AWD #090: Landfall
Summary: An injured Holtz comes to after ejecting over the surface of Picon. Ceres comes to find him, with surprising news.
Date: 06/04/2013
Related Logs: Jailbreak - Air
Holtz Ceres 
In the woods, several miles outside of the Cylon prison complex
AWD #90

Kurt Holtz awakens to see his world in white.

Am I dead? The question comes unbidded to his befogged mind. But if this is the journey to Elysium, it isn't what the scrolls say it should be. There's no raft, no river, no crowds of loved ones on the far bank waiting to welcome him. Only white. He reaches out…

And his fingers touch the fabric of his parachute.

The sensation of glove against faux-cloth finally jolts him back to reality. His chute is still attached to his flight suit, having fallen over his body, which lies prone on the surface of Picon. He moves to push the fluttering thing aside, grimacing as his wounded body screams in protest. There's a feeling of wetness on his face; when he reaches up to touch his face, his gloved fingers come away with blood on them from a cut on his forehead.

He tries to get up to his feet, but his legs have other ideas. They buckle under the weight, and he plops back down into the dirt with a grunt. There's a rip in the flightsuit, and a thin, bloody line on the flesh underneath; apparently he got skimmed by a piece of shrapnel.

A shaky hand pulls a knife free of its sheath on his belt. It's not a standard issue survival knife; Holtz had long since replaced it with one of the larger knives from his personal collection. He's got enough strength to slice through the cables connecting the chute to the suit, at least, which he quickly does. Gritting his teeth, he tries to stand once more; his legs buckle again, but this time he's able to stay on his feet. He hobbles over to a nearby tree and sits back down, leaning his back against the trunk, and slowly starts taking his knife to the parachute, cutting off several bandage-sized strips for his assorted scrapes and scratches.

Once close enough, the smoking of what is left of Storm's Viper can be seen over the treetops and she gives the truck gas. The pistol and rounds have long since been pulled out of the glove compartment, loaded and set in the drink holder in the middle. "Time to see if this thing can off-road." There is a clear opening into the wilderness and across some fields and thus she guns it, hitting the grass and tearing through the tall weeds as they thunk and clink against the grill and underside of the car. She rocks, hitting rocks, dips and limbs from the trees that become a bit thicker in the distance.

Keeping as steady of a hold on the wheel as she can, Ceres' hand flexes. She continues through the wilderness, eyes looking about for a sign of life, sign of a chute. Sign of the pilot. Giving up her ride back to Orion in hopes that he will be alive, she continues on.

But she only gets so far.

There is a log in the way and she stops, hitting the breaks as it comes up out nowhere and the front of the truck slams into it. Not bad, but enough to dent the front bumper. Cursing below her breath, she grabs her gun, shuts the car off and stuffs her rounds into the pockets of her cargo pants.

Climbing out, she yanks herself on top of the truck for a better view and begins to search. It takes her a few moments, but something white on green is spotted at an angle from the crash site and its enough to go on.

Down she hops and in that direction she goes, gun out, ready and pointed down as she goes full run for the trees, dipping into the thicker portions as the car disappears behind her.

She doesn't call out, that would be stupid at this point with the crash site rather close. In fact she just tries to keep going the general direction of the chute, slowing as she thinks she is getting near enough, just the faint crunch and brush of plantlife against her side while making her way heralding her position.

With another wince, Holtz tightly winds one of his impromptu bandages around his bleeding leg. He lolls his head back against the tree trunk, staring up at the sky with a dark, throaty sigh. "Sonuva bitch," he mutters to himself in frustration. He pauses a moment before starting on another bandage.

And that's when he hears the sound of rustling vegetation off in the woods behind him. It's not just the wind, either. There's only a light breeze, not enough to push the foliage around that much. Eyes narrowed and mouth drawn, his knife is sheathed and the bandages forgotten as he pulls himself to his feet, flattening himself against the tree as he pulls out his sidearm. The hammer is pulled back, his breathing ragged as the sound slowly draws closer.

The stark white is caught again and Ceres draws closer, a bit more cautious as she scans the ground and sidesteps over a fallen branch to try to get a clearer look. There is a tension that runs through her, eyes narrowing as she lifts her gun, readying it. But she is turning slowly, watching for any sign of centurions moving in on the area.

Finally she takes a gamble and she lifts her voice enough to project it. "Major Kurt Holtz?" Pause. "Storm?" She waits to approach, glancing upwards quickly to see if he's still hanging but she notes one strap in her line of view is swinging freely in that light breeze.

Closer the sound comes, and closer still. Holtz's eyes flicker from side to side as he keeps himself hidden. In one respect, he realizes, he's lucky: he can't hear the telltale clank of Centurions. He'd be hard-pressed to take on chromejobs with naught but a pistol and knife, even the oversized dagger he carries. For the first time since his Viper was hit, he allows himself to hope.

That hope is momentarily dashed, though, when he hears the voice. He recognizes it, of course. A Nine. A skinjob.

What's left of his parachute has slid slightly away from him, fifteen feet or so from the tree that's serving as his cover. It's towards the chopped up chute Ceres is headed for, and when Holtz emerges from behind the tree, her back is towards him. The pistol is leveled at her head, and his words are cold and guttural when he finally speaks. "Hands out. Turn around. Slowly."

Startng to cross towards the chute, she stops, going still at the sound of the voice. Her head dips, allowing her a glance back over her shoulder as she lifts her hands up, gun in one and does not move. "Storm, it's Redux. Heard you went down and dropped my ride to come get you." She doesn't move, doesn't flinch, instead she lifts her hand and flexes it, the left one dancing in all its scarred glory.

"We have to get away from here. They are going to come looking. I have a truck back up the way." She waits for him though.

Ceres finally starts to turn, hands remaining up so that she can face him. Dark eyes meet his and she waits. But she has no dogtags, she has no ring, no coin.

Holtz has got to look like a mess. His flightsuit is torn in several places and streaked with blood, and there's more blood mixed with dirt caked on his face. His hair is matted, his breath rushed, and there's a wild look in his eyes. "Yeah?" he sneers, his finger twitching on the trigger "Like frak I'm playin' along this time, you godsdamn toaster bitch. I ought drop you right he — "

And then he sees it. There's no mistaking the scars on that hand. It was almost a running joke around the squadron, back before her true identity was revealed. Suddenly uncertain, his eyes flick off in the direction she'd come from, but they're right back on her a moment later. Distrust wars with practicality on his features until he finally jerks the pistol in that same direction. "Fine. But you first. I want you where I can see you, yeah? Any sudden moves, you die. You frak me, you die slowly. Got it?" he snarls.

Ceres can only wait for his head to clear, though her hand holding the gun up is ready. Ready for what? Dark eyes meet his and she holds there, studying his face. "Right. Sure thing." His acceptance is enough and she clicks the safety on her gun before lowering it, tucking it into her pocket slowly so he doesn't get itchy with his trigger finger. "Just going to put this away." She tells him that much and then finally turns, going back the way she came.

"Got everyone out of there. The prisoners. We are getting out of here too, just please don't shoot me." That is said with no sense of levity whatsoever, her hands held away from her sides so he can see them as she takes a slow walk back to the truck. She can explain things later - if he doesn't shoot her.

For his part, Holtz isn't putting his gun down, even as Ceres holsters her own. His arms are sore and aching, but the pistol never wavers as he limps along several steps behind her — enough space that he should still have time to shoot her if she tries anything. But for the moment… "Just shut up an' walk," he orders, that snarl making his Tauron accent even thicker. "Slowly, now." He doesn't shoot her, though — despite looking like he very much wants to.

Silence. Ceres is that on the walk back save for the one time she glances back to see him limping. "Storm, let me help you." She states, furrowing her brows as she looks from his injury and back up. She even stops, barely turning but her hands are easily seen. Her hands do not stray for her gun or likewise anywhere else. "We both did our jobs..its all I have ever done. Why can't you accept me for what I am? An ally."

"I said shut the frak up!" Holtz roars in a sudden fit of fury. "Told you t' walk," he says a moment later, his voice only marginally quieter. "Only thing I want to hear from you is how you're gonna get me off this rock." That grimace is still locked on his face, equal parts pain and stubborn pride. Nevertheless, he continues on, his gait uneven as he moves slowly in her wake.

Lead him she does, giving him an unreadable glance before continuing on. Ceres is quiet then, stewing on some information, stumbling just briefly til she catches herself. But the truck comes into view, looking like it had taken a good day through the open grassy hills and sparse trees. She edges over to the driver's side and starts to open the door. "I do not know how I am getting us off of here. I know I have my radio still, but if they are not in range? We could call down centurions to her position, I would rather not. My idea is to try to make it to Spree." She says and glances over at him, studying his wounds before she gets into the truck - that is if he allows her to even drive.

Normally, yes, Holtz would probably take the wheel. But he's in no shape to drive in his current condition, so he doesn't protest when Ceres moves to take the wheel. Besides, this way he can keep an eye on her, not the road. He shakes his head convulsively. "No radio," he grunts as he trudges over to the passenger side door. "Not yet. Not until we're well away from here." As the conversation turns to more practical matters, the threats and anger are momentarily put aside. His tone is still anything but friendly, though. "Know where to find her, do you?" He climbs into the vehicle, wincing as the pain momentarily intensifies from the movement. Finally, though, he's in place, and he rests limply in his seat, head resting against the headrest. The gun is still in his hand, rested against his chest and still pointed in Ceres' direction, though his finger is at least no longer resting against the trigger.

"Your time would be better left watching for Raiders overhead or some damned centurions that will likely show to look for you and inspect the crash." Ceres starts the truck and it roars to life, albeit abused. She puts the thing into reverse and looks back, hitting the gas to hopefully get the thing back out the way she came. Its going to be a bit rough and they bounce a bit, Ceres hitting her head against the cab causing her to curse. Once she gets it turned around and through the brush and tall grass, they hit the road and she revs the engine to get them up and out, growling as she urges the thing onto the road. Finally there, she hesitates, getting a look around but most definitely takes the direction away from the prison. "I told someone in the prison you were alive. I hate to be a liar."

"You ain't givin' the orders, an' I don't see any Raiders or Centurions. Just you," Holtz spits. "'Sides. Faster you drive us the frak out of here, less we gotta worry about that shit, yeah?" He seems about to respond to her last a heartbeat later, but then the truck is bouncing and rolling backwards; there's a soft cry of pain as his injured leg is jostled about by the movement, and he clutches it with his free hand, wincing once more. He shoots a dark look at Ceres, but says nothing else.

She hits the break then, the truck skidding to a stop - she's prepared for it, he may not be. "Look, Major. YOu may have just been given your new rank but it does not mean you get to treat me like some worthless piece of shit. I could have gotten on those Raptors, left without you. But damn it all…" She sounds frustrated, a first for that usually cool woman. "Your daughter is alive and I am not about to let her live without a father, do you understand me? So either you trust me and we get through this alive, or you shoot me and I come back to haunt you and you get stuck alone. Your decision, but might as well shoot me now while I am not driving you stubborn jock." There is a hard edge to her voice, those dark eyes boring into him. Its like she half expects he will shoot her with how she waits.

Another louder cry tears free of Holtz's lips as Ceres suddenly hits the brakes. His features contort in fury, his mouth opens to deliver a scathing retort… which dies on his lips, his features slackening as her words, or at least some of them, register on his bewildered mind. He sputters wordlessly for a moment or two before he can finally form words.

"I… how… Alley? Allison's al— " His voice suddenly holds a slight quiver, and he shakes his head jerkily as if unwilling to hope. "She's dead. I saw, saw Tauron burning. She's… They're… If you're lying to me — " He tries to inject fresh menace into his tone at his last, but his heart just doesn't seem to be in it. The hand holding the pistol falls into his lap, and he makes no effort to lift it back into place, the shock evident on his features.

For the time being, at least, Ceres' words have their desired effect. Holtz simply stares into the distance, eyes glassy as he tries to process what he's been told.

"Major, she's alive," Ceres begins, looking over at him during his stillness. "They had a lot of the crew's family. A lot. A planned trap I think, its why I called for so many Raptors. Look, she's alive, she made it on the Raptors and she is waiting for you. On Orion." Her voice is a little more even now that she is not facing down a gun from another pilot. "We are going to get you back to her, but you have to listen to me. I am still not suspected, well, they won't know me any different, especially the centurions. If we are attacked, you are my prisoner. I am moving you to a holding facility. If that does not work, we fight our way through. But this will be the easiest way if we can get it to work." Pause. "Storm, I need you to trust me."

She waits for him, foot still on the brake. "I need you alert as well. Get down when I tell you and do not say anything to anyone. Not until we get to friendlies."

Holtz just sits in shocked silence. For once, he doesn't have an insult or snappy comeback at the ready. A multitude of emotions cross over his battered features, but finally he gives another of those jerky nods. He might not be totally convinced, but for now she's said enough that he seems willing to go along. "Will try," he finally manages to whisper in response, though it's not quite clear which of her statements he's responding to. In any case, he falls quiet once again, eyes flicking from windows to windshield, keeping an eye out for pursuers as they finally resume their journey.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License