MD #020: Operation Smokejumper PT3
MD #020: Operation Smokejumper PT3
Summary: Where the marines did not have fun storming the castle.
Date: Sun 30/Apr/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs:
Clara Fischer Dropkickst Michael 
Miri Palermo Penta Randy 
Enroute to the castle
Tue 14/Nov/2028 (IC Date)

<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Good Success.
<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Success.
<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Good Success.
<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Good Success.
<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Success.
<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Failure.
<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Good Success.
<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Good Success.
<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Good Success.
<FS3> Dropkick rolls 6: Good Success.

Once the order to commence firing is given, the 155mm howitzer barks within a few seconds. The shell was preloaded and just awaiting the order. When it fires, the plows on each arm dig deeper into the soil on the hillside, securing it further into place. The blast from the gun, at such a small deflection angle, blows down grass in front of the gun and chunks of thin topsoil go flying with it. Each person behind the gun can track the little black speck most of the way, too. The trajectory is lobbed just ever so slightly. The Skath at the gate light at the flash of light front he gun and the people on the wall point, obviously confused about what the team has been doing or what the M777 gun actually is. The introduction is violent. The first round impacts the door and explodes with an enormous -PRANNNNNNGGGGGG- that echoes back to them across the valley. Thickly armored, that thing took the direct hit and is still there when the smoke clears. However, the Skath are on the ground and trying to get back up. The artillery crew works quickly, jamming in another round and adjusting aim. At the same time the people on the tops of the walls are running away from the gate. Sixty seconds after the first round landed another one goes outbound. The people in the town below can hear the rounds traveling overhead, sounding like a God had ripped open the sky and sent a freight train plowing through. The rounds are barely 200 feet over their heads when they pass over. More people have come out to the roads to watch the gun pound the portcullis and door. With the ninth round fired the door makes a different sound. There's a buckling twist to it, able to be seen from the hillside at this range. On the tenth round the HE detonates and blows the rest of the door right out of the rock tracks. Part of the wall at the rear crumbles and drops down, the huge slab of composite and steel falls away to the side and presents an access point that's bee slightly widened by the impact of the artillery. The Skath at the gate are in nothing but pieces.

"The enemy's gate is down!" Penta barks from his position atop LAV 1, sounding not at all like Ender Wiggin. "Charge on through! Artillery, keep their heads down!"

Michael holds on to something in the LAV tight when the Major calls the door as being down. He can KINDA see what's going on, but not really, so the call to continue the charge has the Specialist checking his gear one last time and getting his rifle up and ready. Any moment now. Last time was recon. Now they're really charging in to kill people. Determination is winning out a bit over the uncertainty on his face.

Fischer lets out a bit of a breath as he hears Penta, grabbing hold of something with one hand as he glances around towards the others.

"Hang to something, boys and girls, this is going to be a bumpy ride," Palermo calls with a tone of voice that holds just the right amount of glee. That being 'not crazy' glee but 'whoohoo boy I love my job' glee. The LAV rolls forward, the rest of the LAV's following suit along corresponding but individually determined trajectories that factor in things like objects and/or people and/or livestock in the way. The 'have fun storming the castle' portion of the program commences.

Randy counts the number of rounds it takes to pummel the gate down, but she doesn't know if all of them hit or not given her visibility is all of jack shit. Still, she files it away in her brain for later if she even remembers after everything. She makes sure her rifle is ready with a round in the chamber and that her pack is secure, ready in case she has to make a quick exit. Just before they start rolling forward, the inward mothering takes over and she leans to see if she can get a glimpse of Michael. Then she whispers something to herself.

Miri breathes in the space between heartbeats, her hearing protection turned to full sound cancelling. Even though she's not hearing the explosions exactly, she feels them, hanging onto the vehicle as they surge through the hole they punched in the side of the fortress.

The LAV's bounce down the fields and converge on the road, which is easily going to be the most practical way there. Crashing through wooden fences is fine and all, but there are low stone walls that could crack an axle or cause larger problems - like total immobilization. The people on the roads see the LAV's coming and this time, this group of people, they don't even try to greet the armored vehicles. The people scatter all except for one goat. The goat gets run over. Squish. They're just clearing the villages when the terrain starts to rise up towards teh gate. About 200 yards from the portal, though, there's another report from the artillery team. "Tanks! Enemy armor coming up the valley! Count three ../CYLON/ tanks! With Skath markings! approximately two miles from the gate and closing on your position."

"Shit," mutters the S2 under her breath as the cylon/machine tanks are spotted. "We've got company," she calls down to the others, and lifts her binoculars again to try to get a sense of how long until they intercept.

Michael isnt really paying attention to where Palermo is driving, he's just envisioning the inevitable deployment…but then the mention over the wireless of CYLON tanks and the little medic perks up, eyes widening a bit, and the grip on his rifle tightening a little.

"Of course it's Cylon tanks. Why wouldn't it be Cylon tanks?" Miri reaches over and tries to get Michael's attention. "Hey. Hey. This is just a mission. You've trained for this."

Penta knits his eyebrows. "Artillery, target those tanks with SCAMs rounds if you got em. See if you can slow em down, at least," he orders over comms. Then, he looks outwards. "LAVs, we get as far into the castle as we can, then we dismount and storm the residence keep."

"Permission to use the universal key to open the doors to the castle when we get there, sir?" Palermo asks without taking her eyes off the road and wincing at the peace protesting goat that has become a billy-goat-martyr. "I imagine there's doors inside the walls, that is, and maybe a round placed in the right direction could save us some time."

"Granted," Penta replies instantly. "We'll be doing our best to destroy it on our way out anyway."

"What does that mean?" Randy calls back up to Clara before Penta can respond. As soon as he does, she shuts up though so Penta can call out his orders over comms. Then she realizes the obvious and mouths, 'Oh….Frak.' Randy hears the bleating briefly before that horror is unrevokable. Then she affects a steely expression, pursing her lips and wrinkling her brow into something resembling concentration as she tries to hear what's going on over the noise of the LAV. Ugh.

Checking his rifle one last time, Fischer lets out another breath. Looking between the others, his gaze pauses on Michael, offering him a brief grin. "Hey, you'll do fine," he offers.

Michael mutters unconvincingly at Miri, "I know, sir." And puts on a better steelface, which is sorta ruined by how he still chews on his lip when he does it. If only he didn't have those big ears and that bright red hair, he might even LOOK fierce.

"We have two SCAMs, Major. We'll fire them. Engaging," comes the reply back from the artillery crew. SCAMs aren't really meant to be used this way but there's a first time for everything. They didn't even bring much ammunition overall. In the background of the radios the Marines can hear the artillery term cussing and yelling in anxiety and apprehension. There's no ATGM's for the tanks and the rifle security team with them is only going to hold off a couple Skath. They'll have to do it on their own, though. The LAV's bound up the long road to the gate, Marines on the outside ducking low and aiming their rifles forward from behind the turrets. Commanders are in their hatches behind their belt-fed machine guns, aiming and firing up at the guys on the walls. Once they move through the thick gate area the place looks like a completely different world. The buildings are all constructed of riverrock and mortar, looking of fairly sturdy construction. It isn't like the peasant homes they've past, looking like they might fall over with one bad thundrstorm. The buildings within the walls have been whitewashed on the outside with the wood treated and some very nice, subtle pastels have been used to match with the gray stone streets and eggshell housing. The vehicles get about fifty yards into the castle gates, the last LAV entering in the line, as they hear an explosion at the gate - the sound of a tank firing coming right after that. Ruhroh. Palermo turns the corner in the LAV and there's a huge mass of people on horses and foot trying to scramble over a 'roadblock' made of wooden carts and whatever kind of items the local militia could find. Swords are raied and out, arrows flying, until the militia gets a good look at what the hell is roaring up the street at them.

Clara twists around on her perch and calls down to Penta, "Is there any way we can slow one of those things down with a mine between us and them?" On the road, she means, timed to explode when they run over it more than likely. "Might cause a chain reaction with one or two behind it, and buy us some time."

Miri ducks down and tries to make herself small on the back of the LAV. She doesn't get much of a chance to appreciate the pretty paint jobs. She's just hoping not to get arrowed.

"A mine we can't control as easily and that's our only exit. I can set charges though," Randy offers when she hears Clara speak up about mines. That and mines are kind of unwieldly and likely not in the LAV. She looks to Penta with eyebrows raised.

"At the choke point."

"Remember that these people aren't our enemy," Palermo says even as she's eyeing the makeshift roadblock, the mounted militia and everything else in the way. "We've all read the same reports. We know these people are essentially brain washed by the machines," listening to the sound of arrows plunking off what ever it hits.

"Shit," Penta mutters as the artillery gets anxious and a tank comes nearby. Then, to Clara's question. "We basically have no way to fend off tanks, unless someone gets creative. I had been hoping we'd be out of here by the time they arrived." Finally, the roadblocks. "Aim for the horses. Aimed fire only."

Clara nods slightly to the comment on mines versus charges. Then she hears Penta saying something about aiming for the horses, and furrows her brow a little. "I don't think that's wise. They're likely to get out of our way if we keep moving. The tanks are the threat right now, not some men on horses with bows and arrows."

Michael gets a peek of horseback archers and becomes a quick copy of Miri, ducking for cover, though he's turning his head up enough to try and keep a look at either Palermo or Penta, using either enlisted or officer as a good sign of how things are going.

"I hear you, Piers. But both are issues," Penta replies. Surprisingly, the stress doesn't seem to rattle him too much, at least not by the sound of his voice. "Belay my previous order. Palermo, stop the LAVs. Let's give them a chance to scatter."

"Flynn, when you think you've got a shot, go for it," adds the S2 as an addendum. Not that it's really her call. She addresses Penta, "We don't have time to stop. Those tanks reach us, and we're done. We have to keep moving." She stops short of contradicting his order, but the urge to do so is right at the tip of her tongue.

"Copy that," Palermo's voice is calm as she begins to relay Penta's order's down the line to the other LAV's in motion. The sound of the vehicles has to be a culture shock to these defenders of the keep, such as it is. She flicks a glance from Penta to Flynn and back, not wanting to be in the middle of a debate or issue contradicting instructions. "Sir?" she makes it a question.

"Keep going." Penta clarifies. "However, if by chance we have a horn?" He had no idea, honestly.

Fischer frowns as he listens, moving to where he can look back towards their rear. Keeping his rifle ready for whatever happens.

"I think they know we're coming, sir," Miri grumbles over the coms.

Randy can't see anything, and that's a problem when considering her hairbrained scheme. She shrugs off her pack and then tries to maneuver so she can get a view of the gate or the tanks. The last time she saw the gate she was up on the hill, and she hasn't seen their tank models off. "Sir, I doubt tanks could get through the gate. It's better for them to continue pounding at us from a distance and camping our only exit. I'd never make it to them. They'd just pick me off," she reports with a sigh. Then she looks to Clara and shouts over the noise of the battle, "But I'll keep my eye open!"

The LAV roars forward towards the crowd of fleeing people. Dresses and tunics are flying in every direction, trying to get out of the way. It isn't exactly a fire breathign dragon but its sure as shit scary enough because its inside the gates and it managed to kick down the door for all they know. Blowing a horn won't make any difference. Horses are freaking out and trampling smaller people and eventually just bucking off their riders and running like hell. For the most people people seem to have cleared but there's still injured folks trying to get out of the way as the LAV edges up within ten feet. The militia, in a nice show of bravery, leaps the wooden barricade to attack the beast. Swords clang across the outside armor like so many bullets. Bladed pikes stab up towards the turret and driving prisms and IR cameras. They are all shouting at the thing, screaming for it to die. Until they realize there are three more just like it coming up the street behind. More frightened shouts but they aren't stopping, the group swarming the LAV about three deep on all sides.

<FS3> Dropkick rolls 5: Success.

The expression on Palermo's face is intensely focused as she drives the LAV forward, watching as people run, scatter, stumble, get trampled, etc and so on. As the group closes in around the LAV she turns and addresses a question in a low voice to Penta.

The clanging of the swords against the LAV are starting to give Randy a headache, as evidenced by her headache face. This involves a supremely squinty look and a frown that makes her look either constipated, generally uncomfortable, or angry. Take your pick. She refrains from lifting her fingers up to her ears or fumbling with ear plugs, wanting to stay aware.

"Piers, kindly get on the loudspeaker and be all cleric-y, please?" Penta asks, with an almost Virgonian calm to his voice that he'd definitely learned from Amos somewhere.

Miri climbs up higher on the LAV, trying to get out of sword range. She hangs on. She waits for orders.

Michael winces a little at the loud roar of the crowd attacking the LAV, but perhaps wisely keeps his head down, glancning across the top to Randy. Either hes still really sensitive to the explosions, or he doesn't have his noise cancelling dialed down as much as she does.

Clara? Loudspeaker? The Three looks like she might have a panic attack just at the thought of doing any such thing. But she peels herself off her seat and swings down into the LAV proper with a quick, graceful motion. The loudspeaker's handle is grasped, and she flips the switch to ON before speaking, "Stand back, and help your injured. We are here for your King." And if there's no reaction? She'll repeat herself. Hopefully they all recognise that even, bell-clear voice as that of one of their clerics.

Fischer shakes his head at the sound of the swords against the LAV. "Percussion…" he mutters, looking around to see if there's any reaction to Clara's words.

"Major, we've used one SCAM round and managed to knock the tread off the Skath tank. The gun on it is still active, though. We're taking incoming tank fire and we won't be able to hold this position long, over!" The artillery crew can also be heard in the background trying to get the gun re-aimed and loaded. They're trying to fight but there's explosions going off all around them. It doesn't sound good on their end for trying to hold out on the hillside - and that's their primary support fire. Meanwhile Clara's voice doesn't seem to resonate as well with these people. Perhaps they just cannot see her face, though mentioning the king just seems to nfuriate them and they start banging harder, more of them moving around to the front to try and stop the LAV by sheer force of pushing back. They've gone about 75 yards inside the walls and have about another mile and a quarter to go.

"I think they need to see you, sir," Palermo suggests as she twists with a look toward Clara. "Maybe just hearing your voice isn't enough," and like in weather forecasting, it's never to early to be wrong or make a guess based on forecasting models.

Miri reaches down, offering Clara a hand up if she wants one. "Come on, Miz Cleric Sir Holiness," she quips, ducking to dodge what appeared to be some kind of wagon wheel thrown at them.

Clara nods tersely to Palermo's suggestion, which by the look on her face, had probably occurred to her too. "I don't think it'll work," she surmises after some thought. "They're too angry to hear me." A look is shot to Penta. "If we were to get off and move on foot from here, what do you figure our chances are of making it inside?" It's not much of a plan, but they're running out of runway here. Miri gets a 'one minute' finger for the hand back up.

Randy, hearing the crowd getting angrier, simply shifts her pack off and reaches to her rig for a flashbang as she maneuvers towards the top of the LAV. It's daylight, but there's a /bang/ on the name of it for a reason. "Bangs out!" She tosses it out in front of the LAV to the people mucking up their path, and then reaches for her second one and throws that too.

"Edge forward and go! We don't have time for this shite," after she tosses the second flashbang.

"Frak being gentle anymore. If they're inside the castle, they're loyalists. Go forward!" Penta decides.

"Aye, Sir," Palermo replies and with a shouted, "HOLD ON," followed by, "ALL UNITS FORWARD," she shifts down a gear and the LAV rolls forward for the makeshift barricade, leading the way.

Michael watches Mom toss grenades, but forthe time being, he doesn't lose grip on his rifle. A glance overhead gives him a better idea of where they are, before he looks back down and hisses lightly, maybe to Miri? "Almost there."

"Almost there," Miri agrees, getting ready to dismount and run.

Clara clambers back up atop the LAV at the call from Penta, rifle at the ready as she too prepares to hop off. Her attention is on the castle proper up ahead, not on the people being trampled underfoot as they refuse to move out of the way.

Fischer keeps his rifle ready, but remains where he is for now, as he looks around. "I hate mobs," he mutters to himself.

Miri snorts at Fischer's comment. "I've only ever been in the mob, never having to deal with it."

Screams. Pain. Other sounds. It isn't fun. But the engine masks some of it as the LAV suddenly surges forward. Without concern for who or what may be in front of it, the twenty-five ton armored vehicle crashes through the wooden carts as if they weren't even there. The engines of the LAV's behind roar at the same time and the rear tires dig for traction before surging. The militia on the ground, astonished and horrified at what they see, stand back and watch. From up the streets, knights are assembling and running, riding horses at ull speed towards the keep and residence. Quite a few are already there. But a mile and a half on narrow streets is a long way to go. Minutes stretch out as turns need to be made and then getting turned around. The place is a maze when trying to steer from inside a vehicle. Eventually they seem to hit the main drag, Palermo able to see the road ahead leading right up to the gates of the opulent residence. There's another cart roadblock ahead but, well.. the last few didn't exactly slow them down, either.

"Crash through. We go in guns blazing. We're here to kill the King, folks." Penta calls out. "If you see anybody looks like a knight, shoot him."

Weighing in at 32K plus pounds all by itself before all the rest of the gear and crew complement is factored in, the LAV is not a fluffy bunny going for a stroll through the tall grass. Palermo knows the weight ratio, she knows what the wheels can handle, stress wise, she knows that clearing a path forward is actually the task at hand. If she has to clean body parts and other things off of and out of the LAV when this is over? That's what power wash is for. The LAV moves forward, navigating the turns, the halls the maze between the gate and the opulent residence. As soon as they reach the straight away, such as it is, she shifts into the next gear up again and pours on a measured rate of acceleration, taking the next roadblock at speed. "Brace for impact," is called in warning before they hit it and roll - crunch - demolish - pulverise etc through.

<FS3> Penta rolls Firearms-4: Success.
<FS3> Clara rolls Firearms-4: Success.
<FS3> Miri rolls Firearms-4: Success.

Clara wedges her back in against the stabilising bar of the LAV, swings her rifle over when she spots a few knights headed in the direction of the keep, and fires once she has a clear shot. It's slow going, but it might make for less resistance, once they get inside.

Penta aims a shot here and there at a knight as they go. It's just a round per knight, but maybe it'll add up?

As he hears the sounds from the ones firing on the top, Fischer looks around rather carefully. He doesn't fire at anything for now, just remaining ready.

Miri takes a shot for the nearest horse, hoping to slow down the knight in question. All that armor doesn't make for easy landings. She swallows a pang of guilt at hurting such a beautiful animal.

Michael flinches as gunfire rings out, taking a moment for it to register that it's just multiple guns from the LAV, not any sudden technology boost the locals got. Michael checks his rifle and finally squeezes off the safety, bracing himself as he assumes they are getting off shortly. Oh god this better be fast, is that a cramp? Nonono. NOT NOW.

The LAV's blow through the barricades and screetch to a halt on the stone roar as they arrive at the top of a long, slow hill. There's a group of Knights out front already charging from the main doors and lifting their swords. The voices roar as they charge in their plate armor. A couple of them raise sidearms in their of hands and fire wildly towards the LAV's as the rear ramps drop to the ground to let out the Marines. The commanders turn their LMG's on the knights with the sidearms and begin hammering away, then spreading out from there. The bullets punch through the metal plate with barely a notice.

"Marines, dismount your vehicles! Inside!" Penta calls out as the ramps go down, as he moves to cover his troops' dismount.

Bringing the LAV to a halt and checking position on the other three to confirm arrival and relative 'safe' transition through the maze, Palermo checks all systems and lowers the ramp to allow the marines in her LAV to dismount and take the fight on foot. In communication with the other LAV commanders she listens as each unit maneuvers into the best possible position, remaining with the vehicle once her marines are out.

Randy rolls out as soon as the ramps go down and the order comes out nearly simultaneously. With her rifle up and ready, there's nothing but anger in the little thing. Anger at what happened back on the road, anger that the Skath have basically forced them to murder civilians, anger at the whole godsdamned backwards world of Bominaire. With her jaw tightened, she lays down some suppressing bursts, being one of the first ones out.

The vehicle comes to a stop and Michael is up, his rifle is up, and he's traling the marines off of the roof and down the ramp to be ready to move forward with the team. Expression a little paler than his already 'Im an albino' white, his face at least looks determined to Do This.

Clara shoulders her gun in its sling, grasps the top stabiliser bar of the LAV, and swings down with a thunk of boots hitting cobblestones. She's upset, too, but hers is a broodsome anger. With Randy taking point in the charge, she waits for the medics to come down and then hoofs it after them as protection.

Miri follows Michael, keeping an eye on him as well as the rest of their charges. She moves quickly and softly, finding her spot in the formation almost instinctively.

Fischer gets out of the vehicle as well, moving into position as fast as he can. There's a few breaths, as he keeps his rifle ready for whatever might come.

Penta is the last one down, naturally. Once his feet hit pavement, however, his rifle is brought to ready and the safety is turned off as he heads in.

Into the entry of the main residence, there's a huge hall that is truly fitting for a king. The stone structure is massive with wooden supports as thick as four trees bound together and holding up the vaulted ceiling. LArge windows to the left and right side, high up, provide stained glass shadows on the floor, drenching them in blues, reds, and greens. There seems to be a sotyr to be told with the windows but nobody really has time for that. There's people running everywhere. Knights seem to have mainly gathered near the door for the greeting and now it looks like the servants and courtiers are the ones to be found. A lot of them are trying to get by to escape, carrying whatever they can carry with them. One woman has an armload of dresses. At the end of the hall they can stay on the main floor or there seems to be shouting coming from the second floor, the twin staircases climbing up on each side of the hall to a balcony and hallway that goes deeper into the hillside and underground.

Once all of the marines are out, and each of the LAV has had a chance to seal up the ramp again (this action designed to ensure that no enemy combatants decide to try to sneak up the ramp and attack the driver OF the LAV) Palermo leads the maneuver and executes a three point turn to bring the LAV around so that it's aimed back the way the came. Per her advice, the other LAV's follow suit; no one really likes doing 3-point turns anyway. They'd like doing them even less while engaging the machines, more enemy combatants and load up their marines at the same time. Prior planning prevents potential problems, or something like that. Once completed, the LAV's wait, coms on, eyes peeled, round chambered.

Clara breaches the hall with the others, eyes scanning for the likely location of the king's chambers. The sound of shouting draws her attention, and she indicates the staircase to Randy and Penta with a nod. She'll move when the medics move though, vigilant for snipers with arrows or anything of the sort.

Michael ducks his head a bit as the group plays cover leapfrog through what's left of the castle entry and the hall, waiting to catch cues from the higher ranking officers before pushing forward, and since Clara is indicating a direction, well, the redhead is only too happy to scoot forward, rifle up. Please don't startle the Marine. He might give you the full clip.

Miri has been in many ground assault situations. The castle deal is a new one to her. She does her best to keep focused on her team and movements and not get distracted with sightseeing. When Penta points, they move.

Randy glances back and notes Clara indicating the stairways and Penta too. She then sends the signal for the team to move forward and takes them quickly but thoroughly to the staircase and up, just like they practice in training right? Only, this time it's a castle.

<FS3> Randy rolls Firearms: Success.
<FS3> Penta rolls Firearms: Great Success.
<FS3> Miri rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Fischer rolls Firearms: Good Success.
<FS3> Clara rolls Firearms: Good Success.

The Marines pile up the stairs and come to the large hall just as light footsteps beat down on the carpets. The little people turn the corner and there's girlish screams. The queen's and likely princess; handmaidens run into the group of Marines and scream bloody murder before running back a different direction down the other staircase. It was an effective warning and distraction because then a bunch of boys wielding swords and arrow, the stab with, charge around the corner. Squires. The Marines manage to get their rifles up and shoot but not before a few of them take hits.

"Call out if you're hit," Miri says over the comms, not wanting to add any more to the din of battle. She finds a bit of cover in an odd protruding wall corner and scans the team for injuries.

Randy doesn't blink at the ladies big and small. They're just something in her way…like hens. But when the males start charging from around the corner, she quickly turns her rifle towards them, lifting it up to fire, pow, pow-. She doesn't even need to burst. She's taking the third shot, her finger squeezing the trigger, an arrow hits her with a THWUNK! and she doesn't really feel the full pain of it for a moment. Adrenaline. POW! She looks down at her thigh and sees the thick shaft sticking out. These things take down deer.

Michael narrowly avoids actually squeezing a shot off when the attndants round the corner, scream, and run off, such that when they approach the corner and ACTUALLY get attacked, he hesitates enough that he almost gets his arm sliced into by someone reaching with their blade, "Frak!" as he tries to become one with the wall of the stairwell and any cover that might remain. Randy calling out has him blinking and looking back for her voice.

An arrow slices through Clara's armour, lodges in it, and is snapped off and flung away with a scowl from the Three. She's bleeding, and it certainly hurts like a bitch, but it isn't enough to bother the medics with. She soldiers on, quick on her feet as she crests the stairs and books it through the hall.

"Oh, gee, more kids I have to kill," Penta mutters as he fires on the squires. One, two, three shots. "That'll show up in my mightmares."

Just as surprisde as the rest, Fischer manages to barely avoid getting hit by an arrow, that passes right by his shoulder, and he fires back instinctively. There's a brief pause as he lets out a deep breath, shaking his head a little. "Frak…" he mutters, nodding at Penta's words, "Occupational hazard, I fear," he offers.

Miri dashes over to Randy's side. "Flynn, get Fish. I've got Big Flynn." She grits her teeth and tries to keep her commentary to a minimum, grabbing some injectors and giving Flynn adrenaline and painkillers, snapping the arrow's shaft and wrapping her leg quickly to try and stabilize the arrow.

Moving down the hallway, it doglegs left slight and gets into the royal residences proper. The offshoot hallways seem to go to servants quarters and offices but as they come around the dogleg there is a group of knights standing there, swords out and staring. They can see that the Marines have been wounded, but they can see the strange rifles, clothing, and armor. These are not visitors from another kingdom. "Attack them! AT ONCE! BY ORDER OF THE KING!" an elder Knight at the rear yells at the well dressed knights. But they all hesitate and begin looking to each other as they notice that there are women in the mix. It isn't that they are offended so much as shocked. -They- know enough to be aware that these visitors and their metal beasts are not from this world. Swords are held on to but they all begin to scoot to try and get around the Marines, possibly suggesting there is no other way out of here for them. Its a form of surrender, but what did command say about these people and the crimes they have committed? Would they be so kind to someone in their position? Will they show mercy to others upon seeing their kingdom fall?

Michael mutters a, "Yes, sir," and starts after Fischer, then slows down, head down, and says hesitantly, "Sir? Sarge is fine." He stops where he is to draw his rifle up and follow the advance, but when the troops seem to be surrendering, he maintains a bead and calls up questioningly, then chooses to aim at the one that was barking orders to attack..

Penta aims at the leader and fires. "We don't have the capability to take prisoners, Marines," he calls out in Colonial Standard.

"Sir, they're trying to escape," Miri says over the coms, helping Randy up if she needs it.

"Then kill them," Penta replies, his voice unusually cold.

Nodding to Michael, Fischer offers a very brief grin. "It was close, but it missed." Moving along, he nods at Penta's words, raising his rifle and firing at one of the other knights.

Randy digs her nails into her palm, gritting her teeth when Miri snaps the protruding arrow away. "Thanks," she gets out with a grunt, her squintiness increasing a touch at the throb behind the meds and adrenaline when she uses her leg after Miri helps her up. But she's back in the flow of things as soon as Miri's patched her up. She gets herself back into point position, determined to see this through and still fueled by her burning anger. When the knights start trying to edge towards the sides in a cowardly disgrace towards chivalry and Penta takes the first shot, Randy follows his lead and starts firing at anyone who comes in her direction as she continues to advance.*

While the other marines are dealing with those trying to escape, Clara's attempting to press in further, trying to get eyes on where the King himself may be garrisoned away.

Michael hesitates a little - firiing on people that aren't immediately attacking draws a little pause from the corpsman, but he resolves the issue within a second or two and steps forward, squeezing the trigger as soon as he has a clear shot at a knight.

The wholesale destruction of the Knights in the hallway passes with only the sound of some screaming from behind the door at the end. Over-penetrating rounds plug into the heavy twin wooden doors. The bodies in the hallway aren't moving, either, except for a few trying to spend their last energy attempting to reach for an exit. Or a necklace. As the Marines move forward they end up at the double doors to the quarters. Inside this gorgeous room, done in black wood and red cushions. Gold everywhere.. Diamonds on the fourposter. The fireplace is the size of a Raptor, almost. Huddled in front of the fire is the King with his crooked crown, the Queen holding to his arm, and their family. Four children, late teens to about twelve. There's nothing but fear and hatred in their eyes. "Stop! I command you to stop!" the youngest, a girl yells snottily at the Marines.

Penta looks grim as they enter. This time, he's the first through the door. "I'm afraid your time has come," he says simply in Bominaire. "We shall not stop until Bominaire is free." Then, he turns to the Marines. "Neutralize them, Marines. Without exception."

When Penta gives that order, Miri can't hold it back any longer. "Sir, those are /not/ our orders," she says quickly. "I am not murdering unarmed children."

Clara slows her jog as they reach the final room, and their quarry therein. She keeps her rifle up, ready to take down anyone that rushes them - but it's a family they're greeted by. A mother, a father, their children. She presses her lips together, unwilling to mow them down without just cause. "No." The order is refused outright. Instead, she moves toward the king at the centre of all this, still with that stub of arrow head lodged in her arm, making every movement ache.

Some of the children are the age of her children and the order makes Randy hesitate. Not twenty years ago she was killing APF kids with rifles, but these don't have any. She takes a deep breath and turns directly towards Penta, going so far as to get between him and the family. "Sir, we can't do that. Let the women be handled by the populace at large. I guarantee you they won't have any power."

Michael soft-shoes it closer up to the advancing line right as Penta gives his order. He blinks and raises his rifle and hesitates again, but this time other people are asking, so that hesitant finger lingers and he looks over to the pins in the room, "Uh…sirs?"

There's a brief pause as Fischer hears the order, and the objections to it. Watching the royal family carefully, he doesn't move, waiting for now.

"We will turn the King over to the people," Penta decides after a few seconds. "However, our orders were clear. Anyone else in the castle is considered a sympathizer to the Machines and is not to be spared. In a monarchy, too, it is best to eliminate the line of succession."

"With all due respect Sir. You're wrong." Randy takes a step forward towards Penta with a painful look on her face, shifting her weight to her good leg while bringing her rifle around to try and butt him in the head with it and knock him out.

Penta brings his own rifle up to block the blow. "Those were our orders, Flynn."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Randy=Melee Vs Penta=Melee
< Randy: Good Success Penta: Good Success
< Net Result: Randy wins - Marginal Victory

Michael blinks again when one Marine…oh screw that, his MOM raises her rifle to the Major. Talk about a conflict of interest! He stares, then remembers there is a group of cowering royalty and advances enough to be out of the way of the swings, but keep a rifle trained on them so no one does anything punchy. He is, however, not firing.

Miri reaches for her tranquilizer injectors, but Randy is too fast. Instead, she heads over to the women. "Get back. To the walls. Now." Her commands are soft, but dangerous.

Well, okay then. Penta goes down like you'd expect someone rifle-butted to the face to go down. His nose isn't broken, SOMEHOW, but he's unconscious.

"What the…" Fischer begins, shaking his head a little. He looks between the royals, and the other Marines, especially over to Penta on the floor. "I guess we need to come up with a good plan here," he remarks. Looking towards the children again, rather carefully.

After a short scuffle, the Major goes down, and Randy kneels painfully down to check his pulse. "Marines! Command has been transferred. Apprehend the King. We have a job to do. Do not use lethal force on the women and children. Be careful, they might have daggers. You can knock them out if necessary. Piers. I'll need you to give the Major a hand in getting out of here in one piece please."

Michael frowns as Mom is now giving orders, the look on his face a mass of apprehension and concern. He does, however, advance to hopefully help Clara march the King back out to the LAVs. Maybe they wont get attacked if they have HIM at gunpoint…

The royal family hears those orders and eyes go wide. Brace for impact! They all flinch, waiting for the gunfire to spray into them. Instead, they look up and see two Marines fighting. They're all scared, none of them sure what to do. The end up following directions, though. Mostly dressed in bedclothes due to the morning hour, they get up and work with being shoved towards the doors, too scared to resist.

Moving over to help making sure the children doesn't attack, Fischer looks to them. "Don't worry. It will be all right," he tells them in their language. The words come out practiced, like someone who has had to tell a lot of people those words, even when he knew there was no way to know. Helping to bring them outside.

Clara relinquishes the King to Michael, and hitches her chin at Fischer to indicate that he should give the medic a hand. She's going to have her hands full with their now-unconscious CO, seeing as the slip of a woman is ironically the designated muscle of the group. She drops her rifle back in its sling and winces as Penta's weight drives that arrow tip deeper into her arm. There's blood - on her, on him - as she hoists him up.

Randy limps along, her face contorted into a near constant grimace from the pain. "Let's go!" It's time to find the peasants, the people they came here to free…just after they wind their way out of this oppulent monstrosity. Along the way, Randy makes sure to walk in front of the King to make sure he doesn't get any stray or sneack attacks waiting for them and die prematurely.

With the royal family in hand, Miri goes over to take Clara's place under the unconscious Major. "Let me. My blood's all on the inside."

Fischer moves to help Michael with the King, glancing around very briefly. "Yes, just like in the old days," he mutters, under his breath.

Penta is limp, unconscious, deadweight. For all his face shows, he's dreaming about rabid sheep with razorteeth.

The rest of the Marines fought their way back out, leaving most of the courtiers to fend for themselves within the residence, though many of them are currently fleeing down the streets towards the destroyed gate. The LAVs, once packed back up, don't stop for anyone. Horns blare as the drivers pack up and move. They are officially 73 minutes behind schedule. The LAV's bounce through the portal and straight down the road, speeding towards teh village. Higher, across the valley back on their hill, they can see thick black smoke coming from a huge crater where the remains of the howitzer once were. There's bodies on the hillside, too. But there are also people on the dirt road when the LAV's slam on their brakes and drop their ramps in the center of the little village near the castle gates. People start to filter out.

Clara shakes her head to Miri. "I've got him. I want you to keep it that way." She's in pain, but she'll live. The Lines are tough mofos.

Miri lets Clara do what Clara do. On the way out, she stays near the back, covering their exit

As soon as the LAV ramp drops, Randy limps out. She directs the Marines to bring the King to the front to be placed in front of the gathering peasants. She checks her watch and then waits for enough locals to show up. After clearing her throat, and when everyone is in place, she mutters, "Here goes nothing. Team, be on the alert." Then she takes off her helmet and begins to project from those tiny lungs. If she's going to face these people, she's going to let them see her face (albeit disguised as a normal human). No tricks. No trying to lower her voice like a man's. "People of Bominaire! Here is the King the false gods have placed to rule over you, to enslave you. To tell you what to eat, how to behave, what you can believe, and how you can run your lands. We are the Erfriki. We are your brothers and sisters from a far away world. We have bled and fought for our brothers and sisters to bring you this King so that you may rise up and claim what is rightfully yours not just for these lands, but for all lands on Bominaire! Where we come from, no man or woman has the power to enslave, to tell them what they can do with their lands. Our people decide together. You, your people, must now decide what to do with the King!"

Michael will rather nervously end up being one of the ones leading the King out at gunpoint, though his attention keeps shifting to wounded Mom. Miri took good care of her though, so at least he seems to be able to focus on, well, NOT accidentally shooting the King and ruining whatever they were trying to do.

Penta awakes at this point, inside the LAV. Blink blink. "Um, ow."

Clara will have gotten some medical attention for that arrow she took to the arm, once they're all piled into the LAV. If neither Miri nor Michael have the hands free, she'll likely take care of it herself. Then the vehicle's pulling to a halt, and it's time to make an example of the poor King. She hangs back to keep an eye on Penta, and looks over when he wakes. Not a word from the Three, just those dark eyes on him.

While the LT is talking to the crowd, Palermo communicates with the other LAV commanders and has a detail of marines fielded from each LAV to secure the bodies of the marines that are scattered on the hillside. It's a proper detail, to be clear, one marine training a weapon on the body to ensure that it's a Erfriki marine, and determining if the marine is a fatality or casualty, then carried back to the LAV's accordingly. The standard is set for a reason, they don't leave their people behind, dead or otherwise.

The people seem to blink and take a step back at the idea that this is the Erfriki. Fencer wasn't joking - the rumors and stories about the Erfriki have been spread far and wide. even this close to the castle walls, they know the whispered legends. And with the King left standing beside Randy in his satin pajama pants and button up shirt, he looks at those around him. Ecept for his now-dirty bare feet, he's the picture of health and cleanliness. Meanwhile the people around him, frowning, could use a daily bath and some new clothes. Calloused, angry, and more than a little miffed with the man, Fencer had warned Petra that these people were more than a little sick of his regime. From the side, emboldened by seeing a female face, a woman flicks her arm and the back side of a hoe swings up rapidly and catches him hard enough across the left knee that his whole stature buckles and he goes to the position of supplication, painfully trying to stay off his left knee as he holds it, groaning in pain.

Michael most likely did help Clara patch herself up since Miri had helped Randy, and really, holding a King at gunpoint…cant be that hard, right? Right. So when they clamber back out, he's very tightly restrained in marching the regent ouy and waiting for further orders.

Randy allows the crowd their reaction. When the woman cuts the King down into a kneeling position, Randy steps back, as if to show, they really have brought him for them. Then she does something else, she bows her head to the peasants. It is not to look away from what will happen to the King. What they've done, they've done to serve these people. People who deserve every freedom, even if they've been cajoled and intimidated into systems of oppression. Then, she looks up. She will not turn away from the possible carnage. "His crown has no place here! Take your justice! If you do not, we will, but the honor and power belongs to you!"

Miri doesn't have the stomach for mob justice. She watches Michael as he tends to Clara. Good technique. She turns the dial on her earplugs.

Penta steps out of the LAV, now. Sure he's sore, but he has to witness this, with his helmet off and his eyes unprotected.

Fischer stays back near the LAV to watch what happens now. There's a look offered to Penta as he sees the man step out, before he looks back to the happenings with the King and his people, rather carefully. Expression quite neutral for now, except for something in his eyes that seems to suggest he's fighting to keep his expression that way.

The small mob begins to grow in number as they stare on at the King. The crown falls into the mud and one of the men picks it up. Rather than take it and run the guy uses it as a weapon and swings it at the side of the King's face, sending teeth flying as he drops sideways. People yell and move in, tearing at his clothes until he is naked as the day he were born. Ignoring the Marines, they drag him away from the castle a the guy moans, likely taking him towards the woods. People can already be seen to be getting rope. Hangman's Comin. Then the radio crackles, "We are at the LZ, ground team. Where are you? We need to get the hell out of here, over." Raptors and Rhinos.

"We just delivered our cargo to his just reward," Penta replies into the radio as if he'd never been unconscious. "We are inbound to LZ." Then, "I'm back, Marines. Mount up, there's nothing more to see here."

Michael watches this abject mob justice and swallows, looking distinctly uncomfortable. Penta saying is time to go simply earns a short little nod and a soft, "Yes, sir." The rifle is lowered and the redheaded corpsman backs up and steps and runs to trot for the LAV and get back onboard.

Fischer nods as he hears that, moving over to board the LAV again, glancing back momentarily as he enter.

Randy's eyes shift from detail to detail, the rope, everything, and then swiftly to the distance and the skies before turning to limp back into the LAV. She sits down. And that is how the Erfriki are both real and myth all at once. They came, they went, but they are still brothers and sisters, hopefully leaving a seed in this once-kingdom. She doesn't look at Penta. She can tell he's going to be fine by the fact that he's walking, talking, and giving orders.

A single glance is sent toward Penta before she nods, speaking to the other LAV commanders then taking point again, turning the LAV toward the LZ once everyone is mounted up and there are no other marines that have to be recovered. She accelerates to make best speed, terrain appropriate and mission clock ticking, to get there sooner rather than later.

Fischer nods as he hears that, moving over to board the LAV again, glancing back momentarily as he enter.

Randy's eyes shift from detail to detail, the rope, everything, and then swiftly to the distance and the skies before turning to limp back into the LAV. She sits down. And that is how the Erfriki are both real and myth all at once. They came, they went, but they are still brothers and sisters, hopefully leaving a seed in this once-kingdom. She doesn't look at Penta. She can tell he's going to be fine by the fact that he's walking, talking, and giving orders." to Michael.

Clara keeps her eyes blessedly off of the whole spectacle. Their job here is done, and her mind is elsewhere; watching a man be dragged off to his death holds no satisfaction for her whatsoever. She'll help get the last few bodies of marines aboard, if any remain, and then she clambers back up atop the LAV and hunkers in quietly.

Michael waits until everyone is actually ON the LAV before trying to relax, and instead turns to something that will distract him…he first turns to Clara to make sure her wounds are bandaged up well enough to get her back to the Orion without making a bloody mess, then will tentatively move his way on to Randy to check her thigh, muttering, "Eventually Im going to come up with a very clever bullseye joke for this, you know. Sir."

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