AWD #403: Libran Revelations Pt 1
Libran Revelations Pt 1
Summary: Knox plays chauffeur in some new digs and escorts the recon team down to Libran. The team follows a One to an encampment and investigates. Kapali and Randy play spotlight with skinjobs and lose.
Date: 30/07/2016
Related Logs: http://battlestarorion.wikidot.com/secret-secret-hush-hush-hush
Amos Clara Dreyer 
Kapali Mallas Randy 
Libran
See log body…
14/02/2006

There's a lot of secrecy surrounding the mission and exactly what is going on - unless you're going on it. Except how the arrival works. Marines had to get ready several hours before launch and then they were shuffled off to a Raptor and jumped back to Picon of all places. Once at Picon the group is led to a hangar at the edge of the parking ramps. Security was tight. MP's patrolled and there are even a couple of dogs working with them. Given where the base's condition was 3 months ago, it and the people here have come a long way. But what's inside the hangar is a little more surprising. It's a Cylon heavy raider with the minigun on the front and a rack of missiles. Who else to fly it? There's a Six standing there in a colonial flightsuit with a helmet and vest, but the smile on his face is hard to confuse with any other skinjob's: Sergeant Cooper Knox.

Once in the air, the full debrief falls while Knox flies them out. Part of the fleet will be jumping in right after them and hitting Libran. The basestars there will be blown out of orbit and a huge swath of the EMP emitters in orbit will be destroyed, too. It's going to require som precision shooting at maximum deflection to avoid hitting the planet, but it has to look good. So just before the jump, Knox turns all the lights in the back cabin red and begins powering up the drive. "Captain Ommanney, jumping in ten." The skinjob up front levels the ship on some unseen horizon and flicks the Master Arm switch. "Sir, the Vipers have been told to chase us and shoot. Don't be alarmed by tracer fire outside the windows." Another switch is flicked. "Two. One. Jump."

The interior flashes with the light from outside and when it fades, there's a dull blue glow out front. It spreads out in front of them like an ocean. But beneath it, they can all recognize some of the land mass features of Libran. Point of no return. "Jump complete. Brace for chop. Mission clock lists twenty seconds to fleet arrival." There's the sensation of movement as the heavy begins its dive towards the EMP field.

Even though he was pre-briefed on the likely insertion method, Amos is still a touch unsettled by clambering -inside- a raider. Once he's checked his team are all onboard with their gear he drops silent, leaving the Six to get on with his part and only acknowleging the pertinant points that need it. As the warnign to brace comes he does just that, then looks down the compartment to ensure the others are doing the same. Once he's convinced they are, and only then, does he turn to get a view of his home planet out of the front screen.

Clara, squished somewhere between two jarheads in the back of the raider, has her eyes closed behind her helmet's faceplate, breath slightly fogging the transparent screen. Her knuckles may well be white beneath her gloves, but from the outside at least, she appears calm. Perhaps even asleep. There's only the softest hitch in her breathing as the stolen ship begins its dive, and her non-rifle hand goes to adjust her medkit one last time. Secure, but not inaccessible when things go south, as they surely will.

Private Mallas gears up for the mission much like any other — with a lot of complaining. "Join the Corps, see the Colonies," he grumbles. "Man, I was hoping I'd get to use that forty-eight hours pass before I got killed." Decked out in combat armor and helmet, he is armed with a rifle instead of his usual SAW, a lighter weapon leaving him more weight for ammo and supplies for this mission. The ride down to Picon is endured in relative silence, but the sight of that Heavy Raider they're going to ride? Not so much. "Oh frak me. What crazy ass officer thinks up this shit?" He passes their pilot with a smirk and shake of his head. "Hey skinny. Nice face." And then Mallas shuts up and straps in for the ride. His only job now is to be ready to jump out, on the off chance they make it down to the surface alive.

So this is that project Knox was working on. Dreyer is suitably impressed. Not every day someone gets tapped to ride in a Heavy Raider. In fact, just one day as far as he knows. This one. The man's been given an appropriate run-down of the laser comms system they'll have and the portion of it he gets to haul around for the op. Which does mean some of the others are 'fortunate' enough to have to share the weight of any of his supplies. Potentially longer op than usual, so- added weight to carry. The Sergeant is quiet after they take off… mostly because he's got himself conditioned to doze off pretty much as soon as he's strapped in. Hey, it's a skill. At least he's also conditioned to hold securely to his rifle and have a helmet on in advance, should the waters get too tumultuous.

With a shake of her head is how Randy ends up boarding that raider. Once boarded and settled, she nods to Amos when everyone else is in place. "Fun," she murmurs, but keeps a totally straight face as she braces. Her eyes widen as she catches the view of Aerilon. As the de facto engineer of this operation, she's kitted out with her general kit which means more than what a rifleman would carry. Her eyes drift towards all the other equipment each person is hauling. It's an idle habit, taking stock.

Just as the mission clock hits zero there's a red light on a panel and a display begins scrolling data. Knox's gloved hand starts pushing buttons on it. It's difficult to read what it is from more than a few feet, but it looks like some kind of encrypted code. That's when the DRADIS screen lights up with red contacts. Enemy. "Fleet jump complete. Here we go."

Cooper maneuvers the Raider sideways and towards the basestars and throttles up. He's barely completed the turn when rail gun rounds from the Orion's main guns sail past, heading downrange towards the basestars. Ahead, swarms or Raiders turn as one and begin heading their way. "Vipers have launched. Raiders are turning to engage." The blue glow begins to dim a bit as they start to turn towards it and dive, still accellerating. "One emitter down. Two. Three. Shit," the skinjob laughs. "They're dropping like flies. Baker Bay is firing proximity-fused rounds. They're taking out four or five Raiders at once. Emitters… down. We've got our door. Here we go." The Heavy Raider rolls hard to the right and there's the feel of subtle G-forces as the V is tested and he dives for the planet. 30mm Thraxon rounds from Vipers zing right past the windows as they push. The maneuvers to try and dodge aren't professional but they work well enough. They even chase the ship down towards the planet for two minutes before breaking off to hit the actual Raiders.

"Clear, sir. We're two minutes from insertion south of Yorrick. We've got several SAMs down here but none of them are locking on us, they're looking at the battle overhead. I think we're secure for the moment, sir."

Clara undoubtedly has a portion of Dreyer's load - in addition to her own - seeing as she's marginally less likely to be shot to pieces by the enemy, and in doing so get their precious comms equipment destroyed. It makes for a fair bit to lug around, particularly for such a slip of a girl. She looks vaguely sullen, but that could be for any number of reasons. A quick glance up front to try to gauge their progress toward Libran, and then her eyes drift shut again.

When all's said and done, riding out a space battle in the back of a raider isn't that different to doing the same in the back of a raptor, but that doesn't mean that Amos is entirely comfortable with proceedings though. The two minute warnign brings his mind back to business though and he starts issuing instructions. "Flynn, Mallas, you're out first. Then myself and Kapali. Dreyer, bring Mercier with you in the rear. Once we're down we make for the nearest cover and take stock. I want a secure perimeter and eyes out."

It might not be /that/ different from a raptor, but riding it's different enough for Randy to get her jollies out of it. A small quiet grin forms in the chaos of the maneuvers, though it fades in a moment as she's addressed by Amos as if being snapped out of a dream. "Yes sir." Randy nods repositions herself with the others so she can group up with Mallas. "Gods watch over you," Randy offers Mallas before she readies herself.

It's when the Raider tilts sidelong that Dreyer begins to stir. That's not norm- then there's the G-forces and the Sergeant blinks fully awake. "Well, frak," he mutters and lifts a hand to hold to the straps keeping him in place. It's a few more blinks and a glance towards the view of the planet they're aiming towards that brings him into full wakefulness. He's still blinking when Amos gives them the breakdown. There's a grunt of assent and he glances towards Clara, giving the medic a bit of an upnod. She has her very own bullet sponge! "Aye, sir," Anton adds, in regards to the perimeter.

Mallas watches what he can see of the space battle; that's not something a grunt gets to see every day. "We go all the way to Libran and the only fire we draw is friendly," he notes. There's a glance aside to his fellow Marines as they descend, mentally checking off who's along on this ride. Then he turns to listen to Amos' orders. "Aye aye, Captain." He knows the drill. Randy gets a curious look as they stack up by the ramp, and then Mallas nods to her. "Yeah … you too sarge. And the rest of you frakkers. So say we all."

The Raider slows down and flies more calmly. No hard maneuvers. A steady descent that feels like a peacetime ride. They aren't heading towards the briefed area for a seconds, but then a turn north takes them away from the capital and the foothills of the mountains. "Thirty seconds." Passing a few hundred feet, Cooper slows the Raider and circles an empty field once before bringing it in. The landing isn't perfect, but it does the job. The ramp drops right away annnnd…

…nothing. They're in an open field about 20m from a treeline on then north side, in the direction they need to travel. No line of Centurions waiting. No One's waiting for them. Just the sound of the Heavy Raider, some birds, and the breeze through the trees. About 1/4 mile away they can see a road and some long-abandoned cars that have been crushed and pushed off the the side. They've either begun to rust or they are mostly covered in dust and dirt. With the fading early-evening light, it's hard to make out. Luckily it isn't too warm. At this location on the planet the air just has a very slight chill. Mid to late Spring?

"That's my end on this, sir," Knox calls back, head turned to look back at Amos. "I've got orders to return to Picon. I have no idea who will be doing the pick-up. In the meantime? Good hunting, sir." He flashes a thumbs up and prepares to lift back off.

"So say we all," Amos echoes, then he's recheckign his gear and waiting for touch down. Once the hatch is down he takes a deep breath of the fresh air of home, returns Knox's thumbs up, then piles out behind Randy and Mallas as they make for the trees. "Lets get our bearings, then put some distance between us and this field while we still have the light with us," he notes once they're in cover, "Dreyer, get me a fix on our position."

Clara seeks out Dreyer when the pairings are called out, and meets his upnod with a blank stare and an infintessimal tic in her jaw. She's roused to movement by Knox's voice, and hefts her overloaded pack in preparation to bring up the rear. Rifle, check. P90, check. The sidearm isn't terribly common amongst groundpounders, but medical personnel often favour it for its versatility in situations requiring shooting one-handed.

As soon as the shudder of touchdown goes through the Raider, Dreyer is uncoupling his straps and doing a quick gear-check before moving to his feet. The man waits for everyone else to pass ahead of him. Even the medic. See? Her back has cover. "Thanks for the lift, Coop," the MP offers over his shoulder with a grin before heading down the ramp to the chilled Libran earth. Well, this is where full gear is nice. He's not breaking out in a sweat. Thank Kobol for small favors. "Yessir," Anton calls forward at Amos' request once they're out of the direct open and he can take a few moments to get their position without being a glaring target.

Mallas spares their pilot a quick look, but he is down the ramp as soon as the raider has landed and making for the trees. Expecting to be under fire, he runs with shoulders hunched and doesn't stop until he can take a knee just inside the edge of the woods. Then the Private lifts his rifle and scans the area, covering the rest of the team as they unload. Once they've regrouped he waits for the officer in charge to give instructions, nods to Amos, and gets ready to move out. "Thirty seconds and nobody shooting at us yet," he remarks.

"So say we all," Randy echos Mallas in support and out of habit. She unclips herself as soon as they touch down and pops up to head out with Mallas. She points towards the treeline after swinging her head around once for a look at their surroundings. Then she starts out towards the treeline, towards cover alongside Mallas. Well, at least she can keep up with him, even with the extra gear, mostly. She arrives a few paces behind him. "That was a good warmup," she remarks with a grin as she pulls her rifle to ready and watches the woods with Mallas.

Once they are all out, the hatch closes and the grav system pushes the Heavy off the ground. Landing struts retract and the ships slowly moves off and heads eastbound, keeping at low altitude and moving slowly. It might be smart to evac the area quickly, but Coop might want it to look like he's just meandering and looking for something. A landing wouldn't be suspected or suspicious.

Once he is gone the planet goes very quiet but for the sounds of nature. No contrails overhead, but there are low flashes of explosions that telltale the violence in space. But there are birds overhead and in the trees. The colony is quiet, as if just breathing and relaxing. The busy and official tone of Libran seems to have departed. Even their passive electronics seem to have little ability to do much except boot up. There's nothing here. No radio signals to be heard, no phone coverage, not even the sound of distant vehicles.

Peaceful though it may appear, Specialist Mercier has no intention of being complacent. Head down, she sets off for the treeline with as much speed as she can muster, ensuring she remains slightly ahead of Dreyer at all times and with a full view of the rest of her unit.

It's about as quiet as Piraeus and Dreyer notes as much. "Could practically be on Piraeus except for-" he gestures with compass towards the rusted vehicles in the distance. The man is crouching at the edge of the treeline so he can make sure he has a more accurate read of the map. "We're right on target for drop-off, Captain. Ten miles south of Yorrick." He folds the map at a few angles so that their current location and their destination are the focus. Retreating into the trees a bit further to pause by Amos, he holds it for the officer to see map and compass. Index finger extends. "Thataway."

Amos smiles faintly to Mallas and nods a couple of times, "and if all goes to plan Private, they won't." How much he expects to make it in and out that easily he doesn't share, but it's a fine aim. With Dreyer working on their position he says to the others, "we'll move off as soon as we're sure exactly where we are. We're aiming for Yorick, the oldest settlement on Libran. The toasters have taken quite a shine to the area and we want to know why. All indications are that they're looking for something, and our job is to find out what that is because they're going to a lot of trouble for it." As Dreyer rejoins them he glances to the map, studies it for a moment, then nods hsi agreement. "We're going to be doing this old school, compasses, maps, hand signals, so keep your eyes open and remain alert. Quick and quiet is the aim so lets get some miles between us and the LZ before we stop for the night." Then, specifically to Mallas, "Private, you're point, Dreyer with him to keep him going straight. Flynn you're vanguard. Any questions?"

Mallas watches their ride fly away with a grimace. "Here's hoping, sir." he responds to the Captain, then shuts up long enough to hear the mission objective and the plan. Mallas nods his understanding and grumbles, "Aye aye." Of course he's on point. Hefting his rifle he looks to the comms Sergeant / navigator, ready to move out once Dreyer is done.

Randy shakes her head no to Amos, falling into the habit of keeping quieter now as they start to dig into the next part of the mission. She checks the mag of her rifle and reloads it before looking up and scanning for Mercier. She grins and says, "I'm either with you or behind you. Whatever," it's all fine to her.

The first hour on the ground is always the most nerve-wracking. Minutes pass like hours and every single sound is scrutinized by the mind. Paranoia keeps people alive. But as it passes there seem to be no indication that anyone is even aware of where they are. Or that they are even there. No low flyovers, no 'random' patrols. Everything seems tranquil for the time. The further they move, though, the more apparent it is that they are not going to be randomly discovered. This area of the colony is very sparsely populated and by the time they stop for rest overnight, they still have not even seen a single sign of humanity. Not even a candy bar wrapper. The overhead cover of trees keep them well-hidden from thermal scans, too. Much like the ones that inhabit Piraeus, they're ghosts - even if more corporeal versions of them.

The second day see's no break in the slowly rising ridges and terrain. The ten miles seems like fifteen or more simply because they are clearly getting into the mountains. As they crest the side of one ridge, they can look right up the river valley, eyes north, and almost make out Yorrick. The bend in the river valley is right there. It's here that they encounter their first sign of humanity: A couple of cattle standing at a dirty, disgusting water tank (over-sized puddle). Both are branded. The view, though, is breathtaking and it is easier to understand why this area was chosen for one of the first settlements. Looking north, the mountains rise out of the terrain in majesty that reminds almost anyone of the Gods. They can be seen for miles a they move, though, approaching their designated observation post on the east side of the valley so they can look down into the town from a mile or so out.

Having been to Yorrick as a youngster Amos knows the view is spectacular, but that doesn't mean the reminder doesn't cause him to pause in his tracks at the site. A prayer is muttered to Athena, the Lady of the coloney and he takes a moment to breathe deeply and just enjoy the view before he has to go back to work once more. "Our target is just down there," he indicates towards the bend in the river. We've been lucky so far, but from here on out we could be facing centurians, human forms, jacks, brainwashed colonists, or even just survivors so eyes and ears open."

By the time they reach that ridge, Dreyer is muttering complaint about the weight of his gear. Radios aren't light. And one doesn't often have to carry days of supplies on top of it. For the Sergeant, this is actually the first such live op in which he's had to deal with such a loadout for so long. He's back in position just behind Mallas' left shoulder; right hand on the butt of the rifle that rests on its sling at his chest. Left holding compass and map in a carefully folded arrangement so he can reference it frequently and make adjustments to their trajectory. Anton is enjoying the view himself when Amos speaks up, drawing his attention (reluctantly) away. "Aye, sir." Since they can see - albeit in the distance - their target, he refolds the map to a compact square and tucks it away in a breast pocket along with the compass. Both hands comfortably on the rifle now.

Randy is too busy hacking up something into a spit in the rear to enjoy the view just yet. She isn't that loud or obvious about it, well as obvious as one can be covering up their mouth with their hand. Her other hand is still on her rifle. That over and done with, her quick prayer is a few hushed words to two fingers to her lips while taking a knee. Then she touches each boot before rising up to listen to the Captain. "Will do."

Clara trudges along somewhere in the middle of the pack, uncomplaining but clearly not too thrilled about being here. She's stopped occasionally, when given the opportunity, to soothe her saddle sores with some sort of smelly ointment that presumably does something for the blisters. And then they're on the move again, and she bears her discomfort in silence. The sight of the river valley below gives her momentary pause, but this is no time for reminiscing; she humps it along with the others, with a mumbled "yessir".

Mallas gets progressively quieter as the hike gets more vertical and day one on Libran turns into day two. Nothing to do but plod along in the direction Dreyer indicates, and keep his eyes out for a whole lot of nothing. "Anybody else want some steak?" he asks when they encounter the cattle. But he leaves them alone in the end. Then when they stop to admire the view up the valley, the Private is grinning to himself. "Kinda reminds me of home," he remarks to no one in particular. Then he squints toward the distant haze as Amos points out the objective. "Aye Captain," he acknowledge Amos' instructions, takes a quick hit of water from his canteen, and makes ready to set off again.

It's another hour to get to and carefully approach their obersvation post (OP) and get settled. They have to adjust juuust slightly north to have clear view through the trees, but the site provies them the ability to watch trffic that might be coming and going from the town on the road. The floor of the forest is soft and fragarant, smelling of wet terra and old growth, easy to dig in. The trees overhead smell of fresh pine and the clean air lightly salted with the granite peaks and the dust that blows off them sometimes. It reminds them all so much of Piraeus but this does feel like home. This is Libran. Nobody seems to know they are there and there's a sense of freedom attached to that.

The view into the town provides a very nice and easy to understand layout, though. There is a single road that runs north-south through the river valley, with the river on the far side of the town and road from them. The town is about four blocks deep and ten long. Most of the main highway through downtown is home to a few four-story hotels and several shops geared towards outdoor activities. Gas stations. A supermarket that looks like it- is still in business? Weird. It is still late in the day and it looks like people are out and about. There are no moving cars, though. Most of the traffic looks to be on foot but there are also two dozen or so people moving on horses. One pair of them is each towing the cut-away bed of a truck like a wagon behind them. Only one car, parked at the market, looks like it has moved in the last year or more.

<FS3> Amos rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Dreyer rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Mallas rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Randy rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Once they hunker down in their post, Dreyer quickly checks their new position and gets a rough idea of where they're located in relation to the region of sky their laser comms will need to be pointed at. The backpack is slid off and used as a backing to settle in and bring rifle to shoulder to view down the scope at the town below. "Captain," he offers in a quiet voice. "Shall I send a quick all-clear to the sat so they know we made it this far, or do you want me to hold off?" The query proffered as they observe below. He does chime in, after a moment. "I think the population numbers may be off. There's not enough people nor houses for the reported twelve hundred."

Amos has a small pair of field glasses and takes advantage of reaching their designated spot the have a look about. As Dreyer speaks to him though he lowers them carefully and shakes his head. "Radio silence for now, I might just be being paranoid Sereant, but I don't want to do anything that might give our presence away, however unlikely." The second comment, about the town, is met with a slow nod. "We don't know much about whats been going on down here for the last twelve months. There will have been deaths during the initial invasion, other since, and any local resistance forces will likely not be out in the open either. It's also possible people are being used as a labour force elsewhere, but it's something we can keep an eye out for."

Mallas too takes a scan of the town below through his rifle scope. "Some of those people have frakking bow and arrows, but I don't see any guns." Haven satisfied his initial curiosity, the grunt goes to dump his pack and start getting comfortable in the OP. Clearly he's assuming they're going to be here a while, and maybe he can sneak in some shut-eye while the Captain is busy with the important stuff.

Before the war began, Randy was usually posted at high target areas, places where there were lots of people, urban, high density or high profile. The strange feeling of freedom doesn't settle quite right with her. It bristles some deep paranoia in her that everything is to strangely perfect. And then there's the surreal town of people living pre-car. She falls into a stare, eyes drifting towards the grocery store where they settle. She squints, lifts her rifle to look through the scope. Her breath slows in those brief moments before she says, "There's a One. He's in a black truck and it's heading…northbound," she lowers her rifles scope and then lifts it again, "towards the mountains. Frak. He had a bag and I think he's packing but it was hard to see. Damn Frakker thinks he's the star of some Western flick."

<FS3> Kapali rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Clara has neither a rifle scope nor binoculars, so lets the jarheads do the recon work. She, meanwhile, is taking stock (again) of her supplies as well as some much needed rest from hauling around that massive pack. She doesn't dare strip down to her tanks, but she does have her helmet off to air the sweat out.

Of the many joys of being a marine, humping half her body weight in gear into and then potentially out of combat is just one of those joys. Maybe not ACTUALLY half her body weight but Kapali makes sure that her mental grumble uses that phrase EVER time. Hunkered down, like everyone else, Kapali is eyeing the terrain and surround, panning the scope from side to side then panning back, adjusting the resolution subtly then breathing a low voiced remark into the comm. "Sniper, tree line, sighting down towards the town," she uses one hand to pinpoint precisely where she's spotted the gleam off of the rifle that the potential sniper is holding.

Of the many joys of being a marine, humping half her body weight in gear into and then potentially out of combat is just one of those joys. Maybe not ACTUALLY half her body weight but Kapali makes sure that her mental grumble uses that phrase EVER time. Hunkered down, like everyone else, Kapali is eyeing the terrain and surround, panning the scope from side to side then panning back, adjusting the resolution subtly then breathing a low voiced remark, passing the word along marine to marine, old fashioned no strings or tin can style. "Sniper, tree line, sighting down towards the town," she uses one hand to pinpoint precisely where she's spotted the gleam off of the rifle that the potential sniper is holding.

Randy's truck that she pointed out is the only moving vehicle. It heads northbound on the highway out of town, bypassing all the dark intersection lights. It hits a dirt road about a mile up and turns left. The truck moves over a bridge and then heads up into the hills. Dust clouds kick up behind it, pointing in the dorection of travel as it moves around a ridgeline.

Across the valley, the camouflaged individual is sitting at a decent hide at a tree with a rifle aimed down at the town. There are two people there, though. The camo job is down well but is angled properly that from the town it probably looks natural but from the angle across the distance, the Marine team can make ut the shooter. There is something behind them, larger, but its farther into the trees and harder to make out. The two figures don't appear to be moving, just sitting there and watching. At almost a mile and a half away, getting their attention would probably be impossible. And several of the skinjobs warned about radio communications.

"I've got our position sorted should we need to send a message. I can't really give you a precise window for how long it'd take me to get it setup." A bit of earnest honesty there. Dreyer got a sort of quick and dirty rundown on how the thing works and was even reading over a compact manual before turning in the night before. It's not the most common sort of kit, after all. He does seem to agree with Amos' own assessment, giving a quick nod. "The folks I saw looked well enough. No one's starving. But if any are being taken off to labor camps or similar… it could be a system of rewarding those who fall in line." He does snort at Randy's assessment, but adjusts his own positioning nonetheless. Both to try to pick up on the aforementioned truck and to make sure he's well-situated should it come to live fire. He looks briefly away from the truck to where Kapali has pointed out the rifle. "Their side or ours?" It's spoken half to himself… half to those near them. "Could be resistance." Wouldn't that be handy?

Amos doesn't seem particularly phased by the news that there is a One present, although he does lift his binoculars again to get a sighting himself. "Any humanforms should be assumed to be hostile," he notes, "the lines we've made pregress with have all been banned from the surface, and our information suggests only Ones, Fives, and Tens are present in anything other than token numbers. We don't yet ahve visual IDs for Fives and Tens, but both lines are reported to be female in appearance. Centurian presence is high, although possibly more in the cities. That's one thing we have to keep an eye on." The spotting of the sniper shifts his attention to Kapali though and he looks to where she's spotted the figure. "That there, I suspect, is a member of the local resistance. They're said to be armed and extreemly paranoid." Then, back to Dreyer, "check the map, what is to the north along that road. While making contact with the locals would be nice, finding out what the cylons are doing is our main objective. So lets see fi we can work out where that One is headed."

Randy glances over towards Kapali and then out to where she notes the sniper is. "This place is surreal," she murmurs under her breath. "So basically, just be ghosts…" she sums up her take on the Captain's words until he starts talking about the resistance.

Absorbing the news as it's relayed, Kapali continues to slowly study the surrounding terrain, lingering first on the sniper possibly resistance possibly mannequins dressed up and decked out to scare away would be poachers. Who knows. She lingers briefly on the sight of the people fishing, "Wonder what sort of fish they're pulling out of the river," she murmurs then exhales a breath at Dreyer's question. "Terribly good questions, Sarge, but short of walking over and asking, nice like, no way to know from here until or unless they start shooting at us or the folk down there." She shares a glance sidelong with Randy, a quick flash of a grin, "Surreal and certain to be not what we expect, at some point." She shifts her focus forward again and says, "Sir, gotta say, they're not the only ones well armed and extremely paranoid, all due respect."

Mallas is busy taking a nap, slumped back against his pack, which is in turn propped at the base of a tree. He may be dosing, but the rifleman still has his helmet on and his weapon across his lap. Seeing Clara going through her gear, he cracks an eye to peer at her for a moment. But seeing her dour expression is enough to convince Mallas to keep his mouth shut. At least for now.

Balancing his rifle against his knee as he settles back, Dreyer reaches into his breast pocket to retrieve the map. It's unfolded so he can trace the roadway, then refolded so that Amos can see. "The road heads to a park with campgrounds. Looks like it was named for a mine-" gesture, "Tahbaw Mine Park." Mulling over what they know and what the map details, he continues after a brief glance and smirk in Kapali's direction. "Roughly a century ago it was a ski resort, but the map just denotes it as ruins now." He pauses, eyes going distant as he makes a quiet, thoughtful sound. "Map and intel didn't say anything about the state of the mine. Just that it's old and the park was named for it."

"Mine?" Randy steps forward, pushing through to get to Dreyer. "I haven't been to any on Aerilon but I have some experience in mining. But if they're doing something freaky in a disused mineshaft, they might want to be careful…wear protection." She offers a little grin.

"A mine," Amos replies with a smile that suggests he might not mean the next words out of his mouth, "how lovely." As Randy pushes through he eyes the Sergeant for a moment then shifts slightly so she can see the map. "How far north?" he asks, so he can work out how long it'd take to get there, "I don't recall any mention of it so there's likely not any known significance. Looks like we ahve a target though, so lets take on food, plan our route, and get ready to move out. Corporal," he adds to Kapali, "keep an eye on our friends, let me know if their situation changes."

"Wonder if they have any working lifts, would be interesting to use as over watch if they were up and running," Kapali muses even as she continues to pan slowly over the surround but focuses on the terrain around the snipers/other-team primarily. "Depending on the relative stability of the mine and the structural integrity of the mining shafts, it might make a decent fall back, should we have need of one. That said, sir, retired mines are retired for a reason," and she glances sidelong to Randy again. "It could be mined out, or the shafts collapsed or any other number of things, the least of which would be that the air quality could be dangerous," this noted aloud she keeps her focus trained on the task at hand.

"Depends on whether it's still just a mine or…" Dreyer shrugs, angling the map so Randy can see. Park, named for the mine, noted as ruins. "The Cylons have had a year here. If there is a labor camp, it seems a pretty good candidate." Once the Captain and engineer have had a chance to look over the map, he unfurls it enough to be able to start plotting potential routes from the ridge they're occupying and the park itself. He becomes rather focused on the grease pencil and the route potentials he's marking out than that whole food thing. After a bit, chewing at a meal replacement bar, the MP notes out of the side of his mouth. "Got the best option here," holding up the map so Amos can see the line traced. "Couple of hours, roughly, if we play it safe. We'll have to cross the river. Snipers may spot us, but they could anyway if they've got thermal, so I count it as an acceptable risk in this case."

"Running mines have routine quality checks," is all Randy follows up with while keeping eye contact with Kapali as if the reason there are checks should be obvious. "It won't matter why it was abandoned, unless it was made into a theme park." She nods to the Captain and then the Corporal. She pulls back to be behind all the others, back to her position.

"Trangulate the sniper's position and mark it onthe map so we can keep track. If we're going to cross the river I want to be able to check and see what they're looking at before we go in." Hopefully still the town, but who knows. "Everyone else, grab a drink and a snack and prepare to move out."

Clara is still meticulously going through her medical gear while the others jaw about what to do next. She may know her way around guns reasonably well, but strategic planning is not her forte. A few bundles of gauze are unrolled and re-rolled, syrettes arranged in pockets of her armour in such a fashion that if she needs to pull one quickly to prevent a marine from freaking out, she won't be impeded by having to dig for it. Lastly, her P90's clip is double-checked. Only then does she glance over at Mallas and give him that dour look. Sunshine and rainbows, that's Mercier.

Kapali gives another, careful, nod as she works up the position of the sniper on the other side of the river and calls out the coordinates to Dreyer to mark on the map. "If there's a sniper on that side of the river in the tree line, they might have a mirror on this of the water line as well," there's that paranoia rearing it's pesky head.

"Copy." Once Kapali's called out the coordinates of the snipers, Dreyer makes a note on the map, as well as some calculations in regards to their expected crossing point and the line of sight the snipers (or whathaveyou) will have on them at that juncture. "Got it marked, sir. We'll review once we reach the river." The map is carefully folded and tucked back into his breast pocket. Dreyer takes a few moments to finish the bar and have a long drink of water. He shoulders his pack again and does a final check over gear before shifting upright, tucked in against a tree, to await the orders to move out.

"Not having fun yet?" Mallas asks the corpsman with a smirk. Then he looks up-slope to where the others are peering over the ridge line. "You want my advice? Enjoy the break. Chance are we're going right back down this mountain that we just climbed up." Then he takes a second to follow his own advice, looking up at the sky and listening to the breeze through the pines.

<FS3> Mallas rolls Stealth: Failure.
<FS3> Randy rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Amos rolls Stealth: Success.
<FS3> Clara rolls Stealth: Success.
<FS3> Dreyer rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Kapali rolls Stealth: Good Success.

Clara lifts her shoulders slightly. "Not that I asked for your advice, but I am." She hefts a strap through its buckle and cinches it tight. "Enjoying the break. It's what we're going to find down there that I'm not so sure of."

Climb up the mountain. Hike down. It takes a little bit to get down because the map was wrong and what looked like a decent section was actually a run of scree and ankle-eating loose rock. No way. Heading well north of the town was fairly easy, though. The only person who came close was a young woman in her late teens with an infant in a home-made papoose and a crossbow. She was clean but her clothes looked pretty distressed like maybe they had seen some hard use in the last year. Duct tape on her boots. heading further into the mountains, its likely she lives out there.

Crossing the river was easy enough but they discovered the one big problem: They could no longer see the two shooters on the side of the mountain. The hide was nearly invisible from this angle and there was just no way to see anything up there. Luckily, though, nobody shoots at them and the river is crossed with minimal difficulty over the bridge. Crossing in the water, once at the side, would be impossible. It's simply too deep, too cold, and too fast. Moving parallel to the road takes another two hours to get up into the area of the park and the campground. The signs are everywhere. There are even overgrown trails and markers, old firepits, everything. The ski resort's ruins are, indeed, still there. The hotel looks to have burned to the ground a long time ago because only the concrete base and cellars remain. A few of the other steel and wooden buildings still have frames, but little else. However, they're able to spot a section of road, through the grass, where there are vehicle tracks heading further up the mountain. Following them, they eventually arrive at a small laager for the trucks. No cars. Just private trucks. The license plates mostly list Caprica origins. Apparently they were shipped in.

The laager sits on a semi-flat outcropping from the mountain and there are tents and a lot of amenities set up there including a large green military surplus surgical tent. Overall, things are quiet, but there's a lot of exposed ground between the edge of the woodline and that carpark with its dozen or so trucks. About 200 yards over overgrown grass. And looking upslope at it, there's no way to see what else is up there.

Mallas just grins back to Clara. "Hey, when the time the Fates have given you runs out, it runs out. Until then, what have you got to worry about?" And then he's on his feet once the order to move out is given. Sure enough, over the mountain and down the other side. On point, the Private manages to kick down some of that loose scree on the hillside before it is decided that way isn't practical. And then it's just another hike. At least they don't have to wade that freezing stream. Reaching the end of the line, Mallas lies down at the edge of the trees, raising up just enough to peer over the tall grass. "Looks like the Cylons like camping in the mountains," he says softly. "Who knew?"

Amos eyeing the trucks from inside the treeline Amos summons the sergeants for a quick planning session, leaving Mallas, Kapali, and Clara to keep watch. "Ideally," he starts, "we want to cut round it and see whats on the other side without anyone in there knowing we're here. If we can't get round, then we need to wait for dark to give us the best chances. Until we know if we can go round though we need to keep close watch, see if the One we saw earlier is about, or any other hostiles. Did anyone get a good enough look at his truck to tell if it's one of the ones here?"

"Not my fault! Map was off." This is Dreyer's muttering as they encounter the loose rock and dangerous descent. Newp. He is able to redirect easily enough, having taken up his spot at the pointman's left shoulder once again. Once they're following the truck tracks, the Sergeant tucks the map away and draws his rifle up against his shoulder. The muzzle is still angled a bit downward, but he's ready lest something pop out. Once they're within sight of the encampment, he moves nearer to Amos once summoned. "Well." This looks fun. He nods along with the assessment, but looks to Randy with the query.

Keeping watch, for what ever reason, suits Kapali's nerves just fine, her healthy paranoia level has her keeping watch on the terrain they've already covered while panning from side to side, up for a healthy tick then back down again. She's taken a knee in the tall grass, letting what breeze there is help evaporate some of the sweat, taking a tiny sip from one of the canteens she's carrying. Each sound is noted, catalog, then marked as 'status normal' accordingly, taking the respite for what it is.

It's easier going last, since it allows one to see everyone else screw up. That keeps Randy from messing around with the loose bits of gravel. Once they arrive at the treeline and she's summoned, she makes her way to the Captain and nods. "I did sir." She steps away to lift her rifle as if to double check something she'd already spotted. Then she lowers her rifle and returns to the small group to say, "Yep. It's there."

Amos eyes the truck as Randy confirms it's presence, then eyes the sky. "Okay, lets back a little further into the woods and rest up until it's darker. Two people here on watch at all times incase the situation changes. I'll go first with Kapali, then one of you and Mallas come and relieve us in an hour. I see no point exposing ourselves on that open ground in broad daylight when there's human forms about."

Randy moves back and shrugs to Kapali. "Your on first watch with the Captain," she informs the Corporal as they fall back deeper into the treeline. She ends up dropping her pack at the base of a tree and settles down to dig around the outer pockets for an energy bar she'd re-wrapped in some cloth. She shakes the cloth out and uses it to wipe the sweat off her face while she chows down.

Settled back in the treeline, with watch orders issued, Dreyer is happy enough to find a spot up against a fallen tree to position his pack and settle in for a nap. Gotta grab it where you can.

<FS3> Randy rolls Stealth: Great Success.
<FS3> Kapali rolls Stealth: Success.
<FS3> Amos rolls Stealth: Success.
<FS3> Dreyer rolls Stealth: Failure.

Moving around the side of the laager takes time. But they are on the north slope of the mountain and the star is setting to the west. The trees that they are in provide cover as dusk settles, casting long shadows in the low light and orange sky. It takes about 15 or 20 to work around safely to the trees, but they make it easily enough. When they are able to work up the slop far enough to see inside, they get a great view of both the laager and the planet lain out in the distance. It seems like they can see for miles - the shadow cast by the planet thrown against the interior of the atmosphere. It's beautiful up here.

And occupied. The laager has a small sandbag wall around it about four feet high that provides a nice set of firing positions every few feet, which probably means they've been attacked before up here or they may expect to be. There's about two dozen tents and they all look like they've seen use, so probably up here awhile. There's latrines and showers at some kind of trailer. The long surgical tent has the flaps closed so its hard to see inside. The vehicle parking area is on the east side with all the trucks. For the most part this looks empty… but there's the entrance to the mine. There's two figures talking in front of it but they are hard to make out with the naked eye. One of them looks female judging by the shape of her body.

<FS3> Dreyer rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Randy rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Kapali rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Amos rolls Alertness: Great Success.

Once they're safely in position up the slope Amos scans the fortifed camp with his mark 1 eyeballs, then gently eases his pack down off his shoulders. No more hiking for now it seems. Withdrawing the same binocculars he was using earlier he then goes over the camp in more detail, alhough it's fair to say that he's mostly focusing on the mine enterance and the pair of figures stood there. "I see a One," he mutters, "talking with a woman. Well, she's talking to him, hand guestures liek she's explaining something." Dropping the binoculars again he unzips a side pocket of his bergen and pulls out a low light camera. "Sergeant," he asks of Dreyer, "when we do power up for satellite phone, can it send pictures, or just text. I'm going to get an image of our mystery female which, if my suspissions are correct, Major Grey will appreciate."

As Dreyer scans the camp through his scope, he angles back as something flashes across his line of sight. The man stops, staring into the trees across. A few seconds pass and he's giving a bit of a broad grin and a thumbs up. "Our friends from the ridge," he mutters sidelong. "Trained on the two by the mine." His rifle is lowered as Amos makes his query. There's a brief, sharp shake of his head. "Text only, sir. Image would be too much data- higher risk. Decide if you want to send a text description or you'll have to wait for our return."

Nothing gets the adrenaline going like sneaking around an enemy encampment right? It's enough to keep Randy awake once they're into position. She lifts her scope to check out the entrance to the mine and then fixes it on a place. "Sir, there's a door just laying on the slope up there by the entrance. Old as shite, but- Sir," Randy turns to the Captain, "It more looks like a door from a ship."

Amos takes his picture, and a couple of others, then passes the camera wholesale to Randy. "Get some images," he notes, then turns his binoculars in the cirection she indicated to see if he can see this door as well. Dreyer's comment about their fellow observers is noted, and he asks as he scans the hillside, "do they look like they've spotted us, or are they just watching the two by the mine?" Then, to Mallas, Kapali and Clara, "eyes in the trees, I don't want to be snuck up on by their mates."

With eyes narrowed, Kapali is as taken with the beauty of the view as she is by the fresh air that she keeps drawing in with each lungful, one after another. It's enough to distract the young marine, not enough to make her stupid, but it's a heady sight, especially after so long in a tin can, like the rest. Eyeing what she can see of the camp, the dim outline of the figures, the tents and the rest, she holds quiet while absorbing what the others can see, her attention focused on the treeline, sweeping back and forth constantly.

"Right." Randy slings her rifle over her back and takes the camera to focus down on the door. She pops her head up to continue to ensure no one is even looking in their direction, then she takes the shot. Then a few more after an adjustment. Some of the pictures are up close of the door. It's metal and yeah, it's right there. There are a few wider shots that provide context for it's location in context with the mine entrance. She hands it back to Amos when she's finished.

"They spotted us, sir. Used a mirror to get my attention. Both male, I believe. One is watching us, but isn't training a gun on us, the other is aiming toward the two by the mine." Dreyer keeps low, rifle still tucked to his shoulder so he can check the position of the other two every now and again. "Helps our numbers a bit, I'd say."

Amos eyes the pictures Randy has taken then put the camera back into his bergen. "Has anyone seen any other movement in the camp?" he asks, "given the number of tents I'd expect to see more than two people, but they might be underground." Or asleep. "Can you signal back to the our two 'friends' or would that alert the cylons?" he asks of Dreyer, "if you can then do, but no unescessary risks." Then to Randy, "I'm guessing you don't normally find hatchs like that in mines? Do you think it's covering an additional enterance, or has it been discarded there?"

Kapali makes a small sound that is almost a sound of amusement, "All those training drills to learn the correct signals, morse code and everything else, and we're stuck on a planet where the only signal we can use safely is mirrors. What are the odds," she murmurs with a sidelong glance at the tree line again then shifts her grip on her rifle subtly and continues to sweep for movement.

"No. I've never seen anything like that. Not on a normal mine, nor space one, nor underwater." Randy must have some stories to tell. "It's an ancient spaceship door. It just looks like it's been dropped on the side of the mountain. But, why?" She shrugs, completely at a loss for making any sense of the matter. She quiets up again, lost in thought. "It's just weird."

"They're watching us. I could likely offer some handsignals once we're ready to move out, but I'd be hesitant to do more lest it gets noticed." Dreyer is still watching the pair opposite the camp, in case they should make gestures. "Already gave a thumbs up," he admits. "Let 'em know we see them and know they see us." Sharing is caring!

While the recon team is getting settled and discussion how to move forward, there's movement at the front of the mine. Both of them look further inside as if to someone who is exiting. The female steps to the side and lights up a cigarette. She blows it into the air before turning and looking at the other figure that's just inside the entrance and not visible yet. There's dark skin and a blue/gray flash of fabric. The other female, already photographed, laughs and shakes her head. The One barks something and the group gets serious. The female sketches a salute and the unknown remaining skinjob steps out into the dying light of the evening.

It might take a minute. If that. Some of them know that face.

It wouldn't be so familiar if it wasn't for the camouflage hat. The skinjob wears it as a choice of style.

The other face? The one they have seen before elsewhere? She doesn't wear camo as a style. It's a dedication.

The two head over to a open-air table and get sodas out of a cooler, standing there and chatting while the One heads back into the mine.

"I can't see why anyone would go through the trouble of hauling something like that to a site just to drop it." Randy shakes her head and then lifts her scope to look back down at the entrance of the mine. "Wait, something's happening…" she mutters. "Someone-No..No, no. Frak." She's soft, not loud enough to give away their position, but there's definitely something wrong. "That's the Ghost Captain. She's a frakking tincan, she's a cylon."

Kapali's own eyes had gone narrow, first, as she'd eyed the emerging cylons, squinting at one then the other then snapping back again to study the one that she gets a good glimpse at. It doesn't have to be a lingering glimpse, but some faces are just imprinted in her memory for a reason. Randy's words beat hers, as much because Kapali is shocked speechless as because she is more appalled than anything else. Funny how appalled seems to short circuit her speech center to doing anything more than jaw dropped, horror expression, her expression just really says it all. She's snugged the rifle to her shoulder, staring through the scope with hands that are rock steady, checking the angle, the wind, calculating the distance, only now is she swearing in a steady stream so low the sound doesn't really carry.

With the arrival of a third figure Amos mutters to his team. "Three targets. Target one is the One. Target two is the lass in the balckshirt, lets call her Agnes. Target three is camo, or Betty to avoid confusion. Any further targets will be assigned names as needed." He's just leaning back to consider what message to try and send to their fellows across the way when Randy drops her bombshell and he snaps his attention back to the two female figures. Needless to say he reaches for his camera again to record this new development. Noting Kapali he mutters to her "Easy Corporal, easy," then takes his snaps. "Well," he notes largely to himself, "won't Major Grey be pleased with us. Flynn. You're sure it's an ancient hatch? Let us assume then that there is an ancient ship under this mountain." Question is, how far can he push it and still get his information back to Orion where it's needed. "I think," he notes to tehm all, eyeing the mine enterance, "that it's time to talk to our colleagues over there. Beckon for them to join us would you Dreyer, I want to know what they know before committing to entering that shaft."

There's an arch of brow directed at both Randy and Kapali. Dreyer? No frakkin' clue. And this isn't the time to inquire, either. The man just gives a nod to Amos before angling himself to make sure the two men across the way can see him. Then it's quick gestures for the pair to join them and he awaits either a reply (much as they could give) or to see them moving off before he hunkers back down below the potential line of sight for the camp.

The two others at the other side of the laagar in the woods seem to recieve the signal and discuss. There's no immediate answer. They talk for almost a minute before Dreyer recieves any sort of signal. Meanhile the two skinjobs share their sodas and smoke, talking about something nobody else can hear.

Kapali is sweating, visibly, and it's only the words of the captain that has her easing back, hands shaking at that point as she lowers the rifle. "Aye, Captain," said in a voice that has gone briefly hoarse, the tone shaken as much as anything else. Kapali aims a sidelong look toward Randy as well before she uses both hands to scrub over her face and unhooks the canteen from her side, clearly wishing that it was more potent than just water, but manages a mouth full of the tepid contents before capping it again and hooking it back on her belt.

Once Dreyer has parsed the response, he settles down and lowers his rifle. "They're not happy about it, sir." This, to Amos, in a low voice. "But they're heading over. They want us to stay put." Which makes sense. No one wants to go chasing another about in a place like this. After a moment, he adds: "They're using a modified form of signal. Makes sense. Doubt an entire resistance cell would be Fleet trained."

"Wow. I-" Randy silences herself and presses her cheek back down to her scope, taking solace in focusing on the job for a moment. Amos' instruction of Kapali does not go unnoticed. The strange revelation has hit the Sergeant like a daze that she's shaking off. Her face is ashen and no words come out, though she does catch Kapali's look in a slightly passive way. "You're eager."

The two guys disappear from view in the distance and time passes. The two skinjobs at the laager eventually go back inside after turning on a generator. Lights go on all over the camp which effectively night-blinds everyone down there. It also makes it harder to see anyone approaching them. The two guys who approach aren't there one second and then they are. Both of them are wearing what must have been old surplus camo but it looks like it has been dyed in several places. Both of them are clan of facial hair and look groomed. Their faces are painted with grease, though, and it makes it hard to see what they look like in the dark - even from a few feet away. They're both wearing ghillie suits, too. They smell like… dirt. A lot of dirt. They don't say anything, they just stare at the group as if waiting for Marines to speak first.

Amos has no intention of moving while the two unknown spotters make their way over. Once they arrive though he beckons them closer, then divests of enouch kit so he can roll his sleeves up to show there's no jacks in his elbows. "Captain Ommanney," he introduces hismelf, letting his Libran accent stregthen a little, "Colonial Marine Corp." He leaves of mention of Orion for now, and has no intention of mentioning Piraeus at all. Takign his canteen from his belt he takes a mouthful, then offers it across to the pair, "I take it your with the resistance here?"

And then they wait. While they wait, Dreyer has a good long drink from his canteen. In the sudden flood of light, he squints at the newcomers. There's that grin again, flash of teeth. "Good to see you fellas." Other than that, however, he leaves the talking to Amos. That's what officers are for, after all.

With a nod, a single tip of her head down then up, "I have a great desire to put a bullet or two through that skinjobs head and see gray matter leaking out of it's ears, so I suppose that qualifies as eager," Kapali's voice is harsh but low spoken as she murmurs this reply to Randy while waiting for the other armed team to link up with their little expeditionary force where they linger inside the tree line. The sudden arrival of the two has her studying them both, not quite able to keep the wary suspicion off of her face, though she does try, those subtle tells just give it away all the same.

The camo guy with the sniper rifle doesn't speak. He just looks at each person and their kit, resting on one knee. Only one hand is visible, holding the rifle. The other is probably inside the suit and holding a sidearm. The 'spotter' seems to be the talker. "Ensign Smith." It's clearly fake and intended as much. He lets his narrow eyes move across each one of them, looking for patches, and at their gear. "You're very clean. All your ammo." He sounds young. Right age for an Ensign. "We also don't know you which means you're either very veyr frakking far outside your AO, in which case you know what the rules are, or you just got here with that hub-bub yesterday in orbit." He stares at Amos. "What in the frak are you doing here, Captain?" No intent to be polite, no desire to give more than he already has. The edge on his voice is pretty clear and sharp, though. These two don't seem to have much concern for another few kills on their scores. But one thing is very sure: They do not carry themselves like Marines.

Amos points upwards once the Ensign has finished, to indicate they came from above, then she shifts his arm round slowly so his Orion patch should be visable. "We're on a mission Ensign," he notes, "one I can't fully briefly on at this time. The salient points though, are to reconnoitre this area, and, if possible, make contact with the local resitance. Now, it looks like we're doing both so do you mind if I ask what you know of the Cylon activies here? Libran is being treated very differently to the other colonies, and my superiours want to know why. They believe the key to that might be here."

"Yeah," Randy barely has time to respond to Kapali before the strangers have arrived. She keeps her hands on her rifle, keeping watch on the one who doesn't speak. Then they flit beyond to their surroundings, wary of possible intrusions. She takes in a few deep breaths while listening in on the conversation.

The Ensign is playing it cagey. If he's even playing. He says nothing and motions for all of them to show their Orion patches. He doesn't say another word until they do, then, "I am actually Ensign Smith. This is PO3 Julian. I was the navigaitonal officer on a light cruiser that got hit on Warday." Arrow of Artemis. Escape pods gone, the husk is still floating in orbit. "They cracked the Tahbaw Mine. They've been here for about three and a half, four months. Weird thing is, Captain, the mine is dead. Has been for a millenia, at least, according to the locals. Nobody even knew where it was up here and then one day we found them up here digging with heavy equipment. We've lost three people trying to get inside. Nobody seems to know what's up. We even tried taking prisoners. None of them will talk. But, ah…" He glances to the PO3, then back. "The locals have theories, sir. It's all bullshit, though. Their real focus is in the capital. This is probably just some distraction or a One's pet project." He looks to each of them. "Didn't think I was going to see actual Marines again. This is a surprise."

"One thing I've learnt in this last year Ensign," Amos starts, "is to keep a veyr open mind. Come, take some water and tell me of their theories, of the cylon activies here and in the capital. Particularly, if you can, the one down there in camo. We've come across her in differnet circumstances, and her presense here raises more questions than answers." He takes another sip of his water then offers it again, "the prisoners you took; cylons, locals, labour brought from elsewhere?"

After angling so that Smith can see the Orion patch on her uniform, Kapali eyes PO3 Julian next before turning slightly, facing so that the glare of the lights below is less in her field of vision. While listening she again turns to study the surrounding tree line, the terrain itself, listening intently.

"Keep your water, sir. We've got our own supply cache." The Ensign isn't playing at anything, it seems. He is just cagey. "Theories from the locals, as I said they're total bullshit, are that this is where the settlers from Kobol originally touched down on the twelve colonies. Their shuttle supposedly touched down on this spot about 2000 years ago. It's local lore and the tourism industry cleans up on this little 'secret' that they will tell you if you do an expensive airborne tour. Their rumor is that there are documents and information about the location of Kobol stored in the mine - that it's actually a repository, not a mine." He rolls his eyes. "Like I said, it's bullshit. Even if these morons believe it. If they did, and it were true, what the hell would thye even do with the information?" The guy snorts a quiet laugh. "The stuff in the capital is pretty well-known. They're cleaning out human history and rewriting it. They've got some mechanical printing presses working, putting out textbooks and leaflets. Propoganda about opening up th truth of humanity and about how they are freeing us from our bonds of disunity to bring us closer together under one idea blah blah blah slavery blah blah." He waves a gloved hand off into the air. "We took one of the Cylons. The dark skinned one. She's a Five, the one you asked about. Dunno about details. She's a pillar of strength, though. The sort of person that sets the example, even if it kills her. Which it did. The Fives seem to be pretty low-key otherwise. Quiet. They pal with the Tens, that other model up here. Seems like they run with the Ones because the Ones know something they don't - and they want to know."

Randy shows her patch in turn. "Sounds like they know what they're looking for," Randy mutters darkly and then shakes her head. She reaches for her own canteen and takes a sip, hand shaking for a moment until she grabs the other side. Randy scoots closer to Kapali as the other woman examines the tree line. She looks sidelong at Kapali before listening in further on the conversation between the Ensign and Captain.

"They disclosed their model numbers," Kapali doesn't make it so much a question as she glances away from the tree line for a moment and eyes Smith, a touch of surprise in her tone of voice. "Sorry, sir," she says a bare moment later, not meaning to interrupt but she'd blurted that out all the same. She glances down briefly then squares her shoulders again and shares a nod with Randy, still not quite able to fight the look of horror out of her eyes.

"Thank you Ensign," AMos replies with a wry smile, "I had suspect they were Five and Ten, but had no way to say which was which other than word that those were the two models operating here with the Ones. I suspect there are some might think that my trip is worth it alone for their faces alone." Screwing the cap back on his water he restows the water, then rolls his sleeves back down. "I don't know if you've encountered it here, but I was on Caprica for a while after the attacks, and the Cylons can insert hardware into the human elbow that allows a centurian AI to take over. Check new people as you meet them. We've also seen them brainwash people then return them, spouting pseudo-religious bullshit about a cylon God. ther eis little reasoning with this people so beware." Free adivce really, as it doens't give away anything the cylons don't already know they know. "I was of a mind to try and enter the mine while we're here, but I take you word of losses seriously. Tell me, are there jsut the three we've seen here, or are others below? With six, or eight, we might be able to be more successful in out ingress, but I have no intention of throwing lives away of there is a garrison of fifty down there."

Ah to be a Marine overhearing conversations amongst 'friends.' At least at the moment, this one is far more interesting than other ones she's heard in the past. 'Cylon god,' Randy mouths in echo of Amos. She leans over to Kapali and whispers something to her.

"Not to us. We already knew their model numbers. They've been here awhile and people have gleaned that much about them. Not much else. Tens are nicer than the Fives in our experience. But that's relative to 'genocidal robot scale'." Smith shrugs it off and looks back to Amos. "Yeah, we've seen a few of those. Not many. People usually avoid them because you can see them coming. They walk like robots wearing human skin. That's some good shit about the brainwashed, though. We've been wondering where the hell they were coming from. Everyone on Libran has been wondering that for months now. They've been repopulating the cities with them and putting them to work in local governments. They've been infiltrating the resistance." He shuffles a second, changing to rest on the other knee. "There's anywhere from ten to twenty down there, but we have no way of knowing since they're down there so often and they all look the same. Weird thing is that the Centurions don't come up here. We haven't seen one up in this neck of the woods in about six months. We've just stopped carrying AP ammo because of it. We're pretty sure they don't have a lot down there, though. They don't have the logistical train to support more than twenty, by our guess. They get resupplied by a Heavy every ten days on the dot to the time. It was just here yesterday, thirteen hundred local."

Randy leans to whisper to Kapali, "Should we be here?" It's not like she's seeking permission. It's more like she's honestly beginning to wonder.

"Up to twenty human forms, recently resupplied," Amos summerises with a slow nod, "I'll confess I was hoping for just the three, but I'll take twenty over fifty." He seems to consider things silently for a few moments, then turns to Dreyer, "Sergeant. I thinks it's time we risked calling in a message."A quick glance is given to Smith as he notes, "it's not radio, they shouldn't be able to track it. If there's anything in particular you want sending to fleet comamnd then come with us, we'll drop back a little into the woods so we can move more freely." Then, to his own troops. "Keep watch here, note any comings and goings that mghtbe of interest. If, and let me stress this point, if, a safe opportunity arises to take a look inside that perimeter then take it, but no silly risks. Understood?"

Kapali's own reaction is back to that 'shaken-horrified-pissed' category, which is hell on her nerves at the same time. Or maybe just really tough on her facial muscles as her expression keeps changing from one to the next then the next and back around again. She shakes her head, a abrupt movement to what Randy says but only uses one hand to scrub over her face once more. "Let me test my understanding," she ventures in a low voice from where she's standing. "The skinjobs are excavating the mine because they think it's a treasure trove of data that they want to acquire. The collaborators are populating the cities and they're churning out quasi-religious bullshit and re-writing history because, hell, history is written by the victors and they did a bang up job so far. They're infiltrating your resistance movement with collaborators and there's jacked wandering around as well. They're skint on the trash can models and the last re-supply was yesterday and it's clockwork." She glances toward the captain then back again, frowning at Smith and Julian, "And the two of you are the only boots on the ground up here, on look out?"

"I have a lot to pass, Captain, but I could not pass anything without running it by our area commander first. I just hope you don't try any radios, like you said. Not only is it worthless, they'll carpet bomb this area." Smith seems pretty sure of his warning, even if Amos already clarified. Seems he wants to be extra sure. As Amos moves off, though, he looks back to Kapali and nods slowly. "That's about right. The 'jacks', as you call them, aren't so common. They're around the cities, they don't really leave the Centurions very often. But the summation seems pretty solid. We've only been up here about 36 hours. We keep a team up here to keep an eye on things. I can't tell you where our other forces are, though. We don't even tell each other that inside our units." Just in case of capture. Tightly controlled cells.

"Corporal," Randy shifts her weight but doesn't lay a finger on the other woman, standing more like stone. She lets the other woman speak. Then after, she simply watches the Captain and the two lookouts as they speak. She waits, silently on the fringes.

Kapali makes a sound that is as close to noncommittal as it gets, which really isn't anywhere near the mark but she does at least make the effort. "Sorry, Sarge," she replies in a low voice, backing down, both visibly and verbally from what ever else she was going to say. "Weave a basket, I know," added in a much lower tone as she takes a measured step back from where she'd been standing and makes a visible effort to calm the frak down.


A few hours pass. It's well after dark. The two shooters have taken a position a bit higher up the slope, just inside the woods, and have been watching. Things have been pretty quiet for the last few hours, too. Only one of the Five's came out, went to a tent, and then went back down after changing clothes. Nothing exciting. It does creep in that if they were given the opportunity, then they should head down inside and do a recon inside the laager and see what can be found. The only thing moving outside, thus far, is a herd of female deer grazing just downslope where they had initially been hiding. Meanwhile Amos and Dreyer are working on establishing an uplink to the comm drone. Everything is quiet except for the crickets and the occasional cold breeze in the trees.

Hunkered down just inside the edge of the tree line, Kapali has her elbows resting on her knees as she trains the binocs on the ridiculously well lit camp with it's company of cylons doing their best busy busy bee impersonation. More than once she'd eyed the herd of deer grazing just downslope, watching for any signs that the herd is spooked and using their movements as a way to determine what is 'normal' and what is 'not normal' for the terrain.

Randy is off to the side, a few paces from Kapali, down on her belly with her rifle scope which she seems to have abandoned for the moment. She hasn't said much since she spotted the skinjobs. She turns her eye on Kapali to watch her and then down at the deer. Something simple there. She's not as alert as Kapali is at the moment, that's for sure.

"Two on over watch, the captain and Dreyer working on the uplink, Mallas and Mercier are on the next watch," Kapali voices in a low tone to Randy, sidelong, without lifting her eyes off of the camp or the herd of deer. "It's quiet enough that this may be the best chance to see if we can get close enough to do some recon inside the camp itself. Even if we can just do a nose count of their parked assets, it's still intel."

"Well when you put it that way…" Randy takes her time pushing herself up into a squatted position. She lifts her rifle to check out the camp fresh. "We cannot compromise our position. We can't assume there would be any backup." They're used to crazy risks in their line of work, but not under these circumstances. Randy's used to things like tools getting her out of situations. "We are the smallest." Unhelpful, but true. "I stopped watching at least 3 minutes ago. Any action since?"

Shaking her head at Randy's question, "We leave the bulk of our gear here, any maps either of us are carrying, the Orion patches, even our tags," Kapali says in return as she begins divesting herself of everything that marks her as a Marine from the Orion or it's battlegroup. "Minimal weaponry only," one hand resting on the knife she carries visibly at her side, but she clearly carries at least one back up, "small arms only," added as she nods toward the camp, stowing everything including her tags in her backpack and sealing it carefully before she removes her helmet long enough to let the cool breeze ruffle her hair, "We're the smallest, the lightest on our feet, and those are our advantages, sarge."

Randy tugs her tags off from around her head and drops it into her helmet that she sat on the ground. "True." She talks as she sheds her gear, pulling an extra knife from her pack and lifting her pant leg to slide it in there. She checks her sidearm and then draws her primary knife she usually carries. The one she used on that cultist. Her own hair is still tied back, or most of it is. "Just please, watch where you're going this time. You take point."

Once the two Marines are set, moving out of the treeline is the moment of truth. A few steps taken and no shots fired. A few more, no alerts thrown up. For now, all seems quiet. Even a glance back to the treeline and upslope reveals nothing. The two shooters are still there, presumedly watching. Getting down to the sandbag wall doesn't take long, either. Peering over the 4' wall, they can see the mass of private tents there. No sign of anyone, either. No sounds of breathing or sleep. Not even a ruffled sleeping bag. Just the sound of crickets. Nearer the entrace to the mine is the large surgical tent. The trucks are all parked together off on the far side, all in neat orderly rows. With no moon over the planet, it is quite dark out here except for the floodlights that bathe the whole flattened area and the slop around it.

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

While crouched behind the 4' wall, Kapali casually scoops up a handful of dirt and rubs it on her arms and hands, smudging it across her face and neck, reducing the chance of being spotted easily while studying the camp with narrowed eyes. She leans forward, not actually touching the wall at first and dusts the barest sprinkle of dirt over the edge of the wall and watches where it falls, making a annoyed grunt of sound before saying. "Trip wire," indicating it with a careful gesture of that same hand, "just on the other side of the sandbag wall," sweeping a look back, again, up, around, then back once more, head cocked to one side to listen intently before she glances back to Randy and shares a brief gleam of an almost smile then goes over the wall.

The first few moments and Randy it's debatable she'd hear any gunfire over her own heartbeat. Funny how this stirs her more than explosives work. Whatever she's feeling inside only keeps her present. Probably overly present. "Shite." Randy's not smiling back as Kapali goes over the wall. 4 feet?! Randy just looks at it, sighs, and then hustles over the wall herself.

<FS3> Randy rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Kapali rolls Stealth: Success.

Moving through the nest of tents is easy enough. Dodging the strings on the tent flies is another matter. But getting through them proves no problem. Once they are past them, the small motor pool area of trucks is easy to navigate. Each one has a CB antenna and they can look into the windows and see that each one is set to Channel 9. The trucks all seem to be in very good shape and those that still show fuel levels when turned off put it at half a tank or more. A couple of the trucks have rifle racks in the rear window and there are military grade battle rifles in there. Each one with a rifle has a bag in it, probably carrying plenty of ammo or bodyarmor. All but one of them have plates from Caprica - the other is from Leonis.

Moving through the motor pool, such as it is, Kapali jots down rough notes as they pass each of the trucks, seeing the channel that the CB is tuned too, reading the fuel levels, seeing the rifle racks shaking her head. "Synchronized channel, so they're not worried about the locals listening in," she speculates as she moves and does the math to calculate the fuel in the vehicles. "Enough to them them well down from this camp and probably to the nearest city before they'd have to tank up again, or more, depending on the terrain and the approach they're using." She eyes the gun rack's, the ammo, "They're using our trucks, our weapons, our ammo. One stop shopping," all said in a bare murmur of a voice that is only just enough to carry to Randy as they move.

Thank the gods they don't have to do this with their packs on is what Randy tells herself as they move through. When they arrive at the motorpool Randy just shakes her head again, disbelieving. "Frak…Frak." Her vocabulary is shrinking rather rapidly, or has over the last twelve hours. "This is nothing." She dismisses the news as if it would diminish how much it makes her blood boil or drown out the anger in her eyes.

<FS3> Kapali rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Randy rolls Stealth: Good Success.

Moving from the trucks to the surgical tent means passing by the entrance of the mine. They don't have to enter it to look down inside. It goes forward about five meters before starting an all-too-purposed drop. They can see recently installed lighting on the walls. But they can also see something else important. The frame to the door, a solid and thick hunk of metal frames it and looks to go deep into the rock on either side. More than six inches thick, they can see that this isn't some cheap show. The metal on it looks to be serious construction and the frame looks to be damaged like someone had tried blowing it up to no avail. The interior even shows evidence of collapse and cleaning out. But there's not a single sound from within, only the dull yellow glow of work lights powered by the genny. The wires work into the surgical tent, though, too and provide some interior elimination. As the two look into the flaps of the 100' long tent, they can tell something else right away: It's not a tent. The tent only covers the outside. The inside is a conex shipping container with a normal door built into the exterior, left hanging open - likely for ventilation. There's the faint glow of blue inside as well.

Kapali turns subtly and gestures Randy closer to the entrance to the mine than she is, as taking point is all well and good until her expertise isn't useful and Randy's is. She sweeps a constant survey of the area immediately around the mine entrance, hunting for security systems, booby traps, cameras, trip wires, hell, even a pit trap or two, never ever stop being suspicious.

The mine entrance draws Randy's gaze. It's like an itch she can't scratch and even with all this terrible danger hovering around them right at this moment, she can still feel it, bothering the crap out of her. It's a good thing that Kapali sweeps their immediate area. "They're putting some serious resources into this. I mean, at least, look how thick." She looks back towards where the door was on the ground. "We should probably get away from this thing. They melted it off." Her eyes rake over the tool marks divots.

"What the fuk can melt a door like that and not slag all the surrounding area at the same time," Kapali wonders in a breath of a voice but she's carefully moving forward all the same. "High energy beam, I get that, laser, obviously, but what the fuk did they use to power it with," and damn if there isn't a TINY bit of tool envy in her voice.

"I don't know. It might be properties of the metal," Randy more mouths than fully speaks. "Maybe they have porta nukes or something and now every time they take a dump they get back a little enriched uranium. We're sneaking." She ushers Kapali towards the flap of the surgical tent with a jerk of her hand.

Once away from the mine door, moving the tent flap is easy. There isn't enough room to peek inside but they can hear a fan working. Given the glow and the heat, no surprise they are trying to keep it cool inside. If there are computers in there, they need some climate control. As they open the door, it creaks despite the grease on the hinges. Down the right side there are laptops and tablets set up. There are boxes and boxes of books, many of them spread out over the desks by the computers. Down the left there are more tables with similar set-ups and a few microscopes as well as electrical testing equipment. But there's one thing in particular there.

It's a Five.

She's hunched over the table, taking notes out of a book. There's only a glance to the door, but not enough to look at who is entering. Only that there is someone moving the door. "You won't believe these people. They've been mistranslating the name of this place for two thousand years. It's not Tehbaw." T'hbaw' "It's 'Taybah'" Tay-bawh. "This language is thousands of years old. The bastard was right. The literal translation is 'Ark.'"

Spotting, as much as hearing, the Five has Kapali's heart pounding so hard that all other sound is warped around the sound of her own heartbeat, making the words of the Five oddly accented even more. Rooted to the spot, one hand on the door but having done nothing more than ease the door slightly open, Kapali's mouth is suddenly dry and her hands are almost, but nooooot quite shaking. It's a near thing, her free hand resting on the knife at her side, her weight shifting subtly forward to the balls of her feet, her balance precise. It's a near thing, because to rush into the room, right now, with the Five so bloody distracted, that maybe the odds could be in her favor. Maybe.

Except the Captain had been clear, Ommanney's words echoing around in the corporals head like a feedback loop set on repeat: "If, and let me stress this point, if, a safe opportunity arises to take a look inside that perimeter then take it, but no silly risks. Understood?"

Kapali eases back that half step she'd taken lifting her hand off of the door one fraction of a measure at a time, doing her level best to avoid letting the door squeak again. Whether it does or does not squeak she is waving Randy back with her other hand, retreating one careful - swift - step at a time.

For a moment, Randy freezes behind Kapali as she hears the familiar voice. It's distinct enough to remember. She notices the subtle changes in Kapali's frame and there's probably some part of her inside screaming she's going to kill us all, but Randy, the one standing right there at that time, does nothing. She stares until they are pulling back again, as if trying to shift out of the cylon's existence. It's easy for her to stay out of Kapali's way and retreat back. She doesn't say a word, but directs them around the side of the building to take cover, in the meantime drawing her knife and sporting a look for Kapali. IS THIS GRAVEL? TELL ME IT'S NOT GRAVEL?! Kind of look.

<FS3> Knox rolls 1: Success.

Using hand signals only to indicate their path back through the camp, and not risking voicing anything at all, Kapali takes point again, leading the way back toward the 4' wall they'd come over in the first place. That said, she doesn't take a direct course or do anything that would be a direct line of sight. INstead, she takes advantage of every square inch of cover possible; the edge of a tent, the shade of a vehicle, anything, moving swiftly, quietly, knife held in one hand as she keeps a constant pace, checking over her shoulder more than once to ensure that randy is following suit.

The Sergeant nods to the Corporal and follows after her, keeping an eye on their flank and rear occasionally. In all, the sounds she makes are just a swift pitter patter. She tries to keep pace with the taller woman and spends a little more time face forward than backward. She knows she's the slowest denominator.

Behind them, they can hear the creak of the conex box door. It creaks louder and longer as it opens. "Hello? Ten?" the voice calls. The voice calls one more time as she steps out from behind the tent flap and look around. She hades her eyes against the light and starts a sweep at the far end, looking to the tunnel before starting her scan back towards Randy and Kalapi.

Hearing the voice of the Five as she emerges from the conex box, Kapali has a few options and none of them good options. Most of them, in fact, range between really bad to really awful, but having reached the wall and mindful again of the trip wire, Kapali takes a knee a fraction of a measure away from the wall and cups her hands, fingers laced together, and gives Randy one of those SPEAKING LOOKS, bracing in place to give Randy a leg up - literally - to boost her over the wall before she'll follow her over. TEAMIOA FTW (Together Everyone Actually Makes It Out Alive).

Not Ten, don't want to be Ten. Don't want to see another Ten. Even /if/ skinjobs might have been engineered to be perfect. Nope! Randy's blood is thumping in her ears as she hauls butt after Kapali. There's really not any time for her to contest anything that Kapali is doing. Randy doesn't hesitate either. When she sees Kapali's hands she knows exactly what's coming. She puts one hand on Kapali's collarbone and puts her boot in the woman's hands to push upward towards the wall as fast as possible. Up and over!

<FS3> Knox rolls 1: Success.

The two are just about over. Randy heads over and is just out of sight when the skinjob turns and see's Kapali illuminated by the floodlights. She stares for a moment and tries to comprehend what she is seeing. An armed Marine, in uniform, is kneeling by the sandbag wall. WTF. She draws a gun with lightning speed and aims it right at Kapali's head. "DO NOT MOVE! STAND UP AND LACE FINGERS BEHIND YOUR HEAD! MOVE AND YOU'RE DEAD!" …Godsdamn that voice carries. And that muzzle is aimed right at Kapali's face.

The Five steps forward a single pace. The voice has not even finished echoing. She suddenly goes slack and begins falling to the ground. The crack of a bullet is heard before her knees even hit. No boom, no percussive violence to the air. Just the short crack. The gun tumbles out of her hand and she falls face-forward into the grass and lies there unmoving.

Kapali hears Randy make it over the wall, starting to rise to her feet so that she could take a running leap at the wall to go over it as well when she's illuminated by floodlights in a sudden wash of light followed by the sound of the Five's voice directed at her. Poised between the crouch and rising to her feet, Kapali turns her dirt smeared face toward the Five and for a moment there's a look of such intense, unbridled contempt, that she is opening her mouth to say what is likely going to get her shot in the face when the sound of crack of the bullet makes her drop to a crouch again, instinct, expecting to find a bullet hole somewhere, stunned to realize that she isn't the one shot.

The sight of the Five hitting the dirt has Kapali stunned for a half a moment before she backs up that requisite step, then another, running full tilt at the wall, leaping at the last moment, her boots avoiding the trip wire, as though it matters now. One hand slaps against the top of the wall to give her a few extra inches of clearance before she rolls, twisting mid motion to land on her feet, knees bent. Her boots hit the ground, taking the jarring impact and barely pausing before she's searching for Randy and plotting their ex-fil with a hell of a lot more speed than their way in.

Randy lands with a thump, but as soon as she hears the floodlights kick on, she reaches for her sidearm. This is how it'll happen, her brain fills her in suddenly and then the moment is blasted through by the crack of the bullet. She scrambles to the side and waits with her gun, holding her breath. Friend? Friend or Foe? It all happens in a moment, but it feels like it takes her forever to be relieved by the sight of Kapali. She motions with her hand and starts to high tail it out of there.

Sharing a nod with Randy, and fighting back the slightly hysterical adrenaline fueled bubble of giddiness that has her almost laughing, Kapali follows Randy's gesture and moves as the sergeant does. Because there's nothing quite like literally escaping death by the most narrow of margins, Kapali is more than a little shaken but there's a certain joy in being alive that cannot be denied.

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