MD #160: Operation Buccaneer Part 2
Operation Buccaneer Part 2
Summary: The colonials hit the local market to barter for supplies not found inside the mountain
Date: 16/09/2017
Related Logs: Operation Buccaneer Part 1
Numa Miri Terrence Toby Randy Lleufer Palermo 
Pless Village Market
Stalls, people, 2 clerics, 6 militia, stuff.

Walking out in civilian clothes might be a bit unnerving in a place like this, especially since there isn't a lot of ways to hide rifles. Handguns are about the biggest thing that can be concealed, but then there's the backpacks full of things to trade at the market. However, the dozen Marines on the mountains side with precision rifles and twelve-power scopes sitting overwatch might be a nice consolation.
The two-dozen people selected to do walk out of the woods far to the east and then circle back to approach the market now to their west. It takes a lot longer but provides the group security to where they came from. With most of the pavement cracked and tossed aside, the roads are mostly dirt at this point and look to be well-travelled by horses and carts. About a quarter mile from the market they pass a man on a cart drawn by a horse. In his fifties, he has a young wife with him who won't make eye contact with the Colonials and several kids in the back of the cart, looking on at the people hiking with their packs. There's something in his eyes like recognition, a subtly startled feeling at seeing mostly young people in this group with fairly regulation cuts and in good shape carrying themselves like soldiers. And women who are openly moving with the men as equals. This realization has him suddenly look away and flip the reins on the horse to get it trotting faster past and away from them.
Ahead of them they can see a fairly decent market. There are stalls lined up all over the former parking ramp. Carts and horses are actually set up in neat rows exactly like a parking lot. There's the feeling that as isolated as this town might be at the bottom of this valley, there are more people here than live in the town. It may be a central location servicing smaller lake-side towns as well as those who live deeper in the mountains. Very few are glancing at the group as it approaches, still two hundred meters out.

True to form, Numa doesn't look even remotely military. Nope. Her blonde hair is done up in a pair of pig tails, and she got a little bit creative with the clothing she got handed, making it look at least like it actually fits her, for the most part. And she scuffs along, looking for all the world like a teenager who'd rather be anywhere else rather than stuck with a bunch of grown ups. Her boots are already filthy, scuffed, dust caking the legs of her pants as she wanders down the road.

The fact that they haven't been shot yet is good, Miri figures. She's cleaned the dirt and greasepaint off of her face, popped in some brown contacts, and is wearing her curly hair down with a grey knit cap over top so it covers her ears and her earpiece. In civvies, she looks pretty normal. The freckles help.

Dressed in civilian attire, Terrence almost doesn't even seem to be a soldier when compared to all of the other much bigger marines. He had taken the time to dirty and stain his civilian clothing with some grease and grime from the generators before pulling them on and heading out with the rest. He had left his rifle at the bunker, and concealed his sidearm in the waistband of his pants.

Toby felt no particular urge to go stick his neck out into the village, but nor did he feel like arguing the point when it turned out he was expected to. With a backpack full of basic medical gear and a few tools he also carries a jerry can of fuel that he has to swap from hand to hand occasionally as he starts to lose the feeling in his fingers. Sticking near the back so others can do the talking he keeps flicking his eyes around to see what’s about and keeps his other hand in his pocket, right by his sidearm. Just in case.

Randy's pretty used to working with her sidearm. She uses it a lot in EOD training exercises given the mobility it provides. Still, it's weird to actually step out of a secure place without her rifle in tow…and usually when she's using just her sidearm she's got some bulky armour on for EOD purposes. Randy put in contacts and ear coverings, but she hides how much bigger and weird they make her ears look with a cap, tucking the tops in. Randy worked hard to prepare pre-divvied bits of G4 for this occasion. She enlisted some limited help from Deckhands with ordnance training to speed things up a little and wrap up each bit so that it is already tradeable. She held an impromptu meeting to educate people who were selected to go out on how to pack and handle the explosives, a range of items that would be considered good trade for it, but also how to instruct the people they trade with on how to use it safely and to 'Not burn it all at once; a pinch will do.' She's wearing a balaclava…well, a scarf kind of made into one, and it hides the earpiece she has so she can stay in contact with the others. She keeps those large, but disguised eyes peeled. She doesn't look sidelong to Lleu, but keeps her gaze aside and listens hard for any whispers in the family's wake. That is until her radio crackles softly in her ear, though loud to her. She dips her hands into the pockets of the longish skirt she's wearing, an addition she made last night with the help of some others to create a compartment for her sidearm. Her blouse is a subdued greyish blue that she picked out and roughed up with a number of techniques. The skirt she made sure looked like it had walked through some mud along with the boots she's wearing.

Lleufer has made /some/ attempt to make his civilian looking clothes look worn, slightly dirty, and well used but only at a distant glance. There simply isn't time to make it truly convincing up close. Ynyr feels rather naked and vulnerable without even a dirty old flak vest but nothing to be done about it. He has his orders and so here they are walking. No obvious rifles with them, but Ynyr has maybe a couple of them all wrapped up and covered, attached to his pack that they may or may not even uncover, depending on who they run into and where. Gods hoping they won't /need/ them, themselves to get out of a sticky situation. The Gunny has his head and Arpay ears covered with a black knit cap and is wearing contact lenses with sunglasses. Carrying his pack of trade goods, he keeps his eyes and ears sharp and glances to the others with radios. Quietly, Lleu makes an effort to pass on what their Marine snipers have spotted before their group reaches the market.

Having packed similar attire in her kit to what they knew of the cultural customs from the last planet like this, Palermo had pulled on a ankle length skirt over trousers, the legs folded up to just above her knees and buttoned in place with those nifty button flaps that khakis come with. Her shoes are the most basic leather sandal types that she could scrounge for, a short sleeved blouse with a faded and frayed shawl worn over top to complete the 'look'. Mercifully, all of it compacted down pretty well in her gear so it wasn't that tough to make room for it. She has a scarf, faded grey in colour, folded into a ribbon and worn like a headband over her hair, her ears mostly concealed as well, though that's mostly for form not function, and her hair in a messy braid that reaches most of the way down her back. She moves alongside Randy, Miri and Numa, along with other women in the party, making a point of sticking close to the other women as a group.

Getting closer to the market, they are more easily noticed. People stop and turn to look at the strange faces and healthy people. It might be more than a little unnerving. Most of the people the Colonials see look like they could use a cheeseburger or ten. They aren't emaciated but everyone is on the thin side except for some of the bigger males who are more stocky by build. There just aren't any women of that stature to be seen, which is a little weird.
Stepping into the proper market, nobody seems to want to approach them or even say hello. Thankfully they are all still speaking Colonial Standard. They can all hear the whispers around them, wondering who they are — and especially where they came from with full packs. And a number of jerrycans, which certainly catches more than a couple eyes. Most of the actual stalls are kept by men with their wives moving behind them, bringing forward the supplies that are to be bartered for while they tend to children. The few stalls held by women have nobody in front of them despite having much to trade. Sullen faces sit behind those tables, a social jeering to them. How the hell could society have fallen so fast in twenty years?

Lleufer looks around. Yeah, damn it. They do stick out like sore thumbs, but at least he can play up his Aerilon twang a little bit. He starts moving through the market looking around for the kinds of tools he'd mentioned in their brief. Hand saw blades, drill bits, chisels, axe heads, plough blades that a horse could pull, hammers, things refugees would need to build and make things until they had mining and black smiths too up and going. But he also keeps an eye out for children sized warm boots, mittens, etc that they might be short on. Ynyr though is also keeping some of his attention to picking out the two militia here in the market and keeping a discreet eye on them. Check out what they are armed with and what they are watching. Lleu stops by one of the stalls a burly fella has tools at and starts looking. "Have any good chisels? Cold forged for rock, and some finer ones for wood working?" Those are harder for a blacksmith to make when starting out.

Swishing along in her green woollen skirt, Miri makes her way towards the women's section of the market. She figures this is the best way to try and blend a bit. The updates in her earpiece are both comforting and terrifying, and she's glad they can't hear her heart racing. She sees a few stalls with clothing and starts browsing for children's clothing, particularly cold-weather things. Keeping her voice low, she approaches the shopkeeper. "Are you trading for medical supplies today?" Anyone who's ever spoken to the vibrant, brash medic would likely not recognize that as her voice at first. It's soft and yielding. She's trying to play the part.

Approaching the stalls that are run by women, Palermo makes her way cautiously forward with a healthy and wary glance sent at the stalls that are run by men and the dour expressions on the faces of those self-same men. Once she's near enough to get a good look at what some of the women have to trade, she offers up a small - and not entirely faked - faintly nervous smile. "I see that you have a number of clothing to trade," and she leans forward to eye the stitching on the nearest piece, keeping her hands to herself for a moment. "What were you looking for, exchange wise?" is wondered in the same quiet voice.

Toby’s accent is distinctly Minoan these days, and there's no hiding that. He does consider trying to put on an Aerlion-twang, but in the end settles for just speaking as little as possible. Ambling slowly it doesn’t take long to find a leather worker with some decent looking gear, and next to him another stall selling farming tools. He's not an expert, but they seem reasonable enough quality considering, so he gives a short upnod of interest to the two stall holders then ditches his pack and pulls from the top a decent enough lump hammer that he's dinged about a bit to take that 'as new' shine off it. Offering it across to the presumed blacksmith he then points to several of the smaller farming tools, hoping that his intentions are clear enough that he doesn't have to go get Lleu with his local(ish) accent.

Numa isn't paying the blindest bit of attention to what's going on around her. She's already homed in on the clothing stalls and completely ignores her fellow team mates as she focuses on the job at hand, getting clothing for children. The little marine shifts from one foot to the other, easily falling into the role of country-bumpkin teen. One hand tugs idly on the end of a pigtail as she offers a stall keeper a quick, hesitant smile, shy. But doesn't say anything. Everyone else is doing the talking, so she just keeps on looking, occasionally her fingers twitch, like they want to touch, but don't quite make it.

Randy took a lot of basic medicine they had absurd surplus on and a fair amount of G4 portions. But she also has a large smattering of other things, hoping that she can make big trades on single items. Some of those single items are seeds, herbs seeds, and sewing kits. After locating her marks, she approaches the woman selling sewing supplies first, since she looks like she's rather popular already. Her voice is already hoarse and soft, so it only ensures her demureness. The stomp of a man-sized footprint bruised across her neck adds to the whole vibe she's got going on as she 'struggles' to look the other woman in the eye. She talks about the women from her part of the world and how they have no supplies. That near their village they found a great weird place that had lots of supplies and how they took all of it to bring for trade. Well all the supplies their people couldn't use after filling their stock. Her accent sounds countryish, something she can adapt from her time on Aquaria, but it doesn't quite replicate the region they are in now.

Having been a rancher on Piraeus, and born and raised on a working ranch here on Aerilon, Lleufer has some idea what kind of every day tools people need to farm and make repairs. He looks at saw blades if he can find any and probably isn't a horrible judge of decent quality steel.

The male marketers seem a little more interested in discussion and bartering for trade. Then again, they don't have the ore desperate feel. They engage with the guys and start talking about what is up for trade and offering to let people handle the items while exchanges are discussed. They seem quite proud of themselves.
Meanwhile the women are approached by the females of the group and all of them seem suddenly surprised by the group of women standing in front of them. They all stand and don't seem to know what to make of the influx of luck, an infusion of people willing to buck the societal rules. Women helping women in public. They all seem eager to trade anything, most of them looking for food or something they can trade for food. A couple of the more stalwart ones look wary but are driving to find out just what is for trade. But they also seem anxious to what is happening, looking over the Colonial shoulders towards the faces beyond. In the passers-by, the women have glimmers of pride. The young men look fairly offended, by varying degrees, but most look like they might go say something. The older men in the crowd stop and look at each other, then look at the young ones… sizing them up.

Toby feels somewhat successful in his endeavours, despite having to play a good game of miming for some things, particularly with the leather worker. Maybe playing mute isn't such a bad idea more often, it's another line of defence against just running his mouth off at people he shouldn't after all. In the end he comes away with a selection of hand tools, some leather working tools, rivets, buckles awls, and similar. The plough shears, well, those he's going to need to talk to Lleu about given the size of them and so holding up a hand to indicate that he is interested, and will be returning, he goes to hunt out the Master at Arms to explain the situation, making sure he has his back to the stallholders, so they can't see him muttering to the marine.

Lleufer selects every saw blade he can find at that stall, and chisels both for wood working and stone cutting. Axe heads as well. That's enough to start with at the first stall as he keeps his baritone low. Nothing timid about him though, but Ynyr keeps his voice low. "Let me show you what I have to trade and see if I can interest you in any of it." The few rifles he has brought he keeps wrapped up and covered but inside of his pack he brings out a few rolled up magazines, a silvery hip flask that gleams in the light, a couple of cigars, candy bars from MRE kits, a well read fiction paperback. "You eh, have anything /special/ you looking for that we might have brought with us?" Ammo boxes aren't shown yet. See if there is any indication of cautious interest in special items.

Miri acts quickly, trading her medical supplies for small coats, hats, mittens and boots, probably overpaying in trade, but not really caring about anything other than having an empty pack to fill with the necessities. She knows the longer things take, the more chances there are for things to go sideways.

Numa does her bit and comes away with a fair haul of kids clothing, and a few other odds and ends. She trades until there's nothing left in her pack worth trading for and stuffs all the things she's got into the now empty pack. There. Ready to go. She finds a spot and waits quietly for the rest of the group to get done.

The sob story to the woman with the sewing booth seems to draw the woman's attention away from some of the other customers and when Randy ends up having things to sell, there's some avid attention. Randy ends up making a trade, and when she approaches a more difficult station headed by a man, she goes to the woman first to convey a present and talk. When the woman at the seed stand gets the okay from her husband, he mosies over to see what Randy might have, since he spied her trading with the sewing lady. He's eyeing the small stranger with a scrutinous look. Randy immediately averts her gaze down. He asks her about the bruise on her neck. She explains that her husband did it. The man mentions she must have done something to deserve it and asks if that's why she's been made to walk all this way without him. Randy answers a simple and demure, "Yes." He then orders her to show him the wares she carries in her husband's name. "This is what he gathered. He told me each one and what it does," as if she's heard it a thousand times and listened dutifully. She lays out one of the bottles of pills. "Our healer of our village told my husband these are for pains and the sweats and chills," she explains of the fever reducing painkillers. She conveys the max dosages in an appropriate manner. Then she moves onto the G4 which just seems like craziness until there's a very very small demonstration which the man insists on happening behind the counter so that others can't see. Randy also goes through the bits and bobs she managed to stuff in. The man makes the trades that make him sound smart and magical. The G4 and the meds are traded more for his ego, though he does have usage for the G4. Randy keeps repeating similar song and dances around at other stalls herbs and other things. She even keeps her eyes out for any sports equipment like a ball or something she might be able to give to the refugee families.

Lleufer pauses in his bartering to look and check on how the others are doing. Making sure seeds are getting collected but Randy and others are on it. The Gunnery Sergeant moves on to the other stall with metal tools and does much the same thing, offering one of the fuel cans. It all takes time, gathering up supplies and keeping an ear out for his radio.

Palermo smooths one hand lightly over her hair as she listens to the women beginning to explain what it is that they're offering, and paying as much attention to Miri, Numa and Randy as the other women begin negotiations, it also (not so incidentally) allows her to adjust the hidden end of the wire that lets her hear the com chatter and keep up her op-sec and per-sec. Once she settles to it, however, she puts her focus to this task. She has a bag of medical supplies as well, having been coached as to what is useful and what is just nice to have, and begins to barter based on what seems to draw attention most. She isn't particularly good at it, but she's quiet spoken and polite, friendly without being pushy, trading away first a good sized supply of sterile bandages in exchange for clothing of various sizes and colours. Once she's on a roll she pores over the adult clothing, picking through it as though she knows anything about stitches and seams.

The guy standing in front of Lleufer watches the rifles get unwrapped and then exposed to him and he steps back. The man's eyes go wide. For a moment, it looks like he might shout. …but he doesn't. The guy is old enough to know exactly what they are and that they aren't fake. "Blades. Daggers. I have higher quality awls and…" He goes on. It sounds like the guy raided a construction yard because he has things like nailguns, which are useless to him, and other power tools he's willing to part with for those rifles. "But only if you have ammo."
Meanwhile the young men in the crowd seem to be gathering around the women and are speaking louder about what is happening, clearly unhappy. Words like 'cleric' and 'lashings' are being bandied about. Its pretty clear there is discussion about grabbing the Colonial women, and the stall owners, for their affront. The older men behind them keep a very close eye but aren't saying anything, mostly gathering and glancing towards the west side of the market. One of the older men circles around the group and casually makes his way up to the group of ladies and whispers, "I don't know where you came from, but us older guys can guess who you might be. You want to get out of here…" That's when he notices a demonstration being hidden at Randy's stall. Smoke. It wafts and he can smell it. "That's burning G4. …You ladies got something you want to pass to us older gents?" he asks low, glancing to them. There's a stern look but its clearly a facade given his words.

Something is happening with the Gunny. Lleufer gets into a very quiet but more intense conversation with one of the men. He unties the rifle package he has and lays it on the table, untying it and letting the fella have a /discreet/ look, then recovering it while they continue speaking. Ynyr nods and says really low, "Yeah, I have boxes." They are in the bottom of his pack. Careful not to flash them around, Lleu keeps them in their cloth bags but lays the heavy bags on the table and opens it up so the fella can look inside. Power tools would take a generator of some kind to run them, but water power generation is cheap for a fresh, raw colony.

The raised voices of younger men outside turn Lleu's head. He pauses a moment to watch and listen. Then he looks back to the older fella he's dealing with and keeps his voice low, "If there's those among you who would fight, there's a lot more we can direct you to if you help us."

Randy drops with the pretence enough to give the older man who approaches her a sidelong glance, just a little one. She pulls her pack down as if she's going to have everything confiscated from her and shows the older man what's inside. "Little packs of G4, easier to handle and stash, fever reducing pain meds with labels sanded away, put the limit on dosage in marker on the bottom of bottles. And a bit of everything." Going for the kill. She's not looking to make the /best/ deal here, but the expedient and useful one. "Looking for things for settlers. Seeds especially, the sewing kits I traded for." No sob story this time even if from afar she keeps all of her body language on point. "Put your trade in this bag under the blue clothed area to your left. You're /confiscating this from me. Leave the sewing supplies."

Keeping her eyes down as she bundles her finds into her pack, Miri speaks to the older gentleman. Softly, barely above a whisper. "Keep the faith and keep your eyes open." That's all she dares to say, with all of the angry gazes and words starting to be directed their way. She shoulders her pack and puts herself casually between then and wherever Randy is wheeling and dealing.

With the tone and body language of the youngsters Toby starts to move over to where the gaggle of colonial women are with a stern look on his face. He's still saying nothing, but his expression shows one of general disapproval at the group of them. Of course, to get close he also has to put his body between them and some of the potential-mob, blocking the lads' view. What a shame.

Numa doesn't say anything, or engage any further. She's got what she could and now she stands on the outskirts and watches, leaned up against something good and sturdy, using her pack as a prop. Bright blue eyes watch the proceedings as she idly curls the end of a pigtail around her index finger, careful not to look overly interested.

Concluding the trades that she can, and trading away every last bit of supplies that she was carrying, Palermo bundles up all of the clothing that she's traded for and carries it with her toward the edge of the crowd. She joins Numa's position, casually folding the clothing or rolling it up into compact bundles, tying them together and eventually draping the weight of it across her shoulders. Granted, this makes her look somewhat silly, but it keeps her hands free. Hands free is good.

The guy at Lleu's stall looks at the Gunnery Sergeant, then over his shoulder and around, then back to Lleufer. His wife got a look at what was in the bag and steps over. She doesn't say anything. They're both in their mid-thirties. "Rufus Lampton. This is my wife, Jocelyn. Colonial Marines, Second War and the Third. Both of us. How many rifles you got?" They must have gotten the age treatments. But is he asking how many rifles or Marines that Lleu has with him? Its tough to gauge but he looks serious.
Without Numa's response, or much else from the others, he looks to Randy. "There's a large manor house about half a mile west of here. Midnight. You want trade for that, be there. We'll be there." He's talking about Position 'Tiger'. The guy then backs off and waves a hand, "Go on! Demandable women! Learn your frakking place!" he bellows lowly at them, loud enough for the crowd to hear. "Go on, git!" He gestures heavily with both arms. "Find your paters and pray to the metal that you only get a hand to the cheek!" He feigns disgust well enough and the younger men cheer him on with the last.

Lleufer sees and hears the commotion over by Randy and looks back quick, "Pleased to meet you. Gunnery Sergeant Ynyr, CMC myself." Not putting it in the past tense at all but keeping his voice real low, "Can't tell you how many, but more rifles than this town could possibly use." Unfortunately, Lleu doesn't overhear the comments about 'Tiger', "I need to know where I can leave word or make contact." Meanwhile, he's packing up the trade goods into his pack, every last bit of it that will fit and then tying on anything else rolled up in cloth as he has to until Lleufer picks up his heavy burden and shoulders it. Into his radio he whispers, "Ynyr copies. We are exfil now, over." No need now to hide that from the Lamptons. Lleu touches his brow in a silent salute and turns to gather up his people to get out.

"I don't make the decisions, but we can be there if this place doesn't heat up." Randy closes her pack as if ashamed of the berating from the older man. Then she scuttles off to join the other women who are already getting the hades out of dodge. Then she directs them along to re-join the men and their 'rightful' place in the herd.

Tobys pack might be as heavy as when he arrived, but without the jerry can the walk back should be somewhat easier. With the older local managing to handle the youngsters he ambles his way back to the others as they reform as a group, hands going into his pockets in an effort to appear casual he glances down their route out, checking to see if it looks clear.

"Can't say but it looks like Bud just passed that to one of your people. And if you got more rifles than this town can use, it'll be worth the time to prove what you are. Talk is cheap, Gunny. Guns talk, claims walk." The guy nods to Lleu as he moves off, putting his arm around his wife who has her chin lifted just a bit with a smile. Once he's away they go back to business like nothing happened. Radio? Who needs a radio? Ready Harry?
As the group begins departing, the crowds begin to disperse. Nobody seems too interested in them anymore. A few mutters about the women, but it drew attention away from the guys. A good trade? Tough to tell. But as they all depart, those with the radio can hear one more call. "Gunny, Drago-Lead. Cleric is wandering into the market but nobody seems interested in talking. Heads are down. Exfil route is clear except for a donkey cart. We'll keep eyes on. Drago-Lead, out."

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