AWD #508: Hunger of the Torn Planet - Pt 1
Hunger of the Torn Planet - Pt 1
Summary: Marines are deployed to Scorpia to meet up with the resistance leader there, special forces Major Fuentes.
Date: 11/11/2016
Related Logs: Hunger of the Torn Planet - Pt 2
Angelis Kapali Knox Miri Randy 
Scorpia
See the log…
29/05/2006

The mission starts earlier in the day, just after lunch. They're all instructed to bring a bag dinner to eat on the trip - which normally doesn't take that long. But it turns out it does. They're shuttled to a point in space where they board a Light Cruiser, then spend two hours going through jump sequences. After that, they are escorted to the hangar deck where Knox is waiting in the heavy raider.

Piled in, they take off and begin another long series of jumps. About half a dozen, maybe more, as they run through space. "We don't know how far out the Cylons can detect incoming ships, so we have to appear to be coming in from a strategic point so nobody will bother us," Knox had explained. They even drifted past a pair of Raiders that rocked their wings in hello. At the final jump, Knox tells everyone to strap in for re-entry (cuz he's really not a rated pilot) and then descends out of the debris field and starts to burn in towards Scorpia.

Looking out the front windows, they can all see Scorpia. It's.. a minor horror. The top hemisphere of the planet is the same lush green that they've become accustomed to seeing. It clashes with the deep emerald blue of the oceans. The rocky terrain of the planet becomes more obvious and the local star casts long shadows where the huge bluffs contrast with the vast plains of rice and fisheries. The jungle looks as dense as ever and the cities below seem ot have power, those nearing the terminator of the star's reach are all lit up brightly. But the southern hemisphere is another story.. an ugly one. When the shipyards deorbited, they crashed along thousands of miles of the terra, reactors, munitions, fuel, and everything else exploding in massive waves. The dust has thinned a bit and the craters are even visible from where larger ships hit and detonated. There is a massive, 200 mile scar where the yards began impact and finally skidded to a final detonation in place. If there is anyone left alive down there, Gods help them because the place looks like a gray and brown wasteland. The dust in the air has started to creep north a little and invade the lush life, but so far it is only minimal. The loss of life, and how it happened, must have been catastrophic.

"Weapons hot, Dradis on. Scanning for targets. We'd look suspicious if we weren't." They guy is targeting their destination towards the equator, a mountainous jungle area with deep ravines, looking to arrive about three hours from sunset. "I'm dropping you all three miles from the Rally Point," he calls over his shoulder. "You'll have about two hours to move that in hostile terrain."

"What sort of weather are we dropping into?" Kapali wonders as she works the safety harness, such as it is, to keep herself in the seat. She tucks the toes of her boots back as well, twisting around to get as good a look as possible as they drop through the atmosphere.

Angelis keeps her gaze facing forward as she makes sure her harness is secure, since it wouldn't pay to get rattled around before the mission's even on the ground. She's been largely silent the entirety of the trip, except for necessary questions and responses. Her gear is completely unmarked, as per orders and she checks it over, every so often.

Sergeant Flynn has brought a brown bag dinner and forced herself to eat her supper which turned out to be two lunch meat sandwiches and some loose root veggies from Piraeus. The crunch helps hide her anxiousness. For the most part of the transfers, she looks lost in thought. When they board the Raider, she starts putting on some camo makeup to make her appear less like a giant target. The newly balded head is given as much attention as her face as needed. She stops when they start to drop. When they start to level out her eyes are drawn to the giant scar in the surface of the planet and the devastation it left behind like a stain on Scorpia's natural beauty. She takes a deep breath and secures her fatigues with her boots. Then when Knox mentions the time they will have, she pulls out her watch from her chest rig to get the timer ready to set. She checks her weapons last and gear quickly for the third time, making sure everything is unmarked.

As she often is on missions, Miri is quiet and observant. She'd already checked and rechecked her gear, so she's focused on the planet that's coming into view. Her freckled face is a little paler than usual, but she is alert and sharp.

Knox continues dropping in and the LZ slides beneath the nose during the burn. "Doppler says its low clouds and raining. Thunderstorm. Get your ponchos on, its going to soak." And suck. "Prepare for some turbulence."

The Si continues the descent and there are some rough patches descending through a thunderhead because he doesn't quite understand to avoid those, but they can only see clouds. But Knox looks fairly calm up front. Eyes open, hands on two pads, he flies it with nothing else. "Thirty seconds!!" The light at the rear hatch turns green and then begins to open. As soon as it does, wind whips in and carries the fresh scents of decaying jungle and freshwater rain. The thunder can audible be heard over the sound of the wind. As the ramp locks down, the landing gear still doesn't come down. There's nothing but clouds… clouds… and then suddenly they are just over the tree tops. "Five! Four! Three!" they keep dropping and the exterior looks like an overgrown field with waist-high grass. Anything could be hiding there. But the craft hits the tops of the grass and he looks behind them, "GO! GO! GO!!!" he shouts.

Twisting briefly to the side to reach into a supply cache at her side, Kapali tosses out a poncho to everyone, followed by a spare that can be stowed in the gear that they're all carrying. She tucks her spare into her backpack and pulls the other one on over her gear, secures it in place, snugs the ballcap down just a smidge more to make sure it isn't going to fly off, then unfastens and is on her feet as soon as the GO order is given. She leaps out, knees bent, arms tucked into her sides, elbows bent, and lets the momentum roll her over and out of the way, rolling to her knees and facing away from the ramp, rifle held steady between her hands while waiting for everyone else to disembark the vacation bird.

<FS3> Kapali rolls Alertness: Success.

At the last second, Randy scrambles to get her poncho on, hitting her timer as the countdown winds down. Luckily she thought to secure the special gifts earlier, grumbling about something she had to pull out. "Rifles up!" Randy calls as the hatch opens. She takes point, her goggles pulled down, holding her rifle above her head before dropping down to the tall grass, just in case flooding has started.

<FS3> Randy rolls Alertness: Success.

On that signal, Miri grabs her poncho from Kapali, raising her rifle at Flynn's order, and hits the ground running until she safely loses momentum. She secures her goggles and checks over her teammates to make sure everyone landed well.

<FS3> Miri rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Angelis snags the ponchos as they're flung at her, following suit in tugging one over her gear and making sure it's all secured and not going to catch on anything. The spare is stuffed into her pack. Then she's unfastening her safety belt and scrambling to follow Sergeant Flynn out the door. Her own hair, which is probably likely to stand out the most, being blond, is braided and pinned up under her black cap. A final quick once over and then she's leaping out the door behind Randy, copying the Sergeant's actions, keeping her rifle over her head as she does so.

<FS3> Angelis rolls Alertness: Success.

As soon as they are all out, the last person's feet having just left the ramp, it starts to come back up. The Heavy Raider moves off slowly and begins to move in something like a scanning pattern above them. It circles once before moving off and the sound is suspiciously like a Raider in Search and Destroy mode. In their ears, the radio crackles on a very low power frequency, "Kilo Bravo, Six, no targets, continuing track before Romeo Tango Bravo. Six, out." Nothing that he can see on the scans. He's playing at being a Raider looking for humans.

But as the Raider moves off, the sounds of the surrounding jungle descend. They're in an open field about one hundred yards wide and nothing but the sound of the rain and howling wind. This is one bitch of a storm. Overhead the lightning flashes every ten or fifteen seconds. The rain is so heavy that their max range of sight is only about 100 yards. Its like someone turned on the bathwater faucet right above them. But so far everything seems good to go. Time to move.

Keeping her rifle trained down and away from her teammates, Kapali blinks the rain out of her eyes, just once to get the instinct out of the way. She adjusts the brim of the ballcap with one hand before rising from the crouch she'd been in, continuing to sweep their surrounding terrain as the jungle noises and the sound of rain descends like a smack upside the back of the head. "1 hour, 55 minutes to make the rally point?" she wonders in a low voice pitched to only carry so far, no reason to be shouting down the forest.

"I bet we can make it in an hour and a half," Zahav replies softly, lowering her rifle to a comfortable carrying position and falling in behind Flynn. She lifts her head to look at the jungle around her, taking a brief moment to take in the beautiful, strange terrain.

Land legs… check. Blink, blink. Tabi sniffs once, shakes her head slightly, then brings her rifle down to a safer point where it's not pointint into the sky, or at any of her team mates. She rolls her shoulders and shifts from one foot to the other while she adjusts the weight of her gear, making it sit a bit more comfortably. Angelis glances over at Kapali, but says nothing, instead turning her attention to their surrounds, peering as far into the darkness and rain as she can while she awaits orders from Randy.

"Kapali on point. Be aware. Hostile territory, could have traps. Angelis, Zahav, then I'll bring up the rear. Fall out," Randy motions after while flicking her safety off. She signals the team onwards.

<FS3> Kapali rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Angelis rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Randy rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Miri rolls Alertness: Failure.

Moving through the jungle towards the river does take time. Given its a torrential downpour and the lightning makes them visible, its a total crapshoot. Noise isn't a factor so much as moving smoothly. The team does move well, though, likely thankful for the extra PT imposed by Amos and suggested further by the Six. There is no direct path, though. The jungle floor is a mix of high density knee-high wide-leaf weeds and roots that threaten to grab an ankle. They even cross a small creek on their way, overflowing and soaking them below the waist. But when they finally arrive at the river, there's a surprise. The banks are at nearly flood stage. They can see just by how much by looking across. What's normally a 50 foot-wide river had lifted beyond the normal banks and hit the flat drop-off that makes it nearly double that width. They can all see the cattails moving in the rough current of the brown, muddy river. Its deep. Falling in would probably be death with body armor on. Fortunately there is still a good two feet from the edge of the drop to the water and there is abundant cover in the brush and weeds. And if they stay just behind the water's edge by five or six feet, the downpour doesn't hit them as much due to the thick overhead canopy.

Twenty-three minutes.

Randy rolls into formation in the rear, keeping an eye on their six and their time. She sets the timer to silent so it doesn't blow their position in case it goes off when they're rolling up on the rally point. When they get into that creek water the only thing running through Randy's mind is blood sucking creatures…worms, nasty things that might swim into unspeakable places. She shuts her eyes. She shakes her legs out and tries to put the whole experience out of sight and mind in a moment, like turning the page of a book in her mind. Focus on the river and their time, and their surroundings, and no traps right? And the river. The river. Frak. She motions to the brush and weeds to take cover, if Kapali can even see her through the storm.

Taking point, Kapali moves through the deep and gorgeously lush under brush one step at a time, Kapali keeps the rifle steady between her hands despite the rain that runs down the surface of her poncho and drips off in waterfalls and miniature rivelets, the rain drips equally off of the rifle that she's carrying. Thanks to the goggles and the brim of her hat, however, at least her field of vision is relatively clear. Clear enough. By the time she reaches the edge of the thick overhead canopy and can finally see the river, the river that she's been hearing for some time now, the sight of the river so far over it's banks makes her pause. She scans up river then, equally, down river, then back up again before she uses one hand to tug at the brim of her hat again then shifts the IR designator on her rifle, aims it at the water (of which there is SO very much all around) then flicks it on four times and waits.

Miri scans up and down the riverbank. "Frak," she grumbles, crouching down in the reeds and rushes. "We can't swim that. Not with gear," she says softly.

Falling in behind Kapali, Tabi moves as quickly as the point does and tries her best not to trip up on sneaky roots and vines as they move through the forest. Even wading through the creek doesn't seem to freak her out much. Weird hillbilly chick. In fact, she seems more at home out here in the torrential rain, slogging through mud and undergrowth, than she does sitting on her bunk on the Orion. When Kapali stops at the almost overflowing River, Tabi comes to a stop behind and slightly to the side. She makes sure her weapon is on red, then begins to scan the banks up and down as far as she can see. Apparently Kapali doesn't see Randy indicating the cover provided by the brush, and neither does Tabi as she places one hand briefly on Kapali's back, a light tug on the vest letting her know the Corporal's got her six.

The four beams to contact go 23 minutes early and go unanswered. The jungle sits quiet but for the storm raging overhead. While they wait, though, the storm overhead seems to blow itself out rather suddenly. In a span of five minutes the lightning stops completely and the rain peters out to a slow trickle… and replaced by it is the humidity. It was warm before, but the one hundred percent humidity in the high 80's makes the rain on their bodies group with the sweat. Its the heat that makes this suck more than anything. Thankfully there's a very slight breeze coming off the river. Momentary cool air every twenty or thirty seconds. But just as they approach the twenty-three minute mark, something happens. All of them can see it.

A very odd shape rounds the bend in the river. With the sun fading, its nearly impossible to make out in the dark. But with NVGs they can see it. The shape on the water is clearly a boat hull. But when it reaches up to the edge of the boat, above it, there are about three feet of room and then some kind of canvas netting and cover draped over it and battoned down against weather. There is no sound, though. The engine are off and the boat is drifting, aft (butt) first down the river. But all the stations on this PBR are manned by rough-looking men and women in some very interesting camo and combat helmets. The 4-way NVG goggles they wear scan the terrain on the team's side of the shore. Miniguns, .50 cals, and 40mm grenade launchers. The whole thing is fully manned with only one passenger in the back wearing a ballcap and holding a rifle in his seat, looking with open eyes.

<FS3> Randy rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Angelis rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Kapali rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Randy nods in return to Zahav while pulling her goggles off to attach to her rig and then pulling her NVGs down, flipping them on. She moves to get by Kapali, touching Angelis shoulder along the way. Already squatting, she notice the protocol already starting and doesn't interrupt it. She keeps her hand on Kapali's shoulder to give her the confirmation, but it never comes. She presses down on Kapali's shoulder and points to her watch head, then shakes her head. Then she quiets everyone and points to move over to the brush while they wait. And wait. Finally Randy spots the shift in the water first. She pushes her elbow out to subtly alert Kapali and then uses her scope to check out the crew and their gear. She holds the signal for everyone to hold still. It isn't till she spots the one in the ball cap that she flicks her IR across the water four times.

Swapping out the goggles for the NVGs after the first challenge goes unanswered, Kapali takes her eyes off of the river long enough to share a nod with Tabi then eases down into a crouch in the lush undergrowth on the edge of the canopy. Once in position she remains alongside the rest of the team, waiting. And waiting. Then waiting some more. When the weather suddenly abates, she tips her head back, cautiously, to eye the sky where it is visible past the edge of the canopy, the slight breeze - as pitiful as it is - is welcome all the same. The touch of Randy's elbow alerts her to the movement on the water and she shifts her search field, visual sweeping at it's best, to spot the hull of a boat moving ass backwards in the water (who ever knows why locals decide to do things, but when in Scorpia do as the Scorpians do, of course) and studies the people on the PBR. Their features are equally obscured by the NVG goggles that they are wearing, just like their team is wearing, but she counts weapons, studies the gear that they're wearing, then lets out a hiss of breath that is slightly louder than intended. "Look at what they're wearing, not their gear, their uniforms," she breathes. She turns abruptly to glance at Tabi and Miri, checking their positions with that glance, "They're wearing uniforms that look pretty damned close to what the ghost soldiers on P have been seen wearing," keeping her voice - again - low enough to just barely carry, a whisper if that, nothing more.

Angelis backs up into the brush at Randy's order, hunkering down amid the dripping leaves and muddy ground. She's quiet and still, patient even, all those years of hunting lending themselves to moments like this where a person can't do anything except wait and watch and try not to breathe to hard. The only movement she eventually makes is to tug on her NVGs, blinking a couple times to let her vision adjust, then going still again. As the boat comes into view, Tabi strains her eyes to observe those on board, blinking once at the uniforms she can see, but making no comment on them. Except for when Kapali points it out, confirming what she suspected, at least in terms of the uniforms. There's a silent nod of confirmation to the Sergeant.

NVGs on, Miri tries to make out the figures on the boat. "Are you sure?" she asks Kapali. "How is that possible?" The medic stays low, tickling her own nose and chin with the top of a broken reed.

The boat continues the slow drift, moving down the river ass-first. The driver/commander seems pretty skilled with it. They aren't quite yet to the point where the Marines are at when the four rays of IR targeting hit the water. But when the crew of the boat see's it, every single one of the guns on the PBR turn and aim directly at Kapali. There are no sounds of weapons being chambered because likely they already were. Just the subtle sound of batteries powering up for the miniguns. For a moment, it might be like shitting ones pants. That's a lot of firepower. But the bearded guy at the rear stands with a gesture from the boat commander. He shoots an IR beam off the water directly into the water aft of the boat, then calls out, "Buster!!" in a distinctly country-Caprican drawl. There's a small noise from the engines powering up, about ready to keep station at their point against the tide of the river. The momentum of the boat slows and starts drifting a few feet towards the shore.

Randy puts her hand on Kapali's shoulder and makes a zipping motion with her mouth, then points at the other Sergeant. Randy isn't sure how much their contacts have been told already, but she's in command. If anyone else answers, it might spook them off. "Tangiers!" she shouts, right next to Kapali. Not like she could move off and trick a group of soldiers that have been at their jobs for over a thousand years. She breathes softly, not saying a word. Then, "Coming out!" but she /keeps/ the hand signal to hold for everyone, not moving a muscle herself yet.

"From here, not absolutely, no, but it looks close enough," she murmurs to Miri in return before she falls silent, straining to hear the reply over the sound of the river, a reply that makes her jump subtly. Unexpectedly and utterly surprised by the sound of a distinctly country-Caprican drawl, Kapali is momentarily rendered speechless (which has never ever gotten her in trouble) and breathes for a moment to push past the surprise to focus on the exchange that is taking place. Well aware, very very very well aware that a number of weapons are aimed in her direction, the Caprican marine holds very calmly still, not so much as twitching.

Miri furrows her brow, falling silent when the man on the boat calls the challenge. Seeing Randy's signal hold, she holds her breath, coiled and ready for something to go down.

Angelis doesn't even dare to breathe when those weapons are trained in their direction. She doesn't even blink, just stays completely still, waiting on the order from Randy.

Right after the shout from Randy, the voice calls back and its a stern answer. "Neg-uh-tive!" Negative. "Sar'nt Flynn, that you?" the voice calls out. But at the same time the engines on the boat roar a little bit more and begin steering the PBR towards the shore. But something else happens. The guns, every single one, turn away from the position of the Orion Marines and point off to the side. The crews seem to hunker down more, aiming off to the flanks of the responding Orion team.

That camo becomes more clear, though. They're all in shorts and short-sleeve combat uniforms with their sleeves cut off. But their bodyarmor is nothing to sneeze at. Its full on level four tactical. Nothing they wear is standard issue. And it is so close to the camo the ghost troops wear. Its an ominous thing until the boat gets within ten feet of shore. They slide in until they bump the shoreline with the motors running to hold them in place. The bearded guy in the ballcap at the rear gestures them on. "C'mon, get your butts on board. Everyone."

Even as the Marines start to move, they hear it around them. Four shapes move out of the underbrush, covered in brush-covered ponchos, behind the Marines. Stalkers. Weapons down, they move towards the boat and simply nod to the Orion Marines. …Had they been watching the whole time? Likely.

The boat waits for them all the board, the pilot holding the bumping hull to the cliff of the shore.

Randy keeps the team in place and under the same cover even as the boat comes into shore. She knows it's probably as good as any other position they're likely to get in anyways, given they're dealing who they are dealing with. She doesn't flick her safety off, but pulls her sidearm and steps out from the brush out in the open towards the man she seems to recognize. Her eyes flicker towards the stalkers behind them and she motions for everyone to get on board. She heads straight for the bearded man. "I got a haircut," she murmurs.

"Hamlet?"

When the weapons get aimed away, or at least not at them precisely, Kapali draws in a deeper breath only to spot the brush covered stalkers who'd been shadowing them the entire bloody time. She exhales a rather disgusted sound of annoyance, "All the bloody sneaking, for no reason," the four are given a look that is a blend of impressed and annoyed before making her way forward, though she holds the last point on the shore, waiting for Miri and Tabi to board before she'll do so.

Miri takes a cautious breath, looking around at the stalkers. She gives them a nod of acknowledgement, visibly tinged with admiration for their skills. Moving quickly and quietly, she boards the boat.

A slow exhale of breath as the weapons are pointed away. Tabi shifts from the cover when Randy says it's good to go. Even she looks over at their heretofore hidden stalkers. "Huh." She murmers, then smiles a little, appreciating superior skill. One fist thumps Kapali lightly on the shoulder as she passes the Sergeant, "Good practice, Sarn't." She murmers quietly before hopping aboard the boat.

This is when everyone can recognize the ballcap-wearing bearded guy at the rear of the boat. He's a Seven. Boldness. He's standing at the rear of the boat with a rifle and mag, gesturing everyone aboard and even helping the stalker team with an extended hand. Randy's offer gets a laugh and he nods. "Yeah, Hamlet. Name's Matt nowadays. You look like shit without the hair. I like my women with something to hold on to, but hey, not like I got a horse in that race, right?" the Seven laughs. With everyone aboard, he steps back while the stalkers take their seats. Heads down, hoods covering their heads, they keep their rifles ready. The boat takes a slow turn before slowly pushing up power to go with the flow of the muddy water. "Sorry 'bout the escorts," he calls to all of them, taking a knee at the rear. "The Major had to be sure. Sent her best." He takes a long breath and looks around at all the faces. "This is breaking a lot of rules they have in place. What the frakkin hell are you doin here?" The boat picks up speed, the trees around them rushing past in the nearly pitch-black night.

"It'll grow back, shorter than what it was," and that's all this Marine seems to care about apparently. Randy grins and nods, "Nice to meet you Matt." To her, a part of him will always be Hamlet. She shuts up quickly after that, settling into the little ride. "Dropping in to say hi of course." She doesn't seem too apt to speak out in unfamiliar territory about much of anything. Sergeant Flynn pulls her NVGs back down as they glide along, more looking for movements that don't adhere to the patterns created in the foliage by the weather than anything.

"Randy, did I just watch you get sexually harassed by a Seven?" Miri asks Flynn softly. This is /not/ how she expected this evening to go. She crouches down against the side of the boat, watching the river bank, mostly sightseeing.

Kapali finds a place on the boat that affords her a good look at those on the boat as much as the jungle rushing by in a greenish blur. Miri's question makes her snicker out a startled laugh. "That's what's called banter and giving each other shit, Miri," she explains in a not at all quiet aside, because she exhales another laugh as soon as she's done speaking. "Real sexual harassment would require that they fight to the death then put boots to the losers remains."

Angelis settles herself down beside Kapali, but she's not sightseeing. Nope. Behind her NVG's those bright blues are busy, busy, busy, watching /everything/, glancing at the folks on board, the Seven, because she's not seen one in real life, and the river banks, theeeen all the way back to the boat again. Her rifle's resting across her knees, fingers running idly back and forth, careful to steer clear of the trigger, but needing to move. Tabi doesn't even react to the banter between Randy and the Seven, or the subsequent conversation surrounding that. Nope. She's just watching and listening.

Matt, the Seven, chuckles. "You picked a helluva place to drop in and say Hi, Sar'ent! Hope you brought a wrecking crew," he laughs. The guy moves to take a more solid knee at the back of the boat, centered around where they are sitting. Meanwhile the boat is whipping down the river. Past fifty or sixty miles per hour, they have to shout to be heard. The mention of sexual harassment gets a barked laugh, though. He aims a gloved finger at Kapali. "Bingo! Hey, look, there's some serious shit going on here. If my remarks make someone upset, this is going ot get worse. Fuentes has some needed intel to pass back. But its going to be about what you all see. I can't promise you'll meet her, but you'll see some shit. I've got her ear on this boat, though. What're you looking to do here?" The guy looks serious, despite shouting over the wind and spray of the boat.

Sergeant Flynn chuckles at Zahav's remark and nods to Kapali and Matt. "Matt I have orders to meet with Major Fuentes in person," Randy says in an explanatory tone before he can get too deep in all his introduction, finally flicking off her NVGs as they pick up speed. She slides them up onto her helmet and replaces them with her normal goggles to guard against the weather at such speeds. She doesn't give anymore information than that, keeping anything else close to her chest and allows the Seven his space to carry out his orders of what he's supposed to relay. "I can't say much more than that until I've reported to her in person." She shrugs.

"Clearly shit-giving is different on Canceron," Miri replies, not particularly caring too much either way. She settles down to sit comfortably on the deck, one leg bent, the other sprawled out in front of her. "Nah, it doesn't upset me. Just got stuck in the abrupt tonal shift and my brain had to catch up." She turns, looking up at the Stalker nearby. "So what's your deal?" she asks congenially. "How did you end up with these guys?"

"We're the ultimate multi-tool, Matt," Kapali volunteers from where she's seated, aiming a quick gleam of a grin at the Seven before leaving it at that. She's not the diplomat on this mission. A sidelong glance is aimed at Miri, clearly deciding that the specialist can handle her own forays into diplomatic babble. Another glance is swept over Tabi before she turns to study each of the poncho clad camo wearing stalkers who'd gone unnoticed all the way to the edge of the river before stepping out. "You guys are good. It's worth it just seeing you guys move so damn silent to come to this lovely tropical locale."

For what it's worth, Tabi holds her tongue, she doesn't even lift her NVGs. Nope. Silence is Angelis as she continues to observe the occupants of the boat, not letting her gaze linger too long on any one individual. Content to listen to the others making conversation, or at least attempting to make conversation, her fingers keep moving along the length of her rifle where it rests across her knees. She's seated in such a way that she could probably hop to her feet and be ready for action in a heartbeat.

Matt looks to Flynn, squinting against the spray of water. "Yeah, copy that. Whether you all meet her depends on the shit you give here. I get that this is awkward, but Fuentes isn't exactly the friendly sort! Hopefully she'll take it!" He holds his place on his knee and looks back as the boat takes a right down another, thinner river and begins moving upstream. To Kapali, the four hooded members give a single thumbs up to her but remain under their hoods, just enough view to look out to their scan of the shore as they pass. But Matt, he looks back to Miri and chuckles. "Got back from P, talked to friends, and blew my brains out. Came here to start some shit." He keeps his sentences short in the wind. "The Major nearly shot my ass again. Told me to kill a One. Bring her his head. Easy shot, yanno? Decided to take three. Dumped the sack at her feet. Bitch still won't give me a loaded rifle, though!" he laughs. The guy runs the charging handle on the rifle and shows the chamber and magazine to be empty. "Frak-all it looks good, though, don't it?" he laughs.

"She can respect the idea of a Marine following orders I'm sure," the weathered young Marine says in return. Randy chuckles. "From what I've seen, you guys don't really need rifles to frak things up," she says with a grin, a bit of a compliment. Randy notes the paths they are taking and internally makes note of any possible distinguishing terrain she can see or make out of the landscape as if a cloud-gazer. "Blew your brains out? You're such a dude." It's a term made popular by Capricans that she picked up at uni.

"Once saw Knox kill a guy with a door," Miri adds, sort of dumbly. She looks up at the Stalkers. "You guys want some mints? I have some of those little melty ones."

"Everything is a weapon, the rifle is just a boom stick until you find something better to use," Kapali remarks before she angles a nod at the four person team still wearing hoods and their ponchos. "Gotta say, your method of . . group persuasion is bloody and abrupt. Effective though," she adds with another long look aimed at the Seven before she glances at Randy again then falls silent.

Angelis blinks and stares across at Miri as she makes that comment. It's probably a good thing that her expression is largely concealed by her ballcap and her NVGs. She shifts slightly, lifting one shoulder to pop out a kink in the muscle, then the other to the same end. Then she goes back to being quiet and watchful, all the strangers on the boat getting a slow look before her attention shifts to the river bank.

Matt chuckles against the wind. "Hell no we don't. Since when do you need a rifle to be bold, amiright?" He leans to the side and spits a bit of chew off the side before looking back. "'Dude?' Aw, darlin, please don't put that title on me. Just a guy with a gun. Right place, right time. …And a target." The guy winks to Randy.

The boat begins to slow a little and take on less noise. Its surprising how fast the boat can move upstream and keep a modicum of quiet. To Miri's offer, then all put out their palms but nobody looks over. Not one. Mints? On Scorpia? Absolute luxury. Even the gunners glance over off their posts, eyes wide, for just a second. "Hey, got any gum?" one asks, clearly all about it. But only one of them speaks to Kapali, a female voice sounding younger, "You were dead the moment you jumped. We're just extending you lifespan, Sergeant."

The boat begins to slow and ease up the river. They've already traveled fifteen or twenty miles. The river here is getting more narrow and the canopy overhead is giving more protection from the occasional raindrop. Meanwhile Matt looks overhead and then glances to the boat leader, then to a member of the stalker team. There's only a nod before he looks back. "Okay, this is where you get off. The Major has something you need to see. Stalkers will have the pick-up so don't lose them. Any last messages for Fuentes?" he asks as the boat nears the shore.

"I brought enough for everybody." Miri believes in confectionary diplomacy. She gets up, rolling her shoulders and searching her pockets. When she finds the bag, she distributes mints to everyone who wants one, trying to actually get a glimpse of the stalkers' faces.

<FS3> Miri rolls Alertness: Success.

"Noted. I'll just call you a guy with a gun. Right place, right time. Kind of a mouthful though," the spunky Sergeant notes. Matt's wink earns him a smile from Randy. She doesn't partake of Miri's mints, so there's more for the others. "Understood. Tell her I have a gift for her when I see her," Randy says confidently in reply as they near the shore, eyes flicking about the terrain as if second nature.
ooc: Ignore the fact that they called Kapali Sergeant.

As they near the shore, getting the orders to dismount, Tabi pushes to her feet, automatically getting herself ready. She stands to attention, eyes following Miri as the corpsman works her way around handing out mints and the like. Her feet spread slightly, Angelis is on full alert, watching the bank as it approaches, and the folks in the boat again, waiting for Randy's go, she keeps half an eye on the senior Sergeant.

Kapali is patting down the pockets of her vest before she extracts a tin of chewing gum, offering it forward to the one who asks about it, "Keep it you'd like." She turns slightly to face in the direction of the one who spoke to her, "We've all been dead since the war started. Every day above ground is a victory," said in a voice that is both calm and blunt at the same time. As the boat begins to slow then nears the shore, moving her shoulders in a shrug of acceptance. "It is what it is. And," she aims a grin at the Seven, "Even without a weapon, you won't be accused of being all hat no herd." This is said as she rises to her feet, ready to dismount the vehicle once Randy gives the go order.

The Stalkers get off the boat first and move into the brush. "Put these on," one says and hands them a thicker poncho. Anyone who knows it can see the thin-woven IR mesh to hide them. But that one seems to make a habit of staying close and visible to the Orion Marines. Its a female by the low whisper of her voice. She guides them for nearly an hour, working through the underbrush. The other three are simply gone or staying close and out of sight.

But seemingly in the middle of nowhere, she gestures them to all go to ground and crawl. She does-so, leading them up towards a treeline. There's a gesture to keep their hoods pulled down over their faces and wrap them except for their eyes.

The female takes up a position in the center and gestures for them all to join, still several feet back from the edge and hidden in the brush. Ahead of them? There is an open field guarded by Centurions. There are six of them visible and probably more patrolling the grounds. The building is two stories high and is a purely Cylon construction with no windows and only one door they can see. About one hundred yards long and fifty wide, it seems a rather innocuous building. Nothing too special to see here except a quiet building.

Randy follows after the woman, paying the other Stalkers as much mind as simply remembering how many there are and nothing more. It's not worth the mental effort to keep track of something that's going to slit her in her sleep if it wants to regardless of how she feels about the matter. Rnady puts on the IR shielded poncho as instructed, making quick work of it. She stays on point, having motioned for Kapali to take the rear. Something about this makes her want to stick her nose into the proverbial bush first. She drops quietly enough when instructed and makes sure her hood is forward or won't blow back from any sudden gusts. She takes up position with the female Stalker. This is her territory and Randy will follow her orders.

Switching the cap around on her head so that she's wearing it backward, Kapali pulls the IR shielded poncho up around her face until just her eyes are visible, Kapali bellies her way forward at a careful crawl until they reach the edge of the treeline, still obscured by the brush. She frowns at the open field, the building, the ugly building with it's lack of windows which by definition makes it ugly to her eyes.

Angelis falls in behind Randy, pulling on the new poncho over the one she's still wearing and moves quietly with the group. Occassionally her eyes scan the jungle, looking for the other Stalkers, but it's more a habit of keeping head count than anything else. She's careful to ensure that her head and face are equally as well covered as possible, leaving only her NVG-covered eyes visible. Belly crawling up beside the Senior Sergeant, Tabi is quiet as she looks down on the building below them. She's careful to keep her rifle out in front of her, ready, should the need arise.

Falling into formation as they move, Miri takes a spot near the middle of the pack where she can keep an eye on everybody. She puts on the IR poncho, wraps up her face, and follows the Stalkers' lead. When they get to Cylonville, Miri looks at the structure and environs carefully, trying to memorize the area.

Even in the extreme humidity, its especially hot under the ponchos. That breeze does not exist here, though. Sweat beads on their foreheads, threatening to cloud their vision. But this close to the Centurions? A single movement could alert them. They continue patrolling for several minutes before two step out the front door and stand there. At this point they can all hear engines approaching.

Then it starts. The front door darkens and one, two, five, ten… two dozen female figures walk out. Not one of them looks emotionally healthy. They try to comfort each other with arms but its clear each of them has been destroyed as a person. Not a single skinjob among them. A few of them cry. Most of them just have a dead look to their eyes. As they move across the field, they head towards a dug-out area only ten yards from where the group is laying in spy.

They're all lined up in front of the trench and the Stalker with them makes a firm gesture to hold and not move. Certainly not fire. But this close, in their NVG's, they can see the details of their faces. The ages. The youngest looks to be about fourteen. She's shaking and terrified, shorter than the woman next to her, hugging around the hips. None of them look to be older than their early twenties. But that look… their eyes are all dead. None of them are fighting it. Some of them even look overhead in silent prayer. Among those faces, there's even a look of relief. With the Centurions lined up behind them, one of the young women even begins to laugh and cry, tears streaming down her face. Her arms start to rise…

…but they never make it all the way up. The Centurions open their gun arms and begin machinegunning all of them. Its over in twenty seconds. Every body falls forward into the dug-out. That fourteen year old seems to see the group in her last moment just before a bullet tears into her head and kills her. No sound. Just the echo of the gunfire and the sound of the approaching craft. …The Centurions turn and begin marching away, leaving the dead in the mass grave.

Randy remains patient, lying in wait. It doesn't dawn on her at first. The people pouring out. No women. She adjusts her NVGs veeeeery carefully, quiet as a mouse. She watches the girls line up, scans their forms, searches their eyes. Her jaw clenches naturally as the truth creeps into her unwilling skull. Graveness haunts her features as the flashes of the muzzles strike out at the night. She remains stock still through the gunfire and after, breathing low. Is anybody home?

Angelis doesn't move. Not even to flinch or draw breath. She's probably still holding onto the last one that she took. Her gaze is fixed, watching the Centurions gun down the women. Despite the sweat running down her face, trickling down the back of her neck, she's used to watching and waiting. Patience is a virtue that Tabi mostly has in abundance. As soon as the Centurions depart the mass grave, her eyes track their movements, following them back to the building, or wherever it is that they're going.

Consciously or no, Kapali has a death grip on the rifle in her hands, carefully keeping the rifle down, away from the trigger, away from doing anything that would lead to a terminal, abrupt, and utterly futile action. An action that would render this mission entirely a waste of perfectly good lives and expenditure of time. She studies each face intently, as swiftly as possible, doing her best to imprint each image, each face, into her memory so as to keep those women forever etched into her memory, if no where else. For in the end, it is all about memory, its sources and its magnitude, and, of course, its consequences. Taking on this duty, silently, of absolute necessity in being silent, is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. Knowing that she will make sure that this goes into her report, knowing that it is her responsibility to avoid depriving future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.

The Centurions begin their march back to the building. Meanwhile above them there is the roaring sound of engines. A Colonial transport descends through the low clouds and extends its gear. The Centurions take up a guard position between the ship and the door. Nothing else seems to happen except that a few skinjobs exit and stand by the door. There are two Two's and a pair of Twelves with a single One who seems to be in charge. Most of them look slack-faced except for the One.

The cargo door opens and there's the sound of Centurions moving. But then there are young women being marched down the ramp. The youngest looks to be twelve or so. All of them hold the hints of youthful beauty. Like the group that was just killed, none of them are older that 21. Most of them look to be of high school age. They're all marched into the building. Most of them look utterly terrified. They all try to hold ot each other, but the One rips them apart as they get to the doorway, counting off numbers. The grin on his face is unforgetable. But the look on the faces of the other skinjobs tells a different story. …They don't want to be here.

One the craft is unloaded, it takes off again and the engines scream as it moves away. The rest move inside and the door slams shut with an audible metal lock. The Centurions step off once again and begin patrolling.

The Stalker with the group looks back to the Orion Marines. "Where have you been?" she mouthes before gesturing for them to back off slowly.

Randy begins to focus down on details through the haze of jaw-clenching. She notes things like how many Centurions are posted at the arrival vs how many were on patrol. She notes the looks on the faces of the One and his unexcited skinjob cronies only briefly. She scans the transport ship as much as she can from where they are, looking at whether it is armed, seeing if she can make out how it is piloted or if it is autonomous. It's the details she focuses on, her mouth moving in numbers when finally her eyes settle on the Stalker and the mouthed words. She says nothing in return, just holding that grave, haunted look. The weathered squinty eyes that look broken.

Angelis watches the girls getting unloaded from the transport. She doesn't even look at their Stalker escort. Not counting the same way that Randy is, nope. Her gaze is mostly focused on the One, her hands tighten on her rifle, but she doesn't move to go down there and kill him like she wants to. Instead, she just slowly lets go of the breath she's been holding and resists the urge to tug on her non-existant ponytail.

"Have the Twos and Twelves looked like that for long? blank face like they're on auto pilot?" Kapali asks in return, side stepping the question about where they've been by asking a pointed question that could be important. Making sure to mouth the question carefully, enunciating without putting actual volume to the question, doing a brief impression of the blank face/auto pilot look on the 2's and 12's.

The medic's face goes stony, save for a jaw clenched so hard she may have broken a molar. She memorized that scene, all right. As they back out, she gives the Stalker some serious side-eye. Didn't have to go endanger all of our lives to illustrate a point.

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