MD #042: Operation Cold Forge Part 2 ctd

Part 2 Act 2 commences. The Erfriki arrive on Calumet to link up with the first five that arrived via HALO insertion.

MD #042: Operation Cold Forge Part 2 Ctd
Summary: Part 2 Act 2 commences. The Erfriki arrive on Calumet to link up with the first five that arrived via HALO insertion.
Date: Sat 20/May/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: (Visual reference point/map for mission)
Randy Clara Knox Miri 
Michael Lleufer Palermo Osiris 
Tue 05/Dec/2028 (IC Date)

After Garrett took major hits he RTB'd and brought the news to the ship. Mike Six Four had made radio contact. Pass the word: Green smoke. The pilots of the Rhinos were passed the intel to look for the IR strobes and also the updated weather report from the ground. Nobody looks happy about it. The flight crews pass the word to the already loaded Marines and begin start-up sequence. Two minutes later, all eight Rhinos are off the decks and on their way down. Its a rather boring ride for the Marines considering there's nothing to see out the back or from the upper deck. At least its fairly boring until the flight teams warn about turbulence.

The crew chiefs at the rear decks call two minutes and swing the .50 cals away from the walls, waiting for the rear ramps to come down. Meanwhile the Rhinos shake and roll slightly, bouncing up and down - sometimes heavily. And then they can feel the landing gear come down and the gentle flair as the air buffets the heavy craft. The ramps drop and instantly the Marines inside are assailed with blistering wind that's well below freezing and snow going so fast it almost feels like it would cut any exposed skin. The chiefs in their flightsuits seem warm and they lean out to stand on the decks, scanning as they spot the ground. Its pitch black out there, not a damned thing to be seen anywhere.. until the ship thumps. There's a field of white snow out ahead of them and the chiefs start gesturing for the Marines to depart.

Its at the rear of the LZ that Knox is making his way forward from, past the line of disembarking Marines. He's in a flightsuit with the helmet up and on, with his woodland camo on over it. He sticks out easily, which might be the point. He's also got an IR strobe attached to his helmet. "Lieutenant Flynn," he calls on his radio. No sense trying to identify himself.

Randy's got her arctic gear on and flicks her headcam on. "Operation Cold Forge. Dog platoon, main Marine force landing," she prefaces the log and then finishes her final kit and weapons check. When they finally touch down, Randy signals, "Roll out! Ynyr take point. I'm bringing up the rear!" She's out the back of the Rhino after everyone else. "Knox. Back here," she alerts over radio.

Loaded up, kitted out, Gunnery Sergeant Lleufer Ynyr sits strapped in as they fly in. Like all of the others he's outfitted in ground combat for winter completely with light weight snowshoes strapped to his pack, balaclava to keep his face and his Arpay ears warm, and contacts in to make his eyes look like normal Aerilon grey eyes. Googles on over those. Rhinos are always a strange ride, a blast from the past, rough and ready. The back opens up and the bitter cold wind comes in. Ynyr has enough memories of Santos Ridge to not have any exposed skin, ready for it. Soon as they are motioned to disembark, he'll go with rifle ready and listening up for orders, alert and silent. His load out is LMG as per Randy's orders. "Yes, sir." Lleu heads on out to take up point and wait for the others to be ready.

Michael is busy fidgeting and tugging at his own arctic gear and his pack when the ramp goes down and Randy calls to roll out. The corpsman takes up his spot closer to the middle of the file of Marines, though its not really his pack he's clutching, that's his rifle in his hands with a thumb on the safety. Watching his feet while glancing ahead to stay with the group, Michael stays VERY quiet for the moment.

Knox turns and looks back to see Randy's short stature and tromps that direction through the snow. "El-tee," he greets, turning off the radio. The Rhinos all take off and he watches them a moment before looking back. "Sir. I can lead you guys to the bunker and out of this weather. The Calumeti are not exactly in fighting shape. They're tired and look nearly starved to death, sir. But they've sure as shit got a nice bunker." He has to speak through the helmet and past the wind, so he's raising his voice to be heard. "Wing blew through here about twenty minutes ago. They lost a Raptor somewhere about twenty-five miles southeast of here but no status on the crew. Bigger problem is this: There's an armored column of trucks and tanks headed this way. Three tanks plus unknown trucks and walkers. They were about thirty miles out about the same time the Raptor went down. Maybe they saw us landing on radar and are coming for a look. Weather will slow them down but we gotta move with a purpose, sir. Its about a mile and half to the bunker entrance." Its pretty clear Knox is cold as hell. The flightsuit he's wearing underneath helps, but the helmet is unsealed since the suit is otherwise air tight. Better than wearing soaking wet and frozen armor. A lot of the camo has ice and snow stuck to it.

Randy walks out to meet Knox, breaking formation as she knows they've got to move quickly. "Damn. Alright. Let's get going then. Let's get a move on to the bunker and try to get a jump on these incoming forces before they get to our friends." She makes the signal for them to move out, but stays alongside Knox to keep talking as they start out. "I assume the recon team is getting things ready back at the bunker?" Her eyes, though sporting contacts that give her those old brown eyes back, still take in Knox's state quite quickly before quieting down.

Damn it's cold. Even with no exposed skin, the bitterness of the subzero chilly is notable. Lleufer's breath seriously fogs, as does everyone else's. A nod is give to Knox but his close friend is briefing Randy so he keeps his mouth shut. It feels a hell of a lot like Santos, but with Skath and Moutains. Less rads, thankfully. Ynyr keeps a sharp ear and eye out, ready to move out. Flynn gives the signal. Ynyr starts in the right the direction and Coop can fine tune their progress as needed.

A couple of small swears escape Michael as he shifts and leans into the wind, ducking his head a little. Only a small glance around is given, blinking against the wind-blindness, squinting, then apparently choosing that just following the Marines ahead is the Best Plan for now. The rifle is held close as the signal is given to move, following in behind the crunching footsteps ahead of him.

Cooper gives a quick affirmative to Randy and leads them all out, moving at a brisk pace. The snow isn't getting any lighter or more shallow. Moving isn't hard yet, but it will be. Its several fields and a couple treelines and the guy doesn't stop to clear any of them. He just barrels through, staving off his own cold. They pass by a couple soldiers in ghillie suits and huge bore rifles, their faces covered and snow making them look like snowy bushes. They don't say a word, they just watch. Knox doesn't even look at them.

Coop leads the group to what looks like it was once a very nice villa home before most of it burned down, moving around back. They head into the basement in one long snake and through the warmth of heating lamps. There's a dozen people in there, Calumeti, that applaud and grin at all of them. No time to stop and shake hands, though. 'Erfriki! They're really here!' is heard among the din of voices, all of them sounding hopeful - like something prayed for has arrived. Onward, though, Dog's Gunnery Sergeant leads them through a mined-out tunnel about a quarter mile long and then suddenly it opens up from a blasted hole into a very busy, warm, and well-lit bunker.

The group is in a bay made of reinforced concrete about 40m wide and 20m deep. There's a crane overhead and marks on the ground look like tank treads. It smells and sounds a lot like the Deck on the Orion. With vaulted ceilings, the size is more impressive. Anyone peeking out past the bay dividers can see that it looks like its 3/4 of a mile long and lined with bays and off-shoot driveways. Tank barrels can be seen pointing out of some of the distant bays, too.

Clara appears to be helping coordinate various efforts: a makeshift infirmary has been set up, and rations have been collated and are being portioned out by a volunteer Calumeti. The equipment itself is hopefully being moved out in order of priority; most of the fuel is staying put, and being stacked in columns toward the ceiling, on one side of the bunker. The Three herself has pulled her loaner flight suit back on to ward off the cold, and may be nigh unrecognisable in a faint quantity of black and green camo paint. Her long braid is fairly easy to spot though, as the slight Line helps lend some muscle to the Calumeti's efforts to move some large crates out of the way of a mothballed truck.

Over the last span of hours, Palermo has spent the majority of her time taking a tally of what vehicles and munitions that could possibly be tasked to the effort at hand. She's acquired a clip board, somewhere, and has several sheets of rumpled looking paper sorted, a stub of a pencil tucked behind one ear and all of her camo paint is smudged and smeared though the area around her eyes is a reverse-raccoon look after having been wiped clean at some point to keep it out of her eyes. She's prepared the report, such as it is, to the best of her ability, and though the smudged and rumpled pieces of paper carries a rather exhausting tally, it's always just numbers and data until the action is over entirely. The look on her face eases from one of narrowed focus to a broad smile as she sees the safe arrival of the rest of the marines. Ladies and Gentlemen, the marines have arrived in force.

Randy follows along, just over Knox's shoulder, expecting the formation to adjust. Her eyes shift to the group of what look like snipers, but she takes her signal from Knox and keeps on following along. Once they're inside and down inside the basement, to the cheers of the Calumeti, Randy offers a nod and a small, grim grin. That's about it. She scans the immediate surroundings as they move further into tunnel and then finally into the bunker. It takes her a moment to take in the pattern of activity and spot Clara. Randy's got on her typical disguise, even underneath all her gear, that is ear coverings and contact lenses. She heads straight over to the Three. "Lieutenant Piers. Got some stuff we can use to kick these frakkers arses?"

Osiris makes his way along with the rest of the initial landing team to meet up with the rest of the incoming Marines. His weapon hangs from the strap, angled across his chest with his hands holding the weapon ready. He looks toward the others as they arrive, dipping his head in greeting. His camo paint is smudged, sweat streaked, though still largy intact.

Michael slows down when the group makes it into the bunker and looks around with wider eyes, but follows along dutifully. Previously warned, he doesn't take off his headgear, keeping the ears concealed and the contacts covering up the more obvious abnormalities of the eyes. For the time being, however, well, Mom's in charge. This won't be awkward. Not at all.

Clara turns when she hears a familiar set of bootfalls, her dark eyes alighting on Randy. There's a flicker of a smile for her fellow marine, but she's otherwise all business right now. "We've got a whole lot of stuff, though some of it's in pretty bad shape. I was about to go find Sergeant Palermo though, who should have a better answer." She wipes her greasy hands off on the thighs of her flight suit, and casts a look about for the woman. Clara adds, "These people are desperately in need of medical supplies. Those who can fight, are resting right now until we give the word." Clara can see Cooper looks like a walking, meaty icecube. There's still ice melting off his soaking wet camo on over the flightsuit. With his helmet off she can see the red skin around his neck where its become exposed for too long. He leans in to whisper to Clara real fast and then looks back to Randy, "Just telling her what I told you."

Already headed toward the LT and the arrival of the rest of the marines, Palermo is only a few paces away when the LT starts to look for her and has to quell the urge to wave the clip board like a flagger signaling for a flight. "Sirs," she says as she addresses both Clara & Randy. "I have good news, medium news and bad news," and smooths out the top most page on the clipboard. "Of what they have left, there's two working tanks that we can make use of. Five working infantry fighting vehicles, each mounted with a 25MM chaingun. They have a lot, however, of unarmored transports - like flat bed trucks, generator vehicles, command post trucks, stuff like that. From the tracks though and the way all of this way organized, they must have had three full divisions of gear down here at some point. And I never did quite get to the bottom of the fuel reserve question, sirs, though if the reserve is as big as it sounds, there's more options from that avenue as well."

Clara arches a brow at the sight of icecube-Knox, particularly the angry red skin that looks to have taken a touch of frostbite. She touches a hand to his shoulder when he whispers to her, and her lips press together as she nods once. "Okay. We've got immediate incoming, then, so that's our first priority." The downed raptor is mentally noted, but there's only so much they can do about that for now. "Flynn, what do you think? Grab one of the infantry vehicles, make a barricade with a couple of flatbeds and trucks? I'm not sure if we have the time, but we've gotta decide quickly."

Osiris moves along toward the others right behind Palermo, and as soon as she finishes with her report he begins his own, "Heavy weaponry is about the same. They seem to have plenty of anti-tank, but not much that will be worth much at short range. All of that has already been moved out. They have a lot of landmines and grenades, some heavy machine guns and mortars. I found some anti-material rifles that the snipers have. The people I talked to said they are good within 300m to take a Skath down, sometimes even with a single hit. Bad news is all of their ammo is gone except for what the snipers already have."

Randy says more quietly to Clara, "Our primary mission is to help them get these supplies out. We can talk to brass about followup after we get out of here alive. This will help them in the big picture here. Evacuation forces have communication with us to know when they are in the clear on egress?" When Palermo steps up, she shifts her attention over to her. "Thank you Sergeant Palermo. We're taking everything we can. We've still got some big boys out there. If we can mount some guns quickly on any of those trucks, we should do that now and get going. Do we know if the Skath are alerted to the bunker's location yet? Do they know it's being evacuated or look like that?"

Lleufer is mindful that his balaclava rolled up off of his neck doesn't uncover the top half of his ears. His helmet he resettles on his head and keeps his LMG handy on it' harness strapped to his chest. As he waits for further orders, Ynyr starts looking around, then looks back to Flynn and those speaking to her. The Master at Arms keeps his mouth shut and listens while the others report.

A frown furrows Palermo's brow, and the camo paint makes it look especially fierce, though really it's a thoughtful expression as she thinks back over what she's learned in the last few hours. "I'm sorry, Sir, I don't actually know the answer to that question. That answer would need to come from Emery, he's our liaison with regards to all of this," she sweeps her free hand around to indicate the bunker in general and at large, then fields the question to the LT with a glance.

  • Nobody here knows if the Skath know about the bunker in the last 4 hours, but there are forces moving this direction - which is bad. Can't tell if they are just moving or heading to the bunker or what. But if they knew about the bunker beforehand, they would have already killed everyone here.
  • Short range anti-tank is gone but the long range stuff is here. They've got pretty sophisticated IR sensors so they may be able to spot the tanks an trucks in the storm.
  • We've got two available tanks we can use and five infantry fighting vehicles. Plus a bunch of trucks, which can be used for whatever or not.

"Let's leave the anti-material rifles. We'll leave the ammo for the experts. We'll take the grenades, anti-tank we'll need it. We need to make a lot of noise. The city's decimated already so let's just bring all the fire we can. Let's get out the tanks and the LAVs and what trucks we need last. We'll be heading southeast to flank them before they get to the bunker. There's an industrial park south. We should get the Calumeti up and ready to to defend the gate and or come out to the fight. If the Skath go for the bunker, we hit them hard and fast. Gear up!" Randy flicks off her radio. The squad leaders should hear what they need to to get their teams ready to go.

Operations planning and assault are not particularly Clara's bag anyway, and she seems more than happy to let Randy take the reins on this one. "We're gonna have to haul ass then," she tells the platoon leader, already taking a step backward and visually scanning to see if Emery is anywhere to be seen. If not, she'll key up the portable radio to keep him abreast of current orders.

Lleufer unstraps his helmet and tugs his balaclava back down to tuck it in around his collar. Helmet strap tightened, he leaves his goggles up until they head outside. "You heard the Lieutenant. Let's get moving." He can lend a hand where ever needed to get people moving, gear rolling. A glance to Osiris, "You see anything like an RPG, might be good to lay hands to it, Corporal. That's right up your alley." Ynyr's got the LMG and gets moving.

Michael does his best to stay quiet and keep his place in with the rest of the Marines until Ynyr calls out that they need to go. He jolts out of his thoughtfulness and gets scooting, doublechecking his pack and gear, making sure he has extra ammo still stowed, then puts on his game face. which is pretty much him chewing on his lip and trying not to look like he's freaking out. Grrrr.

"I'll drive one of the IFV's," Palermo says as she waits a moment while Lleufer asks after any RPG's and asks of Osiris, "How many rounds can be spared for the IFV and how much 25MM ammo can I lay hands on to load the machine gun." She turns slightly toward the LT, "If we make a barricade of the flatbeds and trucks we need to get those moving right now, too," and lobs the rest of the question in the same vein to Randy, "sir, it won't take long to move them into position and it may prove useful to have those vehicles out there, fueled up, in position, if we have to try to convince these people one more time to evacuate. Faster on a flat bed than on foot."

"Understood," Osiris says in reply to Randy. "I can double time it back to the bunker and get the gear loaded up and we can be out in no time," he says, looking toward Randy and clearly ready to make a move to do whatever he's told.

"The only barricade I would consider is a fake one to ambush them, but we don't even know where they are yet. Let's see where they are before we commit to a position," Randy explains before going to help where she can and load up herself.

Commander Emery, the bunker group's CO, showed up a few minutes later with a bunch of people who look well under-fed. Just looking at them might make people hungry. The guy had gathered up enough people to help crew some of the vehicles and help move troops out there, but not one of them looked up and able to put up a fight for more than an hour in body armor. Add in the cold, these people would be suffering a lot of casualties just due to the weather and weakness. Its mostly on the Marines.

The vehicles started as advertised and were fully loaded with diesel fuel and ammunition. They even smell like every armored vehicle ever - like grease and sweat. And some body odor from the Private that forgot to shower. The last addition to the vehicles before they left was a thick mesh netting thrown overtop of the bodies of the tanks, and then draped over the turrets as well. Its an odd bit of camouflage, but once out into the snow, the flakes seem to stick to it nicely, which makes their green/brown camo seem less important or noticeable. At least the vehicles are warm, too. Those who end up having to ride in the back of the trucks, well eh, not so much for them. At least people seem prepared for this weather. The recon team even got their own set of arctic gear.

It only takes about five minutes to drive the mile or two to the industrial area, but the crews seem to be taking it easy. Better to be cautious than to bumble into an ambush. It all goes without incident, though. They drive to the north end of the industrial are and drop their ramps, letting the Marines out into the cold night air. With night vision on their helmets, it gives them a much better picture of the area they are working with. Most of the buildings are two stories high and have external catwalks and fire escapes. Some even move between buildings, though they all look rickety and rusted. Almost no windows are left intact anywhere and the place has a haunting feel. Wind whips around the corners and through the windows, whistling and blowing things about within the structures. With the snow dampening the echoes off pavement, it gives the bouncing sound a surreal quality as it travels down the roads and alleys.

Randy gives Commander Emery a shake of her hand and introduces herself briefly and her role in the main offensive. She very briefly goes over her general plan to keep the Commander in the loop and mentions to him that if all goes well, they won't need him or his people, but that they should be ready to drop and run if necessary. The Erfriki will of course give them a heads up if it looks like this is going to happen before the evacuation forces are clear. She trusts he won't approach directly from the bunker if it's going to give away the location, and wishes him good luck. Afterwards, she loads up in one of the trucks, using her eyes mostly to scout out ahead as they get to the part of the industrial park they want. "Alright, Ynyr, when we get there, we need to get eyes on where those Skath are, and if there is anything close we can use to lure them closer like a patrol that hasn't been swept up in the response force. Palermo, I want you to look for some good ambush spots and places that keep you some mobility. The rest, I want overwatch positions and Freeman I want you with an ATGM up on a roof."

Lleufer rides out in the back of a truck. Cold as frak. It's surreal on another level. Deja vu. Hasn't he done /this/ before back on Picon? Only, it was the Marines starving and grim. Ynyr jumps out as they get where abouts they are going and he starts looking around, then glances back to Randy, "Yes, sir!" He starts hoofing off towards the direction they are expecting the column to be coming from (East?) and is keeping his eyes and ears sharp as he starts scouting ahead to see what he can find out. Well practiced to heading off to recon, Lleu uses what cover he may and cuts through an alley heading for the main street. If he's careful he should hear them before he sees anything, but he's got to be careful. He's bait, to lure them.

Michael listens to the orders being given around, and, to be honest, looks a LITTLE lost until Randy mentions 'everyone else', and given that selection, attempts to find himself a good spot, maybe a window, that he can take up a good observant position and still be within earshot of at least Randy. You know, in case more orders get yelled or someone screams for a medic. The safety is finally off of the rifle, and he might be checking the other nearby Marines to make sure he's offering overlapping fields of view…

<FS3> Lleufer rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Lleufer rolls Stealth: Good Success.
<FS3> Lleufer rolls Alertness: Good Success.

<FS3> Clara rolls Stealth: Success.
<FS3> Clara rolls Stealth: Failure.
<FS3> Clara rolls Alertness: Good Success

Navigating the unfamiliar streets of a town that has seen it's property value seriously plummet into the negative integer range, no amount of urban renewal is going to make this city pretty again, Palermo drives the IFV through the main throughfare. Navigating between the remnants of the two story buildings, around any rubble that she either rolls over or around, as necessary. With the wind whipping around the corners and wheezing through the buildings, the sound of the IFV's engines and the treads on the ground must carry far and wide. Hopefully the same will be true when the approaching Skath begin to roll in this direction. She marks out a handful of most viable locations on the map, then calls the coordinates to Randy via com and takes up one of the first positions that offers a line of sight, the engine idling. Palermo is well aware she's probably the only one who ISN'T cold right now, that and the gunner who's either half frozen or half toasty and probably not comfortable either.

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