shelter, do it—but be advised, looks like th' area might be rigged." She pauses for a moment, looking up at the farmhouse. "Need t' clear it, t' accomplish the mission. We know we got one casualty in th' squad. Do as much as we can, if we need t' blow it then that's an option too - I'd rather clear 't though. Watch your step."

"Frak," Reed mutters at the word of Claymore. He looks back to both Jena and Kostas "And we just walked through this orchard? Frak me." His attention is turned back to the "Blood trial, well it appears to be going back into the house, Sir. Who would drag a body back in side?"

Jena hears the word claymore also and stiffens, looking back the way the came. The full realization hits her and she shudders. Seeing the stairs in the doorway, and the hallway leading back, she murmurs. "Split up and cover more ground?"

"Somebody that wanted t' hide it. Marines takin' shelter after they cleared somethin' maybe, but prolly not without some kinda communication." Kostas glances back towards here Jast is set up for a moment. "Jast, keep coverin' the house until we clear th' rooms in front. On my mark, be prepared t' join us. You see anything in the top rooms that movin' towards us in th' meantime, feel free t' light it up." At Jena's suggestion, she thinks for a moment, and then shakes her head slightly. "T' clear the first floor, yeah. Want someone on them stairs. Once we clear th' first floor, gonna have Jast come and cover our asses from inside out. Shit like this got cellars outside sometimes. Saw it in a vid once." Yeah, she seems to be serious.

Reed, keeping his weapon at the house, looks back "I'll take left," he says speaking of when they go in to the house." He still looks to the other two, waiting for the order to move on into the house. Once it seems like it's a go, he moves, rather quickly to the door way, scans the door for trip wires and if it's clear will enter, switching on his flashlight once the darkness takes over.

"You're going to send Jast across the minefield?" Jena asks incredulously, just in case she was correct in thinking that's what they just crossed. That's the only time she'll question the Ensign, nodding about separating downstairs, going where she is directed.

In the Foyer it is easy to see that the blood trail leads back towards the kitchen.

"Aye," is Kostas' quiet response to Reed. "Depends on what we find, Cruz," she replies evenly to Jena, without offense "Don't like him by himself out there for long neither, with shit that got equipped enough t' lay a claymore in their farmhouse. We'll see." She notes the blood trail on the floor, and then narrows her eyes at the doorways. She motions to the kitchen, and then to the dining room. Jena has her pick of going straight in or flanking, apparently the Ensign has enough confidence in PJ training to trust her to make her call for herself.

Reed goes in, his light dancing from corner to corner before he comes up on the comms "Clear! There was a fire fight here though. Lots of casings, bullet holes in the furniture. I," there is a pause as his light stops, then trails back to the dinning room "I have a blood trail, leading from here to," it sweeps on out of the room "to the dining room. Strange," there is another pause on the comms "Looks like they were shooting at the floor, Sir."

Heading in to the kitchen, Jena finds something from a horror story, the blood, everywhere, from several blood trails, all leading here.. "The kitchen is shot up, there is dried blood everywhere and a door leading to the basement riddled with bullets. A couple of fingers and chunks of rotten human flesh." She relays all this through the com in an impersonal tone, already looking for the basement. "Permission to check the basement, Sir?"

<FS3> Erik rolls Alertness-4: Success.

On the roof the pitter patter of rain begins, and the wind whistle through the house ominously. The blinds in the kitchen blow back, revealing the window beyond them has been shot out.

From upstairs there comes a dull thump. Silence. A dull thump from what seems like the same spot. A dull thump again.

"Overwatch here, can't get a visual on any tangos on the second floor, blinds are drawn. There's an attic on the third floor, window is open and shutters are blowing open and shut." There is a pause as Erik continues to look through the scope of his HMG, trying to make the best of it through the poor visibility due to the darkness and incoming weather, "Hold. I see a leg in the basement, it's standing but… not sure if it's attached to a body or not." Recalling the one that was blown out with the front door.

"Looks like some treatment on th' dining room table," Kostas notes over the comm, though her eyes are scanning things as well, and the floor too once Reed mentions that. "If we got time gettin' outta here, Cruz, let's see if anythin' in the medsupplies is salvagable, if it's sealed. She looks through the doorway into the kitchen from the dining room, helmet light flashing briefly, before she activates her comm. "Jast, how things goin' out there? What's our time from th' last you noted? See anythin' up top? First floor's clear, but we got a sub level t' clear as well. May need ya t' hold for the moment." She pauses, and then offers to those in the building, "Cassidy, go with Cruz. No one goes down there without cover. I'll cover the stairs up while ya do." At Jast's additional info, she says, "Roger. Two 'f us goin' in there."

A muttered "Frak," is said by Reed when he hears the reports from Jena and Erik. "This ain't right," he continues to mutter. "Aye sir," Reed backs out of the room he is in to meet up with Jena. "Sir, this is, it's just not right," he tells Kostas, grim faced. When he meets up with Jena "Who first? If anyone gets hit we will need your training," his way of volunteering perhaps.

<FS3> Jena rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Reed rolls Stealth: Success.
<FS3> Kostas rolls Stealth: Good Success.

Jena leans against the wall, her rifle ready, the knob to the door down by her right hand so if she flings it open she is against the wall and out of the path of anything on the stairs leading down. Looking at Reed, she nods her head once, to the count of one, twice, count of two.. she opens it on three and waits just a moment to see if something happens while she remains out of sight, preparing to point her rifle into the darkness below and head inside with Reed, if he follows along with her suggestion. She makes no sounds, remaining as stealthy as possible.

With the request for an update on their time table, Erik pulls back from the scope and looks up to study the storm, frowning, "Sir, Overwatch, it's starting to rain now and the heavy stuff is across the field. Safe bet is under ten mikes." With that report given, the Lance Corporal peers through the scope again, trying to keep the squad covered as best as he can.

Slowly, the PJ and the Marine descend down into the basement. The steps groan heavily beneath them. The lights from their flashlights don't seem quite bright enough to illuminate everything in the gloom, and the basement is filled with clutter. Boxes are stacked to the ceiling on either side of the stairs, and the random detrius of a farm families life is spread out before them. At the bottom of the stairs sits a blood covered rocking horse, which rocks slowly back and forth — the breaze perhaps? The rest is blocked from view.

A grin is given to Jena as she counts it out. At the right time he turns the corner, rifle down the stairs, he follows her down, In a whisper "You take the right, I will take the left." He motions to the still moving horse, his eyes meeting Jena's before he continues on.

Kostas is cautious as she edges away from the basement doorway, moving slowly and quietly towards a vantage point that allows her to keep an eye on the stairs coming down from above. She'll try to at least be able to maintain visual contact through as many doorways as she can, keenly aware that she's now guarding the basement-descenders' rears; but she still wants to be at an advantage to see something coming down first, if she can swing it.

Having heard there was a leg down here… standing, Jena is not fooled by the clutter. She nods to Reed, "Right," confirming she is taking the right, meeting his eyes and offering an encouraging smile. Now though, she concentrates on the surroundings, her gun drawn.. the rocking horse making her pause briefly. This was like a horror story or a fun house. She steps around it, looking around the clutter, waiting for the wall of mirrors where she shoots her own reflection.

Reed continues to go left at the bottom of the stairs, also bypassing the still moving rocking horse. His flashlight training with his weapon, he continues on into the darkness. There is a leg somewhere down here, right?

Lovely. There's two sets of feet upstairs that Kos can see, but she holds her position steady on the first floor, waiting for a report in from the turnips in the basement—though for now she maintains silence. That's at least 3 out of the 5 person squat probably accounted for, her lips pressed into a thin line. Some days it'd almost be *better* to run in to a canner or 16.

As the Marines pass the boxes downstairs, they see a mess. Boxes, possessions, farm supplies, and debris are jumbled all across the floor and look as if they were blown apart. The blood trails from up top have lead down into the basement, and there become confused amongst other pools of fresh blood. The barely recognizable bodies of four marines lay strewn about the basement. In the corner of the basement, half of the torso of a centurion lays against the wall, and its legs lay nearby to what is left of the marines. The leg Erik saw looks like it was severed, and leaned up against a support column. Laying up against one of the walls is what is left of a human hand, with a grenade pin still stuck around it.

Softly, into the com, Jena speaks. "Sir? Cruz here. Fresh blood, four deceased Marines with body parts in various places. A half torso of a Centurion." She looks around grimly, walking to the corpses and collecting one, two, three, four coins, if they are still with the bodies.

There's a pause. "Four?" Kostas sounds suprised, if quiet. "Mmn." That doesn't sound like a good mmn. "When you clear down there, come up quietly. We got…two, at least, upstairs. Gonna wait until y'all get your asses back up here before we move t' clear up there. But take it careful." Oops, that's at least 1 more than the 5 they're looking for. "Overwatch, you copy? We might have some *extra* friends."

Stepping around the boxes and other items strewn across the floor, Reed continues to clear his sector "Frak," again Reed mumbles as his light fixes on the bodies. Cleared his side Reed moves over to cover Jena as she goes to find the tags. "What the frak," he asks "No way one canner would have taken out four Marines like that." He points to the grenade pin, making no comment on it, just pointing it out. He looks to Jena "What did that to them?" He turns to peer up the stairs "Aye Sir," Reed replies to Kostas.

<FS3> Jena rolls Medicine: Success.

"OVerwatch copies, ready to provide support fire if they come into the open or I get an open shot. Toasters or something else?" Erik is trying to get as much information as possible, he's already battling nature's elemental.

Lightning flashes, and thunder booms an instant later The wind is starting to pick up, and the rain is starting to come down more heavily. The wall of water Erik warned about is racing across the field towards the farmhouse. The stiff storm wind is blowing water against Erik's face and the scope on his gun. The shutter on the outside of the house bangs ever more quickly, and insists excitedly that the storm is approaching with each loud THUMp.

"Somethin's frakked all t' hell, Overwatch. Ain't sure it's canners, though maybe there's some civvies caught up in the crossfire. As soon as we pullin' tags we outta here. On my mark, team's headin' upstairs, so targets won't be quite so clear, but anythin' moves outside, use yer best judgement." Kostas' voice is clipped, clearly something's bugging her. She'll wait then, for the other two to come to where she's waiting, her eyes on the stairs, and occasionally sweeping the rest of the rooms.


Jean doesn't immediately step out. She kneels beside them until she finds those coins and she closes her eyes briefly, giving them their last rites as well as she can.. She opens her eyes, "It is not by choice that I leave you here, but by necessity. I take your coins so that you are always known and remembered." Rising, she speaks into the coms. "One Marine, it appears, pulled the pin of a grenade and sacrificed himself to kill the Centurion. It looks like the others wounds.. they came after they died." Frak. "We are finished down here. Coming up." Nodding to Reed, she heads back up.

Reed follows Jena up the stairs, the wind and the rain becoming more pronounced as he does. Once at the top he stops, looks to the Ensign, says nothing though. Waiting for orders.

Kostas waits until they're assembled. "I'm hopin' they ain't moving 'cause they're dead or badly hurt 'enough that they can't." she greets the PJ and marine tactlessly, though she nods grimly towards the room at the top of the stairs, "Let's not be trigger happy, but keep in mind potential hostilty too. This time, we stayin' t'gether. Clear one room at a time, covering ass at all times." She activates the comm. "Overwatch, we headin' up to th' second floor. Let us know if ya spot trouble."

"Overwatch copies, will update if I see anything." Erik answers back quickly and stays brief, igoring the spray of rain that is hitting him as the weather continues to close. Walk in the park in his view since it's only raining water, not bullets, mortars, or grenades.

With his usual two finger salute, Reed falls in place to head to the stairs. "We got to do this else we be walking out of here if that storm gets any worse," Reed says softly as he brings his rifle up to his shoulder. "And it's time for a little pay back as well." Grim faced, he still sees the fellow Marines down in the basement.

The beams of light from the Colonial's flashlight's shine through the dust that is being shook loose by the approaching storms winds as they make their way up the stairs. At the top of the stairs is the Master Bedroom. On the ceiling above the door to the Master Bedroom is a pull down ladder for the attic. To the right and left there are several closed doors as well. In the Master Bedroom two bodies lie on the bed, one male and one female. They are in their finest civillian clothes (the type they would wear down to the local temple), and it is apparent they have been here for some time. The smell itself is overpowering at this range. A closer inspect of the bodies reveal that the woman died from a gunshot wound to the head, and the man has a gunshot wound to the head as well — a pistol laying on the floor next to him. Outside the wind howls, and the shutter bangs.


<FS3> Erik rolls Alertness-3: Success.

It was in the tip of her tongue to deliver a biting remark to Kostas about them being Colonial Marines, all the same, it's there in her eyes, the instant rebellion, but Jena manages to bite it back when she realizes she misunderstood. Oops. "Yes Sir," she says easily enough, falling in line behind the boss. The smell hits her again before anything else, and she reaches in her pack, pulls out a small chapstick vial of vicks vapor rub equivalent and rubs some under her nose.

Jena's eyes are met squarely, and unwaveringly. It's a look that tells Jena she knows damn well what the other woman was thinking of her. And perhaps that people believing the worst of her isn't something she's unused to. "We're still missing one," Kostas says quietly, as they inspect the bedroom, though her eyes narrow at the attic ladder just begging to be used. "But first we clearin' the other rooms. I'll cover this room. Reed, go left. Cruz, go right. Be careful, but we runnin' out of time.

THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. SCRAPE. The scrape is a new sound, and hard to hear over the banging shutter and howling wind. However, if heard it is coming from the attic.

"Aye, Sir," Reed says, bringing his weapon up and taking his eyes off the two on the bed. He moves carefully, ready, finger resting on the trigger guard. "Clear," he says over the comms right before he cuts his eyes upwards to the new sound "Sir, up." Just to inform her if she didn't hear it.

Erik could've sworn he just saw something, but when the shutter closes and opens, what he thought he saw is gone. "Overwatch here, I can't confirm but possible contact in the attic. Permission to fire if I spot something again." His focus is mainly on the shutter as it opens and closes, his finger hovering over the trigger now.

Humbled, Jena offers an apologetic look, a quick twisting of her lips into that rueful smile. At the order, she cuts to the right again, heading for that room there, as quick as she can, since the time was rapidly waning. "Clear," she also calls back and heads back into the room with Kostas.

"We clearin' the 2nd floor, Overwatch. Once that done, we goin' up there too. But if you got a shot until then, take it. Best judgement." Kostas's voice over the comm holds absolute confidence in her marine's abilities. Her expression remains professional, all business. "Once you cleared, Cassidy, Cruz, to me." Her rifle remains fixed on the ladder, while the other two clear the rest - and once they are, her voice is quiet. "Whoever goes up th' ladder's likely takin' one to th' head. I'm thinkin' we pull it and see if it comes t' us, right away or gives Jast his shot first…but then we goin' in if not."

Reed nods, his rifle pointed up the attic stairs. "Sounds good, Sir," He readies himself, ready to shoot should it be needed. "Someone pull it, we got this." Confidence, maybe, it's a job that has to be done.

Eenie meenie miney mo… Into the attic who will go? With a deep breath, Jena nods. "I'll take point." Already heading for the stairs that lead into the attic, but not going up them. "Everyone good with that?"

There is no further acknowledge from Erik for the time being once he is cleared to fire if he had a shot on something suspicious. Open and close, then open and close, the Lance Corporal has his sights focused on window, waiting patiently. Then his patience is rewarded because this time, he has something in his sights and what he sees is alarming. There is no time to give a long, convoluted explanation of what to do so all he does is call out, "Contact, attic!" Then his fingers press down on the trigger, firing off a shot from his heavy rifle, the loud crack of his shot could be mistaken as thunder.

"No." Kostas says flatly, to Cruz. "You're med. You don't go up first, we can't risk you gettin' hit first round." She nods to Reed. "Pull it." As soon as he does, over the comm she tells Jast, "Overwatch, we goin' up in—and then she hears Erik over the radio. "We goin up NOW!" she shouts to all three, as soon as Erik shot goes off.

<COMBAT> Erik will fullauto Last Centurion this turn.
<COMBAT> Jena passes.
<COMBAT> Kostas passes.
<COMBAT> Reed passes.
<COMBAT> Erik fires fullauto!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG - Light wound to Right Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG - Moderate wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG - Critical wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Erik attacks Last Centurion with HMG and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Last Centurion passes.
<COMBAT> Kalum has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Last Centurion has been KO'd!

Reed smiles at Jena "Besides, if you get hit, who's gonna take care of you, Petty Officer?" He moves to his positing, gives a soft count of three, pulls the stairs. As soon as they are down he is up, right after the shots ring out. His rifle is up…nothing.

Heavy Machine Gun fire rips through the rain filled air, and litterally tears massive chunks out of the roof of the farmhouse. There is a spray of debris, shattered glass, a broken shutter, torn shingles, and then when the fire stops the Centurion falls to its knees and lands heavily on the stairs leading out of the attic. The door opens suddenly, and the massive machine dumps out onto the ground — just barely missing the nearby Colonials.

Though the answer was expected, Jena nods and steps back, aiming back down the stairs for cover. After the shots ring out, she looks back in time to see the smile from Reed. "Be careful.." Her tone wary. When the Centurion falls down the stairs, she jumps back, barely avoiding getting hit, and also avoiding opening fire. "Frak!"

Kostas dodges tumbling canner, but her rifle remains on it until she is pretty sure it's inactive. "Bullseye, Overwatch. You da badass. Keep your eyes peeled, though. We got one more marine t' find." Kostas calls out over the comm. "Clearin' th' attic now. If you can, give me th' 5 minute mark for when we have our rendezvous."

No one can call Erik's weapon one of finesse and the results show because he's obviously made a mess of the attic, the heavy machine gun meant for larger toasters than a Centurion. However, from his point of view, he only sees debris flying and the silhouette of the tin can disappearing from view. Now, all he can hope for is that the thing is either dead or in a bad position where the squad can finish it. With the confirmation of a dead toaster shared, Erik returns to his job as Overwatch, scanning the surroundings of the farmhouse because if there is one Centurion, there could be more. "Overwatch copies, weather is getting worse out here and I'll keep an eye out for our ride home."

Reed also jumps back as the canner falls from the attic, "Good shooting, overwatch," he says on the comms. Stairs down, canner down, he looks to Kostas "One more to be found, sir," he points up with his rifle "Has to be up there, we've checked everything else."

When they head for the attic, Jena offers cover at the bottom while the others take the stairs, she'll go if needed, but for now she's on watch for this part. "I'll cover the stairs here in case we alerted something or someone." But… those dead bodies were there. Creepy.

"Hope so," Silvia replies to Reed quietly. "Elsewise might be in th' orchard or field 'r somethin'. Let's get it cleared so if we need to move out there we can." She nods once, to the aspect of covering, her guard still not let down.

Reed steps over the canner and gets on the steps. He eases up, till the last minute, head and rifle pops us at the same time, a quick sweep with the light, and yes, he's holding his breath the whole time.

Going up into the attic, there gloom is nearly complete. The wind whips through the extremely new ventilation, and even some rain as well. Everything that you would expect to find in an attic is up here. Boxes of old holiday decorations. A tall mirror. A couple of old dolls laying onto of the boxes whose faces have been worn off by years of play. Then, sadly, on the farside of the attic crumbled in the corner like so much trash is what they are looking for. It is the body of a young marine, no older then nineteen. He has been stripped of his gear, and most of his uniform. His body is battered and bruised and both of his eyes are black. Dried blood cakes his nose and mouth, and an angry purple bruise surrounds his neck — making it look as if he had been choked repeatedly. The young man is dead, his pale blue eyes stare accusingly and unblinking at the Colonials, but his lips will remain forever silent about what he witnessed here. Around his neck his coins remain on their chain, gleaming gold in the gloom.

"How many clicks we got, Overwatch?" Kostas asks into the comm, her eyes on the youngster. Clearly she's contemplating if/how many they might be able to drag out of here before their chariot arrives. While Jena's still covering the bottom of the stairs, she moves over to close the marine's eyes in a surprisingly tender gesture. "Sorry, Brother," she says softly. "We didn't get here in time."

Not hearing anything but the coms, Jena continues to offer cover, her rifle ready to shoot if something comes up to threaten the Marines. "Did you find him?" Her voice is quiet over the com.

While checking on the storm, Erik spots something coming in low on the horizon, "Overwatch here, the storm is pretty much on us and I see our ride home coming in low. Its approach is pretty shaking, I don't think they will want to wait for us."

A grim faced Reed looks down the ladder, a simple nod of his head "Yea, he's up here," He continues to go up, "Might want to get his coins, Jena," he doesn't use her rank this time, her name. For it's personal now, another Marine that she collects from.

"Understood," Kostas says over the comm. One more touch to the youngster's cheek and she rises, and by the time she turns back towards the doorway, her invisible armor is up and solid. Cruz won't see anything but the professional. "Confirmed all five, Overwatch. Get ready t' move when you see us out." To the ones nearby, "You heard th' man. Cruz, let's get a move on, Reed, you cover until she's done. We still goin' out cautious though. I'll get a retrieval team sent out as soon as the weather clears. F'r all seven."

With the decision made, Jena hurries up the ladder and kneels before the young Marine who had never had a chance to live. She closes her eyes and says the prayer, placing a hand over the coins flat before closing her fist and tugging off the tag. She stands, trying to remain stoic as she repeats the same before heading back with the others.

The engines on the Raptor roar loudly as it passes over the farmhouse, and they are obviously straining hard in the adverse conditions. It heads towards the barn, and settles in onto the muddy ground — engines still running. "Dog Actual, Raptor-213 here. We're here to extract you. The weather is turning south fast… You either come out now, or you're spending the night." There is a brief pause, and then the pilot asks. "Find what you were looking for down there?"

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