MD #175: Landing Day Party
MD #175: Landing Day Party
Summary: The crew of the Orion and the personnel of the taskforce begin the process of settling the civilians, and their livestock, on P-269-7.
Date: Sat 30/Sep/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs:
Adeliza Ben Clara Diaz Dropkickst Inez 
Leander Palermo Randy Rowan Scott Yari 
Landing Zone at P-269-7
The LZ doesn't even have a name yet. Nor does the planet. The area they touch down in has miles and miles of fields in most directions in rolling plains, trees purposely planted in straight lines for windbreaks. At the LZ the grass is knee-high and lush, green. The air smells of thistle and there's a hint of something else. A fragrant note and likely floral. The gentle breeze carries it in and out, flirting with the senses. There's a small river not too far away and on the ride in someone pointed out a small town about fifteen to twenty miles away - abandoned. There are still vehicles on the roads and they all look like they just rolled to a rest where they currently reside, but out here where they landed, the roads are mostly dirt and very few. Fertile land for crops is expensive and nobody wants to waste it on a lot of pavement or purpose-packed dirt. Similar, wild herds of animals were seen running from the approaching sounds of the landing vehicles. Four amphibs and a bunch of Raptors and Rhinos make one helluva racket for the planet that's been quiet and at peace for Gods-knows how long before this.
Tue 17/Apr/2049 (IC Date)

The reality of military life is that most people have a stash of something that they rely upon to trade or to just make things a wee bit bother at the end of the day. And while word was spread that - if/where possible - people are welcome to bring something to share, the bulk of the food and drink was wrangled by the mess hall crew. As this isn't the first rodeo, by far, for the mess hall crew to work with, there's coolers full of food and drink that were carted down and sorted out along with long tables that were unfolded and set in place. The food is mostly the light stuff, the sort of simple - portable - fare more often considered mid-rats, save for the entire table of drinks. Of course there's coffee, and tea, and enough bottled water to do laundry for the entire marine unit. But there's booze also, and a lot of it is in bottles and cans, plus the addition of moonshine and other brew that promises to have a serious kick if not a lot of remarkable flavor. Not that anyone actually drinks moonshine or homemade brew for the Flavor.

A group splits off to the nearest tree line, gathering dead wood and dragging it back to make a pile well before darkness will fall. Flood lights have been set up along the perimeter, especially along the edge of the irrigation ditch that edges the chosen landing zone, although someone will still, undoubtedly, fall into the shallow, brackish water at some point after a few pints. Another group has scavenged a windfall of dead branches from the nearest wind break, and pile it into bonfire shape, preparing to ward off the chill when the sun goes down. A ball sails through the air, caught, and passed on to a marine, the name being yelled just in time for the recipient to turn and catch it with their face to the amusement of others. After that, though, a space is marked off, and portable hoops set up for a serious… at least to the players, game of Pyramid. Someone has found a good, stout, rope, and tossed it across the irrigation ditch, along with a log that was rolled over from the trees. It doesn't take long before people are wagering each other to tug of war, and the first splash of the day is heard.

Ben sets his craft down as gently as possible. The cargo civilians this round, he knows he's got livestock on the next trip and hopes the air filters are fresh for that trip. Once the ship is grounded, he starts cooling it down and grabs the mic to key it. "We are on the ground ladies and gentleman. Welcome to your new home. As it hasn't been named yet, I shall just call it Hope for now. My this new Hope be what you all need. Please watch your step leaving the ship, and be sure you have all you brought with you. Any stray children left behind start military training tomorrow. Thank you for flying Cross and I hope you enjoy your stay." His tone is light and he smiles at the end, shutting down systems to allow the ship to rest. He knows he has to wait for orders to get the livestock, so perhaps stretching his legs wont be a bad idea for the moment. Unstrapping himself, he rises to his feet and turns to the exits.

Even at a self-welcoming party on an apparently deserted planet, there are security concerns. MP Private Leander and his canine partner Prax are some of the first shuttled down to the surface to secure the area and then keep a watchful eye on things as the festivities unfold. So there is at least one young Marine who won't be drinking tonight, or at least not until his shift ends and he's officially off duty. For now he and the dog are all business — patrolling through the gathering crowd, most of Leander's time is spent asking people not to try and pet the dog.

Once she's landed the Raptor, Inez waits a moment for the refugees packed into it to flee their confines before she moves. She's checked, and double checked, to make sure she's shut down properly, and pushes out of her seat, looking for her daughter and… grandchildren. She really /is/ too young to be a grandmother, but, there it is. She takes Argus's hand, giving him a smile, and they walk down the ramp, and into the fresh air to take a deep breath.

Near them, one of the first livestock ships is unloading, and the lows of the cattle are heard, along with the sudden pound of hooves as they move towards an area penned for them, as far from the ships as they can get before they stand huddled together. It will be awhile before one of them will finally lower its head to take a mouthful of the grass.

Randy is picking at the midrats in one of the coolers, squatting in navy blue shorts with her white legs blinding anyone in her immediate vicinity (thank you battlestar living). Her skin is still gummed up with the scars of old battle wounds from the last war here and there. She's also wearing a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, but she hasn't bothered tucking it in. She grabs a sandwich or two and starts to make her way towards the location she sees someone walking away from with what looks like alcohol.

Having volunteered to help the crew of one of the livestock ships, the Viper pilot normally known as Diaz is standing carefully to the side of the ramp as the cows are slowly meandering their way down out of the ship. Cows. On a ship. Cows on a ship! The Ten wears a huge grin, a look of delight to go with the grin, and watches as the humans to whom these cows belong start herding them away from the ships while - equally - trying to take a gander around at this new world that they're offloading onto. She's super careful, however, to walk a WIDE DETOUR around the wake of the cows, nose wrinkling as she does so and listens to the crew of the livestock vehicle complaining about how long it'll take them to clean all of this crap out of the vehicle.

Clara Piers shows up in an oversized knit sweater and tiny little cotton dress. It hides about six inches of leg, which isn't nearly enough given their length. She's shod in bulky combat boots spattered with dirt, and has a collection of sparkly bracelets adorning one wrist. Her hair, today, is worn down with her bangs swept to one side. An overnight bag is slung across one shoulder, a child's tiny hand clutching hers as they wander through the knee-length grass.

<FS3> Rowan rolls Climbing: Good Success.

Sandwich in hand, Recruit Rowan Heron climbs a tree. She's spotted something up there: a white, spotted arboreal rodent of some sort. She's on a mission. She wants to befriend it.

Having helped one of the ships bringing in the livestock as well, Scott seems to have been talking to a few of the animals as he helped out. Letting the animals head off, he smiles. "Your new home. Take care…" Turning to look around at that planet. "Looks rather nice," he remarks, to nobody in particular.

So this is home, now. This unnamed expanse of sweet grass and flocking birds. They could do worse, Yari supposes. She feels stars apart from it all, inside the raptor looking out, lost inside a conflicted train of thought she's been riding all day. A sudden squirm from her youngest snaps her out of it as the craft settles and bodies start moving out of seats, her own among them. The young woman's climbed back inside the dress she'd worn before she ever saw fatigues and it may as well be a potato sack. That's okay. Her embroidered, green shawl isn't covering her hair though, but simply draped around her shoulders. With baby held possessively to chest, she follows Inez silently out, guiding her oldest between them by the back of his shoulder. Six year old Vasilis stares out at the future grazing grounds with about as much enthusiasm as his mother, but Argus, clasped in Inez's hand, gives a WHOOP of joy. Room to run.

The small tactical officer is wearing a t-shirt with her jeans, and a hoodie tied around her waist by its sleeves. She's got duffle slung across her body, and sunglasses against the late afternoon glare of sun. Adeliza's too used to the smell of cow patties to wrinkle her nose, and she stands off to the side, watching the livestock meander and be herded, her head tilted at a critical angle as she guages their health. Then, she notes the viper pilots who rode with the cattle, and breaks into a grin as she spots one of them. With a little cheer, she breaks into a run, and launches herself in a flying tackle at the older one. Scott, that is.

Randy is probably one of the most fortunate here. Two thirds of her children are here, somewhere, and although it doesn't make up for her missing baby boy, this moonshine will have to do. She's given a mason jar of the stuff and then she's off to go find a patch of grass along near where another round of pyramid is starting up. She rejects an invitation to play by holding up her sandwich and drink from where she's settled down. She falls into a blank stare as she gnaws a bit of sandwich, her eyes picking up the vague but familiar figures in the tall grass. For now, she'll sit alone…that is until her eye is caught by the movement coming from a nearby tree. "Don't let whatever it is you're chasing bite you," she calls out, having deja vu back to picnics on Piraeus with the children. Time for a swig of that moonshine.

The girl holding Clara's hand, of course, isn't hers. But the Three tends to gravitate toward lost children - or perhaps they gravitate toward her - and it's clear there's a kinship there. "Mama!" hollers the little one when she spots the nervous-looking woman loitering by herself at the edge of the LZ, and peels off at a run. Clara's smile is slight, but she doesn't linger. Onward she trudges, flitting in alongside the cows being herded and toward the clearing where the bonfire's been set up.

Ben smiles and nods to the passengers leaving the ship he brought in. The all pile out with such excitement that is bleeds over onto the young pilot. The last person steps out and Ben follows. However, he stops at the hatch and gasps. He's never seen open fields like this before in all his life. City boy all his life, crowds and towering buildings is home to him. This, the wide spread openness of it all, stuns him. Mouth agaped, eye's wide, he stands at the top of deparcation ramp at a loss for words. As if he can't move, he just stands there, a hand on each side of the open hatch, in awe at it all.

Once the relative silence had been utterly shattered by the arrival of Rhinos, Raptors and Amphibious vehicles, once the marines had landed and established both the footfall and the perimeter, set up the flood lights to bathe the field in the relatively unforgiving glare of artificial light, the sound of humanity and animals that tend to travel with humanity begins to rinse from the field. At first it's with the careful voices of people who've learned to moderate the volume at which they speak, living in tin cans and enclosed spaces forces that sort of careful moderation. At first its the sound of cattle lowing and mooing, the stomp of hooves in the grass, the startled back and forth of not quite stampeding that happens as the cattle are herded ever further away from the ships to make room for more. There's also clucking. Lots and lots of clucking. Chickens, roosters, and a whole bunch of geese that somehow made it off of Piraeus that have been driving people nuts for weeks are doing that and more, shedding feathers and down like mad. And then… there's the pigs. Most people aren't aware of how smart, devious, wily, dangerous and determined pigs really are. If pigs were built bigger they'd be smart enough and mean enough to saddle up and ride. That being said, the fact that the ships are made out of metal deck plating is pretty much the only reason that the pigs didn't figure out how to dig/root/destroy their way out of the holding pens and accidentally space the lot of them. Getting the pigs out of the ships is a VERY BIG DEAL to anyone who's had to repair the damage the little beasts have caused from day one. As more people and animals arrive, the more the noise volume increases and in all the rising volume of sound there's music pushing through the crowd as well. It's quiet, at first, just a bit of melody, a voice here and there, eventually someone gets the sound system working and the music carries nicely along with the breeze on this one abandoned world. Hello world, we have arrived.

Scott looks around, pausing a bit as he hears that cheer from Adeliza. And then a few moments later, he's tackled to the ground. "Hey…" he begins, unable to hold back a bit of a laughter. "You just had to do that, didn't you?"

Among the marines walking the perimeter, Palermo has a watch cap snugged down over the tips of her ears and a look of wary suspicion on her face as she moves through the tall grass. And.. things. Leafy.. things. City girl that she is, the marine doesn't readily put name to most of the stuff she's walking through, and the sound of insects and other things scuttling through the tall grass makes the marine just a little twitchy. She shares a nod with Leander as she moves past his position, "So.. I shouldn't ask if I can pet Prax?" she wonders in a low voice, a quick glimpse of a grin on her face before she stares out over the field. "Just once I'd like to land on a world that's been settled by shopping mall venture capitalists and have to raid a salon and spa," she jokes with a small shake of her head.

With a smile, Inez looks back to her daughter as she's tugged by Argus towards the animals. "Look around," she tells them with a little chuckle as the little boy jumps up and down. "Stretch your legs, this is a day for fun." Then she's turning to swoop down and lift the little guy to her shoulders so he can see the milling livestock better, as curious as her grandson for a better look at them.

Up in the tree, obscured by branches, there is a squeak and some sort of tussle. Branches shake, twigs get knocked loose, and then a pair of mom jeans appear. Rowan must have borrowed some civvies from Ellie, given the jeans and the flannel shirt. She has a small sack in her hands. She heads over to the food table. The sack is angry.

Randy puts her earphones in her ears at some point around the time she starts hearing the pigs. The cacophy of animals and general noise is /enough/ to deal with apparently. She placidly watches the herding pilots with a soft smirk as she sips on the moonshine. She spots Clara meeting up for the hand-off of the kid to her mother, but just stays where she is, watching the Three go about her business whenever she has a decent view of her.

Moving away from the cattle, Diaz heads for the tables with food and carries a plastic cup of something that smells fermented and a napkin with a few cookies wrapped up in it as her designated loot and walks over to stand at the bottom of the ramp and grins up at Lt Cross. "Would you believe it? Cows. On a ship. They're huge!"

The Marines' carefully established perimeter is soon overflowing with people, livestock, and fowl. There's no way to control things beyond keeping an eye out and trying to make sure no one gets run over by cattle, so Leander's job becomes both more fluid and less complicated. Prax's nose is working overtime, both taking in the scents of yet another strange world and enjoying the more familiar smell of other Colonial animals, but she's a well trained Marine and stays on mission, sticking to the Private's heel. Spotting Clara in the crowd, Leander picks his way over toward the Three to greet her with a grin. "'Evening, sir. Heard you were back." To life that is. The MP apparently didn't get the memo about any change in her status. "Welcome back."

Clara happens to be walking by that tree, right around the moment where Rowan falls out, mom jeans and all. With an angry sack that may or may not house some sort of marsupial. "What are you doing?" she wants to know, making a face like someone farted in a crowded room. Grass snaps at her boots as she walks, apparently unbothered by the insects buzzing around her bare legs. And then Leander appears, and there's a faint flush to her features as she pauses to address him. "You don't have to sir me, but.. thanks. I'm just a petty officer now."

"MOOOO!" Argus answers one of the cows as fluently as a three year old boy can. From atop Inez's shoulders he can see them ALL. More than he can count, at least. And it suits him, his name. Argus: the watchful. He does so with big, dark eyes. With a mop of wild curls akin to his mother's, he seems to fit /right/ in with the wildscape. Or barn.
"I find myself wondering," Yari says, fingertips scarsely touching the blond boy's shirt anymore as he trudges ahead of them all with his awkward, shuffling gait, "If any of them were ours, once."

Ben breaks the stare at the open ground as he hears words from below. He looks down at Diaz, figuring out what she just said. "Yeah, my next load." He pulls in a deep breath and braves it, taking that first step off the ship into this mass of wide open world. He tests the footing off the steps on the high grassed ground, pressing tip toes of his boots hard on the surface before stepping on it. The grass bends at his steps and he reaches a hand to the tops of those blades left standing. "Where will these people sleep?" He quiries in Diaz's direction. He takes another step, more grass folds down in his wake.

"Of course I did," Adeliza crows as she stands up and offers a hand to Scott to help him up. "All this open space? Someone had to go down, and you're always such a good sport about it. Hungry?" She lets go of him and heads towards the tables of mid rats, looking for a good sandwich. As she stands looking over group, she chuckles as she sees the cause of another splash. "Challenge you?" she offers with a smile.

Rowan hopped down! It wasn't a fall… exactly. She looks at Clara, 'hiding' the sack by holding it low. "Uh. Nothing?" She gives an innocent smile. The sack hisses.

With a laugh, Diaz offers one of the cookies to Ben as she replies, "I have absolutely no idea. I'll bet someone has a plan, but I don't have a clue what it is. Maybe they'll just sleep in the grass," she suggests with a good natured shrug. "That's where I intend to sleep. Fresh air. And the sky," her head tips back and she grins - absolutely grins - up at the sky. "The sky," somewhat reverent there. "Who wants to sleep in a tent when there's all this sky?"

Ben accepts the offered cookie from Diaz and looks at her as if she'd lost her mind. "On purpose?" He looks up a moment, wider than the ground area, then looks down at Diaz. "My last mission, we got grounded on some rock where it rained all the time. Three days, or it felt like days, I spent all my waking time gutting a Vipor to get two other ships and my Raptor to work again. Slept huddled against a rock with water pouring down all the time. Miserable, but we got off the ground, only to find the Oleander gone. Distroyed." He shakes off the sight and looks at the cookie in his hand. Giving it a sniff, he nibbles a piece off and chews it a bit. Looking at the open spaces again, "On purpose?" Taking a full bite from the gifted cookie.

Randy reaches up to pull what looks like a joint from behind her ear. There are families here, but there's a reason why she's off to the side. She pushes up onto her feet and makes her way towards one of the trees, putting Clara and Rowan in her path. She should stop. She should really stop, but this joint isn't going to smoke itself. Still, she can hear how angry that sack is through her silent earphones. For a moment, about fifteen feet away from the Three and her daughter, she stares at the sack, unlit joint dangling from her lips.

"Well.. yeah, I mean, look up at it," Diaz replies as she gestures upward with the hand holding the cookies that are wrapped in the napkin. "When the sun sets, it's going to be full of stars. Not the smog hazed night sky on most colony worlds. But full of stars. No roar of traffic. No shuttles coming in for a landing. No emergency sirens and stuff to break the quiet. Just.. nature and people and animals and.. stars," she tips her head slightly down again and grins at Cross. "Well.. it's not like humans melt in the rain. Well ok. . if you're submerged long enough the body begins to bloat and the tissue gets really gross like but three days of getting rained on didn't really hurt all that much. Plus.." and the Ten draws in a deep breath that gets paired with a look of awe, "imagine what it'd be like out here in a thunderstorm!"

"Yeah?" Leander is a bit perplexed by Clara's change in rank, but doesn't dwell on it. "All righty." The young MP tips his head to the Three, ready to move on, but pauses to make sure the girl who just fell out of the tree isn't injured. She doesn't seem to be, so he wishes the two "Good evening" before continuing on.

Making sure to grumble a bit, before he takes the offered hand with a grin, letting himself be helped up. "You know me too well," he offers to Adeliza, before he makes his way over towards the food as well. "How could one spend the trip here with living, walking beef and not be hungry?" he replies rather lightly.

With the initial batch of livestock offloaded and a debate over the merits of cleaning the crap off of the floor now OR waiting until they're all done and cleaning it off THEN settled (both Now & Then, for the record) the larger vehicles that had disgorged the bulk of the livestock now present are running the check lists again, closing the hatches and ramps and spinning back up to lift off once again, making room for the next flight of vehicles to take their place. In the ensuing noise that rises from the carefully choreographed exchange of ships leaving and new ones arriving, there's a bit of chaos among the livestock. The geese that had been along for the ride apparently decide that now is the hour! Somehow they break free from the handlers and first one, then several more, until a whole gaggle of them break free and take wing. The sound of honking… and the less than appealing result of falling poo . . take wing over the edge of the crowd nearest the river. Much to the dismay of those who were thinking of goose feathers or goose down or maybe just roasted goose. Taking this cue, one of the musicians leans into the mic and remarks: "Ladies and Gentlemen, the geese have left the building."

"You're weird," Clara observes flatly to Rowan, lips pressing into a moue of faintly morbid curiosity as she glances back to the angry sack. She looks about to take her typically awkward leave of the conversation and press on, when Randy moseys on over with her joint. "Hey," she greets casually, glowing smile mostly obscured by the wind whisking her hair across her cheek. Leander gets a little waggle of fingers in farewell, though she doesn't try to detain him.

"Mooooo!" Inez echoes the three year old, turning a little back and forth so they can look at them all. Then the geese are taking wing long enough to make it to freedom, and she's ducking away from a splat of dark green. "That was a close one," she says, tilting her head up to her rider. "You want something to eat? Let's go see if your mama and brother want some food." She gives a little jiggle to her shoulders as she turns and walks away from the animals.

Ben smiles at the wonderful discription Diaz gives to his only known life before military service. All the sights and sounds of home to him. Then he looks up at the sky to try to imagine the thunderstorm and shakes his head, "On purpose." He takes another bite from the cookie, looking over to where the rest of the people are going and more food and drink. Popping the last of the cookie in his mouth and chews quickly and offers a smile to the woman next to him, "Buy you a drink?" He starts to walk, suddenly slowing his pace as the grass is high here and he moves to get into the path the civilians made leaving the ship. "I'll…" He ducks falling goose pooh. Sure his footing is solid due to unsure ground, but he's a quick little guy. "Heads up!" He yells out.

<FS3> Randy rolls Does Poo Hit It's Target: Success.
<FS3> Diaz rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Ben rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Adeliza rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Randy rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Yari rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Scott rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Rowan rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Clara rolls Alertness: Great Success.

Adeliza snorts out a laugh, and tosses Scott a sandwich in its wrapper. "We did make a farmer out of you, after all," she grins. "You know where your beef comes from." Finding a sandwich for herself, she goes towards the table where the drinks have been set out. She takes a bottle by the neck, and opens it, then, she double takes, and stands on her tiptoes. "HEY! RENEE!" she bellows, then waves her sandwich holding hand as she sinks back down onto her heels.

"So're you," Rowan retorts in a matching monotone. She puts the rest of the sandwich in the sack. The hissing stops and munching ensues. She grins at Randy as she approaches, trying to minimize her now-content sack. "Hey, Mum." When Leander swings by, she reaches a hand out toward the dog. "Is he working or can I pet him?"

Randy takes out her earphones and immediately regrets it as the sound of the geese rail against her ears. She plucks the joint from her lips with a smile. "Hey Squirt. You got a light for me?" She /knows/ Rowan has a lighter, but maybe this is just a ploy to get the pilot to drop the sack and free the poor creature inside. She looks over to Clara and smiles. "I'm set up just over there. Thought I'd smoke this away from the pregnant women and babies," she explains before starting to light up with her own lighter, showing her request of her daughter to be even more of an open ploy.

<FS3> Randy rolls Is Randy's Joint Ruined Because She's Going To Be Very Sad: Good Success.

Seeing that Leander's attention is otherwise directed, Palermo continues her patrol of the perimeter that takes her around the far end of the field and ultimately brings her back along the irregular length of the field in time to watch the Geese making a break for it. All the honking, shedding feathers and splatting poop makes this city girl even more wary than she was before. She pokes at the tall grass with the toe of one boot before continuing on, hearing Liza bellowing her name causes the marine to detour slightly to join her cousin and Scott. "Careful where you stand, there's.. things and stuff in the grass. These little hopping bugs that make noise, and I'll bet there's snakes somewhere in all this tall grass. Plus.." and she skims the field again and spots Rowan and the sack she's carrying. "What ever she pulled out of one of the trees looks like some sort of rodent. Imagine those things getting free on the ship."

GEESE! Yari doubles over in a momentary flinch, prepared to let her hair shelter them both, but neither she nor Ionia end up with poop ornaments. Vasilis, on the other hand….aw. As if the little man couldn't look anymore sour than he already does, something warm plops down past his ear and ricochets off his shoulder. A slow transformation from disbelief to anger darkens his baby blues and the boy looks from the sky, around to his mother. "I HATE it here!" He declares. "I want to go HOME! I want my ZOO! Not stupid COWS!"
Yari does a shit job of concealing her smile, but tries in silence to contain his shouts against her and hustle him after Inez with promises of all the treats he can eat.

Stepping neatly to the side as the geese wheel by overhead, Diaz tips her head back to stare up at the geese and laughs as Cross calls out a warning and avoids getting goose droppings as well. She reaches out to catch hold of his arm, just in case, and once she's certain that he isn't going to tip over she grins and hands him the other half of the cookie she's holding. "Sure. Though 'buy' is a relative word. I wonder what they'll use for currency or trade, once they get sorted out? Oh look, glow bugs!" attention span of a fruit fly? check.

Clara jerks her head up as someone warns of incoming goose shit. Bombs away as one of them takes aim, and the Three deftly swerves out of its path - and into Randy. And maybe Rowan too, if she's close enough. She tries to get herself untangled mid-fall, but it's way, way too late to avoid taking the marine down. Right into a big ol' cow patty. Splat.

Scott chuckles, "See, staying around you crazy people had a good effect," he offers lightly. Looking to Palermo as she approaches, he offers her a grin. "I'm sure there's something in place to deal with stray creatures." It's said rather lightly.

Ben chuckles slighly as Diaz takes his arm, as if he thinks he's doing the protection instead of her doing the steady him. When she lets go, he makes his way to the food area, passing folks along the way. He gives a polite nods in greeting to Clara, Randy, and Rowan as he passes, having met them before aboard the battlestar. He continues to the set up to eye all the offerings. The citizians of course get the first choise in his oppinion, but he eye's a few of those real food squares he doesn't get enough of with ship rations. He takes one of the sandwiches, and turns to look at the glow bugs just off the artifical light of the standing light towers. His eye's widen a bit. "What are they again?" He takes up cup of liquid, offering it to Diaz when he gets close to her again.

When the geese take flight the crew handling the food and drink at the tables work with a sudden burst of action to cover as much of the food and drinks as possible. Lids, covers, cloths, bags, anything that can be tossed over the food to protect it is moved into place. A whole pan of something that was probably vegan or gluten free or some other special foodie term is hit with a splat of green goose poo. Maybe this is natures way of saying: stress less, and don't eat geese.

Having sated itself with the sandwich, the marsupial in the sack begins to purr. Rowan ducks under some tree branches when the geese take flight, cradling her feral bundle. Aaaand Clara is down. "Oh shit."

"Beanpole!" Adeliza greets cheerfully, giving Renee a hug, determined to make the most of her leave, however short it is going to be. Then she shakes her head. "You're reverting, one would think you've never been camping or walked anywhere that didn't have carpet or marble underfoot, city girl." As the current pyramid game wraps, she looks over to the field and lets out a long breath.

Spark, spa- "Oof," Randy is small and thankfully Clara's pretty small too or Randy would be a Randy-cow-patty-pie right now. Now about cow patties. Where there is one, there are always MORE. More cow patties than one would ever want. "What the frak?" she exclaims at the Three who has landed somewhat on top of her. "Where's my lighter?-wait where's my joint?" She pats down her shirt, not realizing she's got some…residue on her palms. Then she sniffs…and /stares/ at Clara.

Shit is right. "Frak, I think I'm gonna hurl." Which is rich, coming from the girl who just shoulder-checked someone else into a pile of manure. Clara looks around a little before she picks herself gingerly off of the marine, and announces, "Found your joint." A grimace. "You probably don't want it back." She at least has the decency to offer her hand, even though she knows it's going to get poo'd. "Sorry."

There's another splash, followed by a series of splashes as an unfortunate team is pulled into the irrigation ditch. The exclamations of dismay are accompanied by more splashes as the losers turn on each other. One or two scramble up, and there's a larger splash as one tackles another and they both go under. One of the winners leans over to offer a hand up, and is promptly pulled down and under themselves. Another raucous guffaw goes up, and then the winner is scrambling out, shaking their arms over any of the latest tug-of-war competitors still left dry.

"I have no idea," Diaz replies as she accepts the cup of liquid, sniffs at it curiously, then takes a drink from it before she walks quietly out of the spill of light and gently scoops one of the bugs up and brings it back. "I'm sure the scientists will give it some long, complicated, multi-syllabic name that refers to it's species or genus of what ever. But.. . everyone else will call them glow bugs," she murmurs to Ben and tips her hand slightly one way and then the other, watching as the bug crawls along her hand.

"Just-to the side!" Randy exclaims, thinking the hurling might be imminent. When nothing happens, she opens those large eyes to look arouond her immediate vicinity for her joint again when Clara announces she's spotted it. The news receives a sad little pout at the thought of no-joint-for-her. She reaches up to take Clara's hand and pops up rather spryly for a thirty year old looking fifty year old. "Let's see if we can go dip in the river?" She leans to look at Clara's hair to make sure it's clean. For her part, her whole backside is a mess.

"Concrete. Concrete, Shrimp. Give me nice, steady, miles of concrete. And shopping malls. And libraries. And heavy ordinance ranges. I'll take those things over.. squishy dirt and bugs any day," Renee replies in a low voice as she skims another of those wary looks around. "I don't mind camping. I can roast bugs on a shovel blade with the best of 'em. Crickets aren't so bad, actually, if you toss salt on them before roasting. But.." and she nudges the grass again with the toe of one boot only to turn toward the sound of splashing. "All we need are giant amphibious life forms with big sharp teeth to come crawling out of the river. That'd make it exciting," and the faintly speculative gleam in her eyes conveys the depth of how fun she thinks THAT would be. "Probably not the kind of excitement the civvies would like."

Ben takes a bite and savors the taist. Chewing slowly, he swallows and smiles. He watches the bugs a moment, still getting use to his alien surroundings. He turns to the complainings of Renee he can faintly hear. His smile widens and he can't help himself as he responds to her, "Hear hear!" He takes a bite of his sandwich, again savoring the flavor. But the second part of has him looking in the direction of the river and the smiles fades a bit. He looks to Diaz, "They don't have monsters here, do they? How well was this planet scanned before they chose it?" He looks back at the river with worry.

Clara sputters and laughs, once she gets a good look at Randy's ass. "You're covered in shit," she feels the need to point out, even going so far as to point it out to Rowan. The Three has taken a bit of splash damage, but definitely got the better end of the cow shit deal. "Okay, okay," she agrees, "we'll go for a dip then sit by the fire to dry off. But I wanna grab a beer first. Meet you over there?" Snicker as she gets another look at Randy's backside.

Scott smiles, shaking his head as he eats now, just listening to Adeliza and Palermo, and otherwise enjoying the fresh air.

"Tell me about it," Randy adds to the redundancy of the situation and rolls her eyes. "Can you get me one? I think someone took my moonshine and maybe my sandwich got eaten by some animal by now." She thinks about wiping her hands on her shorts, but has second thoughts as she stops herself from doing just that. "Frak me," she grumps to herself as she stalks off towards the river…or where she thinks she remembers the river is.

Inez glances back as Yari tries to smother the outburst of her eldest, and notes the stain on the shoulder of the shirt. She pulls her lips into her mouth to try and bite down on the smile, but it wobbles there, and then she manages to regain her straight face. "I'm sure we can find you something good to eat, and change your shirt for you." Her eyes look back to Yari and she gives a little shake of her head… of all the people for the geese to hit, it had to be Vasili.

The Aerilon girl snorts inelegantly. "I forgot," Adeliza turns to Scott. "This is the one who would sit bolt upright and shine her flashlight at all the corners of the tent every time something even breathed in her general vicinity." A bite of her sandwich is consumed before she turns to the City Girl Marine. "Hey, this site wouldn't have been chosen if there was much risk of your kind of excitement. We want them to feel safe, Renee. Big teeth anything does not make them feel safe." Her voice takes on an educational singsong, which she punctuates at the end with another bite of her sandwich.

"Monsters? I doubt it. But then. . what would really qualify as a monster?" Diaz wonders, turning a look of curiosity toward Cross then follows his glance toward the marine as she tips her hand again and watches the glow bug crawl across her knuckles and flutter its wings. Its? His. Probably a male of the species, what with the glow butt part lighting up again. "I'm sure that a survey of sufficient thoroughness was done before this planet was designated as the best one of the short list to pick from. Plus, there's ready to occupy towns and.. stuff. Ok so the former inhabitants all died mysteriously and all this was abandoned. But who doesn't love a ghost story and a ghost town?"

Yari's attention is torn in several directions at any given moment. There's the kids, her mother, rambunctious splashes, spirited ball chucking, sloshing of cups and clinking of flasks…so much happening. It's a big field, but sound carries through the windswept grasses and she's struggling with her focus, every conflicting noise jerking a look from her this way or that. By the time the warped familial group has reached the first in a line of Mess tables, her eyes have the same, scared quality to them as the rest of the refugees. And she's been bunking with these rowdy people for almost a month! Her twitchy glances do their best to avoid any direct contact with any other civilians, but search through their faces all the same. She hadn't seen him herding the cattle. She hadn't seen him onboard the Norton. She hadn't seen his body hanging in the square either, back on P, so maybe he made it this far. Maybe.
"But I like MY shirt," Vasilis protests Inez's suggestion, which is autmoatically invalid, because she is a woman and he is the pater now, in this unit. He's about to add to the rudeness, when the sight of a canine patrol derails his thought process and turns it somewhere equally horrible. "Look! I wonder who he's out to get!" The morbid question jerks Yari's focus forward again and she sees it - canine and handler. Yari halts in her steps and tries to steer everyone WIDE around, including her mother. "NO! No, leave it alone."

Ben gives a quick sharp short nod about five time real fast, turning back to face Diaz. He takes another bite from his square, most of it eaten already. He chews just a bit quicker this time and swallows hard as he says, "I need a drink." He turns to the tables, spying the coolers. "You need another?" He offers starting off.

"Sure I can get you one," Clara offers, agreeably enough. She skims her gaze across to Diaz, another familiar face here, and briefly wonders where both Leander and Rowan wondered off to. Undaunted though, she peels off to rustle up a couple of beer bottles, dropping her pack near the bonfire that's been started - to mark the spot as claimed.

Still eyeing the water line with marked interest, Renee nods as she listens to Liza's very clear, level headed, coherent, intel logic. "Yeah but.. it'd be fun," is her only real rebuttal. She tugs her attention away from the river and turns a glance toward her cousin. "What? Ok. So. Fun isn't safe, civilian wise. Check. Plus having their herd animals eaten by big toothy creatures would probably not be a selling point."

Randy kicks off her shoes and socks. Then she does the thing no sane soul would ever do. She starts wading, clothes and all, right into that river on an unknown planet that is mysteriously uninhabited now. She wiggles her toes in the mud and moves out further to about waist deep. Considering she's five foot even, that's not very high so even with a strong current, she's not in total danger of being swept away.

Clara sheds her sweater and kicks off her boots, but leaves her dress on on solidarity. That, and she's not drunk enough for skinny dipping. She wades out to where Randy's standing, and cracks the cap on one of the beers before handing it over. "I'm sorry," she murmurs, a little more sincerely this time.

"Oh, look, Argus… bugs that fla-" Inez starts to point the glow bugs out to her grandson, ignoring Vasili's protest, but she breaks off when Yari seems to be having something close to a panic attack. "Yari?" she follows her daughter's gaze and then gives a shake of her head and holds onto to the younger woman's shoulder. "It's alright? It's just a patrol, protecting us. They're not here for anyone. It's alright."

Randy uses the water to rub her hands against each other, trying to get off the nastiness. Then she dips down a little into a crouch to work on the rest of the areas that got dirtied up. "Hey. It's fine. I'm over it. This water feels really good," she says, a little grin forming when Clara hands over a beer. "Thanks…nice swimming dress." She rises again, thoroughly soaked save for her hair. Then she kicks the beer back for a good swallow or two. "This planet is beautiful. Whoever picked this spot did well."

"Um.. sure.." Diaz replies with a curious glance at Ben as he hurries back to the tables, her brow furrowed a bit with curiosity to see him moving so fast back to the drink line. She moves one shoulder in a small shrug and turns back to watching the bug crawling over her hand then gently sets it down on the nearest tall stand of grass and lets it wander back off.

Meanwhile, as the water is stirred up by the presence of so many humans, and the cattle that are down stream and taking turns at the waters edge, the surface of the water is bestirred from the gentle current that moves the water between the shores. Small fish that dart in and out of the shallows burst in sudden darting paths to avoid the invasion. Amphibians of various types are leaping about, making noise, and worms are being uncovered by small hands, many of which are chucked into the river, some of which are (to the resigned annoyance of parental units) eaten by the small children. Mm-hmmm slimy. As Randy wades into the water she stirs the silt and rock layer of the river bed and something else stirs as well. Two eyes appear, a rounded head, and slowly - with ponderous gravitas - the body and tail emerge from the depths of the river and swims lazily for the surface. The large turtle swims at a steady, unhurried, ponderous pace until it crosses the river eventually several meters downstream and makes it's slow way out to rest in the grass on the other side.

In addition to geese poo there's now glowbug goo on Vasilis' shirt. This kid. He smears the offending carcass off his palm and flicks it into the dirt, no longer aware and/or caring that he's triggered a surge of panic in his mother over the damn dog with the big teeth, and all. He's moved on to other things, like taking a shrewd survey of what 'special' spread's been laid out for dinner, and all the while scuffs along a man's shoe MUCH too big for his left foot that 'wears' it.
"I KNOW!" Yari replies a little too loudly to Inez's reassurances and wards off her touch with a defensive hand. She's embarassed the moment she's done it, though, and ducks her head to pick something blindly from the table and hand it to the fifteen month old riding on hip. "Let's just…they need to eat, then sleep. I'll find a place out here to put them down." Until then, though, there is much foods to be had. And drink. Yari's lost in trying to figure out what's drinkable for the kids when she goes one distracted reach too far and hazards bumping into Ben.

While more of the livestock is being offloaded from the vehicles making trips to and from orbit, navigating the gravity well with unhappy animals on board, a whole unit of marines is busy putting up tents, hammering in tent stakes and moving to the next. And repeat. Several large tents are already up and smaller ones are built in neat, orderly, clearly defined rows between the large tents. There appears to be a set order and structure to the tents going up; after all, its the colonial marine corps. There's a plan, an outline, a guideline, schedule, blueprint for everything. Those with young children or the oldest of the civilians already on the ground are being directed toward the tents once they're prepped and provisioned. Those that want to sleep under the stars are also directed to where blankets and other weather-resistant bedding is passed out.

Ben looks for the same kind of drink he got Diaz the first time. Finding one that looks like it. He also finds what looks like water. He pops the last bite of his sandwich into his mouth and takes the bottle in hand, turning back to tents going up and slowly shakes his head. He walks back to the Diaz and hands her the cup of what looks like what she had before. He takes the cap off the bottle and tilts it up so the liquid pours into his open mouth. Not touching the bottle with his lips, he swallows twice before leaning forward to cough, "That is moonshine!" His voice choked by the fumes of the drink. He is caught off guard and starts to cough, holding the open bottle away from his body as far as he arm will stretch. Bent over, free hand at his throat, fingers together and rising to his open mouth. Coughing.

Quickly reaching out to take the bottle with its fumes away from Cross, Diaz snags the cap as well and twists it back into place while keeping an careful eye on the Raptor pilot. "Slow breath," she says in a low voice, brow furrowed again, "it just feels like your throat is paralyzed, it'll pass," using one hand to brace on Ben's shoulder just in case he starts to tip over.

Clara relinquishes the beer bottle, faint smile encroaching gradually at the corners of her lips. She pops the top off the second one, and takes a long swig. "Mmhm." Back of her hand drawn across her lips as she watches Randy wash off. And then.. "Ssh." She points at the slow-moving turtle swimming away from them, between the reeds.

"Par—" But he's off! Off and choking, shortly. Yari watches Ben's sputtering with mild alarm, but the fact that he's coughing means that he IS sucking in some air, right? Diaz has got him though, it'd seem. Diaz! The mint lady! Hastily snatching a juice (maybe) for herself after securing cups in kids' hands, the Corpsman marches her brood over that way.

"Mmm. Tastes even better after that moo-" Randy cuts herself off, lifting her tone at the end as if asking a question. She freezes, slowly pulling her beer towards the center of her chest where she can hold it oh so very still with both hands as her eyes track the emerging creature. At first her heart beats fast, the reflections paying tricks on her eyes. But then when she realizes what it is, the Marine's lips curl up into an almost goofy smile as she watches the turtle go on its way and settle onto the grass. She tries to drift back closer to Clara and leans to whisper, "Did you see how he was just like, don't give a frak? Gonna go right over here," she says in a lowered voice. "That thing's so frakking cute," she says softly while shaking her head, looking after the turtle, and then taking a sip of her beer.

Once the larger turtle is settled there's smaller ripples from the river and not one but several smaller turtles emerge as well. Several end up much further down river and wander around looking a little bewildered before heading in the right direction. Water beads up and rolls off the shiny and new looking shells. One of the more comical ones is trying to eat a rock while another one succeeds in eating a glow bug instead.

Ben is finally able to swallow and the burn fades enough for him to breath, he straitens up, stretches his neck with a slight tilt of his head, and clears this throat. "Thought it was water." He pulls another careful breath and clears his throat again. I think I'm going to go back to my Raptor. I'd feel a bit better having …" He looks around slightly, "…walls around me." He give Diaz a nod and says in a slightly weak voice, "Sleep well, enjoy your glowbugs." Starting to move towards the ship he arrived in.

Clara actually wades in a bit deeper, bottle held up and out of the water as she tracks the slow-moving amphibian's egress. Randy's shot another glance as she leans in to whisper something, and soft laughter goes up from the Three. "Don't mind me," comes out in a fake baritone. "Here, hold my beer." Assuming Randy obliges, she promptly slips under the water, then pops back up again a few moments later. "..shit! That's cold."

Randy chuckles lightly at Clara and she takes Clara's beer for her. "Exactly…Right." She takes another sip as she watches Clara, the smile still crinkling at her eyes. "What you didn't feel it over here?" she teases lightly, the woman whose body runs like a furnace. "Don't scare them away," she hisses softly, presumably to not scare them away. Ben moves to his ship where he feels more at home.

Looking up as she spots the corpsman… and kids! heading this way, Diaz beams a smile at the corspman even as Ben is leveling off and she hears him clear his throat. "Oooh, well no. The fumes, that's sort of a dead give away," she notes even as she nods, giving a slight grimace at the thought of having to sleep within walls. "Really? Over fresh air? Ok," she manages as Ben starts to walk away. She turns toward Yari in the process of watching Ben head away, "Hi. Are these your kids?" curiosity and a bit of awed fascination in her tone of voice.

"Um, newsflash, I think we already did." Scare the turtle away, that is. Clara makes grabby hands for her beer. "I'm getting out of here. Are you done washing off?" Her bangs are swiped out of her eyes, and her teeth chatter a little as they both stand waist-deep in the water.

Safely on the other side of the river, the larger of the turtles is placidly chewing on the leaf of some sort of broad leafed plant (genus unknown) while the smaller turtles are chasing after a variety of bugs. The one that appears determined to eat a rock manage to pick it up, then spits it out, only to go after it again. Sometimes the learning curve is steep, sometimes it's a silly slide. As the sun continues to set there's a distinctive uptick in the sound of insects buzzing, humming, whirring, and in general making noises of all kinds. Larger fish are rising to the surface of the water to catch insects. Frogs and other things are leaping through the tall grass, also chasing after bugs. Best of all, however, is sunset. How many times does anyone person get a chance to see a sunset for the first time on a brand new world?

The sounds get louder for Randy. It's been awhile since she's had to drown out the sounds of the countryside at nighttime. After awhile it became like her white noise to go to sleep by, but now she's re-sensitized to it. Somewhat distracted when Clara's question comes her way, her eyes slip to the colors that begin to crack into the sky. "Aye." Green eyes flick towards the Three and she hands her her beer. "It's really cold let's go." She even sounds like she's talking just a touch louder. She starts to work her way out of the water, her body working its way into shivers finally. When a furnace gets wet and goes dark, good luck getting it started again.

"Two of them, Ma'am," Yari also keeps an eye after Ben, but just for a sec. Then it's back to the wee ones. "Argus is with his…" well. It seems so much more complicated now than it should be, "…grandmother." The 31 yr old, Lt Sawyer, over there. They could be mother and son, far as anyone else'd known, chasing after glowbutt bugs. "It seems so strange, this. These children…" she's looking to the few refugee ones still lingering about in what drowsy light remains. "Some of their faces I remember from MY childhood. We were friends, I think. Yet they stayed so small, as I grew…and now they play with my sons. This is my oldest, Vasilis," a gesture to the steely-eyed boy with blond hair, "and little Ionia." The baby on her hip is too busy cramming the same fistful of doughy biscuit into her mouth to pay Diaz much mind, Vasilis, on the otherhand, is ignoring his sandwich in favor of sizing the other woman up. He eyes her warily, and with all the bravado a six year old can muster, demands to know "How do /you/ know my Mum?"

Noting Randy's distraction, Clara watches her carefully, the Three's breath coming in short little huffs between shivers. Her beer is tipped back for a long pull, and she swallows, nodding once as Randy finally concedes. A few fireflies skim the air at the water's edge, painting tiny trails of light in their wake. Clara's dark eyes follow them as she wades toward shallower water, churning up mud as she trails along after the little EOD.

"That must be strange," Diaz agrees as she glances from child to child, fixing name to child as each are introduced. She glances towards Inez then back to Yari with a slow nod. "It was kind of the Captain and her people to do what they could to protect as many as they could for so long. And to give those kids a chance to wake up and have the chance to still be kids with their parents." She stares down at the young Vasilis then takes a knee to be eye level when she answers. "I'm a pilot, you see. And when I got hurt a few weeks ago, your mom helped take care of me so that I could get better faster and go back to being a pilot. Your mum is a good medic. It's an important job and she helps people get better."

Randy walks right up and out of the water. Then she grabs her socks and shoes to wait for Clara. Socks and shoes don't just grow on trees these days. "Come on. I think we can get a blanket and if we're lucky a little tent. She lifts her beer bottle for a liberal, enthusiastic pull. When it starts to dribble slightly down her chin, Randy quickly decides that's enough, letting the bottle tip back down. She wipes her mouth with the back of her wrist, but it is wet with river water. "So frakking cold," she whispers to herself in mid hop. She briefly gets distracted by the fireflies as she trembles from the chill.

"Let's just.. warm up by the fire first," Clara implores, bottle dangling from her fingers as she pads along after Randy. Her boots are snagged on her way by, but she's in no rush to pull them on; bare feet in the mud, in the long grass, seem to suit her just fine for the moment. Little Ionia is given a wistful look on her way by, and Vasilis something suspiciously resembling a wink. A wink, from the surly Three of all people. Then she slides an arm around Randy and leans in to murmur something softly as they walk.

There's no awe or wonder to be found in the boy's stare. It's a very grownup sort of suspicion that narrows his eyes at the inbound, stooping Diaz and he looks over his shoulder at his mother. Yari offers a very weak smile back to the child, and passes her juice cup tentatively to the few fingers free under Ionia's chubby thigh so that she may try and brush some hair out of his eyes. "Well, we're /here/ now, so she doesn't have to stay on the ship anymore," he says with imagined authority, and looks Diaz hard in the eye. "I'm the pater now, and I say that she needs to stay home, to feed the baby. They were feedin' her poison, they were, on that ship! She hated it! It weren't milk, and babies are supposed to drink /milk/!" he admonishes with a definitive point to Yari's chest. He knows what women are for. Daddy taught him well.
As for Yari, well…she's looking on in sadness and horror at the little boy who used to be her pride and joy. "Shh," she begs, but Clara's wink happens to catch him at the end of his tirade and he bristles all anew, hands balling into little fists at his side with a great, deep breath prepared to launch a new attack at the passing stranger.

"Fire. Good idea." Randy looks back to watch Clara, catching her little interactions with the children. She smiles softly and turns back as Clara slides into place. The smile grows a bit at whatever the Three says as they make their way to where the fire is now kicking. People have been at it for about seven minutes and it's starting to really cook now. "Why do you think my mind was on getting a blanket or a bed?" She pulls them both down to the ground to warmed by the heat. But the outburt of the boy, Randy can hear it over all those nighttime noises. She looks back over her shoulder in his direction and then turns back to the fire. "Do you have any beer left?" She kicks hers back to finish it off.

"Hmm, well that's a funny thing. Why would people feed poison to a baby? Aren't babies supposed to get the best stuff so they can grow up big and strong?" Diaz wonders, staying eye level with Vasilis. "You're right, no one has to stay on the ships anymore, at least if you're a kid you don't have to. But there's a lot of things adults have to do that kids don't have to do," the viper pilot agrees even as she's rising to her feet again and dusts the knee of her fatigue trousers off, glancing to Yari with a small nod paired with a faint curve of a supportive smile. "It'll take time. If we break the cycle early enough, then this generation won't pass it along to the next, or so I'm told." She glances back down to Vasilis and his angry little face. "It was nice meeting you, all of you. And thank you for coming to help Ben so quickly," she adds with a nod again to Yari. "I think I'm going to go see if I can help move cows. I think they call it herding. It sounds like fun And they're not as noisy as the chickens."

Clara's face falls a bit at the little boy's reaction. She's stuck in a memory for a moment there, drawn along with Randy but not really hearing what the woman is saying. "Uh.." A little shake of her head as if to clear it, and she tips her bottle to glance inside. "A bit? Here." It's handed over as she settles in next to Randy, cheek to the marine's shoulder. A flickered smile at mention of some place warm to sleep; how heavenly that sounds right now.

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