MD #162: Operation Buccaneer Part 4
Operation Buccaneer Part 4
Summary: A surprise meats the ground team as they prepare for exfil
Date: 17/09/2017
Related Logs: Operation Buccaneer Part 3
Lleufer Terrence Toby Randy Palermo 
Ples Bunker - Aerlion
Full of stuff.

The locals who were brought in for the op, unexpectedly, were walked and hiked up there about two hours ago. The idea that all this was sitting in this mountain the whole time pissed a few of them off mightily, especially Bud. Nobody told the former CAG this was here. But apparently the rest are just pleased to have the chance. There's the crash course in tank and truck driving, weapons familiarity, and loading gear up. Everyone is talking about hearing the sound of Vipers and Predators the day prior, 'the sound of freedom' getting bandied about. The people who intend to fight for the bunker move out in full combat loads and look more than happy to be wearing this stuff again. The women in the group no longer look like they might have to hunch their shoulders any moment. Everybody has on their dogface and wolf grins. Time to go hunting. They're all just moving out at dawn when the radio crackles for Lleu.
"Gunny, Drago-Lead." The people in the observation posts are generally quiet when they speak on the radios. "Got a Skath transport putting down on LZ Rickshaw, I shit you not. Walkers and armoured vehicles discharging. They ain't shooting but the whole town is running for cover. The market is being abandoned in place. No count on the metal. So far they are holding in place and formation. Over."

Ynyr is a busy man, trying to do his best for everyone who's depending on this op. Especially those in Command of the Orion. Lleu jogs across the bay to catch up with those who are still loading to make a status check when he hears his radio crackle. The Gunny slows his step, "Drago-Lead, Ynyr Copies, over." The Marine scowls, then lifts up his Drill Instructor Voice to give a nice, loud bellow. "LISTEN UP PEOPLE! Somebody has informed on us! We have Skath landing at Rickshaw and unloading Walkers and armoured vehicles! Marines and combat pilots, form up! Everyone else, keep your arms and any body armour handy, but keep working! HUSTLE!" For those who are carrying radios, Lleufer repeats in a quieter voice in case they are out of immediate hearing range of his shout.

Terrence is on the deck, trying to make himself busy loading up everything that has been deemed worth taking on what ships they will be trying to escape with. The Deck crewman glances up toward Lleufer as the man yells out, then double times it as he gets back to work, picking up anything that won't explode and tossing it to whoever is next in line stowing materials away. "Any idea how long we have?" he questions toward no one in particular.

Toby has had a busy few hours herding cats, or technicians as they're also known. The last generator watch was abandoned about an hour ago and all hands sent to finish securing the loot, and double checking the aircraft that were set to fly out. He himself has been working on the hanger doors, to make sure they'll open without surprise stops and blockages. Now. With all the prep he can do done, he's tooling in body armour, checking his rifle, and ensuring he has at least a few basic tools easy to hand. Just in case. All going well so far, until Ynyr passes on the news, and then he swears. Repeatedly, and goes to tap one of the circle and dot marking sup on the craft that they're planning to extract. Just so everyone knows which ones to work on, clearly.

Randy still has her radio from the rest of the mission. Parts of the shouting come to her sensitive ears regardless, but the rest she picks up over the comms as there's a lot of commotion involved in moving everything around. "Ynyr, Flynn. Copy that." She can't see him where she is, so that'll have to do. Still, out of habit, she takes a moment to look over the crowd for members of Dog platoon and the Deckhands they came with, making sure she knows their locations in case of need. With word from Lleu, she decides to put on her gear now, especially before someone decides it's something to load up with the rest of their haul.

Quickly grabbing any gear that she'd set down, Palermo quickly passes out the last of the 'how to' instructions regarding the tanks and the rest of the armoured vehicles. For a city girl from Caprica this is a particular awesome day: Training Course 101 in how to not crash the armoured tank into the guy next to you who's also trying to avoid doing the same thing.

As soon as he has a sizable knot forming, Lleufer raises his baritone to start giving a quick sitrep, "I don't know if somebody from the market ratted us out, or if the hornet's nest is riled up after our airwing actions, but a Skath ship has landed at Rickshaw. They are unloading about fifty Skath Walkers and four AFV's. The lander itself is armed! Our spotters will keep me updated on their movements but opening up this mountain is going to give us away real fast. Pilots, finish prepping your birds as we may require air support sooner than hoped. Marines! Gear up and prepare to go out. Spread the word because a lot of people here do not have radios! I need at least four tanks prepped, more if we can dig up drivers. Soon as the tanks roll out, let's see if we can get at least two gun tubes set up in case we need to give them fire support with the 155mm rounds. Additionally, let's get one of the anti-aircraft guns or a SAM moved into a usable position and armed. Whichever one is faster and easier to access. Everyone else needs to keep loading and fishing exfil prep! Ground Marines who can't assist with those tasks, hold for further orders. Any questions before we get to it?"

Randy is one with a radio, so she grabs someone near her who looks at her oddly because she's just a Private, explains briefly her voice is frakked up, and basically appropriates this guy as her megaphone, and boy what a megaphone this Sergeant's voice is. People start scurrying to task immediately in their area.

"You heard Ynyr," Toby calls to the deckies, "those of you with the birds, stick with 'em and help the pilots, the rest, pack quicker." The pilots and marines might have more important sounding orders, but he doesn't care. There's part of his brain telling him that he's old, and should go help prep a rhino so he can jump aboard as soon as they fly, but he brushes it aside and merely reports back to Lleu, "door is as checked and as oiled as it's going to get. From a technically point of view you're as good to blow our cover as any time."

Terrence continues to bend, grab, and pitch bags and crates of supplies up to the other techie stowing gear on a bird. He has managed to break a sweat, despite the cooler temperature inside the bunker, and he pauses just long enough to lift a hand and run through his hair. As Toby moves over nearby to speak to Lleufer, Terrence turns his head to watch the two, staying close enough to be there if someone should need him.

For a moment, juuuuust a moment, Palermo's expression sports a fierce rather intense grin before turning back to the trainees she's been taking through the how-to of tank driving, weapons systems and pointing (in general) in the right direction. "I still can't take them back to the ship with me, I know," she knows, she really does. With that said, though, she jogs back to the first of the tanks in line and mounts up, calling out instructions as she does so.

It takes a bit to get the guns and artillery moved, as well as get everyone settled up in the tanks and moving those to the main entry doors at valley-floor level. When they do, there's four old Carballa tanks lined up with engines running and crewed. The guns are aimed towards the closed doors, waiting for the order. Up top, the gun crews at the howitzers already have their first rounds loaded and are just waiting for the doors to open. Once done, they just have to roll the guns forward and fire. Meanwhile the spotters report that the Walkers are keeping into squad-sized formations and are moving out. There are two AFV's with each larger group, one moving right up the former runway towards (and halfway to) LZ Slade, right by the Market. The other group is just south of the runway and seems to be moving for the actual township area.
As soon as the order is given, the doors begin rumbling. The floors shake and the lights overhead begin to sway. But is the rumbling from the doors opening or the avalanche? Up on the fourth and third floors, the doors begin to crack open and daylight is difficult to see. Dust and dirt begins to swirl in with the cool morning air. They can still see a good potion of the mountain tumbling down. Trees can even be seen on their way down the sheer slope. It takes about thirty seconds for the massive blast doors to finally open and lock into place. The dustcloud only allows distances of a few meters until a good gust of wind swings through the clears much of it out. Ahead of them is a massive opening literally large enough to drive a ship through. Below, the rockslide is still settling on the valley floor and anyone inside the bunker can look out with a perfectly clear sightline right down onto the former airfield and the big ship still parked there with its engines running. …At the lower doors, much smaller, but the story is similar. Once the doors are finished opening, the wind clears out much of the dust and shows a big berm in front of them from the landslide - but it does the lovely double duty of hiding the actual entrance to the bunker at ground level. There's so much dust out there that its impossible for anyone to actually tell how many slides have happened or exactly where. But that will change very shortly.

"Acknowledged, Shacklton. Soon as I get the OK they are ready to lift, we are opening. Want to drag out one of those gun tubes with a few friends and load up some 155mm shells? I'll send a Heavy Marine to supervise and make sure nobody blows us up by accident." If Toby looks game, Lleu gives the Tauron a friendly slap on the shoulder and looks to Pal, "Go for broke. Merry Saturnalia. Grab you a tank or similar and lead'm out. Holler if you stub your toe and we'll try to get you back. Be careful." People start running to make those things happen, and then he's looking to Randy, "Flynn, you think you can man a SAM? Soon as hell breaks loose, that ship's probably going to lift."

Toby seeks out one of the Deck POs and unceremoniously dumps command of the techs left packing on her, "Sorry Rudd, this lot are your problem now," then, to Terrence, "Yates, with me. Time to break out the Emergency Howitzers." Making best speed up to the gun positions he lifts an arm up to cover his mouth and nose from the dirt, and has to bink his eyes a few times, but then he's getting down to business. "Ynyr, we have eyes on hostile walkers and AFVs, also hostile landing ship. What’s our priority order?" He wants a go at the ship, really wants to take that bastard out, but the walkers and AFVs might be the more pressing concern. "Yates, if he says the ship, aim for the engines, if the squads, I'll take the one heading for town, you take the one going for the market area."

As Toby calls out for Terrence to join him, he is quick to drop what he is doing to join the other Deckie. "Sounds like a plan," he comments toward Toby as he breaks into a jog alongside the other man as they run for their weapons. Stepping into position behind his gun, he eyes down at the approaching enemies and nods his head, "Got it. Take out critical systems first. Try to leave them stranded."

"Aye sir," Renee replies with a grin and a hasty - enthusiastic - tip of one hand at her temple before she jogs back to the rest of the crews standing by. Once she has the crews sorted to their vehicles, Palermo slaps one hand on the lead tank then jogs for the AFV that she's already earmarked and fuelled up, armoured up, and ready to go. She climbs up, swings into the seat, and wrenches the door closed with a squeak of sound. No time to WD-40 the door hinges, after all. The engine rumbles to life with a cough, a brief complaint of sound, and the settles into the rumble of sound that means everything is in working order. She shifts into low gear and rolls the AFV forward, taking place at the head of the formation and ready to roll out once the doors are wide enough to get the tanks to roll through.

Lleufer hears Toby over his radio once the Deckie has moved to man the howitzers, "Shackleton, Ynyr. Hit the AFVs first. I'm putting someone on a SAM to take care of the ship the moment it tries to lift. Tanks can target the ship /as well as/ AFVs and any walkers in close enough groups. Walkers are of least priority, over."

"Right, I'll grab a SAM." Randy says over comms just to make sure she can be heard clearly. She trots off to go get a shoulder mounted one and puts herself through a quick mental refresher as she catches up with the cavalry to start moving into position. "Ynyr, Flynn. Moving into position with the shoulder SAM. If you want to pick me up in a truck though I wouldn't mind the mobility."

The dust is finally clearing and being blown away by the east-bound winds coming off the lake to the west. Everything seems fairly quiet. Birds can be heard singing again as the artillery is pushed up to the doorways. Tilting and securing the guns takes another minute or so. It is not long before they are spotted. Anyone higher up can look down and see the Skath and AFV's begin wheeling and turning towards the mountain. Meanwhile the landing ship's engines can be heard, even at this range, bringing up power and the ship begins lifting weigh off the skids while the landing ramp rises.

Toby side glances to Terrance and smiles slightly, "cook of their fuel supplies and or reactor cores and blow the whole ship, but your idea is good too." When the order comes to target the AFVs he looks a touch disappointed, but then starts sighting up on his first vitc.. err, target. "These frakkers are loud," he warns Terrence, "so watch your ears." As the dust clears and he can get a clear view he takes in it for a moment then gets to work. One of the AFVs that had been heading for the town is located, and after a quick check final check he lets rip.

Palermo slows to a rolling stop and pops open the passenger side door to flag Randy down, "Come on, I'll give you a lift!" she calls through the open door. The advantage of having Randy with one of the SAM's along for the ride is absolutely worth slowing down for.

-Because- the ship may go air borne really fast and they might not /have/ much time to nail it before it's either on top of them or radioing for help, Lleufer Ynyr's boots pound up to the upper level. He has acquired a pair of binocs and stops where he can get a good view out over the valley below. He's not trained as a Heavy Marine but as they don't have many on this op, he's shouldered a SAM and starts prepping it. Randy may nail it but two SAM's are better than one to be sure. The Gunny keeps his ears sharp, listening for what is coming over their Marine radios. Soon as his SAM is giving the green light, Lleu looks for the rising Skath ship to take aim. Over the radio he says, "Flynn, let's not let that ship get away. Fire when ready! Mind, nobody pound our AFV's or tanks by accident!" Good call as the ship didn't stay on the ground long enough for the howitzers to target her! Ynyr does his best to send a missile at her! It launches with a kickback of expelled propellant and roars off through the sky towards his target!

Terrence glances aside toward Toby as the orders come through for their targets. He nods at the reference to the volume of the gun before he also sights in on a group below. He is aiming for the group now heading toward the mountain, and he hones in on one of the AFVs, watching for a moment through the sight before he opens fire.

<FS3> Toby rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Lleufer rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Terrence rolls Gunnery: Good Success.

Randy can't see shite. "Can't see shite Ynyr. Hopping on a ride in an AFV with Palermo. I hope you have line of sight." She doesn't want this ship to get away. It's a quick hop into the AFV and she shuts the door behind her for now, keeping the SAM safety ON ON ON while inside, but ready to use the well of the door to stand up and shoot when they get a line of sight.

Toby's round kicks just before Terrence's own. They can actually watch the little black specks head for the ground. Its nearly straight, round-drop being nil but still present. Both rounds hit AFV's, Terrance's on the western group by Position Tiger and Toby's into the town. The rounds land close enough to glance-strike across the sides and blow off the front corners. But the blast is large enough from Toby's that it also blows a house apart, sending burning debris across other roofs. The two each skid to a halt in place and there's smoke from them, but the turrets begin moving.
At the same time the turrets on the AFV's begin pointing up, the gun systems on the lander begin opening fire. 20mm high velocity rounds fire much faster and begin peppering the sides of the mountain and some even into the hangar, exploding on the ceiling and showering people with rock and debris. A few second later Ynyr's missile impacts the starboard engine nacelle as its lifting past 100 feet. Randy can now see it's hulking shape rising above a clump of distant trees. The engine immediately starts smoking but the ship continues to rise, starting to pick up forward speed. The guns continue to fire, but just a little erratically.
With the tank group rising over the berm and heading north, they can atch the artillery rounds start to fall and the ship rise. But more importantly there is a very distant shot available at a small cluster of Skath, but they can also see one or two beginning to emerge from the south side of the town, much closer.

As soon as the ship even peeks into her view, Randy starts moving and crawling up so she can pop the hatch on the AFV, forgetting she's just a Private and this is now Renee's AFV. "Taking the initiative Sarge," Randy says into local comms. "My target is that limp ship. I need you to get me into…Okay into position and firing." Flip that safety, pull the SAM up, start the whole targeting process, point, shoot, pray. The SAM fires off her shoulder. Bombs away!

Once Randy is in position, SAM pointed in the right direction, Palermo keeps the AFV as steady as possible over the terrain that they're navigating. She sees the artillery rounds that are starting to fall, the gleam of light off of the distinct cluster of Skath that are moving out, and worse - the ones that are nearer that are beginning to emerge. "Frak if the instinct to floor it and run them down like bowling pins isn't a real thing," she calls up to Randy before she keys the com to speak to the rest of the tanks. "Make your shots count, try to avoid hitting any of the houses. Take your shot, recover, retarget, take the shot. Rinse and repeat."

Lleufer shouts into his radio, "Missile away - it's a hit on the ship but she's not going down yet! Hit it it soon as you can, Flynn!" That for Flynn! Then Ynyr says, "Drago-Lead, Ynyr. Do you have a position update on the Clerics?" The Gunny lost track of their bright red robes in the excitement of higher priority targets. "Can we get snipers on them, over?" While he's talking, the Gunnery Sergeant is also reloading his SAM. "Viper pilots, keep eyes out for additional enemy air!" The Master-at-Arms lifts the launcher once more to try and get another missile fired at the Skath ship! Rounds are starting to pour in from her guns to pepper the mountain, throwing dust and debris as chaos tries to reign.

With one AFV stopped, Toby mutters a few words for anyone who might have been in the house, then remembers that it's likely collaborators, given those who've committed to the anti-skath cause are with them, firing up various bits of hardware. As the howitzer is reloaded he debates internally between trying to finish off the one he winged, an going for the second. In the end he goes for the second, figuring that the damaged one isn't going anywhere, and maybe, just maybe, some locals might take advantage of it's damaged status to finish it off for him. Once given the all clear to fire again he sights once more, looking for that second AFV, and once it's found he fires again.

Terrence crouches behind his weapon as the turrets below start to return fire up the mountain. "Frak!" he yells out to caution Toby, as if the other man hadn't already noticed. He glances over his shoulder to see where the enemy rounds are exploding inside the hangar and growls as he turns back to return fire. "Much more of that and we won't be getting much out of that bunker!"

<FS3> Terrence rolls Gunnery: Failure.
<FS3> Toby rolls Gunnery: Success.
<FS3> Lleufer rolls Gunnery: Failure.
<FS3> Randy rolls Gunnery: Good Success.

"Negative, Gunny," Drago-Lead isn't bothering with whispering anymore. "The Clerics shed their robes and we lost them. No joy on those two, over."
The round from Terrance goes wide, hitting nothing and the shrapnel just bounces off the outside of the AFV's. Meanwhile Toby's shot screams in and explodes when it hits a Skath next to the still-moving AFV. The round rocks the vehicle to the side and it slews into the tavern, part of the building coming down on it. Quickly backing up, it starts firing along with the other three AFV's. Every single round starts heading towards the open hangar bay. Bits of concrete and shrapnel begin flying everywhere inside.
Randy's missile leaps away and hits the same engine nacelle that Lleufer had hit. The ship is already moving about twenty knots forward and passing 200 feet when the engine explodes, streaming fire and smoke. The port engine powers up and turns out to be a mistake. The whole lander begins a roll to starboard, towards the town. But then the thrusters fire and overcompensate. The ship rolls back port and begins a decent and death roll. A single comm drone fires off the top, arcing high into the sky as it augers in. The lander pancakes across Position Badger and begins burning, the manor and surrounding homes already destroyed. Ammo cooks off a second later then there's a bright white light that fills the valley. When it clears they can see nothing but a huge, explosive crater with bits flying everywhere and a huge mushroom cloud. The blast rolls across the valley floor, taking out every house and tree within a quarter mile. Four seconds after the flash, the blast hits the wall of the mountain and the sound is enormous, loud enough to deafen anyone for a few seconds while the overpressure knocks down move people. Even the howitzers hop in place. ..Down on the valley floor, the Skath have been knocked flat.

<FS3> Toby rolls Body+body: Success.
<FS3> Lleufer rolls Body+Body: Good Success.
<FS3> Terrence rolls Body+body: Success.
<FS3> Randy rolls Body+Body: Good Success.

Something hits the upper level of the bunker near to Ynyr just as he's about to fire his shoulder launched SAM. Debris zips through the air and small fragment nicks Lleu in the left side of his neck and lower ear! It jerks him enough that his shot goes off but is too far out of line to hit the careening Skath ship. Thankfully Randy's shot goes up her backside and rips a great bit fiery hole in her! Oorah! Lleu gives a shout and shoves a fist up into the air as he watches in anticipation. Then he flips open his coms, "Rance, Ynyr! Two clerics have shed their robes! EVERYBODY, heads up! Keep an eye out for anyone who looks like a model line who isn't Rance Hood, our bearded Seven! You see any other skinjob, shoot'm! Don't let them touch you! They might pop up in our midst, over!"

Then the shockwave rolls up from the valley and HITS the mountain. Ynyr was standing where he could see well, throwing up an arm to shield his Arpay eyes against the light even if his face shield on his helmet will help protect him. But not so much from the blast that tosses him back like a rag doll to hit the floor with a clunk of large Marine and his gear!

With his eyes fixed down the howitzer sights Toby does not see the death of the Skath craft but boy does he feel it. He just about manages to cling to the gun to keep himself upright, and ducks his head under the main barrel to protect it from the ceiling that is raining down. "Frak me!" he declares, loudly, once he can hear again, but then he's scrambling back to try and finish off the AFV he just failed to properly hit.

<FS3> Toby rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Terrence rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Palermo rolls Gunnery: Good Success.

Randy wants to stick around and watch her shot go. Who doesn't? It's a horrible thing to do in the field, but she doesn't seem to give a damn. She drops the launcher in its sling so her body can pick up the weight and lifts her fingers to plug her ears as she squints. The pressure wave should be enough to bowl someone as small as her over, even though she's somewhat inside the AFV. That probably helps, and that she has enough experience to correct her stance before it hits. "Shockwave coming," she warns Palermo before giving enough time for it to clear the mountain before she gets back on comms, "Ynyr, Flynn. That was my one shot. I'm going to hang out with Palermo and her IFV and help out till I get further orders."

"BRACE!" is about all Palermo has time to yell through the com as the shockwave ripples out. From within the AFV the marine squints her eyes are narrow as possible just in case any of the debris shatters the glass of the AFV. She hunches slightly, instinct taking over, even though the impact on the ground hugging AFV is going to be the win or lose moment, because metal wins out over flesh and bone every time. She rides it out, blinking rapidly once it's over, and lets out a low whistle of appreciation at seeing the Skath tipped down like bowling pins. "Hells yeah, that's what I'm talking about," she doesn't quite resist the instinct to crow. "Nice shooting, Flynn."

Terrence is focused, gritting and grinding his teeth as his shot goes wide and his nothing, wincing as the debris from enemy rounds striking the inside of the bunker can be heard falling a short distance behind him. He doesn't see the enemy vessel go down, or explode, but the rumbling and shaking of the ground surprises him, causing him to clutch his weapon to stay on his feet. He shakes his head in wonder before looking back through the sights and engaging again, even as he cannot hear his own weapon firing or Toby speaking beside him.

Despite getting knocked on his ass and half stunned, Lleu drags himself to sitting up as his ears are ringing. Breathing roughly, Ynyr gets himself back to his feet and leaves the SAM launcher on the floor where he dropped it. He flips up his dusty face shield and lifts his binocs to get a view of the valley out there. Blood seeps down the side of his neck and his lower left ear is ripped up, but he can ignore that pain for now. There is a long moment spent assessing where enemy units are located, what they are doing, and how damaged they are. Then he goes back to giving out orders over the radio as the firing continues…

<FS3> Terrence rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Terrence rolls Gunnery: Success.
<FS3> Terrence rolls Gunnery: Failure.
<FS3> Toby rolls Gunnery: Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Toby rolls Gunnery: Failure.
<FS3> Randy rolls Firearms: Amazing Success.
<FS3> Randy rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Randy rolls Firearms: Great Success.
<FS3> Palermo rolls Gunnery: Success.
Palermo spends 1 luck points on Bowling pins!.
<FS3> Palermo rolls Gunnery: Good Success.
<FS3> Palermo rolls Gunnery: Good Success.

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